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The Sun Interview

Risky Business

Peter Sandman On Corporate Misbehavior And Public Outrage

I tend to be more passionate about the process of communication than about the outcome. I’m interested in people listening better and talking more and wanting to understand each other’s point of view. I try to eliminate the things that get in the way of that. And it’s a Sisyphean task, because industry people and activists aren’t really talking to each other; they’re doing theater with each other. Whichever side I am working for, I try to find a way for both sides to listen better.

By Gillian Kendall December 2003
The Sun Interview

Fingers To The Bone

Barbara Ehrenreich On The Plight Of The Working Poor

The way they calculate poverty was devised in the early sixties and based on the notion that most people spend a third of their earnings on food — which was not true even then. Nevertheless, the reasoning went that if you calculated how much money people spent on food and multiplied that number by three, you would have the poverty-level wage. And that’s what they’ve been doing ever since. The problem is that food prices have been pretty resistant to inflation, whereas housing and healthcare have shot through the roof. So the poverty level is completely misleading. Yet this nation keeps patting itself on the back, saying, “Look, our poverty level is only 12 percent.”

By Jamie Passaro January 2003
The Sun Interview

Outside Agitator

How Darryl Cherney Set Out To Save The Redwoods And Ended Up Suing The FBI (And Winning)

A radical is somebody who goes out to the furthest edge of the debate in order to gain leverage with which to move the larger body of thought. If an ant wants to move an elephant, he has to move as far out onto the seesaw as possible. Then, through the laws of physics, he can move the great weight. That’s what activists do, only in a more psychological fashion. You go as far out there as you can in order to move society. The problem is that, once you’re out there, you’re perceived as an extremist and society is unwilling to embrace you.

By Greg King September 2002
The Sun Interview

Down To Business

Paul Hawken On Reshaping The Economy

I don’t believe you can train anybody, especially people in business. You can only present and embody ideas. I try to help people understand the idea that valuing and conserving our stock of natural capital can lead to astonishing breakthroughs in processes, products, and design. Again, people move toward possibility. Once they see that we can actually improve the quality of life for everyone on earth by using radically less “life,” they get excited.

By Renee Lertzman April 2002
The Sun Interview

Next To Godliness

The Story Behind Dr. Bronner’s Soap — An Interview With Ralph Bronner

A few times a month, I’m asked whether we’re a New Age religion or a cult. Well, we’re not, or if we are, we have no members. Our family is running a soap business based on Dad’s teachings. All he did is what any religious person does: he read the great works — the Torah, the Bible, Thomas Paine — and picked what he liked. His theology was a sort of cosmic soup.

By Gail Grenier Sweet January 2001
The Sun Interview

Invasion Of The Classroom

How Corporations Buy Access To Children — An Interview With Alex Molnar

Schools get the Zap Me labs for no upfront cost, but they have to guarantee that children will use them for so many hours a day. And guess what: the browser portal has advertising on it. This means kids’ ability to do their schoolwork is contingent upon their viewing advertising.

By Derrick Jensen November 2000
The Sun Interview

Crimes Of Punishment

An Interview With Christian Parenti

I describe SWAT teams in Fresno as a kind of postmodern public execution — a highly ritualized, highly theatrical display of the sovereign’s power. Like an invading army, they occupy whole neighborhoods, harass the residents, and surround the houses. They have machine guns, barking dogs, and armored personnel carriers. This is state propaganda, political theater, directed not at the “perp” holed up in the house, but at the hundreds of community members watching.

By Derrick Jensen October 2000
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Liberation Marketing And The Culture Trust

Liberation marketing takes the old mass-culture critique — consumerism as conformity — fully into account, acknowledges it, addresses it, and solves it. Liberation marketing imagines consumers breaking free from the old order, tearing loose from the shackles with which capitalism has bound us, escaping the routine of bureaucracy and hierarchy, getting in touch with our true selves, and, finally, finding authenticity, that holiest of consumer grails.

By Thomas C. Frank March 1999
The Sun Interview

War On Truth

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

Public relations is now inseparable from the business of lobbying, creating public policy, and getting candidates elected to public office. 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.

By Derrick Jensen March 1999
The Sun Interview

Enemy Of The State

An Interview With John Zerzan

I’m talking about time not existing. Time as a continuing thread that unravels in an endless progression, linking all events together while remaining independent of them — that doesn’t exist. Sequence exists. Rhythm exists. But not time. This reification of time is related to the notion of mass production and division of labor. Tick, tick, tick, as you said: Identical seconds. Identical people. Identical chores repeated endlessly. But when you realize that no two occurrences are identical, and that each moment is different from the moment before, time simply disappears. If events are always novel, then not only is routine impossible, but the notion of time is meaningless.

By Derrick Jensen September 1998