Swans 10th Anniversary
by Alma A. Hromic
(Swans - May 8, 2006) Back in 1999, when the world was going mad and the city of my childhood and what was left of my country of birth were being pounded by bombs, with the Western mainstream media full of poison and lies dictated by the party line and necessary in order to maintain the justification for the bombardment, I sought sanity for myself and for my family on the Internet. Here was the last bastion of truth and courage to speak out against injustice and arrogance. I spent hours online every day, printing out articles and stories and opinions which I would pass on to my parents, in which we could all find a moment of grateful even if short-lived peace.
There were many articles -- I accumulated a mountain of paperwork. But although my searches were wide-ranging, there were a few sites where I returned again and again, places where people took a stand, drew a line in the sand, flung the gauntlet at the goliath of the tightly controlled official media and their political spin.
One of those sites was Swans.
It was one of the brightest candles in those dark times, and it was one of the few sites where I made a personal contact with the people who ran it...and the only site which, subsequently, I became a part of and wrote regularly for over the best part of nearly five years -- which, given the birthday it is currently celebrating, means that I have been involved with Swans for half its lifespan.
The Swans site continued to be eclectic and wide-ranging, righting wrongs and injustices but also publishing satirical humour, thoughtful essays, book reviews, and poetry by a range of contributing writers. It has also been a stepping stone to magical, even miraculous places -- one of my own poems that appeared in Swans quite a few years ago was recently picked by NASA to be included in a jubilee poster of their own.
For my part, I am grateful for the things that Swans has been doing over the past decade. Sometimes the road has been rocky but Swans is still here, undaunted -- and I feel sure it will continue its efforts to pursue truth and justice in a troubled world. In fact, never has the presence of something like Swans been needed more.
Happy birthday, Swans, and many happy returns.
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