Note from the Editor

Saturday we awoke to the reverberation of gunshots from the neighboring canyon. It was the first day of deer-hunting season, and the blasts that sound the sickening trumpeting of death will be repeated morning and evening for the next six weeks. Was it the young buck with the budding two-point antlers that quickly crossed the driveway in front of the office window last night while we were editing? Was it the beautiful doe that guides her two youngsters along the tree line at the bottom of the hill most evenings? Or was it one of the fawns themselves -- too young to have yet acquired the fear of humans? And if not today, will it be tomorrow? Morning thoughts turn quickly to the killing fields of the Middle East, where the Western world, with the help of Israel, has declared open season on civilians and civilizations in preparation for the next hunt, and the next hunt, and the next, each time on a quest for a bigger trophy and leaving in its tracks new resistants who will become the new hunted.

Those believing the mantra that the world changed on September 11, 2001 should read Seth Sandronsky's article. Written in 1996 following the Israeli bombing of Qana, Lebanon, and other Lebanese civilian targets, it is sadly relevant to the ongoing propaganda and bias of US-Israeli politics and the present tragedy unfolding in the Middle East. Cries for humanity come from Milo Clark and Charles Marowitz; doses of reality are provided by Philip Greenspan and George Beres. The hunters with bloodied hands are sheltered from opposition in their secure bubbles, as Jan Baughman witnessed when Tony Blair came to town. And in case you aren't aware, the raping of land and its inhabitants occurs unfettered in our own backyard as well -- Martin Murie tells of the attack waged on Wyoming's Red Desert in the name of oil, methane, and coal. Anything to preserve our way of life, which those "terrorists" so hate us for...

Aaah, to be away from all this madness and amongst the beatniks -- on the road with Kerouac; in San Francisco with Ginsberg; in Paris with Burroughs... Author and fashion futurist Karen Moller was there, and she shares her stories of inspiring literary adventures. Another adventuresome woman we can escape with was Tina Modotti; Peter Byrne tells of the colorful life she led, from Italy to bohemian San Francisco, to Mexico and beyond: it was a pure mix of Art and Revolution. Or, we can join Charles Marowitz in his time travels for an interview with William Shakespeare and learn what Will thinks of T.S. Eliot, Hamlet, and all the interpretations and reinterpretations of his works.

We close with a poem by Laura Madeline Wiseman on the reassurance that we all need; the Blips from the Martian desk joining the cry for humanity in place of all the madness; and your feedback on Jacob Amir's letter from Israel and the violence imposed on the Lebanese and Palestinians, Charles Marowitz's Al Gore endorsement, Peter Byrne's articles on Venice, and more.

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


Middle East

Seth Sandronsky:  Qana 1996

Since the end of Word War II, Israel has been the primary "regional enforcer" in the Middle East, ensuring that oil profits flow to the "US, its British client, and their energy corporations" (Noam Chomsky). And successful?   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Blood Brothers

There is something profoundly wrong with language when Israel's "right to defend itself" becomes its right to demolish large portions of Lebanon's civic infrastructure and massacre the innocent men, women, and children that make up its civilian population.   More...


Milo Clark:  My Flag

My tattered flag flies upside down and stretches vainly for half-mast.   More...


George Beres:  Read Between The Lines Before It's Too Late

There is a knack to intelligent reading, just as there is for meaningful writing. The message, as the careful reader realizes, is not always what you see on paper. Sometimes it is hidden between the lines.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  "Realities" In B Flat

"When we act, we create our own reality" was a bizarre assertion author Ron Suskind heard from a Bush advisor. In time he realized it was indicative of how the Bush gang functions.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Jan Baughman:  A Brief Report On My Brush With Tony Blair

It was an ordinary Monday on July 31, back to work at my day job in South San Francisco, the Industrial City, as is prominently displayed on the surrounding hills in Hollywood fashion.   More...


How NOT to play The Game

Martin Murie:  Desert Lands

The Red Desert is under attack. More about that later. Deserts are not wastelands that don't matter. They have a special feature, scarce water, but in that very scarcity, diversity, gradations.   More...


Arts & Culture

Karen Moller:  From San Francisco To Paris In 1959

In 1959, North Beach, San Francisco's beatnik heartland was in the first wave of the Beat and sexual revolution. It was an exciting time. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the owner of City Lights, was in many ways the éminence grise of the local scene and his bookshop, the epicenter of the beatnik underground.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Tina Modotti: A Blank Face Between Art And Revolution

Tina Modotti's life could make passionate reading, a biography that, doing justice to her political work, measured one courageous and gifted artist of the camera against the epic events of the first half of the 20th century.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Exclusive Interview With William Shakespeare

According to T.S. Eliot: "So far from being Shakespeare's masterpiece, the play (Hamlet) is most certainly an artistic failure.... Hamlet (the man) is dominated by an emotion which is inexpressible, because it is in excess of the facts as they appear.   More...



Laura Madeline Wiseman:  Do You Love Me

Do you love me?
she says to her lover
betting the answer is yes
but still checking.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #39, from the Martian Desk

"Nationalism, at the expense of another nation, is just as wicked as racism at the expense of another race."
—William Sloan Coffin

A few reasons for leaving Jacob Amir's letter unanswered, beside courtesy; the company I'd rather keep; the debasement and cynicism behind the Israeli lies and propaganda; the defense of the "civilized world": NOT IN MY NAME! And an International Money Order that says it all about the USA.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Appropriate responses to Jacob Amir's letter from Israel and the violence imposed on the Lebanese and Palestinians; deference to Charles Marowitz, except for his Al Gore endorsement; praise and precautions for Peter Byrne's articles on Venice; and more...   More...



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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: August 21, 2006