Historically, not awesome

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Agito a42, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Agito a42

    Agito a42 Senior Member

    Source: The Avengers (2012), an American film.

    A secret governmental intelligence agency asked Tony Stark (along with other brave and intelligent men) to help trace and get back an ancient artifact stolen from them. Tony (who is kind of genius) wonders why they didn't call him in when they had the artifact, he could've helped with the research. He thinks they are hidings something, don't tell the real purpose of their research. So he hacks into their system.

    He expresses his suspicions to his fellow, Steve.

    Tony to Steve: In a few hours, I'll know every dirty secret they have ever tried to hide.
    Steve: Yet you're confused about why they didn't want you around.
    Tony: An intelligence organisation that fears intelligence? Historically, not awesome.

    I wonder if you could tell me what "historically, not awesome" means here.
  2. rhitagawr

    rhitagawr Senior Member

    British English
    It means it's nothing unusual. It looks like a pun on the word intelligence: (A) intelligence in the sense of the information spies gather; and (B) intelligence in the sense of cleverness. The intelligence agency (A) doesn't seek the help of intelligent people like Steve (B).
  3. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    In the past (historically), this has been a bad thing (this has not been awesome).

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