The Reason Cruise, and the Steve Smith Challenge

Steve Smith (not pictured) is a mild-mannered bankruptcy lawyer from Los Angeles, California. He is loyal to his friends, fanatical about his sports, and lefty about his politics, though (being from L.A., after all) ideology isn't the end-all of his life, and he enjoys reading those with whom he disagrees. Back when I had a backyard, he enjoyed a beverage around the fire on multiple occasions, interrogating Andrew Breitbart about Steve Garvey's forearms, and occasionally threatening to be "the Eric Alterman of Ken Layne and the Corvids."

Hit & Run regulars may know Steve as a guy who drops by from time to time to hassle me about this or that, but most likely they know him as the dude who, whenever he shows up, activates some crazy, multi-author all-caps meme by other commenters, along the lines of "STEVE SMITH LOVE OUTDOOR SPORTS! HIKING, LIVING IN CAVE, PICKUP BASEBALL GAME WITH HIKER SKULL, AND RAPE!"

Now, that's not very friendly (the backstory for this puzzling, sasquatch-flavored meme is referenced about halfway down this post), but he takes it all in good stride. "It's not so much the unkind words as it is the lack of any quality, creative fan fiction to go along with it," he says to me in a private e-mail. But more importantly....

...Steve Smith is going on the first-ever Reason Cruise.

I'll let that sink in.

You there, reading this blog every day, talking smack, conjuring sasquatch, do YOU have what it takes to confront Steve Smith in his non-native habitat, to share seaspace with a strange and wonderful mix of thought-provoking (and seasteading!) characters who you agree with, disagree with, want to argue with, and think you can outdrink? Matt "Rational Optimist" Ridley is about the smartest person on the planet, and–just like our beloved Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey, who will also be cruising–has a teeny-tiny computer on which he pecks wisdom with his eight-foot-long arms (that is the kind of special "inside information" you can expect to learn after seven days of Cabin Fever). Patri Friedman? Oh, he's just Milton Friedman's grandson, David Friedman's offspring, and a man so sane he has the maddest idea you've heard of: this

Here's the deal: Steve Smith is shaming you. As he put it in another private e-mail, "Celebrity Cruises has a great reputation, and I've never been to that area of the world. And of course, there's the whole 'hangin' out with the Fonzie o' Freedom'; how do you put a price tag on that?" In your heart you know this lefty's right.

This cruise has the potential to be epic–epic blowout, epic throwdown, epic embarrassment, epic black leather banana hammocks–but it depends on those with the basic nerve to make it happen, to create their own National Lampoon's Caribbean Vacation, to stand up and say "I don't agree with those people, and that's why I'm going."

Steve Smith did it. When will you?

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  • ||

    STEVE SMITH ANGRY YOU NOT PHOTOGRAPH GOOD SIDE! AARRRGH, ME GO RAPE NOW.

  • ||

    Steve Smith is going on the first-ever Reason Cruise.

    What number do you call for refunds?

  • ed||

    I've always assumed that Steve Smith was an internet myth. How does one discern the real Steve Smith from all the fake ones?

  • deet13||

    Like Elvis, Steve Smith is everywhere... Soon all will become Steve Smith.
    Everything everywhere will be Steve Smith.

    Why do you think they call it evolution anyway? It's really Stevelution!

    Steve Smithlution!

  • Naga Sadow||

    Meta-Steve Smith?!!????!!?!?!

    *shivers in fright*

  • ed||

    Are we not Steve?

  • ||

    A: We are STEVO!

  • Abdul||

    We all have a little Steve Smith in us.

    Although it's never consensual.

  • wear ||

    a condom

  • STEVE SMITH||

    STEVE SMITH HATE CONDOM! STEVE SMITH THINK CONDOM LIKE SHOWERING IN RAINCOAT! STEVE SMITH NEVER SHOWER! STEVE SMITH NOT OWN RAINCOAT!

  • Not so a||

    Stop bitching. Try showering with my leather jacket on.;-)

  • wingnutx||

    Nick G never takes his leather jacket off.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I once had an idea for a movie: trapped on a cruise ship full of zombies. (Maybe it's been done; no one knows for sure.)

    Anyway, this seems just as awesome. Steve Smith, angered at the lack of caves, running rampant through the ship, doing his instinctual thing, but only with more anger and frustration.

    And all on floating on equal parts seawater and crude oil. Count me out.

  • ||

    It's actually been done in real life, countless times.

  • Fluffy||

    Tulpa made me LOL - but with him and not at him.

    What a weird morning so far.

  • Kolohe||

    Chupacabra: Dark Seas with the one and only John Rhyes-Davies* is close enough, no?

    *why the man isn't a "Sir" yet makes me question's the Queen's reported still sharp mental faculties.

  • Fluffy||

    They did the Star Wars version of that, only it was a battle cruiser and not a pleasure vessel.

    You should pitch that to Hollywood as "It's Die Hard on a boat - but with zombies!"

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    If I do end up going on the cruise, or meeting Steve Smith in person, I'll ask him to sign an 8X10 glossy.

  • ||

    I'll ask him to sign an 8X10 glossy grainy.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Win.

  • ||

    Blah blah blah. Is Lobster Girl comming on the cruise or not?

  • ||

    Only if she is properly motivated and the proper technique applied. Since she is fond of arthropods, your case of crabs might actually be a feature and not a.....wait for it....bug!

  • Dello||

    FTW!!!

  • pantsfan||

    what about organic girl? is she joining the cruise?
    Or maybe the Reason cruise can rendezvous a hedonism cruise

  • Lobster girl||

    I will not be cumming on your cruise

  • ||

    You don't know that.

  • Lobster girl's fingers||

    You have a point

  • ||

    Steve Smith (if that is his real name) obviously has more money than I do.

    But I might be willing to take out a loan if Lobster Girl's going to be there.

  • Nipplemancer||

    "The Reason Rape Cruise, and the Steve Smith Challenge"
    FIFY Matt

  • ||

    For Ayn Rand fans only.

  • ||

    It's not so much the unkind words as it is the lack of any quality, creative fan fiction to go along with it

    Matt Welch! I have been slighted here! You are aware of Jr. The Wee Abomination Chimera, no? The unholy spawn resultant from the metaphysical assault of the lovely and gracious Dagny?

    I expect better and more thorough research of Reason's renowned Editor-in-Chief! (DRINK?)

  • ||

    It's not so much the unkind words as it is the lack of any quality, creative fan fiction to go along with it

    This sounds like a task for SugarFree.

  • hmm||

    epic black leather banana hammocks

    Now that might get me there. As long as it is a black leather banana hammock accompanied by a bow tie.

  • Almanian||

    LOL! for real

  • AA||

    And a top hat...

  • Solanum||

    Footage of Steve's last cruise. Start at the 2:30 mark.

  • ¢||

    I once had an idea for a movie: trapped on a cruise ship full of zombies.

    That's a good idea.

    But filling the ill-kept ship with zombies without pulling that move where all the couples and the spare grudgy dork who got them the package deal from a travel agent no one else meets wake up thinking they've been left alone on the ship and go "OMFG MARY CELESTE!" then go "WOOHOO FREE SHIP OPEN BAR NAKED TIME!" then they think the dork is killing them off Prom Night style and so they kill him and throw him in the hold and "OMFG THE HOLD IS FULL OF ZOMBIES!" then the travel agent signs up some more college kids to feed to the zombies at the end would be a problem.

    Good luck.

    (Don't do it like that.)

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You ruin everything.

    No, I actually had the idea whilst watching the Poseidon remake. It was right after the big wave capsized the fuck out of the ship, and two corpses seemingly sit up on their own (spoiler alert: it was Kurt Russell pushing them off him). I thought, Fisty (or FoE, whichever you prefer when you envision my inner dialogue), wouldn't it be so cool if, along with the trials of navigating through an upside down vessel and the tribulations of doing that with Richard Dreyfuss in tow, our protagonists also had to deal with the undead?

    Needless to say, I don't actually know how Poseidon ended because the movie in my head was two thumbs up.

    Long story short, Reason should do a zombie-themed cruise.

  • Maverick||

    I think this whole concept needs a dash of Russ Meyer, the busenfetischist (PBUH).

  • BakedPenguin||

    Oh, so that's where the bow tie outfit comes in, Matt - you're going to be "Isaac" from The Love Boat.

    It's all starting to make sense now.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Nick, of course, will be Ted McGinley.

  • Warty||

    Excuse me, am I supposed to be enticed by the idea of bing trapped on a boat with a simian rapeoton? You have a lot to learn about me, Welch.

  • ||

    "It's not so much the unkind words as it is the lack of any quality, creative fan fiction to go along with it," he says to me in a private e-mail

    Steve, I barely have enough time to do LoneWacko and Edward. I'll try to devote the next story to you. In all caps.

    As for the cruise, I'd love to go; I just can't. I work for a startup. I'll be lucky to have three days in a row off this weekend.

  • Dr Duck||

    three days in a row

    You don't have to row, man. They have engines and everything.

  • ||

    If I were a rich single man, I'd go. But, I got the wife and kiddies sucking up all available disposable income, so all I can do is dream about the Rape Boat. Maybe next time.

    Besides, I've already seen Nick on a cruise.

  • Maverick||

    It looks like he's about to jump a shark . . . or something.

  • Atanarjuat||

    The LoneWacko stories were pretty great, despite showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians.

  • MrsHenderson||

    A close inspection of the cruise line's site indicates that cigarette smoking is not allowed on the balconies of private cabins, only in designated public outdoor areas. i was going to go, but will not go on vacation where i can't smoke in the accommodations i've paid for (barring long train trips - fire and all, there being no balconies on trains...). curious choice of a cruise line for a libertarian group. i was excited to go.

    :(

  • skr||

    that's why you get a room in the back. No one downwind. Also, since it is a group of libertarins, I doubt anyone will narc on you.

  • SWAT||

    We are already booked

  • zoltan||

    Not curious at all; libertarian organizations can support private bans on smoking and the majority of them probably prefer to be in places that do.

  • Patri Friedman||

    That sucks! You might want to call the cruise hosts to double-check whether there are any smoking rooms available, just in case. Would suck to miss the cruise over an inaccurate website. 1-800-707-1634

  • Warty||

    Steve Smith is right, though, there is a puzzling lack of fanfiction about him.

    Epi, speaking of Edward, I noticed he threatened Urkobold again yesterday. I really hope that that means that he's actually Lonewacko.

  • Maverick||

    Seems Urkobold has a photo of proto-Steve Smith raping the shit out of some bones.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I noticed he threatened Urkobold again yesterday

    Shit. Time for another comic about him. Perhaps getting raped by someone...

  • ||

    No, do a STEVE SMITH one. He seems to crave the attention.

  • ||

    Article like this STEVE SMITH-A-PALOOZA blog post certainly feeds the bottomless hubris that rages within the erstwhile hirsute being; I'm sure he is eating this up. As it has been said, "The only bad publicity is no publicity."

  • Dr Duck||

    Smith, schmith. I want to know if Postrel is on board. Imagine the smartest man and the smartest woman trapped on the same cruise! The babies they could make!

  • ||

    Sorry, I live in Pittsburgh, I don't need to leave home if I want to be around hirsute, rape-prone troglodytes.

    Seriously, if you want people to come announce that you'll have special guest Alexander Shulgin doing "science" demonstrations with list-1 chemicals.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...you'll have special guest Alexander Shulgin doing "science" demonstrations with list-1 chemicals.

    He could go through the whole list in PHIKAL & THIKAL. It will be in international waters, after all.

  • ||

    Matt Welch and Steve Smith curled up in together in a corner singing "Pigeon Toed Orange Peel" insane on DOM for the duration.

    Are you ready for that kind of epic?

  • Coogan||

    All right now, I don't like violence, Mr. capitol l whatever your name is. You better drop that blade, or you won't believe what happens next, even while it's happening.

  • db||

    Pittsburgh, eh? I'm in the Beaver area, myself. Anyone else want a 'burgh based Reasonoid happy hour?

  • ||

    Threadjack...

    The 1st Sign of the Coming Apocolypse: i09 links to a Radley piece at Cato.

    Don't read the comments. It will just make you want to hurt things.

  • ||

    There are a few retarded comments--real face-palmers--but quite a few very good comments too.

  • ||

    This

    Police tend to consider themselves libertarians,

    is enough to stain any thread.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Wow. Just, wow. I mean, I know not everyone reads Balko on a daily basis, but even watching / reading the MSM, how can someone be this clueless?

  • SWAT||

    It starts with the local media. The DA's office is excellent in its ability to disseminate information regarding our cases, taking great pains to make sure the press only hears what it needs to hear. You really think they give a shit about some dopers who get raided, unless the dopers are their personal dealer, but they will just find another. The local press needs us to be relevant in day to day news and is pretty much our PR wing. They really do a great job, don't they?

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Too true to be funny, really.

  • ||

    Is that the stupidest thing ever said?

  • ||

    I wish that all Gawker media had but one neck.

  • WTF||

    ...and that you could neatly fit your hands around it?

  • ||

    [crunch]

  • Maverick||

  • AA||

    Think I may come along as well.

  • ||

    Every time they pitch this cruise it gets less attractive.

  • SIV||

    What? You don't want to catch norovirus?

  • ed||

    They came for the norovirus but stayed for the listeria.

  • ||

    Oh Matt, I am literally happy with joy over this post. STEVE SMITH, will it be awkward if I bring Jr. on the cruise?

  • Impulse Magazine||

    This is a very interesting challenge

  • ||

    Out of curiosity, who is responsible for the STEVE SMITH Twitter feed? Or is it unknown? Or is it Steve actually cataloging his rapes and thinking that no one will suspect a thing since we've all cried "wolf"? Maybe I shouldn't have said "wolf" and gotten Steve excited, now I have to go to bed worried that I'm going to awaken to CNN reports of wild forest rape and bodies hidden under mud and sticks.

  • STEVE SMITH||

    STEVE SMTIH WRITE STEVE SMITH TWITTER FEED! GREG THINK THAT STEVE SMITH IS SOME SORT OF INVERTEBRATE?

  • STEVE SMITH||

    ALLITERATE?

  • STEVE SMITH||

    THE ANIMALS WE ATE

  • STEVE SMITH||

    GUILT DEBATE

  • STEVE SMITH||

    THE EDGE SERRATE

  • STEVE SMITH||

    A BETTER RATE

  • STEVE SMITH||

    THE YOUTH IRATE

  • hmm||

  • crystal ball||

    blank.

  • ||

    Having read exactly *none* of the comments, Mister "Brooks" steps into the batter's box.

    Had Smith not taken it upon himself to adopt an obnoxious "run along, now, children, and let the adults speak" line of bullshit, I might not despise him. Unlikely, but possible.

    And- speaking of supercilious cum-guzzling jackasses, don't forget to let us know when joepboyle sends his deposit. I have always wanted to see a shark feeding frenzy in person.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Welch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111111111111

    You magnificient bastard!! I'm not going due to other concerns with my money but goddamn do I wanna go now. Damn you for opening my eyes! Damn your black heart to hell!

  • ||

    Rape, exciting and new
    Come Aboard. He's expecting you.
    Rape, life's sweetest reward.
    Let it flow, it flows back in you.

    Rape Boat soon will be making another run
    The Rape Boat promises something for everyone
    Set a course for adventure,
    Your mind on a new romance.

    Rape is for everyone
    It's an bloody smile on a desolate shore.
    Yes RAAAAAAAAAPE! It's RAAAAAAAAAPE! (hey-ah!)

    It's RAAAAAAAAAPE! It's RAAAAAAAAAPE! It's RAAAAAAAAAPE!
    It's the Rape Boat-ah! It's the Rape Boat-ah!

  • Naga Sadow||

    That's good enough for me. No rape boat for me.

  • ||

    If only they can get manbearpig to come.

  • Al Gore||

    I already took care of him. Tipper and I aren't doing anything that week! I'm pasty white, fat, flabby and I've got my own religion. Excelsior!

    Wait, how am I different from the Republicans?

  • Steve Smith||

    STEVE SMITH LIKE REASON SAUSAGE HANG CRUISE

    STEVE SMITH WANT TO MEET SMALL HAIRLESS LIBERTARIAN MAN. NOT WELCH.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    That's a fascinating H&R STEVESMITH history Matt linked. It's news to me. (And I was commenting on the same thread. How does that work?)
    Interesting to note that the whole meme probably sprang up from Matt's request that commenters go easy on him, guaranteeing that every time he shows up he'll be deboned like a chicken, in SugarFree's words.
    Ah. Good times. I do like me some H&R. (Except the Draw Mohammad denoument.)

  • ||

    I was watching cricket with a friend when a team list came up with Steve Smith as one of the players. I blurted out "STEVE SMITH!" My friend has no idea why it caught my attention.

  • STEVE SMITH||

    STEVE SMITH LIKE STICKY WICKET BUT CRICKET TOO HARD TO RAPE. TOO MANY LEGS AND HARD TO CATCH.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I nearly ate at the Sticky Wicket in Antigua. Unfortunately, I was distracted by the rude baggage guys who insisted on carrying my bags then demanded a tip. I just wanted to get the hell away from the airport at that point.

  • ||

    This is the bestunniest pitch...since Obama's Opening Day abortion...

  • ||

    WTF? That's not a typo... "best/funniest"

  • Barbara Yawpie||

    Can we get the black leather banana hammocks autographed?

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