Monday, January 21, 2008

Strike Day 79 (4 A.D.)

There were some developments today.

Only one will be discussed here -- in a shamelessly self-promotional way.

My friend Charlie Craig (I'm dropping his name so often around here it's as if he's taking over this blog!) and his fellow Executive Producer on "Eureka" Thania St. John have been running a site for writers, both professional and amateur, to discuss what it is that makes them write.

Today's entry was from my partner and me.


Why We Write

Or just slip your cursor over to the right, where that site has been linked for the past few weeks.

It was fun for my partner and I to get a chance to write something without being scabs.

I do this blog alone but it's a very different animal. Don't get me wrong -- I enjoy it and value it more than I might have expected but it's very different nonetheless.

My partner and I are hoping to see Charlie tomorrow morning over at Paramount, amongst the hundreds of WGA members who will be gathering for the Martin Luther King event.

Then we're going to have lunch with our favorite Line Producer, who supports the WGA about a hundred-and-ten percent, which -- especially considering how level-headed and intelligent she is -- is always nice to hear. I think it kind of sucks that so many people refer to the other side of this confrontation as "The Producers."

My partner and I are producers. The woman we will have lunch with tomorrow is a masterful producer. The people in charge of the other side in this strike are not producers. That's not a criticism, just an observation. I couldn't do what they do for a living any more than they could do my job as a producer. But it does kind of annoy me when people call them by that name.

Word is that tomorrow the AMPTP is coming back to sit down with out Negotiating Committee, which is a good thing.

It doesn't mean the strike is going to end any time soon but it does mean the process required in order for the strike to come to an end whenever it finally does -- which the other side had put on hold -- has resumed.

I know it sucks for all us WGA members to keep reading about how wonderful the DGA deal is and how the DGA got it because they are mature adults who know how to "negotiate."

But think how much worse it would have sucked if we had accepted what the AMPTP had to offer us a little less than three months ago -- which was profoundly less on the New Media front than the DGA just got for themselves.

It borders on the surreal, how little is being said in the mainstream media about the obvious connection between our strike and the gains made in the DGA's new contract. I know some of us are dismissing those gains as too little and too inapplicable to our own needs -- and to some extent they may well be right -- but that's not the point. GAINS WERE MADE. Taking nothing away from the DGA's own leadership and negotiating team, how any thinking person with their eyes open could fail to connect those gains to our strike is patently absurd.

But guess what?

It doesn't matter.

Sure, it matters to the contemporary record -- it impacts what the average uninvolved reader may think about the current labor dispute in Hollywood -- but it doesn't matter to us or the strike.

Not unless we allow it to.

Not unless we either (A) actually start to believe that lie of omission or (B) let the current wave of anti-WGA leadership spin swallow us up.

Either way -- choice (A) or (B) -- leads to drowning.


Keep your spirits up.

They don't have to be sky-high, just high enough to get you out on the picket line as often as the rest of your life's routine allows for -- which is hopefully at least 3 hours a day, 4 days a week.

But if not, then you won't get grief from me -- so long as you come out and carry a picket sign as often as you can manage on a regular basis.

Of course, if you do any of the various more sophisticated stuff at WGA headquarters, like loading and unloading the vans or making tons of phone-calls, that counts just the same -- because no matter what, I REFUSE TO BE DIVISIVE ON THIS BLOG!

Hah-hah-hah -- just a touch of strike humor.

A very slight touch. Never said I was a comedy writer.


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