FUNDRAISING DRIVE: Thanks to the helping hand of Louis Proyect (see his message below) and the generosity of 13 donors we've raised almost $600 in the last two weeks. This is good news! But it also means that we need to raise another $1,900 before the end of the year. You do remember what Swans is about, right? "In a time of revisionism, faux-semblant, spinning news, and skewed information, Swans is about thinking, questioning, observing, and providing ideas that are lacking in the mainstream media." (It's also about Arts & Culture.) We've been doing it for almost 15 years with authors from many countries who appreciate and agree with our quiet radicalism, our Web exclusivity, and dedication to proper editing. Please help us carry on our tradition of providing you with only original work, not multi-posted stuff you find in most Web publications... Donate now!

Many thanks to Louis Proyect, Alex Munro, Cecilio Morales, Samuel Bennett, Michael Yates, William O'Connor, Richard Brand, Nick Harlow, John Halle, Raymond Alford, Claudia Resch, Isidor Saslav, and Michael Fahey for their generous contributions.


Note from the Editors

You may have noticed that Swans has remained stubbornly silent about the insane US mid-term elections, considering that in the words of Jon Stewart "we live in hard times, not end times" and the situation will remain as bad as it is once this sideshow is over and the circus folds its tent until it reopens for the 2012 presidential elections. So, this latest edition will take you instead on a geographical tour.

Let's begin this tour in America where, after a pitch for Swans by Louis Proyect, Michael Barker provides the first part of his study on the links between the philanthropic elites on one hand and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the civil rights movement on the other. From that exploration to another one: the blatant hypocrisy of the military system and those who claim to support the troops, which Jan Baughman illustrates through her review of The Tillman Story. No wonder, Michael Doliner offers a bleak look at the end of constitutional government in the United States!

Let's leave this country and journey to Nigeria, the country of Femi Akomolafe's birth where, as Femi explains, the mess of the electoral process goes far beyond that of the U.S. Then hop on a quick ride to India for a travelogue that leads Peter Byrne from Pondicherry to Auroville where he interacts with Pierre, a Francophile character, which, mais c'est bien sûr, brings France into this little tour. There, Graham Lea takes a look at literature in general, with special attention to Jean Giono, whom Marcel Pagnol called the (then) greatest contemporary French writer. For her part Marie Rennard writes a short story on colors, inspired by Rimbaud's Voyelles. Time now for a short visit to Italy, or more exactly Palermo, Sicily, where Guido Monte teaches and writes about horizons, mirrors, and ponts suspendus in the company of Viviana Fiorentino. Finally, one last trip before your letters, this time in the ether where Maxwell Clark imagines a protocol for his eulogy, an epic 11,200-word poem over a year in the making.

(Regrettably, Gilles d'Aymery got mired in his research on bleak environmental information regarding fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and coal), carbon dioxide emissions, acidification of the oceans, the decline in phytoplankton (40% since 1950), the fauna and flora extinctions, the end of fish, the melting of glaciers, and much more. He was unable to finish the piece before deadline. It will be published in a fortnight.)


(A correction was made on Nov. 1 to reflect the proper name of the SNCC: It is the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, not the Student Nonviolent Organizing Committee.)

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Your Attention, s'il vous plait

Louis Proyect:  Please contribute to Swans

[ed. This is not a Swans article per se. Louis Proyect wrote this piece on his Blog, The Unrepentant Marxist, and posted it on the Marxmail and PEN-L Lists. You will be re-directed to the original location. From there, once you have read his generous appeal on Swans behalf and visited his Blog further, please come back to Swans.]   More...


Patterns which Connect

Michael Barker:  Elite Philanthropy, SNCC, And The Civil Rights Movement (Part I of III)

Part I of a three-part review of the history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.   More...


Jan Baughman:  We Exploit Our Troops

A review of the compelling documentary The Tillman Story, which exposing the hypocrisy of the military system and those who claim to support the troops.   More...


Michael Doliner:  After The Fall

A bleak look at the end of constitutional government in the United States -- can we just be civilized?   More...



Femi Akomolafe:  Nigeria's 2011 Elections: Logic-Defying Permutations

While Nigerians see the 2011 presidential election as a watershed for their nation, the election's timing is under question and changing census figures are having a life and death impact on the fight for power.   More...



Peter Byrne:  Breathing Right In India: Part I, Pondicherry

Part 1 of the author's tale of Pondicherry, based on his recent travels to India.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Breathing Right In India: Part II, Auroville

The author visits Auroville in Part II of the story of his India travels.   More...


Arts & Culture

Graham Lea:  French Literature And Jean Giono

French writers have won more Nobel literature prizes than any other nation; among them Jean Giono, whom Marcel Pagnol called the (then) greatest contemporary French writer.   More...


Short Story

Marie Rennard:  Whatever Blues

A short story on colors, inspired by Rimbaud's Voyelles.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Viviana Fiorentino & Guido Monte:  La Fortezza (Fortess - Vision of a Prisoner)

A journey along horizons, mirrors, and ponts suspendus...   More...



Maxwell Clark:  MASSIF: A Protocol For My Eulogy

Maxwell Clark's epic and imaginative poem over a year in the making.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Michael Barker's "guilt-by-association" anti-immigration Malthusians, and Gilles d'Aymery's economic pessimism and the "best educated and innovative" nation to the rescue, the emergence of saviors from that pessimism, and more.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: November 1, 2010