I thought this was an interesting ‘Comment’ article by Hadley Freeman in The Guardian, summing up the noughties as the decade of fakery. As she comments:
“After all, the 80s had bling (according to Jay McInerney), the 90s had grunge (according to Winona Ryder). The noughties, or whatever we end up calling them, were surely defined by fakery: fake celebrities (anyone who came from reality TV); fake “reality” (see previous); faked news stories (Balloon Boy, which has since been compared to Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds stunt – although, as far as I know, Orson wasn’t trying to regain the power he had when he appeared on Wife Swap, as Balloon Boy’s father, Richard Heene, was); fake fashion designers (any celebrity who sewed their name into the back of a badly made dress); fake friends (Facebook); and fake communication (“social” networking sites which tend to involve people sitting at home, alone, and not speaking).”
It seems that as a society we are willing to be taken in by things that are not quite what they seem. This is especially true with respect to fake science, with Hadley holding nothing back with scathing comments about Sarah Palin’s attitude towards global warming and environmentalism:
“Fake science values naivety over knowledge, as it harks back to a non-existent age of innocence before the so-called corrupting influence of modern medicine. Palin, too, has used this modus operandi: she is qualified to speak precisely because she is unqualified. She is untainted by biased things such as facts and experience. And that is why she would like Avatar: its depiction of “the noble savages” is, no doubt, a well-intended argument against the destruction of rainforests, but add in a couple of orange brush strokes and you have a Gauguin painting. It is patronising, simplistic and offensive, like Palin and fake science.”
When will our culture see the difference between fantasy and reality? That fakery doesn’t actually change the truth – that you can spin and deconstruct information and data to change perception, but that the reality behind the fakery keeps on driving forwards, regardless of the fabrication and manipulation.
Sad but true – unfortunately!