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On Fakery and Fictiveness

So word is spreading throughout the blogosphere this morning that the Lonelygirl15 phenomenon was produced (actually, that link seems to have disappeared, at least for the moment, perhaps victim of a metafiltering) by a group of filmmakers with a connection to a major Hollywood talent agency. And around the net, folks are crying “fraud,” “sham,” “bogus,” etc.

It’s that reaction that drives me a bit up a tree: not the drive to find out who’s actually making the videos, but the conviction that, if they aren’t in fact the home-brewed product of a 16 year old girl who is exactly who and what she claims to be, they’re a lie, and of no value whatsoever. I’ll blow this particular horn as often as I need to–which, alas, seems to be pretty often–but honestly, folks: have we never heard of fiction? That’s the thing where somebody makes up a story because it’s (a) entertaining, or (b) edifying, or (c) both of the above. Why have we as a culture gotten so locked in to the notion that the only value in narrative is truth value, and that the only truth value is that which can be demonstrated to be verifiably “real”? Are we all really that literal?

I’d go on, but I’m in a bit of a rush. Instead I’ll direct you to past maunderings on this issue, here, here, and here.


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