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sharon rutman

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Anyone read Down With The Old Canoe by Steven Briel? I was less than thrilled with his chapter on Buffs--he was painting those of us with this rather unique interest in the Titanic as weirdos. He thinks we're trapped in some bizarre nostalgia kick and we want the clock to freeze in 1912 forever when life seemed so much simpler and everyone knew their place vis a vis the Edwardian class system where the genteel people in First Class didn't mix with the Rif-raff in Third Class. I wish there was a better word out there than 'buffs'--it sounds so stupid and superficial.

[Moderator's note: This post was in another thread, but has been moved here. JDT]
 
May 1, 2004
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>>>Posted by sharon rutman on Tuesday, 3 January, 2006 - 7:38 pm:

Anyone read Down With The Old Canoe by Steven Briel? I was less than thrilled with his chapter on Buffs--he was painting those of us with
this rather unique interest in the Titanic as weirdos. He thinks we're trapped in some bizarre nostalgia kick and we want the clock to freeze in 1912 forever when life seemed so much simpler and everyone knew their place vis a vis the Edwardian class system where the genteel people in First Class didn't mix with the Rif-raff in Third Class. I wish there was a better word out there than 'buffs'--it sounds so stupid and superficial<<<

I would not get too upset. IMHO many people who do not understand the fascination a group of people have with a topic, whether it is Titanic, the War of 1812 (I know some historical re-enactors, and you ought to hear them dissect each other's uniforms, tents, weapons, etc. as authentic reproductions or 'farb'), or the 'life' and times of Sherlock Holmes will label them as cranks or crazies. I don't think the critics have much whimsy in their makeups.

Now, interest in Mr. Holmes can border on the eccentric. After all, he is a fictional character, though in a real place and time. Re-enacting the Battle of York can't be done properly because 1)modern mindset and comforts (I like my own mattress bed, not three on a palliasse on a board bunk or the ground) 2)not enough re-enactors to properly recreate the battle (and those representing the American invaders lack tall ships), 3)no one is allowed to blow up the powder magazine (and General Pike) or ransack the town and 4) I think West Point still has our town's mace as a trophy of war (It would be nice to have it back.)
But it's pretty silly to assume that just because people dress in shakos or deerstalkers and discuss Holmes' methods or Napoleonic tactics that they long for 1895 or 1813. Still, I wouldn't mind a brief visit or two. Same with the Titanic : but I don't wanna feel no bayonets, lice, coal dust or freezing water please.

[Moderator's note: This post was in the same thread that the post above was in, but has been moved here. JDT]
 

Cam Houseman

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On May 12th 2000, Jan Neilsen aka Joe Shomi said; "In "Down With The Old Canoe," Steven Biel characterizes Titanic buffs as very ordinary people who try to become knowledgeable of facts about the Titanic so they can feel important (like they're experts) - - something they long for but otherwise can't achieve outside the buffdom of Titanica.

Well, Biel, you're wrong. This is one buff Biel can't bust with his simplistic perspective."

I couldn't agree more. I study the Titanic for the same reasons that I study ships, aircraft and all other history in general, and that reason being that I want to know what happened. If I wanted to be "important" or feel that way, I'd stand for public office or something along those lines.

If by chance, I make a good impression, or help somebody else better understand the events, fine and dandy, but that's gravy. I'm interested in the meat.

If Mr. Beil happens to pop in and read this, you'll find I'm a pretty ordinary chap and happy for it. I served 20 years in the Navy as an enlisted man and currently work at a Lowe's Home Improvement store as a reciever/stocker and also hold a certification in plumbing. Pretty mundane stuff and I have no regrets.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
is the book good?
 
Nov 14, 2005
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Interesting old thread. I know this is over 20 years old but I couldn't disagree more with the comment. Quite the opposite actually. I often find the subject of Titanic to be quite humbling rather than a boost to one's ego. To be honest I don't see how that would work anyway.
 
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Cam Houseman

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Interesting old thread. I know this is over 20 years old but I couldn't disagree more with the comment. Quite the opposite actually. I often find the subject of Titanic to be quite humbling rather than a boost to one's ego. To be honest I don't see how that would work anyway.
I think everyone interested in Titanic agrees with you!!
 
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I think everyone interested in Titanic agrees with you!!
Well probably best not to use the word "everyone". But I would guess that around 99% of Titanic enthusiasts..maybe a little less are just interested in the subject as an interest or hobby. I guess he must of had a reason for a statement like that but I wouldn't know what his motivation is. Could be just a dick...:p
 
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