The Slow Boat to China

I would be very wary, if I were the only female passenger on this ship. I hope everything works out for her, this promises to be a very enlightening blog. The section on worker’s rights is what I have often feared is the case on these ships. When you think that these workers are the lifeblood of our modern consumer culture, it really is a shame they are not treated according to the benefit they bring. I also wonder what the drug culture is like among this subsection of the human population… I hazard a guess that opiates are typically the drug of choice, being so isolated from relationships with the opposite sex, but I digress. Again, this promises to be a great read.

The Disorder Of Things

The following post is the first in a series of oceanic dispatches from Disorder member Charmaine Chua. She is currently on a 36-day journey on board a 100,000 ton Evergreen container ship starting in Los Angeles, going across the Pacific Ocean and ending in Taipei. Follow her ethnographic adventures with the tag ‘Slow Boat to China’.


“In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates.”

– Foucault, Of Other Spaces

cc_EPL2_IMG_0666 Source: Author

There is uncanny beauty in the monstrous. This, at least, is the feeling that seizes me as I stand under the colossal Ever Cthulhu[1] berthed in the Port of Los Angeles. The ship’s hull alone rises eight stories into the air; even from a distance, I am unable to capture its full length or height within a single camera frame. In describing the…

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