What might have happened differently if the Titanic had not succumbed; if it had escaped its terrible encounter with destiny? Whether in some parallel world or from a slight tweak of human behavior, the Titanic could have evaded the tragedy and global despair that blots our collective memory of that disaster with an iconic, archetypal meme. We may now speak of the potentially “Titanic” failure of any hopeful maiden voyage: of a relationship, for instance, or of a creative venture with high stakes involved.
So, let’s re-vision a meme.
News Flash, ‘The Old Post’, April 16, 1912 : The maiden Titanic truly proved herself unsinkable on an otherwise fateful night. Last night in the North Atlantic Ocean, Captain Edward Smith, reportedly responding to an inner nudge inspired by an eerie dream that woke him from a fitful sleep yesterday morning, chose to change the Titanic ship’s course in the midst of a storm, just enough to slide past an ominous appearing iceberg! Passengers count their blessings; many are bound to America to emigrate or to enjoy the beauty and bounty of our precious shores.
And what could have been a noteworthy result of such a slight twist of fate? Perhaps there was a young immigrant, Jack Dawson, who might very likely have drowned–had the Titanic not averted the iceberg–in a noble attempt to save the life of the upper crust girlfriend he had romantically entwined on the voyage, Rose Dewitt Bukater. Jack arrived in New York and enrolled at Columbia University on an immigrant scholarship that Rose’s family influence helped him obtain. He became a distinguished climatologist, the same man who several decades later, in 1948, alerted the world about the perils of global warming by presenting an historic speech at the newly formed United Nations. At that time, the UN, seeking to strengthen its position for furthering peace and unity after WWII through addressing such an urgent global cause, immediately forged a commission and set to work to effect changes in our commercial use of natural resources in every free nation of the world. It fostered solar and well managed atomic energy as primary modes, so that these clean and renewable resources replaced fossil fuels in the world altogether by 1970. Were it not for the energy pacts and accords instituted so effectively by the UN in those momentous times, today we might be reeling from wars and perilous health dangers resulting from our reliance on fossil fuels!