Just to recapitulate: in the last few weeks we’ve spent a lot of time contemplating this loony left-wing weekly. We’ve examined its checkered 150-year history, complete with decades of tireless Stalinist apologetics. And we’ve pondered the strenuous efforts of the current editor, ditzy heiress Katrina vanden Heuvel, and her Kremlin-expert hubby, NYU prof Stephen F. Cohen, to whitewash the thuggery of Russian persecutor-in-chief Vladimir Putin. Most recently we looked at the prospectus for the magazine’s upcoming jaunt to Cuba, which offers faithful Nation readers the opportunity to spend a chummy week together this fall imbibing cervezas, Cuba Libres, and (most important) venti-size doses of Communist propaganda spewed out by an assortment of Cuban professors, bureaucrats, and other Castro puppets.
But what self-respecting Nation diehard could possibly be satiated by a one-time trip to the Castros’ island prison? For those drooling disciples of Katrina, Katha & co. who just keep wanting more, the weekly sent out another tantalizing invitation a couple of days ago. And what thrilling tidings! On December 13, ardent subscribers can board a Holland America Line cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale and spend a week inhaling the same air as vanden Heuvel and her fellow Nation ideologues. It’s an annual event, and the pictures of previous excursions don’t lie: champagne socialism was never so luxurious!
This year’s cruise will feature stops in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands (where the magazine’s limousine-liberal supporters can visit their money), Cozumel, and Key West. On the ship, according to the itinerary, passengers will have the opportunity to “Enjoy High Tea,” “Pamper Yourself in the Luxurious Spa,” “Take a class in the Culinary Arts Center,” “Attend a wine tasting,” and much else. Hey, you can pray for the Revolution, but while you’re waiting, why not party it up?
The most important events, of course, will be the talks and panel discussions. Vanden Heuvel herself will deliver a lecture about the forthcoming elections. Ralph Nader – and who could ever get tired of hearing what he has to say? – will “decr[y] the toxic influence of money and politics.” (We assume that was supposed to read “on politics.”) And that’s not all! There’s also
Sorry, we nodded off while perusing the events schedule. (If you’re actually interested, the full list of speakers is here.)
As it happens, the Nation cruises have a pretty long history. Back in 1982, years before the Iron Curtain fell, the magazine actually offered a cruise on the Volga. The humorist P.J. O’Rourke bought a ticket just to see what it was like. It was called the “Volga Peace Cruise,” and came complete with “five Russian ‘peace experts’” who fed the useful idiots the usual line of Soviet B.S. Not that there was any real need for indoctrination: as O’Rourke made clear in his account of this absurd expedition, the passengers were already thoroughly brainwashed. Even before their plane left Kennedy Airport, they were telling O’Rourke “how wonderful the Soviet Union was: Pensions were huge, housing was cheap, and they practically paid you to get medical care.” O’Rourke summed up the doublethink at work here in one snappy observation: “These were people who believed everything about the Soviet Union was perfect, but they were bringing their own toilet paper.”
Well, you won’t have to bring along your own toilet paper on the Nation‘s Caribbean cruise. But you might want to pack a barf bag.