PCR's past bannersPCR 2002
Now in our third calendar year

PCR #97. (Vol. 3, No. 5) This edition is for the week of January 28--February 3, 2002.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! Once again, some news and notes, and some comments about what others have written this week. Shall we begin?

Matt's Rail
La Floridiana
The Enlightenment
Wake Up/Comics
Mike's homepage
Crazed Fanboy home
PCR Archives 2002
PCR 2002 Home
Holy shit! Half of the Monkees and the Osmonds, minus Donny, I'm sure, on tour. Be still my beating heart. Actually, I think Merrill Osmond is deaf, but I will certainly look forward to Jimmy belting out "Long Haired Lover From Liverpool." Having seen Mickey and Davy (along with Tommy "I Mentioned His Name and Now He's Dead" Boyce and Bobby Hart) play at Britton Plaza - Nolan, I'm sure you can provide the name of the club - front end of the shopping center closest to Dale Mabry - as well as their 25th Anniversary Tour - with Peter Tork, minus Mike Nesmith, I will certainly get in line now for these tickets. Besides, how can I pass up a chance to hear "Down By The Lazy River" live?

PCR colleague Will Moriarty has touched on two subjects that really burned me this week. The first is the attempt to "PC" the statue honoring the three firemen that raised the flag over the rubble of the World Trade Center. To attempt to gloss over the fact that the three firemen were white (as are, I understand, 85% of the New York City Fire Department), the idea is to make one of the firemen white and the other two noticeably black and Hispanic. Hey! What about the Asian firemen? And the women? Why not just have 20 firemen raising the flag, so everyone can be represented. Jesus, people! What's next? Are they going to retouch the famous photo of the flag raising on Iwo Jima? Maybe they can knock Jefferson off Mount Rushmore and replace it with Martin Luther King? And the Lincoln Memorial? Who really knows that Abe Lincoln was a tall white man with a beard. He could have been a short, hairless Asian if these idiots were around when the monument was constructed. And what about the families of these firemen? How do they answer their children when they ask, "Daddy, are you the black one or the Spanish one?"

Living right on the border or Kansas and Missouri, I get the news from both states. For those of you who don't know it, our esteemed Attorney General, John Ashcroft, ran for Senator of Missouri last election and lost. In fact, he lost to a man who died 2 months before the election, Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan. When you lose to a dead man, it's time to rethink your political future. Then President Bush came along and appointed him Attorney General. During Senate confirmation hearings, Ashcroft was questioned often about his very old fashioned ways and thoughts, and assured all that he was open minded about everything. Now, he has spent $8000 of OUR TAX DOLLARS to have two statues, which, incidentally, have been standing in the Department of Justice since 1931, covered. While one statue did indeed show a female breast, the other was of a man, who also was shirtless, though his "naughty bits" were covered. Today a Justice Department spokesman said that Ashcroft had nothing to do with the censorship.............that it was just something that had been "done." Yeah, right. Pull this leg, it plays "Jingle Bells."

In late September, everyone heard that the Super Bowl would be delayed one week and would be played this Sunday, February 3rd. Everyone, that is, except for "Funky Winkerbean" cartoonist Tom Batiuk. His strip last Sunday showed two female characters driving into an empty shopping mall parking lot, walking through a nearly deserted mall and trying on clothes to their hearts desire. The final panel had one woman saying to the other, "I love coming to the mall on Super Bowl Sunday." I know that newspaper comics are drawn and submitted in advance, but 4 months!? Time to talk to your editor, Tom.

While preparing to begin filming of "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" on April 15, Arnold Schwarzenegger informs us that writer/director John Milius is finishing the script for "King Conan," a sequel to "Conan the Barbarian." Today's "Jaws" trivia: John Milius wrote the original "U.S.S Indianapolis" speech that Robert Shaw delivers in the film. It was one of the first things written and survived all of the different drafts of the script. Shaw, who was also a gifted playwright, adapted the speech to his character, but the credit for it's inclusion goes to Milius.

Thanks to a court injunction, New Line Cinemas has ordered all trailers and posters for the upcoming Austin Powers sequel, "Goldmember," pulled from theatres and destroyed. Seems the company never submitted the film title through the Motion Picture Association of America, which filed the injunction following complaints from MGM that the title was to close to their James Bond film, "Goldfinger." Could be some serious dubbing in the future if MGM wins this suit, as the major villain in the spoof is named "Goldmember." Question to the knuckleheads at MGM - where do you think "The Spy Who Shagged Me" got it's start? You're about a movie late on this one.

Writer Astrid Lindgren, who created the annoying character of Pippi Longstocking, died Monday in Sweden. She was 94. Lindgren wrote more then 100 works, including novels, plays and poetry. About 40 films and tv series were based on her stories. Her most popular, and annoying, was the freckled Pippi Longstocking. I may be biased on this. In 1988, it was my job to escort the star of "The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking," Tami Erin, and her mom, to various theatres in the Baltimore/Washington area. Annoying wouldn't even begin to explain both of their personalities. You would have thought I was taking the next incarnation of Ethel Merman around, not some kid who, in my opinion, wouldn't have had a shot to be in the all-UN-talented production of "Annie." Thankfully, it was her only film.

A word to everyone: Unless you really pissed someone with a knowledge of chemicals and germ warfare, the chances of someone sending anthrax to you are slim and none! Last week, a hardworking father of two scraped up $1.50 in rolled pennies and $1.63 in loose change to buy baby food, only to have the grocery store refuse to accept the coins, citing a fear of anthrax. Anthony Ouellette took the change to the Market Basket to buy some milk and baby food, but the cashier said she could not take rolled coins. When Ouellette offered to unroll the $1.50, a supervisor was called. The supervisor refused to accept the coins, citing a "fear of anthrax." Apparently, another store in the chain had received a roll of coins that had a "powdery substance" on them. When questioned further, the supervisor said, "I don't want to put a bunch of pennies in the drawer." In other news, last weekend a woman ran up to me hysterically and pulled me towards the ladies room of my theatre. When we got there, she pointed to a small, "powdery substance" on one of the counters. "What are you going to do," she asked me? I grabbed a paper towel, wet it, and wiped the counter off. I then told her to "enjoy her show" and went back to work. As of press time, I'm feeling fine!

This week, the Screen Actor's Guild released their nominees for this years awards. Surprises (to me, anyway) are Kevin Kline and Hayden Christensen (Actor and Supporting Actor) for "Life as a House," Dakota Fanning (Supporting Actress for "I Am Sam) and the total exclusion of Nicole Kidman for either "Moulin Rouge" or "The Others." This brings me to the topic that actually launched this publication: The Oscars! Next Tuesday, February 12, Academy Award nominations are released. It is customary for the various journalists here to list their top five picks, along with a sleeper, in the 6 major categories: Best Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Director and Best Picture. These are submitted no later then Monday night, February 11th. I urge our readers to submit their lists as well, and hopefully you will also join us when we pick our Oscar choices. Those with the most correct picks will win some cool stuff. Who knows................maybe I didn't destroy ALL of those "Goldmember" posters after all. (Ooh! Send me one, send me one!! OK, people, I smell a challenge in here---Academy Awards time. Start thinking about your lists!---Nolan)

Well, that's it for this week. See ya!

The following, part of which was published in last week's Rant, contains an update that arrived after the PCR was final. The entire selection, with update, is republished below.---Nolan
The Director's Guild of America has released their five nominees for Best Director of a Feature Film and they are: Ron Howard - "A Beautiful Mind", Peter Jackson - "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring", Baz Luhrmann - "Moulin Rouge", Christopher Nolan - Memento and Ridley Scott - "Black Hawk Down". Typically, the winner of this award goes on to win the Best Director Academy Award. In fact, only three times has the winner of the DGA award NOT won the Oscar. In 1985, Steven Spielberg won for "The Color Purple" and in 1996, Ron Howard won for "Apollo 13." Ironically, neither of these men were even NOMINATED for the Oscar the year they won! Last year, Ang Lee won the DGA but lost the Oscar to twin-nominee Steven Soderberg. Spielberg has since won 2 Oscars. I'm hoping that this year Ron Howard finally gets his.

"Mike's Rant" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith. 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