Thursday, November 15, 2007


I so support the striking writers.
But for my life can’t understand
Why all these militant "bull" fighters
Bow to producers, cap in hand?
Why not demand that your creations
Not dignify the degradations
Producers force on you and fight
To keep intact your copyright?
Why not proclaim yourselves the owners
Of what you write and make a deal
As equals, not a mere fifth wheel?
You needn’t stick to being loners;
But by incorporation lay
A ground producers can’t gainsay.
Imagine writers in collectives
Both dreaming up the scripts for shows
And spurning idiot directives
From suits who run the studios-
The men and women bottom feeders
Are growing into business leaders
But who can't tell a story from
A tale that's listless, limp, or dumb;
Who are not in the least creative
And yet they have the final say
Which may or not lose you your pay.
So why not strike for qualitative
Change- not pennies out of which you’re tipped;
But final say about your script?
Put writer’s names beneath the titles
As publishers do books and plays;
Not first of all the movie idols’
Or else directors.' Who'd win praise
Without the writers who’ve created
The chance for these to be inflated
From mortal to a movie star?
Don’t put these people on a par
With writers whose work made them famous
By writing them a depthless part
That turns their acting into art.
Who’s such an awful ignoramus
As not to know they all revere
The actor's writer, Will Shakespeare?
So why not try this business model
To organize your strike? You’ll find
You will not have to mollycoddle
What most producers call a mind.
And these will be the consequences:
When you’ve paid off all your expenses-
Your overhead, support, whatnot-
The rest is yours. Divide the pot
Collectively among the partners;
And while you take your leisure’s ease,
You’ll profit from your media fees.
I offer these as partial hearteners;
But keep in mind all these delights
Mean you must keep your copyrights.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Some lawyers who were Pakistanis,
Opposing General Musharraf,
Crash landed on their legal fannies
And ended up in jail. A gaffe,
As any lawyer knew, permitting
At very least a hostile kidding;
At worst, the work of Murphy’s Law.
These lawyers though, quick on the draw,
Won overwhelming adulation
Of every single inmate there
By proving they were on the square
For showing that their congregation
Was being held there by a court
That lacked the country’s moral support.
This gave the convicts hope for pleading
Their sentences out for time served.
But when the lawyers held a meeting
They seemed upset and quite reserved-
For with no working constitution,
What constituted restitution
Was quite beyond them. What to do?
They didn’t have the faintest clue.
The prisoners meanwhile by consensus
Decided on a mass escape;
And to this end a plan took shape-
“We’ll push the lawyers first to fence us;
And if the guards don’t shoot them dead
We’ll know to trust in what they’ve said.”
The lawyers found this plan upsetting
And pleaded with them not to try.
Some even lapsed back to bedwetting
And none had wished to play bull’s-eye.
The day came dawning bright and cheery;
But when time came to test the theory,
The lawyers locked themselves inside
And prayed to Allah for who died.
But when at last they heard no shooting,
The prisoners were free they knew
And so had proved their theory true.
But stepping out they heard the hooting-
The convicts did control the yards
As Musharraf’s new prison guards.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Here’s to the men and women writers
Who, fighting for the Writers Guild,
Are up against the network blighters
Whose coffers they have always filled.
They are the ones who, contemplative,
Are first and foremost most creative.
As Leno said with piercing dread,
“Without these guys I’m really dead.”
An actor might give language meaning
And take you off to make believe;
But with no writers to conceive
Which way a character is leaning
The actor’s in an awful bind
Till s/he’s told to shit or go blind.
The networks certainly’ve been able
To make it seem the writers block
Talks at the very conference table
Where they’d be willing, round-the-clock,
To suffer through negotiations
About their shows’ reincarnations,
As if it were an act of God’s
That TV shows play on ipods.
They claim they’ll study on-line streaming
But it will take them many years.
No doubt they’re led by financiers
Who all the while are really scheming
To transfer what plays on TVs
And not pay writers writing fees.
So here’s a thought in solidarity:
We’ll stand with you; go toe-to-toe
Against the networks’ insincerity
Until you get your quid pro quo.
As other workers, it’s our duty
To help you out; and not get snooty
About how much a writer earns
(When working). They’ve our same concerns-
To make ends meet the cost of living;
To see their kids hit long line drives;
To pay their bills; ex-husbands, wives.
If you’ll hang tough be unforgiving
We’ll stand with you. What I don’t get.
Who wrote your signs? Monks in Tibet!
Why shouldn’t you display your writing
While walking on your picket lines
With signs that show whom you’re indicting
That makes folks want to snap their spines,
At hearing their piss-poor excuses?
But make a joke of all their ruses.
One-liners on a public street
Will make the networks feel the heat
As folks dissolve in gales of laughter.
And will because they can ID
With others who want do re mi
For what they do now not years after.
So make your bosses laughingstocks
And turn your streets to writers’ blocks.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Why haven’t we raised exploitation
To candidates who want our votes;
To push them on appropriation
Until we’ve forced it down their throats?
They could be tarred as Liilliputian
Who won’t consider this solution:
From poverty and living hell
To affluence and living well.
Why not recruit for this election
A squad of students who’d arraign
The neoclassic ball and chain?
It wouldn’t be an insurrection;
But we at least might make a start
Till gaining strength for martial art.
Would we dare call it communism;
Or should we tone it down, afraid
We’d be exposed to criticism
That, at the least, we’re being played
By culture warrior left professors
Who would, no doubt, defend cross dressers;
Or anything that stirs dissent
And turns a youth a malcontent?
Is communism out of season;
Or does it need to be retaught
In line with what Marx really thought?
If it’s the last, it stands to reason
To give a thing its maiden name
Is manifestly what you’d claim.
So while Fox News is idolizing
A world that’s run for CEOs,
Why not suggest it needs revising
As do most other status quos?
Why not make common coalition
With others in the exposition
Of exploitation, gender, race
And other facts of plain disgrace?
What better time than an election
When folks are prone to use their heads
To join with others in Op-Eds
That raise us from forced genuflection,
So that as workers we begin
To see we have a world to win.