Raising the New Titanic

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryWell, it is becoming more than obvious that the rich are definitely different from the rest of us in more ways than one. One very rich person, the Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer, wants to build a whole new Titanic. Christened the Titanic II, this luxury ship will look like the original and have all of the amenities of the original, plus TV, computer and WiFi access. It will also have the latest safety features, and will have the latest in GPS ship navigating technology. Palmer certainly has the money for such a project, and his whole purpose in trying to recreate such a luxury liner is to “recreate the genteel times of the early 20th Century.” I am sure Palmer will have many people, including some of the descendants from the original Titanic, want to sail this new version of the former luxury liner.

It never ceases to amaze me the folly that rich people commit. I have a whole list of problems with this new luxury liner. First, it is being built by a Chinese government state ship building company known as CSC Jinling Shipyard. Couldn’t Palmer have this new Titanic be built in Europe or maybe North America? Second, building a new luxury liner from the original blueprints of the former one that sank under very tragic circumstances is in my view an act of arrogance. Maybe the time the original Titanic sailed was a more “genteel” age. It was also a time when our belief in technology blinded us to reality of how one mistake could sink us (excuse the pun). The original Titanic sinking was if anything a prelude to the more terrible event that would happen two years later—World War I. The blindness we had for the age of progress also made us blind to the terrifying destructive capacity of the weaponry that had been developed. Many of the generals from both sides of that war had tens of thousands of men charging into machine-gun nests that slaughtered them en mass.

If anything, we should have learned from that era that there is a high price to pay for what mishaps we commit in the belief that we and our technology makes us invincible. Finally, I have to wonder why anyone would resurrect the memory of a doomed ship at a time when cruise line ships have had a terrible year. We need only see what happened to the Carnival Triumph and the Costa Concordia within a year’s time to realize that ship voyages really had a bad year. Again it goes back to my point that even with all of the safety features added to cruise sailing these days, there are serious risks still posed while at sea. To believe that technology will “solve” these problems is again a form of arrogance no different than what happened in the case of the original Titanic. Well, when the ship is built, I hope that the future crew and passengers on the Titanic II will have a fun, wonderful adventure. You can be sure I will not be joining them.

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