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Dan Savage sinks the Titanic

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Dan Savage on Savage U image
  • 'SAVAGE U': Sex advice columnist Dan Savage sets out to educate the youth.

SAVAGE U

Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

MTV

If you're not reading sex advice disher Dan Savage's "Savage Love" column every week, stop what you're doing right now, go to the blog of the Seattle's The Stranger and start reading. Unless you're a potential Santorum voter (it was Savage, by the way, who instituted Santorum's much-discussed "Google Problem" by holding a contest in which readers suggested the most disgusting imaginable definition to link to the legendarily homophobic Republican's last name), there's a good chance you'll become an addict like me, feasting every Wednesday on the smorgasbord of sex troubles, weird hang-ups, interests and fetishes that plague and delight humankind. Savage — by turns hilarious, gasp-inducingly vulgar, scolding and downright fatherly in his advice — leaves nothing in the closet, and no subject is taboo. That's what makes it all so much fun to read. He truly seems to give a damn about people, and is one of the few folks out there who seems to understand how much a person's happiness can depend on sexual fulfillment. Savage moved into the electronic realm a few years back with his well-received Savage Love Podcasts (which are also archived on The Stranger's website), and now he's bringing his face to television with this new weekly series from MTV called "Savage U." Every week, Savage and his producer/sidekick Lauren Hutchinson travel to a different college campus and talk to people about sex. From the trailers we've seen so far, it looks like the show will alternate between auditorium Q&As and sit-downs where Savage discusses the ins and outs of the ol' in-and-out with individuals and couples who have a problem. While something tells me the buckle-hats at the Parents Television Council will be hot after MTV to pull this one off the air for the Good of the Children!, it should tell you something about Savage that he's devoting his energies to trying to educate and inform the young folks, before they spend a lifetime confused, frustrated or hating themselves over a sexual issue. Good on him.

TITANIC: THE FINAL WORD WITH JAMES CAMERON

8 p.m. Sunday, April 8

National Geographic Channel

While we know that it's hard for some folks who saw "Titanic" to understand that the voyage and sinking of the real-life Titanic wasn't just a big scronch-a-thon for snooty society chicks gone slumming and all those dewy-faced Leonardo DiCaprio types with perfect teeth down in steerage, the truth of the matter is it was a tragedy of epic proportions, even for a time when having your 8-year-old get his arm ripped off at work by a sock-making loom was considered "a typical Tuesday morning." While I have issues with the vast, striding wang that is James Cameron and the movie he made about the sinking (suggested subtitle: "Give That Oscar For Best Picture Back Right Now, Because Other Than the Spectacle, It Kinda Sucked") the one thing you've got to say for the guy and his film is that he singlehandedly put Titanic back into the public eye and cultural imagination. There are, we're sure, people working on their PhD in engineering right now who — though they probably wouldn't admit it — are there because of Cameron's "Titanic." Drown 1,517 people in a stunning display of arrogance, bravado, engineering failure and personal sacrifice, and The Future is all, "Meh, that's kinda interesting, I guess." Dunk one slightly chunky redhead in the water and kill off her 14-year-old boyfriend, and suddenly you've got a whole generation of folks stoked about history, genealogy and metallurgy. That's worth any amount of listening to Celine Dion (OK ... a REASONABLE amount of listening to Celine Dion). Speaking of history: Here, in this two-hour special, James Cameron talks to engineers, historians, ship builders and others about why the Titanic sank 100 years ago this month.

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