While We Were Weeping
A lot of people are put in solitary confinement “and they find the end of the world. For me, I found a new world. I found a world of self. That’s where I learned how to think. It’s where I learned how to read. It’s where I learned how to cry. I needed that so much.” — Max Cerda, “Death Is Contagious.” As quoted by Steven A. Burr, Reading, Violence, Solidarity, Zeteo, 5 December 2016.
In these unhappy times, we are pleased, if only, not to have stopped reading, writing, and reflecting.
“Homme, es-tu capable d’être juste ? (Man, are you capable of being just?) C’est une femme qui t’en fait la question ; tu ne lui ôteras pas moins ce droit. (It’s a woman who is asking this question; you will, at least, not take this right from her.) Dis-moi ? Qui t’a donné le souverain empire d’opprimer mon sexe ? Ta force ? Tes talents ? (Tell me: Who gave you the sovereignty to oppress my sex? Your strength? Your talents?) — Olympe de Gouges, introduction to her Déclaration des droits de la femme et de la citoyenne, September 1791. (English translations of the title: Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen; or simply, Declaration of the Rights of Women.) As quoted by Emily Sosolik in Woman, Wake Up! Know your Rights, Zeteo, 5 December 2016.
Between the watchlist of liberal professors and the proposed religious registry, the United States is back somewhere between McCarthyism and Nazi Germany. Are we ready to learn again how lofty values may be used to manipulate, confuse, and exploit people?
You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody
— Bob Dylan, “Gotta Serve Somebody.” As quoted by Chic Smith in Dylan: “Gotta Serve Somebody”, Zeteo, 28 November 2016.
The people loaded down with Christmas shopping bags, the relentless commercials, electronic devices, TV sports, and pop music—are we being sold on mindless barbarity?
Heidegger’s “starting point was reality in its everyday clothes, yet he also spoke in Kierkegaardian tones about the strangest experiences in life, the moments when it all goes horribly wrong—and even the moments when we confront the greatest wrongness of all, which is the prospect of death.” — Sarah Bakewell, At the Existentialist Café. As quoted by Walter Cummins in Existentialism / Biography / Being in the World, Zeteo, 29 November 2016.
We thought that—in the latest of Zeteo’s never-ending evolutions—we were no longer publishing Spring and Fall issues. One of the nicer surprises of November 2016 was to find ourselves with the set of pieces noted here, and which we decided to call our Spontaneous Fall Issue.
“To designate a hell is not, of course, to tell us anything about how to extract people from that hell, how to moderate hell’s flames. Still, it seems good in itself to acknowledge, to have enlarged, one’s sense of how much suffering caused by human wickedness there is the world we share with others. Someone who is perennially surprised that depravity exists, who continues to feel disillusioned (even incredulous) when confronted with evidence of what humans are capable of inflicting in the way of gruesome, hands-on cruelties upon other humans, has not reached moral or psychological adulthood.” — Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others. As quoted by William Eaton in Sontag, Hell, Thinking, Politics, Zeteo, 20 December 2016
Could it be said that, like children—or being still children—we are trying to learn how to share?
inthe,exquisite; / morning sure lyHer eye s exactly sit,ata little roundtable . . .
and, b etw ee nch air st ott er s thesillyold / WomanSellingBalloonS
— E.E. Cummings poem (identified by first line: Inthe,Exquisite). As quoted by J.R. Sumser in Cartier-Bresson, Senior, Trump (Gaps), Zeteo, 30 November 2016.
With best wishes to all in this holiday season,
The Zeteo Team
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