Friday, November 09, 2007

From a Fellow Traveler
a strike-supporting salvo from Simon

I can't let Sera do all the heavy lifting on the blog just because she's in the middle of a historic strike. So I thought I'd jump in to say that I, too, am astonished and inspired by the number of people who've written to express their support for her and for the other striking TV writers.

A doctor's appointment in Burbank (don't worry, mom, it was totally routine) actually lured me out of my media batcave yesterday. It took the Jules and me past several throngs of picket-walking scribes; we dutifully honked, but we also had occasion to observe the seemingly VERY high morale of the strikers.

"It's because the producers don't have a leg to stand on," Julia noted with her typical alacrity. "I've been looking for one press statement where they make their case, but they've been almost completely silent. Everybody knows the writers deserve to win."

Her point was underscored by a quote from Weeds creator and smokin' Jewesss Jenji Kohan in Variety:
"This is a war against corporate greed, and we're on the side of right," she said. "The producers are being completely unreasonable and incredibly greedy and piggish. They're making enormous amounts of money, and we deserve a share."
(Can I name-drop for a sec, since we're all sharing a venti Hollywood bloggiato with extra foam? We totally know Jenji and are kinda sorta crushed out on her. Sera tells me she was walking the picket line with her yesterday, gabbing about the shortfalls of the cable residual system, reminiscing about our seder last pesach, and admiring her "totally sweet sexy-secretary glasses. They have, like, little stars on them!" Anyway, she stokes our fire. There; we said it, it's out in the open and we can move on.)

While writers strike to make more on these, you can get a bunch from Netflix.

The self-evident rightness of the writers' case is clear. Still, it seems to me — I almost said it strikes me — that some of the solidarity we've been seeing is due to the existence of blogs.

Here's the thing: Blogs are a powerful organizing tool under ordinary circumstances, even if you're running for city countil in Des Moines. But Hollywood writers are, well, writers. And people want to read about entertainment anyway, so there's an incredibly energized platform in the hands of people who really know how to tell a story and make an argument.

Meanwhile, video bloggers, indie filmmakers and online documentarians are taking their cameras to the picket lines and telling the story from an anti-corporate perspective. Not only that, but they have groovy media tools like this one at their disposal:

Meanwhile, the blogs enable writers to stay in touch with the show's fans in an unmediated way. Hence the aforementioned extremely touching and wonderful displays of support.

So yeah, that's all good. But just because morale is high now doesn't mean this thing won't drag on and start to really hurt the people who write your favorite shows. Here's the blog as soapbox: Writers are striking to pay their rent, their mortgages, their health coverage, their kids' day care, their treats for their dogs named Mojo, their vodka that is so essential for the 3am story-breaking. Most of them are not rolling in money and for them there is no such thing as job security. Your support isn't just appreciated — it's vital. So keep on honking and writing and making online videos and signing petitions and telling your friends. It's going to make a difference.

And since we've been talking about blogs and precious little about hot Jews, we're delighted to introduce you to the sassy online stylings of Katie Schwartz, whose All the Way From Oy to Vey is so Hebrewliciously up our alley it's not even funny. Except that it's really funny. Like us, Katie works blue, so if you're put off by the dirtiness, don't blame us (but really, get over yourself, because dirtiness is where it's at). Check it out, you righteous hottie, you.


Madam Z said...

Katie sent me over to your very hot blog, and I'm glad she did. I want to add my tiny bit of moral support to all the writers on the picket line. Where would any of those "readers" on TV be, without the "writers?" Flat on their asses, that's where! Sheesh!

The Purloined Kitten said...

I am stuck here in blustery Chicago so I can go and join the picket line. But I just wanted to say that you guys are awesome and have my full support. As someone who is the granddaughter of a life long teamster and who strives to one day be a member of the WGA, I cannot tell you how much I wish I could picket with you. Instead I am doing my best to spread the word online and here in my corner of the midwest.

Luck and Love guys!