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Not since the O.J. Simpson verdict has America been so heavily divided and collectively dumbfounded. It's pretty much the same thing. (The exit polls were the Bronco chase.) As soon as John Kerry called for that press conference at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, a good portion of people -- 49 percent, actually -- were left with that same sinking feeling when O.J. was acquitted that somehow, someway, this actually happened, even though it seemed there was irrefutable evidence to prevent the outcome.

Half the country has been in a constant state of head-shaking since last Tuesday's election. The other half is cautiously optimistic. Although it's a lot easier to accept the notion that the majority of Americans are out-of-touch, Evangelical hicks who just don't know any better, the harsh reality of the situation is this: The Democrats shit the bed. Your guy failed. It was his election to lose. And he did. George W. Bush is our President once again, bloody glove and all.

On this date in 1994, the building blocks for the backwards America were laid. For the first time in 40 years, the Republican Party won control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in midterm congressional elections. Led by roly-poly Representative Newt Gingrich of Georgia, an empowered and aggressive GOP united under the "Contract with America," a 10-point legislative plan to reduce federal taxes, balance the budget and



deconstruct social welfare programs established during six decades of mostly Democratic rule in Congress. Gingrich's House of Representatives, home to the majority of the Republican freshmen, led the "Republican Revolution" by passing every bill incorporated in the Contract with America within the first 100 days of the 104th Congress.

Conversely, on November 8, 1960, misguided hope sprung eternal as John F. Kennedy became the youngest man ever to be elected president of the United States, narrowly beating Republican Vice President Richard Nixon. Kennedy's election also handicapped Democrats for the next 40 years, thanks to their unflagging belief that future presidential candidates must invoke him -- just like the GOP does with Jesus -- in order to win. This time around, Jesus took the square.




Tuesday is the day to dress scandalous, prove you're the ish and let 'em know they can't handle this. Why? Well, it's R-and-B singer Sisqo's 28th birthday! Sisqo first gained popularity in the mid 90's as a member of the knock-the-boots, Jodeci rip-off group Dru Hill, but is best known as the man who popularized hygienically irresponsible female undergarments with his oddly catchy "Thong Song." Sisqo can take great pride in the fact that he not only scored a number one hit, but also contributed to thousands of vaginal and urinary tract infections all over the world. Nicely done.

Speaking of pussies, Nick Lachey is also celebrating a birthday. The former 98-degree-er and Mr. Jessica Simpson turns 31. Lachey is currently trying to rebuild his tarnished image thanks to a tabloid report last week alleging Mr. Lachey had a raunchy, whipped-cream covered evening with a chesty porn star at a friend's bachelor party. The couple denies the allegations


and insists that they're still the same happy, intellectually challenged couple that America has grown to love and loathe.




One person who most likely won't be wearing a thong -- nor has dumps like a truck, truck, truck -- is Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who will lead a high-level delegation to Germany and Austria in official visits beginning today. During the visits, Prime Minister Meles is scheduled to hold talks with senior authorities in the two countries on bilateral and other issues of common interest, and he will also most likely fatten his tiny little belly dining on sausages and numerous other smoked German meats. Both Austrian and German dignitaries have been instructed to not make any jokes about Mr. Meles' weight, ask him if his country really knows if it's Christmas time at all or attempt to swat away the flies dining on his tear ducts. Meles is apparently very sensitive about things like that.

But what Mr. Meles does love is a good Tom Hanks animated movie. So he'll be crapping himself with joy to find out that The Polar Express is released


today, officially kicking off the holiday movie season, which will also have millions upping their medication and booking extra therapy sessions in anticipation of the always magical Christmas depression.




Today is Veterans Day, the holiday where gin-blossomed VFW members across the country spend the whole afternoon saluting and sobbing in their town's local observances. Get out and show your patriotism by helping a veteran change their catheter.

And who is this years National Honorary Spokesperson for Veterans Day, you ask? Well, none other than Jennifer Love Hewitt. No shit.

Hewitt will be visiting VA medical centers and sharing stories of veterans with school-age children nationwide. She also filmed a public service announcement reminding people that "Veterans Day is not a day off; it's our heroes' day," which, if viewed while under the influence of marijuana, would be characterized as a "total fucking bug out."
If you're not feeling patriotic and just feel like getting bombed and smoking cigarettes in the East


Village with a bunch of downtrodden liberals, then be sure to pop on down to Lit this evening, where The Black Table will co-host a reading that will also feature a live performance by local rocksters and wailers The Waylons. Learn more about the band (and listen to clips) at their Web site.

The event: The release of the band's first CD. So who are The Waylons? They're like Wilco if Wilco snorted Jack Daniels. No. They're like Son Volt if Son Volt was really into breaking windows with their minds. No. They're like Green Day if Green Day played soft acoustic rock and had days that were slightly less green. No. They're like Paul Simon if Paul Simon had hair and mowed lawns for a living. Anyway. They absolutely rule, and you should really come. There are drink specials too.

The first 10 people to show up will get an awkward, unfulfilling hug from Black Table managing editor Will Leitch, who also serves as The Black Table's own National Veteran's Day Representative.




Movie theater box-office numbers will plummet thanks to the completely unnecessary release of Seed of Chucky, the fifth installment in the scintillating Child's Play movie series. This time around, the spooky little red-haired doll has sex with a female doll, knocks it up and then spawns another doll that runs around killing people in delightfully grotesque ways. The movie has generated a lukewarm buzz thanks to a controversial scene featuring Chucky offing a look-a-like of pop singer Britney Spears. Having the wherewithal to know that the confusion could possibly damage her career and reputation, Spears insisted a disclaimer be put in the trailer stating she does not appear in the film.

Today is also the day when 99 percent of the country's regional daily newspapers will use a front-page photo of their town's Veteran's Day commemoration featuring a wheel-chair bound old man dressed in uniform clutching an American flag


to his heart. However, one newspaper in the country will feature one vet, pumped up on Cialis, ogling Jennifer Love Hewitt's cans. Be on the look out for that one.


A.J. Daulerio is a managing editor at The Black Table.


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table.