Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Someday, when the Axis of Appeasement (alias "Old Europe") finally tries to invade America and enact Ward Moore's nightmare of occupation from "It Becomes Necessary", this may be the symbol they'll be celebrating.
What would the superhero of the European Union be like? Call him Captain Euro, of course. I see something bland, generic, and drafted by a committee to avoid the flavor and character of any one European nation. His costume, designed to instill fear, or at least wonderment, in trade-pact violators and press-regulation evaders everywhere, would be something like an Olympic curling team warmup suit with a hovercraft driver's hat. His powers would be a supernatural knowledge of languages and dining customs, overweening self-esteem (he'd call it "savoir faire"), and the ability to nimbly sidestep violence and make his escape under a thick cloak of diplomacy.
As that writer points out, this laughable character designed by a committee actually existed. The art and stories were so calculated to be inoffensive that they would put a real comics fan (oui, c'est moi) into a deep slumber. However, it may all have been a clever marketing ploy for tie-ins, like TV cartoons invented just to sell certain toys. The continental crusader's site has a "licensing and marketing" page which says
Everyone will want to identify with the Captain EURO brand. It brings emotion to the concept of a united Europe, adding value to products and services. ... Our brands can adapt to any media, product, service, promotion or event.
Come on, you know the words, recite them with me now:
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
[Gary Cruse of The Owner's Manual linked to this hilarious example of art abuse in the Best of Me Symphony #50. The original post he cited was by Idler Yet.]

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