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  INCOMING! MAY 17, 2004.  
   
   
 

Monday

The world wasn't exactly abuzz with calls for a cinematic interpretation of Homer, but "Troy" still wound up grossing $45.6

 
 

million this weekend. Americans rushed out to see this flick because they:

a.) need to be the person who has seen the new "event" movie, or…
b.) need some Brad Pitt-inspired masturbation fodder.

Pitt's a very handsome man, clearly -- but he's truly at his best when playing sleazy psychos

   
 

("Fight Club," "12 Monkeys," "Snatch"). Truth is, Pitt's a wiry bumpkin from Missouri, and he seems kind of silly using one of those affected British accents Hollywood gives to actors in order to denote "foreign" and/or "the past." He was perfect with a relaxed twang, seducing and subsequently robbing Geena Davis in "Thelma and Louise," but in epic films like "Legends of the Fall" or "Troy," he tends to seem inept.

Nevertheless, images of a muscular, long-haired, golden Pitt that inundated the media leading up to the release of "Troy" seemed to do the trick. Hollywood ain't dumb, and neither is Pitt, who's been bragging for the past couple weeks about how wife Jennifer Anniston likes him to wear the "Troy" costume skirt in the bedroom. The Brad Pitt line of male skirts -- coming soon to a store near you.

 

Tuesday

In an absurd illustration of futility, democratic primaries will be held today in Oregon (58 delegates), Arkansas (47 delegates) and Kentucky (57 delegates). It's hard to imagine a robust turnout, given

 
  that there is only one viable candidate left in the race, but it should be a bit better than in Alabama, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana, where primaries won't be held until June.

So for the record, a U.S. presidential candidate's viability in New Hampshire and Iowa can make or break a campaign, while the choice of voters in Oregon, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, Alabama, South Dakota and Montana are literally irrelevant. Viva democracy.

   
 

 

Though, to be fair, Dennis Kucinich is still hanging around. He's cute like that.

 

Wednesday

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid M. Kasuri begins a three-day visit to Washington today to discuss "bilateral relations" with Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell. The US leaders are

 
  expected to urge Pakistan to take more effective steps to rid the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan of Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist elements.

No word as to whether Powell and Rice will mention how the Iraq war has, of course, made it difficult for the US to help rid the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan of Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist elements. It's also unknown whether Powell or Rice will mention how kissing Pakistan's ass since September 11, 2001 has prevented the US from ever properly investigating how the father of

   
 

Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, was instrumental in the sale of nuclear weapons technology to Iran, Libya and possibly North Korea.

But, um, it's probably doubtful that'll come up.

 

Thursday

Military Police Cpl. Charles A. Graner, 35, will be arraigned today in connection with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. Among the criminal charges the U.S. Army has filed against Graner are:

 

 
 
  • conspiracy to maltreat detainees
  • dereliction of duty
  • maltreatment of detainees
  • assaulting detainees
  • committing indecent acts
  • obstruction of justice
  • adultery. (Yes, adultery!)

Still no word as to what will happen to the pride of Appalachia, Lynndie England, 21, who, it has recently been alleged, has been captured on video putting on live, candlelight sex shows with Graner.

   
 

In a most ludicrous defense of England, the New York Post reported last week that an outraged friend of England said the tapes of her having sex in the prison were personal to her and the boyfriend with whom she is "in love." Awwww...

 

Friday

President Bush will deliver a commencement speech today at Louisiana State University. It is the second of three speeches he will deliver this year, coming ahead of a June 2 appearance at LSU and

 
 

following a May 14 speech he gave to University in Mequon, Wis., the largest Lutheran university in North America.

Bush used the Concordia speech to showcase the softer side of his political agenda, ensuring that he wouldn't let separation of church and state get in the way of his promoting religion-oriented, faith-based initiatives aimed at helping "the poor" -- which presumably includes all individuals who make less than $100,000 a year. Ahem.

   
 

 

 

INCOMING! will run every Monday on The Black Table, starting, well, now. Writers will be rotated, and if you're interested in contributing one, email Will Leitch at leitch@blacktable.com.