January 11, 2008

I’ve noticed I write a lot of really long articloids in which I paranoidly expound upon issues which really don’t matter all that much. Which reminds me:

Disciplinary action? Are they going to make him sit in the Time Out chair? Will he have to stand Against the Fence during recess? I have long been of the opinion that Jay Leno’s writers don’t do all that much and the apparent ease with which he gets through the regular monologue without them, to the extent that the people representing the writers have to tell him to stop proves it. I think? The show’s best bit is Headlines, featuring news items, some of them headlines, from various publications and such, and most of them, as I understand it, are sent to the show by viewers. At most, the writers then sift through the things to decide which are funny. But you wouldn’t necessarily need a writer to do that. And all the terrible non-lenoly field segments since Howie Mandel got another job certainly don’t seem written and might as well not be. If this particular class of Leno writers out protesting means no more of those, then great. The remainder of “desk pieces” and sketch-like-presentations tend to only seem funny when a prop doesn’t function properly and Jay Leno has to cover for it. For years they would have, for who-knows-why, Gilbert Gottfried portray characters that were only funny when Jay went off the script to criticize them for forgetting the script.

KFC explains the writer’s strike. I present it in full not because I feel like addressing it in full (so don’t feel compelled to read those tiny letters) but just because I don’t want to look like I fear kfc’s 11 herbs and spices of persuasion.

So already we know we’re dealing with a masochist.

I don’t know much about the writer guild strike, because I’m not in it and don’t belong to any union, though I did follow one or two Yahoo clubs for about a week back in the day. But I know enough to see that it’s mostly valid and at any rate I could always stand to watch less dumb tv shows. All I know about KFC, who evidently has made no other post on any news article at whatever site this was, is the name KFC, which I confess I don’t necessarily associate with the task at hand. In fact, there are few situations in which I would be most inclined to agree with someone named kfc. I don’t know. On this particular occasion, I tend not to think of “kfc” and “reasonable attitude towards worker pay-rates and general well being” in the same paragraphs. Even less so if chickens count as employees.

Which is not to say this kfc doesn’t have any points, just that it’s unlikely. I don’t trust this a great deal more than I trust the person who signed up at the imdib just to give Who’s Your Caddy? a ten star rating. But maybe KFC so simply thought “I have been silent long enough. Now is the time for KFC’s feelings to be known. My recipe shall remain secret.” While KFC doesn’t seem dangerously crazy regarding this whole thing, it’s that bit about writers knowing “their place” which puts me off. Not just the phrasing and choice of words, either, though that historically has brought to my mind the thought of fat bearded oafs smacking their wives around for not fixing mah dinner. Or more recently, if a couple years past relevance, Dwayne “Rocky Melvin” Johnson ordering a coworker to “shut your mouth and know your role, jabroni” which I suppose is an improvement but still inappropriate workplace behavior in most other professions. Ooh, oh, h, also, stating advance predisposition toward the “I’ll give you something to complain about” approach to resolving disputes, which haven’t even been brought up yet, is worth monitoring. I reckon kfc is used to monitoring people so my apprehension shouldn’t be a problem.

But ehhh! You can’t just lead in some new yarbos to write all the tv shows, yarbos who don’t necessarily know what the program’s goal is or have a decent relationship with the actors. If it got that far, you would only have a new show that pretends it’s an old one. It would be like Kevin on the telephone in Home Alone 2. Credit card? Nooo problem! Every day. We’ve seen, surely, what happens to movies when important people aren’t involved with sequels and such. I mean, look what they did to the once splendid Air Bud franchise. I believe a dog can play basketball on a competitive level but baseball? Puhleeze. That kind of movie should be illegal and then I can call the pahleece.

I could have used you about fifteen seconds ago! Try and keep up!

And why we don’t get legions of non-guild writers devising a legion of non-guild sit-coms is a more complicated matter than I’m capable of going into at the moment, but I’m sure it would be slightly worse than the current situation. Not for the financiers; KFC is right that enough patrons probably don’t care sufficiently about writer justice leagues or whatever to not watch a program out of protest of a network or production company or intelligence insulting grits ‘n gristle. But they should!

Many employers will take the opportunity to be abusive, even if KFC might not, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Workers need some sort of collective power so we don’t get mafia-like organizations, to an even greater extent than they already are, firing people for arbitrary reasons and sending children into coal mines and all that sort of thing.
I can understand disagreeing with the strike, but unions in general are good things. KFC also seems to have disregarded the existence of a Screen Actors Guild, which has just as much potential to strike and would be even more obvious and obnoxious in doing so.

What KFC doesn’t understand is that it’s not about writers wanting more money. The strike is about writers wanting any money at all for the redistribution of their material in media not mentioned in their previous contracts. There’s also some stuff to do with cartoon writing and “””reality””” writing, as those writers are not involved with this strike. While I don’t know why this means Jay Leno risks a spanking and a harsh talking to for writing his own monologodonahue, I think it’s worth letting happen. I suppose.

Jay Leno doesn’t have Conan O’Funyun’s advantage of being able to act like a skeleton and dance around for 20 minutes should the need arise. The Daily Colbert have done surprisingly well, to me, without scripts, but a lot of what they do involves watching stupid moments from MSNBC and having approximately the same/opposite reaction as the audience. Deciding which clips are funny and queuing them up to play in a certain order at certain points evidently does not constitute “scripting.” And good. I like those shows. But oooh, Jay Leno can’t scribble out some jokes, some of which he’s been telling for over ten years? Eh, as far as I know he hasn’t stopped. Well, we read that story a week ago, maybe the threat was rescinded. Well don’t we owe it to our reader to verify-

Keep quiet and let me finish this!

I do hate some of those pedantic union rules, like how I’m not allowed to move this table here. No, we have to call someone to come in and move it for us. You don’t get paid on a commission, do you? I’m not trying to steal your job! I’m trying to move a table! If I tear my scottbaculoids from overexertion because I tried to move the table, it’s not like I can sue you for owning the table, because you already told me not to move it! Oh. I see. That works. Well, maybe Ron Paul can fix that. It might surprise you to know that there are just as many people writing this page as before.

13 Responses
  1. 1
    5:15 pm, January 11, 2008

    Kilroy sez:

    I haven’t thought Leno was funny since ’84, so in my opinion anything he has done cannot be counted as professionally written. btw I think perfessionally would be a better way to spell/pronounce.

  2. 2
    5:18 pm, January 11, 2008

    Elfibrax sez:

    Surely you must concede that he is funny looking. His name is also kind of funny.

  3. 3
    11:23 pm, January 11, 2008

    Kilroy sez:

    i concede nothing!

  4. 4
    2:27 pm, January 12, 2008

    Elfibrax sez:

    But I said you must! You have no choice in the matter!

  5. 5
    10:32 pm, January 12, 2008

    Kilroy sez:

    ok, but i dont like it!

  6. 6
    11:44 pm, January 12, 2008

    Elfibrax sez:

    Read the contract that you “signed” when you registered and you’ll see that you have to like it!

  7. 7
    8:13 am, January 13, 2008

    Magic Death Bee sez:

    I hearby declare this update’s title to be the finest yet (though only if mentally rendered in the correct voice).

    Also, Taft has the honorable distinction of being the fattest US president.

  8. 8
    11:37 pm, January 13, 2008

    Mortimewde Stapleton Meepmire sez:

    Be glad if you can't see this.  It's quite dumb.

  9. 9
    11:39 pm, January 13, 2008

    Elfibrax sez:

    For years, that was the only thing I knew about Taft.


  10. 10
    7:59 pm, January 14, 2008

    Mortimewde Stapleton Meepmire sez:


  11. 11
    10:50 pm, January 14, 2008

    Elfibrax sez:


  12. 12
    3:38 am, January 16, 2008

    Kilroy sez:

    Owner of a Lonely Heart!

  13. 13
    7:33 pm, January 16, 2008

    Mortimewde Stapleton Meepmire sez:

    I own a splendid bow tie.

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