softly falling rain
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: grimdark is lazy, good is hard work and Jewish American superheroes

pluckyyoungdonna:

orangepenguino:

kerrypolka:

First I know nothing about Marvel comics: all my context I got from the films Thor (delightful) and Avengers Assemble (remember very little except it had good jokes and the final action scene was too long), and reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier last night because of this which I saw a few people reblog:

image

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(okay and also all the gifsets of Sebastian Stan crying. I WAS MIS-SOLD ON THIS FOR THE RECORD, THERE IS LITTLE TO NO CRYING AND ALSO HIS HAIR IS AWFUL.)

If Kavalier and Clay taught me anything it’s threesomes are the best solutions to love triangles Jewish-American cartoonists in the 1930s and early ’40s were all over inventing subversively American heroes to fight Hitler, and I was very unsurprised when I got home and looked it up to learn that Captain America was created by two Jewish guys too. (I know this is really basic comics history stuff and I’m sure fifty people have written dissertations on “He’s A Mensch: The Jewish Identities of Captain America and Superman” or whatever.) What really slotted everything into place was realising that Captain America was created and entered on a cover punching Hitler in the face before America had entered the war.

Basically (right?) Captain America was created by two Jewish-Americans to shame the US into properly fighting Hitler.

Like, I am Captain America, the America you say you want to be, and I challenge you to put your money where your mouth is and actually do something about it. And yes he’s over-the-top and tacky but that’s where the challenge is, right? The chest-thumping American patriotism says “We are good and spread liberty! And also freedom!” and Captain America is like “great! I am that, and I have to point out you are not actually doing that”.

AND I think this is Jewishly on purpose, and here’s why:

Judaism has this important phrase/concept/slogan/life motto from the third-century-ish text Pirkei Avot, which goes: Lo alecha hamlacha ligmor (it’s not to you to complete the work of repairing the world) v’lo atah ben chorin l’hivatel mimena (but neither may you desist from it). You won’t be able to fix the world by yourself, or in your lifetime, but that doesn’t absolve you of responsibility to work towards it.

I feel like grimdark/anti-heroes are a response to the fact that the world is neither good nor moral, like “well if the world isn’t like that, I won’t be either”. But they’re also excuses for not working towards fixing the world: I won’t bother because it’s all fucked anyway. Lo alecha and Captain America say, yes, it is fucked, but you still have to work towards fixing it. And yes, it’s hard, that’s why it’s called work.

Which is why I think saying “Oh, if Captain America represents the US he should be a dick, because the US is a dick” or “Captain America is an imperialist symbol of US superiority and is therefore bad” are both off base and a dodge of having to do that hard work.  

"If Cap = America then Cap = dick because America = dick" is basically just throwing hands up and going "right but guys have you noticed that actually America is imperialist and horrible? DO YOU SEE?!” and implying “so what can you do about that, right?”. Captain America says, “Try to make it better! is what you can do!”

And about saying he’s a symbol of US imperial superiority, I mean, he is a symbol of America but aimed as a criticism at real America.  He’s the American ideal cranked up to five million - for the purpose of shaming America for not living up to what it says it wants to be. And he is aimed at Americans, so I can see a criticism for him being US-centric in that metanarrative sense, but he’s yelling at America to sort their shit out and I think him yelling at non-USAmericans to sort their shit out would be much worse? But I definitely don’t think Cap is supposed to be about how great America is, he’s about pointing out exactly in what ways and how much America is failing to be great. And then saying “but, that doesn’t mean you get out of trying harder!”

Also, how great is it that his ‘weapon’ is a shield.

so um that’s what I thought about when I saw The Winter Solder last night. that and biceps.

This is amazing on so many levels and also makes me want to have a special fandom-centric Shvi’i shel Pesach/seventh night of Passover virtual seder table on Tumblr to talk about the intersections of Judaism and popular culture with food and media crit and discussions of the diaspora.  ALSO everyone should read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS 

(via mikes-grrl)

actualmenacebuckybarnes:

haha are you kidding me

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME

Look at Bucky turn around, grin ready on his face, Steve look at the flying car, just bonkers, ain’t it? But no, Steve’s not there.

Immediately, his expression drops. This guy’s on a date, and his best friend steps away from his side for one whole minute and Bucky’s face is all suddenly WORRY and DREAD.

Where’d Steve get himself off to now??

Oh shit, what if he inhales some pollen and dies?????

What if he finds some stairs and falls down them????

STEVE NO STEVE STOP DOING THINGS WHEN I’M NOT THERE STEVE

(Source: buckyremembers, via winterbrnes)

starsandatoms:

okay though if there’s anything that struck me on rewatching the first Cap movie it’s how much Steve and Bucky are such assholes to each other and it’s amazing

and like can you just imagine recovered!Bucky and Steve going on missions together and Steve being like

"wow Buck that thing you did there was actually kind of smart, all the stupid must’ve grown out in your hair"

and Bucky being all

"you might not know this, Steve, but there’s this thing we say these days that might be really useful for you to know and it goes like this: go fuck yourself"

and all the other avengers looking at each other like we read about you in history books, you are national heroes, what even

(via emilianadarling)

teaberryblue:

theholypythia:

Could you guys imagine if the only sex education people got was from bad fanfiction?

Well, there would be a lot more access to birth control because men would think they could get pregnant.

(via untitledbychoice)

temperamental-creature:

marvelous-gallifrey:

funnyfandomfeelz:

mermaidandthedrunks:

Supernatural fandom should be coming any moment now. 

an unexpected addition but highly appreciated

(Source: mastergamgee, via suzvoy)

audreyii-fic:


THE PROBLEMS WITH FANFICTION

always reblog because the suffering never ends

audreyii-fic:

THE PROBLEMS WITH FANFICTION

always reblog because the suffering never ends

(Source: funkes, via imadra-blue)

dollsahoy:

agentpaxieamor:

XKCD 4/18/2014

Mouse over text on the comic’s webpage: “I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.”

dollsahoy:

agentpaxieamor:

XKCD 4/18/2014

Mouse over text on the comic’s webpage: “I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.”

(via roguewrld)

I just saw Captain America : The Winter Soldier and I just realized….

roguewrld:

cassieisnotapie:

Peggy Carter helped found SHIELD after Steve “died”. 

It was founded at the camp that Steve trained at.

On marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Agent Ward says “Someone really wanted our initials to spell SHIELD”

Guys. 

Peggy created and named the entire spy organization after STEVE’S SHIELD. 

OH MY FREAKING GOD.

I actually blame Howard? Peggy seemed more subtle than that.

Yeah, actually in the Agent Carter short Howard calls Peggy’s misogynistic asshole boss to invite Peggy to DC to “run SHIELD with him.”

One more drop in the “Howard was weirdly obsessed with Steve after he died” bucket. No wonder Tony had complex about it in Avengers lol.

nianeyna:

phantastus:

railerat:

yellowcrayonwillow:

Hi please watch this poor mailman get attacked by a cat it’s v. important

TAKE IT WITH YOU.

I THINK MY FAVORITE PART ABOUT THIS IS HOW CHEERFUL THE MAILMAN IS. HE AIN’T EVEN MAD.

I wouldn’t be either because this is hysterical.

the best part is the implication that this happens EVERY DAY

(via jerakeenc)

Natasha is incredibly perceptive, and no doubt understands that Steve’s problems are less to do with his fish-out-of-water situation of being in the 21st century, and more to do with his crushing loneliness. Steve gives every impression of genuinely liking people, but he’s lost everyone he ever knew and grew up with, and is surrounded by people that he doesn’t really trust. He’s so lonely that he’s literally at the point of having intensely emotional conversations with a guy he met while jogging at the park, so Natasha is making the effort to help him improve his social life.

All of those girlfriend recommendations also come with a subtextual hint that she doesn’t want to date him, to discourage off the possibility of him getting too attached because she’s his only friend. She’s purposefully putting herself in the role of “bantery team member” rather than potential love interest, and as a result they seem to have a pretty close relationship already — or as close as you can ever get to Black Widow, anyway.

Black Widow and Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

(Source: hellotailor, via avelera)

(via jerakeenc)

dynamicafrica:

"Bloom": VLISCO’s Spring 2014 Lookbook.

In their latest Spring 2014 lookbook, Vlisco, the Dutch Wax clothing and textile brand with a strong presence in West and Central Africa, reinterprets florals with their appropriately titled ‘Bloom’ collection.

(via lightningplasma)