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"A Tale of Two Cities: St. Petersburg and Tampa - - A Bay Separating A Gulf of Differences, PART 2"
by Will Moriaty
by Mike Smith
"The Return of Bruce Banner", "ZD TV, where are you now?" "26 Things"
by Vinnie B.
News topics, television, movies, One-shots, The Slush Pile
 by Brandon Jones
"Celebrities Uncensored"
 by Ashley Lauren
"Green Fire" and "Club Dead" reviewed
 by Teri Davis & Patty G. Henderson
 by John Lewis
Whatchoo talkin' about Arnold....Kobe and Mike....Hurray For Me....List #1....List #2....Hey, It Could Be About Me....Movie Notes
 by Mike Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2003!

Number 176  (Vol. 4, No. 32). This edition is for the week of August 4--10, 2003.

Having A Gay Old Time:
Regulations and sexual identity in America

Hopefully I won't get burned at the stake this week for bringing up taboo subjects, but lately there's been a plethora of national news over a single subject that begs commentary from yours truly. No, not the war in Iraq, I'm fed up with that already but we'll dissect that some other time. No, I'm talking about the recent surge in interest in homosexual politics in America.

It started a couple months ago with the Supreme Court's over-turning of Texas's anti-sodomy laws, a ruling many saw as paving the way towards legalizing same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court made no such commentary, but it didn't stop a bunch of lunk-heads from jumping to all sorts of conclusions (The Prez among them) that we were in some sort of national emergency to head-off this "agenda" by "codifying" marriage as being between a man and a woman. Exacerbating the confusion were spins referencing Canada's liberal attitude toward the issue, as if that were going to leach across the border if left unchecked.

Gay Bishop
More recently was the election of the first openly gay bishop, Rev. V. Gene Robinson to head the Episcopalian Diocese of New Hampshire. There was much controversy over this -- plus, a last-minute allegation of misconduct delayed the voting from last Monday. But clearing just before the vote (the allegation was likely staged by opponents), the 62-45 vote confirmed his position Tuesday.

I need to remind myself (and maybe everybody else) that despite the similarities in titles like "bishop" and "diocese", the Episcopalian religion is not the same as the Catholic's, but very close. (Episcopalian priests are allowed to marry, for one.) This sort of vote would never have gotten off the ground in any Catholic Diocese because of two very important things: one, Catholic priests are sworn to celibacy so have no official "sexual leanings" and, two...uh.....well, too many Catholic priests' sexual leanings recently have been coming to light as, uh, rather unseemly.

The ironies compound. On the one hand you have the Catholic Church in crisis over a seeming never-ending wellspring of charges of pedophilia by priests, many charges going back decades, and on the other hand you have the very similar Episcopalian Church voting an openly gay man into office, albeit among much criticism.

Gay High School
The first gay-only high school(!) is opening in New York City. Harvey Milk High in Greenwich Village will open with 100 students this fall. It is the nation's first full-fleged school devoted exclusively to gay (and bi-sexual and transgender) students. It is worth noting that this evolved from a smaller program started in 1984.

My View
First, as far as regulating or legislating morality or sexuality, that has never worked, so to continue to outlaw same-sex marriages in light of the Supreme Court's decision is a temporary delay at best. It will happen in my lifetime that gays will be allowed to marry, although I'm not so sure it will be recognized in all 50 states. Hot-air politicians and fat windbag theologians talking about the sanctity of marriage makes me want to puke. These guys wouldn't know sanctity if it bit them on the ass. Many are divorced, many have kids they don't even know, many have mistresses and obsessions with pornography.....what's the divorce rate in this country now? 60%?? Who the heck is concerned about keeping marriage so damned sanctimonious? The economy would likely benefit from the legalization. Or could it be that gays are the last safe minority to bash? (Along with rednecks. And keep in mind according to Reverends Robertson and Falwell, gays are at least partly accountable for God's hating us on 9/11.)

I am personally horrified that any church group openly discloses any of its clergy's sexual orientation or inclinations. Except for marriage counceling (possibly) how will this subject ever come up? The church authorities' sexuality is no business of anybody's. Now they'll have to face a likely conflict of what doctrines to teach and how. To say nothing of parents' fear of leaving their kids alone with them.

I applaud the aspirations of the Harvey Milk High School, but I have trouble accepting that kids know they're gay as early as 14. At that age, your hormones are raging, you're willing to screw just about anything in your path, male, female, animal or tree. What is the criteria for judgement? The kids just "think" they're gay or transexual, so enroll? Are they all so experienced at that age they know for sure? Is this to escape bullies? I can see that would be useful in the short term, but I'm not so sure it's preparing them for the real world. Admittedly, I only read a small blurb in the NY Post about this, but since this has been succeeding since 1984, something must be going right. I expect more schools will be developing similar attitudes. The next generation of politicians may very well emanate from here -- hence why same-sex marriages are inevitable.

Lest anyone misinterpret my tone, let me go on record here as saying I'm all for equal rights for gays, same-sex marriage included...there's simply no good scientific reason not to allow it. I'm afraid Bible-thumping doesn't work on me. But, for pete's sake, let's keep it business out in the real world shall we, we don't need to know what turns on the bishop.

Last week's "La Floridiana" was supposed to include a graphic of a rare postcard depicting the Gandy Bridge as it appeared in the 1920s. Due to a scheduling snafu it was left off and not included until La Fla was was being readied for the Archives. Please visit again and take a look at this rare picture.

A very hearty congratulations and a hip-hip-hooray to Michael A. Smith (Mike's Rant) for being inducted into the Kansas City Film Critics Circle! To know I had an eensy bit to do with that is especially gratifying, believe you me! To read more about Mike's achievement, please see this week's Mike's Rant.

Two special treats for us here at CF as we proudly present ED Tucker's much-anticipated retrospective False Memories of G.I. Joe! Parts of this feature also appear in Toy Shop Magazine, but we have the exclusive to the whole shebang! Also, check out Mike Smith's "The Great Luke Ski Interview" and get aquainted with a comedy-music talent in the vein of Dr. Demento and Weird Al, but more devoted to geeky fanboy topics--LOL! It is unfortunate that Luke is virtually unknown in the Tampa market because we haven't gotten the Dr. Demento radio show here for many years. Now's our chance to catch up.

Jason Liquori's DINOSOLDIER, Part 2 is here and will be updated with graphics as time permits as an ongoing project. I really want to take care with the illustrations (rusty as I am), because I think this story deserves it. Happy to say William Moriaty has expressed interest in helping out in the art department!

Forbidden Video's trailer section is now open! Please visit and click on the "trailers" button!

Ongoing website re-design, various other projects related to our growing enterprise, and my odious "day job" have put me very behind schedule, so PCR/CF updates may seem to be taking longer than normal. Please know that this is a temporary situation and it will be coming under control shortly.

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