Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul’s heart is warmed by Spit List nominees Lou Dobbs and Rihanna.
As I recover from a serious food coma, thought I’d reply for you some of the highlights from Thanksgiving Spit List 2009. (For those new to Spit List, CLICK HERE for a background post). Some trends: in years past people reported having no problem coming up with famous faces to spit on—the challenge was always narrowing them down. But this year, guests at the table reported having to think long and hard about their nominees—it just didn’t seem so obvious. I theorized this was known as Obama Effect—having a reasonable leader of the free world makes us less edgy and aggressive. At the same time the Obama Effect draws out reactionary, religious right nut cases who just don’t seem worthy of our spit. Thus, our field is narrower.
As the host, I celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Spit List by re-nominating my very first spitee Dakota Fanning, mostly because she is appearing in Twilight—and last year I spit on any type of vampire hyped films. CNN took center stage with double nominations for Wolf Blitzer and ex-host/anti-immigrant Lou Dobbs.
In the category of 15-minute Famers, we decided that spitting on Levi Johnston would make his Playgirl photo spread hotter. Thankfully, and perhaps surprisingly, John & Kate didn’t make an appearance on anyone’s list—people just said they were exhausted of hearing about this not-so-interesting couple. And that’s the thing about the Spit List—it takes a lot of effort to spit on someone, so you better do it wisely.
A new category called “Spit On When They’re Down” appeared this year. First up, John Travolta—Darrell is offended by the actor’s inauthentic life. And then this one really drew gasps all around—Rihanna. Why would Scott spit on a talented singer who was beaten by her boyfriend this year? Because he doesn’t like her haircut. Fair enough. And that’s the true spirit of the Spit List—it makes no rhyme or reason, just a guttural response.
Sometimes, I get nervous when a new person joins our feast—I am well aware the Spit List is not an everyday family tradition. So I always make sure that the newbie have a full grounding in the rules before they arrive. This year, Angela and Jim’s friend Laura seemed slightly nervous as we rounded the table and got closer and closer to her. As the game allows, participants can ask for a quick recap of the rules, which are simple—you don’t have to defend your spitting because it’s just visceral response; people can move on an off your spit list over time and for no reason; your spitee has to be famous, someone you might run into on the red carpet—it can’t be Bob in Accounting.
Laura considered the rules and leaned forward, “I’ve been thinking that actually spitting on someone would be like an actual assault, right?”
Nods and all around.
“So, I’d just like to say, if anyone ever got to spit on their nominee, and then got arrested. I’d bail them out!”
Cheers went up all around! We all raised our classes.
I got a little emotional. That’s the true spirit of the Spit List—gathering strangers at the Thanksgiving table and bonding over mutual disdain of famous personalities. To me, that’s something to be thankful for.