Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The fiction we present as fact.

  • A comedian from the tough streets of Oakland.
  • A folk singer & 'Irish son'.
  • An age-old family vineyard.

It's all bullshit, but makes for good narrative.

Would the comedian be less funny if she were to let slip that she actually grew up in the boon docks of Mariposa, California?

Would the folk singer be any less authentic if he were to admit that he's just as much of German extraction as Irish?

Would the vineyard's grapes make inferior wine if it were true, instead, that the vineyard had only been in the family for five years and not generations?

Nope.

Thinking about the ruse that can be our personal narrative, I began to wonder what fibs I tell about myself to others that may shape a personal story that's more compelling, more authentic-sounding, if, however, actually less authentic.

If asked, I say that my maternal Grandma was Irish.  I don't usually also say that my Mom was adopted, so, technically, I'm not Irish.

I grew up in two quite different cities, but, depending upon the audience, I usually just pick one city to say that I'm from.

Of course, the only thing I'm 'selling' is myself.  -not music, not wine, not laughs.  Nobody is giving me money based on where I'm from or who my people were.  Although I did have an idiot boss once who thought he knew all about me based on my having lived for six measly months in his po-dunk hometown.  He thought I was some sort of trailer trash who was lucky enough to escape her fate.  I never cared enough about him to correct what he thought of me, frankly.

The story you tell about yourself to others-is it fictionalized fact?  Are we all 'guilty' of doing this?  It is normal?  Does it really matter?

All I know is that 'German son' might not read as well, but if the music is quality, then I'm buyin'.


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