July 2003 posts

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Another BehindtheBoard LJ fic! Be warned, it's unsavory. -- Random, LittleBit and LadyS., 14:02:51 07/07/03 Mon

While relaxing one day at the ATPo mansion, your three recorders happened to notice Rob looking very furtive as he walked inside. So we decided to follow him up. He went into a room on the top floor, and, as luck would have it, forgot to close the door immediately. We slipped in, our ever-present video cameras in hand, and hid in the shadows just before TCH noticed the door was open and went to close it. What we observed in the next few hours was a scene of such depravity that we were reluctant to publish it. However, we finally decided that the board had a right to this information about its fellow posters. So here it is, in all it's untrammeled tawdriness...

By the way, take note of the new icon. It contains the pictures of several posters on the board. We have others, with other posters, and will occasionally change the icon around. So check back on occasion to see the fearsome visages of your compatriots in the ATPo mansion. We're also sending out an open call for more pics. We have a couple dozen (more, if you count the ones we're not allowed to post), but want as many as possible. Please mail e-mail them to the address given. Oh, and be sure to include your posting name. Thanks.

[> Oops, forgot the link...it's... -- Random, Bit, and LadyS., 14:07:23 07/07/03 Mon


[> [> just guessing here, but shouldn't that title be... -- anom, 15:09:24 07/07/03 Mon

...oh, I can't spoil people for it before they even follow the link! "Vol" should be "Voy"...right?

OK, now I'll go read it.

[> [> Bravo! Brava! Hella cool! -- Rob, 15:34:32 07/07/03 Mon

Apologies to TCH, but "looking so uncomfortably British that even his hair has painfully good posture" made me laugh the most.

Oh, and should I admit this...you guys were right not only about the cast picture (although I have the Season 6 cast, with ASH, so it's basically, yeah, the same), but the smiley face Alyson drew over her boobs. Creepy!


[> [> oh yeah, &... -- anom, 15:34:48 07/07/03 Mon

...that 3rd word in the title? No "E" at the beginning.

[> [> [> Heh, sorry, you're right about the "voi". -- Random, 15:51:00 07/07/03 Mon

My mistake...but, while the "e" can be omitted, it is acceptable.

[> [> [> [> wait...you mean you're quoting that line straight? -- anom, 17:46:28 07/07/03 Mon

You're not punning on "Voy"??? [Master of Pun Fu makes vain attempt to comprehend...inevitably fails] What's wrong with you? You can let a pun opportunity like that go?! It's perfect! How can you pass it up? [shakes head in consternation]

As for my 2nd q., I thought that w/the "e" it was Spanish, & the Italian left it out. But then, I know Spanish a lot better than Italian.

[> [> [> [> [> No, no, I changed it, oh Master of Pun Fu. Check it out -- Random, 17:47:34 07/07/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> um...still says "vol"...wait! once i refreshed it--there it is! -- anom, 18:33:02 07/07/03 Mon

That's more like it! If only we could make Voy take it seriously...right now it's more like the other way around....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> And I say, Thanks for that brilliant suggestion, anom! -- Random, 00:19:52 07/08/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> aww...you're welcome! flattery will get you... -- anom, blushing, possibly for more than 1 reason, 11:28:55 07/08/03 Tue

...um, actually, suspicion about what you might be planning for me once my turn comes up...uh-oh...are you just buttering me up now so that later you can...err, wait...y'know, never mind that part about the butter...not my kinda thing anyway, really....

Hey, glad you liked the pun! More where that came from--if you watch your step. (Hmm...any double entendres w/"step"? don't think so...OK.)

[> [> Hey, I haven't owned a bunny suit since I was like, four! -- Anneth, rarring and stomping., 15:40:32 07/07/03 Mon

[> [> [> If you're still speaking to me (rarr, stomp?).... -- LadyStarlight, 15:52:31 07/07/03 Mon

...I have some loonies and toonies for you.

[> [> [> [> Lady S, you should always assume... -- Anneth, 16:22:35 07/07/03 Mon

that I'm directly, specifically addressing you. :) (Rarr, Stomp, of course, being especially elevated dino-prose.) If I'm writing in monosyllabic phrases, however, then you can assume I'm addressing Ran.

Acutally, though, there I was merely acting upon certain of my feoral demon propensities. (See, eg, BehindATPo, most recent entry.)

(Suddenly distracted) Oo, LadyS, shiny!

[> [> [> [> [> So are you still speaking to me? Still e-mailing me? (makes puppy-dog eyes) -- Random, 17:51:09 07/07/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> of course! message soon! (after I get home and eat and stuff) -- Anneth, 18:21:05 07/07/03 Mon

Plus, I still owe you a picture! And I wanna come visit chat tonight and glow about my loverly weekend, from which I bear scars. Well, burns. Sunburns! Really deep peuce ones!

[> [> Dammit! I knew I shouldn't have gone home..... -- O'Cailleagh, 15:46:40 07/07/03 Mon

[> [> Can't . . . breathe . . . laughing . . . too . . . hard! -- HonorH (who needs meds and ellipses restriction), 18:26:53 07/07/03 Mon

I think that was the best installment yet! I laughed harder at it than at any previous installment, in spite of the fact that I wasn't in it. I'm remarkably self-absorbed--can't help it, there are two of me.

Speaking of which, if one of you can enlighten me as to what's up with H lately, I'd be exceedingly grateful. She's acting--well, almost sane. I don't like it. She's up to something.

[> [> You nailed my character surprisingly well... -- Tchaikovsky, 02:28:57 07/08/03 Tue

Except I don't have Firefly notes as I don't have Firefly.

But I do drink bitter, and I am rather Giles-ish, and I am very suspicious of cell-phones.

You know all this stuff about overhearing and looking in at doors? It's not a front. These people are genuine papparazzi.

Great job everyone.

TCH- going off to check his hair is straight.

[> [> [> I think I speak for all of us when I say... -- LadyStarlight (and possibly Bit and Random), 08:24:00 07/08/03 Tue

that rather than paparazzi, we'd prefer to be referred to as "chroniclers of the (mostly) human condition".


[> [> [> [> I suspect the word is 'parahuman' -- TCH, 08:43:16 07/08/03 Tue

[> [> [> of course you know that... -- lunasea, 08:37:12 07/08/03 Tue

Cell phones were invented by a bored warlock.

[> [> My reputation, Iago! -- Caroline, 08:38:41 07/08/03 Tue

You get away for a while and come back to discover that your tits have become a punch line! Well, the twins are good sports and thank LadyS, Random and Bit for their day in the sun...er...

Excellent work!


[> [> Ooh spicy talk! I love it! -- ponygirl, 09:55:38 07/08/03 Tue

[> [> Very nice! The icon/pics are very ingenious. :> -- WickedBuffy ::trying to recognize who's who::, 13:10:25 07/08/03 Tue

[> YAHOO, I LOVE MY CAMEO -- Giles (With Nick reading over his shoulder), 17:18:21 07/07/03 Mon

I... am... soo Happy.
I just want to thank all the little people who helped me get this part.
Well now i am an offical ATP member, at least in my own mind (and if you disagree then
BLEH *sticks out toungue like in kindergarden*

[> [> I remember my first appearance -- lunasea, 20:23:25 07/07/03 Mon

It was a beautiful day. The birds were singing. The roaches had decided this was not a good day to die and stayed out of my apartment. The kids were well behaved and did as they were told even before I told them. The next door neighbor took the night off from practicing his guitar.

Enjoy it. Nothing is like your first time.

Now, if they would just chisel off that blasphemy before I go down to the armory and borrow something large to blow up the frelling statue, life would be good again.

Notice they didn't say what the card looked like. As a photographer, I have a nice fancy Photoshop progra, which I am rather proficient in. I replaced Spike's genitalia with a zucchini, a really really tiny one. [beg]

[> [> [> A Tiny one??? -- Giles, 18:44:47 07/08/03 Tue

you are an evil evil woman

[> ::sob:: I *DO* exist! I *AM* real! I'm having an odd sense of belonging. -- WickedBuffy and the rest, 10:34:17 07/08/03 Tue


That was hilarious - but exhausting. Morphing really takes a lot out of a person, even just reading about doing it. For some reason, I feel so real, today. What powers you all wield from those keyboards.

.... and you weren't real gentle for my first time.
Perfect. O:>

Also, thanks for solving the eternal mystery of where the other sock mysteriously disappears to by the time the laundry is done.

::pondering how many of my aliases you've recognized and whether I should now move to another posting board::

Was the First Slayer Wrong? -- Rosie, 15:23:34 07/07/03 Mon

I've read a good number of essays about the First Slayer's words in "Restless" - "No friends, just the kill. We are alone." Was the First Slayer completely wrong? I wonder.

I believe that part of the First Slayer's message was right. That she was alone. I've noticed that a good number of viewers have commented that alienating herself from the Scoobies is the worst thing that Buffy could do. That she was breaking away from humanity. Personally, I believe that Buffy should have been more concerned with breaking away from humanity within herself, than with other human beings. What is more important? Connecting outwardly with humanity, or connecting with humanity within oneself?

I am not saying that Buffy should have broke away from the Scoobies, her sister and Spike, completely. As the Beatles once said, "I get by with a little help from my friends." And having friends has always been a major aspect of Buffy's role as a Scooby. But it has affected her negatively, as well. It was her friends who ripped her out of a pleasant afterlife, because of their inability to function without her. If Buffy had not been so concerned about not alienating her friends, she would have been honest about her relationship with Spike. And the eventual revelation would not have resulted in the unpleasant events of "Entropy" and "Seeing Red". If Buffy had been more concerned with giving in to her friends' feelings about Caleb in "Empty Places", would she had ever gone after the scythe? The same scythe that helped Buffy and Willow empower all of the potential Slayers and change the system entirely? I cannot answer that question. But instinct tells me that Caleb and the First would have gotten their hands on the scythe before Buffy.

For years, Buffy has depended upon the Scoobies acting as aspects of the First Slayer - hands (Buffy); spirit (Willow); mind (Giles) and heart (Xander). This has given her an advantage over past Slayers. But I believe that Buffy could have discovered the same aspects within herself, instead of depending upon her hands only, as she has done in the past. Or has she learned this lesson? If so, please point this out to me.

In the end, I believe that what Buffy needed to learn was how to strike a balance between a connection with her friends and the rest of humanity and discovering peace or solace within herself - alone.

[> Whistler put it better -- lunasea, 09:06:38 07/08/03 Tue

"The more you live in this world, the more you see how apart from it you really are."

Or has she learned this lesson? If so, please point this out to me.

Heart = Season 5. In dying for Dawn she learned that her love was indeed brighter than the fire.

Spirit = Season 6. When she crawled out of the "Grave" with Dawn, Buffy learned how strong her spirit is and how her spirit could turn love/pain into strength.

Mind = Season 7. The wisdom of Buffy surpassed the book learning and intellect of Giles. She learned that there is more to Slayer than killing demons.

[> Re: Was the First Slayer Wrong? -- deacon, 14:30:23 07/08/03 Tue

Great post. One aspect of how Buffy needs her friends is "the wish" in Season 3, we saw how buffy would have turned out if she did't have the Love from Willow, Xander, and Giles

Attn: Literature-philes and English Majors, etc.! The Official "Help Rob Get Educated" Thread! -- Rob, 09:16:30 07/08/03 Tue

So, I was going through the college course catalog for next semester, and I'm having trouble picking an English class, so much so that at the moment, I'm left completely stumped as to which to choose. All the classes are open for the moment, and my schedule is just about completely free, so that can't be a deciding factor. Neither can the professors, because I don't know any of them. So I thought I'd just lay out for you guys the classes I'm considering, and any feedback from you guys would be greatly appreciated.

Cervantes and the European Narrative: The Rise of the Novel: Centers on close readings of Don Quixote and selected exemplary novels. Using Cervantes as a model text, the class attempts to define the "novel" as an evolving genre in European narrative.

I've thus far in my college career managed to avoid reading Don Quixote, but always felt like I should, which is why this is one of the options. Care to persuade or dissuade me from this? ;o)

Comparitive 19th-Century Novel: A study of four major novels, their respective national obsessions, and contrasting historical contexts (British: Dicken's Great Expectations; American: Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter; French: Balzac's Eugenie Grandet; Russian: Dostoevsky's The Possessed). Texts are read in conjunction with historical background material.

This one sounds interesting, too. To me at least! On the downside, I've read Great Expectations and The Scarlet Letter, and I usually like being exposed in classes to novels that I haven't read yet. On the up side, I haven't read the other two novels (what do you guys think of them?), and although The Scarlet Letter is not my cup of tea, Great Expectations is one of my favorite books.

Philsophy and Literature: A study of how philosophical themes have been developed in recent fiction and an examination of the relationship between philosophy and literary criticism.

Now, this is the one that made me "ooooh!" the most. Unfortunately, there is no indication whatsoever as to the syllabus, which makes it kind of a gamble. But possibly a good one, 'cause with the philosophy! Philosophy and literature in the same class may be too good to pass up.

I could always take 2 of these classes. Probably don't want to do 3, which would be just an awful amount of writing. So feedback please! Especially on those books I haven't read yet. Thank you ever so kindly! ;o)


[> Start w/ the broadest coverage your 1st sem. "Philsophy and Literature" -- Olde English Majorette Suggests, 09:25:12 07/08/03 Tue

[> [> Good idea on the class, but it's not my 1st semester... -- Rob, 09:27:27 07/08/03 Tue

Unless you mean for the year. I'm a senior. ;o)


[> [> [> =:O so sorry - thought you just graduated HS. -- OEM <still voting on that one, though>, 09:38:13 07/08/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> No prob. And still good suggestion! ;o) -- Rob, 09:52:01 07/08/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> ::suddenly realizing that some of the others WEREN'T trying to rob the cradle:: -- WickedEnlightened, 13:30:05 07/08/03 Tue

and also that Rob isn't imprisoned in some backwards High School while being a misunderstood genius.

[> You, called? -- fresne, 09:46:47 07/08/03 Tue

Huh, Rise of the Novel sounds interesting. And that's a very interesting novel/author to pick. I know that I really enjoyed my Rise of the Novel class, but it focused primarily on the English novel. In particular, the novel's evolution from epistolary to prose and the novel as a female form. Real men write poetry. Women read trashy novels. I'd be curious to have you slog through the class and then throw out random insights.

Comparative Lit of the 19th Century - Well, prepare to be depressed. Much more historically literate. All comparative and stuff. And depressed.

Philosophy and Literature - Sounds really intriguing. You might want to check out what kind of stuff the professor specializes in, has assigned before, teaching style, etc.

So, no Dante huh?

[> [> There actually was a Dante class last semester that I wanted to take... -- Rob, 09:49:47 07/08/03 Tue

...but it filled up. I'm hoping it's taught again in the spring.


[> One more suggestion... -- Darby, 10:05:39 07/08/03 Tue

You may have done this already, but check to see if the syllabi are online - that will give you a much better idea of what you'll be expected to do for the meat of the classes. If 50% of the Cervantes grade is based upon your rendition of "To Dream the Impossible Dream," and your pipes are good...

But seriously, if this is not the centerpiece of your studies, you'll probably want to weigh the work factor into the equation.

- Darby, who wants prospective students to know that they won't have to do oral presentations but will probably have to participate in cutting up little critters...

[> Re: Attn: Literature-philes and English Majors, etc.! The Official "Help Rob Get Educated" Thread! -- MaeveRigan, literature dudette, 10:22:14 07/08/03 Tue

"Philosophy and Literature" may end up being not so broad--more philosophy, less literature--more of a literary criticism course. You may like that, of course. Are you an English major? It's a worthwhile thing to have, if you are.

For full-on literature, either novel course should do, but a lot does depend on the prof. & his/her perspective & approach.

Do you know any English majors who can give you a hint about the professors? Do the profs have websites--have they written books or anything that would give you a clue about their backgrounds or interests?

[> [> Darby and Maeve... -- Rob, 10:35:04 07/08/03 Tue

Very good suggestions from both you and Darby. I am an English major, so literary criticism would be a good thing to have.

I've been searching the web so far for professor websites or syllabi. Been unsuccessful so far, but I'll keep trying. NYU had a much better on-line school community. There were message feedback boards for every professor, where students could discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each, and the classes, talk about what books were used, etc. Haven't found anything like that at Purchase yet. Will keep looking.

Unfortunately, I don't really know anyone at this school yet. I started last semester, and only had one night class, since I registered very late, so I didn't spend a lot of time on campus. Hope to rectify that this semester, but doesn't help me much at the moment. ;o)


[> [> [> You ain't kidding! -- Darby, 09:30:26 07/09/03 Wed

I know it's an arts college, but damn!

There's almost nothing there!

Never mind.

[> Any more suggestions? TCH? Or Ran perhaps, seeing that he's a self-proclaimed literary genius? ;o) -- Rob, 13:08:29 07/08/03 Tue

Just listed those 2 names off the top of my head. I want to hear from anybody who knows anything about any of these books! ;o)


[> [> Okay, quasi-flattery will get you everywhere... -- Random, 14:16:21 07/08/03 Tue

Since you've already read Great Expectations and The Scarlet Letter, I'll address the others. Balzac is marvelous, especially if you read him in the original or find a top-notch translation. Eugenie Grandet is a deceptively simple work...fairly tragic (Balzac had a knack for that), but very engrossing once you get into it.

I've never read The Possessed, oddly enough, though I am an enormous Dostoevski fan. Can't help you with that except to say that he is a literary god and anything by him is worth reading.

Now for "Don Quixote"....this is problematic. It is not a simple work, nor is the style always easy for a modern, English Lit-trained reader. It is undoubtedly one of the great works of literature, and as epics go, it is very accessible. Plus you can just watch "Man of La Mancha" and get the gist of it. It is a must-read...but approach with the same care you would give to an authentic verse translation of "The Odyssey."

My rec? Go for the Philosophy one, but the evolution of the novel is definitely a close second, and Quixote is something worth reading, if for no other reason than as a foundation of modern literature.

[> Re: Attn: Literature-philes and English Majors, etc.! The Official "Help Rob Get Educated" Thread! -- sdev, 14:40:39 07/08/03 Tue

"Comparitive 19th-Century Novel: A study of four major novels, their respective national obsessions, and contrasting historical contexts (British: Dicken's Great Expectations; American: Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter; French: Balzac's Eugenie Grandet; Russian: Dostoevsky's The Possessed). Texts are read in conjunction with historical background material"

I find the Balzac and Dostoevsky choices in this course strange and esoteric. Not the best or most representative of the authors. Balzac- why not Cousin Bette, his best. Dostoevsky- why not several others- The Idiot, Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov.

[> speaking as a ph.d. student and uni-english instructor, Go Meet the Profs, then decide. -- Rochefort, 18:41:04 07/08/03 Tue

[> [> Seconded. Except for the PhD bit. -- Caira, 04:38:56 07/09/03 Wed

[> You should definitely read "Don Quixote" . . . -- d'Herblay, 19:54:31 07/08/03 Tue

. . . it competes with Tristam Shandy and The Decameron for the title of "serious work of literature I claim is one of my favorite novels to cover for all the Philip K. Dick I read."

But it's not necessary to read it in class, much less for an entire semester. I'd go with Roche's and Darby's suggestions; then, if you end up with Cervantes, gravy!

[> On choosing classes and supplementary reading -- Haecceity, 02:12:46 07/09/03 Wed

Hey Rob,

Right there with you on how difficult it is to pick courses at a new school! Especially in the summer when the lit students society is probably not meeting. My suggestion is to try out the philosophy course--not only is it a subject you have an interest in (and aptitude for:), but it seems like it may offer more scope for exploration (at least in theory--hard to tell without a syllabus/reading list). With the others you already know which works are up for discussion, and since you've read some of them you may want to head for the course where more of the reading is new.

That said, I have to agree with the others about reading Don Quixote, etc. I've found over the years that I couldn't always read these straight through as elective reading, so I developed my very own "Plow through great literature at the car wash" system of self-improvement. I call it the "emergency book". The system is simple--buy a cheap paperback version of some impossibly thick "Great Novel" (remember, "cheap" is for the paper--get the best translation available) and carry it everywhere--that way you always have something to read when the bus is late, you get 'round to all that reading, plus you impress the heck out of those car wash attendents:) The emergency book is only for these situations, so it doesn't interrupt all your other reading. Highly episodic books--Don Quixote, Dickens--work best for this, as it might take months to get through one. In fact, I think DQ was my first emergency book.

Good luck!


P.S. Maybe you could get a course reading list for the phil. class by calling the bookstore? The professor has probably ordered the books already.

[> Re: Attn: Literature-philes and English Majors, etc.! The Official "Help Rob Get Educated" Thread! -- Cactus Watcher, 09:21:11 07/09/03 Wed

Just a suggestion. Don't take foreign literature courses in the English department. It will seriously limit your exposure to varied opinions about what's important in literature, and in my experience can give you misleading information about the place of the work within its own culture. It would be better to find time to take the Cervantes in the Romance language dept. (presuming your school has such a thing) if they offer it in translation.

Don Quixote is one of my absolute favorite books, too.

"Charmed" More Accurate Than "Buffy"? -- Rina, 09:45:28 07/08/03 Tue

I cannot honest say that I agree with this assessment:

"Raymond Buckland, noted Wicca and author, had quite a bit to say about Charmed in his The Witch Book, he said yes it is Hollywood witchcraft with more emphasis on eye candy and fx than religion, but he did praise it for trying to get it right and he said the writters at least do their research and the girls try to follow the rede. He did not have much to say about Buffy at all.

Yeah Willow on Buffy was my favorite witch too, but Tara was why I stayed with the show. After they killed her and destroyed Willow I figured why watch it anymore?"

"RE: Charmed's Magic vs. Buffy's.
Ack where to begin.
Well for starters the last book I helped finish (and just had published) was a book on the magic on Buffy. I'll tell you right now. Buffy's magic system is a mess. It's a hodge-podge of crap thrown together by people who barely know the difference between Isaac Bonewits and Doug Henning, and my job was to put it together as a complete whole. There were so many sidebars and addendums it is obvious to me there was no underlying vision or philosophy of magic.
Charmed on the other hand has been remarkably consistent. The one advantage to watching all the episodes at once (like I have been doing of late) is seeing the logical progression of powers, the consistent use of spells, potions and other magical paraphernalia.

Not to talk about another board, but there is an ongoing discussion on a Willow and Tara based board about magic in the Buffyverse. You know what, they also think Charmed is better.

To take on one point.

BUFFY's portrayal of witches, although certainly not accurate, is a more improved and complex portrayal than CHARMED. That show is not as one-dimensional in its portrait.

Actually I say the opposite is true. Charmed is the more detailed portrayal, while Buffy (of late) has relied on one-dimensional clichÈs in it's portrayal of magic and witchcraft. Yes, I like Willow and Tara as characters more than the characters on Charmed, but Charmed has the better overall portrayal and the better magical paradigm.

A good friend of mine, Robert Black, wrote an article that is linked at TheCharmedOnes.com, it in fact sat on my website for months before the webmasters put on their own site. He makes a lot of these same points.

The book I co-authored on Buffy's Magic

The Buffy Magic Discussion at the Kitten Board

Robert Black's Charmed Essay


What do you think?

[> I have to disagree -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:27:23 07/08/03 Tue

For one thing, it's not entirely certain on "Charmed" whether witches outside the Halliwell family have magical powers. For the most part, they just seem to chant a little, occasionally wear magical talismans, and one or two will fight with an athame, but the Halliwell's often seem to be the only ones to really have powers.

Then there's the confusion between warlocks and demons. Many times the show has brought up warlocks (supposedly evil witches) and used terminology with them that greatly confuses them with demons (the other primary adversaries on the show).

Again on the subject of warlocks, the show often seems unsure whether they are people who turned to practicing dark magic, or if they were born that way.

Then there's the fact that, when the half-demon Cole was around in Season 3, he wasn't supposed to use his demonic powers, but teleporting apparently didn't count as one.

Then there's the very confused stance on the afterlife (we have appearances by the Charmed Ones' mother, grandmother, and of their ex-boyfriends being either in Heaven or being sent down by higher powers as ghosts, but then there's their appearant support of reincarnation).

Then there's the fact that often they have to go searching through the Book of Shadows to find the right spell, but other times they seem able to whip up a spell capable of doing almost anything in no time flat.

Then there's how they violated their own continuity by giving Phoebe the power to levitate. Supposedly, as the power of the Charmed Ones advances, their powers get stronger and develop into new forms (for example, Piper's ability to freeze time advances to where she can speed up time, causing molecular comubstion). However, Phoebe's ability to levitate developed even though it is in no way connected to her initial ability to have premonitions.

Then, of course, there's the much touted line that magic happens for a reason and that there's a greater plan behind it, while oftentimes spells go completely wrong and cause chaos.

Lastly, there's how they present demons. Over the course of its five seasons, "Charmed" has gone from showing demons in the traditional scary makeup and grotesque figures, to showing them as just looking like normal human beings. Rarely, if ever, do demons appear as demons.

And this is all just from a casual observer of the show. I'm sure there are many more.

[> [> Gently disagreeing with the agreeing of some disagreements -- WickedBuffy, 11:54:23 07/08/03 Tue

From what I've seen of the show, here's my take:

"For one thing, it's not entirely certain on "Charmed" whether witches outside the Halliwell family have magical powers"

I've seen others have powers - there are plots based on the whitelighters protecting or nuturing them as they come into their powers.

"The show often seems unsure whether they are people who turned to practicing dark magic, or if they were born that way."

It's both. One doesn't cancel out the the other.

"... he wasn't supposed to use his demonic powers, but teleporting apparently didn't count as one."

I think they got around that by having us assume that teleporting was not exclusively a demonic power. If a demon used it, it was. If a "good" person used it, then it was a "good person" power. Cole was using it as a "good person". The drawback of using any of his powers was that it would reveal where Cole was, which was not what he wanted when he was hiding from them.

You see the use of several different options in a situation as "confusing", but I've always seen it as there are just different options for a given situation. Such as afterlife, ghosts, heaven, etc. It pretty much parallels the liberal ways many people view those things in real life. The number and variety of different options we accept or embrace depends on our personal beliefs or religion or whatever else shapes us.

As for the Book of Shadows, some more familiar demons are quickly fought because of the Haliwells continuing increase in experience. Others aren't and they need to look the demon or situation up in the Book. If I need to hang a picture, I grab a hammer and nails and do it. If I needed to replaster the wall, I look it up in my Readers Digest Home Repair Book. ;>

I'm not clear on the Phobe levitating issue, but I kind of remember them commenting on it to explain it. Was it innate and dormant? a by-product of being a demon?

" ... there's the much touted line that magic happens for a reason and that there's a greater plan behind it, while oftentimes spells go completely wrong and cause chaos."

Again, just like life. Out of chaos comes order. A greater plan doesn't automatically mean a smooth journey getting to it. By the end of the episode(unless it's a multi-parter), isn't the greater plan goal reached?

As for demons, they can appear in a variety of forms on both shows. Sometimes more than one. Angel and Spike have human forms and demon vampire forms, for instance. Depending on the specific demon, it may or may not be able to appear human or non-human or both.

I don't watch the new shows as they come on, I was just immersed in the syndication repeats during a long housebound period.

Charmed seemed to flow accurately to me - but I prefer the deeper writing of ME's shows. And I only know bits and pieces of witchcraft and Wicca, etc. so I rely more on the experts to state what is more accurate in that sense. But the other points you made I disagree with in the most politest of emotion. :)

ok, I just reread that and it sounds like I'm a Charmed fanatic. Which I'm not! Really - it was all that was on at that time! I can take it or leave it! My only regret is I never ever got to see the episode where Shannon D. dies.

[> Re: "Charmed" More Accurate Than "Buffy"? -- Eryn, 10:33:57 07/08/03 Tue

This is one of my biggest pet peeves; ie. the current notion that any witch figure is somehow representing or corrupting Wicca. The mythological and literary traditions of witchcraft have nothing to do with the contemporary religion. Unfortunately when shows like Buffy use "witch" and "wiccan" interchangeably it leads to confusion. Glinda the Good Witch isn't Wiccan and neither is the Wicked Witch of the West, nor are Baba Yaga, Medea and the Witch of Endor.

Perhaps the writers were hoping to represent Wiccan sentiment with the character of Tara Maclay, who seemed more concerned with her spiritual side than Willow. Willow, however, belongs smack in the middle of the literary tradition, like the witches in MacBeth. One day I hope there are two clear meanings of the word "witch": A practitioner of Wicca; and a literary or mythologicial witch, a magical figure.

Eryn, in ranting mode.

[> [> And "Charmed"? -- Rina, 10:39:16 07/08/03 Tue

What about "Charmed"? Are they guilty of a similar crime, or do they have witchcraft and Wicca down pat?

[> [> [> Re: And "Charmed"? -- Eryn, 00:44:31 07/09/03 Wed

My initial reaction is to put "Charmed" in the same category as "Buffy," as witches, not Witches (thank you WickedBuffy!). I watched the show for about a season and I never really got the feeling that the writers were disseminating Wiccan philosophy or belief. More frequent watchers, however, can probably clarify that one. Since the show is centred around witchcraft exclusively and not Slayers, vampires, werewolves, special operatives, Keys, vengeance demons, yadda yadda yadda, I'm sure there are more of the recognizeable trappings on "Charmed" than there are with Willow and her Latin spells.


[> [> I think that is the perfect idea, Ranting Eryn -- WickedBuffy, 13:24:26 07/08/03 Tue

"One day I hope there are two clear meanings of the word "witch": A practitioner of Wicca; and a literary or mythologicial witch, a magical figure."

Is this correct?
All Wiccans are witches but not all witches are Wiccan.

Maybe even as simple as Witch and witch. Or move from using the generic term to utilizing the term Wiccan.

"Are you a good witch or a bad witch."

[> Actions and Reactions -- Anneth, 10:45:37 07/08/03 Tue

I've never seen Charmed, so I can't compare and contrast the way the two shows use magic. With that in mind...

On a show like Law & Order, we can reasonably expect that the authors research legal theory and practice because otherwise the show would be nonsensical. Legal and police work, on L&O, are not used as a metaphore; they are the point of the show, what it's about. L&O gives the viewer a vision of the way the two mesh and contrast.

Magic in the Buffyverse, however, is a different creature entirely. Magic is not often used solely as a plot device. It is largely a metaphore; it is used to illustrate and emphasize intellectual and emotional growth. As Willow, for example, becomes more comfortable with her self, her image, her sexuality, her place in the world, her abilities develop accordingly. Magic is very obviously used as a metaphore for her burgeoning sexuality in S4, and for her escapist tendencies in S6, but these two themes are revisited time and time again from S2 on. She tries to use magic to solve her problems in S4 (Something Blue) and S5 (the episode where Glory mind-wipes Tara) as well as S6. Her abilities develop as she matures sexually; she begins practicing in S2, which is the same season in which she begins dating. By S3 she's more powerful, in keeping with her Xander/Oz relationships. By S5, she's fully comfortable with her sexuality, and has become a very powerful witch/wicca - enough so that Tara mentions that she's "afraid" of Willow's power. (Again in the mind-wipe ep.) Magic is also used to illustrate her difficulty controlling herself emotionally (she loses control of the flying pencil in S3 and it stabs itself into a tree, as she and Buffy discuss Faith.)

Magic is also used, time and time again, to illustrate the idea that every action, no matter how well-intentioned or simple, has consequences - sometimes dreadful. The possessing ghost-thing that was created when the Scoobies brought Buffy back is an excellent, if obvious, example. For every action in the Buffyverse, there is an equal and opposite reaction - true of both physics and metaphysics.

Because I view BtVS' use of magic mainly as a metaphore, it has never bothered me that ME hasn't tried to be more consistent with the magic 'system' they've developed. BtVS isn't 'about' magic the way a show like Law & Order is about law and detective work. Magic isn't the point of the show; growing up is. Magic, witchcraft, wicca - they all serve as metaphores to illustrate the joys and pains of traveling from adolesence to full-blown adulthood. Magic is consistently used to indicate themes such as sexual im/maturity, emotional control, and the ability to accept responsibility for actions and their consequences. Because magic has such an enormous artistic load to bear on BtVS, it's not surprising that ME hasn't followed any specific magic system. The more open they leave the idea, the more they can use it to illustrate their themes and character development.

[> [> And of course, there's the old explanation: it's magic; anything is possible -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:40:46 07/08/03 Tue

Magic, by its nature, violates the natural laws of the world, accomplishing tasks that should be impossible. There is no system of magic in the Buffyverse because a system requires rules and logic, but the essence of magic is breaking rules and going against logic. If you accept magic as the impossible becoming real, than it is fully acceptable that magic can't be properly defined or explained.

[> [> [> ::thinking back on all the things we used to think were magic:: -- electricitymedicinestrainsconceptionetcetc, 20:35:27 07/08/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke, 07:43:05 07/09/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Um....I still think of those as magick........ -- O'Cailleagh, 07:45:20 07/09/03 Wed

Well, maybe not trains. But then that's the British rail system for you!

[> [> [> [> [> Here's how it all works, O'C -- WickedTeacher, 10:03:52 07/09/03 Wed

It's all very scientific.

A boy train heading one way enters a dark tunnel. In the tunnel it slowly passes a girl train coming from the opposite direction. As parts of their cars rub each other, a by-product of large sparks start flying. This is called "electricity".

Of the millions of sparks produced, there will be one that does not go out on the tracks. It will shoot into very special empty railcar, just in front of the caboose. This is called "conception".

is simply mixing several substances together and having an official group of people deem it appropriate to call it medicine. Much money usually passes through many hands in this mundane process.

("Money" is sheets of paper or lumps of metal with vast magickal powers to do most anything.)

[> More accurate in some ways, depending on your POV -- WickedBuffy, 11:20:53 07/08/03 Tue

In Buffy, there is more emphasis on character development and metaphors. I agree the magic is a hodgepodge of all kinds of stuff, real and invented. It was as if the magic element was liberally tailored simply to suit where the writers wanted the characters to be going.

In Charmed, the focus is more on their bodies :koff:: and magic. Character development is a distant third. It would have been nice to see the BtVS writers being as accurate (or trying to be as accurate) as the Charmed ones are.

But, they both had different visions to follow - Charmed seems very demographically sensitive, Buffy seemed more Joss's-vision sensitive.

But I also feel that the great success of Buffy fiction and non-fiction publishing is because of ME emphasis on the characters. There is a much richer field to tap from than Charmed.

Maybe the way the two shows were very different helped keep them from being too alike to the average viewer. Which kept them on the air simultaneously.

Is there an interview anywhere about the Charmed writers views of magic on the two shows? Or even just Charmed? I'd be interested to know if the focus on portraying magic closely accurate was part of the initial plan or based on the writers integrities or what.

Also, did Joss directly state much about why the magic in BtVS is such a mix?

[> [> Re: More accurate in some ways, depending on your POV -- Rina, 13:30:57 07/08/03 Tue

I came across a post on a CHARMED forum by someone who is either a witch or practices Wicca (by the way, not all witches are Wiccans, and not all Wiccans are witches). This person claimed that the closest CHARMED came to portraying witchcraft and Wicca was during its first season. After that, the accuracies became less and less. But it was never completely accurate.

[> Re: "Charmed" More Accurate Than "Buffy"? -- O'Cailleagh, 14:31:29 07/08/03 Tue

The portrayal of Witches/Wiccans and magick on 'Charmed' has generally been more accurate than the portrayals within the Buffyverse. That being said, I don't feel that their research was as exhaustive as you seem to think. All of the terminology presented within 'Charmed' can be found within just about any pamphlet on the Craft with the exception of Whitelighters, which is a term used by Laurie Cabot (formerly well-respected Witch, now considered a sell-out, and even a joke by some) for those floaty witches who seem to think that they are composed of light...or something. What our Willow would call a Blessed Wannabe.
This leads me to think that the only book they read was 'Power of the Witch' by the aforementioned Laurie Cabot.

And "Raymond Buckland, noted Wicca and author" ?
I'm hoping that this is a typo, because if you've been helping to write books on Wicca and Witchcraft, you should know that Wicca is the religion, not the practitioner!

O'Cailleagh -who uses Witch and Wiccan! <;-)

[> [> Re: "Charmed" More Accurate Than "Buffy"? -- Rina, 14:49:34 07/08/03 Tue

Other than using a Book of Shadows and spouting the words - "Blessed Be", CHARMED hasn't really been that accurate. And the show's portrayal of magic, in general, tends to be less accurate than BUFFY. In fact, there are a lot more mistakes I have found in CHARMED than I have in BUFFY.

[> [> [> Re: "Charmed" More Accurate Than "Buffy"? -- O'Cailleagh, 15:11:21 07/08/03 Tue

Well both shows are pretty inaccurate regarding magick and the Craft. However, 'Charmed' has painted a more accurate picture of the modern Witch than 'Buffy'. If you disregard the demons, warlocks, crazy powers, whitelighters, deceased relatives, monsters, heaven/hell, etc.
Yes 'Charmed' has and does make mistakes (I'm not a regular viewer btw, I just watch now and again when I have nothing better to do), one recent and glaring example would be the depiction of the Crone in a season five episode I saw a few days ago. But, all in all, it contains far less than 'Buffy' does.
For instance, the Book of Shadows (although nothing like a real Witch's book), athames, occasional Wiccan ritual (such as the Wiccaning of Piper's baby-although we tend to have live people conducting them!), I could go on if I could be bothered...
Of course, IMO, 'Buffy' is still the superior show, magick being used primarily as a metaphor (as someone...was it Anneth, already mentioned). As to its conflicting magickal systems..well to me, it's reminiscent of the variety of magickal systems available to us here in the Real World. I'm eclectic myself, in my private practise, so I tend to use 'conflicting' systems then. When I'm with the coven, we work according to our Book of Shadows (which is Alexandrian-very strict)


[> [> [> [> Oops! I meant the those (athame etc) as things 'Charmed' has got right! -- O'Cailleagh, 15:13:09 07/08/03 Tue

[> [> [> Apologies to posting again so soon but.... -- O'Cailleagh, 15:37:10 07/08/03 Tue

There I was, making something to eat when something hit me, and I had to stop and come back here.
You seem to have started this thread defending 'Charmed' over 'Buffy', and now, with your more recent post, you have taken the opposite stance. Or is it simply that my recent dye job wasn't good enough to cover up my Inner Blonde and I have completely misunderstood?
If it's not me being stupid, I'd really like to know why you have changed your mind so quickly.


[> Re: "Charmed" More Accurate Than "Buffy"? -- Rufus, 15:49:34 07/08/03 Tue

A good friend of mine, Robert Black, wrote an article that is linked at TheCharmedOnes.com, it in fact sat on my website for months before the webmasters put on their own site. He makes a lot of these same points.

I've read the "Charmed" essay and have to wonder if all the glowing talk about Charmed is just a smokescreen to cover the continued anger over the death of Tara. If Tara hadn't died I doubt Mr. Black would have wasted so much time trying to glean out as much negativity as he can by writing essays about Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I'm not going to engage in a pissing contest over which show is better...I do say that I feel that the only reason that Black has decided that Charmed is better is based upon one reason only, the death of Tara.

[> [> the Black article? -- Anneth, 16:10:01 07/08/03 Tue

I'd be interested to read the article Rina and Rufus mention, but can't find it after a (topical) search of the website mentioned. Can someone give a more specific link?


[> [> [> Link inside -- Rufus, 16:17:37 07/08/03 Tue

10 ways Charmed is better than Buffy

[> [> [> [> thanks! -- Anneth, 16:53:45 07/08/03 Tue

Mr. Black makes it sound as though he views Charmed as superior in part because it has well-deliniated, black-and-white morality. And that BtVS' later-season problems stem from its complicated shades-of-grey take on growing up and dealing with problems. I know I'm not the only Buffy fan who loves the show precisely because of the grey, though - so, different strokes... His points aren't in any way invalid; we just respond differently to the same things.

Anyway, I stand by what I wrote above re. magic in the Buffyverse. There's no pressing need for a consistent "magic paradigm" in the Buffyverse because of the function it serves - a metaphor for sexual growth, emotional maturity, etc. Any 'paradigm' in the sense that Mr. Black uses it would inherently limit magic's artistic possibilities.

[> [> [> [> [> Point-by-Point... -- Darby, 09:28:35 07/09/03 Wed

I got the same impression of Anneth - this is very much based on a personal preference for a universe with clear borders.

On the other hand, there were a number of criticisms that were somewhat valid to me as well. Let me run down the list:

Consistency in witchcraft. Absolutely true that the rules are better drawn and more faithfully followed on Charmed. Whether that matters is a personal preference - Anneth is right, and Black acknowledges, the magic has a different purpose on Buffy, as metaphor, one which I think might be said was also rife with inconsistencies. My personal feeling is that one can sustain a consistent world and shift metaphors (look what they did with lycantropy!), and in the case of witchcraft ME just didn't try hard enough. The shift from lesbianism to power was fairly smooth, but I don't think they fully bought into the addiction schtick, that it was still about power but they lacked the guts to take Willow down that path.

How are minorities treated? This has been discussed to oblivion here, but that just confirms that there is reason for concern.

Big Honkin' Good and Evil. Black sees this as a strength of Charmed, but I like my morality with a bit more reality. It has gotten better over time - Evil was a motivation in itself way more often in early Charmed seasons, which is profoundly silly, especially when the characters talk about it that way. Interestingly, the show has gotten somewhat grayer recently, but that was, I feel, mostly because Julian McMahon (Cole) commanded that sort of treatment of what started as a typical Charmed bad guy. The show is not script-driven, as Buffy usually is, but actor-driven (it's a pleasure to watch the sisterly nuances the three principals are putting in now), and the bad guys are almost always cast with hamfisted scenery-chewers. That makes the shallows of the scripts remain.

Death is real. Not sure what to say here, except that the evidence presented is faulty. Joyce's death has had longterm consequences, Jenny's less so but some, and Tara's surprisingly little (but the way the show deals with season-to-season time gaps, much of the grieving would have happened offscreen). And the uses of dead characters is all over the map on Charmed and feels inconsistent (I don't want to think that through right now, so it's just a feeling). I have to ponder whether they always are used for purposes of torment on Buffy.

The heroes have "real lives." It seems that since the move to college "opened up" Buffy, they have shied away from extending the characters' lives. The fan reaction to the college characters may have made them gunshy (and the followup with all of the Potentials might have confirmed it), but I don't think the show would have suffered from a real effort to give the characters lives. One of the weaknesses of Buffy under Marti's watch has been a real inability to give peripherals much personality - for every Clem there is a herd of Janice's or Sam's or What's-His-Name from Older and Far Away, or the DMP employees. The Charmed peripherals have nothing but stock personalities too(unless they luck upon a good actor), but that's the show. I've said before, Angel does much better with peripherals, which is why so many of them get re-used - we want to see them again.

Who's being protected? Here, Black misses the point bigtime. The point of Buffy, I feel, is that the world being saved is largely anonymous and unappreciative - that's the source of a lot of Buffy's angst. The Spider-Man Syndrome. On Charmed, the one-on-one nature of the savings often actually is used to keep the characters in the fight. The 2 shows are kind of making the same point from 2 directions.

All relationships are not doomed. Okay, he's got me here. I'm a big believer that a married couple can be interesting, that staying together and "happy" doesn't equal boring bliss (didn't this guy work on Roseanne?). And it's good, too, to have some happy characters for contrast - remember how Buffy and Riley played off Xander and Anya, and how knowing that the "happy" couple was in trouble but the "troubled" couple was happier than they realized was fun? Did that wind up being an actual sentence? Anyway, the Whedon Way is too set in stone, and gets annoying after a while. On the other hand, the interactions of couples on Charmed is another area that totally relies on the actors' abilities (although there is 1, maybe 2 writers they use that can handle that in text).

Characters remain true to themselves. This only seems to be true, as characters with less depth are easier to portray within their limited ranges. The Buffy staff can lose the characters occasionally (but we all disagree on who and when, so they can't be that bad at it), but they are trying to do much more with much deeper personalities. This does not make it a comparative weakness.

Richer texture presents more story opportunities. Y'know, this might be true - Charmed's world is broader and more varied than Buffy's - but Black is seeing what he wishes for rather than what is really there if he thinks that Charmed does a good job of taking advantage of those opportunities. Although both shows have their cookie-cutter qualities, those on Charmed are much more obvious, a long sequence of demons-of-the-weeks with simple power schemes that are set up and knocked down in a similar pattern. I find that I largely ignore the meat of most episodes and focus on the marrow - the little moments when the girls are almost certainly off-script, the occasional guest that knows how to have fun with the premise (such as Danny Woodburn, a joy on Special Unit 2, Angel, or Charmed), and, what the hey, I like Holly Marie Combs.

Black sees the seasonal arcs as a weakness, I see them as usually a strength.

Personally, I see in Black a former Buffy fanatic so disaffected by Seasons 6 and 7 that it has soured him on all aspects of the show. He spent this past season enjoying Charmed more. I think Sara did, too, so I know that it can happen to smart, reasonable folks. But to have it color your view of the show as an entity...well, I guess that's human.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Point-by-Point... -- Rina, 14:50:05 07/09/03 Wed

It's strange that you stated that Black was a former "Buffy" fanatic whose disappointment drove him to "Charmed".

For me, it was the opposite. I became a fan of "Charmed" during the show's first season. But the lackluster performance of Season 2 nearly drove me away. I would have broke away from "Charmed" for good, if Julian McMahon had not joined the cast. His character gave the show a more complex nuance that added to the show. And I remained a loyal viewer, until his departure in one of the worst story arcs I have ever seen in Season 5.

Because of my final disappointment of "Charmed", I had decided to finally give "Buffy" a chance during mid-Season 7. Not only am I now a fan of "BtVS", I'm a big admirer. And it only took 6 months.

[> [> [> [> Just read the article -- KdS, 03:58:19 07/09/03 Wed

And I thought for most of the article that we were simply dealing with the gulf between a theist of some kind and an existentialist until I got to this ending:

In "Centennial Charmed," the three Charmed Ones reunite in the alternate universe and triumph over evil.

In "The Wish," alternate-Buffy and her alternate-friends kill each other in a meaningless fight. I say "meaningless" because Giles is the one who saves the day, and he's off somewhere else doing something completely unrelated.

That difference says it all.

Sorry, Mr. Black, you're a cretin. You spend a whole article complaining about the lack of supernatural moral guidance and high level of moral greyness in BtVS, and then you take one of the few statements of absolute faith in BtVS, misrepresent it and spit bile over it.

[> [> [> [> [> Ack! I need to wash my brain, I feel all icky after reading that article. -- ponygirl, 07:23:45 07/09/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Just read the article - "Centennial Charmed" -- Rina, 14:51:40 07/09/03 Wed

Robert Black actually liked "Centennial Charmed"? God! Talk about bad taste!

[> [> [> [> The Importance of Being Buffalonious -- fresne, 15:42:24 07/09/03 Wed

Interesting article.

Since, I post on a BtVS/AtS Philosophy Board and not a Charmed One, I'm not sure I agree. It's kind of baked into the title of the board.

Actually, it's pretty funny since most of the points are the things that I errr .. laugh at on Charmed. A show which, as I've mentioned before, I do watch. Enjoy. It's a funny, light little Èclair. Well, maybe a pie of some sort. But, is it the rich Buffy steak with bÈarnaise sauce? Containing 50% more butter, cholesterol and brain fry. Well, again I post here, so it's all kind of one sided.

Given the Cole yo yo of death I'm not sure that death means something on Charmed. Actually, apply some yo yo of relationship too. Poor guy had a good death and they yanked it from him. Sigh. And then there was this season's finale. Which was evil and I liked it. Another relationship bursts into flames, so to speak. But you know, whatever.

I love the fact that the Book of Shadows, a book with one spell a page and pages only use one side of the page, contains all that info. I love that characters have these cool high flying jobs. Well, except Page, who quit her job and yet wears Jimmy C shoes. I love to see SF houses with yards. Christmas lights on the Financial District year round. Look leprechauns and nymphs and mermaids, oh, my.

A person could make the same ripping points about BtVS. Look someone did. From my perspective it's a bit like saying the Importance of Being Earnest* is a far superior work to the Divine Comedy. Gosh, I like them both. It'll be real tough for me to decide what I like better. What someone with different tastes likes best.

*This is not to say that I equate Charmed with IoBE. Hmm .. must go out and buy latest version.

[> [> [> [> Funny thing is... -- Alison, 18:47:00 07/09/03 Wed

most of the things the author considers negative about the Buffy are the things that make me prefer it to Charmed.

[> [> Quote from Miami Herald interview with Stephen King -- Rufus, 16:12:04 07/08/03 Tue

If you're writing about a hotel full of ghosts or a town full of vampires, people tend to forget about thinking of these things as a metaphor for other, real things, and just say 'That's a piece of trash.' Stephen King

I've watched the constant criticism of ME over the past year or so related to the death of Tara. A favored character of some fans died and they have been furious about it since. On the surface the criticism of the Wicca elements could be seen as just that, but when you look closer the real thing is the death of Tara and the fans unhappiness over that fact. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is not about the accuracy in the portrayal of Wicca or other religions, it is about the use of metaphor to illustrate real life situations. I personally don't care if they don't get the Wicca or witch stuff "just right" I care about the continuing story of characters I've grown to love. I loved the character of Tara but I'm fine with her being killed off. If she had returned she would have been back as a form the First uses to attempt to shake Willow's confidence in herself. I wouldn't have been offended in that use of the form of Tara as it became clear that Willow knew in her heart that Tara would never have told her to destroy herself. Dawn was tormented by the vision of her mother and I wasn't offened with that.

In the first episode of season seven we get Buffy telling Dawn that it's who has the power that counts. She also reminds Dawn that she is only just a girl. The constant back and forth over who has power in season seven ended by proving that power can increase exponentially with the amount of love involved in letting go enough to share what could be hoarded for one. Buffy the Vampire Slayer has always been about the metaphor and less about accuracy in the portrayal of magic. I wonder what Shakespeare would have been able to write if he went with the restrictions that Mr. Black suggests. If people want to see shows with Shiny Happy People there are a plethora of those on the air, they don't have to watch Buffy. If characters dying is offensive to some they could just as easily tune into a sit-com or something else that would have the guarantee of a happy ending.

[> [> [> Re: Quote from Miami Herald interview with Stephen King -- Rob, 08:34:29 07/09/03 Wed

If she had returned she would have been back as a form the First uses to attempt to shake Willow's confidence in herself. I wouldn't have been offended in that use of the form of Tara as it became clear that Willow knew in her heart that Tara would never have told her to destroy herself.

And, of course, from the IGN interview, Tara eventually would have returned as herself, if Joss could have gotten Amber back.


[> Well... -- Eric, 19:53:04 07/09/03 Wed

Charmed was pretty much eye candy, that's true. But to say its more or less representative of true magic and witchcraft is off. What is "true" witchcraft and how can this Raymond Buckhard guy tell? The common Wiccan/Pagan interpretation of magic is based on widely differing sources spread across different historic periods, much of it sketchy and added to sociological studies of cultures with existing magic traditions. It kind of boils down to if whether either show matches the pop Wiccan/Pagan paradigm extrapolated from those sources in the modern era.
The episode where Willow goes to the college Wiccan group kind of illustrates this. The group was wrapped around fund raising and off kilter feminist spirituality because it was never rooted in a real tradition. It was clueless about magic. Willow and Tara had some exposure to the tradition and knew that whatever spiritual aspects witchcraft had, magic was integral to it. Given the choice of whether to have an intellectual discussion of girlpower or exercising it they made a natural choice. Now I wont say that in real life there isn't an honest spirituality about Wicca (I have some friends who'd strongly disagree). And I believe that its possible somebody, somewhere carries on a real bona fide magical tradition via family or otherwise from the witches and pagans of the past. But (Charmed likely hit this nail on the head) they keep it off the New Age bookstore shelves and the incisive analysis of "experts."
Buffy's writers morphed magical rules for poetic license - it was never meant to be a primer on magic. A more accurate accusation is that magic in the Buffyverse lacked its own internal logic. Often in Charmed the series lacked its own internal logic. I will add, however, my ultimate bias concerning Charmed: It was an OK show (all the girls are hotties), but it never remotely approached Buffy's quality.
First time I've been able to post in a while. Currently vacationing with the British in a hot (not Hell, but not Manchester either) dusty place. Sadly, circumstances forced me to miss the entire BTVS season and net access. Thank God for the DVDs. As the Brits say: Cheers!

Response to lunasea's W&H2 post -- KdS, 11:15:51 07/08/03 Tue

Really fantastic, lunasea, and a pity it got archived so fast. I especially loved the point by point counterposing of Holland and Angel's positions in Reprise/Epiphany, and the symbolism of the third eye in those eps.

Just one quick question - I suspect that the whole "evil hand" business in Dead End, including Lindsey finding out the source of his new limb, was set up as a final test by W&H to find out if Lindsey was sufficiently willing to step on others to work for them. Agree/disagree?

[> I'm about 1/3 of the way through. Will try to respond if I have any insights. ;o) -- Rob, 11:18:02 07/08/03 Tue

[> Agreed. I wrote a response...and it got archived whilst I was writing... -- Random, 11:34:45 07/08/03 Tue

Luckily, I saved most of it. So here's what survived, heh.

The true complexity of W & H in season 2 hinges upon the fact that we are dealing with the ultimate unreliable narrator. Do we trust that W & H are telling the truth about their motives, or even their basic philosophy? In the short term, accepting that they are the manipulators, not warriors, seems a safe strategy. In the long term...well, as the saying goes, you don't drown by falling in the water -- you drown by staying there.

Evil is not secure. This is a basic tenet of both the Buffyverse and the Angelverse. Were it secure, it wouldn't bother with the grandiose plans of world-domination and the occasion apocalypes (apocali). The focus on evil as the corruptor is, perhaps, exactly what W & H wishes. Think of them as a mislead, an optical illusion. Why pick a law firm as your manifestation? Perhaps because it most closely mirrors your basic strategy...but perhaps because they merely represent an aspect of that strategy that dictates that the true motives and methodologies of the forces behind W & H must not be laid bare. The law firm as the ultimate PR agent, so to speak.

So we look at the predestination aspect. Holland's zombie elevator reveals nothing except that which they wish to reveal. Evil will always exist. The issue is whether evil is content with the status quo. And an interesting question is whether Evil in any form is monolithic. Is there a grand plan? Or is Evil partaking of the philosophy that any act of mayhem/evil/destruction furthers the cause, regardless of the damage inflicted on other elements of the "Grand Plan." Evil as competition, or as chaos -- where Holland may be telling the truth as far as he knows...he, perhaps, knows very little.

Prophecies are indeed predictive. They are prescriptive rather than proscriptive, of course. Rather than being agents of change, they are descriptions of the teleological end. The agents of change are, in fact, not only those directly affected by the prophecies, but any interested parties with sufficient influence to effectively involve themselves. The framwork never changes, but the constituent elements within do. If W & H seek to mold the prophecies to their own liking, they do so with the understanding that such influence is predicated upon the fact that they are completely free to act. They are not playing the games slavishly, they are picking their games, and are often rewriting the rules. And Angel's epiphany is not a ticket to freedom. So long as W. & H. adjust to play whatever game is currently being pursued, Angel has no choice. Influencing Angel is not a desperate attempt to avoid the obvious conclusion to the prophecy...it's an attempt to realize the possible best interpretation by their lights. Taking out the object is not an attempt to negate the prophecy, but another way of molding it. Kill the vampire with a soul? Well, maybe there's another one out there (and, as it turned out, another one did pop up.)

[> [> Will respond to everyone later. -- lunasea, 13:41:08 07/08/03 Tue

I am glad that people got a chance to read what I wrote. I just hit a stride with fictional writing and I don't want to go back to analytical just yet. I will respond, I promise.

The effects of De-Connoring? -- Q, 13:54:43 07/08/03 Tue

A thought has just occured to me that I have not seen discussed. Forgive me if it has and I missed it, hope I don't bore you, but I just started wondering about it.

It seems that the events in "Home" suggest that to everybody but Angel, Connor never existed. He has been wiped from everybody's memory just like Buffy and Angels day in I Will Remember You. The thing about that, though, was that it was only one day, and they hadn't effected many lives, so it didn't effect the show much.

But think how much Connor HAS effected the show!

If Wesley would not have kidnapped Connor... he would not have ever been estranged from the group. If he had not been estranged from the group, he would not have developed this darker new personality. If he had not been estranged from the group and developed this darker new personality, he would NOT have become sexually involved with Lilah. How will Wesley be treated now? Will he be back to his more lighter personality? Will he have no emotianal or intimate connection to Lilah? Because if they keep these aspects of Wesley's character, how will they explain HOW they happenned if Connor didn't exist?

What about Cordelia? She still seems to be in a coma after giving birth to a giant goddess... but how did she become pregnant? How will the gang explain this pregnancy, if Connor never existed to them?

It is like all of the time travel movies where the time traveler is warned not to mess with ANYTHING because it could SERIOUSLY effect the future. The powers at W&H went back in time and messed with something that WILL seriously effect the future. Now that Connor for all intents and purposes NEVER existed, and instead grew up in a happy, but corny, family... How will ALL of the things that happened BECAUSE of Connor be treated?

[> Re: The effects of De-Connoring? -- head_wizard, 14:04:11 07/08/03 Tue

First It is not true that only Angel knows about Connor, Lilah seemed to know so that means some other members of Wolfram and Hart know. I would guess that the mainipulating done by Wolfram and Hart alos put in phony memories so that the events of the last two seasons happened but they know it differently. We may not know what those memories are but they will be enough to keep the current plot going is my guess. My worry is that Wolfram and Hart have the power to change the world like that.

[> I think Connor's effect will remain, but no one will realise he was the cause -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:17:55 07/08/03 Tue

For example, we could get a scene where someone asks Wesley how he came to be estranged from the group, leading to his relationship with Lilah, and he realises he doesn't know why. Or someone will ask who the father of Jasmine was, and they'll realize they don't remember. This could be the key to everyone else figuring out what Angel did.

[> [> Re: I think Connor's effect will remain... -- JCC, 10:02:33 07/09/03 Wed

I think W&H will have the power to change people's memories. Like the monks did with Dawn. The events of the last 2 seasons will remain the same, but Connor's effect will be remembered as something else happening. Perhaps Cordy's pregnancy will be remembered as an immaculate conception type thing. What worries me is how they will remember Darla's death. Will she still be remembered dying in the way she did, or will her semi-redemption be forgotten?

[> De-Connoring us instead. -- WickedBuffy, 20:31:12 07/08/03 Tue

"How will ALL of the things that happened BECAUSE of Connor be treated?"

Maybe there won't be any scramble to be sure things move smoothly from last seasons finale and this seasons opening show.

There have been lots of posts about how that might be pulled off - but maybe Joss isn't going to have the same reality we saw before. Maybe Connor's nonexistance will be treated accordingly and everything will be as if he had never existed.

Cordelia won't be in a coma, Wes never went dark, it'll be a huge adjustment for us, the viewers. Trying to catch up and refigure out what's going on with each character.

The only thing staying the same is the memory erase - since that's the pivotal point of it all.

We'll have to get used to a world where no Connor existed and adjust to it! :> What a challenge!

[> Metaphysics is fun -- lunasea, 08:16:54 07/09/03 Wed

How many people know why they are the way they are? It tends to be something that most people take for granted. What if part of the spell that takes Connor out of the time line for everyone but Angel also prevents people from looking back and questioning things that would have to do with this? Think of it like the spell in "Older and Farther Away," when no one even wanted to leave the house.

People will still be the same way, since that is the whole point of the show (to get them from nerd to hero), but they just won't examine why. We will know why, but the characters are so embroiled in their present lives that they don't.

The non-memories of Connor aren't quite the fake memories of Dawn. Dawn is literally inserted into the timeline. Buffy's personality changes from only child to older child. Joyce gets her normal child that she wanted so badly. Removing the memories of Connor probably won't change the timeline. Everything still happened, just some points are now missing, but the characters don't care or notice.

It's sort of like worldwide conflicts that most people have forgotten the origins of. They are just concerned about the most recent perceived wrong, not what led to that and what led to that and so on and so on. They aren't interested in unraveling the thread and getting to the source. They are too wrapped up in their current feelings. It could be a nice metaphor for current world affairs.

To give it some metaphysics, X happens and we create a memory about it. This memory is what affects who we become. Sometimes, though, we create two memories for an event. This happens when we suppress things. We have the memory of what actually happened stored somewhere in our brain. We can also create a more benign memory to replace that memory so we don't even realize that we are suppressing something. Both memories affect who we are, even if we don't realize we have the suppressed memory. That is what I see happening on Angel next season. I see it being a non-issue that the writers aren't going to address. There's my wank to address it. Connor's existence hasn't been wiped out. It has been suppressed.

[> [> What If They Found Out -- Rina, 14:29:37 07/09/03 Wed

What if the Fang Gang found out what Angel did to Connor and their memories of Connor?

And didn't he do something similar before? Back in Season 1, when he erased Buffy's memories of him being human and their day together? What if Buffy ever found out?

[> [> [> Honestly -- lunasea, 16:45:23 07/09/03 Wed

Either they probably wouldn't care or they would react like Doyle and Cordy did to IWRY and think that Angel is even more of a hero. They might be more worried about Wolfram and Hart pulling something this big to get Angel into the firm.

Angel didn't erase Buffy's memory. He had time folded. He carried his memories with him when that happened. No one's were erased. It isn't like only Angel has the "real" story. Everyone else's is real. Angel's is the one whose isn't in this time line.

What if Buffy some how found out? Depends on what the writers want to say. Is she just finding out or is she getting that memory planted? I can see her going any number of ways. Willow has pulled how many spells on Buffy? I don't think she will feel violated or anything like that. Maybe Angel can make her chocolate chip cookies to get back in her good graces.

[> Ben and Glory have soem sort of... connection? -- Ace_of_Sevens, 21:43:58 07/09/03 Wed

Maybe it will be like the Ben and Glory spell where they can't think about it.

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