Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Authenticating Truths v. Authentic Truths

FatCatRex's picture

I really enjoyed watching Thin Blue Line and found myself rewinding to re-watch portions of it. As I mentioned in class, I've been fascinated by the ways in which something is proven or authenticated as true. In terms of documentary film, there are all sorts of techniques and methods that can be employed. The Thin Blue Line features several, from invoking the psychological past and family damage done to David Harris, to the repetition of the murder scene. Interestingly enough, as we discussed, this film was intentionally crafted by the filmmaker to suggest the innocence of Randall Adams. While a murder is fairly black and white, with someone who is guilty of the killing and someone who is not, the stories or versions of the truth told by those involved varied greatly! I guess what I'm getting at is the plurality of truth, and how while there might be only one REAL, FACTUAL occurrence, there can obviously be several narratives of the 'truth.'

Someone mentioned in class that Harris seemed to have convinced himself of his own truth, which I think that we are all probably capable of. This brings me back to this idea about authenticating truths: how do we convince ourselves of the truth? This may be easier than convincing others, but I'm still curious about the intersection between authenticating a truth and an authentic truth. I don't think I ever really believed the latter existed, but the more we discuss in this class, the more convinced I feel. At least, it seems I've authenticated that truth for myself. Does the rest matter??

For my paper I'm looking at PostSecret and how its culture of belief has given any and everyone who has written in the chance to be an author of a published truth--and even more so, the anonymity and secrecy means that the value of truth is something you can hoard all your own. No one can question your facts or take away the value of your authentic truth. I'm not sure yet why the authentic part of truth matters so much to us, but it obviously does, otherwise we wouldn't bother buying PostSecret books, which are merely collections of secret truths...valuable as truths or confessions, and invaluable as secrets exposed.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
3 + 4 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.