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Sat September 21, 2013
An Introduction To What's New And What's Next
The online magazine Ozy launched Monday, offering readers original reporting on new trends and stories on the horizon.
"I hope that whether you're thinking about politics, economics, dating, friendship, all sorts of matters — that when you think about what's three to 12 months ahead of the curve that Ozy's the place you come to to get that," co-founder Carlos Watson tells NPR's Arun Rath.
The streamlined site, which offers just eight stories a day, derives its name from the poem "Ozymandias," by British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
"There's so many ways to interpret [the poem], but I've always interpreted it as, think big, but be humble," Watson says.
"Our ambition is to help people see more, and be more, introduce them to the new and the next, but make sure that while they're thinking about those big ideas that they're a little bit humble about it."
As part of a regular feature on All Things Considered, we'll hear about new people, places and trends featured on Ozy.
Carlos Watson Interview Highlights
Surprising Factoid: Unwed Mothers In Iceland
"More than two-thirds of the mothers in Iceland are unmarried, whereas in the U.S. and Europe that number is in the high 30s or 40 percent. And yet, in Iceland almost 80 percent of women work. Iceland is often listed as one of the happiest places on earth. ...
"A 37-year-old journalist ... left her perch working for Iceland's national broadcasting service and made a fairly successful run [for president of the country]. She ultimately didn't win, but she was running against the incumbent, pregnant during much of the campaign, gave birth literally a couple weeks before, was not married to her partner and that was not seen as remarkable."
What's New: 16-Year-Old New Zealand Singer Lorde
"Long, black hair. Crazy, strong voice. New Zealand: very small country, but has had a couple of really powerful singers. And, we're betting that Lorde will be something special."
What's Next: Japanese Microbars
It's a bar with an "endless line," and with good reason. It fits only four people at a time.
"So if you find your way to Tokyo and you're looking for something different and distinctive, the name of this bar is Golden Gai and it's the kind of good thing we want to tell you about."
ARUN RATH, HOST:
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
The online magazine Ozy launched this week with stories about Joel Gomez, Lorde and Japanese micro-bars. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, that's Ozy's objective: to get out ahead of the now with the new and the next. Carlos Watson is the CEO and founder of the site. Carlos, welcome to the program.
CARLOS WATSON: Arun, great to be here, and congratulations.
RATH: Right. And congratulations to you on your launch.
WATSON: Yeah. Two good things starting in the same week on the West Coast, no less.
RATH: Absolutely. On the West Coast.
WATSON: Yeah. Not bad.
RATH: So how about the name? How did you come up with Ozy?
WATSON: It's short for "Ozymandias," British poem of a couple hundred years ago. And...
RATH: Right. The Shelley poem, right?
WATSON: The Shelley poem. And there's so many ways to interpret it, but I've always interpreted it as think big but be humble, lest you end up two vast and legless trunks, right?
WATSON: And so - and that's part of our ambition. Our ambition is to help people see more and be more, introduce them to the new and the next, but make sure that while they're thinking about those big ideas that they're a little bit humble about it.
RATH: So what can people expect when they take a look at the site?
WATSON: I hope that whether you're thinking about politics, economics, dating, friendship, all sorts of matters, that when you think about what's three to 12 months ahead of the curve, that Ozy's a place you come to to get that.
RATH: There's a piece on mothers in Iceland where it's a really unusual number of mothers are giving birth out of wedlock.
WATSON: Yeah. More than two-thirds of the mothers in Iceland are unmarried, whereas in the U.S., you know, and in Europe, you know, that number's kind of in the high 30s or 40 percent. And yet, in Iceland, almost 80 percent of women work. Iceland is often listed as one of the happiest places on Earth.
RATH: Well, and that's something that if - in America if that were happening, we'd talk about societies coming apart at the seams. So that's not the attitude in Iceland, I take it.
WATSON: Not at all. There are a couple of factors there. One is just kind of historically in Iceland, if you go back kind of 100, couple hundred years ago, a lot of times, men worked as fishermen and, often frankly, would die early. And so the notion that someone would stay married to one person for their entire life got broken early. Second, there's state support for single mothers. Ninety percent of your child care, for example, are all state-supported.
RATH: It was amazing, with that kind of support, there is even the presidential candidate. She gave birth during the campaign?
WATSON: Yeah. So a 37-year-old journalist - so you and I appreciate that - left her perch working for Iceland's national broadcasting service and made a fairly successful run. She ultimately didn't win, but she was running against the incumbent, pregnant during much of the campaign, gave birth literally a couple weeks before, was not married to her partner. And that was not a big deal. That was not seen as remarkable.
RATH: Nobody brought up family values and...
WATSON: Not at all.
RATH: And you profiled an artist this week who could be the next big thing. Can you tell us about the 16-year-old singer Lorde?
WATSON: Yeah. Yeah. Lorde from New Zealand, long black hair, crazy strong voice. New Zealand, very small country, but it's had a couple of really powerful young female singers. And we're betting that Lorde will be something special.
RATH: Let's hear a little bit of her music.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROYALS")
LORDE: (Singing) And we'll never be royals. It don't run in our blood. That kind of luxe just ain't for us. We crave a different kind of buzz. Let me be your ruler.
RATH: There's also a piece by one of your editors about an extremely minibar that could be the next big thing in Japan.
WATSON: Yeah. That's not popular because, you know, every night there are 400 or 4,000 people, because it only has enough room, Arun, for four. That's it. That's it. But an endless line, and he's got this really funny line which I love. He says: For shady people who are looking for a sunny place.
WATSON: And so if you find your way to Tokyo, and you're looking for something different and distinctive, the name of this bar is Golden Gai. And it's the kind of good thing that we want to tell you about.
RATH: Carlos Watson is a co-founder of the new online magazine Ozy. Carlos, thanks for coming in.
WATSON: Arun, so good to be with you. And I look forward to doing it again. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.