Fake history

I don’t like fake histories, at least not popular ones. I find them irresponsible, which is sort of funny since one of my big novel projects–ones I went into MFA school with or came up with in MFA school after doing some work on a project–is about fake lost silent films. It was going to be a Pynchon-lite (very lite) look at big budget silent serials. It never got past some character sketches. But fake histories, at least popular, mainstream ones, teach their consumers falsehoods. I’d like the assume general audiences know enough but thanks to the Internet, we know they don’t. We’ve been giving people too much credit for way too long and it’s meant really bad things for many people. I suppose you can do fake history responsibly and many do–even when T.C. Boyle’s historical novels are boring they aren’t irresponsible (the two I’ve read). He once wrote a letter about being responsible with it to either The Atlantic or Harper’s. But Boyle’s not mainstream anymore, if he ever was mainstream. It’s video games, movies, TV, supermarket fiction. We’re already dumbed down enough. Someone needs to acknowledge media needs to be responsible. The weird thing is… you know who took it seriously? George (Jar Jar Binks) Lucas. “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” tried to be responsible with fake history. And it bombed. Has anyone tried since?

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