THIS MAGAZINE COULD BE YOUR LIFE (Editorial, Arthur No. 9, March 2004)

Originally published in Arthur No. 9 (March 2004)

This Magazine Could Be Your Life

We’d like to give a warm public welcome and a hearty hurrah to author Daniel Pinchbeck, cartoonist Ben Katchor and publisher/cartoonist Tom Devlin, who are all joining the Arthur team starting with this issue. 

Like every single person associated with Arthur, from those listed from top to bottom on the masthead to the right, to those with bylines and credits in the magazine, to the 120-plus folks who distribute 40,000 copies of Arthur across North America every two months, these gentlemen are working for Arthur for close to nothing. They could be doing something else. They’re not. They’re putting their time and energy where their heart is. 

This is not something unusual: there have always been people like this. Just look at this issue of Arthur, with its true stories about pirate radio operators, kinetic sculpture racers and revolutionary rock n rollers: like most issues of Arthur, its pages are devoted to people who have placed love over gold, in their art and in their craft and in their work and in their lives. 

None of them—none of us—are perfect (except maybe T-Model). And sometimes, we at Arthur sing in a key we simply can’t quite reach, as we try to build something that is a little less compromised, a little less oriented toward greed, a little more loving and open. Basically, we’re trying to do a magazine that reflects and embodies a set of ideals that run absolutely counter to the mainstream culture, which is more diseased, corrupt, demonstrably insane and world-destructive by the day. The funny part, though, the part they (and you know who “they” is) never tell you, is this: once you opt out of that terminal culture, you opt in to something much more fun. It’s not too hard to leave all that bullshit behind—if Laris and I can do it, believe me, anyone can. 

That said: Arthur needs all the help we can get. Integrity shouldn’t mean involuntary poverty: everyone needs to eat, even the starving artist. So, thank you to all of you who have already helped Arthur to its early success. And for those of you who want to play a bigger role, who want to put a little more of your money where your heart is, please buy a subscription, or a T-shirt, or support our honorable advertisers. We can make this work—for everyone.

All best,

Jay Babcock


Categories: Arthur No. 9 (March 2004), Editorial, Jay Babcock | Leave a comment

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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