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Jean Baudrillard

April 15, 2012 | By Neal Gabler, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Long before there were "real" housewives on television, actor-politicians and even potential celebrity politicians like Donald Trump, theme restaurants, virtual online vacations and Kim Kardashian, who makes her living by being Kim Kardashian, there was "The Image," historian Daniel Boorstin's prescient examination of a nation in transition, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its publication this year. When "The Image" first appeared, one critic predicted that it would join William Whyte's "The Organization Man" and John Kenneth Galbraith's "The Affluent Society" as one of those seminal books that not only capture the zeitgeist but change the American mind-set.
February 5, 2001
Last month the Museum of Contemporary Art posted 61 billboards throughout Los Angeles. Designed like curators' notes, with black letters set against a stark white backdrop, the billboards tersely describe features in the landscape around them, encouraging harried commuters to consider urban details they may have dismissed as mundane.
August 1, 1993 | MICHAEL SILVERBLATT, Silverblatt is the host of KCRW's Bookworm, Mondays at 2 p.m. He is also the moderator of the Lannan Foundation's Readings and Conversations series
The chic underground has been featuring piercings and tattooings. Whips and chains are prevalent in fashionable photography. The shocking self-penetrations of recent body-centered performance art are being rationalized by concepts of "empowerment," of "owning" our bodies. We hear references to Rome in its decline, primitivism and savage mutilation rites.
A cluster of bronzed young boys floated on bodyboards in Hurricane Harbor, eager for the lifeguard to activate the wave pool. Many of them had paid $23 and waited half an hour to spend just nine minutes riding the 2-foot mechanically generated crests at Irvine's Wild Rivers Waterpark. Why a virtual beach when a real one is nearby? "There are better waves at the beach, but it's more accessible here," said Chase Paddack, dripping and winded from the pool.
September 13, 1993 | PETER J. MARSTON, Marston is an associate professor of speech communication at Cal State Northridge. and
Howard Stern, Shock-Jock. The words are almost inseparable in any media description of the now top-rated morning radio host. And although the expression may be a convenient (and by now, conventional) shorthand for describing the complex Stern, it obscures a deeper, more noble truth about Stern and his broadcast.
Is Disneyland simply a fun place to take the kids or out-of-town visitors? Or, in the words of two Boston researchers, is it "a modern pilgrimage site," a sanctuary from the world that evokes a sense of paradise and purity? Never mind that most people believe they go to Disneyland just to speed down the Matterhorn or splash down a mountain.
January 3, 1988 | Calvin Bedient, Bedient's most recent book is "He Do the Police in Different Voices: The Waste Land and Its Protagonist" (University of Chicago Press). and
"April Galleons," John Ashbery's 11th volume of poetry not counting his recent "Selected Poems," sails in the postmodern waters whose nauseous chop and spooky fog this poet loves so well. His skill and cleverness (and something more) are such that he makes the reader appreciate, if not the waters, then at least the navigator's talents. How can you not like a gifted poet who wants you to have a good time sliding around on his deliberately slicked decks?
May 3, 1998 | Anthony Vidler, Anthony Vidler, an architectural historian who has taught at Princeton and UCLA, is now dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University. His most recent book is "The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely."
It is hardly surprising that the apparently unexpected popularity of the Getty would be quantified with all the close attention of a movie release: the sheer numbers crowding the site; detailed accounts of the long lines for rest rooms; exhibitions that open and close without being seen by their own publics; the media campaign that says, essentially, "Plan ahead--don't come now," are all recognizable as the familiar indices of blockbuster status.
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