Monthly Archives: April 2012

Aztek dokumentary (HUM225/HUM455)

Here’s a documentary film about the Aztecs. It’s typical History Channel fare: hyperactive, lurid, long on re-enactments and factoids rather than sustained reflection, full of superfluous computer graphics, and sententiously scored. But it will give you a general understanding of the Aztec Empire which might come in handy for our study of Sesshu Foster’s novel.

Slideshow (HUM225)

Culture Industry (HUM225)

“Real life is becoming indistinguishable from the movies. The sound film, far surpassing the theatre of illusion, leaves no room for imagination or reflection on the part of the audience, who is unable to respond within the structure of the film, yet deviate from its precise detail without losing the thread of the story; hence the film forces its victims to equate it directly with reality. The stunting of the mass-media consumer’s powers of imagination and spontaneity does not have to be traced back to any psychological mechanisms; he must ascribe the loss of those attributes to the objective nature of the products themselves, especially to the most characteristic of them, the sound film. They are so designed that quickness, powers of observation, and experience are undeniably needed to apprehend them at all; yet sustained thought is out of the question if the spectator is not to miss the relentless rush of facts.”

— Adorno and Horkheimer, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception