Sorry if this post is on the brief side, but the chemo has me a little woozy. Actually, it's just a hangover, but that first sentence got your attention, didn't it?
If you're tempted to leave this page to read something else right now, know that in doing so you'll be tripping a cyber-wire that'll unleash a deadly virus on your computer. Well, not exactly, but you'll feel a little guilty - mainly because I'm about to tell you something unbelievably vital that could change your life. Or that you'll find kind of interesting. Not entirely boring?
I could go on, I can't go on. But I will, if only to direct your attention to this article and especially this article on the Los Angeles Review of Books site. And I'm doing this not just because LARB's editor Tom Lutz is my best friend. Well, I had dinner with him once, but it felt like he was my best friend.
Truthiness, as you probably know, is a term coined by Stephen Colbert to define a "truth" that a person claims to know intuitively "from the gut" or because it "feels right" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts. I have this from Wikipedia, which means it must be true.
We are very much living in the age of truthiness, now more than ever, in the wake of the recent Mike Daisey controversy, and when the nature of our political discourse has crossed a certain line; see Rachel Maddow on the blatant lyingness of a certain candidate, et al (I know, I know - Gambling in Casablanca?!).
And because I'm a writer who's working on a "non-fiction" project (well, sort of non-fiction), our general slippage into the truthiness zone has me mightily perturbed. Which is why the central thought of Ander Monson's article really resonated, as summed up in the LARB pitch for the two pieces:
How can we trust a writer’s interpretation of a story, if we can’t trust the foundation he or she has built?
I'm finding the LARB site in general to be a great resource of food-for-thought. And I hear that the people who frequent this site have been statistically proven to be the most intelligent and enlightened readers in America. Or, y'know, readers. Something like that.