Note from the Editor

This is Swans' last commentary for the year. We'll be back next week, on January 1, 2002, with our traditional "Predictions" which, as always, require to be taken with a grain of salt, and with an essay by Alma Hromic on Xmas, among others.

Years go by but War persists. It has indeed become a perpetual war, on all continents, in Europe, Central Asia, Africa, Latin America... Violence and destruction are big business. Fortunes are made out of the graveyards of humanity, preferably those of the down-trodden, all the while claiming just blood in the name of freedom and democracy, and muzzling civil liberties on the account of safety and security. 90 percent approve, say the polls. It's worth remembering the words of Goethe, referring to a horse: "Tired of liberty, he accepted to be saddled and bridled, and had, for his trouble, to bear till death a rider." With this in mind, let us not be blinded and silenced by fear, but keep our thoughts clear and make our voices be heard.

Swans' readership has increased five-fold in 2001. Our commentaries are being republished, reposted and linked with increasing regularity. This is a tribute to the many individuals who voluntarily contribute their talents and uphold their commitment to the project, a project not based on ideology and chapels but on Reason, Justice and Equity, with intellectual integrity, deep emotions and humor. It also is a tribute to the readers for helping to disseminate our work through word of mouth. To all, Thank You!

More than ever, please form your own opinion and do not forget to let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.


The Pinnacle of Mediocrity

Gilles d'Aymery:  2001 in Perspective: The Nebulous Middle Mind

Anthony Lewis, the retiring columnist of The New York Times, closed his last column on December 15 with these parting thoughts: "In the end I believe that faith in reason will prevail. But it will not happen automatically. Freedom under law is hard work. If rulers cannot be trusted with arbitrary power, it is up to citizens to raise their voices at injustice. The most important office in a democracy, Justice Louis Brandeis said, is the office of the citizen."

As I was reading the words of this grand priest of American Liberalism, the eulogist of Middle Mind, to use Curtis White's cultural construct, I could somehow hear the murmurings of the little harp-girl's song in Heinrich Heine 1844 poem, Germany, A Winter's Tale.   More...

Gilles d'Aymery is Swans' co-editor and publisher.



Best Wishes for the New Year

Keep Sanity Alive!




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Created: January 7, 2002