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The AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL Writers Are Striking In Westwood!! Keep Them Company!! Buy Them Pizza and Jamba Juice!!

I am – Hercules!!

The “America’s Next Top Model” writers have been on strike since Friday and their spirits could use a boost! Don’t let The Man crush their dreams of joining the Writers Guild of America!

An interested party writes:

Hello Herc, as you know, the writers from America's Next Top Model are on strike. Here's a quick update.

Last Thursday evening the writers of ANTM took a secret ballot strike vote. 12 of them voted unanimously to strike Friday morning. Our strike started successfully with great turnout and a great press event. However, maintaining a strong picket line is a challenge and we need your help. This is an open-ended strike, which means they will be picketing every day until their employer comes to the table and bargains. So unless you hear otherwise from the WGA please assume they are on strike every day.

The strike line is located at 1640 S. Sepulveda Blvd (cross street is Santa Monica). There is easy street parking all over they neighborhood and a pay parking garage across the street.

We have a very lively group of writers and we've had the support of WGA members and reality writers alike, but not enough. If you can come to the picket line we are there everyday from 9:30-4PM come for as long as you can even if it's an hour on your lunch break.

If you can't make it in person are some things you could do:
* Send pizzas to 1640 S. Sepulveda - (let us know so we don't get lunch twice call Dan to coordinate 213-305-0347 ;)
* Drop by on your way to work and drop off a box of pastries or fresh fruit
* There is a Starbucks & Jamba Juice right by the strike line - get some pre-paid cards and drop them off
* Send an email to: freetobeunion@gmail.com tell them you support them!
* Also shortly we will have a myspace profile up on their behalf, you can write comments and keep informed by checking in there as well.

Check out the press coverage here or here.

Thanks for your support on behalf of the writers at ANTM.







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Readers Talkback
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  • July 26, 2006, 9:18 a.m. CST

    I AM SO FUCKING THERE

    by TheBaxter

    the voices of the oppressed reality tv writers will be silenced NO LONGER!!! FIGHT THE POWER!!! LONG LIVE AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL!!! VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!!

  • July 26, 2006, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Jamba Juice?

    by liljuniorbrown

    America's Next Top Model is still on? Anyways is these guys had ANYTHING to do with me being able to see the winner of the first season of ANTM naked all the time then i'm in total support of them. That chick is awesome. And if they really want to get some attention just drag out a bunch of out of work reality stars

  • July 26, 2006, 9:19 a.m. CST

    GREAT!

    by RenoNevada2000

    Anything to keep that show from returning for another season.

  • July 26, 2006, 9:22 a.m. CST

    ANTM actually has writers?!! Who knew.

    by robotdevil

  • July 26, 2006, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Is that just south of the Westwood Rec?

    by -guyinthebackrow

    Those greedy fucking reality producers... does anybody really believe anymore that "reality" shows aren't entirely conjured up by the producers and the editors??? The writers are asking for health care and a deserved raise. Give it to them! Spread the wealth, you greedy jerks!

  • July 26, 2006, 9:35 a.m. CST

    the revolution will NOT BE TELEVISED

    by TheBaxter

    in this day when the country and the world is so divided, when muslims are fighting jews in lebanon, and shiites and sunnis are killing each other in iraq, when the american public is divided squarely down the middle on political and cultural issues like abortion and gay marriage, when natural disasters kill thousands upon thousands and the slow creep of global warming threatens the survival of us all, it's good to see one issue rise to the forefront, one issue that all humanity can agree upon and spur us all out of our apathy and laziness to take action for the betterment of mankind. these 12 brave men and women are the vanguard of a new society. they will be like the harbinger of a better civilization and a better world. their struggle is our struggle. their victory will be our victory. we must do all we can to ensure that their battle is not in vain. we must join hands and touch dinks and stand behind these visionaries who had the boldness, the courage, the coj

  • July 26, 2006, 9:46 a.m. CST

    THAT SHOW MAKES ASSLOADS OF MONEY! PAY YOUR WRITERS!

    by jackinitraw

  • July 26, 2006, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Isn't this an UNSCRIPTED show? Or supposed to be?

    by paulh

    Hmmm.

  • July 26, 2006, 9:56 a.m. CST

    This looks like a job for Hugo Chavez, no?

    by paulh

    President of Venezuela, that is. Forget Islamic imperialism, THIS IS THE HOT-BUTTON ISSUE OF THE DAY. And damb you, phaedrus for stealing my thunder ;D

  • July 26, 2006, 10:05 a.m. CST

    And, who gives a fuk about this?

    by Z0D

    Not me. ___KNEEL___

  • July 26, 2006, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Why would a reality TV program need writers?

    by Chastain-86

    Ohhhhh, you guys are "reality TV", not reality TV. Which means it's about as unscripted as, say, MTV's "Next". Listen, to all of you that are striking for better pay -- YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW GOOD YOU HAVE IT. You know, unless you cherish the idea of having to work at Mezzaluna's and talk to people about that one show you worked on that one time. Seriously, shut your pieholes and get back to work. If you hate it so much, parlay your experience into another TV gig, but don't come here and expect the Nerd Nation to help you with your overprivileged causes.

  • July 26, 2006, 10:44 a.m. CST

    This show has writers?

    by fiester

    WTF!?

  • July 26, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST

    "this show has writers"

    by calvinthefish

    I just read an interview with one of the writers for the show on another website. Their job more consists of making A,B, C & D stories out of the footage filmed, not scripting dialog. That show makes tons of money, especially with all of the reruns on VH1. Hey, everyone deserves health care!

  • July 26, 2006, 11:26 a.m. CST

    you all just don't get it

    by TheBaxter

    if we allow America's Next Top Model to disappear, what does that say about us as a people? if we don't fight to see that these good people get properly rewarded for the vital and important work that they do, then we have no one but ourselves to blame for the decline of civilization and the inevitable end of humanity on earth. do you really want your grandchildren to grow up in a world without America's Next Top Model? a world where reality tv writers are not properly compensated for their contributions to mankind? are you willing to let it come to that? if so, then i hope you're ready to tell your grandchildren why you sat back and did nothing, allowing this villainous outrage to take place. in the immortal words of edmund burke, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

  • July 26, 2006, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Fierce! You go..um... LINE!

    by Big Bad Clone

  • July 26, 2006, 11:40 a.m. CST

    couldn't they just hire a roomful of monkeys instead?

    by newc0253

    i hear they also work for pizzas and jamba juice. plus they'll eventually produce the complete works of shakespeare and dickens if you given them long enough.

  • July 26, 2006, 11:44 a.m. CST

    You are still in the running. to become. America's.

    by Homer Sexual

    Next. Top. Model. Someone wrote that. And also "I see a model in front of me, but not in your photos." "You have to be able to turn it on and turn it off." So many Tyra classics, we don't think she just says them, do we?

  • July 26, 2006, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Defamer.com now has the 411 on Ellen Burstyn-Gate.

    by paulh

    Or, how to get an Emmy nomination with a 15-second performance (supporting actress, TV-movie or miniseries for Mrs. Harris). Christ, that was faster than Prez Logan's quickie with the First Rack on the 24 season finale. TV Guide has been notified as well; this is going to mushroom like that cloud in the pilot for 'Jericho'. What's more, ABC is gonna counterprogram against the Emmys with the network premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean. And a look at http://tinyurl.com/h2s7v shows that in the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences' eyes, 'excellent' is better than 'superior'. Oy vay...

  • July 26, 2006, 12:15 p.m. CST

    It's only people's ignorance when they say...

    by Lenny Nero

    ..."reality TV needs writers?" If anything, from the experience of my colleagues it's often harder to find and whittle stories from hours upon hours of footage as opposed to just writing a 22-page script with a room full of people. Stop, drop, and listen, people.

  • July 26, 2006, 12:38 p.m. CST

    OF COURSE REALITY TV HAS WRITERS

    by jackinitraw

    TYRA BANKS JUST CAN'T READ. AS HER FOLK WOULD SAY...SNAP!

  • July 26, 2006, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Are these guys for "real?"

    by HellKing

    These Hollywood types are really out of touch with America. America is suppose to rally around these people like they were victims of some disaster? If conditions are so horrible, go get a job at Wal-Mart or maybe it too beneath you. I know plenty of people who can't get a living wage. I don't see America rallying to deliver Starbucks or Jamba Juice or Pizza to them. I would have sympathy if they really put their situation in context but to cry for help to the general public sounds really selfish and petty.

  • July 26, 2006, 1:47 p.m. CST

    the Writers Guild of America is taking reality shows?

    by punto

    they must be desperate

  • July 26, 2006, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Picket Line

    by Duke of Hurl

    I'll go stand down there if there are a few Top Models in bikinis waiting for me with margueritas.

  • July 26, 2006, 3:47 p.m. CST

    "it's often harder to find and whittle stories"

    by newc0253

    yeah, except that's not actually writing, that's called EDITING.

  • July 26, 2006, 3:56 p.m. CST

    "that's not actually writing, that's called EDITING"

    by User EGO

    It's the writers that write the outlines, plot out the story arcs and write the stringouts for the editors to cut with. These shows operate way too fast to just give the editors a whole bunch of tapes and say "here, cut this into an episode." And it's the loggers that actually watch all the tapes, then log and transcribe what's on them.

  • July 26, 2006, 4:10 p.m. CST

    HAHA @#$% YOU WRITERS!!! people are starving...

    by Spiderhulk

    AND YOU WANT US TO GIVE YOU FREE PIZZA, JAMBA JUICE and 3 DOLLAR CUPS OF STARBUCKS COFFEE MADE OFF THE BACKS OF THIRD WORLD LABOURERS>>> NO THANKS!! GO #@$@#$ YOURSELVES!!

  • July 26, 2006, 4:12 p.m. CST

    ANTP Writers die of starvation

    by Bob of the Shire

    UPN hires more editing drones, life goes on.

  • July 26, 2006, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Duke of Hurl...

    by paulh

    Best screen name ever.

  • July 26, 2006, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Only in Hollywood!

    by UncleSam

    Where the panhandlers expect handouts to be delivered.

  • July 26, 2006, 4:50 p.m. CST

    And I though Reality shows were UNSCRIPTED!

    by ol' painless

    Spontaneous! Real People! What bullshit. I am currently working on a thesis that all people who acutally appear on reality shows are not actually real at all. They are aliens from another planet. They come from a society where throwing tantrums, weeping, screaming, overreacting to every minor situation with finger-jabbing, eye-bulging psychosis is considered normal behaviour. Reality Shows are a moment in our history when future historians will look back at our society and say "Geeez. What a pack of losers they were in '06!" This, and the propensity of folks posting abuse about things they hate anonymously on the 'internet' . . . . um . . .

  • July 26, 2006, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Reality shows are only cheaper to produce...

    by Jim Jam Bongs

    ...Because the people who have to watch, log and outline storylines from the hours upon hours of video shot are severely underpaid. The reason why the networks have loved most reality programming is because they save money in this cost. But the WGA wants to change this, and anyone who appreciates scripted series television should want this to happen, because then it will level the playing field of the production cost between reality and scripted shows. In other words, network executives will no longer have the excuse that they can't produce as many scripted shows because reality is "cheaper".

  • July 26, 2006, 5:52 p.m. CST

    sorry, but transcribing ain't writing

    by newc0253

    otherwise secretaries would be much better paid.

  • July 26, 2006, 5:54 p.m. CST

    good point, Jim Jam!

    by ol' painless

    Support the strike! Pay writers more and make previously cheap reality shows too expensive to produce. thereby ridding us of their menace forever. Then the unemployed writers will be joined in the job queue by finger-jabbing, eye-popping failed-actor-wannabees. They can then jab their fingers and pop their eyes at the writers for losing everyone their jobs, and all the newly unemployed camera people can film them doing it. It will be the creation of a whole new genre: The Post-Reality Reality Show! Where fake real people become real people faking reality . . . again!

  • July 26, 2006, 6:33 p.m. CST

    No, fuck the "writers." Herc, this is bullshit.

    by eppdude

    This site is now backing America's Top Model "scribes?" So it's come to this. If you ask me, shows like this represent everything that is devoid of merit about TV.

  • July 26, 2006, 6:53 p.m. CST

    re: sorry, but transcribing ain't writing

    by User EGO

    no, you're right. Transcribing is not writing. However, writing outlines, story arcs and host copy is; duties that should all be covered by the WGA.

  • July 26, 2006, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Think about it, folks

    by odysseus

    Who has ever claimed that Reality TV is an exact replication of life? Of course somone has to watch the often hundreds of hours of footage that was shot and distill it into some kind of cohesive story. Hell, even so-called "cinema verite" requires editorial choices to be made. Otherwise, people would have to sit through hours upon hours of dull, uninterrupted footage -- and who would really be such a masochist? The 5 or 6 Warhol fanatics that exist in the world? Trust me, being a so-called "Story Editor" can be more challenging than being a Writer for a fictional series. How does one take all that raw footage with all those people and interviews and make some kind of sense of it? How is writing for Ghost Whisperer or some lame CW sitcom worthy of greater esteem...? No, the plight of Reality TV Writers (and yes, there is plenty of writing involved) isn't crucial to the overall state of the world (how many people honestly can say their jobs are that important beyond themselves and their families?). They simply shouldn't be treated as third class citizens in the lucrative Entertainment Industry. Poor pay for long, long hours and no health care isn't fair to anyone.

  • July 26, 2006, 7:42 p.m. CST

    User EGO

    by RetroActive

    Re: "writing outlines, story arcs and host copy is; duties that should all be covered by the WGA." I disagree. These workers are basically like producres on a talk show. They're fed the information, they do an outline...and follow the talent around. Glorified gophers. Do they work hard? Yes. Are they crapped on daily? Without a doubt. But they don't work hard enough to justify better pay. And quite frankly, asking people to drop off fresh fruit, pizza, and the world's most overpriced coffee's a tad obnoxious. I'm not saying their job is easy, but it's not that hard either. They are all very replaceable.

  • July 26, 2006, 8:08 p.m. CST

    should these guys be covered?

    by User EGO

    These writers also titles such as story editor and story producer, anything to avoid calling them writers. If they write for the show, they should be covered. Of course they're replaceable, who isn't? But if their counterparts in scripted get benefits, why shouldn't they? Reality shows are extremely profitable and will continue to be so even after t hey go union. There are also some legal issues at play here, such as overtime. Since these writers weren't working under a CBA (collective bargaining agreement) and making flat weekly rates despite however many hours they worked, they are all entitled to overtime which they were not getting. Their employer is liable for this. Google the WGAs lawsuits against Rocket Science and Next Entertainment (both are production companies) to see what I'm talking about. In the next few months you'll read about major wage claims filed against Nash Entertainment and Bunim/Murray Productions with the CA dept. of labor. This will involve failure to pay overtime as well. Maybe some on here don't feel that these writers deserve benefits, that's fine, but they atleast deserve to be paid in accordance to the law. Also, the A/C got turned off everyday at 6pm at the Top Model offices. That's just fucked up.

  • July 26, 2006, 8:14 p.m. CST

    links to WGA lawsuits

    by User EGO

    <WGA Next Entertainment lawsuit> http://tinyurl.com/n46z2 <WGA Rocket Science lawsuit> http://tinyurl.com/rus6q

  • July 26, 2006, 9:39 p.m. CST

    I don&#39;t agree with the strike tactics...

    by Jim Jam Bongs

    Asking for brand-name, overpriced pizzas and beverages is pushing it. But the networks have been grossly exploiting reality television workers for years now, taking advantage of anyone who dreams of making it big in Hollywood. And the fact is, most reality shows that are cranked out by the networks (both broadcast and cable) fail in the ratings. Think about it: Besides Survivor, Top Model, Real World and (maybe) Big Brother and Amazing Race, are there any other reality shows you can recall that are still on the air? The only reason the airwaves have been inundated with reality series crap is because the networks can underpay everybody involved who is not a major producer. It&#39;s crass exploitation.

  • July 27, 2006, 3:48 a.m. CST

    "If they write for the show, they should be covered."

    by newc0253

    by that logic, all the secretaries who work for the show should be in the WGA because they write letters. yes, these folk work hard. yes, they sound like they&#39;re getting screwed over. but unless you&#39;re writing in the traditional sense of "To compose and set down, especially in literary or musical form", then IMO you don&#39;t qualify as a writer. and simply coming up with the arc for an episode ("today the models go to a beach") doesn&#39;t qualify.

  • July 27, 2006, 3:56 a.m. CST

    I&#39;ll opine on this controversy...

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    I think Jim Jam has a point about "leveling the playing field". But should what these people do be considered "scriptwriting" as what the WGA wants to define? No. Instead, I think these people should be protected under another guild, the one that protects the editors. What these people do is similar to what an editor does. Even if they do not actually edit the video footage in question, they are in charge of determining what should be used from the hours of footage they watch. They are, in my opinion, de facto editors already. They should be regarded as editors and protected as such by that union.

  • July 27, 2006, 3:57 a.m. CST

    re:"If they write for the show, they should be covered

    by User EGO

    I disagree. Secretaries don&#39;t write the words that come out of Tyra Bank&#39;s mouth. The writers do. They write for television. Those shows make millions of dollars. They should be covered. And in my opinion, the secretaries should get benefits as well, even if they don&#39;t write for the show. The show makes millions for the networks. It can afford it.

  • July 27, 2006, 5:03 a.m. CST

    Prof. Pop-Cult

    by newc0253

    i agree. i&#39;m not saying these people shouldn&#39;t have benefits or be paid properly for what they do. they just don&#39;t belong in a union for people who actually write for a living.

  • July 27, 2006, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Prof. Pop-Cult

    by User EGO

    but these people do write for a living. Some examples where they actually are directly writing the scripts are the voiceovers and the host copy. That&#39;s the most direct examples I can think of. Is it that that just isn&#39;t enough writing to justify them joining the guild? Now, the WGA wants them. The WGA is out there with them during this strike. The only people that don&#39;t want them to go union are the shows EPs and the network. If the WGA says they&#39;re writers...I&#39;ll take their word for it over the executive producer&#39;s.

  • July 27, 2006, 12:14 p.m. CST

    I mean newc0253

    by User EGO

    not prof. pop cult

  • July 27, 2006, 1:45 p.m. CST

    We also have to realize...

    by odysseus

    ...this whole controversy isn&#39;t only about the people who write for competition-style Reality shows. There are actually far more writers working on the more documentary-style shows that appear on networks like TLC, HGTV, Discovery, etc. that are being exploited as well. Shows like Top Model and Survivor are actually a fairly small percentage of what we&#39;re talking about here.

  • July 27, 2006, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Bitch, Bitch, Bitch!!!

    by Magunga

    You know, I&#39;ve worked many horrible jobs in the short span of my existance, wherein I was underpaid, overworked and pissed on by management. Do you know what I did? I FOUND OTHER JOBS. If you feel that you are worth more than you are being compensated for, and management is unwilling to open up their hearts to you and untie their purse-strings, then look elsewhere for validation. Don&#39;t throw a tantrum in public, and don&#39;t ask me for handouts! Your sense of entitlement is unfounded. You&#39;re writers of a TV show, for God&#39;s sake! You&#39;re not steelworkers or loggers or sanitation workers. You&#39;re not necessary for the perpetuation of civilization.

  • July 27, 2006, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Mangunga

    by odysseus

    "Validation?" "Tantrum?" "Entitlement?" Everybody has the right to fight to make their lives better. If this is not your cause, so be it. But at least think about what you&#39;re saying before you go on a senseless diatribe.

  • July 27, 2006, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Wow, some of you guys are real douchebags.

    by FluffyUnbound

    I don&#39;t think there should be a National Labor Relations Board. I don&#39;t think there should be a minimum wage. I don&#39;t think there should be plant closing notification laws. I don&#39;t think there should be laws against using permanent replacement workers. I am one of the biggest hardass pro-management people out there. But you know what? The strike is a basic tool of wage negotiation, as is the picket line. You don&#39;t like the wages? Walk out and demand higher wages. Can you get other workers to respect your picket line and not work either? More power to you, that&#39;s a labor boycott, and that&#39;s just as legitimate as organizing a consumer boycott. All of you people who think that a strike is somehow disreputable, or that these WRITERS [yes, writers] should just get other jobs, are real cunts. Maybe you&#39;re just upset by the way unions seek to put their thumb on the scale and get the government on their side, and it&#39;s blinding your judgment or something. Or maybe you&#39;re just cunts. I suspect the latter.

  • July 27, 2006, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Perhaps the word "Tantrum" was a bit unfair...

    by Magunga

    ...but I stand by what I said, Odysseus. I didn&#39;t intend my words to be an attack, but rather a call to sensibility. It isn&#39;t reasonable to ask the public to provide you with snacks simply because you think your bosses are treating you unfairly, nor is it reasonable for you to think that it is your employers prerogative to pay you what you feel you deserve. If that were the case for all of us, I&#39;s be making six figures. Currently I&#39;m going on my ninth hour of work in a warehouse that has no air conditioning, shipping out items that are going to be used on farms, factories, and in space, and yet, because I was suckered into a salary, I&#39;ll get no extra compensation for my labor. At some point, once I have finished my education, I&#39;ll move on to something better, but until then I&#39;ll take the pay and benefits I agreed to in my annual interview with my boss.

  • July 27, 2006, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Magunga, again

    by odysseus

    Yeah, asking for food handouts is going a bit too far, I&#39;ll grant you that. And you&#39;re right that it&#39;s not reasonable to think it&#39;s an employer&#39;s perogative to pay what employees feel they deserve. That doesn&#39;t mean the employers are always right, though. That&#39;s where negotiation comes in -- and sometimes people have to get tough and strike to make their voice be heard. Ideally, there will be a middle ground that can be reached which will be fair to everyone. For the record, I think you deserve more pay as well -- certainly overtime! My dad is 60 and busts his ass in a warehouse every day, too. It&#39;s not easy, I know! Anyway, good luck (and sorry I misspelled your name the first time around).

  • July 27, 2006, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Ummm, Fluffy, without labor laws, why bother striking?

    by cookylamoo

    They&#39;ll just hire scabs and bring the police in to bust your head.

  • July 27, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Odysseus...

    by Magunga

    ...You and I are on the same page, I believe. Whereas I&#39;m not very sympathetic to this particular cause, I&#39;m also no friend to large companies whose primary interest is making a few people ridiculously wealthy and powerful by cutting the benefits and pay of the working class.

  • July 27, 2006, 7:23 p.m. CST

    I&#39;m not a communist

    by DarthDaggett

    so I can&#39;t support them.

  • July 28, 2006, 1:30 a.m. CST

    magunga

    by odysseus

    I&#39;m actually sympathetic to the cause because I am one of them. Sure, I have bigger dreams than Reality TV -- I&#39;m actually an aspiring screenwriter -- but if my dreams don&#39;t pan out like I hope, I at least want to make the best of what I have! (For the record, just like DarthDagget -- I&#39;m not a Communist, either!) Peace, out.

  • July 28, 2006, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Pizza? Jamba juice?

    by Frankenbitten

    Not sure who got in touch with you Herc, but I&#39;ve been out on that line for a week runnin&#39; on plain bottled water and low-grade turkey sandwiches. I&#39;d rather see people turning out to show support (as they have been in droves) than flyin&#39; in Jamba juice. Not that I have anything against delicious fruit beverages, mind you.

  • July 28, 2006, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Check out Baxter&#39;s Civil War sig

    by User EGO

    at the bottom of the Top Model thread in the zone: http://tinyurl.com/sybpc

  • July 30, 2006, 11:25 a.m. CST

    what exactly do they write on that show?

    by Cotton McKnight

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  • July 31, 2006, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Why does a reality TV show ....

    by Yeti

    need writers in the first place? Could it be that the things we watch are staged and not "real"? Naaaaaah.

  • July 31, 2006, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Bring Them Suicide Pills Instead

    by The Ender

    That would make much more of a statement, and get rid of these whiny fucking dolts for good.