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Hands up, who else is completely fucked off by the Titanic ?

Every time I turn the TV or the radio on, there it is, heading towards its doom in the gloom and the Iceberg, Polar Bears cheering like Sirens from the Berg’s upper reaches (that’ll teach ya for Global Warming you arrogant human bastards!).

I’ve had the straight story in the 1958 film, a Night to Remember (you bet it was) the romantic bollocks of the DiCaprio version, socio economic studies of the British class system viz who gets to get in the not nearly enough lifeboats first, “Women and children first, then the first class passengers, then the second and finally the steerage and coloureds, and the band played on (they all died).

Was it all down to Imperial arrogance? (unsinkable) bad workmanship? bad riveting ? the bulkheads not reaching all the way to the deck? What did it mean for the reputation of Belfast as the best shipbuilding town in the world? Was it a portent of the First World War?

Did Global Warming cause it, them icebergs being so far South? (you can’t leave that one out these days can you?) Why did ships close enough to rescue ignore the distress calls? Were the Lookouts drunk?…

Quite frankly I don’t fuckin care! It was a terrible tragedy, with a huge loss of life, but thousands of ships have sunk in equally tragic circumstances before and since, but we don’t get this minute bloody scrutiny of them do we?

There is even a cruise going on that traces the exact journey of the doomed ship, that is laying a wreath on the exact spot it sank on the anniversary. Well I feel like towing a bloody big iceberg into its path myself, just in the interests of  realism you understand. I mean, how fucked up  and maudlin do you have to be, to be on that particular cruise!!

E fuckin nough of the bloody Titanic already!!!

24 Comments

  1. daisy says:

    And don’t forget- “it’s not really about the ship, it’s about the people” and-it’s about Liverpool- no-It’s about Belfast- no! it’s about Ireland!.

  2. JuliaM says:

    Given the difficulties that ‘tribute’ voyage has experienced so far, it seems the cosmos has had enough too.. ;)

  3. NickM says:

    RAB,
    You literally took the words out of my mouth. I seriously was about to post almost exactly the same…

    And “Night to Remember” has I think just been re-mastered and it is by far the best movie. Cameron spent a fortune. NtR simply had to up the tension a drinks trolley shifting as the ship dipped. Brilliant and tuppence ha’penny.

  4. Ian B says:

    *raises hand*

  5. dan says:

    £95000000 .. thats how much Belfast has blown on its Titanic centre.
    Absolute madness and when it all goes tits up, no-one will be held accountable.

  6. Andy Janes says:

    Welll I do have a friend on that cruise (who is accompaning their Mother, and who in turn had a relative that went down on the original), so please excuse me if I don’t share you’re sentiment in sinking it :p

    But yeah, is a bit overdone, it is as if there nothing else that this year is the anniversay of?

  7. David Gillies says:

    I’m glad to say I have never seen the Cameron Titanic all the way through, just bits and bobs. At least it had a happy ending (that awful prole played by DiCaprio died.)

    I’ve also never seen that thing about the blue people who live in a tree (The Smurfs, was it?)

  8. Martin says:

    I saw a documentary about ship disasters the other night and apparently the rivets were iron and the hull was steel so they didn’t match, or something like that. Still, lets hope that with the 3D version of the film that they’ll be able to see the iceberg this time.

    (Question @ David Gillies (commenter above)…..Are you the DG from the I.o.W and Costa Rica ? If so, hello cousin!! )

  9. Bod says:

    Mr Gillies, sir. Here’s the only thing you need in order to grok the whole movie:

    http://www.rinkworks.com/movieaminute/m/titanic.shtml

    Said it before, say it again, the bit where Winslet was standing right out on the foredeck was totally weak. For my money, a huge squid, or even dread Cthulhu himself, should have extended a couple of horrible tentacles and plucked her from her reverie dragging her down into the briny deep.

    THAT would have been a movie, sir.

  10. RAB says:

    Andy, I have no wish to harm your friend or his family, as I’m sure you know, but the whole thing is now so over the top it’s ridiculous!

    They even introduced the fuckin Weather after the BBC 10 o’clock News with reference to it…

    “So, on the day the Titanic set sail on it’s tragic voyage… let’s look at the weather for…” I mean sheesh! sheeesy fuckin sheesh!!!

    And they are dragging out all the other ship related documentaries they can find too.

    There was one on last night about current cruise liner disasters. Now I have never wanted to go on a Cruise in my life, unless my fellow passengers included Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers, and the Marx Brothers. If you are going to die then die laughing and with nifty footwork, right? But this particular boat hit something and began sinking, and the crew pissed off immediately, leaving the passengers to their fate (no idea if it was Italian or not, they seem to be having a bad run at the moment) and one of the Entertainment team made it up to the bridge to find no crew there at all! So he made the sos calls and the entertainment staff supervised the launch of the few lifeboats left. Fuck me, talk about Hi Di Hi!

    There was even one about the Marie Celeste.

    I went to Brittany on the Ferry last year, It was a bit rough on the way back. First time I’d been on these modern boats, and wondered why they looked more like office blocks than ships. And this is the problem apparently, they are top heavy and the surfaces act like a sail.

    Well it’s only a 6 hour trip from Plymouth so I may risk it again this year, but I’m very leery indeed.

  11. NickM says:

    RAB,
    I saw that weather forecast…

    Sheesh! On 8th August 2145 are they going to say, “At 8-15am over Hiroshima 100 years ago the weather was…”

  12. Ian B says:

    David-

    I’ve also never seen that thing about the blue people who live in a tree (The Smurfs, was it?)

    I took the message of how evil corporations are, all they want is profit, to heart, and pirated a Cam version of it. I’m sure it’s what Cameron would have wanted.

    I think he’s overrated. The only good movies he’s done IMHO are the Terminator ones. I’m probably in a minority on the following, but I think Aliens is really overrated. The only fun watching it these days is laughing at the “futuristic” computers and gigantic video cameras. The whole “reactor will blow up in X hours” countdown in particular is really naff, and the “space marines”, all six of them. It’s actually the earliest(?) case of him with this thing that turns up in Avatar where “marines” work for “Teh Corporations” like it’s the fucking East India Company.

    I mean, it’s the far future, and they need a mineral you can only find under one fucking tree on one fucking moon? Wouldn’t any evil profiteer corporation figure out there’s probably more money in figuring out how the whole

    I talk to the trees, and they listen to me

    thing works and selling that, I mean you’ve got telepathic plants and you’re worried about mining under a tree?

    Also, armoured vehicle designers of teh future, “Well general, it walks. And your pilot, he sits behind a big fuck off glass window.”

    “Not armoured then? Not behind metal? Maybe with some kind of advanced futuristic video system?”

    “No, we prefer the window. Nobody’s going to think of shooting at it, are they?”

    Not a big fan of Cameron. Except the Terminators.

  13. CountingCats says:

    Ian,

    And the ecology of Pandora simply didn’t make sense. Horses in the jungle? Really? And those great rhinoceros type things would have had that forest stomped, eaten and gouged into savannah within a generation.

  14. The Jannie says:

    If only they’d had the sense to ram the bugger head-on we’d have been spared this hundred years of socio-economic analysis . . .

    Avatar seems to be a girlie thing. The memsahib and Miss Jannie think it’s wonderful, I watched ten minutes and then found something better to do.

  15. formertory says:

    Re Titanic: agreed.

    Re Avatar: quite enjoyed that film. But I did laugh at the end when the humans were being marched onto their spaceships under armed guard.

    “And the Pandorans all lived happily ever after – for a few years, until the rebuilt, improved, even-more-heavily-armed and much, much larger spacefleet arrived from Earth, established orbiting missile platforms, and reduced the entire planet to matchwood and dust.”

  16. Talwin says:

    Cameron’s ‘Titanic’. IMHO any film in which K. Winslet gets her kit off (most of them?) can’t be all bad.

  17. Mr Ecks says:

    Hold on here folks–you are missing the commercial possibilities.

    A new Titanic needs to be built, complete with tanks that can be flooded to take it down by the bow in about two hours (the breaking-in-half would prob be too difficult to simulate).

    So the new Tit signs up a large group of passengers (there is a lot of money “floating”(ouch) around the whole Titanic brand)–”romantic” loons that is–who pay very well for a four day voyage of the damned to somewhere nice and warm and fairly safe–the shallowish blue waters of the Caribean say,and then the tanks are blown and down the ship goes. This will take place in daylight and good weather of course and the ship will be full of secret passages and chambers with divers, oxygen tanks etc to ensure that no-one actually drowns and there will be enough lifeboats for all this time. (Possibly a plastic iceburg could be made but perhaps that OTT). When the survivors have been rescued and taken on to New York or wherever the holiday is next, the tanks are blown and the doomed ship surfaces ready for refurbishment and the next voyage.

    I think investors would be well pleased with the returns.

  18. Sam Duncan says:

    “What did it mean for the reputation of Belfast as the best shipbuilding town in the world?”

    Bah! What reputation? At least the most famous Clyde-built liner is still afloat. (Okay, technically the Queen Mary’s “floating” on concrete, but at least they don’t keep going on about it ad nauseam.)

    Nick, when I saw the title, I thought it was you.

    IanB: Totally. 100% agreement here.

    “I talk to the trees, and they listen to me”

    Or, as Eccles had it in the Goon Show, “I talk to the trees, that’s why they put me away…”

    Anyway, yes. Definite Titanic fatigue. Although there was a good documentary a few weeks ago about the film the Nazis made about it. And guess what their “far-right”, “ultra-conservative” take on it was? That’s right, money-grabbing capitalists, the class system, and Imperial arrogance. All that was missing was Celine Dion. (So, on balance, it was probably marginally better than Cameron’s effort. Although Talwin makes an excellent argument in favour of the latter. It’s still pish though.)

    It was never released, because by the time it was finished, late in the war, Goebbels was worried it would look less like a metaphor for British arrogance and more like one for the Nazis’. Some of the effects footage made of the sinking was used, uncredited, in A Night to Remember.

  19. David Gillies says:

    @Martin #11 Wot ho cuz, yep, that’s me! Didn’t know you were a denizen of these parts…

  20. Tim Newman says:

    You’ve got to remember that James Cameron is a technical effects man, not an artistic director, which is why Titanic was a worthy spectacle but bereft of anything else which makes a decent film (i.e. casting, script, except for Billy Zane’s: “Not the better half”, tee hee!)

    Same with Avatar, it was worth watching as a spectacle but utterly hopeless as a film in its own right. I did enjoy it though, especially watching all the heavy industrial gear in action. I was rather disappointed when a bunch of blue primitives stopped them operating, and we switched to people riding about on horses with two heads, or whatever they had wrong with them.

    Cameron’s films have always been like this, worth watching for one reason only, wit the notable exception of the first Terminator, which I think wipes the floor with the second one. Arnie on your side means you can relax, everything will be okay; Arnie as a terminator who is not on your side is something to fear. I found the first film worked so much better than the second, despite the G’n'R soundtrack. That kid annoyed me, I guess.

    I always preferred Alien to Aliens. Ridley Scott vs James Cameron…always one winner there, unless you count that Robin Hood shite and the stupid Joaquin Phoenix character in Gladiator. Funny, I’m surprised NickM hasn’t mentioned he’s from South Shields in this thread so far. His brother Tony too, who directed True Romance. Not bad for two people from South fucking Shields.

  21. RAB says:

    Bleedin hell, Counting Cats has turned into Friends Reunited! viz Martin and David. Swap email addresses chaps. There may be something to this Libertarianism is genetic stuff after all ;-)

    Alas I have seen Avatar, it was on DVD at the cottage we rented in Brittany last year. The Memsahib wanted to see it so I dutifully sat through it. Totally agree with you Tim, great visuals, zip narrative. I rather fancy riding one of those flying dragons myself. As to plot it seemed to moi, a crude amalgam of the conquest of North America and America hastily withdrawing from Vietnam, with Greenpeace mystical cobblers thrown in. The Smurfs were like a cross between the Apache and the Vietcong.

    And back to the Titanic, sigh, it’s only going to get worse you know, on the build up to the date of the actual sinking. We already have a BBC drama of it up and running on TV, on radio there’s the Ship of Dreams, telling you of its opulence down to the Axminster and Wilton fitted carpets and the Turkish bath…

    And for your delectation tonight, we have on Brit Freeview TV, in ancillery bandwagon mode… The sinking of the Concordia, all shot by the passengers on their mobile phones etc and without commentary or dialogue. Gripping! Talking of Cameon, The Abyss is on yet again on Film 4 and ITV 2 is showing Oceans 12, which is stretching word association a bit isn’t it, as it’s set in Las Vegas.

    But when they schedule Lou Grade’s greatest flop, Raising the Titanic, we will know the end of this tragifest is almost over thank god. It was such a box office disaster in its own right, and cost so much money, Lord Grade famously said… ” it would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic”.

  22. Tim Newman says:

    The Abyss is on yet again on Film 4…

    Or The Abyssmal, as I recall it being dubbed. Hint for filmakers: don’t make your monster a goodie.

  23. NickM says:

    Tim,
    Well, I like both of the first two Alien(s) movies. I agree with you that the first Terminator is the best though for different reasons – it handles time-travel (my MSc thesis was on Godelian spacetime – google it!) beautifully. I take your point though and hadn’t thought about it quite like that before so that is a point to treasure – thanks.

    Anyway, Ridley (and Tony) have made some stinkers – Top-Gun is tragic wank. Tarantino called it, “One man’s struggle with his own homosexuality”*. And GI Jane, White Squall? Utter bollocks.

    Someone said “Titanic” – the movie – was saved by Winslett getting her tits out (not for the first or last time and not that I objected – least objectionable part of the movie, indeed the best part other than that dismal chutney DiCaprio drowning) and I have a feory. (He has a feory that**…

    …The two leading Hollywood A-listers from Britain: KW & Ewan “light-sabre out!” McGregor always get their kit off.

    *I have often pondered a post on that movie, and to quote my late Gran, leave it with nowt but it’s eyes to weep with. BTW guess what it’s fatal flaw is? It’s numerical.
    **c.f. Will.i.am

  24. John Galt says:

    To wrap up the “Enough of the Titanic already! Oy Vey!” discussion, I attach the following piece of Titanic related humour from Bill Tidy

    http://www.billtidy.com/uploadedfiles/mrbear.jpg

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