User:Javier Lloret/Factory Reset Annotations/Adorno-CulturalIndustry

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Adorno’s and Horkneimer's ideas about the cultural industry sound quite contemporary for having being published in 1944. One of the statements that I found more interesting from the text is that it seems that for the audience pleasure must demand no effort.

Are we, as part of this capitalist society, completely passive spectators, consumers of the goods and contents that the cultural industry generate in order to shape us? Did alternative information channels like blogs or social networks changed this, offering the possibility to everyone not no only consume but also share their thoughts with the rest? Thanks to Internet there’s not only information but also channels of audiovisual content that out of the mainstream controlled by big companies. Does this make any different for questioning if Adorno’s and Horkneimer’s theories are still valid nowadays?


Another statement that I found interesting was “The sound film, far surpassing the theater of illusion, leaves no room for imagination or reflection on the part of the audience, who is unable to respond within the structure of the film...”. I remember that I read a related quote in the well known “The Work of Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by Walter Benjamin. In that essay we can find the following quote by George Duhamel, a French author, “I can no longer think that I want to think. My thoughts have been replaced by moving images”. Duhamel thought that moving images had a shocking effect on people not allowing them to think. In Adorno’s and Horkneimer’s essay they don’t refer to films in general but the ones with sound. And I wonder, are those comments due to the novelty of these technologies? I mean are some years necessary to adapt and get over the shock effect that freezes people’s thoughts? Did we get over that or can we still say that films or the most recent hype of the tv series hypnotize us and don’t allow us to think and analyze what we are seeing?