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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
The Enlightenment
La Floridiana
Mike's Rant
Matt's Rail
Movie Review
(Links listed above are final editions for this week)
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 94 (Vol 3, No. 2). This edition is for the week of January 7--13, 2002.
Suicidal youth plunges small airplane into bank building in Tampa
A sad, pathetic imitation of the WTC attack.

Late Saturday afternoon (1-5-02), Charles Bishop, a disturbed 15-year-old from Palm Harbor, climbed into a small passenger plane at the St. Pete/Clearwater airport where he had been taking flying lessons since March. With only just over 6 hours of actual flying time, and without permission, he started the engine and took off. Minutes later, he crossed over the ultra-high security of MacDill Air Force Base. It was only for a minute, but it was enough to set off alarms. (Curiously, this act alone would make a seasoned terrorist shudder, as MacDill is currently home base for Middle-East operations and heavily guarded. Nevertheless, this was not his target.) MacDill had information that this was a teenager and took no drastic action. A Coast Guard helicopter, however, was summoned to try to talk the plane down. Charles ignored them. Minutes later, and traveling at around 100 mph, he rammed his single-engine Cessna 172R into the 28th floor of the 42-story Bank of America building in downtown Tampa. Charles Bishop was killed on impact. Total elapsed time: no more than 12 minutes.

The earliest reports hinted at the obvious resemblance between this and the events of Sept 11., and, altho a pale imitation of that heinous act, speculation soared on possible terrorist connections. As investigators moved in, these theories were quickly discarded as a much sadder picture began to emerge.

According to a 4-paragraph suicide note found on Bishop (that's what this is, bascially, is a suicide), apparently, this freshman from Eastlake High School was a Bin Laden sympathizer and supported our enemies' actions last Fall. Tampa Police Chief, Bennie Holder, has not yet released the note to the press or divulged any other details, except that Bishop acted alone, didn't intend to harm anyone else, and is even unclear whether he intended to crash into a building at all.

View of crashed plane from inside the bank building's 28th floor looking out over Tampa.
Predictably, the familiar picture begins to emerge from friends and family: loner, quiet, no clue this was boiling inside him. Ironically, teachers and classmates described him as Pro-American, if anything, and remember how disappointed he was about the Sept 11th tragedy. Why he pulled this stunt is unfathomable.

So, what's going on here?
None of this makes any sense to me, I'm sure it makes no sense to you, and I'm sure it's gotta be maddening to those close to him. Parents and teachers interviewed about Charles Bishop are dumbfounded. No one saw this coming. Why?

If I was an investigator, the following questions would be ones I'd ask: forget Osama Bin Laden, did this kid have a crush on some girl who rejected him? Has he been conflicted about sex? Has he had problems with school bullies? What was his home situation like, really? And, MOST important, has he ever been on prescription medication, particularly mood-altering drugs, and, if so, was he taking them at the time of the crash? What kind of reading material had he been into? What kind of websites has he visited? (The FBI has seized his personal computers which may shed light on this last question.)

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among teenagers. They have taken very theatrical ways of leaving this world, but this is a first and OBVIOUSLY inspired by Sept. 11th. Why? He was supposed to be patriotic and yet, seemingly overnight, he becomes depressed enough about the middle-east to kill himself??? No, there's something they're not telling us. I don't see him as a psychopath, but it IS scary how much more damage he could've done, and more attention he'd've received if so motivated, particularly in his time over MacDill.

UPDATE #1: It came out later in this week that Charles Bishop was on prescription medication for Accutane™, a drug for acne control. Accutane has been linked to depression and suicidal thoughts. At the time of this writing, it is inconclusive whether this actually caused his sucide, but I'd put money on it, at least for partial blame.
UPDATE #2: I've heard from one source only, and this is yet to be verified, that "Bishop" is not Charles' or his family's original name....that it was changed from something more middle-eastern sounding after the Gulf War. The plot thickens.

From "La Floridiana" columnist Will Moriaty:
LA FLORIDIANA QUICK QUESTION
.  On January 5th a 15-year-old boy stole a Cessna 172R from a flight school at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and managed to commit an apparent suicide by running the aircraft into the 28th floor of the Nations Bank building in Tampa 13 minutes after take off. The plane violated MacDill Air Force Base airspace in the process of this suicide flight. A Coast Guard chopper was called by the Base to intercept the plane, as well as two F-15 fighter jets from Homestead Air Force Base south of Miami. Needless to say, a Coast Guard chopper can't do much other than motion the kid to veer to the nearest airport, or drag his sorry rumpus out of the water. Also not shocking, by the time the pursuit jets showed up, the Cessna and its pilot were already a new fixture to the bank building.
   Based on this, my quick question is this-- If a conventional or atomic bomb was on that aircraft and flown as a terrorist attack against MacDill Air Force Base, home of the Middle East Readiness Command where anti-terrorists operations are currently being carried out, what would have stopped it from fulfilling its mission? I don't know about y'all, but due to the high security of what that base entails, two or more permanently stationed fighter jets on 24-hour call is a lot better that waiting for the jet jockeys to fly in from opposite sides of the state.

Announcements
BIRTHDAY WISHES. Happy Birthday and many happy returns to Matt Drinnenberg, who turned 41 January 9th. To Nicholas Leo Castellano, who turns the big 2 January 13th! And to Scott van Sickle who turns 39 January 14th!


La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
Florida's native gardens are in themselves a treasure. Florida has more varieties of native trees than any other state in the Union. It is the transition zone between the temperate United States and the sub tropical Caribbean. This is due primarily to the state's climate, which ranges from mildly temperate (with long hot summers proceeded by cool falls, cold winters, and mild springs) in the north, to sub-tropical (very little seasonal change, remaining warm most of the year with pronounced dry and wet seasons) in the south....
PLUS, a tribute to Steve Spurrier......Click here for more.

The Enlightenment This week's issue
The Enlightenment by Terence Nuzum
THE BEST OF 2001. --MUSIC. If you watch MTV you might need to check these albums out because you probably need help. Good music is out there people, but it's not on the radio. FILM. The movies that turned out to be great for me this year were mostly low-key affairs and character pieces. Considering Hollywood is still putting out crap, some directors are holding the torch and proving that special effects do not make a good movie......Click here for more.

Movie ReviewMovie Review
A Beautiful Mind This week's movie review by Brandon Herring
At first glance, "A Beautiful Mind" seems to be a melodramatic fairy tale, highlighted by clichés that seem to fire rapidly. The more you dig, however, the more you will find because "A Beautiful Mind" is not just a great movie, but it is a great human study of what life can do to one brilliant man ........Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
Greetings everyone. Just a couple quick notes on some news items I found very "worthy"! At the Premier of Sylvester Stallone's new movie D-TOX........ FAMOUS MONSTERS UPDATE: Rumors coming out of California are indicating Rhino (video, music, etc) is pursuing ownership of FM. Doesn't sound like a much until you understand Rhino is owned by Time Warner. .......Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
GOOD-BYE, DAVE...............I GUESS SHE REALLY WON'T EAT LUNCH IN THIS TOWN AGAIN...............HEY JACK, I'M DEAD HUH? DEAD! HUH? DEAD! HUH? DEAD! OH, DEAD .......GET USED TO IT........... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ..........Click here for more.


Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.
Hi Nolan,
I found your pages when I was doing some research for a Shock Armstrong page for a new Channel 13 "fan" website. My friend Mike Clark worked at 13 years ago and was considering doing a web site. My interest in contributing to a "Shock" page inspired him to put this site together. It's still pretty plain, but we will be polishing it in the coming weeks and months. Let us know what you think.

http://people.we.mediaone.net/mec50/index.html

Have fun,
Dave Morrison
St. Pete

I think it's great, Dave, and this is exactly the kind of thing we need more of! I wish you and Mike continued good luck in your ongoing endeavor. Readers: I heartily recommend visiting this new website if you're at all a fan of historical horror hosts, Shock Theater, and/or Big 13. Particularly well-done is a brief bio of anchorman/Shock actor Paul Reynolds, who I knew virtually nothing about until I visited this site.---Nolan


Hello,
I was expanding my ego and put my own name to a search engine and your site is one that came up. You happened to mention in your "Enterprise" article that I am the heir-apparent to Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek franchise. Sorry, though I am in the industry (Check out www.sticksandstonesfx.com) The "Rob Burman" that you were referring to is actually "Rob Berman" (Notice the "E"). I wish I was in his position. But, alas, I didn't have someone like Gene to hand me the controls of a billion-dollar empire (Sigh!) Hope you are doing well and the site is popular!

Rob Burman,
Sticks and Stones

Woops, ha ha! Sorry about that Rob; and I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion the error caused. And thanks for supporting the newsletter. Readers, you needn't bother checking now, because I've already made the corrections, but the illustrious Mr. Burman is referring to a "coming this fall"-type article I wrote for PCR #69 about the new "Enterprise" TV series. I reviewed the premiere episode in PCR #79.
FYI: The "Burmans"--with a "U"--are a legendary name in Hollywood make-up circles. ---Nolan


Noticed a reference to Tiki Gardens on your website, and would like to invite you to tour a memorial to this long-lost roadside attraction. With contributions from former employees, items from Trader Franks personal collection, and Tiki luminaries such as Sven Kirsten (The Book of Tiki), and Otto Von Stroheim ( Tiki news ), its quite a journey! http://www.exotic-tiki-gardens.com

Tiki Gardener

And thank you, "Tiki", for the head's-up!  I visited this website, and anyone interested in the history of Tiki Gardens will find it most intersting. ---Nolan


Hello.

Just wanted to drop a line and let you know that I'm enjoying your site. I'm looking forward to browsing through the archives to catch up. It's great to see another site based out of Tampa. We need more of that for sure. Anyway, keep up the great work.

Sincerely,
Christian A. Dumais
Be sure to visit www.legion-studios.com once a week for all your nutritional needs.

Thanks, Christian, for supporting the PCR and I'm glad you like it. I visited your site and am very impressed. I do believe we are on a similar wavelength! (That's a good thing.) Readers, I think you'll all be very much entertained by the Legion Studios site. ---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    "Wake Up and Smell the Comics" is ©2002 by Drew Reiber    "The Enlightenment" is ©2002 by Terence Nuzum    Thanks again to Dave Morrison, Rob Burman, "Tiki", and Christian A. Dumais for writing in; do check out their websites.    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.