|THE BLACK LIST: CALL IN THE HELPER MONKEYS!|
|By The Black Table||
Technology is our friend here at The Black Table. Without it, we couldn't obsess over our fantasy football teams or track down Norwegian sites that have the Hilton tape mirrored and ready to stream. But this week, well, we hate technology. Specifically, the technology that was behind the form all of you could use to send in a review for the Black List.
That's right. The form broke. Which means we didn't get anything from anyone who sent in reviews over the last week. So now we're back to asking you all to write a review on your own and send it off to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to include your name and a grade, and keep the reviews between 150 and 200 words. Once again: Send those reviews to email@example.com.
In the meantime, help yourself to this week's
12 reviews -- covering everything from that Hilton tape to a liberal arts
education -- while we rile up the helper monkeys and unleash them on our
unsuspecting HTML code. Fly monkeys, fly! Pray for Mojo!
MY INTERVIEW WITH MYSELF: Just when I thought I couldn't get any more self-involved than publishing a blog about my everyday annoyances and half-baked opinions (like anybody cares), I went out and found a way to take my narcissism to the next level -- by interviewing myself on said blog. The resulting interview -- The Timekiller interviews The Timekiller Doppleganger -- proved there is truly no limit to my imagined self-importance. Or so I thought. I just realized that writing my own Black List review of my own interview with myself on my blog might cross that line. Luckily, I'm also my own biggest critic. C- -- I.B. Bored
THE BURBERRY CHECK: Though the Burberry Check is slow to offend, constant exposure on city streets eventually wears one down. Could a fabric worn by so many fashion-conscious folks be any more hideous? A camel background with red, black, and white stripes. Seems so innocuous when presented in word form, but is really awful on a raincoat or purse or umbrella or scarf. It's especially awful when dogs wear it. The Burberry Check is a company trademark, first used to line a trenchcoat in 1924. These colors (great separately, but noxious together) have been uglifying apparel for almost 80 years. The joke is on the wearer, of course, who probably secretly hates the color scheme and broad, jaunty checks but likes everyone to know they can afford to buy unattractive British designers. My God, do I know. F- -- Aileen Gallagher
A NEW ENGLAND LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION: In-state tuition? Fuck that! My friends were smug, my parents dubious, but I said - I'm going to prove myself up there, and it's got apple orchards and shit, which is cool. Shack up with some chick who "summers" on "the Cape." I'd be set. Trust fund in tow, I'd spend all day in cafes writing verse essays and radio plays. The faux-homenian life I always dreamed of would be mine. So what the hell happened? Not so sure. It seems the blue bloods can smell a Jew at forty paces, and all the JAPs are at Binghamton. Everyone I know is temping in Boston, permanently, with 100 grand in debt, and growing. Time to join the American Foreign Legion. And quick. I mean, I'll risk Gulf War Syndrome if it means I'll never have to see Connecticut again, and I don't have to live around the corner from that girl I puked on the night I turned 21. C- -- David Martin
PEARL JAM "LIVE AT THE GARDEN" DVD: Eddie Vedder is the coolest man in America. Pearl Jam is the greatest band in the world. New York City is the coolest, greatest city on earth. Combine those elements and you get the most inspired, unhinged, and magical performance from a band that some people shamefully still associate with flannel shirts and Seattle. Filmed last July 8 at Madison Square Garden, this DVD is three plus hours of PJ doing everything right for an unforgettable summer night in New York City. Those of us lucky enough to be there that night left MSG knowing we just witnessed something special. Now, you can see exactly what we're talking about. A -- A.J. Daulerio
MASTER AND COMMANDER: Twenty years ago, this would have been a simple genre-movie-done-well that no one would have given a second thought to. But in the midst of all the CGI dreck out there, that it even *tries* to have a story in the midst of an actioner is apparently cause for celebration. Well-done, tasteful and containing an I-am-manlier-than-you-are performance from
Russell Crowe, it's too long, a little too pokey and, all things considered, perfectly serviceable entertainment. B -- Will Leitch
THOSE NEW KFC ADS: Only 11 grams of carbs and 40 grams of protein! Too bad the commercials forgot to mention the 10,000 calories and 68 grams of fat. Assholes. Do they really think they can market FRIED CHICKEN as the new Subway? Yeah, so Pam Anderson has her implants in a bunch over your treatment of chickens, but that does not give KFC the right to reinvent itself as "healthy". Their product coats our arteries in greasy goodness and contributes to our being the "obese-est" in the whole wide world. We love KFC for it. We like being winners at something. But there is no way battered, crispy poultry is ending up on the Zone list. Wake up! Welcome to the world, Colonel please drive though. D- -- Tracy Weiss
PIERCING YOUR OWN BELLY BUTTON: Say that the shop that should have pierced your belly button when they sold you a horseshoe-shaped ring offered instead only a 10-gauge needle -- for you, at a discount. Say you went home and, when that thick, hollow, slanted tip glinted up at you from inside its clear sterile sheath, you blanched, giving your intact navel a reassuring pat, abandoning the scheme. Now, say that one sunny day, after having removed the evil shard of metal from its cabinet and replaced it with a shudder countless times. Say that one day when the first kiss of spring was in the air and anything seemed possible, suppose that cold glint became a friendly sparkle and that chill patch of navel gooseflesh melted into a warm welcome. You might think then that it would be a fine idea to recline on a pillow on the floor with alcohol swabs, a cigarette lighter, some ice, and the needle and the ring on a plate nearby. You might convince yourself it would all be over with one swift jab, take that deep breath, and ram that spike in with all your strength -- only to poke through the tip. Right about the time you're queasy, fully aware you've punctured a hole in your middle with the point peeking out the top and about a mile of steel on the other end, right when you realize you can't turn back and you can't budge the needle and you can't leave it there, it's right about then, and for the scabbed, bruised, throbbing -- but somehow successfully pierced -- days to come, you realize this a poor choice of DIY project. D -- Sandra Barron
PRETENDING TO WORK: Okay, now granted, pretending to work is better than actually working. But looking at porn (clicking on a Word document when your boss walks by), reading the same sports news over and over (Alt + Tab), and looking for love in all the wrong places (click, click, click), does not disguise the fact that you are at a fucking desk for forty hours every damn week, desperately attempting to salvage your sanity by traipsing from inappropriate site to inappropriate site. Stupid work. Stupid fake working. D- -- Jamie
PARIS HILTON'S SEX TAPE: Well, isn't that just precious. There she is all right, black eyeliner and all, mugging for the camera like it's "Celebrities Uncensored" and wearing just a stitch less clothing. She even answers her cell phone. You half expect Nichole Ritchie or Nicky Hilton to jump in for a photo op. With plenty of different positions, grainy imagery and larger breasts than you'd expect, this was lined up to be Pam n' Tom Part II. But despite all the hype and all the action, if you're at all familiar with Paris Hilton, you walk away feeling like you've seen this before. Let's get a video of her unclogging a toilet with a wire hanger, then we'd see something dirty AND novel out of her. C- -- Claire Zulkey
VEND-A-MOO: Peeler's Dairy, local purveyor of farm fresh cow squeezings, has recently unveiled its newest half-baked marketing scheme: the Vend-a-Moo. For those of you outside the surreal southeast, I shall paint a picture. The Vend-a-Moo is a freestanding, drive-through that, upon the deposit of three American dollars, will distribute a gallon of chilled Peeler's whole, skim, or 2% milk. Purchasing milk without ever having to raise your lazy, dimpled ass from the driver's seat of your sport utility eliminates such pesky obstacles as crowded supermarkets, long lines, and uncomfortable human interaction, and provides an option to those of us who desperately need milk at 2:00 AM on a Tuesday morning, but are too goddamned self-important to purchase groceries at a convenience store. While the Vend-a-Moo is a business endeavor without the slightest practical application it does feature a 20 foot fiberglass cow that gives it an otherworldly aesthetic flair. B+ -- Z.
CELL PHONE BLACKJACK: The good part about being a scientist is that there is a lot of down time. See, you set up an experiment and sort of wait till it's done. And by wait I mean, look for porn on the Internet. But sometimes you have a coworker next to you, so you can't look at boobies and such. What do you do? There are two games on my cell phone, blackjack and a helicopter game that sucks and is boring. Looks like blackjack it is. I'm such a High Roller in the Cell Phone Casino. I walk into the place and everyone around me wants to take my coat and get me a free drink. None of these $2 tables for me, I'm playing for the big bucks. I get comped everything from breakfast to hookers, which are legal at the Cell Phone Casino. Forget science, I'm fucking Sinatra! A- -- Enid Michaels
EPITAPH'S PUNK-O-RAMA VOL. 8: I had my doubts
on this one, but I figured 30+ songs for $6 was a pretty safe investment.
I haven't regretted it yet. Start off any two-disc set with Tim Armstrong-dumping
Brody Dalle's Distillers singing about dying, coming back to life and
fucking shit up ("I Am A Revenant") and you're on a roll from
there. Motion City Soundtrack, Rancid, the Bouncing Souls (Jersey -- yeahyup),
Bad Religion... shit, this thing's worth it just for NOFX's "The
Idiots are Taking Over" (play it while watching Fox News on mute
-- a better stupid laugh than "A guy walks into a bar... ouch."
The Manitoba's guys seemed to dig it, but I don't know how it'll fly in
Williamsburg. Then again: Who cares? A+ -- Jason