Proud To Be An American?

July 5, 2008 -

John Heald

Happy Fourth Of July?……………………..not for some it wasn’t.

Last night before the show the lights were dimmed, the curtain came up and the orchestra played The Star Spangled Banner……………everyone stood…………most sang…………..and I wished everyone a happy fourth of July.

The this morning I received the above letter.

I have just spent the last ten minutes listening to an American tell me how much she hates America and how upset she was at me for playing the anthem………….her anthem.

She seems to be of the opinion that America is consistently alienating itself through its foreign policy and to have played that tune was disrespectful. I explained that it was tradition and that even as someone on the losing side of the war of independence that I took no offence in the playing of the son…………..this made her even madder and she then launched a triad of abase about the UK saying that we were hanging on the ” coat tails ” of the US Government.

I tried then to tell her that the ship was not a place for political debate but a place for fun and………………………….she hung up on me.

I called back immediately but she refused to answer the phone. This has left me doing what I do best………….second guessing myself…………..should I have played the National Anthem?……………….Were there as she said hordes of guests ready to hang me from the yard arm……………….Well, apparently not as I just finished walking around the Promenade  during the Elegant Night parties and apart from one man who said it was too cold in his cabin everyone seemed happy and excited to be here and nobody wanted to hit me over the head with a hammer for daring to play the Star Spangled Banner.

I mean, wether she agreed with the politics of today or not I was surprised at her total distain towards the flag of her own country. She told me that she was scared to say she was American these days and the fact that I had openly played her countries anthem seemed to fill her with fear and rage.

Strangely, however, my biggest fear for the future of the world is………………… YouTube.

At present it is full, mostly, of young men falling off their bicycles and catching fire. But in addition to this you can log on if you wish to see the first new episode of 24 since thw writers strike.

This means the producers of 24 have gone to all the trouble of making a show, and paying the actors, and getting all those phones to go “beep beep eeoooh” and then finding that no television company in the world is all that bothered about screening it, because everyone’s seen it already on the web.

Naturally the company that makes 24 has started proceedings against YouTube.

Fine, you might think. YouTube will be forced to treat the copyright laws with a bit more respect but of course even if they do take it off it will immediately appear on another video sharing site based in Bombay.

This morning there are lots of John Heald clips on YouTube, and someone from the shipyard who was supposed to be laying carpet in the theatre instead snuck a camera in there and filmed segments of our new show and slapped it on for all to see

The upshot is that films, television shows, magazines, newspapers, songs, anything published or recorded, can be put on the internet. And the person who published it or recorded it doesn’t get any money. So what’s the point of publishing or recording anything?

At present, everyone is obsessed with the Internet. Every large media company in the world is investing millions in their websites and they are smart to do so. Some though seem to make no money whatsoever.

A prime example is iTunes. It doesn’t. Apparently Apple doesn’t make a penny from the music you download to your computer. But if you want to put that onto a portable device you have to buy an iPod, and they make zillions from that.

And it’s not just the media that are under threat. Why go to a doctor when you can see whats wrong with you by typing in your  symptoms to www.itsjustacold.com

Why worry about meeting trawling the single clubs and bars desperate to meet that special person when you can get meet Zelda from Lativa on www.ofcourseiloveyouandnotjustforthegreencard.com

Why buy an encyclopedia when there’s Wikipedia (apart from the fact that everything on Wikipedia is wrong)?

One day, of course, everything and everyone will be replaced. The world will wake up and realise it’s unemployed; that we’ve all been terminated by machines. And please don’t try to argue that men will always triumph over machinery because we can always turn it off. Because that’s the thing with the Internet. You can’t.

Today, I spoke to an old friend from the blog ” Bill – Zydecocruiser”………………I am sure you will have seen his name many a time in the comments section and we chatted about the blog and life at sea. he is a great chap and like everyone onboard he is looking forward to sailing through the straights of Gibraltar tonight. This will happen around 7:30pm. Hopefully most guests on our main sitting will have finished munching on their steaks and lobsters and will be able to come out and see the rock of Gibraltar………………..I myself have only seen “the rock” in the dark a few years agoi but hopefully visibility will be good enough tonight…………..I will let you know.

Here are today’s random photos taken this time by Entertainment Staff member Lauren.

I have to admit that I felt a little frustrated this morning even before I met with Mrs. Not Proud To Be An American. I had started my first ever morning show here on the Carnival Splendor and after ten minutes it transpired that we were having major difficulties. I was told that the audio was terrible and instead of my usual placid tones I in fact sounded like Donald bloody Duck………………and ……………to make matters worse…………….the synchronization from sound to picture was about three seconds out which meant I looked like I was in the middle of a bad Japanese monster movie. Joking aside though, I was very frustrated at this. It’s nobody’s fault but I just expect everything to be perfect all the time. Somebody said ” its the first cruise, you should expect these things and laugh them off.”………..maybe…………but the guests here on the ship this week deserve the same high standards that those who will sail with us next week and beyond will enjoy.

Tonight though, the mood is great and I had many a compliment and many a photo taken.

On the domestic front all is well…………..oh…………..except I was forced to empty out my trunk of crap. This is a trunk that has followed me from ship to ship and as you can guess from my previous description.,…………its full of what heidi calls…………..crap.

There are indeed one or two things that are ……ummmmmmm…..well………….strange.

There’s the Sicilian shepherd with the melted face, the endless array T shirts, a particularly horrible snow shaker,North and South series one and two on VHS, a coffee table size book about cigars and a Jesus on a rope. …………………………..E bay here I come.

I am slowly trying to get the blog back to how it used to be and we can add a little more to that recipe with the welcome return of the ” In Their Own Words Section.”. For those who are not familiar with this let me explain. When my Morning Shows are running normally and not looking like The Return of Godzilla I invite guests to write in with dedications, messages of love and as we saw with the first letter…………suggestions and comments. I will share one or two with you each day so you can see for yourself some of the things people write.

Here are a few from today.

Just before the show tonight I introduced the Captain and Senior Officers. However, there was one more officer I had to introduce ……….Lt.Col. McMillan. U.S.Army. The Colnel had flown in direct from Iraq and has just two weeks to spend with his daughter Mary and wife Katie. I know this because Katie wrote me a letter………………so……………….here is what happened when Mary showed Dad how proud she was of him…………………oh ……………and so did many others………….Proud To Be An American ?………………………….you bet they were!

See for yourself

Video coming soon…

Goodnight

Your friends

John, Heidi and the McMillan family.

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.