Even the art historians among you probably won’t notice that the cover of our just-released issue, illustrated by Ping Zhu, is a subtle riff on a Diego Rivera mural. We discovered the image during the making of our Winter Edition when we were looking for some way to pay homage to Mexico City, which garners the top spot in our GOOD City Index. The Mexican-born Rivera’s 1931 The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City seemed to do just that with its representation of Rivera and his crew assembling a mural of a modern, industrial city. If you look at the middle of the second level of scaffolding from the top, you can actually spot the portly painter himself, palette and brush in hand. The icon communicates a quiet calm in the midst of the frenzied assistants, engineers, and plasterers, bringing the work, within the work, to life.
It reminds me a lot of the making of a magazine—so many talented individuals subverting their egos to ensure that one singular vision gets communicated. So, in the spirit of Diego Rivera’s favorite subject matter—the plight of the workers—as well as an issue devoted to human possibility, I’d like to publically acknowledge the people without whom our latest edition couldn’t have come together: Rosie Spinks, who patched together the criteria, collected the data, and commandeered a team of 20 correspondents from almost that many time zones to compile our first-ever GOOD City Index; Andrew Price, who explores the fascinating paradox being investigated by many social scientists about how tapping into our inner animal can make us more human; Alli Magidsohn, who introduces us to the innovators hoping to make sustainable human burial more of a practical possibility; and Stefanie Iris Weiss, whose sci-fi “baby book” describes a world in which technological advances yield improbable effects on gender roles, parenting, and communal life.
As the calendar year comes to a close, we here at GOOD encourage each of you to take a moment or two and consider the possibility that lies ahead in your own life. There is nothing that we could hope for more for the pages of our magazine than to inspire you to realize it.