Note from the Editor

The annual Gallup survey of public confidence in major institutions was recently released, accurately reflecting where the power lies in America. Military topped the charts at 74%, followed by police (63%), organized religion (53%), Mr. Bush (44%), newspapers and TV (28% each), with Congress and big business tied at 22%. That the corporate media doesn't fall in the big business category is a mystery...and it's no wonder the public distrusts it when, as George Beres laments, journalism schools are now adopting public relations as a major... Deck Deckert, also in the media know, explains how he who chooses the language frames the debate. Case in point, the administration's repackaging of the Global War On Terror (GWOT) as the GSAVE, the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism, since wars require exit strategies and the like. The war on Yugoslavia was so successfully packaged that it is impenetrable to criticism, as Gilles d'Aymery has repeatedly experienced. Read Milo Clark and Philip Greenspan for more on America's perpetual wars and the devastating generations of weapons used by our trustworthy military institution.

All this makes for an appropriate time to revisit the simpler life of Henry David Thoreau, compliments of Michael Brooks. Toss out the newspaper, turn off the telly and pick up a good book. You can certainly count on Swans' reviewers for well-crafted analyses -- Louis Proyect examines Ronald Aronson's Camus and Sartre, and Charles Marowitz critiques Ronald and Allis Radosh's Red Star Over Hollywood. Finally, enjoy Charles Marowitz's histoire noire on the life and times of Paris Hilton via her 2041 obituary.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.


Main Media & Propaganda

George Beres:  Quit Kidding Us, Professor: Journalism Is Not Public Relations

Long personal experience taught me the distinction between public relations and journalism. In the 1950s, I earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University, the finest in the nation. I feel I wasted that training by spending most of the next 30 years as a public relations man.   More...


Deck Deckert:  Words, Words, Words

I have always known that words are important; after all, I have been a writer and editor all of my working life. But it's only in recent years that I have realized that words are the most important thing in the public's perception of politics and everything else that is important.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Balkans' Blind Spot: Questioning the Lemmings

With respect to the Balkans, reader Bob Wrubel writes, "Most of my friends, of course, see right through the propaganda that justified the war on Iraq, and understand the neo-liberal goals being pursued there, but can't seem to believe the same factors could have been at work in Yugoslavia." This phenomenon has perplexed me for years. Why is it that people who question the honesty of the US government in relation to international adventures abandon all sense of critical thinking on the matter of the Yugoslav tragedy?   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  New Actuality In The Old Set?

May we look, if possible, at some available perceptions? Several suggest that Ruling Elites (Old Sets) of the once United States of America and elsewhere, when all is stripped away, now focus on oil and war.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Blowback From The A-Bombs

August 6th will mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, the first atomic bombing of a wartime enemy. Those alive at that time will never forget their initial reaction upon learning of the awesome effects of that abominable weapon. I, a GI expecting transfer to the Far East for participation in the invasion of Japan, was ecstatic.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Michael Brooks:  Living Simply, Simply Living

The landscape of the present-day United States bears but little resemblance to the terra firma described by Henry David Thoreau in Walden; the nation today is crisscrossed with multilane interstates, pocked with shopping malls and big box retailers, and the American wilderness has been largely carved into zones for suburban and exurban housing.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  Fraying Friendship: Ronald Aronson's Camus and Sartre

Ronald Aronson's Camus and Sartre is a penetrating study of the friendship of two French philosopher/activists and the political differences that eventually led to their breakup.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Defenders Of The Witch Hunt: R. & A. Radosh's Red Star Over Hollywood

A few years back, when I was being interviewed for a position at The New School in New York, the conversation drifted around to the McCarthy years. My interviewer asked whether during that troubled period I had ever been "investigated by the Committee."   More...


Humor With a Zest

Charles Marowitz:  Paris Hilton: Spec Obit (2041)

The sudden and alarming death of Paris Hilton at the age of thirty-six due to complications arising from galloping bulimia has cast a pall over both Hollywood and New York suspending the filming of the bio-pic The Last Time I Had Paris being directed by her former boyfriend Rick Salomon.   More...


Letters to the Editor


The debate continues, from Srebrenica massacre vs. political spin, to 9/11 conspiracies that we've neglected to take seriously, thereby providing a disservice to our readers...   More...



– If you wish to receive an e-mail regarding each new rendition (twice a month) with the Note from the Editor and the URL to each article, please send an e-mail with "Subscribe Swans" in the subject line. Please also include your first/last name in the body of the message.



« Previous | Current Issue | Next »


Created: August 8, 2005