Laser Time – Famous And Fictional Strikes

With a recent writers strike averted, we look back at the previous TV scribe standoff, other major work stoppages, and times that TV shows made striking a story!


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24 thoughts on “Laser Time – Famous And Fictional Strikes

  1. Great idea for an episode. Two cartoons that immediately come to mind when speaking about strikes is the Sponge-bob Episode Squid on Strike. One of my favorite episodes of the show.

    Another would be the Hey Arnold episode on the teacher’s strike where they cover a teachers strike.

    I work retail and end up working on Labor day weekends, but I am a union member with full time and I’m very thankful for all the benefits my union offers my co-workers and I. (Although they seem to throw bowling parties, and bus trips EVERY weekend so every once and a while I grumble about THIS is where my dues are going to!?) Either way I’m glad unions exist.

  2. Honestly, I find it amazing sometimes that you’re able to come with some of these topics and that’s why I love Laser Time!

  3. Dave you are WRONG! You can replace John Cena and (Do I make you)Randy Orton, they did so quite well with Razor Roman and Diesel so there!

    1. Didn’t Marvel stroke Ed Brubaker a check for Winter Soldier primarily out of pressure, I remember him kind of putting it out there that he didn’t get anything for the movie but then his fans including me started to tweet and write to Marvel until they put him in the movie(as the Dr. who works on Soldier) and stroke him a decent check which he rightfully deserves.

      1. Bob you’re a little off on South Park’s Writer’s Guild take, it was more a shot at Youtube and Youtube stars like Tay Zonday and the like wanting money or “theoretical dollars” in a pre Youtube ads world. Also Hulu had only existed for maybe 6 months when the strike began and there was still no real money to be made via the internet for tv there still kinda isn’t for hence the near strike of this year unless you work for CBS there’s no real money in TV writing especially for LA CoL due to short episode orders, a limit on shows you can write for, DVRs, Commercial free HULU etc. The South Park guys convinced Viacom to cave using a “They’re just going to steal it anyway” argument that would’ve been flimsy in the hands of a Tina Fey or Greg Daniels, even in 2007 their stance and criticism of the short sightedness of the strike made total sense especially in the long run as we see now. Tina Fey even joked about how shitty the deal the writer’s signed was when she hosted SNL not long after it ended. Basically unless you work for NBC 🙁 you only get money that the company provides from the huge profit Reality Shows make, you’re basically like the WNBA or most none Football/Basketball College sports, you’d lose money if not for the larger product funding your existance.

  4. Another Laser Time where I learned nothing because this is already a topic that fascinates me and I’ve done tons of research into, but still amazing!

    I was warming up my comment machine getting it read to talk about those videos the Office writers shot, but of course you already found them.

    Great episode!

  5. hey! It made me SO happy to hear Henry mention the Image Revolution documentary, I love it so much. I wish Chris had mentioned the animation “Runaway Wars” that lasted from the late 70s into the early 80s that lead to the animation guild losing the ling fight, studios/companies outsourcing animation jobs rising insanely animayuon quality dropping, newly graduated animators not being able to find employment and to this day the Animation Guild isn’t allowed to strike ever again. so no raises, except gradual cost of living, no health coverage or health coverage changes, DENTAL PLAN, or any of those wonderful perks IF the studio/company feels like it. Some studios still play in the fallout of those days like Dan Harmon over at Starburns Industries and while he’s a pretty good guy he was dicking over his animators and got called out for it. The Animation Industry is a weird funhouse horror show.

  6. I’m surprised you didn’t brink up the police strike in Robocop. The police chief monologue is the first thing that comes to my mind.

    “We’re not plumbers, we’re police officers. And police officers don’t strike”

    I was in a union for 6 months in my early 20’s. I got a part time job in a call centre relaying calls for the hearing impaired and somehow our union was the Canadian Auto Workers Union. However I never actually joined. Most of the people in my 2 week training course got transferred from a previous phone support contract that had expired so they were all already in the union. So the meeting with the union person introducing you to everything “here’s what the dues are, here’s how you file a grievance, here’s when our meetings are if you wanna com etc” never happened and I never signed a union card. They still took my money and when I quit and tried to get my money back they all kind of went “not it” for who was at fault for it.

  7. Sports strike notes:

    -Hockey lost the entire 2004/2005 season due to a lockout. Of course nobody gives a crap unless your Canadian or live in New York, Boston, Chicago, or Detroit. It did have an interesting consequence however: It cost Sydney Crosby the rookie of the year award. Because of the lockout, there were two drafts between the 2003/4 season ended and the 2005/6 season started and Alexander Ovechkin ended up having the same rookie year is Crosby instead of it being the year before and being that one year older made all the difference.

    Well that and scoring this goal:

    -The other thing I remember is during the MLB lockout in 94, baseball players were on TV everywhere. There was the married with children episode with all the baseball players and Al Birdie was the star of the Chicago Beers. There was the Living Single Episode where Bobbie Bonilla led a strike against Queen Latifah at her magazine or whatever she owned. There’s probably more I’m forgetting.

    1. It doesn’t surprise me Seattle would find a way to embroil itself in a national controversy. It seems to be their mutant ability.

  8. I used to work for Wonder/Hostess. The company had been struggling for a while and had already cut pay and other things twice in the 10 years before I was hired. I still don’t know all the details but they were going to reduce pay and pensions again so the bakers union (not me, I was a driver/vendor) threatened to strike. Company said they would shut down if they did, and here we are. I understand it sucks to have pay and bennies and pensions messed with but the thing is, even after being reduced, it was still very good and would still have been after another cut.
    I work for the State of Minnesota now and while government jobs are often highly touted for benefits and pay, Hostess was much much better. I would have crossed and been a scab in a heartbeat if I had had the chance but my union never voted to strike and we were told we were laid off as we arrived back at the depot on a Thursday. Most if us already knew, I think a Bimbo (yes, a real bread company) vendor told me first while I was delivering to a Wal-Mart (WM is just as shitty to it’s vendors as it is to it’s employees, by the way).
    It would have taken me longer to get over but my job now is the overnight shift at a group home for guys with development disabilities. Most nights I get to bring in my PS4 and play for a good chunk of a 10 hour shift. Less pay, lesser health insurance, much less dental and no vision insurance and that’s all after getting a couple breaks for being a USMC veteran. There are probably well over a dozen games I never would have gotten to play and even more that I wouldn’t have replayed, though, so there’s that. Can’t trade stale Twinkies for beer from the beer vendors anymore though. Yes, Twinkies do indeed go bad. I still have the final box of them from my rout that day. Great severance package.

  9. I think this subject is interesting in regards to the Laser Time situation, where lots of people are involved in creating something, but most just seem to do it for love, and only a few get paid, making something that used to be completely free, trying to sell subscriptions to people who have gotten used to their TV being free, and their music suddenly being available without paying for it, and older users remember paying $12 for a year of a magazine, but now creators hope that everyone will want to start paying for each podcast and show individually, adding up to more than magazine subscriptions used to be, and rivalling cable bills if you’re into a few different podcast networks. Lots of the independent podcasters seem to be trying to get into bigger networks, and eventually onto TV, so you end up with ads and bills and the problems we thought we were getting away from by cable-cutting. I like the Laser Time output, and don’t mind supporting it, but with Chris’s talk of taxes and hassles, it’s hard to believe anyone would be able to keep going for too much longer, before the whole business becomes Business, and the little guys get run off.

  10. Oh, this is rich. Dang college boys gonna tell ME about the struggles of the workin’ man!? Let me tell you what: I load sixteen tons, and what do I get? Another day older and deeper in debt! St. Peter don’t call for me, cause I can’t go. I owe my soul to the company store.

  11. What a coincidence that this episode goes up the week I spend listening to the Newsies soundtrack! A broadway musical about newspaper boys going on strike! This episode was a ton of fun.

  12. Interesting timing. While I normally read mostly sci-fi and fantasy in terms of fiction, I picked up a book called The Given Day by Dennis Lehane, just on a larf. That’s the guy who wrote Shutter Island?

    I haven’t enjoyed a book like this in a good long time, it really blew me away. It’s about the first Police strikes in the nation just after World War 1, particularly in Boston, and one sorta-good cop slowly being won over to the union’s side while his hardline father police captain fights him every step of the way. It’s a spectacular book, and really brings you into that period of history. It also has interesting parallels to today’s anti-muslim sentiments, only with the Irish and Italians of the period. Highly recommended.

  13. Just another footnote on baseball strikes and the Expos. There had been a previous strike in 1981, in the middle of the season, when it was resolved though they had to do a lot of schedule changing and did a funky thing where the playoff seeds were determined by taking the team with the best record for the first half of the season, and the team with the best record for the second half of the season. This lead to an odd situation where the Expos did have the best overall record of the season, but won the second half, so went to the playoffs (but fell to the Dodgers in the league championships, the Dodgers would go on to win the world series). So its really unfortunate that the two best seasons the Expos ever had were tainted by strikes (they had the best record at the time of the 1994 strike, but no titles were awarded that year due to the strike).

    I know there’s a tendency for people who play games to be “oh no sports, sports are dumb” (yet somehow now there’s an entire culture around “professional” video game players), but I think baseball really is a game for video gamers, especially if you like slower paced games like RPGs. I find a lot of similarities between baseball and turn based and strategy RPGs, its a heavily stat driven game offering matchups between a pitcher and batter, with variables distracting the pitcher if they’ve been unsuccessful and allowed runners on base. What I find fascinating about baseball is that there is no time limit, so the sport is all about the matchup between the two teams. Most sports like basketball, you don’t have two teams playing against each other, its one team playing against a clock, with the other team just getting in the way.

    I know how much Chris likes documentaries, and Ken Burns multi-part baseball documentary is really great, covering the game from its roots all the way to today.

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