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.
Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2009!
   Assistant Editor / Co-Moderator:  Terence Nuzum.                 HOME           ARCHIVES
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our tenth calendar year!
Number 483  (Vol. 10, No. 26). This edition is for the week of June 22--28, 2009.

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"
End of an Era -- The Douglas DC-8
Ted Bohus: The Deadly Interview - Part 2
Book Review: Cell by Stephen King
Farewell Mr. Mcmahon .... Good Movie News? .... The Bad... .... From Bad To Worse .... The Ugly .... Guitar Hero? Not! .... Roll Out Autobot Fans .... a
Cap And Transparency .... Mr. President, They Hate You .... Meanwhile In North Korea .... 850 Pages?!?! .... Tsars To The Left, Right...everywhere .... 95% .... Must Be Nice .... Missing Gov Shows Up a
Payback .... Movie Notes .... The Dark Knight's Revenge .... Just A Little Sport Talk .... Ask For Marty .... The Week That Was .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2... a

Again, Transitions
Bad Week for Baby-Boomers As Some Giants Leave Us

Michael Jackson, Dead at 50
Farrah Fawcett, Dead at 62
Ed McMahon, Dead at 86
Ventures Guitarist, Bob Bogle, Dead at 75
Kodak to Stop Manufacture of Kodachrome
Readers Comments

I think I can safely say, in the nearly ten years of writing and publishing Nolan's Pop Culture Review, I don't believe I have ever put together a front page as depressingly full of obituaries as this one. What an awful month for legends of American Pop Culture. But I am compelled to report and comment on it regardless, because that's what I do.

Similarly to the cataclysmic "9/11" issue of this e-zine (another super-downer to compile), I learned much had happened just after I shut off the computer and went to bed for the day. Being as I'm nocturnal, day sleeping is normal. What's not normal is waking up to this shit.

PCR asistant editor, Terence Nuzum, was the first to break the news to me with a wake-up call around suppertime, Thursday, June 25th, and it went like this: Not only had Farrah Fawcett passed away in the early afternoon, but the just-breaking story had it that Michael Jackson had apparently died of cardiac arrest in California.

My groggy head started spinning with the media circus I was sure had already ensued. PCR writer Brandon Jones called about an hour later to confirm that radio and TV were ablaze with the story. Due to other issues I was dealing with last night, I was delayed getting back to the computer to post anything about it until now. Thanks to all who posted their immediate feedback to these stories on Readers' Comments.

Alright, then, here we go.....


In one of the most shocking occurrences of premature demise, the "King of Pop", Michael Jackson, died unexpectedly June 25, at the age of 50. He was at a hospital barely 2 miles from Neverland Ranch. He had just been administered the painkiller Demerol when he complained of shortness of breath. Minutes later he was dead. Emergency medics tried for an hour to revive him but he was gone.

In very fragile health for many years, and with a high-profile addiction to plastic surgery and painkillers, Michael Jackson always seemed to me to be an accident waiting to happen. I could never really imagine him as an old man.

My earliest memories of Jackson were as the youngest member of the vocal rock group, The Jackson 5, back in the '60s. In middle school at the time, my first thought was they were some promoter's black knock-off of the The Osmond Brothers, who had a very similar set-up -- all brothers of different ages, with the youngest singing the highest notes (and usually getting the most attention). History would show, however, that Michael would outshine ALL of them in talent, range......and looniness.

Although Michael was definitely a huge song-and-dance talent, his offstage antics are what, to me, catapulted him to legend status. His obvious self-loathing (allegedly due to his abusive father). His resultant obsession with plastic surgery to periodically reduce his ethnicity. And, most tragically, his similar obsession with young boys that sparked endless speculation and landed him in court at least twice on pedophile charges (the first case was settled out of court, the second found him not culpable). His move out of the country to cope with persecution. And his repeated attempts at a comeback, including this latest that was interrupted by his untimely death.

As is so often the case, madness is mixed with genius, as his early '80s album Thriller became one of the highest-selling albums in history, aided by the accompanying, groundbreaking 15-minute video that dramatized the horror-movie themes. The '80s were good to Jackson who saw lots of hits and wealth. Sometime around the end of that decade he decided to buy the rights to the Beatles catalog, and told Paul McCartney so (who didn't believe him initially).

The '90s were a mirror-image of this success that started with the aforementioned pedophile accusations. However, his concerts were still regular sell-outs. Jackson, his own worst enemy, continued to hang with kids and alter his own appearance, which led to more disgrace, scandal, and persecution. His two marriages (which produced three children) were widely seen as staged, since Jackson seemed too dysfuntional for adult relationships.

Despite all this, the chaos surrounding his death echoes that of heads of state, like former presidents or something. After all is said and done, he is as historic as they come, and it is is my belief that his music and performances will stand the test of time better than the scandals.

I am more of an admirer than a fan of Michael Jackson, but, I admit I loved Thriller. The similarly-promoted Black or White (with its underlying psychological underpinnings) was, I thought, tragically underrated and remains a favorite song and video (by Thriller director John Landis) to this day.

Michael Jackson was in so many ways one of a kind, and will be sorely missed.


Not unexpectedly, but no less sad, actress and former Charlie's Angel, Farrah Fawcett, has lost her battle with cancer at the age of 62. Her long-time companion and fiancé Ryan O'Neal was with her. I say "fiancé" because the two had planned on wedding before she died, but I don't believe it happened in time.

I spoke of my memories of Farrah Fawcett a few issues back, but to summarize (with a few more thrown in): I first remember noticing her in an early '70s shampoo commercial. Of course, like most TV fans I was captivated by her part in Charlie's Angels during her one and only season on the show. I also remember her in a brief but memorable part in the sci-fi pic Logan's Run. I was one of the hundreds of millions of young fanboys who purchased her best-selling pinup poster. I later learned to appreciate her more as an actress in such fare as The Burning Bed.

Diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, she put up a brave battle right up to the end.


Best known as Johnny Carson's jolly, faithful sidekick, also as the host of Star Search, Ed McMahon has died at the age of 86. His publicist gave no specific cause of death, saying McMahon had suffered from numerous ailments and declining health for many years.

Most baby-boomers can't think of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show as anything but the triumvirate of Carson, announcer McMahon, and bandleader "Doc" Severinson. These were the last connection to older, classic Hollywood television and movie stars.

McMahon, a former Marine, joined Carson for the game show Who Do You Trust? back in the very early '60s. Carson became the host of The Tonight Show after previous host, Jack Parr, left in 1962. Ed McMahon came right along with Carson. Carson and McMahon remained together until Jay Leno took over as host in 1992.

Ed McMahon joins the many, many classic Hollywood luminaries who left this plane of existence seemingly too soon, regardless of their age. I'm sure Mike Smith will do his usual bang-up job summarizing McMahon's career, later this week in The Rant.

Another baby-boomer legend has passed away. To anyone who ever picked up a guitar in the '60s, one of the seminal inspirations almost always had to be, at least in part, the sound of the guitar-based rock band, The Ventures, eminating from the radio a raucous version of some infectious melody. Usually Walk Don't Run (the one I remember best), but also Hawaii Five-O and a host of others.

Bob Bogle is usually credited as the lead guitarist on those tunes. He helped popularize the approach to the clean guitar "surf rock" sound so many others also successfully exploited (like the Sufaris' Wipe Out and Dick Dale's Misirlou just to name two). Bob Bogle will live forever in the memories of baby-boomer guitarists and all other fans of the musical genre.

Kodak has announced that effective immediately, the production of the popular consumer snapshot film, Kodachrome, will cease production.

Immortalized in the Paul Simon song Kodachrome ("Give me those nice, bright colors, the greeeeen of summers..."), Kodachrome hs joined that ever-growing list of products that has succumbed to the digital age, as more and more consumers have decided that digital cameras are just too darn convenient (and getting better and cheaper) and that their older counterparts cannot compete.

This is a sad day. Although I depend on digital cameras myself mainly for speed and convenience (already digital for the web and everything), I never would've said that Kodachrome was becoming obsolete as far as reliable quality! Paul Simon absolutely speaks for me there, haha. However, I understand the developing process was very complicated and that only one processing plant in Kansas is developing Kodachrome film anymore.

Kodak stopped making Super-8 home movie film years ago when digital video basically replaced it (Pro8mm out in California will make you a cassette loaded with Super 8mm motion picture film -- don't ask about cost, though.) The movie film called Kodachrome 40, a "reversal" type (no negative, the film returned to you was the same that was in your camera), was my life for a while and I loved its color! I was saddened to see it go.

I supposed this automatically antiquates all our older box cameras that were so simple to use. Oh well, the One-Hour Photo corner of your local drugstore had best diversify!

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.
backbiter [29-06-2009 11:04]  
Lonnie and Brandon have already mentioned the death of Billy Mays. All I can add is: Thank God. It's about time. Others like him should follow suit. Next to go, Mick and Mimi. Klee Irwin. And "gasp", Ron Popeil. Don't give me crap about Ron. Not one of his products has ever worked, nor ever will. I'd like to see him at Mays' burial as Mays is being lowered into the ground. Then hear him say, "Set it, and forget it".
Andy Lalino [29-06-2009 08:04] 
Roy, you were a great friend to me, and I'll always cherish your personal stories which you so generously shared with me when I'd venture down to Gibtown for a get-together. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Yuka, friend Diana Philips, and his family and friends.

For online tributes to The Great Roy Huston, please visit: Memorial Blog: http://yesterdaystowns.blogspot.com/2009/06/in-mem ory-of-our-good-friend-and.html - Tribute Video on iTricks: http://itricks.com/news/ - One Scream Beyond in Crazed Fanboy: http://www.crazedfanboy.com/nolansnewsstand02/popc ulturereview136.html

R.I.P. Roy Huston
Andy Lalino [29-06-2009 08:01] 
The Great Roy Huston had entertained and mystified many generations with his wondrous illusions. He was always dedicated to creating top-quality magic spectacles and practiced his trade with the dedication of a master craftsman. Roy was full of stories which he was always happy to share with a fan, a friend, or complete stranger. In 2002 I had assisted Roy in organizing "One Scream Beyond" an authentic Spook Show which showcased Roy's act at the Royalty Theater in Clearwater, Florida. It was an unforgettable night, and to most the only time in our lives that we had seen - or ever will see - an authentic Spook Show in an actual theater.

Andy Lalino [29-06-2009 07:59] 
I received sad news that magician Roy Huston passed away in his sleep yesterday (June 29). Roy was a well-known and respected member of the showpeople community in Gibsonton, Florida. To many followers of this website and in the fan community, Roy Huston was remembered as a "Spook Show" illusionist - a creator of midnight stage shows that preceded feature horror films in bygone days. He also portrayed "Merlin the Magician" in the 1967 children's film "The Magic Land of Mother Goose", directed by the legendary H.G. Lewis. Due to his life experiences and expertise on magic, showmanship, and Gibsonton, Roy was a sought-after interviewee for several documentaries and TV shows, most notably "Gibtown".

Inspector Gadget [28-06-2009 15:16] 
There is no official cause of death regarding Billy Mays. The bump on the head is speculation at best. The news never said that it was a bump on the head, and if they had it would be bad journalism to report speculation as fact.
The results of the autopsy are forthcoming.
Oddly, I'm more sad, and shocked, about the demise of Billy Mays than I am about Michael Jackson. It's been a strange, strange week.
Lonnie Dohlen [28-06-2009 12:28]  
It was on the News that Billy Mays died from a Bump on his head while on US Airways Flight.The front flat Tire blew out.
Brandon [28-06-2009 09:04] 
Info mercial guy Billy Mays, lived in Tampa has passed away at the age of 50
Terence [27-06-2009 13:01] 
Lisa- i personally loved Cell and I wasnt expecting to. it was a homage to George Romero but done in that stephen king style of all his own. The opening gore scene alone will stick with me forever. I actually liked the open ending. he doesnt usually do that and it was a refreshing change. it would make a killer movie. The next one I have to read is Duma Key. Liseys Story was amazing also you should check that one out.
the_lie [26-06-2009 17:35] 
Satan is delighted to have such a talented performer as his slave in hell. As Michael moonwalks through the flames to the roar of the demons and sex offendors screaming in delight, Satan knows that he will have the Jackson one all to himself later that night.
Justice [26-06-2009 17:29] 
Ahem. Michael Jackson proved that you could get away with anything if you were famous and rich. He paid to avoid conviction. The justice system failed to keep this person from hurting children. It looks like God, who knows all things, served justice.
There is a special place in hell for Michael Jackson. He is burning for eternity right now. He is burning forever, and ever.
eyes of passion [26-06-2009 16:50] 
Hi Paul. Hi there. You might be right. Yeah. That's it.
Paul Guzzo [26-06-2009 16:14] 
So ... they've apparently remade Bad Lieutenant ... AND ... wait for it ... wait for it .... WAIT FOR IT ... NICHOLAS CAGE IS PLAYING KEITEL'S PART!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, the end is near.
the_truth [26-06-2009 15:10] 
At least Michael did not die on the toilet. How ironic would that have been? Imagine how Lisa Marie is feeling right now.
Brandon [26-06-2009 10:25] 
There were all kinds of reports back when MJ was dodging bankruptcy that he was selling his share of the Beatles catalog back to Sony. That was around 2005 and I thought it went through a couple of years later to help pay for legal fees etc...
ED [26-06-2009 07:37] 
Based on the latest reports it looks like MJ's death may be drug related. Remember Elvis died of a cardiac arrest too. That is good news about the Beatles catalog going back to Paul. MJ had asked him for investment advice back in the 80's and Paul had suggested music rights. When the Beatles catalog became available, Paul tried to be a nice guy and split the purchase with George, Ringo, and Yoko rather than just buy it himself outright. This got him mired down in legal hassles and while this was going on MJ snapped it up.
Curious [26-06-2009 07:07] 
Now I'll never know what Michael planned to buy at the convention ...
the_truth [26-06-2009 07:00] 
It is true, my friend. I just heard that on the radio. Paul may be obtaining the rights to his songs.... again.
Terence, this reminds me, we still need to go over some music picks,
J.MILLER [26-06-2009 06:55] 
Nobody has mentioned this yet on here...Not sure if its true but last night on the radio it was reported MJ put into his will that the Beatles catalogue be returned to Paul McCartney
G2 [26-06-2009 06:53] 
Heh heh.... I played the arcade game "Moonwalker" last night becuase this got me in the mood. In the game, M.J. "saves" the children from "bad guys" who battle him. He saves the children while thrusting his crotch suggestively. Keep in mind that the game was his idea, and Sega made it for him. In context of the child molesting allegations, which were after teh game came out, it is both distrubing and extremely funny in a demented way.
Play the game on MAME.
G [26-06-2009 06:48] 
LOL... you people actaully call each other about this crap? You people care about things that don't really concern you. It's sad. No offense intended, it's just sad. I think that you should next do an obit on what you call a life and look into getting one.
Grinchie [26-06-2009 06:44] 
Screw R.I.P.
I didn't know any of those people.
Confused ... [26-06-2009 06:44] 
Mixed emotions over MJ ... yes, big fan of music ... but then again - while he was not convicted - most signs point to him being the scummiest of scumbags - a child molester. SOOOO .... hmmm.... I am left with sadness over his death, while also thinking cardiac arrest was to kind of a death for a man who molested kids.
J.MILLER [26-06-2009 06:38] 
Nole - Kudos for keeping up with all of the news this week ontop of your regular material...Your a machine
Michael [25-06-2009 21:24] 
Holy crap! Basically three people who were large parts of my youth have left us in a few days time. The Rant is going to be full this week. R.I.P. Ed, Farrah and Michael...and thanks for the memories.
ED [25-06-2009 18:18] 
This is starting to look like the end of last year all over again. Fawcett and Jackson were both huge 70's pop culture icons regardless of what people may have thought of them in later years. They will be missed. Ed McMahon was a television legend for multiple reasons and the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes won't be the same without him.
markus terrence [25-06-2009 16:41] 
i am awaiting the third. who will it ever beeeeeeee?
the_truth [25-06-2009 16:40] 
Quincy is indeed alive and well. Jones released a press statement today regarding Jackson where he stated that he felt that he had "lost a little brother".
Winter, eh? That's what you get when you live in the southern hemisphere. you get flip seasons due to the wobble of the earth.
Steve Beasley [25-06-2009 16:37] 
Ed McMahon, Bob Bogle, Farah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and a yet to be confirmed Quincy Jones.

So much for celebrity deaths coming in 'threes'.`(As in three at a time)
Steve Beasley [25-06-2009 16:31] 
Reporting from Downunder:

As I was driving up to get my LPG bottle refilled for my heater (it's winter here) and the announcer mentioned that Quincy Jones had died. Quincy produced Jackson's best selling album, "Thriller" which I'm sure you all recall. Thriller is mostly memorable because of Rick Baker's spectacular work. Of course, that's my personal opinion. Strange in the midst of Jackson's death coverage to hear this, and at this point I'm wondering if the radio announcer was confused...because I'm now back at home and there has only been mention of Jackson's demise. They are comparing it to Elvis' death in New Zealand, although I don't because Elvis was still performing regularly when he died. Jackson's career didn't have near the span of Presley's.
Weldon [25-06-2009 15:49] 
Michael and Farrah are finally together, in heaven. What they could never have in life, they can have now. Only is death could they find the joy of their love.
Weldon [25-06-2009 15:47] 
Oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If only he had not misplaced his glove. He would still be with us.
Brandon [25-06-2009 15:29] 
It does appear he's passed. I guess only fitting that the circumstances of his dead are chaotic, bizarre and in the end, a media circus
Brandon [25-06-2009 15:12] 
That's one site and TMZ, others say he's in a coma with his family at his hospital bedside
Brandon [25-06-2009 15:06] 
Jacko is dead

Michael Jackson, dead of heart attack
Lonnie Dohlen [25-06-2009 10:48]  
Nolan,I'm so saddened over Farrah Fawcett's Passing.Last I heard She & Ryan ONeal were planning on wedding each other.
Brandon [25-06-2009 10:04] 
RIP Farrah Fawcett

She's finally passed from her horrible struggle with cancer
Chris Woods [25-06-2009 04:43] 
John - Nice review on It's Alive. That's such a great horror movie. I first saw that on Commander USA in the late 80's.
Chris Woods [25-06-2009 02:13] 
Terence and John - Glad you guys liked the review on Tombs of the Blind Dead. I just keep pumping them out.
MAD MATT [24-06-2009 21:06] 
Brandon [24-06-2009 17:56] 
Will, one of my boys is in Civil Air Patrol, a huge lover of planes of all kinds. He tends to be a WWII buff but we really enjoyed the article. I really hope a DC-8 will be on display here locally.
J.MILLER [24-06-2009 05:21] 
CWoods --- You're on a role with the reviews lately...Hopefully I'll catch up soon
Beedie beedie [23-06-2009 17:56] 
Fifth!!!! Oh yeah!!!!!!!
Simon Lynx [23-06-2009 13:14] 
I must be getting old I can't spell anymore
Simon Lynx [23-06-2009 13:07] 
Thanks for the Bithday wishes Nolan
Terence [23-06-2009 09:19] 
Chris- ah Tombs of the Blind Dead. the creepiest horror film I have ever seen. well next to Dont Look Now anyway.
Brandon [23-06-2009 08:57] 
Farewell, Mr McMahon
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith     "La Floridiana" is ©2009 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith    "Retrorama" is ©2009 by ED Tucker    "Splash Page" is ©2009 by Brandon Jones    "State of the Nation" is ©2009 by Brandon Jones    "Growing Up Fanboy" is ©2009 by Chris Woods    "FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Scherer Ciurro    "Sports Talk" is ©2009 by Chris Munger      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova

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

In Association with Amazon.com

Back to Top