From Stage to Page | Give to WLM? Bah Humbug!

Posted in Blogs

Dec. 14, 2013

Oh tra la la! It’s the holiday season and everyone’s got their hand out for a little cash to help keep the lights on for another year. In the latest in a string of “asks” for community support, Whidbey Life Magazine expects me to put my hard earned dollars toward a print version? They got some nerve! Get in line WLM, right behind more worthy causes like “Beet Greens for Llamas” and “Save the Termite Foundation.”

Call me old fashioned, but I like my reading content to be relegated to the glowing of a digital screen. I’ve grown accustomed to reading hunched over my desk, my spine curved and contorted as I sift through pages of useless information on the Internet. Besides, I owe it to my massage therapist to keep my muscular system at a certain level of crap condition so that he can put me back together every month. What if I were to go renegade and read a highly-glossed version of Whidbey Life Magazine in my easy chair, the one with the automatic massage settings? My therapist would go nuts!

Who needs a fancy schmancy magazine cluttering their house anyway? Whidbeyites need the real estate on their coffee tables for more useful items like aromatherapy candles or freshly made sheep cheese and gluten free crackers.

Okay, so maybe some of you would like to flip through the pages of a magazine and see slick pictures of artists at work and read clever articles about the “culture” on Whidbey. But really, isn’t all just a racket? If you’ve seen one rustic ceramic dish haven’t you seen them all? And if its culture you’re after, you should be at local events instead of reading about them.

WLM has employed their best bloggers to go to bat for their cause, even writing clever campaign jargon to help inspire giving. The most recent piece of silliness featuring a cast of crazy characters who would have you believe that the very peace on Whidbey will be threatened if this magazine were not produced. I say if Whidbey is to be cut off from civilization – all the better! Let’s join together to turn away the throngs of ‘townies” clogging the streets of Langley, Coupeville and Oak Harbor.

They say this is the season for giving. And at the rate this “Roll the Presses for WLM” Indiegogo campaign is going, I am going to get just what I want for Christmas! So, keep sitting on your hands Whidbey and do nothing. With your sublime inactivity, we’ll squash another feeble attempt at keeping Arts and Culture alive.

Eric Mulholland is an actor and writer living on Whidbey Island and he really wants to write for a WLM print version. So help a fella out and give a little love to the WLM Indiegogo campaign!



  1. Good for you, Eric!
    I just hope everyone reads your entire posting to understand your point well made.
    We can easily imagine the energy and ongoing effort the staff and contributors to WLM have put into this step forward. It’s at least as demanding as producing/directing a difficult play and, in many ways, much the same sort of endeavor. We both know what a chore that can be. But I believe our supportive locals will come through for this WLM project as they have for my theater and film productions over the past 25 years.

  2. wow. that was close. i was on the very edge of making a contribution until i read eric’s article. i’m not sure if it was satire or sincerity. but in either case, it got me confused enough to tumble right back into my apathetic humbuggery.

    i’m going to go throw another batch of bills down the stairs. you know that old game: the one that lands on the lowest tread gets paid! maybe now it’ll be the lowest TWO!


    • Jim–here’s hoping WLM lands on the lowest tread :). This is why I don’t have stairs in my house, too much bill sorting! Happy holidays, er, I mean bah humbug! — Sue

    • Definitely satire Jim!

      I trust the Whidbey community to differentiate between a joke to hopefully stoke the flames for giving and an intentional jab at local artists. Looks like you got it.


  3. Greetings WLM:

    Funny that in the pile of appeals that we end up reading and responding to this season each and every year, I cannot recall any resorting to sarcasm (Get in line WLM, right behind more worthy causes like “Beet Greens for Llamas” and “Save the Termite Foundation.”), frustration (If you’ve seen one rustic ceramic dish haven’t you seen them all?), AND even hostility (So, keep sitting on your hands Whidbey and do nothing. With your sublime inactivity, we’ll squash another feeble attempt at keeping Arts and Culture alive.) to engage donor interest in a cause.

    I don’t mean to paint all artists with the same broad brush, but Eric’s rant is the second one in a couple of days that has expressed negativity and contempt for the Island’s giving community regarding WLM’s hope for a print magazine in 2014.

    It makes me wonder if the creative community on Whidbey is so bereft of, well, CREATIVITY, that it resorts to beating up prospective donors, rather than the tried and true, warm fuzzy approach that typically lists 3-6 compelling reasons why donorship is good for us all – artists and non-artists.

    Come on WLM… Lighten up! You might consider that the pond you’re fishing in is very small, and, at this time, massively over-fished.

    Ever hear of DONOR FATIGUE?

    ~Sharen Heath

    • Sharen,
      I think you may have missed the irony. Indeed, “Lighten up!” was entirely the point.
      Satire is tricky, but it looks to me as if Eric nailed it because he had fun with it and was doing something creative and unique, which, as his editor, I encouraged. ( Also, Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain and the rest might take umbrage with your word “rant.”)
      WLM is well aware of its being one of the many fishing, but it’s always ever the donor’s choice when it comes to support.
      Anyway, no offense to anyone is ever meant from these parts. It’s just a bit of fun.
      Lighten up, right back at ya.
      Patricia Duff

  4. One of my favorite spots during the NPR fall fund drive, was a satirical piece by the actor Alec Baldwin. He went on air stating the many reasons not to give to NPR – it was hilarious. His voice was deadpan, almost as if he was driven by a mission to stop NPR from doing its good work. I immediately thought of Scrooge or the Grinch, two hard hearted characters who transform into giving members of the community.

    Now, I don’t dare assume my blog is as funny as Mr. Baldwin’s spot on NPR, but that certainly is it’s aim. I love using satire and sarcasm in humor. This community is savvy enough to see my point and everyone who knows me, knows I don’t have a mean bone in my body. So, I offer this tongue in cheek blog in the hopes it brings a smile to your face and the inspiration to give to WLM – a great, GREAT resource for arts and culture.

    • Sarcasm and hostility are virtually NEVER used in fundraising appeals, with the possible exception of the entertaining NPR piece you mention Eric. Using negativity successfully, even from “nice people,” is risky at best, as our conversation here reveals. And in successful fundraising, you want to reduce risks as much as possible.

      I’m no dummie, but I do know that when a message is confusing, you lose. From both Sue and you, was there not a little hostility toward the potential donor community expressed, even if tongue-in-cheek?

      I’d stick with the tried and true: In the most creative and engaging way you can, convey the 3-6 most compelling reasons why a WLM in print will benefit EVERYONE. Then let the prospective donor decide.

      OK, enough on this subject from me.
      Wishing the endeavor well.

      ~Sharen Heath

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