While we almost met our 2011 fundraising goal thanks to a last-minute anonymous contribution, we are beginning the year 2012 with the contributions of Michael & Therese Pacheco, Ann & Isidor Saslav, Melissa Smith & David Saslav, and Aleksandar Jokic. A neat way to begin the year... Many thanks to all. 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. Again, best wishes for the New Year to our readers, contributors, and donors. If you can, please contribute early.


Note from the Editors

Yet another year has passed; each one seemingly shorter than the previous, but each still long on humor, if one can find humor in the absurdities. As Horace Walpole put it, "The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think."

Who could have predicted the litany of political sex scandals that occurred this year, from Weinergate and the valuable lesson about not tweeting photos of one's penis, no matter how well endowed (and especially if you're a congressman); the sexual entrapment of Dominique Strauss Kahn that ruined his shot at the French presidency; to the downfall of serial misogynist Herman Cain and his withdrawal as a bizarre US presidential contender? America's revered Penn State football team was tainted by the alleged pedophilia sexcapades of Jerry Sandusky -- a scandal that will continue to unfold well into 2012, hopefully at the expense of Sandusky, his enablers, and a football team and not that of more innocent young boys...

Presidential circuses were performed around the globe in preparation for 2012, and the struggles for power and the promise of change remain a joke. Nicolas Sarkozy is fighting to hold on to his reign of France, despite the disappearance of DSK; Vladimir Putin is maneuvering to reelect himself; and in the United States, a cadre of right wingnuts and an unethical former speaker of the house are vying to replace the "socialist" Barack Obama. You couldn't script a better comédie humaine.

Then there is the not-so-humorous state of the economy, which wreaked havoc on the eurozone and inspired the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement this year. Are the banks and the 1% willing to share their spoils in the New Year, or is the joke on the rest of us? Turmoil, thus far, has had the last laugh on the pockets of the people; expect more of the same in 2012. And behind all of these events, screaming in the background to get our attention was the environment, asserting her power all across the globe, from earthquakes and tsunamis, to flooding and drought; a force to be taken seriously, if we are to take ourselves seriously in the future.

Thus we begin with our 2012 irreverent and Infamous Predictions™ that poke fun of the coming year, followed by some essays on more serious matters from Gilles d'Aymery, Manuel García, Jr., Michael Barker, Charles Marowitz, Paul Buhle, Peter Byrne, Jan Baughman, Raju Peddada, Guido Monte, and your letters. We at Swans send you our best wishes for a New Year filled with peace and humanity, along with a modicum of humor.

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Swans' Definite Predictions

Swans:  2012 Predictions

Swans annual irreverent, humorous, and sometimes prescient predictions for the year 2012, in which everyone and everything is subject to our silly prognostications.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #120

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the facts behind the currency wars going on between the U.S., China, and the European Union and ignored by the US media and the imbeciles seeking the Republican nomination for president, to the sad passing of a trusted companion.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Manuel García, Jr.:  The Endless Reality Of The Imperfect Now

A response to John Gray's BBC editorial on obsessing about the future as an evasion from dealing with reality.   More...


Michael Barker:  Eugenic Propaganda, Old And New (Part II of II)

Part II of a critical examination of the history of the American Eugenic Society.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Victims Of Democracy

The author hopes that the protesters, from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, will not become the victims of "democracy."   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Paul Buhle:  David Harvey At Large

David Harvey's writing revives the discussion about Marx, socialism, and communism in an otherwise melancholic US academic world.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Dispossession Set In Stone

A review of the writing of Smilansky Yizhar, who reveals the humanity and fear of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in its purest form.   More...


Arts & Culture

Jan Baughman:  End Times

The final chapter of Swans editors' struggle to have The New York Times delivered to their rural home.   More...


Manuel García, Jr.:  Christopher Hitchens, Coyote, Or Saint Paul?

Was Christopher Hitchens's post-9/11 right-wing conversion an epiphany, or a trick?   More...


Raju Peddada:  The New Definition Of Hope!

A skyward look to the hope that lies in the dimensions of space, billions of lightyears away, while our planet is on the brink of self-destruction.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Miracles

Guido Monte draws up the list of things that he imagines as "miracles."   More...


Letters to the Editor


Various feedback on Swans review of the most momentous year in decades, and a thoughtful message on language blending to reach the archetypal idea of man.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
URL: http://www.swans.com/library/past_issues/2012/120102.html
Created: January 2, 2012