Queue Adieu: Titanic

I always stock my Netflix queue with the best of intentions, but in real life 90% of my Netflix viewing consists of rewatching shows like Parks and Rec or Friday Night Lights. Another 5% is documentaries that help me fall asleep, like a child’s favorite lullaby if lullabies were about unsolved murders and obesity. I have weird dreams. Then the final 5% is the movies that have sat on my queue for months, only for me to forget about until after they’ve left the site. Well, no more. Every month …. if I remember … I’m going to watch one of the movies that Neflix is about to bump and blog about it. First up: Titanic.

The Movie: Titanic (1997)

Expires On: August 1.

Watch or Rewatch: Rewatch, I have been a human living on earth for the 18 years since Titanic came out. 18? That can’t be right.

Should You Watch It? If you’ve never seen Titanic … YES. I assume even most teenagers who weren’t alive/ were babies then have seen it on TV by now, but maybe not. Also, if you haven’t watched it for years, it’s worth a rewatch to see if you still remember all of the dialog (I do, apparently).

Thoughts During The Movie:

  • In my childhood I thought the Keldysh scenes were great, but now that I can get my fix of Titanic wreckage footage elsewhere it’s super boring.

    Fun fact: I’m fascinated by ship wrecks.

  • Also everything the Keldysh guys say is so cheesy. I can’t even pick one thing. Every line, and every delivery, is just dripping with schmooze and …. wine coolers? They all seem like guys who would drink wine coolers.

    Your face is stupid and you’re stupid.

  • When Titanic mania was in high gear I thought Kate Winslet was the prettiest person ever. Fine, normal. But not normal is praying – literally praying – that I could have Rose’s hair. Still sounds almost normal? Wrong. Because I have curly red hair. What was I even after? Just leave out more tendrils and get on with your life.
  • Plus we live in the future and there are tutorials now:

  • Now that I’m a decade older than Young Rose, it’s actually Old Rose I want to emulate. Not now, but eventually, it would be great to be super old with tunics and beaded earrings and sweet extra-long gray hair. Not sure at what age you’re supposed to get into pottery.
  • Did anyone ever make up lyrics to the Titanic theme music that plays throughout? You know, the one that’s like ba da BAAAA doddle-oddle-daa-AAA, daa da daaa dum dummm. Like “on this booooat, that you call unsinkable, you’re all gonnnn-a die” or “she’s so riiiich, but he is a poor boy, how will happppp-en next?”
  • Thing I Never Noticed Before #1: You see them lift Rose and Jack’s sex car onto the ship.
  • Thing I Never Noticed Before #2: FABRIZIO. I was all about the J.D. before but it’s actually all about Fabrizio. RIP (spoiler?), I’m gonna never forget you.
  • Third class is more multicultural than an elementary school math textbook word problem.
  • Thing I Never Noticed Before #3: Actually, also Cal. He’s sort of hot and smarmy and personality-wise, maybe a better match for Rose than Jack was, if he weren’t such a jerk.
  • During Titanic mania, did anyone else scour passenger lists to see if maybe just maybe you had an ancestor on board?
  • The GCI people you see on deck when they pan over the ship look like they’re from a CD-ROM game. #TECHNOLOGY
  • “You’re gonna cut her meat for her too there Cal?” Maybe this is what Molly Brown really sounded like – I assume so since Kathy Bates is a great actress- but I feel like a character from Oklahoma somehow ended up in Downton Abbey.
  • Thing I Never Noticed Before #4: Tommy Ryan. I had some serious Jack Dawson blinders.
  • Thing I Never Noticed Before #5: When Rose and Jack plan on going to the pier and riding horses…. ugh. Those couples who have been together less than a day and they’re already planning vacations together.
  • I cannot be the only one who uses “start from the outside and work your way in”  to deal with extensive place settings.
  • I recently saw a picture of c. 1998 Nick from the Backstreet Boys and thought it was Jack for a second. That hairdo made everyone look the same.

    Obviously no Jack Dawson.

  • You know how period dramas usually look influenced by the time they were made? For instance, all these 2010s movies set in the 1800s, where the women have long, loose curls with layers when their hair definitely would have been worn up if they weren’t hookers. Or the ’70s hair on all of the men in Little House On The Prairie. Well, Titanic did a great job of actually looking like 1912, but I have a sinking feeling that if it were made today, all of the women would have 50% more eyebrow action.

    Mary Pickford knew what was up.

  • Is Rose responsible for how half of all girls born after 1997 have the middle name Rose? Don’t worry, Abigail Rose or Hannah Rose or Madison Rose, it’s a very pretty name, I’m just curious.
  • And how a quarter of all boys born after 1997 are named Jack (my nephew is one, though he’s technically named after my grandpa instead of Jack Dawson).
  • If the Titanic sailed in 2015 the portrait scene would be 5 seconds long and consist of Rose taking a nude selfie, which would quickly circulate through the passengers before reaching Cal. #busted
  • The thing is, I feel like Rose and Jack must have had better options in the cargo hold than the backseat of a car, right? Jeepin’.
  • Victor Garber works a lot, so it’s super distracting that every time I see him, I think “Mr. Andrews, Mr. Andrews!” in that Dorothy Gale voice Rose uses.
  • Nobody ever says it, but the Heart Of The Ocean was one tacky-ass Claire’s Boutique-looking necklace.
  • Surely the Titanic had a more sophisticated security protocol than shackling thiefs to pipes?
  • Any lawyers here? Then maybe you better remember Lady Duff-Gordon from Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon. It’s a nice Cardozo opinion that has become sort of a standard in contracts texts. It’s also an early instance of celebrity clothing endorsements.

    $12, what a steal! Or actually I feel like that would have been fairly expensive.

  • New obsession I just discovered during this rewatch: behind the scenes set photos from Titanic. I mean:
  • I remember reading that they went back for the Titanic re-release and changed the stars to be more accurate. That’s hardcore, but also makes me wonder if it’s fair to do do-overs. And if so, why didn’t they also replace those 1997 technology people on the ship?
  • Why did they make Old Rose make that stupid noise when she threw the necklace in the water?
  • Jack died, and that’s sad, don’t get me wrong, but also would you toss away a multi-million dollar necklace because of some dude that you banged once and were into for three days when you were a teenager? I’m sure Lizzy had some car payments or whatever that that would have really helped with.
  • Okay, the Celine Dion song is sort of a jarring 90s slow pop jam after watching a movie set in 1912. Also, also. This isn’t related. But when I was walking at lunch last week a guy called to me “Celine Dion, come kiss me!” and usually I forget those kinds of comments as soon as they happen, but I am still puzzling over it. First of all, I don’t look like Celine Dion, but it made me wonder if people can tell that I’m part French Canadian. I always thought of them as a people who don’t look like anything in particular. Also, is Celine Dion even considered attractive? She looks normal, but I’ve never heard anyone be like “you know who I wish I looked more like? Celine Dion.” Eh, maybe it was because I was wearing a backwards tuxedo and the heart of the ocean. Coeur de la mer, I call it
    celine

    Wait… DO I look like Celine Dion?

     

  • She’s dead, right? Guys, she dies, yeah?

23 Skidoo! Downton-Era Slang For Every Vocabulary

Downton Abbey came back for its fourth season last night (for our more law-abiding North American readers anyway), and that talkie is the cat’s. I’m not just beating my gums here — the ’20s were the start of our modern pop-culture age, and the slang was the bee’s knees.

Incorporate some of these phrases and you’ll sound like your favorite sheik or sheba in no time!

23 skidoo! – leave quickly

  • Example: The coppers are busting the gin mill. 23 skidoo!

And how! – I agree with you SO HARD.

  • Example:

Herman: Those flappers sure are showing a lot of ankle!

Hattie (showing a lot of ankle): And how!

Bank’s Closed: stop making out

  • Example: It’s a speakeasy, not a hootenanny. Bank’s closed, Sam and Ida!

Beat one’s gums – to talk a lot of nonsense

  • Example: Lula says the stock market’s going to tank, but I think she’s just beating her gums.

Beef – a complaint. Actually, just like how we use it now. Thanks, ’20s!

  • Example:

Myrtle: What’s your beef?

Maude: You borrowed my stockings and got rouge all over the knees!

bee’s knees – really, really awesome

  • Example: Boy, Josephine, these movies that you have to read sure are the bee’s knees!

bimbo – a macho, overly manly man

  • Example: Reginald’s always lifting barbells on the boardwalk. What a bimbo!

blind date – a date with a stranger. Actually, just like how we use it now. No thanks, ’20s!

  • Example: George missed his blind date with Thelma because he was stuck on top of a flagpole.

blotto – drunk

  • Example: Mabel is completely blotto off that moonshine!

bubs – boobs, but way more fun to say

  • Example: Now Mabel’s showing her bubs! Geraldine, get her home!

cancelled stamp – a shy, wallflower-y girl who’s not very fun.

  • Example: Say what you will about Mabel, at least she’s not a cancelled stamp like old Gertie!

cat’s pajamas – particularly great. Often abbreviated to just “the cat’s.”

  • Example: Ida and Roger think dance marathons are the cat’s pajamas!

dead soldier – empty beer bottle

  • Example: Clean the dead soldiers off the field, boys! A football game’s starting and they could scratch our leather helmets!

drugstore cowboy – a guy who hangs out in public trying to look good and pick up ladies. See: the text of No Scrubs.

  • Example: Bernice bobs her hair, and next thing you know she’s taken off with some drugstore cowboy!

Dumb Dora – an unintelligent lady

  • Example: Maxine’s such a Dumb Dora – you can get better conversation out of a silent film!

gasper – cigarette

  • Example: Harold says that gaspers can make you sick, but I think he’s just beating his gums.

giggle water – booze

  • Example: Slow your roll, Mabel. Enough of that giggle water.

half-seas over – drunk

  • Example: Mabel is completely half-seas over off that moonshine!

handcuff – engagement ring

  • Example: George has the handcuff on ol’ Thelma and he’s never at the speakeasy anymore.

icy mitt – to coldly blow off a person who’s trying to get with you

  • Example: Now that Ruth’s a coed, she’s giving all of the townies the icy mitt.

Let George do it – something that you’d say to get out of work.

  • Example: I don’t want to work on my financial planning for 1929. Ah, let George do it!

Moll – a gangster’s lady-friend

  • Example:

Moll: No, Irene, this is just the name my parents gave me. I’m not affiliated with the mafia. But I hope my great-granddaughter will be named after me, because what are the chances that the name Molly would be associated with a seedy subculture again in 100 years?

ossified – drunk.

  • Example: Mabel is completely ossified off that moonshine!

quilt – an alcoholic beverage that keeps you warm

  • Example:

Mabel: I sure am cold after that sledding party! Somebody get me a quilt.

Ethel: Oh, you’ve had quite enough, Mabel.

Mabel: I meant a literal quilt, though.

petting pantry – a movie theater. Still relevant for anyone who’s gone to the movies only to realize that it was apparently the couple’s show.

  • Example: Let’s go to the petting pantry! There’s a new Louise Brooks flick. And I want to make out.

So’s your old man – a response to somebody who said something that irritated you. Sort of a “your mama” for the 1920s crowd.

  • Example:

Phyllis: I saw your beau Jimbo at the petting party with Olive. He’s courting a hussy!

Gladys: So’s your old man!

sheba – girlfriend (or a good-looking lady). For millenials, that usually translates to “this girl I’m kind of hanging out with, I don’t know.”

  • Example: Arthur’s sheba is Lucille.

sheik – boyfriend (or a good-looking man). Millenials: “that guy I’ve been seeing or whatever, not really sure what we are.”

  • Example: Lucille’s sheik is Roy. Don’t tell Arthur.

spifflicated –  drunk

  • Example: Mabel is completely splifficated off that moonshine!

struggle buggy – a car’s backseat

  • Example: Wow, it sure is easier to neck in a struggle buggy than it was in a regular buggy! I always felt like the horses were watching.

Tell it to Sweeney! – I don’t believe you. Tell it to someone who does.

  • Example: Sick from gaspers, Harold?! Tell it to Sweeney!

zozzled –  drunk

  • Example: Mabel is completely zozzled off that moonshine! I think she might have a problem.

Old trends don’t die as soon as a new one starts. Case in point: 40-something women who still dress like they did in the class of ’87. So, some of the early ’20s Downtoners were still using their World War I and Edwardian-era slang. It’s not too late to start using these words, too:

balmy on the crumpet –  crazy

  • Example: Henrietta is wearing bloomers! She’s gone balmy on the crumpet.sybil

blue devils – feeling down in the dumps

  • Example: Aminta has the blue devils because her best corset just broke.

beaver – a man’s beard

  • Example:

Jonesy: Why the long face, Jamesy?

Jamesy (whose face is hairless):  I can’t give Clorinda what she wants. I’m a baby-faced boy, but she likes the beaver.

Jonesy: Perhaps she can find a beard elsewhere.

boner – a mistake

  • Example:

Ronald: I made a real boner while I was courting Flossie in her parents’ parlor. I think I really ruined my chances.

Donald: A boner while courting in her parents’ parlor? What was it?

Ronald: A boner while courting in her parents’ parlor.

cheese it! – stop it!

  • Example: Cheese it, Edmund! You have to take your cod-liver oil!

clergyman’s daughter – a whore

  • Example: Bridget’s a clergyman’s daughter, and mark my words, in ten years her little Mabel will be just as bad.

cootie – crabs

  • Example: Bridget has cooties.

curtains – the end

  • Example: So… I guess that means it’s curtains for you and Bridget, then?

fittums – a great fit

  • Example: Constance, your new hobble skirt is just fittums!

jumping jesus – a fanatic

  • Example: I mean, I’m as excited about the coronation as anyone, but Nigel is a bit of a jumping jesus about the whole thing.

off his chump – crazy

  • Example: Now Henrietta wants to vote, as well? She’s off her chump.

pad the hoof – walking

  • Example: Ready to pad the hoof to the magic lantern show? It’s really the best entertainment option at this point in history.

pipe off – lose interest (in a romantic relationship)

  • Example:

Edwardine: Why did you pipe off Simon?

Thomasine: He spent more time with his hair tonic than I did on my pompadour!

Razzle-dazzle – to go out there, stir up some trouble, and get some ladies!

  • Example:

Bert: Shall we go razzle-dazzle, Simon?

Simon: I’m actually less interested in razzle-dazzling than you might think.

Teagie – tea gown

  • Example: You know, calling it a teagie makes it seem like it would be pretty casual, but it takes like three handmaids to change into this thing.

What priced head have you? – How bad’s the hangover?

  • Example: You really hit the music-hall hard, Basil. What priced head have you?

yeah – yes

  • Example

Charles: In 100 years’ time, will old people still get mad when you say “yeah” instead of “yes?”

Charlotte: Yeah.