While I admire the decision to try to help each of Spidey’s foes—particularly since the Avengers have never met a problem they don’t try to punch their way out of—the curative ideal that Spiderman peddles tells us a lot about how the US in particular addresses public health problems, the medical and social ills that the country chooses to “cure” or address through vertical, top-down tactics.
2021 gave us new ways to think about virtual presence and digital connection through Minecraft; the role of a mediated and mediatized grief in Wandavision; the Marxist politics underlying GameStop stock; the ongoing importance of centering repatriation in the practice of archaeology; and the bureaucratic magic of Loki.
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Loki is a story about the hidden power of bureaucracy, bureaucracy’s capacity to conjure new realities through its administrative processes and even rewrite the flow of time through its minute, arcane, and often inaccessible managerial processes.