Whenever I’m tempted to mourn the lost glory of war, propeller dogfights the last hurrah, I remind myself how the premodern version was closer to “march for weeks, then shit yourself to death” or at the best “6 weeks’ hike with juggalos”
This is your daily reminder that you're not "less of a leftist" if you unapologetically draw inspiration from fiction.
Yes, most “revolutionary vs tyranny” fiction has liberal over/undertones more than anything else, but we take what we can get. We are products of our environments and we could never fully disentangle ourselves from liberalism as long as capitalism is around. If the comparisons are going to be made for Trump being the Galactic Empire or Voldemort or what have you, take it and run with it. The Galactic Empire didn’t fall because space liberals wrote a bunch of thinkpieces half-heartedly opposing Palpatine, and Voldemort wasn’t defeated by polite wizard rallies declaring that peace would win in the end. Nah, it required grassroots militant resistance movements to crush space/wizard fascism – literally, armies are organized to meet the systemic violence of the oppressors with the defensive violence of the oppressed.
If you get revolutionary vibes from works of fiction, awesome, and more power to you. Many of us need the inspiration and realize how rare it is to come across fiction that is both genuinely transportive and genuinely politically-radical. Just don’t lose sight of the real-world examples of leftists we draw inspiration from, too!
Half of me: excited for young!Lams!fans! drawing a deeper understanding of historical figures and bringing out concepts in queer history that public school won’t teach, sharing funny stories, anecdotes, and headcanons, and driving the movement for normalization of queer history. ecstatic that the Hamilton musical has brought tons of new, diverse people to this interest (brought me back into it), and openly supported a mainstream interpretation of Hamilton and Laurens’s relationship as romantic!!!
Other half: terrified that the nature of fandom will oversimplify concepts of sexual inclinations in repressed cultures, replace the possibility of Hamilton having a mood disorder with his sluttiness, excuse his moral misdeeds by attributing them with disorders, decontextualize the influence of Henry Laurens’s parenting by equating it to modern homophobia, erase- or totally overlook- the impact of Hamilton’s mother’s hyper-sexualization throughout his childhood, totally excuse both men’s disregard of women’s rights and empowerment, overlook the underlying selfish causes behind both men’s disgust with slavery, further overlook Hamilton’s selfish inaction against slavery after Laurens’s death, oversimplify the parallel between Hamilton’s immigrant story and the struggles of a modern immigrant, joke about ‘southern inbreeding’ and other disgusting realities of the historic south while the Laurens family had real- very serious- sex scandals, reduce a character’s life-long suicidal thoughts and actions to a trope of ‘fights everyone’, reduce a character’s life-long insecurities about status and personal safety stemming from childhood abandonment to a ‘scared of bumps in the night’ trope, lose touch with the historical significance of the musical by totally divorcing the characters of historical context…
“Wars can end. The most bitter of adversaries can become the strongest of allies. The fruits of peace always outweigh the plunder of war. This is the enduring truth of this hallowed harbor. It is here that we remember that even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward. We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different. The sacrifice made here, the anguish of war, reminds us to seek that divine spark that is common to all humanity. It insists that we strive to be what our Japanese friends called otagai no tame ni— ‘with and for each other.’” —President Obama during a historic visit to Pearl Harbor with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
In Captain America: Civil War, Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter have the least well-thought-out and frankly least-inspiring kiss in movies in easily years; Sam and Bucky’s reaction to the kiss is more enjoyable in every sense than the kiss itself.
And because it was so wooden and terrible, the internet got to chatting about it and eventually it came out that the Russos had to put it in because test audiences were reading the movie as if the love story was between Bucky and Steve. (Let’s be real here, it was. Romantic, fraternal, whatever, that was the love story of this movie.) And apparently we can’t have that for some peculiar unknown reasoh wait I know why, the reason is bigotry!
But all of this means that basically everyone who saw the movie now knows that the kiss was there to signify No Homo, which really just highlights the So Homo of the rest of the piece.
The upshot of which is that the crazily terrible heterosexual kiss of Captain America: Civil War actually made the movie gayer because the internet couldn’t stop talking about it.
Which is just one more reason the internet is the best.