Note from the Editors

If the past is any indication of the future, then we can expect more of the same in the countdown to the 2008 election, as Jan Baughman depicts in her latest cartoon. At least for a few like Eli Beckerman, convictions will prevail and real issues will be addressed, as this publication does intend to do more cohesively. We do not abandon diversity of thoughts though -- a long-held tradition of Swans. To wit, Carol Christen's essay on how our first conscious thought influences the way we process information. She provides a case study on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney that might explain their respective behaviors. Milo Clark scrutinizes PRChina and the impact of its out-capitalizing of capitalism, and Gerard Donnelly Smith carries on his analysis of loyalty, revealing its inherent dangers when exploited by corporations in the name of profits. And then let's not forget the activism of Martin Murie and Philip Greenspan, the former bringing the connectedness between nature ("The Other") and politics, and the latter between politics and culture, both men having in common strong anti-war convictions and a deep commitment to the struggle for social justice.

Charles Marowitz is not only a man of the theatre; he is also very much a social critic and he could not but cover the circus that is Anna Nicole Smith's life and death, played out in a culture of reality TV and celebrityitis. Talking about theatre, Peter Byrne reviews two plays, by the directors Peter Brook and Giorgio Strehler, presented at the Piccolo Teatro of Milan this past November.

We are truly thrilled to announce that a second Frenchie has joined our bevy of Swans. Marie Rennard, a talented French author and poet, has generously agreed to contribute her English work. At long, long, long last, Gilles d'Aymery will no longer be the lone Gallic on board. She's a friend of Guido Monte, so it seems quite fitting to publish her first poem in the company of a colorful and multilingual work by Guido, with a superb illustration by Giuseppe Quattrocchi. Slowly but surely we are internationalizing Swans -- call it multiculturalism without postmodern fanfare.

In the book corner Dimitri Oram takes to task A Problem from Hell, the latest work of that grand humanitarian Samantha Power, who always sees only one side of the story: the self-serving US side...and we end this edition with your letters covering quite a cast of characters.

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

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On the Road to 2008

Jan Baughman:  Every Vote Counts

Editorial Cartoon: In the 2008 presidential campaign, Democrats are struggling to defend their vote on the Iraq war and to position themselves as anti-war yet tough on defense; status quo yet candidate for change. So how is it that the rest of us already knew then what we know now?   More...


Eli Beckerman:  An Open Letter To Cindy Sheehan

An appeal to Cindy Sheehan to continue standing up to the elites despite the sacrifices it entails and to run for the 2008 Green Party Nomination for president.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Carol Warner Christen:  The First Conscious Thought And Its Implications

An analysis of the first conscious thought's impact on neuro-linguistic programming and emotional development, with two case studies that explain the current state of affairs: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.   More...


Milo Clark:  PRChina: Quandary Wrapped In Very Ripe Baloney

PRChina is out-capitalizing the Capitalists as its hold on the US economy grows and its foreign investments expand, and just as in the U.S., it's happening at the cost of the Chinese workers.   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Insurgent Word: Loyalty (Continued)
Loyalty to Corporation and Consumption

Part two in a series on Loyalty, which focuses on corporate and brand loyalty, turning consumers into the very products themselves and capturing them for life.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  People

A medley, featuring actual people. Cowboys and cattle and weather. Protesters and traffic and weather.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  The Impossible Takes . . .

In an era characterized by an endless series of problems, Black History Month celebrates two men who never gave up on their principles in the face of adversity -- and succeeded: film maker Melvin Van Peebles, and the wrongly convicted Darryl Hunt, who was released on DNA evidence after 20 years in prison.   More...


Arts & Culture

Peter Byrne:  Peter Brook's Sober Magic In Milan And The Dower Of Giorgio Strehler

A review of two plays performed at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano in November 2006: Sizwe Banzi est mort, (Sizwe Banzi is Dead) directed by Peter Brook, who disdained politics yet demonstrated the ephemeral nature of apartheid, and Giorni felici (Happy Days) by director Giorgio Strehler, who was political in both life and work and did not stray from Samuel Beckett's bleak conception.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Charles Marowitz:  Anna Nicole Smith & Celebrityitis

Anna Nicole Smith was a shameless caricature of the faux world of reality TV and celebrity obsession, and must be delighted by the notoriety she achieved in death -- a notoriety that her vacuous Marilyn Monroe persona could never have brought her in life.   More...



Marie Rennard:  Capnomancy

An ethereal poem on the meanderings of smoke through shades and storms, from headwaters to headstone, carrying its hypotheses for us to discover.   More...


Guido Monte:  Siku Next Za Future (present future)

In any language, any color, war leads children toward death, living day by day, awaiting the disappeared, without a future. (With a drawing by Giuseppe Quattrocchi.)   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Dimitri Oram:  Whitewashing Western Intervention
Samantha Power's A Problem from Hell

Samantha Power's widely read and respectfully reviewed book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, attempts to make a case for further US intervention in the affairs of other countries and limit examination of the past, thereby ignoring America's crimes and failing to hold her government to an equal level of accountability as the various enemy states she decries.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Praise for newcomer Carol Warner Christen, with an appeal to mention Congress in the military-industrial complex as was originally intended; kudos to the late Admiral Hyman Rickover and Swans energy dossier; information on Boris Vian and his song, Le Déserteur; a differing view on Ataturk's identity; still holding out hope for Dianne Feinstein to step outside the system; Baudelaire on the Bureau of Public Secrets, and more.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: February 27, 2007