Third meeting 14 November 2011.

Subject was: "Is Disneyland the most authentic place on the planet?" (all about reality and hyperreality.)

People who attended: Dave, Masood and Jason.

1 comment:

masood said...

Selection of things discussed:
Disneyland authentic because, despite being a contrivance, it doesn't pretend to be something that it's not. It makes it explicit that it's a fake. Unlike a place such as Stonehenge which pretends to tell us something but doesn't because it is a fossil preserved and divorced from its real x thousand year old context. Umberto Eco in America. The Levellers: playing 20 years old material so not authentic because not current. Don Quixote confusing fiction for reality. Samsung smart phone less authentic than a (crappy) simple Nokia 1100: the former is a phone pretending to be a camera, satnav etc but the Nokia is just what is says it is: ie a phone. Manchester and Leeds less authentic cities than Bradford because they are full of people who have believed their own hype about them being hip places to be. (Bradford trying to do that but has failed so far.) If the majority of people say a situation is authentic does that make it so? Emperor's New Clothes. Bradford was authentic in the late 19th century when it was a world textile centre: because it really was that and not just saying that it was that. Money only real because everyone believes it. People saying so doesn't make something real: pre-Civil War South said slaves weren't human but they were. Commemoration of the past is fake because it's trying to keep the past alive but this is impossible because "the past is a foreign country". The authentic is ugly reality and the inauthentic is the beautiful dream (contrary to Keats: Truth is Beauty is Truth). Conclusion: Disneyland is more authentic than a consumerist Western city like Manchester. But some factory town in China where people make stuff that we all need is the most authentic.

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