I disagree that the studios are playing this as a business. If they were playing it as a business, they wouldn't cut off their hundred billion dollar industry to spite the writers to the tune of a few million bucks.
I think the studio greedheads see this as a pissing match. They wanted to treat the writers like dirt, and they're mad that the writers aren't standing for it.
If they treating this as a business decision, they'd have settled this long before a strike. The writers might have taken less, then, to avoid having to strike. The strike costs the studios a thousand times more than it costs the writers. It's just bad business to force a writer's strike.
I'm not business person, but it sure as shit doesn't make any sense. However, it seems to me that in this age of being able to shift funds from one place to the next, they must not really be losing any money.
Follow my cracked logic for a sec.
We're all acting as if the figures we see -- such-and-such corporation losing $21 million dollars a week or a day or an hour or whatever -- are cold, hard numbers. But it's not like this money's being taken out of some poor CEO's Wells Fargo account. The money, as actual funds, doesn't exist. This creative accounting is already happening with the vertical integration, which we were all initially exposed to with the David Duchovny suit against Fox. The one studio that routinely frets over budget is Warner Bros, technically a studio without a network. So that whole give and take thing that can happen between, say, Touchstone and ABC, can't happen with WB.
In my opinion, this IS about business, but it can't be about cold, hard numbers because they aren't really there. There's more going on. Or this is just me, trying to figure out their motivation because, as writers, this is what we do.
What does the other side really want?
Why wouldn't one follow football? WHY? After all, tonight could be the night the Pats will finally get their asses handed to them. Current score: Tied.
I'll keep posting updates. On the football. No "hell" about it.
So mean!! I followed football many, many years ago, and I'm a much bigger baseball fan at the moment. The only football I even glanced at in the past large number of years was when the Patriots began their run, and the coach (a big racing fan) motivated the team by showing them the stretch run of Tiznow's second Breeders Cup Classic. I knew I could sneak racing in there.
I love your blog, but I do have to call bullshit on your comment on Craig. It's gotten to the point where anything Craig does is going to be blasted by a portion of writers. People complain that Craig is not enthusiastic enough about backing the strike, and then he posts a very pro-WGA strike post and he gets called a hypocrite.
Feel free to call bullshit whenever you feel you need to! Are you referring to Craig's latest blog post? Because I found it rather self-serving, to be honest. Suddenly, Craig's a part of the strike machine. And he isn't demoralized. Well, no. He wouldn't be, because he has not been emotionally invested in the same way that the rest of us have been. Because we've been on the picket line every day. We've gotten Teamsters to honk for us, but we've also had people shout "ASSHOLE" and try to run us over with their cars. By my account, Craig swanned around for about an hour today. In my opinion -- which I will keep reiterating -- that doesn't give him the right to suddenly be all "We're in this together, my peeps."
In that post, Craig also dismisses the idea that Nikki Finke's been led around by both the studios and the WGA. But really, isn't it obvious that she has? Isn't it a better idea that with damning evidence of propaganda, the writers -- those of us who are out on the line every day -- listen ONLY to our leadership? Does Craig's post mean that we should continue to read Nikki Finke's site and give her ad revenue by refreshing every five seconds? I'm not buying into THAT, frankly. Nor am I buying into the propaganda that our leadership is suddenly going to be asking us to chant IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. I'm in this thing, I read all the bulletins, and I support our guild. Really, end of fucking story on THAT one. Or does it not disturb people that the AMPTP really IS recruiting Stooges to post on message boards?
So after Craig finishes with his thoughts about the morale of the troops, he puts up this laugher:
In other words, I think the reason the companies started talking like there was a decent offer on the table is because they actually believed they were putting a decent offer on the table.
This is bad news. We’re still tragically far apart, and with time running out before the television season can be salvaged, I think everyone has to turn their eyes toward the DGA and start wondering what the directors are going to do.
Oy. And that's supposed to be positive?
And since we're going there, I also want to comment on the Castle Park event, which is being given for anybody who isn't a writer and has been affected by the strike. First of all, a lovely idea. It really is. But what bothers me is how people like Craig are spinning it. To wit:
Meanwhile, let’s talk about some things that some screenwriters and television writers are doing for the below-the-line folks who have been hurt by our strike. It’s getting bad out there (I’m sure everyone read about the Leno staffers), and I would rather go without the donuts and pizza and horn honks and see if we can’t help funnel some relief to the laid off.
Craig HAS gone without the pizza and the horn honks, so who the fuck does he think he is? Craig's too caught up in his own head to see what he's saying here, so I don't think he meant the insinuation. At least I hope he didn't; I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt on that one. This is a nice thing organized by someone who wants to help others. It's not a political opportunity. Nobody should use it for their own purposes.
I also have to take you to task for the comment about what you wouldn't be allowed to say on Craig's site. It especially looks bad when comments on your site are moderated. I think Craig is insulted more on his site than anyone, so it's hard to fault him too much, especially since it's his bloody site.
I moderate comments to keep spam and nuttiness off. Maybe you don't believe me when I've said that Blogger has eaten some comments; I'm not sure the anonymous fellow who posted something that was eaten believed me either, but I'm telling the truth. I'm not slanting the comments or trying to make myself look good here. I could, if I wanted to. Because like I said before, this is my house. But I'm not doing that. It's also a lot easier for me to respond to comments when they come to my inbox and I can put them into a folder.
What Craig is doing at this moment is not truly moderating comments; he's censoring them. As for being insulted, Craig and I had quite a tiff a few weeks ago, but issues seemed to be fine with both of us. Then he seemed to get annoyed with writers who didn't agree with his viewpoint, and he then began to ignore the hateful, vitriolic asshats who started attacking me and Josh, in particular. Seriously, if that wasn't a personal attack by an anonymous troll, show me what is. I've been on the internets for many years now, and I know it when I see it. It took him weeks -- no shit, weeks -- to take down a libelous post directed at somebody else. But the Swedish Meatball posts? Gone within the minute. And if you haven't seen those, you're missing out. They're truly hilarious and somebody with a background in comedy, like Craig, should appreciate them.
I haven't taken a shot at Craig's movies, and I don't know him personally. All I have to go on is what he says on his site, and I wish he'd think this stuff through better, especially given the visibility of his site. Craig puts his ideas and agendas out there, and he should expect to be challenged. But he doesn't like that. He wants sycophants in there, kissing his ass. Well, that's what he has now. And you know, that's fine. If he wants only acolytes, that's NO problem. But he positions himself like a muckety-muck, up-in-the-Guild kinda guy. It's a lie.
I don't agree with everything he says, and I'm not a fan of his movies, but when there are probably a hundred comments a day on his site, it's hard to expect him to be completely consistent in his moderating.
Agreed. However, the tide has definitely changed in the past week or so. If there's going to be that much traffic and things are getting out of hand, he could just be a blogger and close comments. He could pull the insulting personal attacks. He could apologize for letting things get out of hand. But he seems perfectly happy with where the site is now.
I really don't see how insulting Craig is helping anything. He's not directing anymore. He's walking the picket lines with the rest of the writers. It just seems like a vendetta, now.
If Craig continues to post what I consider to be wrong-headed propaganda, you bet I'll say something. As all us writers know, the internet is one powerful mother. Craig's is the only writer site that is out of whack, and his aura of self-importance is really hurting his site. Nick Counter even used one of Craig's comments as propaganda. That's damaging to me, too, so I take offense.
And by the way, if it was my site, and Josh was aiming his vitriol at me, I probably would have banned him, too.
I would really like it if you'd go back and look at Josh's posts. Josh is the toughest debater you'll ever run across. Maybe you see that as a personal attack, but REALLY look -- Josh doesn't go after Craig personally. He goes after Craig's thoughts and ideas, which CRAIG HIMSELF is putting on his site. As for banning Josh, I believe there was a lot more at work there. The timing was just really weird, because he didn't ban Josh for a specific post. And he lets that Stooge asshat stay? The guy who did nothing but insult me and Josh and anyone else who didn't agree with him?
Craig has the site he deserves.
So, Tim, I appreciate you reading the blog. I'm glad you like it, and I hope this comes across the way it's intended to -- as a reasoned disagreement.
In strike news, it was bloody hot out there today. Bloody. HOT.
np -- Blackfield, "End of the World." Swoony goodness!