Could Bonnie Alicea and Citizens for a Better Bolingbrook have their own program on Bolingbrook Community Television? A new BCT community producer hopes so.
"I moved here from a community that had a very active public access channel." Said Ronnie D. Lovingood. "So I was surprised to see hardly any political shows on BCT. In my old town, there used to be programs arguing for and against the city government. Here, you just see church services, and village meetings. Where are the people's voices? I wanted to change that."
When Lovingood heard about Alicea and CBB, he decided he wanted to help them. Instead of going to one of their meetings, he decided to make a test tape for a CBB TV series.
"Most new people at a meeting are pretty quiet. Not me. I want to make a big impression when I approach Bonnie!"
Lovingood shared some footage with The Babbler, and offered his own commentary.
"Roger Claar has limited public comments to three minutes per person. Instead of creating a scene at board meetings, they can use my series to talk at length."
In a scene from the video, a woman portraying Alicea is delivering a lecture.
Alicea Impersonator: What? We're almost out of time? Wow, that went by fast. I want to thank my viewers for spending the past two hours with me. This has been part one of my six-part lecture on how Roger is violating the Open Meetings Act.
The show isn't limited to in-studio lectures.
"I used this scene to show the dramatic possibilities of the ambush interview. Everyone in Bolingbrook will tune in to see confrontations like this."
The cameraman runs up to a woman in a business suit who is standing outside of a home. The cameraman holds up two pieces of paper to her face.
Cameraman: Village Clerk Carol Penning! We have documented proof that you change your signature every time you sign something. You threw Bonnie off the ballet for doing the same thing! How do you respond?
Penning Impersonator: (Cries) I am a failure as a human being! (Runs into her home crying.)
Besides interviews, Lovingood also plans to include re-enactments of unreported crimes in Bolingbrook.
"This will be a great way to include ways members of the group in the show. Plus the audience will tune in for the drama!"
The images shake as the cameraperson runs towards something. A caption at the bottom of the screen says this is a re-enactment.
Alicea Impersonator: Look! There's someone selling guns from the trunk of his car! Let's interview him!
The cameraperson runs towards a man looking into the trunk of a car. Could he be holding something in his arms?
Alicea Impersonator: Sir, why are you selling guns in Bolingbrook?
The cameraperson gets closer. The image stabilizes. The man does not acknowledge them.
Alicea Impersonator: I am a spokesperson for Citizens for a Better Bolingbrook and I demand an answer!"
The man turns around. He is middle-aged and wearing a blue Cubs windbreaker. He is also holding a laptop in his arms. He pauses, and then presses some buttons on the laptop. He pauses again.
Robert Bowen Impersonator: I am a gang-banger. I can make a comfortable living in Bolingbrook because Roger--
He taps the keypad a few times.
Bowen Impersonator: --Claar will not enforce paragraph 9 section seven of the—
In addition to using members of CBB, Lovingood also envisions recruiting other talent from across the Chicago area.
"Some people say that Bonnie isn't telegenic. I don't agree, but that's beside the point. There are hundreds of young aspiring actresses and models that we can bring on the program."
Lovingood explained how bringing in younger hosts could help CBB reach a new generation of supporters.
"Because they refer to anything written on the Internet as a blog, they've really lost credibility with the younger generation. I mean, what would you think of someone who couldn't tell the difference between a post-it note, a pamphlet, and a hardcover book? By bringing in young people, and speaking in their language, we can create a new generation of Claar critics!
Two women in their early twenties, wearing business attire with short business skirts, are sitting in a studio.
Woman One: Do you know that Roger doesn't have a Facebook, a Myspace, or a Twitter account?
Woman Two: Wow! Roger is really disconnected from the rest of the world!
Woman One: What's more, Roger says that if you want to chat with him, you have to call him to arrange a meeting either in his office, at his home, or at your home.
Woman Two: That sounds kind of creepy.
Woman One: Oh I'm sure Roger is not that kind of guy. But it does show how he clings to old-fashioned means of communication.
Woman Two: Yeah, like how my grandparents insist that vinyl records have the best sound quality. Even with all that hissing and popping, I can't convince them that MP3s sound better.
Woman One: Some people just cling to old things, no matter what. Which brings us to the subject of the Village Trustees!
Lovingood insists that program doesn't have to be all attacks.
"I'm sure we could bring in musical guests who could use the exposure. Just like I did for this scene."
A band is playing a song with a Bo Diddley beat.
Lead Singer: (Sings) Roger Claar sucks! (Plays the guitar.) Roger Claar sucks! (Speaks) Everyone join me on stage.
The Alicea Impersonator and the Bowen Impersonator, holding his keyboard, dance on to stage.
All: Roger Claar sucks!
Alicea Impersonator: We're going to get you Roger!
All: Roger Claar sucks!
Bowen Impersonator: You're in violation of Code 16, Section 16 Paragraph---
The Rest: Roger Claar sucks!
"I can't wait to show this to the group!" Said Lovingood, beaming with pride.
When asked about broadcasting a show like one presented to The Babbler, a spokesperson for BCT sounded skeptical. "He's certainly welcome to submit his series, but our regulations clearly state that the village can control the content of our programming. So I kind of doubt that Roger would approve of this kind of program."
When asked how a mayor could control the content of a public access channel, she replied, "You haven't lived in Bolingbrook very long, have you?"
When asked to comment, Alicea said she had never heard of Lovingood, and wouldn't comment until she had seen the video. Then she attacked The Babbler.
"The Bolingbrook Babbler was founded by Roger Claar to discredit anyone who opposes him. And I will keep filing FOIA requests until he confesses! Then I will persecute him! I mean prosecute him!"
When The Babbler attempted to reach Claar, his wife Pat said that he was in the middle of meeting with an image consultant and couldn't be disturbed.
In the background, this reporter heard Claar say, "I don't care how dramatic it would look, I am not walking into the next village board meeting with a cross tied to my back!"
Also in The Babbler:
Cloud monsters ground balloons Eyes to the Skies Festival
Fireworks spook werewolves in Downers Grove
Mayor Claar's daughter denies she moving to Mars
Skepchick's husband saves world from flesh eating bacteria
God to smite Bolingbrook on 7/17/09
Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.