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  INCOMING! DECEMBER 19, 2005.  


Ah, if only Brokeback Mountain had actually been in Ireland. Northern Ireland, actually. Today is the first day that gay couples are same-sex civil partnerships become legal. It's a precursor to Scotland's acceptance of civil partnerships on Tuesday and next March, and Wednesday, when they're legal in Wales and England. (Elton John is actually scheduled to get married that day, officially removing all those niggling questions you had about his sexual orientation.)

Speaking of going down, it was eight years ago today that James Cameron's Titanic was released in theaters. We were honored enough to be at one of the very first public screenings of Titanic in Los Angeles in late November, back when everyone thought the film was going to be this huge expensive flop that would end everyone's careers. The sad human beings that are Los Angeles celebrity "journalists" were foaming at the mouth; people couldn't wait to just destroy the film. And then everyone saw it for the first time, with no preconceived notions, and they just bawled their freaking eyes out. They surely all deny it to this day, but we were there, and we remember: People lost their minds when they saw Titanic for the first time. Sure, the movie's got all kinds of flaws -- many flaws -- but on a visceral level, it was a pretty overwhelming experience to see it for the first time. And that was eight years ago today. In case you needed to feel older than shit.






So, Jamie Foxx. Gotta be honest: Guy's starting to really piss us off. He's an Oscar-winning actor, he's making more money than Oprah (OK, not Oprah, but everybody else), he's a good-looking fella (particularly for a 38-year-old; did anybody else realize he was that old?) and, according to that supposed sex video circulating about, he's hung like Milton Berle. And that's not all: He can also sing. His first album, "Unpredictable," is released today, and almost all reviews have been positive. He co-wrote most of the songs -- including his duet with Mary J. Blige -- and, having been classically trained on the piano, plays that too. Oh, and he juggles, plays the Theremin with his feet and satisfies a whole battalion of Carolina Panthers cheerleaders as well. Guy's got skills. Dick.

We're not one to hold grudges here, but, hey, South Carolina? We haven't forgotten. It was 165 years ago today that the source of countless snickering COCKS hats among Pi Kapps across the country decided to secede from the Union, the first state to do so. After we whupped a little rebel ass, we were nice enough to allow South Carolina come back into the fold, but only after we made sure they'd end up stuck being known as the home of Leeza Gibbons, Strom Thurman, Steve Spurrier and Hootie.






Here's something terrifying: "Comedian" Andy Dick is 40 years old today. Can you imagine being 40 years old and still gallivanting around like a goddamned moron like Andy Dick? What's it like in Andy Dick's bathroom this morning? He looks in the mirror, splashes water on his face, looks again. Is this what his life, his career, was supposed to turn out like, back in those halcyon days of "The Ben Stiller Show?" He was an up-and-coming comic then, a strange androgynous mix of lunacy and manic energy. Stiller was too much of a straight man, Bob Odenkirk too bland, Janeane Garofalo too frumpy. He would be the real star; he would be the breakout mainstream hit. And now what is he? Now what happens? He's 40. Dick looks back in the mirror, sighs and figures, fuck it, might as well do another line.

On this date in 1983, former President Gerald Ford inexplicably showed up on an episode of "Dynasty," guaranteeing that stoned people watching the Soap Opera Network at 2:30 a.m. on a Tuesday had their minds freaking blown.





We have always remained surprised that not more has been/was made of the attempt by "shoe bomber" Richard Reid to blow up American Airlines Flight 63, from Paris to Miami. To recap, Reid jammed a bunch of explosives into his shoe and tried to light them; a heads-up flight attended smelled sulfur -- we know everybody likes Jet Blue, but somehow we find it unlikely the Abercrombie models who serve as their flight attendants would have been alert enough to make a difference -- and then the whole plane pounced. This ended up one of those sigh-of-relief stories and now the goofy-looking Reid is considered a bit of a joke, but it's important to remember the context. This was in 2001, right before the Christmas holidays, and everyone was already jittery as high heck. Think about how close Reid was to succeeding? Can you imagine? You think the end of 2001 was bad as was? If Reid had succeeded, people would have been terrified to fly for a rather extended period of time, and we would have felt like we were under perpetual attack. We would have all lost our shit; we know we would have. It just seems like that was a more important incident than people give it credit for.

Oh, and Barbara Billingsley is 83 today. She was the mom in "Leave It To Beaver," which, as you all know, was not a porn film.






This is essentially your last day for Christmas shopping -- sorry, we're part of the war on Christmas; we mean to say "Anal Rape Shopping" -- so you better get out there, because a mall on a Saturday Christmas Eve is not something we'd like to be a part of. And since this will be the last Incoming entry of 2005, we feel like we should let you know what will happen the rest of the year.

You will eat like a stupid pig and feel terrible about it, but not as terrible as you'll feel when you go to the bar all your old friends from home go to and realize that everyone else is happier and more well-adjusted than you are. You will realize that you haven't done much with your life; you will realize the sum of your accomplishments is somewhere just above a pile of bat guano. You will sigh and go home and stare in the mirror, feeling exactly like Andy Dick. And then you will go to a New Years Eve party and desperately try to pretend like you're having fun. And you will fail.

Oh, and Eddie Vedder is 41 years old today. Try that puppy on for size.




Will Leitch is a managing editor of The Black Table and editor of the sports site


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table.