|THE BLACK LIST: WE'RE IN A VERY DARK PLACE, EATING POPCORN.|
|By The Black Table|
We mentioned last week that everyone goes crazy in December. It's natural, really. There's so much going on that everyone's heads falls out of their head. Give your friends a break when they go ballistic on you for leaving the lid off their ketchup; it's only natural, it's December.
But we have a different stress: There are too many good movies out there to possibly see. King Kong -- which is three-plus hours right there -- comes out today, and we haven't seen either of those George Clooney movies, then there's the Spielberg-remember-he's-Jewish-again movie, and we haven't even gotten to the Woody Allen movie yet. Presents? Screw that. No time. Plus, it's harder to freak out at your friends over the cellphone when they make you turn it off.
Ten reviews this week, which is the same as every week for the last two years. You know the drill. Use the form on the right. And we'll see you at the movies. But we won't. Because it's dark.
JOSH AND HIS BROTHER HARTY HAR-HAR: The other day I overheard someone say they were joshing. This is a word we need to bring back. It's old school. It's distinctive. It has character. Some motherfucker named Josh influenced the right people. A funny motherfucker named Josh. And he had that particularly "kidding" style of humor. Not too edgy. Type of shit you say "harty-har-har" too. That's how I know Josh's brother's name was Harty Har-Har. To become part of the colloquial lexicon, Josh had to have a regular sidekick/hypeman. And if someone's doing some comedy that inspires a "he's joshing" remark, you know "harty har-har" is not far behind. Only a brother could show such dedication. I don't particularly enjoy that type of humor. Nor do I usually enjoy sitcoms. But others do. Josh: C -- The Assimilated Negro
ODD NOTES ON HOLIDAY CARDS FROM RELATIVES YOU BARELY KNOW: I've started getting some xmas cards, from relatives I never got anything from before. My dad died earlier this year, and I guess they figure since he's dead, I inherit the Christmas cards. Some of these people I wouldn't know if they came up to me and sat in my lap. I'm reading the stupid "our family news" printouts and stuff, and I see a little handwritten note at the bottom from Cousin David. "How's your mental health?" he asks. WTF?! Did I seem crazy last time he saw me when I was six years old? Did he hear that I live in New York and figure I must have lost my mind? I haven't figured out yet how to respond to
that. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all (batshit crazy) ears. D- -- kowgurl
311'S BEATDOWN OF SCOTT STAPP: I've always had mixed feelings about 311. Can't hear one of their songs without coughing remnants of a freshman year bong hit and giggling to myself about the time I passed out with a slice of pizza in my mouth and over the course of several hours managed to eat that slice at a glacial pace much to the horror and amusement of those around me. Good times, I know. But my overwhelming feeling towards 311 is one of scorn. Even though it happened balls deep back in the last century, losing the left half of my favorite pair of shoes at a 311 concert has left me with an unfading scar of bitterness. Until I read a small blurb last week reporting that on Thanksgiving Night, Omaha's finest hip hop rockers beat the Stapp, er crap, out of former Creed front man Scott Stapp. Turns out they were all staying at the same Baltimore hotel and a drunken Scott approached them as the good time party guy. Quickly, he turned to obnoxious drunk guy by hitting on singer S.A. Martinez's wife with a pick up line that included the word fuck and landing a sucker punch right on the kisser of drummer Chad Sexton. Well, the rest of the band, as well as a good chunk of their roadies, were there too and quickly handed out the beatdown that everyone except for closeted frat guys has been praying for since "Arms Wide Open" hit the airwaves. Even though it hasn't been 1997 since, oh, about 1997, 311 you're once again the greatest band in the world. A -- Todd Munson
RIDING THE RAILS: Granted, I probably shouldn't have been traveling from Boston to New York during a snowstorm, but Amtrak's Web site proudly proclaimed they were having no "weather related delays," and all trains were operating on time. Not wanting to risk a fiery death on the discount Chinatown bus lines, I foolishly booked an overpriced ticket on the train. It left one hour late, not because of the snow, but because of incompetence -- they just weren't ready for a train scheduled to depart at the same time every day of the week. In addition, Amtrak somehow managed to add on another 45 minutes to the travel time; perhaps they wanted us to admire the winter wonderland as we crawled through Connecticut. On the plus side, I didn't have to worry about a suicide bomber on the train. No terrorist would put himself through the hell that is riding Amtrak; not even the promise of 72 virgins is worth that. I'm sorry I ever doubted you, Fung Wah. F -- Matt C.
DISOBEDIENCE OF LIBRARY ETIQUTTE: Spending your Sunday at the law school library is bad enough. But when you are trying to revise your painfully mediocre final paper on Scalia's method of statutory interpretation for that useless jurisprudence class, and these annoying bastards sitting around you in the computer area keep cheerfully gabbing to each other in stage whispers, that makes it much, much worse. The signs posted on the walls say, "Thank you for being quiet and not talking." Could this be any CLEARER? And yeah, girl with the i-pod on, bopping your head to the beat as you type ... it's not cute. Could you be a little more self-aware? Please? Oh. Looky here. All 54 of my footnotes are formatted incorrectly. Fantastic. To you readers out there in Black Table land, let me preemptive strike it now: Don't think I deserve this because I will be making $125K when I graduate. Mama is going into children's advocacy work. I'll be lucky if I find a job that pays $35K. Please save your scorn for these budding lawyer snatches around me. Because in a mere three years or less, they will own all of us. D -- michaela wittenberg
OLD-TIME SALES JERK: We're all in a sales training class. As a twenty-year sales veteran, I've been through plenty of these things and as they go, this one is pretty good. You, on the other hand, although you've had an impressive list of jobs (impressive in number of jobs, rather than caliber), seem not to have learned all that much, here ... or anywhere for that matter. You give off the smarmy used car guy vibe, and the rest of us are skivved beyond belief. At every juncture you believe that you must emphasize the instructor's lesson with some pointless ramble about something that happened once in your sales career. Most of the folks in this class are in their twenties. A few of us are not. We're ALL looking at you like you're Willy Loman. I ask a short question, and before the instructor can answer, you start off with "You know Bunny, as you progress through your career..." Being condescended to by an old fart, asshole, wannabe: F, Knowing that after the re-org that his flabby ass will be kicked to the curb: A -- Bunny
CARTOON CARS USED FOR MARKETING: If I am looking for entertainment or amusement, oddball, dorky or frivolous works. No problem with that. But if I am looking for a roofing contractor, a computer consultant or a real estate agent, I want serious, mature adult behavior. That is why I don't understand the marketing scheme of companies buying Volkswagen Beetles and painting them to resemble soccer balls, actual bugs and all other kinds of stupid things. The idea that using one of those goshawful "cartoon cars" (The Beetle, P/T Cruiser, and the recently killed off Thunderbird) to sell your services is like the class clown using humor to show how smart he is. Yeah, it's funny, but no one takes you seriously in the end. I know of an insurance agent who drives an old fire engine around town. Attention getting? Sure. Funny when your house burns down? Um, not so much. One exception I saw recently was a fully dressed Bozo the Clown driving a polka-dotted Beetle down the highway. It was actually creepy as all hell, because she was grimly speeding along with the rest of us, but the car was at least appropriate for its user, a clown. I am sure it gets a well deserved laugh when it pulls up to the party. But the rest of you, listen: If you have grown up services to sell, present a grown up image and leave the silly-ass vehicles to Roger Rabbit and 16 year old girls. Harmless I suppose, but stupid notwithstanding. C -- Roy Felipe
CHEESY X-MAS FORWARDS: At this time of year, it never fails that all of my Middle America Precious-Moments-loving coworkers decide to treat everyone in our office with forwarded emails featuring bad midi Christmas carols and, inevitably, Thomas Kincaid artwork. Then they wander into my office waiting for me to concur on how "precious" it is. The only joy I get out of these is by forwarding them to my friend who promptly responds by sending me some awful snipet of porn involving multiple anal penetrations and sports equipment. Getting gay-ass forwards: F. Getting terrible porn which nullifies the "precious" effect: A -- Jen
JET BLUE'S MALE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: Dammmn! I don't know where Jet Blue gets its sky-waiters, but man, are they hot! Every time I'm on a Cali-New York flight, there's a pack of tall lanky mussed-hair guys slinging peanuts and pillows on the flight. I don't know who's doing the hiring, but I approve. It's a hell of a lot nicer to look at emo-dudes than some chick with big hair, sensible pumps and blue eyeshadow. And I'm thinking that is another conscious decision by Jet Blue, like their Direct TV, no first-class policy and leather seats, to build brand loyalty. Way to go, Jet Blue! A -- kowgurl
PLAYBOY CHRISTMAS CATALOGS: Being a somewhat inhibited, 100 percent heterosexual female, I have never subscribed to Playboy (or Playgirl, for that matter), and yet out of the blue, I received a Playboy Christmas Catalog in the mail -- to my almost forgotten maiden name, nonetheless. Dildos, edible Elf outfits and something called a Christmas Tree that you don't hang ornaments on all at my fingertips. Wow! So, I'm perusing the pages, trying to convince my toddler son that "no, I only WISH that was Mommy in the picture" and wondering to myself just how would I "really" look in that diamond/glitter/thong/bustier-- when my husband walks in. The excitement in his eyes almost brought a tear to mine ... so much for him being satisfied with a grill cover this year ... (And I do want another baby.) Now, where's my credit card? Merry Christmas, Honey! A -- KMDStewart
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.