Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘writers' strike

Hating BSG

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Salon climbs aboard the hating BSG train. I gave the show my best defense yesterday, so I’ll just repeat the point made at the end of that: this episode was shot at the tail end of season 4.0, during the writers’ strike, and so it represents the last of those episodes rather than the first of these episodes. The prognosis may be somewhat negative, but these episodes might still be good. Really, they might! Give ’em at least another week. (Via Bill’s Twitter feed)

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January 18, 2009 at 3:13 pm

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Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

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The first part of the Joss Whedon strike project Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is today up at Hulu. The server problems have apparently been fixed, too—I just watched the whole thing without a hitch.

Am I the only one who hears a shout-out to Ze Frank’s League of Awesomeness in Dr. Horrible’s Evil League of Evil?

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July 15, 2008 at 11:21 pm

‘Novelists Strike Fails To Affect Nation Whatsoever’

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The Novelists Guild of America strike, now entering its fourth month, has had no impact on the nation at all, sources reported Tuesday.

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March 17, 2008 at 1:45 pm

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Saturday Potpourri: Immortality, There Will Be Blood, Comics, Zombies, The Affluent Society

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Saturday potpourri:

* Science is still teasing me with dreams of immortality:

A genetically engineered organism that lives 10 times longer than normal has been created by scientists in California. It is the greatest extension of longevity yet achieved by researchers investigating the scientific nature of ageing.

* At culturemonkey, Ryan’s got an essential take on There Will Be Blood that I think people who have seen the movie should be very interested in reading. (There’s a good sidebar on No Country for Old Men too, the movie with which There Will Be Blood will forever be paired.) Click the [+/-] for a brief, spoiler-laden excerpt.

In TWBB one gets the impression from Eli, a grotesque parody of Christianity as both the paradigmatic model for non-capitalist politics and a type of show business, that stories can no longer be seriously invested in. Instead we learn to see Plainview the same way he sees others: “I see the worst in people. I don’t have to look past seeing them to get all I need.” In the much-criticized final showdown in the bowling alley, this impression of God and his earthly salesmen is rendered painfully concrete. It’s the scene where the film’s facade of realism, though always unsettled, is strained to the point of absurdity: the priest recants, he is made to suffer for his sins, and behold, his milkshake, it hath been drunk! But not even the grand narrative of entrepreneurial capitalism can survive past the last shot. The realization that has been building over the course of the film, in the form of Plainview’s increasingly strained encounters with Standard Oil and the unstoppable expansion of monopoly power it represents — that the individual capitalist is no longer a suitable vessel for the daemon of capital — comes at last to fruition, and so with the resignation “I’m finished,” the lights go out. The camera apparently hasn’t the right to follow. But is it irrational hope to wonder if nostalgia for the end of a distant era can reflect any light back on the end of one still present? Or has Plainview eaten that as well?

Not to toot my own horn, but I think there have been some interesting points made by both Ryan and myself in the comments of that post, too.

* Sci-Fi Weekly has a good interview with George Romero on Diary of the Dead and what’s next for the definitive zombie franchise.

Romero: I have this balls-out comedy zombie thing that I have wanted to do for three years. It’s basically the coyote and the roadrunner. It’s one human and one zombie. You can do a lot of damage to a zombie and it still lives. So I just had this idea that I’d love to do that as almost a cartoon. That’s the one that’s closest to my heart, but I don’t know if anyone’s ever going to get it enough to say, “OK, we’ll finance that.”

* Although most people have been saying that the writers’ strike won them a good deal, delightful crackpot Harlan Ellison insists the writers actually got taken for a ride.

* It has become so much part of conventional wisdom that affluence is a problem that it is hard to imagine that attitudes were ever different. The media is full of stories about problems that allegedly owe much to our affluent lifestyles, including environmental degradation, social inequalities and even mental illness. Daniel Ben-Ami at the Spiked Review of Books remembers John Kenneth Galbraith’s excellent The Affluent Society as a prelude to launching a broadside attack on it.

* And at the Valve, John Holbo says Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics is the best work of literary criticism of the last year. I’ve been meaning to pick this up; now I have no excuse not to.

Entertainment News

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Entertainment news!

* The writers’ strike is now officially over, which means the Daily Show and Colbert writers will be back tonight. You can watch with a clear conscience now.

* High off their comeback success on No Country for Old Men, the Coens are going to adapt and direct Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.

* One interesting consequence of the strike: Showtime’s Dexter, a show I’ve talked up in the past, will be on CBS this spring, starting this Friday.

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February 13, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Now That the Strike Is Over

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Now that the strike is over, we will be spared the agonizing struggle of having to think for ourselves. TV Guide has the skinny on when your favorite TV shows will return, via MeFi.

I did see with some excitement at io9 that Jericho comes back this week, so my own hypocrisy on this point should not go unnoted. And I did skip down to “O” on that long TV Guide list to see when The Office will be back, too. I’m not made of stone.

For what it’s worth, Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Diary notes that the Writers Guild has declared a “huge victory,” but others are less sanguine.

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February 11, 2008 at 11:06 pm

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More on the End of the Writers’ Strike

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MissLaura at Daily Kos has a helpful FAQ on the end of the writers’ strike. Most people will probably be interested in when their favorite shows will be back—the real Daily Show could be back as early as Monday, while 24 and The Office will obviously take significantly longer to get back up to speed. More important for some will be the question of “Who won?”:

Did the writers win?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. They certainly didn’t get everything they deserved, but they got a lot more than they would have had they not gone on strike, or ended the strike a couple months ago. That’s a victory, just not the “hot damn! this is perfect” kind. Reports are that meetings on the east and west coasts were positive though not euphoric; questions were raised, but the overall mood points to acceptance of the deal.

More coverage, naturally, at United Hollywood.

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February 10, 2008 at 4:55 pm

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At Last, the War is Over

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At last, the war is over. Variety reporters that the writers and the studios have reached a tentative deal.

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February 9, 2008 at 4:44 pm

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Sunday Morning Links, Including Proof I Would Have Never Cut It in Law School

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Some random links I’ve been hanging onto this weekend:

* Congratulations to Girl-Wonder.org, finally getting their memorial for Stephanie Brown (Robin IV) in the Batcave. Finally, there’s no more sexism in comics. At last.

* Here’s Shift, a quick but enjoyable platform game that relies on rotating the playing field for its gimmick.

* Deal to end writer’s strike near?

* There were five accidental taser deaths in January. It’s a good thing these things are non-lethal…

* And finally, via MeFi, here’s an interesting article wrestling with the tough questions at the margins of of attorney-client privilege. The MeFi comments have a lot of other good links on the same subject. I recognize intellectually the reasons why one ought to be a absolutist in favor of procedural protections like attorney-client privilege, but I have to admit that in practice I feel willing to sacrifice ironclad rules in favor of results that seem plainly more just. The important point for me is that the Law is only a proxy for justice, an approximation of it; the Law and justice are not the same thing.

The question, always, is where the move away from strict legal proceduralism stops—and the impossibility of drawing any sort of line short of pure absolutism inevitably pushes me, dialectically, back towards absolutism again…

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February 3, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Catch-Up Day

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I’m using today to catch up on a few things I’ve let slide, but it would hardly be a day at all if I didn’t link to stuff on the internet:

* Radar Magazine has the skinny on how to survive just about any apocalypse.

* Nabokov’s last, unfinished novel sits in a Swiss vault while Dmitri Nabokov decides whether or not to destroy it as his father asked before his death. This has the form of a moral dilemma, but it actually isn’t one. The dead are gone, Dmitri; we owe them nothing. Publish the stupid thing already.

Does it matter what V.N. would feel, since he’s long dead? Do we owe no respect to his last wishes because we greedily want some “key” to his work, or just more of it for our own selfish reasons? Does the lust for aesthetic beauty always allow us to rationalize trampling on the artist’s grave? Does the greatness of an artist diminish his right to dispose of his own unfinished work?

No, yes, yes, yes. Publish! My heirs have free reign to do the same to me.

* Via Boing Boing, there’s an interview with comic artist Peter Backwards City #1″ Conrad [PDF] at The Reverse Cowgirl, including pages from a recent project about sex workers.

* Speaking of BCR, it just occurred to me to check if Verse Daily had published any poems from our last issue. It turns out they did, two of my favorites: Lynne Potts’s “Whole Worlds Had Already Happened” and Tim Lockridge’s “On Realizing That I Tend to End with Nature Imagery.”

* Have geneticists discovered a way to increase the human lifespan to 800 years?

* UFO spotted in Texas.

* And finally, AICN reports that the prolonged writer’s strike may have revived the thought-dead Battlestar Galactica prequel, Caprica.

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January 17, 2008 at 3:05 pm

It’s Friday, I’m in Links

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Bookmark this for later: WGA Theater presents a few hours of Deadwood creator David Milch lecturing on the idea of the writer.

* Advice for academic job talks. Not that there are any jobs out there anyway… Via MeFi.

* At Atheist Media Blog, the scabtastic* Colbert Report mocks Will Smith for joining the Church of Scientology. My vague, never-really-voiced intention not to watch The Daily Show or Colbert in solidarity with the writers’ strike never really panned out, by the way—I cracked pretty much on the first day. But I do watch with scorn now. Scorn.

Here’s Salon on the state of these now-writerless shows. I agree that the magic is missing somewhat, especially with regard to Stewart, but I’m also amazed by how well they’ve both been able to fake it thus far.

* My understanding is that Colbert and Stewart came back because Viacom threatened to fire everyone, writers and crew included, if they didn’t. I cling to this justification, true or not, for dear life.

* Frank Pringle has found a way to squeeze oil and gas from just about anything; it’s a little something I call Mr. Fusion. Via MeFi. We’re saved!

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January 11, 2008 at 1:41 pm

News for a Saturday (UPDATED)

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*Here’s a list of 2008 genre movies to complement the wider list I linked to the other day.

* When Letterman returns next week, he’ll be the only late show on the air with writers—Worldwide Pants made a separate deal with the writers’ union that will allow him to return with union approval. I have to say, this doesn’t help my uneasiness with what John Stewart and Colbert are doing one bit. (UPDATE: The Deadline Hollywood blog has a comprehensive, well-thought-out post about what the Letterman side deal could mean for the WGA, the AMPTP, and for Leno and his writers. Check it out.)

* And in Massive Nerd news, Joe Quesada has finally done what he’s always wanted and eliminated Peter Parker’s marriage from continuity. (Even the story’s own writer thinks it’s stupid.) Now Peter Parker and Mary Jane were never married in the first place, and everyone in the Spider-Man comics has either been de-aged or else we’ve traveled back in time. As is common with these sorts of retcons and reboots, it’s pretty unclear what’s supposed to have happened in the past or what is actually going on now. In other words, Marvel continuity at last is as ugly and convoluted as DC’s. And the nerds are pissed about it.

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December 29, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Daily Show and Colbert to Return

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The Daily Show and Colbert Report will return, sans writers, on January 7. But there’s a catch:

According to insiders, trademark features like Stewart’s “Headlines” and Colbert’s “The Word” will obviously have to take a break since they’re heavily scripted.

Instead, it appears the shows will try to work around the missing writers (and the guild rules that bar anything that’s traditionally the domain of scribes) by relying heavily on pretaped segments from the field.

I really miss those guys, and I understand why they want to come back on (especially insofar as the nonstriking staff has got to eat)—but I’d rather they stayed off the air entirely than cross the picket line with an inferior product.

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December 21, 2007 at 1:22 pm

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Yes, You Finally Made a Monkey

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Two new culturemonkey posts, each one sillier and more perverting of the site’s original mission statement than the last. Real culturemonkey posts to resume once we get these end-of-the-semester papers off our backs.

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December 4, 2007 at 3:03 pm

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Writers’ Strike, Week 5

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Writers’ strike, week 5: The piano-playing cats and skateboard-riding dogs on the Internet have gone on strike in solidarity. We refuse to be adorable until writers receive a fair share of new media revenue…

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December 3, 2007 at 5:19 pm

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