“No longer looking back and down – but forward and up!“
Inspired by James Cameron’s ‘Final World’
The Titanic Parable Society is inspired by the National Geographic Chanel’s documentary ‘Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron’ (Broadcast April 8, 2012).
The Society is inspired by two important snippets from James Cameron’s ‘final word’, spoken at the conclusion of the documentary and aims to harness these as the inspiration for this initiative:
1. “It is time to pass the baton… For me it is so much more than simply an exercise in forensic archaeology…”
2. “Part of the Titanic parable… is to make it a microcosm for the world… you’ve got 1st Class, 2nd Class, 3rd Class, while in our world now you have developed nations and underdeveloped nations; you’ve got the starving millions who are going to be the ones most affected by the next iceberg we hit, which is going to be climate change.”
As a new generation of Titanic enthusiasts emerge it is hoped they will take the baton from James Cameron and will prove him correct in showing that Titanic is “so much more than simply an exercise in forensic archaeology.” The aim is that they will take the ‘Titanic Parable’ and make it relevant, as he does, to the challenges that face humanity today.
However, we cannot allow James Cameron to simply walk away by saying ‘We can see the iceberg (Climate Change) ahead of us right now but we can’t turn… until our lives are put at risk by the moment of truth, we don’t know what we would do. And that’s my final word.” Surely it was not intentional, but there is no hope in this final word of James Cameron. There is no call to the young generation who might wish to take the baton from Mr. Cameron and to, at least, try and change direction and avert the disaster he appears to think is inevitable.
What will the new Titanic Parable Society seek to do?
The first initiative of the Society will be to create a life-giving memorial to the only black man on board Titanic, Joseph Laroche, a native of Haiti. The Titanic Parable is so full of heroic and inspirational stories and Joseph Laroche is one such hero who saved his pregnant French wife and their two daughters, before dying in the tragedy.
We will do this by partnering with a humanitarian organization to build 1512 houses in Haiti – one for every human being who perished in the tragedy.
The aim is to engage with students in schools, colleagues and universities throughout the world to raise US$2,500 each
to build a basic house in Haiti with the assistance of a Humanitarian organization engaging local Haitian craftsmen and women.
Each educational institution will be invited to establish a partner Titanic Parable Society and to commit to building a house as a life-giving memorial to one of Titanic’s 1512 victims.
Joseph Laroche suffered racism in France and was returning to his native Haiti with his young family to begin a new life. He was just one of hundreds of immigrants on board Titanic who dreamed of a better future. We have chosen Joseph Laroche as our first inspiration because of the current suffering of the Haitian people, following the devastating earthquake in 2010 that left millions homeless.
But we are also inspired by Joseph Laroche’s native Haiti. Haiti was the first Black Republic, achieving its independence from France in 1803. Haiti was the inspiration for the ending of slavery worldwide. Yet, Haiti was punished by great powers whose economies were being fuelled by slavery. Haiti has had to carry a very heavy burden for over two centuries. Today it is the poorest country in the Western World. The Titanic Parable Society wishes to help ease the suffering of Haiti and offer transformative hope by making the world realize the great debt of gratitude we owe to a nation that played a pivotal role in ending slavery.
As our efforts build momentum, we wish to create a double effect by challenging James Cameron and all who benefited from the US$2 billion box office takings from the movie ‘Titanic’ to match us dollar for dollar. This way we will demonstrate that Titanic can, indeed, be a powerful parable and, as we enter a new century of Titanic remembrance, continue to save and improve lives, especially of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.
As an inspiration to our Titanic Parable Society, our 2nd initiative will be to invite James Cameron to DePaul University, Chicago in 2022, where the idea of the Society was first conceived, to give a final lecture on Titanic in which he encourages new generations of Titanic enthusiasts to – at least – try and change course and avert the disaster he has predicted. James Cameron’s ‘Final Word’, as it stands, has no hope. There is not even a call to lower the life boats.
We believe that James Cameron has an important message of hope to
offer to a new generation that wishes to take from him the baton and whose motto is: ‘No longer looking back and down – but forward and up!’
We look forward to being inspired and know that our Titanic Parable Society can be a legacy James Cameron will be proud of in the future.
4 July 2012
Transcript of James Cameron’s ‘Final Word’ follows:
“I’ve been working on Titanic for nearly 20 years. I’ve planned this investigation to be my final word. It’s time for me to pass the baton and move on to some new challenges. But I’ll never stop thinking about Titanic. For me it is so much more than simply an exercise in forensic archaeology.
Part of the Titanic parable is of arrogance, of hubris, of the sense that we’re too big to fail. Well, where have we heard that one before?
There was this big machine, this human system that was pushing forward with so much momentum that it couldn’t turn, it couldn’t stop in time to avert a disaster. And that’s what we have right now.
Within that human system on board that ship, if you want to make it a microcosm for the world, you have different classes: you’ve got 1st Class, 2nd Class, 3rd Class, while in our world now you have developed nations and undeveloped nations; you’ve got the starving millions who are going to be the ones most affected by the next iceberg we hit, which is going to be climate change.
We can see that iceberg ahead of us right now but we can’t turn. We can’t turn because of the momentum of the system: political momentum, business momentum. There are too many people making money out of the system, the way the system works right now. And those people, frankly, have their hands on the levers of power and aren’t ready to let them go. Until they do, we’re not going to be able to turn and miss that iceberg and we’re going to hit it.
When we hit it, the rich are still going to get their access to food, to arable land, to water and so on. It’s going to be the poor; it’s going to be the steerage who are going to be impacted. And it was the same with Titanic. And I think that’s why this story will always fascinate people; because it’s a perfect little encapsulation of the world and all social spectra. But until our lives are really put at risk by the moment of truth, we don’t know what we would do. And that’s my final word!”