||[Apr. 14th, 2012|11:38 pm]
|||||Melissa Dunphy playing Beat It on a mandolin||]|
trillian_stars has spent a lot of time thinking about the Titanic over the years. As a child her brother corresponded with one of the survivors and I must admit that since I read Raise the Titanic in high school I've thought about it a lot too. So ... we wanted to do something to commemoriate the 100th anniversary of the sinking. It seems like a number that should be noticed. We'd thought of going to Laurel Hill cemetery where at least one of the survivors is buried and having a picnic but it's kind of hard to get to and eventually we decided to have some friends over and listen to music from the White Star Songbook (there are 315 songs on it that all the musicians who played for the White Star Line had to know). So we had a somber fancy-dress party, imagined that we were on the ship and followed the grim proceedings on the History Press' real-time Titanic Twitter feed.
I'm often of the "build it and they will come" sort and I wonder if the people who invented Twitter had ever thought that historical events would be relived in parlors around the world ... we listened to music and yagathai would update us
#officer We are going down fast at the head, the captain's
predictions may not turn out to be accurate. God help us all.
It was a sobering experience when Yags announced that the ship was lost beneath the waves. At some point in time we all experience tragedy and I don't know if it does us any good trying to understand other people's but I think it does. It makes us, I suspect, more compassionate and I think that we find solace in talking about things with our peers and it's always good, I think, to stretch back and learn about something from the past.
Anyway, it was a nice party filled with interesting people. I took photos of some of the guests; here are two.
Clickenzee to Embiggen
Clickenzee to Embiggen
Another of our guests was the miraculously talented composer Melissa Dunphy, although we'd certainly heard her Gonzales Cantata, it was the first time we'd met. She and her husband Matt were charming and somehow during the course of the evening I mentioned that though I had a ukulele, I never played it because I thought the sound was atrocious and I'd probably prefer a mandolin. At this point she mentioned that she and Matt did a whole series called "The mandolin request time" on youtube because she'd gotten a mandolin and figured she'd teach herself to play.
I'm not sure which my favorite is, so I'll link to Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" and Michael Jackson's "Beat It".
Ace of Spades
and Beat It by Michael Jackson:
So went our lives. Tomorrow Colonel & Dr. Stars are coming over to help paint the porch, I shall finish our taxes and we shall beat on, boats agains the night. I hope your week was swell.
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Way back when I was in college, my history teacher spoke of the sinking of the Titanic. It sounds so simple.
He started out by speaking of what the ship looked like and described what it would have been like to be on that ship. Then he told us (our ages ranged from 18 to 70s) what happened. He was such a fantastic storyteller that when he gave her time of death (and that's what it was, even though he said "And she was no more") there was not a dry eye in that classroom. More than 100 students sat and listened as if we were hearing the story for the first time and to this day, so many many years later, I can still recall the utter grief I felt that night about an event that had occured 84 years before.