We Are Borg

I watched a little of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics the other day. It was an elaborate spectacle, and quite beautiful: an enormous troupe of drummers, identically clad, playing and dancing in perfect unison. There may well have been thousands of them; there were at least many hundreds.

It was undeniably impressive, an amazing display of precision and teamwork. But I found it also more than a little creepy: I realized that it was a calculated and startlingly powerful statement, made in stark defiance of Western individualism.

This is how we do things here. We are an ancient and powerful race, but we have slumbered.

Now we are awakening to the modern world. Our numbers are beyond counting. Imagine what we are capable of.

It turns out that the New York Times columnist David Brooks had quite the same reaction. Read his essay here.

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  1. Kevin Kim says

    A lot of Koreabloggers are noting that this sort of thing is commonplace in North Korea, whose immense Arirang Festival is an ultraprecise celebration of Borglike conformism.


    Posted August 13, 2008 at 12:43 am | Permalink
  2. As I put it over at my place:

    “From the bits and pieces I inadvertantly saw as I passed my TV (always on Sky News with the sound off) the opening of the Olympics demonstrated a rather obvious pedigree. From Barnum & Bailey to Max Reinhardt via Joseph Goebbels through Las Vegas and finally to Peking. My dears, simply too, too vulgar!”

    A Russo-American reader told me that I had forgotten Red Square parades.

    Posted August 13, 2008 at 7:03 am | Permalink
  3. Charles says

    Actually, as I was watching the opening ceremonies, I kept thinking, “Man, these guys can’t hold a candle to the North Koreans. Look! That dude is a split-second behind! If that had happened in North Korea he would have been summarily executed!”

    Posted August 14, 2008 at 10:31 am | Permalink