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Say it ain't so, Cap.

Thanks to longtime commenter "Brutus" for alerting me to this gem about what's currently going on in the pages of Captain America.  As anyone who's heard my talk on this subject knows, Cap has long been my favorite superhero--mainly because I find him far more interesting than the run-of-the-mill crimefighters.  In the late 1960s he ceased to be a New Frontier-style Cold Warrior and became a defender of American ideals such as liberty and justice, even (or perhaps especially) when these ideals came under attack from the U.S. government.  I stopped reading Captain America sometime in the 1980s, but my understanding was that the character had remained about the same.  From what I'd heard about the "Civil War" arc, he stood up in opposition to a post-9/11 effort by the Federal Government to force all individuals with superpowers to register with the state.  Not exactly the old Nazi-fighting Cap (let alone his 1950s incarnation as Captain America: Commie Smasher), but still a character worth admiring.

So now my hero turns his attention not to Nazis, or communists, or terrorists, or the Red Skull, but to...tea partiers, who in Marvel's hands are portrayed as angry racists bent on overthrowing the government.  I'm glad I don't read comics any longer; if I had paid money for that issue I would've been livid.

A few weeks ago I gave my Captain America talk at a high school in Florida (and, in case anyone is interested, I'll be giving the talk yet again early next month at OSU-Mansfield), and I prefaced it by asking the students if they'd ever heard of the character.  I was surprised, and a bit disappointed, at how few hands went up.  Now I'm glad.  It's now fairly common knowledge that Marvel killed off the character in 2007, but like most such deaths this one was temporary--they brought him back last year.  I wish they hadn't.

Categories > Pop Culture

Discussions - 9 Comments

A good indicator of how the culture has deteriorated is the decline in quality of Mad magazine from the '60s to the presesnt. The laughs in the earlier Mad required some knowledge of classics, theater, politics, and culture. Now it's juvenile vulgarity, though I must say I haven't looked at an issue in a couple years. It's still being published:

John, do the results of this FoxNews poll make you livid??

As of the time of this posting, 76% of respondents describe the Tea Party movement as "a fruitless mix of racism, conspiracy theories." Yikes. I'll concede the tiniest of credits to FN for offering that as an option, rather than, say, the more expected (and typical) "Honest, wholesome folks who want to fight Evil in every form."

Time to fire up the NLT list-serves before Fox closes the poll !!

John, I'd like to attend your Captain America talk at OSU-M if I can. Can you e-mail the details?

1. Foxnews and its travelling band of neocons were not at the heart of the tea party movement. It formed around Ron Paul, and ironicly, neocons are now trying to run "tea party" candidates against him. The movement got compromised by the circus of Glen Beck, Sara Palin and others and is now totally meaningless because its just another right vs. left shouting match. The mainstream people like Palin step into the movement and then do things like support Rick Perry of texas against the independant Medina who actualy talks about respecting the constitution.
2. No online poll at foxnews is credible because they get trolled by anon all the time. Anon is not really a left wing group,although a large portion does buy into a sort of corporate leftism that to the adopter seems anti corporate, but they do like to pick on foxnews so there may be people with voting bots rigging the polls, or people do believe this and why should they not considering its what they see in the media every day. Regardless of what polls say, do you believe the tea parties are racists?

It looks like Marvel caved to the tea partiers:

Is neocon just a word without meaning that we toss around now?

probably. I tend to think of it as people who are anti founding on the right. mabye the neo is not needed because I don't really know if conservatism really doe embrace the rise of the individual in the way the founders did.

I don't like that they did. I really think the great problem is people accept things knowing they can't be deffended. Its scary how much this is like Orwell, only we are not quite there yet. If the author felt that way he should have not backed down. He should have come up with evidence to support his case. Not try to slip something through then lie about it when he got caught. Quite a microcosim of modern man.

I'd be glad to, Gary. What's your e-mail address?

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