[EDITOR’S NOTE: Insert obligatory “I’m Troy McClure, you may remember me from…” reference here, in hopes of winning back readership with ironic pop culture reference, since you’ve been offline for a week. Or make an even more ironic nested pop culture reference in the form of a completely unnecessary “Editor’s Note”, instead.]
Nina and I spent the week on the National Review post-election cruise. We departed Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday, and island hopped our way through Grand Turk Island, San Juan, St. Thomas, and Half Moon Cay before returning to Florida earlier today. (I’m actually still in D-FW airport as I write this. Hopefully I’m not jinxing my flight home by posting it too soon.)
As Jack Fowler, NR’s publisher, noted during the first night’s reception less than a week after the outcome of the 2008 presidential election, you’ve never seen a group of more cheerful and upbeat depressed people. Among the 700 or so(!) attendees, bitter clingers were in remarkably short supply.
The copious amounts of Hennessy flowing during the cigar and cognac nights didn’t hurt.
Some random observations, in no particular order:
- Fowler and Kathryn Jean Lopez are the hardest working publishers and editors in the word of new media outside of the immediate Pajamas Media organization.
- As Jonah Goldberg noted during one of the comedy nights, Mark Steyn is an agent of SPECTRE, apparently complete with a secret underground laboratory hidden miles below the verdant hills of New Hampshire.
- On the other hand, I doubt Blofeld issued many Christmas CDs.
- Rumors that Jonah wore his Star Fleet dress uniform to the first formal night are completely unsubstantiated. Or that he shouted “GENERAL ORDER 24, SCOTTY!” upon sight of St. Thomas.
- Scientists at Toastmasters will long be debating the power of the John O’ Sullivan Maneuver (as named by Jim Geraghty) in public speechifying. If your audience is 85 to 99 percent conservative in its makeup, invoking seemingly unplanned praise of Sarah Palin is guaranteed to generate thunderous applause.
- Mitt Romney has the Hair of The Gods.
- As does Byron York.
- I’m worried that the man who wore his kilt to both formal nights is a closet Arlen Specter fan.
- Rob Long is officially the only conservative male in the United States to cop to taking yoga classes.
- Jay Nordlinger is as cheerful as his columns.
- David Fredoso is as intense as his.
- It’s 3:00 in the morning. There’s a public address system on the ship. What’s the last thing you want to hear? John Mercer, the Trevor Howard-sound-a-like ship’s captain casually announcing that one of the boilers had caught on fire. Fortunately, it was rapidly extinguished, but not before at least one passenger started wondering where he’d packed his sort of idealized version of the complete Renaissance man costume if we needed to hit the lifeboats quickly.
- Speaking of obscure Monty Python references, it was great to see the proprietor of Castle Argghhh onboard.
- When the boat returns to Florida, don’t try getting off the boat without your room key card–or you’ll risk winding up inside the jail in “Midnight Express.”
- You’d think that the newest, sleekest ship in the Holland-America fleet would have an Internet connection more reliable than two coconuts and a string purchased from the San Juan Safeway. But you’d be wrong.
- Finally, to everyone who mentioned during the cruise that they’ve seen my blog or my videos, Thank You.