Instantly iconic, one of various memes juxtaposing images of two recent sea disasters. A massive effort underway to rescue five billionaires versus nothing for hundreds of migrants, including about 100 children, who were on a boat that capsized in the Mediterranean.
Responses on social media suggest the OceanGate submarine folly is being seen as a “let them eat cake” moment where the uber wealthy thumb their noses at the rest of humanity.
If the current trajectory of planetary ruin for the profits of the few plays out without massive popular uprisings, I will be surprised.
Here’s some of what I’ve seen.
Taxpayer money is being spent to rescue five wealthy fools because of course it is. The military contractors who operate the U.S. government are so wealthy they’re said to be the 1% of the 1%, and the OceanGate guys are their own.
The astounding parallels between the Titanic shipwreck — where the wealthy survived and the workers, by and large, did not — keep coming. Chief among them is hubris. Both the massive ocean liner and the makeshift submarine looking for its wreckage were described by their creators as “unsinkable.” But ramming into an iceberg quickly took out one while running a deep sea operation from an outdated game control device appears to have doomed the other.
Now we learn that the CEO of OceanGate is married to a descendent of two of the wealthy passengers on the Titanic. (Who was the pilot in the Titan with the four other men he doomed.)
One of the things that makes me wonder if we’re at the “let them eat cake” moment is the way that orcas — who have already been teaching each other to attack yachts by deliberately destroying the rudders — quickly became heroes.
So, it was a short step from knowing orcas are attacking yachts to imagining orcas attacking the submarine.
This tweet refers to banging sounds that were detected yesterday during the search for Titan.
(I also saw the abovementioned image on Twitter but I neglected to take a screenshot at the time.)
Maybe class warfare will supplant culture wars even in the heavily propagandized West?
Oops, maybe not.
End note: for those who find it unseemly to joke about the self-inflicted death of billionaires, you could use the search term Blink-182 (the name of a band) to see how one of their family members has been consoling himself during the search.