“I may as well have found out I was going to Narnia, Wonka’s World, or Atlantis,” Von explained in a recent blog post. “No one really goes to GITMO. It’s a place you hear about, but can’t be about.”
Von’s trip to the naval base wasn’t as easy as signing on to participate. He left Los Angeles at 11 pm and he was still in the United States 24 hours later. Finally, a tired military pilot arrived to guide Von and three other comedians to the infamous naval base.
As the plane descended on Guantanamo Bay, Von recalled the outlining fluorescent fence of the base to be like a hot girl in church’s ruffled skirt hem. On the southern edge of the outline, he described two glowing squares that were brighter than anything else.
“Like jewelry boxes of the U.S. Government,” Von wrote. “This is where America keeps its secrets.”
He soon found out that the two squares contain the detainees and the bright lights are floodlights that shine 24-hours a day.
While learning this information, Von realized he never knew the definition of a floodlight until he witnessed these. Even from 1500 feet in the air, the inside of the plane was illuminated by the powerful brightness.
“I couldn’t imagine trying to sleep or think around them,” Von recalls. “With this much light, even one’s dreams must feel invaded.”
After making a safe landing, the plane and its surroundings were completely dark again. But Von was not. In fact, he’s smiled.
“In my mind the lights are on,” he wrote. “Every light charged, and ready to explore.”
Von said that his trip felt entirely real; it wasn’t a joke, as some people falsely assumed.
“Sure, we’ve only gone a few hundred miles from the American mainland,” wrote Von. “But that’s a million miles in the distance of a Guantanamo-eager imagination.”
You can watch some of Von’s old stand-up here, courtesy of YouTube: