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Monday, June 1, 2009

When They're Gone

Well, they're all dead now.

Millvina Dean is dead.

You might not know her name, and I didn't either until three minutes ago, but now, because you read this blog, you know it. And now you can mention it to coworkers and acquaintances, and they will think you are so worldly, and they will instantly want to sleep with you. Don't forget to thank me while you're sticking it in, cowboy.

Millvina Dean was the last survivor of the Titanic. She was 97, and she died the way most 97-year-olds die: in her sleep, in a nursing home-- which is sad, but probably more comfortable than drowning in the frigid Atlantic.

Dean was 2 months old when the great ship went down. Her father wrapped her in a sack to protect her from the chill of the Atlantic Ocean and rushed Dean, her brother, sister, and mother to a lifeboat, saying he would be along soon. He didn't make it, but his quick actions saved his family. Dean never had a family of her own, working as a secretary until 1972. Three years ago, like lots of 95-year-old women, she broke her hip and was forced to move into a nursing home. In order to pay the bills, she sold several Titanic mementoes, which sucks. Her friends set up a fund to help her pay her nursing home bills, and Kate Winslet and that gay blonde kid-- what's his name? Hanson? Well, they pledged their support last month. A little late there, guys.

Millvina Dean's passing got me thinking. It got me thinking about what happens when significant chapters in history come to an end. I wonder if her passing marks the end of the international obsession with the downing of the Titanic. I wonder about that. Will there ever be another Titanic movie or musical now that they've all gone? Or will the mythology only increase now that there are no actual survivors present to infuse retellings with stolid realism and, God forbid, accuracy?

Will people now start denying that the Titanic ever happend?

Don't laugh-- maybe there will be a new wave of Titanic Deniers. I realize that there is ample evidence that the Titanic existed-- I mean, there are actual ruins-- but, you know-- those could have been planted. By the government. It barely looks like a ship anymore anyway, you know. It could be anything. It could be an old CSX train with little circle windows cut out in the sides. Who knows, right?

I know there are lots of famous pictures and etchings and all of those survivor stories-- but those could easily be fabricated. I mean, I tell stories all the time. Don't you?

And I know lots of "newspapers" reported the sinking, but I mean-- how do we really KNOW that it happend? There's no YouTube videos of it. So, I mean, I'm skeptical.

And I also know that there's a huge wikipedia entry for the disaster, with lots of footnotes-- but, I mean, wikipedia is just user-generated content. So, you can't really trust that.

We have a right to be skeptical of such a fantastic event. I mean, we're the generation that has to see to believe. We're the wise-asses and the disbelievers and the evidence seekers. We need proof. We need streaming content on our iPhones to ameliorate our doubts.

I mean, you practically have to have a tattoo on your arm to get us to believe just about anything these days.

And, even then......


  1. you always have something interesting to say. i love coming to your blog! one of the best memoirs i've read was written by a titanic survivor named Violet Jessop. it's a pretty interesting read!! i can't remember the book title but i'm sure you can find it if you'd like. :P

  2. My cousin Paul still remembers hearing about it on the news, and he was born in 1903. So even though the survivors are gone, there are still those who remember.

    And those whose hearts will go on and on. ;-)

  3. Found your blog over the weekend through your wife's PJ pants posting on Crafster. :)

    Are you a Lost fan? Perhaps Charles Widmore planted the Titanic ruins?!

  4. You are so right. And I think the obvious question is, 50 years from now... how many people will believe in the Holocaust?

  5. and THAT is why mrs. apron is married to mr. apron. so jealous. where's my apron?


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