The Ship of Dreams: Prologue (Serialized Novel)
In the current epoch of humankind that we find ourselves part of, one cannot emphasize enough the unprecedented importance that must be placed on the process of documenting the history of the subjective reality that we find ourselves part of. We find ourselves at this junction as a direct consequence of countless variables that are placed therewithin as part of the technology that we use to catalog such information. Over the course of the last half a century or so this has become more relevant in how overly dependent we have become on the devices that we use, which become in part extensions of us to a certain degree. So, now, more than ever before in our history, must we be mindful of this fact in our day-to-day lives. We do live in a period of information unlike ever before; the most painstakingly obvious exemplification of which is found in the statistics alone, in that we as a people create over 2.5 quintillion bytes of raw data per day, which combined with such factors as the IoT, or Internet of Things have produced for more than ninety percent of the available knowledge in the last ten years alone.
While this can speak volumes to the accomplishment of both humankind and the innovative technology that has been created to allow for such a feat, it also poses a tremendous problem or dilemma of incalculable proportions in that it almost paradoxically creates at the same time simultaneously what can be called or classified as the age of misinformation. It still seems to be some surreal overnight occurrence that the classic science-fiction novella 1984 would emerge as the poster child of sorts to best illustrate this phenomenon, with George Orwell’s book looking more and more like non-fiction with each and every passing day in the comments that have circulated about fake news, which almost has become synonymous with any news that directly conflicts with the opinions of the individual. That’s not what I believe, so it must be fake news. Oh, that’s just fake news, we can almost hear our loved ones saying at the dinner table, perhaps as someone mentions something horrible about their parties, such as the horrendous pizza gate ordeal, or anything about Jeff Epstein, which sadly became more of a joke in the larger overarching context of our society, than what it should have been taken for, which was anything but laughable, especially in the larger contexts of the implications that it posed to the general public in question, but it’s all okay because it’s all simply fake news, a term that could silence the most reputable of speakers based on a statement from a closed-mind. I can still almost faintly hear the cautionary warnings of Maryl Streep echo in the back of my mind as she observed, “we’re going to need them going forward and they’re going to need us to safeguard the truth.” How right she was.
On that note, however, let’s take the moment to dive deeper into that specific vein. What can we holistically say about the quality of the content that we take on a day-to-day basis? Ten years ago, it was estimated that the average person was subjected to about three thousand advertisements a day. That of course was at a time before computer programs used carefully calculated algorithms to strategically place advertisements based on the user’s recent browse history, and at a time memes and gifs became so heavily saturated on the computer monitor before us, permeating throughout every device in our households.
The same could be said for news, and in my own personal career, it was the biggest turn-off for me. In a way, we stay glued to the news, on the television or computer screen, or whatever medium that the individual finds most preferable for highly social reasons. Granted, there are those of us that like to stay in the know, however, for a great majority of us, it gives us material for conversation starters and to break the ice for the people that we come into contact with, and that alone saddens my heart.
Frankly, it makes my soul weep and pushed me away from online journalism because of the quality of the content. Like the slaves in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, we sit mindlessly before a glaring screen, which acts as the silhouettes on the wall telling us about our quote-unquote subjective reality; a subjective reality that is largely comprised of gloom and doom, negative tales of famous people’s death, tragedy, violence, and all the horrible things going on in the world, with one of the three-thousand some odd commercials airing every now and again to remind us to eat, consume, obey, and repeat to the day that we die, with some of us never really living in the time between that meticulously crafted for a routine that has been created for us.
That alone doesn’t even touch on the accuracy of the information that we are fed, and how in many ways, the actuality of the matter is that it borders on the childish game that we play in our elementary and middle schools in the popcorn game. News acts in very much the same way. In the time that it takes for whatever data to make its way to the writer’s desk, whether it is a primary or secondary source or anything in-between for that matter, it has become so wildly water-downed and diluted from the original that it is a completely different beast entirely. Not only that, but each version becomes subjective to socio-political and personal biases, that by the time the article or the news even reaches the journalist or writer in question, they are almost an infinite number of slants on the same story, yet everyone breaching on the very definition of plagiarism. To quote Kayne, “Does anyone even make real shit anymore?” That is a sad question to consider, at least in the creative field of art, insofar as we ostensibly live in a universe, or arguably a multi-verse for that matter, with infinite possibilities, and yet the artwork that so heavily makes its way into popular culture are those that are the fifth installment of the same series, or the fourth remake of what had been a cult-classic until it was ruined three times over, and only the remake finds its way branded into our minds as it is the one that we can most easily bring to memory.
Another interesting variable that we can observe, is this sort of back and forth pissing match in terms of the validity, credit, or esteem that we hold for the narrator of a given timeline, which adds another wider depth or dimension to the reality of what really happened; one that comes with the individual, and otherwise biased hopes, dreams, aspirations, views, opinions, and beliefs of the person, or the people given their account of what happened. There is also another lens of multidimensionality presented, almost to the degree that one would expect in the realm of Physics with the theoretical ten to twelve unperceivable dimensions of our universe, that are so intrinsic to the telling of a people’s history, which is typically articulated in the common adage that history is written by the victors.
It is here that what is arguably the most interesting faculty of what we call history emerges. Of all the rhetorical appeals, every mode of persuasion, it becomes almost an unequivocal truth that it is ethos, or character that reigns supreme, with the sound of considering the source echoing with reverberating clarity in the back of the audience's mind. Here, we see that illogical fallacies, or any real sense of logos, or logic, can at the drop of the name, be subtly swept under the rug, and perhaps it is because to do so means that we don’t have to critically think about a given situation or conduct our own individual research. Maybe it was to this point that, as a kind of fly on the wall observer, Carl Jung reportedly noted, “Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge,” because we certainly become a judge of sorts in giving our own thoughts over to give said validity to the speaker or character in question, without giving much thought to the subject at hand. And, in terms of logic, it seems that almost everything becomes simplified down to an argumentum ad absurdum, or to a reductio ad absurdum, for such and such a claim or statement must be true, must be logically sound and accurate simply because it came from said politician or any other John Doe that has a title or degree attached to their name.
When we consider this overly complicated multilayered quality of a given people’s history, especially with their socioeconomic and sociopolitical implications kept into consideration, we can see with incandescent certainty that, for the most part, the vast majority of the general populace observes the events of the world at large through rose-colored glasses tinted to the hue of their own beliefs, opinions, and perspectives, and anything other is false news, and there are an almost infinite number of different shades for every occasion.
Even more fascinating about viewing this subject matter from this scope is the way in which history becomes a means to, or perhaps an extension of both social conventions and conditioning. When we look at a people’s history, from their generally excepted perspective, one can plainly see what scholar Mary Louise Pratt described as the art of the contact zone, which can be loosely defined as, “social places where cultures clash in asymmetrical relations of power.”
This is apparent in the way that, as a collective group of people, we tend to support a certain narrative of a given event in much the same way we do in social contexts. Just as we would mirror, or adopt the body language of someone in the room that we would hold in high esteem, so too are we more receptive to a given account based on the merit alone of who is telling the story, and seemingly on that merit alone. It is here that the boundaries of the contact zone become almost painstakingly obvious. Any singular event should be just that, an occurrence whose variables are defined by clearly definable parameters and facts that can be substantiated and rooted in factual, if not empirical evidence. At the said location, these players created this sense of causality and chain of events, all very cut, dry, and to the point.
But too often than not, this is far from what we see. We are given red, blue, conservative, liberal, progressive, and every viewpoint in-between of the same story. The facts then become distorted in that they are told in a way to speak to a certain frame-of-mind, or as a means of persuasion, and it is for this reason that we have come to the extreme of what we call fake news. At the same time, we can also view the astonishing paradox in that the standard of, considering the source can be reduced to nothing. What one party, faction, or demographic of people hold as a sort of gospel on the grounds of the speaker, the opposite side of that asymmetrical group of people will gawk at as sacrilegious or blasphemous. One person’s authoritative figure on the topic is another’s jester, spouting out idiotic bigotry, to which the other person is either an elitist socialist libtard, or a pious, uneducated redneck. And if that is the case, then what good is such a standard if it is so easily malleable, and on such a sliding scale that oscillates from one extreme to the next in such rapid succession from one person to the next?
Similarly, it is through this characteristic of what we call our history, that we can even intensify what is defined as Machiavellian prowess that we the people are subjected to by authoritative powers. This, of course, can be discerned in the way that we become disillusioned, and very distracted, by whether the information is left or right-winged, and by the who’s who, of giving the account, and everything in-between, then the actual event itself. Or the way that the seemingly never-ending account, slants, and angles of a singular event are almost as many all the different boxes and labels, and act in the same capacity to keep us separated and subjugate through said means of distraction, and of course to keep us quarreling with ourselves as if I was subscribed to the newsletter entitled, Caucasian, middle-aged, Libertarian male that identifies as such and such. Don’t worry, there is a newspaper just for that label that goes beyond the line of duty to make tailored articles that don’t conflict with your opinions because they know it means the loss of readership. And this is why we need safe places because God helps us if we run into thoughts and beliefs that speak directly against our own leaving us so deeply offended in the wake.
Just as we lose the objective reality of an incident in the bureaucracy of things, so to speak, so too is farther removed, obscured, and hindered not only when contemporaries and experts argue, not in the name of truth, but on account of stroking their egos in what is an otherwise vainglorious attempt of merely being right about something in particular, but also in the countless ways we dilute it further through constant revision, and carefully thought out watered down, or whitewashed versions that we are given.
The mass distortion, let us call them lies and half-truths for the very same sake that we call the lies found inherent within our cabinet Pinocchio’s, for they are far easier to swallow that way, are easily discernable all around us if one were to look closely enough. We witness this anytime we erase the scars, or the more ugly, insensitive, and horrendous aspects of our unapologetically accurate past, such as taking the trail of tears, or any other event of the like, that evokes the very same visceral reaction within the individual, for whatever reason that may be. Or, whenever we glorify any happenstance, such as how December 7th still lives on in infamy, in one breath, but in the other, coincidentally leave out details of the totality of what happened. This is no disrespect to what happened on that specific date, quite the opposite really, but if that is the case, we should also be thoughtful of such facts that, frankly speaking, it was an attack that could have been prevented, in that the US Government was aware of what the Japanese were planning, but allowed for it to happen in order to remove the façade of a mask that was our stance of neutrality so that they could participate in a war that they were looking for any reason to join because warfare is a well-known way to boost a country’s economy.
We pay additional homage to this falsified idle of a worldview whenever we teach ourselves to be cautious of propaganda abroad, such as in North Korea, just as one obvious exemplification, but neglect to see that we generate and engage in our own, which ultimately creates for the xenophobic and highly ethnocentric attitude of the world at large that we see in the United States today. Not only that, but we feed into it whenever we ostracize, demonize, and marginalize anyone as insensitive or inconsiderate for speaking to darker truths; truths such as the fact that approximately 225,000 Japanese lives were decimated in the blink of an eye, not for the sake of winning a war, but rather, to assert global military dominance. That the American people would have won without that action, but they decided to do it with all the cosmic consequences. That, or the way an entire nation has for the most part relegated and mistreated an entire generation of veterans for a war that the American population would like to think of in Vietnam.
Now, there is a completely logically Platonic argument against the following statement, that much can be granted, but history is both obstructed and tarnished, to the likes of deformation of one’s character whenever we feel so compelled to censor material, in whatever mean or medium that may come in, on the grounds that it is not idiosyncratic with the beliefs of the people at large; the fact that we have or at least have had a banned book list is asinine in and of itself.
From here, we see the place in specific that a quasi-philosophic rebuttal can be made; that it is the responsibility of the government to educate its people, and to sensor, its artwork for both good and bad material, but herein lies the dilemma. The problem is that we are a tremendously dualistic society, that, for the most part, see’s things in terms of black and white, yes and no, right and wrong contexts, when the truth of the matter is that our subjective and objective reality, as with most things in this life, comes in varying degrees, levels, shades, and could be more accurately be measured on a spectrum than these absurd either or extremes.
Not only that, but who amongst us can possibly wear the heavy responsibility of discerning that in which is wholly good or bad for that matter, and to do so in a way that is not self-serving to promote the incentives of a certain party of people, or that pushes a mandated pedagogy or ideology?
In the timeline of literature of the American people alone we have demonized books on the very same grounds. The content was either too vulgar because it seems certain people are too sensitive to the English language in its raw entirety. Likewise, we spit on our own American history in persecuting books like, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which in its entirety depicted a very real portrayal of the racial landscape of that epoch in question.
How then can someone classify any method of art as either wholly good or bad? It simply cannot be done. Granted, the content may be dark, vulgar, or more suited for an adult audience, however, that alone cannot serve as an accurate gauge of the merit of anyone's work in question. What does it matter if the subject matter is explicit, if, in its entirety, it causes its audience to think, whether it be just about the subject matter, or about the world they live in at large? What does it matter if something like Harry Potter, one of the most challenged books, is too fantastical, or seemingly promotes witchcraft if, upon reading it, it inspires or motivates the youth that reads it to create their own impression of beautiful things upon this world? Is it that these works are so appalling, or is it just that people can at times be somewhat closed-minded?
The aspect that makes this subject most absurd is its overall hypocrisy of it. How bizarre is it that, on the one hand, we can subject these works to such a degree of scrutiny as to put them on something such as a list of banned, or bad books in one action, and yet it is these very same books that more often than not, make up the entire composition of our academic reading list?
In some weird way, it further seems to speak to this horrendous narrative we are told, in that the world is this dangerous place as is illustrated to us in the news and other media outlets, where I can write an article about the causes of school shootings being the mental illness and violent video games, and submit it two years from now, and it will still be as relevant as it was twenty years ago when we blamed Marilyn Manson and Doom on the Columbine shooting. It is as if from our own school libraries, this media’s presence is still felt, subtly webbing into our minds, whispering, “See, the world is such a dangerous place that you’re not even safe from books, and we have to protect you in the backdrop of your sense of distraction and imagination as well. Didn’t we tell you that there wasn’t a place that was safe for you and your families? You should be thanking us for shielding you from this vile information.”
This is most hypocritical and ironic, especially in countries like the United States, whose frameworks and their very society, are built around the notion of capitalism. It is nonsensical and unintelligible on the very principle of capitalism alone. As mentioned earlier, we live in an age of information, such that information, the right information, is more valuable than gold, and we are reminded of it every time we set foot in a university or a library, and see the little poster of a child reading under a tree with clouds up above that says, “Knowledge is power.”
Knowledge is power. It certainly is. Or more accurately, the lack thereof, or at least in terms of any relevant or pertinent information that is of any beneficial use. The irony of this faculty, at least in American life, is that we preach the gospel of how important a college education is.
We are taught that “statistically speaking, individuals with a college education make more than those that don’t have one,” and the result of this is that we put ourselves into tremendous debt to attend, and as such, pay into it as a kind of savior, at least in terms of financial stability, likened to how past civilizations paid into the church, but more often than not this is not the reality or actuality of how things really are.
A more accurate depiction of how things really are is in fact in stark juxtaposition to what we’ve been taught. While this is what we’ve been told, the truth of the matter is that in the United States alone, we pay more for college tuition than in any other country, and that is for higher education that we simply are not getting what we are paying for. Our tuition is the highest in the world, and we owe billions in student loans, more than any other country, and yet a handful of European and Asian countries rank higher than us in terms of education. We boast to be the best or greatest country, and yet according to various surveys, such as that conducted by the Pew Research Center, we rank twentieth in regard to things that actually matter such as this broad category alone.
What is worth noting about these countries in question, is that they show the impracticality of the western teaching pedagogy. In the last decade or so, those countries that do rank the highest in terms of education, have done away with models that place such a high emphasis upon memorization of otherwise menial, and well-known material. To quote Gary Vaynerchuck, in our day and age of technology and information, it is highly impractical to have a student memorize who the fifteenth president was when you can conduct a google search and have that information readily available to you in less than a second.
A deeper examination of this fact is much more revealing and appalling for that matter. While this is what we have so deeply engrained and instilled into us from our fragile youth, what we see in the real world is so much different. In the United States alone, more than fifty-eight percent of Americans don’t attend college or finish the degree in they pursue. This is heavily looked down upon, despite how the great majority of some of the biggest earners in the US have been college dropouts, with Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates being just two examples of this truth.
The percentile of Americans with a degree drops down to around thirty-three percent or so when it is a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and an overwhelming majority do not obtain said degree in the expected four-year time slot, as a result of the growing demands that they are called to meet just to get by. And what are the real-world results that are yielded for that minority of less than one-third of the population?
For many, it is a hard wake-up call. Most finish their degree with their eyeballs in debt, ranging from anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 dollars, and that is an amount that is subjected to compounded interests. We think that it is the financial savior, and yet their our doctors, some that whom I know personally, that have accrued anywhere between 250,000 and 500,000 dollars of debt to their respective universities. And even that is a sort of anomaly, to say the least.
What is more typically is that those that recently graduated, they enter into a world where it is difficult to obtain the job that they have been seeking from the start of their higher academic careers for quite some time, which the result has been that for most, around fifty percent to be exact, they have to return back home following college to get back on their feet.
Not only that, but we also begin to touch on how the United States has been reported to be one of the most unequal developed nations in the entire world. This is noted in the way that more than any other generation in the history of the United States, millennials are more focused on higher education than any other generation before them, and yet, despite this fact of life, the work field that they enter into the following college is far from what they had expected in their pursuits. What they encounter is that, regardless of having a degree or not, generally speaking, the average thirty-year-old in today’s economy is making the same wage as a thirty-year-old was thirty years ago, and that is a disturbing statistic when considering the amount of inflation that has taken place in that time span alone. Even with all that extra hard work put in, to the average American, the total sum of five hundred dollars, a fixed amount that is less than or about the same as a month’s rent, is a lot of money, an unforeseeable expenditure that in more cases than not, they cannot afford to pay, so God forbid there is an unexpected hospital visit or veterinarian expense.
It is the fact that this happenstance has been taking place for quite some time now, and has been equally represented in the history of art in our popular culture, such as statements made in such movies as, The Big Short,, “I’m afraid that they’re going to do what they’ve always done (in relationship to the real estate market crashing and bringing the United States economy to its knees in one of the hardest recessions in decades). They’re going to blame it on immigrants and the poor people,” which is exactly what we have seen in our sociopolitical climate over the last five years or so, with campaign platforms pitting tighter immigration control against free education, making it every part as relevant to our cultural identity and history than anything else.
And that brings us to the final note on history, which I personally find to be the most captivating. As noted above, telling the history of a people should be quite simple. Much like the plotline of a book or a novel, the people, places, things, and events that happen should all matter of factually fit on the said timeline, with easily definable variables that one would expect to be unchanging, but that is not what happens.
In studying the course of some history, what we see is that it almost becomes analogous to being its own entity, comparable to the likes of some biological lifeform that is ever-changing in its own course of evolution. That is to say that any given history is amorphous and constantly subjected to the process of transmutation and change. New evidence is brought into play, and an accepted narrative of a people’s history becomes something else entirely.
On that note, I conclude by saying that I observe these things, not as a historian, or as someone that takes any interest in the history of things, but as an artist. I say that because the highest aim of art is not to create beautiful things or to reveal art while concealing the artist. As Oscar Wilde would have us believe.
No, just as I personally feel that he was mistaken in his estimation that Aristotle was wrong in his thoughts of mimesis, in that art imitates life, by saying that it was the other way around. Life does not art to the extent that he thought it did. Any artwork is an individual attempt to express this fragile thing that we call life, and to that end, it is a copy of life; while we are all the creators of beautiful things, and as such, artists to one varying extent or degree to another, the actions of day-to-day life, is not a copy or imitation, or any other kind of paid respect to art. Imitation crab is not crab, just as art, no matter how realistic, can stand on its own merit to be an exact copy of life. While a painting could very well be a representative copy of a very pretty woman, a living, breathing woman could never be the copy of the colors on a canvas. Without art, life, no matter how, bland, boring, or contritely filled of all the banalities of the world, would continue to continue, while without life, art too would cease to exist.
Rather, the highest form of art is not found in the beauty of its conception, but in the totality of its historical significance. For, when we read the masters of their craft, it is as if we attend King Edwards School at Stratford-Upon-Avon along with Shakespeare, and are thrown into the same religiously occupied world, where the gospel was the teaching paradigm, and one had to subtly incorporate every ideology of the time, out of fear of being prosecuted by the crown, no matter how brilliantly written a manuscript it may be. In these imagined places, we became every bit a part of this cultural identity as we learned all modern-day conceptualizations of hell from Dante or took part in that lost paradise in the prose of Milton.
And, just like this trend has continued forth through the ages, as the audience’s caught a glimpse of the American zeitgeist, or spirit, through Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, just as they received a fantastical allegory of the 1906 presidential election through Baum’s, The Wizard of Oz, so to can be said for art in its correlation to scientific achievement. Modern art paralleled and even preceded the ideas of Newtonian triumph in the same way that Naïve Art reflected nonlinear time or the relationship that can be found between surrealism and relativistic distortion or within abstract arts' connection with imageless physics. This pattern is ever-present in our very own day-and-age, in the way that, The Matrix not only captures the ideas expressed through Plato’s, Allegory of the Cave but gives us an abstract idea of the holographic universe stipulated by Hawking. And in the same way, the landscape of both the Marvel and DC universe, or certain ideas articulated through shows like Rick and Morty give us an idea of what a theoretical universe might look light, or give us a glimpse into the unperceivable extra dimensions that have been well speculated throughout string theory. Because the fact of the matter is that there is no form that art, in its modest attempt to capture the essence of life, cannot take.
It is for this very reason that throughout human history, conquering nations have set out to destroy the artwork, artifacts, achievements, and every other aspect of the people that came before them. This is exactly what Hitler did in his conquest throughout Europe in creating for the glorious Third Reich, in that he destroyed the artwork of each nation he acquired, under the assumption that if he destroyed their artwork, it would be as if the people and all their achievements had never been, as was so beautifully captured in the motion film, The Monuments Men, as a small platoon of historians sought out to reclaim the artwork that had been stolen by the Germans. And this is by no means a new idea. It was the same idea beyond every Mongolian attack, where they would leave behind only one monument, as a bold exclamatory statement to their enemies, that this is what will happen to you if you stand in our way; we will smite your society out from the face of human history, so don’t fuck with us. Just as this ideology has been reiterated time and time again through such artistic expressions as the classic film, Planet of the Apes, in which the main protagonist exclaims, “What have we done,” at the sight of the Statue of Liberty in ruins before him at the movies conclusion.
It is for these reasons and more that I pause for a considerable period of time in the composition of this work to find the words that best give the topic at hand the due attention and respect that it so rightly deserves, in such a way that is without any personal bias or judgment of any kind, while simultaneously presenting the facts as they are in their most unadulterated form as the evidence to date suggests and otherwise implies. When considering everything that this particular piece consists of, I must admit that it almost seems impossible for one to search deep within enough so to find the right vocabulary in their lexicon to hold the matter and everything that it entails in such a light that revers it at the level of esteem and admiration that it has consistently maintained for more than a century.
I speak, of course, to that vessel whose very namesake was a living testimony to its size, grandeur, and near perfection in its meticulously thought out contrivance in terms of magnificent design; a name that typified that whole city, communities, and ports had to be created for to allow for such a project of grand scale, and whose alias, along with many others, unsinkable being just one, was that of the title of this book in The Ship of Dreams, which it certainly was, to people of past, of the present, and unquestionably for future generations to come. The same ship whose manifestation into the physical world, as well as her tragedy of Greek proportions, has managed to captivate the fanciful imagination of countless great artistic minds, such as James Cameron, and seemingly every other person from generation to generation, which I am quite sure will be the case for many more to come, even at a time that the ocean floor, some two miles down, eventually sweeps her, as well as the grave site of more than one thousand souls, far, far away from any type of physical plane of existence. I speak, of course, of the Titanic.
And at this point, as an observant artist, I would like to say one other thing on the subject matter that is art, in its highest form when it comes to the Titanic. I write this lengthy prologue as an attempt to reveal my own aim in writing this for my audience, at least as far as I can hope to accomplish.
It is my humble goal in writing about the Titanic and having it finished and prepared for the public at large by its 110th anniversary that I may deviate from the seemingly repetitive romantic narrative that has perpetually permeated throughout popular culture, and I do not mean this in the literal or definitive way that literature can be classified by, but rather in the emphasis on romance in such pieces as, A Night to Remember, or more recently, that of James Cameron’s, Titanic, as was previously alluded to. That is not to slam, criticize, or put down these works. I have seen and loved these pieces of artistic expression on their own merit, it is just of my own artistic opinion that, now, some one-hundred-and-ten years later, this plot has become overplayed, and that the emphasis on the love story, or on this romantic elements, takes away from the story itself, as a sort of distraction if you will. As such, the audience becomes more concerned and ultimately over cumbered with thoughts of whether or not there was enough room for Jack on that double-wide door, which let’s face it, that was certainly the case, or such profound theories as to how Jack was the romantic creation of the mind, a mere imagination, and illusion of Rose’s deep emotional disturbances. The result of which is that we get so lost in whether or not Jack pocketed the Heart of the Ocean and grew to become Gatsby as other unrealistic theories suggest than we do in giving the Titanic, and those that went down with her the attention that it deserves.
Rather, it is my overarching goal as a writer that I can create a new telling that allows for a return towards romanticism, in the traditional sense, insofar as it may focus on the storyteller’s inward or emotional processes as they existentially go through this traumatic ordeal. That are the very real behaviors of very real individuals in the midst of great distress, whose actions could hardly be conceived or processed through the rational mind unless the individual actually lived through it. That is the incorporation of such sentiments as the notion of an individual’s past lives, and through them, their life lesson to learn, to include a touch of what we refer to as mysticism, and that in a certain capacity, at least in the ships final moments, alludes to a rejection of industrialization, for as the Titanic was a symbol of the industrial times, so too did the hopes and dreams of the said period go down with the ship, as perhaps its most profound, and quite disturbing act of symbolism in its short lifespan.
As such, I hope that in the composition of, The Ship of Dreams, I may achieve this through the utilization of the very real facts and evidence which focuses more on the more esoteric and historical elements of the narrative in question. For it is of my own personal opinion that the very history of the Titanic, with all of its main players, events, places, and factual shreds of evidence has created numerous wild and ingenious conspiracy theories, such as the fact that she never even sank, that it was instead her twin of the Tragedy Sisters in the Olympic that actually sank in her place as part of an insurance scandal, are far more fascinating and romantic, again in the very traditional sense, than any romance could ever be. Romance aside, the raw story of what happened in and of itself is, as I said before, the stuff of great Greek tragedies, and as such, no other imagined element needs to be added. And it is my very humbled hope that I can shed a glimmer of insight as far as this matter is concerned, while both imparting and revealing this fact to the reader, as I give my own impression of beautiful things to you.
Because there is no denying the fact that in all her glory, the Titanic was exactly that, and more, to which I can personally testify to, in my own individual fancy of the idea of the Titanic II that is supposed to be created for, and which will also be included in this work, for there is some part of me, to which I cannot logically explain, that wishes to be there for that, so that I can get even the smallest taste of what it must have been like for those at the Southampton dock in April of 1912 to take in such a magnificent sight unlike any that had ever been seen before.
That being said, I would also like to finish by conveying this to my audience before I get started, in that there is another reason behind this rather lengthy prologue that also has to do with the subject matter of history as far as artistic expression is concerned. In sticking to the history, I also hope that I may also achieve to illustrate how everything that I have said thus far can be found inherently within the story of the Titanic; as a sort of universal truth on the matter, for that is certainly the case, albeit, I am sure the reader would have to take in the work with a relatively open mind, and quite reasonably so.
I would be hard-pressed to even attempt to relate to you all the countless ways in which this is irrevocably the case. It would take, I would argue an entire book to do so, and perhaps more, and for this reason, I write this for you to decide and be the judge.
To play the devil’s advocate, however, I can confidently and accurately deliver the following truths to my reader before I begin, as they don’t entirely fit in with the plot or narrative of the book, seeing as they were in the background or peripheral of the actual events.
I think that it is worth mentioning that, as far as journalism is concerned, that what we know as, The New York Times, was firmly established on the premises of it’s expose on the Titanic’s sinking; it was the only newspaper at the time that gave an precise explanation of the accident, with it’s twenty something page documentation on the incident including interviews with various survivors, while all it’s competitors were playing catch, as they continued to project the story of the unsinkable Titanic; a fact that is consistent with how our journalistic narrative has a kind of focal point on all that is negative on the world, and if at this point, there remains any sense of skepticism to this, I suggest tuning into any news channel, any one will do, and I am willing to bet that it would take less than five minutes before a story is run on how Trump is a narcissistic liar, or how there was a shooting at the corner of such and such, or in our current times, the number of deaths that our expected from the Coronavirus epidemic.
With that being said, this also says a great deal about all the different perspectives, vantage points, and slants that a publication house can take with a given story, and the degree to which they present any sense of accuracy, as there were many contemporaries to The New York Times that ran articles that continued on portraying the unsinkable ship that it was thought to be, downplaying the event in saying it was a minor inconvenience, and that the ship in question acted as a sort of oversized lifeboat with no know deaths. How wrong they were, and there were still those that took this as the gospel, because it was in print, and that was all it took.
In the backdrop of the story, it is also worth noting of the official inquiry that was conducted following the incident. Not only does such an investigation absurd insofar as it was performed by invested parties such as White Star Line, in a paradoxical attempt to see if they were at all liable to those remaining survivors, but transparently divulges the bureaucratic conventions of what we can call for all intended purposes, the he-said-she-said of the world. This is seen in the way that all involved parties found a way to absolve Captain Smith and all other members associated with the Titanic, and with it, the White Star Line, of any blame, not to say that they were. They managed to do so by creating a kind of scapegoat out of the nearby Carpathia, stating that they were at fault as they were close by, emphasizing that there would have been more survivors had the Captain of the Carpathia not fallen asleep as was depicted in the blockbuster hit, A Night to Remember.
This one exemplification of the agreeable social conventions of what happened alone also acts to demonstrate the ways in which what the public ultimately agrees on, and what later becomes history, inevitably changes over time like some sort of entity or life form. For, while this was taken as truth at the time, the Captain of the Carpathia eventually was absolved of any blame for the sinking of the Titanic, although it was well after his death, at the emergence of new evidence in what has been rightly called and classified as the notorious mystery ship which both the Titanic and Carpathia encountered that tragic night, which it is estimated that it was a lone ship whose Captain did not want to be discovered due to the fact that he was illegally operating his ship, and to whom was under the impression that the ships that it encountered were part of a security patrol which would essentially catch them in the act. This is a well-documented occurrence that has been speculated over to the nth degree and then some, and yet this specific phenomenon has yet to be depicted in any artistic adaptation of the Titanic, in the same way, that it is still believed that the ship split at a forty-five-degree angle, when the physics does not support that idea, with it being approximated that it was more like eleven degrees, much unlike what is illustrated on the cinematic screen.
Similarly, the same can be said of the most convenient scapegoat of all found in the case of the White Star Line managing director J. Bruce Ismay, who, much to his and his family's misfortune has come to be known as the Coward of the Titanic, as the public became obsessed with how he had managed to get aboard a lifeboat under the orders of women and children, the result of which cost his entire family line their reputation.
This is most interesting considering when given the totality of everything that took place, that this would not have been the case had the roles been reversed. I say this in light of the fact that what is not so much common knowledge when it comes to matters pertaining to the Titanic is the fact that, while the Titanic, and the White Star ocean line with the British on paper, everything that was associated to the entire company from the Titanic all the way down to the Britannica, were owned in full by none other than American business typhoon J.P. Morgan.
What is interesting about the intensive survey of the issue is that, in a way, Ismay seemingly became the face of the Titanic overnight. This is observable in the fact that the Titanic brought out the who’s who of the wealthiest corners of the globe, with these individuals being under the impression that Mr. Morgan would be aboard the ship for its maiden voyage, as he rightly said he would. However, that is not what happened, no far from it; Mr. Morgan flaked last minute on account of bad health, even though there were reporters at the time who gave reports that they had run into the world’s richest man and that nothing could be further from the truth. Things become even more intriguing than the consequence of his last-minute decision entrusted Ismay with the luxurious room aboard the Titanic that was supposed to be occupied by Morgan. This is fascinating, because if the roles were in fact reversed, and Morgan had gone as he said he would, no one would have had so much as a second thought about whether he survived the ordeal or not, but Ismay on the other hand, was not entitled to this luxury. Again, it seems as if ethos and the character reigns supreme in all matters.
There are two more matters on which I wish to elaborate on before I finally commence seeing this project out. First, I have to be frank that, when it comes to issues such as those previously mentioned, namely that of factors associated with Morgan’s owning the Titanic and the White Star Line, there are variables, factual evidence, that have created plenty of engrossing controversies.
Of these, I have to say that I am more partial that that which has been created for the work entitled, Titanic: The Ship that Never sank. The main premises of this particular theory deal specifically with this topic of ownership and suggests that the Titanic was swapped out with the Olympic in a grand insurance scandal, and transcending that, as an orchestrated means to create for the federal reserve, as there were a handful of the wealthiest individuals who were opposed to the creation of the Federal Reserve that perished that fateful night. That the ship that saw twenty-five years of service as Ole’ Reliable was in fact the unsinkable Titanic as promised, and that it is the Olympic that sits on the ocean floor; a theory that has been called the stuff of science-fiction behind the story, and the sort of thing that would make for a good movie.
That being said, I will present some of these variables, such as the individuals and their stories. In so doing, I will suggest that there is the possibility of foul play in the being the scenes realm of the Titanic. That being said, I by no means am implying that this is the case, or conveying that this is my own personal belief; rather, I am presenting additional evidence that has to lead to this train of thought, and with us all knowing the story as it is, I will ultimately let you be the judge, for as in all matters there are two or more sides to a story, and hardly if does what becomes agreed upon conveying the whole picture of the totality of what actually took place, as is evident in the way that agreed-upon stories can transform and morph themselves into something entirely different as new evidence is collected and considered upon.
Finally, I do find it important to close on one final note. Although I will attempt to remove myself from all personal biases, opinions, and judgments related to the story of the Titanic, I have to be as forward and forthcoming as I possibly can in admitting quite incandescently that I do in fact hold all of these things, from the time that I was approximately four years old. I have been taken by the Titanic for as long as I can remember. At the age of four, the first pictures that I drew for my parents were that of the Titanic and its magnificent four tunnels; a picture that now is tattooed on my left forearm, although in much more artistic detail than I could ever manage. In addition to that, I was on the Titanic for Halloween when I was six. Also, I have had reoccurring dreams of my dying in the heart of the ship in a vainglorious attempt to stop it from doing so for as long as I can remember, and have done a great deal of research on the topic over the years, the result of which is that at this point in my life, I have become convinced that I died on the ship in a past life; something that will take shape in the multi-dimensional quality that I will articulate in this work. So, in earnest, I will try to reserve and remove all of that from within my own being in this telling. And on that note, I present to you, my audience, The Ship of Dreams. I do hope you enjoy it, and I personally thank you for bearing with me in this extensive prologue.