Just to end the week with a cultural observation. I went and saw Thor the other day – which is pretty much what you’d think it would be, an amusing superhero diversion for those who are into amusing superhero diversions. In the story, based on the Marvel comic – inspired by Norse mythology – Thor comes to earth to learn to be a less aggressive and arrogant modern dude so he’s worthy to be king of mythical Asgard. Now, of course, me, I was wondering: Why? I mean, he’s the God of Thunder. Can’t he just hit bad guys over the head with a hammer? But the point is that the mixing of orotund Norse gods with laid back, ironic modern American folk is the running joke of the movie.
And what’s interesting about this is that the theme of classical stories bleeding into the modern world seems to be going around like… a theme that’s going around. It’s featured in at least two TV series due to begin in September: Grimm – in which a descendant of the famous brothers becomes a Big Bad Wolf hunter in the present day – and Once Upon a Time, in which a lady bounty hunter discovers a town in which banished fairy tale characters live.
Not to make too much of this, but just as something to think about: I wonder if the hankering to bring the great old stories forward into the ironic, above-it-all modern era is a reaction against our anemic and increasingly secular culture… or to put it another way: I wonder if it’s a further sign of a rebellion against the leftist monopoly of Hollywood and publishing that has brought that cultural anemia about.