Daniel Boorstin, RIP

The noted historian and social theorist Daniel Boorstin passed away in late February, though a DC memorial service the other night is the first Id heard of his death. That the inevitable, probably-sooner-rather-than-later passing of Courtney Love will receive exponentially more attention than Boorstins own death is indicative of how right Boorstin was.
Boorstin spent 12 years as Librarian of Congress, but Ill always know him as the author of the 1961 book The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. He defined a pseudo-event as something that is planted primarily (not always exclusively) for the immediate purpose of being reported or reproduced.
Considering America today seems to consist of more pseudo-events than events- whether were talking about politics, sports, television, pop culture, or just about anything else- Boorstin showed a prescience about the future reminiscent of Marshal McLuhans. He will be greatly missed.

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