Juggler Vain attempts to wrestle with the issues around the KPFA shutdown; Big-time wrestling ensues.
"The medium is the massage." - Marshal McLuhan, cool messenger
"The play's the thing." - William Shakespeare, playwright
"There is but One God, and Mammon is His Name." - Josef Cardinal Pauli,
Church of No Damned Good
"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." - various peddlers of
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For decades Loyal Listeners (first to KPFA, then) to Pacifica
Network's (PN) "alternative voice" Pledged their Support to Keep the
Message Alive. With each pledge-drive, mounted with increasing urgency,
the stations' budgets and opportunities grew and grew...
... until the folks saw the burden of financing grow so unwieldy
that they decided to compose a Special Friend to manage this Special Need
and ensure uninterrupted delivery of Quality Product, even to enlarge both
the programming and its audience.
And so, Pacifica Foundation (PF) was born. Born. As in child.
Not "parent corporation", as per reports from corporate media.
Culture-sculptors select terms with artistic precision. "...
California's legislature is considering bans on 'Saturday Night Specials',
also known as 'Junk Guns'...". These affordable weapons are cast into
semantic concrete, and contemptuously cast overboard. As it happens,
pending legislation makes specific exception to permit Peace Officers to
possess them, even employing them in their professional duties. ?Junk...
hardly. ?Saturday-Night Specials... well, there's compelling imagery
While the handful of stations' staff continued to concern their
selves with Pacifica's Mission, PF gradually attracted the interest of
folks concerned with, ummm... responsible stewardship of Pacifica's
resources... of putting the day-to-day broadcasting into context... of
guiding the stations' narrow focus towards The Big Picture. Big Picture
as coloured by accountants' green shades.
... infection... intellectual germ-plasm migrates from
corporations, through their non-profits, into PF...
... until now there's an assassin in the house.
As in Patricide. As in New Vision.
Recently discovered email reveals that PF's national board --
recently cleansed of the Distracting Influence of local stations'
representation -- intends to market the broadcast-licenses of PN to
... so that -- for its own good -- PN's program-content should
adapt to a mass audience.
After all. Pacifica's programming is Very Important. The More
Folks who hear its message, the Better. Commercial boadcasting reaches
More Folks. It's Very Important to get PN onto the commercial stage. A
stage out of town. Out of their minds. ?Did somebody say:
Adding insult to injury, PF timed its provocation so as not to
miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars of support from KPFA's Loyal
Listeners during its latest (?last) pledge-drive.
Many of these listeners were v.anxious about firings of respected
veteran staff at KPFA; and they annotated their pledges with Protests...
but they gave, anyway. Out of Love of Pacifica's alternative voice. Out
of Fear of losing that voice. Out of Duty, they paid their taxes...
ahhh... they continued to support the station in the only way they knew:
The thing about money is that it's an anonymous claim upon a share
of society's collective wealth. There is no "blood-money"; there is no
drug-money (except, it seems, that most all our currency carries traces of
(... and don't get me started on the War Against Drugs... well,
o.k... but wait a few weeks).
There is only money-money. You don't know where it's been, but
you put it where your mouth is.
The Loyal Listeners' Love Offering bought them no loyalty from PF.
No time. No slack.
The Vigil at the (now redundant) studio at KPFA will peter out.
In time. In time to sell out.
KPFA may survive as memory. As a cautionary tale.
And that's not a bad thing.
If a few Loyal Americans make the connexion and realise that
"paying taxes" does not preserve The Republic... that citizenship -- not
the National Security Council -- is the fountainhead of liberty... that
might be a good thing...
... unless they get uppity, and start to Make Trouble.
And the Vigil... the Marches... the Street Theatre...
... they're entertainment; they're Film at Eleven.
And the play massages the players. They're making connexions of
their own. And looking past the rubble with New Vision.
?Did somebody say: "Pirate Radio".
- Juggler Vain's House of Dung, Frisco Liberation Radio (93.7), Mondays
from four to six (16h00-18h00)
KPFA, Big-Time Wrestling, Kerista, and the Exploratorium.
<until next time>