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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2010!
Assistant Editor / Co-moderator: Terence Nuzum

Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eleventh calendar year!
Number 544  (Vol. 11, No. 35). This edition is for the week of August 23--29, 2010.

Nuttiness
Weekend Video Revamp
The Flying Dutchman--Florida-Style
Philly Wants Bloggers Licensed
The Magic Words
Florida Primaries Final
Ebonics Lives!
The Primaries


WEEKEND VIDEO REVAMP
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2010

-- THE FIRST DECADE --
Crazed Fanboy's Most Memorable Moments, 2000--2009
As submitted by PCR writers, compiled by Chris Woods
CHILLER CINEMA: THE BUSINESS OF HORROR
From 2005, Drew Reiber's article on how horror movies do at the box office.
Videos are still coming and I'm not throwing in the towel by any means, don't get me wrong. But obviously, I was a little over-ambitious about the practicality of committing to a new video every Friday. When we started it seemed doable, but real life keeps getting in the way. Taping is only one step. Editing, formatting, encoding, and uploading took way waaaay more time than I anticipated. Plus, it has to fit around all our work schedules, damn it all.

I'm extremely proud of our video output this summer! We accomplished quite a bit, really, and I marvel we got this far. I don't simply want to do web-cam stuff. Long-time readers may remember I did that before and I wound up commenting on what's already on the homepage. So, we're keeping to our desire to upload videos regularly -- good videos, not just hack stuff -- but are going back to the drawing board to fine-tune the process a little better regarding content and scheduling.

So...videos are still coming, but will be staggered more in publication for practical purposes. We're just gettin' started!


THE FLYING DUTCHMAN--FLORIDA-STYLE
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2010

Earlier this week, we Floridians had a good ghost story to tell that may not have such a paranormal ending, as it turns out. Still, it is quite a fetching mystery, at least so far.

Redington Beach residents woke Wednesday morning to find a beautiful, 48-foot yacht worth a million dollars, washed up on the beach---with no one on board and the engine still running! There were no signs of a struggle, but at least someone had thought to engage the auto-pilot before...well, before whatever happened, happened.

Investigators found the boat had been sold out of Jupiter Florida (the other coast!) two years prior. As tongues wagged and ghost stories commenced, investigators were able to determine that the current owner, Arturo Millet Reyes, had reported the boat stolen from Cancun, Mexico(!) Saturday. At this writing, that's all there is.

A crew tugged the yacht to Johns Pass and will turn it over to U.S. Customs agents.


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PHILADELPHIA WANTS BLOGGERS LICENSED
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2010

I delayed commenting on this to avoid jinxing area bloggers, but I can't get it out of my mind. The City of Philadelphia is asking area bloggers to cough up $300 for a business license if they have advertising on their blogs, considering it a business venture.

Like most big cities, Philly is cash-strapped, but for crying out loud, for most folks, blogging is a hobby and alone does not pay the bills! The ads (e.g., Google adsense and the like) might generate $20--$50 a year if they're lucky! The political policy is insane and will only succeed in shutting down blogs.

When I did a little more research, I found that the $300 is a one-time "business privilege" license or some such thing, as opposed to the alternative, a yearly fee of $50 to operate in Philadelphia. A proposed bill would exempt sales tax on the first $100,000 of profit.

I can't believe this will be enacted, let alone endure (maybe they're trying to shut down political bloggers), but the IRS has guidelines about how much profit is "profit" and how much profit is "hobby". After two or three years of losses exceeding profits, they pretty much regard you as a hobbyist.


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THE MAGIC WORDS
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2010

In last week's PCR, I mused how the "debt consolidation" market has slowly begun to evolve into the "bankruptcy" market as the former approach has proven not to be the panacea advertised.

Now, I'm finding a strange, newer trend in TV commercials that may seem familiar to some readers, but with a twist. Remember in the early '90s, after the first wave of credit woes struck during that recession, used car dealers (among others) started touting "BAD CREDIT? NO CREDIT? NO PROBLEM!" cheering a new, proprietary loan system in order to sell cars?

I was shocked this morning to hear the following (and I think it was for car loans, but I'm not 100% on that): "NO CREDIT SCORE REQUIRED!" My chin hit the ground. An individual's credit score is what, traditionally, everything revolved around. Of course, with no credit available to anyone anymore (save for the top 1% of earners), how ya gonna buy and sell used cars or anything else? Why...change the system!

I have no idea what this is about or how it works, I just heard it the one time. But in conjunction with what I wrote about last week, I thought it was funny.


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FLORIDA PRIMARIES FINAL
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2010

At the end of one of the nastiest Republican gubernatorial battles of all time, businessman Rick Scott pulled a narrow victory out from under Florida's Attorney General Bill McCollum, 47% to 43%, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning (Bill McAllister barely registered at 10%).

The brutal campaign was based on the hugely popular "insider vs outsider" motif that's all the rage, using villified phrases like "career politician" and "government insider".

More to the point -- and largely what made this an upset -- was that medical/hospital developer Rick Scott made lots of his millions from Medicare fraud and spent somewhere between $30 and $40 of those millions -- his own cash --on his campaign, twice what McCollum had to work with, making this the most expensive campaign in Florida history. Not that McCollum came away untarnished, mainly being linked to his flip-flop on Arizona's immigration laws coming to Florida, among other things.

Democrat Alex Sink, Florida's chief financial officer, by contrast (and in the shadow of the Scott/McCollum war), had a cakewalk victory over Brian Moore taking 85% of the vote.

Common to all campaigns was "job creation" -- and arguably where Rick Scott appealed to many Floridians. Alex Sink will debate Rick Scott in September.

I felt this was important enough for me to acknowledge even at the risk of offending readers to dislike my putting any politics on the homepage, so I'll stop here. There is plenty more (businessman Jeff Greene lost to Kendrick Meek for Senator, and nobody's quite sure where incumbent Charlie Crist--now an independent--is going), but the theme generally seems to be "outsider vs insider". Florida's joblessness is among the highest in the country and no greater issue stands before voters as a priority.


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EBONICS LIVES!
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2010

According to TheSmokingGun.com, the Department of Justice is seeking to hire nine linguists fluent in Ebonics to help monitor, translate, and transcribe the secretly recorded conversations of subjects of narcotics investigations, according to federal records.

I cannot decide if this is funny or tragic nor can I believe this nonsense is still going on.

Readers may recall that "Ebonics" -- a term first coined nearly forty years ago, believe it or not, to describe the Black Accent, Black English, or African-American vernacular -- reached national attention in 1996 when the Oakland, California school board voted to accept Ebonics as a language separate from English. And that by "teaching" through Ebonics, black children and teens' education would progress more fluidly.

The inherent insanity in such an idea (not to mention the odd embedded racism) resulted in hot controversy and the subject was largely ignored by most of the country and dropped off the radar, or so I thought. The idea of dumbing down subjects like English literature and composition to compensate for urban gutter slang is repulsive in a school setting.

I'm going to speculate that in the ensuing 14 years, the pop culture blight of gangsta rap (or whatever it's called now) has mutated "Ebonics" to a new level and that it's so hard to understand that linguists have to be summoned to translate.

Anyone remember that scene in the movie "Airplane!" (1980) where Leave it to Beaver's Barbara Billingsely had to be conscripted to translate "Jive" talk when two African-American passengers could not make themselves understood? Substitute "Ebonics" for "Jive" and that's basically what we're talking about here. Except now it's real life. And not a joke. Well, not in the ha-ha sense anyway.


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THE PRIMARIES
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2010

The Primaries are Red, Yellow, and Blue. Sorry, couldn't resist. I'll be back tomorrow with the results of today's primary elections, a reflection on a particularly brutal Republican campaign, and what it portends for Florida's future.


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