Questionable survey choices at Carnival

Since I’m getting older, and thus far estranged from the demographic being targeted by most consumer surveys, I like to take them when offered. My goal is to make sure that those in the 18-39 demographic have to put up with the same bullshit I did when I was part of the cash cow group: Make sure they have to listen to music they don’t like, see entertainers they have never heard of, deluge them with ads for investment firms they are still two decades away from caring about, and that kind of thing. When I was taking a recent survey after returning from a cruise though, I found that Carnival takes it a step further than even I would have. Here are the options presented for what kind of music you enjoy:


I don’t claim to have my finger on the pulse of current popular music or culture, but Jesus Christ.

I’m not familiar enough with country to know about the choices there. I think Carrie Underwood might be fairly current? Toby Keith and Brookes & Dunn are probably still shitting out albums that fall just below mediocre, as country acts tend to do that for decades after they had their hit. I guess they may all be current in that way.

But a couple of the other choices are full-on WTF.

I don’t think anyone listed on girls vs. boys bands (and why vs.?) has had a record since like the late 90’s -barring some reunion, quick-cash bullshit. I think Boys 2 Men might still be touring in support of the CooleyHighHarmony album (or the more popular reissue of it, at any rate). Hell, if I had an album that sold 9 million copies in the U.S., I’d milk that shit until the day I died. But is anyone really going to check that box on a survey? Even without listening to this kind of music (as far as you know), I would think that they could have put something more current in the list. Hanson was a thing for a while, and I think they are still touring. The Jonas Brothers were hugely popular for a decade or so before they got a little too old and ugly to make anyone’s heart (or anything else) throb. One Direction is currently bringing me within inches of suicide every time I’m within a hundred yards of a shopping mall… I will give them a pass on the girl bands portion though, because I can’t name any more current.

Of course the biggest issue with the selections is obviously the Rap/Hip Hop. Kris Kross, Doug E. Fresh, and Vanilla Ice all came and went while I was still in high school –twenty-five fucking years ago. I don’t think any of them had even a minor hit after about 1992. Chris “Kriss Kross Daddy Mac Mac Daddy” Kelley died in 2013 and hasn’t yet succeeded in pulling off the release-a-bunch-of-new-albums-posthumously thing that Tupac was so good at (and Tupac would have been a more current act to put on their list of rappers, despite being dead for the last decade). Kriss Kross also loses points for never releasing an album called the Kriss Kross Kollection, which would have been cool as hell.

Doug E. Fresh had his hit in 1985. It was the very definition of a flash in the pan. Since this song was recorded with the much more popular Slick Rick, you can’t even really call Doug E. Fresh a one-hit-wonder. More like a half-a-hit-wonder. But half a hit, thirty years ago, is enough to make it onto Carnival’s list of Rap/Hip Hop acts!

caiFinally, Vanilla Ice. Seriously? He stole his high-top fade from Kid ‘n Play and the hook from his only hit from Queen and David Bowie. Sure, he put a lot of seventh-grade asses on the gymnasium dance floor in 1990, but he was hardly a rap or hip-hop act. Yeah, sure, he put out other albums and has managed to stay in the public eye (as recently as February 2015 when he was arrested for burglary and grand theft). He was also fucking Madonna, back when that was a good thing (prior to Dennis Rodman destroying her for all men in 1994. I’m not talking about size either. Maybe he’s hung like a donkey and totally destroyed her. Who knows? Answer: No one. Would you stick your junk into something Dennis Rodman did?) He also put out one of the shittiest movies of all time. Cool As Ice sat at 0% fresh on for several years before this douchebag gave it a 5/5 with a 20 word review, ending in “Ice Rules!”. I’m not saying Vanilla Ice sucked his dick to get that review, but I’m also not saying that he didn’t (maybe Robert Matthew Van Winkle did). As shitty as the movie was though, I’m glad he made it. It has some of the most memorable one-liners I’ve seen in a movie review. A few examples:

“So bad that it’s borderline fascinating.” -Mike McGranaghan (Aisle Seat)

“Having established that he can’t rap or dance, Vanilla Ice now adds acting to his resume — call it the tri-imperfecta of pop.” -Richard Harrington (Washington Post)

“This one is absolutely pricless in its awfulness.” Scott Weinberg (efilmcritic)

I know some would say, “well, then, where’s your movie, smartass?” The answer to that is that I had the good sense not to make one (I also didn’t have the opportunity, budget, or desire). Something I bet Vanilla Ice wishes he had back in 1991, when Carnival put together the survey question that I had to answer in 2015.


Vacation is underway and this year I brought along a laptop pc and the camera my wife won at a party at work. Of course in addition to that we brought along a Tomtom (no link on borrowed electronics) that my brother-in-law has set to give voice directions as Mr. T. For instance, “Don’t give me no jibber jabber, make a right at the next stop and then get on the motorway. Mr T. Don’t get no tickets!” (that is a quote.) And an iPod, in addition to both of our cell phones… Se we’re not exactly leaving the world behind this year, but then I’m not sure if I could function without at least some of this stuff.

Vacation destination this year was the California coast. The wife looked up the locations of the missions that run along the coast on El Camino Real, and planned out a day trip to the Channel Islands. I have been merrily snapping pictures the entire time, not even remotely concerned about running out of memory on the camera means I am taking pictures of damn near everything.

Right now I am sitting in a hotel in Lompoc, CA. This is the first night that I have had access to WiFi, and I am taking full advantage of that by uploading hundreds of photos. I am taking care to only upload the reduced versions of them though (most of which I have reduced to 35%) because the full size ones are 2.2MB, and don’t really buzz through the airwaves on this gratis connection. But the resolution on them is amazing. Here is an example:

What you are looking at there is a cropped and resized version of this scene which isn’t exactly web friendly, if you know what I mean.

So until I get back home and have the time to wade through the picture and properly thumbnail them, etc, I am going to just throw a couple of them up. On these next ones just click on the image to see it in it’s browser bending beauty.

Here is the Mission Santa Barbara. This is the first one that we stopped by today.

While I am not a religious man, I have to admit that when you see these structures you have to at least be taken back a bit by the amount of time and effort the believers spend both building and maintaining these throughout the centuries. The buildings really are beautiful, and somehow manage to evoke the same reverence in everyone who walks through the doors. I only took photos inside the main temple of one of the missions that we visited today, and then only when it was expressed to me that it was okay to do so. Not that I think it would have been an affront to God to do so, but that I thought it would have been disrespectful to do so without permission. And I had no intention of seeking out someone to ask if it was okay.

This next one is from the outside of the same mission, in the graveyard.

That was (I think) one of the best photos that came from the missions today. It was actually very dark inside there and with the naked eye I could hardly tell what it was at all. In the photo you can clearly see that at least two people are interred there (one on either side). The stained glass in the center is gorgeous, but to look at it from the outside it actually looked like it was paint. This photo was snapped between the bars of a locked gate in the cemetery -a place that I am relatively sure I wasn’t supposed to be taking a photo. Of course if you were to ask me why I thought it was okay to take this picture while I didn’t think it was okay to take them inside the church I would stare at you like Paris Hilton would if you asked her a math question.

We also took the time to stop at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. While I have never been to this specific museum, I am pretty damn sure they make these things with a cookie cutter and throw them up every 200 miles or so. It looks just like the one I remember visiting in Oregon and in Arizona. Right down to the planetarium and the fossils. One interesting thing they did have though was the butterflies.

If you are going to look at the full size versions of any of the pictures I posted, make it that one. I wasn’t sure that the camera was going to be able to capture the colors and contrasts of the butterflies, but boy was I ever wrong. This looks like the photo you would see on the outside of the box the camera comes in; the one that you can never take no matter how perfect the lighting. The thing is I managed to take about a dozen photos of different butterflies that all look this good. The ones that don’t look good are because the damn butterflies refuse to sit still for the pictures. Bastards!

Anyway, once I have a real broadband connection again I will finish uploading some photos from vacation, and there may even be a couple worth looking at.