PART NINE The Archive and the Record: Memory, Obsession, the Discourse of the Miser and the Dustbin of History

As such, the personal history of individuals become suspect because an individual only is who she says she is insofar as she has documentation to back her statements up; but the system is inherently flawed because of the ultra-high potential for deceit and forgery due to the digital nature of modern record keeping. This flaw, however, in no way detracts from the system’s ability to function: in fact, it is its driving principle: uncertainty gives it a paranoiac energy to verify the “truth.” This is the purpose of photographic identity cards and video surveillance recording techniques; identity can be produced as easily as history can be manufactured, whether in the so-called “real-world” or in a television studio. In fact, history produced in a television studio is infinitely superior to real-world history for the sole fact that, instead of being instantly consigned to the dustbin, it can first be marketed to the public as news.

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