From Newsweek: “Celebrity” has become a tarnished word, for which we may largely credit the late Daniel Boorstin, the eminent historian who defined it in The Image, his 1961 survey of what he saw as the devolution of America. “The celebrity,” Boorstin proclaimed, “is a person who is known for his well-knownness.” Boorstin was writing at a time of great cultural flux, with the rise of the mass media and an effulgence of what he considered trash, and he placed celebrity within the larger context of an America whose citizens were increasingly enthralled by imitations of reality rather than by reality itself — by the pretense of substance without the actual substance. He coined the term “pseudo-event” to describe counterfeit happenings like press conferences, photo ops, and movie premieres that existed only to advertise themselves. He called celebrities human pseudo-events: hollow façades illuminated by publicity. So it has been ever since. · Go to Tiger-Stalking: In Defense of Our Tabloid Culture →