The five stages of public radio pledge drives
With all apologies to Dr. Kübler-Ross:
- Denial: They’re asking for my money? Again?
- Anger: I mean, didn’t they do this three months ago? Yes, I do care about the quality news/jazz/hipster rock/left-wing news you give me, but come ON already, I’m not made of money! You pay your DJs something above minimum wage! You never play Fresh Air/acid jazz/my favorite band that does not suck/Ward Churchill lectures anymore!
- Blogging: Maybe if I blog about it, they’ll stop! That’ll show them! Just like it did last time! And the time before that! And the time before… oh, wait.
- Depression: This thing never ends, but I can’t bear to listen to the T-Man make another self-serving sexist joke, and I haven’t ripped my LPs to MP3 yet so I have no Best of Prairie Home Companion/live Sun Ra/old K Records split sevens/Abbie Hoffman to listen to. I’m so miserable.
- Acceptance: OK, here’s my $50, but this will be the last time I’m doing it, KUOW/KPLU/KEXP/KBCS. I mean it. You better not be doing any more pledge drives, or else I’ll have to write still another blog post!
Are there any lessons here with this repeating loop? Well, you can accept that NPR and CPB will never have the sort of funding that the BBC or Radio France enjoy, so they’re always going to be holding out the begging cup until we have a fully-funded state media system. You could just not listen to them and fire up last.fm or the portable music player of your choice. Or, you can do what I do — take Seattlest off Google Reader every time the pledge drives start up and put them back on when the drive is over.