Happy Holidays, Explanations & What’s Coming Next From Counterpoint PA
Happy holidays, Counterpoint PA viewers! This is your humble host Aaron DiDonato with a bit of an update on what’s going on with this show since it’s been on an inadvertent hiatus, and some exciting news about what’s coming your way from Counterpoint PA next year.
First, some slight format changes. You may have noticed – or probably not, but I’m very OCD about these things so I put a superfluous amount of thought into it – that the last edition of Counterpoint PA wasn’t labeled with a specific week-long range of dates like all previous editions had been, it was simply labeled as the October 2013 edition. At first I was very attached to the idea of having each edition labeled with a week-long range of dates so it would work with my Keith Olbermann tribute segment, the Worst Pennsylvanians of the Week. Well, this isn’t something I go out of my way to mention a lot, but I do this entire show by myself. I write it, I shoot it, I edit it, I upload it. And trying to do the whole show in one week is possible but kind of a crunch (especially while I’m going to school full time, but a little more on that in a moment). So to make my production schedule as flexible as possible and reduce the chance that I have to skip months in the future, I’m switching over to the simple month/year dating format. The title of Worst Pennsylvanians of the Week is staying the same because, well, I think it has a nice ring to it.
You may have also noticed – or, once again, maybe not for reasons I’m about to delve into – that there was no Full Edition for October 2013. Well, that’s not just because it was a Special Edition, there aren’t going to be anymore Full Editions unless or until some people contact me/the show requesting that I bring them back. That’s another idea I was very attached to when I started this project that turned out to be more trouble than it’s worth. Some aspects of production took a lot longer than they otherwise would have so I could do it in a way that would make the full edition possible as I wanted it to come out. Once again, it was possible to do, but I put all my promoting efforts behind the individual videos, and I didn’t want to wear out my promotional welcome, if you will, by plugging the Full Editions on Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, and now Raging Chicken Press after plugging all the individual videos there separately since the Full Editions don’t contain any new content. Consequentially, the views on the Full Editions are way, way behind all the individual segments if you look at the numbers on YouTube. So no more Full Editions for now, but I’ll keep the category alive and tag this post to that category so people know that they once existed, why I don’t do them anymore, and can ask me if they want me to start again.
I had originally intended to do an edition of Counterpoint PA for November 2013 and skip December. Then November passed me by way too quickly, so I decided to instead skip November and do December. But then finals came crashing down on me and that wasn’t gonna happen, and now as I’m finishing them up, Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner. Like I said above, I am going to school full-time. I’m going for a bachelor’s degree in public administration. It’s all online and my semesters are only eight weeks long so the work is compacted. So unfortunately the last two months of 2013 are getting/got skipped. Sorry!
Starting back up in January, there’s going to be plenty more coming your way from Counterpoint PA. There’s still the bonus segment I’ve been promising featuring an interview with Sean Kitchen of Raging Chicken Press about a proposal he’s been covering in the General Assembly to make it much harder for a species to be classified as endangered and thus protected that is backed by the fracking industry.
Also, The Breakdown for the January 2013 edition of Counterpoint PA will feature an in-person interview I did with Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hanger about fracking and his position on it. One thing I asked him about is how he would respond to those in the progressive community who think that his position on the issue is not sufficiently progressive, so you’re not going to want to miss that.Â Then, a pair of bonus videos will have my discussions with John Hanger on the marijuana reform proposal he is running on and his campaign finance challenge to the other Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania governor.
However, also starting in January, I’ll be working on Maureen Madden’s (D) campaign for state representative in the 115th District in addition to going to school full-time. This might mean I’ll be missing some months next year as well, but I’m optimistic that transitioning to month-long editions instead of week-long editions as described above will provide me the flexibility I need to keep pumping out a full set of PA Headlines, The Breakdown, and Worst Pennsylvanians of the Week every month.
Seeing that people have been checking this site even as I haven’t done a thing on it in a month and a half has motivated me to do something extra for you. I’m going to be adding a new feature that you will only find right here and I will only promote on Counterpoint PA’s socialÂ media accounts. I haven’t worked out exactly how I’m going to do it yet, but I want to use this website as kind of a one-stop hub of Pennsylvania political videos from all sources. So I will post links and embed (when possible) interesting videos about Pennsylvania politics on this site from national outlets like Democracy Now!, The Young Turks, and MSNBC, state outlets like CBS Philly, and the few groups that occasionally do wonky videos about public policy in Pennsylvania like the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. Like the show itself, this is another idea I have for something I wish existed that doesn’t, so I’m going to give it my best. So be on the lookout for that.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who’s been watching. This show started as an idea I had not much longer than a year ago. I was looking for a show exclusively about Pennsylvania politics with a progressive take on things. I did a lot of searching before accepting that the show did not exist. I got the itch to put something out into the world that I’d like to see but that didn’t exist yet from when my main vocation was music, before it became politics. But the itch apparently transferred. When I first got the idea for this show I didn’t have a camera and had never recorded nor edited a video before, which is quite apparent from the first couple episodes. I got quite a bit of help along the way, but also had to learn a lot of things I didn’t think I was going to have to. Trust me, I never thought and I don’t think that I’m the best qualified person to be doing this, but so long as no one else is and I haven’t been elected to anything myself yet (my real ambition in life), I plan to keep at it. Like one of my heroes Woody Allen famously said and I have found to be so true in so many areas of life, 80% of life is just showing up.
If there is one thing that I can say I’m really proud of, it’s that I think I have shown in the six months I’ve been doing this show that there is a role for a show like this to fill on the statewide political media landscape – which is unfortunately quite sparse. If a handful of episodes in half a year literally put together as I was figuring out how to do it can get me almost 5,000 views, a flow of people checking this site regularly, and a steady stream of people kind enough to take the time to contact me and thank me for my efforts here – and those are objective markers I can say I’ve hit – just imagine what an actual team of people with actual experience doing this sort of thing with the benefit of an advertising budget to let people know about it could do! I think a hell of a lot.
Another thing that has stuck with me from the time when music was my main vocation was an appreciation for what it means to have an impact on just one person. I think some of the best music of all-time has come from really obscure bands. Most people might have no clue who they are, but they are a huge deal to me. I had a one-man thrash metal band that was fairly obscureÂ from the time I was 14 till about age 17 or 18 (before being in actual bands) and my attitude starting with that was always that if I could hit just one person the way those bands hit me that was enough for me. That attitude never changed. With this show it’s the same, except instead of writing and playing music I hope to really hit someone, I’m hoping to spread information that will spur someone to change the society they live in for the better. 5,000 views may sound like a small number to people who make a living trying to get people to click on their stuff, but it’s not to me. I really appreciate each and every one of you who take the time to watch this show. Happy holidays to you and yours, and I hope to see you next time!