This American Lie: Mike Daisey and the Danger of Truthiness
We need more people to care about human rights, but we can’t take shortcuts.
A partial list of Apple products I’ve owned: the original iPod, an iMac, a 13” MacBook Pro, a 20” Cinema Display, an iPod 2, a Video iPod, a couple iPod Shuffles, a Mighty Mouse, a wireless Mighty Mouse, a Bluetooth Keyboard, a 15” Macbook Pro, a Mac Mini, an iPhone, an iPhone 3g, an 11” MacBook Air, an iPad 3g, a Magic Trackpad, an Apple TV, Final Cut Pro and lots of other software, and of course plenty of iTunes songs and apps. Yes, I’ve waited in lines. And yes, I’d known for a while that Apple’s labor practices weren’t exactly saintly. But nothing could diminish my fervor for the next shiny new toy dreamed up in Cupertino.
Of course, fiction can inspire action too: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Jungle altered the course of American history. But labels matter. If Daisey had advertised his live monologue as a semi-fictional account, would the same number of people have purchased tickets and been so moved?
When we’re stirred by something that turns out not to be true, it feels a little like unrequited love—we want it to be so, but it refuses to be so. And each time our hopes are dashed, we’re less likely to risk falling in love again.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons.\n