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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Low Carb Cruise

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 .....



26 comments:

Tonus said...

Rumor has it that sales of the "Commemorative Stephan Guyenet Dart-Board" tanked after word got out that Taubes would be a no-show. :(

Sarah Barracuda said...

Aw, pity. Guess they'll just have to make do with low-carb FRENCH fries deep-fried in AOC human lard from Normandie.

Princess Dieter said...

When things are planned way in advance, I kind of expect " life happens" to happen and some to cancel. Having the two biggies cancel, though, seems odd. Especially since it isn't cause they're having major surgery, came down with the plague, or whatever. As you say, The Wolf's knew baby was coming, what?, five months ago....that would have been a good time to cancel, nay? And to cancel the cruise for ANOTHER appearance, if this is what Taubes did, is tacky. Sorry, that's just plain tacky. People committed big bucks to have Taubes as headliner...his cancellation for another gig is like giving the finger to the cruise-goers. Whatever one things of LC (and I don't have a problem with it, myself, if it works for you, go for it), these folks signed up in good faith with expectations.

Are they allowed to cancel 4 months in advance and get a refund based on no-shows like this? Having never booked a cruise, I have no idea of what one can do....

Sanjeev said...

> "AOC human lard"

I didn't get that piece. Is this a "Fight Club" Liposuction reference?

Sarah Barracuda said...

AOC = appellation d’origine contrôlée, for foodstuffs such as cheese.

I suppose it'd also be especially rare because the lean French don't yield that much lard.

Sue said...

I probably would have considered going on a LC cruise at one time but if I was a LC presenter and still obviously overweight I would be very embarrassed and feel I lacked credibility.

Evelyn, have you seen Daily Lipid latest post, wondered your thoughts and you are mentioned in the comments.
http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2012/01/we-really-can-make-glucose-from-fatty.html

MelJ said...

Evelyn, DH and I had reservations in place specifically because Gary was going to be the main speaker. I'm a cruise nut but the ship and ports of call weren't the draw. I was surprised that the cancellations were so low key... I found out about Gary from your blog post the other day not from the organizers! Since this trip was going to cost upwards of $6,000 I chose to cancel. Final payment for the cruise isnt until mid-Feb so there is no penalty before then.

Sanjeev said...

It would be SO interesting to know if the negative-result presenters used the deadline of the presentation as a forced motivator ..

"Jimmy's cruise is coming up, I better do zero carb til then ... oh, wait, I am already doing that, how about NEGATIVE carb? No, wait, what did that geeky elec guy tell me about in school? IMAGINARY carb ... no, wait .. negative Aleph-null carb"

Sarah also brought up an interesting point ... some parts of Europe are really strict about sellers delivering what they promise, and getting names right ... like testing if bartenders pour the right amount of vodka (several bartenders in Helsinki told me that, long ago[0] ...) . Wonder what they would do about less than

[0] I thought it was the Australian Drop Bears all over again ...

Sanjeev said...

> what they would do about less than

sorry ... what those authorities would do about the delivery of MORE than expected

Karen said...

There is a big push on the cruise page to get your remaining balance paid now! All pertinent info was supposed to be posted there and I get info from them tho I cancelled, I don't recall anything about Taubes or Wolff canceling!
Karen

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Welcome Mel!

I can see why they wouldn't want to advertise the cancellations, but more than just dropping names from a list would seem appropriate. I'm surprised the organizers didn't say anything.
http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/finalized-2012-low-carb-cruise-speaker-lecture-lineup

Tonus said...

Heh... "Gary’s passion for spreading this message to the unconverted is so evident in his willingness to go anywhere to lecture about the carbohydrate-insulin connection to obesity."

I'm sure that Taubes is heartbroken at having to travel to icky old Belgium to deliver a talk at a prestigious conference. Poor guy.

Fashiontribes Diet said...

I wonder if Robb Wolf & GT bailing on this endeavor is a tealeaf about the demise of TWICHOO, LC and the fortunes of JM. A blogosphere/food version of Hunter S. Thompson's high water mark?

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

@Sue: Yes I've seen that post and was going to comment but was distracted. I don't see myself mentioned though? I think it was Lucas Tafur who posted about that paper once here. I'm not sure it's any big deal, really. I suppose some zero carbers can celebrate that it's possible to convert some portion of fatty acids to glucose by round about metabolic pathways but in the humans and animals the biochem books are talking about, the conversion of fats to carbs is not a quantifiably significant metabolic pathway. We're also talking "in silico" which means some mathematical computer model ... this model says it can occur. But does it? I don't know. Probably some. But if it is metabolically expensive I don't see why it would which is perhaps why it's exhaled as keto-breath rather than held onto like so many other chemicals our bodies fight tooth and nail to keep. I could be wrong, but it seems unlikely that it's a significant pathway. On the otherhand the acetone levels of fasted vs. Atkins vs. epileptic keto diet are interesting.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Hee hee Tonus. It's always interesting to watch Jimmy spin! I hope he gets introduced by someone who talks him up as an expert so the audience will listen to him rather than hurrying out for cheap wine and carbs.

@FTD: I have to go back in my gmail box because I remember having an email exchange with a friend where we joked about going on the 2012 cruise to meet GT. I predicted then that Gary would not be going on the cruise. Ahhh yes, here it is 10/15/2011, I wrote: "It's time for another Miss Cleo prediction. Gary Taubes will back out of LC Cruise 2012. I do not know what sort of contractual agreements Jimmy makes with these peeps, but the Eades backed out of 2010 cruise and there was no whispering about any falling out or anything. "

Wright Mind said...

Speaking of Jimmy Moore, I stumbled upon his review of the Jaminets' Perfect Health Diet on Amazon.com. Here is the shortened link to that review:

http://amzn.to/Amvop6

He comes down squarely in the anti-safe starch camp, as if we didn't already know that. He only gave the book four stars, because of the safe starch heresy. As always, he is often in error, but never in doubt.

I dutifully clicked the NO button in response to the question, "Was this review helpful to you?"

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

@Karen: I tried to post a comment on his blog about your and Mel's comments. Lessee if he posts it ;) You would think just for appearances he would find a way to make it clear. A lot of folks don't stay "dialed in" on all channels it seems the least they could do to keep registered folks or even subscribers to updates/news on the cruise updated in a straightforward manner. I notice that the new schedule is posted on the FB page as a document but the postings are so cluttered with Jimmy's other stuff there's not many apparently checking it out. I'm really surprised there's not more upset about this. It would be HUGE to me.

Karen said...

I asked if Taubes and Wolff had cancelled and I got a reply of here is the line up of what is happening. No oh wow no they arent coming after all nothing. Just crickets. So up front.And it would be huge to me if I were going.

Galina L. said...

I would never spent that much on a cruise, LC or yoga or what not . Such event must attract a very particular crowd, besides LC celebrities who may be under some sort of contract or are using heavy discounts. It should be a magnet for people who are interested in a LC gorging.

MelJ said...

Thanks for the Welcome!

I don't read JM's blog or log-on to facebook on a daily basis so I missed the revised lineup. I'm sure not the only one who does this so expecting a more personal update via email (at least) of the changes would have been much more appropriate and professional IMO.

MelJ said...

Oh, and just a comment on PHD... After eating LC for the last 12-years, I too was terrified of adding 'safe' starches back into my WOE. Initially, I regained about 4 lbs but have since lost that and then some. I've never been obese and at my heaviest was only about 20-lbs overweight from sitting at a desk for too many years which lead me to LC.

But for anyone who has a struggle with food, a cruise is not the best place to be. Way too easy to go face down in free food that's available 24/7. And psychologically, I believe there's a need to 'get your money's worth'.

Princess Dieter said...

Actually, the line-up (just went to see) looks not so bad. There are three speakers that I would surely not at all mind hearing speak there. :D So, despite the headliners being busy elsewhere, the LC crowd should be happy.

Sarah Barracuda said...

@Sanjeev - LMAO negative aleph-null carb! Best achieved, of course, by consuming aleph-one grams of fat, as past a certain threshold, they start converting to...err, um, molecules of inverse carbohydrate(TM).

Hey, where's @euler? Maybe he could tell us a thing or two about imaginary carbs ;)

Evelyn, could you tell us what an inverse CHO molecule might even look like? Y'know, the kind that results in postprandial insulin plummeting and unleashes the fat-torching fury of one's mitochondria....

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

I've shared some thoughts on going on an LC (or any sort of informational cruise) in the followup post so I won't rehash that here. I guess for me, there are other places you can see these folks speak on dry land for a fraction of the cost and then have a real vacation some other time. I'm trying to imagine I'm a fan of all of these folks and their work and that would entice me to want to go on this cruise. Then finding out the two biggest names weren't going. I would be more than unhappy.

Sanjeev said...

@Sarah - after the sinusoids comment I guessed at least one person would enjoy that.

if you egg ;) on my geekiness any more I'll have to break out the Star Trek, old Dr. Who and Babylon 5 material.

Sue said...

Evelyn, you are mentioned in the comments section only, about 28th from top, Jan 9 by Anonymous.

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