PLANET TO CLUB: THE TELEPHONE AND iNTERNET HAVE BEEN INVENTED … plus … GOB ORCHESTRATED THE ‘LOW-TURNOUT of ’13’ BEAUTIFULLY …
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WED.-THURS., NOV. 20-21, 2013) — Before we pick up where we left off
yesterday, THE PLANET has obtained more information on the Peter Bell story. We have an inquiry into the Club for official comment. To our query, the Club replied:
“The staff here at the Club has been directed to refer all questions regarding the situation with Mr. Bell to Attorney John Donna, President of our Board of Directors.”
The Club sent it unsigned.
When we asked the Club for contact information for Donna, we got this:
“Mr. Donna has an office on North Street”
Uh, THE PLANET already knew this. We were hoping for a direct e-mail and a personal phone number. Judging by the response, we felt a need to let the anonymous sender that there is now such a thing as telephonic and internet communication, new-fangled inventions that would provide a more useful manner with which to make contact in 21st century America — even Pittsfield.
Tomorrow, we shall post what we have learned. For now, let’s go back to yesterday’s theme and this comment of two days ago from Dusty:
Dan, the schools and parenting being what they are in Pittsfield, I would suggest to you that there is a very large segment of the younger generation (18-40) , who are totally unaware of who is running for a given office or that there is even an election going on. I know many just don’t care, but I think a person to person survey would show that a surprisingly large number of these folk are unaware that they even have a city government.
And i imagine that the GOB would like to keep it that way.
Our correspondent is correct on both points. Pittsfield does not have a wave of new voters, that “younger generation” he mentions, to follow the aging, active electorate. The Greatest Generation grew up in the Depression, fought WWII, made enormous sacrifices, then put down roots in communities across America. They created that magic window of time known as “The Fifties,” a period which THE PLANET defines not in a technical sense of chronology but by the feel of the times and the milieu against which those times unfolded. This would gives us the years 1946 to Nov. 22, 1963, from the first post-war year to the day of President John F. Kennedy’s horrific assassination in Dallas, Texas. That’s “The Fifties: 1946 to 1963.”
That Greatest Generation built America’s infrastructure, powered its factories (a well-known Pittsfield story), created the world’s best in just about everything, parented families, and thought of public service as an honor that did not require financial remuneration. In Pittsfield, they voted in percentages that often topped 70 and even 80%.
Like a long-playing record, however, and as obsolete, that Solid Gray Line is fading out, and behind it — the next generation that saw a youthful president gunned down, another president resign in disgrace, fought or refused to fight in a phony Asiatic war (the killing, though, was all too real), and rewired itself with escapism, the new form of dropping out made more urgent by political hypocrisy and speedier by emerging technology.
Dusty’s comment sufficiently described the next segment of the electorate, the 40-and-under slice, a group so politically clueless that it still hasn’t found its ass or elephant, even using both hands. That’s certainly a factor in how so-called democratic republics such as the People’s Republic of Pittsfield can embarrass itself with a turnout under 25, which it just did on Nov. 5. If you did a demographic profile of the turnout, you would find most of the voters older than 40 and likely older than 60.
“And i imagine that the GOB would like to keep it that way.”
Yes, Dusty, your imagination has zeroed in on reality. The GOB loves it when We The People leave them alone to their devious devices. The last thing the GOB (Good Old Boys, as in the GOB Network, for the uninitiated) wants is for the slumbering colossus of the body politick to wake up, get angry as hell, and begin cleaning up.
The GOB strategy for the city elections of 2013 depended upon low turnout. That’s how this collection of politicians, Big Shots, administrators, and other “connected” people keep the boat steady and the waters calm. You won’t, for example, see PSD personnel making between $50,000 and $160,000 a year + benefits wanting to usher in the sort of dramatic change needed to make Pittsfield once again a vibrant city or, if not that, at least a city with a future other than lying on a refrigerated slab in a financial morgue.
The cornerstone of keeping the majority of Pittsfield voters either dumb as dirt or too frustrated to “waste a vote” is controlling the media. That task became much easier in 1995, when the once-vaunted Berkshire Eagle sold out in a fire sale to a rapacious, bottom-line, bottom-feeder media chain based in Denver, Colo. Now a few publishers and editors later and with the newspaper going the way of the typewriter, the GOB has The Boring Broadsheet under its thumb. The story of today’s BB might be titled, “18 Years a Slave.”
Squeezing the life out of the BB came easy. Big advertisers became sacred cows. For example, when the head of the County’s Largest Institute of Financial Fervor and Yenning (CLIFFY) allegedly had all sorts of alleged fun over many alleged years in the various alleged arenas of unlikely alleged erotica, the paper looked the other way … for decades. Not so coincidentally, CLIFFY was a major advertiser. Many of the Big Shots that ran (and run) prestigious city companies and institutions in the Dreaded Private Sector and in the so-called “Non Profit” sector were (and are) “Connected” politically. Their advertising dollars demanded more than the usual tributes.
The GOB certainly had nothing to fear from local radio, with all but one of the seven local stations having been gobbled up by an out-of-state media chain. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. The local on-air news departments became nothing more than “rip-and-read” from wire services, feel good Chamber-of-Commerce-type press releases, and feeding itself with some of the sour cud the BB had already chewed.
In the election of 2013, the GOB had no local talk shows to deal with, since all had been silenced. It also had the great luck of an incapacitated Pittsfield Gazette. Editor and publisher Jonathan Levine experienced medical problems, and the Gazette became a non-factor during the election.
The GOB couldn’t believe its luck: a toothless BB, an equally gummy radio news, no local talk shows, and no Gazette. The only lone outpost standing between the GOB and Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski was … ta-da …
PLANET VALENTI DOT COM.
We, alone, were not afraid to stand up and point out the obvious, which by then had become so obscure as to seem either a fantastic tale bordering on fiction or to resemble one of epigrams from the Wisdom of the Ages. THE PLANET, alone, took on the GOB. We, of course, had no chance of winning. We went into the chess match two rooks down. The point of such a battle, however, is to slow the enemy, win the larger war of attrition, and hold on for the coming act of God.
Congregation, let’s open our “GOB Hymnals to page 13,” for “Lift High the Graft”:
“It’s Dan Valenti’s fault Pittsfield didn’t turn out to vote (the antidote).
“It’s Dan Valenti’s fault that those who won won and those who lost lost.
“It’s Dan Valenti’s fault the charter passed (in the morass).
“It’s Dan Valenti’s fault that on Election Day, the weather was pretty decent.
Our hearts our light. No dearth to upraise. Waft the angel on her flight, corrupion’s praise.
Valenti tells THE PLANET that he hoisted a few, having caught each of the notes as they rolled — their hollow mirth, their endless dying, signaling the inevitable rebirth.
He also told THE PLANET that no one would heed the prophecy. What a realist that kid is!
“‘Over the Mountains / Of the Moon, / Down the Valley of the Shadow, / Ride, boldly ride,’ / The shade replied, — / ‘If you seek Eldorado.'” — Edgar Poe, “Eldorado.”
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE”
LOVE TO ALL.