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The Mit Hits the Fan, or The Agony of Victory

“The Mit Hits the Fan, or the Agony of Victory”

After winning the Florida Primary, Mit Romney offered this critique of his success: “"Republican voters have been dealt a crappy hand, and that's all there is to it. It's like the year the Democrats had Michael Dukakis and Gary Hart—maybe even worse. To be perfectly honest, our party's in a weird, transitional phase right now. We don't really know who we are, what we stand for, or what it is we're even trying to do. On the other hand, in 2016, we should be stacked: Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels. Lot of great options there. This year is garbage, though, and I sincerely apologize for that. Anyway, off to Nevada." Romney then exited the stage to zero applause, got into his car, and was driven to the airport. Check out “the Onion” for more. Or if you’re a fan of the present imitating the “imagined” past, view this trailer of the 1998 movie “Bulworth”… It’s only gone get better yall.

Here's the link:

On Seeing "Red Tails" Through the Hype

Criticism of any cultural expression that has the purpose of authentically conveying African and African American history and culture is complicated. For some, such criticism might be read as “hatin’,” “crabs in a barrel,” or some other learned pathology we enact in the time honored ritual of consistently shooting ourselves in the foot. At the risk of being seen as doing these wrong things, I want to share some thoughts about “Red Tails.” After seeing the movie, the strongest feeling I am left with is that the movie barely got out of its own way so that a compelling story could be told.

Save for a few bright moments, the acting was mechanical and one-dimensional. Perhaps it was the focus on the planes flying and shooting—which was appropriately jaw dropping. But the characters, the dialogue, and even the plot seemed like one-way train tracks to get us to the action. Then there was the absence of even a picture of an African American woman—when it appears that Junior has been killed trying to escape a German prison, we learn that he has a wife and children. What a perfect set-up to zoom in on a portrait of his family. Cuba Gooding Jr., and Terrance Howard were on camera less, but for me their characters radiated more authenticity than the other actors who were more prominently featured.

And the thin jocularity among the brothers—playing cards, doing music, etc.—all rang hollow for me. It was enacted from the outside in—came off like a hurried drive through McDonalds for an Egg McMuffin as opposed to an egg white omelet (onions, mushrooms, a few pieces of diced apples…)—you know, something that takes a minute, but leaves a brother better off for taking that minute.

While watching “Red Tails,” I couldn’t help but think of Spike Lee’s beautifully rendered, textured, and multi-layered war story, “Miracle at St. Anna.” He artistically told a complicated story in an authentic manner that allowed me to experience the events of the story as if I were there. Funny thing, I don’t remember hyperbolic hype from African American media pushing Spike’s movie. He didn’t have any “Star Wars,” or “Indiana Jones,” just had some “Malcolm X” and “Do the Right Thing.” Who you are still seems to trump what you do in this figurative meritocracy: more on this at another time…

Meanwhile, back to “Red Tails.”

The profound and humbling contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen, the women who were also involved in that effort, as well as those who supported them on the ground is both big and nuanced, obvious and subtle. For me, it is a story that is more compellingly captured in the 1995 HBO movie, “Tuskegee Airmen” than in “Red Tails.”

Bottom line: you ought to go to see “Red Tails.” Though the bright moments appear as narrow corridors, they still lead the way into a profound history that needs to be experienced.