Friday, November 16, 2007

Why I Strike

What most people don't know about me is that I'm way conservative. When rumors were circulating this summer about a possible strike, I was annoyed. I was like: "I like working, man. I get paid really well to work on a show people actually like. Screw this!"

I figured the WGA negotiating committee was just a bunch of rich, bored, retired writers who had nothing better to do than make us hard-working currently-employed writers sacrifice a lot by making us stop work. Not coincidentally, I hadn't been reading any of the informative Guild literature that explained the mounting situation.

Boy, was I a fucking idiot.

Now it's like, what Africa is to Bono, the WGA negotiations are to me. (Sure, Bono is a better musician than I am a writer, but the trade-off is I bombard people a lot less then Bono talks about Africa and stuff. I mean, I would actually have to think twice whether I would sit next to the guy at a dinner party, cuz I'd be like, oh shit, here comes the dissertation on the UN or whatever. Honestly, what does The Edge do?).

Anyway, I've hesitated writing about the strike, because while I believe passionately that we striking for a good reason, I didn't want to incur the contempt of non-writers or fans of the show.

Why? It's simple. I may be the single worst person on this planet who could speak out for the writers plight, because: 1) I am an adult who is lucky enough to have enough disposable income that I literally have a website talking about how I fritter away money on stupid shit. I'm doing fine. and 2) I'm a comedy writer, not a politician or even a person known to make persuasive arguments. I've solved most of my conflicts by crying or threatening to kill myself. Opponents of the strike could point to this URL as the reason why writers are the worst form of overpaid greedbags, the way al Qaeda shows "The Anna Nicole Show" to recruit people to suicide bomb Western places.

So that's why I needed to post about this. NOT ALL writers are like me!!! The vast, vast majority are not. And I don't want people thinking they are. (Uh, for the record, to my credit, if they were, Hollywood would be a lot more sexy.) Most writers in the Guild, aren't working on like, The Simpsons and The Office or The Daily Show, like the bloggers on this site. To me, anyway, it seems mostly a situation where the writer mom or dad is the primary earner, and there are years and years where they don't work, and they worry about college tuition and stuff for their kids, and then, when they get older, they actually find other forms of employment because they can't make it writing anymore.

And frankly, what the companies are angling for something so staggeringly unfair, it's causing lazy fat-ass conservatives like me to stand up and fight. It's like they are the king in "Braveheart" trying to convince us that prima nocte is cool or something.

I'll let you read this fantastic piece in Newsweek by Douglas McGrath. He summarizes how I feel a lot better than me.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/70297/page/1

Steve Carell put it best when he said: "Imagine if when the writers on the Bob Hope radio show were told by their employers: "Hey guys, we want to use your material, for free, for this crazy new medium, television, and we don't want to pay you for it, cuz the medium is too crazy and dicey and we're not sure it's going to pan out."...TEN YEARS AFTER EVERYONE IN AMERICA OWNED A TELEVISION." (I'm paraphrasing poorly the brilliant words of the lovely Steve Carell, please don't quote him saying that. You can I guess, sort of attribute it to me and maybe kinda Steve but not in any way that makes him look lame.)


I feel so strongly that I will even post this horrible picture of me striking and not wearing any makeup. Gross!



And I promise, barring some kind of conflict wherein Beyonce is told she can no longer exist, I will only argue passionately about how you need to buy a loofah or something.

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