What Is Transparency
Here is a brief philosophical statement
about the meaning of Transparency.
All of us contain within ourselves an inherent knowledge that we are in a fallen state and
a state of exile. We know intuitively that humanity is lost in a maze of forgetting,
trapped in neurotic selves, societies of violence and power, cultures of
manipulation, and a realm of nature that is experienced as something alien to us.
The creations of fiction and nonfiction offer us a seemingly endless
number of chapters that each tell part of this one story. With their happy endings, they
routinely let us act out our desire to undo our exile and find our true selves. And in the
ways they tell the truth -- by calling things by their right name, mobilizing our desires
and integrating our desires into an aesthetic experience -- they are part of our
collective effort to re-create society, culture, self and nature so these embody
our true values.
But all creations of fiction and nonfiction, including this one, are composed of
both memory and forgetting, and all involve forms of manipulation that need to be made
transparent. The role of criticism is to advance the cause of memory -- to side with
humanity's millennia-long effort-long effort to recover the truths of human experience so we can move
to a new level of civilization.
But when we try to advance the cause of memory we quickly meet resistance. That
resistance isn't only in the form of opposition to knowing created by the defenses of the
self and the internalized images of authority figures. It also comes from those in
positions of power in society who try to manipulate both our regressive desire to escape
the truth and our progressive desires to live fully, to see other people treated fairly,
and to participate in a good society. Ultimately, the resistance to knowing comes from all
of us since we all maintain ourselves and each other in a state of forgetting, while we
also work together to escape the maze and find the essential truths of the human
More on Storytelling and Media
What's Being Said About Transparency
© 1996-2012 Ken Sanes