I think I've stumbled across the solution to our problem of addiction to fuel of foreign origin and am going to share it with you now.
One of the most promising forms of alternate fuel is biodiesel, in that it requires no significant investment to run in many of today's cars. There's one little problem with biodiesel, though: we can't possibly grow enough plant matter to supply all of our cars' consumptive needs. Even if we all became vegetarians and stopped farming cattle -- instead using all the plant matter we feed to them now to make biodiesel instead -- we wouldn't have enough. In addition, if we all stopped eating PLANTS as well as cattle, all the crops we grow now wouldn't be enough to power our cars either.
There are many different forms of local, renewable non-oil fuel that have been discussed, be they electric, solar, smug, hydrogen or a multitude of others. The problem with those is that there's no easy way to quickly convert existing cars to this new, untested fuel.
This means that if we're going to adopt one of these fuels for use in all our Escalades and Hummers, it's probably going to involve quitting oil "cold turkey," buying new alternate-energy-powered Escalades and Hummers. This is a significant hassle. A "deal-breaker," if I may. Americans are simply not going to want to get rid of their old Escalades and Hummers before their leases are up. This means that a hypothetical switchover will take years and years to complete in a best-case scenario, and more likely will never even begin at all.
It was while thinking of this problem that I stumbled suddenly upon my solution: cold turkey. Every Thanksgiving, billions of American households cook copious amounts of turkey, much of which never even gets eaten. I propose legislation both mandating a minimum size for Thanksgiving turkeys and limits on how much each person can consume, ensuring the maximum amount of leftovers.
Suddenly we have billions of pounds of turkey which can be rendered down into biodiesel to fuel our existing Hummers. You're welcome, America.
Without getting too into my feelings on the WGA strike, I'd like to say that you, the networks, could be handling the lack of writers much better than you are. You appear to be taking the "hold our breath and hope it all works out" tack, whereas you could be doing all sorts of pro-active things to keep viewers tuning in and shows in production.
I spent the morning thinking about it, and I've come up with the following list that I'm sharing in the hopes that one of you will listen to me. Any one of these things can fill a time-slot; a combination can fill your whole line-up. The problem is that without writers, you have nothing to produce, right? That's where you're wrong -- you have TONS of things to produce:
1) Spec scripts. Pretty much everyone who wants to break into writing television starts cranking out these free scripts for existing shows in the hopes that producers will like them and pay them to write more. There are undoubtedly thousands of these things of varying quality for nearly any show currently airing. One would only have to grab the stack and produce episodes that fans probably wouldn't even notice are of even lesser quality than the normal scripts. Hell, some of them might even be better.
2) Repurpose old scripts. Know how NBC advertised the hell out of the "Scrubs Musical," touting it as an "event" ? This same type of advertising could be used to promote, um, "different" episodes of currently running shows. For instance, take the script for a first-season episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard," run a find-and-replace on it, swapping out "Bo" with "Earl" and "Luke" with "Randy" and you've got a two-parter KICK-ASS "My Name is Earl" special event. I think that might actually be better than the real "My Name is Earl."
3) Fan fiction. There are BILLIONS of scripts out there written by fans of the show. You don't have to pay them because they were foolhardy enough to use your trademarks without asking permission first -- and are damn lucky you're not suing their asses off. Most of these are rubbish, but some of them are pretty good. They don't have to be GREAT, because half your viewers are already so busy complaining that your writing has gone downhill that they won't notice when it actually DOES.
4) Re-runs. The plan now is to air repeats of the current line-up of shows, right?. The thing is, people who watch those shows have already SEEN those episodes, why would they want to watch them again? I think you'd be better off running re-runs of older shows people have forgotten about. What are Balky and Cousin-Larry-Applay-ton up to? I HAVE NO IDEA, I better tune in! Bonus points for running shows youngins today have heard OF but not seen; run "Twin Peaks" in prime time and I can guarantee you ratings.
5) Un-aired canceled eps. Remember all those shows you canceled at mid-season last year? The ones that still had produced episodes yet to air? Show those. All those shows had people who liked them who would love the chance to see a few more episodes now that it's gone forever. Who knows, maybe the ratings will be good and you can bring them back, "Family Guy"-style. Lord knows THAT show is terrible and people have been watching it for years post-cancellation.
6) Pilots. Every network makes dozens of pilots for potential new series, only a small fraction of which ever get picked up -- let alone aired. I say advertise a block of time-slots giving viewers the opportunity to see shows they wouldn't otherwise get to. Why show episodes you're pretty sure everyone has already seen when you can show episodes NO ONE has ever seen, and will never be able to see again. I'd tune in for that, hells yes. As a bonus, you already PAID for them, so it's essentially free money.
7) CELEBRITY DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS. Know all those boring shows showing celebrities playing boring games like poker? People WATCH those. Know those terrible "funny" shows about fake nerds? People WATCH those too. Now imagine if you took some REAL nerds, who are actually FUNNY, and make them play an exciting game like Dungeons & Dragons, and you have an instant hit on your hands. Call Wil Wheaton to make this happen, as he's tried to get this off the ground before, but you losers weren't interested. Also call Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn.
There you have it: practical functional ideas that require no writers. Implementing any one of these will keep people working, and keep people viewing -- while keeping my complaining down to a minimum.
I want to have things to watch. You want me to watch them.