The U.S. presidential election is now less than a year away. If I had one wish over the next twelve months it would this: that everyone could please remember that your political opinions are just that, opinions. There are smart people with good ideas on both sides of the fence, to completely demonize the "other" party is both childish and naive. Neither party has all the answers, no candidate can possibly be everything to everyone. I get so tired of reading blogs and having conversations where people behave as though they have PhD's in Political Science when most of what they know comes from John Stewart or Bill O'Reilly. Read, research, LISTEN. If you are able to completely dismiss the party you don't support, then you need to keep researching. No one is right about everything and it's dangerous when you start thinking they are...
I guess I'm all fired up about people popping off about things they don't understand as I read about this writer's strike. In a nutshell, the writer's are striking to get a fair percentage of the residuals that come from online/DVD/various other new ways we will figure out to distribute entertainment in the future sales. I have read over and over, "hollywood writers make plenty of money doing a job that is mostly fun, why are they whining about this!". They are whining about it because lots of people are making lots of money off their work and they would like to be fairly compensated for it. So in a way, when you tell the writers to shut up about residuals, you are telling the studios you would like them to keep a bigger part of the pie than they already do. And I have this sneaking suspicion that the same people who think Hollywood writers (who live mostly at the bottom of the pay scale in that town) already make too much, these are not people that are super excited to be putting more pennies in Sumner Redstone's gilded coffers. But I guess if as far as you get in forming your opinion is "hey people with fancy jobs want a raise! not fair!" without doing an ounce of research into what the situation really is, I get why you might get heart palapitations. Too bad that's not the whole story though isn't it?
Maybe a strike isn't the best way to solve a problem, and maybe it's hard to muster sympathy for WGA members who have chosen a career path that isn't exactly akin to feeding orphans. But when you boil it down, there is an unfair situation happening that needs to be addressed. I usually feel guilty when I ask for a raise because hey, I'm not curing cancer and my salary takes good care of me. But my company benefits from my talents in a way that gains revenue. It's only fair that I get to see a reasonable share of that revenue. This is one of the best quotes I've read about what the writers want:
A residual isn't a handout or an allowance or Paris Hilton's trust fund. It's not a lottery payout, or alimony, or an annuity from a slip and fall accident at a casino.
A residual is a deferred payment against the lifetime value of a script.
It's not a perk.
It's okay if you didn't know that. It's in the best interests of a lot of fairly large corporations that you don't.
Obviously I'm in support of the writers, even if it means TV might start to stink here in awhile (maybe I can finally catch up on the PBS documentary The War that has been sitting in the DVR for weeks), I understand if you aren't. But get some facts in your pocket before you tell me why you oppose it. I still may choose to disagree but I promise to listen and consider.