Friday, November 16, 2007

If God had wanted us to fly he wouldn't have taken away our wings.

Bad luck for the Ducks. There wasn't a person following this team that wouldn't admit that Dixon was the thing keeping them going. Once he went down their season was pretty much over.


Maybe next year...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

There you are, right back in the jungle again.

Kung Fu Monkey has done some terrific stuff on the screenwriter's strike (he's a screenwriter himself) but I'm really of fond of this latest post because he tears apart not just the giant production companies that are jobbing writers regularly but the libertarian rubes that support them.

This is where I'm always amused at libertarians, because they so love markets but never seem to understand how business actually works. If you, my fine libertarian friend, decide to forego the union and negotiate your own contract vis a vis residuals (or pretty much anything else), you will find that unless you are one of the maybe eight out of 12,0000 most famous and profitable writers in Hollywood, you will get exactly the same deal from each studio, or slightly worse. Because what possible motivation would they have to share their profits, relative to each of the other five competitors? That's just common sense.

Asking why writers don't just go start a new United Artists instead of negotiating for a fair residual on new media is like asking why autoworkers, if unhappy with their current contracts, don't just go start their own car companies. Sure, some of us are actually trying -- did anybody notice, in my posts on the pilot, any mention of a studio? -- but what the hell are the rank and file writer supposed to do in the meantime? And how does the remote possibility this could be done in any way justify the AMPTP's position, that they will reuse our material for free for the foreseeable future? And AGAIN, people, try to be clear on this -- we have intellectual property rights on this material. If you believe authors and songwriters should get royalties, then you believe screenwriters should get residuals. Period.

One of the odd things about libertarianism is it can include some of the smartest people on the planet who, at the same time, can also embody an almost child-like naivete about how business works. Free-markets left to their own devices without the interference of the state do not remain free as businesses tend to naturally consolidate. Free markets don't remain that way for long.

Anyhoo - it's hard to think of what we can do to support the screenwriters other than sign a petition.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Who can deny the snazzy of that?

Don't forget to watch Overdroid on "Rules of Engagement" at 9:30 on CBS. Word on the set is that he was quite the Diva...