PCR past banners Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #228  (Vol. 5, No. 32)  This edition is for the week of August 2--8, 2004.

Book Review: "Cadillac Beach" by Tim Dorsey
 by William Moriaty
"The Manchurian Candidate"
 by Mike Smith
Oompa Loompa doompa-da-dee! I got this photo of John Ker-ry!....Getting Cramps....The Reaper - Cream Anyone?....Goodbye Eugene Roche
 by Andy Lalino
Patriotism or Big Brother?....Remembering Barbara Stanwyck....Couch Potato Picks
  by Vinnie Blesi
Social Snobbery of the Rich....The Blockbuster Video Incident
 by Clayton Smith
Stupid Is As Stupid Does....Bush Speak
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Did You Go To Plant?....Happy Birthday....I'm Like A Leprechaun, Only I'm Not Drunk....Interview....Are You Talking To Me?....The Challenge....Meet The Beatles, Part 28
 by Mike Smith
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Couch Potato Confessions by Vinnie B.

Patriotism or Big Brother?
The Florida legislature passed a new law requiring all Florida classrooms to have a minimum size requirement for US flags and for the flags to be made in the USA and all schools must be in compliance by next August (are they gonna call the flag police?). While I herald the fact that the school systems will no longer be buying flags from communist China, I feel that this law is now going to require our already financially taxed school systems to fork over money to replace most of the flags in Florida’s classroom. The legislature’s idea for doing this is that it will promote patriotism. Patriotism comes from the heart and in believing in the freedoms that this country was founded on, not on the size of a flag. Patriotism is not something that should be legislated, it should be taught by our leaders by embracing the values of our forefathers, not the values of multi-national corporations, political action groups or lobbyists. A law could of just as easily have been drafted that all new flags purchased adhere to these requirements instead of mandating the replacement of flags already purchased and in place.

The FBI has already used the controversial Patriot Act, however it wasn’t to catch terrorists. Instead they used it to prosecute a copyright infringement case against the Webmaster of a Stargate SG-1 website. Details are available here: http://www.sg1archive.com/nightmare.shtml

When civil libertarians warned of the possible abuses of the Patriot Act, they were of course rebuffed as being somehow anti-American. We already have one case of the FBI using it for a non-terrorist related investigation and I am sure there are many more we have not heard about or many more to come.

Remembering Barbara Stanwyck
When you hear about the great actresses of our century you may hear about Garbo, Hepburn, or Elizabeth Taylor but rarely does Barbara Stanwyck get her due for a long and distinguished film career than spanned decades and encompassed over 80 films. Unfortunately she never won an Oscar for any of her films until she received an honorary life achievement award.

Sorry, Wrong NumberUntil a few years my only exposure to Stanwyck was her role on the television series, “The Big Valley”. Discovering her big screens gems in the last few years has been a treat.

Most famous of her films are probably “Double Indemnity” and “Sorry, Wrong Number”. Stanwyck did not shy away from dark roles or ones that cast her in an unfavorable light, such as the one in “Double Indemnity” in which she plots to kill her husband with insurance salesman, Fred MacMurray, or the role of a rich woman with a dark secret in her past in, “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers”, with a young Kirk Douglas as her alcoholic district attorney husband, who is described in the movie by Van Heflin as, “still looking like a frightened little boy”.

She also had displayed her comedic talents in such feel good movies as Preston Sturges’ “All About Eve” and the Capra film “Meet John Doe”. Whether femme fatale, romantic vixen, or hapless victim she presented a dignified air to her roles.

Her leading men read like a Hollywood who’s who: Henry Fonda, Gary Cooper, Bogart, Errol Flynn and more. She also worked with some of Hollywood’s greatest directors including Fritz Lang, Howard Hawks and Billy Wilder.

Next time there is a rainy day or you have insomnia, check out at a classic Barbara Stanwyck flick. Whether you are in the mood for comedy, suspense or melodrama you won’t be disappointed.

Couch Potato Picks
Turner Classic Movies, is presenting “Summer Under the Stars” all August. Each day is 24 hours of movies from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

Some highlights that I recommend: Aug 5- Sidney Poitier, Aug 7- Hepburn, Aug 11- Jean Harlow, Aug 14- Bogart, Aug 18- Edward G Robinson, Aug 21- James Stewart, Aug 29- Gregory Peck. However, the whole month is teeming with great classic films, and while they may not be genre films they are must viewing for any serious film buff. Check out the TCM website for a complete schedule.

Until next time, Keep the cathode-ray home fires burning.

"Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2004 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 ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.