October 2001 posts

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Thought about a scene in Bargaining -- Millan, 00:59:42 10/25/01 Thu
First, let me say Whooohooo!!

I have managed to see the first two-parter Bargaining!

Now, since I have been absent a lot from this board (trying to be less spoilered than normally) I don't know if this has been adressed, but one scene in the first part grated a bit IMHO.

In the airport when Giles start to hug everyone good-bye he leaves Willow for last. This is well and good, it's what I'd expect since I think Willow is the one (apart from Buffy) that Giles feel closest to in the gang.
But when they they do hug, the camera shot changes so this is the only hug you see from a bit afar. This made it feel as if the scene were intentionally made less emotional than the other farewells. A direct opposite from what I'd expect!?

Did anyone else notice this and/or have ideas about why they made it this way?


"I'm envious, Giles. A trip to England sounds so exciting and exotic. Unless you're English."
- Tara, Triangle
The Tedmiester -- fresne, 11:30:17 10/25/01 Thu
I'm really enjoying watching the old episodes on FX. Its very interesting to watch our characters (given the amount of time that we spend thinking about they surely they belong to us?) both remembering my thoughts when I first saw the episode and viewing events with my current knowledge.

Giles' reconciliation with Jenny all the more bittersweet because I know what lies ahead.

Several things struck me (ow!) as I watched Ted. Here they are in no particular order.

Malebots are Ted (brilliant casting - John Ritter), created by a man as a perfectible simulacrum of himself. He cooks divinely, is low level charming, attentive to others, but isn't wired to take orders. Does his own maintenance too! Well, he's been going since the50s. Ultimately, Tedbot imprisons wives in a Collector like fashion (now that's a creepy book/movie) in his basement. Note above ground is abandoned.

Fembots are April and Buffybot., created by a man(men) to be perfect girlfriends. Bright and perky, and yet a little high maintenance. Only a few months(?) old and each require lots of maintenance. They try and try to please, but ultimately neither can measure up to the real thing.

When Buffy thinks that she has killed a human, Ted, she comes to a realization of her own responsibility. Having spent most of the episode in teenagish whinging about mom's new boyfriend (note at this point she still wishes her parents would get back together), she is struck by a sense of her own harmful potential. No matter that he struck her, no matter the provocation, as the Slayer (super strong, super fast), she had "no business" hitting him that hard. Because she didn't just hit him out of her room, she continued to fight him once he was out of her space.

Giles' comment that Buffy must feel terrible after taking a life both reflects back on the events of the Dark Age and points to future episodes. A precursor to Faith's feelings (and denial of same) after killing the Dep. Mayor. When Buffy tried to talk to Faith, I wonder if Buffy was pulling on her own feelings of remorse for killing Ted. Not permanent or final, but real feelings all the same.

I wonder what Giles' own feelings were after killing Ben. So much worse for Giles because it wasn't even in a moment of passion, it just had to be done. And then to have Buffy die moments after.

Buffy cheats at miniature golf.

Joyce had apparently always let Buffy play shots over. Ted changes Joyce's mind about how to treat Buffy (play from the rough=deal with what skill and life deal you). Buffy responds by picking up the ball and droping it in the hole.

I can't say as I recall Buffy subsequently doing anything quite like that again. She does other teenage rebellious things, but more and more as the series progresses, she has to play from the rough.

What I want to do with that in context with cheating at kitten poker, I don't know. But I just had to find a reason to type a neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker. First we roll in puppies, then play for kittens. What's next? Or perhaps this is all leading us back to poor Amy the Rat.


When Cordelia posits that perhaps Buffy as a superhero should be freed from moral responsibility, intriguingly it is Willow who replies, "Only in a fascist state."

And yet, (God I love BTVS) later in the same episode, we see an early example of Willow's world view that all knowledge = good.

When asked, she admitted that she had kept parts of Ted. Only small parts, as if size mattered. I couldn't help but think of the hand in Terminator 2. Only a small part, to have such a big result.

She burbles that the original Ted was a genius. See what he built…Willow's perky attitude was so incredibly similar to her behavior after each and every increasingly dangerous spell that my housemate and I were gripped by a strong surge of consistent characterization love.

First ideas strike me, then I'm gripped by love, time to stop now before.

Fresne - who waits and waits and counts minutes for the Musical Episode (the last day I shall be 29)
[> It's okay, if I can be 29 for the next ten years, so can you. ;-) -- Solitude1056, 11:36:16 10/25/01 Thu
[> [> But I already bought the leather pants of evil! -- fresne, 14:11:10 10/25/01 Thu
Anyway, then I couldn't throw myself a party involving moderately priced wine, varietals of cheese, chocolate and dancing.

Speaking of which, if anyone in the S.F. Bay Area would like to attend with my unknown, but sci-fi friendly friends, let me know?
[> In the Terminator -- vampire hunter D, 13:30:03 10/25/01 Thu
minor correction and seriously off topic, but in T2, the company had the hand, but also the CPU from the first Terminator. And it was that CPU that was the real problem (the hand was just an interesting piece of robotics, the chip was the units Brain). But your right, it was a small part but made a big difference.

A thought, I wonder how similar Ted robotics were to the sexbots'? Could Willow's ease at diagnosing Buffybots problems have come from her analysis of Ted?
[> [> Re: In the Terminator -- fresne, 14:07:55 10/25/01 Thu
Sigh, I guess the hand just stayed in my memory more.

Anyway, Re: Ted and the bots, I wondering much the same thing.

Is it a case of Ted the First and Warren coming up with the same idea structure wise? (like for example: Tesla way back when and the current Fed Gov building very similar designs for Death Rays)

Or did they use completely different structural design concepts? Again, Ted II seems much sturdier. Then again Ted II was possibly built with more quality control.

Either way Willow probably did gain valuable experience even if Ted had no structural/control similarities to the Fembots. Like learning to research one demon, teaches the Scoobies to find info more efficiently on other demons.

Actually, I have less a problem with Willow seeking knowledge than with how she seeks it. It's the sad and permanent result of one year reading Frankenstein five times for a variety of different classes. Although, enjoyable each time.
[> Re: The Tedmiester -- Rattletrap, 14:14:06 10/25/01 Thu
And yet, (God I love BTVS) later in the same episode, we see an early example of Willow's world view that all knowledge = good.

When asked, she admitted that she had kept parts of Ted. Only small parts, as if size mattered. I couldn't help but think of the hand in Terminator 2. Only a small part, to have such a big result.

She burbles that the original Ted was a genius. See what he built…Willow's perky attitude was so incredibly similar to her behavior after each and every increasingly dangerous spell that my housemate and I were gripped by a strong surge of consistent characterization love.

We see another glimpse of Willow's attitude toward knowlege in IOHEFY. She looks through the yearbook, and comments that James was smart, until Buffy and Xander reminder her that he killed someone else before killing himself, and that those are both pretty dumb things to do. Here, again, she is concerned with smarts more than with ultimate consequences. Bodes ill for the future.

[> Re: golfing etiquette -- John Burwood, 14:20:03 10/25/01 Thu
My take on the golf scene was that Buffy cheated merely because Ted intervened to override her mother & tell her not to. My guess is that if Joyce had told Buffy she would just have to play from the rough & Ted had told her she could play the shot again, Buffy would have insisted on playing by the rules and played from the rough.
As has oft been said on this board, teenagers on BTVS do act like real teenagers - unlike some shows.
[> Re: The Tedmiester -- maddog, 08:33:22 10/26/01 Fri
Actually, Willow's knowledge = good thing probably comes from her computer world...if any of you are computer people you know what I mean, free code, anti-Microsoft, etc(anyone seen Anti-Trust?).

One thing I feel compelled to point out is how much I can't stand Joyce before she finds out about Buffy. She's mean...to the point of bitchiness... to Buffy and it just gets on my nerves...like the end of Bad Eggs where they've just gone through that great ordeal and Joyce won't even let Buffy talk. I mean, I know she has her reasons, but just listening to her become uber-bitch while not letting Buffy explain makes me wanna toss my tv(that feeling only rivaled by my reaction to Mrs. Camden on 7th Heaven...the woman isn't a reverend's wife, she's the devil...I'm positive of this).
Everyone's Fav Writers of the entire staff? -- AngelVSAngelus, 12:56:30 10/25/01 Thu
None of you probably know me, as my posts are kind of sporadic in nature. I'm just the lurking kid (am I the ONLY kid here? I guess technically I'm not really a kid, just turned 18 in June, but I get the feeling that the general age demographic on the board is like twenty-nine and above...).
Any who, I wanted to know if anyone else had an actual preference as far as the writers on both the Buffy and Angel staffs. I don't really know that I have a preference, but sometimes I'm in one mood for one and not for another.
In example, sometimes I really enjoy the gut-wrenching moroseness of what Noxon typically writes, as well as the density there, and other times its more refreshing to enjoy a Fury ep that is very basic and cleverly humorous without over doing it. I love how Greenwalt always filters the extraordinary through a mundane filter, like when Angel was in the prison dimension getting the evil fellow out for Wolfram and Hart, making small talk with the guard. The guard actually talked about a twenty minute commute from another dimension!
Now I know the knee-jerk reflex is to say Joss here, so lets just not include him as a choice and elevate him to a higher level than the others. Namely, that of God.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings :)

[> Re: Everyone's Fav Writers of the entire staff? -- Rob, 14:42:32 10/25/01 Thu
You're not the only kid here...I'm 20, and I've been coming here since I was 19, so that's pretty close in age.

But, anyway, I think the second best writer, besides Joss, is Marti Noxon. If I were not told which episodes she wrote and which Joss wrote, I don't think I'd be able to tell. They both know and love the characters so much, and I always find the plots they write to be the best.

[> Re: Everyone's Fav Writers of the entire staff? -- Cactus Watcher, 16:12:27 10/25/01 Thu
Joss is consistantly the best especially when he also directs. Marti Noxon is good also. I particularly liked New Moon Rising (s4) and Into the Woods (s5). Douglas Petrie has written some of my favorite eps, This Year's Girl (s4) and my all time favorite Fool For Love (s5). I find David Fury consistantly mediocre. Jane Espenson is all over the place from very good to very bad. I liked her Triangle last year and Superstar the year before. Most of the stuff she has written lately, I find forgetable, like The Replacement, and I Was Made to Love You, both last year.
[> [> Yeah, I'm thinking Noxon has become my fav under Joss of course... -- AngelVSAngelus, 16:49:55 10/25/01 Thu
what eps did Greenwalt write on Buffy become he was given Angel? I love his writing on Angel, and I'd like to know what of his stuff I enjoyed on Buffy before.
Espenson I've never been terribly fond of. I wasn't really big on Triangle, personally. Olaf was just a little too comedic for me.
[> [> [> Interestingly enough he wrote the Buffy ep. "Angel" -- CW, 16:57:27 10/25/01 Thu
In which Buffy discovers he's a vampire.
[> Gotta go with... -- xanthe, 17:31:51 10/25/01 Thu
... Doug Petrie! I loved Revelations, Enemies, This Year's Girl, No Place Like Home, FOOL FOR LOVE, Checkpoint... I completely associate him with the plotty, conflict-ridden episodes that I live for. Flooded was good too. I really enjoyed The Initiative when I saw it the first time, but it doesn't make my rewatching list now because I feel like it promised so much that the rest of the 4th season kinda didn't deliver.

He does has some misses, but I don't think that I'll hold stuff like The Weight of the World against him.

Marti Noxon is excellent (especially Surprise, The Wish, The Prom, Wild at Heart, Bargaining I), but when I'm disappointed with her, I'm *really* disappointed, so I guess I'm always a bit unsure whether to welcome an episode by her without wondering if I'll be as confused as I was during Dead Man's Party or Into the Woods. I know that many people loved Into the Woods, but suddenly blaming Buffy for everything that was wrong with her relationship with Riley was unsettling.

But to end on a positive note, all the writers on Buffy are the cream of the crop out there in LA. We've been treated to exciting, moving episodes by every member of the writing staff (except for the new guy, Drew Greenberg, but that's just because his first one is ep #9, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt) so I look forward to every new episode.
[> [> Re: Gotta go with... -- Andy, 18:43:24 10/25/01 Thu
"... Doug Petrie! I loved Revelations, Enemies, This Year's Girl, No Place Like Home, FOOL FOR LOVE, Checkpoint... I completely associate him with the plotty, conflict-ridden episodes that I live for."

Yeah, I've got to go with Petrie too. Too bad Faith won't be showing up anymore since he totally owns her as a character :) Of all the writers, he does seem to be the one that's most on Joss's wavelength, as far as influences and approach to the concept and I think it serves his scripts well.

I'm also quite fond of Espenson's writing. She's the most consistently funny writer to me, aside from Joss.

"Marti Noxon is excellent (especially Surprise, The Wish, The Prom, Wild at Heart, Bargaining I), but when I'm disappointed with her, I'm *really* disappointed,"

Noxon has really been brilliant at times (although I have to say that I think The Wish is quite overrated :)), but I can't bring myself to name her as a favorite. Her episodes often feel sluggish and mopey to me, as if she lays the melodrama on too thickly, and I sometimes find myself feeling that she doesn't quite have the raw creativity that some of the other writers have. While I can enjoy her writing, I'm rarely surprised by it.

"I know that many people loved Into the Woods, but suddenly blaming Buffy for everything that was wrong with her relationship with Riley was unsettling."

From what I understand, Noxon is supposedly one of the biggest Riley boosters on the staff, so maybe that had something to do with it :)

[> Re: Everyone's Fav Writers of the entire staff? -- Juliette, 05:52:52 10/26/01 Fri
Jane Espenson, no question. Her episodes are always hilarious. I think I actually prefer her, Doug Petrie and Steve DeKnight to Joss. Their episodes are much more fun. No that Joss isn't good too, of course! Marti Noxon's are good but a bit overly soppy sometimes. Though when I think about my all time favs, I think everyone except David Fury has written one of them, and only Jane Espenson and Joss have written more than one - go figure! Joss's episodes rank highest among my favs coz he gets all the best stories and the emotional rollercoasters, the finales and all that!

Oh, and I'm an 18-year old lurker as well!
[> Re: Dan Vebber -- mundusmundi, 12:11:27 10/26/01 Fri
He's been mentioned on this board before, but it's worth trumpeting again the man who wrote two of the top 10-15 Buffy episodes ever, The Zeppo and Lovers' Walk, then abruptly left for neither bigger nor better things.
[> [> Re: Dan Vebber -- Rattletrap, 18:01:39 10/26/01 Fri
Ditto on Vebber, too bad the guy didn't stick around.

On the regular/current staff I'd have to go with Petrie overall, for the ones already mentioned, plus "Checkpoint" one of my favorites from last season. When Jane Espenson is on, "Earshot" among others, she is incredible. I respect Marti Noxon technically as a writer, but her stuff is just too weepy and angsty for me.

Steve DeKnight made a great showing last year as a rookie writer with "Spiral" and "Blood Ties," and I think next week's eppy is one of his. I look forward to seeing if he can maintain the standard set by his previous 2.
[> Re: Everyone's Fav Writers of the entire staff? -- Malandanza, 15:15:23 10/28/01 Sun
I looked up my 10 favorite episodes to see who wrote them:

Joss came out on top with When She was Bad, B2, Hush, Who Are You and Restless.

Doug Petrie came in a distant second with This Year's Girl and Bad Girls.

Finally, Ty King (Passion -- the voiceovers made that episode), Jane Epenson (Superstar) and David Fury (Crush).
Howard's take on Buffy -- vampire hunter D, 13:54:34 10/25/01 Thu
I was listening to Howard Stern this morning, and the topic of conversation was this season's tv shows. They were commenting how now that the season is 4 or 5 weeks old, how the new shows are starting to get dumb (Howard says that the writers seem to only get a few good ideas a yeart and use them up fast). Then Robin (and her big beautiful brasts) asked if Buffy was good this year and Howard said:

"No. But that show always starts out slow. You have to wait a while with it."

You know, I think he may be right.

[> God??Then Mr. God has a potty mouth, but would like the Willow/Tara ship.......;) -- Rufus, 14:10:41 10/25/01 Thu
[> heeeey, Howard watches Buffy? cool. -- pocky, 16:37:36 10/25/01 Thu
[> [> Howard has called Buffy the best show on Television -- vampire hunter D, 17:19:19 10/25/01 Thu
[> Thought he didn't have taste, happy to see I'm wrong. Good for him! :) -- Whisper2AScream, 08:53:52 10/26/01 Fri
[> [> Re: Thought he didn't have taste, happy to see I'm wrong. Good for him! :) -- Rob, 13:30:21 10/26/01 Fri
I agree with him that Buffy's the best show on television, but I completely disagree that isn't good yet this year. I think it's absolutely amazing, with a story arc that has the potential to be the best the show has ever done.

And you know what? I couldn't care less what Howard Stern thinks about anything...

[> [> [> It must be hard being Howard Stern -- JBone, 17:27:28 10/26/01 Fri
someone "quotes" Howard, and everyone else has such big preconceptions about him, whatever you start out to say gets lost in the fray. Listen dammit. Wisdom can be found in the unlikliest(sp?) of places.
[> [> [> [> unlikeliest (you asked!) -- anom, editor by request, 17:44:10 10/27/01 Sat
[> [> [> [> Blind pigs and acorns and all that... -- Caira, 21:57:01 10/27/01 Sat
Food and Sexual Repression **SPOILERS** for Fredless and Life Serial -- Wisewoman, 18:50:17 10/25/01 Thu
We were just mentioning on chat a little while ago the symbolism of Angel and Buffy both coming back from their meeting craving comfort food--ice cream for Angel, and fried chicken for Buffy.

Sounds like a fair bit of sexual repression and frustration going on there!

Well, that led to a discussion of food (which of course quickly led to chocolate). We haven't discussed food here for a while...so what's your favourite comfort food?

(And no assumptions concerning sexual frustration will be read into your answers...promise!)

[> Not sure. -- VampRiley, 20:47:29 10/25/01 Thu
Can't say I ever had a comfort food. I never really saw food as a thing to bring comfort for me, unless you want to count vegging out in front of the TV as comfort food.

[> Raman Noodle Soup -- Sheri, 23:09:58 10/25/01 Thu
[> Food and sex -- Deeva, 23:20:18 10/25/01 Thu
I don't replace the lack of sex with food. I actually hit the punching bags for that, something physical, you know. The only time I crave anything to comfort me is when I'm not feeling good, mentally or physically. And (are you ready for this?) a good bowl of properly cooked rice and some really good fruit will do me very nicely. Now don't go thinking that I'm some sort of health nut or anything, far from it. I love mac'n'cheese, burgers and so on, also. It's just that the simple dishes are what satisfy and, somehow, placate whatever is troubling me.
[> I'd have to go with Ice Cream -- Shaglio, 06:05:15 10/26/01 Fri
Specifically, Ben & Jeryy's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but that is often too expensive for me. So a nice bowl of Brownie Sundae, Chocolate Chip, or (if I really feel like splurging) Mint Chocolate Chip. Breyer's makes a great MCC, but it is also very expensive :(
[> Mac N' Cheese! Yum! Or almost anything chocolaty. -- Whisper2AScream, 08:51:49 10/26/01 Fri
[> Scrambled eggs on toast -- Rahael, 10:37:26 10/26/01 Fri
[> None -- vampire hunter D, 11:54:21 10/26/01 Fri
when I'm depressed, I just don't eat. For days on end sometimes.
[> [> Re: None -- bible belt, 07:37:08 10/27/01 Sat
I have the same reaction and I lose weight. One particularly trying time for me, I lost a lot of weight much too fast and ended up with four kidney stones. Anyone who has ever experienced them before knows they will get your attention. I decided never to get depressed like that again for that reason alone. I'm told I'm lucky I didn't get gout.

I do get cravings for peanut butter cups though.:-)
[> Ah, geeze, now y'all have made me hungry... ;) -- Humanitas, 14:51:56 10/26/01 Fri
...gotta go make up some mac n' cheese.

My favorite comfort food has got to be Peanut Butter Cups, although ice cream runs a very tight second. There's this new brand (well, new down here, anyway) called Mayfield, and they make a flavor they call Caramel Coyote. It's caramel-flavored ice cream with a caramel swirl and caramel-filled chocolate nuggets. That an an episode of BtVS or AtS is a sure-fire cure for any depression I may be suffering!
[> [> ice cream plagiarism? -- anom, 17:55:51 10/27/01 Sat
"...Caramel Coyote. It's caramel-flavored ice cream with a caramel swirl and caramel-filled chocolate nuggets."

That sounds exactly like Ben & Jerry's Triple Caramel Chunk. Even though I could say I like their Southern Pecan Pie or Chocolate Fudge Brownie better (esp. when the CFB warms up enough for the pieces of actual brownies to soften...mmmmmmhhh), somehow the TCC is the hardest to stop eating.

Have I just started a subthread on favorite ice cream flavors? 'Cause my other one is mint chocolate chip. Maybe this should've gone under Shaglio's post above.
[> Taco chips and salsa -- Cactus Watcher, 15:12:38 10/26/01 Fri
Got overweight for the first time eating a bag of Doritos a night while studying for my PhD exams back at Ohio St.
[> [> Definitely chocolate. -- Naomi, 03:38:24 10/28/01 Sun
Specifically Cadbury's.I'm not sure if you get Cadbury's in America but their chocolate is absolutely gorgeous. Ice cream is also a close contender and is definitely an alternative comfort food if I have run out of chocolate. No health nut here!
[> [> [> Comfort food -- Brian, 05:48:49 10/28/01 Sun
When I'm depressed or angry, a nice, rare steak and mashed potatoes with gravy sooth this savaged soul. Oh, and a couple of big Beefeater martinis.
[> [> [> Re: Cadbury's chocolate. -- Wisewoman, 11:45:05 10/28/01 Sun
When I was a child and my Grandma in England was still alive she would send us Cadbury's chocolate boxes every Christmas. They always had a variety of chocolate bars that weren't available in Canada, and the quality of the chocolate was so much better than what we normally got. It was a treat we looked forward to every year.

We do have Cadbury's chocolate in Canada, although it's not the same as it was. There's an assortment in a blue box called Cadbury's Roses that's still quite good though.

Thanks for reminding me!
[> Depends on what I need comforting for... -- LadyStarlight, 06:11:28 10/28/01 Sun
...for general angst/my life really sucks - Ben & Jerry's Bovinity Divinity. For everything else - potato chips.
Re: I was a Riley fan too -- Yellowork, 06:17:51 10/26/01 Fri
Riley, Riley, Riley. Love Marc Blucas, love Riley Finn; loathe the plot. The flaw, and I think I am right in calling it such, in the overall structure of Season 4 included demanding too much of the actor and the character; what I mean is, bringing him centre-stage after the Buffster and treating this in a manner which I found devoid of irony, certainly in the episodes of the season which ought to have been so pivotal - The 'I' in Team and Goodbye to Iowa. The 'straight' attitude to Riley is in the style of Dean Cain on Lois and Clark, a lovely show with a completely different set-up to this one. It didn't work: Buffy does not love like Lois loves; she is a quite different figure. What did work, however, was any opportunity Blucas was given to step aside from centre stage, to send himself and Riley up. These rare glimpses of what could have been are what make me miss him. I am thinking the all-too-short period wherein both he and Buffy were in the dark about demon hunting vis-a-vis each other; 'does anyone else feel way too tall?' in Superstar, and, my favorite, the twin scenes in 'Restless': to Willow, Riley seems absurdly pleased in his role as the 'white-hat' gunslinger, while Buffy is treated to the disturbing scene over the desk opposite Adam. 'Opposite sides of the same coin.' All this is played down in Season 5, by which time it has been decided to despatch with the character, hence stuff leading to his exit. This all seems a bit of a waste. Anyway, little tip for next time, Buffy: could you find a man who *doesn't* shave his chest (for variety); and how's about trying the 5'7" - 5'11" sort of height range, hmm? Basketball players, needless to say, need not apply. Thanks love.
[> Re: I was a Riley fan too -- SingedCat, 07:12:44 10/26/01 Fri
Hey, nice thoughts, Yellowork. I always thought B & R could work if they tried a little harder-- but I wasn't sure if I was talking about the characters or the writers. They didn't seem to know what to do with Blucas. Do you think it was a lack of chemistry between him and the other actors? I tend to think that when an actor gets on well on the set, shows up on time, knows their lines, etc, Joss will do most anything to keep him/her(see Charisma, Alexis), whereas we've seen that even well-liked characters can be killed off for the sake of the plot--or possibly if they have their eyes on some other job they think would be better for them...?

I'm not saying that was the only reason they ever got rid of someone. But It seems to me like Riley *could* have worked out in the series, if things in other areas had worked out.
[> [> Re: I was a Riley fan too -- Yellowork, 08:07:13 10/26/01 Fri
Hi SingedCat! I definitely get the feeling that putting Riley centre-stage for the 'Adam' plot in the second half of Season 4 did have the effect of throwing the Scooby Gang into the shade; that a degree of this was intentional, and that it was eventually tackled does not mean that the problem with giving Riley too much too soon was ever really addressed.

I do think the show thrives on chemistry. Buffy and Spike have it; but so do Spike and Dawn, for example. This is not gross though, because though chemistry is essential for credible sexual relationships, it is also a great element in any relationship: and 'Buffy' has tons of this. The downside is, if the chemistry is misfiring in a partnership, as with Buffy and Riley in both Season 4 and Season 5, then it sticks out like a sore thumb.
[> [> [> Re: I was a Riley fan too -- celticross, 13:06:39 10/26/01 Fri
I liked Riley well enough, but not as Buffy's boyfriend, especially when he became nothing but BUFFY'S BOYFRIEND. He was a good fighter, and could have been a decent Scoobie, but he was pushed to the forefront too fast. I know that the point of season 4 was to show how people grow apart, with everyone coupling off, but I still didn't like it. MB and SMG had a good friendly chemistry, but I never saw any real physical chemistry. Their sex scenes always left me a little ill. WtWTA was almost painful to watch.
[> [> [> [> Almost forgot to add... -- CW, 16:04:33 10/26/01 Fri
One of the Russian words for 'witch' is ved'ma, and is clearly from the root 'to know.'
[> [> [> [> [> Sorry, somehow this got attached the wrong place :o( -- CW, 16:08:14 10/26/01 Fri
[> Re: I was a Riley fan too -- JM, 10:05:30 10/26/01 Fri
Always liked Riley. Wonder what the long term plan for the character really was. (Know it got screwed up by Lindsey Crouse leaving.) Thought that MB and SMG showed chemistry, just different. (Totally great in WAY and IttW. Enjoyed it in Hush, Something Blue, Yoko Factor.)

Sometimes it was the characters that seemed to lack chemistry with each other. Which ended out working out OK too, because it made the season five character arc possible. I'm probably the only one, but I thought it was really great. I loved Riley, but it made his downward slide more effective. He was a good moral person, doing something that he knew was wrong and destructive and addictive. It happens in real life. It's tragic, shameful, painful to watch, and dramatically riveting.

(I know that I'm in the minority here, but I tend to think that means I'm right. LOL.)
[> [> Re: I was a Riley fan too -- John Burwood, 13:46:23 10/26/01 Fri
Another Riley fan here. I thought the B/R chemistry worked too. It was adult love, as opposed to the teenage idea of grand romantic passion of B/A which rarely works & never lasts. Plus Riley gave Buffy hope - hope of a good life and future and maybe even happiness. With Riley gone, College maybe gone, career prospects zero -Buffy seems to have nothing to live for but duty & responsibility. There seems to be zilch to hope for in her future. It would make a certain sense now for her to sink into a relationship with Spike - the perfect metaphor for giving up on life and hope and the future. This big softie hopes she can find something better, but the prospects of finding another Riley must be slim indeed.
[> Why Riley Blew chunks *A detailed essay I command you to post to* -- Charlemagne20, 15:51:19 10/26/01 Fri
No offense but the Riley character can be charted as perhaps the most misfired, misconcieved, and otherwise mynogynistic character perhaps in all of Buffydom.

A:) Physical resemblance

This is extremly nitpicky but the first thing I noticed about Marcus Blucas was the fact that he was physically similar to Angel.

About the same build, same height, and same look down on Buffy feel. It made me wonder if Buffy was looking for an angel substitute.

B:) Teacher's Assistant

This may come as a great shock to folks but making Riley Finn the Teacher's assistant was actually very disquieting to me because while I don't know if it's expressly forbidden it's to me the height of bad taste to start sleeping with someone who is effectively under your 'command'

It also made me question how much older Riley was.

C:) Rebound Relationships

This was one of the most disgusting things that I have ever seen depicted on Buffy in her seduction by the "weasal" as he shall hereafter ever be known. Buffy's relationship with Riley thus doesn't have the feel of hesitation to it but the feel of getting something unclean off your body....

A shower...no romance.Which is ironic since it was the same for Angel!

D:) The Secret Keeping

This is something that seemed again a bit too stolen from Angel...while Oz and Angel both had secrets...both came out reasonably early and they were willing to cough up. We also got a good idea of their feelings...

Riley never seemed to show regret at his top secret lifestyle and then later on kept secrets like the whole "sucking" deal.

E:) Lack of Motive

Riley Finn we never knew if he was serving the initiative out of patriotism, revenge, etc. Thus Riley's conflict with the Iniative lacked a certain amount of depth.

F:) The Sex

I can't honestly remember when Riley and Buffy first had sex but I knew it was fairly often and fairly loose. It didn't seem very romantic which is fine for a "bad boy" image but Mark was supposed to create a wholesome character attending church etc....HELLO....SEX IS A BIG DEAL.

We don't even know if they used protection or should be scared of pregnancy etc.

G:) The Cheating

Angel never looked at another girl and Oz was punished horribly for something that wasn't his fault. Oz however got the shaft for sleeping with Veruca because of those darn wolfy pheremones while Riley got off relatively scott free. We'd also hope Riley or anyone else romantically could tellhe was having sex with someone else.

There of coruse was no later excuse for Riley seeing a prostitute who might have given him a blood disease inbetween. That's just disgusting.

Again if Angel was a bad boy why does Riley come off as unclean?

H:) Lack of Emotion

Marc....really couldn't act.I mean I saw "Awwww shucks", "Awww shucks annoyed", and "Awwww shucks that's sad."

No DAMN YOU DIRTY APES MAD or I love you Buffy mad. That may have been deliberate but it didn't work for me.

[> [> Re: Why Riley Blew chunks *A detailed essay I command you to post to* -- Cactus Watcher, 16:20:31 10/26/01 Fri
I'd disagree with a lot of what you wrote, but since we agree on the last and most important point (Marc Blucas can't act), it would be pointless.
[> [> [> MB-An actor born too late... -- Wisewoman, 16:37:52 10/26/01 Fri
I was never a Riley fan. I found the character boring, and a little embarrassing. But Marc Blucas would have been a big hit as an actor several decades ago. He has a very Gary Cooper-ish way about him. The world has moved on since then. We're more sophisticated perhaps, and a heck of a lot more cynical! The Gary Cooper, Glen Ford, Henry Fonda-type guys in our world are Tom Hanks and Kevin Spacey, and they both have a lot more "edge" than their predecessors.

[> [> [> [> Re: MB-An actor born too late... -- CW, 16:52:07 10/26/01 Fri
Glenn Ford is a good example. The older I get the more I realize he played exactly the same guy over and over. But, I'm still a Gary Cooper and Henry Fonda fan.

Remember Victor Mature? He was another big handsome guy, whose acting skill never extended beyond being big and handsome.
[> [> [> [> Re: MB-An actor born too late... -- mm, 16:58:07 10/26/01 Fri
I was never a Riley fan. I found the character boring, and a little embarrassing. But Marc Blucas would have been a big hit as an actor several decades ago. He has a very Gary Cooper-ish way about him. The world has moved on since then. We're more sophisticated perhaps, and a heck of a lot more cynical! The Gary Cooper, Glen Ford, Henry Fonda-type guys in our world are Tom Hanks and Kevin Spacey, and they both have a lot more "edge" than their predecessors.

You said it, Wisewoman. And thank you for reintroducing all of us to that unappreciated punctuation mark, the comma.

[> [> [> [> [> I disagree -- Charlemagne20, 17:29:45 10/26/01 Fri
Adrian Paul may never play anyone but a sword swinging fighter against evil at this point...type casting does have it's advantages because at least it does mean someone RECOGNIZES you have an ability. The problem is when you show more range.

Riley was understated alright and yes he played exactly those Gary Cooper lovable smiley folks but the fact remains the scripts repeatidly called for more reaction, more feeling, and more...anything than what Marc Blucas was giving. Maybe it was a miscommunication between director, actor, and audience but it was...

Ho hum...repeatidly when the scenes were dark, disturbing, and frankly disgusting. I mean we didn't even get a scene of Riley walking into a dark room saying after he's found sucking with a prostitute

"I'm stupid stupid stupid!"

[> [> [> [> [> Just, call, me, comma, crazy!! ;o) -- WW, 18:05:09 10/26/01 Fri
[> [> [> [> [> [> as long as you're not commatose! -- anom, 22:48:58 10/27/01 Sat
[> [> [> [> Re: MB-An actor born too late... -- Rattletrap, 05:31:53 10/27/01 Sat
Good point WW, I'd never thought of it that way, but you're right. Blucas played almost that sort of character in Pleasantville and it fit pretty well with the mid-1950s theme. MB isn't a great actor, but he got consistently better over the year and a half he was on; and let's not forget that David Boreanaz wasn't exactly a genius for his first few seasons.

I always rather liked Riley's character, but he and Buffy just didn't have chemistry together, I don't know if it was MB and SMG or the screen characters, but there was something just a little off all the way. Ironically, Riley had better chemistry as Xander's friend than as Buffy's boyfriend, the horseplay scene in "Family" was dead on.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: MB-An actor born too late... -- CaptainPugwash, 07:10:20 10/27/01 Sat
I'm beginning to think that Riley's 'bad fit' into the Buffyverse was deliberate. Buffy is The Slayer; Slayers don't fall in love and live happily ever after, so Buffy/Riley was never going to work.

I'm not surprised that Riley/Xander was more convincing, given that both of them don't really belong in Buffy's sphere (Riley is not supernatural in any way, and Xander is not morally relativistic [thinks/thought Angel & Spike should die]). Riley always had much more in common with Xander.

I hope Riley wasn't written out, i.e. it was always planned for him to realise Buffy didn't really (or couldn't) love him and he would just go. The notion that the writers had serious plans for the guy is rather scary.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: MB-An actor born too late... -- bible belt, 07:59:05 10/27/01 Sat
I have thought the 'bad fit' was deliberate too. Everyone who doesn't like Riley seems right on though, so why did they do that? I liked Riley okay, but I hadn't seen the first three seasons. The show was such a pleasant 'discovery' for me I hadn't thought about not liking any of them. It's interesting that Riley and Xander had chemistry and they both loved Buffy unrequited.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: MB-An actor born too late... -- Andy, 09:26:26 10/27/01 Sat
I'm pretty sure the writers had long-term plans for Riley. It's just that when fans didn't respond to the guy, and then started rebelling against him, the writers got stuck and had to let him go.

The problem to me is that the writers seemed to believe that the reason for his unpopular status was that he was too nice and was moving in on Angel's territory and fans wanted edgy guys for Buffy's love interest. Which I strongly disagree with. After really getting sick of Angel toward the end of season 3, I was totally onboard with the idea of Buffy hooking up with a nice, normal, non-Angel guy, and Riley fit the bill in the early going. But then they revealed that he was this black ops super-commando guy, and then they started shoving him down my throat in every episode, and frankly after a while he started seeming like he really wasn't as nice as the writers thought he was and I wanted him gone. It's too bad because I still think there's room for nice guys in Buffy's world but I don't know if the writers got the correct message on that issue. If they ever try that idea again, they should let it develop more naturally, instead of forcing things like they did in season 4.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Xander La Valle Harris -- Charlemagne20, 09:38:32 10/27/01 Sat
Xander is the nice normal guy in Buffy's life.

Riley could have been a normal nice guy or he could have been the UBBER normal nice guy-the Clark Kent LG white knight in shining armor type.

Problem was Riley went from two extremes that it seemed like he was a slightly sleazy army guy who put on a good facade.

Xander on the other hand is the closest person to complete normality you'll ever find on Buffy. He is extremely well intentioned but prone to anger, jealousy, and vunerable to temptation (sexually from Faith, Willow, and Anya whom many men would be hard pressed to resist). He is as optimal and realistic as a person can be in a situation...

And a good role model because despite the occasional set back I think.

I think if Buffy had been dating Xander as a nice normal guy or a Xander-esque guy then she might have done fairly well for herself. Instead she dates two guys who have vaguely Xander-esque and then vaguely Angel-esque qualities who in the end are inferior to both.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Xander La Valle Harris -- Andy, 11:30:23 10/27/01 Sat
"Riley could have been a normal nice guy or he could have been the UBBER normal nice guy-the Clark Kent LG white knight in shining armor type."

Yeah, I was referring to the latter type. Joss has basically said that if Angel is Batman, then Riley is supposed to be the Buffyverse's Captain America. Alas, Riley is no Captain America. Cap would never have insecurities about whether his girlfriend could beat him up or not :)

Buffy and Xander seem like the kind of people that could have been good in a relationship but while Xander was willing, Buffy just wasn't seeing it. Angel was a figure that had stepped out of her fantasies and that was too powerful to pass up. She'll probably get older and more practical and then realize that she should have given Xander a shot, but it'll be too late by then and she'll end up bitterly drinking with Spike every night (or is that already happening now?) ;)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Xander La Valle Harris -- bb, 13:00:05 10/27/01 Sat
I'm probably way off on this but it seems like Xander was reluctant to reveal he and Anya's engagement because Buffy was back. All the old feelings he had for her were getting in the way of him doing the right thing and fully excepting his place beside Anya. A little off the topic of the thread.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> re -- Rochefort, 17:52:27 10/27/01 Sat
I'm a TA. And I have to agree that dating a student requires a great deal of sleeze. Riley wasn't a white bread boy. He was a whoring, sleezy, desperate, army guy. Yuck.

Not to mention all his "You don't really love me cause you don't seem to want to suck blood out of my arms" crap. I agree that Buffy should try someone normal and nice (or just go all the way and take Spike) but Riley wasn't dark or normal.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: they started shoving him down my throat in every episode -- Yellowork, 05:56:13 10/28/01 Sun
I get the impression the character Riley Finn was never intended as 'the one' in a relationship with Buffy, but the writers were willing to see how far he had to go. Now, they obviously invested a lot in the Season 4 arc which involves the Initiative, Professor Walsh, Adam and Riley and in my opinion this whole thing did not turn out the way they would have wanted (though I do still love certain features, especially those at the beginning and end of the strand). One of the flaws of this was giving Riley too much too soon; the 'floating voters' in the audience were being handed with just enough rope to hang Riley with.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The most hypocritically brutal character in the Buffyverse -- darrenK, 14:42:01 10/29/01 Mon
As much as I––like most Buffy fans––want to believe that the writers never screw up, I agree with Andy that they--the writer's--misunderstood Riley and that he wasn't as nice as he was portrayed.

Riley was a go-along-to-get-along type of guy who let others do the hard thinking for him. He was more than willing to put his brawn and fighting skills at the command of whoever was being nice to him at the time without any consideration for the morality of his actions.

Until he met Buffy, he had already condemned everything in the supernatural world as evil. And was willing to be an executioner under the justification of "we're doing good here." It didn't matter to him that living creatures were being vivisected or tortured, and that while there was a battle going on, a battle for the survival of humanity, it didn't require Auschwitz style experimentation on the part of Maggie Walsh. And I'm not talking about the heinous experimentation of 314, the experimentation that was going on right in the pit in the middle of the Initiative's main Hangar was bad enough.

In fact, Riley is much like the Nazi officers who--once the war was over--claimed to just be following orders.

And maybe he's even worse. He used vampires for sexual pleasure in the evenings yet had not trouble being a killer of vampires.

Though, vampires have been shown as being soulless and evil, there are still lines of personal morality that you don't cross and Riley crossed them. He used his enemies for sexual pleasure before hunting their kind.

And he seemed perfectly able to justify his relationship with Buffy, his relationship with the prostitute and his killing of Demons.

He's the most misogynistic character in the Buffyverse. He might also be the most hypocritically brutal.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree -- Naomi, 06:05:20 10/30/01 Tue
I personally find it hard to stomach zoos and I have never been into the idea of incarcerating animals in cages. No matter how much I might feel that an evil person deserved to be tortured (i.e if someone killed a member of my family) I would never be able to go throught with seeing a sentinent lifeform trapped in those horrible cages and experimented on. People complain about it happening to animals but vampires are thinking creatures and it must be far worse for them. Surely there is a danger of losing your humanity by accepting Maggie's world view and working in her torture chamber (although it was for the good of the human race of course). Riley never had a problem with the initiatives methods providing the victims were evil. He only left because he didn't think it was right to treat one of the good guys (Oz) at the same level as demons which Riley obviously doesn't give a damm about. He wanted to experiment on Xander in The Replacement so he is obviously still influenced by his cold scientific training at the hands oof Maggie. He never acknowledges the torture of demons as wrong and I find Buffy's method of killing them straightaway far more honourable. In real life I would be scared to be around someone such as Riley who is capable of being so brutal and dispassionite in his treatment of other lifeforms.
[> [> [> Re: Why Riley Blew chunks *A detailed essay I command you to post to* -- Sarah, 23:20:40 10/27/01 Sat
Rily wasn't evil. Brainwrenchedly dull and got in spikes way.. but not evil... I still don't want him back.. I'm not a B/S shipper.. but I like spike's redemption and Rily ruins it. Rily is the definition of boring.... I cheered when he left.
[> [> [> [> Re: Riley the dull -- John Burwood, 01:38:31 10/28/01 Sun
On the subject of Riley being dull, I remember a piece of advice to a daughter I overheard long ago, so I am only quoting approximately.
"When applied to the nouns 'husband' & 'father', the adjectives 'good' and 'dull' mean exactly the same thing.
Very old-fashioned view, of course, but that does not mean there is no truth in it.
Riley was a basically good guy with faults. Spike is basically a creep with a couple of redeeming features. Riley could have given Buffy hope of a decent life - all Spike could offer her is degradation & despair.
[> [> [> [> [> Buffy has no chance of a 'decent life' -- CaptainPugwash, 01:55:59 10/28/01 Sun
The whole tragedy of Buffy centres on the denial of a 'normal life' that results from being The Slayer. It is a lonely, miserable, confined existence that can only end in a premature death.

As far I know, Slayers only 'retire' when they are killed. Buffy had suffered enough already, but her so-called friends brought her back for more - I don't expect Buffy to ever bonds with the Scoobies again; Dawn is now the focus in her life.

There is no precedent for a Slayer becoming an ex-Slayer and living a normal contented life with children etc. Buffy, being Buffy, may be the first to do this, but there's no sign of if yet.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Buffy has no chance of a 'decent life' -- John Burwood, 04:59:21 10/28/01 Sun
So well put, Captain. I guess Riley gave this old romantic some faint hope that Buffy might have a chance of something better. The hope might well have been a self-serving substitution of my own personal fantasy of finding something better in my own future.
Maybe the moral message of BTVS ought to be as an example that duty & responsibility for others are a reason for going on even when you have no hope of anything for yourself.
[> [> Re: Why Riley Blew chunks *A detailed essay I command you to post to* -- grifter, 14:00:18 10/28/01 Sun
I usually really enjoy your posts, but I have to completely disagree with you here:

A.) Does this make Buffy kind of pathetic? Yes. Does it make Riley a worse character? No.

B.) Oh, come on, Angel is a few hundred years older then Buffy...and she was 16 when they "got it on"!

And Riley didn´t abuse his position as her teachers assistent AT ALL!

C.) Again, does it make Buffy pathetic? Yes. Does it make Riley a worse character? No.

D.) I don´t get why he should be sorry about his secret I.D. Buffy kept him in the dark as well (for good reasons), so why should HE be sorry? And, keeping secrets later on, it´s something we all do (isn´t it?). Who´s always completely honest about everything?? How boring...

E.) Riley was just a soldier in a secret war. When his side turned "bad" he deserted...what motives do normal soldiers have for being in the army???

F.) Hmm, do we really have to touch these themes in a fantasy show? Go watch "Seventh Heaven" or something...

And he wasn´t all that religious...the only time he went to church was during a fight...

G.) Because he is no "good guy". And Angel no "bad guy" (whatever gave you that idea??). Underneath his "good-guy"-layer is a "beast", like with Angel or Oz, or any of us, only it´s not a demon or something.

H.) I disagree here, but a discussion about the quality of actors is about as useful as a discussion about food...it just depends on your personal tastes.

Oh, and by the way, to all the people who still want to see Buffy and Xander together: GET OVER IT ALREADY! They´ll never be together! ^_^
[> [> [> You just prove my point -- Charlemagne20, 15:24:39 10/28/01 Sun
Riley swoops in while another character is being pathetci and thus it taints him in presentation as a man comming onto those in weakness which is just slimey. He was religious because he wasn't going to church for the fight but attending-because he's regular or he felt the need-who knows. As for him having a beast under him at least Oz or Angel didn't hide it....and that's the problem from the get go.

Why would Riley be chosen among all the rest and what was his opinion on being in this "secret war"
[> [> [> [> Re: You just prove my point -- grifter, 09:51:55 10/29/01 Mon
Ok, so he didn´t have a good character, but he was a good character at this point of the story.

But, I´ll give you that, for the screen time he got, we really don´t know enough of his background (a pity IMO).
[> [> [> [> Re: You just prove my point -- bible belt, 18:22:04 10/30/01 Tue
He was a hometown boy from Iowa and he loved God and apple pie and wanted to see to it that nothing destroyed that. What he didn't get (and I think he began to toward the end) was that some demons liked apple pie too. He had rejected the Initiative and was changing. The downward slide he took was about his relationship with Buffy. He killed that vamp around the time he was getting sucked, but he had just lost both his worlds, the Initiative, and then Buffy and the Scoobys. Since he rejected the Initiative and was open to other possibilities, I was sympathetic.
Buffy/Religious Ecstasy??? **SPOILERS** Season 6 -- Tillow, 06:35:53 10/26/01 Fri
Ok! So, one particular moment that flashed by real quick in Life Serial stuck with me as having meaning precisely because it flashed by so quickly. Hmm... what are they hiding... :) So I looked into it AND I found some interesting tid bits to share.

I'm talking about the moment when Buffy opened Tara's art history book and Warren's test kicked in. Now, I was so struck by the work she was looking at , it took me a few minutes to realize it was Warren's prank and not the sculpture she was looking at that threw her. I thought maybe we were getting insight into Buffy's death experience. After researching the sculpture, maybe we did...?? Because it's entirely possible that Joss plants every single image.... some research and some thoughts follow...

The sculpture is called The Ecstasy of St. Teresa. (by Gianlorenzo Bernini)

"In sculpture, Bernini's masterwork is the at the Church of S. Maria della Vittoria in Rome...The centerpiece is The Ecstasy of S. Teresa of Avila, a large statue designed to be illuminated by reflected light from a hidden window. The figures of S. Teresa and an angel are seen upon a stage, witnessed by seven Cardinals and a Doge of the Cornaro family looking on from flanking balconies."

The angel is actually smiling down at her and about to pierce her heart with a golden arrow. (Let's just hope this isn't foreshadowing... with a capitol A on the angel. *sniffle*)

Saint Teresa of Avila (in a nutshell, now-forgive my sacrilegious paraphrasing) basically had visions her whole life and the ability to commune with God. She struggled with the desire to pray early in life, eventually overcame this, and wrote many manuscripts on the levels of prayer and communing with God. She is one of two women to be honored with the title Doctor of the Church (catholic). She is also the Patron Saint of Writers. (Joss-Divine Touch?)

My interest in this statue appearing in a Buffy episode stemmed from a women's studies class I took in Italy dealing with female archetypes in Italian art and literature. My teacher went on and on about the controversy over this sculpture because this holy figure actually looks like she is having an orgasm when communing with God. (St. Teresa speaks about the act of communing with god as a Spiritual Marriage and uses the word consummate as well-an aside). She got a kick out of this (my prof, not St.T).

Ok, combine this with the Buffy/angel's wings scene in Afterlife.. I'm thinking there's a little something more here... So I did a little reading. And let me just say this woman is incredibly long winded so I will include links for anyone who wants to read further. Good luck. My eyes are tired.

Quotes from St. Teresa herself....

(I guess in the Buffyverse we can substitute God with TPTB... at least that's what I'm going with.. )

Speaking of the actual process of communing.....

...the Lord unites it [the soul] with Himself, but He makes it blind and dumb...and so prevents it from having any sense of how or in what way that favor comes which it is enjoying; the great delight of which the soul is then conscious is the realization of its nearness to God. But when He unites it with Him, it understands nothing; the faculties are all lost.

Buffy: Time didn't mean anything, nothing had form...

This Presence is not of course always realized so fully--I mean so clearly--as it is when it first comes, or on certain other occasions when God grants the soul this consolation; if it were, it would be impossible for the soul to think of anything else, or even to live among men.

Buffy: everything here is bright and hard and violent... Everything I feel, everything I touch... this is Hell. Just getting through the next moment, and the one after that... knowing what I've lost ...

After the recovery of consciousness, if the rapture has been deep, the faculties may remain absorbed ....they seem to be no longer themselves...And now comes the distress of having to return to this life. Now the soul has grown new wings and has learned to fly.

Where do we go from here?

Now Buffy must figure out how to exist in the world again...

It seems that the Divine Majesty, by means of this wonderful companionship, is desirous of preparing the soul for yet more. For clearly she will be greatly assisted to go onward in perfection and to lose the fear which previously she sometimes had of the other favors that were granted to her...The person already referred to found herself better in every way; however numerous were her trials and business worries, the essential part of her soul seemed never to move from that dwelling-place. So in a sense she felt that her soul was divided, and when she was going through great trials, shortly after God had granted her this favor, she complained of her soul.... Sometimes she would say that it was doing nothing but enjoy itself in that quietness, while she herself was left with all her trials and occupations so that she could not keep it company.

There has already been speculation on the board about what her new role will be. Will she move from protector to wisewoman? (wiser) Last season she felt she was losing her ability to love? Will that story be developed even more?

He who is raised on high attains many things. The soul has no desire to seek or possess any free will, even if it so wished, and it is for this that it prays to the Lord, giving Him the keys of its will.

Or will she continue to feel pain and despair at having lost such ecstasy?

It is in this way, then, that these things actually happen, if the raptures are genuine, in which case there will remain in the soul the effects and advantages aforementioned. If they do not, I should doubt very much if they are from God...


Links with St. Teresa's writings.
[> Now that's serendipity . . . -- d'Herblay, 06:55:33 10/26/01 Fri
. . . that this should be posted while I'm proofreading my Bernini-heavy analysis of "Life Serial." We even link to the same page!
[> [> Re: I know! Craziness! Good post! (NT) -- Tillow, 07:06:17 10/26/01 Fri
[> *Applauds* Excellent theory! -- Whisper2AScream, 08:28:11 10/26/01 Fri
Know a little about St. Teresa of Avila (t'was raised Catholic.), and your treatise's fascinating. I had only glanced at the picture, didn't recognize it. But this does present an interesting light on Buffy, and her messianic existence of late.
[> St. Teresa of Avila **SPOILERS** Season 6 -- Cleanthes, 09:24:40 10/26/01 Fri
Beautiful, beautiful.

In one of the discussions of heaven we had here when `Afterlife` broadcast, I declared that I wouldn't want to go to any heaven that didn't receive St. Teresa's approval. Her book, Interior Castle, comes closest among all mystical writing of which I am aware, to solving the "boredom" problem with regard to an afterlife. That she wrote and lived during the Spanish Inquisition makes her achievement even more remarkable.

She also demonstrated that sexual innuendo lies on a more facile layer of interpretation beyond which the little boys of Freudian analysis cannot penetrate. Arguably, the whole of anagogic irony exists, and points toward, a recursive and infinite understanding and a joke-parable that credulous and naïve contempory scholars cannot get. So, I disagree with your contention that St. T would not get a kick out of the orgasmic interpretation that your prof had. St. T. got that, and rather a lot more, IMO. (I did get an undergraduate degree in medieval studies, so I am biased in favor of the folks of then. {grin})

The power of the fictive universe (the Jossverse) reaches maximum artistic impact if Buffy were pulled from the best possible formulation of "heaven". As far as I can see, St. Teresa described this most potent and rapturous of heavens. Buffy has lost this; she lost a lot after having saved the world a lot.

Incidentally, the book I have calls Bernini's statue "Vision of the Transverberation of the Heart." This title for the statue points better to St.T's actual description of the process - an ecstasy, nowadays anyway, implies a state of mind within time, while a transverberation (the word comes from the same Latin root as the English word reverberate) comes from without time.
[> Re: Buffy/Religious Ecstasy??? **SPOILERS** Season 6 -- kostadis roussos, 15:12:46 10/26/01 Fri
This talk of sainthood has made me think some more about the nature of heaven, communion with God, etc.

I thought I might share some thoughts:

In eastern orthodox christian theology, the act of communion, and the divine liturgy are not perceived as symbolic tasting and depictions of the kingdom of God but experiencing the reality of the kingdom which is to come. (You really are in God's kingdom, you are really experiencing God)

It strikes me that Buffy's experience is to have partaken of that communion in a way that has only been reserved for the truly blessed.

The essence of saint hood in orthodoxy is to be able to partake of the reality of God, and still live in the real world simultaneously. To be in the world but not part of it.

Buffy's whole life is about "being in the world but never part of it". Whereas up until she craved to be in the world, so she could escape the demon infested nightmare that was her reality, she now feels part of a different reality that makes the world a demon infested reality.

For the saint, the knowledge of God's grace made the world bearable. The real world was passing, so it was of no consequence.

I see Buffy almost as a "Buffy-verse" saint, deprived of the ability to commune with God, so that she could partake of the "comming" reality while living in this world.

I wonder, if perhaps to make this "hell" bearable, she will seek a way to find "heaven" to commune with that place, so she can make this hell, just a little more bearable.

Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- d'Herblay, 06:49:36 10/26/01 Fri
I took only one sociology course in college ("Deviant Behavior"; there was no assigned lab-work), so perhaps I'm not the best person to talk about "social construction of reality." In fact, when I hear any variation on "social construct," I tend to want to hit someone upside the head with Alan Sokal. But Joss is not one to let a metaphor go unstated, and Willow's class at the beginning of Act One of "Life Serial" must have some greater significance to the episode, so I may be forgiven if I overreach in grasping for a connection.

What is "social construction of reality"? Let's allow a college professor to do the questioning.

Social construction of reality. Who
can tell me what that is? Rachel?

A concept involving a couple of opposing
theories. One stressing the externality
and independence of social reality
from individuals--

In other words, there exists an objective reality that all of us participate in. Life is no solipsism; there's a world out there that is really real.

And the flip side? Steve?

That each individual participates fully
in the construction of his or her own

That is to say, your world is what you make of it. The only way you can make judgments about the nature of objective reality is through your senses, and your perceptions are ultimately yours alone. What you learn of objective reality through your perceptions may be highly accurate or highly flawed.

The world you perceive is sometimes called the idios kosmos, from the Greek for "one's own order" or "personal universe." It is contrasted with the koinos kosmos, "shared universe," which consists of the common interpretations of our perceptions which we must establish in order to communicate our perceptions to each other. When someone's idios kosmos diverges too greatly from the koinos kosmos, we tend to treat that person as defective in some way. It is not insignificant that idios is the root of the English "idiot."

As an example, the facts of objective reality include: the shorter the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation, including what we call "visible light," the more likely that that radiation will be scattered by collision with molecules in a planet's atmosphere; the three types of color receptors in the human eye are optimized to perceive radiation with wavelengths of approximately 450, 540 and 590 nanometers. In the koinos kosmos, our perceptions consistent with these facts lead us to say that the sky is blue. But to someone with dichromatic color blindness, who can perceive only black and white, the sky is no such color. His idios kosmos is, in this case, divergent from the koinos kosmos.

But that's pouring mumbo-jumbo on top of folderol. And you might ask yourself, "What does any of this have to do with Buffy?" Well, the three "tests" the geek squad subjected Buffy to each separated her idios kosmos from the koinos kosmos. In Andrew's test we find the typical disjunction between the world of the slayer and the world of common convention. Buffy's demons are dismissed with the standard Sunnydale denial. The other tests, though, present a more personal disjunction. Time is one of the most basic shared frames of reference we have (even though the years seem to pass more quickly now that I have no interest in growing older), and both Jonathan's and Warren's tests manipulated Buffy's sense of time so that she was no longer synchronous with the rest of Sunnydale. Giles, Anya and the customers are participants in Jonathan's spell, but they do not consciously experience the looping as Buffy does. Though this test took the longest from Buffy's point of view, Andrew tells us, "from Mr. Giles's perspective, it was shortest of all."

If the perspective of the koinos kosmos is the perspective that matters, then Warren's test, his "omega pulse sequence," must be counted as the most successful of all, despite the rapidity with which Buffy found his "inhibitor." For if twenty minutes passed in the second that Buffy looked at the clock, the amount of time that passed in the minutes it took her to make her way under the table and find the inhibitor must have been hours, if not days (and I must admit that I'm confused as to why no one at UC-Sunnydale would step around the slowly moving girl).

The plate that Buffy looks at before Tara's class (and, due to the effect of the inhibitor, is apparently enraptured by) is a picture of The Ecstasy of St. Teresa of Avila, the centerpiece of Gianlorenzo Bernini's installation in the Cornaro Chapel at the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria. The Ecstasy is the masterpiece of the Roman Baroque. The statue represents Teresa's vision, in which a seraph stood above her, plunging a flaming golden arrow again and again into the depths of her heart. Her limbs hung inert, her eyes fell half-shut as she felt "pain so great that I screamed aloud; but simultaneously I felt such infinite sweetness that I wished the pain to last eternally." In the statue, as she swoons, her mouth opens to let out the moans caused by the "sweetest caressing of the soul by God."

Mystical ecstasy achieved in communion with God is a melting away of the outside world, like another form of ecstasy in communion with another that some might say Bernini really portrays. Buffy certainly lost contact with the outside world, though she did not find sweetness in such a state. But there is another way that the installation illuminates "Life Serial." On either side of his centerpiece, Bernini places bas-relief loges containing the figures of the Cornaro family, his patrons. It is as though Teresa's ecstasy takes place on a stage, with the Cornaros as theatergoers, discussing the play amongst themselves. (And how Bernini ever found marble with which to mimic the oilcloth of the theater escapes me.) Buffy, too, was made to perform. The geek squad, which has its own problems integrating into the koinos kosmos, watches her every move. They experience all the loops in the Magic Box, and when Buffy finds the inhibitor, with the world zooming by her, they see her examine it in her time-scale. I noticed three clocks lined up in the van. The center one bore a plaque saying "Sunnydale"; the one on the left, "Tokyo." I assume that the one on the right would have said "New York," or some such (I didn't get a good look), but it would have been appropriate for them to have had a clock that was set to Buffy-time. After all, it was the time zone they inhabited as well.

The Ecstasy of St. Teresa is sometimes called The Rapture, and "rapture" has the same Latin root ( rapere) as "rape." What the troika does to Buffy puts the lie to Steve's in-class statement that "each individual participates fully in the construction of his or her own life." To have a personal perspective so divergent from the common frame of reference is a sign of insanity, and the geek squad is driving Buffy crazy. When Buffy says "I'm not playing by anyone else's rules anymore. I'm done," she is reasserting control over how she integrates her idios kosmos with the rest of the world.

That is my personal (some might now be inclined to say "idiotic") take on the "social construction" of Buffy's reality in "Life Serial." However, there is another analysis of how the episode is constructed that I wish to discuss. This analysis is based largely upon ideas Lunarchickk has expounded both in the chat room and on the board. It has less to do with any technical definition of "social constructivism" and more to do with Buffy's attempt to reconstruct her life through socialization. Each of the four acts focus on Buffy trying on the life of one of her friends. In the first act, she tries on Willow's heady academic world. But the world of ideas moves too fast for her. In the second, she tries on Xander's hard-hat. But as a woman in a male world, she is sensitive to different things than her coworkers (in this case, demons). In the third, she puts on a name-tag and enters Anya's world. But the day of a shop girl is far too repetitious and rote for a creative thinker like Buffy. In the fourth act, she tries on Spike's life of perpetual immaturity. She enjoys it at first, but when Spike suggests that she can combine such a role with her duties as a slayer, she finds herself sitting in the corner watching Spike play cards for kittens. She is frustrated with the inanity of this; she is coming to recognize that the role of the slayer is incompatible with such immaturity.

I am probably alone in this, but I am prepared to characterize Buffy's willingness to sit alone with Spike, downing shots by candlelight, as a booty call. Frustrated with her day, with her job-search, with her life, looking to lose herself in drink or in violence, she seems willing to take Spike up on any suggestion he can offer. No wonder she lashes out at him after his game, calling him "neutered." In fact, the scene looks like a B/S shipper's worst nightmare. Buffy comes home to Spike, and all he wants to do is go play poker with the boys.

But if you think I'm going to take this tack in any analysis of what Spike played for, think again.

For my understanding of social constructivism, I relied on Chapter 4 of Fashionable Nonsense, by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont and "Alan Sokal's Hilarious Hoax" in Martin Gardner's Did Adam and Eve Have Navels? I suppose that I might have a greater understanding had I consulted less skeptical sources. A Humean or a Kantian might have more to say about the conflict of perception and reality, but Kant drove me out of philosophy in the first place. All quotes were gathered by me with the play-pause-rewind method of reading closed-captioning; I'm practicing the counterfeiting of shooting scripts. The quotes regarding Teresa of Avila are from her own recounting of her vision; I took them from Rudolf Wittkower's Gianlorenzo Bernini: Sculptor of the Italian Baroque. Should you ever find yourself in Rome, I highly recommend seeking out the actual statue--it's much better than that crappy old Sistine Chapel. The terms idios kosmos and koinos kosmos may or may not have legitimate usages in some field of human knowledge; I nicked them from Philip K. Dick.
[> Re: an aside -- Tillow, 07:24:17 10/26/01 Fri
Should you ever find yourself in Rome, I highly recommend seeking out the actual statue--it's much better than that crappy old Sistine Chapel.

I recognize that this is a "safe zone" and all but WHAT??? The Sistine Chapel is wonderful. If you go to Rome, stay long enough to see both!

[> Thank you so much, d'H -- Rahael, 08:05:37 10/26/01 Fri
This was really good.....yet again, can't wait to see the episode
[> Thanks, as well. (Links with Gaiman's Sandman, perhaps?) -- Whisper2AScream, 08:48:06 10/26/01 Fri
Very astute. Not unsimiliar to Gaiman's theories of human perception as presented in Sandman. The common interpretations of the Endless mark them as such, Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, Destruction, and Delight/Delirium, as through their existence, but their appearance can shift in accordance to an individual's viewpoint of them.

Also, taking another look at Bernini's work, and compared to Tillow's comments of it alluding to a future Buffy and Angel. The pose itself suggests a copulation between Teresa and the angel, the arrow itself appearing phallic. Maybe likewise she was looking upon it as her past with Angel, only their rapture brought his downfall, instead of her rise in spiritual understanding. Though maybe this means, they will come together once again, instead of Angel losing his soul, she will gain enlightenment? Or that he will sacrifice his soul for Buffy ultimately to save her, or return her to heaven?
[> This essay + Tillow's below = KABOOM squared! -- Wisewoman, 09:47:13 10/26/01 Fri
Would you guys consider maybe combining them and posting them to the Existential Scoobies site?

Great stuff, both of you.

[> [> Re: This essay + Tillow's below = KABOOM squared! -- Andy, 10:23:30 10/26/01 Fri
That's why I like this board. It's fun to be enlightened by these much wiser people :)
[> Re: Bravura essay! You can chair Sociology at Buffyversity. -- mundusmundi, 12:15:15 10/26/01 Fri
[> [> Is my prose that obfuscatory . . . -- d'Herblay, 15:24:42 10/26/01 Fri
. . . obscurantist or obtuse? Sociology? Blechh.

Please, give me philosophy of science or something. Though it's probably best not to have me teaching Freshman Comp.
[> [> [> Re: Took only one Sosh class myself, though Criminology was interesting -- mm, 17:17:41 10/26/01 Fri
[> [> [> Re: No, it helps me a lot. -- bible belt, 18:15:48 10/26/01 Fri
[> Like... wow? One question though... -- Traveler, 21:26:53 10/26/01 Fri
d'Herblay, that was an amazing essay. I didn't know what social construction was, so you've really added to my appreciation for the show. However, there is one thing you said at the end that I am curious about...

"I am probably alone in this, but I am prepared to characterize Buffy's willingness to sit alone with Spike, downing shots by candlelight, as a booty call."

Your explanation of Buffy's reaction surprised me, because I had been thinking of things from Spike's point of view. After the events in "Crush," he finally learned to slow things down and just be there for Buffy. It seems clear that he saw Buffy's sudden drinking binge more as a cry for help than as a come on. However, being male, he sought to fix her problems rather than relating to her emotionally. Also, he wanted to show her a little of his world in the hopes that she might like it.

So, the question is: exactly how off target was he? I'm really not sure how she would have reacted if he had tried any sort of physical intimacy. She did call him "neutered," but I don't think she meant in the traditional sense. Essentially, she was pissed that he wasn't being the "evil badass vamp" she expected him to be. This seems to be a throw back to the short time Buffy spent patroling with Faith, when slaying (and life) seemed clear cut and sexy. She would have eventually become disappointed in Spike regardless, because he couldn't solve all her problems for her. Still, I wonder... if he had walked into that room and simply tried to beat information out of those demons, would he have gotten laid? The world may never know :)
[> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- Willow's End, 14:41:06 10/27/01 Sat
I want to thank you for your analysis. It was great.

I think the point of that scene was how "unreal" university life was, compared to the rest of the world nad rest of life.

It is obvious now that Buffy is never going to make it through college. And one might wonder if that isn't the best thing for her. "Mike" (and his class might be good at citing off concepts of reality, social constructs and all that stuff, but Buffy knows what's real. Having bills to pay that's real, trying to find a job, that's real, and dying that's very real. The job foreman, the customer didn't really care about Buffy's understanding of social constructs. They were more concerned about practical results from their interaction with her.

Sorry to come off "anti-intectectual" here, but that was my sense of the scene. In the end what "Mike". Willow, and the the rest of the class were talking about doesn't have as much importance as they think it does. Buffy found out that early when she was forced to leave after her Mother died. The others will find that out when, after receiving their diploma they will still have trouble finding a job.

One does wonder if such classes really merit the expenses that they consume. How different is "Mike's" class from the comic book, D & D, Science Fiction, James Bond world of the Troka?

I am sure an intellectual exercise like "Mike's" class was engaging in has its place, but it isn't going to save the world. Buffy is a very practical person. She saves the world. She doesn't theorize what role hypothetically does her saving the world have in the larger social construct.

This scene reminded me of a scene in season 3 "bad beer". This kid was going off on some intellectual diatribe, trying to sound all intelligent and stuff, but really he just sounded pompous.

This is how Buffy thinks. Someone is in trouble, Buffy helps him or her out of trouble. Call it simplistic if you like, but it's real. She hears "Buffy help me" and she helps. She doesn't waste time theorizing about it. That's real, that's concrete, and in the end that's what really matters after the dismissal bell rings.

(By the way I love philosophy, otherwise I wouldn't be here. But philosophy like everything else has its limits. There's a real world out there that can not be ignored. And besides isn't being "anti-intellectual" or "anti philosophy" a philosophy into itself.)

Not that I condone facism; or any ism for that matter. Isms, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in 'Beatles', I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the Walrus. I could be the Walrus, I'd still have to bum rides off of people.

--Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Buffy is very intelligent. She has a good head on her shoulders, but she isn't an intellectual. She lives in the real world. She is very practical in that respect. She will never view life from an "intellectual construct" but from interactions with people.

Buffy just needs to believe in herself. I was very disappointed that Giles didn't seem to believe her at first that strange things were happening to her. Sure stress was a possiblity, but with Buffy I would have thought that first assume wierdness, then after that's ruled out, then and only then assume stress.
[> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- Riley's Ghost, 15:21:38 10/27/01 Sat
I agree with that assessment of the scene.

I believe that was the point that was being made. Now we can agree or disagree with it, but I do think it was a criticism of the Ivy Tower "unreal" quality of university life.

But further more, I saw the whole episode as Buffy trying to walk other people's paths, instead of her own. Not their fault really for all you can share is all that you are. These people have found great personal satisfaction in their choosen paths. Willow has really come alive in college (she is really going to feel lost when that comes to an end, but she could probably prolong it with getting a masters and doctorate). Construction is Xander, he is the construction man. And for Giles and Anya retail is where it's at. Don't blame them for trying to share their lifepath with Buffy, but their lifepath isn't her.

Spike almost got it. You aren't a school gal (right). You aren't a construction gal (right), or a retail gal (right). You are, like me a creature of the night (wrong-o). Spike did just like the others, trying to place her in his lifepath. Buffy isn't a creature of the night, she is a creature of the light. That is exactly why she had to set those kittens free.

I don't know quite where Buffy's lifepath is. Don't know where my lifepath is either. It's one of the most frustrating places in life to be.
[> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- Willow's End, 16:00:37 10/27/01 Sat
I do wonder how much of University life really prepares you for off campus (which is for most people where they will spend the rest of their life). It is really like they are in a different world talking about stuff that don't exist or aren't as significant as they try to make them out to be.

Reminds me of a satire I read on this Onion web site. Again don't want to seem anti-intellectual, or anti philosophical particularily on a board dedicated to philosophy, but I found the "anti-intellectual" perspective intriguing of late.

(Again, is "anti-intellectualism" in itself a philosophy?)

Anyway, below is the link to the satire. It really makes me think.

Point-Counterpoint: Nigeria

It's all a matter of perspective I guess. But I think a Buffy out in "the Real World" (or I should say the Buffyverse version of the "Real World") serves more to improve the world than her stuck in Mike's class.
[> [> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- bb, 19:02:39 10/27/01 Sat
No doubt someone on this board will answer your question about anti-intellectualism, sorry I can’t. You’ve given me another good way to look at the ep. It doesn’t seem what your saying is anti-intellectual at all. IMO none of the ideas in this thread are mutually exclusive. Your slant on this makes good sense to me. But I had never heard of social constructivism, the Ecstasy of St. Teresa of Avila, or Gianlorenzo Bernini until I read this post, or at least the later two any way. I think I’ll check out d’Herb’s references. Thanks for the link - I liked it.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- Riley's Ghost, 20:13:39 10/27/01 Sat
Buffy felt totally lost in the class, but in fact in comparison she was the only one who has it all together.

Mike and his class can talk social constructs all they want, and if that's what they want to do fine. Not going to say that's wrong because it isn't but at the end of the day social constructs mean very little (unless you can teach it or write some book on it).

Understanding social constructs isn't going to help Buffy save more people from demons, won't help her pay the bills, won't bring her mother back. You can say there is more to life than practical considerations. And of course that's true. But for those whose life has some very serious practical considerations at this point, social constructs really seem insignificant in comparison.

Some people really enjoy debating social constructs. Fine, I admit I enjoy my share of discussing philosophy too. But it isn't real. In the scheme of things it's quite insignificant compared to what is going on beyond these ivy halls. I have no problem with Mike's class discusing such stuff as long as they realize that what they are doing is trival compared to the world outside. As trival as the Troika fighting over whose the best Bond (which as everyone knows has to be Roger Moore :-) ).

No important is what Buffy does. She saves lives. She makes a difference. Mike's class contributes nothing to society. Intellectually stimulating, perhaps for some (I quite enjoyed the discussion myself), but of no benefit outside the classroom. Again, this isn't to attack "Mike's class", but I don't want to elevate what they do either. What Buffy does matter, what they are doing is insignificant, and to the larger society immaterial. The students will find that out when they start talking "social constructs" at their first job interview. It will be a cold awakening to them.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- Ben, 20:55:33 10/27/01 Sat
If you are forced to jump out of a plane and had the choice of bringing with you a book on metaphysics or a parachute, here's some advice for you.

Choose the parachute.

Duh, that may be the simple answer, but it's the correct one too. There is much more to be said for common sense than the intellectual would like to admit.

As you jump out of the plane you can think of the nature of gravity and the existentialist aspects to free fall all the way down, but at some point you are going to be faced with some immutable realities.

I am all for knowledge as much as the next person. Buffy's response to all the demons she has faced as been having her and the Scooby Gang do research so I am not saying education doesn't have it's place. Of course it does.

But you can really educate yourself right out of common sense if you aren't careful. Some of the most educated people are some of the most ignorant fools when it comes to life. Well read doesn't always mean wise or well learned.

I wonder what "Mike" would do if faced with a Demon. Talk his way out of the situation by having a discussion about "social constructs". Mike might not realize it but it is because of "simple", "practical" people like Buffy that allows him to be able to discuss "social constructs" all day long.

If teaching "social constructs" is what Mike loves do to fine, more power to him. And if he can get enough people interested in what he is saying, great, have fun. And if he can get the University to pay him for it, well that's between him and the taxpayers of California (which I guess now includes Buffy unless she loses her house for failure to pay taxes). But don't think that what he does matters to society. Doesn't feel the hungry in Africa. Does't teach anyone how to live in this world.

Now I don't want to be too hard on Mike here. It does matter in the sense that he has students who enjoy being in his class, and enjoyment is a treasure not to be under valued. But in the larger scheme it's just so much hot air. But just because it's trival doesn't mean it doesn't have it's place of value (by the way Pierce Bronson, how could anyone say otherwise).
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- Riley's Ghost, 21:17:00 10/27/01 Sat
Mike certainly represents one extreme.

Of course the other extreme would be someone who recognizes practical concerns and nothing else (like the Father in the Dead Poets society).

The difficulty of course is to find the balance.

I for one do think there is a problem with our educational system. They way we put a value on the so-called "liberal arts" degree, have people go into debt to obtain it.

And for what? Who's to say that a two year Junior college decree doesn't give most people enough of the skills and knowledge they need for a small fraction of the cost?

People spend the first 23-25 some even 30 years of their lives being educated and when they come out barely use what they learn.

But there is a social status to having a college degree and a social stigma to failing to obtain one. So we go through the hoops. But for most of us we are as lost when we come out as we were when we came in, except we are much more in debt.

No college life isn't for Buffy, though I feel sad that she will miss quite a few kegers. Buffy is wasting her talent in the classroom. She needs to find a place where her concern for people, slayer strength, and clear common sense thinking fits with her profession.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- Riley's Ghost, 21:24:57 10/27/01 Sat
Just thought of something.

On all her experiences she displayed qualies that combined might help her find her lifepath.

1) Mike's class = Common Sense.

2) Construction = Slayer Strength and a strong work ethic.

3) Retail = Problem solving (though it took her a few times to get it right)

4) Spike's Gal = Compassion (for kittens).

Somehow these qualities didn't serve to be enough in the situations she faced, but I think these qualities will serve her well when she finally finds her lifepath.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- maddog, 09:10:39 10/29/01 Mon
I think people who make Buffy's reality SO much more important that what goes on in Mike's class are forgetting one major fact. Buffy's not normal. These classes, they're meant for a regular college student, not a Vampire Slayer. The classes could be extremely useful to people who don't have to fight demons on a daily basis. :)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Slayage 101: I like it! -- mm, 14:53:59 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- LoriAnn, 15:40:23 10/29/01 Mon
Philosophy classes serve two purposes. 1) They encourage students to think and to think outside the box. That's good. 2) These classes also provide jobs for those with graduate degrees in philosophy. That's good too because they probably wouldn't be able to support themselves otherwise.

In the "Introduction to Philosophy" course students take, after about six weeks, an observer can see the dazed look in the students eyes: first, the instructor said Plato said this, then he or she said Aristotle said that, then that Epicurus said something else again. The students thought they were going to learn something useful. Instead they are given contradictory theories. They are baffled until they realize that none of the philospohers had the answers to life's major questions. Some of the philosophers didn't have a clue, but others had a good insight or two, insights that can be interesting and instructive, but none of them were or are totally right. Kant had some good ideas about duty; Hume had good ideas about naturalism; Marx clearly saw the evils of the industrial revolution. However, none of these things will help anyone sell a vacuum cleaner, take out an swollen appendix, re-pipe the house, build a building, or clerk at McDonald's. However, having, at least, a rudimentary knowledge of the major philosophers and their ideas will help a person come to some understanding of life or, at least, think about coming to an understanding of life, think about things that are more important to everyone than just making a living, as important as that can be.

The idea of being anti-intellectual may seem as if it is anti-pompousity and anti-those-who-speak-in-confusing-terms-about-things-that-make-some-feel-ignorant, but it isn't. It's actually anti-thought, anti-thinking: if an idea isn't about making a living, a very good living, it isn't worth the time. If that had been the case in 1776 and a bit earlier, we would not have the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. They're both built on philosophic principles about all men being created equal, about government serving the people instead of vice versa, and there are many other philosophic concepts that influenced the founders of the U.S.A. They came from philosophers who, individually, didn't have it all right, but each did have a part of the answer.

What can we learn from philosophy? We can learn that there are concepts that are more important than the great "I." We can learn what the great thinkers thought through the ages. We can see where they might have been wrong and where they might have been right. We might even learn something about being human.

The social construction of reality is a simple idea: everyone sees reality from the perspective of their own society. Were some Native Americans really capable of doing magic? We'd say "no"; but their people of the time would say "yes." They'd say "yes" because they saw the same things we would see, but from a different perspective. Western culture today wants to see things in a linear, sequential, logical manner. Older, orality-based cultures saw things completely differently. It's important that we see that reality is based on social constructions instead of thinking that everyone everywhere sees things from our perspective or one just like it.

Is Buffy's reality based on social constructions? It certainly is. Family, duty, the battle between good and evil, friendship, humor, sadness, morality: our understanding of these ideas and how they relate to us are all social constructs. We might say that those leaky pipes aren't a social construct, but the need for pipes and a house and a place to live and a stable life are all constructed socially. One might say that without pipes a person couldn't bathe, wouldn't have drinking water, wouldn't have sanitary conditions and, therefore, might die young. The idea of living a long life in comfort is a social construct and a fairly recent one.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- bb, 10:26:57 10/28/01 Sun
This brings us right back to vampires and demons as a metaphore of the human condition, not human perception.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Riding on donkeys and sh**ing in the sand is practical -- bb, 12:16:37 10/28/01 Sun
To be well read and wise has it's advantages too, not that I'm either. In defense of social constructivism, if somebody wasn't discussing things like it we would still be standing in these long lines at the grocery store because we wouldn't have electronic scanners because some people think they are evil. But your right, balance is the key.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Riding on donkeys and sh**ing in the sand is practical -- Riley's Ghost, 15:33:50 10/28/01 Sun
Well read doesn't equal wise. They are two separate attributes. Some of the most well read people I know doesn't have a practical bone in their body. And some of the most wise people I know haven't ever set foot on an University in their life.

Now one can be both Well read and wise, but you don't have to be one to be the other.

Buffy is a very practical person, and I don't feel she would get much out of "Mike's class". She has always been more interested in living life than theorizing about it.

Dawn on the otherhand might get a kick out of it.

"In defense of social constructivism, if somebody wasn't discussing things like it we would still be standing in these long lines at the grocery store because we wouldn't have electronic scanner..."

That's electronics, not philosophy.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: You seem to defend ignorance... -- bb, 18:06:53 10/28/01 Sun
rather than life experience...if Buffy started cuddling up to a lot of books while she's bringing Dawn along, and she becomes well read, would her wisdom go out the window like so much piss in a pot? No, I would think it would be complimented.

My point about the electronics is that this culture that has given us this show wouldn’t exist without questioning what truth is.

Do you like the show?
[> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- Juliette, 06:09:11 10/28/01 Sun
Just to stick up for academics for a minute, some degree courses can be extremely practical. I'd hate to be treated by a doctor who hadn't studied medical science.

On the other hand, perhaps I'm being a bit hypocritical - I'm studying Ancient History, which really has no practical use, I just enjoy it!
[> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- Willows End, 08:14:14 10/28/01 Sun
Medical school has some practical purposes obviously.

But "Mike's class" I don't see the societal use.
[> [> [> [> Re: Two analyses of the social construction of "Life Serial" (**SPOILERS!!**) -- Juliette, 14:47:49 10/28/01 Sun
I guess it all depends what you're going to use it for. While I may never need to know the life stories of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus for whatever I end up doing, the analysis and debating skills I have picked up in seminars and essays may be very useful in the sort of work I want to do (journalism, law, etc). Perhaps the actual theories and technical terms being discussed in Mike's class are pretty useless outiside of it, but the public speaking and debating skills his class were gaining by discussing the theories together may prove to be invaluable in the real world. Buffy often has trouble expressing herself - she might benefit from a bit of discussion practice at college to help her negotiate, oh sya, loans and stuff in the 'real world.'
[> [> [> [> [> Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus - My Heroes! -- Brian, 15:16:31 10/28/01 Sun
[> [> [> [> [> Agreed... -- RabidHarpy, 11:05:13 10/29/01 Mon
Someone once told me that you go to university to "learn how to think" - not to get a job. If you want to get a job (outside of a medical/educational profession) you should go to college and learn something "practical".

I have a double-major and because I don't aspire to teach, I am working in an advisory/administrative position at a university, and yes, sometimes it is frustrating to have spent those 4 years of blood, sweat and tears only to end up as a glorified "secretary". Believe me, this is NOT what I had in mind as a "career", but for now, it pays the bills, and that's what counts... However, I in no way regret my education - the lessons I learned in the social environment of the university; the knowledge I gained about my own, and others' personalities and thought-patterns; the confidence I gained through learning how to research and validate my thoughts and opinions; the exposure I received to new ideas, new ways of looking at old ideas, and the acceptance I have of others' opinions - all these things have been extremely valuable in the "real world".

There are "book smarts" and "street smarts". Knowledge and education are only as good to the learner as their application warrants. The same is true of life experience and practical learning. Just as beauty is subjectively in the eye of the beholder, so too is knowledge in the life-application of the learner. To get anything out of anything, you have to use it.

In the same way, there are leaders and there are followers in this world - Buffy is a leader, a trailblazer. She does not necessarily "fit in" well with already established groups, (ie. the class, the construction "gang"), but is more comfortable building her own group, (ie. the formation of the SG). She has practical skills and motivation, and is extremely talented at what she does - these combined with her fighting spirit and her natural ambition will get her further than most people, (with or without secondary educations). I have no doubt that she will find her niche.

(By the way - just look at all the delightfully analytical people we have posting on this board every day! Without their desire to take things at more than just "face value", we wouldn't be nearly as appreciative of the wealth of layers, meanings, and textures in the Buffyverse!)
[> [> Re: A Treatise for the Defense of "Academic Knowledge" -- mundusmundi, 11:47:40 10/28/01 Sun
Or: Why Do We Have to Know This Sh*t? (an oft-voiced complaint ;)

This isn't aimed specifically at Willow's End (thought-provoking post, by the way), but rather the general tenor of this interesting discussion. And, as our threads invariably do, it is fitting that this one should lead to Joseph Campbell (ATLtC -- thanks Masq for adding it to the FAQ).

The following begins a conversation between Bill Moyers and Joe Campbell in an early "Power of Myth" episode (not the actual transcript, just the gist):

BM: Why myths? Why are myths important to me in how I live my life?

JC (laughs): Well, first of all, I would suggest that you go live your life. I don't believe that something should be learned just because it's supposedly 'important.' Having said that, I do believe that a proper introduction to this stuff can help you get it, and can make a difference in one's life.

That's a healthy attitude, regarding not only mythology, but any subject learned via a college education. While not the best analogy, I see higher learning as akin to a feast: You get to select from a variety of entrees, appetizers, desserts and main courses. Some of what you learn will stick to your bones more than others. And what sticks with you informs who you are, long after you toss that graduation cap in the air.

It is plainly true that some academics are out to lunch when it comes to reality (one needn't search far for examples). But it is also a sad fact that many inhabitants of the so-called "real world" are hindered by their own misconceptions and prejudices, fantasies and delusions. Bumper-sticker mentalities are a way of life, yet "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance" is, for once, a bumper-sticker that makes a compelling argument.

At its best, education sharpens our minds (the human brain is a tool, after all, one that gets easily rusty) and gives us the perspective we need to live healthy, mature lives. Specialization is important; we need specialists in all walks of life. But we also need the breadth and depth of knowledge that college can and should provide. History teaches us that people who lack this perspective -- who want to stay in one place with their ideas, rather than keep moving forward, as d'Herblay once voiced (ATLtd'H?) -- are those most susceptible to the kind of socio-political predators who feed off people's frustrations and exploit their ignorance, who divide and conquer. In the words of Anthony8, I'd rather live armed with a brainfull of information. If that's not practical, what is?

As for Buffy, I would agree that her hands-on experiences have altered her perspective much more than what little time she's spent in the Ivory Tower. But I do think that returning to school would be a good idea, somewhere down the road, and might be perhaps even beneficial to her. We know that Buffy is much smarter than she's given credit for. And we've seen her express interests in non-Slayer subjects, ranging from history (engrossed in a Crusades book) to poetry (ah, if only Spike knew!). Mike's class confused her, not necessarily because it wasn't practical, but simply because Buffy showed up late in the game. Had she started from day one, it's entirely possible she may have come to enjoy it as the rest of the students appear to. (Mike certainly seems like a capable instructor, what with all the class participation he generates.) She certainly could have applied Mike's lesson to understanding what was happening to her via the Weenie Three.

When I was a kid, I loved science. I used to dig for dinosaur fossils in my back yard. I performed, erm, "experiments" on insects that would get one in trouble with PETA (PETI?) nowadays. Maybe I would have continued in a scientific endeavor had I the proper introduction. But my science instructors were all lame, whereas my history and literature instructors fired my imagination and led me down a different path. In recent years I've come to have an amateur's interest for scientific knowledge -- I enjoy it, and I do find it practical in the way that oxygen is practical, a necessity for living. I think that all knowledge, any knowledge, is pretty much a good thing, and keeps us moving forward rather than remaining in one place. After all, isn't that why we're all here? :)
[> [> actually, i've found some "social construction" theory to be *very* practical -- dan, 15:18:57 10/28/01 Sun
Willow's End...

While hardcore theory that deals with the concept of "social construction" can be *very* wonky, and many postmodern/poststructuralist thinkers seem to indulge in arcane terminology for obfuscation's sake, I have actually found these theories to be immensely helpful and practical in my own life.

I've done a lot of political activism, and my grounding in social construction theory has been absolutely critical for my understanding of political issues and my subsequent actions based on that understanding. Moreover, in coming to grips with the various facets of my identity, theory has been a tool for me to understand myself.

I'm thinking of writing an "All About Social Construction" post to lay out some of the ideas associated with social construction and the uses that those ideas can be put to. Would anyone be interested in such a post?

[> [> [> Consider this a standing ovation for both of the above posts. -- Wisewoman, 16:27:17 10/28/01 Sun
Sometimes I find issues like this just too overwhelming and exhausting to respond to. I'm glad you guys don't.

And dan, yes please on the paper.

[> [> [> [> *blush* -- dan, 17:28:22 10/28/01 Sun

thanks for the compliment! Although I think that mundusmundi is the one who deserves the standing ovation.

and yes, I will do a post on social construction. First, however, I'm putting together a post on postmodernism and poststructuralism.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Post, post, post away, dan! ;o) -- WW, 18:04:34 10/28/01 Sun
[> [> [> [> [> yeah, dan, go for it! -- anom, 19:23:48 10/28/01 Sun
[> [> [> [> Re: Thanks. That's life here at Buffyversity. -- mm, 04:41:44 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> Two words............"Yes please" -- Rufus, 20:07:20 10/28/01 Sun
There could be chocolate in it for you...unless I eat it first....it would be the thought that counts.....:):)
[> [> [> Re: actually, i've found some "social construction" theory to be *very* practical -- Rahael, 05:29:52 10/29/01 Mon
Thanks for sticking up for poststructuralism Dan!

I would love to hear your views.

From my own perspective, postructuralism has been critical. In fact, it has grown out of profound world changes and real events - the splintering of grand narrative theories such as capitalism, marxism, and patriarchy to more sophisticated versions. The growth of new voices from the ex British colonies and third worlds which have questioned the 'truth' of former stories of history.

As you have said, it has been crucial for my political activism, my own approach to 'history', to literature. I am not uncritical toward thinkers such as Foucault and Derrida, but I think they have introduced a useful balance. For those who question the use of 'postmodernism' I would ask how much they had already internalised as 'common sense'. For example most of us would agree that there are many different versions of truth. That gender can be constructed. That self identity is constructed. That science and maths don't go out and 'discover' things that are already there, but provide a working model for our view of the world, that is hopelessly enmeshed in our cultural and linguistic view of the world.

or maybe that's just me :)
About Lorne ... -- verdantheart, 08:44:42 10/26/01 Fri
OK, I'm sort of responding to the "Was Lorne Fair ..." thread below, but it's way down the list, so I'm starting a new thread.

I thought Lorne's advice to Fred was a bit questionable myself and I found myself wondering about it.

1) Lorne just had a very traumatizing experience. His club, supposedly a violence-free haven, has been subjected to incredible violence. Not only have the fixtures been greatly damaged, but he's had his clientele killed before his eyes. I don't specifically remember seeing humans shot, but they were certainly threatened just for being associated with the club. Can we blame him for feeling violated, raped even?

He's obviously in deep (shall we say clinical?) depression. He's been sitting around in bed watching TV, not looking after himself as we expect (note Cordy's terrycloth comment). Certainly he hasn't been doing the things that he loves (singing, reading people/demons). Remember, having his kind of talent means being hypersensitive, which means being more vulnerable in some ways.

He's been avoiding life. His advice to Fred was to avoid life. In his state, he's not qualified to give good advice. There's good reason Caritas is closed. (I also note that Lorne tried to avoid giving Fred advice, in spite of the fact that it's obvious he likes her and cares about her.

I go farther to note that the program that Lorne was watching when he was interrupted was Judge Judy. One thing about Lorne was his capacity for being non-judgmental. It looks like he's craving a little judging about now, or should I say, justice?

(Lorne really could use a little support now. Instead, people are coming asking him for things.)

2) Lorne's reaction to Gunn. So Gunn was going to let Angel's crew know about his old gang? Perhaps, but my impression was that he was deeply conflicted about that. Lorne picked up on that conflict loud and clear. It's interesting that Gunn shot the one demon. He was a baby-eater, perhaps, but that didn't seem to be the reason Gunn shot him.

Gunn wants to be able to see things in terms of good and evil, but that's not the way things are. His old gang is determined to see things that way. Lorne knows that Gunn sympathizes to a certain extent with the old gang and has trouble understanding why Angel & co aren't just killing all demons. Lorne is a demon. Can you figure out why Lorne is uncomfortable around Gunn? I would be too.

Wes was right. Gunn screwed up. That doesn't mean he's evil, it just means he's human. It's interesting that we expect Lorne to be above that and let Gunn's actions/inactions go.

3) OK. I'll bite. Just a comment or two about Lorne's being evil or immoral for even letting demons in his club. Lorne doesn't discriminate. He sees different points of view. He understands that most things aren't purely good or evil. Even if they were (purely good/evil), that's not what Lorne sees his role as. He's not a champion of good like Angel --- and he's certainly not a champion of evil (he tends to espouse nonviolence, for one thing). He sees himself as a tool of the Powers, assisting them by putting Their creatures on the paths meant for them, with the idea that creatures are happiest when they are doing what they were made to do.

Lorne doesn't want to "choose sides." He tends to be completely tolerant. That's why it hurt him so badly to be attacked. That's why it disturbs us to see him intolerant of Gunn. The battle literally came home to his beloved club; he has to take it personally and that colors his viewpoint. It's disturbing and painful and it ought to be. It provides food for thought and I'm still digesting. In fact, writing this has given me even more food for thought.

If to be "good" you have to choose sides, then one would assume Lorne to be evil by default. But his trait of tolerance gives him more in common with something else.

Lorne started as a more or less static character who provided insight. Now he's finding that his own journey is getting a little bumpy. I'm interested to see how he gets through this.

- vh
[> Re: About Lorne ... -- Sheri, 09:15:21 10/26/01 Fri
Excellent points you've made. Just want to add a small comment about the episode...

I was really surprised and angry when I saw that no one had even bothered to help Lorne clean up Caritas. He's always around when somebody needs a reading--yet when he needs some help, there's nobody around. I found it extremely cruel of the Angel Investigations team to offer no assistance, and yet still expect Lorne to help them.
[> Re: About Lorne ... -- JM, 09:54:10 10/26/01 Fri
Fabulous character analysis. I'm pretty much on Lorne's side. (Gunn didn't act like he disagreed with Lorne's attitude either.)

Just a fanwank. I think that Lorne's advice was partly off because he only read her aura, not listened to her sing. He just can't pick up the same level of detail. So he just took a swing at it and gave her the advice he would have wanted. (Perhaps the advice was for himself. Pylea is an intolerant, brutal, monochromatic world. Maybe he's feeling that he hasn't run far enough.)
[> [> Thanks! -- verdantheart, 11:50:06 10/26/01 Fri
Maybe you're right. He's certainly in a hiding mood after the visit from the demon-killing squad.
[> Re: About Lorne ... -- celticross, 12:44:59 10/26/01 Fri
"Lorne doesn't want to "choose sides." He tends to be completely tolerant. That's why it hurt him so badly to be
attacked. That's why it disturbs us to see him intolerant of Gunn. "

Excellent point...Maybe to be "good" in the strictest definition is to shun things that are evil, and as Lorne doesn't do that, maybe he's not "good". But he is tolerant. And somebody's got to be. Now the price of his tolerance has been the destruction of his club. No wonder he's bitchy. Do hurt feelings give him a right to take his bitchiness out on Gunn? No, but we frequently say and do things we have no right to say or do. Why should television characters (even green ones from Pylea) be any different?
[> [> Re: About Lorne ... -- Willow's End, 18:45:31 10/26/01 Fri
We are taught that "tolerance" is such a good thing. And obviously it serves no purpose to be intolerent of people just because they are different, but tolerance taken to an extreme can be a very bad thing.

Should we be tolerant of rapists? Of murderers? Understand the rapist viewpoint? Should we not be judgmental against them?

What you see from Lorne is an indifference to evil. They are just paying customers to him, so it doesn't matter how much harm they do once they leave. Not his problem, so others pay the price.

It has been said that all evil needs to florish is for good men to stand by and do nothing. Neutrality in the face of evil does indeed make one complicit it in. I don't believe being amoral (instead of immoral) serves good as much as it does evil.

No one should be tolerant to evil. The Host might have not been evil, but Caritas sure was. And I can't feel sorry for him now the roosters have come home to roost.
[> [> [> Re: About Lorne ... -- celticross, 18:57:35 10/26/01 Fri
Willow's End, you sound suspiciously like Riley's Ghost and some of our other friends who have expressed similar views multiple times since TOGoM aired. I'm not going to get into a shouting match with you over it. Let's accept that our views on the subject are different because we're looking at it from different prospectives and leave it at that, thus preserving the peace of this board.
[> [> [> Re: About Lorne ... -- Bambi Slayer, 19:02:37 10/26/01 Fri
I wouldn't want sons or daughters to be hanging around pimps or drug dealers, even if I was 100% sure that my children were not engaging in illegal acts themselves.

Call me judgmental.

Caritas was definitely a place where the "bad crowd" hanged out. Live by the sword, die by it I say. It was a place that harbored evil, and as such deserved no immunity from attack.

Sorry if Lorne has his feelings hurt. Next time he better get a better set of clientele.
[> [> [> [> Re: About Lorne ... -- Riley's Ghost, 19:31:25 10/26/01 Fri
I wouldn't want my kids to hang around lowlifes either, even though I would trust that they wouldn't personally participate.

Lorne reminds me of people who buy Conflict Diamonds not caring about the source. They personally may not be evil, but because of their amoral acts, evil is allowed to florish.

Lorne thinks he is above the war against good and evil. None of us are.
[> [> [> [> Sanctuary! -- Malandanza, 23:24:46 10/26/01 Fri
"Caritas...was a place that harbored evil, and as such deserved no immunity from attack."

It does seem as though Lorne knowingly admitted some very bad demons -- here's an excerpt from the first episode in which we saw Caritas:

Host: I'm gonna have a chat with Mr. Tall Dark and Rockin', and meanwhile Durthock the Child Eater is gonna open up to you all. He's searching for the Gorrishyn Mage who stole his power and he's feelin' just a little bit country so let's give him a hand...

So I'd say your argument is not entirely without merit. It's not that the baby-eating demons shouldn't be killed, just that they shouldn't be killed in a sanctuary. You compared the demons at Caritas to drug dealers and pimps -- I'd go further and compare the Child-eater to a child molester or serial killer. Whether or not you believe in capital punishment, I doubt you'd enter a church, put a shotgun to the head of a known child molester and kill him. Yet this is analogous to what Gunn did when he killed the baby-eating demon. Violation of sanctuary is wrong -- whether we are talking about real-life events like Israeli athletes being killed at the Olympics or Embassies being bombed or invaded (I cannot think of any time in recent history of a church's sanctuary not being respected) or the Buffyverse demon sanctuary of Caritas.

I think you also have a misapprehension about what Caritas is about -- it is not a place where demons go to be protected from humans (obviously) -- it is a place where both demons and humans can go to be protected from demon violence. Think of it as neutral turf between two or more feuding gangs. There is the chance that things will be less violent in LA because of the existence of Caritas -- the demons can settle their problems amicably instead of through vendetta.

Besides, if W&H lawyers respect the sanctuary of Caritas (they never tried to attack Angel while he was there even though he would not have been able to defend himself), we should expect no less of our heroes.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Sanctuary! -- Riley's Ghost, 12:53:27 10/27/01 Sat
"Whether or not you believe in capital punishment, I doubt you'd enter a church, put a shotgun to the head of a known child molester and kill him. "

I would, if it saves just one life I would.

"Besides, if W&H lawyers respect the sanctuary of Caritas (they never tried to attack Angel while he was there even though he would not have been able to defend himself), we should expect no less of our heroes."

There is no honorable way to kill. No decent way to destory. War is hell, there is no way to refine it. No way to make it palatable. War should be avoided whenever possible, but sometimes it can't be avoided, and when that occurs you must fight decisively. Show no mercy to your enemy until the war is done.

Why must we be so ruthless? Because our enemy is ruthless. If we are not more ruthless, then they win, and we are destroyed. A new dark age would befall humanity. Do we really think that we immune from Earth becoming just like Pylea? You think that Pylea isn't a possibility? That earth is exceptional and will not fall to such chaos? We are a lot closer to becoming Pylea as you want to believe if the forces of darkness gets the upper hand. So you have to ask yourself one question. Is that the world you want our children to grow up in?

There is a battle going between the forces of humanity and the forces of choas. In that battle the forces of humanity must be willing to do whatever it takes. Violate "sancturary" as must as evil deserves no such place, but whatever happens fight decisively and stop mickey mousing around.

There is no honor in war, only its ending. Until then we must ruthlessly persue our enemy, no mercy, no substitute for victory.

I believe that Angel Investigations was at real risk of losing focus. I am still not clear why Cordelia took Fred to Caritas that night.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sanctuary! -- celticross, 14:01:00 10/27/01 Sat
Interesting thoughts, Riley's Ghost....are these Buffyverse thoughts or realverse thoughts? Because I'm reading a lot of projection of current events here.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sanctuary! -- Willow's End, 15:40:54 10/27/01 Sat
I have to agree with Riley's ghost here.

There can be no mercy in war. Only by ending it can honor find a place again.

Reminds me of that Boone character last year. He fought with a "code of conduct", but what was he really fighting "for". Angel on the other hand fought ruthlessly without "honor" but he was fighting for an honorable cause.

The difference really does lay in the reasons for fighting, instead of the way one fights. It's not like it is in the movies. The good guys must be ruthless as the cost of defeat is too, too high. If it wasn't important enough to fight to win, than it shouldn't be fought in the first place. For war is hell, and shouldn't be entered into lightly.

Of course in this case war was thrust upon them. Gunn's old friends really don't have a choice. It's either fight or die. The demons have killed their friends, killed their families, and have eaten their babies. The Demons won't relent in their attacks, so Gunn's friends can't afford to either.

It really is a matter of survival for them. Every day on the streets they face Demon attack. For most of LA their world doesn't exist. They go along in their lives free for the most part of the stark violence Gunn's street friends have to live with on a daily basis. They either don't go to that part of town, or if they do, they turn away when they see one of Gunn's friends walking by. No for them it isn't real, but for Gunn's friends, and before Gunn met AI Gunn himself, this world was all too real, it's either fight back or be destroyed.

It's better to do evil than be evil. We may have the luxury to sit back and question their tactics, but I just wonder how many babies are still alive because Angel's old friends did what they had to do.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sanctuary! -- Malandanza, 23:15:39 10/27/01 Sat
Willow's End: "The difference really does lay in the reasons for fighting, instead of the way one fights...The good guys must be ruthless as the cost of defeat is too, too high."

Generally, one side doesn't have a monopoly on "reasons for fighting". If a conflict goes on long enough, the original reasons become lost and the most recent atrocities committed by both sides become reason enough to continue. We end up with a situation like the Hatfields and McCoys, or Capulets and Montagues. The demons "lost their purchase on this reality" and have been driven from their dominion by humans. Is this not reasonable ground to fight? to reclaim their lost lands (it is reason enough for many combatants in the real world -- whether Northern Ireland or Palestine). Add to that, persecution. I would say that there are likely demons in the Buffyverse who regard their attacks on mankind to be quite reasonable.

Ruthless. How ruthless? Genocide? Let's take a real world example -- the conflict in Afghanistan. Would you advocate that the US follow a ruthless, total war strategy? Would neutron bombs be acceptable? What about biological or chemical weapons? Should we be concerned about civilian casualties or just firebomb the cities in Dresden-style raids? If the enemy hides in schools and mosques, should we bomb them? If they use human shields to protect their antiaircraft resources, should we kill the hostages? There are lines that even the worst tyrants and petty dictators of recent history have not crossed. If the US were to unilaterally abandon moral principle (or maybe just squeamishness -- whatever keeps us from using such tactics) it would open the floodgates. No country would have to worry about international disapproval because all countries would be using evil tactics in the pursuit of what they deemed to be the greater good. So what does this have to do with Buffy? Let's set aside the possibility that the demons in TOGoM metaphorically represent persecuted minorities of the real world and take them at face value -- as demons. Demons fight one another (Caritas was a sanctuary for demon vs demon violence). They are disorganized. Why give them a rallying point? Are they dangerous now, one at a time? Imagine if they put aside their ancestral hatreds of one another to redress their wrongs. Gunn's old neighborhood was bad, but it wasn't war. War would leave bodies everywhere.

"Willow's End: It's better to do evil than be evil. We may have the luxury to sit back and question their tactics, but I just wonder how many babies are still alive because Angel's old friends did what they had to do."

Remember The Thin Dead Line?

KATE: This Captain of yours? He running things by the book?
The desk sergeant looks at the two of them for the first time as potential enemies.

I don't have to tell you who used to rule these streets, detective. The scumbags did. Hell, I was scared to drive to work myself. (beat) We got a tougher policy now.

and a little later..

Angel approaches.

ANGEL: Thought you might want to know I took care of our little cop problem.
Kate shows Angel the documents she'd been reading.

KATE: Crime reports from that precinct. Up until three months ago, they had a
murder every two weeks. A rape every two days. A robbery every hour and a half. (beat)
That's what we just gave back to the people of that community.
ANGLE: I can live with that.
KATE: You learn to live with a lot of things, don't you?
ANGEL (matter-of-fact) yeah.

How many people are dead because the zombie cops are off the street? Should Angel have left the undead cops... um... alive? Would sacrificing the lives of the homeless kids be a reasonable tradeoff for the elimination of crime? Probably a net gain -- in a year, the zombies would have prevented 26 murders, 182-183 rapes and nearly 6,000 robberies (if Kate's statistics were right). Would you want to live there?

Me: "Whether or not you believe in capital punishment, I doubt you'd enter a church, put a shotgun to the head of a known child molester and kill him."

Riley's Ghost: "I would, if it saves just one life I would."

Somehow, I doubt you are serious. If you had said you'd wait for him to leave the church, then shoot him, I might be more inclined to believe you. When I was younger, I was pro-death penalty. After I thought about it, I came to the realization that if I had to pull the switch to end someone's life (no matter how evil) that I would not be able to do so. I am anti-death penalty now.

Was Noir Angel too timid in his vigilantism? How many people are alive because he allowed the lawyers to die? Should he have gone further? Should he kill Lilah (even if it saves only one life...?) For that matter, should Angel be staked to prevent Angelus from killing again?

In defense of Gunn's old friends, I doubt they knew that Caritas was a place of sanctuary -- but Gunn knew. He was wrong to kill the demon in Caritas.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sanctuary! -- Riley's Ghost, 23:56:39 10/27/01 Sat
The demons "lost their purchase on this reality" and have been driven from their dominion by humans. Is this not reasonable ground to fight? to reclaim their lost lands (it is reason enough for many combatants in the real world -- whether Northern Ireland or Palestine). Add to that, persecution. I would say that there are likely demons in the Buffyverse who regard their attacks on mankind to be quite reasonable.

Ok, say that's correct. Say that the Demons have an legitimate beef against humanity. As a human in the Buffyverse what do you do?

Lay down and die? Go to a head demon and betray humanity, after all you agree with their cause? Or do you defend with all your heart and soul your fellow humans knowing that if humanity loses we will all be destroyed? We will be slaves like Fred was in Pylea, or even more likely just wiped of the face of the earth.

Sorry I don't sympathize with the demon's plight. And even if I did, my survival, that of my children, my family, my friends comes first. And to ensure my survival, and that of the civilization I rely upon I will support any actions to defeat the demons who threaten it.

If you support the demons, live in their world (if they will accept and not eat you) but stop benefiting from the human civilization that those such as Buffy and Angel have given so much to protect. Buffy died for humanity, few even are aware of that sacrifice that she made simple so others especially her sister could live. Could grow up, have a family of their own, ice skate, buy ice cream, etc. etc. Her sacrifice was made almost in secret, few know about it, but that makes it no less significant.

I for one miss Angel Noir. And yes he was too timid. Got off to a good start with lighting up the evil two, but didn't take that anywhere. I don't know if he should kill Lilah for he would then only have to break in another director of special projects, but I was thinking that he should have removed her hand after what she did to Cordelia. Just like he did with Lindsay. As a message to her and to all of Wolfram and Hart that when you mess with Angel's friends, that's the price to be paid.

I can just picture the scene, right after he spears big brain guy, he tears off Lilah's hand, throws it at her and as she is screaming in pain says Let that be the last time you ask me to give you a hand in one of your projects. Hands of my friends!

That wasn't very handy of Lilah was it Gunn says. Well you have to hand it to her for trying, Wesley replies. Actually I think she had a hand in her own destruction, Gunn says." Perhaps someone at Wolfram and Hart can give her a hand, Wesley says. Perhaps, they have been known to give hand outs, Gunn replies. Shut up Angel responds. I so hate puns. Sorry Gunn and Wesley replies together. (Well Angel started it).

By the way did you hear the old joke about what you call a bunch of lawyers locked in a wine cellar with two blood thristy vampires? A good start.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sanctuary! -- Bambi Slayer, 00:05:27 10/28/01 Sun
"By the way did you hear the old joke about what you call a bunch of lawyers locked in a wine cellar with two blood thristy vampires?"

I was going to say "hopefully a trend".

Hands off my friends love it. Lindsay cause Cordelia lots of pain by twisting her power using magic and lost a hand over it.

Lilah did practically the same thing. Had Angel taken her hand as well, I think they would get a clue at Wolfram and Hart that it's best not to get at Angel by using Cordelia's powers to cause her pain.

Angel did miss an opportunity to send Wolfram and Hart an important message. Too bad.

Good point about not killing Lilah. It's more important to intimidate the hell out of her. After all killing her would just mean someone else takes her place.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sanctuary! -- Riley's Ghost, 00:16:35 10/28/01 Sun
"Somehow, I doubt you are serious. If you had said you'd wait for him to leave the church, then shoot him, I might be more inclined to believe you. "

I probably wouldn't shoot a child molester (though of course I can't be sure of that) but say it was a mass murderer who had taken santurary, who I knew would soon escape and attempt to go after my wife and son.

Yes, I would. No sancurity.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sanctuary! -- Riley's Ghost, 00:31:57 10/28/01 Sun
"Would neutron bombs be acceptable?"

Only as a last resort after all other options have been exhausted. I think it would have to be a response to a nuclear terrorist attack or a very devestating chemical or biological one.

I would be afraid to use it at this point as it would tend to be counterproducive.

"If the enemy hides in schools and mosques, should we bomb them? If they use human shields to protect their antiaircraft resources, should we kill the hostages? "

Yes, and yes.

"Should we be concerned about civilian casualties or just firebomb the cities in Dresden-style raids? "

Fortunately modern technology allows us to be more surgical than we were during WWII. But if that technology wasn't avalable, then yes. But regardless of the technology it's not perfect and civilians will die. It saddens me personally when I hear about it, but it shouldn't stop us from doing what needs to be done. It is an unfortunate fact of war that civilians die. We can try to minimize it, but we can't prevent in entirely, and no it shouldn't stand in the way of military actions that will be decisive in defeating our foe.

War is Hell.

Here's to a decisive victory so we don't have to think of such things anymore. There is no honor in war, only its ending, and I for one hope that this war ends real soon.
[> Re: About Lorne ...He isn't their friend -- Max, 18:25:28 10/27/01 Sat
The Host is a nice enough guy as green monsters go.

He has a great personality, and is a very snappy dresser.

But he isn't a friend of Angel Investigations. He is neutral, but they seem to be forgeting this. It's not the Host's fault. He never pretended to be their friend. Sure he has helped them, but he also helps anyone else who asks him.

They have mistaken a relationship based on mutual interest for one based on friendship. When interests shift, Angel Investigations will be caught off guard.
shamans and watchers -- yellowork, 09:05:11 10/26/01 Fri
So what are the Watchers? We have a new titbit available, thanks to *Fray*, though as usual it is a story we are being told and not the final word, or, heavens forbid, The Truth. In the comic, it is said that a group of powerful shamans gathered together to create The Slayer; that the Watchers of the present day are their heirs. This chimes with my own suspicion that the Council story-line was an interesting cul-de-sac which made the Watchers seem less mysterious. But remember Never Kill a Boy on a First Date, wherein Giles talks about his family's destiny being tied to the duty of being a Watcher? And he definitely says his grandmother was a Watcher, too. Given the way the Council deports itself today, I doubt they would have smiled on a woman in this position of authority back in the days when Mrs. Giles was a young woman. It seems to me more plausible that it had to acquiesce with an *a priori status quo* (mucky Latin).

I am starting to think, even putting *Fray* aside for a moment, that the Watchers came first, existing over time as a low-level organisation; and that the Council, and its enforced hierarchy of Watchers and the Slayer, are late additions, ones which to my mind reflect a way of thinking akin to the British Empire in its bully-boy salad days.

Doesn't the very word, 'Watcher' remind anyone of the word 'witch'? The semantic root of 'witch' is, as we know, a germanic word meaning 'to know', the source also for the word, 'wicca'. I know this is going to sound a leap, but from what I know about Ancient Greek literature, 'seeing' and 'knowing' are intimately connected. It ain't high-falutin' though, so hang on folks! At root, the Greek word 'oida' means 'I have seen'; however, it is *used* with the meaning 'I know'. In order to know, you must first have seen; if you have seen, and seen well, you must know.

A 'witch' is 'one who knows'; a 'Watcher' is 'one who watches'. Both the Watchers and the witches guard hidden lore and re-construct lost knowledge. Of course, in the twenty-first century, their roles *are* distinct, and their activities and codes of practice have changed, but the common link still exists.

PS: If anyone wants to read more of this type of stuff, try *Oedipus Tyrannus*. It's quite gross, I assure you.
[> 8, Oedipus and those numbers -- darrenK, 09:31:27 10/26/01 Fri
I've never read Oedipus, so I don't know what exactly you're referring to, but I think three things are worth noting.

The first is that Willow, Xander and Buffy perform Oedipus in the episode "The Puppet Show," from season 1.

The second thing to note is that that episode is the 8th episode in the series.

The third thing to note is that Buffy wore an 8 on her sweater in Life Serial.

I don't know what the numbers mean but my theory has always been that they represent episodes.

1=Welcome the the Hellmouth
55=Graduation Day 1

Anyway, I have no way to tie all this stuff together, but maybe someone else does? dK
[> Etymology of Witch -- WW, 10:18:24 10/26/01 Fri
The etymology of the words "witch" and "wicca" is one of my hobbies at present.

The following tend to support your theory of the link between "witch" and "watch[er]":

The ultimate etymology of "witch/wicca" is still up to debate, though it seems probable that
it is derived from the same root as "vision" and "wise." The word may translate, then, as either "wise
one" or more probably as "seer." The two meanings are inseparable in Indo-European

Weid: to see or to know. Semantically, seeing and knowing are connected in Indo-European languages.

From Call of the Horned Piper by Nigel Jackson (pg. 2), quoting Skeat's Etymological Dictionary:
"WITCH. Medieval English wicche, both masculine and feminine, a wizard, a witch. Anglo-Saxon wicca, masculine, wicce, feminine. Wicca is a corruption of witga, commonly used as a short form of witega, a prophet, seer, magician, or sorcerer. Anglo-Saxon witan, to see, allied to witan, to know. Similarly Icelandic vitki, a wizard, is from vita, to know."

Some etymologists suggest that 'witch' derives from the Indo-European root *WEG, from which also derive 'wake,' 'waken,' 'watch,' and 'vegetable.' It is suggested that the Germanic wikkjak, 'necromancer; one who wakes the dead' shares this derivation. (see American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed., IE Appendix)
[> [> Re: Etymology of Witch -- Cactus Watcher, 15:53:02 10/26/01 Fri
Fuel for the fire from a non-Germanic language. From Old Church Slavonic, the earliest written slavic language: vedeti = to know; videti = to see. (examples transliterated and minorly anglicized for clarity by me from Handbook of Old Church Slavonic, part II, Texts and Glossary by R Auty, The Athlone Press, University of London.)

The Sanskrit word 'veda' is from the same root.
[> [> [> Almost forgot to add... -- CW, 16:06:37 10/26/01 Fri
One of the Russian words for 'witch' is ved'ma, clearly from the root 'to know.'
[> [> [> [> would that be an example of why it's called "indo-european"? -- Solitude1056, 07:53:02 10/28/01 Sun
[> Re: shamans and watchers -- gds, 15:42:39 10/26/01 Fri
Someone else once mentioned that according to Fray (which I don't read) the Watchers created the Slayer. Not only do I find that idea unbelievable, but also it is in contradiction with RESTLESS. According to Giles the first slayer had no watcher. It sounds to me like Fray is either being inconsistent with BtVS, or it is reporting a legend which has distorted the truth in favor of the WC.
[> [> Re: shamans and watchers -- Yellowork, 04:37:26 10/27/01 Sat
As I did remember to include in my post, I am aware that this theory is based on cobbled-together clues and whatnot; I don't for one minute presume this to be the final word, or even mostly right. I have to be honest here and say I am more interested at present in the origins of the Watchers and the witches of the Buffyverse, rather than the story that powerful shamans gave birth to the line of Slayers through magic.

Nevertheless, notice the two tendencies even here are not irreconcilable. According to *Fray* it was not *Watchers* who conjured the magick which produced the Slayer; it was a vague and remote group of 'shamans'. It does not follow that these shamans *immediately* became the Watchers. I get the feeling the Watchers evolved over time, and owing to their numbers even in the present day, surely their function extends or extended beyond the training and education of the Slayer? Therefore, the First Slayer may well not have had a Watcher *of her own* like Giles. Remember also the special nature of the Giles - Buffy tutorship; another possibility is that the First Slayer did have a mentor or pedagogue, but that she was not a Watcher to that Slayer in the sense that Giles is to Buffy.

It has also occurred to me how Tara learnt or received her arts and wits from her mother. This suggests, though it does not confirm that witchcraft is passed along a family line, both perhaps in blood and in oral tradition. The Madison family certainly seems to support this conjecture. The parallel situation within the Giles family (according to Never Kill a Boy on the First Date) might point to similar origins. The Giles case may not present a matriarchal line like the other two; on the other hand, my argument is not that Watchers and witches are identical, but that they are related.
[> That's surprisingly similar to a friend's fanfic. -- Charlemagne20, 15:54:50 10/26/01 Fri
I assume Watchers had to do with the Grigori Angels who were outcast from Heaven for interbreeding with humanity.

My friend Christopher Kenworthy's Buffy fanfic had a shaman summon the "slayer spirit" which passed on but a second joining buffy because the signs were right in his alternate Season 3 universe.

Classic Movie of the Week - October 26th 2001 -- OnM, 23:31:29 10/26/01 Fri

You look in the mirror
and it’s your father’s face
/and the thin grin
/and the thin grin
/and the thin grin
Every day in the morning
When you get up
and you crawl out of bed

............ Leo Kottke


Maybe the issue isn't whether poor Americans want to make shoes, but why poor Americans are charged $150 for a pair of shoes that Indonesians are paid pennies to manufacture.

............ Roger Ebert


I know! We can just take it out of your pay!

............ Anya, the Capitalist Tool


When I was kid, say like 5 or 6 or thereabouts, one of the highlights of my day was when Dad came home from work. After all, he was gone all day, and I was off to school all day, and now it was time to compare notes. Here I was, stuffing my kid brain all full of supposedly handy knowledge, a task which seemed pretty darn tedious to me a lot of the time, and my dad not only didn’t have to do that, he even got paid for what he did, which certainly had to be lots more exciting than going to school.

Strangely enough, my dad seemed a lot more interested in what I had been doing at school than he was in telling me about his day at the watch factory, which I had to admit did appear to be a lot on the repetitious side.

What did you do today, son?

Well, we (blah blah, arithmetic did this, yak yak, spelling had that, prattle jabber, coupla guys got into a fight at recess and hadda go to the principal’s office, etc. blah yak gibber got an ‘A’ on my reading test, spew blab, Annie Myers got sick after lunch and puked in the hallway on the way to the lav and, chatter, blather there’s a PTA meeting next Thursday night and are you an' Mom gonna go? and blab twaddle etc. etc. etc. and so on. What’d you do today, Dad?

Well, I fixed about 20 watches, son.

Oh. OK. Wanna see what Mom’s got for supper? Chicken! and peas! You wanna beer, Dad? Mom put some in the fridge this after, there weren’t any that were cold so she put some in for ya. You want one?

Sure, son, thanks.

Now, my father wasn’t the dry, laconic sort of fellow that the above exchange might tend to imply. He was reasonably talkative, though certainly not to the extent of being garrulous. And being a kid, and him being my dad, I just accepted that this was the way he was, just as I realized over due course that the reason his work day always sounded rather strangely repetitive was that it was... repetitive. My dad fixed watches in the factory’s service department, watches shipped in by customers from all over the world which had been dropped, broken, or simply stopped running and needed to be returned to their proper timekeeping ways.

You might think that this was a job that required a great deal of skill, and you would be right except for the knowing of one little teensy detail. While my father worked his life away at the watch factory for nearly 40-some years, starting when he quit high school in 10th grade and got a job there, and thus amassed a great deal of skill at watchmaking and repair, certain things changed as the 20th century moved from the former half to the latter. One of the biggest changes that sprung forth in the timepiece industry was that the Swiss found out how to make watches cheaply, and soon flooded the market with them. Then, the Japanese followed suit, and particularly with the introduction of ultra-inexpensive electronic watches, turned the venerable Hamilton into an essentially disposable product.

The result was declining profits for the company, mass layoffs of workers, shipping increasing amounts of production overseas, gypping long term workers out of their pension funds, and increasingly more debilitating bouts of stress-induced illnesses for my father which finally caused him to take early retirement at 62 and seriously scale back our already fairly modest lower-middle-class lifestyle as he had to live off a pathetic pension and less than full social security.

For sure it wasn’t a grand ol’ time there in the very late 60’s, but we did OK, more or less. Mom took a part-time job, my sister was married by then and more-or-less off on her own, I was getting older and soon could be a member of the working class myself. We got by.

I really didn’t fully understand a lot of it. I was a teenager, and not surprisingly had my own problems to deal with. I despised high school, and couldn’t wait to get out of it. Despite reassurances by one of the guidance counselors (the only competent one out of the four the school had) that college was not like high school, I had been misled or outright lied to by so many supposedly ‘responsible adults’ in the school system over the years that I pretty much wanted to dissassociate from any educational institution anywhere. I wanted to get a job, and go to work. If I was going to be abused and mistreated by other people, at least I could get paid for it.

And so I did. And, so I did. Get abused, I mean. It was different, though, because I chose it. And because the abuse was tempered with some good stuff. I was in my late teens, then early 20’s and life still held possibilities. You can put up with a lot of crap if you think there is an ultimate purpose in your life, some calling somewhere, and that you are on the road to find it. The crap will pass, life will get better, life may even get good.

Boy, was I stupid.

Oh, not for the not-going-to-college part. The simple fact was, my parents could never have afforded it, while I’m sure they would have tried. And even if they did, I would have still been carrying too much latent anger to make good use of their largess. No, the choice was the right one, I wasn’t being naive or stupid in that regard. What I failed to appreciate is the same thing that Buffy has failed to appreciate until just very recently-- which is that there are pervasive and insidious outside forces that conspire to trip you up at every opportunity, and that as you mature and become an adult, you are surprised to discover that these forces are not so much malevolent as just indifferent to your existence.

In the Jossverse, think back to Buffy’s days in high school, and first year of college. She fights the forces of evil in the form of nasty, violent vampires, demons and forces of darkness. This is really directly analogous to the Realverse of high school, which pretends to be about educating children, but in truth is a means to weed out ‘the weak’, and select the next generation of ‘the strong’ to seperate the remaining ‘weak’ from whatever pathetic dignity or means that they manage to hold on to in their adult lives. It’s a survival of the fittest, and few mercies are given.

In adulthood, if you have survived with your body and soul basically intact, you will be pretty much either preyed upon, or do the preying. The degree to which you manage your role in this scenario depends directly on how you learn to deal with the concept that to the ‘fittest’ of our capitalistic role-models, you are simply a means to an end, which is to help themselves to as much as they can get of whatever you’ve got. It isn’t personal. You barely exist as a person to them.

Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but...

Oh. Wait. That was a rant, wasn’t it? Dear me, I’m so sorry. I apologize. Never mind.

Let’s get back to the Classic Movie of the Week, now. I very gently suggest-- no pressure now, understand-- that you stop by your local video rental establishment, which is most certainly owned and operated by very nice, extremely warm and fuzzy albeit somewhat monetarily-desirous individuals, who care deeply for your personal well being and mental health, and rent the following, also extremely warm and fuzzy, and highly entertaining film selection:

*** A loud crashing and banging noise occurs in the basement, followed by the sound of someone running up basement steps. The basement door opens, and the Evil Clone appears, glaring malevolently at your humble movie-man.***

OnM: What’d you do? You didn’t knock the monitor over again, did you? I am so not going to get you another one if you...

EC: It was just the trash can, I tripped over it. What the hell are you doing?

OnM: I’m writing the column, you idiot, just like I always do. What’s the big idea with...

EC: I can’t believe it. You were finally on a roll, getting some real aggression out there, and then you wimp out. I repeat, what the hell are you doing?

OnM: Huh? You’re spying on me?? You know I hate that, nobody reads my stuff until I’m satisfied with it, and I’m not done yet.

EC: Isn’t this week’s flick that one by Michael Moore, featuring his grand and grandiose diatribe against the mind-boggling rapaciousness of greedy corporate America, namely The Big One, followup to the acclaimed Roger & Me? One of my very favorite movies of all time???

OnM: Of course it’s your favorite! You’re Evil! You lean so far to the left you make Karl Marx look like Ronald Reagan!

EC: You don’t fool me, bucko. You got drunk the night Reagan was elected in 1980, and it wasn’t ‘cos you were celebrating. What was that flick you went out to see election night? Bette Midler’s Divine Madness?

OnM: I wasn’t being philosophically multi-layered. I like Bette, and it was just a nice, funny, movie.

EC: You’re philosophically layered when you’re unconscious. Furthermore, you almost never get drunk. It was a statement!

OnM: Yeah, well here’s a statement! (Holds up middle finger and glares menacingly at Evil Clone)

EC: (beaming) OK, now that’s the spirit! Just like Moore, with his book, Downsize This! - Random Thoughts from an Unarmed American, you too can stand up to the avaricious scoundrels who economically rape and pillage the hard-working lower and middle classes who are the real people who make this country great!

OnM: But this is a very controversial film. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m espousing a particular bias, I need to be even-handed and fair, present a balanced picture.

EC: Balanced? Balanced?? How do you ‘balance’ something like this? (Shoves OnM to one side, parks evil self down at keyboard, and starts rapidly typing).

OnM: Get outta my chair, dude, I’m getting pissed now.

EC: Bite me. (Stops typing - text appears on the screen, from a website somewhere). Lookit this. It’s from a diary Moore kept when he was on the road promoting his work.

OnM: Lemme see. (Reads). Oh, wow.

I am told that I am prohibited from appearing on certain radio and television stations in Flint. I was also supposed to speak to a group of Soviet teachers visiting Flint, but the school system was afraid of a backlash from (General Motors). A local teacher quietly approaches me at the video store and asks if I can slip him a bootleg copy of ‘Roger & Me’ so that he can secretly show it to the Russians in a private hotel room in Flint. Maybe they can also sneak me in to talk to them also. In Flint. In America. In 1996.

OnM: Well, that is... disconcerting. OK, maybe I should rant a little.

EC: Nah, never mind, it’s getting late. Just give a little summary, then finish up. The movie speaks for itself anyway, it doesn’t really need your help.

OnM: You’re such a swell guy.

EC: Don’t you know it, Dad!

OnM: Stop that. I’m not your dad. I’m your... oh, never mind.

EC: (Going back down the cellar stairs): You’re my brother--and my father!

OnM: (Shouting at the departing clone): That’s too obscure! They’ll never get it! (Returns to chair and begins where he left off, mostly).

Sorry for the interruption, folks. As I was about to say, The Big One is Michael Moore’s followup to Roger & Me, and is a quasi-documentary about his book tour for Downsize This!. I really do enjoy this film, especially when I forget to be balanced and impartial. Whether or not you agree with Moore’s political leanings, his sincerity is very obvious, and being a long-term member of the working class myself, just like my father before me, I really, truly sympathize.

It’s quite one thing for your enemies to go after you because they hate you, at least that is an emotion that is understandable in terms of why they seek to do you ill, whether it’s objectively justifiable or not. It’s far harder to tolerate the actions of those who are so egregiously self-involved and egotistical that you are but a mere toy for them, a source of amusement or personal advancement, or just as easily completely disposable should the whim strike. There is no greater ‘banality of evil’.

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technically A Free Market Exercise in Anarchy:

The Big One is not available on DVD according to the Internet Movie Database. The review copy was on laserdisc, and of course the film is available on VHS tape. The aspect ratio of the original theatrical presentation was stated as being 1.85:1 in James Berardinelli’s review of the film, but for some odd reason the laserdisc states that it was 1.33:1 (the normal TV set ratio). Must be some giant corporate plot to strike back at laserdisc buyers for violating copyright laws, since laserdiscs do not have copy protection. Oh, well. The film was released in 1997, and run time is approx. 94 minutes. The directors of photography were Brian Danitz and Chris Smith. Editing was by Meg Reticker. The film was both written and directed by Michael Moore. Sound mix is standard Dolby Surround, but this isn’t Apocalypse Now after all, so like who cares? Ok, maybe it is a sort of apocalypse, and it is sort of happening right now, but still, I mean, plain stereo or even old-timey mono would’ve been perfectly OK. I mean, this is a documentary, sheesh! Oh, never mind. Capitalist Running Dog...

Cast overview:

Since the ‘cast’ is mostly made up of Moore, his cameraman and other technical assistants, and of course the ‘real’ people he speaks with and/or harasses during the course of his travels around the country, not sure a cast list is of much value, but if you must know, there are some names listed if you go to the IMDb and look ‘em up. Up to you.

If you watch end enjoy The Big One, by all means rush right out and rent/purchase Michael Moore’s first brilliant attack on corporate idiocy, Roger & Me (1989)


Political humor is a good way of providing a message -- as opposed to giving a sermon.

............ Michael Moore


Miscellaneous and whatnot:

Michael Moore's official website is located at: http://www.michaelmoore.com.

In addition, there is a Dog Eat Dogs Film site at: http://www.dogeatdogfilms.com.

Still not enough? Go to: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/celebrities/michael-moore-faq/part1/

Here are a few excepts from the FAQ to whet your appetite:

Michael did an interview with Harlan Jacobson of Film Comment, in which Jacobson charged Moore with the sequential rearrangement of certain chronological events within the movie (‘Roger & Me’). For example, Reagan's visit and the pizza shop was in 1980, before he was president and Robert Schuller came to Flint in 1987, after the Great Gatsby party. This criticism was later reaffirmed by film critic Pauline Kael in a review in the New Yorker when she declared Roger & Me "a piece of gonzo demagoguery."

In defense, Moore stated in the interview, "The movie is essentially what has happened to this town during the 1980's. I wasn't filming in 1982...so everything that happened happened. As far as I'm concerned, a period of seven or eight years...is pretty immediate and pretty devastating....I think it's a document about a town that died in the 1980's, and this is what happened....What would you rather have me do? Should I have maybe begun the movie with a Roger Smith or GM announcement of 1979 or 1980 for the first round of layoffs that devastated the town, which then led to starting these projects, after whichmaybe things pick up a little bit in the mid '80's, and then boom in '86, there's another announcement, and then tell that whole story?....Then it's a three hour movie. It's a movie, you know; you can't do everything. I was true to what happened. Everything that happened in the movie happened. It happened in the same order that it happened throughout the '80's. If you want to nit-pick on some of those specific things, fine."

The following article was printed in the July 15, 1990 edition of The New York Times. It is an interesting glimpse into the life Moore led while publicizing Roger & Me.


Flint, Mich.

There were omens. I don't believe in omens, but they were there, nonetheless.

I had made a movie called "Roger and Me," and Hollywood wanted it. I had never been in Hollywood. On the flight out, the guy next to me was reading Tom Clancy's latest thriller when he suddenly began reciting what I recognized as the Latin version of the Act of Contrition. He then keeled over into the aisle.

When I arrived in L.A., I was taken to a hotel on the Sunset Strip and given the bungalow where John Belushi had bought the ranch. I asked for a new room and went off to a meeting with studio executives. Somewhere between "first look" and "net profit," the TV screen across the room went blank: the curtains mysteriously moved and someone shouted that a quake had hit San Francisco.

Later, it was announced that Universal would suspend the Earthquake ride on its studio tour. It was the only thing that made sense all day.


Finally (~gasp!~), The Question of the Week

What was the best job you have ever held so far in your life, and why?

What one was the worst, and (rants optional), why?

Post ‘em if you got ‘em, dear friends, and I’ll see you next week. Take care!

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 26th 2001 -- LadyStarlight, 07:24:48 10/27/01 Sat
One of the more interesing side effects of not being in the work force for almost three years (although, trust me, I work harder now than when I had a salary) is having a lot of time to think while I scrape various dried icky things off the furniture.

That said, the best job I ever had was my first one, lo these 16 years ago. I worked part-time as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant. I made $4.00/hour and never went home with less than $20 in tips. For a fourteen-year-old, that's pretty good. My bosses and co-workers were nice to me and I got to sleep in in the mornings.

My worst job was my last one. Passive/aggressive boss, co-workers who would stab you in the back without even breaking a sweat and having to deal with college students who insisted on telling me their life stories when all they wanted was a $%#*@ math textbook!
[> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 26th 2001 -- Brian, 07:38:39 10/27/01 Sat
Best job I ever had was in high school, being the school bookstore manager. Got to met lots of students everyday. Didn't get paid, but got all my books and supplies for free.
Worse job I ever had was working at a private school that I affectionally called "The Snake Pit." The adminstration was a tight clique that lived in a fantasy world. My fellow teachers were back-stabbing academic climbers. To show mercy was considered a sign of weakness. The worst shame of all was that I stayed there for 9 years. Therapy finally gave me the quts to quit and move on.
[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 26th 2001 -- bible belt, 11:25:11 10/27/01 Sat
I’ve seen Roger and Me and I really liked it. I must check out The Big One, can’t believe I haven’t already, inertia maybe.

When I was fifteen years old I got a weekend job tearing down a farm building west of town for a man who built himself a nice house out in the country. It was my first job. He left me out there with a one-ton truck to throw the lumber in. It was in the sand-hills and not much good for growing any crops – just a lot of pasture for grazing, and most of that was over grazed. I tried to move the truck and got it stuck. I buried the rear axle. All the man could do was rant about how I could have broken the rear-axle on that piece of shit he called a truck. He wouldn’t let me drive it anymore. That did wonders for my self-esteem. I didn’t go back the next day. But I think the worst job I ever had was a convenience store clerk in the bad part of town. I’m lucky to have gotten out of there alive. Yes there were drive by shootings and all. Where’s a Slayer when you need one?

My favorite job was working for a space museum doing exhibit construction. The pay wasn’t that great but it was fascinating working with the artifacts. I met my first girl friend there. She was the graphic artist. She was the whole graphic arts department. I became her assistant and learned to do silk screening and all that neat graphic arts stuff. I went back and forth between exhibit construction and graphic arts depending on how much help she needed. My boss was great. We had lots of freedoms, and lots of fun, maybe too much fun. He and the executive director of the museum were best friends at the time of the ground breaking for the museum, but eventually they had an ugly falling out. He got fired; we were all loyal to him, and that was the beginning of the end for the rest of us.

I’ve worked in a factory also. It was not fun. That job ended with massive layoffs. Although I’m glad I’m not working there any more, I’m on the side of labor, because somebody must do it. After all, we can’t all be the Slayer.
[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 26th 2001 -- Wisewoman, 11:37:48 10/27/01 Sat
My best jobs have been all-to-brief breaks from the academic offices I've worked in. I loved working with my partner on the dairy farm when we first met, milking, driving a tractor, feeding calfs (calves?), etc. And every year around this time I start working parties and craft fairs, reading Tarot cards. There's always a line-up, and I get to talk non-stop for hours, and make money hand-over-fist. It's paradise!

Most of my working life has been much more mundane. My worst job was managing the word processing centre in the Department of Economics at a large Western university. It actually started out okay, but then the department manager changed and all hell broke loose. The new one was a psychotic bitca from hell!! As a shop steward I once had to handle a grievance against her when she tried to fire a young woman for having "no visible panty line." Aaaaargh!

Oh, and I adore Michael Moore.
[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 26th 2001 -- mundusmundi, 12:15:25 10/27/01 Sat
Never seen "The Big One," and I've mixed feelings about Michael Moore. "Roger & Me" was funny, but I must confess it's facile humor hasn't aged well for me. Moore also quite deservedly made the "Idiocy Watch" recently in The New Republic for his asinine comments about Sept. 11 (along the lines of, "But New York and D.C. didn't even VOTE for Bush!" What the &*%!???).

My best job was simultaneously my worst: TA-ing at Marquette for two years. Four weeks into the first Fall semester one of the regular TA's dropped out, and I was called in to plug the hole without any teaching experience or preparation whatsoever. Talk about a baptism by fire. But I cut my teeth on teaching that year, and it was well worth it. (Oh, another fun job, however brief: Working in the MU archives on the Tolkien and Joseph McCarthy collections. Quite a dichotomy there -- hobbits and commies.)
[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 26th 2001 -- Isabel, 13:09:18 10/28/01 Sun
I haven't seen seen any Michael Moore's movies, but a co-worker forwards his newsletters to me and I think they're interesting.

My worst job was putting price tags on sunglasses in a sweat shop my sophomore summer of college. I got minimum wage, but since a lot of my co-workers were immigrants, not all legal, I'm sure that they weren't all making as much as I did. It was the only job I could find that summer. We weren't supposed to talk to each other and we had to do at least 12 boxes an hour. The A/C would stop being effective at 12:00 noon, it being So. California and all.

On the plus side, I was having difficulties in college and had considered dropping out. That job convinced me that I NEVER wanted an unskilled labor sh*t job again and I got my damn degree. And I learned many new words in Spanish and German. ;)

My best job is my current one. I love cataloging and helping people in my library. Every day I go into work and I never know what new thing I'm going to learn.
[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 26th 2001 -- Humanitas, 18:58:54 10/28/01 Sun
First of all, I must applaud the return of the Evil Clone! He's been out of sight (and presumably Up To No Good) for far too long. Nice to have him out where we can see him again. Makes me feel safer. ;)

My worst job, I think, was the temp job I had one summer, after my freshman year of college. I was sweeping up at a Purina warehouse. Lots of pet food and cereal. I try not to think about the connection too much. Anyway, this warehouse had perhaps the most inept fork-lift drivers in the continental US, and I had the lovely task of cleaning up after them. The worst was when they pulled a pallet of canned cat food out of the back. I had to go through it all, and pull out the good cans to be re-boxed. The good cans were no problem. It was the bad (meaning "broken open") cans I had to go through to get to them that were awful. They'd been open for a while, and well, all I'm gonna say is, crawly things. Yech!

My best job was the five years I spent self-empolyed as an entertainer. I didn't make much money, but I got to tell stories, make music, and do stage-combat, and got paid for it. Now, that was the life!
[> [> What the heck is "stage-combat"..I have a vision of you in Initiative gear........:):) -- Rufus, 20:05:13 10/28/01 Sun
The Philosophy of Super villainy (Troika thoughts) -- Charlemagne20, 07:23:12 10/27/01 Sat
It just occured to me that people are taking the Troika less seriously than they might because of their trappings of comic book culture when in fact (Geek rant attempting to justify Geekness with fancy langage and historical allusions ahead) they are inheriting a very large and famous line of moral and ethical thought. Specifically one that is popularized by Alexander the Great and Doctor Doom "I wept because there was no more world left to conquer"

Alexander the Great for all of his fame was really very little more than a young man about the Troika's age who with an army decided to conquer everything in his path for as far as he could. His reasons for this were not to bring Macedonian culture to the rest of the world or bring "peace and order" or anything sadistic but in what is probably an oversimplication (but that's philosophy at it's heart) Alexander did what he did because he wished to achieve "greatness". Doctor Doom like so many other comic book villains (aside from "sophisticated" villains like Magneto who have acquired motives beyond merely self glorifcation) are in effect inheritors of this basic idea. They wear their fancy costumes, they brag about their abilities, and set themselves up for insane schemes not because they will suceed but more because of the attention and awe that they will invoke.

Johnathan, Warren, and Andrew are a TRIUMPHANT which is a very powerful word invoking Julius Caesar, Lepidius, Augustus, and Mark Anthony in name. The Triumphant is a powerful symbology because again these were men with great dreams whose basic ideals were not so much to rebuild the world for it's own sake (in fact the damage they did to their culture is incalcuable) but in fact rebuild the Roman Empire into their own image and make their mark upon history. It is curious in the end that in both cases of the Triumphant two turned upon one another and the third left with significant winnings but achieved little lasting fame.

The fact that the Troika are trying to be "super villains" after deciding that AD&D isn't good enough for them belays the rather glorious heritage that is their desires. The selfish, immature, and callous posturing that is the desire for fame/wealth/power has driven everything from the creation of Empire to the Great World Wars. Selfish greed has been overlooked as a motive all too often that many people can and DO acknowledge as their main motivation. Johnathan, Andrew, and Warren have no need to acknowledge they have other motives than being out for themselves because in Sunnydale evil DOES prosper and it is not foolish to want to be wicked for all that they see.

A key factor to Super villains in comics of this sort ironically stems from Karl Marx. Disempowerment of the Masses rising up and siezing that power. In this case we'll use Darth Vade the pulp Star Wars villain. A Small boy who do to circumstances of his birth not under his control discovers great potential and eventually decides more or less to use that power to dominate a galaxy despite numerous oppurtunities to be elsewise.

In this case Johnathan follows the same pattern with a suicidal young man using his new found powers (magic bone and demon magic) who might have surely have become a crime fighter and Scooby like Willow, in effect a hero. Indeed that is what he tries to do in "Superstar" but at the heart of the matter is not a desire to repair the world but be praised for it. In effect since Love has failed to win and he ended up needing to be rescued again, fear is a powerful substitute for it and equally capable as Napoleon learned of invoking respect.

Warren seems to follow a similar pattern in that he wished to be accepted and liked. His scientiffic knowledge (no doubt aided by the Hellmouth) marks him as a genius just like Doctor Doom...a man unparrelled in skill the world over yet not world famous but a guy who can't even keep a real girlfriend. We've seen such types before in the minions of Moloch in the First Season and the ressurecting brother of the Second Season. Warren like Johnathan was "rescued" by Buffy but has no reason to feel empowered by it because he merely lost what he had when such knowledge combined with magic might make him a man respected and feared and loved by many. Sexual fufillment is a powerful lure of power as popularized in James Bond. James may get all the women but the villains from Connery to Moore to Dalton all usually have mistresses of great beauty as well.

Andrew of course is the brother of the dead Prom attacker and for all intents and purposes a clone. Skill with animals and demons is a powerful skill indeed because on such a place as the hellmouth with the Pack, Prom, and numerous other cases of 'evil animals' a man can raise a sizable army in fairly short order. We know the least about him but if he is like the clone then the fear exacted from the 'school play' incident is a powerful drug indeed. To take another example from Geek culture in the Highlander series (not mentioned as of yet) "The freedom, the power, the death. Riding out of the Sun knowing your the most terrifying thing they've ever seen." said by Kronos.

For an ignored student take notice that while Buffy and crew were never seemingly very popular in School despite their "class protector" status at the end the villains were at least noticed before their end. For a man not afraid of Hell (seeing demons enjoying themselves after all) and not particularly religious or forthright there is no real need to be a hero when such duties are already held by the Slayer and such will not avail them much.

Seriously also the Troika are not doing poorly either in utilizing their skills either. Aside from nearly being killed by their minion in their first appearence they still ended up with a small fortune in cash and if they had a gun at any point probably could have killed Buffy during her distractions. The money abd free porn is a very powerful symbol as is their "Star Wars" van and lair because they represent already these people have risen above origins that for their peers like Buffy include getting a job and being treated like dirt despite having great power.

Given the impossibility of a prison sentence and Buffy will never harm a human being...the chances are the Troika if they can learn not to deal with demons correctly might actually become very rich, very powerful, famous in the Sunnydale area, and have plenty of women. In that respect they are no different than the Mayor save they have not had 100 years to practice their evil.

One should bear note that again villains in comics and pulps usually don't expect to suceed or are willfully blind to the impossibilities of victory-the same can be said of the Troika who would seemingly rather burn out than fade away with their plans (minaturize fort knox, gurellia, control weather) but even if they fail....again there existence was minascule and unknown but in failure they would be grand...perhaps even moreso than if they suceed.

"I have something to say. It's better to burn out than to fade away."
-the Kurgan, another super villain
[> I replied over at BC&S, but here I go again :) -- sassette, 08:47:34 10/27/01 Sat
This is NOT Marx's fault! ;)

Far from being any kind of movement of the disempowered, I see the Troika being kind of like the Mensa group that took over Springfield on "The Simpsons"; they don't think they are *of* the people, but better than the people.

But, I don't know. I don't see the Troika as being focused enough to actually wield any real power. Rather than being like dictators (which they do indeed bear a resemblance to), I see them more as three whiny guys who feel like the world owes them something. Maybe they think that, after years of being picked on, they are entitled to be the tormentors for a while. Maybe they feel that their status as middle-class straight white males entitles them to some kind of societal power and reward that they haven't gotten yet. Or maybe they are just so completely unsuccessful in the "real" world that it's only in fantasy worlds--either with a robot girlfriend or a spell to make them cool or a larger fantasy in which they take over an entire town--that they can feel any kind of success.

Whatever the reason, I don't see them as anything more than whiny little boys who feels like the world, for some reason, should owe them something. And, in that respect, they are a great foil for Buffy, who has given so much to the world and doesn't ask for *anything* in return. If anyone should have a great big karmic reward coming their way, it's Buffy, and yet she doesn't expect special treatment, as we saw. The Troika, on the other hand, want something for doing nothing.

It's not that I don't like them. I actually do, except for Warren, who gives off an evil vibe that I just don't get from Jonathan or Andrew. But, I don't think they have any chance of actually being successful in their plans.
[> [> Thus the flaw in Marx's mentality (further Troika thoughts) -- Charlemagne20, 09:18:32 10/27/01 Sat
Think about the way that Buffy is viewed with a kind of reverence by the Troika. It's not so much that she is the chief opposition to any of their plans (they are intelligent enough to realize that she is and are making sure they can deal with her if they have to) but in typical super-villian style (the villains who want revenge for humiliation, the villains who repeatidly duel with their "hero", etc) they hold her as a kind of measuring stick I think for themselves.

Marx advocated that the lower classes rise up and seize the wealth from the exploitive over class but the flaw in that logic is that is simply creates a new elite class as the once exploiter becomes the exploitee. While the Troika have no such noble motives as creating the communistic state where such explotation does not occur (the communist state demands no government and each person taking responsibility for themselves in an ironic way) they do however see Buffy in much the same way Lex Luthor sees Superman traditionally...

As the hero of Sunnydale Buffy represents the "owner" of the realm and defeating her becomes the mark of their status as opposed to not only other demons/evil doers but a sign that they are sucessful. The rape connotations of making her a sex bunny aside (or perhaps directly in front) the aspect of submerging Buffy under them is another scene of empowerment for these three losers errr would be conquerers.

Lex Luthor has no real problem with Superman because Superman foils his plans, it's the problem that everyone looks at Superman when they think Metropolis rather than Luthor enterprises. Again it's not that they need to control the weather or minaturize fort knox it's the fact that they CAN that matters and defeating the slayer again is a form of empowerment and revenge against a higher power....in this case one that has done them no direct wrong.

Furthermore the Troika are suceeding at their plans at present (money, porn, figuring out Buffy's abilities as they measure theirs against hers). As with the previous two Triuviates I do believe this one will explode but right now their plans are simply not on the level that the Master, Glory, and the Mayor were involved in either evil or scope. I don't think it's a matter of wanting something for nothing....

The Troika are working very hard at their job as it seems.

It seems to me that they simply want more and grander visions than merely Buffy who wants normality for all of her work. It's actually a very important scene where Xander says Spiderman doesn't charge for his work (though he does make a living through Photographing himself) because it establishes that Xander views his work as a charity and a public service.

The Troika's work again is just for themselves and the supernatural not for anyone else. In some ways it might be admiration driving the Troika's "evil schemes" more than anything. Recognizing that they are scum who will never accomplish anything of note being good guys and recognizing the position is already filled by Buffy they might as well enter Buffy's world through the other side....

Though I admit it, Warren does seem far more ruthless than Jonathan or Andrew who to this it is a game. Warren is the Caesar Augustus of the group I believe while Jonathan is the Marc Anthony...in love with the foe of the Empire to be if you will. In the classic super villain tradition Warren has a score to settle with Buffy over a seemingly trivial matter (though having one's life threatened by a vampire to make him a sex slave can't be good either but will probably drive him further down the dark path.

I like the Troika and think they should be considered for the multi-layered villains that they are in any case. Not just be tossed off as ridiculous...in many ways I think that they are more in depth by far than Glory, the master, and Mayor put together in defining the nature of Evil.

[> really interesting post... but it's "triumvirate," not "triumphant." :-) -- dan, 09:21:40 10/27/01 Sat
[> [> Actually, no - it IS the Triumphant - it's from Roman war history. -- Shiver, 09:23:21 10/27/01 Sat
[> [> [> Well really, it's a Roman Catholic thing (Church Triumphant) LOL -- J, 09:24:50 10/27/01 Sat
[> [> Re: dan's right -- mm, 12:00:27 10/27/01 Sat
The Triumvirates were two periods of three leaders who shared power in the waning years of the Roman Republic. The First Triumvirate was Julius Caesar, Pompey and Crassus. The Second Triumvirate was Octavian (later the first emperor Augustus), Mark Antony, and the extremely irrelevant Lepidus. Charlie's use of this analogy to the Troika is actually pretty interesting, since the Troika may well divide among itself in a manner similar to the above examples. (I expect one to become purely evil, another to die a martyr, and the third to escape. Which will be which I've no clue.)
[> [> [> Re: dan's right -- Willow's End, 13:26:34 10/27/01 Sat
"(I expect one to become purely evil, another to die a martyr, and the third to escape. Which will be which I've no clue.)

I think it has been set up pretty clear.

I am looking for Jonathan to redemn himself.
[> [> [> [> I see Jonathan as the martyr/redeemer. Could be surprised, of course. :) -- mm, 13:29:12 10/27/01 Sat
[> [> [> hey, thanks for the vindication! ;-> and a further thought on the Triumvirate analogy -- dan, 15:24:54 10/28/01 Sun
mm, I really like your thought about how the Troika may further mirror the two Triumvirates of Rome.

To push the analogy a little further... the actions of the two Triumvirates are pretty much what eventually led to the Roman Republic becoming the Roman Empire, with Octavian/Augustus taking on the titles of "Princeps," or "First," and "Caesar." This leads me to wonder if the Troika's actions will pave the way for a fundamental change in the Buffyverse, or open the door for the Big Bad of this season.


PS - fun with etymology! "Triumvirate" comes from "tri-" for three and "vir-" for power. Latin roots: ya gots ta love 'em!
[> [> [> [> Re: hey, thanks for the vindication! ;-> and a further thought on the Triumvirate analogy -- Tanker, 16:20:07 10/28/01 Sun
More fun: "vir" is also a word for "man." As for "power," well, the word "virtus," from which we get "virtue," literally means "manliness." It specifically refers to bravery in battle (which was the most important virtue for a Roman male, especially early in Roman history when they were fighting everyone). Anyway, "triumvirate" literally means, simply, "three men." Heh, I just had a thought: your definition could be stated as "The Power of Three." Heh heh. Sorry. I used to watch "Charmed."

I'm not any kind of Latin scholar, btw. I just pick things up here and there.
[> [> [> [> [> I was thinking of "vir-" as in "virile", which could be power, or man, right? etymology rocks! ;-> -- dan, 17:04:56 10/28/01 Sun
[> [> [> [> [> [> rocks? i prefer mine straight up! -- anom, 22:01:58 10/28/01 Sun
[> [> [> [> [> you're both right! -- anom, 20:25:04 10/28/01 Sun
"vir-" in both "virile" & "virtue" comes from the Latin word for "man." The triumvir was a governing body of 3 men. And I guess "triumphant" must be one with triple oomph! (Nah, the online American Heritage Dictionary gives the etymology as "triumphus, triumph, from earlier triumpus, ultimately (probably via Etruscan) from Greek thriambos, hymn to Dionysus." Hey, you triumph, you celebrate, you get drunk...makes sense to me!

The well-known (I think) line from Proverbs about a woman of valor is translated from the Hebrew eshet (woman) and chayil (vigor/wealth/army/strength; today associated more w/bravery or a military corps). One time a Christian surprised me by quoting it as "A woman of virtue who can find"! Seems kind of insulting to women, but there's that "vir-" again.

Oh, one more thing about "vir-": I don't remember if Romans actually pronounced the v like w or if English scholars of Latin thought they did, but in any case, that's where the "were-" of "werewolf" comes from. (Just to bring things back to the supernatural realm...)
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: you're both right! -- Coca-Cola Addict, 06:18:45 10/29/01 Mon
Actually while the words "vir" and "were" are related, and mean about the same thing, they are actually an example of Anglo-Saxon and Latin's Indo-European language roots, much like "Tius" and "Dieus".

Next up on fun with language--Chaucerian swear words.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> ah. thanks for straightening that out. -- anom, 11:09:18 10/29/01 Mon
The vir-/were- thing, that is.

"Next up on fun with language--Chaucerian swear words."

Cool! I can tell everybody about my favorite license plate.

"'A berd! a berd!' quod hende Nicholas"
--Chaucer, The Miller's Tale, from Canterbury Tales
Most popular recurring character (spoilers) -- Shiver, 09:18:36 10/27/01 Sat
Angel writers have said that Skip will be back, because he was such a big hit with fans.

I missed that ep (drat), but I feel the same way about the Mummy Hand from Life Serial. I want the Mummy Hand to become a recurrent character. Maybe send bad guys into the basement of the Magic Box where the Mummy Hand dispatches them. Why can't Buffy bring it home and have it keep an eye on the new copper repipe?

Mummy Hand Lovers Unite!
[> I'm a Harmony man....she reminds me of my ex-girlfriend -- Charlemagne20, 09:30:50 10/27/01 Sat
Ah do I miss her...

The way she used to put her fangs in my neck and just ever so gently make straw slurping sounds as she drank....


Dang you Spike...dang you to heck!

[> [> Woo-hoo! Go, Harmony, go! -- Earl Allison, 03:25:38 10/29/01 Mon
Glad to know I'm not the only one who likes poor Harm :) Actually, she looks pretty popular, although I would chose Faith over her, she (Faith) does seem like a major character rather than a supporting one.

Take it and run.
[> Re: Most popular recurring character (spoilers) -- vampire hunter D, 11:48:43 10/27/01 Sat
My favorite recurring characters (other than Faith, but I consider her a major character like Tara) are Harmony and Anne. Harmony was always good for cheap laughs. And Anne has great potential as a part of the extended LA gang.

Also, they should bring back those friends Dawn had in "the Body". It just doesn't seem right that we never see her hanging out with people her own age.
[> [> Re: Most popular recurring character *spoilers* for Halloween ep. -- Deeva, 13:11:15 10/27/01 Sat
She'll be hanging with at least one friend, Janice, in the upcoming ep for Halloween. I think that befor ethe season is over we'll meet a few of dawn's friends.

Yeah, I liked Anne too. She would've been a nice addition to the LA gang. Harmony is just plain good fun. But I think tha thte Mummy hand is actually not a bad thing to go with. Although it might be too "Addams Family".
[> [> Re: Most popular recurring character (spoilers) -- Monique, 14:37:29 10/27/01 Sat
Harmony, of course... she makes me laugh so much! Another fantastic recurring character is Darla, but she is pretty much a major character in "Angel" so...
[> [> [> Re: Most popular recurring character (spoilers) -- Jessica, 16:58:56 10/27/01 Sat
My favorite recurring character is Faith. I just love her character, it would be nice to see her come back in the Buffyverse and let the Scoobies and Buffy see the new her and finally resolve all the issues that Buffy and Scoobies have with her. It would be nice to see the chosen two fight together side by side again.
[> [> [> [> Re: Most popular recurring character (spoilers) -- Simplicity, 17:06:10 10/27/01 Sat
I'm going to have to go with Ethan Rayne. I like the even darker edge we see in Giles when he's in town. He's sinister, kind of a weasel, and isn't bad to look at either. And the image of Ethan and Giles getting pissed at the pub was too funny.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Most popular recurring character (spoilers) -- Rochefort, 17:39:24 10/27/01 Sat
Jenny was pretty cool. Too bad she's dead. And the Buffy-bot made me laugh a ton. I was really disapointed when she got the four horse treatment. She was a good kid.
[> [> [> [> [> I agree ........gotta go with "farm fresh chicken"...........:):) -- Rufus, 21:28:19 10/27/01 Sat
I wonder what Ethan would think of the Troika of the Magic Bone?
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree ........gotta go with "farm fresh chicken"...........:):) -- Nadya V., 09:31:55 10/29/01 Mon
I wish they would bring Ethan back, he is a fun bad guy. Am I the only one who thinks that Ethan would make a great mentor for the Troika? Frankly, I would bet they would remind him of himself. That prank with the girl's shirt that Giles refered to sounds like something the Troika would love to do. In any case the Troika needs some sort of help if they want to play in big league of badness.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree ........gotta go with "farm fresh chicken"...........:):) -- Ryuei, 09:53:07 10/29/01 Mon
I was thinking the same thing myself. Ethan Rayne would be the perfect evil mentor for the Troika. It sure would up the ante if he rolled back into town and took those guys under his wing.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ethan plus Gang of Dweebs = Chocolate Troika......;) -- Rufus, 14:31:24 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> except ethan would make it four... -- anom, 16:14:21 10/29/01 Mon
...so, what, then--Chocolate Quadrille? Quadrumphant? (nah, that sounds like 4 loud elephants....) A quart of chocolate milk? Or a quadrant of milk chocolate!
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ethan is the Chocolate, the Troika remain the same......:):) -- Rufus, 16:52:04 10/29/01 Mon
They are his minions after all....:):)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ah, then it's chocolate & the troika... -- anom, 19:57:20 10/29/01 Mon
...good name for a rock band, as Dave Barry would say! @>)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree ........gotta go with "farm fresh chicken"...........:):) -- Whisper2AScream, 13:12:06 10/29/01 Mon
Oh, I would love seeing that! But I can see Ethan particularly taking an interest in Jonathan. Both interesting in dark magic, and promote chaos. Hmmm... though if Ethan returns, what would happen if he and Willow met up? That'd be a scary combo.
[> [> [> [> [> I agree, but Skip's a close second now. ;-) -- Solitude1056, 07:48:41 10/28/01 Sun
[> [> [> [> [> [> I was only thinking BVS, totally agree on Skip.........*spoiler* -- Rufus, 20:01:21 10/28/01 Sun
As a matter of fact the spoilers indicate that he will be making a comeback in a later ep.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The world needs more bartenders like Willie -- Brian, 04:19:16 10/29/01 Mon
Well, maybe not, but he's my favorite weazel. Loved the scene between him and Xander.
[> Re: Most popular recurring character (spoilers) -- Shaglio, 06:04:27 10/29/01 Mon
like Skip, and I'm glad he'll be returning. Too early to know if I'll like him as a recurring character since we only saw him in the one episode. My all-time favorite recurring character is Drusilla because of her mad ramblings. Their altogether cute, poignant, and creepy.
[> [> They're, dammit, not their. I always do that! -- Shaglio, 06:05:32 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> Re: They're, dammit, not their. I always do that! -- anom, 10:58:05 10/29/01 Mon
Their, they're, now. At least you know the difference.
[> [> [> [> Re: They're, dammit, not their. I always do that! -- Shaglio, 11:25:28 10/29/01 Mon
You ought to be PUNished for that one! ;)
[> [> [> [> [> Re: They're, dammit, not their. I always do that! -- anom, 16:17:08 10/29/01 Mon
"You ought to be PUNished for that one! ;)"

Here hear! (hee hee)
Cross Overs that will never happen -- Calluna, 19:24:48 10/27/01 Sat
With all the fuss about there being no BtVS and AtS crossovers, I started thinking about a couple of ideas for crossovers that I've had.
First, the Crossover that should have been (this may be a rehash of someone else's thoughts [great minds think alike])
Namely in the 5th season of X-Files in the episode "Bad Blood". The one with Mulder and Scully's encounter with trailer park vampires. In the end, when the RVs of vampires drove off into the night, they really should have had them driving past a sign that said "Welcome to Sunnydale" then had a merry episode with Mulder and Scully investigating the whole town and Buffy in particular.

Second: A Buffy/CSI Crossover
Here's a vague kind of plot. Xander and Anya go to Las Vegas for their Honeymoon (what better place for Anya to go). They get to their hotel and promptly find out that there has been a rash of gruesome and unexplained murders in town and the last few have been in their hotel. Flash to CSI, with Grissom and Greg trying to figure out what the odd, purple blood-like substance is that was found at a couple of the crime scenes. Back to X&A, who go out for ice late one evening and run into the demon. They promptly call up the gang to get research mode going. Luckily, X&A brought weapons along (always be prepared) and go out in the middle of the night to hunt the demon. But they end up finding a new crime scene and are caught by the CSI crew and taken downtown. Being that this isn't Sunnydale, they are actually questioned about their presence at a crime scene, and why they're carrying medieval weapons. Grissom notes that they're from Sunnydale, the town with the US's highest unsolved murder rate. Anya, as usual, attempts to tell them the truth. It doesn't go over well with CSI (except for Grissom, who is facinated by the weirdness of the crime). No evidence, and they're let go to eventually vanquish the serial killer demon. Grissom is forced to mark it as an unsolved case, even though he might just believe Xander & Anya.

Any other dream crossovers out there?
[> Re: Cross Overs that will never happen -- Rob, 19:34:24 10/27/01 Sat
I know that "Xena"s already over, but it would be a dream to have Xena on a "Buffy" episode and finally put to rest the question of which of them would win in a fight. Maybe Lucy Lawless could just guest star as a Xena-ish character. That would be cool.
[> [> Re: Cross Overs that will never happen -- Rendyl, 07:01:22 10/28/01 Sun
There is a great Xena/Herc/Buffy crossover called 'When Hellmouths Collide' over at the Less Than Legendary Journeys website. You should check it out. Buffy and Xena do not fight each other (they do fight about everything else) but the characterizations are very well done and the story is hilarious.

[> Re: Cross Overs that will never happen -- Kurt, 19:43:35 10/27/01 Sat
Highlander and Angel.

Angelus met Duncan MacLeod (of the clan MacLeod) back in the 1800s. Angelus killed MacLeod's girlfriend and MacLeod nearly took Angelus's life (but Angelus barely escaped). MacLeod has a chance meeting with Angel in LA. This shocks Angel for Angel wasn't aware of this whole immortal thing.

Will MacLeod seek revenge on Angel before realizing that Angel is now one of the good guys? Meanwhile Darla wants to drain MacLeod's blood as a blood of an immoral gives vampires almost indestructible powers.
[> [> blood of an "immoral" ... nice typo! ;-) -- Solitude1056, 07:54:58 10/28/01 Sun
[> [> [> not to be confused w/the blood of an "amoral" (ooh, fun with typos!) -- anom, 08:42:21 10/28/01 Sun
Cross overs that SHOULD NEVER happen -- Eric, 23:23:29 10/27/01 Sat
-Dharma & Greg and Buffy Dharma and Greg visit Sunnydale where Dharma witnesses some vampiric atrocity and gets knocked unconcious and overhears the legend of the Slayer. When she wakes up she tries to convice Greg what she saw. Greg, of course, does not believe her. Especially when she relates that SHE is the Slayer. What ensues is a desparate hunt for Dharma by Greg, the in laws, Buffy, and the Scoobie Gang as she goes on a search and destroy mission.

-Ally MacBeal and Buffy The vampires and demons in Sunnydale seek a legal injunction against slaying and employ Ally and the Biscuit as their lawyers. Special guest Eliza Dushku returns as Faith as a character witness. Ally falls briefly for Spike-"Its the accent".

-The Blues Brothers and Buffy The Blues Brothers are on another Mission From God - to put on a concert in Sunnydale. However, they reserve the only concert space at the same time and date a villain requires to perform yet another rite to open the Hellmouth. Buffy & Co. must work with the Brothers (and cast of Blues Greats) to ensure the concert goes on. Giles gets to perform "I'm a Soul Man" as the intro act.

-Emmanuelle and Buffy The sultry temptress from innumerable European soft porn pics arrives in Sunnydale. Numerous geek fantasies are full filled.

-Quadruple play Crossover: The Red Green Show, Buffy, the new Giles series, and Junkyard Wars Buffy and Co. visit the U.K. to help Giles win the Junkyard competition against a team of vile demons that need the air time for a demented plan. They're joined at a critical moment by Red from the Red Green Show with selected Possum buddies and a lorry full of duct tape.

-Buffy and the Powderpuff Girls Need I say more?

-Murder She Wrote and Buffy Buffy and Co. must stop the little old woman from killing more people

-Meeting of the Minds and Buffy (Meeting of the Minds was a '70s PBS show where actors pretended to be famous people that got together for serious philosophical conversation. Time was irrelevant, so Marie Antoinnette could meet Caeser, Einstein, and Bella Abzug) The show is abruptly cut short when Willow turns Jerry Falwell into a frog.

I watch too much TV.
[> Re: Cross overs that SHOULD NEVER happen -- Calluna, 11:25:14 10/28/01 Sun
I love these ideas. Especially the Red Green one. Of course why would they need Red when Willow and Tara could just magick their machine to work?
[> [> Never underestimate the magickal power of duct tape... or Canadians...! :) -- RabidHarpy, 11:58:59 10/29/01 Mon
[> Re: Cross overs that SHOULD NEVER happen -- Talia, 17:42:07 10/28/01 Sun
Buffy and Scooby Doo- The Scooby Gang (animated) arrive in Sunnydale and get in an argument with Buffy's friends for stealing their name. They see a big green demon, run around and eat Scooby snacks, and finally deduce that the demon is actually "That creepy British guy, Mr. Giles" in a mask. They attempt to unmask it, but it turns out to be a real demon. Buffy doesn't arrive until everybody but Scooby is dead. The dog moves in to the already overcrowded Summers' house and Buffy sells the Mystery Machine for cash.
[> [> Re: Cross overs that SHOULD NEVER happen -- cjc36, 06:03:15 10/29/01 Mon
Buffy and the Scoobies visit Baltimore and run into some drug dealing demons around the B&O train museum get picked up for suspicion of murder. The next 2/3 of the show is Detectives Bayliss and Pembelton grilling The Chosen One in The Box. Perhaps you'd intercut scenes with all the interrogations. HEY! Better yet, Munch does the interviewing! He always gets the weird cases!
Would Wisewoman, D'Harbley, Rufus, and of course the ever venerable Masq. please stand up? -- AngelVSAngelus, 10:55:07 10/28/01 Sun
You know, I like to believe that for my current age, and my previous ones, I've had an impressive grip on the subjects of philosophy and sociology. I've done my share of reading from Nietzche to Plato (whom I really favor, oddly enough. Used to be most down with the Existentialists, but... I've become more optimistic :). Yet, I don't feel that I know enough. Do you ever, really?
I'm always in awe of the delightfully insightful posts that all of the people listed in the subject line and others that weren't listed, for lack of space, put up. You all show a mastery of philosophy that indicates years of study. Now, as I've just started at art school, I have only begun to crack the shell of the philosophy courses to be had in college, but I'd like to continue my own self education, and I imagined that you guys would probably be able to suggest some good reading.
Now, be gentle. I think it's good for me to always start from a gentle point and work my way up to mind-numbing complexity. My intro to philosophy as a whole was Sophie's World.

Domo Aragato,

[> Re: I'm extremely flattered to be included! -- Wisewoman, 11:31:47 10/28/01 Sun
Especially because I have no formal training in philosophy whatsoever!

I started out many years ago wanting to know more about the concept of "wisdom" (hence the nickname). The more I learned about wisdom, the more I realized that I was studying philosophy. As far as knowing anything about the classic, modern and post-modern philosophers, I really hope there'll be someone who can point you in the right direction, because I don't know Wittgenstein from Guildenstern, LOL!

And, as Dedalus will be happy to confirm, I tend definitely toward a New Age approach, which is somewhat less than academic in nature!

May I suggest you ask Dedalus, mundusmundi, anom, age, Ryuei, and OnM?

Having said all that, books that I've enjoyed are:

Better Living: In Pursuit of Happiness from Plato to Prozac, by Mark Kingwell

How to Think About the Great Thoughts, by Mortimer J. Adler

The Tao of Philosophy, by Alan Watts

Plato, Not Prozac!, by Lou Marinoff

The Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius, which is available in English translation on the web at:


and, finally (although I'm embarrassed to admit it!), Philosophy for Dummies and the Complete Idiot's Guide to Philosophy.

Hanging around the folks here who know what they're talking about has been more of an education for me than anything I've read. Good luck!


PS Most of Aristotle and Plato are available free on the web as well, and a lot of Eastern Philosophy like the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, Vedas, etc.
[> [> Now, the concept of Postmodernism is one I've had difficulty with... -- AngelVSAngelus, 11:46:52 10/28/01 Sun
I've tried to read about its meaning and what not, but apparently what I've tried reading is too dense in its own terminology for me to grasp. In needage of the help :)
[> [> [> Ooops, forgot Humanitas...my bad! -- WW, 07:43:38 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> [> Naw, you've read more than I have! -- Humanitas, 17:44:22 10/29/01 Mon
I do recommend "Philosophy for Beginners" by Richard Osborne for a good jumping-off point.

If you decide you like Machiavelli, try to get the Norton Edition of "The Prince." Lots of great background stuff in there.

And of course, the ever popular "Tao of Pooh," to be read along with Lao Tzu.

I'm also fond of Plato's recollections of Socrates, rather than his Republic. Socrates asked the question that always sticks in my head when it comes to philosophy: "What is the best way to live?"

That, and "I drank what?" ;)
[> [> Re: It's all Greek to me! -- mundusmundi, 13:35:35 10/28/01 Sun
Philosophy's another subject I never had a "proper introduction" to in college. My Jesuit university required no less than 3 philosophy courses, and thus I took 1) Logic (which I actually took twice, nearly failing the first time); 2) Medieval Philosophy, led by a very pleasant young man who didn't get my interest in "reality" and performed each lecture pacing hypnotically back and forth, back and forth, in front of the class; and 3) Ethics, taught by a priest so radical he made Lenin look like Metternich. The good padre claimed to be open to any opinion, which pretty well proved bogus after I tested him, getting a C on my first paper, in which I read all the material and wrote what I thought, and an A on my last paper, in which I did no work whatsoever and merely parroted his own views. (My 3 required Theology courses were much better, surprisingly.)

So it's ironic, in a way, that I love this site. But the truth is I'm a rank amateur when it comes to philosophy. I'd happily recommend some non-philosophical books, like Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World or Karen Armstrong's A History of God, which do offer helpful hints on how to live and think in this world. But whenever somebody around here spouts something brilliant about Lucretius or Kierkagaard or whoever, I frequently do what Sheri or somebody else once advised: "Just smile and nod...." ;)
[> [> [> Re: It's all Geek to me! -- Dedalus, 14:36:50 10/28/01 Sun
Thanks, WW for the inclusion. :-)

Anyway, I would have to recommend a few books -

If you want Eastern philosophy, go for the Tao Te Ching, probably the Stephen Mitchell translation, and the Way of Chuang Tzu, translated by Thomas Merton, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts, anything Watts writes on Zen, and The Tao is Silent, by Raymond Smullyan. Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Bhagavad Gita is also superb.

Also, if you are interested in philosophy of a mythological flavor, for heaven's sake, anything Joseph Campbell does will be great. I'm sure others versed in Western philosophy will have a lot to add.

That's it for now. Should keep you busy for awhile.
[> [> [> [> Re: How could I have forgotten Campbell?? -- WW, 15:48:49 10/28/01 Sun
I thought he was required reading for this board! LOL.

[> [> [> [> and despite what i said below... -- anom, 10:30:53 10/29/01 Mon
"If you want Eastern philosophy, go for the Tao Te Ching, probably the Stephen Mitchell translation...."

Hey, I've actually read that! Not the Mitchell, though--I ran across one by Ursula K. LeGuin in the library, which she calls an "English version" rather than a translation. It's very recent, 1998 or so. She doesn't know Chinese well but worked closely w/a professor who does. There's a long & fascinating note on her background w/the Tao te Ching & the process of producing this version, incl. the linguistics of Chinese & how much flexibility it allows in translation & about earlier translations & the assumptions they're based on. For example, she made her version gender-neutral & more idiomatic. OK, I read it mostly because it was LeGuin, & partly out of linguistic interest, rather than from philosophical interest, but I did read it...& OK, yes, I guess I can recommend a philosophy book after all!
[> [> Hang on WW, that's "Idiots guide to Philosophy"..."Philosophy for Dummies"......:):):) -- Rufus, 15:16:54 10/28/01 Sun
I have no idea why I'd be mentioned with anyone here as I have not training in philosophy at all. I have taken some highly forgetable courses in English and Psychology a few decades ago. If I find out anything it's by asking questions and hoping that someone will answer me with a minimum of laughter. Sol wrote a great bit on Existentialism. Cleanthes directed me to sites about whatever we have talked about at the time. Dedalus(even though too rash to be carrying about a lightsaber)has written some great essays.
As for Postmodernism, I only think of Derrida and deconstruction. Why set up a whole school of learning if years later someone can't pick it apart word by word? ;)
Wisdom is just another journey..our perception of the wise relative to our own preferences.
[> [> what? who, me? -- anom, 21:39:49 10/28/01 Sun
Wow, that came out of nowhere! I don't have any formal philosophy training either, & I don't think my posts here have too many philosophical references. The closest I came was 1, count it 1, course on logic (I still have my WFF 'n' Proof game in a drawer somewhere & have long since forgotten what the initials stand for, let alone how to play). I do enjoy logical paradoxes (*button*All syllogisms have 3 parts. Therefore this is not a syllogism.*/button*) & certain kinds of low humor involving philosophy (*button*The little engine that philosophized: I think I am! I think I am!*/button*). I don't find philosophy any consolation, although I might if I were more philosophical about things, & I don't even know who Boethius was (he is a was, isn't he? he sounds like a was). And I can't think of any books to recommend (just buttons!), so you're waaaay ahead of me there.

I actually tend to be pretty cynical about philosophy (but no, Cynicism is not my philosophy). I think most philosophers (present company excepted, of course!) use up way too much paper & ink--& now web space--to construct elaborate justifications for their preexisting worldviews. Very few seem to approach the subject w/an open mind (but maybe that's my own prejudice & closed mind talking).

Although there was that one paper I wrote in high school after our English class read Siddhartha & The Stranger...I noticed the main characters came to the same conclusion for opposite reasons. Um...do I need to avoid spoilers for these books? 'cause that's what I'd be giving if I said any more about this. If anyone wants to know, say so on the board. Anyway, that paper is probably my one claim to any philosophical credentials.

"...I don't know Wittgenstein from Guildenstern, LOL!"

Love it, WW! LOL myself! I don't know much about the various philosophers either (the actual ones), beyond how to spell their names.

Sheesh...& now I'm not even succinct either...>sigh<. Hey--then maybe I do have another qualification for philosopherhood! @>)
[> [> [> 'Philosophy for beginners' -- Rahael, 05:44:33 10/29/01 Mon
I feel a bit cheeky for responding as I am not among the list of the illustrious....but here goes anyway.

In Britain we have a great series called "....for beginners'
There is 'Plato for beginners' 'Aristotle for beginners' etc etc. I find them clear, amusing and quite intelligent.
Perhaps they are available across the Atlantic.

I think Aristotle is a great one to start, with a good translation because he expresses himself simply and well. My favourite is the ethics.

A lot of people admire Bertrand Russell's huge tome 'the history of Western philosophy'. I can't stand Bertie, but others think its a great book, so you might find it of interest.

My personal fave is Wittgenstein, but I don't recommend starting with the Tractatus unless your a maths whiz. A good clear intro is recommended before starting the 'philosophical investigations' as they incredible, but densely packed.

Wittgenstein had an amazing life, and there's a great biog by Monks. He's a kind of hero for me!!

Apart from that, I recently have been reading Montaigne's essays. They are wonderful. I come at them from a historical perspective but they consider big issues in a very witty way.
[> [> [> [> Re: I've got that book. Amusing and helpful illustrations. -- mm, 14:56:24 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> Re: Boethius -- WW, 07:42:18 10/29/01 Mon
Yup, he's definitely a "was." And I would never have heard about him if I hadn't read the Kingwell book, "Better Living."

The whole premise of that book (and Kingwell is a philosopher, although currently unemployed in academia, I believe) is that when you get right down to it, philosophy is what makes people happy. Okay, that sounds ridiculous, but he manages to make a good case for the fact that people who set out to know themselves, to examine their lives and the reasons they do what they do, people who try to behave ethically and make decisions based on the principles of logic and critical thinking are actually a lot happier with their lives than people who don't. Using that definition, everyone who frequents this board is a philosopher, and probably fairly happy, to boot!

From what I can remember Boethius put forward the same theory in "The Consolation of Philosophy." He was in prison, awaiting execution, and Philosophy came to him as a beautiful woman and they discussed, well, philosophy, and it made him happy even though he was just about to die.

anom, you officially qualify as a philosopher on the basis of your button collection alone! lol

[> [> [> [> so buttons are my philosophy if they make me happy? @>) -- anom, 10:10:17 10/29/01 Mon
[> My suggestions are authors you already mentioned -- Masq, 09:07:35 10/29/01 Mon
Philosophy is so diverse and people's tastes so different that it is hard to suggest to someone "read this". It really depends on what they're interested in--political philosophy? Philosophy of science? Ethics? The meaning of life?

I tend to be eclectic myself--any philosophy I can relate to the Buffyverse turns me on.

Sorry to get back to you later than the others, I've had a wee bit of an emergency this weekend--had to find a new apartment.
[> [> I think issues of morality and ethics interest me the most -- AngelVSAngelus, 09:27:43 10/29/01 Mon
Some would call me Xiles/Gander of my circle of friends (mixing the two characters because, though I have a tendency to see the world in more black/white terms and have many confrontational moral stances with people, I consider myself to be more like the G-man intellectually. I'm a venerable walking tome of occultism :) so the morality of things has always had high regard with me.
And maybe someone who speaks of what defines who we are. I know the Existentialist response to that would probably be, "Nothing, except our meaningless selves." I think perhaps at the moment I lean toward a combination of the theory of functionality as definition, and one's moral stature. I'm currently defining myself by my artistic pursuits and my writing, as well as my kindness.
[> [> Re: a question... -- bible belt, 17:53:27 10/30/01 Tue
I don't have any suggestions but I do have a question. I've been exposed to "neo-positivism" and haven't seen the term mentioned before on the board. Although I may have just missed it or it was referred to and just whooshed over my head. All I remember about it (and this may be confused) is you can't know something unless it is verifiable by observation. Is it dead, or called something else, or are there no examples of it in Buffy?

Would anyone care to enlighten me?
[> [> [> Re: a question... -- Masquerade, 09:55:59 10/31/01 Wed
I'm not sure what "neo-positivism" is, but positivism is a contemporary form of the philosophy "empiricism", which holds that all things must be proved based on experience. Sounds a lot like the scientific method, but it's more severe in that it doesn't think we can ever prove the existence of things which cannot be observed directly (with the five senses).

So while scientists believe atoms exist, a positivist would not because we cannot observe any such thing with the naked eye. Positivism gets into sticky issues of whether things seen through light microscopes have been proven to exist as we see them through the microscope. It gets even more heated when we're talking about electron microscopes, telescopes, and any other devices designed based on theories about what we cannot see (e.g., light microscopes are built on theories we have about how light works).
[> [> [> [> Re: a question... -- bb, 16:03:31 10/31/01 Wed
My dog must be a positivist. ;););) Thanks!

I guess we won't see any positivists in the SG! They would be a bit too incredulous. Maybe that explains the general population of Sunnydale, they're all positivist. Vampires don't exist to them, at least until one bites them.;)
[> [> [> [> [> A positivist in Sunnydale would believe in vampires before a scientist would -- Masq, 18:13:51 10/31/01 Wed
If a positivist sees a vampire do its thing, they will believe in them--direct observation. Scientists, who reason from theories as well as evidence, are likely to do a Scully and refuse to look. "That's ridiculous! Vampires don't exist!"
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A positivist in Sunnydale would believe in vampires before a scientist would -- bb, 17:00:37 11/01/01 Thu
I see, I always thought that positivists and scientist were joined at the hip. So someone in the SG could be a positivist, even with the mystical. Probably still a reach, huh?
Genuine Buffy Pun Alert!? -- Wisewoman, 11:01:28 10/28/01 Sun
I was going through BtVS tapes last night and watched Phases, where Oz first discovers he's a werewolf.

When Buffy and Giles first run into Cain, who is hunting the werewolf, they tell him they have no idea where it could be. After he leaves, Buffy says to Giles:

Buffy: I think I know where to look. We just have to make it there before mein furrier.

Is that a genuine Buffy pun?
[> Re: Genuine Buffy Pun Alert!? -- kev314, 11:58:29 10/28/01 Sun
Good catch - I also thought I caught a genuine pun during the poker game in "Life Serial" when Spike said "Somebody stake me" and Buffy volunteered to do it -
[> [> Re: Genuine Buffy Pun Alert!? -- Tanker, 13:24:36 10/28/01 Sun
Good catch yourself. The stake pun is an example of what some consider the superior form of punning -- a word with a double meaning. Buffy's "mein furrier" pun is arguably a "cheaper" type of pun, altering a word in a phrase in a humorous way that retains some of the meaning of the original phrase. In this case, "mein furrier" is a riff on "mein Fuehrer," and implies that Cain exhibited Nazi-like behavior.

Both of these are miles above the "groaner," which simply replaces a word with another for no reason except that is sounds similar, often as part of a theme (fish, trees, and geometry are 3 common themes).

The Scooby Gang rarely, if ever, resort to this form of low humor/verbal assault. The Geek Squad, on the other hand, are just the types to engage in a deadly pun war.
[> Re: Genuine Buffy Pun Alert!? -- Humanitas, 13:47:16 10/28/01 Sun
Yep, that thar's a pun, all right. Nice to know I'm not alone on punwatch duty.

BTW, I love both puns and groaners, assuming the groaner is well set up. That's what I was talking about when I mentioned context way back in my original post on puns. The cleverer the set-up, the better the groaner. Themes are a way of making a game out of it, and are more of an exercise, than an actual example of wit "in the wild," as it were. It's kind of like the difference between shooting at a range and hunting. Target-shooting has it's own pleasures, and is useful in honing one's skills, but it's bagging game in the woods that is the actual achievement.
[> Re: Genuine Buffy Pun Alert!? -- bible belt, 17:18:16 10/28/01 Sun
I've been wanting to find out if "vampire bat" is considered a pun. I thought it was funny.

Giles: "I've never actually heard of anyone attacked by a lone baseball bat
Xander: "Maybe it's a vampire bat."
[> [> absolutely -- anom, 20:54:23 10/28/01 Sun
It uses the double meaning of "bat," so yes, it's a genuine pun. And I thought it was funny too. Same goes for "Somebody stake me," which I thought I'd already referred to soon after the episode aired. (Maybe that was in Chat instead of on the board?)

Anyway, yes, 2 for-real puns, not just marzipan in the pie-plate. The Master of Pun Fu has spoken!
[> [> [> Another pun alert! (I think) -- Lunarchickk, 08:29:49 10/29/01 Mon
Forgot to post it when it aired on UPN last Sunday... in "Beauty and the Beasts," Buffy says to Debbie,

"Great. While you guys enjoy your grim fairy-tale, two people are dead."

Spoken by Buffy, no less! grim vs Grimm... Can someone confirm the pun-ness of it? (And the first thing I thought of was, "Hey! A real pun! I have to post that!" :) )
[> [> [> [> Re: Another pun alert! (I think) -- Humanitas, 18:31:07 10/29/01 Mon
Yep, that's another one. As Master Puntificator, I hereby declare it authentic. ;)

Hmmm. So we now have several instances of honest-to-goodness puns by Buffy, herself. That blows a hole in my theory that Willow doesn't actually understand what Buffy does when she's fighting...


None of these examples take place in the context of a fight. Buffy does pun, but not when she's fighting. Her dialogue during fights is always more alone the "witty banter" line. My theory still holds.

>whew!< Almost had to re-formulate in the middle of this week's AtS.
[> Just Found Another -- Vickie, 12:54:19 10/29/01 Mon
In Buffy vs Dracula:

"You know, I think the thrall has really gone out of our relationship..."
[> [> my favorite -- anom, 15:52:42 10/29/01 Mon
Can't remember the ep title, but it's the 1st time Maggie Walsh & Buffy meet knowing one is head of the Initiative & the other's the Slayer.

Maggie: We thought you were a myth.
Buffy: You were myth-taken.

I'm very taken w/that one!
[> [> [> Re: my favorite -- bible belt, 16:43:44 10/30/01 Tue
I don't remember it. I imagine I mythed it, but it made me laugh just now. Thanks!
[> [> [> [> Re: my favorite -- anom, 19:24:49 10/30/01 Tue
Yeah, you muthta mythed it!
[> [> Re: Just Found Another -- Humanitas, 18:34:41 10/29/01 Mon
Ack! Were they fighting at that particular moment? I can't remember. Now I will have to adjust my theory...
[> [> [> It was right after the blood drinking ... -- Slayrunt, 23:17:12 10/29/01 Mon
and before the fighting started.
[> [> [> [> What a relief! -- Humanitas, the lazy philosopher., 12:56:32 10/30/01 Tue
(O/T) Would anybody like to do a book club? -- Sheri, 18:06:37 10/28/01 Sun
[> hmm... -- pocky, 18:42:28 10/28/01 Sun
A regular book club, or one strictly for Buffy and Angel novels?

[> [> Re: hmm... -- Sheri, 19:07:33 10/28/01 Sun
I was thinking that we could do just regular books and (along with just discussing the books in general) do a little comparative analysis between the Buffy world and whatever book we're reading that week.

So a Spike-phile might do, say, "Herman Hesse's 'Steppenwolf' and pack mentality among vampires".

I think we could have a different person suggest the book to be read each week (or every other week, depending on the length) and a short explanation (just to get the ball rolling) as too why the book helps in understanding the Buffyverse (or vice versa). Does that make sense?
[> [> [> ooh... -- pocky, 19:15:02 10/28/01 Sun
Yep, it makes sense. And I think it's a good idea.

[> [> [> [> I'm just gonna... -- Sheri, 19:58:43 10/28/01 Sun
...figure out how to set up a forum on with these voy things. Sound good? that way if we get off topic, it won't be like we'd be taking it off topic here... you know? Plus, I'm sure there are those who don't want to listen to us yack about books here. :)

I'll let you know what I come up with later.
[> [> [> [> [> I'm in! -- Rahael, 02:36:01 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> [> [> Books? Books are the very essence of existence! -- Millan, 04:38:51 10/29/01 Mon
I like books.
I crave them almost as much as I crave food and water...

...but then again I only read SF and F so that might narrow the field you're planning on a bit too much...

Erm, maybe I should get to the point - Put me down for a definate maybe interested. :)


"When I get to the pearly gates, I'm sure the guy's not gonna go, 'Hey, what a kick-ass comic book collection! Come on in.'"
- Xander, The Replacement
[> [> [> [> [> Why don't you do a *Classic Book of the Week* column, Sheri? -- OnM, 06:04:52 10/29/01 Mon
Tie it in with a Buffy or Angel ep, like I do with the movie column.

If you don't have the time, perhaps someone else on the board might like to do it.

Just my $0.03.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Why don't you do a *Classic Book of the Week* column, Sheri? -- Sheri, 09:35:54 10/29/01 Mon
I promise to write fabulous little essays on the books that we read... but I want everybody else to be participating, too. :)
[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm just gonna... -- LadyStarlight, 06:21:06 10/29/01 Mon
Ooh, books! And Buffy! Throw in chocolate (and a babysitter) and you've described my dream day!

Count me in.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Count me in too.....(NT) -- zargon, 07:45:15 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> Re: hmm... -- Malandanza, 09:07:58 10/29/01 Mon
"I was thinking that we could do just regular books and (along with just discussing the books in general) do a little comparative analysis between the Buffy world and whatever book we're reading that week.

So a Spike-phile might do, say, "Herman Hesse's 'Steppenwolf' and pack mentality among vampires".

Want to start with Dracula? It's a classic and kind of relevant :)

J.S. LeFanu also did a classic vampire short story -- "Carmilla".

Frankenstein might be a good choice for the current Willow arc (or if we wanted to pick a book for each episode -- it might be an appropriate choice for one of the Maggie Walsh/Initiative episodes).

What about books that have been mentioned on BtVS? We know that Angel reads Sartre (and No Exit might be a good choice considering the current "Hell is Other People" theme on Buffy -- and last year's theme on AtS). Willow and Tara discussed the Hunchback, Angel gave Buffy Sonnets from the Portuguese and Owen read Dickinson (I think).

I don't think we'd need to start another forum -- just use one thread per book, as per OnM suggestion.
[> [> [> [> Dracula Re: hmm... -- Sheri, 09:31:55 10/29/01 Mon
All right, I keep things in here. So let's start with Malandanza's suggestion and read Dracula.

Let's discuss in two weeks so that everybody has a chance to get hold of the book, ok? And I'll have a second book next monday... so if all goes well we'll have a new book each week. Sound like a good plan?
[> [> [> [> [> every week? uhh.... -- anom, 15:47:36 10/29/01 Mon
I wish I had the time. The downside of editing is my eyes get tired & I end up not doing enough of my own reading. I doubt I can get through Dracula in 2 weeks. I may try to join the discussion on the basis of what I remember from having read it years ago, but I'm sure I've forgotten a lot. And I'd better not get involved on a regular basis--one more thing to get hooked on!
[> [> [> [> [> [> Would "Book of the Month" work better? -- Sheri, 16:22:28 10/29/01 Mon
Sorry, most people seem to read faster than me... so I figured you all would be long finished while I was still rushing through the last 50 pages before the deadline.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> maybe...probably be an on-&-off thing -- anom, 16:30:56 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> How about... -- Sheri, 16:45:15 10/29/01 Mon
Let's just go at a per book bases...

Dracula is fairly short (I'm reading it online... but it looks to be less than 100 pages), so I still think 2 weeks is more than enough time (fewer than 10 pages a night seems reasonable).

What are some books that you're already familiar with that you think would be good to discuss? That way you can get involved even if you don't have time to read the stuff. :) Does that sound like a good plan?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> the hell?! lol -- pocky, 17:15:06 10/29/01 Mon
The Dracula I have is 418 pages!!! So, generally speaking, I think that we should extend the book-reading period longer than two weeks. But then again I'm biased because I'm a student with a buttload of other reading to do. ^_^'

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> oh, and another thing... -- pocky, 17:19:53 10/29/01 Mon
Sheri, I'd really love it if you could leave your e-mail address when you post, so I'd have some way of contacting you without disturbing the whole board. ^_^'

~Nathan~ (already planning which book to read at which hour of the day. -_-#)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> my local book stores are gipping me! Re: the hell?! lol -- Sheri, 18:06:58 10/29/01 Mon
Oh that is too weird! Seriously, every bookstore that I've been in around here has has skinny little copies of Dracula! And do they tell ya that they're jipping you out of 300 pages? Nope.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: my local book stores are gipping me! Re: the hell?! lol -- pocky, 23:46:58 10/29/01 Mon
Maybe what I have is the unabridged version. I mean, it's all hard-bound and everything. You know how these Victorian novels go...all descriptive and long-winded. Is Dracula even Victorian? ^_^'

[> please count me in -- Vickie, 09:25:17 10/29/01 Mon
[> Please count me in! I love reading. -- Wynn, 09:36:57 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> Be ready to discuss Buffy and Bram S.'s "Dracula" on Nov. 12. -- Sheri, 09:45:11 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> ooh, you can read it online. -- Sheri, 11:26:21 10/29/01 Mon
it's available here:
[> [> [> Just the first half--up to chapter 13, ok? second half for after U.S. Thanksgiving. -- Sheri, 20:25:15 10/29/01 Mon
[> Sounds like fun...I'd be interested :) -- sassette, 15:30:44 10/29/01 Mon
[> I'd like to give it a try. -- Isabel, 17:59:45 10/29/01 Mon
A friend of mine gave me Dracula a few years ago and I've always 'meant' to read it...
How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Masquerade, 12:33:12 10/29/01 Mon
A Poll 'cause I want to know : )
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Rob, 12:36:21 10/29/01 Mon
Guess I'll start!

I've been a Buffy fan since the middle of the second season, and I thought it would be a great idea for there to be a Buffy mythology website. I went on-line to see if there was one, and I did find one...But it wasn't very good. But, fortunately, at the bottom of the page, there was a link to ATPOBtVS. I found the site, absolutely fell in love with it, clicked on the link for the discussion board and the rest is history!
[> [> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- spike lover, 19:28:09 10/29/01 Mon
I click on a link from yahoo.com
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Rufus, 12:43:54 10/29/01 Mon
From Yahoo in the section in television shows for Buffy. It was one of the top rated sites.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- RabidHarpy, 12:47:45 10/29/01 Mon
I was looking for an intelligent place to discuss BtVS, (somewhere where I wouldn't have to contend with the "Angel's a hottie"/"Spikes dreamy" crowd). I headed to Yahoo.com and typed in "Buffy; message boards", but that only led me to 2 sites, so I did a general "Buffy Episodes" search and eventually came across the ATPoBtVS. It was the "Philosophy" part that caught my attention - I was CERTAIN I'd find some riveting conversation with you lot, and I haven't been disappointed! You people are simply DAZZLING!!! MUAH!

[> [> So, how about.....Spike's a hottie & Angel is dreamy???;) -- Rufus, 12:52:27 10/29/01 Mon
In only the most Philosophical sense that is....:):):)And remember they both are KEWL......:):):)
[> [> [> Tee-hee! -- RabidHarpy, 13:16:06 10/29/01 Mon
"Three little maids from school are we - pert as a school girl well can be - filled to the brim with girlish glee - three little maids from school!" ~The Makaido (G&S)

Hmmm... I have to admit - I used to prefer Angel, but now I'd have to go with Spike.

They just played the very first episode, where Spike and Dru are introduced, up here - I'd never seen it before, but even back then, day-am! Whoo! There's just something about a leather-clad, motorcycle driving, wry, sarcastic, punk-Brit-blood-sucking-bad-@$$ who wears his heart on his sleeve, that I find kinda appealing. I think its the accent... (AND that boy can SING TOO! Grrrrrrowl!)

New Vampyr Boy-Bands:

Spike and the Mechanics
Back-Alley Boys
K.O.D. (KISS of Death)
The Trenchcoats
Slayer (Oops! That one's taken!)
[> [> [> [> Re: *NSINK-Yer-Teeth-Into-This...LOL! Love it!! -- WW, 15:50:25 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> [> so i'm not the only one who likes... -- anom, 21:38:41 10/29/01 Mon
Gilbert & Sullivan! (Ha! Thought I was gonna say Spike, din'tcha?) See, & here I thought I was alone, when no one responded to my Policeman's Lot variation in a just-archived thread.

Great band names, too. But what about:

The Grateful Undead?

After all, they always seem glad to have been vamped.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: so i'm not the only one who likes... -- Brian, 05:20:50 10/30/01 Tue
On a pun scale of 1 to 10, you are becoming very dangerous.
[> [> [> [> [> "The Grateful Undead?"... I like it! :) -- RabidHarpy, 05:34:11 10/30/01 Tue
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Neaux, 12:48:20 10/29/01 Mon
Through Yahoo's Sunglasses cool site on Buffy ^_^
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Wisewoman, 13:14:55 10/29/01 Mon
The first board I ever posted to when I got my home computer earlier this year was the Kitten Board. I enjoyed it, but then I got in trouble for trying to discuss the philosophy of redemption as it applied to Spike, and whether his self-sacrifice in Intervention meant he was capable of altruism, etc, etc. Those guys are great at the Kitten Board, but if it ain't about Willow and Tara, they aren't interested.

I started looking for a new place to share my thoughts and I found the ATPoBtVS main site through a Google search. I got tremendously confused when I first visited the discussion forum because it didn't look the way the Kitten Board looked and that was the only one I knew how to post to! So I lurked for a while, finally figured it out, and then got up the nerve to post my theory that the Knights of Byzantium were human, but from another dimension.

And no one's been able to shut me up since...!

[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Solitude1056, 13:18:39 10/29/01 Mon
Y'know, I honestly can't remember. I don't even remember why I even searched for anything on Buffy, since I never used to care about spoilers - hell, I didn't even know they existed - let alone sit on any boards dedicated to a TV show or discussion thereof. So I'd guess it was a Yahoo link via Metacrawler... On the other hand, once I found ATPoBtVS, I read through every episode review and it was a month before I realized there was something called a "discussion board" - like I said, I never paid attention to such things... and now I'm hooked. ;-)
[> you know you've hit the big time when you're on yahoo...... -- zargon, 13:22:19 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> I was floored the first time I saw the site featured on Yahoo -- Masq, 13:44:50 10/29/01 Mon
But then I figured, hey, people need someone to explain stuff and I explain stuff.

You can take a girl out of teaching, but you can't take teaching out of the girl, I guess!
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Shaglio, 13:32:58 10/29/01 Mon
I went to Yahoo! and searched for "Buffy." This was one of the results and I lurked for a bit and got hooked.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Wynn, 13:39:18 10/29/01 Mon
I found ATPoBtVS through a Yahoo search for 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.' I loved the unique structure of the site and the philosphical approach to the show the site had. Eventually I clicked on the discussion board; I was surprised at the level of intelligence that the posters here possessed and at the types of discussions the board provided. Even though I am still a dunce when it comes to all things philosophical (one philosophy class my freshman year of college barely made a dent in to the philosophical realm.) Although next semester I am enrolled in another Philosophy course, Experience and Reality. It's an introduction into metaphysics. It's supposed to cover the nature of persons, our experience of things, the mind-body relation, appearance v. reality, space and time, the character of the external world, a deity. Slightly off topic there. Anyway, found the site through Yahoo.
[> [> Not off topic -- Masq, 13:50:50 10/29/01 Mon
When you're studying the nature of persons, visit my section on personal identity and free will

When you're studying the mind-body problem, visit my section on dualism vs. materialism

I don't deal with the external world, appearance vs. reality issues 'coz I haven't found any good examples of these issues on the shows, but if it comes up, I certainly will.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Juliette, 13:49:09 10/29/01 Mon
Um, I think I was surfing for something and found the site. Can't really remember. I know I read the entire contents of the site (and loved it) before venturing onto the board
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Kimberly, 13:55:10 10/29/01 Mon
I found ATPoBtVS through the Yahoo list under Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I read through the site; working on it for months. Then, in the stunned silence after The Gift, my husband and I went searching for somewhere where we could talk to other shell-shocked people about the show. I've been reading this list ever since and, every once in a great while, posting. (Not a lot of free time; full-time job out of the house and a six-year-old in it.)
[> Surfed in from: -- Cleanthes, 14:09:15 10/29/01 Mon

I do NOT recall how I ended up on that link site though.
I'm surprised how many people came in via Yahoo. I never use Yahoo. What do I know?

I might have found this site via Google if I were finding this site now. I like to do searches on odd combinations of words with stuff I like. Just for a test, I searched "Buffy" & "Sartre" on Google and got a bunch of hits for portions of this site.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Whisper2AScream, 14:15:32 10/29/01 Mon
Actually I think it was when I put "Buffy, philosophy" in the search engine at Yahoo. Yes, really! And this site came up.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- grifter, 14:16:03 10/29/01 Mon
I think I went through some links over at the Cross & Stake site when I came across this one.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Deeva, 14:52:24 10/29/01 Mon
It was a link at the Watchers Web and I think I read about it in Entertainment Weekly.
[> [> It was in Entertainment Weekly? When? -- Masq, 15:28:27 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> I think it was sometime earlier this year. -- Deeva, 22:37:34 10/30/01 Tue
But I don't exactly remember when, I just knw that I did read about it in the mag. And as it is weekly, it could be many, many issues ago.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- VampRiley, 14:53:52 10/29/01 Mon
Saw the announcements on the "What's New" Page.

[> It was Rufus. Rufus, I tell you! She led me into the dark chasm. -- Sam Gamgee, 15:38:51 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> Quit complaining....I did give you a flashlight....:):):):) -- Rufus, 15:53:46 10/29/01 Mon
[> [> [> but you were saying something about it and the road map and I still wouldn't be able to find my. . . -- Sam Gamgee, 15:56:27 10/29/01 Mon
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Boxdman, 16:34:08 10/29/01 Mon
I have a friend that spends quite a bit of time surfing the net while at work and emails me all the interesting sites that he runs across (I sometimes get over 10 emails from him a day). One day he sent me this site - and I never left.
[> [> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Brian, 17:48:57 10/29/01 Mon
I had been looking for Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Alta Vista, and was working my way from site 1 to site 10000 when I stumbled onto your site. The rest is history....
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Humanitas, 19:00:32 10/29/01 Mon
I found ATPoBtVS through a web search on "Buffy" when I first got obsessed with the show. One day, after I'd read all the old transcripts over at Psyche's, I checked out the board on a whim. I've been hooked ever since.
[> I'm another Yahoo-ligan -- Isabel, 19:38:40 10/29/01 Mon
I discovered this site off Yahoo's recommended episode guides when I first got hooked on Buffy. I didn't go into the discussion board until I bought my own computer last year. In fact, until I clicked on this link I didn't know what a bulletin board was.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- celticross, 19:51:13 10/29/01 Mon
I surfed to ATPoBtVS from a Yahoo search, loved the essays and episode discussions on the main pages and decided to give this discussion board a try while I was waiting between episodes.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Slayrunt, 20:41:42 10/29/01 Mon
I did a search on Yahoo for Buffy and found this wonderful site and after weeks of reading finally clicked on the discussion board.
[> looking for rerun info (crummy movie spoilage) -- anom, 20:58:38 10/29/01 Mon
It was a week or so after The Gift, when WB had shown the pilot of a pretentious Buffy knockoff that wasn't even going to be on their network (Witchblade) & were going to show I Know What You Did to Buffy Summers @>) the next week, in which SMG plays a near-helpless beauty queen who gets killed, in the erstwhile Buffy time slot. I was trying to find out when the hell/if they were ever going to show reruns of S5, so I did a Google search when the WB site proved totally unhelpful. Can't remember the exact terms I dictated--er, entered, other than "buffy" & "rerun," but the ATP site was the 3rd or so listed & the 2nd one I tried. Like a couple of other posters, I read most of the main site before checking the board. Maybe if I'd come here 1st I woulda found out about the reruns! Anyway, I delurked a month or 2 later in response to some question I can't remember now. And I'm still here. How many sites are there where I could use "erstwhile" in a post?

Wow. Look at all that. I have soooo lost the succinctness title.

But I'm still Master of Pun Fu.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- John Burwood, 23:40:09 10/29/01 Mon
Acquired TV Internet. Found it had search engine - first word I typed in was 'Buffy'. Later tried 'btvs', & found ATPoBTVS site. After a few weeks exploring it on & off got around to wondering what a discussion board was & tried the link.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Millan, 01:01:19 10/30/01 Tue
I came here from some link on another Buffy site I think.
Don't remember exactly from where, but I know it wasn't from a Yahoo search. :) (Might possibly have been Google though.)
The first time I went to these sites it was to the Moral ambiguities and The Metaphysics parts. I looked at some thoughts regarding Spike (big surprise!).
I might have done some browsing of Good and Evil as well.

After half a year of coming by once or twice a month or so I decided to check out the discussion board more carefully and some discussions caught my attention so I lurked for a while.

Then I became a regular lurker and sporadic poster.


"Well I took Psyche 101 -- I mean, I took it from an evil government scientist who was skewered by her Frankenstein-like creation right before the final -- but I know what a Freudian slip is."
- Willow, Tough Love
[> Searched Yahoo for 'Buffy'. Been visiting ever since. -- Marie, 02:54:53 10/30/01 Tue
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- LadyStarlight, 06:06:27 10/30/01 Tue
I think it was from a link on a fanfic page. However, I can't remember which page, or even if that was the case. I'm pretty sure I didn't search for it, though.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- verdantheart, 07:11:10 10/30/01 Tue
Yahoo, looking for episode guides. I found your philosophical take interesting and decided to check out the discussion board (although I don't usually do that).
[> +evil +BtVS --> search -- Malandanza, 07:45:05 10/30/01 Tue
A few years ago, I knew nothing at all about the Internet (although I was a tolerable computer programmer). I was taking a Linear Programming course (a Math course) at ASU and doing well, enjoying the course, etc. Then my professor decided that he would put future assignments on his webpage. I procrastinated getting the assignment -- other assignments had been easy. Finally, as the deadline approached, I sat sown at a school computer and tried to learn how to connect to the Internet on my own. It was extremely frustrating and it took me a couple of days before I finally figured everything out, found his website and downloaded the assignment -- in a zip file. I did not know at the time what a zip file was or how to unzip it -- I dropped the course.

I signed up for Internet access at home, so this sort of thing would not happen again. I have a job where I have never worked Tuesdays but just after getting the Internet, my boss asked me to work Tuesdays for two months, then go back to my regular schedule -- I agreed even though it meant missing Buffy (Season 3). I turned to the Internet to find out what was happening on the episodes I was missing -- and came across the Buffy fanfic in the process. I read many fanfics over the next couple of weeks -- but was not pleased with much of it. I quickly got bored with the "Angel and Buffy get married, have two children and live happily ever after" variety, the "Buffy has sex with [insert name of your favorite character] for no adequately explained reason" fanfic, and the "Author creates a new character that Buffy, Giles and the Scoobies revere" fanfic. Plus much of it was badly written and the characters often acted at variance with their personalities. I looked for fanfic that was more action less soap opera. I thought "slash" fic would be the answer -- as a novice to the Internet, I was still unfamiliar with most of the terms and thought slash referred to "slasher;" i.e., violence. I was quite surprised when the first one had a disturbing sex scene (it was violent, though) and quit reading it, grumbling that someone should have put a warning label on it. I tried the next -- same thing. I left that site for another -- where they explained that "slash" means same sex (usually male/male) graphic sex scene without plot. I remember thinking "oh, they did put warning labels on it".

So I began to search for darker fanfic with the search engine -- +evil +BtVS led me to Masquerade's site -- the evil page. It took me all of 15 seconds to realize that this is the best Buffy site on the 'net. I returned weekly to look at Masquerade's episode analyses (even after going back to having Tuesdays off). One week, Masquerade fell behind on the updating and I began to click on the links at which I hadn't yet looked. I found this board. I lurked for some time, thinking that only geeks actually post on message boards -- then I remembered, I am a geek! So I responded anonymously to a few posts and, after not having been attacked and driven from the board, I began posting with my Malandanza nom de guerre.
[> [> LOL....then I remembered, I am a geek....... -- Rufus, 14:00:19 10/30/01 Tue
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- JoRus, 08:22:34 10/30/01 Tue
In a search with google, Sept 00. I started occasionally posting about a month later, because I enjoyed reading the board so much.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- vampire hunter D, 13:12:11 10/30/01 Tue
I found the ATPoBtVs web site on yahoo and found your take on the show interesting. The site led me to the board.
[> [> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- fresne, 14:11:20 10/30/01 Tue
After watching FfL, I needed, wanted to discuss and yet, I wanted more than just "wasn't Spike kewl!"

Surfed About.com listings. The site name just jumped out and grabbed me.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- Dedalus, 15:42:40 10/30/01 Tue
I also found out about it on yahoo, I think. Put in Buffy, surfed awhile, and there it was. Actually, I found the site about a year or so ago, but for some stupid reason, I never actually checked out the boards. I was too busy zooming through the philosophical goodness of the site to read any of it, I guess.
[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- A8, 17:24:31 10/30/01 Tue
Stumbled across the ATPoBtVS site while searching BtVS links on the Net, was hooked and instantly bookmarked it. It wasn't until a few months later that I actually checked out the discussion board (sometime after 'The Body' aired for the first time, I think). I didn't get up the nerve to post anything until the last few weeks of Season Five.

[> Re: How did you find out about the ATPoBtVS discussion board? -- bible belt, 18:33:57 10/30/01 Tue
Google, and I just started posting without a clue what I was getting myself into, but all's well.
Need...more...fan...fiction...! -- RabidHarpy, 12:57:27 10/29/01 Mon
Hello, All! I was wondering if anyone could recommend some exceptional BtVS fan-fiction sites, (I've read everything in the ATPoBtVS archives - incidentally, is it me, or is does that last story, "After the Rains" not show up?!)

I value your opinions and would appreciate your recommendations...

Vielen Dank!
Muchas Gracias!
Merci Beaucoup!

[> missing After the Rains -- Vickie, 14:02:10 10/29/01 Mon
I cannot see it using Netscape, but it loads fine using IE.
[> Re: Need...more...fan...fiction...! -- Deeva, 14:50:07 10/29/01 Mon
I've only just started to read this one but it seems to be good. Also it's rather large.

[> Re: Need...more...fan...fiction...! -- VampRiley, 15:26:28 10/29/01 Mon
Check out:

Sabre Shadowkitten's Buffy Fanfiction -

The Dark Reflection Homepage -

(This is a temporary site. There has been some problems with the one before this one. Nick Midian, the one who runs it, has not gotten any responses to his e-mails yet on what is wrong. That address is http://usuarios.tripod.es/nmidian/.)

There are some good ones at Social Enemies -
(It has been updated in almost a year.)

and Naughty Bits -

[> My favorites: -- Shiver, 17:16:27 10/29/01 Mon
Dancing Lessons http://randomthought.addr.com/redemptionista/contents.html

Palimpsest http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/ruthhanna/index.htm

Rhymes With Lungs http://ljconstantine.com/rhymes/frames.htm

TDSOS http://www.tdsos.com/archives.html

and my favorite solo epic fanfic: Phoenix Burning
[> Oops and almost forgot - -- Shiver, 17:24:46 10/29/01 Mon

Great stories with small bits of slash in between, mostly Ethan/Giles ....
[> Re: Need...more...fan...fiction...! -- Isabel, 20:03:44 10/29/01 Mon
Exceptional, eh? That could be a challenge. There's different strokes for different folks. Bear that in mind.

I've been working my way through Yahoo!'s Buffy Fan Fiction sites. I like Narcolepsy, which has been having technical difficulties and hasn't updated for months, :(. Pure Evil's got some good ones. Love's Bitch also has some good stories. (You might be able to tell from that last one that I'm partial to Spike stories.) I also second Vamp Riley's recommendation of Saber ShadowKitten's stories. She's linked on Love's Bitch, which is how I found them.

If you like, um... unusual Buffy stories, try Unconventional Relationshippers (also found on Yahoo!.) And you might try www.fanfiction.net. But you're literally searching for a pearl in an acre of manure. Last time I was there, there were over 5,000 Buffy stories. A pearl I found was 'Darkest Before Dawn' by Nmissi, but you may not find it to your taste.

Hope this helps. :)
[> My recomendations... -- Millan, 00:48:05 10/30/01 Tue
First of all, be warned that I have a certain predisposition for Spike and Buffy fics, but here are some of my bookmarks:

Poison Love:

Dancing With Death (click on Archive to the left):


Saber Shadowkitten:

Oh, and I just tried Addictive Stigmata:
but the site couldn't be found. Does anyone know where it went?

The very largest collection of links to fanfics are Sonja Marie's Buffy fanfiction Links:
Takes a while to load but you can find any link there. The only problem there's so many you need a lot of time sorting throught the stuff.

Hope you'll find something to your liking!


"Is that so bad? I mean, the dark can get pretty dark. Sometimes you need a story."
- Willow, Lie To Me

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