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LA FLORIDIANA
What’s In A Name? A Look at the Origin of Names of Florida’s Towns and Counties J to K....Happy 20th Anniversary, Miami Vice
 by William Moriaty

THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
"Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow"
 by Mike Smith

COUCH POTATO
First Look: Rio Carbon MP3 Player....Fanzine Memoirs....Couch Potato Notes
 by Vinnie Blesi

ODDSERVATIONS
Open Letter from "The Association of Ex-Headbangers Turned Republicans"
 by Andy Lalino

SPLASH PAGE
Teachers Aren't In It Alone....Centrist? No For Nader!....Nothing Is Better Than Football Season
 by Brandon Jones

MATT'S RAIL
Trib Article Misses The Mark....OOOO, What A Lucky Man--He Was....Bush Speak
 by Matt Drinnenberg

MIKE'S RANT
It's Just Emotion Taking Me Over....Love That Bill....Please be Our Friends....The Nominees Are....Just Good Old Boys....Union Rules....Hey, Rowengardner--You Suck!....Happy Birthday To Me....Meet The Beatles, Part 34
 by Mike Smith

LETTERS
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2004!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fifth calendar year!
    Number 234  (Vol. 5, No. 38). This edition is for the week of September 13--19, 2004.

  Ivan Devastates Alabama, NW Florida
  Over 1 million residents without power
Also...
 Tampa Tribune Baylife Article On Crazed Fanboy Yields Mixed Reactions
 A New Sponsor
 September Coffeehouse Film Review

As reported earlier in the week, after one of the most violent and deadly summers on record, Tampa residents breathed a sigh of relief as Hurricane Ivan has decided not to pummel Central Florida as its earlier siblings Charley and Frances had done, and is instead headed northward to annihilate the northern Gulf Coast, as a Category 4 storm, from Mobile Bay, Alabama to Pensacola, FL. New New Orleans, LA was spared the worst of the storm by just a few dozen miles My thoughts and prayers are with the victims. (Yes, some atheists pray, but it's figurative and reflexive.) I don't wish harm on anyone, but we've had enough.

It is amazing the power these storms possess. We here in Tampa were over 300 miles to the east of the storm, technically out of harm's way, but still suffered storm surges! Nothing catstrophic, of course, but still enough to put South Tampa's Bayshore Blvd., and Pinellas County's Shore Acres under water for most of the day Wednesday. Keep in mind this is from a storm that did not come close to us...a little breezy, sure, but the rip tides, elevated waves, and coastal flooding were present nonetheless. Scary!

Then I think about Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama. I'm sure you've seen the news reports and videos. Total devastation. Over a million without power. Deaths in the double-digits. Flooding on an unprecedented scale (still occuring as the storm moves over Georgia into Tennessee and the Carolinas).

Total cost of all the summer storms is well into the billions.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Jeanne is stirring in the Atlantic...

We got another two months until the end of hurricane season, folks.

Baylife Article on Crazed Fanboy
Long-time readers will remember news of my being interviewed by a reporter from The Tampa Tribune for an article ostensibly about Crazed Fanboy dotcom back in early August (please see PCR #229 and #232 for further background on this). Two hurricanes delayed publication of said article keeping me on pins and needles and raising doubts as to whether I was judged worthy of publication at all, until I received word from the reporter, Josh Poltilove, that the piece would appear in the "Baylife" section of the Tampa Tribune, Friday, September 10, 2004.

I was excited at the prospect of appearing in my hometown newspaper, expecting a huge write-up reflecting the many years I've been at this, the enormous expenditure of resources to keep it going, and the many, many talented contributors who've helped build this entity into something we can all be incredibly proud of. When the Tribune's staff photog insisted on getting a picture of me on my bike, I had a bad feeling this was going in the wrong direction, but I went along as he was uninterested in my opinion. The resulting article, "Opinion-Maker Calls The Shots On His Weird Web Site", was something much different, much smaller, and much more focused on me personally than I ever imagined. My first reaction was one of mixed emotions and confusion. I'll stop short of saying "disappointment", because most any exposure is good exposure at this point. I will possibly allow I was the victim of dashed expectations. Once I concluded what it was all about, I was much better.

Click on the newspaper clipping above to see my personal scanned copy of the Tribune article done on me. The photo was taken at Britton 8 Cinemas.
You can read the online version of the article, but there may be a charge for it. Alternately, you can squint and read the scan I made of my personal copy (click image at left). It was impossible to find a copy free of printing defects, I had to clean it up a bit.

Basically, the article portrays me as someone originally afraid and hateful of computers, eventually saw the light and embraced them in order to satisfy his self-indulgent craving to shout his opinions to the world; has sacrificed almost all creature comforts to conserve financial resources, and has conscripted "ten unpaid writers" to help flesh out the site. All true, but hardly describes what we do!! There is virtually no further elaboration on the site, its magnitude, its contents, or its mission. The URL was published and a nice B&W screenshot was included at the end. Presumably, this was to inspire readers to check the site out for themselves. I know for a fact many did.

I remember Josh got terribly confused when I tried to explain to him the relevance and accuracy of the decorative hitcounter at page bottom, a matter which has come up frequently elsewhere (any webmaster will tell you a homepage hitcounter is not the most reliable tracking device in the world, it's just a rough idea. True page visits are recorded on a stats server). He kept saying, "So the site gets 1,000 hits a week?" And I would correct him, "No, Josh, the homepage gets around a thousand hits a week, give or take. The site as a whole gets tens of thousands of hits due to the Archives." We spent a great deal of time on this. He did get it right in one part of the Baylife article, where it's accurately reflected ("the homepage...gets about 1,000 hits a week"), but it's not so in the caption under the closing screen-shot ("the Web site gets about 1,000 hits a week").

To be fair, there was included two exact quotes of mine I'm very proud of: "My theory, my feeling about pop culture, is that everything we know, everything we see, everything we think for the most part is influenced inextricably, unavoidably and irreversibly by pop culture." That was accurate and true to the spirit as well as my holy mantra that was the article's closing line, "Everyone's entitled to my opinion". Our movie and book reviews, political discussions, and even the message board got appropriate nods. There is, however, an inaccurate reference to the friend who originally "taught me" how to make a website. He's referring to Steve Beasley, who in 1999 did up a document in Microsoft Word Art that showed me what a webpage of mine might look like, that's all. Admittedly an epiphany, but not the same as "teaching" me anything, as Steve will attest. I taught myself website design. I've told that story many times, I know that's what I said.

Otherwise, I had no business expecting the piece to be promotional, that's just how I think. But after spending so many hours with me and my sweatshop staff (including Mike Smith, Andy Lalino, and William Moriaty), I was shocked so little made it through to the end, except the notion that computers empowered me to make a website that's "all about me"(!). Did Josh not get it? Or was this an editor's decision?

Including details like me being an atheistic, Libertarian, overweight 7-Eleven part-time employee "Star Trek buff" with no car seemed much more relevant to Mr. Poltilove than the stories of contributors whose relationships with me go back decades. Well, the former version is funnier, isn't it? (As Rick Sousa points out it "kinda describes you like The Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons." And then from ED Tucker: "...this really pathetic guy and what he thinks he is doing to make himself less pathetic.") But at the cost of any material whatsoever from William or Andy. Mike did get a nice one-line quote, as did Orlando-based sponsor Lisa Clardy (F-Bod studios).

I wrote Mr. Poltilove a letter asking if this direction was an editorial decision or was he really left with these impressions? As of this writing, I've received no answer. I likely will not, he's gone on to other stories.

I'll tell you one thing though: I am extremely moved at the outpouring of support I've received from friends and staff alike. Mike Smith has written a Letter to the Trib, William and I both wrote Josh directly, and this issue's Matt's Rail covers it. I even heard from radio legend Tedd Webb ("Nolan, the Trib is famous for this. First-hand experience. Exposure is exposure, but they could have done more with it. It is my favorite site.")! Wow! Thanks, Tedd, that means a lot, I appreciate it.

I'll tread more carefully next time. But lest you think I'm being overly negative....

Crazed Fanboy welcomes new sponsor
To be absolutely fair, I must stress there were many positive reactions to the article. Some people did visit us and some people did get it. We welcome aboard Banyon Publishing, a self-publishing company out of Brandon committed to helping new authors get into the game. They're our newest text-link subscriber and we're happy to have them. Check out the site.

September's Romeo Coffeehouse Film Series.
It's been two months since we last visited the Coffeehouse---Hurricane Charley forced the cancellation of August's meeting. S'OK, after a few handshakes we got down to business. Unfortunately, because traveling companion Gus Perez and I were functioning on virtually zero sleep, we could only stay for a couple of movies.

Rick Danford and Nolan Canova
Rick Danford, left, and yours truly at the September Romeo Coffeehouse meeting. I'm holding in my hand the latest DVD release from Rick's Enigma Films, "The Nightmare Collection".
The Reaper -- Enigma Films. About 12 minutes. Horror short filmed in a day and a half by some familiar names (Rick Danford, Andy Lalino, Noeland Collins), this first production of Rick's using the new Panasonic AG-DVX100A 24p camera.

When a prostitute-turned-murderer offs her latest client, she is caught by surprise when she finds he is more than what he seems. Judgment Day has come for Amber and it has an appetite for blood.

First-rate acting, excellent music and sound. Writing and direction both good. I didn't care for some of the lighting, especially scenes with Krista Grotte who seemed perpetually in the dark (I had to be reminded it was Krista. Rick assured me the contrast is different on the DVD). Shots of the Reaper were great, though, the Panasonic yields a darn clear, film-like picture. Recommended.

Life Is A Circus -- TOO Productions. Ever have one of those days? Try having one of those days as a clown or a mime. – 18 minutes. Shot on Super-16 by the brothers Guzzo, the production values attained by those two are always nothing short of professional. The genuine film look of 16mm is hard to replicate.
The situations suffered by the girl clown and male mime are funnier in that they must always remain mute. Well-acted and choreographed. Another recommended comedy from the Guzzos.

I was unable to stay for Time and Again (Todd Thompson) or Saving Shelly (Diane Berryman). Hopefully, I can catch them again in another meeting soon.

I'd like to mention I was able to secure a copy of The Nightmare Collection directly from Rick Danford, and I will be carrying that on The Last Outpost as soon as details are worked out! Look for a review of the DVD later in the week, right here!

Announcements
You may have noticed the new edition of Flash Fantastic finally made it online! Do check it out. Please understand everything is running way behind this whole month due to constant evacuations notices, power outages and phone outages that started in August with all the hurricanes. Now that things are calming down a bit and returning to normal, you can expect the PCR/CF publishing schedule to start shoring up! Also uploaded to the web are the newest Dinosoldier chapter and Schlockarama!

BIRTHDAY WISHES go out to Michael A. Smith of The Rant fame as he turned 44 Thursday, September 16th! Happy Birthday, Mike, and many happy returns.


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    
Crazed Fanboy dotcom is owned and operated by Nolan B. Canova


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