Authenticity: if you can fake that …

Surely I’m not the only one who has noticed the steady rise of ‘fake’ as an insult. If you’ve ever watched Big Brother – in itself, a social experiment that has morphed into light entertainment – you’ve probably noticed that this single adjective now encompasses every variety of dislike, including just genuinely disliking someone: in the show’s context, it truly has become the four-letter f-word. Inauthenticity is the most deadly slur that one candidate can utter against another, even while speaking in the context of a competitive game show based in large part around the social popularity of those taking part.