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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.
Crash Course

“Monsters. They're Us, Man: Crash Course World Mythology #36”


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“Cities of Myth: Crash Course World Mythology #35”

“This week on Crash Course Mythology, we're getting urban. Mike Rugnetta is the man with the orange umbrella who's about to give you a free tour of mythical cities. We'll talk about a few cities that didn't exist, but we're going to focus on real cities with mythical founding stories. We'll talk about Jericho, Jerusalem, and Rome, among others.”

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❝Mythical Trees: Crash Course World Mythology #34❞

“This week on CC Myth, Mike Rugnetta is teaching you about mythical trees. There are lots of trees in myth, and we've touched on some of them before, but today we're going to focus on three trees from three different traditions. We'll talk about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil from the biblical tradition, Yggdrasil from the Norse Tradition, and Ashvattha, which is important in both Hindu and Buddhist tradition.”

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“Mythical Mountains: Crash Course World Mythology #33”

“Our mythical places series continues, and this week Mike Rugnetta is talking about some stories that revolve around mountains. Mountains loom large in human stories, not least because mountains are, well, large. So ascend with us to the lofty peaks of The Ten Thousand Treasure Mountain in China, and Mount Fuji in Japan.”

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“Mythical Caves and Gardens: Crash Course World Mythology #32”

“This week, Mike Rugnetta is teaching you about mythical gardens and caves, which appear in cultures all over the world. Caves and gardens can stand for different things, but in the two stories we're talking about today, they tie into the creation of the world in general, and the origins of humans in particular.”

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“Ma'ui, Oceania's Hero: Crash Course World Mythology #31”

“In which Mike Rugnetta teaches you about Ma'ui, prominent hero of many cultures in Oceania, aka the Pacific Island nations. Ma'ui is just the kind of hero we're interested in here at Crash Course. He's a culture hero, he's a an adventurer, he has a divine birth, AND he's a trickster. In short, he's pretty cool, and the tasks he accomplishes in his life are great examples of how human stories can touch on universal themes.”

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“Herakles. Or Hercules. A Problematic Hero: Crash Course World Mythology #30”

“This week, Mike Rugnetta re-introduces Herakles, the strong man of Greek and Roman myth. Strongman with a darkside, that is. You'll learn about Herakles' 10 actually 12 labors, the story of his birth, his death, some of his marriages, none of which turned out that great, and some of his character flaws that definitely wouldn't fly in the modern world.”

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“The Mwindo Epic: Crash Course World Mythology #29”

“In which Mike Rugnetta teaches you about the hero of The Congo, Mwindo! Mike will tell you the stories of Mwindo's birth, his many deaths, and his evolution from a braggy superhuman baby to a wise, superhuman leader of his people. Along the way, we'll learn about the Wiki game, and when you should and shouldn't drink banana beer.”

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“Galahad, Perceval, and the Holy Grail: Crash Course World Mythology #28”

“In which Mike Rugnetta quests for knowledge of the Holy Grail of Mythology. Which is the actual, literal Holy Grail! The cup of Christ! Legends about the Holy Grail are often connected to the British legends of King Arthur, and this episode is definitely about this. Except we’re not talking much about Arthur, since he never actually found the grail. Instead, we’re going to talk about a couple different versions of the Grail legend, the stories of Perceval and Galahad. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy learning Grail lore. You have chosen wisely!”

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“Rama and the Ramayana: Crash Course World Mythology #27”

“The next entry in our parade of heroes is Rama, the protagonist of the Ramayana, one of India’s oldest stories. We’re going to be talking about Rama’s importance to Hindu culture, and how Rama fits into Campbell’s idea of the Hero’s Journey. Although, Rama may not even be the hero.”

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“The Epic of Gilgamesh: Crash Course World Mythology #26”

“This week, we're continuing our discussion of heroes by talking about Gilgamesh, star of one of the earliest written hero stories, The Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh was a terrible ancient king who left his kingdom seeking adventure, and eventually on the prowl for immortality. Along the way, he checks pretty much all the boxes on the checklist of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey.”

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“The Hero's Journey and the Monomyth: Crash Course World Mythology #25”

“Let's get Heroic with Mike Rugnetta. This week on Crash Course World Mythology, we're talking about the Hero's Journey and the Monomyth, as described by Joseph Campbell. Campbell's theories about the shared qualities of human story telling are pretty cool. And they've been hugely influential on the way we tell stories today. So, consider this your Call to Destiny. Crash Course is going to help you Cross the Threshold into the Belly of the Whale that is YouTube, and escort you through the Many Trials, on our way to the Ultimate Boon of knowledge. And there are a bunch of other steps in there, too. So, come along heroes! Let's learn this stuff!”

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“Ragnarok: Crash Course World Mythology #24”

“Ragnarok! It's the end of the world, Norse style. It's got everything you want in an apocalypse. Earthquakes, destruction, armies of the dead, a giant evil wolf, giants with flaming swords, and a kind of happy ending. It's got it all. But is it really Norse? It wasn't written down until after Christianity had arrived in Europe. So how much influence is there?”

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“The Apocalyspe: Crash Course World Mythology #23”

“Mike Rugnetta is going to tell you stories of death, destruction, divine judgment, damnation, and the occasional happy ending. That's right, this week we're talking about the Apocalypse. Actually we're talking about a bunch of ways the world could end. Prepare for stories of the end times from Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam! It's the (mostly) Abrahamic Apocalypses on Crash Course World Mythology.”

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“The Dying God: Crash Course World Mythology #19”

“This week on Crash Course World Mythology, it's the Circle of Life. And Death. And sometimes, Life again. Mike Rugnetta is teaching you about Dying Gods, by which I mean gods that die, and then return to life. You'll learn about the Corn Mother from Native American Traditions, Adonis of the Greek and Roman pantheon, Odin of the Norse, and a little about the most famous dying deity, Jesus. These aren't all the dying gods in the world, but it's a good introduction to the archetype.”

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“American Floods: Crash Course World Mythology #18”

“We don’t want to deluge you with information on the subject, but this week on Crash Course Mythology, Mike Rugnetta is talking once again about floods. We’re looking at ancient flood myths in the Americas, and what they can tell us about the stories that people tell, and how they can look similar, even in cultures separated by large swathes of time and space. We’ll talk about floods from Mayan and Aztec traditions, and as always, see if we can find something in these tales that gives us some insight into what it means to be a human.”

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“Yu the Engineer and Flood Stories from China: Crash Course World Mythology #17”

“On this Crash Course in World Mythology, Mike Rugnetta is teaching you about floods and deluges, specifically in China. In Chinese myth, flood stories pretty much all revolve around a guy named Yu the Great, or Yu the Engineer. In the distant past, he was tasked with stopping the flooding on the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, and he did it. After working on the job for 13 years. Yu also founded the legendary Xia Dynasty. Yu exists as a sort of model for future emperors. He works tirelessly on behalf of his people, and always does the right thing. He's a good emperor, and a model for rulers to emulate. He's also super cool, and can turn into a bear when he needs to dig really fast.”

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“Floods in the Ancient Near East: Crash Course World Mythology #16”

“This week on Crash Course mythology, Mike is talking to you about floods. You may have heard the story of Noah and the Ark from the Bible, but that is not the only deluge story humans tell. It's a common thing across culture. You could say the study of mythology is...flooded with them. Sorry. We'll be looking at floods from Mesopotamia from the Epic of Gilgamesh, and a flood story from the Zoroastrian tradition. And we'll look at a Roman flood story from Ovid's metamorphosis. It's a deluge of flood stories!”

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“Archetypes and Male Divinities: Crash Course World Mythology #15”

“This week on Crash Course Mythology, Mike is teaching you about the archetypes that are often associated with male divinities. We’re going to talk about Fathers & Sons, Kings & Judges, Saviors & Sages, Shamans, Tricksters, and Lords of Destruction. Along the way, we’ll look at the story of Hwaning, Hwanung, and Dangun from the Korean peninsula, and we’ll learn about Arjuna and all the help he got from Krishna. We’ll also touch on a ton of other myths from around the world. These things play out this way all the time, man.”

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“Fire and Buffalo Goddesses: Crash Course World Mythology #14”

“This week, we’re continuing our talk about the characteristics of Goddesses, and we’re going to look in depth at two stories from parts of the world we haven’t visited much in this series so far. From Hawaii, we’re going to hear a story about Pe-le, the great goddess of the Hawaiian Islands, and we’ll hear the story of the gifts of the White Buffalo Calf Woman from Native American tradition. We’ll look at the similarities and the differences in these stories, and talk about how goddesses interact with the world and with humanity in pretty interesting ways.”

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“Great Goddesses: Crash Course World Mythology #13”

“This week on Crash Course Mythology, we're talking archetypes. Specifically, we're talking about archetypes as they're applied to female deities. Goddesses, man. You'll learn about prehistoric fertility goddesses like the Venus of Willendorf, life and death goddesses like the Ancient Greek Fates and the Norse Norns. And we'll learn about regeneration goddesses like Ireland's Nimah, and Japan's Oto-Hime.”

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“Theories of Myth: Crash Course World Mythology #12”

“This week, we're talking about theories of Myth. We'll look at the different ways mythology has been studied in the last couple of millenia, and talk about the diffeent ways people have interpreted myth, academically.”

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“African Pantheons and the Orishas: Crash Course World Mythology #11”

“So, today we’re talking about African Pantheons. Now, you might say, that’s ridiculous. Africa isn’t a single place with a single pantheon, and we’d be fools to try and cover all that in an eleven minute video. You’d be right. Instead we’re going to focus on Yoruba religion from west Africa, and the Orishas that populate Yoruba stories. The many, many Orishas cover all aspects of life, and can be pretty specialized. We’re going to focus on a dozen or so.”

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“The Norse Pantheon: Crash Course World Mythology #10”

“This week, we're headed north. To check out the gods of the Northmen. Or the Norse. That's right, we're talking Thor, Loki, Freyr, Freya, Odin, Frigg, Baldr, and Tyr. And Fenrir. And the Frost Giants. There's a lot to cover here, and it's going to be fun. Watch this prior to Ragnarok, as this video probably won't be available after the end of the universe.”

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“The Greeks and Romans - Pantheons Part 3: Crash Course World Mythology #9”

“This week, we continue our look at various Pantheons, and Mike digs deep into the gods of the ancient Greeks. We're talking Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Artemis, Hephaestos, Ares, and Apollo. We're also talking Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Pluto, Diana, Vulcan, Mars, and...Apollo. Similar gods, different names. We'll start with the origin stories of the gods, talk about their family relationships, and what exactly their specialties are.”

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“Indian Pantheons: Crash Course World Mythology #8”

“In which Mike Rugnetta continues our unit on pantheons with the complex Indian pantheon, focusing on stories that were written in Sanskrit. We start with a violent creation story. We talk about the concept of Brahman, and the personification as three deities: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Then, the goddess Durga teaches us how to behead a buffalo demon while riding a lion.”

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“Pantheons of the Ancient Mediterranean: Crash Course World Mythology #7”

“In which Mike Rugnetta begins our unit on pantheons, which are families of gods. We further define pantheons and talk about why they're important. Then, we discuss pantheons from the myths of the ancient Mediterranean, starting with ancient Sumer in Mesopotamia. The Egyptian pantheon brings us the story of Osiris and his envious brother Seth. We learn what these two pantheons suggest about the cultures where they originated.” Read More...
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“Humans and Nature and Creation: Crash Course World Mythology #6”

“In which Mike Rugnetta brings you the final installation of our unit on creation myths. This week, we're talking about human beings and their relationship to the natural world. It turns out foundational stories have a lot to teach us about the ways in which people relate to the physical world around them, and the other organisms that inhabit that world. We'll talk about the Biblical idea that humans have dominion over animals, and we'll talk about Native American stories in which people and nature collaborate to create the world.”

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“Social Orders and Creation Stories: Crash Course World Mythology #5”

“In which Mike Rugnetta sits you down for a little talk about myth as a way to construct or reinforce social orders. Specifically, we’re going to look today at stories from around the world that establish or amplify the idea that the errors of women have brought bad things into the world. We’re talking about the idea that death and disease and pain came into the world as a result of human (specifically woman human) action, and that men should therefore be considered superior to women. This idea, which on its face may sound a little out there to our modern ears, is persistent and pernicious. We’re interested in looking at the ways that stories make social orders. We’ll look at Abrahamic, Greek, and Japanese creation stories that have, over the millennia, served to push something of a social order agenda.”

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“Earth Mothers and Rebellious Sons - Creation Part 3: Crash Course World Mythology #4”

“So, we’re still talking about sex this week, but we’re talking about Earth Mothers and their children. We'll start with Gaia, and her son Kronos, who had a classic childhood rebellion, and castrated his father. We'll also get into Kronos’s son Zeus, who would go on to dethrone his father. We’ll talk about Norse mythology, too, and look at the family that created the world, and worked together to make people.”

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“Cosmic Sexy Time, Eggs, Seeds, and Water: Crash Course World Mythology #3”

“In which Mike teaches you about the creation of the universe, with sex. This week we're talking about creations stories from Egypt, West Africa, Greece, China, and Persia that have a lot in common with human sexual reproduction. And also some castration and puking, to boot. We've got your cosmic eggs, right here!”

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“Coyote and Raven, American Tricksters: Crash Course World Mythology #22”

“Mike Rugnetta continues to teach you about Tricksters in myth, and this time we're headed to the Americas. Coyote and Raven appear in stories from many Native American groups, and more often than not, they're tricky. They're also often kind of, well, nasty. Not to get too judgy. But we do a lot of talking about poop in this episode. I'm just saying. We also talk about Tricksters as creators, as Coyote creates constellations, and Raven creates some rivers.”

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“Hermes and Loki and Tricksters Part 2: Crash Course World Mythology #21”

“In which Mike Rugnetta continues to teach you about tricksters. In this episode, we're talking about tricksters as culture heroes. Basically, a culture hero is someone whose creativity adds to their mythological culture. We'll learn how the shennanigans of Hermes are credited with deeply influencing Greek culture and myth, and we'll look at how Loki's tricks led to a lot of important aspects of Norse myth. This episode has it all! Cattle rustling, cook outs, luthiery, joke haircuts, and Gullinbursti the Battle Swine. All that's to say, this is a good one.”

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“Creation from the Void: Crash Course World Mythology #2”

“Today on Crash Course Mythology we’re starting in on creation stories. This week, we’ll focus on the creation of the universe out of nothing, or Ex Nihlio creation. Basically, a god decides to make a universe out of nothing. We’ll look at the Genesis story (which has nothing to do with Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins), a Mayan creation tale, a Kono story of the beginning, and we’ll even look at the Big Bang.”

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“What Is Myth? Crash Course World Mythology #1””

“Welcome to Crash Course World Mythology, our latest adventure (and this series may be literally adventurous) in education. Over the next 40 episodes or so, we and Mike Rugnetta are going to learn about the world by looking at the foundational stories of a bunch of different cultural traditions. We’re going to look at the ways that people’s stories define them, and the ways they shape their culture. We’re going to learn about gods, goddesses, heroes, and tricksters, and a lot more. We’re going to walk the blurry line between myth and religion, and we’re going to like it.”

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“Tricksters: An Introduction: Crash Course World Mythology 20”

“This week, Mike introduces you to Tricksters, starting with Anansi, the West African trickster god who is also sometimes a spider. Tricksters are, well, tricky. They're wise and foolish, they're promiscuous and amoral, but in a lot of ways, they're good guys. We'll also talk about the occasionally tricky Hercules and Atlas, and touch on more recent tricksters like B'rer Rabbit.”

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