Friday, December 07, 2018

Self Help Radio 120718: Queen Of

The Queen of WHAT, Gary? England? Denmark? North Carolina? South Ipanema?

Let this program demonstrate to you that there are queens always among us. Hereditary issues mostly don't even factor in - one minute you're talking to someone, the next you suddenly realize she's the queen of the moon.  Why not just break into song?  You know you wanna.

That's what happens on today's show: we meet the Queen of Night, the Queen of the Underworld, & the queen of Nevada in succession, all inspiring some dopey musician to compose for them a tune. It keeps going. Plus, you know, I talk to some silly people as well. As if I weren't silly enough!

The show is now available for your regal listening at the Self Help Radio website. There is password info on the front page, don't say I didn't tell you.  Every song played is listed below, as are the interviews.  & yes, the Queen of Radio shows up.

Self Help Radio Queen Of...? Show

"Oh Moon, Queen Of Night On Earth" Jonathan Richman _Oh Moon, Queen Of Night On Earth_
"Queen Of Spades" Darwin Deez _10 Songs That Happened When You Left Me With My Stupid Heart_
"Queen Of The Underworld" Jesse Malin _The Fine Art Of Self-Destruction_

introduction & definitions

"The Queen Of Ur & The King Of Um" Wire _A Bell Is A Cup... Until It Is Struck_
"The Queen Of Seville" The Clientele _God Save The Clientele_
"Mary Queen Of Scots" Monty Python _Another Monty Python Record_
"Dime Queen Of Nevada" Albert Hammond _Albert Hammond_
"Queen Of The Silver Dollar" Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show _The Best Of Shel Silverstein (His Words His Songs His Friends)_

interview with historian David Fruchter

"Queen Of The Minstrels" The Eternals _Studio One Soul_
"Little Miss Queen Of Darkness" The Kinks _Face To Face_
"Queen Of Pain" The Cramps _Big Beat From Badsville_
"Queen Of The Moon" Jerry Lynn _The 'D' Singles Collection, Vol. 1_
"Queen Of The Barley Fool" Great Lakes Myth Society _Compass Rose Bouquet_

interview with anthropologist/adventurer Cosmo Wild

"Queen Of The Savages" The Magnetic Fields _69 Love Songs, Vol. 3_
"Queen Of The Sea" Steve Miro & The Eyes _Objectivity: Object Records Singles Album_
"Queen Of The House" Mrs. Elva Miller _Wild, Cool, & Swingin': The Artist Collection - Mrs. Miller_
"Queen Of The Mopeds" Tochigi _A Crow So Large It Blocked Out The Sun_
"Mary Queen Of Arkansas" Bruce Springsteen _Greetings From Asbury Park N.J._

speed interviews with several Queens

"The Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba" Swingle Singers _Swingle II Baroque_
"Queen Of Sheba" Danta _Electric Asylum, Vol. 1: Rare British Acid Freakrock_
"The Queen Of Sheba" Kathleen Jamie _Poetry Please: The Anniversary Edition_
"Queen Of Sheba" Nick Lowe _Nick The Knife_
"Leila (The Queen Of Sheba)" Dolly Dots _Leila (The Queen Of Sheba)_

conclusion & goodbyes

"Pop Queen Of The Teen Scene" Brandon Can't Dance _Graveyard Of Good Times_
"Queen Of The Rummage Sale" Bishop Allen _February EP_
"Queen Of Eyes" The Soft Boys _Underwater Moonlight_
"Queen Of Summer" Spray _Children Of A Laser God_
"Queen Of All The Tarts (Overture)" David Bowie _Reality

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Whither Queen Of?

(Oh look it's Mary Queen Of Scots! They should make a movie about her or something. This picture is from here.)

You know how this works, surely, by now.  Rather than do a show about "queens," which would allow for a greater diversity of music (perhaps) plus be able to have songs about unnamed queens (definitely) as well as other meanings of the word queen (oh yeah), I have decided to limit the scope of this week's theme to songs that are called or are about a "queen of" something.

There's precedent for this.  Many moons ago, when I was doing the show at WMUL in West Virginia, I did a show with the theme "King Fill-In-The-Blank."  I didn't simply want to do a show about kings.  My disdain for monarchs, as a child of America, doesn't allow me to be expansive in their celebration.

Was it the upcoming Saorise Ronan movie that inspired this show?  No.  I just saw movie posters for it while looking for pictures of queens.  It is the reason why I chose a picture of Mary Queen Of Scots though.  I just hope it's as good as the radio version!

What inspired this week's show?  It's funny you should ask that.  I was about to make something up that would have amused you greatly but then apparently the jet planes being manufactured by the nearby Lockheed Martin plant decided to have war games above me & I've been hiding under my desk for the past fifteen minutes with my cats.  Fear has a way of making one forget everything.

But I do remember that the new Self Help Radio with the theme "Queen Of" will happen tomorrow at noon over at Self Help Radio dot Net.  Listening will make you feel like royalty.  Or at least royalty-adjacent.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Preface To Queen Of: The Queen Of Tumblr Dethroned

This is a picture of my dog Winston.  I regularly post pictures of my pets & other things I encounter & remember to take pictures of on the show's Tumblr page.  You might not know what Tumblr is, or you might use it in a dramatically different way than I do.

Maybe you haven't heard what's going on with Tumblr but many of the people whose Tumblr blogs I like are pissed off, so maybe Tumblr is going away.  None of the pictures I take are ever anything anyone could perceive as pornographic, although I suppose the awfulness of the photos might be seen as offensive in that way, so I don't suppose I'll be leaving the site soon.

But in any event, I figured this was a good opportunity for my periodic reminder that Self Help Radio has a presence on Tumblr even though it's more like my personal Instantgram page than anything having to do with the show.

That's all.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Two Jokes

Today on the Tuesday Morning Blend, I celebrated National Sock Day with a set about (what else?) socks.

A caller rang the station up to tell me a "terrible joke" (his words) about socks.  It was this one:

Timmy went to school wearing two unmatched socks - one red, & one blue.  A teacher, trying to draw attention to his mismatched pair, said sarcastically, "Nice socks, Timmy."  Timmy said, "D'you think so?  I have another pair just like it at home."

I responded by telling the caller, "Oh man, Bob Hope from all the way in California is rolling in his grave toward the awfulness of the joke."

The caller said, "I want him to turn back around.  Can I tell another?"

"Sure," I said.

"Why did the chicken go to the seance?"


"To get to the other side," the caller said.

Bob Hope, alas, kept rolling.

Monday, December 03, 2018

The Earth Is Not Good For Queens

Because this week's show is sort of about queens - it's going to be full of songs with titles like "Queen Of _______" which yes means I'm not playing Bowie's "Queen Bitch" - I started looking around to see how many queens were still around, in charge of places.

& there are a lot of queens still around, although they're not really the rulers, just the wives of monarchs.  Nope, there's only two queens who are in charge themselves: the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, & the
Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II.  Technically, of course, they're not monarchs in the way their predecessors had been.

If I seem disappointed, it's because I am.  I was going to make my first Twitter poll in ages & ask people to pick a favorite queen.  But there are only two!  & I don't want to have to go find out, you know, if the King of Sweden has a Queen or whatever.

Look, I know that monarchies have been traditionally one of the best places to find patriarchy, but I thought in the 21st century we'd have more queens out there.  Nope!

That's the last time I look for progress in useless, anachronistic institutions!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Self Help Radio 113018: Magda's Birthday Show 2018

(Original image here.)

For today only, you get a birthday!  Unless of course, it's already you're birthday, but if it isn't, it is!  This is the day when Self Help Radio celebrates all birthdays by celebrating one person's birthday (Magda) by playing loads of songs about birthdays.  Even if it isn't your birthday today (it's not Magda's - hers is tomorrow), if you plan on having a birthday this year - or you've had one already - you qualify for today's extra birthday!  Wear a funny hat!  Eat a bunch of cake!  Put candles on things!  Go wild!

This birthday offer does not extend to beings who are infinite or who were created with the universe, since time didn't exist then & we can't be sure which "day" you were "born" on.  Beings from other dimensions & planets please check conversion tables to understand your birthday in Earth calendar terms.

Do I keep doing this because it makes Magda happy?  Nah, she barely knows I'm still doing this show.  But happy birthday, you!  Go listen to a show about your birthday!  & other birthdays!  Make someone buy you a present!  This is my present to you!

You can listen now at Self Help Radio's web page.  Username & password info is there.  The songs played & the interviews happening are listed below.

Did I say it?  Can I say it louder?  Happy birthday!!!

Self Help Radio's Birthday Show 2018

"Happy Birthday Magdalena (You're Getting Old)" The Birthday Band For Old People _Happy Birthday (You're Getting Old)_
"Birthday" David Weinstone Presents Music For Aardvarks & Other Mammals _Grumpy_
"Happy Birthday" Ada _Meine Zarten Pfoten_


"Happy Birthday" Alex The Seal _Alex In Wonderland_
"Happy Birthday Girl" The Equals _Equals At The Top_
"You Are Allowed 20 Birthday Parties" Patton Oswalt _Werewolves & Lollipops_
"Birthday Song" The Greeting Committee _This Is It_
"Happy Birthday" Art Paul Schlosser _Live At MarsCon 2007 & 2008_

interview with birthday party specialist David Fruchter

"C.O.O.L Party" Confidence Man _Confident Music For Confident People_
"Happy Birthday" The Bhundu Boys _True Jit_
"The Birthday Party" George Carlin _When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?_
"My Birthday" The French Goodbye _VROOM!_
"Happy Birthday" Freedy Johnston _The Way I Were: 4-Track Demos 1986-1992_

interview with Fulfill A Wish Corporation CEO Perb Rochester

"Happy Birthday" JD & The Longfellows _Happy Hour Again_
"Happy Deathday" Ron Gallo _Stardust Birthday Party_
"Birthdays" George Lopez _Right Now Right Now_
"Birthday" Raymond & Scum _Suck_
"Don't Say Happy Birthday" Christopher Dale _Songs I Know The Words To_

a statement from Magda about the show

"Happy Birthday" Eddy Howard & His Orchestra _The Best Of The Mercury Years_
"Happy, Happy Birthday" Wanda Jackson _The Complete Singles As & Bs 1954-62_
"Happy Birthday" Loretta Lynn _The Honky Tonk Girl Collection_
"Happy Birthday" The Birthday Massacre _Violet_
"Birthday" Parlor Walls _Opposites_

conclusion & goodbye

"Birthday" Hard-Ons _This Is Bad Taste, Vol. 5_
"Birthday" Here Kitty Kitty _This Is Broken_
"Birthday" Crazy & The Brains _Let Me Go_
"Birthday" Snowglobe _Snowglobe_

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Whither Magda's Birthday Show 2018?

(Image from here.)

My golly, I've been doing a birthday show for my wife since before she was my wife.  Since before I thought we would even get married even!  Does she appreciate them?  I have no idea.

Is this the part of the birthday post where I complain about how there aren't many good birthday songs?  Nope!  I won't even complain that there weren't as many birthday songs to be found this year as there were last year.  I was just more diligent in finding birthday songs this year.  & also I'm sort of going to cheat a little.  Since the show is a podcast & can play naughty words, I'm going to play a couple of comedy bits that I had to edit to play the first time.  They're funny.  I hate to repeat myself but this is worth it.

The biggest birthday song disappointment of the year is that there wasn't a demo version or another mix of the Beatles' "Birthday" on the giant White Album reissue.  Just a "take 2/instrumental backing track version" that's sort of enjoyable in its own way but won't make it on the show.

What I wish is that someone would recommend birthday songs!  Or write me birthday songs!  Because I might have to get a frickin' ukulele & start writing birthday songs myself!  & no one wants that.

The Birthday Show 2018 is tomorrow at noon.  Self Help Radio Dot Net.  If you have a birthday this year - or have had a birthday this year - or if it's your birthday - this show is for you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Preface To Magda's Birthday Show 2018: Surprise Parties

It's been a while since I've spoken to my brothers - I have four of them - at least two of them I haven't seen in over two years - one of those brothers is having a birthday soon, & his wife - with whom I also haven't spoken in years - has invited me to his surprise party.

To be clear, she didn't call me or text me to invite me.  It was a Facebook invite & I was one of dozens invited.  I doubt I was specifically chosen, but just happened to be in her address book.

Now, I don't like surprise parties, be they for birthdays or what-not.  It's not just that I don't like to be surprised, but I also don't like the deception required to pull it off, & I don't think it's a good idea to conspire with people you barely know to deceive someone you love.

& I'm not the only one who thinks so.  Read this article.

However.  I confess.  I have thrown a surprise party.  For my girlfriend, the woman who would later become my wife.  She enjoyed it.  But I had a sense she might.  She had told me as much.  But I told her in no uncertain terms that I would not.

Then she threw a surprise party for me, for my fortieth I believe.  I was miserable.  She had made special treats but I was so upset that she had done it that I didn't get to enjoy any of them.  I remember wanting everyone to leave so I could watch the episode of The Wire that I had saved to watch that night.  It took a lot for me to pretend to be happy.  It took forever for everyone to fucking go.

Now I'm thinking the world is divided into two kinds of people & two other kinds of people.  People who enjoy & don't enjoy surprise parties thrown for them, & people who enjoy & don't enjoy throwing surprise parties.  I'm sure there's some overlap, as there are sadists who are also into masochism.  & yet, on the scale of morality, those who resist throwing surprise parties, & those who find surprise parties thrown for them repellent, these people are in the right.

It's not the reason I won't go to my brother's party, of course.  I haven't technically been invited personally, & he won't care if I'm there or not.  But if I had actually been invited, I wouldn't go.  Because I don't believe in surprise parties.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Nice Phone Calls

If you call me on my radio show on KNON, especially if you're going to tell me you like my show - even if you're trying to butter me up to play a request - you're going to make me happy.  I'm going to tell you - or I'll say on the air - that I have such damaged self-esteem that such things just totally elate me.  & it's one hundred percent true.

This morning I got a lot of nice calls, but two stood out.

One was a fellow who told me his kid was going to college & was going to be involved at his college's radio station & he told me, "I want him to do a show just like the Tuesday Morning Blend!" The funny postscript is that his kid is going to the University Of Texas At Austin so the station he was going to be be deejaying at is KVRX - where I started out.  That was cool.

The other was a woman who was definitely not my target audience.  She told me she & her husband (whose name was Gary) were retired but listened to my show every week.  She asked me questions about stuff I played.  & she was convinced that the "Gary" on the air was way too busy to answer the phone himself & didn't quite believe me when I said I was that guy.

The truth is, I spent the early part of the week bummed about bad interactions with my family.  These two calls - & the others I got today - turned my mood around.  I appreciate that.

Also I got treats from a new vegan bakery in Dallas called Sugar Fang for the wife & myself after lunch.  That too was nice.  That area of Dallas - Deep Ellum - is so strangely deserted during the day, while traffic rages all around.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Three Thousand

(This image from here.)

This blog was started (maybe even created) on Tuesday, September 12, 2006, when Self Help Radio was almost four years old.  I don't know why I created it.  I have never been very good at promoting the show, & truthfully the show's never been good enough for me or anyone to want to go on & on about it.  But maybe I thought there was someone out there who wanted to read things I wrote about the show, & maybe also I thought I had something to say about the show.  The answers have turned out to be: not so much, & not so much.

You can read that first blog entry by clicking here.

Two thousand, nine hundred, & ninety-nine entries & a little over twelve years later, here we are.  Man, I have tried so many things to make this enjoyable - a random sampling of the blog posts might find me attempting to be funny, to talk about people named Gary, to write poetry or short stories - but I guess the one thing I've done most consistently is, the day before the show, I try to explain why I've chosen that particular theme.  Also I post the show.  The two things I've done most consistently.  The rest have all been failures & abandoned as such.

One thing I wanted to do for the I think two-thousandth entry was to write a two-thousand word post with the first words of each entry.  It was amazingly tedious & nearly every one of my first posts began with the first-person pronoun "I."  So, here, this would've been the beginning of that entry:

Hi this when here's but this quick I in I we why Halloween amazingly as before hey I I do oh you what normally I I I

You can see why I stopped.  Also, you may notice when I first noticed that I stopped starting lots of paragraphs with the first-person pronoun.  I try so hard not to do that!

I really do!  Fuck.  Did it again.

One thing I did notice is that I write much more in this blog now than then.  I try to write five days a week - even when I have nothing to say or it's the end of the day & I'm like, fuck, I forgot to write in the damn blog!  Especially then, as that's more common than not.  It's why I didn't reach one thousand till 2011, but I got from 2000 to 3000 is a little under four years.  I try to have structure in my life.

Self Help Radio languishes when it's not actually on the radio, but I will keep doing it until it finds a place somewhere again on the air.  Maybe by the four-thousandth blog post.  I'll probably write that one like this one, right before I feed the animals & go to bed early because I have a different radio program to go to in the morning.

Thanks for keeping up, if you do, occasionally.  I'll try like always to make this some place interesting to spend a second or two.  But man this blog is getting old.  Is 3000 eligible for like Medicare or something?

Friday, November 23, 2018

Self Help Radio 112318: Paper

(Original image here.)

Before you ask: yes, this show about paper is paperless.  Not one tree was harmed in the making of this show unless you count the trees used for the tray cards & record covers of the songs contained herein.  There's probably other incidental uses of paper for the show, but the intention of the show was paperless.  It's a paper show of paperless intentions.

& there's so much paper!  A celebration of paper!  A radio show that's like champagne confetti when it comes to paper!  & again, no paper was wasted - the show features things like paper airplanes & paper dolls & paper hats but there was no real paper in any of it.  Can songs be made out of paper?  Or can you just find them paper-thin?

You don't have to write any of this down.  Just click around the screen where I tell you.  The show is over at the Self Help Radio website.  <--- a="" amp="" any="" as="" below.="" but="" can="" computer="" down="" ell="" find="" hat="" i="" if="" incidental="" inus="" is.="" is="" it="" link="" must="" n="" nbsp="" on="" one="" ot="" other="" ou="" p="" paper="" password="" place="" punctuation.="" s="" selfhelp.="" show="" shr="" site="" that="" the="" to="" username="" ve="" well="" where="" write="" written="" you="">
Self Help Radio Paper Show

"Paper" Talking Heads _Fear Of Music_
"Paper" The Nits _Malpensa_
"Papers" Ty Segall _Ty Segall_

introductions & history

"Papier, Papier" Joe Raphael _Mir Scheint, Du Hast Geweint_
"Paper Boy" The Marvelettes _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 6: 1966_
"Put It On Paper" Mike Birbiglia _My Secret Public Journal Live_
"Like Paper" Big Red Bus _Big Red Bus_
"Paper Song" Lou Christie _Glory River: The Buddah Years 1968-1972_

interview with Dudley Warrington, paper specialist

"Paper Wraps Rock" Momus _Circus Maximus_
"Fish & Chip Paper" Elvis Costello _Trust_
"Toilet Paper" John Pinette _Making Lite Of Myself_
"Paper Tigers" The Chameleons _Script Of The Bridge_
"King Of Piss & Paper" Wolf Parade _Cry Cry Cry_

interview with Madge Tollhurst, pop culture blogger

"Paper Thin Hotel" Close Lobsters _Nature Thing_
"Paper Thin" Betty & The Werewolves _Tea Time Favourites_
"Newspaper Death Notices" George Carlin _When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?_
"Pen To Paper" Giant Sand _Heartbreak Pass_
"Plenty Of Paper" Eisley _Room Noises_

Ned Dry shows you how to make the perfect paper airplane

"Paper Plane" The Mad Scene _A Trip Thru Monsterland_
"Paper Planes" The Lucksmiths _Happy Secret_
"Paper Airplanes" The Glasses _Birdsongs, Beesongs: Eardrums Spring Compilation 2009_
"Paper Aeroplanes" Pocketbooks _Flight Paths_
"Paper Aeroplane" Angus & Julia Stone _Memories Of An Old Friend_

all kindsa paper idioms

"Paper Bag" The Cannanes _A Love Affair With Nature_
"Paper Hat" Ed's Redeeming Qualities _Big Grapefruit Cleanup Job_
"Paper Doll" Lisa Germano _Lullaby For Liquid Pig_
"Paper Cuts" The Boy Least Likely To _The Best Party Ever_
"Across The Paper" Math & Physics Club _In This Together_

conclusion & goodbye

"Paperhouse" Can _Tago Mago_

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Whither Paper?

(Image from here.)

According to Dictionary dot com, "paper" can mean anything from writing paper to newspaper to money to an article or essay to documents establishing your citizenship to money to rolling papers to wallpaper to - well, anything that is made from paper or looks like paper.

& how long have humans been using paper?  If you count papyrus (& why wouldn't you - it's where we get the word, after all!), then it goes all the way back to the Bronze Age - an estimate might mean since 3100 BCE.  That's like five frickin' thousand years ago!

Isn't it about time it got its own radio show?  I thought so too.  It'll happen finally tomorrow at noon at the Self Help Radio website.  See you there.

Meanwhile, hey!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Preface To Paper: Paperless

This is being written on a computer.  My fingers are tapping a keyboard.  I'm doing it in my head, I wrote nothing down before, I am thinking thoughts & typing them out.  (I expect I'll make mistakes but I can just delete them & start again.)  This is just to say that at no point in this process was paper used - not for rough drafts, not for doodling, not for anything.

Which is both sad & a little weird, because I always had paper around when I was a kid.  I loved to draw & of course in school I took notes on paper.  I didn't have a word processor or a typewriter in college so most of my papers I wrote were by hand.  (I kind of lost my ability to write cursive for that reason: my cursive became about as comprehensible as shorthand, so when I wrote essays & stuff I simply wrote the opposite of cursive, which I just now read is called "printing."  I need to qualify that because "printing" means something different when it comes to word processing.)

One of my favorite times of year when I was in school was the very last day, when people would throw their spiral notebooks into the air in glee & the hallways would be littered with half-empty notebooks & folders & scrap paper of all kinds.  I collected them & I filled them up - with diary entries, lists, drawings, etc.  I still have many of those notebooks, actually - I threw away a lot of them when we moved from Texas, but I saved lots.

& now I remember I used to write lots of letters.  By hand.  On paper.

But for the most part, since around 1995, everything I've written - like on this blog - has been electrons on a computer screen.  I have tried to save my old email - but they're in computer files, not printed out.  It's crazy & strange.

Because by all rights I should have boxes & boxes of decades of writing.  But nope.  About half my life ago, there was a fundamental shift in how humans kept records, wrote mail, even illustrated.  The only paper I have around me now is in a printer.

What do I write anymore?  I think just grocery lists.  But check this: I make a grocery list on scrap paper, then I type it into the computer & print it out.  It's neater.  It's better organized.  & I can actually read it.

Yeah, I guess I miss paper being such a central part of my life.  I do sometimes go to the stationary section of stores & daydream about buying a binder or one of those black & white composition books.  But it would never be filled up.  It would be better bought by someone who would use it.

That's not me, not anymore.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Pledge Drives

Since Self Help Radio, the live version, left the Lexington airwaves in 2016, far fewer people have listened to the show.  Since Self Help Radio, the prerecorded version on the air, left the Lexington airwaves earlier this year, the number of people who listen regularly to the show has dwindled to single digits.  I am not saying this because I care too much - or to whine - as Self Help Radio has been ignored & forgotten before (I did the show in West Virginia for fuck's sake!) - but I note it because it means that not many people find their way to this blog.  Here, for example, despite linking some of these pages on the show's Facebook page & its Twitter page, is the number of folks, according to Blogger, who saw the past five entries:

That means less than thirty people have visited the blog in the past week, & some of the visits might be from folks who come more than once.

Again, this is not an invitation to today's pity party.  I do all those alone, I don't want to share my whiskey.  No, I wanted to throw a question out to people who are involved at college, public, or community radio stations & have to do pledge drives like I have to do a pledge drive at KNON, where I do a show called the Tuesday Morning Blend.  Unlike WRFL, which was funded by student fees, KNON gets most of its operating budget from four pledge drives a year.  & if you've ever listened, you'll know: I am terrible at these.

& a thing I'd love to do is talk to people from different stations - preferably people I've never met - about their experience with pledge drives.  I had to do them at KOOP in the early 2000s, & early on discovered I had no skill with them.  Yes, I sat with other folks at the station & listened to people from successful non-commercial stations & took notes about best practices for raising money on-air - & still I got no better at it.

Before the last pledge drive in August, I read many web pages about raising funds on public & community radio stations.  I tried to tailor my pitches to strategic subjects - & I raised less money during that pledge drive than the two before.

The dilemma is this: since no one reads this blog, because no one listens to Self Help Radio, I doubt I'd get any response from anyone about their experiences with pledge drives.  But I'll go ahead & ask because I had a fucking brutal experience this morning.  I talked what felt like an hour (it wasn't) & I got one call.  One. Fucking. Call.  & maybe no one's listening.  & maybe they don't feel like supporting the show I do because they don't like it.  & maybe only a small fraction of people who listen to noncommercial radio stations actually donate to them.  & feel free to add all the other excuses that I've read & that I try to tell myself to keep my already fragile self-esteem from breaking into pieces.

Because ultimately I don't think it's fair to the station that I get to play on the radio every week & I give so little back.  The listeners don't want to support the show, obviously.  I told the Station Manager last week that if he knew he could get someone to do the Tuesday Morning Blend who could raise more money, I would gladly give the show up to her or him.  That was no lie.  I feel so shitty that I can't raise the two grand that is my required goal every pledge drive.  Most of the time I can't even raise half of that.

Anyway, enough of my out loud self-loathing, I'll just ask: if you're involved in noncommercial radio & somehow you have stumbled onto this obscure blog post for a podcast almost no one listens to, & you have experience with pledge drives you'd like to share, send me an email at & let me know what your thoughts are, how you've done, what you've learned, best practices, worst practices, stuff like that, & whether you'd be willing to chat about it.

Because before I give up or am forced out, I'd love to learn more.  I think it might be something one could get better at.  I just simply don't know how to go about it.  & the process, over time, is so damaging to me that I don't know if I want to do it for very much longer.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Spam Bait

It seems like I've always been fascinated by spam - by the weird emails telling me I've won lotteries in other countries, or someone needs my help to transfer money, or even some woman wants to communicate with me desperately - but I have to say with disappointment that it seems those days are gone.  The only spam I get these days - & yeah, I check my spam folder regularly like a weirdo - are those emails that say, "Please respond to unsubscribe!" in as many different ways as possible.

Yes, you have to confirm your unsubscription requests, that's true, but I have never received such forceful emails in regards to unsubscribing.  Furthermore, do these spammers think that everyone has signed up for so many email lists that they don't remember which ones they're in the process of leaving?  It's like the (now much-missed) spam I used to get that tells me I have a package waiting.  I would have to order things non-stop & willy-nilly to be excited about getting a package that I might have forgotten about ordering.

But these sad emails - I just got one! - they pale in comparison to the - what do you call them? - spam telephone calls I get.

Now, lots of people nowadays don't answer their phones if they don't recognize the number, but I'm not as assiduous as some people about noting people's numbers in my phone.  & I've gotten calls from people at the radio station which I'm glad I've answered.

But the spammers call me from Austin or areas around Austin, because I have the same phone number I had when I was in Austin.  & no one from Austin really calls me.  When I have answered, I got some cruise ship scam, but a couple of times they've thrown a curve ball & called from a city near to Austin but I'm not sure where it exactly it is, & I've answered, the call just drops, as if to say, Ha ha just checking to see if you're answering.

Is it wrong to long for better spam?  To want a call from a human who's trying to rip me off instead of a bland recording?  I remember I used to get emails from China asked me to buy industrial equipment.  That was good spam.  These days, I don't want to encourage them by actually clicking to unsubscribe.

If Jordan Klepper's show was still on, I'd want him to have one of his protestors in the credits to hold a sign that read "Better Spam Now!"  Or I'll make such a sign.  & wield it proudly.