January 2004 posts
Late night BBC2 Buffy S7 -- Celebaelin, 18:30:18 01/23/04
Why didn't anyone tell me? So the 1.20am Friday night (well, Saturday
morning) slot pretty much guarantees anything that can escape
the edit will do, very much in contrast to the previous early
evening showings. Thing is it was fairly lucky that I spotted
it, I'd already missed Lessons, although I doubt that the late
night version was substantially different in that case. Beneath
You has just shown (currently 2.30am UK time).
Just a shout to UK fans who want to check out the unexpurgated
S7. I haven't spotted any differences in emphasis and/or content
yet, I say this having just compared the final scene of BY with
a tape of the Sky broadcast to convince myself that the two were
identical. The fact that I had to I suppose underlines the point
of re-watching, quite apart from the 'Spot the Difference' game.
[> Re: Yikes! Late night BBC2 Buffy S7 -- Abby, 10:39:05
The editing varies. There's a whole essay on Slayage that highlights
where drastic cuts have really changed the message of the show
(Dead Things in particular). I started watching only the uncut
broadcasts when I caught 'Wild at Heart' and saw that a chunk
of Willow/Oz dialogue had been cut, as well as ANY evidence that
Oz and Veruca had had sex. I then was gripped with panic at what
else in the preceding three series I had missed!
[> [> The early evening cuts -- Pip, 11:03:43
The early evening BBC version was really heavily cut in Sleeper
and Never Leave Me, to the extent that I was sometimes a bit confused
about what was going on. If you haven't got Sky, or didn't get
given the videos as a holiday present, tape the late night version.
My real favourite was the ruination of the plot point that the
Hellmouth seal is opened by blood. Oh yeah? Not according to the
BBC, which was strictly a blood free zone!
[> [> [> I'm still waiting for the DVD -- KdS,
13:04:20 01/25/04 Sun
Saw it on Sky, which was cut to an extent but not as badly. Unfortunately,
the uncut version is on at the same time as South Park, and I'm
too old and employed to stay up that late just to watch TV :-(
[> sorry -- MsGiles, 06:15:45 01/27/04 Tue
I was actually up with events this time, meant to post a general
reminder but forgot. Since I missed the first three in cut form
last year, can't yet compare, but I did wonder if Spike's '..get
it hard ..service the girl..' might have been given the snip.
So to speak..
What a triumph of melodrama, by the way. Ivor Novello eat your
heart out. I practically applauded when he got to the end of it,
and draped himself on the cross, smoking reproachfully.
[> [> 'Shame on you', smoking can definitely damage your
health! -- Celebaelin, 15:56:36 01/27/04 Tue
Dreams and hallucinations (spoilers Angel 5.10,
Soul Purpose) -- pellenaka, 11:10:21 01/24/04 Sat
I've been thinking a lot about Soul Purpose and the blurred lines
between dreams and reality.
One scene in particular is puzzling me. Wesley and Gunn er arguing,
Fred comes in, Angel says he's sick and takes the elevator down.
Wesley is the only one who looks after him and he (Wesley) has
a creepy look on his face.
Angel comes out of the elevator (does Angel live on the floor
below his office or did he walk/drive all the way home at daylight?)
and Wesley comes to comfort him and ends up staking Angel.
When does the hallucination begin? If the hallucination doesn't
start till Angel comes out of the elevator, then Wesley's look
was real - why does he look like that?
And why is the episode called Soul Purpose? Because Spike's soul
gets a purpose?
I was thinking that the bezoar-like things sucked the soul out
of Angel but that wasn't the case.
[> Re: Dreams and hallucinations (spoilers Angel 5.10, Soul
Purpose) -- anom, 21:45:06 01/25/04 Sun
"When does the hallucination begin? If the hallucination
doesn't start till Angel comes out of the elevator, then Wesley's
look was real - why does he look like that?"
I noticed the 2nd time I watched that Angel never pushes the elevator
button--it just opens as he approaches, like a Star Trek door.
Which made me wonder how much of the story is Angel's dream, since
even some of the supposedly real sequences w/Spike could certainly
be a nightmare for Angel. Except maybe for when Spike harangues
the intended victim for walking in a dangerous area in high heels.
Did Amy cause the events in 'Same Time, Same
Place'? -- shambleau, 12:47:54 01/24/04 Sat
I don't remember this being discussed here, but, if so, was that
the general consensus? I read an SFX review, IIRC, that claimed
that that was the case and it makes sense to me.
[> It does make a lot of sense -- KdS, 14:16:41 01/24/04
I don't remember the name or date, but someone here was arguing
around the time KiM was first broadcast that the guilt
hex dated way back to DMP and was part of the reason why
Willow went so OTT evil in TTG/Grave
[> [> Re: It does make a lot of sense -- RadiusRS,
22:24:32 01/25/04 Sun
I also believed this, and as Wicca has the rule of three, I expected
there to be another Hex somewhere before the end of the season,
but I guess they couldn't spend any more time on Amy whatwith
all the bleeding Potentials around. As a character who has been
there from the very beginng and in every season of Buffy except
5 (she was in season 4 for a few seconds but, still, she was in
Season 4), I guess they just left the door open for her to return
somewhere someday. I know Joss was interested in doing a Willow-centric
show when I talked to the guy at a comic-book signing in L.A.
last summer, but with Ally's new show on NBC, I doubt that's going
to happen anytime soon except, perhaps, in comic book form. She
could be a great excuse to get Willow on Angel at some point,
but I doubt that would happen this season. I hope they give Amy
closure, as I always had a soft spot for her and, hey, it must
suck being a rat for three years, that would twist anyone up.
[> I made this argument on my site -- Masq, 21:42:22
I argue that Amy might have been behind the STSP spell in my TKiM analysis
Heroes, The Wounded Character, and us --
AngelVSAngelus, 16:57:32 01/24/04 Sat
As a twenty year old starting another semester of college on my
own buck (rather than that of mommy and daddy as is the case of
so many of my fellow students), I am in need of a new job. I had
been working at Barnes and Noble as a seasonal hire, but they
had to give me that end of the year axe a few weeks ago.
After having done so at many other locations before, I set foot
into that house of trendy apparel The Gap the other day to fill
out an application and turn it in. I couldn't fight a feeling
of disgust of self loathing, for many know them for their cute
sweaters but few for their ties and connections to forced child
labor in Myanmar and other countries.
Understand, I've a great deal of my emotion and energy invested
in activist and human rights activities. Applying at that place
made me feel hypocritical, contradictory to several things I believed
Seeing my distress (as I'm a wear my heart on my sleeve type who
shares Angel's propensity for visible brooding) my mother suggested
I turn in the job application and tried to assuage my ambivalence
by telling me that sometimes ethical compromise, giving up a slice
of what you believe in, is a necessity to survival in this world.
We aren't wealthy (in fact, my mother's ailing credit, thanks
to mounting debt, is something I've had to take huge pains in
leaping over, despite my grades and talent) so this is a fact
that she painfully familiar with.
I grew up with the Scooby Gang, literally in fact, having been
their age when the show started and when it ended. But when Angel
the series came along I was starting to face the issues of adulthood
from that show's end of the thematic spectrum. I found uncanny
and creepy that Angel's trials and tribulations seemed to mirror
my own at the exact times at which they'd happen (the ONLY exception
being his foray into parenthood), and this resonance is made even
more so by how important trying to find a way to help all the
suffering in this world is as a driving force and motivation in
My question, then, to all of you here on this board is what your
opinion of the purpose behind a hero is. In the past, the strange
synchronicity between my life and the Buffy gang, later the Angel
Investigations gang, made me see them as guides through these
trials of age, despite their fictional nature. Currently, however,
Angel's facing the tribulation that most closely resembles the
reality in which we're all living. I return to the afforementioned
annecdote to point out that we are all existing within a society
that, like Wolfram and Hart to Angel, is a large corrupted system
that lends itself to the exploitation of many everyday. Some opt
not to work within the structure and by the rules. This is a propensity
that has been attributed by many to the young and rebellious.
Others, some would say as you get older, try to play by the rules
of the system, work within the structure to use its resources
to affect change from within. But is it possible? Is it ultimately
valid if its very source is tainted?
I ask about the purpose you all feel heroes serve because I want
to know if I should continue perceiving them as role models. Because
I want to see how the answers to those questions the AI gang is
facing play out, and perhaps they'll answer them in my own life
Although, judging by Angel's current disposition, the answers
don't seem to bode well for any of us...
[> What is a hero? -- Jane, 17:41:38 01/24/04 Sat
How do we decide who is heroic? I tend to think that the real
heroes are people who struggle every single day to do the right
thing in the face of all that real life dishes out. It is easier
IMHO, to make the grand gestures, to go out in a blaze of glory
(like Spike in Chosen), than to make the difficult small choices.
Choices like working at the Gap when you hate that they exploit
workers. Do you compromise and try to work from within to change
things? I firmly believe that an ordinary person can make a difference;
for example there is a young Canadian boy, whose name escapes
me at the moment, Craig something, who at age 13 started a movement
to stop the child labour abuse by companies like the Gap and Nike.
He has had an amazing impact for someone so young. I think of
people like him as heroic.
I really don't have a clear answer for you. I see people struggling
every day; finding a firm moral ground is very hard, because real
life is so grey. All anyone can do is his or her best. Sometimes
it is not enough, sometimes it is. Best is best, whatever the
I wish you luck in your life. Sometimes the most difficult thing
to do is to live life as if the world was as it should be.
Hope this makes some sense, my head is a bit fuzzy from the cold
[> Re: Heroes, The Wounded Character, and us -- Ann,
17:54:44 01/24/04 Sat
I take the view that the world we live in is tainted already.
If we live in this country we have contributed to the corrupt
world in which we live. Everyone has wounds. Yes I am cynical.
But that is not the end it is the beginning. We can only do what
we can do. Each of us has our own strengths. Some of us have amulets
and mythic strength and some of us don't. Some of us have a greater
contribution because our resources are greater. With this I mean
fortitude, experience, opportunity, education, money etc. So we
do what we can. From the outside, I probably look very suburban.
I am happily married with two (three) wonderful children - the
middle class wet dream. Appearances are deceiving. But in fact,
I have lost a child, my parents are elderly and ill and some days
I can barely get out of bed. But I do. I am raising my children
to be the best they can be. In my little world, I think that is
heroic. I might not be able to shut down the Gap or Nike, but
I can explain to my children why we don't shop there. They get
I realized one day when my son was in the hospital, while I was
doing the routine activity of grocery shopping, anticipating the
death of my child, that heroes can be people just getting out
of bed and facing the day in addition to the doctors and nurses
who surrounded us (in my mind more traditional heroes). I looked
around at the people at the grocery store that day, and wondered
what their story was, what their crisis was. To look at me was
to see a mom doing her groceries. But my son was dying and I was
shopping. Incongruentcy (is that a word?) at its best. I now wonder
about everyone I see and their story. From the Harmony's to the
Buffy's they have a story. I am glad Joss is telling everyone's
on Angel. Everyone can be a hero in his or her own life. It is
the only one we have.
If you need to work at the Gap, do so. But to assuage your potential
guilt, continue to look for another job. Going under financially
or emotionally contributes nothing to the world or yourself. It
might be hard, but that's okay. Sometimes it is. Your mom is right
that sometimes you have to do what you might not want to. Choose
this for now but continue to try in other ways. Or, don't take
the job and work even harder to find one that is a better fit.
Being a hero entails trying. I am not sure it is heroic if you
aren't challenged or trying your best. Angel is experiencing angst,
I think, because he quit trying. But I think it bodes well, because
Joss is an optimist (despite all appearances). He believes in
hope. So do I. Good luck and best wishes.
Boy today has been a gratitude filled tearjerker!
[> Means to an end -- Pony, 21:21:11 01/24/04 Sat
It would be nice to have everything as clearly good vs. evil without
any of that pesky grey area stuff, but that is rarely the case
and in fact the working world rapidly moves off the grey scale
and into the realm of beige. However there are some things that
Angel and you could think about when contemplating your careers.
Eyes on the prize. Angel seems to have lost sight of what
he's fighting for. He can't seem to deal in the abstract, he may
be told that his penstroke is saving dozens of lives but unless
he's holding the sword himself he doesn't feel it. Sometimes we
have to do things that are purely about the big picture. Working
a crappy retail job will probably not bring you any short term
joy but it is all about getting money to pay for your education,
something that will impact on your entire life and all of the
future good that you may do.
You are not your job. Kind of hard when your job description
is hero, but why has Angel bought so completely into the W&H lifestyle?
Is it necessary for him to live there? To drive their cars, wear
all new clothes? No wonder he feels empty - he's allowed himself
to be defined by his new role. For any job, especially ones we
aren't sure of, it's necessary to compartmentalize a bit, to realize
that we have lives outside the workplace... and a core identity
that is not changed by outward circumstances.
Pick the right target. Look at how easily Angel and Spike
were manipulated in Destiny. They were so busy blaming each other
that they never stopped to try and figure out what was going on.
Large corporations like the Gap are made up of people, most of
whom have little power and are trying to protect their jobs. Attack
them directly about things like sweatshops and trade practices
and they won't respond well since it really isn't their fault.
Making people aware of problems, making sure complaints get to
the right people - it's not dramatic but it can create a pressure
to change that, especially coming from within, can seem less threatening
than something from the outside.
You can make a difference, it may just be more subtle than
you thought. When I first started working in an office recycling
was just coming into fashion. People complained about doing it,
it seemed like a big effort. But there was a group who arranged
for pick ups, made sure that there were receptacles out and put
up signs. While there is some debate about how effective recycling
actually is, nowadays I haven't seen a business place yet that
doesn't do it or people who don't keep blue recycling boxes near
their desks. Doesn't seem like a big thing but it was small groups
of individuals in different places ten years ago who got others
to change their habits and showed them a different way of doing
things. To bring this back to AtS, Angel is trying to do this
with his employees, but seems frustrated that the changes aren't
as immediate or dramatic as he hoped.
Well, I've had a bit to drink so I can't tell if this sounds pretentious
as all get out. Oh and there's a book called What Should I Do
With My Life, by Po Bronson, that I haven't read but sounds interesting.
It's supposed to be about people who have found meaningful, fulfilling
work, sadly a bit of a rarity.
[> Re: Heroes, The Wounded Character, and us -- Schrodinger's
guppy, 09:07:53 01/26/04 Mon
Some opt not to work within the structure and by the rules.
This is a propensity that has been attributed by many to the young
Rules, in some cases, are made to be broken. I am not advocating
anarchy, just pointing out that if a rule is primarily a custom,
such as 'paint your small room a light color to make it feel larger'
breaking it becomes a form of expression. Not everyone fits comfortably
in the same size box. Working by your own set of rules does not
always mean you are a rebel.
Others, some would say as you get older, try to play by the
rules of the system, work within the structure to use its resources
to affect change from within. But is it possible? Is it ultimately
valid if its very source is tainted?
The only problem with working within the system to change it is
that the system usually changes you in the process. Compromises
will be made and values will be altered. Whether the ultimate
results are worth the compromises needed to achieve them is subjective
and can only be determined by the person making them.
John Mellencamp has a line from one of his songs that states:
"I do things my way and I pay a high price"
It is not a complaint, just a statement of the ways things are
for the man in the song. He lives his life according to his own
rules and ethics, regardless of the hardships it has caused him.
Somewhere along the way people seemed to have lost sight of themselves.
'To thine own self be true' has come to represent selfishness
and naive idealism instead of courage of conviction.
AvA - if you have to sell pieces of yourself then whatever you
are buying with the money is priced much too high. Surely in a
city with a Gap and a B&N there are other shops you can apply
and work in. The only reality to face here is as long as there
is a market for goods or services they will be offered. Working
or buying from them will only keep them in business longer.
I ask about the purpose you all feel heroes serve because I
want to know if I should continue perceiving them as role models.
Perhaps you should give the season more time before you decide
this. Even heroes get lost from time to time. How they find their
way back to themselves is just as important as the actual finding.
OT: Think Buffy meets 'Being John Malkovich'
-- tim, 18:19:27 01/24/04 Sat
I apologize for taking up board space with this, but it's just
the sort of thing people around here will appreciate. (Masq, feel
free to delete this, especially, if someone else has already brought
Last night I went to a film that everyone who enjoys this forum
needs to see ASAP--an independent job called (I'm not kidding)
Bubba Ho-tep. Our beloved Joss has never written an episode
about the way our society discards our senior citizens, but if
he had (and if he'd been on Vicoden at the time), this might have
been it. It stars Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) as Elvis Presley
and Ossie Davis (too many credits to mention) as a guy who thinks
he's JFK as they battle an Egyptian mummy who's invaded their
east Texas retirement home. One of the funniest films I've seen
in a long time--and yet always tinged with sadness. Truly, if
it's in a theater near you, I highly recommend it.
Campbell obviously believes in the film, too, as he bothered to
tape a message to the audience that ran before the show asking
people to spread word of mouth about it if they liked it--apparently,
they've had some distribution problems. As a dutiful (and impressed)
audience member, I pass the word along to all of you.
So, go see it! And don't forget to call your grandma.
[> Re: OT: Think Buffy meets 'Being John Malkovich'
-- skeeve, 13:39:09 01/26/04 Mon
I've seen BH, SP, and BJM and don't get the connection.
Lindsey, Pretty in Pink.....I mean Soul Purpose......spoilers
as usual -- Rufus, 00:58:19 01/25/04 Sun
Screw the detailed analysis on Soul Purpose, I've decided to just
go with my fevered take on the appearance of Lindsey/Doyle.
The episode opens with Spike in a Strip Bar, brooding? Well, maybe
radiating unfriendly vibes into his drink. We pan up to see a
Stripper doing her best to showcase her wares to the usual assortment
of lowlifes. Spike has a solitary table in the front row but seems
uninterested in the twirling gymnastics going on only a few feet
away from him.
We see a hand place a drink on the table and Spike looks up to
see who we have known as Lindsey...pretty in the pink glow of
showbiz lights, an expectant look on his face and bosom heaving.....I
would kill to see the outtakes of that scene.
Spike: (looks at drink then up to.......Lindsey?) Ahhhhhh......yeah.....thanks
but...ahhhhh...really not my type, Mary. So be a good lad and
push off....(Lindsey continues to look at Spike, lips quivering)......What
are you gawkin at?????
I was sure that Spike was figuring that Anya had been reincarnated
and wanted another trip to happyland, but no. There goes my dream
that we were going to get a Queer Eyes episode based in the Angelverse.
Back to the action......
Lindsey: A guy like you whiling away his time in some cheesy
downtown strip dive.....look like somebody who's feeling kinda
Spike: Is that right? Funny....I thought I knew exactly where
I was. A place called the Peppermint Stick....Prima Ballerina
up there's "Sunshine" (wasn't that the name of that
puppy Dru gave him in s2 Buffy? Stripper must be the fluffy type.)
Though I'm fairly certain that's not her real name. (Spike gathering
his virtue, tries to retreat from his pink pal)
Lindsey: Hey Spike! Get any interesting mail lately?
Spike: (thinking this must be yet another representative from
BAPS) Who the bloody hell are you????
Lindsey: You're new best friend...... (Ah hah!!!!! I'm right BAPS)
Just to burst my bubble, Lindsey gets to the business of getting
to know Spike a little better.
Spike: You! You say you're responsible for me being back?
You sent that package with the de-ghosting mojo?
Spike: The Amulet. (I love a guy who sends jewelry, even if over
the top one can pawn it). You mailed that thing to Wolfram and
Hart (sure, like the postal service is that good).
Lindsey: Hey, couldn't leave your spirit trapped in a bauble at
the bottom of the Hellmouth could we? (see a BAPS rescue mission
as I highly doubt the military is capable of that organized a
deployment of troops)
Spike: And who's we?
Lindsey: Come on Spike...you must know there's a lot of folks
out there that are interested in you...(giggle fit strikes me
now cause at 2833 members I know he'd lose count, and that's only
that group haven't even started on Tabula Rasa or Sparklies.org)
Powerfully interested one might
Spike in a mock show of disrespect to the powers that be keeping
him all corporeal and all slaps the glass out of Lindsey's hand.
Spike: Enough of the cryptic, Butch...(okay, so now we know the
real name of that cryptic bastard William the Poet from the Stakehouse).
I want to know who or what you are. And what you want and how
fast I can snap your forearm before you answer.
Lindsey: You can call me Doyle. But it's not what I want....it's
what you want. You got your life back now. What are you going
to do about it?
Sigh.....sounds like a typical night in a pickup bar.....and Spike
even picks up Linds.....I mean "Doyle".
Spike: I've heard enough.
Lindsey/slash/Doyle: Don't you even want to know why you came
back to LA? You hate this city, there's got to be a reason right?
Spike: You talk a lot for somebody saying nothing.
Lindsey/slash/Doyle: You've got a Destiny....(he's really got
to practise a little on the pickup routine).....here.
Spike: Like the Destiny that was supposed to be at the bottom
of a cup of Perpetual nothing?
Spike: Know so much about me, you must know I get really
violent when I'm being played. It was you who sent Angel
and me on that wild goose chase.
Lindsey/Doyle: I don't know anything I'm just doing what they
Seriously, I loved this episode and there is lots there to pick
up on.....runes anybody? I'm in the throes of a lousy flu bug
and found that it skewed my way of seeing the show and though
I have lots in my mind about how things are starting to connect
up I could only single out the Strip Joint scene for special attention.
David Boreanaz did a great job directing and I feel that they
did have some fun with this episode. The end result of "Soul
Purpose" is that Spike seems to be reliving Angel's initial
journey proving that no matter how much things may eternally recur,
you won't always get the exact same result each time.
Mastery- We have reached mastery when we neither mistake nor
hesitate in the achievement. Nietzsche
ps.....my apologies to anyone at BAPS who may take offence.....;)
NY Times OT: Staging the Next Fantasy Blockbuster
(His Dark Materials movie) -- Rufus, 03:30:01 01/25/04
January 25, 2004
Staging the Next Fantasy Blockbuster
By SARAH LYALL
The unassuming man at the end of the eighth row slipped quietly
from his seat during the final applause for the sold-out performance
of "His Dark Materials" at the National Theater. But
he didn't get far. This was Philip Pullman, 57, who wrote the
thrilling books on which the play is based, and he was quickly
waylaid by a crowd of young readers who seemed unable to believe
"His Dark Materials," which began as a trilogy of young-adult
novels with extravagant themes but humble commercial expectations,
has turned into a serious international phenomenon and bestowed
on its author the sort of celebrity that prompted him to move
to a house with an unlisted address. The books, luminous adventures
that address life after death, religious faith and the complicated
intermingling of good and evil, have been translated into 37 languages
and sold more than 7 million copies in Britain and the United
Anyone who has seen the "Harry Potter" or "Lord
of the Rings" movies, or even just noted their success, can
guess what is happening now: the books are being moved into position
as the next blockbuster fantasy franchise. In London, the National
has staged a lavishly ambitious, sold-out, $1.4 million, two-part,
six-hour adaptation. And New Line Cinema, which released the "Lord
of the Rings" mega-movies, has bought the rights to Mr. Pullman's
trilogy and hired Tom Stoppard to write the screenplay.
But "His Dark Materials" is a far more challenging proposition
than its cinematic predecessors, and not only because of the complexity
of its philosophical and scientific underpinnings. The books make
a breathtakingly subversive attack on organized religion and on
the notion of an all-powerful god. The trilogy has already been
criticized by church organizations alarmed at its preference for
humanism and for its depiction of a cruel fictional church that
is obsessed with what it regards as the sexual purity of children
but blinded by its own lust for power. Among other things, the
books feature a church-sponsored prison camp for kidnapped children,
a pair of renegade male angels who are touchingly in love and
a god who is ancient, weak and exhausted, yearning more than anything
for the merciful release of death.
A movie director will be hired in the next month or so and filming
should start in about a year. With a skittish eye, perhaps, on
the power of religious groups in the United States, New Line's
executives say they will probably insist that the books' repudiation
of religion be softened into more of a meditation on the corruption
of power in general. Mark Ordesky, executive vice president and
chief operating officer of New Line Productions, said in an interview
that "the real issue is not religion; it's authority - that's
what's really the driving issue here."
Mr. Ordesky pointed out that the figure who most represents God
in the books is known as "the Authority" and said that
the core of the story is about "people who are striving to
be free and have free will, who are in conflict with forces of
authority and totalitarianism."
What the studio likes about the trilogy, Mr. Ordesky said, is
the same thing it liked about "The Lord of the Rings":
the story. "Big-budget, big-spectacle, visual-effects movies
are in themselves of no interest to audiences," Mr. Ordesky
said. "What resonates is when you take all that and have
a compelling human story beneath it."
The chances for fabulous effects are pretty good, too. The books
take place in multiple parallel worlds, including current-day
Oxford and a sort-of Oxford from some undetermined time in the
past. For those who care to look for the references, the books
allude to Milton, Blake, Coleridge, Ruskin, the Bible, Homer,
Norse mythology, quantum physics and string theory, but they are
also suffused with a richly compelling plot and fantastic characters.
There are two beguiling young human protagonists, Lyra and Will,
but there are also armored bears, scheming academics, terrifying
harpies, fierce, tiny spies that travel by dragonfly, cosmically
powerful but physically wispy angels who long for bodily form,
witches with racy love lives, corrupt clerics, gentle mammals
that travel by wheels and, best of all, daemons, the animal embodiment
of an individual's soul that leaves the person's side only in
Even at a time when books for young people, with their strong
narratives and enthusiastic suspension of imaginative disbelief,
have been taken up eagerly by grown-ups, Mr. Pullman's work, at
its heart a retelling of Milton's "Paradise Lost," stands
out for its unapologetic sophistication. In 2002, "The Amber
Spyglass," the final novel in the trilogy, became the first
children's book to win the $45,000 Whitbread prize for the best
book of the year in Britain. (The first volume in the series,
"Northern Lights" - called "The Golden Compass"
in the United States - was published in 1995. The second, "The
Subtle Knife," was published in 1997 and "Spyglass"
in 2000.) If the Harry Potter stories succeeded in making grown-ups
(and not just fantasy-genre readers) interested once more in worlds
of endless possibility, "His Dark Materials" reminded
them that the best children's books are literature of the highest
"Few recent works have succeeded more abundantly than Philip
Pullman's trilogy in achieving the first things we ask of a work
of art," wrote Alastair Macauley in The Financial Times.
In The Daily Telegraph, the critic Charles Spencer said that Mr.
Pullman's books transcended the obvious comparison to the Harry
Potter series. "While J. K. Rowling's books about the boy
wizard seem increasingly derivative, formulaic, flatly written
and ridiculously long, Pullman's magnificent `His Dark Materials'
trilogy offers both hours of spellbound wonder and sudden moments
of deep emotion that cut at the heart like the subtlest of knives,"
Mr. Spencer wrote.
Mr. Pullman, a former schoolteacher, has long had an impressive
literary reputation, but none of his earlier works have had anything
like the success of "His Dark Materials." Opinionated
and outspoken, he has championed children's literature as a way
to express themes and ideas that, he mischievously argues, are
too large to be depicted in adult fiction. He has also been a
forceful proponent of what he calls the Republic of Heaven, in
which life is lived fully because there is nothing more - no prospect
of an afterlife to wait for. By the same token, he has criticized
C. S. Lewis's "Narnia" books for what he says is the
divisiveness of their Christian message, in which those who cling
too enthusiastically to the physical world are consigned to hell.
(Mr. Pullman may have a chance to face off, in a way, with Lewis,
who died in 1963: next year, the BBC will begin filming the first
of five movies based on the "Narnia" books, with Andrew
Adamson, of "Shrek," directing.)
Mr. Pullman's books, in turn, have already been condemned by a
chorus of religious groups here: The Catholic Herald has pronounced
them "truly the stuff of nightmares"; the Association
of Christian Teachers recently said that adults should think carefully
before letting children read them.
"We don't want this book on the bookshelves of primary schools,"
Rupert Kaye, the group's chief executive, said of the trilogy
in an interview. "It's one thing to say, `The church has
got things terribly wrong and I'm going to hold it up to the light
of day,' and it's another thing to have a book in which every
Christian character is evil or selfish or power-hungry."
Mr. Pullman said in an interview that although he has strong feelings
about religion, readers should draw their own conclusions from
his books. "If I were to say, `This is the only way to read
it,' I would be putting myself in the same position as the evangelicals
- that is, telling people how to read and what to think,"
he said. "The very last possible thing on earth I want to
be known as - with the single exception of `pedophile' - is `guru.'
I'm not in the business of doing that. What I'm doing is telling
Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of the National Theater, came
to "His Dark Materials" on a colleague's recommendation.
Impatient with children's theatrical standards like "The
Wind in the Willows" (a production of which he had directed
some years ago), Mr. Hytner was looking for projects based on
contemporary books for young adults.
"What seemed immediately stageable were the series of archetypal,
highly emotional family conflicts, which I thought were powerful
and dramatic and would hold a theater full of people," Mr.
Hytner said of the trilogy.
It took 18 months of workshops and rewrites for the playwright,
Nicholas Wright, to whittle the 1,300 pages of "His Dark
Materials" down to a manageable script. One of the central
problems of staging was how to depict the characters' daemons;
the answer was to hire the puppet designer Michael Curry, who
collaborated with Julie Taymor on "The Lion King." The
resulting daemon puppets - a treacherous golden monkey for Lyra's
mother; a haughty snow leopard for her father; a collection of
birds for the Oxford professors; reptiles for members of the church
hierarchy - are manipulated, bunraku-style, by actors dressed
in black. The play, directed by Mr. Hytner, uses 30 actors and
features a dizzying 110 set changes that make fine use of the
unusual revolving stage in the National's Olivier Theater.
The production is to return to the National next December for
another four-month run; the complexity of its staging makes it
highly unlikely that "His Dark Materials" will transfer
to another theater, Mr. Hytner said. But when it does come back
it will likely be in a somewhat altered form. Reviews have been
mixed, with many critics praising Mr. Hytner's ambition but concluding
that the play ultimately fails to capture the magic of the novels.
In general, though, the critical response does not appear to have
dampened the buoyant passion of actual audiences. Despite its
length, the production has attracted a large number of children,
who can be seen earnestly explaining the fine points of the narrative
to their parents during the intermissions.
Meanwhile, Mr. Pullman is at work on an unrelated children's book,
"The Scarecrow and His Servant," which he expects to
finish by the end of the year. But he has not left "His Dark
Materials" - the phrase is from "Paradise Lost"
- behind. (He recently published "Lyra's Oxford," a
small teaser of a book containing a short story about the trilogy's
heroine, and is at work on "The Book of Dust," a prequel.)
He now gets so much mail that it takes him and his wife, working
together at home in Oxford, two days a week to answer it all.
Earlier this month, Mr. Pullman was interviewed onstage - in front
of another sell-out crowd that filled every one of the theater's
1,110 seats - before the curtain rose on the second part of "His
Dark Materials." He answered the usual questions about where
he gets his ideas and what sort of daemon he would have (a magpie
or a jackdaw, he answered, "one of those birds that steal
He did not talk about death, though it is a central aspect of
his grand vision. Indeed, even critics who didn't like the production
have loved the scenes that take place in the prison-like World
of the Dead, where the downtrodden, suffering deceased are gently
released into the outside world, where they feel a moment of unspeakable
ecstasy before dissolving gratefully into the earth and the air.
"It's astonishing how uncompromising it is in introducing
kids to an alternative mythology of death," Mr. Hytner said,
"how it finds a harsh consolation in the notion that death
is death and that the worst possible thing, the most desperate
thing, is that there is some kind of afterlife. It's thrilling
to see kids as young as 9 and 10 sitting, riveted, by that and
feeling perhaps relieved by the notion of oblivion."
[> Thanks for that, Rufus. BTW, my favorite line from the
article has to be... -- OnM, 07:48:40 01/25/04 Sun
*** Despite its length, the production has attracted a large
number of children, who can be seen earnestly explaining the fine
points of the narrative to their parents during the intermissions.
Gee, kids reading books. And carefully. Whoda thunk it?
[> Re: NY Times OT: Staging the Next Fantasy Blockbuster
(His Dark Materials movie) -- punkinpuss, 14:55:55 01/25/04
After reading the first book, The Golden Compass, I wasn't really
compelled to look for the follow ups, but might do so now.
My analysis of 'Soul Purpose' is up -- Masquerade,
17:25:14 01/25/04 Sun
Dream a little dream here.
[> Great job at concisely summarizing such a dense episode!
-- Plin, 22:15:46 01/25/04 Sun
[> [> Thanks! -- Masq, 09:19:46 01/27/04 Tue
I was debating whether to summarize each of Angel's dreams and
ultimately decided not to. I usually do this in other dream episodes
(Buffy's psychic dreams, Faith in This Years Girl, Angel in Somnanbulist
and Restless of course), but I decided it was the main gist/message
in Angel's dreams that was important, not the specific images
Besides, he had seven dreams total!
[> Re: My analysis of 'Soul Purpose' is up -- MissB,
03:57:11 01/26/04 Mon
Quick tech question: when I try to view the site atpobtvs.com
on Mac I get a "server not found" message. Would you
know why? I used to be able to get to the site a few days ago.
[> [> Really couldn't tell you -- Masq, 11:17:03
atpobtvs is created on a Mac, tested on a Mac, stored on a Mac
and accessed by Macs all over.
What's your specific OS? What browser are you using?
I do the site on both my 9.x iMac with IE and Netscape at home,
and my OSX G4 with IE at work.
[> [> [> Re: Really couldn't tell you -- MissB,
14:11:48 01/27/04 Tue
I'm running Mac OS X 10.2.8 on a G4 PowerBook. I usually use Safari,
tried IE and can't access the site with either - cleared the cache
and history to no avail.
I can access it at work on a PC with no problem. I thought maybe
there was a simple solution. If there isn't, don't waste time
looking into it for my benefit - it's not that big a deal. Thanks.
[> [> [> [> Wow, that's weird -- Masq, 16:22:21
I haven't had any complaints from other Mac users. And just now
pulled up Safari and accessed the site here at work on my OSX
There's got to be some other factor besides operating system platform
and web browser going on. Sorry!
[> About Doyle and Spike -- Jay, 18:11:12 01/26/04
I knew the real Doyle and pre-chip Spike were actually in the
same episode before, so I went back to check and see if they met.
At just past the 13 minute mark on your season 1.3, In the Dark
dvd's, Doyle and Spike look directly at each other. But Doyle
never gets introduced. And part of Angel's plan of protecting
Cordy from Spike was to have her hole up with Doyle in his dump.
Then at the 27 minute mark, Doyle introduces himself to Spike
as "more than meets the eye, blonde." They're together
again when Doyle, Cordy, and Oz bust Angel out away from Spike
and the torture vamp. But Doyle's name is never said in the presence
of Spike, even though they meet three times in the episode.
I thought it interesting with "Doyle" now guiding Spike.
[> [> Re: About Doyle and Spike -- Masq, 19:40:47
Doyle never gets introduced by name, and Doyle's powers are never
explained to Spike. So of course Spike isn't going to have any
clue that Lindsey is in essence pretending to be that "Mick"
Spike met four years ago.
It actually makes it more funny that way.
[> [> [> Thats the most puzzling thing about Lindsey's
scheme...*spoilers, I guess* -- Corwin of Amber, 22:31:00
Does he think that Angel isn't going to beat the living
crap out of him once he finds out he was pretending to be Doyle?
Pretending to be Doyle to Spike makes no sense on so many
levels...I don't see how it gains Lindsey anything.
Does every Vampire with a Soul need a Doyle?
[> [> [> [> Re: Thats the most puzzling thing about
Lindsey's scheme...*spoilers, I guess* -- Jane, 22:39:09
I agree, on the surface it seems a strange thing for Lindsey to
do. Why not call himself Joe, or Sam or something that wouldn't
make alarms go off if Angel were to learn of the new vision guy?
I suspect it is part of Lindsey's plan to mess with Angel's head.
Imagine how he would feel if he thought somehow the PTB had sent
Doyle back for Spike's benefit. Lindsey is certainly a puzzle.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Thats the most puzzling thing
about Lindsey's scheme...*pure speculation* -- Jay, 18:50:49
I have no knowledge of any spoilers for the future, except some
well known casting spoilers coming up in the next couple weeks.
So from Lindsey/Doyle's actions so far, I would guess that L/D
wants to be caught or found out at some point. To what end, I
wouldn't begin to speculate. But he definitely wants it to be
even more personal than just finding out L/D is behind it.
[> [> [> [> spoilers for the latest ep, or future
spoilers? -- anom, 00:04:08 01/27/04 Tue
[> [> [> [> A couple points... (spoilers for 'Soul
Purpose' -- Masq, 06:44:07 01/27/04 Tue
Does every Vampire with a Soul need a Doyle?
Yes they do, in a way. If Lindsey is trying to convince the Senior
Partners that Spike is the Vampire with a Soul of prophecy, than
he needs to give the impression that Spike has a connection to
the Powers that Be. This seems to be one of the requirements of
the position, according
to the prophecies.
So Lindsey acts like a guy who has visions from the PTBs and sends
Spike on "missions" to help the helpless, much like
Angel did the first few years. It gets back to the SPs that Spike
has a emissary from the PTBs guiding him to the work of the PTBs,
and they start thinking he's the real VWaS.
At least, that's how I think it's supposed to work.
[> [> [> [> COULD Angel beat the living crap out
of him now? -- Rob, 11:50:35 01/27/04 Tue
Besides hiding him from the Senior Partners, we don't know what
other sorts of protective powers those tatoos of his might have.
[> [> [> [> [> And how much of L is evil? (spoilers'Soul
Purpose') -- Tyreseus, 23:31:12 01/27/04 Tue
Forgive me if I'm forgetting some terribly important scene somewhere,
but doesn't Lindsey still have an EVIL HAND?
It's been a long time since Lindsey drove away with the "Cops
Suck" sign on the back of his truck. One of the big unanswered
questions for me is, how has the evil hand affected him? Did he
have it replaced by a moderately bad hand? How about a once evil
hand with a soul? Or has the evil spread beyong his hand?
I know it sounds kinda silly, but things like that matter to the
continuity. Plus, I'm hoping for more evil hand jokes as Lindsey
cops a feel on Spike at some point. :)
[> [> [> [> [> [> The hand was never evil...
-- KdS, 02:08:41 01/28/04 Wed
The hand's owner just wanted to die and end his tortured existence
as a stack of spare parts in a tank. Once he died, one assumes
the hand just became normal. Lindsey was just joking/trying to
mess with people's heads in his resignation scene.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And how much of L is
evil? (spoilers'Soul Purpose') -- pellenaka, 02:12:12 01/28/04
I've never seen the hand as evil per se. The only indications
we've had of the hand being out of Lindsay's control, was when
he sat at that meeting and it kept writing 'Kill'. And the reason
it did that was that the guy whose hand it was, wanted to die.
He wasn't that bad a guy.
There wasn't anything evil about the hand, the only problem with
the transplant was that there still was a connection between the
'victim' and the hand.
And now that he's dead, one must assume that Lindsay can control
his right as as good as the left.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And how much
of L is evil? (spoilers'Soul Purpose') -- genivive,
03:24:35 01/28/04 Wed
What has Lindsay done to show he is evil? If I saw Angel and company
communing with the dark side I'd assume that they were the bad
guys and try to fight it. And it would have to be under the W&H radar.
Lindsay hasn't done anything yet inconsistent with that scenario
[> Re: My analysis of 'Soul Purpose' is up -- punkinpuss,
15:45:07 01/28/04 Wed
Good summary, but there is one little thing I'd take exception
"But Lindsey appeals to Spike's desire to see himself as
a hero, and his fears that he performed good deeds in the past
in order to serve his own self-interest--to win "the girl"'s
My impression was that it was Lindsey's laying the guilt trip
on Spike that got him to play along with his schpiel. Spike went
with him because he couldn't live with the idea that somebody
could die because he wouldn't lift a finger to help. Not because
he actively desires to see himself as a hero. During both rescues,
he's very self-deprecating and sarcastic about himself in this
hero role. He's mocked Angel's hero trip before (In The Dark),
so it seems unlikely that he'd fall for that line himself. He
seems too full of doubt and self-loathing to really believe he's
worthy of the role. Angel is the one who seems to need this identification
as a hero, a champion.
Don't have a problem with the second part, about his fears that
his good deeds were motivated only by self-interest, except the
degree to which he's actually thought about this. He took offense
at the remark, but beyond that, we don't really see evidence that
this spurs him to action. It seems more like yet another seed
that's been planted, to make him think about why he does what
[> [> I was fudging a bit -- Masq, 11:12:50 01/29/04
I see your points, and I was conscious of reading into the text
when I wrote those bits. It's very very hard to write a truly
objective analysis of any of these episodes, but I try anyway.
Who knows what Spike's motives are? Ask one fan, you get one opinion.
Ask another fan, you get another opinion. Especially about the
contentious issues of whether Spike is full of himself or full
of self-doubt, or whether Spike only did good for Buffy's approval
or did good because he thought it was right.
I want to walk a neutral line, and sometimes that means putting
in fan quotations, one arguing one side, one arguing the other.
There isn't always room for that. So instead of taking sides on
the issue, e.g., "Is Lindsey right, did Spike only do good
because Buffy wanted him to, yes or no?" I wrote it as "Spike
fears he might have done right only because Buffy wanted him to",
and that way I don't answer the question one way or another. I
might attribute more self-insight into Spike than he actually
has, who can tell, that's up for debate.
-------------- <--- thin line to walk on
Finally what I've been wainting for (spoiler
5x11 damage, and 5x12 Your Welcome) -- Deacon, 19:28:47
Just my opinion and interpetation.
I've been hunting around www.whenonesque.com which is always a
good source for buffyverse inforamtion. I am really excited about
the next two episode. It seems to me that although this season
was very good, they had a hard time establishing the story arc
and answering the big questions. With the next two episodes I
think they are going to do that. Although I do not want to get
my expections to high, I've been disapointed before example, Btvs
S7 "dirty girls".
First there is 5x11 Damage, which hopefully they will be exploring
the buffy storyline more. They will be dealing with the Slayer
issue. A Vampire Slayer that was tormented as a child and escapes
from a physciatric hospital seeking revenge. Andrew, who is now
a wathcher in training comes to L.A. to inform Angel. He also
has some surprising information about Buffy, which I can't begin
to fathom what it will be.
I've been waiting along time to find something about buffy, other
than she is in europe. Hopefull they will let us know about the
ramification of Willow's spell to make every potental a Slayer,
and give us some information of the other characters. And the
shock when Andrew sees spike should be funny.
There are some characters I would rather see from Btvs. It seem
kind of wierd that when they have a crazy Vampire Slayer bent
on revenge they send Andrew. Personally I would have liked to
see Giles, there have always been tension between him and angel,
and it would be fun to see Giles and Wesley meet up again. But
that would probably be to much to fit into this episode.
Secondly I am very excited about the 100th episode with the return
of Cordilia. This should let us know more of what exactly happend
when they gave Conner a new life. Does cordillia remeber Conner.
It seems to me that if Conner wasn't there she and angel would
have been together, and with Conner, the last thing that happened
before the Coma, angel was about to kill Cordillia because she
was evil. There was also some good information to be intepreted
from the pictures that were released, it show's Spike, Cordillia
and Angel confronting Lindsy. And there was a picture of Spike
and Cordellia that was so suggestive that I can't comment on.
They sure waited along time to get these storylines underway.
Considering that originally they were only signed on for half
a season. But now the WB is currently calling AtS it's second
highest rated show which is good news in the hope for a sixth
It is really good of them to bring back Charisma Carpenter for
the 100th episode she's been such a huge part of the show. I never
really understood why they didn't have her as part of the Cast
But it might be to hopefull that these questions will be answered.
This is only my spectulation. And personally I've never been all
too accurate on trying to figure out what Mutant/Enemy was going
[> Deacon did note this, but for good measure - ***FUTURE
SPOILERS*** in his post -- OnM, 06:25:21 01/26/04 Mon
I'm already spoiled as to the events mentioned, but just want
to warn off others as an extra precaution.
[> Do you have a link to the 5X12 pics?? -- Nino, 12:17:25
[> [> here are the sights -- Deacon, 13:00:06
for the pictures:
one sight in particular that has alot of condenced inforation
on spoilers is:
[> just to let you know, deacon... -- anom, 23:52:26
...some people don't want to be spoiled even for the names of
episodes before they air. I'm not one of 'em, but I know they'd
appreciate it if you'd keep the titles out of the subject line.
Whose Soul? (Spoilers Angel through 5.10)
-- sdev, 22:57:02 01/25/04 Sun
Two Vampires, two souls, two purposes, two Champions. Is the world
big enough? Why not, it held all those Slayers, no problem right?
Does it have to be The Champion any more than it had to be The
Slayer? Or are there problems with the Unchosen one?
Angel and Spike so the same so very different.
Flashback to City of Angel S1, Angel is stalking evil on his own
in an LA bar. He exits the bar after a woman with long blonde
hair, a Buffy knock off, leaves with three guys and her girlfriend
(buried message- threesomes don't work). The two guys vamp out
and turn on the women and are about to bite them. Angel vamps
and kills them. But the attack has left the blonde woman bleeding
on the forehead. Angel, struggling to control himself, keeping
his face averted, not able to look at the bleeding woman, harshly
bites off "go home." As the woman approaches despite
his warning and touches him on the sleeve and says "thank
you," Angel turns to her, still in vamp face, and growling
menacingly tells her "get away from me." Angel strides
off as the two women cower.
Soul Purpose has Spike replay this scene with Spike in the hero
role. Spike is a very self-conscious hero. Lindsey calling himself
Doyle, Angel's first clairvoyant mission finder, has just told
Spike "You got your life back now. What are you going to
do about it?" He also tells Spike "But if a young girl
gets murdered tonight, and you didn't lift a finger to stop it,
ask yourself, can you live with that?"
Spike enters the scene of the single woman under attack cool and
collected, snide intact. To the vampire's "get lost"
he retorts "I already am according to some." He dispatches
the vampire no muss no fuss, well some muss as he wipes the dust
from his coat.
As the woman gets up and repeats "thank you, thank you, that
thing was going to kill me," Spike looking straight at her
begins a tirade, "Well what do you expect, out alone in this
neighborhood, I've got half a mind to kill you myself, you half-wit."
The woman leaves with Spike touching her back to nudge her in
the right direction out of the alley as he continues his chiding
to her departing back.
Spike is never in vamp face. He's under total control of himself.
He is dispassionate until his bitingly given advice. He sarcastically
mentions killing the victim himself for her stupidity with no
real malice intended, just a turn of phrase. He initiates casual
physical contact with the woman by touching her back. All of these
actions are the reverse of Angel's in City of Angel. Spike's first
save hurling insults contrasted to Angel's first save lusting
after the victim's blood. Nevertheless neither Angel nor Spike
can accept thanks or connect to the victims with empathy.
In Spike's second rescue he avoids berating the victims but when
asked "who are you?" He sarcastically responds, "I'm
the hero" as he hangs his head down.
Here it is. The hero who needs to atone for his still raging demon
and give a larger meaning to his inner struggle and the hero who
needs to prove his self-worth to himself and maybe others before
he can go out freely into the world. Both need to be heroes for
different reasons and will falter for different reasons.
This episode explores both vampires psychological insecurities.
Angel's inner psychological demons are exposed through his dreams.
While it is true the parasite gave Angel the hallucinatory dreams,
the content was still all Angel's. Spike's insecurities are exposed
by his willingness to let Lindsey "play" him despite
his suspicions that he is being played.
Now we are getting to the meat, practically to the bone. Angel
doesn't want Spike gone because he distrusts him. He wants him
gone so his existence and meaning aren't in question to himself
and to his gang.
Angel's dreams set up who he trusts and who he fears. His dream
of Wesley is telling. Wesley is still the man who betrayed him
and stole Connor, who just unloaded nine rounds at the man he
believed was his father. Wesley is ruthless and capable of killing
him, hence the dream that Wesley stakes him. It is as Eve said
about Wesley in Lineage:
EVE: Willing to risk anything... or anyone... for the greater
good. Look, hey... I'm just asking. Could it be there's another
reason you're getting so mad at him about this? Mmm... stealing
your son, for instance?
ANGEL: We don't talk about my son.
EVE: You don't trust Wesley, do you? I mean, I can see that. He
did turn Connor over to your sworn enemy.
ANGEL: He didn't mean for that to happen. He thought he was doing
the right thing.
EVE: And I guess it all worked out. Connor's OK, you're happy...
Maybe Wesley knew what he was doing after all. Even if he doesn't
remember any of it.
ANGEL: That's got nothing to do with- I just want to be kept informed.
EVE: Is it? Or are you worried about the next time Wesley betrays
you trying to do the right thing?
Fred he trusts. He allows her to operate on him, cut him wide
open. Angel trusts Fred to uncover his deepest secrets buried
inside of himself. What's inside of him? He's empty, a hollow
shell. He also trusts her as an honest truth seeker that's why
he chooses her to explore his illness. As Wesley says, vampires
do not get sick. So who is sick, Angelus or Angel. It is the human
part of Angel that is sick. His goldfish soul needs to be flushed,
cleaned out. It is swimming in blackened water. This appears to
be a reference to the murky detestable grey of Angel's current
situation at W&H. The Bear is a symbol of potency and manhood
which Angel is missing as his body is emptied and his purpose
exposed as unnecessary and functionless organs.
Angel has multiple Spike dreams which begin close to reality with
their fight in Destiny. Spike after he drinks from the cup appears
as he appeared in Chosen, arms outstretched and his face bathed
in light, in Christ-like immolation, but it is Angel who is consumed
by the fire. Angel accuses Spike of stealing his destiny. Spike
All your life's been a lie, everything you've done, the lives
you've saved, the dreams of redemption, all that pain, all of
it for nothing. Cause this was never about you.
Spike, Angel and Buffy in one bed. Angel looks over and sees Buffy
and Spike having sex next to him. Not only has Spike supplanted
Angel in the present quest for his destiny, Buffy's reference
to the Prom supplants Angel in the past as well. By replaying
the conversation Buffy had with Angel in Season 3 The Prom, a
highlight greatest moments clip, replaying it this time with Spike
in Angel's role, it is as if even Angel's past never occurred.
Buffy's "I kill my goldfish" in the context of sex may
also be a sly reference to Buffy's sexual soul killing of Angel
in S1 Surprise, since Angel's soul was last seen personified as
In that scene Spike is the first to tell Angel, "You've got
something on your shirt." Angel is subliminally aware of
the parasite even in his dream state, and his subconscious is
expressing on some deeper level that Spike has his back and will
alert him to danger.
The next dream is the not quite naked, only barefoot, in public
variation on humiliation, the sans shoes, without the shanshu,
as others have noted. No one told Angel the Apocalypse has begun.
Spike is the hero and Angel is truly irrelevant. First Fred then
Lorne tell Angel he needs to change his shirt, a reference to
the parasite and a sign of his belief that they look out for his
welfare. Notable is the absence of such a warning by Gunn and
Wesley who Angel does not trust, in his dream and by extension,
In the apocalypse dream Spike is the fair haired boy who saves
Just a working-class bloke fulfilling his destiny. It was nothing,
All that and modesty too as the entire W&H gather to toast him
and the paradise he has created. Spike's reward is of course the
elusive Shanshu as a fairy, who strikes a Pinocchio note, waves
her wand turning him human complete with beating heart. Angel
in his short-sleeved shirt and ridiculous too short tie, like
an overgrown child, turns and wheels the mail cart away, like
Numero Cinco, the job choice of the irrelevant. This is the only
time I ever remember Angel in a tie. No wonder he doesn't wear
them if this is how he sees himself in one.
In Angel's dreams, Lorne appears in a similar role to Fred as
one who Angel asks for help, "I think I'm lost. Everything
hurts... I don't know what to do." But Angel has now even
lost his voice, just a squeak is left. He can not sing for Lorne's
help. Loss of voice is the final negation of being. Wesley and
Gunn turn on him. He is a 'has been' who can no longer perform.
Fred: I told you he was empty
Wesley: Yes, but this is ridiculous. We paid good money for this.
We paid blood for this.
Lorne: The crowd's turning on you sport.
(Gunn with the conduit's panther eyes turns and gives a big cat
Eve: Oh you poor thing. You're really suffering aren't you.
It is Lorne who reminds him of the parasite and it finally enters
his consciousness, and he acts and removes it. Lorne is the voice
Angel hears best, something shown throughout the series. Lorne
is the least threatening to Angel and thus Angel can rely on his
The Eve scenes are not a dream but reality as Eve replaces the
"junior" parasite with a larger more formidable one.
Finally it is Spike sent by Lindsey's "vision" who rescues
Angel. How did Spike know? There is very little wonder. The focus
is on Eve's involvement which is left an open issue.
Spike always does things faster than Angel, just like having a
big brother to show you the way. Here he does the first save as
if he's been doing it for a while. Oh that's right, he has been
as he tells Lindsey:
Spike: News flash Sparky don't need your help. Been saving
people long before you showed up.
Lindsey: Not like this. You just helped a person when there wasn't
anything in it for you. That's not like the Spike I know.
Spike: Is that right. And what Spike is that?
Lindsey: The Spike that's only out for himself. Who only does
good deeds to impress women.
Spike: You best watch your...
Lindsey: I'm just saying (hesitates) you did good.
Lindsey has Spike's number and he doesn't need hallucinations
to drag Spike down. The fight in Destiny and its hurled insults
have left their mark on Spike. Angel accused Spike of the same
thing-being motivated by a desire to "get in Buffy's pants."
Years of being "love's bitch" have also left Spike vulnerable
to questioning his own motives even if he should know better.
After all he was soulless then with no moral track record. Spike
is smart enough to know something is wrong with this picture and
yet he goes along. To his credit he goes along and helps, not
hurts others. He inflicts no harm. Maybe he is just a double agent
playing along to see what Lindsey is up to as he did in Just Rewards.
Spike seems to be somewhere at the edges, the extremes. It is
the middle ground that gives him trouble. He can rescue Dawn and
Buffy and be involved in their concerns, the highly personal.
He can sacrifice himself for the world, make the big sacrifice,
and be the big hero, the highly impersonal grand gesture. But
when it comes to rescuing anonymous strangers in a low key way,
he is self- disparaging and none too interested. He makes that
derogatory remark about himself (oh yeah my finest moment) when
Lindsey praises his rescue. He does not seem to see the value
in it or his fit in that system of small and impersonal heroism.
Is Spike also enticed by the heroic image he can present to the
world? He acts righteously indignant to Wesley and Gunn's suggestion
that he come aboard W&H. Granted they come off the image of
a corrupt and evil law firm.
Which side of the fence is he on? Are Lindsey's visions real?
If they are, his motive for going to Spike becomes more clear.
He hates Angel and he'll be damned if he'll turn to him for help
or acknowledge his champion status. But if he wants to act on
the visions he needs a hero. Enter Spike. A plus for Lindsey,
Angel loses relevancy. But Lindsey is definitely lying. He even
lied about his name. And he prefabricated the whole Angel save
vision. Surely the visions are fake, doable with the help of a
psychic locating the next victim to be saved. Could Eve be a psychic?
If the visions are fake (which I believe they are) it's a whole
different matter. Then Spike is just a manipulated pawn to bring
Angel down. From Destiny that appears to be Lindsey's methodology.
Because Angel has been declared off limits Eve and Lindsey must
either manipulate someone else into killing him or change his
status. The SP may have less use for Angel if Spike is perceived
as a champion too or even The Champion. That would make Angel
irrelevant and thus killable unlike the past and current edict
that he is not to be harmed. From Just Rewards:
Hainsley: What I want is to turn you inside out, like a shirt.
I could dust you right now, boy. Wouldn't even need a stake. (releases
him) But that would be too big an insult for the senior partners
to overlook. Seems that they've got plans for you.
The plan seems to be to weaken, not kill Angel, or at the least
to have someone other than Lindsey or Eve kill Angel. In Destiny
Eve expressed a casual acceptance of Spike not having killed Angel
as if either outcome would have been acceptable::
Oh, and, by the way, Spike didn't kill Angel, but they did
beat each other to bloody pulps.
What's in it for Lindsey to switch champions? Is bringing Angel
down the ultimate objective or a means to an end, a way to get
at the Senior Partners? Is his goal to hurt the Senior Partners
by messing with Angel's role? How does that hurt them? Is the
message that Spike is not Angel's equal and thus would shortchange
what the SP had in mind for Angel? That Spike can't fill Angel's
shoes? Is Spike the Unchosen, the spoiler of destiny?
She and Lindsey are a team. Eve appeared aroused by this parasite
near her bed, touching the box as Lindsey touched her. Eve has
a definite sadistic twist not yet seen in Lindsey. Note her pleasure
in Angel's pain. Is Eve even working for the SP? How can she escape
the psychics' notice? She is not protected by runes. Eve has some
power not yet seen which Lindsey is using.
[> nice elaboration on the contrast between Spike and Angel
-- Deacon, 09:26:09 01/26/04 Mon
[> Excellent analysis - much food for thought, thanks!
-- Cheryl, 17:46:15 01/26/04 Mon
[> Great analysis of a complex episode. Thanks! -- Jane,
18:03:50 01/26/04 Mon
[> [> Thank you all for reading -- sdev, 20:59:23
[> Hey, I recognize you! (Spoilers for Soul Purpose)
-- Scooter, 13:57:21 01/27/04 Tue
Hey sdev, nice to see you again! Couldn't resist replying to your
Adding in my appreciation for the episode analysis, and reiterating
that I find it very interesting that Spike never vamped out the
entire time he was fighting. (And I watched the episode again
to be sure.) While it's as likely as anything else that ME just
didn't have time to get JM into vamp makeup, I like to think that
this plays into a pet theory of mine -- that Angel's main issue
is with his demon, and Spike's is with his humanity. Along those
lines, at the beginning of the series Angel had problems connecting
with people, even when he had no trouble seeing the big "good
vs. evil" picture. Spike, OTOH, tends to care deeply about
a few individuals, while at the same time not empathizing with
humanity on a larger scale. (Of course, I think he was starting
to learn that back in S7 of BtVS, but has regressed since. Sigh.)
Last few episodes we're seeing Angel disconnected from his friends
and the individual victims that he used to help, and Spike turning
down an offer to be a part of the "larger" fight. Is
this good for either of them? Well, since we're only halfway through
the season, my gut feeling is "no". ;)
BTW, I've become very interested in the similarities between Spike,
Angel, and Pinocchio. Right now Angel seems to feel less like
a "real boy" and more like a puppet, and Spike hasn't
been acting terribly "brave, truthful, and unselfish".
And I think they may both be ignoring their Jiminy Crickets, always
a bad sign. But I still think they could each learn a lot from
the other, and hope to see their relationship develop a bit in
that direction this season. Now, if they would just put aside
their differences and concentrate on ousting Eve, I'd be a happy
[> [> Re: Hi back (Spoilers for Soul Purpose) --
sdev, 22:34:06 01/27/04 Tue
It occurs to me that Angel is getting quite beat up this season.
In Just Rewards, Destiny and Soul purpose he is at Spike's mercy.
In Lineage, Wesley rescues him. In Life of the Party, Numero Cinco,
Harm's Way, and Soul Purpose he is somewhat pathetic, ridiculous
or the butt of a joke. Only in Unleashed is he really in the hero
What's going on here? Are we witnessing the subversion of a hero?
The culmination is his dreams of his own irrelevance in Soul Purpose.
I sense a dramatic reversal coming shortly. Someone has to be
the hero and I don't think it's Lindsey (or Eve).
Crockett and Tubbs crack the Existential Nut
spoilers for 5.10 and the name of 5.11 -- Rufus, 03:05:52
Ever have a dream that reveals the worst present or future for
yourself? Angel did, and he wasn't sweating cause of the fever.
Right off we see things from Angel's perspective and it's down
under looking up at what he fears most, that he is irrelevent
and doomed to turn to dust as Spike gets the prize. Then again
that's part of the problem as it seems that both vamps are regarding
the Shan shu prophecy as some sort of prize.
Angel has a secret and it is popping up in his dreams as symbols
rather than the real thing. This secret is the reason the gang
is at Wolfram and Hart as I feel Angel would have rejected the
deal if Connor had his melt down. In season two, Angel rejected
Kate and left her to die.....until his epiphany. This epiphany
and some PtB or whatever intervention, he was allowed into Kate's
apartment to save her. Her worst moment over she was ready to
face the word and go on. Wonder if the same would have been true
of Connor, but Angel took that chance away from him by giving
him a happy family world where he was just a normal, real, boy
instead of a device of the god.
It's in the dream state that Angel is getting images of Connor
and Fred is the one to open him up.
Fred: Angel, you look terrible.
Angel: Fred....I think something is wrong.
Fred: Okay, don't worry....I know what to do...[at this point
she slaps on surgical gloves] Let's take a look under the hood.
Angel: What? What are you doing?
[Fred rolls over a tray with a galvanized steele bucket and surgical
Fred: It's okay [she opens up Angel]
Angel: Please.....ahhhhhhh ahhhhhhhh!
Fred: Hmmmmm there....that wasn't so bad was it? Okay let's get
these out of the way.
Angel: Please stop.
Fred: There's your liver.....there's your kidney...oh, don't worry,
you're a vampire. You don't need this stuff anyway. Probably should
have had it removed a long time ago. oooop Ah! there's your heart.
Hey! what do you know it IS a dried up little Walnut [tosses the
nut into the bucket where it lands with a clang] so far so good.
Let's see [Fred pulls out a long strand of pearls and wraps it
around her neck twice] ooop! hmmmm raisins! [she eats a few, then
pulls out a licence plate HUZ 332] Came up the Gulf Stream huh?
[tosses it to the bucket] Oh! [now she brings out a fish bowl
with a dead goldfish] There's your soul! We're really gonna have
to flush this. [hands the bowl to a large bear who takes away
the representation of Connor away] Thank you bear. sigh Huh.
The bear was something Connor saw in "Slouching towards Bethlehem"...
From Slouching Towards Bethlehem
27 INT. NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM - NIGHT
Shot of a stuffed polar bear standing on its hind legs. It's an
exhibit in a museum. There's blue lights behind it, making the
scene feel arctic.
How cool is that?
I love that one. I wish I'd killed it.
Kind of a funny way to express your affection. I love you... bang,
you're dead. (Connor starts walking away through storage area,
Cordy follows) I gotta ask, why were you at the hotel? You live
By sending Connor to an alternate world/reality, Angel killed
him in the minds of all the others (except Eve) and have left
their memories a bit chopped up. If they knew better, Wes and
Gunn would have understood why Angel went a bit nuts when it was
mentioned some warlock cult types sold their kids to the devil.
Have to wonder if Angel helped Connor or if he now feels that
he sold him out for the new creature comforts he now enjoys....well
not really anymore.
Angel: What's wrong?
Fred: Nothing. I can't seem to find anything wrong. [of course
she doesn't remember Connor in or out of her dreams....yet] with
you. I mean - except that you're empty - there's nothing left
- just a shell. I think I can hear the ocean in there. [this is
where we get the CSI shot of Fred looking into Angel and we follow
through red to black] Hello? [the black continues out to reveal
Angel's eye and we can see Angel in bed].
Angel gave Connor that new life but with magic there are consequences
and the main one was memory loss for the others and a new home
with a new set of rules, a new way to play the game. Then there
is Spike. There is a doubling of the story as Spike seems to be
following along a similar path to Angel's. Not exactly the same
but close enough. He even has his Doyle who we know is Lindsey
(or is he). Why the charade? And that brings me to the runic symbols
that seem to occur again and again. First on Doyle/Lindsey, now
on this stone that Eve hands over to Wesley.
Harmony: Any business with the Senior Partners, I'm supposed
to tell Angel immediately.
Wes: I'll take care of it Harmony.
Harmony: Also any time something comes in with runes on it...I'm
supposed to tell Angel immediately.....and not try to read the
runes myself....cause that can cause a fire.
So, we have Lindsey showing up with symbols all over him, we have
the Senior Partners wanting to investigate a runic carving in
a stone, and Angel has put an order out to flag anything with
runic symbols on it. Wonder how this all connects up, someone
with initiative would look runes up.
Then there is the hero, what is one, and who owns the rights to
Lindsey/Doyle: It's not my place...it's your's. Buildings quiet,
windows don't get direct sunlight, you've got a sewer entrance
for your day light travel.
Spike: What? No Cable?
Lindsey(I'm not saying Doyle anymore cause he's a big ol liar):
You got electricity, heating, all the basics. Even got a Korean
market on the corner..open all night.
Spike: Look, appreciate what you've done for me, making me all
corporeal and all, but I draw the line at being your kept boy.
Lindsey: Oh, you got someplace else to live? I mean, a man of
your means must have money tucked away somewhere, you'll find
something soon. I'm offering you a place to hang your hat or your
coat...could say thankyou.
Spike: Great...another ruddy basement.
Lindsey: You want creature comforts? You can go to Wolfram and
Hart. This place has everything you need to be a hero. The job
requires somewhat of a Spartan existance.
So, Spike got out of that Amulet just to end up in yet another
basement. But he is now walking in Angel's shoes, being the hero,
or so he thinks. Maybe someone else is feeling a bit uncertain
Spike: Look who's come to call, Crockett and Tubbs. Come on
in boys out of the cold and into the damp. Suppose I should have
expected someone from big brothers (Angel?) LA branch sooner or
later. Can I get you a frosty?
Gunn: What are you up to Spike?
Spike: Man gets right to the meat of the existential nut, doesn't
Gunn: Just a little concerned, you don't call, you don't write,
what's your angle? Last time we saw you, you were booking a one
way to the continent.
Spike: Change of plans. Change of Heart. Changed my mind mates.
Wes: Sounds like you've been busy. We're getting reports of a
vigilante who matches your description.
Spike: Yes....that's what you people do isn't it? You get reports,
and you sign checks, you read memo's - here's to the Corporate
Teat. How'd you find me?
Gunn: Wasn't too hard, put a couple of our psychics on it this
Wes: One of the advantages of the Corporate Teat.
Spike: What can I do for you? Need me to help you collate something?
Wes: From what we hear, you're fighting the good fight these days.
Gunn: We figure that's our territory.
Spike: Is that what this is about? You're hurt cause I stepped
on your toesies?
Gunn: Not at all. We're wondering why you left in the first place.
Wes: If you want to save the world we've got the resources to
help you do it.
Spike: No offence Mr. Vader, but I've got no itch to join the
Gunn: It's different, you know it, we've changed things.
Spike: Look. I told Angel and I'll tell you. Place like that doesn't
change, not from the inside, not from the out. Sign on there it
changes you [points to Gunn] Puts things in your head. Spins your
compass needle around till you can't cross the street without
tripping the proverbial little old lady and stepping on her glasses.
And it's not like I wasn't there gents, like I wasn't watching
you. Had to haunt the damn place, remember?
Gunn: Things aren't that cut and dried Spike. We're making a difference,
we're just playing by a new set of rules.
Spike: So what? You want me to put on a suit, come play with you?
Wes: Something like that.
Spike: I can't believe Angel would sign off on that, unless...he
doesn't know you're here does he? Hedging our bets are we boys?
Gunn: That's not how it is.
Spike: And the compass needle keeps spinning, and the world gets
murkier and murkier.
Spike's right...Wes cuts cheques and Gunn just may get around
to copyrighting the rights to the title of Hero so Wolfram and
Hart owns that too. But they are uncomfortable, uneasy about what
they are becoming. Just when people may think that Spike has the
moral higher ground something happens to put that in doubt.
Lindsey: They don't have a clue what's happening do they? Hey,
come on babe, focus. Are you sure team Angel hasn't been checking
up on him?
Eve: I told you - they're busy working on some relic that has
the Senior Partners in a huff. So, are we going to do this or
Eve: Fine let's talk some more. How's our Blonde crusader? He
buying into it?
Lindsey: So far, I mean he hasn't sewn a big red S on his chest
yet, but he's getting there. We keep building him up and we tear
Angel down, pretty soon the Senior Partners are gonna start thinking
they're backing the wrong horse.
Eve: Unless they find out we're fixing the race.
Lindsey: Hey, that happens I'm good as dead.
Eve: Relax baby, they'll never know it's you. Not while you have
these pretty pictures.
Lindsey: These aren't for playing, they're the only thing keeping
me off Wolfram and Hart's radar.
Eve: Doesn't mean I can't think they're sexy.
Lindsey: Well, you can think anything you want after we finish
Eve: That mean you're gonna give me what I want, or are we going
to keep up the teasing all day?
Lindsey: Good girls always get what they want.
Quick note to those atpo'ers who resist becoming a virtue....read
So, heroes, Senior Partners, Powers that Be, cyborgs, warlocks,
dreams and memories. Full slate and kinda disconnected. One thing,
Lindsey called their scheme a "project" is that just
a term that he can't let go of or are there more firms out there
with projects on the go? And again with the runes, if they are
so powerful that the Senior Partners can't see Lindsey, who put
them on Lindsey? Eve, annoying brat, or more? I say start with
the bloody runes, why are the Senior Partners, Lindsey, and Angel
so interested in them? Then the memories, are they gone for good?
Then there is the meat of the Existential nut, if none of it really
matters then what does? To think this week there is going to be
a bit of Damage done.....;)
[> Re: Crockett and Tubbs crack the Existential Nut spoilers
for 5.10 and the name of 5.11 -- deacon, 09:40:52 01/26/04
I never made the connection between the bear and slouching towards
bethlaham, that makes sense. I just thought it was like the cheese
A Touch of Condescension -- Claudia, 09:27:44
When "First Date" (BtVS 7.14) first aired, many people
pointed out Robin Wood's condescension of Buffy. They pointed
out how his reaction to Buffy being an effective counselor resulted
in laughs and that this was a sign that other than her job as
a Slayer, he really had no respect for Buffy. But was Wood the
only person who was condescending toward Buffy?
From "First Date":
WILLOW: So, he asked you out to dinner?
BUFFY: Yeah. Isn't that weird? I mean, he's a Principal. He's
a young, hot Principal with earrings, but he's a Principal. Why
do you think he asked me out? I mean, he could be interested,
WILLOW: Yeah, sure. You're a frisky vixen.
BUFFY: Or, it could be work-related. Maybe I'm getting promoted
for doing such a good job.
WILLOW: (laughs, then notices Buffy's hurt look) Oh, right, that-that
makes sense too.
Was this little incident from "First Date" merely a
single time in which Willow had expressed some kind of condescension
toward Buffy's intelligence? Or was this simply the latest incident?
I cannot help but wonder.
[> Re: A Touch of Condescension -- Cactus Watcher, 10:03:26
I don't remember the exact episode, but Willow, Tara and Buffy
are walking between classes, and discussing the Hunchback of Notre
Dame. Willow mentions the classic film with Charles Lawton. With
a straight face Bufy asks if he was one of the singing gargoyles
from the cartoon version. Willow clearly thinks she's serious,
and for the moment the audience is supposed to think the same
thing. I don't believe it's a Willow problem. But, ME tried to
protray Buffy as not thinking very deeply about anything except
slaying. We had plenty of hints Buffy was really very intelligent.
But repeatedly she was shown as not terribly careful about what
she said about 'unimportant' topics.
In the instance you mention, Buffy says something that isn't very
likely. Willow has progressed beyond the stage where she'll say
anything to make nice by this point. If its a little condescending,
she's just making up for all those times in high school, she just
smiled meekly and pretended to agree. It's actually a sign she
respects Buffy's intelligence more not less.
[> In either End of Days or Chosen (spoilers BTVS S7)
-- Vickie, 10:11:15 01/26/04 Mon
Kennedy is reassuring Willow about Buffy's plan. Willow says something
like "Buffy, nice girl, not all that bright." It's clear
that Willow does not admire Buffy's brains, even though she celebrated
their use in S4.
[> [> Bad example -- Sophist, 10:46:36 01/26/04
The context of that quote was this:
Buffy believes in you.
You know Buffy- sweet girl, not that bright.
Willow was just using a humorous way of questioning her own competence,
[> Re: A Touch of Condescension -- Ames, 11:26:10
Buffy was always self-depreciating about her own abilities outside
of Slaying, probably as a defense mechanism to keep people from
thinking of her as arrogant. Who wants to try to compete with
a friend who's a bona-fide superhero with beauty, brains and self-confidence?
[> [> Re: A Touch of Condescension -- Claudia, 11:49:23
So . . . what was up with the laugh in "First Date"?
And why did Buffy looked hurt?
[> [> [> Re: A Touch of Condescension -- Belladonna,
12:18:10 01/26/04 Mon
Personally, I don't think the First Date incident should be described
as condescension. Willow wasn't insulting Buffy's intelligence.
She thought Buffy was joking, and who can blame her? Buffy never
finished college, had no experience, and no real qualifications
to hold the job in the first place. Plus, what little we saw of
her counseling skills didn't exactly prove that she did a great
job on instinct. Not that it was her fault, but she seduced a
student on her desk, and accosted another student's father at
home, accusing him of abuse. So who, realistically, would think
Buffy had a chance of getting promoted? Again, I don't think Willow
laughed because she thought Buffy wasn't intelligent, but because
she recognized how minute a chance Buffy had to get promoted.
Buffy probably looked hurt because even if we know something's
not possible, it doesn't mean we want other people to confirm
it. Perhaps she interpreted Willow's laugh in the way you did.
It doesn't mean Willow was actually condescending. Just my opinion...
[> [> [> [> Is this where Tru Calling's plots come
from? -- Ames, 12:53:44 01/26/04 Mon
> ... and accosted another student's father at home, accusing
him of abuse.
Hmmm, just noticed the similarity of Help to the plot of every
Tru Calling episode, i.e. Tru runs around accusing anyone and
everyone erroneously until she accidentally hits on the right
[> [> [> Perhaps... -- Random, 12:22:08 01/26/04
One might consider that Buffy wasn't very good at her job.
Just a thought. After all, most if not all of the evidence available
to the audience points in that direction, so it's possible that,
you know, Principal Wood actually meant to keep Buffy close by
and offered her the job as a means of creating regular contact.
Acknowledging Buffy's shortcomings and faults isn't condescension.
She's simply not perfect. It happens. The laugh might have been
involuntary. Or not. But Buffy's "hurt" didn't last.
She survived, oddly enough. Just as all the others somehow managed
to survive the crushing blows of having their human frangibilities
acknowledged. Acknowledged frequently. Often by Spike trying to
get a malicious jab in, or by Xander being thoughtless, or by
Buffy being self-righteous, or by Giles being British, or...well,
you get the point. For every "Willow laughs" stage direction,
there's a dozen "Buffy treats Xander like dirt" and
"the younger Scoobies mock Giles age and stuffiness"
and "someone calls Willow a geek and shows a general mockery
of her babbling" and so on and so forth. Xander mocks Anya,
Anya mocks Xander. Ditto Xander/Cordy. Oz's unemotional facade
gets mocked. Tara...well, she's the lesbian lover, so she's safer
than most. Riley? You can't possibly have missed the cruel jabs
at him, mostly from a single bleach-blonde source wanting to get
lucky with the girlfriend. And so it goes.
What's your point again, exactly?
[> promoted to what? -- skeeve, 14:14:20 01/26/04
Buffy might possibly been getting a raise, but so far as I could
tell, Buffy wasn't qualified for any other job to which she might
For that matter, the job immediately above hers in the Sunnydale
High organizational chart belonged to Wood.
[> [> Re: promoted to what? -- Ames, 14:39:04
You obviously haven't been a drone in a gigantic mindless beaurocracy.
"Promotion" doesn't mean doing a different and more
responsible job. It means going from a class B27C/2A-5 to B27C/2A-7,
with corresponding rise in pay level. :-)
[> [> Excuses -- Claudia, 09:06:57 01/27/04 Tue
It's interesting how so many rushed to defend Willow's reaction
in "First Date". Very interesting.
[> [> [> Why is it interesting? Please explain.
-- Dlgood, 13:52:34 01/27/04 Tue
[> [> Excuses -- Claudia, 09:06:59 01/27/04 Tue
It's interesting how so many rushed to defend Willow's reaction
in "First Date". Very interesting.
[> [> [> Yeah.. -- Random, 10:53:15 01/27/04
Downright fascinating. It's not possible that these people have
legitimate reasons or something. I mean, Willow actually being
defensible? Buffy actually being less-than-brilliant at guidance
counseling? Other people making legitimate observations? These
are probably the same people who advocate stupid stuff like being
nice to others and giving a damn about people. Can they be trusted?
I don't buy it.
Thanks for pointing out the hypocrisy, babe. You are my heroine.
And for all you people who rushed to defend Willow? You suck.
Willow is evil, you know that if you'd just be willing to admit
that her goal was to tear down Buffy and reduce her to a gimp
and an object of cruel derision. By all rights, she should have
been promoted to principal. To hell with people who disagree.
Guess I know who loves Buffy now. Certainly not you bastards.
Claudia is the only true light in this Buffy-bashing, Willow-snogging
void of a world.
Next up: a demonstration of how the slinky works. Come all. Be
amazed. Cause it's totally unfair how people judge it by different
standards than magic eight balls.
[> [> [> Interesting in what way? -- LittleBit,
13:47:49 01/27/04 Tue
I can't formulate any response to this, besides trying to guess
what you mean.
[> [> [> [> Maybe this really is -- Arethusa,
14:23:48 01/27/04 Tue
a Willow-loving universe, much like the famous AU without shrimp,
and Claudia has cleverly deduced this. How often do we hear Willow
criticism?? Hasn't Joss, our Fearless Leader, stated that she's
the greatest thing since sliced bread? Where Joss goes, so goes
our nation. Come to think of it, I tried to post a criticism of
Willow once and it mysteriously disappeared into cyberspace.
I heard there was a Xander-loving universe somewhere, but don't
[> [> [> [> [> Hey Sophist! Look at Arethusa's
post! Nyah-nah-nah-nah-nya -- Random, being particularly mature,
14:29:33 01/27/04 Tue
[> [> [> [> [> God forbid! -- Sophist, 19:03:43
You know, Arethusa, I always read your posts (unlike some unnamed,
random posters) and I trust you not to give me nightmares like
[> [> [> [> [> [> Wait, do you mean 'unlike
some' or 'unlike *those of* some'? -- d'Herblay, 20:20:15
I need to know which way to update the score on the snark-meter.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Heh. The latter.
-- Sophist, 20:31:54 01/27/04 Tue
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ::raised eyebrow::
....O-o-o-kay -- Random, 08:19:50 01/28/04 Wed
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I've
always wanted to be able to raise one eyebrow. -- Arethusa,
09:01:57 01/28/04 Wed
Maybe I can try again.
::raises both eyebrows::
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> This
is a dangerous conversation... -- dub ;o), 16:34:13 01/28/04
I tried, too. I got a headache. I asked David if he could do it.
He said, no. I said that my old friend, Monte, could. David said,
"So what? Did it get him into college? What good does it
do? Curling your tongue, wagging your ears, all of that stuff...!!"
Umm...huh? Okaaaaaaaay, back to the reading the board...
[> [> [> [> [> [> C'mon Sophist, couldn't
be all that bad....... -- Rufus, 01:04:16 01/28/04 Wed
At least your windows would be properly shimmed...;):):):):):):)
[> [> [> [> [> [> Sorry about that. Er, I
mean, Bwahahah! -- Arethusa, 04:04:44 01/28/04 Wed
[> Re: A Touch of Condescension -- Sofdog, 10:40:58
I don't see where Willow was at all condescending. She gave an
honest reaction. Buffy was being ridiculous. Her "job"
didn't really pay anything. It wasn't really a job. Buffy had
no qualifications for such a position,and so far as we know not
even a little 'peer counselor' training.
Maybe she could have been promoted to a secretary. But Buffy's
concept of that job was not at all realistic. I was thankful that
comments were made on both the job and the age difference with
the principal. The whole concept that he was asking her out on
a real date was nuts.
[> [> Re: A Touch of Condescension -- Corwin of Amber,
18:02:39 01/27/04 Tue
>I was thankful that comments were made on both the job and
the age difference with the principal.
Age difference? Buffy was dating someone 300 years older than
she was in high school!
[> [> [> I never said I was okay with that relationship
-- Sofdog, 20:15:53 01/27/04 Tue
O/T: American Politics and Television --
dub ;o), 11:26:53 01/26/04 Mon
Most of you know I'm Canadian. Up here, we can't help but be aware
of the politics of our neighbour. After all, I will never be convinced
that Canadian televison will ever come close to the level of sophistication
of the American version. That's mainly because Canadian television
is government-subsidized, and thus has a vested interest in supporting
writers, actors, directors, etc., who are capable of portraying
only "normal," and "nice," as opposed to "talented,"
Uh, oh, okay, not to the point really, so mini-rant over.
Two things have caught my eye this morning, one in my LJ friends
list and one on CNN. The links are below. I find the one about
the television ad particularly disturbing, and I'd be interesting
in knowing what my American friends here think.
I'm not trying to start a political flame-war, and I would request
that Masq deletes this if one starts up...please?
CBS's Refusal To Air MoveOn.org's Superbowl Ad:
During this year's Super Bowl, you'll see ads sponsored by beer
companies, tobacco companies, and the Bush White House. But you
won't see the winning ad in MoveOn.org Voter Fund's Bush in 30
Seconds ad contest. CBS refuses to air it.
Meanwhile, the White House and Congressional Republicans are on
the verge of signing into law a deal which Senator John McCain
(R-AZ) says is custom-tailored for CBS and Fox, allowing the two
networks to grow much bigger. CBS lobbied hard for this rule change;
MoveOn.org members across the country lobbied against it; and
now the MoveOn.org ad has been rejected while the White House
ad will be played.
We need to let CBS know that this practice of arbitrarily turning
down ads that may be "controversial" - especially if
they're controversial simply because they take on the President
- just isn't right.
To watch the ad that CBS won't air and sign the petition to CBS
to run these ads, go to:
And, from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/TV/01/26/tv.dennismiller.ap/index.html
[> Re: O/T: American Politics and Television -- Schrodinger's
guppy, 13:59:41 01/26/04 Mon
That's mainly because Canadian television is government-subsidized,
and thus has a vested interest in supporting writers, actors,
directors, etc., who are capable of portraying only "normal,"
and "nice," as opposed to "talented," and
I find the one about the television ad particularly disturbing,
and I'd be interesting in knowing what my American friends here
I must admit some confusion. If Canadian TV is so sanitized why
would you be disturbed by appearences of such on American TV?
Wouldn't you be more disturbed by the supression of controversy
in your own country's media?
As for the ad, I will not comment on whether it is propaganda
or not. Authentic depiction of facts has little to do with the
decision to run or not an ad. American networks run on money.
The more money the better. If they come across anything that even
has the potential to limit revenue I suspect it will get pulled.
After the outpouring of boycott threats from consumers over the
'Reagan' movie I am not surprised. The bottom line is always money
and I suspect CBS will only air programs and ads that guarentee
minimal fallout and maximum return.
Dennis said it himself. He is not a hard news reporter. With the
majority of media coverage in the US extremely liberally slanted
a show or two from a more conservative perspective would seem
a good thing. News that was completely impartial would be nice,
but that is never going to happen so I suppose an acceptable compromise
would be equal representing of all sides.
And cut Miller some slack. Admitting to being conservative is
almost a death sentence in his field. There are a few openly conservative
actors that get work but most stay quiet to keep their careers.
History, it appears, enjoys repeating itself.
[> [> Re: O/T: American Politics and Television --
dub ;o), 16:54:15 01/26/04 Mon
Uh, oh, okay, not to the point really, so mini-rant over.
You left out this line from my post when you quoted it above.
I was not clear. What was not to the point, was that I
wasn't commenting on Canadian television's take on Canadian politics;
I was saying that we Canadians are aware of American media and
politics, basically because most of us can't stand to watch our
own national programming. There's precious little that is watchable
on television at all, but virtually all of it is on American (or
[> [> [> Re: O/T: American Politics and Television
-- Invisible Green, 16:59:55 01/26/04 Mon
I'm from Michigan, and I like Canadian shows just as much as American
shows. "Foreign Objects" is one of my favorite series
of all time. I also really liked "Our Hero." "Made
in Canada" and "The Red Green Show" are pretty
good too. "Escape From the Newsroom" is like my favorite
TV movie ever (although I have to admit that I didn't understand
the last half-hour at all). I could go on...
[> [> [> Re: O/T: American Politics and Television
-- Schrodinger's guppy, 06:02:46 01/27/04 Tue
My apologies dub, I misunderstood that first part.
[> [> Re: O/T: American Politics and Television --
Dlgood, 18:18:54 01/26/04 Mon
With the majority of media coverage in the US extremely liberally
By whose standards? While the media certainly has a bias toward
the left, it is most assuredly not "extreme". Because
in a capitalist economy, no "extreme" mass-market product
is going to sell or survive all that well.
As per the airing of ads. CBS is a private network and they have
the right to air whichever ads they choose. And it's not as if
they have minimal demand for adspace on the Superbowl broadcast.
There are any number of policy issues that get me up far more
than this particular one.
[> [> [> Re: O/T: American Politics and Television
-- Dariel, 19:16:51 01/26/04 Mon
With the majority of media coverage in the US extremely liberally
By whose standards? While the media certainly has a bias toward
the left, it is most assuredly not "extreme".
This reminds me of a former boss, who, when asked about his politics
(he was a Brit), used to say: "I'm to the left of Ronald
Reagan, and to the right of Attila the Hun."
[> [> [> Re: O/T: American Politics and Television
-- Corwin of Amber, 20:11:33 01/26/04 Mon
>By whose standards? While the media certainly has a bias toward
the left, it is most assuredly not "extreme".
It does feel extreme to conservatives, who were mostly shut out
of the media until maybe 10 years ago. Liberals actually don't
realize how much they've captured the mainstream of thought in
the U.S.A. But the pendulum always swings back the other way.
[> [> [> [> Re: O/T: American Politics and Television
-- DickBD, 11:51:23 01/27/04 Tue
I don't agree with that. The media, after all, are all owned by
a consortium of corporations that are not at all inclined toward
liberal thought. That is why truly liberal publications, such
as THE NATION, carry no advertising to speak of. Strangely enough,
the conservatives have somehow managed to create this fiction
of a liberal media, so much so that almost everyone takes it as
a given. It is just not so.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: O/T: American Politics and
Television -- Corwin of Amber, 17:40:18 01/27/04 Tue
Thanks for proving my point! :) Like I said, liberals don't understand
the extent to which they've captured the media market.
The media, after all, are all owned by a consortium of corporations
that are not at all inclined toward liberal thought.
The corporations don't care about the content of their publications,
as long as it sells. The only time the owners step in is when
the media espouses a view that it is so at odds with the feelings
of the market, that it could potentially hurt the bottom line.
The Reagans movie being the most recent example.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: O/T: American Politics
and Television -- Dlgood, 17:57:07 01/27/04 Tue
The corporations don't care about the content of their publications,
as long as it sells.
Which was my primary point in the beginning. If the media was
so biased (either Liberal or Conservative) that it was out of
step with public opinion, there would be a market correction to
bring it back into step.
Personally, I don't think there's really a particularly pervasive
[> [> [> [> [> [> It's not that Simple
-- dmw, 19:55:07 01/27/04 Tue
The corporations don't care about the content of their publications,
as long as it sells.
This argument is overly simplistic and invalid. There's much more
to the bottom line than selling air time, papers, or whatever.
There are (recently changed) regulations on media ownership, (hideously
complex) tax laws, and (likewise complex) copyright laws, along
with many other regulations where media corporations have a strong
interest in selling their positions.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Liberal? -- DickBD,
11:04:28 01/28/04 Wed
I'm not sure that I am a liberal, certainly not following a particular
line. In any case, I agree to some extent with your assertion.
For example, the New York Times caters to its mainly liberal audience.
One of the problems I worry about are the mergers. We are getting
down to only a few media owners as compared to a few decades ago.
I suspect diversity of opinion will really suffer as a result
of this effect. Rupert Murdock and his Fox TV and other news media
have already pulled everyone to the right to the extent that reasoned
discourse against the Iraqi invasion was drowned out. I'm concerned
about heading in that direction, with a bias to either side.
[> [> Slack???? -- Rufus, 02:39:03 01/27/04 Tue
We cut him something waaaaaaaay better than that....the nice Canadian
girl he married....;)
[> [> [> Re: Slack???? -- Schrodinger's guppy,
06:10:17 01/27/04 Tue
We cut him something waaaaaaaay better than that....the nice
Canadian girl he married....;)
Do you suppose she has addicted him to expensive chocolate and
[> [> [> [> Re: Slack???? -- Rufus, 06:52:16
Hey, I like cheap chocolate as well as some of the more expensive
chocolate....but I'm sure if she is a Canadian worth her chocolate
[> [> Liberal Media? -- fidhle, 09:34:33 01/27/04
"With the majority of media coverage in the US extremely
I don't know what media outlets you follow, but in my experience,
the vast majority of media in the US are conservative in outlook.
Outside of a few major papers, such as the New York Times and
the Washington Post, most papers are quite conserrvative, and
these papers serve most of the nation's readers. What passes for
liberal media in TV news is far more balanced than the outspokenly
conservative outlets such as Fox News. From my perspective, it
is hard to find liberal thought being expressed outside of a few
editorial columnists, mostly appearing in those major papers I
referred to earlier.
For some reason, "conservatives" in the US have persuaded
themselves that they are a persecuted minority facing a great
"liberal" onslaught, even though we currently have a
very consesrvative government, with Republican control of the
White House and both houses of Congress. I have never seen a "conservative"
paper, such as the Washington Times, ever even attempt to be balanced
or fair in it's news presentation or choice of columnists. The
Washington Post, for example, which has been called the most liberal
paper in America, carries such well known conservatives as George
F. Will and Charles Krauthammer regularly on it's op/ed page.
I have looked in vain for similar liberal columnists in the Washington
I fear that too many people have been sold a bill of goods regarding
the "liberal" domination of the media in the US, which
is, of course, a very good selling point for those who think of
themselves as "conservative."
[> [> [> Re: Liberal Media? -- Dlgood,
10:53:28 01/27/04 Tue
For some reason, "conservatives" in the US have persuaded
themselves that they are a persecuted minority facing a great
I've interned in the senate, in government contracting, and for
a think tank that catered to both sides of the aisle - and I've
found this "Liberal Domination of the Media" to be mostly
hyperbole. It's a convenient excuse to justify the lack of editorial
balance in the Times, or on FoxNews. Anything remotely passing
as "liberal" gets pretty heavily chopped in those outlets.
So it's not as though there's much credibility when levelling
charges at other media outlets.
And it's been a very valuable tool to promote solidarity of thought
amongst the "consevatives" - having worked and lived
in DC for so long, there's certainly far more cohesiveness on
the left than right.
[> [> [> [> World Ends: Women, Minorities Hardest
Hit -- Grant, 10:17:37 01/28/04 Wed
I probably should not get involved in a political discussion like
this, but the whole media bias thing is something that bugs conservatives
like me. And the problem is not so much the bias itself, conservatives
are all well trained throughout our years of schooling to get
over biases against us, but rather the fact that so many liberals
like to pretend that the media is not biased. In fact, due to
the success of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, there is a current
argument gaining steam that says that the media is actually conservative.
This is simply a lie. Dozens of polls over the last two decades
have shown that journalists overwhelmingly are liberals. For just
one statistic that I remember for some reason, 89% of journalists
voted for Clinton in 1992. That's more than twice the percentage
of the general public who voted for him. For anyone who wants
more recent examples, read either of Bernard Goldberg's books
or check out the Media Research
Note that I am not claiming that there is a liberal media conspiracy.
I leave it to Al Gore to point out the fifth columns infiltrating
America. But the end result of a number of factors is that much
of the media in America leans to the left. The best description
I've read recently of how the media bias actually works was written
by columnist James Lileks on his blog:
Today's lesson on the librul media is -
Well, let me back up and clarify my terms. As I've said before,
I don't believe that most papers have an explicit agenda; the
morning huddle does not begin with a rousing rendition of "The
East is Red." No. Obviously, no. The "liberal"
bias usually manifests itself as a certain comfy sort of groupthink.
Most people in the newsroom are Democrats. They vary wildly from
issue to issue, perhaps, but there are some tenets that bind the
tribe, and a good number of them are based in certain attitudes
about conservatives that were quite possibly formed at birth.
Certainly in college. My favorite example: years ago I wrote a
book review about a study of free speech on American campuses.
It wasn't one of those thinly-documented screeds; it was written
by college educators horrified by PC speech codes, assaults on
campus newspapers, and academic freedom. The copy editor had a
question about one of the author's names. I wandered over and
read it to her. The author used all three names - first, middle,
"F*cking Republicans," she said.
I was a bit surprised, and asked her what she meant. She seemed
startled and suddenly a bit abashed, and said that the three names
were pretentious. Like Hillary Rodham Clinton? One of the authors
was a self-described Democrat, I noted. No surprise; to those
of us who were Dems in the 70s and 80s, speech codes would have
been anathema. The very words "speech" and "codes"
would not compute; they would fly apart like magnets with opposite
poles. Then again, I remember in 84 when our paper ran an article
that angered campus feminists; they broke into the newspaper office
and taped bloody tampons to the file cabinets. O the trouble this
caused in the ranks. It was a protest, it involved symbolism -
that would earn them a front-page story if they'd hit the administration
building, but targeting us for printing something they didn't
like? What goes? Looking back, this was one of my first clues
- it's not about right v. left all the time. Sometimes it's citizens
v. thugs. And if that's the current dynamic, the citizens had
best find a way to bury the hatchets and get along, because the
tampon-festooning burglars have already settled their differences
and identified the problem. Which is you, because you print un-PC
pieces on your editorial page.
I was editorial page editor for a year, so I know what I went
through. Ugly stuff. And I ran Pacifica news wire pieces twice
Anyway, my point: in any given newsroom on any given day, it's
usually safe to say "f*cking Republicans" to someone
you don't know, because if they didn't agree they probably wouldn't
be in a newsroom.
That's just how it usually works.
So. I saw this headline in the Arizona Republic last week, and
it leaped off the page. Not because it's intentionally biased
- but because it isn't. It made it through several copy editors.
It was reproduced for the online edition. No one saw a problem
[Here he produced an image of the headline which was Clark
is the 'perfect anti-Bush': Candidate understands the importance
I suspect (he says, charitably) that the headline writer would
defend the ad because it's true. Right? Go-it-alone war, unilateralist
war, spurning our allies, etc., ad infinitum; we all know that's
the case. Right? But of course it's not true; we had an alliance
with Great Britain, with Australia, with Poland; if we lacked
Russian support, perhaps that's because they were still supporting
And so on. As usual, it boils down to the President's mulish refusal
to please the French. But the headline writer knew in his gut
that it was true in a general sense - sure, we went to the UN
and worked for eleventy million resolutions, but in the end we
just did what we wanted, so we obviously don't care about alliances,
period. Plus, you know, Kyoto, and the ABM treaty, and stuff.
An accurate headline: Clark stresses need for "alliances."
Clark says "alliances" are crucial. Something that sets
apart the idea of alliances to indicate that they can be construed
in different ways.
My paper gets beaten up a good deal in the blogoworld, so I should
note that I ran the headline past my copy editor. He rolled his
eyes. Never would have made it past him.
This seems to me to be the best charicterization of how the liberal
media bias works. And it really does not bother me too much. I
have plenty of alternative media outlets these days, and the Blogosphere
alone could sate anyone's apettite for coverage of any issue from
any angle. And it could be worse. I could live in England and
be stuck with the horrible overtly biased coverage of the BBC---an
institution I would have to pay a large sum of money just so that
I could own a TV set to begin with--and then not have very many
other channels to turn on. Clearly the media situation in America,
flawed though it may be, is much better. I do, however, get very
tired of claims that the media is not liberal. There may not be
a global liberal media conspiracy, but there is certainly a liberal
But, hey, if you are a liberal who thinks that there is no media
bias or that the media has a conservative bias then I suggest
we organize a trade. You can have the Fox News Channel, Rush Limbaugh's
radio show, the National Review, the Weekly Standard, and Dennis
Miller. We'll take ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR, the New
York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Time, Newsweek,
the New Republic, the Nation, etc.
As for the story that started this whole thread, I really don't
see what the big deal is. I have no idea why CBS rejected the
Moveon.org ad. They are a private entity and have every right
to arbitrarily turn down advertisements. I do reject, however,
that the station that employs Dan Rather is afraid to insult or
anger the Bush Administration or Republicans in General. I'm not
sure which law it is that Moveon is complaining about, but if
it is the one about restrictions on media monopolies then every
media organization in the country, not just CBS and Fox, lobbied
for it. If all that Republicans get out of striking a currupt
bargain with CBS to pass this law is that the White House gets
to air a super bowl commercial while Moveon does not, then CBS
certainly got the far better of that deal.
Of course, if we did want to talk about major controversies in
the media, we could talk about how it is now illegal for private
citizens in America to criticize the government if that criticism
comes too close to an election. But the Supreme Court seems to
think that's okay, so what do I know. That whole Congress shall
make no law abridging the freedom of speech thing was really only
a guideline anyway.
[> [> [> [> [> Media Bias -- DickBD, 11:59:22
I agree that most of the reporters are probably liberal, but their
owners and bosses are not. I read Goldberg's book, but I have
a difficult time getting my conservative friends just to read
the introduction (on the Internet) of Eric Alterman's book WHAT
LIBERAL MEDIA? In the introduction, Alterman pretty much destroys
Goldberg's case, and documents all his facts.
The majority of academia are probably liberal as opposed to most
of the population, and I certainly disagree with a bias in that
regard, too, especially if opposition is suppressed. That was
certainly not the case when I attended, but alas, that was many
Certainly, that was a strawman argument listing all the networks
as liberal, making the conservative outlets seem small (partly
by leaving many of them out). I'll admit that Dan Rather is transparently
liberal, but he helped hype the Iraqi invasion. I well remember
his "Good morning, Bagdad!" remark when the shock and
awe attack hit.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Curious about Liberal
Bias -- MissB, 05:57:55 01/29/04 Thu
Journalists and academics are arguably more informed than the
general population about current and historical events and issues.
How can it be then that so many of the most informed people in
the nation are liberal? This makes no sense unless it means that
being informed and knowledgeable = being liberal.
Note that in the US the president, the senate and house majorities
and 29 out of 50 state governors are Republican, i.e. conservative.
I would conclude that journalists and academia are clearly ineffective
at influencing the nation with their liberal bias.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Importance of
Language -- dmw, 07:18:02 01/29/04 Thu
interesting interview with George Lakoff, showing how conservative
interests in recent times have used language to frame political
discussion and thus force liberals to debate on their own terms.
Whether or not you agree with his particular examples or politics
(and such framing has been done by liberals in the past), it's
clear that how a debate is framed limits what viewpoints are aired
to the public in ways that affect politics.
For example, framing reducing taxes as "tax relief"
indicates that there is an affliction, someone who is afflicted
(you, the taxpayers), and someone who is saving you from that
affliction. Who can be opposed to "tax relief?" Anyone
who is opposed is clearly bad because they're supporting the infliction
of this wrong upon you. On the other hand, what if taxes were
treated patriotically, the government increasing taxes to "support
the troops." That would change the framing of the debate
For another example, look at the RIAA's use of words like "theft"
instead of copyright infringement and "intellectual property"
instead of copyright to frame the debate about MP3s in terms of
physical property. Their use of the term "piracy" has
even worse and more absurd implications. They also play on the
public's lack of understanding of the history of copyright from
its original purpose to how copyright law is written (by industry
organizations like the RIAA, leaving out new technologies and
the public interest) to how new technologies were dealt with in
Do you remember how the cable companies were attacked for "stealing"
their programming from TV broadcasts in the 70's? And do you remember
how that was resolved? The cable companies weren't shut down like
mp3.com's CD service or like napster. Instead there was a compromise
in the form of a compulsory license, whereby the TV companies
couldn't refuse to let cable companies broadcast their programming
but also whereby the cable companies had to pay a reasonable licensing
fee for the programming.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Curious about
Liberal Bias -- Grant, 16:18:24 01/29/04 Thu
First of all, being in journalism and academia does not make one
necessary smart or knowledgable. Particularly with journalism,
where television/radio journalism has more to do with personality
and presentation than knowledge and intelligence. Print media
are a little better, but they also have a lot of problems, as
the recent Jayson Blair scandal showed. So, while journalists
may be more knowledgable about the current events they are covering,
that does not necessarily make them any wiser or more intelligent
in general then the rest of the population. Another important
factor is that most journalists are liberal and then become journalists.
Thus their profession, and whatever knowledge it gives them, does
not affect their ideology/politics. If anything, it is the other
way around, where a lot of the standard liberal beliefs about
wanting to go out and fix the world can be seen as encouraging
one to go into journalism. Conservatism is a somewhat different
political philosophy which, at least in my opinion, gives one
less motivation to become a journalist. Indeed, I think something
can be seen from the fact that most of the conservative traditional
journalists tend to be libertarians like John Stossel. There is
much more of an activist streak in libertarianism then in conservatism.
All of the other conservative journalists I can think of tend
to be commentator/pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.
One could even argue that being that kind of journalist requires
more intelligence and knowledge since you are actually forming
opinions and making arguements rather than just restating facts.
As for academia, there the problem is largely an exclusionary
liberal bias. Liberals compose a large part of the faculty and
administrations of almost all American colleges, and they actively
exclude conservatives from employment. Some of this is an overt
bias, where these professors actually believe that conservatives
are evil, wrong, or just plain stupid for believing in conservative
ideas, and thus they refuse to employ them on those grounds. Largely,
however, the bias comes from the more subtle fact that conservatives
and liberals tend to want to study different things. This means
that since post-modernist type theories are very big in academia
right now, and conservatives tend to dislike such theories and
take more traditional approaches, conservatives don't get employed.
There also is the problem that conservatives tend to study in
more traditional areas, like the literary classics and military
history, while most colleges are led by their liberal philosophies
to be interested in hiring faculty in areas like latino/a studies
and other areas that conservatives are not interested. All of
this comes together to make it nearly impossible to get a job
at a university as a conservative. Even after you get a job, it
is very difficult to get tenures, since if you actually express
conservative ideas you are likely to insult or offend members
of the faculty/administration and they will do their best to block
you. Thus most conservative academics tend to be employed by the
various conservative think tanks. There also was a recent column
by David Brooks, the token conservative at the New York Times,
talking about how a lot of the conservative faculty at these colleges
are advising their best conservative students to not look for
a career in academia, since they will likely not find employment.
So the fact that there are not a lot of conservatives in academia
does not mean that there are not as many intelligent/informed
conservative. It is merely a reflection of the fact that conservatives
are not welcome in academia.
On the whole, this is a bad trend, since I tend to believe that
the best academic knowledge comes from being honed in debate and
confrontation. Yet a whole generation of American academics are
currently acting to make sure that they face no challenge to their
ideas. This is a very bad situation.
Finally, there is at least one current theory that argues that
the liberal media has been bad for the democratic party recently.
This is because they tend to skew news for the democrats in the
positive direction, leading democrats to have a false sense of
optimism. This goes at least in part to explain why the Republican
wins in the 2002 elections seemed so surprising. However, while
it has not been as succesful in influencing elections recently,
one thing the liberal media has always been successful at is setting
the tone of debates. For example, George W. Bush was somewhat
forced into signing the very unconstitutional Bipartisan Campaign
Finance Reform Bill (commonly known as McCain-Feingold) in the
false hope that the supreme court would strike it down largely
because of the pressure by the media to pass it. After all, the
Bush administration's corporate connections have been a constant
media refrain, yet I don't remember a single story about Al Gore's
corporate connections during the election. Also, BCFR was very
good for the media, since it set them up as the only people who
can comment on candidates close to the election. Other recent
acts, like the medicare drug benefit and the tax rebates extended
to people who don't actually pay any taxes, have come about at
least in part because of the way the media framed the debate.
Another issue where the media influence is pretty clear is gun
control. The media tend to be largely in favor of it, and thus
those who support second amendment rights are termed negatively
as the "gun lobby" while those who support gun control
are simply "gun control advocates." Whatever you think
of the second ammendment, it is in the constitution and it does
protect a civil right. Yet its support is framed by the media
as being from a "lobby," and thus a small special interest
rather than the large numbers of actual people who support it.
A recent Nexis search by John Rosenberg of the Discriminations
blog showed the the New York Times used the phrase "gun lobby"
545 times compared to 13 for "civil rights lobby" and
8 for "gay rights lobby." Thus the Times clearly represents
certain positions as being those of interest groups while others
are those of just average people in the mainstream. Another example
from this thread come from the million mom march of a few years
ago. The organizer, Donna Dees-Thomases, was largely represented
in the media as an apolitical mother who thus represented all
mothers. The only problem was that she was actually a former staffer
to two Democratic senators and publicist to Dan Rather, and thus
was possibly lead to lead this march by ideology rather than pure
motherhood. I could go on with abortion, in which much of the
media see only two group, pro-choice and anti-abortion. This would
let me cite a bunch of fun examples from the recent partial birth
abortion stuff, but I think I've wasted enough of everyone's time.
But the point is that the liberal media bias is not this monolithic
thing that controls all of American government and society, but
rather is a force that subtly influences events and the framing
of the debate.
[> A different take -- sdev, 19:17:37 01/26/04 Mon
The decision not to run the ad did not occur in a vacuum. Nor
do I think it was refused for the reasons suggested by MoveOn.org.
MoveOn.org was involved in a recent controversy in connection
with the selection of this ad. MoveOn.org had two potential ads
on its web site, among many others, competing in a public selection
contest. These two particular ads depicted Pres. Bush as Hitler.
After being confronted with this by an outraged Republican Party,
among many others, they withdrew the ads. They claimed it was
a mistake and the result of improper screening. Since MoveOn.org
is an internet organization, the ads were well publicized just
by being on their website thus making this lapse quite serious,
even if not deliberate.
I personally was quite offended by the comparison which trivializes
this unique and epic tragedy, and demeans the President. Mr.Soros
the financier of MoveOn.org is a Holocaust survivor himself and
has issued no statement of regret.
I have not seen any statement directly linking this controversy
to the CBS decision, but I believe that is why CBS is avoiding
their ad, not as a lobbying maneuver.
[> [> Soros! -- dub ;o), 21:15:36 01/26/04 Mon
Ah yes, George Soros--I knew I'd heard of MoveOn.org before. Thanks!
[> [> Re: A different take -- DickBD, 12:06:04
There actually are some parallels between Bush and Hitler, mainly
that Hitler used an attack on a popular German building to fan
nationalism, just as Bush did with the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately,
none of the loyal opposition were statemen enough to point out
that these were criminal acts, not acts of war. Patriotism is
not always a call to war. Sometimes it is examining your own government's
actions. The measure of a country's true merit can sometimes be
taken best when the country has nearly absolute power as we do
now. I am not eager to see my country hated as arrogant and brutal.
Sadly, that is the prodominant world view now. For detailed information
about how our policies have gone wrong, I suggest reading Chalmers
Johnson's BLOWBACK: THE COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF AMERICAN EMPIRE.
[> [> [> Re: A different take -- Corwin of Amber,
17:58:38 01/27/04 Tue
So I take it that you would support the running of an ad comparing
Bush to Hitler? Isn't that trivializing the evil done by Hitler
for political advantage?
[> [> [> [> The best lack all conviction, while
the worst Are full of passionate intensity -- Arethusa, 19:36:35
There's been plenty of trivializing of evil for political advantages
on both sides. Flight suit photo-ops and "bring it on"
trivialize for political purposes also. But getting back to AtS,
here's most of Wesley and Gunn's discussion regarding how to get
rid of an enemy:
"Wes: I say we make a pre-emptive strike. Remove him before
he and his followers go underground.
Wes: We're talking about an evil warlock here. The longer we wait
the more powerful he becomes.
Gunn: I don't plan on waiting.
Wes: Really, what is your plan?
Gunn: We open a can of Machiavelli on his ass.
* * * *
Wes: What you're proposing could take weeks. We can't afford the
Gunn: 48 hours maximum. There are at least two initiates to his
inner circle who would jump at the chance to overthrow him.
Wes: You're overlooking the tactical merits of my assassination
Gunn: Hey, in my plan he still wakes up dead by Thursday.
* * * *
Wes: One more religious fringe group stockpiling weapons. But
in this case the weapons are black magics of the most dangerous
Substitute "dictator" for "warlock" and "WMD"
for "black magics" and the argument starts to look very
familiar. I don't think ME is saying Death Rays are a good thing;
I think we're meant to examine the methods AI has become willing
to use to combat its enemies. Fighting the good fight has become
enacting "scenarios." (Also note how maginalized Angel
has become; Gunn and Wes come up with the plans, Fred provides
the equipment, and Angel is left to make awkward, heavily scripted
PR videos and meet with foreign dignitaries, mangling everything
he tries to say to them.)
[> [> [> [> [> I got that too -- Pony, 08:54:51
Though it probably wasn't the most subtle allusion to world politics.
And Angel longing for things in black and white, where killing
them all would actually make things better. I have to wonder too,
that if Angel doesn't entirely trust Wes whether all that assasination
and Judas talk was making him nervous.
[> [> [> [> Television Ad -- DickBD, 11:16:00
I probably would not have been in favor of the advertisement,
even though I don't think it would trivialize what Hitler did.
I was appalled by the appeal to nationalism and the stigmatizing
of anyone not responding (or resisting) as unpatriotic. Another
parallel here is that the German people were regaled as "carnivorous
sheep" for having gone along with Hitler. But the American
public were drawn in to supporting a military action against a
Third World country and cheering the inevitable victory. How are
we different from the Germans then? I stand with those who believe
that this is an illegal and immoral war, as well as counterproductive.
(Because it fans hatred against us and thus helps terrorism.)
[> [> Is it trivializing? -- dmw, 20:20:00 01/27/04
I haven't seen the ads and it sounds like I can't now, so it's
impossible for me to make an informed statement on whether these
ads were trivializing or not. The Holocaust isn't the first thing
that comes to my mind when the name Hitler is mentioned, as it's
certainly not the only or the most important of his historical
If the ads directly brought up the Holocaust, I would find that
offensive. On the other hand, if they only drew parallels between
the Reichstag Fire/WTC Bombing, and Hitler's invasions of Czechoslavakia
and Poland with the USA's invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, along
with the flimsy justifications of those invasions (you do know
that Poland invaded Germany just like Iraq had WMD, right?), then
I wouldn't have a problem with it.
There may be better comparisons to be found amongst the USA's
own past leaders, but most of their actions have been extensively
whitewashed or simply ignored in American history texts from Polk's
invasion of Mexico to Woodrow Wilson's invasions of just about
everybody. How many people know the US military under Wilson invaded
and occupied Haiti, Santo Domingo, Nicaragua, and Cuba? The occupations
lasted into the 1920s and even 1930s for Haiti, well after Wilson's
presidency. It might be a good comparison, but so few Americans
know about the full extent of American imperialism that you couldn't
use examples like these in a television adverisement.
[> [> [> Re: Is it trivializing? Yes -- sdev,
12:12:21 01/28/04 Wed
Yes, the American take on Pres Wilson is quite different than
you have declared which doesn't by definition make it wrong. I
don't believe the problem is faulty American textbooks. No one
is concerned about WMD in South and Central America now. Do you
think we should be? Talking about what people don't know, so few
people know that the current mess in the Middle East, and Iraq
is a post-imperialist mess foisted on the world by colonial Arabists.
To each their own world view.
By the way you never did say what was "the most important
of his [Hitler's] historical actions" since you do not feel
it was the Holocaust. Of course that comment in and of itself
might be seen by some as trivializing. I know I do.
With your Pres. Wilson comparison you have left the present. So
let me offer my own 11 point historical comparison (11 because
I am often the odd man out in these discussions):
Hitler and Gandhi
6)Changed their countries
7)Died for their countries
8)Could have been Times "Man of the Year"
11)Felt their countries were being destroyed by outsiders who
Not all comparisons hold up to more than superficial analysis.
Some use the newly forged tools of moral equivalency and hyperbole
to be ridiculous and thus discredit both their users and their
[> [> [> [> Re: Is it trivializing? -- Random,
14:36:54 01/28/04 Wed
I'm not entirely certain how one arrives at the conclusion that
dmw's statement regarding the fact that he believes is the most
essential event regarding Hitler isn't the Holocaust is trivializing.
Is it because you disagree with hir? I personally very much disagree
with hir -- I consider the Holocaust the most tragically important
event associated with Hitler. The sheer loss of life was staggering
-- and far better publicized than the much greater loss of life
in under Stalin's regime or the roughly comparable one under Pol
Pot. The publicity led to incredible effects on the collective
human psyche, and to direct measurable results such as the profound
updates and force behind the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the
precedents of the Nuremberg Trials. It establishes a historical
antecendent which, though having failed repeatedly to prevent
further horrors, at least imposes a very real parallel that has
certainly led to a greater international awareness of the price
But if one believes other events were just as critical, it doesn't
trivialize the original. Trivialization isn't just the act of
having different priorities or using a different logical branching.
It's not a zero-sum game. In other words, dmw's assignation of
critical thinking does not in any way reflect upon yours, nor
does s/he in any way demean the Holocaust. Indeed, the only real
way to do that is to introduce the Holocaust independently to
the debate. In other words, even after introducing the Holocaust,
he would only be making a comparative analysis to the Holocaust
rather than a substantiative analysis of it. The main thrust
of his point could easily be unchanged without the comparative
analysis because a substantiative analysis of another event is
a perfectly valid way to approach the problem. I can argue about
Point A in contrast to Point B. Or I can argue Point A on its
own merits. QED. I can see someone arguing that Hitler's alliance
with Japan led to Pearl Harbor...which ushered in the age of nuclear
weapons when American dropped Little Boy and Fat Man on Hiroshima
and Nagasaki respectively. Whether the creation of nuclear weapons
and the potential for global extinction was inevitable is immaterial
-- the fact that this is how it actually unfolded is the foundation
for a logical sequence in such a counterargument. Is the potential
for thermonuclear extinction more important than the actual
genocide of six million people? Some might think so. The problem
is, logic is a tricky creature. One could easily point out that
Einstein fled the Nazi regime, and he was indirectly responsible
for the development of the Manhattan Project. And thus it returns
to the Holocaust in an indirect way. Or one could lay the blame
for Pearl Harbor at Roosevelt's feet. Or...well, you get the point.
It's simply a matter of how one reasons, and what weight one gives
to the consequential effects with the hindsight of 60 years. I
prefer mine. But dmw's interpretation doesn't offend just
because s/he has a different take. The phrase "trivializing"
is tossed around as an accusation which basically implies an extreme
insensitivity on the part of the other person. Perhaps dmw is
insensitive. I don't know. But that conclusion in no way derives
directly from hir statement above. In other words, to quote you:
"To each their own world view." Dmw's worldview is unknown
to me. But hir statement doesn't give me the background to idly
toss around accusations of insensitivity.
On the other hand, I do agree with your logical points about the
value (and lack thereof) of comparative analysis when based on
superficial, meaningless analogies. The Hitler/Ghandi one is a
nice example. (And everyone knows the Kennedy/Lincoln parallels.)
The use of bare fact out of context in these cases is essentially
polemic, not true analogy, which depends on both thematic equivalencies
and contextual support. I strongly disagree with dmw's analysis
of the current situation. I would even agree that it is trivializing...but
that's a rather weak examination of the problem, intellectually.
An example -- and I'm sure there are quite a few others that can
be suggested -- of a more rigorous requirement for judging the
ads would lie in analyzing their potential to disseminate misinformation.
Misinformation and polemic irresponsibility redirects the actual
societal narratives. The results can lead to trivialization....among
many other consequences. Causality is not an inconsiderable issue
here. And there's always the irony that it can lead to such outrage
that the exact opposite result is engendered: a renewed awareness
of the importance of the issues underlying the comparison.
[> [> [> [> [> Thanks, Random -- dmw, 16:57:49
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Sensitivity -- Stratum,
19:13:36 01/28/04 Wed
Dmw's worldview is unknown to me. But hir statement doesn't
give me the background to idly toss around accusations of insensitivity.
I disagree. There is enough information to be able to determine
that dmw is insensitive but first it is important to define the
term "insensitive." By its very nature sensitivity does
not exist in a vacuum. Dmw's statements do give me enough background
to form the impression of dual insensitivity on hir part.
Your assertion of lack of background about dmw being an obstacle
to your determination of insensitivity would perhaps apply if
you were using the term "insensitive" to imply the inability
to sense a physical sensation, such as a person who is missing
a sense such as a deaf who is "insensitive" to sound
or a blind who is "insensitive" to light. That would
be analogous to saying that s/he is insensitive to the human tragedy
of the Holocaust, the murder of European Jewery, by Hitler due
to a perceptual deficit. But by noting hir knowledge of relatively
obscure historical facts I know enough about hir to conclude that
s/he is a student of history and therefore cannot be unaware of
the pain this event caused the Jews. Since s/he must know of it
and still maintains that it is low in hir scale of important historical
actions s/he is insensitive to it. But this is not first hand
knowledge of dmw's physical deformity which none of us has observed
first hand. Perhaps it is just a psychological or character deficit.
Insensitivity is nevertheless evident.
There is another type of "insensitivity." Human emotional
sensitivity, or lack of it, as a relative term requiring an object
such as another person's feelings rather than a subjective response
to an impersonal external stimulus as I discussed above. For example
one can be insensitive to another person's declared concerns or
their emotional or physical pain. In the context of this conversation
it is clear that dmw is at the very least insensitive to sdev's
feelings, if not outright hostile to them. This is quite clear
from reading the entire thread. Sdev made it clear that the Holocaust
was an issue for hir. Dmw made it quite plain that "The Holocaust
isn't the first thing that comes to my mind when the name Hitler
is mentioned" and "it's certainly not the only or the
most important of his historical actions." S/He makes this
assertion right after sdev posted that s/he felt otherwise. Therefore
one can conclude that dmw is insensitive to sdev's feelings.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Okay...I'm going to be
insensitive.. -- Random, 19:46:35 01/28/04 Wed
And note that a large part of your argument is ludicrous. Straw
men. I obviously wasn't talking about a physical lack. Nor did
dmw state that the Holocaust was "low in hir scale of important
historical actions." Sorry to burn that particular straw
man, but misattributing statements as a means of justifying your
point is borderline trollery.
To take care of your other point: dmw didn't dismiss sdev's
feelings, nor was there any hostility evident. Another strawman...ludicrously
easy to spot straw-man. Dmw had an opinion, just as sdev did.
He disagree with her. She disagreed with him. I agreed and disagreed
with both. I offered reasons, too. Dmw merely said (for the sake
of giving an accurate quote): "The Holocaust isn't
the first thing that comes to my mind when the name Hitler is
mentioned, as it's certainly not the only or the most important
of his historical actions." S/he made quite clear that s/he
was offering up hir opinion. S/he never said that the Holocaust
was unimportant, only that a) it wasn't the most important
to hir (which I assume is true -- care to tell hir s/he doesn't
really believe that?) and b) it wasn't the only thing Hitler
did (also very true.) So if it was the 2nd most important thing
to dmw, which is quite in the bounds of what s/he wrote, would
that be an example of extreme insensitivity? Cause this whole
"clear" thing is not clear to me. I daresay it's not
"clear" to others as well. If you care to hypothesize
that I'm less intelligent than you, go for it. The evidence certainly
isn't supporting that theory right now.
If you're arguing that dmw isn't allowed to offer hir own
opinion on the matter -- and it was a personal opinion -- then,
well, I'm arguing that you are clearly insensitive to my feelings
about the issue because I made it quite plain that I feel a certain
way and you immediately jump in to tell me my value judgment was
wrong. Care to apologize to me?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Okay...I'm going
to be insensitive.. -- stratum, 00:23:27 01/29/04 Thu
Whew, had to wipe the condensation off my window, cold out there,
hot in here. No need to fly off the handle mate, no harm to you
My point, which you did not directly refute was that it was possible
to deduce that dmw was insensitive in two alternative ways, the
subjective and objective. The first paragraph addressed the subjective
insensitivity and the second the one relating to the object, in
this case sdev. I guess you did not appreciate my analysis. I
could tell by the ludicrous straw man method of argument you used
to refute my logic. Nevertheless I will try to explain my point
again in a rational manner.
I know you weren't talking about a "physical lack."
That is exactly why I pointed out that only in the case of a physical
lack or sensory disability on dmw's part could you make the statement
"hir statement doesn't give me the background to idly toss
around accusations of insensitivity." This assertion made
sense only in that one case, and since you admit that you did
not mean that, "I obviously wasn't talking about a physical
lack", you reinforce my point that you should be able to
ascertain insensitivity. How? Based on dmw's writing alone with
no need to know more about hir's "worldview" than is
The rest of the first paragraph was a digression on my part, something
I must try to minimize as it tends to confuse things for many
readers. This is the gist of my aside: I had to entertain the
possibility of dmw's having suffered a physical deficit such as
perhaps damage to his limbic system rendering him unable to sympathize
with the suffering of the Jews under Hitler. If that were so then
it would be an exception to my original posit that an organic
deficit could not be ascertained by dmw's writings. But I concede
this to be unlikely as I noted no evidence of organic mental impairment
in dmw's writings. If a limbic infarct caused selective insensitivity
to Holocaust victims then Oliver Sacks would surely have written
a case study on it.
It is for the second form of insensitivity that I found myself
successfully able to plumb dmw's post. It was my opinion that
that his comments did indeed imply that the Holocaust was "low
in hir scale of importance". Yes, I know s/he did not say
it in so many words but that is how I understood it. How was I
to know it was the 2nd or even the 3rd or 4th most important when
s/he never gave me hir canon? Dmw's emphasis was that it was "certainly
not the only or the most important." In the vernacular that
is slang for not being important at all, and that is how I understood
it. I stand by my impressions. To me they are clearly inferred.
I was not misattributing statements. I attributed them to dmw.
By the way, the term "extreme insensitivity" is nowhere
to be found in my comments. You may wish to reread my post. I
of course accept, in advance, your apology for the unintentional
misquote in the heat of the moment.
"To take care of your other point: dmw didn't dismiss sdev's
feelings." I never used the word "dismiss" you
did. You misattributed my statements but I certainly don't accuse
you of trollery. I was quite consistent in using "insensitive"
because that was precisely my point. Insensitivity of course remains
a point of disagreement between us. But not a straw man. Sdev
wrote "I personally was quite offended...trivializes this
unique and epic tragedy and demeans the President." S/he
expressed hir feelings. How did dmw respond? By asserting that
the Holocaust is "certainly not the only or the most important"
and then proceeding to demean America by comparing Hitler with
Woodrow Wilson. That is insensitive in my opinion. And here lies
the crux of the matter. We can debate the details, but there is
enough in dmw's writings to at least discuss the issue of insensitivity.
I am not "arguing that dmw isn't allowed to offer hir opinion."
I am simply stating that the allowed opinion is insensitive.
And regarding your "ifisms" such as "If you care
to hypothesize that I'm less intelligent than you, go for it...If
you're arguing that dmw isn't allowed to offer hir own opinion
on the matter... then, well I'm arguing that you are clearly insensitive
to my feelings about the issue...and you tell me my value judgment
is wrong. Care to apologize to me?" I never said these things,
And since I never said these things I need not apologize for them.
Oh, one more point. I liked your Re: Is it trivializing post very
much. The only issue I raised was the last sentence, the one I
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And so it goes
-- Random, 02:28:09 01/29/04 Thu
It's tricky when the shoe is on the other foot, eh?
Qualitatively, my use of the word "dismiss" is in no
way congruent with your blanket indictment. It doesn't work that
way, any more than the superficial comparison between Hitler and
Ghandi that sdev outlined so well does. It's a false analogy.
I used the word as a rather direct corollary to being "insensitive"
and "hostile." Indeed, one might say I actually downplayed
your polemic. Nor does the intensifier "extreme" have
any relevance. I would certainly consider the implication that
dmw's response might actually be "hostile" to be extreme.
My so-called "misattributions" were simply clarifications
of pre-existing points. Yours, as I percieved them, were foundational
to your entire thesis of insensitivity. I certainly had considerably
more evidence to go on than a single sentence. You chose to interject
an entire series of suppositions and theses based on the idea
that dmw was trivializing the Holocaust...and utilizing conclusions
based on false evidence ( s/he... still maintains that it is
low in hir scale of important historical actions [ergo] s/he is
insensitive to it...and yes, I'm omitting/adding words to
improve readability out of context...but I've retained the essential
meaning within the context.) Not parallel to my usage -- one cannot
point to the fact of variegated language usage and call it comparable
to outright reinterpretation of the text in order to make a point.
Certainly, you can argue your logical chain -- which you didn't
before -- and I can address that. To wit:
Dmw's emphasis was that it was "certainly not the only
or the most important." In the vernacular that is slang for
not being important at all, and that is how I understood it. I
stand by my impressions. To me they are clearly inferred
Which vernacular? Okie? Pidgin Creole? It's not colloquial in
any obvious way that I can see, so we can probably rule that out.
It's a fairly straightforward construction. The diction might
leave something to be deisired (see sdev's post below), but it's
not hedging any readily-discerned hidden meanings. If I were to
say that the Secretary of Defense is certainly not the only or
the most important member of our government, am I therefore saying
he or she is not important at all?
The problem with "simply stating that the allowed opinion
is insensitive" is that it is in no way an objective value
judgment in the manner of "hir opinion is written in declarative
sentences" or "hir opinion has 153 characters in it"
(I didn't actually count...just using an arbitrary number since
that detail is insignificant.) You are passing judgment on hir
in a manner that in no way either addresses the opinion or offers
a direct counteropinion. Certainly, on can infer that you
disagree...but rather than disagreeing, you attack the statement
itself on merits that do not advance the debate. Instead of saying,
"I believe you are very, very wrong," you reduce your
thesis to: "you're being insensitive." Could that not
be considered rather insensitive? Dmw has already implied, in
reply to me, that he appreciates that someone doesn't consider
hir insensitive. You nevertheless persist in arguing that s/he
is. Personally, I consider it valid for you to do so...but your
logic doesn't allow the same leeway:
Yes, I know s/he did not say it in so many words but that is
how I understood it. How was I to know it was the 2nd or even
the 3rd or 4th most important when s/he never gave me hir canon?
Yes...how were you to know, exactly? How did you know enough to
ascribe insensitivity to hir? That was a major point of
mine, after all. If you cannot verify the positive trait either
pro or con -- s/he's not being insensitive -- exactly how do you
verify the negative? I would submit that you chose to for
reasons other than the actual evidence.
S/he expressed hir feelings. How did dmw respond? By asserting
that the Holocaust is "certainly not the only or the most
important" and then proceeding to demean America by comparing
Hitler with Woodrow Wilson. That is insensitive in my opinion.
And here lies the crux of the matter. We can debate the details,
but there is enough in dmw's writings to at least discuss the
issue of insensitivity.
The parallel here is fairly overt. There is quite enough in your
writings to discuss the issue of insensitivity. Which is what
I'm doing now. Playing it by your rules (yes, a rather facile
rhetorical device, but that's the point, after all.) You engage
in ad hominem attacks on dmw, since you implied motive
and willful disregard ("Therefore one can conclude that dmw
is insensitive to sdev's feelings.".) This is clearly out-of-bounds.
And regarding your "ifisms" such as "If you
care to hypothesize that I'm less intelligent than you, go for
it. If you're arguing that dmw isn't allowed to offer hir own
opinion on the matter... then, well I'm arguing that you are clearly
insensitive to my feelings about the issue and you tell me my
value judgment is wrong. Care to apologize to me?" I never
said these things, you did....And since I never said these things
I need not apologize for them.
Hence the use of the word "if." Neat little word, no?
I was offering scenarios that I thought perhaps might explain
your motive, not actually ascribing them to you. Since you clearly
don't consider them applicable, they aren't. No harm, no foul.
I am not "arguing that dmw isn't allowed to offer hir
opinion." I am simply stating that the allowed opinion is
Ah. But you are setting parameters for debate that effectively
move it from disagreement and counterpoint to characterizing his
response as innately inappropriate. And, yes, that's my
word. I chose it for the basic reasons stated elsewhere in this
post, such as the fact that it's not an attempt to actually address
the text, but the motivation or impulse underlying it.
The straw man observation wasn't actually an attempt to refute
your logic. Obviously, or I wouldn't have brought it up in the
first place. I had no need to refute the logic -- hence the "straw
man." I pointed out exactly why that was. But if you want
a more direct analysis of your second point, I can refer you above
to my point about your own "insensitivity" for a cogent
example of the fallacy. I can also observe that merely saying,
"I feel one way" is not a valid or relevant means
of adjudicating what the person who replies says. And by relegating
any counteropinion to the status of "insensitive" is
merely dismissive. I can play that game easily enough by declaring
that the use of 'black humor' is a more important criterion than
sensitivity. Please don't cheapen my feelings by implying that
sensitivity is relevant here, or possibly more important. Ludicrous
example, yes. But it makes my point of how the parameters of debate
I concede I was too quick to imply trollery. I haven't seen you
before, and these are the sorts of posts that I've seen trolls
going after in the past. I thought the idea you trying to offer
a counterexample of me being a troll was ludicrous, given my long
history here wherein I've written many wonderful and brilliant
posts that have changed the world for the better time and again.
Which highlighted a basic inequity in how I was treating you.
So I apologize for that.
I'm glad you like my post. I hope you can appreciate my difficulty
in allowing you to characterize dmw's post as "insensitive"
without challenge merely because he offered an alternative value
judgment. He didn't attack sdev, directly or indirectly. He merely
gave his opinion.
[> [> [> [> [> A bit unclear on the numbers
-- Finn Mac Cool, 19:15:46 01/28/04 Wed
What source are you using for the loss of life in each situation?
Because, the way I heard it was that the Holocaust killed 11 million
people, while Stalin's regime killed roughly 4 million. I could
have that wrong, of course, but, if so, I'd like to know what
Although, you could very well call the start of World War II the
bigger event, since more people died and more nations were affected.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Well, I'll track down...
-- Random, 20:06:53 01/28/04 Wed
...the stats, keeping in mind that no single source is absolutely
reliable. I'm operating from memory, but I'm reasonably sure that
the 6 million figure for the Holocaust and a roughly 20 million
figure for Stalin's regime (which, admittedly, lasted a lot longer
than the atrocities of the Holocaust, which was a concentrated
effort and, temporally speaking, was worse in that sense.) Hitler's
total also goes up radically if one includes actual combatants...but
I'm speaking of civilians here.
Two quick google choices:
(sigh...do control-A or highlight the page for second link because
some bright bulb decided to have fun with the font colour. Scroll
down to "Terror")
Here's an interesting (or very boring, depending on your threshold
for this stuff) article discussing how people arrive at death
tolls...specifically in Stalinist USSR here:
But you at least understand my point, which was that logic is
tricky here...you could argue that the invasion of Poland (start
of WWII) was the worst of the bunch. I'd disagree, but that's
quite another issue.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> While six million
Jews died during the Holocaust . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 08:59:40
There were also Gypsies, Blacks, Homosexuals, Poles, and German's
with dissenting opinions who made up at least another 5 million.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Source?
-- Random, 09:25:05 01/29/04 Thu
I would have adduced a total of 8=9 million altogether, actually.
The others were killed, yes, but given the statistical minority
status of all those groups (gypsies, blacks, and homosexuals,
for instance, were a numerically small segment of even the general
population), and given that none were technically included as
part of the so-called "Final Solution," I've generally
been under the impression that the number was relatively small
compared to the Jewish atrocities. The total for non-combatants
was far less than that for combatant victims of the war itself.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Source?
-- RJA, 11:11:08 01/29/04 Thu
According to the Holocaust History site (which reflects a general
consensus of figures elsewhere that I've seen), it seems to be
estimated that the total figure of deaths was around 11-12 million.
5-6 million being estimated as non-Jewish, non-combatant deaths.
This was actually a conservative estimate according to some other
And while such sections of society as gypsies, homosexuals and
so on are relatively fewer in number, you kill enough of those
groups and it adds up to a surprisingly high number. Was looking
at one site which said the known number of mentally ill citizens
he killed reached a couple of hundred thousand. It all adds up.
Ah well, some nice horrendous reading before dinner.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> statistics
-- sdev, 12:20:07 01/29/04 Thu
European Jews 5,600,000 to 6,250,000
Soviet prisoners of war 3,000,000
Polish Catholics 3,000,000
Serbians 700,000 (Croat Ustasa persecution)
Roma, Sinti, and Lalleri 222,000 to 250,000
Germans (political, religious, and Resistance) 80,000
Germans (handicapped) 70,000
Jehovah's Witnesses 2500
Note that 3 million were Soviet combatants.
[> [> [> [> [> Question about Hitler and Stalin
-- Finn Mac Cool, 19:23:48 01/28/04 Wed
What source are you using for the loss of life in each situation?
Because, the way I heard it was that the Holocaust killed 11 million
people, while Stalin's regime killed roughly 4 million. I could
have that wrong, of course, but, if so, I'd like to know what
Although, you could very well call the start of World War II the
bigger event, since more people died and more nations were affected.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Sorry for double posting
(though this post just takes up more board space, lol) --
Finn Mac Cool, 19:40:00 01/28/04 Wed
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Question about Hitler
and Stalin -- dmw, 19:50:11 01/28/04 Wed
Statistics from the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust list Jewish
deaths during the Holocaust at 5.5-5.8 million, while the CIA
World Factbook says that Stalin was responsible for killing tens
of millions of Soviet citizens. I've seen the figure 20,000,000
cited for Stalin before, which is only a bit smaller than the
27,000,000 Russian deaths during the Nazi-Soviet war. Mao was
responsible for about 48,000,000 Chinese deaths during his reign,
mostly during the Great Leap Forward, but I don't have a source
for that on hand. The middle of the 20th century was not a good
time for humanity.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Is it trivializing? Again
yes and why -- sdev, 22:45:40 01/28/04 Wed
Thank you for your clear eyed approach.
It's not a zero-sum game.
The way you have played it, it is not. You give parallels worthy
of comparison such as Stalin's and Pol Pot's atrocities. Scale
matters. The term worthy is a loaded one in and of itself. I do
not think logic or structured analysis alone are adequate tools
to address these issues. Despite the great unpopularity of this
approach, at some point value judgements come into play. The proper
use of moral equivalency should be in its application to universal
truths and even-handed application of these judgements. Refusing
to make judgements is not a viable alternative for humankind's
progress and survival. Obviously this is all just my opinion.
What is trivialization and who cares if it happens? I view it
as a desensitization process, a psycho-social development, that
leads to no longer perceiving or understanding the relative differences
of bad acts. I can use a physiological analogy to demonstrate.
The olfactory gland stops responding and differentiating odors,
even noxious ones, from repeated exposure to those smells. I believe
societies and individuals react the same way as the olfactory
gland when the Holocaust is subjected to overexposure. It moves
from being near the pinnacle of evil to being a mundane undifferentiated
occurrence by way of constant comparison and analogy to lesser
In the case of historical events instead of zero sum game I would
say lowest common denominator. By making morally unequal comparisons
all standards are reduced.
You yourself said quite eloquently:
The publicity led to incredible effects on the collective human
psyche, and to direct measurable results such as the profound
updates and force behind the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the
precedents of the Nuremberg Trials. It establishes a historical
antecendent which, though having failed repeatedly to prevent
further horrors, at least imposes a very real parallel that has
certainly led to a greater international awareness of the price
It is those effects that lesser comparisons destroy. That answers
the 'why' we should care about trivialization.
Trivialization isn't just the act of having different priorities
or using a different logical branching.
I think trivialization does occur from having different priorities
if they are less worthy. As I stated above, all priorities are
not equal. If one were to state that the total death count from
WWII was Hitler's worst or an equally terrible act as compared
to the Holocaust, I would not consider that as trivializing. I
would counter with reasons that make the Holocaust worse - racist
intent, systematized genocide, civilians not at war, and others,
but I would have the sense that the gravity and scope of the event
was at least being considered.
Another interesting point is the Stalin Hitler connection. Six
million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. I believe this was
75% of Europe's Jewish population. Stalin killed 20 to 35 million.
The 20 million is the low estimate. Very arguably what Stalin
did was considerably worse, based on sheer numbers, although it's
missing some of the other factors I mentioned earlier as unique
to Hitler. Stalin's worst genocide was in the 1930's. Many historians
believe that Hitler modeled his genocide on Stalin. How so? Stalin's
atrocities, as you note, were not in the public's consciousness.
He basically got away with it. If Stalin could get away with that
number, Hitler figured he could get away with a lesser one. Stalin's
trivialization, in his time, led the way to Hitler.
Is the potential for thermonuclear extinction more important
than the actual genocide of six million people? Some might think
I don't think potential can ever be considered the equivalent
of actuality, too many variables. In the end this approach leads
to the "thought police." When do you intercede?
The Holocaust isn't the first thing that comes to my mind when
the name Hitler is mentioned, as it's certainly not the only or
the most important of his historical actions.
I can deconstruct dmw's sentence into two parts. The first "it's
certainly not the only" is the part I object to, as if all
of Hitler's actions are equivalent, the same in moral weight.
Since the disjunctive "or" is used this part of the
sentence stands alone reading like this -- The Holocaust isn't
the first thing that comes to my mind when the name Hitler is
mentioned, as it's certainly not the only of his [Hitler's] historical
actions. Saying all of Hitler's actions are the same, including
the Holocaust, is trivializing the Holocaust.
But if one believes other events were just as critical,
it doesn't trivialize the original.
dmw's statement above clearly does not say "just as critical."
It does say that the Holocaust is of less importance than
some other as yet unnamed act. dmw did not give his/her contender
for worst Hitler action. In my post, I did ask for clarification
as to what was the most important in his/her consideration.
Finally, the whole point of my original post was to say that comparing
Pres. Bush to Hitler trivialized the Holocaust. Let's say one
thinks the Holocaust was only the second worst thing Hitler did.
Does that invalidate my point? I don't think so. Further regardless
of which horror one associates with Hitler it is trivializing
some horrific act, and for what? To make a political commercial
with a hyperbolic comparison.
The fact is MoveOn.org agreed and said they had made an inadvertent
mistake by having the ad on their web site. They did not defend
[> [> [> [> [> [> Heh, I'm tired... --
Random, 02:29:10 01/29/04 Thu
The gist of my points are in my final reply to stratum above.
If those don't satisfy you, we can agree to disagree.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Heh, I'm tired...
-- sdev, 14:32:39 01/29/04 Thu
I'm tired too. Although your answer above doesn't address any
of my points, I'm content to agree to disagree since we've both
had our say.
[> Soros interview on BBC1 breakfast news -- Celebaelin,
01:16:19 01/30/04 Fri
I wouldn't imagine for a moment that, bearing in mind the content
of the advertisement, this is part of a campaign aimed directly
at undermining the presidents' chances of re-election but the
question in my mind is 'What is the motivation'. Based on what
Soros has just said in the above mentioned interview, which is
backed up by a BBCi news item from last September, which can be
he believes that America is basing its' stance as the greatest
nation on earth on military might rather than international law.
He apparently strongly supported the invasion of Afghanistan as
'...we had an address...' where Bin-laden could be found (or rather
not found, but still). As regards Iraq he expressed a regret that
military action has been used to deal with '...the agreed greatest
threat to the modern world...', meaning Sadaam and men like him
'...and there are many of them...' (the quote may not be exact
but that's the gist of it).
He sees American foreign policy as flawed and bearing in mind
his experiences with the Nazis in Hungary who can blame him for
being uneasy. Now whether this is the whole story and that the
tack being taken outside the US has a different emphasis to the
more economic line being adopted domestically is another question
but it is not outside the realms of credibility that he actually
believes both arguments to be valid. He might well consider that
he is acting is America's, and the worlds' best interests. He
maintains that he is adhering to the rules of campaign funding
and using only permitted tactics. He stated that he was not conducting
his campaign in an unscrupulous manner, or rather what he actually
said was that he wasn't doing anything the other side wasn't doing,
only more so (near verbatim quote apart from the tense).
He has a book out in which he presents his arguments apparently
(Oh dear! But then again what better way of expressing your standpoint
- only buy it if you want to find out). It's called 'The World
Supremecy Bubble' I think.
[> [> With appologies for the typos in the above - I
had to rush out for an appointment -- Celebaelin, 02:20:57
To avoid ambiguity
...this is part of a campaign...
...this isn't part of a campaign...
...he is acting is America's, and...
...he is acting in America's, and...
Angel and the Matrix (spoilers & spec) --
undeadenglishpatient, 23:30:04 01/26/04 Mon
Similarities between ATS and the Matrix
This is a continuation of the post I made earlier about ATS and
a possible Matrix involved in the show this year. This year's
ATS has quite a few Matrix references weaved into the plot. Here
are the most significant:
Angel as Neo
1. "Did you know that the First Matrix was designed to be
a perfect human world, where none suffered, where everyone would
be happy? It was a disaster." Quote: Agent Smith - The Matrix
- Last year on ATS, Jasmine tried to make the world a perfect
world, Angel and the Fang Gang stopped that plan.
2. Neo gets a package in the mail while at work - inside the package
is a phone (a phone call from Morpheus), Angel gets the amulet
which contains a noncorporal Spike.
3. Morpheus and others have the ability to enter the Matrix by
hooking themselves into the Matrix computer system. - While Spike
is partially visible in Angel's world, he requires something else
to fully make him corporeal. How he is made corporeal is still
uncertain, however, Lindsey has taken credit for it. When Spike
became corporal, all the phones started ringing.
Note: The Matrix uses the phones to enter and exit the Matrix.
Note: While Spike was being threatened by Pavayne he learns that
"desire bends reality". Desire bending reality is what
Morpheus teaches Neo to do while in the Matrix.
4. At work Neo gets captured by Mr. Smith and interrogated because
he makes a choice not to listen to Morpheus and go out on the
ledge to the building scaffolding. - Angel chooses to work at
W&H even though Spike tells him that working at a place like that
will eventually consume him, getting eating in the belly of the
beast. Angel tells Spike there are reasons he is there, reasons
that Spike does not know about. Spike is willing to help Angel,
but only if he asks for it.
5. Agent Smith plants a bug on Neo during their meeting - someone
at W&H as well as Eve plants 2 parasites on Angel in order to
keep him out of the picture. During Angel's dream he cannot speak
(when trying to sing to Lorne) - similar to Neo loosing his mouth.
6. Trinity removes Neo's bug - Spike removes one of the two parasites
from Angel, the other parasite is MIA. Is Angel still 'bugged'?
7. Morpheus tells Neo he thinks Neo is the "One" - Angel
is wondering whether or not the prophesy is really about him,
whether or not he is the "One". In order to be the "One"
Angel needs to believe he is the "One". Neo went to
the Oracles to discover whether or not he was the one, regardless
of what the Oracle said to him, he was the "One". Angel
has been to the Powers that Be, and right now, he is very distrustful
of anything they have said in the past. Spike, however, is not
interested in being the "One", however Lindsey seems
to want Spike to think he is the "One".
8. After the bug is removed, Morpheus offers Neo the red and blue
pills. The blue pill is the choice to continue living in the world
Neo is familiar and continuing to live the lie - the red pill
is the truth, a choice that will remove him from the Matrix -
in which he will die in the Matrix and be reborn into the real
world. This hasn't been played out yet.
I have this theory, which I posted on another board a while back
called "Wouldn't it be Cool if ME did", and the premises
is on the Matrix. Like, wouldn't it be cool if Angel had entered
a Matrix. If he did, I believe he entered a Matrix back in "Peace
Out" - here's the spec., I have added a bit more to it.
After the Fang Gang get out of the cage at the hotel, they go
upstairs and talk. They then decide, after finding the head of
the 'keeper of the word' that they need to go out and find Angel
and Cordelia before Jasmine does. The scene ends with the entire
gang at the door, opening it up, and in 'shock' face, just standing
there looking at something we don't see.
The next scene is Connor killing Jasmine and then running off.
The next scene is back at the hotel, with Angel coming in and
seeing the Fang Gang. However, in this scene, every single one
of The Fang Gang has changed their clothes and is cleaned up -
different, every one of them, except Angel. This is also the scene
were we see Lilah, back from the dead.
With Lilah in the hotel, and only a short time from when Angel
returns(unless Time is an issue here), why would they all change
clothes and clean up so close to the end of the episode? This
part of the episode was in the middle of the season finale big
bad fight. Also, they were on their way out to find Angel and
Cordelia, and didn't go because Lilah showed up. I'm really not
sure why Lilah's presence would have stopped them from going to
find Angel or Cordelia, especially because they thought both were
in danger, as shocking as seeing a dead person walking may be.......they've
seen stranger things before.
What if, and yes, this is far out speculation, in the first scene,
it wasn't just Lilah at the door. Maybe it was Lilah and a swat
team? I was thinking - Wouldn't it be cool if ME.........replaced
them all. What if, like the Matrix, each of the Fang Gang got
wired into Angel's reality and their real bodies are somewhere
else - removed from the reality that we see. The Fang Gang that
we see now are basically replicas of them, with all their memories
(or lack there off from the mindwipe) and history, but ultimately
controlled by someone else.......puppets. The only difference
between this and the Matrix is that when the Fang Gang have entered
the Matrix, they did so unwillingly and the mainframe computer
is able to effect their minds, they do not have the same 'free
will' Angel has.
Note: They are not robots or cyborgs. They are complete manifestations
of themselves, like the movie: The Matrix.
My next question was 'why' would Lilah do this and how many other
players are involved to pull it off. I think the senior partners
and Lilah have always wanted a 'dark' souled Angel for their coming
apocalypse. Maybe, and I'm guessing here, this scenario is a way
for Angel to loose all his friends (support and connection to
the world), but to also insure that they are holding all the cards.
Whether or not Angel is in a real Matrix will effect him the same
way emotionally- he will either give up completely and stay in
the Matrix unaware of it's existence or become the "One"
and choose the red pill - the awakening to the truth. The whole
'working at W&H' is just a way to further Angel's demise quicker,
and Angel thinking he has his friends (support) with him, would
be just an illusion. Maybe, part of the deal Angel took - to create
a mindwipe and to change Connor's path required him to enter the
Matrix existence. While I'm not sure how this happened or if Angel
is aware of it (most likely not, like Neo), it is possible that
W&H's only way to create a mindwipe and the resulting benefits
is to alter reality in some way, shape or form. Does W&H have
the magic capabilities to create this type of world for Angel
to enter or is their solution more technological? ME's solution
in the past has been a doppagangland type of world thru magic,
however could W&H have other ways of creating the same thing thru
technology? Is the world Angel in currently real or not?
I was thinking, and definitely many 'what ifs' here, but like
Season 4 of BTVS, this scenario would be a great way to separate
Angel from the friends that have held him together all these years
and make it easier for them to turn him dark. Also, if these replacement
Fang Gang members are not really 'real', then Lilah could have
them easily corrupted completely, just to heap loads of guilt
on Angel and make him more miserable. Also, the show could have
a free for all with what they do to any of them this season. Lots
of fun to be had. VampFred, Dark Wes, Evil Gunn, hooked on fame
Lorne. The only exception of course would be death, in the Matrix,
if one dies within the Matrix, they die outside of it. The only
way out is to be awakened.
If Angel can 'wake up' from this world, with Spike's help, maybe
he can un-hook the Fang Gang before they die.......or if he can
convince them to also 'wake up' with him, they can all go together
into a rebirthing - back to reality, however, this last scenario
seems the most unlikely. Most likely, Angel is going to have to
get out first and then re-enter, like Spike to free the others.
There are a couple straggling problems with the Matrix parallel
and ATS. It's like the show wants their cake and eat it to. Most
significantly with Spike - while Spike appears to be playing the
Morpheus role, he is also, on the other hand, being lead by Lindsey
for some other purpose. Morpheus in the Matrix did not have a
Lindsey, per se. Both Lindsey and Eve are also straggling problems,
are they Agent Smith types or is one an Agent and the other a
good guy? How did Lindsey enter the Matrix and in Ep. 12, does
he get sucked out of it thru that portal? That is also unclear
at this time. Some other problems are: the cyborgs that entered
in Lineage (who do they work for), they tried to remove Angel's
free will, that would have kept in the Matrix without choice.
Then we have Cordy, also awakening within the Matrix, but I'm
not sure what her point of waking up is for. She convinces Angel
to stay at W&H, she doesn't convince him to leave - so that
cannot be a good thing. Then Cordy leaves - where does she go?
Does Cordy wake up in the real world or within the Matrix? Is
Cordy alive in the real world or does she continue on in the Matrix?
Lots of questions there.
Anywho, that's my theory. I think this, or some version of this
is going on this season of Angel. For some closing fun, I have
included some more quotes from the movie, The Matrix, that are
Morpheus: The pill you took is part of a trace program. It's designed
to disrupt your input/output carrier signal so we can pinpoint
Neo: What does that mean?
Cypher: It means, buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy, because Kansas
is going bye-bye.
"You cannot bend the spoon - that is impossible. Instead
try to understand the truth." ["What truth?" (Neo)]
"There is no spoon." [Rowan Witt as Spoon Boy]
Agent Smith: We're willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a
fresh start. All that we're asking in return is your cooperation
in bringing a known terrorist to justice.
Neo: Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think
I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger... and
you give me my phone call.
"Some believe that we lacked the programming language to
describe your perfect world, but I believe that, as a species,
human beings define their reality through misery and suffering.
The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept
trying to wake up from."
"What is the Matrix? Control."
"The Matrix is a computer-generated dreamworld built to keep
us under control in order to change a human being into this. (holds
up a coppertop battery) - Morpheus
"Have you ever had a dream Neo, that you were so sure was
"What if you were unable to wake from that dream Neo? How
would you know the difference between the dreamworld and the real
"What is real? How do you define 'real'? If you're talking
about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste
and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by
Morpheus, The Matrix
Neo: That was you on my computer. How did you do that?
Trinity: Right now, all I can tell you is that you're in danger.
I brought you here to warn you.
Neo: About what?
Trinity: They're watching you, Neo.
Neo: Who is?
Trinity: Please just listen. I know why you're here, Neo. I know
what you've been doing... why you hardly sleep, why you live alone,
and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You're looking
for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing.
And when he found me, he told me I wasn't really looking for him.
I was looking for an answer. It's the question that drives us.
It's the question that brought you here. You know the question,
just as I did.
Neo: What is the Matrix?
Trinity: The answer is out there, Neo, and it's looking for you,
and it will find you if you want it to.
[> From Destiny......spoilers -- Rufus, 00:32:06
ANGEL: I really wished you stayed a ghost.
SPIKE: But I didn't, did I? Burned up saving the world, and now
I'm back for real. Wonder why that is? Oh, wait. 'Cause I'm
the one, you git!
I think Lindsey and those backing him (runes, he didn't figure
that stuff out himself) found the perfect way to keep "the
One" from figuring it out, and that is to make him doubt
himself and have someone else hopeful that it's them.
[> [> A Hoax? -- Claudia, 10:39:09 01/27/04 Tue
Is Angel really "the One", simply because he's the titled
character? Is Spike "the One"? Will there actually be
"the One"? And are we being led on some merry chase?
Thinking about "Destiny" has me wonder. It's odd that
you have two souled vampires who each is convinced (at least in
this episode) that he is the vampire of the prophecy who will
Shanshu; and both ended up being tricked by Lindsey and Eve. Is
it possible that the episode, "Destiny", is a reflection
of the fans' current obssession over which vampire will Shanshu?
Or that the whole Shanshu prophecy is nothing but a hoax, like
the Cup of Torment?
Someone - S'kat, I believe - once pointed out that it's strange
that Angel had discovered the Shanshu prophecy, because Lindsey
had hired him to sneak into the Wolfram & Hart offices and recover
some artifact back in S1. Is the Shanshu prophecy a hoax perputrated
by Lindsey back in S1 and continued in S5?
[> [> [> Re: A Hoax? -- Seven, 12:53:03 01/27/04
Wouldn't that be interesting. Let us all remember that W&H CAN'T
BE TRUSTED!!!!! and that the Shanshu prophecy came from Where?
You guesed it, Wolfram and Bloody Hart!! Of course this
is all nonsense.
However, what I am begining to love about this season is that
it can really, and I mean really, go anywhere, and if that somewhere
is half as good as I have imagined, this could very well be the
best ME season to date. I had no idea what they were going to
do after Destiny and now I love where they are going with this.
Ah the tension is killing me!!! Bring on Damage!!!
(oh, and my feverish insanity wins again)
[> [> [> Re: A Hoax? -- undeadenglishpatient,
15:01:18 01/27/04 Tue
I don't think the term "The One" is supposed to be about
the Shanshu prophesy.....I think its just about Angel learning
to believe anything is possible and rejoining the cause. Since
ATS is about Angel, I think the Matrix story line is being used
for his hero's journey, that's all.
I too believe the Shanshu prophesy is irrelivant.
As far as Spike goes, the show tends to use him as nothing more
than to further the show's lead story. Which is horrible, but
as in BTVS, I don't think the writers are going to change that
for him on ATS - unfortunately.
[> [> [> [> It's not an original plot, though -- Pip,
03:38:53 01/28/04 Wed
.....I think its just about Angel learning to believe anything
is possible and rejoining the cause. Since ATS is about Angel,
I think the Matrix story line is being used for his hero's journey,
I'd agree that there are a lot of 'Matrix' jokes and references
in this season of AtS, but I doubt very much that the 'Matrix'
story line is being deliberately copied.
Simply because the Matrix story line isn't original. It's incredibly
old. Person discovers he's prophesied hero, has doubts, overcomes
doubts, changes world. Probably has a wisecracking sidekick and
maybe a wise mentor who he loses halfway through the story. That
particular plot was probably first sung, to the sound of a lyre
;-) I can think of Angel, Matrix and Harry Potter as modern versions.
So the AtS similarities to the Matrix are most likely because
both stories borrow from the same source.
[> [> [> [> [> How about King Henry the IV,
Part I? -- Seven, 08:32:58 01/28/04 Wed
Falstaff would be the sidekick/mentor (ok, not really a mentor)
while Prince Hal discovers his destiny. This is somewhat a stretch,
but the idea is there
[> [> [> [> [> Re: It's not an original plot,
though -- undeadenglishpatient, 12:07:20 01/28/04 Wed
Nor are many of ME's plots. Alot of what they do is borrowed from
I think the possibility of Angel being in some form of Matrix
explains quite a bit of this season, and what is happening to
all of his friends. The recent spoilers have solidfied my opinion,
for what it's worth.....and the phone keeps ringing.......
Angel need to wake up and quickly.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Have you seen 'The Wish',
BtVS Season 3? -- Pip, 14:11:34 01/28/04 Wed
Nor are many of ME's plots. A lot of what they do is borrowed
from other things.
Practically everything , in any dramatic presentation ever, is.
There are only 36 basic plots for a dramatist to use.
For example, 8th December 1998, The Wish (Buffy S3) was aired.
Plot is Cordelia making a wish, which puts her into an alternate
dimension where her wish is reality.
Sound a plausible plot for AtS S5, anyone?
The Matrix was released in 1999, btw. Incidentally, if Joss Whedon
was reading the same science fiction magazines I was (around the
late 70's, this would be) then he was certainly reading about
the idea that the world we live in is actually a computer constructed
reality. There were endless short stories based around that idea,
with variations on 'hero breaks free into post-apocalyptic real
world and has to save all other enthralled humans'/ 'hero breaks
free but system kills him'/ 'hero in a final twist is actually
in 23rd Century mental institution and is acting out his need
to be a hero.'
Hey, didn't that last plot get used in Buffy as well? JW obviously
did read the same magazines I did ...
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Have you seen
'The Wish', BtVS Season 3? -- undeadenglishpatient, 16:57:18
Regarding: Sound a plausible plot for AtS S5, anyone?
That's what I'm trying to say........somebody slipped Angel the
'blue' pill.......and put him into the Matrix. Call it a 'wish'
reality, alternate dimension, a matrix,.....whatever......I think
Angel is somewhere else.
I'm about 99% sure.
Watch tonight's episode.......mention of the 'blue' stuff is mentioned.
Almost every episode this season has reference to the matrix......it
all started with the cookie.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> If Angel is
somewhere else, can he get back without killing Spike? (Speculation)
-- Pip, 14:45:52 01/29/04 Thu
If Angel is 'somewhere else' (possible), then Spike is only alive
(ish) in the 'somewhere else' reality.
Because the amulet only seems to have been returned to Angel because
Angel agreed to take over Wolfram and Hart. Without that agreement,
it's plausible that Spike would still be under hundreds of feet
Certainly make an interesting end of Season 5. Almost an exact
counterpoint to Season 4. Angel 'saved' Connor by making a devil's
deal; he can reverse that deal (if it turns out to have as bad
effect on the A-team as it's looking to have ), but only by 'damming'
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: If
Angel is somewhere else, can he get back without killing Spike?
(Speculation) -- undeadenglishpatient, 18:38:52 01/29/04 Thu
I think Angel did get the amulet before he left, however, I'm
not sure Joss would make that part of the deal.....it was necessary
to the closing of the hellmouth, not just for Spike's re-creation.
It isn't necessary to include that.
All Angel needs to do, is get out of where he is.....and of course,
take Spike with him. Then, all he has to deal with is Connor.
For example, if W&H sent Angel to a hell dimension.....he just
needs to find some portal to get out. If Connor was sent to the
same place, he needs to take Connor with him out as well. That
will fix everything and he won't be W&H's pawn anymore.
Angel made a deal with W&H, I just don't think he knows what
kind of deal he made. Is W&H capable of mindwiping the real world
- do they have that amount of power? If they did, they surely
would have used it before now. Or did they simply 'remove' the
problem (Angel) to one of their other less pleasant dimensional
offices, where they have total control over him?
| More January 2004