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War of the Words

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Con:In a capitalist society, getting paid for providing a service is common sense. This is the main argument that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has used to justify their strike. Since they are not being paid for the online content they churn out, they have taken it upon themselves to change this. Their point of view is completely understandable but writing in general has always been a medium of self expression and not profit. It may sound na’ve, but this is what I believe. That is why I oppose the writer’s strike. I believe that the WGA has lost their perspective in their pursuit of a paycheck.I realize that not all WGA members have successful movies or television shows on their resumes’ but their organization also prevents them from doing so. It states on http://www.wga.org , the organizations website, all scripts produced by a member must be submitted to them and subsequently frozen until the six-month strike is over. In doing so, the WGA put a stranglehold on writers who aspire to break into the mainstream. Writers who have achieved success are also guilty of slighting their fans. Although their argument is valid, they would not be where they are without an audience. As a part of that audience, I feel that I have been snubbed and left in the dark with reruns. What is left for the many who seek escapism after a grueling work week? It is folly to dismiss the importance of movies and television shows as a form of relief due to the fast-paced capitalist pressure cooker of a society we have in the United States. We do not need another disappointment to add in the proverbial burlap sack we already carry.Video games may also influence the turnout of the writer’s strike. In the past five years, the videogame industry has been exponentially growing, resulting in a more competitive fight for viewers. Faced with no alternative, people might be swayed to shift to gaming. This may result in a shared audience, with video games having a bigger slice of the “people pie.”An example of this would be the launch of Halo 3 which coincided with a Ben Stiller movie called Heart Break Kid. The simultaneous release resulted in an anemic box-office turnout for the movie, according to an article from Yahoo.com. If video games gain a solid foothold in mainstream media, it may result in the dramatic lowering of production values of television shows. Shows that have a high price tag such as, Heroes, Lost, and 24 may be left in shambles because of budget cuts. In a time period where realistic special effects have become expected, this might cause a great deal of frustration from fans. Which, in-tern would be the cause of the loss of the audience. Although TV shows such as, The Office, Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm, has proven that good story telling can still trump special effects, they only cater to a specific niche, as opposed to a Wii console which has games designed for a wide demographic. Although I doubt video games can totally replace television, it can surely give television shows a run for its money. The internet can also tear its respective piece of the audience. Aside from television shows available online, websites such as YouTube, College Humor, and the myriads of chatrooms available to everyone who has a computer and a stable internet connection can consume copious amounts of time, not being spent watching movies or television. I believe that the talent to weave elaborate storylines, clever dialogue and blatant sexual innuendoes is a privilege a writer owes to a receiving audience not vice versa. To put in perspective, there are only 26 letters in the English alphabet, to put those 26 into a coherent thought seems quite magical already, but to turn them into movies such as Casablanca or Grandma’s boy, is beyond me. I understand that ideals cannot feed a family but the WGA should realize what they have going for them before they lose people who actually appreciate them.

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The student news site of Skyline College.
War of the Words