The first argument raised by Hodkinson, was a discussion from some scholars from the Frankfurt school, Adorno and Horkheimer (1997). They argue that through media the capitalist logic, surrounded by reason and rationality was suffocating and killing independent critical thought and creativity of individuals. According to Adorno (1991), this was because art and music have become a ‘mass commodity’ and commercialised. As a consequence, in order to make the most of profit everything is standardised and regulated. Such products make the process of consumption simple and repetitive instead of challenging and stimulating critical thoughts (cited in Hodkinson, 2011). For example, in Hollywood films ‘as soon as the film begins, it is quite clear how it will end, and who will be rewarded, punished, or forgotten’ (Adorno and Horkheimer 1997 cited in Hodkinson, 2011). However, ‘standardized commodity objects’ are shown with a ‘deceptive veil of difference’, through plots and twists which makes standardization acceptable to people (Adorno, 1990 cited in Hodkinson, 2011). However, the text also presents some counterarguments demonstrating some impartiality and neutrality.
Hodkinson firstly highlights strong aspects of the Frankfurt School’s theory, in which he agrees how most contemporary popular music, television programmes and films have predictable and standardised themes. He emphases through rhetorical questions the weakest aspects of the theory, in which he reinforces the idea that no one can decide how human life should be and decide what is creative or not. He also argues that the ‘Frankfurt scholars underestimate the possibility that the pursuit of profit can promote in certain circumstances innovation and change’.