Daily Thanks: Peggy Carter Isn’t a Superhero

Dear Marvel & DC,

Somehow, in some strange twist of fate, the first female superhero to headline her own live action anything since the resurgence of Marvel and DC has been, in fact, a super-powerless, marginalized human woman of the 40s. And so despite being a hardcore fan of Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Raven, Black Widow, and Jean Grey, I found myself most thankful for the existence of Agent Peggy Carter.

Sure we’ve seen plenty of Black Widow in Marvel movies but she’s always been second fiddle. Characters like Barbara Gordon, Huntress, Black Canary, and Supergirl have graced us with their presence. Wonder Woman held seasons of a tv series back in day. But aside from the little known Birds of Prey tv series, Peggy Carter has been the first in recent times to get any sort of popular billing.

It’s an interesting choice as far as a test case goes. Peggy Carter before all of these better known women. The only equivalent I can think of would be if Marvel had released Guardians of the Galaxy before the Avengers. I don’t know about you but I saw Guardians (a barely known entity of some comic I’d never read) because they’d earned my faith with the Avengers (which nearly every nerd has read).

Was Carter a successful test case? I’m not sure. The ratings haven’t been what people were hoping they would be (although really, if this was any other show, they’d be fine) and the quality slide a little in the second half once Peggy and Jarvis were split up. Should it get a second season. Personally I’d like to say yes, realistically I’m not entirely sure. I’ll leave that for  Marvel to decide.

Although there’s something to be said for creating a new 8 episode mini series for every time Agents of Shield goes on hiatus. We could explore a lot of secondary characters this way. Heck, I’d follow Pepper Potts around for a week with no Tony Stark in sight. I’d happily see what Lady Sif is up to. Ooooo I’d definitely follow Thor’s Darcy Lewis (Kat Denning’s) around for a while with a cameo or two from Jane Foster. Or what about 8 episodes of Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders)? If we’re really jumping into Civil War then she’s someone I’d like to know a little better.

But there are things to thankful for about agent carter beyond merely paving the way for female superheroes:

I’m thankful that we got a period piece from Marvel

I’m thankful that Marvel took a chance on this

I’m thankful that we got zany inventions and more Howard Stark

I’m thankful for the social commentary on women in the workplace

I’m thankful for Peggy Carter beating people up because those were generally some great actions scenes

I’m thankful that the show somehow balanced Peggy being sad over Steve’s death without encompassing her with it. There was just enough sadness to feel realistic and not quite enough to make me roll my eyes.

I’m thankful that there wasn’t too much Captain America

I’m thankful that we got to see some gal pal time and that it wasn’t just work and men (sidenote: I’m also thankful that the Cartenelli shippers got something for their trouble. I’m thankful that we got even a hint of that representation. However, I’m still voting for Sousa)

I’m thankful that they didn’t shy away from giving a key character a literal crutch. I’ve heard some talk about abelism and I won’t touch that but I do know that I don’t see a lot of representation from this category. All I can think off the top is HTTYD’s Hiccup and characters from the Last Airbender.

Mostly, I’m thankful for 8 episodes of maybe not the highest quality tv but of fun times tv.

Stay stupendous,

Aria

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Thanks for: Brothers With the Man Flu

Dear Adult Brother Who Sneezes All Over Everything,

Why oh why are you unable to ever properly cover your face holes when you’re spewing bodily fluids everywhere? It’s not that hard to not sneeze on people! It’s definitely not hard not to intentionally cough on people. As your elder sister I command that you stop. It’s not funny.

Stop trying to sneeze on me.

The boy comes home for one week and it just so happens to be the week that he’s ‘deathly ill’. By which I mean he has the sniffles-wiffles and wants dear mommy to make him chicken noodle soup and buy him Popsicles.

Buy your own popsicles Hedgehog.

But your snot induced sniveling does procure one item of thankfulness – no dishes for me. Like magical clockwork as soon as the parents hear the vaguest sniffing, everything jumps straight to the dishwasher. This is nothing short of a miracle. Our parents hate the dishwasher with a fiery passion that I can’t quite comprehend. Somehow it’s evil. It apparently never cleans anything properly and takes too much water and is just a colossal pain the rear. Apparently.

This just seems to translate into Aria drying a whole ton of dishes every day.

But the parents have concluded that the one thing saving grace of the dishwasher is it’s ability to sanitize. So when someone is sick its suddenly a dishwasher-pooloza. No dishes for me. Bliss.

So thank you younger sibling for taking that chore away for a few days. But on the other hand, if you get me sick, I will re-infect you and you can take this right back to your generally unclean student housing.

And no, you’re not that sick, I don’t feel that sorry for you, and it’s just a cold.

Go get a kleenex.

Aria

Thanks for: Dressing Like A Disney Princess at Work

Dear Mom,

Just because I’m in my twenties and going in to work does not mean that I can’t secretly dress like a Disney Princess. You didn’t flinch when I wore the Batman shirt under my blazer or the Captain America earrings or inadvertently told my boss that I thought leopard onsies should be acceptable work attire – so it’s odd to me that the dressing like Elsa amuses you.

I mean it’s not like I’m wearing a gown and throwing snow at people. I bet my boss hasn’t even realized that I’m dressed like Elsa.

After all, when we bought the shirt you didn’t realize that I loved it for it’s Elsa-ness. To be fair, I didn’t even realize it. I was just like ‘I need a shirt. That shirt is blue. I like blue. I will try on that shirt.’

I truly am the most avid of shoppers.

Then I put the shirt on, looked in the mirror, and choked on air. The shirt was light blue, had tiny silver divet/sequin/embellishments (I don’t what you call them) all over it, and when I lifted my arms it got all drappy like a cape might be involved. Let It Go needed to be sung. I immediately did not care if it was form flattering or not, it was the Elsa shirt and I wanted it.

Thankfully you actually know what looks good on me (FYI this is why you still accompany me on shopping trips), and you gave the shirt the stamp of approval as I stared at the mirror with snowflakes in my eyes. You only realized it was my ‘Elsa shirt’ when I accidentally called it that trying to describe it to someone.

But I am so thankful for this shirt. I put it on with my dress pants, throw my hair into a side braid (a genuine challenge for this curly mass), and pop on a snowflake necklace – suddenly I’m a Princess. Or a Queen. Queen Elsa of Arendelle. And if you don’t think that mindset follows you throughout the day, well, you’ve got another think coming.

Because I spend the whole day prancing on air because that’s what royalty does, Mom.

Nothing can touch me, everything gets down efficiently, and please save the person who tries to be rude – Queens don’t take no nonsense. So go ahead and smile at my shenanigans, I know you love your nerd.

And thank you shirt, for being so inspiring.

Aria

Thanks For: Plump, Happy Snowflakes

Dear Creator of Clouds,

You outdid yourself with the snowflakes this morning. Granted I could have done without the wind that whipped them into my face at a bajillion km/hour but still, the snowflakes themselves were stupendous. They were the plumpiest snowflakes I have ever seen. Fat snowflake conglomerates that bounced about on the wind like slightly drunk reindeer.

They were happy snowflakes.Warm cup of hot chocolate snowflakes. Toboggaing snowflakes. Snowman snowflakes. The kind of snowflake that makes Frosty come to life or houses the entire world of the Whos Down in Whoville.

They were quite clearly Christmas Card Snowflakes. The kind that falls idyllically through the back window while the TV family celebrates learning the meaning of Christmas. Quite frankly, the fat snowflakes made me happy when they were in my eyeballs.

So thank you. They were beautiful.

I look forward to any future art projects,

Aria

Thanks For: The Hope of A New Flanders Fields

Dear Soldiers,

Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you to all those you lie in Flanders Fields and in the ground around the world. Thank you for standing up.

I’m so thankful for your sacrifice and I honour your memory. But I pray what I believe that all soldier pray, that one day soldiers will not die. That we will live in a world of peace. So most of all I’m thankful that despite the war and the violence we can still believe in that dream. I’m thankful that we can still believe in a world where Flanders Fields can exist in two forms, one to honour our fallen. And one to honour those who no longer have to fall.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
In empty field, without woe,
They mark our grace; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Heard freely with no guns below.

We are not dead. When wars forgo
We live, feel dawn, see sunset glow,
Love and are loved, never to lie
In Flanders fields.

We had no quarrel, not even a foe:
To you from aging hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
You shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Thanks for the hope of peace,

Aria

Thanks for: Every Light In the House Is On

Dear Monsters hiding in dark corners,

I’m a little skittish when I’m home alone after 6PM and the house is making creaking, groaning, ‘I’m full of murderers’ type noises. Luckily I have a very rational, very adult way of handling this. Flip on every single light in the entire house from ceiling lights to lamps to nightlights. All of them. Blazing.

Extreme amounts of light means that whatever is lurking in the house, be it ghosts or sword wielding kidnappers, cannot touch me. How a sword wielding kidnapper is going to be stopped by lights I’m not sure. But my brain tells me its true so it must be. There are times to rational and times to accept the placebo.

So ha ha monsters that are permanently seared into my skull after too much Doctor Who, Scooby Doo, and some ill-advised episodes of Supernatural. I’ve got a house of light. You can’t touch this.

So thank you to the lightbulbs, eco-friendly and otherwise, for keeping me protected. Thank you for not exploding or throwing the fuse because the fuse box is down the stairs of evilness and beside the furnace of tortured souls. I would have to run the whole way.

Keep lighting up,

Aria

Thanks for: Pretending to Successfully Adult

Dear Fake Adult Aria,

Technically I’m in my early twenties but my insides are made of an eight year old. An excited 8 year old. This is a problem when attending important meeting type things. They’re not even expecting the young adult that I’m supposed to be, they’re expecting a suave, sophisticated adult. HAHAHAHA no. Talk about your fiction.

But you, Fake Adult Aria, save my 8 year old butt by bursting forward with confidence and acumen. Thank you deeply for helping me trick all of the real grown-ups into thinking that I’m one of them. I don’t know where you come from or where you go but you appear like a bonus level in a video game, all shiny and ready to go.

I have successfully assimilated into the office culture because of you. You keep anyone from noticing that the 8 year old is wearing gym socks with the business suit, that I definitely was not just dancing in my cubicle, and that I’m humming Disney songs. What? No. I am a fully certified adult.

You even pulled it off last night. Meeting = me + adults who are friends with my parents that I’ve known my whole life. One of them was even my grade 8 teacher. I spent most of the night reminding myself not to call them “Mrs. _____” or “sir”. When the 8 year old couldn’t quite bring herself to call them by their first names, you deftly avoiding names altogether.

We successfully adulted and it’s all thanks to you. They even think that I can do real grown-up tasks because you offered real grown-up opinions with fancy words and a reference to statistical type things. Successful adulting? I think so.

So Fake Adult Aria, we make a good team. Feel free to stick around,

Aria