Many thanks to Richard Brand, Dean Parisian, Roger Baker, Nicole Montalette, Colin Royle, and Michael Daly for their generous financial contributions. A neat way to begin the year... Let's hope that donations keep coming regularly so that we do not have to once again kneel on our knees and beg for help come October. Real work ought to deserve real pay.


Note from the Editors

The beginning of 2011 has been enough to make an apocalyptic eschatologist giddy -- from massive flooding in Australia to mudslides in Brazil and paralyzing snow in the U.S. and Europe, to the political upheaval in Africa, and the Tucson, Arizona, shootings that shocked the nation (once again replacing "never again" with "yet again") and inspired the US representatives to forestall their full-frontal assault on health care reform for a week out of respect for a fallen comrade. Touching. Looking westward from Africa, Femi Akomolafe contemplates how otherwise thinking beings can create a path of destruction, from the pollution of the environment to obscene military spending in a world with so many people in need. Meanwhile, Gilles d'Aymery turns his sights to Africa, providing an accessible examination of the roots of the Ivory Coast electoral stand-off and the Tunisian riots. Looking back at Kosovo, long since purged from our collective conscience, Gregory Elich provides a shocking report of organ trafficking uncovered during a two-year investigation into Kosovo leadership's organized criminal activities. And turning inward in the West, Charles Marowitz considers the divided political landscape, the brazenly obstructionist attitude on the right, and the potential for an American version of Easter Rising.

Politics and the arts share a long tradition, and the science fiction genre is no exception. Paul Buhle reviews It Walks in Beauty: Selected Prose of Chandler Harris, and examines this remarkable left-wing SciFi writer whose prose is still highly relevant for the gloomy reality of our present. Cliff Conner takes us to the theatre to see Amy Herzog's After The Revolution, adding that one doesn't have to have been a revolutionary to appreciate it -- though it might help. Peter Byrne shares an autobiographical story of his childhood in Chicago and his early lessons in American racism -- a timely tale in light of the recent debate over the revisionist whitewashing of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Byrne's story illustrates that you can censor the N-word, but that does not erase racism...

On a musical note, Isidor Saslav celebrates the extraordinary Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the sensational Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez. In the poetry corner, Guido Monte and Claudine Giovannoni conclude the verses of "lament of a prisoner," -- a metaphor of our usual life, and Maxwell Clark considers social relations, asking "WTF is contextual spelling?" As always, we close with your letters, including an appreciation from former UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Hans von Sponeck.

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Femi Akomolafe:  Beating Swords Into Ploughshares

Thoughts from Ghana on unthinking Homo sapiens on a path of self destruction.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #102

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the rise of the price of food, the African economic crisis and the Ivory Coast electoral stand-off, to the Tunisian riots that led to the toppling of a "democrature" and more on the powers that be behind the manufactured destabilization of Africa by the UN, France, and the U.S., and the power of the Internet that can help overtaking entrenched political power.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Gregory Elich:  Exposing Kosovo's Mafia State

The international community bought the lies fed to them by the KLA during the Kosovo war, and it continues to ignore the evidence of the horrific crimes committed by KLA and Kosovo leadership, including human organ trafficking and sexual slavery.   More...


America: Myths & Realities

Charles Marowitz:  The Second Coming

The divided US Congress, Republican obstructionism, and political schism could cause the entire system to implode.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Paul Buhle:  SciFi And The Disguised Left Of The Cold War Days

A review of It Walks in Beauty: Selected Prose of Chandler Harris, and a look at this remarkable left-wing science fiction writer whose prose is still highly relevant for the gloomy reality of our present.   More...


Arts & Culture

Cliff Conner:  R U Rah-Rah?

A review of a new play entitled After The Revolution by Amy Herzog.   More...


Short Story

Peter Byrne:  The N-word

An autobiographical look at American racism and the black-white divide in 1940s Chicago.   More...


World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  "Celebration" In Los Angeles

Classical music: The extraordinary Gustavo Dudamel and the sensational Juan Diego Florez.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Claudine Giovannoni & Guido Monte:  Testigos son las estrellas (lament of a prisoner n.3)

Guido Monte and Claudine Giovannoni conclude the verses of "lament of a prisoner," metaphor of our usual life.   More...



Maxwell Clark:  WTF Is Contextual Spelling?

A poem on social relations, in which all is contextual.   More...


Letters to the Editor


A note of appreciation from Hans von Sponeck, and gunfire's innocent bystanders.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: January 17, 2011