I hate the Frankfurt School. Even more, I hate Theodor W. Adorno. Apart from his atrocious Sociology (I think his philosophy is ridiculous too, but I have not dealt with it in depth yet), he had a very bizarre opinion on Jazz.
However, he seemed to be a heavy fan of traffic lights. In 1962 he wrote the following words to the local newspaper:
“When crossing the Senckenberg plant, near the corner of Dantestraße, one of our secretaries was run over and seriously injured after a passerby had been killed in an accident at the same place a few days earlier. On the way to university, one has to run across the street in an unworthy way, as if one was running for his life. If a student, or a professor, is in the state that is actually appropriate for him, namely in his mind, then the threat of death is immediately prevalent.”
In consequence of his rant, albeit 25 years later, the city built the now-famous Adorno-Ampel in Frankfurt near his faculty. Kind of lovely anecdote.
I wish you all pleasant Sunday.
2 thoughts on “Sunday Poetry: Adorno about traffic lights”
I don’t know why you think the Frankfurt School is at issue in particular, nor why you would object to a traffic light if it actually did make crossing the street safer.
I would certainly need more than a few lines to illustrate my issues with the Frankfurt School in detail, this is not the scope of this series. However, I might get to this later.
And second, I do not object against traffic lights at all. Most of all because I have close to zero expertise on that. I just found his wording ” in the state that is actually appropriate for him, namely in his mind” both humorous and witty, which is why I chose this anecdote.