Wednesday, September 10, 2014

If it's fun, then it's not learning -- apparently

If you're enjoying yourself too much, then chances are you're not being productive. At least, that's how it goes both in professional life and at college.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this class is a step above most; we get to talk about movies and TV, for heaven's sake! And as a columnist who writes on pop culture every week for The Spectrum and sometimes for USA Today (hey, read those bad boys here!), this is not only appealing for me, but it actually makes me want to go to school.

And that's saying something.

But, somewhere, sometime, someone decided that school and work just can't be fun. And, even when we're talking about great things -- like bad movies -- and wonderful stuff -- like the next iPhone we'll love for 3 months before boredom sets in -- the gods of educational monotony are still wont to swoop in and deliver us a hideous satanic baby in the form of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.

Seriously, Adorno/Horkheimer? SERIOUSLY?!

I know, I know. I just took the long-yet-not-so-scenic route to the topic in my rambling preamble. But as someone who is paid to bash on stuff I don't like, even I allow for some levity as not to enrage the masses.

I'll be honest. I only got to page 8 on "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception." Did anyone else fare better? I had to keep re-reading whole paragraphs (long, eternally punishing paragraphs) because my mind kept wandering to topics more entertaining, like watching wine ferment or listening to C-SPAN debates.

Really, Adorno and Horkeimer's noses were so far up in the air I don't doubt the sticks up their butts were shoved in extra hard as to keep the posture permanent.

And I actually agree with the blowhards! Luckily, the drudgery of their words have been simplified for dullards like myself, and after studying what Adorno and Horkheimer's beliefs actually represent, the two make a great point.

After all, should my job as a columnist or as an artist (Oh, hey, you can check some of my art out over here) be based on making money? Or should it be based on creating something new, something beautiful and something worthwhile?

The conundrum is artists and entertainers also have to make a living. And we go where the paychecks lead us. I'm convinced there isn't one of us who wouldn't go off and create new and beautiful things that are free from political influence if we had unlimited time and money. But, that's hardly an option any of us are afforded.

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