After spending four years at this institution, I have learned to deal with many things: intolerance, insensitivity, pettiness, and above all else, ignorance.
However, in the October 19th article covering the overwhelming success of Inside Edge Magazine, which my roommate Aaron Shapiro and I founded in 1992, there were a few comments made by Jesse Furman that exceeded even my tolerance for close-mindedness and ignorance.
As many of the students on this campus already know, Inside Edge is the first entertainment based lifestyle magazine for males 18-24 years of age--a group heretofore neglected by the publishing industry. What makes the magazine unique is not only the fact that it targets a hard-to-reach demographic group, but also that the entire enterprise is staffed by current college undergraduates.
After its initial launch in conjunction with Warner Publisher Services (WPS), a Time-Warner Company, back in April 1993, Inside Edge has made publishing history by expanding to over 100,000 retail outlets in the United States and in over 20 foreign countries, and by beating "established" books such as Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, and Details in key major markets across the United States.
But this success has come because of hard work, diligence and a commitment by everyone on the staff to make Inside Edge one of the premiere books in the nation.
In light of all this, uninformed and hasty comments concerning the magazine by Jesse Furman and individuals such as him are a direct blow against everything that everyone on the Inside Edge staff has worked for. Specifically, comments such as "I would venture to say their market is between 11 and 15...most 18 to 24 year olds have grown out of the adolescent mindset that the magazine portrays," not only vividly displays Mr. Furman's ignorance, but a presumptuous intellectual haughtiness that no human being should espouse.
The Perspective's president's comments are not based on any fact whatsoever. In fact, I dare say that he did not even bother to read the first or second issues before issuing his criticism.
Our demographic facts and figures are based on compiled surveys, and can be substantiated by auditors, advertisers and WPS. I challenge Furman to provide one shred of evidence to the contrary.
Furthermore, to bring the issue closer to home, over 1,000 copies of the premiere issue were sold in the Harvard Square area alone. Is Furman, in his elitist, over-zealous self-righteousness, declaring that the hundreds of Harvard students who purchased the magazine are immature?
It seems as if Furman is being presumptuous in believing that all people his age should hold his views.
So to my fellow students, my message is simply this--before you pass judgment and offer criticism, buy the issue, read it with an open mind, and if you still have any comments, at least you'll be able to make an informed argument.
And Mr. Furman, before you decide to offer any further uninformed criticism in the future, remember what your parents used to tell you: Don't judge a book by its cover. Jonathan K. Hsu `94 Editor in Chief Inside Edge Magazine