Friday, August 1, 2008

People and the rest of us

Another passage from Gordon Livingston:

Our attention spans are notoriously short. Events move past us with great rapidity. Our memories are consequently limited and we focus on the foreground. We pay attention to a limited number of mostly young, good-looking, and wealthy persons who fill the pages of one of our aptly named magazines: People. If they are the people, who are the rest of us? What does it signify to be obscure in a world preoccupied with fame, however earned or unearned? As long as we measure others and ourselves by what we have and how we look, life is inevitably a discouraging experience, characterized by greed, envy, and a desire to be someone else.

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart (New York: Da Capo, 2004), 85
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comments: 1

Matthew H Camp said...

It's extremely important to the engines of consumer society that we are kept busy trying to attain the fantastical self-images portrayed by the media conglomerates. When we are driven by our dissatisfaction with ourselves, we can then become the purchasers of a billion commodities whose real promise is the attainment of an illusion.

Your quote brings to mind passages of Guy Debord's "Society of the Spectacle" as well. These celebrities as images have been abosrbed into the non-dialogue of the Spectacle and invite us to join.