April 2003 posts


Previous April 2003  

More April 2003



Soylent Green, eh? (Spoilers for AtS "Magic Bullet") -- Malathustra, 22:02:23 04/16/03 Wed

Was thoroughly entertained by tonight's Angel, and even more shocked at how much better AtS is at handling mystery suspense, intrigue, and viewer anticipation than Buffy has been for the past few years.

Not to mention loveable demons -- but why kill them all off? Clem has hung around, uselessly but loveably, for two years now... but we've loved and lost Doyle, the Oracles and the Red Girl, Manny, Skip, and now tonight's vegetarian. Ah, well.

And how about that Soylent Green homage? And Zombie-Coma Cordy?

The real problem, of course, is the Connor question mark. Did the blood spell work? If so, why squeal? Is he so bent on killing Angel, and so resigned to his inability to do so himself, that he'd rather work for Maggots McGee than the alternative?

If it didn't work, then why not? Is it because Connor already shares her blood, and has shared it all along just like Cordelia?

Connor has been heavy with the "You're so beautiful" game. Has he seen Jasmine's "true" face all along? And why would he call it beautiful? Perhaps it's Connor's love of chaos, his formative years in Quar'toth, or his desire to be aligned with anything connected with Cordelia that make him worship her in spite. Maybe anything that wants Angel out of the picture will do, regardless of how wormy.

(Fred was brilliant. I hope they aren't loving her up just to kill her off, as is the M.E. M.O.)

Just off-the-cuff, random thoughts.

[> Re: Soylent Green, eh? (Spoilers for AtS "Magic Bullet") -- Dannyblue, 22:15:57 04/16/03 Wed

I think Connor actually liked being Son to Angel's Dad. He liked the two of them being buddy-buddy. Both on the same side, with the same goals. His dad admiring his skills (tracking) without lecturing about right and wrong.

Connor's change towards Angel could be one of two things.

1. If Connor was under Jasmine's spell, and is therefor compelled to protect her, Angel switching sides means Connor will now be fighting his father yet again. His comment, "You ruin everything," could've meant, "Things were going good between us. Now, you go and get infected, and I have to be against you again."

2. If Connor wasn't under Jasmine's spell all along, it's possible he just found an enchanted Angel easier to deal with. I get the sense Connor thinks Angel might be disappointed in him most of the time. With Angel under Jasmine's spell, he had no doubt that all of Angel's feelings towards him were positive.

I personally think Connor was under Jasmine's spell early on. In that last scene, he either didn't snap out of it like the others did, or he did snap out of it...but chose to stick with Jasmine anyway.

Anyone notice that Jasmine called Connor her "Sweet Boy"...just like Evil Cordy. Which supports the theory that Jasmine was actually the one in the driver's seat.

[> My sentiments 'xactly. Plus...(Spoilers for AtS "Magic Bullet) -- WickedBuffy, 22:16:23 04/16/03 Wed

Did all demon exec's get fired when Jasmine, Ltd. took over Evil, Inc?

[> [> Most likely... -- RichardX1, 07:51:26 04/17/03 Thu

Either he worked for Wolfram & Hart, or they provided him with legal services and/or meal access which he was unable to procure after their collapse.

[> [> [> He was probably a very "hands-on" kind of exec anyway. -- WickedDigits, 20:20:30 04/17/03 Thu


[> Re: Soylent Green? -- Robert, 07:33:56 04/17/03 Thu

>>> And how about that Soylent Green homage?

What homage to Soylent Green? Please explain!

[> [> Re: Soylent Green? -- WickedBuffy, 21:02:36 04/17/03 Thu

from an great old SciFi novel (and later bad movie). Everyone ate Soylent Green - which was later revealed to be human meat.

[> [> [> I know what Soylent Green is ... (Spoilers for Magic Bullet) -- Robert, 09:18:21 04/18/03 Fri

but I don't see how this episode serves as an homage to it. The movie was based loosely upon a short story by Harry Harrison entitled Make Room, Make Room. It was a very effective short story, primarily because the situation described therein was entirely believable.

In the movie Soylent Green, the unaware masses are eating the dead because the planetary ecosystem is dying. In Magic Bullet, Jasmine served the role of a rancher and the good people of Los Angeles are her cattle. Moo! The fact that she is the sole consumer of her livestock makes her similar to the family farm, where the farmer's wife goes out back to butcher dinner.

[> [> [> [> Sorry, Robert. Besides, I thought it referred to the light and menu combined. -- WickedBuffy ::misunderstood the question::, 11:36:00 04/18/03 Fri


[> About that light ... (spoilerishblahblah) -- WickedBuffy, 21:08:58 04/17/03 Thu

Evil green light showed up in an earlier episode, too - and I can't remember when... or if it was BtVS or Angel. Anyone remember? (It's buggin' me)

I just barely recall it because at one time I was going over the different colors the shows used when someone was possessed or evil was happening, or whatever. (Willows black eyes, possessed peoples white eyes, etc)

[> [> Re: About that light ... (spoilerishblahblah) -- Kenny, 20:25:48 04/18/03 Fri

Does anyone know if there's a production reason that makes "green glow" easier to produce, better looking, blah blah blah, than other colors? If so, maybe that's why everyone said Dawn was green...ME hedging their bets in case they needed that effect.


Where's the First Good? -- ascian, 22:13:46 04/16/03 Wed

My apologies if this thought has been raised before (because I lurk here often but not always - and hi, everybody!), but it's been on my mind.

There's a whole lot of First Evil going around. It has hands in all the pies, especially in the lives of Angel and co, but also in Buffy (since after all, it was apparently unleashed by Buffy's second resurrection). And the implication has always been that there's some corresponding First Good hanging around, but what if there's not? We certainly don't see any signs of it. It doesn't intervene. It looks increasingly to me like the "Powers That Be" could easily be the "Powers That Be.... Evil!".

The only concrete forces for good that we see acting in the Buffyverse are Buffy and gang, and Angel and gang. Even Buffy's power can't be attributed to the intervention of Good trying to restore a balance in the world, since it turns out in GiD that the Slayer line was created by men from demons and a captive girl, which means that the power involved is in the human and First Evil columns.

So if the First Evil is so damn active, where's the Good? If there is one, surely it could act as the Evil does. But it doesn't. Buffy does the work. Angel does the work. All the people who choose to stand with them do the work, and they don't ever get any intervention from above, divine or otherwise. (Except for that time with the snow in Amends, which I think was the First Evil.) And if it exists but doesn't do anything helpful, what's the point?

So maybe the balance the First Evil was talking about isn't a balance between Good and Evil as personifications (in the way that the First is a personification) so much as some sort of balance state that the First has been preserving in the world in order to allow the human and demon occupants to continue to exist. (Why would it do this? Well, living entails pain, and maybe it likes to see people suffer.)

Just a thought.

[> Re: Where's the First Good? -- WickedLogic, 22:23:30 04/16/03 Wed

The First Evil shows up working thru dead people.

Maybe the First Good works through living people - so we *are* seeing it all the time on the shows. ;>

[> [> Re: Where's the First Good? -- ceej, 00:48:27 04/17/03 Thu

>The First Evil shows up working thru dead people.

when you say "work thru" what do you mean?

Cuz FE just uses the images and memories of dead people. Like wearing a mask. ITS not really them or their spirits etc...


-ceej

[> Re: Where's the First Good? -- ceej, 00:40:51 04/17/03 Thu

>So if the First Evil is so damn active, where's the Good?

Acording to the Beljoxa's Eye the reason the First Evil is "active" (more so then regular) to the point where it has actual localized manifestations rather then an all- surrounding and higher-being-like force. Is because it saw something--a distortion in the mystical forces of the Chosen lines. And for whatever reason IT was allowed to take that oppurtunity to amend this line, to fix-it, in FE's way: destory the line... Thats atleats my take. All this due to Willow and co. messing with the NATURAL ORDER OF THINGs (bringing Buffy back).

Perhaps, the reason why NO localized First Good is manifesting in sunnydale is becuase there's no reason for it to, unlike the first evil it has a reason to. Just becuase the FE gets all manifesty doesnt mean FG will.

My question is though, wouldn't the localized manifestations of FE make the balance of GOOD and EVIL distorted? And does GOOD havethe ability to also manifest more in the earthly plane as Evil? Or perhaps the two forces are just NOT the same in make-up maybe FG cant get localized like FE. One could even go as far as saying that FG is not AWARE as FE is, but its just a force... Either way both forces are within all humans.

>If there is one [First Good], surely it could act as the Evil does.

Good and Evil are opposites, ya, so the way First Evil ACTS will be in a very different way to how the First Good would ACT.

>Even Buffy's power can't be attributed to the intervention of Good trying to restore a balance in the world, since it turns out in GiD that the Slayer line was created by men from demons and a captive girl, which means that the power involved is in the human and First Evil columns.

Hmm, I disagree. REGUARDLESS of WHERE one's superpowers are rooted from, it doesnt matter, what matters is how one uses that power. Buffy's superpowers yes did come from a demon (spirit) but that doesnt mean it was/is EVIL, not all demons are evil ie:Lorne, Clem, etc. But more importantly Buffy uses her power in the name of Good for Good. This argument can also be said about Willow and the higher powers she invokes/connects to to do magicks. Plus Angel's superpower is depedent on his demonic half. etc...

-ceej

[> [> Re: Where's the First Good? -- ascian, 02:48:56 04/17/03 Thu

>Even Buffy's power can't be attributed to the intervention of Good trying to restore a balance in the world, since it turns out in GiD that the Slayer line was created by men from demons and a captive girl, which means that the power involved is in the human and First Evil columns.

Hmm, I disagree. REGUARDLESS of WHERE one's superpowers are rooted from, it doesnt matter, what matters is how one uses that power. Buffy's superpowers yes did come from a demon (spirit) but that doesnt mean it was/is EVIL, not all demons are evil ie:Lorne, Clem, etc. But more importantly Buffy uses her power in the name of Good for Good. This argument can also be said about Willow and the higher powers she invokes/connects to to do magicks. Plus Angel's superpower is depedent on his demonic half. etc...


Well, I agree that Buffy's, Angel's, Willow's, power is (mostly) used for good and in the service of good, regardless of where it came from. What I was thinking was more that the origin of this power seems to be terrestrial/demonic - not really a clear manifestation of any specific power of good in the world. The good in this case seems to come from the choices made by the individuals which hold it, rather than from an external agency. (Which makes the actions of the characters themselves the grounds where good and evil are really decided, and I rather like that.)

I confess that I rather like the idea that there's a higher power intervening in their lives, but it's not a good one. It's kind of a nice inversion of what you would normally assume based on the idea that someone has been chosen for a higher purpose.


OT: ANGEL and SMALLVILLE face off. -- Dannyblue, 22:24:05 04/16/03 Wed

There's a Face Off at the WB. The question is "Angel vs. Clark: Who do you think kicks more butt?" Or, the way I interpret it, which one is more of a hero.

You can go and give your opinions. It's not a message board. Basically, at the bottome of the page, there's a form pretty much like this one. You type up your opinion, hit Submit, and you're done. No messy arguments or 'screaming' matches.

Here's the addy.

http://www.thewb.com/Faces/FaceOff/0,12239,67382,00.html


And here's the beginning of the piece, where two fans argue it out.

Meet WB Diva and Tadpole, two of our most opinionated, devoted and yes, obsessive fans. Besides their addiction to fighting about who's hot and who's not on The WB, they have nothing in common, and that's what we like about them! We've decided to get them off of their couches and into the ring to battle it out on the question of the week. Check back soon to see what they take on next.

Who Kicks More Butt: Angel or Clark?

Tadpole: Clark is obviously the real hero here. No matter what is thrown his way, he always manages to dust the bad guys and still show up for school on time.

WB Diva: How can you possibly think that's true? Butt kicking is a matter of skill, and Clark seems to have none.

Tadpole: Oh, so you think picking up farm equipment with your pinkie doesn't take a wee bit of skill? And besides, since when did demonic animal rage count as skill?

WB Diva: Have you ever watched the show? Angel can fight like a Kung Fu master. He's even teaching Cordy and Connor to fight. Looks like Clark can use a few lessons from him.

Tadpole: Hello! If Clark had been at this hero stuff for two centuries, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. But with no experience, no coaching, and no gang of sidekicks for that matter, Clark has managed to save the day all by himself.

WB Diva: Angel may have help. But he doesn't need it. It's just an added bonus. He'd have no trouble taking on those Kryptonite freaks all by himself. Check back with me in 200 years and maybe we'll have something to talk about. Until then, Angel is my rear-end-kicking hero.


So, go tell 'em what you think.

[> I posted a reply about "being a hero" but -- Scroll, 23:05:49 04/16/03 Wed

After looking at the other posts, many of which can be summed up with, "Angel's old and ugly! Clark is SO CUTE!!!", I remember once again why I love this board so. damn. much.

Thank God and all the Powers for ATPo!

[> [> Re: I posted a reply about "being a hero" but -- Dannyblue, 00:09:08 04/17/03 Thu

I know what you mean, Scroll. But, if you read through all the pages, you'll notice that the pro-Clarkers are mostly limited to "Clark's so HOT!" or "Clark's invincible, so nothing can hurt him," or "Angel's a yucky vampire who'll probably eat you after he saves you." The Angel supporters, on the other hand, seem to be more thoughtful and articulate. (Although there are "Angel's so sexy!" posts too. Nothing wrong with that.)

[> [> [> Heh, Angel and Clark are *both* sexy!! -- Scroll, 00:46:29 04/17/03 Thu



My Theory About Connor's... (Inside Out and Magic Bullet spoilers) -- Rob, 23:03:54 04/16/03 Wed

...Immunity.

It's not very long, because I'm too tired to write it out in essay-length, but I just wanted to jot down my ideas.

The reason that Connor turned on the gang at the end is not because the blood-melding spell didn't work, but because, unlike every other one of Jasmine' s followers, he is a true believer. He has desperately searched for truth in his life, and has been jerked around this way and that by so many different forces, has been manipulated into hating those who love him and vice versa. Finally, he was given clarity and love by Jasmine. He was allowed to feel like his life finally had purpose. And then Angel and AI come and take that away from him. He doesn't thank them for showing him the light, but hates them from trying to shatter his first time of true happiness. So, ironically, their revealing the truth about Jasmine to Connor makes him more of a beliver. Remember, he recently came to believe that there is no good and evil. Despite the fact that he looked guilty as the girl was murdered, he still, IMO, has pretty much convinced himself for the most part that he did the right thing. And then even more so when Jasmine is brought to the world. So...if his concepts of good and evil are screwy at the moment, he'd be in a particularly bad position to judge Jasmine. Even knowing the truth about her, he may not consider that "evil."

If he stays with Jasmine, he can see himself as the man who brought forth this amazing savior. If he believes Angel? He is a murderer who facilitated the birth of an evil god-like creature who will destroy the world. He loses his purpose, his identity, his love.

In a roundabout way, Angel (or rather Wes, who did the actual slashing) has probably reinvigorated and crystallized Connor's faith in Jasmine better than she could have done it herself with her mind-control spell. Connor graduated here from brain-zonked follower to what may be a first for Jasmine...her first, willing disciple.

Rob

[> Excellent points, Rob. -- Ixchel, 23:35:19 04/16/03 Wed


[> [> And I hope you're better soon! -- Ixchel, 23:37:08 04/16/03 Wed


[> [> [> Thanks! I think I'm about 15% better today, which is a start! -- Rob, 08:27:19 04/17/03 Thu


[> Re: My Theory About Connor's... (Inside Out and Magic Bullet spoilers) -- Tyreseus, 00:15:35 04/17/03 Thu

Great points Rob.

I was thinking similar thoughts. Since his role in the murder of virgin-girl, he hasn't had time to process his guilt without enchantment. It seems to me that as we debate Connor's immunity or whatever we need to keep that in mind. Other points to consider:

Connor, as Jasmine's "Father" may be the source of the blood that allows the mind control spell in the first place. I'm thinking that if Cordelia's reveals the truth, maybe it's Connor's which conceals it.

Connor yearns for connection - the very thing Jasmine is providing. He's been alone and isolated most of his life (i.e. Holtz abandoning him at 5 years old), so now that someone has presented him perfect connection, he finds it hard to let go.

Also, can anyone explain how the spell works on some demons but not others? Lorne, Angel, and Connor are all at least part demon - and they fell for it, but the whole "demon jihad" thing doesn't make much sense if Jasmine can just reach out and love the predators, too. Does it have something to do with souls? If so, does this mean that Lorne clearly has a soul (something I've never actually been clear on)? How would Gru react to Jasmine (and where is Gru these days)? And think about the pre-birth demons... Skip didn't seem to be under an enchantment, just a minion for a stronger power. What about the beast (sorry if anyone has forgotten "give mama some sugar"), who could have been enchanted the whole time?

For every question ME answers about this season's tangled plot, 20 more surface.

[> Re: My Theory About Connor's... (Inside Out and Magic Bullet spoilers) -- CW, 06:57:35 04/17/03 Thu

I think you're right. Whether or not he still believes Jasmines is a walking goddess of pure sweetness any more, he's still loves her as Cordy taught him. The others thought of Jasmine as a source of pure evil before she was born. Connor thought of her as a source of joy. If anything Connor was brain-zonked by Cordy's words not Jasmine's magic.

[> Interesting idea... (Inside Out and Magic Bullet spoilers) -- Darby, 07:09:30 04/17/03 Thu

The blood treatment seemed to be enough to break the others' link to Jasmine (without the maggot aspect) and wake them up, but that might not be enough for Connor. But if the treatment worked, what will he see when he looks at her, and will that matter? Aren't offspring beautiful even when they're not so much?

As for the demons, one possibility is that the Wolfram & Hart demons (where else would the guy have had a corner office?) may be immune to Jasmine. And if there are straggler W&H demons out there (and Fred knows about them), my theory about Angel resurrecting W&H to counteract Jasmine is still alive. I love it when my theories last a couple of episodes before they're dashed upon the rocks...

[> [> Re: Interesting idea... (Inside Out and Magic Bullet spoilers) -- RichardX1, 07:55:56 04/17/03 Thu

>>But if the treatment worked, what will he see when he looks at her, and will that matter? Aren't offspring beautiful even when they're not so much?<<

Well, she does have a face only a parent could love :- D

[> [> [> Hee...(Inside Out and Magic Bullet spoilers) -- Darby, 08:03:43 04/17/03 Thu

...And Connor does have quite the Lord (Daddy?) of the Flies vibe about him, doesn't he?

[> [> [> Which reminds me (spoilers for Magic Bullet) -- CW, 08:13:52 04/17/03 Thu

Maggot-face is Fred's vision of her. We don't know what she looks like to the others yet, do we? Lorne changed his attitude without seeing her. So did Wes and Gunn. Fred didn't seem to be sure about what she was feeling until she saw Jasmine. Maybe Connor will still see her as beautiful.

[> [> [> [> Re: Which reminds me (spoilers for Magic Bullet) -- Rob, 08:25:52 04/17/03 Thu

Angel saw her all maggoty, like Fred did.

Rob

[> Connors skinny lil chest (Magic Bullet spoilers) - - WIckedBuffy (just a little observatin'), 22:36:56 04/17/03 Thu

Did anyone else get a sense of deja vue when Wes thrust his hand against Connors chest?

I reminded me of the beast (Souleater?) that he and Gunn had to kill for it's head to help with the Angel/Angelus spell. The demon had thrust its hand into Connors chest .


I FINALLY get it-JASMINE is BUSH! -- LeeAnn, 23:47:48 04/16/03 Wed

Jasmine = Bush

Evil wearing a pleasant face, saying the words we like to hear, promising the world we want but its words the opposite of its actions, its words meant only to conceal its evil, as it orders death, seeing people only as something to be used, consumed, using the media to spread the lies, using the media for a kind of mind control, and trying to harm anyone who sees its true face. And those of us who see the truth try to spread enlightenment from one person to another, like an infection, like a revelation.

WOOW!

Jasmine, named for a plant, having no more feeling for people than a plant does. Bush, another plant. If you loved Shinny Happy People, you'll love BushWorldÖ as long as you can avoid seeing his true face.

[> Jasmine is a climbing...SHRUB -- LeeAnn, 00:08:04 04/17/03 Thu

"Shrub" is the nickname Molly Ivins gave to Bush. It is still widely used by his opponents.

Jasmine also means "light yellow". Perfect for a chickenhawk.

[> mmm, coz getting rid of tyranny and dictatorship is reeaallly evil. Oh, must not feed. -- Helen, 01:46:23 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> LeeAnn, trying to pry the blinders off Helen...Oil Oil Oil Oil Power Control Oil -- LeeAnn, 03:04:17 04/17/03 Thu

Proje ct for a New American Century

[> [> [> I don't have any blinders. Oh, I can't be bothered with this. -- Helen, 03:24:56 04/17/03 Thu

Personally I'd rather have the "tyranny" of President Bush eliminating regimes (for oil or not, don't care. At least now some of the money generated from oil revenues might actually get to the people of Iraq, rather than buidling another palace) which are a potential threat to the West and a proven threat to their own people, than have a regime like Saddam Hussein's last another day. Call me naive, I can live with it.

[> Time for Imperialistic World Domination? -- frisby, 06:00:45 04/17/03 Thu

It's surely not politically correct but I still wonder whether anyone out there among the talking heads or the secret faces actually advocates any imperialistic world domination? We now know we live on a finite planet and that there's only one human species, and in the name of human rights have the platform with which to justify changes to the peoples of the earth with regard to no further sexism or racism or child exploitation or slavery or tyranny, etc. Of course the main problem though is who could do it? Surely the Bushes and their right wing friends including especially the fundamentalist christians are not our only choice? Nietzsche said the 21st century will be a long battle for dominion over the earth and suggested either the English, the Russians, or the Americans as the most likely winners. The English language sure seems on its way to victory (and perhaps the 'real' battle 'is' among the languages). Democracy (a soft form of socialism in some ways) along with capitalism seem to be paving the way, but I'd prefer to see Science take a commanding role. The question of China and India can not be ignored with regard to their place in this issue. If imperialistic world domination is the goal, which is preferable? Jasmine's shiny happy world of maternal bliss or Caleb's clean virtuous world of paternal justice? Is it all really about good and evil, or right and wrong, or just power?

[> Re: I FINALLY get itÖLeeAnn is Mohammed Saeed al- Sahhaf...! -- Saguaro Stalker, 07:15:27 04/17/03 Thu

the recently unemployed Iraqi minister of information.

Or maybe she's just a garden variety troll.

[> [> Come on, Stalker, Name Calling When Someone Expresses a Different Perspective? -- AngelVSAngelus, 15:55:57 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> [> Re: Come on, Stalker, Name Calling When Someone Expresses a Different Perspective? -- Saguaro Stalker, 16:11:03 04/17/03 Thu

It's not about the general opinion expressed. It's about throwing gasoline on a touchy subject just to stir up trouble, which is what this person was doing here and has done on this board before.

Plus as Cactus Watcher says, "Never take anything Saguaro Stalker says too literally." ;o)

[> [> [> A Different Perspective? -- Grant, 16:16:05 04/17/03 Thu

Okay, I don't like name calling either, but what LeeAnn had to offer is not a different perspective. She essentially said that the president of the United States is an evil, maneating demon. That is not a position or a perspective, it's lunacy. If you are so against name-calling, why not chastise LeeAnn for it? I'm hoping that she means all this as a joke, because, honestly, to take her seriously would be an affront to her intelligence. However, it is very important to note that calling somebody you have a political disagreement with a demon is not funny or productive in any way. It presents no valid point, no argument, and does nothing but create anger on both sides.

I honestly do not understand the school of thought that exists today, particularly on the left, that basically says that anyone who has a different perspective must be evil. To this school it is not possible that Bush, and the 40+ other countries in the coalition, could have engaged in this campaign for the reasons that they stated (security, human rights, democracy, freedom). No, they must have done it for selfish and evil reasons, like greed for power and oil. And, because there is no possible way anyone could agree with someone like Bush, all his many, many supporters must be either brainwashed or evil themselves. That kind of argument is the definition of closed-mindedness.

[> [> [> [> Well I Never Thought She Was Suggesting That Bush IS A Demon -- AngelVSAngelus, 16:25:36 04/17/03 Thu

I may be wrong in my interpretation, but I thought she was saying that allegorically speaking, Jasmine may be representative of the president and what she perceives as his current paradigm/agenda.
I don't think that's name calling anymore than someone illuminating the fact that the animals in Animal Farm are representative of Communism.

[> [> [> [> [> Careful AngelVSAngelus, -- Saguaro Stalker, 16:33:40 04/17/03 Thu

We know, you're a real poster. 'Grant' is not. It's just a game to start an argument.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Careful AngelVSAngelus, -- Grant, 18:55:13 04/17/03 Thu

Um, how am I not a real poster? Is there some sort of initiation that I missed?

Also, I would question the claim that I am just posting to start an argument. I posted to try and explain a position I had that differed with the position of other posters. I do not post just to hear myself talk, as it were, or else you would probably have less doubt about my existence as a real poster. And what is wrong if I happen to stimulate an argument? Isn't that what this board is for?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> CW can speak for himself, but -- Sophist, 08:12:52 04/18/03 Fri

since he posted under his "evil alter ego", I assumed his comments were tongue-in-cheek.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Well I Never Thought She Was Suggesting That Bush IS A Demon -- Grant, 18:40:55 04/17/03 Thu

I follow that line of reasoning to a certain degree, but the problem in this situation is that Jasmine essentially did it in reverse. She did not try and compare Jasmine to Bush by taking examples of things Bush has done and showing how they parallel things Jasmine is doing on the show. Instead, she took things that Jasmine has done and simply extended them to Bush without any evidence or argument to acompany them. It certainly could be true that Bush is "using the media for a kind of mind control, and trying to harm anyone who sees its true face," but before I could accept this I would need some slender threat of fact that he has actually done this. You might argue that she meant that Bush's use of the media is like mind control, but she did not say that. Instead, she flatly accused Bush of doing all sorts of evil things and of basically being evil without any kind of justification behind those accusations. I call that name-calling.

[> [> [> [> [> Yes, that is what I meant....plus evidence -- LeeAnn, 05:28:47 04/18/03 Fri

I may be wrong in my interpretation, but I thought she was saying that allegorically speaking, Jasmine may be representative of the president and what she perceives as his current paradigm/agenda.

Well, yeah. I was, of course, presenting the idea that Jasmine was a metaphor for Bush. I wasn't claiming that Bush literally has maggots living in his face (though he did keep having those cysts and there was the pretzel attack on his face) but I didn't present any evidence of his evil for three reason:
1) I generally hang out on political chat channels where people already are familiar with the evidence that Bush and his administration are evil incarnate, plus the evidence against it.

2) I've found evidence doesn't convince people of things they don't WANT to believe. The characters on Angel were all sad to realize that Jasmine's pretty words were lies. Connor was so attached to the lies that he couldn't accept the truth even after his free will was restored. So I figured people who are blind to the reality that Bush is evil would remain blind despite any evidence I might provide.

3) I wasn't sure if more than a brief mention would be allowed on this board but I found the idea so interesting I had to share it.
In repressive regimes artists have often attacked those in authority through the use of metaphor, symbolism, and allegory. With Bush and its minions orchestrating attacks on those who oppose him and his war perhaps the writers at ME felt they could oppose him metaphorically. Or perhaps I only imagine that subtext because I find the idea so compelling. Regardless, it added a layer to the story that made it seem even better to me. When Fred was running, trying to hide, with all hands against her, all eyes seeking her, I was thinking the Patriot Bill, the TIPS program and the proposed Patriot II bill. I was also thinking about the movie The Seventh Cross with Spencer Tracy as a leftist who had escaped from a Nazi concentration camp, trying to evade capture and desperately wondering who to trust in a country where almost no one questioned the propaganda put out by the state. I was also thinking about German journalists tried for war crimes for their role in manipulating the German populace (This is a great article on that subject.) In the words of the Nuremberg prosecutor:
"It is likely that many ordinary Germans would never have participated in or tolerated the atrocities committed throughout Europe, had they not been conditioned and goaded by the constant Nazi propaganda. The callousness and zeal of the people who actually committed the atrocities was in large part due to the constant and corrosive propaganda of [these journalists].
Through Hate Radio with its CIA associations the right has been able to reach the most reactionary members of the public and mold their opinions. FoxNews has always been the Republican Party's Pravada but now all the cable news channels seem to have joined the chorus. Through Clear Channel Radio with its ties to Bush musicians like the Dixie Chicks can be punished for openly opposing Bush's policies. The blacklist has returned with a vengeance. Tim Robbins, Susan Saradon and others have been attacked for opposing the war. Little wonder with Hate Radio fanning the seeds of violence that a tractor-trailer driver would try to run down peaceful protesters.

I could go on and on. I think we are turning into a police state. I think people have been manipulated into supporting terrible things by a monstrous leader and a complicit media so I found the symbolic presentation of a similar world on Angel very satisfying. Especially since I KNOW good will win on Angel. Unlike RL where the outcome is in doubt.

PS. If you are a political junkie try #news_garden on IRC, on both the Undernet and Coolchat networks. Where freedom still rings. You can find instructions for getting to #news_garden here.

And don't get me started on 911.

[> [> [> [> Agreeing with AvA -- Sophist, 16:32:22 04/17/03 Thu

The difference is simple: LeeAnn is another poster here, George Bush is not. The rules of decorum require us to maintain civility among ourselves. Public figures are fair game. Her comments about Pres. Bush do not differ in quality from comments made here about the acting abilities of various actors, the ability of certain writers, or (my personal least favorite topic) actor's weights.

That distinction means that Grant likewise owes no apology for his comments about "those on the left". Closed-minded though they are. :)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Agreeing with AvA -- Grant, 19:08:37 04/17/03 Thu

The problem with that position is that there are a number of posters on this board who support President Bush and agree with his policies. According to LeeAnn's posts, we are all either brainwashed or evil. That is why we should stay away from name-calling in all cases. It does not provide anything positive and merely creates a lot of anger. That does not mean you can't be critical of public figures on this board. However, to take actors as an example, there is a big difference between saying, "John X is a pathetic excuse for an actor" and saying "I find that John X's performance has been very weak. He does not do a good job of getting across any real emotion, and his character's personality seems to change from scene to scene." One is just a slander that would likely only lead to a shouting match, while the other is an actual articulated position that, because it is an articulated position, can be approached and understood by others even if they disagree with that position.

And as another note, let me make it clear that I do not think that it is only members of the left who think that people who disagree with them must be evil. I said that this school of thought was particularly, not solely, in the modern left. There are certainly people on the right who also belong to this school, with a few noted theocons probably being the biggest example. What I meant when I said that this happens on the left in particular is that the left is far more vocal in presenting this kind of argument. You can attribute that to whatever you want, however, it is my perception.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Agreeing with AvA -- Sophist, 20:39:26 04/17/03 Thu

I certainly am not praising LeeAnn's post as a model of argument. Your complaint, however, was that she compared Pres. Bush to Jasmine: She essentially said that the president of the United States is an evil, maneating demon. That is not a position or a perspective, it's lunacy.

That's not very nice (nor much of an argument), but it doesn't violate Board etiquette or even libel law. JMHO, but the best way to respond to a post lacking reasoned argument is either (a) ignore it, or (b) try to interject reasoned argument in reply (as you yourself did when the issue of war in Iraq came up briefly).

And we can agree to disagree on the perception of which side of the political spectrum is more sinned against than sinning. Personally, I think it was Jefferson, but maybe it was Hamilton after all.

[> [> [> [> Perspective. Vague Spoilers for AtS:MB, BtVS:DS, French and American history & some wine commentary -- fresne, 17:20:07 04/17/03 Thu

I would ague that the school of thought that different points of view are ìEvilî is not ìparticularlyî to the left, (damn French revolutionaries. From my perspective, the king was perfectly right to engage in deficit military spending, which just goes to show history and perspective are funny things) but is in fact an equal opportunity school. Anyone may attend.

Now I must admit that I have extremely mixed feelings about the war and my governmentís choices, which I expressed in the form of letters to my representatives before paying my taxes.

I have much less mixed feelings about Jasmine, since I find her a very engaging fictional villain. Although, I want her and Mal (sorry Caleb) to get into a preach-a-thon. Or possibly a beguile-a-thon with the First Evil.

The question with a forum like this is how much of the world should be integrated into the discussion. MEís worlds donít exist in a vacuum. On the other hand, to discuss the world too much would quag and mire us away from the text.

Itís a delicate balance.

After all if I say that for Caleb to want to drink White Zinfandel is horrifying, who will I all unknowing insult. And yet for me, lymph might actually be tastier. Itís all in the perspective and the taste buds.

Make mine a type A negative Pinot Noir, un-spilled Tale of Two Cities on the streets. Faith and Spike are, of course, free to join me in the bookroom. Although, please smoke out of the patio.

[> [> [> [> [> As usual, your wit is on point -- tomfool, 19:10:12 04/17/03 Thu

and much appreciated.

But at the risk of offending, Caleb's selection of Zin blanco is a sign of the pureness of his evil. For it is truly a bastardization of an innocent and noble grape. Lymph indeed!

[> [> [> [> [> LOL! Ah yes....but a note on wine -- s'kat, 22:22:43 04/17/03 Thu

While White Zifandel isn't the best, it does not give one heartburn. No idea why. Maybe lack of sulfites? And no headaches. I think that may be why it exists for those who can't drink regular wine??

At any rate, I'll join you and Faith and Spike, but make mine a smooth Merlot, from France (just to be politically incorrect), and would prefer no smoking...so maybe we should do the bookroom in NYC...they have a no smoking law in effect.

I also am grooving to our entertaining villains. Would very much like to see Captain Mal - oops mean Caleb and his Zoe...oops Jasmine and the First, possibly as either Wash or Kali? Having a fine old time.

Missed you these past few months fresne. So happy to see you posting again.

SK

[> [> [> [> [> [> Wine Away - a lounging red wine drinkers friend -- fresne, 10:56:56 04/18/03 Fri

Thank you, I have been both busy and absent. Always nice to be a value added.

Huh, I did not know that about White Zin. Iíd suggest it to my friend who cannot drink wine because of heartburn, but heíd mock me. Pain. Horror. Grief.

And certainly have a glass of un-PC and yet delightfully smooth Merlot. As, a Californian, Iíll probably quaff some easy access local vintage.

What are your feelings on really runny brie? Iíve got to get my un-PC in somewhere. Perhaps, curly fries with a side of ranch dressing with my wine. Itís like Cabernet with Kraft Mac and Cheese, so wrong itís right.

No wait, for a night of lounging, we must serve Sin Zin. And chocolate.

Is there lots of lounging space in this book room? Large comfy pillows. There must be artful sprawling.

Since the First is incorporeal, can it really sprawl?

If a person sprawls alone in a bookroom and there is no parental unit to see the unfolded laundry in the next room, did it really happen?

What is the sound of one hand folding laundry? Typing? Miming little Anubis Fru Fru skulking through the desert, scooping up the humans and bopping them on the head? And down came Osiris, who saidÖ

Huh, and I havenít even had any wine yet.

Happy Good Friday to all. DS was well timed.

[> [> [> [> Open your mind... -- Dariel, 13:14:51 04/18/03 Fri

I honestly do not understand the school of thought that exists today, particularly on the left, that basically says that anyone who has a different perspective must be evil.

You obviously don't know too many people on the left, or you wouldn't say this. (As if there's a monolithic "left" anyway.) Me and my friends don't call people with opposing views "evil," "bad," or even "stupid." Just "wrong" or "misguided," or even "duped." Not flattering, but not dismissive either. Many of us can see the other point of view--we just don't agree with it.

To demonstrate some openmindedness, here's what I'd say to George Bush--So, you say you want to free the Iraqi people: Show me! Protect them, their property, and their heritage from looters, get the electricty grid back up, bring in some potable water, get medical supplies to those hospitals. Provide protection to aid workers, like the Red Cross, so they can do their job. Put the might of the US into reconstructing all of those useful things that we destroyed. Award reconstruction contracts based on merit, not on ties to your administration. Do your best to steer the Iraqis towards democratic elections. Oh, and do show me where those WMDs are buried!

That's it. That's all Bush/Cheney/Rumsfield have do to make me believe in their good intentions. Remember, open mind! Look at the situation in Iraq in 1 year, 5 years, and ask yourself if the things on this list (actually, if anything on this list got done.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Open your mind... -- akanikki, 23:00:40 04/19/03 Sat

Wow - I have friends who are Democrats, but still support the war effort. However, they have begun to ask about the same things Dariel listed. Another point - is that Europeans and others tend to group Bush with other religious fundamentalists because of his constant invoking of God as his authority. It plays well to certain parts of the midwest and the deep south, but to the rest of the world - he sounds like a fanatic. As for me - being a the daughter of a career army officer (who served 2 tours in Vietnam), I so want for Bush to be right, but cannot believe that he is.

Is Joss using Jasmine as a metaphor for Bush - yeah, I think he is. And I am trying to keep an open mind about everything in real life, but as I watch one hard-fought liberty/freedom/ choice after another (abortion rights, oil drilling, environmental protection, civil rights, equal rights) being quietly undermined or even erased by this administration, I really wonder what we are in for!

[> Re: I FINALLY get itÖJASMINE is BUSH! -- RichardX1, 07:59:38 04/17/03 Thu

So, you're saying that Bush (or more likely, Cheney) is the true mastermind behind 9/11? (if you are, you've got more cajones than Moore, Robbins and Sarandon combined... frickin' cowards)

(C'mon, between Wag the Dog and the X-Files we were sooooooo willing to believe our government was that evil on 9/10/2001...)

[> [> For the record, I do not believe my own theory--just shocked the radical left hasn't proposed it yet -- RichardX1, 08:12:27 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> [> I thought that article was proposing exactly that conspiracy theory -- Helen, 08:15:47 04/17/03 Thu

I found it hard to tell, since it wasn't exactly in the most coherent English. Now I feel like I've have heard every conspiracy theory ever. The British Royal Family murdered Princess Diana was reigning champion for most ludicrous, but this one takes the crown.

[> [> [> [> No, it was saying that he exploited the act, not that he actually *did* it. -- RichardX1, 08:50:21 04/17/03 Thu

BTW, VoyForums still sucks blue whale and wookie simultaneously.

[> [> Re: I FINALLY get itÖJASMINE is BUSH! -- Calamus, 08:50:56 04/18/03 Fri

It's always so pleasant to see "the left" thrown around as a pejorative, especially when it seems to include anyone who questions, much less opposes either Bush, the war on Iraq, American attitudes towards others (my personal favorite), or, of course, civilization, morals, good sense, and everything Good and True. Look a little harder- I think a broader brush could probably be found. (Oh yeah, I forgot, eye for an eye. Tried and true, yeah.)

At least Susan Sarandon had the good sense to let a vampiric Catherine Deneuve bite her. I guess Tim Robbins had a good point this week when he was talking about how much of punditry is focused these days on trying to encourage people to feel and express hate for other people. How wonderful for the social climate.

[> Ok, seriours issues aside,... -- grifter, 03:52:03 04/18/03 Fri

...in what twisted bizarro-verse is Bush¥s face considered "pleasant"?

[> *I* buy your theory LeeAnn! You infected me with the truth. -- Rochefort, 20:43:26 04/18/03 Fri

I actually think both Angel AND Buffy this season are parables for the evil of the Bush administration.

[> [> Re: *I* buy your theory LeeAnn! You infected me with the truth. -- LeeAnn, 21:18:13 04/18/03 Fri

So then..the First Evil would be ...Greed?

[> [> Re: *I* buy your theory LeeAnn! You infected me with the truth. -- Q, 13:36:07 04/19/03 Sat

See that's the thing!!! Everybody here is acting like LeeAnn was making a silly liberal joke, but it is DEAD ON!

I think the writers planned this out, named her Jasmine because it IS a bush, and so forth!

I believe it is a totally intentional political metaphor. It is TOO obvious! The WAY TOO EASY manipulation of the ENTIRE American populace. The complete (and almost violent) ostracism of any character who won't blindly follow the leader, etc. etc. etc.

There are WAY TOO many parrallels for this not to mean something!

Plus-- Jasmines Dad seems to be part demon, just like W's! (that last part was a joke, I believe the rest is real)

[> [> [> An ammendment to my last post, and a Thank You to LeeAnn -- Q, 13:58:00 04/19/03 Sat

After actually *reading* the whole thread, instead of skimming, I see that LeeAnn *was* making the point that Jasmine was a metaphor for the Bush regime, er, I mean administration (no... I mean regime... administrations are freely elected by the people, they don't just move in on a coup after they clearly lose an election). She wasn't just making a "liberal joke" as I stated.

I would like to thank LeeAnn for opening my eyes to this possibility. I really did not enjoy the last 2 episodes of Angel, because I have learned not to try and think as hard when I watch Angel as when I watch Buffy. But now that I see the obvious metaphor, I will enjoy the rest of the season much more.

LeeAnn is like having a good English teacher around to guide you through the literature.

By the way... I think Animal Farm was more about the corruption of weak willed humans than simple communists. Though it is no secret that Orwell was not a fan of the communists, the Animal Farm did not become disfunctional until the corruption of man infiltrated the communists. The communism worked ok for a while. It wasn't the system that was flawed, but the weakness of man.

[> HERE, HERE, LeeAnn!!!!! -- Q, 21:22:01 04/18/03 Fri


[> She is also Saddam Hussain -- yabyumpan, 05:07:38 04/21/03 Mon

Evil wearing a pleasant face, saying the words we like to hear, promising the world we want but its words the opposite of its actions, its words meant only to conceal its evil, as it orders death, seeing people only as something to be used, consumed, using the media to spread the lies, using the media for a kind of mind control, and trying to harm anyone who sees its true face. And those of us who see the truth try to spread enlightenment from one person to another, like an infection, like a revelation.

This could also be used to describe the Iraqi regime.

Isn't one of the questions being asked on BtVS/AtS this year about the legitimacy of using evil to fight evil? Isn't that what Wesley was trying to goad Faith into with Angelus? But she found another way. A way that enabled her to truely communicate with all that Angelus is and through that she found a way back to living and Angelus found a way back to humanity. Communication, it can be a long hard road, very often painful and not as exciting as violence, but it's usually the only way to get the job done. I wonder if the FG will find a way to communicate with Jasmine....


Humans Food of the Gods (Magic Bullet spoilers) -- ceej, 01:53:22 04/17/03 Thu

What's the deal with the big city Higher Beings eating all the backwater-plane-of-existence common folk?

Glory was a brain-sucker. Why? the earthly realm made her mentally unstable. Giles says it best: "The way I see it, living in our world is affecting her mentally. She's only able to keep her mind intact by extracting energy from us - from the human, well, from the human brain. She absorbs the energies that bind the human mind into a cohesive whole..." (Blood Ties)

Tonight on "Magic Bullet" Jasimine eats: a woman, a man, the Bailey twins, a biker, a young woman and a grey haired man. After Jasmine burned her right hand she notes to the Fang Gang that she needs time to rest and "heal" her hand. She mentions the Bailey sisters and Gun offers to bring them up to Jasmine.

Later, After being shot by Fred many times in various areas of her body, she picks out three people (biker, grey haired guy and woman) and brings them up to her room. While superbeing Connor is watching guard outside J's door a GLOWING LIGHT emits from the room, soon after Jasmine comes out glowing with a satistified look on her face. She tell super-boy she "ate" the three selected people.

What I want to point out is:

1) the GLOWING. I'm sure others have thought of this already. Anyhow, re-watch "No Place Like Home"(5x05) and the way Glory drains the nightwatchman... There is a similiar GLOW LIGHT SHOW happening there. Its NOT the same color or light intensity but there is a similarity to J's light show... So it could be ectoplasmic light that we see emiting from Jasmine's room.

2) Also, after J did the connecting mojo and burnt her hand. It seemed clear that inorder for her to get energy (she seemed a bit spent) and to possibly heal her hand she needed the Bailey Twins energies. Later she selects three people, after she heals the gun shot wounds she then feeds on them. We don't know what she feeds on from humans, but we know there are NO left-overs, versus Glory who leaves loony-toony- ppl. Also there could be a reason why certian ppl are selected, J seems to take time in choosing the ppl she feeds on.

thoughts, speculation, etc. anyone??

-ceej

[> Title is kind of spoilerish (MB Spoilers included here, too) -- Darby, 06:58:59 04/17/03 Thu

I watched a second time with Sara, and was very careful to not hint at what was going on - it's a nice mini-surprise when Jasmine comes out of that room. You might want to post an alternative title that Masq (or whoever is doing the wetwork today) can substitute for what's there. Remember, there are often lots of sports-delayed folks who may not have seen the ep yet, and the out-of-country folks may not get to see it for months and would like us not to spoil the details. (If the lead title changes, mine can change also to "What is benevolence?)

Back to the subject - does consuming willing sacrifices make Jasmine a less benevolent god? She makes everyone feel good, seems to have at least superficially improved the lives of millions, and when the feeling goes away, even the cynical AI crew misses it. If she picks folks who would feel their lives fulfilled if they were offered up for her, is that unjust? We may see her effect as a coercive whammy, but she may see it as the persuasion of Love, as the offer from a higher being for an improved life. Does she have the right to take some in return?

[> [> OH i didnt notice that. SORRY -- ceej, 07:11:16 04/17/03 Thu

there needs to be an edit option.

-ceej

[> [> No!! (MB Spoilers ) -- Arethusa, 07:47:07 04/17/03 Thu

You're being provocative, right? :)

Jasmine says to everyone that they'll live in peace and happiness if they follow her, but is eating her way through the population of LA. If she needs two or three people per day-or even week-it'll take forever to eat everyone, but hey, as far as we know she can live forever. So mankind loses the benefit of her benovolence and peace due to the being dead, making the bagain a poor one.

Is human sacrifice okay if everyone says it's okay? (Is anybody asking the victims-who don't have the free will to refuse anyway.) Does the end justify the means?

Saying you're doing something in the name of love is not justification. Sure, if you value love above everything else, you may like the arrangement, but love is not the be- all and end-all of human behavior. Jasmine's world is full of love. Angel loves everyone; he's full of love. And they love him back. But little things like individuality, the right to make one's own decisions, morality, and respect for human life are jettisoned.

[> [> [> Free will. (MB Spoilers ) -- Darby, 08:00:28 04/17/03 Thu

Are the disciples robbed of their free will, or are they just having their worldview sufficiently skewed that when they make a decision, it reasonably supports whatever Jasmine wants? She makes them feel so good - that may really be all that the influence entails. The AI folks stopped feeling that overwhelming goodness and have decided that what Jasmine had done to them was wrong (and hey, she looks bad), and that she must be stopped, but will the World Without Jasmine be, by and large, a better place?

Yes, I am being provocative, but I'm also really serious here. Can anyone really do anything significant toward Making the World a Better Place without strongly influencing folks' decisions, and without demanding some sacrifices - okay, maybe not death sacrifices, but isn't that just a matter of degree? If a god decrees that you give your life over to them, isn't that conceivably part of the deal?

Jasmine is the Religion that Works for virtually everyone (minus that pesky blood thing), setting the potential for a world without conflict, based on love for Jasmine and everyone else. Notice that followers only react negatively toward those actively against Jasmine - everyone else is just a convert not yet converted. I think for the plot to have true resonance, we have to envision Jasmine's world plan and decide just how bad it would be.

[> [> [> [> Re: Free will. (MB Spoilers ) -- yabyumpan, 09:02:35 04/17/03 Thu

Can anyone really do anything significant toward Making the World a Better Place without strongly influencing folks' decisions, and without demanding some sacrifices

Ok, the rabid enviromentalist/activist part of me answering here - Strongly influencing folk's decisions isn't about removing free will or taking away their ability to question, it's about education and example. It's about showing them the effects of pesticides or the children working in the sweatshops in the third world to make their trainers and then living in a way yourself that tries not to harm the environment or exploits other people. It's a long, slow process. There is no 'Magic Bullet'. That's also why there's not 'Magic Bullet' in medicine, illness is a process generally caused by many different factors - environmental (bacteria etc), body make up, diet, genetic problems etc. There is never going to a cure which doesn't also include paying attention to the factors which caused the illness in the first place.

If a god decrees that you give your life over to them, isn't that conceivably part of the deal?

No, because not only does it take away 'free will' it also IMO takes away personal responsability. It takes you back to or keeps you in, a child-like state of dependence which denies you the ability and I would even say right, to make your own choices and mature as a result of those choices.

I can see how it might be tempting to hand over your power but it's not the way of maturity or full adulthood.

(Hope all that didn't come across as preachy. As a long time activist it's actually something that does cross your mind on occasion, esp when things get really frustrating. But at the end of the day people have to make their own decisions about what kind of world they want to live in and decide for themselves the sacrifices they're prepared to make.)

[> [> [> [> Re: Free will. (MB Spoilers ) -- Arethusa, 09:24:47 04/17/03 Thu

Maybe I'm the wrong person to be answering this question since I think that no bargains are worth giving up my free will. Jasmine is creating a Hive. She's the queen bee. Everyone will be happy, conflict will be eliminated, but would you want to be like an ant or bee? This reminds me of the Borg. They also had a hive mentality and no free will. They also believed everyone must be converted to their way or die. Whether the goal is for good or evil, the method is still total domination of the person.

What if her world plan is to have everyone live happy and successful lives in perfect union, free of conflict or pain, happy to live their lives worshipping their Goddess? It's still not right. It still destroys the individual. That's not the world I want to live in.

Is happiness the only thing that makes life worth living? Is being a zombie, unable or unwilling to think for one's self, a good thing? I want love and pain and conflict and agreement. I want to change and grow. I want to learn new ideas and information and decide for myself what I believe in. Without friction there is no heat, no fire. I want that fire, not a bland, vague euphoria that deadens my feelings and wants.

Jasmne demands that people trade free will for the hope of love and peace, and kills those who disobey or whom she needs as food. It doesn't matter how bad Jasmine's world plan is. Is it okay to kill people if it's just a few here and there, for the greater good? (Not to mention that if she lives forever she might go through a lot of people.) If your government said it was going to kill a couple of people every day in return for a life free of strife and pain for the survivors, would you do it? Assuming your answer is no, why would you do it for a god? I would not sacrifice my child to Jasmine in return for bliss any more than I would follow God's directions to kill my beloved son to prove my faith.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Free will. (MB Spoilers ) -- Darby, 09:47:41 04/17/03 Thu

Aaah, but that's not the point. It's not "okay," and you wouldn't want to live in a world like that (remember, the deaths are largely hidden from the faithful). Heck, I wouldn't want that as my world, either, but I would dispute that the inhabitants lack free will - their will is twisted, but that's a matter of degree, because isn't everyone's decision-making process (except maybe for sociopaths) restricted by considerations of the institutions and people who have influence on them? Folks decide to come to the hotel, they probably decide to go up to Jasmine's room, for all we know (but I think we'll see) they agree to sacrifice themselves, under her influence, but I don't think it's completely fair for us to look at them and declare that they are not deciding. It's like saying that folks who decide to home-school to keep their kids away from the heathens are not really deciding. Did folks decide to drink Jim Jones' Kool-Aid?

But does all this qualify as EVIL? Jasmine's a Big Bad, but is what she's doing, incontovertably, Big and Bad?

Another example, probably a bad one. I'm not so sure that a reflexive antipathy to the "exploitation" of folks in other lands isn't a abjugation of some level of free will to a sort of propaganda. I look at our history, or Britain's or Japan's, or virtually any of the economic super-powers, with all of their amenities, got to that point through an exploitation phase, and I'm not sure that I can deny a nation long-term prosperity following a proven course because we in retrospect feel guilty about it. Is the exploitation wrong? Does it improve the lives it's touching? Will it improve them over decades, and is that something that should be considered? I'm not sure - I'm not saying you're wrong, but I am saying that even in that case the lines are not drawn as darkly as many folks would like. And I think the folks working in those sweat shops are exercising free will (within tighter constraints than you or I live) to do it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Free will. (MB Spoilers ) -- Arethusa, 10:58:48 04/17/03 Thu

Tt's okay to give up free will-if that's our choice. I give up free will all the time, to the government, Church, my husband, etc. IMO this all goes back to that one decision, that one choice. If I give up free will voluntarily, I'm not really giving up all of my free will, just what I want to give up. If I don't give up free will voluntarily, I'm being coerced. It must be my decision to give up free will, or I don't have any free will at all.

Everything else regarding free will is just a matter of degree. If a parent decides to home school her children to keep them away from people like me, that's great. They're exercising free will. But if their church tells them to take their children out of public schools and home school them or their children will burn in hell due to the contamination with children of other faiths and they do it, they are giving up free will. Jim Jones' followers-they made that first decision, to let Jones tell them what to do. To give up their free will, their right to make their own decisions. After that, they were at the mercy of his decisions. He decided they were better off dead, and they followed his orders. (Some didn't, and were forced to drink, I read.) Giving up free will in the name of religion is part of having free will, although it can have catastrophic consequences-jihad, crusades, homophobia, inquisitions, etc. But Jasmine's followers aren't even allowed that first, most basic freedom-freedom to choose to believe, or not.

Regarding colonialism-who are we to judge that someone is better off if they live by our standards? If we go into a country and take all the land and natural resources for ourselves or a select few, thereby forcing people to work in sweatshops or die of hunger, we are removing their freedom to choose how to live. I don't know of any country that we invaded solely to raise their standard of living or advance their technology. Realistically, they could die anyway from stavation due to overpopulation or disease due to lack of technology, but at least they could choose to die at their farm or die in a factory.

Should we commit evil to fight evil? Buffy's trying to figure this out. Isn't there any other way to defeat evil besides killing and getting killed? If you're committing evil acts to fight evil, the only difference between you and what you're fighting is your end goal, and the dead won't be around then to appreciate what you're doing for them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Free will. (MB Spoilers ) -- yabyumpan, 11:01:13 04/17/03 Thu

I'm not so sure that a reflexive antipathy to the "exploitation" of folks in other lands isn't a abjugation of some level of free will to a sort of propaganda. I look at our history, or Britain's or Japan's, or virtually any of the economic super-powers, with all of their amenities, got to that point through an exploitation phase, and I'm not sure that I can deny a nation long-term prosperity following a proven course because we in retrospect feel guilty about it. Is the exploitation wrong? Does it improve the lives it's touching? Will it improve them over decades, and is that something that should be considered? I'm not sure - I'm not saying you're wrong, but I am saying that even in that case the lines are not drawn as darkly as many folks would like. And I think the folks working in those sweat shops are exercising free will (within tighter constraints than you or I live) to do it.

I agree, the situation is never black and white, the same with the pesticide issue, if we stop using the most harmful ones then it could lead to unemployment for the people producing them. These issues are never easy, which I think was probably my point. It's not about the easy solution or the quick fix. It's about IMO having the free will to make informed choice and also having the free will to not to bother making any choice at all. If you are only shown one option (to be 'Shiney' & Happy') then that choice is taken away from you. For me my activism has never been about being 'right', I don't know if the way I see things is 'right' in the larger sense I can only say and follow what feels right for me. If I, and other people, were not even given access to the infomation, how can I/we decide what's 'right' for us?

Jasmine's greatest sin, IMO, is that she takes away choice and people's 'right' to screw up and be unhappy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Few more points. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:51:38 04/17/03 Thu

First, in the Buffy episode, "Him", an important point was expressed that was unspoken before: "We were under a spell. We're not responsible for anything we did, morally and, you know, legally." The legally thing isn't really true, but watching many seasons of the Buffyverse supports that people under an enchantment aren't responsible for their behaviour. So, if people don't get the blame for acts they committed while enchanted, then they also don't bear responsibility for their decisions in that state, so Jasmine had no right to kill them. Besides, the truly moral thing to do in that situation would be to refuse their deaths, as suicide is a horrible thing if it's for something as trivial as healing a minor burn.

Second, we know that Jasmine let at least one person die in a non-sustenance related scenario (the guy who chased Fred with his car), and quite possibly the paranoid bookstore owner as well.

Third, what Fred saw when she looked at Jasmine probably wasn't her true, physical form (otherwise the vamp that hurt her would probably have torn off a lot of dead flesh, and she'd occasionally drip maggots). Rather, it seems likely that it is a psychological representation of what Jasmine really is, since, supposedly, she can't be comprehended. If your true self is represented by a maggot covered corpse, odds are you're not that good.

Fourth, it still remains uncertain what Jasmine's ultimate goal is. She wouldn't be the first evil creature on the show's to use a good cause as a means to get people to be evil.

Fifth, while the Beast and the actions of Evil Cordelia were attributed to birthing pains, that really doesn't seem to hold up. For one thing, the Beast first emerged before the supposed conception of Jasmine in physical form. Also, the evil done throughout most of Season 4 seems far too organized to be the result of anything but an intelligence intentionally setting certain actions into play. While this could be viewed as "ends justify the means" mentality, I do not see what anyone with good intentions would stand to gain from releasing Angelus or trying to kill ensouled Angel. Plus, Evil Cordy seemed pretty aware of what the pregnancy would entail, and she did plenty of evil things that we have yet to see any good consequences of.

Sixth, Jasmine's mind control seems to be getting stronger. She can now communicate with people mentally, as well as getting them to act almost zombie like when she does the linking ritual to find Fred, plus she can tell Connor "I ate them" without having to dress it up to make it look good, he just excepts it. It may not be long before the little shreds of free will and personality people have left are also gone.

All in all, the signs point to Jasmine being evil, and most likely with few good intentions, if any at all.

[> [> [> [> [> Not about free will, but... -- Indri, 10:29:04 04/17/03 Thu

If your government said it was going to kill a couple of people every day in return for a life free of strife and pain for the survivors, would you do it?

Isn't that sort of what we do anyway? The most obvious example is during wartime. Clearly, we hope that all the soldiers will come back alive but, on the grounds of pure statistics if nothing else, we know that some aren't going to make it, to say nothing of the opposing side's soldiers or of civilians caught in the crossfire.

On some what shakier ground, it could be argued that we (and our governments) do something similar by, oh, permitting car traffic. Road transport makes our lives easier in ways I can't begin to count but people die daily in accidents.

I suppose the difference between these examples and Jasmine is that some effort is made to minimise war and road casualties while Jasmine's approach is much more direct, a deterministic death toll rather than a stochastic one (using "deterministic" in the mathematical sense rather than any philosophical one).

[> [> [> Re: No!! (MB Spoilers ) -- lunasea, 11:32:00 04/17/03 Thu

Jasmine's world is full of love.

No it isn't. Just because she says the word, doesn't mean it is. Love is concern for your fellow human. Eating people pretty cheerfully much means that you don't love them. Angel can't feed because of his own humanity.

When Angel is infected, Jasmine says that he is dead to her. That isn't love. Even when Angel kicked Connor out of the house, he checked up on him and talked to him when he came back.

This isn't about some big bad goddess taking away our free will. This is about a world that confuses what she is offering with love. Love is the end-all and be all of everything. It is everything. "Of these three, love is the greatest."

If Jasmine were love, everything would be fine. Angel and Buffy are love and they will save the day because of this.

[> [> [> [> Re: No!! (MB Spoilers ) -- Arethusa, 12:22:09 04/17/03 Thu

When in doubt, I look things up. I said that people are filled with love in Jasmine's world. What is love?

1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests b : an assurance of love
2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
(Mirriam Webster)

Affection, attachment, devotion. Jasmine's followers have all these things. What they do with the love might not be loving, but they do "feel the love."

What Jasmine feels is a separate issue. We are still not sure of her motives or feelings yet. So far, she seems to be able to have a general benevolence for mankind while snacking on them. Like a farm child making pets of the cows, yet able to eat beef.

Is love everything? Does being loved always make us happy, fulfilled, honest, giving, good? If love is everything, why do people who are loved still feel unhappy at times? Why does being in love drive people to do terrible things sometimes? Were Buffy and Angel just fine when they loved each other? They were totally, completely in love, totally devoted to each other. Yet that wasn't enough for them. Angel wanted Buffy to be able to love someone who could give her more than just love-give her something of a normal life she craved so much. A family, walking in the sun, sharing a life. They couldn't do that together. Joyce loved Buffy with all her heart, yet they were often alienated from each other by Buffy's slayer nature and responsibilities. If Angel "is" love, why does he do such unloving things as reject his son and choke his best friend? If Buffy "is" love, why does she keep pushing it away? They are both much, much more than love-they are complex, flawed (fictional) beings.

[> [> [> [> [> that kind of love is pretty worthless -- lunasea, 13:12:04 04/17/03 Thu

Warm fuzzies. Yippeee

go a few more down: an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.

St Thomas Aquinas defines it in Summa Theologiae "To love is to will the good of another."

You confuse happiness with love and "everything," just like they are doing on Angel. Love isn't warm fuzzies. It is taking action for the well being of another. Jasmine says that she is concerned, but eating people pretty much says not-so concerned. It is AI who have been cleaning up the streets, not Jasmine. No real action on her part at all. AI tends to the needs of the Jasminites. They are the ones with love. Jasmine hasn't done one thing that demonstrates love yet. That is why her speeches sound so bad, she doesn't know what she is talking about.

Love is pretty well defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. What is interesting is that in the original Greek, that list isn't adjectives. It is translated as that, but in Greek, that list is 15 verbs. Love isn't a noun. It is a verb. It isn't a feeling, it is an action.

Jasmine's world is happy fuzzies, but how many are taking steps towards the good of others? The girl likes when Fred gives her her jacket, but what was that girl doing? Renaming cats, now there is love (rolls eyes). Songs and chants. Again, not so much with the love there. I have seen little evidence of love in Jasmine's world, except what AI does.

Why do Buffy and Angel screw up, even in their own relationship? Because they logic themselves out of things. They have these amazing hearts, but they just don't listen to them. They think it will hurt too much or get them into trouble. If anything it is not listening to them that causes pain and they get into trouble when they don't listen.

They both are love. They have a lot of stuff dumped on top of that, but as the Guide told Buffy, "love, give and forgive, it is your nature."

[> [> Question -- Darby, 09:34:53 04/17/03 Thu

AAARGH!!! Trying to post is getting incredibly frustrating!!!

The people-consuming glow from the hotel room and on Jasmine was similar to the glow around her appearance. Did the sacrificial virgin disappear in that scene? I can't remember...

[> [> Neil Gaiman quote and BtVS/AtS linkage -- KdS, 10:39:42 04/17/03 Thu

From Sandman:The Kindly Ones

LOKI: There's a theory that for a human to be killed by a god is the best thing that could possibly happen to the human under discussion. It eliminates all questions of belief, while manifestly placing a human life at the service of a higher power.

Also, I see a parallel with Caleb's musings on the Catholic practice of Holy Communion on BtVS this week. Catholic doctrine has the faithful consuming God through transubstantiation. Jasmine has God consuming the faithful.

[> [> [> Yah - I keep thinking of Communion (Spoiler MB) -- WickedBuffy, 10:27:36 04/18/03 Fri

"Drink of my blood, eat of my body." (I might might have that transposed, though)

Now Jasmine/potential god is doing to people what millions of Christians/etc have been doing symbolically for centuries. She's just taken the symbolism part out of it all.

[> Jasmine isn't really human (spoilers Magic Bullet) -- lunasea, 11:24:56 04/17/03 Thu

She is a PTB or whatever poured into a human form/vessel. As such, she needs to maintan this vessel that she created. She created it by draining Cordy's life force AND Cordy's pregnancy. She needs both the life forces (like Glory) and the physical matter of her snacks.

It also makes her an interesting comparision to Angel. Jasmine has no problem feeding on humans. Angel does. Whatever it is that keeps Angel from feeding, Jasmine doesn't have.

[> [> ... a soul, humanity, a conscience maybe? :> - - WickedBuffy, 10:41:21 04/18/03 Fri


[> Ten Wicked Comments (Magic Bullet spoilers) -- WickedMe, 11:58:49 04/18/03 Fri

whew finally read all those posts up above! Here's my thoughts:

1) About free will and being eaten. We haven't actually seen Jasmine eat those people. We don't know if they continued to be happy about being there or if they snap out of it when they see they are the buffet. And don't want to be food. Jasmine was able to make a burning man keep walking after Fred, so her mind control powers are probably strong enough to do that.

2) We see the little ex-executive demon eat a human finger. YUCK! He is evil, right? On that point alone, why would we doubt Jasmine is evil? She chows down the whole body.

3) So, what if those people *are* totally blissed to be eaten by Jasmine. It's their free will to die for whatever cause they choose. Just like Kamakazi pilots at Pearl Harbor. Or certain militants who knowingly blow themselves up to blow others up. (Someone already mentioned Jonestown.) "Free Will" seems to have very different meanings and importance depending on culture, belief systems, etc. Is it something-centric to say it's not ok for them to do this?

4) What's so bad about being ShinyHappy? Well, without conflict, we have difficulty growing. Maturing. We do not evolve. Ther'e's no learning - no creativity. Without self- examination we are stagnant. Then again, HappyShiny might turn all our concepts about the importance of this kind of growth or growth at all upside down and it would no longer be how we want to live.

5) I don't know the exact definition of a cult - (I know there is one, though) Does anyone have that. Does this fit?

6) Maybe Jasmine needs more than just the peoples flesh, etc when she feeds - which is why she carefully selects them. (She chose a very large biker and also a skinny guy for her latest menu.) In addition to their flesh, perhaps she needs the energy/intensity of their HappyShininess to revive, recharge and heal. So she looks for the MOST HappyShiniest of the group to dine on.

7) She's not eating them for energy - it's a kind of tribute to herself. Or maybe she has a Master. A reverse Communion done literally instead of symbolically. (At church, when people have communion and eat a wafer that represents Christs body, and sip some wine that represents His blood.) "Eat of my body, drink of my blood."

8) This seems more like a disease metaphor than a drug one. (But perversely reversed) People get infected. Blood to blood contact carries it. It appears to be fatal - no cure. (Jasmine pronounces them "dead" the moment they become infected.) Even the title "Magic Bullet" has a medical connotation.

9) Jasmine *IS* really good and is just joking around when she says she ate them. You know how demons and gods love their little pranks. She actually sent them on to Heaven. They see a tunnel with a bright white light at the end of it to head towards. The earthly end of the tunnel is greenish, though. That's why there's nothing left of them. She makes them strip down because you can't take any material goods with you.

10) Is Lorne the only full demon that Jasmine has/had? I know demons aren't always the most organized of creatures, but it seems they might have a goal in common with AI - get rid of Jasmine.

[> [> Good list of issues to watch out for -- KdS, 13:24:01 04/18/03 Fri

http://www.religioustolerance.org/safe_sec.htm

This page lists the characteristics that generally seem to come up.

Or there's the more detailed Bonewits checklist:

http://www.neopagan.net/ABCDEF.html


One-eyed, one horned, flying, purple people eater...spoilers for Magic Bullet -- Rufus, 02:06:52 04/17/03 Thu

The One-Eyed One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater

That's what I was humming through the episode of Angel, Magic Bullet. The episode starts out with a Beach Boys tune and lots of sun.

Monsters, we kinda expect the worst of them to look like the title of the song I was humming...not the beach boys one. But through enchanted eyes, Jasmine looks like an "Ebony Goddess"....the truth is full of worms. But Jasmine seemed not bad when she sounded like a self improvement tape constantly looping.

http://www.musicaecomputer.com/lyrics/beach_boys/wouldn_t_it _be_nicee.htm

Wouldn't It Be Nice

Wouldn't it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn't have to wait so long
And wouldn't it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong

You know it's gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new
And after having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through

Happy times together we've been spending
I wish that every kiss was neverending
Wouldn't it be nice

Maybe if we think and wish an hope and pray it might come true
Baby then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do
We could be married
And then we'd be happy

Wouldn't it be nice

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But let's talk about it
Wouldn't it be nice.


Wouldn't it be nice if we could all be Shiny Happy People all the time. Jasmine is seen as the potential for world peace, world happiness, an eradication of hate. She makes people feel like a sunny day with no cares, just happiness. Too bad there wouldn't be any people left cause she'd have eaten them all. So, how do you make your dinner sit still while you put your napkin in place and get out the carving knife? Mind control.......

Fred: Hi, you probobly don't remember me..

Man: 3 days ago, mass hypnosis...you wondered if it was possible.

Fred: I read those books...some wacko theories by the way. All the mass hypnosis theories seem highly flawed to me. I'm looking for a type of mind control that could affect everyone across the board.

Man: I might have a book on that....

Fred: Astral projection...Satan's Dictionary? You must get some pretty colourful customers in here.

Man: Used to...you're the only customer I've had since the last time you were here.

Fred: Oh.

Man: Not a huge demand for photo books of Serial Killer autopsies when you're living in an utopian wonderland...know what I mean?

Fred: I hadn't really thought ...must be hard...

Man: Hard? Are you kidding? It's great.

Fred: Great...really?

Man: Yeah..look at me..I've never been happier.

Fred: Sure, I see it now...you're practically glowy.

Man: I was flicking through the radio the other night. There's nothing really good on since Art Bell retired. Ended up listening to this woman talk.

Fred: Jasmine

Man: Yeah...you too huh? What a breath of fresh air she is. I listened for almost an hour..."I'm a new man".....I-I used to be obsessed with mind control. I read everything I could get my hands on.

Fred: And you don't believe in it anymore?

Man: I believe...I just don't worry about it anymore.

Fred: So you don't worry that it's possible for someone to send our a biological or electronic trigger that effectively overrides your own sense of ideals and values....and replaces them with an alternative coersive agenda that reduces you to little more than a mindless meat puppet?

Man: Wow....people used to think I was paranoid. I mean don't get me wrong I've still got the implants in my head....CIA still listening (whispers) it just doesn't bother me anymore. Instead I..I just beam Jasmines love up to their satellite, you know share the love with those M K - ultra bastards.

Fred: That'll teach them.

Man: Hey....now I get it.

Fred: You do?

Man: Yeah..I know what you're doing, you want to fight fire with fire. (pulls book Making Mind Control Work for You out of a drawer, and a gun too) make sure the government and the other savages learn about Jasmine's love.

Fred: Exact....That's exactly right..why should we be the only Shiny Happy People?

Man: You don't need to use the evil tools of "the man" when we have the "wo-man" we need to trust that Jasmine's love will reach the rest of the world just like it reached us.

Fred: Oh Happy Day
......(Rufus starts humming a new tune)


Seems that Jasmine has a few limitations...her mind control seems to be getting stronger....what else could make Angel and Connor sing Mandy together? Worse have Gunn wishing they could do that every night (proof that he's mindless). But as usual it's all about blood and blood on a bullet is what was needed to break the enchantment. I do have to mention Open mike night......

Deaf girl signs: I wish I could be in Fred's skull, so I could explode her brain and kill her for rejecting Jasmine.

Cat Lady: I have 37 cats and I've just changed all their names to Jasmine.


A pretty harmless statement from the Cat Lady proving that cats do make people nicer (my delusion humor me)...but the girl signing....wow...reject Jasmine and end up Kablooey....made me think of some of the stuff said during shipper wars.

Fred is a smart girl and her trip into a dirt hole is what was needed to give her an idea of how to fix things....well after killing a demon partial to Lady Fingers (the real thing). She goes back to the book shop and the guy she spoke with earlier wants her autograph.....as Jasmine arrives.....this is where the Magic Bullet is used...and Angel finds that the truth hurts, more ways than a bee sting.

After a decoy kiss, Angel and Fred head back to the hotel to get their friends back. No one seems to be thanking anyone for the magic bullet of Cordy's blood....but they stick around for one more person, Connor. Wes goes to re-kidnap the kid since he's done the job before...this time with Angel's blessing. Strange thing though.....they sliced a little, added the blood.....and presto....Connor tries to turn them in. Blood....it's all about blood and Little Bit gets the prize for seeing what the gang missed......Angel took blood from Cordy cause the blood ties may do the same trick the Jasmines own blood does. One thing....doesn't Connor already have a blood tie........hmmmmmmm.

Oh and if you are wondering what Jasmine is, remember the line that tipped off Angel.....

Jasmine to Connor: My sweet boy.


So everyone after me....except anyone with implants....you can just sent your song over the air......

Well I saw the thing coming out of the sky
It had one long horn and one big eye
I commenced to shakin' and I said oo-wee
It looks like a purple people eater to me
It was a one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater
Sure looks good to me

Well, he came down to earth and he lit in a tree
I said mr Purple People Eater don't eat me
I heard him say in a voice so gruff
I wouldn't eat you 'cos you're too tough
It was a one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater
It sure looks strange to me

I said mr Purple People Eater what's your line
He said eating purple people and it sure is fine
But that's not the reason that I came to land
I wanna get a job in a rock 'n roll band
Well, bless my soul rock 'n roll flying' purple people eater
Pigeon-toed under-growed flyin' purple people eater
one-eyed one-horned it was a people eater
What a sight to see

Well, he swung from the tree and he lit on the ground
he started to rock really rockin' around
It was a crazy ditty with a swinging tune
Wop bop a lula wop bam boom
one-eyes one-horned flying people eater
Ooh, it sure looks strange to me

Well he went on his way and then what do you know
I saw him last night on a TV show
He was a blowin' it out and really knockin' them dead
Playing rock 'n roll music through the horn in his head

[> more musical lyrics Life of Agony style -- neaux, 04:50:31 04/17/03 Thu

Yeah. I'm taking it way back to the mid 90's. It just happened I was listening to "Life of Agony" yesterday in the car and then saw Magic Bullet last night.

So here is a little ditty called Underground.

"Underground" by Life of Agony

If you don't walk with me, I will walk alone

Hard enough to believe in yourself
When I know they don't believe in me
Unwilling to change for society
I'll be who I want to be

I wanna tear it up, tear it out
Get my aggression out
This is what we're here for, control the dance floor
This is why we're here
I said, this is why we're here

So when will it end, when will it end
When will they comprehend, comprehend
That we will overcome this system
I said this is why we're here

They keep on kicking me down, kicking me down
Tryin' to keep me underground, underground
But did I mention we were paving the way
For the new breed of bad seed
We'll never let up until we hear every voice scream
Screamin' these words, screamin' these words
'til every voice is heard, voice is heard
They keep on screamin' these words, screamin' these words
'til every voice is heard...

Calling from the underground

I can feel it in the air I breathe!
I can see we all agree
Unwilling to change for society
We'll be who we wanna be

We are the underground
We are the ungerground

Why did I think of this song? Because the shiny happy people forced Fred underground. The good news is she is no longer alone, but it is her small group that will make up this "resistance." And the core group might be headed back underground.

[> OT: One-eyed, one horned, flying, purple people eater... -- CW, 07:46:09 04/17/03 Thu

As usual Rufus gets me thinking about something totally different than I logged-in with.

When I was young and that song was new, it was played over and over so many times on the radio, that we kids used to debate just exactly how that phrase in the title ought to be parsed. Is it...
One-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple, people-eater?
One-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple-people eater?
One-eyed, one-horned, flying-purple-people eater?
One-eyed, one-horned-flying-purple-people eater?
One-eyed-one-horned-flying-purple-people eater?

Could make a big difference in your attitude if you're a purple person...

;o)

[> [> Re: OT: One-eyed, one horned, flying, purple people eater... -- RichardX1, 08:28:21 04/17/03 Thu

Actually, it would make more of a difference if you're a non-purple person--the purple ones are screwed either way.

[> [> y'now, if school systems used that to teach english, a lot more people might know how to punctuate! -- anom, 21:12:47 04/17/03 Thu

...even if they're not one-eyed, one-horned, flying, or purple.

[> [> [> Re: y'now, if school systems used that to teach english....... -- Rufus, 00:16:04 04/18/03 Fri

Hmmmm I was just mentioning to a friend in chat how I'm a wanted felon for crimes against spelling and grammar...add in punctuation as well. Run me a tab and just before I die I'll pay up....

[> [> [> [> who am i to talk--typing "y'now" for "y'know"...lemme chip in on that tab, rufus! - - anom, 10:58:14 04/18/03 Fri



Has anyone asked the question yet..(spoilers for DG) -- Silky, 07:07:43 04/17/03 Thu

Scanned the headers and a few messages (dial-up too slow to read everything) but I didn't see anything related to a discussion of Caleb's message that he has something of Buffy's.

I am unspoiled, but my first thought was that he has her soul. Any other opinions out there?

[> Nope, it was the usual stunt with a minor twist. (spoilers for DG) -- Solitude1056, 07:27:40 04/17/03 Thu

We've seen who-knows-how-many-times-now the bad guys send a message to Buffy, who goes alone, finds nothing, and comes home to find out meanwhile the bad guys attacked the rest of the crew. This time Buffy learned at least half of her lesson: she took half the crew along with her, and left people to defend those left behind.

However, the only thing Caleb had, when Buffy got there, was Buffy and the rest of her gang. She fell for his nonexistent threat, but he fell for assuming what she brought was all she had, given that he seemed surprised when the second half (w/Faith) rushed in to save the first. I mean, really, she discusses the game plan right in front of the building - are the bringers deaf as well as blind? Sheesh. Chalk one up for selectively stupid villians.

[> [> Or maybe more -- luna, 09:38:24 04/17/03 Thu

It did work as a stunt, but I'm not convinced that the message didn't have some kind of truth in it. I don't think he has her soul, but FE does appear to Caleb as Buffy, so maybe he has some hold on some aspect of her. Or maybe someone we've forgotten--possibly Joyce?

[> Funny, my roommate thought the same thing -- dream, 08:15:23 04/17/03 Thu


[> Re: Has anyone asked the question yet..(spoilers for DG) -- SugarTherapy, 11:25:35 04/17/03 Thu

Well, he had her attention...

[> Re: Has anyone asked the question yet..(spoilers for DG) -- WickedBuffy, 22:22:45 04/17/03 Thu

But later, during the fighting when that same question came up (I don't have the script, someone was challenging that Caleb really DID have something of Buffys) and Caleb smiled and said "But now I do."

Don't know if he meant the SITs or Buffys attention or anger or what. But I keep wondering if he's going to use the bodies of those two dead SITs for something.

[> [> Re: Has anyone asked the question yet..(spoilers for DG) -- Alison, 09:24:10 04/18/03 Fri

USE them for something? ugh..just when I thought Caleb couldn't get more creepy...


Follow up to Finn -- who is Caleb? (Spoilers for DG) -- Sophist, 08:34:38 04/17/03 Thu

I delayed responding to your question because I wanted to re- watch the episode. Naturally, the thread got archived while I was doing that.

I had two reasons for thinking that Caleb is Satan. One is his superhuman strength. I saw several speculations that he was a deranged human. This can hardly be true in light of his fighting ability.

Then there was his dialogue with FE/Buffy after re-enacting the murder of the girl. I really need a transcript, but the FE asked why Caleb could control women and he responded "I give [or gave -- couldn't be sure] her an apple...." There was also a comment about someone dead giving him (Caleb) what he was owed.

Since Caleb is deranged, it's hard to tell what is raving and what might be true. But when I heard those lines, my reaction was "Oh, he's Satan." Of course, I could be the one who's deranged here....

[> "Satan is a small man" -- HonorH, 08:44:51 04/17/03 Thu

That line makes me think he's, what's the word, not. Besides, I doubt Joss would go that explicitly Judeo- Christian.

My thought: Caleb has somehow been imbued with the powers of the previous Big Bads. An Uber-Bad, so to speak, to serve as the physical presence of the First.

[> [> Re: "Satan is a small man" -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:07:45 04/17/03 Thu

Also, Caleb relates most things to the Bible, whether it's calling Buffy the "Whore of Babylon", or Faith "the Cain to her Abel". So he naturally drew a paralell between drawing female victims and the book of Genesis.

Obviously, Caleb isn't JUST a deranged human, but that doesn't make him the Devil, either. There are lots of beings in the Buffyverse with superstrength (though only a couple have been quite as powerful as Caleb seems to be). He could be a very powerful vampire, a demon in human form, a half-demon, a hell god, or a human being who's obtained great power either through magic or alliance with the First.

Caleb said "Satan is a small man", and, when the First Evil asks "Do you think I'm God?", he responds "I've moved beyond such concepts". Just as the First and Evil Cordy/Jasmine view themselves as beyond good and evil, Caleb has come to view himself as beyond God or Satan, the symbols of good and evil in most Christian churches.

[> [> Seriously. The man is five-foot-nine in hiking boots. -- Vyrus, 11:27:08 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> He's short, and he bogarts the Pringles at parties -- pr0ng the j01ner, 13:21:51 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> [> Oh, so now we're getting into the old "I know Satan!" shtick, are we? -- Honorificus (Who Never Name-Drops), 16:41:18 04/17/03 Thu

Always the same old story--"I met Satan at a party the other night, and he wasn't at all what you'd expect, blah, blah, blah . . ." Yeah, right. You might as well wear an "I'm Pretentious As Hell!" sticker on your forehead(s). If I had a liver for every time I heard, "I know Satan!" "I know Morgoth!" "I know Rob Schneider!" I'd be a Valtas beast.

'Sides, he's not really *that* short.

[> [> [> [> Re: Oh, so now we're getting into the old "I know Satan!" shtick, are we? -- Medusa, 16:45:13 04/17/03 Thu

I stood in line next to Satan at McDonald's in London once.

That was Mia Farrow, you liar. Arethusa

Same thing.

That's it. No more Woody Allen movies for you.

[> [> [> [> Not in your league, Your Sublime-ness -- pr0ng d'J01ner, 17:12:14 04/17/03 Thu

I'm a small town entity, O Most of Mostesses. In my "101 Dimensions of Demons" stamp book I only have the nostril- smear from a Karlatz Bogey's trunk, and the Big Guy's hoofprint. That's how he signed it, BTW. "The Big Guy" and a wumpf of sooty hoof.

I suppose I should get out more -- one or two Infernal Realm parties just makes me boring.

[> [> [> [> You'd know Satan if you saw him. -- RichardX1, 19:30:09 04/17/03 Thu

he'd make supermodels look like what came out of your butt the last time you had a bad case of diarrhea. Seriously, if he wasn't so attractive, do you think people would be so quick to jump on the Evil bandwagon?

he's still an asshole, though.

[> [> [> [> [> "Satan is evil" -- Christian propaganda - - BlueStem, 20:33:13 04/17/03 Thu

Is Satan really evil, or are people really deceived by the Christian propaganda?

One must approach this objectively.

In the Bible, there is no record of Satan killing human being. There's no record of him ordering other people to kill. On the contrary, is the act of corruption not one of kindness? He gave humans the concept of morality and the capacity for moral judgement. Like Prometheus, he uplifted human, making them better than before. And like Prometheus, his reputation is assassinated.

Sometimes, I find it surprising that there has been no Western literature taking this view.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Bit of an outsize topic, even for this board, but-- -- HonorH, 21:13:13 04/17/03 Thu

You're not reading your Bible very carefully. Look at the Book of Job--Satan kills off Job's entire family. More than that, though, without the Fall, there would have been no death. Thus, Satan is ultimately at fault for every death. "Christian propaganda?" Well, he is a figure from the Judeo- Christian mythos. That's where you'll find information about him, unless you're planning on going straight to the source, which I really wouldn't recommend.

BTW, there is an entire school of thought that man fell "up". C.S. Lewis addresses it in some of his works. Not exactly a new concept.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> not sure how you came to this conclusion -- anom, 23:47:09 04/17/03 Thu

"More than that, though, without the Fall, there would have been no death."

According to Genesis, God sent Adam & Eve out of the Garden "lest he put forth his hand & take also of the tree of life & eat & live forever." So humans weren't meant to live forever in the 1st place. Interestingly, God hadn't forbidden humans to eat from the tree of life, nor did the snake (not "Satan," & as far as I know equated w/him only in Christianity) try to induce them to eat its fruit. If "there would have been no death," there would have been no reason to have a tree of life.

I'd also point out (& I will--right now!) that when "Satan kills off Job's entire family," he does so w/God's permission. Satan is far more limited in Jewish than in Christian belief. He challenges God to let him prove that Job is faithful only because God has been good to him (Job). God gives him leave to take everything away from Job--incl. killing his family--& sets the limits: first not to do anything that affects his body, & later lifting this restriction but not allowing Satan to kill him.

This & Arethusa's post referring to the near-sacrifice of Isaac have given me an idea for a post on God's commands, tests, & expectations of obedience, which I'll try to get written tomorrow.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: not sure how you came to this conclusion -- RichardX1, 07:40:06 04/18/03 Fri

It could have been that the first two humans had regular access to the Tree of Life until their fall, at which point they were cast out of the Garden and subjected to mortality. Or it could have been that the fruit of the Tree of Life might have undone the mortality with which they were burdened after eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

And you're right about the Book of Job, anom. According to Jewish AND Christian belief, Satan cannot do anything God doesn't let him do. I'll leave discussion on the implications of this doctrine on the morality of God to folks more learned than myself.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Tidbits about Satan/Lucifer, a vacuum cleaner, and the Cult of the Virgin Mary -- Solitude1056, 11:20:52 04/18/03 Fri

(Disclaimer: I studied 20th Century Xtian Theology with the intent of Episcopalian seminary, so you may notice that my preference is for a slightly more metaphorical and liberal interpretation of Xtian principles, metaphors, and ethics. Normally I wouldn't bother, but you can read more about the reason behind this disclaimer at the bottom of the post.)


Although with the caveat that the equation of Satan, Lucifer, Da Snake and That Big Ol Revelations Beast have all become one and the same critter. This equality isn't in the original text(s) but it's the way things have evolved, to the point that I feel I'm fighting an uphill battle to get even two people to recognize that the four different metaphor/critter/demons aren't all demons, aren't all even active characters. But then, Lucifer and The Beast have become positively icons in today's form of Xtianity, and have moved 180 degrees from their original positions as simply metaphors or basic symbols. Then again, I suppose this is actually a good thing - if it were 2,000 years later on anything and we hadn't varied even a speck from the original, it'd be pretty boring. Everything that could be figured out, would be, I suppose. Cultures change, stories change. So I'm okay with that if people would just stop thinking there's a textual basis for the new and not- improved interpretation!

Satan is far more limited in Jewish than in Christian belief.

It's not that Satan gets more airplay in the Christian texts, since the "old testament" is just the Pentatuech plus some (can't recall what). It's just somewhere in the past few hundred years someone thought it'd be easier if The Bad Guy was the same regardless of the face, location, origin, or existence as a metaphor. If there had been a vacuum cleaner in the Gospels that goes on a killing spree, we would now have a Bad Guy that's a forked-tongue fire- breathing vacuum cleaner.

For a corresponding analogy: I hear the The Cult of the Virgin Mary is back at it again, despite Vatican II. If you're not familiar, that's the movement that was trying to argue that Eve was the same as Mary, albeit in a new improved version as Mary, and was the same as the woman clothed in heaven with twelve stars around her head or whatever it was. Y'know, the woman in Revelations that's a rehash of Jewish symbology where the woman represents the twelve tribes of Israel who will bring forth the new Eden or Jerusalem or whatever. So, anyway, these folks were trying to convince Rome that Eve=Mary=Starhead, so therefore Mary is damn near godhood herself thanks to showing up in three different guises, so therefore (it's been a stretch but it gets even better) Mary should be the sole Mediatrix between humanity and God. In other words, don't even bother praying to the Christ figure, ya gotta clear the appointment with his Mom. I don't give the Vatican a lot of credit most of the time, but they do get some credit for squashing this eisegetical mess.

I guess that all sums up to: people will find a way to make the story simpler, even if the changes aren't really supported by the text. I suppose it's just easier for folks if All Female Characters are actually, underneath, The Same Woman, just as if All Bad Guys are actually, underneath, The Same Bad Guy.

Or something.

I think I'll go back to studying Chinese characters now. It may be harder, but at least, no chance of inadvertantly picking a word or phrase that mistakenly offends. Cause after reviewing the potentially emotional posts - given that we are discussing issues that many people believe, and sometimes quite strongly - it seems to me that if we aren't careful to remain as objective and polite as possible, it could turn into a quagmire with a bunch of hurt feelings.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, ya know, cats and dogs tend to be very afraid of vacuum cleaners. -- OnM, 19:32:02 04/18/03 Fri

So maybe you're on to something here!

;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "Satan is evil" -- Christian propaganda -- Cecilia, 07:30:50 04/18/03 Fri

Actually there is a book that takes just that viewpoint, in a way. It is part of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles (although in my opinion, it shouldn't have been). The title is "Memnoch the Devil" and it explores the issues of God and Satan in just such a light. If I remember correctly, and it has been many years since I read the book, the basic premise of the story is that Lucifer (or in this case Memnoch) was cast out of heaven for disagreeing with God that mankind should have free will. His arguement was that man should be elevated above "heavenly" beings (Angels and the like)because they were a divine creation and also they should be given a place in heaven. The Angels (particularly Gabriel if I remember correctly) were against this notion as men were considered animals. God through down the gauntlet and basically said, "Ok if they prove themselves worthy" but denied all heavenly creatures to interefere with this determination. Lucifer disagreed, taking the point of view that man needed to be given the opportunity to choose a life worthy of heavenly reward. For this he was cast out of heaven and set about "deveoping" sin for the purpose of allowing mankind the opportunity to enter into heaven.
Of course at the end of the story, you are left to wonder if this was a true representation of events. After all, the Devil does lie. But regardless, I thought it was a fascinating twist on the perception of notions of good & evil, sin & innocence, etc. The whole First Evil/Jasmine scenario has reminded me somewhat of it, as has a lot of discussions on this board.
But like I said, it has been many years since I read the book so I hope I didn't screw up the facts too bad. I think that was the basic premise though.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "Satan is evil" -- Christian propaganda -- Alison, 10:28:31 04/18/03 Fri

Another example of lit. that challenges the Christian veiw of the fall that has been discussed on the board : The His Dark Materials triology, by Phillip Pullman. If you haven't read them, I encourage you to do so. I finished a week ago, and absolutely loved them. I don't remember who brought them up, but thank you!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks for the reference (NT) -- BlueStem, 20:35:38 04/18/03 Fri


[> Re: Follow up to Finn -- who is Caleb? (Spoilers for DG) -- Vesica, 12:38:16 04/17/03 Thu

I am joining the not Satan chorus. But that doesn't really explain what/who he is either. I am voting against Uber- Vamp as all the ones we have seen so far were obviously/visably vampires. Even Anya goes all demon-y when she was exhibiting superstrength.

So we are left with - another Glory-like being? Not like Caleb hasn't already proved to be nuts - in the grand tradtion of Big Bads. Or perhaps someone much more mundane whom the FE can possess or work through. I think that the frequent Judeo-Christian references are all pointing to a rejection of the black/white view of good and evil there. But then Caleb embraces this in his revival of the old 'woman corrupted man' tune. 'Tis a mystery - and an entertaining one at that!

[> [> Anything to be made from Caleb's name? -- pilgrim, 07:38:38 04/18/03 Fri

I don't remember seeing anyone mention that Caleb was a character from the Hebrew Bible--he was one of the spies sent by Moses into the land of Canaan. The story goes like this: Caleb and the other spies were charged with checking out Canaan and reporting back whether it was good for habitation and whether it was already occupied. They reported that the land was good, flowing with milk and honey. But Caleb was the only spy who believed the Israelites could take the land away from its current inhabitants. The other spies saw the inhabitants as giants, and they convinced the people that any attempt to conquer Canaan would end in defeat. The people wanted to return to slavery in Egypt, and God consequently punished them by making them spend forty years wandering in the wilderness. If IRC, Caleb was rewarded for his faith by being allowed to cross into Canaan (at the end of the forty years) and become part of the group that would defeat the inhabitants and occupy the land.

So what relevance? Caleb stands out for being the one with the necessary faith to believe that what seemed impossible was possible. He could see the obstacles, but he also believed in the inevitability of victory, with the help of God. Not so happily, he believed that his group, chosen and aided by a supernatural power, could and should appropriate the good land and the good things enjoyed by the people who were already living in Canaan.

Caleb on the show may share some of these traits. He is going into "enemy" territory as an agent of a higher (or lower) power. (But perhaps the hellmouth already sort of "belongs" to the FE, like Canaan "belonged" to the Israelites?) He seems to believe in the inevitability of his side's victory. He believes in the FE's cause, perhaps simply because it seems to him to have the power to do what it wants.

I don't want to step on any toes by analogizing too closely Caleb the evil tv character and Caleb the biblical hero. But if ME is commenting on religion/faith/devotion through the show, perhaps there is a connection that's worth looking at. The story of the Israelites in Canaan suggests that when humans are utterly devoted to God's cause and act boldly, the aid of God helps them to a power greater than they otherwise would possess, enabling them to defeat stronger enemies. Perhaps Caleb the evil tv character is a a "mere" human who, through devotion and boldness, has been super-empowered by the supernatural FE. Perhaps Buffy, by defeating Caleb (she's gotta defeat him, right) in a way that relies on her self and her friends, will suggest an alternate path to success, one that is more humanistic than supernatural.

[> Re: Follow up to Finn -- who is Caleb? (Spoilers for DG) -- grifter, 13:40:57 04/17/03 Thu

Caleb said he¥s moved beyond concepts such as good and evil. Buffy clearly hasn¥t, so he has power over her. She still clings to the concepts taught to her by her authority figures like Giles or Wood. It is clear she won¥t be able to win this battle by making war against Caleb. When she finally discovers that her perceptions of good and evil are flawed and she moves beyond them too, embracing love (instead of hate like Caleb) she will be able to defeat him.

[> Re: Follow up to Finn -- who is Caleb? (Spoilers for DG) -- Cecilia, 07:47:00 04/18/03 Fri

I'm probably way off base here, but the first thing that popped into my head when I saw him demonstrate how physically strong he was, was "anti-slayer". Like I said, probably way wrong, but; basically human guy with preternatural strength but batting for the other team.


Conspiracy theories and the Magic Bullet (spoilers) -- lunasea, 09:19:49 04/17/03 Thu

I love conspiracy theories. I donít believe them. I just find them and the people that come up with them fascinating. It isnít that I accept everything the government or media tells me, either. What fascinates me about conspiracy theories and theorists are how important these events are to them. They are practically consumed my them. They come up with these elaborate ideas (they are not fans of Ockham) in order to give their world some structure, but the world that results is incredibly dark and dangerous. It feeds their paranoia and takes away their hope.

The biggest thing in American history that modern conspiracy theorists are consumed by was the death of John F. Kennedy. The Magic Bullet supposedly went through Governor Connolly AND the President shattering two bones and causing seven different wounds, yet emerged pristine to be found on the stretcher carrying Gov. Connolly. (that is from memory, so excuse me if I got details wrong) It was the magic bullet that caused conspiracy theorists to suspect a government cover-up. Arlen Specter is an idiot.

Fred plays Oswald and uses a magic bullet on Jasmine AND Angel, with that bullet emerging pristine from Jasmine except for it carrying her blood. Fred is from Texas. I am sure she is familiar with what happened at Dealey Plaza (as should any American). For the audience, just to make sure that we are on the right page, Jasmine tells the book store guy that Oswald acted alone before this happens. This does several things. First, it gives him the answer to his most burning question. Second, it makes the world a nicer place. No more government conspiracy to either murder the President or cover it up. Third, it makes a statement about conspiracy theories.

What I love about conspiracy theories are how they are always about control, or rather lack of it. The government lies to us. The government does whatever it wants. How can we fight that? These elaborate schemes are concocted by those in power (government and industry) in order to do what they want and get us to do what they want us to do. The ultimate in paranoia is the idea that we are implanted with various things so we can be controlled. A really funny idea, when the bookstore guy said it, but in the Buffyverse this has happened, with Spike. The Initiative is a conspiracy theoristís dream, or rather worst nightmare.

When Jasmine said that Oswald acted alone, she debunked all those conspiracy theories surrounding the biggest mystery in modern American history. What is that saying about herself? Prior to ìShiny Happy People,î the gang was coming up with a pretty involved conspiracy theory to explain what was going on. When Angel gets hit with the magic bullet he is back in conspiracy land.

I love where Fred turned when she needed help. She didnít go to the occult places. She knew they had nothing on Jasmine. Instead she went to the people obsessed with control, conspiracy theorists. The bookstoreís name tells what its specialty is. The conspiracy guy has been affected by Jasmine though. ìI've still got the implants in my head....CIA still listening (whispers) it just doesn't bother me anymore. Instead I..I just beam Jasmines love up to their satellite, you know share the love with those M K - ultra bastards.î (thanks Rufus for the transcription) He still has all his theories, but he doesnít care if they are trying to control him.

Why? He says nothing is good on radio ìsince Art Bell retired.î Are Bell used to have on people who studied UFOs, psychics and conspiracy theorists. The program was about all sorts of unexplained phenomenon. That is the world that conspiracy guy lives in. Jasmine shows him something else. She gives him hope that a ìutopian wonderlandî not only is possible, but is here. His theories are now infected by hope. So what if the CIA is listening in. They arenít going to hurt him.

Angel is hit with the magic bullet and doesnít feel this way. His world is dangerous again. The utopian wonderland is just a cover for something sinister. It doesnít help that Jasmine knows her blood has this effect (more on why in another thread) or what she says to Connor about Angel being as dead to them as Fred.

Poor Angel. His world has been turned upside down again. Donít think he has to worry about being happy for a while (at least a couple of episodes any way). He is now in the position that causes people to come up with conspiracy theories in the first place. What will Angel come up with? Will it be right?


OH, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. Big fat huge groaning, with mild spoilers for Slouching Towards Los Angeles. -- Solitude1056, 10:30:14 04/17/03 Thu

Now I know why Cordy sang that Whitney Houston song when she came back sans memory.





I still hate that song, but it seems to have served its purpose, however devious. Bleah!


Touched by The Equalizer (Spoilers Magic Bullet) -- s'kat, 10:32:17 04/17/03 Thu

Two men, way back in the fall of 1999, (I think it was 1999), had a dream, they wanted to do a twisted noir gothic version of the hit religious show Touched By An Angel. Wouldn't it be great, they thought to do Touched by An Equalizer? Someone who wants to help the helpless? But is actually a vampire, who every time he helps has to resist the urge to well eat them? Someone who wants to connect, be like an Angel, but is actually cursed by that desire and an Angel in name only? And when he helps the best he can do is equalize the situation?

Well they realized that dream and turned it into a nifty serial called Angel The Series.

Satire - is defined in American Heritage Dictionary as an artistic work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision or wit. Jonathan Swift excelled at it with essays and novels that poked nasty fun at his society. The most famous was a little essay about how we can handle the problem of orphans - we eat them. It's called an Immodest Proposal. He used wit and irony and derision. In science fiction and fantasy, particularly horror, anthologies - I see elements of Satire and parody all the time. Ray Bradbury was a master at it in such works as Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Martian Chronicles, the Sound of Thunder, and The Veldt. The satire was of our hopes and dreams, our modern manners.

While talking to a friend last night, I realized something about Jasmine, what it was about her that nagged at me. My friend said - she talks just like those people on Touched By An Angel. Says the same platitudes. Is lit by the same aura of wonder, dresses in the same floaty fashions, even her tone of voice. She sounds just like them. And people around her react in almost the same way. They are poking fun at Touched by An Angel. Then my friend, a devote Catholic who sings in her choir and goes to church every week and does believe in God, asked why do I prefer these demon horror shows to Touched by An Angel? Why do those platitudes bug me so?

Someone else said the same thing about platitudes a while back, on this very board. I remember because I responded to what they said defensively. Because I did not understand what they meant. I do now. Platitudes - false promises.

Then my friend, the devout Catholic, brought up something else that got me to thinking - isn't Fred a bit like the athesist who has lost her faith and wishes it was real, wishes she could believe and is now completely isolated and alone? Fred's journey in SHP and Magic Bullet is interesting - because in some ways it is the depiction of the questioning soul. The person who wakes up one day and realizes that wait maybe everything they thought was true isn't? Angel and the rest of the AI gang go through a similar experience, but not to the same degree - when they go through it, there is someone nearby for them to lean on. When Fred does? She's alone.

Jasmine doesn't make false promises, exactly. She tells everyone they are connected and she can use that connection to find people, to find them. True, she can and they are.
She tells the people that they will never feel alone again nor ever need be without her - that's not a lie. She will give them feelings of peace and hope and they can all get along. Also not a lie.

But what happens if you choose not to buy these things? When you don't believe? You become isolated. Hunted. Alone.
Terrified.

What hit me by the episode was how it poked horrible fun at our need to believe in things. The whole Beach Boys montage: Wouldn't it be nice? And how just as they sing the line Wouldn't it be nice if we could get married? Fred runs frantically through the crowd pursued by her two former lovers Gunn and Wesley who both intend to either kill her or capture her. Not long ago, both Gunn and Wes loved Fred, would die for Fred. Now...they'd die for Jasmine, agape with love for the higher being.

Later we get Fred and the cute little green demon, who seems actually relatively harmless. For a moment I was almost fooled into believing the demon was telling Fred the truth - he was being persecuted like she was. Then the horrific reveal - of the hands. They looked rubber to me, so for a moment, I thought maybe they actually were. Nope.
It was a flashback to Pylea. Fred has been here before. In fact if you think about it the whole Jasmine arc and the shiny happy people is in a way a twisted look at Pylea, a paradise, sunny, Angel can walk in sunlight, only to turn into a hell dimension run by demons with people as collared slaves. Fred was alone there, living in a cave. Cordelia was the princess on the throne being worshipped. Once again Fred is alone in a cave and Cordelia is lying like sleeping beauty surrounded by candles being worshipped.

Through satire - science fiction/fantasy can often make comments on our social mannerisms without incurring our wrath. This episode made quite a few. One was how we exclude others who do not believe as we do. It's the biggest fallacy of religion in a way - that it brings everyone together. We gather together to get the Lord's Blessing. We are all connected under him in love. And I'm not saying we aren't exactly. But the curious thing is - we have hundreds of branches of Christianity and they all think the other branchs are deluded. Oh they all believe in Christ and God, they just disagree on the how, why's and wherefores. As much as religion is supposed to bring us together - it also separates us. That is the ironic truth at the center of it. Those who do not believe as we do, are doomed to live outside the box. Think about it? Some Catholics refuse to marry anyone who isn't Catholic. My father told my mother she had to convert to Catholicism or at least raise their kids Catholic. Lucky for me? My mother, an Episcopalian at the time, didn't care and easily did it. I find it so ironic. In fact in the Catholic church, only those who are confirmed in the Catholic Church, may take communion in the Catholic Church. It's blasphemous for someone who isn't Catholic to do so. Sounds a bit exclusive, doesn't it?

This episode throws out a few interesting religous analogies in an almost satirical way:

1. After Angel and Fred manage to use Cordelia's blood to wake up Lorne - Lorne states : "And tonight the role of Judas Iscariot will by played by yours truly..."
Judas betrayed Christ to the Roman Guards as a false messiah.

2. Angel figures out that the blood of the mother will wake up the followers to what Jasmine is. This has both mythic and religious overtones. It also neatly connects to Btvs.
Mother's Milk is Red Today. In this case it also cures or contaminates depending on your pov.

3. Instead of the followers metaphorically eating the Messiah, a la the last supper, and metaphorically becoming one with him. The Messiah, Jasmine, eats the followers in green glowy ceremony that suggests they've literally become one or part of her. In the last supper or holy communion, taking the body and blood of Christ contains a sort of spiritual healing property. Some faiths actually believe it does heal. In last night's episode, Jasmine heals herself by eating her followers. A nice satirical twist on communion. Also a wonderful allusion to the devouring goddess.

4. Jihad. The demon that Fred encounters in the cave, states quite clearly that he's hiding from the demon jihad.
Jihad means holy war or cause. And the demon is evil and does eat people. It's not a cute obnoxious curmudgeon that deserves to live. But at the same time, it's no different than the leader who is telling everyone to kill it. Reminds me of Joseph Conrad's Colonel Kurtz who is as demonic as the people he wants to kill. Or Hitler. Or the numerous others who call holy wars.

Even the song Mandy is incredibly ironic. Isn't it about a woman who took everything, left the guy feeling empty, but still ironically devoted to her? Because she made him feel wonderful at the time? Sounds quite a bit like Jasmine. She offers the followers everything they want yet does and does not give it to them. She gives them peace of mind. And truth is, that's what they want most - peace of mind. Only problem with "peace of mind" is you tend to sit down where you are and not do anything. Our worries are often what motivates us. Our desires. If all our desires are met? Why move? Why act? People crowd the Hyperion to be close to the thing that meets their desires. And when that thing chooses them, they jump for joy. Wes and Gunn wonder aloud when and if they'll ever be chosen. And in a way they should jump for joy - because their desire is to become one with the thing and well they do, just not quite in the way they expected. Nice satiric twist on our whole desire to be one with God, isn't it?

Oh and then there's the whole being connected to one another. Which makes me grin, because well it's so nastily ironic when I think back on my No Human is An Island Essay.
John Donne must be rolling in his grave. Oh we are connected all right. And it is a good thing. But also a very bad thing. Willow states the paradox well in Lessons - everything is connected, roots, everything to the earth, but oh my god, it's not good, there's darkness there, and the earth has teeth, it wants to swallow us. In Angel we get Habeas Corpus - the episode where the lawyers die only to return as zombies. Through it all we wonder if the Beast turned them into the zombies or it was security voodoo. And Gunn ironically asks Wes to kill him if he ever becomes like that. The lawyers are all connected and they act as a mob united, yet also mindless. It's a catch-22, yes it's great to be connected but not if you have to give up your individuality, your identity for it. Jasmine tells the gang, we are all connected, join hands and I'll find Fred, she goes through them to other humans and finds Fred, to the extent that they have no will of their own, they blindly stop everything to get Fred. One man's car explodes and on fire he walks towards Fred, mindlessly saying don't worry Fred, I won't hurt you. Just like the zombies in W&H.
Jasmine has to break off the connection - because she too is burned. The man's ills affect her. A weakness. You get the benefits and detriments with connection, baby.

The other thing they make fun of is the whole saying: All we need is love. Through my love...you will be connected and love one another. I think Jasmine states love about six times in the episode. Well, yes love is important. But blind devotion, love where you give up everything and all that you are isn't healthy. As Buffy states to Spike in Seeing Red - wild passionate love consumes and burns. Jasmine's love consumes her followers. Angel The Series is after all a horror serial, it shows us the dark edge of these emotions - the nightmare. It flips blind devotion on its head. Angel goes to his lover Cordelia and kisses her forehead before cutting her wrist. When her hand grabs his, as if to stop him, he rejoices thinking she's back, but she's not. And he grieves. This is positive love. The negative effects of love are the blind devotion Wes and Gunn feel for Jasmin

[> For once and for all, Mandy is a song about a DOG. -- Solitude1056, 10:36:33 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> So? It's even more funny in that light. LMAO! -- s'kat, 10:43:56 04/17/03 Thu

A dog that took everything leaving the poor master empty. Reminds me of an anthology series about a man who turned his dog into his girlfriend in order to have that type of unconditional devoted love. Of course to do it, he had to turn the girlfriend into the dog. Very squicky episode of the horror anthology series called Friday The 13th. That's why people love dogs isn't it? As long as you feed them, walk them, pet them, they love unconditionally.

It's a satirical use of the song. Actually that makes it even more hilarous if you think about it! Mandy is about a dog, the worship of a dog. Think about that for a moment.

Bwahhahhah!!

[> [> [> No, it's not funny at all... -- Caroline, 12:07:48 04/17/03 Thu

I have to agree with Sol. The dog did not come into her master's life and leave him empty. It's not about worshipping the dog. The dog loved him unconditionally, gives everything and doesn't take anything in return and then the master sends the dog away. The master repays selflessness with betrayal. The master later recognizes his own short-sightedness because he needs that love and devotion now. But has the master changed in any sort of way to deserve Mandy coming back? It's still all about the master. It's a horrific view of relationship in my view - totally what is in it for me. It's not the same situation with Jasmine at all - because Jasmine is doing a whole lot of taking, unlike Mandy. In fact, everyone in LA right now is probably like Mandy in terms of their response to Jasmine.

Please, let's at least get our references straight before we start using them in our analysis.

Here is the song:

I remember all my life raining down as cold as ice
Shadows of a man a face through a window
Crying in the night
The night goes into morning
Just another day
Happy people pass my way
Looking in their eyes, I see a memory
I never realized how happy you made me.

CHORUS:

Oh Mandy
Well you came and you gave without taking
But I sent you away
Oh Mandy
Well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking
And I need you today
Oh Mandy.

Standing on the edge of time
I've walked away when love was mine
Caught up in a world of uphill climbing
The tears are in my eyes and nothing is rhyming.

CHORUS

Yesterday's a dream I face the morning
Crying on a breeze the pain is calling.

CHORUS

Oh Mandy
You came and you gave without taking
But I sent you away
Oh Mandy
You kissed me and stopped me from shaking
And I need you...

[> [> [> [> Yes well, I'm paying for it aren't I? -- s'kat, 21:37:23 04/17/03 Thu

Who'd have thunk it? I've been hijacked by an obsession on the meaning of an old Barry Manilow ditty?

It's hilarous actually - the hijacking, the obession with figuring out Mandy..not the content of your post (don't want to risk offending you again). Actually this whole thing is really really ironically funny to me. Now before you get upset - let me clarify: I made a ton of mistakes in that post, some my fault, some the fault of voy:

1. the Immodest Proposal? It's actually a Modest Proposal.
I screwed up on the title. Was worried about someone yelling at me about it. Did anyone? Noooo. I shouldn't have worried. Because my greatest sin? Was screwing up on the lyrics of Mandy! (Actually no, it was not figuring out Mandy was about a dog, or might be about a dog - that's still up for debate apparently.)

2. Voy ate half my post...leaving off a crucial bit comparing the episode to Habeas Corpus zombies and the episodes THAW and Supersymmetry. I can't remember that bit, sorry. Should have noticed it, since the post ended oddly, no signature and just Jasminy... But stupid, silly me - did not re-read that part of my original post, because I got distracted by the post on Mandy. It's a disease I tell you!

3. I think I may have screwed up on some of the religion metaphors, was trying not to. Was tempted to draw a parallel between Jasmine and Kali - devouring Momma, but decided would get blasted so didn't. Shouldn't have worried about that. I could have done a whole analysis on Kali, no one would have noticed. Why? MANDY!

4. I definitely screwed up on the lyrics...which uhm you didn't pick up on until I posted in response to Sol, who didn't pick up on it either. So kudos on picking up on the lyrics - only one who did as far as I can tell. (Was always horrible at remembering lyrics by the way, I suffer from a malady known as audio dyslexia - I mishear lyrics all the time...why I do close-captioning, just didn't in this case, very bad. Should know better. But I paid for it, now I have Mandy stuck forever in my head, thank you very much.)

And if you read below, Mandy may possibly NOT be about a dog after all. The Second Evil may, gasp, actually be WRONG! The debate goes on and on and on...LOL! Now you have to admit that's uh just a tad amusing?

So...guess my only sin was well
getting the lyrics wrong. I've got audio dyslexia, I flip things in my memory. Silly I know. But it's a thing.
I honestly flipped those lyrics. I thought that was the song. sigh. So apologize for that. Sorry so did not mean to offend.

[> [> [> [> [> uhm sorry, Caroline... -- s'kat, 22:10:12 04/17/03 Thu

Been in a very odd mood of late. Veering between Snarky, dark humor and crankiness...hope nothing in the above post came off as offensive.

Was all meant in the spirit of good fun. I just can't take Mandy seriously. I'm not completely certain of this, but I don't think ME does either.

But your post...and I'm assuming it was meant to be taken seriously, did have some really interesting points.

Again sorry. Not a Mandy fan.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Some comments and extensions... -- Caroline, 11:37:55 04/18/03 Fri

I found your style of response rather confusing. I did not mean to 'make you pay'. I took what you wrote seriously and I meant my post seriously. I did not actually take any offence at your post - it just took me aback. I'm sorry that you suffer from dyslexia. But we all make mistakes, and not all our posts are greeted with acclaim. Sometimes we just have to adjust to that. And, I'm not a fan of either Mandy or Barry Manilow. I doubt that I've heard it once in the last 20 years but the hook is so cheesy it sticks. And, googling up the lyrics took no time at all.

An attempt to deal with one of the points you make in your original post does not fit the definition of hijacking the thread. If we had gone off on another tangent unrelated to your post, then perhaps that would qualify. Your point about Mandy was up for a much criticism/acclaim as any of the other points you made. I'm sorry that you felt that way but when we give birth to our creations they no longer belong to us.

Sometimes when one is critical of a post, it's difficult to know how to respond. Very often, I do not. I remember an experience I had critiquing a post you did once where you included an analysis of yin/yang theory that used the concepts incorrectly. There were almost a dozen reponses saying that the post was fabulous and I was seriously questioning my knowledge from years of study in oriental medicine. I checked all my sources and checked your post again and again before posting a critique. The responses I got from other posters was that this was not worth criticizing because they understood what you meant. I was rather taken aback - I value clear communication in any discussion and at least for me, unclear communication should be rectified. I though the misuse of the concepts detracted from my understanding of your arguments. I know there have been times I have been guilty of not coming across clearly and I value those who point out to me my errors in a sincere and non-judgemental way. I understood that you had messed up the title of the Swift book - but I didn't want to come across as attacking or too nit-picking so I left it alone. The same with your points about Kali:

Jasmine can be seen as the devouring mother. She is taking control of people's mind, suffocating their agency, their independence. This is not what Kali does. Kali does not seek total control over others, she does not wish them to be dependent children. She devours when she loses control while destroying demons and can be brought back to reason in several ways. Jasmine takes away free will. The enchanted have no will of their own, they are kept in a ignorant paradise, a state of unconsciousness and lack of self- knowledge. Kali's gift if the gift of the knowledge of life - both the wonderful and painful. Jasmine's gift is not knowledge, but soma.

There are different aspects of myth that we can explore to find a corollary. A parallel can be made to the Garden of Eden, with Fred as Eve. There are many stories in myth about the fall from grace. The central theme in each is that when one acquires self-knowledge, one is cast out of paradise into a world of suffering. In psychological terms, it is being ejected from the womb and the psychological separation from mother. It is the movement from unconsciousness to consciousness. Perhaps Joss and co. are showing here that the 'fall from grace' myth with a perfect God and an imperfect world is one that is up for criticism. If Joss and co. are saying that the divine being is imperfect too - then this interpretation begins to look more and more like the Gnostic view rather than the Christian view. But I don't think that either of these views fit the entirety of the evidence. We know that Jasmine is a demi-urge (or daughter of a demi-urge?) who thinks that she is a true god - still gnostic but a slightly different parellel. Whatever the precise theological or psyhocological underpinnings, I would agree that it is definitely a story about the dangers of religious fundamentalism (and not religion per se). That's why I don't agree that Jasmine is a god and Fred is the athiest - it could as easily be more validly interpreted as the demi-urge and the critical believer. I think the theme here is the importance of the examined life, whether you are a monotheist, polytheist, theist, deist, pantheist, atheist or none of the above.

[> [> [> [> [> Your original post did seem shorter than usual -- Jay, 22:55:18 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> [> [> [> I didn't pick up on the lyrics on purpose. -- Solitude1056, 10:44:06 04/18/03 Fri

That would require actually listening to the horrible thing, and I have studiously avoided ever listening to any Manilow (or BeeGees, for that matter) all the way through. So, no, don't expect me to catch any lyrical errors quoting Manilow - I only knew the bit about the dog. That's about it.

Though I'm still laughing over the revelation that English may've written the song after putting the dog to sleep. I mean, really. It just doesn't get more precious than that.

[> [> Is that true?!? Mandy's a dog!?! Please GOD tell me you're not joking! -- dream, 12:26:06 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> [> If this is true, it just made my day! -- Rob, 12:58:59 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> [> [> And... (Orpheus spoiler) -- Rob, 13:03:23 04/17/03 Thu

...it adds even greater significance symbolically to Angel saving the puppy!

Rob

[> [> [> So wierd that I must Google -- pr10n, 13:06:42 04/17/03 Thu

That freaked me right out -- how could I ever tell my mother that "Mandy" is about a dog? So I googled and found that in "Can't Hardly Wait" (1998, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and including AMBER BENSON (scenes deleted) and MELISSA JOAN HART) there is an conversation about whether or not "Mandy" is about a dog. I didn't find any Manilow quotes that confirm or deny.

To stay on topic: If Angel likes "Mandy" and "Mandy" is about a dog, then is Spike somehow a dog?

[> [> [> [> Follow-up google-age -- pr10n, 13:18:18 04/17/03 Thu

I found this interview from March 2002 in the U of Deleware campus newspaper:

Is the song "Mandy" about his dog?

The only answer provided Sunday night is a passing comment from Barry.

"I'm so glad you can appreciate good lyrics. I didn't write 'Mandy,' but aren't the lyrics beautiful?"

"Well you came and you gave without taking / But I sent you away / Oh, Mandy / Well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking / I need you today."

That must be some dog.


Here's the URL: http://www.review.udel.edu/archive/2002_Issues/03.19.02/inde x.php3?section=3&article=1

Now I really must pretend to work for a while. Google experts? Let 'er rip!

[> [> [> [> Re: So weird that I must Google -- Darby, 13:19:46 04/17/03 Thu

All I can find online is that it is a widely-disseminated rumor, but no indication of where the rumor started. Manilow did not write the song, Scott English did, and it was originally "Brandy," but I can't find much beyond that.

[> [> [> [> Re: So wierd that I must Google -- Alison, 15:11:03 04/17/03 Thu

weirdly enough, I'm writing an essay about the dog metaphor and love in the Buffyverse, that I hope to post soon.

[> [> [> [> [> More shaggy dog stories (mild spoiler for DG) -- ponygirl, 06:48:54 04/18/03 Fri

One of the meanings for the name Caleb is dog.

Happy essay writing!

[> [> Sol is right Mandy is a dog......... -- Rufus, 13:04:14 04/17/03 Thu

Now I have a vision of Angel giving a heart wrenching rendition of the Afterlife speech "every night I save you" to some pooch...;)

[> [> My heartfelt apologies for mentioning Mandy. Where's a good editing demon when you need one? -- s'kat, 15:31:34 04/17/03 Thu

Have to say people never fail to surprise me. The one thing I never expected to get called on was uh...a reference to a Barry Manilow song. One that you can't tell by the lyrics is about a dog.

I mean it was only two sentences of a long analysis and not really central to it. (Nor was it really central to the episode, although I do find it odd that Angel is enamored of a song about a dog.) In fact I can easily delete those two lines and the analysis would stay intact. Would that help?

Really sorry for offending those Barry Manilow fans.
Hope you'll forgive me.

[> [> [> Lol -- Arethusa, 15:36:13 04/17/03 Thu

I googled Mandy (hey, if I weren't compulsive I wouldn't be here). The lyrics were written by Scott English but it was called Brandy. Manilow changed the name to avoid confusion with another song called Brandy and slowed the tempo. There is a rumor English wrote the song after sending his dog to be euthanized, but since the lyrics include "you kissed me and stopped me from shaking," I'm going to pretend the rumor is wrong.

[> [> [> [> PERFECT! bwahahahahahahahaha... -- Solitude1056, 16:34:16 04/17/03 Thu

There is a rumor English wrote the song after sending his dog to be euthanized...

Bwahahahaha!




Well, I think that just about sums it up. Now can we go back to forgetting we've actually heard the song or variations three times in the past two years?

[> [> [> [> [> Try Snopes.com I'm feeling this is up there with "Mandy" originally being "Randy" from gay bashers. -- Briar Rose (urban legend slayer), 17:20:17 04/17/03 Thu

There was an Urban Legend that not only had Manilow recorded it as a gay love song, but that he has substituted the name of Mandy because it could be male or female (think Mandy Patinkin) and it wouldn't be confused with "Brandy" by the band Looking Glass.

All rumours and to my knowledge Barry Manilow has never considered it about a dog, nor did the original writer, Scott English. Unless English had a very odd relaionship with his dog.~w~

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Try Snopes.com -- LadyStarlight, 19:24:26 04/17/03 Thu

Okay, so obviously I have no life, because I just spent 20 minutes checking this out on snopes.com with no results. Nothing on Manilow at all, actually. Some gross stuff on Elton John....

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Try Snopes.com - Nope not an Urban Legend -- Dochawk, 20:35:27 04/17/03 Thu

I'm about to date myself here - November 1977 - Barry Manilow concert at Crisler Arena (I think) - he talked about Mandy - it was written by two guys (was the other one Kerr?). originally it was about a dog named Brandy. He changed the name because of the song Brandy by the Looking Glass _ (Brandy, your a fine girl, what a good wife you would make) and the original writers changed some of the lyrics to make it more romantic. Manilow was awesome in concert and it was well worth it. :)

[> [> [> [> [> A more interesting question... -- s'kat, 21:14:33 04/17/03 Thu

Would be why does ME keep reminding us that Angel has a thing for this song? Is someone at ME a die-hard Barry Manilow fan? Or do they hate Manilow? Do they hate Mandy?
Is it just the most popular song on karaoke? Or they just happened to get rights to it and nothing else?

Is there an inside joke we or rather I don't know about?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Sorry - I hadn't tried snopes before suggesting it - my bad! -- Briar Rose, 23:14:20 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> [> Attempt at reparation -- pr10n, 16:13:33 04/17/03 Thu

Hey Shadowkat!

You wrote a great essay and launched an inadvertent Manilow subthread, so you get a ditty:

"Woke up this mornin', I was feelin' around for my dog,
I knew I should be spitted by a log,
I've got those Jasmine-filkin' soulful-vampire blues.
Yeah those singing-with-my-hellspawn, white guy power-ballad blues."

Apologies to Robert Johnson, Hindu Love Gods, and Mandy the Wonder Dog. Peace out.

[> [> [> Editor sends regrets as she is out walking the dog.....;) -- Rufus, 19:16:56 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> [> [> Whose name don't tell me? is Mandy? LOL! -- s'kat, 21:40:18 04/17/03 Thu

Having an image of Ack the editing demon walking his/her dog named Mandy...or more appropriately Voy.

[> The Weakness, Choices, and Evil (Spoilers Magic Bullet) -- Darby, 10:49:46 04/17/03 Thu

So, if in her "connected" state, enough of Jasmine's followers were seriously injured / killed, she might suffer enough to be destroyed? It would be interesting if AI had to consider that as a possible solution - more sacrifices for the greater good...

[> [> Who is expendable for greater good?(Spoilers Magic Bullet) -- s'kat, 15:41:05 04/17/03 Thu

So, if in her "connected" state, enough of Jasmine's followers were seriously injured / killed, she might suffer enough to be destroyed? It would be interesting if AI had to consider that as a possible solution - more sacrifices for the greater good...

Yes it would be an interesting parallel to all the ends- justify-the means imagery in Buffy. Just who is expendable?
Giles tells Buffy - everyone is expendable for the greater good to save the world. Wes also views it this way. Wonder if they'll follow through on that little idea?

Thanks for the reply.

[> Great Post (Spoilers Magic Bullet) -- Arethusa, 11:54:14 04/17/03 Thu

Fantastic post. I agree with everything and wish I could have said it this well.

Fred is the atheist, afraid that she's the crazy one because she sees something everyone else doesn't. Feeling bereft and lost without faith, but unable to reconcile what she sees with what she is told to believe.

Be careful what you wish for. Everything has consequences- magic, faith, everything.

The Jasmine arc is very clearly using religious imagery to talk about the nature of faith and its consequences. What will you give up for the promise of happiness and love? Freedom, someone else's life, your own life? Love is not the be-all and end-all of existence. Love can be a terrible thing, as "Him" showed. In the name of love people kill others, kill themselves, break laws, try to totally alter others. Xander left Anya at the altar out of love. Willow mind-wiped Tara and tried to destroy the world out of love. Spike sired his mother and tried to rape Buffy out of love.

[> [> I agree -- DickBD, 12:48:45 04/17/03 Thu

It was good enough that I saved it. (Not knowing Mandy was a dog didn't ruin it for me. After reading the lyrics to the song, I'm still not sure it was a dog. I guess I need to go back and read them again.) In any case, it was a great, thought-provoking post, as we have come to expect from Shadowcat.

[> [> [> Thank you, appreciate it. -- s'kat, 15:48:19 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> Thank you(Spoilers Magic Bullet) -- s'kat, 15:21:23 04/17/03 Thu

Finally someone who could see past that stupid Mandy reference. I really wish I'd edited that out. Where is a good editing demon when you need it??

Yes, I think that was the point - love can lead us to do great things and horrible ones. What is it that Buffy says in an earlier episode - "Love makes you do the wacky".

Thank you for that Aerustha. Sanity at last.

[> Ignore dog talk -- the good stuff is out here! -- pr10n <-- sorry for the hijack, SK, 13:43:09 04/17/03 Thu


[> [> yeah well it kept the post alive... -- s'kat, 22:13:44 04/17/03 Thu

Although have to say it's the first time I've ever been hijacked by a discussion on a Barry Manilow song.

[> Oh dang! The Connor Half my essay was edited out (Spoilers Magic Bullet) -- s'kat, 17:08:56 04/17/03 Thu

I just realized Ack - the editing demon in all it's glory edited off the end of my essay. My essay did not end with Jasminy - it had at least three more paragraphs, including a long bit on Connor. Dang it! Why oh why couldn't it have edited that stupid Mandy line? No wonder I got the responses I did. I was expecting all this stuff on Connor and chosen ones and I get a Mandy sub-thread?? Note to self re-read even after it posts. I could have corrected the problem. Or better yet? Write the essay in word not in a posting box. I'll never learn.


Okay calming down now. Let's see if I can remember the rest of it. You have no idea how annoying this is. To work hard on something only to discover the editing demon ate it. And I can't bring it back. Makes one want to give up on the whole posting thing all together.

Okay...here's the bit I wrote on Connor and chosen ones, no where near as good as the original, but what can one do?:

Connor - lot's of interesting things going on here. When Wes and company decide to wake Connor up to what is going on they use Cordelia's blood, but it doesn't work.
Why?
1. Connor - was a believer in Cordelia and Jasmine before Jasmine was even born. He didn't need a spell. He was willing to do anything to protect his child. He even took an innocent life to do it. Placed his hand in the innocent life's blood to bring Jasmine to life. Think about the interesting metaphors in that whole bit in Inside Out? Connor doesn't kill the girl true. He saves her, but only to make her a sacrifice. She's chosen. He puts his hand in her blood and raises Jasmine. He's already done a cardinal sin - he's killed, participated in ritual sacrifice. Anything Jasmine does shouldn't phase him.
2. Jasmine does for Connor somewhat the same things Cordelia did with the glowy powers last year. Remember when Connor tries to kill Cordy in A New World (I think) and Cordy touches him and removes the pain and hate, filling him with love? Jasmine does the same thing for Connor. He reacts to people who threaten that source of unconditional love in the same manner - with violence. Connor if you think about it, has had a frightening childhood. Holtz trained the boy by tying him up to a tree in Quortof and leaving him there - the boy had to get free and track Holtz.
And Holtz was very much about fearing God and faith in God.
Jasmine in a way is the result of Holtz's promises. Just imagine for a moment what it would be like to be raised by Holtz? I think Jasmine, like Cordelia, was a breath of fresh air to poor Connor.
3. The whole blood thing - the blood that wakes the others up is in a way connected to Connor. Connor is after all the Daddy. He shares the blood ties that Cordelia does with JAsmine. The three of them have a sort of reverse immunity.
And all three - also make up an odd holy trinity. A satirical one, if you think about it. The virgin father, the holy mother, and the god. Connor is ME's virgin Mary.
4. Connor - has had his life turned upside down and inside out by well-meaning and not so well-meaning people. He lacks trust in anything. Jasmine and Cordelia are the only ones that have ever given Connor a taste of unconditional love. Jasmine has taken that one step further - peace of mind. He isn't a monster in her eyes. Not a failure. He is loved. For a boy who was raised by a religious fanatic consumed with vengeance and unable to provide love - this must feel like water in a desert.

Isn't really all that surprising that Connor would reject the truth that Cordy's blood reveals to the others? He refused to see this truth even before Jasmine's birth. He refused to trust them way back then. Why on earth should he trust them now?

(Oh this is hard. Trying to remember my essay. And it feels all wrong. ugh!! Blame voynak.)

Another thing that is interesting is the whole chosen bit.
Jasmine chooses people and they jump for joy because it's wonderful to be chosen. They get to become a part of a god.
Chosen. Inca Mummy Girl is chosen - chosen to be a mummy for all enternity. Fred hates being chosen - it means being alone, cut off from everyone. Just like the book chose to throw her into Pylea. Buffy is chosen - yet being chosen in way eats her up inside, wears her out, she dies twice. We think of being "chosen" as a gift, yet in the Whedonverse it appears to be curse, is seen almost through satirical eyes. Angel is chosen to bear a soul - yet it is more of a curse than a gift. Cordelia is chosen to have visions - visions which literally destroy her humanity from the inside out, wearing on both body and soul. Wes and Gunn ache to be chosen by Jasmine, but to be chosen means to be devoured. It's a double-edged sword.

Okay hope that helped a little. The other essay ended with something along the lines of running out of steam and hope that made some sense.

SK (hitting herself for being stupid.)

[> [> Call me simple... (Spoilers Magic Bullet) -- Jay, 20:57:09 04/17/03 Thu

But I remember Angel needing to look at Jasmine to see her rotting flesh before he backed off of Fred. Fred herself didn't realize that she was out of the loop until she looked at Jasmine and saw it. We don't see the process that Lorne, Wes, and Gunn go through, but I assume they don't have to. Maybe Connor doesn't believe what he knows until he can look upon Jasmine.

[> You see... -- RichardX1, 18:46:28 04/17/03 Thu

This is why my best friend hates religion.

Mind you, my best friend is one of the most devout Christians I've ever met.

(For the record, I believe in God... mainly because I think that without even subtle intervention by some kind of higher power, humanity would have made itself extinct about five minutes after we figured out the wheel.)

BTW, VoyForums sucks... well, give me an idea of the standards & practices regs on this board; and then I'll tell you what VoyForums sucks.

[> [> Yes religion is a funny thing -- s'kat, 21:53:56 04/17/03 Thu

It can bring people together and it can isolate them.
Double-edged sword indeed.

I'm not against religion per se and I'm not an athesist.
I belong to that poor little group between the athesists and true believers...agnostic. You know the people that both ends of the spectrum don't know what to do with?

I admit I have no clue.
I think, well feel, there's something out there. I see it in the ocean, in the air, in the grass, in the energy that animates us and leaves us when we die, but I do not know what it is or what to call it. I don't believe god is quite the right term somehow but am not completely sure. It's sort of freeing actually, to admit you have no clue, it opens your mind up to a whole realm of possibilities.

I've tried lots of religions, dabbled, but none worked for me. One of the side-effects of an Ancient Religion Minor, focused mainly on Westernized Religions, is you tend to see the trends and start questioning everything. That and well, I could never quite reconcile the paradox that religion's purpose is to unite us yet it seems to separate and cause more discordance. Just look at the debates online to see what I mean or what's going on in the world. An uncle of mine once put it very well: two things to avoid discussing in polite conversations - religion and politics.

[> [> [> Re: Yes religion is a funny thing -- pilgrim, 06:39:10 04/18/03 Fri

I'm enjoying this conversation so much. Even the Mandy parts.

And please oh please don't banish religion and politics from polite discussion. If we (I mean our society) can't talk about things that really matter, except with others who are just like us, how do we grow and learn? I'm tripping on the fact that two tv shows raise such issues--the consequences of religious faith, how devotion affects behavior, fate/destiny/choice, what makes a life worth living--in ways that are at times provocative.

[> Speculation on names and dogs -- Dog Lover, 06:52:11 04/18/03 Fri

I don't want to do any more speculation about Mandy - but ME has used it several times. Maybe it has something to do with DOG = GOD. Or more likely that they are inopposition. i.e. A dog's devotion to humans vs. believer's devortion to god. I doubt it is just a coincidence.

Also, according to http://www.behindthename.com/, Caleb means "dog" in Hebrew.

And Connor is from the Gaelic name Conchobhar which means "dog lover" or "wolf lover".

Cheers

[> [> Caleb.... -- Rufus, 02:17:35 04/19/03 Sat

www.behindthename.com



CALEB m English, Biblical
Pronounced: KAY-leb
Means "dog" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this was the name of one of the twelve spies sent by Moses into Israel. Of the Israelites who left Egypt with Moses, Caleb and Joshua were the only ones who lived to see the promised land.


CONNOR m Irish, English
Pronounced: KAW-nur
From the Gaelic name Conchobhar which means "dog lover" or "wolf lover". This was the name of an early king of Ulster. Irish legends tell of his tragic desire for Deirdre.
*********************

If you look at what is going on with this Caleb it's obvious that he is a perversion of what "good" is about. He is the ultimate teachers pet in that he doesn't need any teaching, any seduction from the First, he is a more or less completed work. He represents a fallen angel of sorts in that his dress indicates that he was a cleric of sorts. His fall from good how ever it happened is an ultimate feather in the Firsts cap. What better to represent the first but a fallen preacher, who has become a most favored, degenerate, son.

Also note in the definition of Caleb....he was one of the only ones that survived to see the "promised land"...most likey kinda what The First promised to him, a new promised land, cleansed of all the Dirty Girls.

[> [> [> Re: Caleb....spike and the proliferation of dogs -- aliera, 14:51:26 04/19/03 Sat

Just a little something to chew on:

The dog in most mythologies is seen as psychopomp. Dogs are intermediaries and "stand at the gateway....they are guardians between life and death, between known and unknown. They are an intuitive bridge between conscious and unconscious, connectors to the psychoid level of the psyche." (Woodman, The Ravaged Bridegroom, p. 195)

From the jung org website THE SECRETS OF HARRY POTTER Reviewed by Gail A. Grynbaum

Current board | More April 2003