et Cetera

A quarterly journal of artistic essays and art criticism.


Vol. 73, No. 1, January

Why Journalists Lie: The Troublesome Times for Janet Cooke, Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, and Brian Williams
Journalists are typically thought of as being credible men and women who disseminate factual information to curious news consumers. They are the first on the scenes covering major events and then informing the public of what they have heard and observed....
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Live from New Yawk: Donald Trump Sounds like the Real Housewives of New York City Cast
Jeb Bush's campaign "ad's overarching accusation, though is that Mr. Trump is from New York. Within the span of one minute and 21 seconds we are reminded of where he comes from three times, his provenance presumably his greatest sin ... The next time...
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The Language of the Gods: An Analysis of the Possibility of Conceptual Schemes
Questions regarding the validity of alternative conceptual schemes have long pervaded the philosophy of language. Donald Davidson, in "On the Very idea of a Conceptual Scheme," levels one of the most concerted attacks against the validity of alternative...
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Of Hopis and Heptapods: The Return of Sapir–whorf
Exploring the complexity of language and communication, and how they influence human thinking and perception, has long been a staple of science fiction writers. From Robert Heinlein to A.E. van Vogt, subjects such as general semantics and the Sapir-Whorf...
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Fairy Tale: Swansong for Trump
But Paul [Manafort, the former Trump Campaign Manager] didn't know how to play the Trumpet-Maureen Dowd, "Open Letter From Mr. Trump," New York Times, August 21, 2016, 11Donald J. Trump supporters sell T-shirts emblazoned with 'Trump [italics mine] That...
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Photonics, Globalism, and Tribalism
[Over time] Man's communications technologies... have moved from the verbal, to the alphabetic, to the typographic, to the filmic, and to the electronic ..., [I]t would be absurd to presume that "electronic" is the end of the . . . technology chain....
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The Star Image and National Identity of Sessue Hayakawa and Marlene Dietrich
Many similarities exist between the lives and careers of Sessue Hayakawa and Marlene Dietrich. Both actors earned Oscar nominations but failed to win. Both were born in countries the United States later engaged in war. Although half a world separated...
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Groping "'Pussy' Galore":transporting Trump from Reality TV to Unreal Genre Fiction-Dystopia, Fairy Tale, and Science Fiction
Dystopia: The Donald and IThe door opens. Trump looks up, expecting Mike Pence.But it's two orderlies in white coats collecting the ex-presidential candidate, who lost in a landslide to Hillary after spending the fall being treated at Bellevue under...
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Vol. 72, No. 4, October

Black Holes as a Metaphysical Science
In a brilliantly mischievous interview with Spiegel, Italian author and theorist Umberto Eco argued that human fear of the infinite (which is to say, of death) is assuaged by lists, a gesture of imposing order on that which extends forever, beyond human...
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Vol. 72, No. 2, April

Revisiting the Happiness Formula
Happiness as Avoiding Semantic ShocksThis is a method that teaches you how to be happy without the beating.-Alfred KorzybskiThus it is that suffering greatens you, when you accept it.-Antoine de St. ExuperyAlfred Korzybski's extensional theory of happiness...
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Vol. 71, No. 2, April

Vitalism in Ivie
For a long time, I have had this ambitious impulse to boil down Prof. Robert L. Ivie's teachings into one word, doing so without being overly reductive. The word that works for me for now is "vitalism," which seems to capture the gist of productive criticism...
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Vol. 53, No. 4, Winter

Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography
David S. Reynolds. Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography. Vintage: New York, 1996. Walt Whitman said, "In estimating my volumes[,] the world's current times and needs [i.e., nineteenthcentury], and their spirit, must first be profoundly estimated."...
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