Sunday, December 16, 2007

Strike Days 41-42

Well, the weekend kept me very busy with things other than the strike -- which is good for me but bad for this blog. Ah, well, we'll manage!

This entry must serve for Saturday & Sunday.

Played a little football with my two older kids today and had a lot of fun doing it. It was 2 on 2 with one other adult plus the kids and me, mixed teams of one kid and one adult each. I'm trying to get my kids in shape to participate in a "homecoming" football game with a bunch of guys I used to play with regularly back in NYC years ago. We're going back East from Christmas until after New Year's and if the game works out it will be one of the major highlights of the trip for me.

Saturday this blog received its first comment from someone I don't know personally (second comment overall) -- although it appears to have been a personal comment directed at the first person who commented here and who I do know personally. So it would appear that this page is still pretty much "all in the family," as blogs go.

The big thing on the STRIKE FRONT today was a mass e-mail to WGA members from the prez of SAG -- I think his name is Alan Rosenberg. I saw him speak at the big Thursday night meeting the night after Halloween. His e-mail was along the exact same lines as his speech then: full-fledged support of the WGA and a pledge to back us up for as long as it takes to get an internet residual deal for the future which both guilds can live with.

Sounded good to me then and still sounds good now. It's nice to see his support is not waning as the strike goes on.

Of course, there is no way to know how deep that feeling runs in the membership of SAG, but I know more than a few actors and every last one of those I know personally mirrors their leadership's attitude 100%. Lots of them have come out to the picket lines to walk with my partner and I, some on a semi-regular basis. And no, these are not aspiring actors or wannabee actors or even mildly successful actors. They may not all be household names but one or two are and you would probably recognize the faces of the rest.

So SAG is still with the WGA. If it should come to pass that the DGA makes a deal with the AMPTP that doesn't cover internet residuals well enough to satisfy the WGA, well... once July 1st hits it will be very interesting to see what kind of movies and TV shows all the directors will be able to make without any scripts OR actors on hand.

On the personal strike-related front, I got requests for WGA STRIKE SUPPORT signs from some neighbors and from a dad whose son was over at our house -- and who is a DGA MEMBER with a movie he directed coming out in April. So that was kind of cool.

The other real strike news is that there will be a big LOCATION PICKET tomorrow morning. I got an e-mail about it earlier tonight. I have been to a couple of location pickets -- I actually kinda helped set one up, on the fly -- so I may head over there tomorrow, rather than return to my regular stomping grounds at Warner Bros. Then later it will off to Santa Monica for the big PEP-RALLY/GRIEVANCE AIRING, which I expect will be somewhat interesting.

My guess is that this coming week will bring no new developments in the strike at the guild and negotiations level. Just a continued "war of words" with the AMPTP trying hard to make the WGA look like it is being run by "radicals" out of touch with the needs of "working writers." Well, I don't support too many radicals (maybe a few radical North Koreans I met in China many years ago) and I'm a constantly-working writer -- but the AMPTP's continued banging of that drum has only one effect on me:

it really -- REALLY -- pisses me off.

I know it's just a tactic and they very likely don't believe any of it themselves (at least the guys in charge of crafting and distributing the message) but it still pisses me off.

When I stop and think about it that's kind of dumb on my part though. It's like having already marched off to war against -- pick any foreign nation, in order to be as inoffensive as possible, let's pick one that hasn't existed since long before the USA became a country, like CARTHAGE. Anyhow, it's like marching off to war against Carthage and then -- when those damn Carthaginians actually start shooting arrows at you and charging at you with spears leveled -- you get really pissed off. So... when you (and I) marched off to war, what exactly were we expecting the other side to do?

I don't want to push the "war" metaphors too far and -- although they were known to practice ritual sacrifice of their own children -- I actually have some respect and admiration for the land of ancient Carthage, what with its mercantile and naval successes, the multi-cultural nature of its society in general and its military in particular and of course the incredible, against all odds accomplishments of its greatest general, Hannibal.

The point is... we are locked in a pretty heavy struggle with some pretty serious opponents, so it should not come as a surprise that they will be doing anything and everything within their power to defeat us.

Of course, on the personal level, every day brings new strike-related developments for lots of writers and lots of other industry people, and most of those developments are not too good. But such is life. Look on the bright side: at least you don't have a Carthaginian warrior or one of his Celtic or Numidian buddies trying to chop your head off, or trample you with his trained elephant.

See you at the picket line tomorrow (maybe on location) -- and then at the mass conflagration tomorrow night!

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