Politics Name-Checked by Al Gore
posted by June 4 at 22:11 PMon
A short and probably not exhaustive list of people and things name-checked by Al Gore:
Lyndon LaRouche, Gandhi, Socrates, Plato, Gutenberg, the Bible, “the Founding Fathers,” Thomas Paine, Common Sense, Theodor Adorno, Network, Lindsay Lohan (I think the former vice president meant to say Paris HiltonóLohan’s in rehab, not jail), Britney Spears, K-Fed, Earth in the Balance, An Inconvenient Truth, Star Wars.
There was much pop-culture bashing tonight; and as much as I hate to call a halt to all of the Donna Brazile-inspired fat-pinching prognostics, Gore sounds like a professor, a kindly scold, an elder statesman. He doesn’t sound like a man who’s running for president. That speech had a lot of red meat, but no A-1, if you know what I mean.
And now, a short selection from Theodor Adorno’s “The Culture Industry”:
The whole world is made to pass through the filter of the culture industry. The old experience of the movie-goer, who sees the world outside as an extension of the film he has just left (because the latter is intent upon reproducing the world of everyday perceptions), is now the producer’s guideline. The more intensely and flawlessly his techniques duplicate empirical objects, the easier it is today for the illusion to prevail that the outside world is the straightforward continuation of that presented on the screen. This purpose has been furthered by mechanical reproduction since the lightning takeover by the sound film.
Real life is becoming indistinguishable from the movies. 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, yet deviate from its precise detail without losing the thread of the story; hence the film forces its victims to equate it directly with reality. The stunting of the mass-media consumer’s powers of imagination and spontaneity does not have to be traced back to any psychological mechanisms; he must ascribe the loss of those attributes to the objective nature of the products themselves, especially to the most characteristic of them, the sound film. They are so designed that quickness, powers of observation, and experience are undeniably needed to apprehend them at all; yet sustained thought is out of the question if the spectator is not to miss the relentless rush of facts. Even though the effort required for his response is semi-automatic, no scope is left for the imagination.