Either your browser's javascript has been disabled or it needs an update! Please re-enable your javascript program or update your browser to view this page as designed. Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2001 Banner! Number 61 (Vol 2, No. 21).  This edition is for the week of May 21--27, 2001.
Season Enders
The Simpsons, The X-Files, Boston Public, Dark Angel, Voyager

by Nolan B. Canova

Warning: This is a tell-all recap of these shows and I go into everything. If you do not want to know plot details before viewing the episode yourself, please skip this section entirely.

THE SIMPSONS.  I thought I'd be taping The Simpsons forever. As it is, I have an uninterrupted catalog of probably the first ten years, some with, some without commercials. I don't know, maybe it's me getting too jaded after all these years, but The Simpsons don't have the ummph they used to. So, I started getting sloppy about taping the shows for archiving purposes last year, and this year I've been sloppy about taping it at all. I just never thought it would happen.

But I made it a point to tape the season ender. It's just gotta be special you know? Well, I was disappointed. A lightning-fast intro sets up the Simpsons as having won still another vacation ("The Simpsons are going to Delaware!"). At the airport, Homer is told he has to pay a $5 tax before he can board the plane. Even though the vacation is paid for, he refuses to pay this piddly tax and they decide to hitch a ride on a train, hobo-style. There they meet a hobo who wants to tell them tall tales in exchange for a sponge-bath. One bath per tale. Ha ha.

This set-up is just to play out several American folklore tales, Simpson-style. Tales such as Paul Bunyan and Tom Sawyer are butchered in the familiar way. I didn't find it original or compelling or particularly funny. What a shame. One little chuckle: under the end-credits included with scenes from the show are scenes of Bunyan's Blue Ox kicking Homer in the groin---and another featuring those two aliens we usually see at Halloween, looking down on the earth. The gag: neither were part of this episode. OK, moving on...


THE X-FILES.   Now we're getting somewhere. Up to now: the already-fired-from-the-X-Files Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is still terribly interested in the fate of Dana Scully's (Gillian Anderson) baby. Presumably because he's the father, altho that was only ever tacitly alluded to. The impressive John Doggett (Robert Patrick) is still very confused and just wants to know what's going on. The ever-threatening Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea), A.D. Skinner's tormentor, is still lurking in dark corners and wants Scully's baby dead, but--waitaminnit--maybe not.

The season ender. Turns out he was trying to keep knowledge of its existence a secret from them (the invaders). The baby is somewhat of a miracle with possibly more human-than-human traits (compliments of super-soldier Cold War technology) that are a threat to the alien invaders. But, it's too late, the secret's out. And the alien insurgents are, among other things, sending the creepily resurrected body of ex-alien-abductee Billy Miles to kill them both, no matter how many times he gets killed in the process.  To have the baby safely, Scully and special agent Reyes (Annabeth Gish) hole up in what looks like an old western ghost town whose only protector is a middle-aged woman sheriff. She seems to be helpful until moments before Scully goes into labor when the lawlady is revealed to be an alien. Gawd, you can't trust anybody in the X-Files universe....but, that's half the fun.

Back at X-FIles HQ, the years-long showdown between Assistant Director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), Krycek and Mulder reach its climax in the parking garage where Krycek was, once again, seen cavorting with the enemy. The is-he-with-us-or-not loyalties of Alex Krycek reach the breaking point as he now drops the cryptic message that Mulder must be assasinated to save "more thousands of lives". As he raises his gun to shoot the defenseless Mulder, an off-screen shot rings out. Krycek is disabled by a hit from A.D. Skinner. As the now-injured-and-struggling Krycek repeatedly tries to pick up his weapon to finish his deed.....BANG. He receives a bullet-through-the-head, courtesy A.D. Skinner. Alex Krycek is dead. Undeniably and reliably...DEAD!.

CUT TO: EXT. GHOST TOWN. NIGHT. AERIAL POV.  Mulder arrives by helicopter at the ghost town location just in time to see all these strange cars leaving. Is he too late? Did they take the baby? We see him approaching, but never actually entering the house. FADE OUT....
FADE IN
.  Several hours? days? later we find everything is hunkey-dorey at another house--Dana's mom's I think--and we're finally treated to a close-up of a beautiful and quite normal-looking baby. Mulder tries to speculate on why they were spared at the last second---something like how everyone left because apparently, after all this, her baby was not what the aliens were looking for after all! Then--typically cryptically--he mumbles how only the two of them know "the truth". (Whatever.) Then they kiss, passionately, finally, for all the world to see.


BOSTON PUBLIC   Regular readers may be surprised that I follow this kind of show, but, to me, this show and "Dark Angel" are the break-out hits of the 2000-2001 season! Not to say that "Titus" or "That '70s Show" suck or anything...quite the contrary, I find I watch them quite regularly, too. But I digress...
The season ender. There are far too many layers to go into here about every detail of the "graduation episode" of Boston Public, but, suffice to say the following scenes stand out: Principal Steve Harper (the effective Chi McBride) had to go to Harvey Lipschultz (adorable Fyvush Finkel, previously famous from "Picket Fences") to re-review one student's final exam--to ensure he got a "D" instead of the original "F" which would have excluded his entrance into Harvard--against the vehement protests of the original teacher, Marla, about this "bending of the rules".
Mandy Patinkin had a cameo as a pushy father who withdrew his son from Winslow High earlier in the year for home-schooling, but is now demanding his son graduate on-stage with everyone else. Honestly? I think Patinkin was grabbed for name value only, because this subplot really didn't go anywhere and truthfully, I don't even remember for sure if the kid walked on or not...I think he did.
School dean Scott Guber (Anthony Heald, the marvelous Dr. Chilton from "Silence of the Lambs") was nearly mad with frustration about the futility of any further striving when his own colleagues wouldn't support his recent bid for headmaster at another school and the students think of him as the enemy---only to get the award for "teacher of the year" (or "most influential" or something) during the graduation ceremony itself. Choked me up as it did him.
By far, the most chilling and disturbing scenes were of a student, Jeremy Peters, previously intimidated and humiliated by a dominant and demanding mother, has a sudden change in attitude. But the mother has been missing for several episodes. Jeremy never seemed to know or care where she was. The very last scene, before end credits, showed a close-up of the kid smiling and having a great time at the ceremony. We slowly dissolve to a basement or something where we see his mother tied up and gagged! Well, at least she's not dead! (Shades of "Psycho!") But let's just say she didn't make it to the graduation!
DARK ANGEL.  Another "super-soldier"-type show that has really grown on me! The beautiful and talented Jessica Alba carries a lot of this show on her own as genetically-enhanced, super-babe, "Max" (no last name's here. LOL!  Actually, I think it's Guevara--but it's never used), the product of bio-engineering conducted at a secret government(?) facility known as Manticore. The man in charge is John Lydecker (John Savage in great form). The show is set sometime in the near future, after some sort of national disaster--hinted at being a nuclear pulse of some kind, detonated by terrorists--brings humanity to its knees, disabling all the computers...for a while. The experimental kids escape. Ten years later they're all on a quest to find their brothers and sisters, with Lydecker in hot pursuit. Max has settled in Seattle, where she met Logan Cale (Michael Weatherly), a techno-nerd of a sort--a computer hacker-type who has a regular internet show called "Eyes Only" where he brings his political truth to the world. All you ever see on the computer are his eyes. Max and Logan teamed up to fight the world and help each other.

Over the space of this last season and until this last episode, Max had run into only one other child of Manticore: the super-serious and dangerous-looking Zack (William Gregory Lee), who shows up when you least expect him. A couple episodes ago, we met "Tinga" who was the only one of "their kind" to get married and have a kid. Tinga was re-captured by a renegade faction inside Manticore whose chief renegade, Madame X, (Nana Vistor from Deep Space Nine) subjects her to further experiments and a different agenda than Lydecker's. Max, Zack and Logan have vowed to free Tinga and reunite her family. At the end of last week's episode, Max found Tinga (either deceased or suspended) hooked up in some vat of chemicals like a lab rat. Max broke the glass to free her and was cradling her now very dead-looking "sister" in her arms, when a horrified Lydecker stumbled onto the scene.

The season-ender brought us an unlikely alliance: Lydecker has been targeted for assasination by the renegades and he must work with his kids--who hate his guts and don't trust him--to bring down Manticore, his own life's work. In the process, the grown kids must return to this place they grew up as soldiers and they dread. (There are two more "X-5s" joining the posse, one of them played by Joshua Alba, who I assume is Jessica's brother.) They must also face their new opponents: new clone children bred to be superior even to them.
Shattering climax: Max meets her own 10-year-old "self" (clone) in the woods outside Manticore. The kid shoots. In an amazing directorial free-for all, we are treated to several possible endings: Max survives, Max is injured, or (gulp) Max dies. Apparently, all these endings were some sort of hallucination experienced in a near-death state she had after she was shot. She did not survive. Inside the (gov't?) hospital, it's decided too much damage was done to her heart to resucitate her. Zack (also seriously injured, but quite the attitude case) takes super-bitch (Visitor) as a hostage to carve her heart out, only to be reminded that Max is an "X-5" and human hearts won't do. In an act of nobility I will not soon forget, Zack leans over and says to the unconscious Max "promise me you'll never give up the fight." He then stands, points the gun at his own head, and says "X-5 heart, ready for donation" and fires. Unbelievable.

Max recovers and is told of Zack's sacrifice. But, she is now in bondage in another facility and doesn't know where she is. Logan Cale takes Max's place on the now-familiar conical roof atop the Space Needle where he speculates about the future.


STAR TREK: VOYAGER.  It's been quite a roller-coaster ride for Star Trek fans over the last 20 years, eh? In the late '70s there were the agonizing and tortured talks of the on-again-off-again Star Trek series/ miniseries/ motion pictures and plots that were present/future/past versions of our Trek universe. It was the closest call whether it would be TV-movie prequel to "classic" Trek (depending on the availability of the classic cast) or a major motion picture (featuring the classic cast) set in the "Trek present". We all know now who won that little debacle. (And, in fact, the "prequel" idea has been resurrected. More on that in a minute.)
Following the surprising success of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", came the most experimental ST idea: a riff on being lost in space, "Star Trek: Voyager".

Captained by Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), they've been lost in the "Delta quadrant" for the past 6 years, making their way back home to the "Alpha quadrant" step by agonizing step. They've had a lot of neat adventures along the way. They lost super-telepath Kes (Jennifer Lien), but gained Borg babe, Seven-of-Nine (Jeri Ryan). In a recent episode they dropped off Neelix (Ethan Phillips) on some planet where he developed a relationship with a Talaxian female. They've battled far bigger foes than they and emerged victorious. Now, comes the battle no Federation Starship has ever won: network ratings. The show must come to an end. They must return home.

The 2-hour Series Finale.  We open in the distant future (26 years in "their" future) where there's a party going on at Star Fleet command. They're toasting the crew with the "longest-running away mission in hisory", the triumphant and aged crew of the starship Voyager on the tenth anniversary of her return to Earth. But the 70-ish Janeway is troubled, for her feelings are mixed on the journey's lengthy, toll-taking process of returning to earth.
Turns out that in normal time it will be 16 more "episode years" and 22 casualties before they make it. Among those future casualties: the death of half-Borg Seven-of-Nine, arguably her best female friend and who will be married to Commander Chakotay (Robert Beltran). And Tuvok (Tim Russ) develops a sort of Vulcan Alzheimer's that could have been prevented with an early cure. All because at a critical juncture she made a critical decision she now regrets. Janeway decides she must break the temporal prime directive and go back in time to right this horrible wrong and make things right. She makes a shady deal with a Klingon for a piece of technology that can facilitate her plans. With help from a very reluctant Captain Harry Kim (Garrett Wang), she heads back to our "present" to convince her...er...past self to follow her lead. Still with me?

The critical decision in question is a nebulae containing hundreds of wormholes, any one of which could bring them home. Problem: it's thoroughly infested with Borg ships. The present day Janeway decides it's too risky and bails. But, the "future" Janeway has brought future technology which will improve their chances. The two Janeways argue about everything, but the future Janeway makes the ultimate sacrifice to enact a new plan: to both sabotage the Borg nebulae network and emerge from the nebulae in the Alpha quadrant she must face the Borg queen (Alice Krige). Suffice it to say, after a quickly paced-two hours, our heroes emerge victorious, but the elder Janeway does not survive---really, she didn't expect to.
In case you're still wondering: yes B'Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson) and Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) have their baby, a girl. In fact, the grown-up version appears in the "future".

The only thing a long-time fan might find disappointing in the way they chose to end this series is an old sore point: the over-reliance of all Star Trek series on the all-too-convenient plot device of the "temporal shift", "temporal anamoly", "breaking the temporal prime directive" in order to correct past wrongs and hasten the story along. It's kind of like you can't go wrong in the Trek universe, because eventually, you'll be able to time-travel and fix everything.
HOWEVER, that said, the visual effects of the two Janeways standing side-by-side and conversing, both obviously played by Kate Mulgrew, are very well done and visually arresting. In previous episodes, this great effect has been used mostly on scenes with The Doctor (Robert Picardo). It's under-appreciated by younger people these days who didn't grow up with "identical twin" episodes of sit-coms where the "dividing line" of a split-screen effect was so obvious (usually a tree or lamppost or something.)

Now, about the "prequel" I alluded to earlier. There were two commercial breaks which featured a trailer for "Enterprise", the new Star Trek series due out this Fall. Mike Smith and I discussed this series, and what little was known about it, in previous issues of PCR, where even last issue we didn't know if this was a prequel series or not. Now we know. For a few more details, see "Mike's Rant", issue 60.,

Announcements

I KNEW IT, I JUST KNEW IT.  According to a recent internet rumor/report, "The Lone Gunmen" series has been canceled. I respect that this bouncy series had a lot of fans, but I was not among them. I do understand there are letter-writing campaigns going on to save the show.
BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAYS to two excellent friends and contributors and fifty lashes with a wet noodle for overlooking these special days. A belated Happy Birthday to Terence Nuzum, 22, May 19th. And a very belated Happy Birthday to Stephen Beasley, 44, May 5th.

Deadguy's Dementia
On Lisa's Lambast
Are School's taking Political Correctness too far?   Re: Lisa's Lambast, issue 59.

This is another nicely done article, Lisa. There is something here that seems a bit odd, though. The actions of the schools you mentioned (aside from the confederate flag issue) appear to be the attempts of the schools to censor themselves. This is what happens when you let folks try and determine how to censor themselves without input. If there's nothing else that every human on the face of the planet has in common, it's the fact that they, at some point, had a genetic mom and a genetic dad. No matter how "diverse" families have become, we all have moms, or at the very least, have moms that we care about SOMEWHERE. Therefore, a celebration targeted at "moms" shouldn't alienate any of the students.

However... this isn't a ban on Mother's day, this is a ban on Mother's Day ACTIVITIES within the school. So NOW it starts to make sense.

If I was an elementary school child with two gay fathers and no mother, I would certainly feel alienated if the class assignment was to make a pretty little Mother's Day card for my mom. Would I get in trouble from the teacher for not participating? Would I get OUT of trouble by explaining that I have two gay fathers? Would someone require proof, in order to allow me to not participate? Will I be required to just "fake it" and make a card anyways? Will the rest of the class find out that I've got two gay men acting as my parents? Will it still be easy to make friends anymore?

As far as banning Dodge Ball goes, I don't really have much of an opinion. Perhaps the rules should be changed to try and "balance" the scale in the game? I suppose in that case, the teacher would determine who gets handicapped, and who doesn't. Would that be more fair? Is the little kid with the glasses gonna get beaten up after school simply because he got a lucky hit on the most popular guy in school? Maybe they should start throwing pillows? Or maybe they should say, hey.. this game is characteristically unfair, and the least-favored kids will get targeted more than the well-liked ones...but since that's so much like life...let's play! My personal opinion, for what it's worth is that games like Dodge Ball give a kid:
#1- A good grasp of reality, if that's what they're lacking. How many times have we heard kids bragging about how they'd do THIS, or THAT to anyone that might try to harm them? It's a good idea to let them learn their limitations in an area where the worst that can happen is a split lip and a bit of embarrassment. Much better than having a kid get themselves into serious trouble they can't handle, or walk away from.
#2- A sense of accomplishment, if they try hard and actually manage to dodge the ball. Over time, they'll get better at it. I can't even express how good it feels to be able to nail the bully in the class too, especially if you nail 'em hard enough that it renews their respect in you. I agree that Dodge Ball should stay, but at the same time, I can see where kids can feel threatened by it. It's a little too PC for my tastes, too.

As far as the T-shirt incidence goes, I think we should all remember that it would be offensive for me to wear a shirt to your child's school that said: "Hi, I threw your great-grandparents into ships where they were chained to a bunch of other folks, and ripped them out of their country. They had a tendency to claw at each other due to the overcrowding, but that was OK...we still made money off the survivors. I also believe that enslaving your ancestors is something to be proud of, it made people like you into lesser beings that I could beat or rape for my amusement, that's why I wear the symbol that stands for the abuse of 'your kind'."
Oh yeah, and let's not forget that they are constantly reminded of this fact in their history lessons. All your child would have to do is glance around the room during a history lesson, to see me sitting there with my nice little t-shirt and be reminded that I'm quite happy that my ancestors treated your ancestors with no dignity or respect at all for several generations before being FORCED to stop. Even after slavery was abolished, the Confederate flag was used, and is STILL used by the Ku Klux Klan, as a way of illustrating their hatred, and was displayed prominently for various race murders that were never thoroughly investigated. In fact, by wearing the shirt, I'm indicating that perhaps that was a better way to live, I'm "honoring my heritage," and showing my allegiance with the KKK. If you wouldn't be offended by that, then feel free to offer-up any comments you like about treating racist symbols lightly, and thank your lucky stars that you aren't Jewish, or black yourself.
The comment by the parents, that by taking away the ability to wear the shirt that symbolizes the continuance of slavery, you're limiting his constitutional rights, is a fairly interesting irony. My, how that cruel injustice must have really hurt the boy, and scarred him for life. Gee, whatever shall we do to make it up for him, and the ostracization that his progeny will have to bear? Screw slavery and its ties to racism, we just made this kid change his shirt!
It's horrible, it really is.. things that show support for that kind of mentality should not be allowed in schools if the school SAYS they aren't allowed. The schools probably have a better feel for the current level of racism that's prevalent in their district. If you allow a Confederate flag, and then you'd have to allow swastikas, and I don't think anyone needs too much convincing to understand that the Jewish community would be outraged, and rightly so, I might add. Prayer in school should be illegal unless it is merely a "moment of silence". Why? Because the country was formed for freedom of religion. Some folks' religions have very little to do with gods, or prayers. Some folks don't have religion and believe that prayers in school are a way of attempting to deceive their children into thinking that there's a God.

At the closing statements to your article, you asked where a good place would be to draw the line. I think that it's a personal decision to make, but mine would be that I'd let the schools govern themselves with regards to censorship, as long as the PTA is able to address and/or overthrow policies that are unwanted by the parents of the attending children. To me, that's a good enough "checks and balances" system. If anyone doesn't like what the schools allow, or don't allow, then make your voice be heard to that school (assuming it's one that your child attends).

As far as any group being "Too PC" I think that every word that makes up that phrase is a subjective term. So as far as saying that everyone that ever comes into contact with a group would think it's too PC, then no, I don't think it's possible to do that unless there are fatal PC issues at hand. Fatal PC issues (like holding your breath so that no one has to contend with your carbon dioxide) can't go on for long, because well.. they're fatal. I think anyone that wishes to "clean up their act" should be allowed to do so. Anyone that is in a position to require OTHERS to clean up THIER acts, had better have the consensus of their constituents behind them, or they risk having the constituents go elsewhere.

Here's my answer to Lisa for last week's Lambast:  "Throw-Away Kids"
Kids who kill. Public execution is not too harsh for a child who determines that murder is an acceptable course of action. You bring a loaded gun to school and point it at someone and try to force them to do something...that's attempted murder as far as I'm concerned. That may sound harsh, but if you get that kid walking the schools a few years from now, and he's acting all tough and stuff, you'd better hope that he doesn't decide that jail is an easier life where decisions are all made for you. Better yet, you'd better hope that you don't have any kids at that school. Try being a teacher for the kid now: "Oh.. you don't have your homework, again?" and you'll be so tired of seeing your life flash before your eyes, you'll have a heart attack and die.

The kid didn't get a chance to say goodbye to his schoolmates? Tough shit, follow the rules when you're at school. Then follow the rules that told you to stay home. THEN follow the rules that say not to bring firearms to school. THEN follow the rules for following the instructions of the teacher and go home.

I don't give a shit if this kid looks like a friggin' angel. He, AND the "gun-toting family friend" should both be publicly executed in order to show a LESS-than-zero tolerance for gun crimes within schools. Tell you what.. if that doesn't stop that kind of crime, then it'll immediately justify itself. If it stops that crime, then that's the end of it, and it AGAIN justifies itself. I'd pull the goddamn switches myself. It's a damn shame that folks failed this kid, but don't compound the mistake for the next kid by merely giving him a life sentence.

As for the wrestling murder...I want to remind folks that murdering someone with your bare hands isn't something that just "happens". This kid musta' worked on that little girl something fierce...Does anyone think she died instantly? Does anyone think that he DIDN'T continue on despite the fact she was already unconscious? This one IS a real shame, but now that it's done, let's clear him out of there. It'll create fear in the kids AND the parents of kids that exhibit any similar signs. We NEED that fear to replace the RESPECT that parents aren't teaching their kids.

Ok.. let's look at it this way, by NOT killing these two, you're not only condoning the deaths of their innocent victims, but you're basically encouraging other children to empower themselves with violence, and reinforcing it as a "cool" thing to do.
Publicly execute these two, and you end the lives of two murderers and send out the clear message that murdering is for folks that are done living.
Does anyone have any idea of how "cool" this gun-toting kid will be once he's been in prison for two to five years? Mark my words, if he comes out, he's going to do it again. If you're gonna' be the one that says he should live, then I sincerely hope for your sake that you don't consider what it could be like if it's your kids that are standing in his path when he decides to "do his thing" next time.

Schools are scary enough these days without having both convicted and potential murderers wandering around in them.. HELLO?! You think bomb threats are bad? I know this is drastic, it's fully intended to be. You want the schoolyard violence to end and parents to get more involved with their kids?
This'll do it.

In closing, I don't like to think of this as an attack on anything Lisa's said, I prefer to think of it as a way of illustrating a different viewpoint for folks to look at and determine where they themselves stand on these issues. I DO like Lisa's Lambast, and certainly respect her journalistic approach. The things she says are very thought-provoking and tend to force me to illustrate to MYSELF EXACTLY where I stand on the specifics of issues that I'd never really taken the time to think about before. As Nolan knows, I only send my comments when I feel there's something good there to begin with, or they irritate me. Hers don't irritate me.
Keep 'em coming, Lisa!

©2001 Mike Scott   deadguy@email.msn.com

Glad to hear it Mike! Lisa is a thoughtful and valued contributor and she has some comments for you, too, in this issue's "Lisa's Lambast", below.
And readers: just in case you thought Mike suddenly went soft and was going to let Terence get away with last week's Tirade, please see "Mike's Newest Rebuttal to Terence" re: the Tirade from last week's issue. ---Nolan.


Lisa's Lambast!
The Utah Polygamy Trial
Are some Mormons exercising their freedom of religion, or are they just plain bigamists?

In Utah last Friday, a jury found Tom Green (no, not THAT Tom Green) guilty of four counts of bigamy and one count of failure to pay child support. Green, an admitted polygamist, and head of a family consisting of five wives and TWENTY NINE children now faces up to 25 years in prison and $25,000 in fines when he is sentenced in June.

Green, who was concerned about his ability to receive a fair trial in Utah, said he feels that the Mormon jurors were biased against him. They jurors, however, said that religion was never discussed in the jury room and that they felt that he choose to live what his God told him, and not what the law told him. Greenís response? I donít know how you can legislate against someoneís beliefs and expect them, if they have any faith at all, to give up their beliefs.

Green claims that polygamy has been a belief in Mormon culture for more than 150 years and said he would not abandon it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which brought plural marriage to Utah, now excommunicates polygamists.
52-year-old Green aparently liked the idea of family SO much that two of his wives are sisters and their MOTHER was also once married to him. One of the sisters, Shirley Green, told reporters on Monday,I also think that people need to allow for everyoneís beliefs. If itís not hurting people and weíre fine with it then why should people bother themselves with it?
Her sister, Leeann Green, said people should understand that from a young age, the two had been raised to learn how to be good mothers and take care of their family. We donít go out and cruise the malls like all the rest of teen-age girls. When we take on a family, thatís a commitment that we take on for the rest of their lives.

Green said he was optimistic he would win his case on appeal, telling reporters he didnít see himself as a bigamist, who he described as someone who committed fraud against the state by having more than one marriage license at a time and deceived his spouses. He then goes on to say In polygamy, we donít GET more than one marriage license at a time, and we DONíT decieve our spouses into thinking that they are the only one. Thereís somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 people living in polygamist families in Utah. ... I thought that if people understood our lifestyle they would not fear it and there would not be problems like this.

Hmmm. Seems like this could be a slam-dunk case of religious persecution. Whereís Jesse Jackson when we need him? This case would be RIGHT up his alley on SO many levels! LOL!
But seriously, if the law DID look the other way in the case of the Mormonís practice of polygamy, wouldnít they then HAVE to do the same for Jim-Bob in Alabama? IS polygamy REALLY hurting anyone? If the wives have no problem with it, should anyone else?

P.S. In response to Mike Scottís response to my previous articles (See "Deadguy's Dementia", this issue---N): Thank you for your kind words about my editorial style. I see that you get where I am trying to go with my column, and I certainly do not feel in any way attacked by the voicing of your opinion. My aim here is to fire up the masses, if you will. I am TRYING to provoke a response, ANY response. That means I made you think, and that MAYBE I made you care. Thanks, Mike, (and Dawn) for taking the time (AND the bandwith, lol!) to respond, (Hey! That's MY bandwidth!"---N) I had HOPED that more of you would.
I realize that my column has nothing whatsoever to do with fandom, and that this is TECHNICALLY a fan-zine. (Well..yeah.  But, I love controversy and don't mind accomodating my writers when they have a special opinion.---N) I have tried not to come off as preachy, in fact, I have mostly refrained from printing my opinion about any of these topics. (Let's work on changing that!---N) I just present the facts such as they are and let you, the readers, form your own opinions. If, however, you all find these editorials of mine to be offensive, I can switch gears and do a more fan-related column. Iím really not trying to piss anyone off, I just enjoy a good debate.---Lisa

As do we.  I invite and encourage you to include your opinions, that's what it's all about. Keep up the great work!---Nolan



Brandon HerringShrek
Critic's Rating: * * * * out of * * * *
Rated PG Rated PG: mild language, crude humor, some sexual innuendo.
Starring the voices of...Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow.
Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

Back in 1998, Dreamworks unveiled their first computer animated movie "Antz". The film was critically acclaimed, and went on to gross almost $100m dollars at the domestic box office. Again, in 1998, they released their traditional animated film "The Prince of Egypt" and it named an instant classic, and became a huge hit as well. On a winning streak, they released "The Road to El Dorado" and it wasn't as big as they hoped, but still did OK, then they had the fantastic "Chicken Run" in the summer. Now, in 2001, Dreamworks has released what I can safely name as one of the top five best animated films.

Shrek (Mike Myers) is about a loving, green Ogre who lives in the woods of Duloc by himself. Surrounded by fairy tale characters, he hopes somehow he would escape from everyone. The ruler of Duloc is the short, heartless Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow), who is offering a reward to all the fairy tale creatures, if they are captured and arrested. Of course, many of the owners turn them in for gold and silver, but one of those creatures is Donkey (Eddie Murphy). A regular donkey, except he talks and has a definite attitude; after his owner tries to disown him, he escapes into the woods and runs into Shrek. Lord Farquaad however, has different plans and takes all the fairy tale creatures in the woods near Shrek's house. To get his property back and his life back, Shrek must rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) so Lord Farquaad can be a king. Shrek wants his property back, but he never thought he would fall in love with Princess Fiona.

"Shrek" is such an amazing film, that while watching it you can't help but just smile the entire time and wonder why that other production company can't make movies like this. The animated graphics are so great, that they look every bit of realistic. I saw previews for this film all last year, and I thought to myself wow, what a great movie this will be. I must say I was not disappointed at all, and the film is the best of 2001 so far, and will go down on my best of 2001 list at the end of the year.

The voice talents are brilliant as well, with the comic genius Mike Myers. In the past he has been a Wayne, an Austin, and a person married to an axe-murderer. Now he is Shrek, not only does he do the voice talent...but he IS Shrek. With his Irish accent, and he lovable personality, Shrek becomes a friend to the audience and warms your heart. Eddie Murphy who showed his voice talent in 1998s "Mulan" does another bang-up job here, and he is the comic relief in the film. The tones of his voice, the lines he utters, and the jokes he gives, he even outdoes the comic genius of Robin Williams in "Aladdin". The always beautiful Cameron Diaz gives the voice of Princess Fiona and she does a great job as well. She is very funny, and her character fits her to a T. Of course, the best supporting voice is John Lithgow, who is personally one of my favorite actors. He as the bad guy Lord Farquaad does a great job in being both sinister and funny at the same time.

At times, I was so amazed by the computer graphics---you can't help but just start looking at backgrounds. There are many hidden jokes in the film, and even reflections of light on the screen, like a camera. "Shrek" is a definite kid film, but not just a kid film for it is a film for the entire family to enjoy. There are many adult jokes in the film that the kids won't get, but the parents will be laughing. Believe me though, everyone will be laughing the entire way through.

In the end, "Shrek" gives a very important message to its audience: to enjoy and be who you are. Everybody out there is beautiful in their own way, even though it may be inside. There are not many words that can praise "Shrek" enough, but my words to you are to stop what you are doing and see this movie now.
Reviewed by Brandon Herring 5-18-01.©2001

Letters to the Editor
Will Moriaty
Well it's official for "Roswell" fans--- the series is being picked up by UPN this fall according to the morning edition of the Tampa Tribune, Friday May 18, 2001. No word about the WB show "Angel", however.

"The X-Files" has been renewed for another season, but without David Duchovny. X-Files veteran actress Gillian Anderson will return in her role as Agent Dana Scully.

Also of interest is the new series "The Tick", based on a wonderful comic book of the same name. The Tick will be on Fox Thursday evenings.


Mike's Rant!

Hello gang! Shall we begin?

PERSONAL NOTE
If I may, I'd like to offer a congratulations to my 16-year-old son, Phillip, who was named to the All-League High-School Baseball Team this past week. This honor pegs him as one of the 18 best players high school players in his division in the state of Kansas! A prouder pop I could not be.

KIDS WHO KILL
As a father of a teenager, I feel I need to address the recent sentencing of 14-year-old Nathaniel Brazill for the murder of his teacher last year. Brazill was found guilty of second-degree murder for shooting English teacher Barry Grunow in the head because he wouldn't let him say good-bye to some girls on the last day of school. Throughout the trial, Brazill claimed that what happened was an "accident," something he hadn't thought out. If I understand the facts of the case properly, he was sent home from school for throwing water balloons. He then rode his bicycle 3 miles to his grandfather's home, stole his handgun, rode back to school and then told fellow students he would "be all over the news" before he confronted Grunow. Where is the accident? From the time he left the school until he pulled the trigger, he knew exactly what he was doing. We are made to feel sorry for him because of his youth. His lawyer said that 13-year-olds (Brazill's age at the time of the shooting) don't understand the finality of death. Bullshit! My grandmother passed away when I was 11. I knew I was never going to see her again. I knew what death meant. We are told by his attorney that Brazill "cried in private" after the verdict. Oh, Boo Hoo. How many tears do you think the wife, daughters and family of Barry Grunow have shed? Brazill commented to his lawyers that the sentence was "not too bad." Of course not. They way prisons are these days, he'll be out while he is still a relatively young man. He'll be able to start a family and watch his children grow. Too bad the same can't be said for Barry Grunow.
Also, when I was in Tampa a few weeks ago, I heard the story of the "stop sign" case being appealed. For those of you not familiar, three teenagers were killed when their car was struck by a truck near Tampa. The stop sign that would have told them to stop had been removed and they entered the intersection unaware of the danger. Three area residents were convicted of manslaughter for the prank. They admit to removing several other signs in the area, but not THAT one. Yeah, right. They were sentenced to 15 years in prison, but the case was thrown out on appeal due to errors the prosecutor made in his final remarks to jurors. Even though they can retry the case, the State's Attorney said the charges would be dropped because a key witness had recanted his testimony. Talk about getting away with murder.

OH, DO YOU KNOW THE MONKEY MAN?
Police in New Delhi are being swamped by reports of residents who have been attacked by what has been described as a beast that is half man/half monkey. Investigators say that the bites left by the creature are those of an animal, yet victims describe the attacker as 4-5 feet tall and very well built. In one week, there were 65 reports of an attacker with a monkey's face and human body. One woman, who was sleeping on her terrace said she was unsure what attacked her, but said it "whacked" her very hard on her arm. Monkey's run wild in New Delhi, and have been known to pounce on unsuspecting pedestrians and enter homes.

DVD HEAVEN
At 7:00 am Tuesday morning, I was pacing outside of WalMart, waiting to purchase DVDs to two of my favorite films, "Jaws 2" and, my pick for best film of last year, "Requiem for a Dream." Both were packed with great extras. The highlight for me was the advance trailer for "Jaws 2." I can't begin to count how many times Matt and I would stop by a theatre playing "The Greek Tycoon," asking if we could go in and watch the "Jaws 2" trailer. Talk about movie geeks. I have already recounted in my memories of the Britton Cinema how we waited in line just so our group could be the first ones to buy tickets to see "Jaws 2," and how Matt and I saw it 5 times opening day. Speaking of movie memories, next week brings the long awaited release of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Best feature on a new DVD this week has to be the screen tests included on the special edition of "Superman: The Movie." Included is Christopher Reeve's test in a very shoddy Superman costume. I find it funny that as the scene goes on, the sweat marks under Reeve's arms grow on the costume due to the hot lights. It was obvious from the test that he was the perfect choice to play the man of steel. Even better are the numerous actresses who auditioned for Lois Lane. Everyone from Deborah Raffin (acceptable) to Leslie Ann Warren (terrible). From Susan Blakely (ok) to STOCKARD CHANNING (that voice......"Claark") to eventual winner Margot Kidder. I would have liked to see what other actors auditioned for Superman and how their tests went. Pretty cool stuff.

That's it for this week................have a safe holiday weekend. Enjoy "Pearl Harbor," preferably at a Regal Cinema near you! Happy Birthday, Terence!


"Mike's Rant" is ©2001 by Michael A. Smith    "Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2001 by Mike Scott    "Lisa's Lambast" is ©2001 by Lisa Zubek    The movie review for  "Shrek" is ©2001 by Brandon Herring    Thanks again to Will Moriaty for the TV update info in "Letters"...keep 'em coming!    All contents this page are ©2001 by Nolan B. Canova.

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