Thankfulness Project, Day 14
November 14, 2011, Monday
I am thankful that babies have fat, fluffy cheeks to kiss, and soft little pink lips that babble "mamamamamamama" when they wake. I'm thankful for soft shiny curls twined in my fingers and dimples in elbows and knees. Chubby baby bums to pat when it's time to give baths or change diapers, and lavender lotion to calm them and help them sleep, long lashes brushing the tops of those fluffy cheeks, so scrumptious to smooch, and snuggles in the mean time.
NOT Me Monday
(I would post a button, but I can't find it on her blog anymore)
link up at mycharmingkids.net
I have NOT been made aware that my links on Not Me Monday are misleading because of my blog's name: I am NOT a VOLCANO. It was unintentional, and I am very sorry for those who were excited to see a story behind why I am a volcano- I invite you all to click the photo of the volcano at the top of my blog to read the explanation. I promise, it's valid.
I did NOT let my kids skip School on Friday because I was sick- they were just fine.
I did NOT spend WAY too much money at Savers on SO MANY new(used) sweaters because it was 50% off day on Thursday.
I am NOT done with my Christmas shopping officially, but I do NOT keep buying more things because I do NOT keep finding more and more things my kids would just LOVE to have!!!
I meant to post this on Friday, Veterans Day, in respect for our country, our freedom and our ideals, but, as has been mentioned several times the last few days, I have been very sick and am only just now getting the energy to do this. So, better late than never, eh?
Why he was important then, and why he is important now.
**Disclaimer- this is based on the movie, not the comics, as I never read them. However, my husband was an avid comic book reader and endorses this article.**
At the end of World War I, in 1918, the whole world suffered from a deep financial depression, which worsened over time until World War II began in 1939. Despite the death toll, the torture, the genocide and the slaughter that happened in countries the whole world over by those corrupted by inappropriate amounts of power, World War II was possibly one of the best things that could have happened to America at the time.
From 1939 to it's end in 1945, World War II improved America's economy, made way for women's rights, spurred industry and technology that eventually resulted in revolutionary technology we have today. At the end of World War II, America had cemented it's standing as a world leader among the great nations.
Captain America was first encountered in 1941, and added deeply to the already thriving area of War Propaganda. Propaganda kept the American people believing in their country, with the feeling that everyone can help in some way. By spending money, they boosted the economy. Captain America, took a very serious role in representing American ideals.
Representation 1. Steve Rogers was just a skinny little guy before he became Captain America.
American Ideal 1. Average Americans can be heroes too.
Representation 2. In finally being able to join the army, Steve is not the best soldier. He is weak, slow, and asthmatic. However, he is the bravest, works the hardest, longest, and solves problems by thinking smarter, not working harder.
American Ideal 2. Again playing the "average Joe" card, lest we intimidate our potential supporters, the ideal is that while not all Americans are or will be the best soldier- they may be weak, they may be slow. But they work hard, they work long and value bravery, intelligence, honesty, perseverance and integrity just as much.
Representation 3. Steve Rogers was chosen for the experiment that made him stronger, faster, bigger and more able because of his goodness. When asked if he wanted to kill Nazis, he replied "I don't want to kill anyone. I don't like bullies, no matter where they're from." This showcases his deep feelings of compassion, and care for the underdog. He is warned that the serum used to make him the best he can be will increase both the good and the bad in him- which means increased compassion, empathy, intelligence, strength and other desirable traits.
American Ideal 3. The average American hero has exceptional compassion, empathy, and support for the underdog.
Representation 4. Captain America has a team full of the best of the best soldiers that fulfill his missions with him. They are a rag tag team of Americans that represent all the countries the world over-
"Bucky Barnes" - Purebred American
"Jacques Dernier" - French American,
"Timothy Dum-Dum Dugan" and "James Montgomery Falsworth"- British-American,
"Gabe Jones" - African-American and,
especially poignant commentary for World War II, "Jim Morita" - Japanese-American.
Furthermore, it is a GERMAN doctor that gives Captain America his enhanced power. The ULTIMATE in enemies during this era.
American Ideal 4. The realization that being "American" is about a set of ideals, not the nationality or ethnicity you began with. America is a melting pot full of cultures, races and traditions that all must be and will be respected and celebrated. This is also a commentary on the place that America should hold in the world- leading an international team - not taking on a solo mission- but leading an international team to fight the bullies of the world.
70 years later, we are facing another depression that surpasses that of the first great depression in some ways. We are fighting another war. And Americans are no longer proud. We no longer foster ideals of bravery and honesty and hard work- instead, we are obese and lazy. We want to keep immigrants OUT of "our states" and close the border. We give our votes to the most popular candidates, not the most able, to prove we are not racist or not sexist. Education is reserved for those who can afford it, and those who can't afford it incur debts they may never pay off. Trades are also no longer of value- only the paper that proves you have paid the money to sit in a classroom and attend lectures. Small businesses can't thrive and our government is bringing us down, not up. We don't want to lead the world and fight for the underdog. Instead, we want to "bring the troops home." We have developed tunnel vision, insisting that we must only help ourselves, even though the vast majority despise welfare, and insist that by paying welfare taxes, they are single handedly feeding, clothing, and putting a roof over the heads of a family the size of the Duggar's. We have a sock-it-to-'em mentality that pours smugly from our lips and into our protests against anything that may not benefit us directly. It has become a dog-eat-dog world, and our president has stooped to apologizing for the American People in speeches to other countries.
Veterans day was celebrated on 11-11-11 this year- one day that will never happen in another century. News stations found it more valid to cover babies born on the historic day, and birthdays celebrated this day that reached further coincidence- like the boy who turned 11 on 11-11-11 at 11:00 am rather than talk about those that deserved the real recognition. Many people ignored it, or did not know why businesses and homes donned American Flags, or did not notice the many parades across the country. Some schools did not even say the pledge of allegiance so as to protect the rights of the students to opt out, should they choose.
However, in every city, aged soldiers who put their lives on the line in WW II stood, removed their hats, placed hands over hearts, and with eyes glistening, sang "The Star Spangled Banner" in remembrance of their friends and comrades who fought and died for the pride, hope and support of a country they believed could reach true ideals, could prosper and protect, and which was worth the sacrifice they might have to make. I doubt if any of them regret it.
Around the world, soldiers, airmen, marines, seamen all followed suit. The country cries "Bring our troops home!" - and I daresay that, yes, that is where they would rather be. But every single one joined their military division knowing what they hung on the line, believing whole heartedly in what they are doing. Too many believe that our freedom is already won- that it never stands threatened or needs maintenance. Too many are wrong.
The point is ideals. Consume. Be brave. Work hard. Be compassionate. Accept the new. Improve. Be strong, loyal and honest. Have pride in AMERICA. Respect your neighbors. As of now, we are as much our own enemy as any terrorist out there.