Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Why the strike is harder on older writers

Unlike all those bright-eyed, younger writers on the picket line -- the ones in Daily Show jackets and Uggs, whose jobs were shut down by the WGA strike -- we older writers don't have the luxury of bosses who understand we're on strike. For those of us who are retired writers, it's non-business as usual, and we have to get back to not working.

We're not dealing with studio executives and show runners. We have obligations, and not everyone tolerates our being unavailable. The strike has stretched on, and getting cranky with me are:

Radiologists scheduled to scan all my body parts (invariably necessitating other follow-up pictures and procedures);

The periodontist, who gets aggressive if I don't have regular scalings;

My fitness trainer, who'll replace me with another client if I don't adhere to our schedule;

Volunteer groups I've committed to;

Classes I attend to prevent my brain from atrophying;

And there are, of course, for people my age some number of memorial services and shiva calls that conflict with picketing times, which is all to say that working writers, who aren't expected to turn up anywhere, may find it easier to picket than those of us who are "retired".

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