Monday, April 19, 2010
Nina Power on the volcano
[Time for a revival of the Kino Fist apocalypse cover!]
It's the anti-rapture! No one can go anywhere near the skies...
The government has sent three Royal Navy ships to help repatriate Britons stranded by the five days of flight restrictions. The aircraft carrier Ark Royal and the assault ships Ocean and Albion may be used to bring people across the Channel. Check out the names of the boats...it's like Michael Crichton meets the Bible...I'm hoping generic humanity will spontaneously erupt on the boats...or at least some commie sex.... Imagine it - 'Ma, where was I conceived?' 'Well, sweetheart, there was this volcano and we all had to get to Spain to catch a giant boat called the Ark and everything got a little strange...'
As I am quite possibly stuck in Beirut for some time to come, I have of course been reflecting on the utterly bizarre conjuncture summoned up by the Lisbon earthquake second-time-as-farce Icelandic volcano and its fantastically improbable consequences - naval ships converging on Spain to pick up Brits if they can make their way there; the sound of birdsong emerging from previously noise-polluted airspace (well, that's what my Ma says anyway); the potential lack of fruit and vegetables in my fair isle and the Baudrillardian nature of the deathless catastrophe: 2012 meets the red elves of Iceland who, not content with destroying the world economy, have now decided to gently put an ethereal spanner in the workings of the earth. Tiqqun have been vindicated! The Coming Insurrection is here! That miniscule percentage of the world able to afford air-travel must - for once - confront the conditions of their own existence! As The Coming Insurrection puts it:
No need to dwell too long on the three types of workers’ sabotage: reducing the speed of work, from “easy does it” pacing to the “work-to-rule” strike; breaking the machines, or hindering their function; and divulging company secrets. Broadened to the dimensions of the whole social factory, the principles of sabotage can be applied to both production and circulation. The technical infrastructure of the metropolis is vulnerable. Its flows amount to more than the transportation of people and commodities. Information and energy circulates via wire networks, fibers and channels, and these can be attacked. Nowadays sabotaging the social machine with any real effect involves reappropriating and reinventing the ways of interrupting its networks. How can a TGV line or an electrical network be rendered useless? How does one find the weak points in computer networks, or scramble radio waves and fill screens with white noise? (note coincidental (?!) DeLillo reference in the final sentence!!!!). As I look on Facebook, I see that Haukur Már Helgason, top Icelandic writer, has come to much the same conclusion:
'Personally, I take a bit of pride in that anarchist volcano of ours, and suggest it will be considered as an honorary member of the Tarnac 9. As a manifesto it is obviously coherent with the 'No demands' tactics of some recent movements both sides of the Atlantic. And as of yet the damage done by it more or less only hits polluting big business, already significantly lessening this year's carbon footprint by amounts equal to the annual output of several third world states combined.'