Video Post – Captain America(s)

My favorite(?) hero! One of my favorites. Top 5. It rotates. But I definitely have the most stuff related to Captain America and that has to count for something. Anyway!

Show Notes
– I do mention it briefly in this, but I should be clear that much of my idea of Steve comes from fanfic first, which is then backed up by his portrayal in the movies, comics, and cartoons that have been made fairly recently. If it doesn’t fit so well with some depictions of the character, particularly pre-MCU depictions, that would be why. I haven’t done a whole lot of digging, so it might be more accurate to say that I love Cap as portrayed by fandom. If that has somehow become a completely different character and Millar is closer to the truth, I appreciate the fan creation even more because they took something only so-so and made it better…and then got that to show up in the canon! People are influenced by stories which they then retell in ways that influence the stories that will influence other people. Yay!

– Other favorite heroes: Batgirl (Barbara Gordon in particular), Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers, though I also like DC’s Billy Batson quite a bit), Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan, since Carol has already been mentioned in this list), Wonder Woman. It’s harder to find merch for them at low enough prices for me, and also I tend to like the characters much more than their symbols. I really like Cap’s shield. It’s so instantly recognizable and simple, easily represents all these ideas I discuss here without words. One day when I’m making way more money I want a tattoo of it. And then later either a Wonder Woman logo or Non-Compliant tattoo (from another comic called Bitch Planet), they kind of represent the same thing to me. The others on the list don’t have symbols that are quite as meaningful or unique.

– I need to toy with the camera placement more. Maybe see if I can get some sort of extension cord for USB drives so I can get the camera closer. It’s so hard to get it in a place where I can show all the decorations and still have it close enough to pick up my voice well and not be at a really awkward angle. I actually have a separate mic too, but the cord is even shorter and the camera usually picks up my voice well enough, so I haven’t bothered with it. But maybe if I can get a USB hub to extend the length and make space for both of them, that would fix all the problems. Maybe run it through Audacity too after editing the video, since there doesn’t seem to be very useful sound editing in Movie Maker. Can you do that without screwing up the video or adding too much work? Hmm. I’ll look into it. In the meantime, especially in this video, I’m sorry about the sound quality.

– Can you even see aged-up Steve Rogers on the cover I showed of the new Captain America series? I can barely see it as I’m editing. That’s okay. Bottom line: he’s old. White/gray hair, maybe some wrinkles? This does not seem to otherwise alter his appearance or performance much and he’s still leading a superhero team. So the idea that he’s not Captain America anymore because he’s too old definitely doesn’t make a lot of sense if it’s because of skills or whatever. I’m getting ahead of myself here, but that does tie really well into the aging-up of other popular superheroes with this not-quite-a-reboot. Not that they’re too old in-universe, but the values that led to their creation are too old and might not speak well to our current readers and issues. Smart move on Marvel’s part, nice way to handle it.

– And on that note, yay pictures! It’s not quite true that I had never done it before, it was part of an assignment in a videos-for-education class. But it was several years ago and I haven’t tried it recently. I wasn’t sure I’d remember it or be able to figure it out easily. But I did! Next step is to see if I can show the pictures while continuing the audio from the main video instead of just adding a few seconds of silence.

– I apologize for all the times I said “Captain America” while talking specifically about Steve. Mostly this is because in the things I’m referencing, that’s what he was called by other characters and/or by fans at the time I saw these things, so that’s what’s in my memory. But it’s not true anymore (except in the MCU) so I should really start using names rather than titles if I’m going to be talking about more than one at a time. I tried that here, but clearly slipped up a few times.

– Not quite sure if I’m clearly communicating why Steve’s aging doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean, it makes comic book sense. But the whole reason he looks young is because he was frozen and therefore his body didn’t age. Anti-aging (or even reduced aging) is not, as far as I can tell, one of his superpowers. So to suddenly have him revert to his “real age” doesn’t make sense because there’s no clear measure of that. No aging that’s been held back and is just waiting to attack him and take away all those extra years that he didn’t actually have. Old-Steve isn’t an old man in his natural body, he’s a young man supernaturally/magically aged up beyond his lived years. And that could have been done with anybody. But then, as I eventually realized here, they actually did do that with several others. I guess it was just the best way they found to retire this particular interpretation of the character while tying it into his backstory. *shrug* It works as well as anything, I suppose.

– I’ve done a fair amount of work towards creating my own superhero. It was an assignment for a “Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture” class I took free online. It was fun. I won’t say a lot about it because I might actually put it out as a webcomic or something at some point, but it was a good exercise and I recommend it. And what I discussed here is a big part of the design process – think about the problems you see in the world and most want to fix, find an inspirational figure maybe from ancient mythology or history or wherever, and figure out how they deal with that problem. And you’re not limited to one! I’m in a magic/superhero/whatever roleplaying game right now too, though it’s online and a little slow-moving. We’ve kept it fairly open and there seems to be sort of a spectrum where one of us is approaching it with a magic-heavy concept and is playing a wizard while my character is definitely more on the sci-fi/superhero side and even reminds me a little of the first season of Heroes. So I get to do this exercise all over again! Starting on the problem and character side and then building powers around that is definitely both an easier and more meaningful way of doing that, in my case at least.

– Anyone going to do this? Either by themselves or with kids in their lives? I’d love to hear how it goes and/or what you come up with.

Next Month
Not actually a pop culture talk. I had been considering something more personal as my thoughts have been turning quite a bit lately towards a favorite relative who has passed on and I’ve been wanting to talk about it. It ties in nicely with my feelings about Halloween and hope, so when my sister mentioned she was going to start recording practice sermons, I decided to try it every once in awhile too. So that’s my December post. A sermon on Christmas and other winter holidays as the fulfillment of hope in dark times.

A weird quirk I noticed recently. I often use Christmas as sort of a catch-all term because it’s everywhere and “the Christmas season” seems to start the day after Halloween now so it all gets caught up in that so in my mind I have a hard time separating Thanksgiving, Yule/Solstice, Hanukkah, Chalica, and New Year from Christmas. Even when I didn’t actually celebrate Christmas it was the first word that came to mind for everything connected to this time of year. Somehow I don’t think that’s what the anti-“PC” crowd has in mind when they rage against recognizing that other holidays exist. Oops. 😉 But I will try to pull that back and use the term “holidays” instead except when I’m actually talking about a specific one.

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