Working for the government in the covert sector, one meets lots of folks and makes friends with folks from all age groups. Sitting across from me here in my office is Captain America, aka Steve Rogers.
"Captain America how are you doing sir. Last reports had you being eliminated."
"I've been better. I'm unemployed, and before that I was unappreciated and underpaid, so I guess I am just tracking the typical US citizen these days."
"What do you think about where comics are going these days?"
"This is a loaded question. You've caught me at a rather cynical point in my career, and I'm not sure I could answer your questions without letting this cynicism taint my comments."
"Go ahead, America deserves to hear your point of view. You're an American. You're out of work, what do you have to lose?"
"You know, you're right. I've sat on the sidelines as I watched my country belittled by guys who like to draw men in tights, it's about time I spoke my peace.
I'm an oldtimer. I remember when you didn't have to explain the phrase 'moms and apple pie' - folks knew this was a reference to America, a nation built around strong families and respect for the people who care for you. In the forties, when I started working, my job was to act as a symbol for all that Americans held dear. Today these things are no longer held as dear by the masses, especially by the cartoonist community.
It's no longer the family, its a family unit. Not a mom and dad, but a structure that acts as a repository for raising a kid. By today's standards a mom and a daycare center are a family unit. A dad, a DVD player and Nickelodeon or two moms an adopted child and a sense of entitlement - All these are family units too and it's messing up this great nation."
"Wait a sec there Cap..you're going to be accused of homophobia. And what's worse the angry e-mails will be flooding my inbox. You want to clarify?"
"That's just it, isn't it? When did America become so cowardly, they can't speak the truth? When did we have to call illegal immigrants, undocumented workers? Or worse, have a President who claims these law-breaking folks are here to help America instead of taking American jobs and food from hard-working Americans? When did such outright, bald-faced lies become acceptable? Why on Earth do we have to call broken families a family? Single mothers and fathers are a fact of life, but a family, by my definition, is a mom and a dad and their children. I know, you'll get a lot of hate-mail for me speaking my mind. I do appreciate this forum and a chance to speak my mind without being edited or words shoved into text balloons above my likeness, by effete creative types who like drawing bulges and indoctrinating children."
"Hey, you're on a roll Cap' my e-mail will be overflowing, so you might as well continue and get it out of your system."
"Thanks SDAI-Tech1, I will. Comics used to be about entertainment. Now, they are all too often about indoctrinating young minds and turning them into pathological folks numb to the worst forms of violence. What place is there for a guy whose weapon is a shield in a world where sicko cartoonists like to draw blood splashing across a panel? Where does Captain America fit in today? In a world where America has been belittled, demeaned and targeted by communists, socialists and globalists whose agenda is to destroy personal liberty, freedom, in the name of a 'greater' good. I'm not the only superhero whose beliefs annoy the gosh-darn out of the folks charged with writing comic stories about them, over at DC, Superman has been unable to say 'Truth, Justice and the American Way' for some time now. When a character can't even say their tagline, you know you're in trouble. They grew his hair long, tried to make him palatable for the selfish-pierced-low-self-worth crowd who they felt were reading comics, but it didn't work so they killed him off too angering some older folks, then brought him back, making money all the while.
The whole Marvel 'civil war' thing was a total farce. Written by folks who detest America and all it stands for and see a police-state where none exists, who see autocracy in the land of the free and who really missed their calling as propaganda writers for Joseph Stalin. They grew up, taught by a leftist dominated US educational system that now teaches conservation, globalism, multi-culturalism and America doubting. In their world America is a dirty word. More than one of them referred to me as 'Captain expletive' as they wrote my story. They think I don't hear them, but I DO."
"Wow. You really let er rip their Cap. You got anything else?"
"Sure. It's been going downhill for a long time. You may remember back in the seventies I was teamed up with Falcon? Well Falcon was African-American and he was fine, but I knew then and there that my title was being appropriated by the 'politically correct'. In the seventies and eighties you saw a lot of that contrived coupling going on in the entertainment industry; Silver Streak, Lethal Weapon just off the top of my head and you know who Falcon hated? He hated the comic book character 'Chuck Clayton' from Archie. I remember well when he tore into him at a comic convention back around 1975. 'Added Color' he always called him. 'What does Chuck do? Is he a brain like Dilton? Does he love girls like Archie? Is a dumb jock like Moose? Is he conceited like Reggie? No,he's a nice guy. Never does anything mean, selfish, or have anything resembling a personality. Why? because he's black and the Archie writers are a bunch of worthless, spineless jellyfish.' That's why Falcon called him 'AC' whenever they met. Chuck told him off at a San Diego Comicon, I can't remember the year 'look in the mirror' he shouted, 'You think you're Bucky? Think again. You're me - you're the superhero version of Chuck Clayton'. And what's more, Chuck was right and Falcon knew it. Falcon was never the same after that. He developed an attitude and knew when the PC winds changed he would be gone, replaced by the next PC flavor of the month. 'One day your partner will be a crippled, bald, same-sex-oriented Japanese woman and you'll look back on our partnership as the good ol' days'. Falcon was prophetic, he knew better than anyone, how certain 'creative types' use entertainment mediums to indoctrinate the young and push their agenda. He just had the details wrong. Now, if my name were Captain Mexico and I were the champion of illegal border crossers who beats up 'coyotes', 'racist rednecks' and waves the red, green and white instead of the red, white and blue - I'd have a solid job for the next two hundred years. But as it stands I'm pure poison to all too many of the 'creative types' of today."
Captain America sits silent, and after a moment looks down at the floor.
"Cap, you still have more? Or is this a wrap?"
He slowly raises his head and looks up at me. He looks me in the eye and I see that he is truly Captain America, because his pain is America's pain.
"I have more, lots more, but I'm done for now."
"Well thank you Cap' I appreciate it."
"You know why they call me that right?"
"Call you what?"
"Cap - you just called me Cap."
"Yeah, I did didn't I?"
"Yeah, they started doing that so they wouldn't have to spell out Captain America all the time. Saying America aloud burned their tongues and spelling it out busted their pens."
I watch as Captain America looks off into the distance, past me and at the US Flag that sits in my office.
"You don't know what it's like to have folks who despise you, write and draw you. All the subtle degradations, the digs, the back-handed compliments they work into the scripts. And then as folks with bigger agendas than pandering to the common denominator came along they twisted words and put them in text bubbles over my head to try and make others hate America. That, that was the worst. But it's over now. I'm actually glad. Now I can speak for myself."
"Thank you, Captain America. And I really mean it - Thank You."
He nods, picks up his shield and walks out of my office with an honest dignity you don't see much these days. Now I have to consult the lawyers, the PR types and my Japanese Syndicate to make sure I don't find myself out of a job as well...