Note from the Editors

You respond to the call and do the patriotic thing -- join the military to spread democracy and rid the world of evil, or go shopping to sustain the bloated war economy, but when crisis strikes, whether from a blown-off limb or an overblown mortgage, you're on your own in the unforgiving world of trickle-up economics and financial Darwinism. Yet, God bless America, we discovered that those hundreds of billions of dollars we didn't have for universal health care, or a free, quality education for all, or rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure are suddenly available to rescue the financial institutions that have been profiting from our losses for years! We must move quickly on the mother of all bailouts -- no time to debate executive salary caps or a pittance for the taxpayers, says Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who must be watching his $800 million net worth sink faster than a Gulf Coast city. The magnitude of this crisis is unfathomable, but our resident economist and Swans Editor Gilles d'Aymery leads us through the finances and practices paving our path to financial ruin. Carol Warner Christen examines the human toll the corporate state takes on our public life, and Martin Murie brings us down to earth to consider the symbiosis of dirt and its inhabitants, and the revolutionary changes that must be made to our Western way of life. Those changes will not result from a carefully-considered choice between McCain and Obama; we must start with a return to our Constitution, as R. Scott Porter appeals. Jan Baughman invokes a parable to mourn the diminishing pool of candidates for real change that our elections offer. We recently lost one such activist, Peter Camejo -- a revolutionary socialist, Green Party member, and visionary leader whose passion and integrity are eloquently honored by Louis Proyect who was a good friend of Peter.

One of the last critics standing, Charles Marowitz, poignantly connects the patterns of power, from Apartheid Africa to Bush's America; China's civil rights abuses and US torture; violence as entertainment and blanket complacency; while Louis Proyect brilliantly unravels the revisionist legend of Jesse James in an in-depth study of the real man and the reactionary and racist effect that he and his men had, and still have, on American politics. Legendary photojournalist Art Shay's creativity and wit are revealed in the snapshots and tales from his Felliniesque life touched by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor and Jessica Lange. On to Cairo, with Peter Byrne's review of Living With Djinns by Barbara Drieskens, then Guido Monte and Alison Phipps take us on an embroidered gossamer of poetic ascensional blending words to Purgatorio, while Marie Rennard paints a fantasy polesy for the miswedded alley cat and saxophone-playing homunculus. We close with your letters on Swans donation recession (depression?), voting for sanity, Jimmy Carter's Gulag, resuscitating the antiwar movement, a Paulista revolution waged against Gilles d'Aymery, and more.

Hang on to your hats, tighten your belts, and as always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.

# # # # #

Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #73

A few selected issues that landed on the editor's desk, from Michael Milken and the Savings and Loan crisis to Henry Paulson and today's financial tsunami; the men who created the mess and the same men who are trying to fix it; the economic advisors of the aspiring presidents; and more on this fiasco, how we got here, where we're headed -- and it's not with golden parachutes for most of us; and much more, including a wink to the Paulistas.   More...


America: Myths & Realities

Carol Warner Christen:  A Disintegrating Nation Being Boiled Slowly Alive

Our forefathers' principles are lost in the expedient clutter of today, leaving a legacy of chaos for the next generation to undo.   More...


Martin Murie:  Low Life

By looking at the symbiosis of dirt and its inhabitants we can understand our interconnectedness to the planet and all of its inhabitants, and why we must change our way of thinking and life to protect us and them alike.   More...


R. Scott Porter:  The Government We Deserve

We got the government we deserved; now it's time to fight to regain the Constitution and a government that defends it.   More...


US Elections 2008

Jan Baughman:  Ice Cream For Diversity

When the annual ice cream competition is co-opted by corporate control, the entries become bland and our choices limited: An allegory for the need to support third-party and independent presidential candidates and the return to democracy in our presidential elections.   More...


Remembering Peter Camejo

Louis Proyect:  Red Inside, Green Outside: Our Great Loss

A remembrance of Peter Camejo, a revolutionary socialist, Green Party member, skilled debater, and a visionary leader who connected to his forefathers and in the likes of Frederick Douglass put the needs of the movement over any petty, narrow concerns.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Charles Marowitz:  En Passant

Charles Marowitz weaves the threads of power, from Apartheid Africa to Bush's America; China's civil rights abuses and US torture; violence as entertainment and blanket complacency, and the disappearance of the critic.   More...


Arts & Culture

Louis Proyect:  Jesse James: The Myth And The Man

An analysis of the real man behind the revisionist legend of Jesse James reveals the ongoing reactionary and racist effect that he and his men had on American politics.   More...


Art Shay:  Rare Medium
With several photographs by the author

Photojournalist Art Shay shares snapshots of his Felliniesque life, filled with Hemingway and Algren, Sartre and Beauvoir, Brando and Taylor, through his artistic eye and witty humor.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  In Search Of Djinns

A review of Barbara Drieskens's Living With Djinns, Understanding and Dealing with the Invisible in Cairo.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte & Alison Phipps:  Mondana Commedia n.2: Purgatorio (World Comedy n.2: Purgatory)

Guido Monte and Alison Phipps go along an "embroidered gossamer" of poetic ascensional blending words, Purgatorio.   More...



Marie Rennard:  Miswedding

A polesy for the miswedded alley cat and saxophone-playing homunculus.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Will Swans donation recession be eased by Mr. Murdoch? (no, not Rupert...); on voting for sanity, not McPalin or O'Biden; on Marowitz and Meyerhold and a Gulag for Jimmy Carter; an attempt to resuscitate the antiwar movement; Paulistas stage a revolution -- in response to Gilles d'Aymery's article, Behind The Curtain Of Ron Paul's Disciples; and more.   More...


# # # # #

If you wish to receive an e-mail regarding each new edition (twice a month) with the Note from the Editors, and have access to a restricted page containing Adobe Acrobat PDF files of the best of Swans and other special issues, you must become a financial subscriber and a helping hand to our efforts. See our Donate page.



« Previous | Current Issue | Next »


SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: September 22, 2008