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Great Square Inches - Phil's Rambling Rants
May 20th, 2006
03:07 pm

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Great Square Inches
I hate public radio pledge drives so much that I won't be having the radio on much this week, but I'm making an exception for The Midnight Special.  Rich Warren just proved why, spoofing the pledge drive by playing a couple of comedy cuts about the thank-you gifts that you can't actually get with your pledge.  The first one was a gag that almost made me fall out of my chair, an old cut by someone named
Bob Conrad.  It begins by giving this great pitch about how we invented the condensed book to make great literature more accessible to busy people, and abridged audio recordings, and such.  And then it goes on to offer the next version of this idea:  Great Square Inches In Art.  That's right, a collection of reproductions of famous details of famous art.  Mona Lisa's smile, God's finger in The Creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel, the pitchfork from American Gothic, etc.

Maybe it's funnier because I'm in the process of producing a photo post of what I did yesterday, an important part of which is cropping the photos so that the image I'll put on-line can have enough detail to be interesting without taking a week for me to upload, because everybody else has broadband but I still don't.  And it probably loses so much from my description that you're now scratching your head wondering what I've been smoking, but it was so funny I had to post about it.

Current Mood: amusedamused
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From:folkmew
Date:May 20th, 2006 10:21 pm (UTC)
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I'm not fond of them either but I know they need the money. I have to admit that right now there is pretty much nothing to give. What I usually do when things are like this is wait for a "challenge grant" where somebody says they'll give more for every pledge (which makes my measley $5 worth more)

But our local stations have been doing a cool thing - they do just simple short announcements that for every x dollars they will cut a day off the pledge drive! I think the last drive was exactly one day long!!! Yay VPR.

Especially since now days with web pledges it's so easy to pledge.

and yes - I *want* the great square inches in art!! :-)
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From:bedlamhouse
Date:May 20th, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
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Robert Conrad is from Cleveland, Ohio, and does a show called Weekend Radio that is syndicated on some public broadcasting stations.

He guests at other stations sometimes to help with their pledge drives and does wonderful comedy bits.

I remember Ira Glass (of This American Life) did some good spots a couple of years ago where he showed up at people's houses and wouldn't leave until they pledged, among other bits.
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From:msminlr
Date:May 23rd, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC)
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I can certainly visualize what he was describing in the "Great Square Inches" thing.

Maybe we've just got funnier guest-hosts during the pledge drive weeks here in Little Rock, but I don't mind them much. I even go volunteer to answer phones one evening shift each time.

We were listening to WILL-AM, by the way, driving back from Valpo yesterday. Picked it up about 40 miles north of Champaign (as the Kankakee non-NPR mellow-oldies station we'd BEEN listening to faded out) and kept it until somewhere south of Effingham, when we switched to WSIU back on FM.
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From:tigertoy
Date:May 23rd, 2006 04:02 pm (UTC)
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WILL AM's signal reaches pretty much all of Indiana and Illinois during daylight hours. For some goofball historical reasons, their license requires them to go to low power after dark, and it gets hard for me to pick them up 40 miles from the tower. (WILL's tower is located a ways west of Champaign.)
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From:msminlr
Date:May 23rd, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
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Morris (my-husband-the-ham-radio-person) says that the reason the station has to reduce power at night is, that propagation of radio signal is much better at night, (I can recall occasionally hearing WGN out of Chicago late at night down on the Texas gulf coast, for instance) and "who in Africa wants to hear Illinois agricultural weather reportage?"
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