Oops, no contribution again. Seems that the economic crisis is affecting Swans.


Note from the Editors

The last two weeks have been tough for the downtrodden, from the execution of Troy Davis despite his questionable guilt and the global efforts to save him; to the ongoing subjugation of the Palestinians and America's role in obstructing their statehood while simultaneously cheering on the Arab Spring; and the economy that continues its downhill spiral while the elite continue to thrive. Gilles d'Aymery covers these matters and more in his Martian Blips, along with a suggestion for how the "capitalist liberals" might invest their money to counter the media propaganda we are fed. Speaking of media, if you've followed Jan Baughman's vaudevillian series on Swans editors' struggles with The New York Times delivery, you'll be surprised by the latest twists and turns. Suffice it to say, it's been the best of Times and the worst of Times. The California State University system is suffering the worst of times, and students are literally paying the price for the state's budget woes. We count on these students to imagine a better future, yet Professor Jonah Raskin, who teaches critical thinking, has concluded that to become a genuine critical-thinking teacher, one has to aim to subvert the very educational system of which one is a part. Capitalism, likewise, is an inequitable system that does not, and will never, work to benefit the majority of the world's human inhabitants. Michael Barker examines the social engineering designed to manage capitalism's endemic crisis. In light of the above, it is apropos to republish Gilles d'Aymery's October 2002 article on the American way. It hasn't gotten much prettier since then...

After digesting all this, one could use a hearty taste of culture. Peter Byrne celebrates American folklorist Alan Lomax, who brought black American music, along with popular, non-commercialized music, on to the national stage. Shakespearean playwright Charles Marowitz shares an excerpt from a collection of essays and conversations that he and critic Jan Kott published in Roar of the Canon: Kott and Marowitz on Shakespeare. Turning to verse, Raju Peddada's poem looks at life from different perspectives; William Hathaway's ecological poem demonstrates that Mother Nature is one tough mama; and Claudine Giovannoni & Guido Monte explore the land and the spirit of islands through the words of Derek Walcott. We close with your letters and a call for submissions -- if you or someone you know might be interested in contributing to our unique and original collective, please see our Submissions and Guidelines pages.

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Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #116

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the widely-opposed execution of Troy Davis and America's good company of death-penalty countries; the prospect for Palestinian statehood and President Obama's reversal on the matter; to a suggestion for Warren Buffett and George Soros to use their wealth to counter false advertising.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Jan Baughman:  The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times

Chapter 3 of this series on Swans editors' struggle to have The New York Times delivered to their rural home reveals a surprise development that brings us close to the end of this sorry saga.   More...


Jonah Raskin:  The Co-optation Of Critical Thinking
A Saga of Mis-education in California

The critical thinking curriculum influenced by Richard Paul and mandated by the California State University system is not true to the very ideals of critical thinking. To become a genuine critical thinking teacher, one has to aim to subvert the very educational system of which one is a part.   More...


Michael Barker:  The Invisible Planners: Part I of II

A summary of Guy Alchon's book The Invisible Hand of Planning: Capitalism, Social Science, and the State in the 1920s.   More...


Oldies but Goodies

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blind And Improvident

From October 2002: In the American Way, each of us is a weapon of mass destruction, and each of us can become an instrument of change.   More...


Arts & Culture

Peter Byrne:  Alan Lomax: An Ear For Folk

Alan Lomax brought black American music, along with popular, non-commercialized music generally, on to the national stage.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Shakespearean Scraps

An excerpt from a collection of essays and conversations between Shakespearean playwright Charles Marowitz and the critic Jan Kott as published in Roar of the Canon: Kott and Marowitz On Shakespeare.   More...



Raju Peddada:  What Do We Do When It Rains?

A poem that considers more positive and productive approaches to life, including submitting articles to Swans in a timely manner.   More...


William T. Hathaway:  Cascade Mountain Fights Back

An ecological poem that demonstrates that Mother Nature is a tough mama: the mountains' inhabitants fight back against the lumberjack.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Claudine Giovannoni & Guido Monte:  Island water (Walcott n.3)

The last verses of Monte and Giovannoni about the land and the 'spirit of islands' by the great poet Derek Walcott.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Another side to Femi Akomolafe's take on Nigeria and African-centered foreign policy; recommended reading on the adventures of a Vietnamese revolutionary from the Bureau of Public Secrets; and comments on Michael Doliner's proposal that we get ourselves a public gadfly.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
URL: http://www.swans.com/library/past_issues/2011/110926.html
Created: September 26, 2011