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Adorno and Blogs

November 18, 2009

Today we will be discussing The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer as well as Clement Greenberg’s Avant-Garde and Kitsch. I will post something about our discussion later and I am excited about how our conversation will go.  I just want to post some thoughts that I have been having and also share an interesting writing about blogs and visual culture that I came across.

Lately I have been feeling very apathetic.  It is probably due to a lot of reasons but wasting way too much time in front of the computer every night doesn’t help.  I subscribe to over 50 blogs as I am sure most everyone else does at well.  I have become compulsive about checking them and feel I am neglecting my “work” if I don’t read the posts everyday.  It’s funny but for all the art that the blogs bring to me rarely do I come across anything fantastic.  Most of the blogs that I subscribe to are art blogs and after looking at them I feel exhausted.  It is like I have just walked through 20 galleries and not seen anything great.  It is the same feeling that I have when walking through a lot of art fairs, exhausted and wishing for just one great thing, something that will redeem the boredom.  The most satisfying blogs are ones that get an uncomfortable laugh out of me like Regretsy or People of Wal-Mart with their pithy comments and incredible self-loathing.  But I always feel a little bitter after looking at their posts, like I have become someone that I’m not proud of.

I have been thinking about how everything looks the same to me and with the more I see the more bored I feel.  I bring up the Adorno article because I think the same boredom and anger at mediocre cultural endeavors is there.  I think if I had read this article maybe a year ago, my reaction would be quite different.  I would think that Adorno was harsh or maybe completely out of line.  But I have to say that I found parts of The Culture Industry to be charming and hold a lot of truth.  I will get to the two writings in further depth following our discussion today, but for now I want to share an article that I came across in a blog the other day that embodies the same dissatisfaction that I have been feeling as of late.  The article is titled Are We ffff*ucked? and is written by Mario Hugo.  I came across it via the It’s Nice That blog.

http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/2222-are-we-ffffcked

I see it as along the same lines of Adorno and Greenberg.  Hugo is dissatisfied with the blog culture and how it has misrepresented the arts.  I wonder if Hugo is a follower of Adorno’s writings?  Any thoughts?