The Conversation

Culture: Cultural happenings and discussions.

Carnival Cruise Ship Stranded At Sea

Feb 11, 2013 5:33 PM PT

Is it just me, or does everyone else notice that Carnival Cruise ships are consistently breaking down? Carnival is considered the cut-rate, party boat of the seas. For just a couple hundred bucks, people can go on a short cruise to the Bahamas, or other destinations. The ships are old and rusted out.

I recently went on a 5-day cruise aboard one of Royal Caribbean's luxury liners, and was able to get a first hand look at one of these Carnival ships. When we pulled up alongside a Carnival ship that was already docked in Cozumel, Mejico, I understood what the term "you get what you paid for" really meant. Carnival ship looked like a old rusted dump. 

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"Shut up," they explained

Feb 11, 2013 9:05 AM PT

It would be interesting to do a Venn diagram charting the intersection between people spewing hate at the Pope, people with "COEXIST" bumper stickers on their cars, self-professed fans of left-wing maniac Chris Dorner, and those who think Dr. Benjamin Carson was unforgivably "rude" to Barack Obama by daring to dissent from his ideology at the National Prayer Breakfast.  I suspect considerable overlap between those groups would be revealed.

The "Carson is rude" meme gathered strength after a few prominent liberal pundits tossed it out there, and the gears of Twitter began churning.  It's one of the lamest non-responses I've ever seen - a fairly frank admission from liberals that they have no substantial response to Carson, so they'll question whether it was appropriate for him to pipe up at all.  Never mind that Obama has used such occasions, including a previous National Prayer Breakfast, to expound upon the alleged Biblical support for socialism.

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What Happened to That 'M' in MTV?

Feb 9, 2013 4:24 PM PT

In response to The Decline and Fall of MTV:

One of the first questions young MTV staffers ask seasoned producers, when they are first hired, is why MTV stopped being a 24 hour music channel. After all, a ton of Generation X'ers like you and me remember the 1980's star studded "I want my MTV" campaign. This was an effort early in MTV's launch to get teens to demand their cable companies across the country to start carrying the young television network.

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The Decline and Fall of MTV

Feb 9, 2013 8:14 AM PT

In response to I'm Single Because of MTV:

At the expense of appearing a codger, I was excitedly camped out in front of the Philco TelePictoPhone for the debut of MTV, and let out a cheer when The Buggles heralded Video's slaying of the Radio Star. (We wore onions on our belts, as was the fashion in those days.) It seemed like watching a pop culture version of the Big Bang, and as a punk/new-wave devotee I was thrilled that this new revolutionary medium was actually giving significant air time to the likes of Talking Heads, rather than the obsolete Woodstock mellow mewlings of CSN&Y. It seemed for a time like a massive force for good; plus, I had the hots for Nina Blackwood and Martha Quinn.

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Cable TV mission creep

Feb 8, 2013 8:24 PM PT

In response to Friday Night Question:

Of the three you mentioned, Lisa, I'd probably have to tip my cap to MTV, which resembles its original format in only the most vestigial sense.  I remember growing up in the 80s and having MTV on pretty much non-stop, sometimes watching into the wee hours for one more glimpse of a favorite video.  I guess the Internet has pretty much wiped out the viability of a music video network, since you can watch any music video you want at any time.  Sadly, they don't seem quite as memorable as the wildly experimental mini-movies we were getting Back In the Day.

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Friday Night Question

Feb 8, 2013 8:01 PM PT

As I sit here on a Friday night watching one of the half a dozen shows about wedding dresses on The Learning Channel (TLC) I pose this question: Which channel has strayed the furthest from its original programming: TLC, Bravo or MTV?

Wikipedia tells me TLC was originally founded by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and NASA.  Now it shows Honey Boo Boo.  I'm not that familiar with TLC's programming aside from the wedding shows, Sisterwives, and Gypsies, but I think they still run A Baby Story, which I suppose could teach you something about the birthing process. 

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