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THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEWS
"Ocean's Twelve"
 by Mike Smith

ODDSERVATIONS
"Mandatory Guidance"--You're Not Allowed to See That....Duran Duran coming to the SPT Forum....Paul Weller on VH1 Classic....See-"Saw"...."The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" commentary
 by Andy Lalino

CREATURE'S CORNER
Old Movies....New Comics....Comics Buyer's Guide....New Movies
 by John Lewis

SPLASH PAGE
Are You Ready To Shop?....Things That Even Scare Me....Slushpile
 by Brandon Jones

MATT'S RAIL
Slip Of The Tongue?
 by Matt Drinnenberg

MIKE'S RANT
Goodbye Bayfront Center....I Am Iron Man!...Diamond Dave....Time To Resign, Rummy...Hall Of Shame Commercial....Sith Overkill....List #1....List #2....Meet The Beatles, Part 46
 by Mike Smith

LETTERS
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2004!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fifth calendar year!
    Number 246  (Vol. 5, No. 50). This edition is for the week of December 6--12, 2004.

'Tis The Season

Also...
•   Online store updated
•   La Floridiana schedule/Will Moriaty's book
Plus
•   The Bayfront Center is no more
•   Bay Area sports/radio announcer's illness

Although I'm not one to scream "Bah, Humbug" (too trite), I have to admit the Christmas Season tests my patience in many ways. I'm not against it, mind you, heck, you get the day off legally, you get time-and-a-half if you actually work those beloved hours, if not, you can have time to see your beloved family (if any), and most important of all---and I've said this time and time again: Any reason for a party is a good one!

Many like-minded friends and I stopped exchanging gifts years ago, preferring to simply spend time together doing things we don't normally have time to do. I love indulging in the family/friends banquets afforded me by the holidays, arguably my favorite part. Now I don't turn gifts away, of course!! Heaven's no, much too greedy for that---just please know I don't do Christmas Shopping myself. Not that there aren't those very deserving (you know who you are), but they are all taken care of at more opportune times (like birthdays) or when I can afford it better.

That said, there is one tradition I haven't quite given up on yet: emailing everyone customized electronic Christmas Cards I make myself. Not paper cards, no, I gave up on trying to keep up with that years ago (where did I put all those addresses?). I'm by myself here, folks, only so many hours in a day and so much dinero to blow (nada, actually), and no car. OK, I do make ultra-rare exceptions and send paper cards to folks who don't have access to computers--but there aren't very many of those around me. But, please know that I do sincerely wish everyone a happy holiday season (even if you catch me grumbling about it, I'm a sucker for most of it anyway).

Now for those of you who are looking to get your friends and family something special for the holidays....

THE LAST OUTPOST UPDATE
Hey, never said I wouldn't take advantage of this part! Ha ha. The Last Outpost: The Online Store of Crazed Fanboy has received a fairly major update. The Lunar Pack, The Nightmare Collection (both horror compilations on DVD), and Santa's Crack (comedy CD by Damage Control) have all been recently added. The Lunar Pack and Nightmare Collection also feature a close-up and full review page written by me (look for the links that say "More Info..."). Check it out!

Damage Control Online presents Santa's Crack

LA FLORIDIANA SCHEDULE/WILL MORIATY'S BOOK
I never know how many of you animals ever go on to read the very deserving other articles in this stellar publication, but in case many of you weren't paying attention last week, I feel it's my duty to bring to your attention the following. You may have noticed there is no La Floridiana listed in the nav bar in this week's issue of PCR. Don't panic, read on...

William Moriaty, author of the La Floridiana series in PCR has compiled all his previous columns into one compendium, aptly titled: William Moriaty's Florida. The book was registered to the Library of Congress October 26, 2004 so is basically done, save for my "Forward" (pretty cool), and the actual nuts-and-bolts of crafting and publishing the book itself. There will be an extensive photo section in the middle and will likely be available by next Spring or Summer.

That's only part of the announcement. To facilitate this and other projects, Will announced a reduction in frequency of his La Floridiana columns from weekly to monthly. This has happened a few times before and, like those times, I believe this will be only temporary as he gets the book project (among other things) under control. He thanks his every-growing fan base for their continual support, as do I. To read Will's original announcement, please see last week's La Floridiana

ST. PETE'S BAYFRONT CENTER IS NO MORE
This got in just a wee bit too late to do it any justice in last week's PCR, but out-of-towners who used to live in the Tampa bay area may be saddened to know that the Bayfront Center Arena is no more. It's roof was collpased with explosives last Wednesday, and the wrecking ball will take the standing walls down soon. The idea is to make room for the expanded Salvadore Dali Museum.

To say this was a landmark building that hosted countless hours of enjoyment featuring circuses, concerts and sporting events would almost be an understatement. The 5,500-seat arena featured a uniquely-designed 49,000 square foot roof that came down in 1,580 tons of concrete and steel when 108 plastic explosives went off. It's hard to believe it's gone.

SPORTS/RADIO ANNOUNCER MARK BIERO BLINDED BY DIABETES
I was fowarded this item by Stephen Beasley who knew Mark Biero (ryhmes with "hero") as I did back in the '80s. Before Mark got his breakthrough politically-oriented local radio show ("Featuring your hero, Mark Biero"), he was mainly known as a sports announcer. Back then he would come by Your Book Nook Newsstand, where I worked at the time, after his stints at the local Jai Alai fronton, and we'd crack each up over TV trivia and news of the day. Not much older than me, I was heartbroken to hear that Mark has been robbed of his sight by diabetes. The following was written by Steve Beasley. For the record, the Jai Ali fronton that we both mention was bulldozed years ago to make room for the Home Depot store now occupying that location.

From Steve Beasley...
Mark's WFLA970 tagline: "Our Hero, Mark Biero!" Anyone who's ever been to the Jai Alai Fronton in South Tampa will surely remember Mark Biero, who was their "Voice of Jai Alai". He was the Jai Alai reporter whose voice went out over several radio stations in the Tampa Bay Area.

Pehaps you remember Mark as the Ring Announcer on BattleBots, too.

I remember meeting Mark in person in 1987 (at the huge country club on U.S. Hwy 19N in Clearwater, 'whose-name-escapes-me'...Inglenook or something like that), where I was the overhead ring cameraman for an HBO Big Ticket Boxing event. James Austin (from Jones Intercable Public Access) called me to ask if I'd run a camera for him. How Public Access got that gig, I still wonder about to this day. Anyway, Mark was there to do his Ring Announcer bit, wearing the traditional Ring Announcer formal black suit, white shirt and black bowtie avatar.

Or, they may remember Mark from his days as a frequent patron at the Book Nook where Nolan worked for many, many years and where I worked for maybe one summer. He is one of the nicest guys I know. Every once in a while I'd run into him (Mark) around town at places like the Subway Sandwich shop in South Tampa or Tampa's Sidewalk Art Festival, the Book Nook or the Press Box or any number of places.

Our political discussions were always very interesting. Tho he is a Democrat, he always thought it strange that anyone would be a Libertarian, such as myself.....I never quite understood that where he was coming from with that, because the Libertarian ideology is much closer to that of the Democrat, than most any other party.....except perhaps the Green Party. But then, I believe Anarchy is a better choice than Repulsican. (oops!)

Mark is also way ahead of most of us in the race relations department....if you know him personally, you'll know what I mean.

Mark unfortunately lost sight in both eyes recently due to complications from Diabetes. Diabetes is one nasty bastard of a disease! When he lost the sight in one eye he commented that if he lost the sight in his good eye he'd retire from the microphone. If he does retire, it'll be the end of an era in not only Bay Area Radio/TV/Sports, but also in World Boxing.

His bio can be found here: http://www.teddwebb.com, then go to the "Where Are They Now? section. Note: Tedd lists people in order of their first names, not their surnames.

Announcements

TOO Productions presents the next Coffeehouse Film Review on Thursday, December 9, from 8 – 10 p.m. at Studio 1515, located at 1515 Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. Coffeehouse Film Reviews showcases independent films made by local filmmakers. Coffeehouse Film Reviews is held every second Thursday of the month and is free.

Next event’s films include:
      No Control by Roberto Rosaly: Two emotionally unstable young men struggle with reality, gambling problems and their battle with the underworld boss.
      The Pitch, the Poker and the Public: A story of manipulation, influence and PT Barnum. It asks the question, "Can one go corporate without losing ones soul? Can you make money and hold onto what is most important in life?"
      The Match by Chris McDaniel.
      And St. Petersburg Public Access show “Scream @ The Wall” will be filming an episode of their highly popular show, which features local talented musicians, filmmakers and comedy.

      TOO Productions feels that there are very few, if any, regular outlets in the local area for local independent filmmakers to showcase their films. Hopefully, this monthly event will provide that outlet for everyone, from experienced local independent filmmakers to local college and high school filmmakers experimenting with film production for the first time. TOO Productions promises your film will be shown!
      Studio 1515 is owned and operated by Walter and Sarah Romeo, who opened the coffeehouse in order to provide local artists a place to gather and share their art. Coffeehouse Film Reviews is another way to provide a showcase to local artists.
      TOO Productions is looking for film submissions for future events. For more information on the event or for information on how to submit a film, email tooprod@hotmail.com or paulguzzo@hotmail.com. All genres of films are accepted – feature length, shorts, documentaries, comedy, horror, love, art, drama, foreign language, experimental etc. No pornography!


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      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova    
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