30 Rock's Liz Lemon: "Freelancers Are the Modern Cowboy"
Happy Thanksgiving, freelancers! One of my favorite cures for the turkey hangover is a morning spent in bed catching up on television-on-the-internet. I nearly leaped out of my snuggie this week when I caught the following exchange, nine minutes and forty-five seconds into episode 7 of the fifth season of 30 Rock. Liz Lemon, a TV writer played by Tina Fey, is having a spat with her boss, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), over their respective values. Well, really they're arguing over a pair of jeans Liz bought from a "local" business and Jack's decision to back a (somewhat loony) pro-business political candidate.
Liz: Big business is what's screwing up this country! Jack: Please, Lemon, you work for General Electric. Liz: Technically, I am a freelancer, which is pretty much a modern day cowboy. And I live like a cowboy by buying quality, locally made jeans. Also, by eating beans out of a can, due to impatience.
That's right, a shout-out for the independent workforce! Now, if I were a freelance writer on 30 Rock, I'd like to re-shoot that scene, and it'd go something like this:
Liz: Big business is what's screwing up this country! Jack: Please, Lemon, you work for General Electric. Liz: Technically, I am a freelancer, which is pretty much a modern day cowboy. Jack: You think freelancers are cowboys? Their dainty little feet have never touched ground because they never leave their studio apartments. Sure they eat beans out of a can, but on their couches. Those lazy hipsters - present company excluded - have never worked a day in their life. **Liz: **I'll have you know that freelancers work harder than anyone! We have to work a second job just to pay the taxes we owe on our primary income. We have to set up traps outside dentists' offices when we need our cavities filled. And the only reason freelancers wear jeans to work is because the horse saddles really mess up your slacks. **Jack: **What are you trying to say, Lemon? That freelancers deserve the same benefits and protections as regular workers? God, next you'll be asking me if you can have Christmas Day off. Now go tell the writers that if they don't have their invoices translated into Latin for HR by 5 p.m. we're not paying them until 2012.