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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
Digital Divide
Deadguy's Dementia
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Movie Review
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Established A.D. 2000, March 19.  Now in our third calendar year!
   Number 121 (Vol. 3, No. 29). This edition is for the week of July 15--21, 2002.
Cryonics issue thaws somewhat
American Idol (and its ilk)
John Walker Lindh
Eight-Legged Freaks

Ted Williams' body's fate still undecided
This thing with Ted Williams dead body is just so gruesome I almost decided I wasn't going to write about it. I'm only doing so now, because I left it "hanging" in last week's PCR that there would be a decision this past Monday (there wasn't) on the final disposition of the remains of the one-time baseball great.

I'll spare you all the recap, it's been written to death in other media, but briefly stated, Ted's original wishes, expressed in his Will, states that he wanted to be cremated and his ashes spread over one of his favorite areas. The twist comes with his long-time friend and now estate executor, Albert Cassidy, got together with Williams' son John Henry and insisted that somewhere near the end, Ted changed his mind and decided he wanted to be cryonically frozen. To this end, they wisked the body off to Alcor (where they do this kind of thing) and put him on ice. The remainder of his family is outraged and are demending the original wishes be carried out. There is talk that this is all about money and peddling DNA.

The problem is, as of this writing, there is no proof that Ted made any such wish. What is in writing is the Will. Now the assertion comes that there is nothing really legally binding (i.e., no punishment) if a Will's decree isn't carried out.

Is it me or does it seem in the last few years last Will and Testaments don't seem to be the final word about anything anymore? What's that other types of document, supposedly of equal weight, where you say something like, "don't keep me alive as a vegetable." I remember those things going to court all the time. The problem is, if they're not truly, legally binding, what the heck do we have to do that is?

Amercian Idol, 30 seconds to Fame, etc...
No, I'm not in the fan club and I don't even know the names of the players. I've watched just enough of FOX TV's "American Idol" to deeply disturb me, and now "30 Seconds to Fame" is on its heels. Basically, during this summer, "American Idol" takes a bunch of contestants and auditions them one by one in front of 3 merciless judges (this irritating white guy with an English accent, some black guy, and Paula Abdul). One by one they are pared down until there is just one winner who, presumably, will go on to great fame and fortune as a recognized "star".

I realize this sort of thing has a loooong pedigree, tracing back to "Ted Mack's Amateur Hour" in the '50s. The idea that somehow fame and fortune could be "won" in a contest where someone or group agrees that you have talent. Well, it is a contest, a game, that's all. Ted Mack, his successor in the 60s (can't remember who) and his recent successor, Ed McMahon, at least let the losers part with some dignity. Later, "The Gong Show", with a similar theme, began to turn it into a freak show. I guess this type of thing is magnetic to TV viewers who like to see others suffer---or be publically embarrassed. And there's plenty of that.

Now we get "30 Seconds to Fame". I'm not even sure at this writing what the angle is except that the contestants have thirty seconds to impress a studio audience. The commercials have a carnival parade-with-a machine-gun-tempo feel, trotting out every loose cannon and nut case that somehow missed out on the earlier "America's Funniest Videos/People". This could actually be entertaining, and, weirdly enough, I have higher hopes for being able to watch it without cringing. Maybe. But I will feel guilty.

To anybody who thinks I've forgotten, no, I remember that many of today's pop stars appeared on earlier "amateur hours". The problem is they usually were the losers! Which goes to show it takes more than winning or losing a contest to win the right kind of long-lasting fame in America.

American Taliban pleads guilty
John Walker Lindh, the 21-year-old Californian who fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan, pleaded guilty Monday to two felony charges in a surprise deal with prosecutors and agreed to serve 20 years. This replaces what would surely have been a life sentence had he gone to trial and been convicted on the original 10 counts of terrorism/traitorism against the United States.

One of the weirdest things about this already weird case is Lindh's family unabashedly propogates the notion that he is a misunderstood loyal American! His father says John "loves America" and "President Bush would be proud to have him as his son". I assume he means the President Bush who lives in the White House who had to approve the prosecutor's deal! I think I'm safe in saying that President Bush would beg to differ on the latter point.

Eight-Legged Freaks
I usually don't promote movies in the PCR Headline section unless there's a personal reason involved. Well, there is. One of my oldest and best friends, Corey Castellano, was a key Special Make-Up effects person on the crew of this newly released, sci-fi/monster movie. "Eight-Legged Freaks" is a giant spider invasion-type, fun summer flick. Early reports are very positive. I hope to see the film this weekend.

Due to a film company management snafu, however, Corey's screen credit does not appear, only his boss's, Bill Johnson (same team as on "The Patriot" where all of their credits appeared together). Further, the chief of regular make-up's name also does not appear, but an assistant's does! Maybe, by the time the DVD comes out, all proper names will be restored.

Announcements
PCR regular columnist Drew Reiber has announced that last week's installment of "Wake Up and Smell The Comics" is likely the last in the series. He will, however, continue on with us at irregular intervals with his newest creation "The Unapologetic DVD Enthusiast". Drew is leaving for college this August and this, along with other recent personal life changes, has prompted this move. Of course, all of us here at PCR wish Drew the sincerest best of luck in all his current endeavors.


La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
Hurricanes---Florida weather at its worst.
What could be more Florida-like than a palm or an alligator? Why, a hurricane of course! From Key West to Pensacola and all points in between, these incredible tropical storms contain the destructive energy of several hundred nuclear warheads.... ........................Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
AIRPORT EXODUS. Airport delays are now commonplace in the reality of the traveler. For this reason I chose to bypass the insanity of the major airport (Boston-Logan) for the calming, laid back small town feel of one in Providence, RI. This is usually a clever move. Usually.... THE BIG APPLE. New York was a very melancholy feeling......Nothing, of course, can compare to ground zero...... ...............................................Click here for more.

The Digital Divide This week's issue
Music News and CD Review by Terence Nuzum:
CD reviews of the latest by Guided By Voices and Red Hot Chili Peppers! ...........................................Click here for more.

Deadguy's Dementia This week's issue
Deadguy's Dementia by Michael Scott
Announcement: Yeti, the "Black Metal" band (a sub-genre of "Death Metal") that Eric Avant (of the public access show "The Front", indy filmmaker, and twice guest on "The World of Nolan") is in, is now scheduled to play at DragonCon 2002, Atlanta, GA. The tentative schedule puts them onstage on Thursday, August 30th, at 10PM... ..................Click here for more.

Movie ReviewMovie Review
This Week's Movie Review:
"EIGHT-LEGGED FREAKS"
Review by Michael A. Smith
Let me start by saying that I HATE SPIDERS! Following a traumatizing spider event when I was a child, I have always been terrified by them. In this movie, the residents of Prosperity, Arizona finds itself overrun with giant, mutated spiders........
Plus, add'l commentary by Nolan B. Canova................................Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith THIS WEEK'S ISSUE (re: PCR topics)........WHO'S BAD? YOU ARE! (Michael Jackson's recent debacle)........A CANNIBAL----MOI? (Miss Piggy and Denny's) ........THAT JUST SUCKS (The TV Guide Worst TV Shows)........ ...........................................Click here for more.


Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  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    "Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2002 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott    This issue's "Digital Divide" is ©2002 by Terence Nuzum    The movie review of "Eight-Legged Freaks" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith       All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova

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