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Top Five Things Captain America Also Did Not Know About

Okay, I was at a boring conference all day, so to amuse myself, I came up with a bunch of Top Fives. You know what that means? A WEEK OF TOP FIVES!!! Oh yeah!!

This first one is a reference to the final issue of Civil War: Front Line. In it, Sally Floyd, the reporter who was clearly on Captain America’s side the entire series, abruptly turns on Cap in the last issue to lambaste him for “thinking he is speaking for America when he really knows nothing about America.” To demonstrate this, Floyd inanely points out that Cap is probably unfamiliar with NASCAR, MySpace, etc. For some weird reason, Cap actually reacts like Floyd made some brilliant point, but that’s neither here nor there. Here are the top five things Captain America also did not know about American culture (that Floyd did not mention). Enjoy!

5. Rachel Ray

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I am certain that Captain America would love Ray and all her wholesome goodness, but I am just as certain that Captain America does not follow the Food Network (or daytime talk shows).

4. The WNBA

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“Women play professional basketball now?”

I will not make a joke that not knowing about the WNBA makes Cap actually fairly similar to the rest of America, as that would be an unfairly mean joke.

3. Kevin Federline

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I think that there is a decent chance that even Captain America has heard of Britney Spears. In fact, I bet he even managed to pick up that she was having marital problems (and mental problems), but there is no way that Captain America actually knows who Kevin Federline is.

2. So You Think You Can Dance

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“I remember this show about dancing…I think it was called American Bandstand. It was hosted by this guy who was born a few years before me…Dick something or other.”

But So You Think You Can Dance?

I Do Not Think Cap Would Know It.

1. Tentacle Porn

Nuff’ said.

36 Comments

Nice. The thought of some younger, hipper hero explaining K-Fed to Cap is worthy of a one-shot. I’d buy several copies.

Colossus: “I don’t understand. Who is ‘The Hilton Girl’?”

“Beast: It doesn’t matter. On a lot of levels.”

Bravo, Brian.

Of course, I’m waiting for ‘World War Hulk: Frontline’, in which Sally Floyd explains to the Hulk that he doesn’t have the right to smash America, because he doesn’t even know what MySpace is.

I’m sure Cap has heard of # 4. And after that… unpleasant experience with SQUIDGOR: THE BEAST FROM 5000 FATHOMS – Well, he’s not completely ignorant of # 1.

I think Cap knows about the WNBA. They stole his original shield for their logo!

I think Cap knows about the WNBA. They stole his original shield for their logo!

But that demonstrates to me that he doesn’t know about it! Cap would not STAND for such an effrontery!!

Can’t say I didn’t see that one coming, she did the same thing in Secret Wars: Front Line but with Galactus and New Kids on the Block

“Of course, I’m waiting for ‘World War Hulk: Frontline’, in which Sally Floyd explains to the Hulk that he doesn’t have the right to smash America, because he doesn’t even know what MySpace is.”

I wonder if the Hulk would then proceed to smash her, or just stand there confused until he died of a brain anuerism from trying to understand her.

I’m sure Cap knew about Federline. He probably did some research right after Sally left.

And the next thing Cap did was throw himself in front of a bullet? Coincidence? I think not.

I still think she had a legitimate point. A very legitimate point. But I don’t want to derail the snark, because it can be quite funny.

K-Fed should be the new Bucky…

I thought she made a great point. And it seems only fair that Captain America was out of touch with his fellow Americans, given how many Americans probably didn’t realise there was still a Captain America comic being published until it was forced into the headlines.

Anyway, back in the 60s, Cap found he was out of touch and had to go on a long road trip to figure things out and ground himself. He hasn’t done that kind of thing for a long time – he’s been blindly working for The Man for the last few years of his comic, which is one reason why it’s been so damn dull – and it seems only fair that he should suddenly realise he’s out of touch again.

You didn’t mention item #0 that Cap didn’t know about: comic blogs.

Patrick Joseph

May 24, 2007 at 7:36 pm

I don’t know any of that stuff, and I am too young to have fought in WW2.

Or Viet Nam, for that matter.

(OK- I’ll come clean on having watched Legend Of The Overfiend part 1 and the live action La Blue Girl)

I can certainly allow that Jenkins had a definite decent foundation for an interesting discussion between Sally and Cap over Cap’s role in society.

But the scene went to shit at two (pretty darn important) places:

1. Whatever basic point she may have had, Sally argued it horribly

and

2. Jenkins played the scene intellectually dishonest by not having Cap respond, instead reacting as if she just made the best argument ever.

Andrew Collins

May 24, 2007 at 9:02 pm

So, Cap’s “out of touch” with America because he’s not a redneck who likes watching cars turn left for four hours or a teen with a modem and too much freetime? And why are we letting a British writer lecture us on what is American? Sigh…

2. Jenkins played the scene intellectually dishonest by not having Cap respond, instead reacting as if she just made the best argument ever.

“That’s it. You’re out of my Top Eight!”

“Of course, I’m waiting for ‘World War Hulk: Frontline’, in which Sally Floyd explains to the Hulk that he doesn’t have the right to smash America, because he doesn’t even know what MySpace is.”

I bet Rick Jones has a myspace page. He’d probably show Hulk how to set one up.

So…who would Rick’s top eight be? ROM must have a Myspace. Probably Marlo. Moondragon and Phyla/Quasar?

I think Snapper Carr would definitely be in Rick Jones’ Top 8. They have too much in common to NOT be friends.

So, Cap’s “out of touch” with America because he’s not a redneck who likes watching cars turn left for four hours or a teen with a modem and too much free time?

Cap’s an American in name only. He may like freedom and liberty and all that old guy stuff, but he doesn’t realize what really makes this country thrive is reality television.

Of course, in a couple of years that scene will need to be retconned so they can take out the reality TV references and replace it with whatever the passing fad of the time is.

I guess Captain America was too busy, I dunno, -saving our lives- to watch NASCAR. Or download porn. Or make a Myspace page. Huh. Go figure. How dare he not have a personal life because he was fighting MODOK and AIM and the Red Skull, and SHIELD?

Cap faked his death so he could catch up on his TiVo.
He has 10 years of the Simpsons, and all of Seinfeld to watch.

Frankly, I’d rather have the “Baseball and apple pie” Cap, instead of the “American Idol and YouTube” Cap.

Joe Gualtieri

May 24, 2007 at 11:01 pm

At the risk of ruining the joke…

Given Marvel’s sliding timeline, it’s far more likely Cap knows about So You Think You Can Dance?, a current show, than American Bandstand, a show which certainly started and went off the air while he was an ice cube.

2. Jenkins played the scene intellectually dishonest by not having Cap respond, instead reacting as if she just made the best argument ever.

I keep seeing people argue that surely Civil War and Frontline were meant to be ironic and satiric, but it’s things like that (plus the repeated insistence of both the writers and Marvel editorial that Tony was right and heroic and Cap was wrong and stupid), that convince me that they really sincerely think that way, that Cap was boring and outmoded and that Tony was spiffy and edgy, and that the real heroes are the people who do evil shit because they are Smarter Than Thou, so just shut up about rights and freedoms.

Frankly, I’d rather have the “Baseball and apple pie” Cap, instead of the “American Idol and YouTube” Cap.

But the point of the argument in the book (and, as I read it, the reason Cap didn’t respond [because he thought it was right]) is that you don’t get to choose. To be the living symbol of America, you have to defend baseball, apple pie, American Idol and YouTube all at once. People who watch NASCAR are as important to America as people who attend the opera. Mom’s apple pie is as integral as a Big Mac.

I’ve always believed, in a fictional sense, that Cap doesn’t stand for America, but for what America can be – however, that doesn’t excuse him from not knowing what it is.

And now, to maintain the spirit of the topic:

I think Cap would get along great with Rachel Ray. Because he, too, thinks you should be able to live the high life for merely $40 a day.

Or maybe a week.

Month?

I’ve always believed, in a fictional sense, that Cap doesn’t stand for America, but for what America can be – however, that doesn’t excuse him from not knowing what it is.

But that part of it was stupid, too. Cap’s been in the modern world for 12-13 years, more than a third of his life, and the vast majority of his adult life — he was only 23 or 24 when he woke up from the ice. He’s worked for a living for most of those thirteen years, as a beat cop, a commercial illustrator, and a teacher. He’s somehow more out of touch with the “real America” than Reed Richards, high functioning Aspergers who lives in a damn gated fortress? Tony Stark, child of privilege?

He’s used the highest of high tech, he’s been all over space, he’s travelled across the United States, he was one of the first superheroes to utilize computer networks (BBSes back in the day.) He was the point man in dealing with the President and congress in the Avengers for years. He’s been everywhere and done everything.

And y’know, I think the guy who is the biggest baseball fan in the Avengers probably knows who won the fucking World Series.

And not to mention, you know what? The SHRA was fucking unconstitutional. I bet there’s at least one or two Supreme Court judges out there who pay no attention to NASCAR, but that shockingly enough doesn’t disqualify them from saying, “Hey, that’s a blatant violation of the right of every American to a trial by a jury of their peers!”

But that’s not what really made me angry. What made me angry was that Sally Floyd was like, “I had to hide in a subway while you super-people fought it out over an issue of importance to regular people like me!”

…and Cap didn’t respond with, “I don’t have super-powers. Sure, I train and work out, but the big difference between you and me was that I was up there fighting and you were down there hiding in a subway waiting for someone else to fix your fucking problem.”

To be the living symbol of America, you have to defend baseball, apple pie, American Idol and YouTube all at once.

I’d argue that it’s not those things, per se, that you defend so much as their right to exist. The right of all Americans – and by extension, all of humanity – to have the rights without which they wouldn’t have all this stuff.

Had Ms.Floyd argued that those ideals were changing – that the people he was defending didn’t actually want, say, freedom of speech so much anymore – that’d make total sense to me. (And I think that’s what the writers probably intended – invoking NASCAR just sounds cooler than the Bill of Rights.)

But just zeroing in on a bunch of stuff and demanding he swear fealty to it is kind of a pointless exercise, really. As is pointed out above, nobody asks Supreme Court nominees whether they have a MySpace page – it would be considered a frivolous use of their time, and rightly so.

I wish that *I* didn’t know who Kevin Federline was!

As I’ve noted before, I don’t think the point that Paul Jenkins was stating was that Cap lost because he doesn’t have a MySpace page.

What I *do* think Jenkins was attempting to get across was that nowadays most Americans care much more about American Idol and NASCAR and MySpace than they do about the federal government eroding civil liberties. Which, to be honest, you could make an argument for. I mean, I know people who got totally worked up about that Sanjaya guy on American Idol, who were throwing fits that the guy was on the show. Yet these very same people had no opinion about George W. Bush or the war in Iraq.

The point is that Jenkins is arguing that it doesn’t matter how hard Cap fights for a cause, if the average joe on the street remains indifferent to it. It has often been observed that democracy requires participation and effort to work. And if you have a public were people are more concerned with reality TV than rampant govt corruption, well, nothing is going to change.

Mind you, if this is what Jenkins was trying to get across, he could have done a MUCH better job at clarity, since obviously most readers didn’t come away from Frontline #11 with that particular message in mind.

“Cap was Right!”

‘Nuff said!

People who watch NASCAR are as important to America as people who attend the opera.

Nah, there are a whole bunch of Americans who are unimportant to America. Thousands, in fact.

And they cross all social boundries. Cap doesn’t have to be the living representation of Americans to be the living representation of America.

For all this talk about how Cap is out of touch because he doesn’t know about NASCAR and American Idol and other such fluff, it makes me wonder what he was like back in his own time. Was Cap keenly aware of Jack Benny and The U.S. Steel Comedy Hour and the Smothers Brothers, or whatever it was American couch potatoes latched onto back in the 40s?

American ideals have nothing to do with what’s on television. They have to do with giving you the freedom to watch television without the King of England pushing you around.

Andrew Collins

May 25, 2007 at 9:59 pm

“American ideals have nothing to do with what’s on television. They have to do with giving you the freedom to watch television without the King of England pushing you around.”

Thank you, sir, you just gave me the best laugh I’ve had all day. :)

Oh come on, he definitely knows about tentacle porn!

Cap has always represented the America Ideal NOT the American Popculture. The problem with Marvel’s Civil War was that Cap and many of the others would not have responded by fighting Iron Man. Cap would most likely have responded with civil disobedience. Spidey would likely have gone back to thumping rapists and drug dealers in the back alleys. All most all of the good guys would done whatever it took to avoid endangering lives and property with out-and-out battle. I suspect that most of them would have followed in Angelica Jones footsteps and simply hung up their capes.
The ones who would taken this to war in the street would have been the mutants. They’ve been dreading this day for decades, and have had clear images from time travelers that this is the type of thing that leads to death camps and pogroms.
For the record, Tony Stark took the appeasers way out. And the SHRA was the response of blaming the hero for the villain’s evil deed. The writers and editors of Marvel are the ones who are out of touch with most of America. They believe that

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