The Corner

Flogging a Dead Bird

Salaam Abdul Khaliq reveals a surefire road to riches for every floppo writer:

OK, here it is – and you need to sit down for this – it’s called “The Islamophobia cash cow.”

Post 9/11, the fastest and surest way to gain celebrity status in the West and garner respect and attention you would otherwise never achieve on your own mediocre merit is to go on an “Islam-bashing” campaign.

And, mind you, you don’t need to be an expert on the subject matter, just make sure to quote verses from the Qur’an out of context, cite Osama Bin Laden as the role model of Muslim behavior, bank on tired canaries like “Islam oppresses women,” and “Islam was spread by the sword,” and other washed out clichés, and voila!

You’re a celebrity, a famous author (a rich, famous author, mind you), a Good Samaritan defending the civilized world from the evils of Islam.

The Hyacinth Girl is puzzled by those tired canaries:

Is it something like misdirection, like a magician pulling a dove out of his sleeve? And why are these canaries so tired?

I believe “tired canaries” was first used in the 1934 Warner Bros gangster movie Canary On The Lam, starring Joan Blondell. Jimmy Cagney wanders into the top nightclub Le Hot Canard and finds the Hatcheck Sisters’ rendition of “There’s Yes-Yes In My Baby’s Eyes” a wee bit underpowered, and advises Benny Goodman (in a tired cameo), “Say, your canaries sound tired tonight, boss…” But my memory may be playing tricks.

Alternatively, they may be tired like canaries in the coal mine shortly before expiring.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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