Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Notes on Twee #13

“David Riesman considers it to be practically the essence of the means of mass entertainment that it raises consumers, beginning in childhood and constantly accompanying the grown-ups: ‘Today the future occupation of all moppets is to be skilled consumers.’”

— Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trans. Thomas Burger, 192. (The Riesman citation is from The Lonely Crowd, p. 81.)

Part of the reason I hesitate to actually write "Notes on Twee" is that I would like there to be more to it than a Frankfurt-style condemnation of consumer culture's infilitration into us ordinary US citizens' hearts and minds. That kind of stuff makes me cringe — it seems so 1950s. But I actually think it might be the best explanation.