|THE BLACK LIST: WE'RE JUST A BUNCH OF FUCKING MARTYRS.|
|By The Black Table|
You think that we do not sacrifice for you here at The Black Table, don't you? You think that it's all fun and games, that we're just a bunch of crazy kids who spend all our time digging up free content for you people, sitting around in a circle drinking 40s and proclaiming, "Brilliant! This story will knock the kiddies on their arse! Tally-ho!" You think this is always just some big game.
Well, that's the case some of the time, usually when it's snowing and none of us want to leave the apartment, lest our collective testicles (totaling 5 1/2, dropping to five when one of us is kicked) spontaneously freeze and then crumble into dust. But Sunday, Sunday was so beautiful. It was so gorgeous that even the guys who work in the subway stations underground were smiling. It was so gorgeous that albinos were suntanning. It was so gorgeous that even Mark McGwire went outside.
But not us. No. We stayed indoors, working on The Black Table for you. Sure, we could have been outdoors, rolling down hills, prancing through countrysides, doing handstands on patches of vegetation. But no. We are here, providing content for you, because deep down, we like you more than we like the sun. You're much less likely to give us cancer, after all. So thanks for that.
Anyway, our hard work and dedication gives you 11 solid reviews this week. We'll do even more next week, because it's supposed to rain. Help out our noble question by using the form on the right.
FIRST SWEAT OF THE YEAR: New York is a either a cold, biting place or a brutal, burning circle of Hell, as far as the weather goes. The seemingly neverending winter eats away at your soul, so much that you can't even remember what your neck looks like, it has been wrapped in turtle necks and scarves for so long. Then the first real warm days hit, like this week. All thoughts of suicide are banished. Everyone's going back to their usual "we are soooo way better than LA" attitude ... it's beautiful. Then you realize, as you're lugging your laptop and change of clothes in a big ol' backpack up Sixth Ave, that you have forgotten your least favorite activity in life: Sweating. The little pools under the armpits; the damp back that is panic-inducing simply because you can't check to see if you're starting to show; the uncomfortable slick warmth between your thighs as you stand hugging the pole on the subway, too mortified to sit down lest you receive the mark of the dreaded
"swamp ass." The insecurities that come with God actually granting your wish for some fucking sunshine: F -- Kittens LeStax
THE NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Despite throwing away our best chance -- actually, our only chance -- in a century to win a national championship in basketball, as a University of Illinois alumus, I'm neither surprised nor ultimately disappointed with the final score last Monday night: North Carolina 75, Illinois 70. That's because I've always believed, in my heart of hearts, that being an Illinois alum is about being a loser, is about the ascension to the cusp of greatness and then blowing it. More than that, it's about the delusion of greatness, the myth that Illinois alumni tell themselves -- that they're graduates from the Harvard of the Midwest or at least the Harvard of land-grant schools, or whatever -- in an attempt to cover up for the larger disappointment of rejection from the University of Chicago, or Northwestern, or whatever (because in another cruel twist of growing up in the Midwest, Harvard is never even on the radar). So here we are again, trying to cover up for the biggest failure of our marquee sport to date, telling ourselves that we tried our best. Not that it mattered. C, because Illinois is, if nothing else, hopelessly average -- Greg Lindsay
SILENCING THE CORNROW MULLET: In our ongoing soul-searching over the national mullet problem, an almost deafening silence has surrounded one of the most heinous of all: the cornrow mullet, sometimes referred to as the co'nullet. Thankfully, North Carolina's having finished what Arizona should have -- beating Illinois in the national title game -- has brought long overdue attention to this most unfortunate of mullets. Despite Dee Brown and Co. never having to board a plane through the entire tourney, the burden of co'nullet ultimately weighed down the Big Ten Player of the Year and was the undoing of the mighty Illini backcourt. On the surface, it appeared that the Fab Three just couldn't get into sync against the Heels' defense. Close review of game tape, however, reveals Dee's shoulder-length, glistening, floppy rows distracting Williams and Head's passes or shots on several occasions. Down in the blocks, Augustine never could keep his eyes off it. Unfortunately, it takes a heartbreaking loss to truly bring the co'nullet to national attention. Carolina over Illinois: B+; Co'nullet: F -- fox
AMERICAN IDOL'S CONSTANTINE MAROULIS: There he stands on the lighted stage, a pretty boy charlatan in dirty jeans, his mussy hair, a poor imitation of Johnny Depp's tresses. He is Constantine Maroulis, the "rocker" from New York, that big, bad, nasty Big Apple. While Randy Jackson might be "feelin' him, Dude", I am so NOT. Apparently, mine is not the common sentiment; hordes of teenage girls make posterboards emblazoned with Constantine's namesake in rainbow color alongside the words "Hottie." Admittedly, he does possess the duplicitous makings of your standard pop star. He relies heavily on a fabricated image that consists of generic attributes of edginess. Faded t-shirts and greasy mid-length hair that recall the grunge era circa 1992 rather than the current hipster aestheticism of 2005. What is it about Constantine that rattles the ole' wallet chain? He's as corny as these Fox TV songsters come. Here is a guy who sings Seal sincerely, while cheekily doing a rendition of David Cassidy's "I Think I Love You", an obvious ironic homage to his heartthrob predecessor. Yet, what incites my deepest loathing is his mode of performance. It consists solely of smoldering at the camera while flashing a WB-worthy grin that reeks of cheese. It is has been confirmed that Constantine is a seasoned thespian, performing in musicals like Rent. His version of "My Funny Valentine" received an ovation from the crowd last Tuesday evening. But remember, he's an actor, and he's got America fooled. In a show of wannabes, he is the biggest wannabe of them all. If Randy won't say it, I will: "You're frontin', dogg!" Givin' rock-n-roll a bad name: F -- Jillian
BEING SURPRISED AT RED SOX FANS DURING FEVER PITCH: Just when I thought there wasn't anything quite as pathetic as seeing a screening of a romantic comedy on a Friday night, alone, I started crying. Crying in a Midtown screening room. It wasn't pretty. But when I looked up from the Goth streaks of cried-off mascara, I realized the people around me who weren't crying were clapping: Last October's television coverage of the World Series was playing on the big screen. The movie sucked but the fans around me even hooted at a shot of the Charles River. It was so beautiful I had to call my family in Boston. A -- martha burzynski
DRUNK DOWNLOADING: Thanks to the ease and convenience of the iTunes music store, I have found myself incurring a significant amount of charge volume on my Amex card dedicated to "mp3, music download." It's not enough for them to have developed a product that is so easy and convenient that you become an addict, feeling naked without it like you did without a mobile phone in 2000. They now have a catalog that is Google-easy to search through and keeps it as simple as clicking a button every time you want to spend another $9.99. Oooh, Celebrity playlist, must be good if he/she listens to it. New Killers remix exclusive? Why not? All of this frivolous spending is influenced by none other than some late-night drunk Internet visits. You know you do it too. How else would the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack be in the top 10 for over a month now? B -- wayne g
ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM: This fine documentary opens with an overhead shot of the Enron building in Houston accompanied by the suspicious, sinister strains of Tom Waits' "What's He Building in There?" And then it gets better. Long after the American public has grown used to accounting scandals and white-collar treachery, it's good to recall the bastards who started it all. The film clearly explains the rise and plummet of Enron to those of us who don't understand mark-to-market accounting, all while giving plenty of opportunities to mutter "sonofabitch" under your breath every time Ken Lay appears on screen. From the incredulity one feels toward Enron traders who willfully turned out California's lights to the sense of shame surrounding the loss of a utility lineman's life savings, The Smartest Guys in the Room recalls hubris not seen since Antigone. A -- Aileen Gallagher
OLD NAVY'S "TINY FIT:" In college, Sunday is the day for procrastinating at all costs. So this weekend my friend and I jumped in the car and headed for the mall, hoping to find lots of things worthy of making us spend all that money we don't have. After many misses at more expensive (read: higher quality) stores where the salespeople cringed every time I put my grubby little bad-credit hands on a piece of merchandise, we hit up good old Old Navy. Yes, your commercials are terribly obnoxious, and your clothes sometimes make me feel like I'm 14, but you're so affordable and for basics, you're not bad. Browsing the two-for-whatever shirts, I notice two little extra words printed on the inside tag. "Tiny Fit," in adorable cursive. Wait what? Part of the reason I shop here is that I can buy pants a size smaller than usual, and now you're going to go and make your shirts smaller, so that Amazons like me have trouble squeezing all our muscles into a Large? Does this mean I'm going to see even MORE girls who seem to think they're a medium (honey, it's called XL, and it's nothing to be ashamed of) parading their winter fat stores around campus? Thanks for nothing, Old Navy. D -- julia
BLINDSIDED ON A SUNDAY MORNING: After a late night Saturday and losing a precious hour of sleep to useless Daylight Savings, I still managed to be happy about being woken up by my phone ringing at 10 a.m. Because I knew it was my boyfriend, and I am in love with him. That's what I thought, anyway. After a nice talk, he said, "Julia," which I was expecting to be followed by, "I'm in love with you," or some other lovely mushy thing. Instead what he said is, "I've been thinking about..." Fucking shitting sodding hell and goddammit. I am starving, and I'm very tired, and I have a lot of work to do today, and here you are trying to dump me. This couldn't have waited until the next time we get together (we're 500 some miles apart)? You don't want to think about it more? Oh, you've already been thinking a lot? Thanks for keeping me up to date. Hey, remember the first time we broke up, a year-plus ago? We talked about it together and agreed. This time he's sorry. Yes, good, I'll remember that when I can't sleep at three in the morning. Oh, and he wants to be friends. None of my friends have ever done anything even remotely this shitty to me. So I'm going to have to respectfully decline. I hope you and your fat paycheck are very happy together. Sneak attack breakup on what was going to be a Very Productive Day can only be an F -- Julia
EATING YOUR BOSS' MIXED NUTS BECAUSE YOU'RE DOING HER JOB: The boss is gone for the umpteenth Monday in a row (back spasms, fever boils, something like that that the bigger bosses let you know). And what else do they let you know? That before you settle into that comfortable little pile of envelopes needing to be stuffed, the same comfortable pile that you've grown numb to, they need you to sanitize (you know, rip out what the government won't let people see) a two-foot tall stack of files your boss should have been getting to on Friday. You heard her in the next cubicle over, talking to another generic co-worker about the coming weekend's Hennesey and Gran Marnier consumption, waiting down the Friday clock. And now you have two hours to finish what she'd accomplish in two days, and all you have to go on is forty-five minutes of training you received eight months ago. Feeling damn well entitled to a few dozen macadamias, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, almonds and peanuts: A -- John Tolley
GROCERY STORE GUY: While I was buying a six-pack of Guinness to drown my sorrows, you came into my life. Walking down the beer aisle with your cute little girlfriend (how did you get her?), you flashed me a smile and a thumbs up and said "Great beer, man." Get over yourself. First off, it's not some special hip microbrew; it's Guinness. Second off, this is in a city. That means I'm desensitized to strangers, and I hate you. I just want my beer. Go away. You, for thinking you're cool and in Haight-Ashbury when you're neither: C -- ptm
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