Ali Neff gave an entertaining talk on the continuation of the trickster image from the days of salvery and minstrelsy to her contemporary folklore work in the South. Of course the thing that I latched onto was a little tidbit about the Titanic, since my songwriting has become increasingly colored with Titanic allusions over the last 6-12 months. (I find the deterioration of American politics/policy is well expressed through the Titanic metaphor, and poignantly illustrates the kind of self-destruction and greed that dominates personal as well as political issues…but anyways…)
The story of Shine and the Titanic is a well-known toast down in the southern parts, something I did not previously know anything about. See example here. Neff sort of glossed over this, making a larger point that was relevant to her presentation, but I just wanted to stop for a minute to bring to light yet another way in which the image of the Titanic has leapt into popular imagination as a signifier for something distinctly American and foreboding.