Save the ship


… Not the captain

A columnist recently made a brilliant reference that only a cinephile would know.

Paul Krugman writes:

I gotta say, it was very clever of Nancy Pelosi to steal Donald Trump’s strawberries, pushing him over the edge into self-evident lunacy.

I got the reference only because—like many of my college brethren of the 1970s—we watched our fill of Humphrey Bogart films.

The strawberry incident marks Captain Queeg’s obsession with fruit that went missing on his battleship, The Caine.

The 1954 film—from the Herman Wouk novel that earned a Pulitzer Prize—features Bogart, who plays the hapless captain where the crew mutinies.

The Caine Mutiny reveals, ever slow slowly, the captain is losing his marbles.


Throughout the film Bogart illuminates the metaphor by fondling marbles like a taxi driver in Cairo fondles worry beads.

Bit by bit, the captain’s sanity unravels.

Like any narrative worth its salt, the movie builds to a courtroom climax where the captain becomes unmoored.

Krugman’s metaphor is an apt one: we have a lunatic commanding our ship of state who’s afraid his strawberries are being pilfered.

The Caine’s crew courageously wrests control.

Sentient, thoughtful and moral warriors reject the captain’s shenanigans and impeach his sanity by declaring a mutiny.

But unlike the film, our country’s crew stokes the captain’s madness.

As I write this, I hope for warriors who have the guts to confront the lunatic with the tools at hand and strip him of command.

Save our ship and get rid of the madman.


29 May 2019























About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in dumptrump, nativescience, politics, politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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