Monday, November 05, 2007

News That Won't Affect This Family

Hollywood writers have gone on strike. Shows that rely on topical writing to handle current events are shuttering up for the duration and going into reruns.

This, to me, is a little like Pakistan using lawyers for aggression training. Whom do I support?

I'm not a huge fan of strikes. I'll grant that they may be necessary on occasion, but both sides always come off sounding like whiney, petulant kids who can't ever discuss their disagreements in any sort of rational way. As an observer of union/management negotiations over the years, I can tell you that both sides always — repeat: always — come to the table with huge chips on their shoulders. They're really just begging the other guy to knock that chip off so they can run to the media and cry foul. This always ratchets the rhetoric up another notch, and the "S" word begins to surface almost immediately.

If political campaigns are guilty of mud-slinging, contract negotiations look like Normandy on June 7.

For the most part, I usually can take one side or the other in a contract dispute. If a union is getting hammered with layoffs, oppressive cost increases in benefits, or lousy working conditions, then more power to 'em. If the union is just being a strike-happy pool of pond scum, then all power to the CEO, dude.

But this is Hollywood. Writers are striking so they can get bigger cuts of increasingly obscene profits from an industry that has shown itself capable of single-handedly ripping apart the moral fabric of the nation. So, I repeat: whom do I support?

Reruns aren't likely to hold viewers' attentions for very long. Even my vaunted CSI-type programs get old if I've seen them once too often. I never watch late-night programming anymore; I grew up several years ago and I can live quite nicely without, thank you. Daytime programming has always been a mockery of American intelligence. Unless you belong to the "I Heart Oprah" club, you're looking for reruns on TVLand if you're tuning in before 5:00 in the afternoon.

So what's a poor, average schlub like me to do in response to this slap in my consumer face? Turn off the TV in protest, probably.

I wonder who these people in my house are?

No comments: