Blow the Sucker Up!

As you all know, I like to be helpful. So when there’s a community problem like what to do with the Queen Mary, I offer solutions.

In case you don’t know, the Queen Mary is this really big British ship that somehow got stuck next to Long Beach, California, and became a sort-of-popular tourist attraction. I could probably look up how that happened but that’s not important now. What is important is that it’s falling apart and nobody wants to pay to fix it.

That’s true for lots of places but this place could sink. According to a front-page story in the Los Angeles Times last week, court documents in a bankruptcy filing for the company that operates the ship say that the Queen could flood and even capsize within the next two years.

(You may now insert your own jokes about sunk costs, depreciation and property under water. The Times story already claimed one — “Many companies with ambitious plans have tried to keep the Queen Mary financially afloat.”)

This hits close to home for me because I live in Long Beach and it’s close to home. Years ago I had an apartment with a view of the Queen Mary. Visitors would come to my residence and watch me point out the window, saying, “That’s the Queen Mary.”

Then we forgot about it.

Local officials claim to really want to preserve the beast for its historical value but not pay for fixing it. I have no idea what the historical significance of a big British ship has for Long Beach. Maybe someone who lives here once rode on it?

Be that as it may, there’s a good solution for both the bankruptcy court and the city: let it sink!

I know this sounds wasteful but, done right, this could be a rare money-making opportunity. Imagine the spectacle of a huge ship being blown to bits or maybe bashed in by a wrecking crew.

You charge for live admission and pay-per-views. There are all sorts of ways to stage it that would be worth the price.

You could, for example, reenact the sinking of the Titanic with a full band. Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio could be guests of honor.

You could have special effects teams stage a scene from World War II.

You could have David Copperfield make the Queen disappear.

And when the show is over, you have Idina Menzel sing “Let It Go.”

So beautiful and you won’t be able to get it out of your head.

The city makes a ton of money, the operator gets out of bankruptcy, and there are no more maintenance costs. There will be stock footage for movies and television for years to come.

You’re welcome, Long Beach.

Cultural phenomenon. I have to say that I fully approve of the trendy new sport for law students and lawyers: making fun of the Federalist Society.

In case you missed the news stories and Twitter storm, a Stanford law student named Nicholas Wallace had a hold temporarily put on his graduation after the Stanford Federalist Society complained that Wallace defamed it with a flyer sent to fellow students. The flyer advertised a Federalist event called “The Originalist Case for Inciting Insurrection.”

Amazingly, the powers that sort-of-be at Stanford Law took the Federalist complaint seriously. And then when lots of people got mad about Wallace being “investigated” for this crime, Stanford Law took that seriously too and dropped the investigation.

You’ve got to admire the school’s dedication to yielding to pressure of any kind.

The result, of course, has been a cottage industry of more Federalist Society satire.

Who says law school isn’t fun?

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