In a blog post titled “Steve Rogers isn’t just any hero,” Steven Atwell explains why Captain America, as a working-class artist and soldier in the 1930s and 1940s, would probably have very liberal values.
“Steve Rogers grew up poor in the Great Depression, the son of a single mother who insisted he stayed in school despite the trend of the time… then orphaned in his late teens when his mother died of TB. [H]e came of age in New York City at a time when the New Deal was in full swing… and a militant anti-racist movement was growing.
“Then he became a fine arts student. To be an artist in New York City in the 1930s was to be surrounded by the “Cultural Front.” And if a poor kid like Steve Rogers was going to college as a fine arts student, odds are very good that he was going to the City College of New York at a time when an 80% Jewish student body is organizing student trade unions, anti-fascist rallies, and the “New York Intellectuals” were busily debating Trotskyism vs. Stalinism vs. Norman Thomas Socialism vs. the New Deal in the dining halls and study carrels.”
Essentially, when people expect Captain America to be a hyper-conservative patriot, they’re being influenced by a modern view of 1950s post-war American morals (thanks, Mad Men) and the 21st century values associated with being a military hero who wears a giant American flag all the time. This doesn’t actually take into account Steve Rogers’ “real” cultural background.
By rebooting Captain America’s origin story back to the 1940s, the Marvel movie universe opened him up to being one of the most politically engaged superheroes of the present day. Marvel remains one of the most popular fanfic fandoms on Ao3, with Captain America as one of the two most popular characters (usually paired with Iron Man). And a hell of a lot of those fanfics take the personality and ideals of the current movieverse Captain America, and use them to explore the kind of slice-of-life situations that don’t usually make it to the big screen.
hi! i really love reading your teen wolf episode reviews (and your reviews of everything in general!). I was wondering if you've got plans to do the same for season 3b?
idk, i don’t have any plans to review teen wolf at the moment. i’ve only watched the first episode of 3b, and if i catch up once the season’s over, i doubt anyone will rly be interested in reading recaps of episodes they watched like 2 months go.
In the 2011 Captain America movie, Steve Rogers’ first mission after getting his supersoldier powers is to go on a propaganda tour.
Rather than saving kittens from trees or battling supervillains (or fighting the Nazis, which is what he actually signed up to do), Steve ends up as a USO performer, touring with a team of chorus girls.
Each night, they perform a song called “Star Spangled Man,” during which Captain America punches a Hitler lookalike on the nose and implores the audience to buy war bonds. The whole thing is a perfect parody of 1940s sepia-toned Norman Rockwell patriotism, and Captain America—or rather Steve Rogers, behind the mask—grows to hate it. He wanted to do his duty back when he was an undernourished, asthmatic artist, but now he’s a muscle-bound Adonis, it turns out his main job is to sell comics and appear in propaganda movies.
Captain America: The First Avenger follows a pretty typical superhero storyline: an underdog character gains superpowers, battles adversity while trying to do the right thing, suffers a loss, and finally defeats the bad guy. Of course, the movie ends with Cap crashing his plane into the ocean and waking up in 21st-century New York , but the lack of a happy ending is the only major departure from the traditional superhero narrative.
The interesting part is how Captain America’s fandom chooses to interpret him not just as a character, but as a symbol.
“Star Spangled Man” is a perfect example. In the movie, it’s a cheesy musical number that’s used to illustrate Steve Rogers’ growing frustration with being a “performing monkey” rather than a real soldier, but fans remixed it to have a more nuanced meaning. Ryan Sanura recorded a haunting acoustic cover of the song, inspired by a fanfic by author and Marvel fan Sam Starbuck, in which Steve Rogers comes across a modern-day interpretation of the song. “It’s not an anthem to raise money for a war or get enlistment numbers up,” Steve realizes. “It’s a cry out for help. Who’ll rise and fall, give their all for America?” In the 21st century, the answer is no longer clear.
"If they think you’re crude, go technical. If they think you’re technical, go crude"
Since Cyberpunk made the jump from subgenre to subculture some time around the end of the Cold War, people have been suggesting, arguing, and misinterpreting just what the accompanying fashion consists of.
Let’s be clear here- this is just another one of those, based on what I’ve seen. There are no defined “rules” (aside from these), and by no means should everyone follow this guide to the letter. That said, there’s a lot from both primary sources (print and digital works) and the online communities to go by. Let’s take a look at some of the styles you’ll run into.
Gen 1 draws heavily from classic cyberpunk print media, as well as punk and rivethead fashions. It has a rougher, more hard-edged look than other styles, often with a hint of 1980’s retro. Expect lots of leather (including gothninja brands at the high end), most if not all black. Might incorporate military influence (including more Militech-style items). Notable accessories include the omni-present mirrorshades, as well as cowboy boots (exotic leathers preferred) and leather or canvas jika-tabi.
Gen 2 isn’t seen often nowadays- it got it’s big break in The Matrix, and is still the image of cyberpunk fashion in many people’s minds. Trench coats, latex, and fetishwear abound. An interesting and even more rarely-seen variant is Cyberdelic, which centers around the interaction between computers and altered states. Tea-shades and fractals are the way to go if you’re aiming for this.
Gen 3 is heavily influenced by Techwear (and Techninja style in particular). It has a more urban, sleek look. Functionality is a major factor- technical fabrics, transformability, and modularity are all sought after. Fits are usually looser, hoods are near-requisite, and patterning is usually futuristic. Color is often more prevalent, as is metallics. Militech is a variant that focuses on tactical and mil-spec clothing.
In part 2, I’ll show you what brands, designers, and items to look for, and where to find them. Part 3 will focus on accessories, body mods, EDC, hair, and makeup.
Hi, I was just wondering what the significance of Bedelia leaving her perfume (I think it was perfume?) behind when she left? I wasn't sure if I missed something or if it was meant to be vague, or if its an insignificance that I'm putting too much thought into. Thanks for your time!
I think I should have phrased that last ask differently. I get that the perfume is Bedelia’s ‘scent’ so to speak, and Hannibal can use smell to identify people, so its sort of like leaving an aspect of her identity behind. I was more wondering do you think it was supposed to be referencing a specific event (presumably an event unknown to the audience at this point in time?) or if it was just the leaving something behind as a bit of a ‘fuck you’ to Hannibal?
It was the same perfume she was wearing when she came to his office to cut ties with him, or when he smelled it, he wouldn’t have remembered her saying, “the conclusion that I’ve drawn is that you are dangerous.”
It also evokes the specific act of Lecter referencing Clarice’s perfume in SOTL, and later hand-selecting a certain scent for her in Hannibal.
I’ve read a few posts that said that Bedelia leaving the perfume behind was a “fuck you” and some that said quite the opposite (I had been going to link a few but then discovered there’s so many of both, there’s really no point), so there’s plenty of opinions out there on this already, but here is mine.
I think the words “fuck you” are a bit tasteless to describe Bedelia’s communication with Hannibal at that point or at any other, and thus rather out of character for her. Hannibal’s affection for her is real: she knows it’s real, which we see in her exchange with Will Graham where she mentions the “small comfort” to Will that Hannibal did everything he did to him because he thought it was in Will’s best interests. She identifies with Will—Hannibal has traumatized them both with similar motivations and emotions toward them—so by extension, she knows the same is true of Hannibal’s feelings toward her. His feelings are authentic, and as a therapist in general—and Hannibal’s therapist specifically—she can recognize and respect how genuine he is, in his way.
Her feelings for Hannibal were also authentic, or she never would have tolerated him for so long. It’s not so simple, when you’ve been traumatized by someone you care about, to work out your “issues” with them with a simple “fuck you.” Bedelia knows this. She is a good psychiatrist, as well as being self-aware, and I doubt very much she would simplify her own emotions down in this way.
Thus I tend to think it was more of a goodbye than otherwise, a nod to his personality and to his tastes. Just the fact that she left shows that she knew he was going to be there: she didn’t have to leave the perfume behind to make a statement, but by leaving it there, she essentially says, “I see you there, Hannibal. Here is something you might remember me by. Adieu.” (Let it not be au revoir.)
In that, there are elements a gracious leave-taking, but—granted—there’s also a bit of a “check—and mate.” Traumatized, she was unpredictable, and being unpredictable even to Hannibal, she survived.
Schrodinger’s Douchebag: One who makes douchebag statements, particularly sexist, racist or otherwise bigoted ones, then decides whether they were “just joking” or dead serious based on whether other people in the group approve or not.
“When we took Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” into a maximum security woman’s prison on the West Side… there’s a scene there where a young woman is told by a very powerful official that “If you sleep with me, I will pardon your brother. And if you don’t sleep with me, I’ll execute him.” And he leaves the stage. And this character, Isabel, turned out to the audience and said: “To whom should I complain?” And a woman in the audience shouted: “The Police!” And then she looked right at that woman and said: “If I did relate this, who would believe me?” And the woman answered back, “No one, girl.” And it was astonishing because not only was it an amazing sense of connection between the audience and the actress, but you also realized that this was a kind of an historical lesson in theater reception. That’s what must have happened at The Globe. These soliloquies were not simply monologues that people spoke, they were call and response to the audience. And you realized that vibrancy, that that sense of connectedness is not only what makes theater great in prisons, it’s what makes theater great, period.”—Oskar Eustis on ArtBeat Nation (he told the same story on Charlie Rose)
O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are you, that can’t slay a hedgehog with his naked ass?The devil excretes, and your army eats. You will not, you son of a bitch, make subjects of Christian sons; we’ve no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck your mother.
You Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, Armenian pig, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig’s snout, mare’s ass, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, screw your own mother!
So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won’t even be herding Christian pigs. Now we’ll conclude, for we don’t know the date and don’t own a calendar; the moon’s in the sky, the year with the Lord, the day’s the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our ass!
What a marvelous display of aggressive douchery. It’s actually even better if you read the Sultan’s letter first, because the entire set-up of this letter is to parody the Sultan’s diplomatic language in the original. Wikipedia has some more basic info on the 19th century recovery of the letter BTW, plus the painting that was inspired by the exchange.