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PCR #94. (Vol. 3, No. 2) This edition is for the week of January 7--13, 2002.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang. A few obits and airline safety on the agenda. Shall we begin?

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I had two things in common with Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, who passed away this week from liver cancer. We were both adopted and we lived five blocks from each other in Bay Village, Ohio in 1974. Actually, if you count an overindulgence in cheeseburgers, three things. Though he retired in 1982, he came back to Wendy's in 1989 and began what Guiness has verified as the longest television campaign of advertisements in history. In over 800 television spots, Dave was like our favorite uncle at the family cookout. His smiling face and quiet manner made Wendy's the third largest fast food chain in the world. A high school drop out---he left so he could work full time---he earned his GED from Coconut Creek High School in 1993. Not surprisingly, he was named Most Likely to Succeed by the graduating class.

Film producer Julia Phillips, who became the first woman to win a Best Picture Oscar for 1973's "The Sting," died Tuesday of cancer. She was 57. Along with her husband, Michael, she also co-produced "Taxi Driver" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." After losing her position and authority due to her drug use, Phillip's wrote one of the best "tell all" books about Hollywood, "You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again," which raised more then a few eyebrows with it's non flattering portrayal of Hollywood behind the scenes.

Comedian Avery Schreiber, who with his partner, Jack Burns, was a fixture on television in the 1960's and 70's, died Monday of a heart attack. He was 66. Burns and Schreiber appeared on the "The Ed Sullivan Show" and had their own summer comedy-variety series on ABC in 1973. Schreiber also had a role in the 1965 series, "My Mother the Car," and appeared on stage in "Hamlet," "Showboat" and "Fiddler on the Roof."

   I am getting sick and tired of all of these people who are screaming "discrimination" and worse because they are being checked more carefully before they board a plane. You know damn well that these are the same idiots that would be the first to point a finger if something had slipped by on a plane they were on. First, a secret service agent, armed I might add, yells discrimination because the pilot of the plane would not let him fly after he found the agent's paperwork improperly completed for approval to carry his weapon on board. The agent apparently became belligerent, threatening to bring the power of the White House down on the pilot and his family. While others on the plane support the pilot's story, the agent's lawyer states that he was just quietly going about his business when he was singled out because he "looks Arab." Because only a very small group of secret service agents deal directly with the White House, I'm going to guess the pilot is telling the truth. How else would he know this guy worked for President Bush. 95% of secret service agents work for the treasury department, capturing counterfeiters, etc. President Bush has called the agent "an honorable fellow." We shall soon see.
   Now comes word that a civil rights organization is demanding that Northwest Airlines apologize because they asked a Muslim student to remove her head scarf at a security checkpoint. Why? That's why it's called a security checkpoint. When I was returning home from Chicago last month, I set off the metal detector and had to undergo the scanning wand, etc. As I was dismissed, the security supervisor jumped on the woman who had just screened me because she hadn't checked under my cap. With people hiding stuff in their shoes, pockets............hell, up their ass for all I know, you can't be too careful.
   I must admit that when I heard that a Tampa high school student had crashed his plane into the Bank of America building the first thing I thought was, "Man I hope he didn't go to Plant!" I plan to follow this case a little further before I comment on it too much. I keep hearing conflicting stories - the police labeling him a loner while his friends and family say he was very out going. As I write this, I see they are trying to blame his Acne Medication (!) for his suicidal plight. Apparently, the modern angry young nut has smooth skin! Jeesh!

To old what's-his-name who rails on these same pages..................Matt Drinnenberg. He's 41 this week. He also sent me a kick-ass Christmas box which I am in the process of topping for his birthday. Stay tuned!

Have a great week everyone. See ya!

"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