27 September 2008

A Report to the Elitist Board on the Maiden Voyage of the Caribbean Elite

From the Cabin of Captain NP of the Caribbean Elite

As the captain of this ship, it is my pleasure to captain the Caribbean Elite, the first luxury liner designed entirely to cater to the elite of the world.  Our maiden voyage has proven to be better than I expected.  The conversation was wonderful, the weather was perfect.

I submit to you, Elitist Board, this venture into the Caribbean waters has been a success, and your seal of approval has not been misplaced.  I sincerely hope you will continue to endorse the Caribbean Elite, and any sister ships that may emerge, as the single way to travel for those individuals, businesses, and corporations who receive your support.

To express the true ambience of elitism that came with the passengers on the ship, I submit to you some of the highlights from the cruise:

As the passengers boarded the ship, a few non-elitists managed to sneak past a security guard (who was promptly relieved of duty) and hurled insults at the passengers, demanding to be allowed onboard on the basis that elitism is arrogant.  Massimo Pigliucci, the only passenger to be invited to cruise without having requested it, turned before boarding and explained, "The answer is simple: I am an expert."  He went on to explain in his impromptu speech to these non-elites:
Intellectual arrogance, in the utmost degree, is being displayed by those who dismiss out of hand the considerate opinion of someone who has studied a field for 25 years only because they cherish a particular religious worldview that has no independent foundation in reality.
The catcallers stood for a moment, stunned, and left the port.

Day One: Embarkation
The first day was a flurry of activity.  After all the passengers were on board, the ship underwent the emergency drill to ensure all passengers knew where to go in the unlikely event of an emergency that called for abandoning the ship.  Thankfully, our drill was as close as we got to needing to utilize emergency procedures.

Shortly after the drill, the passengers stood on their balconies and on the main deck of the ship to bid farewell to their friends and families.  As everyone was waving and bidding the elite "Bon voyage" in stereotypical cruise fashion, a voice rang out from a balcony, stilling the air, and starting off the cruise in true Elitist Bastard fashion.  Though I heard the voice--somewhat muffled--from the bridge, I didn't learn until later that was Bitter Hinterlands leaving the echo of a call for a petition in the hearts and minds of those left on the shore while the Elite left the government behind for their seven-day adventure into the blue.

As we pulled away from Port Canaveral, the passengers took the opportunity to settle into their staterooms and explore the ship deck by deck.  As they wandered, snippets of conversation could be overheard, which reinforced the elitist atmosphere of the cruise.

In the spa, Avi reminded the other passengers a non-elitist world does, in fact, exist on land, and it's attempting to infiltrate the elitist world.  About Sarah Palin he said:
Pull the string and out tumbles another ridiculous talking point she neither understands, nor can deliver with anything approaching sense.
(Thankfully, the spa crew was on hand for a relaxing massage to work the nitwit-induced knots out of his shoulders.)

On the Promenade deck, several passengers sipped a cappuccino or an espresso macchiato while they chatted, led by Cujo359, about the world they were happily leaving behind--a world where...
If you repeat a rumor with enough sarcasm and a warning of the "Politics of Fear" sort, people learn that you think that they're drooling idiots if they believe it.
Day Two: At Sea
The first full day of the cruise was spent at sea, allowing the passengers to explore the ship further and enjoy being in the ocean, away from the chaos and frustration of everyday people.

Though ordinary people would have felt insignificant in the vastness of the ocean, the passengers of the Caribbean Elite felt at home: large people in a large ocean away from the small-minded people that constantly create problems for the elite.

A discussion in the luxurious dining room of the ship, prompted by Ames, the passengers were reminded that unity is important.  Ames said:
Palin makes the vital mistake of imagining that, despite our differences, we don’t need each other, and the equally dangerous mistake of pigeonholing our towns & cities into pre-determined antagonistic roles. If we’re stuck in a culture war, it’s because people like Palin insist on re-digging our trenches when it’s beneficial to their political career.
Day Three: At Sea
Formal night was quite an affair on the maiden voyage of the Caribbean Elite.  The passengers dressed in their elitist best and went to the Formal Dining Room for dinner and drinks.  As they perused the menu, Vifargent cautioned the other diners, saying:
It used to be my custom to order a nice blue/saignant petit filet about twice a year, but due to the current subprime perfect storm of red meat in battleground states between enemy combatants on the ground, at the end of the day I think it will likely be some few years before I have the stomach for another one.
Being formal night, I had the pleasure of joining the passengers at dinner, entertaining them at the Captain's Table.  We had no more than ordered our appetizers when Cujo359 launched a discussion on the perception of elitism in politics, saying:
H.L. Mencken once observed, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. Last time I checked, Republicans weren't going broke in excessive numbers.
I was amazed anyone actually finished their meals.

Day Four: George Town, Grand Cayman
Our first port of call was George Town, Grand Cayman, a beautiful town for shopping.  Many of the passengers disembarked for the day, and as they wandered from store to store, the elite atmosphere was not left on the ship, this time taking the form of science.

At the first section of stores, Atheist Chaplain opened the discussion, talking about medical research, saying:
[R]esearch like this sends a tingle down my spine. I see this as a light………  no a beacon, that may one day help people avoid going through what My family had to go through with me, If this research helps one person recover faster, if it stops someone from becoming a complete barstard towards his family then I am 100% behind it.
Avi picked up the thread of conversation at the restaurant where the passengers stopped for lunch.  He opened his discussion by informing the others:
The amount of attention this little problem has attracted on the intertubes proves two things:
  1. People have far too much time on their hands (myself included), and
  2. People generally don't know shit about even reasonably simple physics.
Avi's comments prompted Blake to share his own thoughts on physics over drinks once the passengers were back aboard the Caribbean Elite and ready to get underway.  He ponders:
Lately, I've been wondering whether physics in fact has it worse than other subjects. I don't have the data to answer that question, but I can at least sketch what I suspect to be a contributing factor which other sciences might encounter to a lesser extent or in a different way.
Day Five: Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel, Mexico was the next stop for this cruise.  Several passengers took the opportunity to take tours of the historical sights in the area.  Unfortunately, the first tour guide did not meet the elitist standards the passengers expected, prompting a discussion on education by Progressive Conservative.  He shared his experiences in secondary school, saying:
[B]eyond academics, beyond the talent of the students and teachers, what made my high school and others like it successful was a sense of elitism. We were told nearly every day that, “Excellence is our standard, not the exception.” We were told that we should thank our parents for sending us there. We were told that we represented our school wherever we were and we were to carry ourselves accordingly in the local community (we could receive disciplinary actions for a speeding ticket or a fight on the other side of town). We were fortunate enough to be a powerhouse in local athletics and that also contributed to a general sense that we were special.
Jason, in the spirit of elitism in schools, added his own thoughts about the perception of Ivy League schools, using his own background, as well as, to use his words, "one of the dopiest essays I have ever seen in my life" to explain his thoughts on educational elitism.

Though the next tour guide was better informed, the stage had been set for the elitists, and Cruise Director Dana made sure the tour guide knew, with a wag of her finger in his non-elitist face:
Those who don't take the past seriously, who treat history as a trivial handful of facts, interesting stories, and events that have no bearing on today, won't have the wisdom to create a better future.
Day Six: At Sea
The final full day on the cruise was at sea, and I took time to give the passengers a tour of the parts of the ship "normal" people would not have the opportunity to see.  The Caribbean Elite is, of course, state-of-the-art, and I took pleasure in showing them the systems on the bridge.  As I showed the passengers all the technology that helped create such a wonderful experience for their cruise, John reminded everyone:
It's true that cluster bombs, attack submarines, intercontinental ballistic missiles, military space platforms, and nuclear weapons could not be made without science and technology. But, then again, neither could communication and weather satellites, cell phones, computers, automobiles, airplanes, diagnostic medical scanners, radiation therapy for disease, electric lighting and the myriad other results of that selfsame scientific and industrial revolution that have saved millions of lives and reduced poverty, death and disease. That's not even counting the additional benefit of further knowledge those technologies have made possible in the form of electron microscopes, space probes, atom smashers, space telescopes and the like.
Day Seven: Disembarkation
The next morning, the passengers left the ship, taking a moment to say goodbye to each other before going back to their lives on land, full of idiocy and non-elitism.  I hope they were reluctant to leave, having experienced a relaxing week surrounded by elitism and luxury.

As I stood with them at the port, wishing them well, Jim approached me, handing me a sheaf of papers.  I was unable to read it at the time, but once back aboard the ship, I learned he was offering his own version of events, and asked me to submit it to you in conjunction with my own report.  That report is attached.

Final Thoughts
Being the maiden voyage of an unprecedented ship, there were aspects that I wish could have gone differently, of course, and there are changes that will be made before the next sailing of the Caribbean Elite.  However, as you can see from the highlights here, the discussions prompted by the events of the week show the elitists aboard the ship were, in fact, surrounded by elitism on the ship, which cultivated an atmosphere that allowed them to speak their minds freely and without fear that some non-elitist would question them, bring them down, or remind them they are in the minority in this world.

The cruise was an escape, and I hope the next sailing will be able to offer that escape to even more elitists, giving them a break from fighting the good fight.


Captain of the Caribbean Elite


  1. This is fantastic! I knew you were going to show us a good time, but damn!

    Three cheers for Captain NP! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

  2. Athiest Chaplain opened the discussion

    Actually, if you go by the spelling at the far end of that link, he's a chaplain who doesn't believe in any gods, not the chaplain who's athier than anyone else.

  3. I visit your site and got more information, good keep it up

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