tenlittlebullets: (shieldra)
(Archived from a Tumblr post at http://shinelikethunder.tumblr.com/post/98127824576/having-recently-rewatched-the-more-watchable)

Having recently rewatched the more watchable episodes of Agents of SHIELD, I am struck anew by all the creepy authoritarian vibes–not just from the characters themselves, which is plausible on a show that’s all about the shadowy government Men in Black whose job is to put a lid on paranormal occurrences, but in which characters the show chooses to back up and the situations it constructs. I’m not even going to touch the nasty indoctrination Skye goes through to mold her from a freedom-of-information hacker type into an agent of SHIELD, because that mostly happens in the less watchable episodes. But the way the fallout of CA:TWS was handled–holy balls.

“Oh, that pesky, naïve Captain America and his cohort, dumping all our secrets onto the Internet! Taking down SHIELD along with Hydra! That was so mean of him, look, the totally plausible fallout is that now we’re all being persecuted as a ~terrorist organization~ and threatened with indefinite detention of the type we’re so fond of springing on people we’ve deemed to be threats! Why? Because there's no way to tell who might be Hydra. No way whatsoever. If only all of these meanie bureaucrats had some magic list of who had ties to Hydra. Like, some set of secret files with their recruitment data or something. If only, I don’t know, all of Hydra’s records had been dumped onto the internet or something.”

“Are we going to talk about the actual consequences of a leak on this scale, like all the deep-cover agents it burned? Ha ha ha, why would we waste time on that when we could be constructing elaborate strawmen about how Big Brother was the only thing standing between the world and chaos for the sake of chaos.”

“What does Hydra want, you ask? To take over, duh. Are there any ideological differences between Hydra and SHIELD? Um, we’ll get back to you on that. Does it bother us that ‘who’s Hydra?’ might as well have been a randomly-assigned game of Mafia because we’re indistinguishable from our own neo-Nazi conspiracy? Uh… YEAH! Yeah, we would totally have believed Victoria Hand was Hydra, how fucked-up is it that she made it to the top, what a hardass, am I right?”

“Guys. Guys. Hey, guys. I’ve got a great idea. The BEST idea. Let’s pay exactly zero attention to anything CA:TWS might’ve had to say about authoritarian bullshit and extrajudicial killing, and rebuild SHIELD.”
tenlittlebullets: (shieldra)
(Archive of a Tumblr post at http://shinelikethunder.tumblr.com/post/92561700584/swanjolras-ohhcaptainrum-swanjolras)

[Image: A mashup of the SHIELD and Hydra logos, with the caption "This isn't freedom. This is fear."]

ilvalentinos:
#[sharp inhale] #these are the times that try canon; seriously this is the point in time where i’m going to ignore agents of shield for THIS PRECISE REASON #the immediate decision to rebuild shield cheapens this turn so fucking much i dont CARE about what cap 2 does for your mediocre tv show #you cannot mistake this film for anything except what it is - a movie made in the 21st century when we’re moving#out of the immediate recent past; it couldn’t have been made at any other time other than now and to TEAR! AWAY! THAT MASK! #and show you that anyone and anything is capable of being /this/; that this rot can grow anywhere and that #we’re not as different as we like to think - is such a smart decision #it topples the status quo it is very decidedly moving forward and goddammit this show had to go and ruin it #man fuck it fuck it so hard fuck it to hell

swanjolras:
#mal flawless as per usual #shield was toxic because it was hydra but shield was ALSO toxic because it was shield #BECAUSE SHIELD AS AN ORGANIZATION WAS ROTTEN FROM DAY ONE #you cannot ‘rebuild shield from the ground up’ because shield and hydra WERE ALWAYS TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN #those helicarriers were not horrific BECAUSE hydra was in control of them #they were horrific because TO HAVE THAT KIND OF WEAPON IS INHERENTLY IMMORAL AND TYRANNICAL #because shield is not an organization of good men! it is an organization of perfect soldiers! #any organization like shield would have become rotten and corrupt and ultimately evil #whether! or! not! it! had! nazis! #the nazis were not the REASON that shield was evil #they were a DEMONSTRATION of JUST HOW EVIL SHIELD WAS CAPABLE OF BEING #this movie’s politics were the smartest politics #please marvel don’t take this away from me

bropunzeling:
#yeah. YEAH. #THE POINT IS THAT SURVEILLING AND SIGNIFYING ANY HUMAN LIFE AS IMMEDIATELY WORTHY OF DESTRUCTION WITHOUT THEM DOING ANYTHING WRONG #IS NOT! A GOOD FOUNDATION! FOR A GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION! #WE CANNOT PREDETERMINE HUMAN LIFE AS DISPOSABLE; WORTHY OF DESTRUCTION; PART OF A MASS OF OTHER THAT WILL DESTROY US #WE CANNOT CHARACTERIZE SOME HUMANS AS GRIEVABLE AND MOURNABLE AND OTHERS AS /NOT/ #THE WHOLE POINT OF CAP 2 IS YOU CAN’T HAVE THE DRONES. BY HAVING THE DRONES; YOU HAVE EMBODIED THE IDEA THAT SOME HUMANS ARE MORE GRIEVABLE; #RECOGNIZABLE; WORTHY OF CARE #YOU CAN’T HAVE THE DRONES AND EXPECT THE ORGANIZATION TO STILL BE ‘GOOD’ #YOU CAN’T HAVE THE DRONES!

My contribution, copied out of tags and into the post body:

#shield was not unamerican because Secret Nazis #shield was unamerican because Authoritarianism #because so very Authoritarianism that they’d been nurturing a faction of secret nazis the whole time and nobody could tell the difference #the principles behind what shield was doing do not suddenly become Evil or Not Evil depending on whose name is on the letterhead #(does one of the WSC members use ‘not if it was your switch’ as a clever retort? yes #are we supposed to trust the moral authority of the WSC? HAHAHA no) #the point is that some things are evil even in service of *your* cause #and yes they are alluring even to smart people like fury #and that is how groups like hydra and the RL fascists they’re standing in for come about in the first place #this entire movie was like a followup to that erskine quote: so many people forget that #the first country the nazis invaded was their own #captain america only works as a character because if #by some accident of birth and nationality #he’d been captain germany instead #he still would’ve gone down fighting nazis
tenlittlebullets: (Default)
(Archived from a Tumblr post at http://shinelikethunder.tumblr.com/post/86367145626/angualupin-shinelikethunder-i-just-what-is)

[In which I post scans from the truly abysmal Cap 2 prelude comic, with dialogue as follows:
Steve Rogers: Nice bit of acting work, Rumlow. I used to do some of that for the USO.
Brock Rumlow: Where do you think I learned it, Captain? They showed us your old newsreels during our training.
Steve Rogers: Well, now it's time for you to show me what else they taught you.
Brock Rumlow: You'd be surprised.]


i just

what is even

dON"T LOOK AT ME

(context: there is a (bite-sized, not particularly good) winter soldier prelude comic. that... seems to be... implying that SHIELD foisted Rumlow on Cap as some sort of Replacement Bucky sidekick figure. I’M NOT SURE HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS no wait I am some combination of horrified, uncomfortably turned on, and disappointed that this thread was dropped in the movie because it would’ve emotionally complicated EVERYTHING in delightful fucked-up ways)

angualupin:
oh

no

no no no no no

but so many things get so much worse when you think of Rumlow as Evil Replacement Bucky rather than Featured Henchman #2 who is totally not going to be important later on because it’s not like we’d ever get the death of captain america arc in mcu RIGHT

like him looking on while Real Bucky gets mindwiped

and the parallel hits of Steve!pain when, in quick succession, his Would-Be Replacement Bucky betrays him in cold blood and then it turns out that the mofo who’s been fucking everyone’s shit up is Real Bucky who’s been brainwashed and turned on him against his will

also I am just strangely delighted at the thought of SHIELD giving Cap a shady brutal sidekick while they send him out on shady brutal black-ops missions and NOBODY SEEMS TO THINK THERE’S ANYTHING WEIRD ABOUT THIS and he’s left going “okay, am I just having trouble adjusting or are things really this messed-up in the 21st century?”

(also, unrelatedly, I am not an artist and should probably not be making accusations I am not qualified to make, but WOW the art for this comic is bugging me, is it my imagination that it looks traced? like, badly traced from a video game? it’s all… outline-y and weirdly stiff and heavy on foreshortening that just doesn’t quite work but looks like it might’ve in a slightly different picture–)

#rumlow/steve #leave me here to die #i did not want this to become a proper enemy!ship but canon keeps enabling my worst tendencies #cap/featured henchman 2 is not a viable pairing #cap/evil replacement bucky who's probably going to kill him someday is a goddamn goldmine of Wrong
tenlittlebullets: (shieldra)
(Archived from a Tumblr post at http://shinelikethunder.tumblr.com/post/85612717591/that-makes-sense-what-make-you-of-the-hinting)

Anonymous asked:
That makes sense. What make you of the hinting that Hydra and its values are not the same as they were?

I mean, it makes sense for them to have ditched the racial-supremacy angle and focused on packaging the authoritarianism as attractively as possible to people already in the defense/security/intelligence industries, otherwise they’d be facing one hell of a recruiting problem. But I think the fact that they’re even still calling themselves Hydra openly is a glaring weakness in the plot–not only is it kind of a cop-out from the issues raised in the movie, how the hell is anyone who’s ever cracked open a history book in this universe going to hear the sales pitch and think “Gosh, joining up with this slick new version of a rogue Nazi science division sure does sound like a swell and non-evil idea?” Like, can’t the conspiracy within SHIELD at least be some secret faction with their own name and membership and everything, which is later revealed to be masterminded by Hydra unbeknownst to the rank and file? That would allow the movie to have its “you have literally become the thing you hate” cake and eat it too, and liven up the moral dilemma Steve throws at the SHIELD employees when he hijacks the intercom. Because in addition to “will the regular employees follow the orders they’ve been given or take a stand on Cap’s say-so,” you’d also get “will some of the conspirators defect back to the good guys’ side when confronted with the truth of what they signed up for.” IDK, maybe it would over-complicate some of the themes they’ve got going on about personal vs. ideological vs. institutional trust and loyalty, but it would also just plain make more sense and be less of a tremendous cop-out.

mumblingsage:
This is the kind of complication that I would expect to see in a novel, and can sort of forgive in a movie—it’s a matter of how much space there is to tell the story and all. But DAMN. It would’ve been a MUCH BETTER complication.

I don’t actually think explaining it would’ve introduced that much complication–drop the codename a few times in the “omg mysterious conspiracy within SHIELD???” part of the movie, such that by the time Steve and Natasha make it to the bunker it’s pretty obvious that [codename] is the faction/organization behind it all, and then amend Zola’s monologue to “the new Hydra grew within SHIELD, a beautiful parasite disguised under the name of [codename]…” The complication would be in the fallout, dealing with the fact that not everyone who’s in on the conspiracy is enough of a goddamn cartoon villain to knowingly sign on with Hydra, a lot of them were just easily led by a cool-sounding secret society preaching attractively packaged fascism as a balm for the world’s ills. But like. That’s storytelling space that’s currently being taken up by politicians concocting elaborate pretexts to whisper “Hail Hydra” in each other’s ears. It could easily be repurposed to acknowledge that “easily led by a cool-sounding secret society preaching attractively packaged fascism as a balm for the world’s ills” is how such movements usually do get started before their names become a commonly-recognized byword for “evil fuckers.”

Anonymous asked:
HYDRA is all about racial supremacy. The movie showed that Baron Strucker is one of their leaders and he's one of the most racist villains in the MU.

Good to know. The point still stands, though, that the branch of Hydra operating within SHIELD in this movie was pretty exclusively focused on authoritarianism, both in the rhetoric they were spouting and the goals they were trying to achieve. Whether it was because they were operating semi-independently from Strucker’s leadership and had different priorities, or just keeping quiet about the racist BS for the moment to make it easier to reel people in. Which I guess is another argument for why it would’ve made more narrative sense to have them operating behind a cover organization–using an offshoot rather than Hydra itself would’ve spared the creative team most of the glossing-over and uncomfortable avoidance of the fact that Hydra are actual, literal fucking Nazis and that comes with a lot of implications you can’t get away from.

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