Why you shouldn’t be so quick to judge Tony Stark...
I’ve seen a lot of this on the Internet… talk about how Tony Stark has no right to assume Steve Rogers is his “friend” in the Civil War trailer, given how badly they’ve treated each other over the years and how - let’s be honest - downright abysmally Tony has treated Steve. But before we rush into “HE’S A VILLAIN!” and coo over the snuggly-wuggly scenes between Bucky and Steve and talk about how much we hope they’ll kick Tony’s ass back and forth like a titanium football… let’s actually take a moment to break Tony down and figure out why he is so dead set on arresting - or even murdering - the Winter Soldier.
1) HIS MENTAL ILLNESSES. Tony Stark is still suffering from, in some form or another, narcissism, PTSD, and a whole host of other diagnoses we can only really try to pin on him as “fanon”. Given the way he treats people and how he acts, I would assume he never had close relationships with anyone as a child (especially considering he had no siblings and his parents likely didn’t pay him much attention, given that Maria was a socialite and Howard was distracted with 50,000 other things, and Tony even draws attention to this in Iron Man 2), which explains why his adult socialization consists of networking at events and galas (trust me, not as much fun as one would think), screwing random women he has no emotional attachment to whatsoever, and hanging out for hours upon hours in his lab with only Dumm-E (his first robot, whom he treats like shit as a way of showing his affection) and JARVIS, who has basically been programmed to pick up after him and assist him with the things he’s literally too insane/genius to remember (again, we could look into diagnosing him with other disorders following his symptoms, such as Asperger’s or ODD or even possible childhood abuse and other things that would interfere with his social relationships, understandings, and how he interprets everything around him, but let’s just leave it with what Marvel has given us canonically in the MCU). Even his relationships with Pepper and Rhodey are volatile as all hell. He’s self-sabotaging in every single way, an angry selfish self-abusive man with alcoholic tendencies and no idea how to connect to people on a more warm, soulful, intimate level. He doesn’t understand what “friendship” is. And so, on the outside, he may appear to be snarking at Cap’ whenever he gets the chance, but that’s simply how he thinks you’re supposed to treat your friends. And everyone just accepts that that’s Tony - he’s a little broken, or a lot broken, but he’s trying. And it’s the effort that they all seem to appreciate.
2) CAP AND TONY. So let’s talk about Cap and Tony. Tony had to grow up listening to his father talking about his amazing, incredible man that he had known - that he had helped to create - who was not only strong and powerful and skilled enough to change the face of the war when hardly anyone assumed he could do it, but who had this incredible sense of judgement, of wrong versus right. Someone who believed in freedom, justice, and atonement for one’s atrocities. So now not only was Tony brought up in the shadow of a man who had reinvented and resculpted the way technology worked in the modern era - huge shoes to fill with his own business, intelligence, and engineering skills - but he’s also having to constantly live up to this revolutionary, incredible, wonderful person whom his father just couldn’t let go of (mention in the first Avengers movie, Tony bitterly comments on how his father “could never stop talking about him”). Who knows how long he hunted for the Valkyrie? He could’ve still been talking about finding him when Tony was a child, even if on the back-burner, and one can only imagine how much a young Tony with paranoid narcissism would be terrified of being replaced by this “god” his father was obsessed with. Then he meets this god, and immediately the hackles are up. He’s offended - why the hell didn’t SHIELD call him about what they were doing? And then, while he’s already feeling pretty raw, he meets this man who strolls in all justice and fairness and following orders (the last of which is the exact opposite of how his own mentality works). And it’s the man his father talked about for years, obsessed over, and so he’s immediately feeling attacked and vulnerable, and very very defensive. Over the movie, the two of them learn to work together, even if they don’t always see eye to eye. In Ultron, Tony is quick to remind Maria Hill that Cap is in charge, even though he does pay for everything - he doesn’t stick around to find out what she wants, he’s quite happy to let Cap handle what Cap has to handle. And when Cap has a plan or gives orders on the battlefield, Tony doesn’t fight him - he knows who the leader is, and he does his job as a passive-aggressive piece of shit, but the respect is there, even if at times he lets his bitterness and rage and jealousy from childhood come out. It’s hard to be the bad boy or the antihero, struggling inside a web of torture and pain and self-hate and confusion in your own head, when someone else seems to have themselves together so easy. A lot of people take Tony’s narcissism and general dickish nature as him being an overbearing asshole - which he is, but that covers up a whole hoard of issues and insecurities that he just can’t face, especially not now, after everything that has happened. He has to be a rock, he has to be strong. And the more he feels his rage grow, the more he lashes out. It’s been years between Avengers and Ultron. Who knows what Cap and Tony have been through in that time, raiding bases together, fighting alongside each other, trying to make sure the other doesn’t get killed. Thor tells Cap, “You and Stark secure the sceptre” - we all know how much Thor wants that sceptre back on Asgard, would he really trust a volatile concoction of two team mates he knows aren’t friends to bring it back? No, he knows that Stark and Rogers respect each other enough to get the job done, no matter what. That speaks volumes for how much their relationship must’ve grown over those years as they’ve learned to trust each other and fight together; even if there is a lot of tension still between them, as we see during some parts of Ultron (this is probably brought about by how tense Tony is about the whole “I’m the guy who killed the Avengers” thing), I imagine that the two of them actually function quite well together despite their differences, and have probably had some close-to-friendship moments in the quite wake of battle when they two of them have been feeling both vulnerable and victorious. So are Tony and Cap friends? We don’t really have enough information to say otherwise. We only get these glimpses through the two-to-three hours Marvel allows itself for its movies, so all we can really do is go by the comic books, in which they’ve even been said to be FWB by the writers. I’m confident enough based on psycho-analysing the two of them through their movies that they were friends, even if their friendship could never extend to what Tony/Bruce or Steve/Bucky’s are. [Bonus points: It may just be because Steve was the closest to him physically, but let’s just remember who it was instinctually Tony rushed to first when he saw them all laid out dead on the ground in front of him in the Scarlet Witch’s fantasy ;) This could be a huge indicator of how much a) Tony fears for Steve’s life, or b) Tony looks to Steve to lead them and take control of a situation that seems hopeless.]
3) ULTRON. A lot of people are throwing Ultron back in Tony’s face as a reason he’s a giant hypocrite. While we all like to laugh at the fact that he “created a murder-bot”, let’s take a few moments to actually remember why he did it. PTSD is one of those things that never really goes away, you just learn coping mechanisms - while Tony may have proven (in Iron Man 3) that he isn’t reliant entirely on his suits, and got over some of his PTSD, a huge amount of it still exists. And as he realizes that he has a world to protect, as we’ve all seen, he is driven mad by a fantasy Scarlet Witch puts in his head, and tries to build something so that people won’t have to risk their lives, so that his friends won’t have to fight. “Isn’t that why we fight - so we can end the fight?” Whereas Steve seems to subconsciously be okay with total war all around him, Tony has had enough - his whole life has been about death and destruction, and he’s finally feeling years of guilt and regret. He doesn’t want to fight anymore, he doesn’t want to lose anyone else - he just wants it to end.
4) BETRAYAL AND LOSS. The first person to hugely betray Tony was Obidiah Stane, who attempted to kill him (let’s remember this was back when he wasn’t used to flying all over the world as a superhero yet) and steal his company, and whom he found out had not only been selling his weapons to Islamic extremists and Ten Rings behind his back, but also arranged for his kidnapping and execution. Obi had been someone Tony was close to in the same was he was close with Pepper or Rhodey - he trusted him because he had to, because Obi ran the things he couldn’t due to his own mental instability. Obidiah was his father’s friend and trusted comrade, and he attempted to murder him in cold blood, several times. JARVIS has been a part of Tony’s life for so many years now. When Tony is there, in the air, and his suit is failing and falling apart and he’s on the edge of death, JARVIS is the one voice he hears - always calm, always logical, always ever so slightly sarcastic. But now, JARVIS is gone. I don’t think Tony was thinking properly when he wanted to input JARVIS into the body Ultron had been building - he was terrified, and he wanted to do everything he could to help. He probably didn’t even realize he would be losing his best friend in the process, a best friend he thought was dead for days until he discovered him again. Now that friend is gone, it’s been months, and he’s probably missing JARVIS like a dead sibling. Vision made it very clear that he wasn’t JARVIS, nor was he Ultron - he’s a new creation, and probably isn’t exactly bonding with Tony considering he’s at the warehouse training for the Avengers with everyone (based on what we see at the end of Ultron). And last, but very much not least, is the one person Tony actually connected with on some real sort of level - the man he genuinely believed understood him, the man who promised he’d have his back and whose back he also had. The man he actually smiled around, opened up for, invited back to his lab for playtime - these aren’t things Tony Stark does lightly, but when he first met Bruce Banner, there was something magical there which is why so many people ship them across the Internet - Bruce Banner had managed to touch a chord somewhere within Tony that I don’t think anyone - not even Tony himself - knew existed. Real friendship, genuine friendship, the type one would die for. Who catches Iron Man when he plummets from the sky and ultimately wakes him up at the end of Avengers? And who is the one who, for the first time ever, doesn’t treat Bruce like an explosive monster set on a hair trigger? Tony actually respects the man enough to help him build a suit to make him feel safe - has he ever done anything nice for anyone else? And I mean, not just nice, but thoughtful - he’s tried several times with Pepper, but with Bruce he instinctually knew what he wanted and needed to feel safe. If there was ever to be a Bucky to Tony’s Cap, it would be Bruce Banner. And where is Bruce now? As far as we know, he’s still missing. Chances are, he hasn’t contacted anyone, including Natasha and Tony, and is trying to figure his life out. Tony had the best of friends, someone he actually connected with and who probably gave him some sort of purpose in life other than his suits. And now, he’s gone. He was violently ripped away from him in the heat of battle, when he didn’t have a chance to say goodbye or even realize he was gone until it was too late. The void Bruce left in Tony’s heart when he vanished must be astronomical, and on top of an already bruised, broken, betrayed man, this isn’t a good thing for his mental stability.
5) THE WINTER SOLDIER HAS RED IN HIS LEDGER. In CA2:TWS, Steve and Natasha talk over some of the murders and assassinations that the Winter Soldier has been behind whilst he has been under the control of HYDRA. We see a cut out from a newspaper article about Howard and Maria Stark’s car accident. Howard Stark was on the forefront of technology at the time he was murdered, and had helped to found/fund SHIELD - he was targeted by HYDRA, assassinated by the Winter Soldier, and it was all covered up as a car accident. Imagine now if Tony were to find out that Bucky killed his father. Tony and his father were never close, but we have no idea what happened in that relationship… Maybe things were finally getting better now that Tony was a young adult and he and his father could work the company together. Maybe he finally had the relationship with his father that he had always wanted and craved as a child, or was working toward it at least. Maybe there was some light there, and he was finally in a place where he felt happier. And then his father and mother were killed, he and Obi inherited the company, and the last family he had was gone. And when you imagine it, imagine it on two different levels… Firstly, it’s a huge betrayal to him. This is a man he has fought beside, and now he is refusing to at least hand the man who killed his family over to be tried and investigated - he’s harbouring a fugitive who has committed many murders, including Tony’s own parents. Secondly, it’s a huge betrayal to his father, who was betrayed by a former friend, Obidiah Stane. Captain America… this is the person Howard Stark rambled for hours about, dedicated his life to, and was absolutely obsessed with. He called him a hero and a saviour. And now, that same very man he once cherished is refusing to bring his assassinator to justice. In fact, he’s violently defending him so that he doesn’t have to “atone for his crimes” (remember - narcissism and other mental disorders; in Tony’s mind he doesn’t understand and can’t empathize with other people’s friendships and reasoning, he only has his own to go on). Captain America, the soldier of ultimate justice, is refusing to hand over the man who murdered Tony’s parents in cold blood - that is ALL he can see in his head at this point, and he feels betrayed by not only his friend, but his leader.
6) HIS CURRENT MENTAL STATE. Tony is dealing with so much loss and betrayal after Avengers 2, on top of everything he attempted to do and what nearly happened to the world, and one can only imagine where his mental state is at. The movies have slowly been unravelling his sanity - we saw it peak in Iron Man 3, and even in Avengers 2, and now he’s continuing to completely invert everything inwardly onto how it affects him (because narcissism). So when we look at his life at the end of the second Avengers movie, let’s see where he’s at: he wants to focus on his life and his company, he wants to focus on his relationship with Pepper (which may be suffering - remember how he commented that she “wasn’t available” for their party, not even enough to make an entrance or to congratulate him - while we can obviously attribute that to not wanting to pay Gwyneth Paltrow for her cameo, we could also wonder if things are maybe not so great with the two of them, especially after Ultron), and he wants to withdraw from everything that has been going crazy around him. I think at that point, he’s realized he’s slowly losing the plot and he needs to bring himself back down to earth. He has become aware that two of his closest friends are gone - one he will likely never get back, and the other, well… he thought their friendship was enough for Bruce to want to come home to it. He doesn’t even think about what Bruce must be going through - he’s physically and mentally incapable due to his own mental disorders. He just feels betrayed and abandoned… and very much alone.
7) CONCLUSION. Why is Tony so upset that Steve has chosen Bucky over him? Why is he fighting so hard to bring Bucky to justice? Other than the obvious conclusion here, which is that I have too much time to myself as I sit and wait for my bath to fill up… Tony never stood a chance in life. Tony has been bent, bruised, and broken so many times (much like these other superheroes he’s fighting alongside), only he has a whole host of mental disorders that make it difficult for him to cope with everyday relationships and occurrences that other people would be able to handle. Over time he’s been betrayed by and lost some of the people he has allowed himself to actually grow close to - for a broken man who already has impulse control issues to see someone fighting so hard to defend someone, when he feels left alone and abandoned, it might leave his narcissistic mind wondering why he doesn’t deserve the same amount of love, loyalty, or friendship from other people in his life… why he isn’t worth it. Tony Stark is not a bratty, whiney asshole who believes he deserves Steve’s friendship despite treating him like shit. Tony Stark is a mentally unwell, self-abusive, unsocialized, broken man - lonely, lost, and at the very very end of whatever he has left tethering him to his sanity. So when he sees a man whose respect he had to work hard to earn - and who he had to work hard to respect in turn - betraying him, betraying Howard, and betraying SHIELD for “his own personal reasons”, to a point where it looks like someone on Team Stark may be laying dead in his friend’s arms… it really isn’t that difficult to understand why those tiny, broken, whispered three words are so unbelievably heart-wrenching for anyone who can empathize with what Tony Stark is going through.
When describing the feminism/representation in Wonder Woman to my family recently, I could only think of one word to encapsulate it: effortless. A lot of issues the mainstream has with modern feminism is it’s blatancy and aggression, which is a stereotype that I don’t personally believe in. But I can understand the resistance to any heavy handed message in a film, especially when it overrides the story. So to see Wonder Woman was very refreshing. I know it can’t always be this simple, but wouldn’t it be great if it could?
I also want to state right here that Wonder Woman is a feminist film. No arguments about it. But that aspect came so organically, and so perfectly in tune with the story and other themes.
What I’m getting at here is that there wasn’t a need for a heavy handed push or even the need to blatantly state the obvious. The fact that Diana was a woman doing these things spoke for itself. It didn’t need to be said or explained or fall into the traps that many “feminist” films have. It’s difficult to articulate how this movie differs as far as representation goes. I don’t know if it was the script, the genius of Patty Jenkins, or the fact that the character has existed for so long.
One moment that struck me was when Diana was crossing No Man’s Land and the soldiers in the opposing trenches were shouting “she’s coming!”. In that moment, I almost expected someone to say, “what is woman doing out here?” or something to that effect. But no one did. Because there was no time. Realistically, who would bother pointing out that “oh god it’s a woman!” when being attacked by someone so powerful?
I think parts of the ease in which the feminism appears comes from the idea of her having no preconceived notions about gender roles. It really negates any of those ridiculous arguments against feminism saying gender roles come from natural or biological instincts. When we take a character that was not raised in our society, or one with literally any gender stereotypes, we see how insane ours are. It also helped that it was set in a time where women had considerably less rights and respect.
Again, it’s hard to put into words. But Wonder Woman, in my opinion, was one of the best examples of female representation in film. Of course, I will note here that it was a perfect example of representation for white women- therefore we still have a long way to go. But for it’s narrowed scope- it accomplished a lot. It made me realize that this was what I’d wanted the entire time. This is what we mean by female led and female directed action movies.
One of the things I appreciate about Tumblr is seeing old posts come around again. Things that are particularly charming, or funny, or epic, or what have you. You’d think I’d get tired of seeing the same video of a guy playing piano for his adoring cat, but nope, I watch it through at least twice every time it comes around again. I re-read fandom meta and laugh harder at jokes because I’ve heard them before.
Humans like novelty a hell of a lot - we literally go insane without it - but we like repetition and familiarity too, and I think that’s undervalued.
I couldn’t even talk about this video without wanting to see it, so have a sleepy cat and an affectionate piano player:
My favorite part of Descendants is when Ben goes swimming and, all of a sudden, Mal is in a music video, complete with flashbacks to things that happened minutes ago in screen time. Look at that location and those camera angles. They just straight up decided to shoot a music video in the middle of their movie. I was expecting the album information to pop up in white at the bottom left of the screen.
Summary: When Liam and Zayn decided to rent an apartment together they didn’t realize that getting along would the hardest part. However, one night when the pair is hanging on their last thread, things take a wild turn of events (Part 1). After that night things just aren’t quite the same.
Jinkx and Majors Ptown show, “The Ginger Snapped.”
It was one of the greatest nights of my life.
We were literally inches away from the stage which was insane. I’ve never been that close to anything lol
The show was AMAZING and we were apparently in the splash zone of the show because at one point Jinkx gave me a tic tac shower. Much appreciated. Lol
Then at the end of the show, we still had the meet and greet and SOMEHOW we were the only ones. I mean what. How does that happen.
So we talked for like 15 minutes or something, we hugged, we took pics, I gave them their gifts, we hugged more and then we all walked out to the bar for the rest of the meet and greet and Jinkx and I talked some more. Then I bought a phone case which she signed for me and my mom bought them both a drink lol
Important note: they were playing Golden Girls in the bar and it was everything?? Haha Major and I had a convo about what Dorothy’s character was wearing and it was a beautiful moment 😂😂
Ok, so Major came out first and sat and talked with us for like 30 minutes and it was amazing. So knowledgeable and full of good advice about music and so nice! :)
Then Jerick came back, out of drag and all 4 of us chatted until Major left for the night. Jerick talked with us for another like 40 minutes and it was just magical. Bonding again over our mutual love of Queen Bette Midler lol
I’m so glad we got to have a real conversation and talk like friends ❤️
It was one of the best nights and more than I could have ever asked for. They are the best hugger in the world I swear. Like, fight me on this. 😂
I’m so thankful for last night and so happy they are a part of my life :)
Do I have to go back to reality now? Lol
Can I ask you what happened to baby daddy dude? I just recently put together via your snap story that y'all aren't together anymore, and got confused lol
We just wewnt each others people to be honest. We both love Jade and are dedicated to co parenting as a unit but we were literally driving eachother to insanity trying to make the love stay alive. I think both,of,us would agree were hard working good hearted parents, but we didnt level on values or or perspecive on life even though we compromise on parenting for the sake of Jades stability 😊
and also: natsume is SUCH a good antithesis to the usual kind of character we see with mental issues/psychosis like…. there’s the typical “crazy schizo” villain who the audience is meant to fear because of their “insanity” that we see time and time again in literally every form of media, and then there’s natsume, who in the eyes of others breaks things and gets into trouble and hurts himself and lies about it all, but the audience knows that he’s actually kind and gentle and not at fault for the trouble he gets into despite his best intentions to be “good” and stay out of it
like, his issues are still THERE, but instead of getting the outsider pov where we’re meant to think of him as crazy and dangerous, we get to see natsume alternately struggle to deal with & accept and love his entirely unique life experiences, and see the people around him love and care for him because of that kindness and gentleness and unique worldview, which! is honestly the most refreshingly sweet way i’ve seen mental illness, let alone psychosis, handled in like. anything ever
Kuroko, why didn’t you warn us that your former captain was freaking Charles Manson??
I didn’t think it was important.
But he’s insane!! We are literally playing on the same court as a deranged psychopath! He could kill any one of us at any time and let me tell you something, if it isn’t Izuki, I’m gonna be pissed.
You know how everyone is so concerned with how “this isn’t a children’s show” due to the murder of the Earth Queen? And even before then for the murder suicide of Amon and Tarrlock?
But the fact that Azula goes insane…that’s some tough shit right there. I mean, She was always a bit of a psychopath, but she literally is driven insane. And it’s not like we miss it. We see the very moment. The exact second that she starts coming down too hard on her cherry pit servant; the moment she banishes here and it’s a shock. We realize that it’s not in her normal character to overreact like that.
Then the Di Lee Agents being banished, then the ordering of Lo and Lee to fight an agni kai. I mean, they’ve been with her for a long time. She knows they aren’t firebenders. They shock on their faces when they tell her–like it’s something she should know.
We literally watch her fall down the depths of her own insanity and it’s just a little strange to hear people going crazy about how this isn’t a children’s show when we’ve known for almost 10 years that it’s not.
So why is this murder such a big deal? Yes it’s intense and wow–but you knew when this show first was mentioned that it was going to push the envelope.
“I had so many issues that were underneath, that needed to be taken care of, and we kept putting Band-Aids over it. It literally drove me insane. I was not eating, and purging, and self-harming. It was really difficult to be able to stop. Without music, it would be really, really hard to survive.