|THE BLACK LIST: YOUR TAPES DON'T FIT INTO OUR VCR.|
|By The Black Table|
We decided to switch servers to save a little money and all hell broke loose over the weekend. By moving to cheaper digs, we inadvertently nudged the house of cards supporting the Black List and now nothing works. Again. This, of course, includes that nasty little form we created so you can automatically submit your reviews to us, which means that we may have missed some submissions somewhere along the line. It also means nothing works properly at the moment. So, until someone, somewhere can teach us how to transform our Windows-only ASP scripts (whaat?) into Unix-friendly PHP scripts (huuh?), you will have to submit your reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org using the old fashioned method.
Sigh. Back to the good ol' email address.
All of this Internet crap is really confusing, but luckily, we're still able to publish reviews. This week we've got 11 for your inspection. Apologies about the technical difficulties, we're um, uh. Yeah. We're totally gonna figure it out at some point. Honest.
TABOO, THE MUSICAL: The epic musical collaboration between Rosie O'Donnell and Boy George of Culture Club was about as welcome on Broadway as the Black Israelite clan, those robed dudes who use their Times Square outpost to preach about the evils of white people. O'Donnell dumped $10 million into the production, which will close on Feb. 8. The sad part is that Taboo isn't actually that bad. The songs are modern and poppy. The vocal performances have been extremely strong. The few Culture Club songs are amazing to see live. They're going to make a cast recording of the show, so the songs aren't forever lost in the abyss of failure, and in the end it becomes clear that O'Donnell -- and not the show -- is the reason why it failed. What kind of person is delusional enough to think that mainstream Broadway audiences, fed a steady diet of revivals and Disney productions, would go in for a drug-influenced, gay-camp set in New Wave Hell? Ultimately, if O'Donnell set aside her hubris and put Taboo in an off-Broadway theater, with a tenth the budget, it could have found a younger, hipper audience and had the success other oddball productions as Urinetown and Avenue Q. C+ -- Eric Gillin
WORKING ON MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY: Yep. I'm the only one here today. Why am I here? The boss told me to show up. Gotta get paid, you know? But I assure you, I do not, in fact, have anything against black people. Some of my best friends are black! OK, that's not true. Black people tend to find me kind of lame. But I do love the rap music! OK, well, Eminem is my favorite but he's *almost* black. But God bless Dr. King. I believe in his dream. We did not land on Plymouth Rock; Plymouth Rock landed on us. Why am I at work again? Shouldn't I be out marching? I assume everyone not working today is honoring Dr. King's memory. I know all my black friends are. All right, I don't have any black friends. I do know some black guys, though, and they're really cool. Fine, I'm lame. And at work. D- -- Will Leitch
THE BREAK-UP BETWEEN LENNY KRAVITZ AND NICOLE KIDMAN: Oh, no. So Nicole Kidman allegedly ditched Lenny this weekend, because of His rumored infidelities with "artist" Isis Arruda and -- gasp! -- Michelle Rodriguez! Come to think of it: Lenny and Michelle wouldn't make such a bad couple. I imagine them side by side in some double-sink and mirrored bathroom, sharing the eyeliner, practicing fake sneers and smearing bronzer over each other, then some shadow boxing in their boxers. And whether it has anything to do with the breakup or not, Lenny seems to be going around acting like some kind of ginormous beau-hunk. I don't understand all the fuss over Kravitz He's like the Sheryl Crow of men. Sexy for the mediocre VH1 crowd, maybe, but for god's sake, the man is stuck in an endless infinity of bad taste. All I have to say: Leather Vests. I'm not taking sides here, but Nicole seems to be getting the short end of the stick, and I'm just about as revolted as when I catch a glimpse at Lenny's stuffed leather pants. Maybe I am taking sides. Right on, Nic. I'd ditch him too. D- -- Rachel Elder
DATING YOUR EX OVER AND OVER: They both live in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn -- the same subway stop, even. (And no, not Williamsburg, dick.) They both went to tiny Midwestern liberal arts schools where they managed their college radio station. They both once owned beloved cats that now live with their mothers because of their complete inability to take care of anything. They both shower once every four days. They both have 111 Friendsters. They're cut from the same cloth, baby, and it's true what they say about birds of a feather You knew it was only a matter of time before your three paths collided at a Shins show forcing you to guzzle vodka and attempt a facial expression that read anything other than "I am completely horrified by this turn of events" while they stood around yucking it up about karaokeing "Who Let the Dogs Out" in duet (They both have such a well developed sense of irony!) at that dude's birthday party a while back. The good news is that they're both hot. The bad news is that they're both totally shit at giving head. D+ -- Catherine B
GILLETTE'S "VIBRATING" RAZOR: It will be called the M3Power (very clever, you dickbag Marketing MBAs) but this is just a Mach3 Turbo with a tiny motor powered by a AAA Duracell battery. And -- what a surprise -- Gillette happens to also be the maker of Duracell batteries. And Rival Schick and their new four-blade Quattro is owned by Energizer batteries drawing us some clear battle lines of the new high tech razor and batteries wars. More blades. Bigger motors. More batteries. Bigger price tags. Much blood will be shed. Gillette's president soothingly purrs that the M3Power's vibrations will be "gentle pulses that excite the hairs." Metal and motors and batteries and water and flesh. At six in the morning. I see many men slicing the shit out of their faces now. Can you hear their screams? CAN YOU?!? F -- Hillmarky
SPICY CAJUN PRINGLES: Being a Cajun myself -- and not the fake kind that are on TV cooking shows -- it was with great hesitation that I purchased a 5.74 ounce container of "Spicy Cajun Pringles" from the local Super Wal-Mart. My fears were confirmed. The chips taste unnatural, almost accidental, or like something for astronauts to eat. Looking at the ingredients, I can sorta see why. The only differences in the dizzying array of ingredients that would distinguish these "Spicy Cajun Pringles" from other Pringles is the cheddar cheese, sour cream, and powdered red bell pepper ... oh and paprika ... possibly the most useless spice of all. Where do you guys get off putting cheddar cheese, sour cream, and powdered Red Bell pepper on a chip and calling it Cajun? Where's the cayenne pepper? What, you figured that red bell peppers were gonna add the spice for you? Have you ever *tasted* a red bell pepper? There's nothing to them -- they're the rice cake of the pepper family. And the cheddar cheese/sour cream combo was just sloppy, I mean come on... this ain't a Chili's in Wisconsin. We can do without the baked potato fixins here. Y'all should talk to the Ruffles people next time ya'll are thinking of makin a Cajun anything. They had a pretty rockin Cajun Spice Ruffles goin about 10 to 15 years ago. They could maybe give you some pointers. F+ -- Brett Thibodeaux
UPSCALE BURGERS: Restaurants near and far are still serving these things up. The trouble is, by last summer, the upscale-burger thing was already going the way of white rap metal and Madonna's movie career: It was cute at first, and a funny distraction from the norm, but now it's just goddamned annoying. Fifty-dollar truffle-stuffed Kobe (the cow, not the basketball player) burgers in Manhattan. Beef from open-range, organic, pesticide-free cows raised on a strict diet of foie gras and cotton candy, massaged daily by fifteen-year-old Chinese virgins and read poetry every night. Hamburgers served on thirty-grain wheat rolls with artisan mayonnaise and breeds of lettuce heretofore unknown to man. It's way past time for that nonsense to stop. A burger is a burger -- dead cow on bread -- and too much fussiness does nothing but insult the food gods of our grandfathers, for whom a rare patty on a supermarket bun with American cheese and maybe a couple of pickles was just fine. Some innovation is good. But tarting up a hunk of ground beef like you were taking it out for a night on the town is just plain wrong. And a little scary. D -- Miss Tenacity
IOWA: I was unfortunate enough to spend a weekend in Iowa last winter, trolling around Des Moines with presidential "candidate" Dennis Kucinich. You know how New Yorkers complain that other cities shut down too early? Try Des Moines. After a day of listening to prepared speeches, I was desperate for a drink. At 10 p.m., I sauntered into the only bar I could find. I was informed that they were closing. It was a Friday night. These people clearly have no business having a say in our next president. D -- Will Leitch
LYING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING AT PARTIES: I love my job, don't get me wrong. But explaining what I do usually involves talking about immunology, vaccines, RNA and DNA, and HIV. So by midnight at an open bar event on a Friday night, I shudder when I hear the most tired conversation line, "so, what do you do?" So I have decided that it's okay to lie. And it turns out, it's the best thing ever. Most recently, I have become a body piercer. It's believable and simple, which I have found to be a crucial part of lying. I have several appointments already to pierce total strangers I have met out at bars and parties. A+ -- Michelle Lee Shin
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL: Just when you couldn't handle Tuesday night television any longer, Tyra Banks returns with her tough love-and-modeling show, in a brave attempt to stretch a career that is rapidly nearing its expiration date. The 12 contestants, each one beautiful, unwitting and retarded in her own right, learn to strut while picking at their food and crying intermittently. A quick peek at their website biographies will reveal the contestants before the gloss of network television: ratted bangs, bottle blondes, and trailer park princesses who place all of their hopes and dreams in a deftly arched back. All this transformation for the final approval of Tyra and her judges, who will ultimately award the most obedient girl with a modeling contract and a career that, at best, will be doomed to obscurity. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it's a great platform for pretty bitches. B -- Jessica Coen
THE APPRENTICE: If Donald Trump appears on the cover of any publication that my mother reads, she will cut out his head before placing the People or TV Guide back on her bedside table for perusal. She hates him this much. But now, to the shame of my family, I am hopelessly addicted to The Donald's new show The Apprentice. The first in a serious of grueling challenges meant to test the business acumen of his potential apprentices was a boys against girls contest selling lemonade on the mean city streets. Sure, when Kristi -- the blackjack dealing fireball in a midriff baring top, vixenish heels and a slick of lip gloss -- sold a $5 glass of lemonade to a fellow, offering to through in her phone number to seal the deal, you could hear the sound of a thousand professional businesswomen retching simultaneously. But I like it anyway. After the first episode, I emailed my mother about it and she sent me back the following very simple email: "He is the only person I have wished illness to." In due time Mom, just let him live till the end of the season. C -- Elana Berkowitz