The R.A.M's Columns: Ship Are Sinking | Teen Ink

The R.A.M's Columns: Ship Are Sinking

May 27, 2021
By RichardAlanMorris GOLD, Ventnor, New Jersey
RichardAlanMorris GOLD, Ventnor, New Jersey
12 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Ships Are Sinking

A public information ad that nobody much paid attention to when it first appeared last year started doing the rounds last week. It suggested that girls who can no longer be ballet dancers should think about retraining for a career in cyber-technology. This made a lot of young people very angry, and I'm not sure why. As we start to reopen everything, the ship however, refuse to increase capacity. So it's pointless sitting at home, banging your fists on the floor, saying, "I want to be a ballet dancer". It'd be like mewling and puking with rage because you can't be a town crier or a switchboard operator. Or a cruise ship steward. We were treated last week to the most joyous and uplifting spectacle. An aerial photograph of five gigantic liners being broken up for scrap in a Turkish shipyard. I gazed at it for several minutes, feeling all warm and fuzzy at the thought of how these hideous eyesores would never again ruin anyone's view of Statue of Liberty or the Sydney Opera House or a Norwegian fjord spotted in Oslo. With their rear ends removed, you could see into the rabbit warren of their interiors and imagine how much misery had been generated. The loneliness. The diarrhoea. Let me illustrate my hatred of these gigantic floating vomit buckets with some numbers. In a typical week, a liner with 3,000 people on board will produce more than 200,000 gallons of sewage and a million gallons of grey water, teeming with body fluids, eczema flakes and HRT-flecked sick. Legally, all of this can be pumped into the sea. Along with the contents of all the bins. It was reported in the Times Magazine last year that the luxury cruise operator Carnival's fleet alone produces more emissions of sulphur oxides than all of America's 260 million cars. A Irish-American sailor named Sir John Patrick Clark was banging on in his recent Netflix eco-rant that we must all give up meat, but what's the point of taking that one small and unpleasant step if Tom and Myrtle are still allowed to fill the seas with their turds and the sky with enough carbon to make half a dozen Boeing 747? What has always fascinated me about these ships, though, is not the damage they do to the sky and the fish: it's the fact that they're full of drunk, weird people and there's no police on board. Between 2011 and 2015, 116 people simply disappeared while on a cruise. That may explain why sea levels are rising: because of all the dead plastic women who've been thrown into it by jealous husbands.

By law, there must be a person on board with some kind of medical certificate. But who's to say the certificate wasn't issued after the person had spent six months in a remote village, administering ground-up bones and potions as a pox doctor's clerk? And then there's the question of who's cooking the food. If you are a good chef, you will get a job at a top restaurant or hotel in a bright and vibrant city. If you are less good, you will end up in a burger van at the side of Allentown or at cafe in the provinces. So how bad to do you have to be to wind up making gravy on a cruise liner? I can't imagine, then, that life on board is much fun, but it's better than what happens when they let you off. The problem is that the magazine talk about all the exotic locations you'll visit, but the truth is you have to dock in a shipyard, and they're not exotic at all. I once watched a cruise liner disgorging its orange passengers onto Barbados. They'd doubtless read about how they'd meet Simon Cowell at the Cliff restaurant and dip their toes in a turquoise sea. But instead, they got off, climbed onto what looked like a train, but was in fact a converted Ford Broncos SUV pulling some rickety wooden carriages, and were deposited on the other side of the docks, outside some not-at-all convincing chattel houses, where they bought Rasta hats, before it was time to get back on board and head to Trinidad & Tobago. Sure, they could tell friends in the back home that they'd been to Barbados, and they had, in the same way that I could say I've been to Minneapolis because I once changed planes at the airport. Anyway, the photograph of all those liners being turned into kettles demonstrates that the cruise holiday, mercifully for all concerned, is coming to an end.

Or is it? Because last week we were all treated to the unedifying spectacle of P&O's brand new ship, the Iona, which is bound for its home port of New Haven. Billed, hilariously, as an "excellence-class" liner, it can handle 5,200 passengers and even has its own gin distillery. It is like Prora, the German-built resort, only uglier. It is said this giant will set off on its maiden voyage early next year, but I wouldn't bet on that. And even if it does lumber off to ruin the peace and tranquillity of a pristine spring morning, I wouldn't count on it being what you'd call "packed". Which makes me wonder. If it can't operate as a cruise ship and it can't be scrapped because P&O just spent more than $700,000,000 building it, what does the future hold for this 19-deck monster? Well, there was a plan recently to house migrants on ships while their paperwork is sorted out, but for reasons I can't understand, young people were cross about this too. So how's this for an idea. The government takes the city off P&O's hands, puts it in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, renames it the U.S.S Alcatraz and fills it with prisoners. It's like the Queen Mary but with more creepy people boarding. Escape would be impossible. Overcrowding in the current prisons would ease. And all the robbers and killers would get what the lefties and righties have been demanding for years: a choice of restaurants, four swimming pools and a spa.

Villareal CF: Europe's Top Underdog

Yesterday, I watch the UEFA Europa League final between Manchester United, a club that many Americans (including New Jersey) supports, and Villareal, a club that became underrated similar to A.S Monaco in 2004. So I was in school, watching the Raisin in the Sun movie, and during that, my phone vibrate to witness the lineup of the team. I look on the lineup, and see Cavani and Bruno Fernandes playing in the starting 11. Martial was injured, even though he is faster than the EA server. I was wondering what will happen if Manchester United loses and start a riot in Spain with some Villareal fans? Are they going to do it like what happened in Palestine? I don't know. But this game is crucial. Villareal lineup is just a basic starting 11 just like Monaco when they reach the Champions League final against Porto in 2004. But, there is one thing. The coach of the team is a man named Unai Emery, who won 3 Europa League titles with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016. Even though, I like Villareal. I like the stadium but they need to upgrade it. They have to upgrade the stadium to ummm, let's say 30,000. 30,000 capacity stadium (or 35,000) will bring the club to the next level. But this is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about their perfomance in the final. So after the school dismiss, I went to the app so I can look at the update. Villareal is in the lead. Many English fans start booing because the team is too weak. Many people predict that Manchester United will win the final, fair and square. They want the team to do it like 2017 in Stockholm. But no, they got the last laugh. I'm a Manchester City fan and I love to see Manchester United suffer their loss. Anyway, Villareal were in the lead. Cavani score to equalize it. And I started to think about whether Villareal and Manchester United will take a penalty shootout. So after the second-half, People start celebrate like those NFL fans or cheerleaders everytime these players get hit. The game as started, and now they were fighting like kindergartens. It's been an hour since the game started, and none of them scored. This is crucial. It's mind-blowing to see the greatest team fought with an club located near the city of Valencia. If I was a Manchester United fan, I would be nervous. Good thing I'm not in Europe, when Brexit and the protests against Israel happens.

After 120 minutes, we headed toward the penalty-shootout. Penatly shootout is one the most hardest mode we watch. Whether the good team wins or not. For many years, penalty shootour happens during the final. The famous 2006 World Cup in Germany saw Fabio Grosso scored a winning-penatly goal, sealing the win for Italy. The 1994 World Cup here in the U.S saw Baggio miss the penalty, causing Brazil to wins its 3rd title. In 2012, Didier Drogba seal the victory for Chelsea after he scored that beautiful penalty shot in front of the opponent's fans. We still remembered how we missed the 2000s and the early 2010s before American businessmans took over. But this final in Gdansk, Poland, is one of the biggest and craziest penalty shootout ever. It features the biggest team in Europe and a team who act like BF from Friday Night Funkin, who is not afraid of anyone. Even though Villareal reached 7th in the league (which they head toward the newly UEFA Europa Conference League), they will be in the Champions League group stage if they won the tournament. Fernandes took the shot, he did it. Moreno strikes, he did it. Shaw took the shot, he surprisingly did it. Pau take the shot, he did it. Now it is up to two mens, two goalkeepers. A man named Geronimo Rulli decided to take the shot alone, whether he will make it or not. He took a shot, and he did. Now it's up to the other. Rulli was focused, but a bit nervous about the goalkeeper's mind and his knowledge. The Manchester United goalkeeper take a shot, and he saves it. He help the team win its first major trophy in their history. Rulli used to play for Manchester City in 2017, but decided to stay in Spain because he can't speak English. I mean, there's 35% Hispanic in the U.K, most of them were from Spain. So after 45 years without winning its major trophy, Villareal has done it. A small town erupt. Emery won its 4th title for his career, the most in the tournament's history. I would've predict that Man Utd would easily win the tournament, but Villareal's performance is just another level. If you were thinking, if you watch Porto winning the Champions League in 2004, this is what Villareal would look like. I thought they were undeserved, but I was wrong. They deserved the title. They would've won the Copa del Rey. I got to tell you, even though the season is over, it's not over for me. The Champions League final will be held on May 29th. A schedule that I would watch instead of making films with 5 nerds in my class. Even though Villareal lift the trophy, I honestly believed that the team will one day win the league, because according to my mind, there were always be an underdog.

U.S Needs Cheap Nasty Food

The government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme was designed to prolong the life of America's seemingly doomed hospitality industry. But it had another effect. It allowed hard-up families to eat food in restaurants they could not normally afford. I was at my quite expensive local when one such family sat down for lunch. And straight away they were unhappy because one of the items on offer was wild italian pizza with burnt cheese and pepperonis. None of them could understand why you'd want to eat something that had been burnt. Or why the owner would want to advertise his chef 's incompetence on the menu. They were also "disgusted" by the devilled kidneys, because who'd want to eat a kidney? And they had absolutely no idea what the hell gnocchi was. When the food arrived they were even more cross because the steak was still bleeding, the chunky chips were nothing like the "proper" chips they got from McDonald's and there were leaves on the plate. Actual blood leaves. Eventually the father exploded. He did a lot of shouting, explained that he wouldn't be paying even his reduced share of the cost and drove away so vigorously that I half-expected the ladders to fall off the roof of his Jeep. We have seen this kind of thing before. When Jamie Oliver started his healthy school-food campaign, mothers in the southern region responded by turning up at the school gates with "proper" food for their kids. Cheese slices. Chips. Candys. And a nice bar of lard dipped in milk chocolate. Interestingly, one of the people who backed them was the Republicans. An Arkansas court recently decided that the bread in a cooked Subway sandwich contains so much sugar that it cannot legally be described as bread. The Sunday Times food writer went off to try one and said the artificial taste "lingers like herpes". This may well be so, but the fact is that there's always a queue outside Subway. Many people like their bread to be sugary. And all this causes me to arrive in a state of confusion at one of the many dilemmas vexing our beloved leaders. It's this. If we are going to do trade deals with the U.K and Colombia, we can't very well say, "Oh, and by the way, if you want to sell pork here, can you give your pigs hot-water bottles and read them bedtime stories, because that's what we make the farmers do at home?" Back when we leave the Paris Climate Accord, the plan is that supermarkets will be able to import food that has not been produced to anything like the standards imposed in the UK. Put simply, you may well be eating chickens that have been doused in a bucket of chlorine to kill any of the bacteria they picked up during their short, cramped and unhappy lives.

Horrific, you say. But hang on a minute. I know that if you are into fair trade, peace and veganism, or if you work on a submarine, chlorine is seen as a bad thing. But most normal people experience it only if they go swimming, and they like it, because if the water is teeming with chlorine it demonstrates that it's not also full of kiddie wee and chlamydia. They therefore won't mind if their chicken has been basted in the stuff. If it has then been infused with enough sugar and salt, it's possible they won't even notice. The fact is this: food made to lower standards than we have in the US will be cheaper. And, whether we like it or not, cheapness is what matters most of all to most people. Yes, everyone here wants to eat American food, but if an Israeli chicken costs $15 less than a chicken reared down the road, the Israeli chicken is going to go in the trolley and the American farmer is going to go on the dole. There are noisy calls being made at the moment, mainly by the National Farmers' Union (NFU), for a trade standards commission to be set up. They want a panel comprising ecoists, animal enthusiasts and boffins to decide what can be imported and what cannot. It is a noble ambition and I can see why it is supported by so many chefs, foodies and farmers. I support it myself. But what it will do is keep the price of food higher than it could be. So I have an alternative suggestion. Instead of ensuring American quality standards are imposed on food coming from abroad, could we not lower our standards to make farming here less expensive? Most people think farmers pour industrial levels of chemicals on their wheat fields and shoot bees for sport, so why not simply do that? Because that way the cheapest chicken on the shelves would be American. This would be good news for the farming industry, which would have fewer rules and better profit margins as a result. It would be good news, too, for the mothers of Alabama, good news for the government, which could have its trade deals, and good news for that man at the restaurant, who can spend the rest of his life feeding his fat kids with Bhopal-infused oven-ready American products. Yes, some people like good, well-made food. Every week in this magazine we see lots of recipes, and in the pictures there are always plenty of pine kernels and coriander seeds. There is definitely a market for this kind of stuff.

I use to buy a lot of meats and foods, which it brings a total to $75.00 at Walmart. I'm not making that up. And people buy them. People also come to the shop, where a jar of honey is just shy of a tenner. And many drool when they tell them that the wheat they grew was turned into flour at a mill three miles away and then into bread at a bakery at the end of the road. They like the localness of it all and are prepared to pay a premium for the loaves that result. But let's not get deluded by this farm-to-fork inspired store. It's great and I'm going to do more of it, but I know that for every customer I have, Target has about 17 million. Because most people simply can't afford to eat what we call well. I can see why you would want to make sure that all the food sold here has been produced with love, care and one eye on the environment, but that would be like me saying that we should ban crappy Hyundais and the Jaguar XJ220 in America because it would be much nicer if people drove Ford and Chevrolet instead. The fact is that most families do not sit down around a table to eat supper. Many do not even have a table. They simply slam something from the freezer in a microwave and then wolf it down in front of the television. Or they call Deliveroo. Cooking? Only a quarter of us know how to make more than three things, and one of those things is wreck and mash. Which isn't really cooking at all. So let's be realistic. If you say to someone who's filling his face while watching a soap opera that he should have paid a bit more to ensure the pig that made his sausages had a happier life, he'll stick his fork in your eye. I wish the NFU well. I really do. But I fear they are selling an idea that appeals to about 12 people. Everyone else just wants some fish sticks.

The author's comments:

I mean, ships can be dangerous

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