They called him Captain America because he had Captain America on his hard hat. He was an eccentric, boorish man, tall with gaunt, angular features, and possessed the largest hands I had ever seen. He was a jovial, but difficult, thrill-seeking, impatient, and irritable when things weren’t going perfectly (a trait found in many sober junkies). But he was funny and smart, so while many found his loudness and veracity difficult to bear, I would choose to work with him (installing sheet metal for hvac) where they refused. But even then he and I never actually got along, how could we?
Captain America took all the most dangerous of jobs. He was a father of several children, all out of wedlock. I recall observing a soft somberness in him one night as he sat by himself at a fast food joint. An alienated man doing alienating things, unravelling his burrito with arcanely large hands, a look of emptiness and impatience on his face. He was a victim of being born too late, he had no freedom, and no one to lead. Modernity itself is a grim fate for many men who may in earlier times possessed qualities of greatness. But he had succumbed to modernity in total, taking up heroin at an early age, which eventually led to his expiring of an overdose on his birthday, years later.
If he had been born 2500 years sooner he would be wearing a bronze helmet instead of a stupid plastic hat with a cretinous pop-culture superhero on it. He would have sung songs of the victory and to the gods before large bonfires, as had his ancestors done in an unbroken line back into the darkness of pre-history.
In this blighted shopping-scape most people cannot articulate their feeling of dislocation, despite it being ever-present with an accompanying, crippling fear. Fear of the death of purpose. Most of us use some sort of simulation to offset this dissonance. Comic book movies and video games are our way of emptily imitating historic character stories, stories of living for a common goal, and victory over a malevolent force. Of being free to be yourself, to not feel a vassal to bureaucracy and system.
However these simulations only mimic and overlook the more important rewards of living truly: the lessons of perseverance and the limits of audacity. If a child is being bullied at school and goes home and slays the demon in a video game, he may lose the urge to correct the bully’s behavior in reality – he has already lived out his cognitive revenge impotently, as a fantasy in simulation. The cycle of life-lesson is then stunted, and this substitution destroys ancient and necessary concepts of honour, justice, and self-sufficiency.
Similarly our paternal and maternal instincts can be superficially satiated with the collecting of cutesy nonsense like funko pops and baby-yodas, which are designed to steal the cute-appeal meant for real, newborn babies. The circumventing of adulthood rampant in consoomer society fuels a disconnect from the future. Without a future we can avoid genetic responsibility. Moronic baby-yoda toys cannot build a next generation, nor will a dog or other child substitute, nor can they care for you when you are old and sick.
Capitalism has provided us the opportunity to be victims of this substitution for life, purpose, meaning and a future, and it has done so intentionally, because people without those concerns are gelded slave-shoppers, ready to be fed anything you produce.
These simulation seekers would be much happier naked with a giant sword sunk deep into the guts of the earth looking over a smoky battlefield. Riding steeds across vast unexplored plains, caring for litters of children being raised in the warriors and conqueror tradition. This natural mindset does not strictly mean violence, as there are endless states of war both spiritual and intellectual to wage. The ancient mind made a focus on the pursuit of honor because it was deeply tied to real values, and to ancestral beliefs. Belief, which when robbed, makes us victims of despair, as it ultimately did for Captain America. Who would have imagined that Ragnorak’s final battle would be raged against armies of funko pop dads and dog moms?