July 2002 posts

Previous July 2002  

August 2002

Buffy Anne Summers IS "The Prisoner" -- cjl, 19:36:54 07/29/02 Mon

In one of those bizarre cosmic convergences that only watching way too much television can provide, Sunday night in NYC saw the broadcast of two of the strangest, most surreal hours of episodic TV ever created: "Restless," the fourth season finale of BtVS, and (three hours later) "Fall Out"--the series finale of The Prisoner. In conversations with fellow BtVS fans, I’ve often said that the only series on TV before Buffy to ever truly challenge some of my higher brain functions was The Prisoner. That’s usually as far as I’ve gone with connecting the two; I always thought they were coming from entirely different directions and saying different things, and I never really tried to analyze them in tandem. But the synchronicity of Sunday night is just too great to resist, and I’m going to give it a shot. Besides, Leo McKern--the wonderful star of Rumpole of the Bailey, and a key player in the Prisoner series--just died at the age of 82, and I can feel his spirit berating me in that gruff, sandpaper-like voice we all loved so much. It’s going to be seat of the pants analysis folks, so bear with me...

Since this is a Buffy board, I’m going to assume everyone here knows the background and events of "Restless," its significance within the series, and has at least skimmed shadowkat’s detailed four-part analysis of the symbolism within each Scooby’s dream. (And if you haven’t--for shame. BAD lurker. Go to shadowkat’s web site immediately and catch up.) Given that, I’m going to run down the plot and symbolism behind the Prisoner finale and sift in the Buffy material as we go along.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, The Prisoner was the brainchild of actor Patrick McGoohan, who was the star of the smash British TV series Danger Man (re-titled Secret Agent Man here in the states) from 1964-1967. Sick of the daily grind of the series, McGoohan went to his money man, Lew Grade, the head of ITC studios, and told Sir Lew he wanted to do something different. McGoohan spun out the fascinating concept: a British secret agent, who had just resigned from his super-secret organization, is kidnapped and taken to a mysterious Village for the single purpose of breaking his will and extracting the reason for his resignation. (Tellingly, even though the series took place in the middle of the Cold War, it is never revealed which "side" runs the Village.) The agent, dubbed Number Six by the Village hierarchy, battles the minions of the Village autocrat, No. 2, who uses various methods--psychological, biochemical and electromechanical--to break him down. It is one man against the system, in a battle for his soul.

Amazingly, Grade gave him the money.

The series, heavily symbolic and damn near allegorical in spots, was a spectacular ratings flop on both British and U.S. television. Even though they were told they would go 11 more episodes, McGoohan and his staff were informed in mid-1968 that they had one episode to wrap it all up. Using his emergency reserve episode ("Once Upon a Time," co- starring McKern as No. 2) as a lead-in, McGoohan wrote "Fall Out" over the course of one weekend, where Number Six would finally go behind the scenes and meet the mysterious Number One, the prime mover of the Village. "Fall Out" is, in turn, fascinating, wickedly funny, and utterly incomprehensible, with enough eye-popping symbolism to make any self-respecting ATP poster drool.

As we pick up from where "Once Upon a Time" left off, Number Six has just defeated Number Two in the ultimate mano a mano, "I’ll break you or you’ll break me" competition, and the Village bureaucrats, big softies that they are, dump Number Two’s body in the portable living quarters they’d been using for the week-long brainwash-athon and haul it out. Number Six is then escorted through the labyrinthine underground corridors of the Village, emerging in a great chamber. The Village president, resplendent in robes and powdered wig, graciously explains that the Prisoner has beaten them, and has proven himself a true individual in a land of sheep. The Village has one final offer: we’ll give you back your house, your life, your freedom--or, you can lead us and know true power. The Prisoner, inscrutable, eases into the ridiculously ornate throne awaiting him, and sits back to observe the proceedings of the Village assembly before deciding. He takes in the view: the assembly, seated like the Lords of Parliament in session, are identified as "anarchists," "radicals," "conservatives," "entertainers," and other descriptive sociopolitical nouns, but they’re all dressed in the same white hooded robes and half-black/half-white tragicomedy masks. The feel of the proceedings is almost Victorian-era, but there’s a ton of futuristic gadgetry in the room. Ominously, modern-looking soldiers (for 1968) with submachine guns keep guard; and, built into a spire near the center of the chamber, the watchful eye of Number One keeps its own record of events, occasionally expressing its displeasure with a wordless, sonic howl.

In contrast to the Prisoner’s "healthy" rebellion against the system, the President brings out two other rebellious souls for punishment: a lanky young man in top hat, disheveled suit, unbuttoned shirt and gold chain, with an obnoxious attitude and a penchant for Negro spirituals (think Roger Daltrey gone to seed). The President admits that boys will be boys and youth is rebellious, but he tells the punk you’ve got to grow up sometime. The kid responds by running amok through the chamber, flattening some of the assembly drones, overturning tables and getting the soldiers all riled up. He finally stops in front of the Prisoner’s throne, and in a baffling, rapid-fire exchange of fifties and sixties slang, they seem to reach a sort of understanding. The kid calms down, winks at the Prisoner, and goes back to his confinement.

Next, the President brings Number Two out of storage, revives him, and displays him to the Assembly as a source of amusement. He’s also been brought back as a cautionary tale about men of power who bite the hand that feeds them--but dying has, in a sense, liberated Number Two from his service to the Village. He expresses admiration for the Prisoner, and only wishes he could have resisted as long or as well. In his first act of defiance in decades, Number Two walks toward the glass and steel eye of Number One and tells whoever is behind the curtain to Stuff It. The eye responds with a shriek and an impotent blast of smoke. Number Two, satisfied, returns to his shackles.

At that point, the Prisoner himself is asked to address the assembly. He goes up to the podium, hoping to sway the faceless multitudes with his speech, but every time he starts, the assembly drowns him out. Frustrated, he looks down at the President, who gives him an almost sympathetic expression of "What did you expect?"

The preliminaries are over. It’s time to meet Number One.

A transport tube takes the Prisoner inside the spire; he walks by the space-age confinement cells holding the Kid and Number Two, and heads up the spiral staircase leading to the control room. He sees a figure in yet another white hooded robe observing the events in the chamber. There is no dialogue, only the shrill beeping of the equipment, as he approaches. The figure turns to face him and holds out a small crystal ball. The Prisoner touches the crystal, and he sees his own face shouting, "I will not be punched, stamped, filed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own." Prison bars slam in front of the face in the crystal--once, twice, three times. The globe drops to the floor and shatters. Recovering from the shock, the Prisoner looks up to confront Number One. He rips off the tragicomedy mask, only to reveal an ape mask beneath. He rips off the ape mask, and reveals...

His own face.

Eye. I. 1.

Amidst peals of insane laughter, the Prisoner chases his Doppelganger around the control room, but his other self slips out through an escape hatch in the roof. No matter. The Prisoner has a job to finish. He frees the Kid and Number Two, and arming themselves with machine guns, they shoot their way through the Assembly and reach the hotel room on wheels at the other side of the chamber. Driven by Number Two’s diminuitive, silent butler, the lorry crashes through a subterranean gate and heads out on the open road to Freedom. Meanwhile, the President and what’s left of the Assembly are trying to regroup, when they notice a LOT of smoke coming out of the spire. Panicked, the President orders the evacuation of the Village, and an army of helicopters take off with the citizenry just before the rocket (yes, that’s what it was) blasts off and decimates the chamber.

Denouement: back in London. The Kid decides to get out on the highway, and hitch-hike to his next destination. Number Two returns to Parliament, and the life he abandoned years ago. And the Prisoner? With the butler by his side, he returns to his old house and takes his car, a sporty Lotus 7 out for a spin. The final shot has him peeling down the highway--ending the series the same way it started...

Well! Where to begin?

The first point of comparison between Buffy and The Prisoner is the premise of the Prisoner: he’s trapped in the Village, and unable to escape. The Village is an extraordinarily pleasant place (it’s an actual hotel resort in Wales), relaxed and filled with friendly people--but it’s also a deathtrap for anybody who wants to keep his soul. Does this sound familiar? On the surface, Sunnydale is a nice place to raise your kids, with a quick and easy commute to Los Angeles--it just so happens to be located on top of a Hellmouth, with a death rate about 300x times the national average. Similarly, just as Number Six’s sense of personal integrity and highly evolved moral sense keep him imprisoned, Buffy’s devotion to her duty and her own highly evolved moral sense refuse to allow her to abandon her birthright. Number Six could have a nice cozy life if he would just freakin’ talk, and Buffy could have had a slayage- free life if she just kept going after Becoming Part II. However, both heroes refuse to compromise their moral standards, and they remain trapped in their respective prisons.

Getting back to our main comparison: in "Fall Out," the Prisoner is offered--and rejects---the fruits of a corrupt society, choosing to free his associates and deal with society on his own terms; in "Helpless," Buffy is told by the First Slayer that a Slayer is alone ("No Friends"), but she defies her ancient heritage to regain control of her own fate. Both choices have enormous costs (the bloody violence in "Fall Out," and Buffy’s sacrifice in "The Gift")--but our heroes will not submit to fate or destiny without a fight.

There is also a correlation between the joining of Willow, Buffy, Giles, and Xander in "Primevil" (and "Helpless") and the teaming of the Kid, Number Two, the Butler and the Prisoner. The three subsidiary figures in each scenario represent aspects of the hero’s personality: in Buffy’s case, Willow is the spirit, Xander the heart, and Giles the intellect; in the Prisoner’s case, the Kid represents the Prisoner’s spirit of youthful rebellion, Number Two is that youthful spirit tempered by experience, and the Butler-- well, the Butler is a complex symbol. All during the series, he represented the silent power behind Number Two, but when he attaches himself to the Prisoner at the end of the series, he’s more of a reminder that no matter how much we want to go in our own direction, we can’t isolate ourselves completely. (We have to deal with the world.)

Expanding our scope and looking back on S6, you can see themes from the Prisoner running through Buffy’s story arc. If The Prisoner was a elaborate metaphor for one man's struggle against his own conscience, and an internal debate about his place in society, Buffy S6 was equally about Buffy's internal debate about how--and if--she fit into this world. As a for instance: "Normal Again," with just a little rewriting, could have easily been a Prisoner episode. Imagine Number Six waking up in the asylum with his beloved finacee at his side, telling him that life in the secret service and his imprisonment the Village were just a horrible delusion--all he has to do is unburden his soul about both and he’ll be free to go home.

More similarities: The crystal ball in "Hell’s Bells" could easily double as the crystal ball from "Fall Out," each offering not a glimpse into the future, but a glimpse into the viewer’s own soul; and (now that I think about it (the Initiative’s mixture of science and magic mirrors the Village’s combination of futuristic technology and Victorian- era motifs, each a perverted attempt to bring the old ways into the future.

OK, I’m going to stop here. Don't want to hog the bandwidth If there are any other Prisoner fans out there, I’d like to hear from you. Hope I haven’t bored everybody else...c_ê_•_¨_¨ _____ Y_l ö_Z_o ¢_Z '_‰_o_¸_) ½_U_ì_Ø___‡ ±_U__

[> Whoops. Spoilers for Buffy S6 and the Prisoner finale -- cjl, 19:57:01 07/29/02 Mon

[> Arrgh! -- Darby, 20:22:56 07/29/02 Mon

Loved The Prisoner, although it was way too obtuse for me most of the time. It was a rarity for a tv show to obviously have a message and have the message not be neat and clear and tied up in the allotted time. I think it was the first time I was dealing with a work of art where I could see the mind behind it at work but often had no idea what they were attempting to do. My confusion and frustration may have formed the foundation of my feeling that authorial intent is important and that to be truly successful, a work of art should project that intent (even if that intent is that there is no message, or that everyone should react differently). I don't think it occurred to me at the time that because I wasn't part of the intended audience (England), there was no way I'd pick up on many of the images. Ah, it's never a simple exercise, is it?

Gotta admit that I think it's a wee stretch to link the two shows in any specific way, but they are definite cousins as far as intent is concerned.

But now I can't get that theme song out of my head. I really like the theme song, but It's. Just. Going. On. And On. And On.

Bum bum bummmm...

[> Re: Nice essay, cjl -- Brian, 20:34:20 07/29/02 Mon

Lots to think about here. Must think about the use of music in both series.

[> Great Essay ! -- Ete, 20:57:22 07/29/02 Mon

[> Re: Buffy Anne Summers IS "The Prisoner" -- change, 03:59:48 07/30/02 Tue

One more little parallel. In the village, all of the doors always opened and closed automatically. This was because you were always being observed by the people in the control room who controlled the doors. When the Prisoner reaches his home at the end of Fall Out, the door opens for him automatically indicating that he is still a prisoner of the Village. At the end of season 5, Buffy "escapes" from Sunnydale and Slayerdom by sacrificing herself. However, she is pulled out of heaven and brought back to Sunnydale in the next episode, indicating that she cannot escape, even in death.

[> Thanks, cjl. Another good essay! -- aliera, 05:01:07 07/30/02 Tue

[> Small correction -- CW, 06:12:51 07/30/02 Tue

As someone who watched it religiously first-run, the first part of McGoohan's first series ran as 'Danger Man' in the US in 1961 on CBS. 'Secret Agent' was the title of the rest of the series when it ran from 1965-1966 also on CBS. 'Secret Agent Man' was the title song, which was a big pop hit. The show may have run as 'Secret Agent Man' in later reruns, but never in the original run.

The reason 'The Prisoner" failed in the ratings was that while it was certainly intriguing, it was also overly moody and frankly dull. It felt like an extension of Danger Man, and suffered (by comparison) from lack of action. I watched 'The Prisoner' mostly because I was waiting for what came on after it. If the whole show had been anything approaching what the finale was it would have run for years. I remember thinking after I saw the finale way back when, that it had made the whole short series worth watching.

[> [> Does symbolism trump drama, or the other way around? -- cjl, 08:58:40 07/30/02 Tue

You know what, CW? I was going to disagree with you, and rant about how The Prisoner wasn't SUPPOSED to be like Danger Man, how it was a more purely cerebral exercise, etc., etc.

But you're right. There are some dull patches in the series. There are times when the symbolism and the mind games trumped the action, and certain episodes had all the excitement of McGoohan assembling a 3000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

On the other hand, I think that most of the time, PMcG and his staff balanced the two extraordinarily well. Episodes like the pilot ("Arrival"), "Free for All," "Many Happy Returns," "Hammer into Anvil," the western ep ("Living in Harmony"), and the two-part finale balanced action and the symbolic and allegorical elements to produce a unique and thrilling televison experience.

But your post raises an interesting question that's a bugaboo for all TV series: if you're JW or PMcG, and you're trying to produce TV that can be interpreted on a number of levels, is your obligation to the symbolic and metaphorical elements of your story, or do you have an obligation to make it work as entertainment, first and foremost? (Ideally, there shouldn't be that kind of disconnect, but the grind of TV doesn't always allow you the time to refine your scripts.)

This has nothing to do with plot holes produced by a multiple level narrative, which is another discussion entirely. I'm talking about the difficulty in making a TV series that's both cerebral, thought-provoking, metaphorically rich AND exciting and a hell of a lot of fun. Recently, Robert Hewitt Wolfe was fired from Andromeda (a show that was his baby) because his plotlines were too complex and cerebral, and Kevin Sorbo and the studio were afraid they were losing the audience. Did Sorbo and the suits have a point? What's the point of producing an extended multi-dimensional, multi-year plot arc if your cancelled after the first year?

[> [> [> Re: Does symbolism trump drama, or the other way around? -- aliera, 12:13:00 07/30/02 Tue

Maybe I've been looking at this the wrong way. I always thought of the symbolism/metaphor and (great wardrobes sorry thinking of another thread) as tools to make the story reach us on more than one level, not visa-versa.

[> That was amazing! To the video store I go! -- ponygirl, 06:48:57 07/30/02 Tue

Positive message from W/T to general audience. -- cjc36, 06:03:23 07/30/02 Tue

To the fans who thought W/T's ending was cliché, that it showed punishment after bliss and vengeance after loss, let me point out that there has to be fans out in the so-called 'hinterland' who now have seen lesbians as people, too. And if they, like me, were ignorant of the 'cliché', then they probably noted no punitive cause and effect and saw Tara being shot like people get shot everyday - a random act of stupidity and violence. A tragedy. And gosh, it sure was sad that it happened right after W/T reconciled - look how it drove Willow mad with grief.

But rewind a season - there's Willow being caregiver to Tara after Glory's attack, W/T living and loving as a couple, before that - and having sex. Regular, possibly homophobic- prone people, saw this change happen to *Willow,* a character most long-term fans had come to love. And suddenly she is 'different'. Of course some turned off the show after W/T arc began. But how many people learned a lesson, without being really taught one, that being lesbian is no different than being anybody else? Lesbians love and live like anybody else. And, sadly, die, too.

I can see a kid somewhere being faced with the choice to either ridicule or persecute someone around them for being different possibly considering a different course of action because Willow and Tara showed the humanity and not the labels. I feel that message is far stronger than the “Lesbian Cliché.”

I don't believe W/T were icons to the general viewing audience. But in being shown as people, maybe the message given, especially to the non-gay audience, was stronger, and more positive, than W/T fans think right now.

[> There were such positive messages, and it's good to point them out. -- Sophist, 07:39:14 07/30/02 Tue

[> A positive message... -- Masq, 09:22:30 07/30/02 Tue

Until that lezbiaan turned into a homicidal maniac. Sure saw that comin' a mile away. Happens when women get all uppity and man-hatin'.

Not intending to nullify your point, just point out that people's objections didn't just lie with Tara's death, but what happened afterward with Willow.

[> [> Warning: tongue in cheek devil's advocate thingee above -- Masq, 09:25:56 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> Re: A positive message... -- cjc36, 09:47:32 07/30/02 Tue

Noted Tongue-in-Cheek above.

Willow’s reaction (a recovering addict suddenly and violently stressed to the breaking point, picking up – again – the only weapon at her disposal, the aforementioned Dark Mojo) proved to me just how much she loved Tara. I can see this emotional reaction being a sensible (story wise) outcome of this kind of trauma, and if Oz had still been her lover in May ’02, and it’d been him lying in Buffy’s bedroom with a bullet hole in his chest, I have no reason to believe Willow’s reaction would have been any different. Willow is a person to me, not a sexual preference.

Heck, for that matter, would any descent-to-hell arc involving a gay Willow be accepted by the W/T fans? At this point, despite alternate arcs given by “Clichéists”, I think perhaps not, because if ME had taken Tara out temporarily, and had Willow go nuts, it’d still be a LESBIAN going nuts, and there’s no real way around that. And, if Tara had been shipped out of town for a while, ME would be hammered for (and I’ve mentioned this before, so forgive me) suspending W/Ts active relationship – no snuggles. This would be due, of course, to some nefarious motivation on Joss’s or Marti’s part.

[> Re: Positive message from W/T to general audience. -- Rob, 09:26:45 07/30/02 Tue

Also, I think the Kitten Board and those other vocal lesbian fans, who have spoken out against the events at the end of Season Six would be wise to tone down their attacks, because I think they are in more danger of reinforcing negative lesbian stereotypes (namely, the Angry Lesbian stereotype) by their belligerence than ME did by using a so-called cliche that not everybody is even aware of (not going to broach the topic now that that goes against the definition of a "cliche"). Sending death threats to writers and such stuff does not, I think, help one's argument about portraying a healthy lesbian relationship on television.


[> Message from the dead horse -- Dead Soul, 10:08:57 07/30/02 Tue

Quit beatin' on me already! I ain't gettin' any deader. The only thing getting killed around here are the threads on non- DoT topics.

While I appreciate trying to find something positive about the situation and realize I'm perpetuating the very thing I'm complaining about...Argh!!!!!!!!!

Dead (horse's) Soul

p.s. sorry, I know the above is snarky, I'm a snarky kinda horse in a snarky kinda mood and would really like to be left to rest in peace.

p.p.s. sorry, sorry, sorry! (I really am sorry and will probably regret it, but I'm gonna post anyway, (putting on my flame-proof saddle blanket))

[> [> Do horses have souls? Do dead horses have dead souls? -- Sophist, 10:22:36 07/30/02 Tue

Hey, this was my dead horse. And don't tell PETA.

[> [> [> Re: Do horses have souls? Do dead horses have dead souls? -- Dead Soul, 10:34:57 07/30/02 Tue

Yup, I know it's your dead horse, I'm just rustlin' it. Do they still hang horse thieves?

Dead Soul (who has been spending way too much time hanging out with vampires in the wild west)

[> [> [> [> Re: New Name Game with Western Flare -- Brian, 12:12:28 07/30/02 Tue

Create a demon, vampire, monster name from the Buffyverse of the Old West. Example: Wild Kill Morloch

Firefly is doomed (rant regarding Fox) -- The Last Jack, 07:23:22 07/30/02 Tue

Titus, my favorite tv show after Buffy and Angel, was taken off the air back in March and replaced by that stupid puppet show, Greg the Bunny (E tu? Seth Green). I hated Fox for this for a long time, but eventually got past it. Then, last night, they started airing the last of the 5 eps of Titus before its taken off the air. Now I am pissed again, because they are cancelling this great show, and for what? 30 seconds of Fame? The 12th installment of Worlds most dangerous police car chases? American Idol (okay, I will grant you that it has it moments)?

There is no way Firefly is going to last long on Fox. Why? Cause if its not huge right away, it will be cancelled after 3 episodes, just like Harsh Relam (I'll admit the show had its problems, but it had potential, and should have been allowed at least a season). Or, they will keep it for a few years, and then just drop it because the new president or whatever decides they want to change format.

So, I say to all those looking forward to Firefly, beware. Tape all the epiosdes, and dont' get too attached to the characters, because unlike Buffy, it won't be treated with the respect it deserves.

[> Re: Firefly is doomed (rant regarding Fox) -- KDM, 07:39:05 07/30/02 Tue

Firefly is certainly going to face an uphill battle given the fact that it has a horrible timeslot (Fridays @ 8). Angel's new timeslot is no picnic either (kind of funny that it's going to have Charmed as a lead-in given Joss' opinion of the show, heh), and going head-to-head with Alias could prove to be quite a quandary. However, given the fact that it already has a strong fanbase, it should be ok. Have to agree though; unless firefly really snares the audience immediately, Fox will probably squash it like a bug.

[> [> I liked Wolf Lake -- Spike Lover, 08:44:20 07/30/02 Tue

And CBS basically cancelled it before they even aired the first episode. (It was sort of an werewolf/peyton place/twin peaks). Very adult, but twisted and funny. ...I hate the big 'four'. I am enjoying USA with its new offerings of Dead Zone and Monk.

I wish WB would bring back 'Dead At Last-?' I can't even remember the name. It was about a band "The Problem" that had the power to see ghosts. It was hysterical. Some of the funniest stuff I have ever seen.- Wish I had an ep or two on tape somewhere.

[> [> [> Re: Me too. -- Isabel, 19:38:30 07/30/02 Tue

Oddly, I only was able to catch it on UPN after Enterprise. So I didn't even get to see all of the few episodes CBS did air.

Maybe it's not too strange that I liked 'Dead Ringers'? as well.

[> Re: Firefly is doomed (rant regarding Fox) -- darrenK, 09:08:00 07/30/02 Tue

While I agree that it will be a tough battle for firefly, Fox will give it more time for a number of very practical reasons.

1. Joss is a proven moneymaker for them. Buffy and Angel have never had huge audiences, but they pull in huge licensing, dvd, international sales, critical acclaim and ad revenue from the perceived fanbase 12-34 year-olds. Fox will be counting on Joss bringing the critics and that small, but committed, fanbase with him.
2. Fox has a large 8 figure contract with Joss that they need to justify. This means giving him some time to build an audience.
3. Joss does a lot of script doctoring for Fox studios that's worth enough cash for them to want to keep him somewhat happy.

I do agree that they will be skittish. I just think they'll let firefly run through the full 12 eps. After that I'm not holding my breath.


[> Re: rant regarding Fox -- Robert, 09:18:26 07/30/02 Tue

>>> "There is no way Firefly is going to last long on Fox."

I entirely agree with you. But what really scares me about the FOX network is their propensity for cancelling shows (especially sci-fi shows) in the middle of unresolved story arcs. They treat the fan base like dirt.

[> [> All about money ... -- Earl Allison, 11:47:57 07/30/02 Tue

I know this is an unwelcome view, and worse, that it seems like I'm belittling fans, but this is an unfair accusation against FOX, indeed, against ANY network.

Bottom line, networks make money -- they are a business, like anything else, and in it to generally make a profit, and that usually comes from advertising.

The good AND bad of the internet is, everyone's voice can be heard. On the one hand, great, you get more viewpoints than you might otherwise -- however, you also get ALL kinds of viewpoints, some enlightened, some not.

That being said, EVERYTHING has a fan-following, all you need do is look for it. However, FOX (or any other network) isn't waiting with baited breath, laughing manically as they cancel something -- if it's proven to make money, it stays. If there is no faith that it will "earn its keep," or evolve to do so, it goes.

I don't think FOX or any other network "treat[s] the fan base like dirt." If the show is making money, or bringing in the demographics, it stays.

"Dark Angel" didn't, neither did "Wolf Lake" or "Roswell." So they went. "Roswell" got a new lease on life with UPN, and still foundered.

As much as it pains me to say this, and worse, that I sound supremely arrogant in doing it -- people that think the networks "owe" them something have another think coming. It's a BUSINESS, and business is there to make money, not to be a charity. To think a network is out to get fans by cancelling something is foolish, and said person(s) need to look at the large picture.

Do you think UPN would have paid in excess of $2M an episode for "Buffy" if it wasn't profitable? And don't think for a minute that, should "Buffy" founder, it won't get axed at some point.

Why do you think a character originally plotted to die in a few episodes (Spike) stayed on? Because he BROUGHT IN VIEWERS and was popular. Sure, fans loved him, but if it didn't benefit the show, it wouldn't be done -- and if that in turn didn't benefit the network -- well, you see where I'm going.

I'm not saying shows that were cancelled weren't good ones, but obviously they weren't bringing the $$ in -- and let's face it, money talks. Disagree if you like, but it's a basic fact, businesses that make money survive, those that don't, die.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> It's just sad they think of money all the time, and art very none of the time -- Masq, 12:07:26 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Why should they make art? And I sort of think Buffy is art -- Dochawk, 14:03:02 07/30/02 Tue


Why exactly do you think they should make art? Especially since art is so subjective. Thats what PBS is for (they have a public responsibility the nets don't have).

And btw Buffy is losing money for the network. They find its worth it for prestige and demographic reasons, but they lose a few hundred thousand on each episode, so sometimes its not just money.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Why should they make art? And I sort of think Buffy is art -- Masq, 14:19:44 07/30/02 Tue

I am using the word "art" rather loosely here to mean any television show of the least bit of substance.

I get really irritated with the "bottom liners" who talk about how this, that or the other thing is "business" and has no other criterion to answer to except the dollar sign.

I think television does have some responsibility to what it is putting up there. If it only thinks about the bottom line, I forsee a day when there will be very few shows like "Buffy" and 600 channels of offerings like "Survivor" and "The World's Worst Car Crashes".

[> [> [> [> [> [> I'm not happy with the almighty bottom line, but that's currently how it is ... -- Earl Allison, 17:10:35 07/30/02 Tue

I don't promote bottom line thinking as being a good thing, but it is the way things work -- money, demographics and prestiege are what people look for.

Shows like "Buffy" will always be attempted, and if they find their niche, they should succeed. UPN is banking on this in the long term, and it's already paid off demographically.

I just wanted to say don't hate me for talking bottom line - - it's not a great system, but it is the one currently being used.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Art and Patronage -- Rahael, 17:16:25 07/30/02 Tue

This of course is an age old debate in Western Europe. The artists of the Renaissance had a similarly tense/creative relationship with their patron. Without the Church, Courts and individual rich patrons asking for, commissioning and paying for art, the artists wouldn't have had any livelihood. Then, as now, the prestige of owning, and being seen as a tasteful and cultivated person mattered a huge deal.

The most amusing story I've come across is that of Jonathon Swift, that merciless critic and satirist of government corruption, especially of Robert Walpole. He had of course, some years back approached Walpole, offering his polemical services for some money. Walpole refused, and Swift never forgave him. Oh, the irony!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Art and Patronage -- Brian, 18:58:24 07/30/02 Tue

Don't forget the Greeks. All those great playwrights had patrons supporting them. Of course, in those days, being creative was to be gifted by the gods, and patrons felt that the gods would favor them for supporting their chosen ones.

[> [> [> Re: All about money ... -- mundusmundi, 13:15:29 07/30/02 Tue

What you're saying is right on the, er, money, Earl. Personally, I just wish the networks were more patient with shows that have potential but may be a little shaky out of the starting gate. (Pardon my horseracing metaphors, I'm two-thirds of the way through Seabiscuit.) More than a few big moneymaking franchises, such as M*A*S*H and Cheers, began with abysmally low ratings, and while I realize we're living in a different TV era, with more networks and what-not, I shudder to think what we'd have missed had the plug been pulled on them prematurely.

On the other hand, a case could also be made that many series are allowed to run too long. (Spinoffs are also a mixed bag. We were treated to a colossal dud in AfterM*A*S*H, whereas Frasier started as a dicey concept that paid off bigtime. Although it too is starting to lose its luster.) Regardless what happens with Angel or Firefly, or whether or not it's still profitable, I'm kind of hoping this is Buffy's last year.

[> [> [> [> Re: All about money ... -- Robert, 22:09:33 07/30/02 Tue

>> "...I'm kind of hoping this is Buffy's last year."


[> [> [> [> [> Because seven sounds like a nice number.:) -- mundusmundi, 04:46:11 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> It's Prime Even. -- Tymen, 05:01:21 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> Re: All about money ... -- Robert, 22:07:35 07/30/02 Tue

>> I don't think FOX or any other network "treat[s] the fan base like dirt."

All the networks have their own peccadillos, however FOX has pissed me off in particular.

>> "Bottom line, networks make money -- they are a business, like anything else, and in it to generally make a profit, and that usually comes from advertising."

I understand about the money. I worked for 20 years in the high-tech industry as an engineer. Somewhere along the way, I picked the notion of the profit motive.

I also learned about "Quality". In the high-tech industry, quality is most generally defined as meeting your customer's expectations. Things can get confused when it is less clear who the real customer is. Is the customer the viewing public or the purchasers of ad space? The purchasers of ad space are the true customers to the television networks. The viewing public is the product which the networks are selling. If the networks have little or no viewing public, then they have no product to sell, and they die.

This is where quality enters the television arena. The networks do not own this precious resource of viewing public. If a particular network engages in rank behavior too often, that network could find itself losing the viewing public.

>> "Dark Angel" didn't, neither did "Wolf Lake" or "Roswell." So they went. "Roswell" got a new lease on life with UPN, and still foundered.

The shows I was obliquely referring to where "VR5" and "Alien Nation". They were both cancelled in the midst of cliff-hanger episodes. While I momentarily mourned the passing of "Dark Angel" and "Roswell", both of these shows were concluded well, with most of the major story lines brought to a natural stopping point.

If the TV networks have any respect for their viewership, then they will ensure that the shows don't terminate in the middle of cliff-hanger stories. If the network of a TV show is undecided about renewing said show, then that network should insist that the producer doesn't finish the season on a cliff-hanger. And, if the show does finish a season on a cliff-hanger, then they should pay for a special episode or made-for-tv movie to conclude the story line.

This has everything to do with money. If FOX network persists in slapping their viewership, then they will lose their viewership and, with it, their customers.

[> [> [> Re: All about money ... and sometimes a bit more. - - Buffyboy, 01:26:06 07/31/02 Wed

I’d be the last person the deny the power of the pursuit of profit in a capitalist society. Yet, even if most network executives are only motivated by the bottom line, what exactly makes up the bottom line and when they draw it requires interpretation and thus is based upon the judgement of these executives. These types of judgement are extremely difficult to make and in the end open up the possibility that other factors (factors other than the pursuit of profit) can have some effect on the decision.

For example: a new show that has run for four episodes is doing very poorly in the ratings. What do you do? (1)You could simple cut you losses and pull the show immediately (maybe Fox executives are especially prone to this choice). (2) You could let the show finish the season hoping it will improve. (3) You might want to pull the show but the replacement show you were counting on isn’t ready because the lead actor broke his leg. (4) You might want to pull a show but you can’t pull the show because you owe the executive producer a big favor. Etc etc. Sometimes network executives simply have no idea what to do to maximize the bottom line--so they guess. The point is that in all this uncertainty cracks sometimes open up where good shows occasionally appear. I suspect this is what happened with BtVS. A relatively new network (the WB) was looking for “something different” that might help the network find its market, Joss came along with an interesting idea that might grab some of the teenage market, the ratings weren’t wonderful but good enough for the WB (never would have been enough for one of the big four networks), the show became a hit with the critics and began to develop a rabid fan base, etc. Having some real talent and being real lucky, i.e. being in the right place at the right time, can very occasionally, despite the bottom line, produce greatness.

[> [> [> Titus was making money -- The Last Jack, 09:30:52 07/31/02 Wed

I know that in the end its all about money with these people, but that wasn't the problem this time around. Titus may not have been in the Top 10, but its ratings were good, and it usually beat out other Fox sitcoms, like Grounded for Life, etc. I'll grant you it wasn't the cash cow that X- Files was, but it had a large, loyal fan base, and it did earn them money.

Ah Well, Chrisopher Titus is talented, and in the end I am sure he will land on his feet. I just wish his show had been treated with a bit more respect

[> [> [> Titus was making money -- The Last Jack, 09:31:06 07/31/02 Wed

I know that in the end its all about money with these people, but that wasn't the problem this time around. Titus may not have been in the Top 10, but its ratings were good, and it usually beat out other Fox sitcoms, like Grounded for Life, etc. I'll grant you it wasn't the cash cow that X- Files was, but it had a large, loyal fan base, and it did earn them money.

Ah Well, Chrisopher Titus is talented, and in the end I am sure he will land on his feet. I just wish his show had been treated with a bit more respect

[> Re: Firefly is doomed (rant regarding Fox) -- cjc36, 09:20:29 07/30/02 Tue

One other possible thing besides Joss's name cred going for him in regards to Firefly's chances is that Gail Berman is in charge of programming at Fox. Berman was with Sanddollar TV (I think that's right) when BtVS was made into a TV series, and may even still have credit on the show, like the Kuzui's. She seems to respect Joss and his talent and if any network programming head is going to give him some slack, it'd be her.

But, then again, this is Hollywood.

Really dumb question, but it's been bugging me. (oh and S*P*I*K*E!) -- LadyStarlight, 09:10:46 07/30/02 Tue

Okay, so we all know that in the Jossverse, vampires and sunshine don't get along very well. This includes sunshine that has been filtered through window glass, car window glass and heavy fabrics. (see Spike's more smoky entrances)

So, given all that, and also given that moonlight is reflected sunlight, how come the vamps don't go poof on those bright nights?

(I'd much rather ponder this than pack, but it has been bugging me.)

[> same reason we don't get moonburns? ;) -- ponygirl, 09:17:44 07/30/02 Tue

[> Doesn't your posting name give rise to a similar question? -- Sophist, 09:48:34 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> Good point! LOL -- CW, 10:40:21 07/30/02 Tue

[> may be best not too think too closely about this -- matching mole, 10:10:00 07/30/02 Tue

A superficial answer to your question is relatively easy. In the Jossverse vampires seems to do fine in the daytime as long as they aren't in direct sunlight. However the light they are often exposed to is reflected sunlight just as much as moonlight is (e.g. when Spike standing in the shade in an alley in the morning). Angel was also able to survive outside in the day during a snowstorm. This implies that sunlight needs to be fairly strong to cause ignition. So moonlight is safe. Not only is the reflected light much less intense but not all the wavelengths of light are going to be reflected equally. However which ones get reflected are going to vary with the object doing the reflecting.

However, the implications of this are at least twofold. Vampires should be able to be abroad by day when it is heavily overcast - not an important issue in southern California perhaps but elsewhere it could be. And given that it is not just sunlight itself but its intensity that seems to be crucial you could presumably devise some sort of full spectrum high intensity light that would dust vamps on the spot (and blind human onlookers if care wasn't taken).

[> [> Re: may be best not too think too closely about this -- leslie, 10:50:00 07/30/02 Tue

"And given that it is not just sunlight itself but its intensity that seems to be crucial you could presumably devise some sort of full spectrum high intensity light that would dust vamps on the spot (and blind human onlookers if care wasn't taken)."

Wasn't this one of Willow's little projects before she went off the magic?

[> [> Addendum -- Darby, 10:50:44 07/30/02 Tue

Hell's Bells was set up during a rainstorm because:

a) It made Xander's "walk around the block" more poignant (although it did make him walk funny).

b) It symbolized the stormy X&A relationship at its most sturm und drangiest.

c) It was the only way that Spike could get to the event without getting all toasty

[> [> [> Re: Addendum -- Deeva, 11:18:01 07/30/02 Tue

And I thought the rain storm was more or less a portent of some kind of evil coming. You know, "something evil this way comes". Or however that line goes.

[> [> [> LOL! Brilliant, Darby! -- Rob, 11:18:17 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> [> LOL! well not sure about the only way -- shadowkat, 11:44:45 07/30/02 Tue

Spike could have nicked another car or come with an umbrella.

[> [> [> [> *LOL* -- Deeva, 12:02:49 07/30/02 Tue

Yeah, Spike would LOVE using a parasol!

[> [> [> [> [> Well I'm not sure if Spike would like that... -- Rob, 12:47:58 07/30/02 Tue

but William might have. ;o)


[> [> [> [> Re: LOL! well not sure about the only way -- Darby, 12:47:12 07/30/02 Tue

Tough to bring a date when you're smouldering (not just in a sexy way)...

So whaddya think? Was the skank human or vamp? Did she know Spike's "secret identity"? Seems like if she did, she wouldn't have gone out with him no matter which ethnicity she was.

[> [> [> [> Am I the only one who remembers a brief fad for beanie hats with umbrellas coming out of the top? -- leslie, 12:59:02 07/30/02 Tue

[> Pack? Are you going on vacation or are you moving too? -- Isabel, 19:31:54 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> Moving. The big day starts tomorrow. -- LadyStarlight, 05:29:57 07/31/02 Wed

Desperate plea--No more W/T threads for a while, pleeeez!! -- Rob on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown!!!, 10:53:06 07/30/02 Tue

[> Maybe we should stick to something we all can agree on - like Spuffy! -- ponygirl laughing evilly, 11:16:28 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> Well, that's just another can of worms there. But then the shelf's full of such cans. -- Deeva, ;o), 11:20:30 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> LOL--Or whether the Asylumverse or Sunnydale is the Realverse! -- Rob, 11:21:36 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> Remember, I can archive and delete threads anytime I want! -- Masq laughing even more evilly, 11:36:27 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> [> LOL! But you are also a busy person... -- shadowkat, 11:42:47 07/30/02 Tue

and shouldn't have to patrol us. ;-)

[> Free Market Economics/Supply and Demand -- Rahael, 11:23:56 07/30/02 Tue

Threads only keep living as long as people keep posting to them. If people don't post, they die. If people just keep discussing and responding they keep living.

I would be loath to say "let's stop discussing it, we all have way too much to say about it".

Even if this has to apply to the constant supply of Spike, Spike, Spike.

Rah, shuddering.

[> Rob has a point...Can we keep it to just one post? -- shadowkat, 11:40:52 07/30/02 Tue

In the last two days four-five different DoT posts have appeared. All on the same topic. Not a new topic. The same exact one. I understand the reason for this - people want to be heard and are afraid they'll be lost in the smaller threads.

But these posts have pushed other posts on topics ranging from rejection essay (yes selfish), purpletulip's post, the demon post, and others to archives much sooner than if we had just kept the Death of Tara topic to one post. Poor PurpleTulip had to repost her symbolism essay twice.

Can we agree to stop posting new threads on a topic that is already on the board until it has actually gone to archive??
Once it is archived, post on it again. Until then? Add your comment to the post as it exists. We'll find you.

It frees the board for other topics of equal interest.
Makes Masq's life easier. And keeps some of us who have been relying on the board for worktime entertainment and are sick of the DoT topic from going insane. (Rob and SK in this case.) LOL!

Just a little consolidation is what I'm thinking of.
Like we did with the misogyny thread which lasted a week.

[> [> haikus -- Dochawk, 13:55:30 07/30/02 Tue

you know when I posted with a plea about this with Haikus I got ignored. There is an advantage to having smaller lists. I agree with Rah, there is a reason why people post like that, and thats because its an interesting topic. I had 4 different posts sent to archives one within 20 minutes during the haiku onslaught, but it seems thats what people were interested in. I don't think asking posters to not extend a topic is really consideration. The hope is that the long old thread would fade into archives allowing more topics to remain (maybe what we need is after say 70 posts, the last 10 are moved to a new thread and the rest get archived?)

[> [> [> Re: haikus -- shadowkat, 07:12:16 07/31/02 Wed

You weren't ignored. I felt the same way. But the haiku
post was just one post that took up space yes, but largely confined to one post. It would go to archive and get started again.

Maybe should define what I mean by post: this whole
area from Rob's topic heading to the last thread on it, including the little off-topic threads are what I mean by

Yesterday I counted five W/T separate posts...including if you will this one. I'm not saying this isn't an important topic. It is. But it would make life easier on the archivists (well, maybe not - they don't appear to be complaining) and some of us who want to read other things...if we confined it to one. I remember back in Feb
Ann posted a Psyche and Eros essay. I also had one, different than Anne's instead of posting it separately - i added it to Anne's posting thread to consolidate. I didn't want to overrun the board on one topic.

I'm still new to this whole posting board thing - so if I'm wrong about this and it is better to start new posts on the same topic...let me know. ;-)

[> [> [> [> Re: haikus -- Rahael, 08:14:24 07/31/02 Wed

The problem with one huge monstrous thread, which was what happened to the Haiku one, is that everything else starts getting archived faster - and as people keep posting to that one thread, it keeps on living.

Theoretically, therefore, if the W/T had been confined to one thread, which everyone posted to, Purple Tulip's thread would have been archived even faster. The problem with the last couple of days is that there were a number of threads that were getting a lot of posts. Hence, a lot of space was being taken up, and all the small things were being sent to archive.

I'm not an archivist, but I can't see how having separate threads would make a job harder or easier. Easiest of all would be if no one posted anything! Nothing to archive.

The solution to the Haiku thread was that people stopped posting to the monster thread and continued posting to a new one. I think this is what your solution is? To get everyone to continue the W/T discussion on the new thread and stop posting to the old one. The problem with multiple threads on one topic is if everyone kept talking about the same subject on different threads at the same time. As long as a thread gets posts, it keeps living.

[> [> [> [> [> I like your solution -- shadowkat, 08:49:38 07/31/02 Wed

"The solution to the Haiku thread was that people stopped posting to the monster thread and continued posting to a new one. I think this is what your solution is? To get everyone to continue the W/T discussion on the new thread and stop posting to the old one. The problem with multiple threads on one topic is if everyone kept talking about the same subject on different threads at the same time. As long as a thread gets posts, it keeps living."

Yes - that's what I was thinking would be most workable.
You're right the problem with both the Haiku and the misogyny threads was just that. cjc3 tried to pull everyone up to a new thread. But we kept posting to the old ones and the new ones simulataneously driving everything else of the board until it at one point was just becoming those posts.
So your solution is the best one.

It's a catch-22 situation from my pov. I love the off-topic threads that crop up and wander off the screen but they also tend to push on-topic new posts to archives...we can't win. ;-) And yes...I tend to reply to these wandering threads so am guilty.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Off Topic/On Topic -- Rahael, 09:10:29 07/31/02 Wed

This is a hot button topic with me. I read this board, primarily for off topic stuff.

After a while, there's only so many new discussions, especially, as Mundus says, there's only so much filet mignon on the table. If we privileged on topic over off topic there'd be no more book reviews of Stephen Jay Gould, no more CMoTW etc.

As Arethusa put it, this board is for like minded Buffy fans to move from Buffy topics to other common interests.

How many times have certain Buffy topics been discussed and rediscussed? As someone whose few attempts at a Buffy thread have been ignominously cast into the archives with virtually no replies, I'm not bitter at all. I always find a way of bringing up my points in the next available thread.

And I'd end by saying that the most heated/upsetting threads have been rescued by off-topic good humour, that the most contentious, longest space hungry threads have been devoted to directly Buffy related topics - race in Buffy, the Lesbian cliche, etc.

If we ever discuss the off topic/on topic issue, I'm placing my vote now! Long may huge, off the side of the board threads (off topic/on topic) continue. It shows that people are communicating with each other, which is my primary reason for posting here.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! Oh...don't get me wrong I love off-topic -- shadowkat, 09:40:54 07/31/02 Wed

There was a great one a few weeks back on Hawaiian history.
And the whole Merchant of Venice Thread. Best was the off- topic threads on Misogyny post - some of those were pure genius.

Also I'm extroardinarily good at bringing off topic back to on topic to keep it around so...no problems here. I tend to be better with on than off, unfortunately. But we all have our strengths.

The best thing about ATP though is our off-topics aren't chatty as much as informative. I've learned more about 19th century English Poetry and Literature, History, and
certain philosophies than I did in school. If I wanted on- topic all the time? I'd have gone somewhere else. ;-)

So nooo I love off-topic. Didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: LOL! Oh...don't get me wrong I love off-topic - - Rahael, 10:26:05 07/31/02 Wed

Just trying to allay that guilt!!

The Hawaiian history thread was great - and I got the conclusion to it by email cos of 'off topic' guilt. So much of the board missed out!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> No kidding...and stop feeling guilty! -- shadowkat, 10:38:03 07/31/02 Wed

"The Hawaiian history thread was great - and I got the conclusion to it by email cos of 'off topic' guilt. So much of the board missed out!"

I asked and received the same marvelous email. You're right they missed out and we could have had such a cool discussion on it.

The only off-topic ones that annoy me are the ones that attack the board, other posters or just plain weird (see "a" and "b" posts above.) ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> What is this Hawaiian history thread that you speak of? -- Deeva, 10:39:37 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What is this Hawaiian history thread that you speak of? -- redcat, 13:50:50 07/31/02 Wed

A few weeks ago, we got way off topic and onto issues of cultural differences and cultural values. Rah made some great
points about how basic value systems are culturally defined. We wound up discussing sets of values constructed
differently from the western ones, she from her home culture and me from the Hawaiian side. Then Vickie asked a
question and Finn made a comment, and before the sun came up, I had posted two **very** long and off-topic essays
about pre-western-contact Hawai’i. The third in the series was even longer, although more poignant perhaps, since it’s a
story rather than an analysis. Several folks asked for it and I sent it to them by email, but the story of a late 18th Hawaiian
chiefess really IS pretty far from the universe of the Buffster – and believe me, I’ve tried to make a connection, but all I
get is a redux of the phrase, “You’re beneath me.” So yeah, my guilt factor weighed in, ‘cause I know I have the
propensity to get a bit lectury sometimes. Comes with the territory, I’ve done it for too many years...

I don’t know how to post the archive link, but it was on or near July 11th. If you still want Keopuolani’s story after reading the thread, send me your email and I’ll send it on.

And thanks, Rah and s'kat, for the kind words. It was fun.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What is this Hawaiian history thread that you speak of? -- Dead Soul, 14:11:08 07/31/02 Wed

I love the off-topic subthreads! One of the first things I read that convinced me of the brilliance of the posters on ATPo was a comparison of vampirism to colonialism by Rahael in the race thread that occurred after JM's appearance on PI (IIRC). The first of many Kaboom! moments this board has given me.

Loved the Shakespeare/Merchant of Venice/anti-semitism sub thread, the sub thread that explored the roots of the traditional English dislike/contempt/fear of the Irish (which archived way too quickly). Far too many wonderful ones to name. Including the one on Hawaiian history.

(Yeah, yeah, I'm getting to the point - drumroll please) Redcat, would you please email me the third installment? Thanks so much!

Dead (and grateful) Soul

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Never stop lecturing, on or off-topic -- Arethusa, 15:29:11 07/31/02 Wed

The highway's fast and direct, but the side roads have the beauty and character and fun.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> awww, thanks! -- Rahael, 16:11:55 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> redcat, please email me? -- Vickie, feeling quite the tourist, 17:12:39 07/31/02 Wed

If you have a second to recommend those non-touristy texts?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Vickie, check your email :-) -- redcat, 19:29:52 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What is this Hawaiian history thread that you speak of? -- fresne, 17:38:16 07/31/02 Wed

By all means e-mail me the story. I was a bit busy in July and must have missed the conclusion of the thread/email invite.

And in a tangential sort of way, my housemate Karen and I just got back from Oahu where we attended her father's retirement ceremony after 30 years service in the Coast Guard. It was quite nice/interesting. I'd have mentioned it, but it was a bit of whirlwind.

One of the things that came up, and this is a military culture thing rather than a Hawaiian, is that in the Coast Guard a lot of the backup support functionality has always been supplied by volunteers (i.e., officers wives). For example committees to facilitate military families getting new housing, schools, etc. As time passes, younger spouses (men and women, because it aint a men's club anymore) are less and less willing/able to volunteer in addition to careers, family and education. And as the older guard retires out, a lot of that background support is lost.

Which brings me back to Buffy and Co. Unlike, Angel Investigations, they are not paid for what they do. Buffy in particular is expected to volunteer her time to fight evil, hold down a job, and be a mother. Likewise, the Scoobies fight evil in their spare time. A silent background support that the world never sees, but greases the wheels to keep things moving/existing.

No real conclusion, I'm just curious as to what ME's resolution to this conundrum that they've set up will be.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And Buffy doesn't even get dental... -- redcat, 01:18:21 08/01/02 Thu

For a minute there I could almost see it begin to materialize -- the monster thread begun by an essay on the socio-political
foundations of the patriarchal Watcher's Council's expectations that female Slayers should perform specified essential labor
functions for them (and the larger society) without a proper compensation packet, said essay no doubt to be followed by a
heated discussion of whether or not JW and ME intended to promote such an anti-feminist message, and a snark contest
between Marxist-feminist economists and anti-post-modernist- non-deconstructionists about whether or not her unpaid
status "proves" Buffy is really only a middle-class soap opera (and I was even beginning to look forward to the hilarious
sub-thread that would discuss how much Buffy should be paid per vamp versus per demon)....

But then I remembered where I really was, re-read your last line and breathed a sigh of relief. Even though I've always
been bothered by the fact that the WC doesn't just put Buffy on some kind of payroll (cut the girl a check, guys, and be
grateful she's not charging interest, OK?), I, too, am content to remain curious and will wait to see how it all works out
next season.

And hey, the next time you're in the neighborhood, give a holler...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What is this Hawaiian history thread that you speak of? -- shadowkat, 18:28:15 07/31/02 Wed

"I’ve tried to make a connection, but all I
get is a redux of the phrase, “You’re beneath me.” So yeah, my guilt factor weighed in, ‘cause I know I have the
propensity to get a bit lectury sometimes. Comes with the territory, I’ve done it for too many years... "

Uhm...having read your story, I see several connections.
1. The idea of the man coming to the woman on his knees, backwards and naked - reminds me quite a bit of Spike in Season 6.

2. The man killed her people and was a conqueror, but he still had to bow in her presence - female empowerment.

redcat - it was a beautiful essay and no more off-topic than numerous other posts I've seen on this board. My suggestion? Post. See what happens. Worste case scenerio it will be archived quick.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What is this Hawaiian history thread that you speak of? -- shadowkat, 18:29:29 07/31/02 Wed

"I’ve tried to make a connection, but all I
get is a redux of the phrase, “You’re beneath me.” So yeah, my guilt factor weighed in, ‘cause I know I have the
propensity to get a bit lectury sometimes. Comes with the territory, I’ve done it for too many years... "

Uhm...having read your story, I see several connections.
1. The idea of the man coming to the woman on his knees, backwards and naked - reminds me quite a bit of Spike in Season 6.

2. The man killed her people and was a conqueror, but he still had to bow in her presence - female empowerment.

redcat - it was a beautiful essay and no more off-topic than numerous other posts I've seen on this board. My suggestion? Post. See what happens. Worste case scenerio it will be archived quick.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, here it is, then... but I'm warning folks, it's LONG and Way OT... -- redcat, 19:01:59 07/31/02 Wed

Aloha e kakou,
Well, since several folks have now asked, I’ll take shadowkat’s advice and just post it. I think it will only make sense if
folks have already read the original thread, which I think was on July 10th or 11th (?).

It’s a rather long story about the sexual relationship between two of Hawai’i’s most important historical figures,
Kamehameha, the ali’i nui (great chief) who unified the island chain between 1790 and 1810, and his most sacred wife,
Keopuolani. I wrote this the morning after I had stayed up quite late (for me, anyway!) writing 2 other long posts on
Hawaiian culture, no doubt fueled by my fear that I had given a more "rosy" picture of the relationship between sex and
power than is completely accurate for pre-western-contact Hawai’i. I focused on the commoner level when discussing
ideologies of sexual practice with Finn, and the chiefly level when answering Vickie’s question about law breaking, when
in fact, both sex and power are much more complexly linked at all levels of Hawaiian society (as with most societies!). But
I think it speaks to how differently things we take for granted as only one thing - sex, love, friendship, maybe even power
–– are so bound by how our own cultures understand them. Anyway, I started out by quoting Rah (of course!) from her
post that came directly before the one this post was written to follow. So here it is, for better and worse, two weeks late
and not very well edited. Anyway, thanks for reading and I really won’t mind if it simply drops into the archive!

Malama pono,


Quote from Rahael’s post: “The idea of physical contact with Royalty being a potent one - that of course is also present in
Western culture, where monarchs touched people on special days to cure them of illnesses. “

Hawaiian concepts of ali’i are similar to but not exactly the same (of course, LOL) as European notions of Royalty, but
it’s important to be able to find similarities, from which we can begin to build grounds for understanding differences.
“Class” and “rank,” as well as sex and gender, are concepts we struggle with a great deal in Pacific Studies, especially as
folks try to understand the lives of contemporary Island peoples enmeshed in modern global capitalism, with its seemingly-
mandatory component of the emergence of new elites and new forms of poverty. In pre-western-contact Hawai’i, both
rank and sex were infused with notions of power, but their imbrication was distinctly Polynesian, not western, in design.
The life of one very special ali’i nui wahine (high chiefess), Keopuolani, who came from Maui, demonstrates this.

Keopuolani was the youngest of a group of sisters who were understood to be the most sacred humans who had ever been
born. This came about in part because Hawaiians were such great mathematicians, historians and genealogists. They
loved numbers, counting, family gossip, tracking anything over time and, most of all, their gods, from whom the ali’i were
directly and historically descended. Keopuolani, for instance, could trace her ancestry back either 24 or 17 generations,
depending on whose politically-motivated tale of genealogical descent one accepted, at which point (and this *was* the
point of ali’i genealogies) one would find a major god. One of the things that made Keopuolani so sacred was that her
family tree, because of judicious and generations-long controlled mating programs among the highest ranks of the ali’i
class, wound up with two major gods, one each male and female, at the beginning of the line.

Further, among a very restricted group of specific members of the ali’i class (which in itself only
averaged 1% to 1.5% of the total population), a very specific and sacred type of mating
occurred. Among all human cultural groups world-wide, this type of mating is extremely rare
but not unknown, and where it is sanctioned, it is most often linked to notions of embodied
god-hood, as it was in ancient Hawai’i and ancient Egypt. But unlike most of the other (very
few) groups who practice this type of mating, Hawaiians also grounded it in a very practical,
experiential and near-scientific understanding of human genetics that relied on something that
comes pretty damn close to modern understandings of DNA (including the idea of a helix-
weave-like genetic structure). However, this understanding of genetics operated within a
cultural context of Hawaiian religion, metaphysics and myth.

In this system, ali’i were understood to be *literally* (not just metaphorically or metaphysically)
directly descended from the bodies of the major gods, who often came to earth and mated with
humans. They came sometimes in the form of a person (male or female), an animal (gods as
sacred pigs or sharks is a common motif) or as forces of nature such as wind, a ray of light or
a rainbow. (BTW, although there were only 4 main male gods in the State-religion pantheon,
there are more than 600,000 named gods in Hawaiian folk religion, split pretty evenly between
male & female, among whom more than two hundred continue to have an active presence in
modern Hawaiian dance, chant, song, etc.) Because ali’i literally carried within their “genetic
codes” the attributes of gods, matings between them were seen as increasing the
concentration of god-qualities, especially in two areas: one’s ability to intercede with the gods
on behalf of humans, and one’s mana (inherent spiritual power), which, like any talent or set of
muscles, had to be well-exercised to be effective but could be used to affect nature (by
controlling fecundity, regeneration and the weather). The price of such concentrated god-
power was that eventually, after too many generations, if the offspring acted in “weak” or
arrogant or non-sacred ways, if they didn’t use their power to protect the people, the gods
would withdraw their support from that lineage and their future offspring would be born

Given how Hawaiians understood the idea of “gods,” as well as nature, sex and regeneration,
it is not at all surprising that the highest form of gods’- sanctioned human mating was the
mating of ali’i full siblings to produce an even more concentrated, gods-full child, who would be
born a “true” god, an embodied Akua. Such matings, called incest in English, are called
Ni’aupi’o in Hawaiian and were the most sacred of all possible human matings. This type of
joining was, in fact, so sacred that it was absolutely kapu (forbidden) for any but those at the
absolute top of the sacred ali’i lineages, although it was generally required of them; such
matings were, even in the act, highly ritualized and bounded by protocol, especially until a first
child was produced; and breaking this kapu was a crime for which commoners could be put to
death without benefit of pu’uhonua (sanctuary) or ritual cleansing -- although this was not
because Hawaiians thought such incestuous sex was “immoral,” but because it was too
“dangerous” on a spiritual level. Ni’aupi’o matings could also occur between high-ranked ali’i
half-siblings, first cousins, uncle/niece or aunt/nephew, although these were calculated as
producing mathematically lesser degrees of sacredness in the offspring. And after the birth of
a first child, female ali’i involved in Ni’aupi’o matings could have as many other sexual partners
(of either sex, as could male ali’i) as they wanted. It was generally considered polite for male
ali’i involved in Ni’aupi’o matings to not have other sexual partners until their sister had given
birth to their first child, although they were not formally restricted in this way as the female ali’i

Keopuolani and her sisters were the products of at least four generations of Ni’aupi’o matings
and her parents were sacred full siblings who were themselves the children of sacred half-
siblings. Further, she was related through at least twelve different cross-ancestor matings to
every major ali’i lineage, and was the daughter, niece, aunt, cousin and grand-daughter of the
group of ruling chiefs of Maui Island during the battles between them and Kamehameha at the
end of the 18thC that eventually led to the unification of the entire island chain into one
political unit (“the nation”). The fact that she and her sisters were born perfectly normal and
healthy was proof of the gods’ continuing favor, and confirmed the sacredness of their line.

As part of his strategy of unification, Kamehameha (who was also ali’i and the product of
sacred matings, but nowhere near as sacred as Keopuolani and her sisters), offered to stop
attacking Maui if he could have the sisters as wives. This was a culturally-accepted way to
peacefully incorporate their Maui Island lineage -- and the control over land and resources that
came with it -- into his own lineage and political power base. He was a first cousin, second
cousin and uncle of the girls, and was as tightly linked by lineage to his Maui male opponents,
their father, grandfather and uncles, but he himself came from what had previously been
considered a “secondary” line. Producing children with the sacred sisters, combined with his
military conquests that had already proved the gods favored him, would cement his lineage as
primary among *all* the ali’i lineages. Further, it would only be children of such matings who
would have an undisputed claim to his power after his death. However, Keopuolani’s older
sisters committed ritual suicide rather than mate with a person of such low, secondary, lineage
- great conqueror or not. (HA!! They were actually telling him through their suicides that he
was “beneath” them – and I thought I couldn’t pull a BtVS reference out of this post!!!!) But
Keopuolani, about 17 years old at this time, agreed to marry the conqueror, who was nearly 30
years her senior and already had about 15 wives and 25 consorts, in order to save the lives of
her Maui commoner people, who were being slaughtered in the battles because they had few
western weapons with which to fight back, and for whom she felt an enormous responsibility.

She was so sacred, however, that the greatest leader the Hawaiian people had ever produced,
the man who unified the islands and brought his people into the modern world, her husband
the great warrior (who stood nearly 7 feet tall, BTW) and was old enough to be her father, had
to enter her presence on his knees, backwards and naked. He had to crawl backwards to her
and be formally and ritually received by her in order to even see her face, much less touch her,
without being instantly killed by her guards. In spite of this, and in spite of their age difference
and the circumstances of their marriage, they were, by *all* accounts, including Keopuolani’s
narrated autobiography, quite comfortable with each other and content with their arrangement.
Their companionability grew over the years and they often sought each other out for counsel,
comfort and friendship. She was never his favorite wife - he preferred her fiery, beautiful,
younger first cousin, Ka’ahumanu, who would argue with him in public and of whom he was so
jealous that he once killed one of her (many!) other lovers in a fit of rage. Keopuolani,
however, was his most important political asset. She became pregnant many times, but only
brought three of their children to term, two sons, who each grew up to inherit their father’s
throne in turn, as well as one daughter. (The story of the missionaries’ interference with the
marriage of this daughter, Nahi’enaena, to her second brother, Kauikeaouli, with whom she
was deeply in love (they were only about 2 years apart in age and had been raised to be each
other’s literal “soul-mate”), is among the most tragic of all 19thC Hawaiian stories. She died, “of
a broken heart” as it says in the chants and poems, soon after her only child by her
brother/husband was born so deformed that the missionaries drowned him in the ocean in
front of her as she watched and wailed.)

I think it is often hard for westerners to imagine the ways in which power, sex and the sacred
can have been so culturally-constructed that the most powerful man in a kingdom, its “absolute
ruler, “ must crawl on his knees naked and backwards into the presence of his young wife,
herself “merely” a trophy of war, and get her permission to turn around and see her. But this
was not only these two humans’ reality, from it they fashioned not only a political alliance, but a
friendship, a working marriage, and a family whose love for each other was legendary.

At Kamehameha’s death in 1819, as his most sacred wife, Keopuolani led the seven days and
nights of traditional “women’s wailing” that accompanied the passing of a high chief. Within
the traditions, a true mourner would also gash out their front teeth with a lava rock and cut off
all their hair to express their grief. Not all of his wives and consorts, much less his children or
his life-long friends and counselors, did this, nor were they expected to. It’s a very personal
expression of grief, culturally-bounded and ritualized, but not required. But Keopuolani and
her most favorite second-husband both smashed out all their front teeth, top and bottom, tore
their clothes and hacked off their hair. It is said that Keopuolani wailed with such a fervency of
grief over losing her first-husband/friend that she came near to death herself. Her favorite
husband, whose expression of his own grief left him nearly unable to speak thereafter because
of the damage he had done to his mouth, was a man who had grown to be one of
Kamehameha’s closest political advisors, and who had been appointed by the high chief to be
governor of O’ahu Island, the most prestigious of all bureaucratic posts at the time (and still to
this day). But it was not his political ties to Kamehameha that led him to such a state of grief
over his chief’s death. Instead, it was because, as a youth, he been one of Kamehameha’s
“‘aikane nui ku’uipo,” a group of extremely handsome and intelligent young men who served
the ali’i nui sexually, as well as prepared his food, cleaned his clothes and did other very
personal “body-service” for the chief (the Royal “page” is the closest equivalent in English,
although we don’t usually “notice” the sexual service component of their job..). It was his true
love for his chief that caused him to create a painful perpetual silence for himself after
Kamehameha’s death.

Keopuolani’s touch did, indeed, heal a kingdom and save an island’s people from the horrors
of war. She did her sacred duty, and being a well-brought- up Hawaiian woman, found
pleasure and joy in it, and through it made a life and a family all her own. Her one regret, she
supposedly said near the end of her life, was that she had never been out in the sunshine.
This is very shocking to many westerners who hear her story. Never been out in the
sunshine?? In Hawai’i, the tropical paradise of modern concrete-and-steel-bound urban
people’s dreams?? But she was SO sacred, and times were so unsettled, that she could not
guarantee that the commoners would be safe if they came near her. She could not guarantee
that some poor maka’ainana (commoner), driven to madness by the haole’s (white’s) rum or
the death of his whole family from one of their diseases, would not unknowingly mis-read the
markers of her sacredness and come too close, perhaps to cast his shadow on her sacred self
and be killed by her guards, themselves pushed to their limits in the new white-man’s world,
before she could stop them. So concerned for the welfare of her people was this very human
woman that she chose to live almost her entire life indoors or, while traveling between
locations, inside a covered conveyance, rather than risking a poor, unsuspecting commoner’s
death. She loved the stars (she was an amateur astronomer and had a highly- prized early
“eye-glass” telescope near her when she died) and often went out at night, but she never
swam in Hawai’i’s ocean at dawn, or played with her children on a beach at noon, or watched
the sunset in her lover’s arms. It seems, though, that she died content after a long and full life,
a late convert to Congregationalist Protestantism after the collapse of the system that had
made her sacred. Her last words, recorded by her Boston- born pastor, were an appeal to her
new god to accept her into his heavenly home.

I sincerely hope she got what she prayed for. And I wail, long and deep, horrified, terrible cries
of grief and fear, for what will happen to her story when The Rock and Sony Pictures and
Hollywood in general make their millions, as is now being planned, off the story of her
husband, the great chief who humbled himself before a young wife in order to stop a war and
who, with her, went on to build a nation. Auwe!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Mahalo redcat. -- Deeva, 22:26:05 07/31/02 Wed

Don't worry about the length of the post. On this board your's is pretty much medium-sized. Thanks vary much for posting this thread, I did miss this the first time around and will go searching for it. I'm sure that it will be as enjoyable and as provocative as this was.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> But you never sent me email -- Vickie, 17:07:34 07/31/02 Wed

You promised to share some good references on it (non- touristy), but never sent me anything. (snif!)

Maybe now? Please?

[> Is a thread asking for no more W/T threads itself a W/T thread? -- Sophist, 12:14:11 07/30/02 Tue

I'm not very good with words, but I think this is a paradox.

Confused as ever.

[> [> "To fight a W/T thread, you have to *become* a W/T thread." -- Rambo, erm, mundus, 12:59:42 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> [> ROFLMAO! -- Rob, 13:16:18 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> [> Anyone see the advertisements for the Rambo DVD collection? -- Dedalus, 14:38:53 07/30/02 Tue

It's pretty funny ...

"Rambo - just when we need him most."

I assume they mean because of the war on terror ... despite the fact that he's fighting for the Taliban in Rambo III.

They did some great editing. Recall that line in First Blood Part II ... okay, even more OT but why is Rambo III not First Blood Part III?! It makes no sense. Anyway, the line in Rambo where he says about his country "Hey ... I'd die for it." Well, they put that into the DVD trailer, only this time, they're advertising the collection, and they're saying how wonderful it is and it's got all kind of extras and everything, and then they quickly cut to a war-torn Rambo saying "Hey ... I'd die for it."


[> [> [> [> Re: Anyone see the advertisements for the Rambo DVD collection? -- mundusmundi, 15:12:43 07/30/02 Tue

I assume they mean because of the war on terror ... despite the fact that he's fighting for the Taliban in Rambo III.

ROFL! I'd forgetten that.

okay, even more OT but why is Rambo III not First Blood Part III?!

Hmmm, shouldn't it Third Blood: This Time It's Impersonal!? I'm only disappointed Rambo never got to meet Rocky as planned. Two Slys for the price of one -- surely the universe would have been ripped from its vortex.

My favorite Rambo review is courtesy of Pauline Kael. At the end of it she mentions that the book version of the movie (which she apparently read, mwahaha) included an advertisement -- "a love letter to Rambo's weaponry," she wrote -- that urged you to order your favorite crossbow, hand grenade, serrated blade, etc. "I can hardly wait for my set to arrive," Kael deadpanned.

[> [> So if Tara falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear her, is that a thread? nt -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 12:41:19 07/31/02 Wed


[> I think we are overdue for a nice Giles post.. -- neaux, 12:23:54 07/30/02 Tue

(wishes he actually had something intelligent to post about Giles)

[> [> I miss Giles -- Masq, 12:42:20 07/30/02 Tue

There were many things "off" for me about season 6, and his absence ranks up there on the list...

I mean, I guess it's necessary when we grow up to leave behind mentors and parents, but every once in a while, you just need your daddy. : )

[> [> [> I was the happiest camper in the world...("Two To Go" spoiler) -- Rob, 12:45:47 07/30/02 Tue

...when Giles showed up at the end of "Two to Go." It gave me the chills! And I hope that he is in a lot more of the seventh season. He really was sorely missed this year.


[> [> [> [> Well, they say that is contracted for more eps. -- Deeva, 12:54:46 07/30/02 Tue

Turing Test for Conscience (NOT a Spike thread) -- lulabel, 15:19:09 07/30/02 Tue

I just read a lovely fanfic by Magista at Fanfiction.net who included in her story the idea of a "Turing Test" for the soul. The classic Turing Test can be used as a criteria for determining whether something, such as a computer, could be considered "intelligent". The Turing Test basically states that if a person holds a dialogue with two entities - one human and one machine (say, via e-mail) and cannot distinguish which one is the machine, then the machine can be considered to be intelligent. Simple, yet profound.

In this fanfic, the idea was brought up in the context of Spike's soul. If he acts in a way which is indistinguishable from what a souled person would do, then could it be assumed that he does have a "soul" of some sort? This is a major can of worms, and there has been plenty of discussion already about Spike. As viewers we have gotten a lot of mixed messages about what a "soul" constitutes in the Buffyverse- so I will take the coward's way and instead see if we can apply the Turing Test to the idea of "conscience".

For Angel, a soul has been equated with having a conscience, which gives him the capacity to recognize his wrongdoings and subsequently to feel remorse and guilt. For the sake of this particular argument, I will say that the capacity for compassion and empathy are complementary aspects to remorse and guilt, and are therefore indicators of a conscience . (This comes from dredging through my memory of Psychology 101 where the inability to feel remorse goes hand-in-hand with a lack of empathy. I apologize if I'm making up stuff)

So, lets say our Turing Test for Conscience can be satisfied if an individual displays the capacity for remorse, guilt, compassion and/or empathy. If one or more of these characteristics is in evidence, then that individual has a conscience to some degree.

I won't belabor the obvious - the ones who do have a conscience - the original Scoobies, Angel and the AI team have all clearly demonstrated one or more of the necessary traits. The other end of the spectrum is also pretty easy - Glory is resplendent in her lack of any trace of conscience, as is Angelus. Some of the other Big Bads are a little less absolute - the Master, vintage Spike, Drusilla, Darla, even Warren - because they demonstrate a capacity for love, however sick or twisted. I would argue however, that those loves are essentially selfish, and do not meet the necessary criteria for conscience. The loved one is an extension of the self, etc. I would also dump Lilah in this category - she cares for her mom, but it's essentially a selfish love, the way that children love.

Now on to the juicy part - the gray areas. I can't decide where to put the Mayor (I really loved that guy) because of his devotion to Faith. One could argue that his love for Faith was not a selfish love, but a giving, nurturing, paternal love. This one has got me stumped. Spike's affection for Dawn falls in this same category.

And how do we evaluate the ones who have switched teams? We have Holtz who starts off as a righteous man, but who becomes so consumed with vengeance that his remorselessness knows no bounds - he sacrifices everything and everyone in its pursuit. However, despite his relentless, implacable pursuit of vengeance, he is still ultimately a righteous man. It would be very difficult to argue, I believe, that Holtz lacks conscience. So here we see the Turing Test is inadequate to the task. Faith also presents problems - prior to her dramatic fight and breakdown with Angel , she generally does not exhibit behavior which would satisfy our test. However one could extrapolate that much of her dysfunction stemmed from a troubled conscience - her outward, willful remorselessness was a cover for her own self-loathing and internal remorse.

And last but certainly not least is the ultimate switch hitter - Anya/Anyanka. (well, technically Angel/Angel beats her in the number of switches). I would say that the Turing Test is put through its paces here. If I were to evaluate the human Anya's capacity for remorse, guilt, empathy and compassion prior to Hell's Bells, I'd have to rate her somewhere below Jonathan, and nominally higher than Andrew. She never expresses remorse for her thousand years of demonic mayhem. She has only a rudimentary grasp of empathy and compassion. In both respects, she is very childlike. To counter this, she is clearly not a bad person, and generally treats people with kindness, if not with tact. Most people would agree that Anya is a better person than Jonathan, despite his clearly greater capacity for remorse, and possibly a greater capacity for compassion (there's not much to go by in either case). So again, we have a breakdown in the Turing Test.

That being said, Anya really pulls out the stops after she reclaims her demon heritage and becomes one with her pain. Her turning point seems to be the mutual misery/comfort session with Spike - his willingness to share her pain seems to allow her to do the same. She demonstrates more remorse and compassion in the final days of Season 6 than in her entire previous human existence (circa Sunnydale) She has left behind her childish ways.

So, does it work? There are clearly problems with this particular Turing Test, but perhaps it can be tweaked to better evaluate those lovely, murky gray areas.

[> Or, to put it philosophically ... -- Caesar Augustus, 16:54:02 07/30/02 Tue

The Turing Test is an extensional test - we judge by actions, interactions with the outside world, etc. ("extensions") rather than actually analysing any internal workings.

It should be noted that the Turing Test is not necessarily a perfect test for computer intelligence. It is, of course, in its inventor's mind (Alan Turing). I am in fact, a supporter, but it should be pointed out that many people have argued against it ...

[> [> The Turing test is only a positive test -- skeeve, 07:40:47 07/31/02 Wed

In other words, if the test says that something is intelligent, then it is intelligent, but if the test does not say that something is intelligent, then we simply don't know. Of ET, Kendra, and Buffy, at least two would probably fail the Turing test.

What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:51:43 07/30/02 Tue

What was the first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer you watched? Why did you watch it? Was it love at first sight? What did people say when you told them you watched a show with the word "Buffy" in its title?

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Rob, 21:10:07 07/30/02 Tue

My first "Buffy" episode was "Ted." I honestly can remember why I decided to watch it...but I haven't miss an episode since (except Doppelgangland, which I missed by accident TWICE...long, sad story! finally saw it on F/X...don't worry!), and caught up all on the ones I missed during that summer, when WB reran the first season at one night of the week, and the second on another. Can't remember which night for which.

But anyway, I was hooked on "Buffy" from the moment Xander and Willow were discussing whether the Captain or Tenielle called the shots.

So I've been a fan for about 5 rich and rewarding years now. And, no, I was never ashamed to watch a show called "Buffy."


[> My First Buffy Ep -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:16:24 07/30/02 Tue

The first episode of BtVS I saw was an FX rerun of "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered".

I was really just curious about what this show was like (watching a few episodes of some show called "Clueless" was enough to make me avoid television about blonde teenagers like the plague for a while).

Upon laughing myself silly over Xander and the love spell gone wrong, I knew I HAD to see more of this show. This was three or four months ago, and since then I have caught up on everyone's favorite vampire slayer through online episode summaries and FX reruns. I've seen pretty much every episode, except for two (Bad Eggs and Beer Bad), of which I've only seen a few minutes each.

When I told people I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, their reaction was pretty much, "Oh, okay", wait for that topic to end, then move on to something else.

The first episode of Season 6 I saw was "As You Were". Because I was unfamiliar with the arc story, and was just getting started with Buffy, it didn't strike me as boring as when I tried to rewatch it.

Anyone else?

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Robert, 21:19:44 07/30/02 Tue

>> "What was the first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer you watched?"

I have watched BtVS from the very beginning of the series.

>> "Why did you watch it? Was it love at first sight?"

I have always enjoyed the competent portrayal of strong women (such as Ripley in "Alien" and Sarah Conner in "Terminator". Before BtVS, this did not happen very often on TV. Zena was interesting, but that show tended to go over the top. And yes ... BtVS was love at first sight!

>> "What did people say when you told them you watched a show with the word "Buffy" in its title?"

Usually I experience silence with a look of extreme incredulity and, maybe, a little fear.

[> [> *flashes back to horrifying memory of humiliation* -- AngelVSAngelus, 22:52:01 07/30/02 Tue

My first episode of Buffy was THE first episode, and I became initially hooked simply by the relationship of its core cast (being Xander, Giles, Willow, and the Buffster), and the heroics of the gang in the face of demonized tribulations of growing up. At first the humor, and then in the second season the tragedy was the catalyst for my love of the series.
As for people's reactions... well lets just say that many didn't want to listen to my diatribe about allegory and symbolism. They didn't see past the title character's name and shunned me. Not that I wasn't used to it. I was already the bitter, quasi-goth comic book kid before the show's conception.

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- parakeet, 21:54:57 07/30/02 Tue

Well, I'd seen the movie and wasn't too impressed. I was in the room when the first episode aired, but only really focused in on the last couple minutes (Giles' "we have to be on our guard" speech), which confirmed my low expectations. It wasn't until the reruns leading up to the third season that I really gave the show a chance. I'd read too many smart reviews not to. I think the hyena pack episode (in reruns, as I said) was the first I actually payed attention to; while it wasn't perfect, it was smart and funny. I've watched it obsessively ever since.

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Cactus Watcher, 05:41:15 07/31/02 Wed

I'd seen the trailers for the movie and thought it was a clever concept. But, I didn't bother seeing the movie then. When the ads for the series started a few years later, I was curious enough, I thought it was worth a couple of hours to check out the first ep. I was surprised by the quality of the writing, and how well the budget had been used to produce an atmosphere, and how comfortable the actors were in their parts from the very beginning. It was very much a show I wanted to keep watching. After a few months the movie came on TV. After watching it, I thought, "What was that dreck?" If I'd seen the movie first I probably never would have watched an episode of TV series. After all these years of watching the series I can see some of the sparks of Joss' talent in the movie, but they are buried pretty deep. I wonder how many people either saw the movie first or heard about it second-hand and decided the TV show was going to be the same sort of campy, for-teens-only mess and haven't seen a single episode because of it?

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Arethusa, 05:53:48 07/31/02 Wed

I had watched the movie because of Rutger Hauer, and wasn't impressed. So my first experience was "Earshot," because our free-with-cable-subscription TV Guide said this episode was especially good. I watched it, and was immediately hooked. The way Cordelia said *exactly* what was on her mind. Xander getting distracted from hunting a murderer by Jello. The honest, all-too-familiar pain Jonathan was experiencing. Most of all, Buffy's speech about how everyone, from the beautiful to the obscure, was in pain and insecure.
What was the response when I told people? Deafening silence, except for my husband, who looked at me sadly and said, "You read Jane Austen. Now you're watching this?"

[> [> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- John Burwood, 12:52:11 07/31/02 Wed

You could try mentioning that there is one life member of the Jane Austen Society who has attended AGMs at Chawton - namely me - who is also a Buffy addict - and that I am a Buffy addict for the identical reason that I love Jane Austen. The characterisation - depth, quality, depiction, and interaction is as good on Buffy as in Jane Austen.
It took me a while to realize it, I concede. I first watched WttH on its BBC debut, was immediately hooked by characters of Buffy & Willow & decided to keep watching but it took until Nightmares before it truly sunk in that I was not just watching a good show but the best I had ever seen on TV - or on any screen.
As to other people's reactions - I've never really talked about anything I do, watch, or think - too much the weird outsider all my life, perhaps, so can't really contribute much in that respect.

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- MaeveRigan, 06:01:02 07/31/02 Wed

My first Buffy experience ever was the movie. I thought the whole concept was hysterical! Loved Peewee Herman! Rutger Hauer hamming it up outrageously. The 90210 boyfriend acting like he was probably too good for this wacky movie, but what the heck. Donald Sutherland taking his Watcher duties oh-so-seriously. And Kristy Swanson was fine. I had no idea, then (how could I?) that Joss hated it.

In 1997, when I heard that there would be a TV show, of *course* I was going to watch it, so my first experience of BtVS on TV was WttH, which was everything I expected, and more. The tone was less campy, the touch lighter, the darkness deeper. Clearly the mission had changed somewhat. Obviously, there would be humor, but no hams, and no Peewee Hermans--at least, not if Joss had anything to say about it, and this time, he did.

[> [> Clarification -- MaeveRigan, 06:11:28 07/31/02 Wed

When I say that WttH was "everything I expected" I don't mean that I expected it to be just like the movie, or that it *was* just like the movie--obviously, it wasn't. I expected it to have some of the same irreverent humor--it did. I expected it to be offbeat, not the usual TV show--it was. I expected it to have an unusual heroine--it did.

What is people's reaction when I tell them I watch this show? Laughter. Confusion. And occasionally, a sheepish confession, "You too? I love it, but I'm embarrassed to tell anyone!"

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Purple Tulip, 06:06:40 07/31/02 Wed

I'm a relatively new fan---my first episode was the musical. My friends and I were walking to dinner the night of the musical, me never having seen a single episode before as I didn't have the WB or UPN until I got to college, plus I thought that the show would be cheesy judging by the movie. But one of my friends is the biggest Buffy fan around, and she had been looking forward to the musical for a year, so that night she was ecstatic and wouldn't stop talking about it all the way to dinner. So I decided to give it a shot and about ten of us crammed in a little tiny dorm room and watched. I was familiar with the characters (most of them anyway- didn't know who Anya and Spike were)and I had known about the whole Buffy-Angel thing from reading magazines and stuff. But I tried to watch with an open mind. I really liked Spike right off and was really impressed by the whole cast. But I was still embarrassed about having watched it for some reason. But the next night I came back from work and my roommate had FX on and was watching "Ted", I think, and I sat down and watched, and from there it was all down hill (but in a good way :)) I found myself catching up on Buffy every night, not wanting to go anywhere between 6 and 8 so as not to miss any of the old episodes- I bought Buffy tapes off of Ebay, searched all sorts of Buffy sites- read fanfic like it was my job- and eventually ended up here. So now I am a very proud Buffy fan who's not ashamed to admit it to anyone- I even converted my siser who was a non- watcher and now loves the show. That's my story:)

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Majin Gojira, 07:11:48 07/31/02 Wed

Well, At first I only caught snibits of episodes:

Part of the Mosaleum scene in "Welcome to the Hellmouth"

From where Xander punches out the clown to the Ending of "Nightmares"

The O So Dramatic ending/climax of "Becoming Part 2" (Where I pointed at the screen and said in full Nelson Muntz Persona: "Haw! Haw!")

Then, I caught the ending of "Graduation Day Part 1" And...did the same thing when Faith Screwed up Buffy's Plan.

The First Full episode I watched was "Graduation Day Part 2"

I didn't begin watching normally until the middle of the 4th season, and I've been watching Ever Since.

So, It really wasn't Love at First Site...it was "Huh, That's cool", but I never followed it up.

When I told people I watched, they would say... "Oh". not mutch else.

Majin Gojira
"What a Horrible Adventure with that Ham Demon"

[> [> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Cheryl, 08:37:00 07/31/02 Wed

I can't for the life of me remember the first episode I actually saw, but caught an episode on FX last fall when channel surfing. I stopped to watch it mainly because of all the buzz I heard last year about the episode where Joyce died (The Body?). I was hooked from the get-go and starting watching FX every night and season 6 right away, although it was already a few episodes into the season.

OMWF may have been the first first-run episode I saw - hard for me to remember because I have since seen every single episode of the series and have Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD, along with the OMWF soundtrack and original unaired pilot episode (obsessive compulsive much?). Thank goodness I didn't see the movie first because I don't think I ever would have tried watching the series.

As for how others react when I tell them . . . well, being a Star Trek fan, friends and family are pretty used to my obsessions. Mostly I think they just humor me - BUT, all my Buffy talk actually got my mom to watch an episode, which is really saying something (she's 62). She doesn't get it, but at least she was willing to give it a chance. And I did find a couple of coworkers who are Buffy & Angel fans (one named her puppy Willow )and an old Trek friend came to visit early in the season and I learned she was a big fan and she caught me up on the story arcs before I was able to see all the episodes, so that helped a lot. And then I found all of you, which just enriches the whole experience. :-)


[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Rahael, 11:13:18 07/31/02 Wed

Buffy first started airing in Britain when I was away at University. When I came back for vacation, my sister said, “Oh, there’s this great programme you’d really like”. I tuned half way into “Halloween”. Quite confusing really, because they were all in costume and I spent about 10 mins saying “why don’t they know each other”?

However, I just watched, and all became clear. I watched it eagerly if I was at home – at university I didn’t watch television at all. I can remember really becoming hooked at the Innocence/Surprise storyline. I had only become accustomed to the high romance that was Buffy and Angel before it all went so dark! And then, it was just complete suspense all the way onto “Becoming”, at which point I knew that BtVS had become one of my favourite programmes.

Of course Britain was so late in showing eps, and schedules were always messing with my Buffy viewings. I truly became a addict when the box sets came out and I started watching all the eps I had missed. I think I used to sit through 5 eps at a time easily. The only reason I didn’t watch entire seasons in one go was because I wanted to ration the pleasure out.

I can remember getting on the internet when Season 4 was showing in Britain. I became a complete spoiler trollop, as my internet access at work allowed me to read the board for the first time, get involved in all the discussions, catch up on Season 5 etc.

I’m pretty egotistical about my tastes – if I like something a lot, it pretty much means it’s good in my view. I wasn’t about to let people who read Jackie Collins and watched Hollyoaks sneer at me. If people looked disbelieving, I’d just shrug and say “your loss!” If I had access to Buffy at University, no doubt my addiction would have found some way slip it into tutorials. My sister did use Buffy in one of her exam papers though – she got a first for it!

It is funny how being off line affected my viewing though – I hardly noticed David Boreanaz’s looks until late into Season 3, when I got a Season 1 box set, and I thought “hmmmm….suppose he is rather striking”. And didn’t notice Spike until I got online. He was just a bit part character, and I used to fast forward through a whole lot of Spike/Drusilla scenes. (ha! Sacrilege!!)

[> [> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- aliera, 11:46:37 07/31/02 Wed

Wonder if that makes a difference...I was innocent of spoilers until last year. Actually, started reading the wildfeed while waiting on cable (yes, I live in a major city and didn't have cable, my 14yr son still makes fun of this). Of course, once aware, it's hard to go back. I've thought about it though for this year. I'd like to see again how it all feels when I don't know what's going to happen...will see how well I do once something really substantial starts happening!

[> [> [> I'm curious to know what next year will be like -- Rahael, 16:02:21 07/31/02 Wed

I'll have another season to compare being online to.

Will I stay spoiler free? Absolutely no chance! Means I don't have a chance of discussing things on the board for months and months!

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- shadowkat, 12:27:53 07/31/02 Wed

I started watching when it first premiered in 1997. I watched because of ASH who had been on VR 5 which was cancelled the previous year. I read he was doing Buffy. I'd seen the movie - which I didn't like. So wasn't expecting much.

I remember thinking - oh this is okay. Nothing special. Wish ASH wasn't so under-used. It wasn't until The Pack that I thought, okay I guess I'll watch this regularly, but nothing worth rushing home for. I missed a few here and there that first year. Nightmares blew me away. And I thought the Angel character was somewhat interesting. But other than that, nothing special.

Then Season 2 came and Angel became Angelus. I became briefly obsessed with Angelus and Buffy. This was interesting and dark and unexpected. Wasn't really into Spike at the time. I loved the threesome though, really cool. And I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see if they'd turn him. Hadn't discovered spoilers yet. But had discovered a website that gave previews and discussed, went nuts for a while, lost interest in Season 6. The whole thing got old fast and outside of Faith, nothing really involved me. Except Dopplegangland and the whole Faith turning evil stretch - that hit me as rather interesting and twisty - hooked on that and hunted spoilers briefly regarding it.

Then came Season 4 and they surprised me. They didn't just repeat themselves. And did some really interesting things.
But I didn't go back online and I missed several episodes.
Wasn't my number one show.

Season 5 got me more hooked. I actually did race home for that season. I also taped when I was out, but I didn't keep the tapes. I went online to ACIN to find spoilers and was spoiled for Intervention and The Gift.

It wasn't until OMWF that I started watching reruns and keeping my tapes. It wasn't until Smashed/Wrecked that I went online and found the spoiler boards and went wacky.
Season 6 turned me into a Buffy fanatic.

My friends and family think I'm nuts but in a good way.
Their eyes glaze over when I discuss it with them. They don't watch it and don't understand what I can possibly see in it. I had to go online to find anyone to discuss it with me.

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- redcat, 12:30:56 07/31/02 Wed

For me, my obsession with Buffy is wrapped in bits of bittersweet pain and fondly-returned-to memories of joy. You have
to understand that I had never owned a television nor lived in a household that had one until September of 2000. (I do
remember a group of us in one of my hippie-veggie-communal abodes borrowing one to watch the 1980 election results.
It was a big deal - we made popcorn and drank fresh mango juice. I went to bed early -- 4am comes soon no matter
where one lives -- convinced that the newscasters were lying, that Americans couldn’t all be THAT illusionary. What a
rude awakening ‘twas there...) Although a fair portion of my academic work has involved political-cultural analyses of
media productions, primarily film and social-activist documentary video, I don’t believe I had never actually watched an
entire episode of any television show until I was 45. (I also didn’t grow up with TV as a kid, but for very different reasons
than my distance from pop culture as an adult.)

In mid-2000, though, I spent a few summer weeks with my sister, who had been a committed Buffy fan since day one, ep
one. She had always raved to me about the series but she also watched sit-coms and turned off MacNeil-Lehrer in favor
of Wheel of Fortune. I was arrogant and not persuaded. Then, one day while she was at work, I actually watched a few
eps from the middle of season 3 that she had on tape. That night was a rerun of Primeval. I was hooked. Big time. I
went home and bought a small (11" portable) TV with a built- in VCR and started watching and taping like crazy.

The following year, Season Five, my sister began the long and painful process of dying from spinal cancer. I was incredibly
graced and fortunate to be able to spend the last few months of her life being her primary care-giver in home hospice. We
watched Buffy together religiously that winter. Some nights she didn’t have the strength left to watch Angel; other times,
the meds would kick in and we would stay up and talk for a few hours about the characters and their journeys. I think she
got as much pleasure out of watching the show as she did from the fact that she had finally turned me on to something
from her world, something I really, really liked and had become (completely independently of her own interest in the
show) deeply hooked on. It made her giggle to see me discussing the Tarot symbolism or yelping, “Yes! They got the
color right!”

She just liked Buffy.

She died a few weeks before Joyce did, but I knew that was coming in both cases. I couldn’t watch The Body until much,
much later, and still have only seen it once - the only ep for which that’s true. But as difficult as that time was for both of
us, I will never forget the simple joys of those Tuesday nights, of Buffy and the Scoobies, of Glory’s skanky lop- sided ass
(she was my sister’s favorite!), of our laughter and our tears. And I will try always to remember that the ability to be
entertained -- and thus to forget, for just a few minutes, that every journey comes to an end – is a priceless gift, one much
like life itself. As much as I sometimes disagree with the choices JW or ME make, I will always be grateful to them for
those hours. I think artists rarely know, and can never predict, the impact their work can have on members of their
audience. Life, like art, is a subjective experience. I’m glad my sister and I got to enjoy so many piece of both while we
were still together.

[> [> That was beautiful redcat -- ponygirl, 12:52:26 07/31/02 Wed

Thank you for the reminder that art and life are wonderful gifts. It gave me a little wake up call in the midst of a day I was going to just let slide by.

[> [> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Caroline, 12:53:45 07/31/02 Wed

redcat, thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I understand how you fell. My husband died suddenly several years ago before he even reached the age of thirty and when I watch the Body I am stunned and gratified and hurt and overjoyed by the depiction of loss and pain and mourning in this episode and subsequent ones. It continues to have a great impact on me whenever I see it.

[> [> A lovely post. -- Rahael, 15:27:50 07/31/02 Wed

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Leeta, 12:44:45 07/31/02 Wed

What was the first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer you watched? Why did you watch it?

I saw "Welcome to the Hellmouth" when it first aired. I think I was sick that night, stuck at home with nothing else to watch. I sure didn't seek it out. I'd seen the Kristy Swanson/Luke Perry movie and hated it, so I watched the TV adaptation fully expecting a ridiculous suckfest that I could mock and deride ala Joel and his 'bots.

Was it love at first sight?

As soon as sweet-virginal-schoolgirl Darla vamped out and ate the boy, I knew the show was a lot cooler than I thought it would be. I enjoyed the show, but I was only an occasional viewer until "Prophecy Girl." After I saw that, I was totally hooked and counted the days for the second season premiere.

What did people say when you told them you watched a show with the word "Buffy" in its title?

It's a battle convincing people it's a worthwhile show. I'd try explaining the appeal, and non-converts would roll their eyes in that "I only watch West Wing" kinda snobby way. They seemed more put off by the high school setting than the fantasy element, and called it "90210 with fangs."

My best friend held out for six years until I bought the first season DVDs and FORCED her to watch them. Now she literally begs me to let her come over and watch the second season DVDs, and is trying to convince her husband to spring for cable TV so she can catch the FX reruns. She's determined to watch all six seasons so she'll know what happens once the new season premieres.

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- matching mole, 13:46:23 07/31/02 Wed

Literally - my first Buffy experience was seeing an ad for the movie (not yet released at the time) on the side of a bus in Chicago. I thought it sounded like a pretty cool idea - but discovered when I actually saw the movie that, as is so often the case, the cool idea became less cool when turned into a movie. Not that I hated it, it just lacked any sort of satirical subtlety or cleverness.

I started watching WttH because I was home by myself and kind of bored. My wife and our houseguest came home just over half way through so I didn't see the end of it. I watched about half of the first run of the first season on an opportunistic basis. My wife got hooked a few episodes after I did and we had seen all the first season eps by the end of the summer reruns (except for Never Kill a Boy on the First Date which we never saw until the show went into non- cable syndication last year). Season 2 blew us away. BtVS went from being a show that we enjoyed and watched regularly to the number one priority on our viewing list.

My wife is much more prone to attempt to convert the uninitiated to BtVS than I am. Her major successes include one of her grad students (and indirectly the student's husband) and one of her collaborators. A good friend of mine is a Buffy fan (many of my more heretical views have been influenced by him) but he began watching the show completely independently (however I persuaded him to watch AtS). My brother and sister-in-law don't watch the show but they have good friends who do (I made up Buffy quiz questions for them to use at a party). My sister-in-law says that she enjoys hearing people describe the show to her more than she would ever enjoy watching it.

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- meritaten, 13:47:00 07/31/02 Wed

I wasn't an instant convert. I didn't see past the name, and didn't watch it until the third season. My cousin loves the show and was constantly talking about it. She convinced me to watch WttH and tH when they were rerun. I liked them, but I didn't fall instantly in love with the show. I watched too much TV already, and had class on the night Buffy was on. I later watched another episode at the beginning of season 3. My reaction was much the same. However, the humor was starting to get to me. ...and after a couple of episodes (which I saw when class was canceled), I began to see how complex the characters were. Soon, I started taping them. By the end of season 3, I was hooked. Fortunately, my cousin helped me follow the story despite the epsiodes I'd missed.

When I admitted watching Buffy, people seemed surprised. However, I am also a Trekkie, so they have learned to ignore my taste in TV. However, as I returned to grad school, I learned that a number of my new classmates were Buffy addicts. Some still run if the show comes up in conversation, but others are as addicted as I. One friend has watched it several times this year, but can't get into it as she doesn't know enough of the background story - and she's rather watch other shows on at the same time.

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- yffub, 13:53:27 07/31/02 Wed

I can remember vividly when I saw my first episode of BtVS. It was when I got my new cable modem internet connection. Also, it was during the time those kids known as the Trenchcoat Mafia shot up a school. Remember that?

During Season 3, the episode entitled "Earshot" was delayed in airing on the WB because it dealt with mass murder at a high school by a student of that high school.

Anyway, while surfing the web with my new speedy cable connection, I had noticed that someone had posted the entire "forbidden" episode on the Web. Mind you, that the episode had not been aird yet and noone knew when it would be. I thought to myself "Why not? With my increased bandwidth it would take less then an hour to download the entire episode.

Needless to say I saw the episode and I was hooked!! The camaraderie (sp?) between Buffy, Zander, and Willow had me hooked from the get go. I quickly caught up with the series as fast as I could.

Wild story, huh? If these events had not occured at the right time and place I may never have become a true FAN of BtVS?

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- ravenhair.....hope everyone is enjoying their summer!, 14:18:33 07/31/02 Wed

My first Buffy experience was 3 or 4 years ago when I visited my parents' home. My father was watching Buffy and I, for shame, teased him. My little sister complained that Dad had to have the "big TV" for Buffy and dragged me into her bedroom to watch Dawson's Creek (ugh!).

The first episode of Buffy I saw was a rerun of The Puppet Show. I thought it was cute but wasn't inspired to catch up on all the reruns or the current season.

My first real interest in BtVS was while channel surfing and I caught S5's Checkpoint. I loved Buffy's reaction to finding out Glory was a god and was curious to see how a god would be portrayed on this quirky show. Enjoyed the remainder of S5 and watched sporadically during the summer.

I discovered the internet fan base during S6 and my eyes were opened to the wonderful metaphors the show presents. I caught up on all the reruns on FX and have been a Buffy fanatic since.

People's reaction? My dad is extremely amused! I don't shout my Buffy love from the rooftops and I don't know anyone else who watches the show. My husband was surprised when I started watching because of all the times I teased my dad, but he enjoys the show as well. However, he groaned when I told him we needed to set some time aside on Sundays for Angel in addition to Sopranos/6FtUnder. Our house is currently on the market and I would be curious to see people's reactions to my Buffy wall calendar hanging proudly over my desk. :)

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- (Ju)Lia [I like brackets me], 18:38:07 07/31/02 Wed

Hey, guess this is as good a place to post my first message (well okay, I did barge in on a couple of threads and then waltz off last summer so not really) as any.

Longish ramblingish story, cos it wasn't love at first sight at all.

Okay, so I saw the start of the one with Invisible Marcy and thought Buffy looked like a clever show, and it was interesting to see a sassy female character instead of the twelve year old boy from the future I'd been expecting (Don't ask, I don't know, a medium sized boy in a backwards hat just seemed to fit the name...).

I checked out a couple of second season eps, but it still seemed like ordinary melodramatic high school stuff to me (though I liked that Buffy's social circle was more like mine [few friends, but the friends she did have were true ones at least]than that of most TV teens)and I wanted my vampires to be, like, Dru-esque (it was just bad luck that I didn't find out about her til I was catching up).

Didn't watch any of series 3. Did really like the look of Spike on an ad for Lover's Walk (ooh! It's that ad with the guy with the white hair! He's taking the piss out of people! Drop everything!).

I count "Beer Bad" as my first ever Buffy 'cos that's when I fell for Buffy and decided to watch it every every week. I don't know exactly what it was, I think it was a mixture of the real life bits (I wanted to be in college!), still being into make-believe and that the episode showed me for the first time how the two are weaved together on Buffy. Plus, the fact that the storyline wasn't too complicated in that episode let me get to knwo the characters and made me feel less behind than when I'd watched Buffy before.

I almost cried when I discovered that my roomates last year were Buffy freaks too (I found Buffy people! Hurrah!) How obsessed I let people know I am just depends on how comfortable I feel with them, I don't bother to get into huge debates with unbelievers (sometimes), I find that ignoring them and just doing my own thing leads to passive Buffy watching, which leads to actual Buffy watching, which leads to weeping at the end of Becoming Part II etc.

[> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Sarand, 18:56:29 07/31/02 Wed

I caught the movie on TV one day last fall and thought it was kind of cute. I somehow realized that there was a TV show based on the movie and I haphazardly watched a few episodes on FX until I went away for a week or so. Upon my return, I saw the end of "Dead Man's Party" and even though I was upset at how badly everyone was treating Buffy I religiously watched the rest of Season 3 and was hooked. I think my first full episode of Season 6 was OMWF and of course I loved that. I'm still annoyed that I didn't tape it that night. A couple of weeks later, after watching the end of Season 3 of Buffy, I realized that there was this other show called Angel so I decided to watch that. My first episode was "Lullaby" and I was completely blown away. From then on, I could hardly wait for Monday to come so I could watch Angel and then for Tuesday to come to watch Buffy. Wednesdays were the saddest day of the week for me.
I started going online to learn more about the shows and discovered this site back in May. Since I don't know anyone else who watches the shows and my references to Buffy are met with odd silences, I've been delighted to find others here who share my new obsession. Either I'm really not crazy or I have lots of company.
I've been contemplating getting my feet wet on this board for a while now. Thanks for the opportunity.

[> [> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Dee, 01:42:20 08/01/02 Thu

I watched from the first episode on. I had seen the movie, thought Paul Ruebens was a hoot, so I decided to follow the series. I was hooked from the first few minutes. I remember it so clearly- I had just had my son, and was always nursing when Buffy came on TV those first few weeks! People STILL laugh when I tell them it is my favorite show (or was, before it decended into trashy soft porn. Really- how many acenes of people having sex do we need to see? And I think I've seen more than enough of Spike, if you know what I mean).

[> [> Re: What Was Your First Buffy Experience? -- Dee, 01:42:37 08/01/02 Thu

I watched from the first episode on. I had seen the movie, thought Paul Ruebens was a hoot, so I decided to follow the series. I was hooked from the first few minutes. I remember it so clearly- I had just had my son, and was always nursing when Buffy came on TV those first few weeks! People STILL laugh when I tell them it is my favorite show (or was, before it decended into trashy soft porn. Really- how many scenes of people having sex do we need to see? And I think I've seen more than enough of Spike, if you know what I mean).

Question ALL assumptions. -- Drizzt, 21:35:46 07/30/02 Tue

[> Why? -- yabyumpan, 22:38:20 07/30/02 Tue

[> [> Why not? -- Marie, 01:17:49 07/31/02 Wed

[> Including this one? -- Deconstructionist, 08:22:29 07/31/02 Wed

[> So are you assuming that we've come to an assumption? -- Deeva, 08:29:21 07/31/02 Wed

[> Is answering a question with a question really an answer? -- Arethusa, 09:06:40 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> It's a redirection. -- Deeva, 09:47:36 07/31/02 Wed

[> Are you talkin' to us? Are YOU... -- Darby (I'm assuming from my ID, anyway...), 09:22:11 07/31/02 Wed

[> So...are you trying to imply that the Earth ISN'T flat?!? Heretic! -- Rob, 09:38:39 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> Are you saying we're not balanced on the back of a turtle?! -- Arethusa, 11:01:54 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> Wait...Do you mean the elephant stopped doing that? -- Rob, 11:36:09 07/31/02 Wed

[> If I didn't, would that make you an ass out of me? -- Caroline, 11:32:53 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> Nothing is ever quite that simple! -- John Burwood, 13:13:34 07/31/02 Wed

Blood -- Purple Tulip, 06:28:44 07/31/02 Wed

Ok, I had a thought this morning as I was getting ready for work: can vampires feed off each other? Because, honestly, if they could then two vamps like Dru and Spike could have just fed off each other for centuries, recycling whatever blood they had between them, and wouldn't need to kill anyone else for blood. ~OR~ Do vampires only have blood inside of them BECAUSE they feed off others? When we die, what does happen to our blood? Does it just dry up? Are we somehow drained of it? So if we don't have any blood in us when we are dead and burried, then how can a vampire bleed when hit or cut? And how can a vampire have sex when blood is extremely important for that as well?

Ok, that's my random thought for the day---anyone got any insight for me???

[> Okay, I'll bite. -- Arethusa, 06:49:26 07/31/02 Wed

Vampires bite and drain the blood of people to sustain their bodies. They won't be dead without it, but they evidently can't fully use the human body they inhabit without fresh supplies of blood. Since their hearts don't beat, the means of circulating the blood must be mystical. Since their blood does circulate, they bleed and can have sex. Blood sustains vampires, Spike said. It mades them warm, alive, hard. I imagine Dru and Spike could feed off each other-I always assumed vampires fed during sex, probably from watching "Forever Knight." But that blood would be old, tired.

I've read that when we die our blood seeps to the lowest part of our body, and stays there until drained. That's all I know.

[> [> Prevention of Cranial Explosion -- Darby, 08:22:58 07/31/02 Wed

Try not to think too much about it. I like your suggestion that blood circulates magically - a non-beating heart could still be critical to the system. It doesn't make them warm, though - room temp, after the blood they take in cools. Maybe that heat's part of the rush. But most of the Buffyverse particulars on vamp physiology make no real biological sense, so you pretty much need magic as a motive force. Heck, do you know how much nutrient-poor blood you'r have to consume to really keep a super-strong vampire metabolism running without magic? There's a reason why itty- bitty vampire bats prey on cattle (not that they drain them dry, but still...). Sunnydale would have been emptied long ago.

Basically, they have to bleed because it's critical to turning someone and dramatic when injuries occur. Just like they don't breathe so Xander has to save Buffy in Prophecy Girl, although the rest of the time they're breathing (and smoking, and being choked) except when a writer notices they're not supposed to or specifically needs them not to.

[> [> [> But back to the discussion of the impossible... -- KKC, 08:33:16 07/31/02 Wed

The possibility that Purple Tulip suggests is that of blood as a catalyst; that is, the blood is only needed to make something happen, and it's not used up or otherwise consumed. If this were true, then it would be the act of draining blood that sustained a vampire and not the blood itself. All the evidence in the show points to blood being a reageant, rather than a catalyst... It's consumed, it's digested, and presumably excreted, but let's not go there. :)

Anne Rice (shoot me for mentioning her) has an interesting take on the purpose of draining blood. In addition to all the usual 'blood is life' rhetoric, her work suggests that vampires need blood because they have no other fluids sustaining their bodies. So when a vampire cries, you don't get tears but blood instead. If a vampire must perspire, then blood seeps from the skin rather than sweat. And now that leads to another unpleasant topic that makes me want to quit while I'm ahead.

-KKC, who's darn sure he misspelled 'reageant' up there...

[> [> [> [> Can I just say..........eewwwwww!! And LOL. -- Sophist, 08:54:35 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Hey, don't knock Anne Rice... -- Rob, 09:07:54 07/31/02 Wed

...She's one of my favorite authors, and the reason I started getting interested in vampire mythology in the first place.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Hey, don't knock Anne Rice... -- KKC, 14:20:19 07/31/02 Wed

Not knocking Anne Rice at all... But I always got the impression that Rice fans and Buffy fans didn't overlap much, sometimes to the point of the two groups being antagonistic. Maybe I'm mistaken.

The Whedon and Rice takes on vampires couldn't be more different. Rice's vampires retain their individuality and remain morally responsible for their actions before and after undeath. Whedon's disembodied demons posessing a corpse are a widely divergent take on the myth. Others have been better at describing the post-modern artistic sensibilities of Buffy than I could ever be, so I'll leave it at that.

-KKC, who wonders if Angel will also be lighter and funnier next season...

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hey, don't knock Anne Rice... -- Rob, 21:07:05 07/31/02 Wed

Anne Rice and Buffyverse totally different? Where do ya think Angel got so darn broody from? ;o)

I understand what you mean. Yeah, they are two very different mythologies, for the most part--although with the greying of the Buffyverse rules, they have gotten closer to each other in some respects, regarding the being a demon doesn't necessarily mean your evil idea. (In Rice, of course, they aren't even demons.)--Even so, vamps are vamps.

I actually started watching "Buffy" after having recently finished reading "The Vampire Chronicles." I had never been that into vampires or horror books in general before reading that, but once I was done, I had a voracious appetite for more vamp stories...and thus I decided to give "Buffy" a try. To start off with, I admit, I was a bit taken aback by the difference with the vamps. In Anne Rice's world, vamps aren't even CAPABLE of being conscious during the day. When the sun rises, some metaphysical whoozwatzitz knocks the vamp out cold until morning. Also, they all sleep in coffins, and a lot of other stuff. Her vamps certainly can't have sex.

Although at first I favored Rice's interpretation, I have leaned, over the years, more to the Whedonverse. But I'm still a fan of Anne's and read all her new releases when they come out.

Oh, I hope I didn't come off as belligerent when I posted it. I didn't mean to yell at you. But the way you wrote implied that one cannot be a Buffy and Anne Rice fan (and from your reply, it seems like you believed that)...so I'm just setting the record straight. ;o)


[> [> [> [> What about their eyeballs and mouths? -- VampRiley, 09:30:38 07/31/02 Wed

I don't really know much about Anne Rice vamps, but if they have no other fluids in their bodies, how can they keep their eyeballs and mouths from becoming dry? Do they take the water from the blood to help keep them moist?


[> [> [> Re: Prevention of Cranial Explosion-LOL -- Arethusa, 08:56:16 07/31/02 Wed

I like the idea of a "high" on warm blood. I guess vampires can force breath in and out if they want to smoke. Perhaps choking shuts off the flow of blood to the brain? Feeble, but otherwise we just have to accept ME is fallible. If Wedon is our god, did I just commit heresy? Do they still burn at the stake?

[> [> [> [> Spike did it to Dru. -- VR, 09:24:24 07/31/02 Wed

He wrapped his arm around Dru's neck in Becoming, pt. 2 and she fell unconscious. He cut off her blood circulation to her brain.

[> [> [> [> [> And Angel couldn't do it to Darla. -- Arethusa, 09:35:47 07/31/02 Wed

In "Offspring," Angel chokes Darla, and she reminds him, "I don't breathe, you idiot! You can't strangle me!" In Lullaby, Darla said, "I. Don't. Breathe!" when Wesley tried to teach her Lamaze breathing.

quote by psyche

[> [> [> [> [> [> Vampires and Breathing -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:07:19 07/31/02 Wed

First, I think we can ignore when we see vampires breathing. The actors need to breathe, so this can be chalked up to a technical failure.

Second, when Spike "choked" Drusilla, maybe he was damaging her spinal cord, which would cause her to go limp until her vampire healing powers took care of it.

Third, vampires can breathe (see smoking or talking), though they don't need to and often don't. Why couldn't Angel have made himself breathe to perform CPR on Buffy in Prophecy Girl? Well, who knows what a vampire's lungs do to air. Maybe passing through undead flesh robs it of oxygen.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Vampires and Breathing -- LittleBit, 11:27:28 07/31/02 Wed

Third, vampires can breathe (see smoking or talking), though they don't need to and often don't. Why couldn't Angel have made himself breathe to perform CPR on Buffy in Prophecy Girl? Well, who knows what a vampire's lungs do to air. Maybe passing through undead flesh robs it of oxygen.

Well, considering that air passing through live flesh (lungs) robs it of oxygen, that really wouldn't be a consideration. I simply thought that Angel wasn't able to breathe with the the force necessary to inflate Buffy's lungs, which is a critical function if CPR is to be effective.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Vampires and Breathing -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:09:05 07/31/02 Wed

Actually, passing through lungs robs the air of half its oxygen. It is still usable for breathing, though not the best. But who knows what affect weirdo, vampire physiology might have on it?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Read in an interview once with Joss... -- VR, 15:50:23 07/31/02 Wed

Where he said Angel couldn't give CPR to Buffy 'cause what Angel breathed out after taking a breath couldn't make trees grow. Damn him for not elaborating any further.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> seems like joss & science don't mix -- anom, 21:28:48 07/31/02 Wed

"...he said Angel couldn't give CPR to Buffy 'cause what Angel breathed out after taking a breath couldn't make trees grow."

Kinda like what Giles said about the medical & the mystical. @>) This just makes no sense. What's in human breath that makes trees grow is carbon dioxide. What makes CPR work is the oxygen still left in human breath (apparently we use it really inefficiently--in the CPR course I took, the instructor said what we breathe out has >70% of the oxygen that's in the air we breathe in (maybe even more--it was years ago & I don't remember all that well, but it was a lot more than I thought it'd be).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Vampires and Breathing -- Maroon Lagoon, 22:25:07 07/31/02 Wed

"...maybe he was damaging her spinal cord."

That line gets my LOL for the day. Isn't love sweet?

[> Magic seems the best bet.. -- AurraSing, 09:20:12 07/31/02 Wed

When we die and are embalmed,all the blood is suctioned out of the body and replaced with embalming fluid,which is the most sure-fire way next to ultra cool temps to avoid gaseous bloating and the putrid smell of decay...if Jewish you are buried within a day of death (ideally) and with all body parts (including blood) intact.
Now since I don't believe everyone in Sunnydale belongs to the Jewish faith,I would say they are embalmed,in which case magic is needed to turn the rather toxic fluid into something life-enabling but it does explain why vamps emerge from the grave both famished *and* stupid-that stuff cannot be too good for brain cells! The longer you stay alive and the more blood you drink,the stronger and smarter you become.
Blood is needed for the "life-force" within,since a vamp's blood would be old and stale without it. Thus one vamp biting another would do them little good-the "life-force" cannot be within their corrupt blood cells for very long past a feeding. As for sex,it must be magic too,since without a beating heart (not to mention some testosterone) sex should be impossible for male vampires.

[> [> "It's not physics, it's metaphysics!" --Joss Whedon -- Masq, 12:08:47 07/31/02 Wed

Words to always live by when you're trying to figure out how something on the shows is scientifically possible.

[> [> [> Then there is the Magic Clause- - Rufus CDCW -- Rufus, 03:10:54 08/01/02 Thu

La la la la la.......science schmience, who needs it when we have a trusty Magic Clause.....:):):):):):):)

[> [> blood vs. formaldehyde -- purplegrrl, 13:06:37 07/31/02 Wed

I was watching a show on the History Channel the other week about cemetaries and funeral practices (see what an obsession with vampires does to you!). One of the funeral directors they interviewed said that embalming was a choice before burial, but did not mention any particular religious motivation. Not everyone who is buried has been embalmed.

So it's entirely possible that a goodly number of people in Sunnydale are not embalmed (considering they live on a Hellmouth, they may want to get the dead into the ground as soon as possible). Therefore, at least some vamps don't need to replace the formaldehyde in their systems with blood. They're just drinking blood 'cause that's the thing they do.

(The original reason people thought vampires drank blood was that recently buried corpses would appear to be bloated with blood (actually bloat from the decay process) -- although why they were digging up the recently dead is beyond me! It would also appear that the hair and fingernails on these "vampires" had grown -- when it was actually in the case of fingernails just the skin pulling away from the nails during decay.)

But how the blood circulates in a body with a nonbeating heart is definately supernatural, either metaphysics or magic. Not even Bram Stoker, the father of the "traditional" vampire answered that question.

[> [> [> Re: blood vs. formaldehyde -- leslie, 13:44:05 07/31/02 Wed

"The original reason people thought vampires drank blood was that recently buried corpses would appear to be bloated with blood (actually bloat from the decay process) -- although why they were digging up the recently dead is beyond me! It would also appear that the hair and fingernails on these "vampires" had grown -- when it was actually in the case of fingernails just the skin pulling away from the nails during decay."

See Paul Barber's _Vampires, Burial, and Death_. Usually they were digging them up because there was a spate of unexpected deaths and the best explanation that people could come up with was that one of the recently dead was not quite so dead after all, so they would dig him or her up to give the coup-de-grace (staking, decapitation, etc.).

Ineresting side note--one of the earliest extant vampire legends is recorded by Walter Map in the 12th century; it concerns a knight who came back to Wales from the Crusades, and his "vampirism" is a nasty disease he picked up in those heathen climes. BUT! In the locals' attempts to finally kill him, simple decapitation of the corpse doesn't work--they cut his head off at the neck and people keep dying. The "vampire" is not conclusively offed until they actually split the skull. Now, this story is being told in Wales, a culture that has a tradition of "talking heads," (most famously the demigod Bendigeidfran, "Bran the Blessed," who not only was a giant, but whose head stayed alive after it was cut off when he was wounded in battle, kept talking for 80 years, and finally was buried at the site of the Tower of London, where it warded off invasion of Britain until King Arthur dug it up because he didn't want competetition as the defender of the island--the ravens that live at the Tower to this day are mythically connected with Bran, whose name means "raven" or "crow"... but I digress....) Um, anyway, Wales, talking heads--in a culture in which cutting someone's (magical) head off only serves to make the head *more* potent, decapitating a vampire would be worse than leaving the head alone; significantly, in medieval Welsh Arthurian romances (which were being composed around the same time that Map was writing this story), the way you kill a supernatural opponent in battle is to deliver a blow that splits open the skull so that the brains can be seen (there is a standard description of this that comes up again and again, naming all the layers that are cut through in the blow).

[> [> [> [> Facinating! Thanks! -- redcat, 13:56:22 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> unburying the dead -- purplegrrl, 15:19:46 07/31/02 Wed

Actually, having read a lot of vampire lore I understand why people dug up the dead in the past. But still, eewwwww!!

But I hadn't heard the Welsh lore. Thanks for the info!

[> [> [> [> [> social construction of vampires -- leslie, 15:25:52 07/31/02 Wed

I've always thought that Welsh story was interesting in terms of people wondering whether, for instance, crosses and holy water would drive off a Jewish or Hindu vampire--it leads me to believe the answer would be "no"!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: social construction of vampires -- aliera, 17:48:14 07/31/02 Wed

Via Google...this was a quick search, any corrections are appreciated...

The remedy for Greek (the oldest written reference to vampires?), Hindu and Chinese vampires seems to be cremation. It doesn't seem to be a link to the sun since at least the Greek vampires could move about during the day.

The Jewish reference was difficult to find. Much more recent and appearing to come from proximity to other cultures that already had tales of vampires. Their vampire seems to be a weaker creature that could be restrained and prevented from drinking blood which would kill them. There is a caution to fill their mouths with earth after death and to not feed them bread and salt. Also to not include their names in prayers for healing.

In spite of Count Dracula, the most common vampires seem to be female and the most common victims to be children. Again, many references to sexuality and of course Lilith. Wonder where the staking solution came from? Also interesting that the tales are so old and cropped up in so many different cultures. The christian symbolism seems to have come in much later? From the church or a particular writer? Perhaps a writer or writers, since the symbols don't crop up in tales of other monsters?

Answers always seem to lead to more questions. :-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: social construction of vampires -- shadowkat, 18:56:01 07/31/02 Wed

I read on one site that Lilith and Cain were considered the parents of vampires. And in the poem Beowulf are mentioned by name as creating the monsters. The site, can't remember where off hand, went on to mention how Cain and Lilith were mentioned in apocrypathal text of the Old Testment but that this text was lost. Not sure if this is true or more internet legend.

But I find some of the legends on vampirism I've read interesting. The Lilith/Cain is the Judeo-Christian one.
In the Celtic One - you have the idea of destroying the brain which makes sense - since the Celts believed the source of power, in fact our soul, resided in the head or brain. And often this was the only armor they wore.
In the Lilith/Cain = they gain their power from the Dead Sea or red of the sea...the blood of the earth. When they have sex = vampires are born of their union.

Then we have the medical explanation I've read = where people were considered Vampires because they were anemic or had an allergy to sunlight. In ancient times the need for blood transfusions and allergy to sunlight was considered evil. Sometimes a simple health ailment turned you into a monster.

The beheading theme comes up again in the story of Vlad the Impaler known as Dracula - he placed his victims heads on pikes.

Let's see still scanning the old brain for more on this theme...ah, the idea of blood as a life source - very ritualistic. Some cultures believe drinking the blood of the dead or eating the dead makes them live on in you. You grab their power and extend your life by theirs. Wish I could remember the precise location of this myth. The problem with my memory is I remember the story but not the source or where it was located...makes it very frustrating.
;-) This is why I did not go on in academia...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Chinese vampires -- TRM, 23:59:05 07/31/02 Wed

My knowledge of Chinese vampires comes only from questionable stories and various relatively modern movies, so is probably inaccurate, but I thought I'd throw in what I (might) know.

The Chinese interaction with the dead is largely played off on the Taoist side of things, with Taoist priests (a conundrum I've never understood since Taoism is a philosophy and not a religion). While they are called vampires, they are more akin to zombies. As far as I know, the only resemblences are that they are dead and may harm people. In fact, Chinese vampires are notably lacking in fluids which explains why they are stiff (as a corpse). They can't bend their knees so they hop about as best they can -- it's not really threatening sounding if they didn't happen to be undead.

Folklore tends to indicate that the color yellow restricts the undead (this includes, for example, dead spirits) and so yellow pieces of paper (generally with some sort of inscription) are often used to immobilize vampires. Tall thresholds help keep these horribly arthritic cadavers from entering most households.

In fact, vampires aren't a completely bad thing. A combination of Taoist priests and yellow pieces of paper were supposed to help move a corpse that died far away to home in order for it to be properly buried/cremated.

And aliera is correct in that cremation is used to prevent the dead from rising (often as a precaution).

I remember watching a movie with a Chinese/Western vampire that switched back and forth between the two... I think they killed it with a cross wrapped in yellow paper...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: social construction of vampires -- KKC, 02:04:40 08/01/02 Thu

All this talk of Christian vampires, Jewish vampires, Chinese vampires... Looking at this from a Buffyverse point of view, would the religion or beliefs of the victim necessarily have any bearing on the type of demon that kills him or her? If the demon that takes over the body of a Jewish person is still antagonistic to Christian beliefs, then a cross should be just as effective regardless of the original person's faith. I'm making the very generous assumption that the complex and contradictory beliefs of all religions are coexisting in the Buffyverse and that no one religion can claim a monopoly on truth, justice and the American way. :)

Of course, now we enter a very grey and screwed up area where we can't tell where the victim ends and where the vampire begins. But if we're assuming that the victim is dead and isn't morally responsible for the actions of the demon in his or her body, then it stands to reason that his or her individual faith doesn't affect the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the vampire. Else you'll have vampires only wanting to attack Italian chefs in order to have their spawn gain immunity to garlic.

-KKC, who should really get a life at this point. :)

[> [> [> [> Re: The Welsh -- Purple Tulip, 06:36:46 08/01/02 Thu

Thanks for that interesting info! I'm very Welsh on my Dad's side, and had no idea about those stories---very interesting and I always like to learn something about my heritage. I also have the Celtic background too, so I've always been very interested in the lore surrounding that coulture. Guess I'll have to do some research on these topics! Thanks again :)

No Wonder Willow Was Evil -- Dedalus, 11:15:25 07/31/02 Wed

Check this out -


Scary stuff.

[> If only the links would work the first time ... -- Dedalus, 11:22:04 07/31/02 Wed


[> [> Do you suppose it's some sort of jinx? Spell? Curse? -- aliera, 11:29:26 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> Isn't that part of the same humor group that does theonion.com? -- Masq, 11:42:24 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> Re: ROTFWL -- BRIAN, 12:00:33 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> if they are its really well done, "20 Years since we killed a witch" -- Dochawk, 12:46:47 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> I must be getting senile... -- DickBD, 13:19:49 07/31/02 Wed

It took me several sentences, maybe even paragraphs, before I realized it was all a put on. Excellent satire. Dare I send this to some of my very religious friends? Actually, I think not, for the religious aren't very good sports about this type of thing--and, truth to tell, I don't like to upset people. Still, I recall a well-known British freethough propagandist 50 years ago opining, "The one thing religion can't stand against is laughter."

[> [> [> The Onion denies responsibility. Perhaps a rogue faction? -- mundusmundi, 13:24:32 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> Did you guys read their review of Scooby Doo?! -- Dedalus, 12:46:25 07/31/02 Wed

Horrifying. I can't believe Sarah Michelle would be involved with anything like that. "Is Hollywood using a Saturday morning cartoon to bait young children into signing a contract with Satan? The answer is yes."

Sc oobyDoo

[> [> Deliciously Funny -- Rahael, 15:57:32 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> At least someone had the good sense to tell other about how good True christin blood is -- VampRiley, 16:43:54 07/31/02 Wed

As for the bible pages being used as rolling paper, I thought everyone knew about that? Me? I personally stay away from them. They burn my lips like acid. Not fun. Believe me.

Jesus jerky is a delicacy. And no one knowing that you're eating it is half the fun.

Bladed weapons are much better than using non-bladed ones for torture and food preparations. With projectile weaponry, you only have a limited supply of ammo. With bladed weapons, ammo isn't a concern.

I'm my own god. I don't follow Jesus or Satan. I follow me.

I'm a demon and a democrat. So, that tracks.

Let me tell you something about casting spells and hexes. Anyone can do it. But, it's those that are intelligent who are able to pull them off successfully. So, [blows raspberry again and again].

I have silver stuff. Just haven't had time to get around to cleaning it. I have the silver polisher stuff. I swear.

What's wrong with black underwear or nail polish? It can look very good on a guy.

Okay. The whole penis peircing thing I won't do, but there are some nuts out there who will do it. Anyone tries to get it done to me is gonna find their throat ripped out from my teeth.

Where is Olaf, the vamped troll? Has she been visiting nursery schools again?


If you've gotten this far and haven't realized I'm joking about this whole thing...[lowers head and shakes it from side to side]


[> [> [> Re: Staying away from the nursery schools until the furor dies down... -- LittleBite, 19:15:56 07/31/02 Wed

...but thanks for the raspberries!!! They were delicious!!!!


[> [> That was bad, I know, but I have to have my fun. -- Dedalus, 17:32:14 07/31/02 Wed

[> [> [> Ded? You were very naughty... -- VampRiley, 18:21:54 07/31/02 Wed

...for making DickBD feel really old. Shame on you. [he said, waging his finger at the D man. Then, he blew a raspberry to end all raspberries]


Take that and try to build a fence now.



[> Can't hold a candle to the Onion. -- Maroon Lagoon, 19:00:10 07/31/02 Wed

I've never found Landoverbaptist.com very funny. It's not offensive, just not funny. It's too mean-spirited and one- note. With the same tired jokes over and over, it sounds like it was written by disgruntled teenagers.

On the other hand, the Onion has some of the best religious humor I've ever seen (not counting the Simpsons). If you've never browsed their archives, check out headlines like:

Christ Converts to Islam.

Mormon Teen Loses Inhibitions After Third Benadryl

Jewish Elders Lift 6,000-Year Ham Ban

I also like the photo in the thermodynamics story: "I Don't Accept Fundamental Tenets of Science and I Vote!"


[> [> one of my favorites was... -- anom, 22:51:41 07/31/02 Wed

...a story that ran in the Onion early this year:

Supreme Court Orders God to Break Up into Smaller Deities. @>)

Current board | August 2002