Friday, November 2, 2007

Strike Out

The Writers Guild of America is having severe problems negotiating their union contract with the major studios, production companies and networks that produce and distribute their content.

Cry me a river of tears.

The level of sympathy that I have for these writers is at its very best minimal. I am more concerned with the ancillary industries that will be affected by their proposed strike than I am with the WGA or Teamsters themselves. The employees of businesses in the San Fernando Valley, the cleaners, the deli shop workers, the florists for the sets: these are the people I care about. They are not the ones fighting over inflated salaries or residuals. Many of the people who work in these related fields - the service industries - are the ones who will get hit worst by this strike.

Oh no, The Daily Show won't be so funny. Movies will decline in quality. How will we adapt Harry Potter from a book into a movie script without these essential bastions of society?

All these possible atrocities concern me terribly. Life simply will not go on without a steady flow of terrible sitcoms, satirical news and crappy mega-movies with overpaid movie stars, directors and writers.

Considering that I have not had a television for 10 years and my movie intake is very minimal I do not think this strike will affect me in the least. Luckily Americans have vast libraries with readily available books that can be consumed through reading.

A strike would be a wonderful reason for people to take a step-back from their remote-controlled existences and take a step-forward in pursuing intellectual delights.

The NY Times cites a rise in reality television, cartoons and a higher reliance on non-union writers as reasons for the decline in the need for the WGA. It is a sign of the times that technology has progressed, the need for writers to be in a union has progressed and the evolution of this industry is omnipresent.

Good luck at the picket lines. I'll be in the warmth of a library reading a book.

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