Friday, February 22, 2013


The recent cruise ship mishap that stranded a few thousand on the high seas for a few days without power displayed to the world an apalling shortage of American Character.  3 or 4 thousand people Whimpering, whining, showing little or no courage or adaptiveness.  They were never in any real danger---there was sufficient food, water and shelter for all----everybody knew that help was on the way.  The bathroom challenge could easily be dealt with in lots of ways---most obviously by crapping in a trash bag lining a toilet---then tying it up and stashing them at some appropriate place on the ship. The heat could easily be dealt with by getting on the SHADY side of the boat and lying down on a blanket or in a chair. 

Was there no one on that ship who understood that STUFF HAPPENS?  Was there no semi-enlightened souls who could DANCE WITH CIRCUMSTANCE? ---Simply and calmly adjust to a new situation?

Where has American Character gone?  Are these whining crybabies the descendents of hardy pioneers----offspring of American revolutionaries---inheritors of can-do innovators?  You wouldn't think so to see to see those uncourageous whimps being interviewed afterwards-----describing their experience as "Hell".  A pox on all you  who embarassed us before the world--displaying very little fortitude.

Someday----somewhere----the news media will interview a bold and enlightened soul involved in a similar mishap---who will say:  "It was an interesting , memorable experience."


martin said...

Nice rant, although I think it says more about the way the media reports events than the character of Americans. There must have been loads of people who made the best of things and didn't complain, but they were not the ones who got interviewed, it makes a better story for the media to report that way.
See this link for a report from somebody who was there:

New Age Nomad said...

Good post! Stranded on a luxury cruise ship, wish I was that lucky :) People live there whole lives in much worse environments. Take Care!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You took the words out of my mouth, only you said them better! ;>)

Anonymous said...

Randy you are truly a ignorant bastard, dummer then dog shit !!!

Had you read 1% of the story , you would have seen the lower decks - were overflowing with sewage coming up through the toilets - flooding the floors.

Please let me get a sewer truck & fill your trailer 6" deep - then tell me more with your ignorant RANT

Rob said...

I didn't follow the story, the boat broke and they were towing it to port. Bummer.
I figured it was a media event as much as anything.

Backed up toilets down below? Go topside! Bad luck but not as bad as it could be on a ship at sea.

They were uncomfortable yes but it not the end of the world.
A media event is what it sounds like... Good times for the media & new cars for a lot of lawyers.

Brad Maybury said...

I agree with Randy, and with the take(s) on the media circus. Likewise, I think there were probably some with fortitude that made the best of it. Although, the typical cruise ship passenger is probably not the most hardy specimen of human fortitude. It's pretty funny that the poster who called Randy an ignorant bastard and dumm(?) can't spell dumber.
: ) I've met Randy, and he's many things, but dumb and ignorant aren't on the list! Keep up the great work Randy.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if most of us become "wards of the State" depending on government handouts (or expecting it in the future) has something to do with what happenned to the American Character. What is your opinion on that ?

Anonymous said...

Wow Unless you have spoken to someone and actually were on the ship you need to shut your mouth..You have no clue the condition on that ship, and what we went thru on that ship

VtChris said...

My thoughts exactly Randy! I spoke thusly to several of my friends, kudos to you for using the bully pulpit and speaking truth to power (in this case the media). Jon Stewart had a great rant on this very topic.....while all the major networks were covering this cruise ship inconvenience there was a world summit of Muslim and Arab nations and the Daily Show had a live correspondent with onsite mention of this meeting was every made on our airwaves. I am sure there was a lot of important news that never made it to our citizens.

Anonymous said...

People who pay lots of money to travel on cruise ships, do so to indulge themselves in luxury & comfort. Take away the air conditioning & ask them to crap in a bucket & it's hardly surprising they complain to high heaven. The media loves to zoom in when the pampered class gets upset. And many of the rest of us can't help but stay glued to the screen.

Anonymous said...

Those ships create captive audiences...I've never been on a cruise ship, but I've heard that it is boredom 2x.
People who go for that are kind of experience are "challenged" to put it politely.

Anonymous said...

Then there's the type of crybaby that rants about situations and people they don't actually know anything about. Here, have a bottle.

gabevarga said...

One's true character does come through in a time of crisis, or in this case, a time of unexpected discomfort. It is unfortunate to be viewed by the world as a country full of overweight, uneducated, cry babies. On the other hand, as the first commenter stated, there were probably several people who showed positive character traits on the cruise ship, but weren't interviewed. Most likely because a positive attitude would go against the world view of Americans and wouldn't make good press.

However, on the flip side of the coin, I know that in order for me to take a nice cruise, it would take quite a bit of time to save up for it, not to mention all the other planning that is involved such as asking for extended time off from work, making arrangements for my cat to be looked in on, and so on. I would probably spend months looking forward to and day dreaming about what a great time I will have. Then to have it all turned to shit (quite literally lol) might make me end up appearing as a cry baby also. Even if the cruise line refunded all of my money and threw in something extra, I would probably still lose at least one years of vacation opportunity and would not feel too positive about the experience.

Tesaje said...

The stiff upper lip thing is the British, not the US citizens. Being trapped on a huge dysfunctional ship with poor emergency management procedures and back up systems is neither pleasant nor safe. The piles of sewage is extremely unhealthy.

What I heard was that thousands on that ship did make the best of it. They moved to the upper decks and slept up there, abandoning their toxic rooms. They did shit in buckets and trashcans, having no other options. 5 days of food under no refrigeration is a pretty high health risk too.

When the systems that make civilized life comfortable break down, it is a real problem when you are trapped with thousands of others and their waste in a high density space, made much more crowded by the limited open space. It is much easier and safer to deal with primitive conditions when there is space to get away from the trash and sewage, the smell, and the people.

Also, despite the uncomfortable conditions and sleeping in the open, I didn't hear about fights or thefts on that ship. That alone says a lot of good things about the people on the boat. A little whining is nothing compared to keeping ones morals when it would be easy to take advantage of people under duress or get violent as a response to stress. And the media never interview the stoic - only the loudest whiners.

Dan Arnold said...

I'm with you on this Randy. Before I continue, I want to make a particular comment about 'Anonymous' and his pathetic use of the English language expressed in the typical cowardly way of those who are afraid to put their names behind their words. "Anonymous" rants are by definition the words of cowards and should be ignored.

I just finished a four week vacation from Washington State to Mexico in my own Stealth RV, a converted utility trailer similar to Randy's original. I showered in the cold with my homemade solar shower using a garden sprayer. I simple bucket and shovel took care of basic needs. Yes, I can afford to live in relative luxury, but there is something 'vacating' about these spartan vacations I take.

I have almost no sympathy for those who take 'luxury cruises' and whine when they are not pampered sufficiently. Problems are simply opportunities to adapt. We have become a pathetic nation of babies who do not understand how easy our lives have become. We should welcome opportunities to invent and adapt; opportunities that demonstrate how grateful we should be for the basic necessities and pleasures we take for granted.

After 4 weeks in 75 square feet of living space, meeting new friends, adapting to emergencies like a broken axle in the desert in the Middle of Nowhere, Mexico, I am more appreciative than ever to be home in a 2700 square foot home with 4 baths and a loving wife and movies on demand.

But, for about the 20th time I have realized I don't need any of it.

Rex J. Covington said...

The media will never report or interview a bold and enlightened soul involved in a similar mishap---who will say: "It was an interesting , memorable experience." Because all the media wants to report is negative, killing, crimes, hurt and untruths!

Tammy said...

The had to whine and cry so they protected themselves when it comes time to sue for their discomfort. :-)

Melissa said...

Wow, judgemental much?

Look, I have no doubt there were crybabies just as there were people who made the best of things. And yes the media likes to focus on the negative aspect of things as that makes for a better story.

However, the conditions on the ship were not safe; it was a floating health hazard with overflowing sewage. And and with air conditioning inoperable, it must have been hell to be in the cabins.

Sorry, Randy but no pats on the head from me for this one. I enjoyed your blog but with posts like these, you reveal how judgemental and downright incompassionate you are.

Joyce said...

Why is it we accept that horrible news is more interesting? If we expected to hear the uplifting and courageous would they not provide it?
Can not we be happy without savoring the misfortunes of others?
And yes, Randy is correct. We ARE a nation of lazy cry babies.

Anonymous said...

People often get upset when they don't get what they thought they paid for. I once watched a grown man (you, in fact) throw a hissy fit because his prix fixe restaurant meal (advertised to include beverage) would only serve him tea or coffee for free and not his carbonated beverage of choice. This in front of a large group of compatriots having a holiday group meal.

Red Meador said...

Well said Randy, I might add anyone who would pen themselves up with the same 3000 people in such a small space for so long cant have very much between the ears.

Anonymous said...

Red Meander - Why do RVer's think that is the only way to travel. Having just got off a cruise ship touring South American ports, one is not penned up. I think there are many ways to travel and I would not criticize your desire to RV Red. I suspect you can't afford it, so it is really just sour grapes.

Pam said...

We were in Galveston when this whole cruise ship fiasco occurred. Since the ship departed from Galveston, the local news covered the story fairly extensively. I was struck by how different the tone was on the local news compared to the national news.

Most of the people I saw interviewed locally were pretty chill about the whole thing. They told stories about how wonderful the crew had been and just generally seemed to have adapted pretty well to the situation. There were lots of stories about people helping each other and stories about how folks did adapt and even had a bit of fun. When I would flip the channel back to a national news channel, it almost seemed like they were covering a different event.

1 More Mile! said...

Wow! Was that cruise a special invite for DNC members?

Anonymous said...

"Rant", I looked it up-

1 rant
verb \ˈrant\
Definition of RANT
intransitive verb
: to talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
: to scold vehemently

Jim said...

My co-worker has been on three cruises . . . says he really has no desire to ever go on one again. I would also suggest that "bold and enlightened" souls are the ones least likely to pack themselves in like sardines on a supposed "luxury" cruise ship. Enlightened folks tend NOT to value their worth to the universe (OR their friends) by how much they pay to go on vacation.
That said, it's tough to believe that ALL back-up systems failed, as in not a single generator to run a sewage pump? Unless the rules have changed, sewage is simply pumped overboard when the ship is moving = very low tech. And even *IF* all onboard generators had failed, one couldn't be lowered from a helicopter? Or a smaller rescue craft (with multiple generators aboard) couldn't be dispatched quickly from the nearest port and towed behind the cruise ship? Obviously (and no doubt to save money) there wasn't a single competent maintenance man on board who could jury rig as needed to at least keep SOME systems operational.

Gabe said...

Hey Randy, did you lose your interest in blogging? Looks like your entries have become rare and far in between.