Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
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ice-cream-girl 5

e-mail zeteojournal AT gmail   Conflict-connected pieces this season include: Moorel Bey: Is Rachel Dolezal Black? William Eaton: In Kant’s Wood.   Credit & Links Gun-in-mouth image first found on a Web post: These guns can’t kill you – they are ice cream, by one Marko, 23 August 2010. From the text: At first glance it […]

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By Moorel Bey   The recently resigned President of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Rachel Dolezal, a woman born to White parents, says that she identifies as “Black.” But what does this mean exactly? Is this different from being Black? And what does it mean to be […]

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In the wake of some monumental Supreme Court rulings, Jamelle Bouie of Slate.com is looking to the future, and discussing one particular case that looms large on the Court’s docket. The case, Fisher v. University of Texas, is making its second trip to the highest court, after a series of events that began in 2008 when […]


I remember a long book review from the 90s of a well-known New York film critic’s collection of weekly reports. The reviewer of the collected reports noted that of the 163 films that were considered, the critic only gave a positive grade to four. The tale is not apocryphal, and is worth retelling because we […]

Categories: Essay | 1 Comment
Bonnard La Sieste

By William Eaton   Maintenant; Ethel l’a compris . . . Now Ethel understood: it was the emotion of her great-uncle that was making her shiver. That such a tall and strong man was immobilized; it was because there was a secret in this house, a marvelous, dangerous, fragile secret; the least movement and everything […]


Matt Taibbi’s The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap jumps between stories about the tribulations of the poor and the brazen predation of the super-rich. Having read and recounted some of the former, I will try to summarize an example of the latter that gets special attention in the book. One of the most […]


Rita Dove was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 1993 when she was just forty years old. By then, though, she had written a few novels and several collections of poetry, including Thomas and Beulah (1986), which won the Pulitzer Prize. The poem below is not an example of how Dove confronts complex historical […]

Background Dad

Last December, here at Zeteo, I questioned the naturalistic theory that stress induces African-American parents to abuse their children at greater rates than do European-Americans (even when accounting for income disparity). Citing Jared Diamond‘s observation that communities residing in more dangerous environments tend to engage in harsher and more frequent physical punishment of children, I posed the rationalist theory that […]

Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment
hippo in Georgia

Sometimes philosophical queries peep out of the news, just beneath straightforward reporting. I began reading in Haaratz (an Israeli newspaper) expecting only news and the usual political rancor. But something philosophical or conceptual crept in, the issue of Israeli identity—not unlike the question of personal identity. Haaratz reported a conference presentation by Israel’s President Reuvin […]


            With the start of summer travel, I thought is was time to write an appreciation of the Bavarian island medieval town of Lindau, located on the eastern shore of Lake Constance (the Bodensee).  Lindau is close to the borders of Austria and Switzerland and can be reached by a short […]


Recent Comments

June 28, 2015

Lovely essay, one needed, a refreshing reminder of the pleasure of books and the joy each finds in a favorite volume. Most enjoyable and memorable. Thanks.

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June 25, 2015

I love this quote you forward from Bakhtin: “The world of culture and literature is essentially as boundless as the universe. We are speaking not about its geographical breadth (this is limited), but about its semantic depths, which are as bottomless as the depths of matter.” This suggests a sauntering philosophy taking note of the varied and not always transparent terrain. It means that both Kant and Newton (devoted to nailing down simplicity and knowledge) will never make contact with the world of "culture and literature." Rousseau and Thoreau and a number of ancient philosophers saw t...

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June 25, 2015

I wonder if the silences are only within? They are certainly that, but also they seem to cloak the night and why not the things themselves? The pain of incest silences those so subjected, and can hover over families and over the rooms and attics and beds stained and silenced. You write very movingly about these matters, giving voice to the silences of canvases, tins, and baths, letting their painful stillness be present to us and so not locked in a forever removed inner closet. I find this very moving.

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