Monday, April 9, 2007

Cultural Subterfuge: A Preface

In order to fully comprehend subsequent contributions from this blog's authors, an intellectual primer is of great use. The following quotations are a sampling of the education which has resulted in the poisoning of our minds. In other words, we're all mentally fucked:

(Quotations selected from Adorno, T. & Horkheimer, M. (1997). The culture industry: Enlightenment as mass deception. In P. Du Gay (Ed.) Production of culture/Cultures of production (pp. 105-111). London: Sage Publications.)

"The fusion of culture and entertainment that is taking place today leads not only to a depravation of culture, but inevitably to an intellectualization of amusement."

"Amusement itself becomesan ideal, taking the place of the higher things of which it completely deprives the masses by repeating them in a manner even more stereotyped than the slogans paid for by advertising interests."

"To be pleasured means to say Yes. It is possible only by insulation from the totality of the social process, by desensitization and, from the first, by senselessly sacrificing the inescapable claim of every work, however inane, within its limits to reflect the whole. Pleasure always means not to think about anything, to forget suffering even where it is shown. Basically it is helplessness. It is flight; not, as is asserted, flight from wretched reality, but from the last remaining thought of resistance. The liberation which amusement promises is freedom from thought and from negation. The effrontery of the rhetorical question, "What do people want?" lies in the fact that it is addressed - as if to reflective individuals - to those very people who are deliberately to be deprived of this individuality. Even when the public does - exceptionally - rebel against the pleasure industry, all it can muster is that feeble resistance which that very industry has inculcated in it."

"Only one girl can draw the lucky ticket, only one man can win the prize, and if, mathematically, all have the same chance, yet this is so infinitesimal for each one that he or she will do best to write it off and rejoice in the other's success, which might just as well have been his or hers, and somehow never is."

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