|THE BLACK LIST: CHAOS! MAYHEM! HUGS IN THE STREETS!|
|By The Black Table|
This is RNC week, and even though most of the news is going on at Madison Square Garden and in the streets, we, like most of you, are stuck at our desks. So when we heard a protest was going up Eighth Avenue (right next to our office) on Monday afternoon, we grabbed a notebook and sprinted downstairs.
We needn't have been in a hurry. Sure, there were a thousand some-odd people carrying signs and that whole business, and we actually perked up a bit when police took five protestors aside and started searching them. Almost immediately, three nerdy white guys with barely pubescent "beards" wearing green hats with "National Lawyer Agency: Legal Advice Squad" printed on them walked up to the cops and asked them what the problem was.
"We got a tip that one of these guys had a weapon in their backpacks," the cop said. "We're gonna search the backpacks, and if they don't have a weapon, they're free to go."
The legal group and the protestors then burst into shouts and started going apeshit. Actually, no. What they really did was nod, agree, shake the cop's hand and then quietly wait for the searches to commence. They were interrupted only by a ringing cellphone; all four disenfranchised protestors dug through their pockets. "Oh, it's yours."
They didn't have any weapons -- or weed, for that matter -- so they were dispatched and sent on their way. We know this is the type of good behavior that we're supposed to be smiling at but I dunno. It was all so nice. We kind of wanted a little rowdiness, you know? If just to run away from it, like little girls.
Anyway, 10 most patriotic reviews this week. If you want to make your voice heard, don't bother with voting. Just fill out the form on the right. That should be enough, swear.
BUYING POLITICAL BELIEFS ON THE PROTEST ROUTE: OK, maybe it was the swell of pride in being part of 200,000 other (sort of) like-minded people, the excitement of making your chanting voice heard, the heat stroke as you drained the last of your precious water supply I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. But pushing out of the wall of people clogged on Seventh Avenue and 25th Street to give 10 bucks to a guy hawking beefy tees with bad Bush/Dick puns on them seems a little off-topic and well ... crass. Yeah, it wasn't an anti-capitalist rally or anything,
but let's focus here people. C- -- meg gerrity
THE 2004 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS: Perhaps I'm showing my age here, but the MTV Video Music Awards have become the most ludicrous proposition on television since the late, lamented "Shasta McNasty." What was once an amazingly entertaining yearly event, with fantastic performances (including, for my money, the greatest televised musical performance of the past 20 years in Pearl Jam and Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World,") has now become an unwatchable trainwreck of medleys and quasi-celebrity cameos. Adding to this year's chaos was the decision to have no host and the suspension of presenters on what appeared to be a three-mile-long maze of catwalks. As such, it was a combination of dead air and, to paraphrase William Faulkner, "idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." And Bruce Willis doing the "lean back" with P. Diddy, too. F -- Dan Dunford
EMERGENCY ROOM PRODUCT PROMOTION: "Thermabond liquid stitches," the TV ad says. "Ask for it from your emergency room doctor." Oh, you mean the guy running around in a blood-smeared smock on his 36th continuous hour attending his umpteenth gruesome case? The one who just treated the smoke inhalation victim and is now working on the person with the nose rearranged to his temple region? The person I've been waiting on for hours to make this insane pain go away? Sitting across from a man holding his dangling eyeball against his cheek and a woman curled up and whimpering like a dying wild animal, I think: How can I help promote and market the Thermabond liquid stitches product? How can I, little injured person, help this company's bottom line? As I'm finally wheeled away on a gurney drifting in and out of consciousness, I mumble "must plug Thermabond" over and over until everything goes black. F -- Deanna Larson
BECOMING FAMOUS FOR NOT HAVING AN ARM: I'm sure we're all familiar with the ubiquitous Bethany Hamilton, the bleach-blonde surfer chick who got her 15 minutes via a shark ripping off her left arm. Although I suppose she is at least somewhat courageous, I don't think losing a limb is a sufficient reason to appear on practically EVERY morning talk show and have a reality show, book and clothing line in the works. I mean, what could possibly be so alluring about a show, book or clothing line made by a one-armed teenager? I'm sure girls her age in Iraq get limbs severed off on a daily basis; where's their Oprah appearance? Give her a few months, and she'll reside in the "Injured Pop Culture Sweethearts We Once Pitied" hall of fame, alongside Kerry Strung and Nancy Kerrigan. D+ -- Lauren L.
MISSING CRAIG KILBORN'S LAST "LATE LATE SHOW: Damn, he left fast. It seems like last week news hit that he wasn't extending his contract. Most people prefer Conan (and probably rightfully so, as he is the king of hipster self-deprecation), but I'm actually going to miss Kilby's narcissism. I felt that since I'm in the minority of those who prefer "Recreation of a Press Photo" over "In the Year 2000," I should at least try to catch Kilborn's final episode. I read the list of show staples who were going to be on the last episode, like Adam West and Marlee Matlin, and it sounded like a decent send-off. But then I forgot to watch. It probably wasn't all that great, but still. D+ -- daniel goslee
DISCO: It's time to reclaim this musical genre as something that was truly chic in its day rather than to think of it as merely something to admire in that faux-intellectual "ironic" pose. The hatred of disco seems to mostly have been formed by angry, dumb white guys who were the first generation since the turn of the century that didn't ever learn to dance properly. (Think about it: The Twist, the Hop, Swing and The Charleston all had choreographed moves that everyone used to learn-that ended in the 1970s. Now, nobody knows how to dance.) At its best, this music synthesized a lot of dance rhythms and funky, deep grooves before it became passé or too pop-sounding in the early 1980s. Sure, dreck like "Disco Duck" and "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" doesn't deserve to be heard by human ears ever again, but then again, just about every musical genre has its own embarrassments -- Winger, for example, or Bush. Much of the 1970s has mercifully been forgotten-and the clothes worn to disco clubs is included-but a musical variety doesn't need to be judged by its worst examples. Turn on "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by Taste of Honey and do what it tells you to: "Listen to my bass line." Oh, I can hear it, honey. A -- David Gaffen
HECKLING THE STROKES AT RANDALL'S ISLAND: Everyone knows that the Strokes don't count as real music since they're all still alive, correct? That's why it was fortunate that the gatekeepers of indie cred were on hand to call them posers. Their impossibly catchy tunes and exuberant guitar strumming are simply signs of their status as frauds. Thanks for teaching me the true meaning of music -- if it's popular it MUST be bad. I could tell that you hecklers were authentic rebels because you had tattoos. Why, I'll bet some of you brave iconoclasts even have motorcycles (or used to until you sold them for coke money). I understand it all now: Silvio Dante and Buster Pointdexter are cultural renegades, while the Strokes should be killed for having gone to prep school. D- -- Joshu
GETTING CAUGHT IN THE RAIN: Yes, it sucks when the skies open and you are suddenly caught in the downpour, sans umbrella, and -- wouldn't you know it -- sporting a very thin T-shirt over an even thinner bra. But there is a silver lining to every rain cloud (Hey! You're sporting a very thin T-shirt over an even thinner bra! Well, hellooooo gentlemen!) -- it's only water and damn, is it fun to surrender yourself to its splishy, splashy, drippy goodness. Even better when you're with a date; it's a perfect chance to gauge their coolness. Are they fretting over their Prada loafers or ionic blowout? (Take note, that WILL be on the test.) Never mind that everyone looks hotter wet -- hair slick and shiny, skin damp and glistening, but hot to the touch, rivulets sliding down faces and arms and lips and chests. God bless summer skin. Who needs umbrellas when you're splashing through puddles and dripping all over each other, this close to lathering each other up? Let the rest of New York cower under awnings -- getting caught in the rain gets a solid A in my book -- and having a legitimate excuse to say "Let's get you out of those wet things?" A fucking + -- Rachel Sklar
BEING A GOOD CITIZEN: I was walking to my gym the other morning, and I saw a guy screaming at some lady sitting in her car. (I found out later she pulled into a parking space he was getting ready to back into, and he just lost it. It's New York. It happens.) So he's yelling and, then, when I'm about 50 feet away, he punches her, grabs her keys out of the ignition and hops in his car and takes off. But your humble narrator, good local citizen, feeling guilty that he didn't stop the punch ... he got the license plate number! I walked over to the car to see if she's OK as she cries and dials 911. I tried to get her attention, because I wanted to: a) Tell her I got the license number; and b) make her to give me a piece of paper before I forgot it. Problem was, she thought, because, like him, I was wearing a football jersey (Jake Plummer, as opposed to his Tiki Barber), that I'm was his pal or something. So she screamed into the phone, "His friend's here! His friend's here! Help!" I finally got her calmed down, gave her the number, and settled her down before heading to the gym. By the time I was done working out, she was still waiting next to her car -- she had no keys, after all -- and talking to a cop. So I gave a statement and everything. The perpetrator doesn't have a chance, though, truth be told, she DID cut him off. It was all very exciting. A -- Will Leitch
MY FIRST "FRIEND" BABY SHOWER: I flipped my shit out when I got the invitation in the mail. I really flipped my shit out when I found myself perusing the baby section at Target -- useless registry list in hand -- desperately trying to find an educational octopus toy. If it weren't for all the beer my shit would have flipped out even more when I arrived to the baby shower itself. A few short months ago, this mother-to-be was a former housemate and bar-hopping /alcoholic buddy. Now I find myself gushing and clapping for bibs and bottles with her -- and it's fucking weird. Perhaps weirder because I was a little drunk. (Baby would want it that way.) Overall, it made me count my lucky stars for successful contraceptive use. B -- Melissa Guion
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.