So, humor me a bit as I continue my childhood desire to feel like these characters were meant to speak to me when I share this image with you:
Why is Steve Rogers apologizing to me, and why does it cause me emotion as I consider the words? First, I'll give you some options for answering the former query:
1. He's apologizing for not being able to avenge Bucky Barnes' (second) death, if not for not being able to save him.
2. He knows I've been buying the last year's worth of Avengers even though it's been nothing but talking heads a la Bendis at $4 a pop.
If it is true that Captain America is a zeitgeist figure for our country at any given time, I have to feel that he's apologizing to me, and that if you go buy your own copy of Avengers # 16, he'll be offering you an apology too.
He's saying he's sorry for the selfishness of so many of the Baby Boomers and their ingenues. He's apologizing for the Hippies who became Yuppies who have been thinking they have all the answers and have never been wrong about anything since they've been 16 years old.
He's apologizing for the stupidity of our falling for the bipartisan traps that have been put before us and for the country's leadership slowly moving away from Democracy toward a cold Capitalism that cares little for government beyond economy.
He's offering condolences for the terrible job market and for the death or perversion of the American Dream.
And you know what? If that's what he's offering, I'll take it. Who else who supposedly embodies the spirit of America has the gumption to offer apologies without blaming an "other side?"
I suggest you take it too, because you're not gonna get it from a greater American that Steve Rogers, and it's just a crying shame that he doesn't really exist.
But, if he's willing to take some responsibility, I should too, eh? Maybe he's apologizing to help me wake up and try to do more to make a difference. Or maybe he's apologizing because he knows I'll think that, and things are so bad that making a difference can't even make a dent anymore.
Anyway, if you'be been as disappointed with leadership as I have been for the last 12-16 years or so, please feel free to join me in thinking that Captain America speaks to us directly.