Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Writers Guild Of America, West

  - Look at these people.
- What about them?
- They're all so comfortable with being ugly.
- They're old.
- Yeah. I asked the usher to turn down the heating. He said somebody might have a heart attack and die, and he'd be responsible. But he said he would go in and ask.
- He went into the theater and made a public announcement?
- No. He asked an old guy in the back row with a winter coat over his lap if he'd mind if the heating was turned down.
- And?
- He said he wouldn't mind.
- So we'll have a chance being comfortable too when we go in and see the movie.
- They're all so ugly.
- You said that.
- The Writers Guild Of America.
- West.
- These old guys made all the junk that rotted the minds of the American people and got us where we are today.
- I think they had a little help in doing the rotting.
- Are you referring to our widely respected teachers, University professors, to our good old mothers and fathers?
- I was so referring.
- I see.
- What's got into you tonight? I brought you here before and you didn't complain.
- And what did I see last time I was here? A movie about the Weather Underground. The message was that violence is never justified, only family is real.
- There are worse messages.
- Sure. But think of the timing.
- You mean the attack at the Boston Marathon yesterday?
- I meant our times. In our times politics is impossible. People have no effect on what politicians do. The 70s protest movements are being brought back before the public only to tell people that nothing they say or think will affect politics, and that if they even think about revolution they'll be putting their children in danger.
- Are you advocating violent overthrow of the government?
- Right here in The Theater Of The Writers Guild Of America?
- Are you?
- No. I'm making an observation.
- How all these writers are old and ugly.
- While the Writers and Teachers and all the rest of our Leaders Of Thought are telling us that we must be non-violent and be satisfied with being politically incapacitated, our government is going about its way, step by step consolidating its invulnerability to influence from the people, setting off bombs and launching missiles around the world, knowing with certainty that innocents will be hurt, and assuring continued terrorist attacks against our country.
- These writers just make movies.
- Deeply stupid movies. In that one last week, a long-time Weather Underground fugitive is uncovered by a reporter when another member turns herself in. He decides he finally has to exonerate himself, and the only way to do it is by getting another Weather Underground member to turn herself in and tell the world he wasn't there when the innocent bystander got killed. He sets off in search for her. After the movie let out I stood around here in the lobby listening to the comments of the Writer's Guild Of America members. No one noticed that the first Weather Underground member, already turned in, could just as well do the exoneration.
- Why do you think no one noticed?
- Did you notice?
- I confess I didn't.
- It's because we all have been gotten used to the idea that we can't rely on anything anyone says or does, money and opportunity arbitrate our existence, any apparent inconsistency we explain and let pass as one of the billion pieces of unreliable information we assault each other with.
- So the message of the movie is: go on being stupid, put the thought of revolution out of your mind, think about nothing but your private concerns, that way you won't notice that the government is doing exactly what you are being told you can never do, use violence and cause revolution. Are you really saying what I think you're saying?
- What's that?
- That our unwillingness to even consider revolution is making us stupid?
- Let's say we care about nothing but practical life, taking care of our families. Our government has interests of a different kind. The people who influence the government to act in their interest don't want something practical, they want money and power for their own sake. They are rich enough already to have no practical problems, as they are usually understood, problems of economic security. It would be practical in these circumstances for the people to talk about what to do. But the people don't talk with each other, having learned that such talk is impractical, can lead to revolution, and put their children at risk.
- Our practicality is making us impractical.
- Look around you. These people don't care how they look. They don't care what anyone thinks of them. They don't want to please anyone by their appearance, they don't want to please anyone by their words.  Reality is practicality, practicality the money the movies they write bring them. The ugliest thing about them is the stupidity they don't bother to conceal.
- Like their movies.