Note from the Editors

Welcome to the final Swans edition of the George W. Bush presidency. While the world counts down the clock with all the giddiness and anticipation of New Year's Eve in Times Square, the soon-to-be former president continues to talk up his legacy, focusing on the negatives that cannot be proven (e.g., his policies prevented another 9/11) and ignoring the actualities that we'll be struggling to undo for decades. Still, one cannot deny, as Gilles d'Aymery humorously illustrates, that Bush's techniques were quite superior, from his Americanism to militarism and famous malapropisms. In days he'll resume country-club life, further removed from the plight of veterans returning from his wars unable to leave the violence behind, and he'll be sheltered from the fallout of corruption under his watch (thanks Democrats!), which we've exported to Afghanistan. Charles Marowitz connects the dots between these two consequences of the Bush Doctrine.

Another master of connecting the dots in the form of following the money -- Michael Barker -- reveals that even world-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall has connections to democracy-manipulating elites, believing that those who created the problem will help her fix it... We've heard how well that works, but when things do-good-all well, such as the recent presidential elections in Ghana, not a peep transpired in the Western press. Femi Akomolafe explains the dreadful silence. When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however, the MSM has been lavishly defending the Israeli latest rampage, carefully ignoring that a worldwide public opinion tide is slowly turning away from Israel and its aggressions. Gilles d'Aymery provides a summary of articles and analyses that demonstrate this shift, while Marie Rennard speaks from her heart to the helpless "stolen lives" that the strong inflict upon the weak. Her words are more powerful -- and so much simpler -- than anything written elsewhere.

Our cultural corner is rich with treasures. Peter Byrne reports from the London scene where billionaires are ratcheting up the prices and blurring the public and private domain of the art world. Isidor Saslav draws us into the wonderful world of Ravel and shows that a musical première can, in fact, occur twice. Paul Buhle reviews Richard Quinney's latest autobiography with its life/death, man/nature contradictions, and Raju Peddada brings us on another trip to India where he faced these same contradictions while visiting an animal sanctuary. Time is rendered invisible through the words and photography of Guido Monte, and budding poet Michael Eddins reminds us of the lonely times of adolescence. Last but not least, our Martian Blips meander from rising prices (dog food included), the economic crisis and the suicide epidemic in the financial world, to disappearing cultural landmarks. We close with your letters on a failure of imagination, the death of Harold Pinter, and the American way of life. We'll be back in two weeks, on the other side of W.

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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Humor with a Zest

Gilles d'Aymery:  In Defense Of George W.

In defense of W., now that he's nearly gone, for he represented so much of America -- Reaganism, ass-kicking militarism, uncontrolled consumerism, anti-intellectualism, malapropism...   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Charles Marowitz:  The Devil's Brigade

It shouldn't take a social scientist or philosopher to wonder why US troops are returning from combat and committing violent crimes or why bribery is rampant in Afghan politics; in both cases, we have nurtured the environment accordingly.   More...


Michael Barker:  Jane Goodall's Elite Monkey Business

A critique of Jane Goodall's connections to democracy-manipulating elites.   More...


Femi Akomolafe:  Ghana Elections: Good News Is No News

A dialog that demonstrates why the Western media virtually ignored Ghana's recent and very successful elections.   More...


Israel & Palestine

Marie Rennard:  Stolen Lives

A French housewife's helpless view from her kitchen of the ongoing suffering of the Palestinians, and endless killing of the weak in the name of terrorism.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Walking Away From Israel Made Easier

Global sentiment, including this author's, is turning away from Israel, as this collection of articles by former supporters of the country demonstrates.   More...


Arts & Culture

Peter Byrne:  Money In The Picture: London Art

The growing ranks of super collectors of art such as Charles Saatchi and the billionaires looking to acquire it have ratcheted up the prices and blurred the public and private domain of the art world.   More...


The World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  How Many World Premieres Can A Musical Work Receive?

A Second (and Corrected) World Premiere of a 94-year-old Chamber Music Masterpiece.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Paul Buhle:  Richard Quinney's Field Notes

Paul Buhle reviews Richard Quinney's latest autobiographical log, which covers life and death issues and the contradictions between man and nature.   More...



Raju Peddada:  Convalescing Kings

The author's visit to an Indian animal rescue center proved metaphorical for the thin line between life and death, and caged lions faced with the only species that kills for pleasure.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Tempo Invisibile (Invisible Time)

Emptied and pessimistic verses of Guido Monte, about war, memory, the end of everything.   More...



Michael Eddins:  Alone

A poem on a teenager's loneliness when all his friends seem to have disappeared.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #77

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from rising dog food costs to shrinking dog food bags; the economic crisis that (almost) nobody saw coming; to the billionaire suicide epidemic and the death of culture and beauty, and more.   More...


Letters to the Editor


A failure of imagination and thought vis-à-vis NATO, ICTY, and Thomas Friedman; on Harold Pinter and Charles Martowitz's farewell to the irreplaceable playwright; and preserving America's (historically corrupt) way of life.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: January 12, 2009