January 17, 2012

Cruise liner captains don't go down with their ships

The Italian cruise ship fiasco, in which the captain is under arrest for refusing the Italian Coast Guard's demand that he return to the ship to supervise the evacuation of passengers, reminds me of a 1991 cruise ship disaster with a happy ending. From People:
On Saturday evening, Aug. 3, as a 50-mph gale buffeted their ship, passengers aboard the Greek cruise liner Oceanos gamely made their way to the main lounge for the evening's entertainment. No sooner had they settled in than the lights went out. The 492-foot ship, suddenly without power, tossed in high seas off South Africa's aptly named Wild Coast. For 361 weekend tourists, one of the most harrowing nights of their lives had just begun. The Oceanos was sinking.  
Disgracefully, many of the 184 crew members clambered aboard the lifeboats ahead of some of the passengers and paddled to the safety of tankers and trawlers that had drawn nearby. At daybreak on Sunday, South African Air Force helicopters joined the rescue operation. But to the astonishment and anger of the 217 passengers still aboard, Capt. Yannis Avranias grabbed the second chopper off the ship. With no one clearly in charge, an unlikely hero emerged among the remaining crew: Robin Boltman, 31, the ship's magician.  
Giving the performance of his career, Boltman entertained and calmed passengers throughout the pitch-black night. In the morning he ascended to the bridge and maintained radio contact with rescuers. Finally, at 11:30 A.M., after all other passengers and crew had been removed to safety, Boltman was lifted from the ship by a helicopter. At 1:45 P.M. the luxury liner nosed into the Indian Ocean and disappeared under the waves. 

You can read the magician's story of how he organized the evacuation here.

The tradition of women and children first in shipwrecks emerged in the 19th Century. One famous example was the death of John Jacob Astor IV, the wealthiest passenger on the Titanic in 1912. According to Wikipedia:
When Second Officer Charles Lightoller arrived on A deck to finish loading Lifeboat 4, Astor helped his wife with her maid and nurse into it. Astor then asked if he might join his wife because she was in 'a delicate condition'; however, Lightoller told him that men were not to be allowed to enter until all the women and children had been loaded. Astor stood back and simply asked Lightoller for the boat number. The lifeboat was lowered at 1:55 a.m. and Astor stood alone while others tried to free the remaining collapsible boats;[1] he was last seen on the starboard bridge wing, smoking a cigarette with Jacques Futrelle. A half hour later, the ship disappeared beneath the water. Madeleine, her nurse, and her maid survived. Astor's valet, Victor Robbins, did not.

This understated but memorable incident didn't even make the 1997 movie Titanic, presumably because it didn't fit the Celtic Good v. WASP Bad and Feminist (but Hot) Women v. Male Chauvinist Pigs dynamics that James Cameron suffused the movie with. Obviously, Cameron knows a lot about what contemporary audiences want to pay to see.

One implicit question is whether there is any connection between the change in the cultural atmosphere in recent generations and the poor behavior of these two captains. And the answer is: the sample size is too small to tell.

122 comments:

Greg Williams said...

Makes sense, thanks to the Feminist movement... It's insensitive for men to stay behind and help others, especially women and children, for we are all equal now...

Anony said...

As a woman who is familiar with the behavior of other women, I don't believe in "women and children" first anymore. I wouldn't want my husband to forfeit his life to save some random crude, rude, drunken (we are talking about cruise ships here) single mother, for example.

Men should still take care of their own female companions (wives, relatives, friends,etc), but looking after the rest of them in the name of chivalry is foolish.

John Cunningham said...

In the early 90s, a Holland America cruise ship had an engineroom fire crossing the Gulf of Alaska. All the crew took to the boats, leaving the mostly elderly passengers behind. luckily, the ship's band stepped up,organizing the evacuation to the boats. Amazingly, it was a calm day in the typically stormy Gulf, and there were no deaths. A couple of the aged passengers had heart attacks or strokes.

David said...

What was the name of the cruise liner company that went bankrupt while cruises were in progress? Seem to remember that employees, captains included, simply took to the lifeboats and split (you no paycheck, we no work), and the aghast passengers left behind had to be rescued.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

I would love to believe that nationality was a factor ... was it?

Would a British or American captain and crew have abandoned their passengers so readily? As you say, the sample size is small, but the concept of dying nobly, like a gentleman, standing by your post, doing your duty to the end, and helping to save the women and children, sounds terribly Anglo to me. Then again, perhaps I am just an ethnic chauvinist.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

Forgot to add that, on the other hand, one does fairly often hear stories of airline flight crew - including flight attendants, who are paid miserably and treated like crap by most airlines nowadays - being dedicated or even heroic in saving their passengers. Is the problem with cruise ships specifically?

Steve Sailer said...

I haven't heard any stories of stewardesses elbowing passengers out of the way to be first down the evacuation slides.

SFG said...

What's the point of chivalry now that women have equal rights? I mean, really. They don't go to war, the government looks out for them, they live longer, they can clean us out in a divorce...

Equality means equality, and payback's a...

Eric said...

Men should still take care of their own female companions (wives, relatives, friends,etc), but looking after the rest of them in the name of chivalry is foolish.

I agree with this. There used to be an entire social compact that governed the interaction of men and women. The feminists stripped out the half that was beneficial to men, so any attempt to enforce the other half gets a laugh from me. That's like having your employer ask you to work without pay.

I'd like to see women register for the draft as well. We're all equal now, right?

Anonymous said...

According to an Anglo ship's master I heard interviewed on the radio, women and children first is no longer 'best practice'. Modern civilians are better commanded when family units are held intact.

As for the Oceanos, we travelled on her ill-starred sister ship Achille Lauro (out of Napoli) a few years before the Oceanos fiasco. Botman and the other South African entertainers were aboard and are fondly remembered.
Gilbert Pinfold.

Anonymous said...

This understated but memorable incident didn't even make the 1997 movie Titanic, presumably because it didn't fit the Celtic Good v. WASP Bad and Feminist (but Hot) Women v. Male Chauvinist Pigs dynamics that James Cameron suffused the movie with. Obviously, Cameron knows a lot about what contemporary audiences want to pay to see.

You got the cause and effect all wrong here.

Cat said...

As bad as feminism is, I don't see how it explains the trampling of children and senior citizens.

Ed said...

The thing with the Titanic was that there weren't enough lifeboats, period, the lifeboats collectively hold hold something like 40% of the ship's passenger list. That was fixed legislation post disaster, also lifeboat drills for passengers and crew were made mandatory (in the case of the cruise ship that just sank either the law didn't apply or they disobeyed it). On the Titanic the lifeboats launched early were not filled to capacity, though the crew upped their game as the night went on and people realized the extent of the disaster. Also the (male) CEO of the White Star line left on one of the early lifeboats, though the captain of the Titanic and the engineer who designed the ship both went down with the ship.

So if you are not going to provide enough lifeboat space for all the passengers, then you have to come up with some way to decide who gets into the lifeboat and who gets left behind, and any algorithm you come up with is going to be arbitrary -you might as well just so a lottery of room numbers. What they basically did was female first class passengers, male first class passengers, female second class passengers, male second class passengers, female third class passengers, then male third class passengers.

The code was followed most strictly by the middle class second class passengers, nearly all the second class women got off the ship and nearly all the second class men died. You had a better chance of surviving as a man traveling in steerage (some of people traveling in third class broke the rules). And some of the male first class passengers passed up the chance to escape, for various reasons, as did one of the women. One elderly department store magnate figured there was no point in him taking up a lifeboat space if he was going to die in a few years anyway, and his wife decided to join him.

And pretty much the only crew that were in lifeboats were those assigned beforehand to steer them.

Ed said...

WIth the other big passenger liner disaster of that era, the sinking of the Lusitania, the ship went down before there as time to evacuate to the lifeboats. That was because the ship was carrying munitions as the Germans maintained all along. They were shocked by the degree to which people were upset about the sinking.

Geoff Matthews said...

Getoffmylawn!,

I (like to) think that a British/American/Canadian captain would be ashamed to abandon his post before his passengers were evacuated. It isn't the nobility in death, rather, but the shame in life, that would motivate their behavior.
Clearly, this Italian captain had no shame.

Irwina said...

David and John Cunningham,

Those stories are sad, but not surprising. "Uncouth women" aren't enough to explain them and I detest the intellectual laziness that causes too many to jump to this.
Did special measures have to be taken by the Anglos on the Titanic to keep the third-class men from trampling their own?
Serious question, I really don't know the answer.

ziel said...

According to a NY Times article from April 17, 1912, the Chinese had reverse priorities in the case of disasters:

"It is the duty of sailors when a Chinese vessel goes down to save men first, children next, and women last," said the agent. "This is on the theory that men are most valuable to the State, that adoptive parents can be found for children, and that women without children are destitute."

Irwina said...

SFG and Eric,
Yes, feminism is execrable, but to cause these men to neglect and bring harm to children and senior citizens of both sexes?

At Disney World, when I was a kid around 1990, a bunch of people overwhelmed a tram taking us back to the parking lot to leave that night. Our whole family made it, but my 11-year-old brother got pushed out of the way by a black man and was thus left behind. When my mom pointedly told him this, he said, "Woman, I don't give a damn about your son."

Did some harpy cause him to do this?! Personally, I thought he was just a jackass.

beowulf said...

After the Titanic disaster, recommendations were made by both the British and American Boards of Inquiry stating, in part, that ships would carry enough lifeboats for those aboard, mandated lifeboat drills would be implemented, lifeboat inspections would be conducted, etc. Many of these recommendations were incorporated into the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea passed in 1914.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changes_in_safety_practices_following_the_RMS_Titanic_disaster#Lifeboats

astorian said...

I'm reminded of a very old joke (first inspired by the Andrea Dorria): "On an Italian ship, the only heroes are the sandwiches."

John Cunningham said...

I have never taken a cruise, but from what I have heard from friends and from reading, the officers are often from a range of European countries, with the rank and file crew largely from the 3rd world--Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico, etc. I wonder if the crew diversity is a source of "every man for himself"?

Anonymous said...

Our whole family made it, but my 11-year-old brother got pushed out of the way by a black man and was thus left behind. When my mom pointedly told him this, he said, "Woman, I don't give a damn about your son."

I find it hard to believe that a black person would behave in the manner described. Are you sure you had his ethnicity right? His face wasn't just in shadow or something?

Anonymous said...

Sullenberger walked down the aisle of his plane TWICE while it took on water to make sure everyone got out.

"The hero of Flight 1549, pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger III, walked the aisle of the downed US Airways jet twice looking for passengers before exiting the plane he safely ditched in the Hudson River, saving the lives of more than 150 people onboard."

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=6658493&page=1#.TxYXScCKS-0

Some men are just better than others.

Harry Baldwin said...

The "women and children first" credo was most nobly demonstrated in the wreck of the troopship HMS Birkenhead in 1852. After it hit submerged rocks in the shark-infested waters off the coast of Capetown, South Africa, the troops stood at attention while the women and children filled the too-few lifeboats, and continued to stand at attention until they drowned. This was a high-water mark (so to speak) in the age when the British held themselves to a higher standard than Italians or Greeks.

From Wikipedia:

"The surviving officers and men assembled on deck, where Lieutenant-Colonel Seton of the 74th Foot took charge of all military personnel and stressed the necessity of maintaining order and discipline to his officers.

"Almost everybody kept silent, indeed nothing was heard, but the kicking of the horses and the orders of Salmond, all given in a clear firm voice.

"Ten minutes after the first impact, the engines still turning astern, the ship struck again beneath the engine room, tearing open her bottom. She instantly broke in two just aft of the mainmast. The funnel went over the side and the forepart of the ship sank at once. The stern section, now crowded with men, floated for a few minutes before sinking.

"Just before she sank, Captain Salmond called out that 'all those who can swim jump overboard, and make for the boats.' Colonel Seton, however, recognising that rushing the lifeboats would risk swamping them and endangering the women and children, ordered the men to stand fast, and only three men made the attempt. The cavalry horses were freed and driven into the sea in the hope that they might be able to swim ashore.

"The soldiers did not move, even as the ship broke up barely 20 minutes after striking the rock. Some of the soldiers managed to swim the 2 miles (3.2 km) to shore over the next 12 hours, often hanging on to pieces of the wreck to stay afloat, but most drowned, died of exposure or were taken by sharks."

stari_momak said...

I seem to remember some tophatted WASP character having a smoke as Cameron's Titanic sank. Maybe I am mistaken.

FF said...

"As bad as feminism is, I don't see how it explains the trampling of children and senior citizens"

Did chivalry evolve more to control men than women?
If ALL men understand that All women and children go first,then there is a more level playing field, as it were.
There would be less time lost in a panic and is probably based on the assumption that a woman could be pregnant, and thus 2 lives were saved.
There is no time for negotiation or manners in such situations, only the quick adherence to a widely accepted cultural norm...probably enforced by shaming. All this, even though instinctive to most men I think, is long gone.

Anonymous said...

Anglo captains and crew behave dishonorably too.

"On 17 July 1880, S.S. Jeddah sailed from Singapore bound for Penang and Jeddah, with 778 men, 147 women and 67 children on board. The passengers were Muslims from the Malay states, traveling to Mecca for the hajj (holy pilgrimage). Jeddah sailed under the British flag and was crewed largely by British officers. After rough weather conditions, the Jeddah began taking in water. The hull sprang a large leak, the water rose rapidly, and the captain and officers abandoned the heavily listing ship. They were picked up by another vessel and taken to Aden where they told a story of violent passengers and a foundering ship. The pilgrims were left to their fate, and apparently certain death. However, on 8 August 1880 a French steamship towed Jeddah into Aden - the pilgrims had survived."

peterike said...

It makes sense to me to have families get into lifeboats as intact units. I would think it would lead to better discipline (ahhh, discipline.... remember discipline?).

What is appalling to me are these comments about crews leaving before passengers. I have never been on a cruise and I have no intention of ever being on one. What is the general composition of the staffs on these things?

Anonymous said...

Would a British or American captain and crew have abandoned their passengers so readily? As you say, the sample size is small, but the concept of dying nobly, like a gentleman, standing by your post, doing your duty to the end, and helping to save the women and children, sounds terribly Anglo to me.

Except if you listen to the transcript of the disgusted Italian coast guard officer chewing the captain a new one and hear the outraged sounds coming out of Italy, it is clear that the Italians did expect this captain to do his duty and were stunned and enraged when he didn't.

~KM

ironrailsironweights said...

Forgot to add that, on the other hand, one does fairly often hear stories of airline flight crew - including flight attendants, who are paid miserably and treated like crap by most airlines nowadays - being dedicated or even heroic in saving their passengers.

I believe the rule on all airlines is that in event of emergency the flight attendants are responsible for getting the passengers off the airplane. Only then do they evacuate themselves.

Peter

Anonymous said...

I used to supervise crews repossessing telecom equipment off of cruise ships in bankruptcy and fixing telecom systems on ships during turnaround time, and I learned a bit about the industry, namely...

This shipwreck was nothing. One of these days, a thousand people are going to perish, most likely from the biggest danger facing cruise ships in the 21st c.: not rocks, or icebergs, or salmonella, but FIRE. Most cruise lines are utterly unprepared to deal with the inevitable catastrophic blaze.

Part of this is sloppy maintenance: you'd be shocked to find out how many lifeboat davits on supposedly well-maintained ships are rusted to the core, but covered up with white lead paint.

But the bigger problem is, as another commenter alluded, the complete ethnic segregation of the crew. Your average ship will have, say, British or Dutch officers, American entertainers, Italian chefs, Filipino stewards, Indonesian cleaning crews, and Chinese in the engineering sections down below. There. Is. No. Communication. Between. Them. Let alone the kind of solidarity that would promote "women and children first".

Crew Fire Drills are usually held after a load of passengers has disembarked but while the ship is being restocked in the hours before the next mass of tourists climbs aboard. This is a good thing, as the passengers would likely panic if they saw how completely disorganized and clueless the people they are entrusting their safety to are.

It's only a matter of time.

Kylie said...

"As a woman who is familiar with the behavior of other women, I don't believe in 'women and children' first anymore. I wouldn't want my husband to forfeit his life to save some random crude, rude, drunken (we are talking about cruise ships here) single mother, for example.

Men should still take care of their own female companions (wives, relatives, friends,etc), but looking after the rest of them in the name of chivalry is foolish."


My sentiments exactly.

I used to be so proud that my husband always held the door for other women, sometimes several at a time, ushered women ahead of him in line, etc. But I was appalled to see how seldom he was thanked. Most just seem to think he was doing his duty and thanks were not required. In fact, you would never have known a human was holding the door open for them from their expressions.

I have since told him not to extend those courtesies to anyone but me other elderly females and his family. Let the rude sows and cows fend for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Rotfl

DCThrowback said...

Costanza as cruise ship Captain

Anonymous said...

Astor asked to join his wife on the lifeboat and was told he couldn't. I don't see anything heroic in his actions.

David said...

Kind of a metaphor of America today:

>But the bigger problem is, as another commenter alluded, the complete ethnic segregation of the crew. Your average ship will have, say, British or Dutch officers, American entertainers, Italian chefs, Filipino stewards, Indonesian cleaning crews, and Chinese in the engineering sections down below. There. Is. No. Communication. Between. Them. Let alone the kind of solidarity that would promote "women and children first".<

Eric said...

Sullenberger walked down the aisle of his plane TWICE while it took on water to make sure everyone got out.

He wasn't checking for passengers. When your balls are that big you gotta carry them one at a time.

Anonymous said...

While reading the story of the sinking of the Andrea Doria, I learned that the "women and children" first (or at least women) was not standard in ship-sinking. In fact, Arabs used to put the women in a part of the boat that was considered most dangerous. They didn't like women on boats so maybe this was a way of saying 'stay off.'
Different strokes for different folks, but the British did have a history of "giving way" to ladies, at least in theory, or in the case of the Titanic, an unusually tight run ship as far as discipline. In the Andrea Doria book, there were other wrecks on record where the lifeboats were manned by whoever got there first.

Anonymous said...

The Disney tram incident - I find it hard to believe that a black person would behave in the manner described. Are you sure you had his ethnicity right? His face wasn't just in shadow or something?

Quite. Ive watched many a TV show and movie and for a black person to behave like this would be unthinkable. Those scriptwriters wouldnt lie now would they? Are you quite sure it wasnt a white person, a WASP perhaps, maybe even a British aristocrat?

Anonymous said...

Lord Jim, no?

Don't let Marlowe call schettino a cur.

Anonymous said...

Certainly children first makes sense. The "Women before men" part stopped making sense 40 years ago. Anyway, nice to know there are still some "White Knights" who'll die so that my wife or Grandma might live.

Thanks suckers.

Icepick said...

Boltman was also on the Achille Lauro's last voyage, when it caught fire and sank off the coast of Somalia in 1994. The Captain on that ship, one Guiseppi Orssi, called Boltman to the bridge to ask for advice - he didn't want to repeat the mistakes of the Oceanos's captain!

Anonymous said...

"Astor asked to join his wife on the lifeboat and was told he couldn't. I don't see anything heroic in his actions."

That's because you don't know good breeding. Of course he asked; when told the policy he didn't argue. He didn't plead. He didn't try to bribe the crew (his body was found with thousands in cash in his pocket). That isn't heroism as Hollywood defines it; that's class. Something our sorry democratic age does not understand.

Ted said...

It sickens me how eagerly large audiences are willing - nay, eager - to buy into anti-WASP themes. But maybe the movies are just well made and people aren't really motivated by the message. Still, we live in an age in which the crude, the vulgar and the cheap are considered better than the refined. Someday, we will pay a price for this.

Whiskey said...

There was that gay steward who grabbed a beer, popped the chute, and screamed he was out of here. What was his name?

Truth said...

" I wonder if the crew diversity is a source of "every man for himself"?"

No, the desire to live to see one's life is a source of "every man for himself."

Anonymous said...

This understated but memorable incident didn't even make the 1997 movie Titanic


Umm ... did you even watch the movie? It showed a number of very wealthy men bravely going down with the ship. Not the baddy, of course, but that's because it's a movie.

Celtic Good v. WASP Bad


I don't know what incidents in your life put you on this hobbyhorse (did John O'Sullivan humiliate you once?) but you need to get off it.

Anonymous said...

I know I'll get slated here by all numbers of Americans with Italian ancestry, but that captain's selfish, childish, hysterical and cowardly actions are typically Italian traits.
I'm not too big a fan of the English, but an English captain would never do that.Even if he was qualing inside, he'd put on a brave face, mainly because the fear of subsequent shame and ostracism from upper class circles is too great.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I doubt that if there are any 'rules of the sea' that specify 'the captain must go down with his ship' or 'women and children first'.
These are all myths, mainly promulgated by Hollywood.

Eric said...

Boltman was also on the Achille Lauro's last voyage, when it caught fire and sank off the coast of Somalia in 1994.

Wait a minute... a magician, you say?

Anonymous said...

All this praise for the mythical British captain but no one acknowledges the Lord Jim (inspired by the Jeddah incident) kind of British.

Carl said...

'I know I'll get slated here by all numbers of Americans with Italian ancestry, but that captain's selfish, childish, hysterical and cowardly actions are typically Italian traits.'

In Italy, 37% of men from the ages of 30 to 34 still live with their mothers - http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1931216,00.html

This is not just a modern trait - when the Goths invaded and took over Rome, they had to separate themselves from the locals in order not to succumb to the softness of the Romans.

Anonymous said...

Concerning 'The Jeddah', in those days British racial contempt for 'darkies' was pretty much unspoken and universal, hence the captain and crew wouldn't have raised a sweat to preserve the lives of 'darkies', but if English women or children were involved it would have been a different story.

Anonymous said...

I think ethnicity plays a part in this sort of incident. A Greek captain with a Greek crew and Greek passengers would be less likely to bolt than a Greek captain with a Chinese crew and Pakistani passengers and various vice versas. Note the Jeddah example.

Also, empathy, individuals with above average empathy would find it harder to leave than others. The two things might even be related - no pun intended.

TGGP said...

I've got a name more Irish than O'Sullivan (ask Fake Hertzog), and I agree with Steve on the Celts > WASPS/Brits narrative. There was a huge expansion in the number of Americans identifying as Irish, out of proportion to the immigration totals, because it's simply more fashionable to do so. The opposite is the case for English/Welsh & German ancestry (some of the former is due to rednecks just putting down "American" as ethnicity, but that still leaves a hefty amount).

Anonymous said...

Still, not quite as bad as the crew of the Egyptian ferry Al-Salaam Boccaccio 98...

http://blockyourid.com/~gbpprorg/judicial-inc/Egypt_ship_fire_supplement.htm

...who were on the very first lifeboat off, without even warning the passengers.

Anonymous said...

"All this praise for the mythical British captain but no one acknowledges the Lord Jim (inspired by the Jeddah incident) kind of British."

At least he felt shame and bad about it.

Anonymous said...

The Jacques Futrelle that Astor was conversing with was the creator of Prof. S.F.X. Van Dusen, The Thinking Machine, one of the more interesting amateur detectives. If anyone hasn't read it, I reccomend THE PROBLEM OF CELL 13.

SYON

Kylie said...

"...my 11-year-old brother got pushed out of the way by a black man and was thus left behind. When my mom pointedly told him this, he said, 'Woman, I don't give a damn about your son.'"

I'm sure that black man just meant he was in a hurry to get back to his lab to finish devising some medical miracle benefitting all mankind like Morgan Freeman did in that movie with the dolphin.

Either that or he had to rush back to NASA to supervise the shuttle launch.

Rohan Swee said...

Cat: As bad as feminism is, I don't see how it explains the trampling of children and senior citizens.

Because feminism undermines chivalry, and the chivalric code commands thaat the stronger protect the weaker - and "the weaker" includes but is not limited to women. It's just one of those things - you pull out one or two threads and pretty soon the whole thing starts to unravel.

I remember reading long ago about aid workers trying to get food to children and pregnant women first, in some African crisis (the Biafran war/famine?) or other. "Give us men the food, not the children", the locals insisted. "We can always make more children later." Impeccable logic, not really disputable from the standpoint of the modern "view from nowhere".

Best to be more careful about a bit of "harmless" thread pulling, I guess.

Rohan Swee said...

All this praise for the mythical British captain but no one acknowledges the Lord Jim (inspired by the Jeddah incident) kind of British.

Conrad could rely on the readers' implicit understanding that Jim's behavior was despicable. And "un-British". That's why it makes perfect sense that our hero can't live with himself and goes off and sacrifices his life for some brown people, in expiation for his failing to live up to the Code.

Modern readers (on the off chance that they actually read Conrad) would probably just draw the conclusion that "white boys is crazy".

Anonymous said...

Men should still take care of their own female companions (wives, relatives, friends,etc), but looking after the rest of them in the name of chivalry is foolish.

So, we should be like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Good to know.

You anti-western idiot.

Anonymous said...

According to an Anglo ship's master I heard interviewed on the radio, women and children first is no longer 'best practice'. Modern civilians are better commanded when family units are held intact.


Back in the day women were protected because they would carry on the group identity by having babies. Now that we are no longer supposed to care about our own heritage, women aren't special.

Anonymous said...

"I have never been on a cruise and I have no intention of ever being on one. What is the general composition of the staffs on these things?"


indios

very low paid bottom of society, think illiterate Indonesians, low caste Indians etc. People who are not known for being violent.

Anonymous said...

"What they basically did was female first class passengers, male first class passengers, female second class passengers, male second class passengers, female third class passengers, then male third class passengers."

Women in third class survived more than men in first class.

http://www.anesi.com/titanic.htm

About the lifeboats:

"Obviously, many boats were not loaded to full capacity. There were many reasons for this; at first, many women and children were simply unwilling to be lowered 65 feet from the boat deck to the water. Some of the men put in boats were put there simply to show it was safe, and allay the fears of other passengers."

It's obvious from what then transpired that women overcame their fear bravely.

The feminist responses

Anonymous said...

“Votes for women!”

Was the cry,

Reaching upward to the Sky.

Crashing glass

And flashing eye-

“Votes for Women!”

Was the cry.

“Boats for women!”

Was the Cry.

When the brave

Were come to die.

When the end

Was drawing nigh-

“Boats for women!”

Was the cry.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of votes, this from the same year of titanic:

Under the married women property act a husband has no jurisdiction over his wife’s property and income. Under the income tax he is responsible for her taxes. If the taxes are not paid, the husband, not the wife, is imprisoned. Mrs. Wilks refused to pay her income taxes–$185–and her husband was locked up. He will spend the rest of his life in prison unless the wife pays or the laws are changed.

http://fullofgraceseasonedwithsalt.blogspot.com/2011/01/sends-husband-to-jail-to-aid-suffrage.html

Anonymous said...

I don't really understand the widespread indignation at crew members leaving. Even leaving aside the ethnic segregation thing someone else pointed out, how are these crews getting treated? How do the passengers treat them? What about their bosses? What is their pay like?

Ever since I walked out of a hotel job on my first day back in my college years, I've made it a sort of hobby to speculate on how the staff in certain hotels is getting treated. Chances are it's awfully, and I don't just mean in terms of pay. (My favorite example of this kind of treatment... locating the staff "locker room" inside a bathroom used by other staff and guests, complete with toilet.)

Add to this the general image the crew would get of the passengers. Most people in the majority of hotels, at least, keep up some general standards of behavior, because of the proportion of people there who are business travelers, etc. As for airline crews, they only have to put up with the passengers for hours at a time instead of weeks, AND they know these days that a they can threaten a passenger with terrorism charges if they look at them wrong.

What's the general caliber of a passenger on a cruise ship? I know many cruise ship passengers are elderly, but where I'm from cruise ship passengers are associated with the type who think that "holiday" means "a time when I can throw aside my usual dull existence and get drunk for weeks on end and sleep with a bunch of random strangers, with the vague awareness that I won't have to take long-term responsibility for my actions because I will be inhabiting a temporary and artificial society created just for this purpose." How do you expect that kind of person to treat the crew members who clean up their vomit and tell them to climb down off the railing, stop screaming "WOOOO" and put their bra back on?

We really expect crew members to risk their life for this? Really?

rob said...

stari_momak said...
I seem to remember some tophatted WASP character having a smoke as Cameron's Titanic sank. Maybe I am mistaken.


I remember that too, but I don't remember if the character was a speaking part. I also never saw Titanic in a theater, so maybe we're remembering the directors's cut?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see women register for the draft as well. We're all equal now, right?

Treating female recruits equally would be a good start. Shaving their heads for boot, for example.

Svigor

Anonymous said...

I don't know what incidents in your life put you on this hobbyhorse (did John O'Sullivan humiliate you once?) but you need to get off it.

Is this where we dredge up all the movie examples of Celtic good vs. Anglo-Saxon bad? Braveheart and Gangs of New York spring to mind. I'm sure there are more that the movie buffs here can dredge up.

Svigor

Anonymous said...

I know I'll get slated here by all numbers of Americans with Italian ancestry, but that captain's selfish, childish, hysterical and cowardly actions are typically Italian traits.

I was thinking the same thing, 'cept in more diplomatic and friendly terms. As in, Italian's aren't really into selflessness, duty, or exceptional courage. Not for strangers or their charges, anyway.

Svigor

flavia said...

Actually, men are often needed on lifeboats. Boltman even argues this in another article that a problem in the lifeboats with only women or children was that only tankers were nearby the Oceana to help and the women were too weak to help haul the rafts up.

I worked in a travel agency (way back when such businesses were relevant.) For some reason this experience left me with a deep aversion to ever going anywhere near even the most luxurious of cruiseliners. No companies I had to deal with pinched their pennies more than crusie lines.

I was also influenced by reading David Foster Wallace's "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again"

Anonymous said...

Reply to anon:

I find it hard to believe a black person would behave that way. Are you sure you had his ethnicity right? His face wasn't just in shadow or something?

Polish or Korean is an ethnicity, black is a color. But of course, your right. She saw a "shadow", not a black person, because we all know black people behave wonderfully as Hollywood always tells us they do. THE COLOR OF CRIME is a fiction and Hollywood is the truth. As for someone mentioning Morgan Freeman saving dolphins, that real life character was actually white.

Anonymous said...

To John Cunningham:

I wonder if the crew diversity is the source of "every man for himself".

John, shame on you. Don't you know diversity is "strength".

Cat said...

"Because feminism undermines chivalry, and the chivalric code commands thaat the stronger protect the weaker - and "the weaker" includes but is not limited to women."

True, but feminism is not the only thing that undermines chivalry (which it does). It doesn't explain Sullenberger and leaves too much else unexplained as well. I also think it is a stretch to implicate it in a split second decision to elbow aside children and the elderly. Also, that captain simply sounded scared.

These comments bring to mind the old saw, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".

Anonymous said...

LOL:

"Cruise Captain Says He 'Tripped' Into Lifeboat, Couldn't Get Out"

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-captain-claimed-tripped-lifeboat-report/story?id=15386279

Simon in London said...

WASPs are WASPs. Italians and Greeks are Italian & Greek.

whosit said...

"I remember reading long ago about aid workers trying to get food to children and pregnant women first, in some African crisis (the Biafran war/famine?) or other. "Give us men the food, not the children", the locals insisted. "We can always make more children later." Impeccable logic, not really disputable from the standpoint of the modern "view from nowhere".

They also would not share their food stocks with their wives. Wives were expected to feed the kids and themselves. Men fed themselves. Makes you wonder what obligations and responsibilities the men do have in these places. They must have some.
Still, fairly common thinking among many people. During the Rwandan massacres it was noted that males between about 15 and 50 were among the least represented of victims. Reason given: they took off a lot faster and got away.
I was also shocked at the apparent lack of shame with which men of an Indian village explained that their women and children had been massacred in some ethnic conflict or other, because they women were slower and burdened with carrying children. The men could just take off.
While some tribes in various third world places are known for fighting to the death in protection of their families, it doesn't always happen.
Expectations that men would stay with their families during an attack, rather than run off as fast as they could, are expectations of a trust and honor-based societies.

Anonymous said...

caveat about the Rwandan genocide stats: men were targetted more generally, but in certain villages it was noted that most of the slain were women&children because the men were able to run faster. That was when the weapons were machetes. In the case of guns used in mass executions, more men were killed.

Brave New Globalized World said...

Men should still take care of their own female companions (wives, relatives, friends,etc), but looking after the rest of them in the name of chivalry is foolish.

So, we should be like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

You anti-western idiot.


You're the idiot. What do you think the West's obession with multiculturalism and open boarders means?

By importing intact massive foreign communities from Latin America, Africa, China, India, etc. under the dominant non-judgemental and non-assimilationist model, "our" cultural norms shift toward global norms of low-trust tribalism, corruption, etc. Chilvery and self-sacrifice doesn't work with under these conditions.

It's not your father's Western world anymore you zenophobic know nothing nationalist. Embrace diversity - it's our strength.

Anony said...

"So, we should be like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

You anti-western idiot."

Not what I was implying at all. I love Western culture. But chivalry for strangers (I emphasized that chivalry for close female peers is still a good thing, but you failed to address that) is useless in a modern context, especially since most people are morphing into non-contributors, and as someone else stated there is less incentive to help out strangers as we become less similar to one another due to the various ramifications of diversity.

Altruism without conditions is what got Western culture into it's current predicament, if you haven't noticed.

Anonymous said...

One question never asked is whether a lot of the people who died in the water would have been able to build improvised lifeboats out of raincoats and other fabric and sticks. or as a last resort, covered themselves in heavy grease on top of long underwear, which is what distance swimmers did before wet suits. Also, many pieces of wood or other floatable materials could have been torn away from the ship and perhaps stood on.

Anonymous said...

One question never asked is whether a lot of the people who died in the water would have been able to build improvised lifeboats out of raincoats and other fabric and sticks. or as a last resort, covered themselves in heavy grease on top of long underwear, which is what distance swimmers did before wet suits. Also, many pieces of wood or other floatable materials could have been torn away from the ship and perhaps stood on.

Are you talking about the Titanic?

The problem for the Titanic passengers was that the water was COLD!!!

Cameron emphasized this in his portrayal, but even he took some cinematic license - his cold water love scene lasted maybe ten minutes [or thereabouts], whereas, in real life, it would have lasted all of maybe 60 seconds [if that].

cuffleyburgers said...

WellI can only speak for myself, but despite feminism and despite immigration and cultural marxism and all the rest, the code of behaviour by which I was brought up was women and children first, and holding doors for people (not just women by the way). I hope that in the case of extreme need I would be strong enough to stick to that.

If people think I'm a fool then so be it, but they must be people whose opinion matters not to me.

The fact is that as a white middleclass englishman I an naturally unfashionable.

Anonymous said...

Is this where we dredge up all the movie examples of Celtic good vs. Anglo-Saxon bad? Braveheart and Gangs of New York spring to mind.


There's something very wrong with people who base their view of the real world on what they see in movies. You're not all that different from the spoiled and pampered American blacks who went out and beat up some hapless white guy after watching Roots.

The point which you so determinedly missed is that you are not supposed to dredge up "examples" from movies at all. If you want to dredge up examples, make them real examples from the real world. That's why I asked Steve if he had been insulted by an actual person, John O'Sullivan, and not by Gangs of New York.

Anonymous said...

I've got a name more Irish than O'Sullivan (ask Fake Hertzog), and I agree with Steve on the Celts > WASPS/Brits narrative.


Then you need to go back and watch Titanic again, because that "narrative" is simply not there. Jack Dawson isn't Celtic.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, always carry a large tub of grease around with me when on a cruise ship. For snacking, you know.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that as a white middleclass englishman I an naturally unfashionable.


I don't know about that. White middleclass Englishmen tend to be pretty liberal in their politics, and those politics are very fashionable.

Anonymous said...

"There's something very wrong with people who base their view of the real world on what they see in movies."

No one said anything about the real world they just noted that there's a consistent anti-anglo/brit/germanic and pro-celtic twist in those Hollywood movies which aren't entirely ant-white.

As there doesn't appear to be a massive over-representation of Irish screenwriters there must be another explanation.

Anonymous said...

"What they basically did was female first class passengers, male first class passengers, female second class passengers, male second class passengers, female third class passengers, then male third class passengers."

Nyet, nein, non. Female 3rd class passengers were more likely to have survived than male 1st class passengers, 46%-33%. Another fact Cameron got (deliberately) wrong. Right, though, about the 2nd class men nearly all dying - only 8% survived, a surviival rate lower than both the crew (22%) and 3rd class men (16%). 100% of 2nd class children survived, while only 34% of 3rd class children did.

There were only 534 women and children aboard Titanic. Given lifeboat capacity of about 1100, every single one them could have survived with room left over for about 570 men. Instead, 162 women and children died, and not even 400 men lived.

"On an Italian ship, the only heroes are the sandwiches."

See here. And here. And here.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and there are still captains who go down with their ships. Notably Robert Royer in Alaska just last year.

Anonymous said...

What's notable about the survival stats from the Titanic: a very high survival rate for 1st and 2nd class women, children and female crew - 269 of 290 survived. Very low rates for: male crew (693 of 885 perished); 1st class men (118 of 175 perished); and 2nd class men (154 of 168 perished).

All hell broke loose in 3rd class, though. While 3rd class men had lower survival rates than 3rd class children (16% vs. 34%), in absolute terms more 3rd class men survived - 75 men vs. 27 children. There were only 79 children in all of 3rd class, but 3rd class men were clearly not bothering to save the children that weren't their own.

Steve Sailer said...

The Italian air force flew F-104s until 2004 -- you have to be pretty brave to do that! My Lockheed engineer father, after pulling his hair out for years trying to keep the F-104 from crashing so much, asked an Italian air force general what their secret for not crashing the 104. He'd heard endless complains from the West Germans about the Starfighter, but nary a peep from the Italians. The Italian general said, oh, we crash too. We just don't complain about it."

Anonymous said...

He'd heard endless complains from the West Germans about the Starfighter, but nary a peep from the Italians. The Italian general said, oh, we crash too. We just don't complain about it.


I don't think that reflects very well on the Italians, or at least on that one Italian general. If he had to fly the plane himself he might be a position to brag. I don't feel like giving him a medal for sacrificing his pilots.

Since the F-104 comes up a lot around here, here is a good site on the planes record.

The worst attrition record in percentage terms was by the Canadians: 46% of their Starfighters crashed. That was 110 crashed planes.

In raw numbers the Germans had by far the most crashes - 270 aircraft, but out of a bigger fleet than the Canadians had. So a loss rate of 30%.

The Italians lost 138 of their F-104's in crashes, or 37%.


According to wikipedia -


The Class A mishap rate (write off) of the F-104 in USAF service was 26.7 accidents per 100,000 flight hours as of June 1977, (30.63 through the end of 2007), the highest accident rate of any USAF Century Series fighter. By comparison, the rate of the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was 14.2/100,000 (13.69 through 2007), and the mishap rate for the North American F-100 Super Sabre was 16.25 accidents per 100,000 flight hours.

Anonymous said...

All hell broke loose in 3rd class, though. While 3rd class men had lower survival rates than 3rd class children (16% vs. 34%), in absolute terms more 3rd class men survived - 75 men vs. 27 children. There were only 79 children in all of 3rd class, but 3rd class men were clearly not bothering to save the children that weren't their own.


Your conclusion is not supported by the data. The fact that a much higher percentage of children survived from third class than did men points to the men sacrificing themselves.

The fact that 46% of third class women survived just adds to that conclusion. In fact women in third class had a much higher survival rate than did even men in first class. Which does not sound like "hell breaking loose" in third class to me.

Anonymous said...

No one said anything about the real world ..


Well, that's not actually true. I said stuff about the real world.

And to the extent that the rest of you are ignoring the real world, time to wake up.

Anonymous said...

"Your conclusion is not supported by the data. The fact that a much higher percentage of children survived from third class than did men points to the men sacrificing themselves. The fact that 46% of third class women survived just adds to that conclusion. In fact women in third class had a much higher survival rate than did even men in first class. Which does not sound like "hell breaking loose" in third class to me."

Perhaps. I was more trying to recontruct events as they happened, and how you might've wound up with a situation where men in 3rd class men were surviving at higher rates than men in 2nd class (16% vs. 8%), and where 3rd class women were surviving at higher rates than 3rd class children (46% vs. 34%).

I'm not trying to place blame, but there were only 79 children in 3rd class, just 27 of whom survived, while 151 men and women did. By the time they got to loading 3rd class passengers the situation may have been so desperate that it was everyone for himself.

It would be interesting to review the passenger list (survivors in blue, deceased in white) to determine whether those 3rd class adults most likely to die were those handicapped by the need to look after their children.

Anonymous said...

One of the complaints in the aftermath of the Titanic was that 'darker skinned men' were disproprtionate among those who panicked and who saved themselves at the expense of women and children. The story of Ida Straus was often held up as a counterexample.

The 3rd class data is somewhat inconclusive. If by 'darker skinned' you include Lebanese, Turks, and Syrians then the answer is no. Lebanese in 3rd class did better than most other ethnic groups in steerage, but most of the Lebanese survivors were women and children (and at the time most Syrian and Lebanese immigrants to the US were Christian).

The 8 Chinese on board - all men, all in steerage - did very well for themselves, however. 6 of the 8 survived, though in the absence of evidence it's unfair to say whether that was due to the presence of good luck or the absence of chivalry.

Did James Cameron show the Chinese men acting like barbarians, or did he reserve his venom for the WASPs?

Anonymous said...

Another factor in survival on the Titanic was which way someone turned when reaching the deck the lifeboats were on.
One side had a survival rate much less than the other.

Anonymous said...

"Right, though, about the 2nd class men nearly all dying - only 8% survived, a surviival rate lower than both the crew (22%) and 3rd class men (16%). 100% of 2nd class children survived, while only 34% of 3rd class children did."

My peoples

Anonymous said...

Did James Cameron show the Chinese men acting like barbarians, or did he reserve his venom for the WASPs?


Once again I have to point out that this notion of James Cameron directing venom at WASPS in Titanic is flat out nuts. Some of you people are bordering on a Jewish level of paranoia and persecution complex.

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to place blame, but there were only 79 children in 3rd class, just 27 of whom survived, while 151 men and women did. By the time they got to loading 3rd class passengers the situation may have been so desperate that it was everyone for himself.


If it was in fact "everyone for himself" then the women in third class should have survived at a lower rate than the men. And as I keep pointing out to you, they didn't.

And saying things like "there were only 79 children in 3rd class, just 27 of whom survived, while 151 men and women did" makes you sound innumerate. What is meaningful here is the percentage, not the raw numbers.

Yes, children in third class survived at a lower rate than did the women in third class. (But of course at a higher rate than the men in third class)

But the children in first class also survived at a lower rate than the women in first class. The age of the children in question was probably an important factor. I'd guess that ten year-old's had a better chance of surviving than did one year old's, because they could walk on their own.

S.Anonyia said...

"Once again I have to point out that this notion of James Cameron directing venom at WASPS in Titanic is flat out nuts. Some of you people are bordering on a Jewish level of paranoia and persecution complex."

Agreed. Just because Zane's character is rich doesn't mean he was a WASP. For one thing, Zane doesn't even have a stereotypical WASP-like appearance. I imagine if Cameron wanted to make a point about WASPs he would have gotten some lighter complected actor with more English looking facial features. Billy Zane is Mediterranean looking.

Also, last I checked "Dawson" is not exactly an Irish or Scottish last name...Nor did the character have an Irish accent or any other indicators of Celticness.

The narrative of Titanic is more Rich vs. Poor. It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

I believe there was a grand total of two (2) named Celtic characters in Titanic: the fictitious Irishman Tommy Ryan (who had a minor role) and the Irish-American Molly Brown. (It probably was not obvious to the audience that Brown had Irish parents)

There were a number of Scots or Scots-Irish, such as shipbuilder Thomas Andrews, but such people are considered to be honorary WASP's in the Sailer-sphere.

Then there was the Jewish Benjamin Guggenheim.

There was a fictitious Italian, Fabrizio De Rossi, in another minor role.

Everyone else, good and bad, real and fictional, was a WASP.

Anonymous said...

Those comments about Chinese survivors from the Titanic got me to thinking. Six out of eight survivors is a 75% survival rate. This must EASILY be the highest for any race or ethnic groups that was onboard the Titanic. The OVERALL survival rate was a mere 32%. Even more remarkable is that these survivors were all males and from third class! BOTH these categories had the LOWEST survival rates (third class survival rate was only 14%.) It made me WONDER about the Chinese and do a little research. Apparently four of them hid under the thwarts of one of the collapsible boats and refused to leave. The officer could not risk shooting them because there were women and children in the boat too. The Chinese more or less used them as human shields. Eventually the boat was lowered with them still in it. It looks like chivalry was not then or now a Chinese concept. Websites today are full of accidents happening in China and people just ignore the hapless victim lying there. One recent case that attracted widespread attention involved a little child who was run over once and later a second time while the Chinese people were completely indifferent. Doesn't look like the Chinese have changed or improved very much in the last 100 years. Very much an "in it for themselves" type of culture. Different races, different values I guess...

Anonymous said...

"But the children in first class also survived at a lower rate than the women in first class. The age of the children in question was probably an important factor. I'd guess that ten year-old's had a better chance of surviving than did one year old's, because they could walk on their own."

There were only 6 children in 1st class. The 83% survival rate is due to the death of one child in the Allison family, a result of confusion by Mrs. Allison that cost her and her 2-year-old daughter their lives.

She was either already in a lifeboat or ready to board one when she went looking for her 11-month-old son, who escaped with the family nurse and maid in a separate boat. Mr. Allison and the family's menservants also died.

Again, I'm not implying a lack of civility on the part of 3rd class passengers. But it would be interesting to see an explanation for why the death rate of children in steerage was so high.

Anonymous said...

There were only 6 children in 1st class. The 83% survival rate is due to the death of one child in the Allison family, a result of confusion by Mrs. Allison that cost her and her 2-year-old daughter their lives.


Which is exactly my point.

it would be interesting to see an explanation for why the death rate of children in steerage was so high.


Keep in mind that it was lower than the death rate of the men in steerage. It was not "so high" when you consider that. I would speculate that it was higher for the reasons I already suggested - small children would have difficulty getting out of the ship from so far below decks. I imagine the average age of the children in 3rd class was lower than that in first or second class.

Anonymous said...

"Those comments about Chinese survivors from the Titanic got me to thinking. Six out of eight survivors is a 75% survival rate. This must EASILY be the highest for any race or ethnic groups that was onboard the Titanic."

Another escaped in a different lifeboat, while the sixth was found in the water, lashed to a dooor, Kate Winslet-style. Hauled from the water all but dead, the man excitedly took over rowing for an exhausted officer.

There was some controversy, apparently, about whether the four Chinamen were discovered before or after the boat was in the water.

The report is here.

I guess whether it's white British sailors not dying for dark-skinned Muslims (ala Lord Jim), or Indonesian crew fleeing a ship fire ahead of the passengers, or Chinese Titanic passengers hiding in a lifeboat ahead of women and children, people are less willing to die for those who don't look like them. Pay no attention to the full "blessings" of diversity.

Anonymous said...


Once again I have to point out that this notion of James Cameron directing venom at WASPS in Titanic is flat out nuts. Some of you people are bordering on a Jewish level of paranoia and persecution complex.


Irish Little Boy: What are we doing, mommy?
Irish Mommy: We're just waiting, dear. When they're finished putting first class people in the boat, they'll be starting with us. And we ought to be ready, oughtn't we?
[Irish Girl nods]

Anonymous said...

"Everyone else, good and bad, real and fictional, was a WASP."

WASP used here refers to the upper class, vactioning in Martha's Vineyard, using "summer" as a verb sort of folks. It does not apply to the middle and lower classes. Cameron's assault on the WASPs was an assault on their particular set of values and beliefes. Its quite possible to vilify an entire group by attacking only its leaders.

See one of the final scenes in the Titanic, the one where the band is playing "Nearer My God to Thee." Watch the images of the passengers who stayed on board: Irish mother lovingly watching her children in bed...Isidor Straus cuddling his wife in bed...patrician WASP sitting on his "throne" with manservant at his beck-and-call, watching terrified as the water level rises.

The takeaway message, intentional or not, is that WASPs who rise to the top are more selfish and evil than members of other groups who do the same. Were it just a one-off for Cameron it could be excused - the need for a villain and all that. But "Avatar" made it pretty clear it's his ideology.

Anonymous said...

Just a couple of facts:

1)the crew of Costa Concordia did a good job evacuating the ship without input from the captain, in pitch black and in 45 degrees inclined boat. As far as I know there are no cases of the crew leaving the ship early like the captain did.

2)Someone said that selfishness and heroism aren't typical Italian traits and, sadly, I must agree. The trouble is that the Italian society is quite polarized. There are heroic and altruistic people, especially in the military. Unfortunately they don't get much publicity and they are often the butt of jokes because of their equipment (for example in WWII Italian soldier had the same uniforms for the African and the Russian campaign)

@Steve Sailer
My father was in the Italian Air Force and he told me about the F-104. They called "la vedovatrice", the widowmaker.

Anonymous said...

WASP used here refers to the upper class, vactioning in Martha's Vineyard, using "summer" as a verb sort of folks. It does not apply to the middle and lower classes. Cameron's assault on the WASPs was an assault on their particular set of values and beliefes. Its quite possible to vilify an entire group by attacking only its leaders.


Ah, so "WASP" here does not mean "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" at all! If you define words to mean whatever you like you can always arrive at your preferred conclusion. You just defined most of the heroic WASP's in the movie as not really WASP's at all. You strike me as being a lot more anti-WASP than Cameron is.



Watch the images of the passengers who stayed on board: Irish mother lovingly watching her children in bed...Isidor Straus cuddling his wife in bed...patrician WASP sitting on his "throne" with manservant at his beck-and-call, watching terrified as the water level rises


As I said before, a lot of you show an almost Jewish level of paranoia and persecution complex.

The very wealthy patrician WASP in question, John Jacob Astor, bravely goes down with the ship after seeing his wife off on a lifeboat. The scene in question is, to a normal observer, one of the single best examples of the courage and character which gentlemen of the time aspired to. There is nothing heroic about the other characters you mention - they had no choice but to die.

In real life Astor was killed by a falling funnel, so this scene is an example of Cameron making a wealthy patrician WASP look better than he did at the time.

Anonymous said...

Irish Little Boy: What are we doing, mommy?
Irish Mommy: We're just waiting, dear. When they're finished putting first class people in the boat, they'll be starting with us. And we ought to be ready, oughtn't we?



Since that is an essentially accurate description of what happened, what exactly is your problem? You want history to be rewritten so as to make you happy? You think it's mean of Cameron to depict the class structure of the period?

Anonymous said...

The takeaway message, intentional or not, is that WASPs who rise to the top are more selfish and evil than members of other groups who do the same. Were it just a one-off for Cameron it could be excused - the need for a villain and all that. But "Avatar" made it pretty clear it's his ideology.


Because Avatar is all about Celtics vs WASP's. Or something.

You really are identical in all important respects to those Jews who see anti-Semitism everywhere they look.

Anonymous said...

"Also, last I checked "Dawson" is not exactly an Irish or Scottish last name...Nor did the character have an Irish accent or any other indicators of Celticness."

Listen to the music.

It's a standard pattern in Hollywood films and has been for decades - divide and rule.

.
"Because Avatar is all about Celtics vs WASP's. Or something."

Avatar is plain anti-white. You only get the good celtic, bad germanic meme in films that have to have some white goodies.

Anonymous said...

"Ah, so "WASP" here does not mean "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" at all!"

WTF - do I have to look everything up for you?

"WASP" means White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant and elite. See the Wikipeida definition here: "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant or WASP is an informal term, often derogatory or disparaging, for a closed group of high-status Americans mostly of British Protestant ancestry. The group supposedly wields disproportionate financial and social power. When it appears in writing, it is usually used to indicate the author's disapproval of the group's perceived excessive power in society."

Or see one the earliest published definitions, by Andrew Hacker, 1957: "They are 'WASPs'—in the cocktail party jargon of the sociologists. That is, they are wealthy, they are Anglo-Saxon in origin, and they are Protestants (and disproportionately Episcopalian). To their Waspishness should be added the tendency to be located on the eastern seaboard or around San Francisco, to be prep school and Ivy League educated, and to be possessed of inherited wealth."

In other words, the Anglo-Saxon elite.

As for the reaction of Astor to his impending doom, it can be seen here at 2:40. Dignified in a sense, yes, but lacking the warmth of the depiction of the Straus's or the Irish family in steerage (at 1:00). Granted, Cameron depicts WASPs behaving with dignity, too. The point is that all his villains are WASPs. There is no depiction of the four Chinamen refusing to leave the lifeboat, for example.

Cameron's "Titanic" was beset with class resentment. I'd wager it was mentioned by most who reviewed the movie. But the only ethnic group in that class he portrays with venom are the WASPs.

"Avatar is plain anti-white. You only get the good celtic, bad germanic meme in films that have to have some white goodies."

Precisely.

Anonymous said...

"Also, last I checked "Dawson" is not exactly an Irish or Scottish last name...Nor did the character have an Irish accent or any other indicators of Celticness."


Listen to the music.


What? The soundtrack by Austrian-American James Horner? The singing by Norwegian Sissel Kyrkjebø?


Avatar is plain anti-white.


I'm not even sure that's true. But in any case it does not "have a message that that WASPs who rise to the top are more selfish and evil than members of other groups who do the same", which is the claim which was made.

Anonymous said...

Cameron's "Titanic" was beset with class resentment. I'd wager it was mentioned by most who reviewed the movie. But the only ethnic group in that class he portrays with venom are the WASPs.


For the last frickin' time, he does not portray WASP's with "venom" in Titanic.

If he did do such a thing you would have no problem in pointing out where he does it.


They are 'WASPs'—in the cocktail party jargon of the sociologists. That is, they are wealthy, they are Anglo-Saxon in origin, and they are Protestants


People here in the Sailer-sphere take WASP to mean "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" rather than "Wealthy Anglo-Saxon Protestant". Arguably the latter makes more sense, since Anglo-Saxons are white, but people here use it to mean "ethnicity" and not "class". When Steve and others talk about "WASPs vs Celts" they are using WASP in the purely ethnic sense, and not as a shorthand to refer to the "Boston Brahmins".


Cameron's "Titanic" was beset with class resentment.


Arguably, it was. It was not beset with ethnic resentment though. And I don't see why you're all so eager to support the lords-and-peasants class structure which is implicitly criticized in Titanic.

Anonymous said...

ABC has supposedly purchased broadcasting rights for a new, British-made, four-part miniseries on the Titanic written by Julian Fellowes ("Downton Abbey," etc.) that will air in April, on the centennial of the ship's voyage. Linus Roache appears to be the biggest star. Hopefully less melodramatic and more faithful to the events than Cameron's film was. A trailer can be seen here.


Cameron's re-releasing his movie in 3D around the same time.

Anonymous said...

Granted, Cameron depicts WASPs behaving with dignity, too.


Well, that's mighty white of you.

The point is that all his villains are WASPs.


All of his major characters are WASPS! By definition then all of his villains and all of his heroes are going to be WASPS! What part of this are you not understanding?

It as if you wanted him to make up some fictitious Irish character as the lookout just so you'd have some non British character to hate on. But much of the movie is based on well documented historical fact. Captain Smith really did go down with his ship. Ismay really was bit of a rat. Nobody knows how the real Thomas Andrews died, but he is portrayed sympathetically. And so on for the rest of the "real" historical figures portrayed.

Anonymous said...

There is no depiction of the four Chinamen refusing to leave the lifeboat, for example.


So what you're saying is "I'm unhappy that Cameron refused to turn his movie into a platform for my racial views". How would the Chinamen refusing to leave the lifeboat have fitted into the rest of the film, a film in which they made no previous appearance?