We love these commands, especially in America, because they invoke what we love to believe: that there is an authentic self to which we can be true. But while we mock Tricky Dick and Slick Willie, we're inventing identities on Facebook, paying thousands for plastic surgeries, and tuning in to news that simply verifies our opinions. This is frontier forthrightness gone dreamy: reality bites, after all, and faith-based initiatives trump reality-based ones, and becoming disillusioned is a downer.
In Keep It Fake: Inventing an Authentic Life, Eric G. Wilson investigates this phenomenon. He draws on neuroscience, psychology, sociology, philosophy, art, film, literature, and his own life to explore the possibility that there's no such thing as unwavering reality. Whether our left brains are shaping the raw data of our right into fabulous stories or we're so saturated by society's conventions that we're always acting out prefab scripts, we can't help but be phony.
But are some fakes more real than others? Are certain lies true? In lively prose--honest, provocative, erudite, witty, wide-ranging (as likely to riff on Bill Murray as to contemplate Plato)--Keep It Fake answers these questions, uncovering bracing truths about what it means to be human and helping us turn our necessary lying into artful living.
I am the boy whose first word was "ball." I am six and sitting at dinner with my parents and two-year-old brother. We are eating chicken-and-cream-of-mushroom casserole, Del Monte green beans, and Brown 'n Serve dinner rolls....