Saturday, September 13, 2014

* Capitalism as Worship

". . .  Pop culture was acquiring its own cultic aspect, one neatly configured for technological dissemination. Why, after all, would the need for ritual subside when the economic system remained the same? ( [Walter]Benjamin once wrote 'Capitalism is a purely cultic religion, perhaps the most extreme that ever existed') Celebrities were rising to the status of secular gods; publicity stills froze their faces in the manner of religious icons. Pop musicians elicited Dionysian screams as they danced across the altar of the stage. And their aura became, in a sense, even more magical; instead of drawing pilgrims from afar, the pop masterpiece is broadcast outward, to a captive world congregation. It radiates and saturates." (p.93)

THE NAYSAYERS: Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and the critique of pop culture

Alex Ross

The New Yorker
September 15, 2014

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