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VIEWPOINT: PLAYING TO THE GALLERY – Odiase

There are many of us whose main occupation is to play to the gallery. Wherever we are, we draw undue attention to ourselves, to feel relevant and be able to foist our assumed relevance on others. We use antics of all sorts to achieve our objectives.
To us the players, it is a profession, not merely main occupation or a pastime. Were our motives altruistic, we probably wouldn’t appear so clownish and ridiculous. We nauseatingly scheme for recognition and for elevation on the social ladder.
Our antics include, (but are by no means limited to):
1.) Tale bearing. We always have stories about virtually all (living and none living) things and so, arrogate infallible knowledge, wisdom, understanding and experience to ourselves, in all spheres. Thus, falsely cloaked, we sound credible with our stories. We believe that our audiences cannot, but, be malleable, gullible, mesmerized and would rather hear, believe and act on our unverified accounts than do otherwise. We claim to be rendering invaluable service to our audience and humanity. But our scope covers largely instruments of defamation and ruinous information. Our stories are therefore told to malign and ruin those we wish to pull down and supplant, especially if they (the maligned) are rivals and, or, of the introspective mind, unwilling to support impostors who play to the gallery.
2.) Instigation. We are adept at instigating violent agitations, and protests, purportedly to save those, against whom, rabble is roused. We go about this, declaring our sincere, untainted love and loyalty as well as unalloyed support for our unwary victims., while demanding favor and recognition, and cunningly requesting to serve in the vilified victim’s temple, and at the same time telling the whole world how the victim had desecrated that temple. We blow hot and cold, speaking from both sides of our mouths.
3.) Hypocrisy/Contradiction. We work like a gang of wolves and hounds, howling and barking at whoever dares highlight our hypocrisies and contradictions., quick to shout: “You got it wrong!”. We always get things right while others always get them wrong. We are a clique; some say dare devil cultists in factional politics, pretentiously, yet arrogantly independent in our views, but secretly and hideously under our principals’ payrolls; principals groaning silently under our parasitic burden.
4.) Rebellious Militancy. We say boldly that we are rebels and militants, and many believe we can metamorphose to terrorists, insurgents and suicide squads, even though we are said to be very jittery when legitimately confronted. Using rebellious and militant strategy with spurious allegations, we peddle half-truths and abhor hearing the whole truth, let alone allowing others to hear it. We call ourselves opinion and community leaders and we want our word on any issue to be final. Whoever airs contrary views is our enemy. We may be few, but we represent all, including the silent majority. In fact, some people consider it wiser to remain silent than be dubbed traitors, sell-outs or nincompoops by us THE GALLERY MEN.
5.) Uncouth Attitude and Language. Our strategies forbid decorum and refined language and action. Rather, primitive, aggressive and voodoo attitude and language rule our world. Anything not done our way is unreasonable and unacceptable. It must be our way otherwise, there is ulterior motive. Such that, it becomes difficult for our audience to distinguish between what/who is reasonable and who or what is not, who has ulterior motive and who doesn’t. For the men who play to the gallery, mud-slinging and rabble rousing are lucrative enterprise.
6.) Cowing the Disadvantaged. As the con men play to the gallery, they easily and successfully cow the feeble-hearted, the semi-literate, the illiterate and the financially dependent citizens to submission. Therefore, they have ample supporters to whom they are stars, role models and mentors. This implies that whatever GALLERY FOLKS do is correct. Like the Orwellian Napoleon in The Animal Farm, they are always right, and never wrong, to their cohorts.
7.) Representing the Disgruntled. The GALLERY FOLKS ensure that many are disgruntled among their audience. There must be people whose cause is being championed, primitively of course, not civilly. They believe that this strategy bestows legitimacy on THE STRUGGLE, their struggle. As Gallery Men, they must be seen and believed to have continued from where their failed ancestors or predecessors stopped. It does not matter what crude methods and solutions are adopted in all situations and circumstances.
Notwithstanding the fact that their motives might contain a dot or spec of altruism, the selfish/personal interests and tactics of those who PLAY TO THE GALLERY apparently supersede and shroud the modicum of selflessness and public interest they glibly profess. They are mostly upstarts, scheming for advantage to ride rough shod, over and above well meaning citizens and discerning compatriots. They profess integrity, capability and competence while concealing their dubiety and ulterior motives. Watch them closely and you would realize that they always cry over spilled milk but do nothing to prevent the spilling.

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