An Iceberg Wall Collapsing at the Titanic Museum Feels Like a Metaphor, But for What?

An Iceberg Wall Collapsing at the Titanic Museum Feels Like a Metaphor, But for What?
The Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where three people were injured on Monday due to a metaphor. (Screenshot: WVLT 8 via KKTV 11, Fair Use)

A large iceberg wall at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, collapsed on Monday, which sure seems it might be an allegory for current circumstances that happen to be eluding our minds at the moment.

The Guardian reported the ice wall, which was approximately 4.6 metres to 8.5 metres and made of real ice generated using a water filtration system, shattered on Monday, resulting in the injuries of three guests. All three were taken to the hospital. In a statement on social media, the owners of the exhibit, Mary Kellogg Joslyn and John Joslyn, wrote of the metaphor that’s on the tip of our tongue that “On the evening of Monday, Aug. 2, an accident occurred at Titanic Museum Attraction. Our iceberg wall collapsed and injured three guests, who were taken to the hospital.”

“At this time, we do not know the extent of their injuries, and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all who were affected, including the first-responders,” the owners added. While the museum reopened on Tuesday morning to ticketed guests, they wrote that the damaged ice wall won’t be returning on schedule: “The iceberg wall does not currently exist, and the affected area has been blocked off, for the time being. We anticipate it will take at least four weeks for the iceberg to rebuild.”

If this incident has driven up any subconscious concerns for you — maybe on the theme of humans accidentally artificially inducing an ice-related disaster of some kind, or air-conditioned consumer hubris leading to preventable calamity, or even just the folly of man in general — it’d be nice if you could let us know, because we’re sort of drawing a blank at the moment and can’t think of any specific parallels. After all, if the RMS Titanic travelled forward in time and sailed off on its original route in 2021, it’s not like it would be at even more elevated risk of slamming into a giant piece of ice that fell off an even more rapidly melting shelf of ice or something.

According to WATE, many guests quickly returned to the exhibit on Tuesday. Georgia resident Jon Nijem told the station, “You know, stuff happens, there’s a million little things that could have happened. It didn’t deter us from coming.”

“You can have a million rules of why not to go in water, river rafting, whatever, but sometimes stuff happens,” Nijem added.

Stuff happens. Indeed.

North Carolina resident Carrie Pittore told WATE she was concerned because her family had planned on attending Monday, suggesting that “If they do rebuild it would be nice to maybe have a smaller piece of the ice. Just maybe something smaller that everyone can touch without having to worry about it falling or hurting somebody.”

As of press time, it wasn’t clear what exactly the sudden, inauspicious collapse of the big piece of ice, or the fact that no one seems quite clear on how much ice there will be in the future, reminded us of. But hey, here’s an idea. Maybe if we ignore it, that tiny pit of dread will just fade away without us having to do anything at all.