Tater and I celebrated our first year anniversary tonight with many marvelous friends and libations, so this is going to be a short one. Given that as I write this, my colleagues and I are going on strike, I'm tempted to simply print a blank column. But I do have a thought.
Beyond all the negotiations, the precentages and the politics, lies a simple mistake, a kind of a basic mis-evaluation. We've always, since the dawn of the industry, been belittled.
Everyone thinks they can do it (and do it better). Yet people who make a living as writers prove on a daily basis how exceptional a gift real storytelling talent can be.
To me, trying to assess the worth of writers is like trying to quantify love. How? And why? But for those who seek to diminish us with numbers, I say...
Imagine no Han Solo, and no Annie Hall.
No Gatsby, Soprano, no Scarlett O'Hara.
There never was Seinfeld. There's no Jon Stewart tomorrow. No Seagull, or Spring Awakening -- there's no morning paper. No Rumi and Hafiz poems to transcend time, nor a single blog you can use for procrastination.
The last time the writers struck, Letterman came out to do his Top Ten and could only offer a Top Two -- every now and then, credit is given where credit is due. But generally we're as taken for granted as any of the world's great resources.
Maybe the only way to value the writers who changed us, the many words on page or screen that have become a part of who we are, is to imagine life without all that.