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Harlan Ellison on the Strike

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  • Harlan Ellison on the Strike

    Got this from Aintitcool News

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/35629

    Apparently he is not a fan of the deal.


    **********************************************

    HARLAN ELLISON ON THE WRITERS STRIKE SETTLEMENT

    YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO RE-POST THIS ANYWHERE:

    Creds: got here in 1962, written for just about everybody, won the Writers Guild Award four times for solo work, sat on the WGAw Board twice, worked on negotiating committees, and was out on the picket lines with my NICK COUNTER SLEEPS WITH THE FISHE$$$ sign. You may have heard my name. I am a Union guy, I am a Guild guy, I am loyal. I fuckinÆ LOVE the Guild.

    And I voted NO on accepting this deal.

    My reasons are good, and they are plentiful; Patric Verrone will be saddened by what I am about to say; long-time friends will shake their heads; but this I say without equivocationà

    THEY BEAT US LIKE A YELLOW DOG. IT IS A SHIT DEAL. We finally got a timorous generation that has never had to strike, to get their asses out there, and we had to put up with the usual cowardly spineless babbling horseÆs asses who kept mumbling ôlessgo bacÆta workö over and over, as if it would make them one iota a better writer. But after months on the line, and them finally bouncing that pus-sucking dipthong Nick Counter, we rushed headlong into a shabby, scabrous, underfed shovelfulla shit clutched to the affections of toss-in-the-towel summer soldiers trembling before the Awe of the Alliance.

    My Guild did what it did in 1988. It trembled and sold us out. It gave away the EXACT co-terminus expiration date with SAG for some bullshit short-line substitute; it got us no more control of our words; it sneak-abandoned the animator and reality beanfield hands before anyone even forced it on them; it made nice so no one would think we were meanies; it let the Alliance play us like the village idiot. The WGAw folded like a Texaco Road Map from back in the day.

    And I am ashamed of this Guild, as I was when Shavelson was the prexy, and we wasted our efforts and lost out on technology that we had to strike for THIS time. 17 days of streaming tv!!!????? Geezus, you bleating wimps, why not just turn over your old granny for gang-rape?

    You deserve all the opprobrium you get. While this nutty festschrift of demented pleasure at being allowed to go back to work in the rice paddy is filling your cowardly hearts with joy and relief that the grips and the staff at the Ivy and street sweepers wonÆt be saying nasty shit behind your back, remember this:

    You are their bitches. They outslugged you, outthought you, outmaneuvered you; and in the end you ripped off your pants, painted yer asses blue, and said yes sir, may I have another.

    Please excuse my temerity. IÆm just a sad old man who has fallen among Quislings, Turncoats, Hacks and Cowards.

    I must go now to whoops. My gorge has become buoyant.

    Respectfully, Yr. Pal, Harlan Ellison

  • #2
    I wish Harlan would let his true feelings out.

    I'm sure he's not the only one to feel this way. Once the euphoric wave of the strike ending is over, I imagine more of this type of commentary will come out. I wish it had been spoken more during the strike.
    What a wonderful world you live in. -
    Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow, he doesn't mince his words..

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think he is wrong per say but I don't know if Mr. Ellison would be happy with any kind of deal. I know older people think that younger generation is a bunch of slacker and don't stand for anything but this is kind of over the top. I do think he is right that the writers are most likely to get buyer remorse later and that if they had held out longer they could have gotten more. But really this strike was hurting a lot of people not only writers and I'm not sure Mr. Ellison isn't thinking about all the other people that work in the TV/movie business.
        Last edited by Night Marshal; 02-15-2008, 09:12 PM. Reason: Edited for being below the belt
        "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOW - What a RIDE!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry jan your right Mr. Ellison just rubs me the wrong way some times. I have changes the post to a more respectful nature.
          "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOW - What a RIDE!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks, Night Marshall.

            It's interesting to note Harlan's reaction to the news that his post was copied over on AICN:

            If I had the initiative, I'd call Harry and ask him to drop in a bold-type explanation at the start of my words, explaining that while this was not strictly speaking a "private" sub rosa post, that it was originally disseminated among my friends here because I was angry, heartbroken and frustrated; and though I said I didn't mind it being freely posted, I am not yet at the place in my comprehension of this internet madhouse to face the simple truth that ANYTHING one says, even to friends, can be presented as if the one speaking wishes to "convince" anyone of anything. I do not seek the approbation of monkeys, and to be bottom-line frank about it ... I didn't think anyone would pay any attention to it. D'uhh.
            The entire post can be found at his Art Deco Dining Pavilion. Fortunately for the unwashed masses over in the Talkback he was warned that he *really* didn't want to wander over and see it for himself. Although...it might have been an amusing massacre.

            I think that if people actually took the time to read the Pavillion they might form a kinder opinion of him. As JMS once said about Andreas, he "grumps magnificently" but he's also a fiercely loyal friend.

            Jan
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

            Comment


            • #7
              Since Harlan is a smart enough guy, I really don't get how he had any expectation of his postings being to a private forum, when it very clearly is public. Especially with that permission to re-post this anywhere bit. I saw it reproduced in a bunch of places before AICN picked it up, and I doubt Harlan is really as naive as to expect that releasing such a strong statement would go by unnoticed by people.

              And nobody should subject him or herself to AICN talkbackers willingly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Shabaz View Post
                Since Harlan is a smart enough guy, I really don't get how he had any expectation of his postings being to a private forum, when it very clearly is public. Especially with that permission to re-post this anywhere bit. I saw it reproduced in a bunch of places before AICN picked it up, and I doubt Harlan is really as naive as to expect that releasing such a strong statement would go by unnoticed by people.

                And nobody should subject him or herself to AICN talkbackers willingly.
                Oh I don't know, the couple of times Kevin Smith has gone toe-to-toe with them (look at me talking as though I'm not one of them! ) were hilarious, and until Live Free or Die Hard came out and he disappeared before answering to the fans who were less than impressed by "the best one since the first one", Bruce Willis had a good run of discussion in the talkbacks. Once he proved it was him, that is.

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                • #9
                  I am glad Harlan shared with us. Fun stuff. It has little or nothing to do with the real world, but it is worth something just for his command of blue language.

                  If he spent the time getting out TLDV instead of thinking about how to say this, I would have been happier, though.
                  I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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                  • #10
                    I liked Harlans post and without knowing the precise details of the deal agreed to, would say that the writers guild probably did cave in and agree to a substandard deal for themselves.

                    Yes other people were hurting because of the strike but by giving in and accepting a sub standard deal means that this will happen again because there will be resentment amongst the members of the guild who will soon realise they've been shafted by those who didn't have enough will to win what they rightly deserve which is to receive the royalties that the production companies are screwing them out of. So I would bet anyone here that we will see another strike eventually. This will not go away as an issue.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by raw_bean View Post
                      Oh I don't know, the couple of times Kevin Smith has gone toe-to-toe with them (look at me talking as though I'm not one of them! ) were hilarious, and until Live Free or Die Hard came out and he disappeared before answering to the fans who were less than impressed by "the best one since the first one", Bruce Willis had a good run of discussion in the talkbacks. Once he proved it was him, that is.
                      Oh yes, I remember reading about the Bruce Willis thing, and seeing a screenshot of him videochatting with one of the talkbackers to prove it was really him. I agree, that was funny and interesting.

                      Overall though, I agree with the Penny Arcade guys.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Shabaz View Post
                        Overall though, I agree with the Penny Arcade guys.
                        I can't find a thing in that assessment to disagree with. I know that AICN sometimes has worthwhile things but the Talkback is just so toxic that I avoid it like the plague. IMO, that they allow that kind of crud reflects very poorly on the whole site.

                        Jan
                        Used to far more civilized places....like here, for instance!
                        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've always thought a lot of it had to do with lack of accountability. With all due respect to the folks on this site who have always been very polite and friendly, there is always a danger when one can hide behind anonymity. It allow you to say some pretty miserable and often tasteless things without having to stand behind your words, whereas if you said those things to somebody face to face, you'd probably get a punch in the mouth!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree, Joe. I have to admit that there've been times when my dander was up that I kind of wished I had an online alias but I just never got into the habit of using anything but my real name.

                            The tradition over at Harlan's Dining Pavillion is to use actual names, too.

                            Jan
                            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The thing about the talkbacks is that depending on the article they're in response to, they can vary in tone and the civility of their posters wildly. An article about some obscure film festival and with reviews of art house flicks will usually attract a smallish, courteous and intelligent audience of film lovers eager to discuss cinema with like-minded folks. An article about Michael Moore's latest politically charged and controversial documentary will attract a raving, screaming horde of rude and partisan political extremists from both sides of the US political spectrum to do battle with one another. And an article with behind the scenes info on the latest superhero movie will bring out the hordes of geeky fanboys who'll argue how faithful/sacrilegious an adaptation it is of the comic book and why this particular character sucks/rocks. I actually don't think it helps how famous AICN is, and how often famous industry types read it or even post on it. It tends to only encourage the massive trolling sessions where people try to get themselves noticed (by being more opinionated/offensive/cynical/witty/whatever than everyone else) whilst paradoxically also remaining anonymous and therefore having no risk of repercussions for saying whatever they want.

                              All that said, I made a really good group of friends on some of those talkbacks, sort of an informal club we started as Tolkien fans looking forward to the upcoming (at the time) LOTR films. I've since hung out in real life with various of them in three different countries, and I'll always be grateful to AICN for bringing us together.

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