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The Sun Magazine

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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.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Smoke

For years now my brother has gone by the name Captain Smoke, or Smoke for short. I’ve always figured it’s a reference to his chain-smoking cheap cigarettes, but it could be about marijuana. I’ve never asked. I do know that living with our father off and on for more than three decades, as Smoke did, would drive anyone crazy enough to come up with an alter ego.

Fiction

Where You Could End Up

I’ve been staying with my friend Jackson, and I’m wearing his large red flannel jacket with the blue padding inside. I hope he lets me keep it. It’s a comfortable jacket, and I’d freeze otherwise. The wind is blowing. In Chicago in the winter, the wind chill is the only measurement that matters. I wish Maria would get here before the cold sinks into me permanently.

The Sun Interview

Language Of Mass Deception

Noam Chomsky On How The Government Controls Public Opinion

We’re invading Iraq. It’s as open an act of aggression as there has been in modern history. . . . It’s the same war crime for which the Nazis were hanged at Nuremberg: the act of aggression. There’s a pretense of self-defense . . . but it’s no more convincing than Hitler’s.

The Sun Interview

Side Effects May Include

Christopher Lane On What’s Wrong With Modern Psychiatry

There are more than a hundred more mental disorders in the DSM today than we had in 1968, including incredible new ones such as “sibling-relational problem” and even “partner-relational problem.”

The Sun Interview

The War Within Islam

Reza Aslan On How The U.S. Fails To Understand The Muslim World

We’ve made it easier for jihadist propagandists to convince the Muslim world that this is a war against Islamic values. . . . You want to know why we’re losing the war on terror? Because they have the better marketing campaign.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Roses On Fire

Feeling my way toward some understanding of the mystery of death, I find that I must begin by talking about my mother. She was my beginning, at least in this life. Her appearance in my room immediately after she died in a hospital, one-hundred­ eighty miles away, was the only time I can say with certainty that I interacted with a “ghost” while I was wide awake.

Fiction

Reptile Man

It was July, and I hadn’t had sex in more than two years. The last time I’d loved and lost, I had ended up walking the streets in a snowstorm, melting the drifts with my hot, salty tears. While in this unfortunate condition, I ran into an acquaintance and blurted out my tragedy. It’s hard to say who was more embarrassed.