I’m all confused as to whether I even care about the writers’ strike. (So this blog post exists to help me figure out if I do care.)
One the one hand, I believe that people who produce a product should be well compensated for their work, based on the marketability of their work. For TV writers, this means I think they should get more money. Their work is inherently marketable, and our culture eats it up.
On the other hand, I believe that people who produce a product should be well compensated for their work, based on the actual importance of their work. For TV writers, this means I think they should find other means of employment. Seriously, how important is TV? Now, I suppose there is the argument, that our culture has become a soul-sucking, mechanistic, isolated place in which our only solace is television, and without the free mind-numbing entertainment it provides, we’d either just stop living from the sheer anguish or we’d go crazy and kill one another in the ensuing complete anarchy. However, if TV went away tomorrow, life wouldn’t particularly change for me. So, my example, and the thousands of years of human culture that survived just fine without TV makes me think that the TV-is-the-only-thing-keeping-the-US-in-its-economy-pumping-zombie-state argument is still a little over stated.
Also, though, I do believe that they’re going about it the right way. I believe that non-violent protests, demonstrations and strikes are a valid and (sometimes) effective way to make your point.
But striking for more pay is a bit of a selfish, sad, little pity strike, too, isn’t it? Now striking for decent pay is a noble thing – like getting wages up to the minimums to survive. Striking for safe working conditions is honorable as well.
However, no one is forcing these writers to work for the TV industry. They could go write for Hollywood and make movies. Or write novels, short stories, magazine articles, pamphlets, advertisements, legislation, technical manuals, contracts, plays or musicals. Or, they could pick up skills besides writing. Like maybe manual labor, taxi driving, plumbing, piloting, teaching, nursing or something else.
I have a problem with the entire world “needing” to be entertained non-stop, 24/7. Now, I do it too. I’m always looking for a book, blog, or magazine to read, a game to play, a movie to watch. But shouldn’t we be OK with silence?
Eh, I still don’t care about TV shows.