stories

The Rumors About Me - Chapter 5 - page 2

Even if I couldn't expect anything for the articles about me, it seemed natural that there should be some kind of acknowledgement from the newspaper company now that they'd used me as their cover model. But three days passed from publication date, then four, and there was still no word from the paper. One day, unable to contain myself any longer, I detoured by the newspaper office on my way to work.
Although everyone I passed when walking around town would turn to look back at me, when I entered the newspaper office both the receptionists and on-duty editors almost to say that they'd never even heard of me. While I sat in the reception room I'd been guided to, wondering if it would have been better not to have come after all, a soberfaced man appeared and identified himself as the assistant editor of the magazine.
"Mr.Morishita. You do know you're causing us a lot of trouble by coming here." "So that's it. It's because I'm just a nobody that has nothing to do with the mass media, right?"
"You're neither a celebrity not a man of the hour. You're not even a famous person. That's why you shouldn't come to places like this."
"But I am famous, in fact, aren't I?"
"All that is just gossip in the press about someone who isn't famous. Even after your face had become known, we still wanted you to remain nameless forever. We thought you fully understood that yourself.
"In that case, why did you need to make news out of a nobody like me?"
The assistant editor sighed.
"How should I know. I imagine it was because someone judged that you could become news."
"You mean the mass media? Who was the ringleader who came up with such nonsense?"
"The ringleader? If there was a ringleader, the newspapers would never have all gone chasing after you like this. The mass media pursues things with news value, even if there is no-one there to give the order."
"What news value is there in my dialy routine?
"Very well, just what kind of articles would you say were big news?"
"Let's see now. For instance, whether or not the weather forecast was correct, or that there was a war some place, or that there was a 10-minute power failure in such-and-such a block, of that an airplane crashed and a thousand people died, or that the price of apples is going up, or that a dog bit a man, or a dog was caught shoplifting at a supermarket, or the president of the United States was shoplifting, or Man landed on Mars, or an actress got divorced, or World War Three is likely to break out, or polluting industries are making money, or another newspaper's making Money."