Mark Steyn on The New Lothario

In this week’s column, Mark Steyn continues to bang his demographic drum by bringing in Al Gore, Richard Dawkins, beauty pageants, the Holy Family, and, hilariously, the latest generation of tall, dark and handsomes who for years have swept away the wimin of dumb Irish jackasses.

Today, in the corporate headquarters of the Christian faith, Pope Benedict looks out of his window at a city where children’s voices are rarer and rarer. Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe. Go to a big rural family wedding: lots of aunts, uncles, gram’pas, gran’mas, but ever fewer bambinos. The International Herald Tribune this week carried the latest update on the remorseless geriatrification: On the Miss Italia beauty pageant, the median age of the co-hosts was 70; the country is second only to Sweden in the proportion of its population over 85, and has the fewest under 15. Etc.

So in post-Catholic Italy there is no miracle of a child this Christmas — unless you count the 70 percent of Italians between the ages of 20 and 30 who still live at home, the world’s oldest teenagers still trudging up the stairs to the room they slept in as a child even as they approach their fourth decade. That’s worth bearing in mind if you’re an American gal heading to Rome on vacation: When that cool 29-year old with the Mediterranean charm in the singles bar asks you back to his pad for a nightcap, it’ll be his mom and dad’s place.


  1. Cubeland Mystic says
  2. Quin Finnegan says

    What a great site.

  3. Quin Finnegan says

    It prompted me to go read the actual interview at the Time website. The adulation, or at least the look of it is pretty weird, but some of the questions were better than I expected.

    TIME: Americans wonder why the recent Russian elections could not have been more open and why, for example, Garry Kasparov was put in jail.
    PUTIN: Why did Mr. Kasparov, when arrested, speak out in English rather than Russian? When a politician works the crowd of other nations rather than the Russian nation, it tells you something.
    FINNEGAN: Tells us what? That Kasparov was arrested for speaking English?

    TIME: In Russia, a number of journalists have been murdered. Is there some kind of pattern? Is there something that you or the government can do to prevent it?
    PUTIN: First, many people, including journalists, are tempted to make a little bit more money here and there, which means they get involved with entrepreneurs, sometimes with criminal businessmen. Then there are genuine fighters against corruption, against the criminal elements. Where such losses have occurred, I take them personally.
    FINNEGAN: Are you actually suggesting that Anna Politkovskay was involved with criminal businessmen? And that her death was therefore just? Or that she was involved in dangerous work, and therefore died a martyr’s death? If so, why haven’t you spoken out more about it?

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