FUNDRAISING TIME: Dear readers, we need to raise $2,500 between now and the end of the year. Without this amount of money (in addition to what we have already received), we won't be able to maintain Swans with the quality and dependability you have grown used to over the years. We must pay for our costs, at the very least. You read Swans and you appreciate our commentaries and the fact that we are an ad-free zone. We do too, but we are shouldering the financial costs. We can't do it ad vitam aeternam. If you wish to continue enjoying Swans, please help us raise $2,500. Ask yourselves the value of our work, and whether you can find a better edited, more trenchant, and thoughtful Web publication that keeps sanity and sound thoughts as first priorities. Without your help, we shan't be able to continue to bring to you and the larger community this cogent bi-weekly collection. Donate now! Our heartfelt gratitude to Dimitri Oram and Thalia Pandiri for their generous contributions.


Note from the Editors

Faced with the staggering dullness of the daily circus played out on the big screen TV, we find it appropriate to begin with some real political culture, first with Louis Proyect's superb review of Michael Yates's latest book that examines the tensions between his working-class roots, blue-collar sensibilities, and academic career, and next with Peter Byrne's spirited introduction to storyteller Aleksandar Hemon, a Sarajevan native who immigrated to Chicago and became a renowned writer, drawing often from the political conflicts that besieged his childhood. Fittingly, Charles Marowitz reviews Michael Moore's latest documentary, a blunt indictment of capitalism that according to Marowitz should goad the soporific public into action, and in this vein, Michael Barker once again shows how the conservation movement has been co-opted by powerful capitalists such as Laurance Rockefeller.

While Femi Akomolafe, our voice from Africa, presents with his unique style a nasty side of American culture that wants its president's head, Gilles d'Aymery contrasts power, profits, and the ecosystem we are destroying to preserve our NASCAR way of life. Turning the channel to college football, Harvey Whitney demonstrates the length to which universities go to prostitute themselves in misleading game-day advertisements. And a conversation between Jeffery Klaehn and Garry Potter on the balance of individual and structural power is apropos to activist Martin Murie's continued fight for single payer health care and an end to endless war.

In the French Corner Graham Lea reviews, in English, the cultural meaning of French patrimoine and its profound differences with American Manichaean and Messianic nationalism. Writing in French, Simone Alié-Daram reviews the psychological trauma of Lasthenie de Ferjol syndrome; Marie Rennard, the editor-in-chief of le Coin Français, examines four centuries of Parisian transportation history; Marie-Laetitia Gambié offers a tale combining psychology and surprising medicine; and we publish a famous poem by Barbey d'Aurevilly. We end with Beginning, a multilingual poem by Guido Monte, along with your letters, fan and otherwise.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.

# # # # #

Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  Michael Yates's In and Out of the Working Class

Michael Yates's In and Out of the Working Class is graced by some of the finest writing that you are likely to encounter from someone whose background is primarily in political and economic analysis and which reveals the tensions between his blue-collar sensibilities and academic career.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Talespinning Sarajevo-Chicago

Peter Byrne reviews selected works of Aleksandar Hemon, a Sarajevan native who immigrated to Chicago to become a renowned writer.   More...


World of Film

Charles Marowitz:  Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story

Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story is a pertinent, persuasive, and blunt analysis of the way that a small, affluent, and greedy minority has succeeded in dominating 95% of the American population, who could learn from its message.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  Laurance Rockefeller And Capitalist Conservation

A review of Laurance Rockefeller's influence on the environmental movement during the 1960s.   More...


America: Myths & Realities

Femi Akomolafe:  Understanding Amerikkka

Femi Akomolafe illustrates, from his objective vantage point in Ghana, the debate over Barack Obama's accomplishments in his first nine months as president.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Contrast

A contrast in priorities: from the military-industrial-congressional complex, for-profit sick care and bankster bonuses, to an ecosystem that we are killing while preserving our way of life -- watching NASCAR on the 62-inch plasma TV.   More...


Harvey E. Whitney, Jr.:  Weakness, Ineptitude, And Folly
Scientistic Sensationalism and Corporatized Clichés of University Game Day Television Ads

The article discusses the length universities go to prostitute themselves in college game day advertisements.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Jeffery Klaehn and Garry Potter:  Dimensions Of Power

A conversation between Jeffery Klaehn and Garry Potter on individual and structural power.   More...


Martin Murie:  Health Care Is A Human Right; Warfare Is A Human Wrong

Activist Martin Murie continues his fight for single payer health care, and an end to endless war.   More...


French Corner

Graham Lea:  Le Patrimoine
French Symbolism, and the Triumph of Patriotism over Nationalism

The cultural meaning of French patrimoine and the profound differences with American manichaean, messianic, and violent nationalism.   More...


Le coin français (in French)

Simone Alié-Daram:  Histoire d'une pathologie : Le syndrome de Lasthénie de Ferjol

Lasthénie de Ferjol aurait pu rester ce que Barbey d'Aurevilly l'avait faite. Une héroïne de roman désespérée usant de la scarification pour tenter de surmonter un traumatisme psychologique grave, si un professeur d'hématologie français n'avait reconnu, à la lecture de sa tragédie, les signes d'une affection particulière qu'il avait rencontrée chez quelques unes de ses patientes. Quand la littérature rencontre la médecine, et y laisse sa griffe...   More...


Marie Rennard:  Transports

Marie Rennard, l'éditrice en chef du coin français, retrace quatre siècles de transports parisiens, du carrosse au métro.   More...


Marie-Laetitia Gambié:  Hypnodiagnostic

Là où échouent les imageries médicales, un médecin fait appel à une technique différente, et son patient pose un diagnostic... mais pas celui qu'on attendait.   More...


Barbey d'Aurevilly:  L'échanson

Poème: Extrait du recueil Poussières, Ed. Alphonse Lemerre, 1897.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Beginning

Guido Monte thinks about the obscure road of our existence, through the verses of Virgil, Dante, and Blake.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Gilles d'Aymery's accurate assessment of the health care reform debate and Michael Barker's prescience on slavery and the abolition movement leader Kevin Bales; anonymous insults -- for the love of god -- from Washington State on Steve Shay's debut story; and more.   More...


# # # # #

Let us know if you wish to receive an e-mail regarding each new edition (twice a month) with the Note from the Editors, and please become a financial subscriber. See our Donate page.



« Previous | Current Issue | Next »


SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: October 19, 2009