Authenticity is the new bullshit

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adjective /ôˈTHentik/

Of undisputed origin; genuine

– the letter is now accepted as an authentic document
– authentic 14th-century furniture

Made or done in the traditional or original way, or in a way that faithfully resembles an original

– the restaurant serves authentic Italian meals
– every detail of the movie was totally authentic

Based on facts; accurate or reliable

– an authentic depiction of the situation

(in existentialist philosophy) Relating to or denoting an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposive, and responsible mode of human life

(of a church mode) Comprising the notes lying between the principal note or final and the note an octave higher

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“Authenticity is the new bullshit.”

Hugh MacLeod declared that on his blog a few weeks ago. It cracked me up. Because he’s right.

Everything is authentic now. Have you noticed? The tortilla chips I bought yesterday to snack on are authentic. So was the guacamole recipe I downloaded. My sofa is made of authentic leather (?!?). It’s all very authentic. Heck, we even spend our lives in search of authenticity.

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Recently, I saw another photographer’s ad on the internet: “Authentic photography!,” it proclaimed. Um, ok.

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The problem with authenticity is that if they have to tell you it’s authentic, it’s probably not. (Just sayin’.)

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It is possible that there’s nothing left that’s authentic. If nothing is authentic, then everything must be authentic.

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Or maybe it’s all just vintage… ha ha ha.

Note: All the photos you see on this post today are authentic film photos, made with authentic film cameras, and developed in an authentic darkroom. All those little white spots you see? Authentic trash on the negative. Bonus: Some of these may also be vintage.

Amanda Summerlin

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Making neat pictures of nice people since 2009. You're not like everybody else, your pictures shouldn't be either.