August 2001 posts

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Random question: Are all demons immortal? -- Kerri, 09:43:06 08/01/01 Wed

[> no -- vampire hunter D, 11:36:36 08/01/01 Wed

[> It just seems like it ... -- purplegrrl, 11:44:52 08/01/01 Wed

... because they're bigger, meaner, and harder to kill.

[> maybe if you don't kill them... -- nathan, 00:54:52 08/02/01 Thu

maybe they just last forever...or live *really* long if they don't get killed/cursed/are left in perfect health...

[> [> Re: maybe if you don't kill them... -- Cynthia, 04:40:44 08/02/01 Thu

Well, it not like humans have been going out of their way to study them for the purpose of discovering their life span expectancy. Would be rather hazardous to one's health.

Wouldn't it also depend on what dimention they are originally from? And what they need to survive. I would assume some demons are more hardy than others.

Dawn: The 1st Anniversary Character Posting Party -- mundusmundi, 15:10:18 08/01/01 Wed

The Dawn-Haunted World:
Good, Evil and the Key in the Buffyverse

The WB certainly didn't say, 'Can you add a moppet? Everyone likes a moppet!'
-Joss Whedon, re: the casting of Michelle Trachtenberg (quoted at E!Online, 7/16/00)

Maybe I'm not evil, but I don't think I can be good.
-Dawn Summers, Tough Love

Say your life were a television show, that the family you love were transitory TV kin. You could wake up tomorrow morning, discover your husband looks like a completely different person, and you wouldn't even think to call the cops on the stranger in your house. You could have an older brother, a basketball freak always shooting hoops in your yard, who one day vanishes without a trace, and no relative, friend or neighbor would ever inquire about his whereabouts. Or a baby sibling, born in a taxicab after all sorts of wacky hijinks, who evolves into a sickeningly precocious five-year-old over a single summer, and nobody would find this freak of nature odd. (Though what is the deal with his peculiar habit of glancing off to the side every time he speaks, as if he were reading off cue cards?)

Or, you could have a fourteen-year-old sister who isn't really your sister, whose memories of your life together are false, as are your own. And one day you would have to make a Sophie's Choice and decide if she were less than real or something more, if she were worth the world to save....


The image of Dawn limping and bleeding her way down the tower at the end of The Gift vividly illustrates what Joss Whedon must have felt like after pulling this season off. Like Dawn, the show survived, but not without a price: other characters and storylines got lost in the shuffle, and I detected a few more bumps than usual on the Plot Hole Expressway. Nevertheless, the arrival of Little Miss Summers-both the youngest and oldest of the Scoobie Gang, "brat kid sister" on one hand, "mystical glowy key thing" on the other-has created some nifty moral conundrums and matured Joss's understanding of family (which, prior to this year, always seemed a tad juvenile). What could have been a disaster wound up being a highlight. What could have been a cheap gimmick-the Incredible Appearing/Disappearing Family Member, from Bewitched to Happy Days to Family Ties-has breathed new life into Buffy the series, even as it led to the death of Buffy herself.

Which raises a troubling question. Make no mistake, I think Dawn has been a great addition to the show. I liked her right away and grew only more fond of her as the season progressed. ("Not in a creepy way," Willow would hasten to add.) But has she been good for the Buffyverse? That is, are the SG and the world they inhabit a better place with her in it, or has the presence of the Key in human form caused irretrievable damage? The Key is the link, the Knights of Byzantium believed, the metaphorical dark matter that holds the Buffyverse together. (I'm reminded of Carl Sagan's observation that we are all "starstuff.") Whether that link must be severed or spared depends on how one has come to view this complex character. Let's take a closer look, then, at some of the essential Dawn episodes of the past year.


We first meet the Dawnster at the conclusion of Buffy vs. Dracula-not the greatest episode, as has been thoroughly opined. But its tantalizing coda, in my mind, makes up for any shortcomings. Early on, Joyce mentions how lonely it's going to be in the house again with her only daughter off to college, yet at the end we see this strange girl rifling through one of Buffy's boxes. (Already a klepto, or just unconsciously finding her bearings in her new home?) Others have pointed out that when Buffy sees her "sister" in her room, there is a fleeting moment of uncertainty when she asks (actually demands), "What are you doing in here?" The moment passes and Dawn is accepted, but on some level Buffy appears to sense a disruption in the natural order of things.

There was a considerable risk that the viewers might come to resent Dawn as much as Buffy does. But the next eppy, Real Me, cannily gets us to identify with the niblet by filtering a day's events through her perspective. We gather that she's smart ("I heard [Giles] use the word 'newfangled' once, so he must be pretty out of it"), witty ("I'm not going to Hogwarts"), empathic (relating to Harmony's self-esteem issues), and basically good-natured (her sweet crush on Xander). She is also something of a brat, constantly bitching about Buffy and feeling overshadowed by her sister the Slayer. In sum, she appears blessedly normal, yet something ominous begins to creep around her and into the Buffyverse. Starting in Real Me and carrying over through the next few episodes, Dawn encounters a rash of mentally ill people who finger her as something unnatural. "I know who you are. Curds 'n' Whey," one tells her. "You don't belong here."

A few weeks ago (7/11), Wiccagrrl started a good thread about Real Me being the entire season in miniature. In a lighthearted way, it does play like a dry run of The Gift, with Harmony and her minions kidnapping Dawn and tying her up as Slayer bait. However, it's important to note that the Dawn we meet in RM is not the same person by the time of The Gift. This "innocent" girl, who enjoys school and seems largely oblivious to the dangers of the Buffyverse will be by season's end a rebellious social outcast in the midst of a hellish identity crisis.

Despite the connotations of Dawn with Little Miss Muffet, it's more a reverse Alice in Wonderland who comes to mind. Both are bright-eyed girls struggling to survive in hostile new environments. But whereas Alice is a "real" person who stumbles into a fantasy world, Dawn is a living fiction stuck in the "reality" of the Buffyverse. Alice's trial, of course, is rendered ultimately bogus; Dawn's sentence, on the other hand, has devastating consequences.


In No Place Like Home, several plotlines that had been painstakingly set up are finally set in motion. Besides the introduction of Glory (i.e., the Queen of Hearts, only a brain-sucker not a head-lopper) and Joyce's encroaching illness, Buffy learns that Dawn is not really her sister. She is, a dying monk informs her, something else entirely:

MONK: You have to... the Key. You must protect the Key.
BUFFY: Fine. We can protect the Key together, okay, just far, far from here.
MONK: Many more die if you don't keep it safe.
BUFFY: How? What is it?
MONK: The Key is energy. It's a portal. It opens the door...
BUFFY: The Dagon Sphere?
MONK: No. For centuries it had no form at all. My brethren, its only keepers. Then the abomination found us. We had to hide the Key, gave it form, molded it flesh... made it human and sent it to you.
BUFFY: (gets it) Dawn.

At first Buffy is understandably angry and refers to Dawn as if she were a stray pooch left on the Summers' doorstep. But the monk persuades her that sending the Key was an act of trust, and that protecting it requires an act of love:

MONK: Please... she's an innocent in this. She needs you.
BUFFY: She's not my sister.
MONK: She doesn't know that.

From Dawn's perspective, every moment of her fourteen years has been real, every epoch as the Key unknown. It's a lovely metaphor: When young, of course, each day feels like an eternity. But what's most striking about her "memories"-playing on a swingset, picking up seashells on a beach, riding a merry-go-round-is how generic they are. Though the monks meant well, the harmlessly bland past-life they created left her, in some respects, unprepared for a harsh reality. Dawn's story is about innocence lost. She aged a lifetime in only one year; she can never go back.


'Who are you,' said the Caterpillar.
Alice replied, rather shyly. 'I hardly know, Sir, just at present-
at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think
I must have changed several times since then.'
-Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Dawn vanishes for a while down the rabbit hole after NPLH, yet the few times we see her are actually quite revealing. In Family, jenoff notes at his/her website, Dawn allies with Buffy for the first time, the "hair puller" standing for Tara against her family. In Shadow, she tries to compliment Riley-"I think you've been really good for (Buffy)"-only to unwittingly send him over the edge. In both Triangle and Checkpoint, she (re)plays Harriet the Spy by adding eavesdropping to her repertoire of dubious talents. At the start of the season, we were teased into thinking Dawn was evil or at least somehow responsible for Joyce's condition (a fail-safe option, I've a hunch, in case the actress, the character or the chemistry didn't pan out). Now it's Dawn with whom we are meant to empathize. As the last of the SG to learn the truth about herself, she is pushed increasingly further into isolation.

When Dawn finally discovers her true identity in Blood Ties, nothing in the Buffyverse is ever really the same. The SG's awkward reactions (e.g., Xander tickling her half-disbelievingly, as if she were the Pillsbury Dough Girl), Dawn's mounting suspicions, and the traumatic moment where she cuts herself with a knife are all wholly credible. Moreover, the burning of her diaries-her phony memories-drives home the point that although she may not be "real," her feelings are. It's touching and painful to see her thinking she's worthless (even if it's prompted by a hoary device, the Misunderstood Overheard Conversation Scene), when she couldn't be more special.

Blood Ties is also crucial for launching the Dawn/Spike relationship, one of those happy accidents of actors' chemistry and superbly written characterization. They share a priceless scene after the former flees Buffy's birthday party and stumbles on the latter loitering in the front yard:

DAWN: Jeez! Lurk much?
SPIKE: Wasn't lurking. I was standing about. It's a whole different vibe.
DAWN: What is- (Folds her arms and smirks) Are you giving Buffy a birthday present? Oh my god. Weird. And chocolates? Lame. And the box is all bent and you know she'd never touch anything from you anyway.

It's easy to forget how unimpressive Spike originally was in her eyes. Back in Checkpoint, she expresses revulsion at being couped up in his lair (or maybe just the fact that she has to watch Passions). Here, though, the pair realize that they share at least one favorite pastime.

DAWN: I'm breaking into the magic shop. To steal things.
SPIKE: Magic shop, eh? (looks over his shoulder) All number of beasties between here and there. Bet they'd really go for a little red riding hood like you. Bet that wouldn't sit too well with big sister.
DAWN: (uncertain) I can take care of myself. (pause) You wanna come steal some stuff?
SPIKE: Yeah, all right.

Some have objected that Dawn's crush on Xander got short shrifted. But the switch to Spike, from a "good boy" to a "bad boy," makes perfect sense in psychological terms of the character. Aquitaine mentioned in her excellent Spike essay that it just seems natural these two outsiders would gravitate toward one another. "They are equals in freakdom," she wrote. "They can talk to each other, forgive each other, care for each other" (7/18). They have an unforced connection that carries over into Crush, where the "little bit," feeling out-of-sorts at home, seeks asylum with the same vampire who initially repulsed her. "I like how you talk to me," she tells him, "like I can understand things." She also shares the bleached-blonde one's gifts of perception, as when she clues Buffy of his infatuation. This leads to a terse debate over the nature of morality. "Angel's different. He has a soul," Buffy says. "Spike has a chip," Dawn retorts. "Same dif."

Does Dawn have a soul? This question was brought up in a fairly recent thread (vampire hunter D's "fate of the key," 7/11) with convincing arguments on both sides. Marie reasoned: "They were monks, after all, presumably with some sort of religion and god (by that I mean not necessarily our God - whoever or whatever He may be to any of us), so above all they would think of giving their new little human not only physical protection (Buffy), but afterlife protection." But Greta countered with an equally compelling point: "(M)aybe the question is COULD they give her a soul?....we don't know if it's possible to create a soul out of thin air or even out of pure energy."

Rufus took a different tack: "Does it matter if she has a soul? The soul as Joss has defined it sure is no guarantee of good behavior...To me it matters little how she started and if she has a soul, her actions are what counts."

Her actions prompt a question of my own: Is Dawn an atheist? I don't mean that critically. It'd be a fascinating irony if someone made via elaborate spiritual/mystical means doesn't believe in a Creator. Starting with Crush, I began to entertain the idea that she has become Joss's mouthpiece. This struck me again a couple eps later, in The Body.

For my money, the two best scenes in The Body both involve kid sis. The first, of course, is the gut-wrenching sequence in school that begins with Dawn in tears at being called a "freak" by a bully and ends with her having a breakdown over Buffy's bad news. The second is the climactic moment in the morgue. Dawn has been determined to see Joyce, and now that she does she still can't accept that her mother is dead:

DAWN: Is she cold?
BUFFY: It's not her. It's not her. She's gone.
DAWN: Where'd she go?

Good question. And not only Dawn's, I suspect, but Joss's as well.


Although no real answers are found in the follow-up, Forever, Dawn's bonds with Buffy and Spike become stronger than ever. It's interesting to see the Summers sisters' reactions to the tragedy: while the older keeps a stiff upper lip, the younger is pro-active. Feeling like "negative space" (the metaphor from the art-class scene in The Body), she wants her mother back at any cost, even if it means another five-finger discount on Giles's spell books and a fateful meeting with the uber-demon, Doc. Her resolve holds until the climax, when she and Buffy seamlessly trade places. Hearing zombie-Joyce's knock at the door reduces Buffy to a childlike state ("Mommy?" she asks hopefully), while Dawn becomes the strong one, tearing the photo and stopping the spell.

Besides sharing an adventure with Spike, thereby deepening the trust between them, Forever is also noteworthy for how Dawn's obsession with raising Joyce inadvertently causes the first rift we've seen between Willow and Tara pre-Tough Love. Tara insists that resurrection has dark consequences. Willow, however, is obviously more open to the subject and helps Dawn by covertly directing her toward a spellbook without Tara's knowledge. Dawn can be a divisive influence in the Buffyverse. The other characters are always reacting to her, and their reactions have led them to reveal themselves in surprising ways, at their best and worst.


I'm going to refrain from delving into The Gift, as the particulars of that episode-the blood debate, the folding of the clothes, the look between Dawn and Spike-have been hashed out quite a bit already (though feel free to discuss them if anyone likes). Instead, I will close by submitting that Dawn, for good or ill, has become the Buffyverse's impetus for change.

Contact with the Key spurred Riley's emotional tailspin, precipitated Willow's fascination with the dark(er) arts, forced Giles to realize the evil he will do for a noble cause. By the same token, Xander matured before our eyes, Spike showed reservoirs of virtue that seemed to astonish even himself, and Tara made a great sacrifice, topped only by Buffy's ultimate love-offering. Buffy's gift to Dawn was momentous, but we shouldn't undervalue the gift Dawn gave her in return: a sister to love, a person to care about just as she was becoming a terminatrix, hard and unfeeling. "Dawn allowed Buffy to reconnect with humanity and the people she saves," Kerri wrote in a 7/22 post. "Because of Dawn, Buffy realized why being the slayer was so important. She realized that people are good and worth saving."

As Glory might say, it depends how you look at it. But I believe that Dawn can be great. She can be anything she wants to be. She's got the goods, she has the right genes. She is, after all, Buffystuff.


All script dialogue adapted from my tapes and/or (natch) Psyche's site.
All quotes, unless stated otherwise, from ATPoBtVS. Many thanks to my fellow posters for their amazing insights, and for deepening my appreciation of an already great show.
All errors are mine. (Sinus headache...*throbbing*...must lie down now. :)

[> Re: Dawn: The 1st Anniversary Character Posting Party -- dan, 15:39:37 08/01/01 Wed

BIG congratulations on this posting: extremely well done, and a really enjoyable essay!

I'd like to just add that Dawn has been (and will continue to be) a catalyst for change in the Buffyverse on a *variety* of levels. You've pointed out that she's caused characters to change, and precipitated events. So, okay, she's caused emotional change, and physical/historical change. But there's a third aspect to changes that she's caused, and that's the changes of intellect/spirit/perception.

I submit that Dawn has begun an intense reexamination on the part of the Scooby Gang (and BtVS viewers) of basic ideas that may have held since the beginning of the show. What's struck me about this season is that more than ever before, everything we already knew was... well, not wrong, but *outdated*. Too simplistic.

For example, the existence of Dawn (and subsequent comments she has made) have prompted much thinking on what souls are (and are they necessary in order to be good), the ideas of nature/temperament/virtue/sin, the meaning of family bonds, etc. Dawn is going to act as the primary "ambassador" of Spike to the scoobies now that Buffy's dead, and force them to truly realize that Spike has changed. She's also already caused them to question the nature of reality and worth.

WILLOW: I can't believe that Dawn's not real!
TARA: No, she is real. She's just new.

Dawn also forced a change to the ethics and sophistication of the scoobies. I was pondering why going with the utilitarian answer (and killing Angel) for "Becoming" was okay, but killing Dawn was not. It hit me that the reason that killing Dawn was so unacceptable was because killing Dawn meant buying into a false dichotomy. Very rarely do we face *true* Sophie's Choices in our lives, where we face two and only two equally untenable alternatives. Buffy's maturing and apotheosis in handling this dilemma came from the moment where she stepped back from the problem, thought outside the terms in which her dilemma had been delineated, and then understanding and acting upon the third option she had.

Dawn is going to continue to change the Buffyverse, and continue to push the scoobies towards ever richer understandings of the world around them. i'm betting this is why buffy turns out to be the last slayer for several hundred years.


[> [> Re: Ambassador Dawn -- mundusmundi, 05:33:14 08/02/01 Thu

I really like your point here:

I submit that Dawn has begun an intense reexamination on the part of the Scooby Gang (and BtVS viewers) of basic ideas that may have held since the beginning of the show. What's struck me about this season is that more than ever before, everything we already knew was... well, not wrong, but *outdated*. Too simplistic.

I regularly have debates with a colleague over this. He likes the show but has been bothered by the changes of this past season. Most TV series, IMO, are annoyingly static. I got tired of Fleischman on Northern Exposure end every episode by having a newfound respect for his town, only to start the very next episode by hating the damn town again! I've always liked how the characters on Buffy remember things (except the Dagon Sphere, grrr). Memory is the key to change. Maybe that's why Dawn seemed so naive (for lack of a better word) in Real Me, because her memories weren't real. It wasn't until she started living --started building her own memories -- that she began to grow. (Miracle if this makes sense. I'm still sleepy-boy. :)

[> [> [> Re: Ambassador Dawn -- dan, 07:38:50 08/02/01 Thu

Memory is the key to change. Maybe that's why Dawn seemed so naive (for lack of a better word) in Real Me, because her memories weren't real. It wasn't until she started living --started building her own memories -- that she began to grow.

That naivete is the reason that Dawn has forced a rereckoning on the part of the Scoobies about metaphysics and ethics, etc. She was new enough to the the system that she asked questions and didn't accept everything as set in stone.


[> [> [> Re: Ambassador Dawn -- vampire hunter D, 12:46:53 08/02/01 Thu

What do you need a miracle for? It made perfect sense to me.

[> Dawn-Haunted World -- Cactus Watcher, 16:27:58 08/01/01 Wed

I enjoyed your idea that Dawn is a catalyst for the rift between Willow and Tara. The seeds seem to have been there before. Tara was frequently dismayed at how shabbily Willow was treating Anya. We have discussed the differences between Willow and Tara's approach to magic before. Dawn has much of Willow's early curiosity about magic. How much Dawn should learn at this stage is a major point of contention.
Another point you brought up is that from the very beginning Dawn has been very human, not just getting on Buffy's nerves, but doing a very normal amount of risky behavior typical of young teens. It bothers me that Glory insisted that the Key had to be pure. Clearly, Dawn with her faults isn't pure. But she's a normal acting human even if she isn't just human.

[> [> Re: Dawn-Haunted World -- LadyStarlight, 20:04:00 08/01/01 Wed

It bothers me that Glory insisted that the Key had to be pure. Clearly, Dawn with her faults isn't pure.

Well, there's pure and then there's PURE. Pure as in the sexual sense, virginal; or pure as in the holy sense. Also, Dawn's faults aren't major-league ones. Which would let Spike out on all counts!

[> [> [> Good point. I'm thinkin' too narrowly. -- Cactus Watcher, 21:02:25 08/01/01 Wed

[> Re: Sinus headache...*throbbing*...must lie down now. :) -- OnM, 21:32:04 08/01/01 Wed

Great post! Harder than it looks to do these, isn't it? (~grins~)

Your observation about Dawn possibly being/becoming Joss's 'mouthpiece' is interesting, and may indeed
have some relevancy. I tend to think that if the show continues it's success in the next two seasons, that
Dawn will increasingly become more and more of a focal point of the show, which I have no problem with.
We have already seen (and I commented on several months ago) that Buffy has become Joyce, and thus
Dawn will become Buffy. This also fits with Joss's comment that S6 will be about 'growing up, already'.

No other deep and pithy comments tonight, it's been a busy day for me and I'm getting tiredish, but I think
that on an acting level, Trachtenberg may very well end up with doing what Marsters has done, which is to
virtually steal every scene that s/he is in. It continues to impress me just how talented and professional
someone can be for such a tender age.

[> [> Re: feelin' better :) -- mundusmundi, 05:50:47 08/02/01 Thu

It's hot, it's sticky, and the evil allergens (how's that for a Big Bad?) are out in force! But reading all the kind words here is bucking me up. Anyway, your comments:

We have already seen (and I commented on several months ago) that Buffy has become Joyce, and thus
Dawn will become Buffy.

It is amazing how Buffy became Joyce -- as Hemingway would say, "gradually and then suddenly." I was really struck by a line that got cut from The Gift where she explains that Dawn is both her daughter and her sister (which weirdly resembles a line from Chinatown). And of course Joss has hinted that Dawn will become even more the "bitty Buffy." But do we really want her to be? I don't have a problem with her getting more screen time, either. My question is whether she should become another Slayer or find her own path. I leave it to the floor....

I think that on an acting level, Trachtenberg may very well end up with doing what Marsters has done, which is to
virtually steal every scene that s/he is in. It continues to impress me just how talented and professional
someone can be for such a tender age.

She certainly makes it easier on the writers, who know they don't have to write her any big speeches, she can communicate so much feeling w/out words. (A friend recently said she has the most expressive eyebrows this side of Jack Nicholson.) I'll bet the farm that one day she is going to be a very big star.

[> Re: Dawn: The 1st Anniversary Character Posting Party -- Tanker, 23:28:52 08/01/01 Wed

I mentioned on BAPS that I don't post here much because y'all intimidate me. Rufus asked why. This is why. :-) I couldn't have written something that good in a million years. Great job.

Oh, and the PTC can go soak their heads. "Lowbrow entertainment" my foot.

-- Mike Zeares

[> [> Oh good you have come to talk to us............ -- Rufus, 23:34:12 08/01/01 Wed

Perfection is something that doesn't exist. I have read your posts and have enjoyed them stick around you may think of something none of us has. Just start posting and we will answer. You could become addicted...or worse a CDCW.....:):):)

[> [> You'd be amazed what you can start to do after you've hung out at this place for awhile... -- OnM, 06:11:17 08/02/01 Thu

You can gain insights and abilities that you really didn't think you had. The best way to get smarter is to hang out with other smart people, and there's a whole great big bunch 'o them here.

Why don't you take up one of the remaining characters and do a post for us? One of the villians, say? Pick someone who resonates for you as a character and go for it.

'Fortune favors the brave...'


[> [> Oh Mike, getting over that fear was a good day for me! Stick around! -- Liquidram, 22:13:08 08/02/01 Thu

[> Great post..........The Key is the link......:):):) -- Rufus, 23:47:46 08/01/01 Wed

The key is the what? And is it only the link to one thing? I just love the idea of neutral energy being moulded, pressed into human form. In this human form the Key has forged a new link.....that to humanity. The key as Dawn is now aware, where there was only the light of energy now comes the light that caused so much love in Buffy. To watch a young girl go from writing about her sister in a diary to finding out she is only six months old in human form has to be a real mind twister. I look at what the monks did as moulding not only a form but making it sentient, able to feel. Dawn is able to interact with the very humans that would be destroyed by her use as the key. Dawn is new, in a sense a baby, one that has to grow into her emotions. She has had to learn in six months what took a normal child fourteen years. The monks helped her along by giving her and everyone around her memories of a life never lived. As soon as Buffy found out Dawn wasn't real she went from understanding and compassion for her unreal sister. Those feelings and the relationship that grew in real time made Buffy unable to see Dawn as anything but part of her. A part she wanted to live and remain her sister forever. Dawn went from pest to precious. Joyce accepted her and told Buffy to "love Dawn like I love you" and for Buffy (who has a soul full of love) it wasn't hard. My favorite scene was when Dawn realizing that the world could end didn't miss a beat and started to run to prevent the end of the world. Dawn went from the unreal sister to the "real me" in that moment. Dawn learned from her sister, and the memories she had of her mother, Joyce, to see the world she could for the first time interact with as precious. The Key is the Link, the link to Buffys heart.

[> [> Re: Great post from you too -- Mike, 04:03:21 08/02/01 Thu

this kind of answers that BIG BIG question of WHY the Monks made the Key human.

They themselves wanted to harness the power of the key for good.

So they chose to place the key in human form, which on it's own gives it that possibility (of either being extremely good, or I guess also extremely bad, or a mixture both)..

But by placing the Key with Buffy and her family and Scoobs, the Monks ensured that the Key would be:

A) protected
B) guided (and so affected) by the Slayer who is innately good (I just KNOW someone's gonna disagree with that!)
C) surrounded (and so affected) by the Slayers family and Scoobs who support Buffy's fight against vil and provide a tighly knit environment of good and love

see, it's ALL GOOD! Just like the Key now. I think. er... :)

[> [> Re: The Key is the link -- mundusmundi, 06:04:28 08/02/01 Thu

In this human form the Key has forged a new link.....that to humanity.

You hit on something I was trying to say, and which ties into something dan put in his post above: that the Key seems to opening up all the characters in all sorts of interesting ways, expanding on Joss's recurring themes while taking them in new directions. Should be interesting to see what other doors are opened this season.

[> [> [> Re: The Key is the link -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 11:05:13 08/02/01 Thu

Great original post and discussion, everyone!

Perhaps, given the vast changes in the characters in this season and the proposed theme of the next, the Key can be seen as the link between adolescence and adulthood. The Scoobies are revealing themselves more because they are having to deal with things that change their worldview, just as they changed the worldview of their parents in the first four seasons.

Hang on, this doesn't sound very convincing...they had to deal with some pretty incredible stuff in the past as well.

However, Dawn is very different. In the first season, when they discovered the existence of vampires, their opinions were still fairly maleable. Besides, vampires were everywhere in Sunnydale (the fact that others were so oblivious was meant to represent the feeling that they didn't understand more than anything else - please don't pick me up on that, it's a whole 'nother post). At the beginning of season 5, though, they are secure in their ideas (complacent?) - this is a bad thing to be in the Jossverse.

So then Dawn comes along and they discover that there is something fundamentally wrong in the centre of their understanding of the world around them. It is much harder to cope with this from a position of relative comfort than from the places the characters were all at in WTTH (they were all pretty unhappy with themselves). As a result of this, their reactions now say more about their characters and also about how happy they are (Riley, Willow and Giles came off the worst - they were the least content at the beginning of the season).

Oh, dear...digression much? Anyway, I agree that the Key is opening up the characters a bit more.

[> [> [> [> I'm not sure... -- Kerri, 11:39:07 08/02/01 Thu

"At the beginning of season 5, though, they are secure in their ideas "

I don't know. Buffy didn't seem to secure with who she was. She wanted to learn more. She was beginning a journey to rediscover herself. Dawn fit into that discovery perfectly.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not sure... -- Rufus, 13:01:04 08/02/01 Thu

Look at both characters at the beginning of season five. Buffy had become insecure about the control of her powers and her confidence took a dive when that vamp got her in FFL. Dawn started the season hiding behind everyone, frightened of everything. As the season goes on both characters find a new confidence. The way Dawn spoke to Glory in the last episodes is far different than the girl we first met. Both characters were on a journey of a sort, Buffy on her hero's journey, and Dawn a catalyst that helped move her on to her next stage of the hero's journey. Both learned that they could be more than they thought earlier in the season. Buffy isn't just a killer as she feared, and Dawn became the "Real Me" realizing her potential as a human.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not sure... -- Kerri, 13:24:07 08/02/01 Thu

It was interesting to watch the parallel journeys of Buffy and Dawn. Both on a search for their identity. The two change and cause change in their sister as well. They help the other to grow.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yes - Buffy would not have been able to develop as she has without Dawn -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 14:20:54 08/02/01 Thu

And just to clarify, I don't mean that the scoobies were becoming self-satisfied and lazy - just that things had plateaued a little. And the period I'm talking about is from the end of Restless to when Dawn arrives: about halfway through BvsD. This means up until she starts looking into the past - not when she does so.

Perhaps it makes more sense if you know that I buy into the whole 'the monks made Dracula' thing and that I take his appearance to be the first major non-Dream effort to unsettle a previously safe Buffy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yes - Buffy would not have been able to develop as she has without Dawn -- mundusmundi, 16:32:10 08/02/01 Thu

Perhaps it makes more sense if you know that I buy into the whole 'the monks made Dracula' thing and that I take his appearance to be the first major non-Dream effort to unsettle a previously safe Buffy.

Guess that's why I wish the monks had been Rumanian. Would've added some weight to that idea, which I like. I also wish there'd been an episode last season that introduced the monks to Buffy -- had her save the life of one of them or something. That also would've resonated in a big way once she found out who was behind the mystical care package she received this year.

That said, and tying into a thread I believe d'Herblay started a few days ago, what does everyone think of the possibility that the SG's newly added "memories" of Dawn spurred some of their changes this season? Does Dawn even really factor into those memories, or was she always in the background of past events?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Dawn--dragon of Eden -- d'Herblay, 20:54:42 08/02/01 Thu

(Ok, I was looking for the Buffy in the Garden of Eden posts that I half remember from the period just before I delurked so I could justify using this subject line--I really just wanted to keep the Sagan theme going--and I came across [on page five, now] Dedalus's post "Oil is the lifeblood of your car!" When I get to the line: "I just see Dawn as a Chevrolet Cavalier," I start laughing so hard my laptop shakes. So I'm a little oxygen-deprived at the moment.)

When I started the "Where was Dawn?" thread, I was just looking for a little harmless fun. But then I started wondering, how could the presence of Dawn have not affected the events of Buffy's life prior to "Real Me." I am struck by mundusmundi's (mundimundi?) observation that the monk-implanted memories were generic, and obviously no memory could have conflicted with the reality we know--no one would remember Dawn doing anything that got Buffy killed back in 1999, for example.

(If the animated series includes Dawn, as I think it will, then all this is out the window, and memories exist of Dawn playing a significant role in pre-Glory Sunnydale. Of course, I may later decide that the animated series isn't canonical.)

I think that Xander remembered Dawn having a crush on him for long before the events of "Real Me." I think this may have engendered some of his new-found self-confidence. At the end of S4, he thought that his two best friends didn't respect him, and that his relationship with his girlfriend was going nowhere. The unconditional admiration of even a thirteen-year-old girl must have provided him with some solace. Plus, he seemed really shaken in "Crush," when he finds out that Dawn's admiration has transferred to Spike. "It's always been me. Big funny Xander. And then she just suddenly decides I'm not the cool one anymore? Why is that okay?" (From the shooting script.)

I was planning to play with Frank Sulloway's theory that birth-order determines aspects of a personality, that first-borns are somehow different from only-childs. Wisewoman beat me to it, and she's right, there's not much there.

But I rented "The Witch"/"Never Kill a Boy . . . " the other night, and in watching the early interactions between Joyce and Buffy, I couldn't help but wonder: it might be easy for Joyce to pack up her life and move to Sunnydale entirely to support Buffy, but would she have moved a ten-year-old girl away from her school and her friends and her father just because her older daughter had gotten into trouble? If Dawn had really existed, Buffy might never have gone to Sunnydale and instead been put in military school. (She would have done well there, except for that distrust of authority thing.)

In related speculation, does Dawn harbor any resentment towards Buffy for being forced to leave her friends in L.A.? Would she still hold a grudge because of a slight that never actually happened?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Dawn--dragon of Eden -- Rufus, 00:30:11 08/03/01 Fri

If you believe the basis of the grudge is real...why not? But Dawn would have been about nine years old and with the personality I could see in the earlier eps. like "Real Me" she would have been more focused on her mother, so where mom goes so does Dawn.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Where was Dawn Redux? -- mm (i.e., mundusmundi), 06:36:09 08/03/01 Fri

When I started the "Where was Dawn?" thread, I was just looking for a little harmless fun. But then I started wondering, how could the presence of Dawn have not affected the events of Buffy's life prior to "Real Me." I am struck by mundusmundi's (mundimundi?) observation that the monk-implanted memories were generic, and obviously no memory could have conflicted with the reality we know--no one would remember Dawn doing anything that got Buffy killed back in 1999, for example.

I was glad when you started that thread, since I was already head-long into researching my Dawn post and was puzzling over how (theoretically) she could affect the SG without altering their memories in such a way that it affected past events. Assuming the monks wouldn't want to screw with history too much, perhaps they create a kind of "cloak" around Dawn, so that she was there but not able to influence the scheme of things.

On the other hand, I think your point on Xander is right on. That he was still a "butt-monkey" in BvD and started maturing (it seems) in Real Me makes it plausible that his memories of Dawn gave him an ego boost (as if making hot sweaty monkey love with Anya weren't enough). Still, it makes me wonder: would a more confident Xander have altered any events in B4 than the confidence-shaken one we already know?

Sorry, just saw the new Planet of the Apes the other day, and my brain's still buzzing from the ending.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Memories of Dawn -- Kerri, 07:00:10 08/03/01 Fri

"I was glad when you started that thread, since I was already head-long into researching my Dawn post and was puzzling over how (theoretically) she could affect the SG without altering their memories in such a way that it affected past events. "

Ok-I've been thinking about this a bit for a while. Events seem like something the monks could deal with not changing.

But how about the effect Dawn would have on people. The people we know shape who we are. Having a little sister, it seems, would have changed who Buffy was. Dawn was a huge part of Buffy's life and perhaps had the memories been real she would have developed differently. So the changes that were induced by Dawn within other people could have begun to take place after she was created.

From "The Real Me":

RILEY: Uh-uh. Back to what I was saying before we were rudely attacked by nothing. You seem really tense.
BUFFY: (shrugs) Yeah, there's a new vampire gang in town.
RILEY: I mean domestically tense. You're on Dawn's case a lot.
BUFFY: I guess. It's just... (sighs) I don't know, it ... I know it's always been this way. She's the baby. But for some reason lately, it's just really getting to me. She's *always* around.
RILEY: Well, yeah. You're like her idol, Buffy.

Buffy is bothered by having this little sister around. She knows becasue of the memories that it has always been this way. But somehow it feels different.

Dawn becomes more real to the scoobies, to Buffy, and to the audience as she begins to develope as a character. As the season progresses Dawn begins to bond with Buffy, to become more her sister, because she is real now, she does things and their results are not just remembered but felt.

I'm not sure about everyone else but in the beginning of the season I didn't like Dawn that much. She was ok but she was just the bratty kid sister. I started to like her a bit more when Joyce got sick-she grew and the dynamic between her and Buffy was more loving, more interesting. Because Dawn grew and changed, Buffy grew and changed, making Dawn real since she had affected someone's life. At this point I kind of wanted the scoobies to regain their original memories. It seemed wrong of the monks to screw with people's minds.

But as the season went on my oppinion started to change. After Dawn found out she was the key she became one of my favorite characters. Then in "Forever" Buffy and Dawn truely become sisters. When Buffy breaks down in Dawn's arms that makes them really become sisters. From that point on Buffy and Dawn's relationship changes; Dawn is everything for Buffy. It's hard for the audience not to love Dawn at this point.

In "The Gift" Dawn was willing to jump to save everyone. She had changed and grown(to be very much like Buffy I might add). She was real.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Memories of Dawn -- Tanker, 12:16:23 08/03/01 Fri

"It's hard for the audience not to love Dawn at this point."

The sheer number of people who were mad at Dawn's continued existance would seem to argue otherwise.

Sorry, I've just read yet another long essay on the newsgroup on why "The Gift" was crap, and the whole Dawn story was crap, blah blah blah. And I try to construct a well-reasoned argument, which I can't do to save my life, and end up using the f-word within two posts. So I'm feeling just a bit frustrated. Thank Joss for this board.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Reason............ -- Rufus, 15:55:50 08/03/01 Fri

On a NG......ha ha ha ha......reason is about as useful as a candle in a forest fire. I know many people thought that The Gift was crap and they are welcome to their opinion. I would like to see them do better. It comes down to personal preferences and the ones that don't like what they see are welcome to state an opinion or even switch channels. I loved The Gift. Nothing will change that.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Defining Moment -- Rattletrap, 12:26:44 08/03/01 Fri

Good point Kerri,

Like you I didn't particularly care for Dawn early on, but she grew on me pretty quickly (I can't help but wondering if that was by the writers' design.)

For me, one of the defining moments in her growth seems to be in "Listening to Fear," when the Queller demon falls off the ceiling on top of Joyce. Rather than cowering or running away, Dawn grabs a coat rack, puts her head down, and charges the demon. She drives him out of the room before she screams for help.
This seems to foreshadow the growing up that occurs through the rest of S5. I would love to see more of _that_ Dawn for next year.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Memories of Dawn -- 2m's (mundusmundi), 13:34:13 08/03/01 Fri

But how about the effect Dawn would have on people. The people we know shape who we are.

So true. To use the Superstar comparison again -- apologies if this overlaps with anything written previously -- here's how I see it:

*Jonathan's spell was used to make him the center of attention, and an overt influence on the Buffyverse. Essentially, he was playing god, and that's why the spell eventually broke down.

*In contrast, the monks' spell (and here we have men working for God, it would seem), put Dawn on the periphery of Memory. I think of it as a kind of "Where's Waldo" spell, in which Dawn is there but not there. It's interesting that all her memories seem "safe." There's nothing about her active involvement in anything consequential with the SG. She knows Buffy's the Slayer, but exactly what that means doesn't seem to register until the end of Real Me and beyond. She remembers Buffy crying about Angel, but that's about the extent of it. So I agree completely with your conclusion....

...the changes that were induced by Dawn within other people could have begun to take place after she was created.

Again, Xander. I buy LBR's theory that the "Key-crush" may have restored some of his self-esteem. Maybe he has memories of babysitting Dawn back in B4, and that relationship, and the sense of responsibility he acquired from it, helped him along. One of the funniest scenes of this past year was in Blood Ties, when he brags to Giles about someone powerful and mystical like Dawn taking a shine to him (actually, the funny part was Giles rolling his eyes and walking away in disgust).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> My theory! (I don't have many good ones, so I have to hold on tight to the ones I do.) :) -- d'Herblay, 13:39:55 08/03/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oops! 'Twas D'Herblay's theory all (and you've always got good'uns. I read your stuff. :) -- mm, 13:49:03 08/03/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Aah! Ego-boo! -- d'Herblay, 13:50:46 08/03/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Dawn and Superstar........ -- Rufus, 16:20:10 08/03/01 Fri

Look at the motives for both the spell in Superstar and the creation of Dawn. In Superstar you have a young man unfamiliar with magic doing a spell that was for his own benefit, it backfired. In regards to Dawn you have the Monks who are real pro's capable of bending reality. They have devoted their life to finding a way to harness the energy for the forces of light. That is hardly selfish as they were working so save humanity not to do a selfish glamour spell for themselves. The Monks believed so much in their work that they were willing to die to finish what they had started so long ago. I have always said how smart the monks were to mould the key into human form. The transformation of Dawn into human form changed the neutral key into a person who can understand consequences. Both Buffy and Dawn were considered tools for the use of others, with no choice of their own. Buffy became independant of the Council and Dawn made the choice to jump into the portal only to be stopped by her sister. This storyline has shown us just how powerful love can be. May sound simple to some but love is what motivated all the major choices this season. Love is what brought Buffy to her gift and choice to sacrifice herself for the world and her sister. Love is what Buffy thought she had lost only to find out that it is what fills her soul. The act of slaying may be dark but Buffy kills to preserve what she loves. Would she have found this out if Dawn had never been in her life?
In Superstar the spell was created out of self love, the selfish motives of one. The spell didn't work because the person doing it was playing with forces he didn't understand. When the spell ended people resented Jonathon because they had been used. In the case of Dawn, Buffy resented her sister until she found out the reason for her being. Dawn is a force of light, innocent, full of love. Her actions in The Gift proved that the Monks sure knew what they were doing.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Baseline reality regarding Dawn and Superstar........ -- Cleanthes, 08:04:10 08/04/01 Sat

In `The Replacement`, Willow easily restores the united Xander because that reality more closely matches the way things are supposed to be.

This bolsters your point, Rufus, about the differences between the spell "creating" Dawn and the situation in `Superstar`. The Superstar situation built a house of cards far from whatever baseline "true" überPlatonic reality there is underlying the dimensions.

Meanwhile, how can we say that the Key is *supposed* to be formless energy? Is the key-as-formless-energy closer to this überPlatonic reality underlying the various dimensions? I think not.

The Stoics believed that the universe had a swerve to it. [Umberto Eco has written much about this in modern philosophy; I finished his "Kant and the Platypus" over vacation, sorry for the unnecessary digression, but maybe I'm suffering from the "just read about this" syndrome.] This is sometimes referred to as the tonos in the telos, or the tension that pulls events toward the easiest channel in the flow of events.

Jonathon's spell pulled the tonos WAY off the mark(s) while the monk's spell may even have moved the tonos CLOSER to the mark(s). As a bit of formless energy, the key needed a sect of monks and who knows what else to protect it. (and I like to think, for fun, that the "holy grail" was actually the key -- but then, that's just me because I love the medieval grail tales and I'm a fan of Monty Python,too) Well, anyway, while the key didn't have to be Dawn, it may well be that the Key-as-Dawn is now the baseline reality.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Baseline reality regarding Dawn and Superstar........ -- mundusmundi, 11:07:45 08/04/01 Sat

Jonathon's spell pulled the tonos WAY off the mark(s) while the monk's spell may even have moved the tonos CLOSER to the mark(s).

Neat idea. Only semi-related to the subject, but does anyone know what the predominant faith in Czechslovakia is -- Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or other? I'm idly wondering how the monks' spirituality might fit into their philosophy regarding the Key, or if it's related at all.

(and I like to think, for fun, that the "holy grail" was actually the key -- but then, that's just me because I love the medieval grail tales and I'm a fan of Monty Python,too)

"I say, we've found the Key! Now where's that bloody lock?"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Czech religion -- d'Herblay, 13:17:18 08/07/01 Tue

CZECH REPUBLIC--44% Roman Catholic, 6% Protestant, 12% other Christian (I presume mostly Moravian), 38% other (I'm guessing a smattering of Jews, a small number of Muslim immigrants, a few free-thinking atheists in Prague, but mostly people compelled to atheism between WWII and glasnost).

SLOVAKIA--80% Roman Catholic, 12% Protestant, 8% other.

Most of the heretical sects arising in the area during the medieval period and the reformation held the intention of removing the monks and returning the riches of the monasteries to the people.

Dagon is the name of a Phoenician god, of either grain or the sea, depending on who's doing the scholarship. He is treated as a demon in the Old Testament, as well as in my (NERD ALERT!!) Monster Manual II.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> "Tonos in the telos" and what it means to The Gift -- Rufus, 17:25:00 08/04/01 Sat

I'm glad you told me about these terms because it makes me think of how the events in season five lead to Buffy's sacrifice.

Could you consider Buffy's sacrifice again the tonos in the telos? If you consider the key and how Dawn became who she was causing Buffy to do what she did? Was Buffys sacrifice a form of tension that pulled events towards the easiest channel? Did Buffy in being okay with her work understand at a sub level that Dawn was meant to be a reality in this world, that it was necessary that Dawn be a reality in this world. It would sure shake up the people that consider Buffys actions of protecting Dawn more than just selfish. I see that the Monks may have figured out what Dawns reality and her form in that reality was meant to be. Sending her to Buffy was sending her to the one person who could make sure Dawn's place in the baseline reality.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "Tonos in the telos" and what it means to The Gift -- Cleanthes, 19:00:25 08/05/01 Sun

Rufus asks "Could you consider Buffy's sacrifice again the tonos in the telos? If you consider the key and how Dawn became who she was causing Buffy to do what she did? Was Buffys sacrifice a form of tension that pulled events towards the easiest channel? Did Buffy in being okay with her work understand at a sub level that Dawn was meant to be a reality in this world, that it was necessary that Dawn be a reality in this world.

Well, these are fascinating questions to me. This concept of swerve or tonos pulling things towards the easiest (or most divine, actually) channel in the telos rests on, well, teleology , and so, cause and effect are somewhat reversed.

I'm willing to speculate that having this key to the dimensions in existence as formless energy set up an unstable tension in the telos because it threatened too many complications. So, it was easy for the monks to change the key in certain ways. Maybe enspelling the key into a bicycle pump would have been as easy a form as Dawn, but, anyway, the creation of Dawn may well have created a stronger baseline reality. The Monks knew what they were doing, even if they didn't have access to the 100% perfect solution. Okay, that was my initial point.

Once the Monks chose Dawn, the slayer's sister & true blood kin, though, further relief of tension now depends on this choice. Thus, if Dawn remains the key and her existence relied on Buffy more than Buffy's existence relied on Dawn --- well, again it may have been a far, far better thing for Buffy to have died than Dawn, not for Buffy but for reality itself. Heck, Dawn's death in `The Gift` might have reset the tension in the universe back to however great it was when the key was formless energy or worse. Buffy GAVE a gift; she did not extract a penalty, which she would have had to do were she to do a selfish act, IMO.

Buffy may have understood this on the sub-level you mention AND, it could undergird the prophecy and the visions of the First Slayer. Where does she exist in the telos? Obviously outside of time somehow. So, in order to give her prophetic advice, the First Slayer must be able to "hear" the tones of various tonos choices. (ooh, I'm making etymology puns, you just know I've been drinking, don't you? :-) )

One final point while I'm thinking about this. "Fiat Lux" are the very first words spoken by God the Father, according to St. Jerome's Vulgate. Someone on BtVS has also used these words, right? Maybe having her instrumental in Buffy's return will make sense because she will tap the power of God the Mother or something equally close to ironic Perseity. (something so simple that its per se nature cannot be subjected to alterations or tensions)

Joss is the dunce, reincarnated, isn't he? And that's high praise, I think.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Fiat Lux -- Rufus, 00:16:27 08/07/01 Tue

Out of darkness comes light...makes me think of Willows spell "Fiat Lux". When Buffy sacrificed herself in The Gift I think that she did the right thing the unselfish thing. Dawn for whatever reason was meant to be in our reality as a person. When Buffy died she went into the light of Dawn. Willow has created light which I think is the first property needed for life to exist. Buffy's death has again caused a "tonos in the telos" situation in that Sunnydale, the Hellmouth is without a slayer. I don't find it entirely selfish for Willow to bring Buffy back to continue the work the slayer does. Buffy will be back because the universal tension caused by her death has to be compensated for. Without the Slayer there will be chaos and the battle between good and evil may become uncomfortably real to the oblivious inhabitants of Sunnydale. If it is Willow that summons Buffy back I won't be upset, she has created light before. Where I see Buffy's state of mind is explained by what I read about Heraclitus who compares reality to the flow of a river......saying that...'one could not step twice into the same river'. I think that Buffy would resist 'stepping into the same river twice', she has lived and has known pain and suffering, to step back into the reality she once inhabited when alive would be enough to make anyone long to remain where they were in peace. But as the Slayer and the fact that Buffy feels love for her friends and sister, she will stay to protect those she wanted to live.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Baseline reality regarding Dawn and Superstar........ -- Cleanthes, 08:09:29 08/04/01 Sat

In `The Replacement`, Willow easily restores the united Xander because that reality more closely matches the way things are supposed to be.

This bolsters your point, Rufus, about the differences between the spell "creating" Dawn and the situation in `Superstar`. The Superstar situation built a house of cards far from whatever baseline "true" überPlatonic reality there is underlying the dimensions.

Meanwhile, how can we say that the Key is *supposed* to be formless energy? Is the key-as-formless-energy closer to this überPlatonic reality underlying the various dimensions? I think not.

The Stoics believed that the universe had a swerve to it. [Umberto Eco has written much about this in modern philosophy; I finished his "Kant and the Platypus" over vacation, sorry for the unnecessary digression, but maybe I'm suffering from the "just read about this" syndrome.] This is sometimes referred to as the tonos in the telos, or the tension that pulls events toward the easiest channel in the flow of events.

Jonathon's spell pulled the tonos WAY off the mark(s) while the monk's spell may even have moved the tonos CLOSER to the mark(s). As a bit of formless energy, the key needed a sect of monks and who knows what else to protect it. (and I like to think, for fun, that the "holy grail" was actually the key -- but then, that's just me because I love the medieval grail tales and I'm a fan of Monty Python,too) Well, anyway, while the key didn't have to be Dawn, it may well be that the Key-as-Dawn is now the baseline reality.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Memories of Dawn--Pure Green Dot -- d'Herblay, 17:56:39 08/03/01 Fri

(Still going with the Sagan theme. Got one more . . . )

To use the Superstar comparison again [ . . . ] here's how I see it:

*Jonathan's spell was used to make him the center of attention, and an overt influence on the Buffyverse. Essentially, he was playing god, and that's why the spell eventually broke down.

*In contrast, the monks' spell (and here we have men working for God, it would seem), put Dawn on the periphery of Memory. I think of it as a kind of "Where's Waldo" spell, in which Dawn is there but not there. It's interesting that all her memories seem "safe." There's nothing about her active involvement in anything consequential with the SG.

The central difference between Jonathan's and the Monks' spells is, you're right, their motivations. While Jonathan wanted to be noticed, the Monks wanted the Key to be anything but. At the moment of "Real Me," Spike, for example, would have been recruitable by any new Big Bad promissing a de-chipping. It would have behooved the monks to make sure that Spike's memories of Dawn were indistinct and insignificant.

I'm betting, however, that Joss will somehow contradict this line of reasoning in the future. I think that were Faith or Oz to return to Sunnydale, she/he would have specific, significant memories of Dawn. Cordelia wouldn't--not because the Monks didn't plant them, but because she's Cordelia, homerically and hermetically insensitive. I just think that the writers will not be able to resist expanding on Dawn's (fictional) backstory. It's just too much fun.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Bully for Buffysaurus! -- mundusmundi, 06:02:34 08/04/01 Sat

(First Sagan, now Gould. Confound it!....)

While Jonathan wanted to be noticed, the Monks wanted the Key to be anything but.

Excellent point.

I'm betting, however, that Joss will somehow contradict this line of reasoning in the future.

I'd be disappointed if he didn't. I've been hoping for some "fake flashbacks" that would replay famous scenes from earlier eps with Dawn in 'em. However, this might be kind of difficult now with the no-crossover zone.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Bully for Buffysaurus! -- d'Herblay, 16:15:54 08/04/01 Sat

Gould, now? How far can we take this?

"Ever Since Dawn"--which pretty well describes this thread.
"Dawn's Little Piggies"--one of the more indelible sights in "The Gift."

How about Dawkins?

"Climbing Mount Improbable"--will Joss's explanation of Buffy's return satisfy?
"Unweaving the Rainbow"--the definitive investigation of the Pylea arc.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! There's always good stuff lurking deep in the threads...;o) -- Wisewoman, 18:04:33 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Selfish Gene -- mm, 11:30:35 08/05/01 Sun

would seem an appropriate title for those who favor the Buffy death-wish theory.

Back to Gould...The Slayer's Thumb. Unnecessary to hold a stake, one of those freakish traits of evolution.

Crimeny, thought this thread was lost to the archives. How much more juice can we shamelessly squeeze out of it?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Must . . . keep . . . thread . . . alive . . . -- d'Herblay, 13:39:41 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Memories of Dawn -- madie, 22:11:54 08/03/01 Fri

Wow. I just have to say that this version of Dawn is different from what I gathered.

"I was glad when you started that thread, since I was already head-long into researching my Dawn post and was puzzling over how (theoretically) she could affect the SG without altering their memories in such a way that it affected past events. "
"Ok-I've been thinking about this a bit for a while. Events seem like something the monks could deal with not changing."

I would like to insert here that I thought that Dawn had stayed with her Dad while Joyce and Buffy went to SunnyDale. I got that sibling vibe off of Buffy and Dawn, especially when it came to the invisible dad. I guess I must have just assumed that dawn only visited on occation and was completely new to Sunnydale. That's how the memories were a success, because she really wasn't involved in anything important, because she wasn't there.

I also think that Buffy was more than jealous of Dawn being with their dad, and then comming to sunnydale and loving up to Joyce. It took Buffy time to regress back to the first stages of baby hood to realize that her dad had actually failed them both, equally. Then she was able to come out of it, get over her jealousy for good, and let go of some of the anger towards her father.

I dunno. what do you guys think?

[> just for a quick laugh -- anom, 07:55:30 08/02/01 Thu

"...a few more bumps than usual on the Plot Hole Expressway."

Ah, the dreaded Plot Hole Pothole!

[> Great post, mm! -- Wisewoman, 18:22:13 08/02/01 Thu

Got me thinking about the "changes initiated in the SG owing to Dawn's arrival" kinda thing. I can see where they've all been affected, but I think that the major effect is, obviously, on Buffy as others have pointed out.

But those implanted memories didn't just put Dawn on the scene in episodes of Buffy's life--they effectively changed her from an only child into a first-born, older sibling. Everything I've read leads me to believe that those are two very different sets of circumstances in which to grow up.

Think I'll go do some research in the birth-order literature and see what I can come up with...

Thanks for a thought-provoking profile of the newest SG.


[> [> Effect of Birth Order on Buffy -- Wisewoman, 18:41:08 08/02/01 Thu

Hmmm, may not have had as big an influence as I thought...a quick-and-dirty search yielded this:

FIRSTBORN · Characteristics: Tends to walk and talk earlier. More serious, responsible and loyal to parents' values and standards. May be a perfectionist; highly critical of himself or herself or others. Dominant, assertive and conscientious. An expert procrastinator, which counterbalances perfectionist tendencies. A natural high achiever. Scholarly, logical, goal-oriented and status-conscious. Well-organized; neurotic. Accepts authority, supports law and order and is inclined to be a conservative. Attracted to high-achievement occupations. · Career Track: Doctors, lawyers, industry leaders, journalists, engineers, accountants, architects, executive secretaries, computer programmers and bookkeepers. · Famous firstborns: Bill and Hillary Clinton, Ted Koppel, Peter Jennings, Saddam Hussein, Oprah Winfrey.

ONLY CHILD · Characteristics: Tends to be a lot like firstborns. High self-esteem, self-sufficient. Relates well to adults. Admirable skills for entertaining himself or herself. Misses out in forming bonds with siblings, practice at caring for a peer. Doesn't learn about competition, compromise or cooperation until school-age. · Careers: Choices similar to those of firstborns. · Famous only kids: Charles Manson, Drew Barrymore, Courtney Love, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Buffy sure managed to learn about competition before Dawn arrived, but she now has had the opportunity to form a bond with a sibling as well, and she certainly did that.

[> [> [> Re: Effect of Birth Order on Buffy -- mm (i.e., mundusmundi), 06:10:15 08/03/01 Fri

ONLY CHILD · Characteristics: Tends to be a lot like firstborns. High self-esteem, self-sufficient. Relates well to adults. Admirable skills for entertaining himself or herself. Misses out in forming bonds with siblings, practice at caring for a peer. Doesn't learn about competition, compromise or cooperation until school-age

Why, that's me in a nutshell! ;)

But seriously, I always liked the metaphor of Dawn's mystical intrusion in the BV reflecting a fairly typical sibling rivalry. In Real Me, Buffy says, "It's always been this way. She's the baby. But for some reason, lately, it's really bugging me." Only later, of course, does Dawn change for Rufus said, "from pest to precious."

P.S. Maybe the fact that I was an only child makes the whole Dawn/Key thing seem so cool to me. That I didn't read any spoilers last summer made it even more mind-blowing.

[> [> [> [> It's more than just birth order... -- Kerri, 07:10:48 08/03/01 Fri

Dawn is a huge influence in Buffy's life. I'm not going to get into this again. Read my response in this same thread called "memories of Dawn"

[> [> [> all the only children -- anom, 09:48:56 08/03/01 Fri

Until S6, weren't almost all the characters only children? There's no mention of Willow, Xander, Cordelia, Oz, or even Giles having siblings. I couldn't tell if Oz had a family at all, except for the cousin who bit him! Buffy had at least one cousin, too, but the only one we know about died in a hospital as a child. Maybe a cast full of only children keeps things simpler, but it seems a little strange when you think about it.

Of course, then Tara showed up, trying to get *away* from her family, & then there was Dawn (kinda literally, actually--she just *was*, one day). But I think it was when Buffy was having roommate trouble & Giles said it was a hard adjustment for an only child that it first occurred to me that they all seemed to be only children.

[> Re: Dawn: The 1st Anniversary Character Posting Party -- Victor Infante, 13:39:44 08/03/01 Fri

Dawn, for good or ill, has become the Buffyverse's impetus for change.

Hmm? Isn't that always been the defining trait of an era's temprament? How adults react to children? Are they overprotected (the kids who grew up in the Depression and WWII) or are they scarcely protected at all (the kids who grew up in the adult-self-involved 1960s and 1970s.) Consider the rampant "MUST! PROTECT! CHILDREN!" climate these days, and consider Buffy's actions in "The Gift." Very interesting cultural commentary, that I don't believe would have played out the same 20 years ago.

[> [> Buffy 1969 -- Wisewoman, 18:08:23 08/03/01 Fri

"So, like, you gotta jump in there, kid? Bummer. Hey, if that's your trip, man, I'm cool."


[> [> Re: Dawn: The 1st Anniversary Character Posting Party -- squireboy, 23:42:45 08/03/01 Fri

Extremely interesting point and one of the few in the whole sound and fury about Dawn that have had any effect on me.
(For me, if S5 is the plothole-pothole, road under construction express, The Gift is road closed, detour, consider other forms of transportation.)

"we band of buggered"

[> [> [> Plothole! Where? I don't see a--*Screeeech!* ;) -- mundusmundi, 11:55:52 08/04/01 Sat

Slayer Origin -- VampRiley, 19:04:42 08/01/01 Wed

Saw this over at the TBC&S spoiler board:


Date Posted: 16:35:42 08/01/01 Wed
Author: bacchus68
Author Host/IP: /
Subject: Fray #3(hints to buffy's end and origin of 1st slayer)

I don't know how many people have picked up the fray comic written by Joss but the latest issue out today puts out a cool amount of info about buffy and the first slayer. Fray takes place in the distant future:

paraphrasing what the comic said:
The first slayer was created by magic shaman to combat the first vampires that appeared. The watchers are decendents of these shaman.

A slayer(buffy) wiped all of the demons out of earths existence. It seems to imply that they were sent back to their own dimension(dawn's dimensional portal thingy) It also said that the slayer had to fight an ARMY of DEMONS (sounds like shades of adam).

Since this story is written by Joss I think it can be a good idea where he plans on taking the series and explains a little where the slayers power actually comes was a power that the shaman(watchers) placed in the body of a girl. I wonder if it actually is an entity that was placed inside the slayers. a demon to fight the demons, that would explain dracula's stating her power is rooted in darkness.

This also explains the connection between watcher and slayer more. The thing I don't like is it seems like the slayer line ends with Buffy. He writes that there are other slayers that have the power after buffy but since buffy literally removes all of the demons from our reality the watchers don't contact them or train them and they never even realize they are activated slayers.

I hope he changes his mind on that front because without demons there is now way he can continue a slayer type show or any show in the universe after buffy hangs it up.

Another thing that is added in the comic that is cool is the fate of the watchers. Without a slayer to watch the ones that sit and wait for the return of the demons go insane from the wait.

Well I thought I would just add info here from joss's writing to see what people think about the connection and forshadowing he said in the comic as it relates to the show.



Just wanted to know what y'all think about it.


[> that power sounds a lot like the Key -- Wilder, 19:50:28 08/01/01 Wed

[> Slayer/Vampire connection -- Kerri, 20:34:39 08/01/01 Wed

"I wonder if it actually is an entity that was placed inside the slayers. a demon to fight the demons"

A demon inside a human-hummm...a lot like a vamp-just with a soul. Sounds kind of like Angel to me. A simular situation in that there is something inside that influences the slayer. It comes down to which is stronger the girl or the demon inside her. How much of Buffy is the primal slayer?-that depends-how much does she let herself be that demon. Who is in control?

Also-just wondering....does it actually say something-like a time-that implies that Buffy is the slayer who sends the demons back to their dimention?

[> [> Re: Slayer/Vampire connection -- Andy, 06:33:41 08/02/01 Thu

"Also-just wondering....does it actually say something-like a time-that implies that Buffy is the slayer
who sends the demons back to their dimention?"

I believe the comic mentions "the early 21st century" as the time that the demons were banished. There isn't anything that explicitly says it's Buffy, since Joss can't directly show Buffy (Fox owns her, Joss owns Fray), but it does seem heavily implied to be her. The comic also mentions that this last slayer was "possibly aided by mystical allies" in defeating the army of demons.

[> [> [> Re: Slayer/Vampire connection *SPOILERS* -- spotjon, 10:34:38 08/02/01 Thu

The comic doesn't specifically say the early 21st century, though that's probably what Joss had in mind. There also may have been a little hint that Dawn had a hand in sending them back, and that she didn't meet with too kind of a fate, herself. It doesn't specifically say whether or not the last slayer survived this battle, or died, though she may have been sucked into hell at the end.

A little more specifically, there are two panels depicting the final battle. One, a silohuetted female figure carrying weapons faces an army of demons, both large and small. The narrative reads something like "All we know is that in the 21st century a slayer faced an army of demons, which were somehow totally banished from our dimension. All demons, all magicks, gone forever." Two, we see a portal closing, with a demony tentacle reaching out, alongside of a human female hand (complete with long pink fingernails). Narrative goes something like, "Concerning the fate of the slayer we do not know, she may have died then or lived for some time after." I don't know whether the hand sticking out is supposed to be the slayer's, or if perhaps it might be Dawn's, using her power to seal the dimensions. In any case, one unlucky girl apparently ends up playing housemate with a dimension full of mightily pissed-off demons.

I'll pull out the issue later tonight to find the correct dialogue. I was just paraphrasing above.

[> [> [> [> Re: Slayer/Vampire connection *SPOILERS* -- Andy, 13:23:43 08/02/01 Thu

"The comic doesn't specifically say the early 21st century, though that's probably what Joss had in mind."

Ah, that's right. I must be conflating that with something else, maybe the promotional material, because I do distinctly remember it being said somewhere that it was early 21st century :)

The look of the silhouette also seems very Buffy, with the girl clearly wearing a skirt. Joss does like those girly touches when it comes to Buffy (like his complaining that SMG was supposed to be wearing pink, not white, in The Gift) :)

[> [> [> [> [> Joss is teasing us -- Tanker, 16:10:01 08/02/01 Thu

He's giving us little things, like a Slayer in a skirt, that make us think it might be Buffy, but that aren't conclusive enough to prove anything. Then he sits back and watches us go nuts trying to make sense of it. :-)

-- MZ

[> Re: Slayer Origin -- Mike, 03:47:21 08/02/01 Thu

Maybe "rooted in darkness" can mean no more than the Slayer would not have been created (if indeed it were) if there HAD been no darkness needing to be combatted? In a way, that suggests that the Slayer owes it origins to the demons or vampires

for me, the origin of the slayer is THE BIGGEST unanswered, and suspenseful issue, of the show

[> Huge Fray *Spoilers* with implications and speculations -- darrenK, 11:46:52 08/02/01 Thu

Um, Well everyone else seems to be kinda of sedate about these spoilers, I think they're huge.

Joss has never more than hinted at the origin of the Slayer, and there it is.

And even more interesting, the origin of the Watchers. They don't just manage the Slayer, they created her. And they didn't begin as a bunch of Oxford types, they were the most powerful shamans among humans. They saved the human race and they did it by creating the Slayer. It puts a whole new spin on their relationship with her and why they seem to feel such ownership of her.

Even more interesting is that perhaps Faith is more true to the conception of what a Slayer is than Buffy. That the Slayer is a Hunter, akin to a wilding animal. Not thoughtful. Not philosophical. Just wild, just a killer. It now makes sense that the Watchers have a unit to bring down rogue slayers. Even the 18th birthday test makes more sense: it's a test from a forgotten time, a barbaric test to ensure that Slayer is smart as well as strong. Even the distaste the other Watchers feel towards Giles makes more sense. He cares about the slayer, yet the slayer is--in the Watcher's estimation--just a tool.

And the biggest spoiler of all is that those people who speculated--on this board--that the whole series would end with Buffy and Dawn sealing away the Demons behind a dimensional door SEEMS to be correct.

Yes, maybe the comic didn't say Buffy, it said a Slayer in the early 21st century, but come-on? What's Joss' life work? Not Faith the Vampire Slayer. It's Buffy who has mystical allies--Dawn, Willow, Tara, Anya, Angel, Cordelia (now a seer) and it looks like it will all build toward what many of us hoped to see, a grand blow-out. Joss has said that he wouldn't mind making movies when the show ends. And of course the final apocalyse is worthy of one.

And-my opinion- it also settles another question, the monks succeeded.The Key will become pivotal in human form, a force for good. What else did those few panels look like, but a key created dimension-door. It makes Joss's purpose for Dawn even more easily understood, she was not just sent to Buffy to be hidden from Glory, she was sent as tool to complete the work of the Slayer. Permanantly.


[> [> You're singing my song......I agree..... -- Rufus, 13:04:46 08/02/01 Thu

[> [> Re: Huge Fray *Spoilers* with implications and speculations -- Liquidram, 13:22:13 08/02/01 Thu

"And the biggest spoiler of all is that those people who speculated--on this board--that the whole series would end with Buffy and Dawn sealing away the Demons behind a dimensional door SEEMS to be correct. "

To take this discussion a step further, what would become of the demons who are friends and/or part of the group? (Our vamps, Anya, etc.?) Being demons and/or new humans, how would they be affected?

[> [> [> Happy ending? -- Kerri, 13:27:38 08/02/01 Thu

I'm a sucker for happy endings. Yes I know Joss isn't a big fan of them but I can hope right? This leaves it open for Buffy and Angel to be together-Buffy no longer needs to protect the world and Angel becomes human. :) Probably not but...

[> [> [> [> Re: Happy ending? -- Andy, 06:24:57 08/03/01 Fri

It's a pleasant thought, but knowing Joss I'd wager that if that is Buffy, then the way it would play out is that Angel becomes human...only to see Buffy get sucked through the portal (her hand being the one sticking out of it) :)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Happy ending? -- darrenK, 09:32:55 08/03/01 Fri

That just means that SG has to go to Hell to get her.

They will. They're like that, you know.

Plus, if there are no demons on Earth, than Sunnydale becomes Green Acres and there won't be much room for new Vampire Stories so they'll have to do something to keep it all going. dK

[> [> [> possible *spoilers* concerning half-demons -- spotjon, 14:55:16 08/02/01 Thu

I'm wondering if this ties in to the apocalypse talked about in Angel, after which Angel is prophecied to regain his humanity. My thought is that, as the Key sucks all of the demonic influence out of our dimension, the demon part of Angel is also removed, and thus his humanity restored. Anya wouldn't be affected since she is no longer demon-y at all. Spike would most likely be sucked into hell, though the human part of him might proceed to the afterlife, while the demon part is being swept away. I just want to know whose hand that is reaching out of the hell-portal in Fray.

[> You can never be sure, though... -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 15:52:46 08/02/01 Thu

How about this: Faith is the one who gets rid of the demons after Buffy and the Scoobies have realised that they need them after all.

Lame, I know, but I just thought I'd put in a 'spoilers are hopeless with Joss' kind of a post and spoil everyone's fun (kidding - is there like a punctuation mark for sarcasm? And if not, why not!)

[> [> Re: You can never be sure, though... -- Tanker, 16:16:51 08/02/01 Thu

Or another Slayer entirely, late in the 21st century, who also had mystical allies, because Buffy and Giles's example caused a permanent change in the Watcher's attitude towards the Slayer having friends. There's just no way to be sure that the Slayer who defeats the demons is Buffy. Not yet, anyway.

-- MZ

[> [> [> Re: You can never be sure, though... -- darrenK, 09:51:16 08/03/01 Fri

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's going to be Buffy.

I'm going to go out on that limb because Joss is a storyteller and for 5 years we've heard vague hints on both Angel and Buffy to ultimate prophecies and final battles.

Joss is not about to end the Buffy/Angel story without an apocalypse of a scale we haven't yet seen.

And when it happens I imagine that all our favorite characters will be involved including Faith.
It's going to be something to see. dK

[> Re: Slayer Origin (and Promethea) -- Dedalus, 18:34:07 08/02/01 Thu

First off, thanks to the guys on my old Fray thread that recommended Promethea. I've been buying up random issues all week, and good lord ...

"I'm Promethea. There is nothing like me. I am the Holy Splendor of the Imagination. I cannot be destroyed."

Goodness, Dedalus thought to himself, what have I got my hot little hands on?

Anyway, those Fray spoilers were awesome. I knew we'd be getting some major info down the line. That does totally jive with how the Watchers see Slayers. I think the thing about the ancient mages or whatever clearing the way for mortal animals was pretty cool, too. I was wondering how humans ever got hold of this dimension considering the proliferation of demons. Really, really big ones, too. It's telling that the Powers did not create the Slayer. And seeing how magic is sort of hereditary in Buffy, it makes sense that the Watchers would try to keep it in the family as much as possible.

Okay, so if this is just some magical force, is it like ... what? Intelligent or something? How does it choose girls? The Watchers don't seem to have much sayso in that department.

Anyway, yeah Joss. My only complaint is that the next issue of Fray is not coming until OCTOBER!

As Spike would say, "BLOODY HELL!"

[> Question about the slayer blood line -- Kerri, 07:18:21 08/03/01 Fri

So does this mean that after the watchers created the first slayer the spirit or whatever that gives her power moves to the next slayer after the previous slayer dies on its own. I mean it doesn't seem like the watchers sent the power to each slayer. It seems more like the power chose the girl.

Now if the power leaves the slayer after she dies then how come both Buffy and Kendra were the slayer. Was Buffy perhaps not the slayer after the master killed her. Is there something to the "I feel strong. I feel different" comment?

Any ideas?

[> [> Re: Question about the slayer blood line -- VampRiley, 09:37:23 08/03/01 Fri

My take on this is that if there is a force, it's a "living" thing (maybe not "living" in the sense of being sentient; maybe more like The Key's "living energy" or some other type not thought of yet). It's independent from the Council since they look for potential Slayers. If they did control it, then they wouldn't be doing this. If there really is a force that goes from girl to girl (chosen at random or not), I'm thinking that this force only activates the dormant slayer abilities in each girl thereby changing the girl. This force wouldn't act like a Human soul (In Season 2, Angel loses his soul, turning him back into the vamp he was before he got his soul back, his Humanity is once again gone - not sure if this analogy makes sense). When she dies, this force leaves her but doesn't deactivate her slayer abilities and doesn't make her the girl she was before she was called (Buffy still had her Slayer powers after being resuscitated after the Master killed her). The force travels to the next girl, wherever she is (Kendra and Faith) and starts the process all over again. That's just my take on how there can be more than one person with Slayer abilities.

Oh, Oh -- thought -- what if all the girls before they were slayers actually didn't have dormant slayer powers and were just like a normal Human. And this force acts in the same way that the "ritual" (for lack of a better word) of turning a Human into a Vamp does (being near death, drinking vamped blood, dying from blood loss = VampNewbie). It's actually this force that goes "into" the girl and without her realizing it, adds the powers of a slayer

[> [> [> Re: Question about the slayer blood line -- Tanker, 12:02:38 08/03/01 Fri

There must be something about the girls who are destined to become Slayers that the Watchers can identify. If they have dormant Slayer powers, maybe that would make them stand out in a "locate Slayer" spell.

If that's the case, though, the dormant powers must not stand out too much, because Joss once said that Buffy was missed. She apparently wasn't found until she became the Slayer. I bet, whether she has dormant powers or not, that once a Slayer is activated she looks like a beacon in a Slayer location spell.

I'm almost more interested in the proto-Slayers than the actual Slayers. How many are there at any one time? How are they chosen? Do they have any special abilities before they're called? How do the Watchers find them? Is every potential Slayer destined to become a Slayer, or can a girl "outgrow" it? Etc, etc.

There is another thing to consider. Joss may be altering what he's said in the past because he thought of something he liked better.

[> [> [> [> proto-Slayer speculation -- anom, 13:42:47 08/03/01 Fri

"I'm almost more interested in the proto-Slayers than the actual Slayers. How many are there at any one time? How are they chosen? Do they have any special abilities before they're called? How do the Watchers find them? Is every potential Slayer destined to become a Slayer, or can a girl "outgrow" it? Etc, etc."

The "testing" of Slayers who survive to 18 implies that they always start considerably younger than that, if just because they'd need a good amount of training 1st. We know that Kendra trained from a very young age--probably starting even before Buffy was called. Don't know if that means she had special abilities then. Buffy didn't seem to--remember, she'd been a cheerleader in LA, which would have given her a good chance to discover any out-of-the-ordinary athletic abilities. How many at one time--well, it sure doesn't look like only one in all the world is *born* in each generation, as we hear at the start of each ep. Unless "born" is figurative & refers to the calling of the Slayer...hmm, that might have implications for Buffy's "rebirth"....

There I go answering questions in reverse order again...this time with "how funky is your chickennnn?" echoing in my head!

Is Suicide Selfish? -- Raelta, 22:12:53 08/01/01 Wed

I may be too far out of date to receive replies to this and I may be slightly off subject on parts not being familiar with Buffy but I will attempt to clearly state my opinion on the subject question anyway.

Personally I believe that while sometimes suicide is selfish, (i.e. when it's for causes such as making someone else feel bad or getting back at someone) most of the time it isn't selfish. Now I am taking this from the perspective of the person committing suicide and not those left behind because I believe this is where the real question lies. In this we must attempt to see the situation from the point of view of this person. They are in so much pain and anguish for whatever reason that life is not only something they don't wish to continue, but something they actively and violently wish to end. They wish it to end not to cause others pain or to fulfill desires for retribution but to end their own pain and suffering, and thus it is not selfish. This is my primary point. To add to that however, often people who wish to commit suicide genuinely see themselves as a truly bad person and so in their view it is ridding the world of a taint and thus making it better. In this way it could be seen as not only not selfish but in some ways selfless. This is a stretch however and as it is not my primary point I will leave it.

There is also another side. The side of the person left behind in pain who feels suicide was a very selfish thing. Is this person not being extraordinarily selfish themselves? To think that they would wish upon the person they love for the continuing of the tremendous pain that the suicidal person is experiencing. This is like wishing for your friend to continue being tortured for life. Admittedly there is the possibility for this person to continue their life and have it improve and this may be what the friend hopes for but the suicidal person does not see this. The suicidal person has no hope for a happy ending any longer and thus continued life is continued anguish and someone to wish them to live longer is to curse them more terribly than anyone else ever could.

I would be more than happy to hear any replies to this, as this is an argument I have been hoping to discuss with someone for many months to see other ideas. Feel free to email me.

[> Re: Is Suicide Selfish? -- Rufus, 23:26:26 08/01/01 Wed

Suicide is an escape, but is it a valid escape? It depends on the situation. I'm sure there are a few people who have killed themselves to get even with someone, but it isn't always so simple. Do we consider a terminally ill person in pain selfish to want to die on their own terms? Can we ever understand the pain of the depressed person who can only feel mental pain, enough pain to wish to escape to nothingness? Each suicide originates under different circumstances personal to the person who wishes to die. The people who know the person who does this ultimate act of escape will judge the action upon their beliefs and own state of mind. I don't see suicide as selfish as much as desperate. Calling the dead selfish is just a way of trying to understand that persons last act. The dead are beyond our judgement or opinions.

Dreams -- Mike, 03:23:54 08/02/01 Thu

I thought it might be interesting for everyone to post what dreams they have had about Buffy, Angel et al.

Not only that, it might be interesting for someone to ANALYSE the dreams once we have posted them!

Yes, this thought is prompted by my own dream last night, which was pretty freaky...

"I was flat hunting with a friend and we saw this lovely appartment in central london where a strange old woman gave us the chills, so even though we liked the flat we, left. Outside, something had happened to London, as DEMONS were running around wild... and they were all in the form of ALLIGATORS. They were different sizes. Some were of Godzilla proportions - and it seemed that the more people they ate, they larger they got. My friend disappeared (ate). I took refuge in the foyer of this appartment block, where we locked the doors and barricaded them with beer barrels (?). There was a mirror, I looked in it and my face was that of Bill Bixby's (??!).

The dream then kinda jumped to the next day..

The demons (alligators) were rampaging in London in part due to me (though I dont know why, I just knew that) I went to see the Host, who had a rather fishy blue scaly appearance with several tentacles coming out his head (but in the dream he was still the host)...

then the dream jumped again..

my girlfriend came to see me (and she was Brooke Adams from The Dead Zone), and she was angry at me cos I had become a demon (Bill Bixby's face with the blue scaly tentacles, cool!). But I had done this to save the world, and the demon alligators were no more...

SO, there u go, my Buffy-related dream last night (although evidently it was more Angel-esque..)


[> Re: Dreams (possible spoiler) -- d'Herblay, 03:43:13 08/02/01 Thu

I had two Buffy dreams recently, one of which I don't discuss in mixed company. The other one took place during the upcoming musical episode. I was playing Spike (as I always do in my dreams), and was part of a big production number with Buffy and Dawn. Sort of one of those "Anchors Aweigh" numbers where you sing and dance all over town, only instead of New York we were dancing through Sunnydale. Sarah nailed the number, but I didn't know the words and Michelle kept missing her steps. We just frantically followed after Sarah.

Now I now longer dream about Buffy. Now I dream about this board.

[> [> Hmmmmmmm, what you dreamin about this board...spill..:):):) -- Rufus, 13:06:41 08/02/01 Thu

I know, I know...dreams of fluffy kitties and chocolate...right???????:):):)

[> Re: Dreams -- little wiggins, 04:07:50 08/02/01 Thu

This isn't a buffy dream, but it's a passions one which kinda has an association to buffy. I had a dream that I was in a mac cafe buying coffee for kay and charity and my own was a free small cappanico.... Kay had a tall cappanico and charity had a turkish coffee in one of my mum's regular sized smoky coloured see through cups. We were standing in line and the cashier told me it was $30. I looked through my purse/bag then at Kay and Charity and told them I wasn't expecting it to be that much. And they just looked back at me and then I woke up.

[> [> Re: Dreams -- Sil, 08:00:52 08/02/01 Thu

I find this both hilarious and eerie... what does that say about me?! and it was your dream, wha does it say about you??!


[> The Bill Bixby part is what gives me the wiggins. -- Solitude1056, 06:06:41 08/02/01 Thu

[> [> Well, okay, so there was this dream last night... -- Solitude1056, 06:35:32 08/02/01 Thu

Which, no surprise, starred Dawn throughout the dream, including several scenes set at work. I think she was polishing her nails with blue and orange nail polish while I was directing programmers to stick their fingers in the company's wall to plug all holes from nasty virii. That's about as much as I remember...

...but there was this dream I had last week or so, when I was in the middle of heavy-duty code cleanup on the group story, and trying to code several other fictionary independent pieces for those authors. I had a dream where I couldn't talk to, or interact with, anyone unless I checked the HTML code superimposed on either side of them. And if I was missing an angle bracket or a closing hyper marker, I'd get an error and not be able to continue with the dream until I'd fixed it.

See, now THAT'S a sign I need (another) vacation!

[> [> Re: The Bill Bixby part is what gives me the wiggins. -- Mike, 07:11:09 08/02/01 Thu

I'd like to think that the Bill Bixby part was subconsciously arbitrary, and that I don't really have a fetish for old craggy faces (no offence intended Sol!)

[> Re: Dreams -- Tanker, 07:35:20 08/02/01 Thu

I'd love to participate in this thread, but the Buffy and Angel dreams I've had lately were so disturbing that I'm afraid I will freak people out for real. Let's just say that one included dismembered corpses. Actually, I can't even remember what that one was about. Just as well.

I do remember my first ever Buffy dream, a few years ago. I was a generic bad guy, and Buffy beat me up. That's about it. She was really sexy when she beat me up, though.

I'll just include one scene from the Angel dream I had yesterday, which I'd really like to talk about, but it's like, NC-17. For violence. Anyway, I was again a bad guy. I saw Angel in an alley and approached him with the intent to kill and rob him. He saw me coming, and grinned. Then he vamped. Then he *flew* through the air in a graceful arc and landed next to me.

What happened next, without going into details, was that I "rewound" the dream so that instead of Angel killing me, I was able to fight him off. The dream became just lucid enough. I've had quite a few dreams like that, where I'm about to be killed or something, and I stop the dream and set it up so I win. This one just happened to have Angel in it.

-- Mike (I'm NOT a violent person. I've been in exactly one fight in my life, and am such a big crybaby that it's pathetic. I just have violent dreams.)

[> [> I believe you! -- Mike, 07:50:12 08/02/01 Thu

I really do. The mind has a habit of exploring things which we bury so deep subconsciously that we don't even know it exists. that's why sometimes we wake up and think "wow, what was all THAT about!" In it's own way, the mind expressing that is a release, so it never DOES become a conscious thought or action. HEALTHY!!

I love it when dreams don't make any sense, though I cannot profess to be any kind of expert on them, and what they mean.

I have to say i am thoroughly jealous you had a lucid experience though. that has never happened to me :(((

This thread is fascinating so far. Sol, holiday now!!

[> Dreams, in general... -- Wisewoman, 11:54:16 08/02/01 Thu

While I've never had a Buffy-related dream (that I remember) I have had a couple that significantly impacted my life.

In my 30s I used to dream a lot about bears. Grizzly bears. And being attacked by them. I remember one dream where I was in the kitchen of my house, and I heard something at the back door and I just knew it was a bear. So I stood there, kinda frozen with fear, and the bear took a swipe at the door, broke right through it and shoved it's head inside. The thing was, in the dream I not only saw the bear, inches away from me, very clearly, saw the yellow-ivory color of it's lower teeth, with grooves of a nicotine color running through them, saw it's grey-pink tongue, it's black, wet nose, small, amber-colored eyes, etc, etc, but I felt the heat from it's body and fur, and I smelled both the wild fur smell of it's body and the hot smell of it's breath.

It was absolutely the most vivid dream I've ever had. I had lots of other dreams of bears, but not as three-dimensional as that one. Eventually, I decided to take the bear as my "totem" and started collecting images and statues of bears, and the dreams stopped.

My understanding of dream interpretation is that everything in the dream represents a part of yourself. If that's the case, then the bear was a very powerful and scary part of myself that I wasn't willing to face. Maybe by accepting the bear as a totem, I did that...who knows?


[> Speaking of dreams... -- Anthony8, 13:00:02 08/02/01 Thu

...remember that dream in 'Innocence' (?) where Buffy reaches to grab Angel's hand just as he turns to ashes? When I was a kid, about 5 or 6 at the time, I used to have a recurring dream that I was on fire, and as I tried to run out into the hall of our apartment to get help, my legs would turn to ashes underneath me preventing me from advancing. Then the smoke and ashes would choke the air so much that I couldn't make a sound. When I saw the BtVS episode, that dream came back to mind so vividly.


[> Coupla of us recently performed a spell and summoned the power of the First Poster ;) -- mundusmundi, 14:54:35 08/02/01 Thu

Nah. But I did recently dream I was helping Buffy, Xander and Willow collect weapons for some vamp job. Guess that's better than dreaming of opening a hardware store with Giles.

Queer As (Undead, Bloodsucking) Folk -- dan, 21:35:44 08/02/01 Thu

So I've been thinking lately about how I can divide up my friends, relatives, and acquaintances into two camps:
1) Hip to Buffy
2) Not Hip to Buffy.

And i've realized that way more of the people that i know who are into buffy are GLBT (gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered) as compared to those people that i know who are not into buffy.

While I wouldn't call BtVS a 'gay show' (anymore than I would call it a 'straight show'), I think that there is something about the show that powerfully appeals to GLBT folks, and it does tap into something that for lack of a better term I'll call a queer sensibility.

(A note on terminology: as a young gay guy who's been out for years, I feel comfortable in using "queer" as a blanket term for GLBT folks. Why? Well, I'm not the world's biggest fan of unwieldy acronyms, I like the inclusiveness of the word, and I like the political charge it carries as a reclaimed insult. I know that some people aren't crazy about the word. If you're one of those, pretend I wrote "GLBT" everytime I use the word "queer.")

Of course, the show's always been comfortable with putting in queer subtext and text, from Larry the football player to the sensual charge between Buffy and Faith. And of course, Willow and Tara have been a huge draw for queer viewers. But I think the show's draw for queer folks is more than just visibility.

I think that the show's grappling with issues of gender expectations, notions of created "non-traditional" families, and the many impacts that sex and sexuality can have upon life are all themes that have a special charge for queer folk.

I also think that the show's curious mixing of tones (what other show on television has made me laugh so hard, actually tear up, AND powerfully freaked me out? Answer: none.) resonates in a way for queer folks. It feels like the show taps into the rich heritage of camp and puts its own spin on it.

ech. i think i'm too tired to write this post fully now. i'll just send this misshappen missive out now and garner some feedback. does all of this seem way off base?


[> Re: Queer As (Undead, Bloodsucking) Folk -- Wiccagrrl, 22:13:14 08/02/01 Thu

I think you may have a point. I hate generalizations, but...I think that Buffy may resonate with quite a few people in the queer community for a lot of reasons. It's campy, the subtext is undeniable (and has become maintext in some cases), there is a certain amount of genderbending that challenges traditional gender roles, and, one of the biggest things for me- From the start, Buffy dealt with a core group who were somewhat outsiders- not fitting into societal norms. It dealt with people who felt alienated to some extent, and how they coped with that. It had a hero who struggled every day with wanting to feel "normal" (whatever that means). It dealt with taboo/unconventional relationships. Looking at eps like Becoming, where Buffy comes out of the weapons closet to Joyce, I think it's easy to see where some of the themes/issues dealt with could strike a chord with GLBT fans. Besides, Joss works on a very metaphorical level, and I think that a lot of us in the gay community have gotten used to reading between the lines when it comes to mass media.

Crossovers -- Mike, 04:11:22 08/03/01 Fri

Aaargh, my threads are disappearing SOO quickly, I'm having to think of new ones off the top of my head (which can ONLY mean trouble!!!)

I was wondering with which series would you liek to see Buffy crossover? And of course this is hypothetical, so it could be ANY series

For example, Charmed would be interesting, and the X-Files, but they're kinda obvious selections.

How about something more interesting like...

Ally McBeal?? Buffy stakes Ling, Xander thaws the Ice Maiden, Willow hooks up with John Cage... er...

[> Re: Crossovers -- Brian, 04:48:13 08/03/01 Fri

How about Nash Bridges, just up the road in SF?
The Scoobies gang with Joyce goes North to wipe out a vampire nest that turns out to be robbing banks, and Nash is on the case:
Nash thinks Joyce is hot:
Evan tries to seduce Buffy:
Willow and Harvey do the computer thing, while Giles and Harvey do a 60's duet of some Grateful Dead song:
Xander is smitten with Cassidy:
Anya and Joe get together to work out some crazy money making scheme:
Buffy and Nash discover they have an "Angel" in common:
Nick thinks Buffy must be family as she is the "spitting image" of Nash's mother.

[> Re: Crossovers -- Cactus Watcher, 06:55:17 08/03/01 Fri

How about Friends? Buffy + gang visit NY and chase demon to the vicinity of Central Perk. Scoobies meet Friends when Buffy stakes Phoebe, because she obviously is not human. Fortunately, Phoebe is not a vampire either and survives. Phoebe and Buffy swap stories about their mothers and about having new siblings pop-in out of nowhere. Willow de-rats Amy just long enough for Ross to marry her. Amy goes back to rat form and Ross moans about marrying a rat for the rest of his life. Joey says "How you doin'?" to Dawn, which leads Spike to the discovery he can beat up moronic actors. Chandler and Tara feeling left out, kiss each other as a joke. Rachel sees them and thinks the worst, but she can't tell anybody because a) If Buffy thought Phoebe was a vampire, Monica is taking no chances, and is hiding in Jersey. b) Rachel would never talk to anyone with Willow's taste in clothes.

[> [> Re: Crossovers - Buffy meets Classic Star Trek - This is fun -- Brian, 08:45:47 08/03/01 Fri

While the Enterprise is exploring, Shock finds a new energy source that seems to have its origin rooted in 2001. Using the sling shot effect, they travel back in time, and end up in Sunnydale (The energy source is the Hellmouth, stretching across time). They meet the Scoobies and wackiness ensues:

Willow and Spock discover their mutual appreciation of computers. Kirk hits on Buffy (great grossout factor here).
Xander and Checkov argue about who has better contruction technigues, The Russians or the US. Joyce falls for Bones' swave Sothern charm. Nurse Chapel and Tara share a couple of bottles of Romulian Ale as their respective honeys appear so wrapped up in each other. Giles and Sulu compare fensing technigues. Spock discovers that the Vulcan pinch works on vamps. Anya checks the computer records looking for future hot stock tips. The respective groups discover that a solid phaser blast into the Hellmouth will seal all of them forever. Buffy gets to retire; Angel becomes human, they get married and move to San Diego. Kirk and company return to their own time era. Later Spock comments that the desendents of Buffy and Angel move to Iowa, and are actually ancestors of Jim Kirk.

[> Re: Crossovers -- Earl Allison, 08:50:10 08/03/01 Fri

How about a crossover with "Gargoyles," the late, lamented animated series from Disney?

Buffy and the Scoobies travel to Manhattan, where they cross paths with Goliath and his Clan -- obvious misunderstandings occur when Buffy assumes the gargoyles are demons and tries to kill them. However, the two sides need to work together to stop Demona from unleashing some new arcane threat.

Brooklyn would try desperately to impress Buffy (what the heck, he's thrown himself at Maggie Reed and Angela already, Buffy would just be next in line).

Giles could check out Xanatos' private library and collection of arcane items -- maybe even meet MacBeth himself!

Xander and Anya could teach Bronx some stupid pet tricks, and Anya can fuss over baby Alexander Xanatos ("Why look, he's even got your name, Xander!").

Willow and Tara could compare notes (magically) with Puck (Owen's true form) and see how their witch magics compare to Fey magic.


Take it and run.

[> Buffy meets The A-Team -- mundusmundi, 12:56:02 08/03/01 Fri

Yes, I can see it now.

Yet again on Halloween, Ethan Rayne performs a spell that causes Hannibal to get possessed by a monster while in costume on a movie set. The Scoobies join The A-Team on the case, but Willow has to use magic to fool B.A. into thinking they didn't travel by plane. Compulsive womanizer Face sleeps with Buffy, only to lose his Gypsy curse of tiresome one-dimensionality and becomes an interesting character. Xander's jokes start getting on B.A.'s nerves --"Shut up, fool!" he bellows -- and crazy Murdock unnerves Dawn by saying, "I know who you are, Curds and Whey. You don't belong here!"

At the end of the show, Giles smirks, lights a cigar and says, "I love it when a plan comes together."

[> Re: Crossovers -- vampire hunter D, 13:19:10 08/03/01 Fri

I would like to see an Angel/Forver Knight crossover. Come on, lets put the two biggest remorseful vampires on tv at once! It would also be interesting to see Dru and Darla hook up with Lacoix(sp?)

[> Re: Crossovers -- Rattletrap, 18:45:52 08/03/01 Fri

Maybe an Angel/Seventh Heaven crossover in which Darla and Dru eat the Camdens. OK, it might not be a crossover in the conventional sense, and you'd still have to fill another 40 minutes of air time, but I'd watch it . . .

[> Re: Crossovers btvs with dr who/star trek/forever knight -- gds, 20:59:19 08/03/01 Fri

If you really want cossovers there are some.
is the starting point. Some specifics are

[> [> Oh, neat...... -- Rufus, 18:55:16 08/04/01 Sat

I know I'm tired when I thought one of the titles was the Secret of embarrassed here....:):):)I bookmarked it to read when more with it.

[> Re: Crossovers -- Rosenberg, 21:17:18 08/03/01 Fri

I gotta go with the Buffy/Seinfeld crossover. George could be knocked into another demension after asking too many lesbien questions to Willow and Tara; Giles and Kramer become good friends until he burns his magic shop down; Jerry gets rid of all the furniture in his apartment after Buffy stakes a vampire and the vampy dust sprays everywhere; Elaine hits on Spike, but stops because he uses the word "bloody" too much. Ahhh, memories . . .

And where would we be if Anya and Morty Seinfeld didn't go into business together?

[> [> Re: Crossovers-Buffy meets The Highlander -- Brian, 04:47:51 08/04/01 Sat

Since both are fantasies and there are about a zillion fan fictions already written that crossover the shows, Buffy meets the Highlander seems a natural.

A nasty demon leaves LA with Angel, Cordelia, and Doyle hot on his trail. This demon stops off in Sunnydale, and robs the Magic Shop of some vital artifacts that could bring disaster to the world. So the Scoobies are on the case. The demon moves north to Highlander country: The Scoobies et al. follow and high jinks ensue:

Joe and Giles get together for some funky blues, and trade watcher stories. Doyle, Spike, and Methos go out for some serious drinking. Willow and Tara get some witchy tips from Cassandra. Ritchie hits on Buffy, Willow, Cordelia, and Anya. Cordelia, Anya, and Amanda borrow Mac's credit cards for some serious shopping. Joe and Joyce hit it off, and compare notes on the trials and tribulations of dealing with superpowered responsibilities. Ritchie and Xander get into a tiff about who's more ineffective in a battle. Angel and Mac compare brooding techniques. Mac shows Buffy some new sword fighting techniques. Willow and Joe do the computer thing. Xander develops a crush on Amanda, but realizes she's too young for him. Fitzcairn shows up and he and Anya develop a get rich scheme. The demon? Oh, Mac and Buffy does some sword work, and turn him into sushi.

[> [> lol! -- mundusmundi, 06:45:59 08/04/01 Sat

Or, Jerry could have stake-envy. ;)

Classic Movie of the Week - August 3rd 2001 - GP / BT! -- OnM, 22:18:06 08/03/01 Fri

OK, like I promised last week, this month we're going to do something a little different.

A few weeks back, when I did my 'anti-review' of *The Avengers: The Movie*, I compared it to *Star
Wars: The Phantom Menace*, with the primary comparison being that I felt the critical failure of both of
these movies was not in that they didn't look good, or have adequate acting talent available, but that in
each case, despite creating a substantial degree of very appealing 'eye candy', the films lacked the element
of 'soul'.

Now, I'm not referring here to what James Brown exhibits when he sings, but more so the type of soul that
we talk about when we discuss the Buffyverse. Within the context of that universe, Joss has defined 'soul'
as being the sort of core essence of sentience that drives it in the general direction of doing good. As we
have seen time and again over the last five years, this isn't anywhere as simple as it sounds at first. The
nature of moral ambiguity is that one can, with the very best intentions, end up committing an act with evil
consequences. Conversely, the act of a normally evil being can have unforseen consequences of good.

If a movie has 'soul', it doesn't automatically mean that it is a good movie, but at least in most cases it
means that there were good intentions afoot somewhere. Even if the flick was basically intended as a tax
writeoff for the producers, the cast and crew and writers can still have some fun with it and thus entertain
or enlighten us, albeit in a somewhat more humble fashion. In fact, budget is *not* a factor in making many
great films, nor is great acting talent, or any of the other stuff normally deemed desirable. All you really
need is good intent, and some modicum of sincerity and cleverness.

All of which brings us to this month's conceptual arc, which is 'Guilty Pleasures/Buried Treasures'. During
the next four weeks, I am going to be discussing some films that are not only not 'great' films, but that in
most cases would make the average movie critic choke on their $5.00 popcorn. That's right, we're talking
about those movies that you and I have seen that when you leave the theater with your friends, they are
laughing and making jokes about just how awful those last two hours of their collective lives were, and
you're thinking to yourself-- 'Huh? How come they didn't get it? They didn't see the third act as a send-up
of Scorsese's obsession with the eternal conflict between the essential violent, animalistic nature of man vs.
his pretensions to spirituality? And what about the use of background color themes to comment visually on
the root causes of the protagonist's schizophrenic behavior?'

OK, so you see what is going on, and they all missed the boat. Your friends hated it, the critics hated it, the
theater closed the run after only one week because no one showed up after the third day of screenings.
You can't possibly be right in your evaluation of this film, now can you?

Well, buck up pookie, of course you can be right! Whadda they know? It meant something, struck a
sympathetic chord, rang your bell, made your millenium. Art is *very* subjective, and just because 20
million people thought it sucked eggs, and you made an omelet out of it, that's your gain and their loss! So
to all those movie mavens out there who thought that *Phantom Menace* rocked, or even that *Avengers:
The Movie* was just grotesquely misunderstood (What, are you wacko????), rest assured that you have a
sympathetic eyeball in your weekly movie-man here, for I feel your pain and raise you some heartache. I
will now prove my intellectual allegiance to you by starting out this last month of the summer with four,
(count 'em, four!!), manic movie monstrosities that nonetheless warm the cockles of my 24 frame heart, or
at least give me a decent giggle or three.

Starting right now:

OK, let's face it, we've got 'bots on our minds these days.. No, no, don't deny it! You moan and you
kvetch and you bitch up a storm, but you've got a case of the 'bots for this popular popular cultural
artificial artifact. I mean, they're everywhere. Spielberg has conjured up the celluloid spectre of Kubrick,
and melded his gee-whiz-ism all over it, or at least all over the last half hour of it. Long before A.I. there
was Kubrick sans Spielberg and the HAL9000. In between the two of them is/was Commander Data of
Trek fame, he of the positronically-Asimov-inspired brain fame. Today, there are 'real' robots fighting
junkyard wars on Tech TV, mowing your lawn, assembling your cars, and of course, more fictionally,
playing the fool for the love of bleached-blond vamp bad boys in our own beloved Buffyverse.

What's not to love, huh? I ask ya?

Well, I like 'bots, as stand-ins for us Orgs, there are none better. We look at them and see our (insect?)
reflection, for good or for bad. The science fiction genre has been a Mecca for Mechas for well over a
century now, and I wouldn't look for the romance to be over anytime soon. And speaking of romance, sex
and 'bots and the nature of what it means to be human (or not) and in love (or in lust) have been the
subject of fantasies since Ben Franklin first discovered that electrons can make things vibrate.

Now, as Sherman sets the Wayback Machine to 1987, we will miraculously appear in the local movie
house to see a new take on the time-honored classic story of boy meets girl, boy makes mad passionate
love with girl, girl shorts out in large puddle of dishwater that is overflowing the sink, and boy discovers
girl is a discontinued model. Lights! Action! Drama!

The boy (well, actually a man), one Sam Treadwell (David Andrews), is at the robot repair shop where the
tech is sadly remarking about the 'complete internal meltdown' of Sam's treasured lovebot, a long lost
classic model of sensitivity, passion, grace and craftmanship, known as 'Cherry'. And not just any Cherry
model, but the creme de la creme of Cherries, the '2000'. Sam looks over some possible replacements, but
it is clear his heart just isn't in them. He decides that he will just have to deal with the loss, move past it,
and possibly date some real women instead.

This isn't as easy as it seems, because the dating scene has gotten sort of complicated in the middle 21st
century. Nightclubs are filled not only with dancing, sensual bodies, but also with lawyers and computers
who happily map out contracts to ensure that the subsequent nights of passion will meet everyone's needs,
or else provide suitable legal means for compensation. Sam finds this depressing, and to such a great extent
that he decides to engage some professional help for a dangerous course of action-- he hires a 'tracker', in
this case one E. Johnson, to locate and retrieve one of the last remaining Cherry 2000's from a robot
warehouse deep in the heart of a vast desert wasteland. Since he still possesses Cherry's 'chip', which
contains all of her personality, her robot 'soul' so to speak, if he can just get a new body, his beloved will
arise from the ashes of the past, and spring to life and love once more.

Does Sam succeed? Well, maybe. Does the 'E. Johnson' he's told to seek out as being one of the finest
trackers around lead him on a trail of wild and crazy adventures? Well, of course. Does the fact that E.
stands for Edith, and that she is one clever, intelligent, resourseful and (of course) sexy l'il tracker mean
that Sam will see the error of his robot-lovin' ways and start doing the real once more?

Whadda *you* think? Of course he does, she does, the 'bot does, everyone does, and I guarentee you will
see all this coming from a parsec away, but you won't care, because this silly, predictable, deliberately
derivative B-flick has the one thing that make you not care about any of the normal attributes of great
movie making, and that one thing is... soul.

It has soul because of the scene in the Glu-Glu Club where none other than Larry Fishburne does a short
guest spot as one of the legal beagles.

It has soul because in the repair shop scene, in the background behind Sam Treadwell as he looks forlornly
over his burned out bride, you can see the robots from *The Day the Earth Stood Still* and *Forbidden
Planet* leaning against the wall.

It has soul because of a clever stunt involving lifting a car over a canyon with a giant electromagnet and
crane, and then dropping it down into a water-filled cavern where a guy named Six-Fingered Jake waits on
a raft to take them to his home, where he has all these toaster ovens stashed.

It has soul because it understands how to properly parody a Mad Max movie and a Vangelis score.

It has soul because the villian uses phrases like 'I'm feeling negative energy here...' while his face is
smeared with ointment from getting stung by bees that he keeps on his 'Sky Ranch' in the middle of the

It has soul because the heroine is one of those scrappy, can-do types, who always does.

It has soul because despite making the moral of the story eminently plain, it still never treats Cherry as a
joke or overtly degrades her, even though that would be the obvious thing to do.

It has soul because the producers had the good sense to cast Melanie Griffith as E. Johnson, and she and
David Andrews have great on-screen chemistry.

And it has soul that comes from the obvious fact that everybody-- writiers, cast, and crew-- clearly had a
blast making this silly little movie, 'cos it's all up there on the screen.

So, my friends, 'bot'n up your overcoat, treadle on down to the video store, and rent yourself a copy of
Steve De Jarnatt's *Cherry 2000* this weekend. It's the perfect antidote to a life (or at least a summer) of
thinking too much.

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technical Mecca:

*Cherry 2000* is available on DVD. The film was released in 1987, running time is 1 hour and 38 minutes.
The main soundtrack is English Dolby Surround, with a French Mono second soundtrack. Subtitles are
available in French and Spanish. The original theatrical aspect ratio is 1.85:1, which is preserved on the
DVD, and enhanced for 16x9 televisions (anamorphic). Director of photography is Jacques Haitkin. Music
was composed by Basil Poledouris.

Main cast overview:

David Andrews .... Sam Treadwell
Melanie Griffith .... E. (Edith) Johnson
Jennifer Balgobin .... Glory Hole Clerk
Marshall Bell .... Bill
Harry Carey Jr. .... Snappy Tom
Laurence Fishburne .... Glu Glu Lawyer
Pamela Gidley .... Cherry 2000
Michael C. Gwynne .... Slim
Brion James .... Stacy
Ben Johnson (I) .... Six Fingered Jake
Jeff Levine (I) .... Marty
Jennifer Mayo .... Randa
Cameron Milzer .... Ginger
Howard Swain .... Skeet
Jack Thibeau .... Stubby


I don't usually go into the greater level of detail on the actors and such like I'm doing here, but since these
two people might not be the biggest names in the firmament of your movie mind, I thought I'd crib a few
stats from the IMDb and park 'em here for you, just so you can get some kind of a handle on what other
work these folk have been involved with. First, the director of *Cherry 2000*:

Steve De Jarnatt - Director

Planet Rules (1995) (TV)
"ER" (1994) TV Series (episodes "Masquerade" & "Truth & Consequences")
Miracle Mile (1989)
Cherry 2000 (1987)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985) (TV)

Steve De Jarnatt - Writer

Futuresport (1998) (TV) (story)
"The X Files" (1993) TV Series (episode 2.18 "Fearful Symmetry")
Miracle Mile (1989)
Black Moon Rising (1986)
Strange Brew (1983) (...aka The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie)

Steve De Jarnatt - Producer

"Kindred: The Embraced" (1996) TV Series (co-producer)


Next, the guy who plays the other lead across from Melanie Griffith (and does a darn good job!):
David Andrews - (Actor)

Hannibal (2001) .... Clint Pearsall
Navigating the Heart (2000) (TV) .... William Sanders
Switched at Birth (1999) (TV) .... James Barlow
Fight Club (1999) .... Thomas at Remaining Men Together
The Color of Courage (1999) (TV)
Fifteen and Pregnant (1998) (TV) .... Cal Spangler
"From the Earth to the Moon" (1998) (mini) TV Series .... Frank Borman
Bad Day On the Block (1997) .... Reese Braverton
"Murder One" (1995) TV Series .... Michael Biden
"The Monroes" (1995) TV Series .... William (Billy) Monroe
Apollo 13 (1995) .... Pete Conrad
Wyatt Earp (1994) .... James Earp
Deconstructing Sarah (1994) (TV) .... Paul
"Mann & Machine" (1992) TV Series .... Detective Bobby Mann
Living a Lie (1991) (TV) .... Lonnie
"Antagonists, The" (1991) TV Series .... Jack Scarlett
Graveyard Shift (1990) .... John Hall
A Son's Promise (1990) (TV) .... Wayne O'Kelley
Blind Faith (1990) (TV) .... Ricky Dunbar
Cherry 2000 (1987) .... Sam Treadwell
"Pulaski" (1987) TV Series .... Larry Summers (aka Pulaski)
Kerouac, the Movie (1985) .... Dean Moriarty
Wild Horses (1985) (TV) .... Dean Ellis
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) .... Foreman
The Burning Bed(1984) (TV) .... Wimpy Hughes
"Legend of Death" (1965) TV Series .... Theodore
"Promised Land" (1996) playing "Frank Conroy" in ep: "Bookworm" (episode # 2.11)
"Equalizer, The" (1985) playing "Dale Stevens" in ep: "Race Traitors" (episode # 4.20)
"Miami Vice" (1984) playing "Jack Crockett" in ep: "Jack of All Trades" (episode # 5.12)
"The Equalizer" (1985) playing "Del Larkin" in ep: "Dance On the Dark Side, A" (episode # 3.12)
"L.A. Law" (1986) playing "Mr. Simmons" in ep: "Princess and the Weiner King" (episode # 1.3)
"Miami Vice" (1984) in episode: "One Eyed Jack" (episode # 1.6)


News and Miscellanea:

*New Movie Alert*-- Got out this week to check out *Legally Blonde*. I saw the trailer a few weeks ago,
and was pretty dubious, but since Reese Witherspoon is starring in it, I figured I'd give it the benefit of the
doubt, since I think she is one of the most delightful actors to grace the screen in a long time. I have in fact
now amended the Ebertian 'M. Emmett Walsh Rule' to include Reese Witherspoon, i.e., 'No movie in
which Reese Witherspoon appears can be completely bad'.

There are a couple of false moves in *Legally Blonde*, but they are minor ones, and that doesn't stop this
from being a wonderfully entertaining experience. The opening sequence, beautifully shot, edited, scored,
and acted, shows that there is a real intelligence behind the seemingly fluffy subject matter, and the film
keeps you involved pretty much throughout. Witherspoon's natural effervescence keeps you rooting for
her character to triumph in the end, which of course you know long before that occurs, but you don't
care-- it's a ride. Go for it.

Speaking of Japanese 'Anime', which I was a few weeks ago when I reviewed *Princess Mononoke*, be
aware that *Akira* has just now been released on DVD. I haven't gotten to see the film yet, but I've heard
very good things about this 'masterpiece', so I'm looking forward to it, maybe this weekend if time frees
up for me to pop it in the player.


Finally, the Question of the Week, and an easy one, if you're brave, that is:

What is your favorite Guilty Pleasure / Buried Treasure, filmwise?

(Aw, c'mon, you wanna tell us, you know you do!)

Post 'em if you got 'em, and see you next week!


[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - August 3rd 2001 - GP / BT! -- d'Herblay, 22:41:57 08/03/01 Fri

One credit you left out, of interest here.

Ben Johnson(I) (Six Fingered Jake):
Wild Bunch, The (1969) .... Tector Gorch

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - August 3rd 2001 - GP / BT! -- Liquidram, 23:04:14 08/03/01 Fri

Thanks for the memory of Cherry 2000... I found this film one Sunday afternoon many years ago and loved it. I spent half the time crying over her Mustang because my beloved '65 had just been hit broadside and totalled.

[> My guilty pleasure...Night of the Comet -- Rufus, 23:48:08 08/03/01 Fri

I even saw Cherry 2000, not the best in cinema but enjoyable. Makes me think of the Buffybot.

[> [> Actually, Night of the Comet, on the top of my BT list (ah, Sam and Regina)... -- Anthony8, 00:40:09 08/04/01 Sat

...along with Scorcese's 'After Hours' and Linklater's 'Before Sunrise.' My GPs would be 'Silent Running' (deranged astro/econaut Bruce Dern and proto-R2D2 'bots) and 'Westworld' (yet more 'bots).

[> [> [> Re: Guilty Pleasures: The Hidden -- Brian, 04:04:19 08/04/01 Sat

Nasty vs "good" alien, excessive violence, great music, Kyle MacLachlan auditioning his "Dale Cooper" pre Twin Peaks role, Michael Nouri is his last good action role, and, of course, Claudia Christian as a stripper in her first movie role.

[> [> [> [> The Hidden. Woohoo! -- Andy, 05:19:13 08/04/01 Sat

I remember going to see The Hidden with a friend of mine when we were in junior high school or around then and not expecting anything from it. We ended up having a ball. How can you not love a movie in which the aliens have predilections for heavy metal music and exotic, high performance sports cars? :) I need to get this one on dvd...

I don't really have any guilty pleasures. I tend to be of the mind that true art mostly emerges from people that don't necessarily set out to create it. Joss might say Buffy "ain't Shakespeare" but it is more artful than most shows that set out to be "important", for example. However, for a good "buried treasure" I'd like to recommend a film called The Blood of Heroes (alternate title: Salute of the Jugger). It stars Rutger Hauer, Joan Chen, Delroy Lindo, and Vincent D'Onofrio and it's a Mad Max derivative about a post-apocalyptic sports team travelling the ruined countryside, toiling in the "minor leagues" and trying to make its way to the Big City and win the Big Game. Fairly standard sports film plot but it becomes novel because of the setting and its sharp writing and direction (the game involves a runner charging across the field and attempting to implant a dog skull onto a spike while the other team attempts to maul her). The writer/director in question is David Webb Peoples, who wrote Blade Runner, 12 Monkeys, and Unforgiven (and Soldier and Leviathan, but we'll just ignore those ;)). It's fun stuff :)

[> [> [> [> Yes, I'd forgotten about The Hidden.....loved it...feel guilty as hell..:):):) -- Rufus, 17:04:14 08/04/01 Sat

[> Re: Guilty Pleasures -- mundusmundi, 06:26:58 08/04/01 Sat

I'm partial to Congo, which lord knows isn't a good movie, but it cracks me up everytime I see it. I also like, from the Renny Harlin oeuvre, Deep Blue Sea, which most critics excoriated as a dumb movie. I think it's a smart movie pretending to be a dumb movie. Note how the actors are killed, more or less, in order of talent (in today's blockbuster climate, the bad ones survive the longest).

Haven't seen Cherry 2000. But that director's first film, the apocalyptic satire Miracle Mile, is an interesting flick and a guilty pleasure in its own right.

[> [> Re: Guilty Pleasures -- Liquidram, 21:32:22 08/04/01 Sat

Samuel L. Jackson's climatic scene had to be one of the best EVER. I loved DBS.

[> Re: Does TPM count as a guilty pleasure/hidden treasure? -- Dedalus, 09:56:26 08/04/01 Sat

Mesa no tink so.

$450 million at the domestic box office. Nothing gets to $450 million on hype. (nothing gets to $200 million on hype)
Third highest movie domestic.

Almost a billion worldwide take. Second highest grossing movie of all time. Actually, highest grossing movie in Russia, even beating Titanic, despite the fact that they had missed the first three.

Over at RottenTomatoes, TPM is actually scoring a Fresh Rating with critics now. Over 60% of the reviews are at least marginally positive.

Over at the, TPM was rated second best Star Wars movie, beating out both ANH and ROTJ.

In a huge, nationwide poll in England, TPM was voted one of the top ten best films of the MILLENIUM.

The video sold five million copies in two days.

Within 24 hours of the announcement of its release on DVD, it was number one at Amazon.

I don't know. But anyway, if it can be counted as a hidden treasure or whatever, that's mine.

And just for the record, The Avengers was really, really bad. Not even comical bad. Just bad.

[> [> Hey hey now, no pickin' on... -- Solitude1056, 22:16:06 08/04/01 Sat

...anything that's got Uma Thurman in skin-tight leather. How could you go wrong with pure eye-candy? Then again, I saw it at the dollar theater so it's not like it cost me more than 2 hours of bliss & 100 pennies. ;-)

[> [> [> Hummm.. wonder what would happen if Tim Burton remade 'The Avengers' as a movie? -- OnM, 22:46:13 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> Johnny Depp as Steed? Hmmmm...I dunno... ;o) -- Wisewoman, 22:53:58 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> And I just thought Mrs. Peel would get a shinier cat-suit.......:):):) -- Rufus, 23:02:54 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Well, Burton has a gift for great casting choices. Who do you think... -- OnM, 23:16:37 08/04/01 Sat

...he would pick for Steed and Emma? Actually, I would accept Depp as Steed, he's a far, far better actor than people give him credit for, IMO.

[> [> [> [> [> [> LOVE Johnny, but... -- Wisewoman, 23:23:57 08/04/01 Sat

...I was thinkin' of some of Burton's leading ladies: Gena Davis and Kim Basinger would tower over him, Christina Ricci is too, I don't know, "white-bread" for Peel(?), Uma's done it, and Winona, well, we won't even go there!

What was that wonderful, weird dark thing he was in (there've been so many) was it called Dead Man? That never got the kudos is deserved, IMHO.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'd love to see someone with the presence of Diana Rigg....I just can't think of who? -- Rufus, 23:30:43 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe Emma Thompson? -- Anthony8, 23:38:37 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> She'd be my choice. ;o) -- Wisewoman, 10:20:00 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Dead Man, Mystery Train, A Night On Earth. Anything by Jarmusch works for me. -- Anthony8, 23:40:04 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> Re: Hey hey now, no pickin' on... -- Dedalus, 09:45:10 08/05/01 Sun

Me and TPM ... I swear ...

You think my Buffy essay was wild ... wait till you see some of my TPM thoughts.

[> [> [> [> Re: Hey hey now, no pickin' on... -- mundusmundi, 11:35:42 08/05/01 Sun

Guess this would be a realllly bad time to mention my George Lucas is Darth Vader theory?

*Drops the keyboard...hands in the air...backs away slowly...*


[> [> There's no one like OnM... -- Nina, 12:57:11 08/05/01 Sun

to pick a flick like Cherry 2000 and make it look so cool in his critic movie of the week! :) Got to love you for that! I saw the movie dubbed in French many many years ago and don't even remember the story that well. But definitely some Buffybot reminders there!

Guilty pleasure.... probably "Overboard". I saw that on tv, a night I was alone at home many years ago, and laughed through the whole thing like there was no tomorrow. I still don't understand what took me or what stung me that night...but I remember that as a guilty pleasure (as the movie is far from being Oscar material! :)

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - August 3rd 2001 - GP / BT! -- Vonnie, 14:51:46 08/05/01 Sun

I've been lurking on the board for a couple of weeks without posting because, well, I didn't have anything intelligent to contribute. I've since decided not to let little things like lack of a point stop me. :)

Hi everyone! I'm Vonnie, a season 5 Buffy convert, and I am a Spike-a-holic.

Now that's out of the way.....I loved OnM's review of "Cherry 2000". I caught it a couple of years ago on a late night cable, and was delighted at the whole thing and especially at how appealing Melanie Griffith was, given that I usually don't think much of her movies. Hmm. Time for a rewatch, I think.

My pick for GP/BT is "Wicker Man" (1973), which I had never heard of until this past year. I picked it up casually at a local video store, and.... Oh. My. God. It is one of the weirdist, funniest (somewhat unintentionally), scariest, most disturbing movies I've ever seen. And I've seen A LOT of movies. It's about this rather fanatically repressed devout christian police officer in Scotland who goes off alone to a remote isle to investigate a mysterious disappearance of a young girl. There he encounts a tightly-knit community of pagans, and to his horror comes to believe that the missing girl was a victim of a ritual sacrifice. Then things unfold in a truly unexpected way....

The grip the film has on me is kind of hard to describe. The 70's costume is cringe-worthy, and Christopher Lee (the main "villain") has a truly freightening hairdo rivalling the season 5 Xander-do. There is god-awful 70's folk-music that serves as a soundtrack, which weirdly transforms itself from laughable to ominous as the story progresses. There is also a half-erotic and half-ridiculous Dance of Seduction by the local nymphomanic played by the very nude Britt Eckland, who prances around like she is doing a solo at the Riverdance, the Swedish version. The dialogue is awfully stilted as well. Despite all that, the movie weaves a strange spell, and then WHAM! comes the denouement, which I won't spoil here for those who haven't seen it yet. Suffice it to say that it counts as one of the precious few moments of genuine horror I've thus far experienced. I get shivers even now, just thinking about the damn thing.

So a big Rec from me on "Wicker Man". It's not to everyone's taste, but it's memorable indeed.

[> [> Welcome, Vonnie! An auspicious debut... -- Wisewoman, 15:40:03 08/05/01 Sun

I was going through an Edward Woodward/Equalizer phase when I rented The Wicker Man, and it just blew me away. It truly is creepy, and yet fascinating.

Hey, and don't forget to cast your vote for Spike, in the thread above...I think we're in the lead!


[> [> [> Re: Welcome, Vonnie! An auspicious debut... -- Andy, 10:09:52 08/06/01 Mon

I think I'm going to have to give Wicker Man a try when the dvd comes out this fall (in a neat wooden box, no less!). Heard lots of good things about it :)

Oh! I know I said in my message above that I didn't really have any guilty pleasures and that I like what I like, but I just came up with a guilty pleasure I do have: Son In Law. It's got Pauly Shore in it but it makes me laugh. 'Nuff said :)

[> [> Hey.....I saw Wicker Man......liked it....... -- Rufus, 17:30:35 08/05/01 Sun

[> Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins -- Wilder, 20:33:14 08/05/01 Sun

Ahh, what a prophetic title.

But, if you love Fred Ward like I do (Tremors anyone?) .... Here our hero trains under the Asiatic stylings of our favorite reptilian resurrection doctor and has as a romantic foil none other than Captain Janeway.

"Watches are a confidence trick invented by the Swiss."

[> [> there's a GP/BT! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 21:05:40 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> Re: there's a GP/BT! ;o) -- LadyStarlight, 16:45:16 08/07/01 Tue

Don't remind me of Tremors! When my oldest was four, he DEMANDED Tremors or Tremors 2 every day for six months. I finally had to hide them and play dumb. (No, honey I don't know where they are. Honest.)

Of course, when he was 18 months old, his favorite movie was Maximum Overdrive. I hope because of the big trucks. Otherwise I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do in court someday...

[> [> [> [> Ha! Went through the, "Poppins? Where Poppins go?" thing with my nephews... -- Wisewoman, 17:06:04 08/07/01 Tue

I can't watch a Julie Andrew's movie to this day!

[> [> Re: Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins -- Jarrod Harmier, 18:40:53 08/07/01 Tue

"Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins"

That movie is one of the greates movies of all time.

Great writing. Great acting. Great action sequences. Great musical score.

This was based on a series of novels collectively called "The Destroyer". I only have one and the last time I checked--a few years ago--there were near a hundred in the series. The novel I have--"Dark Horse"--is filled with action but it was worth the cover price just for its political satire and skewering of certain "journalists".

"Yes, yes, senator. You have shown how rogue nations may now have the capacity for developing nuclear stockpiles. But what we all want to know is how does this affect the probability of Buffy/Xander, Lori/Merton, and Angela/Jacob romances?"

[> Buckaroo Bonzai -- purplegrrl, 08:41:38 08/06/01 Mon

Everytime I watch this movie I see something I missed before. Peter Weller is great as the hard rockin' physicist/surgeon/martial artist Buckaroo. Great music, fun dialog ("No matter where you go, there you are.", "It's not my goddamn planet, monkey boy!"), bizarre characters and situations. Watch it for a wide array of actors early in their career - Elaine Barkin, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd, Lewis Smith, Pepe Serna, Clancy Brown, to name a few.

I only wish they had made the promised sequel - "Buckaroo Bonzai vs. the World Crime League"!!

[> [> Would have done a CMotW on this already, if it was out on DVD -- OnM, 09:20:19 08/06/01 Mon

This film isn't a 'guilty pleasure' for me, it's a flat out great film. Clever and witty as all get out, for all the reasons you mentioned and more. I've used that phrase 'No matter where you go...' lots of times since seeing this for the first time. And the way Lithgow chews up the scenery? Priceless!

Whenever it does finally come out on DVD, rest assured it gets a column all for itself!

[> [> [> Re: Would have done a CMotW on this already, if it was out on DVD -- purplegrrl, 09:42:02 08/06/01 Mon

***This film isn't a 'guilty pleasure' for me, it's a flat out great film.***

Well, I agree. Unfortunately, I think a lot of critics viewed it as cultish.

(BTW, why does a film have to be on DVD to eligible for CMotW?? Most of us don't own a player, do we??)

[> [> [> [> Why DVD for CMotW? -- OnM, 18:27:08 08/06/01 Mon

Actually, it isn't a requirement, but it tends to depend on the film. Buckaroo Bonzai was shot in a very widescreen, 2.35:1 format, which you may notice since they often cut to a letterboxed format for the end credits, so that the text doesn't literally get chopped off the screen.

I have a big, big problem with this if the filmmaker uses the entire frame to set their visual style within. Thus, while the film can sometimes be enjoyable to watch in the heavily cropped version you see on VHS or cable, you really aren't watching the film as it was intended to be seen, and when I try to pick a film for review, I prefer to have it available to be seen just as it was in the movie theater.

I realize not everyone is as picky about this as I tend to be, but it's a matter of holding out for what the artists who create these works intend the end results to be. It's very much like if you wrote a really great story, then someone comes along and rewrites it, throwing out about half of everything you wrote because s/he 'likes short books better'.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Why DVD for CMotW? -- Jarrod Harmier, 18:56:58 08/07/01 Tue

I saw "2001: A Space Odyssey" on TNT in a letterboxed format. It would not have been the same if it had been shown full screen. I can't wait until it's rereleased in October.

Also, I really don't have guilty pleasures. I have pleasures that other people think I should be guilty about. Like the TV series "Buffy", "Angel", "Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict", "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda", and "Passions". And the movies "2001: A Space Odyssey" (best movie of all time, yet most people I meet at school don't get it), "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension" (funny and serious at the same time), "Big Trouble in Little China", "The Hidden", "Silent Running", "Cherry 2000", ""The Evil Dead", and "Barbarella".

"Yes, yes, senator. You have shown how rogue nations may now have the capacity for developing nuclear stockpiles. But what we all want to know is how does this affect the probability of Buffy/Xander, Lori/Merton, and Angela/Jacob romances?"

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Why DVD for CMotW? -- OnM, 23:45:31 08/07/01 Tue

*Barbarella* is another flick that is now out on DVD, and as a result looks extremely different than the way it typically looks when rerun on late night TV or cable.

A lot of people who are new to DVD (and didn't have laserdisc before it) are often disconcerted at first after they get a player, since the vast majority of films on DVD are presented in the original widescreen version. It can be a problem if you are watching on smaller than a 27" TV, but as the screen gets larger and larger, the image gets more and more cinematic, and more 'natural' looking. Your brain will adapt if you give it some time, even on smaller sets. I've been watching letterbox for so long now (being used to it from laserdisc days) that almost anytime I see a recent film formatted to 4x3 format, it immediately looks visually 'wrong' to me!

BTW, the main TV set in my house is a plain old little 27" jobbie, so I'm not as spoiled screen-size-wise as some readers night think!


[> [> [> "Home is where you wear your hat. I feel so breakup, I want to go home." -- Isabel, 15:56:19 08/07/01 Tue

It just loses something without John Lithgow's really weird 'Italian?' accent.

I love this movie. This and "Tremors" are two of my favorites. So if I can't list them as my guilty pleasures, (what, I'm not guilty about them. I cheerfully force them upon anyone foolish enough to sit in front of my television long enough.)

I think I'll have to say "The Gods Must Be Crazy." ("How did the Antichrist end up in the tree?" "I don't want to talk about it.")And I love that a Coke bottle is a curse from the Gods. ;)

[> Guilty Pleasure: The Villain -- Vickie, 09:27:05 08/06/01 Mon

*The Villain*
A Roadrunner cartoon, starring Kirk Douglas as Wile E. Coyote. With Ann Margaret as Charming Jones, Arnold Schwartzenegger(sp?) as Handsome Stranger ("My mother named me after my father").

And a cast of tens (Ruth Buzzi).

[> [> Re: Guilty Pleasure: The Villain -- purplegrrl, 09:35:18 08/06/01 Mon

Oh yeah!!

I love Douglas' smart-aleck horse, Whiskey.

[> GP / BT - Young Enstein -- Little One, 13:43:03 08/07/01 Tue

I admit, a Yahoo Serious movie tops my list of GP/BT movies. Young Enstien is so silly it is brilliant and it never fails to have me holding my sides in guffaws and chuckles (not to mention who can resist Enstein saving a bunch of mewing kittens from becoming a pie!). Even my father, my family's chief physicist, cynic and tinkerer, can't help laughing at this movie. In fact, he'll even take pull up a chair and partake of every pun and pratfall with great delight.

The previously mentioned Buckaroo Bonsai rates rather high on my list as well. It's a great movie and keeps getting better each time I see it.

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - August 3rd 2001 - GP / BT! -- Jarrod Harmier, 18:27:01 08/07/01 Tue

"Cherry 2000". I have that on tape. Funnny.

If you like Tim Thomerson--the villian of "Cherry 2000"--he is in two other movies with soul. "Trancers" and "Dollman".

Both are fun rides.

The first time I saw "Trancers" was on a Saturday at 10 PM on our town's local Fox station way back when. On Saturdays they used to run science fiction or horror movies. I had never heard of "Trancers", but I thought it would be kind of fun. It was. The movie was fillled with action, supspense, and humor. It also starred that actress from the TV series "Mad ABout You". Typical "Trancers" conversation: "What kind of name is Joe Gunn?" (In response to an old TV program the main character is watching.) "What kind of name is Jack Deth?"

"Dollman is about an alien cop who crashes on Earth. The tagline was: "Thirteen inches tall...with an attitude." It has to be seen to be believed. I'm glad it went straight-to-video because if it had released theatrically by one of the major studios, they would have ruined it. Just find it and watch it. I think you'll agree. It also has a rather bittersweet ending.

"Yes, yes, senator. You have shown how rogue nations may now have the capacity for developing nuclear stockpiles. But what we all want to know is how does this affect the probability of Buffy/Xander, Lori/Merton, and Angela/Jacob romances?"

Dedalus' excellent essay: THE MYTHOLOGY AND MAGIC OF BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER -- Liquidram, 15:23:43 08/04/01 Sat

Go visit it now at the site

Anymore out there? Send 'em over!

[> Re: Dedalus' excellent essay: THE MYTHOLOGY AND MAGIC OF BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER -- LadyStarlight, 15:45:15 08/04/01 Sat

Great job! If anyone ever asks me why I watch Buffy, I'll hand them a copy of your essay.

[> [> Re: Dedalus' excellent essay: THE MYTHOLOGY AND MAGIC OF BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER -- Tanker, 16:31:15 08/04/01 Sat

This is one of the essays that brought me to a place of peace and understanding with "The Gift" in the face of the naysaying that is still going on in other forums. I just wish I could be as articulate so that I could argue in its favor effectively. I always feel like Tim from "Tool Time" when he tried to repeat one of Wilson's bits of philosophical wisdom and botched it hilariously. Thanks for posting it again.

[> [> [> The Idea is the Thing -- Rufus, 18:42:09 08/04/01 Sat

Some people have a gift with the written word. That doesn't mean that you don't have ideas that are worthwhile. You may underestimate your own talents when it comes to expressing yourself. I find speech, for me is the closest I can come to truly expressing an idea. The written word isn't my favorite way of communicating ideas. So it's practice, practice, practice. Plus I throw some coma's and periods at a post to show I at least contemplated the concept of punctuation....:):):)

[> [> [> [> What she said, and furthermore... -- OnM, 21:17:28 08/04/01 Sat

it's all a matter of working with whatever you have and trying to improve it. When I go back and look at some of the early Classic Movie columns I wrote, just for example, I read 'em and think, 'Humm, these are kinda, well, average, i.e. boring.'

See, now I'm the opposite of Rufus, in that while I can speak reasonably well, writing works far better for me in that I'm naturally sort of slowish in coming up with clever thoughts or ideas. It only looks spontaneous because what you read in 10 or 15 minutes might have taken me three hours or so to compose! Not to mention that even after doing it for about 40 years now, my typing skills are still lousy!

This forum has been a great help to me in learning how to express myself, and that's why I try to 'pass it along', so that others who might question their abilities can do the same.

[> [> [> Re: Thinking, Writing, Becoming -- mundusmundi, 06:59:06 08/05/01 Sun

Meant to respond to you in my Dawn thread only to get sidetracked, but I wanted to say that you obviously express yourself very well. Personally, I have no problem with counter-opinions, so long as they're thoughtful and articulate (humor helps too). There's no shortage of that here, so stick around.

[> [> [> [> Re: Thinking, Writing, Becoming -- Dedalus, 10:03:55 08/05/01 Sun

I remember enjoying reading what Mike always had to say over on Usenet. Always good stuff. And he does express himself well.

Not to mention, he is funny as hellmouth.

God, that was a bad pun. But you get the point.

[> Fantastic essay! Really, really insightful! -- Kerri, 15:52:39 08/04/01 Sat

[> Damn! that's a cool essay -- vampire hunter D, 20:27:17 08/04/01 Sat

It's stuff like this that makes me wonder why I come here. I read something like that, and it just reminds me how big of an idiot I am compared to you guys.

[> [> Us idiots gotta hang together... -- Solitude1056, 21:02:47 08/04/01 Sat

...or we'll all, uh, hang separately. Ok, that didn't quite work out. But all seriousness aside, I find there's three types of philosophy showing up here, in the regular posters. Each serves its own purpose, and every person contributes more or less of each style, as it suits them.

1. Intellectual Style, aka "Big Words"

This is my specialty, so I get to make fun of it. Most of what falls in this area doesn't always have much practical use, but it sure sounds cool. Posts that require dictionaries and thesauri, or multiple advanced degrees in theoretical sciences or philosophies, are also covered by this style. Opponents frequently deride it as "showing off."

2. Emotional Style, aka "Small Words"

Transposes philosophy into "how I feel," or "how does it fit in the real world." Examples such as Spike compared to real murderer, Angel as question of redemption for drug addicts, Oz/Willow issue of control/fidelity in relationships. Opponents criticize this style as "not having enough big words."

3. Spiritual Style, aka "Just Enough Words"

Don't know how to describe it. A post, or essay, with soul remembers that it's a story with universal and specific elements, understands the mythic elements of the philosophy and the philosophical elements of the myth and acknowledges that there's real-life correlations to each. Opponents don't like it cause it doesn't lead to any inter-board arguments.

The only way I can think to put it without reducing myself to my usual preferred style #1 is to quote Tom Bodet, who speaks in one of his monologues about hearing a storyteller expound on Life. And, he says, you know the storyteller's got it just right when you find yourself nodding, and saying, "Yeah, it's just like that."

Go ahead & count yourself as one of the Idiot Gallery - you can sit next to me, if you squeeze in tight, there's a lot of us, it seems. Some of us are one style, and some another, and some a little of each, but so far every regular member has demonstrated soul... even us idiots. ;-)

[> [> [> Re: Us idiots gotta hang together... -- OnM, 22:30:42 08/04/01 Sat

Nice observations, Sol!

Or put another way:

1. Intellectual - "Life is a grand, glorious feast, it's vast richness demands that we partake deeply of it and relish all, from the initial teasing taste to final soul-burnishing afterglow."

2. Emotional - "Yeah, food is good and all, but don't eat too much or you'll get fat."

3. Spiritual - "Food... is."


[> [> [> Count me among 'em (the idiots that is)... -- Anthony8, 22:32:50 08/04/01 Sat

I would like be a #3, but everything comes out sounding like your description of #1. If I provoke any kind of response, I'm usually pretty happy. The great thing about this sanctuary, is that as long as everybody senses sincerity in a post they are quite forgiving when it comes to things like grammar, spelling, and ideas that seem a little scattered (guilty here on all three counts). Seeing how well everybody can express themselves here has really encouraged me to put out my best effort to improve my writing skills.

When I read such well written pieces like Dedalus' essay or OnM's Classic Movie of the Week posts, I can only sit back and think 'well done.' Okay, and then I think, 'Shite! Why can't I do that?' Instead, I just keep rambling on and on until I have to slap myself upside my head, pick up my guitar, retreat into a corner, and not think or say anything for a long, long while.

To those of you who are writers (you know, people who by nature or acquired skill are actually good at it) on this board, keep up the good work. To those of us who struggle to express ourselves as accurately as possible in written form, but sometimes (if not often)fall short, keep up the good work as well. This is really a wonderful thing we have going here!


[> [> [> [> It is, isn't it... -- Wisewoman, 22:47:51 08/04/01 Sat

"This is really a wonderful thing we have going here!

Truer words were never written.


[> [> [> [> [> ah-hah, excellent example of the third principle! -- Solitude1056, 22:51:35 08/04/01 Sat

Chalk up another "it's just like that."

[> [> [> [> [> [> Hey, us Wiccans got the spirit! In spades!! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 23:01:01 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Trying to explain it to someone, best I could come up with was 'Stone Soup' -- Anthony8, 23:29:52 08/04/01 Sat

It was kinda out of the blue, but the experience here brought to mind the the children's story 'Stone Soup.' From what I can remember of the story, it starts when a band of tired and hungry soldiers wander into a village. Wherever they ask for food and lodging they are refused because no one in the village feels that they have anything to spare. So after many futile attempts to secure what they need, the soldiers set up a large fire for cooking in the center of the village. When a curious villager asks what they are doing, the soldiers tell him that they are going to make 'Stone Stoup', a dish so delicious it can't be described. They have the key ingredient, the stone, but they are still missing a few items, potatoes for instance, that will make its taste absolute perfection. The first villager, who only has potatoes to eat offers them if he can share in the meal. To make an already long story shorter, in the end, each villager contributes what he or she has, (carrots, peas, parsely and so forth) until they have the ultimate soupy taste sensation. The soldiers and all the village people (not the 70's disco cabaret act, although that would have made for an interesting accompanying illustration on Captain Kangaroo) sit around the fire, swap tales, and have one incredible meal.

What the hell is my point anyway? The Internet is the village, the soldiers are Masq and whoever the first brave posters on the AtPoBtVS Board were, the Stone is the Jossverse, and the rest of us here are the villagers. We each have something delicious to contribute to the mix (a bit of philosophy here, a touch of sarcasm there, a sprinkle of theology here, a pinch of bawdy humor there...), but the sum is much greater than the parts. Each contribution plays off of the others, combining, recombining, branching out, generating an overtone or subtle note as the stew is stirred and stirred some more. Not unlike the way the flavors in a nice big pot of soup interact. But there's more. Behind the individual ingredients are diverse personalities and souls that serve as the ultimate flavor enhancer, and transform a great meal into an event. The stone, while obviously significant since it is the reason everybody came to the table in the first place, has given rise to something even more substantial--a community.

Anyhow, I'm finally in the process of re-reading The Lord of the Rings (first time in 15 years), and I'm just at the point in the story where Frodo and his travelling companions have just had their first meal with the elves. Oftentimes now when the discussion here gets into that place where anything can happen, I feel like Sam or Pippin with the elves in LOTR or one of the villagers in 'Stone Soup.' I wish I could have said it better, but that's it. So be it.


[> [> [> [> [> [> You did just fine......... -- Rufus, 23:32:59 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> Re: Us idiots gotta hang together... -- Rufus, 22:51:56 08/04/01 Sat

Hey, just found this as I was starting to read that book you told us about "The Laughter is on my Side", laughing like hell over the beginning about Danes and churchgoing. I think soon I may be due for that feet first entrance to church. But on the subject of idiots and soul...I am guilty of little emotional words as I want to make myself as clear as possible. I could never have done a post called "Buffy is an offender with anti-social tendancies". I'm having enough problems throwing those periods and coma's at the screen hoping they will find a happy home. The idea is the thing and everyone has something to contribute to this board.......chocolate anyone???...Canadian chocolate!!!:):):)

[> [> [> [> Make mine Purdy's Dairy Creams! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 23:07:01 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> long as we have drifted to Chocolate.......... -- Rufus, 23:23:52 08/04/01 Sat

No I repeat no chocolates with coconut for the First Evil aka Masquerade.......I wonder if she has had Purdies chocolates as of yet......she is a chocolate squisher you know.......Purdies makes awfully bit chocolates....:):):)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Are Purdie's chocolates Canuckian? -- Masq, 22:47:13 08/05/01 Sun

In that case, I'm entitled to have a serving. I am half a Canuck, after all.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> You haven't had Purdies chocolates???? -- Rufus, 23:13:02 08/05/01 Sun

I assume they must be Canadian as they have always been around where I live. They are very good....even the coconut ones......

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Think they're only Western Canadian... -- Wisewoman, 14:30:19 08/06/01 Mon

We didn't have them in Toronto when I was growing up, but I've sure made up for that since!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Are Purdie's chocolates Canuckian? -- anom, 11:18:45 08/06/01 Mon

"In that case, I'm entitled to have a serving. I am half a Canuck, after all."

Well, then you're entitled to *halve* a serving!

[> Re: Gee Whiz ... -- Dedalus, 20:33:05 08/04/01 Sat

You guys are too kind. I can't believe it got up so fast! That is just ... awesome.

And Liquidram, I hope that won't be the last thing I send in. I'm sorry I had to send it a couple of times, but every single time I would try to attach the file, it would keep saying "Download Aborted! Download Aborted!" Sigh. I have no idea what the trouble was.

I am so happy ya'll are pleased with it.


[> [> better not be the last thing you send in :) -- Liquidram, 21:09:17 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> Loved the essay, Ded... -- Wisewoman, 22:50:02 08/04/01 Sat

But, though I blush to say it, I always thought you were a girl! Sorry...


[> [> [> that's just cause he throws like one. -- Solitude1056, 22:54:01 08/04/01 Sat

sorry... couldn't resist!

[> [> [> [> You mean like the way Buffy threw that sword at the Council guy? -- OnM, 23:09:21 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> Isn't Dedalus a guy name ???? -- Rufus, 23:06:28 08/04/01 Sat

Not that I follow gender rules when it comes to names.

[> [> [> [> Well, yeah, that's the thing...I was being open-minded about a girl called Dedalus! -- Wisewoman, 23:08:57 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, yeah, that's the thing...I was being open-minded about a girl called Dedalus! -- Dedalus, 10:20:24 08/05/01 Sun

I appreciate open-mindedness, but yes, it is a guy name. Stephen Dedalus. Or Daedalus and Icarus.

And, incidentally, if I was a girl, wouldn't I be ooing and awing over Spike or Angel and leather coats?

Just to remove any doubt as to my true gender, I think that at some point during their epic battles in season three, Buffy and Faith should have just broken down and started making out.

*Dedalus' eyes roll back in his head, saliva drips off his tongue*

P.S. Incidentally, I do throw like a girl. But I have a good roundhouse kick.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Hmph - fan gender & attraction -- Solitude1056, 10:52:02 08/05/01 Sun

I think we should take a poll & determine, once & for all, if it's true that every fan of the female persuasion is naturally all googly-eyed over Spike and/or Angel. My sister has stated several times that she thinks they're both pretty boring, although she acknowledges now that JM is a damn fine actor... she still isn't that up for the character. Her preferences lean towards Oz and Gunn. While we're at it, go ahead & poll the males of the board & find out just how many automatically think Buffy is the end-all & be-all, since my housemate is adamant that he's finds Buffy pretty LA-stereotypical, if not downright boring (although he agrees The Body showcased SMG's abilities, he just doesn't find her attractive). He prefers Cordelia and Anya, curiously, and recently, Dawn.

So while we've got some adamant folks here who *are* googly-eyed about that bleach blond, I don't think it's true of everyone on the boards with the same set o' chromosones. Please, someone, prove me right! ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, yeah, that's the thing...I was being open-minded about a girl called Dedalus! -- Rufus, 13:47:03 08/05/01 Sun

"I do throw like a girl. But I have a good roundhouse kick."

Such a do I. The kick and throwing that is.....:):):):)

[> [> Re: Essay -- mundusmundi, 06:34:58 08/05/01 Sun

While I must confess that my favorite essay of yours remains "Oil is the lifeblood of your car" -- the funniest post I've read here -- this is also great stuff. Add my hosanna to the rest. :)

[> Good work! -- OnM, 21:21:37 08/04/01 Sat

Looking forward to eventually building up a nice collection of these on Liq's site!

[> [> Re: Good work! -- Dedalus, 10:23:02 08/05/01 Sun

Thanks. And while I do part company with your opinion of TPM - (comparing TPM to the Avengers is to me like comparing Buffy to She's the Sheriff, but anyway) - your own movie reviews are excellent.

[> Groovy Essay -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 14:40:18 08/05/01 Sun

Impressive diversity of references there!

I agree that the mythic aspects of Buffy are probably the most important part of the show and I have this strange idea that if a story is told well you will always be able to find symbolism running through it somewhere so that's the kind of analysis I really enjoy.

+ bonus points for mentioning Artur Schopenhauer!

"Dark Alchemy" Chap 14 current draft on site... 15 soon! -- Liquidram, 20:38:00 08/05/01 Sun

[> Yeah yeah!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!! : -- Nina, 20:56:05 08/05/01 Sun


[> Yay!!!!!!! -- Rufus, 21:11:10 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> Can I say how much I appreciate the... -- Nina, 08:34:38 08/06/01 Mon

fact that you put the new additions in blue! So easier to spot!!!! Mostly when it's a little paragraph here and there! Thank you so much. It was reader-friendly!!!!! :) :) :) :)
Keep the good work.

That new way to explain Marcus rituals makes me think about that Belgium movie called "Farinelli" (1994). Set in the 17th century a boy is castrated and lied to all his life by his brother. The brother tells him he fell from a horse and had to be castrated when the truth is that the brother consciously made the operation so the castra could sing his music. It's way more complex for Marcus, but that new explanation makes him even more endearing. Very well thought!

[> [> [> but how long before I should take the font back to black? -- Solitude1056, 08:41:14 08/06/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> Re: but how long before I should take the font back to black? -- Nina, 11:45:35 08/06/01 Mon

Well it's up to you...

It doesn't have to stay blue very long as people who don't read every day don't nead it (they'll catch the new stuff while they read the first time). One day would be fine. It could also be 2 days in case someone missed a day. It's really up to you! I don't want to drop too much work on your shoulders!

Science Fiction Writer Poul Anderson - Gone but not forgotten -- OnM, 22:10:13 08/04/01 Sat

Poul (William) Anderson
November 25, 1926 - August 2, 2001

You guys may have already seen this, but if not, one of the greats has recently left our current plane of existence. His written works had a goodly influence on me when I was in my youth, wondering if any of the rest of you are/were fans.

Here's a couple links courtesy of Google, for a bibliography and some short interview excerpts from Locus magazine.


*** Far from being an insignificant offshoot of the "mainstream," fantasy is the well-spring of
literature. It was likely the first form of storytelling, ages before the idea of writing
existed. Certainly the oldest narratives we possess are fantasy, tales of gods and heroes
who had adventures which could never happen in mundane life. Science fiction of a sort
came along not much later; for example, the Odyssey. "Realistic" novels didn't appear
until a mere thousand or so years ago, and have only become dominant in the past couple
of centuries. Today we seem to be witnessing at least a modest resurgence in the
popularity of the imaginative story.***

Poul Anderson
(c. 1978 from Wonderworks)

[> Thanks for posting this -- Cactus Watcher, 07:22:05 08/05/01 Sun

I hadn't heard. I enjoyed his "The Last Viking" series about the historical King Harold Hardraada of Norway.

[> [> Re: Thanks for posting this -- Tanker, 09:09:53 08/05/01 Sun

I loved the "King of Ys" series he did, about a Roman soldier who became the king of a mythical city around the turn of the 4th century. His historical notes were as much fun to read as the story itself. This is indeed sad news. He was a fantastic writer, and I use that word in both its literal and slang meanings.

Buffy, Dawn, the Slayer, and the Key -- Kerri, 23:22:03 08/04/01 Sat

Ok-my usual warning. I've got an idea-but please bear with me cause it'll probably sound a bit incoherent but there really is a point hidden in here somewhere.

So we know that Dawn is made from Buffy. They have the same DNA. They aren't the same person. They had different experiences in life and grew to be two differnt people-who share many of the same traits and a very, very close bond.

Ok-there was a post the other day about the origin of the slayer with regard to the info from "fray." There was discussion of how each slayer is chosen.

We know that possible slayers can be identified by the watchers before they are called, and that they don't have powers before they are called. When one slayer dies the next is called. How is the power passed from one slayer to the next? It could be that the spirit/demon/force, whatever it is that gives the slayer her abilities, moves to the next slayer because it, as its own entity, identifies something in the girl that makes her the slayer. Or TPTB control this thing and they cause it to pass to the next slayer.

So now I have a question: is the next slayer chosen because of her DNA(the potential that is recognisable in her) or is she chosen by what she has become at the time in which she is called.

I kind of lead toward the first option for a few reasons. First, potential slayers are identified at an early age. Second, if(and this is a big if) the force that moves from one slayer to another goes without the aid of TPTB or another outside force then perhaps it is recognising something in the next slayer's DNA. Third, Faith. Faith had potential. Maybe if her cercumstances had been different she would have done her duty as the slayer. We'll never know. But if someone like TPTB had looked at her at 16 they would have seen how dangerous she could be. Also-Buffy is told this is her "birth right"-she's been chosen for this since she was born.

So if we assume that the slayer is chosen based on her DNA, based on what she could become(what few ever do become-perhaps Buffy has become that now-but that's for another post) and we know that Dawn and Buffy have the same DNA then it would seem that Dawn also has the potential to be a slayer if one is needed while she is at the right age.

Moving on-the key.

From spiral:
BUFFY: It's not you, you know that.
DAWN: No, but it's in me.

A lot like the slayer. The key is a part of Dawn. It's in her.

Dawn's blood is the key. The key opens the portal. The key closes the portal. Buffy's blood closes the portal. Is she the key?

If only the key can open or close the portal then Buffy and Dawn must both be the key. They do have the same blood.

So-of course this leads to a question. When did Buffy become the key? Was it when Dawn became human? Dawn became the key and her blood became "the key to the key" as Glory called it.

Blood is what a person is. It represents their life. The key is a part of Dawn. So her blood-represnting everything she is-is the key. When Dawn became human her blood became the key-so did Buffy's.

So if this is true Buffy was physically changed by Dawn's creation. This would mean there is a new entity inside her.

Wow. This is all making my brain hurt! Would someone PLEASE help make some sense out of all this.


[> Re: Buffy, Dawn, the Slayer, and the Key -- Wisewoman, 23:32:44 08/04/01 Sat

Okay, this is one of the things that has kinda bothered me about the Buffy-diving-in-the-portal thing (I just use Rufus's magic clause!), but Dawn and Buffy must have similar DNA, sibling or mother/daughter DNA, rather than identical DNA because, hey, I'm not a geneticist, but if they had identical DNA wouldn't that make Dawn a clone of Buffy?...and so she would be shorter, blonder, and, well, Buffier...and I think this is probably the longest run-on sentence I've every created...must be time to go to bed!


[> [> I share my clauses but not my claws......:):):) -- Rufus, 23:34:07 08/04/01 Sat

[> [> DNA -- Cactus Watcher, 07:16:05 08/05/01 Sun

Yes, identical DNA would make Dawn an identical "twin." Identical twins don't always look 100 percent exactly alike, though they'd look a lot more like each other than Buffy and Dawn.
But, Wisewoman, haven't we seen Buffy's dark roots enough to know her blondness comes out of a bottle? ;o)

[> [> [> Case in Point -- Cactus Watcher, 08:39:43 08/05/01 Sun

Nick Brendon and his brother Kelly don't look exactly alike. You can always tell which you are looking at in "The Replacement" if you look close. But, since I don't read spoilers, I thought it was just special effects till I paid more attention to the opening credits, the second time I saw it!

[> [> I agree... -- Kerri, 09:01:30 08/05/01 Sun

I'm going to agree with Wisewoman here that this is one of those things that really can't be explained other than the magic of the Buffyverse. It's kind of like trying to explain how vampires can be dead and yet alive. These are things that can't be explained by science. We will never really understand how Buffy could sacrafice herself. What is more important is to look at the meaning behind the symbols. I think in this case the symbolism is all that we can make sense of.

[> Re: Buffy, Dawn, the Slayer, and the Key -- gds, 09:06:46 08/05/01 Sun

I have always thought the slayer was chosen for her soul, not her DNA. It has not been clearly stated, but I believe the reincarnation is allowed in the Buffyverse. As souls develop they become candidates to be slayers. The better slayers may sometimes be reincarnated as new slayers (i.e. TPTB may breed slayers souls the way we breed animal blood lines).

As for Buffy being the key, that is not necessary and probably is not the case. Dawn's body (and other things as well) MAY have been created based on Buffy, though it would seem the monks would need a sample of her DNA to do so. As Cactus Watcher has pointed out, they obviously don't have exactly the same DNA. The Key is LIVING energy. As a living thing it would have its own life structure - physically very different from the DNA of a carbon based life form. How was it made human? Was an empty human shell created and the Key poured inside its blood? That would be consistent with what has been clearly stated, but the implications have been that they key itself was reshaped. Inanimate energy does not die. It can become exhausted, drained as it is dissipated, transformed and transferred into other things. Since the Key is LIVING energy, it is not unreasonable that it has some analogue to blood, and this life force was used to bring down the barriers separating the dimensions (implying the key was meant to be used one time only, waiting for millions of years to do 1 thing at 1 time and then die).

Part of OnM's QH hypothesis is that Buffy has the power to make reality of the things she BELIEVES to be true. I can't remember his examples, but they make sense. It has already been pointed out by OnM that Buffy's being able to substitute herself for Dawn can be an example of this power.

[> [> Re: Buffy, Dawn, the Slayer, and the Key -- Kerri, 10:04:31 08/05/01 Sun

I'm not sure about the reincarnation but I really like the theory that the slayer is chosen based on her soul.

[> [> [> What does that say about Faith's future, I wonder? -- Cactus Watcher, 10:48:21 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> The Soul and DNA -- OnM, 10:50:14 08/05/01 Sun

This is a bit too involved to get into in greater detail right now, but my working theory at the moment is that the soul is an energy force that exists in more than our normal number of dimensions. Sometime between conception and shortly after birth the soul energy locates a suitable host (in a symbiotic fashion) and identifies it by it's DNA. The energy pattern of the soul must be a reasonable match for the pattern of the DNA, just as antibodies only work when they 'key into' a given microorganism.

Thereafter, the extended-dimensional (XD) soul and the 3-dimensionally limited (3D) corporeal body are as one, like a single organism.

Following along this line of thought, it seems reasonable that Slayers are chosen on a basis of both DNA and soul components of the symbiosis, or 3D and XD capabilities. The activation of the new Slayer is a 'metaphysical' action occurring when the previous Slayer dies, taking place completely along a higher dimensional level (Trek people-- think of Roddenberry's invention of 'subspace' to explain transporters and faster-than-light communication, etc., things not normally permitted in conventional '3D' spacetime). The body cannot directly sense this action, but the soul, with it's higher dimensional perceptibilities, can sense it. The soul's energy, since it is intimately bound to the 3D body, then triggers the physical changes in the Slayer's body, and she is thus 'Called'.

Anyway, that's more or less where I'm at on this. Make any sense? It doesn't have to, of course!


[> [> [> [> Re: The Soul and DNA -- Wisewoman, 11:03:14 08/05/01 Sun

Very good point, OnM. I think the DNA must be involved at some level, simply because I don't believe souls are gendered and, for whatever reason, the Slayer is female, so the 3D DNA body has to be a specific one. (Why, I'm not too clear on...'cause Joss says so, I guess!)

The compatibility is an issue as well because it would make no sense for the soul to bond with a body that was incapable, for whatever reason, of taking on the duties of the Slayer.

I still ponder and mutter over my issues with Joss's take on souls, God, gods, etc, etc. I tend to tell myself that he's in the process of figuring it out as well or...magic clause!

[> [> [> [> Huh? -- vampire hunter D, 13:24:40 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Huh? which part? -- Wisewoman, 13:34:35 08/05/01 Sun

[> Theory about why Buffy's blood can close the portal -- Kerri, 10:02:32 08/05/01 Sun

Now I'm not sure if this makes sense but it kind of explains why Buffy can substitute her blood for Dawn's.

If the monks made Dawn out of Buffy perhaps they took parts of her DNA to create Dawn just like with a mother. Instead of having DNA from both a mother and a father Dawn has Buffy's DNA only. Something like instead of two different copies of each gene Dawn has only the one copy from Buffy.

So then each gene of Dawn's Buffy also posseses thus everything that is Dawn is contained in Buffy. Becasue of this Buffy's blood has Dawn in it and can be substituted.

It made sense in my mind. What do you think.

The Power of Myth is on Public Television Today! -- Dedalus, 10:00:01 08/05/01 Sun

It started around 11AM, and we've still got about another four hours to go.

I figure this would be a nice complimentary segment to my essay. :-)

Joseph Campbell is at that part now talking about that Polynesian saying "Standing on a whale, fishing for minnows." That's where we are kiddo.

I love Campbell. I bought the transcript for the Power of Myth back midway through college, and as Moyers told GPTV today, it provided a "great new spiritual vocabulary." He did indeed. I had no idea the first showings of this had the kind of ratings that they did - somewhere around 30 million viewers. Wow.

I have the series on audio tape, but to see Campbell in person again ... you just know something vital is happening.

Yeah Campbell.

I figured someone here might be interested.

[> Re: The Power of Myth is on Public Television Today! -- Wisewoman, 10:17:15 08/05/01 Sun

I found Campbell absolutely mesmerizing in that series. I have it on home-recorded video, but I'm hoping to be able to get it on DVD some day (not that I have a DVD player, but I live in hopes!)

And I can't help but like Moyers, as well. He's so genuine and well-intentioned, but there comes a point in this series where he just doesn't get it. I forget the exact discussion, but it comes down to Moyers saying something like, "Well, you're a man of faith..." and Campbell replying, "No, I don't need faith..." and then they sort of dance around the issue of whether Campbell believes in God, and Moyers just kind of refuses to accept that this obviously intelligent, wonderful human being could possibly be atheistic or agnostic, and as I recall he finally just gives up and you know that in his heart he still believes that Campbell believes!

Gotta go check my local listings and see if we're getting it on the Coast today.

[> [> Re: The Power of Myth is on Public Television Today! -- Dedalus, 10:29:21 08/05/01 Sun

Well, you can support public television AND get the series on DVD for $200 today! :-)

And I love Moyers. I love what he did with Genesis, too. Another great series. We watched some of this in Latin in college, and I would do all these imitations of Moyers - "Why ... the hero ... with a thousand faces?" Well, it doesn't work so well on the net, but you understand.

Incidentally, I don't think Campbell was an atheist or an agnostic. He believed. Maybe not in the old man who lives in the sky, but certainly in the Paul Tillichian Ground of Infinite Being, or as he put it, the Mystery transcendent of all human research. Actually, it's not a matter of believing with Campbell, but just like he said about the meaning of life, it's about EXPERIENCE.

I just love what Thomas Merton once said about the spiritual life - it's mostly hearsay to most people.

Part of me can't help but think the twentieth century would have been a waste of time without Campbell.

I'm gonna be out all day, but you can bet my VCR is a'running.

[> [> [> Re: The Power of Myth is on Public Television Today! -- Tanker, 14:17:51 08/05/01 Sun

Campbell just said something very pertinent to Buffy, on the morality of heroics, specifically in war. He said that the morality comes from the act of sacrifice; the hero is sacrificing himself in defense of a people, or an idea. Something beyond himself. This was accompanied by scenes of soldiers in Vietnam. Then, against the backdrop of anti-war protests, he said that other people might have the point of view that this sacrifice is something that should not have been done, should not have been necessary. *But this does not negate the heroism of the sacrifice, or the morality of it.*

Campbell rocked. It's a diminished world without him. I think he would have loved Buffy.

[> [> [> [> Re: The Power of Myth is on Public Television Today! -- Anthony8, 14:41:07 08/05/01 Sun

He was particularly enamored of 'Star Wars' and George Lucas, but I think he would have been blown away by BtVs and, in the sci-fi vein, Deep Space Nine. IMHO, both the latter have dealt with the mythologic motifs on so many more levels than Lucas' work (especially by 'Return of the Jedi' which for me came close to being more "Muppets in Space" than anything seriously mythic). In fact, as much as I liked 'Star Wars' and loved 'Empire Strikes Back,' throughout my viewing of that film series, I kept thinking 'Dune for Children.'


[> [> [> [> [> Re: The Power of Myth is on Public Television Today! -- Tanker, 18:09:03 08/07/01 Tue

I hope the 21st century produces someone like him, or I fear we will again lose touch with our myths.

[> [> [> [> One more thing... -- Tanker, 15:40:19 08/05/01 Sun

The fact that Buffy is going to be brought back also does not negate the heroism of her sacrifice. Even if she had failed (i.e., if her death had failed to close the portal), her heroism would not be negated. The act of self-sacrifice for another is heroic by itself, independent of its actual consequences or context.

[> [> [> [> [> Now you are getting to just why I liked The Gift so much....... -- Rufus, 19:31:06 08/05/01 Sun

First off I knew she would be back as part of the journey and that had been hinted at in Restless when Giles made reference to it being all about the Journey in Xanders dream. When Buffy jumped off the platform I was next thing to cheering because she was doing the right thing the heroic thing...self sacrifice for another is heroic by itself, independent of its actual consequences or context......I hope that this documentary (that I can't see where I am, dammit) helps you even further see why at least I find The Gift so wonderful. Buffy is the Blood of the Lamb, Giles mentioned in his dream in Restless, she is the one that is sacrificed so the world can continue...she is only a girl...something that we keep getting reminded of.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Now you are getting to just why I liked The Gift so much....... -- Tanker, 18:04:05 08/07/01 Tue

I also see her leap as a triumphant thing, which is why I get so frustrated with people who call her a coward. What Campbell said was aimed at them: the fact that you disagree with her action does not negate the heroic nature of that action. So put a sock in it, already. Ok, I added that last bit. ;-)

[> [> I was a DVD hold out until the Kubrick Collection came out... -- Anthony8, 12:39:49 08/05/01 Sun

...and now I'm hooked. It is a case where the software really sells the hardware. Originally, I was going to wait until the Buffy season sets came out (but who knows when that will happen!), then I saw the Kubrick DVD Collection at Costco (for about $40-80 cheaper than I saw it anywhere else) and decided then and there to get a DVD player. If you like watching movies, it's such an incredible toy. The prices of these things are really affordable these days too. The other day I saw a combo vcr/DVD at Costco for $140 (US--do they have Costco in Canada?). That's pretty inexpensive for such a relatively new technology.

DVD picture and sound quality are so much better than VHS and you get all sorts of extras. Some are pretty creative too. I bought a King Crimson DVD that has a feature that allows you to take a song and create your own version by assembling performances from different musicians and different eras for the band. For example, you can combine Robert Fripp's 1984 live guitar performance with Bill Bruford's 1975 drum part and Greg Lake's 1970 bass and vocals and so on. It's really mindblowing.

As another example, in the DVD for 'Bring it On' (which, surprisingly, was a pretty entertaining movie starring Eliza Dushku and featuring Clare Kramer as basically cheerleader versions of Faith and Glory, respectively), you can turn on a feature that lets you hear the director's commentary on each scene as the movie is running (e.g.--ED was hungover in one scene, or pointing out the subtle lighting changes of a scene that had been composited from various takes filmed at different times throughout the day). The DVD for 'The Sixth Sense' has all sorts of goodies regarding continuity and 'clues' scattered throughout the film.

Even though I have the Campbell/Moyers stuff on tape, the DVD is next on my list.


[> [> [> Re: I was a DVD hold out until the Kubrick Collection came out... -- Wisewoman, 12:51:42 08/05/01 Sun

I had no idea they'd come down that much in price. We do have Costco's, several of them in the Vancouver area. Even with the exchange, that's pretty reasonable. I'm embarrased to admit we don't even have a CD player yet. I have CDs and listen to them on the computer! And the really dumb thing is, my new computer has two CD drives, one regular and one burner, so I could be making CDs of my friends' collections, if I'd thought of it. Doh! ;o)

[> [> [> [> Another nice feature (sheez, I'm beginning to sound like a salesman)... -- Anthony8, 13:00:19 08/05/01 Sun

...almost all the DVD players now will play CDs, CDRs, CDRWs, CDs with MP3 files on them so you wouldn't even need a separate CD player.

The model I bought was a Philips 702 for $160 US. It has stereo output (to connect to your home stereo via the aux port, a set of self-powered speakers, or your TV's stereo in if you have a stereo TV), 2 digital outputs (for future expansion--most future stereos will have digital inputs for a clearer sound) and 5.1 surround sound (allows you to set up a surround speaker system with 5 speakers and a sub-woofer). To think these things were $500 to $1000 just a year or so ago!


[> [> [> [> [> Quick question, Mr. Salesman, sir.... -- Wisewoman, 13:25:59 08/05/01 Sun

We have a gigantic collection of VHS videos, both purchased and taped, and I won't live long enough to replace them all with DVDs, so is there a way to keep the VCR and run a DVD player as well?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Oh yeah, the DVD plugs in to a separate place on the TV... -- Anthony8, 13:43:37 08/05/01 Sun

...I have both hooked up to my television. I only have a mono TV so the sound from the DVD that comes out of my TV is in mono, but I also have the DVD player's stereo outputs hooked up to my stereo's aux input so I can watch the DVD and listen in high fidelity stereo simultaneously. Alternatively, I could hook up the stereo output to my computer speakers for another option.

At any rate, like I mentioned earlier, I just saw a combination VCR/DVD at Costco the other day which only cost $140 US. It's a little larger than a regular DVD player, but about the same size as your standard VCR. With something like that you could use the built-in VCR to record your programs (and DVDs that don't have copy protection) and you could plug your old VCR into the inputs on the front of the VCR/DVD combo unit to make copies (if that's what you'd like to do) of your tapes! The combo player also allows you to watch a DVD while you are taping a broadcast. Which means that with the combo unit and your old VCR, you could tape two different shows simultaneously while watching a DVD. Niftorama!

Did any of that make sense or am I technobabbling?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> So they have DVD/VCR combos now? -- mundusmundi, 13:52:14 08/05/01 Sun

That's gratifying news, since it was less than a year ago I asked this very question at Best Buy, and the salesclerk looked at me as if I were requesting a hippopotamus with an elephant's trunk. I've got a laptop with DVD capability, and my CTHD flick looks fabulous on it, but I've no doubt it'll be more fun on a regular TV screen.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I've only seen the one model so must have just come out. -- Anthony8, 13:54:44 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oops--made a mistake on the price of the DVD/VCR combo... -- Anthony8, 14:15:45 08/05/01 Sun

...I just checked Costco's website. The Go VCR/DVD combo sells for $ 279 US. I don't know where I got that $140 figure. Anyhow, most of the DVD (no VCR built-in) players I've seen there, including the Philips I bought, were between $150 and $200 US.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Techno, but no babble. Thanks! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 14:12:17 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Consider a multi-regional PAL/NTSC DVD player -- Earl Allison, 02:13:48 08/07/01 Tue

For those of you who can't wait for the Buffy DVDs, consider a DVD player that converts PAL to NTSC format as it plays. I managed to pick one up on eBay that does that and plays all regions of DVD.

Picked up Seasons One and Two, and eagerly awaiting Season Three come Halloween -- finally, my beloved Faith on DVD!

It's not a bad idea, especially if you buy a lot of foriegn DVDs, like anime or foriegn films.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> Re: I was a DVD hold out until the Kubrick Collection came out... -- Andy, 13:26:03 08/05/01 Sun

"Originally, I was going to wait until the Buffy season sets came out (but who knows when that will happen!)"

Late this year/early next year. We don't have an exact street date yet, but per the chat with Fox Video Exec VP of Marketing Peter Staddon last week, he did confirm that it would along around that time. So, yay! I think I've been driving my friends crazy with my whining about the delay this past year :)

Personally I had to break down and get a dvd player because I just that sick of having to rely on VCR's, seeing brand new tapes I was buying visibly degrading after just one or two viewings and not even looking that good to begin with. So as soon as I could afford it I got a new tv and a nice reasonably priced player.

I'm really impressed with this new Infinifilm imprint that just started with Thirteen Days. You watch the movie and pop-up menus appear that you click on and it takes you to short documentary segments about the history behind the story or the making of the film. Very cool. The flexibility of this technology is wonderful :)

[> [> [> [> It seems to me that the smartest marketing move... -- Anthony8, 13:32:54 08/05/01 Sun

...would be to release the DVD's around the same time as the new season resumes on UPN. Then again, what do I know? I only want to spend my money--Fox just doesn't seem to want to take it from me! An MBA must be a terrible thing to waste.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: It seems to me that the smartest marketing move... -- Andy, 21:03:51 08/05/01 Sun

Actually the home video division has been dying to get it out there since last year. They lose money the longer it's delayed. But they're being handcuffed by the other parts of the company that are forcing them to wait until the shows complete runs in syndication, feeling that season boxsets will cut into their tv ratings. It's not just Buffy. Every show is being tied up in these deals.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Probably the same geniuses who are trying to figure out how they're gonna pay taxes... -- Anthony8, 21:08:51 08/05/01 Sun

...on all those stock options that fizzled.

[> [> Re: The Power of Myth is on Public Television Today! -- Justin, 15:40:53 08/07/01 Tue

I totally agree. It was funny to see him just not get it. I don't think it was the ONLY time he didn't get it.

[> Hmmmm, not on KCTS Seattle or WGN Boston. Bummer! -- Wisewoman, 10:41:16 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> Bummer is right I checked only to find a pledge drive and no Myth.....:(:(:( -- Rufus, 17:28:11 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> PBS begging again...If they broadcast that documentary on glass making again... -- Anthony8, 17:37:35 08/05/01 Sun

...I mean, are people really that interested in glass? Or John Tesh? Or Michael Flathead's 'flaming feet'? At least here in SF, the Suzy Orman stuff they've been broadcasting this pledge drive was new. I might be enticed to make a big pledge if they got those flaming feet to stomp all over the glass and John Tesh (or Yanni) for a while, without a pledge break. I know there would be some important mythologic imagery buried in there somewhere.


[> [> [> [> LOL.......Flaming feet......... Yanni(he's evil)...........:):):) -- Rufus, 19:22:41 08/05/01 Sun

[> Re: The Power of Myth is on Public Television Today! -- mundusmundi, 11:42:39 08/05/01 Sun

Thanks for the heads-up. Last quarter I gave a lecture at the comm college where I work analyzing Campbell's theory in the context of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Made for a lively discussion, even if bizarrely many of the students in attendance hadn't seen the movie.

[> Re: The Power of Myth is on Public Television Today! -- spotjon, 11:47:02 08/06/01 Mon

I read a little bit of the book-transcript of these broadcasts, and I have to say that I wasn't too impressed. He just kept going on about symbols and archetypes, as if that were all that mattered. It was as if the stories themselves weren't important, only the symbols and thoughts behind those stories. Maybe I just didn't read enough of it to get a correct perspective on what he was saying, but the whole thing seemed way too fuzzy for my liking. I don't mind looking at symbolism and all that, but the stories are usually just as good without needing to go into all of that. Anybody care to tell me why he's so popular and well-liked? I must be missing something, here.

[> [> The Bill Moyers book doesn't do justice to Campbell's work. -- Anthony8, 12:35:50 08/06/01 Mon

Unfortunately, The Power of Myth book is missing the enthusiasm aand charisma with which Campbell conveys his insights into the world's mythologies. In fact, he emphasized the importance of the stories, but he was a firm believer that they were representative of bigger truths than simply whether or not the stories were historic facts. The Moyers interviews and books merely scrape the surface of JC's knowlege, but are a good introduction to his work. To really appreciate what he had to offer, you have to read 'The Hero With a Thousand Faces' and the four 'Masks of God' books (tackling Primitive, Occidental, Oriental and Creative Mythology).

IMO, the mistake many JC fanatics make is to view him as some sort of ultimate arbiter as to what the myths mean. That totally undermines his work. His point all along was to encourage people to rediscover the vibrancy of the world mythologies by identifying their common themes in the broader sense and seeing how they might still relate to our own real world experiences today. He never claimed to be the ultimate interpreter of anything. The whole emphasis of his work was to get the reader to go back to the original sources, investigate the sociopolitical history that was happening at and near the time the myths were being developed, and to consider the psychology involved when people engage the mythology through faith or logic.

JC didn't instruct as to whether there was one correct way to read mythology. He encouraged the reader to enjoy the stories as literature, to appreciate their religious significance to the people who created them, and to understand them in the context of the world then and the world now. He was not a man of faith (although originally raised a Catholic) so that was bound to influence his analysis (and he pointed that out throughout his work). He was a virtual encyclopedia of the world's mythologies as well as the art, literature, and scientific work that was influenced one way or another by the mythologic trends at any given time. He was heavily influenced in his approach to mythology, by the works of Jung, Schopenhauer (sp?), Picasso, and James Joyce.

If he had any one philosophy, it was "follow your bliss" which has been interpreted and misinterpreted to suit many an individual's bias. What I have acquired as a result of reading his work is a deep interest in going to the sources (Koran, Dhammapada, Bhagavad Gita, The Bible, etc.) and discovering what they mean for myself. His work also prompted me to investigate philosophical writings, psychology, and quite a bit of art and literature I might have otherwise overlooked (I'm still hacking away at 'Ulysses').

As with any knowledge, you have to approach JC's work with an open mind in order to get the most out of it and try not to be offput by the hype.


[> [> [> thanks for the perspective -- spotjon, 12:50:03 08/06/01 Mon

[> [> [> Re: The Bill Moyers book doesn't do justice to Campbell's work. -- Tanker, 18:21:34 08/07/01 Tue

One of the lecture series that's shown on PBS stations (the one hosted by Susan Sarandon) includes a discussion of the works of James Joyce. I came away from _Portrait of the Artist..._ with an intense dislike for Joyce, but Campbell's lectures made me reconsider. I intend to tackle _Ulysees_ myself some day. I suppose I'll need to read Homer first. And become Catholic. ;-)

Most impressive to me was his lecture on _Finnegan's Wake_. He had the first chapter memorized. When he spoke the words aloud, they almost made sense (some of what look like nonsense words are actually written in dialect, to make you pronounce them correctly; it's meant to be read aloud, I think). He briefly went into some of the 17 layers of meaning that each phrase had, as he put it. Fascinating stuff, and it gave me a greater appreciation for an author that I just didn't grok in high school English class.

Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Wisewoman, 11:14:02 08/05/01 Sun

Okay, here we go. Solitude 1056 asks two questions in a thread further down:

1. I think we should take a poll & determine, once & for all, if it's true that every fan of the female persuasion is naturally all googly-eyed over Spike and/or Angel.


2.While we're at it, go ahead & poll the males of the board & find out just how many automatically think Buffy is the end-all & be-all...

So, presumably you'll have to specify gender/preference when you vote...

Wisewoman (female): undeniably attracted to Spike, no logic to it, just animal magnetism. Angel's never done a thing for me, and my second, very different choice would be Giles owing to his intelligence and maturity.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Cactus Watcher, 12:02:43 08/05/01 Sun

Buffy is pretty nice, and I like shorter women, but I much prefer them with very dark hair. Buffy is a little too much in the personality department, too. (I guess I've had the feeling she was a little stuck on herself ever since she shot down Xander in the first season. Totally unfair of me, I know.)
I can think of four striking women I've seen on the show with dark hair. How I rate them: Drusilla -forget it, not into crazy. The lead singer of Bif Naked (in the episode when Buffy sleeps with Parker) -forget it, great voice, but looks like a freak! Faith - nah. Jenny Calender - we have a winner, intelligent, attractive, nice without being sticky sweet, and a little mysterious past. Nice combination.

[> [> Thanks for reminding me, Andy! Cordelia - Ick! -- Cactus Watcher, 12:20:06 08/05/01 Sun

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Andy, 12:14:28 08/05/01 Sun

I'm a guy and I do very much like Buffy, although I also wish that she could get back to her shape in the first couple of seasons. She's looks a bit thin these days, although season 5 was a definite improvement over the dark days of season 4. And I do like her personality. She can be a bit controlling sometimes but I don't hold it against her since she always has a lot on her mind.

Willow's never done much for me. She's cute but that's it. Cute. And I don't get the attraction to Evil Willow either. She's just plain weird and scary. I'll take Faith if I want a bad girl :)

But nowadays, if I really want to salivate over one of the girls, I look to Anya. She just gets hotter the more human she becomes :)

I can't comment on Cordelia since I haven't seen Angel in ages, but that's how I feel about most of the others :)

[> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Simplicity, 12:25:36 08/05/01 Sun

Interesting poll:

I'm 24, female, and a rabid Spike fan. I think its the whole 'bad boy with heart' vibe he gives off. And hey. . .the leather coat, the cheekbones, and the accent don't hurt either.

I love to look at Angel and I admire him physically as well as his intelligence. But he's too high maintenance. I would feel like his therapist.

[> [> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Nina, 13:16:49 08/05/01 Sun

"I love to look at Angel and I admire him physically as well as his intelligence. But he's too high maintenance. I would feel like his therapist."

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Got me laughing so hard there! Thanks!

Uhmmmm... I'd go for:

Xander in "the Pack". That's the pheromones talking. Can't help it, it's animal! Mate must find mate kinda thing! :)

Giles post season 2. I think I'd feel too weird about the age difference, but if I were 10 years older a definite must!

Riley pre "The initiative". He was kinda cute when he wasn't military guy. I love lock of hair on the forehead! Maybe not a lusty relationship or anything, but he had "good arms"! :)

Angel in "Angel". The energy he had playing for him just before he kissed Buffy. For once he didn't look like a puppy!

Spike....god! No comment. Can't talk. Can't write.... bye!

[> assumptions... -- dan, 12:20:02 08/05/01 Sun

i'd just like to point out that...

I am a boy, and I like boys, not girls. But it seems like you assume that as a boy, I would like girls, and so I should be polled on whether or not I like buffy. this would give us a false count on buffy's charms, and throw off the data! ;->

But, yes, I do like both Spike and Angel. Spike moreso. Why? Because Angel's lame. He's bloody stupid, and his hair sticks straight up. :-> (Possibly the best line ever.)

Although if Willow asked me on a date, I'd probably go. Dyed red hair rules. So does being a nerd.


[> [> Re: assumptions... -- Wisewoman, 12:31:04 08/05/01 Sun

No, actually I assumed there are a fair number of GLBT fans on this board, that's why I said gender/preference as opposed to male/female. So your reply gets to the exact point, I'd think.


[> [> [> Re: assumptions... -- dan, 12:57:58 08/05/01 Sun

okay. i must have been confused.

I'm pretty sensitive to heterocentrism, and I do tend to look out for "teachable" moments involving it. It's the perils of doing activism for a livin' - sometimes the everyday gets overpoliticized.

thanks for the reassuring response!


[> [> Re: assumptions... -- Solitude1056, 13:49:30 08/05/01 Sun

Ok, you got me, and I should be the last to speak, being someone who doesn't equate attractiveness automatically with "I'd sleep with that person." The original idea was just to debunk this notion that every female on this board is drowning in drool after Spike & Angel, but the curiousities of what people find attractive pretty much leaves the picky question of the attractee's gender in the background, IMO.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- vampire hunter D, 12:39:06 08/05/01 Sun

Actually, back in the second season, I put the Buffy females in the order I prefer them, and it went:
1. Cordellia
2. Willow
3. Buffy

I don't have any such list now. Not only can I not decide on an order, but I'm not sure whether to consider Dawn (I have a phobia about prison).

[> Always seen Buffy as the little sister... -- Anthony8, 12:50:45 08/05/01 Sun

...that would keep me busy smacking my male friends upside their heads for looking lustfully at her (boy that was a stilted sentence).

My first choice would be Jenny Calendar since she is closer to my age and temperment. Dark, mysterious, brainy, strong--that's a hard combination to beat. Plus, I have had a Robia La Morte crush ever since I saw her in those Prince videos and that car commercial where she speaks in Italian non-sequiturs.

Second would be Faith, against all my better judgments, because she's just so out there. All power without a lot of bull.


[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- voyageofbeagle, 13:09:20 08/05/01 Sun

I'm female and it's all about Spike for me. It's interesting, since physically he's not really "my type". He's almost too pretty...but I'm a sucker for the cocky exterior and sappy, tender interior. I also love Spike's enjoyment of life- it's one of his best qualities.

Angel annoys me. Never did have much patience for brooders.

A distant second would have to be Oz- quirky, intelligent and sweet.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- BobR, 13:12:32 08/05/01 Sun

The woman on Buffy I've always found most attractive is Willow. She's cute, but more importantly brainy. (How many people know the square root of 841 off the top of their heads as she does? I don't and I took a lot of math back in college.) She's the kind of woman with whom I could have a conversation. Beyond that, she's very passionate with the people with whom she's been romantic. The fact that she's bisexual adds an interesting complexity to matters.

I was never attracted to Buffy herself. She might be smart, but she's never been a brain. What would we talk about? The others are a mixed lot, but none really appeal to me. In real life, I avoid people like Cordelia, especially as she was before moving to Angel. Drusilla is too evil and crazy. Darla is too evil. Anya is too skinny. Dawn is jail-bait. Tara appears to be completely gay and thus out of the picture for me. Vampire-Harmony is too stupid, too evil and too blond. Glory is too evil, crazy, powerful, and utterly egocentric. I did like Jenny Calendar, but she's too dead, though on Buffy, that isn't a permanent state.

I fell in love with Willow early in the first season and this hasn't changed. I suspect that this is true for a lot of people, especially heterosexual males like me, though not exclusively.

[> We need a lezbian to poll -- vampire hunter D, 13:29:35 08/05/01 Sun

So far, we've had hetero guys, hetero girls, and one gay guy respond. What we need now is a lezbian to get her opinion on the girls.

[> [> You rang.... -- Nancy, 13:59:33 08/05/01 Sun

Speaking from the "lezbian" end of things,

Faith rocks!

Buffy does little for me. I like to see her kick ass, but high-maintenance, snippy blondes aren't my thing. Cordelia also leaves me cold. It's the personality, I think. Self-centered, rude, degrding her own gender on more than one occasion (e.g., insulting Wesley by calling him a "woman"). And let's not even mention Anya. Tedious.

So, in order of attraction (speaking purely for myself):

Faith (winner, hands down, dark broody angry sexy slayer-girl)
Jenny Calender (chutzpa!)
Kate (in kick-ass cop mode, not whiney mode)
Willow (cute, and smart is sexy)
VampWillow (Watch her walk. Need.I.Say.More?)
Tara (The "Out of my mind" Magic-box scene. "Willow hand" *sigh*)
Drusilla (when she's vamping it up)
Darla (in vampire form only. At least then she has a personality)
Lilah ("I like the girl. She's wicked")


Harmony (vamp or human, but especially not the human!)

PS and if I ever crossed to the other side, which ain't likely to happen, I'd pick Angel over Spike anyday. I just don't get the Spike thing. Maybe it's the blonde hair. Or maybe he isn't deep, broody, and intellectual enough. Not that I know what the *hell* I'm talking about!

[> [> Settle for someone who's just, uh, what's a good euphemism? -- Solitude1056, 14:09:30 08/05/01 Sun

I never was very good at politically correct, so let's be blunt: I like all bodies, comes from being an artist & photographer.

Given 15 minutes with each character and plenty of film, I'd go for the women in the following order:

- Jenny Calendar
- Tara
- Dawn (who cares about prison, I'm dreaming here!)
- Cordy

and the guys:
- Giles
- Wesley
- Gunn
- Xander

Just to explain: I like Evil Willow more than Faith, since Faith's got that whole conflicted action going on - and Evil Willow is, plainly, evil. You know where she stands - plus she's sexy and animalistic in a way that Faith isn't. Faith had the whole in-your-face sexuality, whereas AH played EW with a certain sensuality, something way less pronounced and therefore way more threatening. (So I used to be bad, I'm still drawn to that type, even if I'd never invite her in, these days.)

& whoever said hanging with Angel would be like being his therapist & not getting paid was right on!

I agree with my housemate that Buffy's too generic in her looks, although she's cute. I'd take Jenny Calendar over all the rest of them - hell, I'd pass up Glenmorangie for Jenny Calendar, and coming from my scottish/irish background, that's saying a LOT. Giles may be a fuddy-dud but he's had chances to show his other sides, and wow. Be still my beating heart, and I don't care how old he is. Xander's too goofy, but in The Pack and The Wish - *thud*thud*thud*. Both casts contain the kinds of folks I'd hang out with, for various reasons - but the ones I've listed are the ones I'd give my eye-teeth to draw or photograph or, uh, okay Rufus, if your mind's the gutter that's the right place.


[> [> [> Don't worry I'd make sure they treated you right in prison....:):):) -- Rufus, 14:44:06 08/05/01 Sun

Yes, the Pack is the episode I remember the Grrrrowwwl Xander from........:):):) You may place and order for a cake with a file....unless by providence you end up sharing with Faith.....:):):)

[> [> [> [> Awww, feel the love. -- Solitude1056, 14:47:13 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> As to euphemism... -- Wisewoman, 14:44:48 08/05/01 Sun

...I have a friend who describes himself as tri-sexual, as in, "I'll try anything sexual!"


[> [> [> Right there with ya -- Wiccagrrl, 17:40:46 08/05/01 Sun

for the women (which I tend to be slightly more attracted to) in order:


As for the men, mostly just Angel (what I can I say, I've got something of a lustcase for the dark brooding one) Oh, and a bit of a soft spot for Giles.

[> [> [> Eye candy is what it is. -- Deeva, 00:12:25 08/06/01 Mon

Okay, so I am a Spike & Angel fan, leaning more towards Spike though. With him you would know exactly where you stand and he'll most likely say what's on his mind. Also very much like the "bad-boy-but-not-as-bad-as-you-think" thing. Angel is a little too brooding for me but hey we're just talkin' about the pretty wrapping aren't we?

And as for the girls (really should say women but bad habit of mine) pardon my French but I would do Vamp Willow in a minute. Okay maybe not do but definitely kiss.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Rufus, 13:54:42 08/05/01 Sun

With the blue eyes and build Spike reminds me of family the personality reminds me of family members...we would bicker like Buffy and Dawn.

Anyone who has seen my posts knows if it weren't for the age difference I would pick Riley, not just because what he looks like but because I like nice guys. So I would also like Giles, Wesley, and Xander. As for Angel.....there ain't enough Prozac in the land to make me suffer that forehead for any length of time (I kinda liked goofy Angel & and the Angel that bought clothes)plus if the Prozac made him happy I'd end up having to Hoover the carpet....:):):):) If I were partial to men on the pretty side of good looking I'd pick Lindsay and can't forget Gunn. Hmmmm answering this I find it hard to believe I'm monogamous.:):):)

[> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Nina, 14:49:25 08/05/01 Sun

"With the blue eyes and build Spike reminds me of family the personality reminds me of family members..."

I'm sure many ladies on this site would love to meet your family then! :) :) :) ;)

[> [> [> Are they up for a trip to Denmark? -- Rufus, 17:19:59 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> We'll have to ask them that I suppose! ;) -- Nina, 18:45:07 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Wouldn't that be an interesting Road Trip........ -- Rufus, 19:32:49 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> Hi there neighbour! :) (NT) -- Millan, 23:29:22 08/05/01 Sun

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Tanker, 14:05:41 08/05/01 Sun

Tanker, male, and I think I'm attracted to every other BtVS female more than Buffy. I've always been a big Cordy fan, and Faith just shorts out my brain (mmmm, Faith...). Buffy (well, Sarah really) is a bit too thin to really get my attention (not saying she's unhealthy, btw. I refuse to go there). There are a few promo shots of SMG as Buffy, though, that make me go "buh." Especially when she had the Cheryl Ladd hair in S5.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- sollig, 14:13:37 08/05/01 Sun

Aaaah...Spike! He totally butters my toast! The cheekbones, tight little body, the wicked sense of humor and especially the sexual energy and confidence made even more compelling by the vulnerability and sweetness that hides just underneath really do it for me. (Sort of like a dark chocolate truffle cake that you know is going to be rich and decadent, then when you have a bite, it has a surprisingly light, sweet and creamy chocolate mousse filling, the contrast of which makes it even better. OK, now I'm hungry.) Without that last part, I'm not sure the physical alone would suffice, since I usually prefer tall men. (And I really didn't find Riley that attractive. Angel is handsome, but he just doesn't have that Spike-y fun.) I can't even come up with a second!

On the female front, I'd have to say that I find Willow and Tara most attractive. I'm not a lesbian or bi, but if I were, I'd pick Willow because she's just so smart and kind, with an aborable smile, red hair that's not too big and coiffed and pretty eyes. Tara is beautiful in another way--she's got a soft, gentle look and personality--big, sort of sad eyes, full lips and an actual womanly figure compared to the others.

How about that? I always think it's interesting to ask women and men who they'd be attracted to if to if they were not the sexual orientation they are in real life (or just who they find attractive) because the answers are often different or, if the same, for different reasons. Anyone else want to answer that way. (I hope that doesn't mess up your poll Wisewoman, but thought it was an interesting twist.)

[> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Wisewoman, 14:22:39 08/05/01 Sun

Ah, no, an interesting twist is always welcome. But you've just about brought my whole being to a shuddering halt here, because if I were to be attracted to one of the females in the Buffyverse it would be...wait for it...Faith! Arrrrgh! What the hell is that? I went through that whole big thing last week about never being able to forgive her and just not seeing the attraction, and then, wham! When faced with a choice constrained by one gender, she'd be my choice. Cheekbones be damned, I'm thinkin' I need therapy!


[> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- sollig, 14:30:00 08/05/01 Sun

Okay, I know I am blinded to all others when Spike's on my mind, but when I went back and read some other posts I realized I do have to admit attraction for the following (albeit for more physical reasons):

Lindsey has a certain sexual magentism at times and very, very sexy lips.

Gunn also has a very kissable kisser and he has a beautiful bald head (which may sound odd, but some people just don't have cute craniums: think Star Trek and those bald brainiac guys with the pulsing veins. And my husband, I swear to god, has a ridge on top of his giant skull that feels like it might look like a Klingon head if he were to lose all his hair. Yikes!)

[> [> [> Bald men -- Millan, 14:47:00 08/05/01 Sun

...some people just don't have cute craniums.
I know what you mean. Not all men look good without hair.

Ever since I was young I have had a small crush on the actor Yul Brunner (dead many years now). A small, bald man, he still was very sexy! (Now there's a real age difference.) :)

"And I never really liked you anyway. And you have stupid hair!"
- Spike, No Place Like Home

[> [> [> [> Jean-Luc Picard...say no more! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 14:59:17 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> Re: Bald men -- Liquidram, 15:17:34 08/05/01 Sun

Despite popular opinion, my favorite X-files character has always been Skinner. The male physique doesn't get much better and the actor himself is quite fine without the glasses and stuffy duds. And his voice.... don't get me started on voices.

[> [> [> [> [> Voices....mmmmmmmmm -- Rufus, 17:21:31 08/05/01 Sun

I love a good voice, can make up for some of the little things......:):):)

[> [> [> [> [> [> oh yeah.... -- anom, 16:15:20 08/06/01 Mon

Voice is more important than looks for me...preferably towards the low end of the range but with enough "treble" to give it character, smooth but w/a little grit in the bass, rich but not too rounded...makes me want to just close my eyes & let it wash over me....

Uh, where was I? @>) Hey, how about voices on Buffy? ASH, definitely, but after that I gotta think...none of the other regular characters, strangely enough. But remember that demon in Angel's hotel that drove people to do horrible things? Mmmm, what a voice (but where'd the Southern accent come from?). Couldn't figure out in the credits who the actor is--anybody know?

[> [> [> [> [> Bald Men: Mitch Pileggi (Skinner) -- Vickie, 09:51:14 08/06/01 Mon

I saw Mitch Pileggi in person in a sidewalk cafe in Hawaii. The X-File folks don't do him justice, keeping him in suits and glasses like that.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Bald Men: Mitch Pileggi (Skinner) -- Wisewoman, 15:07:58 08/06/01 Mon

They let him run around in an undershirt and shorts in one episode, the one where he was hallucinating about seeing an old woman in red everywhere, I think. I got the shock of my life--I thought, OMG, there's major HUNK under those suits!!


[> [> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Rahael, 16:44:30 08/06/01 Mon

Ooh my turn.

Rahael (female)

No one's picked Angel yet? I'm quite happy having him all to myself ! LoL. I go for dark looks all the time, as you may guess from the list below.

After that, Wesley and Gunn.

Personality wise, they are all smart, sensitive, courageous, and know how to take care of them selves in a tough situation.

I could never be attracted to - Spike, Xander. Don't know why, just don't. I like their characters.

If I were to say who the most attrative women were: Buffy and Cordelia. I like their attitude, I think they are beautiful and not too cute and clingy. Plus they wear great clothes (most of the time). Would prefer it if both were more 'intelligent' in the conventional sense i.e reading books etc.

I like the fact that Willow is clever, I adored shy Willow, but to be honest that little girl voice recently annoys the hell out of me. I like Tara though, but the fact that she's with Willow detracts from the character.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Liquidram, 14:16:23 08/05/01 Sun

Angel: The only time he is physically attractive to me is when the tiny little smirk is trying to play on his face.

Spike: Love the character especially when he is vunerable, not the look. (James, however.... stunningly beautiful)

Lindsey: Gorgeous... more to him than meets the eye. Heard he is coming back... can't wait... (oh yea, lose the suits and keep the jeans and tshirt.)

Gunn: Beautiful man. Great lines. More Gunn.

Doyle: Great character made him attractive....was totally bummed when he died.

Xander: Too goofy for me but has his moments.

Giles: Love Giles .... especially in The Gift.

Riley: Sweet at the beginning, baby face on a buff bod.

[> [> forgot poor Wesley ... -- Liquidram, 14:19:12 08/05/01 Sun

hmmmm... tough, scruffy, fighting Wesley - good; sanctimonious Wesley - ish.

[> [> The Gals -- Liquidram, 14:31:39 08/05/01 Sun

Buffy: nah, too thin, too valley-chick like (preferred SMG in Cruel Intentions)

Willow: Love her brains, hate the babygirl whiney voice.... drives me insane. Alas, never saw Evil Willow.

Tara: My favorite female on the show. Amber Benson is beautiful so God knows why they frump her up on the show. Can't wait to see Tara's potential.

Cordelia: Hard to say. Sometimes she looks great, and others, well... she doesn't. I like the characters snarkyness although I would dislike her in the real world. Haircut- yuck.

Jenny: Never knew Jenny :(

Anya: Like Emma Caufield alot, Anya grates on me.

Kate: Liked her strength and her interaction with Angel at the end. To bad Law and Order came a callin'

Lilah: Will be very interesting to see what she's made of without the Lindsey competition... think she saw him in a completely different light when he protected her in his last ep.

Dawn: Didn't care for her at first - too much the brat, loved her interaction with Spike and eventual strong bonding with Buffy.

Faith: Love Faith. She is gorgeous, feisty attitude and great moves. The fight and breakdown on Angel was classic.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Millan, 14:20:54 08/05/01 Sun

Well, I'm female and like males. I don't like pretty as in "perfect", but fairly pretty, self-assured and charismatic is everything when it comes to drool-factor.

So, I join the majority here (?) by declaring that Spike is Number One, the one and only, the most male of the... [uh-ooh] ... after my SO, of course!!!

On a distant second place I would be hard put to choose between Giles, Xander posessed by a hyena spirit and Angelus.
Giles is a bit too solid and old for me, but he is attractive, he is self-assured, and we all know he has these depths...
I normally don't like Xander (male-wise) but in The Pack he gains that special something.
Angel is kinda pretty but not exciting. But ladies, just watch Angelus' half-smile when he is hidden and watches Buffy fighting in the cemetary (beginning of Becoming )... I get chills...not the bad kind... :)

"...I hate being obvious. Being all fangy and 'Rrrr'. Takes the mystery out."
- Spike, The Initiative

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 14:21:34 08/05/01 Sun

I'm male and I have to put in a vote for Faith - intelligent, confident about her body (urm, yeah) and just a little bit tortured (but, then, as a miserable git I am unduly suspicious of happy people). I'd probably have Dawn second (remember that she is only two years younger than me!) and aside from that my list would be identical to Nancy's - weird.

[> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Simplicity, 14:54:31 08/05/01 Sun

I'm not a lesbian or bisexual, but if I had to choose. . .I'd pick Faith. She's beautiful (I want her hair by the way), powerful, and has a lot of attitude.

I thought I was the only one who thought about Xander in "The Pack"! Nice to know that someone else out there feels the same way. I've haven't thought about him in that way before or since that episode.

Any body else had a 'thing' for a character you normally don't find attractive in a particular episode?

I'm putting in a bid for Giles in "Band Candy". Probably because he turned into a human Spike.

Angelus is another matter. Much more attractive than guilt-ridden, angsty Angel. I know he's evil, he's ruthless, and he'd probably kill you as soon as look you. . .but the leather pants, that little smirk on his face, and that confident swagger of his. . . Yum!

[> [> [> How does one swagger one's ...Yum? LOL! -- Wisewoman, 15:01:04 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> ok, now I got the Bee Gees in my head... -- Solitude1056, 15:06:58 08/05/01 Sun

I blame seeing "Saturday Night Live" (and not just once) on my mother, who was totally agog over Travolta - not the whole movie, mind you. Just the part where he's walking down the street. He could, as she'd say, strut.

And some folks can swagger - DB/Angel(us) can swagger. But I ain't yet seen him strut! Faith, on the other hand...

[> [> [> [> Travolta ... talk about a turn-off ... (MHO) -- verdantheart, 07:16:37 08/06/01 Mon

[> What, no takers on the Host? Sheesh. -- Solitude1056, 14:45:53 08/05/01 Sun

That voice! ;-)

[> [> You are so right! -- Liquidram, 15:22:58 08/05/01 Sun

Can that man sing! And if anyone has ever seen Andy Hallet, the man under the green ain't too shabby.

And I can't believe I forgot Oz. Seth Green. 'nuff said.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- mm (mundus & male), 14:52:30 08/05/01 Sun

First choice: Hate to go with the in-crowd, but Jenny Calendar hands down. Every computer geek's dream. Plus my predilection for older women. (At least she was older when I was younger.)

Second choice: Just to buck convention, Gwendolyn Post. Played by Selena Scott Thomas, Kristin's even more attractive sister, and quite fetching in an evil dominatrix sort of way.

Third choice: Dawn in 4-5 years. Technically an older woman, "just this side of forever," right? Smart, cute, and wicked eyebrows. (Hey, if rowan can have her cheekbones....)

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- VampRiley, 15:22:19 08/05/01 Sun

As for "...automatically think Buffy is the end-all & be-all...", I would have to say never. All the women are except Dawn. She's cute. I'm just, you know, not drawn to 15 year old girls. And for the record, to me Tara is much hotter as a Brunnette (i.e., Into The Woods).

[> Noticeable lack of Buffy votes -- Wisewoman, 15:33:50 08/05/01 Sun

Hmmm, the Buffster does not come out at the top of the list, regardless of gender and/or preference. What's the deal with that? The whole show is about her!

Is it the mythical hero thing? Is she just too focussed and heroic to be attractive/accessible? Someone you'd want to have as a friend/protector, rather than a partner?

Beats me... :o|

[> [> Re: Noticeable lack of Buffy votes -- Malandanza, 15:59:23 08/05/01 Sun

"Hmmm, the Buffster does not come out at the top of the list, regardless of gender and/or preference. What's the deal with that? The whole show is about her!"

"Is it the mythical hero thing? Is she just too focussed and heroic to be attractive/accessible? Someone you'd want to have as a friend/protector, rather than a partner?"

I'll vote for her, if just by process of elimination (I'm ruling out the vampires -- soulless creatures aren't much better than Spike's sexbot):

Anya: Too vulgar
Cordelia: Too materialistic
Dawn: Too young
Faith: Too scary (even after reforming, if she has, the girl still frightens me)
Jenny: Too dead
Kendra: Too deferential (Imagine Kendra as a girlfriend, walking two paces behind you, speaking only when spoken to and never meeting your gaze -- it would be embarrassing! -- what did the watchers do to her?)
Tara: Shy and insecure is sexy -- up to a point (Kendra is excessive) -- she's number two on my list
Willow: I agree with Liquidram here, Willow's whiny voice, use of baby-talk and self-involvement suggests that she needs a baby-sitter more than a boyfriend/girlfriend

So Buffy comes out on top of my list -- plus she probably wouldn't expect too much out of a relationship given her track record. Too bad she's blond :(

[> [> [> Blonde is only a colour on a box.....SMG is brunette.....:):):) -- Rufus, 17:25:14 08/05/01 Sun

If that helps......she's lovely either way.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- d'Herblay, 15:37:50 08/05/01 Sun

Male. Het. Incoherent.

a. Starting in October, I think I'm going to be the world's biggest Fred fan. Amy Acker cleans up real good!

b. Absolutely love Cordy. Tactless is attractive in my book. Plus, early in S2, I caught Charisma's appearance on the "Keenan Ivory Wayans Show." Ok, the deep decolletage may have had something to do with my fascination, but I prefer to think it was the way she defused Keenan's lame joke about also being named for a scented product. "Oh, right. Ivory soap," she said, which made Keenan's stupid skit about "Keenan-brand Feminine Hygiene Product" seem even more witless than it actually, absolutely was. I think it achieved a wit deficit.

c. Lilah has classic lines and great lips. I guess we've now determined what keeps me watching Angel.

d. Buffy. In and out of love with Buffy. Think it varies with the hair style. Loved the first-season 'do, though they over-stuffed her bra. Second season was just right. Third seemed over-processed. Let's not talk about the body wave in S4. S5 is getting back on track, though I still miss the "big bangs and short skirts" days back at the high school.

e. Jenny Calendar was always a thrill--but that may have had something to do with memories of Robia in the video for "Gett Off," as well as playing Brandon's Mrs. Robinson on 90210, and her role as a psychotic puppeteer on (dare I say it?) Silk Stalkings.

f. Drusilla gives me chills. Sociopathic is attractive in my book.

g. Willow I never got. She's supposed to be smart, but early on Joss more told us she was smart than showed us. The lack of self-confidence was a turn-off. Turn her pupils black, though . . .

h. I do love Tara though. Shyness can seem mysterious. I love her more than the stylists do, apparently.

i. Darla was far more appealing when she was on just every other season. Familiarity is breeding contempt.

j. Anya. Blah.

k. Thought Sandy was beautiful. Would I consider Riley a murderer had he staked Harmony? Probably not.

l. She wasn't real, but April had the body type I find most attractive.

m. What's up with Joss and wall-eyed chicks? First Kate, then Glory. Never could be attracted to someone who reminds me of Carl Reiner in The Jerk.

n. Oh yeah! Ampata. Yum!

o. Faith always looked a little too beat down by life for my tastes.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Slayrunt, 17:30:07 08/05/01 Sun

I have always had a thing for Willow and Evil Willow just makes it better.

Jenny is my second choice. Smart,sexy ahhhhh.

Darla is hot, but I would have to lose my soul so...

If we are just going by looks then Cordy's next, otherwise Buffy then Cordy

Tara is a very beautiful woman.

Anya is hot but a little quirky.

Dawn will be high on the list in a few years.

Have to agree with d'Herblay, Fred will enter list very high

And to go with sollig sugestion about opposite sexual pref.

Spike leads the list. goodlooking and funny and caring.


[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Kerri, 17:48:59 08/05/01 Sun

I've always liked Angel. He just seems so sweet and also really sexy, and I'd love to have him for a boy friend. Spike as a character isn't really my type-i dont go for bad boys-but JM is so hot!

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- LadyStarlight, 18:13:46 08/05/01 Sun


Spike (who else?) - the whole bad boy w/heart just gets me every time (plus the cheekbones & all...)

Angel - broody guy just makes me want to cheer him up (not too much though), and goofy Angel ALWAYS makes me giggle

Giles - smart, sexy, confident, whoo boy!

Wesley - in a few years (see Giles)


hmm, probably Cordelia (post Sunnydale) or Tara

(really need to get out of the house more ;))

[> The Results so far... -- Wisewoman, 18:23:41 08/05/01 Sun


Spike (5) --Wisewoman, Simplicity, voyageofbeagle, sollig, Millan (and keep in mind we haven't heard from rowan, Marie, Aquitaine, Little One, etc!)

Angel (2) --Wiccagrrl, Kerri

Giles (1) --Solitude1056

Riley (1)--Rufus

Xander (1)--Nina(?) I think, might be Spike?


Jenny (3)--Cactus Watcher, mundusmunid, Anthony8

Willow (3)--dan, BobR, slayrunt

Anya (1)--Andy

Buffy (1)--Malandanza

Cordelia (1)--Tanker

Faith (1)--Lurker Becoming Restless

Fred (1)--d'Herblay


Faith (3)--Nancy, Wisewoman, Simplicity

Jenny (1)--Solitude 1056

Tara (1)--Wiccagrrl

Willow (1)--sollig


Spike (2)--dan, slayrunt

And while Spike seems clearly to have triumphed in the polls, this proves once again that the Buffyverse provides something for everyone!


[> [> Make that *6* for Spike... -- Wisewoman, 18:32:23 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> Forgot the female.... -- Nina, 18:59:06 08/05/01 Sun

If I'd go for women.. I think I'd love Ampata too. She was adorable. Though Willow in the same episode was just eatable as an esquimo! :) And I have to say that Fred will probably be the reason why I'll still watch Angel next year! Very lovely.

You seemed to wonder if it was Spike or Xander... Hard to say really. Xander in the first two season (mostly the pack and also B2) would have catched my attention in real life. Spike on the other hand catches my attention in fiction land! Pick the one you prefer! :) Can't make a choice!

[> [> You're only counting one vote per gender per person? -- Solitude1056, 19:20:55 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> Yup, all the also-rans got me way too confused! -- Wisewoman, 19:44:08 08/05/01 Sun

[> Highly Statistical and Scientific Results -- Solitude1056, 20:33:39 08/05/01 Sun

Ok, using a complicated process - known as "highest score gets 10, going on down the list (when folks gave more than one choice)" - I came up with these results, roughly... and no, I gave up on trying to keep Angel/Angelus or Xander-Pack/Xander-regular separate, or keeping folks' genders separate. Those, go see WW's post. ;-)

Male Characters:
spike 96
angel 91
giles 88
xander 48
gunn 35
riley 33
wesley 32
lindsey 25
oz 9
doyle 7

Female Characters:
faith 103
willow 73
tara 67
cordy 62
jenny 60
buffy 41
fred 32
dawn 28
kate 20
dru 17
lilah 17
darla 16
anya 14

I didn't count all the additional ones like Ampata or Gwendolyn Post, sorry - just the major ones.

[> [> Hey, Sol! -- Wisewoman, 17:55:02 08/06/01 Mon

If you get a chance, can you update the scientific version of the results? I figure we've heard from everybody that's gonna vote by now...



[> Doable, Not Doable -- JBone, 20:35:46 08/05/01 Sun

In no particular order, Doable:

Buffy - 2 scenes spring to mind, making Angel jealous by doing a sexy dance with Xander at the Bronze in WSWB, and a certain scene in BBB. Buff, for the love of god, don't take off that raincoat.

Willow - I'll always remember the first time Willow tramped herself up in Halloween. Two words, "nice."

Cordelia - This poor girl seems to be cursed to look incredibly sexy no matter how she changes her look. She won the gene pool.

Anya - She talks with a strange evenness, and chooses her words a shade too precisely, but this guy likes that.

Tara - I'd throw a hump into this doe-eyed babe anytime.

Jenny - The kind of girl that I could really fall hard for.

Kendra - Think she'd do any modeling? Cause I have a friend with a camera. Strictly classy stuff.

Joyce - She can leave her bra in my car.

Faith - That dance scene at the Bronze in Bad Girls. Her and Buffy... Oh yeah, that's the stuff.

Darla - This chick, vamp or not, works it.

Detective Kate - But only if I had the power.

Lilah - I'll never understand why Lindsey waited until the last time he saw her to goose her ass.

Harmony - But only in a "do her and get it out of my system" kind of way.

I did leave a few for the list of Not Doable:

Druscilla - This is probably more of a tribute to the acting and writing, but she just gives me the wiggins.

Amy - For some reason, she annoys me. I don't understand it. Why does she annoy me and the rest don't?

Chantarelle/Lily/Anne - Two damn many names, does she have this many personalities?

Dawn - I'll wait and see how she develops.

[> [> Getting weird now. -- Squonk's Tears, 20:40:35 08/05/01 Sun

[> [> [> Buffy said weird love is better than no love...but I don't think that's what she meant! @>) -- anom, 20:35:33 08/07/01 Tue

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Vonnie, 21:37:18 08/05/01 Sun

Newbie here. Like the place.

Vonnie (female): Season 5 Spike's what sucked me into BtVS, so Spike it is. I've always liked the underdog anti-hero types. Jame is pretty but not usually my type physically; it's the layers that James adds to Spike the character that make him so appealing to me. Although, if a formerly blood-sucking serial killer suddenly professed his undying love to me (hey! It could happen!), I would probably run screaming to the opposite direction.....

Angel is too much of a hunky beefcake (I'm little, so there is also the whole squash-factor ), not to mention that the hair gives me the wig. The rest of the menfolks are all easy on the eye, but I get relative-ish vibes from Xander, Giles, Wesley and Gunn. Riley and Ben are blander than vanilla pudding. I'd rather do the wacky with the Host.

[> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- JoRus, 22:20:31 08/05/01 Sun

Spike-one of my fav characters. Men who make me laugh or think get points. Love the character, doesn't make my pulse race. A very intense actor that conveys emotion well.

Angel-He sometimes interests me as a character...but nothing there. A bit whitebread.

Giles-You'd have something to talk about at least. And he looks like he works at things. Until he gets them right. Hmmm. Yes, there's possibilities.

Wesley-we'd end up playing cards. I just know it.

Host-Now my curiosity is roused....hmmm definitely not whitebread...but I think maybe we'd be shopping together. I'd sure be curious about the he green all over? Scaled?

Buffy-Poor Buffy seems to be trying to be the very definition of whitebread...even when the script is sexualized, there's some distance...prolly what makes her dialogue with Spike so interesting, and with Riley so bland. Is she too good a girl, or just written that way?

Faith-there's a good time on two legs, though the words "acting out due to sexual trauma" do tend to ring away in my head. And, she has a great mouth.

The rest of them? No.

[> [> [> Jo.....where you been? -- Rufus, 23:10:03 08/05/01 Sun

Now would you like Angel a teensy bit better if he bought you clothes? As for the green all over for the could always ask... Giles, I always like Giles....and exactly what type of cards would you be playin with Wesley?

[> [> [> [> knowing this crowd ... -- purplegrrl, 11:01:39 08/06/01 Mon

... probably strip poker!!

[> [> [> [> [> I see you have joined me in the gutter Sol shoved me into....:):):) -- Rufus, 14:49:44 08/06/01 Mon

Can't possibly be cause I have a naughty no...not me.:):):):):)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Don't even. We're wise to you, Rufus! ;-D -- Solitude1056, 19:56:13 08/06/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> Re: Jo.....where you been? -- JoRus, 16:02:31 08/06/01 Mon

Ah, I don't check the boards much in the off season, guess I'm awaiting new fodder for discussion in the fall.

Definitely not strip poker with Wesley....I intensely identified with Wesley in the scene where Cordy asks if he has talked to Angel about his feelings...and Wesley says "I brought him tea!". There is no funky to get down with in Wesley, thus cards. Bridge? Bleeeh.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Shaglio, 05:43:25 08/06/01 Mon

Ok, this is easy:

Male/27/ I think Buffy is attractive and Cordelia is fun to look at, but I'm obsessed with redheads and therefore Willow is my dream girl. She's the reason I started watching the show (sad and pathetic, I know). A close second would be Darla (without the Vampface) because she can be soooooo sensual. I'm now drooling like Homer Simpson.

[> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Shaglio, 06:10:50 08/06/01 Mon

Okay, I realize I tend to be a bit short winded in my responses. I've always been terse in my speech (brevity is wit), but I'll try to elaborate a little more on my answer.

Willow - aside from the red hair, she just looks so cute. She's not supermodel hot like Cordelia is; she's just that "girl next door" adorable. And while I'm at it, I'll take Tara too. I've always been intrigued my lesbianism.

Darla - She has a little bit more of the supermodel look to her than Willow and she has the maturity essence of an older woman for me. Plus some of her scenes with Angel are quite steamy. Rrrowwwrrrr!!!!

I'm attracted to Dru in a weird sort of way. For some reason I find her mad ramblings sexy. Don't ask, I'm just a bit loony. I also have this strange attraction to Dawn. Not in the sexual way (I'm not a pedophile). I can't explain it; it's sort of the way Willy Conway was attracted to Marty in Beautiful Girls. If you haven't seen the movie, I recommend it highly.

I'm not gay so I don't know what I'd look for in a guy, but Xander is quite similar to myself in a lot of ways (goofy, sincere, not extremely confident) so I'd probably be attracted to him.

[> [> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) [3rd times the charm] -- Shaglio, 06:19:28 08/06/01 Mon

And how could I forget the girl on Angel who runs the runaway shelter. I can't remember her name though. Anne?

I also thought Wesley's rich girlfriend who he pretended to be Angel in order to protect was attractive as well.

Alas I never got to see this Jenny Calander that so many are talking about :(

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- dream of the consortium, 07:23:45 08/06/01 Mon

Giles. Without question Giles. The soft, gentle voice, the accent, the intelligence, the subtle strength, the dry wit, the understated warmth. Dreamy. And he has nice hands.

Spike is number two. Lust for life, very enticing.

But, oh, Giles.....

Faith is the most beautiful of the women, but that street-tough act is really annoying. Still, if I could look like one of the actresses, I would pick her.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- verdantheart, 07:41:08 08/06/01 Mon

As usual, I'm late (must get home Internet connection back up ...), but I figure I must weigh in. For the record, I'm female and strongly hetero (so sorry, not qualified to comment on the ladies).

Sadly, I find myself going with the majority (an uncommon situation for me!) and choosing Spike as most attractive. I'm a sucker for expressive males. The fact that Mr. Marsters is physically attractive intensifies the effect, but if he didn't have the expressiveness, it wouldn't matter how pretty he was.

Gotta say, most of the other male characters don't do much for me in the attraction category. Angel has rather a sexy mouth, but I got over that in a week or two. I think I might like to hang out with the Host, he's funny and we'd have lots to talk about (and the green, horns, & red eyes don't bother me), but he'd be more of a friend type.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Rattletrap, 08:27:21 08/06/01 Mon

OK, time to weigh in:

25yo/hetero male, just so you know . . .

Probably Willow, smart and girl next door cute. Alas, never got to see evil Willow, so I can't comment there.

Tara (if she were straight), would be really cool, except that she seems to have done something to offend the make-up and costuming people. AB is really an attractive woman, why must they insist on hiding it.

Like d'Herb, I have to look forward to seeing Fred next year, I suspect she does clean up pretty nice, and she has gorgeous blue eyes.

[> [> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- John Burwood, 11:12:14 08/06/01 Mon

I am male, and I think you can deduce my vote from the fact that my bedroom wall has a current Sarah Michelle Gellar calendar on it. Last year's is on my study wall. Intelligence of the actress supplements the mix of strength and vulnerability in the character of Buffy which I simply can not resist!

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- purplegrrl, 11:11:52 08/06/01 Mon

My first choice is always Angel. Sorry, gotta go for tall, dark, and handsome. Besides he defends the weak and actually reads books (a plus for a guy to my way of thinking)!

Second choices:
Giles - closer to my age; reads; interesting conversations are likely (besides, I've like ASH since the Tasters Choice commercials)
Wesley - also reads; needs a good woman
Lindsey - seriously hidden depths
Spike - Okay, I confess, it's that bad-boy vibe -- and think of the blonde children potential!

[> [> I don't think bleach affects the genes ... -- verdantheart, 10:46:48 08/08/01 Wed

[> [> [> Re: I don't think bleach affects the genes ... -- purplegrrl, 15:07:13 08/08/01 Wed

JM's natural hair is light to medium brown - so it's possible. (Besides, *is* there a natural blonde on the show?? Not to be catty or anything. ;-) )

[> [> [> [> Re: I don't think bleach affects the genes ... -- Isabel, 17:29:14 08/08/01 Wed

I don't know, but Anthony Stewart Head's hair color is still a dark sandy blond from the coffee commercials. I don't remember it changing, but it could mean he's got a good hair dresser or my memory's faulty.

What's Amber Benson's real hair color?

[> what a sordid pot of lust this has become -- spotjon, 12:19:59 08/06/01 Mon

Really, you should all be ashamed of yourselves, treating these actors and their characters as pieces of meat. Not something I'd expect to find on this board. It must be a really long summer. ;-P hehe.

Having said that, Faith and Evil Willow are the only two characters on this show that I've ever found attractive for more than a few episodes (even though E.W. was only in two, oh well). Human Willow would be fun to hang out with, Buffy would probably annoy me to the point of me trying to stake her, Anya the same, Cordelia not so much anymore (she's really matured). Honestly, most of the female characters on these shows would be so annoying if you met them in real life, but it's easy to distance yourself from that when they're stuck in the screen of your television set. I feel more pity and sympathy for Faith's character than attractiveness, now, but I would love to see how she turns out the next time we see her. It's just so encouraging to see someone with such a troubled background start to move beyond her past. It is too bad that it doesn't happen more in real life. Too many people just stay trapped in the past, and refuse to belief that they can let it go.

Hmm, I'm off-topic, but I don't care. I just can't stand topics like these, no offense intended (though probably communicated). I don't feel that it's right to be lusting after somebody who isn't your spouse, or at least who will be soon. I'm sure that most of you disagree with that, but hey, I got a right to my own opinions, right? :-) Waiting for the backlash....

[> [> And we must outlaw dancing, and all our children must know the proper use of guns! ;o) -- Ashcroft the Evil, 12:40:31 08/06/01 Mon

[> [> [> hey, I like dancing... not so sure about guns, though -- spotjon, 12:43:23 08/06/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> Children dancing with guns is okay as long as no trigger locks are used. -- Ashcroft the Evil, 13:00:47 08/06/01 Mon

[> Okay, here goes... -- rowan, 07:30:44 08/07/01 Tue

I'm female & heterosexual. I'm intellectually attracted to Spike and Giles (well, of course, they're hot, too, but it's the intellectual thing that keeps them interesting for me). None of the other guys do anything for me (well, Lindsay has some animal magnetism, but not enough to really attract me). I might like Xander as a brother, though.

[> [> Okay Grabby, itellectually????..sure...:):):):):) -- Rufus, 09:26:48 08/07/01 Tue

At least you added the 'hot' part of your attraction...:):):)

[> [> saved -- Justin, 15:38:12 08/07/01 Tue

To post my opinion, a hundred years late...

I'm heterosexual, but I guess I'm backing up Rowan with a TOTALLY intellectual attraction to Spike. Willow and Buffy would cute me to death. (Willow -- "I don't want to be a gun. Can't I be a chisel? or a cudgel?") And Buffy has never read a book. It would drive me nuts.

Oh WAIT! I don't have to vote for Spike! I cast, that I've seen, the one and only vote for the Buffy-bot. ooh la la. I KNOW she hasn't read any books either but something about the way she says "sexy wounds."

[> [> [> That was the *real* Buffy that said, "sexy wounds" ;o) -- Wisewoman, 16:11:43 08/07/01 Tue

Albeit, she was imitating the 'bot!

[> [> [> [> Re: That was the *real* Buffy that said, "sexy wounds" ;o) -- justin, 17:41:08 08/07/01 Tue

and it was a blast right on immitation. Uncanny.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Sheri, 15:41:55 08/07/01 Tue

Ok, I'm a hetero girl. Like most everybody else, I find Spike very sexy, mainly because he is such a multifacited character... but honestly, he's usually not the type I'd go for physically. (I like guys to have a little more meat on their bones). Still, the cheek bones and accent (so what if it's fake?) make him very tastey. Now, if this was real life... I'd probably have an insane crush on Giles (I've gotten the hots for just about every male college professor I've had, so I imagine I'd get quite googly-eyed if I ever talked to Giles), I would be dating Xander, and I'd be picturing Spike's head on Angel's body during nooky sessions.

[> Re: Fan Gender and Attraction (aka Sol's Poll) -- Isabel, 19:47:43 08/07/01 Tue

No surprises from me. I'm female, hetero, and I've lusted for Spike from the first time I saw him. I'd say 20% his cheekbones, 10% his voice and 70% his 'joie de vivre.'

After him, I'd let Goofy/Cheerful Angel console my Spike-less existance. (Note: I said Goofy/Cheerful, NOT Happy. Angelus should be a pile of dust.) Yes, I know, hypocritical of me because I'm not advocating staking Spike who is also evil, but you didn't say I had to be fair. Plus, brooding is a turn-off for me.

After that Giles and Wesley tie. (I also lusted after ASH in the coffee commercials. I even watched VR-5 for him. I was so happy when it was canceled and he got the job on Buffy.)

As for the women, if I walked the other side of the fence, hmmm, I think I'd go for Buffy. After her, Faith, Lilah and maybe Drusilla, if she wasn't going to kill me.

Question about "Meet the Posters" Pics for Masquerade -- VampRiley, 13:15:53 08/06/01 Mon

Is there actually a reason for the pics. Are they choosen based on something that the person writes about themselves or thier name.

I noticed for me, the pic of Liam was choosen (although it doesn't show up) and I put that I am a lazy slacker, although not as bad a Liam was.

For yourself, you choose the pic of jenny in the Magic shop in Passion holding an Orb of Thesula. She worked with computers as a computer teacher and I'm assuming that you do since it says that you're a database manager.

Little One has the pic of Dawn at the end of Buffy vs. Dracula. Many times Dawn has been refered to as "Little..." (Anya - "Hello there little girl.", Spike - "I bet someone's glad to see me, arn't you little bit.", etc.)

Lady Starlight said she was a stay-at-home mom and you got a pic of Joyce.

Humanitas has one of Angel reading reading Jean Paul Sartre's La Nausee not long after he starts walking and talking again after coming back from Hell. And now, he is on a quest to regain his Humanity completly (mortality and all).

Mundusmundi has one of Riley sitting at a desk or something and Mundusmundi has a quote of Spike saying "It's not uncommon, you know. Two people, in the workplace...." Not only were they both slayers, they also shared the college as a workplace - Riley a TA and Buffy the student.

OnM wrote that he was male, mostly human and there is a pic of Doyle whose half human.

Rowan wrote that she has a mean bite and Drusilla is someone who, as you wrote "would 'only bite harder' if someone begged for their life".

Many times ther have been references made by Rufus at having a cat named Rufus and there is a pic of Miss Kitty Fantastico from what looks like last season's season finale.

Slayrunt wrote that his name came from "One of Glory's petnames for Buffy. Sounded like a good name for me as I feel runtish around all these philosophers." Maybe also in reference to Buffy's height as well, I'm not sure.

Solitude 1056 wrote the quote of "Bored now." said by VampWillow from Doppelgängland.

With vampire hunter d, there is one of Faith. They wrote that "Fiederich Nietzie's not bad" for favorite philosopher. Faith, in Season 3, was a "vampire hunter" following Fredrich Nietzsche's dual value systems: the master morality and the slave morality that you wrote in you episode analysis for Bad Girls. The letter "D" is also the first letter of the name of the vamp the killed the slayer before her - Drusilla.

And Wiswoman wrote that she is "human, female, Wiccan [with possible Wiccan references to being an] astrologer and tarot card reader." and there is a pic of Willow.

Liquidram wrote that she is a mom and Darla is the mother of Angel and in Becoming we see that Darla sired Angelus which she said was her firtst episode of Buffy that she watched (although this one is a bit of a stretch, even for me).

Brian has written that he has had various day jobs just like Xander did until this past season.

The only ones I havn't come up with are for Cleanthes, gds and Nina. Right now I'm bored out of my skull and I'm probably thinking way too much into this. This always happens to me when I'm this bored. And I choose this for my choice of Strangest thread topic ever posted.

[> If you don't want to be "liam" let me know... -- Masquerade, 13:41:07 08/06/01 Mon

I noticed for me, the pic of Liam was choosen (although it doesn't show up) and I put that I am a lazy slacker, although not as bad a Liam was.

*good for you, VR* I really wanted to make you Riley, but mundusmundi said of my choice of Riley ("How'd you get a picture of me!?" so m is Riley. You can be any unclaimed character you want. If you can find a fake picture of Riley vamped, I'd add that 'cause I'm including characters and their human or vampire counterparts as two separate characters.

Plus I'll fix the disappearing liam.

Masquerade--computer professional, ex-teacher, not much of a techno-pagan, but jenny was the character I related to the most (plus Willow and Angel but they were taken)

Little One has the pic of Dawn at the end of Buffy vs. Dracula. Many times Dawn has been refered to as "Little..." (Anya - "Hello there little girl.", Spike - "I bet someone's glad to see me, arn't you little bit.", etc.)

*good for you, VR*

Lady Starlight said she was a stay-at-home mom and you got a pic of Joyce.

*good for you, VR*

Humanitas seems highly intellectual, and his posting name is about seeking the potential of humanity. Brooding reading Angel seemed to fit.

Mundusmundi mentioned being a history instructor and needed to know Latin better, so I made her the resident Buffyverse T.A. (the other choice was professor Maggie, but eww)

OnM wrote that he was male, mostly human and there is a pic of Doyle whose half human.

*good for you, VR*

Rowan was such a Spike fanatico in her ten answers, I had to make her a bonafide Spike lover. And the only fictional one I know (that can be proved) is Spike's beloved Dru.

Rufus is the name of Rufus' cat, and let's face it, she thinks like one, too--furry and playful and occassionally scratchy.

Slayrunt is a very short slayer.

Solitude 1056 loves VampWillow. Evil of me to make him look like her. "Could this be more disturbing?" --Doppelgangland

With vampire hunter d is Faith 'cause he's a vampire hunter, but Buffy was already taken. Plus he seems cool in a Faithy-way.

Wiswoman became Willow because Willow's a smart cookie. O.K., book-smarts maybe. She has a way to go in life. Glad you caught the wicca thing!

Liquidram complained of being older than others on the board (which she is SO NOT). I told her I'd depict her as a "sexy old broad" and there was two choices, Darla and Drusilla. But Dru then got taken.

Brian sounded like such a normal, funny guy. Hence, Xander

Cleanthes is a lawyer.

gds is an Ayn Rand fan. Ayn Rand's philosophy is similar to Anya's Capitalist views

Nina asked to be the first slayer. The Guide in "Intervention" also took the form of the first slayer.

[> [> Re: If you don't want to be "liam" let me know... -- VampRiley, 14:00:44 08/06/01 Mon

I like the pic of Liam. I've not even heard of a fake one for a vamped Riley. If I find one I'll let you know.

[> [> Re: If you don't want to be "liam" let me know... -- LadyStarlight, 14:45:16 08/06/01 Mon

Hey Masq, Joyce is cool. Hope I don't have to hit anyone in the head with an axe, though...(I'll be very careful of Parent-Teacher Nights.)

[> [> [> The choice isn't meant to imply that you're dead, either ; ) -- Masq, 14:51:42 08/06/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> Would be more peaceful some days... -- LadyStarlight, 17:53:53 08/06/01 Mon

...some days I could be replaced by a tape recorder & noone would notice.

[> [> [> [> [> Wouldn't work here! You'd be missed! -- Masq, 18:24:49 08/06/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wouldn't work here! You'd be missed! -- LadyStarlight, 06:42:07 08/07/01 Tue

Well, not replaced here...but in RL.

No, don't hit your brother. Don't put that in your mouth. etc, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum

[> [> Re: pictures -- mundusmundi, 15:06:41 08/06/01 Mon

*good for you, VR* I really wanted to make you Riley, but mundusmundi said of my choice of Riley ("How'd you get a picture of me!?" so m is Riley.

If you want VR to be Riley it's fine by me. My aforementioned comment was referring to the cubicle he's sitting in, which looks just like my home away from home. I look nothing like him physically, as my dating history will sadly attest. (So I really don't mind being him either, just to boost my shattered self-esteem. ;)

Personality-wise, I'm more of a Doyle. But OnM's got that "mostly human" thing going, whereas I'm three-quarters bonobo, so that scratches that.

Mundusmundi mentioned being a history instructor and needed to know Latin better, so I made her the resident Buffyverse T.A.

I'm a "he," actually. But I'll gladly assume any TA duties during my tenure here (beats being an adjunct).

[> [> [> I try to avoid pronouns just for that reason! -- Masq, 15:11:31 08/06/01 Mon

Although there is a disclaimer that the pics don't equal the gender of the poster, I guess I got it right in your case.

Side note to any and all who read this:

I actually know more real-life genders of posters than others since so many include RL names in their email addresses. But I won't tell unless asked to...

[> [> [> Re: pictures -- VampRiley, 15:15:05 08/06/01 Mon

If I get a Riley pic, I want it to be one where Riley is vamped. If anyone knows where one might be, it would be greatly appreciated.


[> [> Well, Masq, if you really think I'm a Spike fanatico... -- rowan, 15:18:09 08/06/01 Mon

you should have given me Spike for my photo!(just kidding) :)

[> [> [> And make you your _own_ lust object?? -- Masq, 15:25:01 08/06/01 Mon

"This just couldn't get more disturbing!" --Willow, Doppelgangland

[> [> [> [> Absolutely true! :) -- rowan, 07:22:53 08/07/01 Tue

[> [> Re: If you don't want to be "liam" let me know... -- Nina, 16:02:46 08/06/01 Mon

"Nina asked to be the first slayer. The Guide in "Intervention" also took the form of the first slayer."

yes and... the first slayer burst into the SG dreams in "Restless" just like I burst into this board when I first came in. There were no Buffy to kick me out and Brian told me to stay so you got stuck with me! The first slayer is also a primary force like the one healers and toltec people refer to when they call upon the forces to help them heal people. Not that we look anything alike... maybe she has my bed-hair though! :0

[> Question about "Meet the Posters" text for Masquerade -- Solitude1056, 05:57:01 08/07/01 Tue

Are we allowed to change our lines, as long as we don't all do it at once & not every single week?

[> [> Re: Question about "Meet the Posters" for Masquerade -- Brian, 08:43:26 08/07/01 Tue

Where do we find this item?

[> [> [> You can find it here.... -- Nina, 09:04:53 08/07/01 Tue

[> [> Yes, I just haven't gotten to the updates yet! -- Masq, 09:06:16 08/07/01 Tue

Still adding profiles...

[> Would you guys please capitalize the D in my name -- vampire hunter D, 12:30:27 08/07/01 Tue

[> I got Spike covered in sexy bruises. I am happy. -- voyageofbeagle, 17:43:41 08/07/01 Tue

Summer Reading for Scoobies (look! I'm de-lurking! Welcome me!) -- Sheri, 16:46:59 08/06/01 Mon

Ok, I just started reading Justein Gaarder's "Sofie's World." Its about a 14 year old girl who receives a note in her mail box that reads "Who am I?" In the novel, a mysterious philosopher keeps leaving Sofie letters teaching her about different philosophies so that she can learn more about herself, the world, blah blah blah (that's my simplified explanation--there's also some cool reality bending aspects to the story). Anyhoo, my first thought when I started reading it was, "Hey, this would be a really good book for Dawn to read." You know, with the whole identity crises "Am I a girl? Am I a ball of green energy?" thing. So does anybody have a book or story that they would love to see someone on BtVS or Angel reading?


[> Welcome, delurking Sheri! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 17:02:35 08/06/01 Mon

IMHO, Anya should definitely read Sara Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance...

[> Angel should read.... -- voyageofbeagle, 17:21:50 08/06/01 Mon

"14,000 Things to be Happy About!"

[> Consider yourself welcomed! -- Rattletrap, 19:10:36 08/06/01 Mon

[> Re: Summer Reading for Scoobies (look! I'm de-lurking! Welcome me!) -- dan, 21:11:57 08/06/01 Mon

wow, that's a great book, and *very* apropos for Dawn. this is a really fun topic! As a recently delurked individual myself, welcome!

Buffy, in the Afterlife's library (it's got a GREAT selection!) should be readin' Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling. In her leap off the tower, she *exemplified* Kierkegaard's concept of the "knight of faith."

With Willow's recent shift in her understanding of her sexual identity, her interest might be piqued by the introductory volume of Foucault's History of Sexuality. that, and some of Jeanette Winterson's saucy novels, especially The Passion and Sexing The Cherry.

The entire Scooby Gang, after Buffy's death, might find reading Camus' The Plague helpful and healing, for its incredibly moving portrait of humanity struggling against a harsh and uncaring universe.


[> Re: Summer Reading for Scoobies (Welcome Sheri!) -- d'Herblay, 21:41:10 08/06/01 Mon

Anya: The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek. Capitalism--it's good on ya!
Tara: You Just Don't Understand, Deborah Tannen. "Willow, you see, you use 'report talk,' and I use 'rapport talk' . . . "
Wesley: Farewell, My Lovely, Raymond Chandler. Down these mean streets a man must walk.
Spike & Cordelia: PDR: Physicians' Desk Reference, 2001. There's got to be something in there for those headaches.

[> Welcome! -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 22:11:45 08/06/01 Mon

I think they should all read 'The Watcher's Guide' - how weird would that be?

And 'Sophie's World' is a fantastic book: everyone should read it.

[> [> I'm hoping to finish it one day... -- Sheri, 22:17:57 08/06/01 Mon

I bought Sophie's World when I was living in Sweden, so it is very very slow reading for me... I glad that you all like it :) Thank you for the welcome!

I was just thinking, wouldn't it be funny if Dawn were to find some of Spike's old Bloody Awful Poetry in her English textbook next year? Teehee (yes, I get amused very easily!)


[> [> [> I have this fantasy . . . -- d'Herblay, 22:24:29 08/06/01 Mon

. . . that Spike was really William Ernest Henley, minor Victorian poet of death and vigor.

And that he fakes an Oxbridge doctorate, writing a dissertation on himself, and ends up teaching Tara's Victorian Literature class.

"Willow, my professor is evil."
"What? Twenty-page term papers? They won't let you miss classes for apocalypses? Do you have to keep a reading journal?"
"No, not that evil; it's just that . . . well . . . he's Spike."
"Oh, you're lucky, I can't stake most of my professors . . . "

[> [> [> [> Re: I have this fantasy . . . -- Sheri, 15:11:05 08/07/01 Tue

I've been wondering where Spike gets his money to pay for all those ciggerettes (ack, can't spell)... so I've got this little fantasy that he's been writing romance novels under the pen-name Danielle Steele.

Hummm, I bet if he did find one of his poems published somewhere, it would be attributed to that guy who made fun of William the B.A.P.'s use of the word "effulgent". I can just see Spike trying to figure out a way to kill a guy who's been dead for quite some time now.


[> Welcome! -- rowan, 07:26:41 08/07/01 Tue

[> Re: Summer Reading for Scoobies (look! I'm de-lurking! Welcome me!) -- Dedalus, 09:51:08 08/07/01 Tue

Greetings and salutations, Sheri.

We need to get Tanker over here.

I seem to remember some kind of hello dance/ritual everyone did to welcome new members to ...

Something like "Gabba, gabba, we accept you, gabba, gabba ... " ?

[> [> Hey! Someone saw "Freaks"! -- anom, 18:46:52 08/07/01 Tue

'Something like "Gabba, gabba, we accept you, gabba, gabba ... " ?'

It's from Todd Browning's movie "Freaks," & it goes: "Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, we accept her, we accept her. Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, one of us [the freaks], one of us."

[> [> [> The Ramones did, used the line in "Pinhead" . . . -- d'Herblay, 19:12:22 08/07/01 Tue

[> [> [> Freaks is a *classic*, man. -- Solitude1056, 21:35:56 08/07/01 Tue

One of my favorites - didn't realize someone had quoted it, since I've been too buried to read all the posts recently. Bummer on me for missing a fellow Freaks devotee. ;-)

[> [> [> [> One of us, one of us, one of us... *n/t* -- Andy, 11:45:08 08/08/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> definitely...and -- anom, 16:02:31 08/08/01 Wed

Thought I'd try again, since that last one showed up on the board. Unless the problem's specific to the Reply function....

Not the "bummer on me" part--no way you could know before it came up, right? I mean the "classic" part. Johnny Eck the Half Boy, Randian the Living Torso, Daisy & Violet the Siamese Twins....

BTW, folks outside the NYC area might not know there was a Broadway musical based on the lives of the last 2, called Side Show, which was very good (OK, I'm biased, I know the lyric/book writer) but didn't last long. It ends, after [pain]fully demonstrating the twins' humanity, with Todd Browning coming around looking to cast them in a movie. One of them asks, "What's the name of your movie, Mr. Browning?"...

[> [> You invoke my name, I show up -- Tanker, 23:30:51 08/07/01 Tue

The ritual, which I got from the Ramones song "Pinhead," and which they modified from the version in "Freaks," was:

Gabba gabba, we accept you, we accept you, one of us!

Someone once told Joey Ramone (r.i.p.) about this, and he said something to the effect of how cool we vampire slayers were. I rarely do it on the newsgroup any more. Sheri is exactly the kind of newbie who was likely to get gabba-ed.

In the ng, next would come the ritual spanking. What do you guys do?

-- Tanker (you know, I don't think I ever formally delurked here)

[> [> [> Oooooh, ritual spankings... you really know how to make a girl feel welcome (N/T) -- Sheri, 12:18:41 08/08/01 Wed

[> [> [> Re: I don't recall the ritual spankings ... -- Dedalus, 17:18:56 08/08/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> It was right after we were discussing the Philosophy of Fungus... -- OnM, 17:28:50 08/08/01 Wed

...but I'm not sure it was ever formalized. We aren't that ritualistic here, it's too much physical work!

Welcome, Sheri!


[> [> [> [> [> Well, we are ritualistic about discussing the philosophy of mold.... -- Masq, 17:36:16 08/08/01 Wed

It is summer, after all!

How many moons until October 2???


Promos Not Consistent with Spoilers -- darrenK, 12:50:04 08/07/01 Tue

Obviously, there are Spoilers in this message....

So don't read any further.

I'm serious.

Anyway, I've thought the Buffybot spoilers were hugely lame since the moment I read them, but now that I've seen the promos, I not only think they're lame, I think they're plants. Big Plants.

You see, the spoilers said that Willow was leading the Scoobs, the Buffybot was showing the world a Buffy, and all looked right with the world.

The Promos are all about how the world has gone to hell without the Slayer. If the 'bot is playing Slayer and powerwitch Willow is doing the dusting then would Dawn really need to face the world, stake in hand?

Joss said that they were going to "make the Slayer's death real, make it painful" and that they were going to "earn" her return.

If the 'bot holds Buffy's place, so that the world thinks there is a Slayer, then it limits the consequences of the death. Buffy climbs out of the coffin and takes the place the 'bot held. To the world she will never have left.

In other words, the 'bot makes it easy, keeps it from being real and limits the plot consequences of her death, e.g., Buffy not having to face down an earthly bureaucracy that insists she's dead.

Plus, Xander, Willow, Giles and Co. have had to face Sunnydale without Buffy before and that's when Willow wasn't superwitch and there was no Buffybot. So what makes it worse now?

No, the tone of the Promos is ominous, the Scoobs sound like they've spent 3 months facing a world without a Buffy, any Buffy.

It might just be wishful thinking, but I don't think the 'bot is in the mix.

I also think it's really uncharacteristic of Giles to leave Dawn and the Scoobs to their fate. The Buffy writers are always good about making sure that the characters feel the weight of their emotional debts and Gile's debt to Joyce is almost as big as his post-Gift debt to Buffy. For him to leave Dawn would undermine 5 years of characterization.

Opinions? Ideas? Time's a wasting...

[> You won't get an arguement from me -- vampire hunter D, 13:00:59 08/07/01 Tue

I've always hated the Buffybot spaoilers. They were way too stupid to have come from Joss (they look like something a clone show likeDark Angel would try).

And I agree with your take on Giles leaving. This show always been good at giving the characters a reason to leave, and not just deciding to up and go on a whim.

btw, you asked what's different now compared to the other times the gang had to face evil in town w/o Buffy. Well, the difference is that before, there was always the chance Buffy would come back (even when she ran away). Now, there is no (apparent) chance of here return.

[> [> Re: You won't get an arguement from me -- darrenK, 14:04:54 08/07/01 Tue

You're right that there was always a chance she'd come back, at the same time, she was gone.

And, despite their grief, the Scoobs have never been in better shape to be without her. Willow is getting more and more powerful. Tara is talented. And Spike has sworn to protect Dawn with superhuman, demon fighting vampiric strength.

And, if the spoilers were correct, they have the superstrong, more than willing to fight, Buffybot.

But I'm convinced that the spoilers are wrong...


[> [> [> why buffy gone this time is different... -- justin, 15:10:36 08/07/01 Tue

Because that big scary ass Dragon flew out of the portal! And those guys with the twisted up faces? And the bug faces? oooooooooh. spooky.

[> Promos Not Consistent, anyway - or something? -- Solitude1056, 14:08:03 08/07/01 Tue

The first posting of the promos with Dawn quoted her as saying that "her sister saved her, saved the world, who's going to save us now?" or some such - I never was able to download it, since the page always seemed to have maxed out on its bandwidth. The promo downloaded from Sky One today, though, shows Dawn holding a stick & definitely sounding anything but teary & mopey & wanting a rescuer. Instead she sounds way more like her Bitty Buffy self.

Did the promos change, or is the UK audience seeing different ones?

[> Do the promos seem out of character or is it just me? -- Kerri, 14:27:54 08/07/01 Tue

Honestly, no one seems to sad.

Anya's seemed to be in character. The comment about Buffy's vocal chords decomposing and all...which also serves to remind us what Joss said-Buffy is rotting in her grave.

Dawn's promo...I don't know. She seemed like someone she barely knew had saved her life. Dawn seemed grateful and inspired by Buffy's death. She just didn't seem devestated like I would imagine she would.

Xander also didn't seem sad enough about the loss of his best friend. Also-why did he say the world is going to hell. They survived when Buffy left Sunnydale after season 2. So why not now? After all they've got Willow and Tara's magic and Spike fighting with them.

For some reason I couldn't download the spike trailer so i don't know about that one.

[> You won't get an argument from me on this one... -- rowan, 14:59:30 08/07/01 Tue

I've only seen the Spike promo (surprise, surprise, but the first site I tried didn't work and it was the only one I've been able to view). I will say that my overall impression is that these are very glitzy and done to capture potential viewers. They have almost an overly dramatic, soap opera-ish feel.

Look at Spike's -- he's surrounded by pillar candles (yeah, vamps line up to be around flame, right). He's telling us touchingly about his pain, then suddenly he's talking about the world going to hell in a way that half makes you wonder if he's going to help it along.

I just think that the promos don't have much relationship to the spoilers or even to what's going to happen -- they're just the first wave of a really glitzy ad campaign designed to hook new viewers.

Just one woman's opinion.

[> [> ads for buffy are always bad. -- Justin, 15:07:49 08/07/01 Tue

The Spike promo is as bad as the others. The only good one, as was stated, is the Anya promo. It's in character with the whole show. EXCEPT, the cheesiest and worst part of these promos: LAST SEASON...BUFFY DIED. Or did she?

god is that lame. I'm guessing that UPN put these together and gets to market the show however they want. And ads for Buffy have NEVER been good. Take the covers for the video boxes of the first season. It's PORN Buffy, seductively holding her stake. bleck.

[> [> [> UPN-style promos -- Masquerade, 15:46:35 08/07/01 Tue

I half suspect UPN of hyperbole. Anyone who watched Star Trek Voyager knows those promos blew everything out of proportion. I remember the one where Torres and Paris are stuck floating in outerspace and finally admit they love each other. The promo says, "It could be the greatest love of all time!"

[> [> [> [> Re: UPN-style promos -- rowan, 17:28:39 08/07/01 Tue

I agree with you. I think this is UPN going into overdrive to market the show.

[> [> Spike ........risk taker or owner of a sprinkler system? -- Rufus, 15:49:22 08/07/01 Tue

I don't pay much mind to the promos, they are there to remind you that the show is coming back. It's just seconds of torture til the season starts, I think they are rather clever myself.

[> [> [> *giggling* -- rowan, 17:43:22 08/07/01 Tue

Okay, now I've seen them all. They really are over the dramatic. The Hellmouth never was so...hellmouthy. I did think Anya's was the most consistent with her character. Xander's was a little cold (referring to her as The Slayer) and Spike's is just darn sexy. Is it just me, or did MT look embarassed holding that stake and saying that line?

These plus JM's Q&A at GenCom are really making me antsy for the season to start. The only problem is I'm finally taking my two week dream vacation to England and I'm going to miss eps 5&6 (ack! the musical ep!)

[> [> [> [> find a friend... -- Solitude1056, 17:46:56 08/07/01 Tue

... and threaten to hurt them severely if they don't tape it for you. ;-)

and don't forget to swing by & say hello to Marie!

The hero's journey -- Kerri, 15:46:01 08/07/01 Tue

Ok-I was at The cross and stake spoiler board and someone posted an outline of Joseph Campbell's hero's journey. I added to it my commentary on when each of these events takes place for Buffy.


1. The Call to Adventure-Called as the slayer
2. Refusal of the Call-When she arrives in Sunnydale Buffy tells Giles she is retired.
3. Supernatural Aid-Angel, The Scoobys, Giles
4. The Crossing of the First Threshold-Buffy fights the Master
5. The Belly of the Whale-season 2

1. The Road of Trials-seasons 2, 3, 4
2. The Meeting with the Goddess-the first slayer in Restless
3. Woman as Temptress-The temptation of darkness-Faith, later Dracula
4. Atonement with the Father
5. Apotheosis-Buffy's epiphany in "The Gift", dies in the shape of a cross
6. The Ultimate Boon-understanding of her duty

In my oppinion this is more or less where we are now and we have at least two seasons left to go.

1. Refusal of the Return
2. The Magic Flight
3. Rescue from Without
4. The Crossing of the Return Threshold
5. Master of the Two Worlds
6. Freedom to Live

Just thought that this was interesting, and maybe helpful in predicting the coming seasons.

[> Re: The hero's journey -- Rochefort, 17:44:30 08/07/01 Tue

I never saw the episode where Buffy's father appears. Did she have to do some sort of questing in terms of her father?

Resolving identity in terms of him?

[> [> Buffy's father -- Kerri, 20:32:44 08/07/01 Tue

"I never saw the episode where Buffy's father appears. Did she have to do some sort of questing in terms of her father?"

In "Nightmares" we first meet Hank Summers. He seems to be involved with Buffy's life and interested in maintaining a relationship with his daughter. In this episode we learn that Buffy blames herself for Hank leaving. We hear of Hank sparsely in the series. It is mentioned that Buffy stayed with him the summer after the first season. He is also mentioned in "Helpless" when he backs out on taking Buffy to the ice show. In season 5 we see a very different portrail of a what once seemed like a loving, caring father. Hank is supposed to be in Italy with his secretary, he doesn't return Buffy's calls when Joyce gets sick, and he can't be reached after Joyce's death.

The only real issue Buffy has with Hank is that she blames herself for his leaving, just like she blames herself for other events that she in fact isn't responsible for-Angel turning evil, Riley leaving.

But I think that the "Atonment with the father" stage does not primarily refer to Hank. In a way the first slayer is Buffy's father-her creator. Buffy resolves her issues with the first slayer and what being the slayer means. Just an idea.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy's father -- Rufus, 22:31:57 08/07/01 Tue

You could also count her relationship with the CoW's as her atonment as well. Buffy pretty much took that relationship to a whole new level. They had used Buffy as a tool like the other slayers of past. Buffy corrected their bad habit but didn't cut them off entirely, just sent them to their room...well England and all those books. Also her relationship with Giles has to be counted as a relationship that has gone through some changes. Giles may originate from the CoW but he was the person that allowed Buffy to think for herself and admired her for it. The last confrontation she had with Giles was over Dawn and Buffy was prepared to protect her sister to the end. Buffy's last words to Dawn included Giles...she wanted Giles above all to know she was okay with her final choice.

[> [> [> [> Re: Buffy's REAL father -- Dedalus, 17:25:18 08/08/01 Wed

Come on, what are you guys talking about?

I posted this awhile back at the old Usenet NG, but don't you remember season two's mindblowing ender?

Buffy and Snyder had been swordfighting atop Sunnydale High, Buffy gets her arm cut off, and then the bomb is dropped.

Snyder: Together, we can end this conflict, and bring order to Sunnydale.

Buffy: I'll NEVER JOIN YOU!!!

Snyder: If you only knew the power of the Hellmouth. Giles never told you what happened to your father.

Buffy: He told me enough. He told me you killed him.

Snyder: No. I am your father.


How could you guys forget that one? Get with the program.

[> [> [> [> [> Okay, now you're just plain wrong...Buffy's REAL REAL father was... -- Anthony8, 18:50:00 08/08/01 Wed

...Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in 'Mommie Dearest.'

Faye: 'I don't care whether you're a vampire slayer. NO WIRE HANGERS!'

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Buffy's REAL father -- anom, 21:07:05 08/08/01 Wed

"Snyder: No. I am your father.

But--but that means--Snyder and...Joyce? YAAAAGHHHH!

Now there's one visual I don't want to get!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe she's adopted... -- Cactus Watcher, 08:37:28 08/09/01 Thu

and her real mother is rat-poison lunch-lady! ;oD

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Maybe she's adopted... -- anom, 15:13:07 08/09/01 Thu

"and her real mother is rat-poison lunch-lady! ;oD"

Now her I could picture with Snyder...but I'd rather not.

[> Re: The hero's journey -- Rattletrap, 11:52:22 08/08/01 Wed

Okay, I tried to post this earlier, but I got some sort of error, so apologies if this double posts.
By the way, great job Kerri.

If I remember right, one of the integral parts of Campbell's road of trials is that the Hero meets a figure who is initially a mysterious helper, but blossoms end to either a lover or an enemy. This seems to me a pretty good description of the Buffy/Angel arc through most of the early seasons.

I have also noticed a change in the use of the word "hero" on the show over the last season. In "Blood Ties" Spike tells Buffy "You'll find her, just in the nick of time, that's what you hero types do." And then, from "The Gift," Giles tells Ben, "She's a hero you see, not like us." In both cases, it seems almost like they are using hero with a capital "H," to refer to The Hero in Campbell's sense of the word. My question is this: Is anyone aware of a myth/legend/fairy tale in which The Hero is actually aware that he/she is The Hero? and is this the case for Buffy now?

[> Re: The hero's journey -- vampire hunter D, 12:32:49 08/08/01 Wed

I think we'll see at least the first part of your Chapter III early this year (I mean the Refusal of the Return). In the AICN spoilers, there are two events that strike me as fitting this.
First, the first thing Buffy does after coming back is return to the Tower, with intent to throw herself off again. She's doing this because she does not want to lose the peace she experienced in the Afterlife (and of course, Dawn talks her out of it). Second, it says that an ep or two later, Buffy becomes depressed about her loss and seeks solace in Spike.

While I stand by my belief that the AICN spoilers are 90% bullshit, thses two strike me as at least plausible (especially the tower scene). And this sounds like step 1 of The Return.

[> [> Re: The hero's journey -- Nina, 15:35:34 08/08/01 Wed

Thanks Kerri!

I don't think Buffy thinks she is a hero. People around her can see her like this, but not herself. What kind of hero would go around town saying "I'm a hero" anyway. It's like giving money to people in need and advertize yourself as being a generous person.

I do believe that Joss Whedon is aware of the Hero's journey though. Everything is consistant with chapter 1 and 2. That's part of the journey! And two years is time enough to complete what's left to accomplish by Buffy to be the ultimate Hero.

[> [> [> Re: The hero's journey -- Rahael, 15:42:45 08/08/01 Wed

There's a lengthy thread in the Buffy forum at the Bronzeshelter ( devoted to 'Buffy - Hero's journey. There is a very good analysis as to how Campbell's theories align with Buffy's own journey by AMS and HeyWhyNot. Since all three of us also hang out here as well, you'll recognize how much inspiration and cross pollination has come from this board!

Though the board seems to be down at the moment.......

RtAT: Poul Anderson by OnM: tribute -- anom, 20:52:04 08/07/01 Tue

First: "If you want a thread moved back, just let me know." Thanks, Masq, but I think I'll just take OnM's subject line suggestion this time (thanks, OnM). Wouldn'cha know the disappearing threads thread disappeared.... Anyway, this is what I tried to post about Poul Andersen's death:

Oh, *damn*! He was supposed to be the guest of honor at last year's Philcon (sf convention in Philly) but got sick...they said it wasn't serious, & I hadn't heard anything since...his wife, Karen, showed up by herself...condolences to her, it always sounded like they had one of the great, enduring marriages.

Poul Anderson's books helped draw me further into science fiction (I'd started years earlier, too young for his books, with the Space Cat series). From spacefaring swashbucklers to multiple interplanetary species of traders (come to think of it, Chee Lan was sort of a space cat) to the fantastical "A Midsummer Tempest," in which Shakespeare is not a playwright but The Historian, the characters in that universe speak in iambic pentameter, & so does the barkeep in a cross-dimensional tavern--but only when he's talking to those characters--and so much more, his work has been amazing. It's sad that there'll be no more of it.

And I never did figure out where he got "Polesotechnic League" from, or what it means....

1st Anniversary Character Posting Party: Update -- rowan, 17:50:12 08/07/01 Tue

There is still more fun to come!


08/09/01 Anya Wisewoman

08/16/01 Buffy Nina

08/23/01 Cordelia Solitude1056
08/23/01 Wesley Sam Gamgee

08/30/01 Xander Lurker Becoming Restless

09/06/01 Oz Sssaaammm
09/06/01 Kate Masquerade

09/13/01 Darla Slayrunt
09/13/01 Lindsay Liquidram

09/20/01 The Host verdantheart
09/20/01 The Master Kerri

09/27/01 Joyce Shawn
09/27/01 The Mayor d'Herblay

10/04/01 Doyle Liquidram
10/04/01 Jonathan Malandanza

Still Not Spoken For:

Villains (The Annointed One, Adam, etc.)
Minor or recurring characters (Warren, Amy, etc.)


1. One thread per character please, so that we can keep our great thoughts in one place and reduce board traffic.

2. rowan is the coordinator of the event.

3. Originators of a character thread are selected based on who volunteers first by e-mail or post to rowan (with all attempts to resolve conflicts peaceably).

4. A thread can address any aspect of the character that you find informative, illustrative, illuminating, invigorating, and/or irritating. Analysis based on sound research into eps and shooting scripts preferred.

5. One character thread will be posted per week, to stretch the chewy philosophical goodness as far as possible. rowan will publish a schedule periodically so we all know what's going on.

6. The naming convention for posts is: Character Name: 1st Anniversary Character Posting Party.

7. Masq will immortalize your posts on the website for posterity's enjoyment.

Higher Purpose and the Big Bad -- Ophelia, 14:09:21 08/08/01 Wed

OK, I've had this idea buzzing around my head since the end of last season. Since it won't go away, I decided to throw it out there, see if anyone thinks I'm insane. My apologies in advance if it's been discussed here before.

I've been thinking about higher purposes in the Buffyverse this summer. We've got Buffy (Slayer), Angel (Warrior), Cordelia (Vision Girl), Giles and Wesley (Watchers). I haven't really thought about Willow or Xander, so I'll leave them alone for now.

And since I worship at the alter of the Big Bad, I will now conveniently steer this post towards Spike:) During the S4 episode "The I in Team", Giles tentatively suggests that Spike's chip may be part of something a bit larger than Sunnydale's own version of a vamp neutering program:

Thinking about your affliction -- as
well as your newly discovered ability
to fight only demons. It occurs to
me - and I realize it's against your
nature - but have you considered
there may be a higher purpose--

Aagh. Made me lose count. What are
you still doing here?

Talking to myself, apparently.

Apparently not something that concerns Spike. But we fast forward to S5, Buffylove and a much-changed Spike, courtesy of the chip. And we have this new Spike, who has promised to protect a young woman "till the end of the world, even if it's tonight" -- who did it out of love not only for his Slayer, but also love for Dawn (IMHO).

So my question/hypothesis is this:
What if the chip did serve a higher purpose? And what if this purpose is to provide an unrelenting protector for the key? It kinda goes like this in my head: Spike gets chipped, forcing him into further personal contact with the Scoobies. Spike falls for the Slayer, bringing him into close contact with Dawn. Out of that contact grows an affection independent of Buffy herself. A caring that focuses on Dawn herself -- instant protector of the key.

That's it in a nutshell. Hope it made sense.
Questions, comments, jeering laughter?


[> Re: Higher Purpose and the Big Bad -- Simplicity, 14:41:08 08/08/01 Wed

Your idea makes a lot of sense to me, Ophelia. Spike's attraction to Buffy seemed to drop out of the air -- in the form of a dream no less. It follows that he would be an excellent bodyguard for a immortal entity.

[> [> The adventures of Spike and Dawn -- Wilder, 15:53:07 08/08/01 Wed

"It follows that he would be an excellent bodyguard for a immortal entity."

But Dawn will age, won't she? What would happen to The Key once it's mortal body dies? Will it reopen the gate or close it forever?

questions, questions, questions .....

[> [> [> Re: The adventures of Spike and Dawn -- Dedalus, 17:30:54 08/08/01 Wed

Well, the energy of the Key itself seems pretty immortal ...

Anyway, I had totally forgotten about that quote Ophelia. Thanks. That does work really well. It's amazing how characters are rehabilitated in this show.

We were speculating a while back, and I think it would be hilarious to see Spike as an overprotective big brother. I mean, can you see him freaking out when she starts dating? Giving the guy a hard time, following them around, lurking in bushes, maybe occasionally jumping out in full vamp face when the guy tries to kiss Dawn ...

Could be very good stuff. Okay, maybe not higher purpose stuff, but still good.


[> [> [> [> Re: The adventures of Spike and Dawn -- Ophelia, 17:45:21 08/08/01 Wed

I've always imagined him greeting her dates with his shotgun cradled in his arms and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth...and possibly suggesting some creative anatomical renovations to the poor guy's body if he dares to touch his girl. Poor Dawn, Spike could bode very ill for her dating future!

[> [> [> [> [> Another reason for Spike to act like the Big Bro? -- Sheri, 19:00:33 08/08/01 Wed

Ok, this is just my overactive little fantasy... Now, I think we can all agree that Spike has a bit of an older brother (possibly fatherly) additude towards Dawn. Ok, so my first thought has been that Spike had once had a younger sister who he was very close to and who was a lot like Dawn. So, Wouldn't it be nifty if this sister was *exactly* like Dawn and that the monks modeled Dawn after Spike's sister so that he would be predisposed to protecting her? (yes, I realize that if this was the case Spike probably would have said something--oh well. I still think it would be cool).


[> [> [> [> [> The adventures of Spike and Dawn -- Brian, 20:14:38 08/08/01 Wed

Actually, I see Buffy being overprotective, and Spike saying, "Give the little bit some space! Don't you remember your teenage years." Of course, he would probably say one thing and do another, like lurking while Dawn's on a date, showing up at the malt shop, and coming out for a cig during that "Goodnight moment" with her date. Lots of possibilities for hi-jinks.

[> [> [> Key Immortality -- Ophelia, 17:53:29 08/08/01 Wed

I'd always assumed that the gate couldn't open itself, that it was activated by other events, such as bleeding Dawn at a certain time and place. So maybe if Dawn eventually dies a natural death the energy will just dissipate?

Or maybe Dawn will be immortal herself, and will stop aging once she reaches a certain age. And being that she's comprised of mystical-glowy-key stuff, will she eventually discover her own set of cool supernatural abilities?

[> [> [> [> Re: Key Immortality -- anom, 15:46:30 08/09/01 Thu

"Or maybe Dawn will be immortal herself, and will stop aging once she reaches a certain age."

Maybe she already has, or never started! After all, she was created as a 14-year-old & was never really any younger.

Of course, that'd be hard to maintain on a TV show, since she's played by a human actor who is aging...but if there're only 2 more seasons planned, her appearance may not change that much before the series ends, so maybe they could play it that way after all. Hmmmmm....

[> [> [> [> [> The Key Growing Up -- Wisewoman, 19:05:28 08/10/01 Fri

I don't think they're gonna be able to prolong the inevitable. Did some surfing today to see how much Michelle has grown in the last year or so. The results are here:

At first I thought it would just be her height, which could fairly easily be disguised, but there's something about her face that's shifting, too. Going from "kid" to "young woman" in a hurry...


[> [> [> The Purpose of the Key -- darrenK, 06:32:14 08/09/01 Thu

I think the point is that the energy of the KEY isn't meant to survive Dawn.

The Key has been made human for a purpose and I think we're going to see that purpose play out over the next two seasons or so.

[> [> [> [> Re: The Purpose of the Key -- Mike, 08:12:30 08/09/01 Thu

I'm not sure I'd agree with that. Obviously I dont know what IS going to happen, but I dont think this is necessarily true. Why can't the energy return to it's natural form (whatever that may be) once/if Dawn were to die?

[> [> [> [> [> How many times can the Key be used? -- darrenK, 15:04:14 08/09/01 Thu

To quote Giles from "the Gift..."

"the portal closes when the energy is used up, when Dawn is dead..."

This leads me to strongly believe that use of the Key is a one time only endevour.


[> [> [> [> [> [> not sure we can be sure -- Mike, 01:00:34 08/10/01 Fri

I wont be disappointed if that is the case

I guess the whole storyline so far has revolved around Dawns (human) blood being the key to the key (ahem)

But personally i think this will prove not to be the case. I can't help believeing that if Dawn were to die, the energy of the key would live on.

[> [> Re: Higher Purpose and the Big Bad -- WanderLost, 10:36:05 08/09/01 Thu

Well, I know I'm not the first to suspect the work of the monks here.

I mean, they wouldn't even need to change his memory of events, really. He always related to Buffy in a very intense, passionate way. Always lusted after her, I think. It would only take the slightest nudge. Just the tiniest alteration in how he remembered *feeling* about their interations. And this worked on his mind. And a couple months after the spell was set, it became a consious thing. And presto, instant key protector.

Mind you, Spike & I are too much the Romantics to really like this idea, but it kinda makes sense.

Anya: First Anniversary Character Posting Party--Part I -- Wisewoman, 21:07:37 08/08/01 Wed

From Anyanka: Vengeance Demon,
to Anya: Loving, Learning Machine

Part I

While all of the Scooby Gang members have grown and matured significantly since we first met them, none has accomplished as startling and rapid a transformation as the character of Anya. In the short 2 12 years since she was introduced Anya has developed from an 1100+ year old vengeance demon into a loving and devoted girlfriend, and a fully functioning, productive member of society. And, despite her frequently tactless outspoken honesty, she is starting to be accepted as a valuable and respected addition to the SG. Her journey has alternated between being one of the funniest and one of the most touching aspects of the series.

Most of what we know of Anyanka's life as a vengeance demon we learn in four episodes: The Wish, Doppelgangland, The Prom, and Triangle. We can assume that she was demonized by D'Hoffryn in about the year 878 because when she first appears in The Wish, in November/December of 1998, she says she is 1120 years old.

In this episode, Giles' research into Anyanka was edited out of the televised version. He finds (in the shooting script) that she "raised a demon to ruin her unfaithful lover. The demon did her bidding-but then cursed her and turned her into a sort of...patron saint for scorned women," who grants their wishes. If this remains true, despite being cut, then the demon Anyanka raised was D'Hoffryn. We learn that he is the one who gave her the pendant that served as her power centre. Anyanka tells Cordelia that this pendant was given to her by her "father" as a good luck charm.

As a demon Anyanka is a smoking gun, in a "guns don't kill people, people kill people" kind of way. She functions as a tool of scorned women, to fulfil their wishes, rather than as an initiator of vengeance in her own right. Cordelia is the reason that Anyanka is in Sunnydale. "The cry of a wronged woman is like a siren's call to Anyanka," and Xander has seriously wronged Cordy. (In context, The Wish follows the episode Lover's Walk in which Cordelia and Oz burst in to save a Spikenapped Xander and Willow and find them in a compromising position, i.e. lying on a bed, kissing. In the aftermath of this shock Cordy is seriously injured, and spends some time recuperating physically and systematically cutting Xander out of her life.) It should be noted that Anyanka appears powerless to wreak havoc on Xander or anyone else by her own volition. She tries (desperately and humorously) to get Cordelia to wish some evil on Xander, but is ultimately unsuccessful.

The introduction of Anyanka in The Wish was a fairly obvious plot device, much like Clarence the Angel in "It's A Wonderful Life," allowing us to see what life in Sunnydale would have been like without Buffy's presence. As such, Anyanka was really secondary to the main plot, which concerned a Slayerless gang of vampire fighters, led by Giles and Oz, battling a large force of vampires led by the Master, and featuring VampWillow and VampXander. I don't doubt that Anya may initially have been intended to appear in only one, or possibly two episodes, and I'm not sure if her reappearance in Doppelgangland had as much to do with the appeal of Anya as a character, as it did with the desire to showcase more of VampWillow's sexy evil! It does seem fortuitous though, that she arrived on the scene just as Cordelia was preparing to depart for AtS. In many ways Anya has filled the hole left by Cordy's departure.

Whatever the reason, we do get to see Anya again in Doppelgangland, episode 16 of season 3. Giles has robbed her of her demon powers by smashing her power amulet, and she pleads with D'Hoffryn (who is described as "the high demon") to restore them.

D'Hoffryn: (sternly interrupts) Your powers were a gift of the lower beings. You have proved unworthy of them.

Anya: I was robbed of them.

D'Hoffryn: By your carelessness.

Anya: (dramatically) For a thousand years I wielded the powers of The Wish. I brought ruin to the heads of unfaithful men. I brought forth destruction and chaos for the pleasure of the lower beings. I was feared and worshipped across the mortal globe. (disgustedly) And now I'm stuck at Sunnydale High. (despondently) Mortal. Child. And I'm flunking math.

D'Hoffryn: (dismissingly) This is no concern of ours. You will live out your mortal life and die.

Anya: (pleadingly) Give me another chance. You can fold the fabric of time. Send me back to that place and I'll change it. I won't fail again.

D'Hoffryn: Your time is passed.

Anya: (desperately) Do you have any idea how boring twelfth graders are? (stands up) I'm getting my power center back. (defiantly) And if you won't help me, then, by the pestilent gods, I will find someone who will!"

In various subsequent episodes we learn bits and pieces about Anyanka's demon life. In Graduation Day Part I she tell the SG she was present "...about 800 years ago in the Koskov Valley above the Urals" when a sorcerer achieved Ascension and became the embodiment of the demon Lohesh. She "hung out" with Dracula when she was a silly young thing of 700 or so. She knows the "real" Santa Claus, who is not a myth, but a disemboweller of children. And she thought President Warren G. Harding was cute.

In Something Blue we get to hear Anya's version of how D'Hoffryn made her a demon: "I'd been dumped, I was miserable, doing a few vengeance spells - boils on the penis, nothing fancy...D'Hoffryn got wind of me, he offered to elevate me...He made me a demon."

However, in Triangle we learn that what she did specifically was to turn her boyfriend, Olaf, a "big dumb guy" who cheated on her, into a troll, which is how she got the job as a vengeance demon.

There's an inconsistency here with Giles' research into Anyanka. He finds that she was "cursed" and made a demon because she'd conjured up D'Hoffryn, while Anya considers that she was "elevated" to demon because she'd been able to turn Olaf into a troll. If Anya is to be held accountable for any of the crimes committed by Anyanka it can only be if she was offered the job of vengeance demon and took it willingly, and even then she does not seem to have been granted any powers to act on her own.

In any event, Anya makes it pretty clear to anyone who'll listen that she considers human to be a step down from demon, and she's determined to regain her powers and mentions this frequently in the first few weeks she's in Sunnydale. Then something happens to take her mind off her lost powers, at least temporarily, and she tells Xander in The Prom that it's all his fault. "You were unfaithful to Cordelia so I took on the guise of a twelfth-grader to tempt her with the Wish. When I lost my powers I got stuck in this persona, and now I have all these feelings. I don't understand it. I don't like it. All I know is I really want to go to this dance and I want someone to go with me."

Poor Anya! Not only stuck in a human body, but suddenly forced to deal with a raging flux of teenage hormones that she's had no time to get used to or develop defences against. And poor Xander! He becomes the target of her hormonally fuelled desire because he's "not quite as obnoxious as most of the alpha males" around Sunnydale. That's the reason Anya gives him, but right from the start of their relationship there seems to be something more to it for her, something she is powerless to control. In Graduation Day Part I she tries to convince Xander to escape from Sunnydale with her before the Mayor's Ascension:

Anya: "We could just get in the car and drive. No one would miss us. We could take turns driving. Keep each other awake. You're going to die if you stay here."

Xander: "I guess I might."

Anya: "When I think that something could happen to you, it feels bad inside, like I might vomit.

Xander: "Welcome to the world of romance."

It might not be going too far to say that, for Anya, Xander was love at first sight; at least at first human sight. She still has enough sense to get out of Dodge when the Ascension is about to happen, though, and the next time we see her is in episode 3 of season 4, The Harsh Light of Day. She accosts Xander while he's working with Giles and tells him, "I can't stop thinking about you. Sometimes in my dreams you're all naked."

Xander tells her she's rushing things, that "these things kind of have to develop on their own," and she wants to know how. All Xander can reply is that it just happens. Anya, of course, takes him literally, and decides that she'll make it just...happen. She seeks him out in his musty basement, removes her clothing, and proposes sexual intercourse, having been thoughtful enough to bring along condoms, some of which are black.

Anya: "I like you. You're funny, and you're nicely shaped. And frankly, it's ludicrous to have these interlocking bodies and not...interlock. Please remove your clothing now."

Xander: "And the amazing thing...still more romantic than Faith."

Demons may enjoy sex (certainly vampires seem to!) but they ain't got nothin' on the overwhelming reproductive imperative that is a human, teenage female ...whether true love is involved or not. The point, though, is that in Anya's case, true love is involved. Her burgeoning relationship with Xander in season four and it's growth throughout season five brings her into constant contact with the other Scoobies, with often hilarious and/or disastrous results, but her behaviour is always motivated by her fierce love for Xander.

Anya: "Xander is in trouble. We've got to do something, right now!"

Giles: "Uh, ah, where is Buffy and the others?"

Anya: "They're trapped, too, but we've got to save Xander!" (Halloween)

This attitude may be a holdover from her previous human existence. If she was as passionate about Olaf, it's no wonder she cursed him when he cheated on her.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, that seems to be about the only human attribute Anya has retained. And everything else about her humanity has to be relearned, step by painful step. It's a daunting task, but Anya is equal to it...and she has help. We have ample evidence that Xander recognizes Anya's struggle early on and spends time talking with her, explaining human behaviour to her and suggesting ways in which she might behave more "normally." From Graduation Day Part 1:

Anya: Come with me.

Xander: I can't.

Anya: Why not?

Xander: I've got friends on the line.

Anya: So?

Xander: That humanity thing's still a work in progress, isn't it?

Truer words were never spoken, and Xander takes up the role as tutor along with the one as boyfriend.

In Hush Anya embarrasses Xander in front of the gang by saying that all he cares about is lots of orgasms, and he responds with:

"Okay, remember when we talked about private conversations? How they're less private when they're in front of my friends?"

One reminder is never enough, though...

Giles: I, uh, one time I, uh, I was up to a little bit of a prank with the dart board-

Anya: I'm bored. Let's eat.

Xander: (Sternly) Anya, we've talked about this.

Anya is particularly prone to putting her foot in her mouth with Giles:

Anya: You sold someone Khul's amulet AND a Sobekian Blood Stone.

Giles: Yes, I believe I did.

Anya: Are you stupid or something?

Giles: Allow me to answer that question with a firing.

Xander: She's kidding. An, we talked about the employee to employer vocabulary no-no's...that was number five.

...and Xander finds himself forced to keep tabs on Anya's progress and run interference...

Buffy: If Riley and I hadn't gotten so...wrapped up in each other...none of this would have happened.

Anya: True. (to Riley) Feel shame.

Xander: My girlfriend-mistress of the learning plateau.

Sometimes he finds the only thing to do is to ask her, politely, to shut up:

Willow: Tara said they took him [Oz] right before she found me.

Anya: So that's good, right? They probably haven't had time to eviscerate him yet.

Xander: You can help by making this a quiet moment, An.

And sometimes he uses humour, his personal forte, to instruct her:

Anya rings up a purchase. Addresses the customer:

Anya: Please go.

Xander: Anya, the Shopkeepers Union of America called? They want me to tell you "please go" just got replaced with "have a nice day."

Anya: I have their money. Who cares what kind of day they have?

Xander: No one. It's a long cultural tradition of raging insincerity. Embrace it.

Anya nods. Yells at the customer who's nearly out the door:

Anya: Hey! You! Have a nice day.

Xander: There's my girl.

Sometimes Anya takes her lessons a little too seriously:

A customer is leaving the counter as Anya puts money in the register:

Anya: Thank you for coming! We value your patronage! Come again for more purchases!

Giles: We could perhaps be a bit less effusive, Anya. Let's not frighten the people away.

Xander doesn't hesitate to show his pride in her progress, especially when she does something that helps Buffy and the gang:

Xander: Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together for Scooby of the Month here.

...and eventually he seems to accept her idiosyncrasies:

Anya: Oh, that girl [April], Tara and I met her. She speaks with a strange evenness and selects her words a shade too precisely.

Xander (looking at Anya fondly): Some of us like that kind of thing in a girl.

Anya's quest for knowledge even makes an appearance in Xander's dream in Restless: "I've been keeping close tabs on cultural trends-a lot of men being unfaithful-very exciting things happening in the scorned women market..."

Anya also takes up the challenge to teach herself. It's strange that we seldom, if ever, see her reading, when it becomes obvious that she must read copiously, particularly pop psychology and women's magazines. From Into The Woods:

Dawn: When I was younger, I used to put my chopsticks in my mouth like this (Dawn puts chopsticks in her mouth like vampire fangs) and Buffy would chase me around the house yelling, "I'm the Slayer! I'm gonna get you!"

Anya: That's disturbing. You're emotionally scarred and will turn out badly.

In A New Man she helps Spike prepare to move from Xander's place to a crypt:

Anya: Wait. (she gets up and unplugs a tall three-headed lamp and brings it over to Spike) I want to give you something for your new place.

Xander: That's my lamp!

Anya: A gift is traditional. I've read about it.

And, from Intervention:

Anya: We're just kinda thrown by the, you having sex with Spike.

Buffy: The who whatting how with huh?

Anya: Okay that's denial. That comes before anger.

Buffy: I am not having sex with Spike!

Anya: Anger.

In this exchange she's referring to the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, On Death and Dying, 1969).

We find out in Tough Love that, in addition to her vast personal knowledge of history and demonology, she's studied economics and politics as well:

Anya: I've recently come to realize there's more to me than just being human. I'm also an American.

Giles: I suppose you are, in a manner of speaking. You were born here. Your mortal self.

Anya: That's right, foreigner. So I've been reading a lot about the good ol' Us of A, embracing the extraordinarily precious ideology that helped to shape and define it.

Willow: Democracy.

Anya: Capitalism. A free market dependent on the profitable exchange of goods for currency. A system of symbiotic beauty...

Added to her reading, she makes use of the media as a free tutor.

Anya: What do I mean to you?

Xander: Well, I...we, you know, we spend...we'll talk about it later.

Anya: I think we should talk about it now!

Xander: If you don't know how I feel-

Anya: I don't! This isn't a relationship. You don't need me! All you care about is lots of orgasms! (Hush)

You can pretty much pick which afternoon talk show you think led up to that conversation. And then there's this exchange, from Where the Wild Things Are:

Anya: I don't understand-I'm pretty. I'm young...Why didn't you take advantage of me? Is something wrong with your body?

Xander: There's nothing wrong with my body.

Anya: There must be. I saw that wrinkled man on TV talking about erectile dysfunction...

She's willing to share her new knowledge by offering helpful suggestions to others, such as: "In the movies, when someone goes crazy, they slap 'em."

There is also the wealth of information available to her on the Internet. She tells Tara, in I Was Made to Love You, "Oh, at first it was confusing. Just the idea of computers was like-whoa-I'm eleven hundred years old here-I had trouble adjusting to the idea of Lutherans.

Tara: I go on-line sometimes, but everyone has really bad spelling. It's depressing.

Anya: Oh, but you have to try on-line trading. It's great. The secret is avoiding the tech companies everyone was jumping on, and going with the smaller firms that supply them with the basic components...

Not too shabby for a recent ex-demon. be continued

[> Re: Anya: First Anniversary Character Posting Party--Part II -- Wisewoman, 21:09:32 08/08/01 Wed

Part II

Of course, being Xander's girlfriend is a "love me, love my friends" proposition, and so Anya travels the rocky road to Scoobydom, encountering more than a few pitfalls along the way. While it may not seem obvious, there are two very good reasons for Anya to want to infiltrate the Scooby Gang: 1) in order to be accepted by Xander's friends, because he is her first priority, and 2) in order to survive, which is her second, very practical priority. Love of Xander means she's forced to stay on the Hellmouth as long as that's where he is, and she figures out pretty quickly that she's far more likely to survive in the company of the Slayer and her friends. In The Yoko Factor, Anya points out to Xander that the Scoobies look down on him, and he replies, "And they hate you," which she counters with, "But they don't look down on me." What Anya has to offer the gang in exchange for their respect is initially the knowledge that only she, as an ex-demon has. By The Gift, though, Anya reveals that her talent for "thinking outside the box" is equal to her specialized knowledge. As she so aptly puts it, "Here to help. Want to live."

In Into The Woods she reveals how hurt she is by the gang mocking her: "Oh, yes. Very humorous. Make fun of the ex-demon. I can just hear you in private: 'I dislike that Anya. She is newly-human and strangely literal.'" Understandably, she finds it easier to bond with the other Scooby outsiders first--Tara and Spike. She and Tara find themselves sharing Giles' bathroom during an uncomfortable SG argument in TYF:

Tara: You think this'll go on awhile?

Anya: Hard to say.

Tara: Nice bathroom.

Anya: Like the tile.

She further cements their bond in IWMTLY, when she tells Tara that she's tripled her wages from Giles using on-line trading:

Tara: You can do this stuff with a regular computer?

Anya: I'll show you! Also, you can see the web site I designed for the Magic Shop. Huge photo of me...

She has even more in common with Spike in his chipped state. In WTWTA, they commiserate at The Bronze:

Anya: Boy I miss those powers.

Spike: Yeah. Tell me about it [...]We should just go do the vengeance. Both of us. You go eviscerate Xander, I'll stake Dru. Like, a project.

Anya: I don't know...I just can't. You can go do Dru though.

Spike: Yeah. I will. Maybe later.

Surprisingly, Buffy seems to accept Anya at face value and they seldom tussle (well, except for the memorable, "Stop with the shrimp! I'm trying to do something serious here!" scene). Anya's issues with Buffy all have to do with her possessiveness of Xander, as demonstrated in Goodbye Iowa:

Anya: You should get a boring boyfriend, like Xander. (beat) But you can't have Xander.

Buffy: That was the idea. Riley was supposed to be Mr. Joe Guy [...]

Anya: So dump him. But you can't have Xander.

Buffy: I'll try to remember that...

...and later in the same ep...

Buffy: Giles and Anya will keep researching. Xander, you and I will go in undercover.

Anya: Hey! Remember before? No Xander. Not in a boyfriend-way or a lead-him-to-certain-death-way.

Once Riley's gone though, Anya's attitude softens. She must be feeling a bit more secure in her relationship in IWMTLY because she "lets" Buffy dance with Xander:

Anya: I let them do that. Dance together. That was me.

Tara: Very nice of you.

Willow: A good deed.

Anya: Yes. I'm expecting a big karmic reward any second now.

Anya has a much more difficult time winning Giles over. There's something about her that is the antithesis to his reserved British demeanour:

Giles: I have a friend coming to town. I'd like us to be alone.

Anya: Oh. You mean an orgasm friend.

Giles: Yes, that's exactly the most appalling thing you could have said.

In The Gift Giles is understandably tense, but it's Anya that he snaps at:

Giles: Yes, Anya, apart from your incredibly uninfectious enthusiasm, have you anything to contribute? Any ideas on how to fight a god? Love to hear 'em.

In fact, Anya has a whole raft of ideas, enough to impress even Giles:

Giles: Anya, that's all very-did you just think of all that just now?

Xander: Smart chicks are so hot.

By far Anya's biggest challenge is Willow, so much so that we have an entire episode, Triangle, devoted to the friction between them. Anya's problem with Willow, again, is Xander-centric. Willow is his best friend and has known him since they were little, and there's no way Anya can compete with those years of shared experience. She's jealous of their friendship and she's still suspicious of Willow's intentions concerning Xander. Willow's problem with Anya goes deeper. She's long since gotten over her Xander crush, so it's not motivated by jealousy. It's more a personality clash. Anya brings out the worst in Willow:

Anya: You're quoting literature I have no way to be familiar with. You're trying to make me feel left out. And you're stealing!

Willow: I'm just taking stuff and not paying for it. In what twisted dictionary is that stealing?

She can even drive her to downright meanness:

Anya: You endangered the money!

Willow: Right, of course that's what she cares about. (Imitating Anya) I like money better than people. People can so rarely be exchanged for goods and/or services.

The real crux of the matter for Willow seems to be Anya's outspokenness...

Willow: Hey, Anya. Whatever really has you mad, just say it like you do every other thought that stomps through your brain.

...which Willow interprets as rudeness and an inability to play by the rules:

Anya: In case we need 'em, I'm getting more of all the things you stole.

Willow: I didn't-why do you do that?

Anya: What?

Willow: You're so rude! I mean, sure, at first, ex-demon, doesn't know the rules. Well, now you've been here forever. Learn the rules!

Anya: The rules are stupid.

Willow: Great. Whatever. Just thought you might be interesting in acting more like a human. Some of us enjoy it.

Pretty nasty talk for our little Will. As often happens in real life, it takes a major emotional outburst from both of them to clear the air and pave the way to détente:

Anya: Oh! You think I'm going to hurt Xander? I'd never hurt Xander! (Willow shrugs) You really think I would do that!?

Willow: Anya, it's what you do. You spent, what, a thousand years, hurting men. You got your thousand years of hurting men gold watch. [...]

Anya: I don't do magic now. You're the one with that kind of power. In fact, D'Hoffryn offered you my old job! You're closer to being a vengeance demon than I am! Maybe Xander should be afraid of you!

Willow: Xander's my best friend!

Anya: And you don't want anyone else to have him. I know what broke up him and Cordelia, you know. It was you! And your lips.

Willow: No, it was not! Well, yes it was so! But that was a long time ago! You think I'd do that again?

Anya: Why not?

Willow: Hello? Gay now!

Anya: But you're always doing everything you can to point out how much I'm an outsider. You've known him since you were squalling infants together. You'll always know him better than I do. You could sweep in, poison his mind against me-

Willow: You're insane! I'm not going to take him away! And I'm not going to hurt him!

Anya: Well, I'm not either!

And there it is, in a nutshell. From this point on Willow's attitude toward Anya softens noticeably, to the extent that she frequently appoints Anya as guardian of the brain-sucked Tara in the last few episodes of Season 5. Anya can confidently say to Xander, "Willow likes you too, but not in a sexy way 'cuz she's gay, and she won't break us up so it's all okay," and she is able to offer support, albeit bumbling, to Willow in the wake of Tara's tragedy:

Willow:'s a whole night and I don't think I can sleep without her.

Anya: You can sleep with me. You know, that came out a lot more lesbian than it sounded in my head.

While she's struggling to learn how to fit in with the Scoobies, Anya is simultaneously learning The Game of Life and all that it entails. Much has been made of her devotion to money but initially she didn't seem to have any financial worries. Part of the set-up for her appearance as a Sunnydale high school student included a supposedly wealthy father who had apparently provided her with an apartment, a car, and enough cash to see her through for several months. In the Season 5 premiere, Buffy versus Dracula, Anya seems completely unaware of the need for money while playing the board game version of The Game of Life with Xander and Dawn:

Anya: Look at this. Now I am burdened with a husband and several tiny pink children and more cash than I can reasonably manage.

Xander: That means you're winning.

Anya: Really?

Xander: Yes. Cash equals good.

Anya: Oh, I'm so pleased! Can I trade in the children for more cash?

By the time we get to Out of My Mind and Giles is taking over the Magic Box, her funds are running low...

Anya: ...I'm nearly out of money. I've never had to "afford" things before and it's making me bitter.

Giles: And the change is palpable...

Despite their differences, Anya proves to be an indispensable assistant at the shop and Giles offers her a job, which she readily accepts. "I'm just so excited. They come in, I help them, they give us money in exchange for goods, you give me money for working for you... I have a place in the world now. I'm part of the system. I'm a workin' gal." Her respect for money grows in leaps and bounds and, as we later learn, she's able to triple her probably meagre earnings with on-line trading. There's more to The Game of Life than money, though. After apartment-hunting with Xander in The Replacement, she tells him she's been thinking about their future together:

Anya: I mean, what's next in our lives? When do we get a car?

Xander: A car?

Anya: And a boat. No, wait. I don't mean a boat. I mean a puppy. Or a child? I have a list somewhere.

As John Burwood so insightfully pointed out in a recent post, "Anya's list is a garbled allusion to what real life, and real love, are all about. Real love is not about romance or sex but about sharing a life, including homes, taxes, children, boats, etc. It is about normal life..."

And what could be more important to an ex-demon than a normal life? Anya is threatened by the appearance of members of the Watcher's Council in Checkpoint and her attempts to appear "normal" are laughable.

Travers: You, miss, you work here?

Anya: Yes. I do. Ever since I moved here from south-eastern Indiana where I was raised by a mother and a father.

When a member of CoW asks her for her name she replies, "Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins. Twenty years old. Born on the fourth of July, and don't think there weren't jokes about that my whole life, mister, 'cause there were. "Who's our little patriot?" they'd say when I was younger and therefore smaller and shorter than I am now."

When it's pointed out that she has no special skills or powers or knowledge to bring the group, she says, "Just enthusiasm for killing the demons. Go deadness for the demons!"

While she may never come across as "normal" to most of the inhabitants of the Buffyverse, Anya has succeeded admirably in winning a place in Xander's heart, and in the lives of those closest to him. This is beautifully confirmed in Into The Woods, when Xander finally expresses the extent of his feeling for her: "I need to say something to you. I should have said it a long time ago. I mean, you may not even know...I love you, Anya, more every day. I love the way you see things. I love the way you work a cash register and how beautiful you are-and how amazingly sweet and crazy you can be at the same time...I can't imagine my days without you-and I wouldn't want to."

In fact, the best measure of Anya's progress from demon to human is how she's dealt with those twin bastions of humanness; love and death. As I said earlier, Anya's behaviour is usually motivated by her love for Xander, except when it's motivated by her fear of death, and the two motivations sometimes conflict. Anya's worry about her human mortality surfaces in The Replacement. In a previous episode she's been injured in a vamp attack and has a dislocated shoulder. Her arm is in a sling. When she tells Xander that they better hurry up and have a life because she's dying, and may have as little as 50 years left, he rapidly concludes that the recent injury has prompted her fear:

Xander: You haven't been hurt like this since you became human. Maybe it's finally hitting you what being human means...You were going to live for thousands more years. Now you're going to age and...die. It must be terrifying.

Anya confirms this in The Gift:

Anya: see, usually, when there's an apocalypse, I skedaddle. But now I love you so much that instead I have inappropriately timed sex and try to think of ways to fight a god and worry terribly that something might happen to you, and also worry that something'll happen to me and then I have guilt that I'm not more worried about everyone else but I just don't have enough, I'm just on total overload and I honestly don't think anything could make me more nervous than I am right now.

Of course it's terrifying. For someone so obsessed with learning how to be human, death presents a major stumbling block. That, in combination with Anya's inability to prevaricate, gives us what, for my money, is the best written and most moving scene in five years; Anya's reaction to Joyce's death in The Body:

Anya: Are they gonna cut the body open?

Willow: Oh my god will you shut your mouth? Just not open it please?

Anya: What am I doing?

Willow: How can you act like that?

Anya: Am I supposed to be changing my clothes a lot, is that the helpful thing to do-

Xander: Guys...

Willow: The way you behave-

Anya: Well nobody will tell me-

Willow: Because it's not okay for you to be asking these things!

Anya: BUT I DON'T UNDERSTAND! I don't understand how this all happens, how we go through this, I mean I knew her and then she's, there's just a body, I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead, it's stupid, it's mortal and stupid, Xander's crying and not talking and I was having fruit punch and I thought that Joyce would never have any more fruit punch and she'd never have eggs, or yawn, or brush her hair, not ever and no one will explain why...

Willow: We don't know. How it works. Or why.

Later, at the morgue, Anya tries to express her feelings to Buffy, much to Willow's and Xander's discomfort:

Anya: I wish that Joyce didn't die. Because she was nice and now we all hurt.

Xander: Anya, ever the wordsmith.

But Buffy isn't offended. In fact, she acts as if that was exactly the right thing to say, and just replies, sincerely, "Thank you."

And yet, despite Anya's fear of death she's more than willing to sacrifice herself for the man she loves. In Triangle Olaf tries to force Xander to choose whether Anya or Willow will die, and when Xander won't make that choice Olaf threatens to kill him instead. Anya immediately offers herself, saying, "Choose me! Choose me to die! Just don't take him!" She proves herself again in the final moments of The Gift when she pushes Xander out of the way and takes the full brunt of a collapsing wall herself.

The death of Joyce, someone that she knows and likes, is what finally brings Anya face to face with what life is really all about, and in the following exchange with Xander we find that the pupil has become the teacher. They have just finished making love...

Anya: That was different.

Xander: It was more...intense. Very intense, actually.

Anya: It's because of Joyce.

Xander: Right, I...huh?

Anya: She died. She's gone forever.

Xander: Yeah. I kinda picked up on that.

Anya: Well, she got me thinking...About how people die all the time...And how they get born too...And how you kind of need one so you can have the other.

Xander: True. It would get kind of crowdy and stinky on Earth if nobody vacated.

Anya: And when I think about it that way, it makes death a little less sad and sex a little more exciting.

Xander: Again I say-huh?

Anya: Well, I just feel like I understand sex more. It isn't just about two bodies smooshing together. It's about life.

Xander: Got it. What makes you feel more alive than the good stuff?

Anya: Exactly. Sex is like a big party for our aliveness. But it's more than that. It's about making life.

Xander: Right! When two people are much older and way richer and far less stupid-

Anya: Breathe. You're turning colors. I'm not ready to make life with you. but I could, we could. Life could come out of our love and our smooshing and that's beautiful...It all makes me feel like we're part of something bigger. Like I'm more awake somehow, you know?

Xander: Yeah. I do.

At this point the ex-vengeance demon understands more about life than many of the people I've met in the Realverse, and it's easy to see how this scene leads directly to Xander's proposal of marriage in The Gift. Xander has chosen the right woman for him. She's no longer a demon, she's not a witch, she's not a vampire (with or without soul), and she's not really a hero-but she's become an honest, sensitive, loving human being-and perhaps her real journey is just beginning... be continued

(With thanks to Rayne's Shooting Script Site, and Psyche's Transcripts.)

[> [> Re: Anya: First Anniversary Character Posting Party--Part II with corrected links -- Wisewoman, 21:23:34 08/08/01 Wed

Part III

Well, I'm done at last. But for those of you dedicated enough to make it to the end, there are a couple of other little aspects of Anya that I've saved for last...




[> [> [> Ooh! Bunnies -- d'Herblay, 21:37:21 08/08/01 Wed

There's more grailness coming up . . .

Also, one quick question. You took a lot from the shooting scripts, and I don't recall ever hearing the line, "Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together for Scooby of the Month here." I'm guessing it's from "The Gift." If not, what was the context?

[> [> [> [> Re: Ooh! Bunnies -- Wisewoman, 21:45:51 08/08/01 Wed

Oh, darn it! I thought I'd crossed checked them all with Psyche's transcripts, but that one got past me. It was cut from Out Of My Mind. Good catch!


[> [> [> [> [> Now I'm just being a wise ass -- d'Herblay, 22:09:01 08/08/01 Wed

"No Place Like Home."

I wonder why they cut the Dave Eggers reference?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Now I'm just being a wise ass -- Wisewoman, 22:21:52 08/08/01 Wed

Not at all! That's part of the fun. If you could see the condition my office is in right now, you'd understand how these little oversights happened! I'm just glad the post is done and I can get on with the rest of my vacation... ;o)

[> [> [> [> [> another shooting script/aired show difference? -- anom, 22:31:53 08/12/01 Sun

First, kudos to Wisewoman! Very impressive.

I remember Xander's "love" speech to Anya differently in the episode (Into the Woods, I think) as it aired. After the "something to tell you" intro, it started: "I'm in love with you. Powerfully, painfully in love...." I think this is another instance where changes were made from the dialog in the shooting script.

The scene Wisewoman cited in the hospital after Joyce dies, when Anya says, "I wish your mom didn't die..." seems to me to be an example of something Xander does fairly often: presuming to speak for the others, who he thinks--usually wrongly--will object to what she's just said. I think he overestimates both the inappropriateness of Anya's words & the willingness of the others to allow for her learning curve. On the other hand, he does often jump in either to steer Anya toward passing for normal or to defend/excuse her when she doesn't.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: another shooting script/aired show difference? -- Wisewoman, 06:47:12 08/13/01 Mon

Hi anom! I'm sure you're right. I'll look through my (copious) notes and see which version I ended up using...but it was probably the shooting script version. I'm just on my way over to Vancouver Island for a few days, so I'll check when I get back...although the next Anniversary post will be up by then, and Anya will have faded into the past!

As to Xander's "covering" for Anya, I can see him having to do it a fair bit in public, if only to keep the whole "ex-demon" thing a secret, but with the SG it seems to be unnecessary. They all know who Anya was, and they should understand when she makes a gaffe. Maybe it's the reactions of people like Giles and Willow, and the fact the Xander, himself, has been fairly insecure, that cause him to over react...


Have a good week, guys!

[> [> [> Fine Job -- Cactus Watcher, 22:06:48 08/08/01 Wed

Anya seems to be the character the writers, including Joss, can't get straight. In season three she owns a car. In season five she doesn't know what the accelerator is for. The day the Magic Show opens with Giles as owner she is buying "conjuring powder." As you pointed out Anya tells Willow not long after in The Triangle she doesn't do spells anymore. Then we have Joss himself putting nonsense about Olaf the troll "god" in her mouth in The Gift. It's too bad the writers didn't pay half as much attention to the details about her as you did! I'm sure part of the problem is how fast they're developing Anya from a 2D sex-maniac ex-demon to a functioning, thinking, human being. No one at Mutant Enemy seems to know quite where she's come from or where she's going. But, in general she's turning out well. As I said a couple days ago, Anya has really grown on me.

[> [> [> [> Thanks! -- Wisewoman, 22:13:46 08/08/01 Wed

The inconsistencies in Anya abound, more in the details than in her actual character. I think you're right, it might be a case of the actor proving herself to be more valuable on-screen than the material she was originally given, and then the writer's having to scramble to think up ways to insert her into the action. Whether she's driving or not, she seems to fall into the potholes on the Plothole Highway!

[> [> [> [> Darn dyslexia! Make that 'Magic Shop.' -- Cactus Watcher, 22:15:09 08/08/01 Wed

[> [> [> Thanks for the shrimp fix...I can rest easy now. Great post! -- Anthony8, 22:33:23 08/08/01 Wed

[> [> [> LOL!! -- Marie, 04:33:32 08/09/01 Thu

This post has almost made me forget the weather!

Anya the character has always made me laugh, and I love the interaction between her and Xander - I always felt that Xander needed someone he could watch over, as well as love, and Anya fulfils this need in him beautifully, because she watches over him, too. And you know, I have to here admit that while I didn't cry when Joyce's body was discovered by Buffy, Anya's distress did it! Such a wonderful piece of acting by Ms. Caulfield.

Oh! And I never realised before today that the Caerbannog Cwningen (Rabbit) tale was known in other countries beside Wales!

You're a wonderful wordsmith - why aren't you writing for Rel-oops! Dark Alchemy!?


[> [> [> [> Errr, it's the....ummm... *cough* fiction *cough* thing... -- Wisewoman, 09:32:46 08/09/01 Thu

Thank you so much for your kind words, Marie! I only wish I could do what you guys are doing on Dark Alchemy. You'll notice perhaps that even the two parts of the Anya Post that I totally fabricated (Bunnies and Shrimp) are done in a kind of straightforward, reportage style? That's because I absolutely SUCK at writing fiction! And believe me, I've tried, time and again. I get what I think are stunningly original story ideas and when I try to put them on paper they turn into banal tripe! Aaaaargh!

I just keep telling myself, "It's okay. You can do other things..."


[> [> [> [> [> Even if the execution's a bit rough, the ideas are always welcome... -- Talking Drum, 10:20:24 08/09/01 Thu

With such talented editors and collaborators as Sol and the others, you'd be amazed at how your ideas can be organized. I had contributed one segment that I thought was a little vague and scattered, but Sol transformed it into coherent dialog. I was temporarily amazed at my own brilliance until I realized that without the editorial help my stuff would have been total nonsense. I'm embarrassed that he gave me all the credit for that passage. So when you read that Hellmouth-Slayer-Symbiosis section, mentally add at least 50% of the credit to Sol.

So don't be shy, there are some very talented people involved in the project who can really help tweak any of your ideas, no matter how incoherent you may believe them to be, into literary form.


[> [> [> [> [> [> I'm just another stuntperson. Really. -- Solitude1056, 12:28:59 08/09/01 Thu

Me don' need no stinkin' credit! (hehehe)

Editors, like stuntpeople, are really only doing their job well when you're not aware that they're even there. I've edited more than usual in the collaboration, but that's more to do with the fact that each person's got a distinct voice. For the sake of a cohesive story, the "voices" all need to be more similar or else the reader may trip up over the stylistic changes. So my real effort's been focused on that, with Marie helping out to make sure we spelled stuff correctly (and didn't butcher british slang!) and got our grammar right, too. For all that, the real work's when the individual writer says, "how can I express this, and what can I come up with?" Some folks can do it with dialogue, others by sending me paragraphs in email that later become dialogue-exposition, and some are just priceless at description. Each person rounds out for the others, so we end up with (hopefully) a really good story. So WW's claim that she couldn't join us because she "doesn't write like that" is complete KAPHOOEY. None of us write like that - the style's a strange amalgamation of 10 different folks.

Oh, wait, that's why it's called a joint effort. ;-)

[> [> [> Re: Anya: First Anniversary Character Posting Party--Part II with corrected links -- JBone, 20:49:38 08/10/01 Fri

Wow. Great job. I love these essays! I'll include this Anya essay along with the brilliant Riley essay as prime examples to visit this board. Compared to other characters who have numerous fans, I don't see all that many Riley or Anya fans. At least any that don't sound like they're 15 years old. This is really great stuff, I love it!

I am almost embarrassed to contradict something in Wisewoman's essay, but it's just bugging me too much. Forgive me, you attribute a scene to Anya and Giles to the episode "Halloween", but I'd bet my first born (not that I know I have one) that the episode was "Fear Itself."

As far as the rest of the Anya essay, the only thing that struck me was that Buffy and Anya have never had any real head to head confrontation that impacted anyone other than Buffy or Anya themselves. I find it fascinating that Buffy has given Anya such a wide berth in a world where Buffy rules. I can't believe that this friendly behavior will continue without some kind of confrontation along the lines of Willow/Anya in "Triangle." Or maybe Xander means as little to Buffy as a lot of people have hinted (or said) he means to her.

[> [> [> [> Anya and Buffy -- Cactus Watcher, 06:05:53 08/11/01 Sat

Very early in Willow's friendship with Buffy, she staked out Xander as her territory. Buffy obviously put a big check in the off-limits column for Xander. But, if you've noticed since Tara came along, Xander and Buffy have really been closer friends than Willow and Buffy. He's the one who tries to be straight with her even when it looks like it could damage their friendship. Buffy isn't thrilled with Anya. She came very close to saying it, when Xander tried to warn her about losing Riley. But, as far back as Pangs in season four she has declared her acceptance that Anya is now part of the package that is Xander. Anya isn't the kind of person who needs cuddly relationships with everyone around her. This gives plenty of room for Buffy to be civil with her without being thrilled with her. If Anya ever does hurt Xander look for Buffy to say whatever a best friend needs to say, and for Willow to get very emotional about it.

[> [> [> [> You're right! -- Wisewoman, 08:35:57 08/11/01 Sat

I know how I made that one...I was seeing her saying those lines in the Bunny costume and my mind made the leap to Halloween, instead of Fear Itself.

Thanks for the catch!


[> [> Re: Giles and Anya -- Malandanza, 06:05:15 08/11/01 Sat

In "New Moon Rising" there was another clash between Anya and Giles. Interestingly, the scene in the shooting script is much more sympathetic to Anya than is the actual script:

(From the shooting script -- Rayne's site)

GILES: So activity hasn't stopped, just shifted. Fascinating...

ANYA: To an extremely bored person, maybe. All you're really saying is - slow week for Buffy. Busy week for Riley. Pardon me if I delay my freak out until
we actually know something.

BUFFY: She's got a point. It's not much to go on.

ANYA: See? Buffy agrees with me. (to Xander)Let's go to the movies.

GILES:(defensive) I confess- it could be nothing, but it
could also indicate any number of threatening scenarios.

ANYA: Fine. What would you like us to do?

GILES: Well. I suppose you could... I think we should all -

BUFFY: Keep an eye out for threatening scenarios?

GILES: Precisely.

The gang start to gather their things and head for the door.

ANYA: Well - that was a thrilling hour.

GILES: I do not appreciate your snide remarks, Anya. I have a great deal of experience in these matters and when I tell you I feel something of import brewing, I-I...

(and this is from the Psyche's Transcripts)

GILES: (coming out of kitchen with bowl) So the activity's shifted but not stopped. (Hands bowl to Willow, but she doesn't take it) That's fascinating. (Sits at desk and puts bowl down)

ANYA: To an extremely bored person, maybe. (Giles looks annoyed) Well, that was a thrilling hour.

(Everyone starts to get up.)

GILES: (rising) You know, I really don't appreciate your snide remarks, Anya. (Anya and Xander look at him in surprise) Now, I have a great deal of experience in these matters...

(We hear the door open. Buffy and Riley look toward it. Giles keeps talking)

GILES: ...and if I say there is a matter of some import brewing, I-I-

In both cases, it seems as though Giles is a little too upset than the comments warranted. Giles is used to a certain amount of disrespect from his young friends -- certainly, Cordelia's comments were as deprecating. Anya's remarks, additionally, were not made with any malice. She had legitimate complaints. Giles' seems overly sensitive -- perhaps because he sees Anya's remarks as an assault on his authority. Elsewhere Anya has stated that she has more knowledge than Giles on magical matters (from her sojourn as a demon). My feeling is that Giles feels threatened, subconsciously, and lashes out at Anya as a result. There is alos a tendency for Giles to take a lecturing tone with Anya, as if she were a child instead of a 1100+ year-old entity.

[> Wisewoman finally puts out (her post)... and there was much rejoicing. -- dan, 21:45:21 08/08/01 Wed

Great job, Wisewoman! I appreciate the extensive quotage, and you've endeared Anya to me a little further. Question, though: where do you see Anya going from here? what's her next self-project to work on?


[> [> Re: LOL! Okay, what's next...? (Could be spoilery...) -- Wisewoman, 21:54:03 08/08/01 Wed

Hmmm, well I pretty much think it's a given that with Giles leaving Anya will take on more responsibility in the running of the Magic Shop. Or Giles may sell the shop and she'll be looking for another job and all sorts of wackiness might ensue...chocolate factory, anyone?

Otherwise, I think we may be in for a bit of a bumpy ride in the relationship with Xander in Season 6. Joss seldom gives his characters an even break, and Xander and Anya were both *way* too happy after he proposed... maybe her insecurities will surface and she'll start to doubt her ability to be a "human" wife. I think she'll continue to entertain us with her rollercoaster ride along the learning curve, though. It's just been established as so integral to her character.

And, hey, if I really made you like her more, then my work here is done!


[> [> [> Re: LOL! Okay, what's next...? (Could be spoilery...) -- Rattletrap, 06:10:21 08/09/01 Thu

Just a thought . . . what do you think are the chances of an episode dealing with Anyanka's origins? We've seen one of those for most of the other "old" characters, and that kind of thing might be a nice lead-in to an X/A wedding or break-up.

[> [> [> [> Ooooh, I like that idea! -- Wisewoman, 09:21:50 08/09/01 Thu

It would certainly clear up some of the inconsistencies in the scripts as to how Anyanka came to be! I'll keep my fingers crossed...


[> Rufus and I are going tree hunting-- we'll be back later... :) -- OnM, 21:49:11 08/08/01 Wed

[> [> Shhhhhhh....we have a secret partnership, remember???:):):) -- Rufus, 23:04:30 08/08/01 Wed

[> The Washington Post exclaims "insightful and hilarious" -- Slayrunt, 23:34:03 08/08/01 Wed

Very good post, Wisewoman, and a well deserved Nee to you.

[> Bravo! -- Liquidram, 01:45:57 08/09/01 Thu

Great job! Anya has not been my favorite character, but I will definitely be watching her in a different light.

[> [> Terrific, better than Cats! -- Brian, 08:32:25 08/09/01 Thu

Neat Stuff here. Gave me lots of new thoughts about the character. Loved all that textual support. Way to go!

[> [> [> Be very, very careful when you mention cats here... -- Squonk's Tears, 10:30:52 08/09/01 Thu

...and step slowly away from the feline please and you won't get hurt. ;o)

[> Re: Anya: First Anniversary Character Posting Party--Part I -- Rattletrap, 06:12:01 08/09/01 Thu

Fine job Wisewoman. Anya has been one of the most fun characters to watch develop, and you've done a great job tracking that.

[> Re: Anya: First Anniversary Character Posting Party--Part I -- LadyStarlight, 06:51:37 08/09/01 Thu

Wonderful job! I think you're right, and Anya's development will continue to be explored. Watching Anya plan the wedding (if they get that far) should be interesting.

[> Re: Anya: First Anniversary Character Posting Party--Part I -- VampRiley, 09:25:38 08/09/01 Thu

Loved it. Many of Anya's funny lines together, it great. My favorite:

Anya: I've recently come to realize there's more to me than just being human. I'm also an American.

Giles: I suppose you are, in a manner of speaking. You were born here. Your mortal self.

Anya: That's right, foreigner. So I've been reading a lot about the good ol' Us of A, embracing the extraordinarily precious ideology that helped to shape and define

Willow: Democracy?

Anya: Capitalism. A free market dependent on the profitable exchange of goods for currency. A system of symbiotic beauty...


[> [> Re: Anya: First Anniversary Character Posting Party--Part I -- Nina, 10:43:04 08/09/01 Thu

Thank you Wisewoman! That was one fine post!!!! (two in fact). I already liked Anya, but it's always fun to get someone else's point of view on a character. Probably because you've managed to well define every aspect of her personality, Anya seems a lot more coherent now.

I can't say I laugh a lot at her comments, but it's amazing to see how she is developping into a caring and loving woman. When she sacrificed herself in "The Gift", she made the ultimate proof that she has changed. She has evolved.

Inconsistencies are part of the ME' deal. They don't know how to count, and they probably don't spend as much time as we do analyzing the past events. Too busy planning the future. Imperfection makes them human. So I wouldn't be surprised if we found more inconsistencies to Anya next year.

Anyway... Good work Wisewoman. No wonder your office needs tidying now! :)

[> Just let me add my thanks ... most interesting! -- verdantheart, 11:00:30 08/09/01 Thu

[> Sincere thanks to everyone who responded so kindly...and a question -- Wisewoman, 11:47:59 08/09/01 Thu

In my research into Anyanka/Anya I came across several web sites referring to the character as "Anya Emerson." The only mention of a surname I could find in a script was when she told the CoW her name was "Anya Emmanuella Jenkins."

Anybody have any idea where the Emerson comes from?

[> [> Guess. -- d'Herblay, 12:09:20 08/09/01 Thu

Doesn't seem to have been used in an episode or a shooting script, but you knew that . . .

My guess is that she was given that name in the Sunnydale High School Yearbook. Everyone who had that book knew that Jonathan's last name was Levinson well before the producers used the name in an episode. But that's just a guess. Anyone have a hard copy for confirmation?

[> [> [> Evidence. -- d'Herblay, 12:28:13 08/09/01 Thu

This page credits the Yearbook with giving us Anya's name.

[> [> [> [> That is some truly obnoxious web design. (No offense if it's yours, but... the background?) -- Solitude1056, 12:32:03 08/09/01 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Re: That is some truly obnoxious web design. (No offense if it's yours, but... the background?) -- d'Herblay, 14:29:51 08/09/01 Thu

Yeah, it's awful. Also, I try to avoid linking to sites with pop-ups. But this was the only result I had on a Google search of "Sunnydale High School Yearbook" and "Anya Emerson."

[> [> [> Re: Guess. - Yep, page 72. -- Cactus Watcher, 14:43:54 08/09/01 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Guess. -- LadyStarlight, 16:40:56 08/09/01 Thu

Also, in The Watcher's Guide, Vol 2, Anya is listed as Anya Emerson. Maybe she was lying to the CoW?

[> Re: Anya in the Buffysystem -- mundusmundi, 15:31:29 08/09/01 Thu

I liked your observation about Anya's Xander-centrism. Got me thinking about the celestial arrangement of the Buffyverse. Some of the supporting characters are like moons rotating around the main players: Anya (Xandercentric), Tara (Willowcentric, as Malandazza once mentioned), and Spike (Buffycentric). Then, we have the Fab Four, our major constellation: Buffy, Xander, Willow and Giles. Buffy of course is the most important, but all seem to chart their own courses more so than the others. (Dawn is the Pluto of the group, the newest, smallest, and still debatable as to whether she rotates around Buffy or follows her own orbit.)

Wow, that was really weird. Anyway, I also think that it's time for a Fool for Love type episode for Anya, if for nothing else than to see that wonderful comic actor from ER who plays Olaf back again. Anya's a great comic creation, but I'd like to see some more depth and shadings to her character (your post provided some that I missed, WW, but there's still lotsa untapped potential there).

Anya is one of the most quotable characters in the BV. But my favorite moment with her is a silent one: at the start of Crush, where she dances with Xander. She smiles giddily, like a woman who never knew anything could be so much fun, who's thrilled simply to be alive....

[> Becoming Human -- Rufus, 23:52:45 08/09/01 Thu

I really need to get a new printer...I'm considering a laser as opposed to ink so anyone who can comment on the benefits of either are welcome.

Great post btw, Anya is a character that has had to develop slowly from demon to person, and it took way longer than one game of life. I wonder if in the Prom Anya could even imagine getting engaged to a man, the man she was originally there to do a vengeance thing on. I find it quite ironic that the man she was willing to dismember in the name of all jilted women is the one man with the patience to guide Anya to humanity(I'm sure the sex helped). Love and hate are quite close to each other and Anya has had hundreds of years of hate to perfect her craft. I'm glad her power centre was destroyed. It left her a person who had to get over her hatred of men instead of indulging her anger in such destruction. Giles said that vengeance is never sated, I would like to see Anya's take on that sentiment.
Becoming human is more than a game it's living, the hardest thing to do. As a human you never know what will happen next, as a demon Anya had power to control all around her including time. Now, Anya is finding out that time will catch her as she now can age and die. She may be strangely literal but at least Anya tries. I'd also like to see why a little fluffy bunny frightens her so, could it be her ability to reproduce will also catch up with her? Then she'd be really human.

[> [> Oh, Rufus, didn't you read Bunnies and Shrimp...? -- Wisewoman, 09:29:23 08/10/01 Fri

If you go to the third section of my post, the one that says "with corrected links" there's a little explanation of why Anya is afraid of bunnies...or maybe you *did* read it, and you want to know why she's really afraid of them? You got me. We just haven't been given enough info to know.


[> [> [> Yes, I read it........:):):) -- Rufus, 12:08:20 08/10/01 Fri

In Fear Itself, Anya wore what she thought of as a scary costume. When Xander asked her why a Bunny....she just said Bunnies frighten why? And who keeps planting bunnies in her path?:):):)

[> Late Praise -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 07:06:05 08/10/01 Fri

It's nice when you finish reading these posts with the feeling that you have nothing to add or argue about. However, this does leave you with, well, nothing to add or argue about so I apologise for the fundamental lack of response - great job, though.

BTW, I may be forced to repeat a fair number of those quotes in my Xander post in a couple of weeks!

[> [> That's the thing...can't really discuss Anya... -- Wisewoman, 09:32:50 08/10/01 Fri

...without discussing Xander, and vice-versa! They come as a pair, at least for the last 2 1/2 years.

And thanks!


[> Brava! -- rowan, 18:44:22 08/10/01 Fri

[> Re: Anya: First Anniversary Character Posting Party--Part I -- Isabel, 21:52:31 08/10/01 Fri

Wow! Great Job. I've always loved Anya. Reading all these posts has my brain buzzing with lots of things. Please forgive my randomness.

I loved your little 'Bunnies' and 'Shrimp' stories. 'Bunnies' was pretty much how I figured that Anya got afraid of rabbits. (I know people with rabbits as pets and rabbits can be quite vicious if provoked.) I always imagined that Anya learned of the 'Land of Nothing but Shrimp' from a vengeance where she was asked to exile a shrimp allergic man there. But what do I know? I can also see Anya learning the hard way that once shrimp is smelly and slimy, it doesn't matter how much hard earned American dollars she paid for it, it has to go in the garbage.

I love Anya and Xander as couple. Your treatment of them was well done. I can't imagine one without the other, which of course means that they've got some painful bumps in the road coming. No matter what happens, I hope we get to see Anya plan her wedding. It's gonna be a hoot. No matter what she does it will be well researched and excruciatingly explained. (My imagination again: I can see her picking out bridesmaid dresses for Buffy, Willow and Tara and explaining to them that of course she chose a canary yellow dress that makes Buffy look short, a hot pink dress for Willow that makes her flat chested and a burnt orange dress for Tara that makes her look fat. The bridesmaids aren't supposed to outshine the bride, so they've got to wear ugly dresses. It's tradition.)

[> [> Isabel -- Masquerade, 22:09:55 08/10/01 Fri

We interupt this thread to ask you to please submit an entry to the ATPoBtVS poster profiles at

[> [> [> Um, Masquerade? -- Isabel, 22:44:44 08/10/01 Fri

How do I do that? Do I answer the questions and email them to you? I looked at the "Poster" pages and there doesn't seem to be a form to fill out. Maybe it's 1:30 in the morning and I'm missing something somewhere. Or maybe I'm giddy because cool air is coming in my windows and I can actually get to sleep tonight. (Whoo Hoo!)

I went on vacation and when I got back there were new aspects to the board that surprised and alarmed me. I was planning on catching up on the back posts when all of a sudden most of the archives vanished. I guess the board fairies were telling me to read for today and forget about the past.

And one last question, How do I find the 1st Anniversary essays? I know I've missed Faith, and I may have missed other characters as well. Everybody's done such a wonderful job, I don't want to miss any of them.

[> [> [> [> Essays and Intros -- Masq, 08:15:00 08/11/01 Sat

Copy the questions and email your answers to me. Sorry I didn't mention that. Everyone seems to know my email address already--probably got it off my website.

Examples at:

Anniversary posts start at:

You will find links to the rest at the bottom of each page.

Discussions of posts are in the new archives I'm getting together. Will be on Liquidram's site soon.

[> Great post. After this and the Riley post, hard acts to follow -- Sam Gamgee, 09:11:00 08/11/01 Sat

Question for Masq -- d'Herblay (not a lawyer), 22:47:04 08/08/01 Wed

In reading Wisewoman's Anya post, I found myself wanting to see the quotes she cited in their original context and, especially, wanting to know if they were from the transcripts or the shooting scripts. So, I was thinking that when I do my Mayor post, I would link the quotes to their sources.

However, I wouldn't want to make you liable for the copyright violations of others. Quoting a source for "review purposes" tends to be exempted from the copyright laws, and what we do here and what you do on ATP would fall under that. What Psyche and Mustreadtv do, however, is lawyer bait. And when lawyers go after an internet site, they tend to go after those sites linking to it too.

Do you have a policy on this? Would you prefer I not link to scripts?

[> Re: Question for Masq -- Masquerade, 23:15:38 08/08/01 Wed

I have a disclaimer on my page that says everything is the property of Joss, Mutant Enemy Production Company, the WB, etc, etc. and I make no profit off of it. It's standard faire for fan internet sites.

Plus, my "links" page is really a "References" section like you might find in a college term paper, siting Pyches's transcripts, Rayne's shooting scripts, theslayershow's pics by using links to their sites.

What people have done with the 1st Anniversary Posts is add a note at the bottom telling the source of their quotes, which is usually Psyche or their own legal home-viewing video tapes.

If that still makes you edgy, you can link to the sites, or even add a "BtVS is the property of Joss, Mutant Enemy, blah blah, I am making no profit off this character analysis, it's for entertainment purposes only"

Of course, filling in the "blahs" and using better grammer than that. : )

Does that help any?

[> [> We've got disclaimers on the fiction, too, natch. It's usual thing to do. -- Solitude1056, 23:27:44 08/08/01 Wed

[> [> [> But the fiction doesn't quote an *entire* episode . . . -- d'Herblay, 23:54:52 08/08/01 Wed

. . . as Psyche's site does.

I'm not worried about the legality of quoting individual lines. That's fair use; we're covered there. I'm not worried about the legality of using characters that don't technically belong to us. That's become so widespread as to resist legal action. I'm worried about what happens when Fox goes on one of their legal kicks and goes after sites which reproduce entire episodes of work that belongs to Fox. When cyberlawyers in the past have targeted copyright violators, they have also gone after pages which contain no copyright violations but which link to those that do. My proposal to link quotes to the scripts they are taken from would put Masq in that position. Psyche puts up disclaimers, and I haven't seen an ad there (and, of course, it's a German site), but it's still clearly a copyright violation.

[> [> OK! Thanks! -- d'Herblay, 23:27:50 08/08/01 Wed

Let me recapitulate what I think you're saying just to make sure I understand you:

a) I can link directly to the individual shooting scripts and transcripts,

b) I should add a disclaimer.

I just want to make sure you're comfortable. I'd hate to do something that, should Fox go on one of its rampages, gets you in trouble, even if the trouble's just an e-mail asking you to remove links.

[> [> [> Re: OK! Thanks! -- Masq, 06:31:10 08/09/01 Thu

If I get in trouble with Fox, it'll be for sins I committed long before I posted your character analysis. Relax and write it and enjoy yourself!

Stem Cell Research (O/T) -- Kerri, 18:51:12 08/09/01 Thu

Hey everyone,
Yes, I know this has absolutely nothing to do with BtVS, but seeing as this is a philosophy board I thought that this topic was appropriate. As most of you who live in the US, and probably others as well, know Bush decided to fund limited stem cell research with federal funds. I was wondering how you felt about this decission. Should he have done more? Or is this adequit or perhaps too much? Personally I think that stem cell research should be done. If the embryo is going to be discarded I don't have a problem with research breing done that could possibly save millions of lives. I was just curious to see how you all felt.

[> Re: Stem Cell Research (O/T) -- cknight, 20:46:40 08/09/01 Thu

I think its good that Bush is backing it. Those cells are the only cells that can become any cell. To unlock that mystery would be a great thing. To maybe find a way to
end cancer and be able to heal anything else :).

Who knows maybe one day with cell control we'd be able to
re-grow body parts that are wearing out. So I agree, it's a good thing.

[> Re: Stem Cell Research (O/T) -- spotjon, 07:58:24 08/10/01 Fri

Well, I have mixed feelings about it. I am very thankful that Bush is not allowing federal funding for researchers to kill more embryos for their stem cells. That was the big issue for me. I'm a little iffy about him allowing funding for already existing stem cell lines, though. I believe that those embryos are living people, and should have the same rights of any other human being in this country. I wonder whether or not Bush should have allowed funding that is based on embryos who have already been killed. On the one hand, those babies are already dead, and nothing can be done to change that, so why not use what we have? On the other hand, does using those cell lines implicitly condone what was done to those babies? I'm reminded of a debate I heard years ago concerning whether or not doctors should use research performed by Nazi doctors at the expense of Jewish lives. Would using that research implicitly condone what the Nazis had done, or should we use it anyway, since we can't change the past, but the research could be used for good? Not an easy decision, but still one that needed to be made.

I think that Bush put a lot of thought into his decision, and he did consider advice from a lot of people. I'm not certain that I would have made a different decision, so I'm don't know how much I can critique his.

What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Slayrunt, 00:59:36 08/10/01 Fri

And what scares you in real life?

I raise these questions as I sit here at 3am reading about Jack the Ripper in the dark and starting to look around nervously.

The scariest moment on Buffy for me was when Riley staked Spike and they immediately cut for a word from our sponsors. I spent the next 2 minutes running around the house screaming Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, not Spike. Take Giles. Take Xander. Take Willow. No, wait, don't take Willow, but take anyone else.

In real life, it's water. Deep dark water. It's a thing from my childhood

On a side note. I was watching Whoopi Goldberg's talk show (many, many years ago), and Stephen King was her guest. She asked him what scares him and I really enjoyed his answer. He said what scares him is the thought of going into a dark room and feeling around for the lightswitch and not finding it. Then something takes his hand and moves it onto the lightswitch.

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- d'Herblay, 01:19:52 08/10/01 Fri

Similar moment--when Doc stabbed Spike on the platform in "The Gift." I had heard a third-hand rumor that someone would die, saw the pain on Spike's face and gasped. Then I took a moment and said, "You can't kill him with a knife." But for a moment, Spike's life flashed before my eyes.

Different moment--in "The Initiative," when Willow says, "I'll scream," and Spike replies, "Bonus," before pinning her down. One of the most chilling moments in Buffy history.

Real life--lobsters. Huge spikey things with their skeletons on the outside; all legs and antennae and independantly moving eyes and mouths that are really modified legs. Bugs that are too big to step on.

[> [> Oh thanks....that's one dinner shot to hell.....:):):) -- Rufus, 01:47:57 08/10/01 Fri

What other food would you like to ruin for me??:):):)

[> [> [> Speaking of frightening crustaceans... -- Squonk's Tears, 11:50:56 08/10/01 Fri

...I used to keep a terrarium of sorts in my basement, experimenting with various configurations to see if I could recreate a mini creek-like ecosystem under glass. I had a collection of newts and toads that thrived (the toads actually spawned) and I was always trying to introduce new critters to see how natural an artificial environment I could create.

Anyhow, one week while I was buying amphibian food at the pet store, they had a crayfish for sale for $1.50, so I figured I'd see how he would fit in my little zoo. I had no idea what to feed the thing and neither did the store. The crawdad was about an inch and a half long when I bought him. Well I had him for a few months and he seemed to thrive, apparently scavenging on the bottom of the water portion of the tank, and had grown to about twice his original size. Whenever I would try to clean the tank, he was impossible to retrieve (those puppies are fast and mean when you try to catch them) so I would just work around him.

One day, I noticed that he seemed to have some sort of dark growth on his underside and I figured, oh well, he's done for, there's nothing I can do. Then about a week later, I looked in the tank, and he was noticeably leaner, but there were about twenty tiny replicas of him crawling all over the aquatic part of the tank. Cool! He was a she. Nature had had its way once more. The babies grew incredibly fast. They started out not much larger than brine shrimp, but seemed to double in size every week until they were each about a half an inch long. I was starting to worry what I was going to do with them since the tank was eventually going to get a bit crowded. Still, there was a nice peaceful little world thriving under glass. That's when the mayhem ensued.

One day, I went down to the basement to feed the toads when I noticed one of them was missing. I looked all over the aquarium and then I noticed what appeared to be the tattered remains of what was once a fair sized firebelly toad. They don't live that long so I figured it was just a case of natural attrition and decay. A few days later, I noticed another toad missing. Okay, maybe they were all sick and were going to die of the same illness. Then, a few days after that, I was walking by the tank, when I heard a fairly loud splash. I looked in to see the claw of the large momma crayfish firmly locked on the legs of one the remaining toads in the tank as the poor toad struggled to escape.

At this point, I decided to clean the tank and separate the predator(s) from the prey. I was able to remove the remaining amphibians, but the crayfish were just too fast and too many for me to catch, so I placed the entire tank out in the back yard while I prepared a separate tank for the newts and toads. When I went out to the yard to retrieve the crayfish tank a few hours later, the big crawdad was gone without a trace and only a few of the babies were left in the tank. I have no idea where they all went (it's possible that a neighborhood cat fished them out), but every once in a while I get this creepy feeling when I'm out in the back yard that I'm being watched and there's come bitter crustacean out there somewhere plotting my demise.

Even before this incident, I never liked seafood (and shellfish in particular). Now it's personal!

[> [> [> [> That's it! I'm moving to the world without shrimp! -- d'Herblay, 12:29:07 08/10/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> Yikes!! Okay, NOW I'm scared... 8o0 -- Wisewoman, 12:40:54 08/10/01 Fri

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Liquidram, 01:58:18 08/10/01 Fri

No scene from BtVS or AtS has actually ever scared me. "Hush" was probably the freakiest.

Real life: What frightens me more than anything is the mere thought of anything happening to one of my kids.

[> [> Again, someone's before me!! -- Marie, 03:46:47 08/10/01 Fri

No scene from BtVS or AtS has actually ever scared me. "Hush" was probably the freakiest.

Have to agree - 'Hush', and also the Bugman - Kookookatchoo! - from What's My Line I & II.

Real life: What frightens me more than anything is the mere thought of anything happening to one of my kids.

Again, yup! We thought my 4-year old might have meningitis a few weeks ago - don't want to go through that again, thank you! (Also, maggots, see above!) (Oh, and being buried alive, or walled up - thanks, Edgar Allan Poe!)

[> [> [> I wrote him into Dark Alchemy but we had to bump the scene :( -- Liquidram, 04:02:39 08/10/01 Fri

The scene worked at one point, but not after new elements were added.... he still may have a cameo appearance :) Is his name spelled with a "y", "ey" or "ie"?

[> [> [> [> I was just thinking about this the other day... -- Talking Drum, 10:50:48 08/10/01 Fri

...I've been out of the loop for a few weeks, so I must have missed the scene. I just returned to active duty in the writer's circle a couple days ago. If you could, please e-mail what was cut to me. If it still doesn't fit, I have another idea as to how to work a cameo into the Simon arc.


[> [> [> [> Re: I wrote him into Dark Alchemy but we had to bump the scene :( -- Marie, 07:15:34 08/11/01 Sat

Is his name spelled with a "y", "ey" or "ie"?

If you mean my boy, it's Davie, but if you mean the Bug Man, I can't remember!

If you DO mean Davie, you guys are so kind! I saw the scene, which Sol sent me to read over, and it was so cool to think of him in there, talking to Spike!! I printed it off, so I'll always have it - whether he ends up on the cutting room floor or not!

Thanks, again,


[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 02:57:37 08/10/01 Fri

BtVS: the invisible, hospital-inhabiting, child-killing monster in 'Killed By Death' is one of the scariest things I've EVER seen.

Real life: also water - strangeness.

[> [> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Helen, 04:04:43 08/10/01 Fri

The scariest thing on Buffy was definitely Hush. I have to fast forward past that episode if I'm watching my box sets alone in the house, or if its dark. It wasn't so much the Gentlemen, or their Gimp like sidekicks, but the fct that no one could speak.

SCariest thing that has ever happened to me in real life? Going on a ghost tour in Edinburgh at night - it was terrifying. We ended up in the Covenanters Prison in Grey Friars Kirk Yard. It has a very well documented and I'm completely convinced real poltergeist. It was not nice at all.

[> [> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- spotjon, 07:24:30 08/10/01 Fri

Oh wow, I had totally forgotten about that episode. I'm not sure if I ever even saw the entire thing, but it did creep me out, too.

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Shaglio, 07:08:40 08/10/01 Fri

Buffy Scare: "Hush." Without a doubt, THE scariest episode ever. But more specifically, when Giles' lady friend (Olivia?) is looking out the window and then one of the Gentlemen suddenly floats by. It scared the bezeezus outta me.

Real life scares: Now that I think about it, when I'm home alone at night, I never look out the windows if I can help it for fear that, when I lift the shade, someone's face will be there. I try my best not to even go near the windows at all. That, and the dreaded fear of growing old alone. I know it's a little personal, but the way the dating scene is going for me right now, I fear I'll never achieve my only goal in life: to get married and raise a family.

[> [> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Solitude1056, 08:02:05 08/10/01 Fri

Buffy Scare: "Hush." Without a doubt, THE scariest episode ever. But more specifically, when Giles' lady friend (Olivia?) is looking out the window and then one of the Gentlemen suddenly floats by. It scared the bezeezus outta me.

Real life scares: Now that I think about it, when I'm home alone at night, I never look out the windows if I can help it for fear that, when I lift the shade, someone's face will be there. I try my best not to even go near the windows at all.

Same here, on both counts. Then again, I grew up with a cat who liked to sit on window sills - outside the window - and look in. When you're seven and there's a pair of glowing green eyes looking in through your window, it's bound to traumatize you for life! That scene in Hush is one of the few times I've ever jumped up from my seat - I think Sixth Sense is the only other movie/show I can name that got the same reaction.

That, and bridges. They've always made me white-knuckled, though I've worked on it and now I can sometimes change the radio, which means only ONE HAND is on the wheel. Progress. Except on the Tobin Bridge in Boston and the Throggs Neck in Long Island or the Newport Bridge in Rhode Island. Three very long, very steep, very HIGH span bridges. Yikes.

[> [> [> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Shaglio, 10:16:51 08/10/01 Fri

For someone who has lived in the Boston area all his life, I fing it odd that I've never actually been on the Tobin Bridge. But if you want a real heart-thumping scare, there is a bridge on Rte. 95 in Maine (in the Portsmouth area) that is extremely high off the water. You'll be white-knuckled and pale as a ghost crossing that sucker.

[> [> [> [> Gee. Thanks. Just what I needed! ;-O -- Solitude1056, 11:20:40 08/10/01 Fri

[> [> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Shaglio, 10:30:00 08/10/01 Fri

Another scary Buffy moment I just thought of was in "Listen To Fear" when they show Joyce on the bed rambling on and on in an insane fashion. Then they show a different angle and we see that she actually talking to the Queller Demon that is on the ceiling above her bed. That was scary as all hell!

[> [> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Deeva, 11:12:56 08/10/01 Fri

"Buffy Scare: "Hush." Without a doubt, THE scariest episode ever. But more specifically, when Giles' lady friend (Olivia?) is looking out the window and then one of the Gentlemen suddenly floats by. It scared the bezeezus outta me."

Ditto! When the Gentlemen popped into the window I completely jumped and squeaked! And the fact that absolutely no one could speak really creeped me out. I can't imagine not being able to talk. My teachers in school were always telling my parents that I talked too much.

My personal big fear is deep water. Anything that you can see the bottom of. I can get on a boat and everything but don't ask me to swim in it. I blame JAWS. Never was afraid of deep water till then. Ugh! Just got the chills thinking about it!

[> [> Face-at-the-Window creepfest "Carnival of Souls" -- Vonnie, 21:00:23 08/10/01 Fri

You probably don't want to know this, but there is this really GREAT old horror movie called "Carnival of Souls" that prominently features a creepy guy with a ghostly white face floating around the window. Low budget, minimal special effects, but extremely eerie and disturbing. Suffice it to say that I've never looked at church organs or carnivals the same way since. It's available on DVD, remastered by the fabulous Criterion folks. Highly recommended!

[> [> [> I second that vote - this is a classic flick! -- OnM, 06:23:04 08/12/01 Sun

It's really hard to describe just what makes this so creepy, but it is. Just shows that you don't need a big budget or name-brand actors to make a great movie.

[> [> [> [> I, uh, third it! -- Andy, 15:06:33 08/12/01 Sun

I think what makes it work is the wonderful photography combined with the feeling of relentless pursuit that the story creates. I love that image of...uh, well, I don't want to spoil anything, but everything to do with that scene in the car. Very creepy :)

[> Scary thoughts... -- OnM, 08:21:30 08/10/01 Fri

On Buffy, the scariest moment for me was actually similar to yours, although it involved Cordelia and not Spike.

It was the episode where Cordy goes to rescue Xander and Willow and finds them making out (they were sure that Spike was going to kill them, and fear tended to do the rest). Seconds later, she falls through the stairs and gets speared by a piece of rebar. Xander is begging her to hold on, that help is coming, but she passes out, or dies, it's left unclear.

Then, we immediately cut to the scene of a funeral, and it takes several more seconds before we find it isn't Cordy's. I was certain that they had just killed her character off just when I was really, truly starting to like her.

In real life? Finally getting to retirement age (about 15-17 years yet!), and then promptly croaking. Mega-bummer!

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Andy, 08:49:02 08/10/01 Fri

Let's see...on Buffy and Angel, I thought the Kindestot, in Killed by Death, was very creepy in that old Grimm fairy tale kind of way. Just a classic boogeyman. Hush is full of good, scary stuff. The scariest moment in that episode for me was when they started cutting that guy's heart out and he's screaming but no noise is coming out. And on Angel, I know a lot of people thought it was stupid, but the one with the guy who could take his body apart and then reform it was creepy as hell to me. Especially the bit with him using his eye as a surveillance camera. Just skin-crawling :)

In real life, I'm right there with you about the deep, dark water. In addition to that, not only the water but the idea of things being in the water. Big things. I always shudder when I read reports of scuba divers being swallowed whole by groupers. I'm also quite afraid of heights. I despise airplanes :) What else...oh yeah, when I was a kid I used to get nightmares about being torn apart by razors and fishing hooks. There was a scene in Hellraiser similar to that and I actually blacked out when I saw that. According to my sister and everyone else in the room at the time, I started clutching my drink in front of my face and grunting like a caveman. *That* freaked everyone else out :)

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Cactus Watcher, 09:00:44 08/10/01 Fri

Definitely, from Fool for Love, when Spike told Buffy that all Slayers have a death wish. You knew he wasn't fooling around. Buffy's reaction was not one of defiance, but sadness, understanding, and weariness. (It was only after Spike was about to kiss her that she recovered enough to thoroughly insult him.) As I've said I don't read spoilers, but after that moment, I was 90 percent sure Buffy was going to die at the end of last season.

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- voyageofbeagle, 09:07:38 08/10/01 Fri

On BtVS- have to agree with the choice of the Gentlemen in "Hush"- the scene someone above already described when Olivia looks out the window and one floats right by. Yikes! I think it's the only time I've actually yelped out loud while watching BtVS.

In real life it's needles. *Shudder*. The only time in my life I have ever had to have an IV they had to administer laughing gas until I was almost out of it and have an orderly hold me down. Not pleasant. I have to look away at anything on TV or in movies that has to do with needles, and get queasy if anyone talks about shots or giving blood. Wow, I sound neurotic!

[> [> Warning-- needle-phobics beware! -- OnM, 07:06:23 08/12/01 Sun

Your mention about being needle phobic (gee, if you're reading this, you're brave!) brings back one of the scariest moments I ever had in movie-land.

I saw *The Exorcist* shortly after it was released, and it was all over the press and the word-of-mouth just how frightening this film was supposed to be. When I saw it, I thought it was more silly and overblown than anything else, although I felt truly sorry for the young actress in having to put up with all this perverse stuff.

But the one scene that did freak me out was when they were running tests on her in the hospital (thinking of non-supernatural causes, of course) and they did the brain scan or whatever it was, and stuck that big needle into her neck, and the blood comes squirting out with her pulse, and the expression on her face seemed to suggest that it was just so painful, and all the while they're telling her to keep still and not move even slightly.

What was scary to me was that it looked completely real, just like it was a real medical procedure. Ewww... I'm not generally needle-phobic, but that was just so unpleasant looking, I actually got semi-nauseaous in the theater and had to close my eyes!

Phobias aren't things that can be rationally analyzed. It's just like needles. On the one hand you have people who virtually pass out at just the sight of them, and on the other extreme you have people who are into body piercings or even erotic needle play. Go figure! The range of human sensitivities/fears/desires never fails to astonish me.

[> [> [> Re: Warning-- needle-phobics beware! -- Rufus, 15:45:51 08/12/01 Sun

Needles, I'm petrified of IV needles, not the stick in the arm or butt type. I have lots of medical friends and we once sat up talking about the ways you could kill yourself in the most efficient way. That is when they told me about air bubbles and needles.....I don't like them, now I'm phobic about them. I have to use the pen to test my blood but that is just the finger tip and that doesn't frighten me, but come near me with a IV set up and I'm out of there. And no, I'm not going to tell you the other ways to kill yourself as it's hard to type it all out but you'd be amazed how easy it is to even accidentilly kill yourself as well as the intentional ways. Put it this way now I'm very careful around the cutlery tray in the dishwasher.

[> [> [> that scene just sounds stupid -- anom, 21:56:37 08/12/01 Sun least, if it was supposed to be real & not a kid's nightmare about what medical procedures are like. (I read the book but didn't see the movie, so I don't know.)

"But the one scene [in The Exorcist] that did freak me out was when they were running tests on her in the hospital (thinking of non-supernatural causes, of course) and they did the brain scan or whatever it was, and stuck that big needle into her neck, and the blood comes squirting out with her pulse, and the expression on her face seemed to suggest that it was just so painful, and all the while they're telling her to keep still and not move even slightly.
What was scary to me was that it looked completely real, just like it was a real medical procedure."

Well, they can make it look real, but it's still stupid. 1st, blood "squirting out with her pulse" would only happen if they hit an artery, & there's no type of injection that's supposed to go into an artery (that's why it's called intravenous). The arteries in the neck are the main ones supplying the brain, & if one bleeds it's life-threatening, & the medical personnel would be running around screaming themselves trying to stop it. 2nd, if they inject dye into a vein it'll spread throughout the person's body, so there's no need to inject it near the part they're going to scan, & besides (3rd?) the vein will take it away from the part in question (although it'll get back there before long).

Pardon the rant, but stupid stuff like this just bothers me. Like the scene in--well, maybe I'd better leave it unnamed to avoid spoilery for folks who haven't seen it, but it's a relatively recent movie based on a well-known monster story--where the monster plunges his hand into a woman's chest & pulls her heart out. As if there weren't a ribcage & sternum in the way that would have to be broken away! As if it weren't attached to several major blood vessels that would come trailing out behind it! (Everyone enjoying the mind pictures? @>) ) Nope--in this scene it looks like the heart is an isolated, closed-off organ just sitting there behind what must be rather clay-like flesh. I have no problem suspending my disbelief about monsters & stuff, but this kind of thing can spoil a whole movie for me. To me, the reality part needs to be as real as possible so the supernatural part really seems supernatural; otherwise it's just a cartoon (nothing against cartoons...).

At least the Gentlemen had scalpels.

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Tanker, 09:13:23 08/10/01 Fri

The scene in "Hush" when one of the Gentlemen goes by the window is probably the only time I've really jumped when watching Buffy or Angel. Now, if you want to talk freak-out moment, the scene at the end of "The Trial," where Dru appears -- eek!

I've always said that one of the scariest Buffy moments is in BB&B, when Xander is telling Buffy why he can't take advantage of her, and she says "Are you saying this is all a game?" Raises the hair on my neck every time. I don't know about y'all, but an angry Slayer is about the scariest thing I can think of on either show.

Real life -- I have dummy fear. "Puppet Show" gave me the wig.

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Wisewoman, 10:00:58 08/10/01 Fri

I don't think anything on Buffy, or any TV show has really scared me. Quite a change from my youth. I remember going to see The Blob (Steve McQueen version) when I was about ten years old with a group of other kids, and hiding on the floor under my seat whimpering until the usher came and told me to leave! And the final scene in Carrie made me scream out loud! After I'd done theatre and some film, I found I just got fascinated by the scary stuff and the gory stuff, wondering how they did that, and how I could reproduce it. Kinda tends to keep you distanced from the fear factor... Extreme tension in a movie or TV show can still do it...nothing happening when you know something is gonna happen.

In real life I'm claustrophic, so crowded elevators and enclosed spaces where I can't readily see an exit route wig me out. I read about the way witches used to be killed by "pressing," laying them flat on the ground, placing a board over their torso, and then piling heavy rocks on the board until the person suffocated from the weight. That's about how I feel when I'm claustrophic. Hmmm, could be a past-life, Wiccan memory kinda thing?

An O/T note, I've always thought that one of Stephen King's greatest talents was in making our normal, ordinary fears the stuff of his novels. Quite often the things that are really horrifying in his stories are not the supernatural stuff, but the real horrors: the death of a child, arthritis, human cruelty, etc.

[> [> the Blob -- spotjon, 11:11:49 08/10/01 Fri

Oh man, don't get me started on The Blob. When I was younger I watched the remake (the one from the '80s, I think), and was simply terrified all the way through. The worst part was when a boy and an older girl were running through a sewer system to get away from the blob. He gets pulled under the layer of mist/fog/sewer smog and then jumps up engulfed by the slime of the blob, and you know he's about to be digested. I had nightmares about that one.

The TV movie "IT" freaked me out, too. I really hate clowns after watching that.

[> [> I'm a little like you -- Cactus Watcher, 13:25:52 08/10/01 Fri

The bogey-man stuff doesn't phase me much because I know the drill. - Oh, here's Olivia up in the middle of the night all by herself. I wonder how long it will take for a "gentleman" to pop up and scare her. Oh... not long. - Like Xanthe's comment below and yours about your claustrophobia, I think psychological terror is much worse than the monster of the week. I enjoy Buffy beating the stuffing out of monsters. But, if I'm disturbed by a Buffy episode, it's because they've touched on something a lot deeper than the visual equivalent of shouting, "Boo!"

[> [> The kid from IGYUMS on ATS -- Rufus, 15:54:29 08/10/01 Fri

It's the real monsters that scare me. When a demon is willing to die to get rid of someone who scares it, then you know there is something wrong. I don't think that the demon meant that that kid had no soul as much as he meant that the boy was empty of feelings of anything such as remourse, love, empathy. This demon who had lived to corrupt found something more naturally evil than himself.

As for my other fears, heights is one of them, I won't go in a plane for any reason...period. And the mention of the Gentlemen in "Hush" makes me think that these guys were spooky with the moving through air bit but what got me squirming was when they pinned that young man to his bed(where he should be safe) and prepared to make the first cut to take out his heart. You can see that he was screaming with no one able to hear him. That was the scary part.

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- vampire hunter D, 11:00:26 08/10/01 Fri

Actually, nothing on Buffy has ever scared me. It's not a very scary show. In fact, I don't even look at it as a horror show, but more as a action/comedy.

In real life, nothing scares me much. In fact, only one thing in real life or the movies has ever really scared me. That was the first episode of Steven King's The Stand. Just the thought of a plague like that, and the realization that that wassn't to fantastic to not happen scares me.

[> Re: your Stephen King anecdote. -- Anthony8, 11:20:43 08/10/01 Fri

I'll have to think a bit more about the scariest BtVS or AtS moment. Your Stephen King anecdote brought to mind a story my first college roommate told me.

He was out camping with some friends and moved a distance from the campfire to go relieve himself. He was walking out into the pitch black when he felt like something was watching him and he could hear something moving very close to him in the dark. He reached down to steady his balance and felt something roundish, wet, clammy and breathing. Well, he obviously jumped about fifteen feet back towards the campfire (he also had a graphic description as to how a certain appendage shriveled up and crawled into his body) only to see the dog they had brought along with them on the trip emerge from the dark all happy and waggy tailed. The first thing I thought when he told the story was that it was a bear, which would have been comically terrifying in and of itself. Instead it ended up being a real life version of one of those false alarm movie cliches. Still funny though, I think.


[> What scared me the most in Buffy or Ats? -- xanthe, 12:44:47 08/10/01 Fri

I was surprised that no one mentioned this yet, but the moment that frightened me the most on BTVS was a completely non-supernatural horror. It was in Reptile Boy when the sleazy frat boy finds Buffy in one of the bedrooms. He walks in and we realize that she has passed out and is lying there completely helpless. There was something completely predatory and uncontrollable about that. I can remember being so impressed that the show was about a giant snake that demanded the sacrifice of nubile young women, yet I was the most afraid for Buffy (and Cordelia) at that moment when I realized that she was completely defenseless and in the company of an ordinary, rotten young man. I guess that moment does really qualify as horror, but it certainly made me worry about the characters more than many of the other situations that I've seen.

[> [> Re: What scared me the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Nina, 14:13:29 08/10/01 Fri

On the top of my head I can't say that anything spooked me out of my chair in BtVS. Three moments do still give me the chills though. Everytime the music plays a huge part in the scaring factor.

1- In Hush. The music creeps me. Seeing those gentlemen slidding in the air, smiling. The children song at the beginning does the same for me.

2- In Fool for Love. When Spike gets up in the NY subway car. The music again creeps me. It's so angelic and soft, in complete contrast with the moment. The speech that follows also sends chills down my back when he looks Buffy in the eyes (The second that happens you know I'll be there...) Spike doesn't scare me as a big bad, but in that scene he's just creepy.

3- in Crush. Again it's all in the music when Spike tells his big bad tale to Dawn. The whole atmosphere reminds me of a time when I used to play that game with my friends (the scariest story ever told)

On AtS.... the scariest thing? Angel's hair. (just kidding!)

So nothing to die from a heart attack! In real life I can be scared by a lot of things. They don't include spiders though! (I love them) I tend to freak when I am in a crowd and at night I still can't put my feet out of my bed. I had a nightmare when I was little that rats had eaten my brother's feet like that and since I try to get rid of that fear but with no success! (weird as I love rats and mice too!)

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- verdantheart, 14:24:39 08/10/01 Fri

Interesting topic!

Nothing on BtVS or AtS has gotten to me, and horror stories generally don't scare me -- 'though I still love 'em. I'm a big Stephen King fan because of his abilities as a storyteller. Can't wait for the Straub collaboration coming up next month!

In real life? Not afraid of any animals, although I have a healthy respect for dangerous ones. I had to handle a 3-foot snake for my husband this summer (since he has a phobia). I have acrophobia, and some claustrophobia (if I have to sit for a long time waiting in the back of an airplane to get off, I start to get really hinky). It's a good thing I'm not afraid of needles, I have to have blood taken all the time!

Probably the creepiest novel I've read is The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (the recent movie was dreadful). The X-Files has had some wonderfully creepy episodes ("I just knew"), and I'm really glad that they're trying to go with creepy again (I know a lot of people were unhappy Mulder left, but it was a big relief to me. I was getting tired of attempts at humor and strained quirkiness.).

[> [> The first X-Files I ever saw, 'Home,' was so creepy from start to finish... -- Anthony8, 17:50:13 08/10/01 Fri

...that I was very disappointed when none of the subsequent episodes lived up to the same level of horror and ghoulishness. The Peacock boys clubbing the terrified sheriff and his family to death while Johnny Mathis played on their convertible's radio...very creepy. Aborted babies buried in baseball fields, inbreeding, booby traps...they pulled out all the stops. I think the episode was considered so extreme that they only reran it once some three or four years after it initially aired.

[> [> [> That's a heck of an intro to The X-Files -- Tanker, 18:17:29 08/10/01 Fri

Yeah, that one really freaked the FOX suits out. Freaked me out too, but in a fun way. I've heard that it's never been seen again, even in syndication, but I don't know for sure.

I'm not sure that level of creepiness could be sustained for any length of time.

[> [> [> [> Re: That's a heck of an intro to The X-Files -- Wisewoman, 19:10:06 08/10/01 Fri

If that was the first X-Files I'd seen, I don't think I would ever have gone back! I was totally unprepared for that when it first aired, and I'd watched every episode up to that point. There was something so sick about that woman under the bed.....eeeeeewwwwwww!

They showed it once more in syndication here in Canada, but they made a big deal about how it had only ever aired once before, so it was pretty rare.

[> [> [> [> [> A perfect Halloween viewable, next to Night of the Living Dead. -- Anthony8, 20:54:29 08/10/01 Fri

I wanted to get the DVD, but they only sell X-Files DVDs in Season Box Sets, so I ended up buying the VHS tape for $6 (a good deal and an indication that they're bargain basementing VHS backstock so that they can phase out pre-recorded videotapes altogether in favor of DVD, IMO).

I don't think I saw another X-Files with the same creep factor. Level of grossness, maybe, but that uncomfortable skin crawly feeling that makes you scared to look in your closet after midnight, no.

[> [> [> [> Re: That's a heck of an intro to The X-Files -- Deeva, 21:28:50 08/10/01 Fri

"Home" is one of my all time favorites because it's so creepy & well done. Another one that made my skin crawl was the one with the guy who could get through any size opening air vents, barred widows and what not, but he had to eat several human livers and (I think) hibernate for 7 years. He got through an air vent for a bathroom to get to someone who was in the shower. I had the same kind of vent in my bathroom. When ever I took a shower I could never close my eyes because of that episode. It was very oooky! (say it like spooky)

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- dan, 15:08:53 08/10/01 Fri

Besides the Gentlemen in Hush and the bug man (koo koo ka choo!) from What's My Line, the scariest thing on Buffy I can ever think of was...

the costumes from season one. *cymbal crash* ;->

scariest things in real life:

1) the fear of something happening to my kids (when I have them, that is!) or children I'm taking care of. I once had a toddler fall down the stairs right in front of me when I was babysitting her and I still have nightmares about it years later. (she was fine, by the way. little children are surprisingly pliable.)

2) the fact that so many people in this country view me as hellspawn because I'm gay. I just never know when I'll run across the diatribe of some 'phobe in the media attacking my very existence. it's a wee bit upsetting.


[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- thisbe, 18:34:08 08/10/01 Fri

I've gotten quite a few good jumps out of various Buffy's, but the creepiest and saddest was when Joyce died. I thought is was so moving, so well-handled, and so upsetting. Buffy's attempts at reviving her, talking to herself, smoothing down Joyce's skirt, all seemed too real. I enjoy Buffy for the great monsters, big issues, and the snappy dialogue, but that episode really got to me.

In this reality, the scariest short story I ever read was "Pigeons from Hell" by Robert E. Howard, the scariest movie I ever watched was "Hill House" (the old 60's one) and my major phobia is high bridges. I'm convinced that a tire will blow out or another car will bump me and send me over the rail. Now, I've got Michellans and all the other drivers hold their lane, but my heart drums in my ears every time.

[> [> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- John Burwood, 01:37:20 08/11/01 Sat

I find the scariest parts of Buffy are not the monsters but the reality horrors of public humiliations & shame. My most scary episode was Bad Girls, because of Buffy cutting out of class and getting arrested with Faith breakinginto the shop - with the next episode entitled Consequences I had horrible ideas of what might happen as aresult, but nothing did.I guess I do not fear seeing Buffy die, but do find the pain of humiliation - such as in The Puppet Show, DMP, the Freshman, Checkpoint - terrifying. Truth is this is nothing more than displacement on my part. My own biggest real fear is of being mocked & humiliated - which is odd, as Xander said about rejection, considering all the practice I got, especially at school - you would think I would hav learned to laugh it off. But seriously, the magic of Buffy was never betterpersonified for me than by S1 episode Nightmares - it portrayed real terrors of reallife better than any other programmme I have ever watched.

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Sam Gamgee, 10:16:45 08/11/01 Sat

I think probably the closest to scaring me was the Gentlemen in Hush. Like somebody else mentioned, it was mostly their quietness that scared me.

Unfortunately (or so I feel) I do not get scared by movies or books the way I did when I was younger. Now I am stuck with the boring old adult fears. I can remember when I was 8 years old, I read the stories "The Boogeyman" and "The Mangler" by Stephen King, and I stayed up at night afraid the closet door would open and I stayed away from the washer and dryer (after all, they could have been related to the Mangler).

Now, of course, I have new fears, but they are quite a large list: the first five minutes of a plane taking off; driving on the highway at night and having a car following me for a long amount of time; mgetting a phone call when my daughter is out of the house (what happened. I think); that sudden goofy thought right before I get out of the car to go to work (did I remember to put my pants on?); public speaking (always a fear--I can talk one-on-one til the cows go to the mall, but give me a group environment, and I am like Willow doing a Greek play); and assorted others I am just too scared to mention.

[> Re: What scaried you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 12:19:20 08/11/01 Sat

I've already answered this but I remembered a weird thing that has created a completely new fear in me.

It comes from a moment in Unbreakable when some people are walking along the street at night. Somebody suddenly drives up behind them and smashes one of them over the head with a bottle. Now I look over my shoulder a lot more than I used to - I don't know why but that really freaked me out.

[> Re: What scared you the most in Buffy or Ats? -- anom, 22:48:48 08/11/01 Sat

OK, here goes (deep breath). Scariest on Buffy/Angel: Hush. The classic nightmare about not being able to call for help, or even cry out in pain. Why is this scarier than being gagged or having someone's hand held over your mouth (which are bad enough)? Well, those are physical things; they can be understood, things you might be able to fight. And at least your voice still works--someone might hear you even through the gag or the hand. If your voice has been taken away & you can't understand it & there's nothing you can do about it...that's really scary. (Although it seems to me people would've gotten whistles so they could blow SOS....)

Scariest in real life: sharks. There was a movie not long before Jaws, a documentary called Blue Water, White Death, about great white sharks. I was thinking about seeing it. Then I saw clips being shown on The Dick Cavett Show (really dating myself here), just a couple of minutes' worth, shark attacking diver in anti-shark cage. Mouth wide open, you could see way down its throat. I thought, my entire leg could fit in there--& be gone. I had nightmares for days--er, nights. Never did see the movie (although I did finally see Jaws a few years ago on TV; either I'm slightly over it or the shark looked fake enough not to bother me too much). No problem w/the water itself, though.

Don't know if this counts: brief flash of a dream, just before I woke up. On my back in total darkness, on what feels like a smooth metal surface. Similar surface maybe a foot above me. Can't feel anything else in any direction. No idea where I am or what direction to try to go in.

OK, & a bonus, scariest fiction: Sorry, Wrong Number. A short story I read in my teens in a Hitchcock collection. A disabled woman (wheelchair user) picks up the phone & through a crossed wire hears her husband plotting to kill her, telling someone on the other end exactly how to do it...that night. I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it, but when I finished it I had to sit & tell myself all the reasons it couldn't happen to me....

[> [> Wasn't this made into a film? -- Marie, 02:29:59 08/13/01 Mon

OK, & a bonus, scariest fiction: Sorry, Wrong Number. A short story I read in my teens in a Hitchcock collection. A disabled
woman (wheelchair user) picks up the phone & through a crossed wire hears her husband plotting to kill her, telling someone on the
other end exactly how to do it...that night. I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it, but when I finished it I had to sit & tell
myself all the reasons it couldn't happen to me....

Don't know why, but now I have Barbara Stanwyck in my head! Or it could've been Joan Crawford, maybe... I'm sure one of you will tell me - OnM?!

[> [> [> yes it was - Barbara Stanwyck starred. it's not bad! -- dan, 05:47:32 08/13/01 Mon

Idiotic question regarding "The Harvest" -- d'Herblay, 01:10:48 08/10/01 Fri

Indulging my nostalgia for the "big bangs, short skirts" era of Buffy, I rented "Welcome to the Hellmouth"/"The Harvest." There is a scene therein where Buffy pulls a steamer trunk from her closet, opens it and then reveals a secret compartment. In said compartment there are an assortment of stakes, some crosses, cloves of garlic, vials of holy water, and, to the left, a large mason jar full of what seem to be little white discs. As near as I can tell, these discs are communion wafers.

Now I would imagine that serving a vampire holy communion would harm him, as communion wafers are consecrated just as holy water is; I just can't imagine how you would get a vampire to take holy communion. Ok, Spike, maybe. He eats normal food. Slip a few into a corned beef sandwich and he's dust. But other than that, communion seems an odd way to kill a vampire (as opposed to all the other, obvious ways).

Of course, the wafer is just half of communion. I think back to Bela Lugosi saying, "I do not durrink . . . vine," and I wonder. I've seen Spike drink beer and bourbon, but I don't recall a vampire ever drinking wine. (Those of you with instant recall of all 144 episodes should feel free to correct me.) I would think wine would be particularly dangerous for a vampire to drink. Find a vamp three sheets to the wind on Thunderbird; get a priest to consecrate the wine; wait for transubstantion and the vamp has The Blood of Christ running through his veins. I think that would be an ouch.

Or were those Stridex pads in the jar? I couldn't really tell.
[> Someone remind me........... -- Rufus, 01:49:53 08/10/01 Fri

We had a discussion about blessing the water content in the vampire's body....instant soup mix!!!!!! Now who said it?
[> Idiotic question regarding "The Harvest" -- a possible answer -- Earl Allison, 02:11:26 08/10/01 Fri

One of the ways one can allegedly kill a vampire (not as yet mentioned or proven in the Buffyverse) is to stake it, behead it and fill the mouth with holy wafers.

Of course, that also means that the vampire doesn't turn to dust once staked (or beheaded). Said vampire would stay "dead" provided no one removed the stake or wafers -- again, a serious departure from Buffy vampire lore.

Hope that helped.

"Big bangs, short skirts," I love it :)

As for wine, I don't know as a priest can consecrate wine that has already been consumed. Then again, given that a vampire's heart doesn't beat -- I have to wonder why they get drunk, or can be tranquilized ... but it's a small nit from an otherwise excellent series.

Dracula said what he did because all he drank was blood -- I can't say with 100% certainty, but I don't think as a general rule that "classic" vampires did eat -- that might be a Buffy first as well -- any more knowledgeable vampire fans out there know one way or the other?

Take it and run.
[> Re: Idiotic question regarding "The Harvest" -- LadyStarlight, 07:46:37 08/10/01 Fri

Well, given that the wafers have been consecrated by a priest, wouldn't they act much like Holy Water? Burning, etc? At least it might be a distraction in a hand-to-hand fight.
[> Re: Idiotic question regarding "The Harvest" -- vampire hunter D, 08:09:16 08/10/01 Fri

I think those things wee in the trunk to show the audience what kills vampires (and to reinforce the point that Buffy is the Slayer),

As for wine, regular wine should be ok, it's theconsecration by a priest that makes it lethal. Of course, consecrated wine isn't supposed to leave the church (where it's kept in a taburnacle).
[> maybe a Slayer could throw 'em fast enough... -- anom, 08:47:09 08/10/01 Fri work like Ninja throwing stars! I'm picturing a vamp looking down at 2-3 little white disks embedded edge-on in his/her body just before going to dust.... Well, it solves the problem of "how do you get 'em into the mouth"!
[> [> I'm gonna go with this theory...LOL! -- Wisewoman, 09:39:36 08/10/01 Fri

[> Re: Idiotic question regarding "The Harvest" -- purplegrrl, 08:53:28 08/10/01 Fri

Like all other writers in the vampire genre, Joss has taken the vampire legend and added or subtracted a few things to make it fit his "reality." A lot of what is taken as the "traditional vampire" came from Bram Stoker's Dracula - but when he combined Slavic folklore vampires and a historical bloodthirsty Carpathean ruler, he also made up parts - like not being able to see vampires in a mirror.

Joss' vampires *can* eat or drink human food - Spike, and sometimes Angel, being the prime example. Angel drank champaigne, a type of wine in AtS season 1. However, most of Buffyverse vampires would much rather drink human blood. And like someone else said, I don't think you can consecrate wine that has already been drunk. The idea is to consecrate the wine first so that it purifies the person when they drink it.

"Traditionally," communion wafers were not used on the vampires directly. They were placed in the vampire's coffin to keep it from returning to its resting place. Dr. Van Helsing does this to several of Dracula's coffins. This device has been used in other stories as well. It's possible that communion wafers were shown early in BtVS with Joss thinking he would have Buffy use them to kill vampires, but they never worked out a practical/believable way of doing it.

Hope this helps.
[> Angel -- little wiggins, 23:04:08 08/10/01 Fri

In eternity Angel drinks wine...... with a little doximol on the side.
[> Re: Idiotic question regarding "The Harvest" -- Joann, 21:33:47 08/11/01 Sat

I think I have seen them used (in movies) to consecrate the soil in a vampires resting place. But when I saw them in Buffy's trunk I thought they were used in the same way as a cross to hold off the vampire because the wafer represented the body of Christ like the crucifix but is a much more powerful and holier symbol in the Catholic faith.
[> Communion Elemenents (semi-OT) -- Rattletrap, 05:32:01 08/12/01 Sun

There was a fascinating article in the last issue of Slayage (, Stacey Abbott, "A Little Less Ritual, and a Little More Fun") that described the use of religious symbolism as it has changed in vampire stories over the years. One of their points about Buffy was that the religious symbolism that has been removed in some of the Ann Rice stuff has resurfaced, but in a different form. It appears to be the physical properties of the cross and the holy water, rather than the spritual ones that affect vampires in the Buffyverse. As Masq suggests in one of her ep. analyses, it is almost like vampires are allergic to the shape of a cross, less than to the religous or spiritual power contained within.

I'd be curious to hear some of our other posters' feedback on this line of thought, it made sense to me.

[> [> Re: Communion Elemenents (semi-OT) -- mundusmundi, 13:27:46 08/12/01 Sun

One of their points about Buffy was that the religious symbolism that has been removed in some of the Ann Rice stuff has resurfaced, but in a different form. It appears to be the physical properties of the cross and the holy water, rather than the spritual ones that affect vampires in the Buffyverse. As Masq suggests in one of her ep. analyses, it is almost like vampires are allergic to the shape of a cross, less than to the religous or spiritual power contained within.

This touches on what's always been a fascinating subject for me -- the creative tension between the fantasy elements of the show and the personal skepticism of its creator. Others may disagree with this. I know Whedon has said that he's fascinated by Christian symbolism. And, I've read many wonderful observations (by Dedalus and others) of this symbolism on the show. I don't dispute any of this. But I don't feel any real spirituality (in the religious sense of the word) in the Buffyverse. I don't experience it the way I experience Scorsese's Catholicism in his movies, or Paul Schrader's Methodism in his. (Personally I'm agnostic, though I attended Catholic schooling, have a Church of Christ mother, and am a student of Islamic history, so one could say my religiosity is a mile wide, if also an inch deep.) Whedon's also said that he loves the supernatural because he doesn't believe in any of it, and whether he intends it or not that unbelief seems to inform -- even undermine -- his wildest flights of fancy. The climactic scene in The Body, where a vampire rises while a "real" person, Joyce, remains dead, is a prime illustration of this tension. So too, IMHO, are the examples from that article you mentioned. Great subject.
[> [> [> Re: Communion Elemenents (semi-OT) -- Malandanza, 20:58:48 08/12/01 Sun

"This touches on what's always been a fascinating subject for me -- the creative tension between the fantasy elements of the show and the personal skepticism of its creator. Others may disagree with this. I know Whedon has said that he's fascinated by Christian symbolism. And, I've read many wonderful observations (by Dedalus and others) of this symbolism on the show. I don't dispute any of this. But I don't feel any real spirituality (in the religious sense of the word) in the Buffyverse."

Once again, I find myself in complete agreement with you. "Real spirituality" on BtVS is, I think, oddly lacking -- considering that the main characters interact with evil, risk death and are protected by Christian icons on a regular, if not daily, basis. Furthermore, the WC must have had time to figure out the rules governing crucifixes, Holy Water and consecrated ground (remember them burying the Master's bones?) and provide wither a spiritual or scientific explanation. Is the priests blessing for Holy Water merely an ancient incantation that anyone can do? Wouldn't it be convenient to have Willow make a few gallons? The handful of references to Christianity that we've seen have been jokes -- like Spike's introduction to Sunnydale:

Vampire#1: Yes. This weekend, the night of St. Vigeous, our power shall be at its peak. When I kill her, it'll be the greatest event since the crucifixion. And I should know. I was there.

Spike: (appears behind them) *You* were *there*? (chuckles) Oh, please! If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock. (School Hard -- Psyche's Transcripts)

Or Riley, in his Sunday best, late for church when Faith (in Buffy's body) arrives. It seemed as though it was a cheap joke for the big-city cynics (How quaint! The farmboy goes to church!) at the expense of the rural religious people.

And there was Buffy with the nun, asking about how strict the orders' rules were.

But I suspect that one of the contibuting factors to why we do not see religion (except made-up ones) highlighted on the show is the controversy that would ensue (imagine if he explained how Holy Water works! - a Christian explanation might offend the non-Christian - or even non-Catholic - viewers while a non-Christian explanation might offend the Christians). In many ways, the controversy surrounding Willow and Tara's relationship was minor (Joss was not the first person to have lesbians portrayed positively on TV; I can think of several shows: Friends, Ellen [of course], even Star Trek DS9)-- a religious war would not be. Think boycotts and cancellation (religious groups tend to be well organized).
[> [> [> [> Religion in the Buffyverse -- d'Herblay, 01:24:55 08/13/01 Mon

I wanted to give this subject the thought it deserves, but were I to actually give it such thought, the thread would be archived long before I came to a hint of a conclusion. So what follows may be a bit incohate.

When mundus posted his Dawn character analysis, I keyed into his question "Is Dawn an atheist?" But as I considered it I started to dismiss it with the thought, "As opposed to all the characters who have a deep relationship with Christ? Or, in Willow's case, Yahweh and/or Circe?" I've never felt a deep sense of spirituality emanating from the show--which is one of the reasons I watch it instead of Touched By an Angel. In fact, for me, this lack of spirituality works in the show's favor. The Scooby Gang is not the "Tribulation Force" of the Left Behind novels. They lack a spiritual knowledge which would give them guidance; they often do not know what they are fighting for, or even why they fight, other than the conviction that an apocalypse is something to be avoided. Therefore, they make mistakes, they come into conflict with each other and themselves. Witness the conflict between spiritually grounded Tara and untethered, materialist Willow. If Willow had Tara's feeling for the limits of magic, it wouldn't be so interesting watching her test the limits--we'd know that she'd never exceed them.

Joss's unwillingness to show direct evidence of a higher force for goodness in the Buffyverse, in my opinion, emphasizes that the fight for good can be lonely, frustrating, and that such a fight may have no other rewards than its completion. Personally, this strikes me as more applicable to real lives, with their doubts and their frustrations, than the pieties of "Christian Fiction." (I should point out here that one of my local bookstores--luckily, just one--has a considerably large section devoted to "Christian Fiction," and that I have, in one of my lower moments, reshelved several Bibles in this section.) Or the pieties of non-Christian systems of faith, for that matter. (Touched By an Angel is more new age than evangelical, but its overt spirituality still seems platitudinous.)

(Oooh . . . I've picked on Touched By an Angel and Left Behind. I'm big and tough now! Any other obvious straw men out there? Bring 'em on!)

Joss has shown hints of a spiritual presence in the shows--the snow in "Amends," Angel entering Kate's apartment. But he's miserly doled these out. He's been coy with us so far . . . but can Joss's coyness with religion survive Buffy's resurrection? Can he handle Buffy's memories, or lack of memories, of an afterlife with as much panache as he's skirted religious issues before?
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Religion in the Buffyverse -- mundusmundi, 09:07:37 08/13/01 Mon

One show I was sorry to see leave the airwaves was Nothing Sacred, on ABC a few years ago and despite the sensationalistic title was a thoughtful and moving account of a young priest running a parish in modern-day New York (or was it Chicago, I forget). It showed that faith wasn't easy, that it involves a deep commitment, and that sometimes the choices among the faithful are as difficult as face those without "spiritual guidance" (not accusing you of saying otherwise, just running with the idea for a lap or two).

Back to the point...I think these notions of Christian symbolism in the Jossverse, while valid and interesting, are due partly to the cultural parameters within which we inhabit. If we lived in an Islamic society, for instance, would we see Buffy replacing Dawn's sacrifice as akin to the prophet Isu (Jesus) being rescued and replaced on the cross, as is implied in the Qu'ran? (Bit of a stretch, there, I know, but see my point?) I suspect that Buffy's rebirth/resurrection/whatever will be handled ambiguously. No answer can really satisfy, so celebrating the "mystery," so long as it's done with a minimum of coyness, may be the right way to go.

Geez, all this from communion wafers?
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Religion in the Buffyverse -- Liam, 11:17:40 08/13/01 Mon

While I don't necessarily expect all the Scooby Gang or everyone else who knows what's going on to be devout members of their particular faith (if they belong to any), I would have expected _some_ people in the Buffyverse to be fighting vampires for religious reasons. (I'm exempting the Knights of Byzantium here, and thinking of ordinary people.) If someone finds out that, yes, vampires and all kinds of other evil creatures exist, perhaps he or she might become a more devout member of their faith. The problem is that, so far, we've seen nobody in 'Buffy' or 'Angel' behaving this way.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Religion in the Buffyverse -- d'Herblay, 15:22:14 08/13/01 Mon

Liam writes: If someone finds out that, yes, vampires and all kinds of other evil creatures exist, perhaps he or she might become a more devout member of their faith.

Or, perhaps he or she would react by becoming less devout. When you deal with the supernatural on a material basis, you lose the mystery that sustains faith. One telling moment comes at the end of "Checkpoint," when Quentin Travers says, "She's a god." My immediate reaction was to say, "Aha! There's more than one, then."
[> [> [> [> [> [> TV that does religion well -- d'Herblay, 22:56:35 08/13/01 Mon

Mundus writes about Nothing Sacred: "It showed that faith wasn't easy, that it involves a deep commitment, and that sometimes the choices among the faithful are as difficult as face those without 'spiritual guidance' (not accusing you of saying otherwise, just running with the idea for a lap or two)."

I may have meant to sound like I was saying otherwise. After all my examples of "spiritual" entertainments were the indefensibly treacly Touched By an Angel and the holier-and-better-armed-than-thou Tribulation Force in Left Behind. Which were of course straw men. I have nothing but respect for shows that present faith as a struggle, that show moral choices as difficult even to the spiritual. I never saw Nothing Sacred, so when I think about TV shows that have portrayed faith in meaningful ways, I think of Homicide, with its portrayal of Frank Pembleton's initial inability to reconcile a benevolent God with what he saw on the job as a homicide detective and his ultimate acceptance of the mystery of God's love. One of the differences between the platitudinous spiritual fiction (or non-fiction) and the meaningful is that the platitudinous tends to have this assurance, this certainty, which I find lacking in everyday life. (Which basically means that I, who doubt, prefer works dealing with spirituality that acknowledge doubt to those which do not. The fact that works that acknowledge doubt tend to be deeper in other respects as well, and those that don't tend to be almost moral cartoons, has nothing to do with this.)

(And speaking of moral cartoons . . . someone [I don't know who] did a study [which I do not know the particulars of] of The Simpsons, and found that 70 percent [a number I dimly recall but could be making up] of the episodes dealt with spiritual matters at least in part. The Simpsons, to me, has been all over the map in its dealings with spirituality, from its mocking of the pieties of the Flanderses and Reverend Lovejoy, to the saccharine "Bart sells his soul to Milhouse episode"; but when I think of television creating a character who gains a deep and certain strength from her faith, and isn't treated cynically, I think of Marge Simpson.)

One of the differences between Homicide and Buffy is that on the realistic Homicide, Pembleton can come to accept a benevolent God, but he can never know; whereas on Buffy, where the supernatural is an everyday event, if there is a benevolent God, sooner or later He's going to show up and give Buffy a medal. Well, maybe not.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: TV that does religion well -- mundusmundi, 13:19:50 08/14/01 Tue

It'd be an Amends'-like miracle should it happen, but I keep hoping one day Nothing Sacred will turn up somewhere in syndication. It was on for only a year and a half, I think. Unfortunately, somebody had the boneheaded idea to write an abortion-themed storyline for only its second episode, in a cheap attempt to get attention and naturally drawing the wrong kind. It really was a good show, though, even if Jennifer Beals appeared in season 2 as a sexy nun. (One critic quipped, "Doncha think Father Mike will be, heh, heh, tempted?")

Loved the first few seasons of The Simpsons. Stopped watching a year or two ago (too painful, which makes me hope Buffy doesn't go beyond 2003). I remember Homer reading the Bible and remarking, "Talk about a preachy book! Everybody's a sinner! (points to a page) Except this guy."
[> [> Re: Communion Elemenents (semi-OT) -- Helen, 06:28:37 08/13/01 Mon


I'm letting my own post up the top go and joining in down here if that's okay. The questions I raised about the power of the cross and Christian symbols have been addressed, but I have others!

What about the afterlife? Is there one in the Buffyverse? Are Joyce and Buffy in hell, in some form of paradise or are they just floating around, and could be brought back if required? And if there isn't an afterlife, what about justice - is there any!

Just as vexing to me was, where did Angel's soul go? And is he special, in that it was possible to bring back his soul because he was destined to be a warrior for the PTB, or are all vamp souls redeemable?? Horror of horrors, could Joss just not know!!

Sorry, no constructive comments, just shed loads of questions.
[> [> [> Re: Communion Elemenents (semi-OT) -- Juliette, 12:15:14 08/13/01 Mon

I really liked the open-ended nature of The Body, when Dawn asks "where did she go?" and there is no answer. I prefer things like that to remain a mystery - just as they are a mystery to us in real life. I find JW's emphasis on 'souls' fascinating - presumably he thinks of this as his 'mythology' but there is no denying that the word 'soul' has very Christian connotations, not to mention the fact that crosses and holy water repel vampires, so to suggest that there is no life after death in the Buffyverse (other than vampires etc) would contradict some of the series' fundamental concepts. Also, I agree that it would be nice to see a character with some sort of religious faith other than the Knights of Byzantium, but I'm not sure I would want JW to write such a character - I have read religious characters written by atheists before, and the writer has invariably misunderstood the nature of faith and what religion is really about
[> [> [> [> souls & religions -- anom, 21:23:30 08/13/01 Mon

"...but there is no denying that the word 'soul' has very Christian connotations..."

Sigh. Yes there is. OK, yeah, for Christians it has, but they're the only ones (& not even all of them) who think those are its only connotations. Many--probably most--human belief systems include belief in a soul, going back before Christianity even existed. In fact, are there any that don't? I bet someone on this board can give examples if there are any.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: souls & religions -- Rufus, 22:11:56 08/13/01 Mon

And that is the problem when it comes to souls, people use Christian standards to interpert what the soul is in the Buffyverse. I think that Joss may be saying something very different than what Christians are taught about the soul. When I think of the soul I consider what Joss considers the soul to be not my Sunday school and latter training tells me. Remember the roomate Kathy in season four had no soul, she may have been wrong to attempt to steal Buffy's but she was someone rebelling against parental authority, not some demon with stricly evil intent. So, what does the soul mean? Is it the only standard we can judge good by?
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: souls & religions -- Helen, 08:28:25 08/14/01 Tue

I never got the impression that having a soul makes you good, so I don't see it as a benchmark in that way (Spike has elements of goodness without one, and Angel went through a very dark period over Darla even with a soul). I don't even think the soul is conscience. Its more one of the things that just makes you human.

It would be interesting to find out whether Anya and Dawn have souls - both having formally been other than human.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: souls & religions -- KoopaFanatic, 10:15:19 08/14/01 Tue

> In fact, are there any that don't? I bet someone on > this board can give examples if there are any.

The first major one that comes to mind is Buddhism. (As a caveat, I'm a little rusty on my comparative religions...) One of the most important (and at the time revolutionary) teachings of the Buddha was the anatman doctrine, alternately translated as "no-soul" or "no-self." One of the keys to the Buddha's enlightenment was the knowledge of the impermanence of the self: although "you" exist as an entity, and it can be said that "you" have gone through countless prior rebirths, there is no actual "you" that survives the death of "your" body. This concept of "selfness" (atman) is simply a convenient fiction that we as finite beings use to interact with one another from day to day.

It's my understanding that anatman is still a vital doctrine in both modern Theraveda and most Mahayana traditions. In Theraveda the concept exists much as it did in classical Buddhism, while in some Mahayana schools (the Japanese Pure Land sect, for example) there has developed a belief in a heaven-like afterlife. The most common explanation is that these doctrines arose in conflict with anatman as an evangelical tool: people balked at converting to classical Buddhism beliefs because the theology was so radically different from that to which they were accustomed, so missionaries would adapt beliefs from native religions to encourage conversions. This is the commonly-accepted reason why Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism are so different from one another in practices and dogma while still being part of the same tradition (Mahayana).

I hope this summary is coherent enough to follow. Writing about religion usually gives me a headache, and today is no exception. If I've made any grievous errors above, please let me know. Like I said, I'm slightly rusty on the subject... :-)
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: souls & religions -- anom, 21:16:50 08/14/01 Tue

Thanks, I was hoping for an actual answer! I knew Buddhism doesn't have deities, but that doesn't necessarily imply nonbelief in souls. In fact, friends of mine once told me of someone they know who likes to bug atheists by offering to buy their souls. According to my friends, this guy never found any takers. But I don't think there's necessarily a connection for everyone (there is to me, but I don't expect everyone to think like I do). I don't see why someone who doesn't believe in God or gods couldn't believe in some animating individual principle intrinsic to s/him* that is precious & that "selling" it would trivialize it.

*S/he, s/him, s/his (pronounced sh'hee, sh'him, sh'his) are my solutions to the gendered pronoun problem.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: souls & religions -- KoopaFanatic, 09:31:50 08/15/01 Wed

"I don't see why someone who doesn't believe in God or gods couldn't believe in some animating individual principle intrinsic to s/him* that is precious & that "selling" it would trivialize it."

Actually, I agree with you. I know quite a few people* who don't believe in any deities, or at least in any specific ones beyond a sort of all-is-god/god-is-all mentality, but many of these people have a very strong belief in immortal souls**.

Besides, you should always prepare for the worst. Think of the Simpsons ep where Bart sells his soul. Better not to take any chances in case there is something to this whole concept of a soul :-)

*Three cheers for anecdotal evidence! **They also tend to believe in angels, UFOs, Atlantis, ESP, and vast international Illuminated conspiracies, so take it for what it's worth...
[> [> [> [> [> Re: souls & religions -- Juliette, 14:19:47 08/14/01 Tue

When I mentioned the Christian connotations of the 'soul,' I really meant the word itself. Do any other belief systems use the word 'soul'? (I have to confess, I don't know much about religions other than Christianity and a little bit of Judaism) In my experience, the word has always been used referring to Christian life after death, though I am aware that most other belief systems have some sort of belief in life after death.
For Henry James Fans....(OT) -- mundusmundi, 19:22:27 08/10/01 Fri

Totally OT, but anyone who likes Henry James may want to go check out The Others, the new Nicole Kidman ghost flick. It's not for everyone's tastes, and the projectionist in the theater I attended kept botching the sound, but I got caught up in it. Comparisons with The Sixth Sense will be inevitable, but it's really a different kind of film, with HJ's sense of moody atmosphere and psychological fear-of-sex undertones (that I didn't guess the big twist in the first 5 minutes was also a plus). Bonus: Kidman looks Grace Kelly gorgeous.

Okay, now where's OnM and his Classic Movie? :)

[> Re: For Henry James Fans....(OT) -- Wisewoman, 19:34:02 08/10/01 Fri

I actually had a nightmare the other night about that thing under the veil saying, "Are you mad? I am your daughter!" I haven't seen the movie, but they keep playing that promo on TV. Urk!

[> Re: For Henry James Fans....(OT) -- Dariel, 20:02:53 08/10/01 Fri

Thanks for the suggestion. I love Henry James, even though his eliptical writing style can be so maddening.

[> Re: For Henry James Fans....(OT) -- Andy, 20:25:10 08/10/01 Fri

I'll second that recommendation, even though I haven't read much Henry James :) The Others is my favorite movie that I've seen this summer. Nice classic ghost story.

[> Re: For Henry James Fans....(OT) -- Vonnie, 20:39:02 08/10/01 Fri

Is "Others" based on "Turn of the Screw"? The commercial sort of looked like it, except Nicole Kidman was the kids' mother, not the governess as in the book. Anyway, TOTS is one of the few James oeuvres I can stomach. I find most of his other stories incredibly dense and difficult to go through, except "The Portrait of a Lady" which I love. Hmm. Any other spooky Jamesian stories I may not have heard of?

[> [> That's the one I was thinking of.... -- mm, 20:45:39 08/10/01 Fri

Not a literal adaptation (it's an original script), but interesting thematic similarities.

[> Your theater actually has a projectionist? Gee... -- OnM, 21:52:57 08/10/01 Fri

Thanks for the heads up on this one, I'm a fan of Nicole Kidman, so if the movie seems decent, I'll probably go see it.

BTW, mm (or anyone else with movie related stuff or recommendations), feel free (if you want) to post about any new flicks you have seen that you enjoyed (or not) within my weekly CMotW posting, that way it kind of clusters all the movie related stuff together. As always, just be very careful about spoiler material if the film is in current release-- mark your post titles appropriately if you discuss specific elements of the film.

This weeks column is up, posted just a few minutes ago!


[> [> thanks for the offer.... -- mundusmundi, 06:33:06 08/11/01 Sat

I try not to commandeer other people's threads, though personally I don't mind if my own are hijacked a bit (nor does most anyone else, I suspect). Part of the fun around here is watching ideas take on a life of their own.

I'm also with you on spoilers. One difficulty of talking about a movie is knowing how much to say: You don't want to ruin it for anyone, but at the same time you want to give enough of a taste that entices others to see it. Everyone's comments about this flick are pretty generalized and hopefully not spoilerish (if they are, rap my knuckles for it).

Lastly, just to make this relevant to the Buffyverse, any comparisons between The Others and I Only Have Eyes for You, one of my all-time favorite BtVS episodes? (Again, if any, mark 'em with spoilers.)

Xander and Buffy...(not in the shipper sense) -- Kerri, 21:06:31 08/10/01 Fri

Xander seems to have been down played a lot this past season. Honestly, I never was really a big Xander fan. I have no problem with his not having powers; actually I think that is one of the things that makes him most interesting.

I noticed that when the season ended Buffy has solidified her realitionship with everyone important to her-everyone except Xander.

When Buffy died Dawn knew just how important she was to Buffy. They had been through so much together. After "Forever" their relationship really changed. Buffy took care of Dawn; she did her best to be Dawn's protector, mother, sister, and friend. Dawn understood how much Buffy loved her; afterall she sacraficed her life for her sister.

Giles told Buffy in "Spiral" how proud he was of her. He told her what he admired most was her putting her heart above all else; which I believe gave Buffy support for her decission not to sacrafice Dawn. Buffy's last words included telling Giles she had figured it out and she was ok. Again a sense of closure between the two.

While it wasn't anything huge there was also a sense that Buffy and Willow really understood what they meant to eachother. Willow saved Buffy in "TWOTW" and the last scene where Buffy breaks down in her friend's arms shows how strong their relationship will always be. Also the scene in "The Gift" where Buffy tells Willow how strong she is was important in their relationship.

The Buffy/Angel relationship was left on a good note. Angel was there for Buffy. They still love each other as much as ever and knew those feelings could never change.

Even Buffy and Tara seemed to be much closer. Buffy wouldn't allow Mr. McClay to take Tara, saying that they were true family. Also after Joyce died Tara offered her support to Buffy.

There was Spike's speech to Buffy in "The Gift", and the fact that Buffy trusted Spike with Dawn's life which says more than words possibly could.

But absolutely nothing with Xander. No recognition of their friendship or what they mean to each other.

I read somewhere(I honestly can't remember where-some interview with Joss) that there originally was a scene between Buffy and Xander in "The Gift" that got cut. Too bad. I honestly felt that there was something missing between the two friends.

[> Sometimes it's the little things....... -- Rufus, 22:09:55 08/10/01 Fri

With Anya a constant companion, Xander just isn't as available as a friend. But there was that sweet scene in IWMTLY where Xander makes Buffy feel a bit better about her situation regarding men, she gave him a very nice hug. And then later he danced with her(Anya said she wasn't treatened). Buffy may not always be overt about it but Xander is one of her best friends and she did recognise his contributions in Checkpoint when she told Travers about the amount of field time Xander had put in.

[> [> Actually, the omitted scene didn't really have any interaction between the two...... -- The Wallflower, 22:48:15 08/10/01 Fri

As much as it Xander's expression of the profound and postive impact and influence Buffy's heroism and friendship have had on him as human being. I thought this was a beautiful moment and poor error in judgement of whomever is responsible to have edited it out. The point of the first twenty minutes of the episode were to establish Buffy's life and identity of the present and past through her current apocalyptic predicament and on a more human note her consanguinities she had formed with the people in her life. She had her private moments with Giles, Willow, and even Spike. Yet the moment designed to illustrate Xander's aspect in her life was wrong IMO. Here is the ommitted scene from The Gift, it takes place following Xander's proposal to Anya in the Magic Box basement:

He starts to take that ring out -

ANYA (cont'd) No.


ANYA After. Give it to me when the world doesn't end.

They kiss. He smiles, pocketing the ring. Turns to look for the sphere --

ANYA (cont'd) What makes you so sure it won't?

XANDER Buffy. She'll find a way. Figure out what's gotta be done.

ANYA She did say she'd let everybody die.

He looks at the Buffybot as he speaks, almost as if addressing her. She stares back at him.

XANDER I've known her for five years, she doesn't back down, she doesn't fail. You see me doing anything remotely heroical, that's something I learned from her.

He puts his hand on the bot's shoulder.

XANDER (cont'd) Buffy'll see us through.

And pulls it casually out of the way so it lands with a great metallic crash face down out frame, revealing more boxes.

XANDER (cont'd) Now where's that pesky sphere?

[> Counter Point -- Cactus Watcher, 06:52:37 08/11/01 Sat

I think you are completely wrong. I think Buffy and Xander are closer than ever. As I said in the "Anya" thread I think it's clear Xander is really closer to Buffy now than Willow. Among other things, you've forgotten that enormous hug Buffy gave Xander when he was wearing the "Puffy Xander Suit" in I Was Made To Love You. She's comfortable with him in a way she was not a couple of seasons ago. Buffy has her own kind of friendship with each of the characters including Xander. With Xander it's almost a male - male friendship. Excuse me for being sexist, but men don't need to touch base all the time to assure themselves they still mean the same to each other. When Buffy needed Xander to step up and say what he felt this year, he did. Buffy always showed her appreciation at the appropriate time. That's all Xander needs.

[> [> Re: Counter Point -- Rattletrap, 07:54:56 08/11/01 Sat

I agree, CW. I've loved the direction Xander's character has gone this season, and its almost like he has matured to a point where he doesn't need to be reminded constantly of how close he is to Buffy (or Willow, for that matter), it is just taken as a foregone conclusion. His relationship with Anya has been about the best thing for his friendship with Buffy, because it has more or less taken the pseudo-romantic relationship away--they are now free to be good friends.

Consider also, Xander has shown more willingness to confront Buffy and talk to her when she needs it. He gives her an impassioned speech in "Into the Woods" to pull her back down to earth, words of encouragement in "I Was Made to Love You," and even attempts to go talk some sense into her in "Intervention" before realizing it was the BuffyBot.

[> [> [> Joss said... -- Nina, 10:12:00 08/11/01 Sat

It's bad because I don't remember where I read that, but it was a post-Gift interview with Joss. He was asked why there was no X/B interaction and he simply said that they had to cut it out because there was not enough time. They went for the one on one scene that mattered the most and there was just not enough time left for a Buffy and Xander scene.

[> Re: Xander and Buffy...(not in the shipper sense) -- Sam Gamgee, 09:14:44 08/11/01 Sat

You mention Family with Tara, and there were actually quite a few Buffy/Xander scenes in there.

Buffy was there for Xander in the Replacement, but after that she became sort of consumed with everything going on in her life. But Xander was there for her, just not in the loud, notice-me way others may use. Xander is a friend somewhat like a good surgeon, who operates without leaving a scar, but darn if you don't feel better. And that simile sounded a lot better when I thought it than when I wrote it.

Dreams -- Kerri, 21:40:54 08/10/01 Fri

In seasons 1, 2, 3 and a little bit in 4 Buffy has prophetic dreams. But they more or less disappeared in season 5. Why?

This is something that has bothered me for a while. Someone posted this question at the cross and stake spoiler board, and it got me thinking about it again. Perhaps someone here has an idea.

Also while we are on this topic did you think that the dreams were a slayer "power" or something that Buffy possessed? I really didn't get the feeling that it was too much of a slayer thing-although she did share dreams with Faith. I thought that these dreams were a power that was specific to Buffy and not all slayers.

So if this is the case where do psychic powers come from? TPTB? Doyle's visions came from TPTB. How about Drusilla-were her psychic abilities from the same source?-given to her to do good with? So this leads to another question-if all these psychic powers originate from the same source why do the manifest themselves differently-visions, dreams?

Any ideas? Speccualation?

[> I think the dreams are one of the Slayer's powers... -- Anthony8, 21:48:02 08/10/01 Fri

...Because you may recall in WTTH, Giles, while chastizing Buffy in the Bronze for not being able to sense the presence of vampires, says to her "it's not like you've been having the nightmares." That indicated to me that premonitory dreams were part of the Slayer package.


[> [> I think that was part of the scene in the library, not the Bronze (NT) -- anom, 22:06:56 08/11/01 Sat

[> [> [> Anthony8's right, just before Jesse tries to hit on Cordy -- Cactus Watcher, 07:18:51 08/12/01 Sun

[> Re: Dreams -- d'Herblay, 21:50:27 08/10/01 Fri

In "Welcome to the Hellmouth," Giles says, "It's not as if you've been having the dreams." So it seems to me that prophetic dreams must be a power of the Slayer, and not specific to Buffy.

[> Part of the Slayer package -- mundusmundi, 06:48:09 08/11/01 Sat

The question as to why she had no prophetic dreams this season is interesting. Could it be argued that since Restless the show has felt more like a dream, first with Dracula, then with the Key? Have Buffy's dreams begun to permeate her reality?

[> [> Re: Part of the Slayer package -- cj, 22:36:08 08/11/01 Sat

There was the dream-Willow-in-Buffy's head ep in Season 5. I don't think that really counts... I think that the stress level put on Buffy in Season 5 has left her "mental" skills a bit dull or rather "put to the side"...


[> Slayer dreams--Buffy and Fray -- darrenK, 09:29:50 08/12/01 Sun

Season 5 seemed different to me on a whole bunch of levels. The writers covered a lot of ground plotwise. They squeezed in a lot of Buffy heartache It's very possible that the absence of dreams was supposed to signal her exhaustion--a fresh, more rested slayer (Seasons 1-4 Buffy) does experience prophetic dreams, but a constantly worried and grieving slayer (Season 5 Buffy) does not.

It's intertwined with this idea of the Slayer deathwish. Buffy's exhausted in Season 5. She wants it all to end so she can catch her breath, she doesn't want to know the future, she just wants the hurting to end.

It should be mentioned at this point, that Buffy does indeed have a prophetic dream in Season 5.During Intervention. She goes to the desert and has a vision of the First Slayer. Visions are prophecy too.

In Fray #3, the demon guide (as yet unnamed) tells Melaka that "Your significance. Your heritage. It should have surfaced in your dreams, in your--" A statement that more than implies that True dreams are part of her Slayer powers. dK

[> [> Prophetic? -- anom, 11:13:18 08/12/01 Sun

"It should be mentioned at this point, that Buffy does indeed have a prophetic dream in Season 5. During Intervention. She goes to the desert and has a vision of the First Slayer. Visions are prophecy too."

Some of them are, in the sense of predicting the future. But visions can also be of the past or the present. Buffy's vision in Intervention had to do with the present, not the future. The First Slayer told Buffy something about her inner nature--what is, not what will be. In fact, the vision may have been a way for Buffy to understand consciously something she already knew on a much deeper level. I think even the one thing the First Slayer said about the future--"Love will lead you to your gift"--was more a statement about what naturally happens if Buffy accepts her loving nature than a prophecy.

slayer strength!!!!! -- olaf, 01:52:25 08/12/01 Sun

In season six, olaf's enchanted hammer was taken by buffy. when spike tried to pick it up, he couldn't even carry it using two hands. however, buffy on the other hand, was able to carry it with only using one hand. whats the deal with that? does this mean that the slayer has alot more strength than vampires? or is it some magical agenda?

[> Re: slayer strength!!!!! -- Andy, 05:29:54 08/12/01 Sun

It's some kind of enchantment with the hammer. Spike could barely budge it while Buffy was able to lift it as if it was weightless, and we know that she isn't that much stronger than vampires are.

[> Weird theory of mine about slayer strength -- Kerri, 12:56:56 08/12/01 Sun

I really don't have too much of a basis for this-really its just an idea that I think is cool and helps to explain a little bit. Suppose slayers have a great deal more strength than they express; the slayer represses her powers on a subconscious level because of fear, uncertainty, hate, whatever. If the slayer can accept these powers and not hold back perhaps she will have a great deal more skills than before. Maybe this is what we will se with Buffy after her death. Just my strange little theory.

Buffy Enneagrams -- Shiver, 16:52:12 08/12/01 Sun

For fun, I took the test to find out what my Enneagram was, and I thought it would be interesting if people took the test as a Buffy/AtS character to see what personality type each comes out to be. is the link for the test (leave off testa.htm for the main website if you don't know what an Enneagram is - it's a kind of personality test).

Any takers for this game?

[> For example, when I pretend to be Anya - -- Shiver, 17:01:33 08/12/01 Sun

Anya comes out as a Three.

"Style Three Threes have their eyes on the goal. These are people who love success and inwardly fear failure. They do whatever it takes to succeed.

Healthy Threes are hard working, ambitious, highly successful, charismatic, fast learners, efficient, productive and they make the business world go round. They will do whatever they are asked, their work is exemplary, often extraordinary and they are usually found on the fast track and in high places. They set and meet goals with a flourish and they energize any group or staff.

If they become unhealthy they slip from being a success to appearing to be successful. This may entail some cutting of corners, viewing failures merely as learning experiences, telling the story with a few adjustments. Threes may take credit for others' work, hog the spotlight and over identify with their roles. They may also see themselves as an efficient machine and take little time for emotional and spiritual realities.

Threes you may know: Tom Cruise, Arnold Swarzenegger, Demi Moore, Elizabeth Dole, Cindy Crawford, Johnnie Cochran, O. J.Simpson, The CEO's of half the corporations in America, Oliver North, Sharon Stone, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods."

[> [> R: additional Anya perspective -- Shiver, 17:37:52 08/12/01 Sun

Type Three

Worldview: Life is about presenting a successful image.

Unconscious Drive: Self-Deceit

Gift: Efficacy and Adaptability

Multitasking, high energy people, Performers get things done. They make things happen. Threes can adapt to any situation or group with a chameleon-like ability to match the environment. Performers inspire and motivate through charm and presentation of a successful image. No type on the Enneagram is more aware of the power of image. They are natural salespeople.

Dark side of the gift. Three's focused attention on goals and tasks can overshadow other aspects of their lives. Feelings are often relegated to the back burner in service of doing. Performers may use others to get task done or run over anyone who is in the way of completion. Threes may cut corners to complete goals or projects, so long as it looks good to others.

Inner Landscape Threes can become so identified with the image they present or with what they do that they lose themselves. They may not be sure of their real feelings or desires. "I'm successful at this, but do I really want to do it?" Their talent for adapting presentation to fit the audience, or identifying with their doing can leave them fearing they have no authentic self. "If I stop doing or performing, others will find out that I am a fraud and there really is nothing inside. " Love and survival depend on maintaining a successful image.

[> And Willow ... -- Shiver, 17:06:24 08/12/01 Sun

Style Four Fours are about authenticity. Fours have a deep and wide range of emotions and trust their subjective experience to make their life-decisions. They are frequently highly esthetic (not in talent, necessarily, but in concern), because they have a highly developed ability to think symbolically. This coupled with their emotional richness cries out for artistic expression.

Fours make a personal statement in many things they do, from the way they dress to their choice of Impressionist paintings. They rather enjoy not being part of the crowd and have a natural sense of aristocracy. Taste, they maintain, is not determined by votes.

When they are less healthy, their speech becomes lamentation as they claim their uniqueness because of their suffering. They often develop a spirit of entitlement to compensate for a feeling that somehow they are defective. This defect, paradoxically, is the basis for their claim that they deserve love. They make a claim on their friends' love because they have suffered and this suffering has made them more authentic - and so more lovable.

Fours you may know: Shakespeare, Dennis Rodman, Nicholas Cage, Marlon Brando, Ann Rice, (Vampires are depicted as Fours), Kate Winslet, Vincent van Gogh, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, John Malkovich, Thomas Merton, and Allen Watts.

[> [> Re: Another Willow perspective -- Shiver, 17:39:16 08/12/01 Sun

Point Four - The Romantic

Worldview: Something essential is missing from life. I'll be complete if I can just find it.

Unconscious Drive: Envy

Gift: Uniqueness and Emotional Intensity.

Fours have a singular ability to be present with life's more intense situations: grief, death, depression. Through their understanding of dark nights of the soul, they accompany others on the journey. Romantics model that you will eventually get through the difficult times, and illuminate the riches to be found in the depths. Fours brings originality and creativity to any enterprise. Often blessed with a strong sense of the dramatic and/or aesthetic, they prefer to make a unique contribution in life.

Dark side of the gift: Romantics crave emotional intensity and connection. Their highs and lows can be perceived as "too much" for the other types. A tendency toward dramatic presentation and affect can alienate other people. The Fours' attraction to melancholy and the "darker" emotions can seem like wallowing to the rest of us. At its worst, melancholy can slide into depression. Insistence on exhibiting their uniqueness or difference can be counterproductive to their own goals and offputting to others.

Internal terrain: A Four feels that something is missing in his/her life. Other people have it and the Romantic envies them. The Four longs for the missing element that will make them whole. There is a bittersweet flavor to Four's longing and melancholy. They crave a deep connection where they will be met emotionally. Authenticity is found in intense feeling states. If Four can't find what will complete them, at least they will have intensity. Ordinariness is akin to a sort of death. Love and survival depend on being true to one's inner emotional terrain.

[> Re: Buffy Enneagrams -- Wisewoman, 18:23:29 08/12/01 Sun

I did an enneagram test for Anya when I was researching her for the character post, and she came out as a one, but I can see strong elements of three in her as well. With the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) she came out ESTJ, a Guardian (Supervisor).

Haven't thought much about the other characters, but it's an interesting idea. I know I'm a four with a strong five wing, and Masq chose a picture of Willow to put with my Posting Board regular bio, so that's a coincidence.


Classic Movie of the Week - August 10th 2001 - GP / BT Mk II -- OnM, 21:38:04 08/10/01 Fri


"This is a really bad idea, Morty..."


Remember the old Pink Panther movies, starring Peter Sellers? Sometimes uneven, occasionally sophomoric, nearly always very funny the rest of the time. One rather formidable reason for this was that Sellers offered such a brilliant portrayal as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, that you pretty much wrote off any of the dumber aspects of the flick and just had yourself a nice little gigglefest watching him in action.

One day, I read this comment about the Clouseau character that made me suddenly stop and think. What if, the questioner posited, the whole doofus thing was just an act? The reason that Clouseau always managed to solve the crime and catch the bad guys by the end of the show was that in reality he was talented, competent and clever, he just acted the fool as part of a cover, so that no one would take him seriously. The benefits of doing so would be to both disarm the crooks psychologically, in that they would never consider him a serious threat, and at the same time keep the rest of the police force at a distance, since they would cringe at the thought that this idiot was one of them-- good modus operandi for someone who works best alone.

Well, I'm not going to go into that discussion here, even though it's an interesting concept. Note, however, if you happen to be skeptical, that this idea has been presented elsewhere in the cinematic realm (and where there was no ambiguity of any kind implied), such as in *The Legend of Drunken Master*.

I doubt that this artifice of doofus-as-deception was first in the thoughts of Herbert Ross when he set out to direct this week's Guilty Pleasure / Buried Treasure, *Undercover Blues*, but there is certainly some similarities to Clouseau and Drunken Master present. In this case, there is not one, but a pair of deceptively ordinary people, husband and wife espionage team Jeff and Jane Blue (Dennis Quaid & Kathleen Turner), who as the movie opens are enjoying themselves while off on maternity leave for eighteen months following whatever their last caper happened to be. The scene is set in New Orleans, and most of their time seems to be spent in playing with their baby daughter and taking in the sights and sounds of the city, which as anyone knows is an extremely photogenic one. Of course, trouble is seriously afoot all around them, as it must inevitably be, or else the movie would become pretty boring, pretty quick.

We get our first clue that the couplus ordinarius is a great deal more than they appear to be when Jeff is out walking one to the local market one evening to pick up some baby formula or somesuch, and is accosted by one of the most hopelessly inept muggers on the planet, who self-aggrandizingly refers to himself as 'Muerte', which as he incessantly points out throughout the story, means 'death'. Unfortunately for Mr. Death, or 'Morty', as Jeff immediately dubs him, he rapidly ends up on the receiving end of some obviously professional-level martial arts/street fighting techniques courtesy of Mr. Blue.

The plot thickens as Jeff and Jane get paid a visit by two members of the local police force, Sawyer (Obba Babatundé) and Halsey (Larry Miller), who are trying to find out who the Blues really are, and later on by a group of henchmen sent by an ex-Czechoslovakian secret policewoman named Novacek (Fiona Shaw) who is the major big bad in the film, at least as much as anyone with a flair for abject loopiness can be a 'big bad'. I'll excerpt a bit of the scene where the Blues meet up with both the henchmen and 'Morty' at a restaurant famous for the quality of it's oysters, just to provide a little flavor of the kind of hijinks taking place throughout the movie:

Jeff and Jane are seated at their table, and have just ordered a huge amount of oysters. At the next table over, four men are seated, all reading papers, which are held up so that their faces cannot be seen (and therefore look extremely suspicious even to a non-espionage expert).

Jeff: "Aw, this place is great..."

Just as he says this, the henchmen lower their papers and collectively raise their guns, pointing them at the Blues, who remain perfectly calm, as if this happens everyday.

Jane: "Darling, do the oysters come with guns?"

Head henchman: "Don't make any sudden moves."

Jeff: "Why not? Is there a bee on me?"

Jane: "I don't see one..."

Jeff; "What's a sudden move? I never understood that..."

Jane: "You know, I don't either. I think they've watched too many cop shows."

Head henchman: "I want you to get up from the table, very, *very*, slowly."

Jeff: "Very, *very*, not just very?"

The men are becoming increasingly perturbed and agitated that this isn't going the way it should be. The head guy gestures more threateningly with his gun, but Jeff and Jane still seem perfectly at ease.

H/h: "Stop moving."

Jeff (to Jane): "Remember Marseilles, three or four years ago?"

Jane: "Uh-huh..."

H/h: "Don't try anything stupid!"

Jeff: "Are you *sure* you remember?"

Jane: "I think so."

H/h (now very perturbed): "I'm warning you!"

Jeff: "All right, on the count of three. One..."

H/h: "Don't..."

Jeff: "...two...three..."

Just then, Morty walks in, carrying a giant tray full of oysters, with the idea of ambushing Jeff. He lowers the tray to expose his face, shouts something like "A-ha!"

H/h: "All right... if the comedy's over."

Morty looks over, sees the four guns trained in his direction, and shrieks in abject terror. Jeff flips the tray over at the henchmen, and a big ol' fight ensues, the Blues quickly get the better of both henchmen and 'Mr. Death', and flee while the fleeing is good. As they depart, Jeff asks Jane, "Why didn't you shoot 'em under the table??

Jane: "You said Marseilles, that was East Berlin!"

Jeff: "Whoops..."

And so it goes, the whole film is filled with absurd and funny scenes like this one, interspersed with the two heroes making goo-goo eyes at one another and falling into bed whenever the opportunity strikes. (The 'spy who loved me' has nothing on these two!). Not to mention that the baby is never less than absolutely precious and adorable at all times, just like real babies.

This flick has numerous flaws (it wouldn't be on my GP/BT list if it didn't!), one major example of which is that Ross seems overly inclined to fill every scene just chock full o'the flavor of the 'Big Easy', to the point where it sometimes gets in the way of the story itself. Another oddity is wondering who the leg fetishist is among the crew or production people, since there are quite a few shots (and beautifully composed ones too!) that endeavor to show off Kathleen Turner's unquestionably lovely gams to a much greater extent than the story line calls for. Not that I mind, mind you, it's just... odd.

But odd is where it's at when you are talking B-flicks, although I suspect Ross would blanch at anyone regarding his work as belonging to this category. Perhaps it really isn't, maybe *Undercover Blues* is something else or in a category by itself, but I liked it, had a good time, and I certainly will never forget good ol' 'Morty'.

(Muerte!!! Death!!! What's the matter with you people??)

So, whether you've been bakin' or chillin' this past week, grab your trumpet, join in the parade to the video store, and buy or rent *Undercover Blues* this weekend. As the cover art clearly states, 'Intelligence runs in the family...'.

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Da Technical Blues...

*Undercover Blues* is *not* available on DVD, according to the IMDb. The review copy was on laserdisc. The film was released in 1993 and running time is 1 hour and 30 minutes. The aspect ratio of the theatrical release is 1.85:1 and was presented as such on the laserdisc, presumably it is not on the VHS version, but who knows, you might get lucky. While the film should be OK in pan'n'scan, Ross and his cinematographer do use the widescreen frame to advantage on numerous occasions. The sound mix is standard Dolby Surround. Director of photography was Donald E. Thorin, music by David Newman. The screenplay was written by Ian Abrams.

Cast overview:

Kathleen Turner .... Jane Blue Dennis Quaid .... Jeff Blue Stanley Tucci .... Muerte Fiona Shaw .... Paulina Novacek Obba Babatundé .... Sawyer Larry Miller .... Halsey Tom Arnold .... Vern Newman Park Overall .... Bonnie Newman Ralph Brown .... Leamington Jan Triska .... Axel Marshall Bell .... Sikes Richard Jenkins .... Frank Dennis Lipscomb .... Foster Saul Rubinek .... Mr. Ferderber Dakin Matthews .... Police Captain


Miscellaneous whatever:

Got unexpectedly super-busy at the Day Job this week past, so I still haven't gotten to viddy my new copy of *Akira*, or get out to the local MP to see *Planet of the Apes*. Rest assured I will comment when I can. I have a couple of possibilities a-brewin' for next week's Classic Guilty Pleasure (the list of possibles is longer than what just one month could contain, so it's been a challenge to narrow things down!), but I haven't decided just yet, so no clue this week for next, sorry. Trust me that they'll be suitably freaky or strange or both, though-- I duly aim to perv yer brain!

Must say I was really pleased at the great response y'all gave to last week's column and QotW (acckkk! Alert the Acronym Police! -- 'Question of the Week'). Thanks, I love reading your thoughts on all this stuff. BTW, didn't anyone like the movie *Infinity*, subject of the column I did two weeks back, or did it just get buried/disappeared by the Voy strangeness that was poltergeisting the board that weekend?


Hokay, as is now the wonderfully established tradition, with thanks to those who suggested it back in June when I did my year-to-date recap thang, forthwith present ye the:

***Question of the Week***:

Sometime in the distant (or not so) future, Joss or David decides to do a spinoff series with a married couple who take care of their baby and fight crime and/or demonage as a sideline in New Orleans (or wherever), a la *Undercover Blues*. Who would you vote as the couple to choose to make this show as interesting and/or kinky as possible?

Buffy & Riley Buffy & Angel Buffy & Spike Anya & Xander Cordelia & Wesley Cordelia & Gunn Cordelia & Grossalugg Willow & Tara Spike & Willow and Charlize Theron (or-- Your Choice goes here...)

See ya next week! Post 'em if ya got 'em!


[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - August 10th 2001 - GP / BT Mk II -- Isabel, 22:22:53 08/10/01 Fri

I have seen this movie in the video store but it came out about the same time with a bunch of other 'And Baby Makes Three' movies. I figured that if you've seen three you've seen 'em all. Obviously I was wrong. It sounds fun and it's now on my list of movies to rent.

As for your question: As long as they don't have to be as suave as Dennis Quaid and Kathleen Turner, Xander and Anya could do quite nicely. (Plus since it is the week of Anya, I've got Anya on the brain.)


Anya: Hey Voodoo person! Your corpses are really rotted and you're mispronouncing the key word of your animation spell!

Xander: An, we're not here to help the evil sorcerer send his zombie army to eat the brains of all the tourists in New Orleans.

A: But Xander, he was doing it wrong. I've read about this ritual. Besides, you've got a super soaker filled with holy water under your jacket and I've got a little crossbow in my purse.

X: Remember we came to this cemetary looking for vampires, not zombies. We don't have anything that works on zombies.

A: Oh look, he's corrected that part of his spell...

X: And now the zombies are moving...

A: Oh. Maybe we should run away now.

[> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - August 10th 2001 - GP / BT Mk II -- Shiver, 16:19:06 08/11/01 Sat

OnM, in your list of kinky couples you left out who is clearly the kinkiest, most erotic choice of all:

Spike & Faith (in her own body)


[> [> [> Hummm... never visualized those two together... -- OnM, 06:50:14 08/12/01 Sun

For whatever reason I have never once thought about Spike and Faith in any kind of romantic involvement. I certainly can't see it happening with the 'old', pre-redemption Faith-- consider the reaction from Spike when she met him in the Bronze (while in Buffy's body) and proceeded to play with his head. He wasn't a happy camper.

Might be an interesting thread topic, I suspect most wouldn't ever see any chemistry between them. As I said, hummmm...

[> [> [> [> Re: Hummm... never visualized those two together... -- Shiver, 16:55:42 08/12/01 Sun

The early Faith and the chipped Spike have one thing in common: they are predators, reined in by constraints (Spike by his chip, Faith by the idea of what a Slayer is supposed to be). They both have a kinky streak :-) Spike would be the eager follower to Faith's Slayer power and devious mind. It would be interesting to see how their desires to reform themselves would play off each other.

Buffy and God -- Helen, 02:16:05 08/13/01 Mon

I hope you can all help me out by sharing your thoughts on this, this is not going to be a treatise - its just something thats been confusing me for a while.

Does Buffy believe in a Christian God - or does Christianity play any role in the Buffyverse? I ask this because obviously, crosses, holy water and such can destroy/repel vampires, but does this mean that Buffy puts any kind of personal faith in them, or just uses them like she uses a stake - as a tool?

Also, Hell in the Buffyverse is all too real - Buffy went there briefly - is there a Heaven? The suggestion whenever a Big Bad tries to start an apolcalypse is that everyone is going to Hell. Wouldn't Buffy get past the Pearly gates?

I know Buff used to wear a silver cross, given to her by Angel, until the end of Season 3. I haven't noticed her wearing it since then. Does anyone think this has any significance - or does she just not wear it because Angel gave it her and he's out of her life? (or did the costume department lose it?)

[> Re: Buffy and God -- change, 04:17:09 08/13/01 Mon

The series has been deliberately vague about religion in the Buffyverse. The writers probably feel that anything they say will create a controversy.

However, we know that Christianity does exist in the Buffyverse because Buffy has used crosses and Holy water, because some scenes in WAY took place in a church (the Master in the first year also lived in a buried church), and because Buffy visited a convent once.

We have never seen Buffy attend church, read from the bible, or talk about religion. So, I think we can assume that she is not religous. She seems to use crosses and Holy water as tools, and it seems that it is the objects themselves, rather than any belief in them by her, that make them effective against vampires.

In the Buffyverse, hell is an alternate dimension. In fact, there are many hells. A hell seems to be any unpleasant parallel dimension run by demons. I can't remember any discussion of heaven in the Buffyverse, and the writers have been very vague about what happens after you die. Perhaps Buffy will have something to say about it in season six, but I suspect she won't be able to remember anything clearly.

Anyway, that's my take on God, Heaven, Hell, and everything in the Buffyverse.

[> [> Re: Buffy and God -- Cactus Watcher, 05:23:16 08/13/01 Mon

The only direct clue from Buffy about her religion that I can remember is her question in Triangle about becoming a nun, "Do you have to be super-religious?" the implications being a) she's not very religious and b) she's not Catholic. I was under the impression there was a minister at Joyce's funeral, but I may be mistaken. That might have been Joyce's request, anyway.

[> [> religion and controversy -- spotjon, 07:10:36 08/13/01 Mon

I doubt that the Buffy crew would shy away from religion just because it's controversial; they haven't backed away from other volatile subjects in the past. My personal opinion as to why the effeciency of crosses/holy water/Bibles in fighting vampires has never been explained in religious terms is because the creators (Joss Whedon in particular) have no love of religion. Whedon especially has spoken out about religion as being "silly" and not worthy of serious thought. He also said that the only reason the crosses and holy water are in the show is because they were used so much in vampire legend that he felt obligated to use them. I doubt that we'll ever see the show explore why crosses burn vampires, if only because of the producers' personal beliefs. If they ever did try to explain these things, it would probably be in the most non-religious way they can find. Now, I have nothing against Whedon for holding these beliefs -- he can believe whatever he darn well pleases -- but I think that his beliefs will never allow him to satisfactorily explain these things on the show.

[> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- OnM, 07:41:04 08/13/01 Mon

Don't you find it absolutely fascinating that for someone who professes to be non-religious that he uses so much religious imagery in his stories?

Of course, speaking as a non-religious person myself, I find I often do the same thing when I imagine fictional BtVS scenarios. It's pretty near impossible to grow up in a Western culture and not be exposed to these mythologies from birth. They become a part of you whether you embrace them as literally valid or not. What resonates for me about religious belief is how it relates to human thought and behavior, i.e., what is the lesson or point behind the mythology? How could it help us to be better people?

[> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- spotjon, 10:30:36 08/13/01 Mon

Yes, I also wonder why professing atheists and agnostics are so very often enamoured by religious "mythologies." I sometimes wonder if it is because these things make the world seem like a much fuller and meaningful place than the atheistic worldview does. A sort of attempt to fill a void, if you will. These tales and mythologies give life a little more meaning than one gets from the cold, mechanical universe that we live in. Life seems so meaningless if there is nothing here except that which we can see and feel.

[> [> [> [> How are we defining religion in the context of this discussion? -- Anthony8, 11:39:44 08/13/01 Mon

The first definition in my Webster's New Collegiate dictionary is "the service and worship of God or the supernatural." I suppose that's roughly what I think about when I hear the term. Secondarily, for me, the term brings to mind the following of a specific belief system, faith or organized doctrine. IMO even atheists appear to follow a specific belief system that they adhere to with a sort of "religious" fervor. Their belief in not believing in anything but secular reasoning becomes an object of worship in and of itself.

I would consider myself "spiritual," but extremely wary of those who would impose any one belief set on others. As limited beings there will always be knowledge beyond our grasp. I think that knowing that you can't know everything tends to express itself unconsciously as "religious" symbolism even in the creative product of those who profess to be atheist, agnostic, or non-denominational. Its expression (awareness of the unknown on some psychological level) will tend to take the form of ideas most familiar to the creator of the work so if he is familiar with the symbols of Christianity those will appear frequently even if the artist had no intent to speak in those symbols. We are limited in our ability to express things by our subconscious and learned symbolic vocabulary (which we acquire via our cultural upbringing and formal education).

There is an expression that I've heard made in reference to the Catholic Church (by many Catholics regarding the catechism) to the effect that "if you get them by seven you have them for life." It's a very cynical attitude that would seem to undermine the whole concept of freewill, but which I think has a great deal of psychological validity. Even if you make conscious choices later in life regarding what you believe or don't believe, the early programming by your parents, your church, your ethnic culture, the political attitude of your nation, and the ethics of your early peer groups are so strong as to influence you profoundly throughout your life. Any thinking generated by later "de-programming" will always be informed by the original "programming," if that makes any sense.

I think JW's point about using the familiar Christian symbols with respect to warding off vampires is a valid one. It would be very hard to sell a show about a vampire slayer without any of the traditional Hollywood vampire mythology. I do think he has added some mythology that doesn't seem to be related to Christian symbolism. The fact that vampires can't enter a home without the invitation from one of the people who live in that home is at least one example of anti-vampire defense that is accessible for even the non-Christians among. So I guess there is some hope for us infidels after all. ;)


[> [> [> [> [> atheist belief systems -- anom, 21:47:03 08/13/01 Mon

"IMO even atheists appear to follow a specific belief system that they adhere to with a sort of 'religious' fervor. Their belief in not believing in anything but secular reasoning becomes an object of worship in and of itself."

I agree. Some atheists, anyway. I once tuned in to a program on a Pacifica (left-wing, listener-sponsored) radio station called "Equal Time for Atheists," just out of curiosity. It became quite clear as I listened that atheists can have their own dogmas. From some of the arguments the people on the program made, they took the nonexistence of God as an article of faith! Atheism as religion....

[> [> [> [> [> [> not trying to start a Holy War.... -- mundusmundi, 07:05:40 08/14/01 Tue

But I don't like this "atheism = religion" thing. Can I disagree w/out stepping on any toes?

Speaking as an agnostic, who has a pretty fair view of both sides (or, to put it another way, I'm equally unfair to everyone), part of the problem between believers and non-believers is they don't speak the same language. Words like faith, belief, and evidence mean different things to them. And, yes, religion too.

If we define religion in the neutral, dictionary sense, as 1a. belief in and reverance for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator or governor of the universe (American Heritage), then sorry, but no: atheism is not a religion. If we define it as 1b. a personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief, nope, that's wrong too. Atheism is a lack of belief in supernatural phenomena. There are no churches in atheism, no holy days, no priests, no sacraments, no inerrant doctrine (though I'll mention a humorous exception to all this in a moment). Generally speaking, atheists are skeptics, not in the crotchety old man sense, but in the sense that they base their "beliefs" (again, the language barrier here) on empirical evidence, and not anything based on "faith" (language, language!).

Having said that, if we are defining religion as 2. A cause or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion, then there's admittedly room for argument. Yes, there are atheists who can be quite dogmatic in their views (not agnostics, though -- we're all fence-sitting, spineless wimps ;). I would submit, though, that extremism in atheism, as in all true religions, is the exception and not the rule. And it seems an insult to true religion to brand atheism a religion as well.

As I've written in other posts, I respect and am fascinated by religion, especially religious history and the power spiritual ideas have held since human existence began. But as someone involved in academics, I've seen how these definitions and distinctions get blurred by small but vocal fringe groups who want to mislead and create misinformation, particularly when it comes to teaching valid and honorable theories (let's not turn this into Talk Origins, but you get my meaning).

To end this treatise with a little levity...around a year ago, in the Chronicle of Higher Education, there was a piece on some atheists who rented out an old church and were holding weekly gatherings there. A few weeks later, another atheist wrote a letter to the editor in response to this. "They seem to have forgotten," he wrote sardonically, "that one of the benefits of being an atheist is you are officially exempted from attending any meetings."


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Two comments -- Cactus Watcher, 07:54:18 08/14/01 Tue

Even dictionaries are published within a social environment. Get a big dictionary and find out what the root of the word 'religion' originally meant. It had nothing to do with deities or supernatural powers. Hint: It's related to the word 'rely.' Not all agnostics are wimps. Some are firmly in the "I don't know, and I don't care," camp. ;o)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> meaning of "religion" -- Vickie, 13:16:17 08/14/01 Tue

Joseph Campbell (in his famous Power of Myth talks with Bill Moyers) claimed it was derived from "re-ligio", or a linking-back.

Linking-back to what, is, I suppose, the choice of the particular religion.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: not trying to start a Holy War.... -- Cleanthes, 08:10:32 08/14/01 Tue

While it ruins the language to say Atheism = religion, there's no question that atheism = belief about the underlying, unknowable nature of the universe, so I think the Dewey decimal system that puts Madalyn O'Hair's books next to the pope's books in libraries makes sense. Either way, there but for the Grace of God, goes god... ~grin~

There's a usenet group or two devoted to atheism. They've sometimes spilled out into other groups. Nothing gets their panties in a wad like calling certain of them "fundamentalist" atheists. And, well, IMO, some of 'em ARE. A fundamentalist atheist is one who denies that there's such a thing as a fundamentalist atheist.

So, I agree with mundusmundi about that fringe of "dogmatic" atheists. (I've actually met some dogmatic agnostics, too, though, but, I suppose that's a digression.)

Agreeing that avoiding a Holy War is a good idea, there's a way to see the Christian symbols in Buffy from a latitudinarian & ecumenical way that will allow for non-fundamentalist atheists and non-fundamentalist Christians to agree -- these symbols tap into mythical archtypes. Christian symbols themselves adapt and, in the Christian view, perfect pagan symbols and rituals. How perfect? Well, from the standpoint of us finite and imperfect mortals, who knows? I can't say because I'm busy removing the beam from my own eye.

Joss obviously reads Sartre and Sarte admired Kierkegaard. But Sartre was atheist and Kierkegaard was super Christian. Those Christian sects which emphasize their exclusive and jealous hold on the truth couldn't fit in the Buffyverse's mythology. Nevertheless, a large group of modern Christians supported by overtly Christian thought has no problem with Buffy. Some Christians hold judgmentalism as prohibited by Matthew 7:1 - but these Christians don't shout their judgmental attitudes to the masses, do they? Instead each such person stands alone before God.

So, why not imagine that Christianity contains a valid element and this element accounts for the effectiveness of crosses and the bible in repelling vampires?

Perhaps all the spiritual thoughts of all the world are attempts to pull barnacles off the ship of truth. Christianity pulls some off, so do other systems, so even does popular culture, so does any attempt to live and yearn. BtVS does well NOT to shy from Christian symbols - the symbols have symbolic power.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> and I thought I was being so careful -- anom, 11:22:51 08/14/01 Tue

"*Some* atheists," "*can* have their own dogmas," "the people on the program"--I was trying to make it clear I didn't mean all atheists or atheism in general.

Didn't I put a question mark after "Atheism as religion"? Better, guess not, but the dot-dot-dot was supposed to mean I wasn't claiming that was definitely the case, & I used "as," not =. & again, I meant it seemed to be like a religion for the people I heard on the program.

"There are no churches in atheism, no holy days, no priests, no sacraments, no inerrant doctrine..."

Not all of these occur in every religion, either.

"...A few weeks later, another atheist wrote a letter to the editor in response to this. 'They seem to have forgotten,' he wrote sardonically, "that one of the benefits of being an atheist is you are officially exempted from attending any meetings."

I've seen an ad in the back of the Village Voice recently (too bad it's not in the issue I have at hand) about a group for atheists, including atheist "holidays"! I'm tempted to call just to find out what they are...of course, not all holidays are religious--M. M. O'Hare's birthday maybe?

And "Talk Origins"? Is that from a thread before my time?

"agnostics, though -- we're all fence-sitting, spineless wimps"

Not all, or there wouldn't be a button that says "Militant Agnostic--I don't know and you don't either!"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> My bad, not yours, anom -- mm, 12:52:11 08/14/01 Tue

I had read about four or five posts in a row claiming or implying atheism was a religion, my jaw clenching whilst still half-asleep, and yours just happened to be the last in the line. My response was aimed to the general discussion, not specifically to rebuke your post. Sorry bout that! :)

"There are no churches in atheism, no holy days, no priests, no sacraments, no inerrant doctrine..."

Not all of these occur in every religion, either.

Yeah, I was just referring to Christianity, and a specific type at that. Of course Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc., are religions too, as could be considered any individualized spiritual expression. More importantly, though, I was trying to define religion as involving some mode of worship or belief in the supernatural, whether personal or institutionalized, thus trying to distinguish it from atheism, agnosticism, etc., which any way you slice it are about the absence of spiritual belief. (Hence the reason why they're not benefitting from faith-based initiatives.) Atheists/agnostics may have strong convictions about their views, but that doesn't make them religious any more than our enthusiasm for Buffy makes this board a holy temple, Masq the High Priestess and our posts and fanfics sacred texts. (Again, just an attempt to clarify a common misunderstanding, not aimed at you or anyone directly.)

And "Talk Origins"? Is that from a thread before my time?

Talk Origins is a web site devoted to evolution, another topic entirely. Stimulating essays, and an amusing feedback page. They're at

I've seen an ad in the back of the Village Voice recently (too bad it's not in the issue I have at hand) about a group for atheists, including atheist "holidays"!

Shhh. When you're atheist or agnostic, every day's a holiday. ;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Atheism as a religion -- Malandanza, 16:05:58 08/14/01 Tue

"I had read about four or five posts in a row claiming or implying atheism was a religion, my jaw clenching whilst still half-asleep..."

As one of the posters who implied that atheists often treat their non-belief as a religion, here is the Dostoevsky quote to which I was referring (from "The Idiot"):

"Our Russian intensity not only astonishes ourselves; all Europe wonders at our conduct in such cases! For, if one of us goes over to Roman Catholicism, he is sure to become a Jesuit at once, and a rabid one into the bargain. If one of us becomes an Atheist, he must needs begin to insist on the prohibition of faith in God by force, that is, by the sword. Why is this? Why does he then exceed all bounds at once? Because he has found land at last, the fatherland that he sought in vain before; and, because his soul is rejoiced to find it, he throws himself upon it and kisses it! Oh, it is not from vanity alone, it is not from feelings of vanity that Russians become Atheists and Jesuits! But from spiritual thirst, from anguish of longing for higher things, for dry firm land, for foothold on a fatherland which they never believed in because they never knew it. It is easier for a Russian to become an Atheist, than for any other nationality in the world. And not only does a Russian 'become an Atheist,' but he actually believes in Atheism, just as though he had found a new faith, not perceiving that he has pinned his faith to a negation. Such is our anguish of thirst!"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Atheism as a religion -- Cleanthes, 09:45:18 08/15/01 Wed

Beautiful quote. I need to read "The Idiot". Pretty much predicts how atheism would play out under Bolshevism.

With Stalin's shrines to atheism, and forced meetings to create a "New Soviet, atheist, proletariat", certain forms of atheism, at least those infected with communism, have "churches", "rituals", etc., although called something else. Stalin prohibited music that sounded religious - until the Germans invaded and then he declared that religious sounding music could praise Russian nationalism. Communist anthems have always sounded "religious" to me, regardless.

Bringing this back on topic slightly, Dostoyevsky wrote a terrific novela called "Notes from the Underground" (about 70 pages) in most English translations, but actually the Russian word translated as "underground" means 'under the floor boards' - which I am reminded of whenever I see Joyce inside the wall in Buffy's Restless dream. DreamJoyce had the same self-mocking attitude of the protagonist in the Dostoyevsky story.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Interesting stab at slavic etymology, but no... -- Cactus Watcher, 11:35:11 08/15/01 Wed

Dostoevskij's word "podpol'e" means an under-floor - a "crawl space" under a house or "basement" literally, - and something done in secrecy in the sense of his title "Notes From the Underground." By the way your spelling of the author's name is fine. I'm just showing off my over long education in Russian. ;o)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> one last comment, then I'll shut up :) -- mundusmundi, 13:21:10 08/16/01 Thu

With Stalin's shrines to atheism, and forced meetings to create a "New Soviet, atheist, proletariat", certain forms of atheism, at least those infected with communism, have "churches", "rituals", etc., although called something else

Well, I think bringing in Stalin as an example of atheism is not unlike using the Crusaders' massacre of Jerusalem in 1099 A.D. as an example of Christianity. It overlooks the mainstream view, which again is my emphasis here.

Interestingly, the ancient Romans thought the early Christians were atheists. They saw anyone who didn't worship the state deities as ungrateful unbelievers. I doubt any Christians today would care to be called atheists. With that in mind, perhaps it's easier to understand why some atheists might take umbrage at being told that they're practicing a religion, when more than a few have risked considerable strain on their familial relationships (sometimes even being ostracized) in order to get away from religion and whatever that entails for them.

Not me, though. My father's side of the family are largely atheists and agnostics; my mother's are Church of Christ. Makes for some interesting reunions. (Also have an aunt who thinks she's a sorceress. Every family tree has a few bananas.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Atheism as a religion? No. -- mundusmundi, 15:04:25 08/16/01 Thu

I love Dostoevsky. But he gets a little excitable.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Atheism as a religion? No. No. NO!! -- d'Herblay, 20:51:22 08/16/01 Thu

One of the reasons I am aghast at the mention of atheism as a "religion" is because one of the favorite tactics of fundamentalists who wish to have creationism taught in the public schools is to describe "secular humanism" as a "religion" with evolution as one of its tenets. Then they demand equal time.

Similarly aghast, I wish people would stop bringing up Madalyn Murray O'Hair as if all or any atheists revered her. I've been an atheist most of my life and I have only the foggiest notion of who she was. It's a bit like talking about Christians and always mentioning Jerry Falwell, or about Judaism and always mentioning Meir Kahane, or mathematics and always mentioning the Unabomber. The atheists and agnostics I respect--Dawkins, Gould, Kaminer, Soros--tend to be famous for things before and beyond their atheisms.

Didn't our mothers tell us to never bring up politics and religion in polite conversation? Well, mine didn't, so it's over to the "Respect My Authori-tah!" thread for me.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Atheism as a religion? No. No. NO!! -- anom, 21:43:00 08/16/01 Thu

"One of the reasons I am aghast at the mention of atheism as a 'religion'...."

My point was that some--*some*--atheists seem to deal w/their atheism that way. Please see my post "and I thought I was being so careful" elsewhere in this thread. The "...." after "Atheism as religion" was meant to indicate something like a bemused headshaking or "how 'bout that" (to put it better than I did it that post) in reaction to what I heard *on that program*, which I was not assuming to be typical of atheists.

"I wish people would stop bringing up Madalyn Murray O'Hair as if all or any atheists revered her."

That's not what I was doing. I just wanted to use a name that'd be recognized as one associated w/atheism & couldn't think of any other (you're welcome to name any if you know of 'em). The part about her birthday being a possible atheist holiday was a j*o*k*e (although the part about the ad mentioning such holidays was for real).

"Didn't our mothers tell us to never bring up politics and religion in polite conversation?"

But you just made a big deal about it's not *being* a religion! @>)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Let sleeping dogs lie? Or . . . -- d'Herblay, 22:37:51 08/16/01 Thu

You weren't the only person to mention O'Hair. Cleanthes brought her up in his/her post "Re: not trying to start a Holy War...." with what, as far as I can tell, is not a joke, but then I'm a pretty humorless person. But then my point about O'Hair was that she springs to mind as a prominent atheist more often for her opponents. (There are atheists who celebrate "Darwin Day" on December 25th, by the way, but that's kind of silly.)

Nor were you the only person to define atheism as a religion. If I seemed to single you out, that was not my intent. It took me a while to find an opening into this thread, as I think slowly and poorly, and I was responding more to the tenor than to any specific arguments. And in fact I have little problem with what you've said about some atheists taking up atheism with a blind fervor reminiscent of born-agains. But the thread was taking the tone of defining atheism as just another creed, rather than a rejection of creeds. I thought it was fair game to point out how such thinking is used in the outside world.

As for your final comment, I think you can recognize the difference between discussing atheism as a rejection of religion in general and discussing atheism as a specific religion. This thread was titled "Buffy and God" after all, so no matter what our beliefs, or lack thereof, we are discussing religion.

Much as I admire your mutant monocle-wearing cyclops, I'm still taking emoticon 101, so I'm going to steal a page from Rufus and end this :):):):):):)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey!!!!! Drop that emoticon!!!!!:):):):):O -- Rufus, 13:16:41 08/17/01 Fri

You calling me simple......LOL.....cause I sure are when it comes to emoticons and computers. Hate talking about God with people whose faces I can't see. I don't want to offend but with my blunt way of putting things, usually do. Nothing boils blood and creates anger faster than the topic or religion. I like how in the movie Dogma it was mentioned that none of us have gotten it "the truth" right. To understand the truth I feel it's important to have a looksee at what other people think it is. I do believe that the truth isn't the gem of just one group of people. Even though we may express our feelings differently be we Christian, Hindu...ect..we all have similar thoughts. Faith should be something that other ideas and thoughts strengthen, not threaten, the faith within.:):):):):)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> For the last time (I hope)-- -- anom, 08:10:09 08/19/01 Sun

"Nor were you the only person to define atheism as a religion."

--I did not "define" atheism as a religion. I commented on how some atheists seem to deal with it like a religion.

"And in fact I have little problem with what you've said about some atheists taking up atheism with a blind fervor reminiscent of born-agains."

There's a button that says "Evolved-again secular humanist," but I think the dogmatic atheists don't have enough of a sense of humor to wear it. @>) My impression is that most atheists reject dogma in general, not just that associated with religion (& dyslexic atheists reject godma!). And I realize that there's probably more diversity of (non?)beliefs among atheists than in any one religion, although that may be just because there's no one setting policy. In fact, I think some of the differences in atheists' attitudes may stem from what religious background, or lack of one, they were brought up in, & what in that background caused them to reject the concept of God/gods. For example, I've noticed that many Jewish atheists I've heard or read seem to be angry with God for not existing! (OK, they're probably angry at having been raised with expectations/ideas of God that they later concluded were false--see how I'm being more careful to explain what I really mean?)

(& BTW, d'Herblay, it's interesting you saw my cyclops smily as wearing a monocle--I never thought of it that way, just as having a big central eye [ever see Futurama?]. Just shows how perceptions differ.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Let sleeping dogs lie? Or . . . -- Cleanthes, 08:59:20 08/19/01 Sun

Hi, I see my name mentioned, but I've not switched on my computer for three days. (I'm trying to cut down)

Just by way of clarification, I have a pseudo-religious belief that Irony and her children Sarcasm, Humor, Absurdity, etc. pervade the universe with an ubiquity impossible to overstate. No statement exceeds "let's be serious for a moment" in silliness.

So, my post about O'Hair and Stalin were as humorous as they had to be. "Religion" can be a rigid designator and, as such, "atheism" ain't a religion. No churches, no agreed rituals, no agreement even on the extent of the "theism" concept to which atheist must disagree WITH. Does the universe have an underlying structure? If so, science is possible. But wait, maybe atheists must be skeptics about that too. Well, I only lurk on alt.atheism, and I think the only worthwhile part of these arguments to carry over here is the existence of fervor of a quasi-religious nature on these questions among atheists.

But, for me, "religion" OUGHT to be a flaccid designator, and therefore one that people don't get angry about. Wouldn't the world be a better place? [we could agree to only get angry with those who get angry about religion FIRST - so damn the Taliban, eh?]

And, with this, I'll mention something about Buffy, which is why I post HERE and lurk THERE. Joss's "religion" on Buffy is not rigid or dogmatic, but widely and wildly inclusive. Wicca has been treated with respect, and it has been mocked with the "wanna-blessed-be's". Christianity has been treated with respect (the nuns, monks, the minister at Joyces' grave reading from the book of common prayer) and, as pointed out elsewhere in this thread, Christianity has been mocked; science & technology too has received respect (Buffy's rocket-launcher shot)and mockery (the Initiative).

Even were mockery banned in some politically correct world, the ubiquity of irony would assure that one could continue to mock via excessive earnestness, so, I'm cool with the treatment of Wicca, Christianity and science. Of course, we all have an easier time telling other people to lighten up when their cherished beliefs come under fire, but then we may do less well when our own are mocked. So --

My religion, such as it is:

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wicca & witchcraft on BtVS -- anom, 12:44:07 08/19/01 Sun

"Wicca has been treated with respect, and it has been mocked with the 'wanna-blessed-be's'."

I wonder how actual Wiccans feel about the portrayal of Wicca on BtVS, or rather about the use of the term "Wicca." Wiccans I've known (pre-Buffy) have been bothered by having people equate their Earth-religion with witchcraft, saying this dates back to early Christian efforts to discredit it. Willow & Tara call on numerous gods from different pagan belief systems, whereas Wicca (as it's been explained to me; it may include other beliefs or branches, as in so many religions) has 2 deities, a Lady & a Lord, & certainly wouldn't include, for instance, Egyptian or Greek/Roman gods. BtVS seems to have what might be called a pan-paganism--any god who has jurisdiction over whatever the characters are trying to do may be invoked, no matter what tradition s/he belongs to. (I like d'Herblay's satiric--or satyric?--pantheon.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> atheism & pun fu (this thread needs a little more humor) -- anom, 12:53:52 08/19/01 Sun

" agreement even on the extent of the "theism" concept to which atheist must disagree WITH....Well, I only lurk on alt.atheism...."

I've been waiting for an opening for this, but I didn't expect a double one! Back when I was addicted to alt.usage.english, there was some crossposting from alt.atheism about the meaning of "atheism" after someone apparently misrepresented it on a.u.e. One atheist said that for s/him it meant (paraphrased, since I don't remember the orig. word for word) that "I have no gods. Whatever gods other people believe in are irrelevant to me. Greek gods, Intuit gods, Norse gods...." Of course, the 2nd one was a typo for "Inuit," but the Master of Pun Fu couldn't resist. I quoted the phrase, underscored "Intuit," & pointed out helpfully, "Those must be the ones that Quicken the dead." @>)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Intuit Gods -- d'Herblay, 14:32:58 08/19/01 Sun


Every year here, a little more than three weeks after the spring equinox, often at the time others celebrate Easter or Passover, we curse the names of the Intuit Gods.

Some religions want you to give up meat on Friday, some practice human sacrifice. But making you buy Turbo Tax every year, then promissing you free state forms, which you have to buy and then send in for a rebate on--a rebate I have never actually received--is enough to make one question one's faith.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Brilliant! Does that make you our Puntiff? ;) -- Humanitas, 20:30:10 08/19/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> just because i'm puntificating, it doesn't necessarily follow...(but thanks!) -- anom, 21:47:49 08/19/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Let sleeping dogs lie? Or . . . -- Rufus, 13:46:27 08/19/01 Sun

(I'm trying to cut down)

Maybe there is a patch for that.:):):):)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Let sleeping dogs lie? Or . . . -- Malandanza, 19:45:31 08/19/01 Sun

I think the only worthwhile part of these arguments to carry over here is the existence of fervor of a quasi-religious nature on these questions among atheists.

When someone tells me that they believe in astrology, I smile condescendingly or shake my head sadly -- but I refrain from any "serious" debate on a belief I see as foolish. I would do the same if someone told me that they worship Athena or Isis. If atheists behaved as if religion were as trivial to them as they like to pretend it is, we wouldn't be having this debate. The problem is that some atheists go out and proselytize as fervently as any street-corner preacher. (Is proselytize the right word? Do atheists attempt to convert their subjects or un-convert them? or should that be de-convert? Maybe deprogram... like they do with cult members. :)

Anyway, here is an example from the annals of mathematics of a zealous atheist:

"Euler earned a reputation for being able to solve any problem that was posed, a talent that seemed to extend even beyond the realm of science. During his stint at the court of Catherine the Great he encountered the great French philosopher Denis Diderot. Diderot was a committed atheist and would spend his days converting the Russians to atheism. This infuriated Catherine, who asked Euler to put a stop to the efforts of the godless Frenchman.

"Euler gave the matter some thought and claimed that he had an algebraic proof for the existence of God. Catherine the Great invited Euler and Diderot to the palace and gathered together her courtiers to listen to the theological debate. Euler stood before the audience and announced:

'Sir, (a+b^n)/n = x, hence God exists; reply!'

"With no great understanding of algebra, Diderot was unable to argue against the greatest mathematician in Europe and was left speechless. Humiliated, he left St. Petersburg and returned to Paris. Euler continued to enjoy his return to theological studies and published several other mock proofs concerning the nature of God and the human spirit."

(Fermat's Enigma, Simon Singh, pg 76-77)

[> [> [> [> [> influence of Hollywood (a little long) -- purplegrrl, 11:18:15 08/15/01 Wed

***traditional Hollywood vampire mythology***

Please don't give Hollywood credit for "traditional vampire mythology."

Originally, in European folklore, vampires were dealt with using magical or common-sense methods - burying them face down so they would dig further into the earth when they tried to rise, pinning or nailing their clothes to the coffin so they couldn't get out, burying a wild rose branch with the coffin, etc. Not religious methods.

Only after the Church intervened did religious symbols become a way to repel/destroy vampires. And the Church did this for their own reasons: in attempting to convert the population, they tried to get rid of all the people's traditional or folk beliefs. Failing that, the Church would subvert these beliefs - such as telling people who already believed in vampires that they would become vampires when they died if they did not convert to the Holy Mother Church. And the Church did such a good job of this subversion that the only folk beliefs to survive are the stake through the heart and decapitation as ways to destroy a vampire, as well as garlic to deter them.

Most vampire "traditions," as we in the Western culture know them, can be traced back to Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. He incorporated the folk beliefs, the Church's teachings, and added one or two of his own (inability to see vampires in mirrors). This novel has been such a tremendous influence on the entire vampire mythology that we almost cannot conceive of dealing with vampires in any other way. There have been a few, to varying degrees of success - the movie "Blade," the British miniseries "Ultraviolet," Anne Rice's books, to name a few. (I'm sure others can cite more examples.) But even these are often a variant on the "traditional vampire."

Joss, like many other writers, has taken the traditonal vampire mythology and changed it to suit his version of "reality." His vampires don't fly or shapeshift, although "traditional vampires" (meaning Dracula) could. However, his vampires are not strictly ravening beasts. They have the capacity for love, however dark and twisted they may express it. And except for Dracula (in Bvs.D), none of Joss' vampires can do the "mind whammy/hypno eyes" thing.

BTW, I'm not sure when the "vampires must be invited in" part of the mythology came into being, but it has been around at least since Stoker's novel. Dracula must be invited into the Westenra house - which afterward he makes his own personal playground.

What Joss has added is a way to "de-invite" a vampire from your house - by magical means, of course.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Didn't mean to give Hollywood the credit for originating... -- Anthony8, 11:55:26 08/15/01 Wed

..."traditional vampire mythology." However, Hollywood was instrumental in disseminating the 'basics' of the mythology across the globe starting with Bela Lugosi in "Dracula," in particular, and continuing to the present on shows like X-Files (I'm thinking of that hilarious trailer trash vampire episode). I would posit that the fundamental images we associate with vampire mythology (garlic, crosses, sunlight, coffins, fangs, vampires peaks, etc.) today reached the unwashed masses almost exculsively through the movies and television, not through literature or religion.

The thing that strikes me as the most ironic is that all the vampiric imagery, all its related Christian imagery, and the general promotion of Christianity (at least in the era of the big studios) was perpetuated by mostly Jewish movie executives and artists. Much of the dialogue, music and direction that we associate with Christmas classics or the good ole fashioned middle America Christian ethic as portrayed in Hollywood movies were the products of Jewish writers, composers, directors and producers. Jeffrey Lyons wrote n excellent book on the subject called "An Empire of their Own" which is a great read for Hollywood history buffs. And despite their contributions to the promotion of those good ole American Christian values, the Jews were the first to be persecuted as unamerican in the Red Scare of the 50's. You just can't win, I guess. There was a very well done movie on this subject starring Woody Allen and Zero Mostel called "The Front" that I would enthusiastically recommend.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Didn't mean to give Hollywood the credit for originating... -- purplegrrl, 13:22:50 08/17/01 Fri

***The thing that strikes me as the most ironic is that all the vampiric imagery, all its related Christian imagery, and the general promotion of Christianity (at least in the era of the big studios) was perpetuated by mostly Jewish movie executives and artists.***

Basically they were echoing what was already part of the cultural psyche. At the time they didn't feel they could deviate from "Dracula" so far as to show the symbols of other religions deter or injuring/killing vampires. They gave the people what they knew, what the studios knew would sell.

Also, I don't think there are vampires in Jewish/Hebrew folklore (I could be wrong). Therefore, they have no reason/basis to change the Christian symbols in vampire mythology.

***the general promotion of Christianity (at least in the era of the big studios)***

I don't remember there being such overt promotion Christianity. *American* values, yes. (Truth, justice, and the American way!) Just because the predominate religion in Amerca happened to be Christianity doesn't necessarily mean they were promoting it.

[> [> [> [> Religion and Culture -- Rattletrap, 18:29:59 08/14/01 Tue

One point I haven't seen made yet (if it has been, please forgive me)

In this discussion, it is important to distinguish between overt Christian symbolism and symbolism that draws on the broad Western Judeo-Christian Tradition. The former really speaks to only a small percentage of the population, the latter includes most of the people on this board, regardless of their personal religious persuasion. Whether for better or for worse, the Christian church has dominated life in the Western world for most of the last 2000 years, and has, as a result, left an almost indelible mark on the shared cultural tradition. IMO most of the symbolism in Buffy falls into the latter category. This makes it possible for Joss & Co. to draw on the influence of Christian authors like C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Soren Kirkegaard without presenting an overtly Christian message. The same thing is true of almost all the works of literature, cinema, and television--some influence of Christianity appears, not overtly, but because it is part of our shared cultural heritage.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Religion and Culture -- anom, 19:40:13 08/14/01 Tue

"In this discussion, it is important to distinguish between overt Christian symbolism and symbolism that draws on the broad Western Judeo-Christian Tradition."

What symbolism does draw on a "Judeo-Christian tradition"? When it comes to symbols, I can't think of any the 2 religions hold in common. And over 5 years, aside from maybe 1/2 a dozen mentions of Willow's Jewishness--which doesn't seem to mean much more than non-Christianness--has there been anything, symbolic or otherwise, having to do with Judaism on the show? (And don't say "Chanukah spirit!")

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Religion and Culture -- Rattletrap, 05:14:10 08/15/01 Wed

Yes, but Christianity derives from Judaism. Roughly 2/3 of the Christian scriptures are also Jewish, as is the underlying code of ethics. But this is also somewhat O/T . . . My point was really in distinguishing between Christianity as a set of religious views and as a cultural phenomenon, my choice of words seems to have unintentionally added an extra layer of confusion.

[> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- Helen, 07:49:17 08/13/01 Mon

Thank you Spotjon, I do feel that this is a weakness in the show, and one that is getting harder to gloss over (particularly with the lady's imminent return from wherever she's been). The last thing I would want is for BtVS to turn into something off the God channel, but the insistence of the writers in shying away from religious matters is sometimes problematic.

[> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- spotjon, 09:25:37 08/13/01 Mon

I think the problem only got worse when -- in the hotel-flashback episode -- Angel had his hands burned by a Bible. How long can they throw these things in there without giving some sort of an explanation? Someone mentioned that perhaps that it is the shape of a cross, and not its religious significance, that burns a vampire, but that doesn't mesh with the holy water and Bibles causing them to burn. If they aren't going to explain it, then they should at least refrain from throwing more of it in there.

Just a pet peeve of mine. :-)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- Liam, 11:01:26 08/13/01 Mon

I agree with previous posters, particularly spotjon, about the portrayal of religion in the Buffyverse. The problem in trying to shy away from religion is that such a point of view is itself a religious one. The use of crosses and other religious imagery in 'Buffy' and 'Angel' does bother me a little, particularly when a movie like 'Blade' deals very well with the problem by saying that such things don't work. For example, I would have expected the vampires to have been so afraid of consecrated ground that they would never have tried to dig up the Master's bones; but instead, the ground only burns them a little. In a sense, we have the worst of both worlds, in that such religious imagery exists, but their effects on vampires are somewhat mild.

The problem with Angel being burned by crosses and bibles, as well as having no reflection, is that such things were supposed to happen to vampires because they had no souls. But as Angel does have a soul, I would have expected him to see his reflection, and not get burnt by religious objects, etc.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- Juliette, 11:26:28 08/13/01 Mon

The very few times religion has been shown on Buffy, it has been in a negative light - "Note to self - religion - freaky" - "They *used* to bow down before gods" and Glory's whole storyline. Considering JW's views, this is unsurprising. However, if he can only be negative about religion, I personally would rather he shied away form it altogether. As a Christian, I find it a little tiring to be constantly told everything I believe in is 'silly' (I'm a Trekkie as well, and Star Trek is even worse at doing this than Buffy) so I would rather just enjoy the programme without facing this yet again

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> While I don't believe that anyone should be persecuted for their beliefs... -- Anthony8, 11:57:43 08/13/01 Mon

...the sometimes "anti-christian" (and anti-religious, as well) tone of some modern entertainment (most of it occurring in the last quarter of the Twentieth Century)could be seen as the pendulum swinging in a relatively slight reactionary direction.

After all, organized religion spent a great deal of its energies since the beginning of human culture torturing, burning, branding, imprisoning and committing all manner of other heinous acts upon persons who merely gave the appearance of disagreeing with one belief system or another. And, sadly, it goes on to this day in many parts of the world. The main difference with an "anti-religious" television show or movie is that you have the choice not to watch--you can remove yourself from harm's way, so to speak. In another time, in this country, not too long ago, JW would have been blacklisted and shunned, or even further back in time, hanged by those who thought his work offended their religious sensibilities. So "great" is the power of faith in some people that it so easily can be undermined with merely a word.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And before anybody gets up in arms... -- Anthony8, 12:05:06 08/13/01 Mon

...I have nothing against people who peacefully practice their beliefs. The people of faith that I was referring to in my above post were those who have, historically, jumped on the persecution bandwagon whenever somebody even hinted to question their faith. I by no means intended to lump into that group anybody here today who may find offensive things that seem critical of their own beliefs. I'm sure their beliefs are sincere and they have as much the right to be offended as the accused offender has a right to express himself. I was just explaining why I think we have been seeing more anti-religious themes in modern art and entertainment.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- Juliette, 11:58:29 08/13/01 Mon

Just to clarify - I'm not saying there aren't negative things to say about religion, because there are, but there are positive things too, and if all Buffy, Star Trek or anything else can find to say is negative, then I'd like a break.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> religion and Star Trek -- verdantheart, 12:17:42 08/13/01 Mon

Yes, some of the writers for Star Trek (I'm thinking particularly Voyager) are admitted athiests. Next Generation and Voyager scrupulously avoided religion, at least in relation to humans.

But Deep Space Nine was different. The Cardassians are athiests and express the view that religion is silly superstition. However, while the deities of the deeply religious Bajorans could be explained as "wormhole aliens" by human characters, I sensed that there was a great deal more respect given to religion on the program. It certainly got more play (the Bajorans worshipped their prophets, the Vorta their Founders). If I remember correctly, Sisko's father expressed some religious beliefs.

At least one writer on the series felt that the Star Trek franchise was too reluctant to address the subject of religion, particularly human religion, and was perhaps glad that Paramount was less focused on DS9 so that they had more freedom to express themselves.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- Malandanza, 00:25:59 08/14/01 Tue

"The very few times religion has been shown on Buffy, it has been in a negative light - "Note to self - religion - freaky" - "They *used* to bow down before gods" and Glory's whole storyline. Considering JW's views, this is unsurprising. However, if he can only be negative about religion, I personally would rather he shied away form it altogether. As a Christian, I find it a little tiring to be constantly told everything I believe in is 'silly' (I'm a Trekkie as well, and Star Trek is even worse at doing this than Buffy) so I would rather just enjoy the programme without facing this yet again"

Absolutely. I think it is possible to have religion be part of BtVS without turning the show into 7th Heaven. Consider the X-Files: there were a number of religiously themed episodes. I found these episodes to be interesting in part because of the role reversal of Agents Scully and Mulder -- Mulder was ready to believe anything about aliens, but became a thoroughgoing skeptic about religious matters -- and vice versa for Scully. Catholicism was never trumpeted as the only truth, nor was Christianity ridiculed and debunked.

I do not believe, however, that Joss is moving towards an atheistic world-view for BtVS (in spite of the "Hell is other people" storyline with noir-Angel). He rejected a wholly scientific explanation for vampires with the Initiate -- the Initiative scientists and soldiers were ridiculed for their stubborn beliefs that demons were "just animals" and evolutionary offshoots. Riley was still denying the existence of magic even when Xander inadvertently set a book on fire with a couple of Latin words. The failure of the Initiative was the failure of science to explain everything. Some things, like a vampire's non-reflection, defy any attempt at scientific analysis. On the other hand, a Christian explanation would offend most viewers not of the particular sect chosen by Joss -- so not explaining the reason is probably his best bet for keeping Buffy on the air. He has accepted many Christian symbols as effective against vampires -- although he has not got quite as far as other writers (J. S. LeFanu's "Carmilla" was affected adversely by someone singing a Christian hymn).

As for Christianity be treated as "silly," Joss and his writers did not start this trend. The cultural elite who have, as someone else on this board mentioned, made atheism their religion (actually, I think I remember a similar line in a Dostoyevsky novel -- The Idiot, I believe -- referring to "modern" Russians) have been attacking religion in general and Christianity in particular for a long time. I recently read C. S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters" (which contains one of the best portrayals of demons I have read) where a senior demon is describing the sort of people the young demon must encourage his charge to associate with (written during W.W.II):

"[They] are just the sort of people we want him to know -- rich, smart, superficially intelligent, and brightly sceptical about everthing in the world. I gather they are even vaguely pacifist, not on moral grounds but from an ingrained habit of belittling anything that concerns the great mass of their fellow men and from a dash of purely fashionable and literary communism."

and they are from an

"urbane and mocking world"

and are

"thoroughly reliable people; steady, consistent scoffers and wordlings who without any spectacular crimes are progressing quietly and comfortably towards Our Father's house."

Further back, in the very early 20th century we have writers like Anatole France ridiculing religion with works like "Thais" and "The Revolt of the Angels" -- this is by no means a new phenomenon. Don't blame Joss.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- spotjon, 07:30:26 08/14/01 Tue

I don't think that Buffy is as anti-religion as a lot of other shows are (Star Trek might be a good example, though I haven't watched it in years). It is rather sad that every brief and rare time religion has popped up in the show, it is depicted as something less than worthy of anybody's consideration.

Buffy: People used to bow down to gods. Things change.

Girl: Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior? Buffy: Uh, you know I meant to and then I just got really busy.

Spike: *You* were *there*? (chuckles) Oh, please! If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock.

I don't expect to see Buffy and gang embracing religion any time soon, but these occasional jabs get really old after a while. Joss and Co. can't say anything nice about religion, but they have painted themselves into a corner with all the religious symbolism. So they resort to little obnoxious jabs which have no real purpose but to belittle, or at worst, mock. Luckily these things don't show up on a regular basis, otherwise I would probably stop watching the show. I say that if Joss has a beef with religion, he should just come out with it, and stop hiding behind little jokes. And while he's at it, maybe he could let us know why he seems so ambivalent towards fathers.

And yes, I realize that Joss is not the first person to be doing this, but does that mean he is above criticism?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- Malandanza, 15:36:41 08/14/01 Tue

"I don't think that Buffy is as anti-religion as a lot of other shows are (Star Trek might be a good example, though I haven't watched it in years). It is rather sad that every brief and rare time religion has popped up in the show, it is depicted as something less than worthy of anybody's consideration.

"Buffy: People used to bow down to gods. Things change.

"Girl: Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior? Buffy: Uh, you know I meant to and then I just got really busy.

"Spike: *You* were *there*? (chuckles) Oh, please! If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock.

"I don't expect to see Buffy and gang embracing religion any time soon, but these occasional jabs get really old after a while. Joss and Co. can't say anything nice about religion, but they have painted themselves into a corner with all the religious symbolism. So they resort to little obnoxious jabs which have no real purpose but to belittle, or at worst, mock. Luckily these things don't show up on a regular basis, otherwise I would probably stop watching the show. I say that if Joss has a beef with religion, he should just come out with it, and stop hiding behind little jokes. "

While I agree that Joss' portrayal of religion is generally unfavorable, I do disagree on a few specifics. Particularly the Crucifixion/Woodstock speech. I do not see the exchange as belittling Christianity; rather, it was an amusing demonstration of the braggadocio of vampires (claiming to be 2000+ years old). Neither Spike nor the other vampire deny that the Crucifixion took place. The depiction of the University student proselytizing Buffy and Buffy's flippant rejection was one of her worst moments -- but I do not believe that the Christian girl was portrayed in a particularly negative light -- she did not follow Buffy and try to force her to listen, nor did she make any sweeping condemnations as the "preachers" at Arizona State used to do (fire & brimstone speeches where they called each passing woman a "whore" and each man a "whoremonger" -- if Joss had used these real-world ASU preachers as an example, the negative aspects would have been clear).

But there has been a negative stance on religion from the beginning (in season one, Buffy is trying to decide what outfit to wear to the Bronze and refers to her modest dress derisively with her "Hello, would you like a copy of the Watchtower?" remark). The worst moment for me was, as I have said elsewhere, when Riley arrived at church in his Sunday best after Adam's minions had taken over the church -- Riley beliefs were merely a joke, while vampires freely prowling the aisles of a church, mocking God, bordered on basphemous.

On the other hand, Joss seems to be more agnostic than atheist in some of his other approaches -- specifically, when Darla questioned whether there was a God after being brought back (from where?) on AtS. Perhaps he has some spiritual questions of his own.

Also consider the ages of the Scoobies -- young people rarely think about spiritual matters. There is an opportunity for the inclusion of a spiritual aspect to the show this season -- adversity often leads to soul-searching. And perhaps Anya will decide that she and Xander need to belong to a church (as part of her list of things adults have and do). It would be out of character if no one ponders spritual matters this season given the events of last season -- but I do not expect Buffy to join a convent anytime in the immediate future :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- Juliette, 16:20:13 08/14/01 Tue

I agree with most of what you've said, but I'm afraid I have to disagree on one thing - that "young people rarely think about spiritual matters." I'm 18. I decided I wanted to be a priest when I was 15 (though unfortunately that's not going to happen, what with me being a female Catholic, but that's a whole other story). Over the past four years I have had many heated discussions with my (mostly atheistic) friends on the subject of religion. As we have got older, we have started to agree more, and see the other's point of view a little more, but I would still consider myself "young" and very interested in religion. Perhaps I'm in the minority.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> another POV (getting OT) -- KoopaFanatic, 11:46:20 08/14/01 Tue

Now I'm just going to begin by asking everyone, religious and non-religious alike, to keep an open mind about what I'm adding to this discussion. I'm an agnostic non-theist, and the little jabs taken at religion on BtVS that some find offensive are to me a refreshing change of pace.

WAIT! Before anyone responds with vehemence, let me explain just why I feel this way:

(I apologize for the U.S.-centrism to follow, but that's my home, and therefore what I know best.)

Modern American society is laden with religion. 80% of adults are members of one religious group or another, while 91% believe in God or gods of some sort. We have not had a president elected in more than a century and a half who was not Christian. Our current president is receiving widespread approval for a plan that would give government money to religious groups for their charity work. Every piece of money minted or printed in the country has a religious motto stamped on it, and not a day goes by that the Associated Press doesn't print at least one story about the Ten Commandments being posted in public buildings. I pass Mormon missionaries each morning on my way to work, and on the way back I'm accosted by at least one fundamentalist telling me I'm going to hell. On television, most every character is Christian, or occasionally Jewish. Sometimes we see pagans, Muslims, Buddhists and others, but I can't think of an instance in which they were not objects of ridicule. And I can't think of a single instance of a major atheist character other than some sort of Stephen Jay Gouldesque stereotype of the arrogant-scientist.

I am most certainly not one of those people who goes around telling any religious person that their beliefs are silly (well, except for when they come knocking on my door to convert me first thing in the morning or during dinner, but under those circumstances I really don't think anyone could blame me ;-) It seems to me that trying to impose my own beliefs and non-belief on others is just as unethical (not to say rude) as when others try to force belief on me. I too am a Trekkie, and one of the most disturbing moments in Trek history for me was Picard's anti-religious speech in "Who Watches the Watchers." To this day I can't bring myself to sit through it.

However, everything I see in my daily life shows me Christians (and others, but again with me being in the U.S. Christians are the most common) belittling my worldview. Then I come on the internet and read comments from religious people (again, mostly Christians) about how they are oppressed in American society.

Now here's what I'm getting at (and I'm also going to try to bring it back around to BtVS now...bear with me...): I don't see the atheist elite that people say is oppressing religion in the United States. Religious people don't seem to see the dominance of religion in American life. We are, both groups of us, incapable of seeing the things that bother the other, and seem mostly unwilling to allow that the other side might have some grievances.

Now Joss is an atheist living in American society. Odds are that he sees things in some way similar to the one that I described above: religion everywhere, and no place for people like him. Before saying, "enough is enough, Joss can't get away with this religion-bashing," take a step back and think about how he probably feels about the issue. Aside from a few throwaway lines (freaky religion, etc.), Joss has treated real religious practices with a great deal of respect. We've never (to my knowledge) seen stories that hinted at a corrupt clergy, or an evil priest, or any similar treatment of the pious as other than noble. Convents were a favorite target of Angel's because of their concentration of virtue. And just rewatch his and Darla's first glimpse of Drusilla ("Dear Boy," I believe..?) for an example of religious belief being tied with goodness. Heck, the extra-evil vibe from the Hellmouth drives Sunnydale residents to build lots and lots of churches.

In many ways, a positive view of religion and spirituality forms the foundation of the Buffyverse. To chastize Joss and the writers for taking a few relatively cheap shots at religion is to ignore the fact that such a positive slant permeates the show. Sometimes, especially in matters of religion (and politics, but that's a matter for another rant) we need to try to view things from the other's perspective. Joss could've turned BtVS into one long anti-Christian screed; a Christian writer might have given us a program so couched in religious platitudes that even the most devout might not be able to stand it. Instead we have a show that takes a neutral-to-positive stance on religion and the faithful.

And I, personally, wouldn't want it any other way.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Exactly. Well said. Please post more often. -- Anthony8, 12:45:20 08/14/01 Tue

Personally, what really offends me are shows (i.e.-Touched by and Angel, 7th Heaven) that try to pass themselves off as entertainment, but are so insipid and artless that they don't even attempt to cover up the fact that they are propagandizing and evangelizing for the right-wing religious (and, read, mostly Christian) majority viewpoint in this country. In almost every media market in the country, there are three hours or more of Christian tele-evangelist type programs running on commercial TV stations every day. In SF alone, Babylon USA, we have the '700 Club' for an hour (daily), two hours of Bible reading (daily and nightly), the 'Hour of Power' every Sunday and another hour of Bible reading Sunday evening. And those are just the shows that I'm aware of (plus the aforementioned network drivel). Compared to 2 or 3 bits of 'anti-religious' dialog now and then on what we all agree is a skillfully created work of entertainment, if not art, it makes me wonder sometimes who really is being oppressed here. I'm just glad that the moral majority never got control of remote technology. With a click I can send any material I consider offensive back into the void.

Your point about U.S. currency brought to mind a scene from the movie 'Dazed and Confused' in which one of the characters, theorizing that the founding fathers were into the supernatural (and were even possibly extraterrestial) poses the question: "have you seen the dollar bill--there's some spooky stuff going on there."


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: another POV (getting OT) -- Juliette, 14:12:07 08/14/01 Tue

I found what you said about American society fascinating - I'm British, so anything I know about America comes from BtVS, Star Trek, the news and the occasional movie - not a terribly wide or enlightening world view! Where I live (and I'm not speaking for the whole of Britain, just my little bit of it) I find myself to be one person with faith amoung many, many atheists and the occasional agnostic. Britain is supposed to be a Christian country, what with the Queen being head of the Anglican Church (though I'm a Catholic so that doesn't really apply to me) but I have had problems getting part time work because I don't like to work on a Sunday. This is why I find it particularly frustraing to see religion constantly belittled on television. At the moment, I am happy to ignore the occasional jibe since, as you say, there are also some very positive depictions of religion in thr Buffyverse. However, I would prefer religion not to be explored further if it became necessary to definitely subscribe to one view or the other - for example, where Buffy's soul went when she died. Regarding the snow in Amends, Joss said he didn't mind a Christian interpretation being put on it by Christians, but that he hoped that wasn't the only interpretation, and I agree with him, and I hope he keeps it that way.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: another POV (getting OT) -- KoopaFanatic, 16:10:34 08/14/01 Tue

Hmm... Interesting. Wanna swap? In my part of America you can't throw a collection plate without hitting at least two Catholics ;-)

But seriously, on a religion board I read every now and then, I saw what has to be the most amusing flame war to ever crop up: an American Christian was griping about how elitist American atheist intellectuals were controlling the world, and a British Christian responded that he was crazy, that it was the uneducated nonreligious masses who were oppressing the faithful middle and upper classes. If that's an accurate contrast of life in the US and UK, I'm sure there's a dissertation in there somewhere for someone...

Anyhow, I have to agree somewhat about depictions of religion and spirituality on TV. It's always better, IMHO, to stay as far away from the topic as possible; otherwise it just dissolves into deus ex machina (with a literal deus). Either that or a "Wizard of Oz" situation, which is how Paramount always handles things on Star Trek.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: another POV (getting OT) -- Juliette, 16:22:49 08/14/01 Tue

"The faithful middle and upper classes?" Hmmm...this guy obviously didn't quite get the "everyone is equal" part of Christianity, did he?!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: another POV (getting OT) -- KoopaFanatic, 16:32:25 08/14/01 Tue

Yeah, that was a fairly botched summary. (I'm blaming the antihistimine I took a while ago.) Let's try it again: the American was basically saying that in the U.S. the wealthy/educated tended to skepticism of religion, whereas in Britain the wealthy/educated were generally the more religious.

Of course, this being the internet we all know and love, it quickly devolved into a flame war, an argument about class struggles and the virtues of Marxism, and then the two sides accused each other of being Nazis, Godwin's Law was invoked, and everything returned to normal.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: another POV (getting OT) -- OnM, 20:54:14 08/15/01 Wed

'Tis very true, at least by my perspective also. I was baffled for quite a long time as to how a group of people who collectively comprise about 80% or more of American society, and whose religious thoughts permeate almost every aspect of culture and politics, could stand around and whine that they are a 'persecuted minority'.

Huh? Minority? Certainly not statistially, not even close. Persecuted? By whom? People like myself, even if I'm feeling confrontational (which I'm usually not), are mere fleabites at worst on the hide of one mighty big doggie.

There is a long, long distance between having someone challenge your ideas or beliefs, and being actively persecuted. My own thinking on this has evolved to assume that it is really more political and power-based than anything else. Many of the people who make these continual and very public, hateful comments towards atheists and agnostics are in a position of political or economic power, and their followers just parrot them, thus assuring their own niche in the food chain, not to mention the blessed side effect of freedom from the ever-troubling independent thought process.

I'll be good now.


(Nahhh... I'm evil, who'm I kidding...)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You'll be good............ -- Rufus, 23:37:21 08/15/01 Wed I'll stop killing trees.......:):):)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Eighty Percent? -- Malandanza, 00:29:18 08/17/01 Fri

"'Tis very true, at least by my perspective also. I was baffled for quite a long time as to how a group of people who collectively comprise about 80% or more of American society, and whose religious thoughts permeate almost every aspect of culture and politics, could stand around and whine that they are a 'persecuted minority'."

"Huh? Minority? Certainly not statistically, not even close. Persecuted? By whom? People like myself, even if I'm feeling confrontational (which I'm usually not), are mere fleabites at worst on the hide of one mighty big doggie."

There is a difference between people who profess to be Christians and true Christians (personally, I'm agnostic). Attending church twice a year (Easter and Christmas) does not make one a Christian.

True Christians are people like the Jehovah's Witnesses who actually practice what they preach. These Christians are a persecuted minority - yet they turn the other cheek. It is the faith of these true believers that is mocked -- not the hypocrisy of the nominal Christians that comprise the bulk of our population. In these politically correct times, the only group left that can be safely attacked are the Christians -- similar attacks on Judaism would be considered hate crimes.

As far as eighty percent of the people in America being Christian goes, I would be surprised if more than eight percent were true believers. Certainly on this board (not a representative sample of America, of course) the Christian voice is not in the majority -- often spotjon is the sole poster to present a Christian perspective.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Lies, damned lies, and statistics -- d'Herblay, 23:29:34 08/18/01 Sat

I should point out here that I have never been persecuted. Even when I was four and professed a belief in Zeus, Ares, etc. Even when I asked my mother, "Are there any good books of Christian mythology?"

I agree that true religious feeling is as rare as true skeptical disbelief. Religious sentiment could probably fit on a bell curve, with people like Mother Teresa and Millard Fuller (one of my heroes) at one end and Richard Dawkins and Natalie Angier at the other. The question is what shallow sentiments are held by the fat bulge in the middle of the curve? According to Douglas Adams, "In England we seem to have drifted from vague wishy-washy Anglicanism to vague wishy-washy Agnosticism - both of which I think betoken a desire not to have to think about things too much." In America, in my opinion, that desire to not think too much has kept us with a vague wishy-washy Christianity.

Newsweek, on November 1, 1999, printed the results of a poll they took where they found that 94% of Americans believe in God, and 68% believe that they will go to heaven. How many Americans believe that it will take hard work and sacrifice to get them there was not revealed in the polling. This thinking is what I call "the virtues of omission."

Another useless set of numbers: March 29, 1999, the Gallup Organization released a poll showing that only 49% of Americans said they would vote for an atheist Presidential candidate. A hypothetical homosexual candidate received 59% of the hypothetical voters' hypothetical consideration, a Mormon 79%, a woman 92%, a Jewish candidate 92%, a Catholic 94%, an African-American 95%. Due to the lack of female, black, or Jewish Presidents, one can assume that the polled were responding with an eye to which prejudices they did not wish to be thought to be subscribers to. Which means that while only 37% of respondents would be willing to be thought of as homophobic, 48% would be willing to be thought of as anti-atheist. (Of course, as Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have proven, 49% is enough to win. So look for me on the campaign trail! Hee.)

Your comments on Jehovah's Witnesses remind me that during World War II, when the flag salute and pledge recitation in public schools were compulsory, and the Witnesses refused to participate, when the US's war effort was chugging along, and Witnesses were accorded conscientious objector status, Witnesses were often the victim of mob violence. In America. In the twentieth century. Which I wish were more surprising than it is.

(Of course, they also had a tendency to distribute tracts calling the Pope the Anti-Christ in heavily Catholic neighborhoods, which drew some violent response. So tolerance is in short supply all around.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Lies, damned lies, and statistics -- Malandanza, 20:26:21 08/19/01 Sun

"Newsweek, on November 1, 1999, printed the results of a poll they took where they found that 94% of Americans believe in God, and 68% believe that they will go to heaven."

Interesting numbers -- so 26% of our population believe in God and think they're going to Hell? And why do I find that so amusing?

Anyway, I agree that such statistics are (at best) suspect. There is a quote that I like about statistics (unfortunately, I do not know who to attribute it to): "Most people use statistics like a drunk uses a lampost -- for support rather than illumination." You can prove almost anything with statistics and you can literally disprove anything (if you take a large enough sample size and use a method called a T-Test -- or hypothesis testing).

Plus, people lie to pollsters for a variety of reasons. Probably the most common is the one you gave:

"Due to the lack of female, black, or Jewish Presidents, one can assume that the polled were responding with an eye to which prejudices they did not wish to be thought to be subscribers to."

but personally, I lie to them because it's fun to throw a few outliers into their data :)

"Your comments on Jehovah's Witnesses remind me that during World War II, when the flag salute and pledge recitation in public schools were compulsory, and the Witnesses refused to participate, when the US's war effort was chugging along, and Witnesses were accorded conscientious objector status, Witnesses were often the victim of mob violence. In America. In the twentieth century. Which I wish were more surprising than it is."

Freedom of Religion has changed considerably during our country's history -- originally, it meant freedom to worship for a handful of Protestant denominations (Catholics were a persecuted minority -- particularly Irish Catholics). The Mormons, of course, fled to the West to escape persecution. The Witnesses are just the latest example of Iternecine warfare between competing Christian sects.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Lies, damned lies, and statistics -- d'Herblay, 21:01:23 08/19/01 Sun

I ran over to Google with your "Most people use statistics . . . " quote. Eleven hits came up attributing the quote to "Bill Sangster, Dean of Engineering, Georgia Tech," in that exact phrasing (which suggests that I just saw people cribbing quotes from each other). Twain was repeatedly mentioned as an author--26 hits came up with the terms statistics, drunk, lamppost, support, and Twain. I did not separate the hits in which the quote was directly attributed to Twain from the hits in which the quote shared a page with Twain's "Lies, damned lies, and statistics," which Twain actually said (in his Autobiography) but himself attributed to Benjamin Disraeli.

Whenever I have a juicy quote but not its author, I follow this program:

1. If a quote seems British, and involves science, attribute to J.B.S. Haldane ("The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, it is queerer than we can suppose." "An inordinate fondness for beetles." Etc.)

2. If a quote seems British, and involves alcohol but not sex, attribute to Winston Churchill.

3. If a quote seems British, involves alcohol and sex, or seems Irish, attribute to Oscar Wilde.

4. Otherwise, attribute to Mark Twain.

It seems to work for me.


History of religious intolerance in America, factoid #83: Catholics could not testify in Virginia courts until the Revolution, as they were thought not to make credible witnesses.

(Please don't ask me to document that. It's something I came across when I was wondering how the Master could wander around Jamestown in 1609 dressed as a monk. So it's somewhat Buffy-related!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> religious tolerance -- anom, 22:08:49 08/19/01 Sun

"History of religious intolerance in America, factoid #83: Catholics could not testify in Virginia courts until the Revolution, as they were thought not to make credible witnesses."

In 1649, Maryland passed a law protecting the rights of Catholics but ordering the death and confiscation of the property of anyone who denied the divinity of Jesus or the trinity. Those who spoke disrespectfully of Mary or the apostles were merely fined or, if they couldn't pay, whipped & imprisoned. This law was known as the Tolerance Act.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Christians and True Christians? -- KoopaFanatic, 13:49:43 08/19/01 Sun

Now this is something that always throws me, almost as much as the persecution complex... This huge segment of American population is dismissed as not being sufficiently Christian by the more hardcore groups. Now darnit, as full-fledged infidelic heathen scum, it's kind of insulting to be lumped in with theists of any stripe, even if they are "lukewarm" or something.

How much belief (or unbelief) is necessary? The people who you're saying aren't true Christians a) believe in God, b) believe in a historical Jesus-as-Son-of-God, and c) don't consider themselves atheists. I'd consider that a pretty diagnostic test of Christianity. Now it's a whole 'nother matter if someone's a closet atheist and is lying about belief in God, but what makes the door-to-door JW evangelist more of a True Christian than the casual weekly church-going Methodist or the Easter-and-Christmas Catholic? They all believe in God and Jesus. What about Mormons? Most Protestants don't seem to consider the CoJCoLDS a Christian denomination. Why not? They believe in God and Jesus too, and they proselytize at least as much as the JWs...

I mean, what makes the 90% American theism rate insufficient? I'd think that Christians would jump on that as a vindication, rather than try to whittle away at the number...

Ah well. Suffice it to say that I just don't get religion.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> heathens & true heathens? -- anom, 19:55:31 08/19/01 Sun

"Now darnit, as full-fledged infidelic heathen scum, it's kind of insulting to be lumped in with theists of any stripe...."

Waitaminnit--a "heathen" (according to Merriam-Webster) is one who doesn't acknowledge "the God of the Bible." By this definition, pagans of all stripes (fidelic scum?) could be lumped in with you. Whether they'd feel as insulted as you do is another question....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Religion and Star Trek (seriously OT) -- Vickie, 13:19:08 08/14/01 Tue

Juliette, I agree that most of ST is pretty silly when it acknowledges the spiritual part of life at all. But didn't you at least like the Bajoran beliefs and how they informed the plot of Deep Space Nine just a little bit?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Religion and Star Trek (seriously OT) -- Juliette, 14:14:38 08/14/01 Tue

I'm afraid I've only seen a few episodes of Deep Space Nine, I mostly watch Voyager, TNG and the movies. Perhaps I should give Deep Space Nine another try!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Religion and Star Trek (seriously OT) -- verdantheart, 14:46:25 08/14/01 Tue

Please do. It's a bit different. There were a few episodes that were serious klinkers, but overall it had some fine ideas. It was also more serial than the other series so that events in one episode had ramifications in following episodes.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Religion and Star Trek (seriously OT) -- KoopaFanatic, 16:18:50 08/14/01 Tue

DS9 really did some nice stuff with the Prophets story arc over the course of the series. Unfortunately, the writers at Paramount weren't quite talented enough to know what to do with the Bajorans most of the time, so instead we just got random pseudospiritual weirdness in the final couple of seasons.

There was a great exchange in one episode that pretty much summarizes exactly how far they were willing to go with human religion on the show, though: "Do you have any gods, Captain Sisko?" "There are... things... I believe in."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> If you love BtVS, you should definitely check out DS9 again and here's why... -- Anthony8, 21:23:32 08/14/01 Tue

This is going to be a bit longish, but I feel it my duty to provide you with a bit of a Deep Space Nine primer. For me, before BtVS, the only other show that thoughtfully addressed issues of philosophy, religion, mythology and the Hero's Journey was DS9. Issues of faith vs. reason were evenly balanced in their treatment and at the end of the series' seven year run, a good argument could be made that spirituality (maybe even 'faith') won out.

On the one hand you had characters such as Major Kira, a devout believer in the Prophets (alien beings who existed out of linear time and who were revered by the Bajorans as gods). On the other hand you had Odo, Kira's eventual romantic interest, an exiled changeling from a race of beings called the Founders. The Founders ruled an empire called the Dominion and genetically programmed their subjects to worship them as gods. Odo did not buy into the god nonsense especially when he understood the evil tendencies of his own people. Then you had Kai Winn, the religious leader of the Bajorans whose true ambition was political power. And then the main man, Captain Sisko, a human Starfleet officer whose birth was planned by the Prophets so that he could fulfill his destiny as their 'Emissary' to the Bajorans. Sisko was a bit cantankerous and psychologically shell-shocked at first, reeling from the loss of his wife in battle, and was reluctant until well into the series to embrace his role as a religious figure on Bajor.

Although the settings and beliefs portrayed on the show were cloaked in sci-fi and alien terminology, the themes and imagery contained obvious references to real life philosophical and religious issues. For example, in the pilot episode, 'Emissary,' Sisko is presented as the reluctant hero and skeptic. The following is an excerpt of the exchange between Sisko and Kai Opaka (the Bajoran spiritual leader) during their first meeting:

Opaka: Have you explored your pagh, commander? Sisko: Pagh? Opaka: A Bajoran draws courage from his spiritual life. Our life, our pagh, is replenished by the Prophets. (She grabs him by the ear) Ironic. One who does not wish to be among us is to be the Emissary. ....I cannot give you what you deny yourself. Sisko: I'm sorry. Opaka: Look for solutions from within, commander.
----- Opaka: Nine orbs like this one here have appeared in the skies over the past 10,000 years. The Cardassians took the others. You must find the Celestial Temple before they do. Sisko: The Celestial Temple? Opaka: Tradition says the orbs were sent by the Prophets to teach us. What we have learned has shaped our theology. The Cardassians would do anything to decipher their powers. If they discover the Celestial Temple, they could destroy it. Sisko: What makes you think I can find your temple? Opaka: You will find the temple. Not for Bajor. Not for the Federation. But for your own pagh. It is quite simply, commander, the journey you have always been destined to take.

And so the Hero's Journey begins...

Concerning how one's personal psychology impacts one's attitude towards spirituality, when Sisko and his science officer Dax (a humanoid implanted with a symbiont containing the memories of seven other lifetimes) enter the wormhole (which turns out to be the Celestial Temple where the Prophets, or wormhole aliens exist), Sisko sees a barren rock hewn wasteland, while Dax sees an idyllic pastoral paradise. When Sisko first encounters the Prophets, a discussion of linearity vs. eternity ensues:

Sisko: Who are you? Prophet: It is corporeal, a physical entity. Sisko: What? What did you say? Prophet: It is responding to visual and auditory stimuli. Lingistic communication. What are you? ... Sisko: It will take time for us to understand each other. Prophet: What is time? .... Prophet: The creature must be destroyed before it destroys us. It is malevolent. Aggressive. Adversarial. It must be destroyed. .....

Sisko: It can be argued that a human is ultimately the sum of his experiences. Prophet: Experiences...what is this? Sisko: Memories. Events from my past. Prophet: Past? Sisko: Things that happened before now. You have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. Prophet: What comes before now is no different than what is now. Or what is to come. It is one's existence. Sisko: Then for you there is no linear time. ..... Sisko: In a linear existence we can't go back to the past to get something we left it's lost. Prophet: It is inconceivable that any species could exist in such a manner. You are deceiving us. ...... Sisko: The essence of linear existence is that each day affects the next. ..... Prophet: You linear nature is inherently destructive. You have no regard for the consequences of your acts. Sisko: That's not true. We are aware that every choice we make has a consequence. Prophet: But you claim you do not know what it will be. .....

Sisko proceeds to explain linear existence by using baseball to illustrate.

Sisko: Every time I throw this ball, a hundred different things can happen in a game. He might swing and miss, he might hit. The point is you never know. You try to anticipate. Set a strategy for all the possibilities as best you can. But in the end, it comes down to throwing one pitch after another and seeing what happens. With each new consequence, the game begins to take shape. Prophet: And you have no idea what that shape is until it is completed. Sisko: That's right. In fact, the game wouldn't be worth playing if we knew what was going to happen. Prophet: You value your ignorance of what is to come? Sisko: That may be the most important thing to understand about humans. It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching. Not just for answers to our questions. But for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives day by day. And we explore the galaxy trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge.

On looking to something greater than one's self for spiritual guidance, and accepting the possibility of a higher power or superior intelligence, from the sixth season's 'The Reckoning:'

Dax: You know how Starfleet feels about this Emissary thing. It makes them very uncomfortable that you've allowed the Bajorans to view you as a religious icon. It used to make you uncomfortable too. Sisko: Not anymore. I guess the Prophets have spoken to me one too many times. Dax: I remember when you used to call them 'wormhole aliens.' Sisko: Wormhole aliens or Prophets. It really doesn't matter. The fact is, they exist out of time and over the centuries they've given the Bajorans glimpses of the future. Glimpses that the Bajorans have written down to help guide succeeding generations. If whatever is written here can help me to avoid making mistakes, can help me make the right decisions, then I'd be a fool to ignore it.

On faith in general and faith in loved ones despite contrary spiritual beliefs, also from 'The Reckoning:'

Kira: I just wish that we knew more about the Reckoning. It would give us a better idea of what the Prophets want from us. Odo: It seems to me that if the Prophets want the Bajoran people to follow a given path, they should provide more specific directions. Kira: It doesn't work like that. Odo: Maybe it should. Kira: The Kai would say that you lack faith. Odo: And would you agree? Kira: I just don't know how people make it through the day without it. Odo: We manage. Besides, I do have faith in some things. Kira: Hmmm...such as. Odo: You. Kira: I'll try not to disappoint you.

On faith vs. empty acts (think real-life parallels such as St. Francis vs. the pope), regarding the Kai's questionable motives as spiritual leader:

Kira: In a way I feel sorry for her. She spends her whole life in the service of the Prophets. And one day, after years of self-sacrifice and commitment, she gets her reward. She is elected Kai. It should have been the greates moment of her life. Sisko: But my being the Emissary spoiled it for her. Kira: The Kai has always been the spiritual leader of Bajor. But Winn has to share that role with you. And to make matters worse, you're an outsider, a non-Bajoran. That's something she could never forgive you for. Sisko: I guess that's why she made such an issue of the whole thing. Kira: She's jealous of you and of your relationship with the Prophets. I'm a little envious myself. Sisko: Why? Kira: You speak with the Prophets. They listen to you. That's a rare gift. Sisko: Certainly nothing I asked for. Kira: I guess that's why I don't resent you. But the Kai does. Sisko: I'll keep that in mind.

On jealousy and faith lapsing in the service of one's ego:

Kai: The Emissary couldn't escort me himself? Kira: He's with his son. Kai: I would think he'd want to thank me. Kira: For what? Kai: I prevented the destruction of this station. I saved the Emissary's life... and the life of his son. Kira: Don't pretend you did it for the Captain. Kai: I did it for Bajor. If you haven't heard, the flood waters have receded and the earthquakes have stopped. Kira: And you are going to take credit for that? Kai: I take it as a sign I did the right thing. Kira: You defied the will of the Prophets. And you did it because you couldn't stand the fact that a human, an infidel had a stronger faith than you. The Emissary was willing to sacrifice his own son to serve the Prophets. Kai: My faith is as pure as the Emissary's. Kira: I think you are confusing faith with ambition. Kai: I'm not confusing anything child. You are. The Prophets chose you as their instrument--that doesn't mean you can speak for them. Kira: Because of your interference, the Reckoning was stopped. The evil still exists. And I'm not sure if even the Prophets know what that will mean for Bajor.

On destiny (and very reminiscent of Buffy's spirit guide experience in 'Intervention') from the final season's 'Shadows and Symbols':

Prophet (In the form of Sisko's mother Sarah): The Sisko has completed his task. Sisko: Sarah? Prophet: The Kost Amojin no longer threatens us. Sisko: You mean the Pagh Wraith? It is no longer in the wormhole. Prophet: I have cast it out. Sisko: Is that why the Prophets sent me to Tyree? To release you from the orb? Prophet: The Kost Amojin tried to stop you with a false vision. But you did not waiver. You fulfilled your destiny. Sisko: You talk as if my life is over. Prophet: The Sisko still has many tasks. ..... Prophet: The Sisko would prefer different answers. Sisko: What you're telling me isn't easy to accept. You arranged my birth. I exist because of you? Prophet: The Sisko's path is a difficult one. Sisko: But why me? Why did it have to be me? Prophet: Because it could be no one else.

And finally, a little philosophical question regarding the nature of deity. From the final season's 'Treachery, Faith and the Great River':

Odo: Well congratulations. You just saved our lives. Weyoun: And murdered legal servants of the Dominion. May the Founders forgive me. Odo: Has it ever occurred to you that the reason you believe the Founders are gods is because that's what they want you to believe? That they built it into your genetic code? Weyoun: Of course they did. That's what gods do. After all, why be a god if there's no one to worship you?


And if you managed to make it through this incredibly O/T tome, I would encourage you to seek out DS9 tapes (not on DVD yet) or syndicated reruns. Where Buffy shrinks from directly addressing issues of religion and faith, DS9 deals with them head on. Unfortunately, being sci-fi, it often gets bogged down in pseudo technobabble. But if you can get past that, there is a classic hero story arc there. All the archetypes and metaphors are there if you look hard enough. And for some reason, it really irked the die-hard trekkers out there who apparently preferred the more sterile and safe environment of The Next Generation, tending to view DS9 as a blemish on Gene Roddenberry's legacy. I heartily disagree and most DS9 fans would tell you that of all the offshoots of the Trek franchise, DS9 was the best written, best acted, and most underrated.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, A8! I loved Deep Space Nine! -- Masq, 10:31:40 08/15/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Same here, saw every episode numerous times....... -- Rufus, 13:48:44 08/15/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Same here, saw every episode numerous times....... -- Juliette, 18:12:57 08/17/01 Fri

OK, this is really bizarre...most of what I've read, magazines and so on, the critics adore DS9 and loathe my particular favourite, Voyager! Maybe I should just move to America...anyway, I'll definitely keep an eye out for those DS9 episodes, they sound very interesting. The only DS9 I have seen was Lwaxana Troi and the Ferengi running around in circles, it was vaguely amusing but not very deep and meaningful! (Though I actually like Voyager's 'Threshold' so I have no right to complain...!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey Juliette, here's a DS9/Voyager link that might interest you. -- Anthony8, 21:38:20 08/17/01 Fri

Before the AtPoBtVS site existed, back in the days when Buffy was just a glimmer in her creator's eye, and DS9 aired in first run episodes, there was a site I visited regularly that reviewed and analyzed each DS9 (and some Voyager) episodes. The reviewer, Tim Lynch, became the unofficial official reviewer of DS9 during its run. All his analyses are still posted and provide a good guide as to which episodes to seek out and which ones to avoid (although there were only a few real clinkers). You can find the reviews here:

Hope I re-sparked your interest.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks...... -- Rufus, 21:56:19 08/17/01 Fri

I bookmarked the link. I liked DS9 more than Voyager, I'm not saying that one is superior to the other but, I enjoyed DS9 more.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks -- Juliette, 05:03:29 08/19/01 Sun

Thanks! I'll check it out

[> [> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- Isabel, 11:56:58 08/13/01 Mon

I think it comes from Joss, et al, not thinking clearly (or extensively) about it when the show was developed. Crosses and holy water are part of the vampire mythology, along with garlic and sunlight, etc., but they are Christian religious symbols. If he wanted religion to be out of the context of the show, he could have come up with a 'non-holy' reason for vampires to be affected by them. (I read a vampire novel about 10 years ago that had the vampires extremely allergic to certain types of wood, sunlight, and silver. Just touching those materials could injure or kill a vampire. Holy water and bibles had no effect on them.)

As it is, religion (and seemingly Christian religion at that) will always be connected with the repelling of vampires on BtVS and AtS. If it was just the shape of the cross that burns vampires then Angel or Spike could burst into flames by crossing a street and not noticing it forms the shape of a cross or entering a cross shaped building or room. What about someone putting a cross in front of a spotlight and shining it on them or if someone tattooed a cross on their neck? Would that hurt a vampire? How about a Hot Cross Bun?

It has been established that it's just crosses that effect vampires or else Willow wouldn't have been so worried about her father getting upset at a crucifix on her wall. If they could have used a Star of David, she'd been home free. I understand why Joss would have wanted to limit the religious symbols. There are so many religions in the world and so many different religious symbols. If they all worked, could then someone use a symbol of a 'dead' religion? And could anyone use a symbol they don't believe in? Apparently so because Willow has used crosses to scare off vampires. One of my favorite lines from the movie "Fright Night" is "You have to have faith for that to work on ME, Mr. Vincent." That apparently is not a prerequisite in the Jossverse.

Sorry about prattling. I had a point when I started. I just spent 3 hours getting my foot x-rayed to find out it's just sprained. I'm still a little batty. (batty, get it?) ;)

p.s. BTW-In case you're wondering, the novel I referred to is "Those who Hunt the Night" by Barbara Hambly.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: religion and controversy -- anom, 20:32:34 08/13/01 Mon

"If it was just the shape of the cross that burns vampires then Angel or Spike could burst into flames by crossing a street and not noticing it forms the shape of a cross...."

Well, in some places suspected vampire victims were buried under a crossroads. Good thing traffic was lighter in those days.

"There are so many religions in the world and so many different religious symbols. If they all worked, could then someone use a symbol of a 'dead' religion? And could anyone use a symbol they don't believe in? Apparently so because Willow has used crosses to scare off vampires. One of my favorite lines from the movie 'Fright Night' is 'You have to have faith for that to work on ME, Mr. Vincent.'"

Since it was in one of the quickly-disappearing threads, I'll repeat (more briefly) something I wrote about 2 weeks ago: It's interesting to see the variations on this theme in different, uh, vampverses (?!). In some stories the person wielding the cross or other symbol needs to believe in it for it to work. In others it has to be the symbol of the (pre-)vampire's religion. In most (that I've read/seen) the cross works no matter who uses it against which vampire, whether for religious reasons or because it just does. In some (somebody mentioned Blade) it doesn't work. As always, it's up to the writers.

PS to Isabel: Sorry to hear about your ankle. I can sympathize--I sprained mine almost 6 months ago. I altenately sat & was wheeled around the emergency dep't. for...well, I didn't time it, but nobody there thought to put ice on it & I didn't think to ask for it! It's almost back to normal now, most of the time, if I don't overuse it. I hope yours heals quickly.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Hot cross buns? Buffy the vampire baker! -- spotjon, 07:33:11 08/14/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> Random Religious Symbols and Vampires - Oh the pain! -- fresne, 15:13:57 08/16/01 Thu

Re: the subject of vampires reacting to all religious symbols, you might try reading Carpe Jugularum by Terry Pratchett. Damn these new age vampires and all their new fangled ideas. Very funny. Well it's Pratchett, so funny is baked right in if you like dry wit and references to history/literature/etc, which doesn't describe any of us does it.

[> See "Idiotic Question Regarding 'The Harvest'" Below -- mundusmundi, 05:41:15 08/13/01 Mon

Some of these questions are being discussed down there. There's also an excellent article in Slayage, linked by Rattletrap's post in the same thread, on this subject.

[> Crosses and Costume Designers -- Dichotomy, 14:39:44 08/13/01 Mon

Buffy's costume designer, Cynthia Bergstrom, had this to say about the lack of crosses since Season 4: "She's grown as a slayer. She's able to protect herself." This seems to support the idea of crosses as tools rather than items of spiritual significance for Buffy. Not a terribly deep revelation, but that shows it was indeed a deliberate indication of Buffy's power (and her source of power) as a slayer.

[> Re: Everyone has such a problem with this ... -- Dedalus, 18:15:08 08/13/01 Mon

When it's really quite simple -

Joss Whedon set out to create a self-contained mythology, an autonomous universe. When you start out on something like that, obviously you are not going to dwell extensively on old stories of cosmology or whatever.

Like Giles said at the beginning, "contrary to popular mythology," life did not begin as a paradise. Thus we are not operating ... not just in a non-Christian universe, but with the inclusion of the Old Ones being here before humanity, we are not in our universe at all. It looks like it, but it's not the same thing. Joss himself said this. Obviously, he's not trying to give any clear history lesson.

The Buffyverse is ruled over by warring factions, namely the Powers That Be and the First. Joss said in the Monster Book that he's never going to say that the Powers are God or that they're not, rather he's leaving it vague for multiple interpretations. But he did say that the First was not Satan. Actually, Joss went off and invented his own thing for the purpose of NOT irking religious folk. He was steering clear of direct references to the Bible and such (except when Giles quoted Isaiah in PG) so that the fundamentalist crowd would not get upset at its inclusion in what was basically a universe that had nothing to do with reality. I remember him literally saying that in an interview right around the second season.

(incidentally, we would have the same complaints if vampires did not respond to crosses - on the 700 Club once someone was talking about how a monster in the Pokemon series did not respond to a cross, rather an Indian symbol, thus Pokemon was actually part of an elaborate Satanic/liberal-humanist/evolutionary/Democratic/New Age conspiracy to convert little kids to Hinduism)

It should be obvious to believers that the Buffy hell is not hell hell. Hells are alternate dimensions, not places you go to when you're bad. Joss has cleared this up many times. He used the term hell to drive home his high school is hell metaphor. I think it is somewhat unfortunate that he stuck with the term demons, because so many people think of them in the Judeo-Christian sense, which they are not, nor are they intended to be. They are not fallen angels, as we all know. Then again, demons have various interpretations in many cultures.

As far as why he uses religious imagery - well, why wouldn't he! It's some of the coolest in the world. No matter if you are religious are not, you have to admit the symbolism rocks. Why crosses affect vampires so was covered by Age in her/his brilliant analysis of seasons four and five. Joss himself visited the posting board after Amends aired, and while he admitted he was an atheist, he also admitted he had a "steady fascination" with Christian themes and symbolism. Hence the whole redemption metaphor with Angel. I mean, come on, he had his heroine form a crucifix on her way down to the portal in the Gift.

We've had numerous references to Christianity in the series, but never nothing to definite either way. The show doesn't address this because it doesn't need to. It is so literally drenched in the subtext of some of this stuff it's inseperable, in a way. All stories kind of reflect each other, especially stories such as this. Buffy doesn't need to directly address it because, in a way, it does it every week.

I think it is taking us to somewhere totally new, even with all the allusions and references to the past. I think the end of Lie to Me sums it up -

"Lie to me."

"Yes, it's all terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are easily distinguishable by their pointy horns or black hats, and we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everybody lives happily ever after."


I mean, traditionally, western religions have propagated Giles' mock viewpoint. This is good, this is evil, and if this is totally good, then that's totally evil, etc. And Buffy is revising to make it viable again. Absolutes are not a realistic way of confronting the universe anymore. Like it or not. Myself included. So, if anything, Buffy is picking up the slack where the traditional stories have failed, or refused to/incapable of assimilating our new views of the world, while at the same time tipping its hat to some of the powerful symbolism.

That might have actually made sense.

[> [> It made a great deal of sense. Bravo! -- Solitude1056, 18:29:32 08/13/01 Mon

[> [> Re: Everyone has such a problem with this ... -- anom, 21:09:39 08/13/01 Mon

"Like Giles said at the beginning, 'contrary to popular mythology,' life did not begin as a paradise. Thus we are not operating ... not just in a non-Christian universe, but with the inclusion of the Old Ones being here before humanity, we are not in our universe at all. It looks like it, but it's not the same thing. Joss himself said this."

Well, neither is any fictional universe. And the Buffyverse is already not ours just by virtue of having vampires, demons, etc. How do its origin stories make it any less our universe? But I'd say it's based on ours with a "what if" thrown in. After all, it has Christians, Jews, etc., some of whom presumably believe what their religions tell them. In the Buffyverse, they're just wrong--as they could be in ours.

"Joss himself visited the posting board after Amends aired, and while he admitted he was an atheist, he also admitted he had a 'steady fascination' with Christian themes and symbolism. Hence the whole redemption metaphor with Angel. I mean, come on, he had his heroine form a crucifix on her way down to the portal in the Gift."

People keep saying this, but I don't see it that way. Maybe it's because I'm Jewish & didn't grow up having this be meaningful to me, but all I saw was a swan dive. It didn't occur to me that it was a cross shape till I read it on this board. Maybe that was what Joss had in mind, given his interest in Christian symbolism, but I wouldn't assume that. And btw, Christianity doesn't have a monopoly on the idea of redemption. Or a lot of others it seems to think it does. (grump)(what's the grump emoticon?)

[> [> [> Swan dive or the cross? -- Dariel, 22:33:26 08/13/01 Mon

Maybe Buffy's dive was an emulation of the cross, maybe not. I saw it as indicative of her state of mind at the time--total acceptance of her fate, even embracing it with outstretched arms.

Dedalus, I greatly admired your post. Wish I could have said it like that!

[> [> [> [> Re: Swan dive or the cross? -- Cactus Watcher, 05:41:57 08/14/01 Tue

It's always the problem with relying too heavily on symbolism to carry an idea or theme in art. One person sees a swan dive, one person sees a cross, and another sees an hommage to Ripley in Aliens III. No one is completely wrong. No one is completely right including the writer, director, etc.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Swan dive or the cross? -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 12:05:36 08/14/01 Tue

Isn't it easier to look at the symbolism of the cross-shape in the Gift in relation to the uses of crucifixes in the Buffyverse? Without bringing in any other mythologies, Buffy is making the shape she uses to repel vampires - the demons she has to face on a regular basis.

Viewed in this light (and yes, as you have pointed out, there are many others), it is defiant: I'm up against a great big inter-dimensional portal thingy that's going to destroy the world but I'm just going to do the same thing I do to ward off vampires. And it works!

Sorry - OT there. But I do think that internal symbolism (once there has been enough time for it to build up) can be relied upon a little more.

[> [> [> [> [> [> And it really wouldn't have had the same artistic effect if Buffy had done a 'canonball'... -- Anthony8, 13:06:46 08/14/01 Tue

...and shouted "bombs away" as she plummeted into the portal ;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: HA! I love it.Clear the pool! CANNONBALL! -- Dedalus, 17:18:12 08/14/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Swan dive or the cross? -- Cactus Watcher, 22:05:20 08/14/01 Tue

My point is if you're looking for crucifixes, you'll see many more than those people who aren't. And there is nothing 'wrong' with either point of view.

[> [> [> Re: Everyone has such a problem with this ... -- spotjon, 07:52:12 08/14/01 Tue

I didn't think of it as a crucifix symbol until it was mentioned here, and I'm a Christian. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. I don't feel the need to impose symbolism on things like this unless it's pretty obvious that that's what they were driving for.

[> [> Re: Everyone has such a problem with this ... -- Rattletrap, 05:39:47 08/14/01 Tue

Well said, Dedalus.

It is worth pointing out that Joss is hardly the only Hollywood writer to draw on the broad Judeo-Christian cultural tradition for his stories, in fact, its fairly difficult to find movies/tv shows/books without some allusion, however vague, to the Old or New Testaments. These are things that are deeply ingrained in Western culture, even if many people no longer attach a spiritual significance to them.

I have to also agree with your inclusion of the scene from "Lie to me." Speaking as a practicing Christian, this pretty well illustrates one of the greatest problems confronting the Christian faith in the twentieth century--people try to couch everything in stark black and white terms instead of allowing for shades of gray. Joss & Co., whatever their individual spiritual views, portray a world view with a clear concept of right and wrong, but one in which real decisions almost always bring some mixture of both, much like real life. In this way, I find that Buffy affirms my faith in a way that very few other things on television do.

[> [> [> Re: Thanks. I like that you see it like that. Nifty. -- Dedalus, 17:20:48 08/14/01 Tue

[> Re: Buffy and God -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 12:32:35 08/14/01 Tue

Just a quick point:

I don't think that Joss has a problem with religion or Christianity, but with authority in general (thus the fathers thing). Sorry - don't have time to elaborate!

[> [> good point -- spotjon, 14:24:48 08/14/01 Tue

I will refrain from speculating as to why Joss seems to have a problem with authority, but a few examples of this trend (in no particular order) are as follows:

* Buffy rebelling against the Watcher's Council * Every father in the Buffyverse being mean, unreliable, absent, or a homicidal robot. * The beauracracy/governmental authority of the Initiative falling to pieces under its own weight. * Buffy's mother disowning her (at the end of season two). * The mayor as an evil immortal snake-demon wannabe. * Principal Snyder is a cruel and perverse man. * The Watcher's Council attempting to violently and uncaringly kidnap Faith.

Why must authority be such a bad thing? I guess it's just been popular to rebel against "the establishment."

[> [> [> Re: Why Authority is Such a Bad Thing -- Dedalus, 17:44:59 08/14/01 Tue

Because in the real world, those in positions of power seem to have absolutely, positively no idea what they're talking about, and rather than admit that, inflict great harm on everyone else. :-)

It's like this - Rebellion pushes us farther.

Without rebellion, we would have no constitution. We would still think the sun revolved around the earth. We would have no ... heck, no Christianity. No Protestantism. No anything, really.

As a wise man once said, "Greatness breaks laws." Joss himself constantly breaks aesthetic laws on his show by transforming it into the brilliant series that it is. I mean, think about it. Everyone, in every context you can imagine - be it political, artistic, social, even religious (or especially religious) - that made a mark on the world did not conform to authority. Authority equals stasis. We need kinesis. We need energy. That's part of how life is here at all.

I am overjoyed you asked that question, because I was just thinking watching Crouching Tiger how Jen, the one who broke all the rules and caused a lot of trouble, was in the end the one that had infinite potential and took everything to a whole new level. In the end, even according to Ang Lee, she was the one that became the living embodiment of the Tao. Really, the same thing goes for Anakin in SW. After all his tenure as Vader, in the end, he killed the Emperor and brought balance to the Force. No one else did. And they all did it outside the context of The System.

I mean, if all we can do is just repeat what's always been done, confined to a life of mimetic enactment, what really is the point? The heroes always come from the hinterlands, and they always have to.

As George Carlin so eloquently put it, "the status quo always sucks." Because the status quo is not life. Merely a kind of hollow caricature of it. And it doesn't matter what it is. I don't have a problem with little jabs at Christianity because it needs it. As was already established, Christians enjoy more economic and social and political power than probably any religious group on the planet. Not exactly an oppressed minority, what with a billion members and all. Personally, I have a rule - I never pick on the little guy. The underdog. If this were second century Rome or something, and Christians were oppressed and trying to get their belief system going, I would not feel the same way about the jabs. But Christians are one of many groups in the US that take themselves far too seriously. But you know, it's a status quo, and thus it is imperative that somebody jerks their chain every now and then, lest they be running around burning people at the stake again. As Thomas Cahill stated on BookTV about his book "Desire for the Everlasting Hills," the comfortable middle class Pharisees now are Christians. That's what so many don't seem to get. They merely "live in worship of an echo," as Byron once said.

Look at it this way - if we lived in a Buffyworld, and all people had to watch Buffy, and Buffy was above criticism, and Joss was enshrined as some kind of demigod, and we were all herded in one day a week to watch Buffy eps, you know what? Buffy would suck. Majorly.

As Joseph Campbell once said - "The enemy is always in the seat of power." And it doesn't matter what the power is, or even what the seat is.

There have been attempts throughout history to paint the establishment as all-knowing, and they were successful for a time. I think specifically back to this group that made kids wear uniforms to school. It worked. They didn't question authority, and pretty much did as they were told. Yeah, you can see this back in old news reels from the 30's, though you might not understand the narration unless you speak German.

[> Re: More on Buffy and God -- Dedalus, 18:26:53 08/14/01 Tue

Okay, here are some random thoughts that seem of relevance to this and previous threads around here.

For one thing, not only crosses work in the Buffyverse, but also Bibles and holy water. Is this that much of a contradiction in terms of Buffyverse mythology? We have seen this sort of thing before. Remember the glove that Angel used to take out one of the senior partners? It had been blessed by all the "powers of light." Well, same thing. Obviously, though specific terms are not used, there are higher powers in the Buffyverse, powers associated with light, and it makes perfect sense that they were the inspiration in that particular spin of a universe behind Bibles and such. Bibles and holy water and crosses stand for The Good, though just not as specific tribal/ethnic items as we usually think about them. Christians should be happy about that. As Joss said, he wants to be inclusive, though if Giles had started talking about Genesis in WTTH, Christians would be irked anyway because the Buffyverse IS fictional, and never attempts to be anything else. And the monsters and demons would not fit in with their religion. They are physical entities, not the "powers and principalities" that are in the Bible.

Also, at the other end, I would like to bring up pagan religion. There hasn't been much talk, but I have read a few perjorative articles about Harry Potter written by Christians that mention Buffy promoting witchcraft among young people. This is really stupid, and obviously anyone staking such a claim has never watched the show. The type of Wicca practiced on Buffy does not exist in our real world. People can't levitate pencils or project energy walls, etc, so it is a completely fantasy spin on witchcraft, not unlike the Wizard of Oz. People get upset at various jabs at Christianity, but the Wiccan religion, not to be confused with the magic used on the show, was openly mocked in Hush. Does no one remember this? A bunch of girls sitting around, all bake sales and menstrual power moons and such. It was depicted as extremely faddish, maybe something a girl would get into in college, but drop immediately afterwards. They didn't "seem to know - " " - what they were talking about?"

Various people have questioned what are the religious implications of Jewish Willow using magic and calling on pagan deities and so forth. Well, obviously, absolutely none. She is not making a religion out of her Wiccan ways. Magic is clearly only serving a functional purpose, much like crosses and holy water. The pagan names and so forth just seem to me part of ancient incantations that are used to channel magical power. They have nothing to do with religion. Dawn called on Osiris to resurrect Joyce, but do you really think Set and Osiris are wandering around the Buffyverse somewhere? I highly doubt we will see Dawn devoutly paying homage or worshipping Osiris next year, and if we do, I'll admit I was wrong.

Logic has to apply equally. Joss is not using witchcraft to promote Wicca anymore than he is using crosses to get people to convert to Christianity. He has often employed Buddhist symbols as well, but I think he is quite simply using them to convey his own ideas. That they hit so deep is testament to their residual cultural power, and precisely why he is using them. From a religious standpoint, I don't think Joss is advocating anything. He obviously has a very solid knowledge of symbol and metaphor, and quite frankly, they are the basis of the show.

(Also the bit with the girl in The Freshman asking Buffy about accepting Jesus was not funny because Buffy was flippant, because she wasn't. It was funny because she was completely overwhelmed with the college scene, and, if anything, actually seemed rather apologetic to the girl. And incidentally, people like that are parodies of themselves anyway. Like anyone living in the Western world doesn't know who Jesus is)

Also, the question arises whether or not Joss is actually using Christ symbolism at all in Buffy. I would say yes. I talked about this about the Gift in my article, but there are some stunning examples earlier in the series.

For one, Prophecy Girl. Buffy is wearing the white prom dress, and the Master refers to her as "the Lamb." She is carrying a crossbow. Emphasis on cross. Hey, if it worked for Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Rime of the Ancient Mariner, it can work for Joss. Anyway, she sustains a wound to the side, a penetrating wound. Okay, it's to the side of the neck, but close enough. She dies and is in the Hellmouth, In the Apostles Creed, I believe, it stated that Christ descended into the hellmouth and remained for three days after the crucifixion. Buffy is brought back to life and goes on to save the world.

I think that's pretty clear what he was going after. I find it fascinating that he can take something so old and revitalize it and make it new. He is indeed a myth-maker. He understands the truth the story conveys is not the story itself, which allows him to be pretty flexible while remaining genuine to the original message. If anything, it episodes like the Gift and PG, Buffy becomes the living embodiment of the Christ experience most only talk about - such as the girl in the Freshman.

[> [> Re: More on Buffy and God -- Rufus, 00:45:39 08/15/01 Wed

If your belief in whatever you see as the *truth* is strong, no show can change that truth. You can, however choose to react to what is said or depicted on the show any way you want. I see what is on Buffy as the metaphors the writers have chosen to tell a story with, personally for me they have never crossed a line that made me feel uncomfortable.

[> Re: Fanfic Challenge -- Malandanza, 06:31:24 08/15/01 Wed

I suggest we explore the reasons that cross, etc., work through fanfic. When Buffy returns, she will likely have questions about where she has been (or hasn't been), just as Darla did - she might be curious enough to ask Giles about why Christian symbols repel vampires (or, perhaps, research on her own if her rebirth is after Giles' departure or she is uncomfortable asking her friends abou spiritual matters). This is an opportunity for each of us to define exactly why crosses, Holy Water and bibles injure vampires -- whether it is the direct influence of God, a question of belief (OnM's subjective reality -- you believe the cross will repel vampires, so it does), or whatever hybrid or unique theory you can develop.

[> Kudos -- verdantheart, 06:55:57 08/15/01 Wed

Nice to see there are some places that people can discuss religion from differing points of view without getting carried away.

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