Friday, December 14, 2007

Picketing in Snowy/Rainy Times Square

I had a better headline all picked out for this -- not the most original mind you, just the first one that would most likely come to mind -- but then Nikki Finke had to go and use it herself. Oh well.

Irregardless, yesterday was by the far the most precipitation laden day of WGA picketing that I've seen since my recent time on the eastern seaboard. When i got out of the subway it was snowing pretty hard.

Yesterday's picketing action was in front of the 1515 Broadway building in Times Square -- where Viacom's headquarters are located. Offices for the channels MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon among others are housed therein. Ironically enough the first job I had in this "business" was working as an intern in MTV's series development division. On arriving at the picketing spot, I felt like I was coming full circle in a way. If someone were to have told me nine years ago that one day I'd be picketing in front of the Viacom building as a member of the Writer's Guild of America, I would have told them to stop smoking so much crack/cocaine and urged them to seek professional help.

My MTV history aside, there was something really surreal about the whole set up yesterday. As aforementioned, picketing in and of itself is bizarre -- but add into the equation Times Square and a wintry mix of snow and sleet? Let's just say I felt like I'd stepped into a music video directed by Michel Gondry. The snow piled on my shoulders as I hoisted my picket sign, and when I threw a gander up towards Gotham's gray heavens my gaze was met with the disapproving eyes of fabulous looking youth on a Juicy Couture billboard. It was a bit like Vanilla Sky meets America's Next Top Model.

Yesterday's action was a Future Members picket -- so several students from local film schools came out on the line. I chatted with a couple of writer's who were at the master's program in Columbia and they were great -- upbeat with refreshing perspectives, yet to be embittered old cynics. There were also members of other unions present -- including a representative from the Teacher's Union and an Aviation Engineers Union, which was extremely generous considering the circumstances of the weather.

First came the snow--

--which then turned to more of a freezing rain. This was more uncomfortable then the snow -- because all of one's winter wares got wet -- and fool that I am the one day I don't bring my umbrella with me is the one day I truly need it. Isn't that always the way?

Luckily, it being Times Square and all -- there were enough things going on to keep my mind off the fact I was freezing.

And by 'things' I mean half naked urban cowboys, of course!

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