Update 18 – Emergency Fundraiser: Chilly Winds
4 days left to go and it may be down to the wire.
Let me just say that the outpouring of support, love and encouragement has been truly humbling, and I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am that we’ve come this far.
As I said in one of my earlier updates; the problem with working on a website (blog, if you will) is that element of never knowing if you’re actually reaching anybody, or if its just echoing off into the void. The only way I really ever get to know, is either looking at stats (which can be often times misleading) or events like this; an emergency fundraiser, where I lay all the cards out on the table and explain what’s going on.
It’s times like this that make me realize I’m not operating in a void, not doing this for nothing.
A lot of you have asked why I feel it’s such a big deal for me to be doing this; can’t the networks and the news agencies, magazines and newspapers do something like this with the snap of a finger?
Yes, they could – and frankly, I would love them to. And some of them do, to a certain degree. But doing something like this takes time and effort, and the returns are modest at best. For someone like me, who has opted for a simple life, I’m perfectly happy not making millions of dollars – hundreds or even thousands would be fine. But those large organizations are not so concerned with building for the future as much as taking care of the bottom line now. It isn’t profitable for them – it’s a long-term thing and it’s a long-term commitment. I can do that – an organization like Time or CBS looks at something like this and goes “too time-consuming – no immediate return – not cost-effective” – and quietly stops or quietly never starts. That’s not to say every news organization has no interest or desire to create a long-term learning/reference atmosphere. The BBC is actually one of the few places where you can find out lots about a lot of historic events and relevant subjects. So does the CBC in Canada, INA and RFI in France – many of the Broadcasting sites around Europe are actively engaging in offering historic recordings, and I often ask readers to support them and bookmark their sites and visit them often. I’m a huge believer in the “browse button”.
Some people have asked me why I take all the trouble to collect all this material, because so much of it is depressing. History is often about conflict and war and catastrophe. There’s so much depressing in the current state of the world, that why should I spend time looking at the depressing parts of the past and dredge those up too?
Natural disasters happen; they can’t be helped. War and conflicts are usually about people and ideologies and clashes of wills. We think the current state of radical fundamentalism is a recent occurrence. We think the on-going conflict in the Middle East is new. We think the upheavals and violence that have been sweeping through Africa are new. We think the current state of World Economy is new. None of them are – they have all happened before; some repeatedly, some for thousands of years. And some will keep happening no matter what.
Sometimes its imperative to know we’re not all that terminally unique that we haven’t gone through so many situations before and not learned anything from them – and unless we know, we’re going to do it again. One person, talking to another person, talking to another person, talking to another . . . .
All I am trying to do is offer proof – offer evidence that much of what we’re going through now has been with us for a long time, if not for centuries. And maybe, in my weird way, try to get the conversation started which changes that.
I know it sounds like a lot – and it’s pretty daunting for one person to do. But as a friend of mine once pointed out; “there are two kinds of people in the world – the ones who put their shopping carts away, and the ones who don’t”. I am appealing to the ones who put their shopping carts away to be examples of trying to make a difference, no matter how slight or seemingly small; a difference nonetheless.
As I’ve said before, I don’t want my archive to sit in some dark room, gathering dust and deteriorating because either no one knows about it, or no one cares. I think information is vital – useful information is imperative. Passing on useful information is essential if we’re going to survive and make any sort of changes during this little journey between birth and eternity.
So all of this sounds pretty overbearing if you just came here to listen to cool and interesting stuff. Past Daily is about that too. Pop Culture is important – the trends, the social changes we’ve gone through the last century, our manner of communicating and viewing each other; it’s all part of the big tapestry. And even though it’s fun, it’s also a learning experience. Hearing that Youth is just as perplexed and perplexing now as it was in the 1940s, or 1930s might be gratifying to know – it does give an indication and further proof that everything works out – and that the ones who are being complained about now will undoubtedly be the ones doing the complaining in the future. Every generation looks at the generation after theirs and is convinced the newer generation is going to be the last one on earth.
But I am here to try and remind you of all that – and I’m in the middle of asking for your help so I can keep doing it. Like I said, it’s just me – I have no staff – no Board of Directors – no shareholders. It’s just me and this room full of history that is being digitized and preserved and offered for you to pick and choose as you like, to maybe give you something you haven’t heard which may change your day or week or life.
I wish it was about endless support and cash-flow and no worries when something unexpected comes up. But it’s not, and when I am faced with a financial crisis, like the one I’m going through now with the Archive space and the rent increase, I have no recourse but to go to my audience – the readers and listeners, and ask for your support. I’m not asking for a lot – like I always say, the price of a cup of coffee is enough, if a lot of you chipped in that amount. But I’m asking you to pledge what you can – contribute as much as you are comfortable with. A lot of you have said “I wish I could give more” – believe me, you are giving more than a lot of the people reading this post – and the fact that you’re enjoying what Past Daily is all about warms my soul.
But we’ve got 4 days – 4 days to raise a little under $1500 in order to make our final goal of $4,000. The landlords have been adamant in their demand for full payment and no “partials”. I am often reminded that “Fair” is a place they show livestock and baked goods, and has nothing to do with human nature. We have succumbed to Corporate Mentality and Bottom-line Think and it’s very sad.
So please give what you can and tell your friends – remember, it’s Tax Deductible and it will keep me going and giving you my best. I am well-beyond grateful, even to the point of teary-eyed by your support and kind notes. It has meant an incredible amount and it offers further proof that maybe we’ll get though this thing after all. We will. And you’re part of it.
Until next time . . .