ENTELECHY: Mind & Culture


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 fall /winter 2003



Click on title to move to 'zine - or scroll down.


  Elegies...........................................robert kelly
  A Life of Intimate Fleeing........jennifer cazenave
  Like the Slave in
Story of the Birds........................jason stern



  Call to Prayer...............................paula superti
  The Letters to Anna .....................joseph shohan
Naked JPEG ............................natalie bronstein
Sparrow.........................................frank craig


  Why Do We Admire Effort
and Derogate Beauty?.................
john a. johnson
  A Morel in the Bush,
    Worth a Tour in the Can?
bill bakaitis 
  Defense Mechanisms in EP?: Nope.........james brody





 Creative Science, Naturally 
 A review of Nature’s Magic: Synergy in Evolution and the Fate of Humankind by Peter Corning
....................todd i. stark


Flower Girl........................megan jz
Home on the Range............cordley coit


  editor's musings:

Playing with Myself........................alice andrews   Meta Reviews..................w/jeff miller
Meta Study
..................alice andrews
In Defense of Naturalism
and Essentialism
alice andrews
The Semiotics
of Shoe Shapes
.............alice andrews



Issue  #2
Fall / Winter 2003






robert kelly

I want the new thing
the disclosure
men among the trees
crow feathers in their caps
protecting orde

the long legato of Vivica Genoux
embracing a castrato aria from Artaxerxes                 Johann Adolf Hasse

 because love is the slimmest
mercury, a fan dance of potash even,
measure me for a chessboard
feel my poor spine and listen
to that animal electric avatar

read more




II saw silence being buried in the interstice.

Child is kilthei, child is womb, child is unborn and waiting. He is mute and unacquainted
with signs, he is unseen and thus imaginary.
The womb is an opaque gate of clay and child is mindful, the Latin precursor to memory.

He is coiled because he wants to see his whole body.
But unborn he never says, I want to remember myself.

read more





Sorry to be so blunt. There's no romance about the obvious unless it’s so benign as to be made surprising
 by commenting. Mystery is the source of brilliance. Seeing
the glory of The lord is accomplished smugly by opening
the eyes to newness. By hook or by crook (or a simply volunteered gaze) it shall be done. What was it we were talking 'bout re hooking, hookers, poke-hers and pimps? Oh yeah, it was rhythm. Something glorious in that. Letting
the sound emit, ejaculate (yes even orgasms have rhythm) at a pace unencumbered by deliberation, agenda or any means of control. Like your breath in the cold
in the mountains when I heard it and found
something albeit heavenly in its cloudy brilliance.

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 Call to Prayer

paula superti

If I were to tell you I hate you now, would there be any strong reaction, an incident and then a failure? This time I've come to speak with you alone. I know, we are never alone. Grief is the only thing that anyone experiences alone, and although there is plenty of grief, that still doesn't account for the rest of the time we spend pressed together.

read more





The Letters to Anna

joseph shohan

Grass seed sprouted from his stomach

(Translation: He is dead: From a region where the graves are shallow, and unstable)


I have braided the grass from his marrow.

(Translation: I have tended his grave)


A little girl came to her laughing

(Tentative translation:  She gave birth to a daughter)  


She had the whole wind in her mouth

(Meaning unknown)


She had holes from the wind in her mouth    
(Meaning unknown)


Recently, in my work at the American Museum (I’m a volunteer), I was invited to sort through a packet of writing that arrived with a freezer case from R______. The freezer unit was put away sealed until we could get some idea of its contents. A few days later, a second iced box came to us, with a ruptured fuel cell and its contents going ripe. This one had a packing list. Both were medical packets and contained the wombs of animals, mostly dogs. An attached note said that the wombs were infected, probably with parasites, and that the parasites may (emphasis on may) have been responsible for a reported change in birth rates.  Moreover, the infection had crossed species lines. All domestic animals (except chickens) and all human populations in the collection area were said to be giving birth either to females exclusively, or to healthy females but deformed, short-lived males.

read more





frank craig




The Great Divine

I napped for a few minutes in an overstuffed chair in Barnes and Noble, and while regaining awareness, was startled by the bright image of a red-feathered bird on the cover of a large book. The photograph wasn't, however, of a bird, but of the "The Great Divine," a female impersonator. Nonetheless, his red swept-back wig, red v-shaped lips, and black eyebrows had the angularity and proportions of a bird's face. I've not since looked at fashion-plate, big-hair models or rock-n-roll, big-hair bands in quite the same way. After all, humans and birds share not only facial proportions but a long list of social behaviors including: vocal calls, territoriality, mating, flocking both to feed themselves and to defeat enemies, rearing offspring, and even choosing which offspring to rear. The loudest hatchlings and the loudest infants are fed first and most. They advertise their health by vigorous movements and the red color inside their beaks and mouths and on their lips.

 These striking parallels occur despite the presumed lack of a direct ancestral link between birds and humans. Evolutionary-developmental biology now tells us that metazoans share fundamental building blocks, known as Hox genes, and have done so for about 500 million years.

read more






Naked JPEG

natalie bronstein



I have this friend who’s into taking pictures with her boyfriend. I haven’t been all that interested, but they do it often and there’s a lot of drama over these naked photos. So I guess it finally got into me because a few days ago, I took a picture of myself by the window without my clothes on. And I looked at it on my computer and it was a nice photo — something about the trees in the background, something about my skin, which still seems to have a little life in it. So for fun, I put a small version of “Naked” in the middle of my computer screen — as art, not as narcissistic mirror.

 Last night my friend Yoni came over. 

read more





Rudy is a film, based upon a true story, of an untalented, five-foot runt with a burning desire to play football for Notre Dame. This obsession causes him to ignore ridicule and discouragement from those around him. After his applications to transfer from Holy Cross Junior College to Notre Dame are rejected repeatedly, he finally gains admission to the university and earns a spot on the football team. He works harder than all of his athletically gifted teammates, persisting through pain and lack of opportunity to play in a real game. The story has a happy ending: Rudy's teammates cajole the coach into allowing Rudy to play in the closing moments of the last home game, and Rudy tackles the opposing quarterback. His jubilant teammates carry him off the field on their shoulders.

  Reactions to Rudy's story inevitably include admiration and inspiration. We praise his tenacity, his persistent drive to achieve his goal, despite the odds. Now, let's contrast how we feel about Rudy with how we feel about a woman who, by conventional standards, is a natural beauty. Someone with gorgeous hair, a pretty face, clear, smooth skin, and a perfectly proportioned body regardless of what she eats or how much she exercises. Her natural beauty gives her all sorts of advantages over more ordinary women. She has her choice of men. Even men with no chance of romance with her treat her with deference and do special favors for her.

read more



I guess it had to happen. Parts of my radical farm boy past have finally caught up to me and caused me to be placed on a list of terrorist suspects. Mushrooms were involved morels, in fact. Here is how it happened.
On the Friday before Memorial Day I was driving home from a fishing trip to a nearby river. Morels in the mid-Hudson area of New York State are usually just about done by this time, but this year spring had been cool, wet and late, and when leaving the stream I chanced upon a single intact morel and the slug-eaten remains of a few more. I bagged the good one — along with the 12-inch brown trout I had opened in order to see what it was feeding on — thinking these two catches would fit nicely together in my fry pan later in the evening.

 On the drive home I decided to cast about for a few more morels, so I used the best technique I know of, one I have repeatedly advocated to readers of Mushroom: The Journal of Wild Mushrooming : look for and check under dead elms near the side of the road. Follow all traffic regulations and local laws, of course.

read more




A lady of uncertain decisions but sparkling prose remarked that she loved The Adapted Mind's (Barkow et al., 1992) chapter on "defense mechanisms" (Nesse and Lloyd, 1992). I remembered my antipathy to that same chapter but neither its content nor my reasoning and promised to give it another look.
"Defense mechanisms" grew from Freud’s scribblings, first Sigmund, then Anna (Kaplan & Sadock, 1998): that is, puns and slips of the tongue, inconsistency between what was said and what was done, differences between
infant and adult behavior, and forgetting of very large, nasty experiences reflected the interference of filters and lenses, erasers and amplifiers, called projection, incorporation, denial, displacement, suppression, repression, reaction formation, sublimation, or rationalization. (I'm missing several.) That is, memory is equal and accurate for all experiences; variable recall demands services from a team of special agents.

read more




In Nature's Magic, Peter Corning offers us good news and bad news. The good news is that chance, necessity, and natural selection aren't the only factors in our evolution. There is also a very real role for purpose (or more specifically, purposiveness.) The role of purposiveness has continued to increase over time.  

 The bad news is that our efforts to seek an underlying grand law or force that governs history may be fundamentally flawed. We may be more responsible for our own survival than we have so far been willing to recognize. 

read more




Flower Girl

megan jz




"My recent work is the result of my attempts to find out what it is to be human.  I wanted to experience passion in my life in the form of something I do from which there is an end product. I wanted to know what it is like to be focused, undistracted by my state or mood.  In this untapped medium, melting crayons on paper that is on a heated surface, the image changes swiftly because the continuous heat keeps the crayon in liquid form till I remove it from the heat source. This forces me to stay with it or I will lose any parts of the image I would have liked to have stayed static. Working with hot, melting, colored wax is my doorway to the present moment."

see more





Home on the Range

cordley coit

 photo: Deb Rebel

"As an investigating artist, I have places where the unspeakable horrors of country living occur. Isolated on the prairie, all kinds of stories evolve in the double wides, as the wind blows. A thirteen-year-old girl avenged by her brother using dad's magnum on dad. Everyday life on the hard scrabble can be hair-raising."

see more



editor's musings:


Playing with Myself *

alice andrews


*A Q & A with myself re my novel, Trine Erotic



Q.  What are some of the major questions you try to deal with in Trine Erotic?

A.  Well, there are quite a few: Is there free will? What is ‘the will’? What is and is there a single ‘I’? — a self? Are we determined by our genes? Can we (and how and what affect does it have to) go against our ‘nature’? What is the unconscious? Is it what evolutionary psychologists refer to as our universal human nature? Or is it something else? And how does it work? And is there a universal human nature? How does culture influence us? What is art? What is love? And is there something beyond our evolutionary, deep reflexes—some kind of ‘global brain,’ as Howard Bloom suggests, that is motivating us?


Q. You dedicate the book to every woman’s desire and the art within her and to alpha males everywhere. Does that mean it’s not for other males — say, Beta?


read more






Meta Study: Reactions to a Study on Female Sexuality

alice andrews


I read this on the Yahoo Evolutionary Psychology forum, and posted several messages. I found myself in a fairly heated debate with some pretty big and small fish in the field (pool), via private e-mails, as well as on the forum.

*Study suggests difference between female and male sexuality

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Three decades of research on men's sexual arousal show
patterns that clearly track sexual orientation -- gay men overwhelmingly become
sexually aroused by images of men and heterosexual men by images of women. In
other words, men's sexual arousal patterns seem obvious.

But a new Northwestern University study boosts the relatively limited research
on women's sexuality with a surprisingly different finding regarding women's
sexual arousal. In contrast to men, both heterosexual and lesbian women tend to become sexually
aroused by both male and female erotica, and, thus, have a bisexual arousal

read more

 *The researchers, J. Michael Bailey, Meredith L. Chivers, Gerulf Rieger, and Elizabeth Latty have made their paper "A Sex Difference in the Specificity of Sexual Arousal"  which is in press (Psychological Science), available.











After reading H. Allen Orr's review of Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate in The New York Review of Books, a friend political philosopher,  Jeff  Miller wrote:


EP <Evolutionary Psychologist>: The desire to rape is evolutionarily hard-wired. It's an inescapable part of ourselves.

RP <Reasonable Person>: Okay, that sounds plausible, seeing how widespread the phenomenon is. It's a good thing that we have an ethical system, grounded in certain conceptions of the person that stem from Enlightenment philosophers, which allow us to morally condemn rape and attempt to prevent it from happening.

EP: That's a result of evolutionary development, too!

RP: Oh . . . Well, would the desire for human autonomy which in its current articulation I would trace back again to the Enlightenment also be hard-wired? Would the desire, for example, of African-Americans for freedom prior to the Civil War and equal treatment during the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s also be something linked to hard-wired traits?

            read more


                                                 Jeff Miller


Being Brave:

In Defense of Naturalism and Essentialism

alice andrews


Often enough, and recently quite often, I hear (or hear behind my back) that someone has dismissed EP—and me—as ‘conservative’ or reactionary. The truth is, EP and its adherents probably cover the political spectrum quite well. But my guess is—contrary to the opinion of many—the majority of evolutionary psychologists will be found hovering somewhere in the center and on the left of the political spectrum. Peter Singer, who wrote, A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation is not alone!

And here's Daniel Dennett in his latest book Freedom Evolves:

 "Where I think they go wrong [detractors of naturalism] is in lumping the responsible, cautious, naturalists (like Crick and Watson, E. O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, and myself) in with the few reckless overstaters, and foisting views on us that we have been careful to disavow and to criticize." [p.20] 1


 This idea of the unjustified attack on naturalists from the left is a major theme in Pinker's The Blank Slate. And he explains that the essentialist/social constructionist battle during the 70s, where many sociobiologists were the targets of picketing, name-calling and water-dousing, was particularly rough.

read more




The Semiotics of Shoe Shapes

alice andrews

I showed some of Warren Beatty’s Reds to my sociology class a few weeks ago, to give them a flavor of left and right wing ideology and to give them a little historical perspective. In the film, the revolutionary journalist Jack Reed, who wrote Ten Days That Shook the World, who wrote: “All I know is that my happiness is built on the misery of others....and that fact poisons me, disturbs my serenity, makes me write propaganda when I would rather play” comes down on his beloved Louise Bryant for writing a piece about the Armory Show which had occurred three years prior, while the country is in the midst of war and the possibility of changing the world is imminent. Reed has this deep sense of social responsibility to inform and radicalize readers and he’s irritated with Bryant for her lack of interest in, passion for, and commitment to the ideals of the workers’ movement—for being interested in stale ideas about nothing and which would do nothing.

Well, I must confess, I feel a little like Louise Bryant here. Alas, I have no Warren Beatty (Jack Reed) to rail upon me—but I have internalized him—and he’s angry! My writing about sex and shoes right now feels a little like Bryant writing about the Armory Show of 1913 when it’s 1916, about dead art in the wake of fertile revolution.

read more



 My letter to the New Paltz Times supporting the Board of Education's decision
to get rid of standardized testing for 2nd graders.






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