I really feel that the writer's strike was an important first step to recognizing the little guys that are part of creating the media that we know and love. The Whedon article painted a very clear picture of the process that took place during the strike, and I thought that the author did the creative world a justice by declaring writing and art form. I know that concept is something that has been highly debated, but writing is a form of expression, which is a key factor in defining art. Although writing is a less abstract form of art (much different than painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.) it is something that is created from an original idea, and takes a certain amount of crafting. Just as acting requires a similar process, actors and writers should be on a level playing field, and get compensated and recognized equally for productions. I would also say the same about everyone else that is involved in actually creating the media; editors, cameramen, and all crew should be entitled to equal compensation, which should be no less, if not more, than the studio executives receive for movies and television.
After reading a lot of the blogs for today I couldn't decide which to comment on so I guess I'll just write my own. The main argument that I saw was about how even if you love what you do, it is still work. I agree with this statement. the joss blog talks about how writers deserve more compensation for what they were doing, hence the strike. what bothers me about this issue is that, although i agree that writing can be a demanding job, I don't think that they should be complaining about the money that they make. I will bet that most of those writers who were on strike made well over $20,000 a year for sitting in an office and having brainstorming sessions with other writers. then you have a private (lowest rank) in the Marine Corps who is overseas either doing bitch work or getting shot at by a bunch of angry insurgents in the hot as balls desert every day making not even $20,000 a year, yet you never hear about them going on strike. this is why i dont see any reason why, if you are making enough to support your family, which i am sure these writers are for a cushy office job, you should be complaining about the money you make. As one of you said so perfectly in your blog post, Suck it up and stop complaining.
Why is writing not considered work? Is it because from a young age we are exposed to images of police officers and firemen, instead of seeing hard working journalists? The following passage from the article stood out to me...
"My son is almost five. He is just beginning to understand what I do as a concept. If I drove a construction crane he'd have understood it at birth. And he'd probably think I was King of all the Lands in my fine yellow crane. But writing - especially writing a movie or show, where people other than the writer are all saying things that they're clearly (to an unschooled mind) making up right then - is something to get your head around"
This exemplifies how our ideologies are formed early on. This blog made me wonder if there are any other jobs like this that aren't considered work because of certain beliefs people have?
I've always found this to be an interesting debate, if you want to call it that. Art frequently gets the reputation that it isn't work. I feel like the associations it gets is "Oh, these are the people who think they'll be a super star. Well, reality will hit them and they'll fall flat on their face and wish they went to school as an engineer or some REAL job"
I love art. I've always found drawing to be a hobby. I tried my hand at creative writing. I never really wanted to make a career out of it, so I always likened it to a hobby. I wonder how much of that was influenced by the "Art isn't real work" logic nowadays.
For me, as I grew up and realized more things about the world I realized that art can be just as much a job as anything else can be, it just has a horrible reputation. I have taken a couple of creative writing courses and those were really difficult at times. It seems like a simple concept: sit down and write whatever you want. Well, I feel like a lot of students hate the "write whatever you want" even when it comes to research papers. We want guidelines and requirements. Creative writing CAN have requirements, but it's so free it's intimidating. After creative writing was over I realized I just don't have what it takes to be a creative writer. It would take too much mental effort for me to sit down and write the intricate stories, complicated plots and so on that you would need to be good at in order to make a name for yourself (unless you somehow got lucky and wrote a piece of garbage like Twilight and still managed to make millions).
Basically, I think that writing, drawing, sculpting, whatever form of art it may be can be just as challenging and just as intensive as anything else. It may not be something that you see physically, but mentally it's definitely there.
... Although at the same time, I still definitely have my opinions on what is art and what is not. (The Walker or Weisman or the stereotypical corporate art sculptures you see, for example, I do not consider art)... and I guess perhaps that's where the discrepancy lies. What IS art in the first place?
After reading Joss's blog and being reminded how news reporters presented the strike, I can understand why any writer would be outraged. Writers are just as hard of workers as any construction worker, ect. Joss made a very good point on how story telling defines our popular culture, which is a huge part of our identity. Without writers, we wouldn't have the various forms of entertainment like we do now. I think it's sad how they have to prove themselves to other people that they contribute to our country because in reality, they help define it.
(there was a pun in that title...anyone get it? *holds for applause*)
I can very much appreciate the work he does (maybe not his work per se, but writing in general) and whether it's fun or not, there is that weight of stress and worry when trying to do your job. He has a 5 year old son, he needs to be able to help provide for his family and when the writers were on strike, the money wasn't coming in. I don't see any issue with sounding "whiny" or bitching about the way his craft is viewed. At the end of the day, their #1 job is to make money to support their lives.
To me, it doesn't matter what the job is--if it's your job, there is an inherent amount of stress that comes with it whether you're Lebron James, Zach Galifianakis, or Joss Whedon.
I also enjoyed the cheap shot by the New York Times trying to illlegitimize (delegitimze?) the entire strike by attacking the credibility of the writers "scarves and dickies" or something along those lines, I've since closed the article. Whether it's working in a coal mine or writing for "Law and Order: SVU", if you work your ass off, you should be compensated fairly.
The author for this blog entry is the most sensitive person I have ever read! As I read this, this person only bitches and bitches for what work really is. Art is considered work, even though it is considered a different form. I think that if you like your job then it is classified more as fun than actual work. It can be quite possible. If someone finds something they love doing, then why not do it and give it an even better effort and quality work? Of course during those underpaid entry jobs, we all have to deal with those, but once you get up the ladder and even learn from those jobs what you loooove to do best, then you can end up having fun.....buuuuut in the meantime, DEAL WITH IT. What you make of it is what you get out of it.
In both the blog and the article, it is interesting how easily the writers of shows and films are forgotten about. As viewers, we remember the characters and how they say the lines and how perfect their timing is, as opposed to thinking about the idea that someone else (usually) wrote what they are saying.
In the article, it is also interesting to think back to VCR days and the strike that occurred then to try and figure out compensation with those sales. It is hard to imagine that they didn't know VCR and DVD's would take off, but at the same they were extremely new concepts and ideas.
Reading Joss's blog post about the writers' strike was probably the most interesting assigned reading we've had in this class so far. Interesting to me because it was actually enjoyable and did not hurt my head in trying to keep up with the lingo or keep my eyes from blurring due to walls of text (sorry I had to be honest here). There was one term he used, "popinjays" which I did have to look up via my best friend Google, yet I know it wasn't a major item in the text. In case you're wondering, the term is used to describe "a vain or conceited person" per Merriam-Webster's online dictionary.
Regardless of learning a fun new word the article actually gave me great understanding as far as the idea that "art" isn't work. I'll admit, I have felt that those who are "artists" in the loose sense of the word are not really bogged down by the horrible idea of having to do "work" because their job is different than the typically business 9-5 corporate idea of one. Yet, this blog helped me understand that they do "work" in the essence that they too have to get out of bed and complete a task, whether it is writing for studios or painting in them. Sitting at home in bed all day watching television is not working, but when you are producing a product in some way, even if it is a funny script, you should be properly compensated for the demands and pressures of fulfilling that job requirement. The idea that the writers are there for story telling was a great point to make by Joss. Since the beginning of time, even before written text, storytelling is what allowed information to be passed down through generations and keep history within cultures and nations. Even the bible began as simple storytelling.
The author mentions how he is piggy-backing off of this blog and as it is a blog for other writers etc. he may be "preaching to the choir." Do you think he should have taken the extra effort even if he was "sick" to post this where more people besides those in the strike would have seen the information he presented? Or do you think the location of his blog was just fine to get his voice heard and his ideas out to the public?
Truly enjoyed this blog entry and how entertaining it was. I especially liked his take on the quote by the NY Times "All the trappings of a union protest were there... ...But instead of hard hats and work boots, those at the barricades wore arty glasses and fancy scarves," and how stereotypical their take on writers are. There also was a comment on the blog that pertained to writers writing about writing and how ironic it was - the take on the stereotypical "art" writer with the news writer (who apparently cannot seem to understand the meaning of the protest and its participates and still categorizes them in this fashion). I also was thinking the same thing as I read that part in the blog. Anyway, I remember the 2007 Writers Strike because it effected my favorite show at the time Grey's Anatomy, and although it sucked having reruns constantly I really supported the efforts of the Writers and the inequalities they were facing by the large conglomerates.