stories

The Rumors About Me - Chapter 4 - page 3

"I can appreciate how you feel," the chief said,"trying to calm me in a tremulous voice. "But wouldn't it be better not to be so short-tempered? The mass media is a frightening opponent. No, no, of course I'll give you permission to leave the office on personal business any time. You well know I'm a paternalistic fellow about things like that. You do know that, don't you? Yes. I think you do know. But I'm just thinking of your own good when I say this. Now, certainly this is a terrible thing. This article is horrendous, I agree. Yes,I can sympathize with you on this."
"Yeah, it's really bad."
"Oh, it really is. It's just too awful."
I hadn't noticed my colleagues gathering around us, and now they all began sympathizing with me. Some woman workers even cried.
But I wasn't fooled. Behind my back they were all whispering ill about me, and they were helping the mass media. It was the inevitable two-faced nature of all those around the famous.
After the president himself came out to persuade me, I finally gave up on the idea of bursting into the publishing company. But the funny thing was that, even though I had been so raving mad and had made such a commotion, none of it was reported on the television news, or in the day's evening papers. That led me to think back over the way the mass media had selected news about me over the previous days.
They had left out of the news everything that I did in conscious awareness of the mass media. My attempts to shake my shadowers, for instance, or the way I would fly into a rage and shout at the television news or newspaper articles, were either completely ignored or reported as if they had happened - even an incident like the helicopter that had crashed into a building while trying to tail me - were reported as if they were totally unconnected events. In that respect, the coverage was very different from when the media investigates and reports other famous personalities. In short, they were treating me as if I was in a world devoid of mass media.
But thinking about it, ironically that was the very reason that the news about me gradually grewmore prominent, that people began to take an interest in it, and that I became the nobody that nobody didn't know. For instance, one day the morning papers played up a story with a six-column hedline topping the front page.

TSUTOMU YAMASHITA EATS EELS!
THE FIRST EXTRAVAGANCE
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