Two more letters forwarded to me by my Shield buddy. My comments following --
WGA STRIKE PRIMER: THE ENDGAME
From WGA member Bob Elisberg in the Huffington Post, January 15, 2008 :
In the beginning was the word - yet the word most heard these days in
WGA MEMBER KEVIN MAYNARD ON THE STRIKE
I think healthy dissention is critical and should be encouraged within the Guild; however, let's not lose sight of the real goal of achieving a fair and equitable deal in new media. We're not far from entering our fourth month without paychecks and now more than ever it's essential to keep our numbers up on the picket lines and our resolve strong. Whether you agree or not with Patrick and the leadership it's too late to change course. Take it up at the next Guild election. Now it's time to get onboard and use our full weight as a Guild to lean on the AMPTP, advertisers, ongoing productions, etc. I come from a sports background and there have been plenty of times I've disagreed with a coach's strategy but pissing and moaning on the bench or refusing to put forth maximum effort or recruiting teammates to mutiny is just another way of saying I'm right, coach is wrong. And what that smacks of is ego. What it doesn't smack of is making the team better. And unless I'm mistaken, this strike isn't about proving whether the WGA leadership is right or wrong, it's about getting a fair deal for all writers. So let's all stop the semantics and stop keeping score with each other and instead, spend some of the time we're on these boards arguing amongst ourselves, and direct it at the AMPTP.
I agree with Bob's logic. It seems ludicrous for Big Media not to settle facing the loss of billions of dollars. Unfortunately, this strike has not followed any logical progression. As I sometimes question the strategy of our guild, wondering if our strategy is correct, I know at least we have a strategy. I know people have said this before, but I too, have come to realize that perhaps Big Media is not the Evil Empire with a dark agenda trying to crush us, but more a powerful gaggle of splintered agendas and battling egos. The result is the same -- crushing us -- but perhaps we're giving them too much credit. They're like Sybil. How can you have one relationship with multiple personalities?
I admire Kevin's "win one for the gipper" enthusiasm. Yes, we need to stand united in the face of Big Media. But what he calls dissention (I believe he means dissension -- we're writers not spellers), I would label accountability. It's our job as members to question the direction of our guild and our leadership.
I'm a jersey boy, joined the Teamsters Local 641 when I was 17 (grocery warehouse in
I'll gladly supply the match.