I sure hope you like C-SPAN, reruns, and reality shows, because if we the Hollywood proletariat have our way, every writer in town is going on strike, perhaps as soon as this Thursday. If you ask me, it’s not a moment too soon.
Technically, we’re striking against the producers, the studios, and the networks — the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers — who have been trying to screw us out of our fair share of VHS and DVD residuals for years, and whose initial offer was to screw us even harder. With a brave new world of iPhone technology on its way, we want to make sure we don’t get fooled again.
But everyone knows we’re really striking against you, the ungrateful, reactionary, and probably crypto-fascist audience. You’ve let us all down by not going to see our movies.
The Kingdom? A disappointment at $46 million. Rendition? A huge antiwar belly flop for Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, and the guy from Brokeback Mountain playing in 2,250 theaters that hasn’t yet managed $8 million. Elizabeth: The Golden Age? The Catholic-bashing costume party with Cate Blanchett in high dudgeon and higher drag is a flopola at $14 million. In the Valley of Elah, from scribe du jour Paul Haggis? It’ll be lucky to make $7 million. At this rate, you probably won’t even go to see Brian De Palma’s Redacted.
Frankly, we’re tired of throwing our pearls before you swine. So we’re firing you.
I mean, come on: the fourth installment of a torture-porn series, a Steve Carell laugher, a vampire movie set in Alaska and a comedy aimed at the, ahem, “urban audience” are opening up cans of cinematic whup-ass on the finest, most passionate anti-American movies our smartest, snarkiest Harvard grads can think up. And Lions for Lambs hasn’t even opened yet! Heck, The Rock’s family-values comedy The Game Plan has made $77 million, more than all the antiwar movies put together.
It’s so sad: Here we were, on a roll, with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in command of Congress, the Clinton Restoration practically a fait accompli, and Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize to use as a doorstop alongside his Oscar — and this is the thanks we get.
Well, I just don’t get it. It’s not like our patriotism is questionable or anything. Like Bonosera the undertaker in The Godfather, we love U.S.-America, we believe in U.S.-America, just not U.S.-America the way she is now: a racist, sexist, homophobic bastion of white male privilege, built on the backs of Africans and Native Americans and exploited immigrants, seeking to export its murderous rage to the Middle East and beyond. And all right-thinking people — by which I mean “left-thinking” people, of course — agree with us. You certainly won’t get any argument on the west side of Los Angeles, and wherever I travel in this great land of ours — to places as diverse as San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and the Upper West Side — it’s unanimous. America stinks!