December 9, 2007KR BlogEthics

Sunday Funnies: “Pay the Writer”

Special Note: Today’s links contain many F-bombs!

Are your television options going to repeats? This is a good time to pick up a book, I suppose–or to get your radical self energized! My recent delight in purchasing Season 1 of Wonder Woman on DVD (yes! It still stands the test of time! Yea for “the sisterhood!”) got me thinking about that 8 cents that WGA writers are asking for with the purchase of DVD’s.

We poets don’t usually worry too much about strikes and such; we’re happy when someone doesn’t sneer after we say “I’m a poet.” And getting paid for those poems? I’m lucky to get a free copy of the journal I’m in. (Thankfully, the dear Kenyon Review is much more enlightened). It’s hard getting to the nitty gritty of the writer’s strike issue, but LA LA Land is definitely stung.My screenwriter friends can’t stop talking about the future of the television and film entertainment biz and how this strike may determine a lot of that future; and my actor friends are attempting other endeavors while trying to get their creativity on!

With so many new types of media, however, there should be plenty cash to go around, yes? The real issues of the strike may extend beyond television and film writers, however. If big business and corporate conglomerates continue to call the shots, the gap between the big guy and the little guy will get bigger and bigger– not just in Hollywood, but in Publishing (ebooks? audio books?), in the factories–anywhere the corporation is building its empire against the small guy. Frankly, I’ve missed the labor unions. Good laws are made when debates are in full force; but we have so many other things to divert our attention from the big stuff. Today’s science fiction warns me that those commercials and brief TV spots we see on the new gas-station models or in the grocery checkout will soon be hardwired into our brains. Don’t believe me? “Yesterday’s science fiction, tomorrow’s science fact!”

One thing I’m thankful for–humor. While the issues of this strike have far-reaching impact, the writers themselves aren’t afraid to continue doing what they do best: write. And for those who cross the picket line to continue making the big bucks–beware! The pen is definitely mightier than the sword.