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The Sun Magazine

Culture and Society

Counterculture

The Sun Interview

Weapons In The War For Human Kindness

An Interview With David Budbill

There are many different uses of language. There’s the politician’s use of language, which is too often an outright lie. There’s the diplomat’s use of language, which is carefully worded so as not to anger or offend, yet calculated to achieve the intended goal. The supreme diplomat these days is UN secretary-general Kofi Annan. And then there’s the poet’s use of language. Emily Dickinson said, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.” I think she meant that the truth, like the sun, is too bright to look at directly. Allegory, for example, is a way of telling the truth but telling it slant. In my own poems, though, most of the time, I try to tell it blunt and straight.

Fiction

A Friend Of The Devil

Between the ages of four and nine I lived in a California desert community called Anza, a gathering of burnouts, hermits, and rejects where I had come with my mom and little brother, Eli, after my parents’ divorce.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Garlic In My Ear

In our culture, when you have a medical problem, you visit a doctor, who writes you a prescription; then you drive to a pharmacy and pay thirty-two dollars for a medication. There are few surprises or slip-ups. But if you decide to single-handedly reconnect with a lost ancient lineage of herbal wisdom, you may end up with a short spear of garlic bearing down on your eardrum.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

That Terrible Thoreau

As the class winds down, I go over the answers to the quiz: Thoreau moved into his ten-by-fifteen-foot cabin on July 4, Independence Day, 1845. He chose that day to make the point that political independence is just the beginning. We’re not completely free until we also throw off our inner masters: greed, laziness, ignorance.

Tribute

The End Of A Sixties Dream?

An Interview With Stephen Gaskin

We’re becoming so bland now, and I really pray that we get to see another burst of energy. When the sixties happened, it lifted me up and blew my mind and informed my consciousness in a way that was a million times heavier and more interesting than anything I’d experienced before. I think it did that for many people. And now, knowing that such a thing can happen, I can just sit here and wait for it — like “Yeah, here it comes again!”

Quotations

Sunbeams

It is not possible for any thinking person to live in such a society as our own without wanting to change it.

George Orwell

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Beautiful Trouble

Subtitled A Toolbox for Revolution, the anthology Beautiful Trouble offers advice on how to plan and execute successful protest actions. Coeditors Andrew Boyd and Dave Oswald Mitchell have assembled the wisdom of many activists and troublemakers like themselves into a book about what works and what doesn’t, how to recruit people and keep them engaged, and where to direct efforts for the greatest impact.

Tribute

I Sang For Everybody

Pete Seeger’s Testimony Before The House Un-American Activities Committee

Mr. Seeger: I feel that in my whole life I have never done anything of any conspiratorial nature, and I resent very much and very deeply the implication of being called before this committee: that in some way, because my opinions may be different from yours, or yours, Mr. Willis, or yours, Mr. Scherer, that I am any less of an American than anybody else. I love my country very deeply, sir.