May 1, 2006


Did you hear the one about the meat growing trees?: a review of Hippo Eats Dwarf: A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S. By Alex Boese (Steven Martinovich, May 1, 2006, Enter Stage Right)

It is ironic in that in the Information Age, when claims and statements can be checked for accuracy more easily than ever before, that we seem no less susceptible to hoaxes and misinformation than our forebears in other allegedly less enlightened times. From our email boxes to the major media, we continue to fall prey to clever hoaxers looking for fun or profit. This era may be more accurately dubbed The Misinformation Age.

Alex Boese has built a popular web site entitled Museum of Hoaxes chronicling hoaxes, spawning two books the latest of which is his engaging Hippo Eats Dwarf: A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S. Part encyclopedia of recent hoaxes, part guide for readers to protect themselves, Hippo Eats Dwarf illustrates that we -- in the words of Boese -- live in a world "that's fake and growing faker every day." [...]

The line between reality and the fake has become so blurred that one can be forgiven for falling for some of the more ludicrous hoaxes. "Our world isn't just fake or phony. Any society that produces Michael Jackson's nose, breast-enlarging mobile-phone ring tones and human-flavored tofu has gone well beyond that. Our world is hippo-eats-dwarf," writes Boese.

indeed, the most disturbing aspect of the book isn't the fakes but the stories that turn out to be true. I laughed so hard at the section on personal ads that it brought tears to my eyes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 1, 2006 8:56 PM
Comments for this post are closed.