Posted by: mutantpoodle | November 9, 2007

Strike addenda

Just a couple of things.

You can, if you are so inclined, sign a petition in support of the WGA’s position vs. the AMPTP here. They’re up over 15,000 at the moment, and growing rapidly.

You also can, if you’re so inclined, get WGA strike swag here. Especially if you’re in New York or LA, a visible sign of support (the red bracelets seem fashionable and trendy to me) would be a nice touch.

Oh, and they have a slogan contest there, too.

Finally, this link to a piece in the NY Daily News by Steve Bodow, a writer on the Daily Show (no linky while the strike is on). Do I need to give you a taste? Well, if you insist…

If you’ve never had the pleasure of picketing, there’s a lot to learn from life on the line. For instance:

1. Doughnuts: not a food group. That queasy feeling on day three of picketing? It’s not from a lack of resolve. It’s from the all-Dunkin’ diet. Hopefully, today will be better – we’ll be marching outside Time Warner, i.e., upstairs from Whole Foods.

2. Political pandering can be cool. Earlier this week, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton spoke out in support of the Writers Guild. Normally that’s the kind of toothless sucking up I’d spend my time satirizing. But this time they’re pandering to me – very different. In fact, I heard all three candidates have pledged to return all donations from Hollywood studio execs unless the strike is resolved. (Correction: they’re totally not doing this in a million years.)

3. If you want to win a labor dispute, bring duct tape. Sure, you can fasten your oaktag placards to your cardboard tube with staples. But you’ll be restapling it in about 20 minutes. Not a huge revelation, but remember, we’re not used to making anything with our hands.

Which brings up another point. Our picket days have all been unusually windy. Coincidence? Or meteorological conspiracy at the behest of a corporate entertainment cabal with access to billions in special-effects machinery? Tuesday we lost several good people to a 30-mph gust. We’re not the most physically robust specimens, is what I’m saying.

4. Hollywood producers can be greedy. The real shocker in all this, I know. The execs have argued time and again that television content appearing online is strictly promotional, and under Guild rules, they don’t have to pay for promotional uses of our work.

So I checked this out – I’m nothing if not a fair-minded word-packet maker – and it was true! I watched last week’s episode of “The Office” over at NBC.com, and it was promotional. It was promoting BlackBerrys and Fidelity Investments and Clorox bleach. Nice of NBC to give those ads away for free …

And it will be nice when Mr. Bodow is able to, once again, give us the funny on behalf of Mr. Stewart.

[The WGA strike is accessing my old American Civilization/History studies sensibilities and making me seek out footage of labor disputes through history. In the clip above, Which Side are You On, written by Florence Reece during the 1931 Harlan County coal miners strike, is performed by Billy Bragg.]

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