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Letters to the Editor
Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 361  (Vol. 8, No. 8). This edition is for the week of February 19--25, 2007.

Loose Ends

by Mike Smith

"Pan's Labyrinth"

by Andy Lalino

Peter Straub Lecture at USF

by Mike Smith

Couldn't She Have Entered An Ass-Kicking Contest....Britney and Anna Nicole....Sorry--Kind of....Oops....Movie Notes....DJ....Happy Birthday....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 8: Gerrit Graham


I realize I didn't comment on topics of the day last week, but I was swamped with the Tampa Film Review, Loren Cass, formatting huge columns by esteemed colleagues, and generally trying to keep life in order. We had some great issues of PCR over the last couple of weeks and I'm a very proud papa.

But to comment on some things for those who've been asking:

Orlando MegaCon
No, I didn't go this year. Combination of things. Tired and broke head the list, but the more terminal condition was my usual traveling group has disintegrated, at least for a while. Plus, the Fanboy Summit I look forward to (and is actually the more compelling reason I've attend MegaCon over the last several years) was enjoyed last month with ED Tucker's visit to Tampa.

Somehow, all major events this season, including Tampa's Gasparilla, seem to be crowded into a very small time frame this year, basically the first two weeks of February, when they used to spread over about three months! Virtually no time to breath or accumlate more funds. Between that and a punishing work schedule, I simply wasn't up to it. I'm glad for everyone who got to go and hope you had a great time. Not to fear, though, loyal readers, PCR coverage of MegaCon will be provided by our own ED Tucker, who is writing up his adventure and will post in it next week's PCR!

Anna Nicole Smith
I don't know why it surprises me that this story has such legs. It's obviously connected with America's obsession with celebrity, yet it still takes me aback. It goes without saying that 39 years old is too young for anybody to die, especially so for this former Playboy bunny whose marriage to J. Howard Marshall II, an 89-year-old oil tycoon (she was 26) failed to produce the non-disputed inheritance she was, literally, banking on.

To me she is a tragic figure, much like so many female sex super-stars before her (Marilyn Monroe) or who've survived her (Britney Spears, more on her in a bit). The typical Joe 6-Pack feels disinclined to offer much sympathy in light of the tremendous wealth enjoyed by these idols (Anna Nicole was not wanting even without the inheritance), yet are curious that with so many resources, how could anyone that rich and connected die from anything?

She had a series of health problems going back many years and, as I recall, had a previous close brush with death due to very heavy doses of prescription drugs. I don't see a big mystery here at all. Of course, I'll defer to the opinion of the medical examiners, who, I hope, will move beyond the "inconclusive" status sometime later this year.

Britney Spears
Here's another story that in an otherwise dead news year wouldn't have gained such momentum. Apparently, in a fit of pique a few days ago, pop superstar Britney Spears went into an LA hair salon and demanded the stylist shave her (Britney's) head bald. When the clerk refused, Britney seized the shaver and did it herself. Video of the aftermath has made the TV news all over the world, accompanied by outcries of "What's gone wrong with Britney??" and "Has she finally lost her mind?"

Of course, one obvious conclusion is that it's a cry for attention, a desperate "look at me!" for a pop star who's career has stalled, whose tempestuous personal life has become routine tabloid fodder, and whose time in the sun may be fading away.

Now, don't forget she's done nutty things before (her 75-hour marriage to a childhood friend being one notorious example), and her mothering instincts haven't won her many accolades (pics circulating of her children seemingly always in harm's way).

Someone recently suggested a fascinating theory: What if she's actually much smarter than we thought and this is a subversive move to head off ex-husband Kevin Federline's expected dispute over custody of their two children? Federline could make a case that Brit's an unfit mother due to several years of drug and alcohol abuse. That would be hard to prove, unless you had a hair sample to back you up! Hair samples are the only known evidence that can tell things about some body changes over time.

No hair, no evidence. Touché, Britney, you've done it again! "Oops, I...did...it...again..."

New Sponsor
We wish to give a warm welcome to our newest sponsor, Tampa boy Paul DeAngelis of www.sookieandkookie.com, a cool website with television and movie reviews. Check 'em out!

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
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"Mike's Rant" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith     "La Floridiana" is ©2006 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2006 by Andy Lalino      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova    
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