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What is Love? (Spoilers for the Angel episode 'Sacrifice') -- Diana Michelle, 04:02:12 04/24/03 Thu

The Demon says that "Love is sacrifice."

How many 'sacrifices' did we see in this episode?

In the category of sacrificing yourself we have:
1) All of the Jasmanics willing to give their lives.
2) Angel staying behind to let the rest of the gang escape.
3) Connor fully submitting to Jasmine (and in related news, Angel officially gives up on Connor. Ouch).
4) The rest of the gang staying behind while Angel hops it over to the Demon Dimension.

And in the category of sacrificing other people:
1) Jasmine's actions with her followers.
2) The blood and flesh magic that the Demon was doing.

Maybe the difference that they're showing between humans (and Lorne) and demons (and Jasmine) is that evil chooses to sacrifice other people while good will sacrifice itself first? And that brings back memories of 'Buffy' Season Five.

[> Re: What is Love? (Spoilers for the Angel episode 'Sacrifice') -- Ray, 04:26:28 04/24/03 Thu

I wonder what category Angel sacrificing Connor falls into. He protected his friends by not taking the risk of bringing Connor. But he also left his son to Jasmine because it would be too dificult to try and sway Connor.

[> [> Re: What is Love? (Spoilers for the Angel episode 'Sacrifice') -- Diana Michelle, 05:19:12 04/24/03 Thu

Good question. Hmm. I'm not sure.

I don't think that I can see it as good because of what it did to Angel. He gave up on Connor, his son, whom he's been trying to get to for so long... and I just can't see that as the right thing to do. On the other hand, what else could he have done? Angel is not being given any good choices at this point. At every point, he has to give up something. Connor at the beginning, then the rest of the gang at the end.

And Connor did choose to surrender to Jasmine. On the other hand, what she said about him holding onto pain because that's the only thing that he can trust? That's just horrible. He's made some terrible choices, but he has always thought that he was doing good by it - like Cordy, choosing to become half-demon. She thought she was doing the right thing and this happens because of it. Connor thought that Angel was evil and thus sank him to the bottom of the ocean. He thought that his child was being hunted and he was willing to do anything to save her. But he did something incredibly wrong and he knows it.

There really are no easy choices. And when it's easy - like being mind-controlled by Jasmine was - it's shown to be wrong.

[> [> [> Re: What is Love? (Spoilers for the Angel episode 'Sacrifice') -- RadiusRS, 08:27:37 04/24/03 Thu

Maybe Angel beat Connor so savagely because he wanted to remove him from the board, take him out of the game so that Jasmine couldn't use him. I'm sure he didn't know that Jasmine could heal Connor. And also because it seems to be the only way Connor gets the picture (issues of child abuse?). He realizes that Connor has chosen, and that even if they can turn him, he is not reliable because he has betrayed them so many times) so he decides to leave him with Jasmine, figuring he'll be immune to her and hurt and safer than with him and the gang, where he could hurt them as well as slow them down. Notice he says Connor not Jasmine, though they are all Jasmine by now. All in all, the Devourer seems to take advantage and manipulate events much like the FE on Buffy.

And I agree with you. There are no easy choices.

What's in a name? and misc. stuff (Sacrifice Angel Spoils) -- neaux, 04:59:05 04/24/03 Thu

Was waiting for S'kat's version of this.. but until then here is my utterly condensed horribly written one.

Ok. There is this name issue which seems to be the key to Jasmine's existance in the L.A. world. From what I understand, her real name is unspoken and if Angel finds her true name then the fang gang can probably lay the smackdown on her and hopefully unenchant millions of people.

Here are my brief thoughts on this:
I thought of Spirited Away. Sen to Chihiro. The idea of entering a new world and being renamed by its inhabitants made the main character become part of that world. And so is the case with Jasmine. Once the little girl in Spirited Away remembered her old name she was able to leave. If Angel finds Jasmine's real name.. they can probably send her back to where she's from.

Other name reference possibilities?
I also thought about the Neverending Story and the "Call my Name" reference. Everytime Sebastian called out this female's name.. a crumbling dream world was being rebuilt. Could Jasmine's name be what was strengthening her mind control over all of L.A.?

And lastly I couldnt help but think of that mischeivious character from Superman. What was his name?? Say it backwards and he disappears. Mixleplixin? or something like that?? eh??

Anyway here are some more random asides.

The Praying Mantis character: He spoke a lot like you know who from lord of the rings, but what you might not have caught was the recreation of the final scene of JEEPERS CREEPERS. His harvesting of organs from the dead vampire was eerily familiar to the final scene of CREEPERS 1. (another aside, the trailer is now out for CREEPERS 2).

The use of Praying Manti is cool because how they Worshipped Jas first. The idea of Praying/Worshipping ties together nicely. And the fact that Jasmine consumes her victims/supporters is just what the praying manti do.

[> Re: What's in a name? and misc. stuff (Sacrifice Angel Spoils) -- Corwin of Amber, 06:17:17 04/24/03 Thu

Theres some tradition in magickal circles that finding someones "true name" (i.e. NOT their given name) gives you power over them. Maybe one of the Wiccans around the board can comment on that.

From Restless:

TARA: I think it's strange. I mean, I think I should worry that we haven't
found her name.
WILLOW: Who, Miss Kitty?
(Shot of their kitten, playing with a ball of red yarn in slow-motion.)
TARA: You'd think she'd let us know her name by now.
WILLOW: She will. (Looking down at Tara) She's not all grown yet.
TARA: You're not worried?
WILLOW: I never worry here. (Smile) I'm safe here.
TARA: You don't know everything about me.
WILLOW: Have you told me your real name?

[> [> Re: What's in a name? and misc. stuff (Sacrifice Angel Spoils) -- CW, 06:32:23 04/24/03 Thu

Theres some tradition in magickal circles that finding someones "true name" (i.e. NOT their given name) gives you power over them.

It's also a very common theme in stories; Rumpelstiltskin, Odysseus and the Cyclops.

It's interesting that people do feel uncomfortable when they don't know the proper name for something. My one bit of hazing someone else in high school was that as a senior I refused to tell a group of underclassmen my name. I was a little surprised how insistant they were at knowing. After about a month of joking around, my picture and name came out in the school newspaper. The group met me with papers in hand with great satisfied grins.

[> [> [> Re: What's in a name? and misc. stuff (Sacrifice Angel Spoils) -- luminesce, 08:01:12 04/24/03 Thu

It's a common theme in fairy tales in general--the not sharing of one's true name.

I'm having vague memories of a fairy tale where someone is instructed not to give their real name when questioned, and to respond obliquely to other direct questions as well.

"Where are you going?" "Ahead of me."
"Where are you from?" "Behind me."

Knowledge is, of course, power.

[> Re: What's in a name? and misc. stuff (Sacrifice Angel Spoils) -- Cecilia, 08:36:08 04/24/03 Thu

The first thing I thought of was a documentary-style program I watched on Easter Sunday about the development of monotheism in history. The customs/myths of early man, according to this program, stated that it was a common belief that to know, and therefore speak, a God's name was to have power over that deity. It is the main reason given why the Hebrew God is called Yewah (I'm sure I've massacred the spelling) but the translation, as I understand it, is "He who cannot be named".

[> [> Jewish references -- mucifer, 20:01:56 04/24/03 Thu

Actually I thought this Angel episode had a very strong Jewish reference with the god who name couldnt be spoken. On Yom Kippur the holiest of Jewish days next to the Sabbath in ancient Israel the story says the High Priest prays with great furvor to attone for his sins and the sins of the Israelites then he goes into a special room and recites the name of G-d which he alone knew and it is known how to spell it in Hebrew but not how to pronounce it because Hebrew is not spelled with vowels so you recognize hebrew words without every sound written. The letters are yood hey vav hey so it might be Yahovah or it might not.

[> [> [> use of the name of god in judaism -- anom, 23:27:33 04/24/03 Thu

Cecilia wrote: "The customs/myths of early man, according to this program, stated that it was a common belief that to know, and therefore speak, a God's name was to have power over that deity. It is the main reason given why the Hebrew God is called Yewah (I'm sure I've massacred the spelling) but the translation, as I understand it, is 'He who cannot be named'."

It looks like 2 things are being mixed up here. The Name of God in Hebrew (as distinct from other things God is called, which are more like attributes or even "job descriptions") is related to the root of the verb "to be," as in "I will be what I will be." It has no relation to the words for "name." The Hebrew letters mucifer cites are the equivalent of "YHVH" or "YHWH" (depending on the transliteration system). Written vowels are a late addition to the Hebrew alphabet (or aleph-bet!), whose letters stand for consonant sounds. The vowel symbols are dots & lines that are added above or below (& in 1 case in the middle of) these letters. Even today, they're often left out, because fluent Hebrew readers can understand written Hebrew without them.

The 1st thing I thought of when the scorpion/mantis/spider- critter (is there a consensus on what it is?) said only the high priest knew "Jasmine's" real name was the one-day-a- year speaking of the correct pronunciation of "YHVH" by the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem. But it's not the same thing. I phrased that very carefully. One day a year, but not just once: three times, once for each of 3 sin- offering sacrifices (for the priest himself, for the Levites, & for the entire people). And the High Priest was the only one to speak the Name, but not the only one to know it. The cleansing from sin was proclaimed in the hearing of all the people: "Before YHVH [usually translated as "the Lord"] ye shall be pure!" There's a part of the present-day Yom Kippur service that describes the Temple service; when the people heard the Name spoken, they bowed down & said, "Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom forever & ever!" So they did hear it & knew how it was pronounced. (Besides, if only the High Priest knew it, what would happen if he died unexpectedly w/out passing it on to the next High Priest?) But over the generations of the exile & Diaspora, the Name wasn't used because there was no Temple & thus no Temple service, & eventually the actual pronunciation was forgotten. Since it's not supposed to be spoken anyway, the word Adonai ("the Lord") is substituted, as in Adonai Eloheinu ("the Lord our God").

Thing is, in the early days of the Hebrews/Israelites, God's Name was used pretty commonly, if the Hebrew Scriptures are any indication. From Abraham & Sarah through Moses to the Prophets, people, incl. ordinary folks, are quoted using the YHVH name. My understanding is that the limitations on using the Name came from the Commandment "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." Well, if you don't say it at all, you can be sure you won't use it in vain! (OK, how many are now thinking of the Monty Python scene "Stone him! He said 'Jehovah'!" "Now we have to stone you--you said 'Jehovah'!" "You just said it!" until, if I may wrench a segue over to Bob Dylan, "everybody must get stoned"?) Anyway, in an effort to avoid blasphemy, use of the Name was increasingly restricted (a tendency that continues in Judaism to this day). It wasn't so much a question of the Name giving people any power over God as of the Name itself having power & its misuse possibly calling down the wrath of God. Y'know, in the days when an oath in the name of God actually meant something (OK, I'm being cynical--it still really does mean something to a lot of people).

Oh--about the priest going into the special room (in case anyone's still reading), if I remember right, that was the Holy of Holies, & what the priest did there was to burn the incense on the altar (the other one, not the one for the sacrifices).

[> Sticks and Stones(Spoilers for Sacrifice ) -- Arethusa, 09:53:24 04/24/03 Thu

Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names will never hurt me.

Unless you're a god. Funny about names in Ats. Everyone's got at least a couple of them. Connor's also The Destroyer and Stephen. When Connor wants to manipulate Angel he calls him Dad. Cordelia is Cordy to her friends and Queen C to her enemies. Angel, of course, has a different name for every life. Wes is Wyndam-Price, Price, and the Rogue Demon Hunter. Fred is also Winifred, but had no name in Pylea but "cow." Lorne at first was only know as the enigmatic Host, then revealed as Krevlorneswath of the Deathwok Clan. Gunn only has a last name, except with Fred, who calls him Charles. (Although Angelus called him Chuck, I think.) The whole group has names, too. The Bat Gang, Angel Investigations. My new, very favorite, name for them is the Free Will Gang. It's just a name, they say when Angel leaves in Season 2.

But names are the facade we put on our identities, and change sometimes when we want to change who we are. (Or not change-I never changed my name when I married.) Some of us have "evil" names to vent with, letting our personality change with our names. Names have power. One of the first thing that happens in prison is people lose their names and are given a number. In "Logan's Run," a few names are used over and over with a number, indicating the individual is less important than the continuing of the line. The X-Men are renamed, taking the characteristics others are afraid of and wearing them like a name badge. And for the second time, we hear another name for Jasmine-the Devourer.

Isn't there a science fiction story about the ten thousand names of god, and how the world will end if they're all spoken?

Arethusa-just one of my names, but my favorite one.

[> [> Re: Sticks and Stones(Spoilers for Sacrifice ) -- Darby, 10:17:35 04/24/03 Thu

It's an old Arthur C. Clarke story, I think, about 2 computer technicians hired by a Himalayan monastery. The monks believe that Man exists only to Know God in all of his guises, and that once all of the possible Names have been recorded / written, their (and their universe) will have served its purpose.

I'm going to spoil the ending here, so you may want to stop reading here.

The techies set up the computer and printer, like so many fast monkeys with typewriters, get paid and head back down the mountain. Toward the bottom, one remarks that the list should be nearing completion, and it was good to get away before the monks learned the error of their ways.

But the other doesn't respond - he's looking up at the sky where, one by one, the stars are going out.

I read that story decades ago, and that's Clarke for you: his prose is okay but nothing remarkable, but his ideas stick to the inside of your skull.

[> [> "The Nine Billion Names of God," by Arthur C. Clarke (spoilers for AtS 4.20) -- cjl, 10:22:54 04/24/03 Thu

Also one of my all-time favorites.

Funny how this "naming" thing works.

In the bible, Man gives names to all the animals, signifying our role as the dominant species on God's green earth. However, according to Kabbalistic tradition, the Lord's true name (Yahweh/Jehovah) contains too much power for all but the most experienced adept to handle. (But are we protecting ourselves by not speaking the True Name of a loving but dangerouly powerful God, or are we kowtowing to a Demiurge? Uh oh. Heresy! Heresy!)

In "Sacrifice," we learn that by giving the Devourer a name ("Jasmine"), mankind has, in effect, welcomed her into this world. Would she have been able to conquer our plane of existence so easily if we hadn't given her a name?

In "Nine Billion Names of God," the monks in a lamasery located about two miles south of Shangri-La purchase the world's most advanced computer and set about compiling all the possible names of the divine. When they finish the job, they've supposedly accomplished man's purpose in the universe--and creation un-creates itself. Is that what mankind was put on Earth to do? Is that what Clarke is really saying here? Or is it that science and mankind's capacity for knowledge has finally overtaken the religious paradigm?

Perhaps, at some point, God's creation will end, and Man's creation will officially begin....

[> [> [> Thanks, Darby and cjl. -- Arethusa, 10:36:09 04/24/03 Thu

I knew people here would have read that story.

I wonder, too, if naming Jasmine was the key to her gradual increase in power. Does her power increase every time she is named? (Oh, and someone-Gunn?-mentioned Shangra-La in the episode.)

Angel's name was spoken over and over in the tunnels. The skittery thingie said people lose power when they give out their name, but Angel's friends seemed to gain strength by saying it.

(Didn't God give the naming of animals to Adam, signifying his mastery over them?)

[> [> [> [> Is "Angel" Angel's true name? Who is Aud/Anya/Anyanka? and other silly questions -- cjl, 10:54:04 04/24/03 Thu

We've had a number of other conspicuous "naming" incidents in the Whedonverse, most notably Anya in "Selfless." D'Hoffryn approaches Aud and tells her her new name is Anyanka, because that's "who she is." Once Aud accepts the new name, she is what D'Hoffryn wants her to be and she gives up responsibility for defining herself.

She does pretty much the same thing when she's about to marry Xander; taking the last name of Harris means she doesn't have to think about the artificiality of her "stupid, lame-ass maiden name." Finally, at the end of "Selfless," she done with taking on new names and gets to work on defining who she is as a human being. (Four eps to go, and still a work in progress. Tick tock, Joss. Tick tock...)

Angel is a more interesting case. He didn't come up with that name. His baby sister did--before he ate her. He's been given three names by three different people: Liam by his Dad, Angel by his sister, and Angelus by Darla(?). Once he got his soul back in BUFFY S2, didn't he ever think about going back to "Liam"? Or has too much blood flowed under the bridge for that? And what happens when Angel finally comes to terms with Angelus (in a Spike/William sort of way)? Will either name fit? Is there another name waiting out there for him that will?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Is "Angel" Angel's true name? Who is Aud/Anya/Anyanka? and other silly questions -- Valheru, 02:28:27 04/25/03 Fri

This makes me wonder about "Anya": Did she pick that or did someone else? I can imagine the pre-"The Wish" scene now...

HARMONY: So what's your name, new girl?
ANYANKA: Anyanka.
HARMONY: Are you like, Mexican or something? God, if anyone saw me hanging out with a foreigner...
ANYANKA: I'm not from Mexico. I'm from...Missouri.
HARMONY: You don't look French...
ANYANKA: I'm from L.A., all right!
HARMONY: Great. A gang person. I should hide my face...
ANYANKA: I'm not in a freakin' gang!
(enter the rest of the Cordettes) CORDETTE: Hi, Harmony. Who's your new friend?
HARMONY: Oh, this is Anya-something. She's a Mexican gangster from France.
ANYA (mumbling): I'm going to wish you all into rabbits...

As for Angel, I actually think "Angel" fits him pretty well. Angelus pretty much destroyed most of what was "Liam" inside him. His "Liam" persona has even less influence than "Ripper" does to Giles. "Angel" doesn't really come into being until Whistler shows up, which directly led to the Angel we have today. Neither "Liam" nor "Angelus" is worthy of redemption, only "Angel." And while I wouldn't object to a name-change if he receives Shanshu, what is a more "purified" name than the one he has? IOW, Shansuing really would make him like an angel, so he's already got the correct name. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now if only my parents had named me "Getseverythinghewantsinlife".

[> [> [> more science fiction -- lakrids ( not my real name ;) ), 11:15:21 04/24/03 Thu

When we are talking about science fiction Vernor Vinge has written a story ìA Fire Upon the Deepî where a transcendence power is unstoppable conquering most of the civilised galaxy. And the transcended power makes its conquered subjects to extension of itself ala Jasmine. The story has given me some kind of strange thoughts when I saw Jasmine, for example how wide a broad band has Jasmine to her slaves and how much processing power does Jasmine has to control and understand her slaves inputs. Ah well itís magic and what was that Clarke has said about magic and science.
The solution to the transcended power, as translated to the Ats universe, would be to nuke most of America. Only science fiction can make the fantasy villains look small in their scoop.

Vernor Vinge has written another story called ìTrue name and other threatsî

[> [> [> [> And yet another SF ancestor of this plotline: Theodore Sturgeon's "To Marry Medusa" -- cjl, 11:27:08 04/24/03 Thu

AKA, The Cosmic Rape.

A review from SF Site:

"[After reading] To Marry Medusa it becomes startlingly clear where Star Trek's "Borg" idea was lifted... er... borrowed from. (I keep forgetting: it's not stealing, it's homage.) And as fun as it is to watch Picard duke it out with walking toaster-ovens who want to assimilate your ass, Sturgeon did it a hell of a lot better 40 years ago. Don't believe me? Tough, pal -- resistance is futile.

Dan Gurlick is a bitter and hopelessly alcoholic bum. After getting his grisly ass booted out of a bar, he wanders down the street cursing all of the "lousy bastits" who have given him grief over the years. Hungry, he swipes a half-eaten cheeseburger out of a trash can and settles down for a late- night snack. Big mistake.

For in that forgotten Big Mac is an alien spore that has travelled many light years in search of a host. This isn't your ordinary alien spore, waiting to pull some chest- bursting, acid-dripping shenanigans. Actually, the spore is an emissary from a hive mind called "Medusa," which wants nothing less than to absorb and assimilate humanity into its hive collective. It's done it before to countless species and worlds, and it's determined to do it again. (And you thought the Borg Queen cooked up this nutty plan all by herself.)

Gurlick takes a greasy bite, swallows the spore, and inside all hell breaks loose. For him -- and the human race. If you've always wanted to know what it would be like to be part of a "hive collective" -- and haven't we all? -- this is the book for you. Sturgeon takes you there.

What makes To Marry Medusa really interesting, however, is its structure. The core story first appeared as a short in Galaxy in 1958, and was later expanded into novel form and published as The Cosmic Rape. (Later editions, confusingly enough, stick with the short-story title, even though it is the full novel version.) And it shows. But that's not a bad thing -- on the contrary, it gives the novel an oddly modern, quick-cut feel. Woven throughout grumpy Gurlick's tangles with Medusa are snapshots of seemingly ordinary people in very bad situations: a creep about to date-rape a co-worker, a homicidal prankster named Guido who can't stand music, a little boy who is tormented by his father.

At first, it's not clear what the hell is going on. Eventually, though, everything falls into place, and you realize Sturgeon has pulled off the incredible trick of making humanity an actual character in the novel. I can't say more without ruining it for you, but trust me -- it's dazzling. I doubt many other writers could do it. And it's certainly more harrowing than wondering whether Worf and Geordi are going to be Borg-ized."

Sturgeon also explored humanity as Gestalt in "More than Human." Both novels are well worth reading.

[> [> [> [> [> And then there's Clarke's "Childhood's End" -- RadiusRS, 11:49:37 04/24/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> And while we're in the neighborhood... (Sacrifice spoilers) -- Darby, 12:19:18 04/24/03 Thu

The fascinating nature of our arthropod Martha Stewart and its homeworld suggests to me that if Enterprise raided some of Angel's writing staff, they could truly produce an interesting show. The creature (and, I hope, its world) was alien and yet accessible, which is what a good space opera needs.

[> [> [> [> [> [> But all that "new blood" would still be supervised by "old blood" -- cjl, 12:42:01 04/24/03 Thu

Mainly, Rick Berman.

Honestly, I think Berman's out of ideas. Enterprise isn't nearly as bad as some people say it is, but it doesn't do anything well beyond timid little character stories. (Rumors are that Berman and Braga are setting up for a major story arc at the end of S2, but forgive me if I hold back on the enthusiasm.)

If we're going to save Trek, let's go all the way. Fire Berman. Give Joss the franchise.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Single Most Radical Joss Idea Ever -- pr10n, 13:12:27 04/24/03 Thu

"Give Joss the franchise." Possible innovations include:

Crew members are confronted by the consequences of their actions.

Casually dispatched red shirts are replaced by casually dispatched yellow shirts with sleeve stripes.

Sexual congress between consenting adults is often followed by trauma and ill feelings.

"Big guns" go rogue and fire into warp nacelles of friendly vessels.

I'm not complaining, I'm just doin' the math: Kirk makes a fist and shouts at the sky, "J-O-S-S!"

[> [> [> copyright-infringement-r-us -- pr10n, 12:00:28 04/24/03 Thu

Two seconds of search and I found Clarke's story, to my surprise. Disclaimer: Not my site.

I fear war with Sri Lanka, myself.

[> [> [> The Earthsea Novels of Ursula LeGuin -- Rob, 12:11:23 04/24/03 Thu

They have a great deal about names, which contain magical qualities. Every wizard in the novels has their "real" name, which nobody knows except themself, and then the name they tell everybody else. For anybody to know your real name makes you vulnerable to attack. The heroes in these books usually defeat the villains by figuring out and speaking their real names.


[> [> [> [> Patricia McKillip -- pr10n, 12:40:04 04/24/03 Thu

Good call, Rob. Another fantasy naming-fest is McKillip's The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. It's heavy on the girl- power as well, if you like that sort of thing. :) McKillip's Riddle-Master series has a lot of naming in it as well.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Patricia McKillip -- Dochawk, 12:47:54 04/24/03 Thu

I was thinking of McKillip as well with the Riddle-Master series. It is the ability to name himself and the High One that allows Morgon to assume his power and fight the Earth- Masters.

yet another chance to recommend this phenomenol series.

[> [> Practical Cats -- luna, 19:43:09 04/24/03 Thu

T.S. Eliot's Practical Cats (Cats the musical was based on these poems, so maybe there's a song in it to match)has the great poem about cats having three different names, one for the family, one formal, and one mystical--and when a cat sits around looking mysterious, it's meditating on its "ineffable, singular name."

[> Re: What's in a name? and misc. stuff (Sacrifice Angel Spoils) -- Nica, 13:35:30 04/24/03 Thu

Hi..new here just thought I would throw my two cents in on the Name Game...

Gunn, I think, is very reluctant to give his name to the Kid in the tunnels...and when the kid says "Charles Gunn" he says something like "I say you could use my name?" I just found that interesting in light of what we learn later.

Slightly off topic but about Jasmine. I found it strange or fascinating that not only does she share everyone's minds and gets all the "love" from all her devotees but she is now also sharing their pain...the last shot of her shows this. It seems like she was really loving it. Hmmm...wonder if the pain was making her stronger.

[> [> Welcome Nica! -- neaux, 14:02:48 04/24/03 Thu

[> Re: What's in a name? Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea -- Silky, 06:27:29 04/25/03 Fri

It's been a long time since I read these, but one thing I remember is the the wizard's power was connected to others not knowing his true name. Anyone who knew a wizard's true name would have power over the wizard. As I recall, very important to the story.

Free will and Fred -- Rufus, 06:31:53 04/24/03 Thu

Tonight we saw what Jasmine is about....and that is Jasmine...if you follow her you are no longer a person, you are part of the body Jasmine. War, crime, hate...as we know it will disappear, though if you believe Wes technically we are the only criminals left, the only crime in the world of Jasmine is to reject her love. So, what does Jasmine have to say about it all....let's start at the beginning of the show when Angel and Connor face off...

Connor: You're wrong, Dad, wrong about me about her.

Connor: I'm finally part of something...I belong....I won't let anyone ruin that.

Angel: I know son.

Angel beat Connor to a pulp. I wonder what that felt like. But Connor was taken back to his "daughter's" room....

Jasmine: Connor, you're awake.

Connor: You're indescribable.

Jasmine: I know

Connor: They tried to turn me against you. They cut me and rubbed blood into the wound.

Jasmine: The hateful always have one or two wretched tricks to play....you must rest now.....We have nothing to fear from them....they are alone...we are many

Connor: But Gunn and Wesley, and Lorne, they've all been turned, we have to stop whatever they're....

Jasmine: We will...Connor, there is nothing they can do. Every moment that passes I grow closer to my followers. I feel what they feel, I see what they see. We're fusing together like the cells of a single body.....they're my eyes my skin my limbs....and if need be my fists.

With Jasmine there is no free-will, only Jasmine's will. As she see's her followers as part of her, it's easier to consider them as part of a whole instead of an individual. Jasmine is eating people, and no one cares because no one thinks thoughts other than what Jasmine allows. How she feels about Angel has shifted as well, as we see in the garage scene.....

Gunn: That's right....it's the Big Bad FREE WILL gang gassin up.

Angel: All right stay back we don't want to hurt anybody.

Jasmine's voice through a follower: But you are hurting them Angel, just by being.

Angel: Okay, that's new.

Jasmine: You're a disease in the body Jasmine and you'll be purged. You can't outrun my love, it has wings made of radio.....my love sings over the wires that bind this world.

Gunn: Okay, getting a little creepy.

Jasmine: This city is mine vampire.....All it's tools are mine.

Angel: Yeah, we're working on that.

Jasmine is very creepy....she thinks of people as an extension of herself to be used in a way that we would use our own bodies, the difference is that everyone influenced by Jasmine is no longer a seperate being with feelings, a life....they exist to nourish Jasmine. But there is a bit of a fly in the ointment.....

Jasmine: It horrifies me to see what they're capable of. How far they've let their hate take them. They cut into her (Cordy) while she lay sleeping. Her precious blood stolen for their black, deceitful, cowardly, magic.

Connor: They're always using magic.

Connor doesn't trust magic and Jasmine knows this and uses it to keep him close to her. I have to wonder if she loves Connor or just see's him as one of a series of "sweet boys", sweet as long as they are useful to her.

Free-will, people use it all the time, and it's Darla who mentioned to Connor how precious that gift is. Unfortunatly, Connor fears free-will because he never has had a chance to understand that choices are there to make. This all goes down to that fear he has. That pain of not belonging, and fear of abandonment. Jasmine told him she wanted them to be a family. That is the only thing that Connor seems interested in, and will do anything to preserve, even protecting someone who eats people.

Fred said something to Gunn that is important....

Gunn: You heard Angel, feelings don't enter into it anymore.

Fred: That the world we're fighting for? The right to be heartless and uncaring....shells to be dead inside?

Gunn: We're going to be dead period, if Jasmine gets ahold of that kid. We're fighting for survival.

Fred: That's not enough Charles....not for me. Maybe you can turn off your feelings like Angel can...leave the people we care about behind.

Gunn: You had no trouble turning off your emotion chip when...

Fred: When what?

Gunn: Nothin.

Fred: What were you going to say?

Gunn: Forget it.

Fred: No, when did I ever.....

Gunn: When you and I killed a man.....I mean when I did.

Fred: We did.

Gunn: Whatever.

Gunn: Point is, when the circumstances called for it, you did what you thought you had to. Didn't matter what else anyone else though.

Fred: You're right about it all except one thing....What we did, I felt it, I felt every bit of it. And you know when...sometimes when I allow myself to think about it, it eats me up inside.

Gunn: Yeah, me too.

Fred: Well I don't know about you but I'd take that over being a shell anyday.

Fred would rather live in a world where we can feel something about the deeds we do. As a Jasmaniac, there is only that feeling of happiness that precludes any introspection, any doubt.

Wes: Still, I miss her....I miss the warmth and the knowing what's right and that doing it just by loving her.

Gunn: Tough drug to kick cold turkey.

Drug....sounds like what people are under the influence of when they are connected to Jasmine. Wes misses doing things just for Jasmine without the worry of right or wrong, cause in all things Jasmine there is only one right way and that is through her. But Fred said that it made them simply a shell. How can you exist if you are part of Jasmine? You exist like the insect guy did....building, doing, catering to her. No individual, just part of a hive. Fred can't live like that. She may miss the warmth, the happiness, but once infected with the blood, she became like Eve....she saw Jasmine for what she is, and she understood the difference between good an evil. She knows she killed that professor, but would rather feel the pain of regret, the pain that goes with living.

Question.....if Cordy's blood is dangerous, why not kill her to get rid of the threat?

[> Re: Free will and Fred -- Arethusa, 10:14:59 04/24/03 Thu

So what kind of implication does Fred's fall from grace have? Do you think Whedon is saying it's better to be cast out of Eden, separated from God and vulnerable to the suffering in this world, than to be one with God, but not an individual with free will? Or is that only seeing the leg of the elephant and calling it a tree?

[> [> Re: Free will and Fred -- Kenny, 12:26:18 04/24/03 Thu

I think the implication is that, unlike Jasmine's worshippers, Fred's life has meaning. The people under the spell have no value for their own lives, and, as a consequence, no value for the lives of others. Only Jasmine's life has meaning. It's become the context in which everyone lives.

But Fred realized that the context isn't universal. It was forced on them. That killing the prof hurts her means that, even after what he did, his life still has value to her. She may be miserable right now, but at the same time she IS happier now than when under the spell. When under the spell she had nothing real. Now she has herself.

From "To Shanshu in LA":

Wesley: "Angel's cut off. Death doesn't bother him because - there is nothing in life he wants! It's our desires that make us human."
Cordy eating her doughnut: "Angel is kind of human. - He's got a soul."
Cordy goes for another doughnut.
Wesley: "He's got a soul - but he's not a part of the world. (Gets up) He-he can never be part of the world."
Cordy: "Because he doesn't want stuff? - That's ridiculous. (Wesley takes her doughnut away from her) Hey! I want that!"
Wesley: "What connects us to life?"
Cordy: "Right now? I'm going with doughnuts."
Wesley: "What connects us to life is the simple truth that we are part of it. - We live, we grow, we change. - But Angel..."
(Thanks, Psyche)

And now people aren't able to grow, to change. Fred realizes that, under the spell, people aren't human anymore. People aren't truly connected to life anymore, only to Jasmine.

Do you think Whedon is saying it's better to be cast out of Eden, separated from God and vulnerable to the suffering in this world, than to be one with God, but not an individual with free will?

I think Jasmine is the thing that has separated people from "God". Jasmine is no more universal than Glory was. The only thing that is universal is, well, the universe. Jasmine has taken it upon herself to cut everyone out of that. If free will is cut out, you cease to exist. If you cease to exist, you can't be part of anything, because you don't exist. Jasmine hasn't enslaved the people of LA...she's annhilated them. At this point, there are only a handful of people left living (or in Angel's case, unliving) in LA, and it's up to AI to rectify that.

[> [> [> Arghh...can someone please tell me how to get quotes to appear italicized? -- Kenny, 12:27:50 04/24/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Open the FAQ link at the top of the board in a 2nd window & follow the instructions -- Darby, 12:29:57 04/24/03 Thu

[> [> Maybe I misunderstood but... -- luna, 19:52:44 04/24/03 Thu

I thought when Fred was talking about feeling remorse being better than having no feeling (being a "shell"), she was not talking about being under Jasmine's power. I think she was concerned with what was happening to the "Free Will Gang"-- that in order to suvive, Gunn and Angel were killing all feeling, and becoming as empty as the people in Jasmine's power. So her point was maybe kind of like the Mantis creatures--love is sacrifice, or at least that for life to be real, to have meaning, you have to accept your guilt, not shut down and become a killing machine, even if killing is necessary.

[> [> [> Re: Maybe I misunderstood but... -- LeeAnn, 02:32:23 04/25/03 Fri

Note that Fred, Angel, Lorne, Wes and Gunn are the Free Will Gang while opposed to them is what Jasmine calls the Jasmine World Order. Sound familiar? Also notice that the Jasmine World Order commands the National Guard and is now the government. And religion.

[> The imagery is probably purposeful. -- Darby, 10:29:09 04/24/03 Thu

Jasmine is developing a kind of hive mind, with her (and maybe Connor) as the Queen. The depiction of "her people" as very insect-like probably reflects that. Mantises are about as asocial as can be, but who could resist the "praying" imagery?

One interesting thing about hive minds is that, according to some theories, they become what's called a superorganism, very similar to what Jasmine describes is going on. And should cells in a body, workers in a hive, have free will? In nature, it can work either way - ants seem just cogs in the machine, while bees seem to have more individual autonomy.

Perhaps Jasmine is just helping humans throught the next step of evolution...or at least a step...

[> [> Resistance is futile -- ponygirl, 10:38:37 04/24/03 Thu

Jasmine is developing a kind of hive mind, with her (and maybe Connor) as the Queen.

I'm looking at Gunn's "emotion chip" comment (and DG's Vulcan bit) in a new light! Is AI up against a spiritual, rather than technological, version of the Borg? ;)

[> [> [> You will be assimilated! -- Masq, 10:49:59 04/24/03 Thu

That was what I thought when she talked about setting her sites on the rest of the state of California, and then the U.S., and then the World....

Everyone, happy little worker bees, just like the drones in their cube. We are all working towards perfection....

[> [> [> "We just want to better ourselves." -- RadiusRS, 11:29:12 04/24/03 Thu

What's more, that comment was said by the bald Picard to the egghead Data in Star Trek: First Contact. Nice homage to Star Trek: TNG. (And the Vulcan in original series garb in, well the original series)

[> [> collective vs. individual -- matching mole, 11:38:34 04/24/03 Thu

This is a fascinating topic. I don't really have a central argument to make but rather a group of rather unorganized but related statements.

1) I didn't think of the Borg straight away (or social insects) but rather that ultimate 1950s sf metaphor for communism - Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The creepiness of the last two episodes draws directly from that source - the population succumbing to an externally imposed happiness and all working for a common goal while a few hold outs are pursued relentlessly. The loss of individuality is the same as death.

2) I've always found it interesting that collective intelligences are pretty much portrayed negatively in TV and film sf. Even after the end of the cold war. It shows a certain lack of imagination. While humans may not be inclined to a 'Borgesque' collectivism it might be completely natural and satisfying to some species with a different evolutionary history.

3) The sort of central control of each individual's actions that we see exhibited by Jasmine is very different from what actually goes on in social insects. A hive or an ant colony doesn't have a brain in the same way that our bodies do. And even our conscious minds have relatively limited control over what is going on inside of us. We can't will cells into dividing or metabolizing faster for example. A social insect colony operates without any sort of real central control. The insects each perform a series of individual behaviors that have evolved to create a smoothly functioning colony. If you drop a stick in the path of a group of foraging ants you don't see a coordinated effort to move it. Rather each ant grabs it and begins to make an individual effort to move it. The stick may wiggle back and forth for a while until enough ants pick the right direction.

4) Cells in our bodies or even genes within our cells are potentially capable of taking actions that are not in our best interest (e.g. cancer). So the value of collectivism certainly depends on your perspective.

[> [> [> "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" -- Masq, 11:46:31 04/24/03 Thu

Was the movie playing on the TV in Cordelia's dream in Apocalypse Nowish. In retrospect, I decided that had to do with the fact that Jasmine was "along for the ride" in Cordelia's body at that time, and was perhaps even in control of her actions and words.

In even later retrospect, though, it might have been foreshadowing for the Jasmine's-brave-new-world part the season.

[> [> [> [> The teaser to "Magic Bullet" is a clever tribute to "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" -- cjl, 11:53:03 04/24/03 Thu

When on-the-run Fred slams into the side of the car in the teaser to "Magic Bullet," it's a duplicate of the shot of an on-the-run Kevin McCarthy slamming into the side of a car at the start of the 1978 remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Only differnce is that Fred doesn't try to convince the driver that the pod people are coming. She knows they've already taken over....

[> [> [> Not just tv and film sf -- KdS, 04:14:31 04/25/03 Fri

In American sf, even authors who usually have liberal and multi-cultural attitudes to the non-human, hive-minded beings are generally portrayed as evil, aggressive, and having no respect for others. Personally, I suspect its due to the traditional orientation of American sf writers to very individualistic ideological and philosophical schools of thought.

[> [> circles and holes -- neaux, 11:56:01 04/24/03 Thu

while this talk of the borg is making me think of floating cubes...

was I the only one who thought last night's episode was full of HOLES? Cirles and Cyllinder images. Portholes, Manholes.. Angel flying up cyllindrical tunnels and the so forth??

[> [> "Prey" (Michael Crichton) discusses hives ... -- crgn, 14:01:34 04/25/03 Fri

and distributed intelligence. He describes the ability of an artificial hive to take control of (assimilate!) humans. Very creepy stuff.

[> Kill Cordy (spoilers Sacrifice) -- Vickie, 11:15:35 04/24/03 Thu

Rufus said if Cordy's blood is dangerous, why not kill her to get rid of the threat?

Um, didn't you get the impression Jasmine had eaten her?

I'm sure we're supposed to worry that this is so. Though I doubt it's true unless CC's contract is up. Maybe she's useful to Jasmine in a way we don't know about?

[> [> You know what would be interesting... (Sacrifice spoiler and future unspoiled spec) -- Rob, 19:47:11 04/24/03 Thu

...Iafter (if) Jasmine is defeated, all the people she devoured are expelled. Jasmine began in this dimension in a manner of speaking by coming out from inside Cordy's belly. Perhaps now Cordy is in hers, and she must be removed a similar way. Okay, maybe this is a little silly...


[> [> No, I didn't.... -- Rufus, 20:05:57 04/24/03 Thu

Mainly cause of the fact that there had been an effort to keep Cordy comfortable. That people wished to go see the 'mother' of Jasmine. I wondered if Jasmine had an attachment of a sort to Cordy we don't understand yet.

[> [> [> Which also explains why she hasn't munched down that irritating father of hers yet, either -- Masq, 21:00:40 04/24/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Great!......now you have gone and hurt Connors irritating feelings....;) -- Rufus, 21:17:57 04/24/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> But only on purpose -- Masq, 07:07:31 04/25/03 Fri

Have you read many of my other posts lately, Ruf? I am starting to wax poetic in my praise and admiration of both the character of Connor and his actor alter-ego. It's starting to be my new obsession.

So I thought I'd balance it out with one brief moment's disparagement.

Is that so wrong????

[> [> [> [> [> [> <g> Someone has to tease you.....;) -- Rufus, 16:41:44 04/25/03 Fri

Yes, I've noted your new obsession. I think the actor doesn't get credit for the job he is doing cause so many people think he is just a whiny brat. It's much more complicated than that. But the same thing happened to Dawn in season six. There must be something in us that can't stand a demanding kid.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Connor's getting much more story than Dawn did -- Masq, 17:07:42 04/25/03 Fri

Dawn sort of got forgotten in Season 6 and 7 after being so pivotal in 5. It seemed all her character had to do was whine and occasionally steal things.

Connor, on the other hand, has been given MAJOR story lines in Season 4. And Vincent K has risen to the occassion.

Oh, here I go again.....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Dawn who? -- WickedBuffy, 13:58:55 04/26/03 Sat

As much as I really want to wash, cut and blow-dry Connors hair to the point of it distracting me frm the show - he is continually impressing me with his acting.

Not the big flourishes, but those little facial expressions that convey so much. (Which Dawn can't do - she always looks as if her underwear are too tight. Ok, I guess she has one other look, the one of horror - which resembles what she'd look like if she'd just realized she was wearing no underwear.)

Opps , back to skinny-chested lil Connor. (His chest takes a beatin' and keeps on tickin'! referring to Wes's slice and the SoulEaters chestgrab)

Lately, he can display his whole emotion with just a subtle change in his mouth or eyes. I don''t know if it was planned that way, or if the actor is just coming more into his own as a professional. For instance, when Jasmine "moved" Cordy. Connor looked content, as always, with what Jasmine did and it sincerely showed on his face And when he turned to look back at Cordy's still-warm bed, he looked abit confused, or at least not as happy. Then switched back again. Not as anything fake, but as a true showing of exactly what was going on inside him.

Little things like that. I don't see Angel being able to do that, his motions are large and noticeable. Same as Gunns and even Wes'. Fred comes close to the subtlety in showing so much with so little facial change - but Connor seems to be really excelling in the area. Just a slight lift of his eyebrow speaks pages of dialogue.

[> [> i think it's deliberately ambiguous -- anom, 21:01:48 04/24/03 Thu

"Rufus said if Cordy's blood is dangerous, why not kill her to get rid of the threat?

Um, didn't you get the impression Jasmine had eaten her?"

It was left an open question. Does Jasmine have reason to want Cordelia gone, or was she just making sure her blood wouldn't be available to turn more followers? "She's where I want her to be." Could mean inside her...could mean shifted half a second out of phase w/this dimension...could mean in some other dimension. Hmm...what if Jasmine put her in the scorpion-people's dimension? Would they revere Cordy for her connection w/the one they loved 1st? Or would they revile her for having taken that one away from them?

I know, humans can't breathe the air there, but is Cordelia breathing? She doesn't seem to be wasting away, even w/no visible source of nutrition...if she doesn't need food, does she need air? No, I'm not going to rewind to see if she's visibly breathing, but I think I remember seeing that she was. Still, if Jasmine were keeping her in suspended animation, it would both explain why she doesn't need IV nutrients or a catheter & support the possibility that Jasmine could do other mystical things w/her, like put her where she wants her....

[> [> [> She's still demonized, right? -- d'Herblay, 22:28:51 04/24/03 Thu

Entirely because I like the dramatic possibilities involved in Angel finding that not only must he find out Jasmine's real name, but rescue Cordelia as well, I like to believe that Jasmine moved her into the Mantisworld. Suddenly we'll learn that not only does Cordy occasionally glow and/or float, her uncatalogued demon powers include an ability to live without oxygen. Of course, considering that the Mantises seem pretty interested in blood, Angel may find that he'll encounter some willing allies.

On the other hand, this could be a stupid idea, and prime evidence for why I'm not writing Angel.

[> [> [> [> either there... -- anom, 00:00:12 04/25/03 Fri

"I like to believe that Jasmine moved her into the Mantisworld."

...or back up where she was parked between seasons 3 & 4-- only now, because she's unconscious, she won't be bored!

"Suddenly we'll learn that not only does Cordy occasionally glow and/or float, her uncatalogued demon powers include an ability to live without oxygen."

Good point! That could also account for her being able to live without, y'know, food.

[> [> [> [> [> ... or she's just tucked underneath the bed.... did anyone even look for her? -- WickedBuffy, 14:32:28 04/26/03 Sat

sometimes it's just the simplest of places - hide someone in plain sight. Did they look in the closet? The cellar? Nope, just "ok" and where's the pie!

[> [> Re: Kill Cordy (spoilers Sacrifice) -- Q, 13:48:18 04/26/03 Sat

I Would LOVE to see Cordy gone... And like Rufus said, it is the ONLY thing that makes sense, but the shows producers stopped making sense when it comes to Cordy a LONG time ago.

It's this simple... They are NOT going to KILL OFF a MAJOR characted with that little fanfare. No way.

[> [> [> Re: Kill Cordy (spoilers Sacrifice) -- yabyumpan, 16:06:49 04/26/03 Sat

I Would LOVE to see Cordy gone... And like Rufus said, it is the ONLY thing that makes sense, but the shows producers stopped making sense when it comes to Cordy a LONG time ago.

Maybe to you but I've been pretty happy with Cordy's development up untill the end of last season. (I don't think we can caount this season as I don't think we've actually seen the real Cordy). I guess it depends on whether you think a person who was bitchy at school, mainly as a defence, can actually grow away from needing to be that defensive and mature into a person who is compassionate and cares about the suffering of others. I don't think it's her story that doesn't make sense but people's expectations that she wouldn't be changed by all that's happened to her and all she's seen.

Most complaints about her seem to stem from 'Birthday', when she gave up part of her humanity to continue helping with the mission. I think it would have been OOC for anyone not to be changed by that experience. If you give up part of yourself for a cause, you're bound to be much more focused on that cause than before. People also seem to have a problem with her actions at the end of last season, when she arrived back from her holiday to find that, once again, her life had been turned upside down. This is really when the StCordy crap started, but did people really expect her to start quiping about "saving money on diapers, more money for shoes!"? She was grieving as much as the rest of them and probably feeling guilty as well for being away enjoying herself when all the shit went down.
One of the main critisisms from that time is that she didn't go and see Wes. For me that was perfectly in character. Wesley was one of her closest friends and yet didn't contact to tell her his concerns or seek her advice/help. I think she would have felt very betrayed by that and when Cordy feels betrayed by someone she doesn't confront them, she just cuts them out of her life. She never confronted Xander about his betrayel nor did she confront Angel after he fired them. It wasn't untill Angel came crawling back did she confront him and even then Angel almost pushed her into it. If you piss her off she'll go tot-to-toe with you but if you betray her, she just cuts you out of her life, and that's what she did with Wesley. She could certainly have been better written at the end of last season but I think her actions were consistant with what we know about her.

Cordy seems to be the only character who people can't seem to accept growing and developing. Certain other characters are barely recognisable from their first appearances but most people are fine with that. The only incarnation of Cordy that is acceptable to a lot of people is Snarky/bitchy with maybe a side serving of compassion, just as long as it doesn't show to much. It seems that people want a characature from Cordy and not a continually developing character.

I Would LOVE to see Cordy gone...

Is it only certain characters the 'no bashing' rule applies to or does it extend to every character?........I'm just sayin'

[> [> [> Unless the actress is pregnant and wants a break -- luna, 17:38:10 04/26/03 Sat

Reasons of the great popularity of mystery-series - - Steffi, 08:01:33 04/24/03 Thu

I have to write a report about mystery- series especially about Buffy. So I need your help. What's your opinion, what are the reasons of the great popularity of these series?
Thanks a lot

[> Re: Reasons of the great popularity of mystery- series -- luminesce, 08:15:49 04/24/03 Thu

Your first challenge will be to fit BTVS into the mystery genre rather than the horror/fantasy genre.

I'm not really sure how you're going to do that.

[> [> Re: Reasons of the great popularity of mystery- series -- luna, 10:43:19 04/24/03 Thu

...and second is to find out whether your teacher meant for you to do research by asking online discussion groups about it.

luna (who's very crabby because of just receiving the SECOND plagiarized paper from the same student. How 7*@!#%ing dumb do they think we are?)

Steffi, I'm sure that's not what you mean to do, but still, ask if this is what your teacher wants you to to.

Initial thoughts on Sacrifice and Dirty Girls -- lunasea, 09:19:33 04/24/03 Thu

Great title and as usual the title draws the audience to the most important line of the episode. I'm still waiting for a good definition of love to come out of either show. Think we'll get it in either finale? Would that violate the don't tell them, show them policy of ME? We've had enough exposition about other things this season.

Love is sacrifice. Love is pain. Buffy and Angel sure feel that way about it. It makes them both hollow inside. I loved Fred's speech to Gunn (I am quickly becoming a Fred-Angel shipper). It reminded me a lot of what Angelus said in "Passions."

Love isn't sacrifice. It is being willing to make sacrifices. Buffy was so willing to do the hard thing, that she almost killed Anya in "Selfless." She didn't look for options. What if Buffy had taken that route with Angel any number of times? She could have dusted him in "Angel" or "Amends" because he was too much of a threat. What if she had let Willow die in "Choices?"

Or recently I have been thinking about what if Buffy had been able to murder Faith in cold blood and didn't hesitate so Faith didn't escape? Angel would have been cured, he might not have left town, but it wouldn't have mattered. The Mayor would have eaten them all. In looking back over the 7 seasons of Buffy, she hasn't saved the day once if she had total faith only. She had to be acting out of love as well. S3 she saved the day when she let Angel drink from her. This put her in the coma where she was given the key to beating the Mayor. No feeding, no key.

S2 is great. What does Buffy have when she has nothing left? "Me." Not really sweetie. If she had killed Angel before he got his soul back, she wouldn't have realized what she had lost and we would have seen Wishverse Buffy a lot sooner. Buffy lost her lover, but gained her heart back in that action. She found herself.

Resouling Angel, that was out of love. Shutting down and preparing to kill Angel, make the big sacrifice, that was not. Sometimes love means finding a way so that you don't have to make a sacrifice. When Buffy is ready to sacrifice, she makes things worse. When she goes in with love, she saves the day. Joss does not let his hero truimph out of faith in herself alone.

Every season ends this way. The key to winning is always Buffy's heart. Buffy's faith tends to make things worse. The Master was able to lure her to his lair, where she wasn't the hunter, but the prey. Adam would have kicked her ass if not for the conjoining spell. Dawn almost had to die. Xander, not Buffy saved the day, with Willow. Setting up this finale, 2 Potenials were killed, several other wounded and Xander maimed.

This season has been completely demonstrative of this. Both Buffy and Angel are acting out of faith in themselves and being able to do what needs to be done. Both have shut down. Buffy was rather abruptly after CwDP. Angel has been having to do hard things all season and his was a bit more gradual, but right now both of Joss' heroes are in the same place. It will be nice when they finally pull each other out of it.

Sacrifice. In the beginning of the episode Angel is willing to make the big sacrifice so his friends can get away. In the end the tables are turned, but he doesn't exactly go to a safe place. The world out of the frying pan and into the fire come to mind. Until he is acting from love, rather than just trying to get the job done, he won't be successful.

Can our heroes fight monsters without becoming one? Giles said that we don't lose who we are. New-improved Riley said that all that stuff couldn't touch Buffy. Inside they both have that core that allows them to save the day. What will it take for them to find that? When will they learn that they can't sacrifice that?

Another quick aside, Matthew. A 12 year old boy named Matthew and not Matt. In the tetramorph Matthew is symbolized by a man. (the tattoo on Angel's back is from the tetramorph. It is Mark) Matthew is the first in the gospels and he is the first person that Jasmine uses as an evangelist. He converts the other kids in the sewer and Jasmine spoke through him much as the Holy Spirit speaks. through the evangelists.

Tommy, Thomas, the symbolism is pretty obvious. I forgot the other kids names. I will have to rewatch it when it I get home from vacation.

[> possible spoiler in above -- Flo, 09:44:42 04/24/03 Thu

Is the Angel and Buffy pulling each other back to love a spoiler or speculation? Either way, I'd like a warning.

Great thoughts, Lunasea!

[> [> Sorry. More speculation than anything -- lunasea, 10:11:42 04/24/03 Thu

It is what Angel does. Buffy doubts herself and Angel shows her what she looks like through his eyes. Then Buffy gets recharged and life goes on. I don't see why it would be any different thing season. She did it for him when he was still on her show. It is time she returned the favor. With Cordy out of the picture, temp hopefully (though I'm still rooting for Fred-Angel), only one who can really do it for him is Buffy.

Besides Joss is such a something, that I would be willing to bet one of my children that he isn't going to give us closure with those two, but instead open it back up even wider. He will rip off the scab that has been forming and they will be bare to the world.

Taxes, Dave Barry, and Buffy -- Anneth, 12:27:59 04/24/03 Thu

Hope no one has posted this before... it's worth a peek.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/columnists/dave_ barry/5564439.htm

[> Do you think that includes all the SITs, or just the regulars? -- leslie, 19:19:01 04/24/03 Thu

[> I read that in the paper and didn't think to post it. -- DickBD, 12:05:31 04/25/03 Fri

Do you think he may be one of our lurkers?

[> [> Re: I read that in the paper and didn't think to post it. -- DickBD, 12:07:02 04/25/03 Fri

Do you think he may be one of our lurkers?

[> [> On the nature of Buffy reference jokes -- skyMatrix, 16:50:54 04/25/03 Fri

In my experience, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is referred to in a lot of these throwaway refrence jokes simply because the title is, to some extent, funny in and of itself. If you didn't even watch Buffy, that joke is still funnier than if Barry had said Friends which is just an ordinary title, as insanely popular as the show is. There are two different rerences in the second season of Farscape to Buffy that strike me as being of the same character (John Crichton always manages to say the most ludicrous things, after all). In some cases, it seems as if the reference is made with a wink and a nod so that the audience can kinda laugh and go "Ha! Buffy sucks!" because that still is the reaction a lot of people have. After all, I still get a rousing chorus of slightly-mocking laughter when I answer the question "what is your favorite TV show" in Spanish class, even though when you ask one of them individually, they'll admit that they've seen enough of it to know that it is quality.

So I guess I'm just writing this because of the tendency I've seen in similar posts on this board to view any and every passing Buffy ref as inherently congratulatory or indicating that the author watches or appreciates the show. Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but I think it ain't so. Sorry to be too much of a killjoy though!

[> [> [> It's true -- ponygirl, 20:37:14 04/25/03 Fri

I've been excited lately about seeing Buffy mentions in short stories, but I have noticed that generally they've been put in the mouths of teenaged or rather emotionally immature characters. The protagonist in Nick Hornby's story was only 15, and while Kate Atkinson had a Buffy reference in just about every story of her new book they were also being made by either teens or people with rather unhealthy pop culture obsessions (as if there could be such a thing!). I'd suspect that many of these authors are fans but aren't willing to cop to anything more than a guilty pleasure type of fixation due to some sort of lingering BtVS=teen show type taint. Give 'em time though and I'm sure we'll get more authors coming out of the closet on this.

The PTB question -- pellenaka, 12:39:15 04/24/03 Thu

I was wondering....was 'The PTB' integrated into the American language by Angel or did it exist before Angel?

I'm asking because I've heard it a few times on various TV shows and English isn't my first language.

[> Re: The PTB question -- Robert, 13:05:29 04/24/03 Thu

>>> ... was 'The PTB' integrated into the American language by Angel or did it exist before Angel?

The phrase The Powers That Be is much older than Angel. I've heard it over the years to describe the executive management of a company. In the context I use it, it is usually an expression of mild derision, to describe the top decision makers as being disconnected from the consequences of their decisions.

I've also seen the phrase used in some print. Anne McCaffrey wrote a science fiction novel about 10 years ago entitled Powers That Be. It took a rather brutal position regarding said powers.

[> [> "The powers that be are ordained of God." Romans 13:1 -- Sophist, 14:10:16 04/24/03 Thu

Last Week on Buffy, This Week on Angel (Spoilers: Dirty Girls and Sacrifice) -- Walking Turtle, 13:36:25 04/24/03 Thu

[As Angel and the others escape in the car] "...the radio is on. The woman on the radio cheerfully reports that the Mayor has declared Los Angeles 'The first citadel of Jasmine, a cradle of civilization which will usher in a new age for all of humanity.'

She goes on to say that the local archdiocese has declared all false idols will be removed from its churches, replacing them with images of 'She who walks among us.'

She [the commentator] congratulates the Catholic church for their decision.

Angel turns the radio off"

WOW!!! a direct comment on (1)'false idols' of the the Catholic church and (2) what is given as news on radio i.e. the comment by the reporter.

People thought Caleb's "Blood into Wine", etc. speeches 'Last Week on Buffy' were controversial.

My question is why is ME going this far?

[> Because they can? -- Briar Rose, 02:15:34 04/25/03 Fri

Jasmine is the ME version of Christ/Anti-Christ and it would only be fitting and believable for any Religious Order - whether it be the Catholic Church or the Quakers (if they only had electricity!) to accept her as such. Therefore the God as portrayed by the revealed religions would change their doctrine to accomodate the latest in their theological views. In this case, Jasmine is the second coming. Or at least she purports herself to be.

This is one of the best satirical treatise on the world's "main stream" (read Christeo-Judaic) religions I have ever seen. The premise being that anyone who will give up their personal power, will and freedom to follow a set of dogma, no matter how pleasant and palitable it may appear, is basically doomed to repeat the same programmed response to any "Being" that presents itself.

I am loving this storyline simply because I see the origins of the Christeo-Judaic conception/misconception about human's role in the Universe so well woven into the overall presentation.

From my non-Christian, Muslim or Jewish point of view, many of the followers of those religions appear to be sheep. It's about going through the motions and accepting all the platitudes and morals and ethics and other drivel without questioning any of it because it's a) unacceptable and b)easier to just let it slide.

On an astrology site I frequent, the question came up of "What's the difference between religion and spirituality?" My answer was simple:

Religion requires the total absence of questioning and thought.

Spirituality requires questioning and thinking about everything before accepting any part of it.

ME is showing the down side of religion - the part where whatever the follower is told is to be accepted without question and without logically thinking about what it actually means or what the outcomes of that set of directives may bring about.

Just as we see Connor accepting Jasmine's propencity to eat her followers and that she is not what she appears to be versus the questioning the Fang Gang (started by Fred) has started to apply to the situation in finding out exactly WHAT she is and what she WANTS!

Questioning versus not questioning. The very thing that seperates religion from spirituality.

I have to give ME credit for doing this in a season when they contract renewal is on the line. I wll even give more credit to the WB and Fox if they let them do it and renew their contracts even though this is controversial.

[> [> Two sides to every story -- Malathustra, 08:37:38 04/25/03 Fri

"ME is showing the down side of religion - the part where whatever the follower is told is to be accepted without question and without logically thinking about what it actually means or what the outcomes of that set of directives may bring about."

I appreciate you pointing out that you were talking about the "down side" of religion. This implies that there is an "up side," as well. Although it sounds like you have had very negative experiences with religion or religious observers, I know you're a smart enough person to realize that it's impossible for EVERY follower to be a stupid sheep that gratefully accepts the opportunity to NOT think things through. I was glad that you chose to say "many" people are that way -- but certainly not all.

I will be interested to see the moment when ME lets us inside Connor's head. We still haven't had a "From Connor's Perspective" look at Jasmine, and so we don't know which face he sees. Because, theoretically, Connor's blood should share the same properties as Cordelia's, I totally believe that Connor sees Jasmine's true face now, and probably has all along. If you watch carefully, they have really focused on Connor and all the times he's said, "You're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." What we potentially have here is someone who sees the truth and asks the questions, and has chosen to accept the answers.

I'm not justifying Connor in his decisions to hunt and destroy the nonbelievers... but it's interesting to note that until the last episode, Jasmine's idea of spreading love and connecting everyone is something that would fit very well into most people's ideas of a peaceful world. Minus the people-eating, political takeovers, and, you know, CRUSADES that have taken place, the message wasn't so bad.

I find it interesting, too, that seeing the "truth" has really only equated with seeing an ugly, scary face. I don't mind this commentary on religion, either. Sometimes the "face" (or the organization, institution, etc.) of religion is pretty ugly, decaying, or even dead, but the message doesn't necessarily have to be. One of the things I find most helpful about my religious practice is that it gives me a chance to connect with people. It puts me in a position to be helpful to those in need and to really care about people outside of myself, my family, and my close circle of friends. I understand that the organization is just that -- an organization. As such, it is vulnerable to corruption or superfluousness just as any organization is.

Because I am able to separate the organization from the doctrine, in my mind, it doesn't give me any trouble to wake up on Sunday morning and go to church. I know this isn't the case for most people, but it intrigues me to know who can and who cannot separate form from substance. Ideally, the form and the substance will work together. Certainly, I would not feel comfortable functioning under an organization that I felt was truly corrupt, but rather than scream and cry and stomp away, I do think I would try to help mend things before I gave up entirely.

It is the "down side" of religion, as you so appropriately pointed out, that we must avoid. The stripping down in front of a religious leader without asking why. The us-against- them mentality. The criticism of all things which seem to run counter to our choices and ideas.

The difference between religion and spirituality is not necessarily the absence or presence of thought. It is the difference between external and internal movement, and those two measures are not always at cross purposes.

[> [> [> Re: Two sides to every story--Spoilers through Sacrifice -- Arethusa, 09:31:03 04/25/03 Fri

What we potentially have here is someone who sees the truth and asks the questions, and has chosen to accept the answers.

That's very interesting. Connor might have been at least somewhat aware that Jasmine was harmful, but didn't care. He did the same thing with Holtz. It probably became obvious to him that Holtz was at least partially wrong about Angel, but Connor didn't care, and chose to attack his father anyway. He is nothing if not consistant. Will Connor ever be able to see beyond his own needs? What will it take for Connor to decide that belonging and acceptance can have too high a price?

[> [> Very well said -- tomfool, 09:47:37 04/25/03 Fri

I'm finding the current Angel storyline to be thrilling, audacious, and creepy in the extreme. I too applaud ME's daring at this stage in the series. It's perfectly subversive in the current political climate when the wall between church and state is being breeched on every front.

Jasmine discovers that Connor doesn't want to give up his 'pain', the last shred of his humanity anchoring him to the world. She says 'I want everything'. He gives it and her victory is complete. His individuality is gone. Shivers down my spine.

[> [> Re: Because they can? -- Arethusa, 09:53:58 04/25/03 Fri

The reviews and responses I read about the Jasmine arc often have people state that it is ME/Whedon's criticism of a certain aspects of faith-fundamentalism, Catholicism, etc. What if it's a criticism of any faith in the supernatural/spiritual? (Which would be an ironic thing for shows about supernatural universes, wouldn't it?)

Why depend on anything to tell you what to think? Why invoke any god/star/spirit/ritual to help you through life? Are we not smart enough, strong enough, good enough to guide our own lives? And if we aren't--shouldn't we be teaching each other how to be what we need to be?

[> [> [> Excellent post! -- DickBD, 11:55:12 04/25/03 Fri

In my long life time, I have been surprised by atheists who believed in ghosts. At least one of them was a good enough friend that I could ask, "How can you doubt the big spook and accept little spooks?" There was a time that humanity was so desperate to discern destiny that people accepted the reading of entrails from animals as authoritative. It seems to me that astrology is on all fours with that.

[> [> [> [> Thanks, but -- Arethusa, 12:22:49 04/25/03 Fri

please note that I do not want to put down anyone's faith. I just think we are so much more than we believe, and I hate to think that people (in general) undercut human potential in an attempt to conquer uncertainty. Faith in Another is so easily twisted, but faith in ourselves can be the foundation of limitless strength.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Thanks, but -- Grant, 14:45:26 04/27/03 Sun

I would caution you not to be too optimistic about the purity of faith in oneself. That can be twisted just as easily, if not more easily, than faith in God or another. Faith in oneself can very easily lead to arrogance and a decision that your own personal views of the world are more important than anybody else's. One of the greatest thing that humanity gains from faith in a higher power is the concept of humility. Once you lose your humility, you tend to define pretty much everything by yourself, which is a very selfish way to live in the world. It also tends to lead to estremism more than faith in a higher power.

I unfortunately have to break Godwin's law here, but I would like to note that Hitler had a lot of faith in himself. That is why he knew that he was the one to lead the world to a new order and to purify the human race. Saddam Hussien had a pretty great deal of faith in himself too, which is why he thought it was perfectly natural and acceptable to put pictures and statues of himself everywhere. Even Osama bin Laden is notable for his high level of faith in himself. It is, after all, that faith that makes him know that he is the only one who truly understands the Islamic religion and God's will, and thus he has no concern about ordering people to fly airplanes into buildings.

So, I suppose I agree that faith in oneself can be the foundation of limitless strength. I would just caution that having limitless strength is not necessarily a good thing.

[> [> [> Precisely my thoughts on a broader level Arethusa... -- Briar Rose, 16:54:31 04/25/03 Fri

Joss is not just against organized religions (which you could count some non-"Biblical" mainstream religions in that as well. ie: Wicca and Gold Dawn are just as dogmatic as Catholicism...) as he sometimes appears to be against relgion of any type.

To a degree Joss seems to see a very definite void between faith and religion/spirituality. And as you said, amazing for a show completely based in the supernatural world as BtVS and Angel is.

This topic also brings in to play my continuing questions about - Why is Joss against....? Well, practically everything.*L There is not one thing that Joss/ME wholley believe in if you follow the BtVS/AtS sagas closely.

There is no belief displayed in any story line for longer than a nano-second about Theologies, Organized Religions, Love, Life or even Reality in general as shown in "restless" and the Buffy as ward patient themes.

Joss sometimes reminds me of a passionate atheist. One who believes that the only belief that matters is in one's own self. And that's why even at his most obtuse and annoying, I hang onto these two shows as the special miracles they are in this time of overwhelming BS between the "relgious" and the "non-religious" that has happened over the last few years.

[> [> Religion in Buffy and Angel -- manwitch, 11:51:20 04/25/03 Fri

First off, I just want to say that I mean no disrespect towards anyone of any belief in this post. I mean a lot of it academically, even though I may deeply believe it. I'm "sharing" with the intention of contributing to the off and on again discussion of religion in this wonderful show. And just that something is my opinion, well, that should matter little to anyone fortunate enough to have a real belief system that works for them.

So, anyway, I disagree with the distinction you make between religion and spirituality. There are many opportunities to question in religion. Religion also supplies structure that can be invaluable, that those without religion might not have and will need to work out for themselves. Sometimes that will be a good thing, but sometimes not. At any rate, neither religion nor spirituality is a merely intellectual enterprise. Spirituality, for me at least, is quite beyond any intellectual notion of question and answer. Its about a certain kind of openness to experience. And, for me, that is what religion attempts to constrain, or at least guide in certain directions.

Joan of Arc's experience, for example, was useful to French authorities, but antithetical to the clergy. Drusilla suffered the same fate. Religions tend to authorize certain forms of experience and not others, certain experiences for some people and not others. Spirituality, as I see it, offers no such restrictions.

The Western religions are particularly restrictive with their emphasis on ethics. Good vs. bad, right vs wrong. These ideas are not the ruling aspect of the religions of the East, Hinduism and Buddhism. In those, the world is to be experienced as a wonder, even in its most monstrous character. Evil and wrong are simply illusions (as are good and right) brought about by the accident of our historical and temporal forms.

What I see in Buffy and in Angel is a strong leaning towards agnosticism and possibly gnosticism in relation to the religions of the West and a deep belief in the "wisdom" of the East.

Characters like Caleb and Jasmine serve a particular function in the story. I'm still, like everyone else apparently, reasonably confused about what they represent, but I am confident that the answer to that lies in Buffy and in Angel. Jasmine is serving some function in the telling of the story about Angel, his mission, his status with the PTB, his relationship to his son, his love of Cordelia. Caleb is playing a role in the story of Buffy's overcoming of all ego and all attachment to the world. The belief in ethics, that you are fighting the good fight against the evil, and that the evil must lose, is an attachment to the world. It stems from a belief in self, and in good as an absolute rather than relative value. These obstacles are being represented by figures suggestive of Western Religion I think to emphasize that contrast. Historically, Western Religion sees the world as a struggle between the elect and the reprobate. Eastern Religion sees the world as a wonder. You reach that wisdom only by overcoming the Illusion that is the basis of Western Religion. Buffy, for example, has spent her life in a struggle that many viewers see as a good vs. evil struggle. But in order for he to shed the last vestiges of her ego, she will need to overcome that perception, including the vision of herself as the Slayer, the one girl in all the world. She needs to get herself past the very concepts of good and evil, let alone their opposition. Others have written more convincingly on Caleb than I can, but perhaps he represents a system of belief that is, in a sense, inherently corrupting in that it depends on the existence of the evil that it ostensibly opposes. I don't think the point is to knock Christianity as much as to urge us to find the true spiritual experience that is beyond and out of reach of the doctrine and dogma of religion. One does not need to be un or anti christian to do this.

Jasmine is perhaps more complex. She is no more an image of Christianity than Glory was. She's just a superior being from somewhere. But she makes me think of both the Star Trek episodes, too numerous to metion, in which characters are absorbed into the body (I'm thinking Return of the Archons and Operation Annihilate in Old Trek, but I'm sure they've done it in Trek to the nth as well) and also the sci fi story about the 9000 names of God. There is clearly a comment being made on worship, but more significantly on expulsion from grace, and the true spiritual experience that opens up when that happens. Life as we experience it doesn't begin until Adam and Eve are expelled. I also think reference is being made to Nietzsche's madman, who warns us of the blood on our hands now that we, the murderers of all murderers, have killed God. That blood destroys our "life- enhancing illusions" just as Jasmine's blood does for Angel. And the result is a time for people of greater character, who can live without the illusions, who can live and do great things for the experience only, who will create their own values as part of the experience.

And isn't that the new birth? The child born from the lion? The star baby at the end of 2001?

Perhaps Angel is about to be reborn.

Anyways, sorry for the lack of focus, but returning to the subject of religion in Buffy, I have seen many people commenting about how far and offensive Buffy has gone this season, and perhaps Angel, too. I don't really think this is anything new. Buffy and Angel have always advocated personal spirituality over dogma, individual or community experience over authoritative institutions. The symbols this year may be a little more heavy handed and visible to the critics, but the spiritual stance of the shows does not seem to me to have wavered much.

[> [> [> Not "rambly" at all. As usual, a gem of intellectual clarity. -- cjl, 12:16:27 04/25/03 Fri

We need that around here sometimes. Wish you could post more often.

[> [> [> [> What cjl said. Just beautiful. -- Arethusa, 12:27:42 04/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> We agreed, but you said it so very well and much better than I did manwitch.*S* -- Briar, 17:05:17 04/25/03 Fri

What people might have missed in my ramblings is I was stressing ORGANIZED and DOGMATIC religions as what we are being shown the down sides of.

However, as I said above, Joss and ME in total seem to be conveying that the only truly required belief is in the power of the individual. That whatever the individual chooses, believes, has faith in... is what matters.

That is an excellent message for the world, especially when human's recent history has tried to remove personal responsibility, freedom and power from human kind with more political and religious dogma than has been put forth on such a wide scale for a long time.

[> [> [> [> [> Hehe...I guess I've become the defender of organized religion here... -- Corwin of Amber, 21:44:27 04/25/03 Fri

Ok, I'll bite...somebody give me an example of an unorganized and nondogmatic religion. It seems like such an institution (could it even form an institution?) wouldn't last more than one generation.

In my experience, many people who emphasize "spirituality" over "religion", simply don't believe in anything, usually themselves included, but can't admit it to themselves. The other "spiritual" people i've run into are what I call "seekers" - they're looking for a connection to the divine, or to other people, but haven't found it yet.

Structured religions exist so that people don't have to reinvent the wheel in every generation, in regards to religion/spirituality. Most of the problems occur when people mistake the structure for the religion.

And I have to say...the impression I get from some people on this board is that they think people who follow organized religions are novacained above the neck. But the religious run the whole gamut - from those who were just born into the ir religion and haven't thought about it, to those who started out as atheists/agnostics and every point in between. But at some point, all of us question our beliefs and have to work it out for ourselves. In fact, I'll stat that EVERY member of an organized religion has or will question their beliefs at some point in their life. If they can reconcile their beliefs with their religion, they're stay in that religion, otherwise they'll become a "seeker".

[> [> [> [> [> [> So how do you feel about Buffy and Angel? -- manwitch, 07:31:31 04/26/03 Sat

I agree with this up to a point. I don't intend to be attacking religion. I was not exposed to it as a youth. My exposure to religious ideas came entirely through art and literature, which frequently leans towards heresy and gnosticism.

Again, I don't really think either religion or spirituality is ultimately a question/answer sort of experience. Its not an intellectual exercise, so being novacained above the neck is not necessarily an important factor. Although one can't help but notice that religious critics of Buffy tend to respond only to the most heavy-handed, and usually inoffensive religious imagery in Buffy and completely miss the religious messages that require the ability to read and decipher metaphors. For example, they will get upset about lesbians, but completely miss the overall message of Season 4, or the abandonment of Faith for individual effort and responsibility. They will complain about Caleb, but completely miss the at least for now far more penetrating message of Buffy's recognition of her own divinity in The Gift.

For purposes of Buffy, I think one could think of "Religion" as, for example, The Church, The Clergy, Institutions of Worship. "Spirituality" would be the experience of Christ as your personal saviour. It is, I think, a guarantee that Buffy will reject or overcome the first, but will gratefully experience the second. Not that she does this in such explicitly Christian terms. These are meant to be examples of the distinction.

Spirituality is not necessarily at odds with religion. I don't think its an either/or choice. But the institutional and authoritative aspect of religion drives a lot of people away, and since they accept the belief that religion is those institutions and those authorities, they tend to consider themselves irreligious or unspiritual, and perhaps become the seekers to which you refer.

Are you familiar with Spengler? He's really pretty great. He gets cracked on a lot for being a pessimistic German, but the guys basic idea was, following Neitzsche, that everything is metaphorical, including our culture and our lives. He suggests we learn to see our very appearance as a metaphor.

That for me is spirituality. So I tend to read everything, including history books, including my own life, as metaphor. I read the Bible, some parts more than others. I keep Thomas a Kempis by my bedside. But I feel I can read a metaphor when its presented to me. Its pretty clear to me that I'm Christ. Its a basic ability to read that brings me to that conclusion. But its offensive to most all of the Christian denominations. Most of the authorities, from Niscea on down, want Christ to be a singular historical event. That's why gnosticism was so explicitly rejected from canon.

Buffy clearly accepts the notion, at least I think so, that God and man coexist in all of us. Divinity is not external to us, and our glory lies in this life, not the hereafter. When you experience yourself as divine, that is a spiritual moment. As the West thinks of religion, it is not a religious one. All the Western Religions are very clear and very adamant about our separation from God. There are some hip new age ministers who will give some open sermons. They need to find some way to appeal. And there will always be people who want or need the structure that religious institutions provide. I don't think that's a bad thing. I've seen many many examples of its benefits in some of the most wonderful, generous, and spiritual people I know.

But Literature and Art, categories in which I include Buffy and Angel, will always be addressed to the individual heart, where it either will or will not find resonance independent of the intellect. (To get a little too Foucauldian, one could even suggest that the appearance of Buffy in university curiculums, the emergence of "Buffy studies" as a legitimate subject is actually the result of a need to moderate the spiritual resonance of the symbols and images in Buffy and Angel through the application of correct and authoritative interpretations.)

As a defender of organized religion, how do you feel about the use of religious metaphors and imagery, or religious/spiritual messages in these two shows? I think both characters are clearly seekers, but there is an aweful lot they believe in, an aweful lot they've experienced that is beyond what religion can provide.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: So how do you feel about Buffy and Angel? -- Arethusa, 07:55:51 04/26/03 Sat

Wow, this wasn't posted when I wrote my repy but I think in my crude way I'm saying the same thing.

Divinity is not external to us, and our glory lies in this life, not the hereafter. When you experience yourself as divine, that is a spiritual moment.

I really agree.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> What it's good for -- luna, 17:56:50 04/26/03 Sat

Unrelated to Buffy, or maybe not. I started out Christian and now am Buddhist, with a long, long period of unlocalized spirituality in between. And what I've come to is that you only have one lifetime*, which is really short. The great thing that any cultural institution--art, history, philosophy, or religious tradition--can do for us is give us a head start, so we don't have to figure it all out in this very short time we have. Find a tradition you like, use your experience to build on it, and leave something for the next ones who come along--that's what culture is. But choose carefully! It doesn't take a lot to know Caleb and Jasmine when you see them, in whatever guise.

*well, this human birth

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: So how do you feel about Buffy and Angel? -- Corwin of Amber, 20:44:44 04/26/03 Sat

Actually, I'm really pleased with ME's handling of religion - but that's because i'm pretty open minded, and don't mind genuine, honest criticism. The "graven images" line (I'm Catholic) actually made me laugh.

Caleb would be an abomination no matter what religion or denomination he was. That they chose to make him Catholic, is almost a back handed compliment, an acknowledgement of how much influence the Catholic Church has had on human society.

Jasmine - is literally an antichrist. Instead of his followers eating Christ in communion, the antichrist devours her followers. Although catholics tend not to dwell on end times issues, I understand and appreciate the joke.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hehe...I guess I've become the defender of organized religion here... -- Arethusa, 07:49:17 04/26/03 Sat

And I have to say...the impression I get from some people on this board is that they think people who follow organized religions are novacained above the neck.

People are getting that impression because Jasmine's followers are novacained above the neck. I don't believe that all followers are brain-dead, no matter what I seem to have said. I do believe that ME is making statements about religion-at the very least ME is making statements about free will. (The "Free Will Gang.") But anom posted a quote from Whedon that I think is very telling:

"The Onion: Is there a God?
Joss Whedon: No.
O: That's it, end of story, no?
JW: Absolutely not. That's a very important and necessary thing to learn."

Why would it be important and necessary for people to learn there is no god? I think Whedon is telling us why with these arcs. You say, "In my experience, many people who emphasize "spirituality" over "religion", simply don't believe in anything, usually themselves included, but can't admit it to themselves." I don't agree that to reject religion means not believing in yourself-I think the opposite is true. If what I've been told my entire life is true-God is inside us all-than maybe believing in and trusting ourselves is the truest form of belief.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> With Areth and manwitch.... -- Briar (voynake ate 1st post:( ), 17:43:10 04/26/03 Sat

There is a big difference between "sunday morning blievers" and "truly faithful believers."

Have you ever watched the 700 Club? Now that is the difference in a nut shell. Every episode, there are people writting in asking for the Preachers to TELL them what to think about subjects as dictated by the doctrine of whatever the theology of the 700 Club happens to be, instead of using their own REASONING, logic and inner truths.

That is the down side of the organized and institutionalized religion. And exactly what ME is showing with the Jasmine story arc, IMO. Skewwering the people that equate following a set of tenets with no question about WHAT the tenets are truly about and what it will mean in Real Life now and in the future.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> hmmm -- Helen, 08:02:43 04/28/03 Mon

Really not sure about your distinction between "Sunday morning believers" and "truly faithful believers." I consider myself to be (or at least try to be) a Christian 24/7 but I really don't need anyone to tell me what to think. Particularly not a TV preacher.

With regard to Joss Whedon's comments to the Onion, it's probably important to know that Joss Whedon's opinion is that there is no God. It colours his work and so it is relevant, or at least, of interest. I'm prepared to bet that Joss Whedon is not howver, all knowing and therefore does not have superior knowledge on the subject. I happen to "know" he's wrong. See? I don't know anymore than he does. But I do believe.

[> [> Seeing is knowing, faith as fact (mild spoilers up to Sacrifice) -- Sara, 09:38:12 04/27/03 Sun

I don't think the Jasmine story is a commentary on free will, although I just love the discussions that generated. I don't think it's a commentary on organized religion, although, again fabulous discussions, and by the way - so glad to see you back manwitch, you're posts are always a real treat to read! I really think this story is about the nature of God. I've said this in other posts, without quite getting my point across, but I'm going to try again. I'm nothing if not stubborn! Let's say ( or stipulate in "Law and Order" type language) that there really is a God, the theology/mythology about this God is true. He or She is standing in front of you, and it's no longer a matter of belief, it is now a matter of fact. What does that change? Does that, by definition, make the doctrines, rules and ethics of the religon associated with this God right? (And, I am using capital G on purpose, this isn't about it being someone else's god, but about it really being God. I hope I'm not offending anyone with that terminology, this is just for discussion.) Do you still have a right to say "Sorry God, but I'm having trouble with that husband as head of the household rule" or "Really good to see you God, but why can't we suffer a witch to live?" or "A pleasure to meet you God, but turning the other cheek seems kind of wimpy if you ask me." Does the factual existence take away our right to determine right and wrong for ourselves? You can skew the questions, as I've done to support individual decision making in any situation, or muddy the waters by having Jasmine snack on her followers.

But, what if everything about Jasmine was true and she didn't eat people? In that case there's no down side, she's really a god, she's really spreading peace, love and happiness, does someone have the right to reject her?

And, does a god have the right to ask for sacrifices? If they're given freely are they evil? Jasmine spreads love and joy, people feel that and willingly become part of that. Fred, Gunn, Angel and Wes don't remember their moments as followers as feeling drugged, or out of control, they remember being happy in their love of Jasmine. We still don't know that they gave up their free will, just that they had a completely different perspective on the world during that period. If those that Jasmine devours, do so willingly to support and become part of their god, is that evil?

The question becomes really complex when you start looking at it from a really knowing point of view. What does the truth justify? I do believe that many people truly believe in their religon, and feel deep down in their heart that it is true. Because I don't feel that, does it give me a right to question/scoff at their beliefs and actions? Or does their really, really knowing justify anything they do in the name of God. Is a holy war ever right? Can it ever be moral?

[> Just wanted to interject this (spoilers Sacrifice and Dirty Girl) -- lunasea, 18:38:22 04/26/03 Sat

First, the Roman Catholic Church has a sense of humor, at least officially. Have you seen any Catholic groups calling for boycotts or any of that BS is going on when Caleb most closely resembles a Catholic priest? Nope and you won't. It is Protestant (read Baptist) groups that are being offended on behalf of Catholics. I would like to tell them that the Catholic Faith is strong enough that a tv show really doesn't bother them. Get a real cause.

Second, religion or spirituality does it really matter? God is just a projection of the Self into a form that has more authority. It allows us to transcend problems with ego. The divine isn't in us. We are in the divine. Man isn't made in God's image. S/he/they are made in ours.

That is what fascinates me with mythology and religion. All of these things are made in our image. By examining that, we can see ourselves (even if distorted by the fun house mirror that culture can be). Jasmine is part of the modern mythos. She is so mysterious and intriging because she is saying something about modern man. Same thing with Buffy. If we could see them clearly, we could see ourselves clearly. Can we handle this?

I used to be an angry atheist. I was of the mind that believing in God belittled man. Does it really matter what you believe, as long as it motivates you to act? Believe in the triune God, believe in the Lord and Lady, believe in the Great Pumpkin, believe in yourself. It doesn't matter, as long as you believe in love and act accordingly.

I am not an I-really-don't-care-theist (someone Latinize that for me, thanks). I just care about love.

Super-Evil "Angel" Overviews: "Release" and "Orpheus" -- Honorificus (With The Truly Angelic Face), 13:47:32 04/24/03 Thu

Ah, my dear fiends, it is so good to have a fellow conspirator to supply me with "Angel" bootleg! Phouka (and tell me, dear, are you a Parvos demon? I have eighty cat livers riding on it.) has come through again, in spite of her battles with the gods of the Lowerarchy, and thus, I am able to grace you with my wisdom.

Unfortunately, it may be difficult for me to view all the episodes within a reasonable timespan, let alone meditate upon them. My sister, Meganificus, has selected a mate (of whom I generally approve--he's large, has acceptable personal hygeine, and seems to be willing to make himself useful), and her nuptial rites shall take place next week. She has chosen me to stand as her Maid of Dishonor, a role that will take quite a bit of my time. (Note to self: must track down black lamb for ritual sacrifice.) Furthermore, my brother, his mate, and their chaos-worshiping spawn will be teleporting in soon and will no doubt expect me to entertain them. Disillusioning them will take even more of my time. Family. Can't banish 'em, can't bring this dimension to its knees without 'em.

But I digress. You all have no doubt been on pins and needles wondering when I will enlighten you in regards to Angel. Wait no longer, fellow fiends. My eloquence awaits!

To bring you up to speed: Cordelia, who in a fit of good taste became evil, now has young Connor by the 'nads. She's using him as her lapdog whilst she stays sequestered with some sort of hellspawn growing inside her. I'm liking her more and more all the time. Meanwhile, Wesley and Faith try to hunt down Angelus, and Lorne, Gunn, and Fred do something at the hotel that doesn't much interest me. Except, of course, for the little visit Angelus pays to the hotel to terrorize Fred. That's fun. Enough of that, though; Wesley's going even darker, torturing a girl for fun and profit. Okay, information, but I like my way better. Then he taunts Faith into beating on him.

*Sigh* I nearly had a nuptial rite of my own with a guy just like him. If it hadn't been for his unfortunate tendency to wear synthetics, I might've gone through with it instead of devouring him. It's for the best, really.

Skip to the end. Angelus and Faith fight, fight, fight, he gets all taunty, she gets all self-righteous (*yawn!*), and he ends up sinking his teeth into her neck, apparently intending to turn her. On that cheery note, the episode ends.

Various Thoughts
Got to love Evil!Cordy's methods of keeping Connor in line! Reminds me of my primary mother, the old bitch.

Good on them for keeping Fred's hair curly. Straightening it is *so* very five minutes ago.

Faith. Wesley. Faith and Wesley. How much would I love to be the creamy middle in that sandwich? The more battered they get, the sexier they are. And then there are their methods of interrogation, which you gotta respect.

Could the BeastMaster's voice be any cheesier? Mix in some salsa and tortilla chips and you've got yourself a party. Undergods, what were they thinking?

Oops! Turns out Faith was dosing Angelus in order to immobilize him. He's down, and so is she, leaving it up to Gunn and Wesley to drag the two of them back to the Hyperion. Both of them are in comas. Therefore, Faith gets TLC while Angelus gets chained and unceremoniously dumped in his cage. I'm filing a complaint with the Demon Rights Commission. The drug they used, Orpheus, also sends Faith and Angelus on a mystical journey through Angel's piss-poor fashion choices of the past. Egh.

Cordy, meanwhile, tightens her grip on Connor's (censored by HonorH) by berating him over his admiration for Faith's leather pants. Oh, come on, Cordy, like you weren't there yourself a time or two. Who wouldn't be?

Speaking of girl-on-girl action, guess who Fred decides to inflict upon Los Angeles? Willow, that's who. As if I wasn't already getting enough of her on the other show. Of course, Fred and Willow end up in the land of the flirts. Gunn's blissfully ignorant of that, as he is about most things, but I think Wesley catches on after he and Willow have a maudlin talk about their Dark Sides. They act like it's a bad thing.

So Willow works her wacky witchy mojo to free Angel's soul while Faith and Angelus revisit the '70s and . . .

I can't even speak of it. All I can say is, thank the Undergods for minions. They brought me nice, fresh eyeballs and ears from the fridge after I tore mine out.

Moving on, Willow and Cordy have a battle royale with the magic, which Willow ends up winning on account of Connor being an idiot. Cordy has to work his hormones a bit more to persuade him to kill Angelus, who's in the process of a royally existential battle with his badly-wigged alter-ego. Sadly, Willow, Angel, and Faith all come through, and our beloved Angelus is back in his cage by the end. Willow restrains herself from jumping Fred, then runs off with Faith. The Fang Gang almost gets another Bad Angel Speech inflicted upon them, but luckily for us all, Cordy interrupts it with her pregnant belly.

Various Thoughts
Wesley really must be slipping, if he didn't think of Willow right away. Cordy can be excused, as she's evil and therefore not trying to be helpful, but he really can't. Fred seems to be taking over as the thinker of the group. Which leads me to believe they'll need all the help they can get, and very soon.

I have to admit that Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof make an adorable couple, and it was sweet to see them onscreen together. My Super-Wimpy Alter-Ego nearly went into spasms of ecstasy. Can we move on now?

This episode only serves to prove that Angelus is the one with all the fashion sense. I refuse to discuss his Disco Era outfit. The subject is too painful. Is there a bad wig they *haven't* inflicted upon the lovely David Boreanaz?

Floating demon's heads? Really. What a first-grade maneuver for a supposed Evil Overlord! Why, my adorable little fashion-plate niece could pull that one without any help whatsoever from her elders. Hmm. Must suggest that to her one of these days. Proms are coming up, and while I wouldn't be caught undead pulling such a prank, it's right up her alley.

Just how thick-headed is Gunn to not see that Willow's seriously flirting with his former woman?

What in the name of Belial was Cordy wearing in that last scene? Hint, honey: look to Catherine Zeta-Jones for tips on how to dress while pregnant, not Christina Aguilera. If that getup doesn't scream, "I'm carrying a hellspawn, and it's controlling me!" I don't know what does.

A Roundup
What we've got: Cordelia is now evil and manipulating things from behind the scenes. She apparently has been doing so for quite some time. Her faithful puppy, Connor, is her latest minion, but she wanted Angelus and the Beast as well. Now she's lost two out of three. Mighty careless, if you ask me.

Meanwhile, Wesley's trying to step out of the delicious darkness he indulged in. I'm beginning to lose hope, but little things are keeping me from giving up on him entirely.

Fred and Gunn might still be trying to make a go of it, and they might not. I can't be bothered either way.

Faith has again thrown in with the White Hats. I'm depressed.

Did no one think to watch where Willow's Magic Marble was going? "Hey, dude, that thing's headed up the stairs. You think someone on the inside could've been manipulating this the whole time? No!"

Overall, I'm depressed. They all seem to be turning to the Light again. Perhaps Cordelia's demonspawn will shake things up a bit. We'll watch more and see what happens, but I fail to be optimistic.

[> I *knew* you'd hate Angel's 70's hair! -- Masq, 13:56:03 04/24/03 Thu

After "Orpheus" aired, I said, quote, "Honorificus is going to have a field day!" unquote.

Either that, or faint dead away.

[> [> It was painful. *Painful*, I'm telling you! -- Honorificus (The Envied-By-Venus One), 20:02:56 04/24/03 Thu

Did they have to stop in that particular era? Why oh why couldn't it have been a decade in which at least a few people had something resembling good taste?

You want to know something about the '70s? They weren't necessary. That entire decade was the result of a dare between Danzalthar (yes, *that* Danzalthar) and Sybridia, the demon in charge of psychedelia. He said she couldn't concentrate long enough to turn Pittsburgh into her playground for so much as 24 hours. She said she could do better than that, and she certainly did. All of America was on a bad acid trip for ten full years, and sadly enough, Europe took it for a change in fashion and slavishly went along. Come on, how else do you explain Jimmy Carter?

And don't even get me started on the '80s.

[> [> [> That still doesn't explain... -- Masq, 20:49:11 04/24/03 Thu

why the wardrobe or makeup department or whoever is in charge there couldn't find wigs that were more flattering to David Boreanaz and his ever-expanding meaty head. Come to think of it, that alley-way Angel wig wouldn't have looked good on anybody.

Question for folks who have seen the most recent episodes:

Is it just me or is he actually losing some weight in these last few episodes of the season? He seemed much trimmer in "Magic Bullet" and "Sacrifice". Might be because he's back to wearing black non-leather again. I'm not sure. Or maybe he grew his hair out or something. But he's actually back to looking like someone who couldn't possibly be old enough to be Vincent Kartheiser's father.

It was getting scary there for a while.

[> [> [> [> Re: That still doesn't explain... -- Rufus, 22:47:47 04/24/03 Thu

It was getting scary there for a while.

It was....and if he were a female member of Buffy or Angel he'd not have gotten away with it. I saw the fact that he could just wear shirts that weren't tucked in and keep going unfair to the female stars on TV who get slimed for gaining even a few pounds.....my issue isn't with DB it's with the unfair nature of the standards of attractiveness in TV.

[> [> [> [> [> When I actually noticed it -- Masq, 06:47:58 04/25/03 Fri

David B has been visibly aging, as is James Marsters, but I didn't notice David was putting on weight until "Apocalypse Nowish". There's a scene where Connor comes over to the hotel to get Angel to talk to Cordelia. Angel's making all these excuses about why he can't. The camera is on Connor. Then Connor suddenly says, "Dad." The camera jumps to Angel.

And I just thought, "Look at how fat his face is!"

Maybe Angel's been overeating since he came back from the ocean floor (and David's been overeating as a new daddy). Except Angel was none too skinny and starved in "Deep Down", either.

And speaking of vampires looking different, no more close- ups of Spike when he's in heavy make-up. You could see the age lines on his face in the flash-backs in "Lies My Parents Told Me".

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: When I actually noticed it -- MaeveRigan, 08:53:56 04/25/03 Fri

David B has been visibly aging, as is James Marsters

And that is why all TV shows with regular characters who are vampires are ultimately doomed, no matter how much we love them. Vampires don't age. Human actors do--no getting around it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The same happened in "Highlander: the Series" -- Masq, 09:14:24 04/25/03 Fri

In Season 6, Duncan just looked older. There was a scene in the last episode where he goes into the alternative history, meets up with Tessa again, and they have a brief romance. You can see the aging of Tessa's face, and you expect to. It's been years since we saw Tessa last. But then you also see how much Adrian Paul has aged as well, when the immortal Duncan's not supposed to, and it's a little jarring.

And don't get me started on the movie "Highlander 4: The geriatric McLeod cousins"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: When I actually noticed it -- auroramama, 10:48:19 04/26/03 Sat

I can't believe the people on this board aren't capable of getting around minor visual glitches. The immortal demons are actually human beings. They have to fake the two-stories- straight-up leaps. All those Orbs and Urns aren't really magic, either. Clearly, all shows featuring anything that couldn't happen in my living room are doomed.

I realize I sound like a troll. But I love the shows, I love what they've given us, and I hate grousing about weight changes and aging. Grousing sounds critical, even when it can't possibly be (I assume no one is implying that DB and JM are at fault for their failure to obtain an eternal youth serum.) It just seems crass to grieve over changes in the appearance of people who have given us such delight -- it's crass to do the same about one's spouse, after all. All IMHO.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe it was just "Water Weight".....;) - - Rufus, 16:37:23 04/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> So, It was PMS (Pudgy Male Symptoms)? -- CW, 22:24:25 04/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Or a sympathetic pregnancy--his wife did give birth last year. -- HonorH, 23:33:01 04/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> He's much slimmer these days. -- HonorH, 23:03:51 04/24/03 Thu

I started noticing around the end of second season that he was picking up weight, but now he's looking fairly buff. And I also agree with Rufus--that there would've been quite the outcry if it had been Buffy packing on the pounds. We can have Angel with lovehandles, and Puffy Xander, but the girls are expected to stay skinny unless they're pregnant.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: He's much slimmer these days. -- bell456, 04:47:00 04/25/03 Fri

And from what I've seen at other places, they still get criticized for gaining weight when they are pregnant.

[> And the quote of the week... -- Masq, 14:06:16 04/24/03 Thu

"What in the name of Belial was Cordy wearing in that last scene? Hint, honey: look to Catherine Zeta-Jones for tips on how to dress while pregnant, not Christina Aguilera. If that getup doesn't scream, "I'm carrying a hellspawn, and it's controlling me!" I don't know what does."

Truer fashion wisdom was never spoken. ; )

[> [> I second the motion. Well done, Honorificus! -- Cactus Watcher, 17:59:08 04/24/03 Thu

[> [> [> Speaking of seconding motions... -- The Third Evil, 20:49:00 04/24/03 Thu

... I believe that it has been quite a while since anyone has been nominated for a position on the Great and Most Officious-Sounding ***Council of Evils***.

So, to correct this ignoble oversight and besides which that loser OnM isn't getting any younger and certainly no more fashionable, I herewith duly nominate the mighty


~ ~ ~ to be served at the position of ~ ~ ~

The Seventh Evil

or at some other suitably numerical Index of Evil (which is like an Axis, but without spinning) as long as such Index does not exceed the value of Ten nor less than Five-B or wherever the hell we left off with the damn thing.

This motion must be seconded by at least two additional currently active Evils, and the rank and file of the ATPoverse may of course contribute their own thoughts and considerations, although be advised that beer and chips will only be served to those who happen to agree with the leadership.

Sin Seriously, (Bwah-ha-ha...) (~cough~)

Evil Clone

[> [> [> [> I'm all for it, but who is the 6th evil? -- Masq, 20:56:27 04/24/03 Thu

First-yours truly
Third-OnM's evil clone
Fourth A - mundus mundi??
Fourth B - d'Herblay
(That could possibly be the other way around)
Seventh--Honorificus, if she would deign to accept it, which she might not, because she'd want to be First, and I'M NOT GIVING THAT UP!!


[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm all for it, if it avoids torture and pain - - pr10n, 21:03:37 04/24/03 Thu

I didn't notice a call for votes from the posting public, but hey, if Her Demonic H-ness wants an Evil Number, I'll make the jersey. Anything she wants, and two straws for the milkshake.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Avoid? Some of the best things in unlife? -- Honorificus (The Most Creamy-Skinned One), 21:13:41 04/24/03 Thu

Darling, I simply don't understand you.

As for the position of Seventh Evil, I would be most pleased to take the mantle. It's most fashionable to be seventh this season. Furthermore, it puts me in an excellent position to claw my way bloodily to the top bring wisdom to the sartorially unenlightened.

In short, fellow Evils: I accept!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah! Honorificus rises to the unholy of unholies! -- The First Evil, 06:58:55 04/25/03 Fri

Lighting strikes! Thunder roars! Music crescendoes!

The fiends of hell line up on both sides of the blood-red carpet as you walk to the stage!

I dub thee "The Seventh Evil!!"

(Hey, nobody else got an inauguration like that... not even me!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ooh! Vintage Valentino or Escada? -- Honorificus (The Always-Well-Heeled One), 08:19:34 04/25/03 Fri

Or perhaps a nice Randolph Duke. Red won't do at all--it would make me fade into the carpeting at best, clash at worst. Perhaps black? No, too much of a cliche. I'll wear purest white, just for the irony. With Prada shoes!

Lovely inauguration, dear First. I promise to do the role all the dishonor it deserves!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap -- The FE, 09:16:16 04/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Snarls, skreeks, snorts, other demonic cheers! Brimstone being thrown! Fountains of burning sulphur! -- luna, 11:21:33 04/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Pop the champagne and pull out the entrail platter! It's time to celebrate!! -- ponygoyle, 14:16:42 04/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Well, she *could* be the Sixth, but sequentialism is the bane of tiny minds. -- E.C., 21:13:13 04/24/03 Thu

And besides, Prime Numbers Rock!


[> [> [> [> [> [> then again, she might prefer 6: it's a "perfect number"! -- anomster, 21:37:31 04/24/03 Thu

Meaning that it's the sum of its factors: 1 + 2 + 3 = 6.

On the one hand, since she's always going on about her perfection, it might appeal to her. On the other, she's never exactly given the impression of being into math....

[> [> [> [> [> The evil ratings explicated -- d'Herblay, 21:41:58 04/24/03 Thu

I suppose it would look really bad eeeeevil were I, a supposed numbered evil, to post to this thread and not second OnM's nomination. But, then, Honorificus has already accepted, despite OnM's insistence that two other "active" evils had to second his nomination, so there doesn't seem much reason to withhold. Therefore I heartily second the nomination of Honorificus to the position of Seventh (or Sixth) Evil. May she reign forever.

As to some of Masq's question marks: Malandanza specifically requested 11th Evil, figuring that he would lurk deep within the shadows "like a dark manatee eluding the speedboats of justice" or somesuch. As for 4th Evil A, when OnM nominated me for the position of Fourth Evil (after I asked our recurring, polynymous, Star Trek-quoting pro-genocide troll if he and his pseudonyms were all members of a cult -- I loudly wondered if I could join up and inquired, "is there a decent pension plan? Or will there instead be Kool-Aid?") there was some confusion over who had been named Third Evil. Those who had read the FAQ knew it was OnM's Evil Clone, but Sol insisted that it had been Humanitas. Anyway, it was decided that Humanitas would be 4th Evil A and I would be 4th Evil B. Seemed like a good compromise.

(Sol may pop up now and say that I'm not a numbered Evil at all but rather our "Troll Slayer," a title I wore proudly if a little warily. However, I think that is a position I will gladly retire from: living with the expectation that one is supposed to engage and prevail over the little squits tends to make one a little too trigger-happy. Ask aquaman. Or whatever he might be calling himself now.)

Somehow, when Masq transferred this information to the FAQ, "Humanitas" became "mundusmundi," which was all right with me because mundus and I tended to share one brain in those days anyway. It should be noted that the first time mundus and I met, he did ask how he got to be Fourth Evil. Ah, well. Poor Humanitas.

So I guess this means that so far Honorificus only has been seconded by one and one-half or even one-third active numbered evils. I don't think Robert's Rules of Order covers this.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Well, if you took out the bones, it wouldn't be crunchy, now would it?? -- E.C., 06:10:01 04/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Mundus mundi has a more ambitious name than Humanitas -- Masq, 07:02:09 04/25/03 Fri

But correction noted.

[> [> [> [> [> [> It's fixed -- The Firstest Evul, 09:24:41 04/25/03 Fri

OK, I went in with my mysterious unholy powers and put Humanitas back in his rightful place and gave the luscious Honorificus her promotion.


Just don't tell the Second Evil I made updates to the ES site behind his/her back!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> No one told me, I just felt the disturbance in the force. -- The Second Evil, 13:01:03 04/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Mwah hah hah hah! -- Darth Masq, 13:15:40 04/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I thought I was the Seventh Evil. -- Honorificus (Who Insists Upon The Very Best), 19:15:02 04/25/03 Fri

Sixth is so terribly cliched, darling. Perhaps one of the Fourth Evils could take that position?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I put seventh, H! Sol must have changed it! -- Masq, 04:17:50 04/26/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Changed it back... -- Masq, 04:19:28 04/26/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Honestly, stop doing that. You're wonkifying the code! .....Sheesh. -- Solitude1056, 06:38:00 04/26/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Cool! I'm already causing chaos! -- Honorificus (The Cutely Chaotic One), 09:20:15 04/26/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> Golly....no line-up of folks wanting to be a virtue????...evil is soooo overrated...<g>...;) -- Rufus, 01:36:43 04/26/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Golly....no line-up of folks wanting to be a virtue????...evil is soooo overrated...<g>...;) -- Cactus Watcher, 07:58:07 04/26/03 Sat

Sigh, no one remembers I started the 'virtue' thing, by volunteering to be the Eleventh Virtue opposite Malandanza's Eleventh Evil. True, Rufus is the only one actually nominated and accepted to be a virtue by wide acclaim. But, sigh again, us 'good' folks never get our due recognition. ;o)

In case anyone is interested, I nominate Wisewoman, Keeper of Clem's Kittens (and as Whipwoman, defender of the board and avenger of all wrongs,) to be the Second Virtue (but, not necessarily second in our hearts).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'd dub thee the 11th virtue, CW, but... -- Masq, 08:32:48 04/26/03 Sat

Sol wants me to stop modifying code in the ES site. So maybe he/she can do the honors?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It's always something! ;o) -- CW, 08:41:14 04/26/03 Sat

Seriously, Sol, don't knock yourself out on my account. And Dubdub has consistently been a lot more virtuous than I have.

[> [> [> [> Groveling congratulations -- fresne - but you know set to Evil, mwhahaha-cough-cough-ha, 10:46:41 04/25/03 Fri

And if I may, please allow me to be but one of many to unctuously praise and congratulate she who should be numbered, for her darkly shining honor causes wounds to ooze and walls to fall. She whose pulchritudinous salacious salubriousness upon the Cerulean scale is no mere Carnelian but stretches into Incarnadine, long may your evil pulsate.

So, I may be so bold as to inquire your most smooth sinousness, these ranks of evil, what fashion accessories are attendant upon this position. Tiaras of darkest evil? The well tanned skins of dead, but exceptionally soft and supple, creatures? The blood of the innocent suspended in a whirling and nausea inducing temporal loop? Like halos, only dark and miasmatic.

Inquiring minds (having killed, re-animated, re-killed, then re-re-animated the cat) would be conniptious with joy to know.

[> [> [> [> [> Darling, how I love your style! -- Honorificus (The Stylishly Seventh Evil), 19:10:31 04/25/03 Fri

Truly. My chief minion has been annoying me lately. If you'd like the position, simply say so, and I'll tear him to bits, feed you his flesh, and anoint you with his blood in the time-honored tradition of Minion Promulgation.

To answer your question: yes to all of the above, but only on ceremonial occasions. Or parties, for that matter. On merely formal occasions, any highly expensive designer duds will do. These, of course, should be accented with the finest accessories--a wrap made of Lagthos Beast fur, tiaras accented with jewels fashioned from the blood of the innocents (a variation on your suggestion that combines both in a particularly subtle and stylish way), and, of course, minions. The number of minions, incidentally, is quite important. Four is the ideal number. Two makes you look cheap, and six is tacky, so keep it to between three and five for the best effect.

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