The Trickster and the Alphabet, Part II: The Letter Q
It's not surprising then, with such a serious and cosmic job, that such a system would be all Trickster. As I stated in Part 1, the nature of the alphabet is symbolism. The nature of symbolism is approximation and interpretation. This leaves the door wide open for the stuff of Trickster.
In my 1972 Webster Handy College Dictionary, the antiquated word 'quandoon' is defined in an equally antiquated way as "a person of one-quarter Negro blood." The word 'queer', meaning 'unusual, or 'not quite right' is used almost exclusively now in reference to describe homosexuality. With the example of these words, we find that a Q word has been used to signify an idea of marginalization, ambiguous identity, and Other.
Q is a special, needy child too—it is helpless on its own and can't do anything without 'u' (you.) Looking at this dynamic very symbolically, it is a highly personified and confrontational letter. Q is fittingly the first letter on the computer keyboard—the device used in our new, ethereal way of communication via the internet. Q is present within our modern Western sociopolitical narratives—usually with associations of The Other; there is the oft-referred to Qur'an, as well as the Qabalah.
Q has been appropriated in fictions to designate extreme Trickster-like characters. The 1982 dark comic horror film 'Q' refers to the return of Quetzalcoatl, the winged serpent; there is a complicated and mysterious figure (or figures) named Q within the James Bond canon.
Perhaps the brat-god character Q from Star Trek TNG most perfectly embodies the spirit of the letter; isn't there just something inexplicably "tricky," absurd, comical, space-agey, otherworldly, and esoteric about the letter Q? I suggest this ineffable quality is the aligned with Trickster archetype.
The New American Webster Handy College Dictionary, Albert and Loy Morehead, Signet pub., 1972, pg. 371