Wednesday, June 8

Captain America is a Nazi, and that's why Hillary Clinton will lose

What is, exactly, Mrs. Clinton's emotional message to us? Because Trump's already got one: She's as crooked and fucked up as the system I want to burn down.


One thing that the discussion about the current Captain America storyline has me thinking about is Emotional Truths.

Because the outrage that Captain America is a secret Nazi is, as it turns out, misplaced IF you are following a factual timeline of fictional events. Hydra is no longer a Nazi organization, retconned into the Illuminati of evil, so the accusation of them being Nazis is not longer precisely accurate.

Now, let's just admit that having Captain America be a secret Nazi is a problem, especially if the marketing of this story wants to insist that this story isn't a trick or gimmick or any such nonsense (and that's just what the writer did). That's a massive problem on multiple levels, because Nazis existed and the evil that they did still casts a shadow on us.

And it's also true that Hydra was a Nazi organization and lead by characters that were Nazis. The retcons may have turned Hydra into a group that is about more banal forms of evil but it still connected with and assisted Nazis. This evil doesn't just go away. That cultural (sub)consciousness that Hydra is part of the Nazis still exists.

So even if Marvel wants to say 'nope, not Nazis now' that die is still cast. They might be more than Nazis, but emotional truth of that situation is: They are Nazis.

And we are emotional creatures. More importantly, stories are about telling us emotional truths. So while the factual truth of Hydra not being Nazis anymore might be the case, the emotional connection (along with the historical data) to Nazis still remains.

Nobody's trying to speak to that. The outrage is either 100% supported or bushed off, often brusquely, because it that person doesn't know the truth or just doesn't 'get' comics or, or, or...

And the Truth is: Everyone is right. There isn't a wrong response to that story. There are wrong reactions-threatening the creators of a story is fucked up, no matter where you come down on this-but the people who want to enjoy this story are just as right as those who are repelled by it. And those who are repelled by it aren't being properly informed by the creators/marketers (that's their job) nor are the defenders of this story willing to respond to the truth-and it is one-evoked by the emotional response to that story.

Again, this is in large part because of the insistence that this is the REAL Captain America and there are no tricks. (We will set aside the boneheadedness of having a sleeper agent of 75 years not assist your organization).

Of course there is a goddamn trick. Stop lying to us about that.

So now that I've said all that, I am wondering where I am not honoring the emotional truths. Bernie Sanders supporters-hell, Trump supporters-are yelling about an emotional truth that has legitimate basis in reality: That the system is rigged against them and these two guys are saying: you're right, and we want to fix that/give the finger to that.

To try and dismiss these things, or worse, shush them without hearing them out, betrays the level of ignorance we are dealing with in our culture.


So we come to the problem with Hillary Clinton's seemingly inevitable run for President: What is the emotional truth that she is connecting to people with? I don't know what it is, and much of her campaign feels like: Hey, it's my turn to be President.

But people don't respond to that. And they won't respond to "But it's not Trump!", at least not in numbers high enough to keep him from the Presidency. Because at the moment, Trump's emotional truth (the System is fucking you over and nobody is listening to you so get angry), once you drill past the bigotry and evil and bullshit, is not only factually supported it's very clear. This anger is the same thing that fuels Sanders's campaign.

But Trump can bullshit his way through, unlike the writer of the Captain America story, because he's talking the emotional truth and people ignore facts in order to get their heart heard. All he cares about is the emotional truth that gets you to believe him--and he's got it. That's why facts don't matter to him and why they don't matter to his supporters.

Hillary Clinton is trying to get people to support Obama 2.0 and nobody's heart is in it.

What are people's emotional truths? How are we speaking to them in a way that appreciates that? How do we move forward courageously?