Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
51

What Is The Real-Real Thing?

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."—Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist"

An old friend once told me a story about her son Edison and this other kid he grew up with, Brendan. It seems that when they were really little, like six or so, the boys were on a soccer team, they were playing soccer and Edison fell and was hurt. And everybody clustered round and was all ooh, ahh, to make sure he was okay. Straightaway, Brendan totally faked an injury of his own, thumped to earth and started wailing, so that he, too, could get in on some of the solicitude. Now, this is the kind of thing that goes on among little kids all the time, and though it's highly tempting to become sore at the Brendans of the world, their strategies are only understandable, because people will try to get the things they want, however they can. Little kids do stuff like this just blindly. They are not thinking about how their fakery might in the event be seen as wrong or bad. In this sense, the Fall of Brendan is not fake but genuine: spontaneous, instinctive, unfeigned.

But Edison had paid for all that attention and alarm in the painful coin of a wrenched ankle, and Brendan experienced no such pain. That's the annoying part: it was also false, and wrong, for Brendan to go keeling over like that. This kind of fakery causes a very particular kind of outrage, something like the kind you might experience when you recall the smiling, soft-focus Family Values photographs of John Edwards, or Ted Haggard, or Jimmy Swaggart (or any of the many others) with their smiling wives beside them.

All this came to mind when I heard about a book the other day (in this really good blog post) called Power Friending: Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business, by one Amber Mac, who is way older than six, and who is some kind of Internet marketing guru. Her shtick is explaining to people how to be authentic.

A is for Authenticity

The first rule about authenticity is that you don't talk about authenticity. Well, at least not publicly. [Oh, Amber.] The people who achieve success on the Web, whether it's a twenty-year-old student who started a multimillion-follower fashion blog on Tumblr or an eighty-year-old grandmother who launched the number-one video blog on YouTube, represent real passion to their audiences. They don't harp on about authenticity, but they do present themselves in an authentic way.

Hell's bells, if that isn't the most eye-crossing thing I've seen since I learned that Newt Gingrich's current wife Callista plays the French horn. So I couldn't resist poking around, and it turns out that there are a whole lot of books purporting to teach you how to be "authentic" in your attempts at Growing Your Market or whatever, my favorite being Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want by James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II.

As you can imagine, any such book is liable to be a laff riot, because if someone is trying to explain how to be authentic, things are bound to veer into The Onion territory p.d.q. But it's sad, too, because what these writers are advising, basically, is that you fall like Brendan.

Gilmore and B. Joseph have lost the plot even more irretrievably than Amber did, because they go to such lengths to justify the super crazy. At one point, for example, they ask the reader to think of Venice, the ancient Italian city, as an artificial tourist paradise in the same way that the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas is an artifical tourist paradise. Because the latter is "artificially kept above the Adriatic" and the casino is "artificially in Las Vegas." See? Then these poor boobs get all lost in the morass of demented categories they've concocted: "Real-Real" and "Fake-Real" and "Fake-Fake," such a mess you would not believe. (Some examples of "Real-Real" in the B. Joseph Pine II universe, in case you were wondering, are Coca-Cola, Apple, Tiffany and Whole Foods.)

Clearly, "authenticity" has become a commodity that all kinds of people are trying to fake, as Michael Raisanen observed last month in Fast Company ("The Current Rage in Branding: Fake Authenticity Is Now A-Okay").

[...] a refined, woolly, arts-and-craftsy, anachronistic Americana feeling. Think taxidermy, hand-cobbled brogues, and cocktails made with rye. The common denominator in this trend seems to be a yearning for the "authentic." Interestingly, things don’t need to actually be authentic as long as they feel authentic. In fact, they can be completely fake. Take Hipstamatic [...]

There's obviously such a thing as an honest or authentic commercial or cultural transaction, e.g., you willingly sell me a thing I want for a fair amount that I pay you, or I take an ordinary photo with an ordinary camera.

But so much of what is written and talked about has parted company with the underlying transaction, and centers instead on how we might deceive. An assumption of deceit (or "strategy" or "branding" or "positioning") has become a matter of course in the public part of U.S. culture. In business, where the product need only seem like what people want—"organic," "natural," "vintage"—and the company need only pretend to wear a friendly "personal" face; in politics, where reality long ago ceased to matter to anybody (Bush v. Gore, fake social-conservative posturing, our president who promised whistleblower protections and then went after every whistleblower); and in advertising, too (vide Todd Gitlin and Mark Crispin Miller.) The deranged infomercials, the campaign shenanigans. For ordinary citizens, the attempt at a fakeout or a ripoff is merely assumed. Culminating in the absurdity of "be more authentic," the snake of deceit eating the tail of reality.

It seems silly to have to say so, but nothing the marketing juggernaut is selling us is real, or even "Real-Real." These attempts at imitating and commodifying whatever it is we like, whether that thing is Authenticity or Coolness or thrift-shop t-shirts or 70s audio gear, are generally easy to spot, ineffective, promptly mocked.

***

There's a whole wing of philosophy dedicated to investigating the complications of "authenticity": Heidegger and Sartre wrote about it; Lionel Trilling, too. In The Jargon of Authenticity (1964), Adorno went bonkers with rage, and took off after Heidegger and the existentialists with a buzz saw, loudly condemning that sloppy word that these dumb existentialists sloppily use to brag about how they know what is real and what isn't; to signal their membership in a privileged group that understands these things. Much later, Rorty came along and in his amiable, avuncular way, likewise jettisoned the whole idea of "an authority trumping that of reason." He told The Believer (in an old interview well worth rereading), "What unites Plato and the bad kind of Romantic is the notion of your ideas having authority because of some privileged source, while the pragmatists say, 'the hell with what the source is, let’s look at the consequences.'"

David Foster Wallace is on record as having asked a student to "strive to be more authentic." Wallace's dad is a philosopher; I am very sure he knew his Heidegger, and his Adorno too. It's a paraphrase, but here, again, is a moderately absurd paradox.

A young writer is liable to be affected and derivative, to try things on for the sake of effect, okay. Maybe what Wallace was advising this kid was to be on watch within himself to not perform the Fall of Brendan, to refuse to strategize in order to take anything one hasn't paid for. Which would be a question not of naivety or naturalness at all, but of self-policing against falseness. An ethical matter. But the ethics of this business turn out to be more complicated than they looked at first.

***

Charles Baudelaire wrote La reine des facultés in 1859, just two years after getting in such hot water for publishing Les Fleurs du mal. In this essay, Baudelaire argues that "the Queen of Faculties" is Imagination.

In recent years we have heard it said a thousand different ways: "Copy nature; copy only nature. There is no greater joy, no more beautiful triumph than an excellent copy from nature." [...] To these doctrinaires who are so satisfied with Nature, a man of imagination should certainly have the right to respond: "I find it useless and annoying to represent that which is, because nothing that is is satisfactory to me. Nature is ugly, and I prefer the monsters of my imagination to positive trivialities."

Many still share this view, that with the aid of imagination life is better, more true, and more human, than "reality" alone and unadorned.

Here is the crux of all difficulties with respect to our eternal contretemps regarding truth, lies, authorship and authenticity. The role of imagination, desire, fear—emotion, we might say—on our concept of reality affects not just artists, but all of us, or at least, everyone who thinks, feels and uses language. Language spreads an overlay of thought and feeling over all our raw perceptions.

So there is a legitimate aspect to the created effect; a legitimate reason to pose. Wilde was all over that idea, and wrote and spoke about it all the time, most famously in The Picture of Dorian Gray. It is one of his central paradoxes.

Given that imagination and artifice can be pressed into service to communicate reality more effectively, our true difficulty is revealed to be concentrated in the matter of intention. Either I mean to deceive you, or I don't, but that's just the beginning. Do I mean to deceive you for your own good, or for mine? Am I deceived myself? Can there even be such a thing as guilelessness, once we bring language into it?

These are problems as fresh and new as on that first pre-Socratic day when Thales of Miletus or whoever it was figured out that "reality" and "truth" were actually very slippery concepts. Their very slipperiness begins to absolve the fakers. Throws us back on Rorty's pragmatism: on understanding that our ideas of reality and authenticity are provisional, but we can choose to rely on them, because they're the best we can (and must) do.

***

Sartre thought that Baudelaire was a man "without immediacy," because, he said, Baudelaire was too much in his own head: stuck on himself, "like Narcissus." Obsessed with self-observation. If Baudelaire hated "the natural," according to Sartre, that's because he was so reflective that he was no longer capable of a single spontaneous thought or reaction.

Mais oui, Baudelaire was very self-conscious. Not for nothing is he often called the first modern. Or, the first modern poet.

But it is pretty rich to hear the snarky, sandpaper-dry Sartre complaining about anybody else's lack of "immediacy," let alone Baudelaire's. Which of these two was capable of the rich, heady, delicious poetry, of scenes of dark gothy passion, of delicate wordplay, of exhortations to be always getting drunk (on poetry, or wine, or virtue, just as you like)? Who was the immediate one? Who understood reality better; who was more authentic?

Everything that exists, exists, and that would necessarily include exaggeration, lies, crazy ideas, all vagaries and great imaginings, dreams, fantasies and poetry, sad stories, tricks of all kinds. So, "authenticity," then. The concept of what "is" is needs to expand very far in order to begin to describe even our little storm-tossed fleck of foam on the illimitable ocean of the universe.

***

Thomas Frank's 1997 book, The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism explains how The Man co-opted the values of "hip" and "rebellion" in order to sell you things. It's still my favorite book of his.

[T]he products of Apple, IBM, and Microsoft are touted as devices of liberation. […] Our televisual marketplace is a 24-hour carnival, a showplace of transgression and inversion of values, of humiliated patriarchs and shocked puritans, […] of cars that violate convention and shoes that let us be us. A host of self-designated "corporate revolutionaries," outlining the accelerated new capitalist order in magazines like Wired and Fast Company, gravitate naturally to the imagery of rebel youth culture to dramatize their own insurgent vision.

This is the same landscape we have today. But Frank does far more than illuminate this familiar tableau, meticulously revealing (a) the complicity of the so-called squares in this process, and (b) the 1960s as the utterly contradictory and uncertain times that they really were.

The questions raised in The Conquest of Cool are even more pressing today, when the corpocratic hold on our collective throat has grown tighter still. Why and how can Americans be fooled into feeling rebellious, intelligent, individualistic or real, by buying a particular soda, shoes or telephone? What purpose has the "counterculture" come to serve in the modern world?

Where the 1980s and 90s saw the co-optation of "cool" and "rebellion" into the broader culture, our own times are seeing the Man attempting to take ownership of "authenticity." Anxiety over this is the wellspring of the recent nonstop discussion of the TV show "Girls." It fascinates people and creeps them out, how the proposal of the show is that these faux-poor prep-school girls with fabulous artist parents have been made to resemble real people whom one knows. Gives me a bit of a chill myself, I must say. There's a fear that reality itself is not safe, that there are fakers moving into your own skin, somehow.

However. It's reasonably clear that nobody ever stopped being elegant, cool or hip, or real, just because they once played "Lust for Life" in a Carnival Cruises commercial. And few, if any, ever believed that rebellion was a distressed leather jacket from J. Crew (I've always loved that word, "distressed," evoking as it does an inconsolable pair of jeans.) Elegance and coolness did not disappear, and their simulacra were either adopted or not, sometimes "ironically" and sometimes for real, by people who genuinely liked things, or didn't like them, or really didn't care because it was just a jacket. Nobody ever stopped knowing the difference—at least, nobody who ever knew it in the first place.


Maria Bustillos is the author of Dorkismo and Act Like a Gentleman, Think Like a Woman. Photo by Uriel 1998.

51 Comments / Post A Comment

carpetblogger (#306)

My authenticity is so real, but sometimes I worry about my authenticity.

This piece is great. Really great.

Bittersweet (#765)

@Joshua Lars Weill: Seconded, this is terrific. And it reminds me of this book, which everyone should go read (or re-read) immediately.

cory dodt@twitter (#12,071)

I don't think there's anything wrong or dishonest or paradoxical about trying to *stop being such a Fake-Ass* when you sell your product.

There's a particular tone of voice that waiters and waitresses adopt, and once you start to hear it, you can never unhear it, so be careful about this, but it is a tone that they probably don't even realize they are using, that you never hear coming out of the mouth of a normal human being. It's the tone that signals they are happy to be there helping you.

I hate that fucking tone. A waitress who is a little sardonic, or a little bemused, or even a little *happy* but it's obviously about something other than being at work, will get a much bigger tip from me.

"Stop being such a Fake-Ass." That's all I want to tell all companies. That's how you should "be authentic". If you have to talk about your product, say something you really feel about it, in a tone a normal person would use. Is that so wrong?

melis (#1,854)

"Excuse me, waitress?"

"Yes?"

"I felt like our last interaction – when I asked you if you used the Torani syrups in your drinks or if you had any stevia-sweetened alternatives? Remember? And you said you weren't sure but you would check? I felt like it lacked authenticity. By which I don't mean that I felt like you weren't trying, please don't take offense, but it didn't feel like you were truly present and engaging with me in this moment? This moment that we'll never have again? This brief fleeting moment that allows us to come together as two human beings, not as a "waitress" and a "customer" – because you and I both know that those shallow, transitory labels can't possibly encompass the soul-connection that's going on here – it's never going to come again."

"."

"It's not a criticism, I want you to understand, I just feel like there's a real opportunity for you to open up and connect with me in a sort of real, raw and genuine way when you tell me what kind of sweeteners are available. Okay? Okay. I'm really excited about this. I feel like we're going to share something. Also, and I don't want this to affect your behavior in any way, because, obviously, this will hinge entirely on the unrehearsed, natural expression of self that needs to pour from your spirit directly into mine on the next go-round, but I will give you proportionately more money the more I feel like you're able to connect with me. And it doesn't have to be all about beams of light or anything either. Be playful. Be coy. Be sardonic. I want to see bemused anguish dancing in your eyes, but in a way that teases and unsettles me to my core. Do you know what I mean?"

H.E. Ladypants (#173,749)

@melis "So does that mean you want the soup instead?"

jfruh (#713)

@melis why doesn't this have 140 trillion up-thumbs

melis (#1,854)

@jfruh Well, this isn't the Hairpin.

H.E. Ladypants (#173,749)

@cory dodt@twitter Also, as a lady who waited tables for years, we know exactly the tone we are using. You try being treated like a servant for a rotating cast of hundreds and see exactly how much desire you have to connect.

Your waitress doesn't give a damn about you as an individual. Your waitress is act you for the sake of the kid whose picture she keeps in the black book in her apron.

Pleasant and professional will have to do. (And really, it should be enough.)

H.E. Ladypants (#173,749)

@H.E. Ladypants Ugh. "Your waitress is acting like she likes you."

Stupid no editing.

laurel (#4,035)

@cory dodt@twitter

You know how some countries have compulsory military service? I think the US should have compulsory food service. Everyone, for three years, waits tables and thus learns how to behave in restaurants.

As a side benefit, people like you who feel you should be able to claim a piece of your waitress' real self by dangling the prospect of a tip in front of her might grasp what a repugnant, classist, sexist ('cause we're only talking about women servers here, aren't we? No one expects waiters to offer up 'something real'; professionalism is sufficient from men) expectation yours is.

melis (#1,854)

Okay, now it's the Hairpin.

laurel (#4,035)

@melis (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

boozinsusan (#231,899)

@laurel Is this an angry Pacman flipping over a table?

I don't mean to criticze, but I honestly don't understand exactly what you're trying to say with the Adorno paragraph and the whole Beaudelaire/Sartre distinction.

Are you just saying that because Beaudelaire wrote more horny, drunken things, that he could be assumed to have had more fun, and thus "understand reality better"? The self-consciousness about your actions that lets you write is what Sartre complained about: the fact that Beaudelaire constantly watched his own self.

He argued that Beaudelaire wrote to find his own self in his poems, which is why he referred to him as a Narcissus, perched over a pool, gazing at his own reflection ("Il se regarde voir, il regarde pour se voir regardé" – "he is watching, he is watching to see himself watched"). It's a fair criticism in this age of navel-gazing writing and internet oversharing.

barnhouse (#1,326)

@Jeremy Mesiano-Crookston Hoy! (Maria here.) Please criticize!! I am all over that!! Thank you for the interesting note.

Are you just saying that because Beaudelaire wrote more horny, drunken things, that he could be assumed to have had more fun, and thus "understand reality better"?

No. I am saying that compared to reading Sartre, reading Baudelaire is (FAR) more recognizably about what a regular person's life is like, full of passion, confusion, love, hate, booze, beauty, etc.

You are right, he was like us!! But surely part of that regarde is 100% legit and Know Thyself, and philosophically necessary, crucial even. Sartre could have used a bit more of that!!

@barnhouse That's true – Sartre was a bit of a prick. But there's no real harm in that. And Beaudelaire is certainly more about what life is like. But there's a risk in that argument of limiting what life is like to what's enjoyable, or to what's recognizeable, or to what's common. All of which are a little too much reduction for my taste. Philosophers may be more distant from life as an adventure, with boozing and frosted hair and genital rubbing, but if you suppose life is more than simply enjoyment, maybe they can be said to have a clearer view of it.

There's a danger in assuming that writers hold truth because they describe truth – we're used to seeing writing as a sort of scrying tool rather than a simple craft. But it really is just making beautiful things, fundamentally. There's truth in it, of a sort, but there doesn't have to be any truth at all in the person creating it. It's a strange paradox, and I think what makes everyone so fascinated with authors like DFW. Everyone assumes a writer to be composed of solid truth, because they can't see writing as a craft and its author as a mere maker, so they feel betrayed when they take their own lives.

Anyhow interesting piece. It's certainly a cut above the rest of today's internet.

nonvolleyball (#9,329)

I really enjoyed this, but I think there's something missing from the first paragraph after the first section break–it ends with "He [Rorty?] told"…?

Carrie Frye (#9,863)

@nonvolleyball Drat, there was a broken tag there — thank you for spotting. Fixed now.

nonvolleyball (#9,329)

@Carrie Frye thanks! that's a pretty great quote; I'm glad it's included now.

Aatom (#74)

I would like to express my authentic admiration of this piece the only way I know to anymore: ❤

jfruh (#713)

"hand-cobbled brogues"

uggggghhhh

BoHan (#29)

This explains Austin Texas. Thanks.

Brian Calandra (#3,753)

"Anxiety over this is the wellspring of the recent nonstop discussion of the TV show "Girls."

You know, you didn't have to go all Baudelaire, Sartre and Calista Gingrich's French Horn on us if you just wanted to make sure you were part of the recent nonstop discussion of the TV show "Girls."

Wanda Tinasky (#9,482)

Is it really about what is authentic, or our misguided attempts to judge authenticity in others? The essential issue seems much more that none of us can know what is authentic in someone else. Whether their jacket is authentically distressed, store-bought distressed, or store-bought distressed because it reminds us of our favorite jacket that once was authentically distressed and has since fallen to pieces. Implicit in that act of judging authenticity, of criticizing the marketing and our susceptibility to it, in wondering which artist is more correct in their judgment of one work or another artist, of who has a more direct line on the 'truth' is the idea that we have special access to authenticity because we believe ourselves to be authentic and question whether anyone with different motivations or concerns can also be authentic. The question, to me, isn't how do we ascertain authenticity or define it's value, but rather, why are we still trying to define something inherently indefinable for anyone but the original actor?

ubu (#232,549)

Nothing gets me acting like a lawn-clearing fuddy-duddy like people talking about their "brand" when what they ought to be concerned with is their reputation. They're not synonymous.

By framing your public persona as a brand to be sold instead of a reputation to be maintained you make every problem a PR problem. It doesn't matter what you *do* it matters what people *think* you do. Adjust my behavior? Why should I work that hard, when I can keep doing what I'm doing and expend a fraction of the energy required for real change on burnishing my "brand"? In fact, the problem isn't my behavior at all, it's that my *brand* isn't where it needs to be to advance my goals. This is the logic of the sociopath, the con man, the conservative politician (but I repeat myself).

Ultimately, though, what makes me grouchy about people gassing on about their personal brand (instead of minding their personal reputation) is that it demonstrates the degree to which conservative honor culture has supplanted liberal virtue culture in my lifetime.

Reed Immer (#232,552)

Maria,

How do you feel about the super-hipness of today's tech startups? Do you think that trend will last much longer?

barnhouse (#1,326)

@Reed Immer@twitter I'm a Web 1.0 guy and I have seen it all before!! This bubble is about to blow up on a multitude of faces, if you ask me. (What do you think?)

Reed Immer (#232,552)

@barnhouse Agreed. Great article.

This is an incredible article. One of my favorite dissections of authenticity comes from a book on creation of country music. There is no authenticity, just "credible in the current context." I really like the appropriation of that Science-y Term used like that.

Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

"Little kids do stuff like this just blindly." Actually, some people have more sense and/or less insecurity than to do stuff like this even at age 6. Then again, some people still don't even at age 60. And yes, an awful lot of the latter are employed in marketing or politics.

ImThraxx (#6,661)

I'm not sure what we've got qualifies as a Bubble by web 1.0 standards- yes, angel and VC money is probably easier to come by than it should be, and yes, it's probably hard to justify a 25x multiple on Facebook, and yes Groupon doesn't make a lot of sense, but there's way more actual money belonging to regular human being-type consumers on the table than there was in the 90s, no? Which was more or less the missing ingredient before, if I'm not incorrect?

ImThraxx (#6,661)

@ImThraxx Unfortunately did not reply to barnhouse as was my intention :(

barnhouse (#1,326)

@ImThraxx Hello, yes! Thank you. People had money back in the year 1999!! The question was, how to get some of it to come your way: now, as then. The problem, now as then, was that the Internet was such a hot place to invest that money was basically being thrown at business plans that had no shot at all at tempting any real dollars. Too much money chasing too little reality.

zidaane (#373)

When my kid was younger and we lived in the suburbs and went to the grocery store I would always point out the irony of a teen Goth shopping with his mother. You can't really be all Goth if you need to go to store with your mom to make sure she buys the right cereal. I was trying to instill something in him but basically I didn't want him following any horrible trends later in life.
Getting tattoo'd all over or growing giant beards. This has sort of worked out so far to the point he may be fake 'authentic' in his boiled down authenticity or aversion to do anything that might commit him to possibly not being 100% real. Trapped. Unable to buy a simple skateboard t-shirt because he doesn't skate and if he skated
he would still be a poser, only worse.

jfruh (#713)

Unable to buy a simple skateboard t-shirt because he doesn't skate and if he skated
he would still be a poser, only worse.

Not sure if that line break was intentional or not but either way it made this even more like poetry.

nyplan01 (#232,561)

i love sesame street!

amoureux de cartes (#232,566)

What are some of your favorite Baudelaire poems?

jfruh (#713)

@amoureux de cartes Tell us in the comments!

Doesn't invalidate your point, because Gilmore and Pine don't understand why, but Venice *is* an artificial tourist paradise, and has been so since Napoleon marched in, at least (probably for a century or two before that). There are levels of authenticity, though, and Venice comes by much of its in a way that the Venetian does not.

barnhouse (#1,326)

@PR well, that is interesting!! Because I think it's not really that they don't understand why that is the trouble? That is to say, the rock-bottom reality of the "artificiality" isn't entirely "false"! (haha) It's just not provisionally useful. (?)

I thought this was a really smart and well written essay. Excellent work!

Very well done, Maria! I posted a link and short reply at my blog:
http://jargonofauthenticity.com/2012/04/25/what-is-the-real-real-thing-9/

barnhouse (#1,326)

Wow!! Really super post, thank you!! Loved it.

@barnhouse many thanks!

Good Stuff. Made me think.

I don’t support the obsession with authenticity. We as a culture can’t keep telling people to “fake it till you make it” and then complain about so many people being fake. I don’t see people as fake, I see them as “not having made it yet”. Because “Fake it till you make it” works. Often enough. And it can absolutely be worth it. Except when it isn’t, which is why I am for relentlessly questioning your desires. Don’t undergo the trouble of faking stuff to make something you don’t even want. Because it will work. You will eventually become what you pretend to be and to many this should be a horrifying prospect. The problem is not a lack of authenticity, the problem is people not knowing their own hearts. But if know your own heart, by all means, fake away. Lie to me, if you have to; don’t lie to yourself. (Of course professional liars have to lie to themselves to be long-term efficient, that’s the truly sad thing about them).

If we want to play a role in other’s people’s life, we have to play roles. That’s not a bad thing. It can be fun, it can be hard work, it’s mostly rewarding. Play all the roles you want. Just don’t get trapped in one you don’t like.

I love this Chuck Klosterman quote:
“I honestly believe that people of my generation despise authenticity, mostly because they're all so envious of it.”
― Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Trends, decades, generations, celebrities and marketing can't be themselves because they have no being. Poof. Poof poof poof poof poof poof.

After a week of this article being on the `most viewed` list, I`m starting to get really depressed that an article basically referencing the existence of a philosophical issue can get more attention from an internet audience than they probably give to any of the individual authors brought up in this post.

Neha Rana (#244,880)

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