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what Loki wants

December 28, 2014

[Note: I have not read Avengers comics in 40 years; I have no idea what’s canon. All I have to go on is what I saw in the movies I’ve recently watched, and what I know of Norse mythology.]

The opening scene of the movie, Thor, stays with me. The character of Thor strides boldly through a cavernous throne room, filled with throngs of cheering supporters. Fans, essentially. All there to celebrate Thor’s ascension to . . . something kingly, I guess.

In the movies, Thor has a band of 4 buddies he adventures with. He is widely loved, and his parents dote on him.

As presented, Thor is physically gorgeous, and has a lovely twinkle in his eye when he’s pleased, but . . . has no discernible sense of humor. I guess he doesn’t need one — his life is a bowl of cherries.

Loki . . . has no friends. Thor’s buddies seem to think he’s inherently untrustworthy, cowardly, a pain in the ass. I don’t know about Frigga, but Odin seems to not even realize that, while he thought he was raising 2 boys as potentially-equal heirs, deep down inside, he thinks Loki is monstrous, and unworthy of his love, regard; certainly not a king-in-the-making.

Loki, a shapeshifter, definitely has a sense of humor. And he can cry, feel deep grief. I wouldn’t be surprised if people told him he was “too sensitive”, or that they had no idea what he was talking about.

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Although it makes no sense to me that a Chaotic character would aspire to being “king”, in the movies, Loki wants to be king, and manages to be acting king through deception. I bet the experience wasn’t nearly as satisfying as he thought it would be.

When you wield great power . . . but no one respects you, nor do they like you . . . that’s a very bitter place to be.

Maybe Loki dreamed about the opening scene, just substituting himself for his brother. Except that . . . there’s no way to get there. That adulation depends on perfectly embodying the ideals of your clan and/or society, which Loki doesn’t.

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What would Loki actually enjoy? What social scenario could provide an equivalent level of satisfaction and enjoyment?

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I’m feeling very Loki lately.

And I’ve been thinking about what I would enjoy/find immensely satisfying, socially.

  • I love “talking shop”. It doesn’t even have to be a specific field I personally know a lot about (although it obviously helps if I do).
  • If I can talk my own process, and how/why I came up with, even better.
  • I relish receiving insightful and useful feedback. {Data I don’t have and can’t get.}
  • I love love love being able to give insightful and useful feedback to others.

I’m not a perfectionist, but I have many friends who are. I read their fiction that makes me weep with its unearthly beauty, despair I’ll ever be able to write a fraction as well, and then . . . have to listen to them denigrate the work and themselves, saying how much they suck. UGH.

I guess I’m supposed to denigrate my own stuff in return, and then we can all bond over how shitty we are? UGH^2.

I love being me. I love thinking. I love writing poetry. I love writing prose. Am I super-talented, super-skilled at writing poetry and prose? I’m pretty sure I’m not: relatively speaking, I haven’t been doing either very long. What I don’t know is functionally infinite. I can always improve, blah blah blah. I certainly intend to improve . . . because I really love doing this stuff.

People who never read poetry . . . have liked (some) poems I’ve written. I think that’s pretty cool.

I don’t think there are any poets in the world who can “make a living at poetry”, but even if there are, I don’t want to be one of them.

I don’t want to teach poetry to other people. I don’t want to directly help other people write poetry.

I’m undecided about whether I might enjoy receiving awards for my poetry — the prospect seems so unlikely, it’s akin to imagining how I would feel if I won the lottery (which I don’t play). Maybe it would be nice though.

  • I want to be able to honestly admit that I like my own stuff, and I think it has value.
  • I can be an effusive fanperson for stuff I like. I want to be able to do that to the creator of said stuff without us having to go through the dance of “I’m not worthy of your praise; my stuff sucks”.
  • I want my discernment, my “professional judgment”, to be valued by others. I want my opinions to be sought (at least sometimes).

I am so rarely asked for my considered opinions about anything that I regularly spend time on social media looking for someone talking about something interesting — even complete strangers! — just so I can offer an opinion, that might receive a favorable response. This thing I’ve been doing unconsciously for years, when I realize that’s what I’m doing, only then do I feel like . . . “I must be stupid and worthless. Otherwise someone else I like would care what I think.”

I think I would enjoy someone whose judgment (about writing and/or art) I respect telling me something complimentary about my poems: they do X skillfully; they evoke Y sensitively; I felt something I’ve never felt before when I read Z. I’m not even sure what specific types of feedback I might actually like the best, because I’ve never received any like that.

  • I want to be good at something valued by other people whom I like and respect.

I hate constantly feeling like [Loki, in that] I’m really skilled at a bunch of things that . . . have no value to anyone I know. “I’m an expert! on Trashy Stupid Thing No One Cares About! Go ahead: ask me anything!”

Instead, I’m functionally the pesky younger sibling tagging along.

I have to be able to do things. That are valued by others.

I’ve had years and years of therapy. I’ve liked myself all along. But I don’t know how to “fix” other people thinking I’m worthless and stupid. The only way that gets changed is finding something I can do / only I can do that they value. I’ve had very little luck at that.

I’d like to see the movie or book written that showcases Loki’s talents and strengths, in a world that values Chaotic abilities alongside Neutral and Lawful abilities. I’d like to be able to imagine that reality.

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