Remember TV? That big glowing one-way box that sat in your living room, providing your only window into the world? You still see them once in a while: at pizza parlors, or in airport waiting rooms, but it's an endangered device, and nobody takes it seriously anymore.
I don't own a television. Nor does my daughter, nor do many of the younger people I work with. The magic brand letters NBC, CBS, ABC, and even MTV mean nothing to them. The shows they grew up with have been so mediocre that there isn't even nostalgia for TV the way there was for the older generation, who still fondly recall Star Trek, Mission Impossible and Hawaii-Five-O.
The death dance between writers and network owners entered its first month, with neither side willing to budge. The TV writers remain darlings with newspaper writers (another endangered bunch), and for this reason alone the strike remains in the public eye. But time is on no one's side in this battle, because today's media audience isn't suffering because TV long ago stopped being a "must watch" medium.
Sadly, both the union writers and the network owners are dinosaurs, and it's sad to say them dying this way, so bitter, so hardset in their positions, so unwilling to face the fact that tomorrow's world of entertainment may lack a bargainable compensation model for a long time to come. In this new world, there will only be two kinds of content providers: a tiny group of people who do it for the money, and a much larger group who write their words and produce their works because, as they used to say in the 1980's, they have "something to say and a place to say it."
There is no doubt in my mind that the future belongs to the latter, not the former.
Labels: Old Media, Writers Strike