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PCR Archives 2002
PCR Archives 2001
PCR Archives 2000
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Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2002!

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La Floridiana
Movie Review
The Enlightenment
Mike's Rant
Matt's Rail
(Links listed above indicate "final edition" status.)
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Michael A. Smith's
The Omnipresent M. Smith homepage and Email                    

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Established A.D. 2000, March 19.  Now in our third calendar year!
   Number 103 (Vol. 3, No. 11). This edition is for the week of March 11--17, 2002.

Six months since 9/11.
Sunday's CBS special admirable testament

I'm not sure why everyone wants to keep having anniversaries around the 11th of each month to observe the World Trade Center disaster of 2001. It's an awfully depressing event. Yes, there were heroes, there were victims, we STILL haven't found the son-of-a-bitch who masterminded all this, but the commemorations keep coming. I suppose the constant reminders are a way for people to cope.

French filmmakers Gideon and Jules Naudet walked into history by being at the wrong (right?) place at the wrong (right?) time. They were in New York last September doing a story on FDNY's Engine 7, Ladder 1 Company when the Trade Center was hit. This gave them a unique, if risky, opportunity to chronicle the immediate aftermath fully-armed with TV production gear. The resulting video shot that day was collated into a CBS-Special, hosted by Robert DeNiro, which was broadcast last Sunday night.

I must say, I found it more unnerving than I expected and confess I didn't watch the entire thing. (I can't imagine anyone who actually knew a victim personally could sit through this.) The filmmakers were in the prime locations to see everythng unfold. Much of the footage was familiar, but much of it provided many new up-close angles of the event. I definitely feel the firefighters of New York deserve their hero status. And kudos to CBS for airing this in prime-time. It needed to be shown.

Celebrity Boxing: Paula Jones vs Tonya Harding
This was telecast on FOX TV, Wednesday night, 3-13-02. On the card: Barry Williams vs Danny Bonaduce. Vanilla Ice vs Todd Bridges. Paula Jones vs Tonya Harding. THE RESULTS:  MATCH #1: Danny Bonaduce over Barry Williams, TKO (threw in the towel) in 1 min, 25 seconds into Round 2. MATCH #2: Todd Bridges over Vanilla Ice, aka, Rob "Bi-Polar" Van Winkle--a suprisingly close fight--they lasted all 3 rounds before a TKO was declared and Bridges awarded on points, 30--27. MATCH #3: (..."the one we've allllll been waiting for...lllllet's get ready to rumblllllllle!!") Tonya Harding over Paula Jones---basically Jones surrendered 53 seconds into Round 3. She started to turn her face away from Harding's punches and cowered in a corner. In an almost prophetic way, Mike Smith joked last week that he was surprised Jones wanted to risk her high-ticket nose-job by getting into the ring with Harding.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards
Not much commentary to go with this, but I will say Russell Crowe and Halle Berry are satisfying winners. Mike Smith has a few more comments about this in his current Rant. And the winners are...
MOVIES:
Ensemble cast:
"Gosford Park"
Actor: Russell Crowe, "A Beautiful Mind."
Actress: Halle Berry, "Monster's Ball."
Supporting actor: Ian McKellen, "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."
Supporting actress: Helen Mirren, "Gosford Park."

TELEVISION:
Actor in a TV movie or miniseries:
Ben Kingsley, "Anne Frank."
Actress in a TV movie or miniseries: Judy Davis, "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows."
Actor in a drama series: Martin Sheen, "The West Wing."
Actress in a drama series: Allison Janney, "The West Wing."
Actor in a comedy series: Sean Hayes, "Will & Grace."
Actress in a comedy series: Megan Mullally, "Will & Grace." Ensemble in a drama series: "The West Wing," NBC.
Ensemble in a comedy series: "Sex and the City," HBO.

LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
Ed Asner

The first glimpse of "Attack of the Clones"
Anybody see this on TV or the internet? I'm talking about the the new extended trailer for "Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones" (I saw it on FOX 13's Sunday night newscast---mystifyingly right across from the 9/11 special. Others have seen it on the internet). There's good news and bad news. The good news is if you liked the look of the "Phantom Menace"-CGI-computer-graphics universe, you're going to LOVE this. If you didn't, well, this is going to suck. If you can deal with another kid playing Anakin who just doesn't seem to have the proper weight for it--again, super, otherwise, yikes. There seems to be a running gag about Obi-Wan being afraid to fly...or hating to fly, one of the two. Senator Palpatine definitely gets his loftier ambitions for power here. And I thought some of the effects were quite impressive, but it's hard to shake that constant-perspective-shifting-camera-movement-so you-know-you're-in-a-CGI-universe thing that also bothered PCR colleague Terence Nuzum. Oh well...my lawn chairs are ready for the May 16th release regardless.

Announcements
   I got my notification from The Tampa Bay Community Network (public access) Wednesday. I was awarded a series contract to begin next month! THE WORLD OF NOLAN, my long missing-in-action talk show returns and goes LIVE before the cameras Thursday, April 4th at 6:00pm! The focus of the show, similar to before, will likely be on entertainment, mostly independent filmmakers and fellow webmeisters from Tampa. It will feature interviews, film clips, live phone calls, and maybe even live music(!). It will continue until the end of June.
   Legion Studios interviewed me recently for their website and I am very honored. The resulting dialogue will be posted on their site this weekend sometime. I'll have a link to it ready for you all in next week's PCR. I really enjoyed that experience and hope you all are able to make time to read it. BTW, it is entirely probable Legion will appear on The World of Nolan if I can talk them into it.
   The lost interview of Dr. Paul Bearer by ED Tucker is here as is being formatted for upload! You may remember Jacksonville-based Creature Feature fan ED from last fall when he wrote us about some Bearer-related items, not the least of which was this "lost" interview, conducted at the Necronomicon in 1991. ED's piece, along with a cool "Monster Memories" tome, appear in the Scary Monsters Magazine that's out now or due to be out soon. He has retained copyrights, however, and has sent me copies of the interview for posting! I am extremely excited about this and, of course, very honored. The articles will be uploaded over the weekend and will be ready for perusal next week. I know you all will enjoy reading his writings as much as I did.


La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
The Mystery of Flight 257
...Van Winkle's emotions quickly elevated from fear to stark terror as he contemplated that this object might be a missile launched at his airliner! Fearing impact, Van Winkle quickly put the four-engine piston into a steep climb, and then had to perform an emergency procedure in order to prevent stalling his engines. As he did this, his aircraft went through 1,500 feet in a matter of seconds. The maneuver was successful, as the "missile" never collided with the aircraft, but it was not without incident. Miami air traffic controllers were perplexed... ...................................Click here for more.

Movie ReviewMovie Review
This Week's Movie Review:
"The Time Machine"
Pulled from it's original release date of last November because of the 9/11 tragedy, this much-hyped film finally hits the big screen this week. Wish I could say it was worth the wait. What begins as a well made fantasy piece quickly jumps ahead to an ending that seems tacked on....
Review by Michael A. Smith............Click here for more.

The Enlightenment This week's issue
The Enlightenment by Terence Nuzum
PART EIGHT of TEN on the HISTORY OF THE BLUES. "Blue Yodel: The White Country Blues." The White Country Blues or Bluegrass as its now known derives from so-called "hillbilly" or Mountain music. These were the songs the poor southern whiteman was singing on banjo while the negro slaves were singing their own "hollers". This mountain music was extremely popular in the late 1800s when it was popularized by string bands... ............Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
DANCING BUSH....I'm sure by now most everyone has heard about the incredible amount of forgiveness inundating the offices of the INS who feel it's okay to issue visa extensions to dead people.... RED CROSS BLEEDS IGNORANCE....a college in these United States were planning to hold a fund-raiser and give all the proceeds to the Red Cross..... Unfortunately, the Red Cross is run by Communists Fascist Scum who don't believe in equal rights and a right to religion or the right to believe in God, or the right to sing songs like "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America", which just so happen to mention God.... ............Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
WHAT A COUNTRY!........WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE FIGHTS........SAG AWARDS........BOND 20 WASN'T CATCHY ENOUGH........326,000 THUMBS DOWN........ MOVING ON........STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES ............Click here for more.


Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.
Readers: late last week, my friend Mike "Deadguy" Scott, an occasional contributor to this 'zine, wrote me an email that started out with complaints concerning the new MSN online email system design. Then digressed into the following excerpt--which came out of nowhere--that I'd like to share with you now.---Nolan

When I browse the internet, I always think of a cold, silent place, sort of like outer space where no one can hear you scream.

Browsing the internet in complete silence in the middle of the night reminds me of what it would be like to be in outer space without a radio; simply drifting along to various bits of space debris to read what's etched on them... Some are empty shells, devoid of any updated material, with unfound images. Others are unwatched repositories of files and programs, availible for download, assuming I want to let the computer drift there long enough while I go grab another soda.

Some of the etchings are also amazing chunks of information seemingly lost in time, where you just have to wonder what someone was thinking when they wrote it.

I found a "Missing dog with reward" offered from 5 years ago. It did little to dispell the impression of a cast-adrift chunk of space debris. Makes you wonder about the tenacity/desperation of the searchers when you suddenly notice that the dog's name is the domain name. As if searchers think that all they have to do is throw space debris out there about their missing pet, someone, somewhere in the world-at-large will have found the dog, and would certainly look for information about it online.

Anyone finding the dog would surely ignore the tag on its collar that the site describes. The point of the tag is interesting, it has the dog's name, the owner's name and social security number on it. So...you could get phone service in the owner's name, and possibly even a credit card or two, but you certainly can't locate them.

They'd obviously rush to the computer and go online to see who may have lost a dog ANYWHERE in the world that's similar to the one they just found. Well, hey...that's what I'd do.

But you know what sucks? They'd find the site pretty quickly, though I can't imagine what keywords they'd use in the search engine ("floppy-eared runaway", "flea-ridden mutt missing", "who let the dogs out", etc?). Interestingly enough, the only keywords in the site's meta-tag are the dog's name, names of (apparently) family members, and the words "missing dog". So, to find the site high enough in the search engine listing to actually go visit it, you'd need to use keywords that matches most of the names of the family members first. Useful bit of advertising, that is.

In any event, Lassie's would-be rescuer somehow managed to locate the site. Thank goodness. Unfortunately, this would-be rescuer is the only one, aside from the family, who knows what the dog looks like, because the image is missing on the page. Here's the clincher though...It's not missing from the site; you just can't see it because someone mispelled Lassie's name in the photograph's internet location.. Therefore, the image is on the site, but none of the webpages know how to display it.

As I push off that space debris and float towards the next interesting hunk, several football fields away, I'm still contemplating the fate of the dog with owners that certainly MEANT well, when a sudden noise jerks me from my reverie: "Honey? Come to bed?"

Yeah, yeah. I debate whether or not to put the new site into my favorites, but it dawns on me that the internet is as good as infinite. There are a thousand chunks of debris like that one..

Uh.. but yeah, I hate this friggin' mail system.. heh heh

Gotta' run! LOL
-Mike


Write to: Letters to the Editor   Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan


"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 Time Machine" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith    All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova

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