#011 Eye of The Tiger

hi pals,

if you’ve spoken a word to me in the last couple years, i’ve probably rambled on about rocky iii. the film opens with rocky on the top of the world. he’s beaten apollo creed. he’s got a wife and kid he loves. he lives in a mansion. it’s a good, comfortable life.

mickey tells rocky to hang it up. the title-defending fights he was setting up weren’t fixed, they just weren’t killers — “the worst thing that happened to you, that can happen to any fighter: you got civilized.”

rocky attempts to retire, but mr. t comes out of nowhere and haggles adrian, rocky’s wife. mickey tells him not to fight, but rocky does. he looses, bad. mickey dies of a heart attack. rocky wants redemption but he doesn’t know if he can do it. apollo creed works with rocky to bring him back to life — that’s right! rocky’s enemy brings him back to life!

then — the greatest scene of all time, a top 5 in american film history, number 1, with a bullet — adrian and rocky on the beach.

Adrian: you gotta want to do it for the right reasons. Not for the guilt over Mickey, not for the people, not for the title, not for money or me, but for you. Just you. Just you alone. Rocky: And if I lose? Adrian: Then you lose. But at least you lose with no excuses, no fear. And I know you can live with that.

rocky comes back, hugs apollo creed a lot — not in a sexual way but not not in a sexual way. here’s where we start to finish.

at the final fight, mr. t tells rocky he’s gonna beat him real bad. rocky tells him to go for it. we’re off to the races. rocky is fast. he was slow in the first fight, tired and weak. we’re now back to peak rocky shape. the strategy is to tire mr. t. rocky’s taking hit after hit and mr. t is breathing heavy. remember — he’s not getting killed, he’s getting mad! mr. t’s exhausted by the third round and rocky knocks him out.

okay —

that was probably too long of a synopsis but trust me, it rules. i’ve watched that film dozens of times. truthfully, it was one of the first things that picked me up after years of alcohol and drug use. rocky iii is a comeback film. that’s all.

i see a lot of rocky iii in the election. dems, let’s be real with ourselves. we were spoiled. we lost that eye of the tiger. it’s that feeling we need to get back.

last week, i attended an infowars cpac after-party. i know.

i think democrats sometimes belittle the density of the republican party and so, for me, it’s important to see it up front. after trump won, there were many protests at the trump tower. i would sit off to the side and watch the strategy of republicans counter-protesting. when laura loomer protested twitter at the nyc hq, i was there taking notes. i didn’t see the eye of the tiger at either of these events — but last week, at the infowars party, i saw it.

the sunset room, where this event took place, is nothing special. the first floor is a restaurant/bar that serves pretty delicious hotel food. the second floor is where the party took place. when i walked in, gavin mcinnes was reciting a rehearsed comedy bit about traditional nuclear families. it was a white-nationalist preaching to a racist choir. every now and then, folks in the crowd would shout derogatory rhetoric back. trust me — this isn’t even a scoop. the whole thing was live-streamed.

throughout the night, attendees ate catered finger food and drank from an open bar that overlooked the potomac river. it was — in large part, an event filled with laughter and smiles. i always thought of the radicalized right as a group of very angry people. this wasn’t that. these folks had found their community.

outside, i bummed a cigarette off a true believer. it was an american spirit cigarette, of course. this is when the tone started to shift. it was more introspective and morose. i assumed people would start asking me questions about why i was there but instead, they launched into their life stories. how they felt left out before they found the movement. how they’d been searching for something their whole lives and how donald trump filled that void. it was a cult. i won’t get into specifics, but that was the tone.

if i’m being honest, i felt bad for them. throughout the night, i had this crushing feeling that if we — and by we, i mean democrats — weren’t always shouting at them that they’d rationally see how they’ve been radicalized. that there would be a way back. maybe that thinking is delusion, but it was my one hopeful thought. when i walked into the party, it seemed so big and loud. by the time i walked out, it felt small.

i want to be really clear about what i’m writing here. i didn’t attend this event to cause a raucous. though i found the entirety of it despicable, i wasn’t there to protest. this was their home turf. i was there to be respectful, listen, and take notes. i was there to remind myself of the stakes. i was there to get my eye of the tiger back.

we’re coming up on super tuesday. pete, amy, elizabeth, and mike will be in a very precarious situation. it’s my opinion — that while all of them have ran game changing campaigns, none of them individually have it in them. our nominee against donald trump will either be joe biden or bernie sanders.

either way, i’m all in. i hope you are, too.

talk soon,
rk

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