Wednesday, January 27, 2021

"Hobbyless victims" in Basel teen slang and "hobby ideology" in Adorno

A few years ago, when my son was in his mid-teens, young people in Basel would insult each other with the expression "hobbyloses Opfer" ("hobbyless victim"). My now teenage daughters say this expression is now old-fashioned (such are the vagaries of slang trends). But today it crossed my mind when I came across Theodor Adorno's phrase "hobby ideology", which I have now found the source of, the 1969 radio lecture "Free Time" ("Freizeit"), in which Adorno refers to the "naturalness of the question of what hobby you have" and adds, "Woe betide you if you have no hobby." Little did Basel's teens know in the mid-2010s that they were all Adornians. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 27 January 2021)


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