Think Big, GOOD: Talk Show Like You Give a Damn.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 26, 2009
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On December 31st, the last ecopaper issue of elephant journal sold off the last newstands around the US. A few weeks later, Plenty, the leading ‘green’ magazine, went kaput. And then there was one.

One print mag that can take it into the endzone. Ben Goldhirsch’s GOOD. Of course, many magazines are great. But few are (mission-) driven to spread the green, lifestyle, social activism gospel in a hip, fun, not-half-as-holy-as-thou manner. So while marches on, building our traffic 20% a month on average, GOOD is already in a position—with its videos, magazine, daily blog, deep pockets and connections to put together a real nightly talk show on a real, old-fashioned TV channel. A mainstream talk show would reach millions of Americans each night—and in so doing would do for sustainability, conscious consumerism, yoga and non-new-agey spirituality, nonviolent activism…what Jon Stewart has done for politics. Make it accessible to those who thought they didn’t give a damn.

Good Magazine‘s latest video series is cute, and stylish, and full of vital info on what’s going on with our world. Too bad they’re also just on youtube, where the sum total of all their videos, ever, might equal half of the viewership of one night of Jon Stewart, Jay Leno, Rick Mercer, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan, Moyers, Rose, Letterman or Ferguson. Why can’t the charming, smart, ambitious zillionaire Mr. Do-Goodhirsch make a few calls to a few bigwigs who want to corner the emerging green/LOHAS market, and get a green/political/social activism talk show on Planet Green or some hungry cable channel? Or why can’t Arianna Huffington, with her kajillions of views each day, stop inching toward selling her power and focus on finishing the job of changing the world? Want to change the world? Media, as Lester Brown in our recent interview, is the key. Not ‘a’ key. ‘The.’ So, Arianna: why not feature a daily video talk show in a corner of your home page? Isn’t video a major driver of internet traffic—and isn’t daily, original video content the one thing Huffington Post isn’t acing, thus far?

Won’t someone create a show that can get the good word out re LOHAS [the female-driven demographic known as Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability] in a fun, yet fundamentally serious manner? Do Stewart and Colbert have to do all the heavy lifting around here? Can’t someone with big vision, deep pockets and innumerable connections grab the brass ring and get some TV and/or video content on a platform that’ll entrance the masses with ‘the mindful life’?!

God knows we need it, and we’re running out of time.

Below is the latest vid from Good—stylish, cool, full of good info, but slightly boring if you have a severe case of ADHD (as does most of the iPhone/Blackberry/IM’ed US). Raking in say 20 to 40,000 views (the average Good video), Good’s vids won’t change much of anything compared with great guests and music on a fun talk show, five nights a week. Yeah, we’re trying, but we don’t even have a publicist or agent, let alone the ability to snap our fingers and make a big-platform talk show rise out of our 5280-elevation thin air.

So it’s up to you, Ben. Arianna. RedfordSimran. Sara. Olivia. SROGlatzer. Graham. Step forward.

And—for the benefit of all sentient beings and our planet—let’s make some big/good things happen.




cheap to produce free bands and guests whereas elsewhere speakers bands might charge 50,000 to business school cheaper to produce than reality tv immaterial if me or someone


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


12 Responses to “Think Big, GOOD: Talk Show Like You Give a Damn.”

  1. Adriane says:

    It’s up to you, Elephant. Make it happen. If you think it you can achieve it!

  2. Yah, sounds good Adriane, last I checked I’ve been working at it for 6.5 years with everything I got. Only, without money, connections or talent…I haven’t got very far.

    Some folks, like those mentioned above, could make it happen. I don’t need to do it. Someone else can do it. What matters is that something that can reach the masses in a culturally-effective way (like the Daily Show) does happen, and fast!

  3. Todd says:

    I agree, Waylon. Quite frankly, I’m surprised that no one has really picked up that ball and ran with it by now. For some reason, it seems that the green/eco movement isn’t “mainstream” enough for the popular media, in spite of it being the fastest growing market demographic going today. There are certainly endless possibilities for topics on that kind of show: even Elevision had really only barely scratched the surface. The first network, cable or otherwise, to pick up that ball and run with it is going to make a fortune as well as make a real difference.

  4. Joana Smith says:

    Great idea! Yes, someone needs to have this talkshow…it will be hip, smart, sexy, fun, eco, adventurous, sobering…

    and it will be YOU (and Boulder)!

    Ben Goldhirsch just doesn’t have the killer profile…

    C’mon Arianna, haven’t you met Waylon Lewis, Green superstar?!

  5. Scott Wilson Badenoch Jr at 2:23am January 26
    couldn’t agree more brother…we will have to do it ourselves. you know I got ur back.

    Waylon Hart Lewis at 10:29am January 26
    Thanks, brau. But look, I’m Buddhist, we’re all about not looking outside and relying on the self…thing is I may not be the one to bring such a talk show to life, I’ve been trying but am still learning how to shut up. Graham, Simran, Ben, Olivia, Sara…they’re way more hooked up and full of talent—much easier for them to make something happen, whether they produce or star or what is immaterial—I say A GREEN TALK SHOW that’s fun hip ala Daily Show could educate millions and CAN SAVE THE PLANET!

  6. Christy Harris
    Today at 1:28am
    sometimes it takes time. yer looking the part and doing the work ; ) keep it up ! Enjoying your posts daily. Big love to you back in Boulder, ~c from HI

  7. […] See the original post:  Think GOOD and Big: Talk Show Like You Give a Damn. | elephant journal […]

  8. Sarah Miller says:

    this is the mission. the plan is now in place. now it’s just a matter of letting it fly. since no idea is our own, we are just picking up on collective consciousness, i’m sure this thing is on the brink of liftoff. it’s obvious, this is the “next big thing.” and it’s FABULOUS!! can’t wait to see it live and in my face. i’ll be there with bells and with the rest of the upful masses.
    and of course many would love to see you do some of that “heavy lifting” mr. lewis. i am one of them!
    big ups fi being a fiyah starter!

  9. Caroline Clark says:

    it’s all about bottom-up economics these days, right? so we just need to keep showing that we, as consumers, so greatly desire this type of media and content and band together! keep truckin, elephant, it’s on its way…

  10. yeye says:

    Well said. Well written. Intentions clear and very well questioned. Why is nobody investing in educating our children, young and eldest with a fun, factual, entertaining positive quantum GREEN TV? It’s hard to believe no visionary has come up with the idea and the money for it. If lack of talent/time/resources is the issue, I advice to watch Waylon Lewis’ Elevision and transfer it mainstreet. Count me in!

  11. Thanks, yeye, sweet of you. Fact is a talk show doesn’t cost much…stars who charge 50,000 per speaking engagement, bands who charge same, will do a set or interview for free–its’ all about press. Make an eco cool stage set, modest salaries to start, production…it costs less than Reality TV, which is cheaply popular ’cause it fills time, gets decent ratings, and cost next to nothing. Talk shows are even cheaper—hell I’ve put one on for 1.5 years with just one events coordinator, a couple sponsors, and next to no budget.

    So the question ain’t money—it’s why hasn’t it happened yet?

  12. […] out Good Magazine’s latest, sexy-time funny /slash/ poignant video series. […]