Neal Gabler is the author of An Empire of the Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, an essential text on Jewish domination of Hollywood. Now he sees Hollywood ‘s image factory spreading out over the entire culture (“Hollywood’s Perception of Value Versus Real Value: America emulates movieland’s way of measuring the worth of things, which teaches us to place the perception of value over value itself“; LATimes, Oct. 21, 2012).
We have become obsessed with measurable worth. Movie grosses, TV ratings, salaries, lists of the most powerful are all ways that a society sets a valuation on things — the perception of value as opposed to value itself. Another way to think of it is that valuation is to value what popularity is to being the best. …
Hollywood, by inundating us with all these rankings and by reinforcing this tendency in the culture, has done such a good job of promoting valuation at the expense of value that we now live in a valuation society where valuation subordinates nearly everything else.
One might even say that America has been remade in Hollywood’s image, not so much because it emulates movie glamour or behavior or language but because it emulates Hollywood’s way of measuring the worth of things and teaches us to place the perception of value over value itself. Hollywood success is the new American paradigm.
Gabler has an interesting list of other areas where this phenomenon can be seen: Higher education , the art world (definitely a no brainer; he mentions the execrable Damien Hirst), and the financial industry (inflated valuations based on image [Facebook; one might also mention the tech bubble of the late 90s). Of course advertising lives on image creation. Read more