Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Strike Forges On

That is Julia-Louis Dreyfus (Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, The New Adventures Of Old Christine) in the picture above on the picket line supporting the writer's strike. She looks like she might be on a hunger strike too. The strike continues in its third month with no deal negotiations in sight. Strikes are a game of endurance, perseverance and logic. It's a game because one side will eventually concede or be defeated. I have been supporting the Guild's decision to fight for their rights to collect on their work's residuals. They have the foresight to see the direction New Media is going and don't want their work's profits to be compromised. Television has been affected already with many shows out of production. It's going to be a test of time to see how long it will take the networks to get tired of recycling their programming. With the Grammy and Academy Award shows around the corner, it might be the moment of levity the WGA is hoping for.

Here's a fun jazzy spoken-word track by the now-defunct Soul Coughing you can sample download called

Screenwriter's Blues

Screenwriter's Blues

Exits to freeways
twisted like knots on
Jewels cleaving
skin between

Your Cadillac breathes
four hundred horses
over blue lines.
You are going
to Reseda
to make love
to a model
from Ohio
whose real name
you don't

You spin
like the cadillac was
overturning down a cliff
on television.
And the radio is on
and the radioman is speaking
and the radioman says
women were a curse.
So men built Paramount
And men built Columbia
And men built
Los Angeles.

It is 5 am
and you are listening
to Los Angeles.

And the radioman says
it is a beautiful night out there!
And the radioman says
Rock and Roll lives!
And the radioman says
it is a beautiful night out there
in Los Angeles.
You live
in Los Angeles
and you are going to
Reseda; we are all
in some way or
another going to
Reseda someday
to die.
And the radioman
laughs because
the radioman fucks
a model too.

Gone savage
for teenagers with
automatic weapons and
boundless love.
Gone savage for
teenagers who are
aesthetically pleasing,
in other words,
Los Angeles beckons
the teenagers
to come to her
on buses;
Los Angeles loves

It is 5 am
and you are listening
to Los Angeles.

I am going to
Los Angeles
to build a screenplay about
lovers who murder each other.
I am going to
Los Angeles
to see my own name on a
screen, five feet
long and luminous.
As the radioman says
it is 5AM
and the sun has charred
the other side of
the world and come
back to us
and painted the smoke
over our heads
an imperial violet.

It is 5 am
and you are listening
to Los Angeles.

You are listening...
You are listening...
You are listening...
You are listening... Los Angeles.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

When Check Cashing Fraud Goes Dead Wrong

Wed Jan 9, 2008 11:11am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two New York men wheeled the corpse of their friend around the sidewalks of midtown Manhattan in an office chair in a failed attempt to cash his $355 Social Security check, police said.

Virgilio Cintron, 66, had died of natural causes when two of his friends, both aged 65, brought him to a check-cashing store in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood Tuesday.

"They were trying to pass him off as still being alive," police spokesman Paul Browne said.

The two suspects left the corpse on the sidewalk while they attempted to cash the check, but the clerk knew Cintron and asked to see him.

The two men promised to bring him right back, but when they went outside to retrieve him a crowd had gathered around the dead man. An on-duty detective who had been eating lunch nearby spotted Cintron and immediately realized he was dead, putting an end to the caper.

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