More Perspective

2012 March 19
by Dave

To continue the East meets West mixing of iconic visual themes I’d like to share a scene.

I’m walking through the break room at work and there is a ping pong game going on. The Indian software guys at my work have an interesting game developed that revolves around delivering a crushing blow to the ball as soon as possible. Missing the other side of the table more often than not, but hitting the ball very hard. Serve, volley, volley, crush. Serve, volley, crush. etc.

One of the players is an Indian dude that is fairly muscular and he is wearing a Captain America shirt. Not an ostentatious one. It is kind of green-grey and has the circular red white and blue shield on the front. It really caught my eye. Super Indian dude wearing Captain America shirt.

Is he being Ironic? “I’m not American but see, Captain America!” Like the Australian guys on vacation that I once saw in Hong Kong wearing Chinese Red Army uniforms while out drinking.

Is he asserting his belonging? A statement of identity? Does he just like Captain America? Did he get the shirt on sale without knowing who Captain America is?

Endless possibilities and all of them have something uniquely interesting to say about global culture. But I really want to know. Is the shirt a statement?

I want to know, because I want it to be. Because it is just so awesome and so subtle and yet so big.

A month later I walk into the break room for coffee to see five Indian guys standing around the coffee pots. As I’m pouring my coffee one guy says to another, “Is that a Captain America shirt?” I look up and see that the ping pong Captain America dude is wearing the shirt again.

The wearer replies that it is a Captain America shirt with a big smile. The questioner gives a chuckle. Another of the five laughs and one guy says “What is Captain America?” The other four get louder as they all talk over each other explaining who Captain America is. He still has no idea what they are talking about. I restrain myself from chiming in about the Red Skull and Hydra. Finally the guy who first noticed the shirt asks him accusingly, “How are you in America and you don’t know Captain America?” Everyone busts up laughing.

It was awesome. I have no commentary other than it was one of those perfect scenes that directors long to craft for a movie but so seldom achieve.

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