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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2008!
   Assistant Editor / Co-Moderator:  Terence Nuzum.                                                   HOME      ARCHIVES
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our ninth calendar year!
Number 440  (Vol. 9, No. 35). This edition is for the week of August 25--31, 2008.

"Vicki Cristina Barcelona"
Dr. Paul Bearer: The Early Years
DVD Grindhouse: Don Dohler's "Galaxy Invader" (1985)
Falcons Name Matt Ryan Starter .... Mlb Officials: Need Glasses? .... Team Usa .... Giants Down In Flames .... Joe Madden Likes Burritos .... .... .... a
Politico Revisited .... .... .... o
My Dad .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... And The Oscar For Should Have Gone To... y
"For Better or For Worse" Comic Strip Ends...Sort of
MTV Needs Participants for Fanboy Episode of "True Life"

"No Way...No How...No McCain!"
The strongest voice by far the first night of the Democratic National Convention belonged to Hillary Clinton who encouraged party unity.

This is not quite as cliché as it might seem at first glance. For months, Democrats wrangled over the choice between Clinton herself and Barack Obama to the point where Clinton's loss signaled that many might jump ship to McCain rather than vote for Obama. (Polls show this may be as high as 25%.)

Hillary's particularly rousing speech completely supporting Obama was seen by many as pivotal in keeping disparate parts of the party together. Hillary's knock-out closer, "No way...no how...no McCain!" cemented the end goals to an audience, who by this point, were in pandemonium.

Post-show pundits gleefully entertained an alternate reality version of the nomination process where at least some of the delegates still voted for Hillary, but this was said in fun.

Wednesday night, Bill Clinton's speech, if anything, was even more rousing. I only heard a few minutes of running mate Joe Biden and Obama himself (this was all from radio as I got ready for work, and later, was at work). Of course, all delegates cast their votes for Obama.

Thursday, Barack Hussein Obama accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States.

It has not escaped me that the Clintons are awfully cheerful for someone they so vigorously opposed only a few short weeks ago. Aside from the obvious support of a Democratic nominee in a divisive year (and that could be all it is), I speculate Hillary might be jockeying for a favored position in a post-election Obama administration, perhaps as a cabinet member. I've even heard rumors of a Supreme Court appointment, but even I think that's going a little far. Still, they seem miiiiighty happy...

I am posting this final part on Friday, Aug 29. Thursday night, the 28th, Obama gave his acceptance speech, which as of this writing, I have not been able to fully review (I missed the broadcast), but I did catch some partial transcriptions, and of course, the radio has been ablaze with the topic.

The most significant thing to me was Obama's overly subtle, but terribly important, proclamation that his accepting the nomination for President of the United States came 45 years to the day as Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech.

Long-time PCR readers may remember my mentioning of our little debates we had in the '60s following King's speech. The main one I bring up occasionally is the wager over whether a white woman or a black man would be the first to break the "glass ceiling" of a so-called minority being elected to the nation's highest office in our lifetime (a black woman was not considered likely in that timespan). I have been following this year's election process for (among other things) those of us still waiting for an answer. While no one's been elected President yet this go 'round, it is noteworthy how very close Hillary came. Interesting that if it is prejudice that swayed votes (and I'm not saying it did, just "if") that gender bias turned out to outweigh racial bias.

So what did I bet on way back when? I honestly don't remember coming to anything conclusive, but I think I went with a woman -- keep in mind that women's lib was in high gear at the time. But now we know -- and Dr. King would find it interesting -- that it took 45 years after his speech for an African-American to win his party's nomination. At least we know the answer to that one.

This just in: McCain has chosen his running mate.

"For Better or For Worse" Comic Strip Ends...Sort of
Lynn Johnson's 29-year-old comic strip For Better or For Worse is coming to an end with this Sunday's installment. Sort of. One of the most family-oriented daily comics, the Patterson family grew up and older right in front of our eyes, something that generation of newspaper readers could identify with as the foibles and adventures of the Pattersons reflected the emotional roller-coaster of real life. Couched in soft humor, I considered the strip a comics version of a "dramedy", and while I wasn't a big fan (soft family humor tends to irritate me), I admired its consistency.

Although this Sunday's paper will feature The End of the story (after featuring repeats formatted as "flashbacks" for weeks now), apparently Johnson's personal pre-retirement plan is to -- if I'm understanding this right -- redo the story beginning again in 1979 with new artwork and some re-written dialogue. I'm not sure what purpose this will serve after bringing the strip gracefully to a close except give the fans more of what they want. But she could've done that by not ending the series, haha.

MTV's "True Life" Needs Input From Fanboys!
I thank old friend and original Andromeda Society member Scott Gilbert for forwarding this tantalizing tidbit to me.

MTV produces a regular series of true-life tales, entitled appropriately enough, True Life, that interviews young people about their lives.

According to the post forwarded: "The series, if you're unfamiliar, employs first-person narrative storytelling to provide a window into the lives of young Americans. To date, the series has explored topics as complex as living with a disorder such as autism or obsessive-compulsive disorder; living in extreme poverty; single parenting; and being deployed to and returning from military service in Iraq. We're currently exploring the idea of a "True Life: I'm a Fanboy" episode, featuring young people who are die hard fans of fantasy books, comics, anime, and video games, and take their obsession to the extreme. We are interested in hearing from people with all kinds of stories, from a young person who misses work to attend comic-cons, a student who attends class dressed as their favorite character, a fan whose body is adorned with images of their favorite comic book hero, someone whose relationships are being tested and torn by their undying love of video games, and everything in-between. Can you help us put out our call for stories? We would like to get the word out to people in our age range (16-25, roughly, though anyone who appears younger than 28 is welcome to submit their story) who might be interested in possibly sharing their story and ultimately participating in a documentary."

I realize most of the PCR staff are way over-age to participate in this endeavor, but I figure any and all of our younger readers might be enthused about being a part of it.

The email contact address of the lady writer was masked, unfortunately, as this announcement was, evidently, copied from a Yahoo Groups post that does such things, BUT, a Google search turned up fanboy@mtvn.com as the basic contact address for inquiries. The original poster connected with MTV is Alison Grasso, MTV True Life, phone number (212) 654-7212.

Readers' Comments

The Readers' Comments section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor! The comments below are listed starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Chris Woods [01-09-2008 09:36] 
Mike, I'm very sorry to hear about your father. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
William Moriaty [31-08-2008 09:40]  
Mike: May God's illimitable power strengthen and console you at this time, as well as all other difficult times you will face in your life. We can all thank your father for bringing such a wonderful person into this world. Your commitment to PCR even in the most difficult of times both inspires and humbles me. You are truly the better man than I on dependability.

Readers: Make it point to always let the people you love know it every chance you get during your living years.

We love you Mike and we're thinking of you of and praying for you.

ED: What can I say? Another "award winner" column this week!
Michael [30-08-2008 19:57] 
Thank you everyone for the kind words here and via email. It's nice to know the PCR family is a strong one! T, if Matt doesn't tell the Toga Party story, I will! :-)
Lisa C [30-08-2008 19:32] 
Mike -- I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Terence [30-08-2008 12:42] 
sorry to hear about your father mike. im sure he was a great guy and i look forward to hearing about the toga party story. my thoughts go out to you and the rest of your family.
Puff Chrissy [30-08-2008 08:27] 
Mike: I love the way your father is smiling in the picture. I hope you find plenty of smiles from your memory of him. I wish you and your family all the best in this time.
Nolan [30-08-2008 07:52] 
Michael Smith's father passed away Friday, August 29th, following the illness mentioned below. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike and his family at this emotional and stressful time.

Mike, I hardly know what to say. Call me if you need to talk. So sorry, man.
Terence [29-08-2008 16:38] 
hey everybody. check out Dragoon this week. John Miller really outdid himself this time. his artwork and my story gelled perfectly in this issue. so give it a look. new readers can catch up on the story by delving in the back issues.
Nolan [29-08-2008 11:32] 
ED, you're probably right. Looking at the other episodes' focus on dysfuntionality, I guess they're actually looking for fanboys headed for rehab!
ED [29-08-2008 10:57] 
Nolan - it sounds like this MTY show is geared towards people who have problems with their daily life caused by their fandom rather than a celebration of people who enjoy spending a part of their lives being fans of something. Usually programs like that are looking to exploit conflict rather than highlight personal preferences.
Nolan [29-08-2008 07:22] 
The long-awaited 8th chapter of Dragoon is finally up. Terence and John threw in a few extra panels as well!
ED [28-08-2008 18:57] 
Yes, you have to give Dick Bennick credit - that is a very original looking design and I can't imagine that it was too easy to put on either. I bet dressing up like Dr. Paul Bearer seemed like a breeze by comparrison.
Terence [28-08-2008 18:51] 
wow i love Dr. Paulbearer too haiving grown up with the show but Count Shockula is awesome as hell. thats my favorite design i have seen for any horror host ever! i also willing to bet that it inspired Dr. Phibes.
ED [28-08-2008 16:03] 
Andy - Great article on Galaxy Invader. There is supposed to be a new DVD version out with a George Stover / Richard Dyszel commentary track but I haven't fount it yet. Apparently Dohler only made this film because he was preparing a TV movie package for sale and at the last minute his investors made him pull Nightbeast from the package. He shot this film in record time even for him!

Lonnie - I thought you might like this week's column. Glad you did.
Lonnie Dohlen [28-08-2008 14:34]  
Ed,Loved your piece on DPB.In 2004,I traveled to Ashville,NC to find out which High School Dick Bennick went to.He had to be in the Class of 1946.I had no luck finding any Yearbook from that era.
Paul Guzzo [28-08-2008 07:39] 
24 Items in Film News this week!
Nolan [28-08-2008 07:08] 
Mike, so sorry to hear about your father's illness. My sincere wishes for a speedy recovery.
Michael [27-08-2008 16:59] 
Wow, first one this week! Sorry for the delay in this week's review. My father is quite ill and I've been taking care of some things long distance. It will be up before I hit the sack Wednesday.
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

"Mike's Rant" is ©2008 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2008 by Matthew Drinnenberg    "La Floridiana" is ©2008 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2008 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2008 by Andy Lalino    "FANGRRL" is ©2008 by Lisa Ciurro    "Film Biz 101" is ©2008 by Corey Castellano    "Retrorama" is ©2008 by ED Tucker    "Sports Talk" is ©2008 by Chris Munger    "DRAGOON" is ©2008 by Terence Nuzum and John Miller      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova    
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