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.