Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thor: Tales of Asgard - Politics, Religion, and Her

Welcome to today's roundtable discussion of Thor: Tales of Asgard. Today's discussion members are myself, of course, relapsed monster on an international scale, Muammar Gaddafi--is it still Colonel, or do you go by something else now?

This is the most menacing picture of him I could find.
"Muammar Gaddafi is not a president to resign, he does not even have a parliament to dissolve."

Fair enough. next, we have Jesus, simultaneously God and demi-god. How's that working out for you Jesus?

Of course. This is totally The Jesus.
"With the exception of a few really bad days, it's been pretty excellent."

Good to hear. Finally, we have New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Meyer. How are things, Stephanie?

I really wanted a picture of his abs. Not for this. Just for, y'know. Stuff.
“Good, but I’m afraid I can’t stay long. Taylor Laughner’s contract says I can touch his abs five times a day, so my schedule’s kind of busy until Breaking Dawn finishes filming.”

First question’s for you Muammar; as a head of state, what did you think of the political element of this story?

You never heard about the Italian civil war of Libyan slavery. I listened to a dissertation about it, but it was all Greek to me.
“In Libya, things are different. In Libya, we will never become slaves, like we were to the Italians. We will never accept it. We will fight to the last man and last woman to defend Libya.”

I'm writing alt text backwards. I'm so sick of it already.
*Laughs* “That’s the sort of approach I’d come to expect from Thor and the Asgardians. The movie shocked me by putting Asgard in the position of supplicant to Niffelheim.”

So, you’ve met Thor?

Jesus totally knows. He just wants to make sure YOU know.
“Of course not; you do know what ‘monotheism’ means, right? Thor has been a solid book since way back. Simonson? C’mon!”

Yeah, that's my voice for Stephanie Meyer. Deal with it.
*daydreaming*: “Mmmm, Thor was always kind of old for me. I’ve always liked Superboy better.”

...right. I think it's time for a commercial break.

Stephanie, as a romance writer, what did you think of the chemistry between Thor and Sif?

So duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuumb.
“Hm? Oh, it was alright. Sif turning her back on [the Valkyries] to help out Thor was good, but she also embarrasses him. I know this story was about characters when they’re young and, y’know, a little stupid, but even young girls know that men never like being embarrassed.”

Also offended: pegasi, straw men, dogs, ice giants, fletchers, giants, ice...
“I found the Valkyries to be a bit flat. It might be a ladies-only establishment, but their portrayal as only existing because of men is a bit insulting, to women, to the mythology, and to the viewer.”

You mean Norse mythology?

Straw men deal with that a lot. They really do get the...well, you know.

“No, to the mythology that Kirby established.”

Muammar, you’ve been quiet. What do you think of the portrayal of Thor’s stalwart companions, The Warriors Three?

I'll probably never know if Arabic just lacks subtley, or if translators are all right-brained.
"The Arabs are envious of you and hope destruction for you and they don't like you at all."

I've heard that if someone tries to kill you, you should kill them right back. Happy Firefly fans?.
“I feel the same way. I liked these guys, but they were insulting enough to make me feel...wrathy.”


[Hey, Kris. Reference the plagues of Egypt. Everyone loved those!]
*Laughs* “Not that wrathy. On a scale of boils to firstborn children…ah…locusts. Definitely locusts.”

Easy jokes by vanvelding.blogspot

*again, daydreaming* “Team Hogun….or Team Fandral?”

What about the concept: the bond between young Thor and Loki?

If you don't get this, just google 'Rule 39 Loki Thor.'

"I loved that story! I always agreed with the author that Loki would be bigger.” brothers.

She was a good pick. Those manatees are smart, bro.
“Oh. That. It didn’t seem realistic to me; they’re gods, so they should always be all powerful and invulnerable, even dangerously so. That’s what people want to see, not a bunch of goofy kids making a lot of mistakes. But hey…Thor was kind of hot and Loki was cute, so it wasn’t a total waste.”

Yeah, me too, Jesus.
“I found the premise of pre-adolescent gods remarkably easy to accept, but it failed in a tacit promise to show us why the Thor and Loki we know are so close.”

Indeed. We'll be back after another quick commercial break.

12-packs of Pepsi products were on sale at my local grocery store (Rouses #4). I didn't want to take all of the Diet Cherry Pepsi (surely the second-finest of diet sodas) they had, so I took a Diet Lime Pepsi.

After I got home and opened a can, my cat smelled it, recoiled, and slunk away, squeezing herself under a shelf in order to give it the widest berth possible before she ran to the furthest part of the house.

Limes: Cats don't like them very much.

Getting back to the plot. Jesus, what did you think of the themes of betrayal in the film?

Ha! Get it? Like in The Bible?
“I’m...somewhat aware that betrayal is a central facet of humanity, and exploring it is something I like to see in the media. It’s done well here, but it takes up far too little time.”

Actual quotes, folks. All of them.
"Egypt is going towards the unknown. Not one Egyptian is able to reach an understanding with another Egyptian ... The army is nothing ... Egypt is nothing. It is not a popular revolt."

I assume her books are this terrible or better.
“Exactly. I don’t think that, like, any of the people or whatever they were that died before this movie were going to be helped by all the lying and hurting that happened in this movie. Besides, only the ice giants had their shirts off, and they’re, like, monsters so it wasn’t very attractive. All that fighting was pointless.”

Like he tried to give Cloak and Dagger some advice about prioritizing swords/cloaks, but it didn't work out.
“It did have a strong message about the consequences of violence the wisdom of peace. It’s not what I expected from a story about the proud warriors of Asgard, but that’s not really a complaint.” *winks*

Oh, because you advocated peace so strongly back in the 0000’s?

...I assume. I haven't read classic Thor. What do you want? I'm not Jesus!
"No, because that’s one of the lessons of classic Thor comics. Violence has its place, but it shouldn’t be your first resort and is rarely the last.”

This is more about the live action movie that came out lately, but what’s your opinion about the discontent of some people who worship the Norse gods over the portrayal of Thor?

Jesus: Certainly not a mouthpiece character.
“I think it’s natural. If you’re religious, it’s the most important thing in your life. Not the only thing, but the most important thing. If someone mis-appropriates a part of that and slaps its name on something that’s antithetical to the meaning you hold for it, it’s natural to get angry. You should get angry and you should speak out. You’ve got the very same right to express your outrage as they do to express their disrespect, lack of respect, or even different respect for your--pardon the phrase--sacred cows. Not speaking out when someone hijacks the symbols of your faith, not countering that image with your own meaning? That kind of silence implies an egregious lack of conviction.”

This is a public service announcement about...
This really was the best picture of him on the internet.

Conduit was a Superman villain for about two years. His name was Kenny Braverman, and he was Clark Kent's best-friend-from-Smallville-that-you-never-met-before-turned-worst-enemy. He was a superspy with a Kryptonite suit who built a replica of Smallville--complete with robotic inhabitants--in order to clear out a high-school grudge against Clark.

He was unnecessarily connected to the protagonist, he killed a character important to the protagonist only for it to be revealed that she was still alive, he had a plot device piece of equipment utilizing the plot device weakness of the protagonist, and he cleanly and conveniently killed himself while pursuing his irrational vendetta. Whatever scattered slivers of relevance he might have had have all since been superseded by Lex Luthor's retconned background.

Conduit is the tentacled embodiment of all of the worst things about comics, in the nineties and now. He doesn't need to be entombed below The Hall of Justice; he needs to displayed like Lenin in the central working area of DC Comics with a 4-foot placard reading "NEVER AGAIN."
But he's a favorite from my childhood and I hope he's on Suicide Squad after the reboot. <3<3<3

Welcome back.

All of Jesus' alt texts should be '...get it? Like in The Bible'?
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get up on a soapbox there. Trust me, I don’t like being ‘up on’ anything.”

Fair enough. I'm afraid we're out of time. Closing thoughts? Mommar?

Still crazy after all these years.
“We put our fingers in the eyes of those who doubt that Libya is ruled by anyone other than its people.”

Indeed, the message about violence within government here is undeniable. Stephanie?

'Quit calling me you crazy bitch!' is his voicemail message.
*On the phone* “I’m sorry, Robert Pattinson’s contract says he has to ignore--mmm--five of my phone calls a day. Oooh, it went to voicemail. That is so hot!”


I mean, everyone else was in there, am I right?
“I was disappointed Beta-Ray Bill wasn’t in this. He was just begging for a cameo in here amongst the dozens of other Asgardian fixtures that got crammed in.”

Oh, you mean because Beta-Ray Bill has been so popular lately?

Jesus knows everyone, but he's more of a 'small circle of close friends' guy.
“No, because he kept emailing Joe Quesada about it. He even asked me to help.”


*sigh* Cancer again? I've cured you of micro-cancer 127 times.
“That’s not really surprising. Lots of people ask me for stuff. I mean, it would be nice for someone to request simple things on occasion, 'Jesus, please help me move my couch this weekend.' 'Jesus, could you watch my cat while I'm on vacation?' Just once, I'd like to help a friend pick his car up from the shop, y'know?”

No, I mean, Beta-Ray Bill was…emailing someone? Was this in Deadpool Team-Up?

“No, in Gmail; Beta-Ray Bill is real.”

"Jesus" image courtesy of ScottSpot.

1 comment:

VanVelding said...

I don't care that none of you read or liked this; I LOLed at the bit with the limes.