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What Happens on The Nation Cruise …

… doesn’t stay on The Nation Cruise.  The Sunday NY Times Travel section has a piece on The Nation’s cruise to Alaska.  An excerpt:

Indeed, an hour later, the mixture of dinner and politics took an unexpected turn at my assigned table in the dining room, where I first met Charlotte. A discussion of Israel among five Jews — two couples traveling together and Charlotte, who was traveling alone — became heated, with the couples disagreeing with Charlotte. At one point Charlotte asked the woman sitting opposite her, “Are you stooping so low as to call me an anti-Semite?” The woman responded: “Yes. I am,” and what Charlotte fired back was vehement, Anglo-Saxon and unprintable. (At least in this newspaper.)
I was too startled to speak, but the host of our table, Gary Younge, a Nation columnist and The Guardian’s United States correspondent, nimbly defused the situation. He sat and talked to Charlotte for an hour and then took her dancing at the bar called the Crow’s Nest, where I later joined them. And so Charlotte’s and my dance partnership was born — forged, as all the best dance partnerships so often are, in the crucible of political invective.

Then there’s this…

At one point, the director of the Nation cruise addressed the audience and told us that the cruise sponsored by the conservative National Review was one day behind us. Warning us about being prompt when reboarding the ship at each port, he said: “If you miss the ship, you’re going to be with National Review tomorrow. That’s your penalty — you’ll have to spend time with John Bolton.”

And this was the last thing you’d expect to find on a Nation cruise (the writer of the piece is a man):

Dinner that night yielded another dining room contretemps. After I’d casually mentioned “my boyfriend back home,” one of my tablemates, an oddball Southern man of a certain age, made repeated references to “the queers,” which offended a third diner and caused her to leave the table. Up in the Crow’s Nest a few hours later, I reported the incident to Charlotte and Gary Younge. Charlotte suggested I throw the man overboard “and try to make it look like an accident,” and Gary made a hilarious, unprintable suggestion that ended with the word “skewer.”

What, no waterboarding for homophobes?

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