In case you didn’t notice, for the better part of 140-some-odd days there’s been a writer’s strike. I actually think it's over. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been seeking more favorable terms for movie and TV show writers, and the plight somehow also stand to protect background actors from AI replication. I didn’t notice. I mean good for them, I write too, not in a guild-ish way, but sure I’m down for more writer rights.
Still, aside from the bemoans of late night talk show hosts (who evidently aren’t funny without their writers) I hadn’t realized the pipeline of new shows or films had halted. After I got caught up on Netflix shows I’d been neglecting, I settled in to rewatch past enjoyed shows, without much thought of what wasn’t on.
And once that got boring, I simply spent little bits less time on streaming media. And I look back to find that during the span of the writers strike, I’ve actually have been enjoying the quiet.
If a year of lockdowns taught me anything, it’s how long we all had sat and drooled for hours on end, not conversing, stuffing our faces as we watch someone else’s vision at play. Don’t get me wrong, there’s creativity and escapism and sheer entertainment there. But in the absence of new content, I realize that I’ve enjoyed the absence.
It reminds me that all those flickers on TV or in the theatre aren’t nearly as important as spending my time in thought or conversation or out actually doing — instead of watching some better looking, having a better time, albeit a scripted one, than me. And that should make the whole entertainment industry nervous.
Good for the writers vying for their piece of the pie. But meanwhile, it’s become apparent we don’t need this much content nearly as much as we thought.
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