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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
The Enlightenment
Wake Up/Comics
Matt's Rail
Mike's Rant
(Links listed above indicate "final edition" status.)
CONTRIBUTOR'S
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Michael A. Smith's
The Omnipresent M. Smith homepage and Email                    

Matt Drinnenberg's
The Masters of Horror

Terence Nuzum's
Viddywell Productions

Drew Reiber's Email

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

Established A.D. 2000, March 19.  Now in our third calendar year!
   Number 97 (Vol. 3, No. 5). This edition is for the week of January 28--February 3, 2002.
State of the Union Address
Sept. 11, predictably, still looms large

As I write these words, Tuesday night of January 29th, the President of the United States, George W. Bush, has just finished giving his first full state of the union address to Congress. It ran just under an hour and was peppered by applause about 75 times(!), by one estimate. Somewhat predictably, the events of September 11th were referenced often, but I did not expect that it would take up 80% of his speech.

So many times I tend to drift off during these things, because it always seems to descend into a "rah-rah" politician's pep rally, full of back-patting and obvious calls for reform. This was different. While it definitely had the pep rally's spirit of unity, and the expected (and well-deserved) congratulations for America's recovery from foreign attack, it also had much darker tones.

I kept hearing about "weapons of mass destruction". At least a dozen times, probably more. I was preparing a late supper, and like I said, I was only kind of half-listening to the opening remarks which are usually obvious. But I actually stepped from behind the stove to see what the hell all the "weapons of mass destruction" talk was about. He's talking like we're still at war. Well, OK, we ARE still at war, sorta--but I thought the Al Quaida was vanquished wasn't it? Afghanistan has a new, legitimate government. We're still looking for Bin Laden, but that's not the same as "being at war". (The "War on Terrorism", while not untrue, is a media/politico title, there is no country named "Terror". And I cannot be made to believe Bin Laden is in a cave somewhere plotting more destruction...likely he's on the brink of death from constant running). Well, moments later there was a clarification (for me, anyway) from Bush that he was referring to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea when he spoke about all the countries that have weapons of mass destruction and how we must continue to beef up security at home and how we must dramatically increase domestic spending on the military. (I seem to remember China also figures into this somehow). Ah....that's where we're going with this. The events of Sept.11 are as fresh in my mind like everyone else's, but I get the distressing feeling there's some kind of terrorist cascading effect happening in all countries that ever hated us. There may even be more awful news we haven't been told yet, or, this is a convenient way to get bigger money into the right pockets. Or worse, edging us toward a police state. Or worse yet, all of the above.

It wasn't all like that. Some highlights are: "I'm so happy with the performance of this Congress I actually have some nice things to say about my friend Ted Kennedy." And, "America's motto used to be 'Do it if it feels good', but now it's 'Let's roll'" (referencing the brave men who basically mugged the muggers and brought down the airplane likely headed for the Capitol Building). A call for better, higher-paid teachers. Improved police force. You know, stuff like that. About the tax refunds from last year, he said some thought his tax reform was too much and some thought it was too little--"but when Americans started getting those checks in the mail, they thought it was just about right" (yeah, he bought me off wth that, too....sorry). A call for eliminating the gift tax. Something about the farmers, but I didn't quite catch it. A very enthusiastic part about stimulating the economy by passing a "stimulus package" (we sold them at the newsstand--yuk yuk). About the unemployment rate and job security, he called for ways to encourage or force employers to be more responsible with pensions and such so employees don't lose everything if and when the company fails. (Been there, but I think this was a jab at Enron). All of this took up only a few minutes before going back to military talk. (In fact, even the non-military talk was laced with military euphemisms, "We must defeat this recession..." and the like.)

Don't get me wrong. It was a strong speech with noble goals and lofty ideals like a State of the Union should be. And I've definitely warmed up to George Dubya, he's OK. But I'm starting to wonder when the "war" will be over.

Satan banned in Inglis, Fla.
ANOTHER wacky Florida case. I first heard this on the radio, then twice caught the tail end on TV. Then Will Moriaty was good enough to forward me the main facts about it. The following quote was intended to go into the current "La Floridiana" as an update, but I moved it up here:
"The Devil Made Me Do it
   Last week, the town of Inglis, a small community of 1,400 on the Gulf coast just north of Crystal River in Levy County, passed an ordinance banning the Devil from entering their town! In true fashion the ACLU swooped upon the matter crying their usual separation of church and state mantra. Florida just gets weirder every day!"
   Indeed it does Will. Even with me being an atheist, the first thing I thought of was "I wonder how many dead exorcists wished it had been that easy to get rid of the devil---merely pass an ordinance!" The ACLU is just being the ACLU, and I support them, normally. They're probably wondering why a public official, namely Mayor Carolyn Risher, 61, got her panties in a bunge all the sudden to endorse the Christian idea of the devil (the ACLU's point, no doubt) by putting this document on the public record of her town, which may have other religions besides Christianity in it. Well, the real story isn't quite so dire...
   I found a St. Pete Times article on the 'net that was illuminating. Turns out the "ordinance" was more of a handwritten "proclamation" the mayor scrawled out last Halloween, then recently stuck it in fenceposts at four entrances to the town of Inglis.
   With all due respect to the ACLU, yes, if she had a nightmare before Christmas, she should've consulted her priest or minister before possibly making a fool of herself. But, really, even I can't see the harm in her proclamation---except, possibly at re-election time.
   To read the St. Pete Times story, which includes the full "Satan" proclamation, click here.

Bill Parcells radio rumor
Another quick radio thing from over the weekend was ABC News Radio's announcement that Bill "Tuna" Parcells had indeed accepted the Glazer's offer to coach the Bucs. The news caused unbridled hysteria among the ranks of Bucs fans everywhere only to again be quashed when Parcells agent--Jimmy Sexton I think was his name--came out and said it was only a rumor and Parcells is out of coaching and retired for good. No one knows where ABC got the rumor.

More evidence that the nation is losing its sanity    by William Moriaty
Jeb Bush's daughter arrested today (1-29-02) for trying to fraudulently obtain a prescription drug... so much for family values. (She tried to call the pharmacy passing herself off as a doctor. When the pharmacy checked the Dr.'s ID, it turned up, "retired from practice for several years".---Nolan)

At the order of Attorney General John Ashcroft, 20' tall bronze statues in the Hall of Justice had their (female) breasts covered with drapes to hide said breasts at a tax payer cost of $8,000.00. Am I wrong, or are our values getting out of control here? They're statues for cryin' out loud and they're part of our heritage! How dare you act as repressive as a Taliban member on this! Those aren't pornographic, but maybe you are!

After having been in public view since September 12th, a New York teachers union want the "God Bless You" message removed from the campus of Rockaway High School in Queens on the old separation of church and state dogma. Rockaway is where an American Airlines A-300 crashed last November, and where close to 300 fireman were from that were killed in the WTC attacks.

Why replace three white flag bearers depicted in the photo at the WTC with a bronze replica of one Hispanic, one black, and one white? Simple-- because it never happened! When you rewrite and revise history for your own political or religious reasons, reality dosn't seem to matter, therefore, it never happened!

So much for lessons learned after September 11th.

Announcements
It recently came to my attention that this page's navbar link for Terence Nuzum's Viddywell productions was broken since the first of the year. It has since been corrected. (The link on his "Enlightenment" page, however, has always been correct.) I apologize for any inconvenience this caused, especially to Terence. Always email me immediately if you get error messages anywhere on this site. Thank you.---Nolan


La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
Take the time to visit my Florida, a Florida not limited to the big theme-park attractions or the beaches, but a Florida of both fantasy and reality, a Florida found in its parks, nature preserves, art museums, restaurants, small towns, big towns, and its countryside. First, let's look at the back roads in the Bay area that can be done in a day's time. ............Click here for more.

The Enlightenment This week's issue
The Enlightenment by Terence Nuzum
"DOWN THE DIRT ROAD":
BLUES IN TEXAS & THE DEEP SOUTH. Second in a multi-part Enlightenment covering the history of the blues!
TEXAS, TENNESEE, ALABAMA, MISSOURI AND OF COURSE, MISSISSIPPI. Missippi,the crowning capitol of the blues. In the 1930's and since the end of the slave trade, a place of despair and depression. Draughts and floods. Home of the blues. It was here in 1903 that W.C. Handy first heard the blues. ......Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
In an unprecedented show of kindness, Tony Dungy (new head coach of the Colts) has asked and been granted permission to talk to the entire Offensive Staff of the Bucco's!.... Rhino Video has announced plans to release the entire Monkee TV Library on DVD........Sam Raimi has repackaged for DVD the original EVIL DEAD film ........ MIKE IS THE BOMB!!........Super Bowl Predictions! ........Click here for more.

Wake Up and Smell the Comics This week's issue
Wake Up and Smell the Comics #14 by Drew Reiber
January is finally ending, making this the perfect opportunity to mention all the highlights that hit shelves over the last 31 days. Marvel was the standout this time around, launching a whole bunch of new creative teams and story arcs while trying to make their books more accessible for the rest of 2002. Below is a summary of the better attempts Iíve seen and should be available at your local retail shops. ......Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
MERRILL CAN YOU HEAR ME?........HEAR, HEAR WILL!........LOST TO A DEAD GUY........ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL........ THE BARBARIAN RETURNS?........NO, MR. POWERS, I EXPECT YOU TO DIE!........HEY, SATAN, QUIT PULLING ON MY BRAIDS........ MAY I POWDER MY NOSE?........AND THE NOMINEES ARE ........Click here for more.


Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.
Nolan,
First off, thanks for mentioning LEGION STUDIOS in your announcements (Re: Last issue---N). It's wonderful to be noticed, particularly in a site as amazing as your own. Now that I'm getting caught up in your archives, understanding the different voices that you house, I can say that PCR is truly a great read. It's consistent, informative, and wonderfully charismatic. I check in on PCR everyday. With all that said, the site earned my respect last week by mentioning the passing of John Buscema He was one of the true greats, up there with Jack Kirby (also missed) and Steve Ditko. I can remember copying his drawing style as a child, especially from his book, HOW TO DRAW COMICS THE MARVEL WAY. Mr. Buscema was a true inspiration and he will be missed.

Sincerely,
Christian A. Dumais

Indeed he will, Christian. I think all of us here have that same book!  (One of my early aspirations was to be a comic book artist). Thank you very much for the compliments and the continued support of the PCR, it means a lot, especially in light of what Legion's doing. It's letters like yours that make it all seem worthwhile.---Nolan


Nolan,
Here are my Top Ten TV shows: (Re: the Top 10 TV series of all time challenge, PCR #95 and PCR #96.---N)

1. Bonanza. (Pa, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe...all had a knack for choosing wives/girlfriends that die within months of meeting them)
2. The Monkees. (as soon as school was out I'd run home and watch the Monkees and then play their albums)
3. Tomorrow with Tom Snyder. (understated, yet informative)
4. The Mike Douglas Show. (kicked Merv's pansy ass)
5. The Andy Griffith Show. (lessons for a lifetime)
6. Death Valley Days. (I liked the style of narration)
7. Fireball XL-5. (cool little scooter things)
8. Laredo. (with Neville Brand, late night, cowboy rough 'n tumble)
9. C.P.O. Sharkey. (Don Rickles as a Navy N.C.O. very funny)
10. Family Affair. (Damn, that Cissy chick was a fox!)

Steve Beasley

Very different kind of list, Steve! I always underestimate Cissy's sexual impact. And I dare say yours is the only list with Don Rickles. I should've mentioned Tom Snyder in my honorable mentions, tho. Consider it updated!---Nolan


The following two emails arrived within 24 hrs. of each other...
Nolan,
I'm excluding "ALL IN THE FAMILY" from this list, since I am prejudiced about the subject. IRONY (Archie and I are prejudiced!!) LET'S BOOGIE!!! MY WORST WILL APPEAR IN PARENTHESIS NEXT TO THE BEST!!

10. Quantum Leap (A. Team)
9. Outer Limits (Anything by Syd & Marty Kroft)
8. Hill Street Blues (Exception here: I rank Law And Order with this show.)
7. Gilligan's Island (I Married Joan.)
6. Mr. Magoo. (I don't even know if that's a television show, I just like Jim Backus' under the breath swearing.) (SCOOBY DOO!!!! THE WORST!!!!)
5. TIE: BEWITCHED, I DREAM OF JEANNIE. Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur is my favorite. Larry Hagman is the BEST!! (Three's Company)
4. Of course, you knew it had to come up!!! MR. WORF!!! MEET ME IN MY READY ROOM, AND BE READY!
3. MST 3K
2. M*A*S*H (No explanation required.)
1. MY NUMBER ONE ALL TIME FAVORITE SHOW ARE YOU READY?????????????????? EVA AND EDDIE--- GREEN ACRES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOTS O' LUV
FARM LIVIN' IS THE LIFE FOR ME

Dave Thielen


Let's try this again. This time I'm sober.

10. Scrambled PLAYBOY CHANNEL
9. CHUCK ROAST
8. SNOW
(It's hard to find snow anymore due to cable. Usually, it's a scrambled picture on the screen.)
7. Preview Guide
6. Antiques Roadshow
5. 700 Club
(This is a tie with ERNEST ANGLEY) Please note: Only one letter separates Angley from Angel
4. COOKING LIVE! WITH EMERIL LAGASSE
3. MTV'S CRIBS
2. OUTDOORS WITH BILL DANCE
1. THE COLORED BARS TEST PATTERN.
I really miss that test pattern. It makes as much sense as most of the garbage on television today.

'Till next time,
I'm a common sewer
Dave

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was my incredibly bizarre friend, the perpetually toasted David Thielen. Let's have a big round of applause. (Now, quickly, somebody get the straightjacket!!)---Nolan


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    "Wake Up and Smell the Comics"is ©2002 by Drew Reiber    Thanks again to fellow webmeister and writer Christian A. Dumais, mountain-boy Steve Beasley, and chronic alcoholic Dave Thielen for writing in.    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.