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Posted by Kevin on April 07, 2000 at 20:02:25:

In Reply to: Re: JANITORS OF LA! WE NEED YOUR HELP! posted by Sheepie on April 07, 2000 at 14:17:13:

: : " See, most of the animation artists of this city don't have your courage or integrity."

: This could have been something good. A place to launch the future from. Instead, it's turned into a place of self pity. So people couldn't make the meeting. So what. The insults are at an end.

I'm afraid I can't share your view, Sheepie. I'm a working animator and I made it to the meeting. It was a choice, not some passive act of fate. People "couldn't make it" because they made a conscious choice not to go, as if they had everything to lose and nothing to gain. That's a major part of what's wrong with our industry. You can make all the excuses for yourself and others you want, and meanwhile you're either part of the solution or part of the problem.

As far as I know I was the only person from DreamWorks to attend. One out of how many hundreds of people? Was I really taking that big a chance by going? Every day I see people missing hours from work for whatever reason. You just make up the time if necessary; the supervisors are cool about it. And yet what happened when I told half a dozen friends about the Animation Nation meeting? These were all people with whom I've had spirited conversations about what's wrong in animation, about the prospects for the internet and independent productions, and on and on. They talk the talk but no one would walk the walk, even for a few hours on a quiet Monday. They looked at me as if I were nuts when I took off to go. They WERE all eager to debrief me afterwards. I told a friend who's unemployed right now and who lives 10 minutes away from the Sportsman's Lodge. He didn't make it either. I have a friend now at Disney who can bitch and complain with the best of us. I told him about the meeting and about Charles' ideas and statements. "Oh, I know that guy! He's a real right-winger!" Huh?!? Then I realized that by right-winger he meant anyone who has real opinions and the willingness to do something about them. I mentioned to him the prospects of artists putting their own creations on the web directly, freeing us from the dictates of the studios. He sniffed that that would lead to "chaos," that we were crazy to venture outside the safety of the big studios. Then it dawned on me that he wasn't ever really agitating for change, he just liked to bellyache. Needless to say he didn't make the meeting either.

This has all made me realize that the majority of animation artists really are sheep. I was considered a fevered zealot for simply slipping off to an afternoon meeting for 3 hours. In the same vein, when I hear someone complain about the union I've started asking when the last meeting they attended was. The answer is always that they've never gone. Before this I was politely suggesting maybe they should go and speak up. Now I'm just going to tell them to shut the hell up and quit whining.

The sad fact is we all get the world we seek. You can embrace your sheepness, try to hide yourself deep within the flock, and hope the wolves will only eat the weak ones on the edges. Or you can stand up like a man or a woman.

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