Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Dear Striking Writers Guild of America People,

First off, let me just say that I in no way want to impede your constitutionally protected right to effectively quit your jobs and be guaranteed that you'll get them back once your demands are met. That is some constitutionally protected right, right there. Anyways, God love you and I hope you get your residuals. Power to the proletariat, and all that.

But I do have a favor to ask. You see, the only new thing on TV for a while is going to be news footage of your picketing, and I think you owe it to yourselves (not to us, don't get me wrong here; you're on strike, I get that) to punch up your picketing chants a little. Maybe it's just me, but I kind of expect your strike chants to be more...I don't know...pithy? Trenchant? Heart-wrenchingly but ultimately stirringly observational of the Human Condition?

I mean (this is an actual WGA picket line chant): "Why make the viewers wait? Why won't you negotiate?". Really? That's the best the WGA -- the WGA! -- could come up with? I realize you're doing what you do best -- rehash old material -- but come on. You have so much better old material to work with. Some suggestions:
We won't write another role! *bleep* you, *bleep*hole!
More new films for Jean-Claude Van Damme? Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!
Did Tony Soprano's family get whacked? We won't tell you, 'cause we're so hacked!
No more Die Hard on Blu-Ray! Mother *bleep*er, yippie-ki-yay!
Won't give us the money we lack?! Then the Terminator will never be back!

You could go the nostalgic route, and remind us of everything you've done for us in the past, and what we'd be missing without you:
Star Trek! Numb3rs! Stand By Me! No Wil Wheaton on TV!

Or, and this is my favorite option, you could go beyond the traditional chant-based approach and actually stage your picket lines like the different genres you write for. You guys are writers, for pity's sake! You need to keep your chops up. Everyone who isn't actually walking a picket line at the moment could meet in the bullpen:

Fade In. Cue cutesy beginning-of-scene jingle. A group of writers are sitting around a table.

Head Writer: Okay, people, we've got a strike to write here. Who's got some ideas? Let's shoot it around the room!

Writer 1: We could get the cast of Friends to sit around on some comfy chairs on the picket line and make wisecracks about how lame it is that the producers won't give us any more money! David Spade could guest star, which will eventually get us Heather Locklear! And Jerry Stiller could walk in and start yelling his lines incoherently until Jason Alexander gets so worked up that he has to leave. Let's leave what's-his-name-the-guy-who-played-Kramer out of this one, though, huh?

Writer 2: Oooh! Crime drama! We could get David Caruso to do that thing he does in, like, every SINGLE SCENE where he has any dialogue! You know -- he stares moodily into the distance while delivering the line and then, at the very end, just when you think he's not going to, HE SWIVELS HIS HEAD to look directly at whoever he's talking to! It's brilliant, I tell you!

Smash cut. David Caruso is standing at the counter at a Starbucks.

Perky Starbucks Babe: (perkily) Can I take your order, sir?

David Caruso: (staring moodily into the distance) Yeeessssssss. I believe I'll have a (swivel) latte.

Wipe transition. We are back in the bullpen.

Other Writers: (all at once)...Caruso...brilliant...NYPD...movie "career"...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Writer 3: How about a reality TV angle? We could have one of the picketing writers get ragged on by all the others until he snaps and puts Billy's hand in warm water while he's sleeping and then schemes with Maggie and Amber to get Chuck and Bruce voted out of the picket line only to double-cross them by "accidentally" tripping Maggie during their mambo and telling Amber she's too fat for him to marry her so she bursts into tears and can't do her Billy Idol tribute number so she runs off to build houses and stuff for the poor until she gets noticed by Donald Trump who makes her his new wigtender! Simon Cowell could be the judge!

Writer 4: I've got it! Let's get the writers for Saturday Night Live! They've been on strike for, like, eight years now, only no one told Lorne Michaels so they still get paid...

Fade out. Mercifully.

Remember now, I'm asking this favor for your sake, not mine. I'm not going to be affected one way or the other. You think you're "hunkered down for a long one"? Kid, I've got all the Harry Potters and the Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD. Extended Director's Cut Version With Commentaries and Making-Of Featurettes. You won't be seeing me for months!

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