Note from the Editor

It's that shopping time of year for many, but in this space it's time to take inventory at Swans. In summary, we are full of ideas and words, well-stocked with talented contributors, but low on financial contributions that will allow us to continue to 1) pay for operations, 2) grow the project, and 3) be able to make a modest living. It will make a world of a difference to us if our readers can respond to this pledge break and put Swans on your holiday giving list -- even the price of a DVD will help keep us going -- thank you!

Now on to the elections -- in preparation for the already-underway 2008 presidential campaign, one should heed the 2006 reflections by Michael DeLang and not continue to support the system of Corporate Checks and Corporate Balances that the "two" major parties represent. We'll have much to say about political change in the coming year, and Michael's article is an excellent overview of how it can, or won't, come about. By the way, while you're working on that giving list that supports change, we have three wonderful books to recommend, each of which embodies peace and nature -- read our review and order the books by Martin Murie, Bruce Patterson, and John Bart Gerald; you won't be disappointed. If you're not familiar with Murie's writing, read his essay herein on rewilding. Endangered species can't wait much longer for us to act humanely, intelligently, and responsibly... For that matter, neither can those countries ravaged by America's meddling and manipulation, which creates misery for them and secures commodities for her. See Milo Clark's and Philip Greenspan's respective analyses; then take a chilling, poetic interlude on god's unremorseful propaganda by Gerard Donnelly Smith.

Tony Blair may benefit from a touch of propaganda in the new film The Queen for his portrayed role in saving Her Majesty's face after the death of Princess Diana. While Charles Marowitz describes the movie's subtle characterization of the royal family, he leaves no doubt as to his opinion of the British Monarchy and its behavior. Charles also provides an inside look at the work of Harold Pinter as influenced by Samuel Beckett, two men who shared a similar view of the human condition and a view also captured by Peter Byrne in his short story, "People."

While you're out shopping, you may not even recognize the Christmas carols piped through the stores, as George Beres laments; so here's an alternative: If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, forget the Mall, read our Blips about a non-traditional Thanksgiving, and visit the Ruth Asawa sculpture exhibit at the de Young Museum, which we review. Finally, catch up on the Letters to the Editor, with thoughts from two antiwar veterans; more on Israel/Palestine; support for third-party candidates; some advice on progressives in a survivalist system, and more.

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


US Elections & Democracy

Michael DeLang:  Election Reflections

I'm told that the smart guys on the TV and radio have been busy declaring the results of the recent election to be evidence of the American people's disillusionment with their government's current style of rule and no less than a stated demand for a change in direction for the nation's policies. Oh, really?   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Gilles d'Aymery:  Peace & Nature - Holiday Reading

The holiday season is upon us. . . . Here are three books we recommend: a novel by Martin Murie; a series of essays on rural life by Bruce Patterson; and a collection of poems by John Bart Gerald with drawings by Julie Maas.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Martin Murie:  Rewilding

In a hidden valley in Wyoming longhorn cattle roam. The cows are long-legged and they run like deer. The bulls are stockier and spend a lot of time alone, occasionally squealing. What's that all about?   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  The Middle Scenario

Strategic people like to do scenarios, projections of their expectations. To avoid criticism, they do best, middle, and worst scenarios. I'm going to do only the middle.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  A Complex Education For Misery

"All Governments Lie" was a profound statement of the enlightened and prescient iconoclast journalist I.F. Stone. Well, why do governments lie? Because they have nefarious agendas they cannot disclose.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Lucifer's Lament

I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen. (George W. Bush)

Paradise lost and hell gained?
Have I no regrets for rebellion
Against an arrogant tyrant?   More...


Swans Theatre

Charles Marowitz:  "The Queen"

I would not be surprised to learn that the clandestine backer of Stephen Frears' film "The Queen" was Tony Blair himself. No event in the past four years has boosted his stock as much as this dramatization of the last days of Princess Diana and the role he played in coaxing the Queen into expressing some small measure of regal grief about the event.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  The Coronation Of Harold Pinter

There has always been a certain spiritual proximity between Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett. They both share a grim pessimism about the human condition and, of course, they had a close personal association that lasted many years.   More...


Peter Byrne:  People

MacDonough saw Harry and waved. He went over and worked his big frame in behind the pub table across from his old friend. Harry, a taut little man, took a deep breath and swelled as he always did in the presence of height. They shook hands and looked around.   More...


George Beres:  Bring The Old Christmas Carols Back

Yule music from Southern rap called "crunk" to dance hall reggae with Santa on stage was the focus of a recent Wall Street Journal feature called "Santa's Greatest Hits." It's a commentary not on Christmas nor on music, but on the times that find us victimized by promotions of a $12-billion music industry that reflects preferences of a young market.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #45, from the Martian Desk

"If you are losing your leisure, look out! You may be losing your soul."
—Logan Pearsall Smith Afterthoughts, 1931

With appreciation for beauty and the simple pleasures in life -- the magnificent sculptures of Ruth Asawa at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and a non-traditional Thanksgiving at Swans headquarters.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Thoughts from two Vets, Martin Murie and Bruce Patterson, on the abomination of war; reflecting on the plight of Palestinians and further disconnect on Israel's role in the region; support for third parties, and a bit of caution about a progressive movement in a survivalist country.   More...



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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: December 6, 2006