Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The Sinking of the California *
It was an unseasonably mild day in April as the Titanic sailed across the South Pacific en route to the US. Captain Edward Smith was standing on the bridge looking out for icebergs when his aide rushed up to him with an e-mail message in his hand.
"Captain", said the mate breathlessly. "We just got word from the California. They have sent out an SOS. They are sinking fast!
"The California," exclaimed Smith. "That's Jerry Brown's ship. We went to the seminary together. Alert the engine room. Full speed ahead. We must save the California!"
Captain Jerry Brown
Meanwhile, 100 nautical miles away, Captain Jerry Brown stood on the bridge at a 45 degree angle. All hope was lost for the California. There was only one thing to do-abandon ship.
"Man the lifeboats", he ordered.
There was just one problem. There weren't nearly enough lifeboats to save all the passengers, and Captain Brown knew it.
As panicked passengers crowded the deck, ships' hands stood guard and tried to bring order to the process of getting people into the life boats. There would be a strict priority.
"Captain, crew, politicians, union bosses, and ships' hands first", they ordered. One by one, people in uniform showed their ID or union card before being lifted into the lifeboats as the unfortunate ones shuffled back to await their fate.
Several hours later, the Titanic arrived at the scene of the distress call. There was no California. Fortunately, however, they were able to spot several lifeboats floating among the debris. Captain Brown was the first one saved followed by various other crew members, politicians, union bosses and others fortunate enough to have brought their union cards with them. Among the more notable survivors were Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
After the Titanic docked in Las Vegas, there was a board of inquiry, of course. Heading the investigation was none other than the Inspector General of the US Justice Department. Captain Brown was quickly cleared of any responsibility for the disaster, which was blamed on lack of revenue due to the wealthiest 1% of tax-payers not paying their fair share.
Brown has gone on to bigger things and is rumored to be thinking of running for president. It is predicted that Newsom and Villaraigosa will compete for the governorship of Nevada since there is no more California.
* For all you UC Santa Cruz Community Studies and History of Consciousness majors, the California was the vessel that received the distress call from the Titanic and picked up survivors.