Friday, December 14, 2007

*****Hollywood Writers Strike Mold*****

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
STRIKING WRITERS ARE ONLY WRITING THEIR OWN OBITUARIES

For nearly six weeks, nary a word has been put to paper, as the strike by the Writers Guild of America against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers continues to drag on with no end in sight. The writers stopped writing on the morning of November 5th and vow to remain on strike until their demands are met. What they're demanding is what's making me think this strike is significantly more about greed than equity. It's not politically correct to side with management against the poor downtrodden worker but my "PC" starts and ends with my Dell Windows XP Media Edition machine. Let's first acknowledge the premise that every single wage earner in the United States of America is vastly underpaid. We're Americans damn it, therefore we are entitled to certain inaliable rights such as working fewer hours with better benefits for more money and longer vacations. This specific strike, however, is about more than a battle of dollars and benefits, it's about technological advances that writers did nothing to create but insist nonetheless on financially capitalizing upon.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

One of my handful of genius like theories tells me the first and last commandment of writers is that they write, actors act, producers producers, directors direct and best boys uh, I don't know what the hell they do but I do know whatever it is they do, they do it the best. Everybody doing what they do best is what makes television what it is today, CRAP. I'm not one of those people that makes outlandish statements about what I wouldn't do for a $1 million or if somebody held a gun to my head. If anybody out there wants to give me $700 cash, no third party post dated checks, I will watch an episode of Desperate Housewives or Gray's Anatomy. Put a gun to my temple and I'll not only watch them both, but I'll go on and on ad nauseum about how brilliant these shows are. But occasionally we can be honest can't we? These shows are nothing more than mind numbing diversions that waste an hour of our lives. Most of us won't miss the hours until we get near the end anyway. These programs, however, do make network executives and stockholders money. They make sponsors money and everyone connected gets their share as well.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

But as the legendary showmen P.T. Barnum loved to state the obvious when he proclaimed "there's a sucker born every minute." Producers, either by design or refusal to discount Barnum's theory, began selling an entire season of these shows on dvds for the low, low price of somewhere between $60.00 and $100.00. I wonder who was most stunned that people actually were shelling out money to own the very same shows that were televised two or three times already. People, you all have Tivo or vcrs. You can record these shows yourself if you honestly feel the need to add them to your collection, literally for your pennies on their dollar. The profit margin on these classics is probably about 98%. I mean the dvds have to run close to 25 cents each and the highly talented actors who have some "yank" get a little piece written into their contracts as well. There's also money to be paid and therefore made when people want must see tv on their two inch Ipod. So the writers decided to insist on receiving their boarding passes to the gravy train but the producers said NO. The deal is you write it, we exploit it. I can't prove it, but I bet Moses got shafted on residuals from the 10 commandments. That tees me off because I walked up Mount Sinai once and the entire way up and down I alternated between freezing, sweating, gasping for air from the scent of unwashed camels and the 14 pounds of sand I swallowed climbing up, then coming back down. Moses' agent, at the very least, was guilty of committing malpractice for not getting his client a better deal.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The writers are not poor, uneducated wretches without any other options. They're not working miles underground in coal mines or on trucking docks, assembly lines or any other miserable union job where they're over worked and under compensated. Besides, many of those unions stood by helplessly as a lot of those jobs were lost to countries where their replacements are eight year old kids working 80 hours a week and trying to poison us with shiny lead. It was stressed to me and my fellow siblings growing up that if you work for a business head, you're going to get the shaft. My father was always as eloquent as he was thoughtful. His point, however, was well taken because he was right. If your job was so great, people you don't really like or respect wouldn't be obligated to paying you to regularly show up. Should the writers be treated better and receive decent size percentages of additional usages of their words and intellectual property? I suppose they should but then again it's not my, yours or their decision to make. That's why God created bosses, if you remember your Sunday School.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The writers decision was to think only of themselves and walk off their jobs. I actually feel much worse for the innocent people connected with these productions that have lost their source of income as well. They don't have contracts or agents. What they do have is mounting bills that are starting to pile up. If best boys don't do their best work, they don't get their best paycheck. Many anonymous workers to you and I connected with programs being struck are not anonymous to their families or the bill collectors calling them as you read this. They're on strike too, but will never recoup the wages they're losing now. If a person makes $400 to $500 per week, that person has lost anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000 if the strike ended tomorrow. The strike won't end tomorrow and neither will their financial obligations or their kids need to eat.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I LOOK WHEN I WRITE

These poor people will have to, if not already, go out and find new jobs because some tv Shakespeares are throwing a tantrum. They don't care about anything or anyone but themselves. The inventor of the wheel reaps the reward, not the guys who use it. The user uses that wheel to in turn make his money and so on and so forth. Maybe the writers who find themselves with all this free time should figure out a way they can make money just like the producers did with dvds. I hope they figure it out and make billions of dollars from whatever they invent. Then they should make sure the producers don't see one red cent from it either. They may, however, want to give the best boys, secretaries and other workers hurt by this strike a little something for their troubles. Wait a second, I just remembered I'm a writer, right? Maybe I should stop writing right now so I can invent this thing to make me billions of dollars. Who knows, maybe I'll share the money with anybody who tells me how truly brilliant this Breaking Views Blog really is.....








No comments:

Tell a friend: