Thursday, August 22, 2013

Titanic 2.0

So wait...

There's some rich dude in Australia who has nothing better to spend his money on than a full scale replica - furnished and all - of the RMS Titanic?  And I am just now hearing about it?

It seems dude (businessman Clive Palmer) has even created his own cruise line called Blue Star Line, a tip of the hat to the original Titanic's company, White Star Line.  The new version of the ship is being built in China and is scheduled to make its maiden voyage in April 2016, mirroring the same trek the original ocean liner made from Southampton to New York.  I'm not altogether sure how I feel about this.  It seems like it will be just one big, really expensive Disney ride.  The real joy of history is to "walk in the footsteps of". 

I'm personally not a fan of recreations.  If I am standing in a room where, I am told,  Washington or Lincoln once stood, I want to be sure I am looking at the same things they were, perhaps standing on the same floor if that's possible.  During a visit to Springfield, IL a few years ago, I paid a visit to the Old State Capitol in downtown.  I was standing in Representatives Hall, the room where Lincoln delivered his infamous "House Divided" speech; even being told by the guide where Lincoln had sat while he was a state representative.  It wasn't until a person on the tour asked about changes to the building that the guide admitted that while the original stone exterior was stored and rebuilt, the interior was completely reconstructed in 1966.  I instantly felt shafted.  I was not, after all, standing in the same room as Lincoln; that room had been demolished.  The authenticity was compromised.

So now I wonder how Titanic II is going work out.  I think it will only really work if everyone was told that they could only dress in period costumes for the duration of the cruise.  Something will be spoiled by being on the deck of the Titanic, surrounded by the images we've only ever seen in photographs, and seeing a teenager in a Bieber tee shirt texting on her iPhone.