Thursday, August 09, 2007

Shuffling the Deck Chairs on the Ship of Fools

Sumo told me about this article at Alternet called Neocons on a Cruise: What Conservatives Say When They Think We Aren't Listening. Johann Hari, the reporter, set simple ground rules for himself when he booked himself as a guest on the National Review's annual cruise for Conservatives. He had one rule for himself:
If any of the conservative cruisers asked who I was, I answered honestly, telling them I was a journalist. Mostly, I just tried to blend in - and find out what American conservatives say when they think the rest of us aren't listening.

If you have not read the article, you must. The cruise was organized through one of my competitors, which doesn't surprise me, and people paid a massive premium to join the cruise. But I looked into the one that just ended: Alaska, on the ms Noordam, July 29 - August 5, 2007 so you can't get on. However, when you click on the link, John Bolton's face pops up at you telling you he's just been added as a speaker. What is it about Neo-Conservatives that when they try to smile, they look like it hurts?

One of last year's cruise guests, Steven M. Warshawsky, wrote this article about his experience. He said
We weren't on the cruise for the sunny and scenic destinations; we were on it for the conservative camaraderie and bonhomie for which National Review cruises are well known. The NR cruises offer an unparalleled opportunity for ordinary folks like us to meet and mingle with leading conservative academics, commentators, and politicians.

Isn't that nice? Ordinary people getting to experience conservative camaraderie and bonhomie. How nice. Johann Hari describes this bonhomie well:
The etiquette here is different from anything I have ever seen. It takes me 15 minutes to realise what is wrong with this scene. There are no big hugs, no warm kisses. This is a place of starchy handshakes. Men approach each other with stiffened spines, puffed-out chests and crunching handshakes. Women are greeted with a single kiss on the cheek. Anything more would be French.

Sounds delightful. Mr. Hari mentions a Judge he encounters on the cruise who is the founder of Canadians Against Suicide Bombing Mr. Hari asks him if there would be many members of Canadians FOR Suicide Bombing, and the Judge, confused, replied that yes, there would be. Hmmmm. Yet at dinner, one of Mr. Hari's table-mates said, regarding the United Nations building in New York, "They should suicide-bomb that place."

Mr. Hari confronts Kenneth Starr:
Mr Starr, do you feel ashamed that, as Osama bin Laden plotted to murder American citizens, you brought the American government to a stand-still over a few consensual blow jobs? Do you ever lie awake at night wondering if a few more memos on national security would have reached the President's desk if he wasn't spending half his time dealing with your sexual McCarthyism?
Starr replies with a series of legalese versions of "It's not my fault." No accountability. No concern. Conflicting morals. A cruise fueled by hate. Not a way I want to spend MY summer vacation.


Peacechick Mary said...

That would be the cruise to hell.

Hope you're feeling better.

American Scot said...

All I can say is....Wow!
I had to remind myself this wasn't fictional short story, but the real deal!
These people are nuts!

Larry said...

In Bush's version of America, this obviously is becoming the standard norm.

TomCat said...

I blogged this one when it first came out in mid July. I could not be more pleased to see it making it's way around the Internet. :-)

Tina said...

I blogged about this too, but the thing I can just NEVER EVER get past is the fact that when dealing with the Republicans/ Neo-Cons/ Religious Fright, you always -- without fail-- have to go right back to invoking the Nazis:
Hillary-Ann, a chatty, scatty 35-year-old Californian designer, says: "Of course, we need to execute some of these prominent liberals who are trying to demoralise the country. Just take a couple of these anti-war people off to the gas chamber for treason to show, if you try to bring down America at a time of war, that's what you'll get." She squints at the sun and smiles. " Then things'll change."
Executing liberals in a time of war???
Sweet Jesus... WTF do you say to that besides I'm sure that made Hitler and his minions' tiny black hearts leap with joy.

proudprogressive said...

Their vitriol is astounding, fully agree Tina. The opposition needs to remember never bring a knife to their gun fight. Going along to get along is not really a good strategy. Makes politics even more of a charade than it is already. It can and is happening here, right under our noses, a fascist coup took place in 2000. Each day it gets worse.

DivaJood said...

Peacechick, can you imagine? Oh, my god. How do you respond to this insanity?

Scot, it is not fiction at all. They run these cruises yearly.

Larry, exactly. And it is why I believe that the administration will facilitate an "October Surprise" and declare Martial Law, suspending elections in 2008.

Tomcat, I don't know how I missed it earlier - especially since I am a travel agent, and am usually on top of some of these groups.

Tina, as I read the article, my stomach turned. And that remark, the one about executing liberals, was so early on in the article! It is stunning to me, that in this country, people actually believe this! Speak this. THINK this way.

ProudProgressive, good advice. We need to be ready for the worst. And yes, it was a bloodless coup in 2000, and we let it happen.

robin andrea said...

What country do these people love? Which constitution do they have? How is it that we inhabit the same land and yet know two completely different countries?

LET'S TALK said...

DivaJood, I didn't know that you had such a sense of humor... this is the second time today you have made me laugh. The first was on Another Point of View. Thanks again!

Mary said...

This would truely make me sea sick.

Lulu Maude said...

Where is my lil' bag o' torpedos when I need them the most?

The Future Was Yesterday said...

(from the article) "One of the Park Avenue ladies declares that she gets on her knees every day to " thank God for Fox News".
If God has a hand in Fox Noise, one more reason I'm delighted to be headed for hell! I often ask those conservatives who say we're dedicated to tearing down America; "How exactly do you think we're doing that?" and they recite a long list very similar to this article. "Oh," I say. "You mean your America." The conversation usually ends there.

I want to thank you for your recent support. I deeply appreciate it, and I'm sure my friend will, much more so! Thank You!!!

WeezieLou said...

executing liberals?? Achtung! Guten Tag. Juden.

Anon-Paranoid said...

We have too start calling these people out. Tell them that if they believe in the policies of Hitler than they must be a Nazi.

God Bless.

Larry said...

This bunch are modern day nazis and in reality will make Hitler look tame in the end.

Comandante Agí said...

It's like a bad episode of the Twilight Zone - stuck on a boat with NeoCons!

DivaJood said...

Robin Andrea, they sure don't live in the same country that you and I live in.

Let's Talk, you're kidding! I think that making people laugh is better than chocolate.

Mary, it is my revised version of hell. My first version was me and a guy I adored drunk, alone in a room. He said we'd have had fun for about 30 seconds, though. But this cruise? Not so much.

Lulu, didn't you leave them at Torpedos R Us?

Future, I was happy to send Randy the email. Those young men and women were fed a bill of crap and they are not to blame. As for Conservatives - I could tell you stories that would curl your hair.

Weezie, unfortunately, I lost my universal translater and German hurts my teeth. Am I doomed?

Anon-Paranoid, we do need to hold a mirror to them, so that they can see what they are.

Larry, they will not make Hitler look tame. But they will join the ranks of the Hitlers, the Pol Pots, the Saddam Huesseins, and they will be held accountible.

Spiro, there were NO bad episodes of The Twilight Zone. But this is really, really scary!

TomCat said...

Are you really, Jood? LOL! That's rich. May many more find and post it!

Feeling better?

DivaJood said...

Tomcat, it's true. I send rich people to far away places.

I'm feeling crappy, but the Cubs are 1/2 game out of first in their division, so that makes me happy.

betmo said...

well, honestly diva, you mean to tell me that you wouldn't want to go on a cruise and let your hair down? where else can you let go of the pc workplaces and communities and hob nob with all white (and apparently one black man), racist, homophobic people who haven't a clue how to feel emotions? where else can you talk about people of color as 'all looking alike?' really, isn't that what this cruise was? a place where like minds feel safe saying what they really feel instead of trying to blend in with normal human beings? seriously, they are the ones who need to be suicide bombed off of the planet. this planet can't take much more conservative thinking.

DivaJood said...

I dunno, Betmo, maybe it's me, but the thought of sailing around with a bunch of people with sticks up their hineys is not my idea of a good time. Of course, I could be wrong, they might have SOME good qualities. Like, maybe they make their beds.

Nah, probably not.

Pursey Tuttweiler said...

Great Post, Diva Jood. I read the whole nauseating story. I cannot imagine being one of those people, a person who shows no warmth, does not think, is afraid of everyone who is not like they are, wants to kill those who think differently than they do, and blames liberals and decadent Europeans on everything. This post also inspired a lot of great comments from your readers. I think a grand experiment would be to offer this cruise, with as many boats needed, for free, to all those who are sworn neo-cons and see how many show up and how the "poorer" neo-cons differ or not from the "richer" neo-cons.