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The Sun Magazine

Culture and Society

The Internet

Fiction

The Mere Mortal

Carla happened to be kneeling outside the poultry enclosure when she heard her daughter Amanda in the milking barn telling the new boyfriend, “My father is a beatnik. He hates life up here. He calls us ‘montagnards.’ He really loves North Beach. And he’s in the right place, too, in North Beach. Because he’s into porn — something I approve of.

Sy Safransky's Notebook

April 2010

I read that there’s enough lead in the average pencil to write fifty thousand words. Does that mean the words are in the lead? Of course not. Are the words in my head? Just where are they, those fifty thousand words?

Quotations

Sunbeams

By nature, French artist Edgar Degas was conservative. His friend the etcher Jean-Louis Forain believed in progress. Forain had recently installed that newfangled invention, the telephone. Arranging to have a friend phone him during the meal, he invited Degas to dinner. The phone rang; Forain rushed to answer it, then returned, beaming with pride. Degas merely said, “So that’s the telephone. It rings and you run.”

Bartlett’s Book of Anecdotes

The Sun Interview

Computing The Cost

Nicholas Carr On How The Internet Is Rewiring Our Brains

As we increasingly connect with the world through computer screens, we’re removing ourselves from direct sensory contact with nature. In other words, we’re learning to substitute symbols of reality for reality itself. I think that’s particularly true for children who’ve grown up surrounded by screens from a young age. You could argue that this isn’t necessarily something new, that it’s just a continuation of what we saw with other electronic media like radio or TV. But I do think it’s an amplification of those trends.

The Sun Interview

In The Jester’s Court

Paul Krassner On The Virtues Of Irreverence, Indecency, And Illegal Drugs

There seems to be a mass awakening in process, comparable to the evolutionary jump in consciousness that took place during the sixties. It gives me a sense of hope, as well as a sense of continuity, that countercultural values have “infiltrated” the mainstream: the peace movement, organic food, protecting the rain forests, environmental sustainability, growing hemp, recycling waste, racial equality, feminism, animal rights, renewable energy. The seeds that were planted then continue to blossom, and the counterculture that began in the sixties continues to be celebrated at such annual events as the Rainbow Gathering, Burning Man, Earthdance, the Oregon Country Fair, and the Starwood Festival.

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