Wednesday, May 3, 2023


The post I had planned for this week is going to have to get pushed back a bit. 

Instead, this week, we're talking about something else. Something important. 

The way we consume art has changed over the last decade. Sitting here now, honestly trying to remember, I truly can't recall the last time I told myself, your ass has to be on that couch at this time, and the TV has to be set to this channel. It might have been the finale of season 1 of True Detective. Maybe the season 4 premier of Game of Thrones? It might have been the finale of Breaking Bad. Doesn't matter. The point is, streaming services (and, to an extent, DVR before that) has changed the way we watch our favorite shows and movies. Our favorite art is served to us at our convenience now. It comes in to our homes when we're ready for it. And because we can engage with our favorite art at our convenience, it becomes something even more to us. Something there for us when we need it. We can rewatch the same episodes over and over. We can start a series again the moment it ends. We can share our favorites and recommend them on Twitter or Blue Sky or Instagram, picking out clips and blasting our favorite moments to thousands of our followers at once. 

We have more ways of engaging with our favorite art than ever before, but our engagement is not free. We pay more for the privilege, every month. 

In 2007, I had a cable bill. In 2023, I have a cable bill, and the monthly Netflix charge. The Hulu/Disney+ package. Peacock. Paramount. AppleTV+. Prime. (Okay, I don't have all of those every single month, the last few get rotated in and out... but you get what I'm saying). 

And all this money goes somewhere. The studios and the streamers and the stockholders. They're all raking it in. 

But you know where all that extra money doesn't go?

The writers. 

It's Tuesday night, and the Writers Guild of America is on strike. 

The people who make the things we love the most have been being starved while the C-class stuffs their pockets. The people who make the things we love put down their pens to walk a picket line today. They stopped creating the things they love, the things you love, because they're not getting a fair deal. Even the Studios acknowledge this.

I'm not a member of the Writers Guild. I'm not in Hollywood. I have some things I've worked on that have gotten a few sniffs of interest from people with money and cameras, but, as of now, I'm just a dude writing his sad little crime stories two thousand miles away. In other words, I'm not really qualified to discuss the specifics of what the writers want, or what the studios are insisting on in defiance of the writer's demands. I know the broad outlines, enough to know the writers are right, but I'm not the guy with all the answers. 

But I AM a writer. And though I don't really have any aspirations of writing scripts, as someone who loves reading and writing, this will effect me. And if you've found your way to this site, you're a person who loves stories, storytelling, and storytellers. Which means this will effect you too. 

So what can you do to help? 

Step 1. Take a long look at that list of streamers up there. Been meaning to cancel one of them? Do it, today. And on that little box when they ask why you're cancelling? Tell 'em. IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WGA. 

Step 2. Make sure you're following the WGA on Twitter. As of now, there is not a strike fund, but when one shoes up, you'll want to make sure you know about it. 

Step 3. Make a list of your favorite shows. Look up the writers on that show. Do some googling. Do they have a book? Buy it. 

Step 4. Some of you are going to get thirsty producers in your DMs in the next couple of weeks, asking if you have anything you want to pitch. Leave 'em on read. Seriously. Don't even reply. 

Step 5. Don't be this guy: 

I try not to get too political on DSD that often (though it explains a lot about our society that discuss labor and labor practices might be considered "too political), but like I said at the top, this is important. The writers deserve their fair share. The writers deserve our support. The writers have given us countless hours of entertainment and joy. The writers need us.  

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