There's been a flurry of chatter following Stephen Poole's article in the New Statesman; Why are we so obsessed by the pursuit of authenticity?
I occurs to me though, that there's an obvious and inexorable path that the drive for authenticity ought to take. And rather than thinking of this growing realisation as some form of awakening to the duplicity of corporates like Tesco owning faux-indie coffee shops, surely the fact that Tesco has been revealed as deliberately masking its identity is just another step down the road to what I can only imagine is a theoretical singularity of truth and authenticity. Where presumably we'll find a baby in a wicker basket, or something.
Briefly uncomfortable perhaps, but not entirely unlike yanking on a curtain to discover that the Great Oz is in fact a charming if misguided old gentleman.
Regardless, I do suspect that behind the quest for authenticity, exemplified not least by personal blogs like this one, never mind high street brand pretending to be indie - lies a subconscious desire for truth and integrity in a world increasingly marked by the unceremonious dismantling of institutions like celebrity, church and state.
And I wonder when we look back decades from now if we'll see this era as the sketchy origins of the future utopian society that science fiction has long since imagined for us. That's somewhat naive, admittedly, but nonetheless a more up-beat plot than the 'we're all going to hell in a hand-cart' refrain we often hear.