This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pockets of Awareness in the Culture Industry

In the last entry, we looked a bit into how numbnut Tom Cruise has been spiritually destroyed by the cult of Scientology. Let's segue to the idea of the culture industry aiding and abetting the status quo of war and inequality.

Here's an excerpt from It should give you the good readers a sense of what we are essentially up against in terms of promoting positive social change. For social movement may oftentimes be negative.

... The Frankfurt School coined the term "culture industry" in the 1930s to signify the industrialization of mass-produced culture and the commercial imperatives that constructs it (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1972). Its critical theorists analyzed mass-mediated cultural artifacts as products of industrial production, demonstrating that commodities of the culture industry exhibit the same features as other mass-produced objects: commodification, standardization, and massification. The culture industry has the specific function, however, of providing ideological legitimation of existing capitalist societies and of integrating individuals into its way of life....

Yet, within Hollywood and the entertainment business, like everywhere else, there have always been pockets of awareness. There's certainly nothing inherently evil concerning art in and of itself. In fact, Confucious wrote of the soothing effects music has on the soul. There's also nothing better, imho, than a movie, tune, or drawing that captures the essence of the human condition.

This blog has been nothing less than a humble attempt at staring down a contrived zeitgeist and offering possibilities for a better world. That is what David Weintraub strived to accomplish. For a time, I felt bad about using his name for this blog. At first, not so much. The early entries were all about Dave and providing links to some of his accomplishments. His sister Karen even posted and appeared grateful. Later on, when DFQ2 moved more exclusively towards my own brand of blogging, I again felt some angst about the title. Recently, I changed it from DaveFromQueens to DFQ2. I hope that's enough to show I'm not trying to steal Dave's mojo. I make no money off of blogging. Not one cent. I simply hold onto hope that the internet can be a steering device for positive developments, akin to Jurgen Habermas' curiousity of its potential. That's probably how most of us first felt about the net, until an enforced conformity doled out by the "whiteysphere" beat us into almost complete states of cynicism.

In short, never underestimate the power of pockets of awareness. Here is a funny clip from The Andy Kaufman Show. Once you get through the intial goodbye song, check out how Andy spoke truth to culture industry.

Then check out this George Carlin clip expressing similar sentiments yet more towards the big picture of social reality.

Here's one more example of a great entertainer who both amused us yet more importantly also got us thinking. Here is the one and only Bill Hicks on marketing.

I have a new blog entry in the works. It will focus in on Robert Young Pelton and Larry C. Johnson. It will be more studious in appearance than this mostly copied and pasted effort. I do try my best to supply a good read. I strive to be both informative yet entertaining. It is not always that easy.

I didn't want to end up on the internet fringes. I tried my best to be a blogger at bigger places like Democratic Underground and Daily Kos. Those had effectively given the aura of being the hip places for one to find their niche in the zeitgeist. Those two blogs, as have nearly all others, have truly let us down. In many ways, they are no different from the schlock coming out of the culture industry. Yet, this is a battle that they cannot win in the long run. Someday there will be a more just and peaceful world. Perhaps the internet will eventually develop into being the steering device for that which all good people desire, a beautiful world devoid of greed and needless bloodshed. People like myself and Dave may have been run off of the Daily Kos. However, pockets of awareness allow one to march forward knowing that he or she who laughs last, laughs best.

Stipe's Ode to Andy

No comments: