Archive | June 2021

Loki Loses His “Glorious Purpose”

Copyright © Disney+

So I’m watching Disney+ series, Loki and the second episode is about to become available any minute, yet I haven’t posted a review.

The series, what it seems to be tackling, and what if delivered in the first episode gave me a lot of things to write about, and I’ve started, scrapped, and re-started this review several times.

It’s too much.

So, first, let me sum up: Fun! Funny!

Some more details would be nice, and I’ll try to do that in a reasonable word count below. I must warn you: *After this there be SPOILER!

So turn back now if you don’t want to be spoiled.


First, want to say that I’ve enjoyed the way that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has handled the elements of Norse Mythology they’ve used for the Thor and the Avengers movies. Often when American producers delve into mythology they go the cookie cutter route of portraying the leader of the gods as the Good Guy, kind and wise and so forth, one of the other gods as the Bad Guy (usually a take on the Devil), and the other gods are mostly sorted into the two camps of the good gods and the bad gods.

Therefore, Odin is the leader of the good gods, Loki is the equivalent of the devil, and Thor is the loyal son of the leader of the good gods.

If you’ve actually read Norse mythology, you know that this isn’t how things are. Odin in wily and is not above cheating another supernatural being out of an agreed upon payment for a large job, just to get one example.

Some of the most interesting of the Norse stories involve Loki very cleverly getting Thor or the other Asgardians out of trouble that their carelessness or arrogance get them into.

Particularly in the move Thor: Ragnarok we saw that Odin has definitely not always be a "good guy" and that when push came to shove, Loki will do the right thing.

It is true that Loki is often portrayed as a master of deception, and clearly he’s never going to be a Knight in Shining Armor, but the way he’s been portrayed in the movies by Tom Hiddleston over the last decade or so has always given us moments where you feel for the guy.

In Avengers: Infinity War Loki died trying to kill Thanos and save the remnant of Asgard’s population. In the next Avengers movie, End Game the surviving heroes pull of a series of Time Heists to get the Infinity Stones (which Thanos destroyed after using them to kill half the population of the universe). And during one part of that heist they jumped into a portion of the very first Avengers movie, but things don’t go according to play, and the Loki of that time period (who had been captured and was in restraints) grabs the Space Stone (aka the Tesseract) and escapes.

Thus messing up both the plans of the heroes (who later in the movie put all the stolen stones back into the place and time they had come from).

The series picks up moments after that Loki vanished. He finds himself in the Gobi desert. Some kind of portals open up and heavily armed people come out, incapacitate him, make some comments about the broken timeline, then set something called a "reset charge" and take the captures Loki through the portal.

Loki has been arrested by the Time Variance Authority (TVA). The TVA appeared in a lot of Marvel comic books over the years. They are, essentially, an extra-dimensional time police. And look for events that break what they call "the sacred timeline," they find the person who caused the change in history, (who they call "variants") they prone the branching timeline, and bring the Variant back to their extradimension city/giant burueacracy to be tried and then erased from reality.

Most of this is explained in a very cute orientation video that Loki is forced to watch early in the first episode.

Pruning the branches from the timeline isn’t always as easy as the opening scene of the episode makes it appear. And the viewers learn that there is someone who is ambushing the crews of heavily armed time agents, killing them, and stealing the reset charge.

But much of this episode involved Loki trying to figure out how to get out of this predicament. One of the best recurring bits is he keeps making his grand eloquent speeches about how he is the God of Mischief and to be feared, and absolutely none of the bored looking pencil pushers he keeps meeting even bats an eye.

One time agent, Agent Mobius, wants to spare Loki from immediate erasure because he thinks Loki might be able to help them with the new problem. Mobius is played by Owen Wilson, and he seems to be the perfect foil to Hiddleston’s Loki in this episode.

Mobius tries to explain how in the main timeline, Loki did not escape, and he is destined to go on to inadvertently cause his mothers death (Thor: The Dark World), and die by Thanos’ hand without ever achieving the glory he’s always believed was his. The title of the first episdoe, "Glorious Purpose" is a phrase Loki used in the first Avengers movie when he began his attempt to conquer the world.

Hiddleston isn’t limited to generating laughs. There’s a point in the episode where he tries to escape, and winds up hiding out in the room Mobius had been briefing him in earlier. He watches those parts of his future Mobius told him about that he didn’t want to believe. The look on his face when he sees his mother’s death, and then later is own was just heart wrenching.

Loki realizes that he is powerless in that place, that the infinity stones are also powerless, and that the glorious purpose he always believed was is is just a pile of bitter ashes.

Before the episode ends, we see one of the groups of time agents get ambushed and killed, and we see a mysterious cloaked figure take the reset charge.

Presumably Mobius is about to try to pit Loki’s wiles and scheming against the mysterious cloaked figure. How will that work?

I’m really looking forward to finding out!


Some reviews you may find useful:

Loki Finds His “Glorious Purpose”

Review: Loki Episode 1, Glorious Purpose (Disney+)

What is the TVA, the Time Variance Authority in Marvel’s ‘Loki’?

Five years after the Pulse massacre, what can we do?

49 people were murdered that night. Don’t forget them! https://people.com/crime/orlando-pulse-shooting-tributes-to-49-victims/


Mayor Dyer: Honor Pulse victims by making Orlando more inclusive

Biden Marks Pulse Anniversary: We Must Acknowledge Gun Violence’s Particular Impact On LGBTQ Community

Joe.My.God – My Pulse Memory: Their Phones Kept Ringing

Pulse Shooting Survivor Brandon Wolf on the Meaning of June 12

It’s the fifth anniversary of the worst mass killing of queer people in U.S. history. Before the 49 victims of the Pulse massacre, the worst single event had been the UpStairs Lounge arson attack on June 24, 1973 in New Orleans.

I see that certain news sites and deplorables are once again trying to push the narrative that this event was a hate crime directed against queer people. I explained why they are wrong last year: Four years after the Pulse massacre and don’t feel the need to re-hash everything, other than to point out the the shooter’s own father was one of the people who thought the club had been picked because of how much his son hated queer people and that his son had ranted a lot the week before the shooting about how marriage equality was proof that American culture had embraced evil.

On this night five years ago, a lot of people were at Pulse celebrating Latinx Night as one of several Pride Month activities at the bar. They went out to have fun, to dance, to be with other queer people. To celebrate life. To celebrate Pride. To celebrate the concept that love is love.

Forty-nine of them never came home that night. I don’t personally know any of them, but when I am reminded of that night, I cry just as hard as a did when I was first reading news reports of the even the next morning. Because queer people are my tribe. Queer people are my community.

And the biggest fear I have had since realizing I was gay, is that some day a hater is going to kill me or someone I love because we’re queer.

Four years later, the Pulse massacre is still a gut punch.

Friday Five (over abundance edition)


It’s Pride Month, y’all! We’re at the second Friday in June. Happy Pride Month!

I reached full vaccination last week, and now my husband is fully vaccinated, as well. That means I’m starting to try to clean up the house that we’ve let get taken over by piles of things so that we could invite some fully vaccinated friends to visit in the near future. I am quite happy with that development!

Meanwhile, we have this week’s Friday Five. This week I bring you: one headline that is extremely sobering, one headline that should have made me laugh instead of cry, the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about Pride Month, five stories about seditious traitors, five stories about deplorables, and five videos (plus some notable obituaries).

The Story of the Year, Perhaps:

Service Workers Aren’t Lazy – Service workers didn’t decide one day to stop working — rather huge numbers of them cannot work anymore. Because they’ve died of coronavirus.

This Week’s Headline That Made Me Cry But Not In A Good Way:

Lunar New Deal: GOP Rep. Gohmert suggests altering moon’s orbit to combat climate change – The Texas congressman asked whether there was anything the U.S. Forest Service could do "to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun."

Stories of the Week:

Joy Reid Delivers History Lesson About U.S. Exploitation in the Countries of Central and South America Everyone Needs To See

Forty years after first documented AIDS cases, survivors reckon with ‘dichotomy of feelings’

Treasure Trove Of Secret IRS Files Reveals How Rich Avoid Taxes – Pro Publica has obtained a vast trove of never-before-seen tax data on thousands of the richest Americans covering more than 15 years

What My Covid-19 Vaccine Saga Taught Me About the U.S. Health Care System – I had to change Covid-19 vaccines midstream. Two months, five doctors and multiple Benadryls later, it was very clear the system isn’t set up to help non-cookie-cutter patients like me

The rise and fall of Chrissy Teigen shows how drastically Twitter changed in 10 years

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Candidate Biden said he’d overturn the Pentagon ban on Pride flags. Will President Biden do it?

Depicting LGBTQ+ People in the Media, Without Stereotypes

Biden Recognizes 40th Year of HIV, Calls for Billions to End It

11-year-old trans girl sues her state because they’re banning her from cross-country

10’s Across the Board: Why ‘Pose’ Deserves Every 2021 Emmy Nomination

This Week in Pride:

It matters that (almost) all of baseball is embracing Pride now. It changes the game – The activism happening in baseball, on the corporate and individual level, sends a clear message to everyone in sports: do something more than change your logos or send social media posts

Secretary of Defense celebrates LGBTQ+ military members at Pentagon Pride Month celebration

Texas Bakery’s Pride Cookies Sparked Backlash, Now Customers Are Lined Up Down the Block

Record-High 70% in U.S. Support Same-Sex Marriage

Tiresome debate around kink at Pride sends worrying message about sex and sex workers

This Week in Seditious Treason:

Feds obtain another conspiracy indictment against six militia members in Jan. 6 riot – Six men connected to a California-based “Three Percenter” group are hit with charges over unrest at the Capitol

Judge Finds Proud Boy’s Pleas to Get Out of Jail ‘Without Merit,’ Highlighting Vulgar Threats He Made Against People Who ‘Ratted’ Him Out

Capitol Rioter Pleads Guilty In Plot To Bomb Amazon Servers – He brought a sawed-off rifle to the Capitol on Jan. 6. Then he plotted to bomb Amazon data centers

Trump Appointee Riot Suspect Rejects Plea Deal Offer

Riot Suspect Collared After Mom Shares Boasting Posts

This Week in Deplorables, Haters, and Other Evil People:

Even Joe Scarborough Knows This Lafayette Park IG Report Is A Complete Joke – He called it "laughable on its face."

Trump’s PAC, Save America, repeats scam – PAC is opting supporters into extra ‘surprise’ donations for Trump’s birthday

The 45th president was in bed financially with foreign governments, a precedent for America’s enemies to wield influence over the Oval Office. Lawmakers and voters must prevent this from becoming common practice

‘Ex-Gay’ Organization Gathers Paltry Group for Sad D.C. Rally

State GOPs Can’t Explain Millions in ‘Trump Victory’ Cash

In Memoriam:

Honoring Chief Crow Dog, His Many Gifts, and Wishing Him A Peaceful Journey

Lakota Spiritual Leader Leonard Crow Dog Walked On at 78

Videos

Click on the image to be taken to the video!

The World’s Biggest Asshole – Funniest Commercial Ever The World's Biggest Asshole - Funniest Commercial Ever

Why No Progressive Agenda Can Survive the Senate Filibuster Why No Progressive Agenda Can Survive the Senate Filibuster

Vaccine Magnetism? These Anti-Vax Theories Come Straight From Crazytown Vaccine Magnetism? These Anti-Vax Theories Come Straight From Crazytown

Bezos’s Space Trip, Manchin’s Break from Democrats & Nigeria’s Twitter Block | The Daily Show Bezos’s Space Trip, Manchin’s Break from Democrats & Nigeria’s Twitter Block | The Daily Show

The GOP’s Insane Election Conspiracy Theories Now Include ‘Italygate’: A Closer Look The GOP's Insane Election Conspiracy Theories Now Include 'Italygate': A Closer Look

Friday Five (lies biting the dust edition edition)


It’s Pride Month, y’all! This is the first Friday in June, which means that we are well into Pride Month!

This Friday marks two weeks since my second COVID vaccine shot, so in theory around the time many of you are reading this I will technically be fully vaccined. My husband’s second shot was some days after mine, so he won’t be fully vaccinated until next week, and I feel like I shouldn’t consider myself out fo the woods until we’re at a point where is is least likely to suffer ill effects if one of us brings the virus home. And that’s a point a lot of people elide over: even when we are fully vaccinated we can still carry the virus. We won’t show any symptoms, and some of us won’t be contagious… but there isn’t an easy way to tell whether we are, so we can still be a danger to anyone we know who isn’t fully vaccinated for any reason. So think about any of your loved ones (such as children who aren’t old enough to get the vaccine) and keep being careful, okay?

Meanwhile, we have this week’s Friday Five. This week I bring you: one headline that made me laugh, the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about Pride Month, five stories about deplorables, and five videos (plus some things I posted and some notable obituaries).

This Week’s Headline That Made Me Laugh:

Albuquerque Mayoral Event Interrupted By Dildo Drone, Candidate Punched – Sheriff Manuel Gonzales was on stage when a drone with a large sex toy flew overhead

Stories of the Week:

Meet The TikTok Heartthrob Who Flipped The Script On Gender And Age – If you do not have a TIkTok account, you may want to open one purely to follow the lipsyncing phenom who tapped into an underappreciated group – middle aged women

Almost all new COVID cases in King Co. are from unvaccinated people, experts say

What the JBS cyberattack means for your meat supply

NIH Director Hits Fox News Host For Her Disregard For Human Life – The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, clashed with Fox News’ Martha McCallum Wednesday over her insistence on focusing on Fox News’ Wuhan lab conspiracy

What is ‘race-norming’? NFL blasted after admitting racist concussion policy

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

New Connecticut parenting bill gives LGBTQ families a sigh of relief – “We already know we are a family, and now with this bill passing, no one can tell us differently," one lesbian mom said of the Connecticut Parentage Act

Wisconsin Governor Stands Against Conversion Therapy, for Trans Youth

Portland church helps build LGBTQ+ senior housing – A church in the Cedar Mills neighborhood is designating land to help build affordable housing for LGBTQ+ seniors, which would be the first in Oregon

Meet the queer mechanics working to repair a ‘toxic industry’

Safe/Haven: Gay Life in 1950s Cherry Grove

It is nearly Pride month, y’all:

Gone West. Iconic Captures of the Golden Gate’s Gay Golden Age. 3 Queer Eras. 1 City. 50 Years of ‘Bay Area Reporter’

The ‘Kink at Pride’ Discourse Needs to Retire

The U.S. embassy at the Vatican is flying the Pride flag & the right is flipping out – Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) is particularly incensed. His sister is a lesbian

Joe Biden issues Pride month proclamation to honor LGBTQ people “fighting to live freely” – Trump refused to issue a Pride proclamation. He sold Pride campaign t-shirts instead. Joe Biden honors the LGBTQ community instead of himself

Pride 30: The Firsts

This Week in Deplorables, Haters, and Other Evil People:

Christian Billionaires Are Funding a Push to Kill the Equality Act

Man Rescued in Colorado Mountain Pass Is Accused in 1982 Murders – Alan Lee Phillips was rescued from a snowdrift in 1982 after he signaled SOS with his headlights. The police now say he became trapped on the road after killing two women

Montana Man Faces Life On Hate Crime Charge After Shooting Into Home To “Get Rid Of Lesbians And Gays”

New York AG Petitions Kodak CEO To Testify On His Stock Buys After Secret $655M Loan Deal With Trump

Riot Suspect Charged With Attacking Female DC Cop Has Long Criminal History Of Brutalizing Women

In Memoriam:

Gavin MacLeod, ‘Love Boat’ Captain and ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Star, Dies at 90

B.J. Thomas, ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’ Singer, Dead at 78 – Grammy-winning singer had hits in pop, country, and gospel with songs like “Hooked on a Feeling” and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song”

Things I Wrote:

It’s Pride Month!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Jill!

Videos

Click on the image to be taken to the video!

Texas valedictorian goes viral after using speech to talk about abortion rights in her state Texas valedictorian goes viral after using speech to talk about abortion rights in her state

No. 45 Sweats As Cable News Speculates About Criminal Charges And A Flipping CFO No. 45 Sweats As Cable News Speculates About Criminal Charges And A Flipping CFO

A Daily Show: How Is Trump Handling Retirement? How Is Trump Handling Retirement?

Cereal: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Cereal: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Selfish Americans Delay Herd Immunity, Drunk Politicians & Can Anyone Identify Dr. Jill Biden? Selfish Americans Delay Herd Immunity, Drunk Politicians & Can Anyone Identify Dr. Jill Biden?

Happy Birthday, Dr. Jill!


In their timezone it’s already past midnight, but I am really happy that we have a First Lady who I’m not ashamed of, so: Happy 7-0 To Dr. Jill Biden, The Best First Lady Since Michelle Obama!

As often happens, the Wonkette captured my thoughts perfectly!

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