Isn't it weird to be in love with a ship


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Andrew Parodi

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My story here is kind of odd. I have no interest in cars. A car is a car to me. There are two kinds of cars to me: those that run, and those that don't. That's where my distinction ends.

I don't care about most machines: trains, planes, robots, etc. I actually have a *dislike* of most machines. And I have never had any particular affection for ships either . . . until quite recently. (I've only been on a ship probably twice in my life [once on that "circle line" cruise around New York]).

For some inexplicable reason, Titanic has become an obsession of mine over the last two months. It's so weird, but I see a picture of Titanic, and I feel like I'm looking at a loved one. It's all taken on religious proportions for me. It's so bizarre. I have theory after theory about why it is, but I just can't figure it out yet. I haven't yet come up with any really fulfilling answer. I just can't get enough of Titanic lately.

Has anyone else felt this way? Has anyone else experienced this?
 

Leona Nolan

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Dec 17, 2002
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Hi Andrew!!! I'm kinda the same and its getting worse lately as we're just after getting internet access in work!! So don't worry you're definitely not alone
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Andrew Parodi

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> Thanks for the reassurance! It's nice to know I'm not alone. I suppose the thing for me that is odd is how it just sort of came out of nowhere. I sort of wonder if maybe I have had an affinity for Titanic for a long time, but it lay dormant in my mind and only recently came to the surface. My first memory of Titanic is when I was about 10 and they discovered it. I had never heard of Titanic before, and they were talking about it on a morning show. I asked my mom what Titanic was, and that's when she said, "Oh, it was the unsinkable ship . . . that sank." And then I think I saw scenes from "A Night to Remember" (I mean, I *know* I saw scenes of some Titanic movie, I think it may've been "A Night to Remember"), and I remember being confused by this idea that these people were just sitting on the boat waiting to die. I think I remember a scene about a woman trying to get a man to go on a life boat and the man refusing. Anyway, it's an odd thing for me. I suppose I just need to accept it.
 
May 8, 2001
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Andrew. I understand in a way what you are trying to say. For me it is not the ship, but the lives of the crew and passengers afterwards. Can't really tell you why the interest is so strong, but, I have noticed a remarkable number of people that are interested in Titanic (and other disasters) have a common thread of being genealogists.(Some of them are incredible! I have learned ALLOT in search of my own genealogy.) Maybe the thought that these people's story may not be told and remembered is a thought that no Genealogist can stand.
Anyhow, I stopped fighting it long ago!
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Ps Good to see another West coaster on board.
 

Paul Rogers

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Jun 1, 2000
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I've tried many times to explain to friends and colleagues why I have become fascinated with 30,000 tons of rusting metal. The best reasons I've come up with so far include:

(1) The name. Somehow, I don't think if she had been called for example Ceramic that the story would have held as much magic.

(2) The time she took to sink. There was over 2 and a half hours for dramas to unfold, stories to develop, sad farewells and acts of heroism to occur. Many other ships - like the Empress of Ireland - didn't have the time for such events to be played out.

(3) Survivors. There were survivors able to tell others the stories as per the point above. Yet there is huge tragedy as well with so many dying. If all had died, or all had survived, I doubt the attraction would be as strong.

(4) The myths. This includes the "Greek tragedy" element of the sinking; if only: a) the lookouts had been given binoculars b) the ice warnings had all got through c) she had turned 30 seconds earlier/later, etc. etc. All in some way flawed but still immensely attractive to our emotional side.

(5) The sinking itself. Struck down by "an act of God" but sinking on an even keel which allowed the ship to sink so slowly; the sea remaining calm, allowing the lifeboats to be launched and the stories to be played out.

(6) The scale of the ship. The largest afloat (allegedly!) at the time of the accident which provides a huge stage for the many dramas to unfold.

(7) The passengers and crew; the "actors" if you will for the dramas to come. The cast was filled with a variety of personalities, all immensely fascinating to future researchers.

With all these things - and others - coming together in this one event, perhaps Titanic could be said to be "The Perfect Sinking."
 
Oct 17, 2002
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Just to add my two cents. I believe Paul is absolutely right. Very rarely can so many aspects have humanity unfold within a single event. Its man's arrogance over nature, its technology, its the people, the culture, the tragedy. Its something that simply pulls at all of us. I understand, also, where Colleen is coming from. However, I am not a geneologist so I suppose my fascination can't be linked to that. My infatuation with this ship led me to alter my course of study in college. I left the finance department to study history, focusing on maritime and aviation history. I used to think myself disturbed for dedicating so much time and effort to such pursuits, but I truly believe that learning from these disasters and mechanical marvels allows us to see the human spirit in a way only previously seen in fiction. Basically, don't fight the obsession. Use it to learn. There are great lessons and inspiration among the people of the Titanic. Incidentally, I wouldnt recommend the Maritime History major, I graduated qualifying only to give tours on the Queen Mary. I went back to finance. But my love for all the ships and (some planes) of the world continues. Along that line, anyone here in the Philly area? I myself am in Los Angeles, but just wondering if anyone was able to sneak a peak at the United States.
 
Jan 31, 2001
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My fascination with the Queen of the Deep was greatly aroused when the James Cameron movie was released five years ago, and things have only increased since.

I became obsessed with the story in early 2001 when I joined this message board and began learning information that I didn't even think we knew at the time. For instance, I can clearly remember when I first joined I didn't even think we knew what the interior of the Marconi room looked like! That was what my first post was about.

Over the past two years I have gained a wealth of interesting information about the Titanic, and the more I learn the more I want to learn, and the more incredible the story becomes. I would rather read the story of a passenger or crew member than most any fictional novel out now. Next to that I would be reading a good ghost book!
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Nov 9, 2002
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Hey All,
What can you say? The Titanic has something that pulls you in. Her grandeur, her people, her stories, all enjoyable to learn about. In same ways I believe I was one aboard the mighty ship. I feel like Titanic is my home. Its just one of those things, where everyone loves it. I love the Titanic!

Sahand
 
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Andrew Parodi

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Thanks for the support and encouragement, everyone. I feel like I have a split opinion on this, part of me is thinking, "Go for it! Just give in to your interest!" And another part is thinking, "Isn't there something a little odd about you caring so much about something that happened 63 years before you were born?"

The more I read what all of you have posted, and the more I think about it, I realize that my obsession with Titanic really has been waiting to happen for quite a while. And I now realize why. The story is that I was only 10 - or perhaps younger, I think I may've only been 8 - when they found the wreck, and it was later that same year that I saw a few scenes from a Titanic movie (which I believe may've been "A Night to Remember"). Okay, I think this is the main reason for the fascination I have with Titanic: I think Titanic had a huge impact on my ideas of what it means to be a man, and it gave me a lot of questions to ask about what it means to be a man. Because what struck me the most was seeing scenes where only men and women were let on board, and then there is a scene of a man in a tux saying, "We will go down as gentlemen."

I don't want to go into a full analysis here (yet), but I think Titanic has such a huge importance for me because it had such a huge impression on me and how I view men's roles in this world. And I was very young when it gave me that impression. You know, as a little boy younger than 10, I didn't take into account that it happened in 1912 and that the world has changed quite a bit since then. I think I remember seeing the ship wreckage and then seeing the movie and thinking that it had only happened a few decades previous.
 

Matthew Lips

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Mar 8, 2001
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Andrew, what does it matter if it happened 63 years before you were born? Paleantologists spend their lives tracking down events that happened two hundred million years before they were born!

The Titanic is part of history. Perhaps part of the fascination is that her story, when you think about it, is so bizarre that were it fiction it would be laughed off as nonsense.

It has been said (although I won't vouch for the accuracy of this) that the Titanic story is the third most written about single event in history after the life of Jesus Christ and the death of JFK. So clearly she has had the same effect on many others that she has on you and the rest of this board.

All I can say is - welcome to the club!
 
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Andrew Parodi

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Thanks Matthew.

I heard somewhere that worldwide, the three most known words are: God, Coke, and Titanic.

I think that Paul Rogers had it right when he said that, for one, it is just a great name: "Titanic." That is probably the best name that has ever been given to a ship. Or, maybe it's just that it is the best name for that ship. You know? No other ship could have pulled off that name but this ship, and the presumptuousness that gave it the right to have that name is the same presumptuousness that caused its demise.

I sincerely hope know one will think this is in bad taste (I apologize if it is, and I will remove it if some think that it is), but I am a fan of the newspaper called "The Onion." They have a book that is a compilation of headlines from the 20th Century (which, in itself, is a joke since The Onion wasn't established until some time in the '90s), and they really sum up the impact of Titanic in this headline:

(Edited to remove a copyright image. Please do not post a copyright image to this board again. Thank you.)
 
Oct 17, 2002
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The Onion is a great parody of history (and current events). They summed up the September 11 mess the best way imagineable. However, decency prohibits me from posting it here. I agree with the notion that no other ship could have pulled off that name. I also think the story of Titanic will forever live on. IN fact when I was in seventh grade I had to take a class in decision making. The premise of the entire class was based on Titanic. Basically, it was a true event where every aspect of society and culture came together. It was also a story where people could see themselves and often wonder what they would have done in that situation.
 
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Andrew Parodi

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You know, that's a good point: Titanic embodied and represented all aspects of an era . . . only to see those aspects sink to the bottom of the sea (there we go with the metaphors again).

One thing I love about The Onion is the way it lampoons political paranoia of the day. Example, a subheading of the Titanic headline above reads: Spaniards Ruled Out As Suspects in Ice-Berg Placement.

The description under the picture of Titanic reads: "The Royal Mail Steamer Titanic, the ill-fated emblem of man's pride, took 1,800 to a watery grave. It is photographed here leaving the port of Queenstown, Ireland, on her doomed, allegorical maiden voyage."

Perhaps the most sardonic subheading - however, tragically accurate - reads: Stewards Kindly Ask Third-Class Passengers to Drown.

That's the odd thing about satire, it is completely rude and tasteless, but it is that way to make a point.
 
Oct 17, 2002
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The Onion does a tremendous job because it takes the truth, however absurd, and slightly twists it. There is in an intelligence behind it all that makes it some of the best satire I have read. I only wish they'd update their site a little more often.
 
Jun 4, 2000
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Hrm, one of my favourite headlines:
quote:

The Onion, April 16, 1912

World's Largest Metaphor Hits Ice-berg

Titanic, Representation of Man's Hubris, Sinks in North Atlantic
1,500 Dead in Symbolic Tragedy
Colleen's post pretty much sums up my interest in Titanic: her people. There are other ships I'm interested in for the ship itself (herself?): SS Winifredian, most of the Red Star Line, the ill-fated Waratah, polar ship Fram, etc. But Titanic remains my real interest, just not, perhaps, the ship as a physical entity but all she embodies.​
 
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Andrew Parodi

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I love "allegorical mayden voyage" and "symbolic tragedy." The way the Onion represents it, it is almost as if they are suggesting that Titanic didn't really happen, but was some sort of literally symbolic ceremony.
 
Feb 18, 2006
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Well, I've described myself as "in love" with Titanic for 34 years now. Granted she can't reply, but what's wrong with musing on her, her proportions, her history, her status, and yes, even her name? The Japanese have a name for this kind of futile love: HO_GEN_BI_KI, or "sympathy for the loser".
As for Andrew's musing, that Titanic was some sort of ceremony, I remember that the Norse god Odin sacrificed himself to himself...seems Our Lady Titanic is being transformed into something similar. The only icon even close to this is Elvis Presley; it's anyone's guess who will define the 20th century, the Queen of the Sea or the King of Rock & Roll.
 
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