Saturday, August 09, 2003
Department of Let's Get Real
In the New York Times: Scientists Warn That Visitors Are Loving Titanic to Death. Quote:
The Titanic, assailed by rust as well as by hundreds of explorers and moviemakers, salvors and tourists, is rapidly falling apart.Um...excuse me, it's a frippin' shipwreck. It's supposed to fall apart. It's been falling apart since about 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912. Okay?
I suppose it could be compared to, say, the ruins of the Coliseumthat's a famous historical landmark that's falling apart, and we're preserving itbut the reason the Titanic is famous at all is because it sank. (And actually, it's only a landmark because it sank; non-sunken ships don't have a fixed position.) (Except dry-docked ships, but only because people put them there.)
Well, it does have an important place in the history and imagination and even philosophy of the 20th and 21st centuries, so yes, it's legitimately an object of interest. And it's true that, barring human intervention, probably nothing would significantly change it for centuries. But still...it broke in two. It sank. It's falling apart. It's a shipwreck. That's what shipwrecks do.
[ at 5:51 PM • by Abby • permalink • ]