Note from the Editors

In April of 2007, we mourned the loss of our 18-year-old feline companion, Bijou, and the genuinely kind, humanist, octogenarian writer, Kurt Vonnegut. Less than one year later, we did not anticipate, nor could we have prepared for, the death of Bijou's 17-year-old son Luigi, and more tragically, the loss of our dear friend and Swans contributor, Phil Greenspan. We share our thoughts on this other genuinely kind, humanist, remarkable man who will be sorely missed. We are also republishing Phil's final essay of January 14, and have posted a link to his page with the collection of 129 essays he had been relentlessly submitting since June 2001.

Last night, the weather turned to gale-force winds and torrential rain that reopened the leaks in the ceiling and, along with the two frightened 80-pound dogs on the bed, kept sleep at bay. This morning, the 15-minute drive to town for the Sunday New York Times left us empty handed, the delivery man having gone MIA about four days ago. Our Internet connection is spotty; everything seems askew right now -- but for the new life breathed into the American Duopoly Bowl by Ralph Nader, who will wage war against corpocracy on behalf of the unrepresented majority till his last day, despite being dismissed by the mainstream media and vilified by the so-called Left. Carol Warner Christen provides a chilling overview of the degree to which our constitutional life has been privatized, and this is not a modern phenomenon. In fact, corpocracy can be traced back to Benedictine Rule -- read Michael Doliner's fascinating explanation. And on a lighter corporate note, Jan Baughman considers war profits, formaldehyde trailers, and the new American Dream.

Culturally speaking, we hear from Martin Murie on how Simone de Beauvoir -- and his headstrong wife Alison -- helped him break free from a sexist world; Peter Byrne shares a wonderful report from London on London; Charles Marowitz waxes poetic on a few famous artistic types he'd rather not have as pals; and Guido Monte's experimental poetry is accompanied by a superb Giuseppe Zimmardi collage. We close with your letters, and our Martian Blips on the many facets of libertarianism and the end of a rEVOLution, prime stupidity, Sarkozian vulgarity, and more.

This has not been an easy edition to produce, to say the least. But it has given us pause to appreciate the unique and passionate individuals whose writing graces these pages time and again. The daffodils are in bloom, the hills are green, and as we keep telling each other for sanity's sake, we need the water...

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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Philip Greenspan (1926-2008)

Pic: "Phil Greenspan, Spring Valley, NY, May 22, 2005" - Courtesy of Susan Magnano - © 2005 Susan Magnano, - Size: 10k
Phil as of 2005
© 2005 Susan Magnano

Jan Baughman:  A Word About Philip Greenspan

A few words in remembrance of a remarkable individual, tireless activist, kind and compassionate human being, Philip Greenspan.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  A Loving And Magnificent Human Being

Swans publisher recounts the appearance of contributor Philip Greenspan, a remarkable human being who graced these pages with his writing and campaigned tirelessly on behalf of peace and justice until his death. He will be sorely missed...   More...


Philip Greenspan:  The Secret Ingredient Of Activism: Mutual Support

The collection of 129 essays and articles Phil contributed over almost seven years. His personal page will remain on the site, which was as much his as ours, for as long as Swans perdures.   More...


Philip Greenspan on Swans

The very last essay Phil Greenspan sent Swans way, in which he showed that the power of mutual support and the strength of solidarity will move mountains.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Carol Warner Christen:  One Final Corporative Capitalist Empire

With corporative capitalists in control of the planet and We the People losing all power, how will civilization be sustained, and can the next generation change back to living within, rather than outside, nature?   More...


Michael Doliner:  A Critical Assessment Of Corporations

The history of the corporation can be traced back to Benedictine Rule, in which the independence of the monks was destroyed and merged into the greater corporate persona. Today's corporations replace mortal human desires, needs, hopes, fears, scruples, and emotions with laser-like focus on their one inhuman goal -- return on investment.   More...


America The Beautiful

Jan Baughman:  Poor And Pickled

It's now official: the American Dream of homeownership has been replaced by the American Nightmare of perpetual war.   More...


Arts & Culture

Martin Murie:  Second Sex

Admiration for the work of Simone de Beauvoir and Robin Morgan: How ranch life, blind luck, and an introduction to Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex helped this author break free from of a sexist world.   More...


Peter Byrne:  London Laughing

To understand London, one must start from the ground up -- with its swaths of moss, stretches of houses, quirky mayors and princes, and a few ridiculously human novelists.   More...



Charles Marowitz:  Artistic Types

A humorous poem on the train-wrecked lives of the screen and scribe makes the author long for normal friends without the hype.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Katábasis

A new experimental attempt of Monte and his "research associates," with a superb collage of Giuseppe Zimmardi.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #66

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the undercurrents of libertarianism and the end of a rEVOLution; to Big Gav, the subprime meltdown, and mortgage stupidity; to Nicolas Sarkozy and the new French vulgarity, and more.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On a phantom cedilla's infiltration of Swans; the rendition of the Iraq quagmire from the national debate; one reader's contempt for Samantha Power; the Pandora's Box of Kosovo independence; and some thoughts on Baffour Ankomah's works on Africa.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: February 25, 2008