Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Celebrities as Human Pseudo-Events

Shallow is the culture that worships celebrities. 

Question-begging is the reasoning that concludes well-known people know well. 

Wasted is the money spent on the adulation of idols. 

Fatuous are the accolades showered on the famous.

Historian Daniel Boorstin writes:

The celebrity in the distinctive modern sense could not have existed in any earlier age…. The celebrity is a person who is known for his well-knownness.
His qualities—or rather his lack of qualities—illustrate our peculiar problems. He is neither good nor bad, great nor petty. He is the human pseudo-event. He has been fabricated on purpose to satisfy our exaggerated expectations of human greatness…. He is made by all of us who willingly read about him, who like to see him on television, who buy recordings of his voice, and talk about him to our friends. His relation to morality and even to reality is highly ambiguous.
—Daniel Boorstin, The Image (Quoted here.)