We don’t have gods or goddesses.
At least not in the same way those before us did.
We found our own path to the Golden Rule, regardless of whomever is doing the enforcement.
We want something to believe in.
We want to see good in the world.
But it’s difficult to find for a generation squished like jelly in a societal sandwich compromised of the two largest baby booms in the history of human existence.
Roll that one around on the tongue with your locally brewed beer and ponder the implications for a spell.
We want what our grandparents had. A chance to do better than our parents did, however we define that.
We’re willing to work hard for a decent wage and better lives for ourselves and our children. Not that it was ever really a possibility.
We’ve always known we were screwed so we have to do what we’ve always done, subvert through the arts. GenX, for the moment at least, is enjoying being culture makers of a sort. People like Joss Whedon, the Russo brothers and Zach Snyder are taking the stories that we all grew up on and turning them into budget busting extravaganzas.
My personal favorite new/old hero is Captain America.
He lives in a world of black and white and uses his powers for good. We don’t have much of that anymore, if we ever really did.
How much more good does it get then jumping on a grenade for ones fellow soldiers?
These films aren’t just about cultural archetypes, they’re also reasonably well made. There’s been a lot of thought and effort put into the world around all the explosions.
When Steve Rogers arrives at boot camp he unpacks books such as Heroes of the Western Front and The Machinery of War. These are the colors that make a universe live. These sorts of details aren’t necessarily historically accurate but they feed into our perception of that archetype. For instance, the Nazis are evil and extremely well-tailored. That’s just the way Nazi’s are supposed to be and these movies don’t try to prove otherwise.
Hayley Atwell is a charming Agent Carter. She’s a lovely woman and plays her character with grace. She kicks ass in high heels and doesn’t even muss her lipstick. Is it realistic? Hell no but who cares? It’s a freakin superhero movie!
Hugo Weaving is a wonderfully evil Red Skull. There’s a purity to the portrayal that makes the bad guys easy and safe to hate. We don’t need ambiguity in our entertainment. We get enough of that in the real world.
Not that we can’t think. We’re just tired.
It’s good against evil with great graphics and a hefty special effects budget.
Steve Rogers goes into the cocoon and emerges a better, faster version of himself. It’s a hero story like the human race has always had. Captain America as our Gilgamesh.
And Vita Rays is just damn funny. It is based on a comic book after all.
Chris Evans isn’t exactly harsh on the eyes either. That certainly doesn’t hurt.
It’s good clean fun and even a morality play to boot
What’s not to love?