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A random thought on AtS s5 & Spike ;-(does that mean no one will look at this?) -- deeva, 11:04:38 06/19/03 Thu

I'm sure that someone has already posted about this but I'm much too lazy to check and see for myself and I've been away for 10 whole days. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So while I was in LA for work, in the boredom that overtook me at times, a thought occured to me about Spike. Perhaps, whoever the prophecy makers/PTB's are, what if they bring Spike back as like another Whistler? He would probably hate that for a bit. And that would allow for the chafing of characters between Spike and Angel. Can you imagine Spike as the representative for the PTB's. It intrigues me while cracking me up at the same time.

Sadly, this is my mental contribution to the board. *sigh* When I grow up I wanna be just like:
a.) d'H
b.) Rah
c.) Masq
d.) Rufus
e.) some other lovely board luminaries of big braindom!
f.) all of the above!

[> Re: A random thought on AtS s5 & Spike<-(does that mean no one will look at this?) -- s'kat, 11:35:52 06/19/03 Thu

No, it hasn't really been broached, but it did occur to me as I began re-watching Angel Season 1 episodes and after reading some of the stuff I've read about next season's Angel.

According to Whedon - they plan on going back to a more episodic/serial combo format - much like the format they started with in Season 1's earlier episodes. Except the B plot stories will come from within W&H itself, the law firm they are now controlling, as opposed to visions. This is actually much better - since the source of conflict is also the source of outside stories. The PTB visions wasn't really that helpful - since they didn't really provide a broad enough focus for B plots or provide a means of letting characters outside of just Angel pursue those plots.
Also the conflict had be generated more internally amongst the characters. ie. Love Triangles, etc. Now that we have W&H being the workplace - the possibilities are far less limiting.

So where does this leave Spike? Well, it's a little silly to have Wes, Fred, Gunn, Lorn, and Angel constantly discussing "how can we work for W&H" or "second-guessing themselves". Just as in Season 1 - it would have been a little silly to have Angel constantly talking to himself or Cordelia about how he has to get out more. You needed an outside force prodding him. When Doyle died. The outside force became Cordelia. IT also helps if the outside force is reluctantly doing so. Doyle was the reluctant hero - doomed to help Angel. Angel is the Champion who wants to lurk not get involved. The conflict between Doyle and Angel caused tension - which made the show humorous and gave us a reason to wonder about Angel at times. Now Cordelia can no longer play reluctant hero - she did that for a few seasons.
And Wes can't do it. So you need to introduce someone new - someone with a history with Angel, but he will in a sense be the cattle prod. When Angel goes down this alley?
We need someone to yank him and say? Whatcha doing that for?
We need a couter-weight to Lilah. Previously that was Doyle and Cordy. Now it's probably going to be Spike. (Can't be Cordy she turned evil and well CC wants to move on and do other things).

At any rate, that's my theory. Be interesting to see how it plays off.

[> [> Re: A random thought on AtS s5 & Spike<-(does that mean no one will look at this?) -- deeva, 13:04:13 06/19/03 Thu

hmmm...Spike is the cattle prod. Scary as it sounds, and perhaps just as revealing about me, it sounds like something I've read in a Spangel slash fic.

Aside from my naughty thoughts, I am thinking along the lines that you are, s'kat. I think that that is what Spike will be. And gathering from what very little there is to go on at this point, he will not come back human but he will most certainly be there. So a rep. of the PTB's sounds like the way to go in my mind.

And another thing, JM has just said in a Q&A at a convention that he will be filming in September. When does production for "Angel" start? Just wondering about the scheduling.

[> [> [> From what I've heard, "Angel" starts shooting on July 28 -- afterlife, 13:55:44 06/19/03 Thu

I'm not 100% on that, but I do know that shooting for last season started in late July, so I'm reasonably certain that the date is accurate.

[> [> [> Re: A random thought on AtS s5 & Spike<-(does that mean no one will look at this?) -- s'kat, 13:59:20 06/19/03 Thu

According to fanforum and some other things I've read, Angel is going to start filming in July instead of August this year and they go on hiatus in September. Then start filming again late October - just like they did in Btvs last year. Which means our first Angel episode will premiere much earlier this year than it did last year - probably around mid September as opposed to October. (YES!!)

Last year Angel started filming in August, because of Firefly and Btvs and the change in producers/head writers.
This year - since it's the only show ME has outside of the potential Firefly movie - filming is starting sooner. So, no JM's filming of the movie in September shouldn't affect his appearences on Ats at all.

I'm hoping he doesn't show up human at this stage - just because I'm not sure they need another human in the group.
Although that would probably be the easiest and most convient way to bring him back, since half the audience expects it any way. But I'm sick of the whole Shanshue thing - so sick I'm starting to root for HArmony to be the one who shanshues. Why? Because I'm evil. ;-) My one hope? Don't make him a ghost. Please no ghosts!!

[> [> [> [> LOL! I hereby call to order the 1st meeting of HARM ("Harmony Achieves Redemption" Militia)! -- cjl, 14:12:48 06/19/03 Thu

Harmony drags Angel and Spike on a shopping spree along Rodeo Drive, where she finally finds the Prada bag that matches her lilac pumps. Having achieved her lifelong goal as a souled vamp, she immediately shanshus....


We at HARM (a subsidiary of MOLOJ) dedicate ourselves to the redemption of Harmony Kendall and to the idea that Mutant Enemy and the viewing audience should stop taking this "shanshu" stuff so seriously and just enjoy the show.

Anybody wanna join?

[> [> [> [> [> Sign me up, baby! Shanshu, schmanshu! So over that. -- deeva, not crazy about beating a dead horsie, 15:06:56 06/19/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Count me in! -- Alison, 16:00:00 06/19/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> I'm there! -- d'Herblay, 17:27:29 06/19/03 Thu

Though I don't really care that much about redemption; I just wanted an excuse to link to the video ("Her Platinum Baby") that made me a Spike/Harmony 'shipper.

[> [> [> [> [> Yep a member too...also on S/H -- s'kat, 21:03:56 06/19/03 Thu

At this point in time - I'm beginning to really want a Spike/Harmony ship. Maybe even have a parody of the whole
S/B and B/A thing but with Harmony? I wonder if ME would dare do that. Naw...can't envision it. Cowards. Bet you guys glad I'm not writing these shows. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> I was born ready to join HARM! -- Rob, 22:00:45 06/19/03 Thu

[> ooh! -- ponygirl, 13:01:14 06/19/03 Thu

I actually had an incredibly weird thought the other week while rewatching Becoming. As a series ender for AtS some sort of time-travelin'/shape-shifting/accent-changing mojo is performed on Spike and he actually becomes Whistler. All of Whistler's lines are cryptic enough that they can be assumed to have layers of hidden meaning underneath. And coupled with my weird idea of Spike as the one to set in motion these major events in Angel's life? Hello to poignancy and irony!

I said it was strange, but I just had to share :)

[> depends how spoilery it is (how spoilery is it?) -- anom, who pressed "end" as soon as the post appeared, 13:23:24 06/19/03 Thu

[> [> Just has well know casting spoiler for A5 -- s'kat, 14:02:15 06/19/03 Thu

All we know is Spike will be on Angel next year. That's it.
Everything else is spec.

Not that spoilery. There haven't been any definite spoilers released on this topic yet. Just lots of random rumors.

[> Mostly spec-alicious, not particularly spoilery, except casting-wise. -- Rob, 13:35:43 06/19/03 Thu

I'm awash in a sea of transfusion -- Valheru, 14:51:02 06/19/03 Thu

Honestly, I'm not trying to argue with you about this. I feel like everyone else "got" it and I'm left behind saying, "Huh?" I guess I'm just trying to explain how I viewed things, hoping that someone will come along and explain where I screwed up.

Handling rejection is Spike's biggest fault, I agree totally. But it's Anne's specific rejection that doesn't seem to fit for me. I feel like it further complicated William's transformation into Spike where it was already complex, and it muddied an explanation that was clear to me before.

Again, the first problem I have is probably due to a false assumption I made from FFL. I assumed that, given how much Spike seemed to hate William, he would have had a very negative reaction to William's life--that he would either abandon it completely or destroy it. So the idea that he went home to retrieve his mother, to embrace the most important figure in William's life, runs completely contradictory to what I expected.

Secondly, I think VampWilliam's decision to "save" his mother is entirely non-vampiric. We have been shown before (from Angelus, Darla, the Wishverse VampScoobies, even Harmony) that vampires are fundamentally twisted, evil versions of the humans they were. They aren't just humans without souls, they are soulless demon/human hybrids. For instance, Faith had a vampire's "want, take, have" sense of freedom, but she acted out of the mindset that what she was doing was right. Vampires act out of the mindset that what they are doing is evil. They aren't simply freed of moral compunction, to sometimes do evil out of selfishness, but instead they are inclined to always do evil out of instinct. It's the old "demonic influence." So vampires should always (or at least, usually) do the wrong thing. Their desires should always be evil, not just un-good.

But LMPTM shows us a VampWilliam who doesn't act very much like a vampire. Dru sires him, he rises, comes home to eat the help--everything seems fine at first. But it's the fact that he wants to save his mother that befuddles me. In this instance, his desire is good, not evil, even though the result is evil. Sure, he wants to save Anne for himself, it's a selfish want, but he goes about it totally altrustically. He wants her to be with himself as much as he wants himself to be with her.

How is this different from his relationship with Dru? After all, as we know from the Judge, Spike does retain his humanity. But that's the thing, y'see...romance was set up as Spike's only retention of humanity. In all other things, he's just like any other vampire. Wasn't that the whole crux of S6? That all of Spike's "good" actions were in pursuit of Buffy and everything else he did was evil?

VampWilliam, to me, acted like an unsouled human, not a vampire. He seemed to retain a butt-load of his humanity, compared to what we see of him as Spike. It's like he didn't have a demon in him to skew his every want to be extreme.

That leads me into the creation of Spike. After all his rejections as a human (that we see in FFL), VampWilliam's greatest desire? His mother. Huh? "William of London, you've just been given immortality, complete moral freedom, and cool powers! What do you want to do with all this?" "I want my mommy." That doesn't seem at all the sort of direction FFL was heading in. But still, assume that that is what they had in mind for William all along. When does VampWilliam become Spike? After his mother's rejection.

So VampWilliam naturally decides to become Spike, Torturer of Mothers, right? He goes out, finding every mother he can, impales them with railroad spikes, and yells, "How dare you not love your children! You bitch!" No. VampWilliam becomes Spike, the avenger of all the wrongs he endured in FFL. He attacks the upper-class that ridiculed him and he preys on women who scorned him. Where is the exaggerrated vampire revenge against his mother? After all, if it's specifically maternal rejection that drives him to become Spike, shouldn't that be Spike's primary focus?

Again, I say that LMPTM works very well in a lot of places, but there are too many places where it seems off-kilter. It doesn't take much to fix, either. Have VampWilliam go to save his mother after he takes his revenge against Cecily and the partygoers. Show that his transformation into Spike began before his mother's rejection. But as the placement is now, it makes everything in William's human life secondary and it water's-down the meaning of Spike's demon/humanity struggle in S5/6.

Or maybe I'm just very very dense. =)

[> Err...that was a reply to Rook's LMPTM post. Stupid Voynak -- Valheru (and the transfusion keeps on comin'), 14:53:00 06/19/03 Thu

[> Re: I'm awash in a sea of transfusion -- Rook, 16:23:22 06/19/03 Thu

>>So the idea that he went home to retrieve his mother, to
>>embrace the most important figure in William's life, runs
>>completely contradictory to what I expected.

Well, most of what I assume about vamps comes from Angel,but's exactly what I would have expected from seeing other vamps. Take Angel: He's fighting with his father, not having a very good relationship at all. So his first instinct is to destroy him and the family he's so concerned about.

And take Angelus' obsession with Buffy. As disgusted as he is by the Angel/Buffy relationship, he doesn't just want to kill her outright, he wants to torture her. The thing is, that this mental torture isn't just cruelty, it's Angelus' version of courting, as we can see from what he did to Dru. Even though he's lost his soul, he's continuing his version of a romantic relationship with Buffy, as twisted as it may be.

Another example is Vamp Willow/Vamp Xander. Now, we don't see them get vamped, but we can see that they have a twisted version of their former relationship. Willow in particular mirrors a lot of the disgust for her former self that Spike does, maybe even more, but she still wants a relationship with Vamp Xander.

So Spike seeking to continue a relationship with his mother isn't surprising to me at all, it's what I'd expect based on other vamps that we've gotten to see as both human and vamp. But Spike has very specific problems with rejection, so...

>> After all, if it's specifically maternal rejection that
>>drives him to become Spike, shouldn't that be Spike's
>>primary focus?

That's the thing. The Spike persona is NOT a vehicle for revenge. It's a vehicle for seeking acceptance. It's camoflague, a defense rather than an offense. Spike is the persona William adopts so that he will be accepted...he's like the nerdy kid that gets a new haircut, a leather jacket and a hot rod. He's not doing it to hurt the cool kids that rejected him...he's doing it to be one of them, thereby avoiding their rejection.

[> Re: I'm awash in a sea of transfusion -- sdev, 02:08:44 06/20/03 Fri

"I assumed that, given how much Spike seemed to hate William, he would have had a very negative reaction to William's life--that he would either abandon it completely or destroy it."

In FFL I see Spike rebel against William's repressed personality. He is not looking for acceptance anymore. He wants to live by his own rules, now, in the experiential moment, with everything on the line.

Now he enjoys fights-fists and fangs. William didn't even want to hear about disturbing news of disappearances. He makes fun of the "frilly cuffs and collar crowd," his former peers. Where he used to be the artist, a poet, he scoffs at Angelus' kill as artistry. He adopts a lower class cockney speech in contrast to his former polished poetic phrases.

On the other hand he still retains his profound ability to love which somehow survives his transition to vampire. In fact this emotion is also freed from the repressed state it was in with Cecily, and he now is free to elevate his feelings of love to a raison d'etre. He proudly becomes Love's Bitch with a swagger. Unlike Angel who killed his family, Spike, because he still retains his feelings for his mother, reacts in the opposite way. Love dictates much of who he is whether it is sexual love or love of a son for his mother.

I don't see inconsistency here it in fact leads back to the humanity the Judge sensed in Season Two with Dru and forward to his feelings for Buffy in Seasons 5&6, and is perfectly consistent with his persona in LMPTM.

Season 8 -- Brian ( I can see it now), 15:39:43 06/19/03 Thu

A bedroom in a castle, somewhere in England. (Later, we find out that it belongs to Giles)

Buffy enters through the large windows. She has her slayer gear on. She looks as if she has been in a hell of a fight.
Tea aside, those English vamps must be tough. As Buffy prepares for bed, we hear a distant scream. Suddenly Willow rushes into the room:

Buffy, I think I just saw a ghost! In my room. And I think it looked like Tara.

Just as she says "Tara" Xander rushes into the room carrying sword.

What? Who? What! Tara!?

(Trying to be compassionate and understanding) Are you sure you weren't dreaming?

[> The Core Four in a Haunted English Castle? This stuff writes itself. -- cjl, 21:13:18 06/19/03 Thu

[Wyndham Castle. Breakfast. Xander and Giles are sitting at a small corner of the main dining table. A servant approaches with trepidation. Xander practically rubs his hands in gleeful anticipation.]

XANDER: Ah, Bentley.
BENTLEY: Yes, Mr. Harris?
XANDER: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
BENTLEY: Yes, sir.
XANDER: Twist of lemon, two sugars.
BENTLEY: Your usual Milky Way bar, sir?
XANDER: You read my mind, Bentley. Good man. [Raps table twice for emphasis. Giles rolls his eyes.]
BENTLEY: And you, Master Giles?

[Giles is intently studying an ancient, leatherbacked tome.]

GILES: Nothing, Bentley, thank you.

[Bentley exits, giving Xander the fish eye as he goes. He passes Buffy and Willow as they approach the table. Xander's light mood instantly disappears; Giles almost instinctively rises from his seat, concerned.]

GILES: Willow, are you all right?
WILLOW (trying to smile): Yeah. I guess. Kinda shook up, but I think I'm OK.
XANDER: Did you find....I-I mean, did you see...I mean--
BUFFY: Nothing. Did a full perimeter sweep of the castle.
XANDER: No offense, Buff, but I don't think ghosts are impressed by full perimeter sweeps. [Off Buffy's look] Hey, not that your sweeps aren't impressive...
WILLOW: I-I don't know. I'm not even sure it WAS Tara. I couldn't see anything clearly. Maybe it's just sleeping in a new place, and I had a bad dream, and--
BUFFY: Will, that's not what you told me.
GILES: Willow?
WILLOW: It felt right. It felt like Tara.
BUFFY: That's good enough for me.
GILES: Agreed. [Drawing the others' attention to the book] I-I've been researching the history of Wyndham castle. Apparently, when Wesley's great-great-great-grandfather sold it in 1874, there were rumors that he was unloading it AND the title associated with the land because it was haunted.
XANDER: The castle or the title?
GILES: Both. Pay attention, Xander.

[Bentley approaches with Xander's tea. Giles flips to sections he's bookmarked.]

GILES: According to local records, the first sign of an active poltergeist was in 1897, when the castle owner was found dead in the gaming room, virtually bisected by an antique pool table.
BUFFY: A world of ew.
BENTLEY (to Xander): Your tea, sir. [Exits.]

[Two shot: Xander is listening intently to Giles' exposition, and he doesn't see Anya sitting on the chair next to him.]

ANYA: Xander, you know the doctor said you should cut down on the sugar.
XANDER: Ahn, will you let it go?

[The conversation in the room freezes. Xander realizes what he just said. He looks over to where he heard the voice--the chair is empty. He's stunned, to say the least.]

BUFFY: Xander, what did you say?!
GILES: Xander, are you sure?
XANDER: It was her. It was her voice. Oh god. [Trembles]
BUFFY: Giles, what are we dealing with here?
GILES: I'm not sure. But something in this castle is aware of us. Knows us. And I think this is all just beginning...

[> [> Brilliant! And yet... -- dub ;o), 21:52:19 06/19/03 Thu

Can ya kinda 'splain how somebody gets bisected by a pool table? A pool cue, now that I could see...


[> [> [> Ahem... -- KdS, 03:29:34 06/20/03 Fri

As those of us who have ever seen I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle know, it is quite possible to bisect a person with a fairly blunt object (like a table) if they're trapped against a wall and you push hard enough.

[> [> [> [> Re: Ahem... -- Cactus Watcher, 06:29:15 06/20/03 Fri

Dub's, right. The amount of force would be horrendous, easily enough to blow the victim un-bisected through the wall with the table following. Unless the wall were heavy armor plate not even a metal wall would be rigid enough to work. A titanium wall a few inches thick would work, if you've got millions of dollars to spent on the wall, first. The moral? Not a good idea to use horror movies for physics lessons. If you want bisection think thin 'weapons,' very thin.

[> [> [> "From beside you, it devours...." -- LadyStarlight, 08:32:27 06/20/03 Fri

Okay, now I have this picture in my head of a pool table, with a mouth full of teeth, chasing some poor schlub around the billiards room....

Must recaffinate myself now. Screen all icky. (also watched Beer Bad last night)

[> [> Never said it was a "clean" cut -- cjl, 07:32:57 06/20/03 Fri

Giles said "virtually" bisected. He wasn't actually cut in two, but close enough to conjure a truly gruesome image. (It did conjure up a gruesome image, didn't it?)

The 1897 report from the local constabulary probably read as follows: "Victim was found pinned against the wall of gaming room by pool table. Table was somehow propelled by tremendous force, crushing the victim against at the waist, and causing severe damage to the wall itself. Evidence indicates an individual with great physical strength. No leads at the moment."

I can't believe this. I'm fanwanking my own story.

Is this pathetic or what?

Hurray for "Him"'s first half! -- shambleau, 15:42:43 06/19/03 Thu

Since even those who like "Him" generally pan the first half, I thought I'd post a defense. Although BtVS is nominally about despised outsiders, we are actually presented with the coolest kids in school. The scoobs are occasionally taunted by the other kids, but we never see the emotional devastation or the humiliation that outsiders in high school regularly go through. Yes, we've got Cordy's "softer side of Sears" comment for Willow,for example, but we don't see it affecting Willow in any significant way.

In fact, I'd argue that one of the weaknesses of the Dark Willow arc came about because we never saw Willow actually harmed by being an outsider. There were few indication that she felt bad about her situation in the earlier seasons. She seemed to accept that she was a nerd and low on the totem pole without being damaged by it.

Contrast that with Dawn's experience, both in "Lessons" and "Him". After her cheer try-out fiasco, she's holed up in her room and devastated in a completely believable way. Now, THAT'S high school. This is BtVS in Freaks and Geeks territory. Humiliation, thy name is adolescence. This is the one area growing up that BtVS had neglected and I applaud them for going to a place that was so painful that many viewers couldn't take it.

I'm not a fan of scenes of humiliation usually, but I think that it was not only necessary, but takes its place with the other button-pushing scenes that cause such a fuss among the fans and that showcase how daring a show this was.

[> Re: Hurray for "Him"'s first half! -- Rook, 15:57:09 06/19/03 Thu

I agree. Dawn was always a much more credible teenager than any of the original scoobies...not just because she really was one, but because she was allowed to behave like a real teenager, faults and all.

Re: the UPN/Drowned Spike subthread which literally got archived... -- OnM, 17:09:54 06/19/03 Thu

... just as I was responding to it! Sheesh!!

Anyway, Finn Mac Cool posted about UPN putting the kibosh on dunking Spike in a pool of holy water. This sounds perfectly reasonable to me, but then how do you explain the following from the shooting script?



We see SPIKE STRUGGLING AS A HAND HOLDS HIM UNDER. The water is green, murky, and he fights
and fights... But loses. His body goes still. Silent. Almost peaceful.


And we see that THE UBERVAMP: is holding SPIKE beneath the surface of a filthy pool of water that bubbles
at the surface of the cavern. He tosses Spike's body from the water, and it hits the floor with a sick wet SPLAT.
Lies there.

Drusilla/First watches from a distance, pleased. Speaks to the UBERVAMP:

Drusilla/FE: That's why our kind make such good dollies.

( Spike suddenly SPUTTERS TO LIFE. He coughs up water, then gasps horribly - fighting to get the water out
of his lungs. )

Drusilla/FE: Hard to kill.

( Spike stares at Drusilla/First, trying to find his breath but it won't come. )

Drusilla/FE: Tried to enlighten little Buffy, didn't you? Spilled our secrets like seed...

( Now Dru gets close, nearly whispers. )

Drusilla/FE: But you forgot. I say what you tell, and what you know. I say when this is over. (menacing)
And I'm not done with you yet, not nearly.

She nods to the UBERVAMP, who violently shoves Spike back in the water - to be drowned all over again.


Maybe we should just go back to what I postulated in my ep review, which was that Ubie peed in the water first.


[> Maybe that's a version of the shooting script LATER than the one they showed UPN -- d'Herblay, 17:14:34 06/19/03 Thu

[> My fanwank of this shooting script goes like this... -- Scroll, 22:19:52 06/19/03 Thu

The First Evil, knowing that drowning a vampire would be a completely ineffectual method of torture, magically makes Spike human for the few days he was being held prisoner in those caves. As a HUMAN, Spike of course can be drowned quite easily, and must pant and wheeze and gasp for every breath. Thus the whole hold-his-head-under-water-till-he-can't-come-up-for-the-third time thing actually works as torture instead of, y'know, as a way to moisturise the cool alabaster skin of his razor-sharp cheekbones.

Spackle, spackle :)

[> [> Even easier -- CW, 06:07:58 06/20/03 Fri

The FE just makes Spike breathe for the duration. Vamps suffer the same kinds of pain as the living. So water in lungs equals pain. Since Spike can't die from it, the FE can do it again and again.

Too bad nobody at ME thought about it, before they showed it. The script for this one and the scene in a later ep where Wood glances at Spike in the rearview mirror, both show that script editing wasn't at it's best last season. ME really needed some fan who cared about the mythology to be a technical adviser. ;o)

[> [> [> How about this idea -- OnM, 08:24:10 06/20/03 Fri

It's a given that Spike is different than most vampires. We know he likes human food, and eats it regularly even though he doesn't need to. He also smokes, which requires the action of breathing even if he doesn't need that either.

Over the course of a long period of time, Spike has gotten so used to breathing that it is now an involuntary reflex. Thus, he can't really help himself.

Re: fan advisors-- Ya know CW, ME could have just asked us for a solution. I think we should start charging. Masq! Business opportunity here!


[> [> [> [> Why stop there? -- CW, 11:47:14 06/20/03 Fri

Masq could be philosophy advisor.
You, OnM, could be advisor on background music and movies to reference.
Rob could speak for everybody who loves the show, when ME needs cheering up.
Yabyumpan could be Wiccan senstivity advisor.
Rufus could advise on the selection of future chocolate references.
HonorH could be the executive fasion advisor.
I could be story arc structural advisor...

I'm sure there'd be plenty of room on the Angel payroll for everybody!

[> [> [> Mirrors and Crosses -- mamcu, 09:55:35 06/20/03 Fri

The whole mirror and cross thing seemed to go the way of garlic in the later seasons, though. Aside from Spike sizzling on the cross in Beneath You, I don't remember much about these traditional things being using--I thought of this when rewatching The Harvest and Luke's flight from the cross.

Too bad esp. about mirrors. They could have done some neat shots of reflections of fights, etc., that would have been as good as the invisible scenes in STSP (SPST?) and Gone.

[> [> [> [> Re: Mirrors and Crosses -- Valheru, 12:54:33 06/20/03 Fri

Is it me, or did Buffy stop wearing crosses in S7? In S1-3, I can't even remember an instance where she wasn't wearing one (even to the point where she wore a cross that was smaller than my pinky-nail in The Zeppo). She wore them most of the time in S4-5, maybe a little less in S6. The only time I can recall her with a crucifix in S7 was CWDP.

[> [> [> Re: Even easier -- Malandanza, 12:12:33 06/20/03 Fri

I don't want to sound too much like warren on Moonraker, but spackle all you want -- the drowning Spike scene was inexcusable.

[> [> 'K, nice try, but then how do you explain... -- OnM, 08:15:31 06/20/03 Fri

...this part (bold/italics mine):

Drusilla/FE: That's why our kind make such good dollies.

( Spike suddenly SPUTTERS TO LIFE. He coughs up water, then gasps horribly - fighting to get the water out
of his lungs. )

Drusilla/FE: Hard to kill.

[> [> [> Jumping in with the spackle trowel loaded for bear.... -- LadyStarlight, 08:26:01 06/20/03 Fri

(finally got to watch Pangs last night)

What if the FE magicked the chip to make Spike believe he was human?? Or even fiddled with his brain for the same result?

Vampiric stamina, but the amusing human reactions...it's all good.

[> [> [> [> Re: Jumping in with the spackle trowel loaded for bear.... -- Abracapocus, 10:29:23 06/20/03 Fri

Personally, I never thought this one was such a bad "slip". Is it really spackling when the scenario makes sense to you? Or am I just kidding myself? ;-)

1) The First knows that Spike can't drown, as does Ubie (assuming the Turok-Han have that much intellectual awareness). Spike knows he can't drown. This actually makes the torture *more* effective: you can't die. There is no release from this. We're just toying with you, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.

As others have pointed out, breath is required for smoking and for speaking (air over the vocal cords), and Spike is in the habit of doing plenty of both. It's not that vampires *can't* breathe, just that they don't need oxygen to continue their unlives. [Angel's "I have no breath" line in "Prophecy Girl" is not entirely accurate, and is especially amusing since his chest is heaving with distress just before and just after he says it. Maybe he just doesn't exchange oxygen for CO2 when he "breathes"? spacklespacklespackle]

It's still no fun to be beaten up and have your head forced into that nasty pool (not as nasty on-screen as in the script, but then they needed visibility while filming), esp. when you're already weakened by previous pummeling and mockery.

2) Spike, much though I love him, is not the brightest bulb. If he had had his wits about him during the torture session, he would simply have stopped his breathing "reflex" as soon as his head hit the water. It could have been a welcome break, even--refreshin' (altho being bent sharply over the rough rock surface like that couldn't have been comfortable either, esp. given the likely broken ribs, etc.).

I'm with the people who assume that Spike inadvertently "drew breath" while underwater, which is how the water got in his lungs--making the torture that much more agonizing. Again, not going to kill him, but painful and demoralizing--reinforcing the First's argument that he is helpless in this situation and might as well give in. Torture is just as much about inducing despair--breaking the psyche--as it is about causing pain. ::shudder::

3) Drusilla/The First says "our kind" because The First is in character. I for one really enjoyed the glimpses we had of this aspect of The First in season 7: it seems to really get into being the person it's impersonating. To an extent, it *is* Warren (groovin' on the Star Wars references), it *is* Drusilla (groovin' on the visionary madness and sadism), even as it pursues its own agenda.

I now feel an essay coming on about The First--which I will save for another post (if I ever get around to it).

Your very own,

[> [> [> [> [> I'd very much like to read your First essay, if you get around to writing it! -- Rob, 10:43:09 06/20/03 Fri

Angel Season 5 speculation (Well Known Casting and Writer Interview Spoilers) -- Finn Mac Cool, 22:15:17 06/19/03 Thu

Here are the things I expect we will see:

1: Spike will come back in the same sort of way that Lilah did. The self-sacrafice sort of brought him to the attention of the PTB, so they select him to be their spokesman in convincing Angel and Co. to leave Wolfram & Hart. This would be both believable (if it can work for Lilah, it can work for Spike) and create some good conflict (Spike arguing with Angel to rejoin the good guys when he both a) doesn't like the poof, and b) isn't too fond of being under the PTB's authority in the first place).

2: We'll see more gadgetry. Tim Minear has said "Home" was designed to work as a Season 5 pilot, so I think there's significance in Wesley's use of that grappling hook device. I think we'll se more things like that, and some more advanced ones (we've got Fred in the high-tech science department, after all). One device I predict is a solar radiation generator for killing vampires.

3: At some point, Angel will save someone in a dark alley, as he's wont to do. Then he will try to help her sue her attacker. Fits in with both the W&H aspect and how this season is supposed to be so different from the previous four.

4: The first half of the season will be much like what people have been saying it will be: more standalone, more ensemble, and more of a light atmosphere. However, by the second half of the season, that will start to break down. ME's previous attempts to become more episodic haven't panned out so well (they tried it with the creation of "Angel" and Season 7 of "Buffy", and both eventually became incredibly serial). Also, we have Season 7 as evidence for what happens when ME tries to go lighter.

5: Some of Lorne's celebrity clients at W&H will include either Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, or Rose McGowan. It would just be such a surreal moment to have one of the actresses from "Charmed" appearing on "Angel" as themselves. Besides, it would be odd if we never saw Lorne with at least a few celebrity clientelle, and this sort of joke might be the sort of lighter thing ME's gearing towards.

6: The nature of reality will be an issue. After all, in "Home" we had the return of Lilah (who we can't be sure is truly resurrected or just a spirit taking corporeal form), a small set of books that can become any books you want, Lilah's self-regenerating contract, and the rewrite of Connor's history. All of these things really sort of bend reality a bit, and I think that'll be an important theme or motif for Season 5.

7: Action more in the style of the 60's era "Batman" TV show. Using "Home" as an example once again, we have Connor rigging a bunch of people with dynamite; while he threatens great violence, Angel is able to stop him and no lives are actually lost. There's also Wesley's fighting in the W&H building; the way he knocks stuffy looking, business suit clad men out just seems far less gritty and violent than most of his previous fight scenes. So, in summary, when I said "Batman" style, I meant villains who pose the threat of killing lots of people, but are almost always stopped by the good guys. And, when the good guys fight, the violence is clean, with no blood or real brutality.

8: This last one, I don't know where it came from. I can't back it up with writer interviews or the use of "Home" as a layout for the season. It's just a gut feeling: Angel will come face to face with either the Senior Partners or the Powers That Be (most likely through yet another mystical elevator).

Is there anything I don't have a theory on? Yes: Gunn. I have NO clue what ME is doing with him. While my predictions may turn out to be wrong with everything else, with Gunn I can't even predict. No matter what they do with him, it will be a surprise to me.

Well, that's it. Any other theories for Season 5 out there?

Demon Reproduction, a philosophical examination (but racy) -- Rochefort, 23:44:56 06/19/03 Thu

We know that vampires have wee-wee's. We've seen them in action with Angel and we heard Spike's zipper.

But it seems that Demons do not have wee-wee's. Most demons are naked, but are conspicuously lacking wee-wee's.

The interesting thing is that Vampire wee-wee's seem superfilous since they reproduce through this "whole sucking thing." (Buffy, Welcome to the Hell Mouth)

Demon wee-wee's, on the other hand, in the absense of another form of reproduction, would seem quite necessary. So I was thinking that this would have been a VERY odd way for evolution to treat the demonic species.

But then this possible model occured to me. A simple question: Where do all the demons in Sunnydale come from? Easy. The "Hell Mouth." It occurs to me that Giles calling it a "Hell Mouth" might have been a euphamism to protect that young-at-the-time-scoobies. The Hell Mouth is actually a big demon womb. The demons are born from the earth.

This explains why there are always different demons down there every time it's opened. Depends who fertilizes it. Spike's declaration that it's always about blood is probably another euphamism. But one way or another, the hell mouth always needs to be fertalized every time it is opened. Dripping blood on it, etc. This gives new meaning, does it not, to Giles's confused explanation that the Master had been trying to open the gates to hell when he'd been stuck like a cork. Probably by the time it made it to t.v., we have blood as fertilization and the Master walking around not stuck, but I think that probably the Master was actually quite literally stuck like a cork in a bottle while fertalizing the "hell mouth."

Also, in Doomed, the demons that try to open the hell mouth simply by jumping into it were clearly some sort of large walking around spermitizoa demons. This theory clearly has some merit.


[> On the evidently absent demon wee-wees -- d'Herblay, 00:17:15 06/20/03 Fri

Most demons are naked, but are conspicuously lacking wee-wee's.

This reminds me of a conversation I had at that historic salon of modern-day philosophes, the Vancouver meet, where someone (whose name is withheld to protect her identity but I strongly suspect of being either Little Bit or Lady Starlight) argued that while Barney (the singing purple dinosaur) has a name that suggests maleness, he is evidently naked and evidently lacking. To this I responded with the assertion that Barney's lack of conspicuous genitalia is the one paleontologically accurate aspect of his presentation, as a male Tyrranosaur would, when not actively copulating, withdraw his penises (both of them) within his body where they could not be seen. To use a less speculative example: most snakes are naked, but are conspicuously without wee-wees, which does not mean they do not have less conspicuous wee-wees. In fact, I can't think of any non-mammalian species with conspicuous male genitalia. Many demons are, of course, reptilian in appearance.

To change, but not improve, the subject, Rah has brought to my attention the story of a British power company, Powergen, which has recently expanded into the Italian market. It has taken the local name Powergen Italia, and is now the proud possessor of the URL http://www.powergenitalia.com/.

[> [> Re: On the evidently absent demon wee-wees -- Retread, 05:53:19 06/20/03 Fri

It's Friday morning and raining here. Again. And we've been promised more rain for the week-end. Again. Nonetheless, I have to wipe coffee off my screen as soon as I can stop this hysterical laughter. Thanks, guys, for the metaphorical sunshine.

[> [> Re: On the evidently absent demon wee-wees -- Anneth, 10:14:17 06/20/03 Fri

To change, but not improve, the subject, Rah has brought to my attention the story of a British power company, Powergen, which has recently expanded into the Italian market. It has taken the local name Powergen Italia, and is now the proud possessor of the URL www.powergenitalia.com.

I forwarded this to a friend, which got us embroiled in a conversation about the science of naming things, and eventually culminated in this:

"i heard an npr interview with one [a 'nameologist' - ed.] once. he was talking about paradigm shifts in name trends. it was interesting. a few years ago you wanted your company to sound hi-tech or biotech, so there were a lot of digi, cy, pharm, etc. prefixes and a lot of com, con, quest, etc. type suffixes. now the .com bomb killed that, so the new new trend is longevity + foresight. i would try to come up with a penis-related modern business name, but i don't think i want to search for "penis euphamisms" from the doj network. If it were a law firm it would be Peter Cockran
William and Balzack, or something.

they watch, you know."

[> Re: Demon Reproduction, a philosophical examination (but racy) -- Darby, 06:05:23 06/20/03 Fri

The other possibility, culled from the headlines (of obscure paleontological newsletters, but anyway...), is that demons are offshoots of surviving dinosaurs, like birds. The dinosaur-demon connection has been made on more than one occasion, and we might suspect that Joss has no real clue of the dinosaur-human timeline, science not being his strong suit.

To follow up on D'Herblay's Tyrannosaur-lizard retractable penis suggestion, I'll suggest a Tyrannosaur-bird connection. And strangely enough, the vast majority of XX birds (they do the chromosome thing the other way 'round) do not have penises. But they seem to get the job done, often while plummeting from on high, kinda like Buffy and Spike.

And to follow up on the Powergenitalia thing, yet some more corporate sexual trivia - as I understand the culture of corporation names, word and derivation backgrounds (but not website names, apparently) are exhaustively researched before products are named. Avoiding lawsuits and embarrassment and suchlike. So if you carry a Cirrus card from American Express, every time you stick it in your wallet or insert it into an ATM, somewhere a lowly suit is chortling. A cirrus is, among other things, a worm penis.

Well this is an odd way to start the day...

[> [> I keep telling my friends -- mamcu, 06:58:24 06/20/03 Fri

that they really should read this board for the high level of intellectual discussion. Can we get on to vampire ta-tas now?

[> Consequences of Vampiric Reproduction -- dmw, 07:01:36 06/20/03 Fri

I like your Hellwomb hypothesis, but I'll address vampiric reproduction here. The interesting thing is that vampires, despite looking like mammals, obviously aren't warm-blooded animals who provide milk to their young. They're something closer to viruses, with their asexual method of reproduction that requires a living host of another species.

This indicates that vampires can be an apocalypic thread by themselves: making the conservative assumption that a vampire can produce one offspring a day, it would only require 33 days for vampires to convert the entire human population into vampires. It's true they'd have no humans to eat after that, but most of the vampires presented on Buffy are stupid and inexperienced, without the forethought to present such a disaster. Given the presence of vampires outside of the Hellmouth, I suspect that older and smarter vampires must handle their own birth control issues when no slayer is available.

The other implication of vampires not being mammals is that they have no reason for love. We can love because we're mammals; we have live young who need to be taken care of. We carry those traits over into adulthood because we need them to join together to take care of our young (Freud has this amusingly backwards) and to be a social group for other reasons (we're also social mammals; civilization probably couldn't arise from a solitary species). We have such an instinct for this that we even take other animals to make them our pets.

Their "young" are immediately capable of taking care of themselves, though a short lecture on stakes and sunlight would be helpful. They don't need our instincts for love. It's not clear how social they are--sometimes they are solitary hunters, other times they act as a pack under a strong leader. Perhaps by nature they're solitary predators but something of the human social instinct remains. It's also interesting that new vampires sometimes strike out at their former loved ones; perhaps it's the solitary predator instinct fighting to free itself from social bonds.

[> [> So that means their apparatus is vestigial? -- mamcu, 09:43:42 06/20/03 Fri

Still with the unhealthy fixation on physical equipment: I guess they retain whatever their human origins had. Curious that their gonads would keep working when not needed, while hearts and lungs don't. And they not only have it, they use it.

We're talking pure vamps here, not souled ones, obviously.

Round Robin: New Moon Rising/The Yoko Factor/Primeval (with apologies for the delay) -- Marie, 08:26:19 06/20/03 Fri

New Moon Rising/The Yoko Factor/Primeval- Marie

"Willow-" "Oz-"

"I-" "I-"

Oz held up a hand. "You first."

Willow gave a small, hesitant smile, and nodded towards the kitchen. "Have you travelled far? Are you hungry? I could rustle up some chips or something. Full of salty goodness. Um..."

"Not hungry. Maybe a little thirsty, though."

"Oh! Thirsty! Right! Um..." She crossed to the fridge and, leaning inside, closed her eyes, took a breath.

"Look, Will... I didn't come back here to cause you any problems. I just sorta thought I ought to bring Buffy the Rock of Naszturshol, that's all. I want you to know that I'm... well, at peace, I guess, with everything, and that includes you and Tara. I'm glad you're happy Willow."

When Willow turned to face him, there were tears in her eyes, but she was smiling. "Thank you. For telling me that. And for... well, being Oz, I guess. I've missed you so much..." Crossing to him, she pulled him into a hug, and didn't see the pain on his face, as he wrapped his arms around her.

"Ahem.. well, um... drink.. yeah... er - here, diet Coke okay?"


"Oz, about the wolf thing-"

"It's okay, Will, no new moon rising for a coupla weeks yet."

Buffy stuck her head through the door. "That's good to hear, but can we get down to business now?" She smiled at her two friends as she spoke, and crossed the floor to give Oz a hug of her own. "And did I say - 'Welcome back!'?"

Oz hugged her back, but said nothing.

"Right, now how about the Nasturtium Rock thingy? Watsit do?"

"Well, that's the thing, Buffy, I'm not altogether sure, though I know a little about it's history and powers, I was told that there was more to it. Some powerful magic. Only I don't know if it's good or bad magic."

"Where did you get it? And can I see it, maybe?"

"Oh. Right." Oz lifted a small leather pouch over his head and shook something from it to the kitchen countertop. Both girls bent to look at it and simultaneously reared back, looks of horror on their faces.

"Eww! That smell! What on earth!" Buffy clamped her hand over her nose and backed away from the counter.

Oz grinned. "Sorry. Should've warned you. Got it off a Yokofa c'Tor demon in Tibet. The Yokofa c'Tors are not exactly known for their sweet fragrance."

Pinching her nostrils together, Willow bent over the stone. "I was expecting to see a jewel," she said, breathing though her mouth, "but this is just a rock. A big old grey pebbly thing."

"That big old grey pebbly thing can apparently tap into some pretty heavy stuff. Real primeval stuff, y'know?"


Well, that's the thing. I had to kill him before he told me that. Sorry. All I could find out was that something big was headed the Slayer's way, and that without the Rock of Naszturshol, she was going to be one very dead Slayer. So here I am."

Buffy placed a comforting hand on Willow's shoulder. "Don't look so worried, Will. Died twice already. Not going there again."

The creature watched them through the kitchen window.

"Third time's the charm, Slayer... ."


(Next: Restless/Buffy vs. Dracula/Real Me)

Out of My Mind
No Place Like Home
Fool For Love
Listening To Fear
Into The Woods
Blood Ties
I Was Made To Love You
The Body
Tough Love
The Weight Of The World
The Gift

[> Re: Round Robin: New Moon Rising/The Yoko Factor/Primeval (with apologies for the delay) -- LadyStarlight, 08:38:11 06/20/03 Fri


Nice! Loved "the Yoko Factor" bit, wasn't expecting that at all!

Do you need volunteers for bits?

[> [> Thanks! And of course! Just claim the next three if you want to join in - all welcome! -- Marie, 09:03:12 06/20/03 Fri

[> [> [> Oh, if you need to refresh your memories, I think the rest is on Archive 4 above. -- Marie, 09:11:20 06/20/03 Fri

[> [> [> Ok, I'm in! -- LadyStarlight, 10:00:43 06/20/03 Fri

So that's Restless, B vs. D, and Real Me. Plus, once this is finished up, it's going into FC, you realize! ;)

[> [> [> [> here's what I'd like to do -- mamcu, 10:08:16 06/20/03 Fri

Yay! Another way to waste the time I don't have! Can I do Blood Ties, Crush, I Was Made To Love You?

[> [> [> [> [> I think that this is supposed to be written in order of titles. -- deeva, who will jump in soon, 11:58:59 06/20/03 Fri

Tchaikovsky talks about himself again! -- TCH, 08:34:21 06/20/03 Fri

Exciting news!!! Well, for me. The Angel Odyssey page (at http://members.fortunecity.com/tchaikovsky) has been updated, and is now full of all my Odyssey reviews up to and including 4.18.

Have a play about there. Get lost in nostalgia for the superior Season{Insert favourite Angel Season Here}. Generally laugh at the low quality of the html. Like dogs standing on two legs, it's not that Tchaikovsky builds a web-site well, it's that he's done it at all...

To Rob: The old thread got archived immediately after I replied to your question, saying that the last four reviews of Season Four should be up sometime in early July. So another week or two's cold turkey.


[> Re: Tchaikovsky talks about himself again! -- The Sidereal Coder, 08:40:18 06/20/03 Fri

I'll get the page updated as soon as I can get into ATPo, so's I can see if the pages load properly.

[> Unfortunately, our brilliant responses to your posts aren't included. -- cjl, 08:54:15 06/20/03 Fri

But then, it's all about you, isn't it?

[> [> Actually... -- Tchaikovsky, 08:58:12 06/20/03 Fri

I could put the responses from the archives in- or at least a link to the archive responses. They're certainly full of brilliant ideas and explanations, as well as corrections to many of my misunderstandings- and actually I've never been back to read the posts I couldn't read before because they were spoilery.

However, I can't even begin to organise this until AtPo is back online, because I only saved my posts, and so my only path to the responses would be through the Existential Scoobies site

Thanks for the suggestion


[> [> [> Urgh! -- Masq, 10:10:52 06/20/03 Fri

me this morning telling me the DNS problem was fixed but that it needed to "propogate" and this might mean ATPo will be back up at different times in different areas.

Well, I managed to bring up the site on my home computer, so I emailed folks saying it was back up. But now I can't get the site up on my work computer. So either I brought up a cached version at home, or it hasn't propogated to my work place yet.

But apparently www.ivyweb.net is dosing the viagra, and we will "get it up" eventually.

[> [> [> [> Heh heh...but will the site be blue-tinted? ;o) -- Rob, 10:19:18 06/20/03 Fri

Blue-tinted...viagra...get it? yuk yuk ;o)

[> Congrats TCH! -- ponygirl, 09:04:18 06/20/03 Fri

[> Okay, I guess I can deal with the wait for new Odysseys...just barely. ;o) -- Rob, 09:11:18 06/20/03 Fri

Taking a cue from fresne... -- Rob, 10:40:02 06/20/03 Fri

...thought maybe we could organize an "Anya in Season 7" fic to satisfy those of us who desperately needed more Anya this year. Theoretically, I don't think we should change the continuity of the show, but write around it, focusing on Anya. I thought that perhaps the trip she went on for info in "Dead Girls" could be a good place to focus on. Maybe it was a journey of self-discovery as well...leading to her revelations to Andrew in "End of Days"? What do you guys think?

Should I even ask if fresne or cjl would be on board? ;o)


[> Possible plotlines for "Anya's Journey" -- cjl, 10:58:07 06/20/03 Fri

Just off the top of my head:

1. Walkabout in the Nevada desert (guest starring: Oz)
2. "Self-improvement" seminar in San Francisco (guest starring: Harmony)
3. The Devil and Miss Jenkins (a duel of wits against D'Hoffryn)

[> [> I love all three! Aargh...what to do? -- Rob, 11:19:20 06/20/03 Fri

[> [> [> Uh, Rob--how about one each for you, me and another person? -- cjl, 11:25:09 06/20/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> Good idea! -- Rob, 11:45:50 06/20/03 Fri

For all three "chapters," we should discuss about an overall arc, so her self-discovery isn't resolved in one of the stories before another. A "discussion" with D'Hoffryn at the end would be a nice endcap to lead into Anya telling Andrew what she's learned about humanity. Or, or, perhaps her meeting with D'Hoffryn could be posthumous. He could be all gloaty about her having died, and she can explain to him what she's learned over the past year and why her death did not mean that her decision to give up her Vengeance Demon status was a failure, but a reaffirmation of her own humanity and mortality.

Oz is a great idea, too, because we can do a nice trick of developing Anya's seasonal arc and giving a good resolution to Oz's character at the same time.

Logistical question, though...how should we have her going to these places in the time alotted in the story? We might have to alter the continuity a little.


[> [> [> [> [> How long (Sunnydale time) was Anya off during research? -- cjl, 11:55:36 06/20/03 Fri

And between which episodes?

Hate to say this, but there were times I was so bored with Anya's S7 arc that I didn't pay attention.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: How long (Sunnydale time) was Anya off during research? -- Rob, 12:20:21 06/20/03 Fri

If we pretty much assume that the realverse time is similar to Buffyverse time...

We saw her early on in LMPTM for a few moments, when she had her silly one-liner about Buffy forgiving Spike for everthing he's done, and scared us all with that evil chicken-head shaped hat and not-matching outfit. Then Dirty Girls didn't air for three weeks. And she wasn't in that one. The next one she was in, Empty Places, didn't air until 2 weeks after Dirty Girls. So we actually do have about 5 weeks to play with...actually more, if we say that she left during the timespan of LMPTM. So that's almost 6 weeks. Should be enough time, I think.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Except Willow left for LA in LMPTM -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:21:46 06/20/03 Fri

Factoring time to get there, time to do her voodoo, and time to get back to Sunnydale with Faith, there could only have been a few days between "Lies My Parents Told Me" and "Dirty Girls". Now, the length of time between "Dirty Girls" and "Empty Places" is a bit more stretchable. All we can really be certain of is that it was enough time for Xander to be released from the hospital. Anyone out there know how long it takes for someone to be released after severe eye trauma?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That is true. Darn season 7's time-wonkiness! -- Rob, 17:47:19 06/20/03 Fri

I guess Anya could have left earlier in the day that Willow was returning with Faith, or the day before. And that gives us only 2 weeks of leeway. And of course we'll have to squeeze in her getting the info on the Turok-Han into that chapter, and not just the main story. So either fresne or I will have to fit that into the story, or perhaps at the end of the story.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Not too much of a problem -- fresne, 21:11:25 06/20/03 Fri

Well, what I?m thinking would take up about 3-4 days. Since in my phase, Anya is still focusing on externals to define the internal, I?d like to have a sense of as little progress as possible, with humor and a necropolis. However, if she?s going to go straight from S.F. to the desert, there are probably more contacts at a city than in the desert. Or maybe not, if it?s a mystic desert. With paint and stuff. Although, it?d be really funny if she found out through Harmony?s contacts.

"Harmony has contacts?"

The real question is what would inspire Anya to head out into the desert. Would you prefer to have that explained in that section, or have it seeded in the previous section?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Response to fresne and another question for cjl -- Rob, 22:26:48 06/20/03 Fri

Fresne--I think the best thing would be for you to either drop a hint perhaps near the end of your chapter, or maybe have one of the characters suggest she try that. Something like that. Oh, and since my chapter is following yours, I think I'd prefer to either read your chapter before starting mine, so I know what has happened to her before getting to the desert, or I'd at least like to know what you're planning on doing with Anya and where she will be, psychologically by the end of your piece.

cjl--So that my story can flow as smoothly as possible into the start of yours, do you think Anya should "find" herself in the desert and then have the D'Hoffryn piece be Anya arguing with him based on what she's learned in the previous two chapters, or do you think she shouldn't really have everything click together until the end? I guess it depends on whether the scene takes pre- or post-death. Before her death, the conversation could have Anya have the moment of true self-discovery before coming to her "yay! humanity" speech in "End of Days" and her sacrifice in "Chosen." If it takes place afterwards, I assume it would be after everything's clicked and she argues her point, why she did what she did, what she learned in her travels, etc. Of course, that's for you to suss out since it's your chapter. Just as soon as you know what you want to do for sure, it would really help me just figure out where best to maneuver her in the story. Of course, I hope that in the end she ends up maneuvering me more than the other way around. Anya on a vision quest in the desert, running into Oz practically writes itself.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> To Rob and Fresne, re: "The Devil and Miss Jenkins" -- cjl, 08:25:12 06/21/03 Sat

I think I've already decided that the Anya/D'Hoffryn confrontation will take place post-S7. The story will sum up what Anya learned during the journey, include her final epiphany, and then--if I do it right--kick it to another level. Still haven't worked out all the details, but you don't have to worry about stepping on my toes. I'll be able to work with whatever is in the previous two chapters.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Response to Rob -- fresne, 11:09:55 06/21/03 Sat

Okay, I can do that. Ie, drop a hint. Mad Englishmen and ex-demons in the desert.

As to plot, where she'll be at the end. Mainly, I want her to have her own cookie dough moment and have a thoroughly frustrating visit to the conference in S.F. in which the sun does not shine once. I'd give more plot, but other than knowing that she will go to Colma, we have a necropolis and I'm going to use it, I'm not quite sure what she'll do there yet. Perhaps picnic by a faux pyramid with a giant flashy jewel symbol or a scythe symbol or perhaps an angel.

I should have something "drafted" by tonight or tomorrow morning. Where should I send/post it. Here? Email?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You can e-mail it to me if you want... -- Rob, 12:20:32 06/21/03 Sat

...so we can make all the details a surprise for the board when we post the whole thing. My e-mail is robwill@optonline.net. I don't know cjl's.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Good idea! -- fresne, 12:15:42 06/20/03 Fri

Oh, I'm so on board with getting some Anya-age.

You wouldn't necessarily have to mess with the time line. Provided that you space these sort of events from Selfless forward. The desert is only a short drive away. S.F. probably about four hours. (If she drives like a Californian, hops over to I-5 and Sunny-D is Santa Barbara.) Hmm...Self Help seminar in S.F. "Achieving Synergy. Actualizing the Real You." That could be pretty funny.

Although, I'm not sure how useful I would be for collaborative writing. My style is ummm...distinct. However, if we break things up a bit, I might be up for some mad cap fun in the city (here that means S.F.). Perhaps culminating in a trip to Colma.

However, I'd like to encourage, in a general sort of way, that we (and I mean the collective board - I'm looking at you) not just think about Anya, much as she needs representation.

A skeleton tree of the season on which we hang whatever the fancy strikes.

On down, Abracapocus mentioned writing an essay about the FE. I'd actually be interested in some scenes with the First. After all, I can spackle away why the FE's plan makes no sense. It is old. It is chaos. It changes form and personality like corporeals change clothes. Its plans should be fragmented and frustrated. It is fragmented and frustrated. It is fragmentation and frustration.

Or, one of the Potentials. Ronia - who I can't like. Please, someone make me. Or some poor unnamed Potential.

Giles, but you know, where he interacts with the characters. Talking with Buffy about the emergency kit. Dreaming about mud. I don't know.

The Guardian. Waiting. Waiting. Actually, this would be fun to play anywhere in the series.

The imagination spins dizzily.

[> OK, let's set up the boundaries here.... -- cjl, 13:47:36 06/20/03 Fri

Prologue - Anya and Xander discuss what didn't happen at the wedding. (Post-Selfless but before NLM). Takers?

Chapter 1 - "Walkabout" by Rob

While researching a mystical object that might shed light on the mystery of the First, Anya does the Carlos Castaneda mystic quest thing in the Nevada desert, and bumps into the coolest person in the universe.

Chapter 2 - "The Real You" by Fresne

Anya attends a self-help seminar in San Francisco and runs into an old friend. (Sort of.)

Chapter 3 - "The Devil and Miss Jenkins" by cjl

Anya vs. D'Hoffryn in a battle of wits--and why the Lord of Arashmaharr, after 5000 years around working women, still doesn't understand humanity.

Chapter 1 - Any time after NLM and before Showtime
Chapter 2 - Any time between Showtime and LMPTM
Chapter 3 - Between Dirty Girls and Empty Places OR post-s7

Feel free to make modifications....

[> [> Excellent...my head is abuzz with ideas already! -- Rob, 15:34:13 06/20/03 Fri

I have been on desert walks in Arizona, but not in Nevada, so I would appreciate any tips from people who are more familiar with the Nevada area so I don't make any major flubs.

But Anya and Oz...quite the meeting of the minds. And so many levels to play on. Oz's quest for discovering his own humanity by dealing with his inner beast helps with Anya's search of her own humanity and rejection of her past-demonness. Oooh oooh, I'm imagining a vision quest where Anya's spirit guide ends up being a big floppy, hoppy bunny. And oh, how fun the dialogue will be!

Just so we know who's doing what the three or four of us should probably do quick story sketches, just to keep the flow good, so Anya is at the place she needs to be in each narrative in order to move on to the next.

Thinking about it, cjl, I think that the trip to San Francisco may be better as the first part. Because the way I see it, Anya can start off trying a more lightweight type of self-discovery, this seminar, and then decide she needs something a bit more personal and spiritually meaningful. Of course she could learn stuff at the seminar too that help her along the way. Then she tries the walk in the desert...finally her affirmation of her humanity is perfectly crystallized with her conversation with D'Hoffryn (which I personally think would work better after death. There has to be some flabotanum that would explain how Anya's spirit, after death could be confronted by D'Hoffryn).

So I would suggest we do...


Chapter 1--San Francisco--between BotN and Showtime (this would work because there was a month gap in the story there)

Chapter 2--Vision Quest in Nevada Desert--between LMPTM and Empty Places

Chapter 3--D'Hoffryn and Anya--post S7

If you really like the way you had the chapters planned out better, though, I won't argue. The base ideas, after all, really are yours.


[> [> [> Looks good to me. Some further points. -- cjl, 21:11:25 06/20/03 Fri

1. Whoever does the prologue must consider Xander's "Heart of Darkness" speech to Andrew in NLM. I was always puzzled by the pure despair of that speech, and Xander's contention that it was Anya who "ripped out [his] heart and replaced it with darkness," and not vice versa. If X and A did have a serious conversation about the wedding between Selfless and NLM, it must have been a doozy.

2. Format is not an issue and I will not demand a foolish consistency (which is the hobgoblin of little minds). If you want to do your chapter as a short story, screenplay, musical, interpretive dance...no problem.

3. I'll try to explain in the conclusion why D'Hoffryn tried to kill Anya after he let her go in Selfless. But if Rob, Fresne or our unknown fourth want to drop hints, fine.

4. And finally, a suggestion: don't want to go all Dogma95 on everyone, but if possible, let's keep these scenarios within the boundaries of a credible TV budget. I want to believe that if ME had the time, they could have put something like "Anya's Journey" on the screen and not bankrupted UPN. This is not a demand, just a suggestion.

[> [> [> [> Maybe D'Hoffryn got in trouble with the wife -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:25:22 06/20/03 Fri

Mrs. D'Hoffryn realizes that her husband is harboring a secret attraction for a certain vengeance demon when, after Anya turns her back on her calling, he lets her live. So D'Hoffryn's wife pressures him into killing Anya. But D'Hoffryn, unwilling to kill his favorite vengeance demon, decides to send incompetent demon assassins after her instead, and only when she's around a powerful warrior like Spike or Buffy. Explains a lot, don't you think?

[> Re: Taking a cue from fresne... -- O'Cailleagh, 19:13:27 06/20/03 Fri

Just a few days ago, I was thinking to myself 'wouldn't it be nice if they did a S8 set at the same time as S7, but focusing on everyone who wasn't Buffy or Spike. (Plus theoretically, ME could do this as it wouldn't really require any appearances by SMG and JM)
We'd get to see an alternative CwDP, with Jesse visiting Xander, and Giles seeing Jenny and Kendra.
Or how about an ep set in 'heaven' with Tara, Joyce and other assorted dead Sunnydale ex-residents trying to stop the First from the other side.
Or even Oz helping a young Potential (whom he meets while playing at a Dingoes gig) avoid the Bringers.
Yes. An alternate S7 would make a great S8...but an even better game here!


[> [> And then I saw Corwin's post in S'kats S7 thread... -- O'Cailleagh (hoping no-one notices his foolishness....), 19:32:27 06/20/03 Fri

Season 8 Episode Titles -- Brian (flogging the concept to the point of no return), 14:27:32 06/20/03 Fri

1 Haunting Tara

2 Castles in the Air

3 Things that go Bump in the Night

4 My Favorite Werewolf

5 We are not Alone

6 My Mother, the Ghost

7 Vengeance is Mine

8 Spook Sonata

9 Kittens

10 Blood Bath

11 Tarnished Angel

12 Councilor At Law

13 House of Dracula

14 Moonlight and Champagne

15 Ask not for Whom the Bell Tolls

16 Group Dynamic

17 Love Bites

18 Ribbons

19 Slaymaster

20 Hellmouth Central

21 Hour of the Wolf

22 Dawn

[> Re: Season 8 episode plot lines -- Brian (because I'm out of control thinking about Cleveland), 15:14:12 06/20/03 Fri

1 Haunting Tara - All the Scoobies see ghosts of past lovers and friends

2 Castles in the Air - The Scoobies are thrusted into a ghostly dimension

3 Things that go Bump in the Night - The Big Evil takes an ectoplasmic bow while Faith and Robin realize their vacation is over

4 My Favorite Werewolf - Oz returns and things get hairy

5 We are not Alone - Red Herring episode - Is it really aliens not ghosts?

6 My Mother, The Ghost - Buffy gets some valuable life-in-death lessons from Mom

7 Vengeance is Mine - New friends become quite ghostly

8 Spook Sonata - More ghosts per room than any movie ever made anywhere

9 Kittens - Comic relief episode - The return of Clem

10 Blood Bath - Who knew ghosts could be so handy with sharp, pointy objects?

11 Tarnished Angel - The one and only shows up to help. Things get much worse.

12 Councilor At Law - The entire crew of Wolfram & Hart (including Spike)show up for fun and games. Lilah is snarky as usual. Buffy is confused. Very confused

13 House of Dracula - The supreme bloodsucker shows up from another round. This time Buffy vows to take no prisoners.

14 Moonlight and Champagne - Buffy, Angel, Spike - A three way?

15 Ask not for Whom the Bell Tolls - Ghostly things happen worldwide

16 Group Dynamic - Scoobies shift into high gear to stop the Big Bad

17 Love Ballads - Spike and Dru work out their differences

18 Ribbons - An episode in red, lots of red

19 Slaymaster - A new slayer is born

20 Hellmouth Central - the battle royal with the Big Evil - a budget buster!

21 Hour of the Wolf - The Scoobies et al confront their demons and find some peace.

22 Dawn - Every single plot hole, odd happening, character reversal, and inexplicable event in the last 7 seasons is explained and corrected. Buffy gets more baked and Dawn finds true love.

HEY! GOD! (Spoilers to Peace Out) -- KdS, 11:56:23 06/20/03 Fri

Peace Out struck me once again with how good AtS has been this year. I particularly noticed how Gunn gets a chance to shine despite the fact that he, Fre, Wes and Lorne spend virtually the entire episode locked in a cage. The fact that, after however many hours, Gunn finally manages to kick the door of the cage open has to be a statement of the capacity of human beings to win out against the odds which Jasmine would have abolished.

Really though, this was Connor's episode. His sheer exhaustion is the most memorable part of his soliloquy to Cordelia, along with his desperate clutching for something to hold onto. The fact that he clung to Jasmine despite knowing her to be a false messiah sums up how much his whole life has been marked by manipulation, right back to Holtz. The casual speed and astonishing violence with which he kills Jasmine is shocking, but once again we have parallels being drawn between father and son. Connor's silence and lack of emotion is reminiscent of Angel after a similar sequence of manipulation and betrayal in Redefinition, although Connor's muderous activities were directed at a total innocent. One has to wonder if Connor's killing of Jasmine is a fulfillment of "the father shall kill the son". Did Wes take a generic masculine gender as a specific one?

Jasmine's determination to destroy a world that rejected her is repellant, sad and totally believable. She would have abolished pain, sickness and war, but also everything positive in humanity. The contempt with which she speaks of her former worshippers helps to prove that, like Glory, she is an atheist's parody of divinity, claiming love for her followers but in reality merely parasitic on their worship. One does wonder why the High Priest and Keeper of the Name had normal humanoid body plans. Did the CGI budget for the season run out?

I was spoiled for Lilah's reappearance, although I wish they could have kept Stephanie Romanov's name out of the credits. I can only imagine how much of a shock it must have been for those who didn't notice. I have resonances with the sudden reappearance of Elizabeth Sheridan in the penultimate episode of Babylon 5's third season, and wonder if there will be more resonances next week.

PS: yab has supplied me with a tape of the first five eps of Firefly. Some thoughts on the first episode Serenity will be appearing on the voy FF board in a few minutes. Thanks yab! By the way, I got Dochawk safely to his hotel.

[> I found Angel's olive branch to Jasmine in Act IV.... -- cjl, 13:56:11 06/20/03 Fri

....one of the most gracious and noble gestures I've ever seen from our hero. He wasn't looking for payback; he was perfectly willing to let slide everything she'd done to that point if she would have joined the team.

Not human? He's "working on it." Act IV gave you hope that he'll make it someday.

Of course, the more cynical among us could say that Angel only made the offer because he knew she would turn it down--and he was just rubbing it in. But that's too cyncial even for me.

[> [> I liked that too -- KdS, 14:14:14 06/20/03 Fri

A reviewer on one of the biggest AtS sites on the 'net criticised that as amoral and not punishing her as she deserved. What series had he been watching all these years?

[> [> I thought his offer was sincere -- Scroll, 17:47:30 06/20/03 Fri

You'd have to be really cynical, I think, to interpret Angel's olive branch to Jasmine as "rubbing it in"! It's definitely an interpretation I hadn't considered until you mentioned it, cjl. I think Angel saw Jasmine as mostly misguided, wanting to make things good and happy, but not truly understanding that things like free will and self-determination and not eating people were too essential to give up.

His offer to let her join him in his quest to help the helpless, IMO, was very sincere -- though perhaps a little naive. Even if he didn't truly think his pep-talk would make her see his POV and have hope, I think Angel would have made the offer/extended empathy anyway. Cuz he understood her and he thought she could still help, still do good.

[> [> [> Agree. -- Arethusa, 16:56:10 06/21/03 Sat

By encouraging Jasmine to change, Angel is showing he sincerely believes anyone can change, and that he will help them do so.

The Harvest-Are Vampires stupid? -- sdev, 11:56:39 06/20/03 Fri

Buffy kills Luke in The Harvest by tricking him into thinking he is about to get fried by the sunlight thus providing the moments distraction she needs. "Sunrise, it's in about nine hours, moron," she says as she stakes him.

Are vampires dumber than people? And if so, why? Repeatedly in the Buffyverse vampires are shown as stupid, beginning with Luke in The Harvest.

Is this why Angel and Spike rose to the top because they had more smarts than their vampire peers?

I apologize if this topic has already been discussed. I am new to this board.

[> Re: The Harvest-Are Vampires stupid? -- CW, 12:05:30 06/20/03 Fri

Actually it's a fairly interesting topic. We have discussed before that vampires usually have the same kinds of personal problems and weaknesses as the human had before being killed. For instance, it would certainly be fair to say that Vamp Harmony was stupid because Cordette Harmony was. It could be argued that only people with seriously problems seem to get picked by the vamps for siring. A weak-minded human probably would translate to an easily controlable minion. So there may, indeed, be a reason a lot of the vamps don't seem very bright.

[> [> Minion-y dimness + animal bloodlust + vampiric overconfidence = stupid. -- cjl, 12:18:36 06/20/03 Fri

[> [> [> Re: Minion-y dimness + animal bloodlust + vampiric overconfidence = stupid. -- sdev, 12:31:24 06/20/03 Fri

I was wondering if people's stupidity contributes to them getting vamped. There are theories that say that the prison population constitutes a lower IQ than the general population. The hypothesis is not that more criminals have a lower IQ, but that more people with a lower IQ get caught and put in prison.

The other possibility is that becoming a vampire makes you dumber. Maybe you are no longer thinking but relying on instincts (per the cjl formula above).

I don't understand the "Minion-y dimness" part?

[> [> [> [> How the formula breaks down: -- cjl, 12:38:13 06/20/03 Fri

Minion-y dimness: Sometimes, vampire overlords pick a strong but essentially brainless individual to be a minion. The overlord gets a minion with vampire strength, but without the intelligence necessary to challenge the overlord's power.

Animal bloodlust: Natural intelligence can also be overwhelmed by the vampire's hunger for blood.

Vampiric overconfidence: Inhuman strength and those nifty demonic reflexes might make you think you're invincible. Dangerous assumption, especially if you're a vampire in Sunnydale.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: If I had a minion... -- sdev, 13:24:59 06/20/03 Fri

I'd want a smart one. What's the point of a dumb one? I wouldn't want a dumb employee.

I remember Spike in Suprise telling Dru to spare the life of the only smart minion they had and give him a chance to fix his mistake. Which he did. ME had him wear glasses to show his superior intellect. Of course in the next couple of scenes they killed him anyway. That was dumb.

Wouldn't your gang be more successful with smarter vampires? Is blind obedience the only quality.

Who is the other "Chosen" to be vamped that is? Brawn and beauty over intellect?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Well, the only real use for minions is for fighting -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:27:23 06/20/03 Fri

We see vampire minions being used as little else besides easily expendable soldiers for fighting the Slayer. You wouldn't want a dumb employee, sure, but most jobs require a certain level of mental capacity. Fighting, not so much.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Selection of the dumbest -- mamcu, 18:09:33 06/20/03 Fri

In so many ways the demon world is the opposite of the human, so it makes perfect sense that those who are susceptible to vamping would be the weakest humans. Happens in many a Buffy episode (start with Jesse, for clueless), but also in Bram Stoker--it's never the fearless vampire hunter, even one with no super powers, who is dumb enough to get vamped.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, the only real use for minions is for fighting-Uh uh -- sdev, 18:10:08 06/20/03 Fri

Not so. The Master used Luke to further his strategy to free himself. A smarter vampire might have pulled it off. Spike used a vampire to help him locate the Gem of Amara. Angel needed Giles to figure out how to open Acathala.

The dumb minion strategy sounds antithetical to Darwinism. Survival does not go to the dumbest.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Uh-oh! Darwin! -- Darby, 18:23:03 06/20/03 Fri

You make the flawed assumption that a smart vamp is going to be a more successful vamp. But what we see is that the smart vamps tend to be more high-profile, which is often not a good thing. Those who bite and run away do better than those who rant til day.

And in general, if intelligence were such a great adaptation, it'd be a helluva lot more common. Our own smarts have gotten - and will continue to get - us into scrapes that threaten our future. I sometimes think that if intelligent creatures similar to humans had evolved before here, their sojourns might have been so brief that we'd have no clue they existed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Uh-oh! Darwin! -- sdev, 10:22:45 06/21/03 Sat

Are you saying that people are commonly stupid? Just kidding.

Ok. I agree that cockroaches will probably survive us. I fear that the awesome intelligence that harnessed nuclear power will ultimately be our undoing as a species. But within, intraspecies, intelligence is an advantage both longevity-wise and, not to be underestimated, for quality of life. Would you want to be a minion?

And wouldn't you agree that intelligence was often a key to fighting evil and defeating vampires and demons in the Buffyverse?

How about my other question- were Angel and Spike smarter than their peers?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Here's a thought: -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:15:39 06/21/03 Sat

Maybe we see so many stupid vampires because only the very stupid or the very cocky would stay in a town guarded by a Vampire Slayer. All of the smart vamps probably skedaddled long ago.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Uh-oh! Darwin! -- Malandanza, 10:48:53 06/21/03 Sat

"You make the flawed assumption that a smart vamp is going to be a more successful vamp. But what we see is that the smart vamps tend to be more high-profile, which is often not a good thing. Those who bite and run away do better than those who rant til day."

I don't know that a really smart vampire would be high profile -- it seems to me that low profile would be a sign of intelligence. Like Sunday, from season four -- she was a smart vampire. The disappearing students vanished with a reason -- young college students who couldn't handle the transition from High School life to University life.

But maybe you mean high profile in the vampire world -- and a master vampire might well kill off a minion who, by virtue of his intelligence, appeared to be a potential threat. However, it seems that strength is more respected among vampires than intelligence (hence Spike taking over the Master's clan with much of a protest) so a smart vampire, like Dalton, would be seen as less of a threat than physically powerful vampires, like Luke or the Three.

But the real threat to the vampire master is not mere brute strength or intelligence -- it is a willingness to question authority and act independently. Mort (Harmony's minion) best typifies this sort of minion (so does Spike as the Annointed One's minion). It is independent thinking that ought to be selected against by master vampires interested in protecting themselves from ambitious rivals. So the physical strength of Luke or the intelligence of Dalton were not at all threatening because they both had the minion mentality. Perhaps cultivating the slave mentality among their minions does eventually lead to trouble down the road from enemies who can think circles around the unimaginative minions, but it does help protect the vampire from his own minions. The Master's minions were loyal enough to stick around during his entombment and try to effect his release, and try to resurrect him after his dusting. Spike's minions (inherited from the Master/Annoited one) were loyal enough to keep following him even after all his blunders and defeats.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Agree -- sdev, 12:14:37 06/21/03 Sat

"The Master's minions were loyal enough to stick around during his entombment and try to effect his release, and try to resurrect him after his dusting."

True about questioning authority. Darla was a minion?? of the Master, and she was not dumb. She was also his favorite.

??I am not sure how the term minion is being used. Was Darla a minion? When are you a minion and when are you part of a gang? I think you can be part of a gang and not be the leader and still not be a minion.

I always had this picture of Spike as not particuliarly one of physical prowess but of mental superiority- not necessarily intelligence but what I would call "street smarts." The Master himself did not seem physically powerful. In fact he was physically incapacitated because he was confined. So what was the source of his domination? Angel always seemed to have superior physical strength. From BtVS, leaving out AtS, was he also smarter? Not so much as far as I can see.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: If I had a minion...keeping this thread up while i work on something -- anom, 19:43:34 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: If I had a minion...c'mon, none of you have this playing in your head? -- anom...humming, 20:34:47 06/23/03 Mon

I had to hurry before the thread was gone, so it's only 1 verse--anyone else want to add your own?

If I had a minion, daitle deetle daitle,
I would want a minion who was dumb!
All day long he'd biddy biddy bum,
I'd keep him under my thumb!

I wouldn't have to work hard
'Cause my minion would do all the work while I would make the plans
If I had a minion who was dumb
I could leave the scutwork in his hands.

If he were dumb he'd never question my orders
Or try to overthrow me (or succeed!)
He'd dismember victims at my behest.
He'd never think for himself & I could relax
When I sent him out to do my dirty deeds!
That would be the part I'd like the best!


If I had a minion, daitle deetle daitle,
Better that my minion should be dumb!
He would have all my foes on the run
Slaughtering would be so much more fun
I could rule the world before I'm done
IIIF...I had a dummmb...minIOOONNN!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: If I had a hammer, er I mean minion -- sdev, 22:31:53 06/23/03 Mon

I have my own version-

If I had a minion,
He'd minion in the evening,
He'd minion all nighttime, all over Sunnydale.
He'd work his fangs off,
Kill for my pleasure.
He's just the dumbest thing
So stupid he could fail. All over Sunnydale.

I'd have to replace him
With a vamp of his kind.
Should I go for brains, or choose another moron?
A Hellmouth special,
Cause smart ones can rebel.
And could I ever find
Such loyalty, he's like a son? All over Sunnydale.

That's the choice that's left me,
If I want to wreak havoc,
And build my gang of minions all over Sunnydale.
To take out the Slayer,
Her friends run for cover,
And set the world amok.
Smarts will yield me this most unholy Grail. All over Sunnydale.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: If I had a hammer, er I mean minion -- sdev-Apologies to Pete Seeger, 22:35:50 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> To be fair... -- Rob, 11:44:07 06/24/03 Tue

I remember Spike in Suprise telling Dru to spare the life of the only smart minion they had and give him a chance to fix his mistake. Which he did. ME had him wear glasses to show his superior intellect. Of course in the next couple of scenes they killed him anyway. That was dumb.

...Spike and Dru didn't kill Dalton. The Judge did.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: To be fair... -- sdev, 12:07:56 06/24/03 Tue

But Dru gleefully cheered him on. She just could'nt help herself. She was so excited by the Judge. Spike really knows how to give a gift.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hee hee. I love my whacky demented lil' Dru! :oD -- Rob, 12:21:19 06/24/03 Tue

[> Re: The Harvest-Are Vampires stupid? -- Spikejones, 07:11:57 06/23/03 Mon

I've often thought they're so dumb because they're so young. The vamp tendency to sire young and beautiful trophy vamps doesn't even seem to include 'brainiac' as a criterion.

Yes, this is a self-serving theory (I was young in 1066), but apart from Luke, I can't think of many post-30 vamps or any other post-30 vamps who were idjits. (the Master, Kakistos, the guy in S1 ep 1 AtS, Trip... all smarty-pants).

Some of the young and beautiful happen to be smart, but not more so than the regular population. And, my theory being that people don't really mature till after they hit 25, (users of this site excepted, of course) many vamps never had a chance.


HARRY POTTER DAY!!! -- JDP, 12:24:27 06/20/03 Fri

So who is going to go get "Order of the Phoenix" at midnight? I am so excited about this book, and all the media surrounding it has made me positively buzzed!

Depending on the way you look at it I am fortunately/unfortunately going to go to the local Barnes and Noble's midnight release(the last release was something else, with all these yuppies' kids and their annoying, pushy, habits).

But Yah! Nonetheless!!!

[> Re: HARRY POTTER DAY!!! -- pr10n, 13:01:16 06/20/03 Fri

Big day at our house, too, but we're not going to midnight events. Too much hoopla, too late for my littles, I'm allergic to owls. (I made up the last bit.) We are going to lunch tomorrow and then hunting down a copy. Should be fun.

A few years ago I bonded with a neighbor girl over Book 3. She came by last week to say she had ordered her copy through Amazon and was just tickled and stoked to receive it.

Her sister plays with one of my daughters. These girls call themselves "The Radcliffes" and run around screaming about how they will marry Daniel Radcliffe one day. (Mr. Radcliffe plays Harry in the movies).

My son signed up for the local library waiting list. He was number 1011 in line for Book 5. Rather than disappointed he claimed "#1011" as a badge of honor and vowed to wait until his number comes up. Sure, buddy -- you won't read it for three months. Ri-i-i-ght.

What an amazing phenom this Potter thing is. Oh, Ms. Rowling, please be strong! Take off lots of time between now and Book 6 -- we can handle it. Get another degree! Learn a foreign language, how to paint, fencing in all three weapons, the bass guitar! Love your little babies, act like a normal soccer mom (football mom? CRICKET MOM?) Run for political office. Anything you need to keep your brain in fine fettle.

[> [> Mine is coming tomorrow via Amazon. -- Rob, 13:22:32 06/20/03 Fri

[> Re: HARRY POTTER DAY!!! -- O'Cailleagh, 18:19:32 06/20/03 Fri

Its the craziest thing. There I was, walking through Cardiff ( a nearby city) on my way home from the Rocky Horror Show with some friends, when all of a sudden we happened upon the biggest group of 8yr olds in sleeping bags I have ever seen just sitting around outside a bookshop. With their parents/guardians obviously.
It took us a while to realise why they were there, and then it hit us that it was for the new HP book.
Why are these infernal books just so damn popular anyway? I've not read them, never had the urge to, but judging by the movies, which I hear are pretty faithful, they seem kinda formulaic and old hat. Obviously, its foolish to judge a book by the movie based on it, but still....
could someone please explain..why all the fuss?
BTW, I'll bet their parents are being kept busy with questions like "Mummy? Why is that man dressed like that?"
I wanted to sing 'I Put A Spell On You' to them...but my friends wouldn't let me...<:-(


[> [> A faithful movie doesn't necessarily give a good representation of the book -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:04:51 06/20/03 Fri

Take "The Godfather" for example. The movie was very faithful to the book. That doesn't change the fact that the book rocked while the movie is, IMO, the most overrated film of all time. I'd say that, sometimes, there is such a thing as being too faithful to your source material.

[> [> [> Re: A faithful movie doesn't necessarily give a good representation of the book -- tom, 22:51:01 06/20/03 Fri

Personally, I agree that making a movie be to much like the book can be a bad thing because you end up not taking advantage of the medium that you are using. However, in the case of the Godfather, I think the film is an incredible work of many talented individuals at the peak of their abilities and also I would argue is not exceptionally faithful to the novel in that it cuts large chunks and has a significantly different ending.

I think the problem with the Harry Potter movies is that J.K. Rowling structures the her books very tightly. Because of this fact, the director and writers are afraid to cut material because it could be important to a later book and also Rowling likes to make everything that goes on in the books tie in to the climax, which makes it difficult to cut material with changing major chunks of the story. This problem only gets bigger with the tightly plotted book three scheduled to hit theaters next year.

[> [> Re: HARRY POTTER DAY!!! -- Rob, 00:40:34 06/21/03 Sat

Why are these infernal books just so damn popular anyway? I've not read them, never had the urge to, but judging by the movies, which I hear are pretty faithful, they seem kinda formulaic and old hat. Obviously, its foolish to judge a book by the movie based on it, but still....could someone please explain..why all the fuss?

Simply put, they're very well-written and very engaging. Great characters and characterization, and very densely plotted. Things come together in unexpected ways in the end of each book, and surprises appear in later books often that twist around things we learned in earlier books, and yet make perfect sense when you re-read the earlier books. She's basically had the whole series planned out since she finished the first one, so she places lots of clues about later events throughout the books. And while a lot of her fantasy elements may seem derivative, these books just speak to a certain need that obviously a great many people had, like Joseph Campbell wrote about. Need proof? How about the fact that over half of the "Potter" readers are adults. My cousin, who HATES all sci-fi and fantasy absolutely adores Harry Potter. All fantasy is made up of cliche. It's just how the elements are juggled that makes the story special. IMO, all of the various elements are used very well with Rowling. She also has a very good sense of humor, and balances well light, silly humor with genuine darkness and thriller-paced plotting. Is it the best writing ever? No. But it definitely is not just hype. It has become so popular because to a large extent it deserves it.


[> [> [> Re: HARRY POTTER DAY!!! -- O'Cailleagh, 04:58:58 06/21/03 Sat

Then I shall give them a whirl, you've convinced me!
Although my favourite scool for Witches will always be Cackle's Academy, from the Worst Witch books!


[> [> [> [> Wow, cool! Having written that at about 3 in the morning, I'm surprised I was so convincing! lol -- Rob, 10:43:39 06/21/03 Sat

[> [> [> Speaking of clues... (spoilery spec for Potter series up to #4) -- dub ;o), 15:43:32 06/21/03 Sat

Anybody else think that Ron is going to end up madly in love with Hermione?


[> [> [> [> I do, I do! (spoilery spec) -- Rob, 16:27:21 06/21/03 Sat

I wonder whether jealousy will spark between Harry and Ron. Hmmm...


[> [> [> [> [> Oh, me too. -- Arethusa, 16:46:00 06/21/03 Sat

Ron was so jealous when she went to the big dance with someone else.

[> [> [> [> [> Oh, but...(more spoiler spec) -- dub ;o), 17:04:12 06/21/03 Sat

Just give Ginny Weasley a few years to mature and Harry won't be able to take his eyes off her!


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Oh, but...(more spoiler spec) -- Rob, 17:24:04 06/21/03 Sat

Are we forecasting a double wedding in the final book? ;o)


[> Mine has just arrived by Xpress Post -- dub ;o), 11:51:33 06/21/03 Sat

Now, how am I gonna fit this in with all the melee books, I ask ya?

Not to worry--this is the sort of problem I love having, too much good stuff to read!


[> [> Got mine 3 hours ago from FedEx! :o) -- Rob, 12:18:07 06/21/03 Sat

[> Re: HARRY POTTER DAY!!! No Spoilers!! -- JDP, 08:05:14 06/22/03 Sun

I finished Harry Potter V last night around 11pm, 23 hours of mad reading, but it was worth it. What a wonderful book, everyone go get it!!!!!! AMAZING!!

[> [> And I thought reading 200 pages in the first night was impressive! -- Rob, 09:13:46 06/22/03 Sun

[> [> Agreed -- Tchaikovsky, 13:09:49 06/22/03 Sun

I run in 90 minutes behind you, (although if you're American not British, then I finished before you in real terms!!) finishing just after midnight after 24 hours of reading interrupted by one hour sleep, some washing and the necessity of waving goodbye to my Austrian flatmate.

And it is a very good book.


[> So what does everyone think of it? -- s'kat, 11:07:52 06/22/03 Sun

It's been getting some horrible reviews on other boards.
People are saying it's very dark and the characters aren't as likable.

Curious to see what you guys think?

sk (whose patiently waiting for it to come out in paperback)

[> [> My 12 year old loved it -- curious, 11:34:13 06/22/03 Sun

My 12 year old finished it yesterday and liked it more than I expected he would. (He prefers
Phillip Pullman and Tolkien these days. He felt he had "outgrown" HP but couldn't resist reading it to the end yesterday.) He liked the darker, more grown up feel of the characters. He says a lot of things that seemed unnecessary in the 4th book (not a favorite of mine) paid off in this book.

I am going to have to read it when my 9 year old is finished - or gives up on it. I have the feeling it is a little dark for her. She is a "lighter" kind of kid. We read the others to her when she was younger but she has re-read them all on her own lately.

[> [> It's darker. But they're wrong. It's the best bar Number Three -- Tchaikovsky- making a host of unjustified claims, 13:07:33 06/22/03 Sun

[> [> [> Not close to finished, but I'm loving it so far. Kind of like the "season 6" of HP books. ;o) -- Rob, 20:03:09 06/22/03 Sun

[> [> Re: So what does everyone think of it? (spoilers Harry Potter and the Order of Pheonix) -- Alison, 21:04:06 06/22/03 Sun

I absolutely loved it- admittedly, the plot felt a little more muddled, but emotionally...wrenching. I may have been overly emotional when I read it, but I cried at regular intervals while reading, and sobbed through the last 100ish pages. It wasn't as light a read- the HP world is getting greyier, and as is to be expected in a battle against evil, the characters, Harry especially, are losing their innocence. Really wonderful book...as gripping as the first four, but far darker- if you don't like dark, it won't be as enjoyable a read, but since I seem to want misery from my choices of entertainment, it lived up to my every expectation.

[> [> Great -- Tom, 22:18:33 06/22/03 Sun

"It's been getting some horrible reviews on other boards.
People are saying it's very dark and the characters aren't as likable."

I think this is a result of the fact that the characters are actually growing and changing. Many characters are given new and interesting depths.

Additional, Rowling has written all of her Potter books from the perspective of Harry at the age he was when the events happened. In Book One, Harry is the timid eleven year-old thrown into a world that he was unaware existed and told that he is not only a part of it but that he is famous inside of this world. By the time Book Five rolls around Harry is a fifteen year-old who is used to being among most famous wizard around, with experiences beyond his peers, and facing a world that has changed drastically in the aftermath of the events of Book Four. Since, Harry and the world that Harry inhabits has changed the books are different as well. This change is welcome and necessary to me and many other people, however; those who view Potter as comfortable and safe will tend to object to it.

In other words, its darker and the characters are less purely likeable, but it makes sense in the context of the story and works both on a thematic level and on a purely entertaining level.


[> [> [> Re: Great -- Wizard, 22:54:41 06/22/03 Sun

I loved Book 5.

I can't go into more detail without giving MAJOR spoilers, but I feel safe saying this: Rowling has created one of the most perfectly horrid characters I have ever encountered in any medium. The worst part about it is that this character is completely believeable. Those who have read the book or who are reading the book know who I'm talking about.

I enjoy the fact that the books are maturing. A lesser writer might have been tempted to keep the books simple, but Rowling has (wisely, IMO) matured her tone and content to match Harry's growth. Book 5 is even darker than Book 4, with more shades of grey. Disliked characters are given reasons for their actions. Admired characters are shown to have feet of clay. And our heroes, especially Harry, are losing their innocence. And the ending! One of Rowling's strengths are her endings. I keep re-reading the last 100 or so pages of Book 4, but the ending of Book 5- wow. Just... wow.

But don't worry- it is a Harry Potter book, and that means no matter how dark it gets, there is lightness and humour. Old characters surprise and delight. Ditto for new characters. Seemingly throw-away passages from previous books take on new significance (as has been the case since Book 2). Fred and George are still up to no good, and one of the very best passages in the book is devoted to them. People who have read it know what I'm taking about.

I cannot recommend this book enough. My only regret is that I'm starting the series in the middle of the writing process. I cannot imagine what it would be like to just start with Book 1 and be able to read straight through to Book 7. Was three years too long for this? I don't know. On the one hand, I want to read Book 6 very soon, but on the other, the quality of each book has risen (and was damn high to begin with), and I don't want the quality to decline now when things are getting especially good.

I cannot recommend this book, or this series, enough.

[> [> [> [> I personally can't wait for all 7 books to be out, so... -- Rob, 23:17:00 06/22/03 Sun

...I can reread them all in one marathon run, notice all the intricacies, and fully appreciate the dense plotting of the whole series. It must be quite interesting to experience the series with knowledge of what is to come, where clues are being placed, etc. I've resisted the urge to read the last 4 books again before this came out because I want my first reread of them to be in their final form. Quite remarkable indeed how she keeps the continuity up. I also appreciate how Rowling cleverly places reminders of past events into the story itself, tiny recaps throughout the text help the reader recall what was going on in the story much more organically than a synopsis at the start would have. I haven't read "Goblet of Fire" since the week it originally came out, but it's all coming back to me in a rush. The 4th had been my favorite. Now the 5th is looking very likely to be my favorite. I'm enjoying the seeds of discontent between the characters. Their growth seems to be mirroring the evolution of the Scoobies. Very interesting stuff.

I actually probably would have finished the book by now, but I have a tendency to speed through a book, then feel bad that it's over. Since it seems like it will be quite a while till the next is out, I'm spacing this one out and savoring it, and limiting myself to only 100 pages a day.


[> [> [> [> Hem hem -- Tchaikovsky, 01:50:41 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> Yes, Dolores? :) -- Wizard, 02:05:59 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> And they say that like its a bad thing?? -- Rahael, 06:49:02 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> I just started reading. I LOVE it. (no plot spoilers for Phoenix other than the mood of the book) -- Rahael, 19:53:13 06/23/03 Mon

Am also reading new Diana Wynne Jones in tandem. Both are really excellent and I feel totally spoilt.

But honestly, I have a new and dawning respect for Rowling. I feel really inspired by Phoenix, emotionally speaking, and am now ready to get into the Potter fandom in a way that I would never have contemplated before.

Apparently there is some criticism that people don't want to go to HP for bleakness. they want escapism. And I'm like, what was the mirror of erysond (?) about, the diary of Tom Riddle about than the danger of getting lost in seductive escapism and comforting lies?

This woman is taking risks. Bravo, JK!

[> [> [> Interesting responses all, thanks. -- s'kat, 21:06:49 06/23/03 Mon


The responses on Atpo board for the newest Potter and Matrix Reloaded before it and the responses on Angel's Soul, B C&S and elsewhere are really really fascinating contrast.

BC&S/Angel's Soul - the consensus so far seems to be that Book 5 is way too dark, Harry has become snotty, Hermoine is priggish with no redeeming qualities, Ron isn't that interesting and in the background, and James/Dumbledore are no longer likable.

They said Matrix Reloaded was dull and just dialogue/action/dialogue.

Now this board on the other hand...seems to like the dark underpinings, finds Book 5 far more gripping and more interesting than the others, and that the characters actually seem more real and have more depth.

The consensus on this board was similarily positive for Matrix - again on the depth end. (I actually liked Matrix Reloaded..btw - even if it was like being in a video game with Jean-PAul Sartre)

Also I've found Atpo overall to be more complimentary of S6 and S7 of Btvs.

This leads me to believe, I'll probably like Phoenix.

The USA Today review, my mother read to me over the phone, says that Rowling needs an editor, uses long adverbs, overwrites, and there's a meaness in the books that wasn't apparent before.

I find it fascinating how different people respond to the same work of art. And oddly enough very inspiring. It gives me hope for my own writing. Thank you.

May have to grab the book at the library, at $52 on amazon it's a bit steep for my current bank account. ;-)
(Oh think about this for a sec - sold two million in two days - at 52$ a copy....uhm that's over 50 million, we can thank Harry Potter for other books that Scholastic publishes.)

[> [> [> [> Re: Interesting responses all, thanks. -- Masq, 09:21:14 06/24/03 Tue

I actually liked Matrix Reloaded..btw - even if it was like being in a video game with Jean-PAul Sartre

OK, you sold me. I'll have to go see it!

[> [> [> [> [> Masq, you will have hours and hours... -- Rob, 10:39:39 06/24/03 Tue

...of philosophy-zy goodness to wrap your head around in "Reloaded"! I had to watch it 3 times...first time for "oohs" and "aahs," and the other 2 times, to analyze what I was seeing. At some points, I really wished I could have a pause and rewind button!


[> [> [> [> [> [> My review of "The Matrix" Part I -- Masq, 13:35:40 06/24/03 Tue

With a comparison to Normal Again, here.

The philosopher isn't easy to impress with philosophy-zy goodness

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oooh oooh! -- Ro, 13:38:49 06/24/03 Tue

Certain things, such as the metaphysics of the Oracle are explained in the second film. Actually, a great deal of things we learned in the first are turned on their heads in the second. Seeing the first after viewing the second is like seeing a completely different movie.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Oooh oooh! -- Ro=Rob typing too quickly ;o), 13:41:16 06/24/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agreed -- matching mole, 11:02:50 06/25/03 Wed

I disliked the Matrix enough when I saw it during its original release that I have never even contemplated watching the sequel. My own brief review would go something like this.

First (approximate) third of the film - I liked this part. It's not quite clear what is going on and the world is clearly not what it seems. Appeals to the noirish, Phillip K. Dick, and surrealist enthusiasms within me.

Second (again approximate) third. Lots of exposition and pseudo-mystical goings on. As Masq says the core idea isn't really original enough to rise above this but I would be willing to forgive that if we were encouraged to connect more with the characters. It is here that 'Normal Again' (IMHO) soars miles and miles above the Matrix.

Third (you know, approximately) third. As I have a relatively limited aesthetic interest in violence, especially special effects laden violence I would probably have enjoyed half an hour of watching paint dry more if it was filmed by a really good cinematographer.

However I might watch Matrix II at some point if someone could convince me that it is better than Matrix I.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Agreed -- Rob, 11:17:51 06/25/03 Wed

The thing is Matrix 2 takes the stuff that might seem hokey spiritualism in the first film and explains it so that it actually fits into the cyberpunk milieu of the film. I can't say much more without giving it all away, but any thing that didn't seem to fit metaphysically in the first film is explained in this one, and it make sense. Including the Oracle, and what the One actually is. Not saying that this will definitely change your opinion, but I know at least the book, "The Matrix and Philosophy" became almost completely irrelevant when the revelations of the second film came out. Because the rules of the universe are turned on their heads. But it's not retcon. When you rewatch the first film, it works perfectly.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Agreed -- s'kat, 12:13:06 06/25/03 Wed

It depends on what you like.

Matrix II really is like being caught in a violent video game with Keanu Reeves, JEan Paul Satre and a bunch of
Greek myths. The metaphors and the philosophical mind
games are sort of fun or really dull depending on your pov.
And the stunts take way too long....

I suggest you rent it - mole and not spend money on it.
Since you did not like the first one.

I liked it, but then I also liked the first one. I didn't consider it as deep as most people did though. I think the second one actually and oddly enough has more depth, but
it's confusingly shown, broken up by lots of action scenes and a weird rave/music video scene that makes little sense.

[> [> [> [> Re: BtVS S6 & 7, and Harry Potter -- Rob, 10:44:25 06/24/03 Tue

Interestingly, throughout the book, I keep thinking of the last 2 seasons of "Buffy."

Characters drifting apart, as they each start pursuing different goals? Check!

A main character who starts to feel both superior and inferior to his/her friends because of his/her "specialness"? Check!

Magic that at times gets downright disturbing? Check!

Death? Check!

A world that gets increasingly gray as the dark side of things you once depended on are revealed? Check!

Not done with the book yet, but even only 400 pages into it, yes, so far, it's my favorite.


[> [> [> [> [> Oh, and s'kat, about the price... -- Rob, 10:57:03 06/24/03 Tue

Are you sure you read that price right? Because I got mine from Amazon for $17.99 and last time I checked the price was the same.



[> [> [> [> [> [> I must have misread it.. -- s'kat, 13:56:39 06/24/03 Tue

I have to admit I though 52$ was a bit steep. Guess I hit the wrong one and just misread it.

Can't afford 17 $ either at this point...but at least that price makes more sense. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I must have misread it.. -- Tom, 21:08:18 06/24/03 Tue


There is a deluxe edition that has $50 price tag, but the regular hardback is available for under $20. I guessing you saw the more expensive edition.


"The Harvest" Revisited -- Darby, 13:52:46 06/20/03 Fri

The Harvest is the second part of the pilot episode - the part with the backstory and action. It's easy to see why it hasn't pulled a lot of discussion during this end-of-mourning period. But here are a few stream-of-consciousness tidbits...

Buffy racing to rescue to Potential Scoobies. Somewhere along the way (after this), SMG must have worked on not "running like a girl."

"This world is older than any of you know..." Is this supposed to reference the young Fundamentalist world or the ancient geological world, or some specific Sunnydale perception?

"The way was made for mortal animals...for Man..." So there were no animals, just demons, once, or is "animal" just a synonym for "human" here? What sort of timeline is this? Sounds fairly Lovecraftian.

Interesting that Giles, relating what "the books" say, describes vampires as "humans infected with the demon's soul." Maybe the idea that the human was no longer in there became something that the Slayers (and maybe Watchers) had to be told to make the Slaying easier.

Daddy's home! It seems from WttH that the Master has been incommunicado for quite a while - "3 score years." Perhaps that explains Darla's extreme deference to him - how long since she had seen her sire? And how long had she been essentially on her own? What happened to the Fanged Four after Angel's departure?

We see the first evidence that Willow is more interested in flexing her hacker muscles than trivial legalities about official records. She's all about the Power...and we hear her called "naughty" for the first time...

...And Xander says, "We saddle up!"

We see a fence around the school that ceases to exist after this episode.

I tried a search on "rain of toads." It was kinda interesting, especially the horoscope with its forecast for the weekend.

So Angel has been waiting in a fairly well-lit crypt for Buffy to come by so he can be snarky to her? And show off perhaps the worst acting DB ever did on the series? And did Xander walk past Angel to follow Buffy but not know he was there? Seems like if he was following her, he'd have to lurk through their conversation and just walk through. (Deleted scene: XANDER: Hey, Man. ANGEL: Don't go down there... the birth of slash!)

And why "Angel"? Were they originally planning a Hispanic vampire, with a history tied to the Spanish colonial era? Can you see Jimmy Smits as Angel?

Angel gives Buffy directions to the Master that involve heading "toward the school." Nice foreshadowing!

Xander and Buffy in the tunnels is a great way to load us up on the Buffyverse workings with a bit of characterization thrown in.

With Jesse, we get the first hint that there's a lot of the original human in there, With a slight shift in priorities. And later, part of Xander's reasoning that the Harvest would happen at the Bronze is because he knew Jesse would go there. Giles supports the Party Line later, though, so we have early dichotomies. It's a shame they couldn't work Eric Balfour into Season 7 with the First.

We get the first taste of a Buffy Big Bad, as the Master is given a chance to have a personality while being creepy and evil.

When the Master was originally trapped, an earthquake "swallowed half the town." And yet the Hellmouth persisted. What, it could only be sealed by swallowing the entire town? Or maybe we just think it's sealed.

JOYCE: "If you don't go out it'll be the End of the World. Everything is Life or Death when you're a sixteen-year-old girl!" Kind of a way to slip in the Metaphor Mission Statement for those not paying attention.

Above Buffy's weapons: a small trophy. Alarm clock. Diving mask. Conch shell. Among the weapons: lots of Communion Wafers. Think of the weird throwing stars they would make! But we never see them again.

Jesse and Cordy at the Bronze says something about nerds and assertiveness by way of verbal abuse, but I'm not quite sure what.

The close-up of the Darla crew leading into the break looks like a blown-up piece-of-frame added awkwardly in post-production.

The doorman sees Luke's face at the door - this makes his "What's wrong with your face?" reading wrong later, when it sounds like he's seeing it for the first time.

What's up with the guy in the tiara thingy in the Bronze crowd?

In the original demo reel, application of Holy Water to Darla kills her. In this episode, it's a painful annoyance - like the other overtly religious symbols. Hmmmm....

Angel emerges at the end in front of a very clear "Watch Your Step" sign. A warning to Buffy, or the coming 'shippers?

A very important part of the mythology pops up at the end - folks in Sunnydale pay little attention.

"The Earth is doomed." Hey, what's not to like?

[> Following up the sound thrashing I've previously given this same dead equine... -- Sophist, 18:36:08 06/20/03 Fri

Sarcasm warning. Plotholes in The Harvest:

Luke tries to bite Buffy, but burns himself on the
cross hanging around her neck and jerks back.

Ever notice how flexible the impact of the cross is, depending on the needs of the plot? Stay tuned.

She climbs out of it and races outside.

Which she could have done at any previous point in the fight with Luke.

Xander: Well, there's an electrical tunnel that runs under the whole town.

Of course, we all keep track of such things. Even Xander.

Willow has the city plans on the computer monitor.

JW admits on the S1 commentary that this is merely a plot device. IRL, such plans are not available online.

Buffy is making strides for a side gate.

As Darby pointed out, we never see any such gate again.

Mr. Flutie is there and stops her.

Every high school principal I know hangs out by the side gate.

here at Sunnydale nobody leaves campus while school's in session.

Every CA high school that I know of allows students to leave campus. There may be some sort of permit system, but there is never a flat prohibition.

Angel appears behind her.

It's broad daylight. How did Angel get there? How did he know he'd find Buffy there?

When she reaches an intersection, Xander surprises her from behind.

How did Xander catch up to her? Wasn't Principal Flutie waiting at the gate for him?

(turns on a flashlight)

Buffy: Turn that off!

Why? Vamps can see in the dark, Xander can't. If he uses the light it may blind the vamps who are unaccustomed to it. Stay tuned.

Harmony: Are we going to the Bronze tonight?

Cordelia: No, we're going to the other cool place in Sunnydale.

Anyone see Harmony at the Bronze that night?

Xander turns on his flashlight and spots Jesse on the ground.

See my previous comment.

Buffy: Do you know another way out?

She's kidding, right? He was dragged down the tunnels in terror after being woozy from Darla's "snack". It's dark in the tunnels and he has no idea of the maze.

Jesse knocks Xander's arm to the side, making him hit the wall.

Guess the cross doesn't bother Jesse as much as Luke.

He uses his flashlight to look around


Every soul he takes will feed me.

Except that Angel says in Angel that the demon "doesn't get your soul."

Xander violently kicks a waste basket.

Cuz that's how we mourn the death of our best friend.

Giles, Willow and Xander break in.

How? And if they could, why didn't Buffy?

The vampires run past Angel standing behind some crates

There must have been a tasteful announcement in the paper about the location of the Harvest.

No more. I promise.

[> [> Re: Following up the sound thrashing I've previously given this same dead equine... -- LadyStarlight, 19:38:15 06/20/03 Fri

Xander violently kicks a waste basket.

Cuz that's how we mourn the death of our best friend.

I'm taking that as much the same as the wall-punching in The Body, exacerbated by the teenage male 'must not cry in front of anyone' thing. (apologies to all the males out there, but it is TV, after all.)

[> [> But are these really plotholes? -- Malandanza, 06:47:31 06/21/03 Sat

"Sarcasm warning. Plotholes in The Harvest:"

I'm not sure most of your quibbles with The Harvest rise to the level of "plotholes." I see a plot hole as a serious inconsistency, and most of these are minor and readily explainable. Now, had ME started off by making a big deal about the harvest and forgotten entirely about it halfway through the episode, that would have been a problem.

"Luke tries to bite Buffy, but burns himself on the cross hanging around her neck and jerks back...

"Jesse knocks Xander's arm to the side, making him hit the wall.

Proximity seems to be the factor in how effective a cross is. Luke was closer to Buffy's cross than Jesse was to Xander's. Perhaps some sort of inverse square law is involved.

She climbs out of it and races outside.

Which she could have done at any previous point in the fight with Luke.

Okay... but she came there to rescue Willow and kill the vamps. She began the fight brimming with confidence, casually slaying the first vampire (without even looking at him) and having her way with Darla, all while maintaining her trademark, Spidermanesque banter. She had no reason (or inclination) to run away until Luke showed up and got the upper hand. It was only after she was thrown into the coffin and had her near vamping experience that she realized she might lose.

Xander: Well, there's an electrical tunnel that runs under the whole town.

Of course, we all keep track of such things. Even Xander.

Xander's turn for exposition. A plot device, not a plot hole. Something to let the viewers know what was going on. (And I don't know about electrical tunnels, but I do know that storm sewers run the ength of the town).

"Buffy is making strides for a side gate.

As Darby pointed out, we never see any such gate again."

But this isn't a problem for The Harvest, it's a failure of continuity for some other episode (like Dead Man's Party)

Mr. Flutie is there and stops her.

Every high school principal I know hangs out by the side gate.

here at Sunnydale nobody leaves campus while school's in session.

Every CA high school that I know of allows students to leave campus. There may be some sort of permit system, but there is never a flat prohibition.

Principal Flutie wasn't "hang[ing] out by the side gate" --- he saw Buffy from across campus and hurried after her. He had reason to watch her -- she'd burned down her previous school's gym and been expelled. This was her second day and she was trying to leave campus. Also, I do know at least one public high school did close its campus entirely -- after a sophomore died in a car accident during lunch hour (sophomores were not supposed to leave campus, but he snuck out with his upperclassmen friends) -- lawyers got involved and the campus closed. Nobody leaves while school is in session (and by nobody, I allow exception, as I'm sure does Principal Flutie: medical emergencies, scholl fieldtrips and the like). All the campuses I know of have security guards watching the means of egress -- the students cannot just come and go as they please. Furthermore, we saw in Season Seven that only Seniors are permitted to leave the campus. As Buffy was not a senior, I don't see what the problem is or how the Principal stopping a student can possibly be seen as a plothole.

Angel appears behind her.

It's broad daylight. How did Angel get there? How did he know he'd find Buffy there?

Maybe he ran around Sunnydale with a blanket over his head.

When she reaches an intersection, Xander surprises her from behind.

How did Xander catch up to her? Wasn't Principal Flutie waiting at the gate for him?

Is there only one gate? Well, there's only one Principal Flutie and he can't catch every delinquent student.

(turns on a flashlight)

Buffy: Turn that off!

Why? Vamps can see in the dark, Xander can't. If he uses the light it may blind the vamps who are unaccustomed to it. Stay tuned.

How about -- the flashlight helps Xander see things 20 feet away but lets everything in the tunnel know they're coming. The flashlight should be reserved for when they need it (as the other two times you mention).

Harmony: Are we going to the Bronze tonight?

Cordelia: No, we're going to the other cool place in Sunnydale.

Anyone see Harmony at the Bronze that night?

Of course they showed us every single person who was at the Bronze, even those who left early or showed up late.

Buffy: Do you know another way out?

She's kidding, right? He was dragged down the tunnels in terror after being woozy from Darla's "snack". It's dark in the tunnels and he has no idea of the maze.

Not bright, but hardly a plot hole.

Every soul he takes will feed me.

Except that Angel says in Angel that the demon "doesn't get your soul."

Vampire metaphor. They're very poetic creatures.

The vampires run past Angel standing behind some crates

There must have been a tasteful announcement in the paper about the location of the Harvest.

Or, since the vampires have made the Bronze their feeding grounds, he figured they would head there.

No more. I promise.

Why do I doubt this?

"The Reality of Spuffy" (Spoilers S6, Sexual Content) -- monsieurxander, 15:05:35 06/20/03 Fri

Many of the complaints I've heard about Season Six stem from the idea that the metaphors were too literal: Magic(k)=addiction, Demon=woman scorned, Spike="bad boyfriend".

There's an angle to "Spuffy" that I really haven't heard discussed, with more depth than Spike being the bad boyfriend (I apologize if someone beat me to this idea last year... at that point I was still mainly exploring Masq's overwhelmingly addictive site and had yet to become the discussion board lurker that I am today).To me, Spike represents much more than that. He represents every mysterious man in the night that we let take us home. Buffy's experience, in typical Joss fashion, is blown to epic proportions ("I think I was in heaven...."), while in all actuality her feelings are not uncommon. Those who have lost a close loved one, those who have had a particularly bad relationship experience, gay youth living in oppressive communities, etc.... anyone who is made to feel isolated, confused, scared sh*tless... They can often turn to unhealthy and misguided attempts at catharsis... at the top of the list: sex.

Buffy is hurting. Badly. She often feels numb. She turns to Spike... like the misguided EveryPerson turns to random promiscuous sex... to FEEL. This goes beyond being used by Parker. She's fully participating in the mutual using.... Treating the other party like crap, while letting him/them take her over completely. And it's killing her. It's a complex web of lies she's telling herself, a routine she falls into. Pick up the groceries. Sex. Take a break at work. Sex. Call Grandma in Springfield. Sex.

Buffy: "I came back wrong."
EveryPerson: "There's something wrong with me."

The Misguided EveryPerson often feels that something is wrong with them... sometimes something solid, sometimes something intangible yet still somehow there, evading explanation. And when something is inside you: sick, cold, painful... you'll be surprised at what you'll do for a chance at making it stop, however fleeting the emotional vacation may be.

Buffy rejects Spike and puts him down after their first sexual encounter, but soon, she accepts this new mode of sexual high... all the while feeling shame before and after, feeling dirty... She, of course, can't tell her friends. She looks upon them in the infamous Bronze balcony scene, knowing they won't understand, knowing that she has to keep her distance, her secret... all the while being cradled by the darkness, the one (or one of many, depending on how you look at it) who is fueling her own inner darkness.

She's taking a big risk with this behavior. Spike's chip is more or less defunct, so he can bite her, beat her, whatever he wants; he dangerous... just as not wearing a condom is dangerous to the EveryPerson who engages in such activities. [afterthought: "Ha ha! Spike has a condom in his head!!"]

He loved her, in his own twisted, soulless way... so it's been said. Just as the man in the booth of the porno movie house who reeks of poppers loves the EveryPerson as the EP squints and tries to think of someone more attractive ("It'll all be over soon, it'll all be over soon, it'll all be over soon...."). Just as the man from the club that she takes home with her, who slurs his speech and can't remember her name, as she tries frantically in her head to remember the basics of the rhythm method.... Just as they love him/her. The love is completely out of self-interest, how their lovers make them feel... The love that is twisted and soulless and over all too quickly.

It makes complete sense that Tara is the one she tells first, both storywise and metaphor-wise. She, of course, has gone through something very similar. She confided to the Scoobies in Season Five that after the death of her mother, she had done things, things that made her feel like she was losing it, or that she was some kind of horrible person. I don't think that she had gone so far as taking up an unhealthy sex life, given that she refers to Buffy as a "loon" when she mistakenly thinks that the Buffybot that Spike is having sex with is Buffy herself (like one who steals compulsively regards one who has sex compulsively as more screwed up than he/she is). Rather (later), there is a mutual understanding... between the EveryPerson who is destructive sexually, and the EveryOtherPerson who is destructive otherwise. Tara got her kicks elsewhere... Drugs? Shoplifting? Possibly even dating a man ("God is punishing me because I'm gay... maybe if I try to be straight, things will be better...."). The point is, one of the things that points the way to positive mental health for the EveryPerson is someone who understands. Who alleviates the feelings of being alone. Tara also tells her that through her research she has found that Buffy has not come back wrong at all.... In effect, "There's nothing wrong with you. You don't need this." She broke through an elaborate self-deluding fantasy created by Buffy/EveryPerson, causing pain in tearing it down, but Buffy/EveryPerson is better for it in the end.

This, the positive reinforcement, points the way... but what makes her finally stop? Negative reinforcement.... Being found out. Riley, possibly the person she fears finding out most, discovers them in bed together, and openly displays his disgust. Just as having the EveryPerson's nocturnal activites come into public knowledge, causing him/her to be labeled a "slut" and a myriad of other colorful terms. Through the support of Tara and the disdain of Riley... she comes into her own, steps up and takes charge. I don't need this. I can never love you. This is a lie. I'm using you... and it's killing me.

As for the sensitive subject of the Attempted Rape Scene... I interpret this to be the consequences of the EveryPerson's actions coming back to bite her on the ass [afterthought: "Really gross, if taken literally."].

DISCLAIMER: At this point I am only speaking on a non-literal, completely metaphorical and symbolic level. I am in no way suggesting that women bring about their own rapes.

Anyways, I think the scene setting is significant... She's taking a shower, trying to wash away her "sins". She's injured... but it will heal. The consequences show up and they ain't pretty. Whether it is a one night stand lover who is more than he seems, or simply relating to the reactions of friends and loved ones upon hearing about it, or having deep rooted, not-likely-to-be-healed-anytime-soon pain, shame, and guilt... There are always consequences. The consequences... A soulless dead creature with no restraints trying to force his will upon an injured woman... force Buffy to say a resounding "NO!" once and for all. "Ask me again why I can never love you." Never again will she go to that dark level... She knows what lies on that path, the pain, the danger...and she's not going for it. She's got more important things to be doing, among them the annual saving of the world, and she can't waste her time. She sees the light at the end of the tunnel, and she's getting up, walking, and soon... The darkness will be far behind her.

[> Eep! I know it looks like a fic, but it's an essay. I promise. (NT) -- m'xander, 15:44:00 06/20/03 Fri

[> [> Only on this board would that be a welcome promise! -- Masq, 16:10:18 06/20/03 Fri

[> Great Essay...good points -- LeeAnn, 04:48:08 06/21/03 Sat

[> Very interesting! -- Rob, 10:16:55 06/21/03 Sat

[> Re: "The Reality of Spuffy" (Spoilers S6, Sexual Content) -- Deacon, 18:08:48 06/21/03 Sat

Great essay, I agree with your points. One thing that I would like to elaborate on is the Spike as a bad boyfriend Metaphore. As for the attemted rape scene I don't know how to coment about that, It is such a sensitive topic. I will say that he should have been dusted for it.

I think that he was not able to have a healthy relationship, he was a souless vampire, although he did have a lot of humanity in him. Season 2 showed his love and compassion for Dru and his alliance with Buffy to save the world. And if you compare souless Spike to souless Angel. In "I only have eye's for you" when Angel and Buffy were possesed with the restless spirits acting out there love and how it tragically ended. Angel was disguisted at the feeling of love for buffy and said that he had to have a vile kill to get it out of him. Spike was taken over with him love for buffy, he rejected dru for it. But is was a sick obsessive vampire type love, and example is the shrine to buffy that he had in S5.
A telling statment about a vampir's love is spikes line in S3 Lovers's walk
"If I want Dru back I know what I have to do, I have to be the man I was, the man she loved, first I will find her where ever she is, kidnapp her, torture her, untill she likes me again."
and if S5 when spike has Dru and Buffy tied up and he tells buffy if she admits that there is something between them and he will stake Dru and if she doesn't he untie Dru and let her kill Buffy. Buffy say's "you're a vampire you don't have a soul, you not capable of love" then Dru say's
"we can lve quite will actually"

[> Excellent! -- Rahael, 21:31:02 06/21/03 Sat

MS, I loved this post! It was beautifully written (I noticed especially cos I was reading it aloud to someone else) and had some excellent insights and moments of LOL.

Also certain arresting mental images that won't be leaving me for some time.

[> It was almost like... -- LeeAnn, 00:54:31 06/22/03 Sun

It as almost like Buffy was doing the "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" thing, good during the day, bad during the night, and putting herself in a situation with Spike where she might get killed, and half wanting that.

[> The Insufficient Unreality of Spuffy (S7 spoilers, *very* controversial content) -- KdS, 03:02:22 06/22/03 Sun

Been sitting on my hands for quite a while, but personal meetings and postings on other boards have convinced me that other people here do agree with me and are keeping silent out of a desire not to offend the Spuffy fans. Hence I'm playing Sweet here.

MonsieurXander's essay above hammers home, again, the psychological reality of the S6 Spuffy disaster and the lack of metaphor. Given the strength and potentially explosive nature of the storyline, I simply can't adjust to the way the metaphor was simply dropped back in during S7. During summer 2002, a lot of people on this board were remembering the controversy over a General Hospital plotline which had a woman falling in love with and marrying a guy who had raped her out of erotic obsession. The feeling at that point was that ME would have to be extremely careful with how Buffy and Spike's relationship was handled the following year to avoid creating seriously unfortunate messages.

I had no problem with S7 Spuffy up to and including Showtime. I saw Buffy's treatment of Spike as being caused by a mixture of compassion for his madness and genuine guilt, admiration for the fact that he got his soul voluntarily, feelings of responsibility for him because it was their relationship that led him to get a soul, and guilt over the times in S6 when she treated him appallingly. I approved of it because it seemed that Buffy had finally learned a lesson from Angel about helping former enemies when they wanted to change.

The problem came in the second half of S7 when not only did it become clear that Buffy did have remaining romantic feelings for Spike, but he became her only confidant, reawakened her self-belief, and had a perfect night of intimacy with her before sacrificing his life. I use that phrase quite carefully, because I think that ME believed that they could defuse the rape problem by going back to the soul metaphor as they did with Angel, and making sure that Buffy and Spike never actually had genital sex. I think that ME intended us to feel that, by the final episodes of S7, Spike was sufficiently redeemed for us to see his unsouled crimes as sufficiently the work of a different entity to be comfortable with all this. Unfortunately, because of the writing choices they made, I simply don't see his treatment of, attitude to, and lack of any genuine relationship with any characters other than Buffy as showing us this, and I'm still undecided about whether they convinced me that his death in Chosen wasn't All About Buffy.

I think ME had a very difficult job in handling Spike this season, because they were trying to keep incompatible factions of fans happy. They had those who were never interested in Spuffy to begin with or who were into it but totally horrified by the attempted rape, and really wanted Buffy to either stake him on sight or give him the non-fatal ass-kicking of his life and never physically touch him again. They also had the hardcore Spike fans, who wanted Spike to stay the romantic bad boy they loved but also wanted him to get the girl. Unfortunately, for me, Spike's behaviour, trajectory, and crimes in S6 had been presented as so unsoftened by metaphor and so human in nature, culminating in the decision to show him try to rape Buffy entirely in human face, which in the light of S7 strikes me as a really bad misstep, that I just can't accept it when in S7 they try to return to the safe old metaphor that worked with Angel(us) and say "It's all OK, because he's got a soul now and he's all sorry and different!". I just see a woman who's still attached to, and love with, a guy who tried to rape her, and is more deeply conencted to him, and lets him get closer to her, than anyone else all year. The fact that Buffy and Spike didn't actually "have sex" in Touched doesn't matter for me, because I saw them as "having intimacy" to such an extent that it really didn't matter what they actually, anatomically, did. When I watched Never Leave Me, I thought that Spike's analysis of Buffy and her response to it were meant to be a final dismissal of his dark view of her as twisted by demonic PoV and self-projection. The subsequent developments, however, do leave me with a view of Buffy as unhealthily and masochistically attracted to men who hurt her, and not in any marginally healthy BDSM type of way.

I know this will probably offend some people on the board, but I know there are people here who will agree with me and I hope they come out of the closet. For me, the relationship between Buffy and Spike in the second half of S7 appallingly subverted the season's core message of female empowerment, and deserved far more vocal criticism than the unintentional pathologising of lesbianism in S6, the death of Tara, or not having enough black characters.

[> [> Re: The Insufficient Unreality of Spuffy (S7 spoilers, *very* controversial content) -- O'Cailleagh, 18:37:44 06/22/03 Sun

Without trying to detract from the very valid point you are making, isn't it possible that the fact that Buffy was able to forgive Spike adds to the female empowerment theme? After all, I think it was Giles who once said that forgiveness isn't something we give because a person deserves it, we give it because they *need* it. That Buffy had the strength to forgive Spike is indeed empowering, it tells us that even after what had happened between them, she was able to see his need to be forgiven, in order for him to forgive himself, it tells us that she was strong enough to do this for him, even with everything else that was going on.


[> [> Re: The Insufficient Unreality of Spuffy (S7 spoilers, *very* controversial content) -- Miss Edith, 19:27:00 06/22/03 Sun

You raise some interesting points, and I can certaintly understand why there are viewers objecting to Buffy being with her attempted rapist. I was a B/S supporter at one time, but they were never really the same for me after SR. But I can't say I object to Buffy sharing intimacy with Spike. You say you got the message form the latter half of season 7 that Spike was right in saying Buffy was attracted to men who hurt her. I don't see that. It was only after Spike got the soul, and began treating Buffy decently that she was able to feel something for him. In season 6 he was just a thing that was providing Buffy with fantastic sex. I don't remember Buffy ever giving the impression that she was attracted to Angelus for instance. Indeed she dismissed Spike in SR because of how important trust was to her.

I actually found the message hopeful. Buffy wouldn't let herself be defined as a victim, she found the strenth to forgive Spike and form a new relationship. In late season 6 don't forgot that Anya wished unspeakable torture on Xander, yet the two had sex in season 7 again without protests being raised. I definately agree that the lack of metaphor with the AR made me feel uncomfortable. But Buffy was not shown to desire Spike sexually after the attack, their bond was more about emotion. Buffy took strenth from Spike and saw the man inside him that he had struggled to become, I found that empowering personally.

[> [> [> Arrgh please forgive the typos! -- Miss Edith, 19:30:00 06/22/03 Sun

In fact I should probably start typing that at the end of every single one of my posts lol.

[> [> [> Re: The Insufficient Unreality of Spuffy (S7 spoilers, *very* controversial content) -- LeeAnn, 21:33:04 06/22/03 Sun

Buffy was not shown to desire Spike sexually after the attack, their bond was more about emotion.

I don't think Spike showed any desire for Buffy after the AR either. (I don't think Gellar ever showed Buffy desiring Spike except in the Tabula Rasa kiss. I was surprised every episode that they were still having sex.) No more longing looks. No more reaching out. Nothing. At their closest he settled into the eunuch role that Angel used to fill. What is with Joss that he thinks a woman would be fulfilled by chaste cuddling. Angel and Spike, eunuch friends to Buffy. Cuddling but no sex. I was repelled by it with Angel and again with Spike. With Angel I got a gross child-snuggling-with-father vibe. It was more brother/sister with Spike. What is it, get your soul and lose your balls. We assume there was no curse attached to Spike's soul but we have no evidence to the contrary. Buffy and Spike became comrades in a fight. Not lovers. Not truly intimate. Just soldiers, chastely sharing a bed and even an embrace. Like they had a relgious mission. The only way that would have worked for me was if one of them was gay.

[> [> [> [> Re: The Insufficient Unreality of Spuffy-Eureka! -- sdev, 22:35:23 06/22/03 Sun

"What is with Joss that he thinks a woman would be fulfilled by chaste cuddling. Angel and Spike, eunuch friends to Buffy. Cuddling but no sex. I was repelled by it with Angel and again with Spike."

And where in hell is the female empowerment here? It harkens back to the repression of Victorian times. Women can slay but not have sex. Something wrong with that message.

[> [> [> [> [> Exactly... -- LeeAnn, 22:53:38 06/22/03 Sun

Exactly. I was very Victorian to me. If they had related that to William/Spike being a Victorian and reverting to his original cultural conditioning once he had a soul I could see it, but they didn't.

[> [> [> [> [> Absolutely! That's another problem with it -- KdS, 00:27:31 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> Missionary position with Riley was seen as acceptable -- Miss Edith, 10:56:13 06/23/03 Mon

But there definately was something almost sleazy about B/S as if we were supposed to disaprove of such brazen sexuality.

Again with Wesley/Lilah we see Wesley becoming corrupted through the sex with the bad girl who enjoys phone sex and being on top. Of course he was more interested in the more sexually pure Fred.

I wonder what message ME were trying to convey?

[> [> [> [> Well...Spike *was* very close to his mother... ;-) -- O'Cailleagh, 11:14:22 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> Re: The Insufficient Unreality of Spuffy (S7 spoilers, *very* controversial content) -- leslie, 14:50:07 06/23/03 Mon

"What is with Joss that he thinks a woman would be fulfilled by chaste cuddling. Angel and Spike, eunuch friends to Buffy. Cuddling but no sex. I was repelled by it with Angel and again with Spike."

I have to agree here, but also, I wish it weren't always represented as an either/or thing. But the point I wish to make is that, for all the incessant harping on Buffy "using" sex with Spike to "make her feel" and to overcome the depression she felt after being yanked out of heaven...

well, it worked, didn't it?

Maybe not in the pure and epiphanic way that society might approve, but would Buffy really have been able to find her way again without something strong and emotional to react either to or against? Would she have been able to question her whole response to/expectations of men without the experience of Spike? Xander points out to her that she shut down emotionally as a result of the whole Angel experience, and maybe at that point she did need a "safe" guy like Riley, but did Riley help her break out of that numbness at all? All he did was pout that she wasn't "letting him in" and be jealous of Mr. Broody. Then, he pushed her to deal with her issues in one fell swoop: I'm leaving tonight unless you change immediately. Spike may have been the "bad boyfriend," but he was always pushing Buffy to deal with issues she wanted to avoid, whether he was doing it deliberately (as in Normal Again) or simply by being there and her being drawn to him. Maybe he was wrong that she belonged "in the dark with him," but he's the only one who made her even consider the question, the only one who brought it out in the open (ironically, brought it to light), and isn't that the question that ultimately underlies her uncertainty about what it is to be a Slayer? Everyone else, whenever she wonders whether to be a Slayer is just to be a killer, says "Oh, no, Buffy, you're so good and noble and strong and brave," and that is precisely what makes her feel overwhelmed--she has to live up to that. Spike says, "yeah, maybe you are a killer," and then she has to figure it out, and she does it, in many ways, by testing herself against him. Is she just like Spike? What she eventually seems to conclude is that, while there are some points of congruence, she is not like unsouled Spike, and what happens in the process of it is that she actually makes Spike realize that he wants to be more like her, and inspires him to get a soul.

Now, if only they could be having great, violent sex and having souls.

[> [> Season 6 - Metaphor and Myth -- Caroline, 21:24:06 06/22/03 Sun

From what I can understand from this and some of your previous posts on S6, one of your main problems with the S/B relationship is that it is not 'metaphorical', that it's played out very human-y and literally and therefore the behaviour of both Buffy and Spike is then subject to human notions of ethics, morality etc. Which is why you feel differently about Angelus/Angel and Buffy than S/B. So, because the show went literal and had a literal, human AR in Seeing Red, this then managed to subvert the message of female empowerment when the rapist and victim became romantically involved. (If this is not a fair summary of your argument, please correct me.)

I have problems with your argument on several levels. I'll take each in turn.

Metaphor and Myth in S6 .

I agree with you that season 6/7 downplayed the metaphor. We no longer had 'boyfriend goes evil after sex' depicted by Angel's loss of soul. We no longer had demons who depicted gluttony, greed, sexual desire and all sorts of other pitfalls of teenage life. (The metaphors became far more abstract and symbolic, things like light, fire, hands etc.) But what we got was a different kind of depiction and while it appeared to be more literal and less metaphorical, I think that it went far beyond the literal and transcended into the mythical. S6 went far beyond previous seasons in consistently carrying through important allusions and references to mythology and archetypes. S6, more than any other season before, was an in-depth psychological exploration and instead of giving us metaphor, ME gave us archetypes, defined as common symbols or forms that exist in the collective unconscious and are common to all societies from earliest times. ME had given us clues prior to that - the Primitive, the First Evil etc, but no season fully given to exploring archetypes in a mythological way. I've already posted numerous essays previously that can be found in the archives so I won't go into the specifics of characters and events, but since you bring up the B/S relationship, I'll quote from a previous post:

Back to the sexcapades. One of the outcomes of the rather messy relationship with Spike is that they use each other. Spike does love her in his own way and Buffy does have feelings for him that she will not acknowledge but she does realize that she is using him. That recognition of his victimhood in this (I'm referring here to her dream in Dead Things where Spike/Katrina are paralleled) despite all her crying about his victimization of her ('why do I let him do these things to me?') is a wake up call to Buffy. They are mutually victimizing or raping each other. I'd like to note here that I see the rapes of S6 in a mythical sense - Buffy is strong enough to repel any attack from Spike and the betrayal she feels when he does take not take no for an answer is on an emotional level - I don't think that physically she was compromised. To do Spike credit, he realized he'd gone too far and resolved never to be the kind of man to do that again). Their relationship is built on the yes/no duality, the want to/ought not duality. We are shown this time and time again - the scene in the Bronze where Spike appears from behind Buffy as she is watching her friends. The scene in Spike's crypt where Buffy is invisible. Why did this occur? I think that the reason the rapes occurred is that for both Spike and Buffy, the experience of being with each other was profoundly challenging and confronting. I think that Buffy felt as though she was being invaded by feelings, desires, etc she did not want and it felt like a violation to her, to the person she thought she was. But she is really 'raping herself' - she is the one who feels a certain way yet she is also the one who wants to deny these feelings, these parts of herself. Yet, as with all repressed and unconscious drives, they will somehow find expression and work their way to the surface. The greater the repression, the more compelling the projection and the bigger the explosion when it finds its way to the surface.

The bits that I highlighted in bold seem to me to be the relevant bits here. ME was on a deep psychological exploration. It was risky, it was somewhere they really hadn't gone before. They were willing to make popular characters really unpopular to explore depression, anger, self-hatred, confusion, boundaries (or lack of them), acting-out, repressed desire, self-discovery, etc. I will state my personal view that I believe ME were entirely successful doing this in S6 in the S/B relationship. It may have been more literal somehow to show the attempted rape ocurring in human rather than vamp face but there are 2 things here I'd like to note - not only has Spike not been human for a long time, in S6 both he and Buffy represented archeyptal characters. Do we apply the same sorts of ethical and moral judgements to mythical situations as we do to metaphorical situations? And isn't it okay for ME to make that switch from metaphor to myth if they wish to? In my view, these situtations require our understanding, not our judgement. Buffy had to forgive Spike because he represented a part of herself that she rejected and needed to integrate.

Female empowerment

I kinda agree that ME is trying to give a female empowerment message. But I think that they are trying to give it to everyone. I think they are saying something about the value of feminine values and behaviours in everyone, male or female (which is why Xander got to save the world in S6). And I think that there are many instances where ME has shown us that the person who really needs female empowerment is Buffy. I've written essays before on how Buffy, in her role as slayer, can be seen as typifing a very masculine role - instead of the guy kicking ass it's the girl kicking ass - which is really just a substitution of genitalia. I don't believe that is all that ME is trying to say. Buffy desperately needs some female empowerment, which is why we had the exploration of the different feminine archetypes, which began towards to end of S5 - after Joyce died. ME started exploring the archetypes of the warrior, the erotic, the maternal. It reached its height in S6 and S7. Buffy is so into a very narrow conception of her role as a slayer and how she related to that as a woman that she is uncomfortable and unaccomodating with so much of her feminine energy. (see essay cited above as well as Mothers Milk is Red today http://www.atpobtvs.com/existentialscoobies/archives/mar03_p19.html#34). I think that the events of the end of S7 show that Buffy has reached a comfortable accomodation with those energies within her, thus allowing the destruction of Sunnydale, the physical representation of her old psyche, a psyche that has been transformed.

The whole Spuffy/Spike issue and fandom

Needless to say, I disagree with many of your views on Spike. That does not mean that I take offense at your views. The show is work of art that I find myself indentifying with in certain ways and certainly enjoy analyzing! But I don't need to judge the behaviour of the characters, merely to understand them and the show. Others feel differently and I respect that. I also don't wish to judge my fellow posters, or their views. I respect everyone's right to be wrong! My only concern with raising the same issue continually is that repitition is boring. People hold rather entrenched views on this issue, we've explored them ad nauseum, and I doubt that anyone really has anything new to say.

Also, I don't see you being kept noticably silent - ever since LMPTM aired in the UK, you have made many posts on this issue. I can think of at least half a dozen posters off the top of my head who agree with you wholeheartedly! I have not seen one example on this board of anyone trying to censor posters who hold your views and if anyone is in the closet, it is by their own choice. Their is nothing in the culture or norms of this board that promotes censorship or closeting, and I hope that you will clarify those statements because they can be seen as offensive.

[> [> [> Re: clarification -- KdS, 00:34:25 06/23/03 Mon

Thanks for the argument about the switch from metaphor to myth. On the final question, I've spoken on more private web settings and IRL to posters on this board who do agree with me, but who weren't posting not so much because they felt censored, as because they saw opinions on the issue as so fixed that they didn't want to get into the argument that would result (and thank you for responding so calmly and clearly). I just wanted to have one clear and unambiguous statement of the issue on the board, and that will be my last post on the issue unless I come up with something genuinely new.

[> [> [> [> Re: clarification -- Caroline, 09:01:30 06/23/03 Mon

Thanks very much for your clarification. I think that this issue is so fraught with emotion, that it can be very difficult for those of us with opposing views to have a calm and respectful debate. I, too, have not become involved in several threads, precisely because sometimes I don't want to get into it either! In fact, I was lucky enough to be in chat with Masq after the meet and I was begging her (only half-jokingly) to make the S/B insanity end by archiving certain threads!!!!!! Of course, she did not do this and I am not a proponent of censorship, it just spoke to my frustration about having all spike all the time! (And I don't really care if the views are pro or con, it just got a bit much!)

But I also know that there are several posters here with whom I almost always disagree but find myself looking forward to what they will say, precisely because their views differ to mine and they can put forward their views in an entertaining and disinterested manner. It may be too much to ask that we will get to 'disinterested' soon about the whole S/B issue, but here's hoping!

[> [> [> Spuffy and Censoring -- Dochawk, 01:52:58 06/23/03 Mon

OK - I'm on vacation in England and really shouldn't be reading the board let alone responding, but I couldn't restrain myself when I read someone who says I never saw any censoring going on regarding Spuffy. That's because except for KDS and occaisionally Maladanza, none of us will post anymore. We've already been "censored" out (by posters certainly not by the board mistress, who has her own opinions on the subject and has never censored anything that I know of). Do you see Earl Allison's wonderful rebuttals? Or anyone? A very few posters are still willing to put up the good arguement, but the rest of us have no further desire to be at the receiving end of a whip. We've been silenced.

[> [> [> [> Completely (but politely) disagree on censorship -- Caroline, 08:19:21 06/23/03 Mon

You, Mal and Earl Allison were precisely some of the posters I was referring to. I have seen your (plural) posts in the past few weeks. I still disagree. But since when did the fact that we all (for the most part) politely disagree become you being censored by your fellow posters? Just because people disagree with you does not mean they are censoring you. Should we stop all disagreement so that no-one feels censored? I'm really sorry that you feel this way but perhaps if you could point me to particular posts that you felt have censored you, I could more fully understand your views. I have certainly missed the evidence supporting the view that fellow posters have censored you. I would rather put forward the hypothesis that perhaps you are self-censoring because you find a great deal of disagreement. For example - Earl Allison made a post not long ago where he put forward his views and ended the post with saying that he will not post anymore because he may have caused offence. There was nothing in his post that did so and 4-5 posters who disagreed with him asked him to keep posting! How is that censorship?

[> [> [> [> [> Spike and Censorship -- Dochawk, 01:48:36 06/24/03 Tue

Yup I post lots, but (almost) NEVER on Spike. Its easy to say there is no censorship when you are in the majority. You should see the emails I get when we have a Spike discussion in private. And you should have seen the number of emails I've gotten from people who feel they can't post what they want for similar reasons. And since your not the one being censored, who feels like they are a small illegitimate mole when they post certain things, you wouldn't notice it. I do every time I say, I would like to respond to that post, but I won't because it is just too much trouble. Twice I have been driven away from the board for short periods because of the painful responses to posts I have made (and in both cases about Spike). Other posters have been driven away because of posts for other reasons. I admit there isn't alot of flaming here, but there is some, but mostly it comes from people who quite innocently insult your right to have an opinion (that the opinion itself is so "stupid" that therefore you must be). And believe me it happens much more frequently than you think and from posters who would never believe that they are doing it.
Polite disagreements are wonderful. I have changed my mind about some things because of the wonderful viewpoints other posters have made. And emotional arguements are usually fascinating (certainly more fascinating than other boards where everyone is in tremedous agreement on everything), but some people cross the line and connect the view with the holder... and then its not worth it anymore.

And no, I won't publicly point out posters or posts (unless they are so blatant as to be publicly offensive). Sometimes when I am not involved I'll email the author and usually they don't realize how what they say causes pain to others. but [ublicly doing it just adds to the circle of disrespect.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Giving and Taking -- mamcu, 19:29:28 06/24/03 Tue

One of my early posts here was related to the AR, and I did receive some very negative responses--and indeed, they made me think twice about posting again. However, my views were the opposite of the ones you express--so the negative repsonses go both ways. I think it's human nature to see the bad that we disagree with, and not the bad that's on our side.

But, you know, I have not seen the truly rude flaming here that you are describing and that I have seen in some other places. Also, I haven't been here as long as many of you, and I don't read every post, not even responding to me, but I do know that I pretty quickly know who is likely to say what. And I just don't read some people's posts because I can make a good guess about what they will say on certain subjects.

Lovely thing, threaded discussion. You can keep your fingers in your ears and still hear the voices you want to hear.

I think what's meant by "having the courage of our convictions" is being willing to hear disagreement, and to speak out at the time if someone is out of bounds in their response. I HAVE seen the board respond negatively to rudeness.

But I'm sorry we've missed your thoughts.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Completely (but politely) disagree on censorship -- Malandanza, 09:00:45 06/26/03 Thu

"You, Mal and Earl Allison were precisely some of the posters I was referring to. I have seen your (plural) posts in the past few weeks. I still disagree. But since when did the fact that we all (for the most part) politely disagree become you being censored by your fellow posters? Just because people disagree with you does not mean they are censoring you...I would rather put forward the hypothesis that perhaps you are self-censoring because you find a great deal of disagreement."

I don't think there's anything wrong with "polite disagreement" (or even just regular disagreement) but that's not what dochawk is talking about. I think that there have been attempts to censor views that do not wholeheartedly embrace Spike-as-a-Courtly Lover/Gothic Hero, but that the failure has been largely a result of our (somewhat contentious) personalities rather than a lack of willingness to stifle debate. All too often a rebuttal is answered with "well, we all know he hates Spike" or "Please, no character bashing! We're trying to have a civil discussion of what a bitch General Buffy is!" or cries of "Troll!" Because of the tone of my posts, I expect a certain level of belligerence in the responses (as I'm sure does Earl Allison), but there are posters who have been attacked just for expressing their opinions (I recall some early B/A posts from Lunasea where she was attacked for daring to suggest that Angel was better for Buffy than Spike, and Q has taken his share of abuse for siding with Buffy).

Also, part of the reason for diminishing anti-Spike posts is probably due to the soul -- he's not the same vampire anymore just as Angel is not Angelus -- although that issue is somewhat clouded since ME decided to make New Spike exactly like Old Spike, and leave him unrepentant and defiant about Old Spike's past while claiming it as his own (as he dons the coat of the dead slayer). And some of the people who were most pro-Spike last season have altered their opinions as well (after the AR it was harder to see Spike as the victim).

But I do agree with your assessment that most of refraining from posting anti-Spike remarks is from self-censorship. Whatever their own opinions to the contrary, no one on this board (except noted free speech advocate, Masquerade) has the power to censor posts. When I feel as though someone is tying to muzzle me, my response is typically to show them that they can't, and to do so forcefully enough that they will think twice before telling me what my opinion ought to be. For other posters, I think the best thing to do when you see them attacked unfairly and illogically is to offer a post of support.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks for mentioning me -- lunasea, 10:33:05 06/26/03 Thu

This was actually one thing I thought about while on vacation. Someone wrote that she hoped that people could be disinterested when they discuss hot topics. Hell no. I have a lot of interest in the show. I wouldn't write about it if I didn't. I thought about whether I wanted to take out fan girl's irrational passion when I post. Then I realized that I had to leave it in. I don't compartmentalize myself like that. If I did, I wouldn't have my, um, interesting perspective.

The writers over a TWoP gave an interview as the series came to a close. They mentioned that becoming critics made them more critical of the show and they actually enjoy it less because of this. To remove irrational fan girl does the same. It also takes away all motivation to write. Shadowcat said that it was Spike that has caused her to write every post that she has written, so if someone likes her posts, s/he should be glad that Spike is on the show.

I'm sure my tone is strange and off-putting to many, for various reasons. When I show solidarity for people who aren't in the "Spike is god and Buffy an ungrateful bitch who should be grateful that he even deems her worthy to talk to" camp and try to commiserate and even explain the situation, I'm sure it feels like an attack on that camp. In the words of Angelus "This wasn't about you. This was never about you."

I, too, get emails from lurkers looking for that solidarity. I wish that these lurkers felt more comfortable to post because what they have shared with me in privacy has been amazing and I would love to see this sort of heart shine on the board. People who often think they have nothing to share have the most beautiful things that should be shared.

If I had one wish, it would be that I could perform a Scythe spell and give all these people the courage to post even in the face of criticism. Since I can't do that, I will continue to fight the good fight and give their position a rather loud voice. I will continue to do this in my own particular voice and style.

I agree with the idea of a post of support. If we do that enough, it will drown out the posts of attack. Let everyone know that they can say whatever they want however they want. Tell the control freaks that want to control the "tone" of the board that there is no "tone." That is the tone.

Then again, does that make me a control freak? Never can figure out just where that line is. How about a friendly suggestion to the board given on my jewel encrusted soap box?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Completely (but politely) disagree on censorship -- Miss Edith, 11:29:22 06/26/03 Thu

I'm a fairly pro Spike person and I think we've all felt outnumbered at times, no matter what our position. In the past after making a point I've felt ganged up on when the only response is people lining up to disagree with me. Even when people are polite it still sting sometimes.

But actually I do agree with your point about lunasea. In the past she (I think she?) made no attempts to hide her support for B/A and there were a few posters complaining that she related too much to B/A. I'm thinking of a critique she did of season 6 I think it was? And I thought at the time her views were perfectly valid, and the people crititising were seeing something that I wasn't, and being oversensitive. (And I'm talking as someone who does not support B/A at all).

The only time I feel the need to speak up is if fan groups are being singled out. Any takes on the show are IMO valid (well within reason lol). But again I think it goes both ways. Like I said as a Spike fan I have felt somewhat intimidated in the past and the board comes across as very unsympathatic to my views on occasion. I mean generally I'm happy for people to disagree, it offers the opportunity to engage in interesting debates. But certaintly I can relate to feeling slightly taken aback and wishing you hadn't spoken up when everybody seems to disagree and find your post perpostorous.

But that's all part of being on a discussion board, I really don't think there's a problem, that I can see anyway. People may be perceiving more censership from others than there actually is? But then again if I am being oblivious to what's going on and if people are feeling uncomfortable with the remarks you suggest (i.e you say people posting "please no character bashing of Spike" when someone is trying to get across an unsympathetic view) perhaps it would be an idea for people to speak up after a post struck them as unnecessery so that we can all get an idea of what is causing the problem? Gosh that was a long sentence lol. Anyway just a thought.

[> [> [> Caroline - you've nailed my discomfort of S7 -- Rahael, 06:29:01 06/23/03 Mon

Yes, yes, yes, to your comments about Buffy being shown as needing female empowerment. I really hope that this is a message that has been confined to s7 in its most blatant expression, because I find it so disturbing.

I find disconnection and aggression and destruction to be wholly part of being a woman. I find that forgiveness is not a gendered quality, neither is wholesomeness or nurturing or saving the world with Love. I think however, that Joss is indeed trying in S7 to equate the loneliness, disconnection, unemotional aspects of being a slayer with masculinity. Watch how the black stuff in Get it done swirls around Buffy, and in the next shot swirls around Spike to become Nikki's black coat.

How did Spike get his 'rocks' back? by getting Nikki's coat. Isn't there a way that Nikki could be seen like Buffy, as needing feminine empowerment? She couldn't mother her son, love him, as she needed to.

That's what started disturbing me midway S7 and nothing about the end of S7 has banished this suspicion from my mind.

Also, I have decided that we are indeed meant to regard War Buffy as not a good thing, mainly because prior to S7, the Initiative, was coded in a very masculine way. Maggie Walsh was a woman (which encouraged me re the gender in S4, but I now think we were meant to regard her as needing female empowerment too).

Anom posted in a thread below that we still need feminism, and I think she may misinterpreted my argument at least as being in any way antifeminist. Absolutely not. I can't speak for myself, but I find myself imprisoned by notions of femininity or feminine empowerment that says nothing to me about my real life or real dilemmas. As far as I'm concerned, I'm happy to regard pre S7 Buffy in all her masculinity as a role model. Indeed, she spoke to me as no other woman on tv has done. And if Joss is somehow saying that Buffy has to learn to become a true woman (say, like Tara), can people understand why I have become so alienated?

[> [> [> [> Re: Caroline - you've nailed my discomfort of S7 -- Rob, 09:10:28 06/23/03 Mon

As far as I'm concerned, I'm happy to regard pre S7 Buffy in all her masculinity as a role model. Indeed, she spoke to me as no other woman on tv has done. And if Joss is somehow saying that Buffy has to learn to become a true woman (say, like Tara), can people understand why I have become so alienated?

Here's what I think keeps the final message of S7 being that Buffy has to learn how to be a normal girl or a true woman: Buffy does not give up her Slayer powers at the end, as I personally feared she would. She spread her power and knowledge and truth and strength to others, but still retained it in herself. I think that struck the perfect balance of remaining special at the end, but not alienating herself from her friends and the rest of the world.


[> [> [> [> Re: Caroline - you've nailed my discomfort of S7 -- Caroline, 13:25:10 06/23/03 Mon

Rah, thanks for your post. I'm still not sure I entirely understand the source of your discomfort but I'll try to relate something of my (still evolving) understanding of what is going on archetypally (my spell-checker is telling me that is not a word!). I've hesitated to do a follow-up post on my views about the use of archetypes in S7 because it usually takes me a while to process and absorb the layers of meaning and complexity that are going on. Not only that, but I'll post something and then know that even a month later, my views will have changed and grown (in part because of the insight of so many wonderful posters here). But despite all this, I'll make a preliminary attempt and see where this goes.


The central conceit of the show is Buffy's empowerment. But despite the fact that Buffy kicks ass in a rather satisfying way, Buffy has never really been fully 'empowered'. She's not finished. She's in a process of identity formation that allows her to become gradually more empowered, but she's not finished by any means. If she was, would the show be interesting? In S1, she tries to deny her destiny to Giles when he shows her the 'Vampyr' book in WttH. We see her try to come to terms with her slayer power and how she accommodates that with her teenage years in S2-4. We see how she isolates herself after experiences of hurt and pain, which are very human decisions. We see her trying to get in touch with the love that she has turned away from in S5 when she goes on her vision quest. Buffy is going on the same journey in every season, but every time, that journey is layered with new meaning, new depths, new answers, new questions. As we journey with Buffy into later seasons, I would argue that the issues she faces concerning identity become much more complex. Her relationships with Angel and Parker are rather black and white (Angel good, Angelus bad, Parker just bad!), whereas in S6, her relationship with Spike is really about her own psyche, delving into that darkness within discovering things about herself. Spike himself is ambiguous, both good and bad as is Buffy after her return - or at least that is the way she feels about herself. The dualities become less metaphoric, more grand and mythic.


Archetypes are funny things. Sometimes I'm not even sure I understand them and sometimes I feel that my knowledge of them is growing every day. They are symbols that appear to be common among many different languages and cultures and myth is a wonderful way to explore their function and use in our lives. In a way, archetypes are clichés, a common set of symbols that we each carry around inside us. Mythical gods and goddesses contain may each be symbolic of several archetypes. Kali is the mother, the warrior, the lover, the protector, the creator, the destroyer. Persephone is the maiden and the wise woman. I think that Joss was exploring those archetypes in Buffy - most particularly Buffy as a warrior, a mother and a sexually aware woman. They were being explored in Spike also - how to become a man, to put childhood and become you, not a construct, not a persona you had built previously.

However, while dramatically it may be convenient and even necessary to have males representing the masculine archetypes and females representing feminine ones, I think it is a mistake to say that feminine values belong only to women etc. We each contain masculine and feminine qualities in all of us, they are not gendered. Our own archetypes spring from our shadows and what we are uncomfortable with. Buffy has been uncomfortable with the feminine aspects of the warrior for years. Each season, we see her come to an accommodation of herself as a warrior. In S6 and 7, we see far more explicitly how she tries to come to an accommodation of herself as mother and lover.

We see some exploration of this in S3 with the introduction of Faith - who subsequently revels in irrational, destructive power. Spike, in the construction of his rather masculine persona, rejects the femininity of William, yet that is something that continues to inform who he is - his tender treatment of Dru, his penchant for love and devotion, his attachment to the Summers women etc.

Now here is where how I have a problem with your argument. I think that disconnection and aggression and destruction to be part of the experience of both men and women, not just women. I agree with you that forgiveness and nurturing etc belong to both men and women. I don't think that Joss is trying to equate disconnection with masculinity. Buffy feels comfortable in the masculine, rule and rationality-based aspects of her role as a slayer. She fears the darkness within (see Faith in S3) or the feminine, destructive aspects of her role as the slayer. Her disconnection and loneliness was self-imposed, but that came from how her psyche reacted with her slayer role, and how she chose to close herself off after feeling pain. I don't see that as either masculine or feminine, it's just a defence mechanism. The same can be said for Spike. He rejected the femininity of William and constructed a 'masculine', aggressive persona. But see how even the masculine persona Spike tried to create took on tinges of feminine rather than masculine destructive qualities. While Angelus was very rational and detached, Spike was spontaneous and impulsive, not caring about the costs even to his own undead existence. That sounds much more Kali than Shiva. What we are informs what we become.

As for Spike and getting his 'rocks' back after his trip to the funny farm early in S7, he got it in one way - Buffy's request. She told him what she wanted and he gave it to her. She wanted the aggression of the man who could kill her, but she knew that would be balanced by the soul, meaning that he would not kill her. She wanted him to direct his aggression using the kind of rules and rationales that she used and was comfortable with. The retaking of Nikki's coat by Spike was symbolic of getting part of his persona back. I'm not really uncomfortable with that - we've known since FFL the origin of the coat and how it played into the construction of the persona. But Spike still has further to go because something is still wrong. He has the coat and his 'rocks' back but he's still not his own man. He has to overcome the trigger, which is really just symbolic of the ties to his mother and how the issues surrounding his mother have prevented him from growing into himself, rather than just the mask that he has created since being sired. I believe that is what occurred in LMPTM.

Now for Nikki. If we agree that the process of being empowered in a psychological sense is something that is on-going, as part of the process of 'Who am I?' that lasts a lifetime, then Nikki does need to be empowered, just like Buffy. You write about this as if it is pejorative, but I see it as a very positive process. Nikki did mother her son and did love her son - at least that is my interpretation of her brief scenes in LMPTM. She was prevented from continuing the struggle to bring up her child by being murdered. I don't think ME was trying to make a negative statement about Nikki. They were trying to make a statement about Robin Wood's pain about the loss of his mother. And in a way, Robin felt that he lost a part of his mother even before she died. She chose to continue slaying, continue doing her duty (she chose to follow her destiny) even when he wanted her to stop. ME are showing something very universal here - the experience of a child who wanted everything from a parent but a parent but cannot get it. Because no child can ever get it. No parent can ever be enough. So Robin is left with with the anger at his mother's murderer, his anger at his mother for continuing to fulfill her destiny, and his anger at himself, perhaps, for not being enough for mother? This is so much to contain. Meanwhile, Nikki is still in the center of the maelstrom, elusive, unreachable and unknowable. Sometimes, life truly sucks.

I couldn't find the posts you refer to on feminism by anom and yourself, so I'm not sure what that issue is. But I'll tell you what I think Joss was saying - that Buffy needed to really be able to see herself and accept herself without judgement. I think that Buffy reached that in her cookie dough speech in Chosen. She realizes that she's come a long way but still has some distance to go and she's going to give herself that time. She's no longer going to be closed to life as she was before, she was going to move ahead and consider all her possibilities and opportunities. Her journey, her empowerment, her self-discovery are on-going. The woman she becomes is simoultaneously the women she must be and the woman she wants to be. That is something that really speaks to me, as a woman, a feminist and a human being.

[> [> [> [> [> Archetypes???? -- s'kat, 14:50:58 06/23/03 Mon

Caroline, if it's not too much trouble and assuming you aren't sick of the topic yet ;-), I was wondering if you'd
be interested in exploring the archetype point in more depth?

Here's an essay I found on male archetypes in Romance Fiction. The writer believes a new archetype has been introduced known as Gamma - as opposed to typical Alpha(Angel), and Beta(Xander) models.


"First an explanation of the terms Alpha, Beta and Gamma Males: Romance writers coined these terms in the mid 90's to describe the type of male protagonist in a particular novel. An Alpha is domineering and arrogant, a loner, broad chested with a muscular physique. (In earlier mass-market romances, when men tended to control the publishing houses, the Alpha also tended to be at least 10 years the female lead's age).

Betas, who emerged in women's literature in the 1970's, are sweetly seductive, kind, gentle, have a good sense of humor, tend to be of average to slender build. Betas can be a few years younger than the female lead, and tend to be the "heart" of a family or group.

The Gamma falls in between these two poles- he, like the Beta tends to be more of average build, although more likely to be an athletic type. He has a sense of humor, although usually it's a sarcastic one. Similar to the Alpha he's likely to be a fighter of some sort. He is more dominant than the Beta- but only in a seductive sense. Otherwise, like the Beta, he appreciates female strength and tends to be a loyal partner to a woman, and respects all strong women. " Brief excerpt from it.

According to the writer - Spike falls within the Gamma
model or archetype.

Now you're exploration of archetypes seems somewhat different than this, less categorical, a little more mythic(??)

"Archetypes are funny things. Sometimes I'm not even sure I understand them and sometimes I feel that my knowledge of them is growing every day. They are symbols that appear to be common among many different languages and cultures and myth is a wonderful way to explore their function and use in our lives. In a way, archetypes are clichés, a common set of symbols that we each carry around inside us. Mythical gods and goddesses contain may each be symbolic of several archetypes. Kali is the mother, the warrior, the lover, the protector, the creator, the destroyer. Persephone is the maiden and the wise woman. I think that Joss was exploring those archetypes in Buffy - most particularly Buffy as a warrior, a mother and a sexually aware woman. They were being explored in Spike also - how to become a man, to put childhood and become you, not a construct, not a persona you had built previously. "

What archetypal roles do the characters play exactly?
And how far does Joss really take it?

Or they specific roles or broader? Is this even worth going too far into depth on? I must admit I'm a bit out of my depth here, but it was something that seemed new in the discussion.

Hope some of that made sense.
Gotta Run.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Great link! Thanks -- curious, 18:54:53 06/23/03 Mon

I think it's really important to remember that these are fictional characters that people respond to differently - not real people we would want our daughters or friends to date. I wonder if some of the debate on this thread and the endless debate about SPIKE is the cultural uneasiness some people have with the Gamma archetype. i.e. people who read and enjoy romance novels, etc. and are more comfortable with the Gamma type. I don't have any trouble understanding why Buffy was attracted to and repulsed by Spike. That sexual tension is what made the relationship interesting - to her and to some of the audience. Not healthy - but interesting.

From the article S'Kat sites, other well known examples of Gamma males are:

John Lennon (not fictional but a pop icon. The perception of his relationship with Yoko Ono was viewed very differently by various people.)

"Hawkeye" Pierce from M.A.S.H.

Han Solo from Star Wars

the vampire Jean-Claude from the Anita Blake series

And some Japanese Manga (graphic novels) characters I am not familiar with. (I found the article very intriguing, in part, because my son has recently gotten addicted to Japanese Manga. I think I'll have to look at them more closely.)

Maybe some of these characters are less problematic to people who have problems with Spike. Or maybe they are just as problematic for people who have trouble with B/S.

The article also says that ME was a little confused about how to handle relationships with Gammas - leading to viewer dissatisfation. I would agree with that - at least on the literal level. I think B/S worked better on the mythic level Caroline wrote so eloquently about but not so well on the literal level.

The writers more in tune with the characters developments over the years attempt to draw the couple together, only to be subtly subverted by other writers in following episodes, leaving viewers dissatisfied.


Very interesting passage here:

Women writers in the West seem to have a better understanding of writing the Gamma hero romance, probably because they have a fair amount of exposure to this by the reading of romances.

Men in the West tend to have little exposure growing up to the stylistics of modern romance writing, and often are still taught to disparage it merely because it is fiction written by women for women. In Japan, in contrast, men and women both are readers of romances, the romances in boys manga having only a few notable stylistic differences to those read by girls. When romantic manga written for boys or men are translated into English they are often viewed by westerners as comic stories for females, especially by those only vaguely familiar with manga. Perhaps due to the substantial growth in popularity of manga among those under 40 in the past decade, both genders in the next generation of writers in the West will have equal levels of understanding of the journey in the romantic heroes storyline, in particular that of the newer Gamma types.

I hear Spike is pretty popular in Japan.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Romantic archetypes! -- Caroline, 09:33:27 06/24/03 Tue

Thanks for this shadowkat! It struck me as being very amusing and it's made me realize that I was married to a gamma male! As for being sick of discussing archetypes - never!

I use archetypes more or less in the Jungian sense - motifs that are common across different cultures, myth systems etc as well as individual archetypes that manifest within a certain culture, myth system or individual. They arise and exist in the unconscious and can be accessed through dreams, analysis etc. Looking at the archetypes of men that women carry around, it does seem apparent from manifestations such as charcacters in romance novels that many women carry around rather similar archetypes of men around in our minds. But archetypes are not definite images or motifs - definite images or motifs are the conscious representations of unconscious motifs. So, the alpha, beta or gamma males are actually forms that manifest from the unconscious archetype of erotic male.

I'm not really sure that I could say what Joss has in mind or whether he is aware of using these concepts (or should I say conscious representations of archetypes!). From what Joss says and from what I interpret, there is certainly a few writers at ME that know their psychology. And since I have a prediliction for viewing human behaviour through a psychological lens, then I'm quite happy interpreting seasons 6 and 7 in this way using the jargon I like.

Perhaps if you give me your email address, we can continue off-line and not bore everyone else with this?!?!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Romantic archetypes! -- shadowkat, 10:14:18 06/24/03 Tue

Thanks!(I included it above).

A little something regarding Whedon, who does btw have the background that you've intuitively picked up on. Actually I think you may come closest to what Whedon was attempting.

Here's a slice of a recent interview of Whedon's I found on the Spoiler Trollops board (which isn't that dangerous to visit at the moment, since there are no "true" spoilers out yet.)

"IGNFF: Do you think, to some extent, those are the kind of filmmakers that the Hollywood executive tends to like - because they're malleable?

WHEDON: Yeah. Well, you want somebody who can make it pretty and make it work and give the executive what the executive thinks they want, and bring something to the party. Not just translate the words. If you're the writer, what you're looking for is somebody who can convey the actual meaning of the script... and quite frankly, people who are just schooled in production don't really have that. There's a lot of people out there who make a pretty frame, that has nothing to do with what is said.

IGNFF: Form over function.

WHEDON: But you know, there's advantages to both - don't get me wrong. There's a lot of people teaching theory who are filling people's heads with completely idiotic agendas and not really getting down to the basics of "This is exactly what he was doing, exactly what you think, what you feel." It hasn't been accomplished. You need to be looking at that stuff.
IGNFF: What kind of agenda irritates you the most?

WHEDON: Any agenda. Any agenda beyond what the film itself is trying to say. My biggest concentration was gender studies and feminism. That was sort of my unofficial minor. That was what all my film work was about, but at the same time, somebody bringing the knee-jerk feminist agenda to a text can be the most aggravating thing in the world. Especially if you're a feminist, because you're like, "You're the person that everybody makes fun of. You're the reason why we've got no cred."

IGNFF: Planting subtext for subtext's sake...

WHEDON: Yeah, planting subtext based on everybody brings their own experience to a film - that's why films are popular, and that's fine. As long as they're working from the film outwards, towards themselves. What people with an agenda do - whether it be, like, Cartesian physics or some thing I can't begin to understand, or feminism, or anything - they try and shove it in. "Look at this this way." Okay, let's look at the film as it exists, what it is, what it's trying to do. We can judge it. But you're talking to somebody who was raised to be a radical feminist, who thought that liberals were wishy-washy and who loves Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. So you know, this conflicts around always. Take the film at its own value, and then go to the other place.

IGNFF: Was that part of your motivation for taking gender studies for a minor?

WHEDON: It's not that I took it for a minor, it's just like I pursued it in everything I did. It's always what interested me. But, when you're dealing with feminism you're dealing with a lot of people who understand feminism better than they understand film, and again you pose something and that doesn't just go ... the point is, you can have an agenda as long as you let the film come to you and take that out of you. I know a guy who could not get through a paper without talking through Freudian theories of infantile sexuality. And his lecture on The Wild Bunch, in terms of Freudian theories of infantile sexuality, was actually fascinating. Because he loved The Wild Bunch, he understood the movie, and then he let it speak to him. He didn't try and like shove in a theory."

So I think with Whedon's background he did deliberately dip into some of this. Not sure how much his other writers did though. But the archetypal influences interest me, b/c I think Btvs may have hit some of mine. The gamma certainly may be one. And I also wonder if archetypal influences may not explain why fans react the way they do to certain characters on screen - in either an incredibly positive or negative way. For instance, I have a friend who can't watch Angel The Series, b/c she cannot stand David Boreanze and Angel - she does not understand how anyone can find him attractive or like him and she did not get into Btvs until he left the show. I've asked her why and she can't really say, except that she just despised him and found his relationship with Buffy incredibly Oedipal or Electra or Freudian in some way. (Now I loved Angel in S1-3 Btvs and actually really like the character, but he squicks her.) OTOH, she adores Spike, Spike turned her on.
(I also loved Spike.) Take the reverse - there are fans completely squicked by Spike - for the life of them they can't understand why anyone would like him, yet they adore Angel - they literally worship the ground Angel walks on.
Or there are fans squicked by both and love Xander and don't understand why Xander isn't the romantic lead. But none of these fans really get why they feel this way. Oh they throw out past deeds of the characters etc...but is it possible some of it is just a subconscious response to something on the screen? I don't know. But it does fascinate me why we respond to certain stimulus the way we do and why we do it so differently.

And is that subconscious response why we might go buy movie tickets to see say Tom Cruise over Robert Deniro? I have no idea...but it's interesting to contemplate. Particularly when I see some of the emotional and at times irrational debates between fans over fictional characters/relationships. This board really hasn't gone there, but other's have.

Anyways I included my email address above if you want to discuss off-board. Not real knowledgable in all of this, just intriqued by it.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Romantic archetypes! -- fresne, 12:29:18 06/24/03 Tue

Hey, no discuss here. This is interesting. And the board that discussed the philosophy of soap scum can surely discuss this. Course, I don't have any idea what I'm talking about, but why should that stop anyone.

"Oh they throw out past deeds of the characters etc...but is it possible some of it is just a subconscious response to something on the screen? I don't know. But it does fascinate me why we respond to certain stimulus the way we do and why we do it so differently."

It's also something that I've been thinking about recently, which are the characters (lets' not talk real people for the moment) that I'm attracted to in fiction. Is there a type?

I remember reading a review of the X2 movie recently, where someone was talking about how Cyclops is their favorite character? To which my response is, huh? Or my friend who thinks that Captain Picard was a boring coward and not a real captain. Now Kirk, there was captain. And here my only response is I heart Darmok and Gilaad. Gilgamesh and Enkidu, by firelight.

My mind touches on Blake 7 (an early obsession) and my fav character, Avon. Gotta love a guy that smiles at disaster and constantly tells everyone that they are idiots. Well, I do. And I consider the episode Harvest of Kairos, which is all over the Alpha, minion, Gamma male thing. Avon spend the entire episode examining a rock while the visiting errr...male villain of the week and Tarrant, one of the crew, posture and posture some more. And we also have Servalan, think Lilah only with bigger/badder clothes, sharper than a serpent's tooth, allowing this week's alpha to dominate her. Why, because she really is the big bad, so why not.

What does reading all 24 Tarzan books as a prepubescent do to your fictional wiring? Well, other than increase your vocabulary?

The whole idea of the coding going on in Western Romance writing. The structure. Not just the brooding, yet sensitive Alpha/Beta/Zeta male, but the plucky yet resourceful female. The inevitable misunderstanding. The trope of the grovel moment at the end. Must go home and reread Dangerous Men and Women , which is a book of criticism of the romance genre, by romance writers. Wish I could remember the title.

The evolution through time. The difference between say the romantic lead in Evelina (wish I could remember his name) versus Mr. Rochester versus Cooper's Hawkeye versus MASH Hawkeye versus...

The coding of Romance novels as books for women by women in Western culture. Curious' comment about manga.

Hmmm...brain spinning wildly.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Romantic archetypes! -- s'kat, 14:13:33 06/24/03 Tue

Okay..I'll continue my thoughts here.

"Oh they throw out past deeds of the characters etc...but is it possible some of it is just a subconscious response to something on the screen? I don't know. But it does fascinate me why we respond to certain stimulus the way we do and why we do it so differently."

It's also something that I've been thinking about recently, which are the characters (lets' not talk real people for the moment) that I'm attracted to in fiction. Is there a type?

It is interesting. Isn't it? And I have to take off to see The Hulk, dang it.

Okay quickly on Cyclops - X2. People who loved Cyclops, actually liked him in the comics. If you want to know what the character is like? Think Angel. Cyclops is a lot like Angel in the books. Brooding. LEader. Often making decisions for other characters. With a timeless love.

Some comic book fans get into really nasty debates over which is the better character Cyclops or Wolverine and which character should be with JEan Grey, beloved of both.
She's currently married to Cyclops, but oh so attracted to Wolverine. This battle has been going on since roughly 1985.

Wolverine is more the Gamma type, a lone wolf, but also very romantic at times, this character started out more Alpha and overtime became more Gamma.

Me? I'm a weird one - I've liked male characters all over the place. And if this is still up, I'll go into it. Have to take off or I'm going to be late..

Quick list:
Apollo (Battlestar Galatica)
Han Solo
Mr. Darcy
Michael - La Femme Nikita
Dr. Bashir (DS9)

back later...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Romantic archetypes! -- fresne, 17:27:19 06/24/03 Tue

So, what did you think of the Hulk?

And by way of comparision:

Apollo (Battlestar Galatica), - Nah, I'm a Starbuck gal
Han Solo - Oh, yeah
Hawkeye - I like him, but we're just friends
Rochester - Is this my pale little elf, is this my mustard seed. Umm... yeah. Can't stand Heathcliff though.
Mr. Darcy - His own fault for not practicing conversation, but he's spent his time well, so I'll forgive him.
Spike - Yes
Angel - Not so much
Wesely - As long as I can view S3 BtVS Wes through an AtS lens
Giles - He can clean my glasses if he wants
Michael - La Femme Nikita - My current example of look he has 0 expression and yet he's in agony. How does he do that
Dr. Bashir (DS9) - Cute, but I prefer the actor in the movie A Dangerous Man. With Rafe Finnes as Lawrence of Arabia.

Okay let's see, who else
Swampthing - Okay, he's a giant plant, but he's got, well actually no heart. But his almost destroyed the world arc is just, wow.

Jack Skellington - My God those hands, they're immense, you just know he'd be a great dance lead. And since he is dead, he can take off his head to recite Shakespearian quotation.

Tarzan, in particular in book 2 - Okay, he's completely un-pc, but come on, he drinks too much absinthe, smokes too many cigarettes and wanders the bad parts of Paris looking for a fight. And one of these days I will finish my Belle Epoque Tarzan is an immortal in Paris story. I just need to find my Mata Hari notes.

Miles Vorkosigan - He's insane. He's a genius. He occasionally reaches competence at apogee. And yet, there are those who prefer his equally insane more broody .

Zeta from the Zeta Project and in the same vein Data from

Hmmm...yeah, all over the board, with a certain consistency with those types. Naif. Rogue. Now I must to the airport, lest I make my housemate wait and wait and...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Okay I'm Back...and regarding the Hulk -- s'kat, 21:56:27 06/24/03 Tue

To finish up on this...and give explanations.

First on the Hulk - uhm, well, how to put this, until seeing the Hulk, I didn't know it was possible to do reproduce the comic book medium on a big screen. I mean literally. Ang Lee literally attempted to recreat the visual experience of looking at a comic book in live action. We had panels and split screens - just like in the comics. They split the screen for quiet moments and action moments. We saw the Hulk jump from panel to panel - I felt like I was watching a moving holographic comic book.
Did it work? Not really. The consensus was it was really hard to follow, very campy and didn't make a lot of sense, and after a while just showing off.

OTOH - it did do a nifty job of exploring Bruce Banner's Daddy Issues, Repressed Angry and Emotional Constipation.
Made it bit more complicated than absolutely necessary, but hey that's Ang Lee for you.

In the middle of it, I had this odd realization - Angel reminds me of the Hulk. And Cordelia is Betty Ross or Buffy is. When Angel isn't Angelus - he's broody and somewhat stoic, when he is Angelus, he's all emotional and angry and nasty. Angelus comes out when he loses his humanity. The Hulk comes out when Bruce gives into the rage and loses his humanity. The whole Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde complex in a nutshell.

Speaking of which - isn't that an archetype in of itself?
Do people get turned on by Angel b/c of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing? Is it a subconscious view of addiction as well? In the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Hyde comes out due to a potion - the potion he gets addicted to, the power is like a drug. Banner tells Betty in the movie, he is worried about how much he enjoys the power of the Hulk. Are our cliches - really just cliches, because we are drawn to them and feel the need to keep using the same ones, over and over again? Honestly this was going through my mind during the movie. I wondered what it was that both repulsed me and attracted me to characters that start out nice and metamorphosize into monsters. I was terrified of them as a youngster, still am, yet oddly drawn at the same time - as if there's something about the metamphorsis or
the whole idea of the monster coming out that just fascinates me on a subsconsicous level.

Here's a couple of examples:

Swamp Thing - scared and attracted at the same time
Spike and Angel
(I got really interested in Angel when he turned into a vampire in Angel S1 and when he became Angelus in Innocence.)
Xander in the Pack
Spike - William dichotmy
Willow becoming DarkWillow
Bruce Banner and the Hulk
Logan and Wolverine
Cyclops dealing with becoming Apocalpyse
JEan Grey dealing with becoming Dark Phoenix

The idea of having that inner dark monster - ready to spring forth at any moment and change you into something else is terryfying yet also very interesting at the same time.

In Cordelia's Honor what I found most interesting about Sgt.
Bothari (sp?) was that he was both a monster yet also a good man at the same time.

(It's not that I'm attracted to this in real life. Believe me I'm not. Not in the least. I tend to run in the other direction from people like this. And I've met a few. Scary.
No interest. I like nice men. If I were to meet an Angel or a Spike in reality - I'd take off in the opposite direction as I'd hope we all would. Actually if I were to meet Buffy in real life - I'd run in the opposite direction. )

But I am attracted to it in stories. I found the character of Lestate in Anne Rice's stories really fascinating, so did Ann Rice apparently, since she kept writing about him.
But what attracted me was the dichotmy, underneath the cold-blooded killer with a sense of fun, lay the vulnerable soul who ached for love and meaning. The fact that both can and do exist side by side in our nature often not so clearly delinated fascinates me.

So maybe my archetype is partly dependant on that?

The weird thing is I can split myself off on the male romantic types time wise.

In my teens and early-late twenties? I was into Apollo, Luke (well only briefly), Cyclopes, Angel, Rochester,
Darcy, Louis (Interview with A Vampire), the dark emotionally distant brooding types or stalwart heros.

Then in my late twenties/thirties - something happened.
I started preferring the Starbuck character, Han Solo,
Spike, Wolverine and Gambit, Lestate.

Yes, there were skirmishes. I preferred Starbuck after in my twenties, I have no idea what I saw in Apollo. But I loved him as a kid. I also loved Kimba and Robin Hood (the Disney Fox not Errol Flynn , as a kid), now I love Lupin in Monkey Punch and Castle Calistoga. I adore Han, don't know what I saw in Luke. I adore Wolverine, can't remember why I had a thing for Cyclops. It goes on.

So somewhere along the way I must have undergone some sort of psychological change in archetypes. Because I went from liking the brooding, alpha male to preferring the devil-may-care, emotional gamma. I look at the people who still seem to be into the Alpha and think, okay, that used to be me.
Why did I change types? OR did I? Did I just meld them together? Is it really that clearly delinated in my skull?
Is it for anyone? Can we truly categorize each other in this way? Okay now I'm confusing myself.

Kudos to anyone who understood this.

Good post fresne - it made more sense than mine.;-) Should comment on it more directly...so here goes:

Wesely - As long as I can view S3 BtVS Wes through an AtS lens
Giles - He can clean my glasses if he wants
Michael - La Femme Nikita - My current example of look he has 0 expression and yet he's in agony. How does he do that
Dr. Bashir (DS9) - Cute, but I prefer the actor in the movie A Dangerous Man. With Rafe Finnes as Lawrence of Arabia.

Yep agree completely on all of the above. Didn't have enough time to make that clearer.
Wes - Ats S3-S4 only. Prior to that, I just felt embarrassed for him. (Physical comedy and shadowkat are unmixy things in most cases.)
Rafe Fiennnes...yum. But loved Peter O'Toole as Lawerence of Arabia - and believe me you haven't seen it until you've seen it on the big screen.
Clark Gable - Gone with the Wind (Best thing in it)
Dr. Bashir - don't believe I've seen A Dangerous Man - or are you referring to the DS9 episode?

Jack Skellington - My God those hands, they're immense, you just know he'd be a great dance lead. And since he is dead, he can take off his head to recite Shakespearian quotation.

Yep. Was renting this so many times one year, I gave up finally and bought it. Jake Skellington and Lupin (from the Japanese Anime videos) are my two all time favorite animation heros. I adore them both. I want them both.
Yes, weird I know, but I like lean, intelligent, snarky/witty fictional men.

Can't say too much about Tarzan, never read the books, did see the Christopher Lambert movie called Greystoke and he was quite yummy in it. Also like Lambert in Highlander, although Adrian Paul may have beat him there.

Okay hope that part at least made sense. sk

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Transformers - More than meets the Eye -- fresne, 23:44:03 06/24/03 Tue

Good question about the transformation thing. Although, I found the character less attractive than I would have expected. But, I quite liked Hulk, but then I really liked the over the top stylistic choices. The repetition of the moss and the bare wood. The inner world as the external. External as the internal. Water and sand. Green. Oh, who am I kidding? Oh, look it's something needlessly baroque and stylistic. I love it.

"until seeing the Hulk, I didn't know it was possible to do reproduce the comic book medium on a big screen. I mean literally."

Umm...yeah. I've seen it flirted with before, but that was a comic book in motion.

Yes, Jean into Dark Phoenix, best X-arc ever.

So, what is it about the transformation. The freedom that comes of being Hyde. And conversely the restrictions. Dr. Jekyll after all dies to himself. The attractiveness of absolute freedom. The ability to do anything and not care. And implicitly that not only will you be free, but really, really cool. Pack Xander is practically Jim Morrison in motion. Willow sloughs terror and discovers the air restricting power of leather. Course, it'll end in sadness and tears, tears I say.

Or speaking as someone with her very Sally costume, as part of my on-going transformation habit, maybe not.

Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia - ah, yes there was a DS9 episode with a similar title wasn't there. And I should perhaps qualify that once Bashir retro-fited his genes into the plot, everything he did took on new texture. A man with secrets. However, I'm refering to his role as Prince Faisil, which almost got him cast as Sisco, until they found out his age. Rafe as Lawrence, is quite typically tortured and pained.

Hmm...Peter O'Toole - Aurens. The maelstrom in those eyes. Once again, the possibility of transformation. I've never seen it on a large screen, but it must be something with the all those shots of the searing simplicity of nothing. Although, having read The Seven Pillar's of Wisdom and The Mint, I'm incredibly fascinated by the original man as well. Talk about an unreliable and yet transparent narrative. Densely transparent.

Tarzan is a bit of a trip to read now as an adult. The first several books are quite gripping as page turners. Greystoke is one of the better movie versions since it manages to communicate Tarzan's intelligence and sheer hunger to know. Although, how shall I say this, Tarzan's a bit more like Angelus in Book 1 than you could ever pull off in a movie. Well, Angelus crossed with Gowain. All noble gestures and killing for fun. There the transformation is a bit in reverse. He pulls on layers of civilization, which he later attempts to shed to uncertain degrees of success. Once you know, you cannot unknown.

Re: Highlander on one hand Adrian Paul, very attractive and yet, again with the snarky weasel love. Methos, he shows up, he drinks your beer, he has a really dark past, but hey it was the Bronze Age. Everything was darker back then. Even the sun was a lower wattage. And possibly in black and white.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Transformation -- lunasea, 11:00:34 06/25/03 Wed

Freedom is but one part of the transformation story. This freedom is always shown to be a bad thing and the character is soon in over their head. That to me is what makes the story compelling. It is taking some character, giving them what they want and showing that this is too much for him/her to handle. Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

The vamping of the three major vampires: Angel, Spike and Darla all give them something they supposedly wanted. What Willow wants is set up both in "Dopplegangerland" and Season 6. Before Xander becomes HyenaBoy, he is goofing off on the field trip. He also wants to be able to handle things physically. Cave Buffy gives Buffy a lot of what she thinks she wants. Jonathan in "Superstar" learns things come with a price. Poor Giles is feeling so passed by in "A New Man." The conjoining spell took on a new layer when "Restless" showed how over their heads our heroes were when they did it.

Oz and Drusilla are in a different category. They had their transformations forced on them with no remote desire for them. With Oz, the transformation removes all his personality and reduces him to an animal. It is also temporary. It isn't the transformation, so much as Willow and he having to deal with it that is the story. With Drusilla, it isn't how she changed that is the story. The transformation isn't really about her. It is part of Angel/us' story and shows how truly evil he was.

There is yet another category. When Faith transforms into Buffy by stealing her body, she learns a bit about life. Same thing with Xander when he is split in "The Replacement." When Willow becomes Warren in "The Killer in Me" same thing. Walking a mile in someone else's shoes shows our characters a lot.

That to me is what makes the story compelling and why it is revisited so much. It ties to addiction. The addict doesn't start out wanting to be addicted. The addiction slowly or quickly takes over the addict. The addict is in over their head.

The show actually does revisit Jekyll/Hyde, but the spin they put on it makes the character unappealing. Typically it is a basically good character that loses himself. In this case, Marti explored men who hate women and the screwed up women who love them. This spin makes me not really care about what happens to Pete and Debbie much. If I don't care about the good incarnations, I don't care about what was lost due to the transformation. That is why Angel to Angelus is more striking than Liam to Angelus. It is also why Darla's second vamping is much more powerful than her first.

Freedom is great, but for me the story is that freedom isn't great. It is some character that I love getting in over his/her head. Characters, like villians, that just experience freedom are missing this component and tend to just be fun, not quite as compelling.

Just me

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Transformers - More than meets the Eye -- s'kat, 12:04:44 06/25/03 Wed

Although, I found the character less attractive than I would have expected. But, I quite liked Hulk, but then I really liked the over the top stylistic choices. The repetition of the moss and the bare wood. The inner world as the external. External as the internal. Water and sand. Green. Oh, who am I kidding? Oh, look it's something needlessly baroque and stylistic. I love it.

Would agree...Banner in the movie wasn't as attractive as I expected either. I think I like him better in the comics and in the Bill Bixby series. On the other hand, I did like some of the film techniques - the moss, the close-ups of desert creatures - showing how the Hulk reall did develop from the desert itself. How the desert can both be a life giving force and a force of destruction - shown with the jagged rocks, also shown through the end sequence with the main battle.

Also the idea of Bruce's Father wanting his power/his rage and Bruces throwing it back at his father full force. Take it.

The freedom that comes of being Hyde. And conversely the restrictions. Dr. Jekyll after all dies to himself. The attractiveness of absolute freedom. The ability to do anything and not care. And implicitly that not only will you be free, but really, really cool. Pack Xander is practically Jim Morrison in motion. Willow sloughs terror and discovers the air restricting power of leather. Course, it'll end in sadness and tears, tears I say.

Freedom's such a weird thing, isn't it? The freedom to unleash raw emotion. In the Hulk comics - it's Banner's exposure to the radiation from an atomic bomb that unleashes the Hulk inside him. The bomb is a metaphor for what happens when we unleash it. The bomb of rage. Having the freedom to unleash emotions in increments works better, as in Andrew's tears for his friend, or Angel's scream when he sees Connor and Cordy making love or Spike's hitting the punching bag after catching that kiss. Yet - unleashing it the way Spike does in AR, or Angel does in Forgiving, or
Connor does in Home -that is when freedom crosses the line.
And you lose yourself in the emotion. The emotion becomes your cage.

There's a great moment in The Hulk - where Banner dreams of looking in a fogged mirror at The Hulk behind the glass. The Hulk smashes through, grabs him and basically absorbs him - Banner's greatest nightmare. The emotion saying "puny human!" When that happens, you have no freedom, the tranformation the emotion takes on - overtakes you.

Angelus believes without a soul - he's freer. But actually he's more caged than he ever was. He has no choice - he is at the whim of the emotions racing through him, he's pure id. Same with Spike - without the chip or the soul - Spike is at the mercy of his blood, the demonic emotions racing through him. That's not freedom.

Same with Dr. Jekyll - Hyde possesses him, controls him - raw emotion/id, but he's not free. Same with Pack Xander - who becomes possessed by his emotions, negative ones, that control him. The id. i want Buffy? I take buffy.

We run into danger - I think - when we think giving into the emotion is freeing - it gives us a rush, but it's our choices that are freeing. And if we give into the emotion - the choice becomes it's bitch, the emotion rules. Or rather as the psychologist in Beauty and Beasts states - when you let an emotion such as love take control - then it becomes your master and you its slave. Which I guess can happen when you meet and fall for your archetype - lust takes over, there is no rational thought.

Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia - ah, yes there was a DS9 episode with a similar title wasn't there. And I should perhaps qualify that once Bashir retro-fited his genes into the plot, everything he did took on new texture. A man with secrets. However, I'm refering to his role as Prince Faisil, which almost got him cast as Sisco, until they found out his age. Rafe as Lawrence, is quite typically tortured and pained.

Ugh I missed that movie. Dang it. Is it available on video?

Tarzan is a bit of a trip to read now as an adult. The first several books are quite gripping as page turners. Greystoke is one of the better movie versions since it manages to communicate Tarzan's intelligence and sheer hunger to know. Although, how shall I say this, Tarzan's a bit more like Angelus in Book 1 than you could ever pull off in a movie. Well, Angelus crossed with Gowain. All noble gestures and killing for fun. There the transformation is a bit in reverse. He pulls on layers of civilization, which he later attempts to shed to uncertain degrees of success. Once you know, you cannot unknown.

Now you're making me want to read Tarzan. ugh. And I still need to finish The Lovely Bones by Sebold and Stars my Destination.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LMAO! -- Carolined, 15:35:19 06/25/03 Wed

fresne and shadowkat, thanks for the entertainment! I've been laughing along happily to all your posts. And also thanks for the Whedon interview - I definitely share many of the views he expressed about feminism as well as intepretation of text. Many of the males in film and literature that you've mentioned push my buttons also - fresne and I have already had deep, extensive, and drunken discussions re: Mr. Darcy. I'd divide them into three types - athletic, but sweet, sensitive and kinda philosophical (Luke Skywalker, Wesley in Princess Bride - first half of movie), rugged, manly, trying to hide the sweet and sensitive (Han, Mr. Darcy, Wesley in Princess Bride - after he became the Dread Pirate Roberts) and then the geeky, goofy, funny, sweet and sensitive (the sidekick in every 80s teen movie, usually starring Molly Ringwald, okay, Wesley does not fit here, I just like geeky goofy guys). Yeah, I mentioned Wesley from Princess Bride 3 times - can I help it that he bears an uncanny resemblance to my late husband? I'm not sure how my three types fit into the 3 archetypes mentioned by romantic novelists - maybe I'll have to go read some Harlequin romances - any recommendations?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: LMAO! -- s'kat, 16:35:34 06/25/03 Wed

Actually the bodice rippers are more enjoyable than the Harelquin's. OR the gothic novels, where the guy is all dark and mysterious.

Let's see there's Laurie McBain(I think it's McBain)
The Devil's Desire.

Kathleen Woodwise - The Wolf and The Dove - which deals with the Normans invading the Saxons.

Mary Stewart - she wrote a bunch of the King Arthur series
and also tons of gothics. My favorite gothic was Touch Not the Cat - had to do with ESP.

Rosemary Rogers - The Wildest Heart - a mystery/gothic/bodice ripper combined. With the dark suspicious alpha male lead.

Modern day? Jeri Smith-Ready's Requiem for the Devil.
Lucifer is the hero.

Can't think of any others. I stopped reading romance novels six years ago, so it's hard to remember them. I read most of them between the ages of 12-25.

Yep, have the same difficulty...dang it...I think I put them in stages. For the life of me, I can't figure out why Xander in s1-3 now turns me on more than Angel, while when I was actually watching S1-3 in 1997-1999, Angel turned me on more. Or why I found Riley more attractive in 2000, than I do now. What is it with my libido, anyway??

And why is it that I never found Mr. Darcy that attractive until I saw Colin Firth in the part and watched him dive into that pound? Colin Firth hasn't been attractive in anything else really outside of possibly Valmont and even then, nope, sorry.

One does wonder about oneself at times...LOL! Oh and yes,
I much preferred the Dread Pirate Roberts Wesely, to the As You wish Wesely... I like a bit of fire to my characters.
By the way, why hasn't Carey Elwes gotten more roles?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> recs -- Anneth, 16:37:46 06/25/03 Wed

Revealing my deepest, darkest secret for you, Caro - my favoritest ever romance novel, one of only two I've ever reread - Knight in Shining Armor, by Jude Deveroux.

The other one, also by Deveroux, with the cringe-inducing title Velvet Angel, I haven't reread in years, so I have no idea if my post-college self would hold it in the same esteem as my high school incarnation did. But I still really like the first one.

A non-romance novel you might like is the novel Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver; there is a love-interest, named Loyd-one-el, and he's pretty yummy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> more LOL -- ponygirl, 19:18:47 06/25/03 Wed

My friend, whose pool this weekend was the site of some massive sunburning on my part, had to be talked out of naming her son Deveroux. She's a huge reader, buys romance novels by the boxful, and swears by Johanna Lindsey's books. I've never read them, since we have very different tastes, but they're supposedly bodice-rippers of the highest quality.

The talk of Han vs. Luke, or the eternal bad boy vs. nice guy debate, had my friend going too. She was bemoaning a recent romance trend of making the men sensitive - "don't they know we like them bad?" It's another testament to the difference between fictional and real life tastes that her husband is a big sweetie.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Transforming Hulkish Spoilers with Diabolical Silhouetted Harlequins -- fresne, 22:22:15 06/25/03 Wed

"There's a great moment in The Hulk - where Banner dreams of looking in a fogged mirror at The Hulk behind the glass. The Hulk smashes through, grabs him and basically absorbs him - Banner's greatest nightmare. The emotion saying "puny human!" When that happens, you have no freedom, the tranformation the emotion takes on - overtakes you"

Yes, I loved that scene. And then the immediate submersion in the water. That fall from a cold starlit height into a cold sparkling depth. Repression. Bursting forth onto city streets. Disrupting. Disturbing. Quieted by love's face.

Dangerous Man is indeed out on video, it's at least ten, fifteen years old. Quite good though.

And as to Tarzan. Bwahahahaha. My corruptive work here is done.

But, wait Caroline mentioned Harlequin romances. As I turn speculatively to my shelf and crack my knuckles. Since it was request for actual Harlequins lets see...

Girl in a Golden Bed by Anne Weale - He's an artist. She's an artist. They're in Portofino. There's a bed with a bronze mirror. Beautifully languid.

Enchanted in Venice by Lucy Gordon/Silhouette - blah, blah, blah romance in Venice, but before we get to Venice we have my favorite makeover scene in a book. Hair, face, clothes, the works.

The Lonely Season by Susan Napier - The lonely season in lonely lands, when fled/And half the birds, and mists lie low, and the sun/Is rarely seen, nor strayeth far from his bed;/the short days pass unwelcomed one by one. - Robert Bridges. Like that.

Foolish Deceiver by Sandra Rhoades - She's a genius, who can never get a date. She pretends to be a bleached blond idiot with mixed results.

Unfinished Rhapsody by Gina Caimi/Silhouette - Best backrub scene ever.

Tainted Love by Alison Fraser - Damn. The pain. The angst. The longing looks.

Just Good Friends by Lucy Gordon/Silhouette - If Doyle had been a romance hero. Also, since I've just listed seven Harlequin romances, I must redeem my cred by saying, one of the best explanations of Benedict and Beatrice from Much Ado about Nothing that I've ever read. Plus, it's really funny, because he's Doyle only not a demon.

Switching to romances longer that 189 pages,

Naked in Death - Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb. - Futuristic mystery/romance. A little unusual in that it's a series romance. The romance starts in book one, but it takes books of building, and wall deconstructing and adventure and murders and in my head the hero is played by Pierce Brosnan. Good stuff.

Seconding the Requiem for the Devil recommendation. - I love, love, love this book. I read it at least once a year. The conclusion always hits me like a ton of bricks. The devil, he's evil, he's in love, it sucks to be him. There's this bit at the grand canyon that, okay, nice.

The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys. - Renaissance/romance Hard to find, but fascinating. The most un-pc romance that I've ever read, but for once it feels like period characters in a period book, not modern characters plopped down. You can practically feel the weight of the clothes, the smell of the torches, the back stabbing. Owe! The hero is mesmerizing, kind of insane, and quite frankly has minions do his brooding for him. In any other book, he'd be the villain. The strangely likeable villain.

Ravished by Amanda Quick. - Regency romance. She's a proto-paleontologist. He's a big, brooding, dark, depressed, disgraced, really wealthy, some kind of aristocrat. It's hilarious. He doesn't get to be jealous of other men. No, his rivals are the pile of bones that she's always rooting around.

The Rainbow Season by Lisa Gregory - Turn of the Century US/Romance. The hero pulls off being really damaged and really sweet. Everyone's all damaged and needing the metaphor of the growing earth.

Uncommon Vows by Mary Joe Putney - Medieval/Romance. He's acetic and contained and focused. She's all pluck and heedless courage. Classic style of romance.

And now, I contemplate the romance. The idea of genre, that like horror (it's opposite?) is intended to engender a specific emotion in a specific audience. Admittedly, there are different types of romances. Funny. Angsty. My housemate like the humor. I want my heart ripped out and stomped on. However, the essential premise is same. Formulaic. Boy meets girl. Conflict. Resolution. In Harlequins I even know the page when things will happen. The plot is almost beside the point. It is the form of the dance, rather than the dance itself that pleasure lends.

Hmmm...although, like when the little blonde girl kicks the demon's big axe wielding ass, a twist can be fun if played right within the formula.

I also feel like I should digress into a discussion of Mr. Hyde's lack of voice within Dr. Jeckyl/Mr Hyde. The qualitative nature of first person narrative. The embedded nature of the text, with secrets on secrets. But Hyde is elusive, unlike the creature at the center of Frankenstein who like the kernel at the center does eventually speak. Points in the narrative where Hyde is feminized (smaller, high pitched voice, etc.). The general lack of women in the book. Lots of old bachelors. The fact that Jeckyl is working to divorce Hyde from himself. The way streets and doors are described within the narrative. The curiousness of the little girl and the well respected man wandering around the streets down town at midnight. Just what is going on there?

However, I've spent too much time talking about romances and am not quite in the mood to reread J/H at the moment.

Saunters off to go read some smut. Well, once I've pondered the board. Priorities after all. Lacks closure as an exit though doesn't it?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Stepping in briefly -- lunasea, 15:29:59 06/24/03 Tue

It isn't a type that gets me any more. When I was in high school, I had my type. When I was in college, I had my type. Those types were the opposite of me. They allowed me to project what I was suppressing and deal with it through my romantic relationships (and friends). No matter what the "type" I required someone with a strong personality, since I have one and anyone who wasn't as strong as I am would get smushed.

Now it is the heart behind the story and the character that gets me. Lose the heart and the character is gone. That is one thing that Joss does exceedingly well and he knows it. He can find and show us the hearts of his characters. Why don't I like Spike? Because as Jane Espenson said, the difference between the soul and the chip is the heart behind it.

I don't think that Joss tries to write a type. I think he tries to write a heart. Then he wraps that in whatever form would fit the plot. Then someone else labels that a certain type. Joss is a great story teller because his focus is emotions, the emotions of his characters and what that generates in his audience.

Cyclops wasn't given enough material to really have much of a heart, but my favorite moment is when Jean Gray says "Don't make me do this." My biggest complaint about X2 was that Jean and Cyclops' relationship wasn't built up enough so that the ending didn't have as much impact as it should have. Wolverine had tons of heart.

One series that I think really lacks in the heart department is Star Wars. Wonderful story, but some of the books are much better than the movies. Same thing with Middle Earth. I think the movie is much better because it isn't just relating history like the books, but really gives the characters heart.

That is just me. If the characters don't care, neither do I.

[> [> [> [> [> Wow Caroline, I really think you've got it. -- fidhle, 15:11:28 06/23/03 Mon

Thanks for the great post, Caroline. Buffy's growth is indeed the issue, and her development as a whole, integrated, person is what I think we see in S7. As she herself knows, she hasn't finished that journey - her cookie dough is still undone, but she now has learned that which she needs to know to finish that journey to become the person she can and should be, with both feminine and masculine aspects, which are present in all people. I agree completely with your analysis. Great job.


[> [> [> [> [> Archetypes -- lunasea, 16:00:07 06/23/03 Mon

Archetypes, per Dr. Jung himself, are the psychic component to instinct. What you are talking about is the forms that archetypes take. Archetypes have no form any more than instinct do.

The problem with Season 6 is that myth isn't consciously written. It just comes to us from deep within, where instinct and archetypes reside. Anything that is an exploration of these things consciously tends to, IMNSHO, lose a lot of its universal appeal.

Archetypes aren't cliches and their forms aren't a symbolic language common to all. Instinct is the langugage we all speak. We all have a drive to be nurtured and to nurture others. This comes out in various forms. Those forms are not common to all of us. They are not universal.

That is where much of the disagreement about things like Spuffy comes from. Our experiences really color our own individual archetypes and how we see things. Spike isn't some universal archetype. He is a form the writers create. When people start to mistake him for something universal, he loses a lot.

This is why Spuffy gets so heated. It is also why I tend to rely on what the writers say about him. He is their creation, their form. He isn't something that resides in us all. What generated him does, but we rarely talk about that.

[> [> [> [> [> Falling forward -- fresne, 16:21:43 06/23/03 Mon

"The woman she becomes is simultaneously the women she must be and the woman she wants to be. That is something that really speaks to me, as a woman, a feminist and a human being."

Yes, yes, and yes.

And I love the idea that Sunnydale was a sort of pupae, a microcosmic world that simultaneously entrapped and supported Buffy. Before she could go free of this one Starbuck town, she had to reach an inner peace with her own lack of perfection. Not that she didn't know that she was "wrong" before, just that imperfection is a hard thing for a perfectionist to accept. Thus her inferiority complex about feeling superior.

That she will never live up to her own expectations, much less any one else's. That in the end, she can only be Buffy and that's okay.

That she can accept that the darkness that wears her face does not define her. The monstrous feminine is a phantasm. And I'll just briefly note the symbolism of reiterating the action of PG. Going into the tunnel to be reborn. This time, that tunnel's mouth has teeth, which opens not as a child leads her, but with drops of blood from this soon to be sisterhood on the seal. After all our discussion of symbols of the masculine, monstrous or otherwise, do I need to spell it out?

That she must forgive nothing. She must accept Faith, her shadow sister, as she must accept her light striving darkness. Telling Spike that she loves him finally admits to a Buffy that can love herself. Giving Faith the scythe admits to a Buffy that can finally let go. Give way. Run. Jump. Fall into the future.

Then the Hellmouth, this vast thing, turns out to be empty. Filled with dust. Nothing.

Buffy no longer needs it, so this tiny town crumbles away. From here Buffy will walk in the world. The road of possibility curving to the horizon of everything.

There is no image I love so much as a road leading away. That they end up in the desert thrills me. The liminal place between worlds where visions and dreams dwell. Through the gates of Ivory and Horn, Buffy can now emerge into the world and dewy fledgling fly.

That's just so incredibly cool.

[> [> [> [> [> Feminine and Masculine, cookies and dough -- Rahael, 19:27:52 06/23/03 Mon

Thanks for such a thoughtful and lengthy reply Caroline. I certainly agree with a large part of what you are saying, but I'll first comment on the parts I don't agree with.

Buffy feels comfortable in the masculine, rule and rationality-based aspects of her role as a slayer

See, I just cannot see this as a 'masculine' quality. Maybe I should check - are you using these qualities as something essential, or are you using them as purely socially coded ideas (terms used for sheer convenience)? In fact, I saw Buffy as all woman, all the way through, (all human, in fact), whether she was displaying her aggression, or her cleverness - both in strategy, in making rational decisions, in intuitive judgement, in compassion. I cannot regard one single of these characteristics as in any way gender coded.

I agree with you that the Slayer contains both characteristics. I guess where I differ is whether they are separate, or intertwined.

I'm afraid, that if I were told that compassion and nurturing and forgiveness were feminine and rational and rule based was masculine, that those qualities were psychologically separate somehow, I'd have a pretty bolshy reaction. I'd like to be a man please. Maybe its because I grew up in a society where women were supposed to be compassionate and nurturing and forgiving so they had to marry the man their families told them to, obey their husbands in all important decisions, forgive every bit of indignity they were fated to endure, because they are women, and are meant to bear these things better than men!

My grandmother, when she was younger would have to let her husband and children eat before she could help herself. She often went hungry. (Women are sacrificial and nurturing). Women in abusive marriages were made to go back to their temporarily penitent husbands. They have to be forgiving. Men should be all these things to, but it's harder for them, so we had to be tolerant. (So the husband was a bit of a brute, well, that's the way men are. Destructive.)

Of course, all the while my grandmother went without her food, she fumed, a backbone of resentment and anger and all sorts of unfeminine feelings she had to repress. My grandfather, inwardly far more artistic and sensitive than his wife had to bow to his wife's demands over many household matters both practical and philosophical. Their daughters, rebellious and sensitive and minds as rational as a steel trap inherited stubbornness, determination and the anger of a trapped woman from their mother; their sensitivity and artistic inclinations from their father - their intelligence from both parents. Was my grandmother a masculine woman? not in the least. She was a 'woman'. Was my grandfather a 'feminine man'? Again no, he was a man. They were two ill matched human beings forced together by an arranged marriage slowly growing toward a reluctant love and caring. She, girlish, he authoritative. Both putty in each other's hand. They both broke the same way inside as they grew older. One tragedy for each of their daughters.

I see such things as compassion or aggression, loneliness or pain as emotions that seize us all, outward manifestations to all sorts of conflicts and thoughts within us. I cannot assign archetypal essenses to these conflicts and thoughts, nor to their emotional expression. Society keeps telling us how they should be expressed, but the real story is the disjuncture between prescription and reality.

I saw BtVS reflecting my own stance on this; of course I would! This is what I observe in life, so I project it on to the characters. I can see how people who observe other things will read the open ended narratives of BtVS differently. But in Season 7, I saw some undeniable things, perhaps crystallising some earlier niggling doubts, making them impossible to ignore. I personally find the gendered narratives of S7 imprisoning to me, or at least, not filled with enough ambiguity to fanwank. I'm pretty certain that Joss has very different ideas about masculinity and femininity.

I agree that the Slayer is in a state of possibility. As are we all. I don't generally think of myself as cookie dough, but I'd always prefer myself to be cookie dough to a cookie. Always malleable, ever changing, containing all these possibilities, responding creatively to change. If I became a cookie, I'd become fixed in shape, fragile, an object. There is no true future for my self. No real me waiting to emerge. I am me now, I will be me later. Who I will be, I cannot tell. I can't guarantee I'll be a finer or worse person. I can tell you that I was a braver, more admirable person when I was 9 than I am now.

I totally agree with you that wholeness is an important process for all of us.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I think you've seriously misunderstood my argument. Will get back tomorrow -- Caroline, 21:32:29 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Feminine and Masculine, cookies and dough -- Caroline, 07:26:55 06/24/03 Tue

I'm rather frustrated that I appear to have communicated so poorly to you. You appear to be responding to arguments I did not think I made. I'll try to be more clear here.

You quote me:
Buffy feels comfortable in the masculine, rule and rationality-based aspects of her role as a slayer

Then write:
See, I just cannot see this as a 'masculine' quality. Maybe I should check - are you using these qualities as something essential, or are you using them as purely socially coded ideas (terms used for sheer convenience)? In fact, I saw Buffy as all woman, all the way through, (all human, in fact), whether she was displaying her aggression, or her cleverness - both in strategy, in making rational decisions, in intuitive judgement, in compassion. I cannot regard one single of these characteristics as in any way gender coded.

What I am talking about here is psychological principles, with masculinity and femininity being part of the psyches of both men and women. I'm not saying that masculinity belongs only to men and femininity belongs only to women. They belong to all of us. Masculinity as a principle is action, femininity is a principle of reception. While in discussion it is useful to talk of these principles as though they are separate they are part of the same psychic energy and inseparable. I'm not saying that certain behaviours or qualities are purely socially coded ideas, I'm saying something about how these operate in the psyche. I don't really understand what you say when you talk about Buffy being all woman. It appears that you and I are using different definitions and talking at cross-purposes here. I'm talking psychology, you're talking the battle of the sexes.

You write:
I'm afraid, that if I were told that compassion and nurturing and forgiveness were feminine and rational and rule based was masculine, that those qualities were psychologically separate somehow, I'd have a pretty bolshy reaction.

It's a good thing I'm not saying that so you don't have to go all bolshy! Once again, I'm talking psychological principles here, not gender wars. In all our stories and myths in many cultures, we have always associated nurturing with the feminine principle. This does not mean that men are incapable of the same behaviours, because their psyches also contain the feminine principle! You wrote a wonderful essay with Ran and Bit on Kali and Shiva which, if I remember correctly, talks about some of these issues.

You write:
I see such things as compassion or aggression, loneliness or pain as emotions that seize us all, outward manifestations to all sorts of conflicts and thoughts within us. I cannot assign archetypal essenses to these conflicts and thoughts, nor to their emotional expression. Society keeps telling us how they should be expressed, but the real story is the disjuncture between prescription and reality.

Once again, each and every one of us is capable of all sorts of behaviours since we contain all these principles within us. I used the examples of Spike and Angel deliberately - both men, but with different ways of expressing aggression informed by their own psyches. We carry certain archetypal images in out psyches, both masculine and feminine (the hostile feminine, the hostile masculine etc) and our behaviours - aggression, compassion etc spring from these. The conflicts we have spring from the workings of our own minds, but they are not themselves archetypal essences. As for society, I'm not saying anything about how society says we should express anything - I'm not really concerned here about society and its shoulds. I'm talking about the individual and internal conflicts.

You write:
But in Season 7, I saw some undeniable things, perhaps crystallising some earlier niggling doubts, making them impossible to ignore. I personally find the gendered narratives of S7 imprisoning to me, or at least, not filled with enough ambiguity to fanwank. I'm pretty certain that Joss has very different ideas about masculinity and femininity.

I don't see S7 as a gendered narrative. I don't see Joss saying that either masculine or feminine are good/evil. They just exist in an eternal struggle within us. No, we are the struggle. But since you haven't given your argumentation here, I can't understand why you think there is a gendered narrative that you have found imprisoning.

I agree with you about always wanting to be dough rather than a cookie. When are we ever truly finished?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> No, you've misunderstood me!! -- Rahael, 11:00:36 06/24/03 Tue

I have to write this very quickly, so it's a very spare response, but your post above illustrates exactly what I mean. Masculine and feminine principles in the pysche? Why is masculine associated with action and feminine with reception (well, I have a dreadful idea why that is so actually but I hesitate to spell it out). I do not believe that there are such principles in our psyche.

I wasn't writing about the battle of the sexes, I was writing about such ideas of gender and sex! I know you say we contain both in ourselves, but I'm still highly suspicous of passivity being associated with femininity. In fact, it's something I feel pretty strongly about. I'd say that these are socially coded ideas. It's something I've thought very very long about, and feel quite strongly about too.

Now I'm getting a clearer and clearer idea of why S7 and I do not get along.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It would be a tragedy if only there were Greeks or Don't mess around with Medea -- fresne, 14:22:18 06/24/03 Tue

But don't forget the archetypal aspects of the monstrous feminine that also must be integrated. The vagina with teeth that gives birth to monsters. The angry darkness. Mother's milk is red today. Grendel's mother lurking in her cave beneath the sea. So, is Buffy Marduk here to the First's Tiamat? What does it mean that both wear Buffy's face and shiny hair? That night light Joyce is so inexplicable? Grendel slain not by watching companions die, but by spreading the wealth?

And briefly the thought occurs that Buffy is also the prostitute that infects Enkidu, the wild man, with language so that he will go into the city where Gilgamesh waits. Language as venereal disease. Thank you Snowcrash.

Then the thought flits that the monstrous feminine is a matter of perspective. Grendel loves his mommy. Conner sees Jasmine with a different gaze. That we still haven't met the really real Nikki, only snapshots from suspect points of view. Viewpoint co-mingled with memory as a frieze motif. And that in some cultures, the sun is feminine and the moon the masculine half. The god of war a Hummingbird. Or that a goddess of war can be a weaver too.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Power - trickling down the hierarchy, or generated organically? -- Rahael, 14:58:23 06/24/03 Tue

I actually did do a whole bit about the monstrous woman which I deleted, in my response to Caroline yesterday. It is as you say, a matter of perspective. In my personal opinion, the monstrous woman and the passive woman co-exist in a narrative that ultimately leads to the idea that woman must be controlled/protected.

In fact in Restless, we did see this double facing image when Tara speaks for the First Slayer. The First Slayer, all about the action, the kill. Tara, all about words, about communicating.

Now these are things that leave me uncomfortable. I can see why they aren't uncomfortable for others.

I love Robert Graves, but his White Goddess stuff leaves me uncomfortable, and even as I appreciate his wonderful poetry, I have to mutter to myself.

Nevermind. I feel like the eccentric muttering in the corner anyway. I never really disagree with any of the positive posts about S7. The storyline seems pretty unambiguous, and there's no room for me to do an alternate reading that will allow me to enjoy it, and to disagree with the other people's positive readings.

Also, maybe I'm just disabled in these discussions by the fact that I don't have the world archetype in my vocabulary when I discuss narratives. And the word empowerment. The power is always there, it never needs to be taken on (why I'm uncomfortable with GiD - why did it have to be inserted through brute force? does the insertion say something about the nature of the power that was inserted?)

In my opinion, power is generated as people interact in relationships. Power doesn't trickle down. It doesn't get handed out in a decision by the person at the top. That argues that power is a possession of one person. But Checkpoint proved that the Watcher's Council doesn't allocate power to the Slayer. The Slayer already has power. I thought that the metaphor of sharing power was a very nice answer to a lot of plot points, but I would have liked it more if we'd been shown that the Potentials just needed to use the power they had. Not handed it on.

There's more to power than physical strength and confidence of spirit. There is more to power relationships. It was hinted at, for example - the power differentials in various relationships. Kennedy and Willow. Buffy and Spike. Buffy and Giles. Buffy and Dawn. Buffy and Wood. Wood and Spike. The really interesting quesitons of power within relationships were never adequately dealt with.

You know what I wanted to see in Get it Done? That the Watcher's Council's line was that they chose a girl and gave her power. Then Buffy goes back and finds that a girl chose the power. Chose it willingly. Chose to be Strong. Chose to understand that darkness is multifaceted, belonging to all of us. That the Slayer would stand on the borders of the Night and the Day and understand both worlds. Are you ready to be strong?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Choice and power -- lunasea, 15:46:10 06/24/03 Tue

Did Angel choose to be vamped? Did he choose to be cursed? Did Cordelia choose the visions? Did Willow choose how magick affects her?

For each character there comes a point where they have to choose to accept power, but that power is always thrust upon them. Joss' story is taking someone from ditz/nerd/scoundrel to hero. The ditz/nerd/scoundrel doesn't just spontaneously wake up one day and decide to change their ways. Something has to happen to catalyze this development. In the Buffyverse that is the infusion of some sort of power.

The Buffyverse is full of choice. It isn't about accepting power. It is about what to do with that power. Maybe that is what you don't like. Marti said the story was the exploration of being exceptional. It isn't about how to attain power. Not everyone gets it.

I got the impression that the Scythe unlocked the Potential's potential. That is why they are called Potentials. It was still their power. They just couldn't access it. Isn't that what keeps us all from being extraordinary? We all have this power, but we can't get to it. Empowerment means helping others to access this. By doing this, we make others extraordinary and raise all of human existance. As Willow said, we changed the world.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Or our power will grow, vaster than empires and more slow -- fresne, 17:23:39 06/24/03 Tue

Oh, good re: Monstrous Fem. It did seem a bit strange to not be talking about the Crone with a belt of skulls in a season where the villain wore the hero's face.

As I've commented elsewhere, I'm in the curious position of quite liking the season, but thinking that perhaps an exercise program and a diet wouldn't have been amiss mid season. Or the ability to turn green and grow. Briefly ponders the Hulk's extremely fortuitous clothing and the differences between Hulk, the incredible, and She Hulk. But, I digress. Hopefully not liking S7, won't stop you from talking about it.

"In my personal opinion, the monstrous woman and the passive woman co-exist in a narrative that ultimately leads to the idea that woman must be controlled/protected."

Or that the passive woman is necessitated by the fear of the monstrous woman. Or is it the other way around. Would Socrates' wife have been so shrewish if Soc-rates had stopped hanging out with the local youth and just gotten a job? The lazy philosophical bum. Would she even be shrewish if she had a voice? Did the cultural position of women in classical Athens create both the response of Heteira (must review that link on the Firefly board) and the fear of Medea the avenger. Secret Bachae. Philomel and her sad song. Medusa's stony gaze. They are conquered and yet, in the end, snip, snip, the Crone measures your fate. If there is no passive woman, is there a monstrous one? What do we mean by passive? What do we mean by monstrous?

"In my opinion, power is generated as people interact in relationships.... There is more to power relationships. It was hinted at, for example - the power differentials in various relationships. Kennedy and Willow. Buffy and Spike. Buffy and Giles. Buffy and Dawn. Buffy and Wood. Wood and Spike. The really interesting quesitons of power within relationships were never adequately dealt with."

Yes, hinted and flirted and hmm...

For example, my big problem with Kennedy/Willow until Chosen, where I finally saw another face, thank you Joss, was this sense that this was almost entirely a power relationship. Willow has power. Kennedy wants power. What coin relationship could be exchanged to buy a role as instructor, be one of the inner circle at planning, etc. It left me yearning.

The power differentials between Wood and Buffy, well interesting. Desire. Transference. Power in one place. Follower in another. The difficulties in negotiation. The power of mystery. Knowledge. Symbol. I like to think that young Robin hid his mother's bag as a memento all those years ago. Something of mystery to hold onto.

"You know what I wanted to see in Get it Done?"

Hmm...that's kind of what I felt happened in the finale. Although, I can see where every Potential reaching to access to her own unique power on her own would have been an interesting alternative.

So, I'm curious, have you ever read the Sonya Blue vampire books? If yes, what did you think of the conclusion of Fade to Black? Or heck the second book. Crazy other.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> a green thought in a green shade -- Rahael, 12:11:27 06/25/03 Wed

How lovely! From Marvell to Hulk, to power.

Very perceptive slants on the monstrous and the passive. Especially your question: What is monstrous, what is passive? I think my disatisfaction stems from the monstrous and passive simply being accepted as such, rather than those ideas being broken down, questioned and subverted.

Yes, I thought Chosen mitigated a lot of what happened in Season 7. I really really liked the spoiler for what Buffy decided to do in the end. I can overlook the fact that only a select number got the power because I can see that as a metaphor.

And as for your comments about Socrates - I keep going back to the Wife of Bath's beautiful lines:

"Who painted first the lion, tell me who?
By God, if women had but written stories.........

I guess that's why I want the silent slayers to speak.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Rosebuds and big green men -- fresne, 23:02:30 06/25/03 Wed

Well, you know the Hulk, he's Marvel-ish.


Gather ye power while ye may, timely relevance, it is a flyin.

You know I'm not sure I actually have anything more to say.

Looks nonchalantly around. Words like to be subverted. They're saucy that way and vaguely Edward Gorey shifty.

Power. Greek mythological reference. Pop culture, pop culture. Mythological blah blah. Suppression. There we go. Even when Jekyll stops taking the drink, vile and in my head looking like Chartreuse with a night light, once Hyde has been allowed egress he cannot be suppressed. Even if Hyde wants to. Desperately desiring to grow large and bluff and safe Jekyll again. And Hyde's presence is that which causes discomfort. Monstrous. And yet, what is his unexpressed version of the story? What is the troublesome queasy at the heart of the text?

Even when those silent Slayers speak, their words are filtered through other's perspectives. A passing shadow's cast on the wall with no form or substance. An evocative uneasiness in the text.

Power always intrinsically at a cost. Like vampires themselves. Stay young and beautiful forever, just one little/big catch.

That odd thought of Angel as Angelus' cage. The less being the more. Suppression. Repression. Cage the demon to power the man. Perhaps, less a cage than a horse and rider, where the horse wants nothing more than to run. Smash at the lock often enough, and the door falls open.

Interesting curse. For want of a nail, the war was lost, which may be apropos of nothing. After all, Angel is out of his box and walking. While Buffy's cage is no more.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Anger and Power -- Arethusa, 09:21:31 06/26/03 Thu

It does seem like the better message to women would be that they already have power, and it is a power they chose to have. Perhaps ME wanted to emphesize that power itself isn't enough. It must be used the right way-to bring women together, not isolate them. We have to fight to get it (back), fight to keep it, fight to use it correctly. It can't ever be taken for granted. We have to get angry enough to make it part of ourselves, instead of letting power be a thing loaned to us, that can be used to control us. I'm thinking of all the women who achieved power in the 70s and 80s, yet used it only to secure their own fragile position. And all the women who did the opposite, sharing and spreading the power to raise us all up.

In my personal opinion, the monstrous woman and the passive woman co-exist in a narrative that ultimately leads to the idea that woman must be controlled/protected.

Yes. The underlying idea is that power doesn't belong to women; they can't handle it so their power must be controlled, by men. And what is power, anyway? Reading the Hulk posts, it occurs to me that often power is anger. I never broke down human characteristics into male and female catagories because since I was very young I have been filled with anger. And men were always the ones depicted as angry, with all the implications that implies-forcefullness, directness, drive. Is power anger that has been channeled into action? (In Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown, Harry's anger makes her so powerful that she has learned not to look people in the eye when angry, for fear she would hurt them.)

Maybe ME wants us to get angry about how we've been treated. It's not enough to be powerful. We have to do something with it, something that helps us all.

(Or maybe not, but after a day of thinking about this, it's the best I could come up with!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The feminine principle is not passive! -- Caroline, 15:57:13 06/25/03 Wed

Just wanted to make that clear. I wouldn't call Kali passive, nor Demeter, nor Inanna. But receptive - in the sense that the earth receives the seed and causes the seed to grow and bloom, in the sense that a woman receives a man. Each expression is powerful and affirming and strong and each has role in life. Just because some silly people then take the step to say that women should therefore be subjugated and passive does not mean that I take that step. That's not what I'm saying and that's not what I interpret JW as saying. (I am a hugely radical feminist - largely as a reaction to my upbringing in a rather sexist culture - so this is a hot button issue for me!)

I think that we can talk about the different aspects of the nature of psychic energy and it's expression without then going to value judgements about how people - men and women - (air quotes) should behave (end air quotes). I also think that many of us, even those of us who are feminists, still have problems struggling with these different energies within us, the different parts of our psyches and how to integrate them. I heard of, thought not yet read, a book by Naomi Wolf (IIRC) where she chronicles the sexual fantasies of women. Many of them involve situations where there are S&M situations, bondage etc, with the women being in submissive positions. Many women have particular problems with this consciously - particularly reconciling this to their consciously states goals/roles etc as feminists and women who wish for equality. How do we treat these contradictions in our psyches? Repress them and say they don't exist or understand them? Buffy was kinda in this situation in S6/7 - experiencing exploring her contradiction. That is not a bad thing, particularly if it leads to an understanding of the self.

I obviously do misunderstand you and I'm sorry about that. I guess we have different models/concepts in our heads. But I still don't know the source of you discomfort with S7 but if you'd rather not explain, it's not really a problem.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Cookies & compasses -- fresne, 09:08:17 06/24/03 Tue

The funny thing about the cookie dough metaphor is that it is a little messy. Of course, we're never really finished. Always changing. Mushing. Moulding. Transforming into the next thing.

And yet, at some point, and I can't speak for others, I found my center and that's what I think Buffy/Joss is driving at with the cookie dough speech. Finding that place in yourself around which you spin. The place that helps you fall without injuring yourself. Well, less injury at least. That helps you reach out to connect and actually touch the things that you're reaching, stretching, longing.

The steady foot around which Donne writes Forbidding Valediction. Admittedly, he's speaking of an external person, but it's so much easier to send one foot in penciled wandering, if you have one foot on the ground. In the ground. Pulling from the earth. Allowing the hand to pull dreams from the sky.

Sadly, now we have a cookie dough that is a centered compass and some other mixy metaphoric thing, which is what happens when one messes with metaphors. Or possibly, when I mess with cooking metaphors. Sad tragic wasteland. The kitchen. It is burning. So, much for that aspect of my feminine.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Exactly Fresne -- Rahael, 11:04:09 06/24/03 Tue

It turns out to be a muddled, incoherent metaphor that kind of sinks soggily in the middle. Like S7!!

I too believe in the idea of a centre, that you describe. I think other seasons described it better. In that sense, Buffy was able to find her centre, her harbour (Getting flashes of Wyatt's "My Galley charged with forgetfullness")more convincingly in other seasons.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The center -- lunasea, 15:54:43 06/24/03 Tue

Here's my metaphor. Life is a disk spinning on a pin. We stand on that disk. If the disk is centered on the pin, it spins flat and we have no problem standing on it. If the disk isn't centered, it starts to wobble and it is hard to stand on it. Most of us never really find that perfect center, but we do find several points close to that so that the wobbling is managable. Sometimes in our search for that perfect center, we trade a point that is close to the center for one that is further out.

[> [> [> [> not sure which post of mine you're referring to -- anom, 17:32:04 06/23/03 Mon

Rahael, you wrote: "Anom posted in a thread below that we still need feminism, and I think she may misinterpreted my argument at least as being in any way antifeminist. Absolutely not."

Was it the one w/the part that starts: "I've read some opinions that feminism is the wrong approach to ending sexism--that we should be dealing in terms of humanism, of equality. But how do you get there from an unequal starting point?" Because that was in shadowkat's S7 critique thread, & I couldn't find any post from you in it, so I'm not sure that's what you're referring to, or what you said that I may have misinterpreted. Let me know, 'cause I'd like to be able to respond! Or maybe it was someone else's post?

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm happy to regard pre S7 Buffy in all her masculinity as a role model. Indeed, she spoke to me as no other woman on tv has done. And if Joss is somehow saying that Buffy has to learn to become a true woman (say, like Tara), can people understand why I have become so alienated?"

I agree about Buffy's "masculinity" not keeping her from being a role model. Having been a tomboy growing up, & not being particularly into conventional "femininity" as an adult, I certainly felt she spoke to me. I never felt Buffy was presented as not being a "true woman" or as needing to become one; my understanding of the cookie dough speech was that Buffy needed to become her true self, whatever that might turn out to be, & that it had nothing to do w/what anyone else might expect that a woman is supposed to be.

[> [> [> [> [> That's the one -- Rahael, 19:41:31 06/23/03 Mon

I added that in because I didn't want to let you think that I objected to any feminist message in S7 (I thought sharing the power was a great motif, perhaps my third favourite after Selfless and Storyteller). I thought you might be referring to any of my earlier very veiled posts about my discomfort about gender in S7 (I've been pretty vocal about it, but a lot of it's been in real life so I have a mistaken impression about how vocal I have been on the board). But I go into it more fully in my reply to Caroline, above.

Oh, and I too was a tomboy when I was younger, though I am in some way into conventional femininity as I grow up (well, in clothes anyway). What I don't always say is that in the society I grew up, showing more than an ankle was being a whore and a slut, and I was once told at the age of 8 that I wasn't a real woman (just like my mother!) because I was wearing a summer dress with shoulder straps.

So hah!

(btw, the other ep I really liked in S7 was KiM. But, did anyone notice that Willow turned into Warren before she expressed all her violent destructive thoughts? Happily that ep was wonderfully resonant, ambiguous and elegaic - I thought the ep was suffused with the presence of Tara - for me to ignore/fanwank to my greater satisfaction). Oh, and I also really really loved Potential.

[> [> [> [> [> [> & which one is this? -- anom, 07:56:37 06/25/03 Wed

"But I go into it more fully in my reply to Caroline, above."

Would that be the "nailed my discomfort" one, the "m/f, cookies/dough" one, or the "misunderstood me" one?

I want to get into this discussion--esp. because there's some actual response to my post! "Great post" is nice (thanks, Sophist!), but I was hoping we could actually talk about some of the ideas in it--but the thread is so complex I need a map to it! Tell me which post to reread, & I'll know what I want to say about it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: & which one is this? -- Rahael, 11:56:16 06/25/03 Wed

I think I try and explain my position in all the posts you name, but to be honest, at this point I don't feel that I have presented my position very coherently. (But when I wrote the above post I was specifically referring to the Male/female, cookies and dough post). I'm just getting a growing feeling that BtVS is not a show for someone like me, with a completely different world vision. I have been mistaken, I think, about the themes I saw in the past - they weren't there, or if they were, I have misread them.

[> [> [> [> Power -- Arethusa, 14:43:59 06/24/03 Tue

Let's say we don't break down Buffy's power issues into masculine and feminine aspects. Buffy's problem is understanding and using power, in relation to the rest of the world and herself. Through Faith, Buffy explored the use of power in relation to the rest of the world. She learned power is a neutral entity, which can be used for good or evil. It spiraled out of control when Faith used it to manipulate others or let it run unchecked. It saved the world when Buffy used it to lead the rest of the graduating class.

Through Spike, Buffy explored the relationship between power and self. Spike's physical and emotional power, misunderstood and misdirected, kept him in an endless self-destructive loop. He could not understand the power of his emotions or the effect they had on himself and others. By denying the power his emotions had over him, Spike became controlled by them. Through her interactions with Spike, Buffy's confused attempts to repress and control her emotions in S6 finally gave way to an ability to share the power of her feelings with others.

Season 7 showed Buffy slowly realizing that not only does she have great reserves of power to give her strength to deal with the world and her own issues, but so does everyone else. We all have that potential, if we only recognize and develop it. It's a human thing, not a male/female thing, that can empower everyone.

Does this make sense?

[> [> [> [> [> Power -- Rahael, 15:27:09 06/24/03 Tue

Oooh! I just wrote a reply to Fresne about power and then refreshed to find that you were replying to me about much the same way.

Firstly, I think 'power' is a hugely complex phenomenon - I try and explain how I view it in my reply to Fresne. I would be interested in your opinion of it.

(In Season 6 it also encompassed ideas of economic powerlessness, which is why S6 was so interesting to me. And as KdS points out in, his phrase, that S6 was all about random experiments in non-consensuality, S6 also explored powerlessness in a very interesting way. Voluntary powerlessness etc).

I wouldn't say power is always nuetral. For example, I would say that a country which has a stockpile of nuclear weapons, which immediately endows it with power in political terms - that is not a neutral power. Economic power is also not a neutral power. (I grew up in a household - my grandmothers - which had a number of live in, domestic servants. I was under no illusion at all that I, a little girl had a kind of power that I felt intensely uncomfortable with. In fact, I was a little sickened by it).

I have always seen BtVS as being about the kind of power which those who are chracterised as being without power can possess. Xander's power against the Cordettes. Buffy's compassion to Willow in WTTH, her embracing of her downward social mobility. Tara's patient and determined stand against her family, which never bowed to their prescriptions. I don't think this is a passive kind of power. In fact, I think it is very very active. Always drawn upon, because each day requires so much, just to keep living. The power that Andrew finally draws upon at the end of Storyteller. The power of tears, rather than blood. All kinds of power seem to draw on both positive and negative things. I personally know that a lot of the power I feel I have draws upon anger. The anger that keeps my spine upright in the face of social indignity.

Of course, even the powerless have to be careful about the way they may choose to express their own power - Willow in S6, who deep in her heart believed that ordinary Willow didn't possess any kind of power at all, and thus badly misused what she did have.

In fact, I don't even have a certain answer. It is something that I am still exploring. Am I aware of the power I have? Am I surrendering some of my power willingly for reasons that I cannot yet discern (say, humbling myself at work because I feel uncomfortable that I'm so young and I can ask people older than me to do things?), do I sometimes feel resentful toward those who exert economic power over me (my boss), so on and so forth.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Oooh some good stuff here Areth and Rah, on power & the Hulk (spoilers The Hulk) -- s'kat, 23:14:32 06/24/03 Tue

Arethusa states:

"Through Spike, Buffy explored the relationship between power and self. Spike's physical and emotional power, misunderstood and misdirected, kept him in an endless self-destructive loop. He could not understand the power of his emotions or the effect they had on himself and others. By denying the power his emotions had over him, Spike became controlled by them. Through her interactions with Spike, Buffy's confused attempts to repress and control her emotions in S6 finally gave way to an ability to share the power of her feelings with others."

Love this! Exactly what I felt when I saw it. One is unleashing his emotions so that he is literally caught in their whirlwind, unable to control himself and at their mercy - careening from alcohol to suppress them (it doesn't work) to sex with Anya (also doesn't work), to forcing himself on Buffy as a means of unleashing them in all their negativity (which makes things worse), to finally hunting a compass of sorts to control them. Buffy meanwhile is all control. All repression. No expression of emotion. Complete containment. Yet everyone around her is going nuts. And isn't it interesting in Normal Again - asylum Buffy is sobbing while slayer Buffy appears calm and contained? Xander is an emotional wreck, drinking, blasting people, running. Willow is an emotional wreck - spouting her fury in magic. Spike is an emotional wreck. Tara who seems fine - dies. Dawn's an emotional wreck screaming at the top of her lungs Get out! or bitching at Spike. Or stealing. Anya is emotional wreck - becoming a vengeance demon. And all are facets of Buffy's own internal turmoil. HEr rage. HEr eroticism.
Her grief. Her lack of control. Her fear. And all these emotions have power...culminating in Willow's attempt to destroy the world as a means of putting a stop to the feelings overwhelming her, while Buffy frozen beneath the earth is trying desperately to come to grips with hers.
And finally does - when Spike gets his compass, Xander his guts to face and comfort Willow, willow her tears, and Anya lets go of vengeance long enough to help Giles...Buffy cries and climbs out of her Grave.

And Rahael:
The power of tears, rather than blood. All kinds of power seem to draw on both positive and negative things. I personally know that a lot of the power I feel I have draws upon anger. The anger that keeps my spine upright in the face of social indignity.

The very cheesy movie, The Hulk, that I just saw tonight, really touches on these themes. The Hulk is the monster counterpart of a young scientist named Bruce Banner. In the movie Bruce is experimenting with biotechnology, while attempting to save a colleague, he gets zapped with gamma rays which alter his physique. As a result, whenever Bruce gets angry - the Hulk bursts out.

His girlfriend, Betty Ross, realizes that the Hulk's trigger is Bruce's emotions. She tells him that the physical ailment is finite but the emotional one is infinite. It can go on and on, never cured. Especially when dealing with repressed emotions. Bruce's trigger is his anger. He tells Betty that what frightens him the most is that he enjoys the power his rage gives him. He likes it.
And when it is unleashed, he's gone, not quite there, the raw emotions take over and he is destructive - destroying everything in his path with little to no remorse. The anger fuels his power. The Hulk is created by Bruce's rage.
When the Hulk cries - Bruce reappears...and the Hulk disappears. The unleashing of the tears...the calmness, the quiet restores the man. The tears are assuage the rage.

When I get really angry, I will often cry. That will break
it. And my anger often consumes me, makes it tough for me to think rationally or argue rationally. YEt at the same time it can motivate me, empower me to do things.

In Angel - the anger often is when we see the dark side of the characters. Fred - who goes after Seidel and Jasmine.
Angel who becomes Angelus or goes after Weselely in Forgiving. Wes who goes after Faith to capture Angelus, after Lilah dies. Gunn - who goes after Wes...

While in Btvs - anger can be seen as both a destructive force and a freeing one. Buffy's fury often destroys the monster. Yet it can also be destructive - when used against the vamp trulls in Into the Woods or her friends in When She Was Bad.

How we handle emotion...often influences our relationships and work environment. The society we live in or at least in the US, values controlling emotion - the stoic profile. Keeping it at bay. Yet keeping emotion at bay - can result if we aren't careful in an explosion - like the Hulk.

[> [> [> Great post Caroline. -- Sophist, 09:40:32 06/23/03 Mon

The use of metaphor can lead to confusion among the viewers. Some don't understand the metaphor; others may become locked in to a particular metaphor and fail to adjust when it changes (e.g., the switch in the metaphorical meaning of magic use between S4 and S6).

I myself treat the soul metaphor differently than most seem to. KdS has commented in previous posts that S7 undercut the soul metaphor. I couldn't disagree more strongly. To me, S7 reinforced what I had understood of the soul metaphor since S2. Maybe it did evolve on AtS; I may be frozen in time because I don't watch that show. But to my understanding, the soul metaphor operated in S7 precisely the way it did in S2-3 -- Spike was treated exactly like Angel (so, for that matter, was Anya).

Your last 2 paragraphs raise an interesting question, one I have been pondering the last few days. My recent attempts to defend S7 against a torrent of criticism have left me feeling somewhat like KdS probably does regarding Spike. I'm frankly not sure that either one of us is justified in our sense of being the voice crying in the wilderness; after all, this Board represents a fairly small sample of Buffy watchers.

My personal view is that there comes a time when those in such a position need to stop posting on that topic for a while. You are clearly right that this has nothing whatsoever to do with censorship. It's the opposite -- others have heard what you have to say and Just. Don't. Agree. I think I know when to apply this rule to myself.

[> [> [> [> OK, I know I said it would be my last post but clarification is required -- KdS, 11:56:59 06/23/03 Mon

Sophist, I don't know if that was a typo or if I wasn't clear. If I wasn't clear, I wasn't saying that S7 undercut the soul metaphor. I was saying that Spike's humanness in S6 undercut the soul metaphor and S7 attempted to reinstate it (unconvincingly for me, but apparently convincingly to you)

But yeah, having made my point as clearly as I wanted to, I won't be posting unless there are more replies here that need clarification or directly ask questions.

[> [> [> [> [> Thanks for clarifying. -- Sophist, 12:57:46 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> [> Really loved this, Caroline. -- manwitch, 20:56:22 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> Buffy is cookie dough -- lunasea, 15:21:17 06/23/03 Mon

Spuffy fans are easy to rebut. All you have to do is quote David Fury at them {BEG}. If anything, they are a rather vocal group because the show isn't written from the perspective they want. Not only is Spike not the main character, but Spuffy is a bad thing.

Just because Spike is "in my heart," doesn't mean that deep down inside she really loves Spike, either season 6 or even season 7. Both her conversation with Angel in "Chosen" and when Spike finally realizes that she doesn't love him show that she doesn't love Spike like that. Season 6, Spuffy was to show how bad Buffy's state of mind was. I agree with Fury. I worry about anyone that roots for this couple based on that season.

But then we get season 7. What is new Spuffy saying about Buffy? I don't think the writers will ever subvert the feminist nature of the show. It isn't just a message, but the mission statement. I don't think they did that with Spuffy. The show has been about the transformation of a ditzy Fiesta Queen to a real hero. That transformation is still going on. She is cookie dough. Spuffy has been part of that transformation. It doesn't how how mature she has become, but rather how immature she still is.

Spuffy, season 7, has been a case of playing emotional doctor. You show me yours and I'll show you mine. How quickly people forget that Spike is newly souled and spent the beginning of the season nuts in the school basement. His immaturity still shows as late as LMPTM. In "Touched" he calls Buffy "the one." Talk about rushing things.

On the other side of the equation is Miss Summers. In CwDP Joss brilliantly lays out her issues for everyone to see. He said when Buffy and Angel get together, the audience would be reminded why they couldn't be together. It isn't the curse or that he is a vampire that is brought up. These are easy things to fixate on. It is cookie dough that Joss uses to send Angel back to LA.

Let's briefly look at Spuffy in the final 5 episodes. He is her port in the storm and allows her to address her issues with intimacy. Xander cannot serve this function. 1. He is the carpenter that keeps the house/Scoobies together. He had to turn on her in order to set up "Empty Places." 2. There is no reason that they can't live happily ever after. It would forever close the door on Angel. ME isn't going to do that. 3. It would have cheapened Anya's death. There isn't another male character that could have served this role.

Besides, Spike is damn juvenile and makes the perfect counterpart for Buffy in this respect. In "End of Days" their exchange before Buffy goes to the temple is like something you would see on Dawson's Creek (if I watched it). When she gets back from seeing Angel, again more teen crap from both of them. She snuggles with him, both in Touched and Chosen looking for contact, companionship, understanding whatever.

Now here to me is the important Spuffy scene. Prior to knowing how to defeat the First, Buffy is all cuddly with Spike, though the scene makes it clear they didn't get fleshy. After Buffy figures out how to beat the first, their interaction isn't so clingy and co-dependant, at least not on Buffy's part. They look at each other from across the room. Buffy is starting to be able to stand on her own. She doesn't need her port any more.

Some say that this scene hinted at them having sex. What purpose would that serve? Spike is looking at the amulet contemplating who knows what, probably what is about to. Buffy was just outside thinking and she comes downstairs. She does not immediately just rush over to get snuggly with Spike. Instead they just look at each other. They are starting to be individuals.

The audience will see what they want. People always do.

For me, in retrospect, Season 7 was about how unbaked Buffy really is. Spuffy is just one aspect of this.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy is cookie dough -- Miss Edith, 16:02:58 06/23/03 Mon

Is there any need to generalise? Your opinion about the character Spike is fair enough, you are certaintly entitled to it. There are certain parts of your post that are however IMO needlessly offensive. I quote, "Spuffy fans are easy to refute. All you have to do is quote David Fury at them...they are a rather vocal group because the show isn't being written from the perspective they want. Not only is Spike not the main character, but Spuffy is a bad thing...I worry about anyone that roots for that couple based on that season". Why generalise about what Spuffy fans are into? I was B/S fan during season 6, and thanks for the concern but I don't see how my being entertained by a television couple reflects poorly on me, or causes you to worry about my well-being. I read enough of that sentiment on boards like TWoP, thanks all the same.

[> [> [> [> nodding in agreement Miss Edith -- curious, 18:57:11 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> [> My thoughts are different on season 7 Spuffy lunasea.... -- Briar Rose, 23:38:40 06/25/03 Wed

I saw it as Buffy, Spike, Angel and even Xander finally understanding that you can truly love someone and have no sexual interest in them whatsoever.

That is a very emotionally mature and evolved way to begin the path to growing up.

ME went through all the teenage sexual angst and equating love with lust, when you can have one without the other and so many mistake the later for the former....

In Season 7 - especially in empty places - the true meaning of loving someone with the pure emotion of mutual respect and truly caring about them as a person was explored for practically the first time in BtVS history. Spike and Buffy found comfort in giving each other support and doing so in a purely emotional way with no compelling need to get physical. Angel and Buffy closed out their scene in about the same way: Respect for each other's emotional needs, while leaving the door open to share mutal support and emotional feelings NOT based entirely on romantic love.

The only one who didn't quite get the message for what it was worth (IMO) was Spike, when he said, "Thanks for saying that... but you don't." BS!!! She truly did mean that she loved him. Just not in a way that William the Bloody Awful Poet could understand it.

Xander even got the message to some extent in the final...

Romantic love isn't half as romantic as the love of two people who have no sexual thrust, yet love each other intensely, IMO. But it takes a huge amount of maturity to even have that type of relationship in your life, to let it INTO your life in the first place.

I felt that ME gave a tremendous jump in the Scoobies maturity levels in those final 5 eps. To allow them to find out that love and lust are completely different things. I loved the way it played out. Especially since Buffy realized that you can't even begin to get that cookie dough baked until you figure out that it's ready to be baked.*S*

[> [> [> [> A note about love and lust -- lunasea, 09:46:31 06/26/03 Thu

Why do Buffy and Angel want each other so much? Is it just a case of the hornies? I never got that impression. Leave it to Marti, Queen of Twisted Sexuality, to write the defining scene about their attraction. In "Bad Eggs," we see the lust bunnies at it in the cemetary. Teenage hormones in action. Then they have a talk about kids and the future and when that leads to a kiss, it isn't the kiss of pure lust.

Arc wise, this is what leads us into "Surprise." Why do they finally consumate their relationship? Because Buffy is wet and half naked and in Angel's bed? Nope. They are sharing their feelings and admit that they love each other. It isn't I want you. It is I love you. That is what leads them to physically express that love.

Lust will always be a component to their relationship. It is generated because they are both hotties, but also because they love each other. There is nothing wrong for that (except that because of this, acting on that lust will lead to perfect happiness and Angel losing his soul). It is actually a very beautiful thing. Spike physically manipulating Buffy season 6 doesn't get her as worked up as Angel kissing her out of comfort season 5.

Love and lust can be completely different things, but they don't have to be.

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