A recent scan of news headlines proves Titanic is used by news editors to hook readers. Here is just a sample of recent news headlines that utilize Titanic in the headline.
Microsoft as the modern day Titanic; we all know how that ends
Titanic Vinashin could sink on first debt default?
The Titanic Sinking Of The Denver Broncos: 10 Thngs That Will Right The Ship
EU fish policy is “sinking Titanic” say campaign groups
Titanic: The all purpose hook that can be recycled endlessly for sports, business, and environment news. Not to mention politics, entertainment, and weird stories as well. And likely a porn parody next.
Titanic once again makes an appearance in discussing budget woes. If you are going to use Titanic, please be sure to use the correct term. Titanic was a ship, not a boat!
Assistant Superintendent Mark Hyatt likened the district’s budget challenges to the Titanic. “It’s not that the iceberg’s on the horizon, but there’s a hole in the boat,” he said.
Dallas Morning News, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Considers Freezing Teachers’ Salaries…, 27 Mar 2010
Combining economics and Titanic is done frequently by columnists. A bank failure, crashing economy, badly run corporations are all compared to Titanic. Tom Plate, in an opinion piece appearing in The Jakarata Post, writes about how Toyota has fallen to Earth after years of being revered for its quality. Plate uses this to illustrate that the Japanese do not walk on water. He writes:
“Because unless you understand the Japanese as mortal members of planet earth like the rest of us, there is no way to explain why Japan’s economy is starting to lean like a potential Titanic….”
The image does not work well. If he is arguing Japan is like Titanic moving dangerously through an ice field about to have a collision, then it ought to have been better stated. It however makes the grade for our Titanic Cliche of the Day.
I never knew that there was a coffee problem in Britain until I read Chloe Lambert’s article. She laments that British coffee was not up to snuff when compared to what you find elsewhere in the world.
“I love my country. I love our sense of humour, our pubs, our theatre and I don’t even mind our weather. But when I fly back home from a holiday, there’s one sight that makes me want to jump into the luggage hold and wait until the plane turns back. That is the brightly lit, maroon colours of a Costa Coffee. It’s the beleaguered businessman queuing up to pay £2.50 for a weak, lukewarm “cappuccino” with enough froth to sink the Titanic.” (“Coffee: Are We Finally Up To World Cup Standards?,” Times Online, 8 Dec 09)
I must give the writer credit for using something different with the cliche. Normally it is about rearranging the deck chairs or how (whatever the subject is about) is steering into the iceberg. I believe this is the first cliche that uses cappuccino and froth in relation to Titanic. In case you are wondering, the writer has found hope for coffee in Britain. Starbucks and other high end coffee shops are bringing real coffee to the populace. 🙂
The Titanic Cliche is really popular these days when talking about the economy. Cenk Uygur over at the Huffington Post recently blogged about the renomination of Fed Chief Ben Bernanke. And once again RMS Titanic makes an appearance:
“I had large misgivings about Ben Bernanke before his hearings began. He’s given credit for steering our economy to safe shores after we hit an enormous economic iceberg. First, I would argue we are nowhere near safe shores. Second, why are we rehiring the guy who steered the Titanic into the iceberg in the first place?”
Poor Captain Smith. Not only the captain of a ship that collided with an iceberg and sank, but now tied to sinking an economy as well. 🙂
“In remarks that sound faintly like what the first mate might have told the shocked captain of the Titanic, the secretary of housing and urban development, Shaun Donovan,tells the New York Times, ” We recognize there is a possibility that the reserves go below zero and stay there.”
(WalletPop,FHA going broke? How to qualify for a home loan anyway,16 Nov 09)
“It’s like throwing a raft out to the Titanic.” (17 Jul 09, Schools Fix Has Plenty Of Doubters, Columbus Dispatch)
One feature I have thought about adding to my news site was citing examples of Titanic cliches. They have become so common and overwrought as to become satires on the person saying them without it being intentional on their part. I had thought about starting a weekly column over at my news site but I think this lends more to blog. Let the Titanic Cliches begin and today we start with, naturally, a politician from Minnesota. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann(R) while speaking before the U.S. House of Representatives said the following:
Last weekend my family sat down and we were watching the commercial movie “Titanic.” And as I was listening to Dr. Burgess from Texas talk about the debt and the burgeoning debt load that the United States takes, once the ice gash came in the side of the Titanic, which we all remember was called the “unsinkable Titanic,” we think of the United States. Nothing can possibly sink the United States. We will always be a superpower. But one thing that has kept us a superpower has been freedom, free market economists. We are in the process of watching the deconstruction of free market economists before our very eyes, something we have never seen. But as the ice ripped that hole in the Titanic, water started being taken on, and the engineer came out and brought the blueprint of the Titanic. Water came into the first chamber, spilled over to the second, spilled over to the third, and by the time it filled up so many chambers, it was over. It was impossible to resurrect that ship.
At least she did try to make it work and much better than saying (as some often do) that what is going on is like rearranging the deck chairs on Titanic.
Bachmann Likens U.S. To Titanic, Decries ‘Gangster Government’ She’s Part Of
Minnesota Independent, 10 June 09