Wednesday, November 19, 2014

HMS Queen Mary: Reliving history & election fraud 

   I just got back from attending BoucherCon, an important annual convention for murder-mystery writers and readers.  This year it was held in Long Beach, CA and I got to stay on the HMS Queen Mary.  And it was awesome.  And I came back with about 50 free books and met so many fabulous authors that it was like a dream.  Time well spent.  You shoulda been there.

    "But why do you like murder mysteries so much," you might ask.  "Don't you ever find all that blood and death to be depressing?"  No, not really.  In fact, murder-mysteries actually give me hope and inspiration.

     When writing about political stuff like I do, it is always so very discouraging to stand by and watch helplessly as greedy, corrupt and/or sadistic politicians always seem to win every time.  Take that last election for instance.  The Repubs won bigtime in the Red States -- but only because they committed shameless election fraud  And now our Senate is going to be ruled by a bunch of greedy blood-thirsty morons -- and the Blue States are gonna once again be frog-marched down the garden path to Hooverville as an illegally-elected minority once again forces us to pay for unnecessary wars and to give our natural resources away tax-free to right-wing billionaires.  Yuck.

     For the next two grim years, it's gonna be Jim Crow, Dixiecrats and the Confederate secession all over again in America -- except that apparently no one is going to stand up and fight for American democracy this time.  You can just bet that no court in the land is going to be brave enough throw that fraudulent election out.  Bye-bye to the Republic for which we stand.  "Move along please.  No Washingtons or Lincolns left to see here."

     Yes, the 2014 election was good for the wingnuts in the Red States -- but bad for America.  Virtue had failed to triumph once again.

     And this is exactly why I love murder mysteries so much.  At the end of every single crime-fiction book that I read, justice always triumphs.  Justice always triumphs.  Never the bad guys.  Not like in politics. 

     However, what I really want to write about here isn't the grubbiness of today's politics but rather about the grand and stately HMS Queen Mary, where I was lucky enough to stay at while I was in Long Beach last week.  The City of Long Beach has totally restored this amazing ship and turned it into a hotel.  

     Little-known fact:  The Queen Mary is actually bigger than the Titanic.

     Sleeping aboard the Queen Mary was like reliving history.  It was awesome.  I expected the ghost of Winston Churchill to show up right there in my stateroom at any moment.  And I think that he actually did.  Late one night, the cabin lights flickered spookily, my stateroom suddenly turned all chillingly cold and I could even smell a strange whiff of cigar smoke.  Plus (and this actually happened) the fire alarm suddenly went off and everyone on my floor had to leave the ship at 2:00 am.  Thanks a lot, Winston.

     I loved being completely enveloped in history like that.  And I would do it again in a heartbeat.  There is so much that we can learn from the past and even sometimes actually experience it ourselves.

     Maybe I should try to go sleep in the Lincoln bedroom next!

     But there is also a whole bunch of history now being repeated these days that is actually stupid and dumb and dumber.  As mentioned above for instance, the American Red States are currently trying their best to drag America down to their own selfish, racist and greedy level -- in a complete replay of 1860. 

     But despite all this current propaganda crap about the good old days of the antebellum South being pushed on us now, there really was nothing sweet or glamorous about the Ole South back in the first half of the 19th century.  It was a culture based on human misery.  And now the Southern good ol' boys in Washington are trying to palm their love of human misery off onto the rest of us once again.  History repeats itself.

    History is also repeating itself in other ways too.  For instance, the HMS Queen Mary was built between World War I and World War II  It was then used to be a troop ship back in World War II.  And now our so-called grand leaders in Washington appear to be trying everything within their power to get us into World War III as well  And to also reenact their beloved Cold War too.  What a waste of time and money -- bringing out the worst in whatever America has ever done, the very worst in all of our past.  Uggghhh.

      However.  Nobody here in America seems to be willing to recreate the awesome 1776 era of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitutional Convention of 1787 -- or even our most creative times either.  The sweet little Hudson River school of painting comes immediately to mind.  Make art, not war!

     And speaking of art, Her Majesty's Ship the Queen Mary is also a work of art too -- with miles of wood paneling and a tea room and powerful engines and a Queen's Salon that made my heart sing.  But Americans just spent eleven trillion dollars on war.  War never makes anyone's heart sing.  

PS:  HMS Queen Mary also had cable TV -- and I got to watch Fox News for the first time in years.  And was amazed.  Talk about your history!  All the commercials on Fox News were geared toward people over sixty.  Hemorrhoid creams, joint pains, reverse mortgages, constipation preventives, well-preserved older couples playing on beaches with their grandchildren, sex enhancers, wheelchairs.  Fox News is definitely living in the past too. 

PPS:  I'm about to go in for surgery on my left wrist because the bone didn't set properly the first time I broke it back in July of 2013 and it still hurts a lot.  Let us please hope that this "pretty big procedure" is not going to be a repeat of the great bone-break of 2013!  Ouch.