Sunday, June 7, 2009

T-Belle’s Top Ten Tricksters and Why:

It should come as no surprise who my favorite character type in mythology would be. The Trickster archetype has popped up in many world cultures and in modern media. A trickster's job is to challenge convention, introduce chaos, and encourage thinking differently. They often have a breed of chaotic wisdom that helps them find a solution to the problem at hand.

Everyone has a little trickster in them. Some more evident than others. And often enough, it's the tricksters in films and stories that we rally behind and love. So, for my maiden blog post, here is a list of my ten favorite tricksters and the scheming qualities that make them great.

10. Howl Jenkins- Don’t sweat the small(ish) stuff

No matter what horrid, torrential problems come his way, this gent doesn't let his problems show. It's that nearly Vulcan emotional control coupled with the roguish smirk that epitomizes a trickster's facial expression.

9. Westley- Master the mighty power of the bluff

Everyone in the audience knew Westley couldn't stand up decently, much less beat the pulp out of Humperdink. And yet, that did not stop our boy from bluffing his numb arse off. When you're a trickster, it doesn't matter what you're capable of doing, it's what they think you can do.

8. The Weasley Twins- Laughter is the best weapon

One of the most serious problems plaguing our villains today is the absence of a sense of humor. While tragic for them, it offers the trickster a spectacular advantage. Nothing irritates an opponent so much as being laughed at and not taken seriously. And when they get irritated, they get sloppy. This dynamic duo made a bloody business out of throwing then enemy off guard.

7. The Cheshire Cat- Know who’s in charge, and if they need a wake-up call

The classic suavity of the trickster is never to usurp authority but to offer a needed foil. Cheshire never tried to take the Queen of Hearts' place, although he was obviously more savvy. He simply showed how silly the situation was. A good trickster walks into any situation knowing who's really in charge and how to best them. For this Christian trickster-belle, there is an added bonus knowing that God is ultimately in charge. Being perfect, Adonai needs no berating, but all other leaders are human & therefore must be reminded of their limits.

6. Cpt. Hawkeye Pierce- Blarney knows no bounds

When my brother was in Officer training and was asked who was his Army role model. He did not say Patton or Macarthur, he named Benjamin Franklin Pierce. Not only was he one of the best surgeons east of Seoul, he was a first class trickster major general. One of his best qualities was his motor mouth able to get him out of any trouble he got into.

5. The Marquis De Carabas- Plan around the motives of others
Debonair, genteel, and more dodgy than a rat has fur, the most honorable Marquis is a superb example of planning like a trickster. Most people plan to get what they want, but De Carabas -oh no- he plans knowing the motives and wants of everyone else. And by catering to the needs of others in his plans, he is able to get what he wants with little interference.

4. Bugs Bunny- Optimism in the face of futility
Think for a moment how a normal rabbit deals with a hunter. He runs away in a panicked rabbitty terror. Not our buddy Bugs. He knows from the moment Elmer walks on screen who will be triumphant. A trickster is inherently free. Even if he or she is beaten, they will never be defeated. The knowledge of that is powerful, for Bugs, and the rest of us.

3. Jack Sparrow- Take down the prideful a peg or ten
If you're going to be a trickster, there are a couple job requirements. One of them is to remind others that they are not gods. Arrogance is a type of blindness; our weakest links are hidden from us. Jack -erm, Captain Jack- had the time of his life fulfilling this. Barbossa took his immortality for granted, BOOM right in the ticker. Beckett is an annoying sod who thinks he owns the sea, 'Hey Will, wanna go for some target practice?' Chaos is healthy. It reminds us not to put too much confidence in our own lives.

2. The Scarlet Pimpernel- Selfishness is a disguise, not an identity
As stated before, bravado is an important weapon in the trickster's arsenal. Appearing to have atmospheric self-confidence puts a buffer between the trickster and everyone else. No one knows what you're really thinking if they assume you only think of yourself. The fabulous and dreamy Sir Percy Blakeney made this attribute a specialty of his.

1. Anansi- Life should never be taken too seriously
Ah yes, the first and best of the tricksters. Most all children have heard Anansi stories in one way or another. His goal was to have the deepest laughs, eat the best food, and do the least work possible. And honestly, what's the fun in toiling all day. Life is short, and this world is temporary. It's futile to take everything seriously. That is the trickster's point. God is in control. Just enjoy the crazy

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