PCR's past banners
Now in our fifth calendar year!

PCR #206. (Vol. 5, No. 10) This edition is for the week of March 1--7, 2004.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! How 'bout those Oscars? The big awards, some news and notes and another Beatles installment. Shall we begin?

"Starsky and Hutch"
 by Mike Smith
Academy Awards Oddsverations....Indecency Hearings
 by Andy Lalino
Gay Marriage Amendment
 by Mike Scott
The Ghosts of Columbine
 by Joshua Montgomery
Collectible Card Games and You
 by Dylan Jones
P.C. Aftermath: The Response
 by Nick King
Ybor's Ups And Downs
 by Clayton Smith
The Passion in Brooksville....I Wanted the Scarecrow....FCC and the Sponge, Follow-Up....WMD At The Academy Awards?....Things I Didn't Know But Probably Should Have
 by Brandon Jones
And The Winner Is....In Other News....How Could She See Over The Wheel?....March 5th....Meet The Beatles, Part 7
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR

I know, the PC way is "and the award goes to," but after the ass whipping "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" put on the Oscars this week, it truly is a winner. And finally, after films from "The Wizard of Oz" to "2001," from "Star Wars" to "E.T.," a true fantasy film has finally captured the Best Picture award. I haven't seen how my picks did along side Matt's and others. I must admit that I was pretty sure that the song from "LOTR" was going to win. However, just the thought of Michael McKean winning an Oscar swayed me in the original song category. I was most impressed with Sean Penn's speech, WMD's aside. The fact that he didn't even prepare a speech is incredible. It also gave us a chance to see behind the tough guy persona. Like Humphrey Bogart and George C. Scott and Dustin Hoffman, Penn doesn't believe in competition. Bogart once said that the only way to judge the BEST actor was to have all five nominees play the same part, and even then, who could say what was best? I honestly believe that when an actor or director or writer says it's just an honor to be nominated that they genuinely believe it. On the other hand, what was up with the woman who won the short documentary Oscar. I've never seen such a sour puss on the face of someone who just WON an award. You would have thought her prize included a session on the rack! And what the hell is up with Bill Murray? He didn't clap when Penn's name was announced and, according to a published report, was overheard afterwards saying, "If I knew this was going to happen, I wouldn't have bothered coming." I guess just being nominated isn't that big an honor.

Welcome back, Deadguy! I hope this is the first of many appearances on our pages. And a great review of Bette Midler by Hugo Morely. I've seen Bette a couple times myself. Curious if she did any of her great "Sophie Tucker" jokes? In regard to Brandon's piece last week, I must sadly agree that baseball is dying a slow, torturous death. Like many fans, my son and I were caught up in the big Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa home run race in 1998. In fact, we were fortunate to be in Busch Stadium in St Louis when Big Mac hit #62. Of course, a few years later, Barry Bonds broke the record after magically adding 35 pounds of muscle in the off season. I'll admit that I've never liked Barry Bonds. While he is a very talented player, his attitude, both on and off the field, make him unlikable in my book. He is now two home runs away from tying the record 660 home runs hit by his Godfather, Willie Mays. If he was taking an illegal substance, how can he rejoice in passing the Say Hey Kid? How does he look him in the eye? How does he look any of us in the eye?

In Middletown, Connecticut a woman charged with second degree manslaughter has offered up an interesting defense. Charged with driving the car that crashed, killing businessman Neil Esposito, Heather Specyalski says she couldn't have been driving because at the time of the crash she was performing oral sex on Mr. Esposito. Her attorney has noted that when found after being thrown from the car, Mr. Esposito's pants were down. Something tells me that Ms. Specyalski has never seen "The World According to Garp." In plain English, oral sex in a car plus crash equals OUCH!

It was 22 years ago today that John Belushi died from a drug overdose in his Los Angeles hotel bungalow. I've always believed that Belushi was on the brink of having the type of career that Tom Hanks and Robin Williams now enjoy and I miss him.

It was also 47 years ago today that my son's mother, Marla, was born. Happy Birthday!

March 6, 1967 - While preparing for the 10th take of the title track to "Sgt Pepper," Paul McCartney suggests that the opening should include typical sounds from a ficticious concert: musicians warming up, the sound of the crowd. The sounds of the band tuning up came from an earlier session of the boys preparing to record "A Day In the Life." The sounds of the audience was taken from an old tape found at Abbey Road studios. Titled "Volume 6: Applause and Laughter," the tape was made in 1961 during the London live recording of the revue "Beyond the Fringe."

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.