[readermail]
Pamie,

My friend Joanne has been reading your blog for years, and when she saw you were doing a comedy show she made her fiance and I attend it. It was the one where you sang a song about M. Night Shya-ma-ly-i-an and then revealed spoilers for various movies. (The Prestige was ruined for Joanne’s fiancé Matt.) We said hi to you after the show but you had black makeup smeared over your eyes so I am not sure how
much you could see.

I work at The Lot with Joanne, making money while I try to figure out what I want to do in the industry. Having worked at this post production facility had made me sure it is not for me. When the writer’s strike began it solidified my vague career ambitions and made me realize that I would be happiest if I was screenwriting. (I have actually known since elementary school that I wanted to be a writer or an astronaut, so I don’t know WHY it has taken me this long to concretely pursue it after the whole NASA astrobiology thing didn’t pan out.)

I’m sorry, I have a propensity to ramble. The point I was trying to get to was that when I decided I wanted to write, Joanne and I agreed that I should show support for the WGA strikers by joining the picket lines myself. I won’t have anything good and substantial written for at least a year, but I support the WGA whether or not I do actually end up writing. Plus, I don’t usually have to be at work until 3 pm so I have most mornings free anyway.

Does any particular location need picketers? I have no idea what place needs support. Where are you picketing? I would check your blog that Joanne gave me a link to but it is currently not opening for me. Is it ABC? Joanne said you work for “Samantha Who,” so that would make sense.

And really, I would feel more comfortable giving this preemptive e-mail “hi” before I accost you in person. It’s always nice to meet a fellow Longhorn out here since they’re so rare. (I think that’s a joke.) I see Longhorn hats and shirts, but I haven’t actually met anyone from Austin. The closest I came was with the guy in the ticket booth at the movie theater who recognized my “HI, HOW ARE YOU” Daniel Johnson t-shirt. And that’s a rather sad story.

~Rick
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Rick, you can always find out what locations we’re picketing (and they all need bodies, so don’t worry about which one), and the times we’re picketing here. Thank you! (And the team of Samantha Who? writers picket CBS Radford, where our show was shot. (“Was.” Oooh, that word hurt.))

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[readermail]
Dear Pamie:

I am rooting for you and admiring all your hard work during the strike.

Unfortunately, I am right smack in that internet demographic, and it’s the result of a couple of things, namely, not having the $$$ or will to have tv-tempting me all the time, so I’ve been watching things online. But that stops now that I realize that these “promotions” aren’t paying out fairly. It needs to be worked out. This is the way that my generation is entertaining themselves. They’re not beholden to tvs or movie theaters. They don’t mind living off the computer screens.

I’m a writer as well. I freelance for several organizations, mostly newspapers. And if you think the internet is fucking with your career, well, have a seat by me! I can’t get an entry level job, and in fact, I’m quite wary of trying, to be honest with you. I recently got an email mentioning that a new “platform” of one of my outlets is being launched, presumably with advertising, but because of that, if they decide to reprint our work, we won’t get paid.

I couldn’t help but wonder… whether that meant that this internet squeeze is hitting creatives all-around. I say it is. And while I’m at a tenuous position, figuring out whether I want to be beholden to a dying industry that can’t figure out how to function in this technological age, I’m cheering you guys on. I hope you get $$$ from the fat cats, because this wave is bigger than you, and it’s bigger than me, and it has to be dealt with fairly. Writers should get paid! Writing is difficult and wonderful! We tell ourselves stories in order to live, after all!

As a struggling freelance writer, I remain,
anonymously yours!
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It’s not like this is a contest, or I need to declare a winner, but man, check out this letter:

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[readermail]
Pamie,

My dad is in his 80s. His long ago SAG insurance paid for all 3 kids in my family to be born, and for my sister to have some really advanced surgery right after her birth, nearly 40 years ago. He was acting to pay for grad school and he promptly joined the teachers union – we are all about a strike in my dad’s family. His father was a coalminer, and both his brothers were teamsters in NJ. As children, we struck against doing chores. Last night he asked me didn’t I know anyone on strike in LA or NY right now, and I said no, but I did read your blog. He asked me to read you something from it (not to up the pathos to a repellent level here, but he’s blind) and I read to him about when AB put the goldfish under the tires of Vince’s car while y’all are on the phone.

After we stopped laughing, there was a long silence, and he said “those girls won’t get paid for that? if they don’t put an ad up there, they will not see a red cent for that?” and I explained that wasn’t what the strike was about, really, and he said he knew that, but that if you and AB were that funny in your down time, it was not going to be possible to overpay you on the job. and then he said, “baby, a strike is always about the same thing: people getting used and shat on and sick of it and standing up for themselves and their families. just because these girls can entertain themselves doesn’t mean they aren’t scared and desperate. write that girl. tell her an old man says she’s smart and funny and good and doing right. it’ll come right for her, I know. tell her. tell her hang in there and to take care of herself and to remember to be kind to the people she loves and let them be kind to her, because a strike is hard business for everyone.”

So I’m telling you. Best wishes to you and yours, Pamie. Take care.

Annie
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Annie, please tell your father that his words mean so much to me. You invoked memories of my own family by mentioning “Mama Crazy,” as that’s the entry my mother and sister often ask me to resend them so that they can laugh and share that story again with their friends.

Tell him thank you, from one girl in Los Angeles who really needs her dad these days. It feels good to have some fatherly advice.

…. especially because I’m pretty sure I just heard a gunshot outside, and it couldn’t have been too far away. (Mom, please don’t read that last sentence. I’m fine! Los Angeles is great! Yay!)

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[readermail]
Hey Pamie,

I just wanted to say that I have truly dug your blog on so many levels for so long, and I’m glad you’re keeping us up to speed with what’s going on in the writers’ strike. (And as a total aside, thanks for the piece about Jollibee. A Filipino restaurant opened up two blocks from here, and their hamburgers look, uh, sweet, too.)

I’m a writer too, it’s just that right now I have suspended my morals and creative dreams to work for big dirty companies, creating their superfluous and little-read marketing material and brochures. So the Internet has saved my financial bacon, but I think it’s a new frontier that’s a shitty deal for writers on so many levels. I and many of the writers I know are incredibly glad to see you guys standing up for your rights.

I don’t know what one little freelancer in Canada can do for you. Just let me know. Cookies? Maple syrup? $1.08?

I hope you guys win, and I hope you can soon go back to having three of my dream jobs. Someone has got to have them! It might as well be you.

Cheers, and good luck!
Fiona

PS Also – that thing about Andy Gordon and the clam….oh my God. I am so happy to finally have a word to describe the most embarrassing corporate video I ever worked on. It’s a five-minute clam. I want to curl up and die every time I think about it. Eight years later.
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Sabrina sent in the following clam suggestion: “Striking. Seriously.”

And Sara keeps reminding me that I forgot to put her favorite one up here: “I don’t want to be all Strikey McStrikerson over here, but…”

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[readermail]
Hi Pamie,

Just wanted to say there’s quite a few of us in digital who are supporting you guys down here in Australia. Broadcasting is changing (for the better) to an online format and the giants are going to take a tumble.

Australian broadcasters are also criminal in the percentages and ownership requirements. Many of us coming in the biz here feel a change is coming, and I feel what the WAG members are doing is brave but also necessary, as the first step globally towards a fairer system in a online world.

With support,

Sera Prince
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Hi Pamie,

Congratulations on Samantha Who, and best of luck in your strike efforts. I’m a long time reader of yours, and I have much respect and admiration for all that you have accomplished.

When I was eight years old, my dad, who was a teacher, went out on strike. At some point, the school board fired all the striking teachers. My cousins and I piled into the back of my grandfather’s pickup, and my grandpa drove us around our small Illinois town as us kids shouted “we want our teachers back”. I still can’t believe that our parents didn’t kill us (and my grandpa) for that little excursion! But I think that proves that if I have to, I will borrow my grandpa’s truck and head out to Hollywood. We want our writers back!

Good luck and hang in there,
Tracey
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[readermail]
Hi, Pamie —

I’m a longtime reader (I think the first entry I read was the one where Lillith died), and I wanted to let you know that my team blog, Pop Goes the Library, has been following the WGA strike with considerable interest.

Intrepid fellow blogger Liz Burns held & posted an interview with Jeff Gottesfeld, who writes for The Young & The Restless, here.

Thought you might be interested.

I’m glad to hear the WGA & TPTB are heading back to the table after Thanksgiving, and I really hope things work out in favor of the writers. Best of luck!

Sophie
Teen Librarian, Trainer, and Blogger
Library Journal Mover & Shaker
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[readermail]
Dear Pamie,

I’ve been a fan of your blog for years now. You rock! What you are doing now is important and it matters. When I read that the Teamsters were supporting you I got all teary eyed. My Dad was a Teamster. Later today I’m going to suggest to my book club that we buy your books to support you and the strike. We are not watching TV or online shows in support of you and the other writers. Best of luck!!

Kelly Lawrence
Teamsters Daughter
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[readermail]
Amy and I were talking about you last night and wondering how you are doing with the strike. I see from your website that you are helping to lead the strikers, I wouldn’t have expected anything else. Hope all is well and let us know if we can do anything to help you out.

Kevin
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[readermail]
Dear Pamie,

I’ve been following the news of the strike, through your posts and other sources, and I have to say that I’m proud of you and all your fellow strikers for standing up. I’ve reposted a few of your video links in my blog, and I’ve had some interesting discussions with my friends on the subject, but I didn’t feel like I was doing more than lip service. So I decided to take action.

On Friday, I came to a decision, and along with it I wrote this letter to the AMPTP in support of the WGA strike. (Their comment form is at http://www.amptp.org/contactus.html — I wasn’t able to find an email address for an actual human being.)

To Whom It May Concern:
Until the members of the WGA receive fair and reasonable compensation for their efforts, the members of the AMPTP will not receive another penny from me. As of now, I am boycotting all screenwritten material released after November 1, 2007. Until this strike ends, I will neither watch network TV, nor purchase DVDs, nor go to movie theaters.

Lest you dismiss this as a toothless threat from a non-consumer, consider that my DVD library numbers somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 titles. My household buys 6-10 DVDs in the average month, and at least twice that many during the holidays. And I have books, a library card, and a now-available chunk of disposable income; I can outlast you.

It’s time for the studios to stop exploiting their employees for the sake of greed. The onus is upon you to stop the petty bickering and accept the extremely reasonable demands of the WGA. In the meantime, I’ll be supporting my favorite screenwriters by buying their books instead. And I’ll be encouraging my friends and colleagues to do the same.

Sincerely,
[my name]
Angry Consumer

I don’t really expect a response, but I had to do something — too many of my friends and loved ones are or aspire to be writers. Heck, I’m not even doing NaNoWriMo this year — pencils down means pencils down, as far as I’m concerned.

Keep up the good work, Pamie. We’re proud of you.

–Loree
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Woo! Thanks, Loree. That’s awesome.

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[readermail]
Hey, Pamie. I’ve been a big fan of your stuff FOREVER (from Television Without Pity and Pamie.com), and I was watching Samantha Who tonight, and I got all excited to see your name. Sorry, lots of ands. I’m happy for your success, and that makes me ever more in awe of your courage and awesomeness during this strike. Thanks for the explanation on your web site of your job, and of what the strike means. I’ve read several news reports, but no outside perspective can be as real and engaging as one coming from those who are involved.

Take care,
Nicole
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[readermail]
I’m halfway through SW, loving it, backed up to the beginning to see who wrote it. Then over to your blog to read about how weird it is to be on strike when one’s very well-written SW comes on, discovering of course your post about how weird that is. Broke my heart. And don’t worry about answering this email, obviously. You’ve got a lot going on. If there’s anything I can do, let me know, because I haven’t thought of anything I’m uniquely positioned to do, beyond the fan stuff. Stay strong; you’re still my hero.

Jacob
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[readermail]
Hello! I stumbled upon your blog from another site and just wanted to send my support to you and all the writers that are affected by the strike. Unfortunately, I’m on the opposite coast otherwise I would have been happy to show my support. Though I did sign the petition for what it’s worth.

Reading your blog, I had NO idea that the studios literally cleaned out your offices completely! Good grief! I signed my petition comment as ‘the show cannot go on without the creativity it originates from’. I *get* that. I’m not a writer (clearly), but I am a creator, just in another form. I wish you all the best and hope you can return to doing the job you love!

Kind regards,
Gina
A Touch of Whimsy Designs
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[readermail]
Hi Pamie,

I remember you from TWoP, so I almost feel as if I know you. And I just wanted to tell you that I love Samantha Who? I crack up over it while watching and later while talking about it with friends. You’ve got good actors into whose mouths to put words, but they’re great words! (Still giggling to myself about Sam’s mother’s review of Sam as “Annie”—”When you try to be adorable, you come off as snide”!)

Take care, and good luck with strike—ideally, reaching a fair resolution or, not ideally, managing it.

Best,
Melissa Weintraub
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NON-STRIKE MESSAGE!

I’m so excited that 826LA is opening an East side location in Echo Park. This week I get to go to the release party of the book that the incredible students of John Marshall High put together this past winter (The Elotes Man Will Soon Be Gone), and I can’t wait to see them all again and tell them how proud I am of their hard work. If you’re looking for something to spread a little holiday cheer (while we’re still working on getting the newest Dewey location off the ground), may I suggest 826? You can help fund supplies, field trips, classes and workshops. It helps thousands of students in Los Angeles become better writers and start them on the path toward making their dreams come true. (And if you are looking for a cool new shirt that does a lot of good for East Side students, may I suggest the Echo Park Time Travel Mart t-shirt?)

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[readermail]
Pamie:

Long-time lurker/reader, first-time emailer. (Does that count as a clam, or just a stupid intro?)

Anyway, I’ve been a longtime fan of yours, from TWOP recaps to your blog to SamWho.

I seriously support all of the WGA and the strike, and wish you the best during this difficult time.

thanks-
emily
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[readermail]
Hi Pamie,

You don’t know me, the same way I reckon you don’t know many of the people who send you e-mails. Also like many of those people, I’m a long time reader of your little corner of the e-world. I became hooked on Samantha Who [thank you], I am the proud owner of both of your books [thank you x 2], and I drop the phrase “wonder killer” like it were a pop culture reference on the level of a Friends episode. This can be confusing because not everyone knows about you, and that makes me a little sad because I think that everyone should. But I digress.

I know you must be busy right now. Insanely busy. And tired. And because of all of that, I thank you for carving out a minute from your day to read this here e-mail. I also wanted to thank you for your general awesomeness. If I were to cite people who have influenced what I consider to be the better parts of who I am, you would be up there. This is not just because you write well and you’re damn funny, but also because you support things that I think are important and you do it in a manner that makes the quieter people [like me] want to do something to help. I linked people to Dewey [I know that a bunch of us sent books], I linked people to Project Safe so we could send journals, and now I’ll be linking people to send pencils.

It’s only a little bit, but I know that when you’re trying to fight for something you believe in every little bit can help. For what it’s worth, I’ll be boycotting any online streaming or purchasing of TV DVD series until the situation for y’all has been rectified [my roommates have already gotten an earful from me]. And not only that, but I’ll be voicing that I’m doing it and telling people why. It’s a ways from VA to CA, but know that you’ve got a fair share or supporters out here by the nation’s capital. Keep it up. Thank you for doing what you’re doing. Truly.

-Heather
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[readermail]
Hi Pamie,

I’ve been following your strike coverage and just wanted to say thanks for sharing your experiences with your readers. I don’t watch a lot of TV, so it’s probably an issue that would’ve mostly passed me by if you hadn’t written about it. I’m looking forward to the next time you have the urge and energy to write. Keep up the good work on the picket line!

I also thought you might be interested in this post about the strike from an Australian film writer and blogger. I was glad to read that international writers are supporting the strike, too.

~Jennine
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Week Four begins very soon, and to use a phrase pretty common in this industry, I’m “cautiously optimistic” about the negotiations beginning tomorrow. Thanks to everybody for supporting, for sharing your stories, and for spreading the word. I wouldn’t be where I am without you, and I never forget that.

…Which is why I’m supposed to be working on the new novel right now, so I’m going to try to be better about navigating around my strike duties and my novel duties. Hey, that means I get another paycheck! (… due to arrive sometime after June of 2008, after I write an entire novel.)

Five hours of email posts! Wow!