Tag Archives: Newtown Tragedy

It’s An Audio Christmas Card From Airlift Mike

From Nat King Cole’s “Chestnuts roasting…” to Bing Crosby’s “I’m dreaming…” to Karen Carpenter’s “Greeting cards have all been sent…” the Christmas holidays every year have always been about all things audio to me.

And since I long ago left the snow-covered northeast for warmer climes in New Orleans, I’ve also replaced the crunch of snow and the sound of snow shovels scraping across concrete sidewalks with holiday sounds of my own making.

Conveniently enough, my Airlift Productions Studios have long provided me the platform and vehicle for making those holiday sounds.

Funny. Sarcastic. Profound. Inspirational.

So, on this Christmas 2018, let’s queue up a few for this audio Christmas greeting from NOLA…

Archie Manning records with Airlift Productions

While I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Peyton or Eli Manning, I sure have met and worked with their pop Archie.

In the early days of the Airlift Studios down on the Crescent City’s Iberville Street, acting as writer and producer for Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym, it was my job to work with Archie on his various different radio campaigns.

Among my fave creative efforts for Archie was this one, wherein I was Santa Claus and he was the kid on Santa’s knee at the mall telling me what he wanted for Christmas.

** Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym ** from 1992 **

And with our Saints making a Super Bowl run here in late 2018, how much fun was that?

Another 1990s Christmas effort of mine has resurfaced here this Christmas season, as old pal Sue Bonano resurrected a couple spots of mine to air on Entercom radio stations here in 2018!

Yeah, it all sounds a bit crazy but, with a little editing, a radio ad that is now 23 years old, was brushed-off and aired all over NOLA this holiday season to lovers who weren’t even born when it first aired.

** Sue’s Jewelry “Because…” Radio Campaign, again in 2018 **

As the Christmas audio memories continue…

Hired by a Chicago-based ad agency called Right Hat in late 2015, I was tasked with lining-up the talent and recording a web-based “politically correct” Holiday greeting card for a Washington, D.C. law firm.

Wait a tick, a what?

That’s right.  A politically correct greeting card! So I tracked down a trio of very talented professors at our Loyola University to come to Airlift Productions to record a classic that would have old Ebeneezer himself doing a double take.

** Right Hat’s take on Christmas 2015, with Airlift Mike **

Whew! Let’s decompress after that one, OK?

And at the same time shift gears totally.

Shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific school shooting at Newtown, CT just before Christmas in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary, I was inspired to hit the Airlift Studios.

Taking an anonymous internet writing and adding Danny Elfman’s mystical score to my voice, I came up with an answer from the “other side” as to what happened to those beautiful young souls that fatefully painful December morning…

** Christmas Eve in Newtown  by Micheal Ziants**

Without a doubt, Jesus of Nazareth is the Reason for the Season!

But given the fissures & cracks in our 21st century society, is it any wonder why the season can be so paradoxically wonderfully troubling and problematic for so many?

Meanwhile, the prayers and reflections continue to this day…

Like I said, for this Christmas audio greeting card – Funny, Sarcastic, Profound, Inspirational.

Which pretty much sums up my feelings, my take here on my 66th Christmas here on the 3rd rock.

From yours truly and the Airlift krewe here on Pomona, here’s to a Merry Christmas!

And for 2019 – a wish for everyone across the planet to Increase the Peace.



Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from New Orleans…since 1984

Christmas Eve in Newtown

Memorial to the Sandy Hook Elementary boys & girls of Newtown
Chalked Memorial to the Sandy Hook Elementary boys & girls of Newtown

How sadly ironic that in the very week we commemorate the third year anniversary of the tragic heartrending loss at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown … that we hear just this morning of the closing of all schools in the Los Angeles school district due to a “credible threat” of intended harm to it’s students.

Amid all the Christmas decorations and office parties, Nativity scenes and holiday joy – must America now in 2015 add the word ‘terror’? 

And whether the threat in LA came from within or from without these shores, the question on many lips this Christmas is this … has America lost its soul?

Or is this, perhaps, how we go about collectively regaining it?

SandyHookNewtownBusFrom Newtown to San Bernardino; from Charleston to Aurora; are these gun-control issues or people-control issues … or maybe, just maybe, SOUL-control issues? 


If, as the great soul Emerson so eloquently reminded us, “The ancestor to every action is a thought”, what are you thinking about?

Every thing here in the physical plane began as a thought. Every building, every bridge, every novel, every relationship … indeed every child begins with a thought.

The bright young souls lost in Newtown, CT three years ago this week, on 12-14-12
The bright young souls lost in Newtown, CT three years ago this week, on 12-14-12

Every single child slain at Sandy Hook Elementary three years ago this week began, as the expression goes, as “a gleam in the old man’s eye”.

So, if you’re reading these words, nodding your head in agreement – GUARD your thoughts, POLICE your own actions, CHANGE the negative pictures! If you, the reader of these words, is not in charge of your own thoughts, I’d like to respectfully ask you – who IS?

In the end, none of us is able to change the cards we are dealt in life. Our only choice in the matter is how we play the hand. Play wisely.

Our fitting tribute to the victims of not only Newtown, but San Bernardino, Charleston, Aurora, Tucson, and a frighteningly-long list is this …

As Gandhi himself so succinctly phrased it – “BE the change you wish to see in the world”.  And IncreaseThePeace.


Jesus-Earth“Christmas Eve in Newtown” ~ with thoughts gathered from the internet, music from Danny Elfman, produced and narrated by Airlift Productions’ Micheal Ziants

~ Christmas Eve in Newtown, recorded 12-24-12 @ Airlift ~


Airlift Productions ** Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984