|THE BLACK LIST: RALPH RUNS AND PEOPLE BEAT THEIR SHIT AT WORK.|
|By The Black Table|
Ralph Nader, apparently stonewalled in his attempts to block the Alex Rodriguez trade, has thrown his hat in the presidential ring again. In response, people are masturbating in their office, shoving people on subway platforms, watching other people urinate and lamenting that ESPN really sucks now. It's another week at The Black List, and everyone has gone bat-bonkers.
In other news, we at Camp Bowery, worldwide headquarters of The Black Table, have decided that Drew Barrymore is getting too chunky. But that's nothing compared to Adam Sandler. Hey, Adam it's called Atkins. Or, jeez, it's called eating something other than corn dogs.
As always, you can submit to the Black List using the form on the right side. Here are 11 reviews of wholesome fruity goodness.
RALPH NADER RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, AGAIN: Not content with fucking us over four years ago, Ralph Nader has tossed his biodegradable hat into the presidential ring yet again. For most of his 70 years, Nader has been an admirable activist and consumer advocate. His observations on the corrupt state of our government are right on. For some reason, though, he can't see past his own electoral grandstanding and looming threat as a spoiler. What could maybe be excused as an old-fashioned lefty's reaction to eight years of selling out by the Clinton/Gore White House has no excuse this year. With the exception of Nader and the usual gaggle of cooks, everyone to the left of Josef Goebbels is willing to fall in line behind the Democratic Party's candidate to save our homeland from George W. Bush. Nader is either hell bent on destroying what's left of his reputation with this grotesque act of public masturbation, or he's the most brilliant Republican Party operative since Lee Atwater. Either way, we're screwed. F -- Matthew Sheahan
CLUELESS BASTARDS ON ESCALATORS: I take the subway everyday. I deal with crowds, pushing, shoving, inappropriate touching, crazy people yelling at invisible antagonists, you name it. This is all standard operating procedure on the subway. Fine. What drives me crazy are the people who step off the escalator and then just stand there. What the fuck? They've had the whole fucking ride to decide what to do when it ends, yet they step off and stand motionless, looking around, blankly. Meanwhile, the rest of us coming off the escalator have no where to go. We end up pushing past these stationary nitwits who give US a dirty look for shoving past THEM.
What goes through their heads? Is there some epidemic out there that causes temporary memory loss on the escalator? Is it possible that they're just THAT stupid? F -- "Mike Hunt"
BEATING OFF AT WORK: You spend almost eight hours a day, five days a week staring through sleep-deprived, bloodshot eyes at the dull glow of your computer monitor, nicotine-stained fingers moving dully across your crumb-strewn keyboard, one eye stealing furtive glances at the clock at the bottom of your screen. It's a grind, but nothing lifts one's spirits quite like a refreshing wank-break. Tuck that dog-eared copy of "Swank" into a file folder, saunter casually off to the bathroom and give yourself a hand. (Just make sure the bathroom in question is one that's as far away from your work area as possible; the last thing you need is your boss slipping on some stray splooge or something). You'll head back to your desk a more relaxed, clear-headed and focused individual. In fact, Iguarantee that those first few minutes of post-orgasmic bliss will be the most productive ones you'll have all week. Not to mention the fact that you're actually getting paid for it. A -- Fresh
ESPN's "DREAM JOB": Even for fanatical sports fans such, ESPN's "SportsCenter" has been become all-but-unwatchable in recent years. Once an indispensable part of every sports fan's day, the show has been weakened by filler, nonstop shilling of other network programming and, worst of all, preening anchors who never let the highlights get in the way of their repetitive, tiresome cliches. Now we have "Dream Job," a sort of "Project Greenlight" knockoff in which the winner of a nationwide contest will have a chance to assume a "SportsCenter" anchor chair, despite having no television training whatsoever. Reality shows, as many have pointed out, thrive on humiliation. It's funny to watch someone sing badly, write/direct badly, date badly or do business badly. Watching them anchor badly is more painful than any of them. It doesn't help that the contestants chosen opt for the same rote-resitation-of-rap-cliches-by-white-people that's so grating among the current "SportsCenter" lineup. ESPN, what happened to you? C- -- Stephen Silver
ALL THE PLASTIC BAGS UNDER THE SINK: Why do roommates feel the need to save every plastic grocery bag that comes through the front door? I understand that those bags' life cycle shouldn't end once the bruised fruit from C-Town gets home, but there's no way that we need a legion of them under the sink. Let's do the math: My two roommates go shopping and get four grocery bags, each double bagged, once per week. That's 16 right there. Then there's the frequent outtings to Duane Reade, the liquor store, Blockbuster, The Sandwich Taco Place. Now we're talking about 29 bags a week. Bags are good for lining little trash cans and maybe bringing my lunch to work like the pauper that I am. But I certainly don't bring lunch 20 times a week, and those baby-garbages largely go ignored anyway. Unless they're planning on relocating and using strictly C-Town bags to pack their belongings, I'm gonna keep throwing them out every time I'm barred from grabbing the Fantastik under the sink because my hand can't penetrate the mass of balled-up plastic. D+ -- Shawna Michaud
THE WORLD'S GREATEST NUTRI-GRAIN ADVERTISMENT: WATCH IT HERE. Enter a drab, everyday office, as a faceless, mustached drone ignores incessant telephones. But then he takes a bite of a Nutri-Grain bar. Suddenly he feels GREEEEAT! And off he goes, tearing through cubicles, proposing marriage, being punched in the stomach, screaming in rapture. This (presumably?) fake ad for Nutri-Grain breakfast bars is the brainchild of director Justin Reardon and Turnpike Films, and it is uproarious. If this were a real ad, I promise, I will eat nothing but Nutri-Grain bars until I'm excreting foliage. A -- Will Leitch
PEEING IN AN INDONESIAN COMMUNAL URINAL: JAKARTA -- Welcome to the weird & cool CAFE BATAVIA, situated in the colonial 'hood of downtown Jakarta. The CB is worth a stop over if only to see the urinal in the men's bathroom. Imagine a urinal where you walk into an open rectangular area, with one of the lengths removed, so it's more like a 2-D box. On the opposite wall and to either side are floor-to-ceiling mirrors. On the floor beneath your feet is a grate and this is where you urinate. You stand and pee next to whomever is next to you & try, just try, to NOT look at his waggy member, which is your direct line of sight, thanks to the mirror. Laws of reflection dictate that if you can see his, he can see yours, so everyone in the line-up is in the same state of exposure. As you start to leak, the grate's AI systems sense the urine & initiate a waterfall flow from the top of the large opposing mirror down to the floor. Focus is lost, and the mirror image blurs, when the water that ran down the length of the mirror to the grate washes the mello yello down to Indonesian sewer oblivion. Big fun. B+ -- Marin Dobson
BEING A LAWYER: When you finally realize that becoming an astronaut/ballerina/supermodel/doctor is simply not feasible because you hate heights/are 6'1" and 250 lbs/are not photogenic/don't like blood or people, you will be stuck with your fallback career choice which hopefully is not attorney at law. That is, unless you love reading until your eyes bleed, getting assignments at 8:30 on a Friday night, due Monday morning, reviewing 100 page documents that read like tomes written in ancient Cyrillic, having a boss with "quirks" (i.e., enjoys screaming and/or throwing staplers, likes to work from 4:30 a.m. to midnight and can't understand why you don't have the same schedule), sitting for so long your ass loses feeling and hearing your kid say mistakenly calling your babysitter Mommy. Oh, and those law school diplomas make some mighty fine toiletpaper; that's all they're good for if you want out of the legal profession. Word to the wise: Put a little more thought into your fallback career choice. Wish I did. D+ -- Aimee Cohen
DIET COKE WITH LIME: When I first heard about this I thought it was a joke. Lime? Isn't lime the worst fruit? After all, who really wants the green Lifesaver? Actually Diet Coke with Lime is not half bad, far less chemical tasting than Diet Coke with Lemon (close your eyes, and you'll think it's Lemon Pledge) and without the hypersweet taste that plagues Diet Coke with Vanilla. The fake lime flavor cuts through the taste of the brain-rotting artificial sweeteners giving it a taste more like an actual beverage. But I do think that they are hitting the bottom of the flavor-added barrel here. What's next? Diet Coke with Grape? Diet Coke with Absinthe? Why not do something really revolutionary and make Tab more widely available? With absinthe, that could be perfect. B -- Deidre Woollard
THE DREAMERS: If nothing else, Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Dreamers" gives us a good idea of what Quentin Tarantino's sex fantasies must be like: Three people lock themselves in a house for weeks on end quizzing each other about obscure film dialogue, and the losers must perform submissive sex acts. The main problem here: The sex outweighs the meditations on art and life. The story devolves into "Home Alone" directed by Joe Eszterhas. Clearly this is homage, but to what? The joy of movies or teenage underwear models? Bertolucci doesn't seem to know. At any rate, he failed to see that spermy nostalgia is probably the worst way to honor the French New Wave cinema of the Sixties. Francophiles whose DVD collections sport dozens of Criterion and Fox Lorber titles will thrill to the detailed scene-setting and spliced film clips, but the characters' complete lack of psychological interest mostly renders these inert. There is one culturally revealing scene, however. If you thought the misguided French obsession with Jerry Lewis was an aberration, wait until you see thousands of zany Gauls proudly marching into the future carrying Soviet flags. C -- Nick Shuit
"THE BRAND" ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORKER: Every once in a while an article, book or movie comes along that inspires you to walk the straight and narrow and avoid prison at all costs. For me, it's David Grann's article on the Aryan Brotherhood in the anniversary issue of <EM>The New Yorker</EM>. Forget about all the stabbing, stranglings and beatings; it's the amount of stuff that you have to shove up your rectum on a daily basis that's got me donating to my local policeman's brotherhood association. Every other paragraph someone's stuffing something up their ass, both voluntarily and against their will. A rubber balloon full of heroin I can fathom, but a ten-inch long, razor-sharp steel bar from a prison door?! Wow. That's some Cirque du Soleil shit! And here I was thinking Sam Waksal's probably got it easy. B+ -- Sam Penn