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   Now in our eleventh calendar year
    PCR #511  (Vol. 11, No. 2)  This edition is for the week of January 4--10, 2010.

"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"  by Mike Smith
Forgotten Horrors: Bad Ronald  by ED Tucker
Kokkuri  by Jason Fetters
Death and Redemption of the Message Board  by John Miller
I'm Calling It Par 69 .... Baseball Notes .... Hey Were Frosted.....hey I'm Dead .... The Nominees Are .... Happy Birthday .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf by Mike Smith
Lampin at the 6th Borough by John Miller

Death and Redemption of the Message Board

Part 1 - Written on January 1, 2010

I figured I would kick the year off with a bang by declaring the beginning of 2010 as the official death of the Crazedfanboy.com message boards.

This once-booming watering hole for a diverse but small batch of devoted fanboys has been on life support for at least a year if not longer. It is painful to watch, like witnessing a good friend who's turned into a crippled vegetable living on life support being forced fed through tubes and having to crap into a bag. Rather then having to endure another year of misery, I was prepared to plug a bullet through its mushy lifeless brain and put a end to this madness once and for all.

None of this is easy to admit. Those of us who are regulars on the boards, myself, Terence Nuzum, Brandon Jones, Steve Beasley, King Fausto, John Petrey and a few others have worked tirelessly to keep the boards alive with debate, vile and arguments that seem reminiscent of better times. Unfortunately it hasn't been enough to keep the wheels on the machine spinning.

Those of you reading this may wonder why activity on the boards have died off or even have theories of your own. Save that for your own columns. Here are a few reasons as to why I think the boards have died.

Reason 1 - Part of the charm of this site was its unique mix of thick-skulled oddballs and whack jobs (myself included) that Nolan had managed to coral into such a small area. Over time for various reasons (some of which I will cover shortly) these individuals had begun dropping off of the scene. Since all parties involved had their own specific niche, every time somebody was removed from the debate there was a gap in the conversation that nobody else could fill. Making things feel a little bit less exciting and ultimately boring.

Reason 2 - This is basically a sequel to reason number 1. The individual characters roaming the forums often clashed over any number of subjects and did so quite passionately. For the most part this is a good thing. Unfortunately not everybody is as thick-skinned as their respective counterparts. Pretty soon things got to the point where everybody was afraid to offend anybody and nobody was doing or saying anything all that entertaining. Our sometimes militant positions are what made the forums such an enjoyable place to be, when we lost that edge the pages became nearly unreadable and nobody wanted to participate.

Reason 3 - Psychos. Going along with the common themes of reasons number 1 and 2, some of those awesome characters we shared these pages with turned out to be obsessive and potentially dangerous. Some of the message board's biggest moments came thanks to the circus created by people constantly wanting to stir up unnecessary trouble. When steps were taken to ban these members, their hijinks no longer attracted readers looking to witness a train wreck.

Reason 4 - Lack of participation on the part of Crazedfanboy.com creator Nolan Canova. This isn't a diss towards Nolan, it is simply an observation. In the early days Nolan seemed to be quite active in the discussions, as hostilities grew and the pages became more rampant with fiery debate Nolan seemed to back off a little bit and became less and less of a presence. For a short time his absence was OK because things were smoothly pushing right along at their own pace just fine without him. But when it became apparent that the pages needed a bit of a boost Mr. Canova was nowhere to be found and when he did make himself available his appearances were very brief. I am of the opinion that had Nolan made himself more of a player on the forums it would have reassured casual and new members making them feel a little more comfortable. Instead they were left alone like guppies in a shark tank and probably scared to post.

Reason 5 - Readers Comments on the homepage. That useless thing on the front page where random readers comment on their social lives, makes surprise announcements about nothing anyone cares about and say things better reserved for email and text messages. A lot of users began shifting their focus from the boards to the now much more active and unpredictable readers comments pages. Sadly this tool is used more as a means of patting writers on the back then it is for debate and feedback.

Reason 6 - Everything new sucks! This is a basic theme from day one on the forums. With so little to peak our interest in the modern age we have simply run out of things to discuss.

Reason 7 - The disbanding of any real structure or cohesiveness within the Tampa Film Scene. Nolan's site at one time was the central hub and networking grounds for local filmmakers wanting to keep in contact with each other and share news and information. At some point things became wishy-washy and the once-popular section devoted to local filmmakers became nothing more then a relic. (That, and most filmmakers defected to the more high-profile MySpace and Facebook.)

Part 2 - January 7, 2010

So after a week of deep meditation on the subject and after a healthy debate with both Nolan and co-editor Terence Nuzum AKA The Tez Bomb, I have come to the conclusion that my attempted mercy killing of the message boards may have been a tiny bit pre-mature.

I love the Crazed Fanboy message boards. They were an unlifting part of my days during a couple of rough periods the last few years and now that I'm finding myself drug through the mud once more I am finding out just how much I miss those old days and what an amazing collection of minds were assembled on this site. I will argue that on no other website or message board in the world is there as loyal a group of fans than the ones who are gathered on this site. This is a spot that we cling to because there is really no where else we could go to be as freely outspoken and firm of our respective beliefs. So, with that said, I would no longer like to blow the brains out of the message board's skull because I have a sneaky suspicion that its best days may very well be yet to come.

Now that Crazed Fanboy has a Facebook page, I would like to see steps taken to reach out to past members and welcome them back. Let bygones be bygones and start over, if possible. No matter how heated the debate got on the boards I have seen online enemies meet face to face and talk as though they were best friends. This place is like the mob, once you're in you're in for life. If nothing else, I hope this article inspires a few readers to sign up or sign in for the first time in a long time. I mean, c'mon, you telling me nobody wants to argue Avatar, Iron Man 2 or Daybreakers?

"Lampin' @ The 6th Borough" is ©2010 by John Miller.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.