Thursday, April 07, 2005


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This is an email to the KUNM ideas list, re: a "benefit" for the station.

E-mail message

From: (Rogi�Riverstone)
Date: Thu, Apr 7, 2005, 8:45am
Subject: Re: [KUNMIDEAS-L] KUNM Benefit Online Auction with Amy Goodman

Words like "preferred" (as in seating) and "exclusive" (as in undisclosed location of events for the wealthy, to keep us riff raff out) are, in my opinion, the antithesis of community. They divide. They don't unite.

Statistically, I've heard and read, it is the people more likely to use the services of nonprofits and charities who donate the most to them. Therefore, lower working class people donate the most.

My experience in community fund raising teaches me that it's a lot easier to get a thousand people to donate twenty dollars each than to get twenty to donate a thousand each.

And this is for a radio station; we have the ability to promote events very handily to most of the state.

We have great talent in Albuquerque: artists, environmentalists, musicians, chefs, lecturers, poets..... Many of them would donate their time and knowledge to fundraisers. Nature walks on water conservation and native plants. Poetry slams. Crafts festivals. Dinner-for-two raffles. Open mic picnics. KUNM Aid concerts. Bed and breakfast weekends......

It would be a fabulous way for listeners to meet each other, to build a sense of community. We could get to know each other. I saw many people who were very excited to hear from each other at the media conference at TVI. A lot of us didn't know others felt as we did. It was very healing.

I worry about the influence the wealthy can have over programming decisions at KUNM. Who lives in Santa Fe? Shirley McLaine? Who, in "Out On A Limb," (the LAST time I'll ever read a book by her), said she no longer felt a sense of duty to social justice, because, in her warped interpretation of "karma," has decided people CHOOSE to live in suffering, to work out some hidden, cosmic agenda!

Or maybe it'll be Ali McGraw, who, on a KNME special about celebrities and trees, whined that she must stoop under the branches of a pinon that grows in her yard, because she refuses to allow her (working class) gardener to trim it. No mention was made of how much fun it must be for the gardner to conk his/her head on the branch and get stabbed in the eye, trying to rake under the tree.

Maybe Santa Fe only wants to hear new age happy talk? Maybe they only want white, talking heads? Maybe they want puff about their investments?

Scott Company underwrites programming on PBS. They produce Round Up. Monsanto pushes GMOs that are Round Up resistant in the 3rd world. Their subsidiary, Abbot Pharmacies, produces AIDS drugs. The deal is: if 3d world govts. refuse to allow GMO crops, Abbot won't provide low-cost AIDS meds. Scary.

And ADM underwrites PBS news: supermarket to the world. Scary.

The agenda of the wealthy worries me. Remember in Paper Moon. Dad says he won't do something because, "I have scruples. You know what scruples are?" Daughter replies, "No, I don't know what scruples are. But if you got 'em, you sure as hell stole 'em from someone else!" Privilege comes, almost always, at the expense of others.

So, promoting an event in which most people can't participate and aren't even allowed to know its venue sends a message to KUNM listeners which I find extremely problematic.

Amy Goodman, who sneered at the Bush campaign's multi-thousand-dollar a plate dinners, in which GW smiled to the wealthy and said, "YOU are my constituents," scoffed at Bush rallies, in which the Department of Homeland inSecurity BARRED any but the faithful from attending, is participating in what, to me, is just as exclusive and just as dismissive of the struggles of low income people. Having all the verses to "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime" memorized is not radicalism.

Exploiting the urgent needs of the poor to self-promote (which is what it's starting to look to me like she has done to sell books) is evil, whether republicans do it or communists do it.

I'm hurt. I'm offended. If I can't trust community radio to represent my needs, whom shall I trust? Fundamentalists? Fascists? Corporations?

Thank you,
Rogi Riverstone

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