Issue 309 | The Sun Magazine

September 2001

Readers Write

The First Day

Mr. Bicycle Man, sleeveless clothes, a little velvet bluebird

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

September 2001

One way to love myself is to stand still when sadness comes sweeping in like a storm. This means not judging the storm, and not condemning myself for getting drenched; three-quarters of the world is covered in water.

By Sy Safransky


The old futures have a way of hanging around. . . . Everyone sort of knows that the real future is going to be cluttered with all the same junk we have today, except it will be old and beat up and there will be more of it.

William Gibson

The Sun Interview

An Icon For Our Time

Stewart Brand On The Ten-Thousand-Year Clock

In the opening manifesto for the Long Now Foundation, I wrote, “Civilization is revving itself into a pathologically short attention span.” Because of accelerating technology and global economics, the pace of change is so rapid that it’s both exciting and kind of disorienting. Because it’s exciting, we will probably keep doing it. And because it’s disorienting, we’ll have some questions about it. The Clock speaks to that disorientation.

By Renee Lertzman
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Long Now

The concept of the Long Now places us where we belong, neither at the end of history nor at the beginning, but in the thick of it. We are not the culmination of history, and we are not start-over revolutionaries; we are in the middle of civilization’s story.

By Stewart Brand
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Great Pains

There’s an old saying that if your ideas prove to be a hundred years ahead of your time, you’ll be called a genius; if you’re fifty years ahead of your time, you’ll be called a visionary; but if you’re only five or ten years ahead of your time, you’ll most likely be called a pain in the ass.

By D. Patrick Miller
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Third Planet Operating Instructions

This planet has been delivered wholly assembled and in perfect working condition, and is intended for fully automatic and trouble-free operation in orbit around its star, the sun. However, to insure proper functioning, all passengers are requested to familiarize themselves fully with the following instructions.

By David Brower
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

My Politics

My personal life is particularly political. In fact, now that I ponder the subject, I see that I was one of the first personal-as-political activists.

By Sparrow
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The New Neighbors

I have spent a Sabbath blackening my reality and my companion’s mind with hostile words about my neighbor; my neighbor, by contrast, has spent a better day: entertaining his children and improving, according to his best guidance, a plot of ground.

By Mary Rose O’Reilley

Scarlett In Harlem

The needle bit my skin and then nestled into a vein: a clean hit, running through me like the Orient Express. New York heroin is like Daddy holding you and kissing you on the neck. It’s white, not dark and red like the Mexican heroin that I’d shot back home. It tastes like the sweet breath of Buddha.

By Pat MacEnulty

Koscinski’s Opening

Koscinski brings another excuse today. Always, he brings an excuse. This morning he tells his teacher Lazlow that the dog ate his hearing aid.

By Steve Almond