September marks the premiere issue of Good, a magazine founded and funded by Ben Goldhirsh (son of media-multi-millionaire Bernie Goldhirsh). Good is for the “growing number of people tied together not by age, career, background, or circumstance, but by a shared interest,” writes Goldhirsh in a letter to potential readers on the magazine’s website. “This revolves around a passion for potential mixed with fierce pragmatism and creative engagement. We sum all this up as the sensibility of giving a damn. But to shorten it, let’s call it GOOD. We’re here to push this movement and cover its realization. For while so much of today’s media is taking up our space, dumbing us down, and impeding our productivity, GOOD exists to add value.”
Described as falling between “New Age meets new money volunteerism meets the consumerist imperative,” by NY Times reporter Sharon Waxman in her article “A Magazine for Earnest Young Things,” the magazine has no explicit religious ties or motivations–though Waxman describes the magazine’s headquarters by saying, “Yoga mats are neatly arranged in little cubbyholes next to the bar. The staff generally gathers for yoga classes out on the narrow balcony about three times a week.”
Also absent from Good? Irony and sarcasm. “The founders say they were motivated by a desire to contribute to society and express something on behalf of their generation…. One thing that distinguishes Good from other young magazines is its wholly unironic tone…. Mr. Schorr believes that his generation is looking for a little earnestness.”
To entice subscribers–of which I plan to count myself one as soon as I finish this post–Good boasts an offer that seems almost too good to be true: the entire $20 six-issue subscription fee will go to one of the 12 charity organizations listed on its subscriber page–and you choose which one. Charities include: City Year, Donors Choose (Katrina Aid), Teach for America, UNICEF, and the World Wildlife Fund.
How good is that? Now the only question remaining is to which organization should I assign my subscription?