Colbert and Daily Show writers stage comedic mock-hearing on strike issues – Boing Boing

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/01/26/colbert-and-daily-sh.html

The writers of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report are staging mock versions of the Writer’s Guild and studio strike talks. (Though the real discussions are probably no less superficial and dadaist.) A big thumb-up for the fun idea, a big thumb down for the situation behind it.

I find this whole “Writer’s Strike!” sound ‘n fury quite odd. For one thing, even the best writers will complain up and down about how the studios rip the heart out of their oeuvre. I have zero respect for the industry’s tendency for happy/sappy endings, 2-D characters and Joe Public decision making, but I’ve also sat through too many crappy woe-is-me-(the-writer) movies (e.g. State & Main, The Big Picture, The TV Set, etc.) to have much sympathy for them. Particularly when the agreement they seek is just to re-chain themselves to the studios they decry in exchange for more cash. It isn’t wage slavery – it’s wage indentured servitude. In this Final Cut day and YouTube age, there’s little excuse for writers to take charge (or, in a less writer-friendly word, responsibility) and produce their own work. After all, a previous Stumble showed what can be done with only 3 men, a computer, and some ingenuity.

As it happens, the Writer’s Strike! doesn’t affect me in the slightest. Unlike some of my hand-wringing, entertainment-withdrawn, TV-addict friends, I’m not a heavy consumer of American TV – precisely because of the craptastic writing and designed-by-committee blandness of the offerings. But I had hoped that this strike might be the straw that broke the industry’s back, or at least to loosen its grip. Instead, it remains lights, camera, inaction.

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