Ms. Kizlet is using the wi-fi signal to control people in the coffee shop.
“I do love showing off,” she says through a waitress she has made
her puppet. “Just let me show you what control of the wi-fi can do for
you,” she adds through the mouth of a young girl.
It’s a tech demo.
Here’s what this latest version of the operating system can do. Upgrade
now. The iconography is all ruthlessly current. Particularly fitting:
Kizlet and her crew are playing around on iPads as they do their little
Steve Jobs routine. You almost expect her to reveal that they’ve
captured Clara with an “oh, and one more thing.”
Kizlet explains that
they’ve “released thousands” of base stations into the world,
blanketing the whole of humanity in their Worldwide Web of Fear.
Meanwhile, Clara’s on her laptop. She recognizes the vulnerability
in every grand system: people. With just a bit of clicking around she’s
figured out where Kizlet is transmitting from. The most obvious spot
in London, really. Kizlet's client loves using grand projects for his own
purposes. It’s what he did in the Underground, and it’s what he’s doing
now. But it’s 2013 now, and London’s grand projects aren’t for the
little people anymore. Now they’re for the elite.
So it's the perfect
place for Kizlet’s operation. The prestigious tallest building in
London, to be filled with high-paying businesses. The metaphor is
straightforward: the grand prestige project, like the Olympics and the
Jubilee from the same year, is literally eating people alive.
Construction is consumption. It even consumes and annexes the protests
against it. Its name comes from the complaints about its design - the
fear that it would be “a shard of glass through the heart of historic
London.” Of course, the objection, like the vision itself, is concerned
with the abstract form of London, as opposed to with the lives of
those within it. Heritage London or the modern corporate state. It’s
all the same: an aesthetic to show off. A system for control.
architecturally, the building is designed to be invisible - to blend
into the clouds around it. Control is always supposed to be invisible,
after all. Just something in the air, like the wi-fi signal itself. The
spectacle is always showing off and remaining invisible at the same
time. As with any demo, it’s not just technology being shown off. It’s
ideology. Dressed up, inevitably, in the rhetoric of upper middle class
consumption. The Great Intelligence wants “healthy, free-range, human
“The farmer tends his flock like a loving parent,” Kizlet
“The abbatoir is not a contradiction,” she insists.
loves cattle more than Burger King.”
So the Doctor smashes into the
side of the building and tears it all down.