Here is a brief comment on Michael Loftus' recent allegations on Fox News about Captain America's "too much politicization" in the new comic miniseries., United States of Captain America.
In recent days, the US television network Fox News has aired a series of specials on the "scandalous politicization of Captain America". The hype was born from the publication of the comic book miniseries United States of Captain America, in which Steve Rogers questions the concept of the American dream.
Let's briefly see what was said on Fox News and why these accusations are based on a political concept typical of those who are privileged.
What was said on Fox News about United States of Captain America?
Fox News recently aired two specials, in which the political approach of the comic book miniseries was criticized United States of Captain America.
Let's see better what has been said.
The intervention of Michael Loftus and "Captain Woke"
The comedian Michael Loftus was invited on Tuesday July 6 to Fox News to talk about Captain America's character, aka Steve Rogers, in the new comic miniseries United States of Captain America.
According to Loftusin fact, Captain America would become "Captain Woke" or "Captain Propaganda".
Here's what Loftus said:
It's so sad when Captain America is like “Captain Woke” or “Captain Propaganda”… I'm done with Captain America. He died for me!
Did I miss a volume in which he was kidnapped by professors of the liberal arts and in which he was forced to move to Portland?
This is just further proof that the left hunts down everything real Americans care about. They tried to wipe out baseball, apple pie, and now Captain America too!
Maybe now they'll change his costume, and instead of a shield he'll hold a laptop in his hand, and he'll have exciting adventures sitting in a cafe tweeting bad things and fact-checking on Facebook.
The intervention of Dean Cain and the fashion to criticize the USA
In another interview, the actor Dean Cain, interpreter of Superman in the TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, added new allegations during the Fox & Friends program.
Cain said that "wokeness", or progressivism, is becoming pervasive and is therefore infecting actors, celebrities and the media. Indeed, as reported by Fox News in this article, he is literally indoctrinating children in schools.
Today, criticizing and hating America is fashionable.
I'm exactly on the other side of the fence. I love this country. It's not perfect. We are continually trying to come to a more perfect union, as we all know. But I believe this is the fairest, fairest and most opportunity country that anyone has ever seen. That's why people are trying to come here from all over the world.
Supporting the flag and red, white and blue in the US makes me a revolutionary in some ways, and it suits me.
I believe the pendulum will swing back to being able to openly appreciate American values, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as soon as people go back to studying them in school.
Why are Loftus and Cain's words populist?
There is a lot to be said about these words, but we will limit ourselves to making just a few observations.
First, let's look at Loftus' lexicon. Note his dividing the political scene between the left (which destroys things) and not his political counterpart, such as the right, but the "real Americans".
This strategy of dividing the world into "we" (the people, the good people, those with true values) e "their" (the enemy, the invader, the bad elites) is typically populist and generally based more on the attempt to prey on the fears of others than on substance.
This, in its own right, should make us understand how empty Loftus' accusations are.
We then analyze Cain's words. Let's see how he too divides the world into "barricades" (fence in the original), creating two opposing sides between whom hate the USA and who there loves. Here Cain goes more on patriotism and relies on the instinctive association of positive meanings to the word "love" and negative meanings to the word "hate".
This is another populist rhetorical strategy, which we in Italy had already experimented with Berlusconi. Do you remember when he said "Love always wins over envy and hate", thus associating your party with love and all opponents with envy and hate?
As Adriano Sofri pointed out in 2010 in this article, the use of these elementary categories is one way demagogic to do politics, because it reduces the complex political discourse to a minimal ideology, to a struggle between good and evil.
Captain America has always been political
So let's go to the second point: Captain America and politics.
Steve Rogers' character has always been a deeply political figure. He began his career by literally punching the Nazis, and then spent various stages of his life in comics embodying different perceptions of the US government. It was alternatively both a criticism and a celebration.
Even in the MCU alone of the past decade, Captain America movies have often been the most politically explicit ones, of course with the notable exception of Black Panther. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, for example, it is a criticism of the constant surveillance of citizens by the state.
What is it about? United States of Captain America?
So let's go briefly to see what the comic book of discord is about.
United States of Captain America is, according to the Marvel website, a story that celebrates the XNUMXth anniversary of the iconic Marvel character.
So let's see how Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson they must hunt across the United States for the thief who stole Captain America's iconic shield. However, on this journey Steve and Sam will meet many people who have decided to take on the role of Captain America to help and defend their communities. For some reason, whoever stole the shield wants all these new Captain America dead.
According to Polygon, the first volume of United States of Captain America opens with a monologue by Steve Rogers on how the American dream died. Here are his words, which I translate:
"I'm not loyal to anything except the dream."
I actually said it once.
The point of a dream, however, is that it is not real.
When we wake up, it goes away. And we stay there, with this longing inside. As if something had been taken away from us.
Why is everything political and everything is political?
But why has Captain America always been political?
The answer is simple: why when we write we always insert a political vision of the world.
In this sense, therefore, the enemy faced by Steve Rogers will always have a political value.
But even when we leave the comics area and enter, for example, the role-playing area, we always come across the expression of a political idea.
What Makes a Character Evil, in D&D? If owning slaves makes a character evil, we are faced with a political position.
Who is the antagonist of our campaign? If it is a person who is oppressing and persecuting a part of the population, we are making a political comment.
Do we imply that the social disparity between rich and poor is negative? Political commentary.
Politics is everywhere, because human beings, if they live in a society, will always live in a political society. Indeed, politics profoundly influences the way we live.
The fact of not wanting politics in a role-playing game or in a comic is in turn an expression of a political vision: the privilege of being able to consider the status quo non-political, since the status quo allows us to live well.
But for those who are discriminated against or marginalized, the status quo is not "non-political", and it cannot be.
And you can see very well the privilege of those who benefit from the status quo, when they find any content that deviates from their imaginary "too political". It is therefore only in these cases that a character like Cap becomes political, according to these people.
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