Note from the Editor

The US squeaked through the 2004 elections, Ukraine tried and failed with some help from the NED, and next in line is Iraq, gearing up to exercise the gift of the "greatest democracy on earth." It will happen in January, even if we have to kill every last freedom-loving Iraqi and level a few more cities to make it so. One of these days, in some utopian and distant future, the entire world will become a big, peaceful Democracy, with no one left alive but weeds to go to the polls...

The hidden costs of war are revealed by Charles Marowitz in the psychic legacy that leaves no visible scars and earns its victim no purple heart, but burns its mark on society...and it's gonna have to get worse before hordes of disillusioned rise up through the weeds to break this orgiastic folly, says Manuel García. Jan Baughman appeals to the pool of marketing talent out there -- can someone, anyone, please enlist your ad agency to represent humanity? There must be hope of ending this cycle of violence and oppression in our lifetimes... Gerard Donnelly Smith envisions a speech by a truly compassionate president declaring National Gay and Lesbian Independence Week! Gerard's words should be compared to those of Lockheed Martin's chief executive, Robert J. Stevens ("Lockheed and the Future of Warfare," by Tim Weiner, The New York Times, November 28, 2004) -- "Today, Lockheed is building weapons so smart that they can change the world by virtue of their precision. . . . . With technology we've been able to make ourselves more secure and more humane. . . . . I don't say this lightly, our industry has contributed to a change in humankind."

One giant step for Lockheed, the military-industrial complex and the killing fields of our newly revised "Utopia;" one catapult backwards for humankind... Read, in that context, Milo Clark's analysis of Pentagon strategist Tom Barnett's new "us vs. them" paradigm, where "globalization personalized is Wal*Mart and Wal*Mart is America." (Remember, it used to be GM that personified America -- cf. "Engine Charlie Wilson," in 1953.) Amusingly, Wal*Mart has broken with its world-wide policy of banning unions -- in PR China, that is... GM, Wal*Mart, Lockheed..."it's all the same fucking shit, man!" (Janis Joplin)

In fact, let's just heed Phil Rockstroh's antidote -- turn on some jazz and get drunk on Coltrane instead of militarism, mass media escapism, and consumerism. Not only can the arts warm the heart and soothe the soul; perhaps they can even bridge, in some small way, great divides such as those between Israelis and Palestinians. Phil Greenspan reports on a Palestinian art exhibit that created a furor in Westchester County, New York, was allowed to go on thanks to the efforts of many activists, and occasioned much-needed dialogue. Fiction depicts conflict in chapter one of Joe Davison's yet unpublished novel, Gerry's War, about a paramilitary prisoner released under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement; and poetry is represented in a Smith poem to the "disappeared" victims of war, and a Scott Orlovsky prose on the history of the Christian far right and its atrocities, from Constantine to George W. Bush.

The Martian blips examine our dead-checking, psycho-ethnocentric soon-to-be-completely-illiterate culture that looks to the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich for inspiration...among other tidbits. Finally, John Steppling reviews the previous edition and, as usual, we've a few letters from friends and foes alike. Of course, you did subscribe to Bruce Anderson's new Weekly, didn't you?

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.


Patterns Which Connect

Charles Marowitz:  The Hidden Costs Of War

The fear that if and when the US forces leave Iraq the region will be plunged into civil war is one that troubles the West as much as it does the Middle East. But there is an even greater danger and it is one that directly threatens America rather than Afghanistan or Iraq.   More...


Manuel García, Jr.:  Newtonian America

Only external force can make the U.S. change its policy. We have to lose a war. Conditions must deteriorate significantly -- such as the Euro takeover William Clark writes so convincingly about, draining oil wars and "terrorist" attacks in the U.S. -- so that the "sorry" crowd, who are mainly Anybody-But-Bush Democrats, become radicalized into forming a strong 3rd party with Nader or a similar authentic alternative;   More...


Jan Baughman:  Marketing Humanity

Marketing is a powerful and skilled tool to influence and manipulate the truth. It has convinced us that military assault vehicles are the cool cars of choice for running urban errands.   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Remarks Of The President Of The United States On Gay And Lesbian Policy

THE PRESIDENT: Welcome to the White House for the kickoff of Gay and Lesbian Independence Week. Today we honor the ties of friendship, and family, and faith that unite the Gay and Lesbian people and the people of the United States.   More...


Milo Clark:  Functioning Core And Non-integrating Gap

Tom Barnett is a wake-up-call kind of guy. He has a properly iconoclastic point of view. He decodes Pentagon jargon. He has a gut feel for strategic design. He wants to be seen and remembered as the twenty-first century's Admiral Mahan and George Kennan, father and son.   More...


Phil Rockstroh:  Dying Empire Bebop: The Sedition Of Ecstatic Novelty

With the season being fall -- perhaps I should let some illusions fall away like dead leaves. Outside my apartment window, across a wind-blown courtyard, the crimson leaves of a white oak are falling into a swirling breeze, revealing the gnarled limbs and stark branches of the time-battered tree beneath. Nature is enacting fall's blazing spectacle...   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Blowback For The Bigots

It was late Friday night, November 12. I had just pressed "Get Mail" and "Urgent" caught my eyes, as e-mails were rolling up my computer screen. The message disclosed that Ryan Scott Karben, a New York State Assemblyman from Rockland County, was attempting to close a Palestinian Art Exhibit that had been booked at the Westchester County Center for the evening of November 20.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book...and the AVA OREGON!

Gilles d'Aymery:  Bruce Anderson's AVA Oregon!

We're keeping this shameless plug for Bruce Anderson's new paper in the spirit of the holiday season: Support your independent press!

So, did you get the very first issue of Bruce Anderson's new Weekly, the AVA Oregon! in your mailbox this week? I did!!!   More...


Short Story

Joe Davison:  Gerry's War

On Saturday, April 11, the Good Friday Agreement overcame its first test with 55 members of Ulster Unionist Party Executive voting for and 23 voting against. The Agreement was drafted and signed by both the Irish and British governments on Good Friday, 1998, after protracted negotiations with republican and unionist parties involved in the conflict.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Birds in the Bush

His hands like birds flurried, but even those could not save him
from the natural causes of his demise, so they say.
They will not release his town or his name
from the steel cabinet the military keeps.   More...


Scott Orlovsky:  Liberal Evangelical

moral values you say—
of who?
the self-lobotomized bigots?
the televangelist blackshirts?
the ritual cannibalists awaiting the rapture?   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #7

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk: What a culture it is that promotes dead-checking and psycho killers; the deportation of immigrants on the flimsiest of reason, tearing entire families apart; the closing of libraries for lack of funding, while a virgin mary sandwich sells for $28,000! What does selling thongs with your name emblazoned on the front denote? How could so-called Beyond War anti-warriors, like the conceited folks at the foundation for global community, vote for a pro-war candidate? What's the meaning of it all, besides doom? and more tidbits, including the "Boonville News," treated with lightness of being and bon enfant candor...   More...


Letters to the Editor


John Steppling, in between moves, manages to file his review...and quite a few other people have their say on post-election blues, conspiracies here and there, and even an attack on Bruce Anderson (and this hapless editor)...   More...



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Created: December 3, 2004