Monday, November 12, 2007

Walk the Line

So far I haven’t had any problems with the picketers at the studio where I work.

They have been polite, orderly (if not loud – which is the point so no biggee), and haven’t done anything to endanger anyone else – again, only speaking to those I have seen.

I fear that is changing.

At my studio (and I am only speaking about one of the studios – no idea about the others), all employees were given strict rules of conduct in dealing with protestors – rules that called for a respectful attitude.

Do not argue. Do not yell at or confront any picketers. Be especially careful and slow when driving around them. Respect their space and right to be there.

It was almost a reminder that these people are still part of the family – these are the guys that we worked alongside yesterday, and will work alongside again tomorrow.

I wonder what kind of memo the picketers got. Or if all of them got it.

One guy, writing in response to a blog about the producers, said that he has been nice on the picket line, but now he is so mad he is going to “make them hurt” any way he can. And since he doesn’t have access to the big boys, he plans on taking his anger out on the people going to work where he is picketing.

He acknowledges that these people are not the ones in control; but whatever happens to them at his hands, he claims, is not his fault.

The responsibility for his actions on the innocent lies squarely at the feet of the head negotiator for the producers.

In other words, he plans on sinning big time tomorrow, and has already absolved himself from blame for his actions.

This is mob mentality, folks. And there were plenty more like him in the blogosphere, venting and making claims to going brutal on the lot workers.

One guy already started – but I think his work was more out of boredom than righteousness. His picketing didn’t hold enough drama, so he created his own – and bragging about it on his blog.

He started out by claiming that two women that were crossing the street near him were doing so with a silent attitude that he found offensive, so he argued with them.

Please note that these women were not speaking to him – but he was interpreting their posture and the position of their eyelids as if they were. And he was vocally responding to their lack of gestures.

In other words, he was speaking (actually, he proudly says he was “yelling like an idiot”) at these people while they were standing waiting for a walk signal.

Apparently one of them eventually responded in something other than just his imagination, which gave him license to escalate his language. And then to his pride (and the pride of his guild, under his way of telling it) – a security guard came out and politely asked him to tone it down.

The politeness of the guard is his admission by the way – a politeness that he found offensive enough for him to joyfully spend the rest of his time screaming.

Oh, and his dialogue all along – obscenities. Although I don’t know exactly what they were, as he said that he wouldn’t repeat the language he was using because his mother reads his blog.

So in other words, this striking wordsmith was hurling obscenities at women who were ignoring him, and then a guard politely asked him to watch his language – which made him even prouder to get crasser.

And he brags about it as a moral victory for him and his cause.


A friend at another lot (with an office near the street) says that she grew tired of the lack of imagination by the writers marching in her earshot – as their chants were mostly sexual in nature.

And it’s not like either side of this issue has been acting anything like adults in their press time rhetoric. But it has been the big shots at the negotiating table, and not the folk at the street level that have been making it personal.

Which had to come to an end sooner or later, I guess.

Oh, and the parting shot of the cursing guy from above? A satellite photo of the lot, and a request that someone “make some more noise” using the bombing target he superimposed on the photo.

I wish I knew that he was kidding.

Just my thoughts,



Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding??? How can we expect our young to handle their anger appropriately if adult "professionals" cannot. Maybe these people should be in my anger management/conflict resolution classes. A child would be suspended from school for the bombing target thing. In addition to the suspension, they would be searched upon their return, have to see a counselor and a functional behavioral assessment would be done along with a behavior intervention plan to hopefully teach the student how to appropriately handle their anger in the future.
Maybe that's the solution. I'll fly there and write FBA's and BIP's for the pickters and producers.

Gaffney said...

My friend Jan says that today, being a school holiday, is "take your kids to the picket line" day. They are planning on walking Disney's Studio today -- as fitting for a kids day out. I'm assuming the language there will be clean.
She also reports that her experience on the line has been similar to what I've personally seen -- loud, but not personally antagonistic and foul.