Note from the Editor

No New Year's edition would be complete without our Infamous Predictions™ -- a collection of mostly irreverent, sometimes silly, often wishful-thinking forecasts for the year ahead, contributed -- under the present circumstances -- by anonymous sources! 2006 promises much news fodder, with more US political scandals, investigations, allegations, Constitutional battles, and, one hopes, accountability for those who hold themselves above the law. We'll see which of our predictions come to pass...

All silliness aside, one far-reaching concern for the future is the growth of fundamentalism and extremism world-wide -- Milo Clark takes a deep breath over the matter, and may we not asphyxiate, as he concludes. To witness a crime is to witness something that requires our action; Michael Doliner correlates our somnambulant culture to that which turned a blind eye on racial injustice in South Africa. Compare the consequences of World War II and Iraq War II as Philip Greenspan does, and see who the winners and the losers are; and, frightening thought, Milo Clark predicts more scorched-earth tactics ahead, at an intensity heretofore not seen.

What better way to start the year then, but with Charles Marowitz's review of Tête-à-Tête, by Hazel Rowley, on the greatest oeuvres created by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir; a poem by Gerard Donnelly Smith that would have resonated with that grand couple; a short story about regaining self, by Joe Davison; and a bit of humor about the so-called liberal media bias, by Ben Mack. Finally, our editor's blips, from the "not in my backyard" uproar over America's pervasive and indiscriminate spying; to money spent, earned, and donated; torturing Mr. Bush with culture; to some news from rainy Boonville, and more. We close with your letters, including the predictable frenzy over the review of Michael Neumann's The Case Against Israel; one name rarely mentioned as US presidential contender; and Swans anti-free speech policies (!!!).

Wishing the world peace and sanity in 2006!


Swans' Infamous Predictions™

SWANS:  2006 Predictions

"I never think of the future -- it comes soon enough."
—Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"The future will be better tomorrow."
—Dan Quayle (former US vice president no less)

[...] Our Infamous Predictions™ are all about Mafiosi who seem to have by and large taken over the reins of power. The humor (and life itself), meanwhile, has taken a hit. How much can one laugh about the globalizing shopocracy, the ecological and human disasters for which we, in the rich world, are overwhelmingly responsible, and the sheer greed that keeps governing our species? Jeeesuvah, last year we even missed, out of lassitude, the prediction that the petrified Cro-Magnon would finally hit the petunias.

So, with life-preserver Kurt Vonnegut in companionship, here we go, courtesy of Swans' clowns.   More...


Sense Of The Moment

Milo Clark:  Holding Breath

Most of us, anticipating something, will take a breath and hold it a moment or two awaiting closure. A diver takes a breath and holds it before leaping. A shooter draws in a deep breath to coax steadiness of aim. A singer charges herself before going for high C over C.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Doliner:  The Shamefulness Of That Shamelessness

We are living in an abomination, yet we go on with our daily lives, forgetting most of the time, our disgrace. Faced with blatant crimes the bravest of us think it worthwhile merely to point them out even though anyone should recognize these crimes as easily as he recognizes his own reflection. Can we not see them?   More...


Philip Greenspan:  The Bottom Line on Two Too Long Wars

Traumatic, earth-shaking events are so impressive that many years later, one will readily recall the details of the event and their activities on that ominous day. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was one such example; the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was another.   More...


Milo Clark:  Predicting A Republican Sweepstake

Keep it simple even though doing so may appear stupid. Core prediction: In the 2006 mid-term elections, Republicans will retain control of Congress.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Charles Marowitz:  Tête-à-Tête

It may well be that the greatest achievement of the joint oeuvres of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir was neither the books, plays, journalism, nor criticism, but the relationship. Beginning in 1929 and ending with Sartre's death in 1980, these two comrades, lovers, and collaborators shared a roller-coaster ride through the most seminal events of the 20th century.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Whether You Sing Along Or Not

No matter which road, trod or untrodden,
whichever metaphor you have chosen
to describe your purpose and fate,
whether you are enlightened or saved,
believe in rebirth or have faith you're reborn,
even if nothing matters more or less to you,
the line begins and the line ends
with crying and with laughter.   More...


Short Story

Joe Davison:  Battling The Demons

He's standing right in front of you, only three feet away. He seems much bigger, much stronger than he did from a distance. Now he's almost in your face and this is it.   More...


Humor with a Zest

Ben Mack:  Understanding The Media's Liberal Bias

A recent Harris Poll helps explain the blatant liberal bias of the media. Until recently I would have argued it was absurd to describe mass media as having a liberal bias, but now I am a convert.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #32

"The facts of life do not penetrate to the sphere in which our beliefs are cherished; they did not engender those beliefs, and they are powerless to destroy them."
—Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past (Swann's Way, 1913)

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the NIMBY uproar over America's pervasive and indiscriminate spying; to money spent, earned, and donated; torturing Mr. Bush with culture; to some news from rainy Boonville.   More...


Letters to the Editor


As could be predicted, impassioned reactions to the review of Michael Neumann's The Case Against Israel; nominating Bill Moyers for president and promoting David Perez as humanitarian; and could it be that Swans is anti-Free Speech?!?   More...



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Created: January 4, 2006