Saturday, November 10, 2007

review (not really): nice strike if you can get it

tomorrow, i'll have words and pictures about the ma/nh leg of this trip (i shot things! i live free while a target dies!), but for now, i must share this with you, as it's made me feel that much better about life in general. as i have said before, california, a state shaped like an apostrophe, is fucking retarded when it comes to using apostrophes. *or is it.*

one note about the writers' strike tho (" S' ", because it is a strike possessed by writers plural, just fyi): as someone who was raised by pinkos, writes for money, and enjoys chanting, i totally support the strike. if new media makes no money, what the big deal with giving writers' a bigger percentage of no dollars, don't they know most writers live off residuals, the internet is not just a fad, etc, etc. plus, joss whedon says it's a good idea. so whatever, strike on, you crazy diamonds.

[image: a banner with many sets of legs and feet.]

but please note, as someone who writes for money but also has to teach crochet/resell thrift/live off trader joe's (among other things, none dirty) in order to actually live, who has been on the production side and knows how badly those "below the line" are shat upon (now to the point of being fired), and who has heard the directives to join the writers on the picket line but not to hassle (read: TALK to) them because this is not a time for networking (ew!), i so, so want these people to go fuck themselves.

one of the daily show writers had a strike diary published in the times today, and of the many (jokey) points she made, she asserted that a, writers are solitary creatures, and b, writers are not aggressive, hence the awkwardness in picketing. and while i think it's a funny piece, and that she's totally right on the first count, saying that writers aren't aggressive is total horseshit; there might be a little passive thrown in there for good measure, but writing professionally is so competitive it's terrifying, no matter if you're writing for tv, magazines, technical manuals, you name it, and if you aren't always hustling, you aren't just going to be not-writing, you aren't going to eat. if it's awkward for those writers on the picket line, it's probably because they have to show solidarity with people who could one day steal their jobs.

[image: on the tv show spaced, the character daisy steiner (front L, mouth agape, not simon pegg) was a freelance writer with a shit work ethic, a dog named colin, and no day job. she got away with this because she was both fictional and in a country with these magical things called "the national health service" and "the dole." she was also the most realistic freelance writer character in the history of television. go figure.]

previously, the times (and now EW) wrote negative pieces about the strike, pieces written by journalists (ie, writers) who probably aspire to TV gigs themselves, or resent how much more TV writers get paid even tho, as journos, they have stricter deadlines and higher wordcounts, or who simply hate writers (by which i mean, writers they don't know) because, like most writers, they hate themselves and all those who are dumb enough to chose the same soul-crushing profession. (so when writers have writer friends, as i myself do, we largely bond over how much we hate ourselves and our soul crushing profession. see how that works?) that, joss whedon, is why the press isn't being supportive.

that and because the wga, while a union, is to most writers more exclusive than the skull and bones. they are not taking a stand for the everyman, but for the one-in-a-thousand man (and one-in-ten-thousand woman) who was on the harvard lampoon, or had a cousin who was a manager, or just got luckier than most writers do.

i don't blame the writers for the strike, or the negative effect it's going to have on the industry-- the studios have had somethingteen years to make a deal and they haven't, and they're the ones firing production staff instead of coming back to the table, and writers are always getting screwed, i get it, i know, i don't disagree. but as i said to my friend cristie the other day, it just comes down to the fact that, as much as i support the wga, the wga in no way does anything to support me, let alone include me, and as a hermity, competitive, self-hating writer, that's why the strike gives me pause.

for most people in my position, it means more competition for/less magazine work, that much less of a chance of getting insurance anytime soon, and less of a reason to spend time in LA. which means more road trips, which means more travel diaries, which, ironically, means more writing. for new media. that i will never, ever get paid for. if only joss whedon would take up my cause, or at least help me pay for a much-needed physical.

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