Throw Another Christian to the Lions

by Norman Horowitz

Apparently, a mere 2000 years ago, Roman Emperors came up with an early reality show to entertain and distract  “the masses.”

They built the Colosseum, a 50,000-seat amphitheatre where they staged bloody gladiatorial contests and other “entertainments” that pitted men against one another and/or wild animals.

The most popular of the shows’ entertainment segments was throwing Christians to the lions. This concept was a winning idea, as it gave the masses something that they wanted. It has been reported that they didn’t think too hard about the shortcomings of their rulers or of the political system with this distraction, although I find this difficult to believe.

Many say that 2000-odd years later these contests are replicated, in a manner of speaking, by television.  Americans are diverted and entertained each Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter by all sorts of entertainment and sports carried on television.   Continue reading “Throw Another Christian to the Lions”

The History of the World, My Sweet– Is Who Gets Eaten, and Who Gets to Eat!

Just to avoid confusion, from now on I’m going to put the name of the author at the top of each post. I wouldn’t want you to think I’m as prolific as Norman! — AWO

by Norman Horowitz

This post’s title is a quote from the brilliant Stephen Sondheim play Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

As a studio motion picture and television salesman, it was my responsibility to extract as much money from those buying such content as possible without cheating and lying in the process. Conversely, those buying the content were trying as hard as they could to pay as little as possible for it.

Here’s a confession, or at least an acknowledgement as to a relevant point in the process: For the majority of the motion pictures or television product, there is little to distinguish the value of the available content. It was mostly in the minds of the buyers, placed there whenever possible by the sellers like me.   Continue reading “The History of the World, My Sweet– Is Who Gets Eaten, and Who Gets to Eat!”

A Part of My Life with Lawyers and MBAs

MGM/UA owned the three Poltergeist movies. We were in the middle of selling the “new” Twilight Zone series that we made in association with CBS, and it was doing very well.

To me, in the business of syndication, “the name is the thing” when introducing new content.

This is from a presentation for Poltergeist: The Series that I wrote over twenty years ago at MGM:

Was there ever a time before the beginning of time?

Will there be a time after the end of time?

Is there space at the end of space?

Is there space before the beginning of space?   Continue reading “A Part of My Life with Lawyers and MBAs”

Why Don’t We Just Rearrange the Deck Chairs on the Titanic?

This expression is taken to mean: To do something pointless or insignificant that will soon be overtaken by events, or that contributes nothing to the solution of a current problem.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans have found it to be convenient to borrow now and pay it back later.

It’s difficult for a “film salesman” like me to hypothesize what our country’s financial situation would be, had we not been involved in wars such as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, or spent as much as we have spent for F-35’s and F-22’s and such. I also wonder what would have happened to our once great nation, had we taxed the rich a little more in order to “pay as we go.”   Continue reading “Why Don’t We Just Rearrange the Deck Chairs on the Titanic?”

Why We Should “Stamp Out” PBS and NPR!

Just so there’s no confusion, this post is a satire (except for the last two paragraphs). — AWO

It was well over a half century ago that I served my country in the Air Force for four years to help prevent the scourge of International Communism from spreading to The Bronx. We needed more guns at that time as we need more guns today.

As wise people say: “You can’t be too thin, too rich, or have too many guns!”

I wonder today why we have limited our defense spending to a paltry $750 billion a year (even though many claim that the actual number is closer to a trillion dollars).

I am appalled that so many of my liberal friends refuse to recognize the importance of maintaining a military presence throughout the world. The military is deployed in more than 150 countries, with more than 369,000 of its 1,580,255 active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories. These deployments put aggressive nations on notice that we are not to be “messed with.” If we had troops in Libya, things would certainly be different.

But clearly, as a nation, we can’t tolerate wasteful spending and unneeded expenditures such as the one we make to the Corporation For Public Broadcasting.   Continue reading “Why We Should “Stamp Out” PBS and NPR!”