– Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, 1946.
Like “Home ownership is a safe, secure way to build long-term wealth” (National Association of Realtors, 2006) and “The Segway will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy” (Segway inventor Dean Kamen, 2001), Zanuck’s words are even more proof that you should never fully buy into the jargon of someone with a vested interest.
Zanuck, you see, was a movie magnate of the highest order. Think cigar-chomping, mustachioed, pile-of-starlet-photos-on-the-desk magnate. The guy was the real deal, with three Oscars, a star on the Walk of Fame, and a roster of killer flicks to his credit. So it’s not especially shocking that this Hollywood legend, a man who derived his living, his fortune, and his fame from the silver screen would disparage an up and coming technology like TV.
Zanuck was right about one thing of course. We don’t stare mindlessly at plywood boxes. We stare mindlessly at plastic boxes, thank you very much. Indeed, it’s a North American rite of passage to spend as much time as possible staring at them, brains slowly draining from our collective noggins. Clearly, then, Zanuck was incredibly wrong. Then again, he likely couldn’t imagine in 1946 the heights to which TV would aspire. Britney & Kevin, anyone? The World According to Paris?
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