Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Random Items: A Baker’s Dozen

The PopCulteer
April 2, 2010

Unplanned Poignancy

Due to  unexpected deadline pressures, this week’s PopCulteer (our 51st, by the way) is going to be a completely-unplanned stream of consciousness list of whatever decides to run through my weary mind.  I will stop at 13, then go to sleep.


Charleston is gearing up for a visit next week by the emotional vampires who call themselves the Westboro Baptist Church.  These litigious performance artists pretend to be a religious order, but really just travel the country trying to provoke actionable reactions by spouting the rawest unfettered hate speech that a sick mind could conjure.

There are going to be several counter-protests. I understand, admire and support my friends who will be involved in those. Yet, I think the best way to deal with these con-men cultists would be to conspire to ignore them. Send no TV cameras, no reporters, no photographers, no counter-protesters. I won’t even link to their hate-filled website. Let them rail against an empty street. Finding no “marks,” they would quickly pack up and go away.

But that’s a pipe dream. The morbid curiosity and justifiable outrage will bring people out. Human nature dictates that you want to correct people who are simply so wrong that it’s offensive. Might I suggest that Plan B would be to give them directions to the roughest biker bars in town, and tell them that that’s where the all gay people with deep pockets are.

2. Romeo and Juliet: A Rock Opera

You have two more chances to see it. You should. WVSU Capitol Center Theater, 123 Summers Street. 8 PM Friday and Saturday.

3. A Question

Why should I be proud that a team from a college that I didn’t attend is doing well at a sport that I can’t stand? I mean, if it floats your boat, good on ya, but don’t expect the rest of us to give a crap.

And quit wasting all those couches. Those are for football season!

4. Players With No Pants

The No Pants Players are back at the La Belle Theater Saturday night at 8 PM.  Tickets are six bucks. You know they’re funny. I write about ’em all the time. Check out the cool “Lost” poster by Jeff Pierson.

5. About Episode 97 of RFC

Yes, it was this year’s April Fool’s joke.  This time I decided to do an entire show with the “Fake Rudy” joke that ends almost every episode of Radio Free Charleston. The kindly old schoolteacher who was mouthing my words was the host of “Ding Dong School,” a kid’s program from the 1950s.   Many thanks to The Emergency, Simply Sadi and especially Jeff Ellis, who were all very good sports and let me cut music videos using old cartoons with their music for the show. Big thanks also go out to Scott Elkins and Murfmeef for letting me use their short films for the show.

Over the end credits, that was indeed RFC’s resident diva, Melanie Larch, joining WATT4 for their version of the Police classic, “Message In A Bottle.” That just happened last Monday night and found its way into the show at the last minute.

6. Speaking Of WATT 4

You can catch them tonight at The Sound Factory, starting at the advertised time of 9 PM, along with another band, A Better Day Parade. Come out and see why these guys are one of the hottest rock bands in town, and frequent guests on Radio Free Charleston.

7. Cool Comic That Hasn’t Been Published Yet

Columbus Punk/Swing musician, Wolfgang Parker (who will be on RFC if he ever plays in town) is working on a graphic novel that will offer a unique take on Jack The Ripper starring Parker’s Metaphysical Detective, Deklin Skurlock.

Parker is using a website called “Kickstarter” to raise the funds for the project. You can read about the project, view a video trailer and kick in a few bucks to help him finish “1888: A Victorian Horror Graphic Novel” at this link. It looks like it could be a very cool project, if he can come up with the funding.

8.  Diablo Blues Band

You’ve seen them on Radio Free Charleston (episodes 89 and 92, for instance), this weekend you have a couple of chances to catch them live. Friday night at The Boulevard Tavern, starting at 10 PM, and Saturday night at 9 PM at Bruno’s, on Leon Sullivan Way. And in a couple of weeks, you’ll see them on RFC 98. Cool, huh?

9. News Of Great Import

The Kroger at Riverwalk has Pepsi Throwback in stock.

10. Two Funny Images Swiped From Facebook

Facebook is great for many things. It can tie all the frayed threads of your life together and let you reconnect with old friends. You can use it to sort out all your social commitments. It can also make you ponder odd things, like how weird it is when your ex-wife and a GI Joe-collecting buddy from Australia join the same obscure fan page. But it’s also a dumping ground for goofy, funny images. Below you see a doctored publicity photo of WSAZ anchors Tim Irr and Jessica Ralstan (posted by Tim), and below that, a redrawn page from a recent Batman comic book that hints at The Dark Knight’s troubled childhood.

11. A Personal Plea

Okay, the weather is really nice AND it’s an election year. Can we please do something about the potholes?

12. Photos From Warm Ups Before Romeo and Juliet: A Rock Opera

13. Photos From The Debut Of HARRAH

Next Week In PopCult

The usual. You know the drill. Have a Happy Holiday of your choice.


  1. Mountain Woman Phd

    I love your idea for WBC.

    I tried to comment on your April Fool’s show, but my comment was blocked as “spam.” Was that part of the joke?

  2. Steve Beckner

    A student from Chicago set up a table across the street from WBC and took donations for groups they spout against and made the donations in the name of WBC. Priceless.

  3. Bella Dona

    Wonder why there’s been no official comment from the Mayor’s office–or any of the other city “powers that be”–regarding the arrival of the nutjob brigade next week.

    WBC, you are NOT welcome in West Virginia. Period.

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