Today marks 100 years since the Titanic went down in iconic fashion on route to New York, taking half its passengers with it into the freezing North Atlantic. It was a torrid time that many would rather forget, if we were allowed to. It also spurned a metaphor, or even a whole philosophy that nothing is unsinkable. (Nearly a century later, Royal Bank of Scotland proved this theory once again, but that’s another matter entirely.)
But do we really have to revel in it quite so much? 1500 lives lost in one disaster was pretty rough, I know. But a lot more were lost on the Somme a few years later.
Does it really warrant a reconstructed voyage along the same path, for those macabre enough to take it.
Do we really need Jonathan Humphries and half a dozen others reading from diaries of those who perished so we can all have a cry for someone we never knew.
Can a centenary of tear-shed really warrant Joss Stone warbling on to a auditorium full of hankied-up punters about how terrible it all is, while pretending to be black. What is it with that woman? When she speaks, she is just another West country girl with pretentious over-tones but then give here a few notes and she is instantly from Alabama. Why doesn’t she don some boot-polish and really make an arse of herself? What a phoney!
Anyway, I digress. My point here is, why does the world love to get its hanky out about every little thing? Millions of people bawling their eyes out for months when Diana’s driver took into a pillar in a Parisian underpass does have some level of comprehension, because a lot of women liked to think she was like them. She wasn’t of course, unless they were selfish manipulators out to grab every headline and penny that was on offer. But that too, is another story.
But do we have to get on our knees and thank the lord for our own worthless lives every time another decade marks something that wasn’t very nice. Jamie Bulger, Stephen Biko, Damilola Taylor. Yes, they got killed, it’s a shame. So did my uncle, crossing the road. Get over it.
The ship went down – we learned something - be possitive.
We learned that icebergs are big evil bastards hiding under the surface - like tax bills.
We learned we should never trust anyone who sells us an infallible dream – like politicians.
Finally we learned that if the ship is going down, throw all the fucking violins over board, so we can drown in peace!
And possibly Kate Winslet if she is around.