the circular runner

Authenticity in HBO’s Treme…

In media, Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Today I read an blog post by John McWhorter.  It was about the HBO show, Treme.  I don’t know the show well, and I don’t really much care about it one way or another. But McWhorter’s bigger point in the piece has to o with the search for authenticity.  He’s asking why it is that the writers on the show feel the need to keep telling us how “real” New Orleans is.  I’ve never been to New Orleans, but more than once since Katrina I have heard a number of people argue the same thing: “New Orleans is different,” they say, “it’s just really real.”  I think McWhorter thinks these people are being a little silly, and he makes the point that a number of the most vocal fans of New Orleans tend to be white.  For me, the question is not so much racial, though I get McWhorter’s point.  For me, the question is why so many people are so caught up in going after the “real.”  Why do they need to rant about the real-ness of New Oleans.?

Maybe it’s a trend. Our kids tell us to “be real,: to “get real”; Americans tend to read more non-fiction because, I magine, those political/historical tomes are more real–or they’re supposed to be anyway.  Then there’s movies where “Based on a True Story” is a selling point.  Maybe the answer is that in a ever growing virtual world, where, for example, I can write down thoughts that twenty years ago would’ve had to be in a real newspaper right here on my computer, we’re all hungry for something a little more…a little more old school, or legitimate, or…authentic.

Fine, so be it.  Keep watching Treme and looking for the real.  Just don’t forget your virtual friends here at the boo blog.

Here’s the link to the McWhorter page:

http://www.tnr.com/blog/john-mcwhorter/please-treme-i-beg-you-get-over-yourself

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