In Light of Re­cent Events

The Monthly (Australia) - - NEWS - by Oslo Davis

For pure entertainment, noth­ing beats look­ing at the mis­er­able faces of sports play­ers after they’ve lost a match. Give me the crushed, va­cant ex­pres­sions of the van­quished over the vic­tors’ sickly sweet grins any time. It’s not be­cause I like peo­ple to lose, per se. Rather, I’m mes­merised by the drama of how the los­ing is ex­pressed, how the face seems to cat­a­stroph­i­cally im­plode when en­thu­si­asm and strength are sud­denly sucked out of it. This month, Aus­tralia will wit­ness scenes of un­bri­dled joy and cel­e­bra­tion when one side of the same-sex mar­riage sur­vey wins. But I reckon there’s no harm in ev­ery­one get­ting reac­quainted with what it’s like to lose, just in case. To that end, here is my Five Stages of De­feat After Be­liev­ing You Were a Shoo-in – an il­lus­trated guide for losers to use on their jour­ney into dark­ness, and for win­ners to re­fer to as they de­light in unadul­ter­ated schaden­freude.

“Re­main” cam­paign­ers mooch about after los­ing the Brexit vote. STAGE 3 “I feel sick. No, re­ally, I feel like I’m go­ing to vomit.” Roger Fed­erer bawls his eyes out after be­ing beaten by Rafael Nadal in the 2009 Aus­tralian Open men’s fi­nal. Bill Mur­ray does re­ally good “sad face” after his beloved Xavier Mus­ke­teers basketball team goes down 66–63 to Wis­con­sin. The Wal­la­bies suck it up big time after los­ing to Scot­land ( Scot­land! ) in Syd­ney in June. STAGE 4 “This changes ev­ery­thing. Ev­ery­thing is a lie. My par­ents, the me­dia and my dog all lied to me. I can’t feel my face.” Los­ing Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence cam­paign­ers con­sole each other after their de­feat in 2014. STAGE 5 “Let me sit here a while and make my­self into a tiny ball. A teensy tiny lit­tle speck, in the cor­ner of this hole, at the bot­tom of the gar­den, safe from the mean peo­ple. Please, if you don’t mind, take that spade and blanket me in that truth­ful, right­eous earth.” A Clin­ton sup­porter is crushed, fear­ful, after Trump sur­prises ev­ery­one by win­ning the 2016 US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. STAGE 2 “Please, God. If you ex­ist, tell me this is not hap­pen­ing.” STAGE 1 “Hang on, weren’t we just win­ning?”

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