July 2002 posts

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VampOZ? -- Big McBad, 21:14:44 07/25/02 Thu

If OZ were vamped would he still be a werewolf?

To reverse that question; can a vamp become a werewolf?

Just how dangerous would a combo vamp/werewolf be on the full moon?

I heard that it is unlikely that OZ will be back on show, but what do you think would happen if OZ came back to Sunnydayle as a Vamp? Basically asking for a one paragraph fanfic.

[> Umm...I'm sure it could happen... -- Rob, 22:30:24 07/25/02 Thu

...After all, a werewolf is not a demon, so I don't see why a vamp couldn't bite a werewolf on one of his or her 28-29 human days of the month. I don't know whether a human already turned into a demon (like Anya) could be turned into a vamp, because it's already a demon. But every day but the full moon nights, werewolves are fully human, normal people.

I would assume, though, that, on the full moon, the wolf thing would override whether it was a vamp or not. Not sure if vamp powers would play a factor and make a werewolf stronger, b/c human powers (weak obviously) have no bearing on the werewolf powers, so I don't know if vamp powers would either. The werewolf thing, I think, just overrides whatever is normal for that person's body. Although perhaps the demon spirit would make for a more dangerous werewolf...Hmmm...


[> Re: VampOZ? -- Lyonors, 08:10:58 07/26/02 Fri

Interesting you ponder this question. I was playing my Buffy the Board Game the other night,(no I am not a _total_ buffy merchandising victim) and the directions say that Oz cannot become sired as a vampire because his werewolf blood protects him. Now....whether or not this is true, one can only guess, but its a theory.


[> [> Precedent -- Arethusa, 08:23:32 07/26/02 Fri

In "The Dark Age," Angel's vampire demon was able to prevent Eyghon from possessing him. Either some demons are stronger than others, or possession is nine-tenths of the law.

[> [> [> Re: ROTFL! -- LittleBit, 08:27:47 07/26/02 Fri

Are you planning to challenge the Master of Pun Fu? ;-)

[> [> [> Yup, that makes more sense than my idea. -- Rob, 08:33:33 07/26/02 Fri

[> [> [> Re: Precedent -- KKC, 09:59:40 07/26/02 Fri

As said before, a werewolf isn't a demon. More to the point, a werewolf is mortal... So therefore, unless the corpse of a werewolf changes state with the moon, it's not likely that a werewolf killed and turned by a vampire would retain those characteristics after 'death.'

Speaking of precedents, Cain the bounty hunter stated that he killed werewolves for their pelts, which implies that werewolves stay in their present mystical state (or human state) after death.

Hm, that raises an interesting point... What happens if the werewolf is turned while he or she is in wolf mode? Would the newly risen vampire stay a wolf forever? I don't know if it's possible for animals to be turned in the Buffyverse, although in other fiction it's certainly common enough.

-KKC, goofing off at work.

[> [> Is that protection before or after his cousin bit him? -- VampRiley, 10:35:42 07/26/02 Fri

Do the rules allow for OZ to be played as a non-werewolf human and a werewolf?

If he can be played as a non-werewolf human, then, there may be something to the genetic predisposition theory.

But, if not, then that really cuts down on our speculation.

I would think that at this moment, that if that part of the game could also be used as canon, it would seem to indicate that pure humans can only be turned into vampires. Demons couldn't because they're not, or are only partly, human. We've also seem humans that could be considered to be mutated humans that can also be vamps, those with psychic powers, like Drusilla. But, there has never been a clear explaination as to whether or not Dru's powers are genetic or mystical in origin. Whichever one it is, it shows that there is a difference in the humans that can be turned. Her powers set her apart from humans, like Liam.

I'm guessing that drinking the blood by the vamp isn't necessary, just having the human die from blood loss and a vamp's blood in his digestive track before then. Maybe draining a human's body of most of the blood would be enough. But, that would be a waste of blood for the vamp. So, they drink it. Somehow, the blood in the human's digestive system can sense when the body has died. Then, it goes to work, altering the human.

Since having the human die from a blood loss is required, I also guessing that if a human who had ingested a vamp's blood, it wouldn't have any effect.

If this is all true, then, I wouldn't think that a vamp could become a werewolf since a vampire isn't a human. They may have an altered human body, but it's still not human.


[> [> [> About the whole sucking thing... -- Rob, 12:21:27 07/26/02 Fri

...Actually, according to Anne Rice mythology, the thing that changes the human into a vampire is drinking a mix of his/her own blood, mixed with the vampire blood. That is why a vamp must drink from a human, and the human must then drink from that vamp--the two bloods, mingled, is what creates the metaphysical change. I get the feeling that this is the case on "Buffy," too. Can't cite any specific examples from the episodes at the moment to back this up...but I think that it's the most logical explanation for why the vamp sucks your blood, you suck his blood ritual is the way it is.


[> A 2-D Angle on the Same Topic -- cjl, 09:40:15 07/26/02 Fri

Does anybody remember the cartoon series based on the Ghostbusters movies?

In one episode, our paranormal hunters visited an isolated town which had been taken over by a visiting nest of vampires. The residents had all been imprisoned, and from their jail cells, they begged the GB team to free them so they could see the light of the moon. Our boys did their hero bit, only to realize too late that the townspeople were werewolves, and they'd relesed them on the night of the FULL moon. The werewolves started to battle tooth and claw with the vampires to retake their town, and Egon Spengler (the Harold Ramis character in the movies) suddenly got a sinking feeling.

(Dialogue not exact, but a close approximation.)

EGON: We have to get out of here immediately.
PETER VENKMAN: No kidding.
EGON: You don't understand, Peter. Things are about to get WORSE.
PETER: Worse? How could they possibly get worse?
EGON: Peter, what happens when a vampire bites somebody?
PETER: They...become a vampire.
EGON: And what happens when a werewolf bites someone?
PETER: They become a werewolf. (It sinks in.) Oh.

[The four ghostbusters run for their car and peel out as fast as possible. In the middle of the fracas, the vampires start growing werewolf-like snouts and fur, and the werewolves sprout bat wings.]

Upon departure, our heroes take out the only bridge leading into town, leaving the town completely surrounded by water, trapping the wolf/vamp hybrids.

Anybody really want to see Seth Green loaded down with both vampire and werewolf make-up? (Do we want to punish him for leaving the series that badly?)

[> [> Marshmellow Madness! -- Big McBad, 13:26:59 07/26/02 Fri


That was not fanfic, but it was very funny:)

I have never heard of the Ghostbusters cartoon; thanks. I loved the movies. One of the most ridiculous scenes ever in entertainment was the twenty story marshmellow man hell-bent on destroying New York... IMO;)

[> Re: warewolves -- Purple Tulip, 10:14:04 07/26/02 Fri

What I've wondered is why we have not seen any other warewolves other than Oz and Veruca---I mean, I'm sure that others have to exist, right? Are they running wild somewhere else? Ok, I think I need to start a new post here, got some questions.

[> Couldn't happen... -- ZachsMind, 15:51:23 07/26/02 Fri

In order to turn someone, a vampire has to suck a victim to NEAR death & then get the victim to drink from the vampire. It's kinda like drowning someone and then convincing them to take your hand so you can pull them out of the pool. A werewolf of Oz's level (turning not at phases of the moon anymore but due to emotional intensity) would morph into a werewolf long before a vampire could drain him dry, then pull away from the embrace, probably throwing the vamp across the room in the process.

[> [> In some mythologies, it very definitely did... -- KdS, 05:11:44 07/27/02 Sat

I'm afraid I can't give any direct sources, but I understand that in Eastern European regions where both werewolf and vampire legends coexisted, werewolves were believed to automatically become vampires on their death - the whole blood-drinking thing. Hence those suspected of being werewolves were often staked prior to burial as a precaution.

BtW, I sometmies wonder why we've never seen precautionary staking of corpses in the Buffyverse, in cases like Fordham. Maybe it's considered too macabre for the audience (not to mention potentially making Reunion a very short episode).

Bogus foreshadowing in "Restless" -- KdS, 05:07:09 07/26/02 Fri

I was watching "Restless" a few days ago, and noticed that there seem to be quite a few lines and images that seem to suggest an imminent death for Xander:

In Willow's dream, on the obvious level, Xander is seen on stage apparently playing a corpse. On a metaphorical level, one wonders why the play is titled "Death of a Salesman" when it bears no apparent connection to the Arthur Miller play. Looking back over Season 4, almost all of Xander's abortive jobs involved retail in one form or another (bar work, energy bars, ice cream man). Was the dead salesman intended to be Xander?

In Xander's own dream, there is Principal Kurtz's "sacrificial stone" speech, and Xander's dad announcing "The line ends here". Moreover, Xander is confronted with a second version of himself. In Germanic legend, to see an apparition of oneself, or doppelganger, is regarded as a death omen.

In Giles's dream, Xander is the only Scooby seen visibly wounded.

In Buffy's dream, she sees Xander walking away from her to a higher level, and is unable to catch up to him (the only time a core Scooby appears in her dream).

Of course, we can't assume that Xander's demise isn't still planned (please, no Season 7 spoilers if you know any), but I have to wonder if this was all misdirection for Buffy's death in the next season. ME have admitted deliberately planting fake spoilers through the rumour mill, but can anybody else think of similar active misdirection in the show itself?

[> Re: Bogus foreshadowing in "Restless" -- KKC, 07:55:03 07/26/02 Fri

Well, in Tarot the Death card doesn't signify death specifically, but a change in state. The way I interpreted all the dialogue directed at Xander in that episode, I thought that the various influences in his life were telling him that it was time to grow up and take responsibility. Yes, the salesman died, but only so that the competent and confident carpenter we see in 'I Was Made to Love You' could eventually appear. It wasn't time for Xander to die yet, but it was definitely time for him to get another life.

Or maybe I'm overanalyzing Restless and it doesn't really mean anything. What do you think, Jung or Nietzche? :)

-KKC, preparing for a lunch at Dave & Busters by stretching and drinking lots of water...

[> My Bogus interpretation of "Restless" -- ZachsMind, 11:30:25 07/26/02 Fri

Someday I'm gonna finish my full-blown essay on this topic. There's just so much to cover with that one episode it's staggering. Regarding Xander, all references to his 'death' are not about a physical death, but a change in his character, which comes about in seasons five & six.

XANDER: I'm awake. I'm good. Did I miss anything? (Looks at Willow, who's still asleep and twitching)
GILES: (eating popcorn) Not very much at all really.
BUFFY: (eating popcorn) Bunch of massacring.

Xander's often out of the loop when it comes to fighting. He also often feels inadequate compared to those around him, and three steps behind. This inadequacy can be seen throughout the series, but particularly during "The Replacement," "The Zeppo," and "Fear Itself." Worse than dead, Xander often feels like he's a ghost. That he doesn't matter. People are seeing through him.

XANDER: Well, thanks for making me have to pee. (Gets up)
BUFFY: You don't need any help with that, right?
XANDER: (heading for stairs) Got a system.

His 'system' or strategy in life is constantly being in motion. However, his friends have moved forward in college, leaving Xander standing still. Throughout his dream, it's all about moving forward. Keeping oneself a moving target, yet going in circles and never getting anywhere. It's not that he fears death. Xander has proven he is not afraid of death. Again I cite "The Zeppo" and also his confrontation with Dark Willow this last season. Death doesn't scare him, so long as his death has meaning. So long as his life has meaning. His greatest fear is fading away without having contributed to humanity in a meaningful way. Ironically, he's already contributed by breathing life back into Buffy in "Prophecy Girl" in the end of the first season. And he also brought Willow back from the brink of death in this past season. Xander's already proven his worth, to everyone but himself. He can't see it. That's why he goes in circles.

He looks up at the door leading out of his basement bedroom in his dream and he says, "that's not the way out." Well of course that's the way out. However, metaphorically he means he can't leave where he is and go be where his PARENTS are. He doesn't want to become his father. This is also why he eventually left Anya at the altar: fear of becoming his father.

The ice cream truck indicates his inadequacies in the workforce. The dream Spike says that Giles is going to make him a Watcher. Xander says, "That's good. I was into that for a while but, I got other stuff goin' on. You gotta have something. Gotta be with movin' forward."

However, when Xander's in the ice cream truck, he's not really going anywhere. The scenery is blatantly fake. He spends more time talking with Anya than driving, and when Will & Tara distract him, Anya takes over driving with emphatic gestures that indicate no forward momentum either. Then we see Xander climb back into the truck looking for Will & Tara, but eventually he finds himself right back where he was. Surely odd jobs are not with the moving forward.

Now at the end of season five, while all the other Scoobies were confronting Glory and attacking her in a planned series of diversions, Xander was hanging back with a what? A wrecking ball, which he aimed at Glory and hit her straight on. This was a harbinger of what was to come for Xander. Until then he's always been the first one in the fray and the first one to get thrown across the room. This time he was used to his best effectiveness: operating heavy machinery. Now? He's a construction worker, and a rather successful one at that.

In Tarot cards the "death" card doesn't mean.. *makes gagging noises*. It means CHANGE. We've witnessed the death of an immature Xander and the birth of a more responsible and effective Xander. He still has one more hurdle to jump, and that's the fear of being his father. Also note that in the "Restless" dream it was when Xander faced his father head on that he got his heart ripped out and almost died.

Again, a harbinger of what is to come. But literal death? No. I do not get that from "Restless." It's a metaphorical death for Xander: a CHANGE.

[> [> A big "he's nailed the sucker!" for ZM -- cjl, 11:47:17 07/26/02 Fri

I also think...hope...that when Xander's dream father tells him he's the end of the line, it means Xander will break the Harris cycle of abuse.

[> [> [> Thanks. =) -- ZachsMind, 18:14:50 07/26/02 Fri

[> [> [> Re: A big "he's nailed the sucker!" for ZM -- aliera, 18:21:12 07/26/02 Fri

Nice post Zach's mind. Death: the end of something that has been lived out, transformation, new beginning to follow. The death card requires a period of mourning, coin to be paid to Hades. Without the coin, there is no change, no new beginning. This sounds like the period after the cancelled wedding leading to Xander on the cliff with Willow? Without heavy machinery, just himself.

[> [> [> [> Thanks all -- KdS, 04:31:27 07/27/02 Sat

Yep, the death -as-rebirth thing works for me. I really like cjl's hopeful spin on the "end of the line" as well.

[> One small addition -- Caesar Augustus, 06:10:29 07/27/02 Sat

To me the themes of Death of a Salesman is more important than simply a reference to the title itself. In one sense, it's about a man who feels he is utterly useless. His life is pointless. And this of course relates to Xander's insecurities ...

[> [> Is that why it's got a cowboy in it? -- Darby, 14:11:57 07/27/02 Sat

'Cause Xander's sure got his share of cowboy in 'im, and so did Riley...

[> death in dreams -- Can I be Anne?, 15:57:33 07/28/02 Sun

Death, in the Jungian tradition of dream interpretation, does not prophecise(sp?) literal death. It often represents a tremendous need for change. Xander's dream seemed to be full of his symbolic stagnation and his constant desire to move forward and away from it. To do so he had to "die"; the old Xander had to be killed before a mature new self could emerge.
I hope this is helpful.

[> [> requested spelling -- anom, 21:15:05 07/28/02 Sun

"Prophesy" is the verb (& "prophecy" is the noun).

[> New information: was it really bogus? (Spoilers--sort of--for S5) -- cjl, 10:48:58 07/29/02 Mon

I'm not sure if this is real, but I picked up a rumor from the BC&S site about Joss' plans for a SERIES-ending S5 that might clear up the mystery of the "bogus" death imagery in Xander's dream.

According to the item (thanks to Bunnyphobia if she's out there), Joss was unsure whether the WB was going to renew after S5, and planned the season as the last one, with hints provided in "Restless." In Joss' more cataclysmic "The Gift," Sunnydale would have been sucked into Hell, with Buffy rescuing her friends and Dawn before going down with the ship. A lot of us knew that already. But there's another, more startling aspect to this AU S5: in Joss' original plan, Glory's mortal vessel wasn't Ben...

It was XANDER.

That would explain a lot. The reference to Xander being born to mongrels, and doomed to die on a sacrifical slab takes on terrifying new dimensions when you think about Ben's eventual fate. Can you imagine Giles strangling Xander as part of the finale?

Apparently, with renewal on either UPN or the WB a sure thing, Joss later toned down both plotlines to leave a door open for S6.

Wow. Gives you chills just thinking about it.

[> [> I'm sure Joss could've made that work, but... -- Rob, 20:09:08 07/30/02 Tue

I'm glad he didn't

(a) because that would have just been too sad. I couldn't have handled it. I just couldn't! Way too depressing a finale.

(b) That would have necessitated a lot of Xander-being-away- from-the-SG time. How many times could he be absent from the Gang when Glory shows up without any audience members putting two and two together? The good thing about Ben was he wasn't on-screen all the time. It wasn't an every day situation, where every episode, they'd have to orchestrate when Xander would be gone, when Glory would show up, etc.

Yeah, I'm glad Glory shared a body with Ben and not Xander. Seeing Xander in a dress would create too much of an ick factor, also.


Anya's new job (mild S6/7 spoilers) -- KKC, 08:05:24 07/26/02 Fri

So, Buffy may have a new job at Sunnydale High as season seven opens. With the magic shop in ruins, could Anya get a job there too? This morning I was struck with the image of Anyanka as a European history teacher. Given that she's lived through a good bit of it, she's in a position to know this information and pass it on to the student body at large. On the other hand, having seen some of it firsthand might make her viewpoint significantly different from the 'official' versions of history... I imagine her take on the Greek civil war would be really interesting, and she'd probably have to hold back from identifying which historical figures were not quite human.

Just a random thought. All we need is Willow the guidance counselor and Xander the security guard and they can cover up any slaying activity on campus that they like. :)

-KKC, who thinks the 'new job' schtick gets way overused in American drama...

[> Re: Anya's new job (mild S6/7 spoilers) -- Purple Tulip, 08:27:10 07/26/02 Fri

That would be really funny---but Anya doesn't have a teaching degree, so realistically, she wouldn't be able to be hired as a teacher. However, Halfrek was posing as a guidance counceler, so I guess things are a little bit different for a vengeance demon. Who knows? Maybe the entire Scooby Gang will be employed by the newly rebuilt Sunnydale High!

[> [> It's a way they could work around the degree problem... -- ZachsMind, 15:43:03 07/26/02 Fri

Anya could whip up her own documents claiming she's a trained ..well, anything. Provided it's to assist a scorned woman. Same with her teleportation power. She can only teleport TO MEET a scorned woman. It's why she couldn't teleport Andrew & Jonathan away from Willow, but she could teleport to the prison because that's where Willow was going. And she had a few minutes to try and convince the policeman to release them. THAT's how her power works.

So if the writers came up with a way to explain why Anya would need ALL the Scoobies as students, perhaps because the new principal is a scorned woman and she wants the Scoobies to help her improve the woman's life or fulfill her desires.. It's a stretch but from a writing standpoint it is very plausible. Then even Buffy could get a job as a teacher, provided Anya needed her help.

[> [> [> Anya's teleporting ability -- Dochawk, 21:59:36 07/26/02 Fri

Anya could teleport anywhere she wanted to go (ie from Giles to Buffy and back, no case can be made for Giles being a scorned women. She just could take the virgins with her.

[> [> [> [> Re: Anya's teleporting ability umm that was couldn't -- Dochawk, 22:01:01 07/26/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Anya's teleporting ability umm that was couldn't -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:43:58 07/27/02 Sat

I got the impression that Anya can teleport wherever she wants to, but she can't take other people or things with her (hence leading Buffy and Xander to Dark Willow and Warren on foot instead of teleportation). Yes, her clothes go along, but I think it works that same way that vampires' clothes turn to dust with them. It counts as part of their self.

[> Re: Anya's new job (mild S6/7 spoilers) -- SpikeMom, 08:39:18 07/26/02 Fri

I see Anya as more the administrative type - perhaps as the school secretary, or maybe the attendance secretary. She could call the parents of truant students and lecture them on the importance of education in a capitalistic society. Then again, given her propensity for profit, maybe the school could hire her as a fundraiser. Imagine her in charge of next year's band candy!

[> [> Re: Anya's new job (mild S6/7 spoilers) -- leslie, 15:22:25 07/26/02 Fri

Are you nuts? Principal or nothing! (And I somehow suspect that D'Hoffryn must be able to manufacture acceptable credentials for his agents....)

Though I think Hallie really had the right tack--guidance counselor/vengence demon--it's a match made in hell. Or at least Arashmahar.

The Council, Warewolves, the Hellmouth...and Spike of course! (a little spoiler-one small tiny one) -- Purple Tulip, 10:51:33 07/26/02 Fri

Responding to the vamp Oz post below got me thinking about a few things. First I'm going to start with the Council---now perhaps I've missed this, as I am a relatively new Buffy fan and have had to catch-up on the past few seasons via FX, but has the Council ever really been explained fully? I mean, maybe I'm the only one who is still baffled by this group of people. For one, are they all British? It seems to me that they are, as Giles, Gwendelyn, and Wesley all are, but are there Watchers somewhere else? And who is the head of the Council? How are they appointed? Has there been a Council as long as there has been a slayer? And there is really only one Watcher at a time, as there is only one slayer (usually), so what does the rest of the council do? And how do they decide what Watcher gets what slayer? Too many questions! And going with the whole British thing, and the dream sequence in "Restless", I really have to wonder if Spike is going to take on a more Watcher-esque role next season. I know we're all waiting to see exactly what effect the soul is going to have on him. And I've written before about the whole "back to the beginning" theme and how I think that Spike may start to be a Giles prodigy---and if this does happen, is it possible that the Council could come back, recognize all that Spike has done to try and be a good "man", and offer him some sort of redemption, give him his life back, or even add him to the council? Maybe I'm reaching a bit on that one, but I really think that what we saw in "Restless" is meant to give us a hint of where Spike will ultimately end up. I personally would be up for it.

Ok, onto my next topic: warewolves, inspired by the post down below. Not too much has really been addressed about these creatures. We know they're not demons, right? So what exactly are they? Just some sort of hybrid? And the whole "can a warewolf also be a vampire" thing also interests me. And where exactly did these warewolves come from? Have they been around as long as vampires and slayers? And there must be warewolves in places other than Sunnydale. So why haven't we seen more of them?

Which leads me to my next thought: The Hellmouth. Ok, so we have a Hellmouth in Sunnydale, right? Is that the only one? Is there one some place else? Is there one that we just don't know about? And if there was another one, who would be keeping watch over it to make sure that nothing happened? Because that is the reason that Buffy went to Sunnydale, right? To guard the Hellmouth and the citizens of Sunnydale? Maybe this has already been explained (it probably has) but I'm still kinda new and may have missed a few things. If this stuff hasn't been addressed and anyone has any theories or speculation on the subject, I'd love to hear it. Give me responses!!!! I thrive on others' ideas:)

[> Re: The Council,Warewolves, the Hellmouth and Spike of course! (a little spoiler-one small tiny one) -- Deeva, 11:19:51 07/26/02 Fri

I just wanted to quickly pointout that you can find some of the answers to your questions here:

The Council, Watchers & Werewolves

[> [> Re: Thanks.... -- Purple Tulip, 12:52:13 07/26/02 Fri

....that answered a lot of my questions! I actually haven't searched this site as thuroughly as I probably should have, or else I could have answered my own questions. But I knew that this was the place to come if I had any type of questions about anything in the Buffyverse. Sometimes there's just so much info and philosophical insight here that it's just too much for my head to handle! Once again, you people cease to amaze me!!!!

[> [> [> Oh, ooooo -- VampRiley, 14:19:02 07/26/02 Fri

We have stopped from amazing Purple Tulip. We are in deep trouble.

[He walks off giggling insanely.]


[> [> [> [> Re: huh? -- PT, 23:04:31 07/26/02 Fri

are you making fun of me? 'cause I was trying to give you guys a compliment here---maybe it came out wrong, but I just meant that I'm always impressed by the posters here and how much everyone knows- not that you've all stopped "amazing" me.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: huh? -- LittleBit, 01:38:29 07/27/02 Sat

We appreciate the compliment...it was just that you wrote that we cease to amaze you instead of that we never cease to amaze you.

[> As for hellmouths... -- VR, 11:56:07 07/26/02 Fri

While it has never been stated specifically, there is the implication that the Sunnydale hellmouth is not the only on earth. It has been referenced by Snyder in season 2, I think, as being "...a hellmouth."

Buffy came to Sunnydale to coincide with the prophecy about The Master rising. There has been speculation by us as to the Mayor having a hand in getting her there, but that's all it's been -- just speculation.

It is very possible that there are others that exist that are safeguarding the other hellmouths, however many there are.

As for your other questions, there has been some explainations and other implications in the show. There has also been explainations in the comics Fray and Tales of the Slayer. But, as to whether or not these are canon is subject to speculation since Joss and on one else have said that these two comics and their mythology should be considered as canon.

[> [> Just confirming.. -- redcat, 15:14:44 07/26/02 Fri

Scene below from The Wish confirms VR. All quotes thanks to Psyche.

Giles [on the phone]: Yes, I understand, but it's imperative that I see her. Here.
(listens) Well... when will you? (listens) Yeah, well, you are her
Watcher. I'd expect her to at least check in to... (listens) Yes, I'm
aware that there's a great deal of demonic activity in Cleveland.
(listens) It... Well, it happens, you know, that, that Sunnydale is on a
Hellmouth. (listens) It, it is so! (listens) Well... Just... Just give
her the message, if you ever see her again. (hangs up)

[> [> [> Fray as Canon -- AngelVSAngelus, 23:02:46 07/26/02 Fri

I'd assume Fray is canon, simply because its written by Joss Whedon. I wouldn't imagine him writing a comic book property set within the same Buffyverse that's not supposed ot bear any correlation to the show.

two fingers -- isis, 14:56:12 07/26/02 Fri

In the doldrums of the summer, I thought I'd de-lurk for a minute and ask a question that everyone but me seems to know the answer to.
In the opening sequence of the show there is a shot of Spike tied to a chair-but I get the sense of it being post-chip- and he holds up two fingers. What do the two fingers mean?
I know-not earth shattering. Just curious.

[> Well,in North America,we say the same thing by holding up our middle finger.. -- AurraSing, 15:08:38 07/26/02 Fri

..obviously the censors had NO idea what it means.

[> [> ohhhhhh...... -- isis, 15:16:20 07/26/02 Fri

in the UK they say the same thing with two???? (or is it a UK reference?) I'd never heard this before. Thanks, it fits! That silly Spike...evil, ya know

[> [> [> Re: ohhhhhh...... -- Sharpetoo, 16:28:05 07/26/02 Fri

Its a reference to the 100 years war against the French. English longbowmen were extremely effective. The French king theatened to cut off the drawing fingers of any captured archer. The response was Crecy, Pontiers and Agincourt... and two fingers.

The WWII V for victory was also two fingers. English people tend to have long memories.

[> [> [> [> I believe that's a popular myth, and not the actual origin -- Rahael, 16:32:32 07/26/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> ok-now I'm confused -- isis, 17:05:39 07/26/02 Fri

The threat of losing two fingers was then reduced to one finger as a show of disrespect? interesting

Does someone know which episode the shot is from, and in what context Spike is giving his "two fingers"? I knew about the V for victory-but which is Spike using here??

[> [> [> [> [> I did a quick search at www.urbanlegends.com -- Rahael, 17:11:01 07/26/02 Fri


You might find this helpful.

The Agincourt thing is just romantic history.

[> [> [> [> [> [> thanks -- isis, 17:31:02 07/26/02 Fri

Thanks- I just checked out the site. Gotta love the learnin'. I never knew about the palm-in v. palm-out significance. Thanks again.

Still looking for the episode and context clues.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Isn't the episode "Pangs"? Can't recall the context. -- mundusmundi, 17:34:40 07/26/02 Fri

Though I'm fairly certain it had nothing to do with salutes.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> No, it's in Hush -- agent156, 18:02:34 07/26/02 Fri

It's in Hush when Xander first realizes he can't talk. He turns toward Spike and mouths an accusation at him, to which Spike responds by giving him that gesture.

And thank you people for pointing out what that gesture means. I never knew either.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: No, it's in Hush -- yabyumpan, 00:10:21 07/27/02 Sat

To bring this thread down to my level, using the 2 finger gesture in the UK, in the way Spike did means one thing: F*** off ! It may have origins in historical usage but if someone gestured to you in the way Spike did you would not think he meant victory or was worried about having his fingers cut off ! Our boy Spike was just being very rude :- )

[> [> [> [> Re: That's the way I learned it too... -- Purple Tulip, 22:57:57 07/26/02 Fri

...from my drama teacher in high school. One day we were all sitting around, and somehow we got talking about origins of things, and she told us about the origin of the middle finger thing---accept that she said that the reason they held up their middle fingers was in an act of defiance, to show that the King hadn't gotten to them, that they were not defeated. I don't know how accurate that is, and I don't know about the two finger thing, as I am not British, but that's just how I learned it. She also told uf the origin of the "F" word, but I forgot that one. ;)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: That's the way I learned it too... -- redcat, 09:53:08 07/27/02 Sat

As for your last comment (on the "F" word), you were probably told that it comes from an acronym, either Fornication
Under Consent of the King, or For Under Carnal Knowledge, both commonly repeated but mistaken origins. In fact, the
word comes down to us in English through the rather more usual way, passed from one language to another, misheard,
misspelled and incorporated into daily speech in each regional dialect until it became the word we all know and love today.
It probably has a very early Indo-European origin, although the Old Germanic root form is the likely source of its sexual
connotations. For more information, go to the Urban Legends Reference page at:


...just a bit of Saturday morning etymological fun, folks!

[> [> [> [> [> [> The thing I love about this legend -- d'Herblay, 14:05:35 07/27/02 Sat

The thing I love about this acronym legend is that the Germanic fuck was a part of English long before the French/Latinate carnal and consent. Of course, people were a lot more loathe to write fuck, so records of its evolution are spotty.

[> [> [> [> My source for this is Desmond Morris -- Can I be Anne?, 16:47:10 07/28/02 Sun

The two fingers up gesture is a sign for victory when the palm side faces out. When the back of the hand faces out, that is the insulting gesture dating back from the 100 years war. If I remember correctly, Spike has his palm facing in. The video archivists among us may want to confirm this.

[> Re: two fingers -- Cactus Watcher, 17:55:33 07/26/02 Fri

The scene is from Hush. Xander has silently been accusing Spike of taking his voice away. Spike holds up two fingers to indicate 'Me, too,' that he, too had lost his voice.

[> [> Re:sorry, Cactus Watcher -- isis, 18:34:26 07/26/02 Fri

my fellow desert dweller (check out the clouds to the south at the moment) I tend to agree that he's giving the UK two finger salute. Sounds more Spike's style IMHO

[> [> [> At least it sounds like Joss' style -- CW, 21:57:02 07/26/02 Fri

Most of us in the US never heard of that gesture. Spike has been in and out of this country for quite a while, so he probably has a decent handle on that kind of custom here. Is it really Spike's style to insult someone without them knowing about it? He never seemed cautious about being abusive when he could talk. Have to give Joss an 'A' for clever, but a 'D' for communicating for that moment.

[> [> [> [> Re: At least it sounds like Joss' style -- Arya_Stark, 22:23:10 07/26/02 Fri

I thought that it was more known than it seems to be. My friends and I are all long-time fans of British TV, especially British comedy (Monty Python, Young Ones, Red Dwarf) and I seem to remember that gesture from all of the above. I learned it in high school along with assorted curses in foreign languages. Never really used any of them (darn goody-two-shoes am I), although, I have occasionally used that gesture in a mostly sarcastic manner. I assume that because it is less well known in the US, it will cause less offence when I use it.

It is definately something I would expect Spike to both know and use.

[> [> [> [> Hmmmm . . . -- d'Herblay, 23:23:01 07/26/02 Fri

Seems to me that Spike all the time calls people "poofter," "ponce," "pillock," etc., without ever once providing the target of his insult a Berlitz manual. At least he remains tender to Buffy and uses the easily understood "bitch."

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Hmmmm . . . -- CW, 04:48:41 07/27/02 Sat

True, but I can't remember a time when he used one of those words when it didn't sound insulting in context. With the right intonation you can make any word or nonsense word sound insulting. The person doesn't have to know the particulars to know they've been insulted. I have to say that at least to me, that scene in Hush always looked like Spike was trying to explain through gestures that Xander wasn't the only one who'd lost his voice. Spike is definitely frustrated that Xander is blaming him without noticing he's in the same boat. It seems to me (and maybe I wasn't watching close enough) that he starts looking really disgusted with Xander only after the gesture, as Xander continues his silent rant.

[> My assumption -- Darby, 19:22:02 07/26/02 Fri

I always thought that it amounted to "2 words," which I figured would have been Spike's response in a non-Standards & Practices world... I have a friend who uses a 2-word response pretty reflexively any time I kid him (or remind him how much time I get off during the year).

...and which kinda amounts to the spirit of the gesture everybody else is talking about...

[> Here's a picture -- Maroon Lagoon, 00:21:46 07/27/02 Sat

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid19/pd60880afb6583e7 83f15cc4997eb3e7b/fdc52bcf.jpg.orig.jpg

[> [> Re: Here's a picture -- redcat, 09:59:28 07/27/02 Sat

Taking a look at the picture, all I can say is, gosh, I guess JM was using the sock long before Gone, eh??

[> It means "f*** off". End of story. -- Caesar Augustus, 04:15:38 07/27/02 Sat

[> [> Re: Palm back is f*** off, palm forward is "victory" -- the English KdS, 04:26:21 07/27/02 Sat

[> [> [> Spike's is palm back (and palm forward means 'peace', not 'victory') -- Caesar Augustus, 05:43:42 07/27/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> Peace, victory and insults -- KdS, 04:52:39 07/29/02 Mon

Yes, I know Spike's was palm back, but I thought some people who posted earlier needed to know the difference.

The palm forward version was popularised during World War II by Winston Churchill as part of the "V for Victory" propaganda campaign. (On occasion, when visiting the frontline, he would give the palm-forward version to his own troops and then turn and give the palm-back version in the direction of Germany). So far as I'm aware, the American "peace sign" developed in the 60s and began as a concious pacifist subversion of the "victory" sense.

[> It Means "Up Yours" -- Majin Gojira, 05:18:34 07/27/02 Sat

one can do it with either the first, or the first and second fingers - the two being a little more 'painful' than the single finger.

at least, that's how it is in Austrailia

[> Re: It was meant as an insult -- Miss Edith, 10:05:58 07/27/02 Sat

I am sure I have read interviews with Joss gloating about getting British swear words past the American censers. Spike was frustrated with Xander and thought he was an idiot for trying to call Buffy. But when Xander mouthed "you did this" Spike's response was most definately the British version of f**k off. It is seen a lot over here (especially when you are cut off by another driver). Spike was not giving Xander the peace sign. All British viewers clearly got what Spike was trying to communicate. Take it from a British person, there was no ambiguity in the message Spike was sending.

[> Question for those In The Know, UK-wise -- Darby, 16:38:52 07/27/02 Sat

There seems to be a consensus that it's a British variant of what here would be a single-finger gesture. Here, Spike making a single-finger gesture would never be allowed as a shot in the weekly credits (or even the single time in Hush), but the "salute" as is gets through - is it part of the opening sequence in England?

[> [> Yes -- Rahael, 16:50:02 07/27/02 Sat

and I don't think that it's that unusual for such a gesture to be shown as part of a drama, if it's in character and so on.

[> [> [> Re: Yes -- Miss Edith, 06:08:25 07/28/02 Sun

I think it was cut in Hush when the episode was shown. But in season 5 they loosened up and included it as part of the credits. Propably didn't know how to avoid it as they still cut words like bitch in No Place Like Home when Buffy and Spike argued.
I was watching Graham Norton recently and was really surprised when Dustin Hoffmann(sp?) said they weren't allowed to swaer on American tv. I think we're a little bit more relaxed over here. The problem is Buffy is shown before the watershed. Once it's 9pm you can pretty much show whay you like on tv including the tv on American HBO like The Sopranos with words like c**t. But Buffy is shown at 6:45PM as it is thought to be a teen drama.

[> [> [> [> Re: Yes -- Rahael, 07:16:47 07/28/02 Sun

We are more relaxed. I know a lot was made of Beth's lesbian kiss in Brookside many years ago, but it was still a soap, and prime time.

Just an aside - she ended up dead too! Though it was a kind of muted death - she died in prison, after being found guilty of murdering her abusive father.

Examining the Three Plot Arcs of Season Six (S6 spoilery) -- ZachsMind, 18:06:54 07/26/02 Fri

Imagine that the Buffy series is actually a series of books. Each season represents the events described in one tome of a series of books you could pick up at a bookstore or a library. There's the status quo established in the first few episodes, a series of events that are rising actions leading to the climactic moment. After the climax we get to the denouement which is "the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work," also known as the 'falling action' leading to the end of a given book. The final pages that paint in the mind's eye the moment when we as readers say goodbye to the characters is the Tableau. In any novel there are several plots going at once. Usually a main plot and then several subplots, but sometimes there's more than one primary character & each primary character gets their own plot arc, each taking turns taking precedence or 'center stage' in the storytelling until we reach a conclusion.

Now, in the case of Buffy, there are three main characters in season six: Buffy, Xander and Willow. The other characters are supporting roles for these three. Spike sort of breaks this a bit since his character is so prominent and erratic, but stay with me here. There's also a number of subplots going on like The Trio for example, which affect the major three plot arcs, but they take a backseat most of the time to the three main plot arcs which are of the most importance to the overall story.

There were three romantic relationships going simultaneously throughout season six. Buffy & Spike, Xander & Anya, and Willow & Tara. From a writing standpoint, the focus is not on how Spike or Anya or Tara are affected by this relationship. In each case the focus is (or rather should be, and again the Buffy writers kinda lost sight of this with regards to Spike) how the Big Three main characters are affected by their respective relationship, and then how each relationship affects the others. Like a bunch of balls in a lottery machine bouncing back and forth against each other. Throw in balls that represent the subplots and you have a big mess. Which is what makes watching so much fun. =)

In the case of Xander & Anya the climax of the plot arc for season six was when Xander walked out on the wedding. It was pretty cut & dried. However, some could argue the point of greatest intensity was when Anya tried to get Xander's friends to wish something ill of him. I wouldn't. I'd call that falling action, leading to the end of this season, which is the end of the 'book.' In the final tableau Anya is with Giles & Xander is with Willow. Notice that both Anya & Xander are SUPPORTING another in the final tableau. Though separate, they've both grown from their experience together, enough to help others through a dark time.

For Buffy & Spike their plot arc culminated when Buffy called Spike "William" and walked away. She had been fighting with the conflict of being with Spike, the truth had finally come out (well at least Riley saw it) and she made her decision and lived with the consequences. She would no longer continue their relationship. Everything else after that was falling action. Some would argue that the climax was the attempted rape. Again, I'd say that was falling action because it had to do with what Spike (the supporting character in that arc) did in reaction to Buffy's decision. Then leading to the denouement (Spike getting his soul back) which again was all Spike & not Buffy. The climax for Buffy was the end of their tryst. Yes that can be argued but again I say it's because the writers treat Spike as an erratic variable in the equation, to keep things interesting. Still I insist the story wasn't about Spike but about Buffy. It's her darn show after all.

Then comes Will & Tara. Now in saying all this, I am not intending to start a flame war. Please be openminded as you read this and count to ten before you start typing a response. *big hug* Yes it has been said repeatedly that many feel the fact that Willow & Tara had just spent the previous evening together prior to Warren's infraction with a loaded phallic symbol tasted of homophobia. That's been said to death.

Amber Benson has said in interviews that Whedon warned her at least a season ahead of time that eventually he was going to kill off Tara. So the events leading up to Tara's death were premeditated: meaning Whedon did it on purpose, for some reason we may not completely yet know. Some believe they do know, but I think this is being looked at in the wrong light.

The culmination of the plot arc for Willow was not when Tara got shot. That was falling action. I could argue that it actually had nothing to do with their relationship. It was a random element that writers throw in to keep things interesting. To keep us reading. Or.. watching, or whatever.

The climactic moment for their plot arc was when Tara approached Willow in their bedroom the night before, explained that she understood Willow was trying to go cold turkey, trying to make the right choice, and Tara just wanted to love Willow again. They chose to be together. After all the rising action where Tara & Willow argued, then Tara left because the magic was too great, then Willow tried to fill the emptiness of no Tara with Amy, and then Rack, and then even Dawn leading to almost killing Dawn in the car crash, then Willow going cold turkey. ALL THAT was rising action which led to Willow making her decision to be finished with magic & Tara making her decision to just run into Willow's arms and hold on tight and never let go.

This is not an admonishment of lesbian love. This is a celebration of it. That unconditional love conquers all, and that is ECHOED in the final scenes between Xander & Willow. Unconditional love breaks the barriers of grief and revenge and pain.

When Joss Whedon wrote in that Will & Tara spend their last night together on Earth in one another's arms, it's not so that he can say bad things about homosexuality. It's like if you have a dog you love & the dog finally gets a trick right that you've been training him to do for months and he does it right finally and you give him a cookie and pet him and love on him and you're happy & the dog's happy and then the dog runs out into the street and gets run over by a car -- the dog didn't die cuz you taught him a trick and he didn't die because of the cookie. He died because sometimes dogs run out in the street and get hit by cars. It's sad and it's terrible but sometimes these things happen. It doesn't mean people shouldn't keep dogs.

But what if the lesson you were trying to teach the dog was to not go out and get run over by a car? What if you thought the dog learned but all the dog learned was if I do such and such NOW I get a treat, but that the dog doesn't think the lesson applies after he's gotten his treat?

Yes, in this metaphor, Willow is the dog. Tara is the treat. Life or Fate or the gods or THE God or whatever floats your boat was trying to teach Willow something important. Magic is not a toy. It's a responsibility. It's something that should not be taken lightly. Willow almost learned this lesson and she paid dearly in learning it the hard way. Her 'treat' for learning this lesson was to spend one more night in the arms of her greatest love. Not forever. We never get forever. Willow got one more night that she wouldn't have gotten if she hadn't learned that lesson, because Tara would never had returned unless Willow went cold turkey and Willow knew that.

Then Warren shot Tara. A senseless act that had nothing to do with the previous plot arc. Warren was out to kill Buffy. Tara just happened to be within range. This was falling action. Willow freaking out and going back on her cold turkey status in remorse and grief and revenge and pain. ALL THAT was falling action. NOT a climactic moment. In fact with that action she effectively wiped the entire past season. All that Willow had gone through and she didn't learn the lesson, because she didn't learn it RIGHT. You do selfish things with magic, it's gonna bounce back at you three fold. Had she properly learned the lesson she wouldn't have lashed out with magic. However, what Willow learned was "If I stop using magic NOW I'll get Tara back. I'll get my treat." Tara was the ONLY thing keeping Willow from using magic, which is kinda like putting a feather up against a dam that's about to burst and thinking you fixed the problem.

The points I described above, where Buffy walks away from Spike, where Xander walks away from Anya, and where Willow & Tara come together, those are the climactic moments of the season six plot arcs. Everything after those moments was falling action -- results from the consequences of all their actions leading up to that point. The consequences that they were to suffer for what had gone on before, in order to see the overall story reach its logical conclusion. In Xander's case, he was resolved to accept it. In Buffy's case, she too was resolved to accept where the chips were going to fall. However, Willow was not willing or able or even ready to accept the end results of all that had come before, which is why she lashed out while Xander & Buffy kept their cool.

But Xander had enough cool, because he's the guy who said back in the episode The Zeppo: "I like the quiet." He had enough courage and fortitude inside him to keep it together for himself and for Willow, and that is what led us to our tableau. Our last page. Xander consoling Willow and being with her no matter what, because unconditional love conquers all.

I really don't understand it when people say season six was a depressing season. When you look at it right, it was a triumphant season. All that crap that life has thrown at these three main characters, and they're still kicking! That's just amazing! I'm so looking forward to reading the first chapter of Buffy Book Seven. =)

[> The turning points -- lulabel, 20:53:08 07/26/02 Fri

I liked your analysis here, it's a nice way to package a gloriously messy season. I do have a quibble (of course) in that you start off by stating that there are 3 main plot arcs centered on Buffy, Willow and Xander, but then proceed to define those plots almost entirely in terms of their relationships with their significant others. I agree about those 3 characters being the foci of the main storylines, but I see their romantic partners as more peripheral, as means for driving the story forward.

In this sense, I actually saw the climax of Willow's storyline as the final scene in Wrecked after she almost got Dawn killed and recognized finally that she had a serious problem and asked for help. That was her big "grow up" moment - everything after that was a progression of her recovery, of re-claiming her life, including her eventual reconciliation with Tara.

In a similar vein, I have two possible candidates for Buffy's moment. I agree with you that the break-up scene with Spike in As You Were was a definite turning point were she took back control of her life. I'd also argue that there is a strong case for Buffy's chosing the Sunnyhell universe versus Asylum universe in Normal Again as the pivotal moment in her story arc. I think the strongest point in favor of the latter is the gravity of the choice being made - she is literally chosing which life she will live, not just who she's sleeping with.

I'm not trying to be nit-picky, I like your ideas a lot (especially the dog and treat analogies - funny and sad at the same time). I just have a slightly different take on which were THE critical turning points.

[> Can you do the same for Angel? -- lulabel, 20:55:43 07/26/02 Fri

I don't know if you are an Angel-watcher -if so, I'd be interested in a similar analysis of season 3 Angel.

[> Re: Examining the Three Plot Arcs of Season Six (S6 spoilery) -- Rob, 22:12:23 07/26/02 Fri

Very good...I would modify though in the area that Tara's death was totally random. If we look back to "Bargaining," we see Willow kill and carve the heart out of a fawn, in order to bring Buffy back to life, and then call on extremely dark forces. In "Seeing Red" Tara is shot through the heart, as well. I saw this as cosmic retribution for messing with Mother Nature. Willow did something unnatural-- bringing Buffy back to life--and murdered a living creature as part of this ritual, and in order to restore the balance, her true love is taken away from her.

Now, I'm not saying that Warren consciously did this, but whatever forces rule the Buffyverse had a hand in this, albeit it an indirect one. All of Willow's actions, one could argue, lead to this moment. If Willow hadn't brought Buffy back to life, Warren never would have tried to kill Buffy, and Tara would not have been shot accidentally by him. If Tara hadn't gone back to Willow and forgiven her, she would be alive today, as well. So, directly or indirectly, Willow also had a hand in the events that lead up to Tara's death.

I think, though, it's very important to understand that Willow was, in some way, being punished for her mistreatment of her powers--whether it was all a coincidence or some mystical Powers That Be worked it out so it happened this way. Tara was as much the sacrificial lamb as the poor fawn from the beginning of the season.


[> [> Well put Rob. There's a large deal of irony in it though ... -- Caesar Augustus, 04:10:14 07/27/02 Sat

Tara was also a sacrificial lamb for the full development of the themes running through Willow's character.

I've also noted a big sense of irony running through the 'cosmic retribution' various characters have received. Tara's death is indeed cosmic retribution for Willow's magic messing-with-the-natural-order-of-things overindulgence, and yet the result of this is for her to mess with things on an even greater, more devastating scale!

The whole Anya/Xander breakup was really because of Xander's problems. But there too there is an important acknowledgement of cosmic retribution, since Stewart Burns, a representative of Anya's evil past, precipitates it. Here again is that the result of this is to lead Anya to take up her powers again! And it is partly only "lucky" that she doesn't start on a path of causing atrocities again.

So I can only wonder at cosmic retribution when by trying to etach the perpetrator a lesson, it causes them (or almost causes them) to start perpetrating all over again. Reminds one a lot of Angelus's 'happiness clause', doesn't it?

[> [> [> Good points -- Rahael, 05:09:22 07/27/02 Sat

[> [> [> Re: Well put Rob. There's a large deal of irony in it though ... -- Rob, 08:30:00 07/27/02 Sat

"So I can only wonder at cosmic retribution when by trying to etach the perpetrator a lesson, it causes them (or almost causes them) to start perpetrating all over again. Reminds one a lot of Angelus's 'happiness clause', doesn't it?"

I love that quote of yours! I completely agree with you. Perhaps the fact that even "cosmic retribution" doesn't bring about justice, but, instead, the exact opposite of the intended effect, is meant to comment on the fact that no revenge or retribution is just, whether it be enacted by a human or enacted cosmically. Revenge never works out the way it was meant.


[> [> Re: Examining the Three Plot Arcs of Season Six (S6 spoilery) -- Malandanza, 14:42:04 07/27/02 Sat

"If we look back to "Bargaining," we see Willow kill and carve the heart out of a fawn, in order to bring Buffy back to life, and then call on extremely dark forces. In "Seeing Red" Tara is shot through the heart, as well. I saw this as cosmic retribution for messing with Mother Nature. Willow did something unnatural--bringing Buffy back to life--and murdered a living creature as part of this ritual, and in order to restore the balance, her true love is taken away from her."

First, a quote from Innocence:

JENNY: I'm sorry, Rupert. Angel was supposed to pay for what he did to my people.

BUFFY: And me? What was I supposed to be paying for?

So I ask, what was Tara supposed to be paying for? I don't the Buffyverse as big on cosmic retribution -- good people (like Buffy) spend far too much of their time suffering, while evil creatures (like Spike) are rewarded for their antisocial behavior. If Tara's death was the PTB demanding payment for Willow's attempts to mess with the natural order of things, then I'm afraid Willow ended the season with a greater karmic debt than she had incurred in Bargaining -- trying to destroy the world is a pretty big thing to balance.

Furthermore, if we accept that Tara's death was foreordained from the moment will cut the heart from the deer, it absolves Warren and the boys of much of their guilt, making Willow's torture/murder of Warren that much harder to justify. Sentenced by the fates, she kills the hapless instrument of fate. And it took a full season before the debt was collected -- why not just demand payment on delivery of Buffy? Finally, if they really had wanted to punish Willow, while allow her that final night with Tara to make her peace? Why not kill her off and add an additional layer of guilt (as ME did back in Season Five, Tara got brainsucked immediately after a fight with Willow -- if she hadn't recovered, Willow would have had to carry the knowledge that their last meeting had been rather bitter)?

[> [> [> Re: Examining the Three Plot Arcs of Season Six (S6 spoilery) -- Rob, 22:10:17 07/27/02 Sat

"So I ask, what was Tara supposed to be paying for?"

The answer? Absolutely nothing. Tara was the scapegoat--the sacrificial lamb--like the fawn, completely innocent and completely undeserving of death. Willow took one fawn's life, and so a "fawn" was taken from her in return.

"I don't the Buffyverse as big on cosmic retribution -- good people (like Buffy) spend far too much of their time suffering, while evil creatures (like Spike) are rewarded for their antisocial behavior. If Tara's death was the PTB demanding payment for Willow's attempts to mess with the natural order of things, then I'm afraid Willow ended the season with a greater karmic debt than she had incurred in Bargaining -- trying to destroy the world is a pretty big thing to balance."

In response to this, I will point you to Caesar Augustus' reply to my post:

"I've also noted a big sense of irony running through the 'cosmic retribution' various characters have received. Tara's death is indeed cosmic retribution for Willow's magic messing-with-the-natural-order-of-things overindulgence, and yet the result of this is for her to mess with things on an even greater, more devastating scale!

"The whole Anya/Xander breakup was really because of Xander's problems. But there too there is an important acknowledgement of cosmic retribution, since Stewart Burns, a representative of Anya's evil past, precipitates it. Here again is that the result of this is to lead Anya to take up her powers again! And it is partly only "lucky" that she doesn't start on a path of causing atrocities again.

"So I can only wonder at cosmic retribution when by trying to etach the perpetrator a lesson, it causes them (or almost causes them) to start perpetrating all over again. Reminds one a lot of Angelus's 'happiness clause', doesn't it?

I replied in turn:

"I love that quote of yours! I completely agree with you. Perhaps the fact that even "cosmic retribution" doesn't bring about justice, but, instead, the exact opposite of the intended effect, is meant to comment on the fact that no revenge or retribution is just, whether it be enacted by a human or enacted cosmically. Revenge never works out the way it was meant."

And I believe that answers that section of your argument.

"Furthermore, if we accept that Tara's death was foreordained from the moment will cut the heart from the deer, it absolves Warren and the boys of much of their guilt, making Willow's torture/murder of Warren that much harder to justify. Sentenced by the fates, she kills the hapless instrument of fate."

I don't agree with this at all. Yes, I believe Tara was fated to die for Willow's actions. But I do not think the method by which she would be taken from Willow was set in stone. Warren made all of his own decisions: Warren decided to try to take over Sunnydale, Warren decided to turn his girlfriend into a sex slave, Warren decided to kill her, Warren decided to ditch his other two compatriots, Warren decided to try to kill Buffy, Warren shot the gun--Warren is completely 100% guilty. Now the fates or TPTB, or whoever rules the Buffyverse, may have had a hand in where that stray bullet ended up landing (namely, Tara's heart) but that doesn't absolve Warren. He shot the gun. Just because Oedipus was fated to kill his father and marry his mother did not make him any less guilty of the crimes he ended up committing.

Further, I don't think it's any coincidence that at the end of "Seeing Red," once again we find Buffy and Tara are linked. They are both at the brink of death. The lives and deaths of these two women are shown to be inextricably linked. As the fawn's death in "Bargaining" coincides with Buffy's resurrection, so does Tara's death here, as Buffy again rises from, this time, a near-death. Also consider this--had Buffy not come back to life, Tara would not have died. Tara died as a result of Warren attempting to kill Buffy. Buffy's life and Tara's death, again, are shown to be cosmically linked.

"And it took a full season before the debt was collected -- why not just demand payment on delivery of Buffy?"

Because the season would be too damn short then! For the more serious answer--as usual, the Fates of the Buffyverse love seeing people think their lives have returned to normal and then bite them in the rear when they least expect it. Which explains your next argument--

" Finally, if they really had wanted to punish Willow, while allow her that final night with Tara to make her peace? Why not kill her off and add an additional layer of guilt (as ME did back in Season Five, Tara got brainsucked immediately after a fight with Willow -- if she hadn't recovered, Willow would have had to carry the knowledge that their last meeting had been rather bitter)?"

Willow was yes still in love with Tara, but she was not a couple with her anymore. If Tara had died then, yes, Willow would have been heartbroken, but it would not have had the same impact as this. Willow would have had guilt that Tara died and she hadn't had a chance to reconcile with her...but that wouldn't be true revenge. True revenge is what happened- -After a year of struggle and pain, lull Willow into a false sense of happiness. Make her think she's succeeded in kicking the magic habit. Make her think Tara is back, and everything will be perfect once again, and her life will be happy forever. And then, just when her life is completely back on track, take that away from her in an instant.

Caesar Augustus mentioned Angelus' curse earlier, and it bears repeating. The gypsy's curse wanted Angel to always be in pain. If he ever found true happiness, he would lose his soul again. What would be the effect of that? Obviously, duh, evil again...death...chaos...murder for more people. But the people who cursed him didn't care about preventing death to others, but only of denying Angel pleasure and happiness for the rest of his existence.

The cosmic retribution against Willow did more harm than good--yes, that's true--but it's not unprecedented on the show, and as I said before, is meant, I believe, to make a specific statement about revenge in general. Each time one person avenges another, it escalates the hatred and the evil more and more.

Never said the universe was smart in its workings. But it does demand respect. And Willow broke the rules, and paid dearly.


[> [> [> [> What was Tara supposed to be paying for? -- Just George, 00:15:48 07/28/02 Sun

I think that Tara's life was the price the SG paid for bringing Buffy back. However, the price was paid indirectly. And Tara was complicit in the payment. All quotes from Bargaining, Part 1 All quotes from Bargaining, Part 1 via Psyche and Joan the English Chick's transcript:

Willow: Guys, I need you on board here.
Xander: It's just. . . It feels wrong.
Tara: It is wrong. It's against all the laws of nature, and practically impossible to do, but it's what we agreed to. If- if you guys are changing your minds . . .
Willow: Nobody's changing their minds. Period.

Tara knew bringing Buffy back was wrong. She was the only member of the SG with the combination of a strong moral compass and extensive knowledge of magic. Tara even told everyone it was wrong. But, she loved Willow and liked Buffy. I believe Tara went through with the spell mostly to please Willow. After Tara agrees to do the spell, the first stage in the payment was Willow sacrificing the fawn:

Willow: Accept our humble gratitude for your offering. In death. . . you give life. May you find wings to the kingdom.

The fawn's death gives life. An innocent life is lost to bring back another who is less innocent:

Willow: Osiris! Here lies the warrior of the people. Let her cross over.

And who is the most innocent of the SC? Tara.

Some fans have questioned the extreme randomness of Warren's final shot, "the charm," that killed Tara. Warren couldn't have made that shot if he was aiming to do it. But Warren wasn't aiming the shot, the PTB were. To close the karmic cycle. To make Tara pay for allowing the resurrection spell to go forward when she knew it was wrong. And to make Willow and the rest of the SG pay for getting Buffy back. As Spike said in Afterlife:

Spike: That's the thing about magic. There's always consequences. Always.

Especially in a Jossverse.

[> [> [> [> [> Great stuff, Just George! -- Rob, 13:44:34 07/28/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> One minor point... -- OnM, 19:12:21 07/28/02 Sun

*** But Warren wasn't aiming the shot, the PTB were. To close the karmic cycle. To make Tara pay for allowing the resurrection spell to go forward when she knew it was wrong. And to make Willow and the rest of the SG pay for getting Buffy back. ***

As many of you know, I also support he idea that Tara's death was 'the price' paid by Willow for resurrecting Buffy, but I don't ascribe the exacting of that price to the PTB, or as a kind of 'karmic balance'. Willow called on some of the darkest (read: most evil) magical forces in the universe to bring Buffy back. These would then logically be the same forces that exact the price of the dearest thing in the world to the caster of the spell-- Willow.

The writers appear to have left this point deliberately ambiguous, because when Willow attempts to resurrect Tara, the demon visage declares that 'it cannot be done because the death was the work of humans' and not mystical in nature.

This could be, but it sounds to me more like a mobster boss covering his tracks by ordering a hit and getting someone else to be the fall guy for the job if he gets caught. I assume that the forces of darkness don't really have a problem with lying. To admit that the death had a mystical overtone could invite the ability to resurrect Tara-- and then, where's the price?

By the way, I liked the reference to the 'cosmic linkage' of Buffy and Tara-- didn't catch that before, but it certainly fits in well, and is consistant with other times when these two women have interacted.

[> [> [> A bit of an alternate viewpoint. -- Caesar Augustus, 00:27:20 07/28/02 Sun

Hopefully this post won't offend anyone - it comes from a very peculiar religious/philosphical standpoint (that isn't actually my own), but anyway ...

One could argue that Tara wasn't punished. She suffered no pain ("look, your shirt.") and died in a state of extreme happiness. One could go so far as to say she was blessed, but that's bound to be misinterpreted. But Tara did not suffer! There was no pain, despite a season full of pain coming up excruciatingly for every single character. Willow's heart was torn asunder and she had to deal with the painful consequences - but Tara's journey had ended and ended in a blissful state. Some philosophies think that such a blissful state would continue eternally in the afterlife. Anyway, the point is, without knowing much about afterlife in the Buffyverse, one can only speculate. If Tara went to a heaven dimension, where she felt everyone she loved was safe, it isn't really a punishment - it's sort of like a reward, and would fit in quite well with her entirely benevolent speech at the end of 'Entropy'. Of course those left on earth to mourn for her are getting paid big time for their transgressions ...

Anyway, just a very alternate pov to mention ...

[> Minor Character Climaxes... Some S7 Speculation -- Wizardman, 00:10:21 07/27/02 Sat

Wow. First of all, great essay. I don't know if I'd label the romances as the main plotlines of the season, but they have as good a claim as any of the others- and more than most... If I follow your reasoning, and I will, it may well turn out to be somewhat ironic that the relationships which ended in a split could eventually be the happy ones. And as for the subplots... the 'other' characters- Anya, Tara, and Spike- have their own climaxes through the show. The AR in SR was definitely Spike's climax. IMVHO, Tara's was also the W/T reconciliation. Anya's... I'm guessing that it was her having sex with Spike. The return to Demonness was major, and it would be the climax, except that it occured off- screen. Her attempts to have the other ladies help her curse Xander was big, but inconclusive as nothing happened to Xander at all. The sex caused Xander to cool off about wanting to get back together- he expected yelling and angry words, and he accepted them with nothing angry said in return, but he didn't expect Anya having sex with the person that he arguably hates the most (Tangent thought- this is proof that Xander actually DOES learn. Compare his treatment of Anya in most of SR to his treatment of Cordelia in most of post- "Lovers Walk" S3. He treated Cordy a lot worse and for much less reason). The comparison makes me wonder- where do these events fall into the greater plotlines which run through the entire series? I guess that we'll find out when the show ends- may that not be for a long time yet!

[> Trying to end the world part of denouement. Ummm, I'm not so sure. -- Caesar Augustus, 06:08:00 07/27/02 Sat

I'd largely agree with what you say about s6 as an isolated season. But when one thinks about BtVS as an extremely long book, the cycles are much longer. And I would consider Willow flaying Warren / trying to destroy the world as the climax of her character development, with the denouement to come in s7.

BTW, I really liked your Restless post way down below somewhere.

[> The fun of the Board. -- Darby, 06:30:22 07/27/02 Sat

I'm reading along, thinking that almost any kind of literary structure can be drawn over an entire season, and I'm not sure this one entirely works, and I'm not at all sure that, given the structure, I would put the labels anywhere near where ZM has them, and it hits me that this is why I'm here scanning threads almost every day: these other perspectives force me to look at the material in new and challenging ways over and over.

And you may be onto something here - has this sort of thing happened in other seasons? Have they tried to build a set of structured arcs individually around a bunch of the main characters (and I would argue that Spike and Anya's stories have just as much a 3-act structure as the 3 you mention. Hell, even Giles does, in a weird way, but Spike and Anya's changes are significant if unresolved. Does Dawn-? See, once you get into something structural and simple, almost all events can be stretched to follow it)? Maybe this was too many balls to be juggling (and no, I don't see the Hell's Bells scene as metaphorical...or is it?) in a single intertwined arc.

Sorry. I'm working on a textbook and continually invoking the logic of, "It doesn't really fit these either-or boundaries in the real world, but science requires labels and this is what you need to understand from an introductory level." I'm starting to see everything in that context, and I may have developed a reflexive "anti" reaction. Gotta work on that...

[> Re: Re-Examining Season Six (S6 spoilery) -- aliera, 08:02:56 07/27/02 Sat

Thanks ZM, another interesting essay to start the day. Thank you for posting it, I never cease to be amazed at how people can write these things. You made some good points points about the relationships as a focus, something for various reasons I hadn't thought about too much.

I've been a subscriber to the belief that we are actually in the middle of a two season arc, although we do have within this yet unfinished tale a number of smaller mini-arcs going on and in a sense Buffy's story is a long. long arc. This two season arc was a theory that came up last spring as the later spoilers were released and helped me make sense of the action (or lack of action) of this year. Joss actually alluded to this in a post-season interview, saying that it was a departure from his usual wrap-everything-up methodology. The focus of season six was primarily internal and lacking the more typical external demons to fight. This was critically important as it was the season that the main characters realized the real demons are within themselves.

It does strike a chord about growing up. In highschool, it seems as if the problems are with the world, outside of myself. Later we realize we are the world and problems lie within ourselves. This is not to ignore the fact that we are affected by the world and the people around us, in fact these are very important as you pointed out. But rather to say that we control our choices and that makes the world what it is (as we saw this season.)

The relationships did seem to me to be the method through which each character came to a sort of realization about themselves, the energy that powered the system this season culminating I thought in Entropy. All three were in relationships before coming to an understanding of their own dark sides. As in life, this rarely leads to good things.

Xander finally recognized that he had really not dealt with his problems (as noted in the posts below, he's all about the movement, he has a system! All very typical when you think if you just follow a set of rules it will all work out). He finally realizes that his "system" may not be the answer and he's unwilling to perpetuate these problems in a marriage with Anya. I have to wonder though if he would have made the same decision at the graveyard without having to question himself first. There were other factors for him also in this questioning, Entropy, his realizations about Buffy and Willow and his helplessness in the woods. It's just my feeling, but I think it took all of these things together to bring about his awakening.

The use of the woods in both Bargaining and Villians/TTG is also important as many of the settings were. Traditionally, going into to the woods is an allusion again to going inside and meeting up with our demons or making the quest for ourselves. In keeping with the theme of the season, the demon in this case was one of us, Willow. It is also interesting that Anya provides a guide function again as she does somewhat in other parts of the season along with Tara and Spike.

Willow seems (based on what happened in SR/Villians)to have chosen to deal with her problems primarily for external reasons. Tara was a major one; but, we have to remember that she failed in Tabula Rasa even with the ultimatum and did only ask for help after Wrecked. Initial success was negated and typically the second fall was to greater depths after her love was brutally taken from her. But to try to change yourself for aother people, as we were reminded, to not usually lead to success.

The fawn is important in the way it was used both as a symbol of her loss of innocence, consciously chosen, she knew what spell she was performing and hid it from the gang. The particular spell in question was I believe also consciously chosen. It is one for the calling of an angel and would have been perverted in the worst way by her use. Further, although as others noted again above drawing exact consequences to actions is sometimes difficult in the Buffyverse. Anya, Tara and Spike all tell us of the wrongness of bringing Buffy back and that there are consequences; Anya tells the demon they created wasn't the consequence and this turns out to be true. If there universe follows any rules of balance at all this would have been upset by the fawns death and Buffy's rebirth. The demon that visits Willow in Villians refers to the natural order which I think also was consciously chosen and this has a better feel than exact consequences. The magic has consquences but not an exact payback system.

I think a strong case has also been made in the past by other posters that Buffy's return and the season long ensuing problems were also a consequence. The scoobs focus in the summer would have been on fighting demons and Buffy's return. There own concerns once again on the back burner; they were able to avoid thinking about them. Once this was achieved and without the emergence of external big bads, the focus turned to the internal issues.

Buffy has already been dealt with pretty well by other posters. The relationship with Spike was definitely a part of her journey this season. But isn't it interesting that the bond she forges at the end is with Dawn not a romantic one. For me her journey this season was about coming back from the grave and recommiting herself to her friends and family and her calling. Even if she doesn't understand why she's back.

Like lulabel, I don't usually tend to focus on the romantic relationships as a primary arc. I like to see the characters as individuals. But, this season with it's internal focus made the relationships more important and they can be a way in which we come to understand ourselves. It also pointed out the dangers of relationships before we are grown (are we ever?) and bad relationships (at least according to the writers.)

There is also a point I haven't seen mentioned that Dawn seems to play apart in these realizations. Dawn was instrumental in the action of Wrecked. We are reminded of her glowy roots in the finale by Willow...and others here have wondered what effects could this be having on the Buffyverse? It is in conversation with Dawn that Xander berates his own helplessness and of course it is Dawn in the grave with Buffy when Buffy finally comes fully back to life.

As we leave the season, we have Spike reborn and transformed (to what is still a mystery), Tara (I believe) transformed, Xander perhaps not transformed but to a truer realization of self (where did all that energy go? Hope this isn't one of the hanging threads.) Anya transformed back to vengeance demon, which is possibly a reassumption of her power? Willow like Xander given the gift of being loved for herself not her power, will possibly now also learn to deal with her magicks and problems. Dawn being allowed to be a part of the action and be herself, to grow up. And Buffy finally crawling out of her grave not to a hell; but hopefully the real world, which she has this time consciously chosen to protect.

[> [> Excellent post and analysis! Agree with all your pts. -- shadowkat, 10:11:20 07/27/02 Sat

I think you're right it is a two season arc. Just as Season 4 and Season 5 felt like two season arcs. As opposed to 1-3 which worked as a three season arc.

I also believe the point of Season 6 was to somehow internally transform seven characters. And they accomplished that.

We have Giles return sans glasses, confidently using magic and acting in a father/authority role - a role he hasn't chosen for quite some time.

We have Willow becoming dark Willow finally - then learning she can be loved unconditionally by Xander not for her magic but herself.

We have Buffy crawling out of her grave and discovering life is not hellish and worth living.

We have Dawn defending herself no longer being stuck in the corner and saved.

We have Xander finally standing up to his fears, no longer running away.

Anya as a vengeance demon pushes away vengeance and tries to stop Willow, to help.

Spike seeks his soul and becomes transformed.

Tara dies and goes on to the next level?

And it doesn't stop there:

Warren has his skin ripped off and he is revealed as not the BB or the evil but just a weak pathetic schmoo.

Jonathan discovers he has to grow up and is responsible for these actions.

Andrew realizes Warren was using him all along. (I think).

Wonderful post aliera.

Spike/Willow Journey Part IV: Handling Rejection Intro(X/Cecily/Cordy etc.) -- shadowkat, 09:40:49 07/27/02 Sat

Spike/Willow Journey Part IV: Handling Rejection (Xander, Cecily, Cordy, etc)

(Quotes are from Psyche Transcripts. Spoilers Through Season 6)
(* note: Four part essay – will try to post all in one thread, assuming voy doesn’t kick me out)

“Sticks and Stones will break my bones! But words will never hurt me!” Goes the old children’s rhyme. Apparently whoever created this rhyme never heard of the old adage the “pen is mightier than the sword?”

Words can crucify us. Any one who has posted an essay, a fanfic or just a post on the internet knows this to be true. I just finished reading a portion of the February archive of the ATP board and one poor poster, named Lupe, who had written a brilliant post on OAFA, was slammed by someone named “monkeypants” who indicated her post was meaningless drivel. Luckily several long-term posters rushed to her defense and she lived to post another day. But let’s face it – we’ve all been slammed. At least on the internet we can hide behind pseudonyms. No one knows what we look like. (Well, they know what I look like because people have posted my picture to the ATP posting board. Teach me to calmly pose for pictures. Note to self, next time see camera? Run! Okay now watch as everyone starts frantically hunting for my picture in the archives, assuming of course it’s not still on the board or Masq hasn’t posted it to some gallery...so much for the secret identity.) Anyway, most of us remain unknown. Our identities hidden behind a fake name. But the fake name doesn’t protect us from pain. Our words are our babies; we are inextricably attached to them. So when someone cruelly slashes them, it feels as if they are slashing at us. We forget that it’s all subjective, we don’t know the slasher, we haven’t met them, in most cases we don’t even know their real name, and if we wish, we can ignore their post, in fact we can ignore all their future posts. Their words can’t hurt us.

Wrong. They do hurt. But that’s not what interests me. Of course being rejected hurts. Is there anyone here who can honestly tell me it doesn’t? And we get rejected all the time. Just walking outside and interacting with the world can result in rejection. It’s how we choose to deal with this rejection that is interesting. The possibilities are endless.

In the Stephen King novel “Carrie”, which was later made into a Brian De Palma movie of the same name, Carrie deals with rejection by attempting to destroy everyone around her. In her defense, she suffers quite a bit of rejection before she explodes. Her mother rejects her, her friends tease her horribly, she has pig’s blood dumped on her head. By the end of the book/movie the audience is actually sort of rooting for her. Carrie’s male counterpart is the Heathcliff in the Emily Bronte class “Wuthering Heights”, Heathcliff has also been horribly rejected. A wild gypsy boy – he has been taken in by a landowner, whose family abuses and rejects Heathcliff. Heathcliff falls for the man’s daughter, only to have her reject his love for a neighboring landowner. Heathcliff is “beneath her”. A wild child. A commoner. Enraged, Heathcliff takes off for the town, makes his fortune and returns with the sole purpose of destroying those who rejected him. Like Cathy and Carrie’s friends, we often make our own monsters.

But wait, is it really Carrie’s friends and her mother’s fault that she chooses to go berserk or Heathcliff’s adopted family and lady love’s fault that he chooses to destroy them?
They could have chosen to handle the rejection in another way – a way that would have ended less tragically.

BTVS explores all the ways we handle rejection. It also explores how rejection changes us, how we grow from it, and how we can if we choose to let it destroy us and everyone around us. The reason I’ve chosen Willow and Spike as my focus is they speak to me personally and it’s so much easier to write about characters that speak to you on a gut level. The other reason, which may be more valid, is they’ve been so closely paralleled this Season, they conveniently fit my two literary examples and this whole journey essay arc I’ve been doing. Of course by posting this, I’m taking a risk – people may be sick of Spike and Willow and not respond…and I’ll have to deal with the rejection.

Next part coming up...sk

[> S/W Journey Part IV: 1. Willow/Willia, Cecily & Cordy - Peer Pressure -- shadowkat, 09:43:37 07/27/02 Sat

1. William, Willow : Cecily/Cordy – Peer Pressure

Have you ever written a poem for someone? Did you read it aloud? Did you show it to them? Or did someone else grab it and do it for you? Read it aloud to a room full of your peers? Did they like your poem? Or did they make a really nasty remark like – “gee you read it so well and it’s sooo bad”?

Poetry is a weird thing and very subjective. Lots of people can’t abide it. Makes no sense to them. Some focus more on rhymes than meaning. Most forget that poetry comes from the writer’s soul – it’s a way of expressing emotions that cannot be expressed in any other way. Through words. The sound of words. Metaphors. Poetry is also, at least in my humble opinion, about the poet not the outside world. It’s the poet’s way of expressing what he or she feels.

Now imagine if you will, working hard on a poem about someone you have admired or loved for quite some time. Someone takes that poem away from you. Reads it aloud to a bunch of people. It’s not finished. It’s just a rough draft. They laugh at the words. Mock them. In front of the person it was about. But that person has hidden their reaction well, you can’t tell how they feel. So you wander over to find out. They ask you if this poem was about them. You admit it is that you do have feelings for them. You hand them your heart on a sleeve. And what do they tell you? “You’re beneath me!” Ouch.
Is there anyone on this board who hasn’t had a piece of writing rejected by a loved one? If so, you are very lucky. Is there anyone who hasn’t received numerous rejection slips?
Who hasn’t been mocked by the group?

This is what happened to William the Bloody Awful Poet. (It may have also happened to Joss Whedon who wrote the scene according to James Marsters Saturday interview at Shore Leave – www.bloodyawfulpoet.com). We know how William reacted to it – took off heart fluttering, ripping the poem into shreds. Have to admit, I’d have done the same thing. His options seem pretty limited here. He could have stayed at the party. He could have hit or attacked Cecily, the woman who rejected him, which would have been Heathcliff’s and/or Spike’s reaction. Not a very smart reaction considering this occurred at a party. He could have plotted revenge. He could humiliated her in front of everyone by declaring his love in public as opposed to that isolated corner.

How about the stuffy aristocrats reaction to his work? They also reject him in the flashback sequence from FFL and somewhat cruelly. What should he have done to them? Make a smart quip? Fight them off? These are the actions of Spike and/or Xander. Or just walk away - shrug it off as unimportant?

William leaves both situations. The first he is understandably overcome by, because to be fair Cecily didn’t just reject his poetry, she also rejected him.

Let’s switch briefly to Cecily. We know so little about this character. If we assume that she is indeed Halfrek, then we can equally assume that perhaps Cecily’s rejection of William had a lot more to do with Cecily than it had to do with William. Most rejection does by the way. When someone rejects us, it usually isn’t about us, it’s all about them. Doesn’t make it any easier of course. So why did Cecily reject William? He was below her in class? He wrote horrible poetry? He appeared weak in her opinion? (Shallow, but hey some people equate weakness with poetry writing and a dislike of violence, I equate it with bar fights and seducing maids in alleys. To each their own. There’s an argument that could be made that Cecily was shallow.) Or was it redcat’s neurasthenic male view – that William appeared too effeminate, too womanish? Personally, I like the *cough *daddy issues*cough * that Anya suggests in Older and Far Away.

Or perhaps Cecily rejected William for the same exact reasons Cordelia rejects Xander in Bewitched Bothered And Bewildered. Her friends and family rejected him. And Cecily already felt her father’s rejection – hence the whole vengeance demon trip? She certainly felt the fellow aristocrats. Would Cecily have responded the way she had, if the aristocrats hadn’t made fun of his poetry? What if they had responded favorably to it? What if instead of setting poor William up for ridicule, they had been appreciative of his work? Would she have rejected him then? Would Cordelia have rejected Xander if Harmony and her friends accepted him? Cordelia of course is a bit stronger than Cecily – she decides at the end of BBB to accept Xander regardless of what her friends think. A decision she pays for in later episodes. Cecily like Cordelia fears the rejection of her peers. As Cordy states in Out of Mind Out of Sight, being popular isn’t all it’s cracked up to be: “Hey! You think I'm never lonely because I'm so cute and popular? I can be surrounded by people and be completely alone. It's not like any of them really know me. I don't even know if they like me half the time. People just want to be in a popular zone. Sometimes when I talk, everyone's so busy agreeing with me, they don't hear a word I say.”

But hey, it’s better than being alone. To maintain this, you often put people down. Do whatever the group expects of you. In CARRIE, the group set up for Carrie to have pig’s blood dumped on her. Amy Irving played a girl who was against this but she acted too late. She was too afraid of the group’s response to stop it and the act was done. In Wuthering Heights – Cathy desperately wants to accept and love Heathcliff, but the safer, more acceptable path is to marry the landowner. Both Cathy and Amy Irving’s character don’t want to lose their popularity, they don’t want to be rejected and will literally do anything to avoid it – just as Cordy does. Remember how cruel Cordy and Harmony are to poor Willow in Seasons 1-2? In Welcome to the Hellmouth – Cordy introduces Willow as the class nerd and loser, informing Buffy that hanging with Willow will make her a loser by association. Glancing over Willow’s clothes, she states somewhat haughtily : “Have you seen the softer side of Sears?”

Cathy, Amy Irving’s character, and Cordelia are cruelly punished. Cathy dies, Amy’s character witnesses the deaths of all her friends and by Season 3, Cordelia is shopping at Sears. Actually she has a job at a clothing store and is frantically saving to buy one dress. A dress Xander kindly buys for her. The Queen of the Insult has suddenly found herself on the other side. Just as Harmony who was so cruel to Cordelia, Willow, Xander and all the others in high school, ends up a vampire and Spike’s mistreated vamp whore. Cordelia even asks in Room With A View, when she will stop being punished for her cruel behavior.

Angel: “Punished. (Cordy nods) For what?”
Cordy: “I don’t know. For what I was? For everything I said in High School just because I could get away with it? - And then it all ended, and I had to pay.”
(RM with A View, Ats Season 1)

Cecily and the aristocrats who so cruelly reject William may have also been punished. Who knows what happened after William took off from that party? Did Cecily have a little heart to heart with dear old Dad? Did Daddy say something that caused Cecily to enact vengeance and decide to become a vengeance demon? Or did William return with Drusilla and Angelus and drive railroad spikes through the party goers heads? I somehow doubt it, considering we have Cecily appearing to play the vengeance demon in Season 6, but we may never know. It is, however, safe to assume that William was not the only one who suffered from rejection in that room. Any more than Willow was the only one. Harmony, the aristocrats, Cordelia, and Cecily all felt the pain of rejection, all feared it, if they didn’t why bother treating Willow and William the way they did? We tend to reject others to protect ourselves. It’s the code of the pack, the mob mentality. If I follow the group, they won’t notice me, I won’t get hurt.

After being rejected by the aristocrats and Cecily, it’s not really all that surprising that William allows Dru to attack and suck him dry. She does it with such a tempting plea.
“You walk in worlds the others can’t understand…” she tells him, “you want something glistening, something effulgent…” And looking into her eyes, feeling her breast beneath his hands, he eagerly says yes. In her eyes he glimpses what he’s always craved acceptance. Don’t we all? She has picked him up from the ground and in one brief interlude not only told him his ideas and poetry are worthwhile, but that she wants him. He’s worthwhile. What a pick-me up. Too bad she’s a vampire and insane. Through Drusilla, William finally finds acceptance, becomes part of a “group” of vampires and has someone love him.

Willow discovers acceptance through magic. Magic enables Willow to become a valuable asset to the Scoobies. She is no longer relegated to research and the library. She becomes the big gun. Also through magic, she meets Tara. Would she have met Tara otherwise? Willow realizes that magic makes her important. Better than the others. They can’t hurt her. In the Bronze, during Smashed, when the boys make fun of her and Amy – she just turns on the old black magic. Magic, Willow discovers changes the rules in her favor. She has a weapon. Just as William now has a weapon. You don’t like me? I kill you. They no longer have to live by society’s rules – they no longer have to put up with rejection. The group can no longer hurt them. Wrong. The rules haven’t really changed. They are still being rejected. All that has changed is how they are reacting to the rejection. Instead of fleeing – they are attacking.

Part 2 coming up- sk

[> S/W journey: 2.Willow/William and Xander – Flipping the tables, Rejecting the Rejecter. -- shadowkat, 09:45:34 07/27/02 Sat

2. Willow/William and Xander – Flipping the tables, Rejecting the Rejecter.

You ever have a crush on your best friend? But your best friend has a crush on your other friend – who happens to be prettier and stronger and well, super girl? And after super- girl rejects this guy you had a crush on – you think, hey, maybe he’ll want me? But wait a minute – you don’t want to come in second because that would be baaad!

Willow in Season 1 loved Xander. She has always loved Xander. But Xander is interested in the girl he can’t have, which in this case is Buffy. For Xander its love at first sight in Wellcome to The Hellmouth – he falls off his skateboard for Buffy, but looks up into the kind face of Willow. When Willow finally gets up the nerve to tell Xander how she feels, he has become possessed by a hyena and let’s her know somewhat cruelly how he feels. The scene is reminiscent of Cecily’s rejection of William.

Xander: And, well, we've been friends for such a long time that I feel like I need to tell you something. I've, um... I've decided to drop geometry. So I won't be
needing your math help anymore. Which means I won't have to look at your pasty face again. (THE PACK, Season 1, Btvs)

To Xander’s credit – he was possessed. But the rejection still burns poor Willow. And it’s not like he hasn’t rejected her before now? Remember Witch – where Xander tells Willow that she’s just like one of the guys? Or later in When She Was Bad – he almost kisses Willow, but Buffy shows up, flirts with him, and he forgets all about her.

What’s interesting about Xander and Willow is we watch the whole rejection dance from multiple sides. After rehearsing his spiel with Willow numerous times, Xander gets rejected by Buffy, he reacts really badly, insults her and accuses her of preferring vampires instead. Doesn’t hear her reasons.

Xander: (takes a breath) Buffy, I want you to go to the dance with me. You and me, on a date. (edited slightly for length) Well, you're not laughing. So that's a good start. Buffy, I
like you. A lot. And I know we're friends, and we've had experiences... We've fought some blood-sucking fiends, and that's all been a good time. But I want more. I wanna dance with you.
Buffy: Xander, you're one of my best friends. You and Willow...
Xander: Well, Willow's not looking to date you. Or if she is, she's playing it pretty close to the chest. (laughs nervously)

No, Xander, Willow is looking to date you. Buffy knows this and part of the reason she hasn’t allowed herself to be interested in Xander may be because of it. But Xander is oblivious. The thing about rejection is we think we’re the only one being rejected. I remember a very wise person once asking me – “haven’t you ever rejected anyone?” Yep. Guilty. Life is nothing but karmic. Buffy tries to let Xander down gently. Tries to convey that their friendship is more important to her. In fact in the scene she doesn’t really reject him, not as person, she just rejects him as a romantic love interest and considering how well those have gone – maybe Xander got the better deal. She also lists positive reasons for not starting a romantic relationship with him – until he pushes her.

Buffy: I don't want to spoil the friendship that we have.
Xander: Well, I don't want to spoil it either. But that's not the point, is it? You either feel a thing or you don't.
Buffy: (looks down a moment, then back up) I don't. Xander, I'm, I'm sorry. I-I just don't think of you that way.
Xander: Well, try. I'll wait. (smiles weakly)
Buffy: Xander...
Xander: Nah. Forget it. (gets up) I'm not him. I mean, I guess a guy's gotta be undead to make time with you.
Buffy: That's really harsh.
Xander: Look, I'm sorry. I don't handle rejection well. Funny! Considering all the practice I've had, huh?

Xander doesn’t handle rejection well. Probably his greatest flaw. Xander’s means of handling rejection is to inflict pain. You reject me? Fine. I reject you. This is Xander’s M.O. In the above scene – he launches the worst insult he can find at Buffy. Xander handles rejection with snide remarks or by inflicting pain. Like most of us, Xander tends to forget the times in which he rejected someone’s love. From Xander’s p.o.v he’s the only one who’s ever been rejected.

Xander: Apart from 'no', does it really matter? She's still jonesin' for Angel, and could care less about me.
Willow: At least now you know.
Xander: Yeah, you're right. The deal's done. The polls are in, and it's time for my concession speech. (has an idea and brightens) Hey, I know what we'll do! We can go! Be my date! We'll, we'll have a great time! We'll dance, we'll go wild... Whadaya say?
Willow: No.
Xander: Good! What?
Willow: There's no way.
Xander: (exhales) Willow, come on!
Willow: You think I wanna go to the dance with you and watch you wish you were at the dance with her? You think that's my idea of hijinks? You should know better.
Xander: (exhales) I didn't think.

No, he didn’t, he assumed. Good old reliable Willow. Who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Who doesn’t feel pain. How many people have we treated like this in our lifetimes? It’s easy to reject people, without thinking. To make assumptions. I think Xander is actually taken aback by her reaction. So we get the double whammy again. It is first shown in Welcome to The Hellmouth, with Xander looking longingly after Buffy and Willow looking longingly after Xander. Then again in Witch with Xander calling Willow one of the guys and Buffy calling Xander one of the girls. In The Pack with Xander telling Willow he wants nothing to do with her and Buffy knocking Xander out with a desk. And finally, When She Was Bad, Xander comes onto Willow almost kissing her, Buffy shows up, he drops Willow, Buffy comes onto Xander, then backs off clearly interested in Angel. Willow retreats inside herself. Xander blasts Buffy. In each case – Willow’s reaction to the rejection is far more mature and less reactive than Xander’s. Willow doesn’t attempt to destroy or hurt Xander in response. While Xander does attempt to hurt the person who rejected him.

In Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, Season 2, after Cordy rejects him, Xander’s response is to perform a love spell. So when he rejects Cordy, she’ll feel it as intensely as he feels her rejection of him. He learns in the process of conducting the spell, that Cordy only rejected him out of fear of being rejected herself. His spell also backfires on him – because by doing the spell, he ends up painfully rejecting every woman in town causing them to want to kill him. The women he hurts the most are actually Willow, who already had feelings for him, and Buffy, who gets turned into a rat and almost killed. Does Willow pay Xander back? No. Instead Willow continues to develop her relationship with OZ. She takes Buffy’s advice from a few episodes earlier and realizes that it is better to go after the guy who shows an interest in her than to wait for Xander.

Compare Xander’s reactions in Prophecy Girl to William/Spike’s in the flashback sequence from Fool for Love.

CECILY: I'm going to ask you a very personal question and I demand an honest answer. Do you understand? (He nods.)Your poetry, it's... they're... not written about me, are they?
SPIKE: They're about how I feel.
CECILY: Yes, but are they about me?
SPIKE: Every syllable.
CECILY: Oh, God!
SPIKE: Oh, I know... it's sudden and... please, if they're no good, they're only words but... the feeling behind them... I love you, Cecily.
CECILY: Please stop!
SPIKE: I know I'm a bad poet but I'm a good man and all I ask is that... that you try to see me-
CECILY: I do see you. That's the problem. You're nothing to me, William. You're beneath me. (She stands and walks off, leaving Spike devastated and alone.)

William doesn’t insult Cecily for her feelings. Instead he reacts as Willow does, retreats to that safe place. Goes off to lick his wounds.

Both Willow and William internalize the rejection. They accept it as their fault. And they attempt to move past it. Willow moves on to OZ. William moves on to Dru. Cecily and Xander are more or less dropped. (Except for that brief interlude in Season 3, where Xander decides he wants Willow – but Willow eventually chooses OZ over Xander. And poor Cordelia gets left in the dark. Nice karmic twist. Xander rejects Cordy by kissing Willow (Lover’s Walk), whom he previously rejected by kissing Cordy, (Surprise) and gets dumped by both.) Instead of wasting time on those who rejected them, Willow and William move on to people who appear to accept them for who and what they are.

part 3 and 4 coming up...sk

[> 3. 3. Willow/Spike, OZ and Dru – Changing Someone to fit Your Needs -- shadowkat, 09:47:19 07/27/02 Sat

3. Willow/Spike, OZ and Dru – Changing Someone to fit Your Needs

Have you ever thought you could change someone? Oh they were perfect, great body, etc, but there’s this one tiny little flaw? I know I’ll change them. I’ll make them into the person I want. They just need to blossom. To grow. This too is a type of rejection. In attempting to change the person, you are rejecting who they are. You are making yourself out to be better than they are. You are playing the role of Henry Higgins to Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, where the good professor attempts to change a poor flower girl into a lady. Cathy and her family do it to Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights – attempting to civilize the wild gypsy boy and Carrie’s teacher and pseudo friends attempt to change her by setting up a fake romance. All three literary works depict how we reject someone by being arrogant enough to think WE can change them.

OZ never attempts to change Willow. He is in effect the perfect boyfriend. He tells Willow how cool she is, pursuing her in What’s My Line through Phases. When she asks whether he wants to make out in Surprise, he suggests they wait. He realizes she still has a thing for Xander and believes it would be kind of empty if she got involved with him just to make Xander jealous. OZ accepts Willow for who and what she is. And when he discovers he’s a werewolf he backs away for a limited amount of time. He allows Willow to put him in a cage, aware that he could hurt her. The only reason OZ leaves Willow is because he’s a werewolf and can no longer control his ability to hurt her. It’s not a rejection of Willow herself. Of course, Willow has troubles seeing this and inflicts her pain on others in Something Blue (Season 4 Btvs). But the pain she inflicts is less out of rejection than it is from loss. She’s not quite like Stephen King’s Carrie. She doesn’t really intend to take her rage out on her friends. Nor have her friends or OZ attempted to change Willow. OZ never appears tempted to turn Willow into a werewolf. It is a trait he hates in himself. In fact he even warns her in Fear Itself, to be careful of the dark magic she wields. But he does not tell her to stop.

Drusilla plays a similar role with William, appears to accept William in all the ways that Cecily did not. Except, unlike OZ, Drusilla changes William to become like her. She turns him into a vampire. Was Dru’s very act of turning William a type of rejection? OZ finds out he’s a werewolf, has a brief affair with another werewolf, but is never once tempted to turn Willow into one. Nor for that matter is Spike tempted to turn Buffy into a vampire. Yet Drusilla didn’t think twice about vamping William. Perhaps she believed she was helping him? Giving him a gift? Or making him better somehow? Or was it the ultimate acceptance? Wanting him to live forever? Spike certainly believes that – he tells Buffy as much in Fool For Love – “Getting killed made me feel alive for the very first time. I was through living by society's rules.” Yet, who and what William truly was at his core is gone. What is left is the personality, the outside attributes frozen in time. So did Dru really accept him? Or did she just accept one part of him and reject the rest?

Cecily and Drusilla both reject William but in different ways. Cecily rejects William in the same way that Cordelia initially rejects Xander – he is beneath her, embarrassing, the group will never accept him. Drusilla realizes William will only be accepted by her little family if she changes him. She’s right of course, he’s human, they’re vampires. But in the flashbacks of Fool For Love, we sense William only gains Dru’s love by becoming a killer of slayers. How ironic considering it’s his disdain for violence and preference for poetry that causes him to be rejected by the aristocrats and by extension Cecily.

ARISTOCRAT #2(to Spike) Ah, William! Favor us with your opinion. What do you make of this rash of disappearances sweeping through our town? Animals or thieves?
SPIKE(haughty) I prefer not to think of such dark, ugly business at all. That's what the police are for. (looks at Cecily) I prefer placing my energies into creating things of beauty. (FOOL For LOVE)

One wonders what would have happened if William had been more into fists and fangs and a little less into poetry. Would Cecily have preferred him? Would Dru? By changing William into Spike, Dru twists him into a violent emotionally arrested version of the poetry loving William. A poet without a conscience. And yet, unlike Dru, Spike has no desire to change those he loves. He doesn’t attempt to change Drusilla. He accepts her as she is, completely insane. He does betray her – but mostly just to get her away from Angelus. Becoming a vampire has changed the way that William handles rejection just as Willow’s increased involvement with magic changes the way she handles rejection.

But Spike never tries to change his lover into someone else. It’s the one thing that I always found odd about the Spike/Buffy relationship. Why didn’t Spike turn the slayer? Why didn’t he try? He certainly had ample opportunity. Yes, you could argue that he tried in Out of My Mind, but I think he just wanted to kill her back then. And of course the chip prevented him from hurting her until Season 6. But why didn’t he in Season 6? It would have solved most of his problems. Because, unlike Drusilla, Spike did not want to change Buffy. He loved Buffy for what she was. His solution to her rejection of him was not to turn her into a vampire. He did not reject what she is. (Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying Spike handles rejection well – just that he does not handle it in this manner.)

Willow on the other hand does attempt to change Tara by erasing her memory. She reacts to Tara’s rejection of her use of magic by attempting to change Tara’s pov with force. This is in a way quite similar to her initial reaction to OZ’s infidelity with Veruca. In Wild at Heart, she considers doing a spell that would destroy OZ and Veruca. But she changes her mind at the last minute. The spell is reminiscent of Xander’s spell in BBB.
Willow is a little like Dru here – if I can’t have you, I’ll change you, I’ll make you who I want you to be.

It doesn’t help her of course. You can’t change someone. You can’t make them into someone else. Even Spike eventually disappoints Drusilla. After 120 years, he turns out to be not quite evil enough for her. The lover that William was, that she wanted, is still intact, but not quite as twisted as she wished. (One trembles to think what Drusilla considers twisted.) So Spike leaves Dru and eventually moves on. Tara similarly leaves Willow, for a time. And when Tara does – she becomes stronger, more self-assured. Willow had weakened her. Without Willow, Tara regains her sense of self, she no longer stutters, she is confident. Confident enough to choose to go back to Willow when enough time has passed and she is sure Willow is no longer using magic. Spike never goes back to Dru. When she reappears, he is briefly tempted. But he chooses the harder path instead. He chooses the girl who rejects him. This is a huge change from what he did before. Before, as William, he chose the vampire who accepted him over the girl who told him that he was “beneath her”. Now 100 and some years later, he chooses the girl who says he is “beneath her” over the vampire who changed him and appeared to accept him. Quite astonishing, when you think about it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a sociopath at this stage, but he has changed his modus operandi. He is no longer running away from rejection. If anything he is doing the reverse, he is running towards it, going backwards to what he once was. Willow does the same thing eventually in Season 6, after losing Tara, she begins to go back to what she once was, the geeky girl who plays with chemistry and looks things up in books instead of the powerful witch.

part 4 and conclusion to follow - sk

[> [> 4.Willow/Spike – Tara and Buffy – Controlling our Violent Reactions & Conclusion -- shadowkat, 09:49:35 07/27/02 Sat

4. Willow/Spike – Tara and Buffy – Controlling our Violent Reactions

There’s a song by Bonnie Raitt that goes : “I can’t make you love me if you don’t, can’t force you to feel what you won’t..” Apparently someone forgot to teach it to Spike. Spike believes that he can force someone into loving him. After Dru breaks up with him, he goes back to torture her, attempts to make her love him again, but it’s too late. She enjoys the torture, but their relationship is over. Spike attempts the same thing with Buffy. As he tells Riley in Into The Woods, when Riley asks if he thinks he has a chance with her, “No, but a fella’s got to try though, fella’s got do what he has to do.”

No matter how many times Buffy rejects Spike, he keeps coming back for more. As she states in Smashed – “You love me, because you enjoy getting beaten down.” Apparently so. He is given a choice in Crush between his current girlfriend, Harmony, who will do anything for him, Drusilla who wants him back, and Buffy who wants nothing to do with him. He ironically chooses Buffy. The whole episode is laced with irony. Spike cruelly rejects Harmony, who appears to be getting off on being beaten down herself, then Buffy cruelly rejects Spike. Reminds me a little of the Xander cruelly rejects Willow, Buffy cruelly rejects Xander triangle. Harmony, Spike, Xander and Willow all make the same mistake – they think they can force someone to love them.

Tara loves Willow. But Willow is so “rejection sensitive” that she can’t see it. As she tells Buffy in Wrecked – would Tara love me without the magic? Tara didn’t know ordinary Willow. Buffy attempts to convince Willow there is nothing wrong with her, that Tara does love her with or without the magic. But Willow can’t see it. Tara does not reject Willow herself – she rejects what Willow is doing. It’s very different from Buffy’s rejection of Spike. Or is it? Buffy rejects Spike because he is an unrepentant killer who enjoys hurting things. Tara rejects Willow and moves out because Willow is getting off on magic regardless of whom it hurts. Willow attempts to force her will upon Tara, to change her point of view. Just as Spike attempts to force his will upon Buffy, to change her point of view. Both attempts are despicable and horrifying. Both back-fire.

Buffy and Tara also have rejection issues. We all do. Tara was abominably rejected by her family, she struggled to come to terms with this rejection in Season 5, Family. Finally succeeding by making the choice to reject her family and join the Scooby Gang. She also struggles with the fear that Willow will reject her for OZ in New Moon Rising. And we see her fear of rejection rise again in Tough Love, where she informs Willow that she is afraid Willow will move past her. That she will no longer be enough. So Willow’s attempts to keep Tara with magic are incredibly painful – because from Tara’s perspective they are a rejection of who and what Tara is. Willow is trying to change Tara to fit her desires. Then after Tara leaves, Willow de-rats Amy and Tara realizes Willow has created a new friend, a replacement.

Buffy also struggles with serious rejection issues. Her father, Hank Summers, left her. Way back in Season 1, Nightmares, Buffy dreams that her father left because of her, because of what she is. His leaving is not abandonment so much as a rejection of who and what she is. In her mind, she’s a disappointment to him. It does not matter that her mother insists otherwise. Actions speak louder than words. Later in Season 2, Innocence, we have Angel, Buffy’s replacement father figure/lover reject her performance in bed. He literally dismisses her as not being worth a second go. This is followed by an endless string of boys breaking up with her. We have Scott Hope who rejects Buffy because she isn’t fun to be with, too dark and moody. Parker who rejects her for no apparent reason Buffy can understand, except that maybe he truly is just a poop head. Riley who rejects Buffy because he believes perhaps correctly she does not love him enough. By I WAS MADE TO LOVE YOU – Buffy is wondering if she can love, if anyone can love her. If she is too self-involved and violent to deserve anyone’s love besides Spike the monster she tolerates. The monster, she believes loves her because she beats him up.

Buffy rejects Spike in a similar manner to the way she perceives that she has been rejected. And for many of the same reasons. Many posters have stated that the beating of Spike at the end of Dead Things is a projection of how Buffy feels about herself. Part of Buffy believes she is a soulless killer that does not deserve to be loved. Primal. Hard. That Riley left her because of this.(See IWMTLY, Intervention) That Hank left because of this. (See the flashbacks in Becoming Part I and the dream sequence in Nightmares). Spike, from Buffy’s perspective, is safe. He can’t hurt her, because she will always reject him first. Unfortunately, she discovers to her dismay that he can hurt her, just as Spike discovered Harmony could hurt him.

When Spike brings a date to Xander’s wedding, Buffy is pained. When Spike takes her advice and tries to move on with Anya, Buffy is hurt. Apparently Spike’s actions matter more to Buffy than she expected. When Harmony kicks Spike out, Spike wanders aimlessly, starving, until he is forced to seek shelter with his enemies. When Harmony eventually leaves Spike, sick and tired of playing second fiddle to his obsession with the slayer, Spike is so lonely he goes out and has Warren build the Buffbot. The nice thing about Btvs is everyone pays for their sins.

Part of the reason Harmony stays with Spike as long as she does, is somewhere in her warped brain, she believes she can make Spike love her as he loved Drusilla. He never will of course. He uses Harmony in much the same way that he is later used by Buffy. Harmony is, as Marsters puts it in the “Introducing Spike” commentary on Season 4 DVD, Spike’s revenge. Harmony is beyond rebound for him. He is taking his pain and anger at Drusilla out on Harmony. He can’t take it out on Dru. Harmony’s self esteem is so low that she is willing to take any crumb he’ll throw at her. Anything to be with Spike, who barely tolerates her. Two years later, we see the relationship flip-flopped. Now Buffy is playing Spike’s role and Spike is playing Harmony’s. Spike is Buffy’s sex slave. Spike will do anything to have Buffy. He like Harmony believes that sooner or later Buffy will love him. That their incredible sex will lead to great love. Both relationships blow up. Harmony attempts to kill Spike and Spike attempts to force himself on Buffy. Leading someone on with the promise of something more, only to cruelly reject them – can have violent consequences.

Violent consequences. What spurs us to react violently? Carrie in the Stephen King novel explodes after her hopes and dreams are crushed. Her fellow students gave her false hope – they let her believe that they accepted her that she could be homecoming Queen and have a boyfriend. Then they rip it all away by dumping pig’s blood on her and knocking out the boyfriend. The hope is gone. And the fragile control Carrie had over her anger, fear, and pain erupts destroying everything in her path. Not unlike Willow, who finally gets everything she wants, dumps the magic, feels accepted, whole – only to have it all ripped from her by a bullet. Tara – the one person who Willow believes accepted her unconditionally is ripped from her. Hope is gone along with the fragile control.

Heathcliff in Emily Bronte’s novel believes he has a chance with Cathy. That she loves him. He’ll go away, make his fortune and have her love. Their chemistry is so electric, how can she not love him? When she rejects him and marries a neighboring landowner, he loses hope and lives only for revenge. Sort of like Anya in Hells Bells, when Xander rejects her at the altar. She loses hope and becomes a vengeance demon.

Periodically in Season 6, Buffy provides Spike with kernels of hope. In As You Were – she asks if he loves her. In Smashed, she makes violent love to him. In OMWF, she kisses him passionately. In Hell’s Bells, she admits breaking up with him hurt. And in Seeing Red he discovers she has feelings for him, that his sleeping with Anya hurt her. Then she yanks it all away again. Tells him it isn’t love. It can never be love. She can never trust him enough for it to be love. Spike loses control. Tries to force her to feel what she felt in Smashed. He violently tries to recreate their sexual relationship. To make her love him. But all he does is prove her point. Prove why she shouldn’t. She knocks him away. And he discovers to his horror that he’s just pushed her further away and in the process, hurt her in a way he claimed he never could. “I don’t hurt you,” he told her in Entropy, just a few days before. He discovered he was wrong. He has hurt her. Horribly. Conflicted, he races off to change himself.

The racing off to Africa, reminds me of William who flees the party and ends up in Drusilla’s arms. Spike violently rejected by Buffy and tormented by his actions, does somewhat the same thing with similar results. He flips to evil by Cecily’s rejection and flips to good by Buffy’s. William’s handling of Cecily’s rejection is considered by some fans to be “wimpy” or the actions of a “wuss”, while his handling of Buffy’s rejection is considered to be “horrifying and violent” but certainly not wimpy. One results in evil Spike and one results in ensouled Spike.

What would have happened it Spike had been able to control his reaction to Buffy’s rejection? Could he have? Was that even possible? What about Willow? If she had handled Tara differently in the beginning of the year, hadn’t fiddled with Tara’s memory, had scaled back on the magic use earlier, would she have lost Tara? Or was that inevitable?

Handling rejection is difficult whether it’s rejection of our works of art, writing, or love. In Btvs, the writers show us a spectrum of ways of handling rejection, from Cordelia and Cecily’s desire to hide within the group to Xander’s infliction of insults to Spike and Willow’s attempts to either flee the rejection or violently force it aside. Perhaps the best approach is the one Buffy eventually adopts shrugging it off and moving on. It still hurts of course. But in Grave, Buffy realizes that hiding from the world is not the answer. Taking the risk, venturing out, and dealing with the pain and joy is a far better solution. After all, if we allowed our fear of rejection to deter us – there would be no art, no television, no movies, no books. If we permanently left the ATP board every time someone slammed us, there wouldn’t be an ATP board or any discussion. If Joss Whedon let our negative reactions to his show or the lack of an Emmy affect his writing – there would be no Btvs. Part of growing up, is handling rejection.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. Hope it adds to the discussion. Feedback appreciated as always.


[> [> [> Spoilers to Season 6 in all of the above! -- shadowkat, 09:50:43 07/27/02 Sat

[> [> [> Re: 4.Willow/Spike – Tara and Buffy – Controlling our Violent Reactions & Conclusion -- Leeta, 10:57:26 07/27/02 Sat

I think an important thing worth mentioning about how Xander handles rejection is that while initially he'll lash out with a sharp tongue, once he's had a chance to think about his situation he's always the first to make amends.

You can see this pattern in Prophecy Girl, where despite being rejected by Buffy he stops feeling sorry for himself, puts aside his jealousy and convinces Angel to help save her from the Master. He's been able to overcome his disappointment that Buffy doesn't see him in a romantic light and has stayed friends with her for years. Not a lot of guys who've been rejected are man enough to do that.

After his break up with Cordelia, they both engaged in a cruel war of insults, but Xander was the one to call a truce when he kept her secret about being broke and bought her the Prom dress. Xander is terrible at expressing how he feels, and has a tendency to want his actions to speak for him.

Xander is guilty of having a hot temper and says hurtful things before he thinks, but in the end you can count on him to do the right thing and move past his anger and resentment. You could see that in Seeing Red after his bitter argument with Buffy. He stepped forward and admitted he was harsh with her and that he could have handled things better.

[> [> [> [> More on the B/X/W triangle (from the X/W side) -- cjl, 19:12:03 07/27/02 Sat

It's amazing how later seasons on Buffy can throw light on what seemed to be obvious, elemental incidents of previous seasons. All through S1, with the Xander, Willow, Buffy roundalay, I never really understood why Xander and Willow weren't together as a romantic couple BEFORE Buffy arrived at Sunnydale High. Granted, Jesse was in the mix back then, but Xander and Willow always seemed to have shared a special bond to the exclusion of nearly everyone else in the world. (If I had a guess, I'd say Jesse was a junior high school buddy of Xander's, and they formed the WTTH trio almost by default.)

As we learned more and more about Xander and Willow's backgrounds, especially in S6, it became clear that Xander didn't even want to think about Willow romantically because he thought she was his Mom all over again. A marshmallow. A china doll who would be shattered when the Harris family raging beast finally emerged. The idea of reducing Willow to his mother's state of perpetual martyrdom must have (subconsciously) completely wiped Willow off the map as a romantic partner. And since we're talking about Xander's hormone-fogged brain in S1, that's really saying something. He loved Willow more than anything, but he thought he needed a woman who was strong, powerful, able to stand up to him and--hey! Who's that hot-looking blond chick? Is she new?

Ironically, Willow finally vaulted herself into real contention for Xander's love when she rejected him in Prophecy Girl. This display of spine did not go unnoticed, and during the summer break, the two of them obviously got much closer (as boy and girl, not just buddies) than they ever had before. (Ah, if only Buffy and the monster had arrived ten seconds later...) Xander took off after Buffy again during the rest of WSWB, but you could see that the heavy damage to his ego caused by those two episodes stalled the momentum of his previously single-minded obsession. He reluctantly accepted that Buffy was unattainable (said it in Inca Mummy Girl) and his mind wandered to other possibilities...

Enter Cordy. I'm not going to talk about the twisted skein of the X/C relationship, except to note its effect on X/W. Willow's discovery and horrified reaction to the X/C romance led us to one of the best X/W scenes in the history of the show: their confrontation outside the library. Willow was completely in command here, saying "no, I don't accept this" and "no, we're not all right" and "you've hurt me very badly" and "I'm only working with you right now because Buffy needs all of us." Wow. And may I say again...wow. This is how you handle rejection. You don't internalize it (Willow S1), you don't plot revenge behind your lover's back (Xander in BB&B), you state your feelings clearly and forthrightly, and then you get off the stage. Willow moved on with Oz. Xander and his hormones spent the rest of the season debating what the heck they were doing with Cordelia. (And Buffy was seeing somebody else too. Can't remember who right now...)

But it was clear that Willow's courage and her willingness to express her anger made a deep impression on Xander. Once again, by pushing him away, she inadvertently proved that the gooey marshmallow outside had a rock chocolate center. (Bad metaphor. Sorry.) Cordy was his girlfriend, but Willow was something far, far more, and when she was injured in Becoming Part I, his bedside speech indicated his feelings for her had evolved in 12 short months. When the everyday adolescent trauma was pushed aside for More Important Things, Xander's thoughts were with Willow.

Cut to season three. Xander and Cordy were still together, but the hormone buzz had worn off, with their relationship more puzzling than ever. Oz and Willow were going great, but Willow had been practicing witchcraft all summer, and she started to see the entire world opening up before her. So is it any surprise that when they were trying on their prom clothes, and thoughts turned to graduation and the future--again, More Important Things--Willow and Xander finally got together?

Not exactly sure I had a point here, except perhaps the act of rejection is a complex matter that can reveal the subtle aspects of someone's personality; upon reflection, it doesn't even necessarily have to be regarded as negative, even for the person being rejected. Xander and Willow seemed to reject each other endlessly for the first three seasons, and in a strange way, it only strengthened their relationship. You might say it was because the X/W love was always there--but maybe all the pain provided that extra bit of growth needed to make the climax of S6 possible.

[> [> [> [> [> Great posts Leeta, Cjl and ponygirl - particularly in combination -- shadowkat, 13:59:36 07/28/02 Sun

This post and ponygirls and Leetas above are very interesting.

Leeta points out that if you apologize or make amends after rejecting someone - the rejection may be nullified?

cjl points out "You don't internalize it (Willow S1), you don't plot revenge behind your lover's back (Xander in BB&B), you state your feelings clearly and forthrightly, and then you get off the stage." And the rejection in Willow and Xander's relationship strengthened them.

Then ponygirl points out - how Xander's constant rejection made it difficult for Willow to accept Tara and Oz's apparent love at first sight for her. Xander was the only one she loved first. She fell for Oz and Tara after they came after her. Oz describing what it would be like to kiss her and Tara describing how she is hers. In Grave Xander's final acceptance of her - not sexual, just love, broke her out of the DarkWillow persona.

This is interesting because the one person Leeta does not mention Xander making amends to is Willow. He makes amends to Buffy (constantly), he makes amends to Cordy, but he does not really make amends or help Willow until Grave.
And Willow is the one person he rejected the most consistently in Seasons 1 - 4, until she basically got off stage. He isn't that nice to her throughout Season 6, asking her to use magic at certain points (OAFA) and accusing her at others (Gone.). So is Xander partially responsible for Willow's lack of self-esteem?

I don't think so. I think Willow is. The scene CJL points out in Surprise is a great one - but Willow doesn't believe it. She really hasn't gotten off stage. She still harbors feelings for Xander all the way up to Season 5 as evidenced by her treatment of Anya in Triangle. Their battle in Triangle is partly over Xander - which may be why Tara is so uncomfortable. Willow sees Tara and Oz as people who cared for her. She loved them - because they loved her first. Xander and Buffy? She loved Xander first. But Xander always preferred Buffy. When Tara is ripped from her - that resentment that pain appears to finally come to the surface.

So maybe rejection doesn't always have good results? At least it didn't in the case of Xander and Willow?

Not sure about any of this right now. But thanks for the posts gave me more to think about.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Rejection -- Rahael, 14:45:51 07/28/02 Sun

I think rejection is pretty devastating.

If it is felt often enough, early enough, and with nothing to counterbalance it, it would be a very great human being who would be able to rise above it.

If you feel rejected by your parents, whether over something little, or something big, that's probably one of the most devastating emotions a child will feel. And how resilient, how maturely that child will learn to deal with it will depend again on what else that parent has been able to give. This is purely from what I've observed, nothing more.

You show very well how difficult it was for Willow and Spike to handle rejection. There's someone else on the show who has experienced rejection after rejection, but who has handled it, imo, in a more resilient way. Buffy's ultimate nightmare is rejection by her father. Surely one of the earliest powerful scenes in Season 1. The second is the world's rejection of her in Prophecy Girl. In Season 2, Joyce rejects her, telling her to never come back home. In Season 3 her friends turn their backs in DMP. Angelus rejects her in Innocence. Riley leaves. And the most difficult of all - Joyce's abandoment of her when she dies (Not that Joyce does it willingly, but it is still felt as deeply by Buffy).

In every instance but the last one, Buffy finds something within her. It arises from a feeling of her specialness, her strength, that she's still got 'me'. And I think the last, most deeply felt rejection points us to the reason for her resilience. It's her mother who has given Buffy her self belief. For all that she's the Slayer, it is Joyce who makes her feel loved and special. And as you point out, Spike has Drusilla and Angelus as sires, and Willow's parents are as neglectful as Xander's. They, none of them particularly like themselves. I don't think they feel all that special either.

In Normal Again, it is Joyce's words that pulls Buffy out, and mark the starting point of her recovery. I think rejection is something we all feel, but not all of us are lucky enough to be given all the tools we need to deal with it appropriately. Some people reach into and pull something out of their inner core, and others react with fear, and shame. Most of the time, it's a mix of both. And I'd argue (harking back to some discussions about the nature of anger) that the most corrosive emotions in the world, the most harmful, are fear and shame.

For most people anger comes and goes. It subsides. It's easily dissipated by laughter, or a touch. Shame, and a sense of worthlessness works its way into people's souls and is hard to dispell.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Rejection -- aliera, 18:16:52 07/28/02 Sun

rah, your writings are insightful and yet you have such a nice style that I almost forget (but not completely) of the difficult ideas they contain. I wish I had seen your post before I finished writing mine. Didn't mean to leave you out. I'm particularly interested in the parent issues as Joss still seems to be. Synchronicity?

You write:
If you feel rejected by your parents, whether over something little, or something big, that's probably one of the most devastating emotions a child will feel. And how resilient, how maturely that child will learn to deal with it will depend again on what else that parent has been able
to give. This is purely from what I've observed, nothing more.

Pehaps it's a week in part dedicated to children? I think your observations were astute. Is a parent who rejects a child in whatever way likely to then give them the tools to be able to handle rejection?

Rejection itself can come in all forms not necessarily a direct statement of I reject you and not necessarily in a romantic relationship. A constant need to pattern the child after some unobtainable perfection would also be rejection of the child's true self. There has been a bit of speculation on Spike as a "momma's boy" and on Willow as the "good child". I wonder if their real problems did not predate the high school experience? SK refers to Willow's clothing...a mother who was out of touch? Or trying to keep Willow a child? Or trying to keep Willow "good"?

And Spike...where did his problems stem from? I've seem people propose the rejection of Cecily and his experiences with his "first love" Dru as critical and I don't disagree; but isn't it more likely that his problems predate this? What drew him to Cecily in the first place? He seems old to me for adolescent love but we know very little of his early history; but from the (brief) dialogue I don't have the sense that they had a friendship, that there was reason for him to hope for a deeper relationship.

For Buffy I think that the lesson of season two was the stripping away of everything but herself, her core. I think your points about Joyce are well taken. This seemed to truly develope after season two, after Joyce's rejection of Buffy. My knowledge of season three is incomplete; but I have sense that they both grew as people after that. And I think that Giles who challenged Buffy but also provided reinforcement at critical times was important. It's retcon; but his decision to leave in season six may have been correct. They may have all needed to fly without a net this year.

"Some people reach into and pull something out of their inner core, and others react with fear, and shame. And I'd argue (harking back to some discussions about the nature of
anger) that the most corrosive emotions in the world, the most harmful, are fear and shame. For most people anger comes and goes. It subsides. It's easily dissipated by laughter, or a touch. Shame, and a sense of worthlessness
works its way into people's souls and is hard to dispell."

I wonder if this is something that is a natural part of our natures or instilled? It would seem the rare person whose sense of self is so strong that they could overcome rejection at a young age without some help. Some of my earliest memories are of encouragement to be myself and think for myself. Lessons by example from my parents that you can get through difficult times and grow stronger and closer as a family.

It would seem that the experiences of Buffy, Xander, Willow and perhaps, William were very different. I think that you are correct that feelings of shame and worthlessnesss would be very difficult to overcome and that we saw these feelings reflected the characters this season.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Rejection -- Rahael, 18:31:21 07/28/02 Sun

And you add complexity too! thanks. A lot of things to think about here, so let me just answer quickly for now - its very late here, and think of a fuller response later.

"Is a parent who rejects a child in whatever way likely to then give them the tools to be able to handle rejection?"

Yes, because not all rejections are terrible. I guess I should be clearer. As a child I felt rejected by my mother leaving me behind and going to a different country to study. Did she give me the skills to cope with this? Yes.

"It would seem the rare person whose sense of self is so strong that they could overcome rejection at a young age without some help. Some of my earliest memories are of encouragement to be myself and think for myself. Lessons by example from my parents that you can get through difficult times and grow stronger and closer as a family."

I think this was what I was trying to say was the difference between Buffy and Willow. BUffy experienced this, Willow has not. I remember the scene where Willow tries to talk to her mother, only to be told what to think, and to have her emotions and feelings dismissed. Imagine if Willow had been trying to tell her of her pain? Would that have been dismissed as adolescent angst?

I think Buffy is resilient enough to cope without Giles or Joyce, though it would have been nice for to have them around. I think she realises by Grave that she can live on, after her mother's death, and that's a tremendously joyful thought for her. Willow, however, just has the props pulled out from her. First Buffy went. And even when she came back, she withdrew from Willow. Then Tara went, first willingly, then unwillingly. And Giles also went. No one to support her, flailing painfully. And filled with guilt and vengeance.

"It is a terrible, and inexorable law, that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own: in the face of one's victim, one sees oneself."
— James Baldwin

This quote reminds me of Villains. Willow looks into the face of Warren and sees herself. And no punishment is too great for him. Shame, guilt, hatred. Rips off the costume.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Rejection -- shadowkat, 06:17:11 07/29/02 Mon

"I think Buffy is resilient enough to cope without Giles or Joyce, though it would have been nice for to have them around. I think she realises by Grave that she can live on, after her mother's death, and that's a tremendously joyful thought for her. Willow, however, just has the props pulled out from her. First Buffy went. And even when she came back, she withdrew from Willow. Then Tara went, first willingly, then unwillingly. And Giles also went. No one to support her, flailing painfully. And filled with guilt and vengeance.

"It is a terrible, and inexorable law, that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own: in the face of one's victim, one sees oneself."
— James Baldwin

This quote reminds me of Villains. Willow looks into the face of Warren and sees herself. And no punishment is too great for him. Shame, guilt, hatred. Rips off the costume."

Whoa good points. You reminded me of a scene in Afterlife
that always haunted me, particularly in combination with Flooded.

1. In Afterlife, we see Willow and Tara snuggling in bed and Willow is troubled. Tara asks what's wrong. And Willow says - it's just busy in her head (one of my favorite lines, Afterlife is a wonderful episode).Tara presses her.
And Willow finally admits that she'd expected Buffy to be happy to be back. To thank her. Remember Willow believed she'd pulled Buffy from hell.

The scene is a huge deja-vu - it reminds me of a few similar scenes:
1. Becoming - when Willow curses Angel with a soul to help Buffy and Buffy doesn't return to thank her. When Buffy does return...she's fairly cool to Willow and distant. After a while they work things out.
2. Choices - Willow is thrilled when she can help Buffy. And get herself captured in the process. She really didn't help that much. But Willow is desperate to be a part.
3. The Gift - Buffy finally gives Willow the recognition - says Willow is her big gun. Yet Willow can't save Buffy.
Only Tara. Buffy ends up dying to save all of them. I can't help but wonder if Spike isn't the only one wrenched with guilt after the Gift? Willow seems to be dealing with it as well in Bargaining. Spike's method is to be over-protective of Dawn, Willow's? To bring Buffy back?

So in Afterlife when Buffy is detached and not overly appreciative, Willow begins to feel uncertain. Flooded compounds her uncertainity - Giles, who she suspected to congratulate her - tell her she was great, who she may think of as a mentor/father figure - rakes her over the coals, calling her arrogant and amateurish and an idiot.
Hurt and confused, Willow flinches and strikes back.

If you watch the first episodes of Season 6 - you can see
Willow's confidence getting beaten down and her insecurities begin to leak out. It's a bit like watching her wander through her dream in Restless, each piece of her costume slowly being ripped away. She keeps trying to use magic to cover herself, but people keep chiding her for it, increasing her fear of being discovered.

In Flooded - Giles screams at her.
In All The Way - Tara is furious with her magical attempts to help at the party and her use of magic to find Dawn. And Willow does the forget spell.
OMWF - she finds out that Buffy was ripped from heaven not hell.
Tabula Rasa - Willow horribly upset for what she did to Buffy and wheeling with guilt, suggests making it better by making Buffy forget. Tara blasts her for using magic in this way and tells Willow she should stop all together. Willow starts to panic. And as a result everyone loses their memories.
Smashed/Wrecked - Tara leaves - Willow goes bonkers with magic. She tries to tell Buffy why, but as Rah suggests, Buffy really can't identify. She thinks she does. She thinks it's just an addiction like her own to Spike. But Buffy's attraction to Spike is very different from Willow's to magic. Buffy doesn't know that much about Willow's home life - and this is an interesting thing -

People have asked why it's only Buffy's birthday we celebrate? Because we are in Buffy's pov. What we know of Willow is conveyed more or less via Buffy. We know what Buffy learns. Bits and pieces. Occassionally, for story and character purposes, we learn things Buffy can't know - like the information on Spike in FFL and some of the scenes in Gingerbread. But in most cases - this information is limited to Buffy's pov. So ask yourself - how much do you really know your friends? All you know is what they tell you. Buffy doesn't know that Willow really doesn't much like the "ordinary girl" she is. She doesn't get that.

Rah makes another very interesting point about parents. People who have been rejected at home - often get their support outside the home, via friends. They cut off their family and make their own new family with a close group of friends. This is what Willow has tried to do. But the difficulty with rejection particularly if you get it at home and at school at an early age - is you begin to crave love/acceptance but believe you don't deserve it. No matter how much Buffy or Xander or Tara or OZ attempt to show Willow they love her - she can't see it as real, to Willow it is the "empty dress" she conjures in Wrecked.

Willow's story arc is in a way heartbreaking - because you can see her trying to find a way of coping with rejection.
First through the computer, then through magic. Also through OZ and Tara. It's like putting on costumes. But the costumes can be ripped away. Leaving Willow with "just" Willow - a line that is repeated several times this year.
In Wrecked - "without the magic - I'm ordinary" just Willow.
In Two to Go - Jonathan reminds everyone how she used to be "just" Willow.

You compare Willow to Warren - but I also see a very clear comparison to Jonathan. Jonathan who also uses magic to
make himself important. Through glamours. By doing the spell in Superstar. Jonathan who was in the bell tower in Earshot, intent on killing himself. Buffy only stops him, because she thinks he wants to kill everyone else as well.
Reminds me a bit of Willow - who goes into the dark magic, intent on destroying herself but unlike Jonathan in Earshot, she wants to take everyone else with her. Someone said that Seeing Red has more links to Columbine than Earshot, I tend to agree. But Villains through Grave really hits me in this way. The kids in Columbine - hated themselves and everyone else as an extension. So they declared war. Willow does the same thing.

Taking this back to Carrie in the Stephen King novel and movie - Carrie is horribly rejected at home and at school.
Briefly she seems to be accepted, then it's cruelly ripped from her. She like Willow uses magic (telekinisis) to destroy everyone and herself. Carrie like Willow believed no one supported her, no one liked her, her mother thought she was a waste of space, evil, (not sure what Willow's thinks except it fascinated me that Willow is living at Buffy's house and not at home while going through withdrawl), she doesn't trust the friends she thought she made, they appear to have betrayed her (less clear with Willow although Xander has rejected her repeatedly in the last 6 years and Buffy also backed away from her)...so she no longer cares. The world doesn't matter. I don't matter.
Let's rip it to shreds.

So what could the other SG have done to have prevented this? Anything?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Rejection responses to Rah and SK -- aliera, 09:42:13 07/29/02 Mon

I signed off last night although I did see rah's response I didn't have time to read it and now I'm back at work so this will have to be rushed. Hope I don't misinterpret again.

Rah: I don't think your writing was a fault I think it was my reading of what you were trying to say. I reading your words yet filtering them through my own lens if that makes any sense.

You are absolutely right there can be a perception of rejection without intent on the part of the parent. I can speak to this with in our own family because my sister may hear my fathers remarks as critical, whereas I might take it as a joke and reply in kind. I feel a base of love and respect from my father and my sister has different feelings. I actually was thinking when I replied of a situation I know outside of my immediate family where the parents were more damaged themselves. In particular, where we see several generations of negative patterns repeating themselves, where perhaps the parents were damaged young and themselves don't have the right tools. This didn't fit what you were trying to say, I realize.

SK maybe you know more about the Willow past than I. I haven't seen Gingerbread yet. My remarks are probably built on my own preconceptions about her character from seasons 1&2 and then the later years with parents very much in absentia. I had the sense that they held her to a high standard but never saw her for herself and also that they may not have given much affection. (But again this is mostly surmise on my part). Xander's situation of course much more dramatic. I do feel it's very likely with both these characters and Spike there are issues predating high school and early adulthood.

Rah: I didn't mean to downplay what you said about Joyce. I just saw her a more of a one dimensional character or stereotype prior to season 3.

I truly would like more backstory on Spike, although without knowing where they're heading with this character some of the current specs may be overset. Souled he may be a very different character. We'll see.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Great posts Shadowkat, Leeta, Cjl and ponygirl - particularly in combination -- aliera, 15:51:42 07/28/02 Sun

Great essay by the way and we haven't delved into the William end yet; but I enjoyed that also...an interesting angle is the change-your-partner (not for another) one, because it struck me that although Dru was anxious for what she saw inside him (Fisher King); she changes him first.

Excellent posts from everyone. Shadowkat writes:

"This is interesting because the one person Leeta does not mention Xander making amends to is Willow. He makes amends to Buffy (constantly), he makes amends to Cordy, but he does not really make amends or help Willow until Grave. And Willow is the one person he rejected the most consistently in Seasons 1 - 4, until she basically got off stage. He isn't that nice to her throughout Season 6, asking her to use magic at certain points (OAFA) and accusing her at others (Gone.). So is Xander partially responsible for Willow's lack of self-esteem? I don't think so. "

Very interesting. He certainly didn't make it better though. There are a number of sensitive points in recovery and I had great respect and hope for her after she regrouped strongly from his doubt (that had to have struck her deeply.) That cjl mentions that scene in season two was reminscent of this. Yes, a great, great scene...go Willow. Now, the magic accusation is also very interesting from the Xander point of view because he is *not* acting in Willow's best interests at this point and why does he jump so easily to the conclusion that her magic is to blame? I wonder what his feelings truly were about her relationships and what regrets he may have had about rejecting her? It also makes you wonder about the different types of love. It is so much harder to watch someone you love struggling with a problem you have no control over, maybe his avoidance and other actions are a symbol of the depth of his feelings. I don't know. A simple as the character is sometimes written; at other times there is surprising complexity. And he's our everyman, oh boy.

"I think Willow is (at the root of her own problems). The scene CJL points out in Surprise is a great one - but Willow doesn't believe it. She really hasn't gotten off stage. She still harbors feelings for Xander all the way up to Season 5 as evidenced by her treatment of Anya in Triangle. Their battle in Triangle is partly over Xander - which may be why Tara is so uncomfortable."

cough*family issues*cough. Multi level-issues with his rejections? But, you all are quite right. We're all at the root of our own problems; the demons are within us (metaphorically.) I don't think she was over it either or anything else. Grave was the new low, we'll have to see from here. (But, these relationships are very interesting now, happy dance.) In fact, season end is about realizations not full change or is that just my perception?

And there was a big time rejection of her "gift" of Buffy's resurrection and her leadership, not to mention whatever bargain she had to make. She foreshadows this with the "all for naught" statement (at which point we see her fall apart) in the woods. And in a horrible twist the ressurection was successful but the ensuing events dreadful. Types of rejections from Giles (father), Dawn(child) and Tara(lover) follow in amongst the events of the season. We have all these factors and more operating on Willow. Ponygirl was right she really had so many things all coming together at the same time. And again, because of the way this was all written this season no one could divert themselves by channeling this onto an external threat. So these old demons of rejection and inadequecy for Willow (and Xander) could really come to life.

"Willow sees Tara and Oz as people who cared for her. She loved them - because they loved her first. Xander and Buffy? She loved Xander first. But Xander always preferred Buffy. When Tara is ripped from her - that resentment that pain appears to finally come to the surface."

Was she in love with love? Was she in so much pain the whole time that she needed the love desperately? Joss leads us back to questions of what is love again this season. We get a look at the monsters in all our favorite characters and it's brought home because they are the characters that we could relate too. Also, D'Hoffryn's lines about the rage keep coming to mind. This source of this wasn't identifed was it?

"So maybe rejection doesn't always have good results? At least it didn't in the case of Xander and Willow?"

It's true. But, let's try to flip this and view it rather as the end of something, mini-death of a possible romance. Endings are hard, sad, painful. But endings are sometimes necessary in order to move on. (Cliche but cliche comes about for a reason: ie something that's so much a part of the common experience that it becomes cliche.) They are necessary for new beginnings. We touched on this in one of the posts yesterday regarding the nature of the Death card on the tarot deck. Death: end of a situation, cycle...end of something that has been lived through. Transformation. Level change. New beginnings to follow.

But one of my books goes on to clarify that this situation is not a gimme. There's a process, a greiving, a price to be paid for the new beginning. If you don't close the door you don't move on. As cjl said internalizing isn't the answer. Leeta mentions amends. That can be part of the process. Williams' running away, Willow's internalization aren't the answer. As you intended us to see, they are flip sides of the same coin.

One of my favorite lines from season two is Whistler's. (I'ved loaned out my S2 tapes to my niece...subverting the next generation, so I can't quote it exactly.) But it's something about... it's not what you do in the tough moments that counts...it's what you do after.

Excellent essay, if I didn't mention. Thank-you very!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks - great post yourself -- shadowkat, 06:31:41 07/29/02 Mon

"One of my favorite lines from season two is Whistler's. (I'ved loaned out my S2 tapes to my niece...subverting the next generation, so I can't quote it exactly.) But it's something about... it's not what you do in the tough moments that counts...it's what you do after. "

Whistlers speech in becoming continues to haunt me. I almost responded to something Sunshine said in a post about how Becoming was only about the negative results of star-crossed love. (I think I remember that right.) I disagree.
It's about how when it comes down to it - we have to draw strength from ourselves, we are the one's we have to count on.

Whistler says - at the end of Becoming Part I - that bad things will happen, can't do anything about that, it's how you handle them, what you do next that matters. (not exact but close). Then in Becoming PArt II - he states how
it comes down to you. Not what everyone else does - they add to it, yes, but in all our journey's - it's our choices what we do that counts.

In the sword fight - Angelus says what do you have left, Buffy, everything has been stripped away...etc, Buffy says I have me!

A wise man once told me that we can't get our value from outside ourselves, from test scores, accloades, awards, other people, our value must come from inside. Because what comes from others? Is a projection of themselves. The writer of the Four Agreements states this as well. In an episode of Btvs - I believe it's Blind Date, Angel makes the comment that the choice to do good or evil to change must come from within - he makes the comment in regards to Lindsey. No one else can make it for you.

Anyways thanks for the comments. Great posts everyone! sk

[> [> [> Great points! -- Rahael, 15:23:45 07/27/02 Sat

More thoughtful feedback later!

[> [> [> I enjoyed that. A great read. Terrific post shadowkat. -- Caesar Augustus, 00:18:48 07/28/02 Sun

[> [> [> Muchos kudos! and a bit more on Willow -- ponygirl, 10:08:07 07/28/02 Sun

Poor Willow! I always felt she had the deck stacked against her in terms of having any confidence about herself relationship-wise. Both of her partners, Oz and Tara, saw Willow before she saw them. They fell in love with her without really knowing her, based on perceptions of herself that she was unsure of. Love at first sight is a wonderful thing, but when it is one-sided... I can only imagine Willow wondering what it was that Oz and Tara saw. With Tara Willow expressed the belief that Tara fell in love with her because of Willow's magical power. Evidence would seem to support her, after all Tara sought Willow out in Hush to do magic.

For both Oz and Tara it seemed to be that Willow grew to love them because of their love for her. Joss says in his Innocence commentary that Willow and Oz's scene in the van was when Willow started to love him. What is Oz doing in this scene? He's describing his fantasy of kissing Willow. Later in Two To Go Willow says that the only thing good about her was the way Tara looked at her.

I think that Willow had a lot of her self-image invested in Oz and Tara's view of her, but not a lot of confidence in its accuracy. After all the one person that Willow loved first, and the person who knew her better than any other, Xander, continually rejected her as a romantic partner. Even his sexual attraction to her could be written off as a "clothes fluke". For Willow rejection by Oz and Tara is not simply the ending of a relationship but a loss of part of Willow's identity as well.

Thanks for another great essay 'kat!

[> [> [> [> The "Clothes Fluke" and the Chasteness of X/C -- cjl, 09:53:47 07/29/02 Mon

When you're talking about characters as rich and complex as Xander and Willow, with an intense interpersonal relationship extending back to early childhood, brushing off their sudden mutual attraction in S3 as a "clothes fluke" doesn't do them justice.

As I said in my earlier post, by the start of S3, Xander was still wrestling with the particulars of his odd romance with Cordy--but I didn't note a key facet (or in this case, non- facet) of their relationship: they never went "all the way." If Cordelia was experienced in the ways of love (and I think she was), what the heck was stopping them? Was Xander being a gentleman? (OK, stop laughing out there.) Was it the performance anxiety of a male virgin? (Didn't seem to matter with Faith.) Maybe Xander just didn't feel the relationship had much depth beyond the initial hormone surge--and maybe his mind was drifting towards a woman with whom he did have that deep connection....

Meanwhile, Willow was riding high with Oz, experimenting with witchcraft, watching her horizons expand with breathtaking speed. It's difficult to dissect her motives for reaching back to Xander when she had such a good thing going without him; but maybe Bad Self-Image Willow wanted to confirm her "new and improved" status with the one guy who knew her "when." Maybe the thoughts of the Prom and the graduation and fear of what the future might bring (more rejection and heartbreak?) drove her into the arms of her most trusted friend. Perhaps a little bit of both. Whatever it was, the protestations of a "clothes fluke" sounded hollow to me. There were deeper feelings at play, and Willow couldn't conveniently zap them away.

Those feelings were touching and beautiful and sweet--but the timing sucked. Being the nice people they are, Xander and Willow couldn't bear screwing over Oz and Cordy, and it poisoned the potential romance. And once Willow met Tara in Season 4, the window for an X/W relationship closed, probably for good.

[Still--I wonder...What if Willow and Xander decided "this is it"? What if they decided the feelings were real and decided to pursue the relationship, no matter what it cost? How would that have affected the Scoobs and the events of S3?

Even if she and Xander were 2 gether/4 ever, would Willow have eventually re-evaluated her sexuality anyway?

Fan fic, anyone?]

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The "Clothes Fluke" and the Chasteness of X/C -- ponygirl, 11:04:21 07/29/02 Mon

I don't think Willow and Xander's attraction was a clothes fluke, but it would be easy for Willow to write it off as such, both to assuage her guilt and to foster a negative self-image. I agree that the timing of their attraction was quite interesting, the conversation they have before they see each other in their new clothes was about how far they had gone with their respective partners. It was clear that both were at pretty much the same stage in their relationships, where sex is becoming more than a possibility. It's finally at this point that they see each other in a sexual light (not to be confused with one of those sexy red lightbulbs). Is it a sign of their impending adulthood? Or a retreat from scarier emotional commitments? I don't know, but it definitely was more than a lapse, and something that Xander and Willow never really dealt with.

[> [> [> "beneath" in what way? -- leslie, 17:45:58 07/28/02 Sun

I think there is one aspect of "beneathness" that tends to get overlooked in 20th-century American readings of the scene between Cecily and William: class. True, Cecily rejects William, but is it because of her emotions or her social status? I think I've brought this up before--assuming that Cecily = Halfrek, what kind of "daddy issues" led Cecily to become a vengence demon? (Oh, let's go on and over- extrapolate from single lines here--"daddy issues" to complement William's "mommy issues"?) In the context of late Victorian England, Cecily may well be simply making a statement of simple social fact: she is of a higher class than William and therefore must marry someone of her own rank or else someone of truly remarkable wealth (and William seems to be upper-middle-class at best, not a wealthy man). William certainly seems to be aware of the class distinction: when he decides to embrace his "beneathness" in becoming a vampire, he adopts a somewhat wonky working-class accent--in contrast but also in complementarity to Dru, who is authentically working-class in both life and unlife.

There's that ironic comment that Spike made this season about the callow teenage vamps who are making trouble on Halloween--"I'm a rebel, you're an idiot." On the one hand, it's the comment of an aging bad boy who doesn't want to accept that maybe his own youthful rebellion seemed as pointless to his elders in the day as these rebellious kids seem to him now, but I think in Spike's case, he does have a point. William was rebelling against a rigid class system that, in life, crushed him because, as a middle-class man aspiring to a woman "above" him, he threatened that system's existence, rebelling against a hypocritical morality that did its best to suck the life out people without even offering them eternal damnation in return. The teen vamps that attack Dawn are rebelling against--what? A society where sex and drugs and rock and roll are already shoved down your throat, where all morality is relative, where the most valorized lifestyle is to push the most mundane acts to their "extreme"? Spike was right--he *was* a rebel (though a rebel against a society that no longer exists); they *are* idiots.

What is William's real "sin"? Why do his peers reject him? Well, maybe they really aren't his peers. Maybe, in fact, they are "peers" and he isn't. He may, indeed, be a bloody awful poet, but England has ever abounded in bloody awful poets. Historically, they were youthful aristocrats who didn't have anything better to do with their time. If William hadn't been a bloody awful poet, they would have used something else as an excuse--his sin is pretension, pretending to be something that he isn't--a gentleman. Merely being a "good man" is *not* enough in this society. Good men know their place and stay in it. This is the one thing that stays constant between William and Spike: both refuse to stay in their place.

[> [> [> [> Re: "beneath" in what way? -- aliera, 18:56:21 07/28/02 Sun

With the "beneath" in what way...I was thinking something different...just in my mind, I guess.

That age is known for a lot of things, extremely rigid morality, with a very dark underbelly. Extremes in one way always seem to be balanced by extremes in another, and not for the good. It was also the time of the sweeting up of myths and fairy tales for the young, the removal of the dark tales...demything and it's polar opposite, interest in and gathering and creating of tales. The time of Rossetti, Morris, Burne-Jones, McDonald, Ruskin, Wilde, and others, rebels and possibly inspiration to rebels.

It's hard to know from the dialogue what Cecily's backstory was; but your explanation is a likely one. And the words "beneath me" must be important since we hear them again. What I wonder more about is what happened to William before these words were uttered by Cecily. It feels as if there's more to the story that what we know to have given them such a devastating effect. James has indicated in interviews that there was a borrowing from his life that went on here; the inability to fit in? And he experienced a different sort of rejection later, rejection of his abilities as an actor.

Such is Buffy. The more you know; the more you want to know. ;-)

[> [> [> [> Re: "beneath" in what way? (Spoilers for Ats 1-2) -- shadowkat, 06:51:08 07/29/02 Mon

Good points leslie and aliera. I was wondering about Spike's background myself last night. I had finished re-watching Season 1 Ats and the first two episodes of Season 2. And realized that Angel came from upper middle class - a class he was somewhat ashamed of. Lindsey mentions in Blind Date how Angel had servants. Angel replies - "just the one".
An echo of his comment towards his father in Prodigal's flashbacks - "We only have the one servant, father, not servants!" And when Lindsey complains about his lack of money and wealth, Angel pretends to nod off. Angelus makes snide comments about Giles in Season 2 Btvs that are subtle hints to class as well.

Joss has stated how Spike and Giles are a lot alike in his mind. If you re-watch FFL's flashbacks - Spike reminds me a lot of Giles in Welcome to the Hellmouth and when he first meets Jenny. Very fussy, not real comfortable, scholarly type. Middle Class. Not accepted. While class does matter to some extent in America - I believe it matters a great deal more in England. If you aren't born in a certain class, you'll never be accepted in those circles.

In which case - leslie is most likely right, William could have discussed muggings at length and still have been rejected. Perhaps he knew that? And chose to ignore them.
And maybe Cecily's rejection had more to do with "class" than anything else.

The beneath me line comes up in several episodes.
1. FFL
2. We also see it hinted at in Season 2 actually - with
Angel looking down on Spike in the episodes following Innocence.
3. The Gift...(He's standing beneath her at the bottom of the stairs)
4. Again in Afterlife (standing beneath her - she comes down to him in that episode while in the Gift she has drifted up away from him.)
5. SR - he tells Clem, he was always "beneath her", she would never bring herself down to his level. They were never really together.

Interesting. Compare this to Season 2 ats - Where You Are and Have Ever Been (The hyperion episode) - in this episode a woman who is half black and half white makes the comment to Angel that she is tainted, he says she's not, she says she fits in no where, he comments that he actually gets that. Angel tells Buffy at different points in Season 3 and 4 how he is beneath her - doesn't deserve her. The vampire - is beneath the human. And beneath pure demon. A hybrid.
Halfbreed. We see Spike refer to this - in Life Serial (oh right, take advantage of the vamp!). We get very little of how Spike is currently referred to in the demon world, but from what I've seen? I'd guess he's fallen greatly in stature. And been rejected by his own kind. The Lurker demon accuses him of being weak, pathetic. In Season 4 he is kicked out of the bar. HE has a loan shark after him and gambling debts. One gets the feeling that Spike has grown tired of his demon status as much as he'd once before grown tired of his middle class status?? Did Dru in changing him, really elevate him? Or just push him further down?

[> [> [> [> [> More stairs -- ponygirl, 07:49:32 07/29/02 Mon

Another very early instance of the stairs motif occurs in Lie To Me. Buffy is holding Dru at the top of the stairs, Spike descends and Buffy shoves Dru down to him. A literal knocking off the pedestal for Drusilla.

Cool posts everyone!

[> [> [> [> [> A minor nitpick -- Rahael, 08:44:17 07/29/02 Mon

Just having one servant means that Liam was himself middleclass, and not upper class. His family could be well to do, but an aristorcratic family would need at least:

A cook
One maid (if not more)
Someone to tend to the garden/the horses

And I would say that that was the minimum.

Liam, being the person who we was would probably have felt the taint of having only one servant more than being ashamed of being an aristocrat.

Of course, this could just be ME being careless with details


[> [> [> [> [> [> No, your right. Thanks. Additional pts. Also history help? -- shadowkat, 09:50:33 07/29/02 Mon

"Liam, being the person who we was would probably have felt the taint of having only one servant more than being ashamed of being an aristocrat. "

No, I think you're right. He was ashamed of having the one servant. His father kept talking about how great and successful they were. His father was a merchant, made his money off silk and linens. Liam scoffed at this sucess, reminding his father they only had the one servant.

When he becomes a vampire - he is obessed with quality things. Opera. Ballet. Nice linens. Nice clothes. Nice car.
Living in a Mansion not a crypt. Talking in refined tones.

My question - could William and Liam been from the same class just 100 years removed? Angelus was 127 years old when Spike was created. Did the math last night - when I saw Liam was born in 1727 and died in 1753 at age of 26.
William died in 1880, assume at 26, although they never tell us and his age of 126 in 1999 doesn't track.

So my assumption? William was merchant class in 1880 England
and Liam was merchant class in 1754 Ireland.

Two very different countries by the way. And the class structure is also quite different. The Irish also despised the English as much back then as they do now. Possibly more since the English often were the landowners..I think. Been a while since I studied this and don't have the best history background.

So even if they were from the same class - they are still separated by a century and by two different cultures.

Liam's acceptance in 1754 Ireland as merchant class may have been better as shown in flashback than it would have been in 1880 London as merchant class. Also Liam was from a small village and William lived in the city.

Wondering if the distinctions between William and Liam may be similar to the distinctions between Lindsey and Gunn?
Lindsey is from rural poverty. Gunn is from inner city urban poverty. Lindsey sells his soul for the corner office and to be a lawyer to demons. Gunn protects his family, kills demons, and sells his soul for a truck. Lindsey is white - rural. Gunn is black inner city.
Do these distinctions matter? ME does reference the difference in two episodes : Blind Date, Where HAve You Been, and War Zone.

Aliera is right, the more we know, the more we want to know.
Very clever character development.

Not sure if any of that was accurate historically. Historians? Can you help?? (Being too busy and lazy to research it myself ;-) )

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> "The enemies of God and mankind" -- Rahael, 10:49:10 07/29/02 Mon

I did very little Irish history, so this is kind of sketchy.

It’s actually the other way around. It’s the English who have a long history of despising the Irish. It has deep roots – during Elizabeth’s reign wealthy Catholics escaped from Protestant England and settled in Catholic Ireland. These are the Anglo-Catholics. Even then the native Irish were seen as barbarians, uncivilised, even subhuman. The English contrasted themselves with smugness. Later on, this became intertwined with anti Catholic prejudice, as Protestants started to settle in Ireland. You might say that the English first cut their racist teeth on their near neighbours. Milton says:

“toward these murderous Irish, the enemies of God and mankind, accursed offspring of their own connivance, no man takes notice”

During the years of religious conflict/anxiety, England was always afraid that the Continental Catholic invasion would land in Ireland first, as a first step to an English invasion. Thus, Catholicism started to become associated with treachery. England also had a fully formed vocabulary of virulent anti-Catholic prejudice – it was ‘despotic’, ‘superstitious’. Protestantism started to become intimately linked to the idea of ‘England’.

The Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, member of a rich Irish Protestant family disdained his Irish birth – he remarked that being born in a stable didn’t make you a horse.

This is the background to dH’s little joke in the fan fic – when the Mayor tells Angelus that he didn’t want their kind in Sunnydale, Angelus remarks puzzled “but the town is full of Vampires” and the Mayor retorts that he was referring to the Irish. The Irish have faced great prejudice – as the film ‘The Commitments’ remarks amusingly, the Irish are the black men of Europe. (England has had black inhabitants dating back to Elizabeth, but never mind!)

So yes, Liam himself is part of the ‘Other’ which just makes it all very interesting. In this sense, Spike could easily look down on him. After all, he probably sees himself as an English gentleman – gentleman enough to have aristocratic acquaintances and know Cecily, and be able to attend that private party.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Footnote on the Anglo-Catholics -- Sophist, 11:00:13 07/29/02 Mon

They actually go back to 1171 (the original Norman invasion of Ireland). Ireland always had an English/Catholic nobility. They actually integrated somewhat with the native Irish, though the Irish tried on a number of occasions to restore native kings. The real antipathy (as opposed to just simmering resentment :)) came with the Catholic/Protestant division, as you say. Elizabeth's reign was bad, Cromwell worse, William III worst of all.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "The enemies of God and mankind" -- shadowkat, 11:13:54 07/29/02 Mon

Interesting - wonder if Giles would have a similar reaction to Angel - I vaguely remember Giles mentioning something about the bloody Irish but not sure when. (I see Giles and Spike being more similar in character than Spike/Angel. Actually Weseley/Angel seem to have more in common...but
that's gut right now.)

When did the anti-Irish sentiment start? Elizabethan?
Or right after Henry broke with the church? I always sensed
the English had problems with their poorer neighbors.
I have studied some ancient history - Roman/Gaule/Celts - and I recall that the Romans weren't quite able to conquer the Scots and Irish as easily as the middle section of Britian. Could this explain the divide between the Scots/Irish and British?

Of course when I was traveling around Western Wales in the 80s I discovered the Welsh had more sympathy for the Irish than the British.

Curious if most of the resentment didn't occur because of Cromwell? OR if it happened before than with MAry Queen of Scots - who was supported by Ireland?

Back to Buffy - Angelus/Angel is heavily portrayed as Irish. Snippets of an Irish (albeit bad Irish) accent are prevalent throughout Ats Seasons 1-2. Spike's accent is a lot like Ripper's in Band Candy. In fact Ripper in Band Candy acts a lot like Spike. It's freaky how close they are. Just as William in Fool For Love acts a lot like Giles.

So William is either merchant class or middle class (not low or high) maybe just between? Spike is low - acts like urban inner city - and his mannerisms are very similar to that style.

Now here's an interesing thing - When Liam gets turned - he seems to rise in stature, becomes more aristocratic, less interested in bar brawls and maids and more interested in sophistication. William gets turned - he sinks in class stature, less interested in scholarly pursuites and sophistication and more interested in "fists and fangs".
This is mostly conjecture - b/c we know so little about William...but I'm wondering if both Liam and Willaim's reactions as vampires are reactions on how they were either rejected or accepted by their parents?

1. We know Liam's father strongly disapproved of him. In the episode Prodigal - Liam's father reminds me a lot of Xander's and a little of Giles. "I never stood in your way!"

2. William doesn't appear to have a father. Did his mother approve of him? Or is his focus completely on the disapproval of his peers? In some ways William's family background reminds me more of Buffy or Willow. I'm on the fence as to which.

I really hope they give me more information on William next year.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "The enemies of God and mankind" -- aliera, 12:09:50 07/29/02 Mon

Weren't there also some remarks about how Spike's actions as a vamp drew attention to the gang? And also of course, we have the slayer confrontations to consider. Part of what makes it difficult is we're still debating the whole demon/human who's doing what and how much (or rather we don't seem to have a good working definition). Is it the human William coming through in these activities or the demon?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> "Bloody colonials" - Core/periphery -- Rahael, 12:15:32 07/29/02 Mon

Giles would never say "bloody Irish". Considering the current sensitivities with the situation in Northern Ireland, that would be an incredibly insensitive thing for ME to write!

He did say bloody colonials, but the context is different since he is now 'the other' in America, and his derision is a kind of class snobbery directed against a more powerful group. Which is what renders it slightly tongue in cheek, and less racist than if he were to direct it at the Irish who are in a very different situation, in terms of power with contrast to the English.

I'd say that probably derogatory references to the Irish would have begun whenever the English started encountering them. Before Henry I should think. I remember attending a very interesting seminar on cartography which covered the English attitude to the Irish. Pity I didn't take notes.

Anyway, the idea of Maps is very interesting. The impulse to 'map' your nation, to define your borders as compared to that of your near neighbours is a political exercise. There is a famous portrait of ELizabeth, very grand, in a rich and extravagant gown, standing on a map of the world. Of course, she is standing on Europe, an expression of her power and ambition.

Early maps of parts of the New World (the one of Virginia sticks out in my mind) also political and had an agenda of persuading people to go and settle there.

Anyway, to wander back to the point, the English nation saw themselves at the centre of their universe, and Ireland, Scotland and Wales were very much the peripheries to the 'Core'. And this affected their colonial adventures - Sophist is much better on the pre early modern parts of this than I am!

But being at the 'Core' implied civilisation, education, cultural, political and social superiority. This was given an interesting twist during the Romantic period, where the peripheries gained new virtues : Liberty versus metropolitan political corruption. Country versus Court. Scotland (see the writings of Tobias Smollett) started to describe its virtue and purity versus the polluted England. And America, being at the furtherst periphery of all, also started to gain a reputation as a 'land of liberty'. (This was even before the revolutionary era). So you might say, the further away from the centre of political power, the more 'virtuous' and 'free' you were.

This trend can also be seen in the travel writings of Doctor Johnson, and the work of Sir Walter Scott. For the first time ever, the 'barbarous' Scottish highlands started gaining a romantic image they never had before.

I've enjoyed thinking this through, but I doubt I've been much help to you, sorry SK!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "Bloody colonials" - Core/periphery - - Dead Soul, 13:04:41 07/29/02 Mon

Not really sure where, or if, this belongs in this thread. But I believe that the English disdain for the Irish was originally based on fear.

In the time of the Vikings, there was a very large Norse settlement/presence in Ireland and a lot of the raids on England were launched from Ireland. Later the vikings (for lack of a better term, which might be "Norse") who had settled in Ireland became assimilated and christianized, but the "whistling in the dark" fear/contempt for the Irish by the English remained.

That they didn't/don't have that same attitude towards actual Norwegians may have to do with the geographical distance - Ireland is just too damned close to ignore. The Elizabethan-and-beyond fear of a Catholic invasion being launched from Ireland had actual precedent with the Norse.

This is just all off the top of my head and based on very dim memory, so I could very well be wrong.

Dead Soul

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "The enemies of God and mankind" -- leslie, 13:12:37 07/29/02 Mon

First point: "William gets turned - he sinks in class stature, less interested in scholarly pursuites and sophistication and more interested in "fists and fangs"."

I'm not sure we can assume that William is interested in *scholarly* pursuits--he is interested in artistic pursuits, which are altogether different. William does not strike me as being particularly scholarly, at least in the bits we see of him, and while I have noticed before that some people seem to assume that he went to university, I am not convinced of that, either. In the 1870's, which is when he would have been of university age, Oxford and Cambridge were still very much the provinces of the gentry and aristocracy, frankly not particularly scholarly anyway, more like finishing schools for upper-class youth and/or the training ground for Anglican clergy. If you became a "scholar," you were a member of the clergy and, while resident at university, not allowed to marry. Hence the eagerness of otherwise financially unendowed young men in Jane Austen novels to acquire a "living"--a parish to minister to--which would allow them to marry. (In fact, you could not attend university at all if you were Catholic. This dates back to the era of the Reformation and after, when loyalty oaths were instituted requiring those dangerous intellectuals at universities to vow that they would uphold England *and the Anglican church.*) The idea of opening up the universities to a wider class of men--and maybe, just maybe, women--and the idea of a university indulging in any scholarship beyong theology did not begin until the 1880's. Up to that point, scholarship in the universities was tangential to the unversity's mission of producing aristocrats well-versed in the classics and clergymen who, unlike their parishoners, could read the Bible. (It had finally sunk in that most of the parishoners could already read the Bible on their own.)

The Ebglish attitude toward Catholics is very complex, but largely is a result of not only the theological Reformation but also the politics that resulted from Henry VIII's split from Rome. Henry VIII himself basically just wanted to have Catholicism without the Pope; it wasn't until the reign of his son, Edward, that hard-core Protestantism along Continental (Lutheran) lines really took hold (largely because of the cadre of nobles who mananged to get themselves in power as his regents and advisors). Under Edward, there was massive persecution of Catholics; after Edward died and Mary took the throne--a Catholic, daughter of the Catholic Katharine of Aragon, married to Philip of Spain, and Spain was about the most powerful country in Europe at the time and thus a strong threat to English independence--Protestants were persecuted; then Elizabeth, a Protestant, took the throne and persecuted Catholics (arguably Elizabeth's mother, Ann Boylen, was a more ardent Protestant than her husband and a strong influence on his decision to break with Rome beyond his sexual desire for her). After Elizabeth, you get the Stuarts: James I was Protestant and not particularly interested in persecution of anyone but witches, but his sons, Charles I and James II, were officially Protestant but suspected of being crypto- Catholics and in fact James II probably was a Catholic. And of course, in between Charles and James you get Cromwell, as radical a Protestant as ever ruled the country. James was kicked out and his daughter and son-in-law brought in because they *were* Protestant. Thus, this whole era from about 1530-1680 was a state of constant turmoil, both religious and political, and the threat of Catholicism was strongly linked to the idea of an independent England. (Remember, even before Henry VIII, it wasn't so long that England had stopped being simply a province within the wider holdings of essentially French-based rulers.)

By the 18th century, people were just damned tired of the whole thing; they had decided they were Protestant and they wanted to stay that way. The myth of Anglicanism was that is was a return to "primitive Christianity," i.e., the Christianity that existed in Britain *before* the establishment of the papacy, which is why in the 18th century you suddenly get this whole obession with druidism and "Celtic" Christianity. The thrust of this Protestantism was essentially that individuals should have a "personal" relationship with God and did not need the mediation of priests and ritual between them and God--it was about independent thinking, and thus Catholics were seen as being opposed to independence both politically and theologically. (You can still see the lingering aftereffects of this political prejudice in the hardcore Tory distrust of the European Union--the religious overtones have disappeared, but the leeriness against overinvolvement with Europe and a consequent loss of independence dates back to the Tudor era.)

In addition to this intellectual prejudice against Catholicism was a class prejudice against Catholicism, since the religion was now primarily practiced in England by Irish working-class immigrants--it was the religion of the servants. In the mid-19th century, however, there began to be a middle-class English revival of interest in Catholicism, and part of the horror of people converting to Catholicism was that they became tarred with this class prejudice as well as the religious prejudice. (Why do I know so damned much about this? you may ask. I just finished writing a biography of JRR Tolkien, whose mother converted to Catholicism around 1900, and I had to do a hell of a lot of research on why this was such a terrible thing that her family basically cut her off and left her and her kids to almost starve.)

So, getting back to Angel and Spike....

Although there were English Catholics in Ireland who may have gone there to escape persecution at home, the ruling class was Protestant, because the English did not want Catholics in positions of power in a colony as turbulent as Ireland (remember that Ireland was not made officially part of "Great Britain" until 1801). As with entrance to a university, you couldn't achieve any kind of social position without being Anglican. There were essentially two cultures side by side--the Protestants (largely composed of Protestant Scots who had been "transplanted" by Cromwell-- and who are the ancestors of the modern Northern Irish Protestants who want to remain part of Britain, hence the whole modern Irish situation) and the Catholics, who hated the Protestants because the way Cromwell had "transplanted" them was to kick the native Irish off of their land and give it to the Scots. So, in addition to having only one servant, Liam's family, as Catholics, were by definition lower in status than Protestants, and were doomed, by their religion, to never get any higher than so high--a religious glass ceiling, as it were. But the 18th century in Irish culture was also the swan song of a culture that still was, in many ways, medieval, the direct continuation of the culture of St. Patrick and St. Columcille but which was being suffocated by English rule during Liam's life and ultimately was starved to death by the Potato Famine about a century after Liam became a vampire.

As for William, well, the the 19th century in England was the time of the Industrial Revolution, when middle-class families had the unexpected opportunity to become wealthy, if they played their cards right. However, the upper classes were both tempted by this infusion of wealth (especially if they had stayed invested in land rather than in industry and were losing their shirts trying to maintain their style of living) and threatened by it. Therefore, class became even more important, and there was an effort on the part of the aristocracy and gentry to keep down the neauveaux riche unless they paid through the nose, and even then, if an aristocrat married a rich industrialist's child, the newcomer was never quite quite, it was only their children, who had been raised "properly", who could become insiders. The 19th century is when you start seeing enormous numbers of etiquette books being published--this was because there was a lot of social mobility, people were making money and wanting to appear to be more sophisticated than their upbringing, but at the same time, the people who were already "in" were doing their best to make it hard to join, so you had to learn all kinds of rules to, well, basically, "pass for class" (much like "passing for white").

The thing I find interesting in the comparison of Liam and William is that they are both members of social classes that are being artificially held down by the dominant, ruling classes. Becoming vampires puts them outside of the class system, but how each responds to that freedom is different. Liam was on course for downward mobility in life, yet became a sophisticate as a vamp; William was thwarted in his attempt at upward mobility in life, and became a yob as a vamp. The women, however, remain in unlife essentially what they were in life: Darla did her upward move in life by becoming a high-class whore, Dru retains her working-class accent and her mortal insanity.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Quibble re Stuarts -- Dead Soul, 13:52:25 07/29/02 Mon

Being nit-picky - James the II wasn't James I's son - he and Charles II were the sons of Charles I who was beheaded by the Parliamentarians/Cromwell. They lived in exile on the continent until the 1660's when Charles II successfully returned to England and the throne.

When Charles II died without any legitimate heirs, his brother James II ascended but, because of his conversion to Catholicism, was deposed by his grown daughter Mary and her Protestant husband, William, Prince of Orange in what was called the Glorious Revolution. William and Mary were succeeded by Mary's sister Anne and when Anne died without an heir, rather than give the throne to her Catholic half- brother (a.k.a. James III/Great Pretender), she gave it to the German Protestant Hanoverians.

Sorry, kind of batty about this subject.

Dead (Jacobite) Soul

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Excellent summary -- Sophist, 13:56:57 07/29/02 Mon

I'm embarrassed that my pedantry inspires two (very minor) corrections:

James I was Protestant and not particularly interested in persecution of anyone but witches, but his sons, Charles I and James II, were officially Protestant but suspected of being crypto-Catholics and in fact James II probably was a Catholic.

Charles I was the son of James I, but James II was the son of Charles I, not James I. James II was openly Catholic. His brother, Charles II, is fairly described as crypto- Catholic.

In fact, you could not attend university at all if you were Catholic.

Even Protestant Dissenters could not until very late in the game. Anglicans only.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> 'Born in Exile' -- Rahael, 14:23:26 07/29/02 Mon

Yes, exactly Sophist. Only members of the Church of England could attend the two universities, Oxford and Cambridge. This is the reason that universities like Manchester were set up, so that the sons of dissenters could attend. A fascinating novel, which ties into the themes of class rebellion that Leslie talks about is George Gissing's 'Born in exile', which tells the story of a brilliant young man, attending the University of Manchester and who falls for the daughter of his professor (the detail is a little muddy now. At any rate, the daughter of someone who was of higher status).

Until then, a valued member of the family, he gets humiliated, rejected and thrown out for daring to fall in love above his station. He becomes a broken, impoverished man who abandons his studies. A very interesting and powerful novel that I've referenced here before.

Rah, who believes that George Gissing should be moved up the league table of Victorian novelists.

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