lolaraincoat: drawing of phone wirse (wires)
[personal profile] lolaraincoat
So there were a lot of excellent comments on the first edition of this post (both the LJ version and the DW version) but then they made me think about what I left out, so here's some

Changes in the built environment.

Here, it might be that being in New York would shelter him a bit - New York may be less different after seventy years than other parts of the US. I imagine Steve Rogers puzzling over how few new subway lines and commuter railways have been built in the New York area since his time, and I hope he'd be horrified by what happened to Penn Station, and impressed by some of the late-modernist skyscrapers that went up in the 1950s and 60s. But overall, not much that's been built in New York since 1945 would be completely unrecognizable to him, I expect.

But as soon as he left New York, he would notice some huge changes. When he got frozen, there were no shopping malls and no parking garages and no planned suburban communities full of identical houses (Levittown was the first, in 1947.) There were some highways, but the big interstates all date to the Cold War (the Federal government funded them, supposedly because they would enable people to flee the cities in case the commies dropped the bomb.) There were no national, much less international, fast-food chains dotting the landscape along those highways. There were airports for commercial travel, but not many - most appeared after WWII, made from rebuilt military airbases - and passengers had to leave the terminals to walk onto the planes. So those would all surprise him.

But maybe the biggest change would be something that's missing: he would quickly notice the disappearance of factories, and the whole infrastructure of rail and shipyards that served the factories. When Captain America went under the ice, America was just about to achieve global dominance in manufacturing of all kinds. By the time he woke up, the US was importing more manufactured goods than it exported. He would see this most quickly by looking at Detroit, but this change - historians refer to it as "deindustrialization" - is visible across the United States, from Bakersfield to Baltimore, from Altoona to Atlanta. And of course this is connected to what I was talking about in the last post, in which he would have noticed that the adult men in his old Brooklyn neighborhood are doing very different kinds of work, and aren't organized into labor unions.

I can sort of imagine Nick Fury, who has to be a huge fan of The Wire, explaining this to Steve Rogers by getting him to watch the whole second season. Or maybe, in those scenes that keep coming up in fics where someone - usually Tony - takes Steve clothes shopping, he would notice that all the shoes and underpants and everything else on offer was made somewhere else, usually Asia. That would be a big surprise. I'd like to see the conversation where Tony explains how that came to be. Or Steve could ask Pepper why, as CEO of a US technology company, she's always flying off to meetings in Singapore and Indonesia.

... OK, see, this is why I don't often write fanfic, and when I do, it isn't any good. But you all who do write - please, think about all this!


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