There are, no doubt, as many idiotic opinion pieces regarding the events surrounding the Oceangate Titan as idiotic journalists draw breath. Every inch of the incident, and the ensuing scandal, has been analyzed with the sort of dauntless crudity only the media can summon. Minutae has been picked over and memes birthed. The sharks have fed – and I mean those wearing human skin.
Beyond the strict confines of the news cycle, which repeated every facile celebrity and expert opinion as though their words were the pronouncements of an oracle of old, and treats every scrap of trivial information as though it were a Homeric feast, three predictable talking points have emerged among the Commentariat.
On the left, there is the ‘waste’ narrative. Why, they ask, is money spent (by white people) on vainglorious, pointless excursions devoid of (real) scientific grounding when ordinary people live in poverty on American streets, under British bridges, while desperate migrants die in doomed channel crossings? This is not a subtle narrative; money and power should belong to them, ‘the people’. The people, of course, are too outmoded, too ignorant, and too prejudiced to wield financial power (or any other kind of power) themselves, and so they must act as a vanguard.
On the right, we have a fixation on Stockton Rush’s seemingly anti-white comment. No right-wing outlet has failed to report – to paraphrase – that Mr. Rush betrayed a level of disdain for academically qualified middle-aged white men. Rarely is it mentioned that Mr. Rush himself was a middle-aged white man, or that his stated intention was to provide opportunities to younger engineers in a small niche dominated by older names?
In this context, I find it hard to believe that Stockton Rush held any real anti-white sentiment. There are more likely motivations behind his policy. Foremost of these was a desire to avoid scrutiny by competent professionals possessing the financial independence to thoroughly criticize the Titan’s construction without fearing for their livelihood.
Mr. Rush experienced this firsthand during a court case regarding the firing of OceanGate employee David Lochridge (49). According to court documents, Mr. Lochridge contends that he was terminated for whistleblowing – chiefly as regards the safety of the Titan’s carbon fiber-titanium alloy hull. OceanGate claims that he was fired for breaking an NDA.
Perhaps Mr. Rush’s well-publicized thrift (to use an infinitely kind term) factored into the decision. Perhaps he kept one eye on a future ESG score, and made hiring-and-firing decisions based on a future stock market float? Perhaps he merely wished to lift (I’m sorry, almost everything written about this article can turn into a pun) morale among his younger staff members? No motive is monocausal, and all these reasons seem more likely than a lingering hatred for his own race.
Yet one mainstream narrative remains, about which I have said nothing – the argument of those who, in this (very particular) scenario, may be called ‘the isolationists’. This narrative, intended to gather sympathy from both left and right, asserts that OceanGate’s very mission was flawed. With a vaguely religious, hazily humanistic voice, they proclaim that the wreck of the Titanic ought to be left alone. That it is a gravesite, that those who decide to take the plunge are tempting fate, stepping on hallowed ground. Though it is not spoken, it is implied – that the OceanGate tragedy is karma, the wrath of God.
If the Regime has (or is it ‘have’?) a preference, I believe it is this narrative they wish to support. The spiritual imprint of this argument appeals to both sides in their own fashion. And, as religion is an extraordinarily uncomfortable topic for modern man, no one will openly discuss their differing interpretations of the incident. Thus it could be, unspoken; for the rightist, it is the revenge of the dead, the punishment of the Almighty; for the leftist, it is bad karma, brought about by man’s greed and sins against the Earth.
Suffice to say, I partake in none of these narratives.
Each set of talking points misses the broader point. Exploration is inbuilt in Western man, from Pytheas who sailed to Britain, to Colombus who sailed to the New World, to Armstrong who stood upon the Moon. To expect anything less from the Occident than daring – than risk-taking – is foolishness itself.
The RMS Titanic in her glory.
Yet we are not the legends of yesterday. The Victorians are dead. Livingstone, Scott, and Morton and but bones and ash. Their steady resolve, their wits, and their will are washed away by the spirit of the age. We inhabit a Faustian spirit without Faustian intelligence to augment our overreach.
For all the bile cast toward White Star Line, the Titanic was, in many ways, well-built for her day. She took almost three hours to sink. Though she was not built without fault, these problems resulted from events (a coal strike in particular). The Titan was doomed by design. Bad luck sank the Titanic; stupidity killed the unfortunate souls aboard the Titan.
It is an intriguing thought, to imagine a 21st century Occident as bold as that of the 19th. How far would we have pushed technology by now? How far would technology have pushed us? How many disasters would we conjure? Perhaps it is better that we are conservative with our ambitions.
Yet we remain Faustian. When men of means escape the grip of the overbearing state (in this case through the lawlessness of international waters), they begin to dream once more. A few very lucky men have made themselves so useful to the state that they are near untouchable – the US, after all, needs Elon Musk’s rockets. In return, his leash is lengthened.
But these men are few and far between. I posit that our Faustian outlet now abides in our minds. It walks with us through seas of advertisements and soars through skies of code… and dwells with us deep in the darkness of our hearts. We have turned inwards; we see not the stars, but rather our dreams of stars, and wonder what it means, and study, hypothesize, and twist.
We explore the mind rather than matter, but we remain foolish. What damage can we do? What damage have we done?