As you may know, Titanic is a movie about a grand ocean liner that goes down, dumping its passengers and crew in the water, 1,550 of whom freeze to death or drown. The mind-bending success of Titanic has brought with it an unforeseen side effect: The fictional romance between the characters, played by young beauties Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, has sunk the actual tragedy in a sea of cross-promotion.
Take the top-40 radio station WHTZ-FM, or Z-100, which sends its signal from the top of the Empire State Building. It sponsored a contest from Feb. 9 through Feb. 20 in which the winners got copies of the station’s special remix of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” the 1998 theme song for the 1912 event. But that wasn’t all. The grand-prize winner, one “Denise from Long Island,” got a free cruise .
A cruise. On a passenger ship. One that’s loaded with drownable people. Like you.
“Traditionally, the grand prize ties back to either the theme of the contest or the programming element we’re promoting,” said Z-100 promotions director Rob Accatino.
But isn’t it running against the grain of the whole gruesome tragedy to offer a place on a cruise ship that is as susceptible to the whims of nature and human caprice as the R.M.S. Titanic itself? Won’t people be afraid?
“I don’t think so,” said Mr. Accatino. “I mean, uh, no. I can’t imagine that would be the case. Well, let’s put it this way: Do I think it’s à la Jaws in the 70’s? No.”
Jaws was about a few fictional people getting gobbled up in the waters of Martha’s Vineyard by what proved to be a very fake-looking shark. Titanic , on the other hand, concerns itself with a historical instance of human arrogance and bad luck that led to the deaths of 1,500 people, right?
“Yeah, I know,” said the Z-100 man. “But the film itself, I think, is really a love story more than an actual sinking of the ship. It was more the relationship angle.”
I was trying to think of another putatively serious fact-based movie that might have had a similar tie-in. A ride on the Goodyear blimp for The Hindenberg ? A jaunt to Iran for Not Without My Daughter ? A Eurail pass for Schindler’s List ? Maybe the Z-100 contest actually undermines the hype and accolades-the best-movie-of-1997 nod from The New York Times , the 14 Academy Award nominations-and shows just how sweet and fluffy James Cameron’s tragic movie really is.
“In the 70’s, we could have done one with Earthquake and sent someone to Los Angeles,” offered Mr. Accatino.
The Monica Diaries
Continued excerpts from several hundred loose pages, wrapped in brown paper and tied with string, which were dumped on The Observer ‘s front stoop and labeled, “The atached (sic) is my story, the story of white house intirn (sic), in my own words, not that bitch Linda. ML.”
June 23, 1997, 11:26 P.M.
tonight i am thinking of that song i forget the group but there’s a part in it that goes with every sun a little rain must fall and here i am in the rain because on TV tonight i’m clicking around cause i’m home with this stupid cold which means i’m basically a slug and on the news of course Fuckface and Babba at the state dinner and she’s wearing this shimmery gold thing that let us be frank does not hide her huge ass and i can see him in his tux smiling and there are hundreds of people dressed up and Creep bends to kiss this arabian lady and it makes me want to puke because after all i have been thru for his sake he doesn’t let me come to dinners because he says it would arouse peoples minds to see an intirn at a state dinner and i’m like well i could sit quietly and he does that laugh but on the news all i do is watch Babba and do i believe him that when he’s not the president he will dump her or do i listen to L. and realize my potenshul without a man and now all i can think of is whether Creep is fucking the arabian lady who’s dress is simply heinus and is this not too droll that just yesterday i was with him and does he call me to see how is my cold no of course not why should he though i’ve heard him call chelsea when she even has just the sniffles and here i am a snotbag and fever and miserable and he’s like mr. stupendous Fuckface and he should not play with these emotions…
July 6, 1997, midnite
almost fell asleep in O.O. tonite which would have been a disaster cause Creep left to do affairs of state and told me to get betty to call me the cab but i was sooooo tired so i just lay down for a minute but my top and bra are off and what happens next is i wake up and its like 11 and i’m like whoa because Babba is coming back soon and i’m not relished of being found half naked by Her but i got out Ok…. the main thing is that before i fell asleep we had a fight, what happened was i got to O.O. and say hi to betty and he waves me in he’s like on the phone like laughing? and i can see he’s in this great mood and i’m not because its been like five days since he called so when he hangs up and swivels his chair like he is ready for me to start i just stand there and he’s like Mon, is everything Ok? and i say You know i can’t put my life on hold for you mister and he starts to say something but i get on the roll and i say my job is not easy i work hard at the pentogon and just because the american people elected you does not mean my job is not just as hard and he says Mon i’m the first one to agree with you the country depends on everyone working together and each link in a chain is the strong one and i’m like i’m not a link buddy i work late a lot and you just sit up here in your fancy desk and give orders but you don’t really do anything and he smiles and says isnt that the irony of life its always the invisable ones who do most of the work and look, Mon, i could not run the country without you and he’s unbuckling his pants and the leather creaks in his chair and he says the white house is filled with men and women with fancy titles but i need a person of total honesty which is you and he sees i’m still pissed and he says you’re like the glue in this place and you also have great taste in ties which Ok makes me crack up a little and so i forgive him and i’m down there and he does this thing recently which is he almost comes but stops and pushes me off and zips up just like that and when i say why he says he wants to prolong the pleasure with me but i worry that maybe it doesnt feel good but he says it does it feels fantastic its just that he needs to save energy for the country and also there’s part of the bible about not spilling seed and i’m like gross which is when he leaves and i fall asleep like i said before…