December 2001 posts

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January 2002

On the nature of soul, and how vampires can love? -- John Burwood, 15:11:41 12/28/01 Fri

Managed to get back into the board for the first time in weeks-not by choice-my system not coping. In case I don't get in again for a long time, here's a theory of mine in case no one has come up with it in the meantime. Theory starts:- a person consists of three parts, Body, Mind, & Soul. think of the Mind as the basic operating system or hard drive. It makes all decisions, runs all programs, etc. But it has to have software, both start-up & constant upgrading. Some software comes from the body, e.g. desire for food, water, sex. Some comes from external sources - eg parents,teachers, peer groups, TVetc. And some comes from the soul - eg emotions like love & hate, personality, and the desire to be good & be loved.
So what happens when a person gets vamped?
My theory is that all the old software remains on the system, & merely gets new softwae mixing with, overwriting, or corrupting it like a virus. Bloodlust from the vampire body, vampire teachings from other vampires, & predatorial software from the inner demon. But the original software from life is still there, which is why some vampires can love & some can't. Liam never loved in his life, so Angelus had no software for love on his system & was incapable of love, since the demon couldnot supply love software. But William did love in his life, pedestal-style, so the software was already there & could be twisted to new objects of worship, first Drusilla, then Buffy.
Might alsofit with Buffy being soulless, if that is what is wrong with her. sounds reasonable? Sounds nonsense? Any thoughts? Brickbats? I may not get back in to the board so see them, but at least I've tried.

[> Re: On the nature of soul, and how vampires can love? -- Maxwell, 15:54:24 12/28/01 Fri

A very interesting way of putting things. The comparison between Liam/Angelus and William/Spike has been made before but I think you nailed it perfectly. The question is if William only experienced romantic love in this "pedestal-style", is it now the only kind that he can experience? In "Wrecked" it seemed that he tried to relate to Buffy more as equals.

[> Re: On the nature of soul, and how vampires can love? -- Rufus, 17:02:11 12/28/01 Fri

So what happens when a person gets vamped?
My theory is that all the old software remains on the system, & merely gets new softwae mixing with, overwriting, or corrupting it like a virus. Bloodlust from the vampire body, vampire teachings from other vampires, & predatorial software from the inner demon. But the original software from life is still there, which is why some vampires can love & some can't.

The vampire is a result of an infection. In season one, The Harvest, Giles says the books refer to the creation of a vampire the result of a bite that infects the human with the soul of the infecting demon, the person is infected, possessed. My thing has always been that the combination of demon and human makes for an unstable hybrid capable of a range of behavior. Joss described the soul when asked by and audience member at the Paley Festival last year.

The Paley Festival, March 30, 2001
Audience Member: "I'd like to know what your definition of a soul is? And what distinguishes Angel from the other vampires, because it becomes clear from both Buffy and Angel that vampires have human emotions and human attachments. So is that a conscience? And then what separates vampires from humans if it is a conscience?"

JW: "Um, very little. (laugh) Essentially, souls are by their nature amorphous but to me it's really about what star you are guided by. Most people, we hope, are guided by, 'you should be good, you're good, you feel good.' And most demons are guided simply by the opposite star. They believe in evil, they believe in causing it, they like it. They believe it in the way that people believe in good. So they can love someone, they can attach to someone, they can actually want to do things that will make that person happy in the way they know they would. The way Spike has sort of become, an example is Spike obviously on Buffy, is getting more and more completely conflicted. But basically his natural bent is towards doing the wrong thing. His court's creating chaos where as in most humans, most humans, is the opposite, and that's really how I see it. I believe it's kind of like a spectrum, but they are setting their course by opposite directions. But they're all sort of somewhere in the middle."

Once you introduce the possibility of both the souled and soulless begining at a mid point on a spectrum of good and evil you set up a myriad of potential behaviors based upon unique situations. With Spike he had the chip installed, then he became aware he was in love with Buffy (something Dru said she had known for a long time). With the type of guy William was the ability to love was there already. It is his demon tendancy to do the wrong thing that screwed up how his love translated into actions. Season five was about Spike learning the difference between the desire for sex and love. For Spike the big difference has been the chip in his head. It prevents him from going back to familiar behavior patterns that are second nature to him. The only question is, can Spike eventually find that his nature can be changed, leaving the chip no longer needed. Or, will he quickly revert to old patterns no matter how long ago that chip was installed?

[> [> Re: slightly OT but still on souls - no answers only questions. -- Pez, 10:29:02 12/29/01 Sat

I not only wonder what a soul is but also where does a soul come from?

Is it inate i.e humans are born with one? In which case does Dawn have a soul? And do half demons/human hybrids have half a soul?

Or is it something that is manufactured so Angel's soul was more like a transplant of a soul (I'm thinking something like an organic pacemaker!) rather than his own soul being returned to him.

Or is it something else? ideas welcome:-)


A Book of Buffy Academic Criticism -- Dedalus, 15:40:52 12/28/01 Fri

Okay, I didn't actually get it for Christmas, but I got it with Christmas money the other day in a bit of post-holiday shopping.

It's called "Reading the Vampire Slayer: An Unofficial Critical Companion to Buffy and Angel." It's edited by Roz Kaveney, and is bascially made up of about ten essays, each written by a different author. Some are professional academics, others are just freelance writers. It's 271 pages long, and contains an episode guide at the end and a brief overview of the characters and mythology at the beginning.

I haven't had a chance to read it yet because I'm working on HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but it looks really neat. I found a couple of misquotes already, but maybe they were going by the original scripts which sometimes differ. There is one about feminism, citizenship, and the divine which is something like my goddess essay. The author even quotes Campbell, so I'm happy. Some of them are not that long, others more so.

I found it at Media Play - that's the only place I've seen it. It was in the tv/movie section, and it's definitely worth picking up, if only to compare to the conversations here. I don't think anyone has posted about it yet, and I just got it yesterday. It does seem pretty Existential Scooby-esque. I haven't really seen anything like it before, except for what I suggested this group do lo those many months ago.

[> Academic Buffy Sites/Pubs -- Anthora, 15:48:59 12/28/01 Fri

Has online essays and info about purchasing their published works and other items. These are serious academic types, and their essays sound remarkably like what gets posted here. ;)

[> [> Re: Thanks - I'll be sure to check it out! -- Dedalus, 16:03:31 12/28/01 Fri

[> Thanks Dedalus and Anthora -- cynesthesia, 21:52:41 12/28/01 Fri

[> Re: A Book of Buffy Academic Criticism -- MaryAnn, 09:01:02 12/29/01 Sat

I finished it a few days ago. I think folk should find it pretty interesting, though some of the essays are the sort which don't use three words when three paragraphs of academic jargon will do (why I love the Existential Scoobies is that no one here seems to go in for that!). Mercifully the good essays outnumber the jargon-filled. I'd particularly recommend Roz Kaveney's long introduction, which is both enthusiastic and insightful; "Staking a Claim" on BUFFY slash; and "They always mistake me for the character I play: Transformation, identity and role-playing in the Buffyverse(and a defence of fine acting)", which title is pretty self-explanatory.

The essay you mention, "What you are, what's to come: feminisms, citizenship and the divine", I found variable, but the best section on "Religious Symbolism" is excellent and especially intriguing on Sumerian myth (covered on this board also, of course).

The book only costs ten quid or so - easily worth it for the good stuff and a refreshing change from the high price of academic volumes.

Announcing BUFFY TROLLOP CENTRAL -- Wisewoman, 16:09:45 12/28/01 Fri

Well, it seemed like a good idea, so I went ahead and created a spoiler forum for the Trollops on this board, so that Nina and others will be able to keep coming here without fear of being spoiled.

I'm hoping it will be okay with Masq, and that she'll put a link to it up above. In the meantime, all you trollops will have to bookmark the new board:

Wisewoman ;o)

[> YAY!!!!! -- Deeva, 16:46:51 12/28/01 Fri

[> Warning: Don't even peek there...spoilers in ALL subject lines! -- WW, 16:53:57 12/28/01 Fri

Hee hee hee


[> Oh Goody a place to be evil...........:):):) -- Rufus, 17:08:20 12/28/01 Fri

[> And can I just say how much I HATE html? -- WW, 17:45:07 12/28/01 Fri

Because I'm an idiot and never learned it properly and I have to look up even the simplest things, like centering and line breaks...aaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhh!

Okay, that feels better.

[> Can'! NT -- Dichotomy, 18:33:27 12/28/01 Fri

[> Just added the site to my BTVS favorites list. I wave my trollop banner proudly. -- A8, 20:28:36 12/28/01 Fri

[> THANK U, Wisewoman. :) A new place to play. :)(NT) -- nay, 21:03:19 12/28/01 Fri


[> All spoilers,all the time,no! I've enlisted!! -- AurraSing, 06:50:25 12/29/01 Sat

[> Woo hoo! -- rowan, 07:37:32 12/29/01 Sat

[> [> Thank you! Thank you!!!! :) -- Nina, 08:23:31 12/29/01 Sat

[> [> [> You're welcome! ;o) -- WW, 08:30:41 12/29/01 Sat

[> Cactus Watcher: You're welcome! ;o) -- WW, 08:29:24 12/29/01 Sat

...and boy, was I surprised to see you there!! Hope you didn't get inadvertently spoiled.

[> i can't help's too tempting! -- pocky, 14:32:47 12/29/01 Sat

[> And, thanks to Liq, we now have a Trollop Chat, as well!! ;o) -- WW, 17:45:03 12/29/01 Sat

UK Buffy fans - Woolworths offer -- Diagnoztix, 16:15:35 12/28/01 Fri

Just incase any Buffy fans in the UK haven't noticed - Woolworths r doing a BOGOF offer on Buffy and Angel VHS boxsets! £29.99 for a whole season :-)) They're also on their website - but r more expensive...)

[> Re: UK Buffy fans - Woolworths offer -- MysticalMuesli, 02:30:32 12/30/01 Sun

It isn't just Woolworths. WH Smiths and I think maybe HMV have the same offer.

Classic Movie of the Week - December 28th 2001 (Extra long this week. So sue me!) -- OnM, 22:06:54 12/28/01 Fri


Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.

............ Isaac Asimov


What most people don't seem to realize, is that there is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one. I'm making my fortune out of the wreckage.

............ Rhett Butler, from Gone With the Wind


Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

............ Mark Twain


A kiss may not be the truth, but it is what we wish were true.

............ Steve Martin, as weatherman Harris Telemacher from L.A. Story


It’s really easy to be cynical. All you need to do is live in the world for a few decades and merely observe it passing by, and cynicism tends to gravitate into your psyche. To a certain degree, it can be somewhat of a benefit, because there is certainly no shortage of folks who are trying to take advantage of their fellow creatures in ways great or small, and should you come into contact with one of them, forewarned is forearmed. As always, though, there is another side to the proverbial specie.

Said alternate face of this (il)legal tender is that you run the risk of becoming excessively and consistantly downbeat and suspicious, and so begin every transaction, be it monetary or social, with such overt confidence that you are going to be ripped-off that it chases away a genuinely caring or competent fellow human.

The sensible reaction then, is just what it customarily is-- you endeavor to walk a middle path, becoming alert, but not reactionary. A few columns back, I was lamenting about how a particular political columnist often irritates me by devolving his sometimes perfectly valid point of view into snipery, which is nothing more than cynicism carrying a grudge. The man that I mentioned most assuredly isn’t the only pundit gifted with a knack for verbally vengeful flatulence, and this annoying manifestation of discouragement isn’t limited to the right-wing or conservative side of the political spectrum, nosirree. Rest assured, there are plenty of lefties and liberal-leaners who love bashing conservatism, commerce and capitalism and all of the ardent philosophical defenders of the traditional faiths, not because said items have faults, but simply because they exist at all.

Now, what brought up this particular topic was, as is the norm with me, a confluence of several events. First, the current state of waiting-for-new-eps is starting to engender the usual spoiler- searching / rampant speculation / which character is going to do what to whom / I will really hate it if ‘X’ returns to the show / the show has already jumped the shark so who cares what the writers do / the world sucks kind of commentary on some boards and sites (fortunately, and most blessedly, not on ours!). Second, it’s now very near the end of the calendar year and while people are waiting for the next one to start up (as if it really isn’t just the normal transition from one day to the next) they start reflecting on where we were / are / will be and inevitably make split decisions on whether the universe is going to hell / already there so there’s no place to go but up.

Third, I happened to come across these two intriguing articles in last week’s Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine that act to illustrate the positive and negative aspects of the art of salemanship, and how such relates to the attitudes that we non-retailers carry with us and to the level of pessimism/optimism with which we view all future events. Both of these articles are too long to print in their entirety here, but I will give the links later on in the miscellaneous section of the column, should you wish to delve deeper.

I’ll start with some excerpts from ‘the downside’ first.

From: Opportunism Knocks - By Jeff Gammage ( copyright 2001 / The Philadelphia Inquirer )

Imagine that you work on the 99th floor of a glimmering glass-and-steel office tower in a major American city. Now imagine that terrorists have crashed an airliner into the building, turning the structure into a smoke-choked inferno. As people around you scramble for their lives, what do you need the most? Anne Helliwell knows. You need HOPE. And what's more, her company has it for sale. It costs $899. HOPE stands for High Office Parachute Escape, a lightweight, one-time-use parachute that can be stored in a desk drawer, right next to the manila files and paper clips. The makers say HOPE provides a last-ditch chance at survival when there's no other way out. Helliwell, 42, is a veteran instructor and parachutist who has completed almost 10,000 jumps, including 7,500 from airplanes and 1,000 from fixed stations such as bridges and tall buildings.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, at least half a dozen companies, some of them long-established in the parachute business, have begun marketing so-called executive parachutes. The ads make the idea of stowing a chute under your desk sound as reasonable as toting a life preserver aboard a ship. (...) But here's another potential building egress scenario: After you jump, you're blown back into the fire. Or crushed against the side of a building. Or get tangled in the parachute lines and plunge to earth. In fact, some experts say that it's foolhardy - suicidal, really - for a layman to jump off a skyscraper with a parachute. And that selling someone the equipment to do so is an invitation to injury or death. (...) Beyond physical dangers lie moral dilemmas: Can a panicked junior executive correctly hook up a parachute harness? If so, can he bear to leave his colleagues behind to die? What would stop the biggest, strongest person in the room from stealing the parachute? In fear and desperation, would several people cling to the parachutist as he leapt, killing them all?

For some, the impulse to make a quick buck off the misfortune of others is as natural as breathing. A lot of people had precisely that thought on Sept. 11. (...) Some people launched e-mail appeals on behalf of charities that didn't exist. Others set up fly-by-night Web sites to take credit-card orders. At least two went door-to-door, telling homeowners they were collecting for the victims when they really sought cash for themselves. Within days, scammers were trying to sell fake ashes from ground zero to the spouses and parents of the dead. (...) In Florida, a woman dressed in hospital scrubs and posed as a nurse to collect donations outside two Kash 'n Karry supermarkets. She has pleaded guilty to fraud. In Georgia, a married couple are being held, charged with trying to collect $200,000 from their insurance company by claiming that the wife had been killed at the World Trade Center. In New York, nine Port Authority workers stand accused of stealing money intended for the victims. They told the Red Cross that the attack left them jobless - all worked at an employee cafeteria in the World Trade Center - then collected $14,065 in relief funds. Investigators found they had been paid their regular salaries after the attack, then reassigned to other cafeterias.

Some may ask: Are these entrepreneurs truly so heartless? Aren't they merely taking capitalism to its logical extreme? In the end, are they really so different from the rest of us? Actually, yes. They're completely off the moral map, says Patricia Werhane, an ethics scholar at the University of Virginia. (...) How could they do it? How could anyone be so callous, so immune to the needs and suffering of others? The explanation is complicated, rooted in intricate psychological analyses of societal behaviors and cultural norms, but basically it all comes down to this: Some people are no damn good.


Okay, now for the ‘upside’ excerpts:

From: Let the Buyer Rejoice - By Howard Shapiro ( copyright 2001 / The Philadelphia Inquirer )

I saw the everyday, human face of capitalism in the Chestnut Hill Super Fresh a few Sundays back, and I think her name was Carol. She had jet-black hair, and her eyes danced a little when she smiled. Like all good salespeople, she looked smack into the faces of the crowd as she demonstrated how to use the dangerously serrated knife that never needs sharpening. (...) In one palm, she grasped the knife. In the other palm, she held us. "Yes! Me!" said one woman, before the last butcher-block chip had fallen in the wide aisle between the frozen cocktail franks and the quarts of soy milk. "I'll take it." There was some hesitation, but six or seven other people eventually lined up with their $23, for which they got three serrated TV Knives, a boning knife that can cut you if you look at it suspiciously, two little orange spiky plastic rings that you stick into something (hopefully not human) to get the juices out, and a super-sharp paring knife.

The image of the saleswoman stayed with me for days because in this particular holiday season we live in an America that is looking down and over its shoulder rather than up and straight ahead. Except for the salespeople. The people who sell stuff - the quality salespeople who know intuitively that, with proper guidance and interaction, you'll take something home with you - these people cannot afford to walk around looking as though the world has changed forever, and not in their favor. They have the optimism that comes naturally to those who see every sale as a personal success. They deal in basic American values that celebrate the essential American spirit. We count on them to be honest, to sell us the real thing, not a bill of goods.


Yes, I know that the ‘evil salesman’ portion was a lot longer, but that’s just evil for ya, ya know? After all, you pick up any newspaper and the news is mostly bad. This is unlikely to ever change, since reporting a story with the headline ‘175 Million People Work All Day and Don’t Kill Anyone Else’ would have the majority of readers scratching their craniums and hurrumphing, ‘So, like, that’s news?’

But it is news, it’s truly incredible that for the most part, life goes on and we all somehow manage not to act upon some spur of the moment thought that impels us to seek revenge or take advantage of whomever we happen to interact with. Being selfish is natural, it takes concerted effort to resist it and behave in a more altruistic fashion. That most of us do this most of the time is a tribute to our long term quest to become civilization builders, to create a social sum that is much greater than the parts, to become what we believe we are, or actually realize ‘what we wish were true’.

Thus, in soothing tribute to the end of the outgoing year, I present to you, my loyal flickophiles, a Classic Movie which serves up an antidote for cynicism that, improbable though it may be, is no less heartwarming or life-affirming despite such consideration. Please cast aside your jaded, pessimisic tendencies and sit back and enjoy director Andrew Bergman’s It Could Happen to You, starring Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda.

The basic plot is basically straightforward: Cage plays a policeman named Charlie Lang, whose biggest fault seems to be that he loves his job. Honest, hard-working and easy-going, he’s pretty much a contented guy. The neighborhood kids love and admire him, his cop-time partner in anti- crime likes and respects him, in fact all of New York City seems upbeat about Charlie.

Charlie’s wife, however, thinks Charlie isn’t ambitious enough. Played in skillful form by the delightfully manic Rosie Perez, Muriel Lang can’t understand why her hubby seems so accepting of what she feels to be a woefully mediocre standard of living. "I have wings", she laments to Charlie one day during an argument about the need to be far more upwardly mobile-- "I need to fly."

The two are hardly living in what would be considered poverty conditions, indeed to many of the folks Charlie meets during the course of his work, he and Muriel would be deemed pretty well-off, solid members of the working middle class. We begin to wonder why Charlie puts up with the constant griping and sniping, but a major clue comes on a day when Charlie picks up a lottery ticket at Muriel’s request. Stating that ‘she’s had a vision’ from a deceased relative, she tells Charlie to play a sequence of numbers that includes their wedding anniversary date. The ticket turns out to be a winner, although only because Charlie uses the actual anniversary date, not the off-by-a-day number his wife uses for reasons Muriel makes seriously unclear during one of her many mind- bendingly screechy temper tantrums.

What she isn’t aware of is that Charlie has agreed to split the winnings of the ticket 50-50 with a waitress in a resturant where one day he had the money for a cup of coffee, but not enough for the tip. He promises the waitress, Yvonne Biasi (Bridget Fonda), that he will come back the very next day and either double the tip, or give her half of the winnings from the lottery. Naturally, he doesn’t expect to win, let alone win 4 million dollars, but to Charlie, ‘a promise is a promise’. The story of Charlie’s unbelievable generosity makes the news, cop and waitress are instantly famous, and Muriel is... well, way beyond livid, utterly uncomprehending how her spouse could be so stupid as to ‘throw away’ all that money just because he made ‘a promise’. We wonder how she doesn’t see that the only reason that Charlie didn’t do the sensible thing and dump her sorry self years ago was that when he married her, he very likely made a promise to love her always, and so does his genuine best to live up to it.

From there, things progress, and it isn’t giving away anything to state that Yvonne and Charlie gradually fall in love with one another. What is unusual is that in most ‘relarionship’ flicks, there is always some up and down, fight-and-make-up scenario acted out by the couple as the new relationship progresses. That doesn’t happen here, Charlie and Yvonne never raise their voice in anger to one another, they simply grow into the realization that they are completely kindred spirits. A film of this nature virtually always degenerates into ineffable schmaltziness, but director Bergman walks the emotional knife edge skillfully, and the inevitable happy ending is sweet but not cloying, leaving the audience (or at least this member of it) with that goofy, blissful feeling when the credits start to roll and the auditorium lights come up.

I dunno about ya’all, but I need a good shot of filmic anti-depressant from time to time, and this one fills the prescription. Rent or purchase It Could Happen to You this weekend, and you’ll see-- no death of any honest salespeople shall occur while I’m on the beat!

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technically uplifting, but remember that ‘you gotta suffer if you wanna sing The Blues’:

It Could Happen to You is available on DVD, according to the Internet Movie Database. The film was released in 1994 and running time is 1 hour and 51 minutes. The original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.85:1, which was preserved on the laserdisc edition, and presumably is so on the DVD. The review copy was on laserdisc, so no information is available about any additional features (director’s commentary, trailers, etc.) that may be present on the DVD edition. Cinematography was by Caleb Deschanel, and the screenplay was written by Jane Anderson. Music was by Carter Burwell, with the sound mix in standard Dolby Surround on the laserdisc and VHS releases, probably remastered to Dolby Digital on the DVD.

Cast overview:

Nicolas Cage .... Charlie Lang
Bridget Fonda .... Yvonne Biasi
Rosie Perez .... Muriel Lang
Wendell Pierce .... Bo Williams
Isaac Hayes .... Angel
Víctor Rojas .... Jesu
Seymour Cassel .... Jack Gross
Stanley Tucci .... Eddie Biasi
J.E. Freeman .... Sal Bontempo
Red Buttons .... Walter Zakuto
Richard Jenkins .... C. Vernon Hale
Robert Dorfman .... Waiter
Charles Busch .... Timothy
Beatrice Winde .... Judge
Ginny Yang .... Mrs. Sun


Ye Aulde Sectionus Miscellaneous:

The full text of the articles that I quoted from can be found at the following URL’s. Keep in mind that this is a weekly publication of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and may disappear into their archives at any time.


Last week, I promised I’d give my own responses to my how many/what/where/theateriffic stuff poll, so, as you will see, I keep my promises (unless I’m asleep):

1. How often do you typically go to the movies, by which I mean out to an actual movie theater?

I attempt to go once a week on average, but it varies depending primarily on my work schedule, which can run anywhere between slow to insane. Recently, for example, I haven’t been out to see a movie for at least 6 weeks.

2. Do you go alone or with a friend, spouse, or a group of people?

I nearly always go alone. It seems weird at first, but you get used to it. All of my friends who like movies left town years ago, unfortunately. I usually go afternoons on Wednesdays, since that’s my ‘normal’ day off (I always have to work Saturdays, goes with the job). Crowds are usually much smaller then, too.

3. Do you by popcorn or sodas or other refreshments? Always? Occasionally? Never?


4. Do you prefer the theater to be full or fairly so, or do you prefer it to be sparsely attended or nearly empty? Why?

I prefer close-to-empty to moderately full. I dislike crowded theaters. I dislike crowds, anywhere, period.

5. How many films have you seen in the last year in a theater? In your home on video?

Guessing, but about 20-25 in actual theaters. About 60-70 at home on video. Of those, many were ones I viewed or re-viewed for this column.

6. Of the films you saw, approximately how many did you really enjoy? Really dislike?

Liked most, I tend to avoid bad films in theaters, and at home, if they’re real stinkers, I just stop watching and cue something else up. I try to find something of value in most films I see, even weaker ones.

7. Are any of your local theaters truly excellent technically, i.e. great sound and picture quality, stadium seating, comfortable environment, etc.?

Just a very few number of years ago, all of my local theaters were mediocre to lousy. Now there is an excellent new 16-screen multiplex within 1/2 mile of where I live! Oh, happy happy joy joy!

8. Do you own a serious home theater setup, or do you just sorta wing it with a 15-year-old 25" TV and a VCR? Are you satisfied with whatever you happen to have?

I have a decent upper-middle-of-the-line setup collected over about 20 years, currently equipped with basic cable, DirecTV, laserdisc, DVD, two S-VHS VCR’s and and old Sony Beta VCR. The main limitation that I have to deal with is that my living room is so damn small, I can’t have more than a 27" TV unless I spring for one of the new hi-def sets, which at the moment is out of my budget. On the good side, the approximately 10-year-old Panasonic set I own is truly magnificent picture- wise-- I paid $1200 for it back then, a huge sum for a 27-incher, but it was perfect timing, since the very next year Panasonic decided there was no longer a market for high-end 27" TV’s, and changed over to an el-cheapo ‘commodity’ chassis in that screen size.

The other helpful factor is that at work, I have full access to a $19,000 Runco data-grade video projector and a 100" diagonal 16x9 screen that’s set up in our high-end display room. To say this sucker is stunning is understatement city. If I didn’t have to do useless things like sleep or eat, I’d probably spend all my spare time there! Oh, well...

So now you know.


The Question(s) of the Week/Year:

Question Part One: Okee-dokee, as already mentioned above, last week I did the little mini-poll about the ‘hardware’ end of the movie business, namely the real movie theaters, ‘home theaters’ and your habits and quirks in visiting them (or not). This week, I want to hear about the movies that you liked the best in 2001, and why. It can be long or short, just some comments on the fly or an entire mundo grosso review, just flow with the go.

Question Part Two: Of the ‘Classic Movies’ I’ve recommended this past year, which one did you like the most? Why? Same scenario as the Question Pt. I re: your response mode.

In January, I’ll talk a bit about my own choices for the best flicks of the year. In the meantime, as always and forever (or at least until I someday call it quits with this CMotW thang), post ‘em if you got ‘em, stay warm if you’re north of the equator, and take care!

See you next year!


[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - December 28th 2001 (Extra long this week. So sue me!) -- Brian, 05:17:12 12/29/01 Sat

Best movie of the year. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Took me to places I've never been in eye or soul.

[> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - December 28th 2001 (Extra long this week. So sue me!) -- CW, 05:55:54 12/29/01 Sat

Another vote for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. If a Hong-Kong-style-fighting movie isn't corny and doesn't have special effects bordering on pathetic, it obviously has to have a lot of good things going for it. ;o)

[> [> [> Guys, Crouching Tiger doesn't count...That was a movie from last year! -- Rob, 11:40:52 12/30/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> I was waiting for someone to notice that little fact. Maybe they were counting the video? -- OnM, 12:48:09 12/30/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> When you live in Louisville, last year's movie is this year's movie -- Brian, 14:50:19 12/30/01 Sun

[> Best eye candy movie....... -- AurraSing, 06:45:56 12/29/01 Sat

Had to be Moulin Rouge.......took a girl-friend and a gay friend to it and we all fell in love with the movie.Nicole Kidman looked ravishing and Ewan McGregor was a total surprise as a singer,not to mention looked cute enough you wanted to take him home right now and do lots of naughty things to him.....
Have not yet gotten around to buying the DVD but it has made several lists for "top DVD of the year" thanks to the excellent transfer and tons of extra goodies.
I highly recommend watching "Strictly Ballroom" ,also by Baz Luhrmann if you have not already done so-even my husband loves this movie.It's like an early version of "Moulin" only the love story is told in dance rather than song.Wonderful!

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - December 28th 2001 (Extra long this week. So sue me!) -- Vickie, 11:11:07 12/29/01 Sat

Question Part One: This week, I want to hear about the movies that you liked the best in 2001, and why.

Without a doubt, Memento was my favorite for this year. I loved the unusual approach to storytelling (chronologically backwards, more or less), the use of color vs. black and white, and the performances. If you love whodunnits, this one must not be missed.

Sorry, "Flying People, Hidden Wires" didn't do it for me. And I like fairy tales. Maybe I listened to too much hype.

Did love Moulin Rouge (though, will the musical jokes still play in ten or twenty years?), and The Fellowship of the Ring (fairy tales, remember?), and was really disappointed in AI (as were a lot of folks on this board, if I recall).

Question Part Two: Of the ‘Classic Movies’ I’ve recommended this past year, which one did you like the most? Why?

Haven't seen most of them, though I always consider a CMOTW review as a big recommendation. Did enjoy It Could Happen to You. I try to see everything that Cage does--which can take you down some very strange roads.

Thank you, OnM, for expanding my movie-viewing fun with your trenchant insights and vast experience in the field. And Happy (common calendar) New Year, everyone!

[> My 10 Best Movies of 2001 List -- Rob, 11:38:43 12/30/01 Sun

I'm so excited that I finally get to post my list! I've been thinking about this very carefully for the past week. I'm a huge movie buff, so it's a hard question for me, but here is my list...

10. The Others

The Others is this year's single intelligent horror film, a truly exquisite piece of gothic filmmaking that builds slowly over a course of two hours, leading up to an amazing and unexpected twist ending which makes the viewer reevaluate everything he or she has just seen. It is a classically-styled film that focuses on heavy character development rather than shocks, although they are still there. It's rare that we actually care about the characters in a horror film who are being scared out of their wits, but the writing is extremely good, and Nicole Kidman's performance brilliantly displays a woman trying to maintain control of her life and children, while trying to hide dark secrets from her past. It is a tough role, but it leads to one of Kidman's best performances to date, not counting her equally brilliant turn in "Moulin Rouge."

9. A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind is blessed by the best male performance of the year: Russell Crowe as a brilliant mathemetician who rides the cusp between being a genius and slowly sinking into madness. Those of you who forgot what great actor Mr. Crowe is after seeing him in "Gladiator," which he did not deserve the Best Actor Oscar for, will be stunned by his performance here, which he most certainly does deserve an Oscar for. Besides that, Ron Howard is the perfect director for this material. The story is compelling, wonderfully entertaining, and a great night at the movies. I highly recommend it.

8. Memento

Memento is a mind-bending gem; a fiercely intelligent independant film that actually requires the audience to put some pieces of the puzzle into place on their own. It is the story of a man whose wife is killed in a brutal attack, which causes him to lose his short-term memory. He can start a conversation with somebody and completely forget that he even knows the person after less than a minute or so into the conversation. He is on a quest to find the killer of his wife, so he tatoos crucial clues onto his body to remind himself of the situation. And the most brilliant part of the film is that it is a story told in reverse. It is divided into vignettes, each of which occurs before the last one we have just seen, meaning the last scene of the film is actually the first in the story, and vice versa. While this could have been merely a gimmick, it becomes a perfect symbol for the state of this man's mind, constantly lost and confused in a blend of past and future events. It is a brilliant murder mystery wherein we know the conclusion at the start, but are still intrigued and surprised by what occurs in the end...I mean, the beginning. ;o)

7. Amelie

This movie is a pure delight, and may convert many non-fans of foreign films. Yes, I will tell you honestly and straight off the bat, you will have to read subtitles. This is a French film. But I would also beg you to see it anyway. The story is delightfully infectious, and the direction beautiful. It is a lighthearted, innocent romantic comedy that combines flights of fancy with a truly sweet story of a young woman who decides to change people's lives for the better. Told in a fairy-tale manner, many people will be surprised by how riotously funny a foreign film can be...and what an offbeat, strange, and wonderful sense of humor this film has. I would recommend this film highly to people who like humor with a bit of an edge. I can also promise you that this is one foreign language film in which you will not check your watch even once. It is that enjoyable!

6. Shrek

Shrekis a revelation--a beautifully, computer-animated children's film that dares to mock Disney films and the fairy tale genre, and yet rises above mere parody to tell an exceptional story, including a positive message for today's youth that is not told in a didactic fashion. Yes, some of the humor is crude, but it is gloriously so, and nothing worse than a young child will hear on the school bus. This is a film that will have young children delighted, but which has an adult sense of humor. Like the Muppets, there are intelligent, sophisticated (and not-so sophisticated) jokes which will go right over the children's heads. A sign of a true children's classic is that it could be enjoyed by all ages, and this one definitely fits that description.

5. A.I.--Artificial Intelligence

A.I., no doubt about it, is a tough film. It is filled with challenging, even disturbing questions which I believe is why it was not accepted by the mainstream moviegoers. A story based on an old science- fiction short story, and worked on by both Stanley Kubrick, and, finally Steven Spielberg, this film is a true masterpiece, which melds the cynical, dark sci-fi outlook of Kubrick with the wide-eyed child view of sci-fi that Spielberg is known for. Even more than that though, it makes the viewer question what makes somebody real. Is a robot, given artificial intelligence and feelings, any less real than a human's emotions? This movie is a harsh update of Pinocchio which at times is brutal on the emotions of the viewer. It is also fascinatingly beautiful, and visually stirring. The performances, particularly those of Halley Joel Osment, as the young robot boy, and Jude Law, as Gigolo Joe, a more jaded robot, used for sexual pleasures, are pitch-perfect. No, I would not recommend this film to someone looking for some lighthearted escapism, but for those viewers who feel like a challenging yet highly awarding piece of cinema, watch A.I. I would particularly recommend it to fans of this board, due to its highly philosophical nature.

4. Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Another great philosophical film from this year is Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Yes, it is a rock opera about a drag queen whose botched sex-change operation lives her with a "one inch mound of flesh" where his penis once was. But it is also a fascinating exploration of the story of the origin of love, told in Plato's Symposium. It is about the search for completeness, and the question of what it is that makes one complete. This movie is blessed with great performances, fun direction, and an amazing, tuneful score. But it is no Rocky Horror for a new generation. It is a truly brilliant piece of independant cinema filled with a vitality and life rarely seen in huge Hollywood pictures.

3. Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko is the independant film of the year. As you can tell from my list, I am a very big fan of small, independant films, and of sci-fi. Rarely does sci-fi lend itself to an independant film, because most sci-fi relies on a big budget. But sci-fi, at its purest form, is about ideas. And this is where this film excels. It bursts forth with one of the most original, unbelievably brilliant plots in recent years. I will not give away any of this film's plot, because this is a film that you should see without knowing what it is about. I will tell you that it deals with a boy who feels like an outsider and his teacher who inspires him, played by Drew Barrymore. But that is not all...It also contains schizophrenia, an evil rabbit that puts the Killer Rabbit from "Holy Grail" to shame, and even time travel. This is the cerebral gem of the year--a highly suspenseful and enjoyable film that manages to deconstruct suburban American family life in a way that rivals even "American Beauty." And, yes, it is much better than "American Beauty," on the whole, as well.

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

This is the film that fantasy-lovers have been waiting a lifetime for. Rare is it that a movie not only lives up to its hype, but exceeds it. And rare is that a movie so faithfully captures the author's vision of a book, and yet also is clearly influenced a great deal by the director's vision. I would even argue that, as storytelling, the film improves upon the written text, by excising the unnecessary material that bogged the book down, i.e. endless descriptions of every meal the hobbits had; lengthy poems and songs that appear every few pages in the book, and making the action sequences more exciting and visceral. The acting is perfect and the visuals beautiful. Elijah Wood is a perfect Frodo, and the world of Middle-Earth explodes onto the screen just as I had always imagined it. Yes, this is a very long film, but it is oh so worth it. Each adventure expands upon the character development and the special effects are perfect and organic, and, take note, Harry Potter and Chris Columbus...actually look real! In many ways, Harry Potter is, in many ways, a Lord of the Rings for children, with the basic themes and essences of Tolkien made simpler and in a more fun-loving manner. The greater film, and story, of the two huge fantasy hits this year, is, however, of course, the original: Lord of the Rings. Its accomplishments are even more notable when one takes into consideration that this film is the set-up to a trilogy, and only the beginning of a long story. The first film in a trilogy sometimes cannot find the right balance between exposition, character setup, and actual story. This movie does it perfectly.

1. Moulin Rouge

No movie, for at least the past ten years, has touched me to the extent that Moulin Rouge has, and therefore, I would posit that this is not only the best film of this year, but of the past decade. This film is a visceral, musical, emotional experience the likes of which I had never before had at the movies. It brims with a sense of fantasy and boundless, limitless amounts of imagination very rarely in Hollywood films. Besides that, the story is heartbreaking beautiful, the acting brilliant, the direction ingenious, and the score wonderful. The story, occuring at the turn of the century before last (the 19th into the 20th), focuses on the Bohemian Revolution. And it is very fitting today, as an explosion of art and creativity always seems to happen at the turn of a century. The film itself celebrates truth, beauty, freedom and love by combining a 19th century-style melodrama with music that stretches over a vast pop cultural range from old showtunes to radio hits of the 1980s and 1990s. Nicole Kidman gives the performance of her career (to date). She sings beautifully and invests herself fully into her role of a courtesan who makes the mistake of falling in love with a penniless poet. She breaks your heart into a million pieces. What with "Once More, With Feeling," "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," and "Moulin Rouge," 2001 was a great year for musicals--in fact, I would say that it is the year that musicals have finally been redefined for a new generation.

So there you have it! I think 2001 had some great movies, but, unfortunately, the great movies were spaced out too far, and some of them were never released on a widespread basis. Out of my 10, 4 of them were only released in select cities (Amelie, Donnie Darko, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Memento), and 2 (Lord of the Rings and A Beautiful Mind) were only released in the past few weeks! It was a movie filled with mediocre films, so great ones like Moulin Rouge and A.I. fell between the cracks. 2001 was not a great year for movies, but was a year that contained some of the greatest movies of the past few years.


[> [> Pardon some of my typos and a few Department of Redundancy Department phrases! -- Rob, 11:47:37 12/30/01 Sun

[> [> Hedwig -- Solitude1056, 20:00:06 12/30/01 Sun

I saw the live performance two years ago, in New York City, with what's-her-face... yes, that actress who played the crazy girl in Breakfast Club. (And to her credit, I spent the first half of the show wondering if I had seen the one show where the understudy performs the lead role - I didn't recognize her, and it had nothing to do with the wigs, the costumes, or the marvelous whiskey-and- cigarettes singing voice.) It's a phenomenal story. I've cried twice in live theater - once, at the end of Cyrano de Bergerac (but hell, Derek Jacoby could make the very ground weep, he's that good) and several times during Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I was so caught up in the story I didn't even realize tears were pouring down my face, and then I glanced at my companion for the evening, and across the audience - there were maybe three souls in the house with dry eyes, tops. (And I felt sorry for them, to not be able to respond to the story's ultimate message of longing and regret.) Okay, so Hedwig is camp, but what it's saying underneath is universal. It's girl-meets-boy, girl-loses-boy... but with a few twists.

I haven't seen the movie - I don't want my memories ruined, frankly - but I recommend it regardless if you're not lucky enough to be in New York City when the play's running off-off-broadway.

[> Re: Movies '01 -- mundusmundi, 12:56:37 12/30/01 Sun

This was a (yet another) bad year for movies, but a few flicks were encouraging throwbacks to a time when folks knew how to make certain types of pictures. Offhand I'm thinking of Lord of the Rings, a terrific epic movie; Ocean's Eleven, an entertaining buddy-heist movie; Spy Kids, a fun and inventive "family" movie; and The Others, an effective psychological horror movie. There's a couple more critics' darlings I haven't yet seen -- The Royal Tenenbaums, In the Bedroom, Black Hawk Down -- but that's a pretty good quartet of films I'd recommend above.

I like most everyone else's selections (though Moulin Rouge is pure sludge in my book). The fact that there are some current filmmakers (Jackson, Soderbergh, Rodriguez, Almondovar [sp?]) who actually know what they're doing bodes well for the future of movies.

[> [> 'Pure' sludge, not just regular ol' mixed-racial-heritage sludge? -- OnM, 15:23:11 12/30/01 Sun

Ooooo, a disagreement with the majority opinion!

Howzabout giving us a review, mm? Time for some controversy!


[> [> [> Re: Nah, I'm a good-natured Hobbit at heart. ;) -- mm, 16:13:58 12/30/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> Re: Just so there's no misunderstanding.... -- mm, 17:31:02 12/30/01 Sun

That was in response to the question inside OnM's post, NOT anything to do with his, erm, interesting subject heading. ;)

[> [> Ummmmm -- Rufus, 19:28:45 12/30/01 Sun

I watched Moulin Rouge the other night and I have to agree, I don't think it was the worst movie of the year but it put me to sleep. Visually is was pretty.

OT: behavior modification -- Simon A., 07:17:50 12/29/01 Sat

There was a not very good Alan Arkin Movie ~20 years ago titled Simon which took place is a kind of mad scientist think tank. There is a scene where the various mad scientists are explaining their research, and one of them goes on and on about how great cockroaches are. They can eat anything, they can survive radioactivity, they'll outlast manking by millions of years yada yada yada. "So we're trying to breed humans and cockroaches." In the background you can see a man on a recliner watching slides. Slide of a woman in a bikini; he screams. Slide of a cockroach, stops screaming. Slide of a woman in a bra and panties; he screams etc...

Restless -- JCC, 09:12:27 12/29/01 Sat

Does anybody else feel that Willow's dream in "Restless" represents her Dark side.
Buffy:Willow,everybody all ready knows, take it off.
Buffy may be talking about Willow covering for her other side.
Oz to Tara:I tried to warn you.
Tara:Everyone's starting to wonder about you.The real you.If they find out they'll punish you,I...I can't help you with that.
Is Tara saying that the other scoobies will be forced to fight back at Willow if she turns evil.
The points in the dream where Willow is back as her old nerdy self seem to mean the same thing:She doesn't want to turn into a nerd again.She wants to be cool & the magic helps her with that.
We can't really blame Willow.She has been in love with Xander since the beginning of the show.Then Anya came,who was an evil demon,and Xander fell in love with her.
Maybe Willow feels that being evil is an attractive quality.

That is what I think the episode is about.

Quick Quarterly suggestion..... -- LadyStarlight, 12:47:26 12/29/01 Sat

I'm posting this in a new thread because it might merit discussion.

So, would it be worthwhile in terms of getting submissions in to push back the deadline by a month? Or does that lead down the slippery slope to never actually doing anything?

Questions, thoughts, comments???

[> Re: Great idea! Wish I'd thought of it. -- mm, 12:49:12 12/29/01 Sat

[> Re: Quick Quarterly suggestion..... -- WW, 12:56:58 12/29/01 Sat

The round-tablers have each written a brief piece on power, but pushing the deadline would give us the opportunity to get together in a chat room and really discuss the theme.

I'm all for it, but Rufus is in charge, so I'll go with whatever she wants.


[> Re: I so need to quit whining ... -- Dedalus, 14:52:37 12/29/01 Sat

Okay, so I was thinking about what I said below while wandering around the newest mall in the Atlanta area, and it does sound awfully whiny. I push all this and then complain when I can't write a decent essay.

This Christmas season has been nuts. First, someone steals my mom's ATM card and runs up thousands of dollars. Second, someone steals my grandmother's credit card and likewise runs up thousands of other dollars. Meanwhile, Dedalus is left in the middle trying to help everyone get organized while the banks do nothing. Okay, nothing compared to pocky's story about the neighbor's house burning down, but it has caused major waves this yuletide season.

Also, Dedalus has many other literary projects in the mix. He got so terribly sidetracked writing his long and extensive (though hopefully witty and entertaining) Tao of Buffy piece for the ES site. Then he gets sidetracked even further with an idea for an excellent trilogy of novels, riding a wave of inspiration that he couldn't get off of for two weeks. Idea after idea after idea. I mean a revolutionary sci-fi/fantasy riff that he still plans on writing. Think Star Wars meets Buffy meets Harry Potter meets the Wizard of Oz meet Carl Sagan's Contact. It's gonna be wild. Dedalus had two other big projects, one fiction, the other non-fiction, that have since been put on hold. The latter involves an academic look at TPM, but it is simply going to be impossible to write until the prequel trilogy is finished, and then Dedalus know exactly where and who he's submitting it to. It's going to be awesome.

So, Dedalus is still left with completing the Tao of Buffy part 2 as well as his hyper-inspired fiction trilogy. And then there's my Buffy article which I had so much trouble with.

At any rate, I'm thinking about just tossing the nonsense I wrote out the window and starting anew. I have a pretty simple idea that would probably be pretty easy to do. And yet would still carry that characteristic Dedalus' flair. I have mixed feelings on setting the deadline back. I'm not going to make the one we have probably, but still. Sets a bad precedent. And just for the record, I have never, ever missed a deadline for writing, be it a paper in college or an article for my eight months at Never. Always early. I just find it impossible to focus on something my mind doesn't want to focus on. I'm sorry. Maybe if we could ease the deadline back a week or two.

But what WE NEED TO DO, is to have someone on the boards checking up on the progress EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I do not want to work on a project where everyone is just flying off in all directions and nobody knows who is working on what or how it is coming along. I think all writers, including myself, should post weekly to broadcast their progress in their respective areas.

[> un-hunh, see, see! ;-) -- Solitude1056, 17:03:17 12/29/01 Sat

And to think, miz ladeee starlight, that you couldn't see a reason why I thought it necessary to have you in charge of something. Great idea, and if everyone's game for it, then that's cool by me. After all, if you boil down the tasks, mine amounts to "route essays to appropriate editors and then organize into nice format" so I don't mind cheerleading as a weekly update but I don't think I'll have time for daily. (Besides, I think everyone would want to hunt me down and strangle me if this became a Daily Pester.)

I did get a taste of the roundtable discussion, and it looks like they've found a wonderful format. Each person writes a mini-essay on Rufus' question, and then they get together to discuss it in online chat, and we get to enjoy the results. I honestly can't wait to see what they come up with, cause what they've got so far is just awesome. ;-)

And an addendum:

When folks send in essays, I'd really like a short paragraph bio of some sort. It doesn't have to be fancy, hell, it doesn't even have to be factual. I mean, really, if you've always wanted to be known as the guy on the grassy knoll, go for it. ;-) But a little something for the readers to know about each author might be a nice touch. Think about it. After all, if the majority votes yes, and you don't send in a bio with your essay, you never know what I'll come up with for your paragraph... I'm not the Second Evil for nothing, y'know!

[> [> Personally, Sol, I'd be fascinated to see what you'd come up with for my bio. -- The Third Evil, 08:27:42 12/30/01 Sun

Probably something like:

Owen M. Schultz first came to my attention when, bored out of my skull from surfing endlessly mindless Buffy the Vampire Slayer websites, I came across this highly pretentious but somehow intriguing essay titled Holographic Memory and the Philosophical Ghost.

"Holy Moly!" I said to myself. "An Ellisonian wannabe with delusions of long-term literary worthiness! This is a hoot!"

The rest is history. Fascinated, I quite rapidly became addicted to the discussion board upon which this OnM character planted his ravings with great regularity, for thereupon I also found many more rational beings who were capable of expressing clearly delineated thoughts in as little as a succinct paragraph, and who were even occasionally Canadian chocolate cat worshippers, a little known but eminently satisfying fetish I sometimes indulge in.

Thanks to the publication of the ATPoZine, my hoot is now your hoot. Partake and revel therein.

The Second (and don't you forget it!) Evil

What do you most admire about the Angel character ? -- PMills, 15:42:46 12/29/01 Sat

What are the qualities of the Angel character that you (seriously and / or humorously) admire so much and why do you think he's so buff.

If quoting any highly eloquent, articulate or witty comment/s that anyone has made about Angel, no problem.

[> Most? Just make it difficult, why don't ya? :) -- sasha, 21:19:36 12/29/01 Sat

[> Angel: Hate that poofter. -- Leeann, 10:01:47 12/30/01 Sun

Angel's lame. His hair grows straight up, and he's bloody stupid

[> [> Well, David is pretty cute -- Spike Lover, 10:32:25 12/30/01 Sun

I think Boreanez does a good job. He is good w/ the comedy elements. But I have no warm fuzzy feelings for Angel or Angelus. I dislike celibacy in tv characters. And what was it with him that he would not let any of the gang hold his baby?

There have been moments that I really liked in the show. I liked it when he allowed Darla & Dru to kill the lawyers. I would have never respected him if he had done any different. I liked the sex scene w/ Darla.

But for me he is not very interesting, sort of like the Lone Ranger and Batman are not interesting. I am all for having good people in the world, but for tv, the goody-goodys can be boring. (See 7th Heaven)

I liked Wesley better when he was dating the redhead, and I think Gunn needs a woman! I also really liked Doyle, and was sorry that he died/got off the show.

I also liked Lindsay, and am sorry that he is gone. Darla too. But who knows what Joss has in store for us?

[> Re: What do you most admire about the Angel character ? -- yabyumpan, 14:03:07 12/30/01 Sun

Even with a soul he still wants to drink human blood but doesn't (Disharmony); with every thing he's seen and done, part of him is still stuck in the 18th century, there's a kind of innocence there; even though his heart's not beating, that's where he's comming from most of the time; disagree that he's mr goody two shoes, he screws up fairy reguarly although I don't like his hair shirt. He reminds me of me, i relate very much to the character, sad but true.
(and of course he's totally lickable and feeds my lust)

[> Angel........ -- Rufus, 19:25:16 12/30/01 Sun

This is a hard one to answer as Angel pisses me off. I sometimes find I dislike him in his weakness. He is too human in his ability to get stuck and want the easy way out. But that said there are things about him that one can't ignore. He is a guy that was a waste of space, he may have died in some alley without the help of Darla. She saw something in him that she liked, it seems many people see something in him that they like. I find he just makes me impatient. He's like the little brother that keeps screwing up, but you help anyway because you know that eventually he will get it right.
As a demon I wanted him dead...gone...dust. As a vampire with a soul I just want to give him a shake and tell him to think of someone besides himself for a change. But he does have a quality that tends to make people like him. He is loyal and can be fun when he's not brooding. The world of today confuses him, things have changed in a way that he seems to missed til he started AI. I like his relationship with Cordy because they are both self centered enough that Cordy knows all the tricks and can head them off at the pass. So, as negative as I can feel about Angel he has a real value to the world. His experiences let him understand how to fight demons. His inexperience with living as a human at least lead to the "Angel" dance....oh...and that singing. So I can't think of a best quality for the guy as my feelings about him change all the time....that is a good thing as the guy is evolving and his best quality may change with time.

godfather in angel -- eatchuba, 18:22:02 12/29/01 Sat

i am new here, so if i am repeating an observation made by someone else, i apologize.

did anyone notice the godfather reference in Lullaby and how similar it was to a scene in the movie The Godfather? when angel says that anything that happens to connor, whether linwood's fault or not, will be visited upon him, it was so like the scene were Don Corleone is telling the group of mob families that when michael comes back from italy, if he suffers so much as a cold, he was going to " burn some of the people in this room".

small, trivial, and probably meaningless, but i did think it was funny. (:

[> Conner -- Spike Lover, 10:21:41 12/30/01 Sun

I have never seen The Godfather movie, but maybe Angel had. :)

Seen Highlander?

Did you notice that Angel named his son Conner, and Conner McCloud was the immortal?

Boy am I ready for new episodes...

A tidbit from Wrecked -- Malandanza, 21:17:37 12/29/01 Sat
I've just read through the shooting script for Wrecked and I came across this exchange -- I hadn't paid attention to the exact words when I saw the episode:

BUFFY: I've been all over downtown and I can't find his place-

SPIKE: Because he cloaks it. You can't feel it unless you're into the big bad. A witch or a vampire or-

I had wondered why Buffy couldn't sense Rack's shop since she is just as magical as vampires and witches, but Spike's comment suggests that only creatures of darkness can sense it -- which would mean that:

#1. Either all magic is inherently evil or that some magic is evil -- and Willow has been using those spells.

#2. Whatever is different about Buffy, she didn't come back evil -- lending credence to the angelic rather than demonic theories of her rebirth. She didn't "come back wrong".
[> Re: A tidbit from Wrecked -- Kerri, 22:03:01 12/29/01 Sat
#1. Either all magic is inherently evil or that some magic is evil -- and Willow has been using those spells.

Well I'd suggest that all magic isn't inherantly evil firstly since we know that slayer was created from the darkest magics. The magic was used and transformed into something that the individual slayer has the ability to turn into dark or light. An interesting question would then be whether Faith would be able to sense Rack's presence, and whether Buffy would be able to feel it if she were more accepting and in tune with her slayer side but not using it for evil.

It does seem that some magic is inherantly evil and that it is not soely the witch who determines the nature of the magic. I wonder where a witch's power comes from. Is there a force that gives her power like the slayer? Does this force live inside her as it does in the slayer or does the witch simply harness powers. My vote is for harnessing power from an exterior force as opposed to the slayer's interior one. Now what makes someone a powerful witch? Do they chose magic or does magic chose them?

#2. Whatever is different about Buffy, she didn't come back evil -- lending credence to the angelic rather than demonic theories of her rebirth. She didn't "come back wrong".

Well once again seeing as the slayer is created from dark magic this does seem to indicate that Buffy hasn't come back as simply the slayer aspect of herself. But I'm not even going to get into this cause I know what ever I comeup with Joss will totaly surprise me and surpass any ideas I have.

SPIKE: Because he cloaks it. You can't feel it unless you're into the big bad. A witch or a vampire or-

Also, just wondering what was Spike going to say when Buffy cut him off. There was another or-was he just going to say demon or was it something important?

And one final thing. Why couldn't Spike sense Rack? Not quite the Big Bad after all?
[> [> Re: A tidbit from Wrecked -- Philistine, 12:49:24 12/30/01 Sun
We don't *know* that Spike *couldn't* sense it - just that he *didn't*. He may not have gotten close enough to pick it up before they heard Dawn's scream.

For all that he's reform(ed? ing?) thanks to the chip and his love for Buffy, Spike is still a vampire. Still a demon. I think he probably would have found it once he got into the neighborhood; I think Angel could have found it, too. Still, it's interesting to ponder.
[> Re: A tidbit from Wrecked -- Rufus, 01:28:58 12/30/01 Sun
#1. Either all magic is inherently evil or that some magic is evil -- and Willow has been using those spells.

I don't think that magic is inherently evil, it's the intent of the user that decides the outcome. Willow was fine as long as she used magic to protect and enrich others. Her original intent to bring back Buffy was flawed by her need to make herself feel better instead of accepting the natural order of things. Buffy was dead, they had a body, they buried that was Willows fears that made her convince the others that Buffy could only be in a place of utter despair and suffering. But, I'm glad Buffy is back so I can't throw stones at Willow for what she did. It's what she did after that crossed the line. Instead of using magic for others without personal gain, Willow began to see it as her right to use whatever means to get the ends she wanted...she began to think she was amazing. Just like a drug that sneaks in and takes control, the magic doubled back and overwhelmed the user. Willow was to arrogant to realize what was happening. The magic became a twisted reflection of what Willow was becoming. Because she thought her only way of being part of the group depended on her Super status, Willow forgot where she came from. Instead of magic giving, it began to drain the user. Willows misuse of the natural power she has, is having consequences that will touch not just her. Tara and Dawn, and especially Buffy know that first hand.

#2. Whatever is different about Buffy, she didn't come back evil -- lending credence to the angelic rather than demonic theories of her rebirth. She didn't "come back wrong".

Yes, that little statement makes one look at both parties in a new light. Buffy said she had spent time looking for Dawn before resorting to the Big Bad for help. It looked more like the blind leading the blind. Neither party could sense Rack's place, but either could Willow at first. Makes me ask something about each person. Buffy may have come back "wrong" but I never thought she came back evil. I just think to have come from a place of such peace and contentment and love, how could Buffy emerge evil from that experience? Spike is another one. He is forever reminding everyone that he is the Big Bad.....but is he slowly changing. I would have liked to have seen Spikes reaction to the chip being "broken" if he wasn't pissed off. He couldn't find Rack's any more than Buffy could. Willow, that's a different story, once she became aware of Racks she readily found his place the second time. I see her as being corrupted by her experiences. She was unaware of Rack's until a corrupt person showed her the way. The second time she no longer needed that help. But does that make her evil?
[> [> Re: A tidbit from Wrecked -- LoriAnn, 06:03:44 12/30/01 Sun
"But does that make her [Willow] evil?"

This doesn't necessarily make Willow evil yet, but she's working on it. Evil is putting self above all, and that is clearly what Willow is into in larger and larger ways. An example is her and Amy's adventure at the Bronze. In it, she and Amy cared nothing for the people there or what they wanted, but only for their own amusement. This is self-will placed over duty to humanity, and we all have duties to humanity if human society is to work.
Willow is not called "Will" for no reason; she is living willfully not lovingly. She has developed a will to be powerful, to manipulate others, to have others serve her amusement, to be amazing, to be the "big good," but "big goods" soon end up being "big bads" because, although it is a cliche, the concept that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is true.
Rack showed Willow what may be, on an individual basis, the ultimate evil: living exclusively for self, willfully, one person in her own universe, totally alienated.
Spike is alienated from his kind by his love for Buffy, Buffy is alienated from life because of her after-death experience, and Willow is alienating herself from everything because she is hooked on the power it lets her feel. Yet Spike isn't acting exclusively for self because he got nothing out of his readiness to die for Dawn; Buffy, despite her alienation, stll acts to help others when she could stop "going through the motions"; but Willow, despite Tara's warnings, is acting exclusively for self and getting drawn more and more to real evil.
We'd all love to be able to get what we want and do what we want when we want it, but we usually learn, at around age two or three, that that doesn't work well. Society doesn't revolve around the great "I". In order for us to be truly happy, we need more than than power, more than money, more than sex, drugs, and rock and roll. We need each other, and having others as friends and lovers precludes self-absorption. Willow has shown that she is oblivious to the duties of friendship when she brought Dawn to Rack's, and she's shown that she is willing to sacrifice Tara's love on the alter of Willow's own vanity. She's in bad shape.
[> [> On the corruption of Magic -- Spike Lover, 10:14:50 12/30/01 Sun
Willow's descent into dark magic goes far back. If you talk to a Wiccan, or someone who is interested in white witchcraft, they will tell you the first rule is: Do no harm. That is sort of like a doctor's creed. Something else they might tell you is that the white spells do not really "exert" their will on other things.

This is where I see trouble (in real life). As a Christian, I have to say this. Some wiccans will say that a spell is like a prayer, and sort of works like one. In the Christian religion, we pray all the time, and many pray for what they want, but in the end, it is God's decision. Some of us are taught to pray, "Not my will, but yours (God's) be done." The reason is that we must recognize we are subject to God, we must obey his laws, (including the laws of nature, life and death, etc.) I am sorry, I am not explaining this well.

Tara and Anya are both foils to Willow. Tara is the white witch and will use magic conservatively and according to their code (most of the time.) Anya is a foil in that she was a very powerful witch/demon whatever and she has turned her back on it without any problem. It is almost as if she no longer possesses the knowledge anymore.

Anyway, if you will remember, Willow was upset when Oz left and she did the "My Will" spell. It was powerful enough to de-rat Amy and completely turned the SC's world upside down. Her power was noticed by the society of vengence demons.

Next, she is disagreeing w/ Tara (the white witch) about what should be done and what can be done regarding resurrecting Joyce. Dawn is saying one thing. Tara is quoting the white witch code, and although Willow is agreeing, she makes the resurrection book available for Dawn. (Then she lies to Tara about knowing where it is.) If you think about it, it was really irresponsible of her to give it to Dawn who knows nothing about witchcraft. (Sort of like the magic book in Mickey Mouse's hands in the Wizard's Assistant. Who knows what could have happened?)

Then of course is the time she wants revenge on Glory for hurting Tara. She willingly throws her soul to the blackest elements by going to the "Darkest Magic" book.

IMO, Willow is going to continue to do magic (in secret), not because she has been addicted, but because she has given herself to a dark force and it will end up coming to claim her (collecting its debts like the loan shark.)

Raising Buffy from the dead was outright rebellion against God. Let's see. She "worships" another Egyptian god and sacrifices to it. She defies the Law of God specifically about life and death. And she "got off" on it. Also, She breaks the 'do no harm' rule by killing the fawn.

Remember how Giles reacted? Outraged. He told her that she was not the only one in the world that could do that and that she would probably not want to meet those who could. But she already belongs to that select company, proven in her response to him, 'You had better not mess with me.'

Almost every time she does a spell, she is exerting her will over others or nature. (Remember the troll spell?) I think when you get into it as much as she is, all magic becomes is exerting your will over others or nature, and like anything else, you have to have a strong moral compass to make certain that you are using it for the greater good rather than for selfish means. (Remember the memory spells.)

But anyway, that is my $.02
[> [> [> Re: On the corruption of Magic -- Malandanza, 15:15:56 12/30/01 Sun
You refer to Tara as a "white witch". Do you think that Tara would have been oblivious to Rack's presence in spite of her magical background and training? What about ex-demon Anya? Does it matter that she's an essentially good (or, at least, non-evil) human now or does she carry the taint of evil from demon days?

As for Spike, he's a vampire and, reformed or not, I would think that would be enough to qualify as bad. Remember human-Darla's melodramatic escape from Angel when he had taken her to an abandoned convent -- her line: "even God doesn't want you" as she burned Angel with a cross shows that no matter how good Angel becomes, how much penance he performs, how much he suffers, he is still inherently evil. Spike lacks a soul and has not been contrite about his murderous past -- he is closer to darkness than Angel would be. So I don't think Spike would have any trouble sensing the shop -- he just needed to be close enough to hone in on it. If Spike was unable to sense the shop, his trip through the city with Buffy wasn't just the blind leading the blind, it was the blind intentionally misleading the blind, risking Dawn's life to hang out with the slayer. I think that the intention of this episode was not to show Spike has a callous disregard for Dawn's life; in fact, the opposite is true.

Personally (although I have no evidence to make up my assumptions), I feel that Tara would have been able to sense Rack's psychedelic magic pad, but Xander and Anya (in spite of having participated in the resurrection ritual) would not. Nor would Giles as he, like Anya, left off the practice of magic long ago. I'm not sure about Dawn -- if her key energy was dissipated last season, then probably not. If she still is the key, it may not be "into the big bad" energy that she possesses.

It seems to me that magic, white, black or otherwise, always carries with it the risk of abuse -- and the danger of being swallowed by the darkness, particularly with the recent magic as drug use "metaphor." For me, the big question about magic is always -- what is the source of the power? We have often seen spells supplicating scary demons and pagan gods, but rarely invoking benign spirits. The source of virtually all magic seems to be rooted in evil. However, very minor spells seem not to require a direct invocation of a demon or god -- they seem, instead, to be powered from within. Perhaps a "white witch" is a witch who does not call on outside sources of power and, thus, escape entering into tacit agreements with the creatures of darkness -- the quid pro quos that Rack mentioned to Willow ("got to give a little to get a little").

Still, I would say that Tara is not, strictly speaking, a "white witch." She has assisted in the darker rituals and she did engage in spells with Willow that weren't always necessary. At the very least, her association with Willow helped lead to Willow's downfall. She had what Xander called "a magically inclined friend" to help her ambitions along. There is also a risk to Tara, herself. Continuing the magic-as-addition analogy, Tara's use of magic might be compared to a casual user of "soft" drugs. So far, she has been careful and hasn't gotten into any serious trouble, but it would be better for her to follow the examples of Anya and Giles. Anya's concerns that repressed people often go very bad when they drift off the straight and narrow path would apply even moreso to Tara than to Willow or Buffy.
[> [> [> [> Rack's place -- Spike Lover, 19:30:45 12/30/01 Sun
I can't answer all your questions, I was only talking about Willow. I have no idea who could find Rack's place. Spike seems to think he can find it, but does that mean he is right? Maybe only magic junkies can find it?

But what is Rack hiding from anyway? Is there a Magic vice squad that has threatened to shut him down?
[> [> [> [> Re: On the corruption of Magic -- Solitude1056, 19:38:45 12/30/01 Sun
We have often seen spells supplicating scary demons and pagan gods, but rarely invoking benign spirits.

Aradia is hardly a god, and she's certainly not a scary demon. Last time I checked, she's (according to legend) an Italian witch from the late 1100s or thereabouts or some such. The details escape me now, but I'm almost positive there's a modern witchcraft based on the Italian hedgewitch belief system, called Aradian. Joss has used Aradia's name several times, most significantly in the "find my way" spells used by both Tara and Willow.

The source of virtually all magic seems to be rooted in evil.

I'll echo my housemate's biggest complaint about BtVS: "why are the deities worshipped by other folks always described as demons?" I would take more of an Eastern approach. This may be presumptuous, but I'd suspect - based on the hints here & there from Joss - that Eastern sensibilities are his predeliction. In that sense, power/ability (magic, strength) are neither good nor bad. And true, in the Ceremonial Magic and Hermetic traditions, power/magic is neutral, but the intent of the user can shift the consequences towards positive or negative. Hell, that happens daily in everyday things. The results may be quite different if you help someone move with an eye towards getting them to give you stuff, versus helping them move without intention of gaining anything. Even an unconscious intent can still shift the balance of one's results.

However, very minor spells seem not to require a direct invocation of a demon or god -- they seem, instead, to be powered from within.

I see it as the opposite: Tara evokes dieties for just about every magick she does, while some of Willow's latest big events didn't require the constant affirmation of a god/dess. Of course, I'm also coming at it from a non-theist, nearly Tao perspective that the Source/magic/power/ability/strength is both external and internal, but its usurption and application does not require permission from some disembodied critter playing dice on a higher plane. Therefore, the more powerful one gets (in a centered-self, positive way), the less one requires external permission for use of that power. The risk is that without external affirmation/permission, one may start to think, "hey, I can do anything!" It's somewhat akin to the child who grumbles, "when I'm an adult, I'll have pancakes anytime I want, you wait and see."

There is also a risk to Tara, herself. Continuing the magic-as-addition analogy, Tara's use of magic might be compared to a casual user of "soft" drugs. So far, she has been careful and hasn't gotten into any serious trouble, but it would be better for her to follow the examples of Anya and Giles. Anya's concerns that repressed people often go very bad when they drift off the straight and narrow path would apply even moreso to Tara than to Willow or Buffy.

I don't see Tara as repressed. Shy, still lacking total confidence, yes, but hardly repressed. Her behavior in private, with Willow, reflects her honesty and forthrightness in acknowledging how she feels about things. I think it's not that she didn't acknowledge them before, but simply that it's taken time for her to communicate these feelings with anyone else, but she was never fooling herself about them. That's the difference, it seems to me. Tara's pretty self-aware, even if reticent about sharing the results of that self-awareness, and repressed indicates a certain amount of neurosis - if anyone's got a neurotic streak right now, it's Willow and Anya, not Tara.

In fact, I'd have to say I'm dubious about the argument that all magic/power is inherently bad, therefore minimal or controlled self-aware usage is like "soft drugs." I drink alcohol, when I want to, and when there's expensive wine available, I drink it more often. I have close friends who've been in A.A. for years now and can't even stray towards Bananas Flambe because of the brandy in it - the alcoholism in them can't be controlled except by total abstinence. At the same time, heroin is a mighty powerful substance that's destroyed many lives, but ritalin is actually just as addictive but it's helped many folks rebuild their lives into some semblance of manageability.

We are dealing with the graying of BtVS, just as we deal with the graying of our own world as we pass through adolescence into adulthood. Squeezing the drug metaphor risks a black-and-white conclusion, where some of the audience may declare, "this is proof that all magic/power is corrupting/bad," when in fact the intention is to illustrate that while some folks have addictive personalities, others can partake of the exact same substances without lasting harm.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: On the corruption of Magic -- Malandanza, 22:06:08 12/31/01 Mon
"I'll echo my housemate's biggest complaint about BtVS: 'why are the deities worshipped by other folks always described as demons?' I would take more of an Eastern approach. This may be presumptuous, but I'd suspect - based on the hints here & there from Joss - that Eastern sensibilities are his predilection. In that sense, power/ability (magic, strength) are neither good nor bad. "

Well, suppose you believe wholeheartedly that there is only one way to heaven/nirvana/eternal bliss and anyone who deviates from that path risks eternal torment/extinction/perpetual reincarnation. It doesn't surprise me that other beliefs are regarded as evil -- what surprises me are the ecumenical movements. This modern religious tolerance, even at the highest positions of power in the various churches, suggests either that there is more than one path to salvation (otherwise, why would you talk to the infidels, heretics and pagans?) or an indifference to the sufferings of the unbelievers.

Joss frequently invokes gods and demons in his spells (and, apparently, famous witches -- I had never heard of Aradia before) and while we can say that Anubis wasn't the Egyptian version of Satan or Hecate the Greek version, Joss draws his versions of the gods more from popular culture than extensive research. It's sort of like the swastika -- once a symbol of good fortune, but now undeniably a symbol of evil. If you painted a swastika on your house (facing the right direction), I doubt the Anti-defamation League would be interested in the rich history of the symbol. Now it means evil. The Confederate flag now symbolizes racism and the pentagram is largely associated with evil (thanks to Hollywood monster movies). Regardless of their original meanings, they have different meanings now. Likewise with Hecate and Anubis -- Hecate especially (invoked by Amy previously and by Willow when she was attempting to curse Oz -- I believe) came to be associated with witchcraft (evil witchcraft -- not Wicca) and Anubis almost exclusively with death. Joss played the rituals invoking these deities as if they were evil forces -- not some benign, misunderstood entities just trying to help out humanity. He wants us to be scared when Willow offers supplications to them.

Joss' magic system feels more Lovecraftian to me -- where even the people who delve into forbidden researches for the best of reasons (like averting some catastrophe) risk their sanity. So while I wouldn't say that all magic is black, I would say that virtually all magic requiring outside assistance to power the spells is black. Again, I come back to "why are these creatures being so helpful?" -- what's in it for them?
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: On the corruption of Magic -- DEN, 09:35:21 01/01/02 Tue
I like the comparison to Lovecraft. It seems to me that much of the "wicca" matrix for magic in the series has come from outside the scripts themselves. It has been applied less by Josh and the writers than by the many students and practitioners of wicca and similar faiths/disciplines who are commmitted fans. Tara has provided some "wiccan" element (the quotation marks reflect the general consensus that serious differences exist between Jossverse and realverse versions). On the whole, however, magic has been presented as a risky proposition. I'm open to challenge here but IMO, even Giles approaches it with the attitude of a bomb-disposal expert, as opposed to someone getting in deeper touch with the universe. In that sense, ironically, he may have taught Willow more than he realizes. She has the same mind-set, only she takes more risks.
[> [> [> [> [> Ritalin and heroin??? -- Darby, 09:30:57 01/03/02 Thu
Where did you pick up that tidbit?

I'll give you that "addiction" has as many definitions as definers, but you'd be hard- pressed to find too many reputable sources that would put Ritalin and heroin on the same level. Good evidence for any kind of Ritalin physical addiction is, as far as I can find, nonexistent.

You'd also have a hard time finding too many heroin users who "forget" to take their meds, which is common in Ritalin users, who often find the side-effects worse than the effects. I know that adult users are a somewhat different story, but there's still no evidence for physical addiction there (Ritalin was originally tested and approved as a drug for adults, and no major problems were detected).

Sorry, I react a bit strongly to the dissemination of misinformation, and probably the worst two areas are drugs and nutritional supplements. What people usually wind up passing around is a bastardized version of what someone several steps down the reference chain thinks they heard, and it spreads until it becomes "common knowledge," with no evidence or even conflicting evidence (crack babies, anyone-?).
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ritalin and heroin??? -- Rufus, 22:30:07 01/03/02 Thu
Ritalin when used as perscribed can be a valuble drug in the treatment of ADHD. What Sol is talking about is the deliberate use of methylphenidate for the purposes of getting stoned. It's not new, Ritalin has been sold to be used in conjunction with other drugs..notably get a better high. Any stimulant or narcotic drug, be it be stimulant drugs such as Ritalin, painkillers such as morphine, and codiene, if used improperly can be abused and become addictive. The proper use of the drug should result in no problems unless there is an adverse reaction. The improper use of this stimulant drug can cause addiction.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ritalin and heroin??? -- Darby, 05:33:30 01/04/02 Fri
You need a pretty broad definition of "addictive" here, enough that you could include pretty much anything that is hard to stop. The term ceases to have any real meaning at this point. I tend to sit at the other end of the spectrum, which I'm not sure is any more useful - if stopping produces predictable, serious physical effects, then it's addictive. It turns out that there are very few substances that fit the definition then.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ritalin and heroin??? -- Rufus, 10:41:27 01/04/02 Fri
When it comes to certain drugs, like stimulants and narcotics, addiction can be an outcome if used incorrectly. Ritalin if used correctly should pose no problems, but it can also be ground up, mixed with other drugs, or snorted alone....also injected. That is more than a medical dependancy on a drug or an adverse side effect of taking perscription medicine.
[> [> [> Well, kind of - tangential explanation about deity & prayer -- Solitude1056, 19:10:31 12/30/01 Sun
This is where I see trouble (in real life). As a Christian, I have to say this. Some wiccans will say that a spell is like a prayer, and sort of works like one. In the Christian religion, we pray all the time, and many pray for what they want, but in the end, it is God's decision. Some of us are taught to pray, "Not my will, but yours (God's) be done." The reason is that we must recognize we are subject to God, we must obey his laws, (including the laws of nature, life and death, etc.) I am sorry, I am not explaining this well.

True, I can see how an Xtian POV - compared to the Wiccan/pagan - might think it's essentially self- conceited to pray without an idea of the big picture. I asked a wiccan once about this, and she replied, "the Goddess has veto power." Other wiccans I've known agree with this POV. So, in fact, as Xtians expect their God to affirm/negate prayers, so do many Wiccans, as well. Both religions, being deity-based, rely on that deity to provide the 'final word.'
[> [> [> [> Failsafe -- Wisewoman, 11:22:52 12/31/01 Mon
I was taught to end every spell with, This, or something better, for the greater good of all concerned.

Handy little escape hatch if I'm not sure I'm pushing for the 100% best outcome.

[> Re: A tidbit from Wrecked -- Cynthia, 06:05:36 12/30/01 Sun
Regard point #2: Not only did Buffy not come back evil but in saying what he did, Spike is saying that he didn't think she did either. She may have come back "wrong" but he is still assuming she came back good.
[> [> Re: A tidbit from Wrecked -- Lilac, 07:45:01 12/30/01 Sun
I think that Spike has been predisposed to think that Buffy came back "wrong" ever since she showed up again. Remember he said something to Xander about how they didn't tell him because (I paraphrase) "if she came back wrong, if there was anything left of Buffy he wouldn't let them destroy her". So, whatever it is that is allowing him to hit her, he is more than willing to assume that his original assumption of "wrongness" is the reason. He really doesn't know, any more than we do. Maybe she isn't wrong, but better (maybe invunerable), maybe it's because he strikes her out of frustration, but not really to hurt her. The "why" has yet to be revealed to us, and to him.
More interesting Tidbit from Wrecked Shooting Script -- Gwyn, 02:02:15 12/30/01 Sun

"Buffy takes this in, freaking. Last night. SO wrong. And SO completely, mind-numbingly wild. Everything she's needed. Escape. Release. Ecstasy. With Spike."

These directions make it pretty clear that we are supposed to accept, even if Buffy is confused, that this is essentially a positive experience, particularly in the light of her being cut off from feeling and those around her since she was resurrected. It is a pretty intense description of strong but not negative passions and part of her recognises this. Even "escape" is not necessarily a bad thing, if it is not always used to avoid life.

And later..

I may be dirt, but you're the one who wants to roll in it, slayer. You never had it so good as me. Never.

Buffy takes this in, shaken. It's true. She shakes him off."

..if this is "true" it is a pretty clear comment, to their detriment, about her previous experiences with Angel and Riley, at least in terms of their intensity. Spike is undoubtedly being somewhat crass here but he is pointing out the mutuality of their encounter and that may be a part of what Buffy is having trouble with as well.
a. This is not one night stand sex (Parker)
b. It is not idealised, unsure, first love sex (Angel).
c. This is not conventional. mostly male led, sex (Riley)

The directions in the script say this is "ecstasy' and "needed", in a very real sense to a young woman who relates to the world around her with feelings of disconnectedness, alienation, even clinical depression. A much to be desired emotional wake up call seems to be the point of these shooting script asides. It is not the experience itself that is the problem. The potential for emotional pain, for both of them, lies in what they make of it.

[> I was chatting tonight and this subject came up...... -- Rufus, 03:31:30 12/30/01 Sun

I feel for Buffy. Spike knew he loved Buffy last season, he wasn't so happy at first either. In Family, Spike went to the Magic Shop to watch Buffy get killed, and couldn't help himself, he stepped in and helped her. He may not have always expressed his love in the most healthy way, but when the season was through it was clear he was in love with Buffy, and not just for sex.
Now, Buffy, fresh from heaven, depressed over being dumped back in her monotonous job of taking out the hellmouth trash(and she doesn't even get union scale for it), finds the only "person" she can stand to be around is the "trash". She doesn't as of yet love Spike, but she has to admit she can't keep away from him. Proof is that I'm surprised Spike didn't resort to counting on his fingers the sum of times they did it (of course with no shoes on he could have used his toes as well). The best thing about the situation is that as ugly as it could get I think Spike has figured out how to deal with Buffy. His comment about Giles was great, his retort to Buffy talking about the sex with Spike being the most degrading moment(s) of her life....he stopped, half smiled and said "Me too" fighting, just let it go. He knows that she has invited him in, he just has to figure out a way to get her to want him to stay around.
As for the sex. If it gets to be the only reason she ever has any contact with Spike then I do think the whole thing will end badly, but if they keep working together and Buffy actually gets over the shock of being with another vampire.....who knows?

Light in "Afterlife" (spoilers?) -- Valkyrie, 14:04:41 12/30/01 Sun

As I am neither a philosopher nor a writer, I am somewhat hesitant to post to this board, but I have been mulling over the use of light in "Afterlife." If this has been discussed elsewhere, I apologize. I'm still finding my way around the board.

Reruns on FX have bolstered my feeling that the use of light in After Life' was very significant and revelatory. There are several exterior scenes in which the light is hot, glaring and saturated, as if underlining the harsh light of this world that Buffy finds painful and disturbing.

When Buffy encounters Spike behind the magic shop, she first comments on the fact that he is abroad in the daylight. Of course, their meetings usually take place in the dark. Spike explains that the sun is low and it's shady. We conclude that they are meeting in a sort of twilight realm. Buffy enters Spike's space. In an effort to give Buffy privacy, Spike moves to the line where light meets dark, but he can't cross into the light. Buffy is aware of this and tells him to stay. In this gray meeting place, two characters that once represented extremes of dark and light, can meet and share truth. Buffy reveals her great secret. This suggests to me that the place that lies between dark and light, the twilight, is a place of truth and revelation.

At the conclusion of the scene, Buffy, leaves the comfort of the twilight and moves back into the glaring light. At this point she is still resolved to remain in the glaring light of the world. Spike, as long as he is a vampire can't follow her, even though I think he yearns for the light.

I've read some of the discussion re: the graying of the Buffyverse, and it seems to me that this scene illustrates that shift.
[> Re: Light in "Afterlife" (spoilers?) -- Spike Lover, 19:12:23 12/30/01 Sun

Very good. Please feel free to post. (I do, whether the powers that be want me to or not.) This is probably one of the most easily accessible and most interesting places to discuss Buffy on the internet.

By the way, check out the lighting they used in the S & B's "smashed" building love- nest in "Wrecked". It is truly impressive, and there was a great deal of posting about that weeks ago.

Calling All Other Writers: Titles! (O/T) -- AngelVSAngelus, 15:58:53 12/30/01 Sun
I have a serious issue with titles. I've never been good at coming up with them, and often find myself in the middle of writing something, far into characterization and plot development, but still stuck with a nameless creation. Like right now. I'm currently one hundred pages into a novel I've been writing, but haven't a title in sight, and that frustrates and worries me. How valid is my creative ability if I can't even come up with a simple name that embodies its theme?
I was wondering both if this problem quibbles others and also if anyone had any methods for brainstorming titles that might help. It'd be greatly appreciated.
[> Re: The Title's in the Telling (O/T) -- mundusmundi, 16:34:46 12/30/01 Sun
Fascinating question, AvsA. Sometimes I've no idea what the title of something I've written is going to be until after it's done; and other times I actually start with the title and work from there. For my first Exist. Scoobies essay, I had a vague notion to write something about Buffy and history, and by fluke a quote by Giles gave me the idea to call the piece "The Now and the Then."

So don't question your "creative ability" just because you're stumped for titles. J.R.R. Tolkien's original title for The Hobbit was To There and Back. Cameron Crowe was so stumped for a title for a recent movie that he was seriously considering calling it (ahem) Untitled before someone came up with Almost Famous. (And while I'm risking being branded a philistine by Rahael and other fine folks across the pond for pointing this out, the American bastardization, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is much catchier than the original Philosopher's Stone of Rowling's title). Suffice to say, you'll want your title to both sum up your work and get people interested in reading it. If you can't come up with something now, don't worry; it'll probably come to you when you're ready. (And if not, you're still covered: an editor will come along and save the day. Ain't they grand?)
[> [> Philistine!! -- d'Herblay, 04:11:16 12/31/01 Mon

I have no idea what they think across the pond, but on this side of I-80, I have always been insulted by Scholastic's decision to remove the Philosopher from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. This has very little to do with any interest I have in promoting my erstwhile field of study, and everything to do with the fact that the Philosopher's Stone is a concept with a great deal of history behind it, while the Sorcerer's Stone is nothing at all. J.K. Rowling knew what she was doing when she picked one of the most famous objects of alchemical research as the subject of her book; Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel, who are peripheral characters in the book, were actual historical figures who, having been born into penury, at their deaths were able to endow fourteen hospitals, seven churches and three chapels, all without any apparent source of income. They have gone down in history as alchemists who discovered the process of transmuting lead to gold. This is the history that Rowling drew upon. I realize that Sorcerer's Stone may sound better to some ears, but in this case resonance trumps assonance.

One of the reasons I get perturbed by the idea that children will shrink from anything with Philosopher in the title is that I knew the story of the Philosopher's Stone when I was three. It was the subject of one of the Uncle Scrooge comic books by Carl Barks that my father introduced to me as a treasured memento of his youth. So I became familiar with the story because of a god-damned talking-animal cartoon book. (Ok, admittedly, the Barks Uncle Scrooges are serious contenders for the best American literature of the 1950s.) If Disney, that purveyor of pablum, can trust the imagination and curiosity of the children of the information-poor '50s, then why can't Scholastic, a publishing house that I remember trusting when I was a child, extend the same trust to the youth of the information age?

This is not exactly like The Madness of George III being retitled The Madness of King George so that ignorant Americans wouldn't stay away because they hadn't seen parts I and II. This is more as if Terry Gilliam and George Harrison had sat down and had a conversation about how Americans would not know what a "grail" is, and retitled their film Monty Python and the Holy Cup. George the Third was a King George, but the Holy Grail is not just a holy cup, and "Sorcerer's Stone" just lacks the historical connotations and associations that exist for the Philosophical object.

[> [> [> Re: Yeah, but dig the alliteration, mon! ;) -- mm, 06:04:12 12/31/01 Mon
[> [> [> I always wondered why they didn't use "Philosopher's Stone" ... -- vh, 11:10:46 01/02/02 Wed
[> Re: Calling All Other Writers: Titles! (O/T) -- Moose, 17:48:18 12/30/01 Sun
Been there. Hate coming up with titles for stories and have some lame ones to prove it.

Don't flog yourself for not coming up with a "simple name that embodies its theme." You just described a near impossible task, one that if possible wouldn't require the rest of what you are writing. The best titles are only window dressing.

My rule of thumb: the more complex the story, the simpler the title should be. Let the story bear the weight of the work, not the title.

Just my $0.02 cents.

[> Re: Calling All Other Writers: Titles! (O/T) -- matching mole, 17:52:47 12/30/01 Sun
I don't have an easy answer for this question. Sometimes a title suggests itself to me without much effort. Sometimes I know what the title is before I know anything else. Other times I can never think of one that I like and I just stick something lame on it.
[> Re: Calling All Other Writers: Titles! (O/T) -- Diagnoztix, 04:20:19 12/31/01 Mon
I have a lot of trouble finding titles for my poems - and the reaction to them has been a hit and miss affair (Titles - not the poems!) Several of them still have three or four titles because I can't decide - and some others still have temporary crappy ones!
[> Re: Calling All Other Writers: Titles! (O/T) -- Cactus Watcher, 16:25:06 12/31/01 Mon
A title is one of those things you should spend very little time worrying about. As a practical matter, some publishers insist on having the right to change a title to suit themselves. This has happened to MANY writers. As a matter of fact, titles aren't protected legally the same way the rest of what you write is. So your title isn't necessarily yours alone. I advise you to finish your novel and when you know absolutely everything to know about your story, then think of a title, even a mundane one. Don't worry about it if your title doesn't seem catchy, and don't fall in love with it, if it does.
[> Re: Calling All Other Writers: Titles! (O/T) -- Aquitaine, 18:15:23 12/31/01 Mon
Finding just the right title for my stories is usually an integral part of my planning or prep work. The story doesn't get written until I have settled on a title; it's the title that anchors me to my plot/style etc. So I'd have to say that every writer has his or her own unique technique:) Not much help, am I?

You *could* always fall back on ME's approach to titling: the macro- and microcosmic synecdochal approach:) Think about "Crush", "The Gift", "What's my Line?"...

[> Re: Calling All Other Writers: Titles! (O/T) -- Forsaken, 07:59:35 01/01/02 Tue
Hey, try not to question your creative integrity over lack of a title. Stephen King has been known to have the same problem (I realize that may not be comforting, not everyone nearly worships him as a writer like I do). I usually don't have title problems myself, I often come up with a title first and work from there, using the idea stated in the title to begin and then branching my idea out. That's obviously not an option in this case, so I'm just gonna wish you luck. Wish me luck back if you would, maybe it'll break my current state of writer's block. :)
[> [> Luck Coming Right Back At You! -- AngelVSAngelus, 11:16:56 01/01/02 Tue
I appreciate everyone's posts here, they've been a great help. Unfortunately, titleless syndrome is not the only problem plaguing my fictional excursions, but a lack of passion and listlessness that has struck me suddenly and without explanation. I hope it'll pass soon. Maybe its because my girlfriend's out of town for the holidays...
[> [> [> Problems -- Forsaken, 14:00:51 01/01/02 Tue
Yea, that could definitly be a problem man. I had to abandon a book I was writing once because I'd based the main female character on my girlfriend, and she dumped me at, get this, chapter 25. And I was only half done. This was one of my best works, but once she was gone I just lost my desire to write it anymore. Luckily, your situation isn't quite that dire. ;)
[> [> [> [> Re: Problems -- purplegrrl, 10:25:26 01/03/02 Thu
Ah, but don't you know that angst and despair are always good creative fuel for an artist, or writer in this case. Some of my best stuff (as well as some of my most turbid) was written during a dark period.

To AvsA:
Just keep writing! A title will come to you. I thought I had a good one for the novel I'm working on. But now I'm thinking that it sounds a little too romance-y when what I want is more Laurell K. Hamilton. Or maybe I'm just over thinking it too much. I figure it will work itself out in the end.

OT but philosophically endowed articles from today's Phila. Inquirer -- OnM, 19:34:27 12/30/01 Sun

Ya'll may find these of merit, I did. But that's just me.

The collecting/recommending of these stories also has placed a nifty idea into my head that I'm now pondering further, and will probably bring up here at the board sometime later this week. Stay tuned!

The links are:

Feedback on any of these is welcome, still another week or two to new eps, and I need my philosophy fix!


Participants needed for Buffy survey -- cynesthesia, 15:05:06 12/31/01 Mon
Someone at Harvard is doing research on BtVS and has posted his survey at:

It takes about 15 min, all choices are pull down. Please spread the word and help him out.

Happy New Year!
[> I was fun! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 15:34:38 12/31/01 Mon
[> Re: Participants needed for Buffy survey -- Forsaken, 15:54:59 12/31/01 Mon
Hey, I realize I'm new here, but I figured I'd brag a bit and post my scores for the sections with right/wrong answers. (And yes, I am ashamed of myself for my Season 5 score) Not bad for someone who missed Seasons 4 & 5 the first time around eh?

Character Recognition: 100%
Recall Seasons 1 & 2: 100%
Recall Seasons 3 & 4: 100%
Recall Season 5: 90%
Recall Season 6: 100%
Overall: 96.25%
[> Re: Participants needed for Buffy survey -- Wolfhowl3, 16:54:43 12/31/01 Mon
Man, I kind of bombed the 3&4'th Season recall thing, I only go 90.909090909090909099% on that. :(

Over all, I got 98.75%

[> [> Re: Participants needed for Buffy survey -- vandalia, 00:34:07 01/01/02 Tue
I got 100% on everything, eat my dust!

Course, 16 people still did better than me... I wonder how...
[> [> [> Re: Participants needed for Buffy survey -- Wolfhowl3, 13:01:02 01/01/02 Tue
Congrats on your score.

the 16 people who did better then you were because it is possable to get more then 100% on the season section. (I got 109%, I don't know how, but I did)

[> [> Re: Participants needed for Buffy survey -- grifter, 07:25:14 01/01/02 Tue
Bow down before me, worms, 'cause I have 100%!! ;)))))))

I'm tied w/ 29 other people who did the same...not bad, considering I haven't seen most of season 5 yet ;)
[> Anyone wonder what his point is? -- Maxwell, 20:58:32 12/31/01 Mon
Judging only by the kind of questions he asks, what do you think his thesis might be? Is he trying to say the Buffy is a neo-feminist, that the male characters are weak? By setting up his questionnaire this way I think that he is implying that there is a definite male/female dichotomy on the show. Is there?
[> [> Naturally this is very cynical, but, for sake of argument... -- OnM, 08:54:38 01/01/02 Tue
.. is there any reason to believe this person when he says that he won't share the collected e-mail addresses? This suggests a cleverly arranged marketing ploy to me, despite the .edu tag. Privacy policy or no, nothing would actually stop him from selling the addresses to people looking to market BtVS merchandise.

Something just seems peculiar about this to me, dunno why.

:( ???
[> [> [> Re: That's why I gave a fake one -- mm, 13:42:08 01/01/02 Tue
[> [> [> The address is assigned to the Harvard Grad School of Education (NT) -- Darby, 13:56:15 01/02/02 Wed
[> Re: Participants needed for Buffy survey -- yabyumpan, 04:34:31 01/01/02 Tue
Well, I tried to but he doesn't seem to acknowledge that there are people outside the US who watch Buffy as when I said I'd watch for 5 years and put "other" as a channel option it came up with some sarcastic remark about "that's funny as Buffy has only been in sindication for a year". Must admit to feeling pretty p***ed about it, I thought this was a time for thinking globally! (maybe not at Harvard)
[> [> Re: Participants needed for Buffy survey -- Forsaken, 07:41:29 01/01/02 Tue
I looked back over the questions and found out what I missed that dropped me, I accidently clicked on "their childhoods" in the fill in the blank about what memories it was that monks had created. It was either just above or below the right answer and I didn't notice I'd gone too far. I'm still dumb, but at least I can claim my show knowledge isn't any worse.
[> [> Re: Participants needed for Buffy survey -- Wolfhowl3, 13:04:30 01/01/02 Tue
I thought this was a time for thinking globally

It's been my experience, that most people in the US do not realize that there is a World outside the US!


[> I got 95.63%. -- JCC, 09:16:44 01/01/02 Tue
It took me about 10 minutes.I got 95.63%.
For some reason I managed to get 109% for season 1&2.
[> Not sure of my percentile, but... -- Masq, 16:04:42 01/02/02 Wed
I aced the objective portion of the survey!

Character Recognition: 100%
Recall Seasons 1 & 2: 100%
Recall Seasons 3 & 4: 100%
Recall Season 5: 100%
Recall Season 6: 100%

For shame if I had not...
[> [> Same here... -- VampRiley, 20:21:14 01/03/02 Thu
Character Recognition: 100%
Recall Seasons 1 & 2: 100%
Recall Seasons 3 & 4: 100%
Recall Season 5: 100%
Recall Season 6: 100%

The other questions of course didn't have right or wrong answers and will be extraordinarily helpful to my research. To see how that all works out and what in the world I do with this data, check back in February.

As for how you measured up against those other 940 people: you tied with 196 of them, did worse than 0 of them, and did better than 744 of them.

So what does this mean? My recall of the events has been good?


I am furious about this! -- Hauptman, 17:12:32 12/31/01 Mon
First of all, Happy New Year!
Secondly, read this rant from the Family Values folks regarding Buffy and "how evil it is". I would really like to get another opinion.

My opinion: They hate it without knowing anything about it and took no time to learn anything about the show. It's just an evil show. These people scare me. Who are they?
[> Re: I am furious about this! -- d'Herblay, 18:33:08 12/31/01 Mon
"[Willow] then goes to the park on a nice, sunny day and chants in an unknown language."

You would think that "the nation's largest public policy women's organization with a rich 22- year history of helping [its] members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy" might recognize Hebrew when it heard it.
[> [> Re: LOL! -- mm, 19:08:27 12/31/01 Mon
[> [> [> Re: LOL! -- Cactus Watcher, 07:23:28 01/01/02 Tue
Once you read that the WB "canceled" the show after last season, it's pretty obvious the article contains no factual information. After that it's best to look at it as comedy. The best way to deal with childish attitudes like this is to laugh gently at the flaws in person when the opportunity presents itself. No, the people who spread this stuff aren't our Taliban, but they clearly have problems dealing with reality. Gently showing people like this that there are laughable flaws with their argument at every turn can help change things. Attacking them directly in seriousness just makes them dig in deeper into their stupidity.

We know the show isn't for children. We know that the show proclaims at the beginning of many episodes that the night's viewing isn't intended for children. I would think that the average child would be bored silly by everything except the fight scenes and perhaps a few of the jokes. For these people to complain that the show isn't fit for children, is just a symptom of their feelings of helplessness and inadequacy in a world they can't begin to understand. They are worried about their children, not just that they'll turn evil, but that they'll leave their parents behind in their cocoon of ignorance.
[> [> [> [> Re: LOL! -- Hauptman, 11:27:38 01/01/02 Tue
Well said, Cactus Watcher, but I am still pissed. I'll get over it.
[> [> [> [> You nailed it right here. -- Annie, 22:48:49 01/01/02 Tue
"For these people to complain that the show isn't fit for children, is just a symptom of their feelings of helplessness and inadequacy in a world they can't begin to understand. They are worried about their children, not just that they'll turn evil, but that they'll leave their parents behind in their cocoon of ignorance."

I grew up with parents like that, and you are exactly right. They're threatened by ideas that conflict with their own. And I think my presence in this forum speaks to how well telling your kids TV and movies are "evil" works. Come on, if your belief system is worth anything at all, a TV show shouldn't be a threat to it. If it is, maybe you should rethink what you believe in.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: You nailed it right here. -- cjc36, 00:34:13 01/02/02 Wed
On a related note, I just saw on the news that, somewhere in America, a group of concerned people had a Harry Potter bonfire.

It makes me sick to my stomach the thought of people burning books.
[> [> Re: I am furious about this! -- Annoying1, 11:15:56 01/01/02 Tue
Why can't she speak American like Jesus did? And that Giles guy talks funny!
[> [> Re: :-) -- Dedalus, 14:35:23 01/01/02 Tue
[> [> 'scuse me, folks, but... -- anom, 22:04:41 01/01/02 Tue
"You would think that 'the nation's largest public policy women's organization with a rich 22- year history of helping [its] members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy' might recognize Hebrew when it heard it."

...if you mean the scene w/the fawn, that's not Hebrew. It sounds more like a series of names, one of which sounds like "Adonai" (on my tape, one time it sounds more like "Adamai"). The rest of the words or names don't sound like Hebrew. I don't think it's a single "unknown language" either--aside from those names, which may be from diff't. languages, Willow speaks in English.

Anyway, I'm more concerned that this organization doesn't recognize the separation of church & state than that it doesn't recognize Hebrew. Then again, how "rich" is a history that's only 1/10th that of the relatively young country whose policy it's trying to influence?
[> It makes me laugh. -- Spike Lover, 18:37:55 12/31/01 Mon
I particularly like that part about "she fights evil w/ 2 lesbian lovers and one weak male character." Now would that be Xander who is living in sin w/ his ex-demon girlfriend or the bachelor Giles?

Well, let me see: This is my opinion. BtVS is NOT a kid show. It is a show for adults. (I don't care what the networks say.) It deals w/ the adult world (or the adult world that teens are being introduced to.) It is much better than NYPD Blue which is also an adult show, and it has rapists, child molestors, casual sex, alcoholics, murder, and at least once a season, male nudity.

I know the networks are after a teen audience because they have found out that teens do most of the shopping for the family, and advertisers want to reach them in order to advertise their products. But, I don't think Buffy is a "family" viewing show. I don't think it is for people who don't want to think about anything themselves. If these people are afraid of the real world and real temptations in the world and the imperfect choices that imperfect characters make, then let them watch the Brady Bunch reruns and 7th Heaven, where the world is safe and morality is preached at them.

I wish they would put Buffy on at 9pm or at least 8pm b/c little kids are up watching tv at 7pm. I don't feel threatened about their comments that Willow's spell at the beginning had ties to the occult. It did, but there was a reason for that. If they have never watched the show, I suppose these are valid concerns, but as I have said already, Buffy tvs is not for everyone.
[> [> Re: It makes me laugh. -- Hauptman, 19:02:08 12/31/01 Mon
Spike Lover, thanks for that. I was enraged when I read this piece of uninformed fluff, but I wanted to hear from others just in case I was missing something. I am an actual reporter, you see, and whenever I read a story I tend to read between the lines quite deeply. This story, this vile piece of crap, just stunned me. Just the way it kept saying lesbian like is was painful, the comment about Willow speaking Hebrew (though they just refered to it as an "unknown language")...all of it seemed like a casual, thoughtless call for lynching something because it's different. I am sure this piece was not widely read, but when hate is so casually invoked, I get chills. We have a Taliban right here, folks. God help us if they ever take over again.
[> [> [> It's geared to a specific audience. -- bookworm, 10:56:38 01/01/02 Tue
I'm also a newspaper reporter and I didn't see anything particularly objectionable about the article. She's writing for a specific audience -- conservative religious parents -- and is giving them information about the plot of a popular show they are likely not familiar with and would probably have concerns about. Her audience would object to pagan gods, spell-casting, lesbianism and vampirism being presented in an attractive light. If they watched "Buffy," many of them would not get it in the way its fans do. Their kids, being kids, are going to have an interest in the show and the writer is telling their parents what it's about, filtering it through the lens of her particular world view. People are free to read her review and write to the station as they like, just as fans are free to laugh at it and be outraged. Just as she can write to the station demanding Buffy be taken off the air, we can write to our TV stations saying how much we appreciate Buffy. It's the nature of freedom of speech. It's not an objective piece of journalism, but then most editorial pieces aren't.
[> [> [> [> Re: It's geared to a specific audience. -- Hauptman, 11:39:21 01/01/02 Tue
I agree, Bookworm, freedom of speach is a wonderful thing, and frankly I don't know that medium this story was presented in (news, editorial, letter to the editor). But as an editor it rubs me the wrong way when information is presented in this way. Yes, it is for a particular audience, but it could have been better researched and written. I reminded me of the kind of poison that was once written about blacks, jews, gays and Catholics by people who had never met one. Us against them is still a powerful tool in the media. Admittedly, my initial reaction was to vent at these people, but, as some of the other posters have said, they are just expressing their fears, for themselves and their children. I should maybe take it all with a grain of salt. It is just a TV show. But...Grrrrr!
[> [> [> [> [> Re: It's geared to a specific audience. -- bookworm, 18:16:48 01/01/02 Tue
Was it Focus on the Family? They have reviews of entertainment on their web site. The intended audience is parents, presumably people who share their point of view. I ran across a similar review of the Harry Potter movie on the web site when I was doing a story about the film's opening. I'd agree that the writer is strongly biased and probably isn't familiar with the show, but you could show her every episode from all six seasons and she'd still write the same thing. Everything conservative Christians object to is portrayed in a positive light in "Buffy" -- homosexuality, premarital sex, witchcraft, paganism, even feminism. The reference to the "weak male character" is probably to Xander, who does sometimes look "Anya- whipped." The official Southern Baptist line is that the male is the head of the household and women are to graciously submit to the "servant leadership" of their husbands. They do seem to see the world very much as "us against them." They feel their values and religious beliefs are consistently mocked and are under attack by the American media and by popular culture. They aren't interested in being tolerant or open-minded and I'm not sure they should have to be. If they are absolutely tolerant and accepting of everyone's beliefs, even those they believe are harmful, aren't they betraying what THEY believe? As someone of that mindset once told me, you can be so open-minded your brains will fall out. I think people who go into journalism are often a lot more liberal and less religious than the general public. You look at that editorial and go "GRRR" and your automatic reaction is "narrow-minded bigots" and "American Taliban." Her reaction to you would be "typical representative of the liberal media" or possibly even "Satan's tool." Journalists attempt to be very UNBIASED when writing about religious groups and their objection to shows like Buffy or Harry Potter, but there is often a subtly condescending tone in what we write. They pick up on it and maybe sometimes exaggerate it because they know very well what journalists think of them. I suppose my point is that she wasn't writing that review for us or even for the public at large. She's writing it for people who already agree with her, who took the time to seek out her review, because those people aren't finding the information they need in mainstream publications.
[> [> [> [> I have to disagree w/ you there -- Spike Lover, 08:23:12 01/02/02 Wed
I have to take exception with what you say here. It is one thing if the writer is giving her opinion to others (of similar opinion or not) about the show and encouraging them to watch or not to watch. I have no problem with it because I do the same to everyone I meet as well.

It is quite another to "rally the troops" to do a write in or phone in campaign to get the show taken off the air so that NO ONE can watch it. THAT is censorship! And it is right up there with Book Banning/Burning. And again I have to ask what gives them the right to decide what is good for everyone?
[> [> [> [> [> Re: I have to agree w/ you there Spike Lover -- Forsken, 15:47:03 01/02/02 Wed
[> [> [> [> [> The same right you have to rally to keep the show on the air. -- bookworm, 18:31:14 01/02/02 Wed
Boycotts and write-ins are well within their rights, even if we disagree with them. They can campaign to their heart's content. It's democracy in action. It would be censorship if the government had the power to yank Buffy off the air for the good of the people, but it wouldn't be if a private network chose to take the show off the air for some reason. Have no fear. These campaigns don't usually work. Who noticed their boycott of Disney? Did their outrage cut into Harry Potter's sales? What matters to the network is the bottom line. They'll take Buffy off the air as soon as it quits making them money. Buffy is the best thing that ever happened to UPN and they know it. The show's ratings are good and the demographics of Buffy fans are what advertisers are after.
[> [> [> [> [> [> There was a boycott of Disney? :-P -- VampRiley, 19:26:35 01/02/02 Wed
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Focus on the Family objected to homosexuals having a day at Disneyland.. -- bookworm, 19:56:27 01/02/02 Wed
Either that or it was Disney giving benefits to domestic partners, including gay partners. Maybe it was both. If it wasn't Focus on the Family, it was a group very like them -- Pat Robertson's organization or a Southern Baptist group. It was last year or two years ago. They boycotted Disney films and refused to visit Disneyland. Last I heard, Disney is still standing and people are rushing to buy the new Snow White DVD.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The same right you have to rally to keep the show on the air. -- maddog, 10:54:42 01/04/02 Fri
I'm not sure you're understanding the point...whether they have a right to or not, it's still offensive to the fans who enjoy the show to have someone watch one episode, come out and call for it to be taken off the air. Sure it's their right...doesn't mean we have to like it.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I don't like it either, nor do I particularly care for Focus on the Family. -- bookworm, 11:20:01 01/04/02 Fri
But they do have a right to believe what they do and call for a boycott, and it's not strictly censorship if they do.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I don't like it either, nor do I particularly care for Focus on the Family. -- maddog, 12:08:08 01/04/02 Fri
I don't think anyone's debating you there...they're just upset because someone who's done so little research feels they need to call for one.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wait a minute -- Spike Lover, 13:33:32 01/04/02 Fri
This is like beating a dead horse, but I think we may be misinterpreting each other. I am not offended that they want to boycott- whether Disney or Buffy. What I am saying is, in theory, a tv production studio is the only source for BuffytVS, right? Okay, in theory, if they did a successful, 'Get that trash off the air' calling campaign, and the networks listened, and they jerked it off the air, then no one would be able to watch any episodes. In effect, the mindless mob has successfully censored the art so that no one can watch it. But schools here in Texas are sort of nortorious for axing teachers without cause because of parental complaints.

Freedom of speech, in my opinion, is more like when an individual or group goes out and does article or interview after article/interview about how horrible the show is. They bombard the public with the opinion. They do nothing to the production studio themselves. The result of this bombardment is that similar minded folks boycott the show, and the show is eventually canceled due to low ratings or lack of willing advertisers for the show. It seems to me it is a lack of faith in the freedom of speech (and their argument holding any sway with people in general out there)that makes these people go directly to the call in campaign to 'remove' the offending article from the airwaves (applying pressure to achieve censorship).

Admittedly my concepts of censorship and freedom of speech may be flawed. I admit I may be overly sensitive to 'rallying the troops' /phone in campaigns. In the past I was ousted out of a teaching position because one class out of five got their parents to do a call in campaign against me. In 3 weeks I was out of a job because the "principal was tired of getting phone calls about me."
[> I really can´t believe this... -- Monique, 20:14:04 12/31/01 Mon
I always knew there were lots of stupid people in the world, but this is too much... Hear this: "Harry Potter: Seduction of the Occult" - basically a disgusting rant about how Rowling´s series corrupts the minds of children and adults alike. My favourite part?

Re: Scholastic´s online disscussion guides for reading HP in the classroom...

"Still other questions ask students to ponder moral themes, like self-sacrifice, choosing what is right over what is easy, and free will versus preordination—themes better left to parents, since they will likely lose their value under the morally relativistic constraints of today’s public school system."

You mean people can... *gasp* THINK FOR THEMSELVES?! Oh, the horror!

Or another fun article... "Unlikely Hero Battles Maryland Homosexual Bill"

I´d better leave this website before it makes me sick.
[> Re: Me too. -- Leeann, 22:15:00 12/31/01 Mon
Scary that these truely evil creeps are encouraging people to call or write WB and complain. Was Joss forced to break up Willow and Tara because of these people?

And calling Xander a "a weak male character." God only allows weak women and strong men, right? Thankfully they totally missed Spike and his significance.
[> Re: I am furious about this! -- Deeva, 22:42:16 12/31/01 Mon
These people are afraid of the unknown and unwilling to open their minds to many things. It's the, what I like to call, "think too hard" factor. "Oooh don't want to think about whatever too much cause I might overlook something that could warp my kid." I'm not saying parents or "family values" people are simple, not at all, just in my observations of the ones that I know, they seem to miss the underlying meanings of things. I believe, as parents, most people have the best intentions but then they over step that fine line into prejudice. All in the name of family and children is their mantra but what are they really fostering? Mistrust and fear of things that different from what one is familiar with. Whose to say what is the norm? In their minds they are the normal ones but nothing could be further from the truth.
[> [> Just another proof that most people are stupid... -- grifter, 06:57:33 01/01/02 Tue
[> [> Re: I am bloody furious about this! -- Spike, 07:32:13 01/01/02 Tue
Alright, I realize that I'm supposed to stay in the fiction-land letting you people sit around and dicuss me, but this is too much for me to stand. I mean, can we please just shove a stake through these people's hearts? I realize they're not vampires, but even I've been surprised how many things that'll kill. People who can form an opinion like this without knowing what the bloody hell they're talking about disgust me. I didn't even do that back when I was evil, much less now that I'm... errr... whatever the hell I am. And the way they just refuse to recognize Hebrew, a language they should have had at least a passing relationship with, and instead pass it off as the spooky "unknown language!" Oh it's just scary isn't it mates? These people are a bunch of bloody poofters who sound too pathetic even to eat. I'm just glad they didn't notice me, except in passing "Slayer dates vampire" references. They'd insulted me, lord only knows what Buffy would've done to 'em. Then again, never know what'll push 'er over the edge, make her admit her feelings for me. Keep posting you repressive wankers!

(Again, totally a work of comedy, though if they read it, I hope the "repressive wankers" do get a little pissed.)
[> [> [> Re: I am bloody furious about this! -- Forsaken, 07:35:12 01/01/02 Tue
I gotta go with undead man walking over there, these people suck. Calls to mind a quote from Checkpoint, in regards to the tight-assed WC review board.

Giles: Right, you lot all stand around and look somber. Good job.
[> I defend the right to Adult entertainment -- Spike Lover, 08:56:25 01/01/02 Tue
Some people get really mad at all the 'gay rights' folks, because it seems to them that the gays are asking for more rights than everyone else. I get mad at the "Family Values" right groups. It seems that just because they have chosen to have children, suddenly they have the right to dictate what the rest of the country/world should get to enjoy.

I don't have children, (and if I did, I would not let them watch Buffy, but I still would.)

I like Buffy because it is about reality. It is a messy world out there w/ hard decisions, if you are going to be honest about it. The #1 thing I like about BuffytVS is that there is sex on it. Joss came to that bridge in Season 2 w/ Angel and he opted to take his show to the next reality level, dealing w/ sex w/ amazing depth. Many shows never would: Beauty & the Beast (w/ Linda Hamilton), Remington Steele, X-Files, etc. They chose to play it safe. They were not reality.

Great literature reflects real life. Not the opposite. But many people want literature to dictate proper morals to its audience. It can, but it will never be great, because that is not life. Life is choice, not dictums. There is teenage sex in real life. Casual sex. VD, addiction, S&M, but also love, chastity, etc. This is one reason why the X-Files eventually failed, when it started out so promising.
[> I would be if it weren't obvious that the author was a moron -- vampire hunter D, 10:53:55 01/01/02 Tue
This person not only has several opinions that most intelligent people would find extreme and just plain wrong, but they didn't even get their facts right. Also, the few facts they did get right are presented very out of context.

Their opinions are way off. Aparently, they seem to feel that praying to anyone but their damned Nazarean is immoral behavior and too obscene to be put on tv. Well, I want to know what's wrong with it. Pagan god=/=evil. And not only did they get the facts about this god wrong, but they then portrayed their wrong facts to make Osiris sound like Satan. I am of course refering to their refering to Osiris as the god of Hades. Hades, to most modern people, means Hell. Osiris did not rule Hell. He didn't even rule Hades, or even a realm like it (Duat is more like the Elysian fields). But, of course, if they told the truth, they wouldn't be able to portray invoking him as wrong.

They also have to make Buffy's allies sound evil by presenting their characters with no context. They are just called a demon, two witches/lesbians, a vampire, and a weak guy. See, the worst presentation of good characters. Almost no mention that Anya is no longer a demon, Willow and Tara sound like the Wicked Witches of the West (I'll rant about their attitude towards lezbians later), no mention that Spike is less evil than most of the humans on the show. Even calling Xander weak makes the show sound evil to the type of people who believe this stuff (see, having the only male charactert weak makes this a pro-female show. But every good christian knows that god says pro woman attiudes are evil and that the Nazarean want all women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen).

As for the lezbian bit, did anyone else notice how they have the word romance in quotations? Like what homosexuals do is not really romance, just something like it. Man, that pisses me off more than anything (and no, I'm not gay).

But, I'm not mad. It's not their fault they inheirited such inferior genes, giving them low intelligence. I'm mad that people like this aren't dealt with properly. Why oh Why won't anyone help me rebuild Treblinka?
[> [> You are going too far here. -- grifter, 11:35:17 01/01/02 Tue
"Why won't anyone help me rebuild Treblinka?"

I wouldn´t want my worst enemy to go through the horrors of the concentration camps of Nazi- Germany.

I can understand your anger and I´m absolutely with you on your other points, but you go to far here and shouldn´t disvalue your points with this kind of nonsense.
[> Re: I am furious about this! -- VampRiley, 13:29:35 01/01/02 Tue
the Entertainment Weekly writer notes for the benefit of parents that lead character Buffy dates vampires and other occultic creatures. One is forced to ask yet again, where is the "good?"

I find this unbelievable. Occultic = "not good"? This just blows my mind at this level of intolerance.

The two-hour, premiere special, airing at 8 p.m. during what was once known as "the family hour," featured: A bloody knifing of a fawn; lesbian "romance" scenes; prayers to pagan gods, a girl vomiting up a snake, and more.

This isn't supposed to be Little House on the Prarie. It's Buffy. This writer's idea of "family hour" shouldn't be used to judge Buffy at all. And all the other stuff above makes it sound like it's a bad thing. While I don't have any kids, if I did, I'd watch it with them. Not only would it gives us something that we could do together, both Buffy and Angel both show the way reality is with the use of metaphor. Many shows just give surface stuff, where there is only a couple ways of looking at it. But they can't compare to the programing the writer is refering to. Buffy and Angel is always doing something different and work, much of the time, on multiple levels that many don't, or don't want to, notice. It shows that not everything is so cut and dry, that there are real dangers that people face, whether they are mystical or not and that there is not always a happy ending. They show that for most people life is a struggle with both the internal and external world. How people make mistakes and fall down, but they get back up again. Now that's life.

I just wonder if the author has watched more than this season's pilot and if the author is able to understand just what these shows are all about. This article may have written for a particular audience. But I view this article as "preaching" intolerance. It doesn't seem to be that the author doesn't want others to think differently.

[> [> The author has the same attiude as the Inquisition -- vampire hunter D, 18:26:58 01/01/02 Tue
[> [> Raised a Southern Baptist -- cjc36, 00:59:02 01/02/02 Wed
The Southern Baptist's view of things is pretty narrow (minded? yeh, I guess). I was raised in a Southern Baptist church, though I haven't gone to church in a long time, I still have the sense that I believe. Anyway, my point about all this: To a lot of fundamentalist Christians, any depiction of the occult is to be avoided. Somewhere in the KJV of the Bible it speaks against having anything to do with occult, be it witches or paganism or whatever. And some even think if 'it' (book, music, entertainment period) isn't praising God, then it's inherently evil. (KJV also speaks against a whole buncha things we all do every day, but I'll leave that for another topic)

I have relatives who won't watch Ghostbusters but will watch Rambo. Why? Cause Ghostbusters deals with 'ghosts' and that bothers their beliefs.

My take on BtVS/God thing is this: On Buffy, it's all metaphor. Demons/Withces/Vampires/monsters are fictional creations made to represent the trials of growing up into young adults.

But that's lost on the more fundamentalist types.
[> Oddly enough... -- Lilac, 19:26:37 01/01/02 Tue
given conservative's dislike of this show, has anyone else noticed how many ads are for Christian pop music during the FX reruns of Buffy? I have been struck by this in particular the last couple of days. I wonder if this is because, as my husband claims, the advertising time is cheap during these reruns, or if, as is my thought, the people selling this stuff know that their target market is watching the show so they can complain about it. You would think that anyone who would seriously consider buying one of those dreadful CDs wouldn't be caught dead watching occult/lesbian/weak male/whatever old Buffy.
[> [> Re: Okay, I have to say something here... -- MrDave, 20:20:31 01/01/02 Tue
Please refrain from making a personal attack on Christians. I AM a in my church. A strong beleiver in spreading the word and despite being a sinner am entitled to forgivness from my Lord and Savior.
I actually OWN several CDs of Christian Faith Music.

I am ALSO a fan and appreciator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and the folks on this board. Please do not assume that belief in Christ automatically makes one put on a dunce cap and spout idiotic statements.

I agree that the portrayal of our favorite television program is lopsided, transparently negative, incomplete, out of context, laden with innuendo, and frankly ...wrong. But it has and will serve its intended keep the "offending" material away from those that might possibly be offended by it.

I would never recommend to this group that you watch "Touched by an Angel" or "Miracles", or even "Mother Angelica" without placing in a context for YOU to appreciate it. But that is me. Were I to write about these fine programs from the perspective that the last few posts have taken, I might swear them off forever as:
Saccerin, Nazerine Loving, or Over-simplified claptrap.

We are big enough that we can appreciate criticism as criticism. Disagree with it (on a point for point basis) and then move on. Calling into suspect the character, religion, or motives of the critic is like swearing to murder Roger Ebert becasue he panned "The Lord of the Rings". Get some perspective!

Okay...Rant over.
[> [> [> He's right, ya know. We're better than that, are we not? -- OnM, 21:15:18 01/01/02 Tue
Your views are welcome here, MrDave, as are those of any practioners of any intelligent, thoughtful faith.

...but being an atheist doesn’t mean I don’t have respect for Jesus.

...... (quoth somebody or other just recently.)

[> [> [> [> Re: He's right, ya know. We're better than that, are we not? -- Hauptman, 22:29:04 01/01/02 Tue
Just for the record, I am offended by the poor journalism more than anything else. I do not have a problem with Christians or believers in any other faith. And I don't wish to be the cause of any hate.

Best wishes Mr. Dave.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: He's right, ya know. We're better than that, are we not? -- Forsaken, 16:18:13 01/02/02 Wed
I'll concede to your views Mr. Dave, they're more open minded than mine. I too am a Christian... a very odd one who sort of made up his own rules and values, but the center of my belief is the same God as yours. But at the same time I have many Wiccan friends (and have incorporated a number of Wicca like values into my own ways) and freely listen to Heavy Metal, Occult television, and so on. I remember that to anyone else my beliefs likely seem to be Occult as well. However, what does anger me is the fact that they decided to rally the troops and try to get the show taken off the air, as Spike Lover pointed out. I'd almost suggest (and in saying this I suppose I am) that we organize a big fan call/write in extolling praise to counteract any effect they might actually manage to cause.
[> [> [> Sorry if you were offended -- Lilac, 06:01:08 01/02/02 Wed
My point was more as to what I see as the contradictory nature of that advertising on this show. And I think the CDs are dreadful because they are bad music (from what I can tell from the ads) not because of what anyone's religious beliefs are. So , again, sorry if you felt attacked, but I still think it is an odd dichotomy.
[> [> [> [> Again, with the me saying "good point" -- Forsaken, 16:26:04 01/02/02 Wed
Those commercials coupled together with this article does seem to be something of a paradox, much like a demon in a human body (to quote Adam).
[> [> [> [> Re: Sorry if you were offended -- MrDave, 22:07:34 01/02/02 Wed
I am not offended. I am thicker-skinned than that. I was just calling a reality check. But I think that a letter writing campaign to this group from the "Chistians for Quality Television" to promote the virtues of shows like Buffy (which shows that the forces of good will overcome evil in any form despite being the minority force) or Enterprise (which carefully avoids the mention of any organized religion but manages to portray a civilization with a strong moral sense)...and even Harry Potter (where in the midst of strong occultist influences a young boy can discern the differences between good and evil - by the grace of God? Mmm, could be!). I think that an absurdist approach using the same terminology, framework, and pointing to the obvious problems of a myopic approach can produce the opposite response in the eyes of the esteemed competition.

Or not. ;)

Tounge firmly in cheek...MrDave
[> [> [> [> Re: Sorry if you were offended -- John Burwood, 05:12:33 01/03/02 Thu
Just subject of the CDs being advertised during Buffy, I would just say that from my experience the advertisers would put their ads where they think their target audience would be watching. I would also shrewdly suspect that the ad-men would be much more likely to be right about the tastes of their target audience than the spokesmen, campaigners, self-proclaimed representatives of such groups. Such spokesmen usually speak for themselves and a small vocal minority of the groups they claim to speak for.
Its an old story - those who make the noise get all the attention. Remember when Buffy & Willow were told of Jenny's death Joyce went to comfort Willow first, not Buffy. Why, because Willow was crying out loud so naturally got the first attention.
My point is that when the vocal minority of any group express an opinion on Buffy, or anything, and claiming to speak for the group - there is no reason to assume they are speaking for anyone except the vocal minority.
Such groups, whether Southern Baptists, gays, anyone, do not have collective minds - they can not be assumed to have collective opinions.
I go with the ad-men. They advertise on Buffy because they think their target audience are Buffy fans. Odds-on they are right.
[> [> [> [> [> reality is relative -- purplegrrl, 12:49:43 01/04/02 Fri
***My point is that when the vocal minority of any group express an opinion on Buffy, or anything, and claiming to speak for the group - there is no reason to assume they are speaking for anyone except the vocal minority.***

Which reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw a number of years ago -- The Moral Majority is Neither.

The point being is that each of us views reality through the tinted glasses of our own beliefs and experiences. And that reality may look nothing like the next person's. But it makes it no less valid.

I don't like how BtVS was portrayed in the article under discussion. But it is really nothing new. BtVS has been disparaged by one group or individual or another since it began airing (my mother calls it a "kids' show"). I try not to let it bug me too much. I don't always watch TV shows that other people think are fabulous just because they think I should. I try and make up my own mind about what I think has entertainment value, what I want to spend time watching. The article did not give what we believe to be a fair and accurate description of BtVS. But the author was viewing it through the glasses of their beliefs. This may dissuade other, similar-minded people from watching the show. But it may intrigue others to watch it and make up their own minds, and we may gain more fans.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Reminds me of another bumper sticker. -- A8, 18:09:35 01/04/02 Fri
My karma ran over your dogma. :-)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> and "Compost Happens" -- Stranger, 11:14:48 01/07/02 Mon
[> [> Re: Oddly enough... -- maddog, 12:03:21 01/04/02 Fri
As someone who's watching all the repeats I must be ignoring the commercials with Christian Pop in them....could you be more specific? Cause to my recollection I haven't seen a single ad for one.
[> [> [> Re: Oddly enough... -- Lilac, 12:40:54 01/04/02 Fri
I hate to even touch on this subject again, but I don't think you could have missed these ads if they had run in your market. The ones I referred to ran on New Year's Day and maybe New Year's Eve -- but I am in suburban Chicago, it is very possible that they didn't run in your area as I believe that most cable advertising is pretty localized.
[> Understanding the Christian World View of the Occult (Long) -- Shul, 22:57:14 01/04/02 Fri
Contrary to popular sentiment, i found the article to be well informed. Meaning I believe the writer did actually watch and understand buffy from her own World View. Most posters here might hardily disagree with this statement, but I believe much of the dissention comes from a failure to understand the writer's Christian World View.
Let me try to explain what i mean :)

Interpretation and Meaning:
She made a statement in her article "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,is television’s most occultic teen show" (im paraphrasing a very little)
This statement can be understood in basically two distinct ways. You could assume (some would say rightfully) that the occultic practices portrayed in BtVS should only be viewed in the context of the world/reality set up by Joss Whedon over the run of the show. The counter reasoning (that i believe she is using) is that scenes of occultic practices can not be adequately seperated from real life (our reality). I dont happen to agree with this reasoning, but i understand where she is coming from.

Buffyverse Point of View:
Willow kills the deer to use its blood in the ressurection spell. This is considered by most to be a non evil act, not neccasarily unselfish but generally not evil in itself. Bringing buffy back from a hell dimension is good and honourable, and killing the deer and using magic to achieve this end is fine because the deer as an animal has no intrinsic moral value (ie. a soul or sentience). Using magic is fine because in the buffyverse magic is not inherently evil or good, in the buffyverse magic is generally treated as a weapon or a tool. You could not for example say that a gun or a chemistry set is evil or good. It would completely depend on what was done with the gun/chemistry set.

Christian View of the Occult Point of View:
Using evil for what you percieve as just ends is not permitted in this world view (I agree with them on this particular point). When willow besached Osiris she was summoning the power of a pagan god, and as Christians do not believe in pagan gods, willow was therefore summoning the devil, not some ill-defined ancient power. This is not the reality set forth by Joss Whedon over the shows many episodes. This doesnt matter to them because from there point of view you cant adequately seperate fantasy from reality, especially when it comes to use of in there mind exclusively evil demonic energy (magic). So portraying the use of magic as morally just is like saying to them that summoning the devil to get what u want is morally just if its for a good cause. They therefore dont consider it appropriate on a tv show aimed at the impressionable teen audience. I must say that i would be puzzled if they did.

I hope this little post help buffyversers to better understand the Christian view of the occult. It is my hope that with greater understanding of each other comes lesser need and desire for hate and violence not that i wish to imply that said readers of this article felt or did such things. Also please forgive me if any of the text comes of as preachy or antagonistic, it was not meant as such. I also hope i have not mistated Carmelo Torres's position or spoken out of turn about this subject.
Please let me know what u think of this article :)
[> [> Kind of a mute point, but- -- Spike Lover, 14:19:27 01/06/02 Sun
You think that most viewers of the show did not consider the deer sacrifice as "stepping over the line" and possibly a bit evil?

On the contrary, I think we were suppose to see it exactly as that. If you did not see it that way, I have to wonder...

1) The first rule of Wicca is Do No Harm. Harm was definately done to the deer.

2) The blood was used to summon/or as an offering to a pagan Egyptian god. (Not the Wiccan "goddess", certainly not the Christian god.)

3) Third, and most damning, if killing the deer was not overstepping the lines and the viewers as well as the characters would not have thought it was 'over stepping the line', then why did Willow lie (or skirt the issue) to her friends? As you will remember, when they asked her what Vena Whatever was, she gave them the Latin translation of Wine of the mother, or whatever, rather than say, the blood of an innocent. Because when she called that fawn out to her, as I remember, she called out for the chosen, pure one.
[> [> [> the fawn -- skeeve, 08:56:38 01/07/02 Mon
To me, the killing of the fawn was in the same category as eating deer meat. Some people, presumably non-hunters, regard that as evil. So far as I can tell, the Scooby gang are all non- hunters. I'm not clear on whether knew what the wine of the mother was. Willow's claim that she got it on the black market suggests to me that they did. I don't know why they would think that made it better.

Anyone remember the embarrassment of the Russians who more or less literally ate Bambi? Maybe Willow did.

In Australia it's lot easier to get kangaroo meat than koala meat.
[> [> [> [> Re: the fawn -- Rahael, 09:30:00 01/07/02 Mon
I seem to recall a lamb getting trapped, providentially placed there, so it could be sacrificed to God, in the Old Testament. I also recall how Abel incurred God's pleasure by sacrificing livestock, and Cain his displeasure, for offering nothing more than agricultural produce. Is this the same God that asked for the sacrifice of Isaac? Or the same religion where one eats and drinks the symbolic representation of the blood and body of Christ?

Why was the sacrifice of the fawn an occult practice, but the sacrifice of the son of God a beautiful metaphor? In my opinion, the sacrifice of the fawn was a direct echo, and resonant of Christianity, not Occult practice, which most people are ignorant of anyway (certainly, I am).

Moreover, I agree with previous comments that magic is not treated as a neutral force in the Buffyverse. Mutant Enemy place it within a much stronger and responsible moral framework than C.S Lewis does for example. Exactly how 'occult' is a Midsummer Night's Dream? Does Oberon get punished for being unchristian? He seems to be completely unaware of the fact that he is a pagan being who by rights should not exist!! God forbid that literature, television and film should stimulate our imaginations. Because that's far too dangerous.

As a Christian, I feel that there are greater evils out there in the world - injustice, cruelty and poverty for example. But why bother doing anything about those, when we could be conducting witchhunts and being intolerant about tv programmes who try to deal with serious moral issues?

(now you can see why I've tried not to comment on this so far!)
[> [> [> [> [> Re: the fawn -- anom, 21:25:06 01/07/02 Mon
"I seem to recall a lamb getting trapped, providentially placed there, so it could be sacrificed to God, in the Old Testament. I also recall how Abel incurred God's pleasure by sacrificing livestock, and Cain his displeasure, for offering nothing more than agricultural produce."

A ram, actually--probably so its horns could get caught in the thicket. And in the Cain & Abel story, it never says the acceptance of one offering & not the other was because of what was offered; it does say Abel offered "the firstlings & the fat" of his flock--the best parts-- & Cain just brought "of the fruit of the ground." Cain was holding out! If he'd brought the firstfruits or the cream of his crop, maybe it would have been accepted, but there's not really enough to go on in the text.

"Is this the same God that asked for the sacrifice of Isaac? Or the same religion where one eats and drinks the symbolic representation of the blood and body of Christ?"

Hard to say--remember God also stopped the sacrifice of Isaac. There's even some commentary that says Abraham failed the test by being ready to sacrifice him--after all, God never speaks directly to him after that, only through messengers ("angels"). As for communion, I'm not sure how that relates, since it is symbolic--there's no new sacrifice taking place, it already happened. And as far as I know, Xtians never performed actual sacrifices, human or animal. (Jews, or at least Israelites, did make animal sacrifices, but no deer--just domestic beasts.)

I'm also not clear, now that it's being discussed this way, on whether the fawn was sacrificed to any deity or just killed to exchange its life for Buffy's & to obtain the "vino de madre." (Maybe I need to watch that part again before I say any more.)
[> [> Re: Understanding the Christian World View of the Occult (Long) -- JM, 11:51:12 01/07/02 Mon
I thought the explanation was well articulated. One of the most important things in developing an informed opinion is understanding where others are coming from.
[> [> Moose Piss! (Rant Follows) -- Eric, 20:51:25 01/08/02 Tue
Excuse my French, but Malarky, moonshine, BS, fiddlestickes and just sheer DRIVEL! Any Christians out there? Well stop reading NOW, 'cause you just MIGHT be offended. Hell, I might even offend some Pagans. The article in question is nothing more than propaganda bombast from a bunch of sorry narrow minded twits whose basic agenda is and always has been to control humanity's hearts and minds. Just go straight to the bottom where it encourages the mindless drones that read it to contact UPN to censor Buffy. This control impulse is NOT characterized by compassion and LOVE but fear. Its an anal attempt to ensure that their convoluted universal view is up held at all costs. I shouldn't have to remind anyone those costs have been dire ("Kill them all, God will know his own"). I would hesitate to even call it Christian, since other religions and at one time Pagans subscribed to their pathetic impulses. Yes Virginia, once upon a time Pagans burned Christians in the name of Patriotism and Family Values. But today they call themselves Christians, so that's the label I'll use. Christians that know better refuse to get a clue and seperate themselves. Anyway, these prudes are usually focused on a status quo that has its basis in shallow social conventions rather than religion or spirituality. Every positive social change in the past 200 years has been opposed by these idiots based on their morality. (excepting slavery and civil rights, on which they were divided - usually by the Mason Dixon) Their desire to inflict their views on everyone is even a burden to other Christians - books by C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein have been censored by these clowns. My favorite example of the two being the Chronicles of Narnia. Even their good works are tainted by their gross spiritual pride. "Charity" is from the Greek karitas - love of God AND man - i.e. helping someone out of regard for their humanity and one's own love for God. "Cold Charity" is a phrase from people forced to recieve it from this type of Christian. (pause for breath)

And Touched by an Angel SUCKS! There's more real spirituality in an FX commercial break than any one episode of that saccharine wonder.

But I'm getting off track now... Yeah, Christian View of the Occult. If anyone objects to my lumping Christians together in this rant, than they should damn well object to anything claiming to pin down what the Christian View of the Occult is. Many Christians, oddly enough, don't give a spit about the occult - don't know, care, or believe. Hell, some don't really care about God. Its just there's nothing good on the telly Sunday mornings. Others, I'm sure, really believe in vampires, ghosts, and witches with warts on their noses. To them BtVS portrays creatures, powers and supernatural threats that really exist! Watching Willow cast a spell might really provoke children into deals with the Dark Powers of Hell. Most are somewhere in the middle. But the moron Christian view swings either way according to their whim. In normal day to day matters they'll assert a limited rationalist facade and say that there is no true occult power or supernatural entity aside from God. Pursuits and interests along those lines are futile and meaningless. But when is serves their purpose, their equally quick to say Satan the Great Advisary lurks behind anything that smacks of imagination outside their limited view of the Bible.

As for the writer's "understanding Buffy" she did no such thing. To understand Buffy is to LIKE Buffy. If it was a REAL examination that just happened to be in a Christian forum she would have said something like: "BtVS has an attractive and talented cast with imaginative writers and seeks to explore powerful themes that most other shows cannot attempt to" and of course she would add "but it often is adverse to Christian beliefs and some values". But roses would just as soon sprout from her butt before she said THAT. She would be out of a job and exorcised from her Church.

Last bit: I'm going out of my way to push some buttons. But dammit Faith is a role for Eliza Dushku - not an excuse for stupidity! And I refuse to grant any type of credence to some scare sheet preaching to sheep because "it represents a point of view". Hitler had a point of view, and it was rejected too. As for the stinkin' fawn, if Willow was Evil in killing it for Buffy, than I'm probably Evil for eating cheeseburgers. And unlike Willow croaking the fawn, I enjoy a good cheeseburger. (rant ends)

PS: "The Innocent One" may be a metaphor for Willow's own innocence - since that certainly croaked with the fawn.

Current board | January 2002