Either your browser's javascript has been disabled or it needs an update! Please re-enable your javascript program or update your browser to view this page as designed. Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2001 Banner! Number 62 (Vol 2, No. 22).  This edition is for the week of May 28--June 3, 2001.
$300 bucks from George Dubya. Plus: the new "Face on Mars" pix

I didn't think George W. Bush could ever buy my vote. But, dammit, I'm apparently going to receive some cash from him. In fact every man, woman and child taxpayer in the United States can look forward to a check of at least $300 (Up to $600 depending on your situation) during the first week of September or so! This is because his 1.3 trillion-dollar tax-cut was passed. Critics argue that the tax-cut will wind up costing Americans up to 4 trillion dollars over the next several years. I don't know enough about economics to agree with that or not, but for right now, I'm happily looking forward to that first $300!

The two Mars faces The new Face-on-Mars pix.
This modern-day legend or urban space-myth or conspiracy theory has, in my opinion, no life left in it.
   Brief history: soon after the original Viking Orbiter mission of 1976 relayed the best pictures of Mars' surface up to that time, someone or some group noticed that one fuzzy shot of a mesa or rock outcropping resembled a human face. (See picture at left) A cult grew out of the notion that this structure was not a trick of light and shadow as supported by NASA, but an artificial structure put there by aliens---or our ancestors---or our ancestors who were the aliens. With possible ties to ancient Egypt. (Owning to the structure's "Pharoah-like" appearance.)
   Chief among these proponents was author, scientist, and former science advisor to Walter Cronkite, Richard C. Hoagland with his book "The Monuments of Mars" (about 1984). I have this book and it's an amazing exploration of how the mathematical angles of not only the Face, but all the other surrounding structures add up to the inescapable "fact" that the Face must be artificial. Well...ahem...it just goes to show that sometimes you can make numbers do amazing things (get me started on "The Bible Code" sometime).
   In 1998, the Mars Global Surveyor took the newest and most remarkably clear high-rez pictures yet of the area, matching distance and angle of the original (See photo to the right above)--which had been attempted with only limited success before. To my mind, this settles the matter... it is just an outcropping/mesa/plateau with one side amusingly, but only vaguely, resembling a human face from an altitude of several (hundred?) miles.
   Not to be outdone, Hoagland now suggests that the Face has a Mayan influence of duality! He supports this with photos of Mayan artifacts that show a different left face and right face on the same individual. Never let a good conspiracy die I say! However, Hoagland also maintains that NASA was WAY too slow in releasing the latest pictures---which nearly resulted in a lawsuit from NASA-watchers to obtain the photos' release. Well, he may have something there.....

The drought and global warming. The drought in Florida is the worst in 100 years or several hundred years depending on who you ask. According to some climatologists, the '90s were the warmest decade the Earth has seen in either 1000 or 10,000 years!

Deadguy's Dementia
Do movie reviews often reveal too much?
Are some movie reviews too exhaustive?

I've stopped wandering around the web looking at movie info, due to the amount of spoiler information that's pumped out of everywhere. It's amazing what people feel the need to tell you about. The main thing I don't want to spoil is the "Star Wars: Episode 2" stuff, yet just the other day, I was emailed info that definetely cinched down certain events that I KNEW were supposed to happen soon, but not neccessarily within this movie. It was good news to hear because being an avid Star Wars fan I know what that means as far as the 3rd movie is concerned.
   I know the lead-up events to the 4th movie and wondered how much screen time was going to be given to them, and how much depth they were going to give to some of the possibly trivial aspects of these events. However, as good as the news was, it really kinda' disappointed me. Even though to a non-avid fan, the information wasn't significant, I'm not going to elaborate upon what info I got, because to someone like me, it was really a major spoiler. However, I will mention that it had to do with a certain video camera that was snuck onto the film set, and the resulting internet video that was online for approximately two hours before being removed. I didn't even bother to see the film clip, because I'm not into spoilers, as I said, but the damn description of the video was enough. I read it before I even realized the significance.

To put it in perspective, I was nailed with an unexpected spoiler for Episode 1, too. I was with my friend Eric, and purchased the soundtrack CD for Episode 1 (I figured it would be as good as the other Star Wars soundtracks). I decided that I wouldn't listen to it until I'd seen the movie, because sometimes just remembering a song you're hearing is enough to pull you out of the movie storyline. So I waited... I even had storyboards for the movie before it came out, but I didn't even read the text on the back of it, let alone actually thumb thru it. One day, I had accidentally placed the CD (still sealed in it's case) upside down on my bedside table. When I got up the following morning, I glanced at it and didn't recognize it until my eye was drawn to a song title: "The death of Qui Gon Jinn".. Man.. I was SO frustrated! I had been SO looking forward to seeing Liam Neeson as a Jedi Knight, in the days when the Jedi's were still prominent throughout the Star Wars Galaxy.
   Well, after that, I couldn't help thinking about it. I pondered it, and figured that it was probably going to happen in a manner similar to Obi-Wan's death. So when I went to see the movie, and I saw Darth Maul and the Jedis square-off near the end of the flick, I knew what was coming.

In any event.. I know what's coming in the next two films, at least the basic plotline placement for all the info I'd researched before these movies were even coming out. I had hoped to be pleasantly surprised by it all, but now I won't be.

So now I'm kinda' wondering about spoilers in general....Some folks love 'em, some hate 'em, and some could care less. I personally hate them, and hate being subjected to them when all I'm doing is reading a movie review.

The following text is my idea of what a movie review should, and shouldn't contain. I invite you all to read it, and throw in your two cents to see what you think about spoilers, and what CONSTITUTES a spoiler. Knowing what a spoiler is, is NOT as obvious as it may seem on the surface. It's a very subjective thing that definitely depends on the individual, and what they get out of watching a movie. I recognize that many of you may take offense at the movies I've used to illustrate these points, but I wanted to try and find stuff that we're all probably familiar with, rather than some underground, underfunded.. etc, etc.. (heh heh) short film that only Terence has seen.

The description of the movie correctly includes things like performance notes, and suchlike, but as long as the movie previews don't include any plot details, then the review shouldn't, either. Basically, I want to know if this movie is worth seeing, but I don't want to already know the first few story points that set-up the rest of the movie plot. I don't want to know what Shrek's quest is about or whatever (I skimmed it briefly so that I wouldn't remember it when I saw the movie) (Re: Brandon Herring's review of "Shrek", PCR issue 61.---N). I don't want any info that "leads" me into questioning things during the movie, like: "Oh.. that's funny, but even though he keeps saying he'll never take that course of action, I know that he DOES, because that's what the rest of the movie is about."
   To me, it kinda' stops you from getting absorbed into the storyline until you're well beyond the point where you should have been connecting with the characters. It can change the entire feel of the movie.

For example, have you seen "From Dusk til Dawn"? I will do my best not to spoil it if you haven't seen it, but it'll be hard to use it as a proper example unless you HAVE seen it... Anyways, OFFICIALLY, the movie is about "a pair of ruthless, thieving, brothers trying to escape the law by running for the border".
   Any more info about the plot would spoil it entirely. You can't turn around and explain that "such and such" is a great effect, or even begin to describe the setting for certain scenes near the end of the movie, otherwise folks will know about the outcome of important plot points that are FAR BEYOND the scope of watching the movie for the first time.

Perhaps a better example (from a movie that most folks have obviously seen, and that we've discussed synopsis's about before) would be Star Wars. A non-spoiling review of that movie would only say stuff like: "A young farmer on a distant desert planet hopes for adventure beyond the stars, and escape from a life under the oppressive thumb of the intergalactic Empire. When he discovers a plea for help from beyond the stars, he finds much more than he bargained for, and his life will never be the same."
   I feel that THAT is an synopsis that brings you to the beginning of the movie, and the beginning of the storyline. It mentions the Princess hologram, but only in an obtuse way. You aren't set up to think anything that involves plot points. In other words, you are setting up the viewer to be able to be swept up in the movie right from the beginning.
I feel that would be an adequate description of the basic movie...it's enough to let you into the story without actually TELLING you the story plot points. I feel that it certainly shouldn't say stuff like: "A restless young desert farmer on a distant planet is swept up in events beyond his wildest imaginings when his peace is shattered by the death of his aunt and Uncle. He quickly finds himself travelling among the stars, fighting with the rebellion in it's attempt to overthrow the evil Empire. With the aid of two faithful 'droids, an ill-tempered gambling smuggler with his hairy alien copilot, and an old hermit that's knowledgeable in the ways of a long-lost spiritual power known as the Force. He must learn to use the Force quickly if he is to save a princess from the clutches of the empire, and ultimately save the galaxy from a new imperial war machine designed to destroy an entire planet." (I think I've read some just like this, tho!---N)

You'd see that kind of synopsis on a videotape cover, but that's because the movie would have already been released long enough for further details to have been circulated amongst the populace. (But not if they behave like you want!---N) But imagine watching, and hearing about the movie for the first time. How enjoyable is your experience going to be?

When the 'droids meet-up with Luke, you'd know that they were there to stay. Even when R2D2 runs away, you'd at least suspect that he was coming back, because the synopsis DID say two 'droids. You'd also immediately know that his uncle was going to die, so therefore the long-term plans made by the character would be summarily discarded as you watched the film. When the hologram appeared, you'd know that Luke himself was going to save her, because that's in the synopsis. You'd also have some knowledge that when Obi-wan shows up, he's going to hang around as a major player, you'd also know that he was going to try to teach Luke to use "the Force"...this is further reinforced by the fact that he's referred to as "old Ben, the hermit" by Luke's Uncle.
   Then when Obi-wan says that Luke is going to help him aid the princess, you already KNOW he's going, so it would be kinda anti-climactic. Then the uncle DOES die, which is also kinda' anti-climactic since you already knew, and they go looking for a way to get off-planet. Then when Chewbacca shows up with Han Solo.. they fit the description given in the synopsis, so you have no doubts that not ONLY are these some more main characters, they're also going to successfully get off-planet, despite any tension created by the stormtroopers.
   Luke learns to use "the Force" in mid-flight, and you knew that was coming, so although you might marvel over the specifics, you aren't really into the movie characterizations enough because everything up until that point has seem contrived, since you KNEW where the characters were going long before they got there.
   Then they get the princess, and you know that Luke is going to fight the Deathstar somehow, and you patiently go through the motions, realizing that since this is a movie about Luke, and it's in the synopsis, you can piece together the fact that he'll somehow manage to do it himself, somehow using the Force, most likely, and you're stuck looking for ways of this happening.

Is it exciting anymore? The only surprises would be the specific ways that things happen, like the details of the princess's rescue, or the aspects of Force training. Aside from that, there's not much left that hasn't been spoiled except perhaps the destruction of Alderaan (Leia's home planet), Ben's death, and the way in which the 'droids get to Tatooine (the desert planet).

That's why I wish reviews would lead you to the beginning premise of the movie and then stop!
Tell me: Is it worth seeing? do you recommend it? How well did the actors do? Were there any big names? (Except spoiler cameos.. don't mention that Sean Connery makes a cameo as the King near the end of the movie.) (No, readers, Sean Connery was not in the conclusion of Star Wars.---N) What was the quality of the script? Was the plot realistic, interesting, and/or believable? Are there good special effects in there? Describe them without spoiling them. What movies does this one remind you of? Is this a ground-breaking movie, or a general re-hash? Was the budget sufficient to tell the story the way you feel it SHOULD have been told? Did you read the novel? Was it a decent adaptation? Was the camera work distracting, or was it well done? Were there any obvious glitches? (without spoiling.. ie.- " Someone missed the fact that the old-west cowboys were wearing digital watches!", or "It seemed like several weeks of nighttime scenes lined back-to-back", etc..)

Don't tell me:
*- What the characters are going to do, or be, during the middle of the film.
*- How a certain head injury, sustained by the lead character halfway through the movie, looks pretty fake and switches sides throughout the film.
*- What characters are going to die (OR SURVIVE), if applicable, obviously.
*- What motivates characters' actions beyond the first plot point.
*- Anything except really vague hints about the first plot point.
*- How any "pieces come together" within the story.
*- Filming locations that are determined by the course of the story and don't appear in the previews (i.e.,-- don't tell me that the "Death star" hangar is pretty cool-looking when the Falcon lands in it.)
*- ANYTHING about characters that don't appear in the previews.
*- ANYTHING about characters that appear in the previews but don't actually get screen time, or are even referenced until halfway into the film. An additional guideline for this would be to NOT include characters that, according to the lineal storyline, may not appear. (i.e.,-- don't tell me about the bigfoot costumes when the whole movie is about being in search of bigfoot)
*- Any details about the funniest/scariest/coolest scene unless it's a very QUICK scene with no impact on the storyline and/or you are exceptionally vague about it. i.e.,--"As you know, the Titanic sinks. In one scene during the actual sinking, there's a guy that get's injured in a hilarious way as he falls to his death, adding 'insult to his injury.' The whole audience laughed when it happened, a nice touch of tragic comedic relief." As you hopefully recognize, assuming you watched the Titanic movie, I'm referring to the guy who smacked his head on the Titanic's propellor with a nice little "bong!" sound, but I didn't ruin anything by the way I told it. (DAMMIT! I didn't know about that! How can I see it now??---N) Anyone that knows even the first thing about the Titanic knows that it's gonna' sink, but it wouldn't be until the event happened, that they'd know what exactly what I was referring to.

In any event, this is all merely my opinion, I'm not some kind of professional movie critic, nor am I supposed to be the "voice of the people" by any stretch of the imagination. But what do you guys think? I want to know what your views are on it. How much info is too much? When does information start spoiling the feel of the film? Do my restrictions of a good movie critique go too far? Or not far enough? Anyone? Everyone?

©2001 Mike Scott   deadguy@email.msn.com
The "Deadguy's Dementia" header graphic is a creation of Mike Scott

And this just in boys and girls: in order to save desperately needed room at his local storage unit, Mike is selling off a lot of his Star Wars toy collection. You can find the eBay page, in progress, at members.ebay.com/aboutme/the-deadguy. Check it out and leave a bid!---Nolan.

Next week:
The monkey-man of India...what's that about?

It's a rare thing when I disagree with a fellow columnist over so many things in a single column!
    Anyone who's known me for even a short while knows that there's no one on the planet more sensitive to getting too much info revealed about a movie I'm planning to see than me!  But even I cannot agree with Mike about a lot of points. We briefly discussed this in personal emails, but to restate briefly: I believe a well done plot SYNOPSIS is appropriate for the "movies-at-a-glance" most newspapers have in their entertainment section. But, it's unrealistic to expect movie reviewers, writing their main weekend columns, to only refer to a vague and skeletal framework when they're trying to ENTICE the viewing public into seeing a movie they're excited about by describing what's ORIGINAL about the story! (Or vice-versa if it's negative.)
   The point is, movie reviews are written for a general audience who need some guidance about what to see. They're not written (necessarily) for crazed fanboys jonesing over the next installment of their favorite franchise. (Altho there are probably websites for them, too...ahem, coff coff.)
   Done responsibly, everyone's a winner. HOWEVER....I know even Siskel and Ebert (now Reoper and Ebert) have occasionally taken lumps about giving too much away in a review. I, too, have received a few complaints (but VERY few) about my own writings and Brandon's columns.....and that's with me being pretty careful!
   Funnily enough, while I agree that spoilers are a major drag, to date I've never experienced one from a newspaper or internet site...I HAVE experienced them from loud-mouthed, inconsiderate idiots who never knew when to stop when asked "So, how was the movie?" ---Nolan

UPDATE, 5-31-01: It had to happen! I have inspired a Mike's rebuttal!! Please read: Mike's Rebuttal to Nolan's Reply!

Brandon Herring

Halloween 8: a mistake?
By Brandon Herring

I was so excited about Halloween: H20 in August of 1998. I COULD NOT WAIT to see it, I saw it on opening day with my mom and was sorely disappointed. Being a HUGE Halloween fan"Scream" instead of being a true sequel to the masterpiece itself. Therefore it suffered severely from being even remotely scary, but had enough oomph of some kind to make it even remotely bad. From the first movie, six sequels (one having nothing to do with the series) was spawned. Only two of them succeeded in being good movies and good sequels (2 and 4) and the rest (5, 6, H20) were basically your average sequels.

There have been reports that since H20 made $55 million at the box office a sequel was being made. Even with the ending of H20 they still found a way to make Michael Myers come back to local theaters. This time their theory is it wasn't even Michael in the end, it was actually a paramedic. Right...and I'm secretly a multi-millionaire. "Halloween 8: The Homecoming" (yes that's the official subline for now) starts filming May 12th in Utah and production will only last three weeks, and be on a short budget of $15 million. Rick Rosenthal is directing the sequel, and since he did such a great job of doing "Halloween II" I started to get my hopes up.

Then the news came in that the cast of Halloween 8 would be primarily black and my jaw dropped to the ground. First up let's not get into a big race war here, because I am not even close to being a racist, but why can't Halloween 8 just have a mixed cast of black and white characters? Instead, the main characters consist of Tyra Banks, Busta Rhymes (!!!) and Sean Patrick Thomas. Still dumbfounded at this news, I have been keeping track of everything in this production.

So far I have come to the fact that it will suck. Why? Let's start here: Ending of H20...not really Michael? Please...are we going to make another "Friday the 13th: A New Beginning"? In H20, was Michael Myers actually an imposter and Michael Myers been sleeping since 1978 waiting 23 years to wake and terrorize Haddonfield again? The script has been re-written almost every week, and the last script review I read was completely different from the first. Has anyone actually heard the plot of this film: Several teenagers (Busta Rhymes?) hold a internet chat in the Myers house in Haddonfield, and Michael shows up to kill them, with one of the characters somehow making her way into Halloween 9 (!!!!!!!).

The funny thing about Halloween 8 is, that I will see it in theaters. I will go sit down for an hour and half, and see the movie. Deep down inside as a devoted Halloween fan, I feel that this sequel is blasphemous. If they really want to make a good sequel they need to go back to the idea Halloween III had (yes it was a good idea) and get off the Michael Myers subject, and actually make a whole new series.

In my mind, I find making Halloween 8 to be a huge mistake. It makes no sense to make it, and all Dimension wants is money. If Halloween 8 ends up being a good movie I will eat these words: I guarantee "Halloween 8" is going to suck. I've said it before. Shouldn't the subplot be: "He Comes Home for the 7th Time"(?).
5-10-01 ©2001 Brandon Herring

Letters to the Editor

Matt's Rail        by Matthew Drinnenberg
Yes, I'm alive. That being the case, let's get down to business.....

Are we truly to the point of political correctness where errored vision and just plain stupidity find a safe harbour in our society at the expense of reality and freedom of expression? How in the world a T-shirt proclaiming "Proud to be Straight" is offensive is beyond me. Where were all these concerned Americans when "Gay Pride" T-shirts were sweeping the nation. Even today, as I walk the malls, I see shirts proclaiming all sorts of beliefs. Am I to believe that "PTBS" is so threatening it shouldn't be allowed to be worn?? And yet the others can be? You can analyze the slogan all day and not find any harmful, vulgar, or hatred-filled animosity in it at all. He's just happy to be straight, not gay, and proud of it. Is that so wrong? Does that mean that since he can't be proud he's straight that Gay Pride is now offensive? Or is it just that any and all forms of correctness that have their foundation in the Bible should be cast off as ancient and unfounded. We're such an intelligent people. NOT!

My personal belief is that we find ourselves in these dilemmas because we, as humans, are trying fervently to be a passive people. We want everything to be okay! We should agree with everyone with whatever they choose to do, unless it's perceived as Christian, or "wrong" in today's standards, then we snatch it up and throw dirt on it as we bury it away from our conciousness.

We teach our children today that they should be "tolerant" and "accepting", as we strive for some sort of Eutopian feeling. The only problem is that Eutopias are often found in the rubble of some former civilization discarded by time or Fantasy Land. You can't have tolerance without intolerace or you run the risk of discarding morality as a whole, whose entire plateau is correctness of body and spirit.

We ban prayer and the Ten Commandments at school, and then pass out handbooks of same-sex relationships and "safe" sex, which totally ignores the emotional repercussions of "safe" sex. Am I to believe that this is better reading for our young than "Thall shalt not kill, covet, lie, steal, and commit adultry"? Are we so off-center as a people that we are no longer to support belief in God and His precepts for a contented life? It has been proven scientifically thru studies at Harvard that the decay of our nation's morality can be traced to the end of school prayer. In essense, we turned from God and unfortunately for us, He let us.

Is it any WONDER that we're in the mess we're in.
Next week comes a shocking political revelation...
Till then, take care and God Bless,
   Wow, this T-Shirt controversy must be particular to Massachusetts, because I've never heard of it!  I'm not armed with all the relevant facts of this individual case, so I'm not sure how to comment.  I am confused, however, on how a freedom of expression issue became a religious issue.
   You're using this case--a legal one, as far as I can tell--to soapbox about Christianity. Well, that's OK, I guess, you're a valued contributor to this ezine and I don't censor, but I try to avoid political and religious activism of any length. Someday I may start a newsletter for that purpose, but not the PCR.
   It would be helpful if you could forward a few more details about this T-shirt case. Plus, I've never heard of this Harvard study that "scientifically proves" the ban on school prayer is tied to our nation's "moral decay." Please forward that, too. I know the ban was passed in the '60s (1963, I think). The decade when society, as a whole, changed forever. Music, art, movies, literature...everything. I'm sure there are many studies that reached different conclusions as to why. In my opinion, it all started with the JFK assasination followed by the Beatles invasion followed by the televised ordeal of Vietnam. Altho the ban on school prayer preceded those events slightly, I cannot believe it alone was responsible for the social upheaval that followed.
   Conversely, if the ban on school prayer had NOT passed, I cannot believe the upheaval would've been averted.---Nolan.

Terence Nuzum  Re: "Deadguy's Dementia" and Brandon's Halloween article from this issue.
Your article on movie reviews was just the perfect tirade. It was such a Terence moment which I'm sure was not lost on you. See, maybe The Enlightenment is working (Terence's new series which began in issue 60.---N). Seeing that I did not turn in a tirade this week, you took my place nicely. Again, it was such a Terence article. Telling everyone how PCR reviews should be. Great job!

Sorry, Brandon, but I think you're being too kind on H2O: it was not just sorely disappointing, it was pure garbage---but at least you had the good taste to hate it. "Halloween 8?" There, my friends, is indeniable evidence that there is no god! I completely agree with you on the Halloween series except that, quite frankly, if they stopped at number one I wouldn't have anything to bitch about. Don't forget, [Halloween's director, John] Carpenter was once reported as saying that if he had to do another "Halloween" sequel, he would put Michael in space. Sound familiar? But, then again, that very comment just complements what a shitty filmmaker he has become. "Ghosts of Mars"? Sound anything like his earlier film "Assualt on Precinct 13" to anyone? Oh, but it's in space, so it's not a remake. Why he didn't stop with "The THING" is beyond me. But, that is a whole different tirade!

Mike "Deadguy" Scott  Re: "Matt's Rail" from this issue.
Freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion. To teach the Bible concepts in regular schools is a nice Christian thing to do, but despite what a lot of people think, God does not figure into everyone's belief system. You may feel free to support your religion however you see fit, but do it within your own realm of daily living, not by suggesting that the entire school system should preach the beliefs that you personally hold. The reason for this is that you yourself are fortunate to believe in a religion that seems to be followed by most other people in this country (or at least that's what's been indicated on census forms). Therefore, your own religious views would not be compromised by such an action.

Now try to envision the world that other folks live in: I personally know of a guy that's a complete and total atheist. He has a 3-year-old son and has decided that religion is the biggest lie on the face of the planet. He feels that religion is a deception created by the old churches that wanted to control people through fear of going to hell. (I'm with him.---N) He has said that he is concerned that his son might grow-up to be a believer of 'that nonsense". The guy is very nice to folks, and has his own sense of morality that pretty much tends to follow the Bible's sense of morality, due to the fact that he calls the Bible: "Man's first work of fiction, attempting to set down ground rules on how a society should act in order to live with one another."

Whether you agree with him or not, he does exist, and that's how he feels, he has every right to feel that way. He has every constitutional right that you have, and one of those rights is freedom of religion. He won't push his atheism down your child's throat at school, as long as you don't push your Christianity down his. His opinions and beliefs are as strongly based as your own. There are holes in both theories, but the only significant advantage is that more people would agree with you. Even that advantage can be countered by suggesting the concept of "mob mentality". The Christian religion is based on faith rather than proof, His religion is the same thing, except based only on proof without faith. I'm not saying this as an attack on Christianity, I'm merely illustrating the fact that other beliefs exist and have every right to. This is the reason that prayer isn't supposed to happen in public schools. If you wish to get your child into a school that openly and strongly supports Christian values, I recommend sending them to a Christian school.

The example I used was that of a 'non-religion" but just in case anyone thinks I'm not including them, there ARE non-God religions out there. By not teaching about God in schools, it could be argued that we're teaching atheism, but I would suggest that schools should be separate from the Church, so that various religious beliefs aren't compromised by the "general consensus."

Mike's Rant!

Hello gang!  Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday. Shall we begin.

There, I've said my piece.

I am growing sick and tired of the idiots who invoke the "zero tolerance" rule when expelling students from school. I have heard horror stories including:

  • A ten-year-old boy who was expelled because his accompanying drawing with his story on the American revolution included soldiers holding rifles.
  • A girl who gave a fellow student two Tylenol because she had a terrible headache.
  • Two eight year old boys who pointed chicken fingers at each other during lunch. And now the capper....
  • A high school honor student in Fort Meyers, Florida was arrested and jailed because a BUTTER KNIFE was found in her car. She had helped her mother move some household items over the weekend and the knife apparently fell out of a box onto her car floor. Lindsay Brown, 18, spent a day in jail on a felony charge of possession of a weapon when officials "saw" the knife on the floor of her car. She was freed on $2,500 bail.
First off, what in the hell are school officials doing walking through the parking lot looking into the windows of students' cars? You can't tell me that they were just passing by and happened to look in. What kind of message does that send today's students? Suppose Billy gets sent to the office for some kind of mischief. The principal remembers walking through the parking lot and peering into Billy's car. Boy, he sure had some bad CD's in there.......Marilyn Manson, Insane Clown Posse........he's obviously a trouble-maker. Billy doesn't stand a chance to plead his case...........he's already been convicted. Common sense will tell you that none of the students mentioned above were dangerous. And the kid who drew the soldiers---are you going to throw out all of the history books? As far as I can remember, every history book I ever saw has a depiction of how the American Revolution started. If you're over 10, you've seen the crude lithograph showing how Crispis Attux was shot by troops in Boston. Oh my God! They have guns. Close the school. I hope one day a teacher or principal has the bad luck of accidentally transporting something on school grounds...........be it a kitchen knife or a bottle of Midol. I can't wait to see them arrested for violating their own policies.

The sports world was set back 100 years when the Supreme Court ruled that golfer Casey Martin could use a motorized golf cart when he competes in tournaments. Martin has a condition that causes his legs to hurt when he walks too much. He asked the court to rule that he has a disability, and therefore should be treated fairly under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Martin's lawyer told the court that golf is all about hitting the ball. Nothing else matters. Bullshit! I've played many a round, and I can't begin to tell you how much heat and fatigue play into your game. I would estimate that on an average, a golfer walks up to 5 MILES each round he plays. This means that in your average tournament, you are walking 20 miles. Add in the hot sun in the summer and having to walk between shots, and you can see where the game takes it's physical toll. While Tiger Woods is sweating his ass off, walking 400 yards after his tee shot in 98 degree heat, Martin is hopping in his cart and heading towards his ball. Hey Casey..............get a real job! Who in the hell said you HAVE to be a golfer? This ruling opens the door now for all sports to be scrutinized. Can you see the 400 lb Olympic diver who feels he is unfairly penalized because he splashes too much when he hits the water?

That's it for now. Have a great week!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2001 by Michael A. Smith    "Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2001 by Mike Scott    "Halloween 8: a Mistake?" is ©2001 by Brandon Herring    "Matt's Rail" is ©2001 by Matt Drinnenberg    Thanks to Terence Nuzum and Mike Scott for sending in additional commentary!    All contents this page are ©2001 by Nolan B. Canova.

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