kpfa – you don’t want to lose it

(at  a “Save KPFA” Rally in Mosswood Park, 1999)

i came out of KPFA burnt out, exhausted, and wondering what the hell i had done with the last two years of my life. i have so much admiration for the women  and people of color who could handle that working environment because my particular blend of manic depression and emotional fatigue just couldn’t take it. it isn’t the Apprenticeship program, so much as the toxic environment at the station itself; despite claims to “progressive” causes, the status quo struggles to maintain the hierarchy, often in the form of an unconscious paternalism that almost convinces itself that it is working in your best interest. stronger people than i had to leave, after many years of struggle and service, with bitterness and broken hearts.

and when it is crisis time, and the work of these same women and people of color is needed in order to keep the whole ship from going down, the merry-go-round cranks up again. it looks like 1999 out here.

KPFA Rally

but i got a phenomenal education in sound, in its technical aspects and its spiritual / psychological aspects, and, at the time that i was in the program, we had a whole consciousness raising aspect where we learned about ageism, sexism, gender and sexuality and class issues, all of it. nowadays i’m not sure how much that is a part of the program, but the Apprentices are still, 20 years after i left, holding down a spot for women and people of color to get the media skills that are going to keep your airwaves from being completely corporate dominated.

that’s 59.000 watts, spanning from the wine country to the Central Valley. you think there isn’t somebody who wants that power? like Comcast, and FOX?

i want to see a development director at KPFA, independent financial backing for the Apprenticeship Program (with its own grantwriting and development slots), a website that at least gives the appearance of having somebody *home*, and relevant programming throughout the day.

yes, AND good sound! because there is NOTHING BETTER than good sound. bad mic placement and jarring editing is like nails on a chalkboard, so why put people through that if you have the technical skills not to have to? the message is the bottom line – it should be out there whether it sounds perfect or not – but i always felt like that’s what the apprenticeship should be doing, ultimately – developing and maintaning the skills to get the community a platform and support it technically as well.

anyway – one way or another i hope i can help.


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