Mongo Only Pawn…in Game of Life

by Norman Horowitz

In 1960, I worked for Lloyd Burns at Screen Gems International. Lloyd was very smart, but in retrospect he was the victim of an inflated ego.

Helios Alvarez, a very smart Brazilian, ran the company’s “complex” operation in Sao Paulo.

Helios was in the process of renegotiating his contract for the third or fourth time in a year. He was on the phone with Lloyd, who was getting angrier and angrier by the minute. He pushed the phone’s “hold” button and said to me, “That little son of a bitch thinks he has me by the balls…and he does.”  

Lloyd and Helios both knew that, if Helios left the company, Lloyd would have a gigantic problem. Lloyd was smart enough to begrudgingly give Helios whatever he wanted because he understood that it was in his own self interest.

However: What went on in this confrontation in a small commercial situation didn’t really matter to anyone! The sun would come up the next morning, and whatever happened would matter little to Columbia Pictures, never mind the remainder of the planet.

My 50+ working years have left me with the sad conclusion that, whenever I faced a major career decision, the worst that could happen was that I would lose a deal or get fired. An advertising executive once threatened to cancel a half-million-dollar deal unless I did what he wanted me to do, and he about died when I told him to “go for it.”

The same can not be said of the political crazies being played out in Washington.

What Washington needs are real dealmakers who will not threaten to “dynamite” our nation unless they get their way. Remember that scene in Blazing Saddles where Bart the Sherriff holds a gun to his own head and threatens to pull the trigger?

Resurrecting the role of Bart, Eric Cantor has threatened to “blow up a deal” if such a deal included higher taxes. He has basically threatened to shoot us all, including himself, in the head! (Metaphorically speaking, of course.)

As the August “deadline” approaches, there is the possibility that we could do serious damage to America, were we not to solve the problem in a way acceptable to the extreme right wing of the Republican party. We need to remove or replace the petulant Republican children who threaten to destroy our economy if they don’t get their way.

63.7 million Americans voted for President Obama. How many elected the arrogant Cantor? Who is he to put a gun to our heads?