The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 
Books  |  Comedy  |  Dance  |  Museum And Gallery  |  Theater
Nominate-best-2010

Pants afire

Fakeries and the faking fakers who fake them
By JAMES PARKER  |  March 13, 2008

080314_fakers_main

If your father presided over a blood-drinking sex cult whose membership also included the mailman, the doctor, the town drunk, and representatives of the local judiciary; if you ran with wolves as a young person, and had your cuts and grazes healed by their antiseptic saliva; if you have Multiple Personalities, one of which (the Countess of Orzabal) is allergic to strawberries and one of which (Lil’ Pete) is not; if you’ve been abducted by aliens; if you believe that the Twin Towers were brought down, not by the impact of two enormous airplanes and the subsequent 1400-degree fire, but by a sequence of controlled explosions engineered by Mossad; if The Da Vinci Code made you think again about Christianity; if you’re a Boston firefighter who cheated on his promotional exam by sending text-messages from the bathroom; if you’re Eliot Spitzer; if you’re James Frey; if you’re Jonny Fairplay; if you’re Roger Clemens; if you’re Mitt Romney: congratulations! You’re a fully accredited and paid-up citizen of Fabrication Nation — and history is on your side.

False Memory Syndrome, False Memoir Syndrome, False Syndrome Syndrome . . . The ratio of falsehood to truth in the universe has not, of course, altered one jot since the world began. From the day we learned how to talk, by and large, we’ve been lying our heads off. Nor can it be said that we have grown more credulous. To us, the most precious certainties of our gaping and rustic predecessors are a great joke: they believed what?! Those idiots!

But something’s afoot. Fakery has a new license, a new swagger. Who is responsible for this? Who did this to Truth? Was it postmodernism? Blame the French. Was it New Journalism? Blame Tom Wolfe. Blame Google! Or better yet, gentle reader, blame yourself, because I know you feel it, too: reality — it’s just not good enough anymore.

Ashbrook agonistes
Yes, if you’re impatient with the facts, if you feel they require enhancement, colorization, or “jazzing up,” now’s your moment. If you’re Tom Ashbrook, on the other hand, the times are vexed. “A program note,” announced the host of WBUR’s On Point on Tuesday, March 4, sounding unwontedly small-voiced and glum. “In our second hour on Friday, you may recall we talked with an author. Thought her name was [slight spin of sarcasm] Margaret B. Jones. Her new memoir was Love and Consequences, it was about life in South Central Los Angeles, growing up half-white, half–Native American, uh, running with gangs there, selling drugs for the Bloods . . .” A sigh. “Well, it comes out today the whole thing was a fraud . . . Story a complete, uh, fraud, the publisher now says. We’re learning this along with everybody else. It is embarrassing, it is frustrating, it’s kind of infuriating. Don’t know what to make of the memoir business in this country . . . Going to have to be a little warier in the future, and I trust you will, too.”

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |   next >
Related: Magnum farce, Burtons Grill, Romney’s real friends, More more >
  Topics: Books , Mitt Romney, Celebrity News, Roger Clemens,  More more >
  • Share:
  • Share this entry with Facebook
  • Share this entry with Digg
  • Share this entry with Delicious
  • RSS feed
  • Email this article to a friend
  • Print this article
2 Comments / Add Comment

admin

Writer?? What in the hell was that?? To James Parker: You're either on crack or you've had about ten to many Rock Stars!!! I used to give money to a homeless guy in SF when I was going to school there. He sounded alot like you... he had obvious mental problems.
Posted: March 12 2008 at 6:26 PM

admin

I remember you very well, SH. You always gave me loose change, and it always smelled funny.
Posted: March 13 2008 at 4:37 PM
HTML Prohibited
Add Comment

ARTICLES BY JAMES PARKER
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   WHATCHAMACALLIT  |  October 15, 2009
    John Gardner, the great teacher and novelist who wrote approximately 413 books before annihilating himself on a motorcycle in 1982, was very big on vocabulary.
  •   CARNAL KNOWLEDGE  |  October 06, 2009
    When I interviewed Nick Cave for the Phoenix three years ago and he told me — drolly, languidly, literarily — that his next writing project was about “a sexually incontinent hand-cream salesman” on the south coast of England, I assumed he was taking the piss.
  •   ENGINE NOTES  |  May 05, 2009
    The big question with Top Gear, the popular British consumer-car show (in perpetual reruns on BBC America), is this: will it succeed in denting my colossal lack of curiosity about cars?
  •   INTERVIEW: ZACK SNYDER OF WATCHMEN  |  March 04, 2009
    "Every movie I've made, starting with Dawn of the Dead, has been, like, death threats."
  •   DIRTY DEMOCRACY  |  December 17, 2008
    Breathe deep, politics fans. What is that odor?

 See all articles by: JAMES PARKER

MOST POPULAR
RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2010 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group