Well, cats and kittens, the fun ain't over yet. Josh Olson has some shit to say, and he's going to say it right here. Funny... just in time for yet another dreary "Craig RAWKS!" comment from CraigNonymous...
Without further adieu:
Ditto to all that, and then some. Especially the shout out to Deric and Priya. Those fuckers carry weight in this guild.
Many people will write about the deal in the weeks to come, picking it apart, holding it up to the light, making late-in-the-day realizations that we all missed.... it’s all in the game. I knew from the get-go (I like to think we all did), that none of us would walk out thinking “We won!” We wanted a decent deal. We wanted to eradicate the rollbacks and make some progress, and it’s safe to say we did. It’s also safe to say we could have done better. Sorry. That’ll piss people off, no doubt, but it’s true. We could be a stronger union than we are if we’d all just embrace the fact that we’re the primary source of what this town creates. Always have been, always will be, and never get the credit.
I don’t believe that because I’m a writer. I’m a writer because I believe that. Grasp the difference. My reverence and respect for what we do doesn’t come out of selfishness. My career - my life - is founded on the fact that I recognize that simple truth. I’ve been happily reminded over the last few months that many of my WGA brothers and sisters know that. And I’ve been reminded, as well, that some don’t. C’est la vie. (The DGA recognizes that, too, I suspect. Which is why they didn’t come out with us to support us. If I have to explain that, I will, later.)
The short version is this - I’m so fucking glad it’s over I could shit. I can climb back into my cave, get back to to writing work that matters to me, and guild politics can go back to whatever the hell they are when I’m not paying attention. I don’t care. Horrifying to some, I’m sure. But I don’t. God bless the WGA - we’d be fucked without them, and I send them a warm and fuzzy vibe every time I go to the doctor, but as far as Guild politics go, I am so looking forward to returning to my apathetic state it’s ridiculous.
And you’re right about Craig - he actually started spinning it two days ago. Says his “inside sources” informed him the deal was the DGA deal, basically. Except, of course, it wasn’t. And we all knew that before Craig even posted, cos all you had to do was talk to one of the Neg Com members on the line to find that out. I don’t resent Craig not being there, but I do resent his attempts to portray himself as a position who matters, who knows things the rest of us don’t, when the truth is he doesn’t and he doesn’t.
Craig’s positioning himself to be able to say, “It’s the deal I was pushing you to take.” And, as ever, the droogs will mindlessly chant, “Yes, Craig, it’s the deal you were pushing us to take,” and everyone else will, again, shake their heads at the enormous ego and perfidy of “The Artful Writer.” He will, of course, say some nice things about the committee, and about Patric and maybe even David... he’ll go so far as to say he was wrong about some things. That’s politics, baby.
Craig has chastised me for suggesting he and Ted are using their site and their little private community to build up for another run at the board. Okay. Maybe they aren’t. But they DO use it for decidedly political purposes, and the goal IS to create a power base for them to influence guild politics. It frustrates them that their vote counts no more and no less than yours. Welcome to democracy, fellas. If it’s any consolation, the rich and powerful always find ways to subvert it, so you’re in good company. And by “good company,” of course, I mean “bad company.”
But here's the thing - in the end, it doesn't fucking matter. We'll go back to work, and everything will be pretty much as it was. People like Craig, who devote ludicrous amounts of time to posturing and politicking and spinning, to gathering and grooming toadies and to networking like demons will carry on as ever. They’ll continue to tell themselves they matter, even though they had less to do with this strike than the average spec writer living in Duluth. People will argue over whether it was the strikers who got us this, or the folks who sat on the sidelines and tsk’d tsk’d over the awful embarrassment of finding themselves perceived as part of the loathsome labor movement in America.
(We are, after all, above such things here in Hollywood. Laborers are poor, and sweaty, and mostly less well-educated than such as we, so it offends our delicate sensibilities to be equated with them. Heh. We storm out of meetings in a pissy huff when anyone dares suggest that we’re just another chapter in the story of the labor movement; that we have anything in common with workers in the field; that, perhaps, the battle for economic justice that Martin Luther King was fighting when he was assassinated could possibly have room in it for such as we. We are not sweatshop laborers, we are what Garth Marenghi calls “dreamweavers.”)
They'll keep meeting on their private message boards and continue to pat each other on the back for perpetrating more mediocrity upon the world. They'll continue to whisper in the dark and to move pieces around and to quietly e-mail each other in conspiratorial manner, in spite of the fact that they're really up to nothing more than ego-burnishing and ball-slurping. Seriously - what’s the end-game for these jackalopes? Do they have a secret lair somewhere with a giant map of the world on it? Maybe I need to take them more seriously...
An aside - lately, I’m very often reminded of some folks I used to run across in the early days of AOL’s screenwriting boards. There were a few folks who fancied themselves very Serious and Important people because they were in the WGA and had projects set up at studios. All well and good - you can definitely learn from pros. But they weren’t there to share experiences with people so much as they were there to be respected and adored. But they were also there for something else. What was never clear, but as time went on, it was discovered that they’d been heavily petitioning AOL for some time to be put in charge of the screenwriting boards. Why was anyone’s guess. The boards worked fine, the community neither wanted nor needed their stewardship. But the sense of entitlement these folks had positively reeked off the screen. One gets the same stench from Craig and Ted and co.
To this date, I don’t get it. Why the need to rule, to lead, to be recognized for something other than just the damn work? [Talking about the ones who CAN do good work, of course. For the others, the answer is obvious.] Is there some prize you get at the end that nobody’s told me about?
My guess is it’s a high school thing. These are people who were painfully aware during high school that the most popular cliques wouldn’t have them. Apparently, that’s a pain that lingers, so they’re using our thing here to make up for that. It happens. Or, Christ, it just dawned on me - they’re something worse. They WERE the popular kids, but unlike most of those kids, they never woke up to what an utterly meaningless accomplishment that is. What drives them is not the need to be part of it, but the rage that comes when other people don’t care at all about being part of it.
An aside to an aside - I remember early on, on another screenwriting board, one of the pros, or semi-pros, posted breathlessly that he had just secured the feature rights to F Troop. He’d managed to get them for next to nothing because of some clever loophole or somesuch, and the crowd went wild. “Brilliant!” they said. “You rock!” they said. “Inspirational!” they said. I posted something to the effect of, “You’re kidding. F Troop: The Movie?” and was instantly pilloried as a snob. The point, you see, is not to get into the business and try to establish a career as an honest to god writer of actual movies of any lasting value. The point is to make as much fucking money as humanly possible, period, end of story.
It’s just sad to see Craig can’t leave it alone for once. Sad he can’t resist the urge to rub his smelly balls on our good day, our good week, our good THING that he really wasn’t part of. You want proof that he’s lost in his own fantasy? He thinks it’s ironic he couldn’t be there Saturday night. Yeah, it’s ironic. Like rain on your wedding day is ironic. Like a free ride when you’ve already paid is ironic.
(Poor Alanis - will she ever live that down? Well.... This helped)
No, Craig. It’s not ironic at all. No more ironic than the fact that my mother couldn’t be there, either. (Although now that I think of it, she DID send cookies to the line one day, which puts her one up on you and some of your pals.)
I don’t mean to be a downer. Thursday was one hell of an experience over at Disney, and last night at the Shrine was impressive. One grand reminder of who and what this Guild is, and why I’m proud to stand with these people. When I go back to my cave and start working again, it’ll be with a renewed sense of community with my fellow writers, even the egomaniacal dickweeds who think they carry more weight than they do. (Yet another shout out to Priya and Deric).
And in the end, I guess I’m a little petty, cos I find myself resentful of the people who sat on their asses and did nothing while the rest of us put up and put out. Not the ones who couldn’t be there, who had jobs to attend to, or families, or lived too far away.... the ones who just couldn’t be bothered to take part, but who will happily be cashing the checks that we got for them with the sweat of our brows, and the ache of our feet.
But fuck it. We DID get it with the sweat of our brows and the ache of our feet. Striking worked. Picketing worked. Setting aside our monstrous egos and standing together worked. And really, in the end, that’s all that matters.
We now return to your regularly scheduled programming....