Release the Kraken

John Fraim

The Kraken. Acquired on my Trip to Norway. (Photo – John Fraim)

Twenty years ago, I was in Norway with my family and purchased a mythic god figure from Norwegian mythology. I can’t recall the name of this particular figure, but it has sat on the shelf of my office for all these years, always watching over me with mouth open in a somewhat astonished expression. (Well, there has been some astonishing things going on in the old office over the years.) The creature is a wood carving about five inches tall with the date 2001 on the bottom of it and the name of the artist. I purchased it from a craft shop in the small town we stayed in on the western side of Norway. The Norwegian figure is next to a brass Chinese dragon and the shelf they are on has two five-inch grey stone Gargoyles on each end. 

The Norwegian creature is my favorite and over the years I take him off the shelf and let him sit next to my computer screen as I write. It has been good having him there and he has watched a few novels and screenplays written over the years as well as two non-fiction books.

This year, the creature has watched me as I’ve posted blogs about the pandemic and the upcoming election. I even think his mouth has moved to reveal an even more astonished expression appropriate for these astonishing times. 

* * *

And now, the election is almost three weeks in the past, and it looks like things are going against the president. In the past few weeks during the president’s election challenge, the word “Kraken” has often been repeated in the media. The word is part of the phrase “Release the Kraken!” It has been used mainly in relation to attempting to show massive election fraud. 

The Kraken is a legendary cephalopod-like sea monster of gigantic size in Scandinavian folklore. According to the Norse sagas, the Kraken dwells off the coasts of Norway and Greenland and terrorizes nearby sailors. 

I took my little figure off the shelf when I first heard this. This is what the figure has always been: my own Kraken, watching over me, ready to terrorize those who might do me harm. 

The phrase “Release the Kraken!” has been used in relation to showing election fraud. But the phrase and word are really symbols with a far greater meaning it seems to me. 

* * *

Next to a Brass Chinese Dragon …

A few days ago, one of the major conservative media stars had a melt-down rant on his television program. During much of the five-minute video he went over a list of crimes committed by the liberals. Crimes that they had all gotten away with. No one had gone to prison, but a number of top conservatives had gone to prison and had their lives and finances ruined. The AG has been conducting a long investigation of corruption in the government, but no charges have been brought. In a month, there will be a new administration and it will be too late to do anything. 

The list the conservative media personality read in the segment led up to the current election. He shook his head and said that nothing would be done about it. Things would continue on. The crimes of the liberals would continue on without any consequence. This seemed to be the unchangeable state of affairs in the world today for him. He tossed pages of the script he had been reading into the air and shook his head in a dejected manner. Then he buried his head in his hands on his desk and the segment ended. 

It was an unusual scene. For years, I had listened to him on the radio and then on his TV program each day. He had been at the forefront of the battle against the liberals brought into politics by two terms of Obama. It was always a positive battle for him, and a battle filled with much humor and satire for the entire state of the world today. It was an appropriate mix for millions of conservatives, and he became the voice for many of them. Over the past few years, I listened to him less than I did a number of years ago. But he was an inspiration to many during the Obama years.

* * *

I’ve never seen him so depressed and dejected about things as he appeared after the  recent segment of his tv show. It seemed that he was giving up the battle after all these years. For him, it was a hopeless battle.

The phrase “Release the Kraken!” was maybe getting a lot of play these days but it was no longer a phrase that the particular conservative media personality could believe in anymore it seemed. Where was the “Kraken” that the AG was supposed to release against DC’s deep state? Where was the “Kraken” to prosecute those in government agencies? Where was the “Kraken” when the liberals were destroying cities in the summer? Where was it in numerous instances of fraud and crimes by liberals? Conservative radio and blogs could spin events each day but always at the end of the day, there seemed to be little consequences for the actions of liberals. 

* * *

Things don’t look good for conservatives and the president right now. But we are living in a new type of world that radically changes every day. In fact, things are questionable for the person who seemed to invent the phrase “Release the Kraken!” as she is an attorney apparently no longer on the president’s legal team.

Yet this doesn’t mean there is not pressure building up inside millions of Americans. This pressure somewhat has the status of a collective symbol in the Jungian sense. It is cobbled together from emotions, feelings, ideas, morality, ethics, religion, a world view. Among other things. It might be more attached to what is called a “conservative” view of the world today. Yet, it also crosses the aisle. 

It might serve as a type of motto or phrase for any new “resistance” that will rise against those in power during the next few years. There is much within the symbolism of the phrase “Release the Kraken.” 

The Gargoyle

In fact, the phrase could serve as a battle (rallying) cry for many of the disheartened today … like the conservative media star. Interestingly, it is not the battle cry of “Make America Great Again” bantered about today. But rather, the new phrase “Release the Kraken.” 

The first phrase, the battle cry of the current president, asks Americans to remember their past history of greatest and work to make it great again. The second phrase which is popular today, does not refer to the past and assumes people have little work making anything. The difference in the two verbs of the phrases is in such contrast. There is the action verb “make” and the inaction verb “release.” The change between the two verbs say much about modern collective psychology after a year of the pandemic and the ascension of the liberals to power. 

Millions might move forward under some new moniker or motto like “Release the Kraken” because it asks one not to take external actions like “making” but rather “release” internal emotions and their powers upon the world. The word and phrase might disappear in a few weeks. Yet, its symbol and symbolism it evokes for our times seems unlikely to disappear. 

* * *

And this ancient Scandinavian mythological creature to be released upon the world in the collective psychology of so many? I look at my little wooden figure behind my wine glass as I write this. The figure looks at me with its same astonished look. I reach out and take hold of the figure.

A piece of wood from Norway. From the western part of Norway, not far from the coast where the mythological Kraken operated. My own symbol of the “Kraken” right next to me right now. It seems appropriate. Does it have a message? And if so, what is this message? 

It’s interesting the changes in symbolism from “Make America Great Again” to “Release the Kraken.” Again, the contrast is between the active “make” verb and the inactive “release” verb. The verb “make” has correspondence to the masculine archetype while the verb “release” has symbolic correspondence to the feminine archetype. One makes onto the outside, external, masculine world. Yet, one releases from the inside, internal feminine world. 

* * *

Close-up of the Kraken

One of the more interesting aspects of the above, probably registered on few others rather than the radar of semantic scholars, is that a metaphor motto that is from a feminine archetype is used as a major archetype of the masculine symbol and conservatives. With “Make American Great Again” conservatives were employing masculine semantics in metaphor form. With “Release the Kraken” conservatives employ feminine semantics to rally behind. 

The power of this force to be released is magnified by the fact that it is referred to as “the Kraken” rather than just “Kraken.” Using “the” in front of Kraken, makes Kraken much more mysterious and powerful. This force is not named with one word. It has to be preceded by “the” as in “the Kraken.” If it was just “Kraken” then we could know it better. It has a name. But here, it is “the Kraken.” It does not want to be named by us. Being named is being owned. It wants to keep its distance by using “the.” It is owned by no one. 

* * *

In many ways, the Kraken is the pent-up collective psychology of one group in our nation at this time in history. This emotion needs to have a symbol. The Scandinavian myth creature fulfills this need. 

A future of “release” rather than “make” marks a change in conservative marching orders. In terms of the last election, half of the voting population of the nation. 

The liberals will begin their celebrations soon. The president was a sore loser to challenge things for three weeks. (Even after they challenged things for four years.) The new president is installed in the middle of January. In February and March, liberals present a smiley face to conservatives. We all need to get along, is the message.

* * *

Yet, the image and idea of “Release the Kraken” is still in the mind of millions of Americans. Perhaps the former president takes part in the efforts of the new resistance to promote this new political image. But it is really a force beyond him or anyone else. It has its own life. After all, it is “the” Kraken. Not just Kraken as in Spiderman or Superman. 

I suspect there are frustrations of millions placed into the body of the Kraken. This Kraken is really a large part of modern collective psychology for an entire nation. It is important that collective psychology now is dominated by the symbol of “release” rather than “make.” As we noted, a change from masculine to feminine in metaphor and symbolism.

And maybe that’s why I acquired the wooden figure twenty-years ago? The little figure is back in its place on my office shelf. Next to the Chinese dragon and the two Gargoyles. Everything back to somewhat regular conditions. But I can still sense my Norwegian figure looking at me and asking for some type of accounting for all these years. All these years I’ve screwed around while the liberals have taken over the nation. My Norwegian figure has seen it all. The Kraken has seen it all. 

And now, needs to be released?

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