Our thanks to Thomas W. Halton for his financial contribution!


Note from the Editors

Though it seems like a goddam thousand news cycles ago that J.D. Salinger died and was buried by the Tea Party Convention, Snowmaggedon, and the countdown to America's favorite gladiator event, a few of Swans notable contributors rose to the challenge to submit 200 words, more or less, on the enigmatic author. The result is a set of wonderful vignettes as diverse as the contributors who penned them, each capturing in their own style -- and his -- the aspect of Salinger that left an indelible mark.

Meanwhile, whether George W. Bush, Barrack Obama, or...Sarah Palin? the coin will continue to flip like a Super Bowl coin toss, revealing one side or the other of the very same system. Gilles d'Aymery, addressing civil libertarians young and old who are puzzled by the Obama Doctrine -- a continuation of the Bush policies, explains what needs to happen to steer train-USA in a new direction, and shares his thoughts on Howard Zinn, a man of great courage and ethics whose recent death dealt a deafening blow to the already silenced progressive movement. To further understand the "George W. Obama" phenomenon read Michael Doliner's excellent lesson on the history of nation-states and the justification for war, beginning with the Enlightenment and the notion of universal human equality (a notion that, based on Charles Marowitz's take on America's widening financial disparity, can only be described as quaint). The systemic need for perpetual war even permeates philanthropic organizations with what Michael Barker describes as "humanitarian imperialism" in his exposé on AmeriCares, Haiti, and democracy-manipulating interventions. And as all politics is local, conservation and expansion collided -- with the spoils going to the usual victor -- in the otherwise progressive city of Seattle, as Steve Shay sardonically reports.

Moving to Africa, Femi Akomolafe writes about the politics, poverty, and political vacuum in Nigeria, while Peter Byrne considers the award-winning documentary Mugabe and the White African, which needed a much wider lens and a broader historical backdrop for its portrayal of Robert Mugabe and white farmers. Turning the page to a bygone era and another world, Paul Buhle reviews A Lifetime Burning, the remarkable illustrated memoir by Richard Quinney on his parents and grandparents' family farm, and Guido Monte raises poetic questions about human existential confusion, new dangers, and forgotten ways. Finally, we close with your letters in search of Michael Doliner, in praise of Gilles d'Aymery, in contrast of Seine and Shay, in fear of the coming French Tea Partiers, and more.

# # # # #

In Memoriam

Various Authors:  Vignettes On J.D. Salinger

Based upon a suggestion by Charles Marowitz, we asked our regular contributors to write about J.D. Salinger in 200 words more or less. They all hit the mark pretty well, except for one lonely minimalist entry.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #95

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from civil libertarians like Nat Hentoff and Glenn Greenwald puzzled by the Obama Doctrine and ignorant of the systemic predicaments; the courage and ethics of the great late Howard Zinn; to Alberto Giacometti, screaming from his grave at the obscenity of our modernity.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Doliner:  A Short History Of Stupidity - Part 1

In Part 1 of a two-part story, Michael Doliner examines the history of nation-states and the justification of war, beginning with the Enlightenment and the notion of universal human equality.   More...


Michael Barker:  Caring For Haiti

A critical examination of Paul Farmer's connection to various liberal elites and the conservative AmeriCares.   More...


America: Myths & Realities

Charles Marowitz:  The Displaced Generation

A displaced generation of Americans are struggling in an atmosphere that has become rife with strife and dotted with mounting anger against the inequalities between Main Street and Wall Street.   More...


Steve Shay:  Is Seattle Of Two Minds? Well, Yes And No

Not all is progressive in the city of Seattle, where conservation and expansion collide, pot and candy are political, and barely-clad baristas may soon be on the endangered list.   More...



Femi Akomolafe:  Nigeria: A Nation In Custody

Femi Akomolafe continues his analysis of the politics and poverty of Nigeria, and the political vacuum in which it remains with an in absentia president.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Cameras On White Africa

The award-winning documentary Mugabe and the White African needed a much wider lens and a broader historical backdrop for its portrayal of Robert Mugabe and the fate of one white family forced off their farm.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Paul Buhle:  Richard Quinney's A Lifetime Burning

A left-leaning science fiction writer, Kim Stanley Robinson, and radical publisher PM Press, join forces to produce a gem entitled The Lucky Strike.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Via Dimenticata

Questions about human existential confusion, new dangers, and forgotten ways.   More...


Letters to the Editor


In search of Michael Doliner in Swans archives; praise for Gilles d'Aymery's Beginnings With No Known End and The First Obama Year; Seine and Shay: a contrast in photographers; the coming French Tea Partiers; and the reality of the census.   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 subscriber. See our Donate page.



« Previous | Current Issue | Next »


SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
URL: http://www.swans.com/library/past_issues/2010/100208.html
Created: February 8, 2010