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Yesterday, the leadership of the Writers Guild sent out an e-mail blast asking its scribe army for strike authorization, hoping that letting the entire industry know that they've requested the ballistic launch codes from their membership will force the studios to take their just-revived contract negotiations seriously:

"Since talks began on July 16, the companies have refused to engage in serious negotiations," the WGA said. "Instead, they have rejected each of our proposals and responded with a 'comprehensive' proposal of their own: 32 pages of draconian rollbacks that would eviscerate virtually every gain that writers have made in the past 50 years."

Not unexpectedly, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have quickly decried the Guild's "reckless strategy" of flaunting their soon-to-be operational nuclear capability instead of making a genuine effort to consider their generous offer of eliminating revamping the residuals system clung to by those greedy, handout-loving Guildies:

"A strike authorization vote is a routine procedure that unions frequently take in the course of negotiations," he said. "The Writers Guild's strike authorization is notable only because its negotiators seem intent on striking without seriously addressing the AMPTP's proposals, and with no regard for the devastating impact on their members, fellow unions and this industry. WGA's leadership is pursuing this reckless strategy by misleading the membership about our proposals."

While the looming™ possibility of a strike is certainly upsetting, it's still possible to find a silver lining streaking the clouds that would blanket Hollywood during the nuclear winter of a work stoppage. Even a quick scan of other stories of today's trade papers indicates that the studios will be making every effort to keep audiences entertained during a prolonged walk-out, rushing into production the kind of high-quality, Michael Bay-produced, recycled film projects that might have tragically languished in development hell without this newfound sense of urgency.