Pop Culture Titanica


Apr 11, 2001
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Before Cameron- even right after the disaster- there appeared in the mainstream daily media, political reference, cartoons, sheetmusic, postcards and all manner of popular cultural interpretations of the ship and the tragedy, It seems with the passage of time, the sensitivity to the subject has changed. Thought it might be interesting to post some of these offerings, although some are in questionable taste. This was a recent Father's Day card by Hallmark Shoebox line.
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Apr 23, 2002
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I always remember the card i got one birthday with Polar bears swimming in the sea, wit hthe Titanic in the background. The polar bear is saying ''Our first holiday in 3 years and our iceberg gets hit with a bloody boat''
 
Mar 15, 2001
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It seems that no matter what kind of tragedy that we can have, whether it be recent such as 9/11 or the Titanic disaster that was 90 years ago, there can be insensitive people out there that use these tragedies in some kind of humorous way. People forget that even after 90 years,there are still people greatly affected by the Titanic tragedy. The best example is Lillian Asplund. I think of her so many times and feel sorry for her because of how her family was torn apart. I imagine she has seen these cartoons like these over the years and she probably has wondered how people can be so mean.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
The humour is not entirely lost on me. As a sailor, I'm well aquainted with the virtues of duct tape. It wasn't the sort of thing you turned your back on in the shipyards as it wouldn't be there when you went back for it.

Doesn't mean I'll be rushing out to buy this little gem. 1500 deaths are not funny!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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I've seen one cartoonesque drawing of the Titanic (not sinking, but under steam) with a humourous caption...an illustration with at least one notable difference to the ones referred to above. It was drawn by a Titanic survivor, who was profoundly affected by the disaster for the remainder of his life.

Humour will always skirt the limits of good taste and insensitivity, and inevitably will cross over that line sometimes. I've seen live comedians push the limit that bit too far, and heard laughter turns to jeers when the audience decides that the jokes have gone beyond the pale. It's a hard call - laughing in the face of death is one means of coping with that particular inevitability. But when does it become merely entertainment at the expense of others' agony?
 
Jan 8, 2001
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Actually, I got this card for Father's day and thought it was cute =-) I don't think it's poking fun at the dead at all. It's merely poking fun at us guys that always think we can master our machinery, etc. They even did a show or two about it (Home Improvement comes to mind).

Michael Koch
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Had some reservations about opening up a thread like this- yes there is a thin line between comedy and tragedy to be sure. I would say that time alone can make such an event as Titanic more acceptable in the popular media arena, but as early as 1913 cartoons and semi-comic references were made to the tragedy. Looking though "dark humor" masters like Gorey and Addams- it takes a certain type to appreciate some of the humor. Have read some deep (too deep for me) psychological studies on WHY we must laugh, or use appalling tragedy as a launching point for humor. Some of these medical types say it alleviates our worst fears and phobias-reassures us that the world is not utterly grim and hopeless for those of us fortunate enough to be alive. I wonder when it will be acceptable to make comic reference to the NYC Trade Towers? Well, it is riveting stuff to ponder...don't know what it says about us as a species though. I have a few more items to post.
 

Beth Barber

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Jun 7, 2001
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Hi Shelley- I agree with you. I do think that it will be a good while before anyone can laugh about anyhing concerning 9/11 - it is still too fresh in the minds of most people. We are still too close too it. I still get a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

Hi Michael - I see the same thing you saw when getting that card. I don't think it was supposed to be poking fun at the loss of life (either) having to do with the Titanic. But if I were a family member who lost a parent, child or spouse - I would be sensitive to it myself.

- Beth
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Good points all. It's not for nothing that laughter is often called the best medicine. I can appriciate dark humour too and even use it quite a bit...as anyone who has already met me knows. (I liked the work of Charles Addams, which should surprise nobody.)

Beth, I can certainly see your point as well. The humour is definately lost when one has a personal stake in the event. If you had lost a child or a parent of yours in such an event, I doubt you'd be cheering the comedian on. (Although I suspect you might express your disdain with a baseball bat! Who would blame you?) Hopefully, you'll never have to face something like this.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Actually, I have already saw several Internet sites that poke fun at the events of September 11th. One that comes to mind showed a new design for the towers that included a large hole in the center for the planes to fly through. While I didn't care for that very much, I find the Internet jokes about bin Laden hilarious!


Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Who knew what could be done with a frying pan, two souffle dishes and 4 ice cream scoops? This ad won an award in Canada for the Clorox company which makes the blue SOS scouring pads for pot cleaning. Well maybe not the best of taste I suspect- but graphically and visually speaking- clever.
 

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