Hey Writers - Please Come Back to Work!

Anybody who has ever paid any attention to me either on these pages or through my weekly appearance on KRRO knows that I have no life. I get up in the morning, drink some coffee, head to work, and then it’s back home to wait for bedtime. That’s it…although I keep waiting for a blog or radio groupie. Or at the very least an amateur stripper looking for an inside “position” to win the next Scarlett’s contest.
Until that happens, all I have to keep me company during the evening are a room full of CD’s, a couple of bookcases full of DVD’s, my computer, and my hi-def TV. Now one of these outlets is giving me little entertainment these days.
Nine weeks or so ago, the writers of the television and movie industries went on strike, and all hell has broken loose at my humble abode. I no longer have my Thursday night routine of My Name Is Earl, 30 Rock, and the Office. The Daily Show may have come back this past Monday evening, but it’s a shell of itself without their writing staff. And I’m also missing…well, I guess that’s about it as I can’t sit through the dozen different CSI’s or 24 or Lost or those extremely lame CBS comedies.
But my tastes aren’t the point here. TV has become worse and worse since the beginning of the strike, and there are no signs of it getting better anytime soon. Reality and game shows are taking over the majority of the prime time hours. Besides the return of American Idol, special seasons of Survivor and Big Brother are going to make my channel-surfing a nightmare. And let’s not even begin talking about the lack of talent involved in Flavor Flav and Bret Michael’s dating shows.
It’s not just old shows, either. Last Sunday, NBC threw away two hours of programming to a revamped American Gladiators, hosted by lame-ass Hulk Hogan and Muhammad Ali’s personality-deprived daughter. On Monday, ABC started a run of cheesy dance contests, while the CW is about to begin a Bachelor rip-off where a farmer tries to find love from a bunch of city girls. Oh, the hilarity that will ensue.
I beg you stupid entertainment companies to just settle with the writers. All they really want is a cut from internet airings of the shows they write. Yes, I know you claim there’s no money there. I don’t believe you, but if that’s true it’s clearly not always going to be the case or you wouldn’t even attempt to create an online presence.
Historically, this argument doesn’t fly. The last time the writer’s negotiated a deal with the studios, they stupidly allowed a reduced amount from video sales. At the time there wasn’t really any money in home video, as it was yet to become a business outside of selling to video rental stores. Who knew that the advent of the DVD would not only lead to people like me building a library of my favorite movies? Who in the world would have guessed that boxed set seasons of Saved By the Bell or Three’s Company would not only be available for sale but actually be purchased? If the public is dumb enough to buy that crap, the least you could do is compensate the people who wrote that drivel. God knows they’ve probably not had many gigs since then.
One more thing – screw you Jay Leno. You’ve been a scab since the beginning. Sure, by posing on the picket lines you acted like you were on the side of your staff at the beginning. Few people know that unlike the other multi-millionaire talk show hosts you weren’t covering your staff’s salaries. Now that you’re back your writers are conspiculously missing from the picket lines, and at least one former joke writer is claiming they’re secretly meeting at Leno’s home to write material. Of course, who could tell when you watch his lame show?


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