Although I’ve been a member of the very adult-like Writer’s Guild of America, West for seven years now, I’m undeniably, unquestioningly and unabashedly a kid at heart. A kid’s main motivation is often enjoyment, and I can’t stand the intensely stolid seriousness and false sense of urgency most adults needlessly assign to their careers, most of which are just meaningless peach fuzz on the buttocks of life’s grander scheme.
Word on the WGA street is it’s about to go down. WGAw is the first labor union I’ve ever joined and quite frankly, keeping up with its politics is just a little more enjoyable than being stuck at a wet San Francisco MUNI stop during pouring rain while you forgot your umbrella. I’d rather watch Gallagher completely sober than read another statement about this damn strike. Another irony of it all is that I’ve received more contact from Guild officials about strikes and elections than I’ve received leads to work during the entire seven years I’ve been a member. Of course, the argument is always that it’s not the Guild’s responsibility to put their writers to work, but it sure as hell is in all of our best interests.
I don’t even really know why I’m blogging about this, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I got mad when I heard AMPTP was objecting to the WGA’s demand of a 4-cent increase on writer residuals from DVD sales. Currently, a WGA member receives four cents off each DVD sold with their name on it – FOUR CENTS. We’re asking for eight cents, and the cost of DVD production has gone way down since this last negotiation which was, I believe, in the 80’s before we even had DVD’s.
Okay, so I think I’ve discovered the point of this rant. I suppose it just utterly sucks to be smacked upside the face with yet another example of how human greed and bickering over money interrupts the free flow of creative expression and culture. While these suit and tie bureaucratic factions sit around their round tables and get paid healthy sums of money to argue, their members suffer. All because of greed and fear.
Yet in the positive, the whole situation further encourages my promise to myself and those around me to not be like that. Surely business is a science and you don’t want to run your hard-earned venture into the ground with some superficially idealistic altruism, but what ever happened to being cool? Not cool like Paris and her fashion accessory dog / stunna shades type of cool, but cool as in being optimistic, being willing to work with people, being willing to give a little even if the bottom line doesn’t necessarily justify it.
Whether or not you will agree with what I’m about to say will be largely influenced by your particular philosophy of life, but I suppose I’ll just leave it at this: The biggest successes in my life have always come after periods of intense introspection followed by corrective action regarding the way my actions affect the rest of the world. Call it cliche’ or whatever, but it’s worth consideration that the best way to attain happiness and good fortune is to generously give it away.
So to the AMPTP, man up and give us our four cents so we can all get back to work. And to my officials at the Guild, thanks for having my back and all, but once this is resolved let’s focus on getting all WGA members working consistently with the same enthusiasm and dedication we use to solicit votes and talk strike –