|THE BLACK LIST: HOUSTON, WE HAVE AN IRONY.|
|By The Black Table|
Despite all the letters asking to help The Black List with our computer problem, passing along their favorite scripts, links to resources on the Web and even offering to code our pages, I am sad to say the form to automatically submit reviews is still broken. This feature will probably remain so, until some larger computer issues can be solved.
The big issue, which would be hilarious if it weren't true, is that The Black Table cannot actually view The Black Table home page from our headquarters. We can make the site. We can put the site on the Web. But we can't see it. Everywhere else on Earth can see the page except for the one page where the place is created.
Has someone done something to my computer without my knowledge and has permanently fucked things up in ways I cannot understand? Should we start pricing new computers, even though we can't afford one and know that buying new equipment is just running away from a problem we don't understand? Was this ironic payback for all that ironic posturing on The Black List?
To get the answers, The Black Table toiled diligently over the last week, discussing our problems with the new server host, the ISP provider and Compaq's tech support team, which is entirely located in India. The Kafkaesque inquiry into the computer issues proved completely fruitless and now, um, well. We're still working on it. My half-mother's daughter's boyfriend might know something about it.
Luckily, people sent in a bunch of reviews for you to read this week,
so while we're weebling and wobbling over here -- we ain't falling down.
Read on, and please, we ask you to show your support of The Black List
by manually sending us your reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE 2004 VERSION OF THE COLD: Out of all of my friends, I'm usually the first to get sick come winter time. This year, with all the talk about the deadly flu going around, I was sure I was going to die. Fortunately, while all my friends have been up in the bed with the virus, and pissing out TheraFlu, I got struck with The Cold of 2004. I'm a total snot factory. Went through two boxes of tissues just last week. At night when I'm lying in my bed, my wheezes echo throughout my apartment. Other than that, I feel totally fine. The Cold is stubborn and doesn't seem to be going anywhere, but I'm not so sick
that I'm up in the biscuit and under cover twenty-four-seven. No fever. No achy bones. I can still drink and smoke as much as I like and The Cold may not be going away, but it doesn't seem to be getting any worse either. I'll have a little Jack Daniels in that hot tea, please. A- -- blaise k.
THE POST-BENNIFER AFFLECK AND J.LO: Now, things are *really* going to get good. As you read this, tabloids and entertainment magazines have stealthily deployed thousands of spies and cub reporters to follow the fractured couples every move. The staff of Celebrities Uncensored is sleeping in the parking lot at every nightclub and casino across America with the hopes of catching these two on the rebound. However, this is all unnecessary. I'm no Affleck, but I'd like to wager the pig, the house, and four bottles of Cristal that 6-train Jenny from da Block will be gettin' Diddy wit it in no time. J.Lo knows her street cred was damaged by hitching her wagon to hammer-head Ben. She may live a clean life, but she's no wanksta, for gosh sakes. It's Puffy to the rescue. And Mr. Affleck? His fall off the wagon will measure a 4.2 on the Richter scale. That boy is going to start bathing in Jameson and that 6 karat Harry Winston rock he suckered her with is going straight to Vegas. Don't splash the pot with aces and eights, Ben! Man, I can't wait. I hope they televise his intervention. A -- A.J. Daulerio
BUYING A SUIT: I've worked in corporate America for four and a half years and don't have a suit. Some days, I sit at my desk in hiking boots and a snowboarding hat. This seems to have done little to impede my dutiful march up the corporate ladder -- perhaps the boots gave me traction. Recently, however, Ann Taylor Loft relieved me of $301.96 for a black pin-stripe suit. Three hundred dollars for poorly constructed nylon and acetate; not a natural fiber among them! I had planned to bump my savings account up from its perpetual, yawning zero this month. But no. Job interview looming, I had to get the suit. The last time I wore a pin-striped suit was 1998; I was dressed as a gangster for Halloween. There are plenty of other of things I would have rather bought. A new bed, for instance. My mattress sags so much that by morning I am wrapped up in it like a pita. But I am hoping that you, suit, will help propel me to a less crappy desk job. You probably won't. And if you don't, know this: post-interview, I will shove you into the crevasse in my mattress in the vain hope of better back support, and you shall never again see the light of day. C- -- Erin Schulte
CHARLIZE THERON IN MONSTER: As Aileen "Lee" Wournos, Charlize Theron walks like a man. Her arms, though down by her side, are out. She looks like the short jocks in college who tried to make up for a lack of vertical intimidation by being more horizontal. But these jocks, near knuckle draggers though they were, did not prostitute themselves and murder. Wournos did, and Theron's embodiment of that character is shaking. The makeup, the hair, and the fake teeth are great. But Theron's possession of Wournos made it impossible to believe she was anyone else. I didn't watch Charlize Theron be Aileen Wournos. I watched Aileen Wournos in all her illogical, disturbing ways. The story itself is one of love and devotion complicated by a brutal rape (I couldn't watch that part) and a cowardly killing spree aimed at anyone with a dick. Theron's portrayal made Wournos stick around in my head a little longer than comfortable. It wasn't until halfway through the second whisky that I sort of sloughed her off. A+ -- Aileen Gallagher
YOUR DATE ENDING UP IN THE DRUNK TANK INSTEAD OF GOING ON THE DATE: Before I left to hang out with this guy, I told a friend that I almost wished that something dramatic and awful would happen while we were out so we could cut the get-to-know-you witticisms and I could see what he was all about. I suppose him getting a DUI in his boss's car while taking my friends home, losing said car, getting cuffed and thrown in the drunk tank, getting hit on by an older gay fellow, and using his one phone call on me at 5 a.m. was the realization of that wish. And while I'm not really into Mapquesting the Boulder County Jail before the sun's up and this fellow can no longer drive and may not have a job, the whole thing was almost worth it for a glimpse of sincerity. B -- jennie dorris
SCENE IT: Scene It is a new DVD board game, where you roll dice and answer movie history questions from a DVD with clips and various trivialities. The game itself is simple and kind of plain: The clips are from largely forgotten films like "Bedazzled" and "Zoolander," they repeat each other too often and, frankly, who really cares about Goldie Hawn? But what matters is that I am dominant at this game. Whether played against my family on a drunken Christmas Eve, against my sister on a snowy afternoon or against my girlfriend while eating Raisinets, I simply cannot be beaten. I challenge you. You will be vanquished, infidel! B -- Will Leitch
HANDLING YOUR OWN BOOK REVIEWS ON AMAZON.COM: Your dream is finally realized: you've written a book! And then the long haul sets in -- it's not exactly the New York Times bestseller, so like any entrepreneur, you've got to stump for it. This is easy, thanks to Amazon.com. If your book is available for purchase from the site, you can see, handily, that everyday people can submit their reviews for it, which is great unless nobody is reviewing it. Step #1: Ask your friends to review it. Step #2: Vote the positive reviews as being 'helpful' on the site. Step #3: As you realize that Steps #1 and #2 aren't working, begin working on a list of fake names and fake positive reviews for your own book. On the one hand, it's pathetic and sneaky. On the other hand, that's one more 20-word review working in your favor. It's a toss up. C- -- Claire Zulkey
GETTING A HATCHET FOR CHRISTMAS: Of all the nifty gifts I received for Christmas, an iPOD, a Sonicare toothbrush, a digital photo printer -- I know, I made out like a bandit -- the most interesting present of all was the hatchet my dad gave me. For those who don't know, a hatchet is a small axe, used mostly for cutting larger chunks of wood into kindling, or more rarely, in hatchet throwing contests at small county fares. These contests also include pole climbing, which looks really, really hard. Anyway, my hatchet has a fiberglass handle to make it lighter and to prevent splinters from poking into your fingers. The blade of the hatchet is incredibly sharp -- I gasped the first time I put my thumb to it. It is so sharp, when I tried it out on some wood on Christmas morning, the wood screamed in fear and split before contact was made, anxious to avoid contact with the deadly metal. The back of the hatchet is flat and works really well for pounding picture nails into drywall. Note: this is really the only thing my hatchet has proven useful for in New York. I keep it under my bed in a special protective plastic case that covers the head. None of my friends think the hatchet is very cool. It is basically useless in New York City. Unless you live on a farm, you will not like receiving a hatchet as a gift. C -- Trevor Thompson
THE EMAIL BREAKUP: Well, it's 8:30 a.m. and I just got to work. Let's take a look at the old email inbox. What do we have here? A three sentence-long message from my gentleman caller explaining that we should stop fucking because another girl has made him feel "all funny." Whaaat? Not to go all Emily Post/Miss Manners up in here, but this is what we've come to? The telephone was once the last bastion for spineless dumpers so I suppose the progression to email, retarded as it may be, is a natural one, but my god, grow some balls. F -- Stephanie
DONALD TRUMP ON CONAN O' BRIEN: Although Conan O'Brien's face, head, hair, eyes, and skin really, really scare me, I loved this interview. Not because Donald Trump's face, head, hair, eyes, and skin scare me any less, in fact they frighten me more, but because he kicks some serious ass (aside from the philandering of course). The Trump is one smart mo fo, is all I have to say. He's started from nothing twice to succeed amazingly in business, and now he has a hit show, "The Aprentice." I've seen it and it's about as good as a stupid reality TV show can be. At least Fox tests the contestants' IQ before their annoying personalities are thrust upon the whole world. Donald, I really appreciate that. Survivor might want to try that one. To sum up, and as Conan brilliantly stated, "The Trump is like Batman." And he is, he's like Batman with a capital B. A+ -- Kathie Fries
PEOPLE WHO DON'T WEAR HATS WHEN IT'S FREEZING: You see them even on the coldest days, when the cruel wind takes the breath right out of your lungs and snot freezes in your beard: people without hats. Hey, folks, it's cold out! Put a damn hat on! Is your hairdo really all that important? Or maybe you feel silly in a toque. How attractive do you think you are with bright red ears, shivering like a cold idiot? Now, not everyone owns a hat -- it's a sad but true comment on the state of the social safety net. Even those who do might be prone to losing them; maybe that sniffling wretch has just left his on the bus. But people with hoods who don't raise them have no excuse. A hood is the ultimate hat -- it even takes care of your neck and the sides of your face. Whenever I see a hood lying limp on the back of some freezing moron, it fills me with such rage that I can barely keep my gloved hands off his scarfless throat ... but, you know, it's just so cold out. D+ -- J. Daniel Janzen
THE LAST SEASON OF FRIENDS AND SEX AND THE CITY: Hal-le-fucking-lu-jah. Firstly, I so look forward with glee to the six annoying-as-an-anal-fissure Friends finally being emptied into the shark and barracuda infested waters so they can flail around desperately in search of their next "Ed" or "Pallbearer". Schadenfreude? No. Hatenfreude. I got a season finale for you-after you each eat each other's shit, you all play a game of musical chairs to the death, with the winner also being killed. Secondly, HBO's Carrie, Miranda, Bethany, and Whoretense-here's a season finale for you: You all can take turns servicing my a-little-smaller-than-average penis, and then squeal to each other about it. Ooooooooh!! They talk about PEENIES!! They talk about PEENIES!! What a ground-breaking entertainment event that show has been. Thank you Candasshole Bushnell, you zero talent bore. You have engendered a glut of hacks who write about exactly the same useless shit. I hope your dancer husband bangs the smooth tight ass of every 20-year old ballerina he hoists. And then writes about it. A++ -- hillmarky
THOSE RANGE ROVER COMMERCIALS WITH THE POTTERY STUDENT: I can handle the Hummer commercial about the kid who builds a go-cart with all of the features of a Hummer in order to win a race. I mean, that's cool. It concisely sums up that people who own Hummers are likely to be dicks. I can handle it, but Range Rover has created a brand new twist on this chestnut. Two college-aged kids are backpacking across Europe and one (let's call him Seth) tells the other (Todd) that he's going to major in pottery because he like digs making pots man what with his hands and the clay and the whoa. Todd is all for the pottery idea because creating art is cool. Everybody likes art. But as you know and I know -- making art pays doodly. But hey, Todd says, if you can base your life around something that makes you happy -- well, that's frikkin awesome. So then a man and woman of indeterminate European background pull over to give Seth and Todd a lift in their brand new Range Rover. The guys are stoked cuz their backpacks are full of granola and granola is heavy, man. They climb into the brand new Range Rover and make themselves all comfortable still thinking about pottery. But when Seth gets a load of the dazzling instrument panel and spacious interior -- he tells Todd that he might rather major in something a bit more lucrative. So not only does owning a giant off-road vehicle waste resources and make you look like a dick, but it also tells you that true happiness comes from being able to buy really expensive stuff. Range Rover has not only created an ad that realizes all of this and doesn't care, but has countered it by saying that idealism matters less than making money. D- -- Frank Smith
THOSE CRUEL, CRUEL U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS ADS: Okay,
in sitting on the subway in balmy September they seemed harmless. Oh ho,
how droll: here the ice is for your drink. I get it! Learn the value of
a sand dollar! But U.S. Virgin Islands Tourism Bureau: this is not funny
anymore. Do you imagine that the R train is packed with confused rich
people in furs, burning money to keep warm, thinking, "Well, I have
all the money in the world and can jaunt away to anywhere I please for
an unlimited amount of time, but I just can't imagine where on planet
Earth it is warm while the Northern hemisphere is cold!" Seriously,
U.S. Virgin Islands, it is so fucking cold here. We spend our rent money
boozing away the frostbite. We have four different sweaters on under this
coat. We won't voluntarily go outside until May. I swear to god, everyone
who has the means to "schedule an appointment with a palm tree"
evacuated this sub-zero hellhole back in November, so please just stop
taunting us. If you take down these ads, I promise, I'll quit bitching
about Poetry in Motion for the rest of my life. F- -- Audrey