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 63 (Vol 2, No. 23).  This edition is for the week of June 4--10, 2001.
George Dubya visits Tampa.

By now it may seem to many readers that I've bailed on my beloved Libertarian Party to become a pompous, belicose, right-wing conservative... (gulp)... Republican... what with all the space I've given President George W. Bush lately. Let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. It's just that he's done a couple newsworthy things that have affected me locally and I'm just commenting on them. I promise I'll get back to ignoring higher politics very soon. But, for the time being...

Last issue, as you may recall, I was rather jubilant over the prospect of every man, woman, and child taxpayer in the US getting a $300--600 dollar check from the gov't sometime after July. That's a real-world benefit of the tax-cut program. No, it doesn't relieve world hunger or soothe alarmed environmentalists who are appalled at his oil-drilling plans or erase his drunk-driving record...ha ha, well, that last one's easier to ignore now. But seriously, in lieu of the total abolition of the IRS (a Libertarian mainstay), I can live with it. For now.

Monday, June 4th, President Bush visited Florida. That's Florida where brother Jeb is governor. The Prez's first stop was the Everglades which he promised to keep pristine (heading off criticism from the aforementioned environmental groups who didn't exactly go for it). He then came to Tampa to host a rally at Legends Field. For you out-of-towners, that's the baseball field across from Tampa Stadium--dammit--Raymond James stadium--where THE Super Bowl was played last January... ahem... but, I digress. From the news reports, most of his talk was about the tax relief thing. The crowd really went for it. If he talked about anything else, it wasn't covered.

Tuesday, he impressed me a little more--and I don't know why especially--by dressing in jeans and a work shirt and actually hammering nails in project houses being built by Tampa's Habitat for Humanity. He was out there for while. OK, sure, other politicians have done very similar things, but I really didn't think "Dubya" had it in him. He worked up quite a sweat. And then--I swear this is what it looked like on the news-- he boards Air Force One to head back home still sweaty and in his work clothes! That was quite a picture. Ha ha, I hope AF1 has a shower! And yes, I'm remaining Libertarian despite this performance.


INTERNET ROMANCE.   Right now, as we speak, I have at least three male friends whose lives have been altered irrevocably by women they've "met" over the internet. You know the M.O.: they talk for weeks, months, years to some anonymous person online (usually via Instant Messaging or chatrooms..or both) whose I.D. may or may not even be legit. Of course, that goes two ways: the strangers have to trust the person on this end, too. If they get past this first stage, phone calls are made and pictures are emailed. Identities are firmed up. After a long time, if it's locally/conveniently/or even remotely doable, a meeting is set up.
   It always seemed highly unlikely to me that anything could come of meeting like that, and a great many do fall by the wayside, usually having to do with false presumptions (most often having lied about weight or spousal situation, or sending false pictures hoping they'll buy the story about plastic surgery incurred during CIA tenure). But, surprisingly, many of these "relationships" do mature into something permanent. I think more are likely to in the internet age as people condition themselves to the hit-or-miss nature of this system.

   Case in point: my friend Steve. He is currently half a world away in...(hold on to your hat)...Auckland, New Zealand(!)...meeting his internet honey face-to-face for the first time. I think they have been "associated" for about a year-and-a-half. (Don't even ask about long-distance phone charges.) So, he took 3 weeks off from work and borrowed money to do it, but he went.
    I had spoken with this girl myself on the phone a couple times while I was visiting Steve and she seems real nice. It's not like I thought she was a bad risk or anything. LOL!---if anything, I wondered if she knew what she was getting into with Steve! That notwithstanding, I had great personal trepidations about the wisdom of his journey "down-under" for a variety of reasons, but I wanted to be supportive. I teased him about his wanting to get away from Tampa so bad that New Zealand was about a far away as you could get without actually leaving the planet! However, he contacted me within 24 hours of his arrival and relayed that: "A."---he arrived safely, and "B."---their first kiss lasted several minutes. She plans to join him in the U.S. later this year and, not surprisingly, there is marriage talk. Steve is an old and dear friend and I will be thrilled if this actually works out as it seems to be.
   My other two friends who are involved with online "relationships" will be PCR subjects some other time, likelier so if they're successful. If they're not...well, I'll still talk about them, but I'll cloak their identities. LOL!

Announcements
Corey CastellanoNOW IT CAN BE TOLD:
Corey Castellano
strikes again. If any of you have been watching FOX television this week, you may have noticed a commercial for a new "reality" show coming out July 17th, called "Murder in Small Town X". Now it can be told that this was the top-secret project Corey had been working on in Maine for 2 months earlier this year!! He couldn't tell any of us about it do to signing a telephone-book-thick non-disclosure agreement. The upshot: Corey was the HEAD MAKE-UP guy!  I figure his onscreen credit should fill at least as much space as his "Patriot" one did.


   At left: the make-up maestro himself, Corey Castellano, aka Leo C. Castellano, aka Leo Corey Castellano (depending on the movie credit!) during a rare visit to Castle Canova, aka Crazed Fanboy Central, aka...well, you get the idea! I'm always delighted when he can visit between movie gigs and this time I seized the opportunity to snap the most up-to-date photo yet (6-07-01)!
   Behind Corey are posters for "The Deadly Spawn" (aka, "The Return of The Aliens", 1983) and John Carpenter's "The Thing" (1982). Below Corey's "drink-holding arm", and draped upside-down, is the Lost in Space (1998 movie) T-shirt with the talking robot ("Danger Will Robinson!").
   Currently Corey is involved in moving his family to their new digs in Valrico, Florida. After the dust settles, who knows? If you haven't visited his colorful website lately, here it is: Corey FX

Deadguy's Dementia
The Monkey-Man of India.   "Halloween" sequel comments.
The Monkey-Man.
This is a bit of an elaboration on Mike Smith's article for PCR Article #61, "Oh, do you know the Monkey Man?"

I've been following this story with some interest over the past month. There have been several fairly humorous stories about it. Basically, someone saw something, they told someone else, then those people told someone else, etc, etc.. The stories have grown to hilarious proportions. The area of India where these alleged attacks occur is in the middle of several excitable villages, where ghost stories hold more sway than their local newspaper. As a result, there are some seriously funny descriptions circulating around about the abilities and description of Mr. "Monkey Man":
   The first attack attributed to the Monkey Man was one in where a man was attacked by someone covered from head to toe in bandages, wearing a monkey mask. The next, someone was attacked by someone in a monkey costume; next, it was a monkey wearing a helmet. Witnesses reported VERY odd things about the monkey man, such as the fact that he has three lighted buttons on his chest, and I quote: "One (button) makes it turn into a monkey, the second gives it extra strength, the third makes it invisible. He touches a lock and it breaks. But he is afraid of the light." Of course it's his ability to turn invisible that has allowed him to thwart any pursuit given him by the authorities. A witness to one of the attacks in Subhas Vihar said: "The injured persons said that after they were attacked, they saw some lights coming from the Monkey Man's body but, before they could make sense of it, the creature managed to escape."
   At first, the authorities thought perhaps it was a small terrorist squad behind the literally 100's of nightly Monkey Man sightings. It was later decided that perhaps they were merely stories being circulated by a terrorist group. Eventually though, it seems that the authorities may have actually fallen into the hysteria themselves, at least for a little while.
   ALL of the reports that came in were VERY odd. It's not like a few seemed unusual. At one point, local authorities were quoted out of context, stating that the Monkey man was either a remote-controlled robot, or an alien!?! It had a resounding effect upon the people in the area, and sighting doubled literally, overnight. Authorities had a sketch artist make some images for a local newspaper and offered a reward for the capture of the Monkey Man on film. The sketches looked an awful lot like political sketches, and were very cartoonish. Both sketches showed a short heavy dark-haired man, one with a comical monkey face, and the other with a bulbous nose and what appeared to be a motorcycle jacket and helmet.
   Men wearing black have been beaten in broad daylight by villagers that mistook them for the Monkey Man. Also, more recently, a monkey was beaten, almost to death before being rescued.
   The Delhi Zoo director said that it's not an ape, because they don't live in the area. He also said it couldn't be a monkey, because they only attack people when they're provoked - and they don't suddenly disappear. Of course, that leaves me wondering what animals he knows of that CAN suddenly disappear, but no further information on the matter has been forthcoming.
   At one point during the frenzy of the past few weeks, a doctor was arrested because he inflated a rubber glove and threw it out a window yelling, "Look out! It's the hand of the monkey man!" and then ran outside and stomped on the glove causing it to pop. His cries actually started a local panic. He later claimed that he was merely illustrating the silliness of the Monkey Man panic, but was not believed by police and thrown in jail.
   The Monkey Man is thought to have caused two deaths and attacked 65 people.
   I'm having trouble correlating some of the stories, but at least TWO deaths were distinctly caused by the PANIC created by supposed Monkey Man sightings: One, a man was sleeping on his roof (?!?)rolled off his roof and died. Another was a pregnant lady that was trampled by stampeding villagers who were apparently running away from a possible Monkey Man sighting.
   The wounds found on the actual Monkey Man victims tended to sound as though they were tooth bites into the skull and symmetrical slashes across the midsection. Things have settled down a bit though as investigators have felt that they narrowed it down to only two "authentic" cases of Monkey Man inflicted deaths, and both were determined to be man-made injuries, and not actual teeth or claw marks. Interestingly enough, up until the time these injuries were investigated, some of the police officials had been making official public statements about various head bites and clawed slashes found on the various victims. It almost seems as though everyone wanted to give an official statement, but no one really knew enough to actually comment.

Of course, it should be noted that by this point, the authorities had been doing everything they could in order to quell the panic that has gripped these areas. Even going so far as to jail anyone that was found to be spreading Monkey Man rumors. So it's possible that they may have changed their stories about the nature of the wounds sustained by Monkey Man victims in order to ease the tension in the area. The police announced they were getting very close to arresting the monkey man, and then a week later arrested about a dozen people on charges of spreading the Monkey Man rumors.
   Immediately following that, news of the monkey man has almost entirely dropped off. Two nights ago NO sightings were reported to police, rather than the typical 10-to-80 sightings per night that they've had for the past three weeks (most of the sightings were discarded as being falsified).
   However, there may now be a new "super-animal villain" in town. There have been a few scattered reports of a large "Bear Man" stalking the nearby wooded areas that "disappears whenever light touches him." Villagers in areas of Assam claim the creature makes itself invisible before attacking people.
   More than a dozen people already claim to have been attacked by Bear Man.

To me, the fact that there are now "Bear Man" attacks being rumored, actually lends strength to the Monkey Man claims, especially since the new sightings are occurring within a new neighboring area. Is there something very odd actually happening to these people, and they're translating it into terms they can come to deal with? Bear man is so close to Monkey Man, I also wonder if perhaps villagers are trying to avoid prosecution by the police for spreading more Monkey Man rumors, and if these are really sightings of the same beast(s)?

IS it some kind of terrorist activity spawning these rumors for some unknown goal, or merely to create tension in the area? Or are these actually genuine sightings of a midget Bigfoot mixed in with people attempting to "beef-up" stories just to be involved in the action? Just what the hell is really happening over there?
Just in over the radio: the Monkey-Man reports have started to morph into Wolf-Man reports. So, now there's a Monkey-, Bear- and Wolf-Man out there! What a crazy zoo!---Nolan.

H20
(Readers: Brandon and Terence did some dissing on "Halloween" sequels last issue.---N)
I liked Halloween 7, but not due to it's own merits. I liked it because it went back to the "good old days" style of mayhem. Yes, it was generic, and unbelievable, but what the hell? I mean, it wasn't my favorite movie or anything, but was it SUPPOSED to be a literary masterpiece? Michael hunts, stalks, and kills, folks with knives and stuff while they run or drag themselves away from him. Hell, that's a good enough plot for me.. I don't need a bigger story to enjoy a slasher film like that. It doesn't have substance, but doesn't everyone know that before they come in the door anyhow?
   I guess that's me though, I love the concept of folks pretending to slay one another with special effects and stuff. I love watching the acting and seeing if the movie is capable of instilling fear. Unfortunately, I have yet to be truly afraid during a movie, though some can make me jump when a cat jumps through a window at you, or whatever.
   The Halloween series has also always had the most errors of all slasher films, and that's saying a LOT. Everything from California license plates when they're supposed to be in Illinois, crew members visible in frame, various continuity errors from hell, scripts telling actors to say ONE thing while their environment clearly shows something else, indoor shots taken at locations drastically different from the outdoor shots, etc, etc. I get a kick out of finding that stuff, and every one of the Halloween movies were full of 'em.
I was a little surprised that they're bothering with a Halloween 8 though. Unless they do that whole "back from the dead" thing, or have a new killer, I'm not sure how they're going to pull that off. It would seem to me that it would be better to just do that type of movie under a new name with new characters, but what the heck.. it's not a big deal, it would still feel like a Halloween movie anyhow. Hopefully, they'll finally kill off that he-she bitch, uhh.. what the hell's it's name? Jamie Lee Curtis. I hate that chick.. I've always rooted for Myers to get her. I just hope her death is spectacular and drawn out. umm.. not that I think movies should contain violence, or anything, heh heh...

©2001 Mike Scott   deadguy@email.msn.com
The "Deadguy's Dementia" header graphic is a creation of Mike Scott
There's still time to bid on Mike's Star Wars stuff!

Letters to the Editor

Matt's Rail        by Matthew Drinnenberg
"I'm just a soul whose intentions are good....oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood."

CLARIFICATION
Feel I must begin by clarifying a couple issues on my previous Rail. This piece was ENTIRELY about Freedom of Expression, or the lack thereof. NOT force-feeding a self-idolatrated nation on precepts that promote respect and harmony, i.e., Christianity.
   At issue was a high-school student who had been kicked out of school for wearing a PROUD TO BE STRAIGHT T-Shirt. Since we live in a EVERYTHING GOES society, I pondered on why this would be an issue, while other forms of expression (namely Proud to be Gay T-shirts) are allowed without hindrance. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a very expressive guy, therefore, I'm solidified in the corner of Freedom of Expression. That being the case, I'd like to simply remind everyone that religion is ALSO a form of expression, thereby assuring each individual's right to practice what they want, believe what they want, and think what they want, also without hindrance. I like the way Mike Scott put it in what I GUESS was a rebuttal to my column, although rebuttal is usually for disagreement, which is not possible here, as I agree with pretty much everything he had to say. It's what makes this such a great nation, the FREEDOM of choice. Possibly his issue was with my "opinion", which I'm certainly entitled to. And I'm sure ALL of you will be suprised that it is God's plan to be that way, thus....FREE WILL. In regards to Nolan's comments, I'm not so naive as to believe we'd be living in the land of love if prayer was left in school, but I STILL MAINTAIN that, even as an historical document on proper behavior, the Ten Commandments should not have been taken out. My opinion, of course, but being an American, I'll use my Freedom of Expression. (Which is always welcome here. Thanks for writing the additional commentary. That should lay the matter to rest, my friend!---N.)

BACK TO THE PLANET OF THE APES
You simply MUST check in to www.planetoftheapes.com and check out the lastest updates. More scenes, more photos, and tons of fun stuff. Plus, they're still adding more, including sketches of apes city. Cool stuff.

POLITICAL REVELATION
Everyone by now knows of my strong conservative right wing leanings. (Sniff, coff coff...say it ain't so!---N) This has been a way of life for me for as long as I can remember. Imagine my feeling of discomfort when I started to realize I could be wrong. Not that I'm a HUGE fan of CSPAN, but I have been catching a lot of it, and frankly, have been disturbed by my parties conduct. You see, pretty much every bill that has come to the Senate (that has had the blessing of the Republican party) has been passed. The opposite holds true for any Democratic suggestion. Normally this would be a good thing. But to hear a majority leader say, and I quote "We have the votes, we don't need to hear you, we're passing it anyway" over and over and over again is more than gross negligence in regards to "we the people". You see, it was "we the people" who put those Senators in office. We put them their as representatives of our views. If the majority doesnt CARE about those views then it becomes an issue of nothing short of Communism. Because of this wreckless behavior, the Republicans have now LOST control of the Senate, and in THIS Republicans opinion, deservedly so. No telling when this will come to fruition as the Republicans are stonewalling to secure some of the comfort zones they've shown countless times during this administration they don't deserve. Undoubtedly, these revelations will SHOCK some people, but hey, I've always been a "tell it like it is" kind of guy.

Till next time, take care and yes....
GOD BLESS.
Matthew


Mike's Rant!

Hello gang! Hope everyone had a nice week. Shall we begin?

GET YOUR FACE OFF ME YOU DAMN DIRTY APE!
It took me a while, but I finally figured out the whole Mars face thing. You may remember that several years ago Columbia paid NASA $750,000 to paint the logo for 'THE LAST ACTION HERO" on one of its rockets. It's obvious to me that FOX has gone one better by having a large Ape face placed on Mars to showcase the upcoming "Planet of the Apes." But I could be wrong. (LOL!!--N)

SPEAKING OF...
Have you ever watched TV spots for films and wonder to yourself "how in the hell could ANY critic recommend that movie?" Turns out the people at Newsweek magazine did to. Curious why critic David Manning of The Ridgefield Press loved recent Sony Pictures releases such as "The Animal," "A Knights Tale," "Hollow Man" and "Vertical Limit" so vehemently, the magazine discovered that the critic and his publication were fabrications of the Sony advertising department. Sony spokeswoman Susan Tick says the company is "horrified that this happened." Sony will pull all TV and print ads carrying the bogus quotes. ("Bad advertising department! Baaaaaad advertising department! You were told not to GET CAUGHT!!"---LOL! Nolan)

GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME
Happy to report that fifth Beatle, Billy Preston, is home recovering from a bout of severe anemia and kidney disease. Saying he feels "lucky and blessed," Preston has found out that he will need a kidney transplant. Family members have come forward to see if they are a match and his spokesman says he could have a transplant in 30-60 days. Doctors are allowing Preston to resume touring with Eric Clapton providing he can find dialysis clinics on the road.

GOOD-BYE
This past week the world mourned the passing of some truly talented people:
Anthony Quinn-- the two-time Oscar-winner passed away Sunday at age 86. Best known for his portrayal of "Zorba the Greek," Anthony Rudolph Ozxzca Quinn made his stage debut in 1936, spoofing John Barrymore in the Mae West written play, "Clean Beds." So accurate was the portrayal that Barrymore cursed Quinn out to his face, then invited him to join his group of hard drinking womanizers. He received his first Oscar for his portrayal of Marlon Brando's brother in "Viva Zapata!," in 1953. In 1956, he portrayed artist Paul Gauguin to Kirk Douglas' Vincent van Gogh in "Lust for Life." Though he was only on screen for eight minutes, Quinn received his second Best Supporting Oscar. Other well known films include "La Strada," "The Guns of Navarone," "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and "Lawrence of Arabia." He was also well known for his appetite for women. He fathered thirteen children by five women. He had well known affairs with Rita Hayworth and Maureen O'Hara, and said he fought off advances from Mae West and director George Cukor. "If there was not a young starlet, or a companionable makeup girl, there was always a lovely local lady to take her place beside me in bed," Quinn wrote in his 1995 autobiography, "One Man Tango."
Hank Ketcham-- cartoonist and creator of "Dennis the Menace," Ketcham passed away Thursday at age 81 after a losing battle with cancer and heart disease. Inspired by the exasperation of his first wife over their young son Dennis ("that boy is a menace!"), Ketcham recently celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the strip this past March. Unlike Charles Shultz, who's contract stipulated that "Peanuts" would not be continued by another artist, Ketchams' "Menace" will continue to be drawn by artists Marcus Hamilton and Ronald Ferdinand, who had been drawing the strip, under Ketcham's direction, for several years.
Imogene Coca-- a comedienne who's career spanned decades, Ms. Coca passed away Saturday at age 92 from natural causes. From 1950-54, she and Sid Caesar were the stars of "Your Show of Shows," performing in comedy sketches written by a staff that included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart and Woody Allen. After the show ended, she did numerous guest appearances on television in such shows as "Bewitched," "The Brady Bunch" and "Fantasy Island." Her film work includes roles in "Plaza Suite," "Cabaret" and, the role which endeared her to a new generation of fans, Aunt Edna in "National Lampoon's Vacation."
(I'd also like to add Arlene Francis, panelist for the TV game show "What's My Line" the whole time it was on--from the early '50s to 1975, died last week at the age of 93!---Nolan)

ONE FOR THE ROAD
When it was revealed the day before the election that President Bush had been cited for DWI in 1976, Mr. Bush stated he didn't divulge the incident because he "didn't want to discuss it with my daughters." Too bad. If he had, he may have been spared the embarrassment of having his twin nineteen-year-old daughters cited for underage alcohol possession charges twice in the past month. Last month, daughter Jenna was caught in a Texas bar drinking a beer. She was cited for underage drinking and recently was sentenced to an alcohol diversion program and eight hours community service. Obviously the message didn't take. Last week, both Jenna and her sister Barbara were charged with attempting to purchase alcohol at a local Austin restaurant. According to the report, Jenna ordered a beer for her and her sister and, when asked for identification, produced a false one. The restaurant manager called police and the girls were questioned and released. No word yet if charges will be filed. Looks like that little father/daughter talk might have been necessary.

Well, that's it now. Have a great week!


"Mike's Rant" is ©2001 by Michael A. Smith    "Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2001 by Mike Scott    "Matt's Rail" is ©2001 by Matt Drinnenberg    All contents this page are ©2001 by Nolan B. Canova.

Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of  Nolan B. Canova, ©2001