Perspectives: A Review of 2012
(Swans - December 17, 2012) We state at the bottom of each published piece that Swans is "the companion of thinking people." How arrogant, how haughty a statement, many non-thinking people will think. Think again. We do not publish 40 pieces a day like other publications do (how can one read 40 unedited pieces a day? Any time left for reading a book, or listening to some music?), just a few every fortnight, but each is fully thought through (and edited). So, with the door closing on the year, the window panes rubbed by the yellow fog, the indomitable rain falling through all the fibers of our bodies, let us not fall asleep. It is time to bring to you our traditional Year-End reviews. As always they will be eclectic, varied, and, yes, thoughtful.
There have been a lot of elections in 2012. Good guys and bad guys confronted each other on the economy, unemployment, and taxes, but one topic that was not touched with a ten-foot pole was climate change or climate disruptions -- droughts, hurricanes, typhoons, melting glaciers, water shortages... So, Jan Baughman chose to address this issue head on. Perhaps she'll help us to wake up from our torpor.
Manuel García proposes his taxonomy on eight major problems facing humanity: Corruption and authoritarianism; political violence; food production; healthcare and education; environmental attitudes; financial aggression; political freedom; and energy for human development -- and how they relate to each other -- something upon which to ponder.
Glenn Reed wonders whether we are past the point of speeding towards the cliff, and not simply a fiscal one -- a year in which history repeats itself and regular abuse is a common denominator.
Kazue Daikoku brings her perspective from Japan regarding the aftereffects of the terrible tragedy that befell her country, the dispute between China and Japan surrounding a tiny island, and Japan's publishing revolution.
Marie Rennard writes about France and the mess the country is facing. What a sorry state le cher pays de mon enfance has become. Even Gérard Depardieu cannot take it any more.
Michael Barker briefly shows the destructive nature of our socioeconomic system, which some call capitalism, and hopes that this system will be become redundant thanks to people's collective efforts. Keep hope alive, as many luminaries have often muttered.
Paul Buhle reflects on Wisconsin and the loss of old comrades -- a short but touching piece worth your attention.
How long will the killings and the military-industrial complex go on?, wonders Jonah Raskin. How much more post-traumatic stress disorder will we have to suffer before reason and rationality prevail?
Fabio De Propris sends his Italian thoughts about a world going awry -- a yearly occurrence.
Peter Byrne, always walking the path less traveled, disserts on a few demises that have taken place in 2012 -- demises by social media, "poetastery" (his word), job stress, blind vengeance, and diffidence. He even adds an interview for the audience.
And talking about obits, Isidor Saslav mentions a few notable individuals who passed away this year. He also looks at the state of the world, which could certainly be more enlightened.
Raju Peddada, too, looks at the state of affairs of the world as he pleads for some sort of sanity, a sentiment much supported by this publication and its editors.
Harvey Whitney muses on job losses, educational endeavors, and some Washington, D.C. irony.
Finally, we end with a few words from the in-house misanthrope.
I hope you enjoy, or at least appreciate, this work. Be well.
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