For this blog post I wanted to talk about something that is stated in the Frankfurt School text by Storey. There it states: “But as Adorno (1991b) points out, mass culture is a difficult system to challenge: Today anyone who is incapable of talking in the prescribed fashion, that is of effortlessly reproducing the formulas, conventions and judgments of mass culture as if they were his own is threatened in his very existence, suspected of being an idiot or an intellectual.” (pg. 64)
I found the last part of this entry particularly interesting. The part that states: “suspected of being an idiot or an intellectual.” So, my post is two part. One I want to make sure that I understood this correctly and two if I did to get insight on what is being communicated here. I would agree with Adorno on this point. We as humans have a tendency to consider someone an idiot if they do not seem to fit in with what we consider normal. On the other hand, we might also say that they are not an idiot rather they are an intellect, elevating them either higher or lower than themselves. So, if I understand this correctly Adorno is comparing pop culture to the norm. He is saying that we as humans view pop culture as the norm and that anything different is either higher or lower than that.
What is interesting about this is that if I understand the text correctly, Adorno says that pop culture is not a threat to culture and social authority, which he mentions in the text on page 62. So, pop culture is not a threat to authentic culture but here we see that the norm according to Adorno and the public is pop culture. So here springs my question. If I am understanding the text correctly do you agree with Adorno that pop culture is not a threat to authentic culture? Or do you more side with Arnold and LEavisism that popular culture is a threat to culture and social authority? This was a hard question to answer myself. I would agree that popular culture does not pose a threat to culture or social authority. It is rather a part of the system and elevates authentic culture to something that isn’t popular culture. I think something else interesting to mention is that what once was pop culture is changing and that is something else to keep in mind as well.