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

La Floridiana
The Enlightenment
Movie Review
Digital Divide
Matt's Rail
Woo Woo Express
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 115 (Vol. 3, No. 23). This edition is for the week of June 3--9, 2002.
Slipped thru the cracks

Yes, there are issues, stories and comments I've been meaning to get to, but somehow, in all the chaos, they slipped thru the cracks. It's time to make restitution for my oversights. Let's start with a neglected passing...

In memorium...
We do the best we can in covering celebrity passings, but time is always short and sometimes an important, but relatively obscure figure (read: scientist) gets overlooked as happened recently:
   Dr. Stephen Jay Gould. May, died at 60 of cancer. Diagnosed years ago with abdominal mesothelioma, he actually died of another, secondary cancer.
   A maverick evolutionary theorist, he lead scientists back to Darwinian basics and developed his own theory of punctuated equilibrium. I myself attended a Stephen Jay Gould lecture at Eckerd College in St. Pete many years ago. It was literally standing room only. To an academic/science geek, Gould was a rock star. He wrote such popular-science best-sellers as The Mismeasure of Man, The Flamingo's Smile, and The Panda's Thumb. He had just finished his magnum opus, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, this past March.
   He will be sorely missed.

Define "pop culture"...
I took a few barbs about this during the recent "Matt's Rail" controversy, where I alluded to my belief that religious topics are not "pop culture". Matt Drinnenberg, the Rail columnist (and several others) wrote me that the PCR has covered non-pop culture topics MANY times and I didn't object to them.
   Then in last week's Lettercol, in responding to Matt, Terence Nuzum remarked that we'd had a talk at the beginning about what was "allowed" for writing about in the PCR. And that I had said no sports, politics, or religion, except in passing. I emphasize that, because we have indeed covered all those topics.....briefly and in passing. So they are allowed, so to speak, in that context.
   I always thought pop culture was kinda obvious and never even considered defining it until Christian Dumais of Legion Studios asked me to in an interview. The following excerpt is from that interview:

Legion: What is pop culture to you?
Nolan: Well, I'm tempted to just say "entertainment", and while that's certainly true, it might be oversimplifying. It's what the population of America finds fun, interesting, and entertaining to the point of supporting it through their hard-earned dollars. Anything that doesn't have to do with the day to day drudgery of survival usually finds an eager audience. It sustains itself through hobbies such as collecting and trading. I've also observed that while pop culture has always been around, in modern times it's especially media-driven.
(Click here to read the rest of the interview)

   I'm grateful now to Christian for asking me that question, because I still stand by those remarks and they're coming in handy now. What I'm trying to say is what I want to cover is a little about A LOT of stuff. My TV show is the same way--I don't go for over-the-top political grandstanding or hogging the forum (I've made some unpleasant discoveries about special-interest groups in this regard---but I digress...).
   Altho I like to debate some headline-level stories as much as the next guy, I also try to stay away from depressing subjects. Lisa Zubek (of Lisa's Lambast) is one of the few writers who got away because her column turned from show-biz toward sensational crime-and-justice stories. In her burgeoning career as a radio news journalist, she was more naturally drawn to those. But, I felt it was inappropriate here--too depressing. (She's written me recently about returning to the PCR in another capacity, tho. I'm glad, she's very talented.)
   So, to conclude, for any potential PCR writers out there, ask yourself this: Can what you're going to be writing about be considered (however loosely) entertainment? Can it be considered collectable? Can it be considered fun (even educational)? A less important, but interesting litmus test is "can it support trivia"?
   If the answer to even half of those is "yes", you and I see eye-to-eye on "pop culture".

La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
IT'S IN! Will took some extra time this week to detail the exciting vacation to Colorado he took last week. Is it Floridiana? Maybe not exactly, but his EPCOT trip certainly is, and Will has a remarkable way to tie it all in anyway! Besides, we're notorious for breaking the rules around here...---Nolan

....................................................Click here for more.

The Digital Divide This week's issue
Concert Review by Michael A. Smith:
.38 SPECIAL in Kansas City, Missouri!
Music News and CD Review by Terence Nuzum:
 includes a review of the new Imperial Teen CD!
...................................................Click here for more.
Dee Dee RamoneUPDATE: 6-6-02. Dee Dee Ramone of the seminal punk rock group The Ramones was found dead today in his home. His cause of death appears to have been an overdose but information is sparse at this time of writing. The Ramones were just recently inducted into the rock n' roll hall of fame. Lead singer Joey Ramone died last year after a long fight with cancer and now sadly another bites the dust. Rest In Peace Dee Dee.

Murder on the Woo Woo Express This week's issue
Murder on the Woo Woo Express by Patty G. Henderson
Settle down in your seat and make sure you have your ticket ready for the fourth trip of MURDER ON THE WOO WOO EXPRESS. In case the conductor hasn't told you, we're in for a rough ride this month. We've got two rather hard-boiled detective woo woo thrillers up for review. Both have got their hands full of ghosts and supernatural beasties to fight off. I'm pleased to feature the first review by Terence Nuzum, who is also a regular columnist here at the Pop Culture Review. He was very impressed with Steve Niles's SAVAGE MEMBRANE. We're also happy to see L. Martinez return with another review. She digs into Phillip Tomasso's THE TENTH HOUSE. .........................Click here for more.

The Enlightenment This week's issue
The Enlightenment by Terence Nuzum
To Avoid Fainting Keep Repeating Its Only A Movie...Only A Movie...Only A Movie....
Or, A Rough Guide To '70s Horror Films

Keep repeating "it's only a movie...". That was the tagline to Wes Craven's 1972 debut feature, "Last House on the Left". Not only a milestone in what was to become a lucrative career for Craven, but also inadvertantly the birth of splatter, gore, nudity and a new realism in horror films. ......................Click here for more.

Movie ReviewMovie Review
This Week's Movie Review:
"The Sum of All Fears"
A CIA desk jockey makes it his business to know about foriegn diplomatic personalities, as well as the details of their day-to-day lives. He's good, and very accurate, despite his reliance on deductive reasoning, as opposed to solid fact. Other higher-ups within the CIA recognize his strong talent in this, and bring him into events that quickly sweep out of control. However, as his findings begin to contradict his superiors and all other known information, his opinion isn't as valued anymore, and he almost begins to doubt his own findings.....
Review by Mike "Deadguy" Scott
...............................................Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
....the location of this house is emblazened in my mind forever. East 26th street 3 houses on the left just off Florida ave. Strange I used the term "emblazened", as that is what was witnessed at that very address not long after our storied party. I find it interesting that my "friends" have conveniently forgotten a few 'other' events that took place that evening, but I'm too much of a 'real' friend to mention them. I also find it interesting that the proof was early that I was hard-headed, as SAG's crushing blows to my head and neck did nothing to thwart my past stupidities. Fortunately, the mere fact they gave a crap about me DID reach me and my insanity was pushed aside.... ..................Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith NICE JOB.........TOGA MEMORIES............FAT IS WHERE IT'S AT........THROWING STONES ...........WHO SAY'S THERE'S NO COMPASSION IN ISLAM?..............MAYBE VADER LOST A LEG, TOO .......................................Click here for more.

Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.
A short while back, I got an email from "Bill" inquiring as to the songwriters of the original Spider-Man theme song from the '60s cartoon. I sent out the word to my "staff of experts". I am indebted to John Hooper for finding the answer first! I forwarded the info to Bill--the following is his reply:

Thank you so much for getting back to me! I was able to incorporate the information you gave me into my film review as a kind of a bonus trivia item! I appreciate your helping me out with that! If you would like to access it, it is at the following site at Epinions.com: Spider-Man review at Epinions.com

In any case, thanks again for responding to my query!

Best to you and Excelsior!,

P.S.fun web sites:
The backstage lot for Andy Griffith's Mayberry was also used in two episodes of Star Trek. Oh yes! Here's the proof... http://www.mayberry.com/tagsrwc/wbmutbb/startrek/index.htm
And there's always the enjoyable www.williamshatner.com!

Always delighted to help out a fellow Spider-Fan!  Readers---check out the links Bill sent me--they're a hoot! "Mayberry" has a bunch of cool pictures, I LOVE the one where Bill Shatner and Joan Collins walk by Floyd's Barber Shop!

And just to end the suspense...it was the songwriting team of Bob Harris (music) and Paul Francis Webster (lyrics) who wrote that catchy Spidey-theme!---Nolan

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    "Murder on the Woo Woo Express" is ©2002 by Patty G. Henderson    "The Enlightenment" is ©2002 by Terence Nuzum    The movie review of "The Sum of All Fears" is ©2002 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott    The content of this issue's "Digital Divide" is ©2002 by Terence Nuzum and Michael A. Smith    Add'l thanks to Bill for his input in "Letters"       All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova

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