Snakes on a Cruise! | The Nation


Snakes on a Cruise!

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Just as the debate on global warming was drawing to a close a man rose from the audience and started to scream. "We don't have time," he shouted. "You need to motivate people by fear. We are not afraid enough..."

Editor's Note: This is the latest in a series of dispatches from The Nation cruise to Alaska.

About the Author

Gary Younge
Gary Younge, the Alfred Knobler Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute, is the New York correspondent for the ...

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There are snakes on the cruise!

Mostly they come in the form of journalists. At the dinner table I was hosting on the first night conversation about Israel ended with a septuagenarian telling four other guests, "Fuck you." (They'd just called her "self-hating Jew"--you know how it goes.) The only other person not involved in the fracas was Henry Alford, who it turned out was an undercover reporter for the New York Times. While I'd rather he'd declared himself, Henry, who I've gotten to know and quite like over the week, had every right to be there.

The trouble is I've seen what a journalist can do with these cruises. Hell, I'm a journalist and I know what I'd do. Johann Hari did a great job on the National Review cruise a couple of weeks ago in The New Republic. He exposed them as a bunch of kooks, whackjobs, fruitcakes and bigots.

Well, he wouldn't have found any bigots here. But the rest are reasonably well represented. A tiny minority--a 9/11 conspiracist here, a self-righteous blowhard there. Most of those here are wonderful, great, interesting people. You couldn't hope to be trapped on the Pacific with a more well-meaning, decent crowd.

But there are enough nutty types for an article, certainly. If you wanted to lampoon the left it would be no more difficult than the right. The Heritage Foundation is on a cruise right behind us. A really great article would be just to stay in the ports--Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, Victoria--and see if any of the locals notice!

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