Ciao, Y’all: The Wrap-Up for Fall, 2010

The S.S. United States

Besides the obvious goal of our Quarterly Blegs — raising money to keep on keeping on — there are some secondary satisfactions to be had. One of them is the level of enthusiasm of many donors. This, too, has its own trickle-down effect and increases the proprietors’ gusto in return. In other words, at the final bell there is a surge of that pleasant satisfaction for a job well-realized. Also, I must admit, the fear that no one would show up, always there on the first day, has been banished once again.

Another effect is to notice once again how varied and interesting are the people who donate to keep this operation afloat. The small glimpses we get into your lives is a source of pleasure and wonder. I know about small towns in England, employment conditions in Montana, and even how things are going in Berkeley, where one donor is brave enough to attempt to get his liberal friends to read Gates of Vienna. In Berkeley, no less. En garde!

Tip jar: for decoration only!One donor continues to send us money for “cheese doodle research”. Ah, the temptations! And another says he puts his donation down as “research” on his tax forms, much the same as he does with magazine subscriptions in his field. He says if GoV is not educational, then what is? Would that tax move fly in the U.S.? With our professional bureaucratariat, probably not.

May we presume you won’t confuse us with NPR or the BBC? Not that you ever did, but with the new regime in Congress, perhaps NPR’s taxpayer dollars are at more risk than ever before and they could start singing a different tune? Bah. They’ll be fine. George Soros has given them a million or so for reportage recruitment (good luck, NPR — that’s the sum your ex-employee, Juan the un-PC, will be drawing down from Fox just for himself alone. Did you get his thank-you note for your scurrilous treatment, which ended up improving his image?). No doubt with extra Soros money they can continue their Cassandra laments about the end times fast approaching, due to the lack of sufficient care of selfish conservatives and the fearful levels of Republicans entering Congress. Anyone care to guess what NPR will be saying for the next two years as Republicans ruin the country, starve the homeless and make people abandon their children?

We’ve never kept close track of donation amounts from bleg to bleg. Our real interest always lay in the breadth of donations, as in “the higher the number people responding to the bleg, the better it is”. The final numbers of donors is a better indicator of our reach than actual amounts raised. In the current economic climate, this is especially true.

And where our donors hail from has always been a big deal for both of us. We’re here in — well, my mother used to say that we don’t live at the Edge of Beyond but dwell right in the Middle, where there be dragons. But many of you live in the big cities or their satellite suburbs. I imagine your five-minute trips to the nearest latte, or having a bajillion ethnic restaurants to try, or perusing the magazine rack at Barnes and Noble. Here in the Middle of Beyond, we just got a McDonald’s last year. The Grand Opening was truly a Big Deal for miles around. The fact that it’s a going concern is an even bigger deal. Do the denizens of our fair county look any heavier? Umm… that would be hard to measure.

Let us all congratulate one another for a bleg well done. A sufficiency of funds for another quarter, though the funds came in smaller amounts, from more people. So in the end, it worked perfectly. The Gates stay open, the team continues on, and Baron & Co. will keep bringing you news and analysis from the flash points in Europe… and occasionally I’ll show up with some American oddments. If I ever reverse this Damned Disorder, I’ll be here more often again. As I’ve mentioned to some of our donors, I miss being able to sit at the keyboard for long periods.

Sail on, friends. We’ll stand at the shore watching till you’re out of sight, a tiny smokestack on the horizon. And before we know it, the ship will return, donors aboard, and we’ll do this again. By then we’ll be deep in winter, Australia will be deeper into summer, and Europe will have lashings of whatever is going around: snow, rivers over their banks, and striking demonstrators keeping warm as they toast marshmallows over the carbeques.

Ciao, y’all… and blessing to everyone.

The tip jar in the text above is just for decoration. To donate, click the tin cup on our sidebar, or the donate button. If you prefer a monthly subscription, click the “subscribe” button.
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