|THE BLACK LIST: EH, FUCK IT. YOU'RE FUCKING STUCK WITH US.|
|By The Black Table|
New York City is a beautiful place, and when we are away from it, we feel lost and confused and sometimes even horrified. We don't like to think this about ourselves. We like to think that we are people of the world, that we are from Out There, that we are different from those who know Only Here. Sure, we might live in New York, but we are of somewhere else. We have always taken pride in that.
We are also now aware that we are full of horse dung.
We spent this last weekend in Ohio, away from the cabs and the subways and the people who spin around in circles and rest on imaginary ladders. And we were just lost. People took forever to serve us in restaurants, particularly for breakfast, a meal that is apparently only served at one diner in a 10 mile radius. Sidewalks are untouched, pedestrians nonexistent. Every store has some sort of "-Mart" at the end. And it seems like everybody's first names end in an "I."
We know this is lame. We know this will make you hate us. But we're starting to realize that we have been in New York so long now that we cannot function anywhere else. If this infuriates you, take solace in the fact that we complain even more about life here. And now, apparently, we're stuck here.
Anyway, 10 spanking reviews in the Black List this week. Fill out the form on the right to play along with next week's game.
NETWORK SNUFF FILMS: My otherwise sweet natured grade school teacher wife, along with millions of other Americans, watches snuff movies every night. On network television. "CSI" (pick your city), "Law & Order Sr.", "Jr." and "the III," and now "Medium" all pretty much start with a gruesome murder or graphic sexual assault. During sweeps, if you are lucky, you can hit the daily double with graphic sexual assault AND gruesome murder in the same hour. If you watch rape Web sites online, you are considered depraved (and probably are). Watch it, albeit sanitized, on network TV and you are now a prized demographic. Last night I actually overheard the dialogue "He's being eaten alive by ants." Once in a while, a good murder mystery is fun. Drama, I understand, needs pain or, at least, conflict. I like a good R movie from time to time because the human experience is not always PG. I also know they are actors and not really dead. But, having someone die in my house EVERY NIGHT? D -- Roy Felipe
CHRISTIAN SPAM: Blame it on spoof-email con artists, virus authors and purveyors of OLNY TEH BE$T TE3N F@RM $.E.X SITES, but I've always thought of the Internet as a pretty Godless dump. Lately, though, the spamalanche in my inbox has taken on a more smug, self-righteous tone. "Refinance your home -- the CHRISTIAN way!" one entices. "Single? Christian? Find love!" coos another, cooling my Bible-fevered brow with the promise of a proper helpmeet. It's not like God as a marketing tool is shocking, but it's interesting to see Him taking up residence among the e-whores and virtual money changers hawking fake Rolexes, herbal Viagra and human growth hormone. I'm not even sure what "the Christian way" to refinance my home IS, but if it leaves me enough money to send to that nice banker in Nigeria who needs help laundering $27 million, then all I can say is amen, brother. D+ -- Bergman
THE NEWSWEEK SCANDAL: The White House's contempt for and condemnation of Newsweek's "Koran in the toilet" article, which extremists exploited to incite violence leading to unfortunate deaths in Pakistan and Afghanistan, is like the pot calling the kettle black. White House press secretary Scott McClellan wrote, "People lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged." The administration should be the ones held responsible for the deaths of numerous innocents and tarnishing the U.S. image abroad, rather than placing blame on a magazine article that only a small percentage of the population reads. Publication of the article had dire repercussions, but isn't what our administration started just a little bit worse? Now the administration is requesting Newsweek's help to restore a positive image of the US abroad. The White House not taking responsibility for its own mistakes: A. Innocent people dying everyday in an unjust and unnecessary war: F(uck!) -- LG
SUBWAY EVACUATION VIDEO: I want to salute the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. They are really looking out for Joe Public. I've been away from NYC for a year and upon my return, I was thrilled to see signs in the subway directing me to www.mta.info to watch their new safety video. I am sure that every single commuter will take the time to fire up their Powerbook G4, log onto the Web site and download this informative video with their wireless "airport" connections. It is available in MPEG, MOV, Windows Media Player and Quicktime formats -- every player you regularly view porn with. If you do watch it, you'll discover that our increased train fairs are being put to excellent use. It is a high quality production, slick and entertaining, including a few riveting re-enactments of evacuations and helpful diagrams (in color). Since viewing, I have been reassured that no matter what catastrophic terrorist attack awaits us in the subway, New York City Transit knows how to handle it. So remember Rule Number One: Remain Calm. I would give it an A, but they should have known to have two hot lesbians as the narrator instead of a random weird guy. They have to realize what kind of competition they have on the web. B+ -- Chris Goldberg
LIVING AT HOME: So I am now one of the so-called echo boomerangers that I keep reading about: mostly loser college grads who can't get jobs right out of school and are moving back home with mommy and daddy. The difference is I just spent the last eight years living in a different city, including four years independently in Boston. I also just finished grad school, so I'm hoping that makes me more marketable than 22-year-olds living at home. On the plus side, I am getting some local freelance journalism gigs, and my parents have a spare room I can use as an office. But yesterday my mom had the day off and brought the phone to me when I was in the shower. On the other end? A source. Free room and board: A; being lumped in with recent college grads: C-; the embarrassment of mom answering the phone and giving it to me in the shower: F -- Rebecca
BRITNEY & KEVIN: CHAOTIC: Anyone who watched UPN's "Britney & Kevin: Chaotic" was giving the Federlines the benefit of the doubt -- taking a chance that perhaps the media has given them a bad rap, and their show might be as entertaining as Jessica and Nick's. I thought, "Maybe Britney is actually likable, maybe Kevin is witty, maybe together, they'll be amusing." The answers: nope, not even close and Dead Ass Wrong. The show was an exercise in unmitigated idiocy. Britney is every bit as annoying as you'd think she'd be; Kevin has that unmistakable "short bus" look about him, revealing that for him, taking "shop" in high school was an academic challenge. It was such an excruciating 60 minutes, I'd actually rather watch a 24-hour "State of the Union" marathon than sit through "Chaotic" ever again. So for Britney and Kevin, for sharing your home movies with America, only to show us that the media was right on the money in portraying you both as sleazy, ignorant, immature white trash, you get an F -- Gloria Fallon
MORONS WHO THINK THAT WATCHING TV MAKES YOU SMART: I'm going to fucking scream if I hear one more "pundit" try to justify his geeky obsession with "The Sopranos" or "CSI" or "The Simple Life" as an activity that actually requires brain functioning and/or a non-persistent vegetative state. Multiple story lines within a TV show does not really learn ya anything, buddy, hate to break it to you. It was OK when losers justified that they had to get home to watch "The Apprentice" because it was their "guilty pleasure," whatever the hell that means. But now I'm supposed to sit there with a straight face when they talk about how watching TV makes you smart? Guess what? Spinning plates will never be a highly paid athletic activity, just because someone can spin 20 of them. You can make charts showing story lines within your favorite lame shows till you're blue in the face, but it still won't make up for the fact that the intellectual highlight of your sad pathetic day is watching some actor pretend to be a (choose one:) mobster/scientist/human being. F -- kowgurl
TAKING RELATIONSHIP CUES FROM "FRIENDS" DVDS: It's 4 on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and my boyfriend has packed up all my shit. Since it was my decision to leave, not his, he berates me for crying. Eventually I concede to him, offering to just "take a break" instead of ending it outright. My volleyball-playing man-whore of an upstairs neighbor offers me a beer, a smoke, some dinner. At 2 a.m., exhausted from crying, I head for bed, knowing that I have to be at work in seven hours. But I am intercepted, and the neighbor offers to put me to bed. Whether or not I want to get back with my boyfriend is instantly irrelevant when I find another guy peeling off my new capris to go down on me. But then I'm thinking that I should just call the boyfriend ... but I don't want to be a Ross. The fastest rebound ever: A. Taking relationship cues from "Friends" DVDs: F -- J Ritterbusch
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: Our favorite babysitter was the one who told us all the secrets to "The Legend of Zelda," and not only let us stay up playing it until our parents pulled into the driveway, but also let us hang on to her shiny gold game cartridge until we finally got our own. Later on there was "A Link to the Past" on Super NES after school, sitting on the couch eating Chips Ahoy cookies until Mom yelled at us that she didn't care if we were at a good save point or not, we'd better come set the table for dinner in the next 10 seconds or we weren't eating. Then when I was in college, N64 came out, and damn if "Ocarina of Time" wasn't just as good as the others, huge and complex and fun, with the same good sound effects when you opened a treasure chest or discovered a secret as in the original. One of your friends let us borrow his system, and we wasted hours, days even, playing it while I was home on break. Now I'm a grownup and you're about to graduate from college and leave the country for at least a year, so I went out to visit you at school before all that happens. And what's that on your TV? Is it a Game Cube, with "The Wind Waker" inside? Why yes, it is. And does it totally rock? Why yes, it does. Squandering most of the weekend playing Nintendo with my little brother, discovering that we're still the best Legend of Zelda team ever: A. Not getting to finish the game, and not knowing when the next time we'll get to do this again: D -- Ellia Bisker
I SWEAR THAT THIS CORNFLAKE HAS A FACE: OK, so first there was a piece of toast with the Virgin Mary's face. And then there was the piece of Nutrigrain that looked like ET. But why couldn't the trend have died there? The whole idea of auctioning off these edible artifacts is getting ridiculous. After spending less than 20 minutes on ebay, without even searching for these items, I came across a piece of "very sad" toast, another nutrigrain ET, a bbq steak the shape of Australia, yet ANOTHER nutrigrain ET, a penis shaped cheese twistie and, my personal favorite, a penis shaped cashew nut. Even worse is the fact that people were bidding on this stuff! I dunno about anyone else, but the last thing I would want on my walls is a framed piece of stale, moldy toast, smiling face or not. And really, you can't do too much with a cashew-sized dildo, right? F -- freshmint
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.