The Machine is Unhappy


After watching some hours of the Olympics, it struck me: the machine is unhappy. And who or what is this machine? It’s China.

Yes, the Chinese are ahead in the number of gold medals, and it’s unlikely (impossible?) that anybody will catch up to them, but if you look at the individual competitors, they just plain don’t look happy. And when the cogs are unhappy, the machine is unhappy.

I have no idea what kind of stress they’re operating under, but whether it’s threats from the motherland or whether they are simply not prone to smile, they just don’t look like they’re enjoying what they’re doing.

They compete in stark contrast to many of the athletes of the rest of the world, most of whom look like they’re there to have a great time and party from start to finish line, doing their best along the way. These non-Chinese athletes look like they weren’t bred for this job but rather like they are delighted to have made it, not knowing, as I suspect some of China’s Olympians are, that they would get to be there in the first place.

As I watched the platform diving, these wisps of… can I even call them women, they’re so young?… girls, then… these girls don’t look happy, they don’t look sad, they don’t look serious, they just… look. It’s as if nobody’s home except The Diving Machine.


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