The Writer's Strike
Seen any good TV lately? I ask this rhetorically of course as an easy segue into the topic I wish to throw out there for today. The writer’s strike that is causing a disruption at best, and at worst, an abrupt end to this season of some of my favorite television programs. I know that there are so many things going on right now in this country that are more apt to be discussed on the Angry Hippie’s Soapbox, not that I have a devout following to apologize to for this break of my usual commentary, but it is for the above reason that I bring this up.
There are many newsworthier events happening around the world to set the blood a boiling with righteous indignation, and spawn hours of rants about, but as I said, it is for this reason that I want to discuss the dwindling selections for my weekly distractions from the outside world. Television is an escape. I think everyone can agree on that. Is it an escape that gets overly abused by the majority of the public? Sure, but does that mean that it’s alright for it to disappear? No. I think I can be more emphatic than that. NO!
That’s better. The negotiations that have broken down between the network execs and the WGA (Writer’s Guild of America), are not fully understood by this angry public crying out for these “greedy, spoiled” writers to return to their posts. And that’s unfortunate, because, as is so common today, people believe their assumptions and inferences of the truth rather than taking the time to investigate the facts of a situation. So let me make it easy for you.
About twenty years ago a contract was signed by these two groups, and in it, terms were agreed upon for the royalties that the writers would be paid for their material. Now it’s time for the contract to come up for renewal, and some issues have arisen. The writers feel like the new contract should include royalty stipulations that cover Internet rebroadcasting, and Dvd residuals as these technologies have developed the market in a new, and major way. Some might say, these technologies have revolutionized an industry whose main source for deep replay of old shows was Nick-at-Nite! (and yes, i know that the previous statement is an exaggerated, oversimplification of the delivery system, but it was done that way to make a point. so stop the preparations of your inflammatory retort and actually finish listening to what I am saying.)
The network execs decided that no changes needed to be made because of the inability for tracking profits gained through this new market. Long story short… Strike! Now, if you were working the same job, and after 20 years you had to re-negotiate the terms of your contract, would you take the same amount of money you had been taking before, even though you were expected to expand the range of your job output without compensation? Shit, I know people who are ready to quit a job after a couple years if they don’t get a raise.
And no one can argue that the work of the writer’s is not deserving of every cent they earn, or else people would not be so worked up over their shows being interrupted! I know that a portion of the outrage is simply over the nanny being taken away, because ADD is so bad in this country, we can’t just watch repeats, we need something new that’s not reality TV. But let’s be honest, that portion has been angry about the nanny’s loose morals as of late anyway, so we’ve grown accustomed to their voices and rage. So why should we expect the writers to continue to provide us with effective, tranquil escapes from the real of such high caliber for money that’s not fitting their superior performance? I mean, they aren’t all women. Some of those guys aren’t used to that kind of double standard.