Day 5: The Fox Rally
I'll be brief here because the news and other organizations have already detailed the numbers (4000 give or take) and the speakers (Jesse Jackson, the WGA leadership, Seth MacFarlane, Tom Morello, Norman Lear) and captured the overall exuberance of the event. And besides, it's Friday night and I need a little time to detox, let my blisters heal, and let the donuts and bad William Morris decaf finish having their own private protest march in my belly. (Ooh. Do you think Justine Bateman will show up at that one too?)
In the meantime, below is some random footage from the collision of one still camera's mediocre video feature, thousands of striking writers, curious/scared Fox employees, nice fake cops, nice real cops, Jeff Garlin, 50 dogs, a giant blonde in a tiny dress holding a ring card, CAA agents baring trays of churros, Zach de la Rocha, a bad sound system, and an awe-inspiring show of indivisibility in the face of cold, disgustingly petty corporate avarice.
I know everyone likes to talk about how the big companies somehow want this strike, to use it to clean house of expensive deals and bad shows., etc., etc. But I can't believe they're not pretty fucking astounded by this week. By the energy and exuberance and near-universal solidarity. I can't believe they didn't think the entire country would yawn and say, "Whatever. Overpaid writers." I can't believe they didn't think the showrunners would all rush back to work.
I can't believe they didn't think their claim of having months of shows ready to go would work. I can't believe they didn't think the PR campaign would silence us, or that they'd ever have dreamt that some of the media so clearly in their pocket would by week's end be called out and be embarrassed into showing at least a bit of journalistic neutrality. I know what's being said and written and reported and whispered, but I just can't believe they expected it to go down like this.
Seeing the line stretch all the way up and down Ave of the Stars you can hear my shocked, (and so eloquent), "Oh my god, dude!" in the video. I like to think they were up in those buildings looking out, and having the same reaction; just one with more fearful clenching of buttcheeks.
I like to think they overplayed their hand, underestimated us, and are beginning to fracture. I hope recriminations are flying over satellite phones and ISDN lines and across giant tables lined with Fiji water and fancy squid-shaped speakerphones. And I like to think I'll be allowed to soon get back to what I've worked my fool ass of to be able to do for a living: to write. To tell stories.
I don't know if any of this is true as we go into our first weekend locked out of the jobs we need and love, but I like to think so. I kind of have to think so.