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PCR #196  (Vol. 4, No. 52)  This edition is for the week of December 22--31, 2003.

A Condensed History of the Native Indigenous Peoples of the Tampa Bay (or “La Bahia Del Espiritu Santo”) Region
by Will Moriaty
"Along Came Polly"
 by Mike Smith
FANGORIA Weekend of Horrors, 1998....Boy George's "Taboo"....B-52s
 by Andy Lalino
The Black Dog Bites Back: from the Book of Joshua
 by Joshua Montgomery
Matt Helm, "Yea, Baby!"....Commercial Hall Of Fame
 by Vinnie Blesi
200....My Good Buddy Tom....The Rondo Awards
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Luke Ski Update....Casting Wish....Oh My God!....Passing On....Meet The Beatles 2
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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Couch Potato Confessions by Vinnie B.
   A sardonic commentary on America’s favorite pastime.

Matt Helm, “Yea, Baby!”
During a recent bout of insomnia I happened to catch an old Matt Helm movie from the sixties, “Murderer’s Row”. Now those were the days when alcoholism was cool! Dean Martin, starring as our hero, either had a drink in one hand (and driving in the car did not stop him, MADD would have a fit) or a cigarette and a half-naked psychedelic babe in the other. Let’s face it, what young sexy girl today would give a middle-aged alcoholic a second look, much less the heroine in this camp epic, a young and voluptuous Ann Margaret in the hippest psychedelic wardrobe (yea, baby!). The fight scenes were absolutely horrific, as Dean Martin was terrible in the close up action and in the long shots it was blatantly obvious it was a stunt man.

Seeing this movie, and others such as “Modesty Blaise”, it is clear where the ideas for Austin Powers came from. An evil mastermind, a secret weapon of mass destruction and sexy psychedelic babes all add up to an enjoyable bad retro visit into those wacky sixties. Yea, Baby!

Commercial Hall of Shame
Our second Commercial Hall of Shame award goes to one of the leading computer manufacturers around who advertise heavily on television, Dude! Their misleading ads tout their award winning support and always show a young white male geek giving some technical support, giving the impression that you will be talking to someone right here in the USA. In reality, if you are a consumer, there is a good chance you will be talking to their call center in India to someone you will have a hard time communicating with and who will be reading a script. In the interest of good journalism, I contacted this computer company's press dept. and was told that when a consumer calls in they could get any one of five call centers, of which only one is in India. When I asked what percentage of calls get routed to India, I was told by this company rep that was confidential information that they did not give out.

In an AP news story dated Nov. 26, 2003, this same computer company announced they were discontinuing support from India for their corporate customers, (Some U.S. customers have complained that the Indian technical-support representatives are difficult to communicate with because of thick accents and scripted responses), but were continuing support from their call center in India for consumers.

Hey Dude, let's show some truthful advertising, showing your Indian technical support dept. taking some calls from confused and frustrated US consumers. Until then consider yourself in the Couch Potato Commercial Hall of Shame.

Editor's Note: When I upgraded to AOL 8.0 last Fall, I called technical support FOUR TIMES because of connection issues and EACH time got routed to India. The consistently heavy accents, and obviously scripted responses, led me to ask why I was getting this country over and over. I was told the same thing as you, that it was automated. I kept wondering, and still do, why India, of all places, was suddenly the hotbed of techncial support! --Nolan

"Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2003 by Vinnie B.  Couch Potato main graphic by Vin Blesi and Nolan Canova.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.