WordPress Daily Prompt — Authentic
The Daily Prompt is “authentic“. I should leave this one alone, but I’m afraid I can’t help myself. I’ve got a blog so I might as well use it. Authentic seems to be more than just the le mot du jour; it’s everywhere and has been for a few years now. It has crept into every-day conversation. We all want to be authentic.
Of course, because I am such a cynic, the ubiquity of the word “authentic” and the homage we pay it, makes me immediately suspicious. Yes, I know that authenticity has been a favourite subject of philosophers for some time – to thine own self be true, and all that. But is it just me, or do others also think that the sudden deference to authenticity in popular culture, is too convenient or even slightly sinister? It smacks of management-speak to me. I’m guessing that some management guru has been making a zillion bucks advising our world leaders, or anyone else who wants to be a leader of any sort, on the art of being authentic and how this can make them a better leader. To test the theory, I googled “authentic” and sure enough there were many references to authenticity in business journals going back at least five years, thus confirming my suspicion. Authenticity is the new black dogma. Authenticity has become the trademark of some world leaders in particular. So long as you are authentic in your racism and misogyny, then you can go far. But you have to own it. You can’t, for example, prevaricate about being crooked and expect people to follow you.
When you can get authentic Italian gelato and Hyderabadi chicken from the local (mainstream) supermarket or fast-food franchise, then you know business-driven authenticity has reached its zenith. Are we there yet?
Optics are very important, especially if you are going to reach out to the common man or woman, and land authenticity as something they can grasp on to, giving them hope, while also profiting you, and thereby increasing the span of control going forward. Got that?
Personally, I think it is more important to be kind than authentic.
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