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For anyone looking for some welcome comic relief from the dreadful scene of this week, here is the episode for you!
As a few select people know, I am currently writing a biography of the late, great M. Stanton Evans, who passed away in 2015. Stan was one of the key figures in the conservative movement from the late 1950s (he was the principal author of the “Sharon Statement” that launched Young Americans for Freedom in 1960), and he was my first mentor out of college 40 years ago at his National Journalism Center. And he was the author of several books that will stand up for a long time, especially The Theme Is Freedom—a statement of his political thought—and Blacklisted by History, his defense of Joseph McCarthy against the gross distortions of conventional history.
In addition to his many books and enormous corpus of journalism over his lifetime, he was also one of the funniest human beings around. You never saw this much in his writing (though I have discovered a rare 1959 column from the Indianapolis News on the technique he called his “bore baffler” that explains his ironic and deadpan sense of humor), and in any case his humor depended a lot of his delivery, which always had the perfect timing of the best standup comics. It turns out there are a number of recordings of many of his speeches and lectures, and I decided to excerpt a small handful of his classic bits, especially his legendary story of the “human itties.” Pour yourself a drink and enjoy some time off from the nasty business from the week, and stay tuned for announcements of the publication of the biography later this year.
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