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PCR Archives 2002
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Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2002!

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Established A.D. 2000, March 19.  Now in our third calendar year!
   Number 102 (Vol. 3, No. 10). This edition is for the week of March 4--10, 2002.

"Shadow government" confirmed
Conspiracy theorists now have more grist for their mill

The alarming news coming out of Washington over last weekend is that president George W. Bush is on record as having established a "Shadow Government"---one which would be able to fully function after a terrorist attack directly on Washington DC. That's the headline. But is that really what it's for? What's really going on?

"Stand-by" (not "shadow") governments are hardly a new idea. The atomic age ushered in literally thousands of bomb shelters and secret bunkers all over the United States. I thought it was common knowledge that the US government had various secret underground stations in several locations in the US for just the purpose stated above: to be able to continue to run the government and retaliate effectively in case the environment above-ground became too contaminated by, say, radioactive fallout.

The current situation, however, carries with it a more ominous tone. The "shadow government" trumpeted by various conspiracy theorists over the years is one which has secretly always been in control, regardless of whether we were at war or not. Considering the world's tension right now, it is almost too easy for the population to surrender its liberties for a presumed "greater security". If everyone is OK with having a shadow government, the current administration would be tempted to further any other formerly secret agendas, because, hey, they're all above board now.

Congress's response to this news was surprisingly sedate, more a case of "I wish we'd have been told". Then, you know what they announced? They wanted to have a shadow Congress as well!!

This is getting out of hand. I myself have always been a little skeptical of the pervasiveness of secret governments, but now I'm starting to wonder; could this be an adjunct to the "Illuminati" that George Bush Sr. was (is?) rumored to be a part of? If so, we're in much deeper trouble than we thought. And not necessarily from any terrorists.

The Amy Fisher/Paula Jones vs Tonya Harding catfight on FOX
Disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding and "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher were announced as squaring off in a celebrity boxing match to be taped next week to air March 13 on Fox. It is entitled, appropriately enough, "Celebrity Boxing." But, I heard Jay Leno comment during his stand-up monologue Monday night that Amy Fisher had withdrawn from the competition and Paula Jones is stepping in to take on Harding, so there may have been a change of plans, but I haven't gotten that confirmed yet. (UPDATE: 3-8-02. Mike Smith clarifies the Fisher situation in his current Rant.)
Fox officials confirmed Wednesday that both Darva Conger and Paula Jones have also expressed interest in participating in a possible future edition of "Celebrity Boxing", while the network also has plans to approach Joey Buttafuoco.
Besides Fisher and Harding, Danny Bonaduce (Danny Partridge) and Barry Williams (Greg Brady) will fill the first card. A third card is planned involving "people from the music world", a source said.
Fox is apparently looking for a new reality project that could be turned into a franchise to fend off a newly resurgent NBC. Fox executives expect the match to draw a 14 percent to 15 percent share of audience, thus ensuring that not only contestants but also millions of viewers will head to the showers when it's all over.
Evidentally Fox has not learned the lesson it should have from "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" and the irony continues with the possible inclusion of Darva Conger in this new freak show. Dick Clark will produce the special, and he's quite excited, but, really, anyone remember when Dick Clark used to produce nice safe rock 'n' roll specials, usually with a "remember him/her?" theme. Well, what he--as well as the Fox execs--sees here is a really big fast buck (wotta shock) since last year's "Millionaire" was a tremendous draw despite its exploitative pandering.
In balance, an undisclosed source said earlier that Fox is more worried about distancing itself from schlockumentaries like "When Good Animals Go Bad" and its ilk. Wrong target.



ERRATA. In last week's "La Floridiana", due to a time-budgeting snafu by yours truly, the graphics that were meant to go along with Will Moriaty's movie reviews did not get uploaded until very late Thursday night, so many readers may not have even seen them. Then, to aggravate the situation, I had mis-captioned one photo of Tampa actor Gus Perez as being from "The Raging Bells", when in fact it was from the film "Fall of an Actor". This has since been corrected, but likely after everyone had already read it or printed it out. It is in its final form now, however, and deserves a second look for those who may have missed it. I regret the error and any inconvenience this caused. La Floridiana: Locally-Produced Movies.


Floridaby William Moriaty

Tampa Architect "Bo" MacEwen Dead at 90
Noted Tampa architect Harry "Bo" MacEwen died on the last week of February 2002 at the age of 90. The cause of his death was not disclosed.

MacEwen designed several Tampa landmarks including the Exchange Bank building (for those of us who remember the Tampa of the sixties and the seventies, this building was readily seen in downtown, especially from I-4 (now I-275) due to the large "X" on its side which was illuminated in blue some years and orange others), the Jim Walter Industries buildings on Dale Mabry at former I-4, current I-275, ad the Northern trust building downtown.

MacEwen also designed homes, often using Frank Lloyd Wright prarie styles embellished with spiral staircases going from outdoors to indoors. A good example of his can be found at the northeast corner of S. MacDill Ave. and Hawthorne Street. I had the privelege to live in a house that he designed an addition onto during the sixties that was located in south Tampa at 3016 Villa Rosa Park. Sadly, this structure was removed in 1986 to make way for two zero lot line houses.

MacEwen was born in Georgia, graduated from Auburn University, and moved to Tampa in 1959. His outstanding works will remain a wonderful legacy for this man's creative genius hopefully for decades to come.

Former Florida Governor Ferris Bryant Dead
Former Florida Governor Ferris Bryant, who governed the state from 1961 to 1965 died on March 1, 2002. Bryant hit his head at home and later died of a stroke. He is best remembered for expanding highways and higher education including establishment of the Board of Regents (which political thug Jeb (!) Bush dismantled last year in order to have big business run the education system of the state's colleges).

Although elected on a conservative segregation platform, Bryant's administration witnessed desegration of Florida schools and integration of public accomodations, as well as rapid post World War 2 growth which has never stopped since. He would be succeeded by Claude Kirk, Florida's first Republican Governor since Reconstruction, in 1966.

Man It's Cold!
The "Sunshine State" broke records on Thursday February 28th as the mercury dipped down as low as 14 in Marianna, 18 in Tallahassee, and 31 in Tampa. I have repeatedly commented to people that only the extreme southern part of the state is sub tropical-- the evidence is in the vegetation which is largely warm temperate throughout the panhandle and along 90 percent of the peninsula. Nevertheless this late season cold surge fortunately did little damage to the citrus and strawberry industry.


La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
Flordia Trivia
Compiled by Ernie and Jill Couch, 1994, 191 pp., Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville Tennessee.  Just how well do you really know the "Sunshine State"? Help is on the way in the form of "Florida Trivia" compiled by Ernie and Jill Couch! Originally published in 1986, and revised in 1994, this gem of a book covers almost everything you ever wanted to know about Florida. ...................................Click here for more.

Movie ReviewMovie Review
This Week's Movie Review:
"The Count of Monte Cristo"
Another decade, another remake. The Count of Monte Cristo was remade and re-released this year to the eager literate public. Would this company get it right? Would they be the first to accurately reproduce this popular classic by Alexandre Dumas?.......MAYBE. Forget what you've read in the paper. This is at least close. Somewhat. MAYBE.
Review by Lauré Piper............Click here for more.

The Enlightenment This week's issue
The Enlightenment by Terence Nuzum
PART SEVEN on the HISTORY OF THE BLUES. "Do that Rag: The East Coast Piedmont Blues." The East Coast Piedmont or the Southeast covers the states of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and the Carolinas. The blues of the Piedmont had a very different and particular style that was easily recognizable. It could not be mistaken as coming from the Delta or Texas. ............Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
As alluded to by our creator and editor, Nolan, our nation now has the dubious distinction of having two completely separate governmental bodies! That which we always knew of (where not much happens other than mud-slinging and lies) and that of which we've just been made privy to, living underground and, hopefully, mirroring what's going on in real life... ............Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES........THE GRAMMYS........HAPPY BIRTHDAY/SAD ANNIVERSARY........ TONYA! TONYA! TONYA!........PASSING ON........SAM, I AM........DEFINITE SIGN THE APOCALYPSE IS UPON US........ MUST SEE T.V.............Click here for more.



"Mike's Rant" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2002 by Matt Drinnenberg    "La Floridiana" is ©2002 by William Moriaty    "The Enlightenment" is ©2002 by Terence Nuzum    This week's movie review of "The Count of Monte Cristo" is ©2002 by Lauré Piper    All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova

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