May. 13th, 2012 02:41 pm
[personal profile] concertigrossi
Right, ok, so I'm fic-trawling for good Coulson and good Captain America stories (NEED MOAR NEED MOAR NAOW), and, as always, there is the good, the bad, and the ugly. But I'm getting the distinct impression that this is one of those fandoms where the lack of research is going to drive me bug-fuck.

1) Steve Rogers will not notice that the Twin Towers aren't there anymore.

2) Brooklyn =/= the Bronx =/= Manhattan =/= Queens. There are 28,000 people per square mile in NYC: these distinctions are important.

3) Slash Steve Rogers with whomever you please (in fact, please do!) but for God's sake, realize you're going to have to put some work into it. He got frozen in 1943, the Kinsey report doesn't come out until 1948. Dude is going to have some issues with the idea.

4) New Mexico is big, this is true. I have driven through lots and lots of it. It's huge, and there's a whole lotta nothing. (Also, thank you for not thinking you need a passport to get there.) However, if you drive 500 miles straight in any direction, you will likely no longer be in New Mexico.

5) The 1960s did not invent the drug culture. Just because Steve is as squeaky clean as they come doesn't mean he won't know what marijuana is. For example:

See what I mean?

Date: 2012-05-14 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schemingreader.livejournal.com
Yes, let's talk about how Steve could have m/m sex in a homophobic culture, especially if he also (canonically) likes girls.

I'm thinking about the historical novel series set during WWI by Pat Barker--the Regeneration trilogy, that's it. The protagonist is bi, has sex with men. They just don't talk about it.

So I'm wondering if what could make Captain America slash seem plausible is if he has had sex with pals in the army but...I don't know. One story I liked had him have a crush on Tony's dad and also be aware that he was "queer" and really afraid of being found out.

What do you think would work?

Date: 2012-05-14 01:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] concertigrossi.livejournal.com

Link to the fic, please? :)

Regeneration Trilogy? I'll have to check that out... The thing is, and I'll have to read more to be able to back this up, but the impression I've always gotten is that while it wasn't really ever good to be queer in the 19th and 20th centuries, that in the 30's-50's, it actually got worse. Buggery in the 19th century was a crime and a sin, but by the mid-20th it was a crime, a sin and a pathology.

Sex with pals in the army and NEVER SPEAKING OF IT AGAIN makes sense. It's JUST SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS UNDER THE STRESSES OF WAR now let's forget it happened. Sort of like the buggery-doesn't-count-if-we've-been-more-than-90-days-at-sea rule.

And with Cap, there's the religious angle, too. He's obviously devout, and depending on which sect he was raised in, that could go either way. If it's a modern church that accepts homosexuality now, all well and good. If not...

I think if the extent of the repressed feelings is made clear (along with 40s-era steps to fight the Sinful Urges), and first time it happens under the stresses of a combat or post-combat situation that that would make a plausible lead-off. But then you're going to have to deal with the fallout, and that will be considerable.

Also, it goes without saying that any kind of heteronormative schmoop is just right-the-hell out. It really will never be spoken of, I think, just generally understood.

Date: 2012-05-14 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schemingreader.livejournal.com
I'm not sure whether you will think it works or not, but the story was The History of Music. The author knows the comic book verse.

As far as Captain America's background, Wikipedia thinks he was born on the Lower East Side and is Irish Catholic, and was a comic book artist before he was turned into a superhero. So, potentially an urbane guy who has met gay men.

After reading the memoir of Frank O'Hara's roommate Joe LeSeur (which I reviewed on LJ here in some annoying level of detail) I see the 1950s as both an era of backlash and as a period when a lot of gay men were WWII veterans.

If not heteronormative schmoop, maybe it's appropriate for Steve/Cap to indulge in more queer sorta schmoop? Frank O'Hara did.

Date: 2012-05-14 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] concertigrossi.livejournal.com
D'oh. Feeling stupid for not checking the Wiki on Cap's bio... dur-hey.

ETA: And that's pretty ironic in a reply to a post where I gripe about people not doing research. Ack. Physician, heal thyself, I suppose.


Irish-Catholic? That's no help there.

(OMG, I think the pedophile scandals can't happen in this 'verse. I'm not sure I can have Captain America wake up to that...)

And there's a bit of a difference between knowing about and accepting homosexuality in other people, and dealing with it in your own self. Especially when he's already taking hits for being weak and undersized. Plus, he's coming from a much more restrained time, when you Just Didn't Talk about things like that.

How much do you think Steve Rogers hates this song?

Ok, now I've got to get that memoir. You're not helping my to-be-read list, you know!

How would you handle it?
Edited Date: 2012-05-14 02:47 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-05-14 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schemingreader.livejournal.com
I think a poor kid on the Lower East Side might already be alienated from the ways that Catholic Charities behaved there during the Depression.

How would I handle it? Huh. I think I would make him less innocent and more repressed--but that's based on my sense of the period, not on knowing any more of the canon than this one movie. In my reading of the film, he cares a lot about self-control and doing things for the team. His attitude toward Tony has to have done a complete 180 in the wake of his valor in battle.

I'd probably write the story from Tony or whomever's POV and let them observe him from the outside and fail to understand, because that way you can get maximal slash misunderstanding jollies out of the fic. (Even if I put Steve with Natasha, I would still write it as comradely bromance slash--except that she clearly has that with Hawkeye in this picture.) I would have Steve eventually reveal his feelings in some way. Perhaps he could expect that his male partner would eventually find a woman to love, and that he has to be cool with that? Except then he's really not and is awkward and stuff?

Couldn't Captain America have had a thing with his sidekick Bucky back in the day anyway?

Date: 2012-05-14 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schemingreader.livejournal.com
(Comment about Catholic Charities may be skewed from my learning about how they disbursed funds from people who eventually became Communists! I listened to a bunch of Spanish Civil War vets' oral histories at one point.)

Date: 2012-05-14 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] concertigrossi.livejournal.com

Well, there's the trick - is he Lower East Side or Brooklyn? Wiki sez Manhattan, movie says Brooklyn. And *especially* during the Depression, there were places where the religious charities were the only help people were getting at all...

(I didn't know that about the Catholic Charities.. that collection of oral histories sounds really interesting. Is it generally available? I have, in the past, avoided post WWI history because somehow people doing stupid things a century ago is somehow easier to take than people being stupid recently..)

Your take makes a lot of sense. So... you're going to write it now, right? :) I totally agree about his opinion of Tony. It's going to be awkward regardless of the situation - it's not like Steve is a smooth operator!

(I could totally see Cap/Bucky. In fact, I totally *want* to see a good Cap/Bucky. I'm not saying that Cap is necessarily not going to be interested in men, just that it's not going to be an easy process for him to come to terms with.)

Date: 2012-05-14 03:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schemingreader.livejournal.com
I believe about all of these comic book characters that there are multiple versions of their origin stories out there, and so you can get people writing Steve in any of the five boroughs. Some of the characters used to have supernatural powers and then, didn't. I think it's probably pretty hard to keep up with the canon if you haven't been a fan for ages. I rented the DVD of XMen First Class and watched the extras, and the people who made that one admitted that they could not create a film that was consistent with all available canon.

The oral histories are in an archive at Brandeis. They aren't online. It's hours of old guys, and some women, talking. I googled around and found the Abraham Lincoln Brigade has an online database and through it, that Bill Bailey's autobiography is online. These guys weren't afraid of anything. They make fictional characters look meek.

Date: 2012-05-14 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schemingreader.livejournal.com
Well, it's a fair question whether Wikipedia is reliable on any subject in any case.

I love you.

Date: 2012-05-14 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cassiopaya.livejournal.com

Now can you slash Steve Rogers with Loki?




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