Welcome to the Zeteo Fall Issue 2012. In a United States election year we began with the idea of choice. We challenged writers to speak about the choices human beings make not only in politics, but also as consumers, spectators and thinkers. We proposed that choice might be an illusion—our “choices” channeled by economic regimes, education, custom, biology, family dynamics.
Zeteo is an interdisciplinary but not undisciplined journal. In this issue you will find pieces that speak directly about our choices. Catherine Vigier, in an essay about women and pop music, asks, “Are the only paths open to young women today the go-getting, aggressive individualism of the Madonna model, or the Del Rey turn inward that can lead to self-destruction and despair?” Caterina Gironda takes a fresh look at an ongoing debate: Is rape a kind of political choice, a means of domination, or is it a male drive, a product of evolution, of the struggle to reproduce?
All the pieces in this issue concern choice, but I would like to call attention to a second theme that has emerged: struggle. Ed Mooney writes about Thoreau’s struggle with personal grief and with his rage at the fugitive slave law. Fritz Tucker uses words and pictures to tell of the struggle of the people of Nepal to gain more autonomy (the ability to make choices for themselves.) Daniel Taub writes about one of the most basic struggles in the conquered, immigrant country that is the United States: to fit in, to not be the other, the outsider. While his piece focuses on American Jews, Taub, for example, also quotes from an Indian American: “When my mom spoke Hindi to me in the grocery store, I hated it; I froze, tense with embarrassment and pretended not to hear.” In the midst of such dissimulation, a search for the real “me” might seem an attractive choice, were it not for the demons one may be forced to wrestle with along the way. (This an allusion to my own piece about psychotherapy and The King’s Speech.)
We hope that you will enjoy reading these pieces as much as we have enjoyed working on them.
With best wishes, Wm. Eaton