Sunday, June 29, 2014

PPTS For Sunday, June 29, 2014: "The War on the Poor!":The Battle For Equality" (Part 1 of 3)

For the majority of 2014, PPTS has been investigating a series of realities in the United States, and around the globe. We have chosen the title "The War on the Poor".

As we begin the seventh of a planned series of eight particular investigations, "The Battle For Equality", I'd like to give you our framework for every episode in this series. It's nothing magical, or ultra-intelligence at play. It's very simple, formulaic, and something we highly encourage anyone to use if they wish to look into something of both value AND substance. It's been a long look for us, and we've had to remain flexible to current news and activities. Periodic interruptions have put the series into a "time out" of sorts along the way. So, following the PPTS Rule #1:

Rule #1

Flexibility is the first requirement of success.

With a really good plan, things happen intentionally. There is no doubt that sometimes, unanticipated things just happen. But things tend to happen at the speed of life. If your plans are so fixed that any deviation causes your plan to collapse, you have not planned properly or realistically.

On our show, we have learned the skills of flexibility well. I'm proud of our teams who have come to understand and adopt for themselves the necessity of flexibility. One member gets very ill, and must be hospitalized. Someone fills in, without complaint. The team continues forward, according to the plan. Or not. If we cannot viably cover that team member's role (and we should be able to, normally.) then the activity is temporarily suspended. Other activity, which is possible, is pursued until all is well, the team re-united, and we move forward together.

It's not because we have, as a team, committed inflexibly to some rule, or policy, or procedure. It is rather because we have committed, as a team, to each other, the show, and our listeners. As we do find our show's origins generally within the scope and sphere of politics in America from the Progressive viewpoint, the production values of an episode are vital to our success. One of those production values is current relevance to our listeners. Natural disasters, crime, war, and many other new realities upon us as a nation may show a need to create an entirely new episode, on the fly. This team has learned to do that very well. Flexibility continues, sometimes even in the midst of a live show.

The Questions

From a "clean screen" to the final edited show for the archives and replay, the following questions are always in play:

1. What do we think we know? (Opinions, the "noise" of the moment, etc.)

2. What can we prove we know? (What is truth, versus opinion, versus lie?)

3. What do we know we know? (The difference that will become our episode.)

And then, a second series of questions guides our team through the final production of the episode:

4. What does our listener know? (Have we correctly parsed the issue(s) into sufficiently useful information for our listeners in a way they can use correctly?) 

In this series, this is the focal point of the first of the three episodes around each battlefield.

5. Why should he/she care? (Have we truly engaged our listener in a manner conducive to a passion of interest that will change their lives?)

This is the second focus, and usually (but not always) grounds the show's second of the three episodes.

6. What are they now empowered to do about it? (What confidence do we have in our product that our listener will "buy into", and take personal ownership responsibility for in their lives of activism?)

This is the final focus, which brings together the previous two episodes in the series, and hopefully catapults our listeners into action.

When we begin to tackle the whole arena of "Equality", we very quickly began to understand that this is a very active word, with multiple meanings to multiple constituencies. We saved it for the seventh "Battlefield" because of the potential universal application of the term across many fronts. We will give voice to several areas of equality in this investigation, and we will focus, beginning today, on some of them.

However, this is the point in our investigation where our listeners can really "bring us home"! There is not even a reliable textbook definition of some forms of equality that we live with every day. The correct use of the term completely depends upon context. Mine is not yours. Yours matters.

We looked, as we began planning for this series, for impressive and knowledgeable Special Guests to help us all speak as one voice, equal. We learned that this particular goal is simply not possible: impossible, in fact. The strongest voice is not necessarily "The" voice required. Yours is.

We hope you will join us on Sunday, June 29, 2014, for a two-hour conversation about "The Battle For Equality" and let us know your answers to the questions which drive PPTS.

We'll see you there!

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The Tennessee Progressive