Issue 297 | The Sun Magazine

September 2000

Readers Write


A black wig, four long red marks spaced like fingers, a black polyester shirt with white polka dots

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

September 2000

The English language sighs. The politicians can’t keep their hands off her. They buy her clothes. They buy her jewelry. They can’t stop making promises. How weary she is, and the campaign has only just begun.

By Sy Safransky


Politicians are the same all over; they promise to build a bridge even where there is no water.

Nikita Kruschchev

The Sun Interview

Free Press For Sale

How Corporations Have Bought The First Amendment — An Interview With Robert McChesney

Thomas Jefferson and like-minded individuals included freedom of the press in the First Amendment because they knew that if the party in power were able to outlaw dissident newspapers, it could essentially abolish any dissent whatsoever. And, just as Jefferson had foreseen, in the late 1790s, President John Adams and the significantly antidemocratic Federalists who supported him tried to purge many of the radical newspaper editors in the country by means of the Alien and Sedition Acts: So the First Amendment wasn’t something the Founders dreamed up in order to protect Philip Morris investors two hundred years later. They had a very real, immediate political cause: the survival of democracy.

By Derrick Jensen
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Beelzebub’s Buzzwords

Being a glossary of political corruption, consisting of words and phrases, from A to Z, actually used by the buyers and sellers of political influence in these modern times.

By Jim Hightower
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

In Distrust Of Movements

I have had with my friend Wes Jackson a number of useful conversations about the necessity of getting out of movements — even movements that have seemed necessary and dear to us — when they have lapsed into self-righteousness and self-betrayal, as movements seem almost invariably to do. People in movements too readily learn to deny to others the rights and privileges they demand for themselves. They too easily become unable to mean their own language, as when a “peace movement” becomes violent.

By Wendell Berry
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Caring On Block Two

The young woman lying in the grass in front of Block Two was evidently a problem, but it was hard for me to tell how much of one, or whether I, as a doctor, was supposed to respond. She appeared to be asleep, like some of the other patients who had vacated their mangy hospital beds in order to stretch out on the grass and absorb the warm Nairobi sun. But in her case, something had clearly gone wrong.

By Stefan Kertesz

The Holy Virgin In Queens

Last Year, not long before I left New York, I went to Queens to see the Virgin Mary. I went with a girl named Catherine, whom I knew only slightly, though I saw her around all the time; we had a lot of friends in common. I guess you could say Catherine and I were both part of a particular group — queer girls in their early twenties, living in New York City.

By Elissa Nelson

Hope Wood

When Sligo and I got there, Mr. Albert was out in front of his place, painting the trim on an antique cash register. He drew characters, too: yellow giraffes spotted with orange, motorized cows, and chariots with little black boys drawn along by giant brown horses. He painted everything eventually, using high-gloss exterior latex from little cans. His work was lousy with redemption. You couldn’t look at it for very long without wanting to forgive someone.

By Steve Almond