Caveat Emptor

Dorothea Salo struck a nerve a few days ago with this post to her weblog (it’s been quoted several times) Caveat Lector: Speaking the Self:

I am touched by the Cluetrainers' belief that real people always speak in real voices. It isn't so, though I wish it were and I envy the Cluetrainers their belief. Some people speak about themselves and their families in clichés and polite fictions for many of the same reasons corporations speak in empty, sonorous PR, not least among them desperate fear of the truth. Some people, submerged in the family fictions, lose their real voices in part or wholly. (I never lost quite all of mine, but I have been searching for some departed pieces a long time. I may never find them.)

Blogging threatens such families for the same reasons it threatens PR-dependent corporations. It threatens the fiction, the public façade of perfection, the private walls around anger and pain and disagreement and error.

Although DS was responding to the risks associated with personal expression, her comments about businesses and the truth are relevant to a new essay I have written and fortuitously entitled Caveat Emptor, Art Collector. Her sentiments serve as an eloquent introduction.