Hey folks — below is a post from today’s issue of Age Beat Online (ABO), an e-newsletter for the Journalists Exchange on Aging, which is an excellent network supported by the American Society on Aging. We’ll be featuring interesting highlights and commentary from ABO on a regular basis.
Satirist PAUL KRASSNER forwarded a link to a You-Tube segment (see below) that presents one Hollywood writer’s case (cue GROUCHO here) for the Writers Guild of America in their strike. IRVING BRECHER, who will turn 94 next month, pleads the writers’ brief in 1:38 minutes: “Since 1938, when I joined what was then the Radio Writers Guild,” he recalls, “I’ve been waiting for the writers to get a fair deal. I’m still waiting. I’m still angry that they took away our copyrights. I’m very angry that they took away the residuals for everything up to 1960.” For Brecher, “everything” includes compensation on video, DVD and the like from a few little Hollywood classics he wrote, such as “The Marx Brothers at the Circus” “The Shadow of the Thin Man” with WILLIAM POWELL, MYRNA LOY and ASTA (arf); “The Life of Riley” with WILLIAM BENDIX; and “Meet Me In St. Louis” with JUDY GARLAND. Brecher continues, “Don’t let them take away the Internet — it’s our future.” He concludes simply but proudly, “I’m Irving Brecher, and I’m a writer.”
Brecher’s writing partner, HANK ROSENFELD, e-mailed ABO that the pair has worked for six years on Brecher’s memoir, “The Wicked Wit of the West: The Guy Who Made Groucho Funny,” to be published next spring by Ben Yehuda Press (www.benyehudapress.com). Rosenfeld noted, “Brecher is remarkably sharp and relentlessly retortable. He has been on NPR (‘All Things Considered’) and now, of course, is a big star on You Tube, even though he can’t even see it.” He added that the pair, who live in Santa Monica “spend a lot of time sitting listening to PHILIP ROTH audio books and eating pastrami sandwiches.”
Reprinted with permission from Age Beat Online, e-news of the Journalists Exchange on Aging, www.asaging.org/agebeat, copyright JEOA 2007