Vol 20|No 4|December|2023

© J.McKenzie & Mia Shy
Is this really a photograph of Anna Karenina?

What's real?
What's authentic?

"Authentic" was chosen by Merriam-Webster as the 2023 word of the year:
A high-volume lookup most years, authentic saw a substantial increase in 2023, driven by stories and conversations about AI, celebrity culture, identity, and social media.

Authentic has a number of meanings including “not false or imitation,” a synonym of real and actual; and also “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.” Although clearly a desirable quality, authentic is hard to define and subject to debate—two reasons it sends many people to the dictionary.

In this article, Jamie takes a look at how reality has suffered and stumbled through the past two decades as folks have photoshopped it, created virtual renditions of it, substituted what Stephen Colbert called "truthiness" for it and swallowed fake and artificial versions of it "hook line and sinker," possibly creating what now seems like a thirst for authenticity.

I am no Gatsby
by Jamie McKenzie

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