Mathew Mackie

It’s been 106 years, but Clive’s Titanic sequel makes sense

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We might roll our eyes at Clive’s Titanic, but it’s actually a home run for my generation. We love nothing more than death, nostalgia and Leonardo DiCaprio. All aboard.

 

 

Guys, we did it. We failed to keep Clive Palmer in check. As you read this, the rest of this watery blue orb are rolling their eyes at the nonsense headlines in their language, aghast at the high lettering that trumpets the impending voyage of the Titanic sequel, a tragedy reanimated by some random Australian Billionaire seemingly sans rudder…qui est, Clive Palmer?

 

 

It’s easy to shoot the idea down and deride it as utter nonsense. Which it certainly seems so. Why recreate catastrophe? I mean, there wasn’t a Hindenburg II, or a World War II, why go to the trouble of rehashing a funeral? It’s not a question of empathy, and/or saluting the remains of the rich people who have been dead for almost a century, it’s just a case of money overriding sense, and nonsense ruling over logic. Why are the Australians doing it? Why are they tempting fate? Blah blah blah.

Well, I say that fate should always be tempted. And we’re a grim bunch. And we all long to experience apocalypse, but only if we’re comfortable.

Clive’s move does have some genius to it, especially the timing. In 2018, Titanic II makes a lot of sense. We’re sailing through an age of limp sequels, remakes and unwanted iterations of much-loved franchises. George Lucas decided to cash out, and for his sins, we’ll forever have Star Wars movies to complain about. There have been three Peter Parkers since I hit puberty. Swimming through this fragmental disappointment is fertile seas for the new Titanic to zip through. We understand that these new sequels will never be good as the original, so, therefore, we’re always proved to be right (in that our negative thoughts were valid), and because of that, our expectations are forever checked. It could be utter garbage, but we’d sail the Titanic II and enjoy ourselves, because we were right.

It makes sense for my generation, as we’re the future strangled by the past. Our beau is nostalgia. Every one of us lived through/lived for the disaster. For some of us, the disaster was having to sit through three-and-a-half hours of it, suffocating the complaint you felt inside, because it might risk the over-the-pants handjob that was vaguely promised as a reward for being sensitive, and for the other party, the disaster was having to settle for this spotty callow dimwit that wasn’t Leo. Titanic, Celine and that guy who cartwheeled off the stern and hit the rail is indelibly linked to who we are. It wasn’t a disaster kept in newsreel, it’s one we entertain ourselves with.

Regarding Titanic (the original), we can’t leave well enough alone. Minds of greatness (and lesser so) have devoted themselves to unpacking a ship that sank a century ago. Even the electric mind and slobbering mouth of philosopher Slavoj Žižek has a Titanic take, claiming that the iceberg was the hero of the movie, because in parting Jack and Rose, it forever kept them in ultra-romantic stasis forever, which makes that panpipe finale where Titanic is waiting for Rose infinitely perfect, and I’m not crying you’re crying. There’s even a Grand Theft Auto V mod that allows you to travel on Titanic, replete with the sinking of. The game is based in a contemporary LA, which means whoever created it, created both the ship (in finite detail), the sinking matrix, and an iceberg in California. Salut.

 

 

Back to Clive’s Titanic, and I’ll admit, the idea grates. One, because Clive stole the idea from a movie and didn’t bother watching it to the end (see also: Clive’s Jurassic Park) and two, because there has always been a suggestion of untouchable class to this vaunted floating tomb. The filthy and the foreign were kept below deck, and the Billy Zanes of the world were kept in first-class always won. It holds our attention, this lost example of class. Regaining this paradise lost confuses us. After all, no-one would have cared about the ship if it hadn’t have sunk.

Via a statement, Clive stateth that “…the ship will follow the original journey, carrying passengers from Southampton to New York, but she will also circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivalled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits.”

There is a mystery to it, the question of why. It bristles because it feels a lot like your Dad’s new girlfriend: recently built, and minus the drama. While doing it in 2020 is arguably smarter from an insurance front, as the whole global warming thing might remove the danger element, I feel Clive missed a trick.

 

 

After all, the concept of ‘dark tourism’ is extremely popular in current year. For my money, the Titanic II should be branded as Cambodia’s Killing Fields, but one with bar service and a trouser press. The only reason I’d experience that trip, is if there was an excellent chance I’d not survive it. Or, at the very least, escape a toxic relationship, steal some bling, get banged in a jalopy by a commoner.

If you want to make a return on your investment Clive, do that. It’d be a licence to print money. If he can join the dots, Clive may singlehandedly reanimate the shipping industry. Think of it, an endless production line of Titanics, all built to fail; a doomed journey we can live, one that goes on and on and on.


			

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