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strike zone

Today's Writers-Strike Picket Line Not As Much Fun As Yesterday's

Demetri Martin pickets, sort of.Photo: Ben Kawaller

Today was the second day of the writers strike, so we thought we'd head over to the picket line at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City to see how morale was holding up. Well, actually, we were mostly hoping to gawk at celebrities, since yesterday's picketers included Tina Fey and John Leguizamo. We expected to see Fey working the crowd, chanting wittily and doling out candy to starving writers. But alas, there were no celebrities, no chanting, and no candy. What we got was a bunch of scruffy-looking dudes slowly milling around in an oval, each holding identical signs that said "Writers on Strike." ("We're not writing anything!" was their explanation for the dull slogan.) Someone banged a drum for about 30 seconds, and later, a passing car honked, eliciting wearied "wooohs" from three picketers.

Despite some "excellent" coffee and "really good" tuna sandwiches delivered for free by a nearby deli, it was pretty obvious: Today's picketing was nowhere near as much fun as yesterday's. To kill some time, we chatted with the most famous person we could find, Daily Show correspondent Demetri Martin, who drolly indulged us for a few minutes, bemoaning the unpopularity of his original strike chant ("We write! We're right! Get used to it!"). "It needed a little rewrite," he told us. Asked how long he had to stand outside, he told us, "I'm not sure, I think, like twenty hours or something," sounding almost as bored as we were.
—Ben Kawaller