JUDGE: Miss Iowaffle, in your opinion, what makes America great?

MISS IOWAFFLE: America is like one big waffle iron, with all the good stuff crammed in and cooked together or something? And, um, ready to have delicious butter slid across its surface, melting and seeping into its squares, which are kind of like the states? Yes. And the butter is freedom probably. Right. That’s why America is great. Butter. Melting. Freedom.

Long-range vistas, rolling mountains and pastoral landscapes, Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s favorite drive, and we can definitely see why. Blue Ridge meanders for 469 miles, connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and providing opportunities for enjoying all that makes this region so special. Sunset from the Parkway by Chris Mobley (www.sharetheexperience.org).


(There are no Ultron spoilers in this piece).

Joss Whedon doesn’t understand Steve Rogers. That’s not news. Lots of people think Steve Rogers — and as an extension of Steve Rogers, Captain America  — is boring. That’s also not news, though it continues to boggle me. Captain America is not self-righteous nor a goody-goody nor incapable of fun nor does he take himself too seriously, though it’s easy (and lazy) to interpret him that way. I get it. I do. I just don’t agree.

Captain America is important to me. Not just Steve (though I love him) or Bucky (whose face I might tattoo on my own face at some point, if they can ever get his character design consistent) or Sam (who is an inspired choice for the mantle, frankly). It’s not just America Chavez or Eli Bradley, though I adore them both. Captain America as a legacy, as a concept, as an aspiration is important to me. And so Joss Whedon’s total lack of understanding, and the fandom’s occasional dismissal of him, cuts me to the quick.

The thing about taking a man who “died” in WWII and putting him on a modern screen is that it’s hard to parse exactly what kind of trauma he’s been through, especially in a rotating and ever-increasing cast of characters. Something will always be lacking. That’s understandable, and in most cases it is what it is. But I think the most egregious thing lacking from Joss Whedon’s portrayal of Steve Rogers is that trauma, that vital and horrible thing that turned Steve from a kid who threw himself at a war to a man who doesn’t know how to do anything else.

The story of Captain America (any Captain America, not just Steve), more than any other superhero legacy mantle, is the story of a person who has taken a trauma and decided how it will define them. There is no argument in the lives of various Captains America that trauma is something that can be shucked off like a husk; instead, they’re about control. This is what happened to me. This is what I am doing with it. That’s the magic. That’s the sparkle. That is the thing I needed to read as a teenager muddling at being an adult in college, coping with the trauma of abuse and the remnants an eating disorder and one monster of an anxiety disorder. I needed reminding that trauma does not unmake a hero; rather, trauma is and can be the thing that creates one.

I think a lot about Bucky Barnes when I think about this. I think about how Bucky is beloved by women in particular, especially since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I wonder if it has to do with feeling silenced; with feeling a lack of agency, even if and as we fight; with feeling puppeted around by what we should or must be in order to be the version of ourselves someone else is insisting on.

There are sometimes arguments about whether Bucky’s a hero or a villain, whether he’s a victim or so far from himself that the only thing left of him is a weapon. These arguments really only happen around the MCU Bucky, tbh. And they’re halfhearted at best, because no one truly believes that Bucky Barnes deserves any fate other than redemption, though he’s committed atrocities that would infuriate and horrify us if we were to list them.

I read the arc where Bucky becomes Captain America in the comics with my heart thumping heavily in places it didn’t normally thump — the joint of my thumb, the base of my spine, the inner parts of my wrists. Because Bucky could only have become Captain America through the facts of his trauma: what they made of him, and what he made of them.

Anyone can be him. Rather, anyone who is willing to be the best version of themselves – or to try, even if they fail – can be Captain America. It’s not the best version of yourself that makes you worthy of the mantle, because the best version of yourself is always temporary. It’s the trying.

I like to remember that, while I am trying.


Viola Davis Is Developing a Harriet Tubman Biopic for HBO (She Will Star & Produce)

“Viola Davis will star in, produce and exec produce a biopic on the life of Harriet Tubman, for HBO.

The project, in early development, is the 3rd in a line of recently announced Tubman-related projects - including WGN America’s upcoming Underground Railroad-centered series titled “Underground,” and Russell Simmons’ own Tubman project, which he said he was developing, 2 years ago (no word on whether it’s still in the works).

I should mention the 1978 TV miniseries, “A Woman Called Moses,” which was based on the life of Harriet Tubman, the escaped slave who helped to organize the Underground Railroad, and who led dozens of African Americans from enslavement in the Southern United States, to freedom in the Northern states, and Canada. Narrated by Orson Welles, the production was broadcast on NBC on December 11 and 12, 1978. Tubman was portrayed by Cicely Tyson.

Davis’ Tubman film will be based on the 2004 book, “Bound for the Promised Land - Harriet Tubman Portrait: of an American Hero,” by historian Kate Clifford Larson, which draws from a trove of new documents and sources, as well as extensive genealogical research, to paint a portrait of a complex woman and her passionate pursuit of freedom.

Davis plans to shoot the film while on break from ABC’s hit drama series “How to get Away with Murder,” some time next year.”

Read the full piece here



If you could help a lady out and like/reblog this if post any of the following:

  • MCU (specifically Agent Carter, Daredevil, or Captain America anything)
  • Steve/Peggy/Bucky OT3 (anything really, I’m so thirsty)
  • Penny Dreadful (who’s excited about season 2????)
  • Broad City
  • In The Flesh (I’m not giving up on Season 3. I believe, I do.)
  • 90′s TV and Movies
  • Literature/Writing Talk

 that would be AMAZEBALLS

Thank you lovlies <3 <3 <3 

My great-grandmother used to keep a journal about the plays she saw, which included glueing parts of the programs to the pages. It’s a really interesting snapshot into early 1900’s theatre in America–or Chicago, at least. Fun fact: she was an actress who graduated from Northwestern University. Wonder where I get it from ;) #catchingup 118/365 #Project365

President George H.W. Bush signed America’s climate change program back in 1990. The Act required a new agency be formed, called the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which aggregates the best available climate science in the US. They monitor and report on climate change and impacts to America. The USGCRP publishes findings every four years. This report is called the National Climate Assessment (NCA) and you can take a peak at the latest report, here.

His son, btw, George W. Bush Jr., tried to gut his father’s Global Change Research Act by defunding it, delaying actions, preventing staff from publishing the NCA, and intimidating climate scientists. He, Bush Jr., failed in these efforts (even losing a few court cases) and now we have a fully functional climate change research program. Check it out: National Climate Assessment.

anonymous asked:

youre scottish right? how do you feel about the royal baby

I am Scottish, yeah. I’m not the biggest fan of the Royal family, I don’t hate them but I don’t like them much. So, cool she had a baby. The media is covering that much more than anything else. There were news reporters outside the hospital for hours and that was live. Okay, it’s a princess being born and that’s great - I’m happy that Kate had a happy and healthy baby with a normal pregnancy - but I think the media especially should be focussing on the events happening elsewhere. Media should be covering the Nepal earthquake, it should be covering what’s happening in America right now (and has been for months) and anywhere else that has devastation. It should be covering the lives that are being taken instead of those being born. That’s my view on it at least. :) xxx

LIMITED EDITION PRINT SALE: Help me support the desperately needed humanitarian efforts in Nepal. For the month of May, 50% of all sales of my print “Spark” will be donated to Oxfam America’s relief fund in Nepal. These 8x11" archival giclee prints are available for $30 (plus shipping, US only), hand signed by me, in my shop at caivail.bigcartel.com (link on profile). Orders will be filled and shipped at the end of the month. Donations will be made as sales are cleared. I chose Oxfam America because they are an established secular charitable organization with a high rating of donated funds and transparency. Right now they are focusing on getting clean water and sanitation facilities to the thousands of people in temporary encampments who have lost their homes. Let’s help this beautiful country and its people in whatever small ways we can - check out the Oxfam website if you’d rather donate directly. I’ll post the full image later on today, but it’s already up in the shop! Comment below if you have any questions, and thanks! #artfornepal #nepal #supportnepal #donate #oxfam #art #artofig #artistsofig #instaart #drawing #painting #illustration #ink #digital #watercolor #BigCartel #artforacause #caivail