Saturday, March 17, 2012

Foxcon Dude Lied

It's been revealed that "monologist" Mike Daisey, who was first to ignite popular outrage about Apple's factories in China, actually made up a bunch of his stories. He's been struggling to explain himself over the past few days - with surprising difficulty, considering that explaining things would seem to be a monologist's stock in trade.

Listen to this painful episode of This American Life (devoted entirely to retracting a previous episode about Daisy) wherein the guy shamelessly weasels, hedges, and triangulates.

What Daisey is so ungracefully trying to explain, as he goes on and on about "truth in the context of theater" and spews doublespeak about artistic intent, has been very articulately expressed by Werner Herzog, who speaks of a deeper truth - an ecstatic truth, far more moving than a mere pile of facts - which can be conveyed through great art.

The difference is that this cheeseball's no Herzog. And, more importantly, Herzog's no activist. The use of artistic license to create artistic impressions among audiences who've come seeking artistic experiences (e.g. a Herzog film) is one thing. The use of artistic license to stir up civic action among audiences who've come seeking facts is quite another. That's just lying, manipulation, and demagoguery. Fox News. Michael Moore. Infomercials. Senator Kyl and his "non-factual statement". Artists all, of a type, laboring in their fecal medium.

Then again, the whole issue was pretty trumped up in the first place.

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