Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Guilt, NPR, and the fear of a call from Ira Glass

My friend Michael emailed me this morning with this message:

I read yesterday about major, major cuts to NPR’s staff and budget. I feel like a heel for never having contributed, even though I listen to WBUR every single day.

I listen to NPR everyday, too, and heard Ira Glass do a
hilarious “guilt call” to a person who had never contributed to NPR
like us. He’s talking to the shocked listener, and says in that
high-pitched voice of his, “Don’t make me come after you.” I thought Glass’ bit was
hilarious and effective, though not everyone agrees with me–some worry that this goes beyond guilt into the murky area of shaming non-contributing NPR listeners.

If you so inclined and just need a nudge like me, you can pledge online. All the NPR marketing is working for me, because I realize that I do spend a couple dollars a day for coffee and chai lattes, but I don’t contribute a cent to public radio–which I also find essential to my daily life.

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RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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