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It was with a cruise line that, as a professional courtesy, I’ll call “Circus Cruises.” It had the collective ambience of a floating Red Lobster. I flew into Texas where the ship, headed to Mexico, would be taking off. My act is essentially a low-budget indie film about my life in New York with neighborhood characters like “heroin dude” and “check-cashing place lady with beard eating an LGBTBLT.” I’d also been warned that if passengers complained about a performer, that performer could be helicoptered off of the ship. Cruise ships are one of the last refuges for veteran comedians to make a living doing what they do.While most other cruise lines give the performers cabins among the passengers, Circus cut corners by having the performers bunk below deck with the crew in spartan conditions – and by paying a fraction of the going rate. Once aboard, I was shown around by a veteran cruise-ship comic I’ll call “JR,” a baby-faced fireplug of a man sporting a baseball cap, a reddish tan, and a slight North Carolina drawl soaked in sweet tea. While there are many funny comics working on ships, calling a comic a “boat act” is the ultimate insider insult, implying that they are the worst kind of hack – someone whose jokes are the equivalent of tying verbal balloon animals. “I’ll just see if I can score a parka at the gift shop.” .While I had one foot in the Manhattan clubs as a regular, another was on the pedal doing road gigs.The body’s chairman, Lord Justice Treacy, said: “Currently, sentencing law is overly complex, which causes inefficiency and can prevent people understanding this important part of criminal justice.t started as it often does in showbiz: I had to make a room full of old Jews laugh. A friend of mine who’d done ten years at Lorton Penitentiary once described the same routine.Still, I figured it would be smart to give the world of cruise ships a shot, even though with Circus, I was starting at the bottom.* * * y first cruise performance, the “welcome aboard” show in front of about 200 very drunk Texans, was discouraging.
Single.” Even though following that guy was like following Springsteen in Jersey, I managed to book one gig. “I guess I’m gon’ be your orientation.” “Where’s the venue? It was also freezing, with no way to turn down the air conditioner. My act had to be completely rearranged into three different half hours, one child-friendly, each one repeated once, plus a different “welcome aboard” show, not to be repeated.
There was a running joke among the ship’s crew about the captain: “Knock, Knock” “Who’s there? ” “.” Americans were conspicuously absent from the crew, replaced by a bunch of people who were all probably really good at soccer.
When I asked one of the crew about why this was the case, he told me, “Americans are more likely to file a lawsuit for working conditions that are basically indentured servitude, whereas other nationalities are just…used to it.
“Our changes will make sentencing simpler, by getting rid of the need to dust off decades’ old law, cut court waiting times and help make sure people get the justice they deserve.” The Criminal Bar Association was among the legal bodies welcoming the “extremely important” consultation.
Chair Francis Fitz Gibbon QC and vice-chair Angela Rafferty QC said: “It addresses the increasingly complex and difficult issue of sentencing, upon which we would all welcome some clarity.” The Sentencing Council, which is responsible for developing and reviewing guidelines, also lent its support for the proposals.
“All this lies against a backdrop of an over-worked and under-resourced criminal justice system, where the average time from the charging of an offence to its final disposal in the crown court is 245 days, and the average waiting time for an appeal …