- 12-year-old girl: I don't want kids when I grow up.
- Society: You'll change your mind when you get older. You're only 12. You're too young to know what you want.
- 16-year-old girl: I'm pregnant.
- Society: How could you be so stupid? Do you know anything about safe sex? You should be ashamed.
- 20-year-old woman: I'm a single mother with an infant son.
- Society: You should've gone to college first. You need a stable career before you can support a child.
- 33-year-old woman: I'm married and my spouse and I both have stable careers. I have two young daughters now.
- Society: You're not staying home? Who's going to take care of them? You're just going to put them in day care while you work? That's selfish of you. You can't expect to raise decent kids with a full-time job.
- 45-year-old woman: I just had my first child.
- Society: Why would you have a child when you're that old? Do you realize the health risks of being pregnant at your age? When your kid is a teenager you'll be a senior citizen. That's inconsiderate of you.
- 60-year-old woman: I haven't had any children.
- Society: Your life must be so unfulfilling. Is there something wrong with you? Why didn't you want kids? How strange.
Loki Laufeyson, Underpants Gnome (2/3)
In our last post, we established that Loki is not so much a schemer as he is an opportunist. He doesn’t set up a situation (or at least not much of it); he just wanders in, pokes the circumstances, and takes shameless amoral advantage of whatever results. This makes sense, as he is, after all, the Trickster God.
If ever Loki wants to feel sane, he can just think of this guy.
So, yeah, Loki? Not a big planner. Just like the underpants gnomes, who, as a reminder, use the following as their business paradigm:
"Search for the underpants, yay!"
Not all that detailed, but as long as you can think on your feet, ? sort of resolves itself. And Loki can definitely think on his feet.
Problem is, when it comes to conquering an entire realm, well… a little thinking ahead is generally considered a good idea. So what Loki tries next doesn’t work out quite so well for him.
Now, before I start the analysis here, let’s get something out of the way as far as my starting point of characterization, being as it’s a point of contention through the fandom. When last we saw the gentleman in question, he was looking like this:
So, you know, depressed as hell, casting himself into the abyss, in need of therapy, but still semi-functional.
When we next see him:
Someone had a tough time at band camp.
Loki Laufeyson, Underpants Gnome (1/3)
(note: formatting is modeled upon screwballninja's flawless essay style.)
So, I’ve rewatched the
TrilokiAsgard side of the Avengers arc recently (Thor, The Avengers, and Thor: The Dark World). And then I read about a variety of takes on the inner workings of Lokimultiple characters. And then I contemplated these inner workings of Lokimultiple characters. And then I decided to write an essay about Lokimultiple characters, because I am a well-rounded fangirl who is totally capable of appreciating an ensemble cast and how the different interlocking parts of…
…okay, yeah, this is all about Loki.
Didn’t fool you even a little, did I.
Well. Anyway. Lots of interpretation lands Loki in the category of Eleventy-Dimensional Chess Master, a web-weaving schemer with plans within plans within plans that are only revealed once the unwitting prey is already tangled in the trap. A spider, if you will.
Whereas I’m prepared to say that Loki, bless his brilliant heart, actually doesn’t think very far ahead at all. One or two steps at most. His talents lie in an entirely different direction: swift analysis and ruthless opportunism.
He is, to be frank, an underpants gnome.
"Hey, I get it!" "No you don’t, fatass!"
For those unfamiliar, underpants gnomes are South Park’s indictment of business practices prevalent in large corporations. Do something, wait for a miracle, and reap the benefits. It tends not to work out for those involved.
That being said, the gnomes’ scheme isn’t inherently flawed. Who says profit can’t be made from underpants? Who says you even have to plan ahead for what to do with those underpants? As long as you’re clever, quick on your feet, and blessed with a strict commitment to amorality, you’ll figure something out.
Like I said…
So, anyway, let’s look at this from the ugly beginning.
Loki’s whole MO is doing things for shits and giggles, basically. Until he goes properly cray-cray. Totally looking forward to the next parts…