Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Silent Majority

There are people with large Twitter followings. One of the sadder stories in the press recently concerned Olivia Jade, the daughter of Lori Loughlin, the actress indicted in the college admissions scandal. Olivia Jade’s product endorsements had garnered large fees, which she has now lost because of her parents’ actions in paying $500,000 to get her and her sister, Isabella Rose, categorized as "recruits" for USC's crew though neither had ever rowed—and Olivia’s apparently had it with the couple who begat her. However, the mass of men  (and women) live rather circumscribed existences in which the only legendary aspects to their behavior exist in the their own minds. James Thurber’s Walter Mitty became an iconic character in literature precisely because his predicament so clearly mirrored the disparity between the rather minor appearances most people make on the stage of life as supernumeraries in the crowd scene and the fantasies they have of being otherwise. Are you someone who has 3 followers on Facebook or 3000? It's probably somewhere in between, but in terms of the average Joe or Jane leaning more in the 3 direction. You not only have to work for notoriety to get it, but you have to know how and it’s a curious almost mathematical principle that the ones who possess so-called visibility exceed  “the silent majority,” the term used by Nixon in another context, by exponential leaps and bounds.

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