In the Dark

It is possible that you have never heard of the most famous person in the world. Your life just worked out that way. You went about your daily affairs, lived a perfectly normal life, grew old and grey, but you were always distracted when X was mentioned in conversation, you were always out of the room when X appeared on television, you never noticed an article about X on the internet.

Of course, the odds are extremely small that this might have happened to anyone who is plugged into contemporary culture, but it might. One day someone refers to Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe or Abraham Lincoln, and all you can say is “Who’s that?”.

This strange possibility doesn’t bother me when I think about you being in this situation. But if I think about myself being ignorant in this way, I feel a little whiff of anxiety. Is it possible that there is someone incredibly famous who I’ve never heard of? Could I be that ignorant, that different from everyone else? Like what if I had never heard of Cassandra Calliope? How bizarre would that be?

I was reminded of this unlikely possibility when I saw a reference to something called “Star Wars Uncut” this morning. Am I the only one who has never heard of this? Obviously not, but I might be.

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