I’ve recently revisited these two books:
- Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. I have the 25th anniversary edition published by Vintage books in 1992, but the original text was published in 1961.
- Neal Gabler, Life: The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality. Vintage Books, 2000.
Two very helpful critiques of pop culture. The Image is more significant. This is the story of how our news organizations moved from reporting the news to inventing it (ch. 1). We moved from heroes to celebrities (ch. 2). From being travelers to being tourists (ch. 3).
From the beginning of chapter 4:
- FIRST YOUNG LADY: “Have you seen Omnibook? It takes five or six books and boils them down. That way you can read them all in one evening.”
- SECOND YOUNG LADY: “I wouldn’t like it. Seems to me it would just spoil the movie for you.”
Gabler continues the insightful observations, quoting liberally from Neal Postman. If you like his work, you’ll enjoy Gabler, too.
Am I the only one who is frustrated with a lack of realism in our culture? Celebrities need not accomplish anything great to be famous! When we travel to other countries, we expect the food/accommodations/cleanliness/order/laws to be just like home . . . we can’t adjust! Most of the news is non-news. They are psuedo-events created for capturing headlines. Is nothing real anymore? Does anyone care?