December 2001 posts

Previous December 2001  

More December 2001

Question about Willow, Glory and magically tapping out -- Calluna, 22:35:28 12/02/01 Sun

I kind of asked this before, but I think it got lost down in the bottom postings.

Why did one night of magical high jinxs sap Willow's power, while brain-sucking a Hell Goddess didn't? One would think that taking Tara's mind back from Glory would have taken A LOT of power, yet Willow was communicating telepathically with Spike and knocking over Glory's human minions like so many bowling pins right after the brain suck.But after one magic bender with Amy, she couldn't even close the drapes? Doesn't quite make sense to me. Suggestions anyone?
[> Re: Question about Willow, Glory and magically tapping out -- SKPE, 06:20:52 12/03/01 Mon

When she took on Glorys hobbits she was holding Tara hand. In 'hush' they demonstrated that the two together were more Powerful than ether alone by tossing the coke machine
[> Maybe quality of the spell is just as important as the quantity of spells cast? -- Earl Allison, 09:24:55 12/03/01 Mon

Good point, but one that might have several potential answers.

Willow's spell against Glory was a one-shot, an instant spell that, after being cast, required no maintenance or follow-up. She stabbed into Glory's mind and restored Tara -- even if she wasn't siphoning magic from Tara to assist.

Willow's magical bender in "Wrecked" seemed to consist of multiple spells, as opposed to just one. Also, the case can be made that she had to maintain those enchantments (although one could just as easily say she didn't ...). We only saw a small portion of what she and Amy did, it was strongly implied that the two left the Bronze and went somewhere else, since Willow wasn't as wiped at the end of the Bronze scene as she was when she came home.

It might also be sheer number of spells, even if they didn't require any maintenance or concentration. I can't recall ever seeing Willow cast more than a handful of spells in a single episode, even during "Bargaining." Multiple spells might be as bad as, or worse than, a single "high-level" spell. A caster might have a given level of reserve power, and once those spell "points" are gone, whether used in a few big spells, or scads of little ones, the caster cannot use magic until rested.

Just a few ideas.

Take it and run.
[> Re: Question about Willow, Glory and magically tapping out -- maddog, 15:29:27 12/03/01 Mon

Maybe it's not an all at once thing. With Glory it was one big brain sucking thing...with Amy it was all night long.
OT - 3rd Poem for Christmas -- Brian, 04:40:03 12/03/01 Mon

It wasn’t until after this poem was published that I realized how salacious the title could be construed. But that was not my intent. This poem is a homage to the 40’s when the backdoor of your home was the entrance for most of the world. The front door was reserved for strangers and formal company. But the back door opened to friends, family, neighborhood kids, and all those men who supported the running of a middle class family.


In the morning
My mother would unbolt the back door,
Letting the dog out to bark at the morning dew.
Then, after coffee, ham and eggs, my dad would leave, hat and briefcase in
Off by train to the city for work.
Then, after my mother put on another pot of coffee,
They would come, one by one.

First, the milkman, with his ready, clean, white smile, bottles in hand,
Cream on the top
Too rushed to talk, no coffee today.

Second, the bread man, with his quiet, serious face,
Carrying still fragrant buns and loaves of bread,
Talking politics, sipping coffee.

Third, the iceman, with cold, clear eyes,
Reflecting the huge blocks of ice, caught in sharp, steel-dark tongs,
One coffee to go.

Fourth, the insurance man, with coat and tie, and correct, soft voice,
His heavy face, lined with secret sorrows,
His coffee, black,
A pariah of unacceptable fates.

Fifth, the mailman, with his quick, nimble fingers, walk, and wit,
Always time for coffee and conversation.

Sixth, the ragman, with dirty, broken teeth and broken talk,
Who always received a sandwich, coffee,
And something to shove in his dark, oil cloth bag.

Seventh, the scissors man, with his foreign accent and ways,
Polite, quick, efficient,
Gossiping over coffee and buns.

Finally, the ice cream man, with his white truck and suit,
Cool in the hot sunlight,
His product, cool and white, covered with dew,
Iced coffee today, with sugar.

All of them made their rounds by noon, and no one ever
Realized how wonderful those moments were,
Or how soon they were to end.
[> Oh, Brian that was wonderful! -- Wisewoman, 08:57:49 12/03/01 Mon

Took my right back to my own childhood. Who knew there wouldn't be milkmen and breadmen anymore? The knife-grinder (scissors-sharpener) used to walk along our block ringing a big brass handbell, and dragging his peddle-operated grinding wheel behind him.

Your poems are truly a Christmas treat. Thank you so much!

[> [> Thanks, WW, I had forgotten about the cart -- Brian, 10:02:12 12/03/01 Mon

Tara and Amy -- mmm, 07:25:23 12/03/01 Mon

Ok, not sure if this has been discussed before, but my husband had an interesting idea which I thought I would share.

It seems as if Joss is really trying to set up Tara and Amy as diametric opposites on the Willow/magic/addiction continuum. Is it just coincidence that Tara spelled backwards is A rat? Mayhap we are just reading WAY too much into this, but I thought it was an intriguing observation
[> Re: Tara and Oz (was Tara and Amy) -- sanjerine, 08:58:39 12/03/01 Mon

There might be something in that, mmm, but one thing I have always noticed is the names of the people Willow's dated: Tara and Oz. Both are fictional, and magical, place-names. (Tara in "Gone With the Wind" is named for the historical and mythological home of the kings of Ireland. Oz I assume you know about .)

Certainly Willow started out her relationship with Tara as it being a kind of escapism away from the work of the Scoobs ("something that's just mine.") I also think Oz represented an escapism away from complete nerd-dom ("Hello? Dating a guitarist? Or, I was...")

Just a thought. Willow's been trying to get out for years, and she doesn't even *know* she was trying to get out. ("This world's no fun." "So you noticed that, too.")

I agree with WiseWoman and other's who have said it -- Willow's got PTSD. She's been on the front lines for too long. Part of her has always known that, and has been trying to get away.

[> [> Quick question--What's PTSD? -- Rob, 09:05:00 12/03/01 Mon

[> [> [> Re: Quick question--What's PTSD? -- Earl Allison, 09:09:00 12/03/01 Mon

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Hope this helps!

Take it and run.
[> [> [> [> Re: Quick question--What's PTSD? -- Rob, 10:32:52 12/03/01 Mon

Of course! Stupid me! I'm so bad at figuring out what letters stand for (which is why I rarely type out an episode's entire name instead of its initials!)!

Thanks! :)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Quick question--What's PTSD? -- DEN, 12:56:55 12/03/01 Mon

And it isn't even POST traumatic! Willow is still on the line! I've repeatedly said she's like someone who's flown too many missions or made too many patrols, and keeps going even though she's making more and more serious mistakes. If she were a fighter pilot she'd be drinking too much and drinking alone when she's on the ground, taking crazy risks in the air, and refusing to listen to anyone because she's still getting her kills--until she gets "Wrecked."

The issue of "stress" wasn't central to the series until S5. Till then, for the sake of the story, we could assume everyone copes more or less OK. But if Buffy is given a year-long story arc based on her "slayer burnout," it's not possible--or fair to the characters-- to ignore the effect of the same situation on the other Scoobies.
[> [> [> [> [> [> PTSD, and Veterans of the Psychic Wars -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 16:37:18 12/04/01 Tue

All too true. All the Scoobie Gangers should have parts coming off around the edges.

US Army calculated that after a year in combat the average person would be effectively burned out to the point where their effectiveness is minimal and they're more a threat to themselves and their comrades then their enemies.

The Gangers have been at this for five years. Shell shock, anyone?

Listen to the old Blue Oyster Cult "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" (c. 1981-2) and think of Buffy.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Scoobies made of sterner stuff -- Cleanthes, 10:47:32 12/06/01 Thu

US Army calculated that after a year in combat the average person would be effectively burned out to the point where their effectiveness is minimal and they're more a threat to themselves and their comrades then their enemies.

Hans-Ulrich Rudel flew 2,530 combat missions in World War II; he was shot down 32 times during his six years of service. For four of the six years, he saw almost continuous combat. He lost a leg toward the end, but continued flying. After the war, he went to Argentina and became chief of their air force. His leadership there left the Argentine air force as their best organized and professional service which was demonstrated in the 1982 Falkland's War where the Argentine army and navy achieved no military successes, but the air force almost won the war.

Okay, he's the outstanding exception to the "burn-out" rule. Still, I like to think of the Scoobies as made of the same fibre as the truly remarkable real life people of history.
[> [> Re: names -- t-rex, 17:28:59 12/03/01 Mon

>There might be something in that, mmm, but one thing I have always noticed is the names of the people Willow's dated: Tara and Oz. Both are fictional, and magical, place-names. (Tara in "Gone With the Wind" is named for the historical and mythological home of the kings of Ireland. Oz I assume you know about .)

Interesting points. I always thought of "Tara" as earth, a grounding element for Willow. And, of course, "Will" has a strong "will". And Buffy maintains a "buffer zone" between our plane and whatever lies on the other side of the hellmouth.
[> [> [> The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls -- Cleanthes, 11:11:47 12/06/01 Thu

The famous poem by Moore about Tara refers to a harp made of willow wood.
[> [> [> [> Re: The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls -- Shaglio, 11:29:38 12/06/01 Thu

"The famous poem by Moore about Tara refers to a harp made of willow wood."

And Tara started harping on Willow about her extensive use of magic! Sorry, I just couldn't resist.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls -- Kimberly, 12:08:41 12/06/01 Thu

Thirty lashes with a wet noodle for you. :-)
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls -- DEN, 14:43:26 12/07/01 Fri

Willow harp and Tara fingers--I'm getting some strange visuals here!
Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- The Last Jack, 08:46:07 12/03/01 Mon

Taken from

Sixty Australian Seventh-Day Adventist schools have banned Harry Potter books for fear they could encourage children to delve into the occult, the Reuters news service reported.

*Sorry to put this on the Buffy board, but since we have nothing to do till January, figured it was as good as anything to talk about*

I am seriously beginning to wonder if becoming a parent, teacher, or religious leader does something to your brain that makes you think that A) Magic shown on tv and in books is real, and B) Kids are stupid. I mean seriously, even if kids becomes interested in the occult because of Harry Potter, they are going to lose interest in it once they figure out that they won't be able to turn people in toads or fly around on broomsticks. I mean kids are fickle; if something isn't working out the way they thought it would, they are going to drop it and move on to something else.

And another thing, kids today aren't stupid. They are more informed and more cynical then their parents and grandparents were at their age. Hell, my 11 year old brother knows more about computers and the family vcr than my mom does. I think they have a better grasp of what is real and what is fantasy than adults give them credit for.

In conclusion, if the magic in the world of Buffy and Harry Potter were real, then I could understand the hysteria. But its not, so get a grip already! Thank you ;)
[> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- Kimberly, 08:49:20 12/03/01 Mon

I agree that the banning of Harry Potter (and those of similar ilk) is about as absurd as it gets. It isn't parenthood that does it; I've been one now for over six years, and I'm even more likely to fight the idiots than I was before I became one. I blame people so determined to get into heaven that they turn their brains off. (I also think they turn off their morality, their ethics, their common sense, etc, but that may just be me.)
[> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- Rob, 09:03:41 12/03/01 Mon

Oh, I know what you mean! One of my best friends's sister (who was born Jewish) recently married a Southern Baptist and converted. Now, she won't let her children (who, until last year, were Jewish!) read "Harry Potter" because she's afraid the devil will steal them! Last year, when they were Jewish, they were allowed to read it. Now, without even delving into the horrible psychological effects you can have on your children by changing their religion to that of your new spouse, nothing makes me madder than the mentality behind banning books...or censoring any form of art.

As you have already said, Harry Potter is fantasy! It is not the real occult, and further, is not about the Dark Arts. The Dark Arts are shown to be forces not to mess with. In fact, Hogwarts has a Defense Against the Dark Arts class...a very important one, at that! Harry Potter does not encourage children to do the occult...It encourages them to have imaginations!

What I find most funny about the banning of "Harry Potter" is that the parents and adults who are doing it are behaving exactly like the Muggles of J.K. Rowling's books! Muggles are "non-magical people" most of whom are shown to be small-minded and dull...they have no imagination and fear anything that may challenge their way of thinking. Rowling's description of the Muggles in her books could be applied to the very people trying to ban her books, which is...incredible! The main purpose of her books are to inspire young children to cultivate their minds and implement their brains to inspire flights of fancy and adventure...and their parents, the people who are supposed to be aiding in this endeavour...are blocking it from every happening!

I agree with you: I think the major problem is that many parents do not realize how smart their children are. Most children, by the time they are old enough to read "Harry Potter" are not so literal-minded anymore. Children, from a very young age, play "pretend." They know that magic is not real...and that is where the excitement of the game comes in.

Fantasy books have been banned throughout history. Other books and stories that received similar treatment at times were ALL of Roald Dahl's books!...Snow White!...The Chronicles of Narnia!...and on...and on. It just goes to show that as each generation grows to adulthood, many of them become small-minded. They forget the joys of childhood...and the knowledge that one can never have too much imagination.


P.S. My overuse of the ellipses was an intentional homage to J.K. Rowling. :)
[> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- Neaux, 09:42:09 12/03/01 Mon

I wonder if talking puppets (aka Sesame Street) is part of the occult :P

seriously.. a child's active imagination has limitless possibilities.. I'd hate to see it ruined.

Banning books and toys makes me sad.

In my day it was banning my little pony and He-man.

what are kids left to play with? Sticks and rocks?
[> [> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- maddog, 14:37:32 12/03/01 Mon

No wait, sticks could be used as'd better ban those too. :)
[> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- tornado, 10:44:53 12/03/01 Mon

My wife and I are parents and Southern Baptists, and she's a teacher. That should qualify me to post in this thread. :)

We've read the HP books and saw the movie. When our now 19-month-old son is old enough to read, he'll be allowed to read HP or whatever the current craze is.

When someone (at church or anywhere) brings up HP, I ask if they watch soap operas. Lying, cheating, stealing, etc. Sheesh. That's the REAL downfall of society. ;)
[> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation)Spoilers for H Potter Buffy -- Age, 10:49:49 12/03/01 Mon

The irony of banning a book about magic is that the people who are doing it are relying on a magical means of dealing with their fears of mortality and their need to feel that their lives have a meaning external to what they make of it.

The desire to ban the book, given their belief system, is understandable: the use of magic, the reliance on something other than the power of God is a step backwards from the transcendent unity of the God figure to the old ways which divided up the world into many deities. While Christianity, in my opinion, has devolved into a means for many of getting themselves into heaven, to be looked after like little children, the movement of the religion itself has been from attachment to the form of things in idolatry to the vision of oneness through the idea of the One God. This is why selflessness is valued as good: it is a representation of the formless form, our being one with each other.

The root belief of many religions is the same; it's just that the unity, the wholeness of these religions has been destroyed by the need to feel saved in the sense of life after death. God is both the punisher and the redeemer; he is the one who set everything in motion. But, the richness of the myth has been destroyed by the literalness of the interpretation. This IS exactly what Rowling is getting at by using the world of magic as a means of delving beyond the surface, of not just using this imagery in a literal way. In this way, Rowling's books are very much like Whedon's creations. (There's also the sense of being called on to be the slayer in Harry; the theme of the outsider; and the idea that if you ignore the problem, Voldemort, it will just grow in power until it comes out with a life of its own like the supernatural metaphor in 'Buffy.') The dark aspect of life still exists. It is part of us or it would never exist in the first place. We can't just ignore it, place it in an externalized myth called the devil and be afraid all our lives in case we give into it and not get into heaven. I'm being cynical here. The desire to get into heaven is only one consideration; there is the genuine desire to bring light, life, truth, love and happiness to people through the spread of religious dogma. But, all too often by ignoring, not dealing with what has been labelled the negative emotions, we get taken over by them, living out life that is dead, as Buffy is now, frozen by fear, or dead to compassion and understanding as righteous indignation shuts the person off.

Rather than religion then being life affirming in its acceptance of our mutual struggle with life, it is used as a remedy for the ills of life, and is thus a form of death wish, a wish for the world to be made right by a second coming or an apocalypse. It is a desire to return to the Eden state of innocence, to remain on the surface and destroy the richness of spirit that comes with the wholeness of our nature.

I have read with much pleasure and enthusiasm all four Harry Potter books. I'm not an avid reader as the lack of quotations in my postings tends to show, but the Potter books seemed to resonate with me in the same way that 'Buffy' does. I couldn't put them down. If you stay on the surface, turning a blind eye to part of human nature, you will end up acting out that aspect of the nature.

Personally I'm not a Christian. The nearest thing to any religion that I might consider is buddhism because it completely deconstructs the human projection of the God based religions, uncovering from the myth, the basic ideas that are at the heart of all of them: unity, compassion, selflessness, wholeness, endless change as life itself, understanding; and this may be one reason why the central icon in the Magic Box is a buddha figure as a symbol for these ideas. And, why Buffy wears a cross around her neck: to symbolize wholeness and understanding that life includes not only the joy, the happiness of Christmas morning with lots of presents, but suffering also through the allusion to the suffering of Christ on the cross.

As for banning Potter books, sure why not. Then we'll ban the people who read them, or who've heard of them and then take out the author, and we'll get into the witch hunt situation of 'Gingerbread' with a nice mass burning. Hang on...then we'd have to take out those who did the burning because they would have broken a commandment, and so on until we'd finally have, as Mulder in the 'X-Files' found out through his wish, peace on earth because there'd be no one left...except the animals, so we'd have to nuke them before we did ourselves in. What the heck, why don't we just blow the earth to little pieces and then all that would be left is fairy dust in the heavens. All due to fear.

But, it's not a good idea because I want to go see the Harry Potter film; I want to read the next book, and I want to see at least how this season of 'Buffy' and 'Angel' turn out. It's not very selfless of me, but there you go.

Sorry, the tone of this posting has become facetious. I didn't intend it to be so. For many people religion plays a vital and life affirming role in their lives, and I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not criticizing this at all. We all find our own way, according to who we are; and, who am I to put people down for this? It would be like banning books.

[> [> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation)Spoilers for H Potter Buffy -- Kimberly, 11:12:16 12/03/01 Mon

And I find it fascinating/appalling that in both cases, what is being censored/forbidden teaches the same type of lessons that the censors supposedly feel are appropriate values. My family (me, my husband, my six-year-old son) have read the first Harry Potter novel and saw the movie the first weekend it was out. Yes, there was magic but that wasn't what the movie was about. The end was very much a hymn to the power and virtue of loyalty, friendship and love. And, yet, these delightful books are being held up as "evil"? I suspect that few of those on the warpath have actually read the books.

(BTW, we've only read the first book because, for a six-year-old, trying to read all four of those books together is a bit much. So we've thrown in Hardy Boys, The Lord of the Rings, and assorted "beginning-reader" books into the mix. But we've started the second and intend to read all four eventually. Enjoyable for the kid and for us, and that's not so easy to do.)
[> [> [> [> Question for Kimberly and other parents of youngsters -- pagangodess, 17:33:36 12/03/01 Mon

Hello again,

You mentioned that you took your 6-year-old to see the Harry Potter movie. I would like to know if he enjoyed it and what his thoughts on it were. I would like to take my own 6-year-old, as much for my own interest as his. I have not read any of the books (triple shame on me!) and the boy is not exactly "mom, mom, can we go see this movie, pleeeaaase!".

Just wanted to get your take on this, from one mom to another.


P.S. I don't think I will let my son watch the reruns this summer (at least not all of them). While "Smashed" was inapproriate, "Wrecked" left ME totally disturbed. When he's older...
[> [> [> [> [> Harry Potter Mini-Review -- Kimberly, 17:47:42 12/03/01 Mon

I highly recommend this movie, but I will warn you that it is LONG: it runs close to three hours. That said, my son was entranced and enjoyed every minute of it. He cheered for the Griffindors during the Quidditch game (I had to tell him that putting his arms in the air was not appropriate in a movie theater :-)). There are some scary parts; he would pull my arm around him for security during those, but he didn't seem so frightened that he didn't enjoy it. Then again, he knew how the story would turn out; we had read the book to him.

I give the movie 5 stars; my husband was disappointed in the special effects, but no one we know who has seen it agrees with him, so I think it's a case of too-high expectations. As long as your son isn't easily terrified (or is at least easily comforted), I think you should take him. My son loved it and was excited a week later when his Granny gave him a Harry Potter sleeping bag and pajamas when we slept over at her house.

I agree about little ones watching Smashed and Wrecked: VERY adult themes that will go over their heads and disturb them simultaneously. But we have friends that let their seven-year-old daughter watch it; then again, she's probably a little more mature than the average seven-year-old.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Harry Potter Mini-Review -- pagangodess, 18:27:41 12/03/01 Mon

Thanks, for the review, Kimberly. My son is not easily scared (demon's and monsters on 'Buffy' don't faze him), so I think I will go ahead and take him to see it. (We'll leave the 4-year-old at home (no, not alone)...attention span, still an issue). At least I'll get to see the movie, even though I haven't read the books.

So, does this mean that he will be asking for the Harry Potter Lego set(s), after the show? He's really big into Lego.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Harry Potter Mini-Review -- Kimberly, 06:05:40 12/04/01 Tue

My guess: Yes. (Then he can act out all of the scenes and create new ones. Love them Legos. :-))
[> [> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation)Spoilers for H Potter Buffy -- boy_mercury, 09:29:45 12/04/01 Tue

Excellent points!! I printed out your message to read to others who would benefit from hearing this side of the argument! Thanks!
[> [> [> Nice rant. I know where you are coming from and feel pretty much the same. -- Ryuei, 11:11:20 12/04/01 Tue

[> Belief in evil... -- CaptainPugwash, 09:39:33 12/03/01 Mon

I had a very interesting 'conversation' with my mother about Harry Porter (she's a Christian, whereas I am not [used to be]).

Apparently, the ministers of her Church were handing out leaflets warning people about the danger of magic and Harry Potter and stuff, and generally getting savaged for it.

I tried explaining to her that trying to get people to believe in the Devil was just as hopeless as trying to get them believe in God, and that the notion of Christians warning non-Christians to be wary of something that only Christians believed in was faintly ridiculous.

Of course the occult can be dangerous, but only because very few people are 100% rational/materialistic and are therefore prone to the deep fears/anxieties that the occult feeds on. This is what happens in the Blair Witch Project. The actual reality/non-reality of magic is irrelevant; it is belief in the stuff which may be dangerous. I doubt that many of the people going to see Harry Potter think it is real, therefore its harmless.
[> Re: Oh, for the love of God (time to clarify) -- Rendyl, 09:43:08 12/03/01 Mon

Maybe they already have a firm grip. Just because you, I, and others are boggling that the Harry Potter books could be considered "dangerous' or 'demonic' it does not mean we have the right to trample over someone elses religious beliefs. If they choose keep those materials out of their houses and away from their kids it is sad, but it is their right.

Anyway, the meandering point of all this was just because you (or I, etc) think something is pointless or stupid it does not make us right. It just means we have an opinion.

[> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (time to clarify) -- maddog, 14:50:22 12/03/01 Mon

Yeah, but you're missing the point at the beginning of the thread...the book was banned...which in essence means they took the decision out of these people's hands...their rights were violated. As for their religious beliefs, if they weren't taking the book so literally there wouldn't be a problem with religion.
[> [> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (time to clarify) -- Edward, 18:04:57 12/03/01 Mon

I have to point out that the book was banned at a 7th day Adventist school in Australia not a Public School in the US. Private parochial schools do operate under a different set of priorities then a publicly funded school.

As an American, (I don't know the laws in Australia) I am a firm believer in the Separation Clause, but that does mean that a private parochial school has the right (even if I think it is silly) to do what it feels is necessary for its religion.
[> [> respect for others' opinions should have a limit -- res, 23:16:56 12/03/01 Mon

Now I'm obviously not trying to preach intolerance, but I think it's pointless and boring and sometimese detrimental to always avoid criticism or judgment of other people's opinions and beliefs. Strict political correctness and passive acceptance isn't always more positive than um, being judgmental, and imposing your beliefs on others. I mean, I guess after skipping some twists and turns of this argument for myself it just comes down to who is gonna be right and who is gonna be wrong and who has the right to say they're right and I'm too tired.
Damn can of worms won't let me sleep.
[> [> [> Re: respect for others' opinions should have a limit -- Rendyl, 07:39:02 12/04/01 Tue

I agree. But whether you interpret my refusal to jump on the 'Bash the Christians' bandwagon as tolerance or as being passive it will not change the fact that on this board they are targeted and reviled while other religions and philosophies are not. On any other board that would be status quo and I would not even feel the need to point it out. On this board most of the posters -pride- themselves on being intelligent and open-minded to ideas. To insult and single Christianity out makes the posters as narrow-minded as the people they are posting about.

We do not have to agree with them, that was not my point. My point was (and still is) that for a board where tolerance and open exchange of ideas are promoted and encouraged, the ideas of some very small groups of Christians should at least be given the same amount of civility as all the others.

[> [> [> [> okay, but... -- res, 19:22:43 12/04/01 Tue

where are you drawing the line between bashing Christians and stating an opinion?
It seems that all people are doing in the HP discussion is voicing their opinion, that they find it silly and maybe even harmful to kids to censor them in this way. Are people not being polite enough? I didn't feel they were trying to force their opinion upon others, more like they felt they were speaking to a like-minded audience, but even if they were, isn't that what you do when you think something is unjust? Why should opinions of any kind - from Christians or anyone - be treated with respect and civility if we don't find the opinion civil or "right?"

ps. I agree the Bash the Christians Bandwagon is all too appealing, and I really don't think it should be, but there is, in fact, a reason for it's popularity, and you can't disregard that and act like they're Quakers or something. (Don't actually know much about Quakers, just trying to support my point.)
[> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- mir, 09:47:01 12/03/01 Mon

ok, but do you all have to live with a person who believes that? my six-year old nephew recently informed me that the harry potter movie was about "satan". when i asked him who'd told him that, he said, "grandma". kill me now.
[> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- Clarity, 09:48:46 12/03/01 Mon

Just a thought in response to your thoughts...No, becoming a parent does not make you a complete moron. Nor does it invite the Twin Hounds of Idiocy and Ignorance to take up residence in your mind. As a parent, I am responsible to provide for the physical and emotional care and upbringing of a sentient person. Each of us, both parent and child, enters into this relationship as an individual person with an individual psyche. I can guide, love, nurture and protect...but I cannot force or coerce this person to believe what I believe or follow in my footsteps. (Have you ever tried to move a piece of string by pushing one end? Same thing) I can only provide various opportunities and stimuli for the little ones' growth and maturation, utilizing positive (and negative) encouragement. Fear and intimidation do not work well. Instead of a healthy relationship that sustains the both of you throughout your lives, you can end up with a person who is incomplete in themselves and seeks validation from others.

You cannot live in fear, and you cannot parent in fear. I desire for my children to be curious, to ask the "why", to want to know, and to reason. I want them to be able to know that there is absolutely NOTHING that can't be put on the table, explored, questioned, and poked at with pointy sticks. They need to be exposed to music, literature, ideas, even beliefs other that which they (or I) am comfortable with. The key is to know, for each individual child, what is appropriate WHEN. My heart breaks for folks who hide behind the Twin Hounds because they are afraid. (Of the evil in themselves, of the baser nature of man, of the devil, of the occult, of the boogeyman...who knows)

I am a Mom. (Surprise, like you hadn't figured that out by now) I have three Children, ages 22, 17 and 11. I also have a three year old Grandchild. I have certainly not done everything "right" and have definitely made my share of stupid mistakes. But my children know that I love them. They know that I would never keep back a good thing from them without a damn good reason, and they TRUST me to be the Mom and do what I reason is best. They don't always like it, but that is an entirely diferent rant. My children also know that I Trust Them to make their own decisions and choices, and to be responsible for same. If the teenage daughter makes a bad school/personal life decision (study? or party? hmmm...)she has to deal with the resultant grades and scholarship revocation. If the 6th grade son doesn't pay attention to the details as he washes his clothes, he gets pink underwear...or, if he decides not to bother with his laundry at all, he gets to wear stinky clothes to school.

Please don't lump all us procreators together as buggared, prejudiced and fearful imbeciles. Some of us actually enjoy it when the people who live with us have the ability to be able to carry on a intelligent conversation (or spirited debate, or passionate rant). Sometimes (oh, happy day!) the kids can actually help me see the errors of my thought processes as well.

(Karen clears her throat, thanks her audience, and topples from her soap box)
[> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- mir, 09:58:53 12/03/01 Mon

karen, i wish you were my mom. :)
[> [> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- Clarity, 10:50:12 12/03/01 Mon

mir, honey, be content. I'm poor, I abscond with my kids' CD's, and am VERY grumpy before my morning coffee. And I bet your Mom loves ya more than you know. Give her a might be surprised.
[> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- polyhymnia, 16:58:26 12/04/01 Tue

and from clarity's daughter...

(also semi-addicted to buffy, but i can quit any time i want to)

my mom is not perfect, but who is? she's a little odd, compared to the moms of some of my friends (who else's mom has started singing "time warp" while making dinner and talk?), but she's my mom and i wouldn't trade her in for anything, even a shiny blue corvette...or that one guy that i can't manage to get off of my mind.
my mom has never played the "i don't want you to do this but i'm not going to tell you why" game. she hasn't told me that i have to do one thing or another with my life. she lets me make my own choices, whether they're good or bad choices, and i don't think has once said "i told you so" if i messed up. (even though the "study or party" issue isn't really that's more "study or read a stephen lawhead book".)
i like the debates, rantings, and conversations. it's more interesting to debate/rant than it is to have three thousand rules. more fun too.

jabber, jabber, jabber...polyhymnia's done now...and she'll even stop with the typing in the third person.

God bless.
[> Most assuredly for the love of God... -- RH, 11:38:54 12/03/01 Mon

Believe it or not, we live in a world where human beings are born instinctively knowing that there is good and evil, and what the differences between both are. For the most part, doing good makes us (and others) feel peaceful, happy and euphoric - these are positive emotions = healthy. Doing evil, however, often causes guilt, pain and anger - negative emotions = unhealthy.

Let's say, for the sake of argument - that the forces of good and evil do exist as living entities, and that their purpose is to gain as many human souls/recruits as possible. What for? Well, if we take the Biblical principles of creation - the world started out as a perfect place (perfect=good). Any change from the "perfect" world = evil. For our purposes, Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and were given the knowledge of "good and evil" - before this, the world was perfect - now another "option" - an opposing one, has been introduced. Adam and Eve now know that there is something other than perfection. How did they find out? By eating the fruit. Why did they eat the fruit? Because they were challenged by the "snake" to do so, (snake=Lucifer - the fallen angel who opposed God; God=perfection). Now the world has conflict - there is God's creation (angels, the perfect world, etc.) who are trying to promote the ideal perfection, while the snake/Lucifer and those who fell with him (1/3 of the angels), are trying to muck it up. Why? So that they can prove to themselves (and God) that they have some sort of "control" over His creation. If we consider that WE are His creation - do we want to be so manipulated and controlled? Will we side with entropy and chaos or perfection and peace?

If you were given the chance to eat the forbidden fruit, knowing what the consequences were, and knowing what happened to Adam and Eve, would you do it? (To avoid the pains of childbirth alone I would avoid it like the PLAGUE!!!) Would you not want to protect yourself and your family from any contact with it?

If every foray into evil/darkness, no matter how careless or innocent or minimal led to a tainting of your personality, and allowed any sort of control of a negative entity over your life, wouldn't you want to protect yourself and your loved ones from doing it?

If every user died the first time they used drugs, would you recommend that people try it just for "fun"?
If every unprotected sex relationship led to AIDS and death, would you condone unprotected sex - even just the "in-the-heat-of-the-moment" kind?

In the Buffyverse, think of this in terms of Willow and Rack - if you knew that any contact whatsoever with Rack would open a gateway for Evil/Hell to have even the minutest control in your life, and that this would unleash an evil that could hurt the ones you love, would you ever visit him? Even just to "try" a magical high?

I would hope not.

I cannot speak for all religions, but as a Christian, the spiritual forces of good and evil are very real; the reality of heaven and hell are undisputed; and the existence of angels and demons is fact. If evil advertised itself as "bad for you" would anyone succumb? Probably not - that is why it uses glamour and deceit to make itself appear to be what it is not. Smoking causes cancer and can kill you, but for years advertisers played up the social acceptance and "coolness" of it - many perished, some did not. Some people's bodies were strong enough to resist disease, but many were not. The same is true for dark "arts" - some may be lured by it and never show adverse effects; others may dabble once and have a lifetime of regret.

Let's say a 9 year old uses a Ouija board for a lark at a birthday party. What if, innocently and inadvertently, the board were used correctly and an evil spirit were contacted that would haunt the user subconsciously, (or physically) for the rest of their lives? What if this evil entity were able to gain bits of control over it's human host and slowly, over a lifetime, corrupt them and encourage random, and heinous acts of evil? What if this evil entity caused emotional distress, self doubt, constant nightmares, inexplicable physical illness, mental torment, fits of rage, low self-esteem, etc.? (They say that our mental and spiritual states reflect our physical well-being and vice versa. Do WE control our mental states? Or are we impressed by outside sources?)

Whose mind would be easier to corrupt/impress - that of a child, or that of an adult?
Obviously, the less experienced, naive child is more at risk.

Children have more impressionable and vivid imaginations and a less logic, (for the most part), than adults. Children look up to adults to be their moral compass and provide a safe and secure environment for them to grow up in. If a parent, either through their own experiences, or based on the experiences of others, deems that the certain practices leave their children open to negative influences, they are obligated to, and should have the undisputed right to prevent their children from exposure to such influences. That is there prerogative, and their duty.

Similarly, if the church, 7-day Adventists, the pope, etc. were to embrace activities involving the occult, (which are forbidden by their religions), would this not make them hypocrites (more so, some might claim)? Their religious beliefs are clearly defined by these white and black boundaries of good and evil, otherwise we would all be practicing one world religion.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and everyone's opinion is right - (to them at least). Whose opinion is ACTUALLY right? Perhaps one day we'll find out, but as human beings who define ourselves by our beliefs, morals, and values, each of us is obligated to be true to ourselves.
[> [> Huh? -- Wisewoman, 11:52:28 12/03/01 Mon

Let's say a 9 year old uses a Ouija board for a lark at a birthday party. What if, innocently and inadvertently, the board were used correctly and an evil spirit were contacted that would haunt the user subconsciously, (or physically) for the rest of their lives?

Where did you get the idea that the "correct" use of a Ouija board is to contact evil spirits?

And even if it were, couldn't an innocent 9 year old expect some sort of protection from the forces of good in your scenario? Do you believe that the struggle between "good" and "evil" is so unequal that evil will always win by default?

If every foray into evil/darkness, no matter how careless or innocent or minimal led to a tainting of your personality, and allowed any sort of control of a negative entity over your life, wouldn't you want to protect yourself and your loved ones from doing it?

Do you seriously consider Harry Potter to be a foray into evil/darkness? And, if so, how can you bear to watch Buffy? It ventures into much darker material than Harry does.

Just curious... ;o)
[> [> [> Re: Huh? -- Rob, 12:28:31 12/03/01 Mon

"Do you seriously consider Harry Potter to be a foray into evil/darkness? And, if so, how can you bear to watch Buffy? It ventures into much darker material than Harry does."

I'm curious about this too, RH! Most of the magic on Harry Potter has to do with Bertie Bott's All- Flavor Jelly Beans, levitation spells, mirrors that show you your heart's desire...that sort of thing. Do you see a child reading about a magical sport called Quidditch and a teacher who can turn into a cat as experimenting with the dark side? As I said before, I see it as a child exploring and expanding his or her imagination, and brain cells. And, as WW wrote, how do you see "Harry Potter" as being possibly too dark, but Buffy not?

Sorry if it sounds like I'm drilling ya here...I'm just curious. :)

[> [> [> [> Clarification... -- RH, 13:23:31 12/03/01 Mon

"Where did you get the idea that the "correct" use of a Ouija board is to contact evil spirits?"

I may have mis-worded there - sorry! Ouija boards are used to contact the dead, (if you believe the dead can actually be contacted), otherwise, I would qualify that the "number you dial" isn't always going to be the number you get - ie. how do you know what you've "called" is the right person, or the right spirit? That's what I meant by that statement - I shouldn't have used the word "correct".

"And even if it were, couldn't an innocent 9 year old expect some sort of protection from the forces of good in your scenario? Do you believe that the struggle between "good" and "evil" is so unequal that evil will always win by default?"

Certainly I believe in protection from the forces of good - (good ROCKS! It has already won!), but there is a difference between accident and will - if a person is going to willingly put themselves in a situation where they are intentionally invoking supernatural forces, they are going to be have to deal with whatever they contact - good or evil. (I was using this as a "what if" scenario.)

"Do you seriously consider Harry Potter to be a foray into evil/darkness? And, if so, how can you bear to watch Buffy? It ventures into much darker material than Harry does."

Actually, I know little about Harry Potter, as I haven't read any of the books - that's why I left him out of my post entirely - I am not siding for or against, and will make up my own mind once I do the research. I was addressing a parent's responsibility to their children in general, and trying to clarify a few things from a possible "religious" point of view.

"And, as WW wrote, how do you see "Harry Potter" as being possibly too dark, but Buffy not?"

Don't know Harry - got nothin' against Harry.
Buffy, for the most part, is not being marketed to grade-schoolers - I think Buffy might be too dark for most of them.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Clarification... -- Kimberly, 13:35:54 12/03/01 Mon

Don't know what age kids you have, or if you have them at all, but the gradeschoolers I know do enjoy Buffy and "get" it. They understand the whole "good fighting evil" thing and, at least the ones I know, identify with the "good guys". (I didn't say they get the subtleties; gradeschoolers want things black and white, gray makes them irritable.)

At the same time, some of the scenes on the show are too intense. That, however, is an individual thing, dependent on kid and parents. For instance, we didn't let our son watch Smashed because we'd heard that there was some intense sexual content. Friends of ours, whose daughter is a year older, 7 to his 6, discussed it and let her watch it so they could discuss it with her. Another instance: if we see skeletons, the kid goes. Immediately. He's terrified of "bones".) Parents' choice, right and responsibility.

I don't object to a parent refusing to allow their child to read or watch something because it is against their religion. My problem is when they try to forbid MY child from reading or watching something because it is against THEIR religion. It's my job to teach my kid ethics and morals, not the idiot Fundie down the street. It's also my job to prevent my child from becoming involved with negative influences, like the Boy Scouts. (Most parents may think I'm silly, but I find their philosophy horribly dangerous.)

Finally, it makes me crazy when someone censors/tries to forbid something without having read or watched it.

BTW, I'm not accusing you of any of these things; I'm just trying to make my own thoughts/beliefs clear. I'm not one to talk to about the Christian philosophy; although I was raised in it, I'm not one now and I'm not raising my son that way. But I do agree that Christians have the right to raise their children that way.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Clarification... -- RH, 06:27:05 12/04/01 Tue

"It's my job to teach my kid ethics and morals, not the idiot Fundie down the street."

WOW! That's rather harsh! I'm guessing that you're referring to "Fundamentalists" - and obviously you don't like them, but I don't think there was any call to label them as "idiots". They have a differing opionion from yours but their opinions are still valid, (if not to you, then certainly to them).
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Clarification... -- Kimberly, 06:41:36 12/04/01 Tue

Actually, I wasn't labelling all Fundamentalists idiots. The problem is that there appears to be an inverse correlation between brain and mouth; the dumber they are, the more likely they are to tell me how to live.

BTW, if it helps, I didn't have you in the "idiot" category. Your post was intelligent and well thought out. We may disagree (I suspect we do), but we can have an intelligent conversation and, I hope, in the end, agree to disagree. (The fact that you don't condemn Harry Potter since you haven't read any of the books gives you major points in my book; many of these people condemn books, movies, etc., without ever having read them.)
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Clarification... -- maddog, 15:21:33 12/03/01 Mon

I think the comment on the Ouija board was meant more as a question of whether they actually work. Don't you think that by 9, if you already taught them the difference between good and evil(and the way you talk I'd think you would have), that if they still choose to play with something like a Ouija board the maybe they need to learn a lesson or two on their own...I know that's incredibly hard for parents to do(as mine have told me time and time again), but some lessons just need to be learned that way.

You really should read the books...just like much of fantasy and sci fi, when it's stripped down to bare bones it's got basically good people doing their best to do good in the face of evil. I think you'd be pleasantly surprised.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Clarification... -- RH, 06:33:52 12/04/01 Tue

"...if they still choose to play with something like a Ouija board the maybe they need to learn a lesson or two on their own..."

If the "lesson", (as in my examples), were life-threatening, would you be so willing to let them pursue it? Even if it might be the only way for them to learn? Easier said than done... that's my point.

"You really should read the books...just like much of fantasy and sci fi, when it's stripped down to bare bones it's got basically good people doing their best to do good in the face of evil. I think you'd be pleasantly surprised."

I'm not opposed to reading the books at all, or giving Harry Potter a "try". I have NO preconceived biases regarding the books and am in no way trying to defend opinions against them - really! I was trying to give a general opinion on why parents and religious affiliates may be justified, (in their belief), in censoring things.
[> [> Re: Most assuredly for the love of God... -- JM, 14:47:30 12/03/01 Mon

Personally, I think this is an important perspective. I think that part of critical, tolerant thinking is to acknowledge that many people with whom we may disagree with violently are motivated largely by genuine concern that stems from a very different world view. A visceral reaction condemning their perceived narrowness limits our ability to fully understand the world and those with whom we share it.

Respecting another's right to hold a different view does not necessarily require respecting the view. It is just another reason to be greatful that many of us live in societies that respect an adult's right to discover and decide these matters individually. It would be wonderful to live in a world where every child is brought up in the best, most openminded environment. It would also be utopia. I think that society has arrived at the most mature compromise available. Hopefully the future will only improve from here.
[> [> [> Thank you. -- RH, 06:37:58 12/04/01 Tue

Your thoughtful and tolerant post was appreciated.

[> [> Re: Most assuredly for the love of God... -- maddog, 15:08:06 12/03/01 Mon

Blow things out of proportion much?

As someone who grew up in a religious home and with parents who were extremely strict from day 1 I can say that I know what it's like to be in that situation...HOWEVER, one thing they were confident in is that they taught me the difference between reality and fantasy...this from people who dragged my ass out of bed every Sunday morning whether I wanted to get up or not. Yet they still had enough confidence to let me handle things like reading(I would read a bunch of those Choose Your Own Adventure books from the mid to late 80's) knowing that I knew it was all fake. They knew that religion doesn't have to curb imagination. If you're shielding your kids from something like Harry Potter, to me that seems like you have ZERO confidence in what you've taught them....and to that end, maybe you're not doing it right. :(
[> [> [> The problem is that Evil is empowered by persecution -- Charles Phipps, 16:45:48 12/03/01 Mon

[Oujeii boards]

The problem with this idea is that contacting the dead rests entirely on the idea that one can actually contact it. This is not a new idea because Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah, Saul was condemned by the Spirit of Samuel, and of course Jesus as God returnedfrom the dead to speak with his followers.

The problem I see with the "war" on the occult as a Christain minister is that the Devil profits far more from it than anyone else. Witches are not beings that have actual powers (before I'm burned at the stake by every Wiccan here I refer to 'worshipers of the Devil' in the medieval sense and fortune tellers for profit) but truly pathetic individuals who play on people's desire to see something amazing in order to gain power for it.

My closest friend and mentor Father Nau once attended an excorcism and I believe in Demons and Devils and a Host of other beings but I also recognize they like the Damned are an inherently powerless group of people whose soul ability is to influence and tempt. "Magic" if you'll forgive my condemnation is a simple use of superstitious nonsense, science as it stands now, and miracle.

I play OLD SCHOOL Dungeons and Dragons and I'll be up front in saying that the majority of the beings present in D&D's "Hellarchy" are actually from Medieval alchemical texts/superstitions and the Gawds for the most part are actually mythological figures....with no sign save the off hand reference to God in the majority of them. This does not represent an attempt to put untold dangerous knowledge in the hands of the untested so the Devil will make Gary Gygax rich and famous in a weird faustian bargain...

This is to create a enjoyable game where lots of people kill each other, examine moral issues after the EXP and gold, and don't have to deal with too much self examination in a world already taxing to the spirit.

Why I say evil is empowered is because unfortunately you cannot hide information and by doing so you will destroy yourself and make the information more tempting. To quote Socrates the Gods gave us intellect so why should we not use it? If I had my way I'd make demonology and the philosophies of such readily available down at the local library.

Not because I want people channeling Yog-Sorothy but because I recognize that it's the only way to portray them as ridiculous and insipid as they are. The works are lies and only by learning that can we move on.

Because Christians of a let's call it "supertious" streak unfortunately we have had Witch Hunts of a literal nature and more unpleasant end we have a culture where WE can't portray God in any reasonable fashion because everyone's skins are tender from lashing out at every occult reference.

The irony of this I'm sure makes the actual Devil quite happy.
[> [> [> Please re-read my post... -- RH, 06:48:50 12/04/01 Tue

"Blow things out of proportion much?"

Um, no actually - I'm not supporting either side, I'm just trying to help people see the other side of the argument. It's easy to sit back and condemn people for their point-of-view, it's smarter to try and figure out WHY they've formed their opinions so that you can understand them better. We can all sit back and yell that religious groups are "crazy fanatics" - they can just as easily sit back and yell that we're "disgusting heathens" - what does that accomplish other than to promote discord? I'd rather try to look at things from both sides, acknowledge the validity of both opinions, and formulate my own educated opinion without trying to force it on others.

"...religion doesn't have to curb imagination. If you're shielding your kids from something like Harry Potter, to me that seems like you have ZERO confidence in what you've taught them....and to that end, maybe you're not doing it right."

WHOA! I NEVER said I had kids - I don't. I also never said ANYTHING about Harry Potter and yet everyone's jumping on my alleged "opinion" of the books. I HAVEN'T READ THEM AND AM NOT AGAINST READING THEM! Sheesh! Please feel free to re-read my post...
[> [> [> [> Re: Please re-read my post... -- Ryuei, 10:42:59 12/04/01 Tue

I sympathize. I think you did a good job in your posts of not condemning anyone or anything out of hand, but rather acting as an advocate for those whose views many of us find difficult to comprehend. I have found myself in flame wars many times not because of what I said, but because of what others thought I said (in between the lines I guess) and I am sure I have done that to others over issues where a raw nerve of my own was struck.

It is a real challenge to discuss differing values and the different worldviews that generate those values without feeling that one's own position is being put down. This is especially true when one has faced the tactlessness and hidden fears/anxiety/fury of those who hold triumphalist views and strict us vs. them dichotomies. I personally get very aggravated with those who hold what I consider supertitious beliefs and ideas - though I have to admit in cooler moments that some of my own beliefs/assumptions/values would strike many as peculiar.

I think this a board, however, that is full of very intelligent and mature people. So I think in the end, we will all benefit and grow from the discussion and exchange of views.

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo,
[> [> [> [> [> Thank you, Ryuei! -- RH, 13:11:04 12/05/01 Wed

By the way, what language is "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo", and what does it mean?


[> [> [> [> [> [> What Namu Myoho Renge Kyo means (OT) -- Ryuei, 14:02:00 12/05/01 Wed

It means "Devotion to the Wonderful Dharma of the Lotus Flower Sutra."

It is an expression of faith/rejoicing in the Lotus Sutra which is a Mahayana Buddhist sutra (scripture) that purports to be the highest teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha. The original Sanskrit name for the Sutra is Saddharma Pundarika Sutra. In China this was translated as Miao Fa Lien Hua Ching. The Japanese pronounce the Chinese characters as Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo. Namu comes from the Sanskrit "Namas" and has many connotations including "praise" or "devotion." The Chinese characters used to transliterate this word is pronounced Namu in Japan. Put it all together and you get Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

In Buddhism, it is customary to join hands together (as if you were praying) and to bow deeply in greeting or when saying goodbye. This is an expression of respect for the Buddhanature in all people. This gesture is called "gassho" in Japan. Many Buddhists will sign off with "gassho" and then their name. It is like saying "regards" or "sincerely." However, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is an expression which also refers to the deep respect we should have for all beings as potential buddhas (ie they all have buddhanature), so as a priest in the Nichiren School I often use it to sign off on my posts. I usually don't do it here, but this thread just put me in a more religious state of mind. I hope no one minds. :)

The name "Ryuei" by the way is the Dharma name given to me by my sensei the Ven. Ryusho Matsuda. It means "Dragon-English." He gave me that name because it shares one character with his name, which is customary between a Buddhist teacher and his disciple in Japan, and also because he wants me to express the Dharma to the English speaking world. I do not, however, use this name in regular life. I generally use it as a pen name on the internet and for official temple business.

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo,
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Enlightening! -- RH, 06:17:07 12/06/01 Thu

Thank you for explaining! I am always fascinated by other languages and cultures! I once had a missionary teach me a Psalm in Japanese, (I still remember most of it!), but other than that, the only Japanese I've learned was from my Goju Ryu Karate classes, (obi, tesho, sanchin, kyi, ichi, ni, san, chi..., etc.) As far as I know, our Sensei does not have a Japanese pseudonym that I have ever heard...
[> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- maddog, 14:31:39 12/03/01 Mon

I completely agree...this is sad. What I think the adults are doing is getting so caught up in what may be good or bad for their kids that they've forgotten the most important thing...that if they teach their kids what's real and what isn't then there's absolutely NOTHING to worry about. I wanna yell at these parents and religious nuts that can't handle a kids's just pathetic.
[> [> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation)HP and religion -- Calluna, 17:17:31 12/03/01 Mon

Oddly enough, I think that what REALLY annoys the religious right about Harry Potter (but they don't seem to see it) is the complete LACK OF RELIGION in the books. Religion doesn't seem to exist in Harry's world. Some have said that this isn't quite true, for example they celebrate christmas, but the christmases spent at Hogwarts have more incommon with mall christmas. No religion. No nativity. Just trees, feasting and presents. The world of Harry Potter seems to be secular. Free will is more important than any religious morality. Harry is good because he chooses to be good (ex. he's told by the sorting hat that if he went into Slytherin, he'd be very powerful, but he chooses not to). Voldemort is evil because he chooses to be evil. I may be wrong, but it sounds like Rowling has created a world of secular humanists,not satan worshipers.
In regards to the magic in Harry's world, it has much more in common with medieval and reniassance scholarship than with Wicca and Paganism. The philosopher's stone, transfiguration, transmutation, lots of latin based spells. Sounds reniassance to me. Maybe with a little of Giles thrown in. I work in a public library, so any censorship bugs me. You can tell your kid what he/she can't read, but don't you dare tell someone elses kid what they can or can't read.
[> [> [> Secular Humanism -- Ryuei, 10:49:13 12/04/01 Tue

Good point Calluna. It seems that the secularist bent (which is the real threat to Christian hegemony) has completely gone unnoticed because of the paranoia over the occult elements. In fact, I have often thought that if conservative Christians were really paying attention to the real threats against their worldview they should have been going after Star Trek. Star Trek, beneath all the tech and bumpy head makeup, is a showcase for the secular and rationalist values and worldview of the European Enlightenment (though I will admit they are also a bit post-modern in that the total rationalists like Spock and Data are subject to a critique as to whether that is really desireable after all).

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo,
[> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- pagangodess, 18:20:00 12/03/01 Mon

I see this issue has had a huge following. Just reading this got my husband and I into a huge debate about wheather or not religion belongs in schools, should there even be schools for separate religions, and eventually the question why do we (him and I, specifically) celebrate Christmas. See what you started, Last Jack. :)

Here I must quote Buffy: "Note to self - religion freaky". While we are not a religious family, we do respect other people's beliefs and, even more so, their right to have those beliefs. We have many close friends who are Catholic and they go to church every Sunday and send their kids to Catholic schools. However, this difference had not in any way hindered our friendships, we do not preach our views and beliefs to each other. That's why I'll second some previous posts that you can tell your own children what to do, but do not tell MY children what to do.

However, I'm getting away from another point I wanted to make. Hear this, my thirty-something friend, a mother of two girls (3 and 7), a recently converted to Catholicism teacher at a local Catholic school, reads Harry Potter to her third grade class as part of their reading program! Although, I'm sure it helps that she is an huge fan of these novels and fantasy novels in general.

I have not read any of the books (shame, shame, shame on me), but my rant was not about what's in the book, it's about responsible parenting and readers' rights.

Just scattered thoughts
[> Re: Oh, for the love of God (mini-rant/exasperation) -- Edward, 18:31:09 12/03/01 Mon

I mentioned this in a response above but it might get lost because it's pretty deep, so I want to put it here again, Hope you will all forgive me.

The school in question was supposedly a 7th day Adventist school which is different from a public school, receiving public funds.

I agree with everyone that HP is not dangerous and is not really about the occult, but a private parochial school is not subject to the Separation Clause here in the states. I don't know the laws in Australia where this supposedly occurred.

Having said that I know that it is also happening in the US in Public schools, and that I would fight to the end. If you don't want your kid to read it fine, the school should let them out of it, but to try and prevent my kid, that is unacceptable.
[> I, for one, am glad -- vampire hunter D, 04:12:10 12/04/01 Tue

Stuff like this only shows children hoe stupid and irrational religeon really is. They will grow up knowing that religeon makes no sense. They will teach this very important lesson to the next generation. And as the message spreads, religeon will find itself with less and less support. This will lead to the downfall of religeon. ANd herald in a new era. A Golden Age of Atheistic Enlightenment.

And yes, I am being serious.
[> [> Re: Harry Potter is kewl!!! -- Dedalus, 08:17:00 12/04/01 Tue

I wrote a twelve page response here, but it wouldn't post. Sigh. It was so witty and insightful. Now it's gone.

Basically, dhV may have a point. Fundies have been consistently proven wrong about everything. So it will be with HP. And in this post-Septemebr 11th world, the attempts to ban their beloved little HP books will not leave a good taste in the mouths of the up and coming generation. If fundamentalism is the only choice against atheism, I too will sadly be forced to choose atheism.
[> [> [> Question -- Slayrunt, 21:42:54 12/04/01 Tue

Fundies have been consistently proven wrong about everything.

Please expand on that. What everything are they consistently wrong?
[> [> Constantine or Mao Tse Tung! What a choice! -- Ryuei, 11:05:39 12/04/01 Tue

How are you defining "religion"?

I think that two of the finest minds of the 20th century were deeply committed Jesuits: Fr. Bernard Lonergan, who wrote a book called Insight which is all about how we know what we know and how we discover what makes sense and what it means for something to make sense, was one. The other was Karl Ranher who was the main inspiration for Vatican II which brought the Catholic Church into the modern world and showed that Catholicism does not have to be unreasonable. In fact, Ranher is considered a "Transcendental Thomist" who took the best of neo-scholastic reasoning and a more transcendental/existential critique of mere reasoning.

So I think it is not very just to condemn all religion (whatever is meant by that term) as unreasonable.

Also there have certainly been and still are extremely unreasonable secular or even anti-religious worldviews. The Communists in Russia are commonly referred to by Orthodox Christians as the "militant atheists." The Nazis were certainly not a religious movement (though perhaps an occult one) and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were aggressively anti-religious. You may herald a Golden Age of atheism, but as for myself - between Osama bin Laden and Pol Pot, or Torquemada and Stalin, I don't think there is much to choose from. Actually, I'd prefer a benign ruler like King Ashoka who respected all religions (Dharmas) but did not impose or oppose any of them.

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo,
[> [> [> Re: Constantine or Mao Tse Tung! What a choice! -- Rufus, 14:51:08 12/04/01 Tue

It's not religion but how individuals interpert and act out their beliefs. To me religion be it Christian, Buddhist, Islam..ect....should encourage love and peace. It should not make those that believe fearful. People have different beliefs, but that doesn't mean that they aren't saying the same thing in different ways.
A childs book can't make someone evil, it can't tempt a child to become a disiple of "satan". I've read Harry Potter and intend on seeing the movie. The people who banned the books feel that they are acting in the best interests of their children. I have to respect their wishes.
[> [> [> [> Agreed. Though I still feel bad for the kids who aren't allowed to see it. -- Ryuei, 15:48:30 12/04/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> Re: Constantine or Mao Tse Tung! What a choice! -- Kimberly, 06:43:46 12/05/01 Wed

I agree that it has to be the parents' decision. I just wish they were making a better one; the movie can actually be used to draw good lessons, even Christian ones.

One of my biggest rants is the complete lack of intelligent religious discussion in popular culture. The only TV show I can ever remember seeing that discussed it in an even half-way intelligent way was Alien Nation. And that's just because they could have the aliens with the alternative religions. And it didn't last.
[> [> [> [> [> I loved Alien Nation! -- Isabel, 20:12:35 12/05/01 Wed

It was so much more than a cop show. It had a strong nuclear family, interspecies/interratial relations and definite questions about authority vs independence and tolerance and fanaticism.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I loved Alien Nation! -- Kimberly, 06:58:34 12/06/01 Thu

I figured the demise of Alien Nation pointed to the end of hope for intelligent TV. Then along comes WB and BtVS. Maybe it was just ahead of its time?
[> [> [> [> [> As a frequent DS9 booster on this board, I would add... -- A8, 17:26:04 12/06/01 Thu

...that that show did (and does in reruns to this day) deal intelligently with religious issues covering almost every aspect of belief from fundamentalism to atheism. The main message was that tolerance from all sides is the only way to peaceful coexistence and that there is always room for calm and respectful dialogue.

The problem, as I see it, is that there are some extreme belief systems, the most infamous presently being that of the Taliban, in which tolerance is anathema. In that case, anything that is not deemed a part of a particular belief system is considered a threat that must be eradicated. From that point on it is a slippery slope that inevitably leads to grief, pain and needless suffering. If people want to deprive themselves of the myriad wonderous things the universe has to offer, good or bad, it is their right. When they choose to extend that deprivation to those who do not share their beliefs, they should expect negative consequences (whether it be scorn and derision or something worse).

[> [> Re: One thing for sure -- bible belt, 19:03:47 12/04/01 Tue

This discussion proves how important it was to get religion out of government, and keep it out. We prove that time and time again every time there is a book banning. I don't know what that says about religion.
The latest on Julie Benz -- The Last Jack, 09:10:06 12/03/01 Mon





Steve Burton, Julie Benz and Joel Gretsch Join Cast

July 10, 2001, Pasadena, CA -- Production is set to begin in September in Vancouver on one of the most monumental miniseries events in television history: Taken, an epic, 20-hour, 10-part saga from the SCI FI Channel, Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television, and written and executive produced by Leslie Bohem (Dante's Peak). Steve Burton (upcoming motion picture The Last Castle, General Hospital), Julie Benz (Angel") and Joel Gretsch (The Legend of Bagger Vance) have been cast, with additional cast members to be announced soon. Steve Beers also serves as executive producer.

Taken is a sweeping science-fiction adventure that weaves together over 50 years of alien abductions into the compelling story of three families' experiences. Currently in active pre-production, the miniseries is scheduled to air during fourth quarter 2002 as an original event exclusively on SCI FI.

Steve Burton stars in Taken as Randall Keys, a World War II fighter pilot who learns that the strange lights he saw in the night sky while on a mission over Germany weren't simply "marsh gas" from swamps. Best known for his work as Jason Morgan on General Hospital, Burton will be seen this fall in the feature film The Last Castle, opposite Robert Redford, James Gandolfini and Mark Ruffalo. Julie Benz -- who captivated television audiences this past year with her portrayal of the tragic vampire-turned-human Darla on The WB series Angel -- stars as Kate Keys, Randall's wife, who is forced to raise their son alone as Randall's struggle to cope with his abduction experience drives him further and further away from his family. Joel Gretsch, who most recently played legendary golfer Bobby Jones opposite Will Smith and Matt Damon in Robert Redford's The Legend of Bagger Vance, will star as Owen Jones, a ruthless, unscrupulous young Army officer who sees the Roswell crash as an opportunity to jump-start his career.

Already the largest provider of original primetime scripted series on cable -- basic or premium -- SCI FI has recently broadened its scope to include a brand-new slate of original movie and miniseries projects. Recently announced deals include Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, A Tale of Two Cities, Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers; Clive Barker's Saint Sinner, and the four-hour miniseries Firestarter: Rekindled, which just wrapped production. Most recently, the Channel announced two deals to adapt the works of Ursula Le Guin -- The Left Hand of Darkness and her Earthsea Trilogy of books as well as the Ray Bradbury scripted Illustrated Man as a new feature-length film.

DreamWorks SKG was formed in October 1994 by its three principal partners--Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen--as a single company to produce live-action motion pictures; animated feature films and television programs; network, syndicated and cable television programming; records; books; toys; and consumer products. DreamWorks Television is the network television production arm of DreamWorks SKG. In addition to Taken, current DreamWorks Television projects include Spin City (ABC), The Job (ABC), Undeclared (FOX), Off Centre (The WB) and Band of Brothers (HBO).

SCI FI Channel, owned and operated by USA Cable, a division of USA Networks, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: USAI) Entertainment unit, transmits fantastic images to over 71 million human homes. Launched in 1992, SCI FI features a continuous stream of cinematic hits, new and original series, and special events, as well as classic sci-fi, fantasy, and horror programming. Check out SCIFI.COM®, the SCI FI Channel's award-winning Web site, at
[> Thanks, Jack -- Slayrunt, 14:26:03 12/03/01 Mon

More Vampire Related Movie questions -- Neaux, 11:41:10 12/03/01 Mon

Well although Buffy is now in repeat mode,

I have a chance to see Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust in the theater this week!! Its playing at the local arthouse..

so has anyone else seen it to tell me if its better than the original? (I'm seeing the movie regardless, but I would like to hear some positive reviews)
question for Ryuei (OT) -- purplegrrl, 14:57:41 12/03/01 Mon

Ryuei, I had a question about Buddhism.

My understanding of Buddhism is that Buddha is a teacher and example that his followers strive for. But that he is not necessarily considered a god.

A friend of mine (of Chinese heritage) converted to Christianity after being raised Buddhist (or at least with leanings in that direction). One of the reasons she gave for converting was that she didn't want to live her life like her grandmother did -- always afraid of doing something that would offend one of the gods. I didn't question her about it at the time, but I didn't think Buddhism had gods. (Or perhaps this is my understanding of the version of Buddhism that is available to the general public in the U.S.) I'm guessing that these gods (household gods, etc.) are part of an older belief system that was incorporated into the grandmother's Buddhist beliefs.

My question is: Does Buddhism have a pantheon of gods? And if it does, why are they not mentioned when Buddhism is discussed in this country? Is the form of Buddhism practiced here fundamentally different from that practiced in other parts of the world?

Thanks for your assistance.
[> Just an observation, not the answer (O/T) -- Wisewoman, 08:37:29 12/04/01 Tue

I had a Chinese friend in one of my seminars on wisdom, and her take on it was that Chinese today actually have three systems that govern their lives: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Each system dictates behaviour in a different aspect of life, and they all co-exist. I'm not sure which of them has the household gods, or if indeed that is from yet another system. I'm looking forward to Ryuei's answer as well.
[> Re: question for Ryuei (OT) -- Ryuei, 10:27:31 12/04/01 Tue

My wife is from Japan, and she frequently watches tapes of Japanese t.v. shows which all too often trot out Buddhist priests to perform excorcisms and all other manner of superstitious con games. The state of Buddhism in Asia is absolutely appalling. For the most part it is a funeral scam, a congame at worst and all too often nothing more than a collection of folk myths and superstitions with a Buddhist gloss. It is truly shameful. And no one is more upset about it than the few sincere Buddhist monks, nuns, and ministers (in Japan they are not really monastics) themselves. This is one reason why many of the ones who want to teach real Buddhism (as opposed to folk religion or shamanism with a Buddhist gloss) come over here to start from scratch with a fresh unspoiled audience as it were. And of course those people in Asia who are really seeking deeper spiritual answers know better than to bother with the old fashioned dogmas and mainstream pap of the older generation (namely Buddhism) and instead seek some exotic foreign religion like Christianity. Strangely enough, when I was staying in Tokyo at Joenji Temple in Shinjuku, there was a park right behind the temple and a group of Japanese singing Christian hymns (in English) there. I later ran into an American girl who was curious about Buddhism and had even visited some famous temples, but could find no one in Japan who understood what any of it meant beyond burning incense and paying off the priests to do prayers for your ancestors. She told me that she had been teaching English in Kobe and that those few Japanese young people who were concerned about life's meaning (as opposed to collecting designer clothing) would seek out Christianity rather than Buddhism. So your friends experience is not all that strange unfortunately, because for historical reasons Buddhism in Asia (esp. East Asia) has been reduced to nothing more than a folk religion at best, and a funeral or exorcism scam at worst. The majority of priests or monks seem to be complacent at best and thoroughly corrupt at worst. This is a common complaint (going back centuries) of even those Buddhist clergy who are sincere and dedicated to the Dharma.

As for the gods. The Buddha accepted the geography and demographics of the Vedic cosmology he grew up in and used it to illustrate the workings of rebirth and the law of cause and effect. In very general terms, there are six worlds or realms of rebirth - the hell realms, hungry ghosts, animals, fighting demons, humans, and heavenly realms. The Vedic deities like Brahma, Indra, and others are all a part of this. But they too are caught up in the cycle and incapable of saving even themselves from suffering let alone others. It is the Buddha Dharma (meaning the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path) which leads to liberation - not favor from the gods. In fact, the gods do not even control anyone's fate. Only the law of cause and effect determines what will happen to us and in what circumstances we will be reborn - and the law of cause and effect is driven by our own actions. So according to Buddhism - we create our own destiny. It is often said: "If you want to know what you did in the past, look at what is happening to you now; and if you want to know what will happen to you in the future, look at what you are doing now." So it is our own actions of body, thought, and mind and even more importantly the intention behind them which plants the seeds which will come to fruition as our future body, mind, and environment. Everyone, from the hell- dwellers to the gods is caught up in this process. Only the Buddhas, Arhats, and to a certain extent the bodhisattvas are free of the compulsive and vicious circle of selfish craving, misguided activity, and suffering in the various worlds of becoming.

So the Vedic gods like Brahma and Indra, are considered to be fellow sentient beings in need of the teaching. They can also be considered protectors of the Dharma. In another sense, they might be seen as bodhisattvas in disguise, who use their power to compassionately assist other sentient beings. These Vedic deities were taken along with the rest of the Buddha Dharma as it spread outside of Asia. So on a Nichiren calligraphic mandala you will find the names of the Vedic deities there to represent the gods who are our fellow travellers on the Wheel of Becoming and fellow recipients of the Wonderful Dharma. In addition, in whatever land Buddhism spread into, the local deities were also co-opted into this system. So in China, the celestial beauracracy was Buddhicized. In Japan, the Shinto deities were looked upon as the manifestations of the bodhisattvas (and on the Nichiren mandala the names of Amaterasu and Hachiman also appear). For a literary look at how this all worked out on the level of folk belief and imagination read the story of Monkey (a good abridgement of this very long tale was translated by Arthur Waley). The story of Monkey, in fact, should be of great interest to Buffy fans in that I get the sense that the world Monkey inhabits is a lot like the Jossverse presented in Buffy and Angel. There are gods, demons, magical displays, numerous other realms, and a certain amount of ambiguity about good and evil and even the demons come off as very civil and urbane at times when they are not kidnapping travellers for ransom or eating them.

In any case, authentic Buddhism (the Buddhism of the sutras and commentaries and authentic teachers) definately puts the gods in a secondary (or even tertiary) position. They have no power to save or damn us. They can be appealed to for assistance, but that is looked upon as time and energy wasted that could be spent actually learning and practing the Dharma which transcends such things. So the gods are just part of the cosmological backdrop, distractions at worst, and spiritual assistants and protectors (like Catholic saints or angels) at best.

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo,
[> [> Buddhism as a funeral scam -- vampire hunter D, 12:03:14 12/04/01 Tue

Well, isn't that true of all religeons. "Do what we say, pay us to perform this rite, and you will get a big reward after you die." That statement sums up every religeon. So when are people going to wake up and realize this?

btw, why would the Japanese understand Buddhism? I thought most of them were Shintoists.
[> [> [> Re: Buddhism as a funeral scam -- Ryuei, 15:46:06 12/04/01 Tue

Only Western religions are so exlusive. In Asia different religions not only co-exist but one can be a member of more than one. In addition, there is a kind of division of labor. Different "religions" respond to different needs. So in China, the same person might follow a Confucian ethic, chant the name of Amitabha Buddha, and also make offerings at a Taoist shrine. In Japan, people regularly go to Shinto Shrines for New Years and other celebration and go to Buddhist temples for memorial services. The same house might even have a Shinto kamidana (shrine) and a butsudan (Buddhist altar). There is no real inconsistency in this, because Shinto deals with this life and nature and the gods of Japan, whereas Buddhism take a more "big picture" view.

In China, there is a saying: "Those in power are Confucianists, those out of power are Taoists, and those about to die are Buddhists." The idea is that Confucianism deals with administration and social mores. Taoism is for those who have dropped out of society or who are retired. And Buddhism is for those facing the existential questions of the meaning of life, the great question of birth and death.

As for religions being a funeral scam, I agree that for most people religion is nothing more than a way of enforcing morality, social bonding, and after-life insurance. However, if you look at the core teachings and the true intent of the founders - they were expressing a much deeper experience and responding the real issues of life and death and meaning. It is sad that the true intent of the Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad and others has been obscured by what amounts to nothing more than folk beliefs and that their teachings have been hijacked by all manner of powermongers, confidence men, and obscurantists.
[> [> [> [> Ruyei, have you read... -- Humanitas, 13:11:31 12/06/01 Thu

..."Snow Crash," by Neal Stephenson? Your comment on great teachings being hijacked reminded me of some of the ideas expressed in this book. It is at the same time one of the most philosophical and one of the funniest Science-fiction books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

While I'm posting, I want to thank you for your thoughts on religion of all sorts. It's an issue that has become more interesting to me in recent years, as I begin to see more clearly the distinction between 'faith' and 'religion,' and also how similar a lot of the root teachings of the major religions are. I have very little in the way of a religious background, and it's nice to see that there are religious persons who have come to similar conclusions. Makes me less inclined to think that I'm way out in left field.
[> [> Thanks, Ryeui -- much food for thought -- purplegrrl, 12:09:21 12/05/01 Wed

good/bad guys in europe -- sl, 15:00:49 12/03/01 Mon

Ok, i'm mostely a lurker. i've neen lurking for a while now. I've posted under spike lover, but someone took my name!!


Why are all the warriors for good in the United States. I'm sure there is a lot of demon activity in Europe or do the council keep everything under controll in the European front. ANd If everyone knows about slayers, then why would demons come to Sunnydale, you would think would want to be someplace safe and far away from the slayer.
[> Re: good/bad guys in europe -- RH, 08:56:43 12/04/01 Tue

I've always wondered that too - it seems to me that although Sunnydale - being a "hellmouth" and all - seems to have a higher concentration of demons, they've got to be all over the country. It would seem smarter to have multiple Slayers covering specific geographical territories world wide.

Speaking of which - I seem to recall Kendra having a distinct accent (Jamaican?) - she doesn't seem to have been born in California, and yet she was sent there rather than staying to fight in her hometown.

Another thing - if a new Slayer is called after the old one dies, how come Kendra had so much prior training before she came to Sunnydale, and how come she didn't bring her own Watcher with her?

[> [> Re: good/bad guys in europe -- Ryuei, 11:25:54 12/04/01 Tue

I don't think it was ever stated where Kendar was from exactly, though I believe it was from outside the US. And of course there was the Chinese slayer during the Boxer Rebellion (she didn't go to Sunnydale). So according to the mythology of the show there have been slayers all over the world and it is a big plot hole as to why Buffy needs to be at that particular hell mouth.

As for Buffy's training, it is part of the backstory covered in the comic book (and inadequately in the movie) that Buffy was discovered late by her first watcher Merrick.

I think the problem here is that the plot hole of Buffy being inadequately trained and having to be located at the Hell Mouth wasn't quite so gaping in the first season, but now that things have developed above and beyond Sunnydale (esp. in Angel) it stretches credibility more and more.
Buffy & Socrates...Help! -- Adam, 15:41:33 12/03/01 Mon

First of all, let me say that I have been lurking here for about six months, and it is so interesting to see all of the different viewpoints about everything in Buffyverse. And this board, perhaps, is part of the reason I have this dilemma! (I still love it though!)

Although I have frequently referenced Buffy and/or Angel in my classes before, this year I was assigned certain dialogues of Socrates (Plato) and I noticed some parallels to Buffy. So when it came time for me to submit a paper proposal, I said I would talk about how Socrates applies to Buffyverse. Although I have some ideas, I have a tiny problem in that my professor has never seen Buffy and he doesn't want the focus of the paper to be too much explaining. So...I have to try to find examples of Socrates in Buffy that don't require too much explanation. So, I respectfully and humbly offer a request for help from you posters who are very knowledgeable about both philosophy and Buffy.

The section I was assigned are: The Republic, The Apology, The Crito, and The Phaedo.

So far, I was thinking about including:
* the use of the Cave metaphor in Buffy in that the crazies (a.k.a. those who have seen the light) are able to see things as they are, unlike us (i.e., Dawn)
* Socrates' acceptance of death, and relating it to Buffy's swan dive
* Socrates' statement that why do we assume that death leads to hell, and applying it to Willow's justification of the Osiris invocation
* also, there was a statement about losing a soul and how it leads to general nastiness, which could be related to Angel but that requires an awful lot of explaining.

I would greatly appreciate any insight anybody could give me. (Also, I am sorry if this posts twice, I'm a little trigger-happy with that enter key.)


(P.S. Love the AtPoBtVS site, too. That's how I found this board to begin with!)
[> Re: Buffy & Socrates...Help! -- Yellowork, 15:54:42 12/03/01 Mon

Hi there! I once did a course on the historical evidence for Socrates — it was a Classics thing rather than a philosophy thing so bear with me. The dialogue that we examined in detail in (eek!) Greek was the Ion, which is worth a look, as it uses an interesting metaphor for divine inspiration which seems to have a certain bearing on Buffy as it goes. Soccer sees the Muse who is the source of creativity as the original magnet. She 'magnetizes' a mortal who on the one hand is attracted to her and on the other hand becomes a magnet himself. The cycle then begins again, with the mortal attracting other mortals through 'magnetism', and they in turn gaining the power of attraction and therefore picking up their own followers. We might think about this idea when dealing with the oral / traditional / folk / natural aspect of witchcraft in the buffyverse and at the same time when thinking about the origins of vampires.
[> [> Thanks...sounds more like vamps to me. (NT) -- Adam, 16:15:50 12/03/01 Mon

[> Well obviously you need to get your professor watching Buffy! ;) -- vandalia, 21:14:29 12/03/01 Mon

Just think of the extra credit loaning your old season 1 tapes will bring!
The Soul, the Hell, her Life and his Slayer (spoilers) -- Yellowork, 16:03:36 12/03/01 Mon

In 'Amends' the whole question of why Angel returned in 'Faith Hope and Trick' is dealt with at length; why then assume the only reason why Buffy turned up 'alive' in Season Six is as a result of Willow's magic? In other words, why assume that Buffy was drawn back to this world essentially at the behest of a young yet talented witch?
Whether Buffy's spirit was in Heaven, in Hell, in Limbo, in Purgatory or simply at Rest, the Buffyverse is full of creatures which deal in and dwell in these places, and it seems fairly plausible that she was sent or expelled by some force on that side, one which had some purpose in the world, and, perhaps, has an influence or 'patronage' of Willow?
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere
And I'm here for the hell of it now"
(Kirsty MacColl)
[> Because it lessons the gravity of Willow's crime -- Charlemagne20, 16:29:11 12/03/01 Mon

I disagree.

In Angel we didn't know how Angel came back just that he did. However Osiris's intervention aside WILLOW did the spell, WILLOW worked the magic, and WILLOW bears cullability for messing buffy over.

Saying "God kicked me out because I played rough with the baby jesus"

is rather insulting both religiously that Buffy has earned her rest and to her plight being trapped on Earth while getting Willow off the hook.

It's a pretty big plotpoint.
[> [> Re: Because it lessons the gravity of Willow's crime -- Rufus, 17:04:52 12/03/01 Mon

Crime.........I don't quite see Willows actions as a crime and that is because of her intent. Willow didn't bring Buffy back out of malice, she brought her back because she loved her friend. She also made the assumption that because Buffy jumped into a portal that she could only have ended up in a hell dimension. The only problem now is that Buffy see's the world as a big ol lemon....instead of just being repulsed and depressed about her situation, Buffy ought to start making some lemonade...;)
[> [> [> I agree with Charlie... -- CaptainPugwash, 04:38:12 12/04/01 Tue

But Buffy didn't jump into anything - as far I know, Angel disappeared completely (body'n'all) when he was sent to hell... (I may be wrong)

Buffy FELL THROUGH a portal, was killed, and her dead body was buried like anyone else. There were no grounds for just assuming that she was in hell.

Like everyone else who believes Buffy's resurrection was a crime(a theft and a betrayal, I've had to accept the new reality (as Buffy is doing) and 'move on'. I'm not angry with Willow any more, but I still believe what she did was selfish and wrong.

The ONLY excuse for Willow's actions is that Buffy was not meant to die in the first place, but that raises all sorts of issues (TPTB etc, and Buffy's own judgement). Willow becomes a Judas/Satan figure who commits an evil act (betrayal for Judas/rebellion & vengeance for Satan) in order for the unknown 'Big Plan' to unfold. In retrospect the actions of all three are necessary, but they are still wrong within the context of the present. Resolve the paradox yourself.
[> [> [> [> Re: I agree with Charlie... -- Rufus, 08:37:14 12/04/01 Tue

Willow may have made a mistake in thinking based upon fear but I don't see her bringing Buffy back as a betrayal. If Willow betrays Buffy it will have to be a result of something she does in the here and now. If Buffy wasn't meant to be dead then unintentionally Willow did the right thing.
[> [> [> [> Re: I agree with Charlie... -- skeve, 11:09:15 12/06/01 Thu

CaptainPugwash wrote:
Buffy FELL THROUGH a portal, was killed, and her dead body was buried like anyone else. There were no grounds for just assuming that she was in hell.

There was at least one. The Scoobies had fairly direct knowledge that there were hell dimensions, but until Buffy came back, they had no such knowledge regarding any heaven dimension, much less a zillion.

An interesting question is whether Willow's spell would have worked if Buffy had been in a hell dimension.

A nastier possibility was that Buffy might have been blocking the portal and raising her might have opened it again.
[> [> [> [> [> Well Willow is Jewish....that implies knowledge of Heaven -- Charlemagne20, 12:47:46 12/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well Willow is Jewish... -- Maxwell, 17:30:30 12/08/01 Sat

I'm sorry but Willow is not really Jewish. She comes from a Jewish family and had a Jewish upbringing, but Willow is a Wicca. Not that the two are necessary mutually exclusive, but I don’t remember Willow ever mentioning her Jewish beliefs.
This brings up an interesting point. Willows problem with magic may be routed in a lack of spirituality (Wiccan, Jewish or otherwise). Just a thought.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> In "Listening to Fear" Willow refers to herself as Jewish -- Isabel, 17:54:08 12/08/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Calling oneself 'Jewish' can be as much a cultural identification as a religious one. -- A8, 17:15:22 12/10/01 Mon

In Willow's case, she has used her 'Jewish' identification to distinguish herself from Christians on a few occasions. Two that come to mind:

In 'Passion,' she notes that she doesn't think Ira Rosenberg would be too thrilled knowing his first born has affixed a cross to her room.

In 'Amends,' she takes offense to the SG's reference to the winter break as "Christmas Vacation" and encourages them to get into the Chanukkah spirit.
[> Re: The Soul, the Hell, her Life and his Slayer (spoilers) -- Rufus, 17:14:11 12/03/01 Mon

In Restless, Buffy was told that she didn't know what she would become....

TARA VOICEOVER: You think you know ... what's to come ... what you are. You haven't even begun.

I do think what happened with Buffy coming back was something she had already been told in Restless. When Buffy sacrificed herself I knew that even though she died she still had not begun...death was only a step in the direction. Buffy risked the pain and died to save her sister. I see her confusion and despair temporary until she finally gets why she is back.
[> [> Re: The Soul, the Hell, her Life and his Slayer (spoilers) -- DEN, 18:33:30 12/03/01 Mon

maybe this has been discussed earlier, but if so I can't find the threads. I'm asking for input from the board's heav y hitters on this: Buffy is the only character I'm aware of in Western popular culture-- TV, movies, fiction, fantasy-- who has been overtly unhappy with being brought back from the dead. Everybody else in that situation has been grateful, though for a variety of reasons. In other words life has been affirmed as preferable to death, no matter the nature of the afterlife. Now if I'm right about Buffy's uniqueness (or near uniqueness):

1. Joss has once again done something stupefyingly original, whose cultural ramifications are just beginning to be understood

2. The Scoobies had a good excuse for assuming that WHATEVER happened to Buffy, WHEREVER she might be, and though she might condemn the method used, she would be glad to have her life restored.
[> [> [> I'm not one of the heavy hitters, but... -- Cactus Watcher, 07:53:52 12/04/01 Tue

I certainly remember an earlier character who was brought back from the dead and was thoroughly unhappy with it... Darla! Was it David Greenwalt's idea or Joss' idea? Who knows?
[> [> [> [> Re: I'm not one of the heavy hitters, but... -- Rufus, 08:39:20 12/04/01 Tue

Darla wasn't upset about being back as much as she was pissed at the form she was brought back in. To be back as a human with all the weaknesses(that's all Darla saw human emotions ect as)infuriated her. She was again powerless, stuck getting by on her sexuality.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not one of the heavy hitters, but... -- DEN, 09:53:33 12/04/01 Tue

You and Cactus Watcher are exactly what I mean when I think of "heavy hitters:" the kind of posters who regularly leave their readers in states ranging from impressed up to dazzled-- and I appreciate the time taken to address this rather limited point.
[> [> [> [> [> [> It's *not* a 'limited point', DEN, I think it's extremely important to the entire current season. -- OnM, 08:31:42 12/05/01 Wed

The idea of a character who has been brought back from the dead and isn't happy about it isn't new, I recall reading an SF story way back in the 60's that dealt with just this issue.

You are quite correct, however, that it is a very rare topic in modern Western culture, where life (at any cost) is automatically assumed to be good, and death represents the ultimate 'failure'.

To my way of thinking, this is a warped and childish perspective, and it's one of the reasons that I think that 'what is wrong with Buffy' is that she is now immortal, and that this occurrance does more than make her 'more like Spike', it calls into question the whole subject as to whether living forever is a desirable goal in the first place.

Joss often utilizes Western religious themes and symbolism, only to tweak them and present the paradoxes they often entail.

I'm pretty sure this is exactly where the rest of the season will go, and that the 'big bad' of S6 is not a being or creature so much as how we (and society) deal with death. Last season's later events weren't really about that subject in it's entirely, it was just the opening chords of the particular song.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Immortality and Fear -- Humanitas, 13:32:46 12/06/01 Thu

That brings to mind Adam's commentary on vampires, from "The 'I' in Team." He called vampires a paradox, in that "[They] fear death. Being immortal, [they] fear it more than those to whom it comes naturally." Now, a vampire is a rather different beast (so to speak) than an Immortal Buffy. For one thing, even though vampires are dead, they have never known what is on the other side of death. At least, we've never heard one speak of what it was like between the death of their mortal body and "waking up" as a vampire. In fact, that very phrase seems to indicate that they don't remember being dead any more than most people remeber being asleep. Even Darla doesn't (sorry - didn't) seem to have any memories of the span of years between her staking and being boxed up.

Buffy, on the other hand, remembers very vividly - that's the problem, in fact. Vampires fear death for the same reason that mortals do: it is the Great Unknown. The Slayer Reborn should have no fear of death, because it is no longer unknown.

Of course, this suggests the possibility that Buffy's Heaven was nothing more than a sort of lucid dream. We've been over this, but let me just say that whether it was 'real' or 'a dream' ultimately doesn't matter; what matters is that Buffy believes that it was real. As long as she believes that to be true, whether it is or not, she will behave as though it was. She will be both sad and (hopefully) fearless.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Immortality and Fear -- Rufus, 23:19:26 12/06/01 Thu

Could it be that Buffy was meant to remember where she had been? The unfortunate part being the spell to return her was incomplete, leaving a Buffy that is in constant conflict about her place here. I think that somehow that Buffy will be in for a revelation of her own when her damaged self begins to heal and regain that clarity from the platform in The Gift.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not one of the heavy hitters, but... -- CW, 11:20:20 12/04/01 Tue

You're right, of course, Rufus. I'm satisfied with her as an example, though, on a technicality. She wanted to be a vampire again, in other words dead. ;o)
Random observations from Wrecked (spoilers, obviously) -- Juliette, 16:11:16 12/03/01 Mon

I just saw Wrecked (it finally finished downloading!) these have probably been posted already but I just thought I'd share...

Random observation #1: Buffy's words to Spike ("What did you expect? That we'd read the newspaper and play footsie under the table?") reminded me of Angelus' comments to Buffy in 'Innocence' ("What did you expect? Choirs, birds singing?" OK, I can't remember exactly, it was something like that.)

Random observation #2: Dawn said Buffy goes straight to the fridge after patrolling and pigs out. In 'Faith Hope and Trick' Faith claimed tha slaying made her "hungry and horny" and Buffy agreed with hunry and refused to be drawn on horny.......

Signifcant? Or jut a sign that I watch far too much Buffy?
[> I noticed both those things too!!!! :) -- MayaPapaya9, 16:40:53 12/03/01 Mon

[> I had the same thoughts on #2 -- vampire hunter D, 11:52:01 12/04/01 Tue

And looking back, it looks like Faith was right. All 4 times she's gotten it on with a new guy, it was preceded by a major fight. So, I guess slaying does make her horny, too.
[> Re: Random observations from Wrecked (spoilers, obviously) -- blackbeauty, 17:43:05 12/04/01 Tue

ok, just out of curiosity, you said you'd downloaded "wreaked". would someone mind telling me where cause i can't get to a tv and it's killing me
[> [> downloadable episodes -- pagangodess, 06:26:01 12/05/01 Wed

You can download eps from a few different places. I get mine from, works like Napster. You can also try Someone mentioned morpeus as well, I think it was grifter.

Hope this helps. Although if you only have dial-up, you are in for a lond wait.

[> [> [> Re: downloadable episodes -- Juliette, 08:46:42 12/06/01 Thu

I got mine from kazaa. Morpheus is the same thing. It takes days, at least a week per ep, as I only have 56k modem. If you're paying for the phone bill while online (in the UK)don't even think about trying!
Theory on Spike's chip and Buffy (spoilers for Smashed) -- T-rex, 17:12:35 12/03/01 Mon

Someone on this board suggested that Spike's chip works by gathering and processing minute sensory details that the conscious mind would probably miss, thus sorting creatures into classications of human or demon.

So, my theory is that one of the things this chip thingie picks up on is fear. Vampire gets bumpy, human feels a little terror, or at least aprehension, and the pheromone mix changes enough to tell the chip that this creature is human.

So what if Buffy doesn't set off the chip because she is no longer afraid of anything? Not that she was scared of Spike, necessarily, but maybe pre-death Buffy still had enough of a trace of apprehension to tell the chip she was human. Now that she has been brought back from Heaven unwillingly, she really couldn't care less if she died again.

So, she is still human. But she is missing something that practically every other human on the planet still has...Fear of death.

Now, I realize that when Spike popped Tara, and later Xander, the popees in question weren't expecting it and therefore weren't afraid before. But maybe the fear occurs in that split second during and after the blow. Then the migraine for poor Spike.

So let me know if you like this idea. Or not. Apologies if someone else has already suggested this. I *try* to read every thread!
[> Re: Theory on Spike's chip and Buffy (spoilers for Smashed) -- sl, 18:15:57 12/03/01 Mon

very interesting!
[> Seems to make sense to me -- pagangodess, 18:34:39 12/03/01 Mon

[> Re: Theory on Spike's chip and Buffy (spoilers for Smashed) -- change, 03:35:28 12/04/01 Tue

What about all those vampires and demons Spike kills? Wouldn't they be afraid of him? According to Adam in WAY, vampires have a very strong fear of death.
[> [> Re: Theory on Spike's chip and Buffy (spoilers for Smashed) -- Rufus, 08:31:24 12/04/01 Tue

Yes, the vampire as a paradox, they are immortal but fear death more than mortals do. They seem to fear the finality of death more than humans.
[> [> [> Re: Theory on Spike's chip and Buffy (spoilers for Smashed) -- Rob, 09:21:35 12/04/01 Tue

"Yes, the vampire as a paradox, they are immortal but fear death more than mortals do. They seem to fear the finality of death more than humans."

Yes! I believe that is because they have already "died" once, and have had a second chance. If they were dusted, however, that would be it. The End. After already believing they have conquered death by becoming vampires, the worst thing for them would to have that be taken away from them.

About the theory at the start of this thread, I think it is an interesting one, but I do not believe that that is what really happened with the chip. My first reason is that I am not so sure demons and vampires don't feel fear. In fact, I think they do. Secondly, I think it would be too easy if Buffy had come back with nothing wrong with her. She was brought back from the dead. We were told by Spike that magic always has consequences. And what's more, Willow's spell was not completed before the urn was broken. I think that is part of the reason for Buffy coming back less human than before. I think it is far more fascinating to find out that Buffy is no longer fully human than merely a lack of fear. Also, I think the chip, being as technologically advanced as it is, would pick up on more than merely fear. I think it does some sort of scan of the creature's physiology, to determine whether it be human or demon. But, as I said before, I do think it's a nice theory. I just don't agree with it.

[> [> [> [> LOL...sure we aren't related????:):):) -- Rufus, 14:52:05 12/05/01 Wed

[> Ok, so what about me? -- vampire hunter D, 11:48:51 12/04/01 Tue

I don't fear death. Actually, I'm kinda looking forward to it. So, if your hypothosis proved correct, would Spike's chip go off when he hit me?
[> Problem with this theory... -- Moose, 13:54:42 12/04/01 Tue

The chip has always been seen as preventing Spike from phyically harming humans. To make it dependant on the person being attacked to "trigger" the chip won't fly.

What you are suggesting would allow Spike to attack people that are asleep, unconscious, drugged etc., who don't respond because they are unaware.

It's Spike's awareness that seems to matter. His intent, not the victims reality. Example: Spike's attempt to club Xander over the head with a wrench when he wasn't looking sets off the chip (forgot the name of the ep--the one where Spike tries to stake himself.)

What I find interesting is the chip going off when Spike aims a gun at Xander. It is unclear whether he even intended harm (which was unlikely) but the chip didn't like it. Could be that even carelessness on the part of Spike that could harm a human will trigger the chip. At least if Spike is aware he is being careless and harm could come from it.

What would be interesting is to know whether the chip would activate if Spike unknowingly put someone in danger, like handing them a poisoned cup of wine. It could be that the chip would activate the moment Spike realized that he had harmed someone, no matter how inadvertently. Or maybe not. Who knows? I doubt the writers would explore it much since it would reveal the weaknesses of the plot device.
[> Re: How do you feel? -- bible belt, 16:49:08 12/04/01 Tue

I think the chip picks up on the fact that Buffy can't feel any more, rather than, she doesn't care if she dies. With demons and the human condition, the demons, being alienated, don't feel the way humans feel, and Buffy doesn't feel human anymore. Has Spike been shown to draw down on any benevolent type demons since he was chipped? Apparently he doesn't have a problem with puppies or kittens but then again. That's probably pretty lame but my two cents anyway.
Happy Holidays (this was just emailed to me) -- pagangodess, 21:09:32 12/03/01 Mon

I know you will want to get a jump on the holiday season, so here is a new recipe for you to try.

I've never cared much for fruitcake, but I may try this one.

1 cup water
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped nuts
1 gallon wine

Sample the wine to check for quality.

Take a large bowl.

Check the wine again to make sure that it is of the highest quality.
Pour 1 level cup and drink. Repeat if you're not sure.

Turn on the electric mixer and beat 1 cup of butter in a large bowl.

Add 1 tsp. sugar and beat again.

Make sure the wine is still okay. Cry another tup.

Turn off the mixer.

Break two legs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters, pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the wine again to check for tonsisticity.

Next sift 2 cups of salt, or something. Who cares.

Check the wine.

Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add 1 table. Spoon. Of sugar or flour or something. Whatever you can find.

Grease the oven.

Turn the cake pan to 350 degrees.

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Throw one bowl out the window.

Check the wine again. Go to bed.

Who gives a shit about fruitcake anyway?

Die hard fruitcake fans may substitute wine for brandy.
[> LOL! Thanks, pagan ;o) -- Wisewoman, 08:11:56 12/04/01 Tue

The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- Aquitaine, 21:35:07 12/03/01 Mon

When I saw "Wrecked" on Saturday, I thought that the destroyed building in which Buffy and Spike wake looked like a church, particularly in the way in which the light falls on Buffy as she is dressing, when she leaps away from Spike and when she says "like you're God's gift". Tonight, it occurred to me that the angle of the light beams (particularly when she is standing alone) is almost identical to that of the rays of divine light in Bernini's "The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa".

Here's a link to a picture of the sculpture/installation, in case you are interested:

And here's a description I found of what the sculpture portrays:

"It depicts a vision described by the saint, in which an angel pierced Teresa's body repeatedly with an arrow, transporting her to a state or religious ecstasy and a sense of oneness with God. From this picture, you can see that there are golden rays of light shooting down from the heavens and the angel has an extraordinary smile as she aims the golden arrow toward St. Teresa's chest... St. Theresa had a powerful personal experience, one that surely would classify as an epiphany, meaning a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something. In this case, it was the realization of intimate closeness to God..."

::cough:: Buffy *was* pretty sore from being... er... pierced over and over again... But I'll let you guys convert the imagery on your own.


IIRC, in "Life Serial", Buffy became engrossed by a renaissance (wink wink) book and a photo of the sculpture of Saint Theresa as she "lost track of time".

IMO, the concatenation of spiritual and religious references relating to both Spike and Buffy is leading up to something momentous. We have already seen Buffy with angel wings in AL, assume the name Joan in TR, wear filmy, diaphanous tops, be told she has a 'calling' by Spike in "Wrecked"... Last year, in "Intervention", we heard the Buffybot call out Spike's name right after the spirit guide speaks to Buffy about 'her gift'. In "Wrecked", Buffy tries but does not succeed in making her "like you're God's gift" sound sarcastic.

For his part, Spike has 'saved' Buffy every night. He was wearing a never-before-seen purple shirt in "Wrecked". Purple denotes royalty, magic, and it is also the liturgical colour for the season of Advent "for purple shows the majesty which heralds the coming of the King of Kings"...

OK, folks. Help! What the heck is going on here? After 5 lay years, how come we've fallen into this type of religious iconography and mythology. And, what does it all mean?

[> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- Nina, 21:42:57 12/03/01 Mon

I have no idea what it means... but I certainely love your ideas... It makes good food for thoughts for the night! Thanks! :)
[> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- d'Herblay, 22:03:58 12/03/01 Mon

The Friday after the showing of "Life Serial" we had two long exegeses touching on Bernini's Santa Teresa posted within fifteen minutes of each other. The less notable of these two was my own "Social Construction . . . " essay, now at Fictionary Corner. Of more interest, and currently lost in the non-existent October archives, is an incredible post by Tillow, and an interesting follow-up by Cleanthes. These have to do with Buffy's time in heaven and her taste of divine ecstasy. (My own reading is colored by my understanding that Teresa may have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, and is much more secular in nature.)

But if this religious imagery means that the now-chipped Spike has become the messenger of divine love, I'm going to be the one with the headache.
[> [> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- Rufus, 22:10:42 12/03/01 Mon

I don't think the messenger is Spike....though I think Spike may get the message as divine love is offered to all, who only have to accept it.
[> [> [> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- mereh2o, 04:09:53 12/04/01 Tue

Wasn't that Spike's "bloody revelation"? The possibility that Buffy (if she represents the divine) could love him? That she felt something more than lust during sex?
[> [> [> [> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- Rufus, 08:27:46 12/04/01 Tue

I don't think that Spike has gone that far yet. He feels that his revelation is a sexual one at this point. He will really get it once he extends that to loving humans is better than killing and consuming them. Buffy is a good start. He knows something has changed but when hurt by Buffy he went back to trying to associate people to goodies. He didn't however seem to be much bothered that he couldn't finish the attack on that woman in the alley. He felt that there was nothing wrong with him, but something wrong with her.
[> [> [> [> [> Nothing wrong with me -- dsf, 18:22:32 12/05/01 Wed

That's what I was trying to remember. Spike says to himself, "Nothing wrong with me. Something wrong with her." Well, since when would a breakdown in the chip constitute something wrong with Spike? That's only true if the chip, or the behavior it enforces, has become part of him. Can't make up his mind about it, can he?

[> [> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- Aquitaine, 21:15:39 12/04/01 Tue

I was spoiler- and board-free at the time "Life Serial" aired so thanks for pointing me to your (rather prophetic!) essay.

You bring up an interesting point about a possible secular reason behind St. Theresa's vision(s). For all we know, there may be something 'wrong' with Buffy organically. She *is* a reanimated corpse after all.

[> [> [> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- d'Herblay, 05:47:42 12/05/01 Wed

It threw me for a bit: me? A prophet? Huh? Then I recalled the "booty call theory" I threw in at the end of the essay. Sure looks good in retrospect, doesn't it?

If you want real fun with secular reasoning and Buffy's return, you ought to look into the endorphin debate we had following "After Life." Of course, it too is lost somewhere between Masq's computer and Liq's, i.e., you can see it as soon as I code the October archives. The dramatization I wrote of the endorphin theory, "Apocryphal Buffy 1," may be finally posted to fictionary corner at any moment though.

[> [> [> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- rowan, 07:55:33 12/05/01 Wed

In the shooting script for Wrecked, MN has Buffy realizing that the night with Spike was 'everything she needed' including: "Escape. Release. Ecstasy." That's a quote, BTW.

Interesting choice of words...

[> [> [> [> "Escape. Release. Ecstasy."Release. Ecstasy." -- Herself, 08:00:30 12/05/01 Wed

And VERY interesting that they were dropped. Hearing her say that would put a different spin on their morning after.
[> [> [> [> [> Where's the script? Is it available somewhere? -- Nina, 08:37:16 12/05/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> These were MN's notes in the shooting script, not dialogue. -- rowan, 09:37:37 12/05/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> Still where did you get this info? (or is it secret?) -- Nina, 15:36:47 12/05/01 Wed

You can't just tease us like that and hide! :)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Still where did you get this info? (or is it secret?) -- rowan, 17:15:23 12/05/01 Wed

I was in a chat where someone had a copy of the shooting script and read off the details.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> So is there more? -- Rufus, 17:18:46 12/05/01 Wed

Not being pushy.....just grabby for information..;)
[> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- Tanker, 22:30:41 12/03/01 Mon

I just thought of something... remember the end of "Earshot," when Giles suggests that Buffy take Jonathon to the Prom? She replies, "Who am I, Saint Buffy?"

[> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- Moose, 22:47:44 12/03/01 Mon

St., it's too much! Besides, his "arrow" is bent. ;-)

And Spike keeps getting the shaft from Buffy, not really the kindly thing to do to the one who "brought the house down" with her.

Perhaps Buffy sees the sexcapades as falling short of the divine she experienced. Maybe Spike's attempt at "religious ecstasy" just reminded her of how far the angel has fallen. In that respect, I can finally understand Buffy's comment of "preverse and degrading". What lover could compare to the ecstasy of heaven. Poor Spike...
[> Ah, what would I do without you people? well, miss a lot of subtle stuff is what. thanks, Aq. -- res, 23:33:07 12/03/01 Mon

[> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- mereh2o, 02:18:44 12/04/01 Tue

Here are a few other connections between Spike and St. Theresa, but I'm not sure what they mean:

St. Theresa is the patron saint of headache-sufferers and writers. That describes Willliam the Bloody Poet's situation pretty aptly.

The symbols of St. Theresa are the book, the heart, and the arrow. In Fool For Love, when Dru turns William, she points to his strengths, which are his head (the book?), his chest (the heart?) and his... "imagination" (the arrow?).

The only other parallel that I can draw is that Spike, although hardly angelic, is immortally adolescent like the cherub piercing Theresa's heart. Perhaps he is a messenger of sorts.
[> [> Re: The Ecstasy of Buffy Anne Summers -- grifter, 04:20:59 12/04/01 Tue

It rather sounds like Buffy is the "angel" to Spike´s "St. Theresa" to me...maybe there´s something big ahead for Spike and Buffy´s the PTB´s "messenger"...
[> This is fascinating, thanks. -- verdantheart, 06:16:51 12/04/01 Tue

[> Glib answer -- darrenK, 06:44:28 12/04/01 Tue

Maybe it means that Marti Noxon went to Catholic School?dK
[> Re: Thank god. -- mundusmundi, 08:01:36 12/04/01 Tue

I picked up on that "God's gift" line too, though not the church imagery. Don't know what it means, but it seems ME is using sex and drugs to distract us from something grander and more pertinent on the horizon (or at least I hope so). Nice extension of the earlier ideas of Tillow, d'Herblay, et al, Aq. Thanks, I needed that.
[> Lovely, lovely post...some thoughts. -- rowan, 09:17:11 12/04/01 Tue

Aq, what a lovely and evocative post. You have such a wonderful feel for subtle imagery and detail. I would estimate that I only noticed about 50% of these clues. I think we know that ME has a feel for this type of imagery, because we’ve seen it used for Angel and his various epiphanies (both dark and light). Of course, everyone knew that I’d have an opinion, right?

Buffy, Spike, & also Dawn are on a journey of enlightenment together. These are the three people in Tabula Rasa who have no identity. Seasons 6/7 are about the three of them exploring their origins and identities to varying degrees. Let’s take a look at each one.

In both Restless and Buffy vs. Dracula, we were given clues about the origins of Slayers. Tara and Dracula both let Buffy know that she had no idea what she really was or would become. Dracula hinted that the source of Buffy’s power as Slayer is dark, like that of vampires. In After Life, we see Buffy posed in the cemetary like a dark angel. In Smashed, we were left with the idea that Buffy is now ‘less than human’ since her return from death.

Spike is one of those figures who is defined more by what he isn’t than what he is. He’s not a vampire and he’s not a human. In Xander’s dream in Restless, Spike is being trained as a Watcher by Giles. Spike is constantly referring to watching Buffy’s back. Spike is Giles’s son in Tabula Rasa.

Dawn’s identity is even murkier than Buffy and Spike’s, if that’s possible. She’s the Key. She’s opens the way to dimensions. She’s ancient and her power is absolute. She is pure energy, now merged into a human girl. Or possibly a not so human girl. In The Gift, Buffy claims she was made out of her and we know Buffy’s blood was an acceptable substitute for Dawn. Dawn was made from a Slayer. Various imagery demonstrates that Dawn is the symbolic child who unites Buffy and Spike as parents.

What the heck does all this mean?

Eventually I think we’ll come to learn that Slayers and demons have the same cosmic stuff as their source. To relate this to the Judeo-Christian tradition, Lucifer was an angel, the morning star who fell and became Satan. Ultimately, the hoardes of heaven and hell are waging an eternal civil war. The Slayers and the demons are waging a similar war. ME’s Buffyverse seems to value balance. Possibly in the far distant past, some of the original cosmic stuff went out of balance – it embraced too much of the dark side of itself. This created demons. In order to keep the overall cosmic balance, Slayers arose from the cosmic stuff, taking on the role of warriors for the light. This keeps the balance on the cosmic level.

However, since evil is now shown to be a conscious choice against balance, rather than a genetic imperative, each individual demon and each individual Slayer must also keep internal balance. Since they are made of the same cosmic stuff, it’s an internal fight to keep the balance neutral and not lean too much towards dark or light. Slayers wield tremendous power. With that power comes responsibility. Buffy has always been shown to be a "good" character, but she has been tempted to dark actions at times. In the past, we’ve been perhaps shown that Buffy must resist this dark in order to remain good. Faith, for example, was Slayer gone bad. She had too much dark. The story arc showed that Buffy had to kill Faith (subdue the dark?) in order to triumph. Goodness, again with the religious names, huh?

But that was a very simplistic message, wasn’t it? And I’m not entirely convinced that Buffy learned the lesson adequately. In her dream after Angel almost drained her, Faith told her to ‘take what she needed’ of her stuff. Buffy only took the knowledge about how to defeat the Mayor. What if she was supposed to take the knowledge about how to integrate her own dark side so that she could remain in balance? What if Buffy didn’t understand that Faith was supposed to serve as her guide? What if most of what Buffy has been doing to suppress her dark side since S4 started has been both wrong and dangerous?

In Smashed, Anya talks about responsible types that go off the deep end once temptation is presented. Buffy, of course, interprets this that she must resist being tempted by Spike. But Anya’s point may be deeper. If one lives in better balance between dark and light, then dark doesn’t become such an irresistible pit. Buffy may be in more danger of falling into darkess the harder she tries to be solely light. In the song "Going Through the Motions", Buffy talks about having been ‘kinda righteous’. She was and is. She still sees things in terms of good and evil. She struggles with gray, even though Giles told her in Lie to Me that life is shades of gray. She fears her dark side (which has always been present) means she really might be evil. Her attraction to Spike enhances that worry. She worries that she’s not made out of the good stuff that others are. Therefore, the ‘less than human arc’ will be Buffy’s life lesson that yes, she is different from other humans. But she will also learn she has other companions and her family will extend. She will also learn that everyone contains the potential for good and evil inside themselves and that everyone must struggle to maintain the balance.

As Buffy struggles to learn her origins and what being ‘less than human’ means, she gets to have a Guide to help her. Spike is her Guide. Buffy wasn’t able to learn what she needed from Faith. She wasn’t ready. So she gets Spike instead. Poor girl, poor girl. ::shaking head:: But I digress. Spike takes over from Giles as Buffy’s Watcher. While Spike can never speak with the moral authority of Giles, he is made from the same cosmic stuff as Buffy, so he fundamentally understands the struggle for balance. Spike also has tremendous insight into people, which makes him invaluable for Buffy as she searches into the very mysteries of identity. Spike is truly God’s gift to Buffy, because he is a companion for her on the road that can provide wisdom.

But Spike is more than the Guide. He’s also part of the lesson, because he’s some of the dark that Buffy must incorporate. His dark side tempts her. It’s because it’s what she needs. When she gives into it, she experiences joy and freedom. That’s why we’re getting all the revelation and ecstasy imagery. That is the positive part of the gift (thankfully, she gets something for being ripped out of heaven). The tension comes from the fact that as Buffy and Spike continue their relationship, she will have to struggle so that she doesn’t get too much dark from Spike. Again, it’s all about the balance. But without accepting the dark, by continuing to deny it, she’ll never grow or be truly happy.
The relationship also gets more problematic and angsty (and its end gets murkier and more in doubt) by the fact that Spike is on a journey too, and he needs guidance. He needs to incorporate more light into his nature to balance his dark. His relationship with Buffy helps with that, but I think only in the sense that Buffy creates an opportunity for Spike. She is, in her role as Joan, God’s grace falling on Spike. It’s undeserved, but he gets forgiveness anyway. But he has to do the hard work himself and I truly think Dawn is probably Spike’s Guide in that work. His relationship with her seems to be what unlocks the more mature aspects of his personality. He was her protector first, then Buffy’s watcher, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Spike guides Buffy while being guided by Dawn (who is a part of Buffy).

Buffy’s discovery of her origins will also ultimately enlighten Spike, since he will learn that he’s also cosmic stuff and that he can change his life if he wants to. His nature is not his doom. In some ways, the entire Buffy and Spike relationship will symbolize a balance of dark and light, with Spike representing the dark and Buffy the light. So now we have internal balance, relationship balance, and cosmic balance. Whew!

Dawn’s origins are murky. I’m not sure where she fits in. She links Buffy and Spike as their symbolic daughter. She is the balance point, the energy that makes things happen. She opens dimensions. One must really wonder, if a Slayer and a vampire achieve balance through their relationship, will this somehow negate the original split of the Slayer and vampire lines? With Dawn, can they somehow open dimensions to rebalance the cosmos so that Earth is no longer plagued by demons? Who knows? We can only guess.
[> [> Aquitane, rowan--Wow. Beautiful. I love this forum so much! -- Dyna, 10:28:50 12/04/01 Tue

[> [> [> Me, too. It's great we've all found it, huh? -- rowan, 10:30:38 12/04/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> Re: Me, too. It's great we've all found it, huh? -- Herself, 11:09:55 12/04/01 Tue

Yes! Beautiful, well considered posts. And very persuasive.

Worthy of the epic that Buffy's become.
[> [> The problem for Spike ... -- Shiver, 12:00:15 12/04/01 Tue

... is that he had 126 years of vampire life, raised by Darla, Angelus, and Dru, while he's only had 2+ years of chipped life, and his "family" consists of people who can barely tolerate his presence and continually remind him that he's evil and not worthy of their complete trust.

So IMO, Buffy has an easier road to reaching balance than Spike does.
[> [> Guides -- fresne, 12:15:19 12/04/01 Tue

Spike as Buffy's guide, in place of Giles, is especially intriguing because this is the journey from which Buffy was sidetracked in season 5.

After years of avoiding the darker issues of her own nature, Buffy's nightly hunts and her confrontation with Dracula forces the realization that she needs to know more about what she is.

Her desire for self knowledge is the reason Giles stays in America. He was ready to go, even after the events of Restless. Giles the brain vs. Giles the teacher whose student is ready to move on.

Giles teaching/Buffy's study takes the form of meditation and reading texts of ancient Slayers. She's in the best shape that she's ever been, but it isn't enough. In FfL, she gets a stake in the gut.

The texts that she reads can tell her nothing. They cannot answer questions. It rather puts me to mind of (I believe) Phaedrus in which Socrates speaks/Plato writes of the origins of writing. Basically, Thoth/Theuth is very pleased to have created this gee whiz neato thing that will preserve all knowledge. Ra's response is that one of writing's flaws is that unlike a person, it is not reactive.

Ultimately, Buffy must approach someone with first hand knowledge, Spike, to be her guide. There is some significance that Lesson 1 is a story. Lesson 2 is a dance.

Passive texts that detail the lives of other Slayers, but which only give part of the picture. Incomplete stories with no ending. They can only tell her who she (other Slayers) have been. They cannot interact with her. They cannot connect with her current reality.

Buffy leaves Giles behind because he has taught her all he can and we return to his decision in Season Five.
Perhaps she is derailed from Season Five's avenue of self exploration because it isn't the right road to take.

Self knowledge won't come to Buffy through crystal mediation, but in action. Which reminds me that Buffy is in a perfect state of physical balance in tRM until Dawn comes into the room. Then Buffy falls over. An odd bit of foreshadowing of what came later.
[> [> Re: Lovely, lovely post...some thoughts. -- mundusmundi, 12:57:56 12/04/01 Tue

Wonderful. I especially like this part --

Eventually I think we’ll come to learn that Slayers and demons have the same cosmic stuff as their source. To relate this to the Judeo-Christian tradition, Lucifer was an angel, the morning star who fell and became Satan. Ultimately, the hoardes of heaven and hell are waging an eternal civil war. The Slayers and the demons are waging a similar war. ME’s Buffyverse seems to value balance. Possibly in the far distant past, some of the original cosmic stuff went out of balance – it embraced too much of the dark side of itself. This created demons. In order to keep the overall cosmic balance, Slayers arose from the cosmic stuff, taking on the role of warriors for the light. This keeps the balance on the cosmic level.

-- and not just because I mentioned it a couple weeks ago in my Legion thread. You've taken it even further, suggesting that it is in this war between the cosmic "stuffs" between light and dark, good and evil, that Buffy must find her balance. In Legion, the protagonist suggests that "we" are the fallen angel, trying (as I mix metaphors) to put humpty-dumpty back together again. This demi-urge is on one hand the cause of all our conflict, of death and destruction; but it's also what spurs us to forge connections with each other, to seek out the good. If Buffy is indeed a "fallen" angel, how does her return redefine her journey? Is her destiny to return to where she was, to file a kind of spiritual baggage claim and recover whatever she's missing, or to remain on this earth accepting of what she is?
[> [> [> Re: Lovely, lovely post...some thoughts. -- rowan, 13:10:22 12/04/01 Tue

"-- and not just because I mentioned it a couple weeks ago in my Legion thread. You've taken it even further, suggesting that it is in this war between the cosmic "stuffs" between light and dark, good and evil, that Buffy must find her balance."

I think I missed that post (which I'll now have to go back and look up!). Of course, I could also have unintentionally plagiarized it, too. I read so much great stuff on the board and it goes into the big old crockpot of my head. It simmers, then comes out as stew. So I really should end all my posts crediting everything I've read here, just to be safe.

"You've taken it even further, suggesting that it is in this war between the cosmic "stuffs" between light and dark, good and evil, that Buffy must find her balance."

Yes, and that manifests itself through integrating her darker desires, both her internal impulses and frankly, what is externalized as Spike. Through that relationship she finds balance.

"If Buffy is indeed a "fallen" angel, how does her return redefine her journey? Is her destiny to return to where she was, to file a kind of spiritual baggage claim and recover whatever she's missing, or to remain on this earth accepting of what she is?"

Yes, I wonder what happens if she finds this balance (achieves the knowledge of the life lesson for which first Faith, and now Spike, is her Guide). Will she cease to need to exist on this plane? Will she become immortal on this plane, forever the champion of the ongoing civil war? Or will somehow this balance, with perhaps Dawn's assistance, result in putting everything back as it was before the fall? Will the demons retreat and the Slayers also? And if that retreat happens, does Buffy live out a human lifespan or does she return to the cosmic stew?

(who is not very good at the philosophy part, but is much better at the psychology part)
[> [> Re: Lovely, lovely post...some thoughts. -- Smash, 13:12:52 12/04/01 Tue

Rowan, your eloquent response to Aquitaine's thought-provoking post has raised in my mind the idea that Buffy is not *less* than human, but rather *more* than human. The Slayer has always been stronger than humans, but as Glory pointed out early last season, who isn't? (Most of the players in the struggle against or on behalf of The Powers That Be are superhuman. I can think of Angel, Buffy, Faith, Doyle, Primitive/First Slayer and the Host versus the First Evil, the Master, Glory, Wolfram & Hart and Faith as supernatural beings motivated for or against TPTB. Only a handful of "normal" humans fighting this war are depicted in the Buffyverse: the Scooby Gang, Angel's crew, the Watchers Council.)

So, who do TPTB call and why? The Council of Watchers called Buffy. Whistler brought Angel to Buffy, and then in "Amends" Buffy encouraged Angel to find his own mission for good. Once B and A split for good, The Powers gave Angel his own watcher-type person. When Doyle died, TPTB saw to it that they still had a connection to Angel. Now that Giles has left Buffy's side, it makes sense that The Powers would ensure a viable connection to her. Perhaps Buffy's resurrection simply demonstrates that now she doesn't need a connection to TPTB. She's already been to heaven. Maybe now her only guide is her internal sense of good and evil.

Maybe Buffy's not a saint exactly, but her time in Heaven can be compared to the St. Theresa's ecstacy when touched by God (or The Powers or whatever you'd like to call it). Buffy will live the rest of her life balancing the ecstacy of Heaven and the "ecstacy of grief."
[> [> Buffy and Spike, Yin and Yang, Key and Ki -- vandalia, 13:58:14 12/04/01 Tue

Rowan wrote:
Dawn's origins are murky. I'm not sure where she fits in. She links Buffy and Spike as their symbolic daughter. She is the balance point, the energy that makes things happen. She opens dimensions. One must really wonder, if a Slayer and a vampire achieve balance through their relationship, will this somehow negate the original split of the Slayer and vampire lines? With Dawn, can they somehow open dimensions to rebalance the cosmos so that Earth is no longer plagued by demons? Who knows? We can only guess.

I just realized something. Dawn is the 'Key' or mystical energy. 'Ki' is also a sort of mystical energy in the Eastern tradition, that 'binds the universe together' (no, Lucas didn't make up 'The Force' out of whole cloth) and is made up of 'Yin' and 'Yang' energies. So that would make Dawn the binding force, bringing Spike and Buffy together. And if you look at the Yin/Yang symbol, you'll see there's a dollop of light in the dark, and a dollop of dark in the light. Neither can exist without the other.

I really need one our resident Buddhist philosophers to take this and run with it, the above just about exhausts my knowledge. :) I never can remember which is light and which is dark...
[> [> [> Re: Buffy and Spike, Yin and Yang, Key and Ki -- Rufus, 14:41:33 12/04/01 Tue

You have a trinity of characters in Dawn, Buffy, and Spike. You have to wonder why these people are together and why now? Is there a purpose that was intended that these characters have to journey to find? Spike has been chipped for a period of time. He has proved that he can still be tempted by the lure of blood. So what is the place of a vampire in the journey of Buffy, who may be not exactly to slayer that left us in May?
I think that part of this has to do with the curse of vampirism. The demon that cursed man to be devoured by his own kind, put a pause on humanities development. There was an imbalance that had to be addressed. The creation of a Slayer was only part of a solution that doesn't seem to work. Could this trinity of people become a solution to a curse? Could they be the agents that balance humanity?
[> [> [> [> Re: Buffy and Spike, Yin and Yang, Key and Ki -- rowan, 15:48:20 12/04/01 Tue

"Could they be the agents that balance humanity?"

That's my theory. :) See my two posts above.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy and Spike, Yin and Yang, Key and Ki -- Aquitaine, 18:29:42 12/04/01 Tue

I really need one our resident Buddhist philosophers to take this and run with it, the above just about exhausts my knowledge. :) I never can remember which is light and which is dark...

Well I'm not a Buddhist philosopher, but I think the dark is female and the light male. Interesting... I'm starting to think Buffy may turn out to be 'darker' than Spike - and by that I don't mean more evil but perhaps more solemn.

[> [> Trinity in the Jossverse -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 16:23:59 12/04/01 Tue

Buffy, Spike and Dawn --

Mother, Son and Holy Ghost?

I'll let those who know more about Christianity kick this (and probably me) around.
[> [> [> Re: Trinity in the Jossverse -- Kimberly, 06:36:06 12/05/01 Wed

Although the Christian Trinity is Father, Son, Holy Spirit; the older Egyptian trinity is Father, Mother, Holy Child (Osiris, Isis, Horus). Perhaps Buffy, Spike and Dawn are pointing to an Egyptian reading of death and rebirth. I don't know much about The Book of the Dead; perhaps those who know more could talk about that.
[> [> Re: Lovely, lovely post...some thoughts. -- Rufus, 16:33:51 12/04/01 Tue

I will be interested in seeing if they go the route of Spike discovering that his humanity can have more of an impact on the actions of the demon than everyone, inluding Angel, thought. It has always been assumed that with demons there is no half way, what they have become will never change. But if you look at the human (with a soul) capacity for evil, then you have to relook at the demon capacity for good. I think the chip is the starting catalyst for the evolution of the vampire into becoming more than just a minion waiting for the old ones to return.
If you think of the infection of the soul of the demon into humanity to create chaos then you can take that a step further. As humanity is a complex system, there is an inherent order that can assert itself causing order to eventually manifest itself in a demon. Spike has had two things happen. First, the chip has stopped him from acting on his addiction, then he has been infected by love. "the same love will infect our hearts even if they no longer beat" Darlas words ring true for Spike, he is a human infected by a demon. He has still retained very human traits. He has always been succeptible to love. He's loves bitch, not the demons bitch. He has the right combination of humanity, capacity to love to break the curse of the demon. If that happens we would have a demon that is no longer ruled by the evil impulse. The original order of humanity will have evolved in a vessel infected with chaos.
[> [> Re: Lovely, lovely post...some thoughts. -- Rufus, 16:33:52 12/04/01 Tue

I will be interested in seeing if they go the route of Spike discovering that his humanity can have more of an impact on the actions of the demon than everyone, inluding Angel, thought. It has always been assumed that with demons there is no half way, what they have become will never change. But if you look at the human (with a soul) capacity for evil, then you have to relook at the demon capacity for good. I think the chip is the starting catalyst for the evolution of the vampire into becoming more than just a minion waiting for the old ones to return.
If you think of the infection of the soul of the demon into humanity to create chaos then you can take that a step further. As humanity is a complex system, there is an inherent order that can assert itself causing order to eventually manifest itself in a demon. Spike has had two things happen. First, the chip has stopped him from acting on his addiction, then he has been infected by love. "the same love will infect our hearts even if they no longer beat" Darlas words ring true for Spike, he is a human infected by a demon. He has still retained very human traits. He has always been succeptible to love. He's loves bitch, not the demons bitch. He has the right combination of humanity, capacity to love to break the curse of the demon. If that happens we would have a demon that is no longer ruled by the evil impulse. The original order of humanity will have evolved in a vessel infected with chaos.
[> [> [> Twice the Rufus can only be a good thing! -- rowan, 16:45:01 12/04/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> Brat -- Rufus, 17:10:43 12/04/01 Tue

It was the dreaded double post.....never my fault of course...:):):)
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Brat -- Rob, 12:42:53 12/05/01 Wed

Even worse is the dreaded double name! So many times, I've signed my name at the bottom of a post, went back up to correct or change something, and then signed it again. So you basically get something like this:

"And that is why Buffy is cool.



God, I hate that!



[> [> stunning, rowan, thank you. -- res, 17:49:42 12/04/01 Tue

[> [> Re: Lovely, lovely post...some thoughts. -- Aquitaine, 18:57:26 12/04/01 Tue

I like to notice details but I hate writing up my impressions in a coherent fashion. You, OTOH, have a talent for extemporising on and analysing said details that makes me quite envious! I definitely see a shifting of the Buffyverse energies toward more balance. It's fascinating to watch, a bit scary too.

Buffy, Spike, & also Dawn are on a journey of enlightenment together

I hadn't thought of it that way until Dawn said: "I'll just go look for some awake people". My hackles rose when I heard that.

I think that all three characters in search of their identity are very close to a breakthrough. Perhaps Spike has even had his already. I think Dawn is next in line while Buffy, as usual, will be the last to discover exactly who and what she is:)

[> I thought Spikes shirt was Blue... -- LOL, 20:11:26 12/04/01 Tue

site request -- imcj, 22:34:03 12/03/01 Mon

can anyone here direct me to a website, that has an archive of most/all the spells etc. willow has cast?

[> Re: site request -- Wisewoman, 08:24:28 12/04/01 Tue

Masq's site, has Willow's spells as well as the translations, but I don't know if they're separately archived or if you have to read through to episode analyses to get them.

Good luck!
[> Thanks, WW, that's what I was going to say! : ) -- Masq, 08:59:38 12/04/01 Tue

The Lovers : A redemtionnist analysis of Crush -- Stranger, 04:12:51 12/04/01 Tue

Hey, first true delurking post here :)

After Rowan's post about Fool For Love and Spike as the Fool from the Tarot, I found myself wondering about other appearance of other Tarot symbolism or parallelism in Buffy. One that struck me was what we can see in Crush. When I first came around Buffy forums and boards, I was surprised to find little love for this episode among Spike fans. Obviously, the B/S shippers didn't like that it wasn't very hopefull for their relation, and S/D shippers (or just Spike as the Big Bad fans) didn't like that Spike rejected Dru. Well I did like this episode (but I like to see Spike suffer ;) and I considered it one redemptionnist one (yeah, but don't tell Fury :)

The Lovers (french name is L'Amoureux, the Lover without a plural, focusing on an indivual and not on a couple) is a card about choices, about being at the crossroad of you life and deciding which road, which life, you decide to walk on. The two possible path are represented by two women, one acting very seductivly (the easy path), one acting more sternly (the difficult road).

Crush being the moment where Spike declares his love to Buffy, it was very logical to tempt him then with his old love, Drusilla, to check the truth of his new feelings for Buffy. Thus are we lead to the big scene of the episode, where Spike is standing between Drusilla, the woman standing for "evil" and his life as a vampire, and Buffy, the woman standing for "good" and a life of redemption. The parallele is very clear there.

But it isn't only about Spike's choice, it is also about Buffy's. In the oh-so-subtle scene about Quasimodo we are presented with two kind of judgement about Spike. Willow is in favor of a happy ending (Willow very often is the one to defend Spike, just as Spike is the first one to notice when she feels bad) and of returning love to Quasimodo/Spike. Tara says that there is love is not enough, you need a conception of Good and Evil, and a choice of Good, not only of acting for love's sake. Buffy has not taken her decision, she hasn't read the book yet (she isn't very perceptive, is she ?) : "The test isn't till tomorrow, right? I don't have an opinion till then." So what happens during the test ?

In this episode Buffy seems to reject Spike by three times.
- In the Bronze when he wants to make casual conversation, he asks for consideration because he helped her against Glory. He even use the term "points". Buffy doesn't answer as Xander come and Spike leaves after stealing Xander's money. (=No moral compass, except for love of Buffy's sake)
- Then Buffy is looking for Dawn and find her in Spike's crypt listening to him telling stories about his murders. Spike quickly change the end of the tale when Buffy arrive (=No moral compass, except for love of Buffy's sake) Dawn tells Buffy about Spike's love which direcly lead to the scene where Spike confirmed his love for Buffy, and where she doesn't even want to listen to him ("No feelings", "Don't say that"), doesn't even read the book. Buffy has still not made the choice, because she denies there is one. In the same scene Spike affirms he can change, that he can act good. This is echoing the Dawn&Spike scene :
DAWN: (stops smiling) I'm not a child. (goes to lean against a pillar) I'm not even human. Not originally.
SPIKE: (sighs) Yeah, well, originally I was. I got over it. (Sits on the edge of a coffin) Doesn't seem to me it matters very much how you start out.
This is the confirmation that Spike can change, that whatever he is (where he start out) what he does is more important. Well except that Spike is now still pretending to be bad and to do evil things, doesn't really help.
- Finally, there is Spike in the crypt with Buffy and Drusilla bound, the test scene. While it is about Spike choosing between the two women and what they stand for, he offers the choice to Buffy. Once again, Buffy refuses to aknowledge his feelings, then absolutly refuses the choice Spike is giving her : "The only chance you had with me was when I was unconscious." And ends with the de- invitation of Spike.

Each times Buffy doesn't really answer Spike's proposition, she doesn't choose between the two possible judgement of Spike, because she refuses to accept that he loves him. Her answer is to shut him out. She doesn't move on the road... why ? Well because she is not to choose yet, because Spike has not prooved yet that his love means something, that he can change. It's only once Buffy showed him that she won't stike a bargain with him (be good and I'll love you) that his choice *means* something. By contrast, Drusilla's possibility is very tempting. She offers returning love and sex, she offers feeding and somewhat of a freeing from the chip, and she offers to help kill Buffy. Dru is the easy road. Buffy doesn't propose anything, she's clearly the difficult road, here. Yet, it is the one Spike chose by saving Buffy from Drusilla. It's the moment he makes his choice.

Even after that Buffy refuses aknowledge Spike's feelings. It's only until Intervention, where Glory takes the place of Drusilla as the tempation of evil, that Buffy aknowledges it ("This is real") and makes her own choice by accepting Spike's help. Why ? In Crush, Spike's choice was only about Buffy, about saving his love. But in Intervention, it's not Buffy he saves, it's Dawn and the whole Scooby Gang (who are all there to save him from Glory) and this after the Scooby Gang rejected him as harshly as Buffy did in IWMTLY. From helping selfish motivated help of his love, Spike has grown to selflessly help the world (The scooby gang)
So even if love without moral compass isn't enough, are we told, it is a first step toward it...

Oh, one last thing. In the Lovers card, there is a small Cherubin with his bow and an arrow above the three figures. Angel as being the guide for Spike's choice ? Well, that does remind me of Tabula Rasa.
[> Re: The Lovers : A redemtionnist analysis of Crush -- verdantheart, 06:09:19 12/04/01 Tue

Enjoyed your post! BTW, what Tarot deck are you referring to? Not all show three human figures on the Lovers card (eg., the popular Waite deck).
[> [> Tarot de Marseille, that's why I refered to its french name. -- Stranger, 06:27:37 12/04/01 Tue

Tarot de Marseille, that's why I refered to its french name.
[> Re: The Lovers : A redemtionnist analysis of Crush -- JM, 09:21:02 12/04/01 Tue

Fabulous. I thought it was a fantastic episode and never really got why so many didn't like it. I am really enjoying the Buffy/Spike relationship. I think it's much more authentic and interesting the way it is being portrayed. It wouldn't have much import if change were possible or easy, and love ruled the day.
[> Re: The Lovers : A redemtionnist analysis of Crush -- Annie, 00:42:50 12/05/01 Wed

Wonderful and perceptive, Stranger. I admit to being one of those who didn't much like "Crush" the first time around (though I'm neither a 'shipper nor a redemptionista) but after reading this I will definitely watch it again with your analysis in mind. Much good food for thought here:)
Spike and Sexual Violence (spoilage included) -- Sophie, 06:57:36 12/04/01 Tue

Spike about Buffy in OmwF, "The sun sets, and she appears."

Set aside for a moment whether or not Spike is capable of loving another being (vampire, human, slayer, whatever). And for a moment, accept a wide definition of love. What if this definition could include punching someone as foreplay? Up until "Smashed", sexual violence has taken place in the context of Spike killing one person, such as the Chinese Slayer, then copulating with another person, such as Drusilla.

In "Fool for Love", when Dru sires Spike, he misunderstands her offer. She intends to turn him into a vampire, a new toy, but Spike mistakes her for a cheap whore. This also indicates Spike’s inclination to accept sexual offers from any woman (thing?) who (that) is offering.

Sexual desire has been entangled with the vampire bite over and over until it has become accepted as truth. I can understand someone mistaking the intimacy of another person so close, so intense, so dark, for sexual intimacy. Flesh. Primordial. Whatever.

Could someone be turned on by the actual biting? Probably. Since death is imminent, the victim would probably suffer an intense adrenaline rush, plus the pain of the bite itself, and fear as their blood is drained from their body.

Then the victim is left weak, and dying, tasting the blood of the vampire on their own lips (if they were offered that blood and accepted). Most vampire lore indicates that there is a time lapse between dying a human death and rising as a vampire. And generally, when the newly sired vampire rises, it is hungry, for blood, not sex with the one who made it. Assuming that vampire has even bothered to wait around.

In "Graduation, part 2", Buffy is bitten by Angel. She has to hit him, repeatedly, angering him, until he bites her. When he bites her, she appears to experience a sexual organism from the experience. Was she turned on by the violence of his bite? The adrenaline rush from possible death? Or her love for him?

"Fool for Love" indicates, possibly, that Spike’s first sexual encounter with Dru, and possibly his first sexual encounter, occurs immediately after he kills the Chinese Slayer – not after Dru bites him. The act of killing the slayer, the violence, arouses his desires – for who? – the dead slayer? Did Spike desire her? He turns to Dru to satisfy his desires. He has previously shown sexual interest in Dru. Does he love her? Why not turn the dying slayer into a vampire?

When Spike dreams about sleeping with Buffy, he wakes up horrified. He has come to Sunnydale to slay Buffy, not sleep with her. He may well be truly repulsed at this horrible turn in his nature. He has become insecure about his reputation and abilities as Big Bad since being chipped. Loving the Slayer is certainly not Evil. Or bad. Or scary.

From this, one could probably conclude that he didn’t desire anything more from the Chinese Slayer than her blood. But why didn’t he drink the blood of the second slayer that he killed?

Spike tries numerous ways to work this out of his system. He has Harmony pretend to be the slayer, and sleeps with her instead. When this doesn’t work, he has Warren build him a buffybot, programmed to meet his sexual needs. But does it? We never see him hit the buffybot. Most of the sex that Spike has with the bot is straightforward and, well, boring. Spike and the bot don’t even bother to remove their clothing beyond the minimum necessary (I guess the buffybot didn’t wear underwear). Maybe this was to keep the TV censors happy, or it may indicate that Spike realized that sex with the bot was not love – it was shallow, minimal, and meaningless. Or Spike was bored, too.

When Buffy asks Spike to tell his slayer slaying tales, he hesitates. He doesn’t want to talk to Buffy about something so personal, so sexual. Does Buffy know? Surely by this time, she has gotten a hint that violence turns Spike on. Or is she naive? If she does know, does she expect Spike to omit that sort of detail from his story? She is repulsed when he tells her that killing his first slayer aroused him. Why did he tell her? If it was when he lost his virginity, why did he omit telling Buffy that?

Finally, Spike confesses his love for Buffy. He hints around that their dancing may have changed tunes. He no longer dances with her to kill her; he can’t since he got chipped. Now Spike dances with Buffy for a sexual rise? Does he really think that he has a chance? Does Buffy understand their dancing? Not at first, but surely after Spike professes his love for her.

Since fighting with someone doesn’t arouse Buffy, she may find this detail about Spike hard to understand, and easy to ignore. Does she think that she can continue dancing with Spike, hoping that their dance will change back to the original tune? So she just hits him harder? Why not dust him? Because he is helpful?

Being a slayer justifies her killing vampires and demons. She doesn’t get off doing it. She is just doing her job, whether she wants to or not. In "Harsh Light of Day", we see Buffy torturing Spike, who is chained up in Giles’ bathtub. Buffy withholds feeding Spike blood, to get information from him. When he is not forthcoming, she feeds him cold pig’s blood.

So, does Spike love Buffy? Or is he just hot for her because she hits him? When he discovers that he can hit Buffy without tripping his chip, shouldn’t he revert back to trying to kill the Slayer? This is what I assumed when they started fighting in the street, then in the house. Maybe this is what he first intended. Or does he really think that one more dance with the slayer improves his chances of scoring in bed with her?

Buffy has continued to tease him, even after he requests her to stop in "Once More with Feeling". She continues to bug him, dance with him, solicit his help, and opinions. She also kisses him twice, on the mouth, with passion. She also has a few Freudian slips. She tells him in "Once More with Feeling", "what else would I come to pump you for?" In "Smashed", she tells him over the phone, "there will be no grunting".

Does Buffy really want to sleep with Spike? I doubt it. But he has gotten under her skin. Is she continually finding herself thinking about him in that way? She has recently become alienated from her friends, her family is gone except Dawn, who is too young, and now Giles has left, leaving her with no real support for dealing with this situation. She can’t bring herself to tell anyone. It is all too easy to fall into the arms of someone inappropriate at such times.

I was hoping that Buffy would tell Willow. She almost tells Willow something, but we don’t know what since she chickened out.

Does the fact that Spike doesn’t kill Buffy, that he consummates their relationship instead, prove that he loves her? Or that he is a man? Or does it prove that his libido is stronger than his self- control? Why doesn’t Buffy stake Spike in his sleep afterwards? Or does violence only beget sex in the Buffyverse?

Killing someone in their sleep, is not fair fighting. But is that important when slaying demons and vampires? Maybe the vulnerability, and trust, that comes with copulating with someone, makes Spike somehow human in Buffy’s eyes?

Why didn’t Spike kill Buffy after their sexual coupling? He certainly indicates that killing Buffy is an option for him, since discovering that she is no longer fully human. He verbally threatens her with this once or twice.

It would be hard to argue that Spike’s lack of lust for anybody else, proves his love or his fidelity, since his first reaction to the thought of sleeping with Buffy resulted in his further sexual escapades with Harmony. After Harmony leaves, Spike isn’t exactly getting a lot of offers. Did he take in Harmony because he was desperate? He makes her promise to sleep with him and not talk during sex, before he agrees to let her stay in his crypt.

Does Buffy’s sleeping with Spike after he has been hitting her condition us to accept violence towards women? The TV show implies that since, neither character is really hurt, that the hitting and subsequent sex is ok. Has the violence gotten more realistic this season?

I don’t recall flinching at the show’s violence in the past. Of course in the past, many times the violence was off-screen. When Angelus and Drusilla torture Giles in "Becoming, Part 2", the violence is off-screen. We never see exactly what Angelus does to cause Giles such great pain. I assumed that Angel stuck splinters under Giles’ fingernails. Fill in the blank. The writers also carefully disassociate the sexual part from the torture by having Angelus do the torturing, and Drusilla do the kissing of Giles to hypnotize him.

In "Smashed", we actually see Spike and Buffy fighting, hitting each other, and the dance culminating in sex. Not with others, as in the past, but with each other.
[> I think violence does turn Buffy on. -- bookworm, 07:55:08 12/04/01 Tue

Slaying made Faith both horny and hungry. Buffy formerly admitted only to being hungry, but the urges to violence and lust have to be intermingled in her as they are in Faith. As a slayer, she's other than human, a creature of violence, even if it's violence for the sake of good. Her sex scenes with Angel, Parker, and Riley were often preceded by her fighting with them or with monsters. Her scene with Spike seems to have been the most fulfilling sexual experience of her life because it finally fully integrated violence and sexual ecstacy in one experience. Spike says all of the slayers are a little in love with death, which gibes with what we've seen of Buffy. Her life is a dance between life and death and she's fully aware that she will die young. When Angel bit her, part of the thrill was probably that walk on the sword's edge between life and death as well as the physical pleasure and being able to share something physical with Angel again. I don't think Buffy would be capable of loving a man who isn't an equal, who doesn't scare her physically as well as emotionally, who isn't capable of slamming her against the wall and forcing her to pay attention to him on every level, who SHE couldn't throw across the room without hurting. She doesn't love Spike yet, but he's right that she could love him as well as lust after him. That sexual awareness combined with the violence they both get off on has been there since the first episode he appeared in, even when he was all evil, man- eating vampire. Remember the scene when he was chained in the bathtub, when Buffy bared her neck to Spike and called his attention to all that blood rushing through her veins that he couldn't have? Since she HAD orgasmed a few months before when Angel bit her, that was an overtly sexual allusion. Spike responds in kind with his comment about how Buffy must have prepared blood for Angel and fed him by hand the way she is feeding him. In other fight scenes, Spike commented on Buffy's men and her sexual prowess or lack of it. She's always known on a subconscious level that he got off on violence and that she did too, but she probably didn't want to admit it.
Added to that awareness now is his status as the vampire who's in love with her, who she trusts with her family and with her work. Even if she doesn't love him, that's sort of irrelevant. He's become vitally important -- maybe her soulmate, her shadow twin, the devil side of her conscience. He's entwined in every aspect of her life and right now he seems to be the only one who can make her feel anything on any level. In "Smashed" he's reached her through physical violence, through their "dance." Yes, Spike/William was wired to get off on pain and to be emotionally and physically dominated by a stronger woman, even before he was turned by Drusilla. I doubt HE could love a woman who didn't slap him around or that he could maintain his self respect if he couldn't stand up to and by that woman. The fight and sex scene was so essential for these characters. I don't think this has anything to do with the show conditioning its viewers to accept violence against women. It may be suggesting, through metaphor, that a certain amount of violence and emotional darkness -- not to the extent practiced by Spike and Buffy -- is part of sexuality and something they must embrace if they are to become emotionally whole. Buffy and Spike were evenly matched. If anything, she was the one who was unfairly beating him, since she's probably the stronger of the two. Spike is very much the submissive to her dominant, if you want to use S & M terminology.
[> Re: Spike and Sexual Violence (spoilage included) -- purplegrrl, 12:42:36 12/05/01 Wed

***So, does Spike love Buffy? Or is he just hot for her because she hits him?***

I have long said that Spike's "love" for Buffy is mostly obsession. In Spike's obsession he is willing to take any attention he can get -- even getting the snot knocked out of him -- if it means the object of his obsession (Buffy) is paying attention to him. Bad attention is better than no attention at all.

Spike has been obsessed with Slayers since he first found out they existed. At first it was to kill them, so he could have one up on Angelus. But over the years Spike's obsession has changed. Is this due to Drusilla's dark, twisted love? Or is it due to the chip in his head? Spike still wants *something* from the Slayer. In season 2 he wanted to kill her. By season 5 he couldn't decide if he wanted to kill her or shag her. And now, halfway through season 6, he claims to love her at every opportunity.

Somehow sex and death, and violence and foreplay have gotten all twisted together in Spike's brain. Will he be able to sort them out? Does he even want to?? Honestly, I don't think Spike wants to sort them out. On some level he still sees himself as the Big Bad and he's not about to go all "Nancy-boy" like Angel. And perhaps due to Drusilla being his first sexual experience (possibly), he *can't* seperate sex and violence.
[> [> Violence on women -- Morgane, 11:55:26 12/06/01 Thu

About the show starting to banalize violence on women, I have to disagree with. Violence on women is meaningful only if the woman is weaker! If she get hurts and/or dominated, but I think it's far of being the case here. Violence on women is wrong as much as on child or aged people, violence is particularily wrong on anyone that are defenseless or weaker. Spike and Buffy's fighting would be more likely martial arts in my sense. None of them have a singled chance to get hurt, for one thing because their strong, but also because they don't want to hurt each other. Before Spike realized he can hurt Buffy, it was even the opposite. In comparison with Buffy, Spike was the defenseless and weaker of the two, so violence on him would have been wrong. Femenism doesn't exist to raise women over men but to make them equal. If a woman is stronger than a man, she wouldn't be more justified to hurt him than a the man would.
[> [> [> FINALLY! (Re: Violence on women) -- vandalia, 13:23:13 12/06/01 Thu

Thank you for getting it. :)
[> Re: Spike and Sexual Violence (spoilage included) -- skeve, 15:23:41 12/07/01 Fri

Sophie wrote:
In ?Graduation, part 2?, Buffy is bitten by Angel. She has to hit him, repeatedly, angering him, until he bites her. When he bites her, she appears to experience a sexual organism from the experience. Was she turned on by the violence of his bite? The adrenaline rush from possible death? Or her love for him?

I don't think that Angel bit Buffy because he was angry. I think that he made a rational decision. The decision was to bite Buffy while he still had some self-control instead of waiting until he was unable to leave Buffy some blood.

To me, the scene was not at all erotic. It didn't look like anyone was having a good time.
OT - 4th Poem for Christmas -- Brian, 07:27:24 12/04/01 Tue


From the sudden spasm of birth’s bright blood,
Death shadows your squirming form.
Through childhood scrapes and spills,
Invisible Death joins your daily romps.
In the warmth of your wedding night,
Death watches with indifferent eyes.
Through success and failure of your long road,
Death trails your every move.

In the quieting of your blood,
In the banking of your fires,
You catch a glimpse of that pale form.
And, when, at last, Death opens your sudden door,
Is it any wonder that you rush
As if to greet an old friend?
[> Re: OT - 4th Poem for Christmas -- Cactus Watcher, 07:32:38 12/04/01 Tue

Brian: Only 12 poems? They're going by fast. We're gonna want more of these!
[> Made me think of George Harrison... -- Wisewoman, 08:22:30 12/04/01 Tue

...and the reports that he accepted his death as a part of life.

Thanks, Brian.
[> thanks Brian -- Rufus, 08:41:36 12/04/01 Tue

Current board | More December 2001