Issue 247 | The Sun Magazine

July 1996

Readers Write

Watching TV

A week without TV, a father’s suicide, the first moon landing

By Our Readers


Television knows no night. It is perpetual day. TV embodies our fear of the dark, of night, of the other side of things.

Jean Baudrillard

The Sun Interview

Man Versus Machine

An Interview With Kirkpatrick Sale

Chepesiuk: So you see yourself as a modern-day Luddite?

Sale: A Neo-Luddite, yes: a person who sees technology as the principal threat to a sane society and the welfare of the planet. A Neo-Luddite says there must be an assessment and analysis of the effects of technology and, where appropriate, resistance to it.

By Ron Chepesiuk
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

At The Altar Of Progress

It is characteristic of industrialism to make swift and thorough use of nature’s stored-up treasures and living organisms (called “resources”) without regard to the stability or sustainability of the world that provides them.

By Kirkpatrick Sale
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Technology Of Simplicity

When I was eleven or twelve, I used to go deer hunting with my father. He would wake me before dawn on cold, crisp October days, and we would dress silently in the dim glow of a night light, not wanting to awaken the rest of the house.

By Mark A. Burch
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Wilderness Within

During aimless wanderings in the woods, while on the verge of becoming lost, I have often wondered what we mean by the word wilderness.

By Walt McLaughlin
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Dad Left, So We Got A Television Set

When my father left, my mother bought our first television set. She put it in what was now her bedroom. Three pieces of furniture floated in that spacious room: a Singer sewing machine, a mattress atop a box spring, and now a black-and-white television with rabbit ears.

By Stephen J. Lyons
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Glorious Failure

Bad news is supposed to travel fast, but this news took nearly three months to get from a snowcapped mountain in Vermont to my office in North Carolina. It finally arrived on a beautiful spring afternoon, eyes downcast, dragging its heels.

By Sy Safransky

Selected Stories

I went to a theater to see a play. In the middle of the second act, there was a pause. The actors seemed to be waiting for something. A tall man walked up to me and whispered, “You’re in the play.”

By Sparrow

The Air Around Me Was Hissing

I was nineteen and living with three other girls in a big house sandwiched between a linseed-oil factory and a pesticide plant. Two of the girls were nuts, and the smell of linseed oil gave me headaches.

By Lynn Marie Hildebrandt

Never And Nowhere

You leave Kentucky, with its leaning phone booths and thick green twilight and sloe-blossom bourbon and dogwood insouciance, and you head west on the bus with $984 and some roast-beef sandwiches and some bananas and a bag of trail mix and the usual doubt and the usual set of diminishing expectations.

By Poe Ballantine

Tuned In

DeGrane began taking photographs of people watching television in the mid-eighties. His first subjects were friends and family. Later, he sought out people who watched TV in unique or unusual ways, in their homes, apartments, dormitories, and prison cells. “I would always enter a person’s home with a certain reverence or respect, as a traveler might come upon a holy place,” he says.

By Lloyd DeGrane