This image was lost some time after publication.

We'll admit we've been avoiding addressing the big, white, internet-clip-consent-seeking elephant in the room, so let's just get this out of the way: Today is Tuesday, July 1, 2008. Ring any bells? Yes, it's Canada Day, but the celebration of the day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec fused into one maple-syrup-slurping nation isn't important right now. Rather, today is SAG-contract-expiration day. The AMPTP made their final offer—"worth more than $250 million" said they—and lusciously coiffed SAG-head Alan Rosenberg announced the union would be taking the day to look at all 43 of its sumptuous, residuals-detailing pages. Some characterize the mood as calm—perhaps "eerily calm," suggests the NY Times, as not a single network executive has doused themselves in gasoline and lowered a lit Zippo to their heads in slow motion, mouthing, "But weeee were jusssst makinnng gains in Girrrrls 9-15 demooooo..." before erupting into a ball of skin-searing flames. We turn now to blogger newbie Peter Bart for his showbiz veteran's take on the highly precarious situation:

I wasn't in Saigon before its fall or in Berlin before the Nazi clampdown, but I wonder if those cities were gripped by a similar sense of helplessness that afflicts Hollywood this week.

Excuse us as we wipe off the last of the Diet Coke spit-take currently speckling our monitor. There—that's better; now we can see what it is we're typing. Now there are those who would certainly find objectionable Bart's likening of Hitler's rise to a failure to reach a workable solution over jurisdiction for low-budget made-for-Internet productions. In fact, you can find examples of said individuals in the blog's comments section, which begins, "Burt [sic], you're a moron," continuing through to the trenchant observation that "missing one season of One Tree Hill is worse than the Holocaust." But we're inclined to give him a pass on this one. He said up-front he bore no witness to any of the listed historical atrocities; maybe Hollywood's current mood is a lot like them, maybe it's not! Maybe it's more like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Upsetting? Sure. Potentially destructive on a scale of which humankind can only barely begin to conceive? Definitely. But avoidable through some tense, 12th hour negotiations? You betcha, kiddos.