Friday, January 25, 2008

So a Screenwriter Walks Into a Bar...

Dear Screen Writers Guild of America,

Let me begin by saying that your cause was initially supported by individuals such as myself. At one time I thought--yes, yes, you SHOULD stand up for your rights. This strike of yours is justified and you deserve to be paid when someone exploits television shows that are your brainchild.

But let me just shoot it to you straight: I'm not so much on your side anymore. Which isn't to say I'm on the producers' side either. Thing is, I am sort of starting to wish you both the worst. It is true--I'm starting to sing out curses:

May we, a Joe Public now less addicted to unrealistically beautiful, uncomplicated characters and predictable plots, smarten up and forget your shows that sucked us in Thursday after Thursday. May your temper tantrum trigger a dominoing fall of Hollywood. May you resort to clipping coupons and cleaning your own houses like the rest of us. May your children attend public high schools and state universities. May actors be humbled down to two options: unemployment or VH1's "Celebreality". May people throughout America rediscover what it is like to contribute to their communities, bond with their families, read books, or discuss/worry about people they actually know.

Thing is, I saw how much you get paid for a single episode. Now, by Hollywood standards, you writers don't get your due, I suppose. I get it, you "created" this storyline, these characters. Their witty words and one-liners. You geniuses, you. Nevermind the fact that your plots have existed since Ancient Greece. (I won't say anything about how you don't see Euripides throwing a big stink). I get that YOU are the ideas and creativity that fuels Hollywood and it isn't fair that you don't get paid as much as what's-his-salary, yadda, yadda, yadda...

But let me tell you a little something about the rest of us, and by the rest of us I mean me, really. I happen to be a teacher. A teacher who Monday through Friday shows up to work with individuals that the rest of society avoids and considers a nuisance. These individuals also happen to be the people who will one day take your job, and my job, and all of our jobs. But right now, because they're teenagers, nobody can really stand them. Except people like me who are either gluttons for punishment or like to think that they are doing something noble and necessary for...oh, I don't know...the community, society, future. The rest of us (meaning me), is ecstatic because, as she filed taxes, she realized that she'd actually made it out from under that whole "poverty line" thing by the skin of her teeth this past year. The rest of us can't afford to throw a "life's not fair" temper tantrum and make faces at our bosses who make more money than we do. Because the rest of us, while quite possibly protected by a union, wouldn't be able to pay our rent if we went on strike. Oh, and without the rest of us (specifically teachers), about 15-20 years from now we wouldn't have much of a work force--but, on the bright side, "the future" would probably play a mean Guitar Hero with those extra hours of practice.

So, I hope you are still feeling really good and justified in your little fight. You have, after all, made your point: TV sucks without you. You severely impact Hollywood's revenue. It is really such a travesty. I'm not saying there haven't been perks to your little hissy fit. There was joy knowing that for once the Golden Globe winners wore pajamas like normal people do during the blessed event. It's been kind of entertaining (in a slow down and stare at car wrecks sort of way) to see just how lame the Ellen show can get. And my niece really enjoyed all the primetime holiday kids' specials that aired this last December.
I am just saying that when this "huffy-bike-parade" of all-ya'lls is over, don't be surprised if the rest of us have moved on. Don't be surprised when we've stopped caring about the dynamic between McDreamy and Meredith (c'mon--get therapy already! You are a well-educated, intelligent DOCTOR for crying out loud and you haven't recognized that you might just need professional help to get through your issues?!?).

Yes, Writer's Guild, you were good, but I am hoping the rest of us have figured out that you weren't that good.

The Rookie
P.S. Way to stick it to the man. Seriously. You've been so exploited. It's about time they got their due.


Jennifer said...

Amen. I found you through Mrs. Dub's blog. I was once a teacher (albeit elementary) and I really enjoyed your wit and humor. And just to repeat my feelings on the screenwriters I say amen, completly!

LovingTheChaos said...


I am a sheep and will gratefully return to my master (unabashedly horrible comedies and dramas) as soon as I am called! :) other master (reality tv) is still on the horizon leading me onward! What would I do without...Scott Bayo is 46 and pregnant? :)

Blackeyedsue said...

Did you see that? That was me jumping in the air and swishing my arm and saying "YOU TELL EM'!!!!"

I don't think I will go back to "my shows". I have enjoyed blogging too much. ;)

Seriously, I realized how much time I wasted on television.

Alice said...

You rock sister. I think you should submit this as some sort of editorial...I love it!

I technically only have one "show" and while I may go back to it, I have been more than fine without it. Something to consider I suppose. :)

I wonder if our jobs went on strike, like a real strike, what this world would do?