Note from the Editors

"If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion," quipped George Bernard Shaw, who must be turning in his grave over the global financial crisis, the increasingly obscene transfer of money from the working class to the privileged few, and the "socialistic" epithets that have successfully transformed the idea of universal health care in America into a sinister and threatening ideal. More on the current crisis later -- let's begin with a Shavian retrospective by a few of his Swans admirers, beginning with Isidor Saslav, whose story describes the infatuation that began as a teen, influenced him as an adult, and inspired a collection of over 8,000 items, mostly books, which he's traveled far and wide to discover. Peter Byrne explores Shaw's rebellion, the family roots that shaped it, and the sociopolitical views of this creative rebel. Charles Marowitz, whose connections to Shaw are also covered by Saslav and Byrne, reviews the recent revival of Candida and ponders the contemporary relevance of GBS -- a similar question posed by Louis Proyect, who watched six film adaptations of Shaw's work to find the answer. Finally, Art Shay, who like George Bernard Shaw does not suffer amateurs lightly, shares humorous anecdotes of those would-be playwrights and photographers that hounded each of them over the years. Enjoy this wonderful retrospective of a personage whose influence is sorely needed today, then get out and rebel for change!

Winds of change are systematically blowing away the newspaper industry, and one recent casualty is The Canyon Country Zephyr, whose digital debut is welcomed by Martin Murie and Gilles d'Aymery, with some additional thoughts on the demise of "dead-trees publications" by Aymery. Michael Barker unravels the arguments used by G. William Domhoff in his advice to the Left to stop blaming the media for manufacturing public consent for elite interests, while Michael Doliner manufactures consent for public interest in his innovative solution to the financial crisis that challenges the elite to their own game. Western interests are certainly well represented in the mainstream media when it comes to justifying its imperialism, so it is appropriate to turn to our Ghanaian reporter, Femi Akomolafe, for an understanding of Zimabweans' support for Robert Mugabe and their view of Western hypocrisy.

From the culture corner, Raju Peddada recalls his childhood bliss of going to the movies with his father, and Guido Monte describes, poetically, our indifference in front of world calamities such as poverty. Scott Porter offers his take on the financial crisis and the mind change that will cure it, which brings us back to the beginning and the global financial meltdown. Our Martian Blips report on what the mainstream media doesn't, from the near-collapse of the global money market revealed by Representative Paul Kanjorski; following the bailout money, where all roads lead to Goldman Sachs; the not-so-coincidental takedown of Eliot Spitzer; to the endangered FDIC and the expanding US federal debt, 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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A George Bernard Shaw Retrospective

Isidor Saslav:  How I found Shaw

The political and literary conversion of a teenager: How Isidor Saslav discovered George Bernard Shaw and became a lifelong collector of everything Shavian he could get unearth.   More...


Peter Byrne:  GBS: The Future Of A Rebel

Peter Byrne tells the history of the great rebel, George Bernard Shaw, whose rebellion was rooted in the home, extended to school, and landed on the stage, making his mark with his socioeconomic views along the way.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Probing GBS

Is George Bernard Shaw passé? Charles Marowitz answers the question, as he considers the Colony Theatre's revival of Candida and its deceptively simple story in the context of modern feminism and equality.   More...


Louis Proyect:  A Guide To G. B. Shaw On Home Video

Louis Proyect challenges whether George Bernard Shaw's plays still have the capacity to entertain and inspire by reviewing a selection of BBC productions based on his work.   More...


Art Shay:  Giftless Amateurs Bug Shaw And Shay

Art Shay -- like George Bernard Shaw -- doesn't suffer amateurs lightly. Shay shares anecdotes of the amateurs that hounded each of them.   More...


The Canyon Country Zephyr

Martin Murie:  Welcome To The Digital Zephyr

Martin Murie mourns the loss of the paper version of The Canyon Country Zephyr and celebrates its digital debut, while reminding us to not forget the earth and our obligation to protect it.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  A New Zephyr Breezes Over The Worldwide Prairie

Gilles d'Aymery welcomes The Canyon Country Zephyr to the digital world and laments the demise of "dead-trees publications" and the rituals and sensations that go along with reading them.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  Blame The Media

A critique of William Domhoff's "Stop Blaming the Media!" article.   More...


Michael Doliner:  Feral Reserve: My Solution To The Financial Crisis

Michael Doliner offers a solution to the financial crisis in which the victims of the mess are allowed to issue Federal Reserve Notes, which promise nothing, yet are backed by the American people.   More...



Femi Akomolafe:  Zimbabwe: Constructive Engagement

A conversation on Zimbabweans' support for Robert Mugabe and their view on Western imperialism and hypocrisy.   More...


Film & Theatre

Raju Peddada:  With My Father, To Where Eagles Dare

Raju Peddada recalls his childhood bliss of going to the movies with his father and the film that became the epigraph for his movie memories, Where Eagles Dare, in 1969.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Poverty - Far

Monte describes our indifference in front of the world calamities, especially poverty -- with Drawing by Giuseppe Quattrocchi.   More...


American Myths & Realities

R. Scott Porter:  Social Democracy, Anyone?

The author's take on the financial crisis, and the mind change that will cure it.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #83

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the sinking Titanic to the near-collapse of the global money market revealed by Representative Paul Kanjorski; following the bailout money beyond the AIG bonus smoke screen to AIG money laundering, where all roads lead to Goldman Sachs; the not-so-coincidental takedown of Eliot Spitzer; to the endangered FDIC and the expanding US federal debt, and more tidbits to keep us awake at night.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Medicare for all, dealing with poverty, and a different take on taxation and innovation.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: March 23, 2009