January 2002 posts

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My letter to CWA (see Hauptman's post below to see what I am talking about) -- The Last Jack, 08:51:33 01/01/02 Tue

After reading yet another article bashing our show by an author who obviously has seen maybe one episode of the series, I decided to write them back, and give them my opinion. I doubt I will get a response, but I thought ya'll might be interested in it:

To whom it may concern,

This is in response to your October "review" of my favorite show, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." You went out of your way to express which parts offended you the most, so I would like to respond to them as of fan of a show I can tell you have never watched:

Point one: "Weak male character": I assume you are refering to the character Xander, played by Nicholas Brendon. Let me assure you that the character is in fact quite heroic, but he is an everyman, and is often overshadowed by the exploits of his friends, who happen to be superhuman women. Jimmy Olsen is the ordinary friend of one of the most powerful men in the fictional world, yet we don't call him weak when he gets scared or calls out for help. Is your problem with Xander that he isn't Rambo or Bruce Lee, or that he often relies on the help and rescue of strong women?

Point 2: Lesbian Witches: Having read your website, I can gather what your problem with Willow and Tara is. I hate to tell you this, but you are fighting a losing battle. Homosexuality is is becoming more mainstream every day, and most of us in the current generation (I am 23) have no problem with it. I personally wouldn't want to worship a God who would punish innocent people just for loving someone. And if you are thinking of using pedophiles or sexual predators as an arguement against this, let me remind you that those people are usually straight, and that they do it for a sense of power and control, not sexual gratification.

Also, most of us have better things to worry about than what is going on in a person's bedroom. Maybe you can spare the time to worry about this, but I often have to work two jobs to make ends meet (and I am a college graduate).

Point 3: Buffy's relationships with creatures of the night: One of the main themes of Buffy is the power of love and the idea that redemption is possible to even the most seemingly evil of creatures. The characters' in the series often have positive influence on bad characters, and help bring them back into the light or on the side of right. Xander, your so called weak character, helped redeem the ex-demon you mentioned, and showed her how to love and be human. Buffy herself has redeemed one vampire, and is working on another. If a soulless monster can be redeemed, doesn't that show people that there is hope for anyone.

Point 4: Where is the good in the series? There is no black and white in this world, only shades of grey, and Buffy reflects this. Buffy, like us, lives in a world where the lines are often blurred, and its hard to tell the good guys from the bad. She is fighting a war against terror, much like America is now, and often times, you have to make alliances with people who are bad, just not as bad as the evil you are fighting. Its called choosing the lesser of two evils; we did it with Stalin back during WWII and we are doing it now with some of the anti-Taliban fighters (some of the leaders treat women just as cruelly as the Taliban was). The point is, often in life you have to compromise, and let the chips fall where they may.

Well, that is all I wanted to say. I wanted to keep this short, but I may have gotten carried away a bit. I doubt I have changed your mind any, but I hope at least I got you to think outside of the box you are in.


The Last Jack*

*I signed my real name in the orginal letter ;)

[> Re: My letter to CWA (see Hauptman's post below to see what I am talking about) -- Spike Lover, 09:13:16 01/01/02 Tue

Nice letter. By the way, I have been learning this year that sexual predators come in all sexual preferences. However, the liberal media in an effort to be "politically correct" have not reported some of the instances of sexual predation nationally because the perpertrators were of a "politically protected" sexual preference, if you get my meaning. (It seems the pendulum has swung the opposite way from where it was in the 50s.)

[> [> Re: My letter to CWA (see Hauptman's post below to see what I am talking about) -- Forsaken, 13:36:22 01/01/02 Tue

Wow, great letter. I wish you'd put it up here first and gotten some signatures to go with yours, give it a bit more weight. But then, it's written well, and carries plenty on it's own.

[> Re: Your letter to CWA (see Hauptman's post below to see what I am talking about) -- mundusmundi, 13:37:26 01/01/02 Tue

It's a good letter. Before sending it, I would suggest giving it a last brush for the very few spelling/grammatical errors I found: "argument" instead of "arguement" in the Point 2 paragraph; "characters" without the apostrophe in the second sentence of Point 3 (you may even want to change that to "good characters" or "protagonists") and a question mark at the end of the same paragraph; and twice in Point 4, "It's" instead of "Its". Sorry to be picky, but your points will come across stronger when the letter looks as impeccable as possible, and you don't want to give them any opportunity to sneer no matter how trivial. It's very well written other than those few minor glitches.

I would also suggest actually mentioning Superman as Jimmy Olsen's friend, since God knows they may not get the reference. And don't forget to add somewhere, perhaps in closing, that the "unknown language" they note is, in fact, Hebrew; that's simply too good to pass up.

Hope this was helpful, and not too fussy.


[> [> ('Course if it's already sent, never mind ;) -- mm, 13:40:11 01/01/02 Tue

[> Misspelled the email address lol -- The Last Jack, 16:42:53 01/01/02 Tue

Just went to check my hotmail account, and found that the email had been returned. Apparently I misspelled their address when I typed it, so I am going to have to send it again (I have really got to pay attention and see whether address end in a .com or .net or .org) Oh well, this gives me a chance to make some of those corrections ya'll were talking about. I won't send it again until tomorrow night, so if anybody want to add anything to my letter, either post it here, or send it to my hotmail account, which is listed above.

[> Re: My letter to CWA (see Hauptman's post below to see what I am talking about) -- maddog, 09:08:51 01/04/02 Fri

A few things to add to your well written letter. But to say one thing ahead of time...just looking at this website I'm not surprised of their reaction...very religious, very right wing. Why a group like this would even review a show so full of fantasy makes no sense to me...it's a given they won't agree...so why bother? I mean, this is the same type of group that would give Harry Potter a bad review. Of course the whole metaphor concept goes right over their heads...but that's another story.

First off, the show wasn't "canceled" by the WB...the network could simply not afford a show that had become as popular as Buffy had. Hence the move to a network that would pay them for what they are worth.

And to add to your "where is the good?" answer...Buffy goes out on a nightly basis and fights the good fight...rids the world of a few less bad guys...now it's certainly not the show's fault that they picked the one episode in 5+ seaons where she didn't do much of it(and can you blame her? she wasn't exactly alive for half of it).

Makes me wonder what they'd think of the latest few shows...Buffy/Spike, Willow(not only with Rack, but then being with Dawn afterward). I just don't understand why a religious group would review this show...I mean, it isn't PAX material. They should have known that coming in. This kinda thing just bugs me.

Giles off the show -- Liz, 14:14:07 01/01/02 Tue

Hello. I'm new here so I'm not sure if this will even post. But here goes.

I've been wondering if Giles was written off the show in a consistent manner. I know Tony Head wanted to move back to England and they had to write him out in some amicable way, leaving room for guest appearances. But I'm not sure it worked.

My problem is this: Giles really needed to leave for himself. His entire life was Buffy. He not only loved and protected her, she was the center of his work. And he was never the center of her life. He was the stable person to the side, both from her perspective and from the perspective of the show. He was friends with the Scooby gang but was never really a part of it. He really didn't have a life of his own. This started becoming an issue in 4th season, when they all didn't need him so much in terms of being a watcher. And he almost went back to England in the beginning of 5th. Then Buffy said she needed him again and then everything got increasingly out of control through 5th season. Everyone needed everyone in 5th. Then she dies. And he finally returns to England. Then she's back. And he is obviouly happy to see her. And he believably wants to be a part of her life again. Yet he also obviously doesn't fit in Sunnydale anymore. During the first part of 6th, in many little ways he tries to relate to everyone as an equal. He doesn't want to be the old guy anymore. He tries to be just one of them. It doesn't work. And you can see him being slightly hurt and annoyed.

So my problem is this: All of his reasons for leaving, when he spoke of them, were all about Buffy. How he had to leave because she needed to be strong and not turn to him for everything. And that might (though I'm not sure) have been true. But it seemed like a stretch. I just didn't buy that this was why he was leaving, or that this was all of his reasons. And what really bothers me is that this was all he sang. The musical was supposed to be about everyone revealing their secrets. It was supposed to be the truth serum. Yet he only sang about the effect of his staying on Buffy.

So maybe Buffy is really all he's thinking of, and his own reasons aren't important to him or he's ignoring them. Except they're so painfully obvious when you watch him through the first few episodes. Or, maybe the reasons are all linked--his inability to help Buffy get through things is part of his sense of failure as a watcher that he expressed in the first episode of 6th season: he said maybe she would have been better off without him. What he said in his song and in his talk with her was that he really didn't want to go, but he had to for her. And he said it convincingly, which is why I'm confused. Especially since I'm not sure I agree with him. It seemed like a terrible time for him to leave her. Though he is right that he really wasn't able to help her. I'm not so sure that he was standing in her way or hurting her, but he really wasn't able to get through to her.

So I'm not sure. It seems kind of inconsistant. I'd be fine with saying that his motives were complex and the reasons he gave Buffy are simply the one's he'll admit, even to himself--if not for the musical. It defeats the whole point of the musical. Though interestingly someone pointed out to me that while the musical is supposed to be about admitting secrets, Buffy didn't hear him. Only two songs were like that, Giles's song to Buffy and the duet he did with Tara. Both characters were singing to people who take them for granted. That was interesting. So perhaps the function of the song, for Giles, was not to tell the whole truth.

But no, it still doesn't quite work. I'm going through all these mental contortions trying to make it consistant with the subtle richness that his character has had. But I'm not sure it works.

Any thoughts?

I'm rather fond of Giles, and I hope the BBC programs works out. I also hope that I can see it in America.

[> Welcome! ;o) (And some speculation...) -- Wisewoman, 19:10:26 01/01/02 Tue

This is interesting, and I hadn't really given it much thought before. I just watched Flooded again and relived Giles' confrontation with Willow in the kitchen. Is it possible that Giles knows something that we don't yet know?

He seemed to be condemning Willow's actions in resurrecting Buffy in general, but perhaps there was a subtext there. Perhaps he knows just how Buffy came back "wrong," and why, and what the future result of that will be, and all these things are part of his reason for leaving her to work things out on her own.

I'm just rambling, but is it possible that Buffy is now so much more than just the Slayer that having a Watcher would actively hinder her?


[> [> basis for speculation?? -- anom, 22:30:01 01/01/02 Tue

Wisewoman, could you post what Giles said that made you think that:

"Perhaps he knows just how Buffy came back "wrong," and why, and what the future result of that will be...."

Because how could he know? It doesn't sound like that's what he's talking about--more like what the general effects might be. When he says he isn't sure Buffy's "intact" (I think it was), I think he's just basing it on her reactions when they were talking earlier. As for his reference to the fact that others have done what Willow did, he may know the kinds of things that can go wrong, but not necessarily what did go "wrong" w/Buffy.

"...and all these things are part of his reason for leaving her to work things out on her own."

It didn't seem as though he was thinking ahead to when he'd leave again at that point. (Not to me, anyway.)

[> [> [> Re: basis for speculation?? -- WW, 10:01:45 01/02/02 Wed

Some others have posted parts of the conversation between Giles and Willow, but really I don't think it's anything that he specifically said...it's more his manner, and the way that Giles has tended to play some stuff pretty close to the chest.

I have a lot of unanswered questions about how and why Giles decided to leave when he did, after his initial plan to leave at the beginning of Season 5. Two sung lines from OMWF stick with me as well, "You're not ready for the world out there," and "Is my slayer too far gone to care?"

He also sings that he'd like to slay Buffy's demons and let her rest but, "now that time is passed."

Why? If Buffy came back exactly as she was, after having been dead for months, you'd think she'd need some time to rest and recuperate, and that Giles would be more than willing to give it to her. Somehow he knows she's not ready for the world out there, and also knows it's too late for him to do anything to help her get ready.

It just seems to me that there's an underlying assumption in the things Giles says and does that we haven't been made aware of yet, but hey, that's why it's just speculation!


[> [> [> [> More on Giles - Plus some Spike analysis -- Liz, 15:15:36 01/02/02 Wed

I don't think that Giles actually knew anything that we didn't, at least not back in "Flooded." And in that episode (3rd of season, I think) he seemed to genuinely want to give Buffy all the time she needed. Yet you can see even in that one that he's not really able to get through to her, and it bothers him.

That fight with Willow in the kitchen was some pretty great writing, I thought. I don't think he particularly knew that Buffy "came back wrong" (whatever the hell that means--we still have no idea), but he knew that she could have come back irrevocably psychologically damaged. And besides that, Willow was being smug about doing something that could have killed her or unleashed hell or any number of terrible things. So he got pissed at her as if she was still a child. But she isn't. She's an adult, and perhaps he doesn't know her any more. With this and the talk with Buffy it seemed like Giles was just out of his depth.

Throughout episodes 4&5 they tried to show Buffy leaning too heavily on Giles, which supports his idea that he has to get out of her life for her to start living again. But it just seemed like too little time. Buffy didn't have any point where she could just relax and recover. She just kept having problem after problem. It seemed like somebody should have given her some kind of a break. Though I can see how perhaps Giles couldn't do that. But the closest thing she got was Spike--and I'm still not sure if that'll be a help to her or if it'll be destructive to her.

Spike was amazingly compassionate from the end of season 5 through season 6, but then he started saying things like, "Sooner or later you'll realize that I'm the only thing you've got" and such. And while he's remaining loyal and incredibly concerned about Dawn, he's starting to regain some of his old attitude. I'm not sure how this will play out with him and Buffy. He seems to think that he can have her by making her a bad girl, as opposed to trying to become a better person in order to deserve her. Now he wants her on his terms. And she might just have no one else, and nowhere else to go. We'll have to see.


[> [> Speculation on what Giles knows (spoilers) -- Vickie, 08:13:47 01/02/02 Wed

WW, you bring up something I wondered about when first viewing the episode. Specifically, Giles said "We don't know where she was."

I think he's afraid from the beginning that Buffy's resurrection is not the rescue Willow thinks it is. He doesn't really stress that with Willow, because the spell is likely to have tough consequences for her (Willow) regardless of the overt effect on Buffy.

I also wonder if we really know who called Sweet? We're supposed to think it's Xander, or maybe Dawn with Xander covering up for her. But think back to the beginning of Season 3. Giles knows that Buffy is hiding something (that Angel was resouled when she sent him to hell) and that something is eating her up inside. So he invents a "binding spell" that requires precise information about those last moments. Eventually, Buffy tells him (and Willow).

Similar situation? Take it and run...

[> [> [> Telltale word exchange w/ Willow -- Spike Lover, 08:40:42 01/02/02 Wed

What was telling for me was when Giles said, "There are others that could do what you did, and I doubt you would like to meet them."

Willow's interesting response: "Probably not. THEY ARE THE BAD GUYS. I am not..."

But she is in that group now, the group of 'bad guys'. Yes she is.

Giles kept talking about the "powers that you harnessed." I kept thinking, 'the powers that have harnessed her.'

We shall see. I loved the preview. How many more days?

[> [> [> [> Re: Telltale word exchange w/ Willow -- zilla, 09:15:05 01/02/02 Wed

When I rewatched the episode and Giles confronted Willow, my thought was, what does Giles know...We don't know a lot about his Ripper days. We know he has fiddled in the black arts but how far has he gone. As for the powers that have harnassed Willow, she was taken over by Jenny Calendar when Angel's soul was restored and then there is the whole Glory bit and her rescuing Tara. I wonder if all the powers she has been messing with will hurt her or someone she loves? Just thoughts.

[> [> [> Maybe, but ... -- Earl Allison, 15:05:19 01/02/02 Wed

Neat point, but Giles is pretty good at determining consequences -- look at how he talked to Willow.

I can't see him summoning Sweet because of the terrible risk of SOMETHING being revealed, possibly on his own part, that could be very bad.

Just my opinion.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> Re: Speculation on what Giles knows (spoilers) -- Maxwell, 16:34:03 01/02/02 Wed

Interesting, it always bothered me that Xander would summon a demon just for the fun of it. He should have learned his lesson from that love spell way back is season two- "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered". Dawn however seemed sincere when she denied summoning the demon. Irresponsible use of magic has been Willows thing this season but Xander would not cover for her, that would be enabling her "addiction". I hadn't thought of Giles until I read your post. It does make sense. Giles did correctly "guess" what was going on right from the beginning--"I've got a theory, That it's a demon, A dancing demon!". Latter he sends Buffy off to face the demon alone, perhaps that was his plan from the beginning. But did Xander cover for him knowingly or did he think he was covering for Dawn.
Actually I think Xander actually did summon Sweet, but I like this scenario better.

[> [> [> [> Re: Speculation on what Giles knows (spoilers) -- pagangodess, 20:10:26 01/02/02 Wed

"Later, he sends Buffy to face the demon alone, perhaps that was his plan from the beginning."

I always wondered that, esp. since he sings in 'Walk Through the Fire' - "It's what they had to strike the spark". Maybe it wasn't HIS plan, but he was somehow aware of it. I've always wondered who "they" are. PTB?


Buffy DVD -- Diagnoztix, 16:41:41 01/01/02 Tue

Are people saving up for the R1 Btvs DVDs? Being in the UK I have got R2 Season 3 which came out around October '01 - and will get Season 4 when it comes out in June. I'll hang on to my vhs seasons 1 and 2 until I get a hack to play R1 because the R2 s1 + s2 are reputed 2 b a bit grainy. Will the picture quality/sound on R1 DVD be improved? (I'll bet there'll be extra features)

[> Re: Buffy DVD -- grifter, 00:50:40 01/02/02 Wed

I didn't have problems w/ picture/sound in the R2 s1+2 DVD's (though, the german ones).
The special features are a little meager, so maybe you want to wait for R1 anyway.

[> Re: Buffy DVD -- Andy, 05:49:37 01/02/02 Wed

The region 1 release seems to be almost identical. As for the picture, I'll have to see for myself when I get it but Buffy's a grainy show and a lot of the criticisms I've seen of the picture are from reviewers who admit that they'd never seen the show, or at least the early episodes, before.


[> Re: Buffy DVD -- Earl Allison, 15:11:28 01/02/02 Wed

I have the R4 (Australia) DVDs for Buffy Seasons 1-3 and Angel Season 1, and I am definitely buying the R1 Buffy DVDs anyway!

As for the Season 2 DVDs, the only problem I (and some others, I've heard) was some momentary hesitation and pixelation on the first disc of the series, not enough to really ruin things, but enough to make you notice.

Take it and run.

[> [> Why are you buying R1? -- grifter, 03:02:23 01/03/02 Thu

What kind of stuff is on it that isn't on your version? Cause if it's really cool I'd have to buy it again too! ;)

[> [> [> Re: Why are you buying R1? -- Earl Allison, 08:53:45 01/04/02 Fri

As I understand it, there are SUPPOSED to be new goodies in the R1 DVDs that weren't in other releases -- what those are, I do not know. Still, I'm a completist (the new Buffy CCG is giving me fits!), so I'll get them.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> [> Thanks...will go running now ;) -- grifter, 12:14:35 01/04/02 Fri

when are the new episodes for Buffy and Angel? -- pocky, 16:44:28 01/01/02 Tue

because i'm totally LOST.


[> Angel new ep Birthday Mon, Jan 14 -- zargon, 16:53:27 01/01/02 Tue

[> Buffy new ep Gone, Tue, Jan 8 -- zargon, 16:55:17 01/01/02 Tue

[> Re: when are the new episodes for Buffy and Angel? -- Troy, 19:18:30 01/02/02 Wed

Is that on UPN or FX..?

[> [> Re: when are the new episodes for Buffy and Angel? -- maddog, 09:11:50 01/03/02 Thu

UPN.....F/X is showing repeats

I'm officially back--although my ghostly remnants never quite left : ) -- Masquerade, 09:19:13 01/02/02 Wed

And I've just discovered this morning that my work computer hard drive crashed while I was on vacation and won't be replaced and the back-up reloaded until later today. I'm on another computer! So I'll be in and out today seeing what's up on the board.

Happy New Year All!

[> Welcome back, and Happy Third Anniversary! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 09:50:35 01/02/02 Wed

Do you know about the Trollop Central spoiler board? I know there's a link to it, so I'm thinking it's okay with you, and that you made the link?

It hasn't seemed to have had much effect on this board at all, but Rufus now has a place to post her collected, totally mind-blowing spoilers for those of us who crave them...


[> [> No one could make that link but me! ; ) -- Non-trollop Masq, 09:57:14 01/02/02 Wed

I'm not a spoiler trollop myself, but I personally know many and support their right to live their Buffy fandom as they see fit. Plus it makes trolloping a little more private, as the good Lord intended. Or do you feel like you've created a trollop ghetto?? Banished from the mainstream board out of shame? Perhaps a "trollop pride" thread on the main board is called for.

: ) : ) : )

[> [> [> Re: Oh, goody! That's what I thought ;o) -- WW, 10:08:15 01/02/02 Wed

You have no idea how completely liberating it is to post spoilers in subjects! What a rush...

(Okay, we're sick. We know it. But we stick together so as not to infect others. Mwahahahahaha!)

[> [> Trollop board and also, Happy Anniversary (with many thanks ;)) -- LadyStarlight, 10:06:54 01/02/02 Wed

I think activity on the Trollop Board will increase once new eps start. Right now, most (if not all) of us Trollops have pretty much all the info out there.

But watch out for much discussion later! ;)

[> [> [> Re: Happy Anniversary (with many, many thanks ;)) -- Brian, 10:32:16 01/02/02 Wed

Hope you had a good vacation.

[> My pupils are dilated (eye exam today), but I think I'm writing "Welcome Back" ;) -- mundusmundi, 14:43:26 01/02/02 Wed

[> You're back......:):):):):) -- Rufus, 15:15:32 01/02/02 Wed

We can only hope your holidays were better for you than your harddrive......;)

[> Thanks, all for the welcomes and congrats -- Masquerade, 16:52:45 01/02/02 Wed

[> Re: I'm officially back--although my ghostly remnants never quite left : ) -- Aquitaine, 19:29:57 01/02/02 Wed

Welcome back!

As they did the night of your office Xmas party, my spider senses are telling me that Lilah Morgan is messing with your life. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out she fried your hard drive and currently has plans to swipe your favourite pair of shoes.

Be fery, fery, afwaid, Masq.

- Aquitaine

[> [> See, I knew Wolfram and Hart were after me! -- Masq, 20:46:42 01/02/02 Wed

They're jealous 'cause THEY want to be the First Evil. Hah!

[> missed you! :) -- Liq, 00:35:18 01/03/02 Thu

[> Whew, philosophy is safe again, she's back! ;-) -- Solitude1056, 08:30:03 01/04/02 Fri

Dawn character problems -- Liz, 15:31:49 01/02/02 Wed

I remember during the beginning of 5th season I read an interview with Joss where he said that he wanted to revisit adolesence through the new character, Dawn.

Ok. Interesting idea. And having watched the old episodes in syndication (I started watching Buffy in the 4th season) I now see how brilliant his ideas of adolescence were. So I understand how he'd like to take a look at it again.

But he isn't. It really kind of failed. The interesting thing about _Buffy_ was how his monsters were metaphors for adolescent dangers and traumas. Or many of them were. And Buffy fought the monsters. She and the other teenagers warred against these things that no one else could fight, and that adults didn't even see. Buffy was strong. She was great. She was in no way a victim.

But Dawn can't really be that. The monsters still belong to Buffy. It's still all her fight. Dawn can't become anything but a victim to be rescued. She isn't getting to play an adolescent. She's just a child. She serves the interesting purpose of making Buffy be responsible for someone, which has changed her in some fascinating ways, but Dawn doesn't get to be a character.

In parts of the 5th season she did. But I think that was largely because she was the Key. Now she's just normal. She could learn to take care of herself, at least as much as Willow and Xander did in those years, but she isn't allowed that.

It's all terribly annoying. She's become the damsel in distress. _Buffy_ was great because it previously refused to have a damsel in distress. They should have made her younger if they're going to do this.

Of course part of this is because Buffy is not used to being a parent. She's being strict. And that might come to a head later. And they've yet to deal with the fact that Dawn steals all the time. No characters have noticed this yet. (There was the talisman in the musical but it seems that everyone forgot about that in the chaos.) So maybe it's not so much that the show is treating her only as a child but that all the other characters are.

Still, the story of Dawnn isn't going to be the hero's journey that Buffy took. It's going to be the story of the lesser sibling outshone by the hero. Or it's that at best--right now she's really not much of a character.


[> I think Joss has some serious Dawn developments up his sleeve... -- GreatRewards, 16:26:27 01/02/02 Wed

While I agree with most of your opinion about how Dawn has been delegated the role of "damsel in distress" for the most part, we have been given tiny glimpses of the Dawn that is to come.

We first saw some strength in her when she was forced to dust the guy she was dating. She didn't want to, but she knew it was her only choice and she accepted it. We got to witness some inner struggle as she actually contemplated taking the easy way out and letting the guy bite her... but she was stronger than that.

Next we saw Dawn take matters into her own hands (albeit briefly) when she and Willow were attacked by Willow's "monster" in Wrecked. Instead of shrieking and wilting into the background, she turned on her attacker and gave him a good walloping.

Later in that same episode Dawn faced Willow and slapped her, obviously the emotional superior at that moment.

I believe that we will see the emergence of a much stronger and self-sufficient Dawn than we have ever seen.

As a parent, I find myself saying this often: "Our little girl is growing up!"

[> Thoughts on Dawn -- cynesthesia, 18:09:10 01/02/02 Wed


Think you make some good points that her character development seems a little/a lot stalled at the moment. The whole thievery thing has to come to a head pretty soon. But there may be some hints about where her story could go.

The observation that everyone makes about Dawn is that she's much more childlike than adolescent. But I don't think it's been that way all season. She seemed far less in distress in the first few episodes of the year. There are two episodes that for me mark the beginning of an age regression and retreat away from the new experiences of adolescence back into the innocence of childhood.

In All the Way, her first kiss and Halloween date turns out to be a vampire whom she is forced to stake. In OMWF, she finds out that she's meant to be the bride of the demon Sweet. Those two experiences have helped make her very skittish about the whole growing up business. It's unclear right now how Joss intends to develop that. Obviously, it wouldn't be very rewarding to redo Buffy/Angelus.

While watching S5 reruns, I was struck by how fascinated Dawn seems to be with magic. She writes about it in her diary, wants to buy a magic book, later receives a more innocuous magic book from Willow as a gift, etc. Above all, in "Forever", she's determined to do the spell that will bring her mother back. So all of that may be setting the stage for a deepening of interest in magic which will lead to her more fully becoming her own person. I hope.

There's a common approach with many of the characters this year. They end up in the same situations over and over again - Dawn as the damsel in distress, Willow misusing magic. It's almost as if the writers are deliberately doing this, smacking them up against a door until the door gives way and they come out the other side. So I'm still content to wait and see what happens.


[> A couple of points -- vampire hunter D, 18:11:54 01/02/02 Wed

First, I have to point out the one flaw in your arguement. Buffy did have a damsel in distress before Dawn. Her name was Willow (and every once in a while, Cordelia). But I do agree that it was never done to the degree that it's being done now.

Second, you're right, Dawn doesn't act her age. Hell, Dawn is just as old now as Buffy and Willow were in Season 1, but neither of them, or any of hte others have EVER been this weak and immature. It's like Joss forgot how to write teenagers over the last 5 years

I hate to say it, but this could be the first sign that this show is on its last leg. Things need to improve, quik.

[> [> Re: A couple of points -- Malandanza, 18:53:56 01/02/02 Wed

"First, I have to point out the one flaw in your argument. Buffy did have a damsel in distress before Dawn. Her name was Willow (and every once in a while, Cordelia). But I do agree that it was never done to the degree that it's being done now."

You make a good point: we have seen damsels in distress with regularity on BtVS. Even recently -- when Spike menaced a girl in an alley to prove he was still bad. In AtW, girls were prey to older boys, until rescued, first by Giles, then Buffy and Spike. However, I don't have a problem with Dawn being regularly victimized -- she brings most of the trouble on herself. She sneaks out, steals, etc., in order to draw attention to herself. She has been sheltered from danger and protected from the consequences of her actions. Of course she'll continue to get into trouble -- she loves the attention -- until Buffy starts acting like a parent.

And I think that's the point. Earlier episodes showed how difficult it was growing up -- now we get to see the flip side. Buffy has to deal with being the parent of a less than perfect child. Ironically, Buffy has been the same latchkey, non-disciplinarian parent that Joyce was. Hopefully, it won't take Dawn running away from home to make Buffy realize that something has to done about her spoiled baby sister.

"Second, you're right, Dawn doesn't act her age. Hell, Dawn is just as old now as Buffy and Willow were in Season 1, but neither of them, or any of the others have EVER been this weak and immature. It's like Joss forgot how to write teenagers over the last 5 years."

I don't think he's forgotten how to write teenagers -- Dawn seems very real to me. He is just writing a different kind of teenager instead of just restyling one of his earlier characters from seasons 1-3. Dawn is probably closest to Willow as a character, but she lacks Willow's zeal for learning and has, instead, a measure of recklessness (although Willow was pretty reckless at that age as well). Yes, Dawn is immature, but if you have siblings you know that the baby of the family is often immature in many ways (and precocious in ways they should not be).

[> [> [> Re: A couple of points -- Lilac, 19:10:25 01/02/02 Wed

I have to agree. I think that Dawn is not out of line for a child that age. Not all young teenagers are sophisticated, self reliant and independent -- besides which, Dawn's situation is so loose that she would have a tough time getting anyone to notice overt rebellion. The quiet stuff she is doing, stealing, sneaking out, are just a different form of teenage stuff. She probably is more like Willow would have been had she not gotten drawn into the whole Slayerette thing.

[> [> [> [> my two cents -- Sebastian, 09:49:13 01/03/02 Thu

while dawn's actions often do seem 'immature' i think it is an honest representation of how the youngest child behaves.

not only is she buffy's 'little sister' - dawn is the youngest character on the show and has been, to an extent, babied by buffy, joyce, her mother, and the scoobies. even spike took a fraternal role with her in buffy's absence.

also, buffy and the rest of the company were 16 and sophomores when the show started. they had time to ease into high school life and thier 'roles' as teenagers. while dawn was originally introduced as 14 and still in middle school. there tends to be a major jump in actions/characteristics/behavior in that time between 15 and 16 and middle and high school

the 'tone' of her conversation with her friend in the 'the body' before buffy arrives and her the tone with her friend in 'all the way' quietly illustrates this.

the comparison between dawn and the scoobs from season 4-5 is slightly unfair, because dawn's behavioral pattern *is* going to be different from the rest of the scoobs. before dawn, *all* of the scoobs were presented as 'only' children in the seasons prior to season 5. and we all know from psych 101 that certain behavioral patterns tend to manifest due to birth order.

only children tend to exhibit the characteristics that buffy, willow, xander, cordelia have shown. independence, a higher maturity level, greater ease in adapting, and a certain amount of selfishness due to being the parent(s) only focus.

the youngest child, on the other hand, isn't necessarily 'immature' - but there is a certain laxity in maturity because the 'baby' of the family is usually 'spoiled' more.

as an only child, i've often seen friends with younger siblings comment on how they seem to get away with everyone and act 'like babies.'

so i don't think that joss and co. have forgotten how to write teenagers - it think its they are presenting adolescence differently. its just a different perspective. it wouldn't make any sense to have it 'buffy redux'.

- S

[> [> [> [> [> Re: my two cents -- celticross, 12:18:58 01/04/02 Fri

I can definitely see that...I have a (much) younger brother and the differences in our behavior and the way we're treated by our parents is striking. He is far less independent and self reliant than I was at his age. And the age difference between Buffy and Dawn is fairly big, and in their memories, Buffy has always protected Dawn. Also, it's implied that their Dawn memories of season 4 had Dawn and Joyce doing a lot of bonding with Buffy out of the house.

I don't think Dawn is underwritten...in a lot of ways, I find her more realistic than Buffy and company in seasons 1-3. I don't know about other posters, but I wasn't nearly as free to be at out at all hours as the SG were when they were in high school. Dawn being more of a homebody is more familar to me. :)

[> [> [> I'll Weigh In -- Spike Lover, 13:54:38 01/04/02 Fri

Ok, as I read in an interview w/ Joss W., he said that Anthony came to him and asked, 'well, what about me, now that the slayer is dead?', his reply was something like, 'Well, sorry Anthony, but the show is called, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, not Giles, the Watcher.'

The show is also not called, "Dawn the Vampire Slayer's Little Sister." If you think about it, Buffy is in every episode and almost every scene. The story is about her, the challenges she faces. The support characters may have rich development and even rich secondary story lines, but these are secondary. So, I think Dawn's story or character development is automatically limited to how they affect Buffy.

[> [> Re: A couple of points -- maddog, 08:39:53 01/03/02 Thu

I think you're confusing something...Dawn is acting her age...Buffy wasn't. Buffy was forced to be a grown up...to be very mature(which she failed at on occasion). Buffy was in no way a typical teenager. While I do like that teenagers were shown as more mature than they're generally given credit for, Buffy was far from the average teenager(who tends to push boundaries i.e. getting in trouble for various reasons). I think he's done well with Dawn.

[> Some 15-year-olds are like Dawn. -- bookworm, 20:17:17 01/02/02 Wed

Some kids are sheltered and immature and take longer to grow up than others, especially when their families encourage it. Even before they knew she was the Key, Joyce and Buffy both assumed Dawn needed a babysitter at 14. She's the baby. She was her mom's little punkin' belly. Now she's playing helpless for everything it's worth to garner sympathy from Tara and Willow and get them together. I find her very realistic. I'd be surprised if Dawn didn't act clingy and babyish sometimes. Forget the part about her being a blob of energy turned into a human by monks. Her parents split up when she was 9, her sister is a superhero (talk about inferiority complex!), her mom died, her sister died to save her, her dad doesn't give a damn about her, she had to kill the boy who gave her her first kiss, her sister's back from the dead but doesn't seem to want to spend time with her, her surrogate parents Tara and Willow split up and Willow just almost killed her ... who wouldn't be seriously insecure? I think the "vulnerable baby sister/I'm just a kid who can't do anything for myself" routine may be mainly an act she puts on to get some attention from Buffy and the Scooby Gang.

[> [> There you go -- verdantheart, 05:51:41 01/03/02 Thu

Now I don't have to say it. Thanks!

[> [> Re: Some 15-year-olds are like Dawn. -- Maxwell, 10:16:53 01/03/02 Thu

Some of the events that you cite as being the cause of Dawns behaviour are actually quite recent, specifically Willow and Tara's break-up and the Demon attack/car accident with Willow. It may be too soon to say what kind of effect these events may have on Dawn. I would not be surprised to see Dawn become a stronger more independent character. She is after all Buffy's sister (more than sister actually) so it would make sense that she could share some of the same attributes, i.e. courage, intelligence, independence. It could be interesting to see how such a character would deal with a world of Vampires, Demons and other nasties without the aid of any kind of "superpowers".

[> Re: Dawn character problems -- maddog, 07:42:07 01/03/02 Thu

Isn't it possible he meant revisiting adolesence in a literal form? Sure, Dawn doesn't do much in fighting demons, but she is acting like a teenager...getting in trouble, stealing to get noticed, trying to fit in with her sister's friends, etc.

The "stealing" storyline may not be over, but it was addressed in OMWF. Right before she got kidnapped Dawn began to sing a song about how no one was noticing her stealing obsession. So she was doing it for attention.

[> Re: Dawn character problems -- Lurker Becoming Restless, 09:01:42 01/03/02 Thu

Just an aside - isn't one of Dawn's functions to act as a childish part of Buffy that refuses to grow up (just as Faith was Buffy's dark side). Of course, she is also a character in her own right but if she is being changed to fit in with this system of split personalities etc or simply to give the Scoobies something to rescue, her individuality might well suffer a little.

At least Joss knows what he is doing with her and acknowledges these kind of problems within the show (Dawn's in trouble? Must be Tuesday. Etc). I agree that it would be nice if later episodes could give Dawn more room to breathe but I hardly think that Joss has forgotten how to write teenagers!

Denial, thy name is Joyce -- Yellowork, 18:16:07 01/02/02 Wed

It would be interesting to introduce a new character to the series who has yet to wake up to the supernatural. I liked the way Cordelia, Joyce and Oz were all kept in the dark for a while and all coped with their growing realisation of the truth in different ways. I think there is still mileage left in this one! It seems somehow not playing fair that all the recent additions to the cast have had foreknowledge of this world; Riley, through the Initiative; Tara, through witchcraft, and Dawn as a by-product of her synthetic memories. One of the themes in the early seasons was the ways in which people find they have to deny what is taking place underneath their noses, leading to mayhem in 'Gingerbread' for example. Are we never going to meet any friends besides the Scooby Gang? Does Willow not have any sort of relationship with her peers / professors? Does Tara have any friends from the gay community (maybe it is the time for a male, gay character)? Does Xander have any male friends? What about Anya; maybe she has joined the Sunnydale Young Businesswomen's League? I don't think the show needs any more 'stars', but it would be nice to redress the balance by bringing back a supporting cast in the tradition of Larry, Jonathan, Devon and Harmony as they were in seasons gone by.

[> Re: Denial, thy name is Hank -- vampire hunter D, 18:29:28 01/02/02 Wed

This kind of relates to a thought I had but havn't yet posted. If Hank ever does put in an appearence, should Buffy and the gang let him in on the big secret (or, a few of the big secrets). Or should they keep him in the dark the way they did Joyce for so long.

[> [> Keep him in the dark! -- Vickie, 20:20:29 01/02/02 Wed

Why should they trust him with the truth? Let him work it out while he proves that they can trust him.

Besides, lots more fun to watch.

[> Re: Denial, thy name is Joyce -- maddog, 07:29:53 01/03/02 Thu

I think the major problem with that would be that it would be too tough to keep all of their friends straight and give them face time...as it is there are enough characters to fit more than an hour's worth of show(I'd love to see the cut scenese and pieces). While a nice idea I just think it would be too hard.

[> Excellent idea, Yellowork -- matching mole, 07:32:48 01/03/02 Thu

I think the Scooby Gang has become kind of insular with little interaction with the outside (non magical) world (at least little that we are shown). As you point out there are lots of possibilities...

Buffy's hair of course! -- Bluewater, 18:50:38 01/02/02 Wed

SMG cut her hair? Cool! She looks way better! What was such a tiny girl doing with such an enormous 'do anyway? I've been wondering ever since Season Four and the whole 'waves' thing was a pin-curl too far for me thank you very much. It's not identical, but there is an echo of Season Two about it; are we gonna get cyclical again? It is interesting that Willow's hair is now a similar cut to Season Three and is also marginally longer than the Buffster. I wonder if the girls are gonna end up with the original hair hierarchy in the next season: you know, the one that goes Willow (mid back) - Cordelia (top of back) - Buffy (shoulders)?

[> NO! -- vampire hunter D, 21:58:14 01/02/02 Wed

Buffy looked much netter with the long hair. It's a good look on her. And Willow's hair looks best at shoulder length (if she wore it straight, not curled). Now, Cordy looks just as hot with her current short hair as she did with long hair.

[> [> Re: NO! -- grifter, 02:47:16 01/03/02 Thu

Let's not get into a discussion about hair, or I'd have to tell you that you've got it completely wrong, vampire hunter D. ;)

I missed episode 5ABB20 -- Troy, 19:12:22 01/02/02 Wed

buffy colapses in dismay after Glory takes Dawn and Giles is dying...When will they finish the fight...?

[> Re: I missed episode 5ABB20 -- maddog, 07:19:45 01/03/02 Thu

If you're talking about tyhe F/X reruns they won't be showing the last two episodes of last season(which are the one you speak of and the finale, "The Gift"). UPN will be airing them as repeats near the end of January(like they've done with "The Body" and "Buffy vs. Dracula") so be on the look out...I know I will.

[> [> Re: I missed episode 5ABB20 -- scbydu, 09:29:43 01/04/02 Fri

I just learned that UPN will be airing Weight of the World and The Gift on Jan 15th. Hope you get to catch it, I know I can't wait to see it.

[> [> [> Re: I missed episode 5ABB20 -- Forsaken, 14:18:20 01/04/02 Fri

Hey, when the repeats cycle back around to Season 5 on FX, will they be showing the missing eps this time?

SNOWED IN! XD -- Neaux, 05:34:58 01/03/02 Thu

While this might have little relevance...

I got snowed in today with a mere 9 inches in NC. But what is interesting is I found out that FX shows BTVS at 8 am... which i never would have known if it werent for the snow XD

[> FX morning Buffy -- Darby, 05:43:04 01/03/02 Thu

Yeah, they started doing at a while ago - the nightly 6-8PM eps get rerun the next weekday from 7-9AM EST. It's useful if you're a VCR junkie (like me) whose evenings get complicated.

[> [> Breakfast with Buffy - Always a treat! -- Brian, 05:59:08 01/03/02 Thu

Since I'm the West Coast rep for my company, I don't get to work until 9, so I have a chance to see all of the 7 AM episode, and 1/2 of the 8 PM.

[> [> [> Me, too! What a way to start the morning, huh? Nothing like a little ass-kickin'! ;o) -- Deeva, 09:01:21 01/03/02 Thu

The E! online poll results -- Deeva, 08:57:47 01/03/02 Thu

Hey, BtVS did pretty well considering it was up against many shows who supposedly get more viewers. Check it out. No spoilers that I could see unless you didn't see the end of Season 5.


death wish revisited (possible spoilers) -- purplegrrl, 10:54:03 01/03/02 Thu

I know, I know. We've nearly discussed this topic to death (no pun intended!). But I had some new thoughts on the subject.

Spike has claimed (and Dracula hinted) that all Slayers have a death wish. Perhaps this is not a "death" wish per se, but rather a "I-want-to-set-aside-this-calling" wish. But unfortunately, the only way a Slayer once called can set aside her duties is to die. There must be a time in a Slayer's life when the burden of being the only one to save the world from evil night after night becomes too much and she wishes she could make it all go away. Think about it. Up until Buffy, a Slayer was the lone beacon of light in the long dark. It was just her against the many and varied creatures of the night. No friends, no family (think of Kendra and Faith). She can't tell anyone what you do -- for fear of exposure or being thought crazy or burned as a witch (depending on the era). All the Slayer has is their Watcher, and that is cold comfort because the most that he or she can do is train her, advise her, educate her, and send her out alone to face the demons.

And even if the Slayer does die, it must be a true death. Witness Buffy's two deaths. Neither one diminished the calling at the core of her being to continue slaying. She took up that stake, so to speak, as soon as she was alive again. Perhaps the dimension where Buffy spent approximately 3 months wasn't "Heaven" as we might think of it, but rather a place where she didn't have to deal with being the Slayer 24/7. A place where her burden was lifted. That could definately feel like heaven to someone who has been fighting vampires, demons, and the like night after night for 5 years.

The fact that Buffy is surrounded by family and friends (even dubious ones like Spike) has dulled or alleviated some of her "death wish." She knows that when she is truly gone, her friends will be forced to face the dark alone. And Buffy is unwilling to allow that to happen. Even after Willow called her back from "Heaven," Buffy patrolled and fought the creatures of the night to protect her friends, her town, the world. Buffy may be a reluctant Slayer, but Slayer she is -- a burden she will not lay down until she is truly dead.

[> Re: death wish revisited (possible spoilers) -- Rufus, 20:00:38 01/03/02 Thu

Spike has claimed (and Dracula hinted) that all Slayers have a death wish. Perhaps this is not a "death" wish per se, but rather a "I-want-to-set-aside-this-calling" wish. But unfortunately, the only way a Slayer once called can set aside her duties is to die. There must be a time in a Slayer's life when the burden of being the only one to save the world from evil night after night becomes too much and she wishes she could make it all go away. Think about it. Up until Buffy, a Slayer was the lone beacon of light in the long dark. It was just her against the many and varied creatures of the night. No friends, no family (think of Kendra and Faith). She can't tell anyone what you do -- for fear of exposure or being thought crazy or burned as a witch (depending on the era). All the Slayer has is their Watcher, and that is cold comfort because the most that he or she can do is train her, advise her, educate her, and send her out alone to face the demons.

Yes, I don't see any retirement package for Slayers...the Council must save a mint not worrying about building an old Slayers home.
Slayers aren't one of us.....they function to protect us. Buffy is the first Slayer that has gotten beyond that "alone" crap the first slayer spoke of. No wonder they had a death wish...it was just as much a wish for peace without worrying about waking up the next day to the same old pointy stick.
For Buffy, death was no gift as it was taken away from her so easily. She gets no reward just another shift in the mortal coil. What do you think is the purpose of this return to life if it never has any meaning for Buffy?

[> [> the meaning of life -- purplegrrl, 12:19:14 01/04/02 Fri

Hmmm. Not sure what the meaning of Buffy's returned life is. I mean, we all know that the theme of season 6 is "grow up." And Buffy has been shown struggling with that, at least in earlier episodes -- upkeep on the house, money for everyday necessities, being a parent to Dawn, etc.

Up until the last year (last half of season 5 and first half of season 6) Buffy's world has been very Buffy-centric. And it was a fairly neatly categorized world -- slaying, school, friends, family, boyfriends. Now she must deal with things that she never knew had to be dealt with. She must come out of her nice, safe cocoon and deal with the messiness of real life. Buffy must be a parent to a precocious younger sister who feels overshadowed by the Slayer and is acting out in small, bad ways to get attention. She must deal with her attraction to Spike whom she has hated and mistrusted for so long -- this is not the "dulcet choir of little birdies" type of attraction/love that she had with Angel and Riley, this is a real-life, grownup attraction that she's not sure that she wants but can't give up easily either. Buffy must deal with Willow's "addiction" to the magic, which on a much larger scale is a problem similar to Dawn's stealing - it is vying for attention and a way to increase one's self-esteem. She must cope with losing all her parents (Joyce's death, Giles' leaving, and Hank's continued absence). And Buffy must deal with dull, boring, everyday problems like food, clothes, mortgage, leaky pipes, bank loans, dwindling funds, holding down a job, her friends moving on with their own lives that don't necessarily include her (Xander and Anya).

Buffy doesn't want to deal with the messiness of real or grownup life. That is why she has clung to Giles for as long as he would allow. But Giles had to be cruel to be kind. He had to be like the father bird who pushes the fledgling out of the nest to ensure that it learns how to fly. Buffy would have never grown up if Giles had stayed around. But he felt his leaving was important for her continued growth. It is a "tough love" lesson in real life. And it's not as if he is abandoning her as Hank appears to have done. If Buffy ever truly needs Giles, he will be there for her.

I guess the bottom line is, Buffy has lived longer than most other Slayers, therefore she must deal with things that they didn't -- even if she doesn't want to.

[> [> [> Pride & Prejudice -- Spike Lover, 14:10:28 01/04/02 Fri

"She must deal w/ her attraction to Spike whom she has hated and mistrusted for so long."

I just caught A&E's presentation of Pride and Prejudice. That, remarkably, is exactly what Liz's problem is w/ Mr. Darby.

[> [> [> [> Re: Pride & Prejudice -- fresne, 09:49:48 01/06/02 Sun

Or equally (as I might suggest for ahem, certain insane cross-over reasons), Mr. Darcy's problem as he contemplates loving someone who is socially beneath him.

It must be Tuesday. Lydia has done something silly again. But just wait, in time for the May sweeps, (P&P Spoiler virgins avert your eyes) Lydia runs off with Wickam.

[> [> [> [> [> LOL! Very Clever! -Sorry about getting the names wrong- -- Spike Lover, 14:06:59 01/06/02 Sun

[> [> [> Pride and Prejudice -- Spike Lover, 14:14:22 01/04/02 Fri

"She must deal w/ her attraction to Spike whom she has hated and mistrusted for so long."

I just watched A&E's presentation of Pride and Prejudice, and that is exactly Liz' problem w/ Mr. Darby.

[> [> [> [> oooh Mr Darcy! -- Nevrmore, 12:34:05 01/06/02 Sun

Ah but Mr Darcy didn't torture people with railroad spikes - his only fault is shyness - i see no spike/darcy resemblence...

[> [> [> [> [> Re: oooh Mr Darcy! -- Spike Lover, 14:05:43 01/06/02 Sun

I did not say there was a resemblence between characters! I said that 'the quote' in which they used in their analysis reminded me of P & P. -Sorry that I got the names completely wrong.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: oooh Mr Darcy! -- fresne, 09:32:40 01/07/02 Mon

Yeah, as I said above, much more Spike as Elizabeth. Its the adroit they sling their wit.

Well, that and the way my housemate and I spent a month putting the Buffy characters into the text of P&P last year.


What happens when good literature goes bad.

internal vs. external themes -- Sebastian, 11:08:39 01/03/02 Thu

please feel free to correct me if i'm wrong with this train of thought.

but it seems to me that this year's theme is about internal issues. there seems to be a great deal of discussion regarding what the 'big bad' is this season and who/what it will be.

but i'm wondering if we have seen it and we are not aware of it.

the past five years, buffy and crew have had to deal with external threats (master=1, angelus=2, mayor=3, adam=4, glory=5). the gang has had to put up with some serious baddies - but there has never been an analysis of their emotional landscape - either in general or regarding the issues themselves. while we have seen reactions - we have never seen the scoobies have to 'cope' with the issues in a long and painful process. they pretty much go to the next 'problem' without batting an eye.

don't get me wrong, i think joss and co. have showed the repercussions of all these threats and how they affect the scoobies, but it was more REactive rather than PROactive.

this is what we have seen so far this season:

buffy=confronting her tendency to gravitate towards dysfunctional romantic entanglements
willow=addiction to magic
xander=possible commitmentphobia
spike= dichotomous nature (?) and the conflict in dealing with it.
dawn=the onset of adolescence and the avoidance of responsibility (stealing, etc)

this year some pretty deep threats have manifested. and they are all internal conflicts. it seems like for the first time the scoobies are addressing the internal flaws we, as watchers (pardon the pun), have recognized - but have not been fully addressed.

and i wonder if that ties into the theme of "oh, grow up!". the scoobies taking an active step to confront who they *really* are and making attempts to actively better themselves.

i other words, this season seems to be about baggage - and whether each scoobie is 'adult' enough to acknowledge it and do something about it.

before the scoobies (with the obvious exception of dawn) were in their teens, so it was expected for them not to be aware of their flaws as people. but as they shift into their 20s and adulthood - now its time to 'own up' to their problems and to start resolving them. They are growing up.
sort of like we do in the 'real world' as we progress through life.

my apologies if i'm off. i just reached my fist year anniversary for being out of college - and i'm feeling reflective. :-)

- S

[> Re: internal vs. external themes -- DEN, 11:16:54 01/03/02 Thu

Assuming no drastic shift of story line in the near future, your analysis seems spot on. "Baggage as the big bad" has been the dominant theme emerging from the season's first half. And watching the current rerun sequence on FX, that also represents a significant development of the show's early episodes, when the enemies were externalized, materializiations of adolescent problems. Now they have become internal.

[> Re: internal vs. external themes -- MrDave, 19:40:10 01/03/02 Thu

not to mention...
Anya= Fear of Mortality and Abandonment
Giles= Fear of letting go (and oddly enough the first one to handle it in an 'adult' manner)
Tara= Fear of standing alone
and the Troika: Fear of Growing up...

..strangely enough the childish play of the trio of "little bads" is (as is the pattern) a manifestation of the internal struggle of the other characters. THey all want to retain that childlike innocence that we have in 'make beleive' that we can solve every problem with a bigger toy or we can be safe in our parent's protection (as the boys are in their parent's basement) while we dream of ever larger (and less realistic) accomplishments.

Just an observation.

[> [> nicely put! -- listening, 05:44:58 01/04/02 Fri

Anya as a metaphor for the decline of Imperial Russia -- Cactus Watcher, 07:34:33 01/04/02 Fri

Just kidding, obviously. I know the board was down most of the day yesterday, but nobody has anything to say, now? At all? Say something people. Masq is lonely!

[> Ontogeny Recapitulating Phylogeny: Exogenetic and Pseudo-Genetic Inheritances in Vampire Clades -- d'Herblay, 08:44:50 01/04/02 Fri

So obviously just kidding.

<Super-secret information begins here> The password is "test". <End transmission>

[> [> Re: Ontogeny Recapitulating Phylogeny: Exogenetic and Pseudo-Genetic Inheritances in Vampire Clades -- beekeepr, 08:50:26 01/04/02 Fri

showoff,d'Herb-will you be bobbing your dashing shoulder length locks, a la geller?

[> [> Oh great, another "best over-blown inscrutible title contest". Any other contestants? -- Masq, 09:27:27 01/04/02 Fri

The prize will be much "oooh"ing and "aaah"ing from fellow board posters.

[> [> [> On the Futility of Existence: Deconstructing the Bleached Vampire Model of Immortality -- Wisewoman, 10:06:02 01/04/02 Fri

Just kidding. d'Herb wins, hands down, imho.

And thanks for the tip!

[> [> [> Anthing to make you feel needed, Masq. ;o) -- CW, 10:59:50 01/04/02 Fri

[> [> Re: Ontogeny Recapitulating Phylogeny: Exogenetic and Pseudo-Genetic Inheritances in Vampire Clades -- matching mole, 10:02:00 01/04/02 Fri

I can't resist a challenge and it's more interesting than working.

If ontogeny (sequence of developmental (e.g. embryonic) stages) does recapitulate phylogeny (evolutionary genealogy) that implies that Spike at various phases of his development could have attributes of the Master, Darla, Angelus, and Drusilla in that order(as well as attributes of the Master's sire and previous ancestors earlier on). The question is - has this already happened or is it yet to come? Now under any sort of genetic type inheritance these would be attributes of the demon portion of the vampire - I don't expect Spike to suddenly develop hair that sticks straight up.

Now on to the part after the colon. The demons inhabiting human hosts to form vampires do not appear to have a corporeal form in our dimension so they cannot have genes in the sense that we understand them. But they could have something analogous (coded energy or magic or whatever). However if I understand the terms exogenetic and pseudo-genetic correctly they refer to inheritance through cultural transmission. In other words things that a demon 'learns' in one host are passed on to its offspring demons. How might this work.

First we need to consider two models of vampire reproduction brought up by Darby earlier this week.

1) When a vampire sires another vampire the new demon comes from some 'staging area' in another dimension. There is no prior connection between the sire demon and the offspring demon.
2) When a vampire sires another vampire the original demon reproduces asexually in some fashion so that the two demons are 'genetically' (in the loose sense I used above) identical. From what I've gleaned from Masq.'s site and prior postings this seems to be what most people think happens. Now I want to consider two variants of this model.
2a) Budding - The demon splits grows a new demon, fully formed, out of itself bascially splitting in two. This type of asexual reproduction is common in plants and in less 'complex' animals.
2b) Parthenogenesis - The demon produces a propagule that contains its 'genetic' information but little else. This develops into a new demon inside the host. This kind of asexual reproduction occurs in a wide variety of organisms including some snakes, lizards, fishes, etc. The species involved are all female and lay eggs that hatch without the benefit of fertilization.

OK. Within these models how could non-genetic evolution take place.

A) Traditional cultural evolution. Sire vampire teaches offspring vampire things. Offspring vampire learns and then makes its own adjustments. This could happen in any model of vampire reproduction. If this could lead to an ontogeny/phylogeny relationship should be left to someone who knows more about cultural transmission of information.

B) Pseudo-Lamarckian inheritance. This refers to the biological inheritance of acquired characters (e.g. a giraffe ancestor stretched its neck trying to reach food high in a tree so its neck got a little bit longer. This increase was inherited by its offspring). Depending on who you talk to this type of inheritance is considered either non-existent or occurs only in few specialized cases. However it could quite easily exist in demons. Under my model 2a (budding) a demon could potentially pass on experiences gained from its time in the sire host. These wouldn't have to be actual memories (there's no evidence of that from the shows) but possibly attitudes or other attributes. This could not happen under model 1 or model 2b. This incremental adding of inherited material certainly seems like it could lead to ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny.

The really interesting question for me is the extent to which the host and the demon affect one another and the possibility of demon/human coevolution in vampires. I was planning to write something about that (as well as continue the Short to the End of Time) but have been waylaid by holidays and a nasty stomach flu (now thankfully gone).

Hope this isn't too incomprehensible and I apologize for the plethora of parentheses and quotation marks.

[> [> [> I should have read this first -- matching mole, 10:16:17 01/04/02 Fri

I must not be over my flu completely yet! My apologies for the numerous punctuational errors, including the complete absence of question marks. Also, "Short to the End of Time" refers to my ongoing Buffy story 'Shadows at the Bottom of the Sea'. 'Shortcut to the End of Time' is the first part.

Hopefully anything sensible I might have had to say will still be comprehensible. And entertaining.

[> [> [> Re: Ah, but what would Behe say? -- mundusmundi, 11:53:43 01/04/02 Fri

"The 'irreducible complexity' of vampiric characteristics at the molecular level presupposes a Designer." Darla's Black Box, yes I can see it now....

Seriously, great stuff. I'm tempted to suggest you post this over at the recent Chronicle colloquy, just to liven up the "discussion" (really the lame academic equivalent of a flame war) over there.

[> [> [> [> Yes, but who would that designer be? God? Satan? The First Evil? The Watchers? -- Masq, 13:26:13 01/04/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Well, duh, Joss . . . -- d'Herblay, 14:06:16 01/04/02 Fri

. . . who may have served us complexity that we will find irreducible.

Not that that would stop us from trying.

[> [> [> [> [> [> parsimony and intelligent design in BtVS -- matching mole, 14:28:28 01/04/02 Fri

I checked out the 'lame academic equivalent of a flame war' which seemed as intellectually pointless as most discussions of creation vs. evolution (no common frame of reference). However it did give me an interesting thought re Joss the Creator.

We are apt to draw astonishing connections between things that happen on BtVS at different times and to different characters. Particularly striking were the recent connection of images on Tabula Rasa and those on Restless over a year earlier.

An arguer from special creation (or more accurately an omniscient creator) would argue that Whedon and co. had the events from Restless to Tabula Rasa planned out in advance.

An arguer from an evolutionary standpoint would say that the images in Restless appeared for some other reason entirely and were fortuitously co-opted later in Tabula Rasa.

Of course as this is a TV show and not life on earth the truth is probably somewhere in between.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Well, duh! Forgive my brain, it's still on vacation -- Masq, 10:24:46 01/07/02 Mon

[> [> [> wow, mole! didn't expect an exegesis on exogenesis! -- anom, 12:37:03 01/06/02 Sun

[> Re: Anya as a metaphor for the decline of Imperial Russia -- beekeepr, 08:47:36 01/04/02 Fri

Unacceptable! And I am sitting here, coincidently musing over just why I do love this board way more than unlife itself, working since 10eastern last night doing emergency time related to vast unpleasantness in the south-(no one is having fun yet, and I am close to fried)Still a week til new ep, board has been restless, occasional crankiness. I will be here a while, so w/your kind indulgence I will pop in and out, offering gratuitous ramble frought w/rant, bemused observation, and general hooey. Won't guarantee it will always be lucid-

[> [> Maybe that's it. The board is wired through the Delta Airlines complaint dept... -- CW, 08:59:18 01/04/02 Fri

which I heard was rather busy yesterday.

[> Re: Anya as a metaphor for the decline of Imperial Russia -- fresne, 08:55:32 01/04/02 Fri

Well, that's a bit of a challenge. Crack the knuckles. Take a deep breath. Stretch.

Like Imperial Russia, Anya is old. Old as the ancient Kievan princes. Like the Kievan's, Anyanka was not born Russian/a Vengeance Demon, but came to that role after she moved to a Hell Dimension/down the Dnieper River. She settled in Russia/Hell. Learned to speak their language. Took up with Dracula/local women. However over time, like the Russian Czar's, she came to revel in the power of her position and lost touch with those that she served.

The Czar was supposed to be the father of his people. Caring for the peasants, like children. The Czar was Russian. He spoke Russian. Okay, okay, the title czar comes from Caesar because Ivan the Great married the daughter of the last Caesar in Byzantium, but whatever, it's a shared religion thing.

Centuries past and the Czar, Russia's father, no longer spoke Russian. The Royal court spoke French and the Czars sought to mimic the absolute power of Louis the Sun King (note Anyaka had no problem with sunlight). Every now and then a Czar would play with the idea of a constitution or perhaps lowering the period of draft service down from 20 years, but they never did.

Now consider Anyanka. Her stories of betrayal and vengeance give the impression of young women who performed the rituals and summoned Saint Anyanka from whom they asked for vengeance. But that's all in a distant past, when Anyanka was connected to her constituency. When she spoke their language. When she was angry. Men are scum and here's what we'll do to them.

Anyanka, as we first see her, was not summoned by Cordelia. Oh, Anyanka was attracted by Cordelia's anger. However, there was no "Hello, I'm a vengeance demon. Give me your fealty and I'll give you vengeance." No, Anyanka assumed a guise. Much like the royal court assumed a role when they started pretending to be French or Prussian or anything but Russians. Much like Czar Nicholas assumed a role when he went to command the Russian armies in WWI. Nicholas would have made a good clerk. As a general or a Czar, well--

The Russian people went from believing that the Czar was deceived by bad advisors (if only we could get to the Czar, our good father), to thinking him deposable.

Anyanka was good at her job because she was a woman wronged. When she lost sight of that, when instead of serving wronged women, she sought to see what outrageous vengeance she could trick next, Anyanka was deposed from the height of absolute power to piteously failing math.

However, in Anya there is also hope. She may have failed math, but she's doing darn well (now that she's had practice) at capitalism. Evil, it's like Communism, except evil has a better fashion sense.

[> [> Thanks fresne! We needed that! -- CW, 09:08:22 01/04/02 Fri

Might I also add that last Tsar spoke English with his wife, and Anya speaks English with Xander. Joss must be a world-class authorithy on Russian History! ;o)

[> [> Oh, Dear Lord, it's the Anyanka-bot! ;) -- Humanitas, 09:47:57 01/04/02 Fri

"Hello, I'm a vengeance demon. Give me your fealty and I'll give you vengeance."

Thanks, fresne, that was priceless. I can even hear her overly-perky voice!

[> [> [> Quote of the week -- Non-lonely Masq : ), 11:42:08 01/04/02 Fri

"Hello, I'm a vengeance demon. Give me your fealty and I'll give you vengeance."

[> [> [> [> Re: Quote of the week -- fresne, 14:46:31 01/04/02 Fri

Perhaps Anyanka's home in the demon dimension had a large statue of herself, a la the Statue of Liberty. Quote engraved large in her book of smiting.
Beneath her foot, the dead bunny of male promiscuity.

[> From Masochism to Sadism: Exploring the Pendular Nature of Sexual Psychoses on BtVs -- Dichotomy, 11:25:35 01/04/02 Fri

Still no match for d'Herblay, but the best I could do without Roget.

[> Wave/Particle Duality and The Vampire: Quantum Physics in a Modern Myth -- Cygnus, 11:43:44 01/04/02 Fri

[> The Schism Between Watcher & Council, The Repudiation of Authority and Proletarianism in Sunnydale. -- Deeva, 14:12:39 01/04/02 Fri

Boy! Didn't know I had it in me! ;o) But d'Herb still wins.

[> Fire bad! Tree pretty! -- A8, 18:06:55 01/04/02 Fri

[> [> Grrrr aaargh? ;-) -- A8, 18:26:15 01/04/02 Fri

[> [> [> Meow? -- Former (but now Free!) Poker Kitten, 00:05:59 01/06/02 Sun

[> Top 10 Reasons Why No Other Buffy Board Would Post Something Like This: -- OnM, 22:48:34 01/04/02 Fri

Top 10 Reasons Why No Other Buffy Board Would Post Something Like This:

10 > Spell checker not hyperlinked to Oxford English Dictionary.

9 > We already won the cold war years ago, but philosophy never trusts but verifies.

8 > All other other boards are greedy capitalist tools that enslave the philosophical proletariat!

7 > Multi-syllabic text filters broke years ago here and Voy can't afford new ones.

6 > d'Herblay can't get any good sh*t to smoke at other boards.

5 > Fundamentalist anti-Buffy organizations have terrorized all other boardmasters (or mistresses) into
sullen acquiescence, but we boldly say Ni! to them!

4 > OnM doesn't post at other boards, and therefore they cannot have hopelessly obscure movie, music,
audio/video or physical/mathematical principles applied to everything anyone has ever said, says or will ever

3 > Only our board software successfully distinguishes between mm and mm.

2 > Masquerade goes away on vacation for two weeks and all hell breaks loose. Masquerade returns from
vacation and all hell breaks loose. Consistant excellence is our hallmark!

And the number one reason Why No Other Buffy Board Would Post Something Like This:

1 > Any other board would explode, leaving the posters cleaning philosophy out of the carpet for the next
two weeks!

[> [> Yeah, and you know what that stuff does to carpet.........;) -- Rufus, 23:17:36 01/04/02 Fri

[> [> Worse than Librarian, I've heard.....<g> -- LadyStarlight, 07:29:42 01/05/02 Sat

[> [> [> Well, the Librarian was still trying to get Fyarl blood out of the carpet. -- Deeva, 00:03:14 01/06/02 Sun

I heard that's why he never got his deposit back. *g*

[> [> LOL everyone here is so awesome! -- MayaPapaya9, 17:56:28 01/05/02 Sat

[> [> Hey, this board IS good sh*t to smoke! -- Masq, 15:33:08 01/07/02 Mon

[> Kittens, Bars, Pool & Cigarettes: Gambling and Addictive Substances in BtVS, A Lexicon -- Gwyn, 05:31:48 01/05/02 Sat

As an academic I believe in action research.:-)

[> The Stake & the Cigarette: A Study of Gender Differentiated Relations in Semiotic Ideologies in BTVS -- Duquessa des Esseintes, 12:01:57 01/05/02 Sat

Bibliographic Citation:

Abstract: This article illustrates how "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" uses semiotics and metaphor to dialectically deconstruct culturally created gender differinated relations to power and androcentric hierarchies of domination and submission, while critiquing the hegemonic paradigms inherent in structuralist Marxist ideologies as represented on network television.

Des Esseintes, Ysabeau Odilie Arsinoe Floressas. "The Stake and the Cigarette: A Study of Gender Differentiated Relations to Semiotic Ideologies and Hierarchies of Domination and Submission in BTVS." The Bilskinir Yodeleehoo on Gender Analysis. (Inverfarigag, Elsewhere.) Summer, 2003.

new slayage -- dream of the consortium, 11:40:38 01/04/02 Fri

From the thread below, it seems we are getting pretty desperate for topics of conversation while waiting for the new episodes. Has anyone read the newest issue of Slayage? Any comments?


[> Re: new slayage and age roles -- matching mole, 13:17:32 01/04/02 Fri

I glanced through all the papers and will go back at some point to read more of them in depth. On the whole they seemed less jargon-filled than when I had dipped into Slayage before.

I was particularly interested in Janet Halfyard's paper on music and gender roles in the two shows (i.e. BtVS and AtS). It was something that I hadn't really considered before but the ways in which Buffy and Angel don't really act like traditional female and male leads, especially in terms of how they interact with their 'sidekicks', really adds a level of interest to the show. Ms. Halfyard does seem a little out of date with regards to Angel's crew. Even Fred has been around for half a season but Halfyard doesn't even mention Gunn! (much less Lorne)

Her basic thesis still seems to hold true. Angel is much less the lone hero and more the member of a team. Cordelia is obviously vital both because of her visions and her role as the emotional center of the team. All the other members of the team take action (Wesley and Gunn all the time, Fred less often) against the forces of darkness.

This led me to think of something else in a rather stream of consciousness way

One thing I find interesting is the rather fluid nature of age on the shows. All the Scoobies (and ex-scoobies such as Cordelia) should now be 20 or 21. On BtVS many of these characters are now taking on roles that seem to me (but perhaps it's just my bookish, cloistered existence) somewhat unusual for people that young. Anya (OK, I know she's really vastly older but she doesn't look it) is running her own business, Xander is a construction foreman, Buffy is a guardian of a teenager. Willow and Tara remain college students; a more age-typical role.

On AtS there is an interesting age inversion in the two female roles. Cordelia should be about 20. Fred, if she was a graduate student five years ago when she went to Pylea (unless I'm misremembering something) should be considerably older, at least in her late 20s unless she was some sort of child prodigy. However Cordelia is clearly taking the senior role, counseling Fred and offering advice. In keeping with this role Cordelia's appearance has been aged so that she more closely resembles Charisma Carpenter's actual age (about 10 years older than Cordelia). Gunn and Wesley seem relatively ageless (other than not being really young or middle-aged).

This could just be accelerating maturation for the sake of the show's development (i.e. we don't want to wait another five years for them to finish growing up - whatever that means) or it could be more symbolic. Any ideas?

[> [> Re: new slayage and age roles -- Katrina, 14:13:40 01/04/02 Fri

Actually, I've been thinking about this because it seems, in a symbolic way, that by leaving Buffy the show and Sunnydale the place, the whole trio of Angel, Wesley and Cordelia have "grown up" more than I see in the characters left behind in Sunnydale. The roles Buffy et al are taking on may be grown-up ones for literal 20-year-olds, but they certainly don't seem to have matured from their experiences as much as the Angel cast seem to have. Maybe it's just my perception, being an older gal: I kind of perceive the Angel cast as having a job in fighting evil, albeit one that's a vocation rather than a clock-watching one, whereas for the Scoobies, it still seems to me more like an evil-fighting club. As if by staying in the place that's so tied to their pasts, and maybe more importantly, by remaining in the dynamic of their roles within the Scooby Gang, it's harder for the characters to "grow up." Just for example, on the rerun "Flooded" the other night, Buffy was facing up to the question of supporting herself and keeping a roof over her head. Taking the responsibility for Dawn out of the equation temporarily, that's a dilemna that Cordelia was in, what, two seasons ago?
I have to wrap this up hastily: any other thoughts?

[> [> [> Re: new slayage and age roles -- Yellowork, 03:57:51 01/06/02 Sun

Hello! Just read the thread and I am glad someone finally pointed that out. Something had been niggling me for ages and I think that what you are saying is about the strength of it. On a physical level, introducing such a young actress to the cast as Michelle Trachtenberg only serves to make the sleight of hand more obvious: Brandon is 30, Hannigan 27, Gellar 24. Nick is over ten years older than Michelle, but Xander is only supposed to be five or six years older than Dawn. I think in spite of her youth, Trachtenberg is a gifted actress and fits in well, but I can't help remembering, when I first heard the 'sister' plot, hoping that Buffy's sister would be closer in age or even older than Buffy herself. I think this was wishful thinking on my part as the elder of two siblings; nothing, however well-written, is going to inspire my sympathy for one of those spoilt wee brats!

Vote for Buffy at tvguide.com -- vampire hunter D, 11:45:11 01/04/02 Fri

go over to tvguide.com, they have a poll (what new years resolution should Hollywood make) and Nominating Buffy for an emmy is one. Remember, vote early and vote often.

[> Did so...it's leading by quite a bit! -- grifter, 12:12:18 01/04/02 Fri

What about the Tree? (UPN preview new ep) -- Neaux, 12:59:24 01/04/02 Fri

well from the new preview.. the next Buffy looks pretty interesting... but what about that invisible tree!!

think of all the sunnydale people that will run into it and hurt themselves!!

sorry for the goofy post.. but i havent posted much recently due to the lack of new eps.. and I'm bored at work.. :(

[> I thinking slapstick joke at the end with people running into it. :-) -- Moose, 13:05:00 01/04/02 Fri

[> [> you mean a george of the jungle cross-ref.? @>) -- anom, 13:38:48 01/04/02 Fri

Watch out for that (invisible) treeeeee!!

[> Re: What about the Tree? (Total Speculation) -- MrDave, 18:46:05 01/06/02 Sun

It occurs to me that for Buffy, being invisible might be a pretty good place to be. SHe might seek to stay that way...it would be the ultimate avoidance.

So if SHE is invisible and seeks to stay that way, then there would have to be something ELSE invisible (i.e. the tree) to clue the Scoobies into what might have happened.

Then the hard part becomes finding an invisible Buffy...

Just Idle speculation...

FX deletions. . .has anyone else noticed? -- Laurie, 13:40:22 01/04/02 Fri

Ok, first I apologize if this has already been brought up, but it's been so unnerving lately. I come to this board often, but some weeks, I just can't keep up, so it's possible others have already mentioned it. Has anyone else noticed that FX cuts scenes from the repeats? I mean they are not huge scenes, usually just a funny line or two. I didn't really notice this during the repeats of the earlier seasons, since they were a while ago, and I didn't remember anything missing. But when the repeats of season 4, and especially season 5 aired, I knew I wasn't crazy. They are ususally just a line or two, but very funny. Like in "Crush", after Buffy finds Dawn with Spike, and she is telling her that she can't have a crush on Spike because he's a killer, they cut out the next couple of lines where Dawn mention that she was with Angel, and Buffy defends it by saying he had a soul. Not that this was a crucial scene, but it was a good point from Dawn. Also, they cut out funny lines, like in the same ep, where Spike offers Buffy his flask, she says "ew". Then FX cut out the next line where Spike says it's bourbon, not blood, and Buffy does a really drawn out "ewwwww". Funny! The examples are endless. I almost find it to be a game (spot the missing dialogue). Are they doing it because FX needs to put more commercials than the WB did? It is just annoying. Espcially because some people are watching it for the first time as it airs on FX, and they are missing some good stuff! And it seems so minor, just a couple of lines here and there, so is it necessary? Just wondering if anyone else noticed/cared.

[> I did... -- VampRiley, 13:47:14 01/04/02 Fri

The first time seasons 1-3 aired, there were no cuts. But since 4 started, there have been. And now that season 1 is being reaired, the cuts have now appeared there as well. But I don't know why.


[> [> Re: I did... -- Sebastian, 14:04:04 01/04/02 Fri

i've noticed it as well.

there was a cut in 'the real me' when the magic box opens for its first day of business and buffy sees giles wearing his wizard outfit. the silent exchnage between them was more drawn out in the original - and IMHO, contributed to the humor of the overall scene.

there was a cut in 'intervention' when the scoobs confront buffy about 'straddling' spike (anya's line about anger is cut out).

there's a few others - but i can't remember them.

and was it just me - or was anyone a little peeved when f/x did not air 'the weight of the world' when they were supposed to - and aired 'beer bad'/'wild at heart' instead?

i didn't think TWotW was part of 'classic' cache ('hush', 'the body', 'buffy vs. dracula', etc...) that UPN wanted to air before the f/x reruns....

- S

[> Re: FX deletions. . .has anyone else noticed? -- gds, 14:36:08 01/04/02 Fri

I almost complained about this a month ago. I find it VERY iritating. I notice them in almost every show. The cuts are small, but they are very noticable to someone who has seen the uncut version because they are often some of 'cuter' lines.

[> What happened is... -- Darby, 14:51:13 01/04/02 Fri

I don't remember where I saw it, but somewhere it was stated that when FX started the two-a-days, they started using the "syndication" cuts (the ones that run on local stations on the weekends), which are shorter.

So the episodes being re-rerun now are different than they were the first time around, when only single episodes were run.

This, so we can see the "Sins of the Father" ads for the 7000th time (does anybody actually intend to watch this thing, or are we all just looking forward to the ads going away?).

[> [> Not only that, but (re: the syndication cuts)... -- A8, 18:03:51 01/04/02 Fri

...on the syndicated weekend eps, there is always an abrupt extra commercial cut-in about 25 minutes into each ep that throws off the whole pacing of the scene. For example, when 'Bad Girls' aired last weekend, in the scene where Faith gets Buffy to cut out of her chem test to disturb a vamp nest, there's a sudden commercial break before they crash the nest and yell "rise and shine." It's sad really, because that ep really flows from schoolyard to vamp nest to the Bronze dance scene that follows without the awkward cut. Another piece of dialogue there that I noticed missing (obviously to add time to the extra commercial) was when Buffy and Faith are in the back of the police car. Faith asks her if she wants to "get out here?." In the original unedited version, Buffy is reluctant to attempt an escape and Faith rationalizes "we can't save the world if we're in jail." That whole exchange is deleted in the syndicated version so that they immediately kick the police car screen in causing the car to crash. Buffy's reluctance is a key to the whole theme of the episode (Faith descent into evil, and Buffy's refusal to follow her down that path). It's a sad intrusion into the artistic process IMHO. We need all the unedited DVD's...and soon!


[> [> Three guesses, and the first two don't count -- Philistine, 23:46:38 01/04/02 Fri

Been waiting, what - four months? - for those ads to go away... Of course, then there'll be have the ads for the repeat showings, and the ads for their next big feature (sure it'll be six months down the line, but that won't keep 'em from starting the ever-lovin' ads right away), and more ads, and more ads...

Here's hoping they put out the DVDs on an accelerated schedule, at least until we catch up to Region 2.

[> [> [> Re: Three guesses, and the first two don't count -- sflayer, 18:54:57 01/05/02 Sat

SO glad that someone else has been driven insane by the Sins of the Father ads. Now I won't watch the dang thing, just on principle. One brighter note is that last time I was at FX, on the schedule of upcoming shows they did note which ones were going to be the syndicated version, with a little (syn) next to the show title. That might be all of them at this point, but at least we get fair warning. Come DVD's come!

My personal fave line that got cut is an exchange between Riley (yeah of course I hated Riley but have to mention him, he was there!) and Forrest. When Buffy comes into the cafeteria and Forrest says she is hot, Riley replies, "No she's Buffy". They cut Forrest's reply "Oh I like that! A girl's so hot...she's *Buffy*."

[> [> [> [> On the flip side.. -- SingedCat, 20:42:44 01/05/02 Sat

What, you don't turn off the sound or fast forward through commercials? Those things would drive me batty as often as they air them!!! But it does look like a good movie (If they can stop hyping it to death...)I'm frankly interested, in this age of diminished racial furor, what kind of take they will have on the situation.

Anyway, I was just commenting today on the episode cuts to a friend, talking about how I noticed them right off, but I had to admit they were better cuts than the usual butchering done in the cutting room. On the whole, I thought they trimmed scenes and lines that were awkward or just not funny, opting for many little cuts over deleting whole scenes (Don't stake me, but I thought that line of Forrest's was uncharacteristically witless for him). Like in the opening of the Magic Box, Buffy assures Giles he'll be making money hand over fist, and they cut that little visual of her waving her hand thoughtfully over her fist and saying "...which I guess is a good thing." I kinda thought it was dumb.

Still, given the choice, I'd definitely go uncut. Or hey! Director's cut! Numfar's extended Dance of Joy! :D

[> [> [> [> [> Re: On the flip side.. -- sflayer, 20:08:22 01/06/02 Sun

I guess I am still smarting from being in a non-UPN market, and having the local WB station only air the 60 minute version of OMWF. *I* have to wait for DVD's of Season 6 to see the whole eppie. That should be around...let's say 2006?

Anyone mention scene deletions to me and I get wacky.

[> Re: FX deletions. . .has anyone else noticed? -- beekeepr, 11:58:38 01/05/02 Sat

The cuts are myriad-Slayrunt gives me apoplectic episodic updates, as he has a mind like a steel trap for dialogue, close to photographic, and it drives him mad. He can generally quote any line, ver batim, from original show. I am, in general, not happy w/FX, and essentially refuse to watch it at all. I am offended by their "editing" of eps, profoundly annoyed by the wide fluctuations in volume, directly related to advertising, and completely off put by what can only be described as aggressive advertising of their own projects, even if I would find the subject matter engaging, normally. And I ask you, is there anyone amongst you who could be induced to say,"Are you X-perienced"?

[> Re: FX deletions. . .has anyone else noticed? -- vampire hunter D, 12:16:14 01/05/02 Sat

The sick thing is, even though it's just one line here and there, the one line they choose to delete invariably changes the whole scene by its absence. For examole, if Spike doesn't say that the flask had bourbon, then it looks like he offered Buffy blood. And that line about Angel in Crush was also just as important. Whoever edited thise does not waaatch the show and/or is a total idiot.

Buffy, Spike, Primal Antagonists(spoilers 610-14 -- Gwyn, 17:19:20 01/04/02 Fri

The following post came from speculation based on reading Regeneration through violence...Slotkin's book and the spoilers now available for 610-14 on various boards. so if you do not want spoilers stop reading here. Okay, here I go. I do not know the specific details of where the story will finally end up in season 7 but I do know the mythology behind JW's story. It is not new, though his take on it is brilliantly new, so I can hazard a pretty educated guess of how it will be resolved in general. Given that I think JW is operating from other myths, in fact he has said so, I think that what I have outlined below is very close to what we will get as a pathway, even though I cannot pick the specifics.

Buffy, as our hero, is now at a crucial state in her journey. Her death has isolated her from her friends and society. She fights the forces of darkness and, inevitably, has becomes so enmeshed in them, as they are represented by Spike, that she feels, and may genuinely be, in danger of losing herself. The vampire world is a highly erotic one, and Spike represents the power and dangers of that world. He embodies erotic lust, danger, chaos, craving, blood lust and violence. He is the part of us that, individually and as a group, threatens the bounds we set up to make ourselves *civilised*. We, like Buffy, hate the potential this part of us has to destroy us. The feeling is mutual. Spike, the embodiment of chaos, wanting to go where he wants and do what he wants, fears and hates the idea of being tamed, "housebroken". (Think Crush and the speech where he says he hates the idea of being in love with her because he is afraid he'll end up an empty shell of himself.)

The conflict between them is the struggle for domination so that neither is overwhelmed or "drowning" in the other. This conflict is externalised in the relationship but it is an internal one as well. Spike can literally, and metaphorically be destroyed if Buffy completely civilises him, and so can Buffy if she immerses herself in his "world". The two worlds, and the two impulses within us that they represent, are inevitably antagonistic in a mythic sense. Buffy is fighting what she perceives as evil in Spike and within herself. Spike loves his opposite but knows his identity is at stake and while he loves her, tries to bring her into his world rather than enter hers where he knows his power and strength will be reduced if he is tamed.

Okay, bear with me now. The thing is, the sexual urge that Spike represents, and Buffy is in danger of being overwhelmed by, is not evil, though Buffy, because she fears its chaos, perceives it to be so. Think Ahab and the white whale in Moby Dick. Ahab saw the power of the white whale as evil but, essentially it just "was", a force of nature. Not that I'm saying Buffy is Ahab, she isn't but you get my drift. But all that talk of craving and blood in Buffy is about how powerful instincts drive us and can, if we let them, consume us, whether it is lust, or aggression, or cruelty etc. Buffy as the Slayer is a civilising force and the vampires and demons she kills form the body count for that civilisation. Lucky they go *poof* so we do not have to deal with the real thing you get in places like Afghanistan or Vietnam but it is a body count on some level and killing will do stuff to you. Riley calls her a killer in the Restless dream (which we now know probably refers to the mistake about Katrina...bless JW's clever little foreshadowing heart.:-), but she does have to destroy to save the world. We have been told her "gifts" are dark as well as light ones. In her relationship with Spike she is embracing the darker forces within her and the question is, will she drown, or will something else happen?

Okay, hang in there. What other options does Buffy have that contrast with what Spike offers in his blood lust, chaos, and uncontrolled libido? She enters her dreams and vision quests where she gets cryptic and symbolic guidance that is of some use to her in the real world, but so far has offered no epiphany. Trips into desert landscapes that are also journeys into her own mind and only offering momentary insight. She has left her *childhood* the years of high school, when even first love, touching the forces of darkness in the figure of Angel, did not overwhelm her, but certainly came close to devastating her. But then she was close to her friends, she had Giles and her mother, things that anchored her and stopped her from being consumed by the pain. And lucky for her, Angel left. It was temporary reprieve from disaster. But it opened the door to the attractions of all that Angel and Spike represent of darkness and the erotic, and the primal.

But now, there is no close circle of friends. Giles is gone, and Joyce is dead, and Buffy has come back with little of the identity and sureties that in the past would have anchored her. She is devastated by the loss of heaven and completion. She is alone and has thrown herself into the chaos that Spike represents even as she struggles against it, because it is the primal power that drives life. She feels alive in his arms. Lastly there is the Riley factor. He is, and represents, Buffy's longed for view of normality and completion in this world. For a while it seems to be the answer, the normal, is the option as far from chaos and primal urges you can get. The illusion that you can, without too much trouble, order the passions that threaten to engulf us. Perhaps I should not say illusion, it is not that there is no truth to this. The question is whether it is not so idealised that, in the end, reality threatens it. It is also a question, whether while it may be true for others, can it be an option for Buffy? Having seen the power of her lust for Spike, and looking back on what we saw with Riley, it is clear that this was not so. Riley's return in an episode that is upcoming will show us, whatever happens, that Buffy still yearns for what he represents. But there is no chaos in Riley, no primal vitality, no wildness, all of which Buffy needs to feel alive.

She is not just on a Slayer quest, she is looking for love and she is risking degradation, and self-destruction in the process. Her exposure to passion with Spike is dangerous but she has to do that to find out what, in the end, she needs and wants. Just as Angel, and Riley were stages in that quest for self understanding, so is Spike. There are only two ways this can go, given the antagonistic forces warring within and between these two. The forces Buffy and Spike represent, are not necessarily resolvable, the chaos and the attempt to harness them to build a life is ongoing and, will probably never reach a point of resolution. We live in a world of constant social and personal change and growth and at any time it can all fall apart, something that was brought home to us all on 9-11. However, the hero must make some attempt if self-destruction is not to occurr. So either Buffy and Spike will achieve some kind of union, something that symbolises it, even if that is not romantic. Or some sort of exorcism of the control Spike is in danger of exercising over Buffy will occur. The options are either the primal is incorporated into us, subsumed into some form that allows identity to survive, or it is destroyed. Union and the taming of Spike, or his death.

Union or death can't involve a total rejection of what he stands for though. The primal urges he represents, even the chaos, is who we are and a source of some of our most creative achievements as humans. Lust leads to family, procreation, and life, and is the subject of countless artistic endeavours that explore the human condition and tell us who we are. If we destroy it as a source we destroy ourselves. We see the positives of it represented in all the positives of the Spike character that are not dependent on his love for Buffy, his family attitude to Dawn, his insight into others and the world around him, and his vitality and energy. And that lust, too, is a part of his all powerful love for Buffy which has opened the door to his possibly transcending his baser drives and the destructive potential he has. We need the Spike in us, we just cannot have him control us, and we need to subsume him into the larger purposes in our life. Spike working with Buffy is that possibility, even if she does not come to love him. Loving him, without totally taming him, might lead to union. But Spike would have to move too. Spike would need to harness all that is destructive within him to the "higher purpose" Giles mentioned to him when he came to pay him for helping him when Giles was temporarily a demon. Harnessing the primal and the chaos to the higher purpose Buffy represents could lead to union.

For all of the above reasons, I do not think Spike will die unless it is in a sacrificial moment for good at the end of the series because JW knows Spike is a part of who we are and cannot be completely *killed* literally or metaphorically unless we recognise that we need him. There will be some kind of union between Buffy and Spike, some kind of acceptance of each other, even affection or love, if not romantic in nature. Giles toyed with the darker arts in his youth, was like Spike, but eventually harnessed those urges to a higher purpose. The references to Spike being Giles son in Restless and Tabula Rasa means that Spike will find that higher purpose. I hope it is with Buffy, but maybe not. Because the battle against the forces of darkness is not resolvable, Buffy may end up alone, whether Spike literally dies or not. While she and he represent us, they are not us in one very important sense. Their mythic status, while it tells us about ourselves, simplifies who we are without all the web of social contexts that stop us from acting in the simplified action they embody...er...you know, thump, stake, poof etc. And their fate or destiny will only ever show us a part of our story at one given point in time, not at rest. It is a real possibility that Buffy could end up alone, having transcended the dangers of Spike, even reconciled and accepting him on some level but, in so doing, moved beyond him. For that is a part of us too. In a world full of billions of people, who of us has not felt, at times alone.

Okay, I think fundamentally, that is the story we are getting. It won't end in romantic bliss but it won't end in rejection either. And Buffy and Spike will emerge from the degradation of the spoilers we have had and the darker side of the relationship we have seen in Wrecked and Smashed. They have to go there to be reconciled. With no risk, there is no heroic journey. But with no emergence from degradation there is no heroism. There will be no final rejection of Spike without him reaching that "higher purpose", even if it means his death.

[> Just because I'll throw some Campbell at you -- Rufus, 20:14:22 01/04/02 Fri

Moyers: You and I possess characteristics that are both male and female?

Campbell: The body does. I don't know anything about the actual dating of all this, but something in the fetal period it becomes apparent that this child is going to be male, and this one is going to be female. Meanwhile, it's a body with the potentialities for either inflection.

Moyers: So through life we are honoring or suppressing on or the other.

Campbell: And in that yin/yang figure from China, in the dark fish, or whatever you want to call it, there is a light spot. And in the light one, there's a dark spot. That's how they can relate. You couldn't relate at all to something in which you did not somehow participate. That's why the idea of God as the Absolute Other is a ridiculous idea. There could be no relationship to the Absolute Other.

Of course I thought of the Buffyverse when I heard this quote the first time, and not just the fact that we have a female, male relationship going on with Buffy and Spike. There are no absolutes in the Buffyverse. If you go by the soulless can only be evil, then how can it exist at all. You can't survive as an absolute. To get victims close enough to kill you have to be able to relate to them if only for a moment long enough to trap them.
So,you have these characters, a Vampire and a Vampire Slayer...one dark, one light....but they both contain just a spot of the other or they wouldn't relate at all. Buffy certainly wouldn't be sleeping with Spike. They may seem like such total opposites that they could never speak to each other. But that simply isn't true. The vampire is a demon, a creature of darkness that contains the spot of light of the human. Buffy is a human with just a spot of dark energy in her. But the two are at a stalemate. The only thing left is to either destroy each other or exist together accepting their differences. They are so close and so far away from each other that they may never be able to leave the situation. Of course if Spike begins to be a danger he would have to be dusted...there are after all rules and conditions on how Slayer and Vampire can co-exist.

[> [> Re: Just because I'll throw some Campbell at you -- Gwyn, 21:08:03 01/05/02 Sat

I like this idea very much. Detecting that mirror substance in each other would have operated subconsciously earlier on, perhaps, when, despite all the threats and fighting, she could not stake him and he could not seem to kill her. While they fight they can avoid recognising and accepting that they share more than they know, and more than the sex. Acceptance in both cases, of the opposite of their dominant nature, Spike's acceptance of his *light* and Buffy's her *dark*, would liberate both of them from the pain they are currently inflicting on each other, and which the spoilers say will intensify. There does seem to be a slight difference in the degree of self-knowledge possessed by each of them though. Spike appears to me to be more self-aware. Buffy less so. Life, or should I say unlife, experience I suppose.

[> Wow! Great post! -- Kerri, 20:25:22 01/04/02 Fri


I am in awe! I can't think of all that much to add-you pretty much covered it all. But I seem to be compelled to write something, anyway. :)

Buffy has always rejected the "slayer"/"darker"(dark mainly in the way Buffy perceives it, however, I'm not entirely sure what the word im searching for is) side of herself. In the past she was able to do this because she had something to hold on to, ties to the human world in the form of the Scoobies, her mom, sister, and Giles. In the past (pre-season 5) Buffy seemed to have a strong self of self-yes she questioned and doubted-but this was usually put aside and Buffy retained a connection to her identity.

After returning from heaven, however, Buffy's identity has been shattered. She lost the sense of self she always had-feeling fragmented since losing her feeling of "completion". In addition Buffy loses her external ties to humanity. Thus, when Buffy desperately looks for something to grasp on to all she finds is Spike-the "dark" element.

This is a necessary journey, however. Buffy must intergrate all aspects of self in order to be whole and completele her journey. And this means embracing, controlling, and accepting the slayer aspect of her nature, partially through her relationship with Spike. In doing this Buffy will be willingly intergrating part of the "enemy" into herself and i wonder where this will lead her interms of her calling...

On another level, BtVS is a metaphorical journey into adulthood, and discovery and acceptance of sexuality is part of that journey. Sex has always frightened Buffy and she associates it with the darkness she fears within herself. In looking at traditional vampire stories the vampires often represent the potential dangers of female sexuality that frighten and intrigue society. Thus, Buffy has walked in this sexual world but never accepted it. She slays her fears by killing them/not addressing them, however, now she embraces them in Spike, and must ultimately find the balance.

[> Oddly enough,I had a vision of Spike exiting........ -- AurraSing, 20:37:30 01/04/02 Fri

It was during a long road trip this past summer and I had a vision while I was very tired of Spike sacrificing himself to save Buffy.
It gave me the willies and since I have had a few correct premonition dreams in the past I did not quickly dismiss it.Could this be some mythical dream archetype that occurs in our subconcious?? Because damn,it felt so real and after much reflection,so right.

[> Awesome post! -- Deeva, 20:57:42 01/04/02 Fri
Wow! Well done, Gwyn! Instead of printing this out I just stayed put and read it straight through. Great stuff. Loved every bit of it, especially the last part about Spike never being truly killed because he represents the chaos within all of us.

I'm always amazed at Buffy's yearning for a "normal" life. What's "normal"? I don't know if it would be enough for her, just as Riley wasn't enough in the end. Although she did run after him but if she did reach him in time, would it have lasted?

[> First she'll kill him, then she'll save him (No spoilers, just my speculation) -- Dyna, 11:01:38 01/06/02 Sun

Whew! I'm avoiding spoilers, but I had to read what you wrote, Gwyn, after I peeked at Deeva's post, saw the words "Spike can never truly be killed" and went, "ACK! Is that a spoiler?" (Answer: No. Yay!) And I'm glad I did, because besides being only very lightly spoilery, this thread is a good place to throw in some thoughts I've had about where this could be going that I haven't previously had time to write down.

I was thinking a lot of Buffy and Spike's relationship after "Wrecked," as many of us were, and one question I found myself pondering was why I'm so certain that Buffy shouldn't kill Spike. It's something I think about whenever I see one of those posts that says "Buffy should kill Spike, why is he still alive, she should have dusted him a long time ago, etc etc." I've never replied to one, but inevitably I find myself running over the arguments in my mind again. Gwyn's post expresses an answer to that question more beautifully than I could have. Quoting all the great points would mean quoting the whole thing, but I think this one gets at it very nicely:

"The primal urges he represents, even the chaos, is who we are and a source of some of our most creative achievements as humans. Lust leads to family, procreation, and life, and is the subject of countless artistic endeavours that explore the human condition and tell us who we are. If we destroy it as a source we destroy ourselves."

The challenge Spike poses to Buffy is huge--bigger, perhaps, than anything she's faced before, because this is one "big bad" she cannot deal with as an "Other." Spike represents things that are part of her, part of all humanity, and destroying him instead of finding resolution would be an act of brutal self-denial. Buffy's been too far down the road of self-denial already--in order to grow up and become a more whole person, she has to find a way to deal with this challenge that doesn't involve absolute rejection. She can't beat it to death with a troll-hammer. As Deeva points out, killing Spike accomplishes nothing. Accepting, integrating, really dealing with what Spike represents is the hard road, the one that Buffy *must* travel.

Buffy hasn't made this leap yet in her consciousness, but her act of accepting Spike as a lover, even just for one night, is to me a hopeful sign. Some of us figure out how we feel about things by talking them through. Buffy, I think, gains understanding of herself through action--she tends to lead with her body, and her mind follows. On some level, I believe one of the "revelations" of Buffy's decision to have sex with Spike is recognition that the answer to this challenge cannot be separation, it has to be union. But I don't believe Buffy will understand that revelation immediately, nor will Spike.

I fully expect that the immediate aftermath of "Smashed/Wrecked" will be a period of estrangement and emotional stress for Buffy and Spike. I just can't see any other way for things to go. When they had sex, they each overstepped a boundary with no idea what the other intended--witness their postcoital conversation, in which each suspects the other to be in it for a thrill ("doing a slayer"/"vampires get you hot")--and they both have to be feeling fearful and vulnerable at this point. Dramatically, it's a fantastic decision by the writers, because it's knocked the relationship completely out of its tentative balance and into chaos. And if there's one thing we know about chaos, it's that it's both destructive and generative--the old is swept away, and something new arises.

(As a side note, how can the dialog about mandrake roots from "All the Way" be anything but foreshadowing of Buffy/Spike conflict?: "They tend to go a bit wonky if you cram 'em too close." Hee!)

My personal speculation is that something big will have to happen to break the emotional stalemate between them--some situation in which Spike is threatened, and Buffy is forced to not just passively "not kill him," but to save him. Not "pushing out of the way of flying stakes" saving, but real saving, with serious risks and serious consequences. Maybe not even this season, but sometime, there is going to have to be a point where she absolutely, positively accepts what he represents and starts on the road toward balancing those elements within herself. Sex is too ambiguous to function this way--the action Buffy takes that signals acceptance of Spike can't be something she perceives as motivated by dark impulses or weakness. She need to come at it through strength and purity of motivation--an act of love rather than lust. If I'm right about this, there's all the more reason for the writers to build up the stress and estrangement between them, the better to keep us unsure of what she'll decided to do when faced with the possibility of losing him. Also, stripping away the influence of lust, dependency, etc and putting Buffy and Spike seriously at odds with each other clears the emotional decks, so that when/if Buffy is faced with the need to put herself at risk to save Spike, the emotional truth of why will stand out clear and undiluted.

I could be completely insane, of course. After all, what's my evidence? Pure speculation, gut feeling, and this line from "Tabula Rasa" that screams "foreshadowing!" to me:

"If I just stopped saving his life it would simple things up so much."

Because really, when have ME been in favor of simpling things up? NEVER! Go complications! Yay!

[> [> Just Like Faith -- Stranger, 11:23:32 01/06/02 Sun

Reading this I come to think that Spike is, for Buffy, very similar to Faith, as a symbole and a gate to that wild, primordial part of her.
Buffy couldn't kill Faith either. She could only send her to monthes long coma.
And she couldn't also because it would have been morally wrong - like killing a human, like killing a part of herself.
And indeed, just when Buffy has sex with Spike, she is shown having one of Faith's quirps : fighting makes her hungry (and horny)

[> [> Re: First she'll kill him, then she'll save him (No spoilers, just my speculation) -- Gwyn, 21:00:14 01/06/02 Sun

I won't go into why so much of what you say, Dyna, lines up with some of the spoilers we have been getting because you want to stay spoiler free but your arguments are cogent and persuasive. I do not know if Buffy saving Spike will be the way that the story will signal to us that Buffy has turned a corner but it would be a dramatic way of doing it if, as you say, it occurred beyond the saving him from a stake level. In some way, now I think of it, she is saving him already is she not? His love for her has been the catalyst for his moral growth and *love as salvation* is a very ancient theme in literature, and not just romantic literature. Religious poetry and biblical imagery often parse love of the divine with the metaphors of earthly, even sensual or erotic love. Of course, salvation is not a term we would want to use with Spike because he has no soul. While the soul is in play in the story, everything about Spike's moral growth challenges that sort of imagery because he is defined as not having one.

Accepting Spike,saving Spike, loving Spike, working with Spike, whatever term we use brings us back to the unity of self, the integration of dark and light, that Buffy will have to work through as a young adult and as a hero. She cannot reach that moral and personal harmony without him. That is the important point. She needs him as much as he needs her for the journey they both must make. Buffy will survive, perhaps battle scarred but wiser, though not necessarily ever reaching the end of the road. Spike, Spike I am less sanguine about when it comes to literal survival. One thing I am sure of, he *will* get his moment of acceptance from Buffy, total acceptance. Though not necessarily love. I am haunted by that remark in the Gift where he says "I know you will never love me." I tell myself that what he said was true of pre-resurrection Buffy. I hope it may not be true of post-resurrection Buffy. Those viewers, like myself, who find Spike's character change affecting, do so because he embodies the hope of moral change, rehabilitation, redemption, whatever you want to call it. His growth gives us the drama of personal change and who doesn't yearn for that kind of hope in our own life. I believe the story will give Spike his moral moment in the sun. (Er, not literally I hasten to add,flames,vampires, bad news!) If one vampire can do it,with no soul,then Spike has more than saved himself, he has remade the Hellmouth forever. If one vampire can do it without a soul then all assumptions about demons are off and we are back to a new game, and who cares what the Council says. Can anyone spot me a kitten? I want my money on this bloke, he's a safe bet.:-)

[> [> a couple of comments -- anom, 23:17:33 01/06/02 Sun

"Some of us figure out how we feel about things by talking them through. Buffy, I think, gains understanding of herself through action--she tends to lead with her body, and her mind follows."

I'm not sure that's always true, and at least not in the case of her having sex with Spike. She tried to talk about her problems twice--once in the Magic Box, just before the Tabula Rasa spell took effect, & then when she tried to talk to Willow, this time specifically about Spike & her feelings for him, but Amy's unexpected presence (as a human) kept her from feeling comfortable opening up to Willow. Both times she lost the chance to talk things out, & I wonder if things would have gone the way they did w/Spike if one of those chances had panned out.

"...each suspects the other to be in it for a thrill ('doing a slayer'...."

And not even that it's just for a thrill. The way Spike has been treating Buffy, both at the end of Season 5 & at the beginning of this season, she has reason to think he cares for her personally, as Buffy. His comment "the morning after" probably made her feel he saw her as another notch, just a different kind ("the only thing better than killing a Slayer...). Even his apparent hatred & anger at her could at least have been personal, but now it sounds like he just wanted a Slayer, not this individual Slayer. Considering all the reservations she had to overcome to have sex with him, even on impulse, this must have confirmed her worst doubts. No wonder she felt the need to strike back.

[> Re: Buffy, Spike, Primal Antagonists(spoilers 610-14 -- Aquitaine, 20:19:20 01/07/02 Mon

Gwyn, while I don't share your opinion regarding the current power relations between Spike and Buffy (I seem to be the only one who doesn't see them as tipped in Spike's favour - LOL - so don't mind me), I do believe your conclusions are logical based on what we know and what you theorise. There certainly seems to be something ineluctable about the B/S pairing. A sense that each on their side, they represent the larger forces (dark and light) of the world that must be kept in balance at all costs.

I really enjoyed reading your post!


From Season One...a couple of observations and questions. -- Darby, 17:47:47 01/04/02 Fri

As seems to be normal for me, I have one observation from me and one from my wife from tonight's FX reruns, "Angel" and "I Robot, You Jane."

First, an interesting line reading from my wife: in "Angel," during the B/A confrontation at the Bronze, Angel tells Buffy when she accuses him that he had not bitten her mother. When she asks, "Why didn't you tell me?" his response is, "I wanted to." There are two possible meanings here - he may have wanted to tell her (that's what I picked up), which begs the question "Why give her a chance, even some additional reason, to kill him first?" The second possibility (my wife's take) is that he's saying that he wanted to BITE Joyce, which would explain a LOT more of what's going on in the scene. He does seem kind of resigned to the possibility that Buffy will kill him, and it's way too early for this to be a test of her feelings for him - is he feeling guilty and uncertain of whether he's still capable of murder? We are told later through Whistler that he has spent much of the time between the advent of his curse and his hooking up with Buffy avoiding human contact - it would make sense that during that time he might not be sure how much control Angelus might be able to exert, given strong enough temptation. Come to think of it, the emergence of his vampire side from kissing Buffy might have freaked him out as much as it did her.

Second: In "I Robot, You Jane," Giles states specifically that Moloch's SOUL has been confined, then released, and I'm wondering: it seems like we are all assuming that when the human soul departs a vampire-in-development, that what is left has NO soul, and that other non-vampire demons lack souls as well. But what if there are just differences between different soul incarnations? It would explain all of the shading in motives and "evil" that has appeared in the various demon types we've been shown.

Does anyone know where the basic original information on souls came from?

[> Just a quick copy and paste..... -- Rufus, 19:41:46 01/04/02 Fri

The Paley Festival, March 30, 2001

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

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

Creation of the Vampire ....The Harvest....season one

The library. The globe is spinning. Giles stops it while he lectures and makes his way down to where Buffy, Willow and Xander are at the table.

Giles: This world is older than any of you know. Contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons demons walked the Earth. They made it their home, their... their Hell. But in time they lost their purchase on this reality. The way was made for mortal animals, for, for man. All that remains of the old ones are vestiges, certain magicks, certain creatures...

Buffy: And vampires.

Xander: Okay, this is where I have a problem. See, because we're talking about vampires. We're having a *talk* with vampires in it.

Willow: Isn't that what we saw last night?

Buffy: No. No, th-those weren't vampires, those were just guys in thundering need of a facial. Or maybe they had rabies. It could have been rabies. A-and that guy turning to dust? Just a trick of light. (Xander gives her a look) That's exactly what I said the first time I saw a vampire. Well, after I was done with the screaming part.

Willow: Oh, I, I need to sit down. Buffy: You are sitting down. Willow: Oh. Good for me.

Xander: So vampires are demons?

Giles: The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding... Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return.

There is a difference in the basic information about the vampire and the soul from season one to now. In Doppelgangland, Angel gives the first hint that vampires aren't just some strange entity inhabiting a shell. The mind is left minus the soul, which for the purposes of the Buffyverse appears to be the conscience....see above JW interview. Have a long stroll through all the stuff on Masquerades site and you will get lots of stuff on the soul ect. Take your time, Tuesday seems so far away...:):)

[> Re: From Season One...a couple of observations and questions. -- zargon, 21:46:02 01/04/02 Fri

My take on "Angel" with Angel saying "I wanted to" matches with your wife's opinion: He wanted to bite Joyce and was one shard from losing his self control when Buffy came in the kitchen. Giving his tendancy toward guilt and angst, I would say that condemned himself for not being able to resist; therefore, he feels he is just as guilty for wanting to bite Joyce as to actually biting her. It was not himself that stopped the biting; it was Buffy's arrival (and subsequent throwing him out the window :) ); therefore, in his own eyes (and he felt probably Buffy's too), he failed. He's just as much a demon as the other vampires.

[> [> Re: From Season One...a couple of observations and questions. -- vandalia, 22:15:05 01/05/02 Sat

"he feels he is just as guilty for wanting to bite Joyce as to actually biting her. "

And if that doesn't make Angel Catholic, I don't know what does. ;)

[> [> [> Irish Catholic :) -- Spike Lover, 14:39:43 01/06/02 Sun

[> [> "The Truth" (OT) -- matching mole, 07:29:36 01/06/02 Sun

This reminds me events in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel 'The Truth'. One of the supporting characters is a vampire named Otto who has taken a temperance pledge. Otto's temptation and guilt are played wholly for comic effect but I wonder if Pratchett was watching season 1-3 BtVS while he was writing this book.

[> [> [> The vampire-with-a-conscience is a much older cliche than Whedon -- Masquerade, 15:28:37 01/07/02 Mon

Besides Angel, there is Forever Knight's (early 1990's) Nick Knight, and Anne Rice's Louise de Point du Lac.

To quote Spike (to Angel) in School Hard:

"People still fall for that Anne Rice routine? What a world!"

[> [> [> [> And the ultimate v-w-a-c... -- Wisewoman, 17:42:22 01/07/02 Mon

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Comte de Saint-Germain.


[> [> [> [> [> Thanks for the reminders -- matching mole, 20:37:19 01/07/02 Mon

I should have remembered at least two of those three examples Masq. and WW! I haven't delved very deeply into Anne Rice but I have at least a passing acquaintance with the others which temporarily slipped my mind. Senility may be setting in early.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: And the ultimate v-w-a-c... -- Kimberly, 06:16:50 01/08/02 Tue

The Count is the vampire who got me hooked on the genre in the first place. He'd hate Sunnydale.

[> [> [> [> [> And let's not forget Dark Shadow's Barnabas Collins -- Masquerade, 09:21:58 01/08/02 Tue

[> Re: From Season One...a couple of observations and questions. -- maddog, 12:40:30 01/08/02 Tue

Well, I'll only answer the first as I don't know the answer to the second question...I think he was answering her question...he wanted to tell her...not that he wanted to bite Joyce, cause that can't be the case...remember, he's got a soul. He's not going to want to bite any innocent person. I see his actions as frustration...more of a "you've already convicted me, but think for a second" type of attitude.

an insignificant query -- Apophis, 20:25:30 01/04/02 Fri

Not that this has anything to do with BtVS, but does anyone know how to pronounce "voivode?" Is it "voy-vode," "vih-vode," "vee-vode," or something else entirely?

[> Re: an insignificant query -- Cactus Watcher, 21:16:00 01/04/02 Fri

Try VOY-voad. The word is slavic and means literally battle leader. I don't know where the 'English' form voivode comes from, though perhaps from the Oxford English Dictionary. It's not in my Webster's Third International. The word has an 'a' ending in every slavic language I know (and I know many of them). In Serbocroation it's pronounced VOY-vo-da. In Russian it's va-yeh-VO-duh.

Sorry this is so long, but it's been a dull few days since New Year's ;o)

[> [> not to nitpick, but... -- pagangodess, 08:33:59 01/05/02 Sat

I've known a few Serbians and a few Croatians, and if what they say is true, there is no such language as Serbo-Croatian. Just Serbian or Croatian. It's like when people ask me if Lithuanian and Russian are different. Well, duh..

Sorry, but I just had to put my two cents in. I mean no offence.


[> [> [> Re: not to nitpick, but... -- Cactus Watcher, 11:23:02 01/05/02 Sat

Actually it's a matter of politics. I'm from the old school so in my mind it's Serbo-Croatian. But, in linguistics if people insist on saying they speak different languages, the rule is don't argue with them. If the Orthodox and the Catholics of that region can't get along, it's a shame, and I won't argue they speak the same language. Obviously, there are differences, and they are powerful pyschologically. But, as a matter of being truthful, people like me from the US have more trouble understanding the some of the regional dialects found in England, than the Croatians and Serbs do understanding each other's language. Understanding each other's ideas is a different matter. The history of the Balkan peninsula continues to be sad.

[> [> [> Re: not to nitpick, but... -- vampire hunter D, 12:04:54 01/05/02 Sat

Well, I used to be friends with a girl from Bosnia (she came here as a refugee during the war) and she told me that there is no separate Serbian and Croatian languages. She said it's the same language, just that they use separate alphabets to write it.

Off to the hospital for a week or 2... -- Liquidram, 21:16:08 01/04/02 Fri

...will catch up with you all when I get back. I have three stories to get up for Fictionary Corner and will do what I can to get them posted this weekend before I go!

Talk to you all soon!


[> We'll be thinking of you! ;o) -- Cactus Watcher, 21:19:45 01/04/02 Fri

[> Wha?? I dunno what's a happenin', but here's hoping all turns out well! :) :) :) !! -- OnM, 22:14:55 01/04/02 Fri

[> You know where I am......... -- Rufus, 23:14:37 01/04/02 Fri

[> Let me know... -- Wisewoman, 08:30:25 01/05/02 Sat

...if you need a spoiler fix! I'll e-mail you my phone number, just in case.

Will be sending good thoughts for Chemicalram.


[> Hope all turns out well! -- Masquerade, 09:39:58 01/05/02 Sat

We'll miss you!

[> Re: Off to the hospital for a week or 2... -- DEN, 12:19:01 01/05/02 Sat

My best wishes accompany you--and a lighted candle as well, fot TPTB.

[> hope everything turns out ok! -- anom, 12:43:19 01/06/02 Sun

Classic Movie of the Week - January 4th, 2002 -- OnM, 22:01:17 01/04/02 Fri


Ah, the middle of the road
Ain't no private cul-de-sac

............ The Pretenders


Plumpick: 3 to 12! In three minutes it will be over. ( pauses ) I don't want to die.

Coquelicot: No one knows his own death.

Plumpick: I've got three minutes to live!

Coquelicot: Three minutes is great!

Plumpick: ( pauses again, thinks ) You're right. ( kisses her )


Ah, the futility of inevitability. Or is that the inevitability of futility?

I suppose to certain extent, it's always both. It often seems that no matter what you try to do, events act as if they have a mind of their own, and you get caught up in the sweep of them, carried along like a tree branch in a flood. This being the case, it becomes very easy to fall into a pattern of non-action, deciding that since nothing you do appears to matter, it's just easier to go with the flow.

The last time that Flooded aired, I decided to be direct and go with the most obvious realverse link I could think of, which of course was plumbing. There is no shortage of metaphorical possibilites that one can draw upon while viewing this episode-- the fact that like pipes and plumbing, the most mundane foundations of modern life can crumble and fall away at any moment, or that water flowing through pipes is like blood flowing through our veins. Blood is after all, like the rest of our physical constituency, mostly made up of water, and when it stops flowing, we quickly cease to live.

The flow of water is also a kind of journey, when we stop to think about it. The next time that you turn on the faucet, consider that at some historical point in the water's cycle of existence, it could have been frozen solid in some arctic glacier, or perhaps existed as a tenuous vapor, making up some portion of a cloud. Whether the water travels from one source to another destination by gravity, or evaporation, or by due application of man's technology, the journey is finite only in perception, not in actuality.

The one consistent measure in nature is that there is but stasis if no external energy is placed into the system. If the sun did not shine down upon our little jewel of a planet, the water would always be ice, solid and unchanging. Heat brings fluidity, movement, the potential for creating and nourishing other forms of life. Sublimation and evaporation are changes of state that reincarnate, beginning the journey again. Nature may or may not abhor a vacuum, but for absolute certainty beyond all assuredness she is unsubtley enamored of cyclical behavior. Her universe is filled to the brim with circles and sine waves and awash with the cosmic humor of fractal irrationalities, and attempting to layer it's roundmotifs with our simplistic preference for startpoint/endpoint linearity will always give rise to a highly limited degree of success.

None of these attributes are mutually exclusive, though. One of the key areas of enlightenment that the physics of Albert Einstein brought into the realms of human awareness was that viewpoint is always dependent on the frame of reference that one occupies at any given moment. Having to evaluate the differences perceived from correalating various frames as part of a greater, encompassing frame can bring either greater enlightenment, or greater paradoxes, sometimes both at once. Let me present a classic example to illustrate:

A person is riding on a train, and holds a rubber ball suspended exactly 1 meter above the floor of the train. This particular rubber ball is special, for it will return completely to the same height from which it was dropped. The person drops the ball, it travels straight down for one meter, bounces back up, traveling another meter, returns to the hand. Total distance traveled, is, obviously, two meters.

Or is it? If you are standing outside the train-- yes, you, with your ever-so handy X-ray vision, you watch the person drop the ball and retrieve it. But you do not see the ball fall straight down and then back up on a purely vertical path. Since from your frame of reference the train is moving forward while the ball drops, the ball falls not just straight down but also forward at the same time, describing a more V-shaped path. The total length traveled? Obviously more than two meters, depending on the speed of the train.

Which perception is correct? That depends on where you are, inside the train or outside. So far, however, there is no paradox involved. The motion of the train adds mathematically to the motion of the ball, so it is not a conflict that the ball travels over a longer path when viewed from outside the train. Suppose, now, we replace the ball with a short pulse of light, and have it bounce off a mirror on the floor of the train, and return to the source that emitted the light. Now, light is very fast. Carefully undertaken tests have shown it to travel at approximately 186,000 miles per second. One other curious thing about light (that equally carefully undertaken tests have shown), is that light never travels faster than this, under any circumstances.

Since our train is an imaginary one, we can do something that if real, would be difficult to do at current fuel costs without a special act of congress. We'll speed the train up until it is traveling at nearly the speed of light itself, maybe 98% of it. Now, from the viewpoint of the person on the train, the pulse of light leaves the emitter, travels down to the floor, and returned from the mirror to the emitter. The distance traveled? As before, two meters, one down, one back up. Now let's go back outside the train. The outside observer sees the light pulse follow a V-shaped path, like the ball did before.

So where's the paradox? The paradox is that the light cannot travel faster than 186,000 miles/second, so the speed of the train cannot add any additional velocity to the pulse. Since the two velocities would normally add, the light pulse should have traveled faster than 186,000 miles/second, except that it can't. Depending on the frame of reference, the light traveled both a 2 meter path and a longer then 2 meter path, but without changing speed. So now what the hell do we do?

Hummm. There is only one possibility, the physicist concludes. If the speed cannot change, but the distance the light travels does depending on the frame of reference, then time must have changed. Time travels more slowly inside of the train than outside of it. This balances the equation, QED and all that.

So they tell me, anyway. The mathematics are persuasive, I admit. But I have also noticed that the equations also would balance if time does not exist at all.

All of which leads us to The Classic Movie for this week, the first of the new year (Yay! Fireworks! Party hats! Drinks for one and all! / Or maybe just little ol' me tapping away at the keyboard ), which is similarly paradoxical. At minimum, it calls for a degree of suspension of disbelief, but such deferment brings rewards in that it eventually allows the perception of some aspects of reality which prefer to remain illusive. The world it posits is one that cannot truly exist, but in allowing it to pretend such existance, coherent truths can be known.

Please welcome King of Hearts, directed by Philippe de Broca and starring Alan Bates as "Private Charles Plumpick' and a extensive cast of other loonies.

Now by the term "loonies", I don't mean the other cast members themselves, but the characters that they play. The story takes place somewhere near the latter portion of World War I, and Private Plumpick is a communications officer in the Scottish army, meaning that he is in charge of caring for the carrier pigeons that offer an organic counterpart to the rather limited electronic means of messaging available back then. Word comes to the Scots that the German army is intending to blow up a nearby French town, and Plumpick gets "volunteered" for a mission to infiltrate the town to locate and disarm the buried munitions stash before it can detonate, which is scheduled to be at midnight of the following day.

The town's conventional residents have already quickly fled after the word gets spread about the impending destruction, leaving only a few stray German soldiers, the newly "promoted" Plumpick, and the several dozen residents of the town's insane asylum. When Plumpick has an unintended meeting with the leftover enemy troops, he takes temporary refuge in the asylum, pretending to be one of the deranged. The Germans, who appear to have an intense fear of possible "contamination" with the mentally unbalanced, flee posthaste as soon as they realize where they are, leaving Plumpick to return to the town to continue his mission. The residents, who have dubbed Plumpick the "King of Hearts" (you'll just have to see the film to understand why, it would take too long to explain here), follow him to town after discovering the gate to the grounds has been left unlocked. Seeing that the townspeople have disappeared, the "loonies" take over the social roles of the townspeople, or at least in the way that they imagine them to be.

It is important to be clearly aware that this film is not realistic, nor is it intended to be. Even back in 1966, most people understand that true mental illness almost never exists in the way it is portrayed in cartoons or comedy routines or other aspects of popular culture. The residents of this madhouse are not truly mad, they're just a boisterous medley of extreme eccentrics, and all are harmless to a fault. Indeed the fact that by comparison to the "real lunatics" who are actively fighting the war on all sides, the relative sanity of the "crazy people" of this small village is not only not beside the point, it is the point.

What sets King of Hearts apart from the run-of-the-mill anti-war allegory is that it's innocently-minded frame of reference doesn't pretend to be deep or profound, it posits simply that people must be crazy if they don't see the inevitable futility of what they are doing, and adjust the living of their lives accordingly. At the same time, it also shows that innocence is not sufficient in and of itself to prevent disasters from occurring. The "loonies" may prevent destruction from occurring by appearing to ignore rationality and common sense, but they can also just as inadvertantly cause it, as does one of the most innocent of the characters, Coquelicot (played by the wonderful actress Genevi¸ve Bujold), very near the end of the film. I won't spoil the scene if you have never see this movie before, but it simultaneously combines the daftly humorous and the profoundly tragic as deftly as anything ever issued from the pen of the Jossians. The end result, which leaves Plumpick on the fulcrum point of deciding which brand of madness he wants to associate himself with in future provides for one of the best filmic parting shots in the history of the genre.

Pending (of course) the contents of the humorous and/or tragic miscellaneous sections to follow the main review here, my "parting shot" is to recommend you aquire this DVD and enter a proper frame of reference to view it this weekend. Tempus fugit...

E. Pluribus Loonibus, Unum,



Technically Relativistic at Sublight Speeds:

King of Hearts is available on DVD, and (if the IMDb is correct) strangely enough not on VHS! The film was released in 1966, and running time is 1 hour and 42 minutes, or maybe 40 minutes depending on the version you find. The review copy was on a "Criterion Collection" laserdisc, which preserved the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, also likely to be so on the DVD copy. (No information is available as to any special features which may be present on the DVD version). The film is presented in the original French, German and English, with subtitles where appropriate. The screenplay and dialogue was by Daniel Boulanger, with the story based on an idea by Maurice Bessy. Pierre Lhomme was responsible for the understated but delightful cinematography, with editing by Fran¨oise Javet. There's a lovely music score by Georges Delerue, with sound by Jacques Carrere. The sound mix is listed as "dolby" by the IMDb, but I doubt this, 1966 is much too early for general use of movie surround sound, and in fact I suspect that the mix is either standard stereo or even mono. (Still sounds pretty good, in any event).

Cast overview:

Alan Bates .... Private Charles Plumpick
Pierre Brasseur .... General Geranium
Jean-Claude Brialy .... The Duke
Genevi¸ve Bujold .... Coquelicot
Fran¨oise Christophe .... The Duchess
Julien Guiomar .... Bishop Daisy (Monseigneur Marguerite)
Micheline Presle .... Madame Eglantine
Michel Serrault .... Marcel
Adolfo Celi .... Colonel Alexander MacBibenbrook
Daniel Boulanger .... Colonel Helmut von Krack
Palau .... Alberic
Marc Dudicourt .... Lieutenant Hamburger
Madeleine Clervanne .... Brunehaut
Jacques Balutin .... Mac Fish
Jean Sylvain .... Beadle



Finally picked up my copy of Moulin Rouge on DVD, and I must say that my suspicions were confirmed, namely that the film is not the same on a small screen.

Oh, I still think it's brilliant, but the sheer kinetic energy that reaches out and grabs you by the mind/heart/guts/genitals/whatever that causes this movie to sweep over you in the theater is a pale shadow of itself on the weensy little glowing phosphors of typical tubedom. As soon as I get a chance to go over all the extra goodies which this amazing two-disc set is crammed with, I intend to viddy it on the big rig at work, where I suspect it will come alive as before. (I'll keep you posted). Fortunately, as I mentioned in a reply to someone's post on this very subject earlier this week, if you have seen Moulin in the theater when it was first released, your brain can still fill in a lot of the missing grandeur from memory. This frame of reference riff I was off on earlier, and the effects of visual physical scale as it relates to emotional interaction has turned into an interesting subject for discussion, methinks; I'm currently flashing on Kubrick's 2001:A Space Odyssey, and that and Moulin has thus contrived a nifty Question of the Week topic, which we will visit, like right now!


The Question of the Week:

See, did I lie?

Two parter, but consisting of diametrically related parts, so it's not cheating that I didn't say "Questions".

Can you name any movies that you felt really worked in an actual full-size movie theater, but just seemed wimpy or significantly less emotionally involving on your TV when you watched them on video? Conversely, are there films where you felt the intimacy of the small screen served them better than the on big one in the theater?

That's all for this week-- your humble movie man tries very hard to please, but he gets to be a tired old fellow sometimes, and excessive sleep deprivation inevitably leads to wacky posts, and we could never have that, now could we?

So, in honor of the lateness of the hour, I say, as I have said before and will very likely say again next week: Post ‘em if you've got ‘em, and thanks again for all of your ongoing contributions to one of my favorite obsessions. My sincerest, very best wishes for continuing cinematic joys in the new year!


[> My two favorite movies . . . -- d'Herblay, 23:37:00 01/04/02 Fri

. . . happen to answer your question perfectly. Lawrence of Arabia is one movie that I'm always looking for theater presentations of. I simply cannot watch it unless it is 70mm, widescreen with the super-deep colors. I have managed to catch it now in commercial re-release (twice), at a college campus revival, at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and at the local opera house. But show it to me on TV and I am nonplussed. As psychologically enthralling as it is, the wide vistas make the film. North by Northwest presents me with the same problems. I have no problem watching Rear Window, or any other Hitchcock, on a small screen, but I need Abraham Lincoln's nostril to be as big as a minivan to really feel North by Northwest. I suspect that I am missing something by having not seen my favorite Kurosawa films on the big screen, both the Samurai epics and the noirs like Stray Dog.

On the other side is Casablanca. "Three great scenes, no great shots," was Michael Curtiz's philosophy of film-making, and though Casablanca has at least two great shots, they are tight close-ups, not the wide, painterly-composed shots of Lean's Lawrence. The movie seems so small, another Warner Brothers cheapie, and yet has such unexpected depths, that the large screen seems to drown the epiphanies. Now, admittedly, the one time I saw Casablanca on the large screen was when my college showed it as a Valentine's Day treat, so it was my birthday and I had been drinking. Also, in those days, I was getting the good sh*t I am supposedly finding here, so my appreciation may have been a little impaired.

Minor trivialities: King of Hearts may not now be available for sale on VHS, but it was once released on VHS. Otherwise, I would not have seen it. Check your local libraries.

Also, I believe that due to the force of gravity causing it to accelerate and decelerate, your bouncing ball will appear to the outside observer to be moving parabolically. The beam of light will still appear to move in straight-edged V's though, as the speed of light is a constant. Someday, when I have actual time and institute my Classic Word of the Week column, I plan to lead off with parable, hyperbole, symbol, devil and other derivitives of the Greek root ballw, "throw."

[> [> Re: The Curtiz quote-- -- mundusmundi, 06:57:41 01/05/02 Sat

Three great scenes, no great shots

--I've heard somewhat differently: "Three good scenes, no bad scenes." A Google search attributes it to Howard Hawks, though Louis Mayer gets what is probably apocryphal mention as well. (Nothing came up for Curtiz.) I'm going with Hawks as his pictures support that axiom better than just about any other American director from his era. In The Big Sleep, for example, there's 1) Martha Vickers trying to sit in Bogie's lap "while (he's) standing up"; 2) Bogart seducing a female bookstore worker with enough quickness to win the admiration and envy of all men; and 3) Bogie and Bacall's famous "horseracing" convo, shot and inserted after the original cut played to American troops stationed overseas. Sometimes the studios do know better (or at least they used to).

Regardless the quotage, I'm with you on Casablanca, a backlot cheapie that magically transcended everything for which it was intended....As for movies that don't play well on the boob tube, I'm going with an unconventional, non-epic director and say the films of Wes Anderson. The eccentric little comedy Rushmore may seem like an easy thing to transfer to TV, but the pan-and-scan version I saw tore Anderson's lovely framing to shreds. He packs his scenes with so much visual information and depth of field, there's just too much to take in at once. (I sense we're missing plenty on the TV previews for The Royal Tenenbaums).

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - January 4th, 2002 -- Cactus Watcher, 06:13:30 01/05/02 Sat

I first saw Tora-Tora-Tora on a huge wide screen and was in awe. On regular VHS it's pretty cramped, and even on wide-screen DVD you don't get the feeling of being in the middle of the action. It's a lot better when everything looks full sized compared to you sitting there.
I have to say the first scene of the first Star Wars is that way, too. But, for me the rest of the movie plays just as well on a small screen.

[> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - January 4th, 2002 -- Tanker, 07:06:05 01/05/02 Sat

I often find that it's the sound in a theater that makes the difference. A good example is Apocalypse Now Redux. I had only ever seen Apocalypse Now on the small screen. It did look better on the big screen, but it was the sound that blew me away. Insect noises from everywhere... the "Ride of the Valkyries" moving around, distorted, as if it really were coming from a circling chopper... it was incredible.

I also find that Star Wars plays pretty well on the small screen. On the other hand, Return of the Jedi, which in the theater had me holding on for dear life and nearly experiencing vertigo during the Battle of Endor, just doesn't have the same effect on tv.

Noir films work very well on the small screen, if not better. They're good to watch alone, late at night.

[> [> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - January 4th, 2002 -- Dichotomy, 08:13:26 01/05/02 Sat

I agree with you about the sound system.Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" is another good example of the impact the sound and scale offered in a theater can make. While the movie is involving on both the large and small screens, I didn't have the same visceral reaction (racing heart, nervous stomach) at home as in the theater. Its "you are there" style, especially during the opening and closing battle scenes, was so much more real. The confusion and horror of battle--grenades exploding, bullets whizzing through the air and then striking men underwater, surreal visions of a soldier picking up his own severed arm--were brought right into my lap.

Another Spielberg film set during WWII, "Schindler's List," while visually stunning on the large screen, translated quite well to TV. Although it featured scenes that looked at the Holocaust on a grand scale, like the evacuation of the Jewish ghetto, much of the emotional impact for me came in intimate moments between two characters, as when Schindler is making his list. Watching at home, this intimacy was enhanced for me.

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - January 4th, 2002 -- Aquitaine, 11:11:37 01/05/02 Sat

Viewing the opening sequence of Anthony Minghella's "The English Patient" was one of the most sensual visual experiences I've ever had in a theatre. I will have to concede that surround sound was an integral part of that experience, though. For obvious reasons, only a large screen can convey the vast loneliness and monolithic beauty of expanses of sand (or snow, as in Doctor Zhivago, for example).

I can only assume that my bias for seeing classic films (30s and 40s) on a small screen stems from always having seen them in that format. I'll pick one film arbitrarily from my list. "The Thirty-Nine Steps" is based on a novel written by John Buchan. It has either a very flimsy or convoluted plot (never can decide:) but it makes up for it with a sustained claustrophobic atmosphere that heightens both the sexual tension and the suspense of the wacky espionage plot. Actually, the mood is similar to that of another favourite of mine, "The Vanishing Lady".


[> [> Argh... That should be "The Lady Vanishes". I blame my lapse on Miss Froy:) -- Aquitaine, 12:11:36 01/05/02 Sat

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - January 4th, 2002 -- Rob, 14:01:27 01/05/02 Sat

"Finally picked up my copy of Moulin Rouge on DVD, and I must say that my suspicions were confirmed, namely that the film is not the same on a small screen.

Oh, I still think it's brilliant, but the sheer kinetic energy that reaches out and grabs you by the mind/heart/guts/genitals/whatever that causes this movie to sweep over you in the theater is a pale shadow of itself on the weensy little glowing phosphors of typical tubedom. As soon as I get a chance to go over all the extra goodies which this amazing two-disc set is crammed with, I intend to viddy it on the big rig at work, where I suspect it will come alive as before. (I'll keep you posted). Fortunately, as I mentioned in a reply to someone's post on this very subject earlier this week, if you have seen Moulin in the theater when it was first released, your brain can still fill in a lot of the missing grandeur from memory.

My thoughts exactly! I filled in the blanks and did adore the movie as much as I did in the movie theatre, because I love it that much. But it just isn't the same. For example, in one shot, an exterior shot of the Paris skyline, you could see hats flying in the air out of the ceiling of the Moulin Rouge on the righthand corner of the screen. On the small screen, you have to know to look for it to notice it, and it's VERY small. Also, in the theatre, this movie gave me chills. Unfortunately, it didn't on DVD. I would beg anyone who can get a chance to watch it at a movie theatre if they have a chance, and then watch it on a small screen later.

So to answer your question...

The top movie that was less impressive on the small screen was, for me, Moulin Rouge. Another relatively recent film I can think of is Titanic. I know that lately, mostly due to how sick everybody became of "My Heart Will Go On," it has become uncool to love Titanic. But I still love the movie. On video, you do not lose any of the emotional core of the film. It is still deeply affecting and harrowing. What you do lose is the epic grandeur of the film. In the movie theatre, I felt like I was there. (Of course, the fact that I had to pee for the last 2 hours of the film helped as well! lol) At home, you cannot experience an epic film the same way. You do not seem a part of it in the same way. You could love it, but since the screen is smaller than you, rather than the other way around, one can't help but feel less connected to a movie.

I think the movies that improve on the small screen are those that are either small, intimate movies to begin with, or ones that are good but are possibly flawed. Flaws come off as less noticable on a TV screen. But to think of a particular example...Good Will Hunting. I adore that movie, and would classify it on my 10 best list. I saw it twice in the movie theatre, because I loved it so much. But I think it works even better at home. You get a much more intimate setting for scenes such as the extended therapy sessions. Another movie that improved at home was Frequency. Those late night radio conversations between father and son seemed even more poignant and touching on the small screen.

There are also films that work equally well on both: The Wizard of Oz, for example, which I saw a few years ago in the theatrical re-release. It was amazing to see it on the big screen, and I noticed some details I never had before. But the magic, the wonder, the sheer joy of the film works just as well on the small screen. I'm not sure what it is about it. But I guess that's why the AFI picked it as one of the greatest films of all time.


What would have happened if Oz had been turned by a vampire? -- Slayer101, 08:07:47 01/05/02 Sat

I was just wondering the other day...if Oz had been bitten by a vampire and turned, what would have happened to him? Would he have been a vampire and a werewolf at the same time?

[> Re: What would have happened if Oz had been turned by a vampire? -- Philistine, 16:22:04 01/06/02 Sun
No idea, but... I wonder whether a vamp would have fed from Oz. I don't think it's ever been made clear how werewolves would be classified in the ME-verse - are they natural, "normal" supernatural (whatever that means), some sort of demonic hybrid, or what? It might be that a vamp would decide that Oz, like the jock in Go Fish, didn't taste very good.

Alternative for JM.com people -- Jumping Jack Flash, 11:31:57 01/05/02 Sat

Those B/S shippers who are missing the message board over at JM.com might be interested in an alternative refuge. Try: http://pub19.ezboard.com/bjmdotcomrefugeeboard

Lots of familiar faces over there, and if you ask real nicely the Mods may tell you how to cope with all the popups ;)


LOTR:FOTR wins AFI's Best Film Award! -- Rob, 19:57:12 01/05/02 Sat

Just had to jump up and down about this! :o) :o)



P.S. For those of you who read my "Moulin Rouge" posts, yes, that was my favorite, but I'm still pleased as punch that LOTR won!

[> I can see the headlines:"'Sopranos' Kneecap 'Buffy'"..:) -- SingedCat, 20:28:36 01/05/02 Sat

[> [> OK, I do love "The Sopranos," but it's kind of on my bad side now... -- Rob, 17:01:36 01/06/02 Sun

Not only did it win against "Buffy," but it also beat out my second favorite show, "Six Feet Under." James Gandolfini, the lead actor of "Sopranos," for those of you who don't know, won Best Actor, against the lead actor of "Six Feet Under," Michael C. Hall, also. "Sopranos" is on my s**t list at the moment!


[> [> [> Re: OK, I do love "The Sopranos," but it's kind of on my bad side now... -- Andy, 17:08:10 01/06/02 Sun

I knew I was way past sick of The Sopranos when I was browsing through the bookstore one afternoon and saw this book: "The New York Times on The Sopranos". This newspaper had written so many damn articles about this show that they could actually fill a book with them all and sell it. I'm sorry but that's *way* too much attention being given to one show by one source :)

Oh well. It's nice that Buffy got nominated at all, though. Just the fact that that happened pretty much gives the finger to the Emmys, I think :)


[> [> OK, I do love "The Sopranos," but it's kind of on my bad side now... -- Rob, 18:35:35 01/06/02 Sun

Not only did it win against "Buffy," but it also beat out my second favorite show, "Six Feet Under." James Gandolfini, the lead actor of "Sopranos," for those of you who don't know, won Best Actor, against the lead actor of "Six Feet Under," Michael C. Hall, also. "Sopranos" is on my s**t list at the moment!


[> Whoa! Dude! You are, like, my identical twin or something!!! :) -- RabidHarpy, 06:55:38 01/08/02 Tue

LotR friggin' ROCKS, and so did Moulin Rouge!!! :)

[> [> Cool! You're one of the very few people I've spoken to who've loved both movies... -- Rob, 12:44:49 01/08/02 Tue

Some critics have said this has been a bad year for movies, but any year in which two huge masterpieces are released can't be that bad...


P.S. I'd also really recommend you check out "Donnie Darko"--it's coming out on DVD on March 19th, I believe, which is also--gasp!--my birthday.

Just checking--March 19th isn't your b-day also is it? B/c then we may really be twins! lol

Let's talk about Buffy's sex life..........spoilers so avert thy spoiler free eyes...:):) -- Rufus, 01:45:35 01/06/02 Sun

We have a day or so to cool our jets before the ep Gone airs. I've been checking out the other boards and Buffys sex life had become more important than her journey as a whole. I bet lots of fans wonder why bring Buffy back from heaven of all pure places, if she is only going to act out, bringing the new title of the series closer to Buffy does the Hellmouth? I kinda look at it this way, Buffy may be having lots of sex, but she is only doing Spike...coming to the next part of the quagmire...why is she again boinking the undead after just coming back to life herself? Has she no pride? Is she no lady? I guess it depends on what your personal feelings about sex are. I myself may worry about her getting concrete burn, but I'm not worried about her sleeping with one guy. Unless of course she gives up herself to the sex act instead of getting on with life. So, is Buffy hiding from responsibility and her duty by an off duty shag or three, or four....oh I give up on trying to count. I guess the next best question is why boink Spike who only loves her, well, when he's not considering killing her? What's the point of this storyline? We were promised a moral quagmire and we got one. A very confused discombobulated, slayer is back and can only stand the company of her supposed target. So, what are the writers doing with this other than tempting us to get all judgemental when a near public sex scene may or may not happen? Spike said that Buffy would crave him like he craves blood, is this what is wrong with Buffy? Is she hiding, is she a sex addict, is she too far gone to care? Is Spike just and evil, disgusting, thing, taking advantage of Buffy? Is sex only bad when the sex is apparently without love on the part of at least one of the parties involved? I kinda like how we are not seeing the whole picture at once. We have to wait through 22 episodes to figure out what the hell we just went through. Sex, why her with him, why now? Is Buffy been returned to us so wrong that she risks becoming one of the demons herself. I guess if we say that sex makes one a demon she just got promoted to Captain of the Demon team. What I really think is that testing our ability to pay attention without reacting to getting our buttons pushed. I also think that there is more to the sex than just an addiction. If the spoilers are correct my television just may need to have a fire put out, but closer to the truth is that I don't think this couple has done anything different than any inventive couple out there, they just have a bit more energy than the average Joe. If there is anything wrong with Buffy, it's up to her to figure it out and finally rejoin the world. As for figuring out what the writers are up to, I wouldn't be betting many tiny tabbies that we will know anytime soon.

[> Re: Let's talk about Buffy's sex life..........spoilers so avert thy spoiler free eyes...:):) -- Stranger, 05:35:27 01/06/02 Sun

Why would Buffy have sex after coming back from death being wrong and all cut off from death ? Tsss, just ask Anya :

ANYA: Mm. (breathing heavily, lies down and puts her head on Xander's chest) That was different. XANDER: (breathing heavily) Yeah. It was more ... intense. ANYA: (nods) It's because of Joyce. XANDER: Right. (pause) Huh? ANYA: Well, she got me thinking ... about ... how people die all the time, and ... how they get born too, and how you kind of need one so you can have the other. When I think about it that way, it ... makes death a little less sad, and ... sex a little more exciting. XANDER: Again I say, huh? ANYA: Well, I just think I understand sex more now. It's not just about two bodies smooshing together. It's about life. (Xander looks a little alarmed) It's about *making* life. XANDER: (alarmed) Right, when ... two people are much older, and ... way richer, and far less stupid. ANYA: (lifts her head to look at him, laughs) Breathe. You're turning colors. I'm not ready to make life with you, but I could. *We* could. Life could come out of our love and our smooshing, and that's beautiful. (Xander looks relieved) It all makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger. Like I'm more awake somehow. (smiles) You know? XANDER: Yeah, I do.

[> [> Bravo! -- Valkyrie, 08:25:04 01/06/02 Sun

Great posts that articulate ideas I've had floating about it my head.

In all the spoiler-induced hysteria about the evils of sex and sexual addiction, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that sex is a very life-affirming act.

[> [> [> Sex & Love -- Brian, 08:44:36 01/06/02 Sun

I've always seen Sex as the conduit of love. You can have sex w/o love, but you can't have love w/o sex*

(And, wow, does that word have a broad meaning of gesture and thought!)

Looking forward to lots of angst and action, as my favorite couple try to find their way in the Sunnydale maze.

[> [> [> [> No love without sex? I disagree. -- bookworm, 10:22:59 01/06/02 Sun

There are as many kinds of love as there are people in the world, and not all of them involve sex. Maybe you mean romantic relationships have to include sexual awareness, which would make more sense. Giles and Jenny Calendar never had sex, but he was certainly in love with her. Buffy and Angel certainly loved one another before they had sex and afterwards, when it was off limits.

[> [> [> [> [> I assumed a male/female bonding relationship -- Brian, 11:28:44 01/06/02 Sun

I did not consider other kinds of love relationships, of which there are many. By the way, Giles and Jenny did make love. That was why he went so postal on Angel.

[> Re: Let's talk about Buffy's sex life..........spoilers so avert thy spoiler free eyes...:):) -- skeeve, 08:33:52 01/07/02 Mon

Supposing that Buffy finds another human boyfriend, here are a couple interesting questions. Can Slayers get pregnant? Do birth-control drugs work on Slayers?

[> [> Re: Let's talk about Buffy's sex life..........spoilers so avert thy spoiler free eyes...:):) -- Marie, 02:04:58 01/08/02 Tue

It's never been suggested that Slayers can't get pregnant. Why wouldn't they be able to? They're human, after all. Same goes for birth-control. On the other hand, if Buffy has come back less-than-human, who knows?

Also, it seems that in the Jossverse these days, vampires can do the business as well as humans, so Buffy isn't necessarily safe with Spike, birth-controlwise! And this season is supposedly about 'growing up' - which would include some mention of using birth-control, I'd have thought! I wonder if anyone has told her about Angel's son?


[> [> [> Re: Let's talk about Buffy's sex life..........spoilers so avert thy spoiler free eyes...:):) -- maddog, 10:40:59 01/08/02 Tue

This scenario also begs the question...do slayers give birth to slayers...maybe if a slayer does have a child then the child would automatically become the new slayer.

[> [> [> [> Re: Let's talk about Buffy's sex life..........spoilers so avert thy spoiler free eyes...:):) -- Valhalla, 20:43:03 01/08/02 Tue

Seems like a slayer would only give birth to a slayer if she died during childbirth, since a new slayer only comes into 'slayerhood' when the current slayer dies. Of course, I think all the slayers we've seen have become slayers as adolescents -- waiting for a baby girl to grow up enough to be a slayer would leave the world dangerously vulnerable.

Back to Buffy's sex life: I think Buffy's having rabid sex with Spike is part of her not-so-coherent attempts to feel something. I'm not sure she's quite gotten to the point of wanting to feel alive, or affirm life (previous post), I think she's just trying to feel anything, or it wouldn't be Spike and not so violent. I really like the Buffy-Spike storyline (although if they even became happy-in-love I'd get bored), but she does seem to be using Spike because he's safe (even though the chip doesn't work she can take him) and he's been reliably helpful when it really counted (ok, not always, but for quite a while). Not only does he understand her more than the Scoobies with the whole coming back from the dead thing, but she can just let loose all her confusion, rage, whatever, over being pulled back to earth without any restraint. Spike can handle her super slayer-strength, and he seems to just let her beat up on him emotionally as much as she wants. Well, that was true until tonight when Spike kicked her out, but if she goes back in person I don't see Spike tossing her out again. He's really quite like going to the gym to work out your frustrations (not that I know what that's like, but I've heard stories). And the more confused or frustrated she is, the more she needs to go workout.

[> [> [> Re: Let's talk about Buffy's sex life..........spoilers so avert thy spoiler free eyes...:):) -- skeeve, 13:22:33 01/08/02 Tue

"And this season is supposedly about 'growing up' - which would include some mention of using birth-control, I'd have thought!"

In the house with the G-spot, Reilly reached for a condom.

Buffy's blood is more powerful than normal people's blood. It might very well reject a fetus.

Buffy has tremendous healing power. Damage done by birth control drugs might heal quickly.

Take your pick.

[> [> [> [> So who needs birth control? -- Darby, 12:17:44 01/09/02 Wed

Willow's relationships are pretty safe.

Xander and Anya have had that talk, post-Body.

Buffy knows from Angel that Spike is (or should be) spermless - can vampires carry sexually-transmitted-diseases? That might be an issue.

Although there has been a blessed lack of PMS jokes on the show, Joss once said that Buffy could get pregnant in a Q&A. If true, there's nothing that any birth-control method (except maybe for an IUD) does that Buffy's body would regard as "damage." Ditto for a fetus.

Dawn, on the other hand...it's definitely time! Are any of the episodes this season titled "The Talk"?

[> [> [> Re: Let's talk about Buffy's sex life..........spoilers so avert thy spoiler free eyes...:):) -- purplegrrl, 15:00:17 01/09/02 Wed

The birth-control issue was brought (visually anyway) with Buffy and Riley. There is a scene (sorry, cannot remember which episode) where the Buffy and Riley are in bed and he reaches for a condom.

I think the child that is the result of Angel and Darla having sex is a *very special* case. Something put there by the Powers That Be?? Back when Angel and Buffy were still together, SMG stated in an interview that "vampires shoot blanks." So there *had* to be something going on besides Angel and Darla "smooshing" to produce a child. (Unless, as my secret theory goes, the child is really Lindsay's!!)

Will Buffy laugh again? -- Yellowork, 04:18:13 01/06/02 Sun

I liked the post above about Buffy learning to laugh again, that laughter is as powerful a response to an absurd universe as anger or ennui. Buffy, of course, does not always have to die before getting herself into a state ... but it helps! I think the scene in 'Faith, Hope and Trick', where Faith urges Buffy to 'Find the fun, B!' springs to mind, as Faith was quite entitled to say this to her colleague; Buffy *can* be a drama queen, a weakness we see beautifully sent up in 'Homecoming' (one of my faves). More recently, in 'Into the Woods' Buffy denies her contribution to the disintegration of the Finn / Summers relationship because she is too self-absorbed. However, B does usually seem to find the fun (eventually), and she did so the last time she died. BTW, none of this "'The Gift' was a greater sacrifice than 'Prophecy Girl'" malarky. Both great eps: what more can I say?

At the end of the day, Buffy, all you have to realise is this: everbody dies; you are *not* unique.

[> Re: Will Buffy laugh again? -- Eric, 21:44:58 01/06/02 Sun

I can honestly say I've only seen Buffy laugh - really laugh - once. When Harmony gathered a vampire gang to get her. Buffy was in hysterics. Usually she is just very cheerful (except for this season). I agree with you that I hope she gets her groove on again. Depression is very much a part of her life, but so are other emotions. The show is most fun when the full spectrum of emotions are touched on by all the cast.

[> Re: Will Buffy laugh again? -- maddog, 10:07:08 01/07/02 Mon

While I agree the advice came from someone who took it too far...she so enjoyed kicking vamp ass that she forgets her surroundings and almost got Buffy killed more than once. So Buffy needs to find some happy medium.

The results are in. Oooh! Aaah! -- Cactus Watcher, 05:22:22 01/06/02 Sun


In the Oooh! category the winners are- Grand Prize - all contestants except me, because a. I didn't intend it to be a contest when I started the thread. b. I naturally sound excessively pretentious. c. I worked you-know-what into the thread again. (Boo!)

In the Aaah! category the winners are- Grand prize- all contestants who wrote essays. First prize- all contestants who wrote titles like they were supposed to. Special First prize- the Duquessa des Esseintes for the best use of yo-de-lay-he-hoo in a bibliography in any posting at this site in the first week of 2002!

In the Gosh! category the winners are- Grand prize- those contestants like Deeva, who a few short months ago thought they could never keep up, and who now spew verbage with the best of us. First prize- Mayapapaya8, who appreciated everybody else, and who no doubt will be spewing verbage at us real soon. Second prize- Masquerade, for actually touching off the stupid contest.

In the Zounds! category the winners are- Grand prize- all contestants who realized the secret of true academic pretentiousness is the inclusion of a colon in the title. (See the Slayage site for examples!) Special Grand prize- to all contestants who, thankfully, didn't use a colon in their titles.

In the Oh My! category the winner is- Grand Prize- OnM, for his demonstration that he actually reads the serious threads here. Good heavens, that takes guts!

In the Gracious Me! category the winner is- Grand Prize- me, for finally starting a thread that didn't end in fisticuffs after two replies!

[> Colons -- matching mole, 07:20:37 01/06/02 Sun

I was once told that there was a strong correlation between the presence of a colon in a title and the intellectual content of the paper. Even assuming that this was not a spurious statement it begs at least three questions.

1) Is the correlation negative or positive? 2) How is intellectual content measured? 3) What fields of study (sciences, humanities, etc.) were used in the analysis?

Anybody know anything about this? I actually tried to create a title with two colons in it for the competition but my brain almost exploded.

[> Alliteration & Dates! -- Duquessa des Esseintes, 09:51:13 01/06/02 Sun

And to be particularly pretentious, at least in the Historical Academic world, one must always have Alliteration and Dates.


"Red, Rat and Rack: Postmodern Perspectives on the Relation of Wimmin-Based Spirituality to Phallocentric Constructions of Power, 2001--2002."

It's times like this I know I got my $$$ worth out of grad school!

[> Well, I used 'contest' in the loose sense of 'turn a normally private affair into a social event' -- Masquerade, 10:52:11 01/06/02 Sun

[> And that's why CW's our Exhibit A for "Severe Withdrawal Symptoms" -- Solitude1056, 18:01:04 01/06/02 Sun

[> [> More like BTT symptoms ;o) -- CW, 19:26:29 01/06/02 Sun

Bored to tears.

And "Gone" won't be shown in Arizona till next Saturday. Take the women and children to safety! ;o)

[> one more nomination: -- anom, 21:41:56 01/07/02 Mon

D'Herblay, for use of the most obscure term ("clades")!

And I should know, I edited Advances in Cladistics for Columbia U. Press way back in the early '80s! Think we should find out how many posters already know what it means before we tell 'em? ...um, assuming anybody cares, that is....

[> [> clades... -- Marie, 02:19:55 01/08/02 Tue

My old dictionary doesn't have this word in it, but I vaguely remember it as something to do with species which share similar features... Am I making a total fool of myself?


[> [> [> very good! -- matching mole, 06:39:29 01/08/02 Tue

A completely accurate if not very specific definition. Excellent memory.

Obscurity is in the eye of the beholder. As clade is a word I've encountered regularly in my professional life for well over a decade it didn't strike me as being as obscure as say, semiotic or pendular (other words from titles in the contest).

The field of cladistics is second only to Botany within the biological sciences in the density of its jargon. Anyone want to talk about synapomorphies and pleisiomorphies in vampire clades? Didn't think so.

[> [> As one of the board's foremost authorities on linguistics, I naturally... -- Cactus Watcher, 06:05:06 01/08/02 Tue

had to look it up. ;o)

As wise men have said: There ain't no horse that can't be rode. There ain't no cowboy that ain't been throwed.

I think d'Herblay 'throwed' most of us with that one. (lol)

[> [> [> results -- anom, 22:09:43 01/08/02 Tue

OK, so that's 4 who knew what a "clade" was out of the whole board--I'd say d'Herblay wins in the "Huh?" category!

A Preliminary Review of "Gone"! (no spoilers, but speculation a poppin'! -- P*ick Erudite Poster, 08:00:28 01/06/02 Sun

I've two words for "Gone" (and after that probably only ten or twelve hundred more): IT ROCKS!!! Admittedly, I haven't yet seen the episode nor read any spoilers, but I can just imagine it is a work of utter genius!

Take the title, for instance: "Gone." Who's gone? Is Buffy gone? Did Dawn done gone (for the umpteenth time)? Where is everybody gone too? Not since Gone with the Wind has such hauntingly exquisite use of a verb been displayed in a work of art's title! I humbly bow to Joss's succinctocity!

Then the teaser: I can just imagine that this scene kicks ass! I can just imagine, for instance, that it'll begin with Buffy worried about *insert angsty subject here* but covering it up with *insert quip here*. Brilliant dichotomy! Then I can just imagine that we'll have a bit with the Weenie Three. Not since Charlie Chaplin or perhaps Joe Piscapo has comic relief been employed to such knee-slapping effect! Those scamps!

Finally, I can just imagine that the rest of the episode soars! Written by David Fury, I can just imagine that we'll see Spike perform *insert evil act here* that will directly contradict *insert prior noble act here*. But no matter! What with all the Buffy sex (or talk of sex, or phone sex now that Spike knows how to use one), I can just imagine that it will be scintillating all the same! Also, I can just imagine that the issues of the chip, the soul, Willow's use of magic, Anya's capitalist mores, and Dawn's peanut-butter-and-banana fajitas will all add to the rich tapestry Joss has woven! Will the rest of the season be as magnificent? I can just imagine!!!!!

Note: Total joke, folks. Idly stirring the pot (and if you actually got this far, you're at least half as snowed-in and bored as I am). Two long days to Tuesday, and this forum is on life support until then, so any comments, flames, thread hijackings, trolls, OT tangents, dissertations, prayers, money, One Rings, Anyabots, or strawberries welcome.....;););)

[> Bwah!!! *insert intelligent response here* -- Dyna, 11:18:13 01/06/02 Sun

Also, since it's a David Fury episode, be on the lookout for the 5-second scene where a *(choose one) frat guy/jock/construction worker/demon biker/bar patron/random blue-collar guy* makes Buffy *insert unpleasant emotion here* with his *(choose several) sexual threats/sexist comments/roughing up of a random female/proposition/hyper-macho behavior."

(Yes, I have a thing about this. Wanna make something of it?)

[> Re: A Preliminary Review of "Gone"! (no spoilers, but speculation a poppin'! -- Gwyn, 14:03:26 01/06/02 Sun

Well, since I am working from a more *insert egotistical epithet* perspective than your spoiler free one, then I have to say that I disagree *insert rant phrase* with you. You have clearly missed the import of*insert foreshadowing dream interpretation* and the ongoing debate in the plot line about *insert philosophical soul reference* which has always been in play. Analysis of upcoming episodes without *insert totally speculative spoiler* information is *insert well known Buffyism for insult* to say the least. Er...on the other hand, I take it all back. On not re-watching the episode, even frame by frame, I see you are *insert backtracking face saving remark* right!:-)

[> Re: A Preliminary (negative) Review of "Gone"! (no spoilers, but speculation a poppin'! -- Leeann, 05:28:36 01/07/02 Mon

A episode written by David (Spike will always be evil, Spike can never be redeemed) Fury. Something that should strike terror into the heart of every B/S shipper. So we can count on him making Spike do something gross, offensive and humiliating. Some it will take pages of HTML to justify and rationalize. Stealing Buffy's underwear? That wasn't Spike, that was David Fury. Chaining Buffy up and threatening to kill her? That wasn't Spike, that was David Fury. The Preview showed Buffy invisible. So what gross and off-putting thing can David Fury have her catch Spike doing?
Damn. I was looking foward to the new episode till I found out who wrote it.

Buffy and Spike: are they meant to be?(spoilers Season 5:) -- Yellowork, 08:42:33 01/06/02 Sun

Watching Season 5 of the Buffy TV series, I was amused by Drusilla's claim that she had foreseen the thing between Buffy and Spike. But I should have seen it coming! Rewind a couple of years to "School Hard". Dru is trying to "see" the Slayer in her mind. She becomes anxious, saying it is "dark" where the Slayer is, implying she can't see her. Then she gets Spike's promise to kill the Slayer. It took me ages to work it out, but it seems obvious: Dru must have been lying to Spike. She did indeed get a trace on the Slayer, only it was not in the present. Can it be that Dru had already foreseen the current fling?

Of course, as we see in "Fool for Love", this is nothing new: Spike has been fixated with the Slayer as his enemy for years. However, as Dru sees Buffy surviving, proving herself more of a match for Spike than her predecessors, so she knows the potential for lust is growing. Being mad, having it off with Angel can be seen as a pre-emptive strike: Buffy's love and Spike's "Yoda' in one fell swoop. And killing Kendra in "Becoming" also makes sense if it is the Slayer rather than the human girl who inspires Spike's longing. Likewise, when Dru sees the pair cooperating frighteningly well during that episode's truce, she decides the thing is fated, and leaves Spike at the next opportune moment. Though she is not above giving it one last try, in "Crush", her resignation at the end of the ep suggests that she knew Spike would probably not leave with her at the end of the day. No wonder she was so amused to be tied up by Spike in that episode; when he offers to kill Dru for Buffy, he is doing the opposite of what he said in "School Hard", which was to kill Buffy, the Slayer, for Dru. Buffy, not Dru, is now his "Princess".

Of Broken Fellowships -- DEN, 09:10:01 01/06/02 Sun

Seeing LOTR, rereading Tolkien's first volume, and watching the new cycle of F/X reruns got me thinking. The situation of S6 is much like that at the end of the movie. In each case a structure we have learned to cherish and admire has been broken. Buffy's early seasons are sustained despite their grim underlying theme because of the "fellowship" among the "core four." Now Giles (like Gandalf?) is gone. Xander and Willow have their own primary relationships and their own "growth issues" which have isolated them from each other (the W/X, W/T segue in "Tabula Rasa"). Buffy, as Gwyn's previous posting argues, is more alone spiritually than she has ever been. Like Tokien's later volumes, "Buffy" may take us to better places, and even give us better relationships. But as it passes, let us salute "the Fellowship of the Scoobies. " Like Tolkien's counterpart, it came a long way against incredible odds.

[> Re: Of Broken Fellowships -- Grace, 17:48:19 01/07/02 Mon

"we'll stand hand in hand but we'll walk alone in fear...where to we go from here..."

Eleven Short Stories About Sunnydale (BtVS fiction continued) -- matching mole, 13:04:54 01/06/02 Sun

Here is part 3. Sorry about the delay. You've probably forgotten all about parts 1 and 2.

Shadows at the Bottom of the Sea
Part III: Eleven Short Stories About Sunnydale

Hi. My name is Nick and I'm a vampire. I've been dead in Sunnydale for four and a half years. Killed, or sired as we like to call it, in my junior year at Sunnydale High by some blonde chick. Darla I think her name was. She got dusted almost right away.

This is pretty cool. No one's ever interviewed me before. It's like I'm that vampire in that movie. Or was it a book? Lester I think was his name or something dorky like that.

Sunnydale's a pretty good town to be dead in as long as you steer clear of the Slayer. Everyone else seems to be stupid as hell. I once drained a chick in a Seven-Eleven parking lot while five cops were inside drinking coffee. Most vamps around here don't last long though. They form gangs and get greedy. Go for the big time, y'know. Attract the attention of the Slayer and her pals. Or they are too stupid to make it out of the cemetery. Nobody alive in the cemetery at night except the Slayer. You gotta get out of the ground and out of there as fast as possible. Only way to steer clear of Mr. Pointy. That's what she calls her stake you know. How lame is that? If I'm going to get dusted I don't want the piece of wood to have a god damn name.

I only laid eyes on her once. The Slayer that is. One of my pals went out with her sister. Ended up on the wrong end of a pencil. Can you believe it? If he wasn't dust he'd be pretty embarrassed. I took off as soon as I saw how things were going down. She just got one hand on me and my ribs still hurt. Immortality isn't everything it could be. Ever since then I've been thinking of moving to Cleveland. I hear it rocks there. Great look by the way. I used to have an aquarium when I was a kid.

Even with the Slayer around there have been some times. Not just vamp stuff. Lots of parties. Even some with the living although usually then some idiot drains some other idiot and then we have to split. The slayer will be on the scene before you know it.

The only bummer is that I didn't get to go to graduation, being dead and all. Some of my buddies tried when they were working for the mayor and from what I hear I'm just as glad I didn't make the cut. Although I might have had shot at that fine Cordelia. She wouldn't look twice at me when I was breathing.
I got lots more stories. Hey! Where you going Mr. Fishfood? I wasn't finished yet! I hope the Slayer kicks your ass. If she can find it under all those tentacles.

Good afternoon. I'm Marta Neeson and I'm not a vampire. And neither are you unless I'm very much mistaken. Vampires have those bumps on their foreheads but otherwise just look like other people. You don't look like anyone I've ever met, even in Sunnydale. No offense. I've always been kind of partial to starfish. Every now and then I go down to the shore and poke around in the tide pools. Sunnydale has a great beach. Hardly anyone ever seems to go there.

As I said I'm not a vampire. I'm a hairstylist. Most of my neighbors are vampires though. I don't know if you want to call it gentrification but I definitely live in a part of town that's becoming more undead all the time. You would think that would hurt the property values but my rent just keeps going up. Go figure. Actually the vamps are real good neighbors. They're pretty quiet and keep to themselves for the most part. And they'd never eat anybody on their own block. Mr. Thompson explained it to me once. He used to work in a pet store until he died. After he rose from his grave he decided to keep his apartment, which is the one next to mine. Anyway, vampires don't like to eat those who live really near them, at least smart vampires don't. He said it draws unwanted attention. I'm sure Mr. Thompson would never eat me. He's such a gentleman. Always asking me how things are going at work.

Mrs. Grumann across the street is always looking out for me. She was one of the very first vamps to move in on our block. I think she was turned in back in the old country. Some part of Germany before it was Germany. Once she found out I wasn't a gypsy she was real friendly. Fed my fish when I went to visit my folks in Iowa over Christmas and then bought me a new newt when the one in my tank died. I do have to be careful what I say around her though. Twice I complained about guys after first dates. Never heard from either of them again except as obituaries.

And then there's Bernie. He's O.K. I guess. Sometimes I think he'd like to bite me and he makes it seem like not such a bad idea. But Mrs. Grumann would spike him for sure. Besides I don't think I'd want him for a sire. That's a vampire term, if you haven't heard it before. He is kind of exciting but I think I'd want someone like Mr. Thompson. Quiet and responsible. Bernie claims he was there for the crucifixion. How gullible does he think I am? Mr. Thompson says that's the oldest line in the vampire book.

Hi, I'm Tara and I'm a member of the Scooby Gang. At least I was until I broke up with Willow. Now I'm not so sure. I mean I was never officially voted in or anything. So do I need to get fired or have a court martial? Sorry did I not answer the question right? Oh, I'm human. I thought I was a demon once upon a time but now I know I'm not. A vampire hit me on the nose. Long story.

We fight demons, at least they do and I did. Things like you although usually not so trans-dimensional. Not that they would necessarily fight you, only if you turned out to be evil or something. You aren't, are you? Evil that is? It's weird, I never noticed how much I ended up talking like her. Kind of like all the scoobies but especially like her.

Life in Sunnydale? Oh right, that's what you wanted to know about. Well I just came here to go to college and I met Willow almost right away and then I was in thick of all things supernatural. So I guess I really don't know what it's like for your average Joe ordinary guy or gal in Sunnydale. That's a really good question y'know? They gotta know something's up. How many students have to be pulled out of high school lockers with no blood left in them before the PTA clues in?

Back when Will and I were a couple things seemed pretty good here. People in the park were happy. People at the supermarket were happy. Now they don't seem so cheerful, like deep down inside they know about the Hellmouth but they don't really want to.
Or maybe it's just me.

Who am I? Have you not heard my clan's name and trembled? Oh. Wait a minute. You're one of the Old Ones aren't you? My bad. No trembling on your part. I am Grithna of the Miquot Clan. I came to Sunnydale two years ago avenge the death of my brother Kulak. He came to hunt the Slayer. It was a great honor for our clan until we learned of his demise.

So I came for vengeance and to complete his appointed task. But when I arrived there were complications. I do not like complications. The Miquot clan lives by simple rules. Kill your enemies. Kill those you are paid to kill. Kill those who have things you want. Honor your obligations.
But I found that the Slayer had not slain Kulak at all. Rather he had been slain by others on the same quest, humans whom the Slayer had killed in turn. What's more, those who had arranged for the Slayer's death were themselves long dead by this time. I did not know what to do. Our clan was hired to try and kill the Slayer. But we were not actually paid for the killing and, as I said, those who had enlisted us were dead. Bit of a dilemma.

My first instinct was to go ahead and kill her anyway. It's fairly standard practice in the clan. Anyone complains we kill them as well. You'd be amazed at how many little difficulties just evaporate when you follow procedure. So I started checking her out, watching her fight. That was easy. Just go to the place of the dead and almost every night she was engaged in mortal combat.

I began to notice a pattern. She never lost. No one ever came back for a second fight. Then I began considering the fact that she had in fact avenged my clan by killing those who had ended Kulak's life. Perhaps a change of procedure might be justified. As soon as I figure out what that might be I'll be heading back to Miquot central to report. For right now I'll continue my observations and enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Sunnydale underworld. There aren't many towns this size in any dimension where you could meet the range of demons you do here. Just last week I played darts with a chaos demon. I let him win naturally.

Hi, I'm Doug. Doug Fraser that is. I'm a local psychiatrist. How's it going? Quite a few appendages you got there, eh? Fasten the extra ones on with duct tape or something? Just kidding. I know all about you demon types. Surprised? Think you guys are the only ones with secret lore. You and the Watcher's council? There are layers within layers my friend. You think the Slayer is the only thing keeping the Hellmouth more or less nailed shut. I'm the backup. Sometimes a demon gets by her. Or there's too many things going on at once. I take care of the loose ends.

You're probably saying that I don't look like the demon hunting type. Don't let the cardigan fool you. I'm a pro. None of this fancy combat stuff for me. I leave that to the movies. In real life preparation is everything. Demon walks through the door, doesn't see it coming. Then it's all over save the mopping of the floor. Actually I don't usually even kill them. A little push through a dimensional portal and, problem solved.

Being a Canadian makes this job a lot easier. No one ever notices us. There are a lot more Canadians in southern California than there are demons. We just tend to keep a lower profile.

I can't tell you how long I've been in Sunnydale. You're a demon. You seem alright to me. Maybe a bit full of yourself but I'm used to that. But it never hurts to be cautious. You could be some sort of time traveling entity aiming to change the past or something, The town's a nice enough place. Low property values. I've got a really nice place almost right on the beach. You think I'd be able to afford something like that in Malibu or San Diego?

I hope you didn't take any of this personally. It's just my job. If a demon leaves well enough be then I bring them a nice pastry and say welcome to the neighborhood. Give them advice on how to steer clear of Mr. Pointy.

[> Eleven Short Stories About Sunnydale (second part) -- matching mole, 13:08:11 01/06/02 Sun

Are you sure we're not visible from the street? I don't want to attract any attention. Serious Slayer problem in this burg. I've thought about getting out for quite a while, heading for somewhere quiet in the Midwest. But I was one of the first; a vampire in Sunnydale long before it was fashionable. Back in ‘85 it just seemed like a nice quiet place on the coast where I could settle down for a couple of decades of modest blood letting before moving on. What do I know about Hellmouths? A whole lot more now than I did then.

Mostly it's been a pretty good gig. I got this job as a waitress at the Brooklyn Diner, nightshift only. Called myself Crystal, seemed like a good waitress name. I did my vamp stuff well outside of town, still do as a matter of fact. When Willy's place started up I would go every now and then, see what was up. That's when I heard word about this Master guy down in the catacombs trying to get out and open the Hellmouth. Pretty exciting stuff for a gal from Indio. So I signed on. Wanted to do my patriotic bit for vamp-kind.

But it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I had gotten used to my apartment and going for walks on the beach. You could say I was a real California girl without the tan. So I looked for my chance. You can't just walk away from a guy like the Master you know. He takes things like that kind of personal. It was the Slayer that helped me out although she wouldn't know me if I walked into her kitchen when she was making dinner. And I'd just as soon keep it that way. When she arrived on the scene and vamps started getting dusted left, right, and central things got kind of crazy. It wasn't that hard for me to head down into L.A. for a week or two.

When I got back everyone thought I'd been dusted and I got a new job at a different diner with a different name, Dolores this time. Ever since then I've played strictly straight and narrow here in Sunnydale. My one run in with the Slayer is when she ordered coffee from me. Gave me pretty good tip too. A lot better than the tip of a stake if you get my drift.

Other demons? Yeah, I still hang out with the otherworldly crowd every now and then. It's the only reason to stay in Slayerdale really. I've dated a few, went steady with a pretty cute shape shifter for almost a year. Not stable enough to settle down I guess. How about you? You spoken for?

Brad Parkinson. I teach history and coach football at one of the local high schools. It's a pretty rewarding career really. Granted it would be more rewarding if we ever won more than a couple of games of a season. Pretty stressful, actually. So I practice necromancy in my spare time. A lot of people wouldn't understand but I'm sure a supernatural being such as yourself must run into this all the time. Necromancy is full of interesting detail, just like history. Except that memorizing that detail is vital to Necromancy and can actually make something important happen. Knowing a lot of history just qualifies you to cram it down the uncaring throats of teenagers. Who only do their homework about fifty percent of the time and that's if you're lucky.

I'm afraid I'm really just an amateur. There haven't been very many opportunities to practice. One of my students, Dawn Summers, well her mother died last year. After effects of a brain tumour, very tragic. I tried raising her shortly after her death but things went wrong. Her grave was empty for some reason. I went back letter and the grave looked as if it had never been touched. I know when to leave well enough alone.

I have other hobbies as well. My wife and I visit Civil War sites and have our pictures taken in period dress. Takes us out of town a lot in the summer. I also collect figurines. Historical figures and demons both. But I keep them in separate cabinets.

Sunnydale? I suppose it's a fine enough town of it's kind. The university gives it a bit a class although the students seem a lot more interested in partying than scholastics. I don't know why I expect that it should be any different than high school but I can always dream.

I guess you could call me Dusty. At least that's what they'll call me if I ever catch up with the rest of the gang. We were just getting set to high tail it out of town when the Slayer did some kind of fancy kick and knocked my ass right off my bike and through the front of a burning store. The damn floor was mostly gone and I went right through it into the basement with the rest of the building coming down on top of me. When I crawled out it was morning. I'll be coughing up wallboard for decades. It took me a week to find my bike, which was trashed of course. I couldn't tell you how long I've been trying to get it fixed. All I need now is a new carb and I'll be out of this town. Never coming back if I can help it.

Hello. My name's Jane Swinton. Very pleased to meet you. You're one of the Old Ones aren't you? I hope you don't mind me asking? It's frightfully important that I get these things straight. Part of my job, don't you see? I work for the Demon Defense League. We used to call it the Dimensional Purity Society but some felt that the name had unfortunate connotations. A case of being overly sensitive if you ask me. Have you heard of us? Our work is very interesting. Our goal is the conservation of demons. Species from exotic dimensions are being introduced all over the place. There have even been reports of beings from different dimensions mating and producing offspring! If this continues unchecked the rich cultural and magical heritage of countless demon species will be lost. This cannot be allowed.

Sunnydale is a major problem area for us. Very high in demon diversity but almost all migrants rather than endemic forms. We've had reports of all sorts of strange events such as demons becoming human, humans becoming demons. Such a big mess. So I'm here to sort it all out.

The Hellmouth? I'm going to take charge of it. At the moment it is serving to disturb normal patterns of dimensional migration by demons so that an unusually large number of them end up here. I intend to exploit that attraction and set up a series of demon reserves, each representing a particular dimension, in the area. As demons arrive I will trap them and remove them to the appropriate reserve.

The Slayer is the first thing I'm going to have to sort out. Not only has she been killing local demons at rates higher than the populations can withstand but she has eliminated any number of unique demon forms before any opportunity was made for serious research.

So are you intending to settle in the area? If you are I can probably make arrangements for a suitable reserve. Oh, you're just a tourist? Fabulous. Enjoy your stay.

Do I really have to tell you? Couldn't you just call me Ralph or something? It's kind of embarrassing. I'm the THING WITH 57 EYES. All in capitals. And the 57 is numeric, not written out like a word.

Why am I embarrassed? It's fine for you. Not only do you have seniority as an unspeakable horror but you get to have a really cool name. An Old One. Nice and subtle with a touch of class. A name you'd find in a nice hard cover book from a specialty press. I sound like something from a really low budget movie.

Why am I in Sunnydale? The Hellmouth naturally. One eon I was in a particularly infernal hell dimension and then I just got the yen to make my way here. It is a bit strange. I found the California lifestyle hard to understand. All this talk about blue skies and sunshine, surfing and hot rods. I didn't even know what a sky was when I got here. It took me three weeks to figure out gravity. I'd be oozing along minding my own business and then I'd be somewhere else nearby with a big bruise.

However once I got the whole Newtonian thing down I found it kind of restful. I've talked to plenty of demons who are all for chaos and find this predictability thing boring. But I decided that knowing my leftovers will be where I deposited them the next time I look to be very comforting. And not having to worry about random acts of violence. What a relief. Back home you were expected to dismember something pretty regularly. In the last six months I've scared two school kids and a cat. My heart's not really in it any more.

I'm around humans all the time although they never see me. There's this Buddhist temple on the edge of town. Most of the time it's empty so I can use it as I please. I keep it tidy, picking up my slime trail after myself. When they come in I keep a low profile but I pick things up. Maybe there's more to life than chaos and dismemberment.

I still haven't tried surfing. Salt water makes me shrivel and I haven't found a wet suit that would fit me. When I'm not meditating I go the stacks in the UC Sunnydale library. It's very quiet. There's lots of old novels that no one ever reads. Really good stuff with happy endings. None of this post modern stuff. I just don't get it. Reality is hard enough to comprehend without making it more confusing in fiction. If I get bored there's always the internet.

My social life? Not too bad considering that I'm not fond of gambling, drinking, or loud music which seem to be the main forms of entertainment in this town. You'd be surprised how many people are interested in what an amorphous piece of protoplasm has to say. I joined a book club. Most of the other members only have two eyes so I have to be a bit patient with the pace at which they read.

Good luck with your interviews. This has been a lot of fun.

I'm not givin' you my bloody name. If you insist I'll think up a fake one but that seems pretty bleedin' pointless. What's a high and mighty Old One want with the likes of me anyway? Yeah, I been in Sunnydale, on and off for a while now. Drawn here by the Slayer. Wanted a third notch on me fang. Guess that's what still keeps me here. God, sometimes I wish I'd never heard of this town. And that's all I've got to say about it.

End of Part III

[> [> Bravo! More, more, more!! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 14:35:28 01/06/02 Sun

It's been so boring without new eps I've been eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Great stuff, mole.

[> [> Re: the THING WITH 57 EYES would be proud... -- MrDave, 18:14:19 01/06/02 Sun

[> [> I'm laughing with delight! Thank you! -- Dyna, 19:20:58 01/06/02 Sun

[> [> Thank you so much!! Marta Neeson is fab! -- cynesthesia, 20:49:51 01/06/02 Sun

matching mole,

You made my evening. You also have a great ear for how people talk. These would also play so well as wonderful comedic monologues. Hmm, maybe you should round up some actors and do them as a mockumentary. If you do, can I audition for Marta? ;)


[> [> you didn't ask for favorite lines,... -- anom, 21:04:40 01/06/02 Sun

...which is just as well, 'cause I can't decide between "You'd be amazed at how many little difficulties just evaporate when you follow procedure" & the THING WITH 57 EYES' gravity/Newtonian riff--actually, its whole interview is great! I kinda like the guy, uh, thing, that is, THING! I guess it's that positive but laidback attitude it has. And I agree w/it: this whole thing has been a lot of fun.

Erm,...just one point (so to speak): after Spike's encounter w/the Old One at the very beginning, why would he want to talk to it at all?

[> [> [> Re: you didn't ask for favorite lines,... -- matching mole, 21:11:15 01/06/02 Sun

Good question. Actually given that everyone else was 'willing' to sit down and chat with a walking seascape I think that you could just as easily ask how Spike had the strength of mind to keep his interview so brief. The Old One seems to be able to talk to whoever he wants. I'll have to consider that for rewriting time.

Thanks to you all for your kind words. It was a nice reward to come back to the computer for that after two hours grouting bathroom tile.

[> [> I'm with anom on this. -- Isabel, 11:34:42 01/07/02 Mon

Those 2 bits had me laughing. I also liked the History Teacher/Football Coach/Necromancer bit.

Please write more soon. I'm so glad I found the first parts in the archives. They're great. :)

[> [> That was amazing! -- Humanitas, 20:07:17 01/07/02 Mon

The bit in Tara's interview about "sounding like her" almost made me cry, it was just so... right.

Thanks, matching mole.

[> [> Thanks to all for your extremely kind comments -- matching mole, 09:30:17 01/08/02 Tue

I'm very glad so many people enjoyed it. Part IV will be out at the end of the week when the post-new-episode furor should have died down a bit. I won't see 'Gone' until Saturday (just like Cactus Watcher - it's almost as if I never left Phoenix) so I won't be around the board much after today.

And if I ever decide to have the short stories acted out cynethesia you have a guaranteed audition!

Wolf Lovers, anyone? -- Spike Lover, 15:04:44 01/06/02 Sun

Ok, we have had too much time off. After the last ep, in Nov, we talked about the ep, then we talked about the symbolism, then we talked about the different fairy tale and mythical influences that may/may not be a part of the show. We have analyzed the show from a Taoist perspective, and other philosophical perspectives. Enough. Let's look at it from pack behavior.

In response to the two primal opposing forces in the post below, I have this to say about the very little that I read. (Admittedly I was fearful of the spoilers...)

Perhaps Spike & Buffy's relationship is simply about the alpha. The strongest male/female are going to mate. Right or wrong. To last for life or maybe just a few times.

I was watching the very first ep Spike was in (School Hard). Everyone, even Angel, was talking about what a bad-ass Spike was. All this time, I thought Angelus was the strongest, but apparently (it may be close) but Spike is the alpha vampire. He even killed "the chosen" child vampire.

In Crush, Dru and Buff are compared. But again, Buff is the alpha. If Dru succeeds in killing her, Will Dru be the alpha female again? Will Spike go w/ her to LA then?

All through season 1, you get episode after ep, saying that Buffy is the Alpha female. (And Xander badly wants to be the Alpha male.) Cordy even tries to weigh in, in the 1st Halloween ep and also about the Homecoming queen competition.

Then Faith comes along and the pack is disrupted because there are two dominant females. Perhaps their final fight is about who is finally going to be the Alpha Female; that too is close.

Since the chip, does Spike still retain his alpha status? Well, maybe- In 5, Buffy takes Dawn & mom to him to protect because he is "the only one strong enough to protect them." Dawn is also attracted to Spike sexually (another sign of the alpha male.)

So maybe the Buffy/Spike mating was inevitable. But why then all this trying to make Spike's character change? Well, so that the audience would accept him? Well, maybe, but if you will recall in Something Blue, where the two fall in love due to Willow's spell, Spike tells her that after they get married, she is going to have to give up working. She asks why. He says he does not want her killing his friends. So, I suppose that for the relationship to have any hope of lasting, someone was going to have to change, and it was Spike who has been killing his kind for some time now.

Ok, so you read all this and it did not tell you anything new, right? Well, that is because we need a new ep.

P.S. It will never work w/ Riley whether he comes back or not. He is not the alpha male.

[> hmmmm -- Harriet, 06:55:00 01/07/02 Mon

looks like I've been deluding myself all these years. Alpha males and females in the Buffyverse? and here was I thinking that 'The Pack' dealt with that issue pretty summararily. Or that the message that BtVS was trying to deliver was that brute strength does not a hero make. Vulnerability, sacrifice, duty, responsibility and compassion makes Buffy deserve to be a hero. She's tough enough to survive - gentle enough to deserve to.

[> Re: Wolf Lovers, anyone? -- skeeve, 08:09:08 01/08/02 Tue

My recollection is that the alpha male gets *all* the females in the pack, not just the top female.

[> [> I believe that is a stallion and a herd of brood mares, not a wolf pack -- Spike Lover, 19:59:47 01/08/02 Tue

Wood-proof vests! -- Nevermore, 17:31:56 01/06/02 Sun

Vampires in btvs are obviously creatures desperately lacking in the brain cell department - surely there must be a mad-inventor-turned-vamp by now, who has invented a stake/crossbow arrow/2b pencil/fencepost/chair-leg proof vest?? Just think of the marketability of this in the plebian underworld...

[> Re: Wood-proof vests! -- Eric, 21:36:04 01/06/02 Sun

Its actually pretty hard to hit a moving, fist sized object. Especially if its inside a super strong moving creature with fangs. Only a Slayer is capable of doing it with ease. (Excepting vampires being held in place or surpised.) Also, a vampire's chosen prey is usually seduced and/or surprised without a handy stake nearby. So body armor would seem unnecessary - even distracting. However, some warrior types from the Middle Ages do favor chain mail.

[> Re: Wood-proof vests! -- vampire hunter D, 05:57:43 01/07/02 Mon

No invention would be necessary. Anygood plate armor or kevlar vest would do. CHain mail is out, though, because it doesn't actually protect against stabbing blows (and is only marginally wffective against slashing blows. It's really not a very good armor)

[> Re: Wood-proof vests! -- maddog, 07:46:48 01/07/02 Mon

I would assume with the strength of the slayers and the amount they fight before they get stabbed that a wood armor type thing would break...remember, slayers and vamps are damn strong.

Questions for S2: School Hard -- zargon, 17:40:56 01/06/02 Sun

Having just seen School Hard for the first time, I have a few questions:

1) At the beginning when Principal Snyder is discussing Buffy and Shelia's juvenile delinquent behavior and mentions Buffy setting fire to school buildings, did he mean Buffy's old HS in Los Angeles or is he accusing her of last week's fire in the Sunnydale HS old Science Lab ("Some Assembly Required")?

2) When Spike first drives over the Welcome to Sunnydale sign, he seems to be all alone. Where's Dru? Also, the windows don't seem to be blacked out like they were when he returns in S3:Lover's Walk.

3) Where was Angel in this whole ep? He shows up the library, plays Cryptic Guy again and gives Buffy a tiny warning about Spike "Once he starts something he doesn't stop until everything in his path is dead." Angel is after all, one of the utmost authorities on Spike, being his grand-sire and having run in a pack with him for many years. Why doesn't he give Buffy more information? Hints, tactics, any kind of advice on how to defeat him? Additionally, Angel has just started actively helping Buffy, rather than just warning her. In "When She was Bad", he shows up and despite being given a hard time from Buffy (with her "joan collins 'tude"), says she needs someone to watch her back and keeps following her around doing just that after she's made it clear several times that she doesn't want him around. He knows Spike's in town; he knows how dangerous he is; he may even know Spike has killed slayers. Yet, not only does he not inform Buffy of the danger, he doesn't even follow his usual method of skulking in the shadows in her vicinity to protect her. In fact, he doesn't even show up to help her until Xander comes to find him. Why? Where could he have been, what could he have been doing that was more important than his usual obsessive-protect-Buffy-mode? Was he out looking for Spike to take him out? Is this explained in a latter episode? Was this just a character-hole (like a plot-hole) necessary to the episode's plot?

4) While in the Science Lab, Buffy usurps Snyders' authority by telling everyone to stay put and not go out the windows.
Snyder: Who do you think you are?

Buffy: I'm the one that knows how to stop them.

At the end of the ep, Synder and the Police Chief are talking about what to say to the media.

Chief: So? You want the usual story? Gang-related? PCP?

Snyder: What'd you have in mind? The truth?

To me, this looks like Snyder knows there are vampires, and hey, Buffy earlier said she knows how to deal with them. Now, does this mean Synder knows what a vampire slayer is and that Buffy's it? If he does know, then is he so determined to get her thrown out of school because she's the slayer (ie, the first few eps of S3 where he resists her being readmitted until Ripper has a little talk with him)? Or am I giving him far too much credit and he's completely clueless?

5) Yay Spike for taking out the Annoying One (and for calling him that)!

[> Re: Questions for S2: School Hard -- Eric, 21:04:35 01/06/02 Sun

1) Snyder is pretty much refering to Buffy burning down the gym in her LA high school.

2) Possibly napping in the back seat. She wasn't in the best of health. As for the windows, driving with them blacked out can probably only be done successfully in Sunnydale. So he probably confined his driving to night.

3) Don't know.

4) Snyder does know there are unpleasant supernatural happenings in Sunnydale. He does have a clue. But he is willfully ignorant of those occurence's nature and scope. So he strives to look the other way while it happens and prevent any others from knowing. Their is some evidence that he colluded with the Mayor in this, believing him to have the same attitude instead of hiding his own agenda.

[> Re: Questions for S2: School Hard -- maddog, 07:36:20 01/07/02 Mon

As for number 1, I'm guessing he meant both...like it was a pattern of behavior. Again, speculation on question 2, but with Dru in her weakened state she could have been laying down in the back. And as for when he comes back, he's had all that time away...he could have changed the look of the windows whenever. Question 3 I think I can answer most of these...I'd say he didn't stick around because of the banter with Buffy on dating habits. She was kinda hard on him. And Angel does know that Spike's killed at least the first slayer cause Dru bragged about him in front of Darla and Angel(forget which episode the flashback is in, but it's there). I'll bet Xander didn't have too far to go to find Angel and had Buffy been in any real danger he would have jumped out of the shadows...but it's not the way the show went. Question 4, I think the whole town knows that there's something out of the ordinary going on and they're all in denial. And it's just easier for the cops to say it was someone on drugs than face the truth that they have a serious problem on their hands. And I think you're giving Snyder way too much credit..the man thinks of himself and no one else...he probably thinks, at this point, that Buffy's some mixed up kid who thinks she's all that.

[> [> Re: Questions for S2: School Hard -- Forsaken, 17:45:52 01/07/02 Mon

"And Angel does know that Spike's killed at least the first slayer cause Dru bragged about him in front of Darla and Angel(forget which episode the flashback is in, but it's there)." --The episode in question was Fool for Love.

[> Re: Questions for S2: School Hard -- Rattletrap, 12:11:54 01/07/02 Mon

#3) I think Angel was temporarily out of the picture because no one was expecting trouble on a Thursday night. Everything up to the end of the episode points to vampire trouble on St. Vigeous night that Saturday, leaving Buffy & Co. relatively free on Thursday evening. Angel couldn't, obviously, spend every single moment lurking in the shadows around Buffy, so his absence at the parent-teacher conference would not be surprising.

#4) Snyder seems to know something of what's going on in Sunnydale. In IOHEFY he explicity refers to the school as being on top of a hellmouth, but his public statements consistently find more mundane explanations for the exotic occurences that are commonplace at SHS. I don't think he explicitly knows about Buffy, we've seen pretty good evidence that not everyone who is aware of the supernatural knows about the slayer, certainly about the specific details of her calling. On top of all that, Snyder seems to value order over everything else. He doesn't like Buffy because he sees her as a troublemaker, someone who rocks the boat. He is also willing to coverup his knowledge of the Hellmouth and its denizens because that would upset most of the people in Sunnydale and probably contribute to widespread disorder.

Hope this helps,


[> [> Thanks to everyone for their answers--ep makes more sense now! -- zargon, 16:18:52 01/07/02 Mon

[> [> [> School Hard's one of my all-time fave eps. I actually only have one prob with it... -- Rob, 22:04:59 01/07/02 Mon

...and that is, when Willow and Cordy are hiding in the closet, at the end of the episode, we do not see Buffy or anyone trying to locate them. By this point in the show, it was established what good friends the SG was. So how could Buffy not be looking for her best friend? And if she wasn't, and assumed she'd died, I think she should have been sad! Yes, I know, she may have been distracted by her fight and reconciliation with Joyce, but I still thought that was a little weird. That is the only thing keeping this ep from being a 10 out of 10 in my book. Luckilly, however, we do get to see how distraught Buffy would be if something happened to Willow, in the 3rd season's "Doppelgangland," so that makes up for that. And also the fact that they did not reveal to each other that they were each other's "best friend" until the 2nd ep of the 3rd season "Dead Man's Party."

Any one else have thoughts on Buffy's uncharacteristic lack of concern for Willow at the end of that ep?

The thing is, though, that everything else about that episode is so perfect--from Spike's confrontation with Angel and Xander to Joyce's smacking Spike over the head with an ax to Buffy's fighting of the "gang" to Dru's madness--as in the best episodes of "Buffy," a perfect balancing act of dark humor, social satire, horror, and brilliant characterization. Few villians have been given such a great introduction--and at a high school parent/teacher conference no less!


Buffy Fanfic #4: Easier Said -- Moose, 21:54:31 01/06/02 Sun

Well, it's finally done! (Happy Snoopy Dance!)

I've posted it over on fanfiction.net along with my previous stories. Go here:


I love feedback. If you find any errors please email me. I proof read it several times, but somehow they keep sneaking in... :-)



[> Re: Buffy Fanfic #4: Easier Said -- Gwyn, 23:30:02 01/06/02 Sun

As with your others I liked it very much...except for the end ..sniff.. I'm very fragile now with some of the dark spoilers about Spike out there...it wasn't a good time to read your ending...sniff..:-)

[> Ooooh, that was so sad! :o( -- Wisewoman, 11:04:51 01/07/02 Mon

But it was great!

Two little things I picked up on: Xander says the Calvary is here. I think that's where the crucifiction took place. I think you mean cavalry, ie horse soldiers; and, at one point there some "harry" demons which are probably supposed to be "hairy" (unless their names really are Harry!)

Thanks, Moose, keep up the good work.


[> [> Doh! -- Moose, 11:20:28 01/07/02 Mon

Thanks Wisewoman!

Man, there is always something...stupid spell checker... my computer I mean, not you! :-)

I'll have to fix them later today.


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