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A Titanic expenditure

Did you know, it’s been 100 years since the Titanic sank? You would have thought that the news channels would have wanted to mention it once. Or twice. Or several-hundred times. Clearly Australian billionaire Clive Palmer saw all the reports, as he’s just announced plans to build an exact replica of the infamous cruise ship, named, in a stunning lack of imagination, Titanic II. That sound, ladies and gentlemen, is James Cameron’s ears pricking up. Palmer’s plans include making the working replica as accurate to the original as possible, only presumably without the extensive hull damage and enduring infamy.

Even when the blatant insensitivity and the non-existent likelihood of anyone wanting to go on a boat based on the most famous maritime disaster of the last century are taken into account, the idea actually has a slightly endearing insanity to it. It’s an idea so barmy that it’s two steps away from the evil schemes of a Bond villain. In an era when public opinion of the super rich has gone from mild annoyance to calls for execution, it’s nice to see somebody being so out and outright bonkers with their money. If you’re going to give a reason for people to dislike you, at least make it a staggeringly eccentric one. The public’s response to the MP’s expenses scandal certainly would have been more interesting if they’d spent the money on a disco ball the size of the moon.

Let Mr. Palmer be a lesson to everyone in these times of austerity: work hard, get rich, and you too can have an army of mechanical swans.

15/05/2012

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