Either your browser's javascript has been disabled or it needs an update! Please re-enable your javascript program or update your browser to view this page as designed.
Archives of
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
PCR Archives 2005
PCR Archives 2004
PCR Archives 2003
PCR Archives 2002
PCR Archives 2001
PCR Archives 2000
Email PCR

Reflections on a Florida Vacation (and Other Assorted Items)
 by William Moriaty

 by Mike Smith

 by Mark Terry

Blade....Frasier's Mutant Side....Passing On....Imagine....Eddie's Piece....Jaws: The Story, Part 46
 by Mike Smith

Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2005!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our sixth calendar year!
Number 298  (Vol. 6, No. 49). This edition is for the week of December 5--11, 2005.

Out of the Woods Yet?

  • Hurricane Epsilon
  • Sami Al-Arian
  • Saddam's Trial
    • PCR Welcomes New Columnist
    • Message Board Update
    • Alert to PCR Writers Re: Year-End
    • Coffeehouse Film Review Returns
    Incredible to believe, its been a week since I first commented on "Tropical Storm" Epsilon---it's not only still out on the Atlantic (as of this writing, Wed. Dec. 7, seven days after the hurricane season officially ended), but was promoted to hurricane, albeit a category 1, in the meantime. It is not expected to remain a big storm as it dies out in the cooler waters, but the fact remains this has been one ball-buster of a hurricane season.

    December hurricanes are rare, but not unheard of. There have been only five others in over 120 years of record-keeping. The latest a hurricane formed was December 30, 1954 out in the Caribbean.

    Epsilon is the record-breaking 14th hurricane out of a record-breaking 26 named storms in the 2005 season. It was never expected to hit land and stayed out in the open Atlantic. It is the fifth storm to have a Greek alphabet name because we ran out of proper names. Like I said last week, it's also been an education in that regard---I think we can all recite the Greek alphabet to at least "Epsilon" now!

    A local story that's gotten international attention, former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian was found Not Guilty of 8 of 17 counts of charges relating to conspiracy to fund Palestinian Islamic Jihad actions and facilitating communications among other conspirators. Al-Arian's defense said fundraisers were for legitimate causes and dismissed any conspiracies. The jury deadlocked on 9 counts. He's not a free man yet as the government wants time to consider whether to retry him on the remaining counts.

    Two co-defendants, Sameeh Hammoudeh and Ghassan Zayed Ballut, were acquitted of all charges. A third, Hatem Naji Fariz, was found not guilty on 25 counts, and jurors deadlocked on the remaining eight.

    This has been a frustrating and bizarre story going back many years as the Feds, empowered by the new Patriot Act, arrested, released, re-arrested, re-released, and finally re-arrested and tried Al-Arian. Former USF president Betty Castor has certainly taken her lumps over her initial defense of the professor, yet the gov't, despite a HUGE cache of incriminating evidence has not yet been able to make anything truly stick.

    How can this be? Widely heralded by the gov't as a top-drawer, post-9/11 aquisition, how could they not convince a jury that he is a terrorist? Because maybe...he's not? What's in all the paperwork then? The "mountain of evidence"? Admittedly he has some shady friends and his past dealings took him within a stone's throw of known terrorists. Evidently, not close enough to convince a jury that he was one of them.

    USF's official position is that professor Al-Arian was terminated from his duties three years ago, and they do not expect that situation to change. This case bears watching, especially if Al-Arian is freed---what could he do next? Sue for wrongful termination/arrest/imprisonment?

    Sweet merciful fate, what I wouldn't have done to be a fly on the wall just one of the days Saddam Hussein was in court during his ongoing trial. Have ya'll been following that freak show? Currently boycotting the proceedings(!), Saddam and his lawyers were given to outbursts of rage and walkouts, frequently calling the whole affair something tantamount to an American-created kangaroo court.

    Saddam Hussein, deposed dictator of Iraq (and still its President, according to him) is on trial for his life over the massacre of over 100 Shiite Muslims in 1981 (among other things). Saddam, a sort of cross between a mobster and a 70-year-old punk, has no patience for this, does not recognize the court and has made it crystal clear he will not cooperate.

    Saddam and his half-brother have already said they're are not afraid of execution. And I'm going to ignore for the moment all the lawyers who've been shot over there so far---that's just another layer of this unearthly sage.

    I was reminded that in the American legal system we have a little process known as "contempt of court". You flip off the judge and you're likely to get thrown back in jail until you cool off. This can be repeated as often as necessary until you both grown old and die. Or you cooperate. If Iraq has no such failsafe (as seems evident), they should certainly entertain the idea, before Saddam seizes control of the entire show as it already looks like he's doing.

    I wish to welcome aboard Mr. Mark Terry and his new column, "My Middle Toe is Longer Than Yours" (I'll leave it to y'all to decide if there's some double-entendre there---me I'm innocent). Mark, previously best known around here as message board poster "Only1SOE" is a former Florida boy and filmmaker, currently living in California, and plumbing his trade with partner Vito Trabucco, both of Other Side Cinema fame. At the outset, Mark will be primarily comparing the two film scenes, California vs Florida, something he is uniquely qualified to do. Check it out!

    Repeated attempts at reinstalling the original software on the server have failed, so a newer version was acquired. I am awaiting a new database assignment before I try again. Worst comes to worst, I'll get a board off-site, an idea I never liked, but may be forced to consider if all else fails.

    After this week's issue, there are only three PCRs left to publish in the year 2005. Please start thinking about your year-end wrap-ups. Keep in mind the year-end issues are actually two weeks long, first a Christmas-themed one, then the final "Happy New Year" one where we reflect upon the year, summarize the "best of/worst of", and thank people, etc., etc. Either week will do, of course, but naturally, I encourage using both.

    Note: The Christmas issue will also be PCR #300!

    To all infrequent writers: If you have only one column left in you, please send it before the end of the year. I'd like to have everybody represented!

    TOO Productions RETURNS!!!

    The next Coffeehouse Film Review will be held on a NEW NIGHT at a NEW LOCATION. The event will be held FRIDAY, January 13, 2006 from 8 – 10 p.m. at International Bazaar, located on Eighth Avenue in the Centro Ybor Complex in Ybor City. Coffeehouse Film Reviews is held every second Friday of the month and is free.

    January’s films will include:

  • Scenes from Icon Films feature film in progress, POP: Four outcast teenage girls kidnap a female pop star. Feeling ignored by society and sickened by pop culture, the teens plot a plan that will gain them attention by holding hostage the world's famous pop princess.
  • Chip by Jeffrey Bowers: A sexual predator released from prison is implanted with a tracking chip. For the detective following him it becomes personal. The doctor that invented the chip joins chase culminating in a deadly finale.
  • Hooligan's Valley by Other Side Cinema

    And much, much more!

    TOO Productions feels that there are very few, if any, regular outlets in the local area for local independent filmmakers to showcase their films. Hopefully, this monthly event will provide that outlet for everyone, from experienced local independent filmmakers to local college and high school filmmakers experimenting with film production for the first time. TOO Productions promises your film will be shown!

    Coffeehouse Film Review was awarded a 2005 Best of the Bay Award for BEST REASONS TO BELIEVE THE LOCAL FILM SCENE IS ALIVE AND WELL.

    International Bazaar is a place where the arts, culture, entertainment, food, music and dance connect in harmony. Come explore and shop for items from over 100 countries representing cultures in their traditional and modern styles. Explore, enjoy, learn and shop. They promise you an enlightened and fun experience.

    TOO Productions is looking for film submissions for future events. For more information on the event or for information on how to submit a film, email tooprod@hotmail.com or paulguzzo@hotmail.com. All genres of films are accepted – feature length, shorts, documentaries, comedy, horror, love, art, drama, foreign language, experimental etc. No pornography!

    Just to observe the occasion: December 5th marked 22 years since my old band Blade debuted at Squires Lounge as a professional act. And speaking of Blade, this past Halloween marks exactly 20 years since the release of our only fan recording "Our Rocky Horror Song" to commemorate a Decade of Decadence regarding midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. We premiered the record with a live performance at University Square Mall.

    After the "early" edition of this week's PCR was uploaded, I was reminded about another couple of very important dates in early December definitely worth mentioning, and I regret the oversight. One was the attack on Pearl Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941, a "date that will live in infamy"), and secondly, the assassination of former Beatle John Lennon outside the Dakota apartments in New York December 8, 1980. Please see this week's Mike's Rant for a touching memorial to Mr. Lennon.

  • Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
    Amazon.com Platinum Visa Card
    In Association with Amazon.com
    "Mike's Rant" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2005 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2005 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith    "Creature's Corner" is ©2005 by John Lewis    "Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2005 by Vinnie Blesi    "My Middle Toe is Longer Than Yours" is ©2005 by Mark Terry      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova    
    Crazed Fanboy dotcom is owned and operated by Nolan B. Canova

    Back to Top