5 Phrases From the ‘Replica Titanic’ Wikipedia Page That Merit Closer Inspection

If only there were some three-syllable word to use as shorthand for ‘the folly of man’…
5 Phrases From the ‘Replica Titanic’ Wikipedia Page That Merit Closer Inspection

This Wikipedia entry doesn’t even include the Titan submarine that puckered out of existence in 2023. But these attempted replicas, all designed by greedy morons, share that same spirit of hubris and edgelordiness.

Let’s take a look at a few phrases from the list that really capture the idiocy of recreating one of the biggest and most cursed failures in human history…

‘Significant Changes to the Original Design Required to Produce a Safe and Economically Viable Ship’

It may sound obvious, but ultimately it’s at the center of this whole farce: the Titanic was a bad ship. It’s the first conclusion that everyone, except a handful of idiot billionaires, draws when they spend any amount of time thinking about the Titanic

In 1998, Popular Mechanics was asked about the feasibility of reconstruction, and basically said, “Build a completely different boat.” One of the “significant changes” they suggested was to weld, rather than rivet, the hull (as explained in the movie, the rivets popped off like the buttons on a fat cartoon businessman mogul’s pants). Not a crazy suggestion. But they also proposed replacing the 159 coal furnaces and 29 boilers with a diesel engine, and using the enormous space that would free up for modern amenities like air conditioning. 

They said this would all cost about twice as much as building a regular cruise ship, which begs the question: What is the point? Why go all Pimp My Ride on the worst ship ever built?

‘Evidence Accumulated Strongly Suggesting That the Project Had Been Abandoned’

These replicas have one important factor in common: They’re vanity projects designed by the richest, numbest numbnuts on the planet, solely to bolster their own reputations. They’re all doomed to fail, and it appears that none of them are currently on track to actually, ya know, happen. But these people are heavily invested in looking like they’re working on it. 

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer seems to have the most contradictory updates on his stupid little project, the Titanic II. He started a company called the Blue Star Line, a nod to the White Star Line, the company that owned the original ship. That’s about as far as he got. He announced his intentions in 2012, planning to hit the open sea by 2016. But by 2015, conflicting reports emerged that construction had been “halted,” then that it never started at all, then that it was “revived.” Ultimately, it came out that the Blue Star Line trademark had been “abandoned” altogether.

Palmer pushed back the date to 2018, then 2022, and most recently, he assured the world that he’d start construction on this bad boy in 2025. For real, this time!

‘Expressed Her Opposition to the Project’

Look, just about everyone on the planet would express opposition to any of these abominations. Who, then, is so notable that her opposition to South African billionaire Sarel Gous’ Titanic II made this Wikipedia entry? That would be Millvina Dean, the youngest passenger of the original Titanic, and the longest living survivor. 

Gous claims to have gotten his mitts on the original drawings of the ship, and wanted to bring it back to life, rivet-for-rivet. It makes sense; if you found the blueprints for Frankenstein’s monster, you’d wonder if maybe you could do a better job. Gous’ one refurbishment would have been to include enough lifeboats to not drown a bunch of once-frolicking immigrants. But ironically, modern safety regulations made it impossible for that many lifeboats to even fit on a ship the size and shape of the Titanic.

This was all supposed to happen in 2006, and Millvina was able to “express her opposition to the project” before she passed away in 2009.

‘In Bad Taste’

Once again, this whole idea is in bad taste — what could possibly stand out as particularly tone deaf and cruel? 

The Romandisea Titanic is supposed to be a floating hotel, the same size and shape as the original, but docked in a river in landlocked Sichuan, China. They actually succeeded in building about half of its hull, but construction appears to have stalled out around 2020. It was meant to be the keynote attraction of a huge resort theme park (whose theme was, we guess, the folly of man?). To really drive the point home, they announced plans to “include an audiovisual simulation of the sinking” of the Titanic, on the replica of the Titanic. That’s like building a Tower of Terror at the 9/11 memorial. 

This idea was deemed “in bad taste,” and the creators removed the Agonizing Death Simulator from their attempt to profit off of an international tragedy.

‘Businessman Mogul’

This is just a distractingly clunky turn of phrase that’s either a mistake, or a British colloquialism. Either way: very funny. I even used it in the first entry on this list, and I bet it made you stop for a second and think, “Wow, this guy’s either an idiot or British.”

The Wikipedia editor refers to Sarel Gous as a “South African businessman mogul,” which sounds like a mogul whose business is businessmen. It conjures images of an Elon Musk-type getting rich by building little suit-and-tie homunculi on an assembly line, or an army of C-suite Uruk-hai being glorped up out of the mud in the pits of Isengard.

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