Gosh, I don't know. Do you?
I've been asked many times if the strike is going to end this week. Nikki Finke posted a very optimistic report from an insider yesterday morning, and that has set off a wave of enthusiasm. "Fire up the margarita machine!" you say.
Well, not so fast. First of all, it's November, and who drinks margaritas in November?
What if this round of negotiations falls apart? Personally, I didn't think it would come to a strike in the first place. It seemed inconceivable that the conglomerates would stand by a platform that was so -- no other word for it -- evil. But they did. And we went on strike. Had the AMPTP proposal been only 60% evil, who knows what would have happened. As Craig Mazin recently wrote,
"Either they dared us to strike to see if we had the balls (dumb, because their deal was so ridiculous, who would possibly agree to take it?), or they forced us to strike in order to….As usual, Craig says it best and says it first. Given that history, am I optimistic we'll have a fair deal by the end of the week? Nope. I'd love one. But I'm afraid after how the companies have behaved so far, I'll feel enthusiastic when there's a joint announcement about a deal and not a moment sooner.
…well, hell, Nick Counter, buy me a drink one day and explain that to me if it’s the case. It certainly seemed like the AMPTP forced a strike, but to what end?"
So what do we do until that happy email lands in our inboxes? We keep up the pressure. And to demonstrate resolve, we continue to blog in italics. Part of me, the paranoid part, worries these optimistic rumors are deliberately intended to lull us into a false sense of security. We start to slack off, let the pickets go, stop the bloggity blogging, and then, BAM! Nick Counter cackles, "Gotcha, sucker!" as he zooms up the chimney with my Christmas tree.
I think it's safe to say that this strike didn't go the way the companies thought it would. Let's keep it that way. Check out the article by Brooks Barnes that ran in today's New York Times. Brooks has been no mouthpiece for the Guild. (He started out rather hostile!) My favorite quote:
“Wow,” said Leo Reed, the gruff secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 399 and director of its motion picture division. “You are acting like a militant union.”Surprise! Turns out you act militant when someone tries to steal the future -- not just your future, but the future of everyone you work with above and below the line.
So let's hope we can all get together for those margaritas, and well before summertime. But don't book the back room at El Coyote yet.