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Xander and Riley ramblings (some vague spoilers) -- Darby, 09:37:31 03/08/02 Fri

Y'know, sometimes I can be really stupid.

With all of the consciousness-expansion that being a participant here has given me, I can fall back on old habits way too easily.

FX recently ran Into the Woods, during which Xander delivered one of the character's better speeches to Buffy when Riley was about to leave. I often accept such speeches as a sort of metadeclaration of the writers, speaking through whatever character is convenient/appropriate. The first time I saw the ep, that's how I processed Xander's glowing analysis of Riley the boyfriend, and I still did it last week.

And then I got to thinking about Hell's Bells...

As far as we know, Xander has had zero firsthand exposure to successful, long-term relationships in his life. His family, or Willow's, or Buffy's sure haven't qualified. So what does he know about them? Idealized fictionalized versions. He probably believes such relationships exist, somewhere, but has little to go on when trying to recognize one.

I also figured that Riley told Xander that Buffy didn't love him so that we would know he felt that, but ignored the effect that the knowledge would have on Xander. When you know or suspect that your friends' relationship is in trouble, you pay attention to it - Xander would have seen Buffy pull away, and have seen (most of) Riley's responses to that: no yelling, no abuse, no pulling away on his part. Given what Xander would know of relationships, is it any wonder that he started to look up to Riley's attitude toward the relationship, and the chances for the relationship to be something not dysfunctional?

Y'see, that's it: I didn't give Marti and the writers credit for remembering that Xander was talking, and we were seeing Riley through his eyes rather than from the PTB, the show's creators. And the strengths that Xander saw in Riley were only sort of there; he wasn't necessarily that guy.

And, conversely, Buffy subsequently fastened onto the Xander-Anya relationship as her beacon of hope - remember the meltdown with the troll? It's funny, it was easy to remember then that what Buffy saw wasn't really what was there...

I have no idea if this means anything at all, but I thought I'd toss it out here. Are there any other examples of Buffy "gospel" that are probably just one character's perspective? What have we been told that we just shouldn't trust?

[> Re: Xander and Riley ramblings (some vague spoilers) -- Vickie, 10:24:55 03/08/02 Fri

I think that this happens all the time with Giles' and the WC's statements. Remember the whole "you are not looking at your friend, you are looking at the demon who killed him" thing. We've analyzed this to death. It's clear that the Watcher's Council's party line on what makes a vampire is not quite the whole story. Even they deal with Spike when necessary.

[> Great point (not the first sentence, of course) -- Sophist, 10:49:27 03/08/02 Fri

Makes me feel much better about a speech I've always hated because I took it as ex cathedra like you did.

[> [> Re: Great point (not the first sentence, of course) -- skeeve, 15:10:40 03/08/02 Fri

When Giles said it, I think that he was telling what he believed to be the truth. The WC gives that line to everone. Has he said it more than once?

Whatever happened to Mr. Pointy?

[> [> [> I'm making an executive decision...can we agree that - -- Darby, 16:54:09 03/08/02 Fri

...Mr Pointy is in Buffy's coffin - wouldn't they have buried it with her?

Somehow doubt that she's going back for it.

[> [> [> [> Re: I'm making an executive decision...can we agree that - -- Lyonors, 11:43:03 03/11/02 Mon

hmmm....going back to her coffin for Mr. Pointy...this statement made me think of other the hell is Buffy employed if the US government thinks shes dead....she has a grave, its registered, I'm guessing that they know she's dead. logical conclusion, i think. she needs an SS number to be employed, and not the SS number of a dead girl. this brings up other sordid problems that I wont even ramble on to....

ramblin & thinkin too hard.


[> the Anti-Man (Long, sorry. And spoilers through HB) -- manwitch, 05:34:52 03/09/02 Sat

I saw that scene the other day, too. It got me thinking about some of the many comparisons that have been drawn between Xander and Riley, not the least of which is the marriage factor. Admittedly, Xander didn’t quite make it, but still, Xander was going to be married the very episode following the appearance of Riley and his wife.

Marriage hasn’t been a big factor on this show. Someone on the board pointed out the absence of models. Well, as far as positive models of marriage there have been almost none. I can think of the demon that didn’t steal Angel’s soul (the one that Giles had introduced to his wife). Then there is the guy in NPLH who gets his brain sucked out by Glory. And then there’s Riley. The only other examples can’t even remotely be construed as positive. Buffy’s Dad ran out and is living the cliché in Spain, Xander’s parents are drunk and abusive, Willow’s are totally uninvolved. Is anyone else married? Models of marriage are simply non-existant in the Buffyverse. All the more reason why an example of marriage, or an impending marriage is of great significance.

Riley, who I have argued is a symbol of hypermasculinity and patriarchy, is married. Xander, who I am going to argue is the anti-man, tried to get married but just couldn’t do it.

I think Xander and Riley have been deliberately compared for as long as Riley has been on the show. Riley is the man Xander wants to be. Ironically, Xander is actually better off as the anti-man, but he doesn’t realize it.

To start with, there is the soldier comparison. Xander was a soldier for a night in Halloween. Riley is a real soldier. Of course, Xander’s "soldierdom" was a costume, a mask, a fantasy. It was over in a night. Whereas Riley is a real soldier, and apparently a lifer. Riley is a real man, Xander is a costume of a man.

Riley’s "manliness" and its relation to patriarchy is one of the pillars of Season 4, in my opinion. A brief (hopefully) synopsis of my opinion of Season 4: the whole arc revolves around a patriarchal interpretation of the myth of the Garden of Eden. The Big Bad of the Season turns out to be named for the patriarch of the patriarchs, Adam. Adam is part man, part monster, part machine, all run by programming. I would argue that Adam’s programming doesn’t come from computer science geeks, but from the interpretation of the Garden Myth that separates man from nature, authorizes man’s use of nature for his purposes, expels man from bliss through sin and thereby starts him on a moral mission to return to the Garden and eat from the tree of Eternal Life, and in the expelling renders woman and the natural desires that circulate around her corrupt, and says that her husband shall rule over her. That is the structured, hierarchical moral system that produces the Initiative, Adam, and Riley. Riley is also the only major character we have seen go to church as a member of the congregation. Meaning no disrespect to church or churchgoers, but simply looking at the image, my reading of that tid-bit is that Riley is a participant in a system of authority and hierarchy in which the moral mission and moral parameters of decision making have been provided to him from an external source. Same as with the Initiative.

We all are familiar with Riley’s story. When he finds out that Buffy is the slayer he feels threatened if not immasculated. He attempts to bring Buffy into his structured world of the Initiative, but fails precisely because Buffy does not allow someone else to make moral decisions for her. She questions and she rejects the quantifiable sorts of knowledge that the Initiative obsesses over. Riley becomes disillusioned with the system when Maggie (Eve as temptress) attempts to kill Buffy (Eve as initiator of life). His experience with Buffy allows him to begin to see the gray zone, to recognize that Oz is Oz, not a number, that not all demons are evil. At this point, he leaves the initiative, but he stays nostalgic for his commando role, as evidenced by his staying in uniform for the remainder of the season. He gets into a testosterone match with Angel that Buffy later refers to as a "macho pissing contest." But finally and most significantly, Adam claims Riley back and convincingly lets Riley know that his destiny is the same as Adams. Riley and Adam come from the same source. Adam is the worst it can produce. Riley the best. But for both, their destiny is to become monstrous, because, as I see it within the context of the show, the anachronism of patriarchy is necessarily monstrous in the 21st century Buffyverse. Riley, to his credit, overcomes his programming and removes the chip in his heart, but he conspicuously does not fight Adam. Riley doesn’t even defeat Forrest, who blows himself up while Riley hides behind a table.

Contrast this with Xander. At the start of season 4 (the Freshman), Xander is placed outside the group because he is not going on to college. He has just returned from a summer driving around the united states that was actually spent as a male exotic dancer after his car (which we know from The Zeppo, Xander uses as a winkle extender) died on him. Riley by contrast is Big Man on Campus. Sure he’s a nice guy, but he’s everything a man could aspire to be in such a setting. In addition to being Mr. Initiative guy, he’s a Teaching Fellow. He’s not only in college, he’s a grad student who is good enough to get a TF award. He’s the real man. Xander is the antithesis of a man. But Xander ironically handles the male dancer imasculation with wit and charm. And instead of being threatened by Buffy, he proclaims Buffy as his hero. Buffy is his model. Xander as anti-man is perfectly suited to be a contributor to the group.

Throughout the season, Xander is concerned with his status within the group and his status as a man. He gets the nasty syphilis disease, he is a servant to the "better" college boys. It all culminates with the Yoko factor, and Xander’s belief that they think he should join the Army and go to "Fort Dicks" (funniest line in the whole show) to become a man. That they think this idea is ridiculous is quite apparent. But its at the end, when Xander lets go of himself by saying "What we need is Willow’s this, Gile’s that and Buffy’s etc." He leaves himself out of the equation, and its at that moment that he becomes the major contributor. Xander, accepting his anti- man status, becomes worthy of participating in superbuffy. Riley, as a man’s man, does not. Xander helps defeat Adam. Riley hides behind a table. I know I’m expressing it a little harshly towards Riley, I don’t mean to be bashing him. I’m drawing a contrast between what IMO Buffy thinks of the two different versions of manhood.

The comparison’s continue into season 5. As has been pointed out on this board, in Restless the first slayer comes to them in their dreams and attacks their insecurities. So we see Xander immediately return to the ridiculous anti-man that he desires to overcome. He is Dracula’s butt monkey. Riley, now living in the gray zone and extremely uncomfortable fears once again being cuckolded, this time by the Count, and then begins to go through patriarchy withdrawal. Once over the withdrawal he feels his masculinity is gone and allows others to play on his insecurities. That its his masculinity that concerns him is demonstrated a number of times. When she invites him over to just be there with her for the spell in No Place Like Home, he says, "Is this just your attempt to make me feel less, what was it, all cute and kittenish?" Buffy replies, "Kitteny." And Riley says, "Yes, much more masculine." He bristles at Grant’s remark, "What are you, the mission’s boyfriend?" He leaps at the opportunity to be commando guy on patrol in FFL, and is put out that the scoobs, including Xander, do not play along with his knees bent running about silliness. When the meteorite lands Anya points out that it can sterilize a man’s bedoobies. Riley expresses a momentary flash of concern and a step back, while Xander let’s out yelp and hides behind Tara and Willow.

But I think Xander comes to idealize Riley as the man Xander wants to be. Xander lacks an awareness of the value that his anti-man has on its own. When Riley tells him that Buffy doesn’t love Riley, Xander realizes for the first time that he has something Riley doesn’t, and in Xander’s mind, it can’t be Riley’s fault. So its interesting that after Riley does some outrageous stuff to Buffy that Xander comes along and gives her a speech about Riley being the once in a lifetime guy. In the context of this thread, whether or not Buffy buy’s it is less important than the fact that Xander does. Xander returns to Anya and says, "You make me feel like I’ve never felt before. Like a man." One almost has the feeling that, at some symbolic level, Riley leaves because Xander no longer needs him rather than because Buffy no longer does.

While Xander becomes more and more confident, his masculinity issues never disappear. I obviously am particularly fond of the moment in Bargaining where Xander, holding an axe, stands up to the demon and proclaims, "Yeah, I’m a pretty powerful Man Witch myself," intending some chest-thumping power, but in reality aligning himself with a dinner-time sloppy joe meal helper. The women, who always graciously accept Xander’s presence, remain supportive, but its Tara who ultimately takes the axe and kills the demon, not Xander. As per usual, Xander gets saved.

But I think all in all, Xander is getting more and more comfortable with who he is. But when Riley returns, its as though Riley becomes the commander and issues the command "As you were." Xander is presented again with what he feels is an ideal version of what he wants to be. And he recognizes again that he is not Riley. Again he fails to recognize that what he is is better than Riley. Its Xander’s desire to marry Riley that bring back all the self doubt and all the issues about "what is a man."

I confess I thought the show was going to explore how you have a non-patriarchal marriage. I thought it would be important who had the authority to preside over a marriage between Xander and Anya. And I thought Riley and Sam would return precisely because I thought the Xander/Anya marriage space would be compared (favorably) to the Riley/Sam marriage space. But the show fooled me. It went the other way. Perhaps its saying that the institution of marriage has no place in the buffyverse, but I think that’s extreme. That Xander saw patriarchy (not that he would express it that way) in Riley’s marriage is clear to me because Xander is the one that calls Sam "Mrs. Finn." Riley never does. Xander sees marriage as a particular arrangement of man and woman, and he’s not sure he fits the man part. He has expressed many concerns over the provider aspect of being a man, particularly a married one. It was interesting to me that in full anti-man status, Xander’s family paid for the wedding. That’s what the Bride’s family does, traditionally. And it was clearly intended to be traditional.

So Xander couldn’t do it. Is it that he is too anti-man to participate in that institution? Or in the walking away, did he finally become the man his father is, the one he tried so hard to escape?

You don’t walk away from the scoobs. Not lightly. Its one thing for Angel, who is still a scoob, just in LA. Its also one thing for Tara, who left in pro-scoob fashion and is still close to all of them. But what Xander has done compares most with Oz, who left for selfish masculine reasons in the season that explored patriarchy and masculinity and in which Willow became a lesbian. When Oz attempted to return, he could not. He had become simply another person the scoobs had to save and protect, no longer a scoob himself.

Xander has done the same thing but a billion-fold. All that is asked for participation in Scooby-dom is that you accept their world, their relationships, their values. There is no hierarchy, no exclusivity. All may apply if they participate in the Scooby way. I believe that Xander has just violated that in the harshest way possible. The original scoob has expelled himself from the group. However Xander may justify it, he has let them down. And he knows it. That’s why he’s alone in a hotel room, not attempting to make peace with anyone. The reasons for which he did not get married also exclude him from the scoobs. He fears that he is a monster. I fear it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Who can come in as Ariadne and give Xander a thread to lead him out of this terrible labyrinth, to release him from the constraints of this tortured past? I really have no idea where they are going with this or who can serve this role.

But Dru comes to mind.

[> [> Very interresting, thanks -- Etrangere, 08:17:42 03/09/02 Sat

Once again, i'm struck reading you're analysis how the ideas of Man and Monster are explored through s5 and s6.

Why do you think of Dru as Xander's Ariadne ? Because she knows maze being caught in her how folly ? Or is it because she's (with Tara) one of the victim of Patriarchy ?

from what you said, I think Xander failed to marry because he wanted to do it as Riley did it, instead of following his own path of the anti-man.

[> [> [> Re: Very interresting, thanks -- manwitch, 09:28:54 03/10/02 Sun

Well, I probably don't really think it will be Dru.

I do think she rescued Spike from mediocrity, as he put it.

I do think she knows the labyrinth of her own insanity.

I do think when last we saw her she disappeared into the labyrinth of the tunnels under Sunnydale.

I do think she must be getting pissed at Buffy soon, because just as Angel stole her living family from her one by one, Buffy has taken her dead family away one by one, turning them, one way or another, to her own good side. When does Dru want payback?

I think they very specifically and noticably did not kill Dru, so she's still out there and her fate is still intimately connected with Spike and Angel.

I think the show has been all over the map this season, so why not throw in another bizarre and seemingly unrelated presence.

And mostly, I think of Ariadne as Dru not as Dru, per se, but because I fear that Xander must be punished for what he has done. Or perhaps that's the wrong way to say it. The fates don't like you to try and outsmart your destiny. They want to see you go willingly into it. If you do, they have the ability to turn things around and make it ok. But if you try avoidance, they will crush you. Xander is trying to avoid being a monster, and I think in trying to avoid it he has become one. Plus, he has made himself, in principle, a non-scoob (my opinion, obviously).

I don't really expect Dru, but I expect a rocky ride for Mr. Xander.

[> [> [> [> And it would be ironic indeed -- Sophist, 15:28:19 03/10/02 Sun

if Xander, the quintessential vampire hater, were vamped.

[> [> I disagree---Re: the Anti-Man (Long, sorry. And spoilers through HB) -- OtherEric, 10:11:06 03/09/02 Sat

I like a lot of your points but believe you have drawn the wrong conclusions about Xander. I don't think he has violated the group. He has chose the group over going off and having a normal life. He finally realized things would not work with Anya (and not because he would turn into his dad). He, I believe firmly, is the first one of them to truly find himself and his place in the world, and ironically, almost marrying Anya was an attempt to ignore his destiny and run from it. Simply put, there was only one bit of truth in the false vision: he would always help buffy (I believe in an earlier episode, he's heard saying, "we help Buffy, its what we do"). His loyalty to the group (him, Willow, and Buffy) won out over the desire to either have a normal life or to attempt to split loyalties between obligation to the scoobs and obligation to wife. He understands now that he will die fighting demons with Buffy, that he will always be there for her (she needs him, especially with Giles gone), and that she and her fight and supporting her in it will always come before anything else. How can he put any prospective wife through that? His biggest mistake was trying to ignore who he was and what he needed to do the whole time momentum was gathering for the wedding. It would have been different if he had discovered that he was the type of person who could just get married, go off and be happy, and walk away from all this. In Hell's Bells, you can even see the moment where he realizes he can't: after he hestitates at first in helping Buffy with the demon, he then moves in to help---but it wasn't instant--you could tell he was making a decision there. And Anya and any chance of walking away and having a normal life lost out right there in that moment.
Though final realization and ultimate insight into who he was, where he needs to be, and that because of that, a life with Anya would have ultimately caused more longterm pain for everyone (but not because he would turn into dad--thats probably a small tiny part of it, but otherwise mostly a red herring---I'm not saying he wouldn't be afraid of turning into his dad---he always has been--but it isn't the primary impetus for his decsion) but precisely because he is insightful, and understands people and relationships better than anyone on the show (except for Spike who also seems to have a knack for it). He had blinders on up until the wedding day, but suddenly saw what he had already known--that this isn't going to work out (and again, not because he'd hit her with a frying pan) but because a normal relationship with an outsider (who is not committed to Buffy and the good fight first, above all other things) and a dedicated scoob (indeed, the most loyal scoob of all)cannot work well.

To draw a parallel: Its why X-men can't marry normal folks without having problems. The normal person can't or won't understand why the hero is unable to ever put them first, even once in a while. Because when the world needs saving, all other considerations go out the window. Just look at Scott Summers and Maddy Pryor (in the normal non-working phase of their relationship of course, before she went totally evil and sucked most of New York into Hell)...

Still though, Xander never should have let the illusion last as long as it did.

[> [> [> Re: I disagree---Re: the Anti-Man (Long, sorry. And spoilers through HB) -- manwitch, 14:23:19 03/09/02 Sat

I see what you're saying, and you may in fact be right. My problem with it, however, is that it makes the scoobies exclusive, and I don't personally like that message.

Anya is a decent enough contributor to the scoobs, and is on a very admirable path to realize her humanity (at least she was til last week). For the show to in any way advocate her exlusion or mistreatment doesn't sit well with me. I know many have said Anya must atone for what she has done, and perhaps in a way that's what is happening. But now Xander has to atone too. What he did to Anya is worse, in my opinion, than anything Anya has ever done to anyone, because its what Xander did now. People constantly atoning isn't what stops the cycle, its being forgiven. Anya was a vengeance demon because she had already suffered. The only way to stop the cycle is to stop the cycle. Hopefully Anya will be human enough to realize that.

But the interpretation that Xander did "the right thing," says that we don't want to include otherness in ourselves and that we don't forgive and that we don't honor our committments. I can't accept that as a message this show would send, so my little mind, admittedly struggling to make sense of what seemed to me a bizarre decision on Xander's part, must see Xander as having made a mistake. And he will pay a price for it. I think, and even hope a little.

[> [> [> [> Still not a mistake.....heroes don't get married -- OtherEric, 16:20:21 03/09/02 Sat

Its just simply that---heroes don't go off and get married. If Xander realizes he doesn't want to be a hero and keep doing this, then fine, he should go and get married and make that the priority in his life. But he didn't--he realized that this is what he is. It would have been a huge mistake to go forward and get married having made this realization about himself. Its not that no one can fit, and its not about rejecting difference or not wanting otherness or any kind of tolerance issue. Anya just doesn't fit in with the scoobies. She is not the type of person that would as has clearly been shown. She doesn't want to be part of the save the world gang. Its ironic she was a demon, because she ended up being a nice normal very marriable great girl---unless you're a hero type whose admitted purpose is to help Buffy save the world. If Anya could have fit in, she would have, but she didn't want to, and so she didn't. It wasn't within her to become one of them, thats all. It just wouldn't have worked out between them and he saw that. Sometimes things just don't work out (or won't)like in real life. I don't think that there is necessarily any message other than that. Anya would have had to have been a different kind of girl in order for this to have all worked. Xander was running from his committment to slaying and being a hero with the whole getting married thing and found he could not walk away at the end. A person can't serve two masters for long without choosing one. Anya isn't a bad person, but is the kind of girl that deserves someone who will make her the center of his entire universe and put nothing else first, ever. Xander just didn't turn out to be the guy for her and unfortunately, he wasted a lot of her time and hurt in doing that. But--in the greater cosmic scheme, interpersonal relationships and finding true happiness are irrelevant in the face of the great big evil dangers that abound and must always be stopped. Its a comic book style universe where the heroes can only briefly find moments of happiness inbetween saving the world time and time again. Necessarily heroes sacrifice love, happiness, often family, and anything resembling a normal life. Thats been the point of the show all along. Xander has just given up an awful lot in order to be what he is--a hero who will die fighting darkness. He made the hard choice, and in true Xander fashion, made things a lot worse before getting to that point, but his decision was noble in many regards. And very painful, but ultimately right. It would have been wrong to subject Anya to a life that she didn't want or expect. Xander should have seen that earlier. But at least he saw it before it was too late. So he is honoring his committment to the scoobies and the cause and ultimately could not run away from that. The message is giving up everyting in order be one of the few that guards reality and the world so that others can find true happiness even if the guardians of that happiness can never find it themselves. Its basic comic book superhero kind of stuff. Xander realized that he is one of the guardians as opposed to one of the guarded. To go off and get married would send the message that personal happiness and running from necessary struggle is more important than defending reality from darkness, that it is more important to put individual obligations and committments before fighting the evil, and leaving that to other people. And only because we already know Xander is a hero and that he is already on his chosen path otherwise it would not make sense. If that weren't the case, and if Xander wasn't what we know him to be, but just a normal man who wanted to find his own happiness, instead of a hero working for the greater good, then the reverse would be true and he would be running from committment to Anya to hide in a hero-fantasy that he didn't really believe in. But we do know that believes in this to his very core. If we try to understand his actions and motivations as we would our own or a normal persons, then it won't work and would seem confusing, since he did genuinely love Anya and so why reject that happiness. Would any of us do that? Probably not many of us, and since the real world doesn't need demon fighting heroes like the Buffyverse does, its hard to imagine something stronger and more important than loving someone and committing to that person. But in the context of a comic book style world structure, this kind of stuff is very common and happens all the time, and it doesn't surprise as the writing staff is...well...a bunch of comic book/sci-fi/D&D heads--as evidenced by the arguments that they stick into the troika's dialouge which come out arguments while writing the show. I mean, Batman can rarely find a nice girl who understands the whole evil fighting obsession either.

[> [> [> [> [> This is very well argued, but -- Sophist, 17:26:07 03/09/02 Sat

it seems inconsistent with several points.

First, the abusive nature of Xander's family has been emphasized from the beginning (or at least S2). It was re-emphasized in HB in a rub-your-nose-in-it way. The false vision ended at the point where Xander nearly assaulted Anya. All this suggests that abuse was Xander's biggest concern.

Second, the vision mentioned Xander's attraction to Buffy, but not the SG itself. The SG has stayed together and fought the good fight for 5 years despite the fact that each member has had a semi- permanent relationship during that span. I see no evidence that anyone's relationship has interfered with the ability to do the job.

Third, and related, where was the build-up to your point? There clearly has been foreshadowing of the abuse issue and the X loves B issue. Your point has logical force, but no history in the show that I can see.

IMHO, Xander did make a mistake. He thought his family was his destiny instead of his origin. He hasn't realized what Spike says to Dawn in Crush, "It doesn't matter much how you start out." Xander's test now is to come to that self-realization and gain back Anya's faith in him.

To respond to manwitch a bit: I agree that there is little point in brooding over past misdeeds. To me, redemption may involve some form of regret, but it's more important to make the commitment to act morally in the future. However, Anya's status has been ambiguous in part because she seems sometimes to long for a return to vengeance days (Doppelgangerland, Restless). I think it essential that she be offered her powers back as a test of her commitment to humanity, just as Spike needs the removal (or offered removal) of his chip.

[> [> [> [> [> [> On something different---Re: This is very well argued, but -- OtherEric, 08:57:36 03/10/02 Sun

On a different point, I think what's most interesting about this season is lack of a big bad. Many have speculated that the enemy is real life this season, but I think that is only part of it. I started thinking, that real life has been a factor every other season also, alongside whatever the big bad was. This season, there is no big bad and there is just real life to deal for the most part, and the real enemy is in the fact that none of them seem to know what to do when there isn't a big enemy to focus on and distract from life's more mundane problems and issues. The conflict is coming internally from the lack of focused caused when there isn't an archvillain to deal with. They are their own worst enemies this season, and we've seen it play out in everyone's relationships so far.

I do think it also shows that our heroes are near incapable of settling down into a normal life pattern even for a little while when they get a break from horrible great evil. But, instead of falling apart, they should enjoy the time off, refocus on training and patrolling techniques and maybe relax and play a game of softball like the X-men always do whenever they get a rare bit of downtime, but oh well.....

[> [> [> [> [> I think heroes can do lots of things -- manwitch, 09:15:25 03/10/02 Sun

I agree with much of what sophist has said. Especially about the need for both Anya and spike to "work without the net."

To offer some more problems I have with the Xander thing, first of all, is that Xander may at times do heroic things, but I don't know that I would confuse him with the sort of hero that Buffy is. The kind of sacrifice you speak of might apply to Frodo, but it absolutely does not apply to Merry or Pippin or Sam. Xander is not Frodo.

Also, I keep having to come back to what is the show saying? You don't avoid becoming your father by running and hiding from the situation. You avoid becoming your father by being in the same situation and being different. Xander chickened out.

Plus, marriage isn't about getting married and being happy. Its about forging a space of a spiritual relationship in which two people recognize themselves as one spiritual entity, i.e. sacrificing their own ego for something larger and in the process transforming themselves. Heros can do that. In fact, doing that is heroic. So for the show to turn its back on all marriage as something that heroic people must give up just makes no sense to me. I may be in the minority, but I still feel the point of the show, and the point of any work of fiction that has a protagonist, is that we are supposed to identify with the protagonist and see in their fictionalized struggles and adventures the reality of our own lives. They point us to what our real values are and what our actions must be when we find ourselves in metaphorically similar situations. So I believe the show has asked us all to be Buffy. It can't therefore be saying that none of us can have the right to relationships that work. It can be saying that they are hard to come by, but Xander had it right there and chickened out. He had the chance to prove he wasn't his father, and instead he put his tail between his legs and crawled away.

I see in a twisted way how this is part of Anya's journey. Anya is on the path towards humanity, and that's not all fun and games. She thought she finally undrstood love, but you don't really understand love until you feel that way and then lose it all. Which is what basically happened to her. That is the unfortunate truth of our humanity: suffering and loss. And now Anya gets to participate a little more fully.

But I also disagree with the idea that Anya was not a scoob. She was. She was a major, if odd contributor, and not a one of them wants her out.

[> [> [> [> [> [> right on, manwitch! -- anom, 17:42:07 03/11/02 Mon

"Also, I keep having to come back to what is the show saying? You don't avoid becoming your father by running and hiding from the situation. You avoid becoming your father by being in the same situation and being different. Xander chickened out."

Exactly. Xander's fake future self told him the only way he could avoid what he'd "seen" was to back out of the marriage. But there were plenty of other things he could've changed, having to do w/how he dealt w/life after getting married. So what is the show saying? Not that Xander made the right decision, but that real life can be that scary--so scary that a man who's faced literal monsters can chicken out of getting married. Plenty of people are good in a crisis but can't deal w/day-to-day life.

"Plus, marriage isn't about getting married and being happy. Its about forging a space of a spiritual relationship in which two people recognize themselves as one spiritual entity, i.e. sacrificing their own ego for something larger and in the process transforming themselves. Heros can do that. In fact, doing that is heroic."

Go manwitch! It's good to hear someone say that. I've never been married, maybe because I don't know if I could do that. (I've had enough problems getting along w/roommates--even just share-the- rent roommates.) But I've seen people do it, & I've seen people not be able to do it. It must be a difficult adjustment, moving from a "me" way of thinking to an "us" way of thinking. In fact, isn't that what led to Willow & Tara's breakup? "You don't decide what we're going to do--we decide what we're going to do." Even though it looked like a spiritual relationship, Willow wasn't ready to sacrifice her ego.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Still not a mistake.....heroes don't get married -- dream of the consortium, 10:38:21 03/11/02 Mon

But isn't the point of the Troika to show how immature that comic-book view of the world is? This whole season is about (among other things) rejecting a comic book type of mentality. Buffy may need to save th world, but she also needs a job. Now, you could argue that other heroes don't work in fast food, but Buffy's not that kind of hero. Also, I would be deeply disappointed to believe that the writers think that there's some sort of Scoobies only requirement - and I don't believe it for a minute. That type of thinking is one step out from "a hero has to work on his own", which has been shown again and again to be unacceptable in the Buffy-verse. People who go it alone cause problems. People who work with other people succeed. And the Scoobie gang has always been willing to expand to bring in new people - who would have ever thought that we would refer to Spike as a Scoobie? The whole gang stood up for Tara when they didn't know her very well. Anya is accepted and has been very helpful, especially against Glory. It would seem strange for the writers to start now to make Scoobie membership exclusionary, or to insist that being a Scoobie means rejecting normal life. The point has always been balance. If the Slayer herself is supposed to balance her life (or at least try valiantly), so should Xander.

[> [> [> [> [> I hate to split hairs... -- Isabel, 18:32:12 03/11/02 Mon

but some comic book heroes have gotten married.

You state "Its basic comic book superhero kind of stuff. Xander realized that he is one of the guardians as opposed to one of the guarded. To go off and get married would send the message that personal happiness and running from necessary struggle is more important than defending reality from darkness, that it is more important to put individual obligations and committments before fighting the evil, and leaving that to other people."

I'm not a huge comic book reader, but what about Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) and the Invisible Woman (Fantastic Four),Cyclops and Jean Grey (X-Men) and Spider-man and Mary Jane Watson- Parker?

(According to a friend of mine, Reed and Sue Richards have been married for more than 20 years.)

A number of others have married and divorced and a number have been widowed (Being the spouse of a super-hero has its hazards).

I just wanted to show that heroes have gotten married, even in comics, and there's been successes amongst the failures. Plus, I agree with the people who have argued that Anya has earned her place in the Scoobies. So she's not an outsider and can handle herself in a fight. He doesn't need to protect her or give up fighting evil with Buffy to be with her.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Each of those examples gives strength to my argument--Re: I hate to split hairs... -- OtherEric, 20:36:31 03/12/02 Tue

Its also a standard comic book convention (or sci-fi--like Han & Leia) that if and when heroes do get married, its to other heroes or individuals like Mary Jane Watson that find a way to put the hero's crusade even before their own marriage. If you honestly think Anya had the ability to do that, then you and Manwitch and Sophist are correct. If she doesn't, which I personally believe, then I am right.
But on the level of comic book structure, my basic argument is correct in almost every story thats ever played out. There are many individuals that can never accept the world that heroes must necessarily put first and so are bad 'marriage' material, and few that can, and they do show up, but even they must endure struggles that other people don't. As for comic book mentalities, yes the troika is immature, but that's because they are villains and are supposed to be. It, and their arrogance will be their undoing. Thats pretty cliche too. It doesn't mean that Buffy the show isn't structured like and inspire by comic books, that Joss isn't obviously a fanboy, and that Xander getting married would change the basic fundamental nature of the show on a structural level that would have gone against everything that the show and the story has been up to this point. The whole point of the show is the team dynamic and loyalty and sometimes making sacrifice in the pursuit of nobler things. Most of the pain in the series comes from the characters that can never fully integrate into the gestalt that is the show. And most of the fun and joy come from the characters that can, have, and did break into the team and become part of the gang. Anya's one of the one's that doesn't fit. Oz did fit, and Tara might still and Dawn almost surely already does. Even Jonathan might not be so far-fetched. Team dynamics and who joins, who leaves and who stays are the meat of stuff like this. Its where all the fun, action and conflict come from. This show's seasons have often been defined by who is gaining acceptance, who is pulling away, all revolving around the permanent core, Buffy, Willow, and Xander.

[> [> re: soldierdom -- yuri, 14:11:07 03/09/02 Sat

Really good points. I have more support for Xander's "anti-man."

Concerning the soldier comparison - you point out that "Xander was a soldier for a night in Halloween. Riley is a real soldier. Of course, Xander’s "soldierdom" was a costume, a mask, a fantasy. It was over in a night. Whereas Riley is a real soldier, and apparently a lifer. Riley is a real man, Xander is a costume of a man." But how many times has Xander's leftover military knowledge helped out the scoobs? (Convenient plot device, yes, but within the context of this discussion it's also an interesting element.) Compare that to how much Riley's soldierdom has benefited the bunch, taking in to account how much it has wounded them.

For Riley, thinking about soldier skills was kind of a fish-thinking-about-water sort of thing, whereas Xander is able to take a step back from it and have a better sense of how and when it is useful. I would argue that the same thing goes for their role and knowledge of masculinity and patriarchy.

[> [> Re: the Anti-Man (Long, sorry. And spoilers through HB) -- Anne, 13:08:36 03/10/02 Sun

I read this a while ago and think it's a wonderful post. I have been delaying in answering, however, because I disagree with your final conclusion that Xander has cut himself off from the Scoobs, but haven't been able to elucidate to myself exactly why. The best I can do is this: Xander is not the only one who has feared himself to be a monster -- Buffy has too, and more than once. That was what sent her catatonic -- certainly as good a method of distancing yourself from the group as registering in a motel room -- in "The Weight of the World". But Willow went in after her anyway. Of course, it could be argued that in that case, Buffy's actions didn't hurt anyone else. But surely, this season more than ever, the Scooby Gang is going to need the compassion and the mercy to understand and forgive pretty much any transgression from one another. In fact, I have a deep dark suspicion that that's going to be a big part of what the rest of the season is about.

Anyway, regardless of the fact that I haven't made my own position particularly clear, I found your exposition on Xander insightful and thought-provoking.

[> [> [> Re: the Anti-Man (Long, sorry. And spoilers through HB) -- Lyonors, 10:51:20 03/12/02 Tue

Hmmm, Anne, I like the way your mind works! Your post made me think of another scoob who thought she was a monster....Tara!

>I read this a while ago and think it's a wonderful post. I have been delaying in answering, however, because I disagree with your final conclusion that Xander has cut himself off from the Scoobs, but haven't been able to elucidate to myself exactly why.
To this I agree whole heartedly, I can't quite put my finger on it either, but I got this whole "I gotta do this myself" vibe from Xander in the hotel room. Not cutting off the group, but more awknowledging that he as a single part of the group had to grow and deal with the situation on his own.
Echoes of OMwF:

Where do we go from here?
Why is the path unclear?
When we know home is near
We'll go hand in hand
But we'll walk alone in fear

>The best I can do is this: Xander is not the only one who has feared himself to be a monster -- Buffy has too, and more than once. That was what sent her catatonic -- certainly as good a method of distancing yourself from the group as registering in a motel room -- in "The Weight of the World".

Tara tried to keep what she percieved as her "monster" side from the group by casting a spell so that they couldn't see the demony side of her...thereby causing all kinds of mayhem and wackiness. Everyone stood up for her and proved to her that she didn't have a "monster" side....which to me, is the logical scooby-group reaction when one of the group gets paranoid.


Dark journeys all around . . . (some spoilers for AtS) -- purplegrrl, 09:54:20 03/08/02 Fri

Last season we discussed (nearly to death!) Angel's dark journey, it's impact, and where it might lead. I posit that Angel is not the only AtS character to undertake such a journey. Consider that Wesley is also undergoing a dark journey this season.

Why did Wesley never tell Angel what the translation of the prophecy said about his son? Why did no one ever press him for the details of his research? Never before has Wesley been so reluctant to tell Angel the bad news.

Here is Wesley, one of the best translators of archaic languages and ancient texts, and it supposedly takes him *weeks* to figure this prophecy out? Someone should have been suspicious. Or was this just a story device to show how isolated Wesley was feeling from the rest of the group -- with Gunn and Fred wrapped up with each other, Angel spending all his time with the baby, and Cordelia "honeymooning" with Groo.

Wesley has gone from being a namby-pamby Council stooge who screamed like a woman (on BtVS) to a tough, confident, respected member of Angel Investigations. So why the underhanded handling of this prophecy? Was Wesley really trying to protect Angel and Conner? If he had told Angel about the prophecy, perhaps they would have detected earlier that the pig's blood was tainted with Conner's blood. (And, like someone suggested on another thread, this may have negated the prophecy because in a figurative sense Angel was devouring his son by drinking small amounts of his blood.)

Was Wesley keeping the translation secret to spare Angel from the knowledge he was supposed to kill his son? And did he insist on babysitting to protect Conner by keeping him away from Angel in case the vampire-with-a-soul couldn't beat the prophecy? Or did Wesley do these things for his own dark purposes -- that he was the only one who could protect Conner because he was the only one focused on the task at hand?

Are Wesley's actions the result of his desparate need for acceptance and love? Although Angel is now running Angel Investigations again, it was Wesley who kept the group together when Angel went to the dark side last season. There was no formal passing of the leadership role, just a slow shift to Angel, leaving Wesley out in the cold. And the women Wesley has been attracted to have turned away from him: Cordelia because they are not romantically compatible (although I think he still has some deeply buried feelings for her that go beyond friendship); Virginia because she couldn't deal with the physical danger aspect of his job/life; and Fred because she was more attracted to Gunn. All of this, in addition to his psychologically abusive upbringing, has left Wesley with feelings of inadequacy.

Does Wesley have some subconscious resentment for what life has handed him? Is this why he thought he was the only one who could save Conner from the prophecy? But then why go to Holtz, Angel's sworn enemy? In a sense it is parallel to Angel going to Wolfram & Hart. (It is a dangerous and highly subjective method of gathering information, yet both did it on several occasions.) Perhaps Wesley thought that a life with Holtz was better for Conner (since Holtz hadn't killed him or Angel when Conner was born) than to allow the possibility of Angel destroying his son. This is fairly divergent thinking: that life with a sworn enemy is better than death.

Also look how Wesley sort of spiraled in on himself. He wasn't leaving the office, not sleeping well, not shaving, not eating well, and probably not showering (at least not as often as he used to). This, too, is parallel to Angel's pattern of last season: so focused on the task that all else becomes incidental. By not sharing his findings with the group, his secret knowledge made Wesley more isolated. Unable to translate the text any differently, he felt inadequate, that there should be another way to interpret the prophecy about Conner as there had been about the prophecy concerning Angel ("To Shanshu in LA"). But by not sharing his findings, he couldn't get any other opinions, so his mind kept returning to the phrase "the father will kill the son." Like a hamster on a wheel, his mind kept going around and around the same thought, isolating him more and more from the others.

Wesley's secret knowledge has been a heavy burden. But have events forestalled the prophecy? It is possible that Wesley's actions caused the prophecy to come true -- we don't know that Holtz and Conner are still alive in the other dimension and Angel's agreeing to let Holtz have the child may have killed him. And as Solitude1056 mentioned, the prophecy stated "the father will kill THE son," not "the father will kill HIS son." Holtz now considers himself Conner's father. Perhaps Holtz is who the prophecy meant. And by going to Holtz in the first place, Wesley invoked the prophecy.

Perhaps the biggest question is can Wesley recover from these events? Keeping secrets, betraying Angel, and losing Conner. Not to mention getting his throat slashed for his trouble.

Wesley's journey to the dark side may be shorter than Angel's, but that doesn't make it any less difficult.

[> Re: Dark journeys all around . . . (some spoilers for AtS) -- JustAsking, 14:00:49 03/08/02 Fri

One small nit:

>Perhaps Wesley thought that a life with Holtz was better for Conner

At no time did I even begin to think that Welsey was going to Holtz with Connor. Perhaps I'm inferring too much from your phrasing, but my impression was that Wesley himself was planning to go far, far away with Connor, not hand him over to Holtz.

Otherwise, right with ya.

Is OMWF Xander us? -- Ixchel, 14:47:30 03/08/02 Fri

Since reading cynesthesia's brilliant post Once More with Joss (and the wonderful responses it generated, particularly Rahael's and alcibiades') a small thought has been bouncing around my head. Couldn't the Xander who summoned Sweet in OMWF be us (particularly longtime fans)?

Did we invoke Joss and his minions by beginning to watch this show BtVS, little knowing that they could lay open our hearts and make us burn? And if we protest, would Joss just smile and say, "you summoned me"?

Certainly Xander should know better from past experiences, but he says, "I didn't know what was going to happen..." and certainly longtime fans know better than to have expected to be "rolling in puppies" in season 6 (for the record I adore this season).

I suppose then new fans would be represented by Dawn in her naiveté, "so you're a good demon?" And the answer (conveniently provided by FX in the U.S.) is not at all.

Personally, I don't mind. I'm their "willing slave" as long as they produce multifaceted, thought-provoking and mythologically imbued television like this.


[> If so, what price will we pay for summoning him? -- Sophist, 17:30:25 03/08/02 Fri

[> [> Obsession, or maybe that's just my price? (NT) -- Ixchel, 22:32:13 03/08/02 Fri


Dark Alchemy Wins Halo Award for Fiction! -- Wisewoman, 15:53:15 03/08/02 Fri

Best BtVS Story
Dark Alchemy by Existential Scooby PG-13
"Very long and very enjoyable." " This was a really good piece. All of the parts flowed well together. The characters all seemed every much like they do on the show. I liked the new characters, they were well thought out."

Congratulations to everyone who participated! Well done, and well deserved!!

~~~sound of thunderous applause~~~


[> woohoo! yay us! *doing the snoopy dance* -- Solitude1056, 16:44:08 03/08/02 Fri

[> Congradulations, gang! -- Masq the proud mama *sniff*, 17:00:39 03/08/02 Fri

[> I spent my summer vacation -- YEA!! -- Liq, 17:02:31 03/08/02 Fri

[> Congratulations to all the literary and existential Scoobs! -- Vickie, 17:12:43 03/08/02 Fri

[> Wow! That's certainly encouraging. Now does anyone... -- A8 (aka Talking Drum), 17:58:11 03/08/02 Fri

...have a recording project I can glom onto? Maybe that Grammy I've always wanted is not just an impossible dream after all.

[> As well it should have! Congrats to one and all of the writers and editors! -- OnM, 21:57:58 03/08/02 Fri

Wait'll they see what we come up with next time!


[> [> Woohoo Yall! Reading now. All of you deserve an award It's AWESOME! -- Teri, 10:12:31 03/09/02 Sat

[> Re: Dark Alchemy Wins Halo Award for Fiction! -- Shiver, 17:18:56 03/09/02 Sat

Of course you won. If I didn't think you would win, I wouldn't have nominated the story :-)

[> I can't say this is even a mild surprise. Sooo well deserved, great work guys! :-) -- Rattletrap, 18:05:34 03/09/02 Sat

[> Wow! 'nother little Snoopy dance from the land of song! Well done, Gang! -- Marie, 06:47:20 03/10/02 Sun

the lighter side of slaying - fangy elvi on The Chronicle -- gds, 20:30:56 03/08/02 Fri

Did anyone catch the slayerfest on SciFi tonight?

[> Re: the lighter side of slaying -fangy elvi on The Chronicle -- LorneLover, 02:02:53 03/09/02 Sat

That was pretty fun, nice "dusting" effects. Thought it was funny when the vamp hunter said only geeks said "slayer" :-)

[> Re: the lighter side of slaying -fangy elvi on The Chronicle -- Rendyl, 05:58:48 03/09/02 Sat

Shouldn't it be Elvii? (evil grin) The Chronicle is a lot of fun. My fave bit was the award for best Elvis Impersonator Barbershop Quartet. Grace in sideburns was good as well.


Who is the Bad Boyfriend? -- LeeAnn, 21:27:53 03/08/02 Fri

Marti Noxon has given interviews in which she describes Spike as the kind of typical Bad Boyfriend that a girl might have a relationship with in her twenties, learn from, then reject and get over. The problem with that is that Spike doesn't seem to have been a "Bad Boyfriend."

It got me thinking…

Who is the Bad Boyfriend?

Let's analyze their relationship in terms of bad and good.

Bad stuff Spike did:
1) Tried to convince her they were alike and belonged together, ie, that she was "wrong." Hardly as bad as, say, getting her hooked on drugs, or magic, or making her go to football games. Though the sex might have been addicting.
2) Tried to pull her away from the friends who don't like him. This might be slightly naughty but is pretty typical boyfriend behavior. And Spike didn't try very hard.
3) Tried a dangerous, harebrained scheme to make money. Spike needs money to buy blood and carpets and new clothes. He never required much money but once he got with Buffy he needed more. It's not like he can go get a job at a convenience store. The money might even have been for her, to allow her to quit DoubleMeat Palace. Was it morally wrong for Spike to try to sell eggs (if that was what he was doing) that would be used to kill people in other countries? Does that prove he is EVIL? Yes? Then you really need to convince everyone who works for defense contractors that sell weapons in foreign countries that they are EVIL. There are hundreds of thousands of them and no one shuns them. (Of course they are evil but that's capitalism for you.)

Good Stuff Spike did:
1) Loved Buffy unconditionally.
2) Gave her the thrilling, erotic sexual relationship she wanted.
3) Was a generous lover (read oral sex).
4) Wanted a relationship that was more than sex.
5) Kept trying to get her to talk to him about the relationship.
6) Fixed up his place for her.
7) Tried to change his clothes for her.
8) Loved and wanted her despite DoubleMeat Palace smell, without commenting on it.
9) Tolerated all her violence and nastiness without retaliating in kind.
10) Helped her find and rescue Dawn.
11) Came to check up on her at DoubleMeat Palace.
12) Got her home when she was distraught and thought she killed Katrina.
13) Tried to dispose of Katrina's body so Buffy would be safe.
14) Tried to keep her from ruining her life by turning herself in for what (he thought) was an accident. Unable to stop her he, at least, delayed her long enough that she found out she wasn't guilty.
15) Forgave her for beating him (this might have been a bad thing. Add it to the bad things list as well.).

Good stuff Buffy did: aaahhh…I forget. Okay, was half-civil to him at the wedding in Hell's Bells.

Bad Stuff Buffy did:
1) Hit Spike first in Smashed. Don't tell me he provoked it. If I stand in your way and won't move and you punch me, I can file charges cause that is not a reason that justifies punching someone.
2) Punched him in the face the morning after because he annoyed her.
3) Threatened to kill him the morning after if he told anyone they had sex.
4) Treated him like dirt morning after, acted and talked as if she was ashamed of having sex with him. True, Spike put his foot in it with the Slayer comment, but it was nothing compared to her mouth.
5) Refused to talk to him and threw him out of the house in Gone.
6) Went and attacked him in Gone once she was invisible and could do it without anyone knowing
7) Still hid the relationship even when Xander came in.
8) Shut him up with a BJ when he tried to throw her out after she was blatantly ashamed of being there.
9) Used him for sex in the alley behind the DoubleMeat Palace.
10) Beat the crap out of him in Dead Things when he was trying to save her from punishing herself.
11) In Older and Far Away showed no concern for his injuries, not from her OR from the demon.
12) In Older and Far Away showed no appreciation for his help in fighting the demon.
13) Made googly eyes at Riley in As You Were.
14) Treated Riley with respect and Spike with contempt.
15) In AYW got him to declare his love and desire only to reassure herself.
16) Used him for sex again in As You Were.
17) After being discovered in bed with Spike she allowed Riley to punch him, treat him with contempt and punched and humiliated him herself.
18) Would not listen to any explanation he had for the eggs.
19) Broke up with him coldly and without ever telling him Riley was married. She didn't even tell him she did not spend the night having sex with Riley even though Spike indicated that he thought she had been and, from his face and voice, it was killing him. She just told him Riley was gone.

Okay…so on the bad side Spike tried to pull her away from her friends and had some kind of eggs scheme, a scheme that, if it is as bad as the fundies want to believe, was more likely to kill him and Buffy than anyone else. Certainly not an outcome Spike would have planned.
On the good side Spike loved her unconditionally, gave her multiple orgasms and tried to do anything he could to please or help her. (God please send me a BF like that.)

As for Buffy she used Spike for sex, wouldn't talk to him or consider his feelings, beat him, hurt and humiliated him in front of an old boyfriend, was ashamed of their relationship, forced him to hide it and generally treated him like crap. All this is balanced by her being civil to him at a public event?

So who is the bad boyfriend?
Not Spike.
Buffy is the bad Boyfriend.

[> Re: Who is the Bad Boyfriend? -- Veronica, 22:15:58 03/08/02 Fri

I think that your message is very interesting in that I also feel like Spike has gotten a lot of crap in seasons 5 and 6. You allude to it in your list, but it really gets me that Spike basically allowed himself to get caught and tortured by Glory in season 5 in order to protect Dawn (and ultimately Buffy). To me, that showed a lot of love. At the same time, however, I think that Buffy acts that way towards Spike because it DISGUSTS her that she has feelings for Spike (and I definitely think she does) so much that she tries to fight it (sometimes through - let's face it - down right abusing Spike). Does that justify her treatment? No way. I just think she SO doesn't want to be in love with him that she treats him really badly. But I do think that the whole violence/sex/violence pattern is very disturbing. Maybe she is suffering serious psychological damage from the whole being dead thing...

[> Re: Who is the Bad Boyfriend? -- LadyStarlight, 05:36:27 03/09/02 Sat

Just wanted to point out that in the DMP/alley sex scene, Buffy's face pretty clearly indicates that she's not exactly thrilled to be having sex. While I wouldn't move it to the "bad" side (who hasn't had sex with a 'loved' one when they don't really feel like it), it's not exactly 'good' either. Do you have a 'ehhh' category? ;)

[> Could it be... -- Darby, 08:02:08 03/09/02 Sat

That you've given is the point? The quote from Marti you lead off with describes the relationship but not the roles, and isn't much of this show about nontraditional roles and reversals? And isn't Spike growing up as well, becoming a "twentysomething" in mind for the first time?

[> Didn't Marti actually refer to him as... -- Dariel, 09:10:07 03/09/02 Sat

...the boyfriend who is a "bad boy," rather than the "bad boyfriend?" And Spike certainly is the bad boy (hey, not complaining here!). That said, I wouldn't get too exercised by what the writers say. They have been known to say a thing, and then change their tune a few months later. In fact, there was a link to a Marti interview here recently that had a different perspective on the whole B/S thing.

I too find Buffy's behavior disturbing, but I agree with Veronica that it's of the "she doth protest too much" variety. What I really hate, though, is watching Spike take her abuse (especially the hitting him in front of Riley--grrr!). The trouble with taking abuse is that the more you let someone do it, the guiltier they feel; this in turn makes them angry, so they abuse you some more.

Even that sweet scene in Hell's Bells bugged me--it would have been perfectly natural for him to be angry at her. He clearly worships Buffy, wish is an unhealthy foundation for a relationship. Spike needs to decide who he is before he has a chance with Buffy.

[> [> 19th Century Man -- Spike Lover, 16:53:59 03/10/02 Sun

In my mind, Spike knows who he is. In my mind, he is not so much a child as someone from a different century. People who grew up during the Depression have a completely different outlook than adults who grew up during the 70's and 80's. When I look at Spike, I see someone who was raised during the Victorian era.

You know about those days- In order for a man to love a woman, she had to be worthy- whether by class or virtue. Cecily was probably slightly upper class. Buffy is from a classless society, so he must have elevated her by her virtue. Thus, she is worthy of his love. Ok, help female up on pedestal.

Now, he loves her unconditionally. She is an angel. She is above him. (Ladies were above men back then because men wanted to do those base things called have sex- which most ladies did not want or enjoy. They endured it for the sake of having children and because it was their duty to their husbands. Or that was the rumor, anyway.) **See Gone With the Wind**

How strange it must have been for him to 1)find that Buffy, the angel on the pedestal, was willing to have base sex w/ him and 2) to know that she liked it and would crave it. (Is she an 19th century hussey or what???)

Even at the wedding, he played the 19th century gentleman and left early so to avoid causing Buffy pain. (I love him.)

Now, I do not know if this is what the writers intended, but this is how I see it. (You have to remember that Dru was from that time period also.) So the question for me is can Spike, a man from the past, figure out how to date someone w/ such very different upbringing?

Some time ago I had a daydream of what it would be like if Spike for some reason reverted back to William, (and lost all memories of his being a vampire) and was simply told that he had awakened out of a coma and his fiance' Buffy was really concerned. Although he could not recognize Buffy or any of the Scoobies, William and Buffy were hardly an ideal match because William saw Buffy in her 20th Cent clothes, demeanor and habits as very low class. Anyway, if I ever write it down, I guess I should post it for y'all to read.

[> [> [> Re: 19th Century Man -- leslie, 18:56:05 03/10/02 Sun

"Some time ago I had a daydream of what it would be like if Spike for some reason reverted back to William, (and lost all memories of his being a vampire)"

Well, isn't this what happened when Willow's forgetful spell went awry? He didn't seem to have any problem with 20th century classlessness (now there's a word for you), he just thought he was Giles's son...

[> Re: Who is the Bad Boyfriend? -- LeeAnn, 10:35:43 03/09/02 Sat

Whoa! Great inventory work. Really hit the nail on the head on both of them and in the process brought home how very much Spike has been under appreciated for all he does try to do for me at least. Never really looked at it all at one time. Makes me want to declare a National Spike Appreciation Day..or something...

Not sure WHAT I want to declare for Buffy ...

[> [> Re: Who is the Bad Boyfriend? -- Teri, 10:37:08 03/09/02 Sat

Oops my bad, last post the Author was me..not LeeAnn!

[> [> [> Hey! Stop taking credit for LeeAnn's posts! :-) -- vampire hunter D, 13:28:15 03/09/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> Me big dummy.... -- Teri, 15:52:39 03/09/02 Sat

Brain's not workin right today and its ALL LIQ's fault cause she made me stay up so late buying JM Tics for 14b....WHICH I got! (yay me..go me)

[> Buffy's a boy?!?!? -- vampire hunter D, 13:55:29 03/09/02 Sat

[> [> Metaphorically speaking. -- LeeAnn, 14:08:17 03/09/02 Sat

[> Wowzers! -- Goji3, 15:40:11 03/09/02 Sat

Wowza good post (even though a part of me wanted to name this post 'I smell B/S')

very good points...except for the Bad things for Spike...

"Bad stuff Spike did:
1) Tried to convince her they were alike and belonged together, ie, that she was "wrong.""
- Wowza! You miss the point of him trying to change who she is for his own benifit.
"Hardly as bad as, say, getting her hooked on drugs, or magic," But does that make it good? NO! "or making her go to football games." Now that is tourture, not trying to change someone (well, not always...what kind of guy makes a girl actually SIT THROUGH football!?) "Though the sex might have been addicting" - Here's why I wanted to call this response 'I Smell BS', but I'm not.
"2) Tried to pull her away from the friends who don't like him. This might be slightly naughty" WHAT!? "but is pretty typical boyfriend behavior." Again, WHAT!? I'm not knowledgable in the dating area, but as far as I'm concerned, you can't chamge someone's freinds...and really shouldn't unless absolutely nessesary. One just has to be polite and suffer through them. That's what being a Good Boyfriend means. "And Spike didn't try very hard." -several consecutive occasions is not hard?
"3) Tried a dangerous, harebrained scheme to make money. Spike needs money to buy blood and carpets and new clothes. He never required much money but once he got with Buffy he needed more. It's not like he can go get a job at a convenience store. The money might even have been for her, to allow her to quit DoubleMeat Palace. Was it morally wrong for Spike to try to sell eggs (if that was what he was doing) that would be used to kill people in other countries? Does that prove he is EVIL? Yes? Then you really need to convince everyone who works for defense contractors that sell weapons in foreign countries that they are EVIL." Have you seen the new campaign against both Drugs and Terrorism, since both are linked, the gov. uses that to get people off drugs. So, are Drug Dealer's/users evil? the behavior certainly is!! "There are hundreds of thousands of them and no one shuns them." OO! I DO! "(Of course they are evil but that's capitalism for you.)" I guess I have a Higher moral standard than most people (which leads to constant 'beating myself up' and slight depression :p)

Well, that's my rant. Rest of the post was great though and I agree with it most of it. The above part...well...I found some flaws in the rationaling.

Ya know, I should remove the b/s 'quotes' from this post (but I'm lazy) because it's more of a simply Pro-spike...but, there are negative points so Spike, and they shouldn't be explained away like that. Even though Buffy's bad-ness was pretty much the focus for the essay and why she wanted Tara to tell her that she was 'bad' after she found out nothing was wrong with her. blah blah blah, her moral standards are high, blah blah blah. she wants to be punished for doing wrong, blah blah blah. I see shades of Faith post sanctuary, Blah blah blah, yackety shamckety, blah blah blah.

Well, i'm done.

[> [> Re: Wowzers! -- LeeAnn, 17:59:11 03/09/02 Sat

"I've essentially become the metaphor for heroin for Buffy," says Marsters with a smile..."Willow goes to Rack, who is a metaphor for a drug dealer, and she gets semi-molested by him in order to get the magic/spells, that structurally the script has a mirror of that with Buffy struggling with her own addiction to Spike."

I have seen too many situations where the "boyfriend" and the "friends" act like they are natural enemies, cats and dogs only pretending peace for the sake of the girl and as soon as the breakup occurs the friends tell her what they REALLY thought of the creep. Xander wouldn't wait if he knew. In fact if the SG had found out about an ongoing relationship I think they would have tried to break it up. Given that I can hardly blame Spike for trying to pull her away from them.

I admit it! I admit it! I'm a Spike shipper!
Maybe I can't see Spike's evil to her as clearly as I can see her meanness to him. But don't worry. The way Spike is being tortured this season should warm the heart of anyone who thinks Spike deserves to suffer.

[> [> JM and Dr. Smith -- Malandanza, 18:31:31 03/09/02 Sat

I agree with what you've said but would like to add a few things. (and most of my comments are actually directed to LeeAnn's post)

First, about the eggs -- imagine that you are approached by someone in the street who asks you to deliver a package for them. They'll pay $100 cash. Do you do it? What do you think is in the package? Most likely drugs, right? If you fail to ask questions or ask questions but accept patently false answers and deliver the package, is it morally acceptable? Can you really claim ignorance? Spike may not have known what the eggs were for, but he did know what he was doing was wrong -- why else would they pay him? Okay, so the eggs were probably more dangerous than he thought they'd be -- to continue the analogy, it's like thinking you're delivering a pound of marijuana when the police stop you and discover that it's heroine. Spike wasn't just evil, he was stupid.

That same episode, how do you defend Spike's behavior towards Riley? Buffy is as mortified as she's ever been and Spike is oblivious -- too interested in rubbing salt into Riley's wounds. That's not "good boyfriend" behavior. And speaking of being a bad boyfriend -- he calls Buffy by the same pet names he used for Dru -- that's got to violate good boyfriend protocol.

Now let's talk about the "wanted a relationship that was more than sex" thing. Umm, no. He was unhappy with the growing platonic between him and Buffy for the first part of the season -- he pushed and pushed Buffy towards a more physical relationship (using the "you kissed me so you're obliged to sleep with me" line). He gets what he wants -- but is now sulking because they can't hold hands in public? How does that compare with his reaction to Buffy dumping him -- saying "I'm not exactly complaining" when Buffy tells him the relationship is only sexual? He wants the sex -- he'd like sex plus her undying devotion, but he'll settle for sex.

Then there's the unceasing emotional abuse he's inflicted upon her -- continually trying to convince her that she's "wrong" like him. That she belongs to his world and that he's the only guy who could put up with her so she should just count her bloody blessings. Did she hurt him physically? Yes -- but he likes the abuse (sort of like that guy Groo wanted to free from bondage). Does this mean that Buffy should abuse him? No -- but not because it hurts Spike (it doesn't; he gets off on it) but because it degrades her.

What has Buffy ever done for Spike? How about spared his life? I don't count the times she's saved him when they've worked together (or when he's been chased by demons who want him dead) but the time he came to her for help. He was friendless -- even Harmony turned him away. She had every right to stake him (or just watch him burn) -- she's the slayer, it her sacred duty. Even after he was less than forthcoming with information (and after he betrayed her trust by turning to Adam for his own selfish motives) she stilled spared his life. She didn't deserve the pain he's inflicted on her.

So why, when Spike has been written as such an unappealing character, do so many people like him? I think that the answer lies in the manner in which JM portrays Spike. Like the actor who played Dr. Smith in the old Lost in Space Series, JM has found a way to keep his character alive:

Jonathan (Dr. Smith):That's quite a tale. I was hired to be a real villain, deadly and dark. I knew before long that if I continued to play the part that way, without any redeeming facets in his nature, they would kill me off in 5-6 shows. I thought very carefully how to avoid this, and decided to introduce bits of comedy. Comedic villainy has always been my forte.

Irwin Allen came to my dressing room one day and said, "Do more," and for the first time in my theatrical TV career, I had carte blanche to create a whole new character.

So JM reads the lines verbatim, but throws in a roguish smile, a wistful glance or puppy-dog eyes and his character stays alive -- corrupting the spirit of the text without altering the letter. And ME lets him because moral ambiguity is fun.

[> [> [> Re: Let me ask you... -- LeeAnn, 19:48:59 03/09/02 Sat

Let me ask there ANYTHING Spike could do, any change he could make, that would make him, in your estimation, an acceptable boyfriend, companion or just lover for Buffy?

[> [> [> [> Now let me ask you... -- Malandanza, 09:11:54 03/10/02 Sun

"Let me ask there ANYTHING Spike could do, any change he could make, that would make him, in your estimation, an acceptable boyfriend, companion or just lover for Buffy?"

Well, you've convinced me, LeeAnn. Spike is the perfect boyfriend.

And with this is mind, I decided to pattern my future dealings with women after the fictional adventures of Spike:

Top ten ways to win a woman's heart:

1. During the courtship phase, call her a "bitch" as often as possible. Women love that.

2. If she doesn't sleep with you immediately, break into her house and steal article of her clothing. Get a temporary girlfriend who bears a superficial resemblance to the Object of Your Affections (OoYA) and dress her up in the stolen clothing for a bout of sexual role-play.

3. If the temporary girlfriend abandons you, get yourself a mannequin and have sex with it -- inanimate objects don't mind being treated as things and if the OoYA finds out, she'll think your obsession is endearing.

4. Hang out with her friends and family -- ingratiate yourself with them. That way, you'll always have an excuse to be around.

5. Once she's securely yours, sever all ties between the OoYA and her friends and family. Make sure that your judgment is the only one she can rely upon.

6. Break up any existing relationship with suggestions and innuendoes. Read Othello for ideas.

7. Find her hidden weaknesses -- her greatest fears and insecurities. Exploit them. The worse she feels about herself, the better for you.

8. After having sex with the OoYA for the first time, crow loudly about how great it was for you. Mock her as she dresses and tries to leave.

9. If her ex catches you in bed together, mock his lack of manliness and tout your own machismo. It's a win-win situation -- if he takes a swing at you, he's insanely jealous and you get to be vulnerable. If he turns the other cheek, he looks impotent. It better if he tries to fight you, so you don't accidentally come across as a bully, but occasionally you will run into impossibly Saint-like men who ignore all your provocation. Either way, he is diminished in the eyes of the OoYA.

10. No means yes.

Now let me ask you a question: what would Spike have to do to Buffy to convince you that he's wrong for her?

[> [> [> [> [> Whoa. Major props for the hardcoreness of THAT response. -- AngelVSAngelus, 22:30:10 03/10/02 Sun

Personally, I dig Spike's character more as a villain, even an impotent, chippified villain. I think you just summarized some of my reasons for feeling so. Not that I condone Mrs. Summer's recently abusive and exploiting behavior, mind you.

[> [> [> [> [> A heterosexual female with a pulse. -- LeeAnn, 00:54:10 03/11/02 Mon

"Now let me ask you a question: what would Spike have to do to Buffy to convince you that he's wrong for her?"

Probably get someone to play the part of Spike who is lessssss delicious and talented than James Marsters! He can kidnap someone, chain them up and make it seem like flowers and candy on Valentines Day. Just proof he loves them.

You're right!! He's EEEVVVIILLL. JM just has us all FOOLED.
Well, not you.

But us, the herterosexual females with a pulse.(stole that line)

[> [> [> Re: JM and Dr. Smith -- yuri, 22:09:24 03/09/02 Sat

In response to your first paragraphs -- imagine that you are approached by someone in the street who asks you to deliver a package for them. They'll pay $100 cash. Do you do it? What do you think is in the package? Most likely drugs, right? If you fail to ask questions or ask questions but accept patently false answers and deliver the package, is it morally acceptable?

Well my personal ethical perspective on this situation is this: If you didn't do it, someone else would, and if you are truly against what you're doing - like, if you're truly against dealing drugs - and you work towards eradicating the drug trade in your life, then I don't think it's wrong. (Yeesh, I have to insert here the fact that I don't think eradicating the drug trade is possible or positive, just that it should be improved. Sorry, I just hate to have my values misinterpreted.) I know some people will passionately disagree with this, but I think that if doing something "wrong" (that would be done even if it wasn't by you) helps you maintain a life where you are able to fight the source of the "wrongness," then it's fine.

As for Spike, well we still don't know the backstory of the eggs, but if it is as everyone is assuming, then I don't see that there's much wrong with it. That is if one assumes that Spike can actually be considered a force of good (different can of worms, I know). However, I bet that within the perameters of the show, it will be considered a "wrong." I've yet to find a show that reflects my moral compass.

Okay, so the eggs were probably more dangerous than he thought they'd be -- to continue the analogy, it's like thinking you're delivering a pound of marijuana when the police stop you and discover that it's heroine.

I agree this is the truly stupid part of the whole scenario. I only refrain from doing most things that are considered "wrong" by law or the common mind because it would be stupid to risk the consequences - which are always bigger than you expect.

And many good points. You mentioned how Spike calls Buffy by the same pet names that he called Dru, and I've always found this really odd. True, many people do this sort of thing, but in a show where everything's pretty damn deliberate it resonates on a weird note.

[> [> [> [> ehhh.... -- celticross, 10:27:30 03/11/02 Mon

"You mentioned how Spike calls Buffy by the same pet names that he called Dru, and I've always found this really odd. True, many people do this sort of thing, but in a show where everything's pretty damn deliberate it resonates on a weird note."

All Spike's ever called Buffy was pet and love, both of which are pretty common terms of endearment. Now I understand not calling someone a pet name of a previous SO that has some special meaning to that particular relationship, but saying that it's weird that Spike called both Dru and Buffy pet is like saying it's weird that I have called both my previous and my current SO sweetheart.

[> [> [> Re: JM and Dr. Smith -- Nos, 03:43:22 03/10/02 Sun

I'm new here....Hi...Just wanted to add my opinon...

"That same episode, how do you defend Spike's behavior towards Riley? Buffy is as mortified as she's ever been and Spike is oblivious -- too interested in rubbing salt into Riley's wounds. That's not "good boyfriend" behavior. And speaking of being a bad boyfriend -- he calls Buffy by the same pet names he used for Dru -- that's got to violate good boyfriend protocol."

I think that Spike has MAJOR self-esteem issues. It was too perfect of an oportunity to get back at Riley for all the things that he did to him (IE: staking him). Also, it was the first time the relationship came into the light (to his knowladge). As for calling Buffy the same names he called Dru, what else is he going to call her? 'Pet' 'luv' and such are British pet names. It's only natural he would call her such things. Now if he called her his 'black goddess' or some such, I would worry....

"Now let's talk about the "wanted a relationship that was more than sex" thing. Umm, no. He was unhappy with the growing platonic between him and Buffy for the first part of the season -- he pushed and pushed Buffy towards a more physical relationship (using the "you kissed me so you're obliged to sleep with me" line). He gets what he wants -- but is now sulking because they can't hold hands in public? How does that compare with his reaction to Buffy dumping him -- saying "I'm not exactly complaining" when Buffy tells him the relationship is only sexual? He wants the sex -- he'd like sex plus her undying devotion, but he'll settle for sex."

Again, major self esteem issues. In Gone he said "If I can't have all of you..." meaning, that he wanted more than just the sex. He's in love with her after all. But he will settle for it, because he doesn't think that he deserves anything more.

"Then there's the unceasing emotional abuse he's inflicted upon her -- continually trying to convince her that she's "wrong" like him. That she belongs to his world and that he's the only guy who could put up with her so she should just count her bloody blessings. Did she hurt him physically? Yes -- but he likes the abuse (sort of like that guy Groo wanted to free from bondage). Does this mean that Buffy should abuse him? No -- but not because it hurts Spike (it doesn't; he gets off on it) but because it degrades her."

Wow do I love to rant about Spike's self esteem, eh? He's trying to convince her that she is wrong like him, belongs in the dark with him, ect, because he believes that is the only place he can really have her. She would never bring him 'into the light' with her, so he wants to pull her into the dark with him. And as for getting off on the pain, he really didn't look like he was enjoying it in Dead Things. There is sadomasicism, and there is torture. Whips and chains right? Who has ever heard of someone getting off on getting their face smashed in? And if he likes it so much, why did he try and get away when Glory was torturing him?

Sorry, just had to add my late night ranting. Don't mean to offend or anything, just my opinons. Excellant post, hoever, Malandanza. It's always great to see other sides of views. :)

[> [> [> [> Self-esteem -- Malandanza, 08:54:03 03/10/02 Sun

"I think that Spike has MAJOR self-esteem issues."

I agree with you completely on this point Certainly for a person to completely reinvent himself there have to be some self-esteem issues. To change from being first a bloody awful poet then to the "drooling idiot" of Angelus and Darla's gang into the "Big Bad" takes quite a bit of work -- and idicates just how little self-esteem William/Spike have (in fact, it's a pet theory of mine that Spike spent the first decade or two of his unnatural existence crying himself to sleep because he couldn't be Angelus -- and I'd love to see his reaction if Buffy called him Angel).

So lack of self-esteem explains most of his actions (as it does with the Troika) but I don't think it excuses them (any more than Faith's rough childhood excuses the murder of the professor). Buffy shouldn't have to pay the price from William's therapy (that she's been willing to do so for such a long time speaks to her own lack of self-esteem).

"And as for getting off on the pain, he really didn't look like he was enjoying it in Dead Things. There is sadomasicism, and there is torture. Whips and chains right? Who has ever heard of someone getting off on getting their face smashed in? And if he likes it so much, why did he try and get away when Glory was torturing him?

I think part of it is control. Glory wanted to kill him and was planning on killing him -- he had no control in that situation. With Buffy, he has always been he one in control -- he could have ended any of the beatings instantly, by stepping aside. I don't buy into the Spike-is-Gandhi theory -- the beating he took in the alley was his attempt to "prove" to Buffy how much he loved her. But the bottom line is this -- if you "always hurt the one you love" it isn't love -- just a sick obsession.

Oh, and welcome to the board!

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Self-esteem -- Nos, 18:07:58 03/10/02 Sun

Thanks for the welcome! And thanks for responding to my post.

"So lack of self-esteem explains most of his actions (as it does with the Troika) but I don't think it excuses them (any more than Faith's rough childhood excuses the murder of the professor). Buffy shouldn't have to pay the price from William's therapy (that she's been willing to do so for such a long time speaks to her own lack of self-esteem). "

I wasn't saying that his lack of self-esteem excuses his actions. It doesn't, but it does shed some light on why he is doing the things he is doing. He wants to be accepted by Buffy and the SG so badly, but he thinks that it could never happen. But if they gave him his 'crumb', helped him, showed him that they cared about him, at least a little, then these actions would in all reality, cease. They never thank him for his help. They constantly remind him that he is an 'evil thing' and doesn't deserserve the pleasure of their company. And they are pretty much his whole world right now. So he agrees.

Just my opinon, but the reason Faith went bad was because she thought no one cared for her. We've been seeing alot of Spike/Faith correlations in this season, so I'm worried about the path that Spike is going to take due to the fact that they really don't give a crap about him. Now, if they did, and showed it, that would be a different story.

[> [> [> [> Right on- -- Spike Lover, 17:15:02 03/10/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Right on to Nos's message, that is - -- Spike Lover, 17:19:12 03/10/02 Sun

[> [> [> Re: JM and Dr. Smith -- leslie, 10:10:39 03/10/02 Sun

I think you have argued yourself into a corner. 1) Truly evil characters are boring and get killed off quickly. 2) To keep your job, make character less boring so he will stay around. 3) Truly evil characters are boring, so the way to make them less boring is to make them less truly evil. I.e., it doesn't really matter what the motivation is for doing it, the end result is a character who is complicated, exhibits emotional shades of gray, and is therefore fascinating to watch. But the way to do this is to sacrifice being "truly evil," and therefore the character *is* more deserving of the audience's empathy and attention.

[> [> [> [> Playing evil -- Darby, 11:56:58 03/10/02 Sun

This is also why actors like to play villains - it is generally accepted that a hero can be "good" without shadings to their motivations (and those shadings can be vigorously resisted by the PtB on some shows/films/plays), but it is also generally accepted that an evil character doesn't see themselves that way, and so actors are encouraged to find the motivational / explanatory layers - and on that I have to disagree, it does matter what drives them to their actions. These often emerge in charm and/or humor, and make the character much more interesting to the audience. Joss has always known this - his successful villains, from Spike to the Gorches, have had it. When a villain is truly disposable (the What's My Line? assassins, Ted, the swim coach, Faith's elder vamp enemy, the Watchers' Council sort of, the Knights of Byzantium, etc), we cheer at their disposal but aren't invested in it. Buffy taking out interchangeable bad guys is not the experience that seeing the Gorch brother eaten by the mama demon was!

[> [> [> Re: JM and Dr. Smith -- Goji3, 15:17:51 03/10/02 Sun

So, then...Buffy is Will Robinson and...Who's the Robot to say 'Danger! Danger Buffy Summers!' :p

Ya Know, I Kinda thought that Dawn and Spikes Relationship (Especially in that episode after 'the Body') seemed very reminisent of Dr. Smith and Will Robinson. Just a thought

[> [> [> No wait a minute! That is NOT Fair! -- Spike Lover, 17:10:18 03/10/02 Sun

In the above post, in answering what has Buffy done for Spike... And you list: Not stake or kill him.

Well, the question was not what has Buffy done for Spike the entire time she has known him. It was 'What has Buffy done for Spike since they started having a relationship that was no longer 'plutonic'?' if you can call it that.

Spike's list of nasty tricks from Season 2 would be a lot longer if they counted. But they don't. And what he did to woo her or win her, well, they might not have been what you approve of, but they seem to have worked on some level.

But, as a concerned viewer (for Spike) I am wondering if he truly likes what he has won/wooed. It sort of reminds me of all those teen movies (like American Pie II) where the guy is after the real pretty girl, but finds in the end that she is not that great and he is much happier with the less pretty girl.

[> [> [> now wait a minute... -- celticross, 10:20:58 03/11/02 Mon

"Now let's talk about the "wanted a relationship that was more than sex" thing. Umm, no. He was unhappy with the
growing platonic between him and Buffy for the first part of the season -- he pushed and pushed Buffy towards a more
physical relationship (using the "you kissed me so you're obliged to sleep with me" line). He gets what he wants -- but is now sulking because they can't hold hands in public? How does that compare with his reaction to Buffy dumping him --
saying "I'm not exactly complaining" when Buffy tells him the relationship is only sexual? He wants the sex -- he'd like
sex plus her undying devotion, but he'll settle for sex."

That's a pretty violent response to a character...but I'm terribly confused by you saying Spike pushed Buffy into a sexual relationship after they kissed. All Spike ever wanted after the kisses of OMWF and TR was to talk. He wanted to know what was going on and why Buffy was suddenly giving him the cold shoulder after previously coming to him for companionship. And as for their platonic relationship up to OMWF, he wasn't happy with just being friends, but who is when you're in love? But I never saw him push for more. We must be seeing these scenes from completely different angles, but I never saw Spike push a sexual relationship until Smashed, which I still contend was one of the most poorly written episodes of the season, character wise (and not just Spike's character, either).

Classic Movie of the Week - March 8th 2002 -- OnM, 21:46:54 03/08/02 Fri


I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.

............ Lord Byron, Letter to Annabella Milbanke, 1814


You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip.

............ Jonathan Carroll


Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?

............ Henry L. Mencken


I’ve never been married, and have only attended a very small number of weddings in my entire life, but I surely wouldn’t want to use that as a basis to judge the success rate of relationships. Instead, I tend to draw on the fact that during my years doing appliance service work (about 16 long and wearying ones), I got to enter the homes of tens of thousands of people, married and unmarried, and so had ample chance to observe the way people act when they don’t think anyone else is around.

OK, now wait just a momento there, you are likely saying to yourself, or even back to me. If you are actually inside the house with those customers of yours, what do you mean they ‘act like no one else is around’?

Well, people behave strangely at times (yeah, now there’s a thought!), and one of the stranger things happens when you are a prole in the repair trade, at least a goodly portion of the time. What occurs is that you are essentially a non-entity to many people-- not fully human, just a meat-machine with a tool kit. You ring the bell, they lead you to the washer, fridge, whatever, you fix it, you leave. I suspect people employed for housecleaning duties might get the same kind of treatment. I’m not going to take the time to go into the psychological ramifications of this phenomena, it isn’t important right now anyway. I mention this just to illustrate that I have had the opportunity to observe ‘without being observed’ in quite a substantial number of ‘normal’ households, and so have inevitably come to the conclusion that it’s a wonder the divorce rate isn’t even higher than social statisticians say it is.

Those who were concerned that this weeks Buffy episode, Hell’s Bells, was excessively depressing aren’t looking at things realisticially, I’m afraid I have to say. Speaking entirely from my own perspective, it seems nearly impossible for relationships to last for very long periods of time without eventual conflict or a breakup. The way I routinely saw many spouses behave around each other is downright scary, and makes a good case for pursuing a monk-like retreat from marital reality.

Yes, I know, true love does happen, and people do sometimes treat each other kindly. My own parents had what would have certainly been seen as a successful marriage, but then they married very late, both of them being in their very early 30’s at the time of their wedding. (My sister was born when my mom was 32-ish, I think, I didn’t come on the scene until she was nearly 40). Whether it was maturity or luck, I’ll never know, but they did indeed stay together until death did them part. Good for them, I do say, it certainly was an asset to your humble scribe here to have the strength of their commitment to draw upon in times of stress, like those I’ve had between my birth and right this minute.

Statistically, though, there is no question that most marraiges do eventually dissolve, some sooner than others. We love the notion of love and romance, but even with the best intentions, the often ugly reality of reality brings pressures to bear that can turn sincere affection into blandness or even anger, recriminations or even violence.

But, f*ck all that. It’s Friday night. Who wants to be depressed? Not me, and I suspect not you, either.

Which neatly brings us to this week’s Classic Movie, My Best Friend’s Wedding by Australian director P.J. Hogan, a film that is transcendingly clever in the way it purposely subverts our traditional expectations for a film in this genre, and possibly for the institution of marriage in general.

The story starts out with a scene of two people at dinner in a fairly classy-looking resturant, whose calm demeanor belies the apparent chaos taking place behind the scenes in the kitchen. It could be just another couple out for a night on the towm, but we soon discover that the couple is a food/resturant critic and her guest, and all the sturm and drang in the kitchen is by way of making sure that the dishes are prepared to put the resturant in the best possible light. (See, dating metaphors, right? Right...)

The food critic is Julianne ‘Jules’ Potter (played by Julia Roberts), and her guest is George Downes (Rupert Everett), a gay man whom Julianne considers a ‘good friend’ and a source of reliable advice on all matters of great (or even not so great) import. They are discussing some of the most recent events in their lives, including romantic relationships or lack thereof.

Shortly thereafter, Jules gets a phone call from her ‘best friend’ Mike O'Neal (Dermot Mulroney), who has a major announcement to make. Jules has carried a torch for Michael for the past nine years, since they had a month-long whirlwind fling in college. The relationship apparently ended simply because the two wished to pursue their individual careers, and marriage just wasn’t in the cards at the time. The reason for Mike’s phone call is to inform Jules that he is soon getting married, and of course he wants his best friend-- Jules-- to attend the wedding. Jules suddenly realizes that Mike is about to become the ‘one who got away’, and immediately begins plotting to break up the new couple and stop the wedding.

From this point forward, things should be predictable, but they aren’t, thanks to an intensely smart and inventive screenplay. Jules meets Kimberly Wallace (Cameron Diaz ), Mike’s betrothed, and the breakup plan suddenly becomes far more complicated, as Jules realizes that not only are these two people genuinely very much in love, but ‘Kimmy’ is a perfectly decent soul who has every right to marry Mike. Still, determined to undermine the relationship and reclaim her ‘best friend’ as a lover and husband, Jules begins her anti-Kimmy campaign first with subtlety and then with increasing degrees of deviousness.

The overall flow and structure of the story is cleverly arranged so that during the early part of the film, we tend to feel sympathethic towards Julia Robert’s character, but that sympathy steadily fades as Jules becomes progressively crueler in her quest to keep Michael for herself. Nonetheless, partly because of Roberts’ superbly shaded and nuanced performance, and partly the keen intelligence of the writing, we don’t get to see Jules turned into an outright villain, just an otherwise decent person who allows her ego to drag her into questionable behavior.

Part of what gradually drives Jules to frustration-- and adds significant humor for the viewing audience-- is having one roadblock after another placed in her path, as if the gods themselves were rooting for Mike and Kim. Each attempt at driving a wedge in the relationship hopelessly backfires, and only makes the two lovers fall more deeply in love. One great scene takes place in a karaoke bar, where Jules deftly wangles Kim into singing, despite Kim’s protests that she is a terrible singer and that it would be embarrassing to reveal as much to the crowd and especially to Mike. This only spurs Jules on, and Kim does end up performing a musically terrible, but otherwise heartfelt rendition of Burt Bacharach’s ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself’. Jules tries to contain her glee as Mike looks upon his bride-to-be with an indeciperable expression. Assuming Mike’s stare is the result of being appalled at how Kim would humiliate herself this way in front of him, the glee turns to despair when the crowd and Mike all give Kim a big round of applause for her ‘bravery’, and the previously ‘shocked’ expression on Mike’s face turns unequivocally to adoration. Jules realizes that rather than put him off, the ‘sacrifice’ of Kim’s ‘dignity’ to please Mike and his friends has just intensely reinforced his desire for Kim. A fool for love, indeed.

After several unsuccessful attempts to tip the love balance in her favor, a desperate Jules finally crosses the line when she arranges for Kim’s wealthy father to offer Mike a job with his company, something she knows he would hate-- Mike loves his current job, and has no desire to leave it. Jules falsifies an e-mail, and sends it to Kim’s father. The job offer ensues, Mike is extremely upset, and threatens to break off the relaationship, as he thought that Kim knew going in that his job situatuion was not a negotiable factor. Kim breaks down in tears, and says that she’ll do anything to save the relationship, even if it’s at her expense. The plot is foiled again-- or is it? Mike now has something in mind that he didn’t before, namely doubts as to whether Kim has been completely sincere with him about the need to accept the affects his career will have on their relationship.

Back on track (or maybe not), the wedding plans unfold (or maybe don’t), but at this point the audience is left unsure just exactly what will take place by the movie’s end. The beginning of the film certainly suggests that Jules is-- and should be-- the one to win Mike’s affections, but now the greater question has become one of does she deserve to? While many of you may have already seen this film, and know what happens, I won’t spoil the delightful ambiguity by giving away the ending, but rest assured that all is resolved perfectly logically, and satisfyingly.

As if the snappy writing and wonderful acting work isn’t enough, this film is a textbook example of how to properly compose, photograph, edit and score a motion picture. The director understands the proper use of a very widescreen image, and whether the frame is densely packed with images or filled with close-up shots of the actors, every detail is perfectly rendered. Music is used effectively for counterpoint or emphasis to the visual or story action, not just for the sake of having it present or to help sell a soundtrack album. Those of you who find it entertaining and instructive to ponder the metaphorical content of the clothing and/or color choices on Buffy or Angel will discover that you can do the same kind of analyses with My Best Friend’s Wedding.

This is a work that bears repeated viewings, as there are always new delights to discover, and I would highly recommend making it a permanent part of your film collection. As with BtVS, there may be many potential viewers out there who made a point of avoiding this film because of the title, and the frothy nonsensical qualities it may suggest, but that would be a serious mistake. This is as serious a film as humor allows-- and you will see that for yourself if you viddy it at soonest opportunity.

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technically throwing the bouquet:

My Best Friend’s Wedding is available on DVD, and really needs to be seen that way if not in an actual theater. The film was released in 1997, and has a running time of 1 hour and 45 minutes. The original theatrical aspect ratio is 2.35:1, which is preserved on the DVD. The screenplay was by Ronald Bass. Cinematography was by Laszlo Kovacs, with film editing by Garth Craven & Lisa Fruchtman. Production design was by Richard Sylbert, art direction by Karen Fletcher Trujillo. Music was by James Newton Howard with several songs by Burt Bacharach. The theatrical sound mix was in either Dolby Digital or SDDS, it’s in Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD. As mentioned in the review, the soundtrack work and musical score are well recorded and used very effectively.

Cast overview:

Julia Roberts .... Julianne 'Jules' Potter
Dermot Mulroney .... Michael 'Mike' O'Neal
Cameron Diaz .... Kimberly 'Kim/Kimmy' Wallace
Rupert Everett .... George Downes
Philip Bosco .... Walter Wallace
M. Emmet Walsh .... Joe O'Neal
Rachel Griffiths .... Samantha Newhouse
Carrie Preston .... Mandy Newhouse
Susan Sullivan .... Isabelle Wallace
Christopher Masterson .... Scotty O'Neal
Raci Alexander .... Title Sequence Performer #1
Jennifer Garrett .... Title Sequence Performer #2
Kelly Sheerin .... Title Sequence Performer #3
Bree Turner .... Title Sequence Performer #4
Cassie Creasy .... Flower Girl



If you should happen to own an early version of Best Friend’s Wedding on DVD, your copy may be a double-sided disc with a pan’n’scan (cropped) 4x3 version on the one side and the 2.35:1 widescreen version of the film on the other side. A newer version has added some extra bonus features to the mix, but dropped the 4x3 rendition of the film (the disc is also now single-sided).

Those of you who would like to demonstrate how having a good home theater system can really enhance your enjoyment of movies on video could really do no better than to use Wedding as demo material. No, I’m not kidding, I’ve done just that for the last several years at the store where I work. The difficulty in getting people to understand the level of subtlety that a soundtrack can achieve in enhancing the suspension of disbelief necessary for becoming ‘part of the story’ isn’t always done by playing the slam-bang stuff, it’s all about little sounds and directional cues and other great stuff that pulls you in without your knowing it. (This was one of the problems I had with the otherwise highly enjoyable Lord of the Rings, the soundtrack was well crafted, but overbearing too much of the time). Many times, as we all know, less is more.

Likewise also as previously mentioned, the lighting and photography work in Wedding is state of the art, and if you have a good, properly calibrated TV/monitor, the color palette throughout the entire film is phenomenal. Hint: If the color of the bridesmaids dresses in the opening credits aren’t clearly visible as discretely different pastels, your TV’s ‘auto-color’ circuit is probably activated. Do yourself a favor and turn the damn thing off when you view DVD’s. Contrary to what many TV manufacturers would have you believe, there are actually a wide variety of flesh-tones available to choose from.

Lastly, if you have the older version of the DVD with the cropped version on one side and the widescreen on the other, by all means play the cropped version first, then follow it with the widescreen version. If this doesn’t convince you or your friends that pan’n’scan is eeevvvviiiillllll, then I’m afraid there is no hope for ya’all-- these are two completely different movies!! (If you don’t have the double sided DVD, consider renting the VHS version and doing the same comparison).

Item next & next-to-last:

You may have already read this, but just in case, Buffy Season Two on DVD should be out this June. Yee-hah!!, I think is the appropriate response. Does this mean Season Three by December, as I originally prophesied? We can only hope!

Item next & last:

To those brave souls offering movie-review-karaoke by guesting in upcoming Classic Movie of the Week columns (and you know who you are), be advised that we are nearly out of new BtVS and A:tS eps until late April or May, so get them fingers a-tappin’, OK?

Want to volunteer your opins? E-mail me at:

for info, it’s never too late!


Question of the Week:

How many weddings have you attended so far in your life? How many of the couples in those weddings are still together? Does all of this (whatever) leave you disillusioned, hopeful, or disinterested?

So yea and verily, Post ‘em if you got ‘em, and see you next week.

Take care!


[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - March 8th 2002 -- Brian, 03:36:50 03/09/02 Sat

Ouch. Reality questions hurt. I've been to two dozen weddings. Two of those couples are still together: One after 35 years, and one after 15 years. Marriage is hard, and only the strong, tolerant, understanding, compassionate,
devoted, determined, and forgiving survive. Alas, I was not one of them.

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - March 8th 2002 -- Rendyl, 06:21:08 03/09/02 Sat

Thinking over your question made me realize I am not a wedding goer. (movie weddings however I am a big sucker for) I have been to probably 6 or 7 (including my own) and mine is the only one of those still together. (I -know- a lot of happily married couples, I just didnt attend their weddings)

Marriage is great but it can also be really hard. I think marriages fail when both people do not want it to work with the same intensity and commitment, or when people take their problems to someone else (friend, relative, etc,) instead of working it out with each other.

I know many people were upset with Xander but I fall into the 'if you have any doubts, don't' school of thought. Being nervous is okay, but being unsure is not.

Oh, and I liked the movie (Susan Sullivan is a fave of mine).

Ren -who has a pact that neither she nor her husband ever have to sing karaoke in public-

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - March 8th 2002 -- matching mole, 19:18:55 03/09/02 Sat

Wow! You definitely encourage me to rewatch My Best Friend's Wedding at some point. I saw it when it was first released but didn't see much in it beyond a competently made romantic comedy at the time.

I've been to about a dozen weddings (thirteen that I can remember if I include my own). I only know of one couple who has split up and another four couples who I have had no contact with for so long that I couldn't say one way or the other.

I performed the ceremony at one of the weddings. I know that couple is still together. So if anyone else has a hankering to get hitched (and has a potential spouse who feels the same way) I seem to be good luck.

Minister mole (Universal Life Church)

Buffy vs. Dracula and the dark path -- Hauptman, 07:55:55 03/09/02 Sat

Quick question:
Remember when Buffy and Drac. did the dance and he told her that she had dark powers? Remember when she could not get a good night's sleep without getting in a good slay? Buffy seemed to be heading down a dark path, like she was becomming something other than the good little Buffy. I was intrigued by this turn and wondered where it would lead. Were we going to get the skinny on the first slayer? Was the slayer going to loose control? What was Drac talking about when he said that she didn't know where her power came from and why did his blood have such am affect on her? Did I miss all of these answers?

I miss the examination of the slayer and revelations about the legend.

[> Doesn't LeeAnn's post below give you at least a partial answer? -- Sophist, 08:25:50 03/09/02 Sat

[> [> Which one? Didn't see it. -- Hauptman, 09:28:24 03/09/02 Sat

[> [> [> The Bad Boyfriend -- if that doesn't summarize Buffy's dark side, nothing will -- Sophist, 16:55:51 03/09/02 Sat

[> Re: Buffy vs. Dracula and the dark path -- yuri, 14:43:04 03/09/02 Sat

Someone mentioned this a little while ago, but it seems to me that all Buffy's inner conflict about being afraid to accept her "darker side" has been a direct extension of her confrontations with Dracula and the "first." If you mean that you actually want the first to be brought up again, I agree, it would be timely, but I think the issues that those episodes brought up are present and thriving. I'm in the camp that says the first is just the first, not the first slayer, and that vampires and slayers have the same origins.

Right now, Spike is the character that prevents Buffy from being able to forget about these troublesome topics, and there you have the makings of our favorite (well maybe not all of us) love/hate relationship!

[> [> Re: Buffy vs. Dracula and the dark path -- Hauptman, 18:43:02 03/09/02 Sat

Are you saying that Buffy's relationship with Spike is an outgrowth of that dark path stuff? Interesting. It makes sense. I guess it was too subtle for me. I had been thinking of B/S as a semi- repeat of Buffy/Angel and an example of her great angst at having to grow up. But maybe it is her darkside that makes her want Spike and, more than that, to be in the shadows. Or am I not getting you? I'm confused. Buffy is becoming one of those existential plays with people in trashcans like Endgame.

Lucky I have you guys to connect the dots.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy vs. Dracula and the dark path -- yuri, 22:30:48 03/09/02 Sat

Well yeah, I thought the whole point of the dark path stuff was to introduce the concept that the slayer isn't necessarily a vessel of good, or that in order to be a vessel of good you need to understand and own evil. I think it's a very interesting concept, kind of saying that it's not about good defeating evil, because to fight evil you need to know it, and anyway it can never be defeated. (Then what would there be? Good wouldn't exist either.)

All Spike's comments about Buffy's dark side are appealing to her insecurities about her dark origins, and who solidified those worries in her mind? The first and Dracula. I think that's why Buffy's relationship with Spike is so integral to her growth - it's about learning that she needs to deal with the dark parts of herself, that to supress them will make them consume her, but to accept them will make her whole. (Like how Xander needs to deal with the part of him that is his father in order to accept himself and know that he doesn't have to turn out the same way. Bad sentence, sorry.)

So I guess I don't think the episodes about Dracula and the first were about Buffy heading down a dark path, but about her realizing that her path has always been partly "dark," and hokey pokey and that's what it's all about! (I'm sleepy, I hope this adressed your confusion about my stance adequately.)

War on Terrorism & Vengeance Demons (Spoilers for Hell's Bells) -- withheld, 08:09:48 03/09/02 Sat

I may be opening a really large can of worms here but I was thinking back to OaFA when Halfrek tells Tara that Vengeance demons prefer the more politically correct term, Justice demons. Then in Hell's Bells, we have the OlderXander demon who comes to terrorise Anya on her wedding day as payback for Anyanka ruining his life centuries ago (and supposedly turning him into a demon).

Before I go any further, I want to state that I truly believe September 11 was a horrific tragedy and that I have incredible sympathy for those who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks. But I can't help but wonder if there isn't a parallel between the U.S./Middle East conflict and Anya & OlderXander. The U.S. helped create the "demon" of the Middle East (perhaps inadvertantly, but they still had a hand in it) and now are feeling the fallout. BTW, I am *not* in any way, shape, or form, calling Muslims or Middle Easterners demons or evil. I'm simply drawing the comparison that Anya had for 1000 years exacted vengeance/justice on the world, not of her own free will perhaps, but as an agent of karma or at least human direction (Dawn locking everyone in the house in OaFA). Now Anya is feeling a lashback from the people she has hurt in the past. Now I don't know whether she deserves it because as far as we can tell, every man she's ever cursed did in fact betray a woman (i.e. Xander with Cordelia). (But I certainly don't believe the U.S. deserved being attacked.)

The OlderXander demon has come for revenge on Anya. She may or may not deserve it, Xander definitely doesn't deserve it, but it happens anyway. Halfrek calls herself a Justice demon, but is she really? Is it really justice she is exacting or plain old vengeance? And whether or not Anya was justified in cursing OlderXander, does she deserve to be punished now? Or does she need to suffer in order to redeem herself? Perhaps Anya, like the parties on either side of the 9-11 conflict, has to take responsibility for those she's injured. What she needs is to deal with the fact that the past *always* comes back to haunt you. Especially if you're immortal or used to be. Just ask any Highlander fan.

The question is how does she deal with it? Does she return to vengeance? Is it a matter of destroying the one who caused the conflict? Certainly Xander would agree with this since he helped Buffy stomp that demon into the ground (and more power to him, I say). But Anya's situation is that if she does accept her powers back, who is she supposed to take vengeance on? There was another thread dealing with this... Should she blame Xander? He only walked away to protect her (because he had succumbed to his fears about himself, but that's another topic). Should she blame Xander's parents? Or will she blame herself?

I welcome people's responses. If you feel this topic is too inflammatory, or if you think I've been disrespectful in any way, I willingly withdraw this post.

[> Re: War on Terrorism & Vengeance Demons (Spoilers for Hell's Bells) -- Arethusa, 10:20:23 03/09/02 Sat

Read your history. The US didn't create the Middle East's problems, although it certainly meddled in them. The US also didn't create religious intolerance, world poverty, exploitive national leaders, terrorism, or those exceedingly annoying human emotions like greed, envy, anger, and viciousness.
Payback's a bitca, and whether it's Xander and Anya, Anya and her victims, or the US and Middle East, no one wins. Either we address the underlying causes for personal and world misery, or we continue to watch people kill each other.
Finally, sitting at our computers in our air-conditioned houses, free and fed and self-satisfied, endlessly debating greedy imperialism and the fanatical love of killing in the name of God, is an exercise in futility, and has very little to do with Xander's low self-esteem or Anya's unfortunate former career.

[> [> Re: War on Terrorism & Vengeance Demons (Spoilers for Hell's Bells) -- yuri, 14:31:40 03/09/02 Sat

Depends on what history you read. Some of the history I've been exposed to does say that the US caused religious intolerance, world poverty, exploitive national leaders, and terrorism. Of course I don't believe this verbatum - I know that one country didn't invent these things, that they must exist in the world we have, but I do believe that saying the US "meddled" in the Middle East's problems is an understatement.

As for exercises in futitlity, well, do you mean it's okay to discuss Buffy and Machiavelli, but not Buffy and current events? I think that the Anya/fake Old Xander US/Middle East parallel is just a demonstration of archetypes in action, but I don't see too much harm in discussing it.

[> [> [> Re: War on Terrorism & Vengeance Demons (Spoilers for Hell's Bells) -- Arethusa, 15:33:56 03/09/02 Sat

Yes, "meddling" is a gross understatement. And since the US has existed as a political entity for only 200-odd years, I know it didn't create intolerance, poverty or terror. The only harm in discussing (after all, that's what we're here to do) is when people create ill will or take up valuable space in no-win, volitile arguments, whether it's of the Buffy+Angel4Ever type, or political.
Obviously you, yuri, are not one of those people, and I hope I'm not.

[> Justice vs. Vengeance: An earnest question -- matching mole, 20:09:57 03/09/02 Sat

I may be opening my own can of worms here but I am completely serious in asking the question. I hope someone can explain it to me. I have no idea what justice means. Can anyone give an explanation, that does not involve religious belief, of how justice (in this context) differs from vengeance?

Here's how I see it at the moment. The only context in which justice makes sense to me is religious. If right and wrong are intrinsic aspects of the universe then perhaps an argument could be made that evildoers deserve some sort of punishment for transgressions. However within a purely human context I see three reasons for inflicting punishment on those who perform acts that are more or less antisocial/evil (which could range from a misbehaving child through a genocidal nation state).

1. As a deterrent/example to prevent repetition of the behavior by others.
2. To affect the behavior of the transgressor so as to reduce the probability of repeating the behavior (i.e. rehabilitation)
3. To prevent the offender from committing further offenses by confining them or other means.

All of these are strictly pragmatic goals. They are designed to protect the general population from harm. The actions that punishers take are strictly speaking immoral, they restrict the freedoms of others. However this immorality should be balanced against the general good of those actions for everyone. As I see it, putting people in jail, sending children to their rooms, fighting a war, are all, if they are effective in achieving worthy goals, unpleasant to tragic necessities. I don't see how justice enters into it.

[> [> Justice as Fairness -- Sophist, 21:03:29 03/09/02 Sat

is actually the title of a book by John Rawls. I won't try to summarize it, since you can probably get the gist from the title. You might enjoy it.

I assume you are asking us for our definitions, rather than for someone to parrot, say, Socrates. Hmm. That requires more time and thought.

[> [> Agreed mole -- Etrangere, 07:14:32 03/10/02 Sun

I never got the point of punishment as an idea of "deserved" by those who's done bad.
Really don't see in what it's differente from vengeance.

I think it's already been a bit adressed in Buffy in Older And Far Away, with the parallele between Halfreck the vengeance who claims to be a justice demon, and Tara who supports Willow even though Willow's done to her exactly what Willow was suffering there.
In Hell's Bells the idea comes back again, showing Anya having to deal with the consequences of her past, and, seeing Anya crying then, I don't know who can believe that she deserved that, I can't believe that anyone would say "yeah, Anya, I love to see you cry, and now i want to see you scream" because of what she did and claim they'd say that for justice.

[> [> Re: Justice vs. Vengeance: "just desserts" -- Darby, 11:39:37 03/10/02 Sun

I tend to see justice as a punishment that, seen by the society at large, fits the crime: it is vengeance or retribution of a sort, but applied for the reasons you give, mm.

Vengeance, to me, is more extreme, more an emotional response which may be out of proportion to the actual crime - it seems like most of the punishments that Anya talks about are in that camp. "Act like a troll, become a troll" sure seems to have put her on the road.

There is a gray area between, though. I have trouble with denial of prisoner-of-war status to the Afghan war prisoners in that way: I can see the "if you won't play by the rules with us, we won't play by the rules with you" attitude, but it dilutes the U.S.' claimed status as the "just" party (and kinda confirms our "Duh, what's we do?" stance against those who would like to throw some perspective on the terrorists' motivations), and veers uncomfortably close to the vengeance side of that gray area.

Goes to show, though - when the thread opened, I thought that the connection was frivolous and inflammatory (sorry, withheld), but put a calm head into it with a reasonable question and I've changed my mind.

[> [> Re: Justice vs. Vengeance: An earnest question -- I agree also., 15:56:54 03/10/02 Sun

matching mole, your points are excellent.

Justice to me has always been a nebulous concept at best. Where as revenge is very concrete (you hurt me, I hurt you). Vengeance accomplishes nothing positive. It doesn't undo the horrible act (that some may think seems to call for it) in any way. So, to me, it is pointless.

I do feel that, sadly, punishment goals numbers 2 and 3 of your post are necessary (number 1 does tend to make me uneasy though in most situations).

If you punish a child for antisocial behavior (with the intent to modify that behavior), then you are being kind to the child. You are molding him/her so that he/she can function in society and so will not be lonely and shunned later in life. In this case punishment has a clear, positive and necessary goal.

If you imprision a murderer, then you are protecting other persons and again have a positive and necessary goal.

The idea of punishment for its own sake (he/she deserves this) without these qualifiers _is_ basically vengeance.


[> [> [> Not "I agree also", sorry! (NT) -- Ixchel, 15:58:45 03/10/02 Sun


[> [> Crime and Punishment -- Sophist, 16:10:58 03/10/02 Sun

Each of the responses thus far has treated the question as one relevant to the system of criminal law. Fair enough; that's the most common use of the term "justice", as in Bush's promise to "bring them to justice".

Your list of three reasons is complete from a pragmatic standpoint. I have heard arguments that revenge (vengeance) is a legitimate reason for punishment. James Madison describe revenge as an "inordinate usurer" and that pretty much expresses my view. It may also provide some explanation of the difference between justice and vengeance: proportionality.

In that sense, I can't completely agree with your description of punishments as necessarily immoral. To me, moral behavior includes the right to self-protection (along with lots of other things, of course). If punishments serve that purpose, with the minimum infringement of liberty necessary to fulfill that goal, I'd argue for their morality.

I mentioned Socrates in my first response. Socrates argued that the question of justice necessarily raised the question of the just society. In other words, people could only be truly just if they lived in a fully just society. I don't buy this; in fact, I think it's a dangerous notion. I do think, though, that we arrive at concepts of justice through dialogue, that is, through interaction with our fellow human beings. That's a long-term process.

The criminal law provides an example of this process in development. We no longer execute people for stealing a handkerchief (in CA we just jail them for 25 years for stealing a slice of pizza. Ok, so it's a longer process than I might like.). What you describe as purely pragmatic actions are what I would call a triumph of reason over revenge. To me, that's at least moving in the direction of justice.

[> [> Justice: further thoughts -- matching mole, 07:58:58 03/11/02 Mon

Thanks to all for your comments. Sophist I think I agree with both you and me. Punishing a child is in a very narrow sense immoral because you are limiting freedom but in a broader sense you are doing them a favour.

After reading your responses I came up with this thought. I think of justice as righting a wrong. This is placing the term in a positive rather than negative context. Helping out those who have been disenfranchised legally, economically, or socially is a form of justice. Getting someone who commits an antisocial/crimminal act to make reparations (e.g. having vandals or negligent people repair damage that they've caused) seem like a good example of justice.

Where I still have a problem is with acts where there is no possibility of reparation. If someone commits rape or murder there is nothing they can do to make up for that, they can't undo the crime in the same way that a vandal could. They could try to atone by doing good works elsewhere as Angel is doing. But as pointed out by Darla there is nothing that Angel or herself can ever do to make things right with the people they've killed and their families. But killing Angel isn't going to right the wrong either. Nothing can. As I see it justice is impossible in these situations, all that can be done is take actions that tend reduce the frequency of murders, rapes, and so on as outlined in my initial post.

[> [> [> Re: Justice: footnotes to further thoughts -- Sophist, 08:36:33 03/11/02 Mon

Unlike the criminal law, the civil law does aim at reparations. The concept of money damages is designed to put the parties back to the position they "should" have been in had everyone acted appropriately in the first instance. In theory. In fact, as we all know, it's a pretty blunt instrument for that purpose.

Interestingly, older Norse and German criminal law worked like this also. If you murdered someone, there was no physical punishment but you were obligated to pay a fine to the relatives of the deceased. That system died out for historical and, probably, logical reasons similar to those you mentioned.

The impossibility of righting past wrongs is, for me, tied up with the issue of redemption. It's not really enough to say that someone is redeemed by acting morally from X point on. We all have the obligation to act morally in every case. The difference that I see with Angel is that he is going out of his way to right wrongs, whereas most of us are content to react to our direct circumstances (and to close our eyes to more distant wrongs).

I agree with you about preventative actions being the only ones possible. The sad part is that locking up Angel in, say, 1995 would have precluded his beneficial actions since. But, of course, Jenny Calendar would still be alive.

[> Thank you all for your insightful and reasoned responses -- withheld, 06:47:56 03/11/02 Mon

Attn: Spoiler Trollops! (Don't read if you don't like spoilers!) -- Rob, 09:42:45 03/09/02 Sat

Hey, you guys probably remember me saying I've sworn off spoilers. Well, that's mostly true. I don't like specific answers of everything that will happen, but one thing I have been wondering about I do want to ask you guys, but I don't want to go to the Trollop Board, because I may learn more than I want to know.

All I want to know is, does anyone know whether the rumored Big Scooby Death is expected to be a permanent death (thus, an actor or actress leaving the show) or temporary? Please, guys, I don't want any more details than just which it is.



[> There are rumors of both -- Vickie, 11:35:43 03/09/02 Sat

[> Re: Attn: Spoiler Trollops! (Don't read if you don't like spoilers!) -- Wisewoman, 12:03:16 03/09/02 Sat

Wanda says "permanent." No resurrection.


[> My interpretation (spoilers and specualtion) -- vampire hunter D, 13:41:42 03/09/02 Sat

I have hear the there will be no "resurrection", but it is implied in some spoilers that the victim of the BSD will return via other means, and cause serious consequences for s7. My theory: some sort of vamping or zombification. Or else they just return in spirit.

[> [> Re: My interpretation (spoilers and specualtion) -- Rob, 15:25:56 03/09/02 Sat

That could be cool...Even if a character I love dies, it would be nice if the actor could still be on the show!


the mechanics of vengence (spoilers for Hell's Bells) -- leslie, 10:37:43 03/09/02 Sat

There's been a lot of discussion here about Anya becoming a vengence demon again as a result of Xander leaving her at the altar, and speculation about what kind of vengence she might wreak, and against whom, in retaliation. Now, perhaps I have missed something in the whole vengence gig here, but isn't this completely counter to the way vengence demons work? They don't wreak vengence on their own behalf--although their mortal attempts to do so may draw the attention of D'Hoffryn and a job offer--they wreak vengence *on the behalf* of a mortal who is feeling betrayed, and the mortal must verbally state a wish, naming the form of retribution or amelioration they desire ("I wish Buffy had never come to Sunnydale"). So even if Anya were to accept her old job back, *she* wouldn't be capable of wreaking vengence on Xander, Buffy, or anyone.

Frankly, the look on her faced when D'Hoffryn offered her the job back made me think she might wish that she had never met D'Hoffryn.

[> Re: the mechanics of vengence (spoilers for Hell's Bells) -- Wiscoboy, 11:35:07 03/09/02 Sat

This again leads me to think that if your premise is true, it takes the gang back to the wedding, only this time Xander does not listen to his own demons(as we all do when we marry) and follows thru on his committment to Anya.

[> Re: the mechanics of vengence (spoilers for Hell's Bells) -- Farstrider, 11:39:00 03/10/02 Sun

Is there any reasona guy couldn't become a vengeance demon?

[> [> Re: the mechanics of vengence (spoilers for Hell's Bells) -- wiscoboy, 13:22:32 03/10/02 Sun

In the Buffy realm it appears the world of vengeance demons is strictly an all-girls club. Probably due to the viewpont that vengeance comes from emotion, and we all know which gender carries the load on that!!

[> [> [> Re: the mechanics of vengence (spoilers for Hell's Bells) -- leslie, 15:24:22 03/10/02 Sun

Yet D'Hoffryn is male--or else (s)he needs to be introduced to the concept of laser hair removal real quick. Or is this like the (mostly male, certainly "patriarchal") Watcher's Council foisting themselves upon/taking over the direction of a "female" occupation/talent?

Another question about vengence demons, however--the encounters with the effects of vengence that we have seen to date (Cordelia and Dawn) have had really bad outcomes, implying that "if you think this is bad, let me show you how what you think would be better is, in fact, even worse." Yet Anya has made comments about repeat customers in her vengence days that imply that for those women, the outcome was completely satisfactory, even if the spontaneous human combustion of the boyfriend burned down the village. So, are Scoobies just really bad at wishing? Or is the Hellmouth just a really dangerous place to make wishes?

[> [> [> [> good observation -- yez, 20:12:48 03/10/02 Sun

Based on Cordy and Dawn's experience, I guess I'd fallen into thinking it was a "careful what you wish for" thing with the vengeance demons; the wisher was just as likely to be punished as the "offender." Yet that comment by Anya would seem to indicate that's not always the case.


[> [> [> [> maybe i can get a response in this thread... -- anom, 22:21:18 03/10/02 Sun my now-archived post, at least this part of it:

"That's a good question. I don't think they're [vengeance demons] neutral. I'm no expert on Buddhism, but as I understand it the karmic wheels turn by themselves--the consequences of our actions naturally come back to us. Vengeance demons, however, being demons, have their own agenda & advance it by taking advantage of humans at their most hurt & angry to magnify the effects of "bad" karma. Anya much preferred the Sunnydale that resulted from Cordelia's wish [I think she even said to Giles that it didn't bother her that Cordelia, who made the wish, was killed--that wasn't the point, to her]. D'Hoffryn offered to make Willow a vengeance demon because he saw the destruction she was inadvertently wreaking. He would have loved to see her go on to do more of the same for thousands of years. Even Halfrek, though she put a PC face on her spell, didn't care that the child whose need called out to her would never be able to leave her house & have a life, even if everyone in it resolved their issues, & might even starve with the others when the food ran out. What kind of justice is that? Demon 'justice.' It's more concerned with adding to the chaos than with keeping things in balance. In fact, it's about tipping that balance to the evil side."

Oh, & about whether all vengeance demons are female, we've only seen 2--they may not be a representative sample, especially since now we know they don't just grant the wishes of wronged women.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: maybe i can get a response in this thread... -- leslie, 09:02:33 03/11/02 Mon

I agree--I don't think vengence demons are neutral--I think they are essentially parasites on human pain and suffering. But they are not involved in causing the initial pain and suffering, and they--like vampires--need to be "invited in" before they can start wreaking havoc. Somehow, it seems ironic to me that the demon who screwed up the wedding blamed Anya for turning him into a demon, and not the woman who originally summoned Anyanka in the first place. He refuses to admit that his own actions may have led to his current state, even if it's an over-reaction to what he originally did.

I also find it ironic that D'Hoffryn, in offering Anya her job back, says that Xander has "domesticated" her, as though this is some choice that *she* made. Anya wanted her job back as soon as she had lost it, and D'Hoffryn was the one who told her tough luck and get used to being mortal! She's been forced to learn how to be human again, initially against her will. Is she going to take the easy way out now? I know she says she is tired of crying, seeming to indicate that she is in a fragile emotional state where her decisions may not be of the best, but I think she also realized that the catalyst for this despair was the repercussions of her own past actions. Sometimes, when you have cried so much you can't cry any more, you actually see things more clearly than before.

[> [> [> [> [> Who are the vengeance demons working for? -- matching mole, 09:04:08 03/11/02 Mon

Good point anom. I see the vengeance demons as somewhat analogous to unmotivated employees in a beauracracy. They have to follow the rules but they don't really care what the outcome is. In fact their personal bias is towards having things not work out.

But how did the whole thing get started? Did D'Hoffryn just decide one day that starting a group of vengeance demons would be a fun thing to do? Or are the vengeance demons ultimately someone else's project? No way to know at the moment but maybe we'll find out.

[> Re: the mechanics of vengence (spoilers for Hell's Bells) -- zargon, 17:04:52 03/10/02 Sun

Anya doesn't need to become a vengence demon again to get vengence. All she has to do is call Haley and then say "I wish...." Of course, she should probably spend some time thinking very carefully about how to phrase her wish, and allow room for the Hellmouth to expand it.....

I'm 50/50 on whether Anya would want her job back. I've never seen her express remorse for what she did, well other than in HB, but then I haven't seen S4 or S5. Bases on S3, I would expect her to jump at the chance. I just remember her trying to get her job back "Dopplegangland", trying to retrieve her necklace "Dopplegangland", and bragging to Xander about her exploits in "The Prom".

The Seven Deadly...Scoobies? -- Wisewoman, 12:01:08 03/09/02 Sat

There’s a thread below proposing a poll on the Season 6 Big Bad. I got to thinking about the lack of any discernible Big Bad in Season 6, and the whole "oh, grow-up" theme of the season, and how all the Scoobies seem to be struggling with their own internal Big Bads and, low-and- behold, I’ve got a theory!

Seven Scoobies. Seven Deadly Sins. Could there be a connection?

So, ya got yer Pride (aka Vanity), defined as "an excessive belief in one's own abilities..." Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires. Lust (or Lechery), an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body. Anger (or Wrath) is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. Avarice (or Greed, or Covetousness) is the desire for material wealth or gain. Envy, the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation. And last but not least, Sloth (or Idleness)--the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

How do this season’s seven key Scoobies (Buffy, Willow, Xander, Spike, Dawn, Anya, Tara) measure up against the sins? Here’s my take on it.

Buffy’s sin is Pride. She admits it in OMwF, while singing Going Through the Motions: "I was always…kind of righteous." Granted, having saved the world, a lot, she had much to be proud of. Before her epiphany in AYW it was her pride and vanity that forced her to hide her affair with Spike from the other Scoobs, and her wounded pride contributed to her breaking down in front of Tara in DT.

Gluttony is easy—that’s Willow and her addiction, her desire to consume more magic and power than is good for her.

Spike pretty much personifies Lust, and not just in regard to his yen for Buffy. Think about the ways he’s always discussed blood and it’s importance. And his telling Buffy that she’ll come to crave him, the way that he craves blood.

A is for Anger, and Anya. Actually, she hasn’t been very angry since becoming human, although there were traces of anger in her extraordinary speech in The Body, and also in her confrontation with Xander in front of the Summer’s home this season, when she berates him for refusing to announce the engagement. I fear that the full force of Anya’s anger is still to be unleashed, and that we’ll see more of it before the season ends. Anger, fury, wrath…all somewhat synonymous with vengeful which, of course, has great resonance in Anya’s character.

Dawn opts for Avarice (and greed) stealing not just everything she can get her hands on, but stealing the others’ time and attention in OaFA. There’s a hint in her character this season that, no matter how much of Buffy’s time and attention she commanded, she’d still be greedy for more. The actually thefts were probably just projections of her greed for attention. (Please note, I don’t condemn Dawny for this—I think it’s a particular stage she’s going through, exacerbated by the recent tragedies in her life.)

That leaves us with two sins, Envy and Sloth, and two Scoobies, Tara and Xander. At first I thought this was where my theory would break down completely. Tara has been presented to us as pretty much "without sin" in that she is gentle, loving, compassionate, and a whole lot of other good things. But the more I think about it, the more I wonder if there isn’t just a hint of Envy in Tara’s attitude toward Willow’s overuse of magic? Not so much in the sense that Tara wishes she were as powerful as Willow, as in the sense that Willow demonstrated that her relationship with magic was more important than her relationship with Tara, in Tabula Rasa (at least, that’s the way I think Tara interpreted it). Could she not be envious of the magic, itself?

Finally, Sloth…and Xander. I’d never thought of Xander as particularly lazy in the physical sense. After all, he works in construction, and he’s always willing to lend a hand whether it be fighting demons or building weapons chests. (Although, "say housework and he freezes.") Xander’s "avoidance of work" is in the spiritual, or emotional arena. He does tend to put off dealing with issues of emotion, and his reluctance to announce his engagement is a prime example. Calling up the demon Sweet is another example. Xander wanted everything to work out, for everybody to have a "happy ending" without having to do the work involved to achieve that. I have to wonder if he’s now going to put off doing the really deep emotional and psychoanalytical work that needs to be done in the wake of his decision in HB. Yes, we all got to see the parallels between Future!Xander and Mr. Harris, and we’re led to believe that Xander saw them as well, but will he do anything about that? Is he willing to work at becoming the sort of man who doesn’t abuse his wife and family, or will he take the lazy way out and remain unattached?

So, there you have it. I’ve toyed with switching Buffy’s and Tara’s sins. There’s evidence that Buffy is envious of Riley and Sam, Xander and Anya, and even Spike and the Ho Biscuit. And Tara may be guilty of pride in her ability to resist the temptation of magic addiction. (She might just be proud of being such a goody-two-shoes, who knows? I suspect there may even be good reasons why ME might want us to accept Tara as being "without sin," but time will tell.) In the main, though, I think I’ll stick with my original pairings.

Whaddaya think?


[> Re: The Seven Deadly...Scoobies? -- LadyStarlight, 12:28:47 03/09/02 Sat

You could almost put Spike in with Envy. Did he keep hammering away at the 'Buffy, you're different. Dark, blah blah blah' because he envied the close ties she has with the rest of the Scoobs?

[> [> Re: The Seven Deadly...Scoobies? -- Sarah, 13:04:06 03/09/02 Sat

Acctually I would put envy more with Dawn and Averice more with Anya. Anya always seemed to want mony and Dawn is very envious of the scooby gang... at first envious of Willow for her magic in season five, then of spike for his coolness... and of course Buffy... she is the sister of the slayer and that has made her very insecure of herself... Otherwise the rest is accurate.. although I always thought willow had an anger streak... she is pretty hard to piss off.. but when she does get mad.. YIKES!

[> [> [> Horoscopes -- yuri, 14:59:22 03/09/02 Sat

I like this idea, and I'm having fun with it myself, but it really reminds me of reading your horoscope and figuring out how it applies to you. Most of the time what I do on the rare occasion that I look at horoscopes is read every one and see how they can each be manipulated to apply to my life.

That said, the greatest change I would make is to switch Buffy and Willow (which is what I thought of first when I read the list of sins.)
"And excessive belief in one's abilities..." Doesn't that fit Willow to a T? Then again, I like pride for Buffy better than Gluttony, though it's easy to apply Gluttony to her.

And about Tara and envy - I think that this was supposed to be the most important aspect of her relationship to magic, I mean the fact that she didn't want what Willow had.
Her sinlessness bugs me. In the beginning, it made sense. She was so insecure so she had the whole blinding indescretion, and her "fault" was her lack of confidence and need for acceptance without first giving people a reason to want to give it to her. Now that she's overcome those things, I think that she should encounter new hurdles. In my experience, that's usually what happens when people gain confidence and solidify their sense of self.

[> Good Try! Here is my offering -- Spike Lover, 16:17:43 03/10/02 Sun

pride, greed, anger, lust, envy, gluttony, sloth

Anya: Gluttony- She wants it all. She has a love for money. She says she looks at it to make her feel better. If she had enough to hoard, she would. She 'wants it all' w/ Xander- husband, car, kids, retirement plan- and nearly got it all.

Willow: Envy- She has always been envious of Buffy. She was smarter than Buffy, but not as popular, beautiful, or needed. When she found she had real talent in magic, she pursued it in order to become more powerful and finally to be the more important one of the group.

Dawn: Anger- No doubt. She is angry, and perhaps with good reason and perhaps not. Most of what she does seems to be to try to provoke someone. (Passive-aggressive, perhaps)

Spike: Sloth- Well, he says he wants all of Buffy, but lately, he has been lazy and has settled for whatever crumb she will throw him (the sex). He has debt problems also which I have no idea whether he has done anything about either.

The Evil Trio: Lust- They want money, power, sex. Everything they do is to get those things.

Buffy: Pride- Definately. So proud she can not be honest with herself or anyone else. She is so proud that she will even get rid of Spike who is the best thing that has happened to her in a long time.

Fear is not one of the 7 deadly sins, though I thought it should have been included. If it was, that is where I would rank Xander. He has a history of paralyzing fear that is quite irritating though at times he rises above it.

[> [> Anya- maybe Greed rather than Gluttony -- Spike Lover, 16:20:46 03/10/02 Sun

[> Re: The Seven Deadly...Scoobies? -- Lyonors, 09:14:19 03/11/02 Mon

Wow...very interesting concept ya got here! Here are my thoughts on it

>Seven Scoobies. Seven Deadly Sins. Could there be a connection?

>So, ya got yer Pride (aka Vanity), defined as "an excessive belief in one's own abilities..."
Im going to have to go with Willow on this one...she thinks she can (and whats worse, should) do everything with magic)

>Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.
Buffy---I say this mostly because of Spike. She didn't need the sex, the adoration, the "slave" that was Spike. But she wanted it. She wanted to be worshiped, she wanted to be the pursued for once in her life.

>Lust (or Lechery), an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.
Spike, definitly spike. I dont even think I need to explain.

>Anger (or Wrath) is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury.
I'm with the club that says Dawn. She is a very angry girl, downright furious. She does things, IE stealing, when she is pissy about something...gets left behind by the group, feels abandoned by Buffy, and then POOF the five finger discount.

>Avarice (or Greed, or Covetousness) is the desire for material wealth or gain.
To me this has got to be Anya...Madam Money herself. And greedy in life someone else said, she wants it all with Xander, and NOW.

>Envy, the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation.
I think the surprise of this whole thing is Tara, I think she is more envious of everyone's traits than she lets on, this would be hiding behind the righteous-perfect-Tara thing.

>And last but not least, Sloth (or Idleness)--the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.
This has to be Xander, he doesnt want to work at his relationship with Anya, that has been aparent to me thru this whole season.

Just my ramblings.


[> Re: The Seven Deadly...Scoobies? -- Alvin, 13:36:20 03/11/02 Mon

I would suggest switching Xander's and Willow's sins. Xander as a glutton because of how often he is seen eating in this season. From stealing chips from Anya in AYW to shoving two hamburgers in his mouth in DMP, Xander often has food in hand.
Willow is sloth because the reason she uses so much magic is because she's lazy. Consider that she'd prefer to conjure up party decorations instead of going to the store, buying decorations, and then having to put them up. She prefers to magic her way onto a computer because a keyboard is slow and timeconsuming. In Gone she tracks the nerds the old fashion way, but is she proud of the work she put in? No! She spends the episode complaining of how much time it took, how her feet ache, how she hurts all over because it was so much work. Finally, the ultimate of Willow as slothful is when she comes home from being out all night with Amy and then tries to magic the curtains closed because she doesn't want to get out of bed!

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