Number 21.   This edition is for the week of August 14--20, 2000.
On turning 45 in the year 2000.
by  Nolan B.Canova
Radioactive TV's first published "fan letter/review":
    I, Nolan B. Canova, turned 45 years of age last Sunday, August 13, 2000. Since then, I've done a lot of thinking. Mid-life crisis? Nah. But some of my thinking feels very "after-the-fact". Confusing? Read on...
   In grade school, I would daydream constantly about the future. (Well, in grade school I would daydream constantly, period. But, anyway..) What would life be like in the year 2000? What would I be doing? Would I be married? Children? Successful, with a big house and 1 or 2 cars? Would my parents still be alive? Let's see, how old would I be then? This last one would keep me occupied often, as math was never a strong subject, I knew I'd be about 45 at the turn of the century. I say about, because, even then, there was a confusion as to whether the year 2000 or 2001 would actually start the new century. I settled the matter for myself that I'd be 45 in the year 2000 and about 45/46 in the new century. (The 21st century starts officially January 1, 2001.) I'd go thru that every year till graduating high school. In any event, the future seemed bright and promising.
   Flying cars. Wall-size TVs. Visi-phones. Homes on giant stilts that reached to the sky. Robot maids. Push-button homes. Huge computers. I wondered to myself, if I could magically see my house and neighborhood thru a "peephole" in time, would I even recognize it? Man, would I have been in for a letdown.
   Flying cars:  No. Still experimental and judged impractical. What prototypes were ever built were ridiculously expensive. Wall-size/hanging/flat picture-frame TVs: large picture-frame style TVs are just now entering the market. "Plasma picture technology" is the buzzword. Ridiculously expensive also--at least, so far. But, at least it finally showed up. (HDTV is another subject entirely.) Visi-phones: regarded then as an inevitable outgrowth and/or merger of telephones and TVs, it became an outgrowth and merger of telephones and computers. With a "web-cam" and a special program, it is possible to see who you're talking to. Wasn't the prediction exactly, but pretty close; available only in the last few years. More recently for anything affordable.
Homes on giant stilts, reaching to the sky: keep dreaming. Robot maids: No. Robot pets, robot lawnmowing gadgets, robot assembly line workers, robots probing other planets, yes, but no "Rosie" for us--yet. Push-button homes: Yes, with a qualification.  Not as ubiquitous as I would have thought, but William Shatner used to plug a line of "automated homes." The name escapes me, but I don't think you could push "turkey dinner" on the oven and have it ready in 5 seconds! But, the "concept home" was a reality, if not particularly ballyhooed. Which brings us to......
    Huge computers: nothing, I mean nothing could have prepared me for the shock of small computers taking over the world! In the '50s and '60s these things were giant hulking brutes, requiring huge amounts of power and punchcards to work. Often they took up whole floors of office and school buildings. They would always be in the background, I thought, but no one would want one in their home! I grew contemptuous and suspicious that so many wanted to trust it so completely. Especially since once something was in the computer, it was near impossible to get out. True Nolan story revealed to the world for the first time: I had attended Catholic school for 10 years, grades 1--10. During the summer of 1971 (entering junior year at Tampa Catholic High), a computer record--that no one knew how to change--prevented me from dropping a class I neither wanted nor needed. I was told to accept it because it was already in the computer! I was so infuriated, I left Tampa Catholic, and everything I had ever known, forever to attend public school (namely Robinson High) for the first time in my life. (That in itself was life-changing and I'll discuss it and its ramifications some other time.) As late as 1973, I was mystified at the geeks who would spend hours at the school's computer, taking great pleasure in punching holes in cards and sending messages to other schools and awaiting their reply. The primordial internet. "Who wants to sit around and punch cards? How does this beat a telephone?" I thought. What a waste of time. This isn't going anywhere. BUZZZZZZ. WRONG! My friends jeer me now, because I recently became "born-again" on computers after a lifetime deriding them. Truthfully, it was only after they had (a)come down in price, (b)come up in user-friendliness and (c)proved they were useful for anything other than video games, which is all I'd ever seen anyone do on them. This newsletter is one outlet that would have been impossible without a computer. I finally arrived in the future.
  (The only religious thing I have left over from Catholic school was that somehow everyone there seemed convinced that the Second Coming was going to be this year. Funny, eh? Nice round number, "2000". But, I digress.....)
  I never would have thought rock groups from the '60s would still be touring. Or that TV would need "parental controls." Or that movies would have more than 3 ratings. Or that cars would worry about gas mileage. Or that the richest man in the world would be--gulp--a computer geek!
  I did dream of a cure for cancer. That we'd have bases on the Moon and Mars; with regular trips back-and-forth. That we possibly would've had irrefutable contact with extraterrestrials. That war, as a concept, had ended.
  Well, very very little of my predictions and hopes came true about "the future". Both my parents have long been dead. I do have a younger brother, Ron, who lives close by. And I'm still alive, relatively happy, I do what I want, when I want to do it. I have a few good friends who stuck by me. I never got rich, but I have my health. As cliche as that sounds, I'm grateful it's not worse. I have this website and am working on video projects I've always wanted to do. I have a past in music I'm pretty proud of.
  I always thought when I reached 45 in the year 2K, I'd stand on a mountaintop (or my rooftop, whatever) watching the flying cars going by, breathe deeply and crow to the world, "I'm heeeeeere! It's the future! I made it!." Instead, the day came and went fairly uneventfully; oh, there was a small gathering with cake and a candle, sure. Some cool presents and singing. It was good. But, it was 2 days later before I realized I hadn't even thought about crowing to the world. That's what feels "after-the-fact".
  Oh, and the view outside my house? Same as it was 40 years ago, until you get out a few blocks. The old motels and drive-ins have been replaced with chain stores and strip malls. Development has slowly eaten up most of old Tampa. But, it's like that everywhere isn't it?

   
Will Moriaty
  I wanted to go on record gushing praise for your first movie, "The Horror Writer". I love the Radioactive TV intro scene with the Mutant of Atomic Beach, and Ron Canova does a great narrative job. Your intro music, as well as the music by Yeti was excellent. Hats off to all the actors. Conrad Brooks ain't got nuthin' on you, Bubba! Wish this was a weekly fright night series--don't stop with just this one episode!  Keep up the great work!  
  (Believe me, I intend to produce more. Support like yours makes it worthwhile! Thanks.
Readers: this was the only review letter I got specifically addressed to the Newsstand. I did receive positive mail on my other screen names, which I may print in part in the future. It's understood only Newsstand mail is intended for publication.---Nolan)
Ashley's Movies and Music
          by Ashley Lewis
THE MISFITS. In 1977, Jerry Only and Glenn Danzig started a Monster rock band named "The Misfits" in Vernon, New Jersey. They were a punk band who sang about monster movies and ghoulish subjects, unlike most bands of the time.
  The Misfits soon had a small following (Misfits fans are called Fiends). But after going thru a few guitarists and drummers, Jerry's brother Doyle ame on as the guitarist. The Misfits had trouble getting record company and radio attention, so Glenn hought of taking the band in a different direction --devilish subjects. Jerry was completely against the idea, stating that that wasn't what The Misfits were about. Well, Glenn got pissed and left the band, causing a 13-year hiatus due to prolonged legal battles. Jerry Only came out the winner and in 1995 brought The Misfits back with a new singer: Michale Graves.
   The new Misfits' first album came out in 1997, called "American Psycho". They started to tour, but Michale was too overwhelmed and left the band right before a South American tour (altho he returned after the tour).
  In 1999, they released the second album, "Famous Monsters", with songs like "Forbidden Zone", "Saturday Night", Scream", "Fiend Club", and "Scarecrow Man".
  Nowadays, the band is doing an American tour. What next? Who knows? Vocals: Michale Graves. Bass: Jerry Only. Guitar: Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. Drums: Dr. C.H.U.D.
"Ashley's Movies and Music" is 2000 by Ashley Lewis

 

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