Instant Karma

The recently concluded spring fundraiser ran long to meet goals, fueled by matching pledges from “Leadership Circle” members and business owners, continuing the trend toward fewer pledges from the general public and more support courtesy of the liberal angst of business elite in Austin. One disgruntled former donor reports an appeal from a local Buddhist organization, no less:

Hi, folks ~
Hope you are well today.
As many of you know, our local NPR station KUT is in the middle of its spring pledge drive. I just made my pledge and included a challenge as well: I will match pledges made by friends of •••• up to a total of $500. Pledge amounts start at $40 and not only will you be supporting a local community resource, you’ll also be giving •••• some publicity (they’re going to mention this on the air!).
The number to call is 471-6291. Call now – and make sure to tell them that you’re a friend of ••••!
Director, ••••
“This moment is very simple. So, why not take care of it with all your heart?” —Katagiri Roshi

Her reply to the director:

This is a hard choice. If KUT had continued to be the truly member-supported place it once was, if the (relatively) new management of Stewart Vanderwilt and Hawk Mendenhall had not seen fit to eviscerate the heart of KUT’s programming by cutting the hours (and also the benefits) of Paul Ray, Larry Monroe, and John Aielli and by limiting every DJ’s choices to a playlist determined by committee, if that same management were not even now participating in the demise of the Cactus Cafe . . . then I would happily pledge, as I have done for twenty-some years. But I can’t support this KUT management, and I don’t trust them with my money, not as far as I could carry them in my teeth.

Perhaps this is a lesson in impermanence for me, and I will learn to accept the changes in “my” KUT gracefully. But I just can’t do that today, not even to publicize ••••.

More on this at and

I respect anyone’s choice to support KUT today. I’m tempted. But I can’t.


2 Responses

  1. Uhhhh, are we all talking about the same Cactus here? The Cactus I have been reading about is the one that the University wants to shut down and KUT has floated a plan to help keep it going? If I understand your comments above, you don’t want to donate to KUT if they offer to help the Cactus, but you will donate to KUT if they back away from the Cactus and do nothing? And that position helps who, how?

  2. Dear KUT,

    A fair warning that there is a movement afloat by the fans of the Cactus who will never donate to KUT again. Not during your next Fall pledge drive or ever.

    Beware that KUT spin & PR will not work because Cactus fans understand and will not be manipulated. You can’t fool the true fans with sporadic evenings of hosting shows. Is it worth it?

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