by Gilles d'Aymery
"It is more dangerous to be a great prophet or poet than to promote twenty companies for swindling simple folk out of their savings."
—Bernard Shaw, Preface to Misalliance, 1914
(Swans - February 28, 2005) HERE IS a shortie. I've been out of it with a smashed left jaw, a recurring sinus infection and a bad cold... Just an assortment of random thoughts and findings...
CAPITALISM AT ITS FINEST We don't want your communism, but we'll take your cigars. Because of the US embargo, Cuba cannot protect the trademark of its famous Cohiba cigars against those sold under the same name by an American company, General Cigar. A lower court originally found that the Cuban brand deserved protection, but New York's Second Circuit Court overturned the finding, and ruled that the embargo bars Cuba from acquiring American trademarks.
YOU WON'T HEAR the following material written by composer Marc Saiman and his partner, Scott Wittman, which Robin Williams was going to deliver during the night of the Oscars as the presenter of the Academy Award for best animated picture. (Williams wanted to poke fun at James C. Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, a right-wing moralizing group that has criticized SpongeBob SquarePants for being "pro-homosexual.")
The censors at ABC nicked the song. Here a few lines and the reasons they were rejected by ABC (from the NYT, Feb. 27, 2005 "Cut from the Oscars: Cartoon Characters' Sins," by David M. Halbfinger):
"Pinocchio's had his nose done!
Sleeping Beauty is popping pills!
The Three Little Pigs ain't kosher!
Betty Boop works Beverly Hills!"
(Reason: Too political.)
"Fred Flintstone is dyslexic,
Jessica Rabbit is really a man,
Olive Oyl is really anorexic,
And Casper is in the Ku Klux Klan!"
(Reason: Too juicy and gossipy.)
"Chip 'n Dale are both strippers,"
"Bugs Bunny's a sexaholic," and,
"Josie and the Pussycats dance on laps."
(Reason: "sexual tone")
"The Road Runner's hooked on speed" and
"Pocahontas is addicted to craps."
(Reason: could be construed as glorifying drug use or could be offensive to Native Americans or disabled people.)
"WHAT DO the imperial mafia really want?" asks William Blum.
"After what was humorously designated an 'election' in Iraq," Blum goes one, "there was a marked increase in calls for the United States to announce a timetable for withdrawal from that unhappy land. Senator Kennedy, The Brookings Institution, and a British government official were amongst numerous of the influential class to propose such action. The rationale behind the timing of these requests, one would assume, is that now that Iraq has displayed a measure of what the White House calls 'democracy,' the United States can and should declare, once again, 'mission accomplished' and leave, without loss of face.
Such a proposal might make sense if this thing called 'democracy' was indeed the reason the United States invaded and occupied Iraq."
Read Blum's full Anti-Empire Report at http://members.aol.com/bblum6/ -- it's always a treat.
HELP Protect Our Country! (from an e-mail)
"Wanted: Qualified Professionals for Careers in Criminal Justice
Homeland security is creating more jobs. Get educated and take advantage.
EducationAdvance.com has 100's of schools and degrees to choose from. We will match you with the best schools for the degree you are interedted [sic] in.
FREE INFROMATION. [sic] NO OBLIGATION"
Where there is a buck to be made there's an American, spelling notwithstanding...
"THE SUN VANISHED from the horizon when the Soviet Union collapsed"
Cuban leader said Island's economy is rising like a phoenix from the post-Soviet ashes...
After two years of scaling back reforms introduced during the deep crisis that followed the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba's economy is recovering well and it will soon reach output levels previous to the 1990-1993 downturn. In a recent speech to economists, Cuba's leader Fidel Castro said that the communist state was "rising again like the phoenix" from the ashes of its post-soviet crash.
MEANTIME, in Venezuela, "Chávez-Bashing of Old Begins Anew"
HERE'S a different and more creative story:
"I know I couldn't have gotten out of the State Supreme Court building any faster, but it wasn't fast enough. The elevator couldn't come quickly enough and I couldn't wait. The stairs weren't close, but I didn't care and I banged through the exit door and hopped down the steps like a goat coming down a mountain in Springtime to the smell of new grasses, or the smell of new goats."
Read more at http://thewolfatthedoor.blogspot.com
TWO BOOKS and accompanying articles to learn/understand what really happened behind the MLK assassination:
An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King
by William Pepper
Verso, January 2003, ISBN: 1859846955
Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by William Pepper
Warner Books, April 1998, ISBN: 0446673943
THE POPE ate breakfast with a good appetite and breathed on his own, unassisted. Hallelujah! We at Swans are kneeling in ecstasy.
A READER WRITES: "I recently came across your publication, Swans, and I have found a number of interesting articles and such. However, I don't see any provision on your site to directly respond to any of the authors, some of whom could certainly use some responding to. Am I blind, or is there, in fact, as it seems, no way to accomplish this? It seems curious to me that your site would not allow somebody to directly respond to your authors concerning their writings. After all, we're all guaranteed freedom of speech; I didn't think that it also included freedom from criticism. Your Letters to the Editor section isn't quite what I'm after. Perhaps you would be kind enough to set me straight, and let me know if there is any way to directly respond to the authors on your site, or if not, why. Thank you in advance for your response."
WELL, IT HAS little (or nothing) to do with speech or criticism. We do not advertise or publish the e-mail addresses of our contributors for reasons of privacy (robots harvesting e-mail addresses on Web sites and mailing lists, dreaded spam, flames, trolls, etc.). Neither do I communicate the e-mail addresses of authors to readers, nor do I include readers' e-mail addresses with their letters to the editor. In all cases, privacy is more important than convenience. When I receive an e-mail that is addressed to an author I immediately forward it, whether it's a criticism, a request for information, or a congratulation (I rarely forward flames). The author can then contact the reader if s/he chooses to do so.
QUOTE FOR THE AGES: "Hang in. I'm counting on you!" --Milo Clark
BOONVILLE NEWS: Not much, see first paragraph...
And so it goes...