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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Captain America Is Straight and Libertarian—Deal with It

There is an epidemic of naval gazers in this country. People who take a nice piece of pop culture that they don’t really care about, then nitpick it to death while projecting their own political pet issues onto it.

This is resoundingly true with the new Marvel film, Captain America: Civil War. 

Civil War is great, as far as superhero movies go. The beginning lags, but once it gets off the ground, the spectacle of superhero on superhero ultraviolence is unrivaled by any modern movie. It was everything Batman v Superman wanted to be. Civil War’s ending was not the usual heroes-set-aside-their-differences and fight a common foe, but bittersweet with a clever twist.

Fans and critics loved this movie, so that means someone has to tear it down.

Two habitual naval gazing rags, Salon and Vanity Fair, have done their jobs well, finding just the right jabs to take down a straight-white-male like Captain America.

Salon’s piece, “Captain America’s a douchey libertarian now” details Cap’s descent from lovable liberal globalist to vile Ayn Rand-reading individualist.

In Civil War, Captain America refuses to sign a dumb UN accord that would basically neuter him as a superhero and make him unable to help his friend Bucky, who he believes was framed. The accord aimed to turn The Avengers into ineffectual UN peacekeepers, like the ones that did such a good job in Bosnia and Rwanda.

“[W]e have this distracting plot where Steve suddenly turns from a level-headed liberal to a Ayn Randian libertarian douchebag who throws tantrums because he has to do grown-up stuff like share power instead of make unilateral decisions for other people,” says the Salon piece by Amanda Marcotte.

Yes, we do get a bad-ass libertarian Cap, who makes his own judgements and fights for his own sense of justice. He tells the UN pansies to eat it and prevents his friend from being executed without trial by extra-judicial government agents.

Captain America is an American and reflects the values of individualism not liberal collectivism. Basically all superheroes have hints of libertarianism in so far as vigilantism is diametrically opposed to government oversight.

Do you think Batman would sign some stupid UN treaty? Hell no.

And then there’s this Vanity Fair piece, “Is This the One Flaw in the Otherwise Great Captain America: Civil War?”

The one flaw is Cap’s outright heterosexuality.

Apparently Cap’s love interest — who takes up, at tops, five minutes of the movie — was too much for the author, Joanna Robinson. A sexually ambiguous Captain would have played better into Robinson’s fantasy of a Cap + Bucky romance.

“If Disney isn’t inclined to give audiences a gay superhero, couldn’t they have at least left us the dream of Bucky and Cap?”

If Disney wants to make a gay superhero, they’ll make a gay superhero. This is already the third Captain America movie and its not the first time Cap has revealed his “heterosexual virility.”

Robinson, if you want to make the Cap-Bucky romance a reality, write erotic fan fiction like a normal person. You can even throw in a steamy Security Council scene for good, liberal measure.

William Hicks