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Music for dancing is almost invariably 4/4 or perhaps for folk circumstances, ¾.
I think Adorno was making a sense of terminology and description which looks like what later will come to be described as the ‘trope’.
Televisual media also seems to replicate the stereotypes of people by way of what I would consider a physiognomy of character.
It also shows how terribly cliche so many of my favourite action and superhero films are, but that’s a topic way beyond the intention of this post.
Adorno and Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment ' Myth is already enlightenment; and enlightenment reverts to mythology' (Dialectic of Enlightenment XVI) Adorno and Horkheimer's obscure and nihilistic text Dialectic of Enlightenment (Do E) is an attempt to answer the question 'why mankind, instead of entering a truly human condition, is sinking into a new kind of barbarism' (Do E, p.xi).
We find this acceptable because even though she is brought to starvation by her poverty, we find her amusing demeanour and clumsiness to justify her as a character of worth.
The covert message here is that her intelligence is compensation for her poor situation, and in some way justifies it because she will end up okay for being intelligent, regardless of her circumstances.Similarly, the ‘virgin’ doesn’t die in a horror film, which in turn is a covert message that expresses the desirability of the demure.Consider how last year, when an off-colour comment from a police officer prompted ‘slut walks’ internationally, the messages about the normative constraints on respectable female behaviour were brought to the open from the covert. Adorno makes the point that the former distinction between ‘long haired’ and ‘short haired’ culture, or high and low art, is simultaneously obliterated and absorbed.I wish I knew some french or german word which captures this contradiction and ambiguity in a single instance.Adorno makes the point that the format of television shows create repetitive features, many of which establish a sense of expectation on the part of the audience, for instance, plotlines must resolve by the end of the episode, the good guy always wins and so forth.This reminds me instantly of music, and the expectations of many pieces of music.By defining tropes such as these, we can see what is cliche and what is genuinely challenging.Throughout this series I have posed the question of whether genuinely challenging and socially thought provoking cultural entities are still allowed to exist in the Adornian world.This is an interesting avenue for Adorno to explore psychoanalytical themes.Adorno makes the point of how 17th C to recent folk cultural works expres stories with symbolic gestures to enforce social norms and rules, these norms become internalised by the audience.