Note from the Editors

This annual "sacred" weekend is a topsy-turvy time to be pious, as the Vatican attempts to dodge the charges of anti-Semitism that it hurled in attempt to deflect the anger over its institutionalized pedophilia; and the god-fearing, family-loving, life-asserting Republican National Committee is caught red-handed reimbursing a donor's night out at a strip club, complete with lesbians (lord, do they miss "don't ask, don't tell," because they really love gay love, so long as it's kept in the closet). Will they all, once and for all, just implode under the weight of their hypocrisy and let us live our lives? Probably not. As the Vatican struggles to rewrite, if not ignore its reputation, the U.S. stands firm with its rigid mind-set in which force and violence are the only logical solutions to any and all challenges that confront the country, as our brother from Ghana, Femi Akomolafe, convincingly demonstrates.

Turning to the left, or what's left of it, Michael Doliner takes two supposed progressive writers head-on, with a collection of stupidities about Obama by Alexander Cockburn and a psychoanalysis of Christopher Hitchens and his 2005 essay on Lolita. In light of Doliner's ironic observations and the continued tectonic shift rightward of the president and Congress, it is fitting that Jan Baughman asks, "What's left for progressives?", while Michael Barker continues to reveal the financiers of social change and the co-option of liberal philanthropy. Without doubt, your dollars are put to better use here at Swans, where quality, ethical journalism and creativity abound and plagiarizers and scrubbers need not apply. Gilles d'Aymery examines the disturbing journalistic trends that are emerging in the mainstream media as competition increases while editors and fact-checkers join the ranks of the unemployed.

No such disturbing trends here -- where else do you find all of the above, and two book reviews on Armenian life by Peter Byrne? Or Christine Spadaccini's creative word-play in the form of a (sp)arrow in an imaginative (g)love story of an aspiring writer and a famous author? Or concertmaster Isidor Saslav's operatic observations and a poetry corner replete with every manner of styles, from Steve Shay's heartfelt depiction of the court of hard Knox; Charles Marowitz's nursery-rhyme message for twitterers, with a suggestion on where to place that iPhone; Art Shay's sonnet to the US senatewhores leading America's descent, along with France, into Banana Republic status; and Guido Monte's linguistic blending on the Others? We ask, you tell. So as always, we close with your letters, mostly pro and some con, on the works of Gilles d'Aymery, Art Shay, Joel Hirschhorn, Isidor Saslav, and more.

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Patterns which Connect

Femi Akomolafe:  In search Of Enemies

Our brother from Ghana considers America's knee-jerk response to Nigerian Umar Farouk Matallab's attempted Christmas day suicide bombing and the rigid mind-set, including that of Nobel Peace Prizing-winner Obama, that force and violence are the only logical solutions to any and all problems that confront them.   More...


Michael Doliner:  Collecting Stupidities: Alexander Cockburn

Michael Doliner considers Barack Obama's first year as president and the contradictions of Alexander Cockburn on the subject. Is the real Obama the coolest kid on the block, or the kid you wouldn't have wanted to tag along?   More...


Michael Doliner:  Eruption From The Id #1: Christopher Hitchens

While Michael Doliner was chortling over Alexander Cockburn, who should pop into his head but Christopher Hitchens inspiring him to psychoanalyze Hitchens's 2005 essay on Lolita.   More...


Jan Baughman:  What's Left For Progressives?

What's left for progressives in these politically turbulent times as third-party candidates are forced out of the system and the Democrats and Republicans converge?   More...


Michael Barker:  Liberal Philanthropy And Social Change In South Africa

Liberal foundations and the elite transition from apartheid to neoliberalism.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Gilles d'Aymery:  The Scourge Of Plagiarism And Scrubbing
A Reflection of our Societal Rot?

Swans editor Gilles d'Aymery considers the scourge of plagiarism and scrubbing that has infected the print and Web media given the cuts of copy editors, proofreaders, and fact checkers, and the greater societal impact of rotting integrity, journalistic and otherwise.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  Not Forgetting The Armenians

Peter Byrne reviews two books on Armenian life; one that comes to grips with the plight of the "other" in Turkey, and another with the depth of airport lounge reading.   More...


Short Story

Christine Spadaccini:  The (Sp)arrow

Christine Spadaccini's creative word-play takes the form of a sparrow in an imaginative (g)love story of an aspiring writer and a famous author.   More...


The World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  Ruminations On Rusalka, The Ring, Cyrano, And Shreker - Part III

Part Three of a potpourri of operatic observations. Still another 20th-century opera composer coming back to life.   More...



Steve Shay:  Court Of Hard Knox, With Apologies To G & S

A poem for Amanda Knox, Italy's sacrificial lamb and Seattle's dearly missed daughter.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Message For Twitterers

A poetic message on the boring chitchat and endless drivel of Twitterers, with a suggestion on where to put their iPhones.   More...


Art Shay:  Two New Banana Republics: After France, the U.S.

A sonnet to the US senatewhores leading America's descent into a Banana Republic, with France following in its wayward footsteps.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  The Others

Monte tells with Borges and biblical verses the unity of everything and all the beings.   More...


Letters to the Editor


An objection to Gilles d'Aymery's The Gray Lady and Copyright Insanities; large love for Art Shay's Collaboration; questions from France on the worldwide crisis and Gilles d'Aymery's blips; questions on Swans copyright rules; wholehearted agreement with Joel Hirschhorn on weak reforms; and Isidor Saslav on Wolfgang Wagner, Gottfried Wagner, Sir Donald MacIntyre, and other musical interludes.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: April 5, 2010