However, much has happened since it went up, including the Blogger outage. Scroll down for a report on that. More new posts will be added below this one. The essay below is the conclusion of the ninth part in a series by Takuan Seiyo.
He was born in in Frankfurt in Germany, and grew up with music, both as a listener and a practitioner: Adorno chose a career as a professional philosopher taking a position at the University of Frankfurt inbut music and culture remained the focus of his interests.
Adorno insisted on high standards — culture was not merely a matter of technical progress in composing more beautiful, more complicated music, for example but also if indirectly a matter of morality. Music, like all culture, could either develop or obstruct social progress towards greater freedom.
And that progress was under threat. Even in pre-war Vienna, Adorno saw warning signs of a collapse in European culture. These trends towards regression and domination were borne out with the rise of Nazism. The philosopher who had savaged Stravinsky was now brought face to face with Mickey Mouse.
In Minima MoraliaAdorno wrote, despairingly: This disorientation became a principled distrust. He claimed that capitalist popular culture — jazz, cinema, pop songs, and so on — manipulates us into living lives empty of true freedom, and serves only to distort our desires.
Popular culture is not the spontaneous expression of the people, but a profit-driven industry — it robs us of our freedom and bends us to conform to its needs for profit. This distrust of US culture was reciprocal. Both Adorno and his philosophical collaborator Max Horkheimer were broadly Marxist, and were promptly placed under surveillance by the FBI.
Now, people distrust him as a transplant from a privileged background into a progressive one. His dislike of mass culture becomes simply a dislike of the masses that he looked down upon. He seems patronising, seeing people as easily fooled and mislead, and popular culture as shallow and manipulative.
But this easy response is misguided. Adorno did not simply condemn popular culture; nor did he simply yearn for the rule of high culture. Popular culture is not only bad art though it is that, he claims but harmful art — it stands in the way of true freedom.
To get at this moral position, we might consider a familiar example: We are now, on average, working longer, with less security, for less money.
The world is riddled with social and political problems that we have no immediately clear way of engaging with or ameliorating.
Our limited free time seems better spent instead on relaxing the demands we place on ourselves, and escaping the pressures of the everyday world. While guilty pleasures are imperfect, they afford us a pleasure too often lacking in our busy lives.
They supposedly give us more immediate enjoyment than high art, while certainly demanding less time, attention and expense.
Adorno is no opponent of pleasure. What sort of a world binds guilt and pleasure together? What sort of a pleasure comes together with an awareness, no matter how dim, that things should be better?
It is a world, Adorno claims, that gives us only a faint copy of pleasure disguised as the real thing; repetition disguised as escape; a brief respite from labour disguised as a luxury.
Popular culture presents itself as a release of our repressed emotions and desires, and so as an increase in freedom.
But in truth, it robs us of our freedom twice — both aesthetically in failing to give aesthetic freedom in enjoying art and morally in blocking the path to true social freedom.The Occupational Outlook Handbook is the government's premier source of career guidance featuring hundreds of occupations—such as carpenters, teachers, and veterinarians.
Revised every 2 years, the latest version contains employment projections for the decade. This essay delves deeply into the origins of the Vietnam War, critiques U.S. justifications for intervention, examines the brutal conduct of the war, and discusses the antiwar movement, with a separate section on protest songs.
Social control and surveillance in the society of consumers. State-surveillance electronic labels that initially served to slim down and and Corporate-surveillance. However, at the same time, it expedite bureaucracy are now at an end in themselves: it is necessary to extract the fundamental common follows that there is a loss of identity.
Study Hacks Blog Decoding Patterns of Success On Social Media and Its Discontents March 20th, · 60 comments Split Reactions.
As someone who has publicly criticized the major social media platforms for years, I’ve become familiar with the common arguments surrounding this topic. Jul 16, · Here are three topics much in the news these days: Prism, the surveillance program of the national security agency; the death of Trayvon Martin; and Google Glass and the rise of wearable computers that record everything.
Although these might not seem connected, they are part of a growing move for, or against, a surveillance society. The last half of the 20th century has seen a significant increase in the use of science and technology for purposes of social control.
Examples include video and audio surveillance, heat, light, motion, sound and olfactory sensors, electronic tagging of consumer items, animals and humans, biometric access codes, drug testing, DNA analysis and the use of computer techniques such as expert.