I’ve written three pieces for GOOD, and probably will write no more. I’ve covered Egypt’s climate change troubles post Mubarak, the deep irony of Oil companies adapting to climate change impacts, and the little discussed Executive Order by President Obama on climate change.
I am calling on GOOD to apologize to its readers for publishing this piece of trash:
Disclosure: These views are my own.
GOOD magazine has jumped the shark. Once sailing a lean tack, the magazine now seems mastless, grasping for both attention and direction. Their front pages are filled with regurgitated aggregates of schlock and candy.
Just last week, GOOD published a piece on how cigarettes are cool. I’m not kidding you. “The Upside of Smoking,” was posted June 14 by Nona Willis Aronowitz. Nona is no guest blogger, she’s one of GOOD’s associate editors. She helps shape the magazines content (granted, her column is pure fluff that trolls for page views).
In The Upside of Smoking, Nona wrote smoking helps girls lose weight. She argues that smoking is cool. She states that smoking keeps your brain sharp. And that smoking can help you avoid awkward social moments - just fire up a butt and your talkative friend will auto-close his gabber.
Look, my understanding is that GOOD editors pre-approve content during weekly and/or morning meetings. If so, then this piece got the green light from the masthead. This tells me that GOOD doesn’t give a shit about human health, a rats ass about its reputation, or the effect the article would have on future collaborations with other writers, like me.
Does GOOD or Nona really believe that cigarettes have an upside? No. I think they’re tactlessly trying to stoke flames to increase pageviews, which is just plain trashy.
It also shows that, to my mind, not one of their mastheads has experienced the deep emotional and financial pains from losing a loved one to cancer. And if they have, shame on them! Further, the fact this garbage was published also shows the editors probably do not have kids of an age susceptible to picking up smoking for the first time in their young lives.
Disingenuous fluff pieces have no place in the pages of GOOD. It’s disrespectful of the type of readership GOOD deserves. Dangerous to its young readers. This trash chips away at the magazine’s credibility. This is the road to failure.
If people at GOOD read this rant and claim ignorance of the content its own editors publish, then clearly there are much deeper problems at the management level. (GOOD, I prefer you reply to me publicly. But if you wuss out, you can reach me here.)
Cigarette smoking is not cool. It fucking kills people. It causes miscarriages and birth defects. The ag-waste and littered-butts pollutes the environment. Growing tobacco causes deforestation, uses loosely regulated pesticides, and is socially stigmatizing. And, apparently, it makes men impotent. To say otherwise is stupid and indefensible. GOOD needs to publicly apologize.
The Tea Party has a powerful voice, and are supremely skilled at getting their message out. More superior than any group on the left, or the environmental advocacy groups, to my mind. If the response to the Tea Party’s rhetoric is dismissive (or the tired liberal moniker “OMG I’m shocked!”), the benefits of sustainable anything will be overshadowed by successive electoral wins.
I believe that environmentalists are underprepared for the strong offensive gaming of the Tea Party. Repeating facts is good. But, at this point repetition comes at the cost of winning the battle. In other words, the left needs to learn to play offense, and avoid perpetually playing defense.
Environmentalists, again in my opinion, need to master rhetorical argumentation. The facts are on your side, so there’s no exposure to be had by your opponent when arguing rhetorically. Indeed, facts are just more ammunition. Can environmentalists speak with a clear, uniform voice? Can they agree on tight, clear, positive messaging? As it stands, environmental messages are lost. There are too many issues to track, and any benefits are obscured or subssumed. “Fight global warming,” doesn’t create in the minds of the listener a direct, positive benefit, for example.
"Sustainability means socialism," are three words packaged into a clear message, and delivered by one group. The response from environmentalists is a collective mess of goo. So, what’s the game plan?
Because the American Dream is alive and well?
Pretty sure the “American Dream” died a few decades ago. We have an opportunity to develop a new “American Dream” or “World Dream” as I like to call it. The future of sustainable development will harness this dream by providing innovative jobs that are paramount to an evolving society.
Did you know that the seemingly geeky, mild-mannered profession of urban planning is actually a breeding ground for social engineers — part of a sinister international plot to rob you of your American Dream?
Well wake up already, people!
The East Bay Tea Party is here to tell you all about it. They have the true story behind the Sustainable Communities Strategy in the Bay Area, a planning effort that would encourage transit-oriented development and density.
And it’s scary! You can tell, because in their video about a recent meeting about the plan, they use the theme from “Also Sprach Zarathustra” as this text flashes on a black background:
The ‘New World Order’ is here … and it has many names … Agenda 21 … Sustainable Development … Smart Growth … Social Justice … Green Energy … Carbon Free … Livable Communities … One Global Vision … Designed by the United Nations … To Strip you of Your Freedom … Your Prosperity … Your Privacy … Your Property Rights … Your Choice of Transportation … Your Piece [sic] of Mind … Your American Dream … They’re Planning Your Future … Right here in the Bay Area … ‘For the Greater Good!’