Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Lovely bit of Spenglerian iconography in this advert for British Telecom's new broadband service, BT Infinity (!). Here we can see The Singularity raining its holy manna-jism over man-machine cyber-athletes, clad in the increasingly ubiquitous Union Jack. This is patriotism not in the blood, but worn as a second skin purely for abstract, ritualised competition, and easily shed to reveal the globalised, pan-national corporate leviathan beneath.
The accompanying soundtrack is by Coldplay, whose hesitant, tentative, optimist-pessimist, wave-that-never-crests sound ever suggests a goal that is in sight but that can never quite be reached. Philosophically, Coldplay have always seemed to suggest the impossibility of communication, and perhaps our culture's last idea will be to accommodate the impossibility of reaching infinity as a kind of achieving infinity by default - that the gap becomes the prime symbol of our civilisation rather than the goal itself.