February 2003 posts

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Talking Turkey with the Big Bads (Spoilers through S7 "Never Leave Me") -- Gyrus, 08:41:20 02/21/03 Fri

Over the years, we've seen a lot of great villains come and go, but we haven't always gotten to know them as well as we'd like. We got up close and personal with some of BUFFY'S Biggest Bads to find out what makes them tick.

NAME: The Master
GREATEST AMBITION: To roam the Earth freely once again
SECOND-GREATEST AMBITION: To find a wrinkle cream that works worth a damn
TURN-ONS: Blood baths, literal and figurative
PET PEEVES: Incompetent minions; lousy TV reception in underground lair
SHAMEFUL SECRET: Been wearing the same underwear for a century now
NAGGING DOUBT: "What if my minions wise up and just leave me down here?"

NAME: Angelus
GREATEST AMBITION: To suck the world into Hell for all eternity
SECOND-GREATEST AMBITION: To torture his worst enemies by ridding the Earth of peroxide
TURN-ONS: The blood of the innocent; Shark Week on the Discovery Channel
PET PEEVES: Being possessed; the way Spike keeps borrowing his hair gel
NAGGING DOUBT: "When the Earth is ruled by demons, will I still be special?"

NAME: Mayor Richard Wilkins III
GREATEST AMBITION: To become a gigantic snake demon
SECOND-GREATEST AMBITION: To make every channel the Family Channel
TURN-ONS: Picnics, miniature golf, human sacrifice
PET PEEVES: Germs; Mr. Trick's overpowering aftershave
SHAMEFUL SECRET: Secret stash of vintage 1950's Playboys in sock drawer
NAGGING DOUBT: "Eating a bunch of teenagers could hurt me in the polls. Plus, those kids are loaded with cholesterol."

NAME: Adam
GREATEST AMBITION: To create a master race of human-demon hybrids
SECOND-GREATEST AMBITION: To find a pair of size 18 Docksiders
TURN-ONS: Extinguishing life wherever he finds it; Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk
PET PEEVES: Has perfect grasp of biology, but can't keep Sea Monkeys alive more than a week
SHAMEFUL SECRET: "Mother did not give me genitals."
NAGGING DOUBT: "Vampires, too, are part human and part demon, but look how Spike turned out."

NAME: Glory
GREATEST AMBITION: To return to her own dimension
SECOND-GREATEST AMBITION: To return to her own dimension without Mom and Dad finding out she was gone
TURN-ONS: Bath products; mimosas; dancing to Britney Spears when no one's watching
PET PEEVES: "The way people scream when I brain-suck them, like they don't care if it hurts my ears."
SHAMEFUL SECRET: Sort of likes waking up in Ben's jockey shorts
NAGGING DOUBT: "What if I go back to my own dimension and they never open a Body Shop there?"

NAME: Warren
GREATEST AMBITION: To get away with murder
SECOND-GREATEST AMBITION: To avoid having to do anything icky with Andrew to get away with murder
TURN-ONS: Free cable porn; flaming anyone who thinks Janeway is better than Picard
PET PEEVES: Completely baffled by 3rd Edition AD&D rules
SHAMEFUL SECRET: Closet full of Jar Jar Binks paraphernalia
NAGGING DOUBT: "What if shooting people in real life isn't as easy as it is in DUKE NUKEM?"

NAME: The First Evil
GREATEST AMBITION: To consume the world in darkness and terror
SECOND-GREATEST AMBITION: To do impressions at Second City
TURN-ONS: Freaking people out; having double-anchovy pizzas sent to Buffy's house
PET PEEVES: "I paid an ad agency top dollar for that stupid 'From beneath you' slogan."
SHAMEFUL SECRET: Started out as "The First Nuisance"
NAGGING DOUBT: "Without my followers, I'm pretty much just a scary voice."

[> Lol. -- Arethusa, 09:09:43 02/21/03 Fri

Boy, was the FE pissed when it found out Dawn loves anchovies.

[> [> Great minds think alike! -- HonorH, 10:05:57 02/21/03 Fri

That's exactly what I thought. Maybe it's just fattening her up for the kill, though . . .

Rambling thoughs on GtD : Girls & Dragons, Chained to the Earth, Hanging from the sky -- Etrangere, 08:46:21 02/21/03 Fri

Knowledge is power.
Power corrupts.
Study hard.
Be evil.

I haven't read all the posts on the board lately. Well I haven't done so in a while, but I hate to post about an episode without reading everything said about it before, and now I know I won't ever have the same to read it all. So forgive me if anything I say now has already been said.

Get it done was the first episode I really liked since Conversation with Dead People. Mind you, I didn't like it as much as CwDP either, but it was good enough. Just a little bit of drama, and it was (as often this year) just a little bit too expected. Who could see that Spike was going to get his duster back minutes before it happened ?
But it was interresting. For the first time, forgetting the comic books Fray and Tales of the Slayer, we learnt about where the Slayer gets her powers from, and how did it happen.
As I once said about Tales of the Slayer, it's a Trinity. The Demon spirit, the human girl and the Father that is the counsel.
Lots of people have commented about the symbolism of the Slayer who is chained to the earth waiting to be impregnanted by the demonic power.
Andromeda, or Psychee, or many other myths. That old clichee image of the girl offered as sacrifices for the dragons to eat, and that a hero must save.
Of course in Buffy the sacrifice is to become that hero; and thus being cut from human society. Yet, the ties to the earth are also reminiscent to the ties that links Buffy to humanity. So which one is it ? Is it a chain of love, give, forgive, or is it the enslavement to the patriarcal CoW that uses Slayers as a tool ?
I'm not sure Joss really have an answer to this. Because Tales of the Slayer was all about isolation, (it begins with "I am alone" and ends with "I am not alone.") and how Slayers suffers from the same people that they protect against the demons. And in that, this last line from Fray was saying that they, all the Slayers and today in BtVS, all the Potentials, create their own community, their own solidarity so they are not alone anymore. Maybe the chain, to the earth, to the pain, is a chain of remembrance of everything that's past, of the History of the Slayers who died, one by one, defending a humanity they were excluded from.
But the other thing that stikes me with this chaining to the earth is that it occurs in the same episode where Chloe, "stupid" Chloe, hanged herself to the roof.
Could this form of suicide be a coincidence ? I think not.
Especially when we are dealing with power, knowledge, freedom.
Especially not when "Chloe" was an epithet of the Greek goddess Demeter, the earth. In dying so, Chloe cut herself from the earth. In the same episode, Buffy breaks her link to the Earth. And yet, obviously, it's a positive act against a violation of her body and freedom.
When I'm thinking about symbolism, I always think about Tarot. It's a mainframe, a tool that helps me ordering my though. I have no idea if ME uses the same kind of analogies as me, but...

What is the Slayer is something that is excessively well represented by the card of Strength. (Power, if you want). A card that represents a girl, young and sweet, holding a wild lion or other beats.
One of the last big discussion I was in on the board was with Maladanza where I tried to convince him that strength is not always something evident, and sometimes weakness can be strenth, and strength can be weakness. I think I might have spoked about that card to illustrate my meaning... The girl doesn't appear as strong, yet she can dominate the beast and use its power through her gentle embrace.
The Strength is also a card that is strongly linked with feminine power, especially that of young women. Not only in the victorian image of women's gentleness civilising men, but actually because the beast is also the woman, the teethful vagina part of her. Girl and beast, lamb and tyger, victim and slayer, or andromeda and the monster are one. The girl can control the lion because it is a part of her, her power, but only as long as she controls it.

What is power ?
When is power true power, or when is it something that controls us (like it controlled Willow in s6) ?
Buffy asks for Knowledge, not more power.

Huh ? I though knowledge WAS power !
Power (in french Pouvoir, which is also the verb meaning CAN) is what allows us to do things. It's being able to act.
As Wood asks, they CANNOT act agains the First because it is immaterial. Or maybe because it is a part of them, which they can't destroy without destroying everything.
They don't KNOW how to act agains the First, and thus they are powerless. The brain, Giles, is the one who is the most lost.
Power to do, Power to be.
It's an opposition I also find in the Tarot.
The twelveth arcane, the Hanged Man, vs the fifteenth arcane, the Devil.
One features a man tied up ny his foot, and hanging between earth and sky, prisonner yet enlightened, powerful (shown by blue hair and the 4 that his feets forms).
The other shows an androgynous demon looming over two chained figures and has meanings of power to act, to do whatever you want, whenever you want and nobody can stop you ? Want, take, have, but I never though that Faith was a powerful girl.
Power is nothing without the freedom to act, and the knowledge if how to do it.
The Hanged Man is for me a card showing true power, true freedom that comes from choices and knowledge even when you are unable to act; while the Devil shows the kind of power to do as you wish, but being enslaved by this same power and your own wishes.
Those imageries I cannot help but tie with this episodes, but I do find it very disturbing.
I'd probably need to watch the ep again a couple of times. And read all those posts I haven't read :)

[> Great post -- Rahael, 08:56:22 02/21/03 Fri

I haven't seen the episode of course, but I cannot help recollecting another, less feminine chained-to-the-rock image.

Prometheus, the hero who went to heaven to steal fire to help mankind.

I don't know how relevant it is.

And in any case, Buffy doesn't steal, she asks, and then refuses.

[> [> Prometheus -- Ete, 10:24:31 02/21/03 Fri

Well I don't know if it ties with the episode, but I tend to see Prometheus, along with Odin and Jesus Christ, as one of the representation of the Hanged Man archetype.
It's all about sacrificing yourself by being tied to an Axis Mundi so as to give something to humanity. :)

[> Strength in weakness -- lunasea, 09:47:05 02/21/03 Fri

that strength is not always something evident, and sometimes weakness can be strenth, and strength can be weakness.

actually, I prefer to say that strength is in weakness. How strong is it to be able to defeat the bads of the world? How much courage does it really take? Isn't that something we got in Potentials with Xander's "Extraordinary" speech? Willow, Buffy, Spike, Angel all had supernatural abilities and they could face the darkness. How strong is that? Xander, the everyman, has to face the darkness without these. It is when you can't win, when you look weak, that you find your real strength. That is where Buffy is at now.

Interesting Tarot references. I figured I'd add this. The Major Arcana can be divided into three parts with the Fool floating above it. The top row (Magician - Lovers) is the Realm of the Gods. The middle row (Justice - Temperance) is the Realm pf Earthly Reality and Ego Consciousness. The bottom row (Devil through World) is the Realm of Heavenly Illumination and Self-Realization or also called the Realm of Equilibrium.

Strength allows the hero to confront her animal nature. It comes after The Wheel of Fortune, which symbolizes the inexorable life force which operates beyond our control and with which we much come to terms. It is followed by the hanged man, or a state of suspense.

Strength rests between the Emperor and the Moon. Two cards we could spend a long time discussing. (my name isn't LUNAsea for nothing. If you are curious, my card tends to be the High Priestess)

I am tired of all the posts about balance and Buffy has to find a way to balance her dark/demon side. When you get to the point Buffy is, it isn't about balance any more. S1-4 balance was great. S5-7 she is about transcending that to something that is almost incomprehendable.

That is what being alone is about for me. Buffy is alone. She will be even more alone at the end. Why? Because of her humanity. Most people, Spike and Willow as examples, are balancing dark with light, humanity with demon. Buffy is becoming pure humanity, pure love.

I have read people who are basically chastizing Buffy for how she goaded her friends into risking their humanity. They really aren't. They are balancing it. They cannot transcend the light or dark side of themselves, so they had better find the balance. Buffy is going to transcend this. That is what makes her a hero, not like you or me. That is being alone.

It was interesting that when Spike made reference to being a vampire with a soul, he said he wasn't completely unique. There is also currently another Slayer out there, so that Buffy isn't really unique either. That isn't what makes Buffy and Angel special. What makes them special is the level of their humanity and that that humanity is only getting stronger.

That is Buffy's strength. Buffy will loose or surrender her power (being Slayer) because she has become too strong (her heart/humanity/capacity to love)

Buffy will ultimately defend humanity, by becoming humanity and thus set herself apart from them. She can't do this to defend them. She has to do it because it is who she is and this happens to save the day.

[> [> Re: Strength in weakness -- Etrangere, 11:15:50 02/21/03 Fri

"It is when you can't win, when you look weak, that you find your real strength. That is where Buffy is at now."

Yes good point.

"Interesting Tarot references. I figured I'd add this. The Major Arcana can be divided into three parts with the Fool floating above it. The top row (Magician - Lovers) is the Realm of the Gods. The middle row (Justice - Temperance) is the Realm pf Earthly Reality and Ego Consciousness. The bottom row (Devil through World) is the Realm of Heavenly Illumination and Self-Realization or also called the Realm of Equilibrium."

My own classification of the Tarot is in three part too, but differently. It works by getting every three cards in a same suit.
The first one is : Magician, Emperor, Charriot, Wheel of Fortune, Death, Tower, Sun.
I tend to think about it as the "masculine" suit, the earthly, material one.
The second is : Hight Priestess, Pape, Justice, Strength, Temperence, Star, Ascension.
That's the feminine, spiritual one.
The third is : Empress, Lover, Hermit, Hanged Man, Devil, Moon, World.
I have a harder time to qualify it... it's something of a synthesis between material and spiritual : it's immanence, the processus of life, love, wisdom...
Anyway, obviously not relevent to Buffy, i only wanted to share it :)

"Strength allows the hero to confront her animal nature. It comes after The Wheel of Fortune, which symbolizes the inexorable life force which operates beyond our control and with which we much come to terms. It is followed by the hanged man, or a state of suspense."

Interresting. I can see how Buffy is between the Wheel and the Hanged Man.

"Two cards we could spend a long time discussing. (my name isn't LUNAsea for nothing. If you are curious, my card tends to be the High Priestess)"

Yeah, the Moon is a very fascinating card. You never quite see the full depth of it :) I tend to identify with the Hanged Man the most, though I also like the Temperence.

"I am tired of all the posts about balance and Buffy has to find a way to balance her dark/demon side. When you get to the point Buffy is, it isn't about balance any more. S1-4 balance was great. S5-7 she is about transcending that to something that is almost incomprehendable."

Absolutly ! I totally agree with this analyse if the processus of the serie. S4 completed the cycle about balance. Since S5, with Dawn/ the Key opening the doors between humanity and the divine, Buffy has been about synthesis. "Not the word, not the Bang, Not about Good, not about evil, it's about Power." (broad paraphrase, haven't got the quote handy)
They did warn us it wasn't about duality. Those are misleading.

"Buffy will ultimately defend humanity, by becoming humanity and thus set herself apart from them. She can't do this to defend them. She has to do it because it is who she is and this happens to save the day."

That's an interresting idea. Also somewhat strange : can you love so much everyone you can't really love someone ?
Makes me think of the Law 0 of Robotic in Azimov :)
Though we have saw the big sacrifice of love in the Gift. I don't think they want to repeat themselves so I don't know how they gonna deal with it.
I do want it to be about humanity, about life, about loving life and simplest things that are so much. Maybe we gonna have that. I'm afraid of them going, as they seem to go a lot this season, for the big dramatic fight. I hope they won't do that... I like my Urukaï to stay in LotR you know :) Buffy is something else and more than epic.

[> [> [> Re: Strength in weakness -- lunasea, 13:09:48 02/21/03 Fri

My own classification of the Tarot is in three part too, but differently. It works by getting every three cards in a same suit.

That wasn't my own classification. It was from "Jung and Tarot: An Archetypal Journey." I was into Tarot in college, so my best friend got it for me for Christmas. I strongly dislike most modern decks. They tend to be too concrete and represent the creator's personal archetypes, rather than something more universal.

They did warn us it wasn't about duality. Those are misleading.

But it is so fun watching people being mislead. I love the series because they manage to surprise us, even though when we go back and look at the season, we go "Why didn't I see that coming." They leave tons of clues.

can you love so much everyone you can't really love someone ?

It is a hard place to be. I wonder if ME will actually tackle this. If Buffy loves everyone, can she say "I love you" to one guy? What does that mean then? (might be an easy way to get out of the whole Spike v Angel thing. At least we won't find out she is really Angel's sister)

I'm afraid of them going, as they seem to go a lot this season, for the big dramatic fight. I hope they won't do that... I like my Urukaï to stay in LotR you know :) Buffy is something else and more than epic.

Nah. Can you imagine how much this would cost? There will be something humorous that keeps them wherever they are. Classic ME undercutting.

The end will be something that makes us all call up everyone we know and tell them we love them.

[> great thought-provoking post Etrangere - re Holy/unholy trinities? -- zantique, 10:16:47 02/21/03 Fri

As I once said about Tales of the Slayer, it's a Trinity. The Demon spirit, the human girl and the Father that is the counsel.

So do you think this deliberatly ties in with the Christian mythos? Did Tales of the Slayer suggest this as a metaphor? (afraid I haven't read TotS)

Can't help seeing the links (and I'm sure I'm not the first to do so, but who has time to check archives? - it's hard enough to keep up with postings as it is)- innocent child made a vessel of the holy/unholy spirit, compelled by destiny to do good on the earth, fighting evil, forgiving/redeeming sinners. Dies to save the world. Is resurrected. ?then ascends?

Does this mean the Buffster is going to go the way of Cordy half a season back - all bored and cloud-sitting and desperately longing to wear any colour but white?

Or has she already ascended (her second death and brief heavenly sojourn) and returned for the day of judgement - along with all that business re the dead walking the earth?

[> [> Spoilers for Tales of the Slayer -- Etrangere, 10:51:43 02/21/03 Fri

In the prologue (written by Joss Whedon) we meet the First Slayer. She kills a vampire and is met by a girl from the village who brings her food and asks her in the name of the village to leave now. And says :

"They say the Shadowmen made you born with a demon inside and that is how you are able to fight the vampires. That's why they fear you. Why they chose only one. They say that when you die, there will be another girl chosen, and then another, for always. And you will be in them and they in each other and you will never die."
So that's the first time we are introduced with the idea that the Slayer power comes from a Demon spirit.

Then there is Rightous. Also written by Joss Whedon.
It is narrated (in verse) by a Watcher. It's Middle Age. The new Slayer is a very pious girl and when the Watcher tells her what she is
"She neither fought nor cried nor cursed
She simply answered 'No'.

Just 'No.' -- an turned -- I ran behind
To ask, 'How can you know ?'

'For God is good, and God is kind
And would not curse me so.' "

He enventually convices her, she becomes a Slayer in truth. One night the town she lives in is attacked by a vampire named St Just, who has a whole mob behind him. He kills lots of people and the priest of the city preached :

"The shepherd does not leave behind
the lamb that tiring, falls
and God is good, and God is kind
He will protect the walls."

St Just climbs up the wall and starts a killing spree until he is stopped and killed by the Slayer. But all is not yet still.

" 'Beware' intoned the wild-eyed Priest
His voice a fever pitch
'A vampire is a heinous east
But worse yet is a witch !' "

They take the Slayer and they burn her.

"For most it does not last so long
The smoke their breath will take
But she was strong, so very strong
She burned up wide awake

I brought her this, this great reward
With talk of Destiny

She cried out 'Father ! Help me Lord !'
But kept her eyes on me.

The town made merry, gambled, dined
They'd nothing now to fear

They burned the darkness from my mind
The world at last was clear

For God is good and God is kind
But he's not welcome here."

In the last picture we see the watcher opens the gate in the wall of the city to let the vampires come in.

So that's mostly the clues that made me thing of the whole Trinity thing.
I do strongly advice you to get Tales of the Slayers. The one by Benson and the one by Fury were really great. Of course the pictures are lousy, but even Sandman gets lousy pictures :)

[> Re: Strength card -- aliera, 10:29:48 02/21/03 Fri

Just wanted to note, that luna caught this reference to Strength (and also to the Chariot)on Angel in Soulless in the Yeat's poem. I'm not sure about what Joss intended,but with Yeat's background it was certainly a tarot reference in the poem. There was also discussion last year at the stakehouse, C&S and (I think) here about the 8, the 11 and another card from the t-shirts worn by Willow, Dawn? and Buffy? in Bargaining? Sorry about so many questions marks, do you remember this at all Ete? isn't the Devil up level from the Lovers (choices)?

BTW thanks for the post! Do you still have your website up for the Buffy tarot?

[> Great post Ete! -- ponygirl, 13:14:53 02/21/03 Fri

Great point about the Slayer as the sacrifice who becomes the hero. We are all chained to the earth in a way, the whole circle of birth and death (or is it a spiral?), except of course for Buffy who has died yet lives. It's fitting that she's the one to break the chain and yet how can she sever her connection to the earth and the ties that bind? I forget who posted about the Unbearable Lightness of Buffy but it seems pretty apt. I wonder if chains can be chosen.

Rambling now, better get back to work.

Supersymmetry(Spoilers) -- MysticalMuesli, 09:31:57 02/21/03 Fri

I just saw this episode and I have a question. acoording to this ep, the portal which took Fred to Pylea was opened by the Prof. Doesn't that contradict what we were shown in

[> Re: Supersymmetry(Spoilers) -- maddog, 10:30:01 02/21/03 Fri

Ok, I needed an update on Belonging so I went back and reread the summary. I'm not quite sure what you mean by a contradiction. Anyone can open that portal as long as they have the book and a place where a portal can appear(dimensional hotspot). So I guess those places include the library, Caritas, that place the car goes through in OVer the Rainbow(the summary says it's Paramount), and the professor's office. Where's the contradiction?

[> [> See my post above, maddog -- KdS, 10:42:28 02/21/03 Fri

[> Re: Supersymmetry(Spoilers) -- Utopia, 12:24:10 02/21/03 Fri

I haven't seen the episode since it first aired, but if I remember correctly the basic idea was that the professor planted the book at the library where he knew curious Fred would find it, be intrigued, try to figure it out, (succeed) and open the portal. Sort of a rigged accident. He used her intellect against her.


The Chalice and the Blade: Buffy as a microcosm of our cultural evolution ... no spoilers past GID -- morgain, 09:38:25 02/21/03 Fri

I have been lurking for awhile, and this is my first post.. Be gentle...

In responding to some discussions about the female empowerment imagery in Get It Done, I was reminded of a book I read several years ago, "The Chalice and the Blade" by Riane Eisler. So I took it off my shelf, and skimmed through it last night, and was again astounded by the themes that are tackled in a genre TV show about a small blonde girl who is the Chosen One called to fight demons and vampires.

The book attempts to question many of the "givens" we take for granted about how, culturally, things should be, especially regarding issues of stereotypical roles and relations of women and men, and our conceptions about the nature of power and social organization. Using a wealth of data from archeology, history, religion, and ancient literature, Eisler presents a compelling argument.

Its main point is the perspective that throughout human prehistory and history, there are two basic ways of structuring relationships between the female and male halves of humanity. All societies are patterned on :

* a dominator model, in which human hierarchies are ultimately backed up by force or the threat of force. This is conceptualized by Eisler as patriarchy, or matriarchy... any society that places one half of humanity over the other. Social relationships are based on rankings of inferiority or superiority. They are also characterized by a high degree of institutionalized or socially accepted violence, ranging from slavery, wife and child beating within the family, to aggressive warfare on the larger tribal or national level. This way of cultural system organization to Eisler symbolizes The Blade.

There are two clear examples of this model at work: Anya and Buffy as general.

Anya is the blade [interesting that she has a sword through her chest in Selfless], especially when she berates Spike for being wimpy by not killing the demon. It is not the killing so much as the linking between Spike's worth / masculinity and the killing. Spike chooses protection, and this was not as valuable to Anya. This perspective also explains much of her dialogue during Buffy's speech and afterwards: her contribution is sarcasm, a way to disconnect people from each other; she advises leaving Buffy to fend for herself after she enters the portal; and she undermines Willow's confidence by reminding her about going off the deep end.

Frankly I had no problem with the sentiments behind Buffy's speech. It was the way she put it. She questions the power hierarchy by saying she is no longer going to carry them [telling them to use their own power], but she contradicts and shifts into the outmoded "Do what I say" model of leadership that Xander tries to argue against. The training scenes [the army culture] is also all about the dominator model. Did it really surprise anyone to hear the term "maggot" used in that context? Kennedy is using fear and domination as a way of building a cohesive fighting force... but ultimately it cannot work.

The other model described by Eisler is:
* the partnership model, in which social relations are based on linking and connection rather than hierarchy and authoritarianism. This formulation of culture worshipped life-generating and nurturing powers of the universe and the earth. This is symbolized by The Chalice, the cup of life.

This was much more subtle, I think, in its thematic presentation in Get It Done. Xander has been the most vocal character espousing this model. [*TRIP*... ooo, did I just find Xander's arc?] and his comment about friends. Yes, Buffy is the leader, and they will follow, but they do so because they are connected to her, not out of fear. Dawn, as well, was the one to galvanize the group into a cooperative effort to bring back Buffy. She picks up an axe to back-up Kennedy against the demon. She shifts into research mode. It is interesting that the two strongest voices about collaboration are those without "special powers".

But I think that there is another sign that this is the way to beat the First: when Buffy sees Chloe in her dream, she is much like she is before she dies... alone and disconnected and being haunted by the First. Buffy can't even remember her name [Chloe? It is Chloe?]. Then the Slayer tackles her telling Buffy that it is not enough. I can't help but think that it is linked to what had just happened: Buffy's patrolling the house, looking quite fondly on the sleeping SITs and attempting to talk to Chloe. That is what I think is not enough... not enough linking and nurturing [why are the Watchers are killed also, 'cause don't watchers nurture SITs?]

The basic tension between these two organizing principles for culture is the power to take life and establish and enforce domination or to give it. Eisler contends that the way things are [i.e., the widespread structure of the dominator model] is not by biological imperative nor divinely ordained. It is the way we have structured our cultural and social systems. Archaeological records also shows that, following a period of chaos and almost total cultural disruption, the cultural evolution of societies that worshipped the life-generating and nurturing powers of the universe - in our time still symbolized by the ancient "feminine" chalice or grail-was interrupted and displaced by the blade.

I think that Willow, Spike and Buffy are playing out the tension of the two models of culture. Willow tries to balance between the two; Buffy and Spike are on opposite sides at the beginning, and then switch.

Willow knows that everything is connected, but she is still tied in her mind to the abuse of power she perpetrated in S6, and does not trust herself. In fact, she cannot conceive that she can change her way of gaining / using power. She uses the power of the others to open the portal, showing the need for connection and joining. It just would have been nice to ask permission of Kennedy and Anya [much like the shamans don't ask Buffy's permission]. The power is taken, not offered. She tells Kennedy that that is how she is when she is like that [in the midst of power]. What she doesn't realize is that she doesn't have to be; just as she abandons the Latin [a Blade culture if ever there was one!], she can leave behind these outmoded ways.

Spike is more concerned with protecting Anya in the alley than with pummeling the demon [He looks at the demon, glances at Anya, then makes his decision to run]. He has lost the blood lust of The Blade with the soul, his link to humanity. He welcomes Wood onto their side-- the more good guys we have, the longer we'll live [at first, before they drew their "blades" and the pissing contest started]. But, after Buffy's speech to him using humiliation and sarcasm to make the point, he makes a choice based on what he think she wants of him. He chooses the blood lust. Again, it is not the killing, but the relishing of it.

Buffy forced the group into collective action by putting them in a position of having to bring her back. She also rejected the power over model of the shamans who tried to enforce a joining with a demon. Perhaps the decision to join would have been best; their methods though were ones of domination and control.

from Eisler's book:
"In short, the problem in dominator societies is not men. It is rather the way male identity must be defined in male-dominant societies where, by definition, "masculinity" is equated with domination and conquest-- be it of women, other men, or nature.

To maintain this type of society, boys must be systematically socialized for domination, and therefore, for violence. Male violence has to idealized - as we see in so much of our normative literature celebrating violent "heroes". Indeed, in these societies violent behavior patterns are systematically taught to males from early childhood through toys like swords, guns, and violent video games, while only girls are systematically socialized for nurturing, compassion, and caring.

What ME and JW are doing is nothing less than questioning the very foundation of our culture...
our "just the way things are" thinking. And given our technological capabilities for destruction, we face a very grim future, and ultimately no future at all if we continue with the dominator model. But if we recognize that a future orienting to partnership is a viable alternative, and become conscious of the centrality of partnership, gender roles and relations to the construction of such a future, there is hope.

In the words of Wood, "It takes the end of the world to bring people together."

[> good post. both interesting and well written -- Alison, 11:07:22 02/21/03 Fri

Buffy/Angel crossover - wild speculation; strictly fiction (a few tiny spoilers) -- purplegrrl, 09:40:21 02/21/03 Fri

Angelus is back, and now he's out of his cage.

Figuring that the Beast has Los Angeles covered, and with all the competition from the other vampires, Angelus hops into his black GTO convertible and goes on a road trip to Sunnydale. He still has a bone to pick with Buffy, considering she once made him fell all human and icky. Angelus spends the miles gleefully thinking up ways to torture the Slayer and her friends.

Meanwhile, Buffy has her own issues battling The First while managing a bunch of Slayers-in-waiting, an ex-evil-still-geek, a jealous souled vampire, and a potential work/romance conflict. Life would be much simpler if all she had to deal with was giving Angelus the business end of Mr. Pointy.

Arriving in Sunnydale, Angelus visits a few demon haunts, twists a few arms (off), and gets information about all the tender young things living at the Summers' house. He licks his lips in anticipation of the blood-fest and torture smorgasbord he has planned. Angelus seeks out The First Evil and learns it has been torturing the Warriorettes of Good with disturbing visions of their dead friends and loved ones. Angelus applauds The First's efforts, but gets it to agree to let him put an end to the Slayer and her ilk.

Nosing around town in search of any way to vanquish The First, Spike hears that Angelus is back in town. Having never been terribly fond Angelus but being quite familiar with his obsessive habits, the blonde vampire rushes to warn Buffy.

Upon being told about Angelus, the Slayers-in-waiting don't understand what the big deal is - he's just one more vamp in need of a good dusting. Despite her recent take-no-prisoners attitude, Buffy's feelings for Angel re-surface and she tells Willow to try and restore Angel's soul. Spike is not pleased at this turn of events (he wants to up his place in line for Buffy's affections), but he has his own troubles to deal with.

It seems Principal Wood has been giving Spike the hairy eyeball every time they run into each other in the field. But Spike gives as good as he gets, jealously guarding the few crumbs Buffy has thrown him lately.

Angelus makes his way to Buffy's house. Being the handsome charmer that he is, he gets himself invited by one of the newly arrived Slayers-in-waiting. He quickly drains her blood and sets off to explore the enemy camp.

But Buffy and the others are waiting in the basement for him, hoping to trap Angelus and restore his soul. Failing that, they know they will have to destroy him.

Reaching the basement, Angelus quickly figures out what is going on. His first attack is aimed at Willow. He knocks her unconscious and smashes the spell paraphernalia.

Now Angelus sets his sights on the real prize - Buffy. Arrayed around her are the potential Slayers. Angelus smiles like a barracuda. He grabs the first girl he can lay his hands on, drinks her blood, and breaks her neck. Knowing Buffy as he does, Angelus knows his next kill won't be so easy.

And he's right. As he drops the cooling body, Angelus sees Buffy step directly in front of him. They exchange pleasantries and the fighting commences.

Buffy and Angelus know each other's moves so well that neither is able to get the upper hand. But Angelus senses that Buffy is holding back.

For her part, Buffy keeps hoping history will repeat itself. But Xander and Anya are unable to revive Willow and no one else is capable of doing the restore-a-soul spell.

Angelus presses his attack. Buffy makes a miniscule miscalculation and Angelus has her. In a heartbeat she is dead.

The Slayers-in-waiting are stunned. Their leader is dead. And none of them has felt the calling as the next Slayer - seems someone forgot to tell them that Buffy was outside the direct Slayer line and that Faith would have to die for one of them to be Chosen.

In the ensuing confusion, Angelus starts picking off the potential Slayers one by one. Spike leaps into the conflict, forcing Angelus to deal with him alone instead of killing the girls. Angelus is beating Spike to a bloody pulp, but Spike somehow manages to slip in under the older vampire's defenses and stake him. Spike then crawls over to Buffy and cradles her lifeless body in his arms, refusing to let anyone else touch her.

With Buffy dead, The First packs up its sideshow and heads off in search off another town to torture.

In Los Angeles, the Beast's master has gotten bored with eternal night and rampaging vampires. So she brings back the sun and enjoys watching the vampire flambé that ensues.

So now Sunnydale is guarded by a souled vampire (Spike) and Los Angeles is guarded by a Slayer (Faith). The potential Slayers set their workout routines to music and make their way to off-off-Broadway. Andrew is developing a crush on Dawn; Dawn still has a tiny crush on Xander; Xander still has feelings for Anya; Anya is hoping for a second time with Spike; and Spike re-creates the infamous Buffy shrine.

[> Re: Buffy/Angel crossover - wild speculation; strictly fiction (a few tiny spoilers) -- Dariel, 09:54:55 02/21/03 Fri

Nooo-you can't kill Buffy and Angel!!! This is depressing. You must be looking for a job with ME!

[> [> Re: Buffy/Angel crossover -- purplegrrl, 09:58:48 02/21/03 Fri

I only do what my Rice Krispies tell me.


[> Re: Buffy/Angel crossover - wild speculation; strictly fiction (a few tiny spoilers) -- Retread03, 10:23:25 02/21/03 Fri

There's only one thing to add: If you listen carefully, you can hear Joss laughing himself silly.

Buffy now waging the war (minor SPEC for S7) -- cjc36, 10:22:53 02/21/03 Fri

This is in response to an earlier, about to be archived post, regarding Buffy's attitude and how she is becoming too...militaristic and actually hypocritical in ordering her friends/warriors to 'do more' while hours later rejecting the power boost offered her by the First Watchers.

Buffy is now It. Not the egotistical It, but rather the one in command now. She IS the Council, or at least sees herself in the role.

She's becoming Travers, in a sense. Travers, the one willing to trap a helpless eighteen year old woman in a house with a psychotic vampire just to pass some arcane 'training' ritual. Gone is the levity of just being a resistant, sometimes petulant warrior. She now must do things and say things that the old Buffy would do or say - and this, in effect, dehumanizes her. But seeing soldiers as pieces is a necessary detachment needed for effective command.

Basically seeing this transformation ain't pretty. Watching her scold the group was like watching strangers punish their kids in public. I was embarrassed for them (but make no mistake, well written and acted).

She has said to the others that they must surprise themselves in order to defeat The First - the First already knows them so they must alter their own natures. This makes sense, but how does one actually do this?


Perhaps that is the point of the entire season. Maybe it Buffy needs to heed her own advice. Perhaps it is her humanity, and not her power, that ultimately will save the day.

I'm a silly romantic, I know, but in the end maybe it's about Love, not Power.

[> Re: Buffy now waging the war (minor SPEC for S7) -- maddog, 10:55:55 02/21/03 Fri

Who says her love isn't her ultimate power...remember the first slayer...Love is her gift. Who says it only pertained to that one incident at the end of season 5?

"Friends don't let friends kill people": thoughts on "Him/Supersym". No spoilers past 7.6/4.5 -- KdS, 10:39:18 02/21/03 Fri

Another really good double bill. Please mark any spoilers for later S7/4 eps broadcast in the US in replies (especially ship-related ones) - I'm spoiled but other British posters may not be.

Firstly on Him. I must admit, I loved this episode and found it the most purely fun since The Real Me, way back at the start of S5. In many ways, this is what many people feared S7 would be in general, but one episode of it is a treat. I had outbreaks of laughter all the way through, but the absolute high point was the flash back of the terrifying pack of girls in BBB, followed by Xander's fondly nostalgic smile. I think that like DMP and also probably Go Fish, it suffered from the excessive anticipation put on it due to the ridiculous American habit of irregular scheduling.

I must admit, back last year I was one of the people fooled by the title's playful mockery of Spike-obsession - who else could an episode called simply Him be about? Rah believes the whole ep to be a satire on Spike-obsession - RJ, like William, is raised by a coat from poetry-spouting geekdom to caddish flowering. Minus the slaughter, of course. But I think it's a little broader than that - the way RJ's brother corresponds to S4 Xander if he'd never taken himself in hand, the way the potential dark sides of BtVS's four main women are so casually and lightly summed up. And MT's Bronze scene really summoned up my, and every man's, shameful latent hebephilia (look it up).

The only real down side was the editing of the scene where Buffy saves Dawn from the train - it makes no physical or temporal sense whatsoever.

Turning to the Dark Side, I loved Supersymmetry just as much, enough to forgive it for the downright nonsensical retcon of Belonging (far better minds than mine have tried and failed to explain how or why Seidel managed to arrange for Fred, and Fred alone, to come upon a book in a public library. And how did he know she'd come to just the right page and read it aloud?). The issue of Fred, Gunn and Wes's choices have been discussed at great length on this board in the last week or so, so I'll just state a few opinions. One, no way was Fred just threatening Siedel only to relent. Two, if Gunn thought that the fact that he did the actual killing would relieve Fred of guilt, then he's dumber and less understanding of Fred than I think he is. Three, watching the episode I come more and more to the minority conclusion that Gunn's killing of Siedel was more about sparing him (Seidel) torture than about Fred. Four, Gunn horribly fails to understand just how much of a personal threat Fred feels. Cocoa just is not going to cut it. Five, after Passion, Tough Love and this episode, everyone in the Buffyverse should have worked out that you do not leave a murderously enraged person alone, no matter how calm they may appear on the surface. And six, while Wes's behaviour was pretty dark, I don't honestly believe that his motivations were solely to split Gunn and Fred apart. I think that there was also a strong element of making sure that he wasn't the only one who lost the moral high ground, and some genuine belief that Seidel deserved to die (remember Wes's own abusive father issues).

What really surprised me was the amount of sexual tension between Cordy and Connor, especially the crack about stealing the bedclothes and the outrageously phallic "hold my axe" scene. When the hell did Cordy get such extreme fighting ability? I also have some ideas about the meaning of Lilah's gift to Wes. Yes, there's the whole hard shell, armour idea, but also a helmet of that style doesn't just hide your face, it also stops you seeing anything that isn't straight ahead of you. There may also be literary hints towards the poisoned helmet in Webster's The White Devil and the monstrous killer helmet in Castle of Otranto.

I enjoyed the intercutting between the dark drama of Fred, Gunn and Seidel and Angel's played-for-laughs fight with the apparently unkillable demon. We all really thought Voynok was just a board joke, so it was a surprise to actually see one in this ep. I read Sang's very positive comments about the physics in the ep at the time of initial broadcast and was impressed by the depth of research. I'm a chemist/info scientist rather than a physicist, and know zero about particle physics, but I would agree that the only big error was the lack of any OHP or Powerpoint slides for Fred's presentation.

Some other comments - the idea of attempted murder by black magic SMS is so cool I'm surprised AtS was the first person to do it. Angel really does have a bad habit of letting potential spellcasters have too much freedom to move and talk - you'd have thought he'd learned his lesson after what happened with Marcus in Carpe Noctem. I hate to go all Honorificus, but Gunn wearing Puff Daddy's clothing label? I thought he'd have better taste than that. Finally, I can't help wondering if Seidel's name was an obliques homage to that bard of LA low life Tom Waits, and his song Mr. Seigal, which has a chorus so appropriate to play out this post...

Won't you tell me, brave Captain, why are the wicked so strong? How can the angels get to sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on?

[> Well summed up! (Spoilers, Him and Supersymmetry) -- Rahael, 11:00:52 02/21/03 Fri

I liked Him much better the second time around than the first. Made me laugh.

I really really liked Supersymmetry. Those two are writers to watch, huh?

I felt pretty prescient re my remarks about Fred's internalisation of the hell that was Pylea when I heard her say that every time she closed her eyes, she could see it.

I too, like KdS, thought that Gunn failed to understand just how traumatised Fred is, and just how traumatised people react. However, I've never believed that suffering entitles anyone to wreak havoc on the world. But I can also see how certain coping mechanisms are completely knocked out at moments of intense stress - and that's where Fred was. Interestingly, Fred knows she's not acting as she should - but she doesn't care. She feels that she must do whatever she can to a) make Seidel suffer b) erase him from existence so there is no possiblity her existence can be erased again.

I thought Wesley (or rather Weasely, as I like to think of him in this episode) did not understand Fred any more than Gunn did. I saw no sign that he was respecting her right to self determination in a way that Gunn didn't. In fact, in my opinion, he seemed manipulative. That sly, delicately put question in the car "I'm surprised Gunn isn't here". The way he framed the sentence "You know that everything Gunn and Angel told you is right, don't you?" But he presents himself as offering something more to her. Fred knew what she was getting when she went to Wesley. Not someone who was more of a feminist than Gunn, but someone who had proved to the world that he was willing to act in an unethical, unorthodox way.

I'm not surprised that Gunn doesn't understand the level of her trauma. It would be very difficult for anyone who hadn't undergone Pylea to quite understand just how dangerous Fred was going to become when her safety was threatened.

I think that at the end of the episode, Gunn demonstrates that he understands how close he is to losing Fred. He's not dumb - he understands the significance of Wesley's presence at the Conference. Intermingled among all the other complex reasons for his final decision, I think there's an edge of desperation in there. He's going to lose her if she throws him into the portal. And he's going to physically lose her if he keeps Seidel alive. And then he decides that if htis is what it takes to allow Fred to sleep at night he'll do it, though he might lose her anyway.

So I really liked this episode. Despite my worst fears, my liking and fascination for the characters of Fred and Gunn grew. Unexpectedly, my estimation for one of my favourite characters went down slightly (but he's still very compelling!).

Agree with KdS. Why is Gunn wearing the Sean John line?

[> [> Ah, but is he a member of the Axis of Weasels? -- KdS, 13:33:28 02/21/03 Fri

[> [> Preserving this thread for the Brits -- Masq, 16:46:31 02/21/03 Fri

But too brain-fried at the moment to add any thoughts I aint already thought on these eps!

Oh, except for the "majority" and "minority" views on Gunn's motivations for killing Seidel. Even if the minority view is true--that he did it to spare Seidel a worse death via the portal or in the other dimension, I think Fred believes the majority view, that Gunn did it so that she wouldn't become a killer, and it wasn't his place to do so.

[> [> [> Gunn's motivations -- LittleBit, 18:18:19 02/21/03 Fri

Regarding either of the possible reasons for Gunn's murder of Seidel: they both completely ignore the fact that Fred and the entire AI crew went to, survived and returned from, Pylea. There was really not a reason for assuming that Seidel would die, thus making Fred his indirect killer. Perhaps more of one to assume he would be tortured, but the AI group did fairly well, and Seidel had shown by his actions against Fred that he would exercise options she would never even have imagined. What Gunn did was force one and only one outcome of the actions ... Seidel is dead.

[> [> [> [> To be perfectly frank... -- Doug, 20:11:29 02/21/03 Fri

...Seidel didn't strike me as being the most fit survival wise. Didn't have the brawn that the AI crew had, and he wasn't as young as Fred or the others; and while his theoretical knowledge and intellect were extensive he might not make the most spectacular survivalist.

And if his sentence was to live in a cave in some hellhole world and wait to die of old age, I would argue that the death Gunn gave him was far more merciful than what Fred wanted to do.

[> [> [> [> [> And that didn't look like Pylea. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:22:57 02/21/03 Fri

Granted, I missed Season 2 of Angel, but I was under the impression that portals into Pylea didn't reveal fire and snake like creatures with sharp teeth. The portal Fred opened looked totally lethal.

Also, here's another theory about Gunn's motivation: he realized there was no way to stop Fred. No matter what, Seidel would end up dead due to her. And Gunn said "I don't want to lose you", and he likely would if she committed a murder. So what does he do? Kill Seidel himself. If Fred was going to become a killer, Gunn didn't want to lose her to that. He would join her in the murder, thinking that, if they morally fell together, at least they would still be together.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And that didn't look like Pylea. . . -- LittleBit, 21:43:57 02/21/03 Fri

I agree that it wasn't Pylea, that it appeared to be a far worse hell dimension. I don't know what Seidel's survival skills might have been. My point was simply that as a result of Gunn's action, Seidel was denied any option of survival at all. He might only have survived two seconds in the portal dimension, he might have managed to raise a portal in order to return (however unlikely that may be). As it was, though, he didn't even make it into the portal alive.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Becoming Seidel (Spoiler, SS, Spoiler, Get it Done) -- Rahael, 09:33:23 02/22/03 Sat

Surely what underlay the whole episode was Fred's trauma at having existed in Pylea for five years. So terrifying that her fear could make her want to torture Seidel, slowly.

I believe that was why she and Wes came up with the portal idea. They wanted to get rid of him, and they wanted it to be painful and slow. At that moment they became Seidel.

Fred only came out because Angel got sucked into Pylea. And she's arguably more brilliant than Seidel is(I bet he stole the research of the students he threw into portals).

I really don't like that Seidel was killed at the end (in a moral way, not in an AtS writers shouldn't have done that way), but if Seidel had been thrown in alive, Fred would be a tainted character to me for the rest of the seasons. Because her fear of a hell dimension allowed her to inflict that on another human being. She knows what it is like, and it's a wonderful metaphor for how suffering doesn't ennoble, and indeed, sometimes allows the person who has suffered to inflict exactly the same on another. As if it would wipe the experience clean, if someone else went through it.

Does this mean vengance is right if the person who is tortured is unrepentent? So it would be okay to flay Warren, and Spike pre souling?

It's not about forgiveness. It's about being a person of integrity and not becoming the person who harmed you.

[> [> pssst, Rahael....(Spoilerish Supersymmetry) -- WickedBuffy, 18:32:35 02/21/03 Fri

I asked you this last week, but you hadn't seen the show yet. What was your reaction regarding Gunn when Gunn shot the flamethrower at Angelus? (Angelus was in the cell taunting as usual and Gunn was sitting on some crates, on watch, with the flamethrower across his lap.)


WickedBuffy, this topic is intended for people in the UK who are watching BtVS and AtS on Sky One, which has so far broadcast episodes up to Him and Supersymmetry. While I'm spoiled and I don't mind if you refer to later episodes in responses, could you please mark any posts containing references to eps not broadcast in the UK. I know some British lurkers and occasional posters who are trying to remain unspoiled are reading these topics.

[> [> [> [> My Bad :/ -- WickedChastised, 09:17:27 02/22/03 Sat

I apologize - I was so excited to find out what Rahael thought about that moment that I jumped the gun and confused Supersymmetry and Calvery. No harm was intended at all - it was simply a brainslip. I sincerely hope it didn't ruin anything for anyone. It's not something I usually make a mistake about.

I also apologize for even posting here. I was totally unaware that only UK people were allowed to post in this thread. My bad. :/

No need to shout at me, though - ok? Peace

[> [> [> [> [> You're allowed to post!! Just mark spoilers! -- Rahael, 09:36:16 02/22/03 Sat

Won't get to see Calvary for a long long while, but I'll get back to you when I do!!

[> [> [> [> [> Sorry -- KdS, 09:54:52 02/22/03 Sat

Didn't mean to suggest that Americans couldn't post (and sorry for the all caps, wasn't aimed at you, just making sure lurkers noticed). Just remember that we're still several episodes behind you.

[> Re: "Friends don't let friends kill people": thoughts on "Him/Supersym". No spoilers past 7.6/4.5 -- maddog, 11:24:47 02/21/03 Fri

Someone did point out in an earlier post on the Gunn/Fred/Wes dynamic that Gunn treats Fred like this little rag doll...one that's pure...so in this instance, if he kills the professor than she doesn't have to lose her innocence. The problem here is that she lost it the minute she was enslaved. Gunn's just seeing what he wants to see.
Cordy's fighting has been coming along for a while. Remember she trained with Angel for quite some time and much of that time together lead people to first believe they were more than just friends. And besides, she's part demon now...that gives her power...just ask Buffy. :)

[> Re: "Friends don't let friends kill people": thoughts on "Him/Supersym". No spoilers past 7.6/4.5 -- yabyumpan, 19:22:39 02/21/03 Fri

"Friends don't let friends kill people"

I'm not sure how clear this post is going to be, my brain's in 'spaghetti' mode at the moment so this might not be too coherent but I'll do my best ;-)

I've just watched 'Supersymmetry' again and re-read all the posts in the archives about the ep. Most posts seem to agree that Angel and Gunn treated Fred like a little girl, that they wanted to protect her because they saw her as 'pure' and 'untainted', that Gunn was wrong to take the decision away from her, that Wesley was the only one who really respected her and treated her as an equal, as an adult. While I think that all those things are to a greater or lesser extent true, for me it really comes back to KdS's heading:

"Friends don't let friends kill people"

This episode was about revenge to a large degree. Is it right to take revenge? Do you have the right to stop someone else's need for revenge? It made me think of other acts of revenge from last season: Holtz taking Connor, Angel trying to kill Wesley, Connor sinking his father to the bottom of the ocean. In all three cases, the act of revenge is generally seen a 'wrong'.

I'm going to focus on Angel trying to kill Wesley at the hospital. Not because I think that Wesley's crime is in any way as great as the Professor but because I think they compare in terms of friends stopping or trying to stop another friend from taking revenge.

"Friends don't let friends kill people"

For at lot of the time in 'Forgiving', Fred and Gunn are worried about Angel taking revenge on Wesley, they go to Wesley's place to try to find out what happened, they try to find answers from Justine, they try to find Wesley before Angel does, afraid of what he will do. At the hospital, Gunn and Fred, along with the hospital staff, stop Angel from taking his revenge on Wesley.

Were they wrong to do this? Did they in some way 'emasculate' Angel? Were they treating him like a child? In fact all through the episode people are trying to stop Angel from taking revenge, they were protecting him. Gunn even says at one point:

Gunn: "He was trying to protect *you* - same as we're doing right now."

Once Angel had calmed down, he no longer actively wanted to kill Wesley. He realised that taking revenge was wrong, he started to rebuild his life without having to carry the guilt of killing Wesley and has a chance to build bridges and regain his friendship with him, because his friends stopped him from taking revenge.

"Friends don't let friends kill people"

So who respected or cared about Fred more, Angel and Gunn who tried to talk her out of taking revenge, who went went to work investigating the Professor, trying to find another solution? or Wesley, who not only helped Fred find a way of taking revenge, admitting that vengence would have a price, something she's have to live with forever and who actually drove her to the college to do the deed, making sly remarks about Gunn on the way and who, incidently, is only alive because his friends stopped Angel from taking revenge?

After watching the episode for the third time, my overwhelming feeling is that Gunn and Angel's action were the most caring, respectful. Yes, they were wrong in not realising the extent of Fred's suffering and rage and yes, they treated her in some ways like a little girl and underestimated her. But Wesley, even though he knew what the consequences of taking revenge would be on Fred, encouraged and helped her. He could have tried to talk her out of it, he could have rung the hotel, in short, if he was a true friend, he would have tried to stop her as Gunn and Fred stopped Angel from killing him.

Apart from revenge, for me, the episode was also about friendship, what does it mean to truely be a friend and if you care for someone enough, does that caring extend to stopping them do something that is wrong and will cause them pain in the future, even at the cost of the friendship?

"Friends don't let friends kill people"

[> [> Re: "Friends don't let friends kill people": thoughts on "Him/Supersym". No spoilers past 7.6/4.5 -- WickedBuffy, 22:14:12 02/21/03 Fri

Was Wesley even considered a "friend" of anyones at the time of the Professors demise?

My view of him was he was sucking up to Fred and would have agreed with anything she wanted to do, no matter how horrible, as long as it looked like he was "on her side". That's not being a friend, in my book.

Your comparisons of how Angel was treated and how the treatment was viewed, as opposed to Fred and her treatment were great. It made me wonder, too, if gender was making a difference in the views?

[> [> Crystal clear, coherent and Excellent!! -- Rahael, 09:50:06 02/22/03 Sat

And you point out beautifully why its not patronising to think that someone should be above inflicting terrible suffering on another human being. It is the expectation that we are decent human beings (not pure or untainted). In fact, that reply that Fred gives to Wesley's surprise that Gunn isn't there "that's why I love him!" shows that she's aware she's crossing the boundaries. She's decided to cross the boundaries not because its the right thing to do (she knows its wrong) but because that's what she wants to do, needs to do.

She also needs to be stopped, but things progress to the point (progress amply aided by Wes) that final options are stark. And Gunn does what he does not because that's what he thinks is right (it's wrong) but because that's what he wants to do, feels he needs to do. The tragedy is that there is no one there to stop him, give him another option. It's too late.

I'd like to point everyone to Manwitch's excellent post on Wood and Spike, revenge, justice and vengeance, and how we should treat everyone better than their deserts, because who would 'scape the whipping if we didn't?

Meme me up Darby -- Sophist, 12:55:44 02/21/03 Fri

I went to the bookstore at lunch today and found that someone is channeling you. There is a book out, brand new, by Stephen Shennen called "Genes, Memes, and History. The subtitle is "Darwinian Archaeology (?!) and Human Evolution." I suspect you can guess the thesis.

I bought 3 books on evolution today. This was not one of them. :)

[> Re: Meme me up Darby -- Darby, 15:39:16 02/21/03 Fri

If memes become a widely disseminated and more generally accepted idea, will they themselves be Darwinian memes?

[> [> Aren't they already? -- d'Herblay, 16:02:12 02/21/03 Fri

After all, the concept of memetics has undergone a fair amount of transformation since its introduction in The Selfish Gene, evolving from a conception based on genetics to one, influenced by the tracking of viruses in computer science, based more on epidemiology.

On the other hand, remembering that the ideas most recognizable as memes are ones that show a rigid stasis, persisting in the face of a wealth of contradictory evidence; ones that seem constructed to impart survival value to themselves more than to idea structures they come to inhabit; one could argue that the more memes change, the less they are memes.

My girlfriend thinks that "memes" is the only truly rigid and virulent meme. I think she has a point.

[> [> [> Sounds like a clear case of punctuated equilibrium to me. -- Sophist, 18:06:28 02/21/03 Fri

[> Re: Meme me up Darby -- aliera, 16:55:51 02/21/03 Fri

Being nosey but what did you buy? Read a little over last summer and always on the look out for recommendations. :-)

[> [> Re: Meme me up Darby -- Sophist, 18:12:56 02/21/03 Fri

Here's what I bought:

Spencer Wells, The Journey of Man, A Genetic Odyssey

Marlene Zuk, Sexual Selections, What we can and can't learn about sex from animals

William C. Burger, Perfect Planet, Perfect Species

Can't tell you if they're any good though, since I obviously haven't read them yet.

Let me know what you've read and I can give you some recommendations.

[> [> [> Re: Meme me up Darby -- aliera, 05:15:34 02/22/03 Sat

I know I read several books but the only one that really comes to mind is Genome by Matt Ridley. I'm usually reading in a couple of different areas myth/pysch/lit combined with something in the other side of the brain, last summer it was genetics/evolution/arch/biology/natural history. I'm a bit of a trollop with books, if it's well written I'll read it. I read very little fiction anymore. My reading tends towards the broad rather than deep approach (except for Buffy!) I tend to read quite a bit off the internet these days which lends itself to a dabbler's approach following links to other links. And the board has been a wonderful source for me, many of the discussions prompting visits to Google. I'd be happy to hear of anything you (or Darby or D'H and the rest of the Board) has found interesting. We haven't had a non-fiction thread yet.

Just a little sidenote: when I saw the word meme my connotative visual was of the thread that ate the board...that wasn't meant as any kind of criticism though! :-)

Are we so sure we know what we know? (GID spoilish) -- WickedBuffy, 14:17:20 02/21/03 Fri

I'm trying to figure out why some things are taken at face value by us in BtVS and others aren't. Some are clearcut, not talking about those (Willow has witch power). Some are borderline and discussed (Was that the FE or really Buffys moms ghost?) but what about the rest?


For all we know the Shadowmen aren't child defilers but are actually wise. We are underestimating them.

For all we know, that was a test Buffy went through - realizing she could make a choice, and claiming that power WAS the power.

For all we know, when Buffy dreamed the First Slayer threw her down the stairs and growled "blahblah not enough" it was the FE playing with her mind, as the FE so lovingly does. Or, it was the spirit of the First Slayer and in HER (First Slayers perception, what Buffy has is not enough.) Not the solid truth, but the First Slayers perception. Remember, FS did accept the demon strength and was fairly pre-verbal in evolutionary development. Back then, physical strength was the basic way you survived. Has the First Slayers intelligence or wisdom ever been questioned?

For all we know Andrew is the screen everyone else's ego's are truly being portrayed on. Why does it continue to be alright to insult him, but not others who've done "bad" stuff? Sure, it's funny at times, but how "humane" are they acting? (Which seems to be a buzzword lately.)

For all we know, Buffy wasn't even shown that final clip we saw.

For all we know, Buffy WAS shown that final clip, and it was false. (Because, for all we know, these Shadowmen *are* manipulative, little girl corrupters forcing demon juice on people so they don't have to fight their own fights against demons.)

For all we know, the Shadowmen were projections from The Powers That Be and this whole Hellmouth thing is a huge lesson to humans about their own nature.

For all we know, Chloe's character was offed because she didn't show up for the previous episode and ME was mad at her.

and for all I know, no one is reading any of my posts today and I don't care, I'm just having fun writing them. :p

[> Personally, I'm going with Occam's Razor: -- HonorH, 14:45:38 02/21/03 Fri

The simplest explanation, that is, is most often the correct one.

I'm going with what I saw onscreen in GiD. Buffy was offered a very real chance at more power, one which she refused because she didn't like the fringe benefits. I'm going with the Shadowmen genuinely believing this was the best choice for the First Slayer and Buffy. I'm also going with the First Slayer being an unwilling guinea pig--hence the chains.

And now, for my own "For all we know":

For all we know, it was the infusion of demon power into the First Slayer that allowed demons to keep such a foothold on Earth. For all we know, in their efforts to combat the demons, the Shadowmen only perpetuated their existence. Boy, wouldn't that be an irony?

[> [> Some people don't shave. ;> -- WickedBuffy, 16:09:51 02/21/03 Fri

"The simplest explanation, that is, is most often the correct one."

Respectfully not agreeing with that in this context. Real bad tv generally follows that rule, but good tv (BtVS) uses that idea to its advantage in creating suspense and general at-the-edge-of-your-seat entertainment. Writers can lead the viewers to believe it's the simple answer and it's not. And they can lead you to think you've out-thought the writers and guessed the simple answer, and it's a double-twist. Instead of what you assumed, it's something else. (Eve wasn't Eve. But did we even suspect she wasn't? Giles being suspect as being The First, but never was.) I feel this way because I love playing with all the "what ifs" in a well-done show like BtVS and Angel - they have fairly consistant continuity with an unpredicatible flavor. I enjoy not knowing if what I see is what it is, or if it's not. Are the writers wanting me to assume this to send me off in the wrong direction? Are the writers wanting me to assume they are sending me in the wrong directin and they really weren't? I love speculating all the different ways it might go - analyzing my assumptions and seeing if they hold water. Playing around with each one.

errr, anyway - about your For All We Know ... I really liked that! Carrying it further, Buffy refusing the demon infusion might be the key that weakens the demons foothold enough to defeat them. The Shadowmen said she was the last guardian of the Hellmouth, though, before she turned down the demonjuice. Did they get wiser after all these years and already knew she would turn it down? Was it a test?(ignoring the Faith Slayer theories for this) Perhaps it takes a purely human Slayer to really subdue the demons.

Of course, every For All We Know sprouts it's own group of questions to answer. :> (Again, to me, part of the fun.)

[> [> [> Some of us just leave a sexy stubble... -- Random, 09:16:14 02/22/03 Sat

Eh, you're dead right in your list of "for all we know" options. Good points, all. We make assumptions, and ME has often proven us wrong. But...my own "for all we know"

For all we know, the people on this board -- including me -- will apply their TTMQ with a vengeance and finally come up with an array of theories so dazzling that ME will have no choice but to shut down production of BtVS and AtS...because they could never come up with an epic as grand as ours -- they're only human, dammit. Huh. Seems to me that we've already done that here. If BtVS and AtS were based on the threads on this board, we wouldn't just have a TV show. We'd have a Borgesian saga that would defy any attempt by any medium to contain it. Neat idea actually, to create a work of art that not only transcends its medium but actually annihilates it. sigh okay, daydreaming aside -- ME has, as much as I hate to say it, occasionally been anticlimactic if one compares it to some of the fascinating theories by various posters (think Willow's condition in STSP, or the theories about Tara's spell sabotage, or even the issue of the other two Hellgods in S5.) You've convinced me to stay away from an all-out Ockham's Razor burn, but I'll still keep some peachfuzz, just in case.

[> [> [> [> sexy stubble is never a bad thing... -- WickedBuffy, 09:34:29 02/22/03 Sat

...unless it chafes someone else ::ouch ouch:: ;>

I agree with you , keeping some peachfuzz is a good idea.

I had forgotten an important For All We Know - the one you pointed out. For All We Know some of the board thread brainstorms, had they been used, would have transformed the media into a completely different animal! (Some of these ideas truly are more exciting than what actually happens in the show. Reading the posts make BtVS a much richer and deeper experience for me. ::sob:: )

For All We Know if the boards ideas had been incorporated into BtVS, SMG would have been so thrilled with it all she would have begged to stay on and signed a 20 year contract! And BtVS would be eternally tops in the ratings! And we'd all be listed in the credits!

(ok, thats a farfetched one - still, now I'm musing on what different directions the show might have gone if that had actually happened....)

[> [> KABOOM BOOM All Night Long -- KdS, 05:01:26 02/22/03 Sat

For all we know, it was the infusion of demon power into the First Slayer that allowed demons to keep such a foothold on Earth. For all we know, in their efforts to combat the demons, the Shadowmen only perpetuated their existence. Boy, wouldn't that be an irony?

HH, I think you've got it, and I think that that's the piece that finally completes my view of how the series will end. Of course, I spent most of the second half of S6 thinking that Warren would try to rape Buffy by mind control and Spike would kill him, so that shows how good my prediction is ;-)

[> Re: What else might we not know? (GID spoilish) -- pr10n, 15:08:59 02/21/03 Fri

Much as I respect HonorH's evocation of Mr. Occam, I am fired up by the idea of hints and backstory (and retcon):

For all we know, the Council of Watchers had lots more knowledge about Buffy's nature and destiny than they ever shared with her.

For all we know, Giles knew about the "last guardian" thing all along.

Why didn't Buffy get a Slayer's Handbook? Or a certain Slayer Emergency Kit that opens right to the beginning of Slayerness, passed from Chosen to Chosen? Because the CoW knew she had a different destiny from the get-go.

For all we know.

[> [> oooooooohhhh - How I love Irony, HonorH!!!! -- Briar Rose (wild speculator), 16:24:01 02/21/03 Fri

I agree with you that the ultimate irony is very possibly the whole reason of the season.

Like I said in physics/metaphysics parlance; Bad and Good/Deamonic and Holy are all human perceptions. They are not necessarily what TPTB (ME or the real PTB*L) see as true or relating to the life of Buffy at all.

It's most interesting that "Back to the Beginning" has been pegged as the philosophical approach for this season.... That is the most equivocal comment ever made outside of the political arena. I take it to mean that all that came before is now open to speculation. That what we THINK we know and what the SG thinks they know is all subject to be re-written as the story progresses.

I base this spec on the fact that we have seen so many changes in the overall Buffy-verse these last 6 seasons. First we saw only Bad Vampires and Deamons and The Forces of Good and Light; Buffy, TWC and the SG. Then we meet Angel. Wow! A Vampire with a soul? Fighting on the White Hat Squad? Okay - so it's not all black and white after all. Then we get "BadBuffy...." So the white hats aren't all pure as the driven snow!

As the seasons progressed, we got EvilWatcher's Council, EvilWillow, RevolvingSpiritualSideAnya, EvilSlayerFaith, FirstSlayer as BigBad and SouledSpike.*L

Nothing is written in stone in the Buffy-verse (and I suspect) nor the Joss-verse as a whole. Integration of halves of the human existance (good/bad, male/female, duty/volunteerism, thinking vs. knowing) and Personal Integrity are the foremost aspects of all these changes we've been shown, IMO.

We are truly back to the beginning and we know NOTHING about where we are going. This is actually metanarrated right in the storylines: The SG has nothing on the FE. They know nothing and have no way to truly find out. ME are very likely telling us upfront that "you [the veiwer] know nothing about the outcome just as the Scoobies know nothing about the final outcome or how to get there."

The ultimate irony? That the FE is actually the force that created the Slayer in the first place.*L Buffy is the FE and it's a matter of two sides of the same coin.

[> [> Re: What else might we not know? (GID spoilish) -- WickedBuffy, 16:42:18 02/21/03 Fri

and why doesn't a character on the show ask these questions, too? They are pretty logical ones. What are they DOING all day? lol! ok, then what do they think about all day that no one wonders these things.

The Slayers Emergency Kit... as you said - that's a pretty intregal piece of information. But Buffy just set it aside until later - as if she didn't want to be bothered with it right then. But getting that stain out of her sweater was pretty key, eh?

Was there a Slayer (or Slayers) between Woods mother and Buffy? Why didn't they get the Kit if it was so important? It fits in with your For All We Know that the CoW knew alot more than they gave out about Buffy. They knew she was the one who would need to use it and therefore made sure it was not passed on to the previous Slayers.

How does it fit in, then, that Giles was absent from such an important ritual? Or did Woods plan it that way for some reason? Timing it that way? Or was it Giles plan? Giles sure has seemed ineffectual lately - not understanding other languages, no great plans, fairly passive. It might be part of what he needs to do to be out of Buffys way to develop - he's tried leaving before because he thought she was too dependent on him. Is Giles phasing himself out to let Buffy complete her Last Guardian destiny by purposely melting more into the background? Or, is he not completely really GIles? (Did someone mess with his IQ?)

Then again, maybe the Kit was a one-time episode item and isn't important to any more of the plot, so the writers decided not to waste dialog on it.

Isn't it fun to run with what we know of how the show has surprised us in the past, with what we see ... and speculate without too many assumptions? I feel more actively involved watching the show when it's on and even after it's over. Fired up, like you said! Hints and backstory!

[> Reading you! (spoilers 7.15 and earlier) -- luna, 17:23:15 02/21/03 Fri

Reading your post, I should say. I agree. There are so many possiblities. For sure, when it comes to mindgames, FE isn't close to JW and ME.

I'm very persuaded by the logic and literacy of all the posts arguing for the rightness of Buffy's choice, but it still doesn't FEEL right, no matter how often I watch it.

My Thoughts on a wacky way to end this season (No Spoilers here) -- Wolfhowl3, 20:14:25 02/21/03 Fri

It is well known that Willow has to power to make someone who is Incorporeal, corporeal. (ie. Afterlife), so Why doesn't she Try to do that to the First.

I'm sure that the First would have no Idea what to do with her now Physical body, so Buffy wouldn't have much trouble Hacking it into chunks and sending them to the 4 corners of the globe.

Let me know if you think I'm insane.


[> I love it! lol -- SugarTherapy, 21:23:13 02/21/03 Fri

[> Isn't is "different" kind of incorporeal, though? -- WickedBuffy, 21:44:27 02/21/03 Fri

Cool idea!

But my take is that the FE is a concept portrayed as a "being". Which is different than a being who is incorporeal. Did that make sense? Unless maybe they "trapped" it in one if its morph forms - but it seems to be able to switch out of those or disappear pretty abruptly.

plus, Willow is presently being portrayed as "Wussillo, Wimp Witch". Spinning pencils is about all she thinks she can do on her own right now. };>

[> [> meant "it" not "is" ::whapping hands:: -- WickedTypoes, 21:50:15 02/21/03 Fri

[> [> Missing the point re: Willow -- HonorH, 22:33:33 02/21/03 Fri

Given the build-up about Willow's power, if she doesn't do something mighty impressive by the end of the season, I'll be severely disappointed. The issue isn't power; it's control. She's got great power, but she's afraid she can't control it. That's her issue for this season. If she doesn't work through it, there's been no point to her entire rampage last season. So Wussy Willow, mark my words, *will* not last through the season finale.

[> [> [> Repointing at Willow -- WickedBuffy, 23:26:37 02/21/03 Fri

"The issue isn't power; it's control. She's got great power, but she's afraid she can't control it"

She has great power or the people she sucks it out of do? Lately she's had a great power for sucking power out of other people. I keep thinking that though she does it that way, she can do it from within herself. Her line to Kennedy explaining magic thru power-sucking keeps running thru my head "That's how it works, ::pause:: that's how *I* work." An opening, maybe a realization for Willow that maybe it doesn't have to be that way. (Kennedys reaction helped drive the point home to Willow, too, it appeared.)

I also have the crazy idea that a key theme is these people realizing the great power they have within themselves, not outside themselves - not someplace else to be taken, or given or umm nearly forced on them. Choice.

And that if she *did* suck it from herself instead of taking it from someplace or someone else, it wouldn't be dark like it has before. It would be hers and pure.

But she doesn't trust herself enough yet. In several areas she seems more hesitant than ever.

But making her more of a Wussillow now would make an even more dramatic jump when she *does* use it, which I agree with you - I think/hope that she will by the end of the season. (I don't know if she's in the spin-of or not, though? That could affect her last scenes in BtVS, too)

Anyway, I was mainly wondering if the FE was the same type of incorporeal that would be affected as in Willows previous spell, as Wolfsong3 brought up as a great ending. :>

Extended derived 'syllogisms' on the pervading theme -- Celebaelin, 08:40:04 02/22/03 Sat

Not strictly syllogisms, nor indeed Fesapos, but it's an entertaining word game.

There's a distinct advatage to being derivative, you can argue with me but...

1 "It's all about power."

2 "All our knowledge is ourselves to know." Alexander Pope

3 "Knowledge itself is power."

1A Self-Knowledge is power.

4 "Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well." Ralph Waldo Emerson

5 "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac." Henry Kissinger

1B It's all about having the wisdom to use the ultimate aphrodisiac.

(1B is not entirely in jest.)

6 "Money is power..." Andrew Jackson

7 "Time is Money." Benjamin Franklin

1C It's about time!

1C with more precision - It's all about time.

1D It's all about self-knowledge, wisdom, sex and time.

8 "...life time falls no more. The threat of time we have in our own courage forsworn." Allen Tate

and so

1E It's all about self-knowledge, wisdom, sex and time (and therefore, by extension, death).

Anything there that WON'T sell?


And some quotes I couldn't work in to a quasi-syllogistic form but struck me as of relevance...

"Time flies like an arrow..." Chinese Proverb
(Fruit flies like a banana)

"It is easy to avoid a spear in the daylight, but it is difficult to avoid an arrow in the dark." Chinese Proverb

"Time flies, death urges, knells call, Heaven invites, Hell threatens." John Bartlett

"Do not percieve that the giver of the wounds is the enemy and that the quoted tattle merely the arrow." F. Scott Fitzgerald

(Aaaarrghhhh, Grrrr, meow! woof!)

Anxiety is the appropriate emotion when the immediate personal terror - of a volcano, an arrow, the sorceror's spell, a stab in the back and other calamities, all directed..." Margaret Mead

"I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow, By his best arrow with the golden head, By the simplicity of Venus's doves, By that which knitteth souls." William Shakespeare

Of course (percieved) pertinent quotes are the ones that leap out at you, but still.

[> Eh, you could probably work the syllogism... -- Random, 08:56:02 02/22/03 Sat

...of Xeno's arrow paradox into the second set of quotes. (You know, the one about motion and spatial coordinates) Indeed, maybe it's time to start talking about paradoxes and ME on this board. Any takers? (I'd do it myself if it weren't for the whole "hung-over-and-wish-I-were-dead-or-at-least-less-fond-of-Jack-and-coke-chased-with-20oz-glasses-of-Guiness-draft" issue. Maybe someday soon, though.)

[> [> Re: Velvet mouth -- Celebaelin, 08:59:51 02/22/03 Sat

"No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power." Patrick Jake O'Rourke

Will work on the Xeno thing, it's foreign to me currently!

[> [> [> Re: Velvet mouth -- yup!!! -- Random, 09:29:09 02/22/03 Sat

Oh, the Xeno thing is a less-famous analogue of Xeno's Achilles and the Tortoise paradox. Simply put, he observes that a man shoots an arrow into the air and observes its motion. Now, at any given moment -- an exact absolute moment in time -- the arrow exists in an exact location. Or, to put it in clearer terms, if you could stop time while the arrow was flying, the arrow would stop in a specific, definable, measurable spatial location -- in other words, it is at rest, much as it would be lying on the ground. Now, Xeno points out, the path of the arrow's flight consists of a (infinite) series of such moments. So where, he asks, is the motion, the forward momentum? If at any given moment, the arrow's location is concrete location, how does the arrow get from one point to the next? It's actually -- like his other paradoxes -- a crude form of the discussion of calculus and infinities.

Eh, I'm hungover, as I said, and not quite able to explain it as clearly as I'd like. Anybody out there who would like to help me here?

[> [> [> [> Re: Velvet mouth -- yup!!! -- Darby, 09:47:33 02/22/03 Sat

That's the clearest evidence I've seen that, although time is describable as a series of points, it doesn't really exist that way. Otherwise, it's reduction ad absurdum. Sometimes everything isn't convertable to simple math.

But I'm still happy that I personally have no need of calculus in my daily life.

[> [> [> [> [> Heh -- Random, drinking lots of water, too little, too late, 10:00:48 02/22/03 Sat

"But I'm still happy that I personally have no need of calculus in my daily life"

Aren't we all, aren't we all...but you're right about the paradox. Like Achilles and the Tortoise, it's easy to just perform the action -- shooting the arrow, running the distance -- and leave the paradox asphyxiating on the ground. The real question is, much like the Liar's Paradox ("This sentence is a lie"), how do we reconcile the apparent logic of the paradox with the real world. Some people would say it's just semantics (the Liar's Paradox almost certainly is) but I'm not so sure. As you said, we can describe and codify and explain the night away, but sometimes we have to accept that there's something a little, well, quirky about reality.

Or the Buffyverse. Discuss. :}

[> [> [> [> [> Well, that too -- Celebaelin, 10:06:31 02/22/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Re: Velvet mouth -- yup!!! -- Celebaelin, 10:02:34 02/22/03 Sat

There are only an infinite number of definable positions for the arrow if you employ an infinitely large number of divisions of time for it's flight. Theoretically Mathematically possible (I imagine), but unless you're suggesting that the arrow is in flight for an infinite amount of time, or that the flight of the arrow is infinitely important, use of an infinite division of time is surely inappropriate?

A couple of quick caveat regarding true syllogisms.

No geese are felines.
Some birds are geese.
Therefore, Some birds are not felines.

Whilst this is true it is better to reduce to the specific case (geese) than to broaden to the general (birds)


No birds are felines
Some birds are geese
Therefore, No geese are felines

All dogs are mammals.
Some pets are not dogs.
Therefore, Some pets are not mammals.

This also is true, but is an inappropriate conclusion for the reason described above


All dogs are mammals.
Some pets are not mammals.
Therefore, Some pets are not dogs.

All places where smoke is are places where fire is.
All places that are the attic are places where smoke is.
Therefore, All places that are the attic are places where fire is.


There's no smoke without fire.
There's smoke in the attic.
Therefore, There's a fire somewhere.

Which is as true as the first statement is, when combined with the second one, well, yeah.

Some hawks are sharp-beaked animals.
All hawks are birds.
Therefore, Some birds are sharp-beaked animals.

True, but an incomplete truth.


In their natural state Hawks are sharp-beaked animals.
Some hawks do not have sharp beaks.
Therefore, Hawks without sharp beaks are not in their natural state.

So says I, so there. Strikes defiant pose (jutting of chin makes inviting target).

[> [> [> [> [> Actually, I'm not suggesting anything... -- Random, 10:56:53 02/22/03 Sat

...Xeno was. About 2500 years ago, so they didn't have quite the handle on infinities as we do now. But technically, everything takes place over an infinite amount of time...if you regard time as subdivisible into discrete, measurable (in theory) points. Just as a mass in three dimensions can be described as being comprised by an infinite series of planes. It's only our own, limited perception that prevents us from observing the infinities involved. Plus, we would get really, really bored waiting for that damned arrow to hit its target :-}


syllogisms can also be reversed.

All birds are non-felines
Some birds are geese
Ergo, all geese are non-felines


There's always smoke where there's fire
There's no smoke in the attic
Therefore there's no fire in the attic.

This leads to a curious conclusion. Say, for instance, you say (which you did!) that:

All dogs are mammals.
Some pets are not mammals.
Therefore, Some pets are not dogs.


All demons are evil
No evil things are canaries
Therefore, no demons are canaries

(I know the truth of the premises is questionable, but that has no bearing on the validity of the syllogism itself. Let's just assume they're true)

Play with the above syllogism and you discover a non-evil thing that is also a non-demon, you're in the curious position of proving that no demons are canaries, or all canaries are non-demons. If you divide everything into two categories -- evil and non-evil -- you then discover that you can say: all non-evil things are non-demons. If no demon is a canary, then any non-evil thing you find (say, a non-evil barcolounger) that's a non-demon proves, ever-so-slightly, that that all demons are evil...until, of course, you find the exception. Barring that, you thus prove that -- since no canaries are evil and all demons are -- no demons are canaries. Thus, your favorite recliner proves, by this syllogism, that no demons are canaries, just as surely -- of not to the same quantifiable degree -- as if you'd discovered a demon who wasn't a canary or vice versa. You can either look at all the demons in the world, or look at everything else. It's a profound concept, really. Even if I didn't actually manage to make it sound so. In fact, I'm not even sure I got it right. I mean, I know I'm right about what I want to say, I just don't know whether I put it down correctly. The ibuprofen is just kicking in.

Loved the P.J. O'Rourke quote, BTW.

~Random, who spends a lot of time thinking about non-demonic canaries. Don't ask.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Hurrah! It's just that infinity gets a bit, er, all embracing? -- Celebaelin, 11:25:15 02/22/03 Sat

Actually my favourite recliner is formed from a bound fire elemental, which is just doozy (or is that snoozy) as long as it remains bound...

Anywho, that isn't Celebaelin's chair in fact (it's Aramand's - Lord Aramand, Heir of Aragorn, Isuldur and Elendil, Lord of the Black Forest, Hereditary Lord of the Dunedain. Translates as live action [swords, chain mail etc.] FRP character "'Call me Ishmael,' Johnathon, 'call me Ishmael'..." which probably sounds a bit obscure but that's only because it is).

OK, I'll stay off the Maths, in case you decide to turn me into a furrier.

[> No.3 Is by Sir Francis Bacon btw -- Celebaelin, 09:13:29 02/22/03 Sat

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