After requesting a book from my city library on Adorno, I discover to my satisfaction that one website has generous excerpts of Adorno’s theories–enough for me not to need the library book after all. Swell. Have you ever thought about how much human labor and fuel can be saved simply by having web access to certain kinds of text and information? This by itself should be a reason for publicly-funded libraries to stay on the cutting edge of technology and to point patrons towards freely available options.
In an almost surreal juxtaposition, last night I was shopping at Walmart (long story) and while walking through the audio/video section I was treated to a 1 minute monologue by Al Gore promoting “An Inconvenient Truth.” I also heard this same promo a few weeks ago while renting videos at my local Blockbuster store. The store’s motives may simply have been commercial in nature, but isn’t it interesting how an issue like Global Warming can suddenly pass into the mainstream to the point where it is used to sell things?
Occasionally bona fide intellectuals are tossed into the river of pop culture with often hilarious but salubrious results. (Susan Sontag on the Simpsons, George Soros on Republican campaign commercials, Stephen Hawking on Star Trek New Generation). Highbrow people love it because it provides the comforting illusion that intellectuals have influence; middlebrow people love it because it provides a lovable face for a package of complex and often subversive ideas.