In a few months, the 5th Annual LC Cruise will be underway on the Carnival Magic. With little fanfare, Jimmy announced in a recent blog post that two of the expected headliners, Gary Taubes and Robb Wolf, would not be attending/speaking after all. I wonder, if any of those who signed up are more than a little disappointed that these two wouldn't be on board as the bon voyage streamers are flying. It's a bit like showing up for a play at an intimate off-Broadway theater where George Clooney is headlining only to find he's sick and his no-name under study will be gracing the stage instead. At least if you have tickets for such somewhere in the fine print there's the indication this may happen and you take your chances. And it's not like you expected Clooney to be mixin' and mingling with the audience before and after the performance anyway ... you just hoped to get a close-up look or perhaps a quick autograph.
I don't know if there's such a disclaimer on the LC Cruise, but there ought to be. And moreso than with George Clooney, there has to be a reasonable expectation of some mixing and mingling for the rest of the time where you might get to chit chat with your favorite guru, perhaps even pick their brain, sing karaoke with them or get matching sun burns on the scuba excursion. Since many of the presentations are made available online, and most are nothing new under the sun anyway, I presume that most people going on said cruises really aren't going to learn something new. Perhaps someone who has just found the LC community might go for the information, but there's a bunch of cruise groupies who have attended the past four and will attend again for the fifth who can't possibly be going just to listen to the experts.
Maybe that's it. It's more a meet and greet under the guise of some sort of educational seminar, and the presentations themselves are merely a formality. Perhaps the actual LC "celebs" who are on board are not really that important after all. But really? Jimmy's been promoting this year's cruise since before last year's cruise ship even left port. The announcement that the Great Gary Taubes would be featured was heralded and used to promote the LC Cruise 2012 ... big time! Surely there are some who are disappointed that he won't be there and wondering would I have used a week's vacation time and spent these $$ to go on a cruise on a mediocre cruise line if they'd known they were getting Leptin Man instead of the Messiah himself?!
I've got to say that I had a lot of questions in 2009 when I had plateaued and looked on the net for help. Had I found this community just a few months earlier, I may well have gone on the 2009 cruise. So I get a lot of flack for showing pictures and such, but when the pictures from that cruise came out I was rather shocked at the physical appearances of so many of the speakers. Honestly, I would have asked for my money back in disgust had I shown up and been lectured to by women fatter than I am.
I had already ruled out going on such a cruise by later that year, but I was still a relative fan of Eades who seemed more sound (at the time, also because I was reading a lot of his older material that was). So I did consider going on the 2010 excursion when I saw he was going to be speaking. Well, Fall 2009 the 6WC book came out and they launched their "world changing" sous vide contraption. Who would have known promoting that thing would require so much time and effort! I recall at the time that Jimmy had a banner on his discussion board promoting the cruise listing the speakers. The name Eades just quietly disappeared from the marquee one day. I don't recall if there was a formal announcement or not. Now HAD I booked passage and put down my deposit I would have been pissed that ... oh ... sorry ... I'm too busy to go on this thing after all. Surely with a book coming out (that I'm at least thinking they hoped would be a huge success) and launching the sous vide, they knew 2010 was to be a busy year. So I have to wonder if they ever really intended to be a part of the cruise to begin with.
It's almost like that predictable episode of any coming-of-age sitcom when Joe asks Jane to the dance only to have to come up with some lame excuse to ditch her when his true heart-throb Jenny's date book opens up. Only this is like Jane lining up sponsors for her dance marathon knowing that Joe never intends to take her after all. Much as I'd like to excuse Robb Wolf for having a legit excuse ... wife is due in April ... this means he's known of said impending arrival for several months, and we're just now informed he won't be in attendance. Still, not knowing much about him I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he just had a change of heart. Not so with Taubes. If there even is some sort of gig in Belgium, he's still ditching Jane here, and it's not right. Especially since more than one teenage sitcom character's feelings are at stake here. If you are going to promote a cruise based on a list of speakers, that should mean something. If year after year the eventual lineup differs considerably from the initial list then Houston, there's a problem with that. Remember those coming of age sitcoms Gary. Eventually Joe comes to regret stiffing Jane, and you will likely come to regret stiffing your dwindling fan base too ...
What does committing to a speakership on an LC Cruise entail anyway? Is there any legally binding agreement? There ought to be. I think any reasonable agreement would probably excuse Wolf, though it should have been sooner, but would not excuse Taubes. Otherwise what is the point of this. To make enough money to pay for a free annual vacation? Seems so .....