Even monotheistic traditions are more troubled in their monotheism when examined closer. In Christianity, this is perfectly exemplified in the issue of the Trinity. Is there one or there is three?
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I know monotheistic traditions have spent centuries debating the subtleties of these problems, but American Gods brings them to the surface in fun and provocative ways. The ghost of Will James seems to be haunting black people in Cairo, with his next victim being Jamarr Goodchild, the brother of Ruby Goodchild, who we encounter in the previous episode. As I have mentioned, William James was a real person who was lynched in Cairo, Illinois in , after being falsely accused of killing a white woman.
If this was not horrific enough, what actually happened makes very explicit the darkness that lurks in the shadows of American history. The night of the lynching the whole of Cairo went out to see and enjoy the lynching as if it were a public spectacle.
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There are images to prove it, some of them in the book Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America , which collects the stories and images of some of these public lynchings and the photographs that were taken at these events sometimes sold as postcards! It would be easy to simply say that this happened a long time ago, but America has a long history of not wanting to confront its past, and the nature and public spectacle of these lynchings tells us something that America does not want to confront, does not want to deal with.
That lack of acknowledgment has become less egregious, but nor less problematic. It is now systemic and can be seen on a daily basis on the inequalities lived by many African Americans. Let nobody give you the impression that only time will solve the problem. That is a myth, and it is a myth because time is neutral.
It can be used either constructively or destructively. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals. Without this hard work, time becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So we must help time and realize that the time is always right to do right. What is interesting in this episode is that the ghost of Will James is not haunting white people, who were responsible for his lynching, but black people because he felt that they abandoned him.
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He is not a god like Anansi, looking for praise. He is a ghost searching for victims. The three of them end up meeting Alviss, a dwarf who is also a master metalsmith. Wednesday needs Alviss to fix his spear Gungnir, a weapon that will play a central role in the war between the Old and the New Gods. In his Norse Mythology book, Gaiman describes Gungnir. It was a beautiful spear, carved with intricate runes. Odin had but one eye, after all, and sometimes his aim could be less than perfect.
Odin was willing to sacrifice himself in order to achieve that power:.
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He gave an eye for wisdom. More than that, for knowledge of runes, and for power, he sacrificed himself to himself. He hung from the world-tree, Yggdrasil, hung there for nine nights. His side was pierced by the point of a spear, which wounded him gravely. The winds clutched at him, buffeted his body as it hung. Nothing did he eat for nine days or nine nights, nothing did he drink.
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He was alone there, in pain, the light of his life slowly going out. He was cold, in agony, and on the point of death when his sacrifice bore dark fruit: in the ecstasy of his agony he looked down, and the runes were revealed to him. He knew them, and understood them and their power. The rope broke then, and he fell, screaming, from the tree. Now he understood magic. Now the world was his to control. Frayja is a goddess associated with war and death, but also llove and fertility. Baron Samedi is able to bring people back to life, which is the reason why Laura and Sweeney are there in the first place.
Baron Samedi is a popular spirit in Lousiana Voodoo, and it is invoked in rituals involving the dead. After they all have dinner, Maman Brigitte takes Sweeney away so Baron Samedi can prepare a potion for Laura that will help her come back from the dead.
He does prepare the potion, but it will not be complete until Laura can find two drops of blood infuse with love. This seems to be an obvious obstacle for Laura since, as Baron Samedi tells her, she is not able to feel love, not even to Shadow.
She is too much of a free spirit to be chained to a man, nor even for love. It seems that if she completes the potion, she will betray herself since she is trying to turn her vital clock for the wrong reasons.
As if to prove the point, she has sex with Baron Samedi… or does she. In a strange dream-like sequence, Mad Sweeney is also having sex with Maman Brigitte only to suddenly feel that it is Sweeny and Laura who are having sex as if their mutual sexual encounters have been crossed. This storyline is not in the book, and it seems to be an attempt to give more life to one of the few female characters in the original Gaiman story.
It seems as if the Sweeny and Laura have a closer connection that they want to acknowledge. It might be the coin, it might not. They are both free spirits, who say what they think and do what they want. They are also passionate and self-destructive, so that may be something that it is bringing them closer together.
I guess time will tell…. At the end of the episode, we go back to the story of Will James, and the curse he has on the black people in town. Anansi confronts Mr. Ibis about this problem. His worshippers are dying, and Ibis is not saying anything about it. He knows that Will James is a ghost and a symbol that is undermining the life of African Americans, but Ibis also feeds from the dead that are brought to him.
He seems to be complicit if not by action by inaction. What is interesting in this episode is that they also explore the way oppression can be internalized by the victims. Will James is a symbol not of what white America has done to black people in America, but about how black people have internalized their own oppression. I am not sure that I agree with this presentation it is a bit a blaming the victim approach , and I would not be surprised if there is some chatter on the internet about this particular take of the show again, not in the novel.
Will James seems to be teaching Shadow in this episode about the flip side of racism in America, about the way black people have been brutalized, oppressed, and weakened. Look Smell Taste Feel Overall 1 1. We love reviews! Thanks for the review! Explain why you're giving this rating. Your review must discuss the beer's attributes look, smell, taste, feel and your overall impression in order to indicate that you have legitimately tried the beer. Nonconstructive reviews may be removed without notice and action may be taken on your account.
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Reviews: Ratings: Log in to view all ratings and sort. The lacing indicates unfiltered, it's half hazy while cold, crystal clear after warming. S: Sweet dark fruit leapt right out at me. What could this possibly be made of? Belgian candy sugar? T: Spicy roasted malts. Central palate is prune, plum, raisin. Bitter on the back palate.
Comes together, well balanced.