The Matrix Ahoy: The Carnival Triumph Disaster
I cannot begin to imagine how awful the onboard experience must have been on the Carnival Triumph last week. Given my own personal phobias and fears, I can confidently say that such an experience constitutes my own personal hell on earth.
Thus, I understand why people now are hesitant to book cruise vacations. I get it. That was horrific. And now that you know how quickly a sort-of-luxury vacation can turn into a floating triage unit–complete with garbage-cans-turned-toilets–you are not chomping at the bit, ready to throw down your hard-earned money to book one of your own. You took the red pill; you’ve glimpsed the Matrix.
But here’s the thing–that reality is true no matter where you are on land, at sea, or in the air. I’ve read enough poorly-written young-adult post-apocalyptic dystopian novels to know how close we are to the complete breakdown of society. From The Lord of the Flies through The Hunger Games, there’s a lesson to be learned from post-apocalyptic fiction. We are, as Aerosmith so non-eloquently put it, living on the edge.
Most people walk around all day, every day, blissfully unaware of the fact that they are *this close* to total chaos. Only true dystopian fantasy fans fully grasp the fine line between joy and despair.
Yes–if your cruise ship’s engine room starts on fire, your life is going to suck for a few days. It is going to suck very, very badly. But so too will your life suck if, say, the government crumbles in some mysterious-yet-drastic manner (The House of the Scorpion, Divergent, Matched, Unwind). Or if the super volcano under Yellowstone erupts (Ashfall). Or if the zombies arrive, the human race stops being able to have children, or the moon is knocked too close to the earth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Darkest Minds, Wither, Life as we Knew It, respectively. I told you I read a lot of this genre).
Would I get on a cruise ship tomorrow? No. I would not. Because I have to work tomorrow, and I think that by going to work, I’m contributing in some small way to the non-crumbling of society. But I’d get on a cruise ship on Sunday, having given a few days’ notice. I would do so knowing that nothing can happen at sea that can’t also happen on land. And I like being at sea. So I will continue to go there.
That is, of course, until the zombies arrive.