February 2003 posts

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Attention! Help needed with massive undertaking! -- HonorH (the mad bard), 21:21:38 02/15/03 Sat

First of all, if you're not into fanfic, you can leave now. 'Bye!

Okay, for all of you who are left, here's the what: some time ago, a twisted and evil person named Camilla Sandman began punishing writers of bad "Lord of the Rings" fanfic by sending them to the Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth. If you're unfamiliar with OFUM, read at least the first chapter or so of this story. Number one, it's hilarious. Number two, it has direct relevance to the purpose of this post.

I have gained permission from Miss Cam herself to start up the Official Buffy & Angel Fanfiction University (OBAFU) and will start writing it shortly, just as soon as I finish "Tara Incognita" (which is almost done, for those of you who care). If you have a course to suggest, want to join the staff, or feel like you yourself should be forced to go to it for a year for crimes such as failure to use spellcheck, faulty characterization of one or more BtVS or AtS characters, being grammarically-impaired, or misspelling character names, please let me know. Here is a list of some of the courses that will be available:

--"BritSpeak 101: or, How To Write Your Englishman So He Doesn't Sound Like He Grew Up In Southern California," taught by Rupert Giles, Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, and William T. Bloody

--"Homoerotic Subtext: Fanon, Canon, or Point of View?" taught by Faith and Lindsey McDonald with Special Guest Lecture by Willow Rosenberg

--"Misunderstood Characters: or, How Not To Be A Basher," taught by Riley Finn and Buffy Summers

--"Getting Characters Right: Common Misperceptions and How Not To Get Caught By Them," taught by Dawn "Not A Whiner" Summers and Tara "I Don't Stutter" Maclay

--"Bad Guys Who Go Good and Good Guys Who Go Bad," taught by Willow Rosenberg, Anya Jenkins, Faith, and Darla

--"What's In A Name? or, How Not To Look Stupid," taught by Xander Harris (with mini-troll Zander) and Angel (with mini-troll Angle), with Guest Lecturer Cordelia Chase on proper nicknames (with mini-demons Delia, Cora, and Lia)

--"Fight Scenes 101: How to Write Action that Doesn't Suck," taught by Buffy Summers and Rupert Giles

--"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Demons in the Jossverse," taught by Lorne and Clem, with Special Guest Lecturers Rupert Giles and Wesley Wyndham-Pryce

--"Making Evil Different and Fun: Write Your Big Bads With A Difference," taught by a round-robin of The Master, Angelus, Mayor Richard Wilkins III, Adam, Glorificus, and Warren Meers

--"Elective Seminar 1: Minions and Their Uses," taught by The Master, Harmony Kendall, and Glorificus

--"Elective Seminar 2: Common Traps To Avoid in the Use of Magic," taught by Rupert Giles, Willow Rosenberg, and Tara Maclay

--"Elective Seminar 3: Keeping Your Skin Intact When You Don't Have Special Powers," taught by Xander Harris with Special Guest Warren Meers

--"Elective Seminar 4: Prophecy and How To Interpret Cryptic Predictions," taught by Wesley Wyndham-Pryce with Special Guest Drusilla

--"Elective Seminar 5: What's a Soul Got To Do With It? An Examination of Why Souls Matter," taught by Angel and Spike

Feel free to suggest additions to the course catalog. I look forward to working with you at OBAFU!

[> Re: Attention! Help needed with massive undertaking! -- Rhys, 23:10:15 02/15/03 Sat

"Avoiding Deifying and Demonizing: Discovering Flaws in Your Heroes and the Virtues in Your Villains," taught by Buffy Anne Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Anya Jenkins, Drusilla and Spike

"Lightning versus Lightning Bugs: Finding the Right Words for Description, Dialogue and Action," taught by Rupert Giles.

[> [> More Mini-demons For Miss Cam... -- Rhys, 00:41:25 02/16/03 Sun

Willow Rosenburg
Jenny Calender
Jenny Calander

[> [> [> Thanky! -- HonorH, 00:59:16 02/16/03 Sun

That certainly helps with my collection of mini-trolls and my class roster. I decided on miniature versions of Olaf, as they're easier to visualize. Among the others I've discovered (some at this very board):

Lindsay MacDonald
Scobby Gang

[> [> [> [> Re: Thanky! -- Kitkat, 04:53:45 02/16/03 Sun

What about 'Drucilla' ... urgh, I can't read a fic if her name is spelt this way!

[> [> [> [> [> Ooh, can't forget that! -- HonorH, 10:31:55 02/16/03 Sun

And Druscilla. I've seen both.

[> [> [> [> Re: Thanky! -- slain, 18:14:37 02/16/03 Sun


Surely this is a typo - or do typos count?


this was probably me. It is 'Lilah', right?

You could add the million and one spellings of Cartias, too. Personally I leant towards Karytos. Kind of Greek-looking.


The Major
Josh Wheedon (for postmodern fanfic)

[> [> [> [> [> Yes, typos count. -- HonorH, 19:33:11 02/16/03 Sun

Especially in fanfic. If the author's too lazy to add character names to spellcheck and run it, they deserve any mini-trolls they generate.

You could add the million and one spellings of Cartias, too.

You mean "Caritas"? ;-)

Thanks for Gilles. I was afraid he'd have to go without a mini-troll of his own. Hm. I think that just leaves Gunn, Faith, and Spike without one or two.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yes, typos count -- Rhys, 20:55:22 02/16/03 Sun

"Caritas" is Latin, not Greek.

I just found a listing for "Charles Gun" on a fanfic page, so I guess Gunn now has a mini-troll.

Other new mini-trolls:

Mr. Jiles
Daniel Osborn
Daniel Ozbourne
Daniel Ozborn
(I believe Oz spells his last name as "Osbourne," as in Ozzy Osbourne.)

The only person I've been unable to find a mini-troll for is Faith.

By the way, can we have a class in spelling, grammar and punctuation?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Grammar Boot Camps are required. -- HonorH, 22:20:38 02/16/03 Sun

And brutal. Students risk being pummelled to death by mini-trolls if they can't define the differences between there, they're, and their.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> hear hear! -- anom, 23:44:42 02/16/03 Sun

Yes, that's how it's spelled. Don't get me started on where/were/wear/ware.

And I'm hereby applying for a staff position at the Grammar Boot Canp! (At least I've never seen "hearby"!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You're in. -- HonorH, 00:37:18 02/17/03 Mon

You may also get a writer's workshop group inflicted upon you, but I promise you'll spend plenty of time beating good grammar and spelling into badfic-writer heads.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> you mean there would be inflicting done on the teachers, not just the students? -- anom, 18:15:39 02/17/03 Mon

Dunno about that writers' workshop--I do a lot better w/the results of the creative process than w/the process itself (well, when it comes to words, anyway).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> 1) You'd just be a facilitator. -- HonorH, 18:51:35 02/17/03 Mon

2) Since I'm writing this thing, you wouldn't have to actually *do* anything except lend me your name. Oh, and are you male or female, just so I can get that much right?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Female. Already said, in the "Thanks" message. -- Rhys, 00:36:48 02/18/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> hh meant me this time, rhys -- anom, 08:39:11 02/18/03 Tue

And HH, if you can convince me it matters whether I'm male or female, maybe I'll tell you...till then, you can use "s/he."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Have it your way, but be warned: -- HonorH, 15:04:33 02/18/03 Tue

If I can't figure it out, the students won't be able to. Hmm. Actually, this could be fun!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> REVOLUTION! -- Shiraz, 19:10:00 02/17/03 Mon

DEATH to the spelling Facists!!!

I have been under your oppresive yoke for nearly 30 years, but now I know your pathetic spelling rules are the frankenstein-like result of taking a Germanic language and applying French grammatical rules to them. In other words A PERVERSION IN AN OF ITSELF!

Furthermore, that English-American thing goes both ways. Giles and Spike may both be English, but the're both in Southern California, therefore:

Xander hands buffy a flashlight, not a torch.

Spike watches Passions on a T.V., not a telly.

Willow hits the vamp over the head with a wrench, not a spanner.

Gunn drives a truck, not a lorry.

The middle of Sunnydale is the town center, not the town centre. Likewise there is a theater there, not a theatre.


(feeling better now)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: REVOLUTION! -- Retread03, 14:06:04 02/18/03 Tue

Fie on the King's English. We won the war!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wanna be on staff, Rhys? -- HonorH, 22:23:16 02/16/03 Sun

You could run a Grammar Boot Camp, or be Course Coordinator, or even both. You wouldn't have to write, of course; I'd just borrow your handle.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sure! -- Rhys, 02:15:53 02/17/03 Mon

Happy to, either way. I'll write if you want me to, or you can borrow the handle if you like that better.

I would be brutal to those who mixed up "your" and "you're,"
"its" and "it's," "who's" and "whose." Those who created plurals by adding apostrophes ("girl's" instead of "girls," for instance)--well, I'm trying to find a punishment severe enough. Scorpion-tipped whips, perhaps. Anyone who used Internet abominations such as "ur" for "your" or "you're,"
"r" for "are," or "n" for "and" would suffer a fate infinitely more painful and more long-lasting than death.

Students would be required to know the parts of speech, including the different tenses of verbs, and the names of various forms of pronunciation. To graduate, students would have to demonstrate that they knew and understood how both parts of speech and pronunciation marks are used to create declarative, interrogative, imperative, exclamatory, compound and complex sentences, as well as independent,
subordinate, and conditional clauses. There would be tests on grammar at least once a week--two or three times, if possible, but I am assuming that most students would not be familiar with grammar and that it might take a while for them grasp the fundamentals. The tests would involve using words that I had chosen in grammatical sentences, and then parsing the sentences.

Despite the admittedly peculiar rules of spelling in the English language, creative spelling would not beacceptable in this class. It would be recommended that every student pick up a portable dictionary and learn how to use it; spell-check is a useful tool, but not a flawless one. Spelling lists would be part of the coursework, and students will be required to submit homework listing the spelling words, defining the words and using each word correctly in a grammatical sentence. There would be tests on the spelling words at least once a week, and more frequently if I felt the students required it.

How does that sound, HonorH? Brutal enough?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You are a person after my own heart. -- HonorH, 10:41:23 02/17/03 Mon

Speaking of which, if I may ask, what's your gender? I'd like to at least get the pronouns correct.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks! -- Rhys, 12:51:49 02/17/03 Mon

"Speaking of which, if I may ask, what's your gender? I'd like to at least get the pronouns correct."

Oh, sorry. Female.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Are student loans available? ;-) -- Cheryl, 15:10:51 02/17/03 Mon

Despite the admittedly peculiar rules of spelling in the English language, creative spelling would not beacceptable in this class. It would be recommended that every student pick up a portable dictionary and learn how to use it; spell-check is a useful tool, but not a flawless one. Spelling lists would be part of the coursework, and students will be required to submit homework listing the spelling words, defining the words and using each word correctly in a grammatical sentence. There would be tests on the spelling words at least once a week, and more frequently if I felt the students required it.

This sounds really brutal! :-) I'm assuming this course is for Americans only, then, and not Canadians or Brits - unless there is a prereq course for learning American English or whatever it is we speak here in the US?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'd say the class would be for anyone who needed it. -- Rhys, 03:04:27 02/18/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> As for Faith. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:15:38 02/18/03 Tue

There's no misspelling of her first name that I can think of right now, but there are a number of suggestions for her last name. These include (but aren't limited to) Jones, Winters, and (perhaps the most prominent) Jenkins.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Anya is Jenkins. Faith is Wilkins. -- Masq, 15:07:26 02/18/03 Tue

Although she might not claim that last name anymore.

[> [> [> [> [> & i think i've seen... -- anom, 22:13:59 02/16/03 Sun

...Guiles, as well as Josh Wheedon, Wheeden, & Weedin.

[> Another elective: -- KdS, 05:37:56 02/16/03 Sun

Elective Six: "Retcon: How to do it Correctly and How to do it Wrongly", taught by Angel, Spike, Darla and Anya.

[> Another Course That Should Be Required -- Rhys, 07:27:36 02/16/03 Sun

History 101--Knowing About The Past Before You Write About It." This class will feature the following series of lecturers:

1) The Master ("The Renaissance Man: A Look at the Politics, Food, Clothing, Names for Coinage, Customs and Beliefs of the 1400s"). Note: The Master has stated that he will require an essay explaining in detail and with footnotes how he can be of German descent although the country of Germany did not exist in the 1400s. Stating "Joss got the math wrong" is incorrect, and not recommended.

2) Darla ("The Jamestown Colony: Not Pilgrims, Not Puritans"). Special attention will be paid to the first group of women sent to the Jamestown Colony.

3) Angel and Doyle ("Faith and Begorrah: Why A Hollywood Irish Accent Isn't Enough to Evoke Either 17th-Century Or Modern Ireland").

4) Drusilla ("Victorian Britain Part 1: Catholicism in England, Cockneys and Convents").

5)Spike ("Victorian Britain Part 2: The Social Minefield--Etiquette, Custom, Occupation, Religion, Social Class and the Rules of Society" and "Victorian Britain Part 3: The Victorian Woman.") Special attention will be paid to the idealization of women in Victorian literature and art, and to the social perception that women were utterly superior to men spiritually while remaining their legal inferiors.

The possibility remains that History 202--including the Boxer Rebellion, the Great Depression in rural Montana, World War II, 1950s California, Woodstock and 1970s New York--may be taught next semester.

[> [> Love this one! -- HonorH, 10:36:13 02/17/03 Mon

Though one notes that Glenn Quinn's Irish accent was the Genuine Article.

[> [> [> Re: Love this one! -- Rhys, 12:33:12 02/17/03 Mon

Yes, HonorH, Glenn Quinn's Irish accent was quite genuine. However, I've seen some fanfic where Irish accents were mangled into something out of Disney's "Darby O'Gill And The Little People," so it strikes me as a good idea to teach people to avoid "Hollywood Irish."

[> [> [> [> Ah. Definitely a must, then. -- HonorH, 13:24:09 02/17/03 Mon

[> Sorry, thought of a very important one -- KdS, 10:30:20 02/16/03 Sun

"Closing down the Sock Puppet Theatre: How to Detect and Neutralise Self-Insertion", by Jonathan Levinson.

(Feeling guilty here, as I've been repsonsible for quite a lot of the Jonathons in the archives)

[> [> Actually, that's already a course--more or less. -- HonorH, 10:34:33 02/16/03 Sun

My friend Tanja came up with:

"Creating Your AU with Care", taught by Anya Jenkins and Jonathan Levenson.

Self-insertion will, of course, be lectured upon.

[> [> . . . and thanks for Jonathon the mini-troll! -- HonorH, 13:36:34 02/16/03 Sun

I was wondering if that mightn't be the correct spelling of his name, but UPN's official site and the shooting scripts all say "Jonathan". Therefore, I have a new mini-troll for the university. Thanks!

[> [> [> Still More Mini-Trolls... -- Rhys, 14:02:58 02/16/03 Sun


And a great page you might enjoy:


[> [> [> [> 1 more -- anom, 22:24:02 02/16/03 Sun


[> Two new course suggestions -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:35:49 02/16/03 Sun

"Great Continuity, Poor Continuity, and Too Much Contiutity" taught by Xander Harris and Andrew Wells, with Drusilla guest speaking on "How to Not Recycle Old Dialouge".

"What's Down the Road: Speculation and Future Fic" taught by Rupert Giles. Guest speaker: Dawn Summers on "How Old Is Old Enough for Sex Scenes". Required textbook: "The Peragamum Codex". All students will be expected to write at least one post-Apocalypse piece of fiction. *Note from Mr. Giles*: using a future setting to smooth over issues between character is strictly prohibited. All violators will be forced to kill off their favorite character permanently. Unless they happen to be Giles fans.

[> [> Wonderful! Thank you, Finn! -- HonorH, 16:53:45 02/16/03 Sun

Wanna dance with Dawn at the end-of-the-year student/faculty mixer? I can arrange it, you know.

[> [> [> Great! -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:22:20 02/16/03 Sun

As long as her older sister isn't around. She's scary!

[> LOL! Very funny stuff everybody! -- ponygirl, 16:54:52 02/16/03 Sun

I probably don't read enough fanfic to make suggestions but why should I let that stop me? Howsabout:

-- "Life After Death: Visions, Hauntings & Other Uses For Dead Characters" taught by Joyce Summers, Jenny Calendar, Tara Maclay (cancelled), Lilah Morgan (tbc)

-- "Anatomy 101: Physical Impossibilities, Sexual or Otherwise" taught by Spike and Buffy Summers. Note: this seminar is restricted to students 18 or older.

-- "The Dramatic Limitations of Happiness": a special guest lecture by Joss Whedon.

Looking forward to reading your story, HonorH!

[> [> Thanks, ponygirl! -- HonorH, 17:29:25 02/16/03 Sun

Actually, I was already planning on having an anatomy class for both fight and love scenes. Anya's insisting on doing the Love Scene Anatomy lectures, which should be . . . fascinating, to say the least.

[> [> [> Love Scene Anatomy Lectures... -- Rhys, 20:35:19 02/16/03 Sun

Well...I think Anya can teach the part of the Love Anatomy Class that pertains to Het love scenes, but you might need Willow to teach Love Anatomy for fem slash and Angel for Love Anatomy for m/m slash.

[> [> [> [> Re: Love Scene Anatomy Lectures... -- lunasea, 10:21:52 02/18/03 Tue

Angel for Love Anatomy for m/m slash.

how about a class about how Willow,Tara and Andrew may be gay, but that doesn't mean that everyone else is?

Come up with a decent title. I don't even want to think about it.

Another one, there is more required for fan fic than sex scenes. That isn't fan fict. That is just porn. Joss' universe deserves more than that.

[> [> [> [> [> Trust me, m'dear-- -- HonorH, 15:02:51 02/18/03 Tue

There will be plenty of crow for authors of pure smut to chew on. Fred will also be teaching a class on Slashability Quotients, the thrust (so to speak) of which will be that not everyone can or should be slashed.

As for the m/m slash lecture, I've decided to avoid controversy and have Larry teach it.

[> [> [> "Introducing a New Love Interest for a Major Character" -- Helen, 07:01:05 02/17/03 Mon

Part 1 "Getting it Right" by Anya Jenkins
Part 2 "Getting it Wrong" by Riley Finn

[> Just been reading "OFUM" -- KdS, 12:10:23 02/17/03 Mon

If making suggestions as detailed as this is presumptuous then I apologise in advance. You can set the Lusciously Lethal One on me if you want

Read the first quarter of OFUM today (no disrespect, but I'm too overworked and not a big enough Tolkein fan to read it all) and I thought that you need to make it clear (and point out the single biggest mistake that leads to Bad Buffyverse Fiction) that this is a more consciously dark universe than anything with Hobbits in it. Maybe have your viewpoint character writing a disastrous fic and getting grabbed off the street by Weatherby and Collins in a Prisoner stylee, drop some hints about the lack of absolute guarantee that students will survive to graduation, hint about what happened to the student who thought it would be way cool to be a vampire, or the one who broke all the laws of faculty/student ethics and common sense by trying to redeem Angelus with Pure Love ;-) (still receiving therapy, but now allowed to handle sharp objects under supervision)

Not saying don't make it light, just demon-neonate-in-the-hair light rather than walking-bread light.

[> [> Re: Just been reading "OFUM" -- HonorH, 13:27:43 02/17/03 Mon

Actually, in the opening scene, I had a portal open and tentacles drag an unsuspecting fic writer into the Jossverse, then dump her at the feet of Files and Records from Wolfram & Hart. As to the rest of your suggestions--you're remarkably perceptive, you know that? OBAFU will most definitely feature a "survive or fail" final and *plenty* of vampire education.

[> New required class: -- Shiraz, 19:58:04 02/17/03 Mon

"A colorful Arc" or "Surviving your third Episode": How to realistically portray a non-white character in a sci-fi/fantasy setting.

By Charles Gunn and Robin Wood Ph.D..

Special Guest lecturer: Avery Brooks.


[> [> Good Idea (NT) -- Rhys, 00:34:53 02/18/03 Tue

[> [> [> Thanks, I've been thinking about this a lot recently -- Shiraz, 07:12:59 02/18/03 Tue

[> One more before this archives -- Tyreseus, 13:44:28 02/18/03 Tue

Hey, not much into fanfic, so I almost skipped this thread, but it sounds fun after all. My suggestions:

"Sing-A-Long Slayer: Adding Punch to Your Story with Song (as theme, plot device or metanarrative." This class will be taught in the music department by Lorne, Oz and special guest lecture (aria) by Sweet.

Special Seminar, "Raise the Curtain, Metanarrating on your Themes, Foibles and Forum." Panel of experts to include Existential Scoobies All-Stars.

Finally, "Suppertime! Creative and Funny Ways to Eat School Principals." By the Mayor, Xander Harris and the Hyena Pack.

Gospels: Woolf, Duffy and Buffy (Long and Thematic) -- Tchaikovsky, 09:16:18 02/16/03 Sun

'There seems to a misunderstanding about feminism for some people. Feminism is not about one way of think, believing and acting. Most people, when the word feminist is brought up, thinks about equal pay for equal work and shared child rearing and household responsibilities. To the right extreme of feminism is the Lesbian movement, which is not about sex per se but women becoming a driving, socio-political, socio-economic power by banding together in numbers. Of course, you will find the "biological" lesbian also. Just saw "Something Blue" for first time today. When Riley jokes that he was a Lesbian, he might not have been joking (but being Riley, he probably way joking). Some men are "lesbian." To the extreme left are the women and men who believe that gender roles are very specific, with appropriate behavior and duties (i.e. staying home and raising the kids). A feminist statement could include a wide range of endings.'

-Deb, earlier this week


'Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. For Lucy had her work cut out for her. The doors would be taken off their hinges; Rumpelmayer's men were coming. And then, thought Clarissa Dalloway, what a morning- fresh as if issued to children on a beach.
What a lark! What a plunge! For so it had always seemed to her when, with a little squeak of the hinges, which she could hear now, she had burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into the open air. How fresh, how calm, stiller than this of course, the air was in the early morning; like the flap of a wave; the kiss of a wave; chill and sharp and yet (for a girl of eighteen as she then was) solemn, feeling as she did, standing there at the open window, that something awful was about to happen; looking at the flowers, at the trees with the smoke winding off them and the rooks rising, falling; standing and looking until Peter Walsh said, 'Musing among the vegetables?'-was that it?- 'I prefer men to cauliflowers'- was that it? He must have said it at breakfast one morning when she had gone out on to the terrace- Peter Walsh. He would be back from India one of these days, June or July, she forgot which, for his letters were awfully dull; it was his sayings one remembered; his eyes, his pocket-knife, his smile, his grumpiness and, when millions of things had utterly vanished- how strange it was!- a few sayings like this about cabbages.

-The marvellous opening of Virginia Woolf's 'Mrs Dalloway', currently one of the foundations for the acclaimed film 'The Hours'.


White Writing

No vows written to wed you,
I write them white,
my lips on yours,
light in the soft hours of our married years.

No prayers written to bless you,
I write them white,
your soul a flame,
bright in the window of your maiden mane.

No laws written to guard you,
I write them white,
your hand in my,
palm against palm, lifeline, hearttline.

No rules written to guide you,
I write them white,
words on the wind,
traced with a stick where we walk on the sand.

No news written to tell you,
I write it white
foam on a wave
as we lift up our skirts in the seas, wade,

see last gold sun behind clouds,
inked water in moonlight.
MNo poems written to praise you,
I wrote them white

-Carol Ann Duffy, taken from her latest collection 'Feminine Gospels'.


TCH: Lazy Sunday afternoon, nothing to do, and England have already won the cricket.

TCH's alter-ego, (let's call him Estragon), replies
Estragon: Well, you know those oddly esoteric posts you used to write, where Buffy came in right at the end as an apology? You know: Wittgenstein? Snow?

TCH: Yes

Estragon: Do one of those


Estragon: Oh, and by the way, I don't appreciate the entire reason for my existence being a way to introduce your essay- particularly as I'm just a cheap rip-off on OnM's Evil Clone.

TCH: Sorry


So here I am. I had one of those Saturday evenings where nothing much happens. On top of my inactivity in real life, the board was quiet, and nobody was in the chat room. I knew that this afternoon I'd have nothing to do. How, I thought to myself, can I jumble together various thoughts I've been having recently? Thoughts about empowerment, about feminism, about poetry, about prose poems, and inevitably about Buffy. This is my best attempt.

I don't know all that much about the specifics of feminism. Deb's paragraph above made me think very carefully again about just what it means to be feminist. There is a legacy of women writers, writing in English over the last two hundred years or so. Jane Austen, the Brontes, Christina Rosetti, Emily Dickinson, Virgina Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Attwood and Carol Ann Duffy, to rather ungraciously cull a few from a host of wonderful wordsmiths. Does their writing while female, (with, particularly in the earlier writers' cases, the whole canon of male fiction glaring distrustfully at them), immediately make them feminist? How exactly can we exclude certain women from being feminist? And exactly how do men become feminists? Does it involve a rather smug self-effacement? Where only words and texts are concerned, it is complex to go on the idea that a feminist 'empowers women'. It is a blunt difficult statement.

During thinking this, I have also had the pleasure of reading two female authors for whom I have as much respect as perhaps any other authors I have ever read. These two writers are Virginia Woolf and Carol Ann Duffy. Both of these writers give me an immense amount of joy. Somtimes it has to do with it being an explicit expression of women's rights that lightens my heart, making me think that the continued ignored debasement of women by aspects of the British media is being most wonderfully counteracted. Sometimes it has to do with the fact that I am getting an avowedly female persepctive on a situation usually commented upon by men. Duffy's previous collection 'The World's Wife', was a caustic, amusing, tragic and baeutiful selection of poems about the wives of various famous men, (Mrs Midas, Mrs Noah, Mrs Darwin etc). But sometimes it has to do with something apparently unrelated. In both Duffy and Woolf's work, there is an understanding of what it is to be human that is rarely matched elsewhere. What it is like to be alive, to be alone, to be aged, to be thrown into the rapids of existence of life in a canoe with a small hole and a paddle the size of a matchstick. How hard it is, and yet, we manage to find moments of wholeness, of truth and of joy that perhaps make it all worthwhile, for an hour or so at least. This is not really about them being female writers. It is about them being top-class human writers. Of hitting 180 with three darts more often in their sinuous symbols than most other contenders. About them not being feminist writers, but writers first, female second, feminist third. It's a puzzle to me.

Let me expand a little further on each writer individually, before drawing some threads together at the end.


'Mrs Dalloway' will rise (or possibly has risen), up the book charts like an opposite thunderbolt. This is because of the release of 'The Hours', a film I have yet to see. It has won multiple Oscar nominations, and has the director Stephen Daldry, (of 'Billy Elliot'), and actors Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf herself. I read an interesting comparison yesterday between the novel 'Mrs Dalloway' and the novel 'The Hours', from which the film is adapted. 'The Hours' follows three women, one Woolf herself, one living in the immediate aftermath of the Seacond World War, and one living in 'the present'. The lives of the three women are drawn together mesmerisingly. The 2001 woman, Clarissa Vaughn, finds herself becoming, in a sense, Clarissa Dalloway. Now I don't wish to go deep into this novel, because this essay will be long enough anywa, but what I take from this is that people still very much relate to Woolf's writing today. I certainly do.

I have read three of Woolf's novels; 'To The Lighthouse', 'The Waves' and 'Mrs Dalloway'. Each has what was in the 1920's a preofoundly surprising style. Drawing a little on Joyce's colossal 'Ulysses', Woolf polished and perfected the use of the interior monologue, and helped to breakdown the Victorian conventions which were stricturing to a revolutionary age in writing. Why, she wrote in a letter once, must I be so careful to fill the hours between lunch and dinner correctly? Life isn't like that. Nobody experiences life as an immaculately plotted quasi-mathematical puzzle with a tidy resolution. She also much admired Chekov, whose work her publishers helped to bring to a wider audience, and who once cliamed that after finishing a story, he would habitually cut the first and last paragraphs. Make the reader feel like it was a snatch of life; untidy, free- not a chapter, opened with uncomfortable exposition, ended with cheery insincere resolution.

This kind of writing entrances me. Woolf has the most magnificent prose style. Rather in the way that Austen can spin a whole story out of a minimally plotted soap opera by acute observations and a sense of being intrigued, so Woolf can make the most hastily conceived scene shimmer with an odd lighting, with weird similes that somehow work perfectly. It has a lot to do with her style, and, perhaps most importantly, the reasons behind the style. Woolf's interior monologue was important because it is, perhaps, more like how people really experience life. It doesn't really need to involve an intricate plot. It's about how the disconnected fragments of present beauty, of present company, of the spectre of the past, and of the distant hinterland of the future combine into one consciousness of 'nowness'. But it also has a quality which makes it, to me at least, the most powerful expression of self. In 'The Waves', we see how six people, three male, three female, live their lives, from early childhood to old age. Neville, Louis, Bernard, Susan, Jinny and Rhoda are all initially great friends, and yet, in each of the six of them, there is a profound feeling of growing apart, of being unable to express what exactly they are feeling, of being alone with only themselves. This theme is used somewhat more implicitly in 'Mrs Dalloway'. Peter Walsh, Clarissa's one-time lover who was refused marriage, can never express to her exactly how wondeful it is to see her again. Septimus Smith, the doomed shell-shocked soldier, cannot make the esteemed doctor, or tragically his wife, understand just what it was to be in the War, and to lose his friend Evans. His visions send him mad, and it's all down to the inability to communicate what is inside his head.

All these aspects of Woolf's work I admire. But they are all about general human perception, about what it is to be simply alive as a person. The problems and the heartache. Was Woolf a feminist at all? How does the answer affect the views we should take on her work?

Woolf was certainly a campaigner for women's liberation. She was also a startlingly skilled writer, and made herself an important and respected figure in the London circles of the '20's and '30's. Furthermore, reading some of Woolf's correspondences and essays makes one realise just what she was still up against in the writing fraternity, (as it was). She had a protracted correspondence with a chauvinist in one London magazine, who contended that women were just not as good at writing as men. How many famous women novellists have there been in the last 2000 years compared with men?, he asked ridiculously. Woolf responded with great patience that not only were there many that he had overlooked, but that to claim that the previous 2000 years was a level playing field for women who were usually much less educated than the corresponding men was ridiculous. The argument continued, with both sides garnering considerable support.

Writing freely in the 21st Century world, it is easy to be complacent, and somehow bury the fact that women did not have the vote 90 years ago in my country, and 75 years ago in apparently intellectual circles, women were routinely considered generally intellectually and creatively inferior to men. Woolf's writing may perhaps contain a rather implicit feminism that her non-fiction writings help to highlight. Firstly, in each of the novels I have read, Woolf has a strong female character who is somehow powerfully attractive (in the broadest sense) to both men and women due to her intelligence, vivacity and force of character. In 'Mrs Dalloway', the eponymous 'wife of a Member of Parliament' [as it says, seriously and therefore hilariously, on the blurb of my copy], is the most powerful character in the book. This is partly due to the solipsistic aspect that the interior monolgue necessarily suggests- simply, we are in her point of view most, like Buffy in BtVS. In 'To The Lighthouse', Mrs Ramsay has a power of cohesion that the other characters lack. The women here are shown to have a power over others, but a very human one. It's not the mystical fluttering elves Arwen and Galadriel in 'The Lord of the Rings'- mystical creatures 'we' will never quite understand. It's normal humanity.

So in equating men and women's thoughts, (and thereby implicity asserting there is no female inferiority), in allowing us to see primarily from the woman's point of view, (and thereby suggesting that there view is as important), and in writing powerful yet human characters, Woolf's work is certainly feminist, even if not in the somewhat evangelical way of a work such as 'The Female Eunuch'. Woolf's suicide was a tragic end to the life and work of a writer of genius.


Carol Ann Duffy is one of my little obsessions, and, you'll be glad to here, I mean only her writing. Britain's current Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, writes very occasionally tidy but usually dull and uninspired poetry. He recently caused a minor storm by coming out against war in Iraq. But Duffy's poetry is routinely unorthodox, challenging, visceral and intelligent, playful yet emotionally honest. When Andrew Motion took the laurels after the death of the magnificent Ted Hughes, many insiders claimed that Duffy was not considered for the role because she was a lesbian. It is sickeningly moronic of the powers that be in Britain, if, even covertly, she was blocked from the title because of her orientation. Of course, it may all be a vicious rumour, in which case only their ability to judge poetry is at risk. Duffy is the greatest living British poet.

Having made it quite clear why I think everyone who's got this far through the essay should buy 'Mean Time and Feminine Gospels', (so that's two or three then ;-)), let me comment on her new collection of poems. She starts by using a bizarre style of fable to try to elucidate some of the problems that women, (specifically) face in modern life. So we have a poem called 'Beautiful', effortlessly linking the lives of Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana. We have poems called 'Tall', 'Loud', 'The Woman Who Shopped' and 'The Diet', about women who grow miles high, can speak across continents, turn into a shopping mall and become so anorexic that she disappears entirely into the air, only for her essence to be eaten by a fat woman, and her to dwell with disgust in the stomach of said eater: literally a thin woman in a fat woman's body. There's something wondeful and disconcerting about the fables: they don't offer answers or even an emotion: just a story. And these stories are rarely allegories, but rather just stories to be taken how it pleases you. They are challenging, but they certainly are about modern life, and particularly modern life as a woman. They are, just as titled 'Feminine Gospels'. Testimonies of what happenned to some women. Testimonies of joy and power. So much so that, like the actual Gospels, it doesn't even matter whether they are true or not. There is something to be learnt from them. [NB: Of course, many people believe the actual Gospels are true, and I respect and admire that, but as many find them powerful even if not factually true].

The latter poems in the collection move away from these testimonies, towards a more general type of poetry. There is a most beautiful sonnet about Liverpool, where Duffy grew up. She re-visits it with a ferry ride across the Mersey, where the chosts of her childhood haunt her. The poem finishes with the atmospheric lines:
'Above our heads the gulls cry yeah yeah yeah
Frets of light on the river. Tearful air.'
The evocative aspect is not smudged by the allusion to the Beatles but enhanced, a rare feat. Also among these poems is one called 'The Light Gatherer' about the collection of knowledge, and the most elegant exploration of dying in 'Death in the Moon', the last poem of the collection and, to me, as moving as anything I've ever read.

Once again, we have the dichotomy. The woman who can write top-rate poetry, and who offers the female perspective on a sometimes too male-influenced world. And then the self-styled feminist writer, exploring precisely the woman's journey, how they try to fit in, how they can become empowered.

Nestled in among the two is the poem I have put at the top of the essay, 'White Writing'. This is the most delicate balance of the two in the collection, I believe. There's also the not specifically related theme of what Deb calls '"biological" lesbianism'. Duffy has rarely alluded to it in her poems, but here it is certainly a part of the inexpressible beauty of love. The first line 'No vows written to wed you', is literally about the fact that lesbians cannot marry in Britain. The ages of tradition and heritage have not catered for her feeling. Duffy then goes on to generalise. The mantra, 'I write them white' has mulitple layers of meaning. In her actions, she expresses her love without the need for the traditions for writing. In her poetry, she can express what it is to love without the need to be explicit about orientation. In her life, she can forge new traditions which can be reflected in how she sees the world, in her poetry. And, perhaps most powerfully of all, the love can transcend rules and restrictions. In the very essence of being outside the weight of tradition and heritage, it is new and fresh, and can be expressed without the need for orthodoxy so valued by the 'black writing' of the Church or the Council or of society. The apparently invisible white writing is the more powerful writing.

This poem is about feminism and lesbianism and human love. The three are intertwined meticulously and deliberately. Which is most important is almost a redundant question. All are part of one to Duffy, and her poetry reflects both an exploration of universal themes, and thoughts about her own specifics, be they Liverpool, Stafford, teaching or lesbianism. Of course, the specifics are beautiful and add depth and honesty to the vision. But the universal themes of life come bustling through, even when Duffy is at her most idiosyncratic and personal. Perhaps this is the sign of a great writer.


Joss Whedon has one major disadvantage from Woolf and Duffy in his creativity- his maleness. Sometimes, perhaps, we search for feminist leanings in Woolf that are not there, (maybe I've just done that. Oh well). And it feels very easy to tell when Duffy is relating a feminist subtext through her poetry. Whedon is not female. So when he says he is setting out to create a feminist show, one about empowering women, (hilariously subverted by Andrew recently though), we must judge him entirely on the product, without lazily falling back on real life.

In a sense, this makes Whedon's achievement as great as Woolf's and Duffy's. I would be wary to equate his writing prowess: although anyone who has read my posts in general will realise how highly I rate Whedon, I personally love Woolf and Duffy even more. But in terms of creating an explicitly feminist message? I believe he has done a quite staggering job. Why?

Because, as I have written, he is a man, who has invented a show about a physically strong and attractive woman. But it would be all too easy to fall back on the argument that he merely puts Buffy up there as a physically attractive character who is therefore not a role model for strong women. As she has inherited a mystical power, she has somehow been endowed, in a rather male sense, with power that is not really hers. It is only through creating a character who is actually intelligent, powerful, emotionally realistic, and as importantly somewhat flawed, that he can ward off arguments that the show is really about 'hot chicks kicking ass' [I find it difficult to type that. My Giles-ish prudishness and love of the show's complexities coming out]. This is a feat different and yet as powerful as Woolf and Duffy's achievements.

And of course, like Woolf and Duffy, Whedon is able to transcend the feminist aspect of the show often enough when he wants too. It is not a prescriptive or restrictive feminism. Cordelia can be mocked. Giles can be strong and right. Xander can be empowered, and so men don't have to be useless just so the women can be strong.

Perhaps the most generous thing which can be said about Whedon's first creation is this. We may have trouble restricting or defining feminism. Feminism is a difficult, complex, broad umbrella, as Deb describes. But like Duffy and Woolf, we know that Whedon's writings are certainly feminist. The idea that they are empowering women is too simple a reason why. It is a reason why. But it will never fully satisfy all the definitions and connotations that we may wish to give to the vast movement which uses that one word nowadays. Sometimes, BtVS might appropriate feminism for it's own uses. But much more often, without being explicit about just what it is out to prove, and without being heavy-handed about the metaphors given, it just seems feminist. Like Woolf and Duffy, Buffy is somehow an iconic text for the movement itself. It might just transcend simple arguments about the definition of 'feminism', in helping culture to define the very idea itself.

This means, of course, that Joss Whedon will take his seats among the feminists, (and lesbians?) of the past and present. And one thing you can be sure of, is that he'll make them all laugh.

TCH- who notes with pleasure the concealed gender of the author of this essay.

[> Printing... -- Angela, 09:43:11 02/16/03 Sun

At the office today, so have only skimmed this so far but many thanks.

Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.
The room is turning slowly away from the moon.

I don't think I've ever read a statement about feminism that felt to me as if it captured the whole of the idea nor one which felt as if it even began to capture the whole of me. The show however, it does seem feminist to me. It's very hard to pin this down with the smallness of words; but, it feels feminine and painful and joyful and alive, and that's why I love it.

[> Re: Feminine Gospels: Woolf, Duffy and Buffy (Long and Thematic) -- Rahael, 13:19:26 02/16/03 Sun

I always read your essays with great enjoyment. This is no exception.

But my enjoyment is tinged here because of a longstanding prejudice against Woolf. I am afraid I came to her prose with an intention to dislike, and of course, my conclusions are predictable.

You admonish me without realising it, saying not to fall back lazily on real life to assess her work. My dislike of her is tinged both by the history of the Woolfs in the colonies, and by a statement tinged with fire, which does not allow me to read her books as I read other authors books. I feel that I am physically barred from the narrative. I do not belong, I am dismissed. Should I judge an author on a throwaway comment?

I still read Larkin with immense pleasure, but that's because I feel that within his work is contained a sense of cynicism, of self loathing, a cold clear eye to his own faults, of himself being his first judge. There are no illusions within his poems. He is the "less deceived", and his aim seems to undeceive us about himself, his life, ourselves.

Now I'm wondering. Should I try to read Woolf again? Or on the balance, of it, just pass by her with a shrug, thinking, life is short, and I want to reread A La Recherche at least five more times. And you know, finish reading Thomas Mann's novels. I know I'll probably find it instructive, but wonder whether I'll ever find the joy you find - after all, you can feel you find something redressed, and I would not be able to find that.

All of this of course simply illustrates the complexity of the feminist movement! LOL.

[> [> Understand totally -- Tchaikovsky, 00:40:57 02/17/03 Mon

I personally haven't read anything about what the Woolfs did in the colonies, and so am unqualified to comment in that way. There's an interesting question as to whether any author should be dismissed because of their real life opinions, if they appear not to cloud the work, but I think I may leave that question hanging, as it's too early in the morning for me to give a lucid personal response.

But there are certainly enough books in the library to mean that avoiding Woolf is not a great loss. By default, I'd adivse you again to read Duffy if you haven't. No such controversial baggage, (as far as I've heard), and just wonderful, thoughtful writing.

Incidentally you imply you've read A la Recherche all the way through already? Wow. My question back to you is, can I avoid reading Proust? Is there a good translation in English?

[> [> [> I love Duffy -- Rahael, 02:42:58 02/17/03 Mon

And have quoted her here before! Though I should really buy a collection - which would you recommend as a good introduction?

I remember first encountering her when the Guardian printed one of her poems as their 'poem for the day' a very long time ago. And this was at a time when I didn't really like poetry, and it still stuck in my head!

As for Proust, I recommend the updated translation of the Kilmartin one. I prefer the updated one because I believe it's more accurate and less conciously poetic than the earlier. The earlier is titled 'In remembrance of.....' and the newer one is 'In search of lost time'. I would do anything to be able to read them in the original (expect of course to spend many years learning and perfecting french, lol), but will have to content myself to translation.

I read all the volumes one summer, my first Long Vacation from University. I was working at a summer job where my employer did not mind me reading when things were slow, and I read on the way to work, at work, on the way back and in the evenings as if I were gripped by a fever. I literally could not put them down. Because of the intensity, and the length of uninterrupted time I spent immersed in them, it really was an incredible experience which stays with me. I'd love to be able to repeat it all the way through again. But it's an undertaking i find daunting - I feel that I should be as prepared as if I were going for a long journey, and I will know just when it's right to set off!

Can you avoid reading him? I'd say the same thing you said about Woolf - he brings me joy. There's an incredible part of the novel where Proust talks about this particular melody, and it's just an amazing piece of prose, making you feel as if you too can hear it, weaving and winding between the words.

It's an awe inspiring work that makes you glad to be alive, glad to have been able to read it. But that's just me, of course!

[> [> [> [> Recommendations -- Tchaikovsky, 04:51:26 02/17/03 Mon

Well, I believe my Father has a 'Collected' Carol Ann Duffy, which I suppose might be the best if you want strictly an 'introduction'. But I always find that rather like buying a 'Greatest Hits' album. With modern poetry at least, the poet's juxtaposition of poems is important. In this regard, I think that 'Feminine Gospels' is her most mature work, 'Mean Time' is perhaps her most accessible work, and 'The World's Wife' is definitely her funniest collection, although there are still moments that 'make you glad to be alive, glad to have been able to read it', as you put it. Those fragments of beauty that suffuse her work.

So pick any of those four as you will. Thanks for the Proust recommendation. I might attempt to copy you and read it over the summer, but the sheer volume of it would need a single-mindedness that I am not sure I possess. As much as I loved both 'Ulysees' and 'Moby Dick', they took me several months to read each. And then I'd be multiplying up by tenfold...


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Recommendations -- Caroline, 13:27:19 02/17/03 Mon

Many thanks for the recommendations (and your lovely initial post). I'll rush out and get it as soon as the 2 feet of snow melts from outside my front door! (I'm currently re-reading Yeats because Angel has inspired me and then that always leads me back to Jung - but what doesn't?). I would also second Rah's views on A La Recherche - I've read it once through in English on a rather idyllic summer vacation in my late teens and it was the thing that prompted me to start growing up - I'm completely serious about this point. I've tried reading it in French but reading French newspapers and a few novels does not really prepare one for Proust. (And I thought I was so cool because I could read Luce Irigaray and Annie Leclerc - ha!)

PS. So happy that England are finally winning something in the sporting arena - but then they're not playing Australia, are they?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Ouch!! -- Rahael, 02:30:27 02/18/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -- Tchaikovsky, 03:18:52 02/18/03 Tue

In the last month, we've managed to lose to Australia in rugby league, (world club championship), cricket (as always), tennis (although Henman and Rusedski were injured), sailing, (even though we topped the medals table for sailing at the Olympics), and then most recently football, (which really is an embarassment). We only even won the cricket against the non Test-playing Holland!! So I think that your sporting supremacy is entirely secure. Somebody in Australia wrote on a message board, (not this one) after Australia's victory in the football last week that Saddam Hussein should be rubbing his hands together with glee!

Ah well, if we pull off an unlikely victory against Australia in the cricket world cup, I will start a special thread! Otherwise I will pretend it never happened.

And on the other points: I'm deeply impressed on the combination of reading the Proust in English and reading any literature in French. This board's inhabitants never cease to amaze me. And thanks.


[> [> [> As Auden said... -- Random, 05:21:36 02/17/03 Mon

"Time that is intolerant
Of the brave and innocent,
And indifferent in a week
To a beautiful physique,

Worships language and forgives
Everyone by whom it lives;
Pardons cowardice, conceit,
Lays its honors at their feet.

Time that with this strange excuse
Pardoned Kipling and his views,
And will pardon Paul Claudel,
Pardons him for writing well..."

Three excised verses from the third part of "In Memory of W.B. Yeats." (They originally appeared as stanzas 2-5 in the 3rd section. If you can locate a pre-1950s edition of Auden -- as I did, whoo-hoo! -- they'll be there.) Auden reportedly demanded that they be removed after apparently deciding that Claudel had gone too far in his views and wouldn't be excused.) Anyhoo, it's obviously an argument for art trumping the artist's real-life views and lifestyle. With Yeats (one of my absolute favorites), I believe that's true. As a general empirical rule...well, I think I believe it, but I still have a problem with Kipling's jingoism. It irks me a little. But that creeps into his art, so maybe I'm not a hypocrite after all. But this Woolf thing...what's the deal? Never heard about it. Want to, though. Could somebody please clarify?

Oh, and good essay, TCH. Haven't read Duffy lately (but I think I got a surfeit of feminist texts in grad school. Necessary reading, to be sure, but too much of any ideology in the academic sphere can lead to burnout.)

[> [> [> [> Wow! Great catch! -- Tchaikovsky, 05:45:20 02/17/03 Mon

I love 'In Memory of WB Yeats' deeply: it's one of my favourite Auden poems, and I think the three sections complement each other very well. There's also those few rather scary lines about Europe:
'In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate.'

But I had never seen those excised stanzas from the third section. It's interesting that he wrote them; but even more interesting that he removed him. Shows that Auden struggled with this problem of art vs real life opinions too. I personally don't quite know. I have no problems with other people not reading authors because of what else they have said. Whether I personally discount them I don't know. One poet that irks me is Rupert Brooke, but that's because what his poems stood for was something that I find repugnant, the idea that England is somehow better than other countries and races- that we can somehow idealise England as being perfect in the Victorian era- and also that for the sake of patriotism it is wonderful to send yourself to death. Don't read Brooke, read Owen or Sassoon, I want to shout at innocent passers-by! But that's because of the actual poetry. With Woolf, I don't find anything objectionable in the actual novels, so I enjoy them.

Hmm, that was rather stream-of-consciousness. Anyway, thanks Random for an intriguing poetic footnote.


[> [> [> [> [> "The Soldier" versus "Drummer Hodge" -- Rahael, 06:24:59 02/17/03 Mon

I agree with your assessment of Brooke, TCH.

What's interesting about the 'forever England' is that it is in some ways an echo of a much more interesting, complex, subtle and angry poem about war. I include both poems below:

The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke

Drummer Hodge

They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
Uncoffined - just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
That breaks the veldt around;
And foreign constellations west
Each night above his mound.

Young Hodge the Drummer never knew -
Fresh from his Wessex home -
The meaning of the broad Karoo,
The Bush, the dusty loam,
And why uprose to nightly view
Strange stars amid the gloam.

Yet portion of that unknown plain
Will Hodge forever be;
His homely Northern breast and brain
Grow to some Southern tree,
And strange-eyed constellation reign
His stars eternally.

Thomas Hardy

Hardy's poem isn't nationalistic. It mourns the death of one human being, sent away to a war he cannot comprehend. Betrayed by his country of origin, he finds his home, and his rest and his peace in a southern tree, watched over by strange eyed stars. This is no tribute to a glorious war, or to a patriot. It transcends nations and individual wars and skirmishes. It is pitiful, and moves its focus from home and foreign lands to the mercy afforded by nature.

I think the contrast totally undercuts Brooke.

[> [> [> [> [> [> This is my idea of heaven! -- Tchaikovsky, 07:14:29 02/17/03 Mon

First Random's note about the Auden poem, and now a poem which shows Brooke up! The two poems are perfectly contrasted. Two young men going off to war and dying for their country. Buried in the foreign fields. But for Brooke, there is an Otherness in the dust of the soldier:
'there shall be/ In that rich dust a richer dust concealed', while in the Hardy poem it all becomes one: 'Yet portion of that unknown plain/ Will Hodge forever be.' Hardy's poetry is bleak and beautiful. Didn't I hear somewhere that he stopped writing his incredible novels because he was criticised for his social realism? Anyway, it's almost as if Hardy deliberately undercut Brooke here, although presumably 'Hodge' was written first.

We're getting gloriously off-topic, but I for one am enjoying it. Sorry Masq!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh, me too!! -- Rahael, 07:37:30 02/17/03 Mon

I like Hardy's novels, but I love his poems. Yes, he was disappointed by the hostile reactions to the novels, but his real love was poetry, and that was what he spent the remainder of his life writing.

I believe that the Hardy poem so uncannily answers Brooke because (Hardy's was the earlier) the Brooke poem was probably pretty derivative, and Hardy's poem uses common ideas/symbols to totally undercut prevalant views of war and sacrifice.

In his longer poem, the Dynasts, another poem about war, he concentrates on the field where the battle is conducted, and its little inhabitants, their bodies torn, their homes destroyed.

This is my current favourite Hardy poem, a worthy epitaph written for himself:


When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
"He was a man who used to notice such things"?

If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink,
The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
"To him this must have been a familiar sight."

If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
One may say, "He strove that such innocent creatures should
come to no harm,
But he could do little for them; and now he is gone."

If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand
at the door,
Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
"He was one who had an eye for such mysteries"?

And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom,
And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
Till they rise again, as they were a new bell's boom,
"He hears it not now, but used to notice such things"?

Thomas Hardy

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Marvellous- and to that: Shakespeare -- Tchaikovsky, 09:04:11 02/17/03 Mon

I think I prefer the Hardy, because it's very personal. In it, however, we are reminded of how Hardy's memories live on twice- once through the people who knew him, and then again through the people like us who know only his poetry. And in doing so, as you say, he writes his own epitaph. But there's usually a relevant sonnet. Here it is:


Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death, and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.

And of course, it ties in with war, which Shakespeare pertinently calls 'wasteful'. How relevant is this both to the Brooke/Hardy dichotomy and the present state of the world?

TCH- who wonders whether we shouldn't start a poetry board!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Mutant Enemy Poetry Board -- fresne, 10:12:49 02/17/03 Mon

Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus.
Now is the time for drinking, now free feet will beat the earth.

Well, in a few weeks comes the winter of the viewer's discontent. Perhaps, as we wait and wait and wait, we can discuss mutating threads of poetry in this our electronic salon.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> no, no--call it... -- anom, 10:10:54 02/18/03 Tue

...All Things Poetic on (or off!) BtVS! Um, Vaguely Related to BtVS?

fresne, would you happen to have the Latin original of a quote from Horace/Horatius that I have framed on a wall? It says, "How lovely it is to be silly at the right moment." I'd love to know how it's said in Latin!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I believe you're looking for... -- fresne, 12:44:50 02/18/03 Tue

Misce stultitiam consiliis brevem: Dulce est desipere in loco

Mix a little foolishness with your prudence: it's good to be silly at the right moment

by Horace.

Based in no way on my knowledge of Latin, which is quite similar to non-existent, but on my superior (Superior I say) research skills and a complete disclination to be productive.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Owen is the poet for this time -- luna, 12:15:09 02/17/03 Mon

I've taught this in class, but it's almost too painful, too close:

Dulce Et Decorum Est
by Wilfred Owen
First Published in 1921

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

The Latin means "it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And how fitting - thanks luna. -- Caroline, 20:26:30 02/17/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> There's always a sonnet for every occasion! -- Rahael, 15:20:31 02/17/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Yeats and Owen -- Caroline, 20:57:11 02/17/03 Mon

I'd like to add some of the war poetry that affects me deeply:

An Irish Airman Foresees his Death: WB Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the cloud above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likey end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, no duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

I've always been intrigued by that 'lonely impulse of delight' and the haunting awareness of motivation as well as outcome.

Like many in this thread I am also a fan of Owen and his Strange Meeting always chills me to the bone. It is a meeting in Hades of two soldiers who had 'jabbed and killed' each other which echoes some of the same symbols that Yeats has used:

'Strange, friend,' I said, 'here is no cause to mourn.'
'None,' said the other, 'save the undone years,
The hopelessness.'

When I contrast this to the nationalistic poetry of Brook and the much earlier war poetry represented by someone like Richard Lovelace ('I could not love thee Dear, so much,/Lov'd I not Honour more.') it's a great stride forward.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> In Memoriam -- Rahael, 03:16:50 02/18/03 Tue

In Memoriam (Easter, 1915)

The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood
This Eastertide call into mind the men,
Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should
Have gathered them and will do never again.

Edward Thomas

(Killed the day after Easter 1917)

I really love this subtle poem so I thought I'd chime in. I love the moving contrast between the unpicked flowers and the missing young men. The flowers, which should be symbols of love, fertility and spring become instead funeral wreaths. April is the cruelest month.....

Thank you for introducing me to 'Strange Meeting' which I had encountered before.

Agree completely about Lovelace. Again, though, the contrast with a contemporary really undercuts. Marvell's magnificent Horation Ode, perhaps the greatest political poem - satirical, ironic, its judgement as keenly balanced as Cromwell's sword and the blade that separates the Head of State from its Body. Again no glorification of war or regicide, but also a recognition of how England was being cast into another mould by a new Caeser. It's written at a crucial, uncertain time in British politics, no one knowing what Cromwell would do next (heh. Neither did Cromwell!). Marvell describes it superbly.

And just a note about Hardy again. In 1914, Hardy wrote a poem called Channel Firing, which describes skeletons of the 19th Century, whose peaceful rest is disturbed by 'Channel Firing'. They think it is judgement day, but

God cried, "No;
It's gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

and the poem ends:

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Never encountered, I meant to say! -- Rahael, 03:18:13 02/18/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Strange Meeting -- Caroline, 06:10:33 02/18/03 Tue

And thank you for the Hardy poem - I have never encountered that and will look for it.

I mentioned Lovelace because I could remember that quote off the top of my head without looking it up but I can see that I will have to look at the Marvell poem, which I must admit I haven't read in about 20 years now (oh how the years go by). But since you haven't encountered Strange Meeting before, I've looked it up and here it is - I hope you enjoy!

Strange Meeting


It seemed that out of battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall,
Buf his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that visions's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or donw the flues made moan.
'Strange, friend,' I said, 'here is no cause to mourn.'
'None,' said the other, 'save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something had been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled,
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery,
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels,
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now....'

How delightful to share poetry!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Delightful indeed! -- Rahael, 07:28:20 02/18/03 Tue

Thank you for sharing that last one with me! I love that last line especially - "let us sleep now....."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Calls to mind... (sp 7.3) -- Tchaikovsky, 08:36:44 02/18/03 Tue

That Spike speech in 'Beneath You': 'Can we rest now, Buffy? Can we rest?' How much agony has Spike been through, how much torment and attempt at pennance in realising his wrongs of a hundred years. And yet he cannot rest, ever from trying to become 'a kind of man'. How far away rest seems to Spike and Buffy, and how glamorous it can occasionally look, on those days when the words come out backwards. On the days when you fall down the stairs in a lecture theatre, and leave your rucksack in a hall in Coventry. On the days when you wonder if it will ever be possible to communicate truly with other people, corporeal or electronic.

But then there are fragments of beauty. Bag retrieved by concerned conductor. No bones broken in accident. Darby's post, poetry, 'a soul in his heart'. No matter what a grind life is, there are always moments. Perhaps for every struggle there is a gift. Perhaps for every joy a punishment. But at least we do not die in the games the authorities choose to play. At least we must not go to war for principles in which we do not believe. At least there is some freedom. Some Hope. For now.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yes! -- Caroline, 10:57:18 02/18/03 Tue

I think that you are right - two people who have wounded each other and wish to stop the wounding from continuing - they realize the futility of it all. Spike no longer wishes to engage in battle with Buffy - the lessons are hard-won and he, like the soldier, realizes the lack of opposition between them, above or below. Spike cannot undo the years and I think that now in his atonement, he would like to go up and wash the blood from the chariot-wheels 'with truths too deep for taint' and he does not wish to do it 'through wounds'. I think this is where Spike is now - not wishing to harm anyone or anything - at least that's how I interpret his lack of fighting prowess now. I agree with you that Spike cannot sleep or rest but the desire for oblivion is there.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Et puis zut ! -- Etrangere, 12:19:55 02/18/03 Tue

One of the Poème à Lou

J'écris tout seul à la lueure tremblante
D'un feu de bois
De temps en temps un obus se lamente
Et quelque fois

C'est le galop d'un cavalier qui passe
Sur le chemin
Parfois le cris sinistre de l'agace
Monte. Ma main

Dans la nuit trace avec peine ces lignes
Adieu, mon coeur
Je trace aussi mystiquement les signes
Du Grand Bonheur

' mon amour mystique, ô Lou, la vie
Nous donera
La délectation inassouvie
On connaîtra

Un amour qui sera l'amour unique
Adieu mon coeur
Je vois briller cette étoile mystique
Dont la couleur

Est de tes yeux la couleur ambigüe
J'ai ton regard
Et j'en ressens une blessure aiguë
Adieu, c'est tard.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Et puis zut ! -- Caroline, 13:55:28 02/18/03 Tue

Oh, Ete, I just posted that poetry makes me go weak at the knees. Well, French poetry just knocks me out! I have never read much poetry in French but this one is achingly beautiful. And poems are shorter than novels - yay! There were so many beautiful images here:

'un obus se lamente' - a shell that has been fired that laments its own firing, its own capacity for destruction.

'Ma main/Dans la nuit trace avec peine ces lignes' - you can just feel the pain and perhaps lingering death of this person who is letting go of life and seeking paradise 'Grand Bonheur'.

'La délectation inassouvie/ On connaîtra' - the unsatisfied delight - that evokes the ending of all hope

'Adieu, c'est tard' - that evokes the last line of Strange Meeting as well as Spike's monologue in Beneath You. There are many who have experienced the coming of death and in fact long for it when hope is gone. How appropriate.

Thank you so much for bringing this beautiful poem. I see that I will have to add Appollinaire to my reading list.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wow thank you ! -- Etrangere, 15:12:02 02/18/03 Tue

I didn't think many people could understand that post but your answer made it definitly worth posting !
Yes I love Appolinnaire, he's a very musical poet.
This one is very simple (it's only a letter afterall) but beautiful in the emotions it contained. I had it as a french exam ;)
Thank you for your answer !

[> [> [> [> [> The poetry of war -- Random, 12:19:44 02/17/03 Mon

"Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And toward our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick boys! -- an ecstacy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And floundering like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile incurable sores on innocent tongues --
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori."

Wilfred Owen "Dulce Et Decorum Est"

I wrote that from memory -- Owen is extremely powerful and I doubt anybody could rate Brooke highly in contrast to Owen, Sassoon or even Isaac Rosenberg -- whose fate mirrored Owen's, though his poetry wasn't quite at the same level. Well, maybe. It's certainly powerful stuff:

"...Here is one not long dead;
His dark hearing caught our far wheels,
And the choked soul stretched weak hands
To reach the living word the far wheels said,
The blood-dazed intelligence beating for light,
Crying through the suspense of the far torturing wheels
Swift for the end to break,
Or the wheels to break,
Cried as the tide of the world broke over his sight."

from "Dead Man's Dump"

But what about the poetry of war and BtVS? The show is, after all, about a war every bit as tragic and senseless as any of the more conventional wars of history. We have martyrs, victims, the generals, the common soldiery, the heartbroken family waiting at home, the unlikely heroes proven by circumstance, and, most of all, the trial by fire of ideals and dreams and illusions -- some of which don't survive. Poetry exists already, from William the Bloody's bloody awful romantic odes to the prophecy poetry of Cassie to the regular use of apt song lyrics (both by bands on the show and as part of the musical score) to reflect the themes and events on the show...the show perhaps needs a corpus of war poetry. The nameless -- and even the named -- victims provide, as surely as any poem by Sassoon, a chance to examine the true pathos of the conflict that takes place on BtVS and AtS. Back in "Lessons," the manifest spirits were far more profound a concept than they seemed -- for seven years, the Scoobies have been fighting a war, and it seems not unlikely that hundreds of innocents have died, unnoticed, unremembered. Might these three nameless victims be, perhaps, worthy of far more pity than they were accorded? That is the basis of much of what we consider "great" war poetry (okay, if the spirits hadn't tried to kill Dawn & co., compassion would be a helluva lot easier to come by.) And, of course, we still have the battles and warriors themselves, the charges of the light brigade where epics are made, and tragedies.

Love the Hardy poem, Rah. I've never cared much for either Hardy's fiction or poetry (except, maybe, Jude the Obscure, but it often takes another person to demonstrate qualities you can't see for yourself. I do have his collected poems, but I've never spent much time on it past the major stuff, like "The Thrush."

~Random, home early from work. Ice storm. Course, that didn't stop him from going to work, but, you know, any excuse to leave early.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Oops...faux pas -- Random, 12:24:21 02/17/03 Mon

Between the time I started my post and the time I managed to get Voy to actually accept it without bitching, luna posted the exact same Owen poem (it is a famous one, so it's not surprising.) Sorry for the inadvertent re-post :-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Voy doesn't like me either -- luna, 18:34:46 02/17/03 Mon

So many brilliant thoughts losts in cyberspace, between send and approve. But it's a poem we should probably make people read three times a day right now. So thanks.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Same as mine above (Owen)! -- luna (great mind thinking alike), 18:32:49 02/17/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Us great minds gotta stick together, eh? -- Random (patting 'imself on the back), 19:26:39 02/17/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The poetry of war -- Rahael, 03:54:29 02/18/03 Tue

The problem with Hardy is that he just wrote *so* much. I have a complete collection of his poems, and it numbers into thousands of small print pages. A lot of it is unremarkable. He can easily tip over into melodrama, folksiness and sentimentality.

But there is a number of poems that, in my opinion, often elevate him to a position of 'my favourite poet'. He has Larkin's bleakness, but with an injection of compassion and kindness. He's as doubting and questioning of God as Herbert, without needing to believe. He combines the romantic vision of Keats but expressed in the language of the ordinary. He's a man born too late (he misses being categorised as a Romantic poet), but born too early at the same time (his views on sex, God and society).

I would recommend a collection which is unconventional and chosen with love and appreciation for the best of Hardy - the one that I've liked the most so far is edited by Tom Paulin. I don't always agree with Paulin about a lot of things (need to make that disclaimer because he's become even more controversial lately!) but I like his taste in Hardy's poetry.

War poetry - I agree very much with what you say, about the forgotten victims, and your comments about BtVS. With regard to WW1 poetry especially, I have an uneasy relationship. They so well dramatise the brutality, the pain, the loss, the fear. WW1 poetry is what comes to the forefront when we think of the poetry of war. But most of it is written by young soldiers, and that's a terrible irony for me. I grew up viewing army men and women as the most monstrous people I knew. When I was very young, I couldn't think of them as human even.

As I grew up, we had an army camp set up next door to us, and I was forced to come into confrontation with their essential humanity. (Which kind of ties into my thoughts about the First Evil.) A terrible complexity.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The poetry of war -- Random, 15:40:48 02/18/03 Tue

Yes, I think that's my problem with Hardy -- sifting through the chaff to find the good stuff. The copy of his poems that I have is about as thick as books come! And I'm no stranger to thick books. I'll check the poetry section of the bookstore next time I'm there for the edition you recommend. Controversy bothers me not a whit.

Curiously, I grew up fairly near(well, about forty miles from) an army base, too: Ft. Bragg, in North Carolina. And I faced a dilemma that still bothers me. On the one hand, I saw how many soldiers acted in civilian life. Crude, belligerent, arrogant. Not all of them, just a certain very-noticable portion. But I also had two grandfathers who fought in WWII, and I am extremely proud of what they did -- fighting to oppose as great an evil as the modern world has ever seen. I've heard stories of prisoners in concentration camps clutching at the arms of the soldiers who liberated them and thanking them with tears running down their faces -- and, fifty years later, I've listened to Holocaust survivors who would cry again, not at the memory of their suffering and loss, but at the soldiers who physically lifted them up and carried them out of those evil places. But I have never liked violence on those terms -- war is, with a few obvious exception, utterly without moral value. And it drives soldiers to do terrible things. I'm deeply shamed by my country's involvement in Vietnam, and by what some of our soldiers did. I'm also deeply shamed by how we treated our soldiers when they returned, soldiers drafted into an ugly war and told to kill or be killed.

When I first read "Dulce Et Decorum Est" (and I still recite it out loud from time to time, especially when I'm driving long distances), the sheer power of the imagery was almost overwhelming.

One thing I love about Buffy is that it doesn't make the conflict glorious or simple. Within the strictures of the show (prime-time, 1 hour a week), it has done a marvelous job of displaying how terrible the conflict is. I wish, though, it would address the issue of the nameless victims in an episode and do so with the power and talent of some of the best BtVS eps.

[> [> [> [> Woolf -- Rahael, 06:12:32 02/17/03 Mon

Well, I don't want to get into it too much......

and I've already got a bit of a reputation for political correctness and chippiness on shoulder, lol....

but this largely stems from an incident when two distinguished members of my community went to visit the Woolfs to ask them to take an interest in the burgeoning independence/anti-colonial movement.

They declined (which is fair enough I suppose) but that wasn't my problem, it was the way Woolf commented on it. She described them as "apes", who seemed to be presumptuous in assuming that she could in any way be interested in such trivialities.

The diaries of her husband (kept in libraries back home, not in England), who spent considerable years as the owner of a tea plantation, reveal a level of prejudice which do not distress me half as much as that story.

So here are the cleavages of power in the fight to endow humanity and self respect and political suffrage to human beings traditionally written out of narratives.

It's not as if I refuse to read authors and poets who have very different views from myself, or even have offensive views. I got in a bit of hot water defending Clarissa here, which I persist in loving despite its view of women. I love putting novels and works of art within cultural contexts. I just have a blind spot about the word 'ape' as used to describe people who come from my community. The only other author I've stopped reading despite enjoying for many years is Somerset Maugham. I was reading yet another volume of short stories, when in the course of description of a village, he described these 'ape like women'. The following sentences seem to question whether they have any intelligence or beauty. They are grotesque others to the eye of the narrator. Casual and matter of fact. I mean, that disturbed me so much. To myself, I said, "Somerset, can apes read? Because of them is reading your short story."

I actually have a sneaking fondness for Kipling (I like Kim) and Yeats - well, there are some poems I find delightful and others I try and avoid!

It's kind of strange - I don't mind people like Kipling or Larkin who in some ways make what is disturbing of their world view the subject of art (Yeats, too possibly) because that instantly engenders complexity and questioning and means that they allow tensions and contradictions within. I tend to go for artists who have doubts and uncertainties and contradictions. "The tuning of my breast, that makes my music better", as Herbet might put it.

So this is much more an admission of a blind spot, held wilfully, rather than a polemical position to be brandished.

[> [> [> [> The Views of the Common Soldiery -- Celebaelin, 08:43:05 02/17/03 Mon

That is what Kipling is all about. I have, or like to think I have, a bit of a blind spot when it comes to intolerance. By which I mean that I often re-interpret after my own fashion to present the meaning I am most comfortable with but in doing so I place myself in danger of justifying, or seeming to justify, politically incorrect comments (I'm thinking about Gunga Din at the moment, a piece of work which I personally dislike and am happy to say so, and to rip the piss mercilessly should anyone be bold enough to argue this point).

On the other hand the poem Fuzzy Wuzzy seems to me to be complimentary (apart, of course, from the perjorative contained within the use of the commonly accepted term at the time for Soudanese Tribesmen)

So 'ere's to you Fuzzy Wuzzy, at you 'ome in the Soudan;
You're a poor benighted 'eathen but a first class fighting man;
An' 'ere's to you Fuzzy Wuzzy, with your 'ayrick 'ead of 'air -
You big black boundin' beggar - for you broke a British square

For any of you who don't know a square is an infantry field deployment conducted on the batallion level that is, to the thin red line that was the Napoleonic and Victorian British Infantry, shall we say 'defensive-friendly', ie I am unaware of any other instance of a British square being broken, much less it being celebrated in poetry.

The next example of Kipling's association with the private soldiery that occurs to me is Tommy

Oh, it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Tommy go away';
But it's 'Thank you Mr. Atkins,' when the band begins to play

On the whole Kipling's unassailable position as the propagandist of Empire is re-enforced by his admonition of those who served the Empire for their tendency to insobriety

It's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Chuck him out, the brute!';
But it's 'Saviour of 'is country' when the guns begin to shoot

Which is of course exactly what you want from an army (except the drinking part), any army, no matter who they serve.

The jingoistic aspects of Kipling I would suggest are comparable to those of Horace, but in a subtler way (most soldiers 'worth their salt' would prefer Owen and most politicians (in power at a time of crisis) and a fair proportion of the civilian population would prefer Horace. Death is an occupational hazard of being a professional soldier, and that risk is something that it is therefore required that you accept the likelihood of whilst taking orders in the sure and certain knowledge that all armed forces are equipped to oppose the execution and prosecution of such. In case I am not clear in this I will simply recount the truism that the soldiers themselves do not want to die (but they will carry out orders which make that a possibility/near certainty if required so to do).

Where Horace has

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori."
It is a sweet and seemly thing to die for ones' country.

Horace OdesIII

Owen has

The old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen Dulce et decorum est

Having been in the trenches himself Owen was also aware that the general opinion of that horror was that

Red lips are not so red
As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.

Wilfred Owen Greater Love

I had a further comment regarding standing orders for the war in Iraq but I think it's inappropriate to the board (chillingly grim) and hopefully given the latest developments it will turn out to be an irrelevance.

[> Printed it off - looks wonderful TCH! -- s'kat, 21:44:20 02/16/03 Sun

Although not a big Virgina Woolf fan - something about her writing just doesn't do it for me. Not sure why. But - if you have troubles with Woolf? Read the Hours - I hear it's more palatable then Mrs. Dalloway, and you do not need to read Mrs' Dalloway to see it. Or see the films: The Hours
and Mrs. Dalloway are both on film now.

Oh - a side note - like Joss Whedon, The Hours which comments on Mrs. Dalloway is written by a man, Michael Cunningham and apparently comments on femal and male homosexuality. Not sure what effect if any this has on your essay.


[> Thanks for starting the poetry fest TCH! -- ponygirl, 09:38:58 02/17/03 Mon

I think that BtVS' great contribution to feminism is in its subversion of the familiar. The girl in the dark alley that is expected to die turns around and kicks ass. It makes us question why we have these expectations, how they are created and sustained. It reminds us that stories may have omniscient narrators but their point of view can be limiting.

I can remember reading mostly science fiction and fantasy when I was younger, and having those moments when some line or paragraph suddenly made me aware that the author was writing for someone else, someone who most definitely was not a girl. It was always a bit of a slap in the face moment (though probably a milder version of Rahael's experience reading Maugham) definitely pulling me out of the story and making me feel a little guilty, as though I was in a place that I wasn't supposed to be, even though this place existed only in the imagination. It's this limiting of the imagination that I feel feminisim, and BtVS, fights against.

Great essay, TCH!

Article: Does Buffymania still Slay you? (minor spoiler) -- Rufus, 20:43:57 02/16/03 Sun


Posted on Sun, Feb. 16, 2003


Does Buffymania still slay you?

€ It's a high-stakes obsession for bloody loyal fans of the show

THE TRUE NATURE of cult television is something you can't understand until you've been hunched over a computer screen at 1 in the morning, blearily reading chat posts from fellow watchers who might be idiots, dorks or vastly irritating in person, but who at least share your obsession. I never understood the odd duality of isolation and modern community inherent in embracing a cult TV show until I became a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" junkie.

The rumors rampant on the Internet suggest that "Buffy," currently in the middle of a vastly intriguing sweeps cycle, will end this season, its seventh. As much as I mourn this possibility, I wonder nearly as much what it will mean to leave behind my nerdly Internet obsession of the last couple of years, the world of spoilers, gossip and "Buffy"-related discourses, some serious, some hilarious, nearly all insightful and fascinatingly intense in a sociological sense.

The vast majority of television viewers reading this column are groaning right now. "Not this 'Buffy' beef again," they're saying. "Why don't these weirdos just shut up already?" I get this, because I've been there, having resisted the tug of "Buffy" for years.

I actually saw the 1992 movie "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," starring Kristy Swanson and Donald Sutherland, when it was released. It was written by Joss Whedon, the genius creator and executive producer of the TV series, but his original vision of a high school cheerleader type fighting all sorts of demons, real and imagined, didn't quite make it onto the screen.

But "Buffy" the television show, which became a critical darling in its first year as a midseason replacement series on the WB, did embody Whedon's bizarre vision. Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the chosen one, i.e. the teenage girl with special vampire-fighting powers, moved to Sunnydale, a Southern California town located on the "Hellmouth." She made new friends and was soon in tormented love with a vampire named Angel. Whatever. I'd already had my Anne Rice era a good 15 years ago, thank you very much, so I passed.

The critical acclaim just kept coming, though. Actually, it has never stopped. "The most daring, innovative and emotionally complex show on television," the New York Times raved last fall. Academics love it. Published papers on the world of Buffy include "Biological Warfare and the Buffy Paradigm," linking America's war on terrorism with what Buffy and her friends face on a weekly basis. Last year, an English university held a full-scale symposium on "BTVS" called "Blood, Text and Fears."

So grudgingly, I'd tune in occasionally to see what the fuss was about. At some point in Season 4, something struck a chord with me. It could have been the irresistible dry wit of Oz (Seth Green), occasional werewolf and boyfriend to Buffy's best friend Willow, or maybe the rapport between Buffy and Giles, her British watcher, who even in the fourth season was still flummoxed by the ways of the American teen. At any rate, I started trying to remember to tape it every week.

Chronic VCR failures led me to Times business reporter George Avalos, who taped religiously. George had been pushing "BTVS" on me all along, but he was coming off an "X-Files" high, so I didn't entirely trust him at first. As my interest in the show grew, George became my tutor. Prompted by my incessant questions about the show's chronology and mythology ("How do vampires have sex?"), he handed over his old "Buffy" tapes, nearly complete sets of Seasons 1 through 3. For a few weeks in the summer of 2000, I watched three or four shows in a night, marveling at the sharp wit of the scripts and the way the writers dropped clues to future plot points, sometimes two years prior. I was finally there, a devotee.

But my obsession has mostly been a lonely one. My smart chick friends will analyze every fragment of "The Bachelorette" with me, but "Buffy"? No way. By the time my brother gets halfway through reading this column -- if he gets that far -- he'll be composing an e-mail mocking my passion for "BTVS." Even my hip little niece, now 20, dismisses "Buffy" as stupid. The general public seemed to agree with this consensus: Because the show lacked strong ratings and was so expensive to produce, the WB dumped it a couple of years ago, and the network that picked it up, UPN, is the TJ Maxx of television.

All this disdain drove me to the Internet. George clued me in to some of the sites devoted to the show, including the invaluable "Loey's Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer," which provides both early sneaks of new episodes, culled from satellite feeds, and clever synopses of older shows (http://members.aol.com/LRL94/buffy.html). One site, run by someone with the pseudonym Pysche, posts full transcripts of each episode of "Buffy" and its spinoff "Angel," which is nearly as addictive (http://StudiesInWords.de/). Hilariously cruel synopses can be found at Television Without Pity (http://televisionwithoutpity. com), a site I've become very fond of for its sassy, sarcastic edge. For links to every Buffy news story, spoiler and essay out there, there's www.slayage.com.

Confession: All of these sites are bookmarked on my home and work computers (All research for this column! Begun two years ago! I plan ahead!). I'm guilty of reading "Buffy" spoilers all the time. They never ruin my appetite for the upcoming episode; I'm that hungry. The "Buffy" community is a clique without judgment; the only entrance requirement is to be caught up in the show's mystique. I wouldn't call my participation in it socializing by any means -- it's more like skulking -- but it's the closest I've come to being in an online community.

So if "BTVS" goes off the air, as predicted, I'll face two voids this spring. Not only will I be deprived of fresh episodes of the show, but I'll also miss my appointments with this strange little community of like-minded freaks I've stumbled into. I'll miss the faceless gang of Buffy worshippers burning up the Internet. Thanks, Loey. And Psyche. You too, Leoff. And you nonbelievers? There's still a chance for you: "Buffy" Seasons 1 through 3 are already available on DVD. God willing, the rest will come soon.

Mary F. Pols is the Times movie critic. She can be reached at 925-945-4741 or mpols@cctimes.com.

[> I don't know... -- Masq, 21:38:45 02/16/03 Sun

She makes it sound like all these internet communities we've created are going to go "poof" at the end of May. I mean, imagine the worst case scenario. Imagine Buffy gets canceled, Angel gets canceled, and there is no new spin-off. Imagine the cartoon series doesn't get off the ground.

Will ATPo or any of the other Buffyverse web communities just die out over night? I imagine we'll have material to talk about for months, even years, although perhaps not at the same pace as we have.

And that's the worse case scenario.

Maybe it's because I'm not part of the spoiler trollop community that I don't see the fun disappearing.

[> [> Re: I don't know... -- lcolford, 22:07:04 02/16/03 Sun

Her viewing chronology paralleled mine, but this season has left me cold. Dawn's appearance the end of season 4 (?) ruined for me the trajectory of the emerging young adult Scoobs. In effort to keep the young demographic ME has shifted the emphasis to include Dawn's high school story and the SITs which I find boring to the extreme. Maybe that's why I delighted in Firefly where adults had the trademark ME twists and wit.

[> [> [> Re: I don't know...(season 7 spoilers) -- maddog, 08:24:43 02/17/03 Mon

Dawn appears at the beginning of season 5. And if you don't like the high school bit then you would have hated the first three seasons. Hell, the premise of the show came out of high school. They just couldn't be allowed to stay there and have a believable storyline. And the true essence of the show is always revolving around the slayer...no matter the age. I find the story rather interesting that someone would be trying to wipe the whole lineage out. It hasn't been done...and it's rather imaginative. Especially now that we realize it has to do with Buffy's resurection. I look forward to understanding that more completely.

[> [> Re: I don't know... -- Rufus, 22:47:31 02/16/03 Sun

As the biggest Trollop around I don't see things changing. Sure the Trollops will no longer have new stuff to look forward to, but that doesn't mean we will no longer have anything to say about the show. I'm still hoping that Angel will be picked up for year five.

[> [> Dont forget the DVDs -- neaux, 06:35:55 02/17/03 Mon

[> [> I agree -- lunasea, 07:14:00 02/17/03 Mon

This isn't a series or two. It is an entire universe. If people are still dissecting Middle Earth, people will be dissecting the Buffyverse for at least another decade. In that decade the movie(s) will come out with even more material.

How many posts are about past seasons? We don't just talk about the current episode. There is a reason that Joss is taking us back to the beginning. We keep doing it ourselves. It will take us years to unravel everything and the finales will have us talking for years.

Plus the writers at ME aren't going into retirement. Whatever they produce will have the fingerprints of the Buffyverse on it and we will talk about it.

[> [> [> Well said. -- OnM, 09:35:36 02/17/03 Mon

[> [> [> I think that's what really got under my craw -- Masq, 11:43:35 02/17/03 Mon

That she seemed to reduce the fandom we are all part of to excitement about one and only one show. I hold out hope that there will be a new season of Angel. I hold out hope that there will be a new spin-off.

But regardless, this is a multi-show universe, and its fandom will live long after any of the shows go off the air.

[> [> [> [> Exactly... -- Rob, 11:50:12 02/17/03 Mon

How about Star Trek? Fandom lasted for like what? 30 years before even one more Trek series appeared. And Xena. There's still a huge, active fanbase on the internet still churning out fan fiction and virtual seasons. Sci-fi/fantasy/cult fans especially do not discontinue their on-line communities just because the shows ended. And I have very high hopes for Angel's renewal, and for a spin-off, also. I don't know much about how the network stuff works, but am I mistaken or has Angel still been holding its own pretty well, especially with the odd schedule it's had this year (Sunday, then Wednesday night with a month or more with no reruns)? Unless for whatever reason the WB, wanting to change its image, wants to dump "Angel,' I don't see it happening due to ratings.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Exactly... -- Cheryl, 12:00:19 02/17/03 Mon

How about Star Trek? Fandom lasted for like what? 30 years before even one more Trek series appeared.

Excellent analogy, Rob. Where would Trek be today if it weren't for the 30 years of fandom in between series?

I don't know much about how the network stuff works, but am I mistaken or has Angel still been holding its own pretty well, especially with the odd schedule it's had this year (Sunday, then Wednesday night with a month or more with no reruns)? Unless for whatever reason the WB, wanting to change its image, wants to dump "Angel,' I don't see it happening due to ratings.

Not to hijack the thread, but does anyone know why the WB doesn't rerun new Angel episodes each week like it does with its other shows like Smallville and Everwood? For awhile there last season WB was even showing older Angel episodes (Pylea eps) which was great for me since I started watching late and got to catch up . . . for all of 2 or 3 weeks before they stopped. It just seems like they could be promoting it better by treating it like some of their other shows.

[> [> [> [> [> [> It's always seemed to do this -- Masq, 12:09:37 02/17/03 Mon

Every year for the past 2-3 years I've gotten very aggravated with the WB over the Holiday break and during the Spring because they don't show Angel reruns. They fill weeks with no new episodes with reruns of Gilmore Girls or Smallville or what have you.

Without reruns to count on, I was not able to retape some episodes of Angel because I stopped watching between new episodes. I don't think they ever had even one rerun of the episode "Fredless" that I accidentally taped over. I had to get a copy from an ATPo'er.

This is nothing new, they' renewed Angel despite the crappy way they treated it in Season 2 and 3.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> A theory on the whole lack of Ats reruns, syndication -- s'kat, 13:54:14 02/17/03 Mon

Okay first a disclaimer - I could be wrong about this, I don't work for any of the networks. But according to an article I found in a business journal, I think it may have been Variety, which was only accessible in print or on an online database that paid for it -at that time the company I was working for database....Fox is very greedy about syndication rights. It has not given Time Warner/Warner Brothers any rights over the re-broadcast and/or syndication rights of its shows. This was at the center of the WB/UPN bidding war over Buffy. The moment the Times critic mentions - WB wasn't willing to pay money for Buffy and it got picked up by also ran network UPN - I realized she had zip idea what she was talking about and dismissed her. It's not broadly known - it was only reported in few business journals at the time but WB did come within 100,000
dollars with it's last bid for Buffy that year. Actually according to this source I read - it was willing to match UPN's bid. What UPN did that WB didn't do - was agree to Fox's syndication rights caveat - which is you can rerun a certain number of shows -- as long as we get to keep syndication rights to everything and show them on FX.
UPN can show seasons 1-5 on UPN and gets first rerun status
on four-five episodes from Season 5, Season 6 and possibly 7. But it can't show the reruns on any sister channel. Also after first rerun status - FX/Fox can show them where-ever.
Also Fox retains international rights. WB wanted rights to rerun Btvs episodes on TNT like it does with Charmed. It also may have wanted some control over international rights. Fox said no. But it was more than that - WB wanted exclusive rebroadcast rights - no Btvs on Fx, only Btvs on WB owned networks. If that's what happened with Btvs - according to the articles I read and I'm so sorry I can't provide links to them. Sure it was BusinessWeek, Variety, and the print
trades. ( First broadcast rights, while very lucrative, for shows such as Star Trek, Btvs, and Ats are chicken feed in comparison to rebroadcast and syndication rights for precisely the reasons Rob mentions regarding Star Trek. This is something that a mainstream viewer who analyzes reality tv shows and shows like ER would never understand. Why watch reruns of the Bacherlorette - you already know the outcome. But Btvs - people watch the reruns over and over again - they get higher ratings points sometimes than the first broadcast. That's where the money is in cult tv, it's why the whole ratings thing isn't what keeps the shows on air, so much as the demographics and how many show-oriented products the audience buys. Think about this for a moment - how many Btvs/Ats oriented products have you bought? How many are out there? How many are out there for ER? The Bacherlorette?)

At any rate, my hunch is that WB only reruns shows it has the right to rerun and can get ratings for. Smallville
and Everwood didn't cost WB very much - they are new shows from first time creators as opposed to established creators, I think. Also WB may own a percentage in them.
Angel - is a Fox show, and Fox owns syndication, rebroadcast, and international rights.
WB reshows Angel - Fox gets paid a percentage. I think that's probably what's going on.

Hope that made sense. If I'm completely off? Feel free to correct me. As I said this is mostly guesswork based on my own knowledge in the field.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A theory on the whole lack of Ats reruns, syndication -- Cheryl, 14:37:23 02/17/03 Mon

Hope that made sense. If I'm completely off? Feel free to correct me. As I said this is mostly guesswork based on my own knowledge in the field.

Wow. Very informative and helpful. Makes sense to me. Thanks!

I brought up awhile back about the merchandising side of shows like Buffy & Angel - which is why I'm still surprised WB would want to cancel Angel, especially before 5 years is up, since isn't that when shows usually go into syndication?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> But that's just the thing. -- Masq, 15:36:35 02/17/03 Mon

The reruns were intermittant. Sometimes we'd get an episode rerun, and sometimes we wouldn't. Over the summer, there were reruns of the previous season, but during the season, when you should be keeping the audience interested by rerunning episodes so they can catch up on what they missed, they weren't rerunning them. We're at episode 12 of Season 4 of Angel and they've only reshown the first 3 episodes of the Season so far. That two month break with no Angel was full of movies and other crap in Angel's designated time slot.

I don't think there's any one way to make sense of this.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agree with you on the reruns -- s'kat, 18:51:56 02/17/03 Mon

It makes little sense to me why WB doesn't show Angel
reruns but shows Charmed, Gilmore Girls, Everwood, 7th Heaven and every other show it does. And it annoys me
to no end. All I can do is guess - and even my guesses don't seem that logical when I think about it.

I still don't have Heart throb, That Vision Thing, Judgement, Fredless, Couplet, Birthday and Waiting in The Wings on Tape. And I don't think I've ever really seen That Vision Thing - I think I missed that episode.

They've only rerunned Judgement, Hearthrob, Billy, and what's after. It annoyed me over the summer. It annoys me
now. Btvs on the other hand - no problemo, tons of reruns.

Anyone work at WB?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Where's the love, dubah-dubah-DubuyaB? -- Valheru, 00:15:25 02/18/03 Tue

The WB surprises me. They have 7 hours of drama programming (Charmed, 7th Heaven, Everwood, Gilmore Girls, Smallville, Dawson's Creek, and Angel). 3 of those hours (Everwood, Smallville, and Gilmore Girls) get EasyView treatment on Sundays where that week's episodes are repeated, leading in to Charmed. 7th Heaven and Dawson's Creek are the longest-running shows on the network and have never moved from their timeslots. Angel, meanwhile, gets treated like crap. Since the loss of BtVS, it keeps getting moved around, they hardly ever show repeats, it gets paired with counter-programs (7th Heaven? Only thing it had in common with Angel was the cherubic name), it gets stuck in death timeslots...it's a wonder the show has any ratings at all.

Still, Angel has survived. Through every single crappy thing that has happened to the show, including losing its parent, the ratings have remained steady. It has gotten more and more critical praise each year. It's like the television equivalent of Rocky.

I really wish the WB would get a clue, though. Is it not obvious that Angel's best pairing is with Smallville? If they can't rerun Angel on its normal day, doesn't it make sense to put it on EasyView? Did it not occur to anyone to wait until after sweeps to air the season finale of the lowest-rated drama on the network (and maybe even television). For that matter, why put a 4-year-old show on hiatus in the middle of sweeps twice in the same season?

It's a shame the WB isn't trying to capitalize on Angel, because ME and Fox sure are. The S1 DVD is selling strongly. The books, comics, and tie-ins are doing as well as Buffy's. You'd think that Warner Bros., owners of DC Comics, would know a property when it saw one.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> For a very brief time last year... -- Masq, 09:58:46 02/18/03 Tue

They were showing two Angel episodes a week. I don't believe they were re-running the current week's episode. I think it was an episode from the previous season. This lasted only a few months, then went away mysteriously.

I hope that FOX appreciates that Angel is a way to sell subsidiary merchandies and tries to keep it alive for another season, even if not on the WB.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Its the same in the UK -- Helen, 04:15:44 02/18/03 Tue

Sky One shows Buffy and Angel back to back on Thursday night. During the summer/autumn hiatus there is usually at least one Buffy ep on per week, and after season 5 finished lsat year they showed the entire series, one ep per day (I was in heaven).

But they never show Angel reruns. Which makes me think its a matter of copyright/syndication rights, rather than a lack of interest in the show on the part of WB.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Its the same in the UK -- yabyumpan, 05:42:10 02/18/03 Tue

Agree about summer re-runs in the UK but at least this year they are repeating BtVS AND AtS eps on Saturdays. BtVS around 5pm and AtS around 11:30ish.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ooh? really? woo and a hoo! -- Helen, 05:50:30 02/18/03 Tue

[> One quibble -- CW, 21:49:28 02/16/03 Sun

fellow watchers who might be idiots, dorks or vastly irritating in person

Might be? I've more or less been called the first two things here. What more do I have to do to prove I'm the third as well? ;o)

OT To our friends in the path of the snow storm in the East - Stay warm, and if you have to shovel, don't overdo it!

[> [> thanks CW--I 'm sure wei'll pull through -- duration, 07:54:18 02/17/03 Mon

[> [> [> Re: Buffy and the Board forever! -- Brian, 08:03:02 02/17/03 Mon

How can one say goodbye to old friends, close friends
when knowing them has made life richer and better?
On the screen and on the screen lies the community within the community.
We are at our best; we are at our brightest;
We will still hunger, and we will still feed.
For to do otherwise would deny our nature,
And negate all the past, which, in reality,
can only be prologue.

[> [> [> Yes--Snow pretty! Especially when you don't have to shovel it. -- Dariel, 13:08:42 02/17/03 Mon

But are these bloopers... or just continuity mistakes? -- Solitude1056, 19:46:50 02/17/03 Mon

The cafeteria tray was clearly a blooper - but I'd consider the donut (and most other mentions so far) as just major continuity. I guess that would make them technical bloopers, technically. Ahem.

And while I've heard that Boreanaz has a bad habit of being out-of-character just before a take, I think the worst example is in the AtS epi with the possessed kid... oh, what was that one. I think it was I've Got You Under My Skin. When Wesley and Angel come bounding back to Angel's apartment, out of the elevator, Boreanaz looks like he's about to crack up. From what I've heard, that's because he was - he was cutting up repeatedly so they finally edited to get whatever they could and just cropped it short, but it wasn't short enough. Never heard the same of SMG, who's reputed to be work-ethic woman and always on the ball.

I tried to submit this, and it told me the message I was replying to does not exist. That's a bit disconcerting.

[> Re: But are these bloopers... or just continuity mistakes? -- CW, 20:51:43 02/17/03 Mon

You're right. A blooper usually is an acting muff. We almost never get to see those. I was interested in either bloopers or continuity screw ups. When it comes down to a mistake like I've listed in Robb's annotation thread on "What's My Line?" it's hard to pin down what to call it. It started as a mistake by the writer, and since it only got half-corrected, it ended up a continuity mistake.

[> [> Here's an actor blooper -- pellenaka, 04:34:12 02/18/03 Tue

In "Life Serial" when Jonathan!Demon throws a smoke bomb, you can see James Marsters laughing. When most of the smoke is gone, he looks 'normal' again.

[> [> [> Re: Here's an actor blooper -- leslie, 08:51:59 02/18/03 Tue

Likewise, in Pangs, when the guys are under attack at Fort Giles and Spike is tied up in the chair, being pierced with arrows and trying to jump the chair out of the line of fire, there are several shots in which Marsters looks as though he is only just barely keeping from losing it. He's got that look on his face of knowing that if you allow your mouth to open the tiniest bit, you will start laughing so hard you can't stop. Though that is somehow in character for Spike at that moment, too.

[> Re: Bloopers and continuity mistakes. Thanks everyone! -- Cactus Watcher, 07:26:53 02/18/03 Tue

I've copied everyone's name and contributions to a disk file, so if this comes up again we'll have a good start.

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