Loki Year 2016 is here! Today we’re going to explore a little bit what Tom Hiddleston did with Loki onscreen. We’re going to examine it through the lens of Geek Anthropology of Loki’s Army. Actors and actresses are wizards who light up our imagination: they make us dream. Their job is to make us believe in the characters they portray. In some cases, the portrayal is so perfect that fans can mistake the character for the real person. There’s a joke among Hiddlestoners who love Loki: that Tom is really Loki in disguise on Midgard. As happens with many other stars, his image is retouched, photosoppped and manipulated mixing his face with endless bodies, dressed or naked, that thrill the imagination of the fans that create the manips and those who enjoy them. Tom and Loki can then become just a person or a ship (Tomki) that might have adventures in comics drawn by fans or fan fiction. The dream Wizard is not only fuelling creativity but as a person he’s suffering extreme commodification. Actors and actresses, real images have become goods for trade, packs of information to copy, imitate and share.
Have we become like Loki as fans? Loki is a tricky character that has few moral rules, thing that makes him a stereotype-breaking machine, and even a fantastic creator. While some fannish creations on the image of Tomki can be seen as outrageous by some, they’re certainly creative and vivacious for others. In that sense, Loki’s fans are using Tom’s image engaging in a creative endeavor: some fans will create for others who will enjoy their works. Actors and actresses represent ideals of society, stereotypes and even mirrors in which fans can look at. However, not only the characters they play can make the audience dream, but their real selves can also have an enormous impact on them.
Memetics is a theory of information and mental content based on the idea of Universal Darwinism. Memes are selfish packs of information with attitude that will replicate themselves. We, humans, are just the replicators. (Susan Blackmore, 2008) In essence, we copy by imitation, and what we copy is a meme. For example, let’s say that I like Loki, and I like his hair style. I think that that would be cool, and so I decide to fashion my own hair in the same style. Or, let’s say that I like Darcy’s taser and I decide to get one to keep myself safe. I didn’t create the hair style in the first place, nor the taser. Those are memes. In this light, actors and actresses become memes themselves, and not only in the shape of a picture with some message written on it shared and reshared till exhaustion in Tumblr. Thus, memes are all around us: both in the real world (or analog) and in the digital world (internet). Memes thrive on the Internet. Ideas are copied in a blink of an eye: just a click and you have shared/copied a selfish pack of information with attitude.
Loki (the character), Tom (the public image of Tom Hiddleston) and Tomki (the mix of both or their ship) are memes that fans might decide to replicate. Fans do not act as replicators in a brainless way. They choose their favorite memes, or a combination of them and decide what to replicate and what to leave outside. In this sense, memes can be copied paritally. For example, the Loki meme can be diverse. Replicators (fans) might decide to focus on one of the polysemic meanings and leave out all the others.
Although the memefication of actors might seem dangerous, reality is that it sparks creativity and lust: they inspire audiences. Stop for a moment now and think about what have your favorite characters inspired you to do. Now think about the actors and actresses that portray them. What have they lighted up in you?
Next: we’re reading lessons 5 to 7 (Book 2) from the Gospel of Loki. Let’s get Loki!
What we know so far:
1. Loki Year 2016: the Intro + downloadable pdf: go here.
2. THOR, the movie.
3. Who is Loki?
4. Lokabrenna, let there be light!
5. Sif’s haircut.
6. The Avengers.
7. Modern Myths, Loki is a Geek and Thor is a Jock.
8. Loki is never fitting in…
9. Freyja’s Wedding.
10. Thor: The Dark World.
11. The worse environment of all.
12. Messing around.
13. Freyja’s necklace.
14. The Creation of the World.
15. Knowledge is power.
16. Loki lips are sealed…
17 to 21. Buildings and War.
22. Thinking about Murder.
23. The treasures of the Gods.
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