1.04.2008

On Leno

I'm not going to get into it too much, because to be honest I don't get what the WGA gets out of screaming and shouting about it, but some points.

1. I would believe it if Jay is generating his own monologue. Way, way back in the day, before he did the Tonight Show, I knew standups who thought Jay was the best standup they had ever seen. Also, whatever Jay's opinion of the union is, I don't think he'd put his writers -- or any aspiring writers -- in a compromising position by asking for material.

2. That said, Jay is doing a "fuck you" to some extent, and I wonder if it's rooted in the fact that everyone thinks Letterman is cooler. Jay's got to have a Paul-Bunyan's-cricket-bat sized chip on his shoulder about that, and it doesn't get smaller when Worldwide Pants gets to get its writers back and seem like heroes of the union. I smell ressentiment, but then I usually do. (It's because I'm trying to conserve water by showering less.)

3. The final thing, which is apropos of the big screenwriters going fi-core, is from that Verrone opponent Craig Mazin:

In the meantime, there may come a day when like-minded writers get together to magnify their political power in this union. Should that come to pass, it wouldn’t (couldn’t!) possibly happen until there was actually something to argue for, like a reasonable offer from the AMPTP.

There hasn’t been one yet. That’s something everyone can agree on.
It'd be a lot easier to give in if there were something to give in to. But there isn't.

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