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In his late essay "Free Time" (1969), much of it addressing the issue of "hobbies," Adorno turns his gaze to the body, specifically the body on the beach, and the cultural politics of people preparing themselves to be looked at. He connects such bodies to the advertising for the cosmetics and leisure industries, and to the inculcation of a form of self-desire and drive. The example is tanning. "An exemplary instance is the behavior of those who let themselves roast brown in the sun merely for the sake of a tan, even though dozing in the blazing sun is by no means enjoyable, even possibly physically unpleasant, and certainly makes people intellectually inactive. With the brown hue of the skin, which of course in other respects can be quite pretty, the fetish character of commodities seizes people themselves; they become fetishes to themselves. . . . The state of dozing in the sun represents the culmination of a decisive element of free time under the present conditions: boredom."190 Boredom, he clarifies, is a social phenomenon; it is "objective desperation"—an objective condition of Western subjectivity.191
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Though famously difficult, a great deal of Adorno's writing is in short form;193 many examples, pointedly aphoristic, are not more than a few pages long. The 153 aphorisms constituting for example, vary in length from a single brief paragraph to as many as six pages (most are one or two pages); and much the same is true for the last section ("Notes and Drafts") of Adorno's free-standing essays seldom exceed thirty pages and are often shorter. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the two late monographs, Adorno's longest, and The former is organized, conventionally, into three large parts, two of which are further subdivided into chapter-like sections. The nearly four hundred pages of more extreme, appear entirely without chapter division.194