While WSYY Radio's recent pleas for the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council to to come on the air, making themselves accountable to the public, have gone unanswered, a spokesperson for the organization agreed to be interviewed by the Katahdin area's primary source of accurate news and information, the Magic City Morning Star.
MAGIC's spokesperson asked that we not divulge his full name, citing reasons of confidentiality, so we will refer to him simply as BJ. The text of our interview follows.
MCMS: Good morning sir. Thank you very much for agreeing to be interviewed by the Magic City Morning Star. The Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council has been under attack recently by WSYY Radio, as you know, and I trust that this interview will go a long way toward re-establishing your organization's credibility in the Katahdin Region.
BJ: Thank you for asking. I must admit to some puzzlement over the accusations being leveled against us by the local radio station, since our executive director, Bruce McLean, has made it quite clear that if anyone ever has a question about anything related to Magic, all they have ever needed to do was to give Bruce a call, and he'd be happy to clear up any misunderstandings that may have occurred.
MCMS: Before we get started, can you tell me what your position with MAGIC is?
BJ: I am the acting president of the organization.
MCMS: Already I'm confused. I thought that Gail Fanjoy was the president of MAGIC. Has there been a change in the organizations leadership that we need to be aware of?
BJ: Matt's not very interested in Gail anymore. She's been gaining a little ...
MCMS: Please, let's not get personal. I'd rather we stick to the subject. Is Gail no longer the president of the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council?
BJ: Okay, she is. She's the real president of Magic. I am acting like the president of Magic ...
MCMS: For the purpose of this interview?
MCMS: Since she won't consent to be interviewed herself?
BJ: Pretty much. I thought it was about time that someone came forward and answered some of these questions, and since no one who really holds a position with Magic has been willing to do so, I figured I'd take it upon myself to carry the ball for them.
MCMS: Okay, now that that's clear, is there anything that you'd like to say in order to get the ball rolling?
BJ: Yes, there is. First of all, you should know, if you've read our press releases in the Lincoln News, Magic doesn't really stand for anything anymore.
MCMS: What do you mean?
BJ: Since the Millinocket voters didn't want our hands in the cookie jar any longer, we no longer wish to be known as the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council. Instead, we'd rather just be referred to as Magic, without making it into an acronym.
MCMS: That's interesting. Magic doesn't stand for anything. Have you filed for non-profit status under the new name, or would you rather just pretend that you have one name, while legally holding another?
BJ: Are you trying to confuse me?
MCMS: You can call it misrepresentation if that makes you feel more comfortable.
BJ: We prefer to view it as creating a new reality.
MCMS: We've heard a lot about that one too. Isn't creating a new reality the same thing as telling a lie?
BJ: Not at all. It's a principle of Quantum Mechanics. At the Quantum level, things aren't governed by the natural laws that have governed us all our lives. Time can be reversed, and a thing can be both true and false at the same time.
MCMS: How convenient.
BJ: Actually, it is. Those of us who are enlightened to the new truths of Quantum Mechanics can't be held to the same rules as everone else.
MCMS: I've read a little bit about Quantum Mechanics, myself. It seems that, while the most basic Quantum elements aren't governed by natural law as we know it, all of that changes when they are being observed. When they are being observed, it seems that they have to follow the same rules as the rest of God's creation.
BJ: Yeah, that's an odd one. I don't know what to think about that.
MCMS: I think is means that we need to keep a close eye on the enlightened ones. This brings me back to the subject of the IRS again. Does the IRS know that the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council has changed its name to Magic, or have you filed the necessary legal papers with the government?
BJ: We don't have to. We're not governed by the same rules as the rest of you.
MCMS: As long as the IRS is okay with that, it's fine with me. Moving on, now that your organization has been rejected by the voters of Millinocket and you no longer dominate the town council, how is MAGIC planning to deal with these actual realities?
BJ: More than 85% of the voters strongly support the job that Magic has been doing over the past seven years.
MCMS: Oh really? Where were they on election day?
BJ: There you go. I was wondering how long it would take for you to start misrepresenting the facts.
MCMS: Mispresenting the facts? The facts are, sir, that MAGIC's funding has been brought to a vote twice, and each time, the organization lost. How can these facts be interpreted as having been misrepresented?
BJ: Your use of the actual election results are deliberately designed to put our organization in a bad light. The truth is that many of these voters didn't know what they were voting for or against, and others were misled by attack ads that were played over the radio just before the election. These votes shouldn't count.
MCMS: So what you are saying is that we should only count the votes that were in favor of MAGIC?
BJ: Well, yes. To do anything else would be to misrepresent the election results. Anyone who doesn't vote to give us whatever we want obviously doesn't understand the issues clearly enough to have his vote counted.
MCMS: Why then, should we bother voting at all?
BJ: Because we live in a democracy, of course.
MCMS: Did you know that people in the Soviet Union voted too?
BJ: That's misrepresentation. Can we stick to the topic, please?
MCMS: We hear that word a lot from MAGIC minions. What does misrepresentation mean to you?
BJ: Misrepresentation is anything that makes us look bad.
MCMS: Even if it's true?
BJ: Well yes. Our intention is to do whatever we please without being made to look bad, so any interpretation of the facts that doesn't make us look good can appropriately only be termed misrepresentation.
MCMS: You can't lose then, can you?
BJ: We don't intend to lose.
MCMS: Moving on, can you tell me how the people of Millinocket or the Katahdin region have been helped by MAGIC's policies of discouraging economic growth in the region?
BJ: You are wrong to look for short-term results from our organization when our vision for the economic development in the Katahdin region is a long-term strategy. Economic strength cannot be achieved overnight, you know.
MCMS: MAGIC has had several years in which to show some results, yet the only results we have seen have been negative, except for the organization's own board of directors and a few of their closest friends and family members. People who were raised here in Millinocket, and whose parents and grandparents helped to build this community, have had to sell their homes and move from the area. How does MAGIC's vision for the region help them?
BJ: Our vision for the Katahdin region doesn't have anything to do with them. Our vision is for those who will come to take their place.
MCMS: Let me see if I have this right. MAGIC's vision for the Katahdin region doesn't include a place for those who have funded the organization over the past seven years?
BJ: We have never been an economic development organization, first of all. Our mission is to develop an atmosphere that is right for the Katahdin region, and this doesn't involve smokestacks and noisy machinery.
MCMS: Wouldn't incense be cheaper? You didn't answer my question, though. Does MAGIC's vision for the Katahdin region include a place for those whose ancestors built this community?
BJ: Of course it does. Papermaking will always be an important part of the history of the Katahdin region, and we would hope that anyone who comes to live here will celebrate this history as we do. This is why it's so important that we establish the Katahdin Cultural Center, so that we can preserve this history for the generations to come.
MCMS: The people who currently reside in Millinocket and the Katahdin area are a part of its history but they are not a part of its future?
BJ: The people of Millinocket and the Katahdin region are very important to us. Anyone who has roots in this beautiful region, their children, and their children's children, will always be welcomed home again. They might have to park the car in Medway and walk the rest of the way, but we'd enjoy the opportunity to show them what we've done with the place. They will always be an important part of our history, as will the Penobscot Nation and those who came before them.
MCMS: When the people who currently live and work in this region are gone, what will the region's economy be based on?
BJ: There may always be an economy in Medway, since we might never be given the go ahead to remove the Interstate, and of course, we look to expand Matt's resort up on Matt's Ridge.
MCMS: Matt's Ridge? I thought the new name was going to be Hammatt Ridge?
BJ: That's a little difficult to say, isn't it? You can expect to see additional name changes in the near future.
MCMS: I see. That doesn't sound like much of an economic base.
BJ: You didn't give me time to finish. Magic has already proven its ability to bring funds into the area through state and federal grants, and we can expect to see this continue and to be expanded in the future. Plus, we have established a good working relationship with such organizations as the Nature Conservancy, the Wilderness Society, and with some other groups that have some very deep pockets.
MCMS: So you expect to live off of government grants?
BJ: We've done very well with it so far, haven't we?
MCMS: Once the working people have been forced to move from the area, who will be left to pay the bills?
BJ: The same people who've been paying the bills all along, of course. Just because you move to a big city somewhere, or even to another state, you haven't escaped your responsibilities to the Katahdin region. Wherever you may find yourself living, if you pay taxes you will be helping to pay the bills here.
MCMS: So what you are saying, if I've got it right, is that if MAGIC gets its way, even those who have been forced to abandon their homes and move from the area will nevertheless have to continue paying the bills?
BJ: Now you're misrepresenting what I said.
MCMS: How is that misrepresenting what you said?
BJ: It sounds very negative, and I didn't intend what I said to be taken as negative. That's misrepresentation, and it's not fair of you to use my own words against me. That's an attack, and I don't appreciate it one bit.
MCMS: Can you give me a positive twist that I might put on it?
BJ: Our vision is for the Katahdin area in 2050, not 2008 or even 2010. If you let us handle things the way that they should be handled, the people who are living here in 2050 will be very happy indeed. Those who aren't won't be permitted to stay.
MCMS: But your vision doesn't include anyone who is currently living here?
BJ: They're all old. How long do you expect people to live, for God's sake?
MCMS: Does it include their children?
BJ: Yes, our vision includes children. Happy, sustainable children who won't have to worry about breathing bad air, and whose parents won't need to come home with dirt under their fingernails; children who can be expected to grow into adults who aren't concerned with such mundane and troublesome matters as thinking for themselves ...
MCMS: Sounds scary.
BJ: You're being negative again.
MCMS: Will your vision include the children of paperworkers?
BJ: Those who are willing to put the past behind them and move forward with us.
MCMS: I had a feeling that my comment about the Soviet Union was on topic.
BJ: I apologize for cutting this short, but I really have to go.
MCMS: Okay, but one last thing before you go. Why did you agree to an interview with the Magic City Morning Star but not to WSYY Radio's offer of an interview?
BJ: That Jay Tee guy is mean, and he misrepresents us all the time.
MCMS: Prior spokespeople for your organization haven't exactly been pleased with the Magic City Morning Star either, so why did you agree to interview with me?
BJ: We've liked a couple of things that you've done.
MCMS: Really? Can you tell me what?
BJ: You moved to North Carolina, and we liked that.
MCMS: Temporarily, in exile. But you said a couple of things. What was the other thing you liked?
BJ: You took your wife with you.