I wonder if you saw the Ken Burns two hour plus documentary on "the rise and fall of the World Trade Center." It was shown here (east coast USA) last night. It seemed to me there was a lot in the program to reinforce your points made above.
"Give me back the Berlin Wall,
give me Stalin and St. Paul,
I've seen the future,
brother -- it is murder."
>I wonder if you saw the Ken Burns two hour plus documentary<
I did not. My schedule was already booked, so I couldn't. However, my father taped it for me - and his comment was "It's the best thing I've seen regarding WTC".
Then again, were we expecting anything less from Ken Burns?
However, in keeping with the original thread:
>Plus, who knows, maybe there will be another disaster/tragedy of even greater proportions than the loss of the Titanic, that will be studied in the future. And, some of us here tonight might just be a part of it. I get a chill when I think of my name, biography, and photographs being on a futuristic website for a tragedy, on whatever, if any, machine replaces a computer. It can get you thinking.<
As I sit here at my computer on the eve of 9/11, I can't help but wonder (like Beesley) where all this technology is taking us - not just when it comes to disasters themselves, but also with regard to the commemoration of them.
Dare I say it?
"Will Titanic lose its mystique as the years go by?"
After all, we must remember that, for the greater part of the past 91 and a half years, a good deal of the fascination with TITANIC resided in the fact that the wrecked ship lay somewhere in the mysterious deep, with only verbal accounts and old B&W photos to attest to the size and scope of the tragedy.
That has all changed in the 18 or so years since the wreck has been discovered.
For one thing, courtesy of technology, we now have "de-mystified" many of the mysteries surrounding the sinking of the ship. Everything from the verification of the breaking up of the ship as it sank to the latest entry in the documentation catalogue - "Ghosts of the Abyss" - which allows us all up-close-and-personal contemporary views of dining rooms and berths (and compares them to the B&W photographic record).
And let's not forget that, courtesy of technology, we also have a computer simulated, dramatically-scored version of the actual sinking.
More to the point, however, is that (for me, at least, and several other Titanophiles that I know) another point of fascination with the ship lay in the fact that so big a man-made object failed after reassurances that it wouldn't.
Yet on 9/11, the world witnessed (once again, courtesy of jet-age technology) a failure of technology which was on a scale even greater than TITANIC: the collapse of not just one but two of the biggest man-made structures in the world.
So - three things:
1) With TITANIC essentially having saturated the "pop" culture post-1997, will future generations find it as intriguing as those of us who were first introduced to the disaster via Walter Lord's tome "A Night To Remember" or any one of the 1950s depictions? (My nephew was 11 when the Cameron version came out - he was completely overwhelmed by the film - and then just as easily taken with the next big Jim Carrey film!)
2) With 9/11, the idea of a disaster beyond anyone's imagination once again became reality. Incredibly, the event even intruded on events surrounding the exploration of the wreck of TITANIC. As stated by Ken Marschall and Don Lynch in "Ghosts of the Abyss": "All of sudden, what we were doing all seemed so trivial". So - does this mean that future generations will be more taken with 9/11 because it's both "grander" and more immediate?
3) Will the fact that disasters can now either be stunningly re-enacted via elaborate computer special effects or telecast live via space-age real-time media result in a "de-sensitizing" of tragedy? The most peculiar yet common description of the events of 9/11 which I encoutered was "it seemed like a movie". It begs the question: for those growing up in this new age of media (yet another form of technology - in which the current vogue is broadcasting everyday life as entertainment), will live disasters be indistinguishable from directors' visions?
Just a short comment here on the technology of all this - humans do not see what CAN be made out of the newest inventions because we look only in one direction when inventing things - "How can I solve this particular problem/make it faster/make it more efficient/make it more convenient to use?" An unfortunate side effect of this is that others take the invention and use it to their own ends in ways that never occurred to the inventor.
It's funny to read this after 10 years,your post is from April 9,2001.So much was change after 10 "The World Trade Center towers, in the wake of the September 11 attacks; the Euro enters into European currency in 2002; a statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled during the Iraq War; U.S. troops heading toward an army helicopter during the War in Afghanistan, part of the U.S. government's War on Terror campaign; social media through the Internet spreads across the world; a Chinese soldier gazes at the 2008 Summer Olympics commencing; an economic crisis, the largest since the Great Depression, hits the world in 2008; a tsunami from the Indian Ocean following an earthquake kills over 250,000 on Boxing Day, 2004."