From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Feb 09 2006 - 23:30:36 PST
This is a word many folks only associate with freudianism and sexual
obsession. However, that is not, at base, what the word means: it's
general defn. is neither particularly creepy or pejorative. It is 'an
object believed to have magical properties.' In Marx's theory of the
commodity this notion of magic is akin to 'something somone pays too much
attention to at the expense of attention to other things.' Apparently
several current video-games use the term for objects players may acquire
that have unusual powers: e.g. a pistol that always shoots the player's
enemy between the eyes.
The etymology of the term -- which has 'charm' or 'totem' as the closest
synonym at its derivation -- goes back to the Latin for 'artificial' and
'to make.' So all art might be said, merely descriptively, to be a
I brought it up in something akin to the marxist sense, meaning to
'fetishize' is to isolate something from the big picture, to fail to see
the forest for the trees, as it were. Hardly a compliment, but nothing, I
think to get too disturbed about...
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.