SAG Schedules Strike D-Day for Jan. 2

"Happy 2009 — let's take the year off," will come the refrain from SAG HQ next month, as they today announced Jan. 2 as the date strike authorization ballots go out to its 120,000 members.

If the Guild can coax 75% of them to approve, the actors could be walking off the job — and paralyzing Hollywood — by the end of January. We'll know the vote results on January 23, conveniently in the middle of awards season and one month before the Oscar ceremony on Feb. 22. Beyond the date-circling and surely some pants-pissing at the Academy, little else emerged today beyond the standard-issue invective: SAG boss Alan Rosenberg released a statement saying, "A yes vote sends a strong message that we are serious about fending off rollbacks and getting what is fair for actors in new media"; the studios barked in reply, "It's now official: SAG members are going to be asked to bail out a failed negotiating strategy by going on strike during one of the worst economic crises in history."

Our opinion remains unchanged, meanwhile: We'll see you in the bomb shelter.