Note from the Editor

Howard Dean presented as the "liberal" threat to the main DLC-type contenders for the democratic nomination (Kucinich's name is not even announced anymore); gay marriage discussed as a threat to civilization, requiring a possible amendment to the Constitution to save the sanctity of the already-threatened institution (hey, don't forget the flag); Bush's credibility gap nicely put on the back burner thanks to the "new," latest threats to America's safety, brought to you courtesy of the Ashcroft & Ridge Chorus and the Sunday News Shows; the war in Iraq is going well, sing the pundits whose relatives do not serve there; things are dandy -- even the economy is looking better, say the same employed pundits to the employed talking heads; and thanks to an enlightened Senate a bill to increase automobile fuel economy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions was defeated. The ozone layer is on the mend; Iraqi oil is in our hands... Life is Good!

Don't be surprised if Phil Rockstroh and Scott Orlovsky take exception to this rosy picture and the current but oh-so-repetitive palaver. Then think about these two kinds of realities: on the one hand, look at the increasing disconnect between workers and production in our consumerist society, as Richard Macintosh shows in an excellent analysis; look also, with Michael Stowell, at the ominous road our "developed" societies are taking toward self-destruction -- bananas being only one example among many; and see with Phil Greenspan how fear drives the bargain and controls us all. Then, on the other hand, read Fidel Castro... The contrast in outlook and outcomes could not be sharper -- like night and day, death and life, despair and hope.

But these differences will never be brought to the attention of the larger public. We have the main, corporate-owned media to thank for this silence -- and a few intellectuals (but that's another story). Jim Craven says it loud and clear as he brings forth a few illuminating examples, and Deck Deckert thunders his outrage at the whoring media (no disrespect to the whores, as Jim Craven says. At least they are straightforward in regard to their business -- no trompe l'oeil there!).

Were it not for Louis Proyect's journey into an author who was relatively obscured (not the right politics, one would surmise), yet one of the most powerful and acute spy-novelists in the past century, and were it not for Sabina Becker's almost ironic poem, one could infer that this edition of Swans has much to do with being upset and puking at the bloodily destructive status quo.

This would be a correct inference...

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.


America: Myths and Realities

Phil Rockstroh:  Freedom and Imagination

Experiencing the uncertainties inherent in living in Freedom can be daunting, bewildering, even terrifying.   More...


Scott Orlovsky:  Hypocrisy And Oxymoron

1. Formula for Fascism----aggrandizement of federal power + corporatism + mainstream media monopoly + military precedence + patriotic nationalism + limitations of civilian liberties.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Richard Macintosh:  Pumpkin Pine

People are intertwined with their labors, the products thereof being more than mere objects of consumption.   More...


Michael W. Stowell:  Impotent Bananas

Curious apes, aren't we? Interminably manipulating and tool making, ever fiddling with things that don't concern us...happy we are, probing and prodding, searching for another frontier.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  The Irrational Fear Of A Violent Death

"So first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."   More...


Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz:  Moncada's 50th Anniversary Speech

It seems almost unreal to be here in this same place 50 years after the events we are commemorating today, which took place that morning of July 26, 1953. I was 26 years old back then; today, 50 more years of struggle have been added to my life.   More...


Main Media & Propaganda

James M. Craven:  Taboo Questions

I have been a teacher of economics for some 27 years. One of the extra-credit assignments that I give, and have given for some years, involves the following assignment: "With respect to any culture, any period of history and any person or persons with real power over life and death, present a list of taboo questions that, if posed, would likely get the person posing them either killed and/or a totally destroyed career."   More...


Deck Deckert:  The Media Gives Bush A Free Ride

The American media is shocked, SHOCKED that President Bush apparently accidentally mislead us about Iraq's nuclear capability.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  Eric Ambler's A Coffin For Dimitrios

Until recently, the name Eric Ambler meant about as much to me as it probably did to most people. He was just a spy novelist from the 1940s and '50s who had lapsed into obscurity.   More...



Sabina C. Becker:  Offensive Prayer

You may weep and fast
and weep and pray
you may.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Gilles d'Aymery's essay about a Green ticket for the 2004 US presidential elections and on Michael Parenti's article on Tibet.   More...



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Created: August 11, 2003