Thursday, September 6, 2012


I saw this photo in TIME MAGAZINE -- a two-page spread. It horrified me.

Kung fu fighting -- ten thousand martial arts students in the city of Zhengzhoum in China’s central Henan province, perform a coordination exercise to mark their country’s Cultural Heritage Day.

I hate this puicture. I can’t stand looking at it.

I don’t want to write about the perfectly identical figures, the young people, who drilled and sweated and robotized themselves so they could do what they are doing.

Animals couldn’t do this. These are humans.

All my life I’ve strived to be me, be different, hold onto my individuality, help dancers I’ve employed, people I know and love, help everyone i know retain their identity, and NOT change to fit the mode.

I don’t want to write about about this picture, or or other horrors made by man -- man by himself, or men collaborating with Mother Nature.

Hey, the season is changing. I’ll write about September things -- cool days, cold days, are coming. There’s a convention to watch, and lots of stuff to do on my calendar -- taxes, building repairs, gotta check the thermostat and call the heat people to check out the furnace, get out winter clothes, put away summer stuff ... Whewy -- the list of things is like a snow ball, a mud ball rolling down a hill gathering up debris as it gets bigger, bigger. and bigger.

For more than a year the White House, non-functioning Congress, squabbles, fights, debates over what the country needs, have been filling my mind with what’s wrong, what’s getting worse. What a mud ball -- all that and now, the conventions, debates, rah-rah, lies, ugly attacks, money, money-men buying ads, disenfranchising voters -- that the presidency could be bought -- that election day is meaningless -- oh my God!

I’ll look at this picture of what’s happening in a far, far, far, far-away other part of the world.

Hey, I’ll play a video clip, that will bring back the thrilling, stunning, horror of another horrifying ceremony.


Anonymous said...

Saw this on my twitter. Yes! Robotism. Vivre la diference. I am happy to be a citizen of a crazy non uniform world. Amen.

Peggy Bechko said...

I empathize, Em, I understand the viewpoint from which you're writing. I agree, cherishing individuality - however, in this case perhaps another perspective. Have they given up their identities? I don't know, really, perhaps that's our judgment. Perhaps they see it more like a 'performance' like the Rocketts perfectly synchronized or like the old Hollywood musicals with the perfectly coordinated dancers moving around the stage. We humans do many 'strange' and amazing things when compared to the animal world. Synchronization is one of them. Now that you've brought up this viewpoint I'd be interested to hear from some of the individual participants. It's a fascinating point for discussion.

Poet_Carl_Watts said...

If you focus on the negative, like the police do, you get more of it! Psych focus on insanity, it's on the rise due to them!

If you focus on the beauty in the world, look for beauty, it's there.

I don't like passing on the negative tho sometimes I feel people should know. But sometimes I don't as some articles are only meant to scare people.

In the main, I focus on the future and how I'd like it to be.

Have a great day!

OR said...

Em you have an eye for the unusually good! Please keep keeping your eyes peeled.

Billy Ray Chitwood said...

The picture looks like a menacing buzzsaw, and it's China, the giant country that is acquiring more and more of our wealth through indebtedness...If that answer is not good enough, remember two words: 'Tiananmen Square!' Remember the tank and the brave young person who stood in front of it.

It is likely your subliminal sees all that when you look at the picture.

My best to you, Em.

Billy Ray

Unknown said...

Dear Emily, I love this piece -- because I AGREE. I was just at lunch the other day with people (nice people) whom I did not know, and I asked them what they thought of the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London a month or so ago. I asked partially because I had loved that ceremony, but more because that ceremony was so unusual that it is still interesting to talk about. That's why I liked it -- so rich. I hadn't seen the Beijing ceremony, but I'd heard about it, and the people I was having lunch with said that Beijing was much much better -- I knew right then that I didn't have so much in common with these people. Even though I hadn't seen Beijing I knew (and could guess) how automated it was. and now you show me what I missed, but what I knew: this awful regimentation, this ideal of erasing the individual, making her a cog in a machine etc. So I feel like I totally get what repulses you about that top photo -- when others will ooh and ahh at it, we recoil.

Carola said...

I don't find this as horrifying as you do. I see it in the context of my recent trip to China where I discovered that everything is so much more massive in China - not surprising given its population. Huge cities grow up overnight in the middle of a wilderness. In our culture we may see the beauty in a highly synchronized performance by (for example) 6 people. So what is disturbing here is the large number of people so synchronized. But that's China!