Boorstein "...claimed that America was living in an "age of contrivance," in which illusions and fabrications had become a dominant force in society. Public life, he said, was filled with "pseudo-events" -- staged and scripted events that were a kind of counterfeit version of actual happenings. Just as there were now counterfeit events, so, he said, there were also counterfeit people - celebrities - whose identities were being staged and scripted, to create illusions that often had no relationship to any underlying reality. Even the tourism industry, which had once offered adventure seekers a passport to reality, now insulated travelers from the places they were visiting, and, instead, provided "artificial products," in which "picturesque natives fashion(ed) papier-mâché images of themselves," for tourists who expected to see scenes out of the movies."One of Boorstein's most famous quotes?
"The celebrity is a person who is known for his well-knownness."
Boorstein wrote The Image in 1961.
(Photo is from: Ant Farm, Media Burn, July 4, 1975; performance at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA. Photo: © John F. Turner (See essay at Stretcher>>)