3
  • Explaining the plot, character, setting or symbolism of a myth

  • Historical or societal context of a myth

  • Myth identification

  • Translations of and primary sources for a myth

Well, it sure isn't explaining, contexting, indentifying, or translations/primary sourcing of.

So are they on-topic?

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1

The recent Thor question is deemed "too broad" but there was a recent question How do people become immortal as per Taoism? that asked "What are all the ways to become immortal? Also, what is cultivating Tao and yourself?"

That was not deemed too broad, but a very useful question on whether the plot of the Thor movie deviates from the Eddas is deemed unacceptable.

I'm sorry, but all I see here is prejudice b/c the Marvel rendition of mythology is considered low-brow and beneath those with scholarly inclinations.

We're living in an age when the Classics are no longer part of the basic curriculum, and most people have probably heard about Thor through the comic books.

Why not educate these people by actually answering what is a sincere question?

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  • You compare two different questions... The taoism question is a clear pointed positive question, asking information on a particular thing. The Thor question is a biased question about us bashing a movie based on Marvel universe. Thor's movie is inspired by Marvel not Norse's beliefs. That is not a problem of being against Marvel or DC. The story of Thor having to travel to Earth as a mere human, stripped down of any power to regain his deity is definitely mythological (should remind you about a myth). – Gibet Nov 22 '16 at 17:09
  • We only made light in the comments section. I was waiting to see if solsdottir was going to take the question before I formally answered, but it was closed before I got the chance. In the formal answer, I would have merely pointed out how the movie is not canonical, and suggested they check out the Prose Edda (Crossley-Holland edition which many here seem to favor, including myself.) – DukeZhou Nov 22 '16 at 17:12
  • "I'm sorry, but all I see here is prejudice b/c the Marvel rendition of mythology is considered low-brow and beneath those with scholarly inclinations." I personally enjoy Marvel. I just think that it's off-topic. – user62 Nov 22 '16 at 17:54
  • How is asking about actual Norse mythology (albeit in the context of a modern adaptation) off-topic? So far I've heard three different reasons this is shut down. It's a useful question and might bring some traffic. Not to mention, the answer leads to the actual source material for Norse mythology which the questioner may not know about. – DukeZhou Nov 22 '16 at 17:58
  • SE is a democracy people votes up and down according their beliefs. I neither downvoted nor asked for closure (I voted to let the question opened) for that specific question. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, so. And I am not "prejudiced against" Marvel or DC. I reference them when I can. There is nothing bad in Marvel or DC. Even the fact they use a dystopian mythical norse realm is their mere right. It is in the public domain. – Gibet Nov 23 '16 at 9:57
  • Can I propose a way to move forward on this issue here? Have you thought about, instead of asking about the accuracy of modern portrayals of mythology, asking instead about mythological symbolism in modern literature? Here's a good example of this: hogwartsprofessor.com/…. If the questions about modern adaptions were more along these lines, I would upvote them in a heartbeat, and fully support their existence. – user62 Nov 29 '16 at 21:27
  • I think asking about mythological symbolism in literature is valuable and is a good way to broaden the scope and traffic. I still feel dispelling "myths" about inaccurate, popular portrayals is likewise valuable. – DukeZhou Nov 29 '16 at 23:27
  • @DukeZhou "I think asking about mythological symbolism in literature is valuable and is a good way to broaden the scope and traffic." I'll ask some questions along these lines during Christmas when I have time off. – user62 Nov 30 '16 at 1:28
1

That is a complex topic.
Modern stuff can be mythological in nature. Examples:

  • King Kong. Both the 1933 version and the Jackson's version are imbued with myths elements.
  • Eastwood movies. You have the hero, coming back from the dead, take a look at that Sudden Impact scene when he comes back from the dead with that VERY big gun.

And they can thus can have a righteous place here. I often by the way do references in my answer to modern stuff. Giving modern references, examples and such is totally normal, welcomed and appreciated. Mythology is not purely about the old text, we are dealing with dead civilizations, dead languages, dead people, dead ideas. It is about history, archeology, knowledge we can have about the people of that time, their beliefs. And comparative mythology is quite an incredibly powerful tool. And I do not see a deep reason to not compare with modern visions of myths.

Now what should be avoided is this place turning in a small room for superheroes, Harry Potter or Lord of the Ring.

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-2

I think comparisons to modern work could be very good from a search/traffic standpoint, with the caveat that it could be a slippery slope.

That said, a recent question such as: https://mythology.stackexchange.com/questions/2091/what-are-some-incorrect-movie-thor-plot-bullets-compared-to-the-norse-thor-in-my is actually useful imo, because it can be used to clarify and help educate people confused by modern "bastardizations" of mythology. (For instance, I seem to recall Sif is a brunette in the Thor films! So arbitrary and unnecessary. Did they even read the source material?)

I suppose questions like" what are some modern variants of the [myth]" could also be quite useful...

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  • 2
    I agree that comparing to modern representations can be on topic, but 100% disagree that that was a useful question. – femtoRgon Nov 18 '16 at 17:56
  • @femtoRgon Not even to the extent that it can clarify that the plot elements of the Marvel re-imagining of the Norse Gods is purely invented? My guess is the general public is not aware of this. The question is on hold b/c "This question does not appear to be about mythology, within the scope defined in the help center." but I just re-read the specifications and am having trouble seeing how this question violates those precepts. – DukeZhou Nov 18 '16 at 19:04
  • 1
    No, not to any extent. It's a poor fit for this site. It's overly broad, attempts to ask multiple questions, and it's unclear what they are trying to drive at. As far as needing this to point out that Marvel is not accurately portraying Norse mythology, that can be done with well-framed, specific questions if you like, but frankly, everybody knows that. It's obvious. Thor also didn't come to the modern-day USA to fight Dr. Doom alongside Captain America, or whatever, in the Eddas. That's like saying we need to get a thorough debunking of "The Wind in the Willows" from a zoologist. – femtoRgon Nov 18 '16 at 19:41
  • @femtoRgon Multiple questions but on a single subject. My personal experience with the general public is that they have no idea what is invented and what is canonical. (Possibly I travel in "lower circles";) But I'm not ashamed to say I come from the camp in which there are "no bad questions". Every question is an opportunity to educate imo. – DukeZhou Nov 18 '16 at 19:46
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    On the multiple questions thing, again: One post with multiple questions or multiple posts? And, as I said, if you really think there are things that need to be addressed there, go ahead and do so with clear, well-framed questions. If, on the other hand, you want to compose an article listing all the inconsistencies you see in the movie, this is probably not the right place for it. A blog post would probably be better suited. The format here is Q&A. – femtoRgon Nov 18 '16 at 19:56
  • On the "no bad questions" point, that's fine. It is, however, demonstrably not to position of the stackexchange network, thus every stackexchange site has the dont-ask help page, and questions can be closed and downvoted. SE's purpose is to promote quality questions and answers. – femtoRgon Nov 18 '16 at 20:16
  • And I recognize that I'm new here, but there is still a great deal of subjectivity in what constitutes worthwhile questions and answers, particularly in regards to the Humanities vs. the Sciences. (Note: I also answer on the Film & TV forum where a great deal of terrible questions seem to pass muster ;) – DukeZhou Nov 18 '16 at 20:18
  • On that precise question, the subject is too broad, obviously. Now, sometimes behind those kind of questions, you find something in the tone asking us to bash the movie/comics/whatever. I certainly don't care superheroes, comics or movies, but I certainly neither care about bashing them!! Having a precise question on a theme with a neutral tone seems more appropriate. There is no bad questions, yes and no. There is certainly incredibly bad questions. – Gibet Nov 22 '16 at 16:30

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