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Thor Gets A Sex Change!?!
‘Thor Losers’ by Jim Goad, July 21, 2014, in Takimag
© 2014 James LaFond
Takimag has largely become a site where right wing guys bitch about left wing girls. A few articles featuring ‘men’ bitching like women about women acting like men, is usually enough to keep me away for a month. However, a friend of mine who also keeps up with Takimag, and who has been sending me comics to review on this site, sent me a link to this.
Goad is clearly the best of the Takimag writers. If you are into comics and wonder about what the next generation of comic book readers is going to be reading, you need to check this article out. Goad covers the sex-changes, sexual deviations and race-morphing of ten comic heroes. My favorite is the Green Lantern, who had some kind of power associated with wood, and then came out of the closet as a no doubt potent lover of well-haired posteriors. Jim Goad missed that little nugget, which I got from a comic book geek.
As far as Thor goes, over two years ago after viewing the first Thor movie, I came home and spewed out a novelette about a psycho who believes he is the reincarnated Indo-European God of War banished to modern America to slay a meddling prophet on behalf of the Mother of the Gods. Everyone who has read it has loved it, but it is my lowest selling piece. People don’t want to read about a view of our time had from the perspective of someone with ancient European values. So, although writers like Goad—who did a nice job here—might see this trend of feminizing and modernizing every mythic hero to the point of banality, as a subversive act, it might just be economics.
Realism, particularly realistic behavior in a fantasy context, is eschewed by many readers of comics and literature and virtually all moviegoers—even my right wing readership base. I was recently discussing character development with a Hollywood-based novelist, who assured me, that any projection of an evolved viewpoint in near-future or far-future science-fiction—no matter how rational, likely, novel, interesting, or authentic—will not be optioned for film, as the female audience is now weighting the sales, and women generally have little patience for considering viewpoints, values and behavior at odds with current norms and narrative devices.
I am sure there is an agenda here. But Marvel Comics is an economic entity that really banks on movie options. The killer babe and feminized multicultural male protagonists currently favored by major publishing houses might just represent marketing tactics that would make boat loads of sense to an Austrian economist of yore.
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Jeremy Bentham     Jul 25, 2014

Interesting point. Yes, hot looking babes in revealing costumes always sells. Big time. Like "Baywatch" and "Seven of Nine" on Star Trek Voyager. The entertainment industry is about making money after all. And to make money you have to produce entertainment the unwashed masses will be willing to pay to see in large numbers. So you must have something for everyone, chicks and dudes. Much to the chagrin of the "artists" in Hollywood who want to produce "cutting edge" fare to impress other artists rather than entertain the hoi polis. In that vein I understand that producers who want to make money rather than create art will feel it is necessary to make the protagonists "nice" and "likeable" in order to sell tickets and DVD's. However, this does not explain the success of shows like "Game of Thrones". In that production the main characters are very much NOT nice. They instead act very much like the type of cruel and rapacious people who really lived in the Middle Ages (or in this case an alternate reality fantasy version of the Middle Ages), rather than modern people with modern liberal egalitarian values placed in the distant past, as seems to the case in most productions aimed at a wide audience. Then again women seem to be able follow the plot on "Game of Thrones" so I wonder what the magic ingredient is?

In the final analysis Hollywood definitely DOES have an agenda to change American culture by normalizing behaviors, values and institutions that were previously considered fringe and de-normalizing other behaviors, values and institutions that were previously considered mainstream, all through their portrayal in motion picture and television productions. Hollywood simply has to balance this objective with the economic imperative to make a profit (again, to the chagrin of the Artists and Leftists who deplore that such crass commercialism is at all necessary for survival). If Hollywood really wanted to make money it would produce many more "family" pictures. But it refuses to do so past a certain level because it would find that boring and not in line with its overall transformational agenda.
    Jul 25, 2014

I absolutely agree with these points Jeremy, and I had wrestled with expanding the article with a Game of Thrones mention, and canned the idea. A few things were done to spice the story up, but mostly I think the broad appeal of this HBO miniseries version of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice comes down to three things:

1. The nasty skullduggery of Game of Thrones is not just realistically brutal, but reads like a soap opera which makes the narrative tropes very female friendly. I didn't really understand the female mind until collaborating with a female writer and discovered the absolute need to portray betrayal in any story no matter how fitting. She explained to me in exacting detail how crucial betrayal is to drawing a woman into a story.

2. One thing Martin achieved and the producers left alone, and which feminists have been evenly split on [pay attention when the enemy divides itself] is the very accurate portrayal of how terrible life was for a woman in an agrarian society in the age of muscle-powered weapons. Many feminist women have boycotted the show because of the brutality toward women. But other, older feminists—like in their 80s—think watching it amounts to a grim duty to remember the pit of degradation their gender crawled out of and might always slip back into.

3. Some concessions were made to Hollywood in the areas of gay sex, and racial politics. But the most important aspect was already there in the books. Martin chose to write the three most influential characters [good and evil] as women, even as he portrayed men as overwhelmingly dominant. He also inserted two ass-kicking babes, that, though not overdone as is the norm, made this palatable as a licensed product. Without the Viking sister and the armored dyke, he would have had a harder sell. He tested the waters a lot and had been actively trying to develop a vehicle for his story that would be palatable to readers of Anne Rice, whose shadow he worked in in the same genre. Game of Thrones was calibrated as a written product to be optionable by Hollywood by a very astute old codger, who, by casting powerful females at modern levels thereby earned a reprieve from Hollywood for permitting his medieval biker protagonists to rape and butcher their less fortunate working class sisters with realistic impunity. Martin held off a decade on writing the book that the next season is based on while he wrangled with producers, even wrote an apology in a book club edition of the 4th volume.

Overall, many of the limited run TV series on HBO and other networks have been providing a counter current to the Hollywood model, not so much in terms of politics, but in terms of less compromised story telling.

I would have to say that the truth about all of this feminist agenda story telling is somewhere between where I and Mister Goad stand—which probably means you nailed it Jeremy.
Erique     Jul 25, 2014

Interesting thing I heard about this...

Thor is the God of Thunder, Prince of Asgard.

Now Thor is a girl.

Disney owns Marvel Comics.

Thor is now a Disney Princess.
    Jul 25, 2014

You know you comic book guys can be really disturbing sometimes.
Jeremy Bentham     Jul 25, 2014

Ahhh...I see! So it's the soap opera story line with internecine squabbling and the constant threat of betrayal that is the magic ingredient, eh? So women expect betrayal, seek it out and cannot accept a story as "real" if the possibility of betrayal does not exist. That is fascinating...and at the same time absolutely appalling! And it explains so, so much! Why is it that when you finally figure women out you end up horrified by the revelation?! It certainly explains why so many women had such a tough time following the plot of "Gettysburg", since there is little to no internecine squabbling in the subplots. For example, while many of the Confederate Generals disagree with Lee on the battle plan, they still do what Lee tells them and they don't go behind his back to Jeff Davis.

Then there is the blasphemy angle to Thor's sex change. I mean what do practicing Norse Pagans think of having one of their principle deities gender-bended by a comic book company for profit and PC politics? That has to upset the yin and yang of their cosmology.This has class action lawsuit written all over it. If you live by multiculturalism you die by multiculturalism. And the principle rule of PC Multiculturalism is that it is perfectly acceptable to mock and impugn Christianity, Capitalism and American Democracy, but it is NOT acceptable to mock or impugn any other religion, culture or system. It would be great fun to see the Multiculturalists have their own rule book used against them in true Saul Alinsky fashion. However, I don't realistically expect anything like that to happen for a host of reasons. So I must imagine there exists the possibility of a big underground market aimed at comic book fans who are not entertained by the PC indoctrination being foisted on them by the current comic book establishment.
    Jul 25, 2014

Look Jeremy, when I was working with this lady on a story my jaw dropped when she actually admitted that female readers are titillated by betrayal. I think it's really biological and has something to do with the rain chemistry of the nesting instinct—but then again, I am just a dude who has not yet sacrificed he genitalia to Thorina!

I have been close to many women on a platonic level. At some point in said relationship that women will whisper to you about the foibles of her gender, but having a screenwriter back it up with estrogen based story-writing tropes was precious.

Women do not realize how much living under male authority has formed their psychology. The fact that a woman could ultimately trump the other women by appealing to a man to intercede from above the domestic structure has, I believe, crackpot that I am, led to this very addiction to strife. I was once hired by two female business owners as their general manager. They informed me that my job was to essentially be their older brother and go between, as they could not help but reflexively undermine each other! Gettysburg, let's see. Okay, Longstreet as a chick is scaring me, so let's go with Picket...

It's your turn Jeremy, what does Picket do if he's a chick, with Big Daddy Davis nowhere in sight to appeal to?

Oh yes indeed—the resurrected Norse pagans! I feel your Christian pain—in my own apostate way—for our regenerative pagan brothers.

If they are really serious about their beliefs they need to get ahold of Stan Lee and those other 100th generation refugees from ancient Judea and get all Joshua about the situation. I'm thinking Thor's castration deserves the blood eagle!

Thanks Jeremy, always an enlightening pleasure.
Jeremy Bentham     Jul 25, 2014

Gosh...the thunder god as a Disney Princess...that IS an unpleasant image.

Anyway, this all conforms what the German Philosopher Schopenhaur observed, that the chief failing of Woman was the lack of a sense of justice. It explains why they are such great projectors: they are so accustomed to injustice that they expect it from everyone they meet (Are you going to do me wrong like my last boyfriend did?). This is another subject that begs for further study.

Hmmm…Longstreet and Pickett as chicks Eh? It's hard to see how you could make that work without changing the whole plot line to a soap opera, as you said. What I found curious about the movie "Gettysburg" was that my male friends and colleagues (mostly career military and/or history buffs) loved it, but almost to a man they said that their female significant other just could not seem to follow the story. One general with a big soup-catcher beard looked like the next to the ladies, whether said general wore a blue or a gray uniform. Longstreet comes across as a man, he has misgivings about General Lee’s offensive battle plan and tries to persuade him to put the Confederate troops in the tactical defense and bait the Union force into attacking them in prepared positions. He argues his point directly and passionately, but when Lee shoots him the look that says “the decision has been made so the discussion is over”. Longstreet shuts up and gets with program. He doesn’t get all passive-aggressive, catty and subversive. Pickett too is a man and doesn’t work as a chick. He feels proud to be chosen by Longstreet and Lee to lead the charge and rush face first into the enemy’s guns. It is a death or glory charge to him and he cannot imagine his death, so it is all glory as far as he is concerned. Pickett believes that Lee is correct in his assessment that the Confederate artillery will suppress the Union guns on Cemetery Ridge and that the Yankees will turn and run when pressed hard, as they always did in the past and Lee hasn’t been wrong about that yet (except that now the Yankees are fighting on their home turf so they possess greater “sicktoitiveness”). As historians have pointed out, the Civil War generals, particularly the Confederate generals, were possessed of an almost feudal sense of independence and often baulked at being told what to do even by their superiors. Nevertheless, the Civil War leaders, particularly those portrayed in “Gettysburg” come across as models of cooperation and unity of effort when compared to people like the pair of business women you once worked for.

Hey the Blood Eagle sacrifice to Odin! Yeah that’s the ticket! Certainly the Neo-Pagans and Wiccans I have met take their religion pretty seriously and bristle at having their beliefs questioned or made fun of. On that basis one WOULD think that they would be willing to take bloody revenge at the massive blasphemous dis that Marvel Comics has leveled at their religion. After all, the worst that could happen to them is that their souls would go straight to Odin’s Feast in Valhalla after being killed fighting the police; whereas, if they die in bed their spirits go to “Hel” the goddess of the underworld and must languish for all eternity in Nilfheim the abode of the un-valiant dead. So what’s not to like? But I was just engaging in a little fanaticizing and wishful thinking .We all know that the Neo-pagans and Wiccans are really all full of it and would never have it in them to do anything like that. They just want a religion that will allow them to drink, fuck and take drugs and not admit to themselves that they are the drunken, whoring, party animals their elders scolded them for being (the old Protestant Puritan Superego still has a lot of influence on the American people, no matter what they say they believe now).
    Jul 26, 2014

Wow JB!

I came to the same conclusion, and could not think up a female friendly angle for Longstreet and Picket, that's why I handed it off to you, and alas, you did not take the bait. I really liked that movie adaptation as well. I do not think we well again see a Civil War movie that depicts both sides so even handedly.

However, Jeremy, I am not as willing to write off my pagan brothers. If a proud man of Nordic origin does step forward and carve the blood eagle in Stan Lee's back—even if it is only done symbolically with a permanent red marker—I promise to write that warrior's laudatory biography for free!

As always its been a pleasure—and thanks for bringing Gosh back into the language.
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