As Far from Asgard as It Is Possible to Fall

This page written circa 18 August, 2016.

The Norse Gods have seen quite a revival in modern media, what with Thor sporting a tremendous cast, and the appearance of various combination stories involving the same character. Forged in the same year (2011), The Almighty Johnsons postulates that somewhere late in the 19th century the two families of Norse deities hightailed it out of the north with diminished powers to hide in New Zealand. The series starts at the coming of age of the reincarnation of Odin, who happens to be a typical young Kiwi lad. Legend has it that if Odin reunites with Frigg the power of the pantheon will be restored. The game is on. As one minor goddess eloquently puts it, they have fallen about as far from Asgard as it is possible to fall.

Just as an aside, NZ may be far from Asgard, but it has some interesting powers. I read that with 0.14 per cent of global spending, 0.06 per cent of global population and 0.18 per cent of the world's researchers, New Zealand produces 0.60 per cent of publications, 0.71 per cent of citations, and 0.68 per cent of highly-cited articles. Damn, all this brainwork should get the country somewhere. That is unless the statistic is some of Bragi's spin.

I particularly like Shane Cortese's portrayal of Loki. I imagine it more true to the Norse intention than Hiddleston's, more tricky than evil, and definitely not nasty. His pairing with Var in a legal firm is genius. Causing trouble is his sport, relief from the boredom of being a god in a mortal world. Could be delusions of grandeur, but right now, I identify with that motive, and so with this Loki, more than I do with Doc Martin. I love the scene where he bets with Ullr as a way of giving him the bar, even if that largesse has a sting in its tail.

Last year I worked way too hard. I feel an increasing desire to be chaotic. Recovering from 2015 sufficiently to be productive took a long time. I spent over 2 weeks last Christmas simply lying around doing nothing more than watching movies. Nevertheless my powers are returning. I finished the Nixie Chess Set, with which Merinda plays at right. I built a wonderful coffee table from that bamboo composite wood that has become popular, we have put in a spa, and I have several electronic projects on the boil. It is a quiet period now, but the winter solstice has long passed, the days get longer. Looking back to a blog I wrote in 2004, 18 months before we unlinked ourselves from Santa Rosa, I do wonder if I should see a sign of the coming of the desire to jump.

Young Odin's first power turns out to be a complete inability of become intoxicated irrespective of the amount or type of substance he abuses. I have to admire the scriptwriters for the clever way they have the huge plethora of traditional powers manifest themselves in gentle ways in the almost-normal environs of Auckland. It probably feels like being a professor in Hamilton.

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