Jun 13, 2011
commented on Dear Street Canvassers, Stop.
I canvassed door-to-door for many years and ended up being a canvass director for 5 years after. I enjoyed the work and made my non-profit bones that way. True, a lot of money went into the administration of the canvass, very little into the pockets of canvassers. This was all better than a decade ago.
But here's the deal--we identified a huge number of people who became actively engaged as volunteers and advocates for environmental, consumer and tenant-landlord issues. We also talked with people who eagerly gave more and larger contributions over time, effectively changing the administration-to-issue work ratio dramatically. If I observed people being rude or intimidating, they were fired on the spot. If I got a complaint from someone we canvassed (our contact information was on every piece of paper we handed out), I gave the canvasser an opportunity to tell his or her story, and then decided how to handle it. My rule was that if a canvasser got more than three complaints in a month, they were fired. I never had to enforce that rule. Complaints were very rare. I got perhaps two in the course of an average year.
I can't stand street canvassers. I just do not ever engage with them, no matter the issue. But if someone comes to my door, they get a drink of water, the bathroom if they need it, a quick and professional critique of their rap, and some cash if I agree with their issue. I have money to contribute now, and I love the look on a canvasser's face when you contribute. Door-to-door canvassers are a different breed--bold, observant, friendly, more thoughtful and usually more knowledgeable about their chosen issue.
Maybe I'm just old school.
Mar 18, 2010
commented on Alex Chilton
The loss of Alex Chilton has made the world more thin, glossy and nasty. Some ramshackle beauty has fled.
Jul 22, 2009
commented on Stereo Depravity
This is a great list. I would not delete any songs--except maybe "100%". I just don't like Dirty. I would consider adding "Hoarfrost" from A Thousand Leaves. It's right after "Wildflower Soul", and it's achingly beautiful in a way that complements its predecessor. And it's a Lee Ranaldo bit.
Also, great pick with "Wildflower Soul". That song is gorgeous, rich, layered with little gemlike found noises and is girded with a structural arc that is both soaring and stately. It's the pinnacle of one of Sonic Youth's finest albums.