Friday, November 30, 2007

Latest Column - Q&A w/Author Leslie Talbot

The latest "Lunch is Not a Date" column is up; it's a Q&A w/Leslie Talbot, author of Singular Existence. The book is quite good and our Q&A addresses the pressures society and media put on women to be in a relationship and to be responsible for all aspects of said relationship, from beginning to end. It went very well. Here's the link to check it out (site is

Nov. 30 Lunch is Not a Date Column

I also suggest reading my last post here, Wed. Nov. 28, as it is very relevant to the topic of roles placed on the genders.

Also, the deal for release of my book in Russia and CIS countries (Belarus, etc) was finalized yesterday. We're going Russian, baby!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Mating Dance is Flirting but That's not the Real Issue...

(This post will find its way into my "Lunch is Not a Date" column within the next few weeks.)

As many of you know, I recently did an interview in my column with Halima Sal-Anderson and then another with Classical One; both interviews are on interracial dating (IR). (Visit for the actual interviews.) Since doing the interviews, I have received several questions from black women asking how to do "The Mating Dance."

I have heard the term "The Mating Dance" (TMD) previously in several different circles and each kind of has its own applications. For example, pickup artists (pua's), more specifically Mystery--who is credited with founding the pua technique and community (meaning the on-line one, not the one that's existed for years prior just as a term for guys who were good at picking up women seemingly effortlessly)--states that too many guys ignore the mating dance. They express interest too soon, as opposed to maneuvering around, heightening a women's interest before indicating their own. Psychologists actually agree to an extent, stating that there is a courtship ritual to meeting someone that exists in all species, including humans, and that it tends to be more important to eliciting interest in the female of the species than in the male.

In the term IR's are using it, they are referring to people sending signals of interest to each other, specifically women sending signals of interest to men. The women who have emailed me their questions state that black women are known for not being as good at the mating dance as women of other races, specifically when it comes to "dancing" with white men.

What everyone is really talking about is flirting. Readers of God and my column know that I am very big on flirting, especially citing it as important for the "nice guy," and I provide flirting techniques throughout the book along with examples, illustrating them in the very stories in which I learned them and learned why they are important. I do give some examples of how women can flirt but not as many.

Every woman who emailed me about TMD stated "I feel I've missed out on being asked out by white men because I am not good at TMD." Basically, they are in that annoying state of wondering "what if...;" the state I lived in for years prior to age twenty-three. It is a state many, in fact most, guys live in their whole lives--"What if I asked her out?" "What if I went up to that redhead?" "What if that black woman I saw did date white guys and I just I assumed she didn't?"

The women go on to describe meeting guys on the subway (I'm assuming that's what the "London Underground" is), the bus, in a long line at the grocery store, while leaving a club, and so forth. They are disappointed because they think the guys in these scenarios did not ask them out because they poorly executed TMD. They want to know how to be better at TMD.

Did these guys fail to ask them out because the women sucked at TMD? It seems that many black women believe so; white women, on the other hand, would say, "No, those guys are just clueless." I'm not shitting you on this; black women tend to feel the fault is theirs for not sending out readable, strong signals, while white women always just say, "Guys are so clueless." I get tons of emails from white women asking, "Why are men so clueless?" I have yet to receive one from black women asking the same question. (I know who is who because women always physically describe themselves the first time they email me; I'm not sure why they feel the need, but it is interesting. It does help in some cases, depending on their question, but in most, it is a moot point.)

At this point, it is important to define flirting. There are many definitions, most of which are ridiculous. Dating experts and pua's often describe flirting as any conversation that takes place between a man and a woman. Most commonly those charging for seminars use this definition because if you say, "Hi" to someone they can say, "See? You flirted. Now, pay me $300 for the next lesson." Fucking ridiculous. What about gay people? They can't flirt? Also, most flirting has nothing to do with conversation; rather, it's body language. If I ask a woman what time it is, I am hardly flirting.

Flirting is communication between two or more people which resonates with sexual overtones via a combination of spoken language, physical touch, and body language. Asking someone how his day was is not flirting; asking someone how his day was while simultaneously smiling and running the palm of your hand down his shoulder and arm, is flirting. (Oh yeah, I am required by the publisher to mention that a lot of this stuff is in God; there's copyright laws with which to contend. That's another reason I went with a small publisher; a big publisher would only let me answer the TMD questions by writing "Read my book for all the information on flirting you need and could ever want to know; sorry, the publisher owns all the content and won't let me use my own stuff elsewhere.")

Okay, flirting is defined; great. How do you do it? As with anything else, start simple. One woman stated that she was told to "jiggle her shoulders, wiggle her butt, keep constant eye contact, keep smiling" all while continuing to talk. I laughed my ass off picturing her jiggling her shoulders while wiggling her ass. If a woman did that when I met her I'd be likely to yell, "Help! This woman is having a seizure! Do you have some kind of medic alert bracelet we should read, miss?"

That's a lot of activity to think about and put into play. Keep it simple. Don't try to do everything at once. If you meet a guy you like, when he kids you about something, push him away by gently punching him in the shoulder while commenting, "That's not true" and smiling. Insult him without meaning it--"You're a jerk;" only he knows you don't mean it because you're smiling or laughing while you say it. Twirl your hair occasionally while he's talking. Touch your cheek a few times. Make eye contact while smiling at different times throughout the conversation. Be open with your arms and keep your body toward his. (In short, don't stand there with your arms crossed, not smiling.) Fortunately, our bodies naturally help us with a lot of this stuff. For example, when you are speaking with someone and find the conversation engaging, you will have a tendency to mimic him as he speaks--when he leans forward on his arm as he talks, you are likely to do the same shortly thereafter; when he leans back, you will too, again shortly after he does. It's very natural. When someone isn't doing those things, it is often a sign that the conversation is not engaging to the other person.

So, if you don't over think it, a lot of this stuff will take care of itself. When I say keep it simple, I mean don't go in trying to think about all this stuff. Instead, focus on one or two things. Tonight I'm going to twirl my hair and smile a few times when I talk to a guy I like. Period. Don't do anything else. Another night try something different. When it fits into the conversation, I'm going to ask a guy I like if he's a good boy or a bad boy. Why? What has he done good; what has he done bad. Or, I'll say, "Ooh, tell me about the bad stuff." On another night, combine the two. By using this process, you'll become a natural flirt, able to turn it on and off at will without thinking about it. You'll touch when you naturally feel a good spot in which to do so, make a risque joke when the timing is right, and so forth. Trust me; I know. I used to suck it flirting and now I'm a king at it. I got here by doing just what I'm telling you, along with watching how other people flirted and listening to what they said.

So, what have we achieved? Well, black women, once you are good at TMD and the guy doesn't ask you out, you can then say, "Guys are clueless." Oh, what a fucking joy! I bet you're looking forward to that! Basically, we've accomplished very little in the end. Why? Because you have not established any control over the situation or yourself.

I wanted to address TMD in a blog before my column this week, which is a Q&A with Leslie Talbot, because there is a much bigger issue here that is the real heart of the matter. Ironically, Leslie and I will be addressing it in the column Friday, so a "pre-discussion" here, given all the questions about TMD, is warranted. (Plus, I've learned that for each person who asks a question, there are usually five with the same question who don't ask; meaning there are a lot of women out there who want to know how to be better at TMD, judging from the number of questions I've received.) Read the column Friday for further discussion and for Leslie's input. I will post this entry as a future column in the next few weeks but given all the questions about TMD I am receiving, there seemed no time to waste.

What did I mean by "you haven't established any control over the situation or yourself?" Exactly that. You're foolishly leaving all the power up to clueless men. (No matter how good you are at flirting, you'd be amazed how many guys have no idea that you are interested. Why? Because most guys get nervous and they are not paying attention to what you are saying and doing. You're touching them and smiling and they're thinking, "Okay, what should I say next?" Ever been talking to a guy and you think he is rude because whatever you say he completely ignores, replying with a completely different subject? Like you ask, "Where have you traveled?" and he replies, "What kind of food do you like?" Huh?! He's not rude; he's nervous. He's busy thinking about what he's going to say next the entire time you are talking, so he's not listening and responding, which is a huge part of being successful when it comes to meeting women.)

All women of every race are pre-conditioned by society and the media--I don't care what anyone else says, or what woman lib claims--to wait for the guy to make the all-important first move. I mean, all the questions I'm getting about TMD boil down to simply this: "Okay, if I giggle and jiggle just right, the guy will ask me out, right? So how do I do that?" EER! Wrong!

The concept of God is multi--it's a dating advice book, a book of funny stories, a book about being a standup comedian; it all depends on the reader and what the reader is looking for when they read it. At its most basic level, it is the very honest, open story I've my personal growth, particularly in the dating world. The humorous concept of God is that we all often blame someone else for our dating woes, even God. (In fact, especially often God.) I used to get mad at women for my failures with them. I finally woke up and realized this universal truth: the only person responsible for my happiness is me. That's true for all of us--the only person responsible for your happiness is you. Your happiness is your job and no one else's.

So why the hell wait for the guy to ask you out? Why wander around for the next three weeks thinking Gee, I wonder why he didn't ask me out. Was I not clear about my interest? I hate wondering, so I don't do it. If I'm interested, I make my move and so should you. Look, if I meet you on the bus and we're talking and you're interested, guess what? Only you know where you get off on the bus, not me! Only you know you are getting off in two stops. Are you going to sit there, hoping I ask you out before then? Are you going to ride the bus till my stop, six miles out of your way, hoping I'll ask you out? Then be pissed when I don't, because I'm thinking Well, she's black and she probably doesn't date white guys, so I won't even try for her digits (phone number).

The point is, you don't know what I'm thinking. And I don't know what you're thinking. No matter how much flirting is going on, that's the fact, Jack. It will always be the fact. It will never, ever change. It is one of the few certainties in life. Don't wait for me to make a move; make your own move. "You know, I'm getting off in a few stops, but I'd like to continue this conversation. Here's my email." "If you want my number, you better ask soon; I get off in two stops."

Now brace yourself . . . I may decline. I might be engaged. Married. Gay. Seriously involved. Stupid. Who knows? Most likely, I'll be refreshingly surprised and take your information and call you because I've received a very strong indicator that I will be successful in getting a date. (The number one reason guys don't call after they get your number, ladies? Fear of rejection. They talk themselves out of it because they didn't get a strong enough signal, in their minds, to take the next step.)

What's the worst that could happen? I reject you. Hey, welcome to our world! It happens. I get rejected all the time. Guess what? I'm still breathing, still kicking, the world is still spinning. You get a few rejections under your belt and it's like water rolling off a duck's back. Most importantly, you won't spend a minute wondering What if? Trust me, it is much better to know than to wonder. Yeah, yeah, I know a few guys get put-off by a woman asking them out. Fuck them. Do you want to date someone that ignorant, any way? He's done you a favor by saving you the vast time and energy you may have spent only to come to realize he's a stone age moron.

Don't make excuses; take control of your own happiness. Yes, learn how to flirt and be good at it; it is important. But don't ever rely on someone else for your happiness. This is especially important in IR dating, where there are so many barriers with which to already contend; eliminate the biggest one immediately.

Hope this helps. Remember to check out the Nov. 30 Lunch is Not a Date column; Leslie will be talking about other ill-conceived conceptions still plaguing women these days.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Story Posted and Next Q&A

I finally posted the latest standup story to my site. Also, next week, Friday, my column will be a Q&A interview with Leslie Talbot and a review of her book. Check her out ahead of time here:

Promises to be another good interview. The last Q&A led to a discussion with over 70 replies on the interviewee's blog:

When I get some time (ha ha), I'll be udpdating all my sites and making the column into a blog format. This has been an official Ian Coburn update...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just Say No to Comedy Groupies

I've been promising an overdue standup story for some time. Well, I finally have time to write one tonight. I won't have a chance to post it to the site for a while, but here it is, early just for you. (I'm talking to you and one else; not you or you or you; just you.) Actually, it feels good to write something that doesn't have a deadline attached and I'm looking forward to it.

I was exposed to my first comedy groupie in Columbus, OH, at the Funny Bone. She came in on a Sunday night. She sat in the back of the club, by herself. She watched the show intermittently between watching the comedians hanging out offstage at a table in the back of the club, with whom she seemed far more interested than the one onstage. When one of us got up to go to the bar or restroom, she got up and cut us off, briefly introducing herself and smiling. She then promptly returned to her seat. The club manager, Dave, came up to us as the headliner started to wind down his set. (I was an emcee at the time.) "Any of you guys want a blowjob?"

I immediately chimed, "You know, Dave, I appreciate the offer but I'm going to have to insist on being paid in cash."

He laughed. "No, not from me. The woman over there, who's said hi to you all, is our resident comedy groupie. She comes into the club every few weeks on a Sunday and blows one of the acts in the parking lot. Anyone interested?"

One of the acts hurried away for his bonus pay. The idea of getting a blowjob from some woman who cared only that I was a comedian and nothing about me, held no interest for me. It also astounded me that such people existed.

I ran into perhaps a dozen or so comedy groupies over the years and they always fascinated me. To date I have found no other profession with such a following, save for musicians, I'm sure. No woman walks up to a construction worker and offers to blow him after verifying he is, in fact, a construction worker. And it would be quite easy, what with all those tantalizing portable potties onsite. Even doctors and lawyers don't get women walking up to them, offering sex simply because they are doctors and lawyers.

One time I worked with a headliner who had no business headlining and who was helping to kill comedy. I worked with him in Appleton, Wisconsin, at a great club called The Skyline Comedy Cafe. Despite it being summer, when crowds in areas like Wisconsin tend to shrink because people want to absorb as much of the annual fifteen minutes of warm weather as possible, the shows were almost packed. The headliner, whose name I no longer remember, was working for "summer money."

Summer money is another thing I've never experienced outside comedy and one which no other profession experiences, again save for musicians, I'm sure. The bookers of some clubs inform acts that they will be making less money for an appearance in the summer because "the club draws smaller crowds in the summer." The term has become so common that bookers just say, "We'll be paying summer money."

This is precisely why it is so important to have fuck-you money. Johnny Carson coined the phrase "fuck-you money" and the concept trickled down to me via Ken Severa, a talented comedian out of Chi-Town. "You have to have fuck-you money, Carson always said. Not enough entertainers realize that and they hurt the industry for everyone. When someone offers you a gig that pays nothing, you have to be able to say fuck you because you have money saved up--fuck-you money. If enough acts have fuck-you money, the booker has to pay more for the gig." A solid concept I took to heart.

I never quite said "fuck you" to a booker but I stood my ground just the same. I am proud to announce that I have never worked for summer money. I either worked that club in a non-summer month or the club knew better than to offer me summer money and just paid me the regular fee. Usually the conversation with a booker went something like this:

"Okay, well, we're all set, Ian. Now, this will be paying our summer money."

"No problem, I'll do my summer show."

"Summer show?" the booker would reply, getting a little nervous.

"Yeah, I do all the setups and none of the punch lines."

"That's funny," he would laugh.

"That's my summer show."

"Well, seriously, we make less money in the summer because the crowds are smaller."

"Well, funny thing, the electric company, my landlord, and the phone company all send me the same bills in the summer; they don't go down."

Inevitably, the booker saw things my way. If a club can't draw crowds in the summer, it should just shut down for the season. The best thing a comic can do is work that club enough times in non-summer months to become a draw anytime, including in the summer.

As usual, I digress. Back in Appleton, where the booker knew better than to offer me summer money, I found myself in the comedy condo (where the comedians are put up by the club) with a headliner whose name I can no longer remember. He complained to me about the summer money, which I didn't even know the club paid. It turned out he was making the same $400 to headline that I was making to feature. (He should have been making more than twice that much.) He also had to pay his own airfare from Los Angeles and rent a car to drive up from Milwaukee for the week. All I did was drive up from Chicago. In the end, he was actually paying several hundred dollars to perform.

Things got worse for him. I was on the brink of only headlining myself and I anticipated trouble; no real headliner would work for summer money, especially if he had to pay his own airfare. He was losing money on this gig, just so he could headline. He couldn't follow me and the show didn't crescendo in the proper place. Instead of leaving on a high, the crowd left on a low. Worse, I sold t-shirts after my act with one of my most popular bits on it; and I sold a lot, over 100 for the week at ten dollars a pop. He knew I was making the same amount of money, as well as over $1000 more in t-shirt sales.

Tensions grew between us at the condo. He was jealous and I was annoyed. The twit was harming the industry by working a slot for which he wasn't ready, by accepting less than half the normal pay, and he wasn't even a solid feature. He had an agent, who probably arranged the gig by refusing to book his bigger clients at the club unless a few of his weaker clients were booked. I watched many agents effectively slowly close rooms using this practice. It became more and more common and is just one of several reasons why road talent dislikes some Hollywood agents, namely the ones who push comedians prepared for short routines on-camera as road acts. Even worse, they often sent out actors as comedians, who effectively brought shows to a grinding halt.

As the week went on, he decided to usurp his power as headliner. Whenever I was watching TV, he would change the station, even if he liked the show, just so I couldn't watch it, despite the fact that he had a perfectly good working TV in his room, which was bigger than the one in the living room. (This is an understood right of headliners but one which is rarely practiced. I never practiced it as a headliner and those who did were imbrued as jerks in the industry.) After he did this several times, I committed a major faux pas myself by failing to recognize his authority as headliner--I changed the channel back.

"Hey, I'm the headliner!"

"Summer headliner; the rules don't apply to you guys."

He was pissed but there wasn't much he could do without risking a brawl.

Near the end of the week, an English woman approached me with her friends, as I sat at my table in the lobby, peddling my shirts and signing autographs. She announced, "I want to blow you."

"Excuse me?"

"In the bathroom, I want to give you a blow job. Do you have a condom? I'm all out. Well, it doesn't matter; I'll give you a blow job, any way."

You, out of condoms? Shocking. Getting a blowjob while wearing a condom is about as effective as getting a massage over the phone.

"Are you serious? You don't want a blowjob?"

The other audience members gossiped amongst themselves about this strange woman, with disbelief painted on their faces. "Nope, no not for me but thanks."

"Okay, well, you are very, very funny; the best act of the night by far."

"Thank you."

I did give her a hug and let her kiss me on the cheek. My solicitor turned to her friends, "Where's that other act? The one who went last?"

I peddled some more shirts and headed back to the condo. The headliner returned a little later. He beamed at me, determined to prove that he was worthy of the position, somehow, any way he could. "Guess who got a blowjob."

This is not a greeting I'm used to hearing, nor is it anything about which I cared. I have enough time worrying about my own penis, let alone someone else's.

"That's right, I got a blowjob in the bathroom at the club, after everyone left. A woman from the crowd. What do you think of that?"

I shrugged. "Did you wear a condom?"


"Did you make sure she didn't have any sores or cuts around her mouth?"

He started to get nervous. "No."

"That's pretty stupid, to get a blowjob from someone you don't know at all and have no idea if she has anything or a way to spread it and then to not wear a condom."

"Yeah, I guess it was dumb."

His attempt to impress me was not working. He beamed again, refreshed. "But it's still a blowjob!"

He should have left it a that but no, he had to push it and he went further than I could handle.

"What a week. I had great shows, I'm definitely a headliner (something headliners don't announce or discuss) and I got blowed. You didn't get any action this week, did you?"

"No, I don't hook-up with comedy groupies."

"Neither do I! She wasn't a comedy groupie."

"English girl, right?"

"Yeah . . . how'd you know?"

"She made me the same offer but I turned her down. Then she went looking for you."

He stood there, all his energy zapped. It was the final blow to a dismal week for him. Nobody wants to be sloppy seconds, at least not without vast amounts of alcohol being involved. I couldn't resist adding one last comment.

"Comedy groupies; just say no."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Latest Column

The latest column is up at This is a particularily interesting one, as it is another Q&A with a blogger who discusses the issue of interracial dating. He's a college student with some insightful views. Have a good weekend, everyone.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Stay in the Box

I auditioned for Readers Digest yesterday at Zanies in Chicago. It was the first time I had performed standup in a few years, since turning primarily to writing. Readers Digest is looking for the funniest comedian in Chicago. They stated in their craigslist ad, which I happened to catch, that participants would be on their site. I thought that would be good exposure for the book.

It always cracks me up how the people seeking comedians audition them completely, utterly, totally wrong. As a comedian, you assume the taping will be in front of a live audience. At the very least, you assume it will be set up like a normal standup show.

Nope. Not at all. Fortunately, I was prepared, though. I got to the audition and it was arranged as follows: no audience, no other comedians watching to laugh, nothing. It was simply a small production crew. You didn't even stand on stage, you stood in front of it. I also learned only the ten finalists would be on their site. Since I had written my act that morning due to my heavy schedule--some big things going on that will hopefully be announced soon--I knew I wouldn't be one of the top ten. They wanted very specific material on topics such as marriage and pets, so I whipped up a few things. The camera was a mere few feet in front of you and they asked you to look straight into it the entire time. I asked them if it could follow me, because I am very animated onstage. They said, "Sure, just don't go out of the box." The box wasn't even four square feet total. Great.

No crowd. No ability to move. Stare straight head. Do your show. In short, don't do anything that has anything to do with standup comedy. With today's technology, I have no idea why they just don't let you email them a clip as your audition for these "searches." That way you can send them a live show which really demonstrates your comedy and the crowd's reaction. Nope, that would be sensible and few things about such auditions are sensible.

It was a good experience and good practice for any on-camera audtions unrelated to comedy, like for a dating talk show... but boring as hell. A bored comedian is an unfunny act indeed.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Too Old or too Young? Determining Your Dating Age Range

I haven't posted my column up on my blog in a while. Here is this past Friday's column for "Lunch is Not a Date."

Before we jump into this week's column, I am pleased to announce that the debut Q&A proved to be quite a success. The next Q&A has been scheduled already for next week's column. It will be with "Classical One," a blogger who posts his thoughts on dating black women as a white guy and college student. His posts spark intriguing discussions and debates. In coming weeks, also watch for Q&A's with other authors and bloggers, including Leslie Talbot. Okay, now for this week's business.

Lately, I've had people email me asking if someone is too young or too old for them. They ask whether they are too old to troll bars (if you have to ask, yes, you are too old) or too young to go to certain bars. They ask if they should be attracted to older or younger co-workers. It all really boils down to one question: What is your dating age range? How do you determine it?

First and foremost, realize that dating age range has little to do with your age once you are an adult. It is autonomous to each person. In short, your dating age range has nothing to do with anyone else's, save the person who you are interested in or dating.

In my early twenties, I tended to find myself interested mostly in women who were in their early thirties. This was because I had already traveled extensively as a comedian, seen a lot, and had lots of experiences. Women my own age had little in common with me, whereas women in their early thirties had about the same life experience as me.

Now, just hitting my mid-thirties, I find myself interested in women in their early to mid-twenties. Why? No doubt every woman out there immediately thought, Yeah, because they are young and firm. Actually, some of the firmest, best-shaped women I've been with have been in their forties--nothing fake or fixed, they just stay in shape.

I lean toward younger women right now because I am in the midst of making some life-changes, like working on a new career (author, columnist, and web designer--if I ever finish learning Dreamweaver, Flash, and all the other junk), starting to get ready to save and buy a place, and that sort of thing. Lots of women I meet my own age already have a long-since-set career and a condo. They tend to be sick of their job, usually taken simply for the paycheck, and have little passion for it. They are also often downbeat about dating in general. One woman I dated recently responded with glares of skepticism whenever I complimented her during sex. It is annoying and a complete turn-off to tell someone she is beautiful and then watch her frown, followed by her reply--"You don't have to say that, I'm already naked." That gets old, tired, and annoying fast. It's not only skeptical but insulting to my judgment. What, I can't tell who I'm attracted to and need her to point out her flaws while we're fooling around?

I am obviously very upbeat about dating and my career; I have a low tolerance for women who aren't, when it comes to dating them. I relax, have fun, and don't worry about any dating norms, stupid society rules, or maneuvering tactics; I also don't greet my dates and anything they say or do with immediate skepticism. I also play a lot of sports in adult sports leagues and keep very socially active. Again, these traits tend to be shared with me more by women in their early twenties than by women my own age. (Many women my own age prefer to sit at home, catching up on TiVo instead of playing sports or being social.)

So, determine your dating age range not by your age but by where you are at in life. I am at a place in my life right now where dating significantly younger tends to be the current theme. That may very well change, as I am also interested in settling down, and younger women may not share that trait with me, yet. When it comes down to it, I'm not really dating or interested in an age; I'm interested in a person. (For example, just because I tend to date young right now, doesn't mean I date women who like to hit the club scene or hop from one party or bar to another all night long, endlessly. Not for me and many I've met follow that pattern, so I am not attracted to them.)

Date where you're at in life. You'll be happier than trying to force yourself to date where you think you should be dating or worse, where your friends and family think you should be dating.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

TV Shows Support Troops?

Anyone else notice how ironic it is that we are at war (although I guess it hardly feels like it for most of us, including myself, I mean, nothing has changed in my life), and television is always plugging the support of the troops; yet, so many TV shows, like Criminal Minds and Law & Order, have a lead, sadistic villian, who has been in the military and received a dishonorable discharge. Doesn't seem like now is the time to paint such a depiction, does it?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Writer's Block - er - Strike

So the WGA--Writer's Guild of America for those not familiar--have gone on strike. People have been asking me why and what are my thoughts. Well, I'm not in the WGA, even though I've written two scripts-for-hire. Why not? Lots of projects get around the rules of WGA. Unless you write a script for, or sell one to, a big producer or studio, chances are you won't join the WGA. That accolade has not happened for me, yet, particularliy because I have been more focused on books these days, especially a certain one...

Generally speaking, I think writers should get as much credit as possible. The only way they seem to get credit in Hollywood is via money. Most of what they want is related to DVD sales, and that kind of crap. The average writer makes $30 grand a year--in L.A! That's insane! Without writers, there is no show, nothing to act, nada, zilch, nothing. Yet, they are paid very little, unless they happen to sell a script. From what I've read, the WGA has lots of minimums, much higher than a $30 grand annual salary. That means that most writers aren't in the WGA. So, well the strike will help writers all ready doing well and in the union, it does nothing for the writers who really need the money. I think if the WGA really wants to help writers, ALL writers, then it should fight for a minimum salary for writers, like the minimum wage, which impacts all writers, not just WGA ones. I'm not against the WGA helping out just WGA members; that's its gig. What I find annoying is when the organization states, "Oh, well most writers only make $30 grand a year." Yeah? Okay... how are you helping them? Oh, you're not. Well, then, you can't use them as an argument. That's bullshit. (I agree with what I've heard the WGA asking for, I just don't agree with the stats they are claiming to get it.)