The role of the mediaWhat if Titanic had happened in 2001


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Apr 7, 2001
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David,

I wanted to clarify with you that Mr. Ismay FELT a sense of responsibility for his ship, passengers and crew but I totally understand what you said that he had NO authority with regards to the evacuation of the ship. I was afraid you might take my last post wrong so I thought I'd clarify this okay?
 
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steve b

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Micheal-I understand fully where you come from on your point and i agree. The point i was trying to make maybe came out backwards. In his quest to have Titanic viewed by the entire world as a first class ship, i think his previous succssess led him to a sort of invinciblity feeling aura about himself when it came to getting what he wanted. And in a way, i suppose thats only natural. After all the man ran the White Star Line a long time and did it well, so what reason would he have to believe that Titanic would be any different? Olympic had already been launched and been a huge success, and Titanic managing to make it to New York ahead of its original time would have made headlines (or so he thought) and had not only the world marveling at Titanic, but in his mind he would have been viewed as king of the shipping world. Which by the way looks good with customers. Im in no way faulting him nor blaming him. What i simply meant by him being a victim of his own success was that i think success breeded an attitude. I think to some degree it would anybody. The key is how well you can maintain a perspective on reality
 
May 9, 2000
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I know the discussion has turned away from the original question. Please let me come back to the point: what if the Titanic disaster happened in our days? I think a disaster like this CANNOT happen in our days. Nearly everything has changed:
- todays transportation is fast but not luxurious,
- todays prominents are coming from the movies, from tv and sport and only a few from economy,
- todays journalism nearly every day creates headlines to different events, the pool of worldwide available stories is too big as to keep one event for many days or weeks as a headline.

Every era has its own disasters. Generally, disasters that causes myths like the Titanic are very scarce. You can count mankinds famous and somehow mythical disasters with the fingers of one or two hands:
- the breakout of the Santorini vulcano, of which is said it has brought an end to the mycenean culture,
- the breakout of the Pompeji vulcano,
- the burning Rome during the rulership of Nero,
- the San Francisco earthquake (guess which one),
- the Hindenburg burning at Lakehurst,
- the sinking of the Titanic,
- ?

I do not talk of big disasters, only of ones that are surrounded by myths. What is characteristic for a disaster that is accompanied by myths?

- it is always an event of the past: you won´t find the word "myth" in early newspapers or books which have reported about the Titanic disaster, but you will find this word in publications that appeared many years later,
- it is characteristic for a whole era,
- it hides a lot of unanswered questions, what is causing legends,
- it can be told in one word: Titanic, Hindenburg, Pompeji, Nero, San Francisco (in connection with disasters), Santorini...
- it fills many books and films

I think, only if all of these points together can describe one and the same disaster you have one mankind will remember even in decades and centuries. Because of this it is nearly impossible to create a todays fictional disaster that would be comparible with the ones above. Including Titanic.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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G'Day all,

Teri:Being scapegoated may not have been a major issue with Ismay at the time. Unfortunately, the newspapers tried awful hard to make sure it was. Good 'ol yellow journalism. Ya gotta love it. NOT!

Steve B.:You're probably right. Not much more to add to that. As to the feelings and sense of "invincibility", from what I've seen, it was an all too common attitude at the time.

Henning: I get really edgy when somebody suggests that a disaster like the Titanic cannot happen, if only because Murphy's Law has an ugly tendency to rear up and bite when you least expect it. I've been looking into examples of ship evacuations as part of some research I've been involved with vis a vis the Californian Incident.

In looking at things like the Morro Castle, Yarmouth Castle, Andrea Doria, Empress of Ireland and the Prinsendam, I have to marvel that the casualty rate wasn't even higher in some instances then it was. Nothing went according to plan, and sometimes, it appeared that either there was no plan, there was no time to carry out the plan, (The Empress went down in about 15 minutes.) or nobody knew what it was even though they should have known.

I also note that cruise ships are getting bigger all the time, and I have an gnawing feeling in my gut that it's only a matter of time befor we have another biggie. Icebergs may not be the culprit, but there are things like fires, collisions with other ships, grounding on reefs...God forbid it should be one of those monsterous condominium vessels that are in the works! The press will go after that one like sharks after blood.

There are all kinds of ways a ship can come to greif. And if anyone thinks that ships don't run afoul of icebergs these days, check out this site; the Ice Charts & Ship-Iceberg Database at http://www.nrc.ca/imd/ice/

It's sobering reading.

Cordially,
 
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steve b

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If you believe that tragedies such as this cannot happen in modern day living, you are succumbing to the same foolish thinking that was ultimately Titanics undoing. I mean this in the most respectful way possible, but being complacent and thinking the technology thats out there today is infoulable, your just plain wrong. after all, mankind created the technology. So when your have something that is the creation of an imperfect being, the possibilty ALWAYS exsists for a fault in that imperfect beings creation.
 
May 8, 2001
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Respectfully speaking, I find it ironic that in one breath people say "If only Andrews or Smith would have survived, they could have told us so much about what actually happened that night" and in another blast Ismay to pieces. Did he not have anything important to say in the hearings? I shudder when I think of what they would have done to Smith had he survived, by just looking at what happened to Ismay.
Michael. I agree that it is a matter of time that Mans/womans arrogance gets the best of him/her again and this time makes the Titanic Disaster pale in comparison.
I seem to recall reading several times, but one specifically of a book called "Saved" by William Hoffer circa 1980 about the Andria Doria and there were several references where people were calling it "Unsinkable".
When you do not learn from your mistakes you tend to keep repeating them. Colleen
 
May 9, 2000
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ok, my English is not the best. What I wanted to express is, that there are many many disasters nearly every year that are somehow forgotten soon later. Only experts know of the Wilhelm-Gustloff-disaster, when more than 4000 people went down with this steamer during world war II. Some say it were up to 8000 victims. Do anybody remember the pipeline burst in Africa about two years ago killing 800 people? Of course sea disasters with many victims happens in our days as well (Estonia). But every disaster tells its very own story and only some of them are still in everybodys mind after decades. And so I think we cannot transform the Titanic Sinking (or any other "famous" one) to a fictional (or real) event of the present.
 
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