Friday, February 12, 2010

Passive aggressiveness: just one more service the Internet has to offer!

The Internet(s) is full of glorious, wonderful intellectual and social advances for all to enjoy.  It's also a place to make fun of other people endlessly without fear of recourse.  Franks and Beans has spoofed this idea (quite masterfully!), yet people STILL haven't been shamed out of some of the baser instincts the Internet seems to bring forth.

The newest example of this comes from the recent reaction to Captain America #602, in which an angry crowd similar to the "Tea Party" faction getting so much attention lately is portrayed.  In this issue, Cap and the Falcon point out that the people protesting in this movement are extremists, and those involved and (gasp!) others at Fox News, assuming the two aren't one and the same, have taken umbrage with this depiction.

Ignoring my own feelings toward these crazies fellow Americans, I was quite amused by a quote from Tea Party founder Judson Phillips, who lamented that "When I was a child in the '60s, Captain America was my favorite superhero.  It's really sad to see what has traditionally been a pro-America figure being used to advance a political agenda."

I can appreciate the nostalgia one can feel when a childhood hero grows up, but I appreciate even more the passive aggressiveness of the statement.  One of the best ways to angrily shout at people across the Internet(s) is to pretend that something makes you sad.  "It's sad but true that the Steelers are keeping their offensive coordinator even though they couldn't run the ball on third downs this year."  Oh, ho hum.  Woe is me!  But wait!  I'm actually making a calculated dig at a football coach - DISGUISED as a genuine lament!  How clever!

Oh, Internet(s).  You never fail to disappoint me.

The idea that Captain America never promoted some kind of agenda is, of course, ridiculously false.  How many World War II-era covers featured Steve Rogers beating up some Japanese stereotype?  The cover to the first issue featured Captain America punching Hitler in the face!!

Naturally, as popular comic books have become institutions, there has been less risky behavior in their pages - we knew that Steve Rogers would eventually return after being shot to death by Sharon Carter, if for no other reason than because he's got a movie coming out soon.  But to say that Captain America should never be controversial or take some kind of political stand is a bit outrageous.  I'm sure Marvel isn't minding the publicity - no news is bad news, after all - but I wish that the company hadn't backed away from the book's statements so quickly.

Look at me - I've been on some rants lately...and I genuinely try to steer clear of that in this context.  I guess virtual space is getting the best of me.  Anyway, tomorrow I'm off to the comic shop to see if there are any copies of Captain America #602 left, because they're selling on eBay for like twenty bucks a piece.  I invite others to do the same (LARRY), but hurry up, because these things don't last long!

1 comment:

Larry said...

I' going, I'm going.