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This man, known to world as the crying Indian, helped usher in the modern environmental movement. In 1970, Cody appeared in a commercial for the non-profit, keep America beautiful. Behind the backdrops of smokestacks, belching cars and litter, the Cherokee and Cody canoed to a polluted river bed where a single tear rolled down his cheek. They were just a couple of problems, the tear was fake, as was Cody’s identity as an authentic Indian. Decades later, we are still being sold on the idea of authenticity. From footways to best-selling memoirs, the performance of authenticity remains undaunted by post-modernism and our digital age of virtual avatars. We want to keep it real, but how do we know what the real thing is. Most people react to authenticity the way judge Potter Stewer thought about the term obscenity. Stewer couldn’t define the term legally, but he said famously that he knew it when he saw it. I think we can do better than Stewer’s pragmatism. First of all, we can approach a cultural objects uniqueness in time and space. Second of all, we can examine the horizontal expectations an audience brings to the work of culture. By doing this, we can, I think, get a little closer to the genuine article by revealing the artifice of authenticity.