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PCR Archives 2002
PCR Archives 2001
PCR Archives 2000
Crazed Fanboy homepage
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2002!

La Floridiana
Deadguy's Dementia
Blank Thoughts
Matt's Rail
Mike's Rant
(Links listed above indicate "final edition" status.)

Michael A. Smith's
The Omnipresent M. Smith homepage and Email                    

Matt Drinnenberg's
The Masters of Horror

Terence Nuzum's
Viddywell Productions

William Moriaty's
T.R.E.E., Inc.

Established A.D. 2000, March 19.  Now in our third calendar year!
   Number 108 (Vol. 3, No. 16). This edition is for the week of April 15--21, 2002.
My Position...

Charles Bishop
The family of suicide teen Charles Bishop is suing the manufacturer of the acne prescription drug "Accutane" for $70 million. The charge? That by using Accutane for acne treatment, the medication brought on a severe depression and suicidal thoughts where allegedly none would have been present otherwise, and determined the course of that fateful day when 15-year-old Charles Bishop, out of nowhere, decided he was an Al Queda operative/sympathizer and flew a small plane into the side of a bank building in Tampa, killing himself.

The parents of this kid and their lawyer say that the manufacturer of Accutane knew there were side-effects like this, but only in unusual cases. The defendants say teens are screwy anyway, their hormones are raging, don't blame us.

MY POSITION: Do we learn nothing from history? Every one of the teens in other states who shot up their classmates were on some kind of prescription dope. Why are so many kids on this crap? Is it any better that they're on prescription drugs rather than crack or something?
   Sure, I'm familiar with the Ritalin story. Some rare cases need that for real (in my younger days Attention Deficit Disorder was normal behavior in school---exceptional cases got sent to the dean's office for "therapy"), but I think it's grossly overprescribed. I don't remember any time in my life that so many kids "required" prescription medication for every single tiny emotional ailment. (Yes, it's tough growing up in today's society. But, to me, if you feel you need super-strength acne dope, you've got psychological issues already. What ever became of Clearasil? Not atomic enough?)
   Hey, everyone's responsible for his/her own actions. The manufacturer's are right about the raging hormones in teens, but teens don't normally slam airplanes into the sides of buildings. That's why you can't screw around with giving them drugs, prescription or not, except in EXTREME cases of illness, and the medical profession is not blameless here. Note: Lest anyone think I'm too insensitive towards acne sufferers, I do sympathize, I really do, but look, what I'm asking is: at present, is the only defense against a face ravaged by acne a suicide drug? Rather than blame Accutane per se, I want to know who thought it was an emergency to prescribe this stuff to Charles Bishop.

Crisis in the Catholic Church
No putting this off any longer. I wanted to comment on this two issues ago, but felt it too much of a downer in contrast to whatever else was in the headline section. The Pope has called all American cardinals to Rome to discuss the recent nationwide scandal involving priests who for decades practiced pedophilia with boys, and were apparently protected from legal ramifications by the Church.
   MY POSITION: This hits close to home, but for different reasons than the victims of these priests. For anyone who doesn't know already, I was baptized and raised Catholic. I attended Catholic schools until the 10th grade, when I decided I'd had enough of a religion with protocols I was having problems supporting and left to enroll in a local public high school. I never looked back. However, I do not hold the Church in any kind of contempt. I got a good education there and the facilities were outstanding. In the end it just wasn't for me.
   Funny tho, even as kids we all sensed there was something different about priests and nuns--kind of like you had to be different to embrace the celibate lifestyle like that. Even in grade school we figured many of the priests and nuns were gay. My personal theory was that they joined the Church as a way of "cleansing" their "evil" inclinations--like religious service would distract them enough to make the gayness go away. Not entirely successful, tho--even back then, a few were busted outside the school for sex-related offenses.
   I'm really saddened now to learn that as time went on, priests were giving in more and more (gawd only knows how many and for how long all this was going on) to their base sexual desires. I wish the victims best of luck on recovering from these bad memories. And, yes, I hope the Catholic Church establishes new doctrine to help avoid a situation like this ever happening again.
   Matt Drinnenberg has additional commentary about this situation in this week's "Rail".

Ronda Storms/Public Access/Freedom of Speech
I started talking about this in PCR #106, please review it for details. But to recap: Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms wishes to stop funding for Tampa's public access TV because she is occasionally offended by the programming. None of her county commissioner buddies are supporting her, but she is shrilly determined to make a federal case out of it. Most humorously, last week, the shoe was on the other foot---somebody sent Ronda a pornographc picture, which she then forwarded to other government officials in an attempt to gain attention and sympathy. Well, she got some attention: they considered prosecuting her for distribution of obscene materials over the internet! Too much.
   MY POSITION: Ronda will lose the battle for suppression of free speech, but she may make enough noise to damage public access's funding. If we make it out of this, I think it's likely we'll see harsher new rules--or even draconian measures--that will encourage self-censorship. I hope I'm wrong.

STOP THE PRESSES. UPDATE 4-19-02. Actor Robert Blake has been arrested and will be charged with the murder of his wife Bonny Lee Bakley who was killed almost a year ago. Blake's bodyguard, Earle Caldwell, has also been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Blake was taken into custody Thursday afternoon shortly after police arrived at his sister's home, where he was visiting, near Los Angeles. The arrest went without incident. Prosecutors will make formal charges over the next few days. Blake and his attorney still maintain his innocence.
We will definitely be commenting on this--as details unfold--starting in next week's PCR.---Nolan

La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
Tampa's organized crime communities of the 1920's, Part II As Charlie Wall was the Bolita Czar of Tampa, William Flynn was considered the "Daddy" of the early Moonshiners. Flynn had a three still operation that furnished much of West Tampa. On October 14, 1920 Federal agents (nicknamed "rev-enoo-ers" by moonshiners) raided his illegal distillery operations, destroying them, leaving a void that was quickly filled by his "moonshine" competitors. .......................................................Click here for more.

Blank Thoughts New column!
Blank Thoughts by Gary C. Esposito
Long-time Tampa fan and old friend Gary Esposito joins us again for more brilliant insights on television, mixed with incoherent ramblings as only he can deliver them. Gary thinks very deeply about this stuff!
First Up: Gary's in-depth analysis and sensitive profiling of a classic Twilight Zone episode fom season 1 (1959): "The Hitch Hiker."
Episode review by Gary C. Esposito..................................Click here for more.

Deadguy's Dementia This week's issue
Deadguy's Dementia by Michael Scott
Damn, this show is addictive. I don't watch much TV these days, preferring to mess around with the computer at night (or stuck bringing work home with me), but I'm positively aglow with excitement when Kristin (my fiancé) hollers in from the next room: "Honey, it's on!"
   There's very little that can tear me away from my 3D modeling programs like that one phrase can.
   It's essentially, at its core, a game-show developed where contestants must brave-out two night of dares to win 5-grand apiece. I swear this show feels custom-fit. ............Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
Nice to see such a fun and fibrous debate RE: Terence & Deadguy over something we all seem to have an opinion about. Certainly, strong arguments have been made for both sides, as is usually the case in most matters. Yes CGI must be considered art, just as golf is considered a sport and rap is considered music. New times bring new realities, and computer-generated characters, like it or not, are here to stay.....
As I thought would be the case, Pope John Paul II has called all Cardinals in the United States to Rome to discuss the recent flood of child molestation charges being brought against several priests. Surely this has to be the WORST possible scandal to ever befall an organization, be it religious or secular.... .................................Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
KIDS AND DRUGS (the prescribed kind)........THOU SHALT NOT TOUCH........CGI........ CALL ME SCOOP........MOVING ON........ ......................Click here for more.

Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.
You are correct in your recollection of a false obituary being printed for John Agar in the LA Times. (As I tentatively recalled in last issue's "Mike's Rant".---N) You are also correct (and can keep your stack of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines ) in your recollection that the story appeared in FM. In fact, it was issue #106!

You've got a helluva memory there, Mr. Canova.

Matt [Drinnenberg]

Thank, I say, THANK you kond suh! Ah have been vindicated!---Nolan

Hello all

I have some praises and some things to clear up, first off Deadguy. OK Mike, you know as well as I do that you and I have different opinions on how valid CGI is as an artform and that neither of us is going to change our respective thoughts. (Most recently argued by Terence and Matt re: E.T. in "Letters", PCR #106, and by Mike Scott's dedicated column in Deadguy's Dementia, PCR #107. Matt addresses it further in this issue's "Matt's Rail".---N) In my opinion CGI can be art but has it been used as art as of now, well frankly no. Art is, to me at least, a way to communicate your feelings and/or ideas. That being said art is not and never will be mainstream entertainment. "Saving Private Ryan" was entertainment, but "Apocaylspe Now" was art. Now as for CGI being realistic, well, I cannot see how any of it looks any different than those old Superman serials with Kirk Alyn where when Supes flys he turns into a Fleischer animation. To me they are both cartoons because there is no real texture to them; they are artificial where as clay or animatronic are real. Also, CGI should not be mixed with live-action because, as my friend John Villafane (who is going to school for 3-D animation) states, it is not seamless and it rarely if ever can look convincing. As for the argument about CGI versus stop-motion, well, as most everyone knows, if they had continued to develop stop-motion it would have been superior by now. Now I can't make you believe that it looks better than CGI so I'll just end it with this, can you seriously say that the dragon in "Dragon Heart" looks better than the one in "Dragon Slayer"? No you can't. Well, not with a straight face anyway.

Now for the praises. Deadguy now I know I rag on you a lot but I have to compliment you on your page's design. The skulls look great and so does the banner, and as I have told Nolan before, I think it's the best design on the site. But please, don't think I'm buttering you up--please attack whenever and wherever.

Will's article on Tampa's Organized Crime was great. Originally I was going to write it but I saw that it fit his column better and I see that he has not let me down. Great work.

Everyone else keep up the good work, too.

Here's your reward: Quote of the year--

Inside Jason X With Screen Writer Todd Farmer
"Doing Jason X, for me, was sort of like doing what Frank Miller did with Batman. He tells the story of Batman in the future; he's a vigilante. He's packing a gun, he's older, and he's more bitter. And at the same time, you still have Batman in the present. So you have two stories about the same character going on in different time periods."

As if you can compare a bad B-movie to Frank Miller. Oh, I can't wait for "Jason X" folks! Plus it's directed by the same guy who directed "The Horror Show" in 1989. That was his only movie really till "Jason X". If anybody has seen this travesty called "The Horror Show", basically a remake of "Nightmare on Elm Street" only inferior, you will know how awful "Jason X" is going to be. Change your mind yet, Deadguy? Plus fellow PCR reviewers, the Jason X review challenge is still in effect--so I challenge all who have the stomach for it to go see that "crap opera" and review it here on PCR. Hell, go see it anyway, it might be funny and not torturous--who knows.

Terence Nuzum

From Deadguy:

Jar Jar Orange

To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to:
Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  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    "Blank Thoughts" is ©2002 by Gary C. Esposito    "Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2002 by Michael Scott    Add'l thanks to Terence Nuzum, Matt Drinnenberg, and Mike "Deadguy" Scott for their input in "Letters"       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.