Sunday, April 15, 2012

100 years ago today - a disaster in the making

Today millions of people will be commemorating an event that happened on 15 April 1912.  It wasn't uncommon in itself, having similarities to occasions that happened before and since, but over many decades it passed into legend.  Movies, books and songs have been written about it, and more than a few people have made it an obsession and a fascination.

The people who were injured and killed as a result of the chain of catastrophic errors that followed are themselves largely forgotten, except by the remaining relatives and friends of those who were lost. 

However, the hype that surrounds the event today is ridiculous.  It isn't something to be commemorated, for it has caused millions to be wrapped up in a romanticised version of events, that underplays (and even glorifies) the horrors that can't be denied.  Although it has sustained the careers of thousands feeding the industries surrounding it all, is it right that this be such a focus for so many?  

I was tempted to go to the place which is the epicentre of the commemoration of the event this year, because I know it would not be repeated on the same scale given it was a centenary, but decided not to feed this monstrous caricature of reality.

No it's not the 5th largest peacetime shipping disaster, more an event that spawned a man whose decisions killed millions and enslave millions today.  

A dictator was born.

The star in the sky commemorates the event for these folk

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