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LA FLORIDIANA
Book Review: “Seasons of Real Florida” by Jeff Klinkenberg
 by William Moriaty

THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
"Mr. 3000"
 by Mike Smith

COUCH POTATO
Fanzine Memoirs, Part 3....Advent #2 Memoirs by William Moriaty
 by Vinnie Blesi

ODDSERVATIONS
How Pop Culture Drives Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films
 by Andy Lalino

SPLASH PAGE
It Begins In The Fifth Grade?....Andy Is Right....Coming Soon To A Message Board Near You
 by Brandon Jones

MATT'S RAIL
I'd "Rather" Not....Rodney, You Have My Respect....Top Ten Challenge
 by Matt Drinnenberg

MIKE'S RANT
Gabba Gabba Hey....Get Well....Thanks, Hugo....What The....Passing On....Meet The Beatles, Part 35
 by Mike Smith

LETTERS
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2004!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fifth calendar year!
    Number 235  (Vol. 5, No. 39). This edition is for the week of September 20--26, 2004.
HURRICANE UPDATE (Monday, September 27, 2004.) I'm back online and I'm OK. Luckily, I never lost power, but did experience more damage as far as yard debris. Nothing critical. More in this week's PCR update (Wed., Sept. 29). ---Nolan
EMERGENCY HURRICANE ALERT....AGAIN. As I write these words, 6:30am Sunday morning September 26, Tampa is only hours away from a direct or near-direct hit from Hurricane Jeanne, a (by then) Category 1 hurricane. Massive flooding and wide-spread power losses are expected for the entire Tampa Bay region. I do not know when I will be able to get back online. Please know it will be as soon as humanly possible. ---Nolan

  News to the right of us
  News to the left of us
  Is the truth somewhere in the middle?
•   Dan Rather Apologizes for Memos
Plus...
•   Tedd Webb's On-Air Reaction to Crazed Fanboy
•   Fall Has Fell
•   F-Bod Studios selling Hurricane Relief products
•   Announcing Nolan Radio (audio-only TWON episodes)
•   Another Ramone is Lost
•   Hugo Morley's "Slice of Life"
•   At long last: THE KANLON KRONICLES!!

One of the more frequent arguments rotating on the Crazed Fanboy message board lately is how one hears the news and if it's to the left or right of center. Great topic and fits in with my whole perception of popular culture: that what we experience through the media has a demonstrable effect on just about everybody. If you tell me you're immune to that, you're either lying or naive.

How one perceives news sources, however, is more to the heart of the original subject than how one perceives the news reports themselves.

When one hears about a hurricane approaching Florida (especially this year) the reactions are anything from stoicism to complete panic. But no one really questions the weather men because they're always right about the storms; just maybe not about their destinations. No matter, we put a lot of faith in the weather service and with good reason.

Less certain are reports regarding politics and politicians. Although every news reporting agency will go on record trumpeting their unbiased-ness, in truth, that ideal is nearly impossible to find. In this flat-out blood-bath of an election year, everyone is especially sensitive to how their candidates are portrayed and how the issues themselves are portrayed.

The way I hear it, basically CBS News represents the far left, while FOX News represents the far right in the popular consciousness. True story: customer comes into 7-Eleven and hears me commenting on this topic. He says, "No, actually FOX is quite balanced, it just seems they lean far right because all the others lean so far left." Guess it's all a matter of perspective (the customer is a Republican).

The matter at hand has to do with a report on CBS's 60 Minutes regarding a particular set of memos that said a particular sitting president's military record was, shall we say, airbrushed a little owing to family connections and preferential treatment. Although initially defended vigorously by the staff of the news organization, evidence has come to light that the documents in question are, most likely, forgeries, and CBS's source (retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett) discredited. Examinations by several experts have concluded they were forgeries, a fact that begs the question "who were the original experts that verified them for CBS?" Apparently, Burkett simply made a compelling case for the "Killian Documents" (i.,e., the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, 1st Lt. George W. Bush's squadron commander who purportedly wrote the memos) all by himself.

To avoid delaying the inevitable, CBS did the honorable thing and apologized, followed by an astounding personal apology by chief anchorman Dan Rather. Excellent move, as delays would've damaged their already shaky credibility on the issue. (The addition of words to the effect of "....and continue to bring you unbiased reporting" illicited a chuckle even from me.)

The question is: were the "left-leaning" CBS brass so anxious to indict President Bush via his Nat'l Guard service (or lack thereof), that steps that should've been taken to verify the information in the documents were overlooked or even ignored? And further, how will the public react if 60 Minutes finds more damaging evidence...real or or not? Will that finally brand CBS as officially "anti-Bush"? Horrors!

In my opinion, 60 Minutes' long and illustrious tenure on Sunday Night television can take this little setback and move on. But a word to the wise might suggest they keep a staff Repug on board to, you know, help with reality checks when anti-Bush stories start to flower.

GOD BLESS TEDD WEBB.
I've now heard from three different sources who heard a broadcast on Tampa Bay's 970 WFLA Monday night where radio legend Tedd Webb, subbing for regular host Schnitt, mentioned my name and Crazed Fanboy's in the most enthusiastic terms while responding to a caller (our own Brandon Jones, in fact). It's hard to express how much Tedd's genuine reaction and subsequent recommendation means to me on a personal level, to say nothing of the favor of introducing us to thousands of potential new visitors.
Teddy absolutely rocks. He is forever a friend of CF and, if I may, a Florida Folk Hero. Thank you, Tedd.---Nolan
F-Bod announces Hurricane Relief products
From F-Bod's Lisa Clardy:
"After the multiple hits Florida has received, with another one possibly on the way, I started thinking about what I could do to help. It's not much, but I came up with a design that I hope will convey that while we might be a bit on the battered side, we're far from beaten. I'm offering it on my website, and I'll be donating my portion of the proceeds to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund. Here's the link--http://www.cafepress.com/fbod/379195." (And thank you, Lisa, very thoughtful! OK, everybody, check out the site and help Lisa with her efforts. We need all the help we can get in Florida right now.---Nolan)

Fall Has Fell
As you read these words, we have entered the Fall season here in these great United States. Crazed Fanboy wishes to welcome Fall to the area and hopes it will be kinder and gentler to us than this last summer was!

Nolan Radio
The World of Nolan, audio-only version is here!! I'm still working out a few technical problems, and yes it needs music, but you'll get the idea. There should be a little sample up in the corner next to the TV set on this page if you have Windows Media Player installed on your computer. Check it out! It should play equally well on dial-up or broadband (after an initial few seconds pre-load time, similar to Real Player). I'll be featuring local movers-and-shakers and behind-the-scenes interviewees, and many other compound words with hyphens! You may be on the list.

Johnny Ramone, 55, Dies of Cancer
Unfortunately, this got overlooked last week, but seminal punk band The Ramones lost another member to cancer: Johnny Ramone, thundering thrashing guitarist and inspiration for many who came after, died at 55 from complications from cancer. Singer Joey died several yaers ago, and last year, bassist Dee Dee commited suicide. That leaves just Marky Ramone, the band's original drummer, as the only survivng original member.

The Kanlon Kronicles
Long-time readers will no doubt remember the link near page-bottom announcing the "Coming Soon" status of Will Moriaty's Kanlon Kronicles. Well, after nearly two years of "coming soon"....IT'S FINALLY HERE! The late '70s was a pivotal time for both William and myself, although we didn't start working on fanzines together until the early '80s (I was involved with other fanzines in the '70s, however). This is an example of what he did prior to that time. Check it out!


Slice of Life

Avoiding The SuperBowl With Misty      by Hugo Morley

There are so many wonderful things about the United States it's why I made it my home nearly a decade ago. I love the weather in Florida - even though I spend slightly more than 99% of my time indoors & only venture out after dark. I love the people and the restaurants & bars. I love the theme parks, comedy clubs and movie theatres & I love historic districts that are younger than my grandparents. But I still can't get into the sports. Recently I discovered that a trip to Raymond James Stadium is as much about the drinking as the winning and have consequently enjoyed a few Sunday afternoons there. I was as proud as anybody when our local team won the Superbowl and equally pleased when the Lightning brought home the Stanley Cup but I still don't want to watch these events.

A couple of years ago on Superbowl Sunday, Tampa played host to not one but two of who I regard as the greatest comics of all time. Jackie Mason and Lewis Black. Jackie Mason performs in Tampa it seems every year, trying out new material for future Broadway triumphs. A year earlier I had taken my uncle, his wife & my friend Misty to see him & I was thinking that this could become an annual tradition. It wasn't to be as by year two my uncle's wife had already dropped out and a year later Misty & I went by ourselves. I've adored Jackie Mason since first seeing him in London nearly twenty years ago. He is one of the very last representatives of a very old school of comedy. Watching him you can imagine yourself sitting in a smokey Vegas showroom over half a century ago. I don't know if he ever opened for Sinatra but he should have done. He manages to be at the same time both very old school as well as being topical & cutting edge. He is the comedic bridge that links George Burns and Buddy Hackett to Robin Williams & Chris Rock. An unfortunate misunderstanding with Ed Sullivan seemed to cut him down in his prime but all it actually did was delay his prime & he is still living it. Playing in Tampa on a SuperBowl Sunday however may have been one of Jackie Mason's few mistakes. The Tampa Improv always seems like a beautifully intimate venue, but when the audience numbers a little over twenty it manages to feel positively cavernous. Mason opened by announcing that he had performed more one man shows on Broadway than any other performer. He had sold out the biggest venues in Israel countless times. He had also performed in front of the Queen of England eight times. "But this is my dream. To come to a town I've never heard of and perform for a dozen schmucks who have nowhere else to go". Later he suggested that if we wished we could all just jump in a cab & go somewhere else. After the show my uncle left us & I went with Misty to have some sushi. It was around this time, maybe six o'clock that we both realised how tired we were. As well as the SuperBowl this had been Gasparilla weekend in Tampa. The pirate festival, very little sleep & a lot of alcohol had been involved. We had partied like troopers and were beginning to suffer from our excesses. But this was no time to give up! We had another comic to see. An overpriced coffee at Starbucks did little to aid our lethargy as we made our way north to Sidesplitters, Tampa's original comedy club.

It was over an hour until the show was due to start and we were flagging fast. How to stay awake? The coffee hadn't worked. Drugs were not an option - there was only one sensible course to take - SHOTS. So to go with our Heinekens a couple of Rumpelmintz were slammed. Then two more. Then more beer then one more shot a piece. Then it was time for the show. If we were still tired we had forgotten.

This was the first time that I had seen Lewis Black live. Although I was a fan of his 'Back In Black' segments on 'The Daily Show' as a fully-fledged stand-up act he was to me an unknown quantity. Nothing prepared me (not even the alcohol) for the incredible hour that was to follow. Here was the funniest and angriest man in the world. There seemed to be nothing that this man did not have an opinion on. Everything he spoke about, politics, the weather, coffee shops, television, students, stupid people, Las Vegas, traffic, Clinton seemed both accurate and hysterically funny. I have since become an obsessive & devoted fan having seen him perform, twice more in Tampa as well as in West Palm & Las Vegas. I now have all three CDs, a DVD, a Teeshirt & even a bobbing head doll. But this was the very first time I'd seen him perform & I thought he was sensational.

Earlier in the day I was a bit annoyed by the standing ovation given to Jackie Mason. He had been very good but not that great. Americans seem to believe that a standing ovation at a live performance is mandatory. They will stand for anything; dire road tours like Mamma Mia or The Phantom Of The Opera receive standing ovations eight times a week. I even saw an Improv audience stand for Jim Breuer. It's only a matter of time before movie theatre audiences start jumping to their feet to applaud the end of "American Pie 12". I'm all for standing ovations when warranted. The end of a particularly strong performance of 'Les Miserables' for example. I'm even in favour of standing for Jackie Mason when he has been really great but not just for showing up - although I do appreciate it. The ovation given to Lewis Black that night by the entire audience was heartfelt & passionate.There was no sense of obligation.

A few more shots and beers were consumed during the show & I was in dire need of the restroom. When I emerged I saw that Lewis Black was signing CDs. I'm a pop culture junkie & when it comes to recorded performances there is very little that I won't buy. If these items are being autographed then I have to get them. (Just the other day I spent $15 on signed photographs of Jay London, Alonzo Bodden & Gary Gulman, three finalists from 'Last Comic Standing' - What the hell am I ever going to do with those?) I see that Misty has sat herself on a ledge above Lewis Black and is occassionally talking to him as he signs his CDs. As I'm standing in line I realise how drunk I am & start trying to work out how much I've drunk that day. A couple of Bloody Marys before Jackie Mason, a couple of beers during Jackie Mason, two more beers with the sushi, six shots & six beers at Sidesplitters. Thats a lot! Ten beers, six shots as well as liquor, no wonder I was drunk. Then I got to thinking. My god Misty drank as much as me and she must weigh a hundred and fifty pounds less than me - how drunk must she be? I soon found out.

I used to work at Sidesplitters giving away tickets & when I got to the front of the line, Bobby, the club's owner, remembered me and very kindly got Lewis Black to not charge me for his CD. It was at this point that I realised that Misty was not so much talking to Lewis Black as berating & attacking him. She had loved his show but for some reason had now taken against him.
'Look at you, signing autographs like you're Tom fucking Cruise',
'You act like you're a man of the people but now you're scamming an extra ten bucks off your fans flogging CDs'
'Fucking hypocrite'
And the worst:
'My friend Hugo is funnier than you'll ever be'
This man had just given me his CD, now I had to get Misty out whilst pretending not to be with her.
'Tell him'
'Tell him what Misty?'
'I don't know, some of your funny shit. I told him that you were funnier than him' (Great, thanks a lot Misty) 'Tell him your views on the Belgiums that's funnier than any of his shit'.
I picked Misty up and carried her out of the club.

'What were we thinking? Sushi's not real food when you are drinking. We need some food,' Misty said and told me to go to McDonalds drive-thru. 'What do you want Misty?' 'Onion Rings' 'I don't think McDonalds have onion rings' 'Ask them'. I asked the disembodied voice in the black box if they sold onion rings but I was correct and they did not. We were directed to another burger joint accross the road. They didn't have onion rings either. 'Fries then' Misty said 'and a burger'. I reminded Misty that she was a vegetarian and had not eaten meat for over ten years. 'The burger is for you' she said as she spilt fries all over the floor of my car.

Misty asked where we were going as I drove down Kennedy. I told her that I was taking her home. 'Fuck that. We need to go to a strip club'. I didn't take a lot of persuading and we pulled into the Seven Seas. Not exactly the best strip club in Tampa but in its defense there is very rarely a cover charge. As soon as we were inside Misty disappeared and for a short time I thought that she might soon appear on the stage. Luckily she did not & when she showed up I asked her where she had been.
'In the dressing room'
'With the strippers?'
'Yes, well I had to tell them'
'Tell them what?'
'It's not a good job. They shouldn't be stripping. Their parents would not be proud of them. Then I realised how ugly they all were & asked them how they managed to make a living with those looks'.
That was when Misty was kicked out of their dressing room.
It wasn't long before Misty realised that she had lost her purse. I checked my car, it wasn't there. The manager of the Seven Seas produced a flashlight but it wasn't on the floor of the club. It turned up, surprise, surprise in the girls' dressing room but it had now been relieved of all it's cash and credit cards.

As we enjoyed our last cocktail of the night at Mangroves on Howard Misty said 'Can you believe that Lewis Black called me a little bitch'. I didn't know that he had done that but said that I wasn't that surprised after what she had said to him.
'What did I say to him?'
I reminded her, "scamming your fans, Tom fucking Cruise, hypocrite", etc.
'You're right, I did say that & he had every right to call me a little bitch. But can you believe those girls stole all my money?'
I explained that they were probably kind of pissed at her for what she had said to them.
'What did I say to them'
'Well, you told me that you told them that they had a bad job, that their parents were not proud of them & that they were ugly.'
'You're right, I did say that & those girls had every right to take my money.'

That all happened nearly three years ago. I'm not sure if any lessons were learned but it was a lot of fun and tonight I'm taking Misty to the Improv - to see Lewis Black.

Announcements
Due to unforseen scheduling problems, the review of The Nightmare Collection DVD, announced last week, did not make it in that issue. As I'm catching up with this week's work, look for it again over the next couple o' days.

Finally made it to "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow". I won't be able to write as full a review as I'd like and Mike Smith's version is most agreeable, but for those who want to read my thoughts on this neat little retro-romp, visit my message board post.


Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2004 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2004 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2004 by Andy Lalino    "Splash Page" is ©2004 by Brandon Jones    "Couch Potato Confessions" is © 2004 by Vinnie Blesi      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova    
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