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Note from the Editors

It's been a shocking and frightening fortnight for all of France and much of Swans, following the senseless shootings in Toulouse and Montauban -- unprecedented violence in a country where guns are not rampant, and school is a safe place. These killings have left Gilles d'Aymery voiceless, despondent, and in mourning. The seven assassinations served no purpose but to fuel the anti-immigrant, anti-Islam sentiment that has escalated in France and most of the Western world since 9/11 and beyond. As we long for an end to such violence and divisiveness, the rhetoric against Iran is rising faster than the price of oil. Nicholas Kristoff assures us in a 25 March New York Times editorial that "Outside Netanyahu's aides and a fringe of raptors, just about every expert thinks that a military strike at this time would be a catastrophically bad idea." We certainly agree, and hope he's right...though Manuel García, Jr. sees some potential advantages -- painful lessons, if you will -- from a war on Iran. Meanwhile, oil exploration in Africa is on the minds of Western elites, according to Michael Barker, who answers the KONY 2012 hype with a suggestion on a better place to start if one wants to end the needless slaughters in Africa. Barker also concludes his two-part essay on imperial eugenics in Kenya.

Turning to America and the fundamentalists' ongoing assaults on women's reproductive rights, Karen Moller shares a deeply personal story on the beatnik sixties in San Francisco and what drove her to Paris, with an appeal for women to not let politicians make laws that restrict reproductive rights. Jan Baughman adds an abridged history of contraception and politics that illustrates centuries of progress followed by mere decades of reversal. As Glenn Reed reminds us, from a Vermont town meeting, direct democracy can work, as more and more cities pass resolutions demanding the end of corporate personhood.

On the cultural front, Peter Byrne pens a delightful fable on the pitfalls of globalization, colonialism, and exploitation of the natives and Charles Marowitz discusses acting theory, technique, and the Stanislavsky System. In the French corner, Marie Rennard considers the 2012 presidential election campaign and Sarkozy's xenophobic competition; Christian Cottard shares a short story of love, murder, and bitterness; and Simone Alié-Daram's poem on neurosis is apropos for these insane times. Raju Peddada and Guido Monte also wax poetic, and we close with your letters, including those of Monte's students, who give us hope for a thoughtful and compassionate generation.

If we can leave you with a simple thought beyond ideological chapels and religions, here are a few words to mull over: Love, respect, acceptation of the Other, misericordia (compassion), peace, and the absolute rejection of hatred.

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Patterns Which Connect

Manuel García, Jr.:  Attacking Iran Will Save The World

Attacking Iran will save the world by forcing the U.S. to respond to climate change.   More...


Michael Barker:  KONY 2012

The author writes about a talk he recently gave regarding the film Kony 2012.   More...



Michael Barker:  Imperial Eugenics In Kenya (Part II of II)

Part II of an overview of the rise of eugenic concerns in colonial Kenya.   More...


America: Myths & Realities

Karen Moller:  From The Beatniks In The 1960s To Today's Fundamentalists

The author shares her experience with an unwanted pregnancy in beatnik America; 50 years later women are being again stripped of responsibility over their bodies.   More...


Jan Baughman:  Great Moments In Procreation

An abridged look at the history of contraception and the contemporary political battle against it.   More...


Glenn Reed:  Direct Democracy v. The US Supreme Court

One Vermont community says no to corporate personhood through direct democracy of town meeting.   More...


Short Story

Peter Byrne:  Why Do They Hate Me?

A humorous fable on the pitfalls of globalization, colonialism, and exploitation of the natives.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  Getting Stanislavsky Wrong

The Stanislavsky System contributed to the psychology of acting, but his methods have been revived from strict rules to the acknowledgement of change.   More...


Le coin français

Marie Rennard:  2012, année fatale

Chronique d'une présidentielle française avortée.   More...


Christian Cottard:  Un monde amer

Nouvelle: Aimer à mort, c'est toujours aimer.   More...


Simone Alié-Daram:  Névrose

Poème sur la peur de l'autre.   More...



Raju Peddada:  A Vanished Dream

A poem for ancient traditions and vanished dreams of Ragolapalli.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte & Claudine Giovannoni:  Wind gemidos

Guido Monte and Claudine Giovannoni talk about winter and death, hope and spring.   More...


Letters to the Editor


A reader continues his debate on Gilles d'Aymery's view of Greece and the eurozone; Guido Monte's students and their letters give us hope for a thoughtful and compassionate generation; a self-promoting gabby-cabby who claims to be the real deal, and more.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: March 26, 2012