The Corner

Regional Power

Mark (Hemingway), re that Gordon Brown box set, I was happy to string along with the jokes that the U.S.-format DVDs wouldn’t work on U.K. machines. Yet, at the back of my mind, I didn’t quite believe that even the Obamateur Hour crowd at the White House could be that clueless. I like the way the Telegraph’s Tim Walker sets the scene:

While not exactly a film buff, Gordon Brown was touched when Barack Obama gave him a set of 25 classic American movies – including Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins – on his recent visit to Washington.

Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem.

The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words “wrong region” came up on his screen…

Ah, well. The White House spokesman is said to have “sniggered” upon hearing the news.

I haven’t run into Gordon Brown in over a decade, but my memory of the last time I met him in a TV green room is of a glowering misanthropic type who enjoys nursing a grudge. What doesn’t go around (in the DVD player) comes around. When the president and his Teleprompter visit London for the G20 summit in a couple of weeks, it would be a tragedy were Barack Oprompta to rise for his big speech to find nothing but the words “Wrong Region” flashing on his screen (although I’m sure the Queen would be very polite and string along and make all the swells stand up and join the toast to “Ron Region”, whoever he is).

But don’t forget, folks: Somewhere in Texas a village has been reunited with its idiot, and we now have the whip-smartest administration of David Brooks’s lifetime.

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

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