from "Maya Lin: A Clear Strong Vision"

from "Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision"

These clips are from the Academy Award-winning documentary, "Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision" directed by Freida Lee Mock (1994). They reflect the extremes of contemporaneous evaluations (1981-82)of what it (the Vietnam Memorial design) meant and was in the eyes of supporters and detractors.

The pronouncements by Tom Carhart in the first clip bring to mind Thoreau's diagnosis in Walden: "... our vision does not penetrate the surface of things. We think that that is which appears to be."

"I thought that the most insulting and demeaning memorial to our Vietnam experience that was possible. I don't care about artistic perceptions. I don't care about the rationalizations that abound. One needs no artistic education to see this memorial design for what it is—a black scar; black—the universal color of sorry and shame and degradation in all races and in all societies worldwide; in a hole, hidden as if out of shame."

Confusing one's own individual evaluation or judgment of something with the something itself, while explicitly denying the validity of other perceptions, amounts to a pathological mis-evaluation of the relationship between the world "out there" and the world "in here" (our individual nervous system sensing, constructing, and evaluating).

Here's Something About GS cover

Here's Something About General Semantics:
A Primer for Making Sense of Your World

ISBN 978-0-9824645-0-2; 290 pages. FREE!
Available in eBook format (PDF) for immediate purchase and download.

Hereís Something About GS provides a thorough yet accessible overview of this misunderstood and under-appreciated discipline, reflecting work Iíve done in learning, teaching, and writing about general semantics for more than 13 years. It explains and demonstrates principles that promote an ongoing awareness of differences that make a difference. Learn how language and other symbols influence how you perceive your world, how you respond to your perceptions, and how you think-and-talk about your responses.

As a former student wrote: "This class was so much different from any class I've taken in college thus far. In my opinion, it was a class teaching us how to think, rather than what to think."

For example, some of the topics commented on include:

  • A fence sieve language
  • Eating menus
  • Definitions vs. meanings
  • Tips for playing roulette
  • Defending the swastika (ooh, controversy!)
  • Making a federal case out of bad words (ooh, more blanking controversy!)
  • Word magic
  • Calling out the symbol rulers
  • Lay off of my persuade shoes
  • Symptoms of language misbehaviors
  • Semantic pollution
  • The bridge at Neverwas

The book is filled with examples, quotes, and has over 50 illustrations. It includes 13 pages of Notes and Sources and an Index of Names with over 250 entries. It has links to additional online material to augment the content, including links to more than 150 video clips. Itís written for a general audience, but could be especially useful for teachers who want to introduce GS principles to supplement a secondary school curriculum, or even as a module in a college-level humanities or social sciences course. Iíve included some introductory materials for those who know nothing about GS; some more in-depth explanations and descriptions including published articles, newspaper columns, and presentations I've made; and some history about the people and organizations that have been involved with GS over the years. Click here to read an excerpt, review the Contents, order, and download now!

Interested in an excerpted video? Check out the Bib-Vid-liography listings here.

Consider:

We discriminate against people to the degree we fail to distinguish between them.—Irving J. Lee
We think that is which appears to be.—Henry David Thoreau
To a mouse, cheese is cheese. That is why mouse traps are effective.—Wendell Johnson

More Quotes to Consider

Learn About ThisIsNotThat

Fundamental Aspects

By, About Steve Stockdale