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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

curated: we’re gonna have to be our own superhero

“No, you move.”


(I can’t find a source for this, but it’s too important not to share.)

Which is, of course, a riff on this moment from the Captain America comics:


posted in:
easter eggs

  • Bluejay

    I think that Captain America quote is amazingly eloquent, but falls short. It’s great as a way to stiffen one’s spine in standing up for one’s convictions — but because it doesn’t say what those convictions should be, it can be used by anyone, on any side of an argument. Cap’s words could easily be adopted by gay marriage opponents, or abortion opponents, or climate deniers, or neo-Nazis. It’s also why I’ve soured on the quote “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win” — because right now that could apply to Trump’s election more than anything.

    We need the “You Move” quote for courage to defend our beliefs, but it should be paired with other quotes that declare what those beliefs ARE. Like the quote below; or like the rally image at the top of the post. :-)


  • Good point, but the “No, you move” quote is not without context: the context is what Captain America believes in. Someone who tried to use it to defend, say, banning gay marriage would have an impossible time defending it as something Cap would get behind.

  • Danielm80

    Thank you for that. In the recent comics, Captain America has been turned into an agent of Hydra, so I have trouble reading anything he says outside of that context. Any time I see Cap these days, I get enraged at Marvel for approving that storyline. And this quote really does sound like something a fanatic, or a hardcore Trump voter, might say. Thanks for reminding me what the “real” Captain America stands for.

  • Danielm80

    In an article you posted on another thread, there was a quote from Joe Simon, one of the creators of Captain America:

    “We all find whatever we need in a particular character, whatever that may be. So, I can’t say that the way anyone is using the character is wrong.”


    That’s true for better and for worse. Super-heroes are some of the most powerful symbols we have, and if we keep telling stories about them, over and over again, about what they mean to us, maybe we can drown out the uglier stories we’re hearing.

    That’s why the fake Gandhi quote still moves me, every time I hear it. It reminds me of the values Gandhi was fighting (or not fighting) for, and it reminds me that that struggle needs to continue. It reminds me that, against impossible odds, we can still win. We just need to tell better stories.

  • Bluejay

    LUKE: What’s in there?
    YODA: Only what you take with you.

    It reminds me that, against impossible odds, we can still win.

    “There’s no permanent loss until you stop fighting.”
    – Gail Collins

    …which is, of course, yet another idea that can apply to our opponents. I suppose, if quotes are weapons that can be used by any hand, then, as in war, we’ll just need to learn to wield ours better.

  • Bluejay

    I’d be interested in learning exactly what Cap DOES think of gay marriage, as a straight white man from the 1940s. :-)

    I think that, in addition to fiercely defending our convictions, we should be willing to examine them. I just rewatched Civil War, and it struck me that Donald Trump might agree with Steve’s refusal to be bound by legal restrictions and international agreements: HE knows what’s right, and by god he’s going to do what he KNOWS he needs to do. “The safest hands are still our own.” Arguably, Steve stands for the idea that we are indeed a government of men, not of laws; what matters isn’t following the rules, but simply trusting that the leader has a good heart and wants to do what’s best. (And what leader doesn’t believe that of themselves?) Arguably, that’s not too far from something Trump and his supporters might say.

    I’m also a bit bothered that the “You Move” quote claims that America’s founding principle, “above all else,” is… the refusal to compromise. I’d have liked it better if he’d explicitly said: “America was founded, above all else, on the premise of equality, liberty, and opportunity for all its citizens, under a government that derives its power from the consent of the governed; and we should defend these values unstintingly, while at the same time engaging in frequent self-examination and remaining open to the influence of evidence-based reasoning.” But then it wouldn’t be as pithy a quote. :-)

  • I thought everyone was pretending that the whole “Cap is a Hydra agent” thing never happened. :-)

  • I’d be interested in learning exactly what Cap DOES think of gay marriage, as a straight white man from the 1940s. :-)

    As a forward-thinking guy — and as a guy who knows what it’s like to be picked on — I’m sure he’d be okay with it. Not everyone was homophobic even in the 1940s.

    I think that, in addition to fiercely defending our convictions, we should be willing to examine them

    I would never suggest otherwise. :-)

    Trump might agree with Steve’s refusal to be bound by legal restrictions

    But it’s hardly Steve alone who has said that what’s legal isn’t always correct. You could apply that same argument to the fights against slavery, against interracial marriage, against women’s rights, against gay rights. Lots of awful, immoral things were once legal. But many things that are illegal *are* also immoral.

    the refusal to compromise

    But sometimes there *is* no compromise. What is the middle ground between “I am a human being deserving of respect and dignity” and “No, you aren’t”?

    under a government that derives its power from the consent of the governed

    But that comes down to the same thing, doesn’t it? The consent of the governed has led to some terrible shit.

  • Bluejay

    But sometimes there *is* no compromise.

    Of course. But what is it that we’re refusing to compromise on? On whatever we believe are the elemental, bedrock values of the nation — its founding principles. The refusal to compromise is not, itself, the founding principle.

    And of course you’re right that we should defend what we believe is moral, whether or not it’s legal or popular. (Which, of course, all our opponents believe they should do as well.) But I wonder if that means we should stop claiming that the law — the ideal of being “a government of laws, not men” — is important or even valid in any fundamental sense.

    All of us — on all sides of an argument — invoke the law (or the Constitution, or popular mandate, etc) when it favors what we value. And all of us claim the law should be disobeyed when it goes against our principles. Which I totally get — of course we should defend our principles — but maybe that means the law is just a facade, and at bottom it really is just a contest of will and power between groups of people who believe that they — that WE — are the ones with good intentions and good hearts.

    I’m not sure I’ve completely thought this through. But I think we’re entering a time when it feels like anything goes. This administration seems like it will stop at nothing to consolidate power and impose its will. Are we, too, determined to stop at NOTHING to oppose it? And what exactly will that mean? I don’t know if we fully understand what the price of victory might be, or know if we’re willing to pay it.

  • Danielm80

    That’s actually why I don’t believe in punching Richard Spencer, even if it’s funny.

    I suppose the civil disobedience movement would say that we should break an unjust law but accept the consequences. Or change the law.

  • Bluejay

    Every day I’m increasingly convinced that the only canon Cap should be Chris Evans. :-)



  • but maybe that means the law is just a facade,

    No, I think it means that the law is a slow-moving force that can be redirected, but not on the whim of a single person.

  • Dent

    The Law has only ever served society and it’s values, what’s important is to examine the ethics and implications inherent in any and every change.

  • Danielm80
  • Bluejay

    Yeah, that works. Thanks for that.

    And if comics can inspire us to act – to be our own hero – then let’s not forget to act in the real world.






  • Danielm80

    I’ve done some of those things, and will do more over the next week, but I’m becoming more and more convinced that the only real solution is to remove Donald Trump from office, as quickly as possible. Do you have any options that will do that–and, ideally, get rid of Pence, too?

  • Bluejay

    All of that involves putting pressure on your representatives. Ask them to support impeachment or the 25th amendment. Ask them to protect the Mueller investigation. Prepare to fight Pence if Trump is removed, or Ryan if both Trump and Pence are removed. Prepare for all of this to be a failed long-shot, and work towards electing more Democrats in 2018 and 2020.

    And if all of this fails, keep fighting anyway.

    Doc X (Ms Marvel villain): You may be winning this battle… but you are going to lose the war. I am more powerful than you can imagine… When you strike me down, I will return in the ways you least expect.

    Ms Marvel: (thought bubble) A small part of me wonders if he’s right. A bigger part of me knows it doesn’t matter. Because either way, I gotta KEEP FIGHTING. (aloud) And whenever that happens, I’ll be here, waiting for you!

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