the [noun] established a way of looking—a habit of projection and model of spectatorship—that informed how [users] experienced daily life and primed them for other forms of glamour. [. . .] every [user] was both an audience and a performer [. . .] ‘everyone is posing, everyone tarts themselves up.’
Innumerable articles, some admiring and some disparaging, use the same sort language about the Internet, or about its connection to young people: the Internet is changing perceptions, or increasing narcissism, or offering a dangerous overlay over reality. But here’s the actual passage, from Virginia Postrel’s The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion:
Beyond the particulars of setting or plot, the theater established a way of looking—a habit of projection and model of spectatorship—that informed how city dwellers experienced daily life and primed them for other forms of glamour. In the commercial metropolis, every urbanite was both an audience and a performer for passersby, and every street a stage. ‘In Paris,’ wrote a nineteenth-century observer, ‘everyone is posing, everyone tarts themselves up, everyone has the air of being an artist, a porter, an actor, a cobbler, a soldier, a bad lot, or extremely proper.’
The 19th and 20th Centuries also saw innumerable screeds about how novels or movies or music were corrupting the minds of the young.
Glamour is consistently interesting if too academic in tone; like Camille Paglia’s Glittering Images and essays it convinces me that surfaces, fashion, aesthetics, and clothes are much more important than I once believed, that they have an extraordinary power over other people, and that attention to them is not wasted attention.