“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Adorno on Blue's Clues

I had a fabulous dream last night in which Theodor Adorno weighed in on the children's program Blue's Clues, which you can stream on Netflix.

The charm of Blue's Clues is the whimsical, faint exasperation of the first host, Steve, who seems so perfect in the role that it is as if he had a hand in inventing the show. Eventually he is replaced by Joe, a flat footed, controlling repetition of himself.

I imagined that Adorno was arguing that if you wanted to see the true spirit of art, you need to look at negation, and Steve embodies it. Whereas Joe embodies all that is horrifying about the culture of affirmation.

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