Titanic Inflatable Slide -- Cool or Cruel?

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COMMENTARY | On April 15, 1912, the Titanic, an ocean liner heading to New York City from Southampton, England, hit an iceberg and sank. Today, the tragedy is still among the deadliest disasters in history.

How do you mark a catastrophe that took the lives of 1,514 people? There are various ways to do it. The Week reports the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking is being remembered with restaurants offering pricey multicourse dinners resembling what the rich and famous were eating on the doomed ship. The blockbuster 1997 award-winning movie, "Titanic," written, produced and directed by James Cameron, was re-released in 3D. Titanic memorial cruises were booked, and Titanic memorabilia was auctioned.

But there is one other way to honor the sinking of the Titanic, and that's moving your bum down a Titanic inflatable slide: See it here.

These slides are a vinyl recreation of the Titanic hitting a vinyl iceberg and sinking into a vinyl sea. You can spend hundreds of dollars to rent one, or you can spend thousands of dollars to buy one.

Two years after the slide cause some controversy (see below), Fun-makers.com still advertises its 25-foot version as "perfect for school and church carnivals, company picnics, festivals and college events." (One wonders how well an inflatable Titanic slide would go over at a Church carnival.)

Is a Titanic inflatable slide acceptable? Or do we need to remind ourselves that more than a thousand people died on the ruined ship? Most of us were born long after 1912 came and went. As a result, all we know about the Titanic is what we read in history books. Given that, is the vinyl slide a cool game or just a cruel money maker?

Well, in at least one incident, the answer has to do with cruel and money. In summer 2010, in Ibach, a Swiss town, a Titanic inflatable slide was a popular attraction at the local fair. However, Switzerland's Titanic Club wasn't too happy about it. Said Spokesman Gunter Babler, "Is it ethical to let kids slide down the decks of a blow-up Titanic? Hundreds of people died sliding down those decks."

"The tragic Titanic accident happened years ago and those emotions have been dealt with long ago," said the fair's organizer Franziska Bhend in a counter argument. "Now people are having fun on the slide and enjoying themselves."

On the 100th anniversary of 9/11, will the world see the same level of sentiment? Will there be inflatable Twin Towers for people to jump off?

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