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Marisa Livet | all galleries >> All My Galleries >> Unnecessary rambling talks of an amateur photographer. > Metaphors…
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20-JAN-2012 Marisa


We use metaphors in our speeches surely more often than we realize.
The word “metaphor” itself might be considered a metaphor, since it comes from ancient Greek and means “To transfer”, “To carry across”, which is transferring a meaning from one image or concept to another one.

Many people, after the dramatic episode of the cruise ship which sank against the rocks of an Italian small island one week ago, interpreted it as a metaphor of the present economic and social situation of Italy and maybe of the whole Europe.

The images of the metallic whales aground have been displayed by wold media and there are those who have managed to find all possible coincidences in a slightly morbid way (the Costa cruise boat sank in 2012 and Titanic sank in 1912. It was on Friday the 13th of January and Italians and many other western people consider Friday 13 as a particularly ill-omened date. One of the passengers is the great-grandchild of two people who actually were on Titanic. Someone claims that Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On - the theme song from the film Titanic was playing at the moment of the collision against the rocks…) Also this reaction to find always coincidences in certain events, without paying attention to the huger lack of coincidences might be considered another metaphor.
I think, personally, that all these enormous floating holiday villages, are metaphors in all ways, not necessarily when one of them is on the news for a tragic accident – luckily they are usually safe and accidents are very rare.

I have taken a few cruises (never for my own choice, it was to keep company and for other reasons) so I can base my impression on a direct experience.
I know I sound once again like a contrarian or even like a snobbish person, but I consider cruises boats like a melancholy metaphor of mass tourism, where people are treated a little like big children, pampered in a kind of superficially flashy luxurious environment, which is basically a fake, like the Princesses’ castles of theme parks. All rituals are reiterated, repeated exactly the same in every cruise and proposed with false enthusiasm and in some cases nearly compulsory.
But the spirit of travelling, in its individual essence is lost for me.
I don’t want to allow my polemic side to overwhelm the lucidity of my judgement and I know the majority of people who have already taken a cruise boat will totally disagree with me.
Luckily we can still choose what we feel like doing in our free time as entertainment.
I speak only for myself and I take the whole responsibility for my point of view with all its limits.

I took this photo in Venice when suddenly the big metallic whale, the floating hotel covered with lights appeared at sunset parading mightily over the heart of the lagoon, among the historical enchanting buildings.
So the passengers could say they had seen Venice too….from the decks.

I felt suddenly and probably irrationally sad.

Canon EOS 350D
1/125s f/6.3 at 85.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
barbarajoy20-Jun-2015 22:50
Absolutely agree with your thoughts and have never been on a luxury cruise, nor wanted to do so. Your picture is perfect and I remember seeing such a huge ship right beside Piazza San Marco there in Venice, with people lined up to "see" Venice! I was horrified. Great story, Marisa. V
Hernan E. Enriquez11-Feb-2014 22:08
Love reading your thoughts and enjoy your wonderful photography. V
William Vogt21-Jan-2012 15:32
Well said Marisa, I always look forward to your opinions. I'm not one for cruising either, but am impressed with the size of these ships when they visit our local ports. A testament to human engineering.
Regards, Bill
eye2see21-Jan-2012 06:52
Great observation Marisa, in my opinion not a contrarian at all! I must admit is always
pleasure to read your thoughts, you have a great talent not only in photography but in
writing too! ~V
pascal20-Jan-2012 18:55
D'abord, bravo pour la magnifique photo. Pour le texte, si dans l'absolu je suis d'accord, on peut quand même discuter. Chacun voit midi à sa porte, le tourisme de masse devenant quasi incontournable, d-une façon ou d(une autre sur une planête qui compte 7 milliards d'habitants. Que se soit pour les croisières, les stations de ski, la découvertes de pays lointains en hotel 4 étoiles, les voyageurs "all inclusive" ou les parcs d'attraction. A un moment ou à un autre, et "à l'insu de son plein gré", on est confronté à la situation.
Mike H.20-Jan-2012 18:22
The light and color in your carefully composed image are wonderful.
Quite a contrast indeed -- between gondola and cruise liner. They must share the waterway.
Poor, irresponsible judgement is what we will discover was the cause of the mishap
with the Costa Concordia. Very much agree though with your comments regarding cruise ship voyages.
Tom LeRoy20-Jan-2012 18:13
I totally agree with your philosophy on luxury cruise liners and on mass tourism in general and would never be a passenger on a boat that size. Great shot to document your point! V!
Máire Uí Mhaicín20-Jan-2012 17:54
An atmospheric image, rich in contrasts, within its composition and in its theme. The commentary is thought-provoking, and a fair judgement of the situation. For those of us who suffer from seasickness a cruise would never be on the cards, but in any event it is not the kind of holiday that appeals to all people. Those who love cruises will continue to go on them, as those who love indepently organised holidays love the freedom of their own daily decisions.
Walter O. Koenig20-Jan-2012 16:11
A great shot with such a strong contrast between the gondola and the gigantic ship and the colors of the smooth sky and the textures in the water. The man poles the gondola, while the giant ship waits ominously smoking.
I often see cruise ships in the harbor here and to see the people being herded on to them like cattle on to a train is enough to turn me off. I think the unfortunate accident of the Costa Concordia is a much needed wake up call to the cruise line industry. The tragedy is that it had that it had to come with the loss of life.
Hank Vander Velde20-Jan-2012 14:23
A most beautiful image Marisa. Your rendition on and thoughts about Cruises are also most interesting and I'm sure shared by many.
Ray :)20-Jan-2012 12:59
I've always dreaded the thought of going on a cruise as I see it as being consigned to a luxurious prison.
I want to be spontaneous when I go on holiday!
John Reynolds20-Jan-2012 12:44
It's a great picture. I read your thoughts with interest. V.
CM Kwan20-Jan-2012 12:20
Wonderful capture and thanks for sharing, Marisa! V
Martin Lamoon20-Jan-2012 12:17
Perfect statements accompanying this great photograph. We tried it once but did not really enjoy it, too much time at sea and so many people. I prefer to do my own thing and not be herded like cattle from one place to another, to eat when I want to and see what I want in my own time and not feel hurried. To stop at pavement cafe's and let the world go by, to explore in my own time........
Pierre Schneider20-Jan-2012 11:59
J'ai pris le temps de lire. Je partage tes impressions. Et la photo est excellente. V
MummaDragon20-Jan-2012 11:58
On a more prosaic note, I've often thought these structures looked far too unstable and top-heavy. I've wondered how on earth they managed in high seas. Clearly, they do, but still, being a captive in a small 'pond such as this has never seemed to offer much variety. I'm amused because what you describe of the entertainments, reminds me of the cheap holiday camps in England - such as Butlins - where the Red-coats had to be forever cheerful and had to jolly people onto the dance-floor and into other activities. They were cheap places to stay. Cruises are expensive, in my book. Luckily in my experience of Butlins, I was only a cleaner, I was on-shore and I was free to wander over the hills in my time off work.
I must admit, I like the juxtaposition of the sublime and the ridiculous in your photo.
anne20-Jan-2012 11:04
great capture, interesting philosophy, I do not cruise, I would feel confined, I like to get where I am going and have the freedom to explore, others love cruises and that is their prerogative, but for me I will continue to fly to my destination !...........V
Paul Chan20-Jan-2012 10:58
Excellent timing and detail description of Metaphors...V.
Raf20-Jan-2012 09:27
Beautifully captured huge contrast between that cruise mastodon and that small gondola. Interesting comment and point of view which I fully agree. V.
borisalex20-Jan-2012 09:22
Excellent thoughts and entry! I was thinking same today, realizing that the accident occured on a Friday the 13th. There was also a little story I heard in the radio, that a violinist from Hungary belonging to the Ship´s orchestra, died. He had helped saving children before he only went back to get his violin, and didn´t made it to get out of the ship! Sad, sad..!! I never would go on a boat like that! Your points of this tourismn is totally also my opinon!
Milan Vogrin20-Jan-2012 09:15
Well done, both!
Barbara Heide20-Jan-2012 09:07
Marisa, I fully agree with your words! interesting juxtaposition in your image and lovely tender light...