People tend to project their bad qualities onto other people, but not so much their good qualities. Why? One explanation is that they are lazy and find it easier to assume that everyone is like them. Freud’s explanation was that projection is a mechanism of ego defense: we can’t bear the thought of our own faults so we transfer them onto others. I think it comes from the fact that people don’t think about others at all: they think only of themselves. They never really try to understand another person because there is no one else. Or better, those people most prone to projection are the people who think mostly of themselves. This applies to the projection of good qualities as well as bad: since no one but yourself is real there is only your own psychology, good and bad. Everyone is like me because no one is other than me. Projection stems from solipsism.
I have to concede victory to Usain Bolt: he has achieved the triple triple. I have only achieved the double triple. But I console myself that I am taller, younger, and can run faster than him. (I hope readers can detect the irony in these remarks, but if they cannot I give up. Compare a drunk man in a pub arguing that his achievements in local skittles are superior to the athletic achievements of the greatest sprinter of all time.)
He has been remarkably durable, given his failings, but surely now he has no way to claw back the ground he has lost. He lives in a fantasy world; he has no idea when he is lying or not. I am always fascinated by the white circles round his eyes (probably the result of tanning goggles). The rot started with George Stephanopoulos’ interview with him a week or so ago in which he lavished praise on his fabulous temperament. Since then he has seemed absurd and unhinged.