I DECLARE AN END TO “FAKE!”

By Gabe Delahaye / February 23, 2011

So, earlier today I posted that video of the hilariously depressing marriage proposal that took place in a shopping mall food court. You remember? The video that was PERFECT?! Seriously, everything about that video is the best. From the part where he proposes to her in front of the Cinnabon where they met a year ago, to the part where the old man shouts “SAY YES!” before he’s even gotten his proposal out, to the part where he describes what he loves about her (“I love how you cut cupcakes into smaller cupcakes”?!), to the part with the singing, to the part where she runs away. BRAVA! Naturally, because this is the Internet, everyone’s first impulse is to wonder whether or not the video is even real. It’s probably fake, right? It’s got to be fake, guys, right? WELL, MAYBE IT DOES AND MAYBE IT DOES NOT BUT HERE IS ANOTHER MORE IMPORTANT QUESTION: WHY DOES IT MATTER? That question, which is asked about every single thing on the Internet*, is exhausting. And pointless. So, I hereby declare an end to “FAKE!”

Obviously, there are some things that are fake. Like, did you guys see those unbearable “viral videos” from the set of the Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz movie, Knight & Day? Oof. But no one is arguing about stuff like that. The “this is obviously fake” comments are always about things that actually aren’t obviously fake at all. That’s the whole point. If they were obviously fake we wouldn’t even be talking about it. They are videos like the marriage proposal video, which, if it was proven beyond the shadow of a doubt was “REAL!” would not be even a tiny bit hard to believe. Because it could definitely be real. So, when we claim that something is fake when we actually do not have any real proof one way or the other, what exactly are we saying? We are saying “I DID NOT GET FOOLED!” to the future, just in case. Enough!

Who are you trying to impress? A precog? Who cares if you got fooled? Here is a sample conversation illuminating our collective worst fear (apparently):

“Did you hear, the marriage proposal video was fake.”
“Oh, I thought it was real.”
“Fair enough. In any case it was really funny!”

The end! That’s it! I’m not saying that there isn’t pleasure to be taken from authenticity. If this particular video, for example, proves to be fake, then it will absolutely be a little less enjoyable. Because you will KNOW that you are watching something that is not real. But why do we have to impugn our own enjoyment of something on our own steam? WHAT ARE WE THE FUN POLICE PUTTING ALL OF OURSELVES UNDER CITIZENS SELF-ARREST?! Boo! I say no. Today I stand up and I say “YOU ARE THE ONE THAT IS FAKE, PERMANENT ALL-PERVASIVE KNEE-JERK SKEPTICISM.” This guy knows what I’m talking about:

Go to bed, Scullies.

*It seems worth pointing out that I’m not removing myself from the fun police line-up. Obviously, I had my own pop-up windows of suspicion. That’s what I mean! We are all doing it, but we should all stop doing it.