January 24, 2008

What Matters: WGA Strike is not one of them

From a software developer's point of view, here's how I would explain the reason for the strike from my understanding. Think of it as Oracle or Business Objects. They sell you their product for a few thousand (sometimes million) dollars , and then on top of that they charge you licensing fees per user or cpu. That's kind of what's happened with the writers. They want *more* royalties than before. To be precise, they are looking for 0.6% of DVD sales instead of 0.3%. And that's the gist of this entire 11 week strike.

The thing about the writers going on strike is that people are still getting scripts. If you watch CNN or any news, you'll see the anchor person is still reading his or her lines. Surely he or she didn't write all that herself, so there is still someone writing. If you take a look at the newspapers, you see no evidence of the strike. They are still coming out with pretty good articles, and I haven't noticed any change in the thickness of the papers.

Books as well continue to be published, unbeknownst to the striking writers who refuse to work. Just the other day we were at Mitchell's and there was a new book written by Brett Favre's wife about her struggle with breast cancer and her faith pulling her through. I guess she missed the memo about the strike.

It seems to me that the writers who decided not to come to work on November 5, 2007, are the ones who don't simply don't matter. No offense if you are a writer in the WGA, but in the grand scheme of things, you write about things don't matter a whole lot. I might not be able to watch my favorite TV show, or go see a movie actually worth the full $12, but life goes on.

These are people who write simply to entertain. They're sole purpose is not just to tell you something important that has happened, because if they did they'd be journalists. And they're not trying to tell you an important story, because otherwise they could have written a book. They are entertainers, nothing more.

While I'm not saying that it hasn't affect me -- I'll admit I like to be entertained -- the truth of the matter is the reason the strike has gone as long as it has, is because at the end of the day it doesn't affect you and me. I can do other things. I have options, like spending time with my future wife, reading a book, or playing video games. I could even.. work.

They've got a few actors on their side -- but again, no one cares. If you shave your head or have a run-in with the law, we'll read about you and laugh -- but generally we don't care about you either.

5 years ago public service in Toronto decided if they couldn't what they wanted, they would stop picking up garbage. Within a couple weeks, the public felt the full brunt. We were having a heat wave and you could literally smell the stench in the humid air. Every corner had one of those garbage bins filled to the brim and needless to say it was a germy disaster. We were days away from the Pope coming to town. That's the kind of strike people care about because it affects them directly.

This strike on the other hand, how does it really affect anyone besides the billionaire television network executives and movie moguls? So I have to watch American Gladiators instead of a confusing episode of LOST. I have to watch reruns of Two and a Half Men (I really like this show btw) instead of Heroes. Whoop-dee-doo, life goes on.

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