back to the Black Table
               
  THE BLACK LIST: GROW UP ALREADY.  
   
     

 

 

DAVID CROSS: Want to know why Arrested Development, which might be the best show on television, is getting worse ratings than C-SPAN? You can point the finger at an attention-depraved public, but we prefer to put the blame on David Cross. Seriously, has anything this guy done EVER succeeded? Mr. Show was barely watched on HBO (and don't let its cult status and HBO-screwed-us rep fool you; if anyone would have watched it at the time -- and we point out that Mr. Show ended SIX years ago -- HBO would have kept it around), Christopher Guest's comedies only earned widespread acclaim once Cross STOPPED being in them and his Run Ronnie Run! movie went straight to video, a fact he of course blamed on everyone but himself. Frankly, we're getting a little sick of Cross' wink-wink comedy anyway. Hey, Dave: You're going to be 40 next year. Isn't it time to stop hanging out with hipsters half your age and, you know, make an honest living? D+ -- Will Leitch

THE PRADA TOOLKIT: Prada continues its great tradition of taunting Americans with its ridiculously expensive knockoffs of Heartland staples. [In this case, tools.] The perfect complement to its $350 leather baseball caps and $250 fisherman's hats, this season's $700 toolkit is just the thing for tightening the bolts on the deck of your America's Cup entry. What are we supposed to make of a stainless-steel-and-leather toolkit targeting men who think DIY is the three-letter code for the Gulfstream-only strip outside St. Moritz? The semiotics are delicious -- is the one who drops $700 on pliers the bigger fool, or the person who can't appreciate how it feels to spend that much on something they place in a drawer and forget about? In Pradaworld, the answer is obvious. No object has evoked this much contempt for the working man since the trucker cap. A -- Greg Lindsay

FANCY WINE OPENERS: They're clunky, heavy, pretentious, and (get this) completely unnecessary. Every person who spent the $90 to have one of these Rabbit monstrosities deserves to get whacked in the nuts with a magnum of Thunderbird and have the Williams Sonoma catalog crammed in their ass. Unless you were born without thumbs or are suffering from a bizarre disease that forces you to wear mittens all the time, save yourself the $85 and use a fucking corkscrew. Yeah, it might not look as fancy and will probably take two (TWO!) seconds longer, but at least you'll have your dignity. Don't be a goddamned prick. Christ. F- -- A.J. Daulerio

THE SLOW DECLINE OF THE "KIDS' TABLE" SEATING CONCEPT: This Thanksgiving, I noticed a problem -- whole families eating at one table. Growing up, the cousins were banished to the Kids' Table. Long after we grew up, solidarity deemed we stay separate. The Kids' Table exists because children under the age of 7 cannot sit still and finish picking at their food in under 10 minutes. Leave them to their own devices so the parents can sip their wine (or scotch) and talk among themselves, as adults do. Some seem to think that giving the kids their own table is some sort of family gulag. Now everyone is together. You know what? Everyone hates it. The grownups can't talk to each other while they're keeping Madison and Cody (such awful names for these children) from elbowing each other and tossing rolls at Kyle's gender-neutral head. The kids would rather be sliding down the stairs or wearing their napkins as hats. So give everyone a break. Bring back the Kids' Table. Everyone will thank you for it. Especially us childless folks who just want to get drunk in peace. F -- Aileen Gallagher

PEOPLE WHO USE UMBRELLAS WHEN IT'S SNOWING: You idiots. Don't you see it's not raining? Umbrellas look very stupid on a sunny day, but at least in New York City you can rationalize, somehow, that maybe this is some

 

sort of engenue-Holly-Golightly nut who just needs the umbrella to go with her white gloves, or something. But with winter approaching, we're going to see oodles of idiots in the street, "protecting" themselves from snowflakes, which move about as fast as my grandma hitting on the bus driver. Put on a coat! A hat! It's not rain! Good lord, people. D- -- David Gaffen

GETTING DIGITAL CABLE: For years, I've been bombarded with offers to sign up for Time Warner's digital cable and broadband Internet service. My cable bill is regularly stuffed with offers to join, their telemarketers pester me with calls and the TV ads, which run every sixteen seconds, implore me to call 1-800-CABLE-ME to get started today. If only it were that easy. When you call 1-800-CABLE-ME from the New York City metro area, a message directs you to call the local number, which you'll need to dig up, somehow. Instead, I tried to sign up over the Internet. After you fill out a lengthy form, Time Warner says they'll give you a call but they haven't after three weeks, making this the first time in history I'm secretly hoping a telemarketer will call me. If it's this hard to get help when I *want* to spend $120 a month, I wonder what happens if I have a big problem? D+ -- Eric Gillin

THE GUY WHO BLOCKED THE DRIVEWAY: It's one of the primal laws of the urban jungle: don't park your piece of shit Honda in front of my driveway. Who doesn't know that? Yeah, I know, parking is tough around here, but if we start just blocking people in willy-nilly, chaos will ensue. Society will regress, goddammit. Now, I'm waiting for the cop to show up. Can I kick a fucking hole in your already-dented piece of rolling doodoo? No, you will be spared because the cop turned out to be a nice conversationalist and the pleasure I got from watching your shitbag be taken to some greasy pit-bull breeder's chop shop on the edge of town scratched my itch for senseless vandalism. B- -- J.F.

NEW ZEALAND: You might be inclined to hate the land of the Kiwis when you're out on the road, driving a stick shift sitting on the right (wrong) side of the car, flicking on the windshield wipers every single time you want to signal a turn, listening to more nonsense about rugby, of all sports. And it's very far. A mere 20 hours will get you there, and then where are you? But Auckland has a great, mini-San Fran quality to it; the food is excellent -- yes, especially the lamb -- and the entire South Island is like one big movie set. Are they hanging on this Lord of the Rings thing a little too much like a 12-year-old geek's slavish devotion to the new version of Duke Nukem? Yes. It doesn't, as Rod Steiger said, make them bad people. They are, in fact, very nice people. A- -- David Gaffen

OLD LADY PERFUME: Good God. Could anything be more ubiquitous/insidious than this unmistakably geriatric perfume wafting through the air? Worn by Nanas and Grans the world over, this eau packs a punch that lands straight into your nostrils and stays there -- indefinitely rendering you incapable of enjoying a meal, smoking a cigarette or breathing normally. Though its proper name is unknown to me, I would further describe this crime against the senses as what a funeral home might smell like if there was a PEZ candy factory in the basement: sweet, sugary notes with undertones of a slow, rotting death. Ladies, I beg of you: use a lighter hand with the atomizer. I can't run around swabbing all of you with witch hazel. D+ -- Stephanie B.

HINANO, A TAHITIAN BEER: One of the few products from French Polynesia that does not contain black pearls, pineapple, or vanilla extract, this semi-smooth, hoppy-tasting lager is about what you'd expect from a country that's A) obviously a bit distracted by trying to produce tropical drinks and B) a province of the French, who produce some of the worst beer in Europe. It goes down easy enough, leaves very little impression, and affords only the minor boast of "hey, I had Polynesian beer!" That's not much of a brag. C- -- David Gaffen

ELDERLY ACTIVITIES: Yeah, I enjoy knitting and playing bingo. So what! I may be 24, but who says I have to be over the age of 65 to admit this without being snickered at by my peers? Even my 85 year-old aunt giggled when I told her. Well, I got news for you all. They came out with a study proving that people who frequently play games like bingo are less likely to lose their minds when they get older. Yup. And guess what gnarly disease knitting can help prevent? Arthritis. Uh huh. That's right. Who's laughing now, suckers? When you're old and your family puts you in a home because you think Carrot Top is the president and you can't hold a fork because your hands are curled into a throbbing fist of pain, guess where I'll be? Sitting in my rocking chair, sipping on an afternoon cocktail, whittling a walking stick for your sorry ass. And stop sweating my scarf. You know you want one. B+ -- Beth Frey

GROWN PEOPLE WHO WEAR PAJAMA BOTTOMS IN PUBLIC: This seems to be a trend started by pep-squad aged teen girls who, thanks to Madonna and a couple of other whores, think its okay to wear your undies out in public, therefore why not wear your jammies too? But now after a whirlwind tour through the South and Midwest this weekend, I've discovered that adults have picked up on the trend. Flannel PJ bottoms worn by Dad at the grocery store? Sure! Satin pajama bottoms worn by Mom at the mall? You betcha! Appropriate for the airport? Why, if gramma can wear her nylon multicolored tracksuit and Lil Ashliegh can wear her pink skin-tight terry cloth sweats, wht can't Dad sport his Sponge Bob flannel pj bottoms on ther plane? Because he's in *public* fer chrissakes -- put some clothes on. This isn't your living room. I weep for our so-called future. D -- kowgurl

VH-1 BIG IN 2003 AWARDS SHOW: VH1's Sunday night awards show, "Big in'03," offered a chuckle or two but most of the laughs came from its insufferably pathetic presenters, award categories and honorees. A few highlights: VH1 crowned Evan Marriott (Joe Millionaire) the "Really Big Reality Star of '03." Evan, your 15 minutes of fame was just extended by another minute and a half. Make the most of it. The "Biggest Breakthrough of '03" was bubblegum pop princess Hilary Duff. Ick, she's "so yesterday." And the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" Fab Five beat out the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop Gene Robinson for the "Biggest Gay Hero of'03" honor. What a sin. D+ -- A. Noyes

 

 
 

MORE.

HURRY, HURRY, HURRY! STEP RIGHT UP!

CALL IN THE HELPER MONKEYS!

BIG UPS TO DIAMOND DIZZLE.

DO YOU BELIEVE THE HYPE?

DISHONOR ROLL.

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.

 

*BT*