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November 05, 2007

I am on strike!

I am on strike! For those of you who don’t know, the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) is on strike! That means, from this point forward, I will do NO MORE WRITING for any movies or television shows.

Some of you probably are aware that presently no movie or television show employs me, and therefore not writing for said shows is not much harder than continuing to do what I am doing. However, even if I DID have a job writing for television or movies, I would strike! For as long as it takes, or at least until I got back from my already planned vacation.

Why am I on strike? The official line is that the WGA is on strike because the movie studios and multinational conglomerates that own everything are shortchanging writers on residual payments for DVDs and because they’re trying to screw us out of paying us for whatever they show on the internet, cell phones, and, eventually, on the space station. Well, let me tell YOU something, Mr. Man, NO ASTRONAUT IS GOING TO WATCH “RUN, FATBOY, RUN” (Coming out in March ’08 starring Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, and Hank Azaria) WITHOUT PAYING ME! NO WAY!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – fuck the astronauts.

But that’s not what I’m on strike. No, I’m on strike for a host of other, unrelated issues.

Issue number one. Whenever, I have a really great idea, I check IMDB (Internet Movie Database) to see if it’s already been done. Nine times out of ten, it has been. Case in point: a couple days ago I had a thought. “What if there was a movie about a hit man who doesn’t want to be a hit man anymore but has to do ONE MORE JOB in order to retire and open up a little dive bar in some town where nobody knew his name?”

Great idea for a movie, right? Well, I go on IMDB, and it turns out this idea has been made not once, but like FIFTY TIMES! I’m sorry, but that’s just bullshit! So I am on strike.

Issue number two. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been on a movie or television set with nothing to do. I amble over to the snack table (craft services, for those in the know) to get something to fill the empty hole that is my heart. Inevitably, when I arrive, there will be some form of crudite, which is great. BUT (and here is the problem) almost never will there be any ranch dressing, which is my preferred dressing for carrots and green pepper strips. How many times can I ask for ranch dressing before this becomes a union issue? In my case, two times. So I am on strike.

Issue number three. I don’t like that the puzzles editor of the New York Times, Will Shortz, puts out all these sudoku books that say, “Presented by Will Shortz,” as if he’s the writer of sudoku puzzles. He didn’t write those puzzles! They’re just numbers on a grid that some computer program spit out. But who’s getting rich off those books? Exactly. Will Shortz. Now I know this has very little to do with the television or movie industry, but it still galls me. So I am on strike.

Issue number four. I have always wanted to walk around in a circle with a picket. And so I am on strike.

Issue number five. No television show or movie will hire me. And so I am on strike.

These are just a few of my complaints. I could go on and on about how difficult it is for writers to agree on how high or low the thermostat should be set, about how bullshit it is that sometimes my computer freezes up just after I’ve written something hilarious, about how actors sometimes don’t fully appreciate my genius. I could go on and on about all of that, but I won’t. Because this strike isn’t me. It’s about fairness. And residual checks. And those fucking astronauts.

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Camille

I can so sympathize with you on the IMDB thing. I was so certain that a "cynical,almost-retired, by-the-book cop works with smart-ass rookie cop" movie had never been done and that it would be my ticket to success. Well, apparently it's been done as well.

Reen

Jeezlouise, how can your brain come up with this good stuff so regularly?

I saw the word strike and immediately thought that your blog was about bowling. A natural reaction for women of my caliber.

If you picket - do consider wearing a "wife beater" t-shirt and relaxing in a fold away chair. No need to actually walk around or chatter mindlessly. Just sit and rest your sign right up against the chair and stare at traffic. This is how I've seen it done for decades. But I suppose you're just gonna go ahead and pop that bubble but good. Ya big Galute. (Galoot?)

Camille

Good scenario,Renee,but I'm imagining the Stella suit. Outdate it by adding some big shoulder pads and a butterfly collar so folks will feel sorry for you. And don't forget the Burger King cup.

Susanna

I am totally on strike right now, too, even though I'm not in the union. It turns out that I'm not a succesful enough writer to be in the union, so I have decided to just blame the WGA for everything that's wrong in my life. It helps me sleep better at night (that and the Ambien).

Zane

I am enjoying these blogs very much.
I have nothing witty or clever to add. ( I am punch-drunk and hungry right now.)
Thank you for the entertainment and if is not too much to ask, I would like to request a close-up photo of your bare foot. Is that too much, creepy, --? Oh, well. I don't have a foot fetish or anything. It just seems like the right thing to ask right now and I don't ever really ask anyone for much. I'm sure it would be appreciated by all and would show you to be a very benevolent man.
Consider it a mitzvah in the loosest sense.
Or a fun way to test out your potential christmas card photo possibilities.

Zane

Did I forget to mention the high probability of financial windfall that might befall you if said photo gets into the right hands? ( I can't conceive of how or who, exactly, but I figured "mention money to the jew, might work...")

Therese

I thought all actors contracts stated that they aren't allowed to appreciate anyone else's genius but their own.

As long as this strike doesn't affect your blogging, I say carry that placard with pride.

Reen

Cam, your scenario works for me, too.
But I would prefer a "Peter Pan" collar. Why? Because you, Michael, are eternally ageless. Plus you like magic and fairy dust and stuff.

And Zane! Bare feet are fun! Imagine the photo ops: busy toes digging in the sand, zooming in on long wiry manly hairs on the big toe, maybe even a bunion shot or two! (Fingers crossed)

Zane

Renee, I don't hold much hope for the foot photo. I think Michael is possibly ready and potentially able, with that new fun camera and all, but not particularly "willing" to share such things. Maybe a foot prude?

I plan to sulk about this for at least a week.

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Combat-wounded veterans prove being a warrior is all in the mindset.

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