An article entitled, Neocons on a cruise: What conservatives say when they think we aren’t listening, by Ms. Johann Hari in the The Independent UK is an outstanding example of, well, liberalism on a roll of feel-goodism. Considering that logical, reasoned arguments and conclusions can follow a false premise the writer starts off with a a good handful of cliche-riddled assumptions–her talking point premises– she attributes to the “neo-cons” in her midst:
The Iraq war has been an amazing success, global warming is just a myth and Guantanamo Bay is practically a holiday camp. The annual cruise organized by the ‘National Review,’ mouthpiece of right-wing America, is a parallel universe populated by straight-talking, gun-toting, God-fearing Republicans.
Now of course you’d have to look long and hard to find a conservative, and especially the kind of conservative who reads the National Review, who has ever held those particular opinions, at least in that simplistic form. (I think she’s thinking of rightwingers who who sleep with a gun in the crotch of their underwear –by the way, that “mouthpiece of right wing America” is of course another zinger she artfully slipped in there). With loose premise material like that who even has to bother with lines of reasoned arguments. This girl can fritter around like a bee, stinging as she goes. Which is exactly what she does.
I lie on the beach with Hillary-Ann, a chatty, scatty 35-year-old Californian designer. As she explains the perils of Republican dating, my mind drifts, watching the gentle tide. When I hear her say, ” Of course, we need to execute some of these people,” I wake up. Who do we need to execute? She runs her fingers through the sand lazily. “A few of these prominent liberals who are trying to demoralise the country,” she says. “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.”
Yeah, right, the woman actually said that–stuffing liberals in the gas chamber… Who was this woman? Mrs. Dr Evil? She goes on like this, finding other Dr Evils. Read the article (it’s a long one) and read all the sinister quotes attributed to the Right Wing Killer Squad from National Review. You start getting the suspicion that instead of having infiltrated a National Review reader group she’s stumbled instead upon some Mafiosi hitmen vacation cruisers in Bermuda shorts.
And then of course there is the sinister, eerie, preternatural otherworldly cocktail hour on the Lido deck (the one in the parallel universe), to wit:
The Reviewers have been told to gather for a cocktail reception on the Lido, near the very top of the ship. I arrive to find a tableau from Gone With the Wind, washed in a thousand shades of grey. Southern belles – aged and pinched – are flirting with old conservative warriors. The etiquette here is different from anything I have ever seen. It takes me 15 minutes to realize 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.
That’s scary– stiffened spines and crunching handshakes …I just hope to hell I can sleep tonight with the lights off after that weird alien conservative stuff she describes.
At one point, when the boat docks in Mexico she decides to shock those damn “racist” Reviewers (after all, they do oppose mass illegal immigration) by announcing “Over breakfast, I forgot myself and said I was considering setting out to find a local street kid who would show me round the barrios – the real Mexico. They gaped. “Do you want to die?” one asked…” She leaves it there, probably very flush with feel goodism after pumping out her love-for-the -masses barrio speech. Evidently though she never went. Of course she must’ve had a private flash after that, a momentary but sufficient dose of real world clarity (I mean this is crime-gang Mexico), a horrifying vision of seeing her barrio-stabbed corpse washing through a sewer drain (with a bunch of other bodies).
Oh yeah, this woman, Ms Hari, hates Mark Steyn (author of America Alone, about the dangers of radical Islam), who was on the cruise.
“The idea that Europe is being ‘taken over’ by Muslims is the unifying theme of this cruise. Some people go on singles cruises. Some go on ballroom dancing cruises. This is the “The Muslims Are Coming” cruise – drinks included. Because everyone thinks it. Everyone knows it. Everyone dreams it. And the man responsible is sitting only a few tables down: Mark Steyn.”
Run, Mark, run (one can imagine Ms Hari’s face beginning to resemble the tooth loaded mouth of a pitbull. God she hates this man. If she had to make a choice between kissing Mark Steyn on the mouth (French style of course) and a suicide jihadist who just blew himself up (and is now a steaming pile of innards) she’d choose the latter.
“He [Steyn] is wearing sunglasses on top of his head,” she says, ” and a bright, bright shirt that fits the image of the disk jockey he once was. Sitting in this sea of grey, it has an odd effect – he looks like a pimp inexplicably hanging out with the apostles of colostomy conservatism.”
Sunglasses on top of his head? A bright bright shirt? Jesus, these wacko right wingers. Imagine dressing like that on a cruise ship. And by the way, what exactly is an apostle of colostomy conservatism? As I said this is a good size article so there’s lot more of this fun stuff.
And then she comes into contact with–a Republican black man, Ward Connerly, “the only black person in the National Review posse. Does she fear for his safety? I mean what if the Reviewers suddenly start goose-stepping acroos the deck brandishing flaming crosses?
…When I ask him to empathise with the black victims of Hurricane Katrina, he offers [nothing sympathetic]. No, all Katrina showed was “the dysfunctionality that is evident in many black neighbourhoods,” he says flatly, and that has to be “tackled by black people, not the government. ” Sure makes sense to me (but then again I’m sort of a conservative and a big fan of Mark Steyn).
We can imagine the scene next: She takes Mr Connerly protectively aside (even if he is a Republican and not a real black man) and in hushed whisper to make sure there’s no evil Reviewer lurkng about –”Ward, do you ever worry you are siding with people who …would hang you by a rope from a tree?
Of course there’s a limit to what a Lib can take while in such close proximity to the Reviewers, so of course in departing, Ms Hari can no longer hold in that disdain. She’s going to burst… Yes, the pitbull is really growling now–a bite’s comng, and it’s a sarcastic one. “Couldn’t they just do experiments on Muslim stem-cells?” I ask [you know, to "cure" 'em].
Hey – that’s a great idea!” [a Reviewer] laughs, and vanishes. Hillary-Ann [you know, Mrs Dr Evil who wants to gas the libs] stops to say she is definitely going on the next National Review cruise, to Alaska. “Perfect!” I yell, finally losing my mind.”
That’s a shame because a mind is a terrible thing to lose. How nice to be a Lib of such pure idealism and one with such squeaky clean tolerance–except for those who hold a different political view, or choose not to French kiss strangers on the Lido deck. Hopefully Ms Hari will find solace back in Britain (she probably doesn’t live near the Tiger Tiger Club in Piccadilly which the terrorists recently tried to incinerate) and keep her tolerance level on such a high plane with the growing Death to Infidels crowd. When the telly reports car bombs and beheading chants one can imagine Ms Hari clicking quickly up the channels to escapethe harsh reality, jogging her remote like it’s a little pin ball machine. Probably reminds her of Mark Steyn.