Standing apart from the crowd is usually seen as a good thing. It makes you cooler than the majority. But what if going against the majority was dangerous? Even life threatening? Enter the dystopian world of Majority, the first novel in author Abby Goldsmith’s newest series.
What if everyone had an audience inside their head, listening to their every thought?
I grew up in a rural area and didn’t make friends easily. Maybe that was why I imagined an audience of aliens inside my head, tuning in from distant planets. Maybe I was an alien, too. Maybe I’d been left on Earth accidentally. That distant audience would watch my life from the comfort of their technologically advanced homes, reacting as I explored the stream near my house, whispering about the kids who bullied me in school. The aliens were on my side.
As I learned about Nazism–my Jewish ancestors were fortunate to move to the U.S. prior to the immigration restrictions during the WWII era–I had to grapple with a big question. When I learned about colonial American slavery, there was the big question again. And the Salem witch trials. Okay, here’s the big question. How can a successful society, a society ruled by adults, collectively agree to do something horrible?
Now I was questioning that distant audience of aliens. What if they were actually laughing at my misfortunes from the comfort of their alien homes? It’s not hard to imagine. The people we hear about on the news are utter strangers to us. There’s a layer of distance between an audience and the newsworthy subject they might be watching or casually discussing. And there’s camaraderie, too. The audience bonds with each other. They share an experience, and the subject is not part of that.
In fact, sympathy for the subject is dangerous in many situations. It can be dangerous to go against popular opinion. Ask any kid who goes to school. Ask anyone who ever dared to defy social norms, or anyone who dared to say something controversial on social media…
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