tenlittlebullets: (steve rogers)
(Archived from a Tumblr post at http://shinelikethunder.tumblr.com/post/90592189381/chinhands-did-somebody-say-rumlowsteve-trash)

*chinhands* did somebody say rumlow/steve trash

did you mean: /my legacy/

seriously tho, taking advantage of the situation, deception and utter betrayal, how great is that trash.

deception, utter betrayal, and steve suffering: MY CATNIP

also all sorts of awful twisted mirroring, if you start thinking about how rumlow being steve’s right-hand man on the strike team basically positions him as Evil Replacement Bucky

also just like. that shot of rumlow breathing creepily down steve’s neck and going “not here” is so inexplicably drawn-out that i had to split it into two gifs and one of them is STILL too big to load consistently

It also goes back to everything steve thinks he knows being a lie. But not only that, it’s also about just how lonely steve is in the 21st century

even if you remove any trash ship element from it (i could go on about that for a long time, but lets refrain for a moment), Rumlow being part of the strike team means they develop that comradeship like soldiers do, a relationship that is built entirely on trusting the other to have your back, probably even more so with the shit SHIELD teams have to deal with. Steve trusts him, and that trust is so important to Steve, his whole life has relied on trust both pre serum and post serum.

and Steve is so on his own a lot of the time so i doubt Steve has any other relationships outside the people he works with. Which then bring it round to the ‘nothing personal’ line in the elevator scene because you can tell Steve takes it personal because it’s not like he has any other ‘friendships’ and all of a sudden he can’t even trust the people he works with which just shakes the foundation of everything Steve knows and ugh, HYDRA look what you’ve done

on another, trash shipping note: the whole ‘not here’ drawn out moment can be so uncomfortable because how many times has Rumlow got that close into his personal space to speak in a completely different context and it’s so /messed up/

YEAH. And it also ties into Steve's unease about SHIELD and his role in the 21st century–he wants so badly to be able to trust his job and his co-workers and the orders he’s being given, but he just can’t, and the beginning of the movie is full of Steve second-guessing himself all over the place. Is it him, is it SHIELD, is he just having problems adjusting, is it the whole damn 21st century? And of course what we see over the course of the movie is that his misgivings were well-founded all along, but the fact that he’s taken a leap of faith and made an active effort to trust SHIELD and his teammates even though it’s not easy makes it even more of a gut punch when they all turn on him. (AND THEN take the one person Steve has ever absolutely, unequivocally trusted and turn him against Steve, AUGH.)

And I love that Steve is never blamed for wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt and trust the people who will eventually stab him in the back–the ability to trust and rely on other people is one of Steve's strengths, as is the refusal to blindly trust institutions even though he works best when he’s working as part of something bigger than himself. And I just. Steve.

...sorry, this is the problem with talking trash ships, it eventually comes out that my entire interest in pairings like Rumlow/Steve boils down to “AND I JUST. STEVE ROGERS.”
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


(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)



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: (Default)
(Archived from a Tumblr post at http://shinelikethunder.tumblr.com/post/83452708647/klaus-theweleit-writes-of-the-soldier-the)

"[Klaus] Theweleit writes of the soldier: ‘the arena of war is first and foremost his own body; a body poised to penetrate other bodies and mangle them in its embrace’. A body, that is, incapable of acknowledging its own penetrability. A ‘male’ body.

[…] The [young soldier’s] body is treated as something that must be broken before it can be made stronger. In order to survive, the young cadet inevitably develops a 'thick skin’ which Theweleit warns us not to read metaphorically:

'And little by little the body accepts these painful interventions along its periphery as responses to its longing for pleasure. It receives them as experiences of satisfaction. The body is estranged from the pleasure principle, drilled and reorganised into a body ruled by the “pain principle”: what is nice is what hurts…’ (Theweleit 1989)

A kind of masochism, then, is the consequence of such training, a channelling of the need for pleasure into a need for pain: a pain to be endured, overcome, transcended, as proof positive that the body can – indeed, must – be dominated. This is at the heart of becoming a soldier."

- Jonathan Kemp, The Penetrated Male, 41-2

#OHAI CAIUS MARTIUS CORIOLANUS #also arguably #the winter soldier #the soldier #the male body #male sexuality #masochism #coriolanus #aufidius #THAT FIRST BIT IS SO AUFIDIUS IT HURTS #but the masochism's more evident in martius imo tbh #do u understand how many times i have read this section istg #relevant to my interests like FUCK #mumblingsage #sure u must have approved of this bit #jonathan kemp #the penetrated male #pleasure principle #is weak #pain principle #is where it's at yo

‘a pain to be endured, overcome, transcended, as proof positive that the body can—indeed, must—be dominated’

THERE. THAT’S IT. THAT’S MY ‘TERRIBLE AWFUL NO-GOOD VERY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS’ KINK IN A NUTSHELL. Except it leaves out the key point that makes the whole thing so hrrrrnnnngh: the domination isn’t just over your body. Mastery of the body is only the prerequisite, the means to an end; the end, the real victory, is taking power out of the hands of the motherfucker who’s trying to hurt you in the first place.

Your commentary is VERY YES and also explains why I really love character types that can best be described as “snarky martyrs.”

On the other hand, I do want to point out the specific soldiers Kemp discusses included precursors to the Nazis (I think? thepurposeofplaying you may have readier access than I my Nook is charging on the far side of the room) and this dominance over the body, when it neglects the soul, can go—really really bad.

Deliciously bad sometimes. Like in fiction, where nobody’s on the wrong end of it.

(actually thepurposeofplaying Shinelikethunder’s comments sort of remind me of our discussion about masochism styles, and how male masochism is constructed vs the boringly predominant passive femsub construction?)

Yeah, believing it’s a Good Thing to inflict adversity on other people in order to teach them that triumphant response to adversity is always going to be fucked-up on some level, and the consequences if it’s uncritically taken too far can be horrific. OTOH, I do think narratives about it are important, because everyone’s going to face varying levels of adversity in their lives and it’s an important coping tactic–and, as you said, when you’re writing fiction, you can create the pain that enables a character to develop mastery over their pain without having to justify inflicting it on a real person.

A related narrative kink that plays into this is hurt/comfort as a sort of grace, which I think the Winter Soldier movie summed up beautifully in just two lines of dialogue: (paraphrased) “It’s okay, I can deal with this on my own” / “That’s the thing, though. You don’t have to.”
tenlittlebullets: (winter soldier)
(Archived from a Tumblr post at http://shinelikethunder.tumblr.com/post/82859919063/whump-and-tropey-hc-appreciation-for-great-fandom)

This is not going to be coherent meta, but I just wanted to string some ideas together for possible later development:

Point 1: My Thing for pretty people getting punched in the face and bleeding prettily for their ideals is totally a kink, but it’s also, emotionally, about the idea of taking a lot of damage and hurting like fuck but still continuing to fight–that being hurt is not the same as being broken, that vulnerability is not helplessness, that fear doesn’t have to mean cowardice. The not giving up or being broken, at least not permanently, is crucial to what makes this particular emotional kink tick.

Point 2: grimdark is lazy, good is hard work. Go read it, it’s great meta.

Point 3: There are lots and lots of problems with what the misapplication of social-justice concepts has brought to fandom culture, and this is not the time to get into all of them, but a lot of them boil down to what is excusable versus what is the expected or commendable course of action. It’s most noticeable with the glorification of anger and verbal abuse, but there is a parallel glorification of helplessness in the way Tumblr SJ approaches victimhood, illness, disability, and arguably adversity in general: the refusal to shame people who are struggling or who’ve had bad things done to them has long since tipped over into the idea that it’s perfectly okay and normal to just roll over and give up, or even that trying to recover and get your shit together and fight back against the assorted corporeal and non-corporeal bogeymen in your life is implicitly shaming towards those who aren’t doing the same, and so you shouldn’t talk about it too loudly or too approvingly.

Point 4: I fucking hate this aspect of Tumblrfandom, and I hate it for the exact same reasons I hate gratuitous grimdark. It’s lazy. It normalizes and glorifies helplessness as the appropriate response to the existence of evil in the world. It demands not just pardon but approval for sitting back and doing nothing in the face of adversity. They’re two sides of the same shitty coin, and I wish the backlash against grimdark in media could be accompanied by a parallel backlash against fandom’s victimhood culture. I want to talk loudly and approvingly about narratives of being hurt and damaged and afraid and not giving up. Of fighting even when you can’t fix everything and you don’t think you’re going to win, because it would be wrong not to fight. Because sometimes it is wrong not to fight.

Point 5: In conclusion, it is really hard to dismantle and critique these trends in fandom (and a lot of activism in general, I think) and find ways to fight them without enabling the exact silencing/shaming behaviors that the original social justice concepts were designed to combat before they were distorted. But you know what? In this case, I don’t think an upswing in the kink described in Point 1 would hurt. At aaaall. Embrace your desire to whump the living hell out of your favorite characters just to watch them refuse to break, or break them just to watch them insist on putting themselves back together. Make them suffer deliciously for what they care about, because those kinds of narratives are delicious and viscerally satisfying and weirdly comforting for a reason.

Point 6: [image of Captain America on a WWII-era propaganda poster, bearing the caption: RESIST THE GRIMDARK INVASION / WITH HOT IDEALISTS GETTING BEATEN UP FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S RIGHT] [similar image, bearing the caption: WE BLEED SO PRETTY / BUT IT’S WORTH EVERY DROP]

Original Tumblr tags: #in a broader sense i think i only kink on a character's suffering if i think they can take it #like that is an integral part of the enjoyment #watching someone get kicked when they're down is no fun unless you know they're going to get back up #and knowing they've been totally fucked up but they're going to struggle back to their feet anyway is half the fun

In retrospect, this post doesn't even look like a harbinger of my imminent descent into the Hydra Trash Party landfill, it looks like a perfectly logical sequence of events. Note that my first post to actually use that tag was like... one week after this one.


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