Note from the Editors

Today marks the end of an era for the French Republic as well as our resident Martian, who can no longer look to the country of his birth as a symbol of republicanism and laicism. Now in either direction looms a reactionary neoconservative bent on making the world a better place...for reactionary neoconservatives. Still, one must applaud the French voter turnout of over 86%, participation unseen in the U.S., where apathy and complacency are characteristic of the majority lumpenproletariat, as Charles Marowitz labels the greatest enemy facing the nation. In these discouraging times, we would be well served by pondering the imaginative questions raised by Carol Warner Christen about biological destiny, patriarchy, war, and the future of humanity, and heeding the poetic advice proffered by Gerard Donnelly Smith to pool our voices and reunite the fractionated Left. Surely France's Socialist Party is feeling the sting today... Martin Murie looks back to Homer's Iliad, set in a time of war but with honor, reason, and common sense; one can also look to Venezuela with Philip Greenspan for reassurance about the power of the people to impose their will. And sometimes one just needs to rant, as does Michael Doliner, who has a few choice words about l'état des choses, cautioning that we should speak out while words and language still hold meaning.

Some otherwise little-read words were brought together in an imaginative collection of program notes from the plays of George Bernard Shaw that Charles Marowitz reviews, and Peter Byrne examines Gore Vidal's Point to Point Navigation, the prolific author's latest work on his favorite topic, himself. Isidor Saslav brings music to life, with a look at some hidden jewels of the operatic repertoire recently revived in New York, and through his and Arthur Lieb's reflections on the great Mstislav Rostropovich. Guido Monte and Francesca Saieva keep alive the disappeared and forgotten through poetry and language, with a drawing by Giuseppe Quattrocchi.

Finally, our Editor's blips, from the neoconized France -- sacré bleu! -- to becoming a better American -- mon dieu!; Paris Hilton praying for upgrades while the president prays for the rest of us; correcting Tim Russert's atrophied left brain; and a surprise announcement, with your letters closing out this edition.

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

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Patterns which Connect

Charles Marowitz:  The Fourth World

The enemy that is much closer to home than the insurgents in Iraq is the lumpenproletariat that comes from all classes of American society and whose vengefulness, bigotry, complacency, ignorance, and apathy cannot be outvoted or dislodged.   More...


Carol Warner Christen:  Thoughts 001

If we are all the sum of our atomic parts, what makes some feel superior and others inferior, and what is war at the atomic level? If atoms line up in steel, do they form an army because they are stronger? The author asks these and other questions about biological destiny, patriarchy, war, and the future of humanity.   More...


Political Geist Through Poetry

Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Fragmentation Of The Left

First part of a poetic plea for 21st century Socialists to join forces to make reform happen. Alone, they are powerless, when speaking with one voice, they are a movement.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  A Walk In The Iliad

Patriarchs, gods and women of ancient times, their relevance: A walk through the Iliad reminds us of a time of reason and common sense, love, solidarity, resistance to self-glorifying patriarchs, a deep understanding of language, respect of nature, without the modern-day pressures of consumerism and conformity.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Report From A Chávez Fan Club

A look at Venezuelan life and politics through the eyes of the poor instead of the media's spin: on Charles Hardy's lectures and latest book, Cowboy in Caracas.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Michael Doliner:  Making Sense

America has shoved off not only from the country and its Constitution, but from the very idea of law, and beyond that, the idea of language itself. Don't believe it? Read this.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Charles Marowitz:  A Neglected Critic

Though no one reads the program notes at the theatre, an imaginative work was created by Denis Johnson in the form of a collection of critic Ronald Bryden's notes on the plays of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries.   More...


Peter Byrne:  How Eugene Luther Gore Vidal Jr. Became Gorino

Gore Vidal's memoire Point to Point is the work of a tired writer, attempting to impress with his upper-crust snobbery and stance as social and political icon.   More...


The World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  More Revivals Of Seldom Heard Operas In New York

The author, a fine connoisseur of the world of music, reviews hidden jewels of the operatic repertoire revived by the New York Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera over the years.   More...


Musical Reminiscences

Isidor Saslav & Arthur Lieb:  Remembering Mstislav Rostropovich

Isidor Saslav and his friend Arthur Lieb offer their personal reminiscences of the "Magnificent Maestro," the renowned Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich who died in Moscow on April 27, 2007 at age 80.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte & Francesca Saieva:  Os Esquecidos Do Mundo

Those who are forgotten by the world, hang about lost ways, hoping against hope to live of their own 'free wills'; nobody can see them, they disappeared.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #51, from the Martian Desk

"What a fine comedy this world would be if one did not play a part in it!"
—Diderot, Letters to Sophie Volland

A few selected tidbits that landed on our editor's desk, from compassionate conservatism and elections à la Française to a few Martian steps toward being a good American; some words from a theocratic patriarch; no five-star Hilton for Paris; to setting the record straight on Iraq and UN weapons inspectors, and more.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Gregory Elich's Zimbabwe Under Siege is under siege from Australia; Gilles d'Aymery's Un-American, Fly-Shit Melody hits home in Yugoslavia and France; and Milo Clark on Lies And Other Untruths.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: May 7, 2007