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season 4's same-sex marriage for immigration plot line is NOT factual
Unfortunately, neither marriage in Massachusetts or California nor a civil union in any state will provide immigration rights to same-sex couples in the short term. In the United States, immigration law is governed entirely by federal law, and in 1996 the federal government passed a law called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. Thus marriages between same sex partners, whether they take place in Massachusetts, California, Canada, or other countries which allow for such marriages will not provide any immigration benefits in the U.S.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have made it very clear that they will not recognize any same sex marriages. If you apply for a visa for your partner based on a same sex marriage, it will be denied. If your partner is not in lawful status, he could be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings.
Most Haunted (2002)
A showman that cannot be denied
At first we were impressed that Derek (aka "Degsie" to fans) could pull out historical facts from the ether with the help of his psychic guide Sam (an ethiopian who lived centuries ago).
We so wanted to believe!
The show Most Haunted has been a huge ratings winner for a little cable channel in UK - and the show crossed over onto our basic cable in the USA. It does nicely for Travel Channel in the USA.
After a little digging and googling - and reading about some behind-the-scenes entrapment by the crew who planted fake info to Derek before tapings -- we are now bigger fans than ever.
We know from media reports that he was slyly given anagrams of the words "Derek Lies" (Rik Eedles) and "Derek Faker" (Kreed Kafer) and he grabbed onto the names he overheard from the crew and sure enough these fake names of souls promptly came through during the taping !! Brilliant! We love this show anyway!!
Derek may give hope to millions that there is something in the next world, and sweet souls are in "visitation" among us -- but to us - "Degs" is simply a classic TV showman.
A few seasons into the series - Degs began to get possessed during seances. He would bellow and hiss as the supposed spirit persons who were hanging around old cellars, castles and manors.
In one classic show, he became possessed by the spirit of a pagan hag and barked at an interviewer when asked "her" name -- Degsie hissed: " What's YOUR name, leper ?!! " After these entertaining possessions, Derek usually collapses into a heap, is escorted out and his work is done. ("Derek, come forward!")
Derek (a former footballer turned spirit medium) supposedly arrives at these "haunted" locales "with no prior history of the building." However, many of these locations are famous "haunted" UK tourist destinations (many with "ghost tours" available to the public).
Sometimes Derek forgets a date or a surname - but he usually covers by getting distracted by another spirit and the question is never answered.
The show is hosted by a former UK child star named Yvette Fielding. Co-hosted by her campy historian colleague and part-time ghost walk tourguide Richard Felix, with "base line readings" taken early in every show by Phil Wyman (thru season 4). Phil is a husky and cute lad prone to wearing tight dance club Tshirts. I love Phil!!
Watch for: Yvette sitting in a dark empty manor and asking ever so politely "is anybody here?" --- "please make a noise if you can hear me." --- "a noise...a bump...anything".
Watch for: Derek being "drawn" to "an area" and after being prompted by Yvette if he'd like to go towards another room, he says "may we?". (Yes! we want to yell-- That's why you are there!)
Watch for: Derek to use A lot of descriptive words to reveal very little info.
The MH producers perhaps became hostile towards -or- jealous of Derek's antics & fame - and he left the show after 6 seasons to star in his own spin off series "Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns" (where he has even more over-the-top possessions, and brings celebrity to ordinary people's haunted houses. In the spin off series, attention seekers drop by the "Ghost Truck" for pre-interviews. How handy!).
Most Haunted was a cult sensation in the UK - with French & Saunders even spoofing it on their BBC comedy special.
After 7 years of investigations and a parade of psychic mediums, the show has uncovered little in terms of proof of hauntings or the paranormal- except the occasional bump in the night, TV sets that turn on & off, and those frequent "light anomalies" (which look a lot like dust floating past digital handi-cams).
Most Haunted with Derek Acorah and his predictable enthusiasm, edginess and histrionics is a terrific way to pass an evening in front of the telly --with or without "a grounded soul in visitation".
Muse inspires two men to open a roller disco nightclub . Genius!
Olivia was cast as a heavenly muse sent to Earth to inspire two men to follow their dreams. The muse-meets-mortal thing was first done in Rita Hayworth's 40's fantasy flick: "Down to Earth". It seemed like a cute star vehicle for Olivia , still box-office gold from her Grease film debut in 1978. Apparently Olivia enjoyed Michael Beck's performance in 1979's "The Warriors" and the fact that he looked a lot like Andy Gibb didn't hurt either. (ONJ was linked romantically to Andy.)
Xanadu was shot in 1979 & was racing to hit screens before two other roller-disco films being done by rival studios: SkateTown USA (w/ Scott Baio) & Rollerboogie (w/ Linda Blair). However, Xanadu had Gene Kelly aboard, and the film-makers decided to make Xanadu a "classier" film and in the tradition of 40's MGM musicals. An "art deco musical" bragged producers to the press. The script was constantly being revised, with new pages typed as they shot - so the end result proved a bit messy in the story department. However -- the brilliant self contained musical sequences ushered in the MTV era that was about to take America by storm a year later in 1981.
Summer 1980, Xanadu was released, and audiences stayed away. The film cost approx $14MIL to make and made $22 million total. I recall Olivia's GREASE was running on cable TV constantly that summer. I suppose the critical pans didn't help, and maybe Xanadu was just too much old-fashioned silly spectacle for 1980's mainstream audiences. But - I recall some of us kids & teens loving it - particularly gay teens. The soundtrack was a huge hit (double platinum) and by December 1980 the film was in its final run - at the discount theaters.
25 years later, the film is an amazing reminder of a happier, optimistic Pre-Reagan era in films. 1980 - the year Hollywood produced: Xanadu, The Apple, Fame, Popeye, Can't Stop The Music and our final look at 1970's glitz.
Now hardcore fans (Xanadudes & Xanadudettes) flock to sing-along showings, costume contests and campy Live Stage productions of the film that made a few of us a little happier way back when. Xanadu was a place dreams came true.