As bylines go my own gets a lot of questions. “Why Loki?” and “What is that from?” lead the pack.
Let’s start with the name itself. If you recognize it you probably associate it with either mythology or comic books. In both cases you would be correct.
In ancient Norse legends Loki was the half brother of Thor, the thunder god. A trickster figure, he was as often portrayed in a negative light as a positive one. Even so he was a Promethean archetype, the bringer of fire to man. In the comic books he was cast as a super-villain, a role we will soon see played on the big screen when this summer’s Thor movie comes out.
So why pick a super-villain / trickster god for your screen name? I didn’t. It was inflicted upon me because of my horrible jokes and puns.
It all goes back to my days of working for the House of Blues in New Orleans. For those who have not been there, all the employees have their own handles on their name badges. Reminds me of the Internet in that way. I had the pleasure of working with some wonderful people who by names like Queen Bee, Venom, Storm, Uncle G., and others. My own was soon to be thrust upon me.
After a short time there my boss noticed my penchant for truly horrible jokes. Combining that with the personal intel that I was a huge mythology buff and an avid comic book collector she decided on Loki one night after work. The name tag was created and given to me the next morning.
Since my job was usually running the guest list I was in fairly high profile spot. As a result the nickname spread far beyond work, and since I could not combat it I adopted it. It’s now been almost 20 years and as many people know me by Loki as do as George. Over that time I’ve produced art shows, concerts, print and online articles, rpg game materials and more under that name.
I love the association with the positive aspects of this mythic entity. Much of my post Katrina blogging and work for the Open Society Institute was an effort to “bring the fire of knowledge.” It’s the same fire I bring to all of my work be it pro bono community efforts or work for my clients.
So there you have it. Oh, one last thing- it rhymes with “low key.”
Questions? Anyone? Bueller?
George “Loki” Williams is the owner of SocialGumbo, LLC