Monday Morning Links

- Garth Brooks Rocks
The best-selling solo music artist in US history refused to cross picket lines and appear on "The View" or "Ellen" last week to promote his album. Reports cited this quote from Brooks' publicist: "Garth is proud of the position he has taken since he hopes to be a writer in the not too distant future."
Garth, I'll bet you now have several thousand writers who will happily look at drafts for you. Thanks for your support.

Many outlets carried this story, but when one is called CountryStandardTime.com, well, that's the one getting the link.

- The LA Times' strike coverage has been ramping up, and it now regularly includes angles of the story unreported elsewhere. Two examples: a Christian group's prayer for a fair resolution and the announcement of a worldwide day of protest on November 28 to support the strike.

Today, the paper runs two pieces of note. The first provides some good context on the battles over fair compensation that got us here. And it provides this great quote:

"Profitability is next to nothing," said one studio executive who asked not to be named. "The notion of taking out more money from a business that's nascent just seems crazy to us. The problem is, we said the same thing about DVD and it became a $10-billion business."
Yes, nameless executive, that is the problem. I suppose there was a time when it cost a king's ransom to manufacture the housing of a single VHS cassette. "We're getting reamed on the plastic costs! Throw us a bone here!" As if to reinforce nameless executive's confession, the headline of the second LAT article states, Digital Media Won't Be a Sideshow in the Future.

- Michael Fox writes in The Smirking Chimp, a political blog:
The visibility is tremendous, and the zeitgeist in L.A. seem unanimous: This is not the fault of the writers – the studios have reverted to the state they were in 1948 (and then some), they are greedy beyond any sense of reason, and we are all damn mad – and supportive of the strike; the writers must get their fair share of the income their work generates.

- Ruth, aka "Anonymous English Major," e-mailed UH asking how to help, and she joined the picketing for a day! She's posted her picket story on her LiveJournal page, complete with pictures.

- I'm told the most recent Prairie Home Companion included a "sympathetic, funny bit" about the strike near the beginning of the show.

- John Vorhaus hit Vegas after a week of picketing, and he found metaphors at the poker table. WARNING: Highbrow literary theory content. But there's also this:
I asked what people thought about the strike, and this one old guy (by old, of course, I mean about my age) said, deadpan, "'Fair is fair,' says Billie Jean." This, if you don't recognize it, is the signature line from the movie The Legend of Billie Jean, written by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal, released in 1985, and starring the delicious Helen Slater.

- I'm not sure if I'm supposed to reveal the identity of Charlie, the writer behind My Second Strike, but here's a hint: This is not his first strike.

- "The most prominent TV critic in Canada" supports the WGA.
Here's the idea: Let's just boycott American network TV until the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers settles with the Writers Guild of America and the writers can get back to doing what they want to do -- entertain us.

Don't forget to visit Strike Points for all the news from our friends in the Guild East. I also recommend Late Show Writers on Strike. We have relaunched pages on Facebook and MySpace, plus a growing Flickr account. Send your strike-related pictures to unitedhollywood [at] gmail [dot] com!


VDOVault said...

Your link to the WGAE Blog is broken...try http://www.strikepoints.com/

Also check this out 90% of media buyers (advertising buyers) are with you


Johnny Smoke said...

No surprise here. Back in the 90s Brooks wanted a piece of the sales of his CDs sold through used CD stores. He later changed his position... How many times do these folks think they should get paid on something?

Christian M. Howell said...

The funny thing about the support from consumers is that the Internet makes it very easy to connect with TENS OF MILLIONS of folks looking for their entertainment fix.

So I guess people do use the Internet and it is a viable medium for cinema.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy Garth is for the strikers but he gives off mixed signals. I know at least one of his albums was ONLY available at - of all evil places - Walmart. What's with that Garth? (and The Eagles, too!)