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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Testosterone is a great equalizer. It turns all men into morons."
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December 13 2007

Who are the REAL heroes? Joss thinks happy thoughts. Nothing gross. Not THAT happy.

Who ARE the real heroes? Obviously Firefighters, relief workers, Doctors without Borders and anyone who, because of their parents brutal slaying, has become The Bat. But who are my personal heroes just of late? As I bid farewell to the warm coast and head off to rally the troops (and, with any luck, soak all dem scabs -- for Crutchie!) I think on who's out there getting it done...

1) Well, if you've followed my favorite link of the year, you know my real heroes are the AMPTP -- or more specifically, John Aboud and Michael Colton, the writers who put up that brilliant site. How brilliant? The AMPTP (the real ones, the guys who live under bridges scaring children) actually issued a statement griping about it! Dude! They said many rank and file WGA members found it too over-the-top. Yeeeeeahh...... I know those guys. They're sitting over there with the animation writers who choose not to join the Guild.

Oh! And in the same statement, the AMPTP throws a dart at #2....

2) Star Trek peeps. Both professional and fannish. Yeah, the PR guys knew that even MENTIONING the Star Trek picket shows what a bunch of nerds we are. Yeah, guys? Last time I checked, Star Trek was a cultural phenomenon, a cash cow for the Studio, and a breeding ground for some of the best Sci-Fi writers (hell, best writers) I know. IN FACT, the VERY last time I checked, I saw an hour-long episode of Star Trek (The New Voyages) made entirely by fans that had great production values and an insightful, emotionally resonant script. Now, what studio financed that again? Hmmm.

3) Speaking of writers grown in the Trek lab, here's my next two heroes: First up is Ronald D. Moore, not just for Battlestar, but for doing all the talking at the pencils2mediamoguls event. Talk about taking the hit! I was so relieved not have to speak I could have poured pencils all day. (It's actually weirdly gratifying: they poured out like a river over rocks, all white and splashy-sounding. Kinda peaceful.) Thanks, Ron!

4) Jane Espenson. 'Cause she's been helping other writers and aspiring writers since long before it became a necessity, and she's still kicking it hardcore, mentoring and blogging and even making signs. Classy type.

5) Firefighters. Seriously. Fire is really hot.

6) Jaime Paglia, who started the whole movement to get this party started in the rest of the country, beginning with his home turf. If anyone is wondering whether to go to the Boston rally, I got just two words for you: Conflict Diamonds. I don't know what that means. Those are just the words I had. But I know it's gonna be a fun event, and I'm gonna do two things I didn't do in LA: Make a speech (long fancy WORDS, you know it) and sign any damn thing someone sticks in front of me. We're yakkin', we're marching, we're hitting a bookstore and after that I just might keep hanging. So spread the word. The media needs to see BODIES. DO NOT SEND YOUR ASTRAL PROJECTION. Seriously, they don't show up on film and they're wicked flammable. Show up in person, so I can remind you that

7) is you all. As well you know.

See you in the Township of Beans. Happily Thoughting, -j.

ps If you're in LA that day, you definitely want to check out the insanely exciting comedy venue Marti helped cook up to aid non-writers affected by the strike. Eddie Izzard, Sarah Silverman, The MF D, Patton Oswalt... Marti only didn't attain hero staus because she arranged all this for when I'm out of town (Cough! eye... cough!....)

Power to the people! For actual real.

Have fun in Boston and try to not get phlemy again.

BTW - CONGRATS to Jeff Harmon of New York who won the ME DAY tote bag.

[ edited by RavenU on 2007-12-14 00:46 ]
The AMPTP's sudden whinge-fest is a sure sign that they are very close to some sort of psychotic break. Or to turn to Nikki Finke, did the AMPTP really think they could pull all the BS they've pulled in the last week "and the writers wouldn't portray them as total d**chebags?"
Well I'm sad that there is no resolution yet but very happy that WGA is sticking to their guns! That is the most important thing, keep fighting!

Have fun in jealous :(

[ edited by Harmalicious on 2007-12-13 06:56 ]
hey Joss, thanks for the post! The AMPTP site made us cry with laughter when we found it the other night. I hope I don't get fired for having a plushie website in my browser cache.

Anyways, I can't get to Boston, but have you thought about hitting Portland, Oregon? Dude, it's got Powell's, it's got good coffee, it's got the best damn dutch babies on the coast, it's got Scott Allie (uh...I think), it's got onetruebix - what more do you need?

Seriously though, put in a Portland appearance and I will rally the Seattle troops.

Have fun in Boston! I will not project astrally (THIS time!) but y'all will be in my thoughts! GO WRITERS.
Has anyone else clicked on the "Just for Fun?" I'm a little disturbed (probably from seeing the CSI ep about "Plushies Who Love Too Much" or something.)

Joss, stay warm and tell it. Come back safe and full of hope.
Please don't worry about the bodies, I know for sure that every student who hasn't gone home for Christmas, and anyone in Boston who has ever seen Buffy, Angel, Firefly, BSG, and/or Jon Stewart's Daily show (which has to be EVERYBODY in Boston!) will be out there! That little bookstore is going to be bursting at the seams!

A little while ago Jane Espenson posted a blog that broke my heart, the AMPTP has accused the WGA of fiddling while others are laid off, and just the unmitigated gall of such a statement drives me insane! The AMPTP forced this strike and is prolonging it, and the networks and studios are laying people off work. The writers have been caring and concerned every step of the way!

Should you refrain from having fan days and concerts? Oh yeah, the AMPTP would love that! They would love for you to be silent and invisible and get no press coverage. But I think it is important to make as much noise as possible. Invite the fans and get bands to perform every single day! Draw bigger and bigger crowds until the press has to cover it! Never give up and never give in!

And thank you, you have been a ringleader and I'm really proud to be a Whedonesquer.
I can't get to Boston, but have you thought about hitting Portland, Oregon?

You must have missed this:

"We may go to Portland after that, we're having a national leaflet day, we're doing everything we can," Whedon pledged.

(I've actually already touched base with Scott in case Joss ends up contacting Dark Horse about coming up this way.)
Whee! I got mentioned twice! (#5 (I am, in fact, pulling a rather quiet shift tonight) and #7)

Oh, and if you come up to Portland, a ton of us will come down from Seattle and other points in Washington state, I'm sure.
Here's part of the icky AMPTP statement that Joss is referring to. You can read the rest at wouldn't you rather visit Joss' link above?

...By now you know that those in charge at the WGA have injected substantial new doses of vitriol into the important and continuing debate on our industry's future. On Monday, in a letter to members of the WGA East, the president of that organization wrote: "They lie. And then they lie again. And then they lie some more."

Then, someone from the WGA offices happily distributed the link to a hijacked parody website that even many rank-and-file WGA members felt was over-the-top. 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.

Dissing on Star Trek, that's just...stupid. They definately seem to be losing it.

bix, I did miss that! Thanks for the update. Boy am I hoping. Portland I could do, even on short notice.
Oh, and if you come up to Portland, a ton of us will come down from Seattle and other points in Washington state, I'm sure.

By now you know that those in charge at the WGA have injected substantial new doses of vitriol into the important and continuing debate on our industry's future.

Which, of course, is what happens when (again turning to Nikki FInke) the AMPTP "issue[s] an ultimatum and then walk[s] away from the post-strike negotiations (as News Corp. No. 2 Peter Chernin and the other Big Media CEOs had planned all week and told their pals privately)".

Emphasis added.
yeah, i think the seattle branch is good to go for a pdx rally. it would be like getting two for one!
As dreamlogic said to me yesterday, what the Sweet Fancy Moses (she didn't say that part) is up with the AMPTP's implicit red-baiting? ("Organizers," "radical" - everything but "wild-eyed bomb-toting anarchists" has been flung at the WGA negotiators recently.) Are they kidding with that? I understand that they are a little behind the times, what with the new-fangled interwebs and scary new media - but red-baiting? They must have gotten confused and pulled out the 50's playbook by mistake. I expect to hear that they've arrested the Hollywood Ten again or something any minute now...


Call me quixotic : >, but I'm really starting to believe that the writers can win this one. Every day the AMPTP reveals itself as increasingly clueless...

And, oh yeah, what's with the characterization of as a "hijacked parody website"? How is it hijacking when you don't know enough to buy up the domains that surround your own? That's frakkin' Interwebs 101 stuff. Seriously, WTF? I'm glad to see the names of the parody site writers at last, I'm so impressed with their smarts and their funny...

Good luck in Boston, Jossir, my hometown previous to Los Angeles. Central Square was home to all of the political orgs I worked with in my previous activist incarnation. Knock 'em dead, keep warm and wear a scarf. I will be staying here and going to see Izzard and Friends on Friday night, thanks to Marti Noxon et al.

I did like the sound of pencils falling myself - all clicky-click and whooshing and soothing it were. And Ron Moore and Danny Strong have been added to my list of Entertainment Heroes.
I have to agree, whole-heartedly, that the ridiculing of any one show or genre is not going to help the cause of the AMPTP, not one bit. It reminds me of the school yard bullies who used to pick on the gawky, awkward (gawkward?) nerdy geekish kids, who consequently drank milk, who then grew up hot AND smart, like Jodie Foster, oh... or Nathan Fillion, let us not forget him.

I would love to see a nationwide tour of WGA rallies. It would have to hit Philly eventually, and then it would be financially feasible for me to visibly, literally support the writers.
My new hero is Michael Tagg, who pushed pencils with us like a champion, one of the many true heroes of the pencil delivery. There is much talk about him (the Not-Fury) here. He was there unloading all of the pencils before all of us lazy people showed up. And he provided constant thanks and encouragement for the pencil delivery (I didn’t say “pencil dropping”!) Michael is in a video here that symbolizes all that we are fighting for. (Yeah, I know I just ended a sentence with a preposition, but it is a writer’s strike, what do you want me to do about it?) Thanks to Sunfire for the video link.
Re: the strike, anyone else catch the rumor that striking writers infiltrated Last Call with Carson Daly, posing as audience members? (Someone out there on Last Call's crew: Please, please tell me you secretly taped this and will YouTube it, if it's true.)
Ok, I just have to say one other thing: It tickles me that Jane says this:

P.S. If you're that guy I almost punched today, the one who claimed that we writers weren't sacrificing anything, I direct you to, get this, the actual AMPTP website. Even they agree that we're sacrificing a lot. They think that number will scare us? Take it as a measure of our resolve, and I think it should scare them.

Because it's almost exactly what I said on the Variety strike blog when the AMPTP put that counter up.
Seriously, if I'd known you were going to write this much on the blog while on strike, I'd have wanted it to start 3 months earlier.

(I'm the person who works at and arranged for y'all to come to Pandemonium Books and Games, the bookstore. I'm all aflutter)
I'm upset that they used the word 'vitriol'. That's one of my favorite words and now I won't be able to use it for months and months without thinking of the stupid AMPTP. Sure, it's a cliché -- heck, that's why THEY used it -- but it's so much fun to speak and type. :(

I'm clinging to the forlorn hope that the WGA Traveling Learning Center arrives in the Great Lakes region on some future Monday or Tuesday. All other days are undoable for me and I'm already unspeakably jealous of everybody. But not so jealous that I can't memorialize it in a straiku!

Home, Boston, Portland,
The WGA travels far
And fans cheer them on
WGA Traveling Learning Center

I've taken to calling it Can't Stop the Writers. It's taking all the strength I can muster to not put up a website. (I get bored easily and often, so yes there's even a design.) But that would be rude, since they should probably call it whatever they want, heh.
(Not sure if this is considered OT but) I don't understand the hard time Carson Daly is getting. Why should the strike be his fight? He's not a WGA member. He has a few WGA members on his staff, yeah, but he has a lot more non-writers on staff. Why should he value the livelihood of his handful of writers over that of the dozens of others on his staff?

I do not get it. What I do know is I don't envy his position, under pressure from the network and not having the cash or clout of the other hosts to hold out with. Wrong place to aim the fight, if you ask me.
Well, on my website home page, David Boreanaz, Summer Glau and Joss are the "Big Damn Heroes". I just hope to be one of the thousands of sidekicks to show support for those who write the words, and the songs, that make the whole world entertained.
As for what jam2 says about Carson Daly, that may be true. I understand it was a case of Carson being told to bring back his show or not have one at all. I know some Wrioters' Guild members were upset at Ellen DeGeneres because she hasn't walked off her show, but I wonder if they've cooled their rhetoric since then.
It looks like any attempt to get a settlement done may not happen until after the New Year, since the producers seem to be shopping for Christmas rather than negotiating a settlement..which would be the best gift they can give the writers and us fans.
A long winter, and maybe spring, of reruns and dull reality shows is the same as giving us a lump of coal. We don't want coal. We want 24, Lost, new episodes of our favorite shows, and second chance for Journeyman and Reaper. Maybe the Writers Guild can use the Three Christmas Ghosts as negotiators. If they can make a better man out of Scrooge, imagine what they can do to the producers!
You and the writers are our heroes, Joss! And firefighters too, but that's a given.

*starts emailing the link to everyone she knows*
Whenever I think of the AMPTP, I get a visual of Matthew Ross from The 4400 (an slick evil lawyer type so wonderfully played by Garret Dillahunt). The WGA on the other hand, loveable amateurs. Think the Marx Brothers facing the Wolfram and Hart army at the end of Not Fade Away.
Whenever I think of the AMPTP, I get a visual of an amplifier because what comes out of them is loud and distorted, and of toilet paper because what comes out of them requires an enormous amount of it.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-12-13 10:08 ]
Wow...this is actually really cool! If I had the plane fair I'd totally go to the picket...not even to hang out with the 'artsy' types. Just to go! A couple of Serenity Oz's own were there...representing in LA...wish we could make a bigger splash this side of the Pacific. Hmmmmmm *rubs chin pondering*
Whenever I think of the AMPTP, I think of a whole slew of Jack Lipnicks from Barton Fink:

"Look Bart, barring a preference we're going to put you on a wrestling picture, Wallace Beery. I say this because they tell me you know the poetry of the streets, so that would rule out westerns, pirate pictures, screwball, bible, roman... look, I'm not one of those guys who thinks poetic has got to be fruity. We're together on that aren't we? I mean I'm from New York myself, well, Minsk if you want to go all the way back. Which we won't, if you don't mind and I ain't asking. Now people are going to say to you, Wallace Beery, wrestling, it's a B picture. You tell them: BULLSHIT! We do NOT make B pictures here at Capitol. Let's put a stop to that rumour RIGHT now!"

Although other times I picture a gaggle of Jonathan Shieldses from The Bad and the Beautiful:

"Maybe I like to be cheap once in a while. Maybe everybody does, or don't you remember? Get that look off your face! Who gave you the right to dig into me and turn me inside out and decide what I'm like. How do you know how I feel about you, how deep it goes? Maybe I don't want anybody to own me. You or anybody. Get out! Get out! Get out!"

And right now, just this second, I'm picturing a herd of Griffin Mills from The Player:

"Radical political scares me. Political political scares me."
Whenever I think of the AMPTP, I think "Worst name ever!".
... but I'm really starting to believe that the writers can win this one.

I actually agree QuoterGal but not because the writers are standing tall, walking the line and fighting the fight (though obviously they are) but because the AMPTP has effectively made it a case of must win with their posturing, refusal to negotiate and increasingly insulting rhetoric - it seems like they really do want to break the union. In Poker parlance, they've made the writers' decision a 'value bet' i.e. the stakes are so high that they have to stay in to the river, folding is no longer a viable option.

Must admit, i'm still a bit worried that their recent tactics are in fact NOT really stupid blunderings but actually part of some cunning master plan. I mean, theses guys didn't get where they are by being dumb (or nice for that matter). Time will tell.

(either that or capitalism isn't the perfect meritocracy that free-market worshippers would have us believe. Which, y'know, obviously can't be right ;)

I'm upset that they used the word 'vitriol'. That's one of my favorite words and now I won't be able to use it for months and months without thinking of the stupid AMPTP.

Don't worry cabri, we still have "plinth" and "flibbertigibbet" ;).

And whenever I think of the AMPTP from now on i'm gonna think of that parody website. Fucking genius ;).
Saje I think that the heads of the studios and networks did get there by having a lot on the ball, but they hired Nick Counter to represent them as President of the AMPTP and he seems like a throw back to Nixon's dirty-tricksters or the guys at Enron (ie some frat boy who seems to think it is all about gamesmanship). I'm hoping that sooner or later the heads of the studios and networks will fire him and decide it is time to do some serious negotiation. They are destroying their own corporations, which I wouldn't really care much about but they are taking too many good people down with them.
but I'm really starting to believe that the writers can win this one.

I think it'll be touch and go. The AMPTP has deeper pockets.
Yeah but now the writers will have to weigh current earnings (i.e. what they lose by striking) against all future residuals, health insurance, benefits etc. Simon. It seems to me that's effectively the "choice" the AMPTP are offering at the moment - rather than either carrying on or surrendering with colours intact, as things stand it's now a fight to the "death" for the WGA.

(and strictly speaking, I think the writers "only" have to hold out until June, when SAG will also down tools - unless the studios want to show solely sports and reality TV in perpetuity, they'll have to deal then, surely ?)

... but they hired Nick Counter to represent them as President of the AMPTP and he seems like a throw back to Nixon's dirty-tricksters or the guys at Enron (ie some frat boy who seems to think it is all about gamesmanship).

That's exactly what it's like embers, that sort of macho, alpha-male, dominance bullshit that e.g. the 70s and 80s were so full of. Like when a fella turns his hand palm down when he goes to shake so that you have to awkwardly twist your arm and 'submit' or when he sits with his back to the window so you have to squint into the sun to look at him. I hate that stuff. Caveman behaviour (when we should be aiming for astronaut).
What totally pissed me off this AM was that our local news station is running a story every half hour which 'chicken littles' (yes, now it's a verb) the Writers' Strike and says that it will cost the Boston area MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars in revenue. It could KILL the blossoming movie business in our town. Oh, and by the way (seriously, the newscaster actually said that the second time he did his live feed), there will be a rally tomorrow at Harvard Square with 'hundreds of writers' who are striking 'to get more money and say they just want things to be fair.' Call me naive, but I didn't realize the studios owned the media.

See you tomorrow, Joss - and everyone! :-D
How about a guessing game somewhere on whedonesque (org. ?) on when the strike is going to be over ?
IMO it would be to complicated to guess on what kind of deal, but the timing of a deal could be guessed at.
Well, strictly speaking it's the people that own the studios that own the media OzLady not the studios themselves. I'm sure any pro studio spin appearing in those newspapers or TV/radio stations is purely coincidental though ;).
But my astral projection has SO looked forward to being able to go! Now she'll just mope around the house, all shimmery and non-corporeal . . .
And flammable, don't forget flammable.
The enire approach of the AMPTP is to divide the WGA members and make them question their leadership. Because of this, you will see AMPTP do essentially nothing until after Christmas (got to turn that screw, you know, and people not making money at Xmastime are going to be unhappy, and the AMPTP hopes, direct that unhappiness at their leadership). So I think that one smart thing to do is not drag Carson Daly or Ellen DeGeneres into the discussion, because that is further divisiveness when solidarity is needed. This is going to be drawn-out. Today's BusinessWeek has an article on the strike tactics that, while I don't agree with much of it, gives insight into what the AMPTP hopes to accomplish. This strike works only if people stick together, and the AMPTP most certainly is attempting to ensure that does not happen; they are using classic divide-and-conquer strike strategy. I do not see them succeeding.
I was checking flights to Boston a couple of nights ago. For what would normally be a 1 1/2 hour plane ride, it would cost $800.00 return and take 9 hours because at least one of the flights was going via Florida.
Toronto to Boston via Florida. Have AMPTP taken over the airlines?
So I gave up the idea.
See, I don't agree Dana5140. To me the best way to divide the WGA membership is to offer a deal that at least some of them find acceptable, they then question why the leadership aren't seeking compromise and internal squabbles based on self-interest follow.

This [lack of] "deal" divides no-one, it just reminds the writers that it's "us" against "them" and that more and more the AMPTP are the out and out villains of the piece. It basically says "If you don't want to be our bitches, acceding to our demands before we'll even talk to you then you have no option but to continue striking", if anything it increases solidarity.
I was just commenting to my hubby yesterday my shock that the AMPTP had acquired a weather-modification death ray machine. Of course, it has a few bugs (see the rain that didn't stick around to ruin ME Day), but if they've worked them out, there could be a half foot of snow in Boston tomorrow! egads. starting the Group Thought Experiment to break down the storm

[ edited by Love's Bitch on 2007-12-13 14:47 ]
I'd love to be there, but can't make it. The astral projection was counting on the trip though, and hopes it's still okay to uh, show up.

Saje, you are so right that I can't understand why they are not using this tactic. I can only assume that they are waiting until everyone is really hungry, so they can get away with the bare minimum to tempt a noticeable portion to pressure the leadership. I think they are taking a very risky approach, if so, because their hardass stuff really does increase solidarity.

[ edited by toast on 2007-12-13 15:02 ]
That makes sense toast, stick now, carrot later. I think they maybe used too much stick though personally. Love is a wonderful thing, it gives hope and makes life worth living but anger can also sustain you through some very difficult times and the writers must be plenty angry roundabout now.

(course, maybe that's also the point, try to make the writers act rashly or lash out at the AMPTP so they can spin it adversely)
try to make the writers act rashly or lash out at the AMPTP so they can spin it adversely

I'm sure they're hoping that happens. Their website's already trying to put an adverse spin on perfectly innocent activities. As if some how the nefarious WGA have tricked the fans into doing their bidding.

Seems to me all the AMPTP's posturing/game playing is just a way for them to save face. From their perspective they can't let the WGA, or SAG, or anyone think they can just get what they ask for. They purposely bring a dodgy deal to the table so they can (albeit unconvincingly) say that it's the WGA's requests that are unreasonable. They'll probably continue playing the same game and come back with more half-arsed offers that they know won't be accepted. If/when they finally do come around to making an equitable deal they'll be able to point at all of the 'hard work' they've done to reach the deal, and pretend that they've won. They got what they wanted all along. They're already kind of saying on their site that they want to give the writers what they're asking for. Although at the same time they're claiming the writers are being unfair about it. Go figure.

Well, at least, that's what I'm reading from all their crap. And I don't even know if what I've just written makes sense.
Urm does anyone know if there is anything stopping a tv show being made and distributed by another method (direct to DVD, internet whatever)?

I know money needs to be got up front to pay for the production etc

But is Joss (for example :) ) and everyone else who could/would work on it, contracted to only work for the studios (I know various actors have these sort of contracts).

I understand it would be a major pain in the arse as the studios do provide a huge infrastructure for production.

I've seem this sort of idea floating around various places and was wondering.

have fun
fmwt, as long as it is a new show ie. the rights doesnt already belong to anyone and the person(s) haven't previously committed to any other work,they should be free to create shows for internet or DVD distribution, see Sanctuary that Saje pointed me to earlier for a good example of what can be done.

See also here Online video awards for other examples.

[ edited by jpr on 2007-12-13 17:49 ]
Actually the firemen are good role models for the WGA. I was recently reading about job satisfaction vs take home pay and Firemen do not earn a high income, but they have one of the very highest jobs in terms of satisfaction. Each of them chose this job, and it provides self-respect, which is worth more than a huge income. the WGA has to tough this out, even if it does cost them money, because if they cave in they will lose their self-respect and job satisfaction. They have to win this because the future of good writing (for TV, films, and 'new media' is actually at stake). If this strike lasts long enough it could destroy the network/studio conglomerate system, which would be GREAT in my opinion.
Anyway, Joss: have a safe trip to Boston, and I wish everyone there a really wonderful day! Personally I'm not worried about the bad press, it will just serve as free publicity reminding everyone where and when this event is taking place.
The snow is supposed to stop here by midnight, so they will have plenty of time to clear the streets before the rally, etc. Good thing that it's taking place at "G'd's Own University" (tongue FIRMLY in cheek there, folks ;-)! I'm more concerned about people who are flying in, getting their flights delayed.

Lioness, did you look into driving down to Buffalo and flying JetBlue from there? Usually it's wicked cheap!

Anyone coming tomorrow, please make sure to say hi (I'll be wearing a big black coat with a red scarf, and I'll have my son, an energetic goofball in an orange puffy coat, with me)!
The snow's stopping early? :( I was hoping that Cambridge'd have a snow day and school would be canceled and I could go to the rally thing. Well, if it is I guess my sister and I will see you, OzLady.
Provided the way is clear for the drive in from CT, I'll keep an eye out for you OzLady. I'll be the short girl in a black overcoat and a red hood, standing with a taller bespeckled guy in a black and red coat. And we'll be lugging signs and cameras.

Go away snow.
As dreamlogic said to me yesterday, what the Sweet Fancy Moses (she didn't say that part) is up with the AMPTP's implicit red-baiting? ("Organizers," "radical" - everything but "wild-eyed bomb-toting anarchists" has been flung at the WGA negotiators recently.) Are they kidding with that? I understand that they are a little behind the times, what with the new-fangled interwebs and scary new media - but red-baiting? They must have gotten confused and pulled out the 50's playbook by mistake.

The 50's playbook has been in play a lot over the past few years, as things get more and more corporate and consolidated. I'm not surprised at all by the labels they chose. I used to get that label a lot in college, and it really didn't fit. But to be on a college campus nowadays and try to change the status quo, at all, is radical. Which is ironic considering what radical action on college campuses used to mean. So yeah, challenging The Way Things Are Done, at all, quickly leads to red-baiting, as I learned then. But I think the WGA has not confirmed that label so far, to their benefit. Which is why the AMPTP is looking for things to feed the image they're trying to paint. And it's why videos like the one Michael Tabb is in are very important.

I am surprised that the AMPTP isn't being more aggressive on the internet. I hope they remain a bit clueless in that respect, but I expect that's about to change, starting with the counter on their page. Although I agree with b!X and Jane Espenson about what that counter really means.
I am curious (Simon not Oranj).

This comes to me from some Hollywood sources: On Tuesday night, a group of striking writers (including some well known names, including one Oscar-nominated screenwriter and one creator of a TV cult series) infiltrated and interrupted a taping of NBC's Last Call With Carson Daly.

Making my sign(s) for tomorrow as I type!!!!!!
FWIW, Simon, DHD's story is almost exactly the same words used for that story by Defamer yesterday. I assume because they both got email from the same source, not because DHD listed it from Defamer.
I think this might be my favorite part:

In summary, the writers are demanding respect they haven't earned, privileges they don't deserve, and money for work they haven't done. And those are perquisites we reserve solely for the severance packages of departing CEOs.

You know, at first I was annoyed and bemused by this sh*t. Wow, I thought, do these people not realize that they are the old men behind coin-covered desks with arched eyebrows and twirl-ready moustaches? Now I'm just angry. They do realize it, and they don't care. Who cares about art, right? About the stories that define generations and inspire emotional connection? All that is just frivolity, something that people were supposed to outgrow in college, along with keg stands and sexual experimentation. Those media empires are really doing us a favor by channeling all that flighty, worthless energy into a giant gold-making machine, and if we're good little writers and stay in our corners, maybe we can have a little when they're finished.

Ugh, I say.
After reintroducing Rice to the audience, who replicated their cheers, another incognito writer stood up and loudly declared: "I feel so bad for the striking writers! Can I please leave?"

There's a mp3! (VERY LOUD APPLAUSE at the beginning-- mute it and then turn the volume slowly up. And the LOUD applause comes back here and there as they start the bit over.)

Yeah it looks like one source typed a summary and emailed it to several blogs.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2007-12-13 19:45 ]
Oh Joss, you always hit the bullseye; i.e. the heart of the matter.

I bought pencils last week and in my message to the suits which PayPal let me do, said something along the lines of "blah blah ... please, let art be an equitable venture ... blah blah blah ..." I somehow doubt this will make any impression on anyone in any studio who received my paltry 25 pencils sent on behalf of your purple goodness, but hey, it was worth a try because I really believe that statement above. Let professional artists be compensated fairly in whatever capacity their work is utilized by another concern; be it the Internet, in a movie, a television show, and by artists in this particular case, I mean the WGA artists, of course.

These hurtful statements the AMPTP keep making that are trying to cast a dark shadow over the integrity of the WGA are ploys. Just ploys to try and swat you all back "into your place." I saw an interview Mark Gunn, a WGA Negotiator, gave to StreamTV where he said the AMPTP will actually have a good session with the WGA and then tell the media the WGA negotiators got up and walked away from the talks. As a ploy.

Ignore the ploys and keep on fighting the good fight, Joss. You of all people know what that means.
Right with you Sam. The thing that gets me is they don't see the heart that touches viewers such as us.
That AMPT("to the motherfuckin'")P site almost made me have to clean the coffee off of my monitor and keyboard.
The logos are brilliant...and there's even a shout-out to Tay Zonday!!
And as for the AMPTP pulling out the "50s Playbook", I'm wondering how long it'll be before they pull out today's Playbook and add the now-popular catch word: terrorist?

Keep up the Good Fight...and take your vitamins, Joss.
And when it's all over and Numfar's Victory Dance commences, we'll all be there with y'all, if not in body, definitely in spirit.
Solidarity Forever!

[ edited by AmazonGirl on 2007-12-13 20:23 ]
saje- it is much deeper than that. For one thing, keep in mind that this strike idles a lot more people than the members of the WGA- it also stops electricians, crew, carpenters, designers, production folk, etc. from working, and there may be the hope of pressure from that end. And also, there is a need to negotiate new contracts with the DGA, which would affect what happens with the WGA, especially if the DGA signs early. And the AMPTP is using PR to negatively cast the WGA leadership- so the WGA membership needs to stand strong, which is exactly what they are doing. I don't see this coming to a conclusion in the near future, and I don't see it being easy; I just see the WGA standing firm. We just have to make sure the public understands the issues.
There's a mp3!

bix, please order two. Always curious.
0wn3d (I'm old-school so I spell it with a zed instead of a p ;))! Interesting reading.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2007-12-13 21:20 ]
I'm in central Mass and we already have a couple inches of the white wet stuff. Ick. I'll be there tomorrow and hope to meet some fellow Whedonesquers. My name is Trish and I'll be the one with the ginormous striped gift bag protecting my sign pre-rally.

I agree, is brilliant. I loved the Nissan Rogue's parentage theory.
Yeah, we have at least two or three inches of snow here in the 'burbs of Boston, and the highways are at a crawl at best and a standstill at worst. Logan Airport has cancelled most inbound flights, so I really REALLY hope that Joss and co. are already in town. Then again, it IS supposed to end before midnight so the plows will be able to get it all put aside before we need to take to the streets, as it were. = good. AMPTP = bad (and not in the GOOD, 70s way!)
Embers, that's such a true statement. There are a lot of 18-25 year olds who are entering the career fire service who never wanted to be anything else in their entire lives. There are also a lot of us 30+'ers, who are leaving our "other" careers for exactly that reason. If I were to leave private-sector IT to enter the career fire service, I'd be taking a 50% pay cut--and one guy in my department this year did exactly that. I'm considering it too, but for a very concrete instance of respect: my 7 and 10 year old sons love that I'm a volunteer firefighter. How can any amount of public or Jossian admiration, of which there is plenty, ever compete with the unquestioning approval of a man's own sons?
I've gotta find out how to get tickets to Carson Daily's show. What if we got a couple hundred fans in there? Anyone else want to go support the writers?

[ edited by FaithFan on 2007-12-14 00:04 ]
I hope everyone who is traveling tonight gets into Boston delay free (hahahahahaha) and that the snow is over sufficiently early that everyone gets to the studio/bookstore/whatever on time. :)

And someone really needs to tell those AMPTP flibbertigibbets to climb down off their plinths and start negotiating again. ;-) (Oooh, those words are fun to type, Saje! :D )
I've gotta find out how to get tickets to Carson Daily's show. What if we got a couple hundred fans in there? Anyone else want to go support the writers?,Last-Call-with-Carson-Daly,2.html

I could be talked into it...
Yeah, Simon, I also recently checked Finke's page, saw that bit about Carson's show and got very curious myself. Came to whedonesque to see if anyone else had picked up on this. Hmmmmm. " creator of a cult TV series." Hmmmm.
Heroes. I have a handful, but right now in the midst of this war, my heroes are the entire community of writers, directors, actors, the fans, and everyone fighting for a fair contract for the writers on strike.

On Mutant Enemy Day (I was there!), I was able to be part of something amazing. The love and connection between everybody there who was striking in solidarity is exactly why I love the Mutant Enemy 'verse so much. I'm hoping there's a Mutant Enemy Day 2, so I can do it again, and this time I won't be too shy. I was too overwhelmed from being in the vicinity of the folks whom I've adored from afar for so long that I was too shy to talk to the writers (except, "I think this is the smoking section," to Tim Minear, which I'm sure he appreciated).

I'm writing a letter to the writers about why this strike is important to me, and I'll post it soon, though I don't know where to put it so the writers will actually see it. Does anyone know?
ElectricSpaceGirl: "I'm writing a letter to the writers about why this strike is important to me, and I'll post it soon, though I don't know where to put it so the writers will actually see it. Does anyone know?"

ESG, you could post it here for now - unless you want to say something specifically to Battlestar Galactica writers, in which case go to and read here to find out about about getting your message on an actual BSG Bulletin Board that goes to a picket line.

--Your Fellow Friend in Mia...(ian)
Joss is Boss.

Every single speaking this man creates makes my world go happy.

What does he mean by The MF D?

IS that in realm of TENACIOUS?
The Carson Daly thing is totally badass. I do think he's being treated a little unfairly...but it's not like his show would be a big loss or anything. In fact, it would be a welcome loss from a strictly entertainment standpoint.

I don't have much to add to the strike talk, as it's all been said far more eloquently than I could phrase it, but Joss, y'all are heroes right about now. Big Damn Heroes, actually.
Samantha et al., can I talk you out of it? =)

As I expressed above, I don't think Carson Daly is the enemy here, but for those disagree with me, I would encourage you to find better ways to protest. This stunt struck me as classless, unlike the way the rest of the strike has been conducted. I believe the writers' position is strong enough that it can be supported from a moral high ground, no need for cheap Howard Stern style stunts that will just give the AMPTP ammo to criticize the WGA.

That's my 2 cents anyway...
Knock 'em dead, Joss. I SO want this to end up in the writers' favor. If I didn't hate the corporate monolith before (and the hate was well on its way), I surely do now.

To paraphrase Steve Earle, perhaps the revolution really DOES start now.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2007-12-14 04:10 ]
Fire is really hot.

I was on fire once. And yes it is really hot. It also makes noise.

I've taken to calling it Can't Stop the Writers. It's taking all the strength I can muster to not put up a website. (I get bored easily and often, so yes there's even a design.)

b!x, any chance you'll get bored enough to post the design somewhere?

I'm going to try to be in Boston. (Got the day off despite the fact that 3 other people are already off that day. Boss got pissy. Whatever. I hate my job.)

1) I love Boston
2) There will be a speech!

Wish me luck that I don't get lost. I even went out and got a red scarf! I hate red. Ever since I saw Son of Blob when I was 8. True story.
I won't have a sign though. I did. Made it at work. (Was bored and I hate my job.) But on the way to my car I slipped in the snow. Signs aren't very cushiony when you fall on them.

Can I be there and astral project there too? Double the bodies! (Even if one of them is flamible. Well, actually, I know this from experience but they both are...)
jam2, I actually agree with you. Now that my rage has subsided for the day, that is. :) The WGA has done a good job of being articulate and drawing sympathy. And, you know, being right. No need for childish antics, I supppose.

[ edited by Samantha on 2007-12-14 05:33 ]
I hope Joss made it in ok! That snow storm has been pounding Boston all day today. I'm in the transportation business, specifically to and around Logan airport, and, it seemed like half of all flights were canceled, both incoming and outgoing. Lots of unhappy, stranded people all over the place.

(edit cause I just read up and other people have already mentioned the white stuff)

[ edited by dispatch on 2007-12-14 05:48 ]
ElectricSpaceGirl pounded the table hit the nail on the head. There are countless people who have given up so much for the strike effort. Heroes one and all, especially to someone like me who knows that the outcome here could determine whether or not I'm able to support myself if I'm ever lucky enough to get work doing what I love.

One of the best things in Boston: Cannolis at Mike's Pastry. And please don't set your physical self or your astral self on fire at the rally, NYPinTA.
I dunno, it'd probably make the news at least (depending on what Britney's up to at the moment).

No such thing as bad publicity after all ;-).
Logan Airport's back open and, according to Jaime's post on F4W, everyone save Rob is in town and he's expected later this AM. So the Boss (not Springsteen; he was here LAST week ;-) will be at the rally and so, I suspect, will a whole bunch of hardy Whedon fans!

See you there!

(Oh, and has anyone else thought about the irony of the Carson Daly thing? It was HIS show that inspired Earl on "My Name is Earl" to create his 'karma list,' to go out and make good on the bad things he'd done. Put that in your ironic pipe and smoke it, Alannis! ;-)
Lady Brick, it's that these people are risking so much, and in a lot of cases, sacrificing their jobs for a larger cause. They get that's it's about their future, and the future of generations to come for everyone in this industry. Looking out for their fellow humans. That's what touches me most. That's why they're heroes.

Astral Projection being flammable: Does Willow frequently burst into flames? Though I reckon she probably has the magical power to contain that.
Excellent site. It made me happy too.

Can't believe I missed Joss in Boston by two hours. Really shouldn't've skipped a day of Whedonesqueing. Off to read the reports. :)
For the Portland rally, I can come down and stay there for pretty much as long as I need to, seeing how my hometown and mom aren't far from there. So I'm up for whatever organizing is needed!

Oh, and Joss, Your Purpleness... (hoping you're still reading the replies), I accidentally gave you my copy of the cookbook instead of yours. *blush* Any way we can swap them when you're in Portland? *feeling stupid* Not that I think you wouldn't appreciate having a cookbook full of autographs that I've been using as my general autograph book at conventions (it has Charles de Lint and Charles Vess in it, for example), but the one I had set aside for you has all the info in it you might want in the future for the next cookbook.
Just in case anyone was concerned, I did not spontaneously combust. Although it was cold and everyone else probably would have appreciated it.
Well, i'm glad in one way NYPinTA but it does seem a bit selfish. It's just me me me with some people.
JOSS: "ps If you're in LA that day, you definitely want to check out the insanely exciting comedy venue Marti helped cook up to aid non-writers affected by the strike. Eddie Izzard, Sarah Silverman, The MF D, Patton Oswalt... Marti only didn't attain hero staus because she arranged all this for when I'm out of town (Cough! eye... cough!....)"

Just got back from "Write Aid" at UCLA - it was wonderful. It looked pretty packed, but dunno if it sold out or not. Sadly, Lewis Black did not appear (we'd been totally excited about seeing him,) and there was no mention of him nor his absence, and, um... Andy Dick appeared instead - but other than that sad little double disappointment, it was great. Izzard was the MC, so we saw him at the top, between all sets, and then he was also the finish act, so we got a lot of him and he was on. Brilliant. He did not appear in drag, and was sporting a moustache and beard.

Patton Oswalt opened, and he killed - the audience was dying, and we thought we were gonna have an aneurism or something from laughing. I dunno how anyone could follow him, but both Sarah Silverman (strange little person) and Tenacious D (they rocked the house) did, and they were good. (But Patton killed and for that reason, it ended up being an odd line-up order.)

There was a substantial intermission (interval for you Brits), and then Eddie introduced John Bowman, Chair of the WGA negotiating committee, who spoke briefly & succinctly about the strike, and the need for industry union and trade solidarity - so hence the benefit for BTL employees.

Then *sigh* Andy Dick, who may have had a cold or the creeping grunge, and then finally a looong quietly hi-sterical Eddie set.

As we left the hall, audience members were given blue WGA bracelets that Eddie had made that say "ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL." There were no programs that I could see, nor any mention of the organizers, but you could buy a black and white "Write Aid" t-shirt in the lobby.

Minor dish - saw Debra Messing in the audience, said hi to Jane Espenson in the refreshment bar at break, saw an old acting buddy of mine, who said she taught Marti Noxon to dance for Marti's wedding, and my partner swears he saw "an actor from Studio 60 on the Sunset Blvd." in the men's room, but was unable to be more specific than "not one of the main characters."

That's all I got, my friends... hope it raised a lot of money.
Thanks for that QuoterGal sounds like a good night.

I think I remember Patton Oswalt from a stand-up show on TV though I couldn't place the name until I, err, "fair used" some copyrighted material on Youtube. Very funny (it was a bit on Cirque Du Soleil, gay marriage and transvestite mountain men). May have to put one of his albums in my letter to Santa ;).

(and "not one of the main characters" ? Aaargh, too tantalising. I'm assuming it was a male actor BTW, otherwise you'll have to upgrade the dish to "major" ;)

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