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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

War On Truth

The Secret Battle For The American Mind: An Interview With John Stauber

The PR industry just might be the single most powerful political institution in the world. It expropriates and exploits the democratic rights of millions on behalf of big business by fooling the public about the issues.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


It’s summer, and I’m taking two women from a foundation that helps fund my work to see where the money is being spent, and if the money is being turned into productive, life-sustaining gardens. We come to a sort of shabby house with tomatoes planted in cracked urns on the steps, go through a plywood gate set on half a roller skate, and enter a back yard that has been completely denuded of plant life by a two-hundred-pound malamute. The mother of three orders the wolf-dog into its shed, then leads us around the side of the house to the small fenced patch where we built the garden.

Liberation Marketing And The Culture Trust

The culture of consumerism has undergone an enormous change. Dissidence has become a function of the marketplace; existential nausea is becoming just as powerful an element of brand loyalty as the “twelve ways” in which Wonder bread “buil[t] strong bodies” ever were.

Homage To A Sorcerer

A sorcerer died two or three months ago. Liver cancer, they said, but the details are vague. Also vague is why it took so long for word to get out. There are strange rumors. No matter. All this is as it should be for a sorcerer. Strangest of all, in a way, were the obituaries by the media heavies, a blurry photo in the New York Times, tributes that were respectful in a distant and baffled sort of way. It’s doubtful the New York Times ever before felt compelled to pay homage to a sorcerer. But that was Carlos Castaneda’s mojo. Many who professed not to take him seriously nevertheless read him, remembered, and were haunted. Let them wonder whether he was born in 1931, as he said, or in 1925, as some immigration records said. Let them wonder whether he was Peruvian or Mexican. Wonder, even in such minor matters, will be good for them.


Japanese Food

My friend Howard doesn’t want me to know that he’s dying. He hates all the movies and books and plays about AIDS, especially what happens at the end. He says they turn something real into a sappy, pointless melodrama. But that’s not why he hasn’t told me.


When the old man came up to the bathroom to shave, I crept down to the kitchen for some breakfast. I listened hard for him as I poured those Shreddies, spilling the sugar and quickly tidying up to hide the evidence. “Ears of a sneak,” the old man liked to say, “small and sharp.” Maybe so, but I made it back — balancing two bowls of cereal — without running into him.

Fritz’s Heart

Fritz can’t sleep, because someone is watching him — not staring down at his face or peering around the curtain that separates his room from the nurses’ station, but spying on him at the station itself, where everyone’s heart is on display: three televisions broadcasting nothing but the story of many hearts, sharp white peaks that form and dissolve, marching endlessly across a gray background. The nurses explain that his heart muscle is sending out some type of electric signal, but he thinks they are not telling the whole truth. He is disappointed, too, to find out that his heart is like a battery. He had supposed it was more mysterious than that.

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

Readers Write

Stage Fright

When I was a senior in high school, an unfortunate set of circumstances brought me to the regional finals of a Knights of Columbus public-speaking contest in Queens, New York. There, in a banquet hall, I was expected to deliver from memory an original speech on the topic “How Does Youth View Authority?”

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


“Advertisers are the interpreters of our dreams. . . . Like the movies, they infect the routine futility of our days with purposeful adventure. Their weapons are our weaknesses: fear, ambition, illness, pride, selfishness, desire, ignorance. And these weapons must be kept bright as a sword.”

E. B. White

More Quotations ▸
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