dimanche 24 mai 2009

Poor List - Information Dump

Studds nodded at the chairwoman and began,
'The events of 19/11 and its aftermath have changed the country. Before that date, we knew pretty much where we where. [laughter] In the months that have followed, we have to say that Britain, to say the least, has become a different, less hospitable, less secure place. It was the largest and most significant disaster in Britain’s history. The death toll, initially 65, is still rising. The nature of the train’s cargo, the contents of which are still ‘shrouded in mystery’, have elongated the drama. The government and private companies involved have been and remain reluctant to release any information about what freight the 23.50 Birmingham/London express was pulling on that fateful night, citing reasons of national security and ‘prevention of further chaos’. As we are well aware, the public reaction culminated in major disturbances in urban centres as far away as Stoke and Bromich. Disaster management teams, security divisions, state investigators and media are still in the area. Conflicting accounts of the disaster exist. Racially motivated reprisals were reported all over the country and the government, under previously secretly implemented legislation, has introduced a raft of security measures under the all embracing name ‘Sate of Exception’ and called in emergency powers to pacify the effected regions. The transport bombings a few years before have had few real consequences, in comparison. There has been, of course, hundreds of round ups.

The focus of my paper, though, is the interpretation of evidential aspects of the incident. My provsional argument is that the traces of the disaster have a ideologically intensifying effect. But, later. [laughter].
Film of the crash, from the driver’s point of view and from the CCTV from the camera at junction Bm16 shows nothing conclusive to substantiate either the official account or the account sceptical of the official view of the trigger for ‘December occurrences’. The edited footage from the first perspective showed thirty seconds of dimly lit track hurtling under the snout of the specially adapted 47’ diesel. (Other footage, since redacted, showed earlier events inter-weaved with sections from the later offical evidence). The narrative is stark. The tunnel, the cutting then the jolt and the lean to the left, and then a brief final glimpse of slewed track and overhead line as the train ploughs into aggregate, gravel and soil at just over 150mph, and, after a burst of static and colour, the final frozen frame of an estate topped embankment as the train totally derails, all merge into one in an abrupt intensity. Then blankness.
The soundtrack has been just as inconclusive. It is a very postmdern disaster. There are a few dicipherable words the background engine noise and the hiss of the wheels on the track drown out the cabin crew's words. Would we want to hear the last thoughts of a suicide bomber? If that's what it is. We hear the replacemrnt driver, give a time and a speed, figures that corresponded to the CCTV motion drags, and says something that sounds like the final location of the train. Is this piece of phsycogeographical hauntology an insignificant coincidence or luminous clue? After that there are the cries of alarm and panic. The, as I'm sure you don't need reminding, just before the tunnel, is the, that chant. The particular clip has been played and played on thousands of police and public computers, played on hosted sites, web pages, and the like, analysed in syllable fragments and forensically scrubbed, slowed down, and translated but still emerges indiscernible.

It has split the country in two. The biggest man made disaster since Chernobyl.'

He had those academic bastards by their glands.