A pseudo-event is “…fabricated on purpose to satisfy our exaggerated expectations of human greatness.”

A pseudo-event is "...fabricated on purpose to satisfy our exaggerated expectations of human greatness."The term pseudo-event was coined by Daniel J Boorstein in his prophetic book The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. Here’s an explanation from Ken Sanes in an essay on his Transparency web site:

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-mache 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>>)

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