Perhaps some of you have been following the controversy surrounding the film "Tropic Thunder." And it's not as if the cast and film crew were unaware that their work would raise some eyebrows, as their omnipresent media campaigning demonstrates. Robert Downey Jr's role as a white actor who dyes his skin to play a black soldier is discussed in just about every interview and set piece on the film that I've seen, with each focusing on how the point of the film is to mock Hollywood, not offend "real" people. And, given what I've seen of the film's reviews, their strategy seems to have worked. Stiller is given much credit for an entertaining film that turns Hollywood pompousness on its head, and Downey earns raves for following his Iron Man success with an iron-jawed, intentionally self-absorbed caricature. So, why is there so much controversy? Probably because the filmmakers and reviewers all anticipated the wrong controversy, and this error in judgment tells us a lot about the current state of identity politics and cultural politicking today.