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[personal profile] mikes_grrl2013-03-31 04:57 pm

Exhibit of pre-Stonewall gay ephemera in NYC

The Boo-Hooray Gallery on Canal St. is hosting an exhibit of selected items from collector Harry Weintraub's 100,000+ collection of pre-Stonewall queer ephemera.

ARTICLE: Now on View: The Best of 10,000 Old Gay Photos, Ephemera

Too late for my story "More Man than You" but if anyone else is in the area and working on a "gay!Steve in the 30s/40s" story, this would probably worth a visit! I wish I could go anyway. :(

When does Captain America actually take place?

I'm going to preface this by saying that this is not a discussion about how Marvel is an alternate universe. I realise this, because we do not have super powers.

But there have been multiple attempts to try to put Captain America into a cohesive timeline, and it just doesn't work. There was some really weird, really basic knowledge fail somewhere along the line, and none of it makes sense.

Let's start with this, which is what I'd originally been using: http://www.filmbuffonline.com/FBOLNewsreel/wordpress/2012/05/13/a-marvel-cinematic-universe-timeline-2-0/

7 December 1941: The day that will live in infamy. This happens, we assume, as it did. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, and the US ends its neutral stance in the war.

24 December: Bucky enlists.

March 1942: Schmidt finds the Tesseract in T√łnsberg, Norway.

14 June 1943: Steve successfully enlists. Finally.

Now, here's where it starts to get really wonky.

15 June 1943: Steve arrives at Lehigh. That's less than twelve hours later. He would have been shipped off quickly, but not THAT quickly. Even if a platoon was going out to Lehigh the very next day, Steve would not have been in that one. He'd have been in the next, whenever that was. He'd have had about two or three days to get his affairs in order before disappearing into the cause.

Not only that, Bucky only just now gets shipped out. That's eighteen months of training. The 107th (which didn't even exist during the war) was infantry. Infantry trained for ten weeks during this time. There were divisions that spent two years in training, but those were experimental divisions, like Airborne. What was Bucky doing Stateside for so long? I really want to know!

21 June: Steve's been at Lehigh for a week when Erskine picks him. That week... really doesn't match up with what we've seen. You don't just go straight into the assault course; you learn how to drill, how to march, how to fold your shirts and make your bed. The first week is when you learn how to follow orders. There would be some basic physical training and evaluation, but no assault courses. No weapons training. What the hell were they doing at Lehigh?

22 June: Steve gets all super-soldiered up. We know this, because the newspaper article we see, with him holding the cab door, is dated 23 June. So, he's undergone a week of training, saves a kid, and then gets the choice to become a lab rat or a dancing monkey. Did Steve even finish basic? I'm not so sure that he did, since the very next thing we see is the USO show.

After this, the time jumps up to

2 November 1943: The 107th goes up against Hydra. Two hundred men go out, fifty come back. First off, no. Not even a timeline thing, but this makes no sense. The 107th, if it were a real thing, would have had about 3000 guys at minimum. Perhaps it was Baker company, first battalion, of the 107th that went out. Still, where's the rest of them?

3 November: Steve and Phillips have an argument about rescuing the people trapped behind enemy lines. Thirty miles behind enemy lines. In Austria. In 1943. That's a lot earlier than we ever got to Austria. We finally made it that far in April 1945. Less than a month later, VE-Day. VJ-Day followed in June, and then the war was over. But this was 1943. Yes, there are superheroes and supervillains, but up until this point, the only super powers were Axis. That should have kept us even further from Austria, rather than letting us rock right up to Hitler's doorstep a year and a half early.

4 November: Steve leads everyone back to the base, wherever it is. Italy? Austria? I don't even know. Then they spend the rest of the war taking down Hydra.

Either way you look at it, it doesn't really add up. Either the Allied forces had some other super soldiers we didn't know about, or Steve and the Howling Commandos won the war in less than a month. One would assume that, since the key dates (Pearl Harbour Day, VE-Day, VJ-Day) are in the comics as they are in real life, then they're the same in the movies. I don't think there's really any way to fix or fanwank this, but it's just really weird that the writers would change so much like this. It seems to me that if they were already that far into Austria when they were, the war was basically won.

As a war movie, Captain America makes absolutely no sense at all. It's a great comic movie, but I don't actually know what's going on in it.
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[personal profile] dragonfly2012-08-29 12:12 pm
Entry tags:

1940s Time Machine

Ancestry.com has just unveiled a fun little toy based on the recently-released 1940 U.S. census data. You put in some basic information and they give you a tour of what your life might have been like in 1940. It is a good little context refresher.


There's no need to have an ancestry.com account. They ask for your name (the graphics insert your name into things in the tour, to personalize it) and they do ask for an email address. I can't swear to what they will do with that email address, but so far I have not found them to be evil, just commercial. Anyway, they also ask you for the name of an ancestor who might have been alive in 1940. At first that put me off, because I was trying to set up Steve Rogers, but it turns out all they do is, at the end, offer to search the 1940 census for your ancestor for you. ::shrug:: So just put in anything. It really is kind of fun.


Hmm, maybe an appropriate tag would be context:daily life. Or context:civilian life, which was proposed in the tagging post.

EDIT March, 2013: They've taken the time machine down, so now the above links just take you to ancestry.com.
dragonfly: stained glass dragonfly in iridescent colors (Default)
[personal profile] dragonfly2012-07-23 11:08 pm

Phase Two outrage

I was rewatching Avengers and it occurred to me to wonder why Captain America, of all people, showed any outrage on discovering that SHIELD was trying to create weaponry out of tesseract technology. Stark, yes, we know about his about-face wrt selling weapons technology. Banner spent a lot of time trying not to be a weapon for the U.S. military, so he makes sense, too. But Captain America was involved in a nearly-global conflict where superior technology was coveted and prized and it wasn't at all obvious that the good guys were going to win. I now blink at that scene where he slams some gun-thing down on the table and confronts Fury with what Phase Two was. I'm really not convinced he should be that upset.

On an unrelated note, it appears that plastic didn't have widespread use until the 1950s. So Cap came from a world before plastic. FWIW.

Source: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114331762

Could I have a "context:technology" tag?

Homosecuality and Captain America's Military

Hi everyone! After [personal profile] beatrice_otter alerted me to this comm, I decided to make a write-up of major information found in Allan Berube's Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two for people who don't have access to it. I would highly recommend the book, which is available for purchase on Amazon; it might also be found at your local library. The book contains a great deal more in terms of information, details, and anecdotes, as well as chapters about the post-war era that were not touched upon here, since they weren't applicable to Captain America. It's an extremely interesting read and worth checking out even if you're only marginally interested in gay history or history in general.

Enlisting in an Anti-Homosexual Army )

Fear of Exposure )

Acceptance, Uneasy or Otherwise )

The Homosexual Milieu of Military Life )

Military-Sanctioned Drag Shows )

Captain America's Military )

Slang and Terminology )

Other Resources )

Also, while this doesn't have anything to do with homosexuality, the book has this great quotes that I thought is really interesting when applied to Captain America and possible dynamics with other soldiers: "While most soldiers would and often did risk their lives to protect their buddies, they shunned heroics and often used the term hero as an insult rather than a compliment. Hero described the undependable man who displayed a foolhardy bravado that could get him killed or endanger the lives of his buddies." (177)

Apologies in advance if I'm slow to reply to any comments, I don't check dreamwidth that often.

thatfangirl: (mcu | shield-bearer)

Steve and *isms

I recently wrote two posts on the historical and canonical evidence for Steve's attitudes about race, sex/gender, and homosexuality:

Racial integration in Captain America: The First Avenger

Sexism, homophobia, and Steve Rogers

Discussion very much welcomed. Also, links that might be of use for writing Steve fic:

Fic rec with resources

[archiveofourown.org profile] CrunchySalad just wrote a fic about Steve in the NY gay scene of the 1940's.  Zie lists a couple of good resources at the top of the fic, and the fic itself is really good.

All American Soldier

melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen2012-06-13 05:06 pm

D-Day Live News Coverage

The Big Broadcast, which is a local radio show that re-broadcasts very old radio, just had its annual D-Day special - two and half hours of curated live American news broadcasts from the day of, and days just after, the invasion of Europe. I listened to it and it's great for both getting an idea of what the war would have felt like from the home front, and for showing that live news broadcasts have only gotten *slightly* more annoying over the past seventy years. :)

(I kid, some of the reports were actually really really good - the lack of pictures meant that a lot of the reporters do a much more narrative account; there was one from somebody who was embedded on the first plane of paratroopers that had me holding my breath.

...on the other hand the guy who went around doing live man-on-the-street reaction interviews in London was exactly as terribly content-less as the modern version.)

It's up for free streaming on the WAMU website, but only until the end of the week, so listen now if you're interested!

(The Big Broadcast in general is a really good resource for anyone interested in 40s/50s American pop culture - I catch it whenever I can - but most of their usual content is post-1945)
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[personal profile] brownbetty2012-06-13 12:40 pm

Resource: Over Here, Over There: The Andrews Sisters and the USO stars in WWII

Over Here, Over There is written by Maxene Andrews and, I presume, ghost-written by Bill Gilbert. The book is fairly chatty, and attempts to give both an idea of what civilian life was like in America during the war, and the part played by the USO performers. It pads out Maxene's history with materials from other USO performers, newspapers snippets, letters, and other materials. Unfortunately, hardly anything is cited in such a way that you could chase it down without effort.

I am actually enough of a newb at this historical period that it's possible everything I learned from this book is on the order of SPOILER: Liberace was gay! I think it gives a decent overview of America during the war years, if one keeps in mind that the Andrews sisters were actually comparatively wealthy by the end of the war years, simply from record sales. (Maxene doesn't touch on their financial situation, and frames everything in terms of their popularity, but at one point she mentions she "owned a kennel on the ranch, and had seventy-five dogs—boxers, Dobermans, and cocker spaniels." (78) This suggests a level of affluence. (Also, OMG, I want to live there! Maxene is a dog lover after my own heart, and apparently took a dog with her all the time while on tour.))

She attempts to deal with the racial inequality of the era, but mainly talks about the segregation of the troupes and USO entertainers. (Two paragraphs are dedicated to race riots, in 1943.) She mentions one entertainer, Kathryn Grayson, who insisted on performing for Black troupes as well as white. When Grayson was told her (black) maid was going to be staying at a separate hotel, she told the organizers she would stay at that hotel as well, but her inclusion in the book suggests she was the exception. (63) The book also includes a photo of a performance of "Hellzapoppin" with what looks like an all-white cast. (Compare with this youtube scene, from the film Hellzapoppin which claims to be 'the best swing dance ever captured on screen.' (Seriously, watch it. It's amazing.))

(I was also rather non-plussed to see reference to Al Jolson. Was he performing blackface, for the white troupes? They couldn't see a black performer, but a white/Jewish man in blackface, that's fine?)

As far is the book is concerned, gay is something invented in the 1960s.

The parts I found particularly fascinating were the bits about rationing, and war bonds.

rationing, the black market )

War Bonds )

I actually bailed out of the book when the war ended, so I have no idea what happens in the bits about the reconstruction.