Live Tweeting the apocalypse

I’m baffled. Lately my adopted city, Halifax, has taken to a bizarre habit of “live-tweeting” historical events. I participated in the first one – the live tweeting of the Halifax explosion.
It was strange. Every few moments around the anniversary of the event, there’d be a tweet purporting to be from people involved in the explosion. I half expected to see one tweet reading, “I hear something – aaaaaugh!”

Now they plan to “live” tweet the sinking of the Titanic.

I’ve had enough. Not only do I live in a town ringed by graves of Titanic dead, but apparently we are to spend the next year hearing nothing but tales of the Titanic and how it sank and how many people drowned and how the helper ships couldn’t make it there in time and such. They’ve come out with Titanic: the movie in 3-D, just so we can see the victims drown that much more realistically.

There’s even a huge exhibit about it all at the Maritime Museum, surely the most disheartening museum ever, filled as it is with souvenirs of death at sea. It includes a tiny shoe from the youngest child on the Titanic. Dead, of course. I hear it ‘s a chosen destination for the tourists on the huge cruise ships that come to town every year.

So what’s next? Displays of famous air crashes in airports? Maybe Halifax should move the site for remembering the Peggy’s Cove crash to the airport. It would be more… topical… there, somehow.

And what’s with this “live tweeting” disasters? Shall we, as my friend Tim suggested, “live” tweet the bomb at Nagasaki? Maybe the camps in WWII? “Arriving by train at camp. How nice to be offered a shower after our dusty travels…”

We could do Dieppe, Gallipoli, maybe Vimy. Or earthquakes. Of course, many of the tweets would be truncated in mid-post. With screaming. “Hear whistling…Smith hit.”

It’s not that I don’t find maritime and other disasters worth remembering. I do find blow by blow historical accounts needlessly heartless.

And the idea of using the deaths of thousands at sea to promote a seafaring community is truly gruesome. I dunno about you, but after viewing the display, I might think twice before re-boarding my ship. I might take the train, unless there was an exhibit of famous train crashes at the station. Followed by live tweeting of a spectacular derailment just to add verisimilitude.

Maybe I’ll just stay home.

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