Thursday, November 29, 2007

A cause worth dying for

A man without a cause worth dying for is not fit to live.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

I've been trying to put into words, succinctly, exactly why the WGA strike is a battle worth fighting. It becomes especially difficult to justify when you see people losing their jobs because of the strike. Worse, they're usually not even writers, just innocent victims caught in a crossfire.

And then I read this bit by John August and I felt he had reached into my body and strummed a perfect harmonic (boldface and italics are mine):
I got an email yesterday from a friend (and USC classmate) who works as an editor on a TV show. He was upset that in my blogging about the strike, I hadn’t talked about the many below-the-line crew members who have lost (or will soon be losing) their jobs as a result of production stopping.... many of the non-writing, non-acting folks who are integral to making movies and television feel that the WGA was cavalier in calling the strike.

The thing is, we’ll never know.... The better question — the question I asked my friend the editor — is whether there’s anything he’d strike for, even knowing that it would (at least in the short term) hurt him, his colleagues and others inside and outside of his industry. If the answer is “no,” that a strike is never an option, then he should be prepared to lose his health, pension, and other benefits. Because that’s how they were won.

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