captain america and freedom
May 19, 2014
so, while i have actually watched cap2, i”ve seen enough meta and fangirling over it that i have a fairly decent idea that one of the themes is steve sort of having to realize that there is still war and that ‘freedom” in the US is not what it used to be.
but what interests me is the way that this theme is largely about us citizens and the compromises they”ve made in the name of freedom.
i tweeted a few days ago that a captain america that was truly about freedom (and in the movies about standing up to bullies) would have to be super villain captain america whose sole mission in life was to dismantle all of the us state apparatus.
it is weird the way that current fandom love for captain america has allowed this strange strain of american patriotism to creep into a lot of discussions and fic in ways that are a little surprising. because, as much as i personally can enjoy many aspects of the mcu steve rogers, it can”t be forgotten that steve/captain america really is meant to embody ‘america” as idealogy made flesh.
this means that he, like america, is ultimately evil and a force of oppression and horror for the entire world. most especially including the people whose his existence violently erases and requires their absolute disappearance (ie, the Indigenous people of america).
the United States is not at war; the United States is war (emphasis in original)
which also means that captain america is also war. this is what he, in actual fact, embodies. not notions of freedom. not democracy. war.
but, if in fic, or whatever, one wants to make him about freedom, what happens if steve finally realizes/understands this? that he is the embodiment of war. that his face, rather than standing as the ‘foil” for the red skull, is in fact, a visage far more terrifying and a promise of more horror for the world than the red skull could ever be.
that his blonde hair, his blue eyes, and all the rest are literally the face of true evil on this planet.
what happens when he learns of the realities of the ongoing genocide of the Indigenous peoples of america?1 what happens when he learns that during the very same war he was fighting in, the us was detaining its own Japanese citizens? what happens when he learns about the drone strikes in the middle east/pakistan and all the children dying because of america?
what happens when he realizes that he is the problem, rather than the solution?