February 6, 2009

Gawker sayz: green magazine PLENTY refuses to pay green.

Actually, Gawker says: “Hippie magazine flakes on Paying writers,” a typically brash, charming headline from the neo-journalists over at the powerful, popular Gawker. We still don’t get why the green, independent Plenty can’t just carry on with its great web site…which is at the time of this writing still live, and still (unlike the rest of the web) not acknowledging its own, sad demise.

On a more serious, and personal note, paying one’s debts has got to be basic to being able to sleep at night—to one’s existence as a decent human being. In the Buddhist tradition in which I was raised, it’s actually a tenet—it’s considered our duty as ‘warriors’ in the world to leave behind a better, more uplifted world than the one we found. That’s a pov common to most, if not all spiritual and religious traditions.

In elephant journal‘s recent transition from print to web, I’ve found ourselves owing our staff, our printers, even my house’s green painter, a friend of mine…and digging ourselves out, bit by painful bit. No matter how hard it is, it feels good to answer those collectors’ emails or phone calls instead of ignoring them…and to say look, I’m doing my best, I’ll pay you back as long as we can stay in business, and even then I’ll take personal responsibility.

It comes back to walking our talk. Green is, fundamentally, about walking our talk—so it’s hypocritical at best if we green-minded publishers can’t take responsibility for our business karma, in addition to our carbon karma.

So let’s hope and pray that time proves Gawker incorrect—and that Plenty will, if it must leave this green earth, do so in a clean, dignified, head-up manner.

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