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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 508  (Vol. 10, No. 51). This edition is for the week of December 14--20, 2009.

"Up In the Air"
Time Warp Toy Box ’09 – Part 3
Ninja Assassin
Intro 2 Lampin' .... My Letter To Tiger Woods
Chad Ochocinco: Nfl’s Black Sheep? .... Steelers Out? .... Holmgren Returns .... Cowboys Vs Saints .... Bob Greise Says Lose One .... Tiger Woods: Athlete Of The Decade?? .... .... h
Guess Who Died? .... The Year That Was Part I .... .... .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2 u
The Year That Was, Part 1
Ye Olde Editor's Internet Decade
Tiger Woods
The Passing of Oral Roberts
The Passing of Gene Barry
The Year That Was, Part 1
Readers' Comments


I thought it worth mentioning this personal detail just 'cuz, it's, you know, historic and everything. This month marks ten years I've been on the internet. Not just PCR (whose anniversary is technically next March), but on the internet at all !

I didn't get my first email address until December of 1999. I was a late-bloomer in computer-related affairs as I've noted here in the past (and friends continue to rib me about). The CrazedFanboy.com domain was registered at the same time, so although I've owned it for ten years, it was "parked", as they say, for about two more years while I fiddled around on AOL's webspace.

And believe it or not, none of those early moves were accomplished with my own machine. I wouldn't actually have an internet-capable computer of my own until early 2000 (although a friend lent me an under-powered "practice" model Windows 3.1 PC to get acquainted with).

My grand experiment has had its drawbacks and occasional catastrophes, of course, but that comes with any endeavor. Ultimately, however, it's been an interesting, exciting and very educational ride, I must admit.


Since I'm not a big sports fan I blew this off initially, but now that it's become a MAJOR story, capturing headlines at least in part every day since it started, I can no longer ignore it.

I'm talking, of course, about the massive infidelity scandal that exposed celebrity golfer Tiger Woods as the horn-dog he is, and likely always was. If it was a Hollywood celebrity it wouldn't garner this much attention, nor would it if it had been a garden variety politician (well, OK, those do get juicy, too, on occasion). Every day for over a week, it seems, new women are coming forward to say they slept with Tiger.

It seems incongruous he's been voted athlete of the decade. He's lost almost all of his sponsors (Nike's hanging in there for a while), and Tiger himself has taken an "indefinite leave of absence" from golfing. Well, yeah, where's he gonna play where he isn't booed by the spectators and dogged by the press? Naturally, his marriage is wrecked, and his career may very well be irrecoverable.

I think the pertinent point is that he was seen as a family-friendly, all-American role model, easy to sponsor and promote, and put a face on golf that hasn't been seen since Jack Nicklaus. I wish him luck in this post-tribulation, because he's going to need it.

Ye Olde Editor certainly has his nose to the grindstone this month. Not only writing PCR's final year-end issues, but designing and testing the (hopefully) upgraded PCR for 2010! I've already experienced a time setback courtesy of my tree-trimming accident (covered in the last two issues of PCR), plus there have been shake-ups at work -- two employees were fired inside a week's time -- to where my web-development time is at a premium. Web videos have suffered the worst delays as website maintenance usually gets first priority. But I am doing the best I can and -- theoretically -- everything should be on schedule for 2010 regardless.


For many baby-boomers, the earliest recollection of "religious/inspirational" television likely consisted of Billy Graham (legendary Baptist preacher), Bishop Sheen (Catholic commentator), Norman Vincent Peale ("The Power of Positive Thinking"), Robert Schuller ("The Hour of Power"), Rex Humbard, Ernest Angley, and Oral Roberts. These last two, Angley and Roberts, fall under that most mystical of disciplines, the "faith-healer".

Oral Roberts, a pioneer in televangelism died this week at the age of 91 following bouts of heart disease and pneumonia.

Starting out his ministry with a typical traveling tent show, Roberts eventually televised his revivals in 1955 which attracted a large audience. He enlarged his traveling shows to become evangelical and faith-healing crusades, and was hired to speak at national and international meetings and conventions. Many people wanted his brand of healing. His televison appearances increased exponentially.

I've never been entirely sure how much Roberts (or any traveling religious showmen) bought into their own press, but he was notorious for claiming to get messages from God himself. He certainly knew what played to the public and used that to tremendous monetary advantage.

He founded Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1963, stating he was obeying a command from God. (PCR friend and noted author Chris Heyn attended Oral Roberts University in the '80s and actually met the man himself).

The two most publicized examples of Roberts' heavenly-communications-for-profit came in 1977 and 1987. In 1977, Roberts claimed to have had a vision from a 900-foot-tall Jesus who told him to build City of Faith Medical and Research Center, and the hospital would be a success. In 1987 during a fundraising drive, Roberts announced to a television audience that unless he raised $8 million by that March, God would "call him home," which some interpreted to imply suicide, but Roberts' critics determined was merely another fundraising stunt.

To be fair, Roberts was hardly unique to this brand of religious hucksterism, and I'm sure many people benefitted from the sheer energy of the revivalist format, as they have done for over a century.

He was a very important fixture in American pop culture and, for better or for worse, his influence was felt across the board. For that, he deserves a place in history.


Back in the early '60s, the only Wild West dramas I remember watching regularly were The Rifleman, Bat Masterson, and The Rebel. Later, I grew to like Gunsmoke and Bonanza OK, but they never got to me as much. Of course, I became completely being obsessed with The Wild Wild West. Those were the days.

Actor Gene Barry played dashing lawman Bat Masterson as the suave and debonair counterpart to Chuck Conners' more rough-hewn Rifleman (although in the history of the universe there has never been a badder bad-ass with a rifle than Lucas McCain! But I digress...).

Born Eugene Klass in New York City, Gene Barry had a slew of steady work in movies and the stage before landing the plum role of Dr. Clayton Forrester in George Pal's classic 1953 sci-fi epic War of the Worlds, another baby-boomer treasure. (Barry later made a cameo appearance in Steven Spielberg's 2005 War of the Worlds, along with his 1953 co-star Ann Robinson.)

I was thrilled to see Gene Barry in action once again as Bat Masterson in the 1991 Kenny Rogers vehicle The Gambler Returns: Luck of the Draw with Hugh O'Brian as Wyatt Earp and Chuck Connors as The Rifleman!

Of course, this is only a personal remembrance and not intended as an exhaustive history. I know Barry was in notable '60s dramas like The Name of the Game and Burke's Law (for which he won a 1965 Golden Globe), but to me he will always be Bat Masterson.

Gene Barry died earlier this week at the age of 90. Barry is a favorite of baby-boomers everywhere, is one of too many TV pioneers we're losing as time marches on, and will indeed by sorely missed.

The Year That Was, Part One
January--June, 2009

January. New Year's Eve must've been overly taxing for the PCR staff who seem to be anywhere but here, as only me, Mike, and ED are here to usher in the new year. Mike resurrects "My Favorite Films" as a special section for The Rant. For the first time, adjustments are made to the Message Board as the old Florida Filmmakers thread is deleted due to lack of use, and a new Video Game section is introduced---which is barely used. Oh well, it was worth a try. The biggest story locally for January is the closing of The Tampa Film Review, a five-year-old institution. The organizers, the Brothers Guzzo, felt they had taken it as far as they could and were moving on. On a personal note, I had never had anything like a root canal done and this month I had TWO. Yikes. Cult filmmaker Ray Dennis Steckler passes away and Coach Jon Gruden is fired from the Bucs. The biggest story nationally is, of course, the swearing in of America's first black President, Barrack Obama. He was controversial going in and still is. His past associations and current Health Care initiatives would dominate and polarize Capitol Hill all year. February. As analog TV is experiencing one last reprieve before the transition to digital, champion swimmer Michael Phelps is caught on tape smoking dope. He wouldn't be the first and certainly not the last athlete caught in scandal in '09. As staff writer Terence Nuzum summarizes the Top 20 albums of 2008, And ED Tucker's Retrorama gets an upgrade to the new posting system, the 81st Academy Awards shake things up in Tinsletown. Two words: "Slumdog Millionaire". Robert Quarry "Count Yorga" passes away. March. I get to meet cult filmmaker William Grefé at the Gasparilla Film Festival. Legendary news commentator Paul Harvey passes away. I re-introduce The World of Nolan online web video series with the best of intentions to keep up with it. Naturally, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. At least I got two of 'em off the ground and started my first YouTube uploads. The first is just a minute-long intro. The second would come in April. I begin to discover Retro TV by way of my digital decoder, and Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston call off their engagement. It wouldn't be the last we'd hear of Levi, by far. As ED Tucker recalls MegaCon '09, I diss the "Serpent of Borneo" photo hoax. Radioactive Television re-launches on Crazed Fanboy with the premiere of Chris Woods' "Spaventare" -- Ye Olde Editor is featured in an introduction. As our country reels from the economic collapse, one bank after another continues to close. There wouldn't be much good news for months. April. The court battle over ownership rights to Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine is finally settled (winner: Phil Kim) as reported in Matt's Rail. Although it ends on that upbeat note, sadly, it would be Matt's final column for PCR. The second World of Nolan web video is produced and uploaded and features an in-depth discussion about the then newly-released Watchmen movie. Record producer Phil Spector is convicted of murder and porno star Marilyn Chambers is found dead at 56 (the two stories are not related). Lisa Scherer, Terence Nuzum and I head off to Orlando's F/X Con to meet up with ED Tucker and company and hopefully also score a close encounter with Leonard "Spock" Nimoy. That hope is dashed as news flashes advise us of the $65 autograph fee. But I got close enough to see him anyway. As PCR columnist Brandon Jones becomes more involved with politics, State of the Nation is created, our first entirely political forum. Criticism started almost immediately, but I defended it and would for months. Indie Film News changes hands as Paul Guzzo leaves us to pursue a book-writing assignment, and Lisa Scherer now becomes our official indie film reporter. May. Star Trek, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Angels & Demons, and Terminator Salvation start off the summer movie season. We lose Dom DeLuise, original Munchkin Mickey Carroll, and are seeing Farrah Fawcett slowly waste away from cancer. I rediscover The Outer Limits via "THiS TV" and review "The Soldier". It Came From The PO Box resurrects this month with my review of "Katchoo" from Shocker Toys. June. As Conan O'Brien takes over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno, news surfaces that Kung Fu star David Carradine is found dead in the Orient, apparently of erotic asphyxiation. Carradine was into some kinky things, it seems. It Came From the PO Box again surfaces with a review of The Great Kat's Shreddin' the Classics. I retune my digital decoder because this time it's necessary: all TV stations have stopped broadcasting analog signals. We are now a digital country. Encouraged and inspired by his work on State of the Nation, Brandon Jones brings back Splash Page, his old pop culture column. This is welcomed by the PCR staff who are increasingly irritated by his political column. Mike Smith reviews an independent film (The Graduates), the only time he has done so. The celebrity death toll rises by leaps and bounds as we lose Farah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, and Michael Jackson all in the same week. For fans of traditional photography, Kodak's announcement of the end of Kodachrome production signals the end of yet another era.

Next Week: The Year That Was, Part Two -- July through December.
An armed robbery, more celebrity deaths, we gain two new columnists, we ask why everything sucks now, we lose an old columnist.

Plus, the year's final (and only) Lettercol, and....The PCR Graveyard of Fallen Columns! Be here.

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 withthe most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Paul Guzo [22-12-2009 08:12] 
Wasn't me John ... I like you, but I'm not your BIGGEST fan.
Feminist Fangrrl Lisa [22-12-2009 06:40] 
JMiller said: "Im just saying...Nobody besides me and Chris Woods liked Noles year end write up and felt compelled to comment on it? Readers comments has become almost pointless"

John -- You must have overlooked the dozen or so comments about ED's column, your column and Chris Munger's column this week. Either that or we have different definitions of "almost pointless".
J.MILLER [21-12-2009 18:40] 
Paul...Or who I am assuming is Paul...I have followed Jordans career as far back as I can remember...I am not denying he or Tigers competitive drive...But it is a fact that Jordan wanted to be the most marketable athlete in history from the start of his career...He is also notoriously the biggest jerk in the history of the NBA but people would never know it from watching his commercials and interviews...How can you trust a guy who'd punch Steve Kerr?

I watched an interview about a year ago where Lebron James said his goal (besides winning a championship ofcourse) was to become a global marketing icon....Jordan may not have invented it but he certainly took it to the next level...Tiger and others followed in his footsteps...

Dont see whats wrong with saying that...
Happy Young Man [21-12-2009 16:04] 
Hmm... Lemme try this again. "I wonder what Tiger Woods thought of Avatar."
Miller\'s Biggest Fan [21-12-2009 13:00] 
Tigers biggest mistake is in the way he marketed himself...Similar to that of Michael Jordan whose sole intention was never to win a championship but to be the most over marketed athlete in history -- possibly the most incorrect assertion you've ever made. Both Woods and Jordan are described by their peers as the most driven, competive athletes, in their respective sports, arguably ever
J.MILLER [21-12-2009 12:13] 
If discussing a remake of Ferngully is such a big deal then please write a column about it or start a discussion on the message board...Theres three or four people who show up on here just to make random announcements and occassional thank you speeches for stuff that has nothing to do with the site.

Im just saying...Nobody besides me and Chris Woods liked Noles year end write up and felt compelled to comment on it? Readers comments has become almost pointless
Reader\'s comments moderator [21-12-2009 10:49] 
"Seems like people dont even read the columns they just show up to make random announcements..."

Very valid point. Discussing the number one box office film is obviously distracting from the engaging justification of prostitution and piling on the infidelity of Tiger Woods
Osakinokiwamajimmi [21-12-2009 09:39] 
thanks for the info. i will see avatar on imax 3d. james cameron is a genius!
J.MILLER [21-12-2009 09:19] 
Does anybody moderate the readers comments to keep talk not related to the topics discussed on the homepage...Talk about Avatar on the message boards...

Seems like people dont even read the columns they just show up to make random announcements...

Paul Guzzo [21-12-2009 07:42] 
My final review - IF you don't like this movie, you don't appreciate good story telling.
Paul Guzzo [21-12-2009 07:41] 
Yeah ... the general plot was nothing new, but to judge the film on the general plot would be ignorant. The intricacies of the alien planet created were amazing - just amazing creativity shown by Cameron. You can see why it took so long to make this movie. Aside from the technology, he created an entire new planet, tracing its history back to its roots and created not just an alien race, but did so by also creating their entire history as well. Again - amazing.
Osakinokiwamajimmi [21-12-2009 06:16] 
yes, but was the story in avatar any good?
Paul Guzzo [21-12-2009 06:12] 
Saw Avatar in 3D IMAX this weekend ... WOA! JUST WOA! I'm not sure how it would play out in just 3D, just IMAX or neither, but in 3D IMAX, WOA! One of the most amazing visuals I've ever seen.
Terence [20-12-2009 14:40] 
woah this came out of nowhere.

Brittany Murphy (Sin City, Clueless etc.) R.I.P.

apparently a heart attack at age 32? odd. drugs i bet.

www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/12/20/brittany.murphy /index.html
Terence [20-12-2009 14:19] 
Chris W - I dont really see anything wrong with being a whore whether it be male or female...But thats just me...

no its not just you john. i have argued that point with Brandon and others on the boards before. so i think you and me might be the only ones on agreement there.

wow the Peleaz interview must be the most requested article in recent memory. how can it live up to the hype now? i smell a Avatar fated article haha just kidding.
J.MILLER [20-12-2009 13:35] 
Chris W - I dont really see anything wrong with being a whore whether it be male or female...But thats just me...

Tigers biggest mistake is in the way he marketed himself...Similar to that of Michael Jordan whose sole intention was never to win a championship but to be the most over marketed athlete in history...Every star after him has followed a similar blueprint to success...Problem is...That image is impossible to live up too...

Haha paleaz will be here just after the first of the year
Petrey [20-12-2009 12:52] 
Brittany Murphy 1977-2009
ED [20-12-2009 12:00] 
So Chris, enlighten us, why was that car made out of trash?
Chris Woods [20-12-2009 10:22] 
Nolan - Enjoyed The Year That Was Part 1, can't wait to read part 2.

ED - Liked part 3 of Toy Box. I had the Bert and Ernie dolls and car. I also had a Bert puppet.

John - Interesting article and controversial. Wouldn't you say Tiger's a whore as well for sleeping around with that many women, just a thought. Anyway, who cares about Tiger Woods, where's the Pelaez interview?
Osakinokiwamajimmi [19-12-2009 19:44] 
bowlers are outstanding athletes! men of valor. men of fury! men of passion! they are iron warriors who will take your lunch and spit it back at u!
J.MILLER [19-12-2009 07:19] 
Nole---Always enjoy the year end review
Steve [19-12-2009 00:03] 
Sorry 'bout the double posting. I believe my laptop might have a gremlin.
Steve [19-12-2009 00:00] 
ED - I didn't mention his acting because of three reasons.
1. He didn't do much acting.
2. What little work he did get, he wasn't a standout actor.
3. You or I could have done as well as OJ did.

The standout funny guy in Naked Gun is the bald guy in the background who took everything literally...in my humble opinion.

Steve Beasley [18-12-2009 23:47] 
ED - OJ was okay in Naked Gun, but he didn't do anything in those roles that you or I couldn't have done. He isn't an actor, in my opinion. I do believe that he had potential, but he didn't have much time to improve before he went on a killing spree. Then he became untouchable.
Simon Lynx [18-12-2009 19:34] 
There's nothing athletic about whacking a ball and then walking after it and whacking it again. Yes there is skill involved but not really any athleticism. Then again look at Nascar, it's considered a sport but atleast they don't call the drivers athletes. Pretty soon there gonna call playing cards athletic, They use the term "World Series of Poker" and it's on ESPN already...
Nolan [18-12-2009 19:17] 
I think you're being too literal. The word "athlete" was expanded years ago to refer to a participant in any competitive sport -- 'cept maybe billiards or bowling.
J.MILLER [18-12-2009 15:52] 
So because Tiger Woods cheated on his wife he is less important then the guy who dumped Sheryl Crowe after he proposed to her because she wanted to have his kid...And is a known doper? (yes, regardless of what anyone says...Armstrong juiced)...

Neither of them are good athletes cause their sports are lame...Lebron James, Tom Brady, Phelps...Theres a million guys better then phonies like Tiger or Lance...
matthew [18-12-2009 11:53] 
i know. it was so funny i wanted to hear it again.
Simon Lynx [18-12-2009 11:39] 
Matthew - get some new material, I already told that joke.
matthew [18-12-2009 10:22] 
sci fi screen writer extroardinare dan o'bannon has passed away.

Return of the Living Dead, Dark Star, Total Recall, and numerous others amoung his credits.

very sad news.
matthew [18-12-2009 08:33] 
chris, loved your column this week. and you're absolutely right. Roy Williams is a dumb ass.

agree also that it is an insult to intelligence to not name Lance Armstrong Athlete of the Decade. tiger wood's is a great athlete indeed, but has never stared death in the face, beaten cancer, and came back to win the Tour de France numerous times. what tiger has done is disgraced his wife and child, and brought a permeating negative axium to golf. the mere number of transgressions points to a much bigger problem than just a cheating spouse. perhaps he would have been better suited as a porn star as you suggest.
matthew [18-12-2009 08:17] 
what's the difference between Tiger Woods and Santa Claus?

Santa stops after the third 'Ho'
Curious [17-12-2009 08:22] 
I wonder what types of presents Tiger Woods bought his girlfriends!
ED [16-12-2009 18:45] 
Steve - are saying you didn't like the Juice in the Naked Gun films?
Steve [16-12-2009 18:14] 
Other than that, it was a good piece!
Steve Beasley [16-12-2009 18:13] 
Jiohn - In your "Letter to Tiger", you advised Tiger, "Don;t let the media O.J. you." O.J. is a thug who steals and kills. Tiger is a womanizer. Massive difference. And O.J. "OJ'd himself. He was a fantastic college and professional athlete,,,and that's it. Every other part of his life has been nothing less than a failure of epic proportions.
Simon Lynx [16-12-2009 16:07] 
Sorry Typo

What's the difference between Tiger Woods and Santa Clause?

Santa stops after three ho's...
Simon Lynx [16-12-2009 14:45] 
What the difference between Tiger Woods and Santa Clause?

Santa stops after the ho's...
Terence [16-12-2009 14:05] 
John- loved the article. i laughed out loud many times. but you are wrong about his marriage being set up or arranged just for the media. he sought her out. funny thing is is that he was such wimp he had his friends that already klnew her ask her out for him. she turned him down twice but he kept it up all by having his friends ask for him. what a wussy.

p.s.: I want to know how you define hoodlum because to me you arent anywhere near that category John but whatever.

Lisa- those women tiger was sleeping with were hardly church girls. i mean cmon they are what they are. its not supporting or encouraging that view in the slightest for Miller to treat them how they are set themselves up to be treated. now if Miller was referrring to all women in general then it would be wrong but fact is fact sluts like being sluts. take em or leave em and golddiggers know they are goldiggers. i dont think thats unrealistic.
omar reloskinolia [16-12-2009 13:35] 
LOL...... The "Carlton act"! Brilliant! I never saw Tiger as an Oreo...... until now. I'm also seeing visions of Carlton on the doing his snap dance on The Fresh Prince again.
Nolan [16-12-2009 11:21] 
Oh-oh, first negative review for John. You wanted trouble, looks like you got it, Mr. Miller, haha.
Feminist Fangrrl Lisa [16-12-2009 10:10] 
A Letter To John Miller:

Belated congratulations on your new PCR column! I enjoyed about 75% of this week's column. The other 25% of it sucked. The misogynistic, reductionist view of women is *so* over done and unoriginal. Get a new schtick.

Welcome aboard.
Terence [16-12-2009 08:53] 
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith     "La Floridiana" is ©2009 by William Moriaty    "FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Scherer    "Retrorama" is ©2009 by ED Tucker    "Growing Up Fanboy" is ©2009 by Chris Woods    "Sports Talk" is ©2009 by Chris Munger     "The Asian Aperture" is ©2009 by Jason Fetters     "Lampin' @ the 6th Borough" is ©2009 by John Miller      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova    
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