- I’m thinking that the Bottle Service is for Tourists blog is suck-tastic, and I withdraw my earlier endorsement. The dude makes so many word usage, spelling, and punctuation mistakes that it’s hard to take his self-satisfied editorializing seriously. He may be right about the mechanics of how nightlife works in LA, but he’s wrong about just about everything else. If you let too many minorities party in your club, you’re not doing something right, according to him. And if no celebrities show up, then it negates the great time that everyone may have had nonetheless.
- I’m thinking that I should be The Dude next Halloween. My friend Diana got me hooked on white russians a couple months ago, and I’ll look pretty sexy holding one while wearing a white shirt, some shorts, and a robe as I walk down Santa Monica Blvd. again.
- I’m thinking of doing Brasil twice next year, in addition to Italy. Italy will be a tax write-off, and the two Brasil trips will be for different purposes (fun and a wedding). And I’m seriously considering a solo weekend jaunt to Vegas to visit some brethren and catch a Cirque du Soleil show. Residuals are so enabling!
- I’m thinking that I have a really great chance of getting into UCLA’s grad program. They’re hard to get into, but I’ve been very active since my undergrad days. There’s no other MFA program that appeals to me right now, and I think that if I go at it from the right angle then it’s a done deal. I’ll definitely be playing up my performances at artLA and NADA, and my residency overseas.
- I’m thinking that cooperation > competition, and that competition is for the insecure. People who need to constantly compare themselves to others and be judged as better make me shake my head. Many people say that competition is what makes America great, but they’re wrong because there’s very little competition here. What we do have a history of is cooperation. Whenever people have gotten together, much change has been effected for the better (the Grangers, civil rights, trade unionism, gay rights, the abolition movement, worker’s rights, etc.).
- I’m thinking that if you can guess the reference I made in the title of this, then you deserve a kiss. For real. If you can tell me where I got it from, I will kiss you the next time I see you, and squarely on your temple. If I’ve never met you or you don’t live near me, I’ll send you a video/virtual kiss.
Facebook has become omniscience itself. Somehow it knew, during my last relationship, that my boyfriend was Jewish even though I didn’t specify him when I changed my relationship status. I started getting all kinds of ads for JDate, various Chabad groups, and encouraging me to “Like” Chanukah.
He broke up with me in January. I changed my relationship status. And I still get ads targeted toward Jewish people. Did you know, for instance, that there was an honest-to-god music festival called “Jewlicious”? When I saw it, my jaw dropped. Recently, I’ve been getting ads asking me if I’ve got “the next big Jewish idea”. I wonder what makes an idea Jewish… strike that, I don’t wonder. There’s some rabbi with ads up, I’ve been seeing his picture recently, letting us all know about his website. The funny thing is, my ex is agnostic and I’m not a Christian. Last year ‘for Christmas’, we went to breakfast together, enjoyed the empty streets, and went our separate ways for the day (which meant taking a nap for me). You’d think they would have gotten that whole “not into it” memo, right?
Lots of ad dollars are being wasted. Before someone tries to construe this as being an anti-Semitic screed (you’d have to be a real dumb-ass to think that about me), I don’t want to see any ads at all on Facebook. I get ads for expecting mothers (NEVERRRRR!!), interracial dating sites (I get down with any ethnicity, but I’m fine being single), and for masters programs in teaching; when I go back to school, it’ll be to get my MFA.
I’m gonna need Facebook to get with it, this is ridiculous.
KPFK is a listener-sponsored public radio station on the Pacifica network in Los Angeles. Because they are 100% listener-sponsored (the amounts granted from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting being a pittance), and because they don’t take corporate donations (unlike NPR), and because they don’t run commercials, they are refreshingly unbeholden (yeah, I made up another word, what of it [how about all these ellipses!]) to anyone’s point of view except that of the parent organization.
Also, because of the all the above reasons, they have to run fund drives almost 5 times a year for up to three weeks each time. It’s exhausting to even listen to. And it’s incredibly disheartening. And you can hear the desperation – especially recently, as times are really tough for everyone. And that exhaustion and desperation is a turn-off. And it makes me not want to donate.
Presently, the way the fund drives go is like this: the hosts of the most popular shows plead for you to call in and pledge x amount of dollars in exchange for a great thank-you gift. Later in the hour of any given show (excepting a few), some extra gift will be announced. And they tell you all these dollar amounts that you can pledge at. Plus another dollar amount that will get you another great gift. TOO MANY NUMBERS, MAN!!! And they beg and plead for money. And they end up broadcasting reruns of the pledge drive from a couple days before. And there’s 500,000 different packages and prizes and things and stuff and such-like. And all that changes from day-to-day. Meu Deus e ai ai ai…
My Enlightened Suggestions
1. Stop calling it a fund drive; call it a membership drive. When you shift the emphasis from money to membership, people breathe a collective sigh. It will trickle down in many ways; for instance, instead of wildly exhorting your listeners to help raise $3000 by the end of the hour, cheerfully invite them to become a member, and emphasize how many memberships you’d like to raise by the end of the hour. Not how many basic memberships, not how many upper-level memberships, just memberships – be vague. The main reason I cringe when the fund drives gear up is because of how much time is spent on trying to get the big-buck donations rolling in, which disenfranchises us who don’t have much money to give but would like to. We can feel included. If the words you use didn’t matter, then Frank Luntz wouldn’t have a job.
2. Have ONE set pool of gifts, NO ADD ONS. It is waaaayyyy confusing when listening to the different shows through the day, trying to keep up with what everyone is offering. Before the drive begins, secure a pool of gifts that will be offered throughout the drive. Have two categories, the first one corresponding to lower-level pledges (newspaper subscriptions, DVDs, books, other media, tickets to plays, etc.), and the second one corresponding to higher-level pledges (the iPad with radio archives pre-loaded, tickets to high-profile events, museum memberships, dinner with Amy Goodman, etc.). Each show host could offer their own gift that corresponds to the subject matter that they cover, and during their hour, they could feature their gift while emphasizing all membership levels, and encouraging listeners to visit the website for more information. Have this clearly spelled out on the website.
3. Establish yearly membership levels with catchy names. There’s a reason why other organizations do it. That reason is because it works. It takes out a lot of the math and thinking, and gives the potential donor something to positively identify with. Based on all the pledge drives I’ve listened to, here’s my enlightened sub-suggestion on this (these names are only suggestions):
- $25+ Basic Membership – comes with bumper sticker/keychain/license plate frame/some other like gift
- $50+ “True Progressive” Membership – comes with a Basic gift + their choice of one of the thank you gifts being currently offered in the lower category
- $100+ “Leftist” Membership – comes with Basic gift + their choice of two of the thank you gifts being currently offered in the lower category
- $150+ Film Club Membership – comes with Basic gift, one DVD of their choice that’s currently being offered as a thank you gift, and tickets to film screenings
- $150+ “Activist” Membership – comes with Basic gift + their choice of a lower category gift and their choice of a upper category gift
- $200+ “Freedom Fighter” Membership – comes with Basic gift + their choice of two upper category gifts
- $250+ “Pacifica Friend” Membership – comes with Basic gift + their choice of any three gifts, regardless of category
- $300 and beyond “Pacifica Angel” Membership – comes with their choice of any four gifts regardless of category plus a tour of the station and the privilege of watching a show of their choice being produced live (must make appointment)
I’d say tweak the dollar amounts as needed because I’m not an economist, but you get the gist.
4. REVAMP YOUR WEBSITE!!!!! I listen in my car and on the internet at home. There are thousands of internet listeners. And yet, right now, as I click visit the site, it looks so 2004, and it’s built that way too. There’s text everywhere in patchwork, no unifying color scheme, and five different kinds of fonts. This is unacceptable and it matters. Just because KPFK is a no-frills, listener-sponsored station doesn’t mean the website has to be unattractive and unorganized. The parent Pacifica site is quite nice, and easy on the eyes. If money is an issue, and I suspect it is, set up an internship program where college students studying web design and site development can earn college credit while working for you a few hours a week for spring/summer/fall term. They have to have a bit of a portfolio, and present at least one idea that would help the site during their interview. This would be profitable for the station indirectly, but profitable nonetheless.
5. Encourage listeners to become a member at the top of every hour, every time a show ends, whether or not there’s a fund drive on. When I first began listening to KPFK, I didn’t even know that this was an option until that summer’s fund drive.
6. Throw fun events throughout the year where people only have to donate to get in. No minimum donations, either. Because I’ve found in several fundraising situations that when you ask for a donation and you don’t give a dollar amount, you get more than what you’d expect. All proceeds benefit the station directly. And there are plenty of entertainers here in LA who love KPFK and would graciously perform/do whatever for no fee, and organizations willing to donate their time in event production because it would be a tax write-off, and teenagers who could get involved and help out while getting their required volunteer hours.
Okay, I’m spent, but this has been burning inside me for quite some time. KPFK has been in dire financial straits recently, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Not if we work smarter and hold on to methods that are effective. If current methods were already effective, the station would not be in the situation that it’s in so severely. Yes, I know we’re in a recession: my pocketbook says so, and so does the fact that I have 3 jobs and I’m about to start another. But surely extending every fund drive by an extra week will not cut it; that isn’t a true adaptation to changing needs. Times have changed, and Pacifica’s methods in fundraising must change as well. I don’t know what I would do if KPFK went off the air, and if you suggest I listen to NPR, I will punch you in your tricep. Hard. I doubt that the people who need to see this will – my readership is all of 10, and that’s on a good day. But I just wanted to put this out there, because the next membership drive is coming soon, and I hate to skip over 90.7 just because the begging is too excruciating to hear.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to post the viral Sesame Street song because I know you’ve seen it several times, and I KNOW you loved the shit out of it! The above is just simply a true statement. I didn’t always love my hair, and like many black girls, I viewed my hair as a problem that needed fixing. It was one day out of the clear blue in 2005 that I decided to stop getting perms. I did a long transition, and that fall I cut off the permed ends, revealing the start of a little ‘fro underneath.
I felt so free, yet after 22 years of doing everything I could to make my hair look European, I didn’t really have much knowledge of how to take care of my hair, such as what makes it tick, how to manage it, what products to use, etc. Honestly, until recently, it’s been a lot of trial and error, but for the most part my hair has flourished.
The two best online resources that I’ve stumbled upon are BGLH and Kimmaytube. BGLH is featured on my blogroll over there –>, and it’s sort of like a gathering of “natural minds”. Contributors and readers share styling and care tips, post style pictures, and share personal journeys toward self-acceptance.
I love love LOVE Kim Love, founder of Luv Naturals and Kimmaytube. Her channel is now featured over there –> , and below is an introductory video.
Both are excellent resources when it comes to letting go of the perm and pressing comb – I wish I had been aware of both when I first started my transition. My mother decided to go natural, and I’ll be helping her.
Just as I thought, no tidal wave and total tsunami and devastating category 5 hurricane of Republican victory. So they took the House. And? Business as usual. I truly mourn the loss of Alan Grayson and Russ Feingold, though. As you may know, I’m a non-partisan voter because I refuse to count myself a member of a political party that falls all over itself for the opportunity to be doormat to the Republicans. Grayson and Feingold, however, truly shone in that darkness of milquetoastiness. Now Kucinich, Barney Frank, and Bernie Sanders are all the Democrats have left (I know Sanders is Independent, but he’s leftist).
Meanwhile, I’m here in California, and nothing’s gonna change our blueness so hooray for that! And hooray for no more election coverage! Here’s something to empty your mind to…
P.S. – Texas. Really? I mean really? *siiiigggghhh*