Friday, 10 November 2017

Reflections from Damaged Life - Writing My Free Time

Adorno has a short essay entitled 'Free Time'.  It is one of the places where the grumpy old mandarin shows that he perhaps has a sense of humour.  He  notes how when the 'giants of the culture industries' are interviewed in the weekly magazines, their interviewers never fail to ask them about their 'hobbies'. 

Adorno is horrified at the idea of a hobby.  He points out that the idea of 'free time' or 'leisure time', is a confection of industries which seek to market our private or even intimate lives.  I like to imagine him being interviewed by a callow journalist, who eventually enquires: 'And so, Herr Doktor Professor Adorno, what do you do with your free time?  Have you any hobbies?'  Teddy recoils from the question, almost  like Lady Bracknell reacting to Ernest Worthing's admission that he'd been born in a handbag.  'Hobbies??????'  And he explains, in exasperation no doubt, that he regards the whole notion of 'free time' and 'hobbies' as an expression of the capitalist reification of domestic and personal life, and that he does what he does with the utmost seriousness.

I am not sure if I always manage to write in my 'free time' quite so seriously on this blog, but I hope that the material I put up on it is of some interest some of the time, and so that it justifies its title.  I am delighted to report that just in the last few minutes the blog has recorded its 30,000th pageview.  Brilliant news!

Onward and upward!


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