A Letter from the Editor
Be it “resolutions”, “new year, new me”, or whatever other groan-worthy #hashtag you can come up with, it’s that time of year again to become a better human. Or something like that. “Out with the old and in with the new,” they say (who says that, by the way?).
Truthfully, I mock these statements with love, because despite the fact that they’re cloying clichés, I commend their spirit. I respect anyone attempting to practice self-improvement, as long as they do so with honesty. Resolutions often get knocked because they can be made any time of year (and really, they should be). But let’s acknowledge that we’re all a little lazy, and the turn of the calendar offers that proverbial “new dawn” we often need to get off our ass.
Therefore, like everyone else, I spent a bit of time considering how I’d do 2017 differently than 2016. And in the process, the concept of additions versus subtractions came to mind. While some may choose to “eat less”, others choose to “exercise more”. In some cases, one may determine to have “less negativity”, but perhaps “more positivity” is a worthier pursuit. While I read somewhere that such additive thinking is psychologically more motivating—and therefore “superior”—I would argue it varies from case to case: while “more contentedness” sounds nice, “buying less” is a more measurable and prescriptive goal that might bring contentedness in unexpected ways, for example. Or it might just piss you off. To each their own.
Another thing that struck me during my pondering was that the most thoughtful of resolutions aren’t simply about moving forward, forgetting the year prior (though 2016 makes a cogent case for doing so). Rather, the best resolutions consider what can be brought forward, perhaps even what must be brought forward, thereby honoring what has been learned, only then moving forward with those additions and subtractions that are most relevant. A right resolution should not be made in spite of the past, but because of it. It’s a process of reflection, then prescription, because neither is especially beneficial without the other. And when this process is done carefully, beautiful things are birthed as a result.
This month’s issue attempts to honor those things: those people, brands, and ideas that are found at the intersection of “old and new”. Whether it’s the passing of a baton of a family business, or someone taking inspiration from a bygone era, revitalized for the present in a new way, we found unique stories that substantiate the notion that things are made best when they honor both the past and the future. What has been and what may be.
So, at the intersection of 2016 and 2017, I thought about what has been and what may be. I’m aware there are plenty of things we don’t wish to bring forward from the last twelve months. Some of these things will arrive despite our best efforts (January 20th is coming, like it or not), while others are well within our grasp to affect (this will be the year I finally say “no” to McNuggets). No matter, the important thing is to consider the past, choose the future, and act in the present.
And there you go, I just added to the pile of shitty New Year’s Clichés. Oh well. 2017 is a new year. Let’s get to it.
Ian Deming, Editor-in-Chief