The Writers Guild of America has announced that it intends to strike beginning at 12:01 am on Monday, November 5. This strike results from a three-month failure of the studios and the union to agree on royalties for works that end up on so-called "new media" (i.e. DVDs and Internet streams). The union wants royalties if their work is used, the studios don't believe such an arrangement is workable. Both sides have broken off discussion and a federal mediator has been dispatched for a last-minute chance to bring both parties to the table. This attempt will likely fail.
Once again, we see on display the rather absurd notion of a white-collar union. These writers have no real dangerous working conditions, they face no risks to life and limb. The worst that could happen is a paper cut. Yet, here they are fighting with the producers vigorously over residual money. It's like an MLM (multi-level marketing) scheme turned ugly. Exactly why is it so necessary for such a group to have a union to fight over a paycheck again?
The good news is such a strike would be great for the entertainment industry and America as a whole. It is true, this will lead to more reality TV shows which don't need writers hitting the airwaves and this writer is certainly aware that such entertainment has drained our national IQ by at least 10 points. However, most of the television being written today is so insipid, so stupid, so artistically worthless that the television studios could do far better by airing static during primetime slots instead of the garbage that is usually polluting our airwaves.
The first shows to be hit would be late night talk television such as the David Letterman show. The only real loss here would be the absence of new episodes of The Daily Show. Likely, Stephen Colbert's campaign to get on the ballot in South Carolina will suffer greatly with this strike.
Next to go would be the soap operas. They are recorded up to a week in advance so likely there will still be a week of those shows until they have to switch to reruns. The recording studios would do far better by broadcasting the Cartoon Network on those channels and it would still reduce the level of silliness in that time slot.