Trip Reports

The Captain Goes Off (14-Sep-2001-20-30):
8:30 PM local time Friday, September 14. (1030 September 14 UTC) 9 27 S 147 09 E. Temp. 83, Humidity 84%, cloud cover 10%. In a marina berth(!) at Port Moresby, Papua, New Guinea.

Greetings from the crew of Maverick.

We have arrived safely, and it is our privilege upon completing a successful passage, and the tradition of mariners throughout history, to obtain shore leave and repair to a local establishment to enjoy the beverage of our choice, usually in rather impressive quantities. During today's celebration we had the good fortune of being able to view pictures of the horror in New York and Washington on big screen TV. The Captain realizes that his duty as a seaman neither requires him to assume, nor qualifies him for, the post of commentator on world affairs. Yet, in his current state he has thoughts, and as there is no appropriate place to put them, he will send them to you.

Let us stipulate for the sake of argument that whoever did this had in mind the righting of wrongs, the advancement of the fortunes of those who are poor and powerless, and in short, the victory of every just cause that ever a brave soldier has pledged himself to throughout the long fight for peace and justice. The Captain will emphasize that he does not believe this and does not believe that they believe this; but for the sake of argument we assume it's true. So the Captain's argument leaves morality out of the picture. Let's just discuss how threatening they are.

Some of us may fear them because unlike many terrorists, they are organized, smart, and have a lot of money. These are the issues to which we address ourselves.

First, the money. If you throw in Saddam Hussein, these people have about as much money as Ted Turner has in his roller skate budget, and he's not one of our really rich guys.

I'm more interested in how smart they are. You know, they foiled the security at a bunch of airports at the same time, so they're smarter than, say Jimmy Buffet. This took a lot of planning and rehearsal, as did the "On the Road" movies with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

But let's think about that planning meeting. The Captain thinks that if he had been there, he would been obliged to have brought up the following issues: 1) Supposing we kill all the people we want to. How will everyone worldwide find out about it? Will it be through a) The Taliban Broadcasting Company, b) The Islamic Bonehead Network, or c) CNN? 2) Assuming it's not the first two, let's ask ourselves, How good is CNN at showing heartbreaking footage of family members clinging to the hope that someone who was on the 105th floor of that building survived, children bringing flowers to a memorial site, exhausted rescue workers going in for another shift, or the playing of the Star Spangled Banner by Winton Marsalis in the Hollywood Bowl, etc. Are they a) as lame as the Taliban Broadcasting Company or the IBN, or b) The best in the world? 3) How likely is it that CNN will give major play to the (we will stipulate here for the above reasons) important and cogent point of view we wish to publicize, as opposed to the time they will give to people worldwide who are our bitter enemies? 4) In the event that they portray us at all, will CNN show us to be a) Heroes of the downtrodden or b) Boneheads with machine guns? 5) Who works in the World Trade Center? Would it be people from around the world? How sympathetic are the citizens of various nations of the world to forces that would murder their peers while they are employed in peaceful occupations overseas? 6) Do we have our internet strategy in place? If I go to Yahoo and type in Osama Bin Laden will I get OBL's House of Pleasure?

Sorry, guys, you gotta pay attention. While you were steeping yourselves in the whatever teachings you boneheads follow, the world changed. The reason we needn't fear these people is that they are no more than the kids in elementary school who lit cats on fire, all grown up. They cannot by any stretch of the imagination be thought of as people who are smart. Even Hitler and Stalin and Idi Amin had enough brains to become actually powerful. These men seek refuge in Afghanistan, which itself is a bogus country. They hide under the skirts of idiots

Next report from this loocation: Behind Closed Doors

Back to the Progress Chart | Back to Trip Reports
Progress ChartTrip ReportsPhoto GalleryAbout MaverickThe CrewGlossary & Technical Weather Check