Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Titanic Tragedy, Watching People Die and the Media

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Today’s Blog Post
The Titanic Tragedy, Watching People Die and the Media 

I am moved by our fascination with death after the Media gets its hands on the story. We don’t want to talk about our own death…but loved to think about the death of other people when it is glorified by Media.

Now I know that is a very general statement that needs to be clarified after I make it.

Here is my evidence. Take the hype about the Titanic that is taking place on this special day in history. 100 years ago now that huge boat was laying on the bottom of the North Atlantic. It had been there about 5 or 6 hours from the time that I am writing this piece… 100 years ago.

The world was walking up to News Reports of their day with that terrible information being broadcast everywhere.

The world was also waking up to the fact that many very important people had died in horrific ways… drowning in a very cold sea miles and miles away from any help.

We know this story better than any other one now. It has been hashed out over and over again.

Now there are millions upon millions of dollars being spent regularly just to look at what is down there – spread over an 8 to 10 miles area on the floor of the ocean. Think of the money to look at the wreckage in contrast to the other money spent of the living that really need help.

We are fascinated with the death of these people. Not just ship wrecked deaths, which there have been many, many more of over all these years… some even more tragic than the Titanic deaths.

Now mind you it has only been in recent years that the Titanic has become so much a fascination for people around me. No doubt Hollywood and the Media have made the difference to keep in front and centre for all of us… and make it even bigger in all our lives.

I know that many changes were made in maritime regulations after the Titanic went down. Enough life boats were provided for all the passengers on board any ship form that time on. The Titanic ship owners didn’t equip that ship with near enough to help all people aboard… only enough for the rich people. Then there are the facts of how they now deal with the iceberg warnings.

Many things changed.

But when I come back to the way that media has almost deified this particular event we are looking most at the deaths of real people. We are able now to actually see the death taking place right from our arm chairs… when the movie runs again and again.

How does it affect you when you watch it over again… or when you see images of that huge ship laying still on the bottom?

I think it has the same affect on our collective psyche as did the images of the aircraft going through the Twin Towers in 2001 – the 9-11 affect. We saw the video clips so often that it is now burned deeply within us. We can never forget it. We watch again and again the people losing their innocent lives because of stupid terrorists.

Now by modern media we relive the horror of people that died that night 100 years ago. We can see it again and again in our minds.

It is good that every maritime disaster is not given that kind of media attention. The modern world would not be able to process that many deaths which number into the millions in my imagination.

In the first and second world war there were many more people that died on sinking boats in the Atlantic than did on the Titanic. And many of them happened because of inept leadership and stupid terrorists that could deal with reality, started wars and killed hundreds of thousands at a time! But we do not think of these people… only the ones that died on the Titanic or in the Twin Towers.


The other day on television I watched the end of World War 2 taking place.
In the last great battle, which took place in the Asian theatre of war, Japan was not going to yield to any demands of the Americans. The Americans wanted complete surrender.

Four years before that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and with that killed 2,402 of American personnel in those ships that sunk that day. There again the images were burned deep within us of people in their last minutes.

On the television program I watched as the “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” Bombs were dropped.

90,000 to 160,000 died in Hiroshima and 60,000 to 80,000 died in Nagasaki.

Wikipedia contributors state that – quote –
“Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. The Hiroshima prefecture health department estimated that, of the people who died on the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns, 30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness. In a U.S. estimate of the total immediate and short term cause of death, 15–20% died from radiation sickness, 20–30% from burns, and 50–60% from other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians, although Hiroshima had a sizeable garrison.” End quote

Wow! What a contrast!

Titanic loses, one hundred years ago, totaled 1514 people dead.

Do you think that maybe Media has apart in our lives today? WOW! Big Time!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 


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