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Sy Safransky's Notebook

October 2005

“We can’t forget,” my friend C. said. “Forgetting what happened to the people of New Orleans will exact too high a price. We can’t just send off a check, and cry again over the images, and pretend there’s nothing left for us to do.”

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Poor And Poorer

Growing Up In The Projects

The endless rows of cramped units were designed to house the maximum number of people in the smallest, most underdeveloped side of town. Most families were black. There were only two categories — the poor but not yet without hope, and the poor without any hope.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Confessions From A Conversion Van

The owner of the sports bar knows I sleep in the parking lot on weeknights. He doesn’t seem to mind. I’m a curiosity — the homeless professor. He thinks I must be one of a kind, but I’m not so sure. Anyway, I’m not even a professor. More like an adjunct instructor. I’d move closer to work, but I could never afford to live in Martinsburg now that it’s becoming a D.C. bedroom community.

The Sun Interview

Louder Than Words

Starhawk On Street Activism And Global Justice

It’s always a good time to ask ourselves what kind of world we want to live in. There is a future clearly laid out for us in which decision-making power belongs to those who have the money, and their decisions will support short-term profit value, making every other human and natural value subordinate to it. We will have less and less freedom, less and less of the services we need to sustain life and community, less and less of all the things people really care about and love.

The Sun Interview

Across The Universe

Stanislav Grof On Nonordinary States Of Consciousness

It became clear to me that consciousness is not a product of the neurophysiological processes in the brain, as I had been taught at the university, but something much higher, possibly superordinate to matter. The idea that consciousness somehow mysteriously emerges from matter didn’t make sense to me anymore. It was easier to imagine that consciousness could create the experience of the material universe by an infinitely complex orchestration. I was suddenly in the realm of the Eastern philosophies, where consciousness is a primary attribute of existence and cannot be reduced to anything else.

The Sun Interview

Righteous Babe

Ani DiFranco On Music, Politics, And Staying Independent

You have to practice tuning out the noise of the culture to hear the messages transmitted from your gut and your heart. You have to become like a bird-watcher and be vigilant and develop the skills to spot and name the quick flash of awareness in yourself.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Of The Brave

Bob’s friend Ken was supposed to meet him at the Internationalist around nine that very night. But when Ken opened the creaky screen door, he found Bob sprawled on the floor, bleeding and unconscious. He’d been shot in the head. Ken called for an ambulance and the police, and Bob was rushed to the hospital, but he never regained consciousness. He died the following day.