BY DAN VALENTI
Television is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done. Nonetheless, The Planet will sit under the McDonald French Fry studio lights of PCTV today and answer questions from, gasp, Republicans.
Yes, the Berkshire County Republican Association will host The Planet for an hour’s grilling at the studios. Peter Giftos asks the questions. They asked for a list of topics with which we would be comfortable. We told them ask away on whatever you wish, anything, no notes, no advance prep for us.
You can consult the PCTV website for air times.
The Planet Hosts TV Debate May 3, 7 p.m., Lenox Library
The Planet figures we ought to be in the hot seat, since that’s where we will be placing candidates for Lenox select board in our TV debate that will be aired and filmed on Tuesday, May 3, 7-8 p.m., at the Lenox Library on Main Street. The Planet teams up with Berkshire Greens, the new political action committee, in producing this event. The audience will love the format, designed to induce the most pressure on the candidates. Think of it as a job interview for the job of select.
Candidates, be warned: We won’t be satisfied with fluss, platitudes, non-answers, “speeches,” or evasive tactics.
Candidates will be seated in front of a live audience and will not be allowed to have any notes, scripts, or cheat sheets. They will be seated in close proximity to each other. They will be able to engage each other. They will have no idea of the questions The Planet will ask. There will be no podiums, no time clock, and plenty of follow-up, particularly if they duck our questions. The audience will love our “beer hall” format. The candidates will be glad once it’s over.
Green, Green, and It’s Effect on The Machine
We realize that, given the pathological need to brand people with political labels, some will say that agreeing to moderate this event for the Berkshire Greens makes us a Green.
We answer: no more than sitting down with the chairman of the Republican Party in Berkshire County, Peter Giftos, makes us a member of the GOP. In fact, The Planet’s political affiliation is Pedestrian. Our “agenda” consists of getting from one side of the street to another in safety. The Greens can share their agenda with you far better than The Planet can. Here is a link you might want to explore:
The Planet looks forward to the Greens involvement in other elections throughout Berkshire County, including heavy involvement in Pittsfield. Again, this is not an endorsement of a specific agenda. Rather, it is an endorsement of grassroots politics, whose aim is to take the political process out of the hands of the Special Interests.
Leveling the Playing Field
Nationally, that’s an ambitious agenda that presently borders on unrealistic. Locally, however, in Pittsfield for example, if the a group organizes sufficiently and has the fund to translate ideas into action, it can (and might) decide outcomes of council and mayoral races. The involvement of such a group in the otherwise dormant political system will be beneficial.
The presence of the Berkshire Greens in Campaign 2011 will drive turnout upward. This represents a major threat to the GOBs and the Vested Interests, whose plan in Pittsfield is to drive down overall electoral turnout so as to give an artificial but weighted importance to their loyal foot soldiers, who are beholding and who, either through blind loyalty or fear, dare not vote against The Machine.
After the Goldrush
On Monday, May 2, the day before our televised debate in Lenox, the office of Pittsfield City Clerk Linda Tyer will be an interesting place to camp. On that day, nomination papers for city offices become available. Will it be a stampede? The day will tell. Candidates have until August to submit signatures, and that’s where the chess comes into play. Is it best to take out papers early or late?
The early argument says that it demonstrates resolve. Day 1 taking of papers makes a statement, no question. The statement might not add up to much in August, but for the openers, it’s hard to top. Newcomers and names that might not be household quality do better taking papers out early. If they are serious about office, they will have the most work to do. Of course, many are NOT serious. They run to see their name in the blogs, in the papers, and heard on the air.
A Bianchi Announcement Coming Tomorrow on The Planet
The Planet uses two criteria to judge the seriousness of a candidate: (1) Organization — Does the candidate have a group in place to get out into the neighbhoods and canvass, to sport lawn signs, to do mailings, and the like? and (2) Money — Does a candidate have funds to actually campaign? It doesn’t take a hundred grand, but if your serious about the corner office, we can’t imagine a floor lower than $5,000.
The “Late” argument for papers is that you can observe others in action (or inaction) and begin to shore the defenses. “Late” is a defensive philosophy, better suited, generally, to incumbents and those with name recognition. You see rumored mayoral candidate Dan Bianchi playing that game now. He’s been coy about his intentions. The Planet has some news about Bianchi coming up tomorrow. We shall have it first, if you discount of qualified statement we made yesterday for the Vox microphones with Larry Kratka.
The Only Magick The Planet Employs is with Words and Logic, “PB”
There’s an imposter who posts to this website using the name “Pittsfield Believer.” “PB,” we have found, is more than one person. They have ties to the GOB network, and it appears their job is to monitor the site and provide digests — to whom, we don’t know, but we can guess. Also they disseminate. They make statements about The Planet that are pure fiction and present then as fact.
“PB”s job is to keep an eye out on The Planet and let us know They are watching. We are cool with that. We hope They do know what’s brought up on this website.
“PB”s schtick is to comment on where we have allegedly had a meal (yeah, bizarre) and sometimes with whom. These flights of fancy are amusing on one level, slithery on another. Yeserday, for example, “PB” said The Planet practiced magick, offering as evidence “Svengali”-like “spells” we have cast over certain office holders.
“PB” offered such nonsense literally. We know, because the Planet contacted one “PB” shill and asked him (they are all “he”) if that was a literal remark. Yes, he answered, to our surprise. We didn’t believe him, of course, or that They believe such rubbish, but we understand this ridiculous claim has one aim: deflect attention away from our true method of discourse. We achieve our effects or don’t through the simple power of the written and spoken word, employed through the agents of rationale, logic, and argumentation — debate in the good, old-fashioned, formal sense of crafting arguments, defending arguments, and picking apart opposing arguments.
So no, “PB,” for your edification, there is no magick. There’s only words. The closest we have come to magic is the magic kit we got for our 11th birthday. We can make coins disappear, and we might do that with “you,” if “you’re” not careful. All it takes is for the webmaster to hit the “trash” button.
BACK SOONER OR LATER. “OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.” COMING TOMORROW:
* THE BIANCHI NEWS
* THE CEDS DRAFT is RELEASED, and OUR SPIES SAY MAYOR RUBERTO IS RIPPED
LOVE TO ALL