Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Steve Allen 1921-2000

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Steve Allen 1921-2000

Article excerpt

Steve Allen, pioneering television entertainer, producer, song writer, author of over 50 books, and longtime member of ISGS, died in October 2000. His general-semantics related activities included participation in an Institute of General Semantics seminar-workshop held at Santa Barbara, California, and the writing of prefaces to books published by ISGS and IGS. Mr. Allen's book Dumbth, published in 1989, includes a chapter on general semantics. The following two poems by Mr. Allen appeared in ETC, Winter, 1988, and Fall, 1990, respectively.

The Arithmetic


Let me see if I can figure it out:

the arithmetic of death.

One man getting killed five feet from you, with his blood (close your eyes and look at the sun. That's how red)

spattering your shoes

Is worth, from the standpoint of sympathy or concern or even interest:

Two men getting killed in the next room

Four men in the next block

Eight men in the next town

Sixteen men in the next state

Thirty-two men in the next nation.

Why does it suddenly jump to ten thousand on the other side of the world?

Detective Story


A dictionary's a detective story

With clues to long-forgotten crimes of state and tribe,

For victors bring and leave their language

And losers never totally submit.

It's good for languages to intermingle;

Too bad it's done at such a bloody price. …

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