When I first got onto the internets, pretty much everybody who posted anywhere did so anonymously. What this meant was, you got to know people through their thoughts and ideas rather than through their looks or resumes. Naturally, there's a huge internet presence during this strike, and the back-and-forth that is happening has another level to it -- do you really want to disagree with Mr. Big-Time Writer? And do you want to do so with your real name?
Part of me -- a growing part, actually -- hates that my resume is automatically attached to everything I post on the internets. I kinda miss my anonymity.
Just a little musing to me going.
The AMPTP started negotiations with the DGA today and people are starting to take sides -- we have to take the deal the DGA gets, or, we shouldn't take the deal the DGA takes. Nice to see that this, too, is such an easy a black and white issue. The real solution, of course, is to wait and see what the DGA deal is -- if they even make one -- and then make up our own damn minds about whether or not it's good enough. There's a fallacious belief that the folks who are involved in the strike -- whether it be picketing, working at the guild, or just not bashing the leadership in public forums -- will strike until we get the most beautiful deal imaginable.
This is bullshit. Just as ludicrous is the idea that everybody who opposes the strike will take any deal, no matter how crappy. Sure, there are folks of each stripe but that's not the majority. We spend way too much time on the minority squeaky wheels, if you ask me. And they call themselves "moderates." What's up with that? But I think this attention to the minority is part of a writer's mentality. Fifty people could love your script but if one out of the fifty doesn't like it, where do you put your focus? On that asshole.
I think that's why people like Mazin get attention. Here's a writer whose views are directly opposed to those of the majority of the membership. He MUST have something worthwhile to say. But when that something involves accusing the rest of us of not giving a shit about the WGA MBA or constitution, well... that's fucking ridiculous. But he gets the press because he's a misanthropic contrarian. There's no story in solidarity or unity.
There's nothing wrong with being pissed off because the money truck doesn't come as often as it did before the strike. There is something wrong with airing your complaints in public. Clearly, Craig has not learned his lesson. Sure, shutting down comments was an excellent idea, whether you believe he did it on his own or was pressured into doing it. But he still hasn't figured out that blasting the guild in public is a bad thing. He's so fucking gone on his own ego that such things don't occur to him.
There are supporters and people in our guild who are using their power for good. The recent Tom Hanks statement was fantastic. The actors boycotting the Golden Globes? Wonderful. The interim deals? Grand.
But there's the flip side. There's John Ridley, the angriest fi-core dog in the world. You know how there's always some actor who dies, and everyone goes, "I thought he was already dead?" Ridley's like that for me. "He went fi-core? I thought he'd already done that."
Then there's Bill Maher. He's always been a bit on the nutty side but he's funny, too, and the way he excoriates everything from the Bush administration to plastic shoes is fucking hilarious. But to compare the strike to Iraq? Really? I thought he was smarter than that. The strike has clearly been an annoyance for him. He hates being required to belong to or employ people from labor organizations.
Not only do I not condone what he said on the air, It doesn't need to be said that Bill Maher has the right to say whatever he wants. I have the right to tell him he's a fucking idiot. Bill Maher, you're a fucking idiot. Why don't you pick up a fucking picket sign and then we'll talk.
Look, I get the egocentricity of it all. Hell, I've got MY own best interests at heart here too. We all do. It's certainly easier if your best interests line up with that of a larger group. I don't want my residuals to go away. I don't want to get screwed on internet residuals. I don't want the AMPTP to rape our health and pension fund. Thanks to idiots like Reagan, these corporations have us at their mercy. We're not going to beat them. Ever. But we CAN get a fair deal. It won't be a deal we're in love with, but it will be better than what they've offered, and we will stave off the end of unions for a little while longer. You think the free rewrites are egregious now? Imagine how much MORE advantage the studios would take of us without a union.
My best interest, honestly, is for this strike to end so I can look for work. Financially, I can't afford this shit any longer. But goddammit if my conscience won't let me switch sides. I'm thinking of myself, but I'm also thinking of the future. The writers who got us health, pension and residuals did that FOR US. And they gave up copyright.
Lemme say that again -- those writers gave up OWNERSHIP OF MATERIAL for gains they deemed more important to the larger group. Let's protect that, shall we?
The strike's been pretty laid-back so far. It hasn't truly gotten ugly yet. It might end before that day arrives, or it might not. America's become a country that doesn't sacrifice for anything. We haven't had to save rubber or ration sugar. But we might have to sacrifice for this. We might have to really, really hurt. And I guarantee you, I will hurt before a lot of other people do. So if I'm willing to do it, everybody else should be, too.
Resolve and unity ARE important to this effort. I wouldn't care what people like Mazin and Maher said if it wasn't affecting MY LIVELIHOOD. Yes, your egocentricity is fucking with my ability to make a living. Next one of you I see, I'm gonna punch you in the heart. Not that either one of you craven pissheads will ever be out on the line, of course.
I keep saying how I don't want to always talk about the strike, but then Mazin posts something or people lose their fucking minds and a new rant is born. I am going to try and talk about actual writing next time, and get to some comments. And if anyone has any questions, that would rock, too. They can be about the strike. I don't mind.
np -- Georgie James, "Places." Still on the fence about this one. The Radiohead album, however, is totally growing on me.