Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Fake Authenticity | HiLobrow

HiLobrow hunts down Fake Authenticity:
Existential authenticity, then, could be defined as something like “that mode of existence in which one becomes ironically and radically suspicious of all received forms and norms, and in which one strives to lucidly affirm and creatively live the tension of human reality in all its contingency, ambiguity, and absurdity.” Fake authenticity, in this context, means something like “an overly subjective, anti-bourgeois rebelliousness in which the cause of social and political revolution is furthered by wearing pre-frayed Dockers, driving a luxury version of a rancher’s utility vehicle, and maintaining a sarcastically vague and noncommittal suspicion of bourgeois society.” This mode of fake authenticity is all around us, every day, typically expressed in what Theodor Adorno called “the jargon of authenticity”: a nonsense-language that seems to express (in a resonant voice) a need for meaning and liberation, but which only serves to mystify and oppress.