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The Missing Rolex The Surveillance Time Machine in London.

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1 The Missing Rolex The Surveillance Time Machine in London

2 THE MISSING ROLEX Rod Burgess There are some who would lose both eyes so their enemy loses one,yet in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.(Spanish Proverb) I It was a skeleton all right, but it was the skeleton of a mannequin - and it was wearing a Rolex. At least, that was what the juror wished the barrister was saying. I wonder if he has ever been to Egypt ?, he thought. He certainly looked like the Sphinx, sitting there in the glass box, staring relentlessly at a point slightly above the judges head. His barrister must have told him never to make eye contact with the judge or jury unless he was asked to do so. His accuser, El Hijo de Papa, was relating to the court the events that had led to him being there. Standing in the box, arrogant and narcissistic in his $5000 suit, he catalogued the details of that fitful weekend when his Rolex had been stolen - by the Sphinx. EXHIBIT ONE : Photo of a diamond-encrusted Rolex watch on the arm of El Hijo The watch was a gift to myself to celebrate my 32nd birthday, El Hijo said. I had it engraved with my initials and it cost $75, 000. The jury recoiled, but the Sphinx remained unperturbed. EXHIBIT TWO : Receipt for a customized Rolex Watch purchased from a jewellers shop in the casino at Monte Carlo in July 2012. Thats funny, the juror thought, last week in Bogota Pablo Escobars Rolex watch, also worth $75,000 had been auctioned off, but it was bought for only $3000. El Hijo was getting into his stride: I have many watches, he explained to the judge, none of them are insured. The jury never found out why his watches were uninsured, because nobody asked. Well that weekend in April, he explained….. A Sphinx Harrods: Egyptian Staircase The Man in the Box Jeremy Bentham (UCL) El Hijos Shoes Uninsured Watch

3 II The juror winced. Here we go, yet another post-modern parable of life in the global city. What had become of this place? For a start it wasnt even one place any more. The market and the new information technologies had demanded that the city should be organized as a network rather than as a machine. Now it was a kaleidoscope of fragments, of places and non- places and of tunnel effects as you travelled from one fragment to another. In the new global enclaves, celebrity architects were invited to splatter the skyline with their neutered fantasies in order to satisfy the rich mans caprice – as always a taller spire, a bigger dome. And all of the buildings were given names in order to concentrate the attention of the telemediated minds on their spectacular erections. They get all their best ideas in the bath, it was frequently whispered, but in addition to that there was also: The Swizzle Stick; The Toothbrush– Holder; The Garlic-Crusher; The Coat Hanger; The Saddle ; The Pastry- Wheel and the sinisterly-named Lloyds Building. A walk around their minds was like a walk around their rooms. Was the domestic bric-a-brac they surrounded themselves with the only source of their imagination? Or was this cunning dialectic of scalar exchange just part of the Spectacles attempt to secure the complete banalisation of everyday life in the service of ego, money and power … the final vanishing point. Has not the genius of the ancients arising from their graves, cast yours into captivity..while true men are murdered by the evil genius in the forecourt of the mysteries?, he mused. Not that there was anything mysterious about this trial. Or was there? The global enclave of the West End housed the frenzied temples of consumption, the centres of gambling, art, fashion, design and rapturous luxury. Here could be found the legendary hotels, restaurants and mansions of the tax-exempt kleptocrats; the global billionaires; the bankers; the rich hedge fund types; football, media and cooking stars; diplomats, horse trainers and visiting elites from all over the world. They lived in a world of beige and bling where clean lines and neutral tones were offset by arabesques of glitter and diaphanous drapes that were impregnated with stardust. The Walkie-Talkie,the Cheese Grater and the Gherkin,The City The Shard The London Eye The Savoy Hotel,The Strand Cornwall Terrace,Regents Park The Refreshment Rooms,Victoria and Albert Museum Kensington Shop Window, Knightsbridge

4 In the East End the global enclaves were the centres of speed-space and the home of flying money (fei chien). Everything was focused on the soaring towers of the global banks and corporations and the gated enclosures of the telemediated digerati, who were paid by the keystroke. In these spaces competition had been pushed to the point of paroxysm, punctured occasionally by infrastructure breakdown, flash mobs, the fear of violence and acts of terror. In all of these enclaves there was universal surveillance. Privacy had been abolished and replaced by privatopia and privatopia demanded walls, gates, guards and cameras. There were more CCTV cameras in the city, it was said, than there were handguns in the USA.He had heard it described as a world of parallel solitude, but it was more about the private ownership of the dominant mode of illusion and a world of familiar strangers and automatic laughter. People were constantly taking flash photographs of themselves (selfies) and everything else. Public space and transport were converted into a thousand living rooms as they mumbled or shouted into their mobile phones in a bewildering cacophony of languages. Us? he had heard one remark in Circassian, seems like a crowd to me. They were filmed, recorded and monitored from every possible angle and location, including from outer space. Even the lamp posts and waste bins had eyes, ears and voices, giving a whole new meaning to the old dictum between you, me and the lamp post. Occasionally small periscopes would emerge from the gratings and manhole covers in the streets to take photos. Journalists, the police, corporations and government agencies from all over the world, tapped into the computer files and mobile phones of the suspect-citizens of the cyber-democracy. They were looking for money; for power; for that bastard who stitched me up last week and for the iconoclastic Fundamentalists – the true sons of Seth – who wanted to turn the city into a Caliphate. The filtered results of these interceptions were on the Presidents desk the next day. It made little difference what colour he was. Global Enclave Canary Wharf Global Enclave The City A Selfie : The Pleasure Principle (Rene Magritte ) The Gated Enclosures of the Telemediated Digerati Canary Wharf Another Votive Offering to… ? And Why?

5 Celebrity sickness was also universal and the whole city had been converted into a theatre. An inevitable reversal of perspective had set in as more and more information was telemediated. Everybody was part of the Spectacle and the Spectacle was an incontestable part of the Long March within. Everyone had to possess an awareness of his situational existence and to ignore the essential role-playing and playacting was to do so at ones peril:Celui qui voit est aussi un point de visibilité. As there can be no self- consciousness without memory, this too was telemediated – so much so that those who were born before 1960 continued to believe that the world of their childhood was actually in black and white. In the true network all the nodes are smoothly interconnected and this indeed was the goal, but nobody cared much about the surrounding spaces. This was shadow town, chewed away at the edges by the advance of the enclaves, drab, poorly- lit and with less surveillance. Most of the crime and violence had been displaced to these locations. Here lived the global underclass equally as cosmopolitan and as ethnically diverse as the population of the enclaves whose needs they served, and equally as poor as they were rich. At least in this country. And some of the more secretive needs of the kinetic elites they had to serve were well catered for in the clubs that had been set up under the railway viaducts that brought the trains to the enclaves. The South Bank was one such place and it was there, near The Globe and in the shadow of The Great Shard, which had become the symbol of the citys fragmentation and celestial aspirations, that the events being recounted by El Hijo had taken place. It was true, of course, that since the Middle Ages, the south bank of the Thames had always been poor and a place of illicit pleasures - full of wastrels, liars, poltroons, doxies, lickspittles, toadies, grave-robbers, press-gangers, footpads, stirrup-boys, disreputable characters in a swinish condition, popinjays and actors. After all, as an American student had once energetically pointed out to him: Shakespeare never made any money and was famous only for his plays. But this latest version of La Ronde had a distinctly global feel to it. Indeed some of its more notorious locations were of global renown and were posted daily on the Internet, which is where El Hijo had first discovered them - in the Maghreb. Medieval Bankside The Clink Southwark The Globe Southwark The George (1676) Coaching Inn Southwark The Soi-Disant Directors of the Spectacle …in Black and White

6 There, in his once-beloved country, surveillance also ruled supreme. It was more labour intensive but the eyes were everywhere. So were the drones. The prisons were full particularly in the east.The old proverb:Why say anything when you can remain silent ? had maintained its allure not because of the loneliness of the desert but because of the surveillance. The Sphinx, who was born in Bermondsey and who had never been near the place, knew all about that and was never to say anything during the entire trial. But the rule of El Hijos Father, the dictator, was no longer assured. The dominant clan, El Hijos clan, was split, the old alliances were disintegrating, the centre would not hold, the nations hoop was snapped and the pen was broken. As new oil wells were drilled in new areas, new tribal alliances were formed and then armed by those members of theSecurity Council that needed oil. Even worse the Fundamentalists, who were willing to kill anything that moved in the name of moral probity were stirring up the population with lurid tales of homosexuality, prostitution, drug-taking, alcoholism, TV- watching and depravity amongst the elite. The most difficult thing to understand, however, was why the Americans were arming and supporting them. It was they after all who, whilst biting their nails, trumpeted utilitarianism as the unquestionable truth underlying all human existence and they too were willing to kill in order to assert it. They were monitoring the governments activities using drones, satellites, spy planes, submarines, balloons and kites, model aircraft packed with sensors, tiny battery-powered toys, clandestine British frogmen and armed dolphins equipped with cameras. And Google. Why? After all, his Father had conceded some rights to women, especially those in charge of his security, and the population had access to free housing, health and education thanks, inshallah, to the oil revenues. He had kept the Fundamentalists down ever since they had pulverized the New York enclave in 2001 and He had kept in check the numbers of migrants flowing from the south into the shadow towns of Europe. Jeremy Bentham (UCL) Applied Utilitarianism:Benthams Panopticon Prison Drone Frogman Tiny Battery- Powered Robot Spy

7 Admittedly, it was all happiness in the shadow of a strong arm, which was not necessarily intolerable to the Americans, but his Father had made the Big Mistake. He had denied them access to his oil. The country had changed – it was no longer the world of pure white robes, perfumed gardens, swimming pools, jet-skis, beach palaces and the carpeted tents of his childhood. So when his Father asked him to go to London to rectify the Big Mistake by talking to the Americans poodle, he was very pleased. It was then he remembered the Internet sites. III Well that weekend in April, El Hijo explained I decided to fly over from Paris with my best friend Nadim.His Aide de Camp smiled back at him from the public gallery. We were both so excited, he said looking directly at the jury London is the most incredible place to live in. Some of the jurors looked distinctly unconvinced. I had official work to do on the Sunday evening, but on Friday and Saturday we did what all young men do when they come to London, he said, with a hint of anxiety. We went to visit the famous blue shop in Notting Hill Gate ; Sherlock Holmess house at 221B Baker Street, and the statue of Lord Canning in Parliament Square. We shopped at Harrods, ate braised viande chevaline a Saatchi with broccoli at Nigellas restaurant, and we visited an exhibition of holograms of Queen at the Trocadero. The Queen in the Trocadero, said the judge: how unusual, please continue The prosecution counsel proceeded with the interrogation of the witness. Where did you stay? she said. I decided we should stay at the Busby Carlton III, El Hijo said. At or with? enquired the judge, who periodically pretended to be deaf. At, Your Honour replied the prosecuting counsel; Its a hotel in Kensington. Queen in the West End : The Show of the Show The Blue Shop in Notting Hill Gate : The Reification of the Spectacle 221B Baker Street : The Reification of Fiction Sherlock Holmes : Baker Street Lord Canning : Parliament Square

8 I had booked two suites of rooms for three days, El Hijo continued, one for me (room 666) and one for Nadim (667) just down the corridor. I could see Dianas palace from my window and the Queens horses passed by every morning on their way to The Glanders. To The Glanders? enquired the judge, what is that ? It is a popular name, Your Honour, for Sir Basil Trashcans building for the Household Cavalry Barracks in Hyde Park said the prosecuting counsel. Oh said the judge, please continue. Well, it was all very pleasant, El Hijo said. We even saw Gordon Ramsay and Lady Gaga reading Goodbye! magazine in the Nail Bar at the hotel. Who is Gordon Ramsay? Who is Lady Gaga? And what is the Goodbye! magazine? demanded the judge imperiously. He was beginning to get tired of all this tittle-tattle, but the jurors were riveted to their seats. The first is a celebrity chef,Your Honour and the other is er…an entertainer. Goodbye! magazine contains stories of celebrity funerals, replied the prosecuting counsel. I see said the judge, and I suppose you will be telling us next what they were drinking there. They were having a manicure Your Honour, said El Hijo sheepishly. Having a manicure? in a bar? what next ? the judge snorted. Please continue but spare us some of these unnecessary details. Before you do, could we know how much these rooms cost? My bill for the weekend came to £45,000, said El Hijo indifferently. The jury recoiled and the juror, who had sighed when Dianas name had been mentioned, emitted a deep and contented grunt. The Sphinx, however, remained impassive, his eyes fixed resolutely on the horizon Kensington Palace (Dianas Palace) Harrods Knightsbridge The Royal Household Cavalry The Food Halls Harrods Egyptian Staircase Harrods Dodi and Diana Memorial Harrods

9 The prosecuting counsel asked El Hijo what happened next. Sunday was my big day. I drank no champagne throughout the day. Looking at the judge, he said pompously: I had an important dinner engagement at 7.00 pm at our embassy in Knightsbridge with the ambassadors of both of our countries. The Rolls arrived at 6.30 and drove me there and after dinner it drove me back to the hotel at around 10.30 pm. EXHIBIT 3 Photo from CCTV footage of El Hijo leaving the hotel at 6.35 pm and getting into a Rolls. The watch was clearly visible as the chauffeur opened the door for him. And was any drink served at this dinner? the judge asked innocently. Most definitely not, your Honour El Hijo replied. EXHIBIT 4 Photo from CCTV footage provided by the hotel, of El Hijo reentering the premises. Time: 10.24 pm What did you do then? the prosecuting counsel asked. Well I returned to Room 666; I phoned Nadim and asked him to come to my room and I ordered a bottle of champagne. When he arrived, we discussed where we should go for the rest of the evening. Nadim said we should go to the Napalm Club on the South Bank. I was already familiar with the Clubs website and I knew that they had good DJs there, but that it was dangerous because we would be in shadow town at night. Nadim, who is gay, reassured me, so I said yes. I phoned the driver who was waiting outside in the Rolls; we finished our champagne and we left the hotel for the club at about 11 oclock. EXHIBIT 5 Photo from CCTV footage provided by the hotel of El Hijo and the Aide de Camp leaving the hotel laughing. Time :11.10 pm. Again the watch is clearly visible as the chauffeur opens the car door for them. Kensington Palace Gardens (Billionaires Row) No Photographs! Mansion Billionaires Row Kensington Kensington Roof Gardens Kensington High Street More Champagne? (Ozenfant)

10 Good grief, the Napalm Club, the juror thought.The notorious gay nightclub under the railway arches where the pickled boys of Bermondsey, Lambeth and Southwark danced the night away with their West End visitors on a cocktail of champagne, snakebite, crystal meth, cocaine, crack and crystallized horse -piss. He had been down there once in the late Seventies, before they had opened the Club.He had been invited to a party held by the son of a famous British spy who had escaped to the Soviet Union. He remembered sawdust on the floor and a boisterous group of ageing flower-children, bouncing punkettes and louche guardsmen dancing to music from a traditional jazz band.The spys son had shown him a copy of the KGB manual issued to Soviet spies in London in the Fifties. On the first page, in capital letters and underlined, there was written in Russian: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES GO SOUTH OF THE RIVER. What happened then? The prosecuting counsel asked. We headed for the Club. I told the chauffeur to drive down Park Lane to see if there was anybody there we knew and then we drove over the river to the club. It took about half an hour. EXHIBIT 6 Photo taken from CCTV footage provided by the Highways Authority of the Rolls speeding over Waterloo Bridge. Time: 11.45 EXHIBIT 7 Photo taken from CCTV footage provided by the Napalm Club of the stationary Rolls in front of the club. Time 11.55 We paid at the door and then moved towards security. I was forced to empty my pockets in public in a dangerous area and a very rude security guard frisked me. I was shocked. I would like the court to watch the following CCTV footage, Your Honour, said the barrister. The usher turned on the TV screens. In the Shadow of the Shard Crossing Waterloo Bridge Entering Shadow Town Gated Tenement Block Southwark Southwark Underneath the Arches Southwark

11 EXHIBIT 8 Short clip of CCTV footage provided by the club. A stocky man in a pink Bugs Bunny jump suit with a large badge labeled Security was frisking the clearly- distressed El Hijo. On the table alongside, in a black plastic container, a glittering Rolex watch nestled against a roll of two hundred £50 notes and a mobile phone. Time: Midnight. I was worried about my security El Hijo continued, so I gave £50 to each of the security guards, and £100 to the DJ so he would play my music. I also tipped the barmen and the waiters so they would like me. Suddenly the barrister for the defence who had been moribund throughout the whole proceedings and who seemed to be engaged in a hopeless struggle to abandon his pessimism, shot up and said: And did you pay anybody else in the club that night? Well, I did give £500 to the accused --- to give to the DJ, to convince him to come back afterwards to a party at my hotel. Ah said the barrister, and sat down. El Hijo was now getting enthusiastic. Looking directly at the jury he said: London has fantastic clubs.The Napalm has cold clean lines, neutral tones and arabesques of glitter, but I didnt like the drapes.We had a great time drinking champagne and dancing and we talked to many people. One of these was the defendant, he said looking across at the Sphinx.The Sphinx did not move. He was clearly well -educated. I particularly liked the way he wore his underpants outside of his trousers. He was cool.We drank champagne,the occasional snakebite, but definitely no drugs. Nadim wandered off to talk to some of his friends and at around 4.00 am I suggested to the defendant that we should go back to my hotel and wait for the DJ there. He agreed and we got into a taxi. EXHIBIT 9 Aerial footage, provided by Landsat, of the taxi carrying El Hijo and the Sphinx going around the Seven Dials several times. Time 4.30 am. I cant remember exactly what time we arrived at the hotel but we went straight up to my room and opened a bottle of champagne. The Seven Dials Covent Garden Are You Secure? When a man is tired of crime he is tired of London The Seven Dials Mystery

12 EXHIBIT 10 Photos from CCTV footage from the corridor of the 6th floor showing El Hijo and the Sphinx staggering arm in arm towards room 666.The Sphinx is still wearing his underpants outside of his trousers and is wearing flip-flops. Under his right arm he is carrying the head of a pink Bugs Bunny outfit. The Rolex was clearly visible on the left arm of El Hijo as he passed the CCTV camera. Time: 4.50 am. Then what happened? asked the prosecution counsel apprehensively. At that point El Hijo began to twitch slightly, he became sweaty and his hands became more animated. He turned to the judge and said : Your Honour this involves things I do not wish to talk about. You must tell the truth said the judge. If the source of your discomfiture relates to sex, and especially to homosexual sex, then you should be aware that in this country homosexual acts are not a crime unless they involve horses. El Hijo de Papa paused, changed his stance and clearly uncomfortable said : Well we went to bed together. I put my trousers, money and mobile phones in the drawer but I forgot about my Rolex, and later put it on the bedside table. Could Exhibit 11 be shown to the jury Your Honour? It shows the layout of room 666 where the theft took place, said the prosecuting counsel. EXHIBIT 11 Hand drawn sketch of El Hijos suite of two rooms indicating the location of the two bathrooms, the bedroom and the position of the bed and bedside tables and the interconnecting living room. A large red cross had been drawn in Circassian script on one of the bedside tables. This indicated the last known location of the watch. What happened next? enquired the prosecuting counsel. Well I woke up with the accused lying next to me wearing nothing but a pink Bugs Bunny head and his flip-flops. I took a shower and he did too but he forgot to take the head off. I then phoned Nadim on my mobile and told him to pass by. I called room service and ordered Eggs Blumenthal and a bottle of champagne. Eggs Blumenthal – what exactly is that ? asked the judge. Veiled Circassian Beauty Jean Leon Gerome (1876) Nelsons Column (Optimal CCTV Site)Trafalgar Square

13 If I may Your Honour said the prosecuting counsel it is really Eggs Benedict but on toasted puffins rather than muffins. Its all the rage at the moment. One of the jurors immediately scribbled down what she had said. Please continue, said the judge increasingly more bewildered. Well Nadim came round and we managed to get the wet Bugs Bunny head off of the defendants head. Room service arrived and we had breakfast in the living room. EXHIBIT 12 Two photos taken from CCTV footage in the corridor. The one showed the arrival of the Aide de Camp at room 666. He was now sporting a Mohican haircut. Time: 10.42 am. The other was of the arrival of room service pulling a trolley laden with food and an ice bucket with a bottle of champagne. Time: 10.55 am. We ate our breakfast and talked about what a great time we had had at the Napalm and what a fantastic city London was, and what a cool guy Lord Canning was walking around London in that toga.Way ahead of his time. Then we ordered another bottle of champagne.The accused then said that he wanted to take another shower, now that he was no longer Bugs Bunny and went into the bedroom.We heard the shower running. EXHIBIT 13 Photo from CCTV footage from the corridor showing the drinks waiter arriving at room 666 with a bottle of champagne. Time 11.37 am After about 20 minutes we noticed the shower was still running and that there was no other sound coming from the bathroom and bedroom. Nadim went to check if everything was OK and we discovered that the defendant had disappeared and that the Rolex was missing. EXHIBIT 14 Photo taken by the police of the bedroom of room 666. On the floor by the entrance to the living room can be seen a pair of flip flops lying next to the soggy, pink head of Bugs Bunny. So what did you do then? said the prosecuting counsel. I immediately told Nadim to phone the security guard and the police, answered El Hijo. EXHIBIT 15 Photo taken from CCTV footage from the corridor of the security guard running towards room 666. (Time 11.59 am) Eggs Blumenthal The Mohican: shortly to become a building The Footwear of the Sphinx

14 So the theft of the Rolex must have occurred between 11.30 and 12.00 said the prosecuting counsel. Your Honour, I would like the court to see Exhibit 16 which contains CCTV footage from the corridor between 11.30 and 12 oclock. The usher once again turned on the TVs. EXHIBIT 16 CCTV footage from the camera outside of room 666. There was a long pause and then the Sphinx appeared tiptoeing out of the room as if he were the Pink Panther. He was wearing a T- shirt, which appeared to be tucked into his underpants, which were now under his trousers. (Time: 11.45 am). The footage then jumped to an image of him waiting for a lift to take him to the lobby. His left leg was shaking unconsciously and he looked up and down the corridor furtively. The lift arrived and out stepped a man in his fifties with a woman in her twenties, wobbling on high heel shoes. That looks like my father, muttered one of the jurors, whos she? The couple moved down the corridor and the Sphinx moonwalked into the lift (Time: 11.47 am). The footage then cut to outside the lobby where a doorman was seen holding an umbrella.The Sphinx stepped to the left around him and was then seen shuffling rapidly towards the Park, barefoot in the rain. Time: 11. 49 am. The judge turned to the by-now completely crestfallen defence lawyer, and asked him if he would like to cross-examine the witness. Before he could do so, the lights suddenly flickered and the fire alarms burst into life throughout the building. Out of the alarms came a stream of klaxon-like sounds interspersed every 10 seconds with a simulated voice of Mrs. Thatcher saying EV-ACU- ATE …. EX- TER -MIN-ATE…. EV-ACU-ATE. The judge, surprised, then ordered the evacuation of the court (whilst ruefully thinking that at this advanced stage of his career it might be wiser to order its extermination). The usher then led everybody towards the narrow stairwells where people joined them from the other courts. They were led into the open space at the front of the court building, which fortunately had been protected from construction because of its historic associations. It had been the location of Black Swingburne – the scene of countless executions (only recently terminated by an EU Directive). Criminals from the court, including those found guilty of petty offences, such as stealing a portable sundial, were immediately hung, beheaded, impaled and cut into quarters like horses, before being transported to Australia. It was there in the shadow of the gallows, lovingly restored by a Hollywood film producer, that the jurors stood huddled in the drizzle waiting for the facts. The Gallows Black Swingburne The Pink Panther

15 It seems that it was all the result of the cuts in the public budget brought on by the bankers incredible conviction that risk could be eliminated if it was spread widely enough. The maintenance of the roof had been neglected. Water, which has no enemy, then trickled down into the basement where it fell onto an automated coffee machine. The machine lit up like some demented dalek, spewing coffee everywhere. There was a bang and the lights throughout the building began to flicker. Fortunately the emergency generator, that was about to be decommissioned in the next round of cuts, had kicked in immediately. The jurors stood around waiting to see what would happen next. It was announced that the courts would be closed until Monday and that they were free to go home. He glanced over the shoulder of his fellow juror and saw the Sphinx gliding effortlessly into the rain and towards the Tube station, as if he were on a skateboard. IV On the Monday, the jurors returned to the court. They looked decidedly uncomfortable, and some were even sweating despite the damp chill.The mood changed once they were shown their mobile phones, which had remained under lock and key in the jury- room for three days whilst the roof and the electrics were being fixed. The usher assured them that they would be returned at the end of the days proceedings. They were eligible for a compensation payment of seventy-five pence a day according to the rules. It was then that he noticed that the glass box was empty. Unfortunately the accused has decided he can no longer be with us, the judge said with a quizzical frown, but we shall continue without him. Can the defence case proceed ? The defence lawyer did his best to conceal his exasperation, but still ended up looking like a drunken Sarkozy, as he searched for plausible explanations for his clients televised behaviour in the corridor and his absence in court.The jury struggled to make sense of it all, failing to understand that it was again Monday morning and that Sunday was the big night at the Napalm. A Dalek Londons LogoThe First Escape : V and A Museum Exhibit Sarkozy

16 The room service waiter was called to give evidence but it was inconsequential. A laconic policeman was also questioned. He added little, other than to confirm that all parties were interviewed six months after the event and that the drinks waiter had not been interviewed because he had returned to Circassia leaving an undetectable address. The judges summing-up stressed the importance of appearance and opportunity, and then it was all over. You must make your verdict. Take as long as you need to. The jury filed into the jury room. V The jury had little difficulty in arriving at a verdict.The decision took 20 minutes. The fact that the evidence relied merely on surveillance records was more than compensated for by the behaviour of the Sphinx in the corridor and his absence in court. There were two camps: those who thought he had stolen the watch and was guilty and those who thought he had probably stolen the watch but there was insufficient evidence to prove it. But there was a dissenter, the man with the titanium kneecaps, who also thought that the evidence was thin and there were other people in that room we knew too little about. Nonetheless, he said, the Sphinx should be found guilty because his behaviour in the corridor had shown that he had forgotten the fundamental rule for surviving in the Society of the Spectacle. He had suspended his situational awareness and forgotten that the Spectacle worked 24/7: he had acted as if the cameras did not exist rather than as if they were there. He had forgotten that he was obliged to take the path chosen by the directors of the Spectacle, no matter who they pretended to be: the one is merely recognized whilst the other only recognizes. He had to learn how to organize his appearance and illusions and how to police his own encounters. He deserved a short spell in jail to help him realize how important it was to not repeat the error. The Man with the Titanium Kneecaps (V and A Museum Exhibit) Celui qui voit est aussi un point de visibilité Santo Stefano Prison Italy (Panopticon) The Surveillance Time Machine (Rod Burgess) The Missing Circassian (Rod Burgess)

17 This argument, through its eminent truth, was sufficient to secure a consensus in the jury and a unanimous verdict was reached. The jury filed back into the courtroom. Have you reached your verdict? enquired the judge. We have Your Honour, replied the foreman. The defendant is guilty. Thank you very much said the judge, and before you leave I should like to inform you that the defendant has been sighted, paddling a coracle under Hammersmith Bridge, but he has still evaded arrest. VI The Sphinx was finally arrested some three months later. He had made a mobile phone call from the dance floor at the Napalm Club and the police were there in ten minutes. He was hauled before the same judge for sentencing, not only for theft but also for contempt of court. But inexplicably all the charges against him were dismissed and he was released at once. The judge had received an e-mail from a government department, which talked about invaluable services to the state. The e-mail was put under a secrecy notice and its contents were not to be made public until 2063. However, thanks to Edward Snowden the true sequence of events that occurred that night can now be revealed. The names have been changed in order to avoid a Massacre of the Innocents. It seems that once the poodles had been informed that El Hijo was going to be in town to talk about the Big Mistake, they had rushed round to see the Americans at their new embassy on the South Bank – a massive crenellated fortress complete with a moat, portcullis and a flag as big as an American football pitch. An ironic celebrity architect with a disposition for military contracts had built it. The Americans went through their files and soon realized where El Hijo would be heading: after all some of our own guys hang out there, the Section Leader had said. They sent Felix Leitner to the Napalm Club to talk to the most notorious and irresistible rent-boy he could find (The Sphinx). There was talk of extraordinary rendition, of orange jump suits and the promise of a kilo of crystallized horse-piss. It was the fear of being seen in the orange jump suit that did the trick.The Sphinx agreed to the plan. Edward Snowden The Future is Orange Secret Intelligence Service Building Vauxhall Cross The Second Escape : Hammersmith Bridge

18 He was to insert a microscopic GPS unit inside El Hijos watch using a special tool provided by Q. In the morning when he was in the hotel, he had fitted the unit into the watch whilst sitting on the toilet. He had carefully put the Rolex back on the table at the side of the bed where he had been sleeping. He then went into the living room where el Hijo and the Aide de Camp were already tucking into their second bottle of champagne and snorting crystallized horse-piss through rolled- up £50 notes. But when the talk turned round to a ménage-a- trois the Sphinx decided that now his job was done, he had better leave. He told them that he was going to take a shower before the tryst, turned the shower on and then slipped into the corridor leaving his flip-flops on the floor of the bedroom, so they wouldnt get suspicious. When, half an hour later, his Aide-de-Camp discovered that the Sphinx had legged it, El Hijos face broke out into a big smile. However, when he saw that The Sphinx had not taken his watch the smile rapidly turned into a petulant frown followed by a string of Arabic curses. He had been trying to get him to steal it all night! At one moment in the Club he had actually let him wear it and when they got back to the hotel he made sure that he left it on the Sphinxs side of the bed so that it would be in his face every time he rolled over. He had known for some time now that he was in possession of a fake Rolex. He had been duped- just like Pablo Escobar had been - probably by the Snow Leopards, the notorious gang of jewel thieves from Circassia. Their strategy was to break into jewellers shops, steal the items they were looking for and replace them with exquisite fakes, which were then unknowingly sold on as the genuine thing before anybody caught on.The fake Rolexes were manufactured in the Caucasus, in the workshops of their mountain- top villages which had remained undetected since the pogroms of the nineteenth century. Even Escobar didnt want to mess with their majlis. El Hijo had wanted to set up The Sphinx so he could make an insurance claim and use the money to buy a genuine Rolex. After all he was sophisticated, he had class - he was no rhinestone cowboy. After pacing up and down the room for ten minutes he knew what he should do: with wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command he told the Aide de Camp to flush the crystallized horse -piss down the toilet, to put the watch in his pocket, to take it to his own room and hide it, to return back to room 666 and to phone 999 for the security guards and police.The rest we know. It was at this point that the hubris accompanying his habros brought about his nemesis. It was then that he became un ciego en un mundo de tuertos. The Sphinx plan was realized before he could make the insurance claim. The Mousetrap: St. Martins Theatre Covent Garden A Snow Leopard The Sphinx and the Mannequin Egyptian Staircase Harrods Knightsbridge Shop Window Car Show Room KnightsbridgeChandelier Harrods

19 He had returned to his once-beloved country with high hopes and pride - he was encouraged by what he had been promised in his dialogue with the dogs : his Fathers regime was secure as long as he rectified the Big Mistake; support for the Fundamentalists would cease and there was even talk of a new treaty similar to the Treaty of Fort Laramie that the American government had signed with Red Cloud in 1868. His Father was well- pleased and awarded him the countrys highest honour: The Golden Collar of Honour and Merit of the Order of the Sun (with diamonds and three tassels). That will go well with my new Rolex, he thought. However, shortly after he arrived, somehow, the Americans had been able to target a drone on the bunker and had killed his Father and his stable of celebrity racing horses. (Her Majestys Government had insisted on the inclusion of the latter as part of the Sphinx plan). He had retrieved his watch from the ruins and headed for the desert. A month later a Voyager spacecraft one billion miles out in space was moving beyond the orbit of Jupiter and heading towards the Eternal Void. It turned its cameras and sensors back to focus on the tiny speck of light that was the planet Earth for the last time. When the pictures and signals were analyzed in Houston something suspicious was detected in a builders yard in a small town deep in the Sahara. The militias jumped into their armadillo SUVs and raced towards there over the dunes. They shone their torches down one of the vast concrete ducts, which lay scattered over the desert floor. The dictator had planned to transport water from the bountiful aquifers that lay under the sands to the coastal cities. In the dark, a tiny speck of light was reflected back at them - as if it were a billion miles away. One of the bearded men was restrained from firing a rocket-propelled grenade down the tube; there were some moments of confusion and then finally, out came the bedraggled figure of El Hijo, still recognizable behind his hijab. As he was taken off for slaughter, the camera picked up a cartwheel of multi-coloured light from his wrist - he was wearing the Rolex. Red Cloud V and A Museum Exhibit Kensington Underground Sign Knightsbridge Finnegans Wake The National Theatre Southbank

20 VII It was yet another cold, grey and wet morning in shadow town. Mr. Patel was rolling up the shutters on his shop trying to ignore the racist graffiti that covered them. He ejected, as always, the two homeless people sleeping in the doorway (this time its the Roma, he muttered). He said good morning to the West African traffic warden and to the Syrian temp delivering the mail. Work had already started on the building site opposite, where the Polish workers were beavering away on the latest votive offering to the God of Embedded Energy. Mr. Patel had seen the architect responsible for it on the television news the night before: Everybody is already calling it The Toilet Brush he had said proudly, as he thought of all the extra floor space he had created from that small plot. We re going to get a good scrubbing down here, thought Mr. Patel. Simultaneously the plane from Circassia, carrying the man with a fake Rolex was touching down at Heathrow Airport and a container truck, full of illicit crystallized horse- piss, had finally reached the M25 from Felixstowe and was heading for the South Bank.It was all part of yet another postmodern parable about life in the global city. Bermondsey Shadow Town Has Not The Genius of the Ancients Arising from their Graves, Cast Yours into Captivity ? London (Dec. 2013)

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