Theodor Adorno: Free Time


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German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno is a key figure in the post-war Frankfurt School of critical theory and one of the top writers every graduate student in North America pretends to have read more extensively than they actually have. Well, we should all stop pretending and hit the books, because Adorno's work on the culture industry, especially the ways in which manufactured "entertainment" actually poison the true experience of leisure, is more relevant now than it was in Adorno's lifetime. In this episode, Joe & Josh serve as temporarily reliable guides to Adorno's prophetic analysis, before being derailed by complaints about their own laziness and their culture-industry-induced preoccupation with conspiracy theories. Capitalism wins again! Still, if you listen carefully, they're clearly on the cusp of Mündigkeit, which might just transform the free time they waste podcasting into freedom proper.

Either way, read the damn essay and make up your own mind: