Note from the Editors

So much to write about, so little space -- from teabagging conservatives to gay-marriage directives; torture methods exposed and its perpetrators absolved; Somali pirates and Portuguese Water Dogs; to cracking open the Cuban lockbox to let loose evil socialism and gain access to the country from which Texas want to secede... All diversions from, or consequences of, the economic tidal wave that is gaining strength by the day. As we hold our collective breath in fear of being swept up in the next Great Depression, many are already there. The financial meltdown and its psycho-social consequences led Charles Marowitz to revisit William Styron's memoir of madness, concluding that for all the lives that have been derailed, a Styron-like depression may well be in the cards. On a far less serious note, Jan Baughman found herself swept up in the unanticipated consequences of an election-day oil change just as the Big Three spun out of control, a story (with photos) that is emblematic of our increasingly dystopian economic system. If you're grasping at the glimmers of economic hope shed by the president and those who stand to benefit most from the bailout, read Gilles d'Aymery's Martian Blips on the big shoes that are preparing to drop, his bailout proposal that puts Main Street before Wall Street, among other financial tidbits and shenanigans.

Sure to create a stir are the works by Steven Salaita, who takes on Cornel West's book Democracy Matters, which employs the liberal American vocabulary regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict while ignoring its root cause; and Michael Barker, who continues to expose the elite imperial crusaders behind "humanitarian" organizations such as the International Crisis Group. Nigeria, as Femi Akomolafe informs us, has successfully adopted Western-style disparity, with the political and religious leaders of the world's 13th poorest nation amassing obscene wealth and their own private jets. And reporting from France métropolitaine through English spectacles is Graham Lea, who provides a unique coverage of President Obama's recent European rock-star tour.

After all the above, it's time to offer a taste of optimism as only activist Martin Murie can inspire; a sing-along with Charles Marowitz that Peter Byrne conducts; the heart-wrenching poetry of Guido Monte from the earthquake-stricken Italy; a first-hand look at the role of women in Indian culture by Raju Peddada; and your letters, on our economic analyses, le nouveau coin de Swans, and a reminder from Paul Buhle about the genre of nonfiction comics.

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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America: Myths & Realities

Charles Marowitz:  Depression Redux

The economic meltdown and its psycho-social consequences led Charles Marowitz to revisit William Styron's Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness that first appeared in l990, almost a full decade before the nation's economy slithered into the present quagmire.   More...


Jan Baughman:  Roger, My Chevy, And Me

Jan Baughman recounts her experience of being hurled into the labyrinth of the Lemon Law during the demise of General Motors after taking her 2007 Chevy Aveo in for an oil change and not seeing it again for 43 days.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #85

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the glimmers of hope that fill the mainstream media to the indices of gloom that fuel the millenarian prophets of doom; a detour to the so-called success of Iraq; the expensive shoes that are beginning to fall and the 2008 predictions that saw none of this coming; to the money laundering by banks and a sensible bailout for Main Street that would trickle up to Wall Street, and more.   More...



Steven Salaita:  Cornel West And The Ethics Of Faithful Equivocation

Cornel West's flawed analysis of the Israel-Palestine conflict will forever associate him with Michael Lerner of Tikkun Magazine. In West's book Democracy Matters, he employs the liberal American vocabulary of tolerance and coexistence while ignoring Zionism, the most vexing problem of the conflict.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  Imperial Crusaders For Global Governance

A critique of the International Crisis Group, which is supported by Morton Abramowitz of the National Endowment for Democracy and financier George Soros, among other elites, and should more accurately be described as the Imperial Crusaders for Global Governance.   More...


Femi Akomolafe:  Nigeria: The Plane Truth

A culture of corruption has descended upon Nigeria's political and religious leaders, who are amassing wealth and luxury items while the world's 13th poorest nation has crumbled to depths that leave its citizens reeling with incredulity.   More...


Graham Lea:  Obama Does Europe

A few comments on the political scene in Europe and France, and how the celebrity Obama was received when he did Europe recently to promote fiscal stimuli and sell outmoded American projects in order to enrich the US war industries.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  Optimism

Activists of all sorts must continue to walk the talk and protest against the conduct of our elite leaders' support of corporate and military power.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  Singing Along With Marowitz

Charles Marowitz's Sounds of Music is one of passion's gems -- a search for the high-definition musical performances of exceptional artists from 1900-1950.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Today n.2

The terrible earthquake at Aquila and in Abruzzi region, Italy, led Guido Monte to write this wrenching multilingual poem -- too much pain and death quite near him... (With picture by Laura Collura.)   More...



Raju Peddada:  The Queen Of Kukatpally

The author returns to India and interviews a true queen of Kukatpally, a simple woman who embodies -- not through material opulence -- honor, dignity, regality, and focus.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On The Dirty Little Financial Secret and Gilles d'Aymery's economic analyses; appreciation of Swans' nouveau coin français; and a note from Paul Buhle reminding Peter Byrne (and us) about the genre of nonfiction comics, whose subjects include the likes of Che Guevara and soon, Studs Terkel.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: April 20, 2009