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

CURRENT STUFF
La Floridiana
Movie Reviews:
   Star Trek: Nemesis
   LOTR: The Two Towers
Deadguy's Dementia
Mike's Rant

(Links listed above indicate "final edition" status.)
CONTRIBUTOR'S
Homepages

Michael A. Smith's
The Omnipresent M. Smith homepage and Email                    

Matt Drinnenberg's
The Masters of Horror

Terence Nuzum's
Viddywell Productions

William Moriaty's
T.R.E.E., Inc.

Established A.D. 2000, March 19.  Now in our third calendar year!
  Number 143  (Vol. 3, No. 51). This edition is for the week of December 16--22, 2002.
Happy Holidays?

 Another year to ponder

 New search feature and Real Server for CF

 Star Trek and Lord of the Rings
 A letter to Art Bell

Due to the crushing schedule of holiday madness, I'm getting an especially late start on the Review this week, so please forgive if I seem to be running slow and late. Some decisions weren't made until the last second, and then I went and decided to write radio talk show host Art Bell a fan letter. Why now? He's retiring at the end of this year due to his deteriortating back condition, and I felt compelled to write him. Now. Right away. Cost me some time, but I'm glad I went ahead with it. More on that in a bit. But I do apologize that the writer's regular columns will be running a little late and, except for the movie reviews, will likely not be ready until Thursday morning this week only.

One reason I put the "?" next to the "Happy Holidays" headline is the confusion and mixed feelings I have over personal problems (yeah, that's not your worry) and whether the economy has recovered fast enough, and people feel good enough, to justifiably celebrate in good humor---or are we just going through the paces. Downer? Maybe.

But, the merchants are celebrating brisker-than-anticipated sales, and web business has exploded. That's terrific news. The bad news is an administration hell-bent on nuclear destruction, and a confusing war-on-terror. But the good news is, just announced, a wide-open space for a Democratic candidate for President of the United States in 2004 (Al Gore announced he is not running). But the bad news is manditory smallpox innoculations for the armed services and possibly civilians due to terrorist threats, etc., etc., yada, yada, yada, blah, blah....OK, who cares? IT'S CHRISTMAS!!

Crazed Fanboy search engine
Thanks to Mike "Deadguy" Scott for this one. Taking advantage of a special plan on the Google™ search website, we are now sporting a Crazed Fanboy "search" feature we've been needing for some time. Still needs a little customization work for inclusion on the homepage here, but it is functional in the Archives section, where it is arguably more useful anyway. It will eventually appear here in modified form, but for now, please visit The PCR Archives 2002 and try it out! Enter any combination of word/s or phrases and see what you get. Deadguy and I even wrote a special "Search Tips" page for extra noodling!

Star Trek and Lord of the Rings
This will likely be a two-movie-review issue of PCR, namely Star Trek: Nemesis and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Due to the publishing schedule of Nolan's Pop Culture Review, our review of Nemesis is coming out the same day as the premiere of Lord of the Rings, thereby stealing a little of the former's thunder. How much thunder is it stealing? Depends who you ask. Mike Smith's review, already posted, is very favorable. My review, not yet posted (as of this edition), less-than-favorable. I'm planning on seeing LOTR tonight (Wednesday). I'll be writing my little arse off over the next 48 hours to catch up on all this, that's for sure!

Final PCR of the year, next week.....
Just a reminder to ALL writers who've contributed to the PCR this year, that next week is the FINAL issue for 2002. Once posted, it will remain up until the grand opening of PCR/Crazed Fanboy 2003, presumably January 1. I need everyone's thoughts and feelings about this year, ASAP.

And then this.....
About the re-design. When I re-designed everything for this year, 2002, it was lock, stock, and barrel the most radical undertaking of my nascent webmastering career. It is likely to remain the most radical. 2003's changes will be more subtle as far as the look and functionality.

What's more exciting is the move into multi-media. Yes, that's right, I'm going hog-wild into video/audio/Flash mania than has seen very little exposure up until this point. To this end, Crazed Fanboy dotcom has secured a Real Server!!! You read that right. Streaming video. Already installed and ready to go. It can also play Windows Streaming Media files. I'm really jazzed about it. There will be video messages from me directly viewable from the homepage, updated weekly (hopefully). Any of the staff ready to "go before the cameras" will be encouraged to do so. Indie filmmakers who have trailers to "air" will have an opportunity to do so on CF. An online store is being configured even now for sale of video/CD/CD-R/DVDs. I just wish I could've had it in place before now to take advantage of Christmas 2002, but hey, couldn't be helped (re: my job situation affecting year-end goals as has been documented exhaustively in these pages).

And, oh yes: FULL-LENGTH PROGRAMS. Yes, NolanTV, all day, all night, as the world has dreaded since the beginning. Similar to my public access shows, but available only online. The video sections will likely demand a paid sponsorship and/or membership. These issues are being explored right now. In any event, despite some short vids that may make it out by January 1, longer programs will likely not be ready until some time after that. As I stated in paragraph one, the end of the year "snuck up" on me, and I'm doing the best I can to get it all done and deal with Christmas!

My email to Art Bell regarding his retirement December 31, 2002

TO: artbell@mindspring.com
SUBJECT: Thanks for the years and the memories
December 18, 2002

Art,
I've never written to you before, and I regret that now. I never had an alien visitation or UFO sighting or any weird or outrageous thing happen to me along those lines. But I have been a loyal listener since the mid-90s. I have written a few Art Bell op-ed pieces on my newsletter/website.

I live in Tampa, Florida and have been following your program since you were on 570 WHNZ, "570 Wins" which emanated from St. Petersburg, I think (or Clearwater). I followed through when they changed you over to 970 WFLA. I also called your people out in Nevada one time when 570 WHNZ made what I thought of as "disparaging remarks" upon your series' termination. Something like "How sick are you of hearing about Area 51?" And "How many stories on alien abduction can you stand?" I thought "How petty. They can't just usher in the new program gracefully without attacking Art to show it is an 'improvement'".

In the week or so it took to break in your show at WFLA, I listened to your replacement over at WHNZ. It was no improvement, believe me (I think the host's name was Stan Major and he was from Miami. It was politics-oriented. I'm sure he is a very nice and talented man, but he wasn't you, and there are already enough political shows.)

I appreciated your kind words about the usually-maligned Tampa area following your trip to the Super Bowl in 2001. The picture of you in front of Raymond James Stadium (or just "Tampa Stadium" to us locals) made the rounds to many Art Bell fans around here. It was super of you to be so supportive. And I'm very glad you had such a good time.

When I did programs for my local public access station, either when I hosted or went behind the scenes, I regarded "Coast-to-Coast AM starring Art Bell" as a template for how a talk show with phone calls should be handled. I felt like I'd "been to school".

You did me a big favor this year (2002), you're probably not even aware of. I wrote up an op-ed piece on my website about the night you had it out with The Amazing Kreskin last June, and banned him from your show. The link showed up on your website (a reader of mine from New Zealand 'fessed up to alerting Keith), which resulted in several thousand hits to my site and several new readers. I sincerely want to thank you and Keith Rowland for that. It came out of the blue, and, believe it or not, I STILL get a few hits on that page to this day! (http://www.crazedfanboy.com/nolansnewsstand02/popculturereview116.html) I wrote several Art Bell things over the years, but NONE got that kind of action.

And now, it's all over. I've ordered the complete set of all the Commemorative Discs including Keith's Wacky Web and Security things. I look forward to archiving your marvelous website forever.

I sincerely hope your back condition improves and that, by some miracle, that wonderfully comforting "voice out of the high desert" once again graces the airwaves, however unlikely that seems now.

For the record: my top ten Art Bell guests/shows, in no particular order: Dr. Lorraine Day, Father Malachi Martin, Robert Lazar, Richard C. Hoagland, Michio Kaku, Mel's Hole (the first couple--later he got sloppy), Stanton T. Friedman, Hoagland versus that guy who said we never went to the moon, Stanton Friedman versus Phillip Klass, The Area 51 ex-employee-only caller line (including that SPECIAL caller).

There are MANY more great shows, but just a few honorable mentions go to the Ghost-Hunters and their electronically-recorded ghost voices. And for a while I found reverse-speech to be among the most highly entertaining shows--pity and shame that David John Oates turned out to be such a traitor. The shows with the real-life 911 calls were always a scream. And I LOVE "Dr. Dino", the Creation Scientist (makes me laugh).

The bottom few are more general: any show with remote viewer Major Ed Dames--I fail to see the appeal of that guy. The Seattle case (Jonathan Reed and his refrigerated alien--complete hoax from the get-go), the Satan-worshipping witch woman ("I eat Christians for breakfast"---oh, please), the whole unfortunate Amazing Kreskin thing. And I don't share the audience's fascination with Anti-Christ lines and Time-Traveler lines, but I gladly tolerated it balanced against your great UFO shows and such.

Memorable moments: when Ramona came to get you out of the studio to see the Aurora Borealis.
That teenage girl who WOULD NOT believe you were Art Bell.
When the computer-hacker guy succeeded in calling your home live on the air and making it ring in the other room; Ramona answered it, but the caller I.D showed an FBI office in California. Ha, ha, made me smile, that was weird.
First hearing your voice back on the air following that first resignation period.
When "Wanna Take a Ride" was first uttered by your announcer, clearly influenced by your fascination with the movie "Contact" (justifiable, I liked it too).
The time a caller flew a small plane into Area 51 (or so he claimed) while talking to you on a cell phone. Then he was "attacked" and disappeared.
The time you were "buzzed" by black helicopters and you thought there were agents outside your house (I forget how long ago that's been and if I'm remembering that correctly).

Most frustrating loose-ends: I never learned if your "time machine" actually works (or maybe I missed that show?).
You had one caller one time, a credible witness who described a close-call nuclear attack-from-a-submarine story, then went on to disclose there was a second MIR satellite in orbit, it was a top secret Soviet gov't thing, but our gov't knew about. The caller was interrupted and the subject of a second MIR was never completed, investigated, or brought up again. The submarine story was riveting, but strangely uncommented on.
Whatever will become of Mel's Hole?
The third secret of Fatima which followed Father Malachi Martin to his grave.

The weirdest: when you went off the air momentarily during the first "Area 51 caller line" show, featuring THAT SPECIAL caller (not the guy in the plane, the guy who felt he was being "triangulated"), arguably the most unearthly Art Bell moment of all time.

I will miss you and I will miss your interaction with webmaster Keith Rowland and your wonderful website. The photographs and MPEG movies have brought me untold hours of fan-related joy over the years. That kind of teamwork is absolutely unique in show business. Between you and Keith especially, but if you count the fans' contributions, it's a three-way communication, non-stop information super-highway of the weird.

I could go on and on, but I've taken up enough of your valuable time.

Thanks for everything, Art Bell. And best of luck in the future.

Sincerely yours,
Nolan B. Canova

http://www.crazedfanboy.com
Nolan's Pop Culture Review



La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
Will and Karen and John and Beth's Tennessee Vacation--Part One: It's an Old Family Tradition. In November 1994, not long after my sister's death, Karen and I spent the first week of a vacation that would become an almost annual event. Once FSU Seminoles football began to wind down, our long time friends John and Beth Blechschmidt would spend a week vacationing at a chalet in the Cobbly Knob resort known as "The Carousel"...... ..........................................Click here for more.

Movie ReviewMovie Review
This Week's Movie Review:
"Star Trek: Nemesis"

Reviews by Mike Smith and Nolan Canova.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Review by Nolan Canova.

Deadguy's Dementia This week's issue
Deadguy's Dementia by Michael Scott
DEATH ON DISPLAY series, PART THREE. Capela Dos Ossos - of Evora, Portugal otherwise known as "The Chapel of Bones". The main square of Evora with its scenic 16th Century fountain has had a very colorful, yet sad history. Among other events was the "auto-fe" ceremonies held by the Jesuit Inquisition as impressive spectacles to place fear into the spectators by torturing and killing heretics..... ..........................................Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
BYE ART --on Art Bell's retirement........MOVIE THINGS --on LOTR and the movie trailers accompanying it........AND IN THE FUTURE --Lucas strikes back..?.... ..........................................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    "La Floridiana" is ©2002 by William Moriaty    "Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2002 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott    This week's movie reviews of  "Star Trek: Nemesis" are ©2002 by Michael A. Smith and Nolan B. Canova for their respective columns    This week's movie review of "The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers" is ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova

Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of  Nolan B. Canova ©2002; all rights reserved.