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"Sometimes you just wanna duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month."
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December 12 2007

Oddly hypnotic video of Joss and pencils. Ninety seconds of Joss and Ron Moore dumping boxes of pencils into a large tub during Tuesday's first set of attempted deliveries of pencils to media moguls. And it did get noticed by the AMPTP.

Relatedly, the picture on Ron Moore's blog entry about his speech includes Joss engaging in what appears to be a rather studious examination of a single pencil.
Wow, that vid is oddly hypnotic. Who says a writer's life doesn't involve a little manual labor?

--why Joss and Mr. Moore, though? Hopefully because they have the most fanatic fans in all the land...
Joss + Direct Action = Love.
I just looked at the Flickr picture batch United Hollywood put up to commemorate the occasion. The fifth picture shows someone in a leg brace. Might that someone be David Fury?

[ edited by PSandusky on 2007-12-12 14:36 ]
"Don't be a hater, be a negotiator"?

And these are writers?

Strike slogans are usually lame, but this one, especially so.

Just sayin', but wouldn't "Don't hate, negotiate!" have worked better?
I think the PC (pencilly correct) term would be...Got Graphite? ;)
2-4-6-8, Why won't you negotiate ?
1-3-5-7, You bastards !

Maybe it's Joss and Ron because they "won" i.e. had the most donations in their name ? Or maybe there were other folks filling containers but only Joss/Ron fans are barmy enough to film it ;).

Might that someone be David Fury?

The lack of mustard stains is consistent with this hypothesis.
I can't help but be impressed by Ron Moore's hair.

And did I catch a glimpse of the Forgotten Writer, holding the Forgotten Box of Pencils, while society Forgot How Heavy They Can Be?

My impression is that the pencil thing worked very well, and was a nice way for those of us who couldn't be there to be there.

Are we now working on a sequel?

Power to the Pencil People! Write On (Once You Get a Shakespearean Share of the Gate)!
And yay, he is wearing a Sox hat!
(To the tune of We Wish You A Merry Christmas)

We wish you would make an offer
We wish you would make an offer
We wish you would make an offer
That won't end our careers.

The future of TV
Is on computers
We must be your partners
So stop acting like looters

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-12-12 15:53 ]
Ok, am I the only one who got all warm and fuzzy and a little misty-eyed when they started chanting "Thank you fans!" at the end? Am I having an overly sentimental day? Ah, even if I am, it was worth the warm-and-fuzzies!
Warm, fuzzy, misty... check, check, and check over here, too.
*sniffle-snork* It's nice to know we are making a difference.
Yeah, I should have mentioned, the "Thank you fans" stuff was very nice indeed.
The fifth picture shows someone in a leg brace. Might that someone be David Fury?


Well, David Fury had neither a leg brace nor (artfully trimmed or not) facial hair last Friday, so ?.

[ edited by m'cookies on 2007-12-12 16:45 ]
Awwwhhh the Joss! And I agree "thank you fans" chant was so warm fuzzied!
Yeah but the (lack of) mustard will out.

I think when you saw him m'cookies he was pretending not to have a leg brace or beard.
The WGA is still at the table, waiting for the studios to return to good faith negotiations.

Now I can't help but picture the human delegation from BSG...patiently waiting for a Cylon delegation to meet with. For 40 years....

Note to writers: If a smokin' hot blond in a red dress shows up at the negotiations, run like hell.
"Attempted delivery"? Were they thwarted in some way?
"Attempted delivery"? Were they thwarted in some way?

Yes, the studios refused delivery, according to the news this morning.
We need some mainstream news network that IS NOT owned by the studios. I didn't see this on the news yesterday at all.

People just need to start sending boxes of pencils disguised in boxes that outwardly wouldn't look like their contents. Otherwise, the studios will just keep refusing delivery.
I didn't see it on the news channels, but I don't watch a lot. It's pretty well in the UPI news though. http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Entertainment/2007/12/12/fans_support_wga_strike_with_pencil_stunt/1190/
We need some mainstream news network that IS NOT owned by the studios. I didn't see this on the news yesterday at all.

It was on my local (Los Angeles) NBC news this morning...a nice little blurb about the fans supporting the writers, and how the pencils will be donated to charity.
People just need to start sending boxes of pencils disguised in boxes that outwardly wouldn't look like their contents.


I think that would cause major security problems which neither side would want.
OK, send them in a pencil case then. That way it masks the contents but no-one can claim afterwards it wasn't obvious what the contents were. And you can get pencil cases that look like anything.
Relatedly, the picture on Ron Moore's blog entry about his speech includes Joss engaging in what appears to be a rather studious examination of a single pencil.

Maybe it said "BUFFY + ANGEL = 4 EVAR!"

Ok, seriously, these photos and the Ron Moore speech are pretty neat. I was a little disappointed yesterday after hearing about the refusals (although not unexpected) and feeling like this was all well organized and well intended but not really getting the message out there quite like we'd hoped. But seeing even more photos and the video today has renewed my hope a bit. We all need to make sure this gets the internet exposure it deserves.

On a lighter note, a nomination: Pointy as official Whedonesque hair commentator.
Seconded. The guy knows great hair when he sees it.
Wish I had some.

ETA: Hey! You're just saying that so I won't write another strike song!

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-12-12 17:39 ]
Of Ron Moore's ? Weirdo ;-).

(know what you mean Pointy but hey, at least we can kid ourselves it's due to a surfeit of testosterone ;)
Yup. Excess manliness. Our burden.
"Yes, the studios refused delivery, according to the news this morning."

Thanks, Rogue Slayer. I've been wondering about you and Ed - SNT too. Did any of you guys make it to the picket? I didn't see you in any photos...
No, I really noticed that you've been commenting on the hair in the photos lately, and it's been fun to read. I like the strike songs too.

Saje is already the de facto facilitator of taking things to the weird place.
Heh, "facilitator of weirdness", found my niche ;).

(clearly the next logical step is a song about the Great Hair Battle of '07. A tenner on Moore BTW)
EditorAl: Go Sox! And he's going to be in Harvard Square on Friday!!!
The next match in the Great Hair Battle semi-finals are between Ron Moore and Kyle Chandler. Saje and Pointy will be providing (off-)colour commentary ;)
And that's Amedawg delightedly handing box after box of pencils to Joss. Go Amedawg!
Amedawg = An amazing bundle of competent energy.
Yes. Kudos to her and all of her work.
And the Thank you Fans made me mist up a little, I must say.
So the networks refused delivery? All the fans sent in their two dollars for a photo op that, unless it's a VERY slow news day, will only be seen on YouTube? Heck, it costs me less than two dollars to make a YouTube video.

This pencil thing was a very good idea that failed to produce results. I say it's time for the torches and pitchforks. These networks execs are overdue for a good old-fashioned lynchin'!
this isn't the only vid/post that made me mist-up a bit. i'm suprised i didn't start crying at ME day! the cheering in pretty damn cool, yay warm fuzzies!
Amedawg is indeed awesome (she was one who did most of the organizing for the picnic after the picket on ME Day.)

I was there for the NBC leg yesterday. It wasn't so much that the delivery was rejected as a large mob of people and two Mysterious Hampers weren't allowed past the security gate. Disappointing but not at all surprising. Anything could have been hidden under those pencils -- explosives, rabid hamsters, those sproingy prank snake thingies. Really, who has that many pencils on hand (and boxes and boxes left over)? From what I heard, it sounds like the security people were pretty nice about the whole thing.

ZM, I don't think painting either the writers or the fans as a bloodthirsty mob will do anyone any favors, aside from the AMPTP.
those sproingy prank snake thingies

Phase 2?

ZM, I don't think painting either the writers or the fans as a bloodthirsty mob will do anyone any favors, aside from the AMPTP.

Agreed.
The delivery being refused actually makes the story more media friendly, lots of conflict and all. Though as one of the basket pushers, right next to His Purpleness himself, I can report that both sides were very polite and reasonable. If only the studio could learn from that...

When they formed the human chain to load the boxes back onto the truck I asked Jane if this was the first time Joss had done any manual work (those boxes were heavy!). She said he's stronger than he thinks he is...

And leg-cast guy wasn't Fury.

Can't believe how much name dropping I'm doing, but it actually got to the point where it became just natural to be walking down the street having my eye nearly poked out by the sign Danny Strong was carrying or chatting to a guy and having him casually mention he directed several episodes of Buffy and Angel before becoming a writer on Smallville. I did ask him what Kristen Kreuk was really like (Very sweet) and what her phone number was (Dammit, where did I put that bit of paper?)
A surreal day.
Thanks, Rogue Slayer. I've been wondering about you and Ed - SNT too. Did any of you guys make it to the picket? I didn't see you in any photos...

Nope, didn't make it. We were in Holland visiting Ed's fam. Otherwise we probably would have been there.
The next match in the Great Hair Battle semi-finals are between Ron Moore and Kyle Chandler.

I'll have you know that I got all sorts of comments at ME Day about my hair.

Mainly, "Hey, you have hair!"
I can attest that those boxes are really damn heavy, as I tried and spectacularly failed to help with the brigade. Why did I think I could lift something that weighed around 45lbs? Oh yes, I have that disease where your acts of idiocy are directly proportional to the awesomeness quotient of the people in the vicinity. There should be a name for that.

Where is Patrick Dempsey ranked in the Great Hair Battle? My money's on him.
"Hey, you have hair!"


That's EXACTLY what I said when I saw your pics :)

Dempsey is awaiting the results of another bracket as he is eager to defeat them and move on to face Ron Moore or Kyle Chandler.
I'll have you know that I got all sorts of comments at ME Day about my hair.

Mainly, "Hey, you have hair!"


I didn't say it out loud, but I thought it! ;)
The producers made a mistake not accepting the pencils. It keeps the story and the protest alive, because there can be more attempts to deliver the pencils in the future.

These guys seem to be acting reflexively, rather than reflectively. Shrewd bad guys sometimes make an offer you can't refuse, but these guys are making an offer the artists can't accept.

A decent residual rate is the only way these artists can make their careers in their art. There are very few things that will lead people to voluntarily stop drawing a paycheck, but the knowledge that the alternative is sabotaging their own careers is one of them.
you want hair? I give you hair .... HAIR!
"Hey, you have hair!"


Consider the less fortunate.

ETA: Blast it, kurya, I thought I'd had all those pictures destroyed!

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-12-12 20:05 ]
Yeah, like Pointy says, there are balding kids all over, so umm... wait, I need the clamps, the metaphor is falling apart on me!
falling apart, or falling off?
ExACTly, kurya, ex-ACT-ly!
Yikes kurya, I think that actually qualifies as hairs and grammar be damned.

Dempsey gains on natural looking colour but loses out in the "swingability" stakes. I'm no expert but surely one of the criteria has to be how readily your hair could be adapted into a weapon, right ? I mean it stands to reason. Chandler loses out here too so I give Moore a narrow lead as things stand.

Shrewd bad guys sometimes make an offer you can't refuse, but these guys are making an offer the artists can't accept.

Y'know this is so true Pointy. Their "offer" and subsequent posturing is only strengthening the writers' resolve.

If they'd offered a middle way deal that was still favourable to the studios but not by as much then I think they'd have people asking about compromising and taking things off the table, as it is, they've just made the decision simple. Strike now, and what's more hold out until the deal is done come what may OR the AMPTP will break the union and you'll be in danger of losing all the gains made over the last 50 years. They've taken a complex, nuanced decision and made it a no-brainer for the writers. Tactically it just seems stupid.
Well, I still enjoyed seeing Joss and Ron dumping those pencils together, that's an incredible statement that should stand for unity.
Exactly, Saje, and stupid tactics sometimes are a product of panic.

Moguls to Artists: No Future for You.

Artists to Moguls: No Future for Us = No Future for You
After seeing his mohawk on ME Day, I'd have to throw my vote to J. Aug for winner of the Great Hair Battle, or at least the Rockin' It Like It Is 1981 Battle.
Consider the less fortunate.

But remember, you don't need hair to be hawt.
Look at Principal Wood.
I hope that the WGA folks who are handling the pencils know not to donate them to the school children too soon: they just need to keep setting up 'photo ops' of people trying to deliver the pencils for as long as possible!
It was fun to see Joss dumping all of those boxes of pencils into those big linen bins (that was a great idea to visually show off the amount of pencils!).
embers, just curious, do school children even use pencils these days? I'm so out of touch, it isn't even silly.
Leg-cast guy was a riot. I didn't get his name, though, but definitely not Fury. We got into a faux argument about who rocks more, the writers or the fans. I said the writers, he said the fans. I think I lost. It is his booming voice at the end that you hear chanting "thank you fans".

The video was great. I missed it all in real life. I was busy slicing all the boxes open with a mean looking box cutter.

I want to see a video of us all putting the pencils back into the truck. We were a mean machine. That would also probably be oddly hypnotic. And oh my aching back today...
Ah Pliny but for a good cause....
From what I heard, it sounds like the security people were pretty nice about the whole thing.

"Nice" is a bit of an exaggeration. They weren't overtly hostile, but were kind of lame. To paraphrase the response I overheard at both the NBC and Disney gates - "No, uh, we're not taking any deliveries. At this gate. At any gate. For anyone. Ever." Sure, because I've worked at a lot of places that never take deliveries, from anywhere, ever ;). Compounding the lameness, I read on the United Hollywood site that the UH organizer called the deliveree's office from the NBC gate, and was hung up on by his secretary. Smooth, these captains of industry. I realize any business might turn down a delivery that they didn't order. But I hope the awkwardness of the putative masters of media came across in the media reports. I didn't manage to catch any of them.
And what's the problem there? I'm about to get sick to the gut!
Yeah, dreamlogic perfectly captured the essence of the security guards, not overtly hostile, but kind of lame. Ron was the one who came out looking pretty nice in the whole thing. Even after the studios spat the pencils back in our faces (not literally, although they might as well have), Ron shook their hands and thanked them for their time.
It did get noticed by the AMPTP (so I'll add that to the entry).

All of this is happening right along with the WGA's continuing series of concerts, rallies, mock exorcisms, pencil-drops and Star Trek-themed gatherings.

Amidst this alternating mix of personal attacks and picket line frivolity, we must not forget that this WGA strike is beginning to cause serious economic damage to many people in the entertainment business.


Link:
Wow, that is a hypnotic video. And whoa, a lot of pencils. Even though the pencils have been rejected by the moguls, I can now see how the writers are using that to their advantage. I'm impressed.

I'll have you know that I got all sorts of comments at ME Day about my hair.

Mainly, "Hey, you have hair!"


Yeah, that was me last month when I hadn't seen you in a long while and then we looked for you at The Gypsy and we couldn't find you because you had hair! I'm still amused by that.

[ edited by ElectricSpaceGirl on 2007-12-13 00:25 ]
"ZM, I don't think painting either the writers or the fans as a bloodthirsty mob will do anyone any favors, aside from the AMPTP."

Everyone's a critic. Listen.

I don't know about you, but I wanna see Eliza Dushku portray Echo before she's old enough to play Buffy's grandma. I wanna know how Nikki survived the explosion in that burning building some time before hell freezes over twice. I wanna find out how Jack & Kate got off The Island, and I've already waited way too long for that one.

If we're ever gonna make headway against corporate behemoth monsters, we're gonna have to suck it up and storm some frikkin castles.
Thank you, Simon:) I think we all know where we're coming from. Time to put our differences behind us and come out with a solid voice.

[ edited by Madhatter on 2007-12-13 00:22 ]
AMPTP has noticed everything. They've beefed up their website (amptp.org) after the AMPTP.COM satirical website went up, and they've included a so-called "doomsday clock" of how much money writers have supposedly lost by striking. It's the most ridiculous, pulled-out-of-our-arses numbers I or anyone else has ever seen. In the meantime, the apologists at Daily Variety (who have finally had to start admitting in just the smallest way that the AMPTP demands are a little extreme) managed to offer this sentence to describe the entire pencils effort (carefully leaving out the part about being turned away at the gates): "For the time being, the guild's got plenty on its plate with picket lines at the usual locations plus an ongoing variety of special events -- such as Tuesday's delivery of half a million pencils, purchased by TV fans supporting the strike, to moguls Robert Iger, Jeff Zucker and Jeffrey Immelt."

Monday will probably be the last day of picketing till January. It was great being out there in front of Fox, fighting The Man with lots and lots of like-minded, extremely awesome people. IMO, it's the reverse of "Barbarians at the Gate;" the barbarians are on the inside, and it's the artists and humanists at the gate. I really am going to have to make sure I get out there more!

[ edited by swanland on 2007-12-13 00:20 ]
No, don't you dare give up!
Hey Pliny! Not-Fury, the man with the leg caste and beard, as seen here...

And spoken of here...
Leg-cast guy was a riot. I didn't get his name, though, but definitely not Fury. We got into a faux argument about who rocks more, the writers or the fans. I said the writers, he said the fans. I think I lost. It is his booming voice at the end that you hear chanting "thank you fans".

Is it the same guy in the leg cast seen in this WGA video (at about 1:00 in and onward)?

Because if it is, the video explains why he won the argument.

ETA: Also I think he may be the best WGA spokesperson I have seen. As in, face of the strike. And no one's been exactly bad with words.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2007-12-13 01:09 ]
AMPTP bad.

Fans pretty.

(I won't write until it's right either! ;-)
Yes, Sunfire, great find! Michael Tabb is the Not-Fury. Yes, I was woefully unprepared to "argue" with him, as seen in that video. He was awesome out there at the pencil delivery. He was one of the only three(?) people who unloaded the pencils before we arrived and he was a constant source of encouragement and graciousness.

For those who haven't checked out the link in Sunfire's post, please do. You will see one of the heroes of the great pencil delivery and what and who we are fighting for. We are with you, Michael!
Great video, Sunfire, brings it all home!
This was a definitely a great video, and you're right, hypnotic.

Too bad the deliveries were refused. This whole thing just keeps getting messier and messier.
AMPTP bad.

Fans pretty.


Awww. How sweet. :) I'm stealing that slogan, OzLady, if there's ever another Mutant Enemy Day. Hope you don't mind.
I really loved seeing all the photos of everyone, fans and those in the biz. It made me feel so involved and a part of things, you all are so generous and really a dedicated group. I would say I wish I could be there, but I got tired of so many people saying that, so I won't. But I do. So I did anyway. Is that how I roll?

Regardless, a thought occurred; it was so cool to see all those actors show up, just as people, as themselves, for the cause. I got to thinking: What if Juliet had shown up as Dru. What if Nathan had shown up as Mal? Eliza as Faith? ACK! If just one or two kind makeup artists from ME had shown up with their supplies, can you IMAGINE what we would've been treated to? I am fully aware that this day was NOT a fan day (and they don't even do that at cons). You - and they - were there to support the strike, and I am fully cognizant of this - but what if? Those amazingly cool actors, in character.

Did anyone else's head go in this direction?
Willowy, mine didn't, but I was more focused on the writers. They were so cool! I think if the actors has shown up as their Mutant Enemy characters it would have been bizarre and given the wrong message. This was about the writers and not the actors or their characters. Now, at a convention, I can see that happening. I heard Michael Fairman did a Niska impression at the Browncoat Cruise.
I don't normally watch morning news shows, but yesterday the Channel 5 (local L.A. CW affiliate) morning show happened to be on in the background while I was puttering around. My ears perked up when I heard a teaser regarding an upcoming segment with their coverage of the pencil delivering story.

I immediately got glued to the tube, all excited to see the story. Well, I saw it, and the staggering lack of what one might call coverage, or detail, or accuracy, left me enraged. Yet another example of the evil that has resulted from the FCC deregulation, and the entertainment congloms controlling the news media.

The entire "coverage" of the pencils to media moguls story consisted of brief, tightly framed (so as to give the impression of only a handful of participants) footage of some pencils tumbling into the bin, then a shot of an impressive group of folks around one of those huge, wheeled, pencil filled bins, dragging, pushing, with a surprising bit of strength and speed... and our own intrepid Joss was at the lead, directing and dragging that huge bin with great alacrity and aplomb. A few more quick shots of folks with WGA strike signs, and that was it.

WTF?!

No mention, at all, by name of Joss, or Ron, or any particular detail of what was happening, or why, or what the pencils meant. No interview, not even a lame, quick sound bite. No attempt to inform... more like a perfunctory pass at coverage so they can deny claims that the media are not covering the writer's side of this issue.

And this from our CW (formerly WB) affiliate. Joss and Buffy made the WB when it started as a fledgling network. That network owes so much of its early success to Joss' work. To just ignore that Joss Whedon was at this event, not even get an interview, or even mention his name, makes me feel disgust. Just goes to show how the media are downplaying and dismissing the writers' side in this issue, and how very important it is to NOT let the congloms control so much.
That's too cool, that it's the same guy. I wouldn't have even clued in if he hadn't been mistaken for David Fury here.

This gives me more hope that the word of mouth over the internet will win out in the end, with people like Michael Tabb telling stories of how they struggled to remain professional writers, and with showrunners like Joss Whedon and Ron taking leading roles too. And fans refusing to go along with what the AMPTP is saying. But I do agree with what Simon said in Joss's recent post-- I think it will be touch and go because the AMPTP has a lot of money.

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