Some seek to reflect the generally perceived dire state of the world in their art, others try and do the exact opposite. In this case, it’s the latter.
Talking Heads frontman David Byrne wants to remind us that there is good in the world; launches new online magazine, Reasons To Be Cheerful
The solutions-oriented publication – which cheekily describes itself as “A self-help magazine for people who hate self-help magazines” – will cover everything from health and culture to science and technology, climate and energy, economics, and more, always with a focus on the positive.
Speaking of how the idea came about, Byrne recalled that he started collecting good news as an antidote for the depression he would feel after reading the morning paper:
“It often seems as if the world is going straight to Hell. I wake up in the morning, I look at the paper, and I say to myself, “Oh no!” Often I’m depressed for half the day. I imagine some of you feel the same.”
After sharing this news with his friends and observing their reactions, he created the website Reasons To Be Cheerful. Eventually deciding to make the endeavour more formal, he brought a team together – including co-editors Christine McLaren and Will Doig – began commissioning pieces, and redesigned the website, all to be relaunched now.
Reasons To Be Cheerful is the first project under Byrne’s not-for-profit Arbutus Foundation and marks another venture in his recent spate of solo missions, including his first solo album in 14 years, the 2018 American Utopia and its Broadway adaption, as well as a personally curated playlist of protest songs shared on his very own David Byrne Radio station.
The About Section of the magazine describes its mission as wanting to balance out some of the “amplified negativity”:
“We tell stories that reveal that there are, in fact, a surprising number of reasons to feel cheerful…We are part magazine, part therapy session, part blueprint for a better world.”
Check out a trailer for Reasons To Be Cheerful below and head over to the publication here.