Your eyes are red with tears and burning for so many reasons, you can't keep track of them. You just sit staring dazedly ahead thinking "Am I awake trying to sleep or asleep trying to be awake?" "Is it true that my brother is dead or was that a nightmare that won't let go?"
Another thing that confuses you is that you come out of the vaccuum of 20 days of ship life, which is defined by "what port are we in today?" and "what's the dress code at dinner tonight?" and "Oh, did you hear the news? There was a bombing or something somewhere. Yes, I'll have the pasta as an appetizer" and find out there's a world of TV and gossip they really don't care about in Europe. I went from hearing about how some bizarre hard metal band from Finland that dresses up like animals won the Eurovision Song Contest ("That was a song?") and Germany is hosting the World Cup ("The World Cup? What sport is that?") to hearing that gray-haired guy won on American Idol? What happened to the bald kid? The hippies won The Amazing Race? What? They won because the last test needed brains? Everyone in Hollywood has had a baby now?
The other Bizarro World of news happens on our ship because the only two news channels we get are CNN International, which rarely discusses US media obsessions, and Fox News, which is apparently a cable news channel in America owned and run by the Republican party (as near as I can tell). We were treated to such headlines as "Will CIA leaks disrupt the stock market?" to "How can Hillary be stopped?"
Wait, this was my favorite. Apparently, on this "Fox News" there is a commentator named Neil Cavuto or something. His "beat" is the stock market, but he has a little Jerry Springer-like "From the heart" masterpiece at the end of his "news" casts. He began with the assumption that Madonna and Dan Brown were "denigrating" Jesus (which neither of them do) and marveled, personally appalled at the fact that "denigrating Jesus" makes money. He said this:
Now, Jesus was a good man, and, for many, a good savior...
"For many, a good savior?" What level of junior high Pandering 101 did this person graduate from? He also failed to note that Falwell, Dobson, Bauer, D. James Kennedy, Pat Robertson, George Bush, and Tom DeLay had been denigrating Jesus and making billions of dollars off of the practice for years.
Ah, but that's freedom of the press, isn't it? I suppose while the President of Iran is shutting down newspapers that critize the government too much, it only stands to reason that America would be broadcasting a non-stop propaganda machine designed to criticize freedom ("Does the press help terrorists by being too free?") and promote business interests above the free exchange of information.
Or am I just dreaming it all in a daze of jetlag and mourning?