Antony Gray’s Olympic Diary: Day One
Set off to drive to St Pancras at a very early hour - but a few yards down the road a check found that I had not got my Oyster card so a frantic return to mission control (aka home).
Spotted our first gamesmaker, distinctive by his curious uniform, hurrying along the Euston Road. I missed the train by a few seconds as did two other young ladies similarly clad. Had to wait for about 30 minutes for the next train and slowly the crowd of clones grew to about fifty by the time the train arrived. All poured out at Stratford International where the clone crowd increased until it was a torrent all hastening in the same direction while being steered by more stationary clones silently pointing in the direction.
It of course made me think of ants but then of the Epsilons of Brave New World. Epsilons … people of this caste make up the majority of human society, and the production of such specialised children (aka gamesmakers) bolsters the efficiency and harmony of society (aka the Games), since these people are deliberately limited in their cognitive and physical abilities, as well as the scope of their ambitions and the complexity of their desires, thus rendering them easier to control. All children/gamesmakers are educated via the hypnopaedic process, which provides each child with caste-appropriate subconscious messages to mold the child’s/gamesmaker’s lifelong/gameslong self-image and social outlook to that chosen by the leaders and their predetermined plans for producing future Olympians.
Despite our briefings and hypnopaedic trainings none of us Epsilons seemed to know what to expect or do other than to use common sense which, exercised with a caste-appropriate smile and a quip, was all that was required. Greeting the spectators and showing them to their seats is not too difficult and was in fact great fun. The loud speaker system blared inappropriate music and banal commentary which my ancient brain was soon filtering out but when the competitors were introduced the roar of the crowd made that very special and most extraordinary noise often heard on telly at football-goal-moments but when live and for real it is amazing and seems to stimulate the neck-hairs.
Antony Gray is typesetter for Quartet Books