Thursday, April 16, 2009

Titanic Anniversary

April 15th - 2009 is the 97th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Such an incredible drama:

- the worldwide hype of its maiden voyage; the unprecedented list of rich and famous passengers; and indulgence and avarice on display

- the extraordinary circumstances of the iceberg crash. If they had heeded the ice warnings, if the lookouts had spotted the iceberg seconds sooner, if the ship had been travelling a few knots slower...

- the disbelief and chaos on-board. So few lifeboats, so many who people didn't come up on deck to get to the lifeboats in time.

- the shocking details in how so many people died. In the flood of incoming water; those who were crushed and burned when the stacks toppled; the rest whose bodies lasted a mere agonizing moments in the sub-freezing water.

- the heroic rescue by the Carpathia; the gruesome recovery by the Mackay-Bennett.

- And, the most important lesson : man brought down by sheer arrogance, ego, and pride. Titanic was unskinkable! The greedy crew pushed on against all reason, ignored all warnings, and scorned all help, until it was too late, and 1,517 people lost their lives.

-Yes, I've seen James Cameron's "Titanic" at least 2 dozen times, and not because of the sappy love story, not just because Billy Zane and David Warner play some of their most delicious villain roles, not just for the groundbreaking VFX. It's still one of the most engaging and affecting tragedies in history.