Most of the essays were pretty decent high-school-level essays that used Zelda mechanics to introduce you to a variety of philosophy textbook topics....moreMost of the essays were pretty decent high-school-level essays that used Zelda mechanics to introduce you to a variety of philosophy textbook topics. The books didn't really pick apart Zelda all that deeply, but it was more of the authors' intention to use Zelda as a springboard into philosophy rather than critique Zelda itself. For the most part, the essays were pretty good, minus one poorly-researched one which happened to make long-renounced accusations against Nietzsche re: his supposed anti-semitism.
If you are interested in the promise of philosophy and love the Zelda series, I highly recommend this book. If you're already well-versed in philosophy and were hoping for some deep critiques of the series, you will unfortunately have to look elsewhere.(less)
A lot of Adorno's musings on the culture industry and the mass production of culture gained through industrialization, on the contradictory and blurre...moreA lot of Adorno's musings on the culture industry and the mass production of culture gained through industrialization, on the contradictory and blurred opposition between 'serious' and 'popular' art, are so embedded into culture itself that much of this book feels obvious. One thing I'm really glad to now appreciate is that Adorno wasn't simply critiquing a status quo but also went into how that status quo, or an aspect of it, is actually necessary for the 'progressive' oppositions to exist and be structured. He was pushing for awareness, but not necessarily elimination.
What I really appreciated was how one could appreciate the times in which Adorno lived and contrast his view of popular music (jazz) against our modern conception. While a lot of what Adorno writes still applies, things have shifted enough that you can't just run with Adorno's criticism and expect it to apply directly. As such, being able to now discern the difference in culture allows me to take Adorno's core sentiment and apply it more intelligently.
The real goldmine in this book, I find, is that of the last few chapters. While the first ones are extremely theoretical and heady and presumably why you are reading this book, it really surprised me to see Adorno taking what I thought to be a primarily arts-based complaint and then applying it to political activism and leisure time. In fact, his demonstration of how the culture industry weaves its tendrils into things that are not mere show or entertainment drives his point home with far more impact and room for introspection. In fact, those are the points that I think people would be far better off retaining as Adorno's culture-centric insights are part of the industry itself, going through the same machinations he set his polemic against.(less)
I intuitively agree with Arthur Koestler's organization of psychological, individual and sociological units into 'holons' which appear unified from on...moreI intuitively agree with Arthur Koestler's organization of psychological, individual and sociological units into 'holons' which appear unified from one direction and distributed into separate pieces from the other.
I also agree with his summation that the integrative tendencies of man have, though necessary, produced far more upset in this world than the self-assertive tendencies of individuals.
The book is dated, so there are debatable assumptions that stem from eurocentrism, the continued existeance of the cold-war focus, and the idea that man's flows are an operational flaw can be 'fixed.' with some kind of technique or technology. While these may colour his conclusions they do not lessen the use of the intermediate model of behavior he constructs for descriptive (and not prescriptive) purposes.(less)
What a bastard! Greil Marcus sucked me in with 70s punk trivia and turned out to be an introductory text on Dadaism, Situationist International and th...moreWhat a bastard! Greil Marcus sucked me in with 70s punk trivia and turned out to be an introductory text on Dadaism, Situationist International and the May '68 riots that shaped contemporary France.
But, if this book as anything to say, it shaped punk too. By bookending philosophy with punk histories it convinced me that listening to protest music was not enough; it uncovered a philosophy that demonstrates the true danger and disruptive joy that should have informed the instruments and ears of everyone under the punk tag. Assuming, of course, that all punks were academic at heart.
The book is definitely rewarding but, given its spirit, tends to gleefully confound the reader just as its focus organization once did.
The question is: being not a punk but mere punk listener 20 years too late, how do I take my new understanding of SI, '68 and continue their good work in business casual and the grocery?(less)