Sunday, January 13, 2008

Jon Robin Baitz: Leaving Los Angeles (Part Three: Epilogue) - Entertainment on The Huffington Post

Jon Robin Baitz: Leaving Los Angeles (Part Three: Epilogue) - Entertainment on The Huffington Post

A heartfelt account about the personal costs of the ongoing writers' strike from one of TV's most successful and outspoken creators, Jon Baitz, formerly of ABC's Brothers and Sisters. It's interesting when the labor struggle involves some of the most privileged among us:

"It came as no particular shock that the head of ABC Studios very politely fired me Friday evening. 'What did I think was going to happen?' is not an unreasonable question. I have not, for someone with a show on the air, been particularly politic about the strike; specifically the media moguls and their polarizing intractability. The head of the studio said it was a bad day, he was making a lot of these calls. I felt sorry for him. I really did. Not so bad for myself. Still, I guess I no longer have any relationship to Brothers & Sisters or to the studio. Just a very gracious, exceptionally polite 'bye-bye.'"

American Pie in the Sky?

Columbia Law Professor Patricia Williams writes an excellent analysis/indictment of our image-obsessed national political psyche in the current issue of the Nation magazine, daring us to rise above the incessant, reductive, and ultimately degrading spin this election season. The title of her piece, "American Pie", however, betrays the persistently challenging, perhaps even impossible, nature of that goal:
American Pie:
"I hope that we Americans can resist the vicious vacuity of politics at the level of whether Tara Reid has hit 'scarily skinny.' We will have enough to deal with as the right's Rovian spinmeisters kick into action, wrapping both Obama and Clinton in sticky webs of hybridized stereotypes. She will be too 'mannish,' he too 'boyish.' She'll be too familiar, he too foreign. He'll be a wimp, she'll be a pimp. Yet this is an extraordinary moment in American history--we have our first serious black and female presidential candidates. It is my audacious little hope that the two of them, in whatever order, will become running mates by November. They must not fall prey to those who would love to see them wound each other before then, in the scramble to be top dog."