Wednesday, November 07, 2007

STRIKE EXTRA! Writers Beating the Tar Out of Studio Fat Cats

By Paul (Solidaridad Siempre) Levine

This week, the Writers Guild of America struck the networks and studios for the first time in 19 years. Three thousand writers, many of whom have trouble walking from their sofas to the craft service table for snacks, hit the picket lines. GUILD MEMBERS PICKET CBS WHERE "THE PRICE IS NOT RIGHT.

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STRIKING UNDER THE PALMS
OKAY, SO IT'S NOT "ON THE WATERFRONT." IN FACT, STRIKE CAPTAINS REMINDED US TO BRING SUN-BLOCK. NOT BASEBALL BATS
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Among the strikers, here's my pal Randy Anderson. We worked together on "First Monday" and co-wrote the pilot of "Solomon vs. Lord" for CBS. You never saw it? Oh, The network failed to pick it up, a grievous error to be sure.


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YOUR NAKED SCRIBBLER PUTS ON CLOTHES AND PICKETS.
THE ISSUES OF THIS STRIKE AFFECT THE YOUNGER GENERATION OF WRITERS, MUCH MORE SO THAN THOSE OF US ELIGIBLE FOR AARP. BUT WE STAND TOGETHER.

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Some of you might ask: what's the strike about? Don't television and movie writers make plenty of dough? Well, compared to whom? CBS paid honcho Les Moonves $28.6 million last year. Is that too much? Heck, no. Not for the guy who greenlit "Viva Laughlin."

LES MOONVES AND JULIE CHEN DINE AT PINK'S HOT DOGS.

CORRECTION: Naked Scribblers have just been informed that Les & Julie dined and partied at the Kennedy Center. Yeah, I know. I know. Pick on the wrong people, and I'll never eat bagels in this town again. I'm too old and too ornery to care.

ONCE THE STRIKE BEGAN, WRITERS WITH "OVERALL DEALS" WERE UNCEREMONIOUSLY EVICTED FROM THE STUDIOS.
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CONTRARY TO INDUSTRY PROPAGANDA, THE WRITERS' DEMANDS ARE REASONABLE.
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Okay, back to the issues leading to the strike. While I was napping, something called the Internet came along. To oversimplify, TV and movies will shortly be delivered in magical ways to people's laptops, cell phones, and microwave ovens. The corporate bigwigs simply don't want to pay the people who've opened their veins to create and write the programming.

INDUSTRY NEGOTIATOR HEADS TO BARGAINING SESSION

If my grandfather, one-eyed Harry Levine were still alive, here's how he would respond to the industry's negotiating stance: "Du kannst nicht auf meinem rucken pishen unt mir sagen class es regen ist!" ("You can't pee on my back and tell me that it's rain!")

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OSCAR WINNER JAMES L. BROOKS ("TERMS OF ENDEARMENT") JOINS THE PICKET LINE OUTSIDE FOX.
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JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS IS STUNNED WHEN TWO WRITERS INFORM HER THAT SHE HAS A MAN'S MIDDLE NAME.
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JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY PICKETS IN NEW YORK. DESPITE WINNING A PULITZER PRIZE, HE APPARENTLY CANNOT AFFORD A COMPUTER AND COMPOSES ALL PLAYS AND SCRIPTS IN CRAYON.
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Anyone have a good strike chant? A wag at The Los Angeles Times suggested: "Network bosses, rich and rude, We don't like your attitude!"

A little wussy, don't you think? We're tough as Teamsters with hemorohoids. Now, pass the sun-block.

Con solidaridad,

Paul

Workers unite! Send this blog to a friend by clicking the envelope below.

15 comments:

  1. I am proud to say I have never crossed a picket line. I cut my union teeth by working for Arnold Miller's campaign for the UMW.

    I suspect the UMW is a little bit different than the WGA. Just a little.

    But we support the brotherhood.

    In the words of Mother Jones, "Pray for the dead but fight like hell for the living."

    Your lefty pal, David

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  2. Now Paul, how do you expect all of these writers to respond if they are on strike? For that matter, how are you publishing anything online--the source of the dispute? ;-)

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  3. You're a good man, David!

    Some Teamsters and some members of the Screen Actors Guild, and other unions are refusing to cross the line.

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  4. Jeff,
    I'm not being paid to post. (But you knew that). Reader donations Dr. Scholl's shoe inserts don't count as compensation.

    We cannot write for compensation for any signatory to the overall contract, i.e., the studios, networks, producers.

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  5. My favorite chant:

    "More money, Les Moonves!"

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  6. All right, Paul. See if I send any more Dr. Scholl's shoe inserts, then. At least the unused ones. Your felons won't be gellin' much longer.

    If you want to be serious (there was a reason for the smiley face in my previous comment), I suppose that with my slim economics and marketing background, I shouldn't point out that this blog is actually promoting your writing and sales of your books, and thus can easily be construed as writing for compensation. Albeit indirectly. Not only are you promoting already published works (enriching the value of your name), but you're actually enhancing the value of future work as well.

    Not to mention the value of Blogspot.

    Just a bit of meandering. Go to it, Paul!

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  7. Jeff,
    We're not on strike against New York publishers. There's no union, no contract (and hence no minimums, no pension plan, no health plan) associated with book publishing.

    It's the "copper bosses" we're striking.

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
    alive as you and me.
    Says I "But Joe, you're ten years dead"
    "I never died" said he,
    "I never died" said he.

    "The Copper Bosses killed you Joe,
    they shot you Joe" says I.
    "Takes more than guns to kill a man"
    Says Joe "I didn't die"
    Says Joe "I didn't die"

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  8. patty smiley11/07/2007 8:06 AM

    Jeff, this blog is selling books? Really? Cool.

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  9. Of course, Patty. Didn't your contracts include internet publishing rights (and commensurate potential compensation) for Short Change, Cover You Assets, and False Profits?

    As I understand it, the parallel is basically what the Writer's Guild is on strike for.

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  10. James O. Born11/07/2007 11:42 AM

    Your right, Paul Charlie Weis sucks!

    Wait a minute. What day is it?

    Jim

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  11. I've never crossed a picket line, either, but of course I was a member of the Newspaper Guild, which is, at some papers, about as powerful as Chris Dodd in this presidential election, so when union negotiations began, we caved and never had the balls to strike. I admire those who do.

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  12. Well, I'll be winging out to LA this coming week to NOT get the studio meetings and prodco facetime I was expecting but rather instead to hang out my luxo hotel room and maybe sneak some time on a picket line.

    I'm a conservative Repiblican and I'll be marching like an old school union man.

    My machine worker grand-dad is laughing from the afterlife.
    .
    .
    .
    B

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  13. We love you, Brett.

    Forbes.com had a great piece yesterday headlined "Hollywood scribes had to strike, and now they have to prevail."

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  14. Paul,

    You managed to shock me not once but twice.

    Firstly - Saddam Hussein on a WGA picket line? Is that because he too was hung out to dry?

    Secondly - Julia Louis-Dreyfus is still working?! Over here we haven't heard from her since Seinfeld!

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  15. I hope Leslie enjoy his trannie. Her lack of talent (at least on air) are there for everyone to see.

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