Strike! Alex Markley shows up again and tries to force our heroes to stop recording the Malex Minute! Give it a listen and let us know what you think.
I find this week’s episode hilarious on a number of levels.
The return of our fictional ‘Alex Markley’ is a thing which I have been looking forward to – nay, saving up – for just such an occasion as this.
Whether or not Snufflefungus’s bite causes insanity is no longer up for debate. You may rest assured that it does. And now we find that Snufflefungus has surely traveled to California and bitten every single person who works in entertainment industry.
As humorous as ‘Alex Markley’s’ words and actions are, there are others in the entertainment industry whose convoluted positions are far funnier in their sheer, awkward audacity.
This is not to say that I disagree with the positions of the ‘poor’ writers. If they do work, they should expect to be compensated for it. Furthermore, the free market dictates that they should be able to demand any price they want.
However, this whole process of back-stabbing, contractual wrangling, and insane bickering (known to many as ‘Union Negotiations’) strikes me as vaguely unproductive at best. At worst, it is completely and utterly ludicrous. (The ‘other side’ of the free market coin is the fact that if you set your asking price too high, another can undercut you – forcing the industry to open up to fresh talent and ideas. So, gentle reader, are unions a perversion of the free market which is unnecessary in today’s world? I leave the answer up to you.)
Despite the levity of this week’s episode, pondering the consequences of the strike forces me to shed a bitter tear. Not because my favorite show is canceled, but because the crews that work on these shows are completely out of work.
Nobody ever seems to think of this, but it’s not the writers, producers, directors, or actors who will hurt from this. Many of them are well-paid, and are unlikely to be in financial distress any time soon. The people who are hurting from this strike are the guys and gals on the crew. The people who handle lighting, electricity, props, costumes, sets… There are hundreds of small jobs on the set of a medium production, and most of them don’t pay well at all.
So you’ve got a bunch of kids, just out of film-school, working to break into the film industry and pay off their college debt, and wham! … They had better hope they work for one of the productions that gets canceled first, because the job market for burger-flippers is likely to be saturated sooner than later.
Malex: Welcome to the Malex Minute, Ladies and Gentlemen! I’m Malex, and these are my co-hosts, Linus and Snufflefungus!
Linus: Howdy, vermin!
Snufflefungus: Hello everybody! I’ve been doing something exciting lately!
Linus: Oh no, not–
Alex Markley: Stop speaking! Stop it at once!
Malex: I’m sorry, who are you?
Alex Markley: I’m Alex Markley, of course, the writer and producer of this show!
Linus: Yeah, and I’m Santa Claus. I bring joy and happiness to all the little boys and girls of Ohioville.
Snufflefungus: Hey, didn’t I bite you and make you go insane? (That would be from way back in Episode 028. ——Super Alex)
Malex: Yeah, you were supposed to be out of commission pretty permanently.
Alex Markley: Drugs and therapy, my boy! Drugs and therapy! The mantra of our age.
Malex: So what’s this about us not being allowed to speak anymore?
Alex Markley: Yes, right! Haven’t you heard there’s a strike on?! None of the writers are allowed to write!
Linus: We’re all waiting for you to blunder into a point.
Malex: Quite. The suspense is unbearable.
Alex Markley: Well, obviously, if I haven’t written any words for you to say, you shouldn’t be saying anything at all!
Snufflefungus: I’m not sure that makes sense.
Malex: Wouldn’t this be more of an argument against your ‘supposed’ involvement in the production than anything else?
Alex Markley: Of course I’m involved! I write and executively produce!
Snufflefungus: I don’t remember ever seeing you before.
Linus: Snuffy, you bit him once.
Snufflefungus: Oh right, so he doesn’t ever remember seeing me before.
Alex Markley: Ah, my cleverest line yet!
Malex: That’s so convoluted.
Linus: So exactly what is the purpose of this strike again?
Alex Markley: We writers are being constantly trodden on by the producers in our industry! We’re not being fairly compensated, and we’re going to shut the entire industry down until we are!
Snufflefungus: Are what?
Alex Markley: Fairly compensated.
Linus: By who again?
Alex Markley: The producers, of course!
Malex: Aren’t you supposedly the executive producer?
Alex Markley: By Jove, you’re right! I’ll never give in to my unreasonable demands!
Linus: That’s right, Chuck, stick to your guns.
Snufflefungus: It’ll all be okay eventually.
Malex: But, wouldn’t it just be easier for everyone to just follow the golden rule and treat one another fairly in the first place? Don’t these brute force strikes just hurt the consumers, the little guys, and the studios that hire them while leaving the executives at the big studios completely unscathed?
Alex Markley: (Chuckles menacingly.) Oh, they won’t be completely unscathed my boy. Not by a long shot.
Linus: It’s like swatting a fly with a hydrogen bomb.
Snufflefungus: Tell me about it! Those flies are well-armed.
Linus: Snufflefungus, I think you might be confused.
Alex Markley: Well I’m off, I’ve scheduled a picket in front of my office for the next twelve hours.
Malex: Have fun with that.
Linus: Snufflefungus, exactly how poisonous is your bite?!
Malex: Yeah, just how insane does it make people?
Snufflefungus: Well, lets just say that on my home planet we young Snufflefungi used to have fun chasing the mailmen… And now we have the phrase ‘going postal’ to describe the result!
Linus: How shocking!
Malex: Great, now we’re just being offensive…
Snufflefungus: So, I have something interesting to share!
Malex: What’s that, Snufflefungus?
Snufflefungus: I’ve started a book club! We read childrens books and discuss the societal ramifications of their underlying message!
Malex: Really? That’s… interesting…
Snufflefungus: The subtext can be very deep!
Malex: Wait a minute… Something’s missing here…
Snufflefungus: What do you mean?
Malex: We followed the formula perfectly! You said you had something interesting to say, I said, “What’s that, Snufflefungus?” you said what it was, and…
Linus: Abandon this train of thought, Malex.
Malex: Normally Linus would ridicule you up and down, but this time he didn’t!
Linus: No! It’s not true!
Malex: And you called it a book club! That means you must have members!
Malex: Linus! Are you a member of Snufflefungus’s book club?!
Snufflefungus: (Happily.) He had some amazing insights about Horton Hears a Who!
Linus: (Desperately.) The subtext can be very deep!
Malex: Well what a surprise. Linus, you may have a heart after all!
Linus: Shut up!
Malex: Well look at the time… I guess that’s it for this episode! Thanks for listening everybody, and we all hope you’ll join us again next week for the next Malex Minute episode!
Producer and Director: Alex Markley
Writer: Alex Markley
Voices: Markley Brothers
Post-processing director: Gabriel Markley
Illustration: Peter Markley
Release manager: Peter Markley
Recording assistance: Leela
Thanks to everyone for their help and support.