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Friday, January 04, 2008

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

Jesus O'Malley is home. Jesus was this tough Irish/Puerto Rican kid I grew up with in Rahway, NJ. He was twelve, but had the swagger and life-savviness of someone three times his age. He wasn't particularly big, strong or intimidating, but he could disarm any situation by doing something extraordinarily harmful to his person. Once while being threatened by three older Latino boys (one of whom was his cousin), he took a skateboard and smashed it over his right knee, shattering the board and taking himself out of Pop Warner football for the remainder of the season. Another time, while trying to impress Maria Rugerio, Jesus drove a Phillip's head screwdriver into his left ass cheek, causing the permanent disability to sit correctly on a toilet seat. These odd, self-inflicted acts were so outrageous and disturbing they always pulled focus from the conflict at hand. Not sure what triggered his impulse -- anxiety, a desperate need for attention, mutilation complex? Whatever the cause, Jesus was a peacemaker. And each painful escapade earned him respect and street cred. Not bad-ass, tough-guy credit, but fearful, unpredictable credit. Jesus had no impulse control. Everyone knew that sooner or later, the acts of terror would find their way off-self onto others. By the time he was nineteen, Jesus O'Malley was serving a 25 year sentence for three counts of second degree manslaughter. I was recently informed by a mutual childhood friend that Jesus was released from prison last May. He has changed his name to Joe and is an assistant manager at the TGI Fridays in Watchung, NJ. Good on you, Joe, good on you. As horrific, blood-filled memories of my childhood experiences with Mr. O'Malley came rushing back, I got to thinking about my own, immediate pain. I pondered -- faced with the conflict and impasse between the WGA and AMPTP, what would Jesus do? A wooden picket shoved up his ass? Pulled out slowly to ensure maximum splintering as it passed through the soft tissue of his anus? Perhaps a well swung bullhorn to his mouth, shattering four or five front teeth? Maybe diving under a Teamster van or impaling himself on the finial spears of Paramount's majestic gate? So many body parts, so many options. All of which, I fear, will be a bit less painful then the ones we are going to be faced with in the upcoming months.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

3 REASONS WE SHOULDN'T PICKET THE GOLDEN GLOBES.

This from Yahoo News:

STRIKING WRITERS THREATEN TO DISRUPT GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Striking members of the Writers Guild of America plan to picket the Golden Globes awards ceremony scheduled for January 13, the guild announced Wednesday.

The west coast division of the WGA issued a statement announcing that the organizer of the awards ceremony, Dick Clark Productions, was one of the companies from which writers went on strike and therefore members would picket the awards ceremony.

"Dick Clark Productions is a struck company. As previously announced, the Writers Guild will be picketing the Golden Globe Awards," it said in a statement.

This from Deadline Hollywood Daily: WGA Still Saying NOPE To Golden Globes

Both officially and unofficially, the WGA and its board don't want anything to do with this year's Golden Globes Awards still being televised on NBC despite the inevitable writers strike pickets. This afternoon I was told by a WGA board member that "there's no way" the guild will OK an interim agreement for the dick clark company that produces the show. One reason is that the Golden Globes is little more than a marketing tool for the networks and studios and their TV and movie fare. Certainly, the awards themselves are a sham and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association behind them bogus. So why should self-respecting showbiz talents stick their necks out to cross picket lines for that?

This from the WGA:

Dick Clark Productions is a struck company. As previously announced, the Writers Guild will be picketing the Golden Globe Awards. The WGA has great respect and admiration for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but we are engaged in a crucial struggle that will protect our income and intellectual property rights for generations to come. We will continue to do everything in our power to bring industry negotiations to a fair conclusion. In the meantime, we are grateful for the ongoing support of the talent community.

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Yes, Nikki, the Globes are a great marketing tool for Big Media, but calling them a sham is too fucking easy. We all know there is a sham component to every entertainment award -- Emmys, Oscars, Grammys -- beyond talent there are always politics and greed at play. But at the end of the day, it's a celebration of the work. All the work -- writing, directing, acting, sound, costumes, makeup -- the collaboration of the arts. Yes it's self indulgent and a masturbatory, but it's fucking fun and we need it.

Being a writer on The Shield for seven seasons, we saw countless "best writing" awards go to other shows not nearly as good as ours (in our humble opinion). We cursed the Emmys and the WGA awards, called them bogus. But of course we wanted to win. Of course we continued to submit scripts to the academy. We wanted acknowledgment from our community. That feeling of recognition is not a sham. It's very real. Just ask the people who are nominated for Golden Globes this year.

Yes, not giving Dick Clark Prods a waver makes sense, there should be no writing by guild members for a struck company. This sends a clear, consistent message. But picketing the Golden Globe Awards is wrong.

Here's why:

1) It's fucking selfish. To taint the the night for others who aren't part of our struggle is wrong. People have worked hard on both sides of the line to get nominated. They're not showing up to scab, they're not crossing a picket line to work for Big Media, they're showing up to support the artistic endeavors of their peers. For many it's a once in a life time shot. Why shit on that ?

2) It's egomaniacal. It's making a night that's about the entertainment community at large all about the writers. Let's focus our energy.

3) It's just a pussy fucking move. C'mon Pat, show some class. Make be proud to be on your side.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008