|THE BLACK LIST: STARING AT THE BASEBALL PLAYOFF SUN.|
|By The Black Table|
Remember that old thing about staring at the sun too long? About how it would make you go blind, or set your eyeballs a-flame, or make your heart explode?
We've felt like this during the last two weeks of the baseball playoffs. Honestly, we can't handle much more of this. The playoffs take over our lives; every time we close our eyes, we still see the black spot of baseball. We cannot hide, we can go nowhere. And we cannot look away.
Fortunately, we pulled it together enough to bring you 10 spanking new reviews this week. To be a part of the party, pal, just use the form on the right. It's fun and good for the pancreas.
PENN STATION PIPED MUSIC: Tuneless, formless classical crap looping endlessly at a volume just loud enough that you can't filter it out... Maybe, like the Amtrak ticket check at the seated waiting area and the hideously uncomfortable chairs spaced far enough apart that only Yao Ming could put his feet up, Penn Station's piped music is a tactic to keep terrorists away and stop tramps from settling down for the night. If so, fare-paying travelers pay a high mental price for their security: after 10 minutes, a banging headache; after 20, the urge to stab the nearest person with a ballpoint pen; after 30, a longing desire for the bowels of Penn Station to open and swallow everyone whole. Reduce times by half if you have a hangover, and don't think an iPod or personal music whatever will save you, unless you're prepared to use a volume setting so loud that blood streams from your ears. F -- Louis Cooke
OVERUSE OF THE FIRST PERSON PLURAL: Annoying married couples and pretentious bloggers, unless you are members of royalty, please try to limit the use of the personal pronoun "we" in your sentences. This practice is especially irritating when the proper names of the people you are referring to (the antecedents, if you (all) will) are not inherently obvious. Is the mysterious use of the pronoun meant to hide the specific identity of the sentence's subject? Is it meant to express a collective thought? Is its ambiguity meant to confuse the reader? Yes, I am fully aware that the editorial "we," used by journals, newspapers, and other media to express the opinion of the editors, is standard and conventional. However, lately it seems as though the word "we" is being bandied about way more than necessary. I can only speak for myself, but the overuse of the pronoun "we" makes ME want to gag. D- -- amy schein
NICKELODEON MOBILE HOME RACING: All right, so I sit down
with my five year old cousin and give her the remote. (She IS only five, after all, and hasn't realized the fact that we men must rule the remote to feel powerful.) She flips through some channels until letting it rest upon none other than Nickelodeon. Now I know we've all watched Nick before, and I know we all enjoy at least some of the shows that reside there even today. But as we watched, I realized that their great prelude to the new Rugrats TV-movie was two families racing their mobile homes. Now I thought this was great fun, until I realized that the families weren't even inside the mobile homes, since there were small children included in the families. So I am led to wonder: Has Nick finally decided that they refuse to put small children in danger, and have they finally stopped giving small babies the idea that they can be pirates or spacemen?? I, personally, cannot answer this question, thanks to the fact that I am too busy running around town asking complete and total strangers, most likely rapists, if they have seen my lost parrot. Argh. B- -- Brad Allen
HIPSTER BEARDS: The beard sort of works in context if you're a Paul Bunyan guy who chops down trees and stuff, but if you're a scrawny hipster, it looks ridiculous. Like a visual representation of your chromosomes at war -- "Look, I'm wearing girl pants, but I have enough testosterone to grow this beard! Who am I?" Right now I think Rivers Cuomo is trying to pull this look. I mean sure, I'd try to hide too if I'd made Weezer's latest album. Now Ryan Adams has it too. Which kinda fits because he's supposed to be a pretty colossal douchebag, but I think his beard weighs more than he does. There is a line, folks, between "retro dirty cool" and just plain fucking filthy. And don't forget, if you're doing it to be self-ironic, if people don't get it, you just look like a jackass. D -- Tristan
NOT GETTING A DUI: Almost getting a DUI but then not, might be the best high ever. I'm driving my friends to a bar after having a couple drinks. I start swerving while scrolling through my cell's call log. My friend tells me I'm going to get pulled over. "No biggie, I always get out of tickets." Not ironically, I get pulled over. The cop says my plate's expired. I find the little 2006 sticker that I should've actually put on my plate. He makes me get out of the car and I tell him he's got nothin' on me: "I can say my alphabet backwards and, plus, I'm the sober driver." He asks me if I want to take a Breathalizer. "Bring it." I'm so fucked. Terrell tells me if he wastes his time doing the paper work, I'm going to jail. "Let's not do it then," I suggest. "How 'bout I come get my car tomorrow?" "That's a great idea," he agrees. Terrell apologizes for the plastic seats. I tell him that my dad, LaMar, is a white man with a black man's name too. He tells me Terrell is his last name. His first name is Jeff. Jeff drops me off, gives me a hug, and tells me I should be okay to get my car in a couple hours. "Ciao." I have another friend come get me so I can go back to the bar, where I am regarded with utmost respect and, thusly, don't pay for a single drink. A -- Gretel Going
REMEMBER YOUR BOSS ON BOSS' DAY: Boss' Day made me think of all the bosses I had over the past year and all the things I could write in a card to (but would never have the balls to do it).
Having parents guilt tripping about me the Ivy League degree they sacrificed everything to pay for and then not keeping a job for more than 3 months once I graduated: D- -- BR
HAVING THE SAME NAME AS A FORMER CHILD STAR: He was an actor on a semi-popular Nickelodeon show, notable solely for its almost-but-not-quite famous lead actress. His part wasn't huge, but he had his own catchphrase, albeit a crappy one. To call him a celebrity even then would be laughable, but he had his 15 minutes. He also had the same name as mine, and we even looked alike. When I was 12, I found the coincidence thrilling. When I joined the Internet, however, that's when the emails started: "R U Sam from Clarissa Explains It All?!?" And guess what? They haven't stopped; in fact, I just got another one today. I'm in a band and, unfortunately, this guy is also in a band--goth rave music or something. People googling their bizarre crush often pick me over the goth-raver. Then they make LiveJournal threads about him, using pictures of my band. (And apparently, many of Sam's fans would "still hit it." Hooray.) His IMDB page even lists MY current biography in place of his. Sorry, but this has gone too far. Will I be forever plagued by this? Am I to be buried in his tomb? I've spent most of my life assuming his receding, quasi-fame. Even my girlfriend is starting to wonder if maybe it really was me on that show. Hell, *I'm* beginning to wonder. Jesus, why couldn't I have been a little more famous? Having your identity stolen by a second-tier Nickelodeon star: D. -- sean oh no
HOME HEATING "CRISIS:" I have just read the last article I can stand about the coming home heating crisis. The last one noted that people will spend on average, $350 more to heat their homes this winter. Oh, the horror. Since when did $29 more a month in utility costs become a crisis? If you can't heat your home, drop your cable, cut back to one cell phone for the family, make your own damn coffee and lunch. There are working poor and outright poor that will suffer from this no doubt, but they can get help from charities and government. It is a bad situation for them, but this is not some sort of national crisis. People made homeless by Katrina, people killed in the Pakistan earthquake, every GI killed in Irag, the current Supreme Court nominee...those are tragedies. The CNN Effect of making everything a crisis has finally weaned me off news. I am going to regress to my college days. There wasn't any bad news back then because I didn't listen to it. Pretty simple solution. I am going to go to my favorite bar and get drunk and I am not going to listen to the radio on the way over. D -- Roy Felipe
THE GIANT MATCHSTICK: It's from Home Depot. It cost around seven
bucks. It's a big (at least 14"), plastic facsimile of a wooden match.
And the best part? Genuine flame comes out of the tip!!! You can light
cigarettes with it! And candles! And anything else that is remotely flammable
but won't totally burn down your apartment.
POSTING META BOARD COMMENTS: Recently, you had a person complain about the Black List on the Black List. Now I'm writing on the Black List to complain about the person who was complaining about the Black List on the Black List. And now, would it be more meta for me to complain about meta comments in general, which would be a comment on my complaint about the complaint posted on the Black List about the Black List. Now someone needs to comment on my recursive meta comment complaint about complaints built on complaints about the Black List on the Black List, and then maybe reality will implode. C -- SM
(Editor's Note: We're done with the BT comments now, promise.)
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.