Yep, bad encounter with an iceberg. Ship lost. Lifeboat problems. Many people drowned. Sad. That was 100 years ago. Get over it.
The papers this past weekend were Titanic obsessed. Aintcha tired of it? Feature story after feature story offered tidbits about what went wrong; who was to blame; who survived; how they might have avoided the collision, etc. etc. etc.
They didn’t ask the most important question of all: Who the hell cares? And if somebody out there does care, why do they? I mean, there has been an awful lot of murky water under the bridge since that time, including a couple of world wars in which many ships went to the bottom, so why do media sorts keep trotting (swimming) back to the Titanic.
The story has been filmed many times and despite the popularity of the most recent film – now in dazzling 3D – the better movie by far, in my esteem, is A Night to Remember from 1958, which has been recently re-released. It is, of course, minus the tragic love story. Which means it has no Kate Winslet. And a paucity of Kate Winslet at any time is unfortunate, I concede.
Of course, the Titanic saga has made a gazillionaire out of filmmaker James Cameron, so he should regard the sinking as having been a career-maker. So, I can understand his fond regard for the tale.
I’m not being frivolous about this, and certainly not disrespectful towards those that lost their lives, but again, my grandparents were just young folk when it happened, so why does it matter so much? Really. Did it matter as much at the time I cannot help but wonder?
I know the Titanic tale ahs become a kind of metaphor for that human failing that suggests we can surmount everything including cranky icebergs. But, I think we’ve found many times since then that we’re not so hot. Indeed our connection with this ball of mud is more perilous all the time, and that’s due to our bad decisions virtually entirely.
To me the greatest irony about the Titanic tale is that it happened just two years shy of the beginning of World War One. Then literally tens of millions of innocent people died.
Makes the Titanic pretty small potatoes.