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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 365  (Vol. 8, No. 12). This edition is for the week of March 19--25, 2007.

by Mike Smith


Loose Ends

by Andy Lalino

John Waters Goes to Court

by Matt Drinnenberg

The Shark Is Still Working....The Rondo Controversy Update

by Mike Smith

Me And The Munchkins .... Passing On .... Happy Birthday .... Words and Music .... Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 12: John Savage

Scooter Libby Conviction The True Tomb of Jesus? Guilty Verdict for John Couey On the 8 Fired Fed Prosecutors Steve Stanton's Sex Change Mike's New Rant Picture Matt's New Rail Picture

Oh, I know, I had announced last week I'd finally catch up my "loose ends", then, of course, got caught up in writing up the Tampa Film Review for March, in addition to formatting all the other writers' columns. By the time I looked up, it was Friday already and I had to give up hope of addressing any current events for that issue of PCR. I deep-sixed the headline and went with what I had (which was pretty good, actually).

So...this week I'm going to finally express some thoughts, albeit fairly briefly, on some recent national and local topics before they become hopelessly outdated.

"Scooter" Libby's Conviction And The CIA Leak
My boss at 7-Eleven, Alan, an extremely orthodox conservative if there ever was one, absolutely bristled when I confronted him with the headline that Libby had been convicted for the Valerie Plame ID leak. "He was convicted for lying to the FBI, that's all!! He did NOT leak the name! Of course, you'd never know that listening to the &%*$ liberal media you do!!!" hollered Alan.

Ahem. Right. In any event, since that headline's debut, exposed ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame has held a few press confrences addressing the culpablity of the Bush administration over what she perceived as an ambush with a political agenda. Now comes word from critics that, technically, she might not've been as "covert" as had been believed and whoever leaked her name to the press not "quite" as culpable. Whatever.

I will hand Alan one thing: on casual listen it certainly sounds from news reports like they got their man in Libby. But the next news report I heard about him (on FOX News, to boot) did not mention the depth or significance of his original involvement until the closing line, which went something like, "Although Scooter Libby will be doing prison time for lying to the FBI, the true source of the original leak has yet to be determined." So it wasn't him. But he's the one in prison. That Bush agenda thing is pretty clever, eh?

James Cameron and the True Tomb of Jesus
Here's another one that was destined to set the world on fire about a month ago, and I hope it hasn't already lost steam because I'd love to see this turn out to be the real thing.

Final result of this week's Crazed FanPoll:
Do you believe the true tomb of Jesus and Mary Magdelene has been discovered as depicted on The Discovery Channel special?

62% said No, those could be anybody's bones. (15 votes)

25% said Yes, Jesus survived the crucifixtion and had kids. (6 votes)

12% said Not sure what to think. (3 votes)

Total votes: 24

Thank you for voting!

In 1980 during an excavation in Talpiot, Jerusalem to build an apartment complex, a stone ossuary was discovered in the Holy Land that contained some bone fragments. The inscription on it seemed to bear the names of the Holy Family: Jeshua (Jesus), Joseph, Mary, Mary (Magdelene), James, and -- allegedly -- at least one child by Mary Magdelene, Judah. Despite its seemingly incredible nature, the orginal keeper of these fragments and the stone ossuary container didn't think much of them as the names were common 2000 years ago, about the age of these artifacts.

However, born-again archeologist and movie director James Cameron (Terminator, The Abyss, Titanic) determined these indeed were remnants of the Holy Family and proceeded to mount a television special that through DNA evidence would blow the lid off Christianity by exposing that Jesus never died on the cross, that he married Mary Magdelene, and had children whose bloodline continues to this day.

I'm sure you heard the echoes of The DaVinci Code as I did when this story first broke. The special was completed and aired on the Discovery Channel earlier this month as "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" (I don't have cable so couldn't watch) and the timing is, I'm sure, not a coincidence (proximity to Easter). As badly as I'd've loved to see Christianity experience a shake-up of this magnitude, apparently, nothing much happened afterwards and life went back to normal.

Of course, if those fragments are not the remnants of the Holy Family, it's a mighty big coincidence having all those names on the container, common or not. I'd be interested in finding out if there is any way to determine for sure whose bones those are. If anyone saw the special, I'd be interested in knowing what you thought.

Guilty Verdict For John Couey
This is more local to Tampa. 48-year-old John Couey, who raped 6-year-old Jessica Lumsford and killed her by burying her alive two years ago was recently awarded a guilty verdict and the death penalty from the jury trial. At the time of this writing, the judge has yet to sign off on that sentence, but he's expected to do so.

It's a done deal, but the only reason I'm bringing this up is I've been wanting to publicly express my disgust and outrage at a tactic used by his lawyers to portray Couey as mentally retarded: they gave him coloring books, crayons, legal pads and pens to "play with" during the trial, as well as got him a suit to wear at least one size too big so he'd look all pathetic and forlorn and, well, retarded and everything.

Now, please don't get me wrong, the truly slow deserve special treatment, of course, but there are plenty of interviews and witnesses who recall Couey as quite lucid and well in control. The courtroom antics only made Couey look worse, like when he'd get dirty looks from Jessica's father, he'd just go back to coloring. So, the tactic backfired. I think his shallow expression was not perceived as retardation as much as not really giving a f*ck about anybody but himself. I believe the jury saw this too, and that's why it only took an hour to return a guilty verdict and death penalty. Sometimes the system works.

SPECIAL NOTE: My next prediction is that those courtroom scribblings of his wind up for sale on eBAy. Just a thought.

On the Firing of 8 Federal Prosecutors

I know some of my followers must've been laughing at me last week, because of all the topics I managed to pull out of my ass in a desperate attempt to stay relevant, I chose this one to post on the message board. To date it's gotten zero responses. Obviously, nobody really gives a damn and I should've seen that coming.

At the time of this writing, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is fighting to keep his job over allegations of impropriety for, basically, doing a sloppy job with his paperwork to Congress regarding the simultaneous firing of 8 White House lawyers.

Even I, as left-wing as I tend to be, have a hard time swallowing why this is a national emergency. Mass firings of federal lawyers has been done before and never caused a scandal, I believe they only serve at the discrimination of the president anyway.

Last week, investigators dragged Karl Rove into it (how conspiracy theorists love this guy) and the press figured this would fan the flames. It kinda did and kinda didn't as far as Rove goes.

They're still calling for Gonzales' head which, to me, is legitimate only if he really really messed up badly. But, ummm.....with the goofballs he's surrounded by up there, who are they comparing him to?

Steve Stanton to become Susan Stanton

This is a local one, still ongoing, that exploded about three weeks ago, but I simply hadn't the time to write about it. At the time I'd even planned on it being the main headline.

Largo City Manager, Steve Stanton, created a sensation/scandal when he announced publicly that he wanted to undergo a sex change.

When interviewed, he shocked reporters by saying he wasn't sure if he'd disclosed this news properly to his wife and 13-year-old son yet, hoping they "weren't watching TV right now."

Turns out in the days prior to this, some medical information "leaked out" (rumor has it the the St. Pete Times was about to "out" him), so the panic-stricken Stanton went public first.

Trouble is (and as we've seen from Andy Lalino's adventures in Largo-land) Largo is a religiously conservative community not prone to, you know, having transsexuals in the government. They called for his head.

So ...the City began proceedings to fire him.

Steve's fighing back with a discrimination lawsuit. His first hearing is this Friday.

Now, you'd think my question to y'all might be, "Should Steve keep his job?" But actually, I thought of a better one:

Can Steve remain married to his current wife after he becomes a woman? Because Florida doesn't recognize same-sex marriages! Gotta love politics.

On a Ligher Note: Mike's New "Rant" Picture

Again, meant to say something last week, but couldn't.

Mike Smith has been wanting me to change his "Rant" picture for years, but I dragged my feet because, A: I still love his old one (he hated it), and B: it's hard taking pictures from several states away (he lives in Missouri).

So...the special other in his life, Juanita, recently sent me a new pic with a sternly-worded email that the pic will be changed, haha.

The result: for the first time since 2002, Mike's Rant has a new graphic.

Mike addressed this in last week's Rant, but because it got posted so late in the week, I'm afraid many of you may've missed it. Here's what he said:

Many of you may be wondering about the new photo that accompanies the Rant this week. A quick explanation:

The "old" photo that used to be featured was one taken by Nolan in early 2001. I was in Tampa because my father had taken ill and had stopped by to say hello. Needless to say after spending the better part of two days at the hospital I didn't look my best. I also happen to think I take terrible photos and the one Nolan had didn't catch me at my best. I've been told that I'm a good looking guy but you'd never guess it from that photo! Over the years I've thought about changing it, especially since I'm about 40 pounds lighter (though I'm also at least 40 hairs lighter as well). The new photo was taken last summer on Martha's Vineyard and catches me in a fun mood. Eventually I'm hoping to have a better photo to use but until that magic image is captured I thought it would be nice to replace the old bust with a new one. Enjoy!

Naturally, a new Matt's Rail Pic follows...
And, of course...of course...we can't have Mike getting a new picture without Mr. Drinnenberg feeling slighted, so for the first time since 2002, Matt's picture has been updated as well. Here we see his rapscalion, swarthy self as usually seen on his MySpace music page.

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 ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2007 by Matt Drinnenberg     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova    
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