myths for modern times
Well, how typical. My first post - which I worked on for over an hour - was just deleted. So I will delete the expletives, as well.
Why Loki? For one thing, we're in the middle of summer at the moment, nearing the end of one of the classic "dog days of summer." "Lokabrenna" refers to Loki's star, the Dog-star Sirius. Since my original post is now lost, here is a quick summary of where my thoughts have been wandering.
The Cold War was a real-world analog of the Norse Ragnarok, the "Twilight of the Gods," the end of the world. Loki, the god of free-wheeling thought and inventiveness, was foretold to be one who would help bring about that final reckoning. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Loki was the spirit of dissent in Asgard, the voice of the loyal opposition. He could never support what George H.W. Bush referred to as "a new world order," whether that world government should come about under the aegis of corporatism or Communism. There should always be a rival point of view, ideas challenging those holding power with what they'd prefer kept under lock-and-key: the truth.
The blogosphere is the repository of alternate points-of-view, of ideas held in opposition to the mainstream and to those who wield power over the marketplace. This is the cauldron where ideas - especially ideas considered "dangerous" by the Powers That Be - can bubble up out of the chaos and burst on the scene with decisive impact. The Ragnarok, that final show-down between the gods of capitalist democracy (Asgard observed the Althing, a democratic assembly, and ANYTHING was subject to a blood-price, even the end of the world, the Götterdämmerung) and their rival lords of chaos (the Soviet Union, the region known as Jotunheim to the ancient Norse) - this battle never took place. A glorious rebirth was to occur after Ragnarok, in which the giants drank good ale and renounced violence, while Asgard's survivors presided over a world-wide peace and a renewal of life on the planet. In reality, of course, no such rebirth could be possible after a nuclear Armageddon. We have sidestepped Ragnarok in favor of something else.
A "new world order" may not be the best outcome of a Cold War or any other kind of war. The awful "terror" which today is called Islamic fundamentalism can stand in well enough for the giants eager to end the world. The scary thing, however, is that George H.W. Bush's "new world order" may require opposition, even opposition from such as these. They certainly aren't good, but neither is the world dreamed up by George Bush, Sr., and his "Project for a New American Century" neoconservatives. So where do we go from here?