Be forewarned, this is not the normal light hearted post you usually find on American Appetite, so keep reading IF YOU DARE!
It seems that nowadays, more so than in the past, there is such a disparity when it comes to actual authenticity. With the advent of social media, people have become less accountable for their own actions, opinions, or even their self. When you don’t have to have an actual reputation attached to a faceless, ironically nameless, endless pulpit to speak any number of incorrect, hateful, or even just nonsensical diatribes with no fear of it sticking to you, where do you end. If you truthfully could get away with saying anything in the world, at what point would you stop yourself. In a time and age where the most divisive and salacious opinions get the most publicity, combined with endless outlets to be heard by the whole world, where would ones quest for notoriety and their true self separate.
A perfect example of this would be the current President Elect of the United States. Donald Trump gets elected on the basis of “draining the swamp” of Washington political insiders amid a number of other, shall I say controversial, comments and political promises. These comments/platforms or whatever you want to call it garnered a large group of disgruntled voters and won him the election. Once elected he has begun completely turning face and hires just the type of Washington insider he rallied against. Strangely enough this almost gave me hope for a Trump Presidency. I’m not hopeful for any of his appointees, who are mere lobbyists or propagandists of highly conservative rhetoric (looking at you Myron Ebell and Stephen Bannon). What I am hopeful is that in this age of lack of authenticity that Trump is just that, a flip flopping figure head who said the most outlandish things because he knew it would get him elected. Now that Trump is President Elect, he is returning mostly to more classical measured political position (even if his appointments might be horrid). While I am indeed skeptical that this is true, at the same time it is pretty disheartening to know that someone who can so easily mask their own beliefs so well and simply say whatever will get him the job. Would Trump had been the biggest Planned Parenthood/Obamacare/Social Security champion if it had the electoral in its pocket as well? It’s almost like he has a history of being a professional “real” actor, like on a TV show or something. I can’t put my finger on it but I think I have seen that before, hmmmm can’t imagine where.
Enough for the political diatribe, back to the main point is where did authenticity go. In an age of personal branding and making yourself as much a household name as Colgate or Hershey’s where do you make the decision on what more people would be drawn to or who your true self is? Are the Kardashian’s even real people? Sorry I had to get that in there at some point. But they are another great example where they are famous for being a brand, but what is their brand? Are they a musician, movie star (ehhhh easy joke here, but I’ll pass and let Ray J hit ’em with it first), athlete (they sure date enough of them), no they are famous for being famous. But when that fame starts to fade away, what length would they go to retain it? They bullied their own brother out of a wedding, possibly “staged” a robbery, created countless Instagram beefs just to be squashed later in some huge media reveal on their “reality” show. More concisely to the point, if they will do anything to remain in the spotlight and stay relevant and famous, where is any inch of authenticity in a single thing they do. Going one extra level, if you are one of the millions of faithful Kardashian followers, and they themselves prove time and time again a lack of authenticity, what is it that you yourself are paying your fanage to?
Sadly I fear that society now a days has devolved into a desire to be entertained, rather than finding something true, real and authentic. Decisions spent on what will attract more followers opposed to what you believe or in some extreme cases, what is ethical or right, are causing a huge errosian of authenticity. Hopefully, like global warming, we can stop the slide and try to save ourselves from utter collapse, but if this election was any indication get ready for Kanye 2020, after all everyone thought Trump for President was the funniest joke around.