|THE BLACK LIST: THE BIG RED SOUTH PARK MACHINE.|
|By The Black Table|
We never noticed this before, but apparently there's a site that allows you to create your own South Park character. We found this site because we're baseball fans, and we like to read about the Cincinnati Reds, because we REALLY like baseball. A strangely possessed man created the entire 25-man roster of the Cincinnati Reds as South Park characters. This made us extremely happy.
And now we desperately want to see South Park characters of everyone we know. We're not nearly as good at the South Park design game as the Reds blogger, though; right now everybody looks like Jabba the Hut. But we'll get there. You should play. It'll ruin your day.
We have 10 reviews this week. Packed with good stuff. Don't blow away, and play along by using the form on the right.
STEVE HARRIGAN ON FOX NEWS: So I was flipping between all the news channels, watching the hurricane come in, when I caught Steve Harrigan on Fox News. He was doing the usual "brave reporter fighting the elements" bit when the studio person asked him what the wind speed was. He replied that "unlike some reporters who use little gadgets and pretend to be an expert when they're not," he just liked to see whether or not he could stand up. Having to be the schmuck out in the rain during a hurricane: F. Putting down the other schmucks while doing it: A -- JJ
THE STOCK PHOTO PEOPLE IN MY SPAM: Friends keep telling me about spam filters and email washers, to no avail. My morning routine of marking dozens of incoming emails as junk and manually deleting them has become, to my surprise, a comforting ritual. I toil alone, at home. In the absence of co-workers, I find myself enjoying the company of The Spam People. 'Morning, there, Ms. Fresh-Scrubbed and Happy Black Chick Crouching On the Scale With an Oprah-Endorsed Green Tea Diet Patch On Your Thigh! Sleep well? How about you, Mister I Just Re-Fi'd My Home And I'm So Excited My Fist Is In the Air? Aw, it's the Free Diapers For a Year Baby! Cootchie-coo! And speaking of cootchie, hel-LOOOO, Naughty Webcam Tranny Falling Out Of His/Her Panties! Did you bring the donuts? Oh, you cutup! Slowly losing it on the Telecommuting Superdriveway while wondering if we can just burn down the fucking Internet and start over: C- -- Bergman
PLUCKING YOUR FOREHEAD: I started going bald eight years ago, at 20. Since then, I've gone through more than my fair share of haircut modifications to make
myself look at least mildly attractive, cutting it shorter and shorter until I just gave up and now tell the barber "No. 1 all around, taper the back." It's a clean look, and my wife likes it, except for one minor complication -- male pattern baldness does not happen evenly. So once a week, I have to take a tweezer to my scalp and yank out all of the short brown hairs that have shot through my skin like the first sprouts of spring through a blanket of snow. Considering the alternatives of Propecia, the Hair Club for Men and Hair in a Can, I guess a few minutes of minor pain is worth it. B -- Tom Panarese
COP SPEAK: Guy breaks into a house, makes off with some stuff. Sounds simple, right? Not the way you hear the police describe it on the local news. "At approximately oh-two-hundred hours the suspected perpetrator forcibly obtained entrance to the southeast corner of the edifice. The resident victims of this alleged burglary were sleeping at the time. The alleged perpetrator was later apprehended with an undisclosed amount of allegedly stolen property." Hey, turn off the legalese for few seconds and speak like a human being! You are speaking to the public, not filling out a police report! Do cops take a course in this kind of stuff at the police academy? Do they think it makes them sound more...cop-like? Smarter? Authoritative? These folks are out there risking their lives, every day. They might consider communicating in a way that connects them to the community they serve. C --
GLASS FRAGMENTS IN YOGA CLASS: The powers that be at my newish job decided that I was worthy of a promotion. Evidently, I need to be a bit more sharp than my usual bourbon-sweating self. Reluctantly, I decided to quit the habits one by one, first cannabis, then cigarettes and finally booze. Doing this has taken extreme measures, and for men, extreme measures can be defined with just one word: yoga. Yoga forces men to do fucked up things that we see women do all the time, like folding their legs while sitting on a chair. However, last week's class brought us into a realm of chaos I never thought possible in a class that includes meditation: headstands. I'm 6'7"; a headstand isn't built into my genetic code. It has taken me 26 years to get used to the fact that my brain must send signals nearly seven feet down to my shoes to make them move. So, when the instructor asks us to get busy lifting our legs over our heads using a mirrored wall for balance, the neon question mark made its entrance. No fucking way I'm doing that. I tried, once. What followed was a prime example of the plague of tall people; we frequently smash things with our heads. I gave it one good go, the mirror in front of me, and proceeded to put a 1 by 1 foot snowflake into the mirror with the crown of my head, sending fragments of glass in my hair and all over the floor. Head smashing destruction force in yoga class: B+ -- JD Stone
SAMURAI SUMMER AT THE FILM FORUM: The Film Forum usually takes its selections very seriously. There are lots of obscure foreign titles, lots of high end re-releases (like Louis Malle's Elevator To The Gallows) and oodles of documentaries. But every so often, when you're least expecting it, the FF folks get back to their Saturday-afternoon, Channel 11 roots and just wild out for a month or so. Not too long ago, they showed the original, uncut version of Gojira -- or Godzilla for all the Raymond Burr fans out there -- and then proceeded to show all the '60s and '70s follow ups best known for Godzilla beating the hell out of rubber-suited opponents. This month, it's all samurai all the time, and I can't get enough of it. I go to sleep at night with Toshiro Mifune's chuckle in my ear. Monday night, it was the restored version of Samurai Rebellion," with Mifune kicking everyone's ass for taking his son's wife away. Over the weekend, it was Seven Samurai, with Mifune going absolutely berserk as the comic relief in one of the greatest samurai tales of all time. For some reason, I keep going to Wo Hop after each showing, which isn't really as bad as it sounds. I realize that China and Japan have very distinct cultures and that crisp noodles and duck sauce have nothing to do with bushido. But, then again, it somehow gets lumped into the same cultural blender that sticks samurai films in with kung fu flicks and produces Kill Bill or mixes either genre and hip-hop to produce Rush Hour or Ghost Dog." Maybe there's a subconscious memory of my parents ordering Chinese food on a Saturday afternoon while watching Kid With The Golden Arm or Zatoichi on WPIX, wishing to hell I could call in and play that cheesy PIX video game where the caller would say "PIX" to make the ship fire its weapon and the guy in the studio would screw kids over by firing way too late. Either way, I'm definitely heading back to the Forum to see Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo and Throne of Blood. Maybe next time I'll channel that old Tom Carvel voice and pick up a Cookie Puss on the way home. A -- Jason Notte
THE SUDOKU CRAZE: Two weeks ago I didn't even know Sudoku existed, and now everywhere I go people are talking about it. The concept is simple enough: take a 9x9 square and fill in the blanks so each number from one to nine appears in each row, column and 3x3 section only once. The easy ones are solvable in less than 10 minutes and give you that smug "Hey, I am smart!" feeling when you finish. The hard ones require a long afternoon, a fresh supply of No. 2 pencils and a math degree. And yet it's popular as hell. You have to love a country that is willing to engage in a serious debate over whether "Intelligent Design" should be taught in schools, yet loves its number-based logic puzzles. B+ -- Tim Moyle
SALESGIRLS WHO TRY TO TELL YOU YOUR SIZE: Now, I understand her actual title was "sales associate" or suchlike, but salesgirl is the nicest thing I can call the high schooler who, having spent a summer perfecting her sweater-folding, felt qualified to contravene my request for size 8 jeans. Although I knew a summer of sitting both at work and home hadn't done me any good, I haven't noticed a major change in ass-magnitude. So I was completely unprepared for what followed. "Mmhmm," she said, "I'm gonna have you try on a 10 too." I slunk into the fitting room wishing I'd devoted the morning to cleaning the bathroom, or learning to crochet. The first pair, the 8, slid on perfectly. I was more relieved than I had any right to be. Proving that smug little blonde wrong: B+ Being so neurotic that not going up a pants size makes your day: F -- Dancingqueen
TABLE-SERVICE LIQUOR: When did it become acceptable for clubs to deem every table in the place as "reserved" and use it as an excuse to sell wildly overpriced bottles of liquor? If you want to sit at a table in some of Manhattan's swankier clubs, you'd better be ready to pony up some serious dough. $150 for a bottle of wine, $325 for a bottle of vodka, $600 for a bottle of champagne. And you'd better be ready to order a few bottles, cause once you finish the one you've got, the waitress will happily tell you to get the heck out of there. But the worst came this weekend. My friend wanted to take home the last half-full bottle of Grey Goose that she'd paid for but we couldn't finish. She got it out of the club; we figured we'd be stopped for trying, even though we technically paid for the thing. Around the corner, some schmuck tried to engage us in conversation while we were calling our friends to tell them where we were. Suddenly he snatched the bottle from us ran up the street and -- get this -- gave it back to the bouncer! Clubs paying lowlifes to steal back half empty bottles of liquor to resell to tomorrow night's patrons: F -- Jennifer Stevens
LANCE ARMSTRONG: OK, I know Lance Armstrong is everybody's favorite person in, like, the whole wide world. He beat cancer and went on to become a world-class athlete. He's won the Tour de France seven times. And he gives us all a chance to display marginal charity with those stupid Live Strong bracelets, which, by the way, DON'T look good with your business suit and don't prove anything except that you gave Nike a dollar. But let's not neglect some of Mr. Armstrong's more unsavory aspects: He wrote this whole book about how his wife stood by him through his illness, then he left her for Sheryl freaking Crow. He may have been using steroids since at least 1999. And he just took the president on a bike ride, which clearly makes him an enabler of the ol' Commander in Chief's compulsive exercise problem. Sorry, Lance, but you get a gentleman's C- -- Laura McGinley
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.