Meet The Real Loki

November 9th, 2013

Guest-posting at Alyssa Rosenberg's blog, Max Gladstone wants us to Meet The Real Loki:

Let's talk Loki. Norse myths are some of the world's craziest, and while the good folks at Marvel have given us two solid cinematic Lokis so far, and look set to deliver a third, there's a lot of Loki that never makes it on screen.

You see, Loki's a weird character in the Norse pantheon. He's not evil always, or for its own sake – this is something Marvel's first Thor movie got right. He is, however, tricksy. And vengeful. And too smart for his own good. In Norse myths, Loki's as likely to take up the role of "only Norse god who can think his way out of a paper bag" as he is to present as "archenemy of Thor and all that is holy."


With that out of the way, here is one of my personal favorite Loki tales. Feel free to imagine the Triple-H of Hiddleston, Hemsworth, and Hopkins in the central roles below if that tickles your fancy.

Okay, so. Back at the beginning of time, the gods wanted a fortress. But no one wants to build a fortress themselves! The gods remain stymied until a nameless workman wanders into Valhalla and gives Odin an offer: "I'm really good at building fortresses, and in fact I'll build one for you – if you pay me with the sun, the moon, and Freia, goddess of beauty."

This being the beginning of time, Odin hadn't heard this particular scam before. […]

Given the way Loki resolves the problem in this legend, I don't think we are going to see Tom Hiddleston acting it out in Thor 3, but I'd be delighted to be wrong about that.

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But no love for Lo-Ruhammah

May 11th, 2011

Courtesy of the Slacktivist, 7 biblical women's names that deserve wider usage:

2. Jael. You meet plenty of people named after Mary, the other biblical character praised as "most blessed of women," but I've never met anyone named after Jael. Maybe it's because the name translates, literally, as "mountain goat." Or maybe it's because "bad-ass" isn't what most parents are looking for in a name for their baby girl. Jael was bad-ass. She took out Sisera, the general in charge of the invading army:

Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. "Come," she said, "I will show you the man you're looking for." So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple – dead.

Don't mess with Jael.

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Let My People Google

April 11th, 2011

I know it's been linked to everywhere by now, but Google Exodus genuinely is well worth a look.

[Via Vidque]

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Stanley Kubrick on Icarus

October 2nd, 2010

Stanley Kubrick, accepting the D W Griffith Award and contemplating the lessons of the story of Icarus:

[D W Griffith…] was always ready to take tremendous risks in his films and in his business affairs. He was always ready to fly too high. And in the end, the wings of fortune proved for him, like those of Icarus, to be made of nothing more substantial than wax and feathers, and like Icarus, when he flew too close to the sun, they melted. And the man who's fame exceeded the most illustrious filmmakers of today spent the last 17 years of his life shunned by the film industry he had created.

I've compared Griffith's career to the Icarus myth, but at the same time I've never been certain whether the moral of the Icarus story should only be, as is generally accepted, "Don't try to fly too high," or whether it might also be thought of as, "Forget the wax and feathers and do a better job on the wings."

[Via NickW, posting at the Word Magazine Blog]

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