|THE BLACK LIST: THE SUPER-BOOB HALFTIME PROCRASTINATION SPECTCULAR.|
|By The Black Table|
For the last two weeks, The Black List has been plagued by technical difficulties and cruel ironies that have made it impossible for us to recieve your reviews in an easy manner and even view the site itself. The problems, as bad as they were, have not gotten any worse and we are happy to report that everything is just as broken as it was last week.
We could trot out some mumbo jumbo about DNS and ASPs and ISPs but we'll be honest. We were too busy using the Internet to figure out if Janet Jackson was wearing pasties or if that was, in fact, the latest mammoth nipple piercing from the Rodman Collection, soon to be seen on QVC. (We think it's "Electric Sun Shield" in a ten-gauge.)
Sure, nothing works, but lovely people have been sending in the reviews
through our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, we have 10 reviews. Until we can get Mr. Computer and Mr. Internet
on the same page, you can submit the old fashioned way.
McDONALD'S "AUTHENTIC" PHILLY CHEESESTEAK: All provinicialism aside, I am shocked to report that this monstrosity of McMeat is actually somewhat tolerable. It has a ghastly smell and is a little on the tiny side, but there have been worse abominations of the Philly cheesteak -- most of them by New York City restaurants which insist on putting green peppers and a bunch of other superfluous crap on them from some reason. No Cheesewhiz, but there is a healthy dose of melted American cheese, a soft roll, and Steak 'Ums that taste like Big Mac beef patties. Would I ever eat it again? Probably not. But it didn't kill me and my gastrointestinal fortitude was hardly tested. However, if McDonald's tries to do something with scrapple, I'm coming out swinging. C+ -- A.J. Daulerio
APOLOGIES, DENIALS, MISSED MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES: Look, Janet, we all know it was intentional. Unless, Miss Nasty, you really like wearing a metal star on your nipple, just for the hell of it, stop playing so coy. Pony up and apologize the right way-don't deliver some half-assed (or half-boobed) apology
for the 'accidental' exposure when you promised 'shocking' moments beforehand. Besides, it's hard to take the pseudo-sincere apologies seriously (CBS, MTV) when it's completely undercut by the "wardrobe exposure" line from Mr. Bad-Ass Bad Boy. Really, the only shock of the entire situation may have been that Janet Jackson's breast was about the only piece of the Super Bowl halftime show that wasn't rented out as ad space for some corporation. How could this have been overlooked? I mean, with Justin Timberlake there, it's a perfect time to shill for Chili's Baby Back Ribs, no? ("Bar-be-cue sauce!") After all, we were dealing with ribs, right? A perfect placement opportunity missed! How could this have happened? How in the hell can you weird out football fans, the group of people most open to being flashed? D+ -- David Gaffen
BUD LIGHT SUBWAY ADS: It's hard to find a more racially diverse bunch than on a New York subway. Bud Light has recognized this and created a subway ad campaign to cover all the bases. Posters feature "hip," "urban" models -- a latte-colored vixen of indeterminate heritage, a man with an Afro, an Asian guy with bedroom eyes -- seductively posing with Bud Light bottles. It makes me think of that Sunday school song (sub "Bud Light" for "Jesus"): "Bud Light loves the little children, all the children of the world; red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in its sight, Bud Light loves the little children of the world!" Have the balls to target a core audience, people! These ads are so milquetoast they turn my stomach like a skunked tall boy. At least Alize, that Nyquil-esque Cognac drink, took a stand: "We want the 'Waiting to Exhale Crowd!" The transparency is insulting: "If you drink Bud Light you will be beautiful like ME! You can come to our party! We can get it on in the guest bathroom!" We in New York are smarter than that. At least have a sense of humor about our need to get trashed (see Coors Light's "Wingman" commercial to get a clue). D -- Erin Schulte
THE BROOKLYN NETS: Speaking as the official representative of the Garden State: You can have 'em. Want J-Kidd firing coaches like Roman candles? Be my guest. Want a Princeton offense that can't shoot? You've got it. Want a legacy that includes Derrick "Whoopty-damn-do" Coleman, Yinka "These Pumas Can't Score 10 Points" Dare and Chris Morris and Reggie Theuss on White Castle cups? All yours. I don't care if the deli duo of Katz and Ratner give every season ticket holder a two-bedroom condo and a lifetime supply of Nathan's dogs and make the arena out of the cure for diabetes -- it won't make one damn bit of difference. You can put chrome spinners and headrest televisions in a '79 Pinto and they won't make it a better car. The Nets have spent the last few decades overwhelming the population of New Jersey with their stink, and for a team surrounded by the Meadowlands that's quite an accomplishment. A+ (for me) F (for all y'all Brooklyn suckas) -- Jason Notte
PRINCIPAL DEMENTO AND FRIENDS, KEEPERS OF THE SACRED TOMBSTONE PIZZA: The ad campaign for Tombstone Pizza always struck me as forced to begin with, and the folks at Kraft have recently decided to up the ante by adding in a bunch of manic-looking doodles out to "protect" their pizza, including this devil's minion with a red face, and a half-man, half-robot named "Cy Borg," just like that Frank Zappa song. Since the Simpsons episode mocking "Poochie the Dog" has pretty much cornered the market on parodying frenzied, over-caricatured freakazoid cartoons, one can only conclude that these people figured out this campaign through an onslaught of drugs or sheer desperation. I'm going to conclude the latter. Note to Kraft: in the future, I'd avoid associating a crazed, feral rat with a food product. Just a thought. D -- David Gaffen
COFFEE TRAVEL LIDS FROM DUNKIN' DONUTS: Any self-respecting coffee drinker knows that Dunkin' Donuts is a secret treasure trove for those looking for a good, cheap cup of strong French vanilla, eschewing the snob factor. Now, DD has upped the morning java ante with a startlingly superior to-go coffee lid that puts Starbucks to shame. It features the familiar white, raised plastic formation, with two amazing improvements; a flippable, locking tab that prevents coffee from spilling through the lid opening, which even the most overpriced soy chai lattes are prone to do. It locks in the open position, too, so the tab won't hit you in the nose like the older prototype used to. Plus, somehow, Dart, the makers of the cover, have streamlined the opening so drinking through it is the adult equivalent of the sippy cup. It's perhaps the most advanced portable, disposable coffee drinking method out there. A++ -- Claire Zulkey
BOBQUITS.COM: First off, it freaking sucks that the N.Y. State Department of Health is wasting money on this campaign. Can't they go save crack babies or something instead of spending time and resources trying to get New Yorkers to quit when they can't even smoke in a bar now, fer chrissakes? The site and blog make me want to throttle someone. The worst is Bob's support group. Read the fake made-up comments from his kids about how cigarettes don't have any warning labels, and then have a gander at the central casting hardhat guy that is supposed to be "Bob's" co-worker. Its all so ad agency-speak and web design circa 2000. And the platitudes about quitting, trotting out all the tired old cliches: Bad breath! Expensive! What about the children?! Jesus Christ! I'm going to buy a carton of Marlboros and hand packs out at the Junior high! D -- cathy hannan
MANIC PANIC TIGERLILLY: Step 1: Bleach out your mane until it's a light gold or semi-white. Step 2: Have a steady handed friend brush this naranja concoction into your scalp. Step 3: Throw out your shirt. Step 4: Spike your hair out with some holding product and work on your cockney accent. Step 5: Go out on the town and pretend you're Johnny Rotten -- swear at the ladies, spit at the gents. Get really drunk. Alienate everyone. Step 6: Wake up the next morning and realize you're stuck with this for a while. Step 7: Go into work and get called Carrot Top by every asshole over the age of 30 and get asked "when's it going to wash out?" for the next five weeks. Step 8: Throw out all your punk albums and start listening to some sensible Josh Groban CDs. Curse hair dye and curse New Year's Eve. D- -- Jason Notte
PUNK ROCK/METAL KARAOKE AT ARLENE GROCERY: Forget the sorority girls in the cocktail dresses singing Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'N' Roll." Forget the bridge-and-tunnel guy who can't even get his Jersey ass through Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine" without eyeballing the lyric sheet. Punk rock/metal karaoke really pays off when the guy in the front row with the back-length hair who hasn't said anything to anyone all night gets on stage and belts out a spot-on version of Maiden's "Run To the Hills" and EVERYBODY sings along. He keeps perfect time with the backing band, he throws the lyric sheet to the ground and he gets big props from the British emcee. That guy and dozens like him are the reason that Arlene is packed every Monday night. Still wanna chuckle, Mr. Ironic Hair Band T-Shirt? That guy's the first guy who'll scream along with you and throw his middle finger in the air when you reach the "Fuck this and fuck that" verse of the Sex Pistols' "Bodies" and he'll be the first to pat you on the back and make you feel like Johnny Lydon when you step off stage. He's karaoke karma, kid. Better pay your dues. A+ -- Jason Notte
THE REVIEWER WHO DOES THE N.Y.
TIMES TV LISTINGS: I know, I know -- its not easy reviewing a movie
in the space of 32 characters. But still. This guy takes the cake for
dumbass writing. Don't ask me how, but I know its a guy. He is so frustrated,
and he wants a real job so bad you can smell it. The hackneyed creativity
he manages to shoehorn into that little space is astounding. One of my
favorites: For Conspiracy Theory: "Caper with a lunatic fringe
on top." Ohmigahd, he's referencing songs from Oklahoma! One of his
favorite phrases "Woefully miscast." And get this: he hates
Ferris Bueller's Day Off, likes anything foreign. I imagine I can
find him hanging out at the Angelika, after which he goes home and sullenly
masturbates to his autographed picture of Kristin Scott Thomas. Then he
fantasizes about someone at HBO reading his reviews and going: "This
is brilliant! Janet, find out who writes these reviews and let's hire
him!" F -- cathy