24 May 2021

Boorstin—On Seeing and Not Being Seen

Daniel Boorstin
The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America (1961)

[My notes say:]

p. 231—"We wish our membership to be reported. We do not care to participate."

This is a very astute observation of how the Image-nonculture bleeds from top-down institutional levels to stain even individual social relationships, at which point it is equipped to become self-perpetuating. The examples of churches and service clubs are also well-chosen since this particular Image is very much bound up with the "democratic-humanitarian" impulse (127).

Then again, ITEA et al have made a stunning reverse achievement: we DO wish to participate (i.e. so we can promote ourselves) but DO NOT wish for this to be known by all of our peers elsewhere!

[from a post-it, 2017]

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