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Note from the Editors

The American Dream may turn out to be America's nightmare, as the impact of the subprime lending scandal spreads beyond the housing market to numerous sectors of the economy. Yet it is the American Way that every loser a winner makes -- our editor's blips delve into the winners from corporate scandals, the genetic lottery, nuclear deterrence, plausible solutions to the Iranian stalemate, and the growing energy needs. There are no winners when it comes to sex scandals, however. Senator Larry Craig's airport bathroom antics were swept off the front page faster than you could wave a hand under a stall, but Charles Marowitz resurrects that story in an interesting take on American hypocrisy that reaches far beyond the closeted Republican charge.

Political climate change can be felt throughout the world, and it's an apropos time for Arnab Roy Chowdhury's thesis on the social and historical origin of environmentalism; Carol Warner Christen's thoughts on socialism, feudalism, and the general welfare of We the People; and Joel Hirschhorn's overview of the decline of American democracy despite the relative stability of her constitutional structure. Of course, no environmental discussion would be complete without Martin Murie's input -- Murie proposes that we save ALL habitats for all species, build a transition to a better world, and not simply follow the leaders. Jan Baughman has had it with government's reliance on prayer to solve the world's problems, so she's praying for the end of theocracy and a return to sanity.

From politics to political art, Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road, reviewed by Peter Byrne, is a story of post planetary-catastrophe that is not a road we'd want to travel, to say the least... It comes down to the choices that each of us makes that will change our direction or perpetuate the madness. Wolfgang Borchert's poem, "Then There's Only One Choice," translated from German by William Hathaway, illustrates this very notion. We end with Guido Monte, Viviana Fiorentino, and Francesca Saieva's poetic creativity; Peter Byrne's devil-dog humor; and your letters, on 'pataphysics, the perhaps-not-inevitable march to Iran, and the abominableness of torture.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.

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Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #61

A few selected issues that landed on the editor's desk, from the beneficiaries of the subprime losers and other corporate scandals to the rising bar of the Forbes 400; the ongoing sham of the Estate Tax and the effect of the so-called strong economy on the rest of us; to solving the Iran conundrum; and more.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  Sexual Equality

Perhaps by treating heterosexuals soliciting sex in the same manner we treat homosexual solicitation, we'd begin to confront the hypocrisy of our behavior.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Arnab Roy Chowdhury:  Whither Green Utopias: Journey To The Past Or Visions Of Future?

A brief social origin and history of Environmentalism as a political philosophy and theory, with its praxiological aspects. Through this tracing of genealogy, the author criticises the "radical" and "not-so-radical" Environmentalism strands, by pointing out the crisis of theory and construction of problematic in their utopic visions, and the path they have taken to achieve them.   More...


America: Myths & Realities

Carol Warner Christen:  Back To Feudalism

Hype, silence, and the broad misunderstanding of the general welfare, socialism, and the Constitution of the United States of America.   More...


Joel S. Hirschhorn:  Democracy Versus Stability

The stability of government structure has not prevented the decline of American democracy.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  The Home Court Advantage

Statistical analyses reveal the home court advantage in sports, and a historical perspective shows that this pertains to war, suggesting that America's conquests are fighting a losing battle, while troop mutiny is on the rise.   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  Habitats

Promoting a new slogan: KAH -- Keep All Habitats. The preservation of species includes ALL species, including human, and means walking the talk on sustainability and getting off the dead-end trails laid down by rulers.   More...


Jan Baughman:  Praying For Some Sanity

With government asking for divine intervention to solve problems, it's time to pray for sanity, the end of theocracy, and some real human ingenuity.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  American Endgame

A loving father and son travel on foot through a ruined, dangerous, and doomed world. Review of Cormac McCarthy's The Road.   More...



Wolfgang Borchert (translated by William T. Hathaway):  Dann Gibt Es Nur Eins! (Then There's Only One Choice!)

An impassioned antiwar poem by a writer in the German resistance during World War II.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte, Viviana Fiorentino, & Francesca Saieva:  Shir Hashirim (Part III, the end)

The last part of a contemporary multilingual version of the Song of Songs, by Fiorentino, Saieva and Monte, with the help of Chiara Cappello, Costanza Dimitri, Gianvito Mistretta, Giuseppe Zimmardi...and Borges, Eluard, Frost!   More...


Humor with a Zest

Peter Byrne:  The Devil You Don't Want To Know

A short play, in which the devil is in the details -- or the politicians -- or one of many well-worn sayings among dogs' best friends.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Should poets waste their time analyzing language? On Marie Rennard's remembrance of 'pataphysics; questioning Gilles d'Aymery's assertion that the march toward Iran is inexorable; and reassurance that torture is indeed an abomination.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: November 19, 2007