Note from the Editors

Thank you Israel for reminding us of our civilizing mission. Please keep killing and destroying your neighbors -- keeping them strangled behind Apartheid walls. What a wonderful New Year message you send to our children and to the world. Indeed, thank you Israel for your destructive generosity. Surely, it will sell well in the pages of The New York Times. Keep at it. Civilization depends upon your oh-so-enlightened behavior.

Which suggests to us that humor and irreverence are a much-needed trade, one that we try to afford once in a while, especially every year when we come up with our Infamous Predictions™. Art Shay adds his own prophecy with his usual mordant and witty prose; and Marie Rennard's statistical predictions, whose numerology doesn't bode well for world leaders in 2009, complete our traditional yearly production.

While much has been said about Bernard Madoff and his alleged Ponzi scheme, you'll be intrigued by what was left unsaid, which Gilles d'Aymery covers in a short and acute article. Action-oriented readers will want to read Jan Baughman's piece on the environmental efforts of the reputable Union of Concerned Scientists, and speaking of the environment, Martin Murie's friendly wolf has a few sensible suggestions for us top predators.

Next we have a series of cultural pieces, beginning with Charles Marowitz and Art Shay remembering playwright Harold Pinter, and Peter Byrne reviewing the lively history of the theatre in his native Chicago. We then move to the Indian subcontinent via the travelogue of Raju Peddada who's just back from a cathartic journey to the country of his birth where he visited with friends and family. True connoisseurs of the bard will savor the interview Marowitz conducted with Prince Hamlet and appreciate the Prince's "historical" answers. And in a world whose prospects are rather iffy, the multilingual and colorful poetry of Guido Monte and Vittorio Cozzo will bring a light of beauty, l'evidenza delle cose invisibili. We conclude this issue with a series of eclectic letters and our very best wishes for the New Year to all.

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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Swans' Definite Predictions

SWANS:  2009 Predictions

Swans annual irreverent, humorous, and sometimes prescient Infamous Predictions™ for the year 2009, in which economies tank, shoes fly, Palin crashes, post-ideology reigns, and everyone from the Pope to the politician and the academician is subject to our silly prognostications.   More...


Art Shay:  Prophecy

Art Shay channels his inner Nostradamus to predict what is in store for the year 2009.   More...


Marie Rennard:  Statistically Reckoned Predictions For 2009

Marie Rennard's witty statistical analysis of history reveals that the numbers 9 and 13 spell catastrophe for the Powerful of the World in the years to come.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Gilles d'Aymery:  Bernie Madoff And The Establishment

There's more to the Madoff scandal than the enormity, the brazenness, and its impact in Jewish circles: it is an indication that there's little left to steal from the bottom, so the top, the Establishment, is now stealing from its own.   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Jan Baughman:  No Laurels To Rest On

While George W. Bush spends his remaining days passing anti-environment legislation, Barack Obama is developing his agenda, so now is the time to hold his feet to the fire on environmental matters. Joining the Union of Concerned Scientists is an excellent place to start.   More...


Martin Murie:  Top Predators

Martin Murie lends a wolf's perspective to the challenges that all species face in the year 2009 and beyond.   More...


Remembering Harold Pinter

Charles Marowitz:  Harold Pinter: 1930 - 2008

Charles Marowitz recounts his early recognition, while a critic for Encore Magazine, of Harold Pinter's talent and style that had a uniquely Pinteresque influence on theatre.   More...


Art Shay:  Waiting For Pinter's Funeral

Art Shay's short play on the death of playwright Harold Pinter.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  On Stage Chicago

A look at the history of Chicago theater and a review of Richard Christiansen's book, A Theater of Our Own, A History and a Memoir of 1,001 Nights in Chicago.   More...



Raju Peddada:  Indelible India!

Raju Peddada takes us along on his cathartic journey back to India, where much has changed and the richness has remained the same.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  Exclusive Interview With Prince Hamlet

Renowned Shakespearean expert and theatre critic Charles Marowitz takes a poke at the National Enquirer to interview Prince Hamlet of Elsinore.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte & Vittorio Cozzo:  Ausländer

Just a flash of 2008 rose-colored glasses on the verses of Guido Monte, also if the real world prospects are not good...   More...


Letters to the Editor


David Saslav's holiday epiphany that would "humanitize" humanity; troubling climate change quotations and the far-reaching effects of melting methane in permafrost and logging-industry herbicides in our water; a few and unusual suggestions from a libertarian economists, and more.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: December 29, 2008 - January 1, 2009