Never Done: I donated to WNYC
Don't get me wrong -- I've donated to public radio many times, but always in Maine, Massachusetts, or Oregon. This was the first time I put my money into a New York station. I think it's because I'm rarely in the car, and at home I can listen to internet public radio, so I listen out of state. But I was in the car, heading over to pick up Brett for a day of filming the Sandy Pope video, and I heard a snippet of a pledge drive, along with an enticing raffle for a trip to Paris. A trip to Paris! One lucky winner! That could be me, I thought. I could do the right thing AND get a trip to Paris!
So I called up and donated. I mean, I pay for other NYC news and entertainment sources: The New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Magazine -- so why do I feel like I shouldn't pay for New York City public radio? I think I know the answer. I think it's not that I don't think I should pay for it, because I do still donate to Maine Public Broadcasting Network. I think it's that I don't feel connected to the voices on the other end of the dial. The Maine broadcasters are like old friends to me. Kristian Foden-Vencil, AJ Higgins, Josie Huang, Jennifer Mitchell. I hear them talk, and I literally feel calmer, more rooted, and more connected. I also remember what it felt like when I first got out of college and moved up to Skowhegan, Maine -- in the middle of the winter -- into my first apartment all alone -- to take a job at Family Planning -- and I was lonely. Maine winter lonely. And you know who kept me company? Yes, you do. Maine Public Radio.
On the other hand, I'm afraid I can't actually name any of the WNYC reporters, and I can't call up their voices in my head. Partly it's that I listen to a lot less radio than I used to, and truth be told, I am no longer lonely. As we said, I don't drive the car very often anymore, and when I do I'm usually with someone, embarking on a long trip or going to work. And when I'm home, I'm usually writing, which isn't conducive to listening to the radio. But I do listen sometimes -- and like I said, when I do I tend to listen to MPBN.
So it looks like we have yet another example of me living in New York, but acting like I don't. I can't really think if we have a mide (middah) about living in the here and now, unless maybe it would be a reinterpretation of Order: All actions and possessions shall have a set place and time. The reinterpretation would be something about my own accurate sense of myself in an accurate place and time. I think that every step I take that acknowledges that I really do live here helps me not to pretend I don't. Also, winning a trip to Paris wouldn't hurt.