OM253 - The Wreck of the Titan

This week, Ken and John talk about:

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This episode has been recorded live on board the ship during the JoCo Cruise 2020 on the second full day aboard.

Recording on the JoCo Cruise (OM253)

This is Ken’s first and John’s 11th cruise, so almost nothing could surprise him, but the first two hours in open water yesterday was some of the roughest ocean time he has done. He was on stage singing a couple of his beloved classics while the waves were rolling and rocking. The real show was backstage as one member of the cast and crew after another went into one of the two vomitoria and was carried out on gurneys, meaning they lost half of the show, the stage manager, and the person who was supposed to clean the bathrooms.

They had worse numbers than Altamont, but at least Altamont had some births. It also had some conceptions. If you are 9+ months pregnant and you go to Altamont, if that is where your decision making is at, then you are not allowed to complain afterwards. Nobody was born backstage on the cruise, but John can’t speak to whether anyone was conceived. There were two dressing rooms and John could only be in one at a time. It is the motion of the ocean. Ken was watching from the crowd and he thinks that John was the one who decided to just have a rollicking good time and let the currents take him weaving back and forth and he was impressed by his sea legs.

It is the spirit of Aloha. If you look for the turtle, then you will not find the turtle, but you have to not look for the turtle. If you try to find your balance on the stage, you will fail, but if you let the stage guide you, then you will move all over it. The microphone had to stay in one place, so as John was singing he would move past it, but from where Ken was standing it sounded great.

Being in the audience was a little alarming because you are in a big 880 people auditorium that you expect to be stable and instead as Ken was sitting in the back he was watching all the heads in front jerk in unison and he realized how bad a job Star Trek does when everybody pretends to be bouncing in their seats because they never quite nail that totally synchronous left-left-right-left. It was a wonder to behold!

Between that and the mustard drill at the life boats Ken was thinking more about shipwrecks that he was hoping to on his first day aboard the cruise. In general Ken is not freaked out about ocean disasters because everything about the nautical industries is designed to give you the impression that you are on a building, which is going to be just fine like all the other buildings in your experience. Of course that is the lie on which the cruising industry runs! It is all very precarious, but they don’t want you to think about that.

Conspiracy theories (OM253)

In the 1970s the television told you to buy weird paranormal book sets about ancient aliens, the Bermuda Triangle, or Big Foot, and what was it about the Carter administration that made us fascinated with how the aliens built the pyramids? There was the cancelled Project Blue Book and then we all had been given a glimpse behind the curtain and then they tried to shut it again, but we said: ”No, sir! There are big feets everywhere!”

John's theory is that the movie Frozen is a Psy-Ops attempt to get us used to the Greys and to think that they are beautiful princesses, so that when they are finally revealed as being behind the government we will think it is Anna and Elsa. In the 1970s they were red-conning us: ”Oh, sure, and also: Big Foots!”, but it didn’t work and we saw through their ruse.

Strange coincidences (OM253)

Coincidences happen all the time, but the odds of any given coincidence happening are very low. One time Ken was at a movie with a friend who he had been hanging out with a few times. Ken’s friend started talking about his wife and it turned out that she had gone to High School together with Ken’s wife in Berlin. This random new friend had married a friend of Ken’s wife through a totally different vector! It was not a total coincidence, though, because both friends were Mormon kids of the same generation, which is a smaller world.

John’s mom’s earliest ancestor in America and John’s dad’s earliest ancestor in America both lived in colonial Williamsburg in the 1680s. It seems impressive, but they both came from the same region of England from within 20 miles of each other. At the time the population of colonial Williamsburg wasn’t that many people, and it was a common vector if they are extremely white like John.

John’s mom believes in the paranormal and has gobbled together her own religion out of whatever parts she wanted, which is a late 20th century fashion. Sometimes she believes in Zen Buddhism and she still sings her Methodist hymns. John’s parents were destined to be together, although their marriage was not successful because they needed to solve a problem that dates to colonial Williamsburg. They were fated to meet again and again throughout history until they finally resolved the problem, which is: Who controls the checkbook in this marriage? They certainly did not resolve it in this lifetime. Luckily John owes his existence to this colonial curse.

John’s family has traced their line back in every direction, back to the 15th century, across 25 vectors, and John has zero interesting story. Basically all of his 12.000 ancestors lived within a 100 miles of Leeds, which sucks! He wishes there was one Italian because then he would have more interesting eyebrows. Any person’s conception and birth is a miracle! What are the odds that that particular set of chromosomes from these two people, of all the people they could have produced progeny with, came together? It is why John cries every time he masturbates, but Ken thinks there might be other reasons for that.

John being afraid of ship wrecks (OM253)

John is terrified of ship wrecks and he is absolutely terrified of dying in a ship wreck. He is not thinking about it right now because he has a very strong will to not think about dying in a ship wreck, but he is not a very good swimmer, he doesn’t like the water at night in the dark, he doesn’t want things nibbling on his toes, he doesn’t want things in his underwear, which is what happens in the ocean at night, and he doesn’t want to be denied breath. If this ship sinks in the night, all these things are going to happen to you in rapid succession.

Special guest Aimee Mann (OM253)

They welcomed Aimee Mann as a guest on the show to read the poem The Berg (A Dream) by Herman Melville. She is the most Melvillian voice they could think of on this ship. They had a big audition and everybody had to read a full chapter of Omoo. No, Aimee was the one person at dinner who would agree to do it, the one person who was struggling to think of a reason that she couldn’t do it and couldn’t think of one.

When Aimee was 20 she and her friends played with an Ouija Board. You think you are talking to a dead person and you ask things like: ”How did you die?”, ”Where are you from?”, and: ”Where are you now?” and occasionally you would ask: ”Did I have a past life?” Aimee was a housewife in Greenbay Wisconsin, which means that she was reincarnated pretty quickly. She was no princess or king, but just a housewife and she was not spooked by that.

As a musician Aimee also asked: ”Will I ever get a record deal?” and it said: ”Yes, in 1984 and in 1991!” and she thought: ”Well, that is ridiculous because you get one record deal and then you are set for life!”, but her band got a record deal in 1984 and she got a solo deal in 1991. It is a pretty good paranormal coincidence and she decided to never do this again!

One time Aimee decided to try automatic writing with another friend Mary (Kobayashi). Aimee held a pen in her hand, Mary’s hand was touching her hand, and then she saw her own hand go round and round in spirals, which is super-creepy. Aimee asked: ”Where are you?” - ”Hell!” - ”Why are you in hell?” - ”Murder!” - ”I’m out! That’s it!”

Recording at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic (OM253)

Many people were shocked that John and Ken went on a cruise because it was the time when the coronavirus pandemic just started. It was the last cruise that you could possibly be on and everybody on the ship spent the whole cruise being very conscious of coronavirus, buy it hadn’t yet become a pandemic and hadn’t come to the United States. It turned out that the cruise ship was the safest place in the world. No-one got sick, everybody stayed healthy, and everybody had one last carefree week before they had to go home to cities and towns that were more COVID-plagued than the ship.

They were kept out of Grand Tortuga because halfway through the town the government shut down all the cruise ships. Getting back to Florida was the time in the last couple of months when John felt the most vulnerable of contracting coronavirus in the Ford Lauterdale airport. People were sleeping on the floor and there was an Elephant and a light saber duel. Ken has not been in another room with 4 people since then. The biggest group he has been with was his family and John because they were both scrupulous quarantiners and got home and immediately went into quarantine. Whatever John contracted from Aimee Mann and Mary Kobyashi there is no cure for: He contracted a broken heart!

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