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Which is just what you would expect.

(Though, alas, his version of events does not contain the hundred-foot-high tyrannosaurus.)

...Oh, yeah. Remember that writing/calling campaign I mentioned: Here's an early response. (From UnitedHollywood.com via WGA Strike News Digest.)

Which of five networks is said to have been forced to hire extra people to handle all the calls flooding in from angry fans demanding a fair deal for writers? Our source says an assistant to the CEO of the network's parent company contacted a fan site that posted the CEO's phone number and pleaded, "What do I have to do to get you people to stop this?"

...Heh heh heh.
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Hollywood unburdens itself (while spiking your drink...)

...Let’s discuss how we’re all going to move on and away from writer-centric (Or as we in the industry like to call it, “gay”) television. You best believe your old buddy Hollywood has a plan for your hearts, mind, and precious, precious advertising dollars. God, we love your money. We love it. LOVE IT! PRECIOUS! BRING ME THE PRECIOUS! KILLS THE WRITERSES! I—

Oh, WOW. Sorry, America. It’s been a weird few weeks. Moving on...
(from The Morning News via WGA Strike News Digest)
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...what you can do besides go down to the picket lines (useful and heartening though that is for the writers walking there):

Remember how a letter-writing / phone campaign saved Star Trek once? Time to revisit those tactics.

...Make a phone call [to the CEOs of Big Media]. Yes, that's it -- or write a letter if you prefer.

Don't wait and say, "okay, I'll do this later." Be an Organizer. Drag your eyes away from your computer now--right now (okay, for the West Coast numbers if you are living on East Coast time, phone the East Coast honchos now and, then, put the West Coast list on your list of "to-dos" before lunch or before your pre-lunch nap)--and dial...

Click here for the necessary names, addresses and phone numbers, and a list of "talking points" if you need them.

(EDIT: a similar campaign is being mooted / hosted at BringTVBack.blogspot.com.)
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Where To Put Your Hand During The National Anthem

Also: fellow writers: Are they dissing our babies? (OK, I am not biologically a mom. I've done all my mothering in bulk. Approximately 1500 babies during my stint of pediatric nursing.)
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...That being, of course, the title of William Goldman's second book about the trials and tribulations of working as a writer in Hollywood. But today, the video below (courtesy of United Hollywood) puts the title in a whole different light.

Let's be clear: writers are professional liars. And the first lesson I learned in this business was the importance of keeping those lies (in a screenplay, or a novel, or a comic, or a computer game...) in order, organized, and noncontradictory.

Plainly Big Media (as we must now call them, the Producers' Guild having gingerly started to put some distance between itself and the Huge Media Companies: you can just see the producers lifting their garments up to avoid the muck as they tiptoe away...) ...anyway, Big Media are not real good at keeping their lies straight at the moment. Specifically, the one about how the Internet is Too New for them to know if it's possible to make any money off it...and of course they therefore can't promise to give us any of it. They tell us that across the bargaining table, doubtless fighting to keep their faces straight. And then they go on TV and do... this.

I mean, really. (exasperated sigh)

...There's another fun video under the cut, here, too.) "Studio Execs Protest Unfairness of Striking Writers." ("We're the aggrieved parties here! We're under threat! I could lose two of my five homes!")

(Oh, BTW, YW.net users: Sorry for the brief interruption in service. A bounced-credit-card-charge message from our forum provider got missed. The Forums should be back online within the next 24 hours. YoungWizards.com is unaffected.)

Read more... )
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In a gentle and limited way. As many of you have counseled me, I'm taking it easy.

Amusing things seen this morning: in the "It's Good to be King" dep't:

"Shut up!", King of Spain tells President of Venezuela

And he used "tu" instead of "usted." Whoa.

Also: How Mr. Burns Would Handle the Writers' Strike (Whoops! This link pointed back to the King of Spain story. Fixed now. Thanks, folks.)

(Heh heh. BTW, I found the link to this on WGA Strike News Digest. This is looking useful as a unified resource for strike-related news links and feeds.)

(...Oh, also, a note about the main "Out of Ambit" blog: For some reason it hasn't been updating correctly when I post here -- my present installation of WordPress seems to be broken somehow. It may take a while to figure out what's wrong. Apologies for the inconvenience. I'll get it fixed as soon as I can.)
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I think another day in bed will see me well enough to get busy with work again. Meanwhile, I'm catching up on my reading.

Ran across the following this morning while surfing for reports on the huge rally at Fox yesterday:

The War for the Guild

Yes, it appears in a WGA publication. But the history is a matter of public record. And those who forget the lessons of history... etc.

(and here are some other links at MeeVee)
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(It's this stuff, BTW. You can only get it in Switzerland and Canada [but the Canadian stuff isn't as strong as the Swiss]. It's worth the trip. It does the job.)

...Videos about the writers' strike are coming up like mushrooms after the rain. Browsing through the dewy meadows of YouTube, I came across this one. I've always been a sucker for a strong graphic statement...)

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...I hate the flu. Hate it. I hate this stand-up, whoops, no, fall-right-over thing. Especially when I have work to do. Well, at least I can work on the laptop in bed. I just wish it wouldn't keep overheating and shutting down without warning. (Turns out this is a fault in the Sharp UM32W that can only be solved by getting the motherboard replaced -- to the tune of about $800, since the thing's out of warranty. Gah.)

Anyway: I've had some mails from people over the last few days about the writers' strike, saying they support it and want to know what they can do to help.

For the moment, try signing on to this online petition. Yeah, I know, such things can seem to be of questionable value. But we'll see. Please, spread the link around as widely as you can.

Another thing: those of you who are in LA or NY should feel free to go down and join the picket lines -- they'll be glad to have you. LA folks: the big picket today is at Fox. Thousands of writers and supporters will be there. I wish I could be. (Except I'd just fall down after taking about ten steps, which would dampen the occasion somewhat.)

And again, if you're not sure you understand the issues surrounding this whole fooforaw, try checking out the entries and sidebars at United Hollywood, where the strike captains are running a blog.

(You could also read our old friend Ron Moore's excellent interview on the subject over at IGN.)

(...And here's something worth seeing: past master of our craft, longtime Obi-Wan to my Luke [or Lukette, as the case may be]: Harlan Ellison talks about getting paid for one's work. Inimitably.)

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(sigh) No sooner did we get back from the Surrey International Writers' Conference -- which was an absolute blast, definitely something we will happily attend again -- that I went down with a really nasty case of the flu (I think I picked it up while passing through Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam: had it been something I'd picked up sooner, I think it would have manifested earlier). Now I'm slowly starting to get caught up with things that should have been going on days ago.

In particular, the new chapter of A Wizard of Mars has gone up for premium content subscribers at the Young Wizards discussion forums. I'm really sorry for the delay: it was due to a hardware issue that I couldn't resolve before we left (dead laptop, material not duplicated / backed up elsewhere, argh!!) -- and then after we got back I went straight to bed. If you've been a subscriber and for some reason find you can't get at the new content, let me know and I'll see to it that your subscription is extended. Also, yes, I know the graphic on the AWoM page says "Chapter 3." Webmaster Lee will be fixing that shortly.

...But today there's other business. Today the Writers' Guild, as some of you will doubtless have noticed, is on strike.

There is going to be a lot of cluelessness and outright crap in the broadcast media about this over the coming days (and, I much fear, weeks...). To those of you who're unfamiliar with the issues, let me point out one crucial fact right away: due to the increasingly vertically-integrated nature of the entertainment industry, the mass media are largely controlled by the same people (the AMPTP) that the Guild is striking against... so don't expect to hear much from the big media outlets except how greedy and ungrateful and unreasonable we rich, spoiled TV writers are.

(eyeroll) A million things I could say about this... except others are saying it better and far more eloquently: have been saying it for days and weeks, and in some cases months. If you want to find out about why writers are striking, read these sources for clear and sometimes (understandably) angry explanations.

The Artful Writer: the website run by Ted Elliott (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Craig Mazin (Scary Movie 3)

News from me: Mark Evanier's website

United Hollywood: a WGA strike captains' blog

And of course, the Writers Guild of America website

Also, for general news and background, Nikki Finke's weblog at L.A. Weekly is a good bet: Deadline Hollywood Daily

(BTW, for those of you who support the writers in this strike and have a picket nearby, please note: the Guild says you are more than welcome to join writer members on the picket lines.)

...Meanwhile, I'm going to go back to bed and Drink Some More Fluids. But I leave you with Jon Stewart's take on the strike. Dry stuff. Go Jon! (snrk)

(See also: Jon Stewart to pay his writing staff's salaries for the next two weeks)

(afterthought. Today's silliest headline: Writers' strike forces students to study ... They're kidding, right? Not even Superman could make that happen.)


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