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  THE BLACK LIST: DISHONOR ROLL.  
   
     

SMALL TALK, an exercise in awkwardness: C-


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LOVE, ACTUALLY: This movie, directed by the guy who wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones Diary and Notting Hill, bills itself as the "ultimate" romantic comedy, but "extreme" would probably be a better word. There are more than a dozen characters, all of which overlap and look for love in wholly different places, making the plot a hodge-podge of romantic cliches. There's are all kinds of love stories to watch -- about 73 -- all of which are so implausible, so ridiculous, you'd need a frontal lobotomy to really believe them. For fuck's sake, there's an interracial romance between 11-year-olds, someone finds Alan Rickman sexy and Hugh Grant plays the British Prime Minister. Endless, horrid, foolish and convoluted, Love Actually is like the Apocalypse Now of romantic comedies. Needless to say, the row of girls in front absolutely loved the shit out of this movie. C- -- Eric Gillin

SMALL TALK: Oh, hey. No I guess I didn't see you there. I've been good, you know, not doing much. Oh yeah? That sounds cool. No, I haven't been to that bar yet, I've been meaning to go. I know. I've been really busy too. I have so much work to do, and it's just not getting done. Yeah, we should totally get together. No, I still have your number. You're still living near the park, right? Cool. You call me or I'll call you. Ha ha ha, yeah. All right. Talk to you later. C- -- Darin Bresnitz

HELP WANTED ADS: Note to human resource people who place help wanted ads: are you serious? Is your ad some sort of classified prick tease? The job sounds great, with a good salary and great benefits and you have the experience they want, but there's no ADDRESS? Not even a CITY? Sorry, a fax number or e-mail address really doesn't cut it. How the hell am I supposed to know if I can even GET to your company from where I am? Oh, and if the job is in Burlington, Vermont or Nashua, New Hampshire, don't say it's "Boston." They're nowhere near each other, morons. If I wanted a 4 hour daily commute I'd take an airplane to NYC. D- -- Bob Sassone

NEW YORK'S METROPOLITAN TRANSIT AUTHORITY: Not since the federal government's crackdown on the Gambino Crime Family has there been a more lucrative racket than the one run by New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). After lying about how much money it had in order to get its board to approve a fare hike, the MTA went to court and blocked the repeal of the fare hike once their cooked books were discovered. Last week, when a teenage daredevil was run over by a train on the A,C,E line, a crowded A train sat in a dark tunnel for over an hour and a half while less crowded E trains coasted on to fair Forrest Hills. People in uptown Manhattan and the outer boroughs have dirtier stations and will sometimes wait up to 45 minutes for a train at night and on weekends. Because the MTA is controlled by the state, city dwellers have little choice but to put up with it. D- -- Matthew Sheahan

SHAW'S "SIGNATURE" PEPPERONI PIZZA: The "Signature" line of foods at Shaw's supermarket is their "fancy-dancy, high-end" line of store brand foods that they try to trick you into buying instead

 

of, um, you know, the ones that actually taste good. They trick you by putting it right next to the famous name brand - so it must be as good! I've always been a follower of the old "pizza is like sex - even when it's bad it's pretty good" joke, but now I have my doubts. I knew something was wrong when, after pushing the pizza towards the center of my oven with my fingers to even out the cooking, and then licked said fingers, I tasted old feet. This pizza isn't delivery. It's disgusting. F -- Bob Sassone

AUTUMN SELF-REFLECTION: What is it about the fall that causes folks to reflect on failed relationships? Is it going home to mom's apple pie and memories of days gone by? Or, maybe as the cold and damp sets in, you realize your bed is empty, nookie nowhere to be found. Again. Perhaps you decide that the best course of action is to pull a Rob Gordon and go the High Fidelity route. The "why-god-why" am I alone and regret over jackass behavior is ugly and for those us who have had to do the awkward response to such inquiries and confessions, well, we say: Save it. Really. It smacks of self-pity and if we wanted to listen to someone whine, we'd simply tune into "Newlyweds." While curiosity about your current state may overtake us and we may even feel a twinge of sympathy for your sad, unevolved self, it just ain't right. Move it along -- go ahead and take our names, numbers, and email addresses out of your Blackberry. Cause really, it'll make everyone feel better. D+ -- DMB

CELEBRITIES UNCENSORED: It may be the guilty pleasure that's just a little too guilty. "All right!" you think to yourself. "Celebrities uncensored! It's going to be crazy!" You're not sure what you expect to see, but you're sure it's going to be hot. And exclusive. Then you realize that you're watching footage of Charlie Sheen leaving a club in 1994 while the narrator tells you as such in a creepily smarmy voice. Actually, it's more like "Charlie Sheen THINKS he's leaving the club. And then the paparazzi show up!" Even the most Anna Nicole Show watching, US magazine reading, celebrity worshipping philistine will have to admit that "Celebrities Uncensored" is too much. Too much of nothing. It's the only show on E! that makes you want to read a book. D -- Claire Zulkey

FLUORESCENT LIGHTING: What's that leprous beast in the mirror? Oh wait, that's just my face. With the ability to make even the closest George Michael likeness devolve into something resembling a mere Andrew Ridgeley, fluorescent lighting is the bane of my existence. Every skin imperfection it not merely reflected in the mirror, but is celebrated. The smallest pimple, barely noticeable under normal circumstances, turns into a raging froth of pus and blood once bathed in the unforgiving glow of a fluorescent lamp. Highly unsexy. For that, and because they cost something like fifteen bucks a bulb, fluorescent lighting gets a "D-" in my book. D- -- Alexander Gray

MEN WHO DRINK LOW-CARB BEER: Can you imagine Bogart or Hemingway showing up at a party with a 12-pack of Michelob Ultra under their arms? Does the near-extinct American Alpha Male have any self-respect left at all? One of the nation's most popular beers sounds like a member of the Kotex product line! ("I drink Ultra on my heavy flow days…") Beer drinking manly men aren't supposed to worry about their carb intake. Mich Ultra drinkers only stay out of "F" territory only because that circle of hell is reserved for Smirnoff ice drinkers. D -- Joel Furfari

THE PATRIOT ACT AND HOME FURNISHINGS: Living in Ashcroft's America, I expect certain Big Brother-esque behavior from my governing body. For me, the Patriot Act is the crystallization of all my long held fears and cynicism. I accept that the CIA may well want
to tap my phone without a warrant, investigate what books I checked out from my local library, or implant a long-range tracking device in my colon. While unreasonable, these demands are nothing short of post 9/11 Americana. However, when this bleeds over into the realm of my rampant consumerist lust, I get a tad pissy. When forced to present four forms of ID, provide a DNA specimen, and swear on a stack of Bibles that my home won't become a hotbed of domestic terrorist activity, simply to finance a sofa recliner, I begin to question exactly who we're looking to protect… and how. F -- Z

 

 
 

MORE.

SAY NO TO POLITICS.

SAILING THE HIGH C'S.

THINGS GET DOUBLE PLUS UNGOOD.

THE REDNECK REVOLUTION.

I BREAK FOR IRONY, THEN I BACK UP AND RUN IT OVER UNTIL IT'S DEAD.

INTRODUCING PUSH-TO-SUBMIT TECHNOLOGY.

MORE TO LIFE THAN FOOTBALL? THAT'S UNPOSSIBLE.

YOU TAKE THE GOOD AND TAKE THE BAD.

I FEEL PRETTY. AT LEAST I WANT TO.

A RANDOM REVIEW OF EVERYTHING, IN GRADE FORM.

 

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