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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #510 (Vol. 11, No. 1). This edition is for the week of December 28, 2009--January 3, 2010.

"Nine" †by Mike Smith
Welcome 2010 and 1970 Revisited †by ED Tucker
Sexy Japanese New Year's †by Jason Fetters
2010 Resolutions †by Lisa Scherer
Movie Lines From 2009 .... Joe's Hoping There's A Cash Prize Also .... Definitely Dead .... All Is Forgiven...for Now .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf †by Mike Smith
CF Presents Retrorama

Welcome 2010 and 1970 Revisited

At the conclusion of 2008, I lamented on the high number of celebrity passings that year and expressed my hope that 2009 would see this diminish. Things started off very badly with the death of cult filmmaker and personal friend, Ray Dennis Steckler. There were many other notable deaths this year including Farrah Fawcett, David Carradine, Walter Cronkite, Soupy Sales and Marilyn Chambers. It wasnít a good year by any means but it still seems better than 2008. Letís hope this is a trend and the decline continues in 2010.

In 1982, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke chose the year 2010 for the sequel to his landmark work, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nineteen years before the advent of his first novel in the series and almost thirty years in his future, Clarke imagined that space travel would be commonplace, artificial intelligence would have some serious drawbacks, and we would finally make contact with other life forms. Unfortunately, we are still behind the technological curve Clarke set for us and he was one of the casualties of the 2008 death toll. Perhaps by 2061, the setting of his third novel, we will be caught up with his timeline.

Forty years ago, the world entered the brand new decade of the seventies and left one of peace, love, and war behind them. Actually, the war part came with them as America was still fully involved in Vietnam and the hostilities at home continued to escalate as protests continued. President Richard Nixon reached the midpoint of his first term in office and the only one he would complete. Controversy surrounding the war would overshadow his signing of the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act that banned cigarette commercials from television. After successfully putting the first men on the moon the previous year, America launched the Apollo 13 manned spacecraft. An explosion involving a faulty oxygen tank would cause the mission to be aborted after only four days.

Rumors concerning John Lennonís departure from The Beatles ran rampant in the first few months of 1970. It would take until April and a self-interview released by Paul McCartney for the public to accept the fact that the dream was over. While McCartney did not decree that the group was officially disbanded, most likely due to financial considerations regarding an as yet unreleased album and film, he did confirm that he now considered himself a solo artist, had no future plans involving The Beatles, and considered the Lennon/McCartney songwriting partnership to be concluded. One month later, The Beatlesí last album, Let It Be, and a downbeat documentary film concerning its creation are released to the public and Beatlemania is officially over.

War seemed to be a popular theme at the movies as well in 1970. Robert Altman gave audiences his classic anti-war statement, MASH, while Tora! Tora! Tora! revisited the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Patton provided George C. Scott with the role of his acting career and Clint Eastwood led an all star cast collectively known as Kellyís Heroes. Walt Disney released The Aristocats, which may have fallen short of classic status but still proved enjoyable. They also phoned it in with the forgettable live-action comedy The Boatniks. Other major studios brought us the first of several Airport disaster films, Little Big Man which returned rising star Dustin Hoffman to the screen in a melancholy western, and Myra Breckinridge, an X-rated bomb starring Raquel Welch. Director Bob Rafelson put up the money he made off The Monkees and gave a young actor named Jack Nicholson his break out role opposite Karen Black in Five Easy Pieces. In more Fanboy related news, the first Apes sequel took us Beneath the Planet of the Apes and blew up the whole place, Joan Crawford hammed it up with a caveman in Trog, and a slew of budding talent finally brought the low budget demon movie Equinox to the big screen. This year also saw one of the last big budget releases for a non-Godzilla related Toho monster film, Yog, Monster from Space.

On television, a popular British science fiction series received its second replacement for the central character when Jon Pertwee took over the lead role in Doctor Who. This would mark a major turning point for the series as it also switched to color and the episodes were syndicated in America for the first time shortly thereafter. Also in England, Gerry Anderson swapped his famous puppets for live actors with the confusing UFO and the environmentally themed Doomwatch premiered. In America, the long running series The Odd Couple, The Partridge Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show all debuted. I Dream of Jeanie, Petticoat Junction, and Get Smart were canceled to make room. Josie and the Pussycats tried to capitalize on the Scooby-Doo audience on Saturday mornings and the second adaptation from the work of author Dr. Seuss appears in prime time when Horton Hears a Who!

Obviously, 1970 was a busy year for pop culture and you can be sure that many of the happenings mentioned here will find their way to full fledged columns in 2010. In the meantime, letís just hope that the events of the coming year have the same impact forty years into the future. See you next year!

"Retrorama" is ©2010 by ED Tucker. 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.