What Ken Levine said

Right here:

"I’ve been through three strikes already. Many of the companies I struck are no longer in business. Two-thirds of the people I struck with are no longer in the guild. And unlike actors and directors, when we go out it doesn’t just shut down the industry. It slows it. Hair restoration cremes have faster results. But as someone who has prospered and enjoyed the gains writers before me have won, I feel it’s my obligation to fight the good fight for the next generation. And hopefully in twenty years, when the issue is holograms transmitted directly to the back of viewers’ eye lids, WGA members will hang tough for a piece of that pie."
See you at the convention center tomorrow! I'll be the slightly overweight guy in a baseball hat!



This might be a shade too optimistic, but it feels possible, if we try.

Via Gristmill


Programming note

When I saw that it was Chris Berman doing the series highlights, I turned off my TV.

Working for the Clampdown

Frank Church, of course, got his ass handed to him in 1980. That'll teach you to stand up for old-fashioned American values like openness, in favor of new-fashioned American values like the national security state.


About the fires

Nothing much to add, really, except for the ashy dusty feeling my mouth gets when I go outside. Except to note that it's interesting that this column, on California's ungovernability, comes out the same week of the fires (case in point: this WSJ story about how San Diegans refused to pass a tax to pay for more firefighting equipment.

The demographics -- more and more people, basically -- and climate change point to more and more technocratic government as a solution: government setting the rules for the market so people can't just build anywhere and put whatever they like in their gas tanks and use water however the hell they want. They're going to have to live in society like civilized people.

UPDATE: White ash all over my car this morning. I'm 25 miles from the nearest fire, in Malibu, 30 miles from the Castiac fires. No weird light today, though.

Our 30-year campaign of mal-education continues to bear fruit!

Bernstein makes first visit to Nixon Library - Los Angeles Times:

"Sayra Morales, 26, a journalism student at Fullerton College, said she attended for extra credit. She said she was unfamiliar with the details of Nixon's presidency, of Watergate, of Bernstein's role in history. She knows him as the author of the Clinton biography. 'I'm not big on politics,' she said. "
Of course, neither are most journalists, I guess.


I'm out

The World Series is a week away. The World Series is a week away. This is ridiculous. I'm as big a baseball fan as they come, and I cannot possibly keep my interest up that long -- especially since the delay, far from whetting my appetite for more baseball, instead sharpens my perception that MLB is a bunch of whores who would probably blow Rupert Murdoch in Times Square for the loose change in his pocket (which, to be fair, would likely be considerable). Honestly, I'd rather look at Ducks-Flames right now. s

I wish that MLB were more like the Masters when it came to negotiating with the TV networks.


I'm just a comedy writer, with an American B.A. to boot, but g has always struck me as a concept someone pulled out of their ass.

Any theory that you can imagine Alec Baldwin's character spouting on "30 Rock" is probably pretty suspect.


The sad truth

My man Reeves:

"I have written 180 columns against this war in the last four years or so, and I thought I should re-read them now that I'm back in this shining city on a hill. I couldn't. It is both too boring and too depressing, to say nothing of being so ineffectual. The only justification for such an exercise is that it ends any illusions one might have about what we knew and when we knew it. We are what we are: great talkers about human rights and the dignity of man and woman, but capable of believing any lies and going along with any injustice that does not disturb the collection of our daily bread."
This is where my religious training is very helpful; it teaches me not to believe in American exceptionalism. The great powers come and go, and they are usually pretty disgraceful as they go.


Annals of capitalism, John Bogle is upset edition

Legendary Vanguard foundercan't stand our economy:

"And the financial service economy is what troubles me. Because it's diverting resources from the investors to the capitalists. To the entrepreneurs. To Wall Street. To the investment bankers. The hedge fund managers. To mutual fund managers. And that is a negative to our societal values. Where agriculture and manufacturing and services, I mean, I'm perfectly willing to give a high value, for example, to art and poetry and literature. They add value to society. It may not be easy to measure it in a society that measures too much of what's not important. And not enough of what is important. As the sign in Einstein's office says-- 'There are some things that count that can't be counted. And some things that can be counted that don't count.'"


Note on Base Ball

If you like the idea of the Wild Card play-in game as a way to make life harder on the wild card team (and I do), the Rockies beg to differ.


It's not the heat, it's the humanity

Study: Rise in humidity caused by humans - Yahoo! News

I just want to be the first to use this headline. (I googled to make sure.)

Still away

I'm still away; my job ends just around the time of the strike, after which I may have time for a little blogging.

Over/under on percentage of WGA members who start blogs: 90.