The mic drop myth

I’m probably not alone when I say that I love a good mic drop.

It’s hard not to cheer when Matt Damon’s character in “Good Will Hunting” slams a cocktail napkin with a phone number on it against the window, shouting to a snobby Harvard kid on the other side: “How do you like them apples?!” It is really tough to keep from wildly celebrating Angela Bassett’s swagger as she walks from a burning car, filled with her cheating husband’s things, in “Waiting to Exhale.” And how about the “I am the president,” mic drop-worthy line from Michael Douglas, playing the president in the movie “The American President”?

I mean … to have the absolutely perfect last word. (Insert chef’s kiss emoji).

Alas, mic drops in real life are much more difficult to achieve. And that, of course, is because there isn’t a fade to black moment and there is no final curtain. Life continues to spin, moment after moment. While this might seem obvious, it appears some people, like Podium Guy from the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, are just discovering this nuance. Instead of a perfect “... and scene!” mic drop, recent weeks have shown we actually have a few different mic drop varieties. They are:

The “It’s Not Over” mic drop: Remember Adam Johnson from the deadly insurrection at the Capitol? He probably thought this was his mic drop moment. Here he is mugging for the camera while making off with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s podium. Really funny, Adam. The hilarity didn’t ensue until two days later when authorities arrested the 36-year-old at his home in Florida, where he’s a husband and stay-at-home dad.

The “Turn of Events” mic drop: Others may experience a mic drop moment, or moments, and then see things take a dramatic turn. I think The Lincoln Project had a very legitimate (and very well deserved) mic drop on Saturday, November 7, the day media outlets across the country officially declared Joe Biden the next president. I’ve been a fan of this group of former Republican operatives for months for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I have a deep affinity for those who do the right thing when it’s really hard. And, for a group of former Republicans, calling out the bullshit of Donald Trump and the devastating results of his administration, was not easy, but it was absolutely right. That’s why it was so heartbreaking to hear that one of the founders of the group, John Weaver, used his position of power to prey on young men, sending unsolicited and sexually suggestive messages, according to news reports. That reporting opened the door to the MAGA viciously piling on members of the group in the following days.

The “Are We There Yet” mic drop: After four years of a president who golfed more than he governed, who wouldn’t criticize the hate groups and Q-anon quacks and who always put his re-election over reigning in the deadly coronavirus, I was ready for a big we-beat-him mic drop. But it took a long time to arrive.

And when it did come, in the form of the pleasantly traditional inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, it was solemn without a hint of side eye. It was historical and emotional and inspirational (Amanda Gorman, ladies and gentlemen). I was appropriately cued up for a good clapback to four years of MAGA madness filled with white supremacy and misogyny and double standards and governmental failure.

But it wasn’t time for a mic drop. Instead of dropping the mic, Gorman handed the microphone to all of us. She told us:

“If we merge mercy with might,

and might with right,

then love becomes our legacy,

and change our children's birthright.

So let us leave behind a country

better than the one we were left with.”

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