December 2001 posts

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Board FAQ (OT for Masq) -- Shaglio, 13:34:34 12/14/01 Fri

I noticed in the FAQ you put OOOM means Out Of My Mind instead of OOMM. Sorry to be a nitpicker, but sometimes it's fun to pick nits. ;)
[> Re: Board FAQ (OT for Masq) -- Rob, 13:39:03 12/14/01 Fri

Oh, also, if you do wanna add more episode names with abbreviated titles, you can OMWF for Once More With Feeling.

[> [> Good points, both. -- Masq, 13:51:51 12/14/01 Fri

[> [> [> forgot Canadian Demon Cat Worshippers......... -- Rufus, 16:04:06 12/14/01 Fri

You can't forget an organization started by OnM....:):):):)
[> [> [> [> That's because they're evil, evil, evil -- Masq, 16:11:32 12/14/01 Fri

That's why there are warnings posted about the three evil C's instead.

; )
[> [> [> [> [> How ever can we possibly recruit if the people don't know we exist...:):):) -- Rufus, 16:17:13 12/14/01 Fri

I guess I will have to just have to whip up some Canadian Chocolate Band Candy.....think of the fun....:):):)
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: canadian band candy/evil, evil, evil -- beekeepr, 21:55:09 12/16/01 Sun

hoo yah, canadian demon cat worshipers--and you can put me down for an order of canadian band candy, but only if i, too, may be debauched on the hood of the police cruiser...
[> [> [> [> [> Third Evil here, you rang? -- Evil Clone, 21:56:20 12/14/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> I would never ignore in the FAQ a term coined by the illustrious third evil -- The First Evil, 10:22:07 12/15/01 Sat

Buffy opening credits question -- furnace, 18:03:22 12/14/01 Fri

Has anybody else noticed that the last shot in the opening credit sequence for BtVS isn't really Buffy this year? It's actually a shot of the Buffybot. Think the writers were giving us a subtle hint that this season Buffy would come back "wrong"?
[> Re: Buffy opening credits question -- vampire hunter D, 18:48:17 12/14/01 Fri

I think the credits were puttogether by a different crew than the show. They just used the most interesting shot of SMG they had and didn't realize it wasn't the real Buffy.
[> [> Re: Buffy opening credits question -- Humanitas, 15:08:51 12/16/01 Sun

Both of these are possible. I have often been unimpressed with the shot in that particualr space (the one of her they used for season 4 - from "Anne," I think - was particularly horrible). On the other hand, this is the company that made sure never to show Angel Smiling last season, and that was certainly appropriate.

We'll probably never know.
[> Re: Buffy opening credits question -- purplegrrl, 12:09:59 12/18/01 Tue

I believe there are reasons for how the credits are put together and which shots of the actors they use (Joss is subtle and tricky). The shot of the Buffybot could very well symbolize that Buffy came back "wrong." It may also symbolize what Buffy voiced in "Once More with Feeling," that she was "going through the motions" -- cruising on automatic, doing what was expected of her without any real thought or love for the job.
OT - 9th Poem for Christmas -- Brian, 21:19:27 12/14/01 Fri


He walks through life – A battered, wandering Sampson.
And every blow he let fall - Left a flowing scar.
And in those wounds ran new dreams – To try distant shores.
And he smiles – His battered, human smile.
And breaks his new song – As walls come crashing down.
Classic Movies of the Week - December 14th 2001 -- OnM, 21:47:02 12/14/01 Fri


Superman never made any money / Saving the world from Solomon Grundy
And sometimes I despair / The world will never see another man like him

............ Crash Test Dummies

I keep trying for fierce, but I think it’s just coming off as annoying.

............ Rex the Tyrannosaur


I admit it.. I did something that I should not have. Sometimes I just can’t help myself, much like Buffy’s fascination/abhorence with/of Spike. All logical knowledge and cool intellect tells you that this is not a path that you wish to go down, that it will only bring you grief, but you fall prey to your inner weaknesses nonetheless.

I read George Will’s opinion column this last Monday.

One of the things that is so maddening about King George is that he is obviously a very intelligent man, who writes very well and certainly exhibits a commanding purview of the English language, all things which I admire. What I have trouble with is how so much intellect can get wrapped up in so much petty elitism that what should be apropos political commentary gets sidelined into snipery. This most recent column of his is a perfect example of that, baiting the reader with several piquant jibes right up front, thus daring the undeceived to froth at the mouth in spectacular manner.

What the hell, worked for me, didn’t it? Here I sit, duly frothing. Lemme clue you as to the cause of my rabidity, so you can join in or no. This is the opening fusillade:

Baby Boomers' Sunset

By George F. Will
Sunday, December 9, 2001

In Southern California, on the shore of the sundown sea, the sunset of the 1960s myth continues. The most telling recent episode was not the much-remarked death of a semi-retired guitarist. Rather, it was the little-noticed "girl excuse" offered in court by a retired terrorist.

That George Harrison's death from cancer at 58 was treated as epochal news is redundant evidence of the baby boom generation's infinite narcissism. That cohort's mere size made it important, economically and hence culturally, and self-importance has been its defining attitude. Pop music is for boomers what the madeleine was for Proust -- an especially powerful trigger of memory. Hence the quintessential boomer movie, "The Big Chill," in which some boomers wallow, to the accompaniment of oldies but goodies, in bewilderment because one of their peers has died. No one had told them their importance would not exempt them from death.

( above (c)2001 George F. Will / The Washington Post )

I’ll post a link to the complete article in the Miscellaneous section later on, so you can read the entire thing, which I recommend you do, since I want to make sure that you don’t take the above excerpt out of context. Amazingly, George actually does have a valid point to hammer home about how the personality traits of narcissism and irresponsibility never seem to go out of fashion for some individuals, who make excuses when they are young and never learn from their mistakes when they get old. And, if he had left it at that, I’d be OK with him.

What I am getting seriously tired of is having my generation used as a dumping ground for every single damn thing that the ‘loyal opposition’ thinks happens to be wrong with the world. I’m even more seriously tired of hearing the words ‘whiny’, bleeding-heart’, ‘revisionist’, ‘narcissistic’ and so on being attached like some physical and incontrovertible DNA marker to my fellow middle-agers. It seems to me that, in all the generations that have gone before, there was always an understanding among the truly wise members of human society that 1-- Young people tend to be filled with grand visions of how they can make the world a better place, and 2-- They grow up and ugly reality intercedes, and thus they need to learn to temper those ideals, but hopefully not abandon them entirely. To continue to bitch and moan about the purported failings of the ‘next generation’ long after they have grown to adulthood is indecorous at best and wretchedly narrow-minded at worst.

So listen up George, I’m gonna spell it out for ya-- The boomers didn’t f**k up the world. It was already very much that way when we got hold of it. If you want an example of ‘infinite narcissism’, then what would you call the pathetic need of the majority of the truly wealthy and powerful in American society to horde that wealth for themselves, rather than bequeath a fair portion of it back to the working class who enabled them to accumulate that affluence in the first place? Yes, it is very true that a significant number of the ‘boomers’ sold out their supposed ideals, and that ex-president Bill Clinton, whom you despise, was one of those who did. What I find interesting is that even while he was doing it, he still managed to do more for the politically and economically dispossessed of America than a slew of presidents before him.

The irony, naturally, is that if he had been less willing to ‘sell out’, you would have been even more unhappy, since then the political center of the country would have shifted even farther to the left. It’s a classic situation of being ‘damned if you do...’, where no matter what road you choose, someone farther up in the hierarchy actively parks a Dead End/No U-Turn sign at the end of it, then taunts you mercilessly for your ineffectiveness. I’ve always had a special disaffection for the hypocrisy entailed in presenting a world view where the ardent laborer (or visionary) always ‘rises up through the ranks’ when in nearly all cases no one gets anywhere without the express consent of the already privileged.

So, bringing this rant back to the subject of movies (and you knew I would, narcissism notwithstanding, eh?), the other initiating mental connection point I glommed onto which eventually leads to this week’s actual recommendations(!) was in my latent recall of one of the few times that George decided that he could be a movie critic. Years and years ago, there was this flick called Flashdance. (Ah, indelible images spring into your mind as you read, eh?) It was, to put it mildly, the ‘Pretty Woman’ of it’s day, a vehicle for an attractive young actress who managed to conquer a mind- numbingly inane screenplay and studio-generated marketing mega-hype, and carry the day by dint of sheer on-screen personality and charisma.

George liked Flashdance. He liked it so much, in fact, that he devoted an entire column to praising it, in terms both festive and fecund. Unlike myself, who was willing to give the film a star-and-a-half on the basis of Jennifer Beals being able to retain a modicum of genuine grace while being forced to flaunt her goodies to enrich the filmmakers, George liked it because of it’s underlying political/social message.

( Now don’t start scratching your heads in confusion, OK? Just because George thinks there is a political lesson in Flashdance doesn’t mean there isn’t one, you know? Because there is, it’s just that he did what all good, non-self-involved conservatives often do when they see the wrong message being sent-- they make up a new and more fictitious one, and pretend it really happened. After all, lots of the people reading his column would never be caught dead going to see a film about an attractive chick working full-time in the construction trade who shakes her booty part-time in a seedy nightclub, at least not outside of the privacy of their own little domicile. They’ll just take his word for it, eh? )

George was simply delighted at how the tale of this working-class dancer and her eventual acceptance into a very elite and exclusive dance company exemplified the true American way, namely work hard and persevere, and you shall be rewarded. He pointed out how Jennifer did things her way, and succeeded on her own, pulled up by her own bra-straps as it were.

He either saw a completely different version of the movie than I did, or else you can go back and re- read the 2nd paragraph up (the one in parentheses) for another possibility. Jennifier’s character only gets the job with the dance company because her wealthy and influential boyfriend gets her an audition with the company’s PTB. If he hadn’t intervened, she’d still be a-weldin’ at the ol’ construction site for the forseeable future. She even knows this, because she is very reluctant to allow him to help, she really wants to get the audition completely on her own merits, but finally relents when she sees that there is no other possible hope of success. After gaining the new job as a ‘professional’ dancer, she happily bicycles off into the sunset. I recall sitting there in the theater, as the end credits rolled and the music soared, thinking Jeez, what a tragedy. This is supposed to be a ‘feminist’ movie, and in the end she still needs a man to get her the job she really wants? Pfff. Whatta piece of crap. She was cute, though. Guess it wasn’t a total waste of two hours.

But then, I may be narcissistic and whiny, but I always try to look on the bright side, which brings me to the wisdom of trying to get something of value out of whatever you get presented with in the way of art, and recognize that intelligent folks can sometimes completely disagree about the greater meanings, or even if there are any. Such has always been the case with me in regards to BtVS, which is why you may have noticed that I seldom speak very ill of the show, even when it’s somewhat less than it’s normal degree of insidious cleverness.

Part of this is because Buffy is so good, that even when it lacks in some situations, it’s still better than almost anything else out there in tubeville. Thus I liked Season 4, I liked Riley, I liked Anya, Tara, and Dawn, I liked Beer Bad and Into the Woods, and I even liked Wrecked despite elements of Afterschool Specialism that threatened to creep in. I concentrate on the good stuff, of which there is plenty, and I allow for the fact that the show is the product of many different writers, all of whom are obviously talented, but who inevitably handle storytelling in somewhat different ways. Rather than try to get into the mode of forcing my preconceptions of what the show should be and so be disappointed when they aren’t, I try to put myself in the head of the writer, and go where they take me. This is certainly the way that I view films-- I don’t expect an ‘interactive’ media, and I really don’t want one. If I don’t like something, I say so, but I can also accept that there may be parts of the film that I like, and parts that I don’t, and that this is normal and natural.

This is very much true for two films that some may dispute as being ‘Classics’, but whiny liberal that I am, I will act to recommend them anyway, ‘cos I like them, even though they offer extremely different stylistic renderings of what begins as common source material. Two films? Yes, in a spirit of holiday generosity, and because I am a ‘boomer’ and therefore arrogant as hell, I am suggesting that you pig out this weekend and do a ‘double feature’ with Mission Impossible and Mission Impossible II, by directors Brian De Palma and John Woo, respectively.

Now, many of you, probably most of you, have already seen both of these movies, but I think they are worth another look if you haven’t seen them more than once. The original, De Palma-helmed outing was claimed by many to be too complex to follow, and the second, Woo-designed venture was touted as being too much style, too little substance. I disagree with both evaluations, although in either case I will certainly not disavow that there is quite a lot going on up there on the screen, and it is understandably very hard to get it all the first time through. Like Buffy, both these modern cinematic updatings of the (unquestionably) classic TV series benefit from repeated viewings, and frankly I want to see interesting variations on the theme, not slavish copies of what was a form of art based in a different time period and medium.

I won’t go into my usual descriptive summary of the plot, characters, etc., since I suspect that you know them already. I do want to give special credit to Tom Cruise for making the character of Ethan Hunt a worthy successor to the original Jim Phelps, as I think that his work in both films was exemplary. I’m certainly looking forward to MI-3 as long as it, and any future entries in the MI franchise, manage to remain as entertaining and well-crafted as the first two productions.

So, jump on your motorcycle and make a long, convoluted ride to the nearest heliport where you’ll follow your double-dealing boss’s equally double-dealing but still stunningly beautiful spouse into a long underground tunnel and then later, while hanging from a wire harness above a secret biotech factory research lab get the opportunity to steal back the keys to your car which are being held by a fanatic bent on taking over the world (again!), but whose identity is being concealed by a lifelike latex mask that makes him look just like you so that everybody will think that you are actually the real big bad, and after thrashing him thoroughly with multiple martial-arts motifs you reclaim your fast and powerful car and drive on down to the neighborhood video store and RENT THESE MOVIES!

(Uh-oh, cue famous theme music...)

Dum dum, dumdum, dum dum dumdum, dum dum, dumdum, dum dum dumdum /
doodllooooo... doo doot...

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



IMF Technical Portfolio (this post will self-destruct in approximately never):

Both MI-1 and MI-2 are available on DVD. Review copies for each were laserdisc and DVD respectively. MI-1 was released in 1996 and has a run time of 1 hour and 50 minutes. MI-2 was released in 2000 with a run time of 2 hours and 3 minutes. Writing credits go to David Koepp for MI- 1 and Ronald D. Moore for MI-2. (The original TV series head writer/creator was Bruce Gellar). The sound mix for both films will be either Dolby Digital 5.1 and/or DTS 5.1 for laser/DVD or Dolby Pro- Logic for VHS.

Cast overview, Mission: Impossible:

Tom Cruise .... Ethan Hunt
Jon Voight .... Jim Phelps
Emmanuelle Béart .... Claire Phelps
Henry Czerny .... Eugene Kittridge
Jean Reno .... Franz Krieger
Ving Rhames .... Luther Stickell
Kristin Scott Thomas .... Sarah Davies
Vanessa Redgrave .... Max
Dale Dye .... Frank Barnes
Marcel Iures .... Alexander Golitsyn
Ion Caramitru .... Zozimov
Ingeborga Dapkunaite .... Hannah Williams
Valentina Yakunina .... Drunken IMF Agent
Marek Vasut .... Drunken IMF Agent
Nathan Osgood .... Kittridge Technician

Cast overview, Mission: Impossible II:

Tom Cruise .... Ethan Hunt
Dougray Scott .... Sean Ambrose
Thandie Newton .... Nyah Nordoff-Hall
Ving Rhames .... Luther Stickell
Richard Roxburgh .... Hugh Stamp
John Polson .... Billy Baird
Brendan Gleeson .... John C. McCloy
Rade Serbedzija .... Dr. Nekhorvich
William Mapother .... Wallis
Dominic Purcell .... Ulrich
Matt Wilkinson .... Michael
Nicholas Bell .... McCloy's Accountant
Cristina Brogers .... Flamenco Dancer #4
Kee Chan .... McCloy's Chemist
Kim Fleming .... Larrabee


Miscellaneous and the Question of the Week:

The URL for the George Will column quoted from early in the rant is:

Keep in mind that this is the ‘net version of a daily newspaper, and after a few weeks this article may be accessible only from the archives.


Someone already mentioned this on the board this week, but I’m only too happy to repeat the good news, so here goes: One of the best movies of this past year (and in my humble opin, of the last decade) will be released next week on DVD, namely Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. Simply stunning, original, remarkable. Don’t rent, buy, ‘cos this one’s a keeper.

Another very worthwhile addition to your collection is also scheduled for release on the same day as MR, Danny DeVito’s wickedly delightful satire, War of the Roses, starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and a perfect ending.

More good news for January besides ‘you know what’, DVD-wise:

Mad Max (Proj. release date: 01/04/02) -- Featuring the film's original Australian sound track, first time in the U.S.

M*A*S*H (Proj. release date: 01/08/02) -- Korean war. Altman. Hawkeye. Hotlips. God-damn army.

Groundhog Day (Proj. release date: 01/29/02) -- Bill Murray. Time loop. ‘Don’t drive angry’

Then, scheduled for February & March, still-yet-again-more cinematic tastiness:

Used Cars, strange but not a stranger, very early work from Robert Zemeckis.

Klute, Fonda before she got Turnerized, still easily her best work. Plus, Donald Sutherland, yay!
Eat Drink Man Woman, from Ang Lee, get food photography and a love story besides.

Looking for a somewhat off-center DVD review site? Try this one, I’m a big fan of the Savant:


OK, wrap up time, fellow movie-freaks, so here ‘tis, your one-and-only, semi-famous,

Question of the Week, Jim, should you decide to accept it...

What movies that have been made which were based on TV series would you consider to be successful, and to what degree? Were any of them better than the TV version, or merely different?

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

Dum dum, dumdum, dum dum dumdum...

[> Re: Classic Movies of the Week - December 14th 2001 -- Vickie, 22:44:56 12/14/01 Fri

"What movies that have been made which were based on TV series would you consider to be successful, and to what degree? Were any of them better than the TV version, or merely different?"

I agree about Mission Impossible and MI2.

The Fugitive: Tommy Lee Jones as a really confusing mislead good guy. Harrison Ford. Flawed? Sure. But fun. Was too young to watch the original, so I don't know if it's better or worse than the TV show.

The Untouchables : Though I guess this one really started with radio.

Some of the Star Trek films. Um, The Wrath of Khan: exactly like the original. If you liked the original series, it was fun (campy, over the top fun, but fun). The Save the Whales one. (Sorry, trekker purists, but my brain is fried and I have only one functional memory cell.)

Nope, IMHO none of them was better than the original TV show. Mostly they've been lesser entertainment.

Thanks for the CMOTW! Always a great read!
[> Re: Classic Movies of the Week - December 14th 2001 -- Rendyl, 05:19:05 12/15/01 Sat

***Yes, it is very true that a significant number of the ‘boomers’ sold out their supposed ideals, and that ex-president Bill Clinton, whom you despise, was one of those who did. What I find interesting is that even while he was doing it, he still managed to do more for the politically and economically dispossessed of America than a slew of presidents before him.***

I will attempt to stay out of politics but this just has to be said. I lived in Arkansas when Clinton was Governor. One of his acts (after not getting re-elected) was to pardon several men who had committed terribly violent crimes (rape, murder, assault) and should never have seen the light of day again. All those men committed their crimes in counties that did not carry Clinton. I still have no clue how he managed to get re-lected as Governor later but have adopted the "it happened - get over it" attitude and try not to think too hard about it anymore.

***I’ve always had a special disaffection for the hypocrisy entailed in presenting a world view where the ardent laborer (or visionary) always ‘rises up through the ranks’ when in nearly all cases no one gets anywhere without the express consent of the already privileged.***

My father in law (another boomer) started with nothing. He retires this month from a career in engineering a pretty wealthy man. He did it all himself (well, he and his wife did it together) with no special help from 'the rich'. It is possible. My grandfather is another example except he and my grandmother started with less than nothing. You do not need the consent of the rich to make something of your life, whether money or something else is your goal.

As for Flashdance, she (the actress and the character both) was a big girl. No one forced her to dance in the nightclub. (or forced the actress to take the role to begin with) Why is it always assumed that women are not intelligent enough to make their own choices? It is annoying when people assume that grown women need to be protected from the world and even from themselves.

Now on to the actual movie part of the post -grin-

I loved MI-1. It had everything I like in a spy/action movie. Cruise is low on my list of favorite actors but I thought he was so good in this movie. MI-2 was ...(shudders) just not my cup of tea.

***What movies that have been made which were based on TV series would you consider to be successful, and to what degree? Were any of them better than the TV version, or merely different?***

I liked MI-1 in that it followed the spirit of the series but updated it to fit in the later time period. It felt like the series. (if that makes any sense?) I am sure there are more but I need breakfast before I can think of them.

[> [> Re: Classic Politics of the Week -- OnM, 16:03:54 12/15/01 Sat

I still have no clue how he managed to get re-elected as Governor later but have adopted the "it happened - get over it" attitude and try not to think too hard about it anymore.

Of all the things that can happen to disillusion someone who believes themself to be 'a good person' is to see a hero revealed as having feet of clay. It is easy to increasingly dislike someone that you never cared for in the first place. It's devastating to place someone in high regard for what appears to be their championing of noble causes, only to find when push come to shove, they wimp out in favor of baseline self-interest. Clinton's greatest failure was to blow the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the ideals of his generation in action.

It is possible. My grandfather is another example except he and my grandmother started with less than nothing. You do not need the consent of the rich to make something of your life, whether money or something else is your goal.

Note that my original comment was "when in nearly all cases no one gets anywhere without the express consent of the already privileged". Yes, some folks do make it on their own. Most do not. My fault with this aspect of conservative philosophy is that it seems to presume a simple equation of (poor = lazy and/or stupid), and the corollary (rich = hardworking/smart).

I have met many people, both rich and poor, in my 30+ years in the working world. My personal observations have been as such that those equations not only look ludicrous to me, but are often just the other way around. Realeconomik to me has always been far more along the lines of (rich = mostly lucky) and (poor = not rich).

Why is it always assumed that women are not intelligent enough to make their own choices? It is annoying when people assume that grown women need to be protected from the world and even from themselves.

I agree, very much so. My complaint with the movie was that she should have been able to make it on her own, and not be in need of her influential boyfriend to get her the job she really wants to have. Thus, my rant on economics and privilege.

Thanks much for your thoughts, Ren. Glad to see not everyone agrees with me all the damn time, I might get to feel important and privileged!!

(~big grin~)

[> Re: Really stupid nit-picky question for MI2 -- LadyStarlight, 07:44:33 12/15/01 Sat

Okay, here goes: Wasn't Anthony Hopkins in MI2? I was sure that was him but.....

As for the QotW: When I see a movie preview for a movie based on a tv series, my first immediate reaction is "Can't anyone in Hwood come up with an original idea?". Be that as it may, I liked The Fugitive, although as Vickie or Ren said "too young for the original".

I also liked The Flintstones. John Goodman was the perfect Fred, and the whole thing just worked for me. (Plus, it captivated my 4 yo for a couple of viewings, leaving me free to nap. ;))
[> [> Re: Really stupid nit-picky question for MI2 -- OnM, 15:09:18 12/15/01 Sat

Yes, he was in there, but apparently wasn't credited. He played the role of Mission Commander Swanbeck.

Good recall, LS-- I had forgotten that he was in the film until you mentioned it, and then I checked on the IMDb for verification (calling up the extended/complete cast list instead of the 'first billed' sometimes reveals 'uncredited' actors).

I fully agree about The Fugitive. While I was pretty young at the time it was originally on TV, I did watch it about 1/2 to 1/3 of the time it was on. It was a decent show overall, but I think it ran on a few too many years. The movie was superb all around, and rightly tightened the focus and intensity of the plotline by concentrating mainly on the cat-and-mouse game between Tommy Lee Jones' character and Harrison Ford's.

Not to mention that audio/video stores had lots of fun demo-ing the train crash scene for potential home theater buyers! ;)
[> Re: Classic Movies of the Week - December 14th 2001 -- matching mole, 10:02:30 12/15/01 Sat

What serendipity! By pure chance I happened to read this column and was equally incensed. Generalizing from the foolish actions of a few people when they were young to a condemnation of an entire generation. (BTW: I guess I am technically a boomer (born in '61) but was too young many of the pivotal events associated with the demographic).

In particular I thought his response to the reaction to George Harrison's death was ironic. Granted the reaction was probably out of proportion to GH's personal accomplishments but Harrison seems a far cry from the self-indulgent, self-important boomer (I guess technically he's not a boomer either, being too old). A modest and retiring man with a long standing commitment to religious ideals while remaining practical and wise to the value of money. Sounds like GW's kind of guy.

The only film based on a television series that I thought clearly exceeded the quality of the series was Adam's Family Values, mostly because of the great cast. Christina Ricci and Joan Cusack stand out in particular. I have excluded films I've seent that werebased on TV series that I haven't seen (e.g. Mission Impossible and The Fugitive).
[> Re: Classic Movies of the Week - December 14th 2001 -- Cynthia, 14:47:29 12/15/01 Sat

Sorry, but I disliked MI the movie. I felt the taking of Phelps, the leader and hero of the tv series, and making him a turncoat was a cheap copout by the writers, who couldn't come up with anything truly original.

I was very angry that Cruise and company would destory Phelps in order to make Ethan Hunt look good. It was the total destruction of a mythos that I spent every Sunday as a child watching and enjoying.

If true blue Phelps can become a traitor (and he was most certainly patriotic in the tv series) what does that say about Ethan Hunt twenty some-odd years from now? Instead of hooting for him as a hero, I just thought to myself at the end of the movie, there goes the next generation's turncoat.

And while I wish Mr. Cruise all the success in the world and admire his abilities as a producer, I absolutely refuse to put out any money on these two films. I just can't make myself support this version of MI in any way.
[> [> Agreeing to disagree -- OnM, 15:33:13 12/15/01 Sat

Well, you have a lot of company, or at least a significant amount out there who would support your opinion. Most of the overall theme of this post was to point out that it's possible to see something in an entirely-- and I mean 180 degree-apart-type entirely-- different fashion, but nevertheless being able to comment intelligently on it without it degenerating into a snipefest, which is why I was so pissed at George Will for his comments on the boomers.

I agree that it was unexpected for Phelps to become a turncoat, but that as I recall, he did give reasons for doing so, which had to do with putting in a lifetime of service to the IMF and basically not being rewarded or sufficiently recognized for his sacrifices. (I will have to watch the film again to make sure I am correct here, if I'm not, I'll issue a retraction later on).

Bitterness unquestionably enacts a heavy toll on people, especially after accumulating it over a long period of time. Therefore, I can accept that Phelps could go from good guy to bad. Within the BtVS mythology, the long term arc with Faith was an example of this same scenario. Faith finally saw a way out of the miserable life she had as a child when she was called as a Slayer. Her joy at her new career turned to increasing bitterness as time wore on, and she eventually turned to the 'dark side'. Similar examples from other mythologies abound.

Will Ethan Hunt become a traitor in the future? That is eminently possible. Or, he may live to serve as an antidote to the poison that infected poor Jim Phelps.

Thanks for your response! You didn't comment on MI-2 very much. Did you like that one any better, or didn't you see it as a result of not caring for the first MI? Just curious.
[> [> [> Re: Agreeing to disagree -- Cynthia, 04:42:21 12/16/01 Sun

I haven't seen it.

Partly because of how I felt about the first one. And partly because my finances were and are so tight, combined with the fact that it's not a movie I can take my kids to ( too young) that I decided not to see it when it was released.

I will, now that there has been some passage of time (and the kids now go to school which actually gives me some time where I can watch a movie in peace LOL) consider watching it. I do think I will wait until I have purchased a DVD (hopefully next month if the finance gods allow) in order to give the special effects some justice.
[> Re: Classic Movies of the Week - December 14th 2001 -- Dichotomy, 18:13:15 12/15/01 Sat

Without repeating some of the aforementioned movies, the first one that I thought of was--The Brady Bunch Movie. Now before you come to the conclusion I'm a complete idiot, let me say that if you didn't watch the TV series growing up as I did, then non of its parody would make any sense. But I thought it was very amusing and less goofily innocent than the show.
[> Re: Classic Movies of the Week - December 14th 2001 -- bible belt, 18:48:00 12/15/01 Sat

I always wondered if everybody actually did manage to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" who would do all the dirty work? Is there enough room at the top for everybody? Someone could do all the right things and end up with a chip hooked up to their thoracic nerve or something like it. Our government never has and never would do a thing like that.:->

Some one already mentioned the only movies I could think of and that's Star Trek movies. Although I did enjoy them, I think I enjoyed both series better than the subsequent movies. I'm guessing the movies suffered because of a focus on box office results rather than content. In both of the first two Star Trek series there are episodes I thought were better than any of the movies, the first two meetings with the Borg in TNG and ‘The City on the Edge of Forever' in the original series for example.

I watched the original Star Trek in reruns after school. The kiddies today have really got it good, and six whole seasons of it up to this point.
[> [> Re: Ohhhhh, it's lonely at the top -- OnM, 20:13:47 12/15/01 Sat

*** Is there enough room at the top for everybody? ***

A reasonable question, but possibly the wrong one. The real question might be, should there be a top and bottom?

I've plugged this book before, and perhaps you've already read it, but if not, do locate a copy of Ursula K. LeGuin's The Dispossessed for a fascinating thought experiment on structuring a human society without the presence of a vertical hierarchy.

Whether you think this is an impossible task or not, it's still an incredible read.
[> [> [> Re: Thanks for that suggestion! -- bb, 13:40:28 12/16/01 Sun

[> [> bootstraps -- anom, 21:34:20 12/18/01 Tue

"I always wondered if everybody actually did manage to 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps' who would do all the dirty work?"

Has anyone noticed that this phrase is now used in a completely different way than it once was? It used to be said w/admiration bordering on incredulity that someone pulled him(usually)self up by his own bootstraps. After all, if you think about it, it isn't even possible. Anyone who pulls themselves up by their bootstraps ends up falling either on their face or on their ass. But now it's said of poor people, "why don't they just [just!] pull themselves up by their bootstraps?" Maybe it's because they can't afford boots.
[> A few more recent/upcoming DVD releases to recommend. -- A8, 23:44:31 12/15/01 Sat

The Criterion Collection released Peter Weir's 'The Last Wave' a few weeks back. A great follow-up to 'Picnic at Hanging Rock.'

The 'Twin Peaks' first 7 episodes (but not including the pilot, alas) boxset comes out next week. If you loved the surreal quality of 'Restless', well, IMHO, David Lynch managed to maintain that same quality throughout an entire season run of this groundbreaking series.

Just a couple of suggestions. Sorry, have no input as to CMOTW or OnM's question this week.

Just my opinion, but George Will, like most pundits, politicians and the student body politicos from which they incubated, is just one of a long line of blowhard stuffed shirts. IMO, their reason for being the way they are seems to emanate from a sort of bitterness about never having really got things like The Beatles and the fact that the work that they do will, in the long run, never really be as important, long-lasting or soul satisfying as great music. Mr. Will and his ilk can be as flip and dismissive as they want. When they're gone, they'll be quickly forgotten and not fondly missed. Consequently, all that time they spent making a career of intellectualizing their bitterness will all have been for nothing. It will be as if they never were really here at all. Truly sad.
[> [> Re: Strangness of Twin Peaks -- bible belt, 13:59:40 12/16/01 Sun

When Twin Peaks came out I was working a night job so I went and saw it in the afternoon. I can't claim that I understood it but I really liked it. I saw it several times and I was the only one in the theater each time. I think that added to the strangeness of it. Then I would walk out of that nice comfortable dark theater into the harsh light of day. I wonder if that's how Buffy felt after her resurrection, like she had been rudely yanked out of a David Lynch movie into the real world.
[> Re: Classic Movies of the Week - December 14th 2001 -- Humanitas, 12:25:40 12/17/01 Mon

Heehee. I'm kind of amused. I totally disagree with George Will's politics, but I occasionally read him anyway because he snipes. Now, please don't misunderstand me. My own views are decidedly left-of- center, and I certainly don't believe that the Boomers are the Root of All Evil. But as a person just turning 31, I grew up immediately in the shadow of this huge demographic blip, and consequently harbor a certain level of resentment, not so much toward the generation, but towards the hype of the generation. This has decreased as I've gotten older, but every once in a while my cynicism and general contrariness bubbles to the surface, and I get cranky with the media obsession with the Kennedys, or the Beatles (this despite loving The Beatles' music dearly), or whatever. At times like these, I have been known to turn to writers like Will for a little catharsis for that black little monster that lives in my hindbrain. Then, my crumugeonliness surfeited with bile, I come back to my senses and say to myself "Waitaminnit. That's not right! It's funny, but it's just not right."

As for the MI movies, I enjoyed the first one a great deal, but for some reason never saw the second. Perhaps now I will.

I can't think of any movies that I can say were actually better than the TV series that inspired them, mostly because I simply haven't seen most of those series. Gap in my education, I suppose. ;)
[> Moulin Rouge -- Rob, 13:13:18 12/18/01 Tue

"Someone already mentioned this on the board this week, but I’m only too happy to repeat the good news, so here goes: One of the best movies of this past year (and in my humble opin, of the last decade) will be released next week on DVD, namely Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. Simply stunning, original, remarkable. Don’t rent, buy, ‘cos this one’s a keeper.

That someone was me, and I have to say, it seems like we've been sharing the same brain for a while now! LOL. I wrote a review on about "Moulin Rouge" with almost the exact same wording. I wrote "The best movie of 2001...and of the last 10 years!" And I agree, by the way. Everybody, and I mean everybody, at this site should go out immediately and buy the DVD of "Moulin Rouge."

Why? Three reasons.

(1) You will definitely have to see this movie more than once in order to take it all in. It is just impossible to appreciate it completely with only one viewing


(2) It absolutely must be seen in widescreen. I watched it full frame in a hotel room last month (after seeing it four times in the movie theatre), and it was just depressing. The pan and scan was painful to watch on such a detailed, brilliant film, when I knew all the great, beautiful imagery that I was not seeing. This is a very epic film, which each frame filled to the brink with fascinating color and imagery. This is a film that must be seen in its original aspect ratio, or not at all.


(3) The music is infectious. You know all of it, and you'll want to sing along over and over again.

"Moulin Rouge" won the National Board of Reviewer's Best Film of the Year award, and it deserved it. Viva La Moulin Rouge! It has eclipsed "The Wizard of Oz" and "Star Wars" on my top 10 films of all time list. It is now my #1. I have seen it 10 times so far, and plan on seeing it hundreds of more times in the future.

[> [> Hundreds of times? Well, don't know if I'll watch it quite that much! LOL... -- OnM, 19:58:25 12/18/01 Tue

But otherwise, what can we say that we haven't already, eh?

*** It absolutely must be seen in widescreen. I watched it full frame in a hotel room last month (...) and it was just depressing. The pan and scan was painful to watch on such a detailed, brilliant film, when I knew all the great, beautiful imagery that I was not seeing. (...) This is a film that must be seen in its original aspect ratio, or not at all. ***

It's taken way, waaayyyy too long, but finally it seems to be getting into people heads that the letterboxing on DVDs (and of course the laserdiscs before them) isn't some nefarious plot to steal their God-given CRT* acreage from them! (although I still get those occasional customers who keep reminding me what a waste it is to buy a DVD player because they insist on cutting the top and bottom of the picture off!)

I've started re-viewing the selection for this week's CMotW which while on laser, is unfortunately in pan'n'scan. I can tell by looking at it that it's been altered, the composition just doesn't look right. I can imagine your pain at seeing MR bastardized in this same fashion.

I plan to pick up my copy sometime next week, this one's just too busy with last-minute installs and stuff at work-- it's gonna be a job just to squeeze the Classic Movie writeup in, but I'll do it somehow!

Thanks for your thoughts!

(* Note to non-techies-- CRT = Cathode Ray Tube, i.e. picture tube)
[> [> [> I'm always trying to educate people about original aspect ratios.. -- Rob, 09:51:42 12/19/01 Wed

I worked at Blockbuster Video for almost a year (I left there three months ago), and I can't tell you how many times people tried to get their money back on rentals because "there were black bars on the top and the bottom." I think it's really sad that a great deal of the masses would rather see a butchered copy of a movie than be inconvenienced by not having the picture fill up their television screens perfectly.

And, no, they did not get their money back. ;o)

Attn squireboy -- matching mole, 08:08:47 12/15/01 Sat

Another CFNY fan on atpobtvs! If you haven't been there before check out

You can wallow in pure nostalgia.
[> wow, thanks! *quickly bookmarks* -- squireboy, 23:26:00 12/15/01 Sat

I had just been thinking about how the Tivo-like device I really want is one that will let me play radio shows from the past. Not the past week, but like 1979. Give it the channel and the timeslot and voila!, early CHUM or CFNY or WLS-Chicago with John "Records" Landecker.

There, let me get *that* for Christmas. :)

Then I'll want the device that lets me watch the Buffy episodes that would have happened if actors and plot arcs would come and go the way I'd like it ... :)

[> [> Are you my doppelganger or am I yours? -- matching mole, 12:48:53 12/16/01 Sun

Your message implies that you lived in Chicago (me 1987-1994) as well as Ontario (me 1961-1984). Scary stuff. Ever live in Oklahoma? Arizona?
[> [> [> LOL! Does one of us have to be the evil one, or can we split it? :) -- squireboy, 12:11:05 12/17/01 Mon

I still live in CFNY country (without the CFNY :(, I used to get Chicagoland radio because of a lucky bounce off the lake or something. Never been in Oklahoma, visited AZ a couple of times, yes, I stood on a corner in Winslow, I'm such a dweeb. (My friends travelling with me all wanted to do it too :)

I think you'll have to take the blame for our southwestern hijinks and I'll do the time for the northeastern ones. That sound fair?

some funnies -- yabyumpan, 08:22:13 12/15/01 Sat

I found this on another board and I thought I'd share I cos it mad me giggle lots:
It's from an interview with Eliza Dushku..

"So what was your first kiss like?

Well it was with David Boreanaz and we were like kissing but his fangs kept piercing my tongue. When the director yelled cut-they asked me how it was and I said fine-but would David mind taking his fangs out because they were piercing my tongue.

The entire set just went quite. David had this strange look on his face. Finally, the director said "Eliza why were you using your tongue in the first place?" I turned red. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to kiss for real. And I said Oh, really-"Oh well I am a method actress" after which the crew burst out laughing."

There's also a wonderful rumor going round which has Gunn and Wesley getting together!!! Not going to happen but I love the idea. Got me thinking....Gay Angel-the Vampire with real Soul. Gunn/Wesley, Cordy/Fred, Angel/Lorne...Holtz comes back to avenge Angel and Darla for corrupting his son and daughter, W&H a cover for an ultra rightwing fanatical religious group, baby gets taken into care to protect it from corrupting influences.....

just want to say I have absolutly no problem with gays or gay characters on the shows but Wesley and Gunn, that's just so out there with absolutly no context I thought I'd have a bit of fun.
Question for BtVS (speculation for the rest of Season 6) -- JBone, 20:34:42 12/15/01 Sat

My question is what happens when Dawn goes back to school with a fracture. With the references last year to Child Services taking Dawn away, we still haven't seen hide nor hair of Buffy's father. I believe this is a time bomb that I'm not sure how any of it will play out.

I want nothing of spoilers. If you know of spoilers, you can shove them up your ass, because I don't want to sniff them.
[> Hmmmmm and ewwwwwwwwwwww.....:):) -- Rufus, 20:46:03 12/15/01 Sat

So, you want specualation that could possibly turn out to be true....almost sounds like a spoiler. It depends on the situation at the hospital and school. Possibly someone could make a report to CPS, but who knows in Sunnydale. It has a rather high murder rate, and Dawn's fracture is directly related to a car accident. So, if someone does ask about supervison of a minor I guess they could come around sniffing out the Summers house to see how they are doing.
[> [> Blaaah blaaah blaaah -- JBone, 21:43:46 12/15/01 Sat

me like speculation, but not other stuff.
[> [> Re: Hmmmmm and ewwwwwwwwwwww.....:):) -- change, 04:54:45 12/16/01 Sun

Buffy may have a little bit of trouble explaining the fracture. Although it was caused by a car accident, the car was stolen. So, they can't really tell the doctors and DSS what really happenned. Of course, there are probably a lot of injuries in Sunnydale, so maybe nobody will think too much about it.
[> My speculation -- Slayrunt, 00:53:08 12/16/01 Sun

Dawn will be telling her friend about the accident and will be overheard by a teacher. The teacher will be suspicious and start asking questions, dropping by the house etc.

When she finds everyone at the house, she immediately assumes the Summers residence is a drug house, (she saw Amy creeping about with a bag of "pot"). She calls the police and Child Services.

The Police do nothing (they are incredibly stupid after all), but Child Services takes Dawn and puts her in foster care while they try to contact Mr. Summers.

Buffy is allowed visitation but only on Tuesday.

Willow becomes so depressed that she caused all this that she begins wearing only leather and saying things like "bored now" and licking everyones face.

Anya sees Willow licking Xander's face and becomes so furious that she immediately gives up on Xander and his penis and starts dating Tara.

Tara becomes increasingly sick of Anya and her voice that she goes to the one place where she knows that Anya will not follow...Xander's apartment, where she gets her timbers shivered by...Yes, Xander.

Xander in a brief moment of clarity, realizes that he is in trouble,(Willow's licking, Anya's anger and Tara's passion) that he seeks to hide behind his Buffy, but can't find her because it's Tuesday and she is out saving Dawn...uh I mean visiting Dawn.

Meanwhile, Child Services locates Mr Summers. Hank shows up at the house and finds Spike with Buffy. Buffy learns that Spike and Hank met in South America.

Buffy becomes suspious about that and, the next day, corners Spike to learn more about this meeting.

Finally after a week of badgering, Spike explains that he met Buffy's father right after Dru left him for a Slime demon and he took his frustrations out on Hank and Vamped him.

Buffy realizing that it is now Tuesday, rushes over to Dawn's foster house to find that Hank has killed the foster family and is about to kill Dawn. Buffy is forced to kill her own father to protect her fake sister.
[> [> Hahahahahaha nice!! -- MayaPapaya9, 12:39:17 12/16/01 Sun

[> [> Re: My speculation an addendum -- Slayrunt, 02:24:25 12/17/01 Mon

The teacher, Mrs. Kravitz, (yes, she is the granddaughter of the Mrs. Kravitz who was the neighbor of Darren and Samantha Stevens) kept hounding the police about the "drug house". She was also the neighbor of Dawn’s foster parents. Mrs. Kravitz noticed several odd happenings on Tuesday. The first was a man running to the door wrapped in a smoking blanket. Shortly after that, A little blonde girl ran into the house and Mrs. Kravitz heard a lot of noise (smashing and banging) coming from the foster home.

She called the police and they sent a cruiser to investigate. The officers discovered several dead bodies, a pile of dust and the two Summers girls, one of whom is holding a rather large and pointy stick. They immediately arrest Buffy and cart her off to jail.

Dawn ran to the Scoobies to get help for Buffy. The scoobies go to the jail, but are unable to bail Buffy out (being changed with multiple murder does tend to cause a high bail). So, they attempt to contact a good attorney. The law firm of Donald, Young, Dole and Frutt came recommended for this kind of case.

Unfortunately, in a fit of terrible timing, the Big Bad appeared and started rampaging through the town. The blonde girl that Willow brought back with the beast was unstoppable and there was no mute button in sight. Britney was returning from the Hell dimension after more augmentation surgery to make her even more powerful.

With hips and chest swaying and bouncing, she was unstoppable. None of the teenage boys and many of the men could stand. Everywhere she went, she gained more and more little girls following her every command. Dawn fell under her spell, Xander, Spike and even Tara were powerless to resist her.

More to come
[> [> [> Great stuff slayrunt! -- matching mole, 10:30:34 12/17/01 Mon

My that Britney certainly gets around doesn't she?
[> [> [> [> just read yours -- Slayrunt, 21:50:42 12/17/01 Mon

and yes, she does. Can't wait for the rest of your.
Do you feel "Fray" is canonical? -- squireboy, 23:42:30 12/15/01 Sat

Apologies if this has been discussed here before, but I'm curious how people feel as to the reliability of Joss' writings in "Fray" and potentially other works like that, and how it might influence your thinking and appreciation of the shows. He does talk of a girl in a sunlit town, and of watchers, and while the timeframe is all wrong, I do get the feeling (after having just reread the issues) that JW will "reflect" back on the buffyverse from the perspective of what takes place in Fray. It was pointed out here recently that Fray discusses the origins of the slayer and the watchers as being rooted in shamanistic conjurings, for example.

How do you feel about Joss writing in arenas like that? Is it just what is filmed in the episodes of the shows that is "truthful" or reliable for your view/interpretation/analysis of the buffyverse (and what does that mean for "out of context" (meta)remarks like interviews or posting board messages, etc.) or is anything ostenibly slayer-ish by Joss (other ME writers?) fair game?

I'm curious to hear your views (and tangents) on this issue. I'm not sure I've formed an opinion myself at this stage.

[> Re: Do you feel "Fray" is canonical? -- Earl Allison, 04:42:53 12/16/01 Sun

No, I don't really consider "Fray" canon material yet.

Joss has the tendency to change things if he doesn't like the way they are going, or at the very least, he changes the nuances ... case in point, Spike.

In "School Hard," he claims that Angel was his "Sire," yet we see in Season Four that Drusilla was his actual "Sire," the one who vamped him. One could chalk it up to semantics, that maybe Angel was more involved in showing William HOW to be a vampire, as opposed to MAKING him one, but the contradiction stands.

The problem with "Fray," indeed, even with internet/magazine interviews, is that Joss always retains the right to change his mind, even to change an entire premise.

As far as I'm concerned, and I admit, this is purely my subjective opinion, the only things that are canon are the actual shows, BtVS and AtS. Heck, even the original Buffy movie has been rendered non-canon (neat trick, that) by the series.

We know that the novels aren't canon, considering that some of them actually contradict statements from the series (The Spike and Dru novel is one such example, I think). Neither is the Buffy series from Dark Horse, or the other minis they produce, or the defunct Angel series. I don't see the "Fray" comics or the "Angel" mini Joss is writing as being considered canon, not yet.

Was the Slayer created by shamanistic conjuring? Maybe, maybe not. Until it's spelled out in the show, though, I still consider it conjecture at best.

Take it and run.
[> [> Earl? You hit all the points I wanted to make... -- VampRiley, 08:18:37 12/16/01 Sun

...especially with all the "yet" statements.

[> [> I disagree... -- Rob, 08:48:26 12/16/01 Sun

Yes, I think that "Fray" is part of the "Slayer" canon, primarily because (a) it takes place in the future, and thus does not contradict present events on "Buffy" and (b) it is written by Joss himself. The difference between all the other "Buffy" comics and novels, and "Fray" is that, whereas the others are written by people not involved with the show. Joss himself has said that a "Buffy" novel could come out with the plot line, "Buffy learned that abortion was wrong," and he wouldn't know it. Because he doesn't read them. But "Fray," a story about a Slayer, written by the creator of the series...yes, I think that is canon.

As far as the "sire" example...A sire can be, basically, any vamp who came before you in a direct line. That is bad wording...What I'm trying to say is, it's like a grandfather or great- grandfather. Darla turned Angel who turned Dru who turned Spike. Therefore, Darla, Angel, and Dru are Spike's sires. So, therefore the term "sire" does not refer to the vamp who raised another vamp, nor does it have to mean that that is the very vamp who turned you. It could be the vamp who turned the vamp who turned the vamp who turned the vamp who turned you. Of course, there is a place the line has to end. I think basically the sire is the head of a group of vamps. If a vamp only travels with one other, whom he sired, than he is the sire. If the vamp travels in a group, all whom were sired from him, or his "descendants," then he is the sire.

I don't think that Joss would have something, in a story he wrote, as major as the Origin of Slayers, and not have that be the answer, or part of the answer.

So what do I consider canon? The episodes of "Buffy" and "Angel" and any other story, or comic, about such, if written by Joss.

What I don't consider canon is the countless "Buffy" novels and the comic books that were not written by Joss. Also, I don't count anything cut out of a shooting script as canon. If it was taken out, most people are not aware of it. On a later episode, something contradictory to something that was cut could be said. After all, it was cut.

Unlike some show creators, like Chris Carter, I think Joss plays pretty fairly with his audience. Yes, he does sometimes make them suffer along with the characters, but he doesn't keep us twisted in a web of lies and deception and mythology that doesn't make sense (i.e. The X-Files). While, yes, we still have questions about Slayers that need answering, he does not make that the main focus of the show. The answers will come in time, but we're not tearing our hair out for them. So I think some hints he dropped in "Fray" could very well have great meaning on "Buffy" and "Angel."

[> [> The real question is "Is there a canon?" My opinion: "No" -- darrenK, 09:11:51 12/16/01 Sun

And there doesn't need to be one.

I almost wish that this terribly strange question had never even come up.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a set of overlapping fictions.
Looking for the true history of a universe of overlapping fictions is like trying to guess what you really look like in a bunch of funhouse mirrors.

The Buffy universe will change over and over again, as things are settled and new characters are introduced and old characters recede and the mythology grows to the point where stories step on each other's facts.

Like I've said in my post below, it doesn't matter. We don't need to know the absolute concrete history. We don't know it in our own world. History is written from viewpoints, with agendas, and philosophies. There is no objective truth here and there isn't in the Buffy universe either. And I say "Thank God."

(And I don't even believe in God).

Next, to suggest that Joss would write a series on a Slayer in the future, then say that the events of that future never happened serves no purpose. Joss is smart enough to know that little details can be contradicted, or ignored for the purpose of the story, but major revelations--like how the Slayer is created--can't be. But that doesn't mean alternate versions of the story can't be told.

And I'm sure he will.

He also knows that contradiction and "inside of" and "outside of" canon storylines confuse fans and whittle away at their trust.

I think the big question, the truthful question, isn't whether or not Fray is "canon", it is "Is there a canon?"

To say there's one and Joss never has, is to have to put every Buffy story to a weird litmus test of its "truthfulness," its "factual accuracy," and why worry about this when the real truth of Buffy has always been emotional and metaphorical. To worry whether or not the story "happened" is to take away from the joy of it.

I've said it already and I'll say it again: Buffy and her universe are fiction, really good fiction, a really good mythology, but it's not History, not science. No objective true list of "facts" are possible because the Buffy universe is in flux, still in the process of being created, in overlapping fictions by really good writers overseen by a creative genius. If he wants to have there be more than one truth, I trust him.

[> Re: Do you feel "Fray" is canonical? -- Cactus Watcher, 07:07:22 12/16/01 Sun

It really depends on what everybody else decides. I'm not interested in Fray, but they are plenty of people who are. Even though 'official' scripts are available, I personally feel like only what's been shown on TV is the real story. The shooting scripts often have extra scenes and the dialogue is almost always changed in minor ways. That wasn't exactly a fair way to look at things, since not everybody has been watching since the beginning. But, I think it's fair enough now that reruns are on in most places more than once a week. There's nothing wrong with discussing what's in Fray, but some of us aren't going to join in.
If Joss Whedon wants to make money using the Buffy franchise in other ways, it's fine with me. But, I won't necessarily buy everything just because it has a Buffy label on it.
[> Thankfully, a universe of metaphorical truth -- darrenK, 08:48:29 12/16/01 Sun

I don't mean this to be in any way rude, but only a dedicated Star Wars fan would ask this question.

I say this because greedy, lazy George Lucas allows Star Wars stories to be told in as many media as exist, but then says that only his movies that he writes are the verifiable and "canonical" story.

He does this so that he can pull in the money from all the media, while not having to pay attention to what the comic/novel/cd-rom creators are doing.

And, unfortunately, since Star Wars is so central to many of the genre fans that are also attracted to Buffy they are letting George Lucas affect their thinking on questions that, truthfully, shouldn't exist.

First off, Joss is a much more careful and energetic guardian of his mythology. His myths first priority is their emotional and metaphorical truth. The truth of the story, rather than the truth of the events of the story.

Second, unlike Lucas, Joss has gathered a very talented group of writers and creators to make what you've suggested is the "canonical" TV show. In other words, Joss isn't the only one who writes the "canon"

Third, Joss is famous for overseeing everything with the Buffy name. He recently retooled the Angel comics. He's overseeing the Buffy animated show that's being written by the actual Buffy writers. And he'll probably write most of the BBC Ripper series. He's there to say what's real in Buffy and what isn't.

Fourth, Joss is writing Fray. Why would he write a comic set in the future of the Buffy universe he created only to say that that's not the future of the Buffy universe?

Fifth, George Lucas says that a story isn't in the "canon" when he doesn't write it. You're suggesting that Joss himself would write a story that he then says is not "canon." That's too confusing. Joss works too hard to earn the fans trust to betray it by splitting hairs. And it is splitting hairs.

Sixth: Joss in many interviews and intros has acknowledged that he's created a mythology, not a history. Any mythology, while usually internally consistent, doesn't worry as much with the orderly parade of facts as the strength of the story. This IS NOT to say that a good mythos can contradict itself, or put its characters in two places at once without explanation. Instead, what I'm saying is that he and his group of writers are loyal to the universe and make stories that they trust are good(which is different than making stories we can trust for their "facts"), so that they don't have to go back later to say what did and didn't happen in the "canon."

Dawn is a tremendous example of this. Buffy went four seasons as an only child, then, suddenly, not only does she have a sister, but she's ALWAYS had a sister. So, she exists in the memories the Scooby Gang has of every experience that we've seen in every episode of the first 4 years.

Does this mean that the Dawnless episodes are "canon," or does the real "canon" now put Dawn in every episode? Or is every story after Dawn, no longer "canon."

It doesn't matter.

Joss has created a universe as complex as our own, with all the contradictions and opposing points of view that ours has. And, in his universe we see things one way, then, he changes direction, gives us an explanation that makes sense and we see things a different way.

His myths are layered. Dawn wasn't in the events of the first 4 years. The Scooby Gang only remembers it that way. Dawn is a layer. Fray is a layer. We have no idea what happens in the intervening 300 years between Buffy and Fray. We have no idea if we can trust that huge red demon that's giving Fray her info. But I do trust that if he's lying we'll find out that he's lying.

But I do know that Joss wouldn't write it, then say that it's completely false and contradict it without a reason that it should be contradicted.

He loves his fans too much. He loves his story too much.
[> [> Just what I was thinking, dK! Should have read your response first before posting mine! - - Rob, 08:49:59 12/16/01 Sun

[> [> I asked it as a student of literature where issues of "canon" are debated regularly and constantly -- squireboy, 09:36:44 12/16/01 Sun

I consider Joss' work to be worthy of consideration as art/literature and I want to and will hold him to certain standards. No hand-waving, as little cheesy ret-conning as possible, consistency in storytelling and coherence in plot and plot arc.

Um, I don't know if you felt the need to dismiss or demean the discussion for some reason of your own, but I'm interested in what other people have to say on this issue.
Sorry to disappoint you, but while I enjoyed the Star Wars movies, I'm not a huge fan who followed all the fiction, etc. My own view on the Buffy novels is that they are clearly not canonical in that they need to freedom to stray, and JW/ME can't possibly contain all within.

I'm interested in what people think about Fray because it is the creator and author at work in the same universe, making clear references to the body of work in question.

I don't subscribe to your view that Joss has free reign to bring in space travel and dinosaurs. He has committed to a vision and the strength of the show is that it builds and abides by its own mythology. Every creator sets up boundaries and then challenges themselves within those boundaries. Fray is a new direction, but one that makes clear references to buffyverse elements. I am curious as to what others feel about that.

[> [> [> Literature, Canon, and Space Travel -- darrenK, 10:56:24 12/16/01 Sun

No need to get defensive, but I didn't take the meaning of your question to be the one you are now ascribing.

When questions of "canon" are talked of in art and literature, there are four basic types of canons that I feel comfortable giving examples of.

One canon is the works of a specific author. A good example of this is the debates over whether a particular Elizabethan play of questionable origin can be included in the works of William Shakespeare.

The second type of canon is the one that's assembled for a specific purpose, e.g. "Great Books," or early American poetry, even the "Great works of William Shakespeare" [a variation on our earlier example]

The third type is the one most typically seen in Religion.
Works that make it into the religious canon are said to be divinely inspired and therefore speak with an authority that non-canon works lack.

The fourth type is a variation on the third. It's most typically found in History. A canononical work of history establishes a more "authentic," but not necessarily truthful version of history than one that isn't canon. Who determines this authenticity is a matter of debate more passionate than we shall ever have on this board.

I did not try to "demean" this discussion by talking about Star Wars. It's just that "canon" is an issue of painful importance to Star Wars fans who spend many hours arguing over whether a favorite work could possibly have a grain of authentic fictional history.

I don't want that to happen to the fans of Buffy. I don't want us to become so concerned with whether or not a particular work is fictionally historically accurate or not.

It's beside the point of whatever entertainment value the work brings. Mythology has a canon in the sense that certain writers––Robert Graves, Edith Wilson, Homer, Robert Fagles––have, over a great deal of time, gone about the retelling of age old myths. But they don't try and smooth over every contradictory element, they just tell it and leave it up to the reader. And they certainly don't expunge a work because it's contradictory.

No, usually the reason that a work is expunged is political. It doesn't suit the views of those in power.

The Bible might be an even more important example of canon for the Buffyverse's purposes since many of the Bible's stories contradict each other, include characters and resolutions that contradict the story that was just told, and are thematically incongruent.

Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, goes off to the land of Nod to take a wife. How? At that point, Adam, Eve and Cain should be the only people in the world.

In Exodus, the Old testament God of the Hebrews vanquishes the Egyptian Gods. How, if there are no other gods, does he go about doing so?

In Genesis, God never bothers to make the dinosaurs that you were mentioning earlier.

Mark contradicts some of the events of Luke. The book of Ruth contradicts Jewish Talmudic law. King David commits murder and is still God's favorite, but Moses is punished for striking a stone too hard with his staff.

Where I'm going with this is that a legitimate literary Buffy canon has room for Fray to describe one version of the Slayer's origin, then the TV show can give it a different spin. And they can both be "canon."

And the type of Canon that needs all it's elements to fit perfectly is the type Star Wars is.

If this is a discussion of whether Fray's version of the Buffyverse's future or the Slayer's origin are truthful, then my opinion is that we are discussing whether or not the Buffyverse's canon is the same type of confusing, totalitarian canon as is kept by the guardians of the Star Wars universe.

I say "NO."

In a related opinion, I think that anything Joss writes, oversees, or produces should be considered authoritative.

As to the question of whether or not Joss has free reign to bring in Dinosaurs and Space travel, which I realize was supposed to be an exaggerated example of the type of storytelling emergency you're worried might come about without an established canon, it should be noted that he's already brought in robots, demons mistaken for dinosaurs, female gods trapped inside male doctors and, of course, dimensional doors that can only be opened by 14 year-old girls who are really thousands of year old blobs of green energy, I think space travel fits right in.

But I guess they don't really need space travel when Angel and company can travel to other dimensional worlds in a convertable Cadillac.

[> [> [> [> Re: We sort of *have* had space travel -- Philistine, 17:08:57 12/16/01 Sun

The Queller, aka the "Snot Monster from Outer Space."
[> [> [> Re: Issues of "canon" -- MrDave, 17:21:50 12/16/01 Sun

I'll start with I have not read "Fray" yet, and only have the (few) spoilers that have appeared about it as reference.

But here is what I have gathered:
1) "Fray" is set in the future. A Fictitious future that has had its history clouded by additional layers of myth and legend as well as the inevitable losses that occur to historical material. While it can be inferred that their accounts of events from the 18th century on are reasonably accurate, it is likely that earlier material isn't going to be any clearer or definitave than it is to us, and likely less.

2) JW/ME is very careful to preserve the idea of continuity among their collective creations. Dark Horse has dealt with 'canonical' universes before with Aliens, Predator, Terminator, Star Wars, Star Trek, and other licenced material. I know they must have asked JW about the amount of creative freedom he wanted to allow. His redo on the Angel Comic is a prime example of his attention to 'the truth' of his universe.

3) JW likes to layer his mythology with internal mythologies. If the characters consider it a 'Fact' then for all of our collective purposes it should be considered a fact. If it is a 'legend' or a 'tradition' or even a 'myth' then we should (as outside the loop) think of it the same way. If JW (through his characters) says it is a 'fact'...Well, then, question answered.

I guess what it all comes down to is that JW treats his created universe as much like the real world. If you see it happen, it is true. If someone says it happened, it might be true. If someone says it will happen, then it might, but never how you expect it to happen.

I view the 'Fray' view of history in the 'someone said it happened' category. Unless JW shows us a scene where it is actually occurring in the past...then it just another suspect report from a 'dusty old tome'. As for whether the events will occur as described in the comic...another case of prophesy (the Buffyverse is set a contemporary time), JW style.

That means that no matter what happens in Fray, unless it is a past event shown "eye- witness" style to establish the 'truth' of the past (pre-current series timeline), then it is a matter of speculation and conjecture...even if it comes from JW himself.
[> [> [> [> Well said -- darrenK, 18:59:24 12/16/01 Sun

And, you allow for the complication Joss so carefully layers into his storytelling/mythology.

[> [> [> [> That´s exactly the point! -- grifter, 06:17:05 12/17/01 Mon

"I view the 'Fray' view of history in the 'someone said it happened' category. Unless JW shows us a scene where it is actually occurring in the past...then it just another suspect report from a 'dusty old tome'. As for whether the events will occur as described in the comic...another case of prophesy (the Buffyverse is set a contemporary time), JW style."

The stuff about the origin of the Slayer and the fate of teh last Slayer is all something someone said had happened. It´s not fact, it´s something that´s possibly true, not necessarily.
So the discussion if "Fray" should be considered "canon" is pointless since there is no "canon" in it, only possible "canon".
[> [> [> [> Re: Issues of "canon" -- Tanker, 23:17:58 12/17/01 Mon

"I view the 'Fray' view of history in the 'someone said it happened' category. Unless JW shows us a scene where it is actually occurring in the past...then it just another suspect report from a 'dusty old tome'."

Well, that's already settled, then. When Urkonn is telling Melaka about the history of the conflict between demons and humans and the origin of the slayer in issue #3, we see various scenes illustrating the events that he's recounting. Urkonn admits to not being clear on the details of what happened to the last Slayer, but he seems pretty sure when he's talking about the rest. So unless you want to argue that those scenes are just the product of Urkonn's imagination, it seems reasonable to assume that they're accurate depictions of the events.
[> Creativity and Consistency: A Cost-Benefit Analysis. -- matching mole, 12:02:24 12/17/01 Mon

Any piece of fiction is a created world, a product of the imagination. For an imagined world to be compelling it must have a certain amount of consistency. This consistency must be both internal and external. Internal consistency means that persons, events, established in one part of the story carry through to other parts of the story. External consistency means that the created world relates to our ‘real’ world in some predictable way. Deviations from consistency, unless they are deliberate, are generally frowned upon.

Fine and dandy but what happens when the same imaginary world is used over and over again? Does maintaining consistency increase the impact of works based in that world or simply become a hindrance? In some cases it is not a big deal one way or another. Thomas Hardy based all of his novels in the imaginary English county of Wessex, based pretty closely on the real county of Dorset and its immediate surroundings. As the Hardyverse differs from the realverse mostly only in place names and the novels are basically independent of one another Hardy probably didn’t have a great deal of trouble maintaining a consistent imagined world.

Things become more complicated when you either increase the inter-linkage between works sharing the imaginary world (e.g. same characters, institutions appear in multiple works) or when the created world differs radically from our realverse. For some reason these things seem to be positively correlated. People telling long complex and open-ended stories also tend to create worlds with rules different from our own. I can see benefits and pitfalls to this situation.

Benefits. The discovery of a new world and its dynamics can be as exciting as the story the world was created for. The very phenomenon of fan fiction demonstrates the power of a created world on its own to stimulate the imagination. A vivid and complex world and a lengthy and complex story do allow the creator(s) of a fiction a lot more possibilities than a limited world and a short simple story.

Costs. If the created world becomes large and complex enough then the effort of maintaining consistency may be too great. It constrains the creative options open to the ‘author’. For example, I see no particular artistic justification (as opposed to commercial justification) for setting ‘Enterprise’ in the Star Trek universe. Any plot line developed or race of aliens introduced has to brought into line with four previous series and what is it, eight?, nine? films. It seems like you could make up a whole new reality for this show without great cost and allow the writers a lot more creative freedom.

So what of the Bufyverse? Given the constraints it already has (over a hundred episodes of BtVS) I would rather not have it take on any more. In fact I applaud the increasing separation of BtVS and AtS as freeing both shows to follow their own directions. Unfortunately I nothing of 'Fray' beyond what I've been able to glean from the comments of others on this board.
Anyone catch Season 1 repeats on Fox Saturdays -- Spike Lover, 11:59:44 12/16/01 Sun

I have been watching the season 1 repeats on Fox on Saturdays. Yesterday, they aired the season final, where the Master gets out of the Hellmouth and momentarily kills Buffy.

Some observations: I realize the writers did not know if there would be a season 2, but, I tell you, Angel really comes off as unheroic. I caught an episode (maybe part 1 or part 2 of Harvest,) where Buffy is going to rescue Xander's friend from the Master (and Darla). She asks Angel to go, he refuses and suggests that she not go either!! He says something to the idea that the Master really doesn't like him! What a wimp!! (And this is supposedly after he has moved specifically to Sunnydale to help Buffy?)

Perhaps what the writers were going for was that his admiration for Buffy or his infatuation for her was going to help him grow some "stones". But, does this sound familiar or what? I have actually been pretty astonished, but I have to remember that in Season 1, David B. was not even in the opening credits.

Okay, anyway, in yesterday's episode, someone has emailed a prophecy to Jenny Calendar about the Master rising, and specifically the Isaiah quote: The lamb will lay down w/ the lion and the little child will lead them.

The master tells Buffy that she is the lamb.

Now the reason why I bring this up is the coincidences across the years (seasons). The little child that leads her is the child vampire called the "Anointed One". Now everyone try to remember what happens to him?

Spike kills him early in season 2. Why? It was a quick way to end a storyline that was going nowhere, and Spike and Dru were going to be the next supervillians.

But as I watched yesterday's ep, I was thinking, the lion really has laid down w/ the lamb. Although it may be Spike that is the lamb now.

Any thoughts?
[> Re: Anyone catch Season 1 repeats on Fox Saturdays -- maddog, 16:30:09 12/16/01 Sun

I think you answered your own question though...Angel had JUST moved to Sunnydale to help Buffy. He didn't know what he was doing. He wasn't sure just how he was going to help. At first all he did was warn her.
[> [> Re: Anyone catch Season 1 repeats on Fox Saturdays -- sasha, 17:26:11 12/17/01 Mon

I thought this too....even knowing Angel was just "cryptic guy" all S1 (other than helping Buffy with The Three), I was disappointed to see Xander have to talk him into helping save Buffy, especially after seeing that he cares for her very deeply ('Never kill a boy', 'Angel'). I think Angel was just very conflicted in S1. He wanted to help Buffy, but he still doesn't quite know who he is (after all, he just spent 100 years brooding, interupted by Whistler showing him there could be another path for his life, helping Buffy at TPTB request) and he still has all the guilt from Angelus' deeds and the fear from having deserted the Master......

I did have a couple of questions though:

1) After the Annointed One leads Buffy to the Master, why doesn't she just shoot him with the crossbow as he walks away? She was in no immediate danger from the Master, she had time, AO was there....

2) The Master grabs Buffy by the neck a least a couple of times in this ep, and she's always wearing Angel's cross when he does. The cross doesn't seem to cause any problems for the Master at all. Shouldn't the cross have slowed him down a little? Why don't we at least see some smoke from where he touches it?

3) After the Hellmouth closes, there seems to be no damage anywhere (except perhaps to Buffy!)...what about all the destruction in the library from the hell beasties and the 'earthquake' of the previous day (not the mention Cordelia's car!). Why?
Short Cut to the End of Time (BtVS fiction) -- matching mole, 12:32:14 12/16/01 Sun

I decided to do this on a lark as I've never seriously considered writing fiction based on others' characters before. Found it surprisingly enjoyable. Hope at least some of you enjoy this rather idiosyncratic story (or story fragment). All critical comments appreciated.

Shadows on the Bottom of the Sea
Part One: Shortcut to the End of Time

Howard didn’t like the graveyard. The grass was neatly mown and the air warm and dry. The grave markers were all less than a hundred years old and there wasn’t a trace of mold anywhere. It made him nervous.
Air wheezed in and out of gaping nostrils, flattened, rubbery feet slapped the gravel walkway, and lank hair flopped from one side of a misshapen skull to the other as the ghoul shambled along. Howard was in a hurry. Crickets called along the edge of the pathway and, though his ears pricked up at the sound, he passed them by. A rat scurried across the path, intent on its own business and he did not pursue it. Only a snail gliding out of the grass proved too irresistible to pass up. He was still licking shell fragments from between his teeth when he stopped at the top of a small hill. He leaned against a handy eucalyptus and looked around. The cemetery stretched out for a considerable distance ahead of him. Howard inhaled deeply, drinking in the rich odor of death. Much of it was old, too old to yield more than bones. Tasty to be sure and nourishing enough but not very satisfying. He sniffed again. There were some newer graves, he could sense the disturbed soil. But they mostly seemed to be empty.
"A bad business this." Howard began muttering. "Should’ve stayed on the east coast. Proper atmosphere in the church yards there. Nameless dread, ebon shadows. Luminous fungi, charnel stench. None of this Hollywood glitter. And the corpses stayed put until wanted."
A different odor caught his attention and he sniffed for a third time. Something alive was out there, something a lot bigger than a rat. His weak eyes peered into the gloom. A slender form was visible, standing among the stones at the edge of his vision.
Howard grunted with satisfaction and put down the ancient and battered suitcase he was holding in his right claw. Carefully he used his talons to pry loose the catches and open it up. From inside he pulled out an only slightly battered fedora and placed it on his head. Next came a highly polished pocket watch. The ghoul used one claw to flick it open and check the time. Quickly he closed it again and put the watch in the one remaining pocket of his decaying suit jacket. Finally he pulled out an old leather brief case and a sheaf of manuscript paper. Shoving the latter into the former he then closed the suitcase and shoved it under a nearby shrub. Clutching the case against his chest he loped down the hill towards the slender being.
"Good evening Howard." The tall, slender figure was staring at the mausoleum before him. His back was facing the approaching ghoul.
"By the Blind Piper! How…?"
"Were you expecting anyone else?" The cloak-enshrouded being turned, the folds of his hood concealing his face. "Neither was I. But, really, is this how we should greet each other? Friends of eighty years meeting face to face for the first time."
"Clark? Is that you?"
"No, it’s Superman." Perhaps seeing Howard’s blank look he continued. "Sorry, after your time I think. Yes of course it’s me." Clark raised gloved hands to his hood and pulled it back. An ancient, wizened face was revealed.
"Have you grown gills?"
"I beg your pardon?" Clark moved a hand to his face. "Oh. No those are just wattles. Harmless folds of skin. I am almost one hundred and ten."
"My apologies, Clark. Decades of solitary churchyard life have blunted my manners. It is good to see you." Howard stared at his shoeless feet. Becoming a ghoul hadn’t made social interactions any easier. "But why did we
have to meet here, of all places?"
"The cemetery? Doesn’t it seem appropriate?"
"No, in California. The pavement hurts my feet and the sunlight my eyes. I’ve been hit by cars three times." Howard wiggled an arm which seemed to have developed an extra joint between wrist and elbow. "I don’t understand how you can live here."
"I’m from northern California. Completely different. I think you’d like the Bay area. Nice and foggy." The old man stepped towards the ghoul and took a small object from a pocket of his dark purple robe. "But that doesn’t really matter. We had to meet here. This is Sunnydale. I assume that means something to you."
"You mean…"
"Yes, what most laughingly call the Hellmouth. Little do they know that they’ve only scratched the surface. Vampires? Werewolves? Things of yesterday. Not even a shadow of the cosmic horror that lurks deeper still. The horror we can unleash."
"And why would we wish to do that? It doesn’t sound wise."
"Oh I don’t know. Power? Boredom? Curiousity?" Clark held up the small object. It was an abstract sculpture that had suggestive and disturbing angles without really seeming to represent anything. "Don’t worry. This has undergone extensive testing."
"Don’t you think it’s asking for trouble? Setting loose a nameless terror that will haunt our memories forever."
"Howard. You’re a ghoul. I’m a necromancer. I raised myself from the dead. We’ve seen plenty of nameless terrors in our time. One more isn’t going to turn us into dope fiends.
"Don’t you want to gain power over space and time? I’m not sure where you’ve been hanging out but I’ll bet it wasn’t one of the really nice dimensions."
"Hanging out? I fear I’m not much of a traveler. Mostly I frequent New England churchyards."
"O.K. How about living in those same churchyards in the 18th century? Or even the 17th? No embalming to speak of. You could be gnawing on Puritan bones while watching the Salem witch trials."
Howard looked at Clark with a gleam in his pale eyes. "Do you really think so?"
"Hell, yes, if you’ll excuse my language. Do you think I’m going to stick around here for my declining years? The end of time is where I’m headed. Watching the sun gutter out amid the ruins of human aspiration."
"You always did have such sophisticated tastes, Clark." The ghoul brought the briefcase out from under his arm. "The 17th century. Graveyards? You’re sure?"
"Bloody hell. You antiquarian types make me sick." The voice came from somewhere off to the side. A pale man with bleached blonde hair and a leather coat was leaning on a tomb. "Always pining for dank and discomfort. Way over-rated. There’s no TV in the 17th Century, y’know."
"TV?" Howard sniffed the air, surprised that he hadn’t detected the newcomer. Ah, that was it. He was dead, a vampire. The ghoul smacked his thin lips against his large teeth. Vampires were just as tasty as fresh corpses. But they were awfully wriggly.
"Pay him no mind, Howard. There’s nothing he can do. I have heard of this one. Because of certain technological restrictions he cannot harm humans, a group to which I am still nominally affiliated. And I doubt that one of his kind would bother the likes of you."
Howard ran his tongue over his short but shark-like fangs. The vampire was looking at him nervously. "You blokes are up to no good, ain’t you? Well maybe I can’t stop you but I’ll soon bring those who can." He turned on his heel, the leather coat billowing behind him and vanished into the night. "Doesn’t seem very likely does it. Vampires!" Dismissing the intruder, Clark turned his gaze toward Howard’s briefcase. "Do you have what I need in there?"
"Yes, I believe so. You’re quite sure about this. Positive?"
Clark sighed with exasperation. "Yes Howard I’m completely positive. Do you know how I got here? On the bus. Hundreds of miles with people staring at my cloak and my wattles. Is it likely that I would do that if I were not sure? Fine for you. You can take one of those dream dimension short cuts and pop across the country in a single night. Me, I’m human and I have to use public transportation."
"Couldn’t you use an automobile?"
"How many one hundred and ten year old drivers do you see out there? Do you think I can just waltz down to the DMV and get myself a license? As far as the world’s concerned I died in 1961. So it’s the bus for me. Now give me the manuscript and we can get started."
[> Re: Short Cut to the End of Time (2) -- matching mole, 12:34:16 12/16/01 Sun

Howard reached into the brief case and pulled out the sheaf of papers and offered it to Clark. The necromancer rifled through them and pulled out the last page. The others he stuffed into his pocket.
"Aren’t you going to use them all?"
"I just need the one with the incantation."
"Then why did you want the entire manuscript?"
"Just in case. If this doesn’t work out the manuscript could fetch a pretty penny. You’ve got no use for it. But even a necromancer’s got to eat."
Howard opened his mouth to protest and then closed it again without speaking. Clark looked carefully at the last page and then laid it on the ground, putting the little sculpture on top of it. He stepped back and raised his hands in the air.
"Iä-R’lyeh! Cthulhu fhtagn! Iä Iä!"
Clark’s voice suddenly thundered as he spoke the strange words. A sort of oily smear formed in the air before him. Something seemed to be gleaming behind it, giving off a light that was surely not of this world.
"If only it was always this easy," said Clark.
The smear suddenly incandesced, and the light became far too bright to look at, especially for a ghoul with excellent night vision. As it faded away a stone gateway was visible where none had been before. The stones were covered in strange carving and the very angles at which the individual blocks met seemed wrong in a very fundamentally disturbing way. The effect was markedly worse on the inside edge of the stones. Fortunately the opening that the stones bordered was blocked and only hints of sounds and colors could be detected. Colors that the human eye was never meant to see and sounds the human ear was never meant to hear. Howard whimpered to himself and gnawed on an old vertebra he had stashed in his briefcase. The opening was blocked by a strange figure. A stocky cylindrical torso sprouted several stalked appendages resembling sea anemones. At the top was a starfish-shaped head. The end of each of the five arms of the starfish had an eye and in the center was an opening, presumably the mouth. Like the doorway the creature had a peculiarly unsettling quality. Proportions, angles of attachment, and even size seemed subtly wrong. "What is that smell?" Howard put his hand over his sizeable nose. "The shredding of space and time themselves." The creature’s voice was high and shrill. "I’m told that it is reminiscent of rotting vegetables on this plane."
"Vegetables." Howard’s entire face wrinkled up in disgust. "I hate vegetables."
Clark knelt and picked up the little sculpture then hold it before him. "Welcome oh great lord. Are you the god’s herald? Preparing the way for his return, perhaps?"
"You’re talking about the big cephalopod, right? BC that’s what we call him. He’s swamped. Up to his tentacles. Committees, speaking invitations, that sort of thing. Sends his regrets, etc., etc."
"But he was summoned. By name. At a time and place most propitious."
"What can I say?" The creature shrugged, an eye and mind straining experience. "Anyway you want to hurt my feelings? I am an Old One, after all. Not exactly chopped liver. My mere existence unsettling the blissful ignorance of whole galaxies and all that."
"So you can take me to 17th Century New England?"
"What d’you want to do that for? Sure BC was hanging out then and there. But it was strictly nap time. Not much chance for even a teleconference. You’re in Sunnydale. Dawning of the new millennium. Why would you want to be anywhere else?"
"I don’t understand what it says." Howard looked appealingly at Clark.
"Well if you didn’t spend all your time in cemeteries you might keep your English a bit more up to date. There is such a thing as being too anachronistic."
"This is Sunnydale, right?" The Old One sounded almost anxious. "You know, the Hellmouth and all that. Most happening place in countless planes of existence. Home of the Slayer."
"Surely the Old Ones and the elder gods need not concern themselves with such upstart creatures. Demons and their ilk are only shadows of your monstrous glory. Mere infants."
"Hey if you want to hang out in the big leagues you’ve got to let go of this sort of temporal patriarchal feeling. It’s ultimately self-defeating."
"Not if you rule the cosmos."
"Why would you want to do that? Too much responsibility. Leads to stagnation, sleeping at the bottom of the ocean for millions of years. No, the attitude now is, we have much to learn."
Clark sighed. "The affairs of the ancients are none of my concern. All I ask is that you take me to the end of time, if you please I want to watch the sun go out."
"Sure I guess I could do that. After all, you did bring me here. Though officially this is a fact- finding mission. So much cool stuff going on. Bureaucratic inefficiency. The internet. Moral ambiguity all over the place. Young love and it consequences, both tragic and comic. Sport utility vehicles. I volunteered for this. Jumped at the chance. And you want to go to the end of time. I guess it takes all kinds."
A voice came out of the darkness, carried an unknown distance on the still air. "Just over here Buffy. That’s where I saw ‘em." It was the vampire they had encountered earlier.
"If you brought me out here on false pretences, so help me…" A short, blonde woman emerged from behind some trees.
"See, there they are." The vampire was right behind her. "The old guy in the purple bathrobe and the ghoul."
"And somehow you forgot to mention the twelve foot tall Escher hologram of an undersea montage?"
"Is that Britney Spears?" The Old One turned all five eyes towards the woman. "I’m such a big fan of her breasts."
"Well this is kind of refreshing. Someone, if I can use that term loosely, who hasn’t heard of me. Although the objectification is kind of disturbing."
The young woman held a crossbow that was loosely pointed in the direction of the Old One.
"Does that mean you’re not Britney?"
"She’s the Slayer. An annoyance. Allow me to dispose of her." Clark ran his gloved hands over the sculpture he still held. "You," he pointed at the vampire. "You’re dead."
"Yeah, what of it?"
"I can command you." Clark issued a series of sounds from his throat that might charitably be considered words. The blonde vampire went stiff for a moment, his eyes rolling back in their sockets. Then his limbs jerked rigidly, as if they were attached to wires.
"Spike, what’s wrong?" Buffy’s voice had lost its earlier bravado. She swung the crossbow to cover Clark.
"Attack." Clark emphasized the command with a stabbing motion. Spike took a roundhouse swing and hit Buffy in the face. The Slayer, caught off guard tumbled to the ground. In an instant she was on her feet. The crossbow was on the ground, several feet away.
"It’s not me Slayer what’s doin’ it. It’s him." Spike gestured towards Clark with his chin. "He’s put the whammy on me."
"Well get the whammy off you. Or I’ll tear it off myself."
Spike’s response was a running tackle that slammed Buffy into a large headstone. The marble split in two and the Slayer went to the ground with Spike pummeling her.
"Won’t be long now," predicted Clark with some satisfaction.
"Until I kick your ass." Buffy’s knees and arms shot straight up at once throwing Spike off of her. She flipped over to land on her feet, apparently undamaged but breathing heavily.
Spike was up almost as quickly as she was. The two circled warily. Howard watched with rapt fascination. He had never seen a woman fight before.
"I don’t want to do this, Buffy. But he’s making me." Spike sounded like he was forcing the words out through immobilized jaws.
"So make him stop." Buffy’s face was grim. "Or I’ll stop you. This fight is getting old."
Once again Spike leaped to the attack but this time Buffy was ready. She grabbed his arm and flung him into a tree and then slammed her shoulder into his chest. Spike drove his knee into her midsection. He then brought his fists down on the top of her head.
[> [> Re: Short Cut to the End of Time (3) -- matching mole, 12:37:33 12/16/01 Sun

"You see, great one. For your glory and for that of the elder gods I will slay the Slayer. She is no match for my undead minion."
"In your dreams pal." Buffy shot to her feet, lifting Spike with her and then flinging him to the ground. "Maybe your brains went south with your face. It’ll take more than muppet Spike to stop me."
"She’s right you know." The Old One was keeping all of his eyes on the fight. "The vampire’s no match for her. That’s why she’s called the Slayer."
"But look," Clark protested. Spike grabbed Buffy’s ankle and pulled her leg out from under her. His other hand grasped a fragment of the broken headstone and swung it at her skull.
"No she’s holding back for some reason. Not giving it her all." The Old One twitched and spasmed with excitement. "I’ve got it. True love. Or at least true lust."
"No!" Buffy’s fist shot up and struck Spike with a blow that knocked him head over heels. "No. Freakin’. Way." She dove on Spike and began pummeling him some more.
Howard caught a new odor in the air. It was vaguely familiar. Something from a long time ago. What was it? Something disturbing. With revulsion he recognized it as sexual arousal. His stomach started churning.
Spike grabbed Buffy by the throat and rolled on top of her. His grip tightened on her throat and she continued to punch him although they were too close for the blows to have much power.
"You have to love it. Sex and violence. Would we have thought of that? Never in a billion years." The Old One’s appendages were writhing and intertwining in numerous highly suggestive ways.
"Howard, get in there and help him. The witch trials await." Clark glared at the ghoul.
Howard ran forward, fighting off nausea as the smell of lust grew stronger. Then he caught the clean dead smell of vampire flesh and attacked.
"Yow!" Spike screamed and jerked away from Buffy. "Get off me you hyena." He shook his leg vigorously and tried to kick. None of this deterred Howard, who had his teeth sunk in Spike’s thigh, in the slightest. The ghoul began backing up, pulling the vampire with him.
"Leggo, leggo." Spike’s words came out almost as pleading. He slapped the ghoul on the head. Howard shrugged it off and kept chewing. "You heard the man." Buffy kicked Howard as hard as she could. He felt her foot sink into his soft rubbery flesh but the force was strong enough to break his hold on the vampire. He fell over backwards. As he struggled back to his feet a fist came flying down and smashed into his face. Down he went again.
Howard lay still for a moment. His eyes were open and everything seemed to be happening very slowly and clearly. Spike was struggling back to his feet when Buffy grabbed him and threw him right over Howard and into Clark. The aged necromancer collapsed like a soggy ice cream cone. Howard turned his head and saw Buffy dive and grab the little sculpture before it hit the ground. She rolled and then threw it with all her strength. It struck the edge of the Old One’s doorway and shattered.
The bright, unearthly light flared again and the grass bent to an unfelt wind. The Old One stumbled forward and Howard could see nothing. When his vision returned the gateway was gone. Only an oddly shaped lump of stone remained.
"Who let the salad go bad?" the ghoul heard the Slayer’s voice behind him. Groaning softly he sat up and looked around.
"Two down, one to go," continued Buffy as she stood up and looked around.
Clark lay sprawled on the ground. Cocky young thing, thought Howard as he felt the inside of his mouth for broken teeth.
"You counting me in your tally slayer?" Spike was standing again as well, staring at his ripped jeans.
"Should I?" These last words were said so quietly that Howard barely heard them. The slayer was looking at the Old One.
"I guess it’s the long way home for me." The entity turned two of its eyes towards the former gateway. "But there’ll be plenty of time for that later. Things to do, people to see." It began to move.
"Just a second there Mr. Sea World. What’s the plan? You just can’t go waltzing into town. Not that I’m a bigot. Equal rights for the transdimensional, that’s what I say. But the harsh realities of life indicate that if you stop off at a diner for breakfast they probably won’t serve you."
"Good point. I guess I should eat now." The Old One turned an eye to look at Clark. The necromancer had managed to raise himself to his knees. A group of tentacles extended off the side of the Old One and snatched Clark up. The mouth in the centre of the starfish gaped wider than seemed mathematically possible and the old man was dropped in. The mouth closed and an instant later no sign of Clark remained.
Buffy ran at the Old One, leaped and kicked it squarely in the midsection. She might as well have kicked a mountain. The Slayer recoiled off the Old One and landed flat on her back. The entity continued on its way without seeming to notice.
The ghoul slowly started to get to his feet. Events were moving much to quickly for him. His usual haunts were much less lively. Spike was limping towards the Slayer. The Old One was on his way up the small hill where Howard had hidden his suitcase. It would be out of sight in a moment. A strange sound was coming from it. Howard thought it sounded vaguely familiar. Those barbarous rhythms were something you might hear at certain ceremonies best spoken of only in whispers. The sort of thing to accompany unspeakable acts.
Or that you might hear on the radio. Against his will Howard found himself listening more closely. The Old One was actually singing and in English! "Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do? Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do? Subtle innuendos follow…" The Old One crested the hill and was gone.
"Nice to meet a monster with some taste. You all right, Slayer?" Spike leaned over to help her up, wincing and clutching his thigh with his other hand.
"Yeah I guess so. That was really weird. That thing didn’t feel like it was really there."
"Well you bouncing off it like you hit the pavement made it seem real enough to me."
"I can’t really describe it. And I don’t have time to try. Where’s the soft rubbery guy?"
By the time Howard realized that she meant him Buffy had the ghoul securely grasped by the ear. "Okay Stretch Armstong, out with it. Do you know what the deal is with tall, dark, and tentacular?" Howard managed to nod. "It ate the old, wattley guy whom I’m guessing was a pal of yours. You going to help me take it down?"
Howard gasped and tried to shake his head. "That’s not what I want to hear." Buffy twisted the ear harder.
"Okay." Howard felt despair growing inside. The Slayer didn’t know what she was getting into but he did.
"Right. You can fill me in on the way to the Magic Shop. I think Anya is working late tonight."
"Just a minute. You’re actually going to trust this thing? A ghoul?"
"He attacked you didn’t he? When you were choking me. What better recommendation is there?"
"I was protecting the lady." Shockingly Howard realized that his explanation was at least partly true. He had really wanted to get the vampire away from her.
"See." Buffy smirked at Spike. "It’s nice to meet a respectful monster for a change. Let’s go." She released Howard’s ear and gestured at him to follow. They had gone half a dozen strides when Howard suddenly stopped and clapped his hand to his head. "My hat. Where’s my hat?"
"We don’t have time for this." Buffy turned to grab the ghoul.
"I’m not going without my hat."
"Oh for god’s sake! Is this your idea of a useful ally, Slayer? " Spike, still limping, caught up to them. He was carrying Howard’s hat. "Here you go." That hat came down on Howard’s head with considerably more force than necessary.
Spike glared at Buffy. Without a word she turned and walked away with Howard loping behind her.

End of Part 1
[> [> [> OMG, that's hilarious! -- Wisewoman, 13:24:21 12/16/01 Sun

Can't wait to see the rest, mole!

[> [> [> Re: Can't Wait to see more...but I gotta ask...(spoilers) -- MrDave, 18:22:41 12/16/01 Sun

You may have to mark it with a spoiler warning but...

Howard? = Howard P. Lovecraft?
Clark? = Clark Ashton Smith?

Just hoping I wasn't the only one who got the obscure references...

I really want to see where you are going with this...
[> [> [> [> Re: Can't Wait to see more...but I gotta ask...(spoilers) -- matching mole, 20:51:18 12/16/01 Sun

Exactly right. I don't think that knowing Howard's and Clark's 'secret identities' is likely to spoil things for anyone. On the other hand I don't know exactly what will happen in the end.

thanks for the kind words
[> [> [> Re: Short Cut to the End of Time (3) -- cat, 00:17:47 12/19/01 Wed

Beautiful! I loved the addition of the Old One singing Adam Ant!
Request for recommendations for BtVS novels -- robert, 15:10:31 12/16/01 Sun

I am looking for recommendations for the BtVS novels. I have heard that much of the currently published stuff is of poor quality, and I don't want to impoverish myself on rubbish. Can anyone recommend specific novels?

[> Re: Request for recommendations for BtVS novels -- Rob, 15:39:09 12/16/01 Sun

Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row by Christopher Golden was EXCELLENT. A few continuity issues with the show, but very well-written and entertaining.

[> [> Re: Request for recommendations for BtVS novels -- pagangodess, 16:27:22 12/16/01 Sun

I've read 'The Gatekeeper Trilogy', all three books were quite good. Also check out the trilogy 'Unseen'. I enjoyed them all. Just finished 'Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row' - fascinating.

[> Re: Request for recommendations for BtVS novels -- Earl Allison, 02:54:47 12/17/01 Mon

"Spike and Dru," definitely.

Also check out "The Book of Fours," with Buffy, Faith, Kendra, and the Slayer that immediately preceded Buffy (not revealing ANYTHING, read it). I liked it mostly for including Faith, but it's a good read.

Take it and run.
[> Re: Request for recommendations for BtVS novels -- purplegrrl, 11:47:33 12/18/01 Tue

I've read most of the BtVS and Angel novels (everything except Book of Fours and the two latest Angel novels). My favorites by far are the ones written or co-written by Christopher Golden.

Halloween Rain (evil scarecrow and other Halloween fun)
Blooded (a Chinese vampire comes to Sunnydale)
Child of the Hunt (Buffy can't save those who don't want to be saved)
The Gatehouse Trilogy (co-written with Nancy Holder; excellent story; some of Golden's story ideas in here carry over to the comic books)
Immortal (a seemingly unstoppable vampire)
Pretty Maids in a Row (some insight into Spike)
The Lost Slayer (done in four parts, similar to The Green Mile by Stephen King; alternative future; the last line of part 2 will make you want to immediately start part 3!)

Also check out books by Nancy Holder and Jeff Mariotte:
The Unseen Trilogy (by Holder & Mariotte; Buffy/Angel crossover)
The Evil That Men Do (Holder)
Not Forgotten (Holder; Angel novel)
How I Survived My Summer Vacation (Holder & others; short stories focused on different characters)

These are the ones I can think of right now. There are also a number of new novels/books coming out in the February/March/April time frame.

Happy reading!
[> Many thanks to all respondents! -- robert, 13:29:33 12/18/01 Tue

I'll definitely check out "Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row" specifically, and Golden's work in general.
What would everybody like to read? -- Sheri, 15:41:27 12/16/01 Sun

Throughout next week, we will be discussing Chekhov's plays and comparing them to Buffy.

Future books on the reading list are: "the Symposium", "Hunger", and "Twelfth Night".

So, does anybody have any other books that they think should be on the Buffy reading list?

If you do, please email me. Thanks!
[> Re: What would everybody like to read? -- Q, 20:26:48 12/17/01 Mon

Pretty obvious, but how can we not read "A Clockwork Orange" with Spike's current condition?
[> Re: What would everybody like to read? -- dfrisby, 11:26:05 12/18/01 Tue

How about reading Nietzsche's Zarathustra and comparing the development of Zarathustra in the book with Buffy in the series?
More praise for "Buffy" from EW... -- Rob, 15:46:19 12/16/01 Sun

Entertainment Weekly made a list of the five best moments on television this year, and guess what? "Once More, With Feeling" took the #2 spot! The only thing better was the network and cable news coverage of the Sept. 11 disaster. And that means, out of the fictional stuff on TV, EW thought OMWF was the best!

To read the article, click here.

Here's the quote about OMWF: "''Buffy the Vampire Slayer'': The Musical Episode The most audacious move of the season was creator Joss Whedon's composition of a complete musical, right down to a pop-rock libretto that both moved the plot along and also gave every cast member, no matter how strong or shaky his or her voice, a chance to shine. Once again, the most underrated show on TV demonstrated that a weekly series need not be bound by any creative constrictions."

Bravo, Joss, SMG, and Co.!

[> Buffy nominated for AFI award -- JBone, 05:25:18 12/18/01 Tue

Found this on E! online. The tv part of the story is near the bottom. For a full list of nominies pick here
[> Re: More praise for "Buffy" from EW... -- verdantheart, 06:01:07 12/18/01 Tue

Second only to news coverage! BtVS was also named second series (behind The Sopranos) in the year-end wrap-up issue of EW.
Well, I'm off on vacation for two weeks! -- Masquerade, 20:05:48 12/16/01 Sun

Off for Christmas with the fam--

I'll be taking a break from posting and updating board stuff and site stuff, but don't worry, I'll pop by a couple times to make sure the board hasn't gone wonky.

Everyone have a great Holiday of their choice and see you all for new BtVS and AtS eps in the New Year!

[> Have a wonderful Holidays....... -- Rufus, 20:37:25 12/16/01 Sun

And we all promise to behave......;)
[> Happy Holiday, Masq! -- AngelVSAngelus, 20:42:18 12/16/01 Sun

[> Happy Holidays Masq! -- Deeva, 22:17:39 12/16/01 Sun

[> Re: Well, I'm off on vacation for two weeks! -- beekeepr, 22:23:12 12/16/01 Sun

safe hols, masq-and give no thought whatsoever to us rabble, milling about hopelessly in your absence!
[> Have a lovely Christmas, and a Very Happy New Year! -- Marie, 01:33:53 12/17/01 Mon

[> [> Ditto -- Brian, 03:40:56 12/17/01 Mon

[> Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! -- Kimberly, 10:34:06 12/17/01 Mon

[> Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! -- Kimberly, 10:35:09 12/17/01 Mon

[> Enjoy your vacation -- matching mole, 10:38:37 12/17/01 Mon

[> Happy (insert whatever you feel like at the moment) !oP -- VampRiley, 12:30:31 12/17/01 Mon

[> away for the weekend myself... -- anom, 00:03:35 12/21/01 Fri

...& up way too late packing etc. I'm sure much of what I'd like to read/respond to will be gone by the next time I check in, but them's the breaks.

Happy solstice to those who observe it!
Buffy and the Angry Inch: Arguing Against Plato's Symposium in the Buffyverse -- Rob, 12:00:29 12/17/01 Mon

I recently had the pleasure of seeing a great production of the 1998 rock opera, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," the movie version of which was recently released on DVD. At face value, it appears to be a glitzy, campy confection of a musical that chronicles the trials and tribulations of a drag queen. But, oh, it is so much more. In fact, it is a profoundly affecting and deep work of art that, yes, has fun songs and big wigs, but also asks some very complex, philosophical questions: What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be complete? Is love predestined and eternal? From where did love, as a concept, originate? The educated viewer realizes that "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is nothing less than a modern spin on the tale Aristophanes related in Plato’s Symposium! That myth even appears in the play, in the form of a song, entitled (what else?), "The Origin of Love."

I will now take the liberty of reprinting the complete lyrics to this brilliant song. Not only does it effectively summarize the original tale, but I find it much more pleasurable to read than the original dialogue:

"When the earth was still flat
And clouds made of fire
And mountains stretched up to the sky,
Sometimes higher,
Folks roamed the earth, like big rolling kegs
They had two sets of arms, they had two sets of legs
They had two faces peering out of one giant head
So they could watch all around them,
As they talked, while they read,
And they never knew nothing of love.
This was before the origin of love.

The origin of love.
Woo, woo, the origin of love

And there was three sexes then
One that looked like two men glued up back to back,
Called the children of the sun.
And similar in shape and girth
Was the children of the earth;
They looked like two girls rolled up in one
And the children of the moon was like a fork stuck on a spoon
They was part sun, part earth; part daughter, part son

Ooooh, the origin of love

The gods grew quite scared of our strength and defiance
And Thor said, "I’m gonna kill them all with my hammer
Like I killed the giants."
But Zeus said, "No. You’d better let me
Use my lightning like scissors,
Like I cut the legs off the whales and dinosaurs into lizards."
Then he grabbed up some bolts, he let out a laugh
"Gonna split them right down the middle,
Gonna cut ‘em right up in half."
And then storm clouds gathered above, like great balls of fire.

And then fire shot down from the sky in bolts, like shining blades of a
And it ripped right through the flesh of the children of the sun and the
moon and the earth,
Then some Indian god sewed the wound up into a hole,
Pulled it round to our belly to remind us of the price we pay
And Osiris and the gods of the Nile gathered up a big storm
To blow a hurricane
To scatter us away
In a flood of wind and rain
And a sea of tidal waves
To wash us all away
And if we don’t behave, they’ll cut us down again
And we’ll be hopping round on one foot and looking through one eye

The last time I saw you, we’d just split in two
You was looking at me, I was looking at you
You had a way so familiar, but I could not recognize,
‘Cause you had blood on your face; I had blood in my eyes
But I could swear by your expression
That the pain deep in your soul was the same as the one down in mine
That’s the pain that cuts a straight line right through the heart
We called it love
We wrapped our arms round each other, trying to shove ourselves back
We was making love, making love

It was a cold dark evening such as long time ago
When by the mighty hand of Jove
It was a sad story how we became lonely, two legged creatures
It’s the story of the origin of love

That’s the origin of love."

Therefore, according to Aristophane’s story, all people spend their entire lives, roaming the earth, searching for their other half. Only once they reunite with him or her will each person ever be fully complete. The meaning of life is that search for completeness, whether a man find that with another man; a woman find that with another woman; or a man and a woman find that in each other.

Hedwig begins life as Hansel, a young boy, born and raised in East Berlin, in the days when the Berlin Wall was still standing strong. He is finally saved from his destitute existence at the age of twenty-six, when he meets and falls in love with an U.S. Army G.I., named Luther. Hedwig is desperate to leave East Berlin, and Luther wants to marry him, but homosexual marriage will not be recognized by the American army. Therefore, Hansel reluctantly agrees to have a sex-change operation, which is unfortunately botched. He winds up with a small, one-inch mound of flesh, "where my penis used to be/Where my vagina never was," a constant reminder of his incompleteness. He adopts his mother’s name, Hedwig, and leaves for America. Shortly after they arrive, Luther finds a new, complete man, and leaves Hedwig, alone and incomplete, in a trailer park in Junction City, Kansas. And that very day, the Berlin Wall falls. "Good things come to those who wait," says the announcer on television. And never was that irony more severe: if Hedwig had only waited a few short months, she could have left Berlin without trouble! Hedwig spends the rest of the play trying to search for her other half, her soulmate. She feels she will never be complete without him or her. For what is Hedwig? A man or a woman?

The play is full of complex symbolism. For one, the Berlin Wall is a symbol for the separation that divides a complete being into two. The wall separated Berlin into two, just as Zeus, in the myth, had divided the four-legged, four-armed people. Berlin, with the wall standing, was comprise of two, incomplete entities. Then, of course, there is the symbol of Hedwig’s angry inch. As said in the play, she "stands at the divide between East and West, slavery and freedom, man and woman." Hansel had his very manhood taken away from him. He is incomplete, and searches for his other half, looking for that completion he doesn’t think he can ever find on his own. In his own mind, he is inadequate. He assumes the name "Hedwig" as a disguise, a symbolic name, since the word, "Wig" is in it. Wigs are also what Hedwig uses to disguise himself, to become somebody else.

When Hedwig meets a young teen, Tommy, who is aspiring to be a rock and roll star, she falls in love. She works with him, and puts her all into their relationship. She writes his music for him, molds and sculpts his new rock persona, and, essentially creates him. But, when he discovers Hedwig’s shortcoming, he leaves her and steals her music, going on to become a huge rock star. Again, Hedwig is cut down, incomplete.

The story is split between two philosophies: the philosophy, voiced by Hedwig’s mother, that "to be free, one must give up a little part of oneself," and Tommy’s philosophy, which he reveals to Hedwig at the end of the play, after apologizing for what he took away from her, that "there’s no mystical design, no cosmic lover preassigned." Hedwig spends the majority of the play, believing her mother—that your sense of incompleteness will be filled when you find your other half, so don’t feel sorry for what you must give up. The ending of the play does not give any simple answers. Yes, Hedwig finds a man who loves and respects her at the end. But she also realizes that she did not need him to be complete. She is complete by herself.

Hedwig’s husband, Yitzhak, is in a very interesting situation. He wants to be in the spotlight; he wants to wear dresses and put on wigs; he wants to be Hedwig. Although Hedwig never wanted to be a woman, that is her only identity now, so she refuses to let Yitzhak be the woman. Hedwig believes she can never be the man she wants to be, because of his incompleteness. At the end, though, he allows Yitzhak to dress up in women’s clothing, wigs, and makeup. And Hedwig takes off the drag, and stands on the stage, dressed as a man, feeling complete and satisfied for the first time. In the movie, we see him walk, completely nude (not naked), down a New York City street, proud and, finally, free.

And what does this all have to do with Buffy? Oh, I believe if you think carefully enough about it, you’ll realize. Buffy and Hedwig have a great deal in common. Both find themselves going through life, taking the roles they believe they must play ("Life’s a show, and we all play our parts…"), burying whatever emotions they have under, in Buffy’s case, a tough, take-charge exterior, and, in Hedwig’s, makeup and wigs. They both hide their pain behind witty one-liners and fake smiles. But are these the roles either of them want to be playing?

No, of course not. These are roles they are assuming out of what they believe to be necessity, to compensate for the fact that they feel incomplete. Hedwig has no genitalia; Buffy might have come back "wrong" after being resurrected from the grave. They are both incomplete, searching for that which will make them whole again. In "Once More, With Feeling," Buffy sings of her aching desire to reclaim the fire and spark she once had in her life. By the end of the episode, she finds she is able to get momentary "fire" from making out with Spike, just as Hedwig feels complete for the short period of time in the play when she is with Tommy.

But is the tale of Plato’s Symposium correct? Do Buffy, or Hedwig, need to find their other halves to be complete, or do they need to find the completeness within themselves? "Hedwig" suggests a combination of the two. Hedwig ends up with a husband who loves her, but realizes that he was not a predestined being that was meant to be with her. She does end up with a mate, but for a long time before the end, never felt complete with him. By allowing herself to realize that she is not required to behave the way she had previously felt she had to, and allowing Yitzhak to play the part she once did, she becomes free and complete.

I believe Buffy can find similar completeness. Yes, as I argued in my "Beauty and the Beast" essay, I believe that Buffy and Spike are soulmates, just as Hedwig and Yitzhak turn out to be. They are perfect pieces of a puzzle that make sense when they are fit together. But I think it is also important to understand that soulmate does not have to refer to a predestined event. It could refer to the fact that once the two lovers meet, they realize they are perfect for each other.

It is important for each lover to help the other in some way. Yitzhak assumes a role Hedwig does not want to do anymore. Similarly, Spike has been helping Buffy a great deal. Like Yitzhak does for Hedwig, Spike is the one who stops Buffy from dancing to death in "Once More, With Feeling." He is the one who points out to her that she can cure her feelings of incompleteness by merely living, going through day by day. Eventually, her spark for life will return. Spike has become a great confidante to Buffy and has helped her, picking up some of her slack, again, like Yitzhak for Hedwig. He has even helped her with slaying and is her source for information about those dark, underground happenings in the demon world to which she would otherwise not be privy. The problem with their relationship is, at the moment, Buffy refuses to accept the fact that they have a relationship.

And the answer for why also lies in Plato’s Symposium.

Buffy believes that, to be complete, she does need a soulmate, but she believes that her soulmate is Angel, and she can not accept the possibility that this may not be so. Note how she drops everyone and everything around her, including her mounting bills and responsibility to take care of Dawn, when Angel calls, wanting to meet with her. She feels whole when she is with him, but when they’re apart, she feels empty, at least for a while after their last meeting. Buffy had a great deal of trouble recovering every time Angel had to leave her (and of course they pesky little time she had to kill him!) and found a great deal of trouble even ripping herself away from him in "Forever," when he shows up for her mother’s funeral. One of the necessities for Buffy to be completely whole is to accept that she does not need Angel to be complete, just as Hedwig didn’t need her supposed soulmate, Tommy, to be complete. You can find that completeness with someone new and possibly better.

Of course, Joss also added the delicious plot twist that Buffy really is "wrong" about Buffy. Buffy might assume that the fact that Spike can hit her now makes her "less than human," so she immediately rejects the notion. But does that have to be so? Maybe Buffy’s supposed angry inch, the revelation that she is not human anymore, will actually turn out to be the proof for Buffy that she is not only complete, but more than complete, and that a relationship with Spike might not lessen her, but rise her up higher than she’s ever been before.


"The Origin of Love." Music and Lyrics by Stephen Trask from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Book written by John Cameron Mitchell.

[> Brilliant movie (saw it in theatres this summer)& excellent analysis, but about Yitzhak -- res, 20:06:27 12/17/01 Mon

I have had two heated arguments about this character and am still convinced I am right (not always so in my case). I am positive Yitzhak was played by a woman -- I could tell the second she was on screen, and she also contributed the female voice to the band. Hedwig does, in effect "allow Yitzhak to dress up in women’s clothing, wigs, and makeup" but her (Yitzhak's) inability to give herself permission had nothing to do with her being a man, I mean, she wasn't. My interpretation of Yitzhak was that she was a woman who had made the decision to live as a man but somehow had done it for reasons that were not true or healthy for her. She then married Hedwig, and found herself in a situation where she was tempted by her wife's femininity but also prevented from owning it.
This changes the whole end for me, in a weird way, because that makes the ending scene one where two people who have been living in drag essentially embrace their "true" (and those are very exaggerated quote marks) gender and seem to be able to be truly happy at last because of it. I wanted to write more about this but I gotta run, (sorry for sp, grammar etc) want to see what you think! (And again, I'm delighted to see a discussion of this movie here, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't drawn some parallels between Hedwig and Buffy myself, but of course couldn't verbalize them to my satisfaction.)
[> [> Re: Hedwig, Itzak and some B/A and B/S ramblings -- Tirtzah, 21:23:08 12/17/01 Mon

Wow, Rob, that was a brilliant anlysis of Hedwig, and quite on the mark I think. I adored Hedwig, I think it takes an interesting look at the whole soul mates belief. And now I will forever be associating it with Buffy. ^^ After reading your essay I suddenly had the amusing mental image of Angel done up like Tommy with that silver cross on his forehead... singing Wicked Little Town. >_< Ow it hurts. He he.

"I am positive Yitzhak was played by a woman -- I could tell the second she was on screen, and she also contributed the female voice to the band. ..." etc etc etc.

Yes Yitzak was played by Miriam Shor, however the character of Yitzak is supposed to be a man not a woman, though there is probably some implicit symbolism in the casting. In the stage show (which I'd like to note I haven't seen but I was informed by a friend, so I may not be 100% here) it was explained that Yitzak had been in a drag show before joining Hedwig's band and had stopped dressing in drag once he joined since he said that there could only be one drag queen in the band. Frankly I'm sorry this wasn't included in the movie because it really helps to clear up a lot of what's with Yitzak's character.

Well anyway to add something on topic here. I always kind of had a problem with this whole Angel and Buffy soul mate stuff. I'm a big sucker for stories like that most of the time and looking back on seasons one and two (heck even some of three) I'm there with it. But looking at where the characters of Buffy and Angel are now, it doesn't jive for me, I really can't picture the two of them being together at this juncture, they have both changed in some significant ways. When I look at BtVS as a metaphor for life and growing up, Buffy and Angel seem to have the quinesential high school romance: everything with them is life or death, there's big drama, the first time, heartbreak, bad break up, getting back together, lying to friends or ignoring their perhaps better judgement, unrealistic expectations, the tendancy to idealize everything, of course the big heart rending break up right before graduation (notice this happens in the episode "The Prom." I knew so many couples in high school who broke up around the time of the prom;), and finally the tendancy to believe that [she'll] never experience any love that great again. (And to add a little to the metaphor, as a friend of mine observed a while back: In college girls find a guy they can walk all over as a twisted way of getting back at the guy who crushed their hearts in high school. Can we say Riley?;)

Please excuse my sweeping genralizations there, but really for me a lot of it comes down to what can best be expressed by Shakespeare: "Love is not love/That alters when it alteration finds or bends with the remover to remove./O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,/That looks on tempests and is never shaken..." To me that's what love is really all about, sticking with it whatever happens. With Buffy and Angel things got tough and Angel left to fulfill his own destiny. And then you have Spike and frankly I can't see him ever leaving. I think right now on of the many things scaring Buffy is just that, all the other men in her life (and in a way her mother) have left her and yet Spike has stayed. I think (whether unconsiously or not) Buffy is trying to drive Spike away, partly testing him and partly because she's afraid of what it means that he's the only one who hasn't left her, the only one who has loved her enough to stick it out.

...Wow I went on for a lot longer than intended there. Sorry. ^^;;
[> [> [> The reason behind Yitzhak being played by a woman... -- Rob, 21:46:14 12/17/01 Mon

Thanks, you guys, I'm so glad you enjoyed my analysis. Hedwig rules!!!

Now that I got that out of the way, here's the official response about Yitzhak.

If you watch the documentary on the DVD, "Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig," John Cameron Mitchell talks about the fact that they wanted a female backup singer to blend with Hedwig's deeper, male voice. They realized they also needed the character of Hedwig's husband. Therefore, they came up with the idea to have Hedwig's husband be played by a woman. It would add to the general gender-bending nature of the show...but Yitzhak is definitely a man in the story, who just happens to look remarkably like a real woman when he's in drag. ;)

[> [> [> [> John Cameron Mitchell is the creator & star of "Hedwig." I didn't make that clear in my response. -- Rob, 21:51:44 12/17/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> Re: The reason behind Yitzhak being played by a woman... -- SugarTherapy, 14:53:58 12/18/01 Tue

I do believe Yitzhak was played by Kristen Lee Kelly when it was on stage in NYC, so he's always been played by a woman. For anyone who cares, KLK is now playing Janet in Rocky Horror Show Live.

Sugar <- Broadway nut. I need to see Hedwig!!
[> [> [> [> [> Yeah, I saw KLK in Rocky twice already! She was great! Oh, and I'm going again before it closes! -- Rob, 16:46:30 12/18/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Actually, Miriam Shor originated the role, but KLK may have taken over it later. -- Rob, 16:47:44 12/18/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> ah, well, right then. I suppose I should do my homework! -- res, 19:51:37 12/18/01 Tue

[> Excellent!! -- Deeva, 22:39:53 12/17/01 Mon

Bravo, Rob! You’re on a roll here! Now I really have to see Hedwig. It was on my "to see" list when it came out now it’s shifted over to the "must see" list. By the way I fianlly got around to reading your "Beauty and the Beast" and I loved it! I must say it really puts hope into my heart to see someone put the Buffy/Spike relationship in this type of light. Yes, I'm just a shippy mess but at least I'm proud to admit it! ;o)

It’s always amazed me at how tenacious Buffy is at hanging onto her ideals, even though she is starting to see the grey in all that black and white. I guess Angel was her ideal guy but he’s gone and why can’t she work through that? Because it wasn’t her decision to end it? What if she were the one to end it? Would she hang onto the illusion that Angel was the end all and be all of all her relationships? Would she still use Angel as the measure to which all of her fellows are compared to? Don’t want to state the obvious here but that’s just a recipe for disaster. She actually might be complete now, although she may not see it that way. What with her mother dead, Giles in England, best friend addicted to magic, another best friend about to be married and moving into an adult life. When the cards are down, she can still count on the people remaining, even Spike (minus the kittens!), to back her up.
[> Re: Buffy and the Angry Inch: Arguing Against Plato's Symposium in the Buffyverse -- Rufus, 06:23:10 12/18/01 Tue

Of course, Joss also added the delicious plot twist that Buffy really is "wrong" about Buffy. Buffy might assume that the fact that Spike can hit her now makes her "less than human," so she immediately rejects the notion. But does that have to be so? Maybe Buffy’s supposed angry inch, the revelation that she is not human anymore, will actually turn out to be the proof for Buffy that she is not only complete, but more than complete, and that a relationship with Spike might not lessen her, but rise her up higher than she’s ever been before.

Buffy's need for a man to complete her life has distressed many viewers enough to want her not to be with anyone at all. Her need has been expressed in the men she has chosen to spend time with. Angel,Parker, Riley, Ben, Spike. I may have missed a few dates but these are the men that stand out to me. Angel is a favorite of many shippers who love the untouchable broodiness of the strong male image of darkness. Then there is the regretable blip moment with Parker, who was a user who was incapable of seeing past his few inches, the conquest to be made fun of. Most of us have had a Parker (male or female) who we let take advantage of us. These people leaving anyone confused and devalued til the insight to see them for their shortcomings brings some closure. Buffy then moved onto Riley who should have been Joe normal, but became all too human, then his addiction to the bite of the vampire left him a pariah with many fans. Buffy's run to catch Riley had much of the audience clenching their teeth wondering what the f*ck Buffy was lowering herself for. But, I saw nothing wrong with Buffy running after Riley, even for the wrong reason. My reasoning for this, how can we ever learn if we never make a mistake to learn from? I liked Riley, vampire bites and all. I also included Ben because Buffy tried to conform to what she thought this guy would like, becoming what she wasn't to attract the doctor man. Too bad he was rather conflicted (deliberate understatement). Then we have Spike, the guy who should be the one that danced on her grave, instead, his tears would have kept Forest Lawn, green. What does he want? I've seen lots of opinions but haven't even come to a conclusion myself about him.
So it's all Buffy....what does she want? What did she forget when she was transported back to this reality? For a woman who has shown such a need for completion, why has she decided to spend time with her former worst enemy? Angel has been considered Buffy's soulmate, but with their split and his new life in LA, his mind doesn't seem to be much with his love of just a few years ago. So, can these soulmates ever become complete with an alternate mate? Or, is it just our fantasies about "the right one", the "eternal love" just a roadblock to happiness? I'd like to think that Buffy can move on Angel free, not because I prefer her with someone else but to show that life can have endings and new beginnings and still be a happy experience. I understand that Buffy will always have a place in her heart for Angel, but why should she stop living for something that may never happen? I would like to see a story where love can be eternal but not so restrictive that it becomes a prison instead of a joy. I also think it's important for us to see that we can love, experience loss, and again find a love, not an identical love, but one that brings just as much happiness.
As for Buffy coming back wrong or less than human, I can't say much because I find that her humanity may not be in what form she is, but what she does. That to me means more than her "humanity" or lack thereof.

Thanks for the movie tip, I will pick that one up tonight.
[> [> Hmnnnn,lots to think about there..... -- AurraSing, 10:01:11 12/18/01 Tue

I think it's always interesting to see that Buffy tends to be attracted to figures of power-even Parker can be seen as a powerful figure in that he was older and very well spoken.(Buffy tends to trip over her own words a lot when it comes to romance..thus leaving her feeling a tad overawed by Parker's sly tongue-ewww,I can't believe I just typed that!!!) Riley and Angel both had power,Angel with his vamp nature and Riley as an T/A was both a figure of authority and his physical presence was very overwhelming.
Where does this leave Spike?? Oh yeah,he was able to hit back in "Wrecked" and thus moved from being a punching bag to a figure of power again.So sex ensues for the Slayer and her former un-mortal enemy.Therefore almost against her feelings Buffy is attracted again to a figure of power-once Spike got his 'stones' back he became shag-worthy.But is that enough to keep these two going?
[> [> [> Re: Hmnnnn,lots to think about there..... -- Rufus, 18:56:31 12/18/01 Tue

I think that we shall see if having "stones" will be enough for Spike once the thrill of building levelling sex wears off. Spike told Buffy that she felt "something" and she quickly countered with it not being love. Spike was quite confident when he said "not yet". That will be the test, when the clothes are on and they have to relate on a level that doesn't involve sex, we will know if the relationship was more than just sex based. Sly tongue-eww, I can't believe I just wrote that!!!....LOL and sure you can't Aurra ;)
[> [> [> [> If you kiss a prince, will he turn into a frog? (spoilers - Wrecked) -- Traveler, 00:19:27 12/19/01 Wed

"That will be the test, when the clothes are on and they have to relate on a level that doesn't involve sex, we will know if the relationship was more than just sex based."

It seems to me that Buffy and Spike have CAN relate very well to each other. I wouldn't have said this with such confidence during season five. Even though she accepted his presence and trusted him with Dawn, Buffy never really talked very much with Spike or shared anything of herself with him. However, that changed remarkably this season. For his part, Spike stopped pushing for some kind of physical relationship (at least overtly) and simply was there for her. That is, until OMWF. Ironicall, the physical relationship disrupted the sincere friendship that Buffy and Spike were developing. Even so, we see flashes of what things could still be like between them, as shown in Wrecked. They share a kind of rappor now. When it counts, they don't need to speak in order to be understood. They simply exchange a look when Dawn screams in the allyway and charge into battle, each doing their part. When Willow falls sobbing, they again share a glance. Spike leaves with Dawn and Buffy goes to deal with Willow.

So... I guess the real question for me is not, "is their relationship sex based?" Rather, it is, "can their relationship survive sex?"
[> [> Re: Buffy and the Angry Inch: Arguing Against Plato's Symposium in the Buffyverse -- Wisewoman, 16:36:39 12/18/01 Tue

So, can these soulmates ever become complete with an alternate mate? Or, is it just our fantasies about "the right one", the "eternal love" just a roadblock to happiness? I'd like to think that Buffy can move on Angel free, not because I prefer her with someone else but to show that life can have endings and new beginnings and still be a happy experience.

Rufus, that is truly profound, and one of the hardest lessons in life to learn. The whole concept of "soulmates" is a beautiful, but sometimes very harmful one. Taken to its extreme, I believe we are all soulmates with every other human being on earth, in that we share one soul, one cosmic consciousness. However, the reality is that we're stuck in these Earth-bound forms, and some of them are more attractive to us than others. We can do ourselves untold harm by foregoing loving, caring, satisfying relationships in favour of trying to find "the one."

I think I mentioned on this board a while back that I played a psychiatrist in Christopher Durang's "Beyond Therapy," many years ago. One of her speeches that has always stayed with me was:

There is no "right" person--everyone is limited and, depending on your persepective, they're either horrible or okay.

The key is to avoid the horrible people and surround yourself with the ones who are "okay"--and fortunately there are a lot more of them!

[> [> [> Re: Buffy and the Angry Inch: Arguing Against Plato's Symposium in the Buffyverse -- Rufus, 19:18:44 12/18/01 Tue

I agree with the character in that play. We should become more aware of the fact that life is hard to live and one of the biggest lessons may be learning to avoid horrible people instead of just reaching for one soulmate. If you just keep kissing frogs in hopes of finding a prince or princess all you will get are warts. Buffy has been on a search and she has certainly found her share of frogs, and she tried to mould herself into what she thought they wanted. This has only led to much grief. Instead of being so disgusted with Spike then sleeping with him, Buffy should maybe consider what about Spike is drawing her to him in the first place. He is everything she says she hates in a man but she has had more natural conversations with him than any of her boyfriends. Spike has one thing on his side and that is his ability to stick like flypaper. Buffy will find him hard to shake off by acting badly towards him.
[> Re: Buffy and the Angry Inch: Arguing Against Plato's Symposium in the Buffyverse -- dfrisby, 11:21:54 12/18/01 Tue

Insightful, as was your beauty and beast piece. I think spike supplies buffy's missing fire. Nietzsche implies parenthetically (Z 3.16.4) that soul consists of fire and spirit. Buffy returned with a soul full of spirit but lacking fire. Spike has no soul but is a composite of fire and spirit that are usually at odds (save her / kill her). They complete one another. Plato's Symposium teaches at the very end the important lesson that once can move from tragedy to comedy but not visa versa, and that both are necessary for philosophy. This means that for the buffy series spike will emerge as a fundamentally central character (compare the change of the role of the character of darth vader or anakin when the context changes from 4-6 to 1-6 -- his redemption becomes the central theme). Spike's redemption through buffy's love will emerge as the lesson to learn -- along with buffy's learning of her mysterious need and desire to integrate her life with spike's existence. I wonder if Joss studied philosophy?
[> Thanks, Deeva! -- Rob, 10:22:59 12/20/01 Thu

"Bravo, Rob! You’re on a roll here! Now I really have to see Hedwig. It was on my "to see" list when it came out now it’s shifted over to the "must see" list. By the way I fianlly got around to reading your "Beauty and the Beast" and I loved it! I must say it really puts hope into my heart to see someone put the Buffy/Spike relationship in this type of light. Yes, I'm just a shippy mess but at least I'm proud to admit it! ;o)

I put my response down here to make sure it wouldn't get lost in the shuffle.

Thanks so much. I'm really glad you've enjoyed my essays so much. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only supporting the S/B relationship! Glad to see there's more shippy messes on the board. :o)

And by the way, have you rented "Hedwig" yet? If you haven't, you really must right away! It's a lot of fun, and also quite touching.

Alternate Contact Information from Rufus and Wisewoman -- Wisewoman, 22:32:48 12/17/01 Mon

Rufus and I have been using the yahoogroups philosophical_buffy board briefly today, when there was difficulty getting onto the board. As Masq noted in her e-mail, we're likely to have problems every day between 11 am and 2 pm Pacific time, and anytime on Mondays. Until they introduce their new software and solve these problems on, we want everyone to be aware that we also have access to the yahoogroups board. Masq set it up for use in emergencies, but so far it has only 5 members.

To join, you need to go to the following url:

Hope this helps us all keep in contact when there are problems with this Board. Another suggestion is to bookmark the chat url so you can reach the chat when this board is not operational. That's another place to check for your daily Philosophical Buffy fix!

[> marilikin = Wisewoman, BTW -- WW, 22:36:32 12/17/01 Mon

[> I'm such a trollop, how could I resist?! -- Marie, 06:06:51 12/18/01 Tue

Thanks, you lot, you've reduced my withdrawal symptoms from yesterday!

[> Thanks! I almost went crazy yesterday w/o my AtPoBtVS fix! Btw, my name there is morningperson_2000. -- Rob, 10:54:01 12/18/01 Tue

OT - 10th Poem for Christmas -- Brian, 04:00:09 12/18/01 Tue


The flowers, white and heavy,
Thick with pungent scent,
Bend in celebrated woe.

The tight black coffin,
Gleaming in soft light,
Sprawls among them like a lover lush.

Candles, tall and somber,
Along the purified white walls,
Wink in ceremonial grief.

In filled, formal rows
The stiff-backed chairs
Groan under groaning weight.

The corpse, dressed in stylish black,
Smiling its locked smile,
Lounges with celebration.
[> Gee, Brian, aren't there ANY happy ones? -- MelZ, 06:09:05 12/18/01 Tue

[> Makes me feel all warm and Christmas fuzzy inside! :-) -- GreatRewards, 08:12:17 12/18/01 Tue

My New Year's Honours List (well, if it's good enough for Lizzie!) -- Marie, 07:35:16 12/18/01 Tue

Thought I'd take a moment to say a special 'Thank You' to some posters who have provided me with particular joy, especially in recent weeks (mainly because I don't have the time to troll the Archives!). Their posts have been so thought-provoking, and given me much pleasure, and though I haven't always responded to their posts, this is usually because someone has said what I wanted to say before I got up in the morning!

In alphabetical order:


And a special thank you to Rowan and WW for being such nice Trollops! And Liq and Sol for becoming good mates!

Also, special mention of Hellobot - who hasn't been around for a while, but is missed!

And actually EVERYONE who posts on this board! Even if not mentioned by name, I so much enjoy reading what you post, you all make my days!

And, of course, Masquerade, without whom, well, say no more!

OK, my Oscar-speech is over! Going off the board for a while now, though I'll be checking in periodically, child and other relatives permitting.

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i pawb!
Happy Christmas, and a Wonderful New Year to you all!


p.s. To the Essayists: Bills for printer-cartridges/upkeep will be sent separately!
[> I am greatly honoured, Marie -- Wisewoman, 09:04:45 12/18/01 Tue

Eguberri On! Urte Berri On!

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

(And Canadian Cyber-chocolate Kisses to whoever figures out what language this greeting is in.)
[> [> How's this WW? -- JaneDoe, 10:20:32 12/18/01 Tue

Euskara - Basque
[> [> [> We have a winner! -- WW, 13:17:31 12/18/01 Tue

Canadian Cyber-chocolate kisses are on their way to you, JaneDoe!

[> [> [> [> and back at you if you guessed who this is ;) -- JaneDoe, 16:01:55 12/18/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Would it be someone who went to Library School? -- WW, 16:11:09 12/18/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> nope... ain't been there -- JD, 16:27:26 12/18/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hmmmmm. Basque is about as obscure as it gets... -- WW, 16:40:26 12/18/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ha! I knew you'd never guess!! -- NOT!Aquitaine, 01:36:09 12/19/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It sounds to me like that Evil 1056! -- Marie, 04:27:00 12/19/01 Wed

If she can speak Mandarin, I wouldn't put Basque beyond her!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It sounds to me like that Evil 1056! -- Shaglio, 05:35:21 12/19/01 Wed

I know some posting names can be ambiguous, but I always thought Sol was a guy.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wrong, wrong, WRONG!! -- Not!Sol, 10:49:39 12/19/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe the ! is a clue? -- WW, 12:45:41 12/19/01 Wed

Is that you, Rowan?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Steeeeerike Three - how devastating you don't recognize my brilliance -- not!Rowan, 12:59:13 12/19/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's's gotta be Liq! -- Wisewoman, 20:13:00 12/19/01 Wed

Hey, where you been, buddy? Busy as H*ll, probably, lol.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> 'bout time ;) -- Yes!Liq, 20:26:50 12/19/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> C'mon...who woulda thought you knew Euskara? -- WW ;o), 21:54:37 12/19/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> you'd be surprised what I know *wink* -- Liq, 11:46:27 12/20/01 Thu

[> So am I too!! -- Rahael, 09:38:38 12/18/01 Tue

An honour indeed to be mentioned....let alone the company I'm in!!!

Thank you, Marie...have a great Christmas and New Year yourself.
[> Ditto... -- Rob, 10:09:53 12/18/01 Tue

Wow, thank you so much for putting me on a list along with such prestigious posters! I am so honored that you hold my writing in high esteem such as that.

But you know what? You should be on that list as well! Your essays and fan fiction are brilliant. Your most recent, "The End" was pure perfection!

Oh, and by the way, to where should I address that printer upkeep check?!? ;o)


P.S. Happy Xmas, Merry New Year (or is that the other way around?) :0)
[> Re: Thanks - that is so sweet :-) -- Dedalus, 11:39:38 12/18/01 Tue

I should so be posting here more than I do, but I have been SO busy. This has been, without a doubt, the busiest, craziest Christmas season I have seen in awhile. Nevertheless, you guys are always close to my heart.
[> [> Re: Thanks - that is so sweet :-) -- Rufus, 19:05:34 12/18/01 Tue

We better be close to your heart...after all we do have a certain light sabre with your name on it...:):):)
[> [> [> Re: One day - it shall be mine again! -- Dedalus, 13:39:38 12/19/01 Wed

[> I'm on a Honour list...better than some of the ones I've been on..;) -- Rufus, 19:08:53 12/18/01 Tue

Thank you very much for the nod of approval.....have a Happy Christmas and may you survive the rerun season. I have to ask if Rowan and WW are "nice" trollups, just what kind of trollup am I?????
[> [> Well, see, I HAVE to say that, 'cos they're my suppliers!! -- Marie, 06:02:12 12/19/01 Wed

[> Never having been on an Honors List before... -- OnM, 19:35:44 12/18/01 Tue

...I'm exquisitely pleased to be on one that is related to all the other fine folks here at ATPo!

Thank you most kindly, Marie. Have a wonderful holiday season, and my very best wishes to you, and to your friends and family!

:) :) :)
[> Re: My New Year's Honours List (well, if it's good enough for Lizzie!) -- Rattletrap, 05:54:21 12/19/01 Wed

Thanx Marie, I'm flattered to be included.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

[> Re: My New Year's Honours List (well, if it's good enough for Lizzie!) -- Aquitaine, 09:16:23 12/19/01 Wed

Thanks for including me on your list:)

- Aquitaine
I created a "So You'd Like to Start Watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer" page on Amazon... -- Rob, 12:20:28 12/18/01 Tue

I'd love for you to tell me what you think! It's located here. Enjoy! :o)

[> Addendum... -- Rob, 12:23:08 12/18/01 Tue

If you have any comments or suggestions about anything I should change, or possibly other "Buffy" items I should add to the list that I haven't as of yet, please tell me! Thanks!

[> [> Very good, Rob! It's pretty thorough as is. -- Deeva, 12:47:56 12/18/01 Tue

[> [> Re: Addendum... -- pagangodess, 13:25:01 12/18/01 Tue

Good stuff, Rob. Although I see why you put the video sets as things to avoid, I must say, for someone who's been watching 'Buffy' for a while, it's a wanted item. However, now that the seasons will be coming out on DVD, I'm going to wait as well.

You should ask Masq if you can add a link to on there. I don't know if it's allowed or not, it's just a thought.

[> [> Don't forget the Buffy Script Books... -- Moose, 14:38:45 12/18/01 Tue

They really are an amazing read. The writing is excellent and you see more of how Joss and Co. minds work.

Admittedly it is more for the fan than the newbie. But, then again you never know what will get someone interested in the show.
[> [> Re: Addendum... -- Zus, 14:49:55 12/18/01 Tue

It could very well just be me, but I really enjoyed the Gatekeeper's Trilogy. None of the other "story" books have really ever appealed to me, but that series did. I would include them in a list for new fans.
[> [> Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! -- Rob, 16:43:37 12/18/01 Tue

I've added The Script Books and The Gatekeeper Trilogy to the recommended reading and have put the url to AtPoBtVS at the end of the page.

I didn't change the stuff about the videos not being recommended, since I'm writing it for people who haven't seen Buffy before. I know, because I actually started on the first season video set when I first saw Buffy. Everything was out of context, story threads weren't resolved, etc. It was very frustrating. Great copies of the eps for regular viewers, but now that the DVDs are starting to come out, I don't think the videos are worth buying anymore.

But thanks again for all the suggestions. If you have anymore, don't hesitate to drop me a line. :)

[> Well done, Rob! -- Wisewoman, 16:52:23 12/18/01 Tue

Great idea, and very well accomplished as well.

In my mind, I'm starting to think of you as a kind of Energizer Bunny (only more philosophical). Don't ever tell Anya I said that!

[> [> Re: Well done, Rob! -- Rob, 09:21:33 12/19/01 Wed

"In my mind, I'm starting to think of you as a kind of Energizer Bunny (only more philosophical). Don't ever tell Anya I said that!"

LOL! Well, maybe I can be an Energizer Puppy Dog?

I don't know, I think writing that "Beauty and the Beast" essay got me on a roll. I can't stop writing now! I'm gonna become addicted, like Willow! I can picture myself trying to feverishly type an essay, while driving a car, all the while being chased by a demon, and then smashing into a pole and breaking my best friend's sister's arm! Buffy, I need help! Huh, where was I? ;o)

[> [> [> Yep. Serious Addiction Alert...LOL! ;o) -- WW, 12:42:55 12/19/01 Wed

[> Amazon, my second home........ -- Rufus, 19:21:38 12/18/01 Tue

I went and had a look. I can't comment on the fiction because I'm not fond of the novels that have been written based upon the show. You are right about waiting for the DVD's there is so much more information you can get on them. You would never see interviews or commentary on VHS. I personally think that Masquerade will be tickled that you made reference to her site.
[> LOL! Great! Gonna spread the word. (support your local bookstore.) (sorry, can't help myself.) - - res, 23:53:45 12/18/01 Tue

[> Lovely! -- Tillow, 07:30:03 12/20/01 Thu

Tara -- yabyumpan, 12:55:34 12/18/01 Tue

It's been said on previous posts that Tara is the only sensable/responsable scoobie at the momment, looking after Dawn, confronting Willow etc. I would of thought that she should be the least together(after Buffy)what with her getting brain sucked by Glory an all. I find it disturbing that there seems to be no repercusions of her time spent in GLory's brain. She must have in some way mixed with Glory's "essence" not to mention the other people who were in there with her, plus Glory left some sort of "marker"in her, she could "see" what Dawn realy was and make her way to the where the final conflict took place. Yet it seems that all it took was Willow mind-melding her and Glory and everything's back to normal. I find that a little hard to take. Maybe it will come up later in the series but at the momment it just seems a little to pat.
Also, any Ideas what Glory actually took from Tara; I don't think it was her soul, her mind, her essence? She gave the impression of being brain damaged, going back to a child-like state but she recognised Willow and possibly the other Scoobies. This was probably discussed at the time of the episodes but I've only recently discoverd this board (which it absolutly wonderful, I love all the great insights and discussions), if it was then maybe someone could direct me to the relavant posts, if they're still around. Anyway I'd appreciate some feed back on this, it's been bugging me for a while and if anyone can come up with some answers, it's you guys
[> Re: Tara -- Forsaken, 13:16:45 12/18/01 Tue

She absorbs the energies in the human brain that bind the different functions into a cohesive unit. Basically, she puts her fingers into your skull and syphons out the part of you that makes you sane. No part of Tara's actual mind left and became a part of Glory, just an energy wavelength, hence no odd side effects as on eowuld assume from existing inside the brain of a crazy Hellgod. All of her was still there, just not working together right anymore.
[> [> Re: Tara -- Rob, 16:45:05 12/18/01 Tue

Also, Tara's complete restoration was vital for Willow's character this year. It was one of the reasons she has become so cocky about her magic this year. She restored Tara's mental state, she brought Buffy back from the dead, etc. It lead to her feeling that she could do anything, hence the heated argument with Giles in "Flooded."

[> [> [> Re: Tara -- DEN, 19:12:21 12/18/01 Tue

And while the issue hasn't come up overtly, it would be very human for Willow to expect, subconsciously and maybe at the edge of consciousness as well, an unrealistic level of ongoing appreciation from Tara: a kind of "look at what I did for you--and now you get on my case about magick?!" Again subconsciously, the emotions might even run a good deal darker: "So what if I altered your memories? Without me you'd be a vegetable anyhow."

Willow's clear disappointment when Buffy does not show extreme gratitude at being resurrected would fit into that mind-set. So would her outburst to Giles: "I was awesome!"--and the unspoken corollary that nobody seemed to notice either time. So to herself she's still "geek Willow--always taken for granted except when somebody needs a miracle!" Oh yeah."Wrecked" was only a way station in the Willow arc.
[> [> [> [> Re: Tara -- DEN, 19:37:04 12/18/01 Tue

I forgot to say that I agree with both yab and Rob. it was necessary for Willow's season-6 arc to have not merely a recovered Tara, but a new and improved model: one with a spine. At the same time, given Tara's backstory, her rapid recovery from the particular trauma she suffered was unlikely enough to be unsettling. The situation fits a common complaint that characters on the show are increasingly being rewritten to fit changes in the story line
[> [> [> [> [> Tara's new backbone -- Dariel, 20:35:39 12/18/01 Tue

At the same time, given Tara's backstory, her rapid recovery from the particular trauma she suffered was unlikely enough to be unsettling. The situation fits a common complaint that characters on the show are increasingly being rewritten to fit changes in the story line

Sometimes people are weakened by trauma, sometimes they are strengthened. Tara survived a devastating attack, akin to a near-death experience. Perhaps this gave her some perspective on what matters in life, such as honesty in relationships. (In any case, I love her new backbone, and found her pretty annoying without one!)
[> [> [> [> [> [> near-death experience -- grifter, 05:35:20 12/19/01 Wed

"Sometimes people are weakened by trauma, sometimes they are strengthened. Tara survived a devastating attack, akin to a near-death experience. Perhaps this gave her some perspective on what matters in life, such as honesty in relationships. "

A few years ago I had something similiar to a near-death experience (well, not with a god, but with a Mercedes) and let me tell you: it changes you A LOT!

I wasn´t really hurt, but if even a little detail of my accident had gone differently I would probably not be writing this.
It definitly makes you a stronger, more self-confident person. For me Tara´s character development absolutely makes sense...
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: near-death experience -- DEN, 05:49:53 12/19/01 Wed

Thanks to Daniel and grifter.That explanation makes perfect sense, especially since Tara has previously been shown as being tough enough to survive brutal,long-term emotional traumatizing by her family. Remind me to avoid late-evening posting; the brain shuts down as the day passes. I still like my idea on Willow, though!
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Tara -- robert, 07:56:20 12/19/01 Wed

"... not merely a recovered Tara, but a new and improved model: one with a spine. "

I submit that Tara already had plenty of spine. She showed this in episodes from season five.

In "Family", she is shown to have left her family and then fought to retain her friends. At the end of the episode, she tells her family to "just leave."

In "The Body", she reveals that she survived her mother's lingering death and wanted to provide comfort to Buffy, Dawn and friends.

In "Tough Love", Tara stood up to Glory and protected Dawn, even though she knew it would be at the cost of her sanity. This was especially poignant, since Tara had previously shown particular fear to losing her sanity. Let us not forget that she was officially accepted as part of the gang only 12 episodes prior. I see this as showing remarkable courage and loyalty.

How is this any less backbone than she is showing now?
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Tara -- DEN, 09:31:32 12/19/01 Wed

You're right. See my next-above comment about Tara's toughness, which was meant to emend my initial hastily-conceived and poorly-reasoned statement. I remember watching "Tough Love" and thinking the series had few moments of raw, cold-blooded courage to match Tara's confrontation with Glory--beginning with the slow crushing of her hand. Maybe that's why I made the original mistake. It seemed to me that given what happened she could reasonably be cut slack in terms of recovery time, both emotional and physical.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Tara -- Rob, 09:40:43 12/19/01 Wed

I agree. Tara has always had a backbone. While she didn't always have great self-confidence, she did stand for what she believed in. Who among us could have stood up to Glory the way she did, while being tortured like that? And, regarding her family, yes, she was made to feel inadequate by them, but she didn't take it completely lying down. She deliberately messed up Willow's demon-finding spell, and cast the spell at the Magic Box. Those were truly risky, bold moves on her part. When Joyce died, she is the one who put her foot down to Dawn that she could not be brought back. There are many examples of Tara's quiet strength. Now, she may sound verbally stronger than she did before, but you must remember (1) Tara is a very shy girl, and it took her a long time to get comfortable talking to the other Scoobies. Now she's more comfortable with them; and (2) Willow's recent behavior has driven her to stand up to her. Tara has gone against her better judgment for Willow in the past (i.e. resurrecting Buffy), but she cannot in this situation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Tara -- yabyumpan, 12:03:17 12/19/01 Wed

thanks for all the feedback, I agree that Tara has always had backbone in a way that a lot of quiet, shy people have. Quiet people tend to be seen as not full there in some way, because they don't appear to be contributing in the same way as people who are always talking and voicing an opinion,( a generization I know but based on personal expierience),but they tend to observe more and can see things more clearly. I also agree that people can be made stronger by trauma. What I was really questioning (probably not very clearly), is whether she may have some residual "glory" still in her. I accept the explanation that what Glory did was to take the cohesiveness from her brain, that makes sense, but Glory did seem to put some sort of marker or connection in Tara's brain, to enable her to find her way to the warehouse in "The Gift", maybe it was just like inviseble string, which got severed when Willow did the mind-meld.
I don't know, I should probably stop thinking about this now and accept it as part of Whendonverse.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Tara -- DEN, 12:15:25 12/19/01 Wed

Relative to your specific point, I too see the link in your terms: a mental homing device that was activated to draw all of G's victims to the site. When Willow breaks the connection, she breaks the link. Glory's death finishes the job, or that part of it.

Never just accept Joss! That takes all the fun out of it!
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Tara and courage -- matching mole, 14:16:34 12/19/01 Wed

Speaking as a quiet, shy person myself I would like to point out that courage is a relative thing. A courageous act is one that you are scared of doing but you do anyway. An act that might be trivial for one person might be monumental for another.

For example Xander obviously has no trouble verbalizing his emotions when he feels that someone has stepped over the line. This often leads to confrontational situations (e.g. Dead Man's Party). Xander may regret hasty words later (or not) but speaking his mind and confronting others doesn't seem to hold any dread for him. It obviously does for Tara so I would argue that her confrontation of Willow is probably her most courageous action on the show.
No new ep on Jan 1st? -- pagangodess, 13:45:23 12/18/01 Tue

I just read Deeva's post on the alternate board. I'm crushed. Is it true? Can anyone confirm.

[> Re: No new ep on Jan 1st? -- Smash, 14:22:32 12/18/01 Tue

Some guy (how's that for a resounding description) on the MightyBigTV boards posted that his friend, a UPN program director, told him that "Flooded" would air on Jan. 1. A new episode will air on Jan. 8.
[> Re: No new ep on Jan 1st? -- maddog, 15:43:06 12/18/01 Tue has Flooded listed as the episode for Jan 1st too....I don't get that...we were told otherwise...what's up with that? :(
[> Re: No new ep on Jan 1st? -- Rattletrap, 06:03:43 12/19/01 Wed

Jan 8 seems more probable to me. Generally TV networks shy away from airing new episoded right on or near holidays because people are often traveling or partying, or otherwise distracted from watching TV, so those episodes don't get very good ratings. I haven't heard anything official on Buffy for next year, though.
[> Bad scheduling news... -- Rob, 11:45:44 12/19/01 Wed

Here's what I heard today about the schedule. This is not good.

Jan 1st will be a repeat of "Flooded.

Jan 8th will be A NEW EPISODE THANK GOD!!

But then Jan 15 will be reruns!!! Grr aargh. On the bright side, there will be two back-to-back reruns of WOTW and "The Gift."

And then on Jan 22, both parts of "Bargaining" will be aired.

And the next new ep will be Jan 29, leading into sweeps, so there should be a lot of new eps in a row after that.

But I can't even express how annoying this is. Well, on the one hand, at least we do get a new episode in early January. But that really interrupts the flow of the series, on the other hand. I like having my December cliffhanger, and then returning after the break with a whole new set of eps--not a single tease of a new ep in the middle of Jan and more weeks of reruns!!

Gotta say it again...grr aaargh!

[> [> But Rob.... -- Deeva, 13:49:54 12/19/01 Wed

Your new Buffy dvd should be delivered by then! ;o)
[> [> But Rob (some more) -- matching mole, 14:32:30 12/19/01 Wed

There are 22 episodes a year. That means that 30 weeks a year there will be no new episode. A sad fact to be sure but as unchangeable in the face of our complaints as global warming. Would you really want to see all of them at once and then have seven Buffy-free months? It's an interesting philosophical question...
[> [> [> I want 52 episodes a year! -- Traveler, 16:51:51 12/19/01 Wed

Of course, it might kill the actors. Hmm... maybe we could play around with einsteinian physics and make 52 episodes a year relative to the audience, while giving the actors a generous three years to complete them?
[> [> [> [> Good points, all! -- Rob, 18:29:38 12/19/01 Wed

Deeva--Yeah, I guess you're right. I hadn't thought about the new DVDs coming out then. But, call me spoiled, but I want some new episodes dammit! But then on the other hand the DVD picture quality will be so good, it'll be like I'm watching the episodes for the first time.

mm--That is a very interesting philosophical question...and almost impossible to answer! I am very much a guy who needs instant gratification, so that side of me would want all the episodes right away. But the other side of that is that I couldn't then bear to have such a long break between eps. Watching shows on HBO drives me crazy with the sometimes year-long or more waits between seasons that only last 13 episodes each! But that's besides the point...

I think the only solution is the one Traveler proposed...52 episodes a year! I'm all for that! Well, I don't want any of my wonderful Buffy actors to be worked to death, on the other hand. Maybe we should work on that Einstein physics thingy. We'll talk...LOL.

[> [> [> [> [> Spoiled! You said it not me! ;o) -- Deeva, 20:34:08 12/19/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> What, Me Spoiled? ;o) -- Rob, 09:12:09 12/20/01 Thu

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