Evidence abounds that our culture, in terms of commerce, is shifting from goods to experience. For example, it’s not enough just to get a haircut, especially if you’re a dude. No, you need to get over to SportClips, where it’s not just a haircut, it’s a championship experience. Maybe that’s how Tom Brady feels every time he gets his precision cut (that is, when he’s not cheating! Ha!). Disney is not just about the rides, or the tasty, tasty pineapple whip (which we recently discovered during our last trip there) but it’s all about the experience of the magic kingdom. After all, where else can you ride a roller coaster with Minnie Mouse (as our daughter did last year) or meet Captain Jack Sparrow (or a reasonable facsimile of Mr. Depp) in person?

Everyone, from restaurants to malls, is selling the “experience.” However, this article — Your Own Personal Paparazzi — pushes this experience economy to a new level. For only $500, you too can experience what it feels like to be a celebrity (mostly by having a gaggle of obnoxious photographers all up in your grill for half an hour)! With a glossy magazine cover! Add another $1000 and they’ll throw in a bodyguard and a limo!!

Here is a great quote (from a fellow Quaker, no less!):

University of Pennsylvania sociologist David Grazian, who wrote On the Make: The Hustle of Urban Nightlife, calls personal paparazzi reality marketers, who make the act of being photographed more meaningful than the actual photos. “The goal isn’t to produce a product,” he says. “It’s to heighten the experience of the event. In that sense, there doesn’t even need to be any film in the camera.”

I think the real question, though, is whether or not any of these rent-a-paparazzi companies will allow you to have a hostile celebrity experience, where you could go all Sean Penn on a pushy photog. Maybe that’s the Ultra-Premium Platinum Package?