Note from the Editors

From 1950s Hollywood's heterosexual hypocrisy to the more openly-gay contemporary society, the infamous Art Shay has seen, heard, and photographed it all, and he tells some of it here with his irreplaceable wit -- the sexual dalliances of his friend and From Here to Eternity author James Jones, to last month's Chicago Gay Pride Parade in which bigoted protestors launched hell at all the fornicators, masturbators, atheists, abortionists, adulterers, witches, revelers, sodomites, etc. Ah, the sweet smell of progress. (Where are the protest cages for the nutcases?! Oops -- can't say "nuts" in polite company...) We're certifiably doomed, not only for our so-called sins -- which are debatable, but for our financial and military obscenities, which are indefensible. As Carol Warner Christen illustrates, America is ripe for the picking thanks to its excesses, and we the People are expendable to the elite. When will we band together and throw the bums out? Read the excerpt of Lee Iacocca's 2007 call to action, then ponder Gilles d'Aymery's question, "What's Your Breaking Point?" as you consider which stay-the-course candidate you'll vote for. Again. And again. And again. Not convinced? We just hope that Ralph Nader can outlast lesser-evil thinking. As the Democrats' betrayal of the so-called progressives becomes legendary, Martin Murie reinforces the fundamental importance of supporting fringe candidates.

One critical issue facing the next US president is climate change, a matter that the Bush administration, its EPA hostages, and corporate America have all but ignored despite Supreme Court rulings to take action. As White House spokesperson Dana Perino put it, regulating greenhouse gases would "impose crippling costs on the economy," without making reference to the crippling costs of wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, medical care...perpetual war. See Jan Baughman's cartoonish appeal for change. If government and corporations won't respond, what about those deep philanthropic pockets, from George Soros to the Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations? It's enlightening but certainly not uplifting to delve, as Michael Barker's excellent analysis does, into the politics behind philanthropy and the manufactured consent that keeps change at bay. It is also worth a reminder in this election season that capitalist expansion and the export of democracy and Christianity were not the inventions of Bush, Cheney & Co. -- Charles Marowitz highly recommends, in fact requires, Stephen Kinzer's Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq.

And speaking of Marowitz, Peter Byrne reviews Charles's brilliant 2006 stage production of Silent Partners, on Bertolt Brecht and Eric Bentley. First-time contributor and writer Karen Ritenour shares a highly creative two-part short play on heaven and hell from the vantage point of Satan; Guido Monte and Marie Rennard bring their respective poetic perspectives; and another poetic debut comes in the form of a circus allegory of life in present day America by R. Scott Porter. Finally, we close with your letters, on Michael Barker, nonviolence, and imperialism; Stephen Zunes's defense of the Albert Einstein Institution; thoughts on a rich (in content) Web site (Swans); the high price of gas; and more.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.

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Arts & Culture

Art Shay:  Chicago's Gay Parade And Related Gay Memories

Photojournalist Art Shay's humorous recount of the bigotry at Chicago's Gay Parade, which reminds him of the sexual posturing of his old friend, author James Jones. (With several photographs by the author and one by Myron Davis.)   More...


America: Myths & Realities

Carol Warner Christen:  Next Target Of The IMF: You, Me, And The United States Of America

As life becomes increasingly commodified, we are becoming slaves to the ruling elites. We the People must stop the financial takeover before America becomes just another plantation on the road to hell.   More...


Lee Iacocca:  Had Enough?

A short edited excerpt of Lee Iacocca's must-read 2007 book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone?   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  What's Your Breaking Point?

With Barack "Chameleon" Obama shifting Right and John "McSame" McCain ensconced there, when will you reach your breaking point, throw out the status quo bums, and vote for the type of real change that Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez represent?   More...


Martin Murie:  Fringes

Comment on a few Swans writings, June 16 issue. The behavior of America's ruling elites and the betrayal by the Democrats provide all the more evidence that support of third-party candidates such as Ralph Nader is essential if we want to reach a tipping point toward change.   More...


Jan Baughman:  Free The EPA

Editorial cartoon: EPA scientists have been held hostage by the White House for eight years and censored from discussing the threat of climate change. Which presidential candidate would release them from captivity and be a champion for the environment? Answer: Ralph Nader.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  The Soros Media "Empire": The Power of Philanthropy to Engineer Consent

Michael Barker examines the power of "progressive philanthropic" foundations over "alternative, progressive" media and shows how liberal philanthropist extraordinaire George Soros manipulates so-called independent media projects all over the world.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Charles Marowitz:  US Exploitation Of The World

Stephen Kinzer's book Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq, if required reading, would open the eyes of the nation to some of the scummiest maneuvers in American history and expose the deliberate treacheries that underlie capitalist expansion in our benighted land.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Raging Silence: Charles Marowitz's Silent Partners

Peter Byrne reviews Charles Marowitz's play Silent Partners, a bold and compelling examination of the relationship between Bertolt Brecht and his English-language translator, Eric Bentley.   More...



Karen Ritenour:  A Hell Of Heaven And Vice Versa Revelations

A short play on the evils wrought by man under the veil of religion in his struggle for power.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Haiku Number Two

On his last blending, Monte talks about the Celan's asphodels, (the old symbols of Homer and many classic poets), near Basho's dreams.   More...



Marie Rennard:  Thirty Seconds Echo

A 30-second poem captures time hovering in nature, from the silence of the bird's song to the ringing of a cracked bell.   More...


R. Scott Porter:  The Circus

A poetic allegory of life in present day America   More...


Letters to the Editor


Michael Barker creates a stir with Nonviolence in the Service of Imperialism, as Stephen Zunes defends the Albert Einstein Institution; thoughts on a rich Web site (Swans); the high price of gas; and more.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: July 14, 2008