The Writer’s Strike: Taking Care of Our Neighbors
Small communities are rather wonderful. I like the way people take care of each otherâwatch each other’s backs. Today I went to our nearby (45 minutes is nearby around here) town. I put tires on my husbandâs car and bought another to replace a flat on my car.Ouch, real spendy type money.
Vernon–in small towns everyone has a name and a past and a familyâVernon filled out my bill and marked paid as he waited for my credit card to cycle through the machine. The box balked and wouldnât run the plastic so he tried again and again. No luck.
âWell,â I said, âIâll be in town tomorrow. I could pay you then.â (I hadnât planned on being there but I could make the run if need be.)
Vernon nodded, âThatâd be fine.â He handed me my receipt.
I started to leave then realized the bill had already been marked paid. If I walked out no one but Vern and I would know that I hadnât yet coughed up any cash. âYou want to change the paid part, in case I decide to be a criminal and not come back?â I grinned as I passed the paper across the counter.
He raised his eyebrows at me. âYou planning on playing the criminal?â
He handed the bill back. âDidnât figure you wereâŠ. See you tomorrow.â
Now the writers are another small community. Film and TV writers might seem like folks that donât have much in common with you and me. But they do. And their strike is important to all of us. Hereâs why. And if youâre like me and donât always click on those links, hereâs a summary. Toni Causey makes a strong case that if the writersâ fold then the corporations that control so much of media already will soon control even more. She argues, and I just agree, that when these corporations command content, as they will if the writers lose, then the audience (thatâs you and me folks) will be force fed ideas with no counter informationâOne voice in the media, one mind in the masses. As one of those âmasses,â my brain kind of cringes at the thought.
So letâs say you agree with Causey and with me. What can you do to help out your neighboring community that has provided you with entertainment for so many years? Supporters online have come up with some all around great ideas. According to Joss Whedon (Firefly), the group, Fans 4 Writers, has excited the Writersâ Guild with its smart use of the internet. Whedon says that the union wants âto show the studios that there are no longer two sides to this struggle; there are three. The audience has a voice, and a right to be heard.â
So letâs take care of our neighbors.Pay attention to the strike.Talk about it (Whatâs a neighborhood without gossip). Write about it.And, if youâre in the area, bake some cookies or take over a casserole to the picketers.If youâre not, maybe you could send some cashy money.âCause remember our neighbors, the writers, need us to lend a hand.
Iâll see Vern tomorrow. And Iâm helping the writers today. Thatâs just what neighbors do.