Meghan O’Rourke rightly notes in Slate that the larger truth about Oprah’s response to the James Frey flap is that in certain climates of this culture, anything that provides a decent therapeutic buzz is “real.” Even if, by normal standards, it’s fake.
In this spirit, I would like to petition that certain lyrics I heard in my youth by Husker Du, American Music Club and Black Flag be reclassified as “non-fiction.” I mean: c’mon! They helped!
UPDATE 1/26: A better day for actual reality, as Oprah recants.
In retrospect, there was a pretty powerful aroma wafting off of Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces” and the entire notion of JT Leroy that seems completely Snopes-worthy. As if any of that would stop this from happening all over again some day.