america makes no sense

iamnmbr3  asked:

Is it just me or is there a disconnect between how Tony is portrayed in CW and how Marvel treats his portrayal in that movie? Like, when I watched it for the first time, I thought he was clearly in the wrong and acting in an unjustifiable manner. Same for other people who have watched it with me. But then I feel like a lot of Marvel people act as though it was "morally ambiguous situation" or as though "both sides were right" or whatever when that really, really was not the case AT ALL.

Oh I totally 100% agree with this. Like i get that they had to be kinda on the fence about it bc the concept of getting people to choose a side is what drove the marketing campaign, but from the way they were talking i was like hmm will i be swayed? Instead I walked into the room 100% Team Cap and somehow left the cinema even more Team Cap than before I saw the movie. I’d put this under a read more but it’s 3am and I’m on mobile so apologies, bc it’s gonna be long. I have a lot of things to say on this topic.

There was nothing morally ambiguous about it. There was no “both sides were right and wrong and it’s hard to choose”, like that mentality makes no sense to me. Or rather it does make sense, but I wish it didn’t.

Steve’s stance in this movie regarding the accords was about taking responsibility for your own actions. About having the power to choose only to use their enhanced abilities to help and do good. About owning the consequences of their actions if they choose to help. It was about not handing those consequences off to someone else. It was about not allowing people with agendas to potentially send them into a situation where they’re using there abilities to hurt rather than help. Which given what happened with SHIELD, you can’t exactly blame him for.

Tony’s stance regarding the accords was one that was much more driven by ego - something that drives a large amount of his decisions throughout the MCU at large as well as the rest of this film, as noted by Natasha. Tony felt guilty. He knew his choice to create Ultron against the suggestion of basically everyone is what led to the events in Sokovia. On top of that he gets cornered by a grieving mother who says she also blames him for the death of her son in Sokovia. Tony doesn’t want that guilt. He wants someone else to make the decisions for him. He wants someone else to say “yes you can be here” and “no you can’t go there” because that way, when things go well and they save the day with little to no casualties they get to be the heroes, they get the press. And we know Tony loves to be the showman, he loves the attention, bc as previously mentioned - he’s driven by ego. However when things do go wrong, he can appease his conscience by saying “I didn’t choose to be here, you gave me the order to be here, that choice was yours, that responsibility is on your shoulders.” - He wants the glory with none of the responsibility. He also wants the accords to cut down his workload so Pepper will come back to him. He literally says that. Tony stans are super quick to call Steve selfish for helping Bucky, but conveniently ignore the fact Tony says that Pepper left him bc he was spending too much time focused on the suits and being Iron Man, and he hoped the accords would give him a medium between the two so he could fix that.

And then there’s Steve and Bucky. I cannot physically wrap my head around the idea that people call Steve’s actions in this movie selfish. Especially given where Bucky ends up at the end of this movie. Steve’s actions were not dictated by the simple fact he wanted his friend back. They were dictated by the fact that no one else was trying to help him. No one else believed there was any world in which Bucky was innocent. No one else was trying to look out for him. And when has Steve ever done anything but look out for the little guy, the underdog? Even when he was the little guy, he was still looking out for anyone without someone in their corner. Had Steve made any choices different to the ones he had, Bucky would have died. Had he let someone else go to Bucharest to get him, Bucky would have been shot on sight, despite not being guilty. The government laughed at the idea of even giving Bucky a lawyer, they’d already decided his guilt, so had Steve handed Bucky over when Tony demanded, Bucky would have been given a trial by people that had decided his fate and already believed him a traitor to his country. He wasn’t being selfish, he was trying to save a life that no one else thought was worth saving.

Tony was so caught up in his stance being right, he didn’t even register that Steve had stopped even fighting about the Accords. When they met at the airport Tony was still there about the accords and about bringing them in, and he would not back down from that. Steve wasn’t there about that. And he told Tony this. He told him that Bucky hadn’t been the one behind the UN attack. He told him who actually was. He told him about the other soldiers in Siberia. He told him about Zemo travelling there and the danger posed if he activated 5 Winter Soldiers. He told him that he needed to get there before that happened. Steve was trying to do his job as an Avenger, to help people. Tony was too caught up in his own need to be right to realise that. Tony was willing to let all that shit happen rather than admit he was wrong.

And then at the end. When Zemo plays the video of The Winter Soldier killing his parents. Tony stans try and justify his reaction by saying it was instinctive. That he reacted to seeing the guy who killed his parents in front of him. But Tony stans just see what they want to see instead of what was actually there. Tony’s reaction was not to Bucky. His reaction was to Steve. He saw the video and he didn’t react. He asked Steve if he’d known, and when Steve says he hadn’t known it was him, he asks him again. And when Steve admits he had known, that’s when Tony reacts. That’s when Tony goes for Bucky. Which the writers have said was Tony recognising Bucky was the thing Steve loved most, and wanting to take it from him to hurt him for not telling him. He knows it wasn’t Bucky that killed his parents, he acknowledges it more than once, but he doesn’t care.

And Tony gets away with it. He gets excused for it. He breaks the rules of the accords he was so strongly in support of, and he gets off scot free. Meanwhile Sam and Clint and Scott and Wanda are locked in an underground prison cell. And it’s because Tony is the epitome of both White Male Privilege and Money Can’t Buy Everything But It Can Buy Anything. He’s rich, he’s powerful, he’s white, he’s male, and that means he does shitty things and gets away with it. He doesn’t have to worry about the consequences of his actions because his consequences are never so severe he can’t buy his way out.

You remember in Captain America: The First Avenger, Erskine says to Steve “A strong man, who has known power all his life may lose respect for that power. But a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows compassion”? Apply that to Tony and Steve in this movie because it explains the way they behave perfectly. Tony is the first man described. He grew up in wealth, he grew up in a powerful family with a powerful name, he always had privilege, and now in this film he wants to use that privilege to pass off the responsibility that comes with his power. Steve is the second guy. Who was the little guy, who had to fight for everything he got. Who lived majority of his life as the little guy, and even with his bigger body and new abilities, still has the mindset of the little guy. Still knows and remembers all too well what it was like not to have any sort of power at all, and how important it is to use that power to help the best way you can. And knows you have to be respectful of everything that comes with that power, including taking responsibility for it.

That was longer than i thought it would be so tl;dr - i agree, there was a HUGE disconnect between the marketing of it vs the reality of it in the film.

“Not only are there no happy endings…There aren’t even any endings.”

Every time I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, I find more things to adore about this novel. I read it this time while traveling across the United States, and I have to say, something about reading this book in transit just makes sense. It makes even more sense reading it while soaring over America itself, gazing down on fields and hills, a New Jersey import who lives in Chicago, went to LA a week or so ago, and just left Florida. There is something so intensely American about this novel, and it wows me every time. From the smaller mythic chapters telling folk tales and stories of the people who brought their gods to America, to the gods themselves and their characters, this novel always gets me. This was my third time reading this novel, and I’m going to dig deep to highlight new things that I had forgotten, so solid warning: Spoilers ahead.

I will never get over the way that Neil Gaiman melds together the idea of the gods and the land, and gives them both their own power and will. Something that wows me that I often forget about the standalone is now astoundingly diverse it is without being appropriative, and how Gaiman incorporates so many cultures, a diverse range of characters, as well as a huge amount of humor without it becoming problematic. I think this novel could be a guidebook for authors who want to know how to write diverse stories and mythos respectfully. I forgot about so many fantastic characters that Gaiman pours himself into, from Samantha Black Crow to side characters that brim with energy and character themselves, like Whiskey Jack’s son or Bilquis. I also never noticed before the two mentions of Mr. Nancy’s son that point to Anansi Boys. Not to mention the wealth of research and knowledge that goes into the bottomless well of background characters and visions leading up to the battle. 

One thing I gained a new appreciation for in this novel was the character of Shadow. He is big, and not dumb, and I remembered all that, but what I forgot is how nice he is. Shadow’s such a cinnamon roll of a character, and I forget that. He stands up for a waitress and believes in the good of people. At the Lakeside library book sale, he tries to find the book that’s least likely to be purchased, so that he can help the library out by buying it. He performs coin tricks for children. He is obligated to hold Odin’s vigil, but he never questions whether he should also hold Mad Sweeney’s. As Laura speaks with the cutting, too-open words of the already-dead, Shadow still refuses to tell her about her appearance or to not hold her hand, because he doesn’t want to hurt her still. When Shadow picks up bodies with the coroners, he carries them always in his arms. 

The scene between Shadow and Odin before his death is one of my absolute favorites (other favorite scenes include Samantha Black Crow’s protest kiss, the scene in which Shadow thinks snow into being, and Shadow’s long death scene). Odin recites to Shadow what he knows—the charms, in a long list. And it ends with that long scene where Shadow wonders what would have happened if he touched Odin’s hand, and wishes he had. And Odin’s twisting grift of the fiddle is so complicated and well done that even on the third re-read, I find myself forgetting about it until the moment Odin dies, and doubting myself on it until the moment Shadow says it out loud.

@neil-gaiman’s American Gods just gets better every time I read it, and I am cautiously thrilled and excited for the show coming out later this spring. 

“It doesn’t matter that you didn’t believe in us. We believed in you.”

>FE14 localization
>Have the main character Kamui and the Nohr prince Leon
>Change Kamui’s name to Corrin and Leon’s name to Leo for god knows what reason

>FE15 localization
>Another character named Kamui, except their name stays the same in localization
>A character actually named Leo has his name changed to Leon

It’s almost as if changing this shit just takes unnecessary effort and causes problems down the line…

Correct me if I’m wrong, but these aggressive gender roles didn’t really start until the 1950s, right? I mean, women in WWII-era America had more freedom and responsibility than they’d ever had before, and I’m pretty sure I remember reading about how it wasn’t until the ‘50s that the media started pushing really strict gender roles and companies started getting into gendered marketing. (All of this had to do with promoting the nuclear family as the focus of the American Dream as part of Cold War-era propaganda.)

That means that Steve and Bucky grew up, went to war, and got frozen and turned into an assassin, respectively, before American society started adhering to what we now think of as “traditional gender roles.” So I like to imagine them being really, really confused when they get to the 21st century and walk into a supermarket for the first time.

“Why is this deodorant ‘For Men’? It has the exact same ingredients are the ‘For Women’ one, but this one is two dollars cheaper??? What??????”

“Why is one half of the toy aisle pink and the other half nothing but trucks and robots?”

“Wait. You mean you literally weren’t allowed to take Shop in high school because you’re a girl? What the hell.”

On the other hand, I also like to imagine them being absolutely thrilled that the US Military has finally opened all of its combat jobs to women. Steve probably cried when the protocol was changed. Bucky, who still has nightmares about a school filled with tiny, terrifying Russian ballerinas, just nods sagely. 

5... 4... 3... 2... 1!
  • Countries: HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!
  • England: what's everyone's New Year's resolution?
  • China: to get my money from America.
  • Russia: to have fun tormenting America~
  • France: to make America eat less burgers.
  • Canada: to slap some sense to America.
  • America: ... to get new friends.
Canadian Disgust

(The Opposite Of American Beauty)

Punching in
and punching out,
my knuckles ache.
They don’t swell purple,
but they rust bronze.

A look speaks of monotony
in this montage of regularity,
with many of the same acts
and similar scenes,
sharing requisite lines
using the same head voice.

But then,
quite absurdly,
I scream
and it rings
all around my skull.

This attraction doesn’t sink
down to my heart
or even scrape my diaphragm,
but neural knots are tied
when you come across.

Am I imprisoned
behind your bars
and slated against yellowing?

Am I cowering
from unfounded lyrics
my voice could be bellowing?

Am I running
to escape rainforests
that moisture has frightened?

Am I escaping
through elaborate holes
your existence enlightened?

I only know
I want to advance towards your body,
yield when encroaching your mind,
but stop a few feet from your soul.
I know what these colours mean,
but I fear the hues resulting from mixing.
The white in my eyes
wants red of your aura
and you are an abstraction.
A distraction.

Why Tony was right about the Sokovia Accords - a political perspective

If people are trying to be historical about the Sokovia Accords, I might as well add my two cents to the discussion (having studied the UN during my degree).

The Avengers are basically meant to be a crisis-response unit, right? The truth is that the UN does not really have one as of now, so there is a good likelihood that the Avengers would be governed by different rules than the rest of UN diplomacy.

Currently military intervention is only permitted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and needs to be authorised by the Security Council (UNSC). However, the Charter pertains to UN Member STATES. The Avengers are not a state, so it is possible that they could escape the inefficiency and politics of it all.

Firstly, because they would be governed by a new ‘panel, not the UNSC. The UNSC is notorious for its inability to do things because of a) veto power, and b) the fact that it reflects the post-WW2 balance of power. The UN is massively ashamed of this, and pissed off that they can do nothing to change the situation; they are really worried about things like the Rwandan genocide happening again because of the UN’s inability to act. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that they would try to avoid the UNSC’s inefficiencies when devising the panel.  The Avengers have to respond quickly – it’s not like they’re humanitarian intervention: they go in, deal with stuff, and then leave. Otherwise they’re useless, so the UN must have designed the panel in a way that would allow the Avengers to act when necessary.

Secondly, the support of people such as T’Chaka indicates that the panel is far less politically convoluted than the UNSC. Most of UNSC’s problems arise because the US and Russia/China keep throwing shit at each other, and smaller countries (a lot of them African, like Wakanda) sit at the back and get angry at the big countries. I think that T’Chaka’s support for the Accords is an indication of their quality, and the fact that they are based on expertise, not just politics (like Steve was worried).

Thirdly, the Avengers are essentially a private organisation (largely funded by Tony). As far as I know, the UN does not have the right to just intervene with private actors as it pleases, especially if they operate inside the borders of a sovereign Member State (theoretically they are US-based).  They looove sovereignty (Article 2 of the Charter, anyone?) so I imagine that the Accords would be framed like something similar to a public-private partnership. This would have to leave the Avengers some wiggle room – they are not the Blue Helmets (i.e. effectively part of the UN from the start) so the structure of their responsibility would have to be different. (Especially given the fact that it would be very difficult to actually capture them if they misbehaved.)

I also need to clarify Tony’s comment about amending the Accords if necessary, which has been (unsuccessfully) rebuffed by #teamCap. The Accords could be amended easily, because an awful lot (if not most) of UN legislation is. Each resolution ends with something likes “we decide to remain seized on the matter”, so that the UN can react to its previous decisions if they had been the wrong ones, so don’t tell me that ‘duh, you can’t just ament UN legislation, Tony is stupid blah blah’.

I suppose that Steve is scared that another HYDRA might be hiding behind the Accords (let’s admit it – Ross is a creep, and Steve did have a good point with that), but you are forgetting something else. Tony Stark is a genius, like…a proper, certified genius. The kind of a genius that Einstein was. This means that he wouldn’t let anyone make him sign complete bullshit, even if he was grief-stricken, and even if he had little time to understand what he was signing. The likelihood is that the UN would have known it as well – the Avengers is a bunch of geniuses, spies and ex-government employees, and you can’t bullshit those people. Therefore, the UN wouldn’t have tried to pass a totally bullshit version of the Accords, because they would have known that no one would sign them then.

Therefore, stop complaining about how little time they had to read it, and how politicised the whole process was. Yes, the Sokovia Accords is a political issue, but not necessary one harmful to the Avengers and/or their work.

I feel rather petty about this but I have this running AU/fanfic idea about someone from Hogwarts doing a kind of foreign exchange program with someone from Livermorny and when the Hogwarts person gets there it turns out that most of their ideas of what it was like (meaning Pottermore stuff) was just poorly informed second hand knowledge. And the actual way magic works in America is very different but makes much more sense in cultural context.