Note from the Editor

The first paragraph of our "About" page reads, "In a time of revisionism, faux-semblant, spinning news and skewed information, Swans is about thinking, questioning, observing and providing a forum for ideas that is lacking in the mainstream media" (yes, it's the forum that is lacking...). Well, this rendition has much to do with the mainstream media. Phil Rockstroh equates it to a soul-sucking monster in the form of Medusa, whom he fantasizes beheading. Richard Macintosh begs for a return to true journalists in the likes of Ernie Pyle or I.F. Stone and away from the fabricated, embedded robots with their nightly reading of the official party line. Eli Beckerman screams out against remaining silent in the face of the mainstream marketing machine; and Gerard Donnelly Smith takes on that very machine, whose heart-sickening racist advertising glorifies Custer, the stereotypes about a blood-sucking past and a total obfuscation of the genocide of Native Americans. It may be many moons before any of their desires are fulfilled or their views embraced, but Swans will continue to provide this forum for expression. Again, it's not the ideas that are lacking, but the forum that is missing...

On the sunny side of the equation, Scott Orlovsky puts forward his optimism for the New Year when, with the winter solstice behind us, we will all look at the brightness of the on-going light of life; and Vanessa Raney offers an allegory on the season of benevolence.

In the meantime, the silly pre-electoral season continues unabated with its political posturing and event positioning. Our co-editors add their own take on what can be expected from the 2004 "polls" and the "gotcha" ball game. Hint: with the Dow inching up, Saddam smoked out, Howard Dean smoked in, the Greens gone D.O.A. and the antiwar movement on life support, the big white boys are back in business....biiiiiiiig time, assuming they were out in the first place, which they were not... We are not back to square one. We never left home plate. As the dreaded French would say, c'est la vie. Vive Free Market Corpocracy!

Fittingly, new contributor Scott Albers reviews Amy Chua's excellent book, World on Fire, which examines how "free market democracy breeds ethnic hatred and global instability." Hard to be suckered again and again, isn't it? So, we end with a poem by e.e. cummings that will remind readers that the beauty and mystery of life is not a fable, whatever the big boys say and do.

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:  On Approaching The Medusa Of Mass Media

Protected only with a shield of irony, we venture forth to meet the soul-sucking monster that has laid waste to the land. We, the few, the indignant, the defiant, the dejected, the heartsick, and the queasy fight this apparition that holds dominion in empty air.   More...


Richard Macintosh:  Journalists And Pretenders

Recently, Australian author/journalist, John Pilger, wrote about the loss of integrity among writers and a corresponding dearth of journalists who are willing to go out and report events as they see them. Real journalists seem to be missing, these days, having been replaced by party hacks and those who kiss the hand of the person who feeds them.   More...


Eli Beckerman:  A Silent Wind

I open up my mouth with the intent of vocalizing, yet nothing comes out. This is a dream I had as a child -- a nightmare, actually. I was trying to scream for help because there was an intruder. But all I could muster was an eerie wind of silence, compounding the despair.   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Custer Didn't Have To Die: If He'd Only Had A Cell Phone!

On a recent discussion forum called " Circle" the following example of ignorance, and/or lack of education about genocide against American Indians, was posted by a user named Sky Davis.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Scott Orlovsky:  Music Of The Sun

Many peoples have in the past and still in the present associate the chief deity of the cosmos with the sun. Early peoples understood and revered this omni-present object as the author of light, heat, and life, and feared its dark, cold absence.   More...


Vanessa Raney:  To Save A Man

I want to tell a story. It takes place on the planet Benevolence. It wasn't always called that, though.   More...


Humor with a Zest

Gilles d'Aymery:  They Got Him

What do you mean they got him, I asked. Who's him, Saddam? . . . Howard Dean, my Republicrat neighbor answered this Sunday morning.   More...


Jan Baughman:  White House Polemics

The following enlightening conversation was picked up by Barnie Cam, as Barney the First Dog taped the president and his chief of staff...   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Scott Albers:  Amy Chua's World on Fire

Amy Chua's World on Fire is the most important political work to be written in the past ten years, and perhaps the most important political work to be written since the fall of the Berlin Wall.   More...



e. e. cummings:  LVII

somewhere I have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:   More...



– If you wish to receive an e-mail regarding each new rendition (twice a month) with the Note from the Editor and the URL to each article, please send an e-mail with "Subscribe Swans" in the subject line. Please also include your first/last name in the body of the message.



« Previous | Current Issue | Next »


Created: December 25, 2003