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Computer screens don’t appreciate shiny red apples

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • May. 26, 2020 - 6:21 PM

A recent news story tells of what may be a new trend for movie theaters being cut out of the deal when it comes to new studio releases.

It seems that Universal studios elected to release a kids animated sequel directly to video on demand instead of holding off until this coronavirus crisis has resolved itself. AMC and Regal Entertainment movie theaters were so incensed at the daring departure of normally allowing movie theaters to get the initial crack at the viewing that they are now banning all Universal pictures when the virus-closed theaters reopen.

The crazy thing is movie studios make 80 percent of their profits when they release their movies directly to VOD but only 50 percent on box office receipts. It surprises me at all our culture demands us to go out to a movie theater, stand in line to pick “available” seating, pay $10 for a bucket of popcorn and a soft drink, not to mention babysitters, far away parking, and enduring the compounded idiocy of 30 minutes’ worth of commercials after shelling out over $10 a ticket.

Taking your sweetie for a night at the theater could easily set you back 50 bucks, and Lord, take her on an empty stomach, and you might as well leave your wallet at the popcorn stand.

The movie theaters cry foul now, but where were they at the near sudden demise of the drive-in picture show? My favorite by the way, though I will not allude to the reasons why — there are children in the room.

When I retired from APD in 2013, we were introduced to three video classes where we had to sit at a computer screen, headphones on, as we watched a police instructor teach a field of study we were required to take if we were to retain our certification and powers of arrest. At the end of the video class, we were given an on-screen, multiple-choice test with only our notes, if we took any at all, to help us nervously select the correct answers.

I said it right then, this is the wave of the future when comes the day our entire in-service training will be taken in a computer lab, and the instructors will be reassigned back to the field and replaced by hologram figures that continue to creep the senses.

This Chinese pandemic will change many things we have grown to believe would never change.

We hear as the school boards all across this nation wrestle with when and how our kids will return to school. I know I’m meddling again, but I see the day when school, too, will be sterile computer labs and teachers will be replaced with traditionally trained theatrical actors in their video recreations of English 101 — works of Shakespeare in full costume. Bravo, Teacher, bravo.

Let’s not forget the outlandish expense of a college education. In a recent report I read where if colleges cut out dormitory rents, mandatory gym fees (even for the geeks), and school meal tickets, they would be operating in the red. In the last ten years, the average tuition at a four-year public college increased 37 percent.

But what if every college education turned into a quasi-University of Phoenix degree program? They already live in your basement, why not make it a study hall minus the beer tab? College debt would be manageable with a part-time job and Daddy wouldn’t have to cash in his retirement savings to provide the traditional “college experience.” Also encourage elopement — just send the pictures.

COVID-19 just sped up robot domination by 10 years. Made in China.


W.J. Butcher is a Coweta County resident and retired 26-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department. Send comments, kudos, and criticism to: .