Is faking perfection — by airbrushing, lip synching, and digitally enhancing — some kind of inverse new form of acting responsibly?
I hope not, but I think it probably is and will continue to be.
When a noticeably thinner, seemingly photoshopped version of pop singer Kelly Clarkson recently appeared on the cover of Self magazine, many fans wondered if the popular American Idol was friend or faux.
Admitting that the photo had been retouched, Self’s editor explained that the reason for the digital diet was to help Clarkson
“look her personal best.” She continued, “A snapshot is different than a cover. A cover’s a poster. And the thing about a poster is you want it to capture the essence of you at your best.”
But that isn’t her personal best. She never looked like that. Her potential best, perhaps. What happens when she has to do an interview on TV? Will everyone ask why/when she put all that weight on? She should be fighting editors and demand she be shown as she is.
…Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman faked their performance at the inauguration of President Obama, pretending to play in a quartet, while the audience — and the world — was treated to a recording instead. Mr. Ma soaped his bow so it would slide soundlessly across the strings.
“It would have been a disaster if we had done it any other way,”
said Mr. Perlman, explaining the virtue of the virtual performance.
“This occasion’s got to be perfect. You can’t have any slip-ups.”
Really? This really pisses me off. These are two of the best in the world at their respective instruments. They should not have to be ‘faked’. We can’t have any slip-ups? It has to be perfect? Why? What effect would it have, on the presidency, to be less than perfect? I’m fairly certain that Obama would still be president, doing a rather disappointing and mediocre job of it. Justice Roberts screwed up the swearing in a much more important and integral part of the inauguration), yet that has not had any lasting effect.
Is music good only when there are no mistakes? Can we achieve our personal best only when we’re faked?
I hope not. In fact, it may be the opposite.
Kathy McMaus: Faking It
4 thoughts on “Fake is the new ‘Truth’?”
In regards to yo-yo ma, NPR has a good piece on the situation :
“The instruments in the quartet weren’t designed to be played outside, let alone in freezing temperatures. The musicians wouldn’t be able to hear each other well, and the open air offers none of the support of fine concert halls, where the acoustics can help lift a melody and let it soar”
I know that with my own limited musical experience that temperature can destroy any chance of your music sounding good, and I know from personal experience that you’ll need to retune every string with just a change of 10 degrees. Sometimes faking isn’t the last option, it’s the only option.
that being said, the Yo-Yo Ma faking is vastly different than Kelly Clarkson being photoshopped on a magazine cover. She’s never looked like that, likely never will, and needs to be accepted for what she is, not what some magazine editor wishes she was like.
There’s also a level of transparency that these two situations differ in, I remember hearing about the prerecording for the inauguration before it happened. I’ll bet the magazine editor wishes no one knew that she had shopped Clarkson’s fat.
I see your point on the musical instruments, but why have them pretend at all? Why were they there pretending to play? Just set the music up and let it play.
because people need something to watch while the music is playing, and because it’s a super serious event?
They could have set up some sappy video of Obama moments ala High School Graduations. I’m saying this not remember what all was in the inauguration.