The search for the missing Malaysian airliner is increasingly one with signals of hope and despair
At one level, the news coverage has settled into reporting a story of unremitting human tragedy of lives lost and of the despair of the grieving families, perhaps only sustained by flickers of hope which to the rest of us is mostly seen as part of the process of denial.
Yet there is another story of hope and despair replacing anger at what is seem as blundering and perhaps worse by the Malaysian authorities, and international surveillance bodies.
The story has become better coordinated, with recognized legitimacy from spokespersons from Australia. The hope is not for the lives of those on the missing plane, but for the hope of discerning what happened. Hope is expressed by confidence in the trace signals from the flight recorders in the plane.
We have learned much from the news of the black box recorders. How they are physically red; how the signals received were increasingly accepted as authentic; how they are weakening a expected as their power sources run out. We know the region of search remains daunting albeit narrowed from the half a hemisphere of the initial days.
The news stories, unlike the signals being received, flicker between raised and dashed hopes. They offer echoes of the twin imposters of of Kipling, in which the twin impostors of triumph and disaster are replaced with those of hope and despair.