“American Gods” the novel by Neil Gaiman is being made into an HBO miniseries, by the same production company that produced “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific”. I’m a pretty big Neil Gaiman fan and I quite enjoy the book, not the least because I think it says something important about religion. (It is also a very good story)
I was thinking about this today and I happened to be watching the VlogBrother’s video “The World’s Largest Balls” In it John Green talks about The World’s Largest Balls… stamps, paint, rubber bands, twine. He talks about how he thinks they say something important about America, but he’s not quite sure what. And I don’t know if he’s read American Gods… I assume he has simply because he got to MEET Neil Gaiman, which is a sillie reason perhaps, but still…
But I geuss it seems to me that it is an urge to worship. Not that I believe that the site of every road side attraction was at some point in the distant past a sacred worship spot for some long forgotten god, but that humans have a desire for the exceptional. And even if somewhat trivial, the largest ball of twine ever is certainly exceptional. And created by people.
A man made miracle.
There’s a movie with Hugh Grant in it (lots of them really) but this particular one is called “The Man Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain” It’s a book as well, but it’s about a village in Wales that found out that their mountain did not meet the hieght requirements of a mountain… so they fixed it.
Something that says we’re here and we matter and we can make impressive things too.
I associate it with my odd relationship with religion. I don’t believe in God. At least I don’t believe in a God who loves us and cares for us. I don’t know if I believe in a Creator, but certainly not one that created us solely for the glory and worship of him (or her). I do believe that faith is one of the most important things you can have and that miracles exist and that there are things that are worthy of worship. I believe lots of things with regards to my own personal religion, and what I believe about huge balls of things is that people believe in the extraordinary.
That they believe in a ridiculous sort of glory. The man who painted a baseball for thirty years. The kid who built a ball of rubber bands almost as tall as he. I’m not saying that there is meaning to life that can be found by making enormous balls of things, but isn’t there an inherent sort of awesomeness in seeing something that large that exists because of humans.
We build roads and train tracks that can cross a continent? Why not shed sized balls of twine?