March 2002 posts

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Is Anya an animal- wife? -- Ixchel, 21:58:49 03/18/02 Mon

Etrangere mentioned Anya and Ondine (brilliant comparison) and this lead my thoughts to rusalkas and then to the idea of the animal-wife.

IIRC, in folklore an animal-wife is a woman who is also an animal (for example a swan or seal). A man can capture her animal skin, and then he has a otherworldly, beautiful, "good" (though strange) wife. There is a condition on this situation however, such as he can't strike her more than two times or ever ask her where her real home is. Her "otherness" is exhibited in inappropriate behavior (for example laughing at funerals) and this will embarass or frustrate him into performing the prohibited act and she will leave, never to be seen again.

Now Xander did not capture Anya (though Giles did destroy her necklace), but there are similarities. She is a pretty, but strange girlfriend. The inappropriate speaking that sometimes embarasses him (not so much anymore though). His leaving her at the altar and her subsequent possible return to vengeance demonhood also is similar.

I hope it ends better for them than the folktale does.


[> Re: Is Anya an animal-wife? -- GreatRewards, 07:51:48 03/19/02 Tue

"... can't strike her more than two times..."

LOL! I'm not sure why, but that just made me laugh!

[> [> I know it's awful, but it's part of the story... -- Ixchel, 08:57:19 03/19/02 Tue

This aspect being a kind of ritual so that after the first time the animal wife would say "that's one" and so forth. Years could pass between each incident, then the third time she would say "that's three" and leave him. Also, some versions specify that it isn't even violent, the man could tap her on the arm and it would still "count".


[> [> [> Re: I know it's awful, but it's part of the story... -- leslie, 09:18:10 03/19/02 Tue

The one way in which she is not an animal-wife is that she is not a mother. Usually, the animal-wife story is told to explain the ancestry of an exceptional, but strange, family. (Or in the case of Macha, the source of a place-name--Emain Macha--but even there, she gives birth in the process of the story). Interesting, though, that Anya puts off her "rough" demon skin in the process of becoming human. Also, the animal-wife usually brings financial prosperity to her husband, and she often takes it away with her when she leaves him. However, although the story is sad, in the sense that the husband loses the woman he loves through his own stupidity or carelessness, the story from a long- view perspective is happy, because it is a way that the magic of the Otherworld gains a foothold in the human world--the children left behind benefit mankind in some way, whether by being amazing doctors or magnificent singers or simply having a marvelous tale to tell.

[> [> [> [> Ayashi no Ceres -- Ete, 09:51:12 03/19/02 Tue

Anyone knows this manga ? It's a story inspired by all these tales (in peculiar with those concerning winged nymphes prisonnered because their human husband has stolen their dress of feathers)
It contains also this denunciation of the misogynie of those stories (the husbands keeps his wife by force, by removing her from her capacity of freedom) and presents love as a redemptive power for humanity (does ring a bell with the way Anya's been wrestling with vengeance and love)
In the archetypal tale, the nymphe finds her freedom back because her child tells her unknowingly where the feather dress is.
May I recall you that Anya was the one to voice in Forever that love, making love, was about making life, children ?

[> [> [> [> [> The child helping the mother regain her... -- Ixchel, 14:58:18 03/19/02 Tue

freedom is a fascinating part of those stories. I had completely forgotten that aspect. Thank you, Etrangere.

When I responded to leslie below I didn't realize that you had already mentioned Forever (I thought it was that episode, but I wasn't sure).


[> [> [> [> Interesting points, leslie. -- Ixchel, 14:44:23 03/19/02 Tue

The prosperity aspect seems appropriate, as Anya is good with money and Xander's fortunes did improve while he was with her.

As to the mother aspect, well she did mention children twice. The first time was when she was talking about all the things she needed to do before she died (I'm sorry, I can't remember which episode from season 5), and after she and Xander had sex in Forever (I believe).

Thank you for the connection between a "skin" and her demon visage. It _is_ interesting.


[> [> [> Re: I know it's awful, but it's part of the story... -- O'Cailleagh, 11:02:50 03/19/02 Tue

and perhaps the origin of the '3 strikes and you're out' rule in baseball? (since baseball is related to cricket-a game with Pagan origins)

[> [> [> Hey, in our society, a man can only strike his wife once, and she'll leave him -- vampire hunter D, 12:55:56 03/19/02 Tue

[> What is IIRC? -- Kevin, 11:00:19 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> If I Recall Correctly -- helpful Ete :), 11:11:01 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> Thank you for asking that Kevin, it's been driving me crazy. -- Lilac, 11:41:27 03/19/02 Tue

Normal Again: Freud,s Seduction Theory and Evolution of Hysteria -- Guadalupe, 23:10:59 03/18/02 Mon

I haven,t seen an analysis of Normal Again which looked at how asylum Buffy parallels how the real world of psychiatry has traditionally treated its patients, particularly women. If such an analysis is somewhere in the archives and I just missed it: my apologies!

In Normal Again, we have Buffy in an asylum, where the only way for her to be deemed "healthy (and sane) by her parents and the doctors is for her to renounce her "delusions. The more she clings to them, or tries to insist on their reality, the more she will undoubtedly be medicated, restrained, and labeled more and more as sick and pathological.

A little history of psychiatry here. (I,m not going to go into very great detail because I,m traveling and thus away from all my lovely text books).

In the beginning

At the start of Sigmund Freud,s career, he began to uncover extensive histories of child sexual abuse in many of the adult women patients with which he worked. He developed the "Seduction Theory which named the cause of many of the psychiatric problems exhibited by the adult women as their early sexual violation at the hands of an often trusted adult, often even the father or a father figure. When Freud first made this theory public and insinuated that there was incest in good, upscale Vienna society - there was a huge outcry: no one could believe that Freud could possibly imply that fathers or other adults would be sexually abusing their children. It was just too horrific for people to believe (kind of like vampires?). Freud recapitulated, and eventually moved from believing the abuse history of his patients, to deciding that his patients were not recounting memories, but, in fact, their own sexual fantasies that they had towards their fathers. The unconscious and the Oedipus Complex were born, Freud conveniently repressed his own earlier findings and theories, and the rest as they say, is history. (Yes, all that was WAY over-simplification, but it will have to suffice for now).

The result has been that more often then not, a woman in the mental health system who decides to disclose early child sexual abuse is just as likely to be told those are her own unconscious fantasies than to be believed or supported. In order to be considered "healthy and more sane, the woman is forced to deny her own memories and agree with the professionals that those horrible things couldn,t possibly have happened. Although this has changed some over the past few decades with the women,s movement and greater societal awareness of child abuse, how the mental health system deals with childhood abuse is still quite, well, abusive, frankly, in many cases.

Many of the things that happen to children in our society are just too terrible to believe. (Anyone been following the news of the abuse by those Catholic priests? Or on Headlines News tonight the break up of a child pornography ring?) Because some things are too terrible to believe, many of us decide it just can,t be true. Aaaah, denial. It,s not just for those in Sunnydale. Every day, people out here in the real world see "demons and "vampires and all kinds of "monsters and many of us decide that what we thought we saw just can,t be real. It just would upset our whole world view if some of these things were true. Hey, it,s a defense mechanism. Sometimes the world is just too scary to admit to ourselves just what all goes on out there.

So back to Buffy (finally): I found the depiction of Buffy having to deny her own reality to be deemed "healthy to be very compelling and, sadly, not too unlike what many people in real mental institutions face.

(On a side note: regarding the four-point restraints on the bed we saw in the asylum: many of the practices in a psychiatric hospital like four-point restraints, doors opening into the room while the patients are trying to sleep, being forced to drink medications - all can actually mimic early sexual abuse experience and in fact exacerbate symptoms for the patients: making them seem more and more "crazy when in fact their reactions to the environment make perfect sense if one actually takes the time to find out about childhood history.)

What a mind job that is! Imagine being told that your reality is not real, just fantasy! Imagine being forced to denounce your own reality and being labeled crazy or pathological or sick if you refuse to agree!

And, like Buffy, sometimes it just seems easier to agree to go along. Who would want to talk about it anyway? So, sure, let,s all just pretend it never happened

That was my take. Many years ago I worked in the mental health system, and so I know that of which I speak. Totally got burnt out (all that denial is wearying once you know "vampires really do exist), and made a total career change, but "Normal Again has put me back on a soap box for a little while. Thanks for bearing with me.

[> Oh yeah: spoilers for Normal Again in above post -- Guadalupe, 23:12:10 03/18/02 Mon

[> Interesting, thanks. -- yez, 07:48:18 03/19/02 Tue

[> Re: Normal Again: Freud,s Seduction Theory and Evolution of Hysteria -- Arethusa, 08:18:45 03/19/02 Tue

Even if no one denies the abuse happens, society still tries to cover up the after-effects of the abuse. Who wants to deal with the unpleasant and long-term repercussions of thousands of abused children and adults? It's much easier to tell them to get over it, or go to therapy. Therapy allows catharsis, but the person still has to deal with a liftime of problems, including depression, post-tramatic stress (including flashbacks, especially during sex), and other "inconveniences."
And if the victim becomes the victimizer, people just say he is evil, or possesed by Satan(!), or mentally ill. That way, no one has to face the Herculean task of exposing the deepest secrets of thousands of families, let alone processing them through the courts and social services.

Do you want to know how demons and vampires wander around a town, destroying and killing, and never be noticed? Just look around at your own neighborhood. Do you see the abuse going on in your neighborhood every day? Do -you- do anything about it? Or do you just dismiss it as the weird, noisy neighbors?
And those strange kids in school-the rejects with no social skills, who don't fit in anywhere, who seem a little nuts-what are they facing every day when they return to what should be their safe home?

Buffy's death created similar problems, although the cause was very different. Since she was 15, she's been living with a dangerous and mentally onerous secret life. After her death, which released her from her burdens, she had to fight depression, PTS, and the desire to flee her responsibilities. Her estrangement (partially of her own doing) from the only people she has been able to share this burden with has exacerbated her problems.
But Buffy's strong, and is already recovering. Remember, it's only been 7 months she came back to life. She's accepting more responibility (her job, getting serious with Dawn), broke off her unhealthy relationship, rededicated herself to her destiny as a slayer, and is trying to be there for her friends. Like Spike says, the only way to live a better life is go out there and live it-aaccepting the pain and seeking its joys.

Have to make a confession... -- Darby, 08:02:00 03/19/02 Tue

...I was flipping around after Six Feet Under (a good show getting better, incidentally) on Sunday night and happened to stumble on the 1,063rd reshowing of The Shield on FX. Somewhere along last week, I ran across the detail that it starred Michael Chiklis, woefully uderused in The Commish many years ago but a very engaging actor who seemed to be totally buried in this part, virtually unrecognizable in the ads.

Anyway, anyone who has heard me bitch about the saturation advertising on FX has also heard me swear not to watch the show as a matter of principle. Well, the show pulled me right in past my principles, and it was amazing. Unlike anything I've ever seen. Hints of NYPD Blue and The Sopranos (including very strong language and ideas), but that's not really a good comparison. It certainly wouldn't be for everyone, but it should appeal to anyone here who is interested in the concepts of Good and Evil. The acting is good (best role CCH Pounder has been given, I think), and you really have to wonder where it's all going. But I lied to everybody here about not watching it.

On the upside, the ad approach seems to have worked if all their blurbs are true, which should increase the value of Buffy to FX. My wife says that if they produce stuff of this quality and then throw a huge promotional push behind it, that's a good thing. She has much better perspective than I do.

[> Re: Have to make a confession... -- Anne, 08:16:49 03/19/02 Tue

Thanks for this. I also had just about decided not to watch "The Shield" on principle, not because of the ads they've been airing during commercial breaks, but because of the dreadful white crawl they've been putting over the actual episode during the Buffy reruns. But it really did look as if it might be interesting, so maybe I'll actually give it a look-see. . .

[> Re: Have to make a confession... -- Rob, 09:24:41 03/19/02 Tue

I would call "Six Feet Under" a brilliant show maintaining the same level (but not yet exceeding) the brilliance of the first season.


[> [> Re: Six Feet Under (OT) -- Darby, 09:47:22 03/19/02 Tue

Maybe it's all due to being familiar with the characters, but my wife and I are both enjoying this season more than last. I haven't yet come up with a concrete reason, but part of it seems to be that the show is more comfortable, less forced, not trying so hard to be edgy.

[> [> [> Re: Six Feet Under (OT) -- Rob, 10:00:19 03/19/02 Tue

You know actually what I think it is for me is that I loved the first season desperately and it's actually the first show I ever became hooked on after only seeing the first episode. I have loved every episode so far and have not been disappointed in one. So in my mind the second season has so far been equal to the first.

For me the show just clicked perfectly from the first episode. In some ways as with all great shows it gets better and better every week. But there was something inherent in this show for me that I think it was just brilliant from the first episode. I just adore the characters and the story and they spoke to me immediately.

If you watch episode to episode also the continuity is just amazing. In the first episode Ruth makes a quick comment about her cousin Hannah. In the fifth episode we meet the cousin Hannah. But the thing is that first comment was such a quick seemingly throwaway line I didn't notice it until the second or third time I'd seen the episode after having seen the fifth. I could cite tons of examples if I had the time!

In a way I do agree with you. The show is getting better and better all the time. Just from my perspective it was brilliant at the start so now it's reaching new heights of brilliance on an equal (but very different) level to "Buffy." It's actually the only other show besides "Buffy" I have ever become so obsessed with.

I actually am the webmaster of a "Six Feet Under" website. I hate to spam so I don't wanna post the link here. But if you do want to check it out e-mail me at and I'll send you the link.


[> [> [> [> "Fisher and Sons," Right? (still OT) -- Darby, 10:44:24 03/19/02 Tue

I haven't had a chance to look at it, but I will soon.

[> [> [> [> [> Yup! -- Rob, 14:31:14 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Re: Six Feet Under (OT) -- LeeAnn, 11:21:53 03/19/02 Tue

Miss Billy. Bren's twisted relationship with her wacko brother Billy was the most interesting part to me. I lost interest in the Fishers when Billy showed up.

[> [> I'm stuck on 6ft, too. -- yez, 14:31:05 03/19/02 Tue

It took about 3 eps. to hook me, but it's appt. TV for me now, definitely.

Re: the first season trying too hard to be edgy, I can kind of see that. I miss the more outrageous fantasy scenes now, though, assuming that's an example of what you were referring to.

Did you notice that Kathy Bates directed the ep. a couple of weeks ago? While I could've done without the "fishbowl" effect fantasy scenes of Nate confessing, I thought his actual confession to his brother was done brilliantly, with the camera pulling away and only giving us the barest snippets of dialogue.

The acting is really superb all the way around, IMHO.


Not enough to do? Buffy and the Jungian Typology Test -- manwitch, 11:01:38 03/19/02 Tue

Having a huge amount of important and pressing work to do, I decided to hunt down the Myers/Briggs Jungian typology test online and take it "as though" I were Buffy, basing my answers on what I could remember of Buffy actually being in the sorts of situations the questions asked about.

I'm sure this has been done and posted here before. But I still thought it was funny. I never expect the thing to work, and I'm always flabbergasted by its results. Anyways, Buffy, as channeled through me, came out as an ISFJ. A description of the personality type follows. It shows why the potential careers suitable for the Buffster aren't really suitable for her. They tend to be low value positions in patriarchal institutions. No wonder she was the "instrument" of the council.

For those who truly have too much time on their hands, the site's address is:

ISFJ - The Protector Guardian

ISFJs are characterized above all by their desire to serve others, their "need to be needed." In extreme cases, this need is so strong that standard give-and-take relationships are deeply unsatisfying to them; however, most ISFJs find more than enough with which to occupy themselves within the framework of a normal life. (Since ISFJs, like all SJs, are very much bound by the prevailing social conventions, their form of "service" is likely to exclude any elements of moral or political controversy; they specialize in the local, the personal, and the practical.)

ISFJs are often unappreciated, at work, home, and play. Ironically, because they prove over and over that they can be relied on for their loyalty and unstinting, high-quality work, those around them often take them for granted--even take advantage of them. Admittedly, the problem is sometimes aggravated by the ISFJs themselves; for instance, they are notoriously bad at delegating ("If you want it done right, do it yourself"). And although they're hurt by being treated like doormats, they are often unwilling to toot their own horns about their accomplishments because they feel that although they deserve more credit than they're getting, it's somehow wrong to want any sort of reward for doing work (which is supposed to be a virtue in itself). (And as low-profile Is, their actions don't call attention to themselves as with charismatic Es.) Because of all of this, ISFJs are often overworked, and as a result may suffer from psychosomatic illnesses.

In the workplace, ISFJs are methodical and accurate workers, often with very good memories and unexpected analytic abilities; they are also good with people in small-group or one-on-one situations because of their patient and genuinely sympathetic approach to dealing with others. ISFJs make pleasant and reliable co-workers and exemplary employees, but tend to be harried and uncomfortable in supervisory roles. They are capable of forming strong loyalties, but these are personal rather than institutional loyalties; if someone they've bonded with in this way leaves the company, the ISFJ will leave with them, if given the option. Traditional careers for an ISFJ include: teaching, social work, most religious work, nursing, medicine (general practice only), clerical and and secretarial work of any kind, and some kinds of administrative careers.

While their work ethic is high on the ISFJ priority list, their families are the centers of their lives. ISFJs are extremely warm and demonstrative within the family circle--and often possessive of their loved ones, as well. When these include Es who want to socialize with the rest of the world, or self- contained ITs, the ISFJ must learn to adjust to these behaviors and not interpret them as rejection. Being SJs, they place a strong emphasis on conventional behavior (although, unlike STJs, they are usually as concerned with being "nice" as with strict propriety); if any of their nearest and dearest depart from the straight-and-narrow, it causes the ISFJ major embarrassment: the closer the relationship and the more public the act, the more intense the embarrassment (a fact which many of their teenage children take gleeful advantage of). Over time, however, ISFJs usually mellow, and learn to regard the culprits as harmless eccentrics :-). Needless to say, ISFJs take infinite trouble over meals, gifts, celebrations, etc., for their loved ones--although strong Js may tend to focus more on what the recipient should want rather than what they do want.

Like most Is, ISFJs have a few, close friends. They are extremely loyal to these, and are ready to provide emotional and practical support at a moment's notice. (However, like most Fs they hate confrontation; if you get into a fight, don't expect them to jump in after you. You can count on them, however, run and get the nearest authority figure.) Unlike with EPs, the older the friendship is, the more an ISFJ will value it. One ISFJ trait that is easily misunderstood by those who haven't known them long is that they are often unable to either hide or articulate any distress they may be feeling. For instance, an ISFJ child may be reproved for "sulking," the actual cause of which is a combination of physical illness plus misguided "good manners." An adult ISFJ may drive a (later ashamed) friend or SO into a fit of temper over the ISFJ's unexplained moodiness, only afterwards to explain about a death in the family they "didn't want to burden anyone with." Those close to ISFJs should learn to watch for the warning signs in these situations and take the initiative themselves to uncover the problem.

Functional Analysis by Joe Butt

Introverted Sensing
As for ISTJs, the dominant Si is oriented toward the world of forms, essences, generics. Again, "for both of the IS_J types, the sense of propriety comes from the clear definition of these internal forms. ... A 'proper' chair has four legs," etc. (Jung saw IS as something of an oxymoron: sensing, which is a perceiving function, focused inward and thus away from that which is perceived (the "object"). In this light, he described this sensing as something removed from reality, full of archetypes/mythical figures/hobgoblins; sensing of one's own set of forms.)

Extraverted Feeling
A kind of "regression toward the mean" provided by the Fe auxiliary function serves to socialize the expression of these forms. I suppose it's the auxiliary nature of this Feeling, coupled with the balancing effect of {detachment from the internal idiosyncratic view of free-floating data perceptions} that makes ISFJs tentative, conservative, and reticent to boldly state the rights and wrongs in the relational world. (Loosely translated, ISFJs like to keep their perceptions to themselves, and aren't sure enough that what they "see" as Introverted Sensors has any relevance to the outside world. Thus the perception, based on unworldly data, may not be true. The obedient Extraverted Feeling function must therefore refrain from strong statements expressing these opinions.)

Introverted Thinking
Introverted Thinking is turned inward and is largely invisible. It is only with great difficulty, if at all, that the ISFJ could willingly commit anyone to their doom. Perhaps this explains why ISFJs are loyal to the end; there is no sense of purely objective (i.e., impersonal) judgement of anyone but themselves (and that only by their own standards). Here is this type's achilles heel that makes many of them so vulnerable to the scoundrels and ne'er-do-wells who often use and abuse them.

Extraverted iNtuition
ISFJs are easily undone by Extraverted iNtuition, their inferior function. Believing in the fantastic, and disbelieving the technologically extant, are errors that my guide the gullible (or unfoundedly sceptical) ISFJ off a precipice of mis-conclusion. (One of our co-workers' mothers adamantly refused to believe that Dave Letterman's mom was actually at the olympics in Norway talking with the athletes and handing out hams! She suspected technological trickery.)

This childlike Ne is, however, the likely source (coupled with fun-loving Extraverted Feeling) of the practical joking, punning and (usually harmless) impishness of some ISFJs.

[> Buffy is an introvert? -- Vickie, 11:48:08 03/19/02 Tue

I'm surprised that Buffy came out as an introvert. She tends to want to "hang with my buds" to recharge, rather than get some solitude. I don't remember her doing much self analysis, either.

The rest is pretty hysterically accurate. Like a sun-sign horoscope. Thanks!

[> [> Re: Buffy is an introvert? -- Caroline, 13:28:14 03/19/02 Tue

In Jungian terms, introvert and extravert are not defined according to the popular meanings we have given them. Buffy does like to hang with friends (popular meaning of extravert) but her mental focus is really inward (psychological meaning of introvert).

[> [> [> But in the M-B test -- Vickie, 13:44:14 03/19/02 Tue

That is one of the standard introvert/extravert questions. "Do you prefer to recharge by partying with friends, or are you happier reading or listening to music quietly by yourself?"

The buffster isn't, I think, an intravert according to a Myers-Briggs analysis.

[> [> [> [> Re: But in the M-B test -- SiWangMu (new here), 14:03:07 03/19/02 Tue

Actually, while I feel like Buffy as introvert is a surprise, it seems consistent with her behavior, this season at least. Witness that she repeatedly refuses the requests of friends to go party at the Bronze or when she goes ("Dead Things") doesn't join in. She has shown a tendency to want to escape the good times as much as be involved ("All The Way") and although I feel that this is almost certainly more a result of her resurrection trauma than her personal character I think it still makes "Introvert" a reasonable characteristic.

Just my input. Plus, another very interesting personality test/information source that I really enjoy is found at (Keirsey Temperament Sorter). I'd love to hear someone's Buffy-related results for this one (take the temperament sorter and then read through the four subcategories listed for the temperament. Usually one just fits better than the others). Just so people know, the basis is a Myers-Briggs-type test but with a somewhat more integrated look at the results. I don't know whether it's actually more reliable, but it is fun.

[> The Test Itself -- Darby, 12:01:31 03/19/02 Tue

I didn't find the test itself at that site, but there is one at

The test takes less than 5 minutes.

From there you can come back to the other site, click on your type and read away.

[> [> Yes. Being a moron, I put in the wrong address -- manwitch, 12:27:40 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> Where? I don't see any morons. Thanks for this - good for a laugh! -- Caroline, 13:30:14 03/19/02 Tue

[> This fits Buffy to a "T," or "F" in this case. -- Traveler, 13:53:55 03/19/02 Tue

I'm amazed at how well the Myers-Briggs has described Buffy. I bow before your channeling abilities! Now I'm curious what the personality types are for the rest of the gang. What is Spike? It seem like he would be hard to figure out, since his behavior has changed a lot since he became Spike. Interesting...

[> [> Playing Spike I got ESFJ -- CW, 15:47:59 03/19/02 Tue

Butt's analysis seems reasonably Spike. The other guy's doesn't.

[> [> [> I got ISFJ, but I don't believe me either (SPOILERS for Spike's life) -- Traveler, 21:36:22 03/19/02 Tue

I'm almost certain that William was INFP; look it up, if you don't believe me. However, when he became a vampire, he rebelled against everything he was, giving himself the form of ESFJ. In essence, he decided that he was tired of living his life through his poetry and tried to go out and experience it first hand. Thus he cultivated his weaknesses. From bookishness to a sort of exhibitionist. From flights of fancy to focus on the here and now. From waiting and hoping everything would turn out all right to becoming a motivator of change, a slayer of slayers. It is interesting to note that the only thing he was unwilling or incapable of changing in himself was his reliance on his feelings in his decision making process. Probably one reason why so many people like him is that he has always led with his heart first, and to the devil with the consequences. Yet, really he is still William. "What we were informs all that we will become." A man cannot make himself into what he is not. So, while Spike may seem to be a completely different person from William to a stranger, really they are still one in the same. Spike seems extroverted, because he is outspoken and elequent. Yet, where does he spend most of his time at Buffy's party and the wedding? Hugging a wall somewhere. At the end of a long day, how does he relax? He sits a home and reads a book or watches TV. Well, but Spike is definitely more rooted in the physical senses than William, right? Sex and violence follow him like shadows. Yet... isn't this the same guy who constantly pulls theories out of thin air? "I can hit you, so you came back wrong. Willow knew that I would stop her from hurting you if something went wrong in the ressurection. It would make sense if I were just a figment of Buffy's imagination." Again and again, we see examples of Spike's imagination and inventiveness, which is not rooted the world of the senses. Finally, is there any way I can possibly argue that Spike isn't really the man of action he pretends to be? He doesn't delay his decisions or endless debate them. He just acts, right? Um... look at his entire relationship with Buffy. He constantly second guessed himself and never was able to break things off with her, despite his threats to do so if she wouldn't accept him. Last episode, he threatened to tell the gang about them if she didn't, but I bet he'll give her PLENTY of time to make the decision. So, really Spike isn't ISFJ or ESFJ or anything remotely close. He's really just a well camouflaged INFP. Go figure, huh?

[> Interesting but.... -- Eric, 19:58:31 03/19/02 Tue

...maybe not very accurate. Famous ISFJs listed according to the site are:

Louisa May Alcott
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Barbara Bush
Charles Dickens
Queen Elizabeth II
Robert E. Lee
Queen Mary I of England

In the Fictional Catogory:
Bianca from Taming of the Shrew
David Copperfield
Hero in Much Ado About Nothing
Melanie in Gone With The Wind
Ophelia in Hamlet
Dr. Watson from Sherlock Holmes

I can't honestly say many of these people have much simularity to Buffy.

Masq!! Have you Guys done a Buffy/Angel Award Show? -- neaux, 11:39:35 03/19/02 Tue

Look.. I'm dying here at work. So I think of little things to amuse myself and thinking about the Oscars..blah blah. Anyway, would anyone entertain the idea of doing a BTVS/ANGEL award show?

It would be strictly using this season 5/6 episodes and cast members. And season 2/3 of Angel.

This is just an idea of categories.. They could change and so could the nominees.. I just thought this would be cool to do..

Best Actor: category of 5
David Boreanaz
Alexis Denisof
J. August Richards
Nicholas Brenden
James Marsters
Anthony Stewart Head

Best Actress:
Sarah MichelleGellar
Alyson Hannigan
Emma Caulfield
Charisma Carpenter
Amy Acker

Recurring Guest Star Male:
Adam Busch
Danny Strong
Tom Lenk
Andy Hallet (Host)
Keith Szarabajka (Holtz)

Recurring Guest Star Female:
Amber Benson
Julie Benz
Clare Kramer (Glory)
Stephanie Romonov (Lilah)
Elizabeth Anne Allen (Amy)

Best Villain:
Hinton Battle (Sweet)
Adam, Danny, Tom (Troika)
Keith Szarabajka (Holtz)
Clare Kramer (Glory)
Julie Benz ?? eh.. anyone want to change this one?

Best Episode of Buffy Season 5/6
The Body
The Gift
Tabula Rasa
Normal Again

Best Episode of Angel season 2/3:
Waiting in the Wings
Birthday (All these could change if necessary)

Any other categories?? Best song maybe??? This is just an idea.. If Masq wants to Finalize.. and make it a real Award Show That would be great!! ^_^

Please someone tell me its a good idea and Im not insane

[> Category suggestion -- Vickie, 11:44:26 03/19/02 Tue

I'd suggest combining the shows, rather than breaking out the episodes. Maybe something like:

Best original teleplay (don't think we have any adapteds)
Best episode, drama
Best episode, comedy

We could also have comedy/drama acting awards. How about an ensemble acting category?

If we really wanted to be radical, we could do away with the male/female categories... ;-)

[> [> Re: Category suggestion -- neaux, 11:50:15 03/19/02 Tue

Ah.. Those are good ideas. I'm not sure about combining the male/female categories though. ^_^

would best original teleplay involve the idea of best writer? or would that be a separate category?

[> [> [> teleplay would be a writing award -- Vickie, 11:57:12 03/19/02 Tue

Maybe we should add direction? And disqualify JW, or just name him ghod so somebody else can win some writing/directing awards?

[> [> [> [> Re: teleplay would be a writing award -- Arethusa, 12:19:38 03/19/02 Tue

Maybe there could be other types of catagories too, like Most Esoteric Literary Reference or Greatest Number of Pop Culture References. Fertile grounds for debate!

[> [> Re: Category suggestion, because we're us... -- Darby, 13:04:13 03/19/02 Tue

Categories of most ambiguous scene / character, or most esoterically analyzable.

Most controversial? Most disagreeable?

Lines of dialogue? Spuffy scenes?

Most reminiscent of Season One?

Just some suggestions...

[> And who exactly would decide the winners? -- Masq, 11:54:43 03/19/02 Tue

Me? A committee? Some 'fair' voting scheme we'd come up with?

I think you and other posters should hammer out some details and ruminate on how this will work.

As for me, I'm always a bit leery of things that break down to popularity contests. Content and quality are what matter, not sheer amounts of votes. And I have a tendency to root for underdogs who shine with content and quality that majority opinion often can't see.

It could keep us out of trouble for the next five weeks, though : )

[> [> For that matter, who decides the nominees? -- Masq, 11:57:23 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: For that matter, who decides the nominees? -- neaux, 12:05:24 03/19/02 Tue

Yeah.. Sorry Masq.. I dont want to throw anything on you. I just thought it would be a fun thing to do during this dry time.

as for who decides the Nominees.. I wish I was a Buffy Dictionary but I'm not. Lets let the Forum decide on the categories first. and then the nominees?
eh? is that a plan?

[> [> [> [> a possible solution -- manwitch, 12:39:33 03/19/02 Tue

After the categories get hammered out, Masq posts them. The posters would vote, but not on the board itself. They would send one vote per category to Masq or Masq's designate and the results would be tabulated and revealed.

THEN everyone could have heated bickering on the board.

To keep people from multiple votes, you only get to vote if you are a registered Meet the Poster. That way, someone could keep track and keep spammers from swaying things.

IMO, in order to keep the competitive fire, categories like Best Acting should be episode specific, for example Michelle Trachtenberg in Blood Ties, rather than simply Michelle Trachtenberg.

Also I support the idea of interesting categories like Best Mythological reference or Best Music Cue.

Of course, while it would be interesting and fun, it sounds like it would be an extra plate for somebody.

[> [> [> [> [> Oooh. even better.... -- manwitch, 12:52:53 03/19/02 Tue

Don't even post the nominees. You have e-mail addresses for registered posters, don't you? So send them the nominees, they respond and on some appointed evening, post each award as its own thread:

The nominees for such and such are

and then have "and the winner is" as a response, and let the bickering begin, award by award, thread by thread.

or not.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I like that idea. : ) -- VampRiley, 12:58:05 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> So only registered posters could participate? -- Vickie, 14:38:57 03/19/02 Tue

What about the rest of us?

I agree that a performance should be nominated, no just an actor's entire season.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Damn. Will us procrastinators still have time to submit a bio beforehand? -- yuri, 08:16:09 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> This could NEVER keep us out of trouble -- Vickie, 11:59:42 03/19/02 Tue

It would get heated and messy and loud. OnM would argue cogently for the best DP, and the rest of us would shut up briefly. The Spike/Angel contingent would demand a most redeemed vampire category...

Look at me, posting during work hours. Of course, *I'm* on a lunch break...

[> OK.. Lets start out Slow. A Poll!! -- neaux, 12:17:07 03/19/02 Tue

Ok.. since this could become massive and overwhelm me. Lets start out as a POLL!!

Who likes the idea of the Angel/Buffy Award Show?
Who would be interested in participating?

If more than 10 people wish to participate.. we will give it a go.

[> [> I can't judge Angel with Buffy 'cause I only watch Buffy, but yeah, sure -- Ete, 12:24:34 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> Me. I need a respite from workday boredom too. -- bienbizare, 12:56:06 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! -- VampRiley, 13:01:17 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> I'm long as Clem is nominated ;o) -- Wisewoman, 13:05:40 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> 5 weeks of reruns...count me in... -- Darby, 13:09:01 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> My 2 c -- Masq, 13:13:14 03/19/02 Tue

I'm uncomfortable with the idea that we can decide best episodes, acting, etc with a vote. These are aesthetic choices that demand providing reasons and engaging in the usual give-and-take discussion of our board, not a simple, isolated, decontextualized "yeah" or "nay" or (Joss forbid) a count of them, no matter how fairly done.

A case in point: on a board where a significant number of people watch "Buffy" and not "Angel", an "Angel" episode or actor or writer is unlikely to win in any category no matter how superior it is to its "Buffy" competitors. You can't vote for what you haven't seen.

I know part of the idea is to have the contest and then let the bickering ensue, but then what's the point of the contest? I say let's just cut directly to the bickering discussion. : )

Sorry if I'm taking this bit o' fun too seriously or something. I just find personally my own choices on things often differ radically from the board "majority".

(No offense meant, neaux! I enjoy your participation on the board and your posts.)

[> [> [> Hey Masq -- neaux, 13:29:49 03/19/02 Tue

I totally understand where you are coming from!!

well If I do this.. I'll put up a little webpage on my own space with the nominees and categories.

and I will keep it entirely in FUN. This will only be done out of the boredom! ^_^

That will be rule #1. This is for fun!!

[> [> [> Re: My 2 c -- Darby, 13:31:48 03/19/02 Tue

And it is possible to get a consensus in some things - remember the thread about the scariest villains? Hush demons, hands down! But it got me to thinking about what makes a good villain.

Although I doubt it'll be that easy in other categories.

I like the idea of discussions - maybe a new category every day or couple of days, left active long enough for everyone to get some words in. I would think that the discussion of Alexis Denisof's acting choices (for instance) from someone who has really paid attention to them would enhance my enjoyment of the show, as most of what I read here does.

[> [> [> Re: My 2 c -- ponygirl, 13:38:27 03/19/02 Tue

Maybe the solution to the aesthetic problem is one of category. Instead of best actor/actress (something that seems too divisive IMHO) howsabout best crier? best one liner? or best use of partial nudity? I liked Darby's suggestions above, we could also have best use of metaphor, favourite recurring symbol, and most obscure literary or cultural reference.

Of course the whole thing will be an organizational nightmare and will probably fall apart in the nomination stage, but might be fun for a week or two!

[> [> [> I have to agree with Masq -- Cactus Watcher, 14:56:07 03/19/02 Tue

This sounds like a weekend 'What's your favorite episode' post blown out of proportion. It proves nothing, and wouldn't necesarily come out the same two days later. Debating what's good and what's better is fun. Voting on it seems less so.

[> [> [> Sounds like a 2nd Anniversary Posting Party Thing to me -- JBone, 17:11:15 03/19/02 Tue

It sounds like an awful lot of stuff to cram into 4 weeks.

[> [> Sure. And a question. -- dream of the consortium, 14:02:56 03/19/02 Tue

I'm up for it if others are. I have very, very little to do at work. YAAAAAAWWWWWN.

I was going to suggest "Longest Time Between Callback Line and Original Reference," but then I realized that that can actually be fairly objectively determined. My first guess is "Fire pretty," calling back from early season six to the last episode season three, but there may be a longer one. Any throw-away lines this year about the events of season two? What was the title of the episode with the bug man that referenced the first season Xander/praying mantix teacher episode? Anyone know what would win in that category?

[> [> [> What's My Line, s2, not very far -- Ete, 14:08:48 03/19/02 Tue

But Gone to out of mind, out of sight must be a winner

[> [> [> [> Re: What's My Line, s2, not very far -- dream of the consortium, 14:14:45 03/19/02 Tue

Oooh, yes. Season 1 (episode 11) to season six (episode 111).

[> [> Yeah! -- Tillow, 18:07:27 03/19/02 Tue

I think it would be very fun, but I'm not a registered 'Meet the Poster' so I might not qualify...

[> [> [> Re: Yeah! -- dream of the consortium, 06:39:15 03/20/02 Wed

Well, it doesn't take very long to become one. Join in!

[> [> me. -- yuri, 08:17:59 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> but I say more with the "best use of cheese/christian symbolism" awards over "best episode" awards. -- yuri, 08:22:25 03/20/02 Wed

[> Re: Masq!! Have you Guys done a Buffy/Angel Award Show? -- T.J, 14:25:33 03/19/02 Tue

Best Actress:

Michelle Trachtenberg

For Season 5 of course not six (not her fault).

[> Sounds like long as it's not done on this board. It would get too confusing. -- JCC, 15:08:16 03/19/02 Tue

The Rules for the Buffy Angel Awards -- neaux, 15:16:24 03/19/02 Tue

Ok. Here is the deal. I have a website for the awards here.

This is where the categories and nominations will be posted. But first The categories must be decided.

So this is the thread for making a category. You can make up any category for the awards you want. It can be insane, crazy, serious or goofy... just relate it to Buffy and Angel.

the rules:
1. We will accept category titles for 1 week starting Today Tuesday March 19th and will end Wednesday March 27th.

2. Only ONE CATEGORY PER PERSON so make sure you decide on your category before you post.

3. The Categories are NOT limited by season. All seasons apply!

4. Have Fun!! This is to be Fun!! did I mention Fun??

Once the categories are finalized next Thursday.. they will be posted on the above website. Then The cateories will be discussed for nominations. So stay tuned!!

(side note to Masq) Could you make it so this thread doesnt get lost.. I'll need to find it to get all the categories. Thanks

[> Re: The Rules for the Buffy Angel Awards -- Masq, 15:21:58 03/19/02 Tue

It may dip down to the bottom of the main page, but I'll yank it out of the archives if it falls off the page. : )

[> [> Oooh, and neaux, email me... -- Masq, 15:27:27 03/19/02 Tue

I have one other little service to offer you....

[> [> To Answer Everyone's Question -- neaux, 04:52:40 03/20/02 Wed

Ok. If there are enough nominations to split a specific category into Angel and Buffy We shall do so!!

So. LAST RULE: If we receive at least 3 different nominations per series, the award will be split.

So far the categories work well with both series. Just remember.. this is one award show where the nominations will be Waaaaaaay more important that the actual award.

[> [> Most Delicious Alternate Character Moment -- Valhalla, 21:24:23 03/20/02 Wed

Some examples:

Evil Willow (eg, ponies quote)
Soldier Xander
Faith in Buffy's body (or vice versa)
Engaged to Buffy Spike
Demon Anya

Hey, do you have to be on the Meet the Posters page to play?

[> I thought about best cheekbones.... -- Kitt, 15:29:15 03/19/02 Tue

but the winner would be too obvious, and since I only get to nominate one category, how about:

Best Speech/monolouge?

Examples would include:

Buffy's speech at the end of The Gift

Spike's "One good Day" Speech in Fool for Love

Angel's speech in Epiphany

This sounds like a category we can all argue over endlessly to me!


[> The 'Stone Angel' award for Covert Cinematography -- OnM, 15:46:55 03/19/02 Tue

This award would honor the cleverest purely photographic metaphor.

Question-- will we be seperating these categories by show? I.e., one for BtVS and one for Angel?

[> Best performance by a non-recurring guest star and recurring guest star (two separate awards) -- Dichotomy, 16:15:39 03/19/02 Tue

The recurring guest star nomination might also have to be subdivided into those who appeared in multiple eps, like The Master and Mr. Trick, and those who were continuously featured, like Joyce and Tara. I'm not sure what the qualification would be, but you get the idea.

[> [> Do you get 2 nominations because of your name? :) -- Sophist, 16:24:39 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> Whoops! Didn't read the rules very carefully, I guess. Either one--I can't decide! -- Dichotomy, 12:14:33 03/20/02 Wed

[> Best pop culture reference -- Sophist, 16:26:34 03/19/02 Tue

[> do I get to design the award? -- Liq, 16:30:30 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> Hey!! Go ahead!! That would rock!! -- neaux, 18:44:39 03/19/02 Tue

[> Guy's this is a Philosophy board....we forgot "Best use of Nancy Hair Gel"..;) -- Rufus, 16:35:37 03/19/02 Tue

[> "Most Sympathetic Non-singing Demon" -- Wisewoman, 16:54:19 03/19/02 Tue

[> I can't pick just one -- JBone, 18:39:58 03/19/02 Tue

Best Fight Sequence; Best Slow Motion Sequence; Best Montage; Most Squeamish Torture Scene; Best Dance Scene (Numfar!); Best Cordelia Put-Down; Biggest Battle Scene; Biggest Moment of Emotional Anguish; Funniest Wrong Conclusion Jump; Worst Fight Sequence; and Happiest Gang Moment.

Other than Torture and Cordelia, I think these need to be divided between BtVS and AtS, just so the AtS best could get their just do. Can someone just assign me one, and I can re-watch whatever episodes I need to sometime between June 5th and August 2nd to get something really complete together. There's just too many hours of both series to consider to just flip something out. I mentioned this below, and Masq and Liq may already have other plans, but this sounds like a good 2nd Anniversary Posting Party to me.

[> [> Re: I can't pick just one -- O'Cailleagh, 18:58:59 03/19/02 Tue

I think this one should be a given.....Unlifetime Achievement Award....and as that one is obvious...ummm....either Best Fake-Looking Monster, or Most Unlikely Slay (Why is there always a stake shaped piece of wood lying'd think vampires would look out for that).
Loved the previous suggestions...especially the hair gel one.
Oh....will there be a ceremony? lol

[> [> [> Re: I can't pick just one -- O'Cailleagh, 20:53:50 03/19/02 Tue

Do we have a name for the awards? Or will it just be 'The Buffy and Angel Awards"? I think we should have a name for them, like the Oscars....which is taken, but you get my point.

[> [> [> [> How 'bout naming them "the Clems"? (N/T) -- SiWangMu, 21:46:53 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Or better yet, "The ClEmmies" ; ) -- Masq, 13:07:08 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> The name thing -- Deeva, 23:30:27 03/19/02 Tue

Maybe it's lame or maybe it's cause it's late but how about the...Stakeys? All of a sudden the image of Buffy in Hush pops up, where she's making with the staking action but everybody sees something else. Another type of hand action, if you will. Hmmm...maybe it is too late for me.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The name thing -- O'Cailleagh, 00:47:59 03/20/02 Wed

I like both....wish I hadn't suggested it now!

[> [> If you dont decide.. I'm picking for you!! :P -- neaux, 04:47:10 03/20/02 Wed

[> Re: The Rules for the Buffy Angel Awards -- yabyumpan, 03:19:26 03/20/02 Wed

Can we please have seperate awards for Ats & BtVS?
Category: things that make you go hummm! i.e stuff that's happened on the shows that you've spent days/weeks/months thinking about and wondering about the meaning.

[> My own Category idea "BEST USE OF FIRE" -- neaux, 04:39:01 03/20/02 Wed

I wont make nominations, so to be impartial.. but I do want to add a category..

"Best Use of Fire" this should be an easy choice

[> Best use of mockery/sarcasm -- Tillow, 06:32:08 03/20/02 Wed

For example:
Wes: Kiss me.
Cordy: Bite me.
Angel: Why don't you both bite me.

neaux... do we get to pick the nominees too??? I step away for one day and I'm totally lost!

[> [> Yes. Nominees will be later. This week is devoted to Categories -- neaux, 06:37:21 03/20/02 Wed

[> I'm cheating already - I've got two! -- ponygirl, 06:40:04 03/20/02 Wed

... but I couldn't decide.

Favourite recurring symbol


Best wordless moment
(I'm thinking a really good LOOK, like Spike seeing Buffy in Afterlife, or just about any Wesley moment from the last few eps.)

[> [> How bout best dramatic pause? -- neaux, 07:55:28 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> hmm .... liking it! -- ponygirl, 08:43:19 03/20/02 Wed

[> Ummmm.....Question... -- Darby, 07:01:05 03/20/02 Wed

Is it assumed that there will be the "classic" categories if no one suggests them? I think we're trying to be innovative (I was thinking "Biggest Vampire Heart," for those who dust when staked in what should be their spleen), but I don't want to use my vote for a "new" category if it means a basic one gets passed by...

...And I'm not serious about the "heart" thing...although I would like to see the ME anatomy reference guide...

[> [> Sorry.. Only Categories suggested will be used. Choose Wisely! -- neaux, 07:57:47 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> Okay... -- Darby, 11:19:46 03/20/02 Wed

Then I say Best Single-Episode Performance by an acting-type person.

If you want to split that by gender or credit level, well I didn't tell you to do that, nudge-nudge wink- wink...

[> Too many possibilities ! -- Etrangere, 07:23:17 03/20/02 Wed

Well, there's :

"Best used of implicit or explicit mythic, legendary or fary tale reference in an episode" which can be very subjective but whatever

and "Best sexually connoted lapsus" 'cause that's one speciality of BtVS and we all love them ("the thing you do with your mouth the boys like so much" or "what else should I pump you for" or "it was like a meat party in my mouth" or... well, there's really a lot of them)

and also "Best redemptive moment in an otherwise lame episode" so as to get bad episodes nominated too :)

and just for the B/S shippers 'cause I'm one, "Best use of an architectural element as a metaphore"

and because Buffy is feminist show, "Best Girl Power moment"

and then there's "Best cut induced message" like in Afterlife when we cut to Spike pacing his crypt after Anya's comment about evil things having

arghhhhh !!! can't choose !

*crumbles and sobbs in indecision*

[> Best cryptic foreshadowing -- Lunarchickk, 08:36:23 03/20/02 Wed

aka "Oh, THAT's what that meant!"

("Be back before Dawn")

("Counting down from 7-3-0")

("Love ... give ... forgive. Risk the pain. It is your nature. Love will bring you to your gift.")

("Oh, I would kill to live in LA, that close to that many shoes!")


[> Best sci-fi reference? Bring on the trio!! -- JCC, 08:45:55 03/20/02 Wed

[> Re: The Rules for the Buffy Angel Awards -- Kimberly, 12:22:11 03/20/02 Wed

How about: Best variation on a standard sci-fi theme. (For instance, invisibility, a person's double, alternate history, etc.)

[> Best Drunk -- vampire hunter D, 13:53:08 03/20/02 Wed

[> Re: The Rules for the Buffy Angel Awards -- zarathustra, 14:07:00 03/20/02 Wed

I say "Best nude or lightly clad body". This would of course be divided onto male and female categories

[> Re: The Rules for the Buffy Angel Awards -- manwitch, 16:41:32 03/20/02 Wed

How about

"Best Performance by an Angel or Buffy cast member in a musical."

That's just a joke.

How about Best Bronze Band Scene (which shouldn't just be about the band, but about the band/song in relation to the scene or ep).

And Best Scoring (not Buffy and Spike type scoring, but the use of the musical score in a specific scene or episode not including the musical numbers of the musical, and not including song source music from the Bronze)

I agree with Darby that we don't want to miss out on some of the basic categories. How about Best Season Finale?

So, these are my one suggestion. I'm all out. Maybe someone else will suggest Best Teaser.

[> Best S&M reference. -- Deeva, 21:14:37 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> Re: Best S&M reference. -- O'Cailleagh, 02:40:36 03/21/02 Thu

Grrr! Arrrrrgh! I'm going to be offline for a few days or I might not be able to vote, or make the ceremony. Dammit! And I'd just had a dress made!

Random (but shocking) realization -- Goji3, 19:13:35 03/19/02 Tue

I ran some very basic comparison calculations and figured out how long the Demon snake (called Olvikan) actually was. Though the script says its 60ft long. This figure is highly innacurate, considering that if it was only 60ft lonh, only 1/20th of its body would be resting on the ground in several scenes, it would be unable to maintain balance and tople over

Based Upon the dimensions of a similar Snake Monster (Manda), and Assuming that the Snake monster is actually 9 meters tall (about 30ft) when looking down on the students. I calculated Manda's hight to be 25 meters when in a similar position to the Mayor's in several shots. And Manda's given length of 150 meters. I compared that to the 9 meters of height displayed by Olvikan and cross multiplied...

Olvikan is 54 meters (about 180 feet) long (!)

And some people wondered why they had the blow up the ENITRE school to kill it then

Buffy really has faced a Giant Monster, a True 'Kaiju'...Unfortunately, The Original Godzilla's FX were more convincing. (Don't argue. That thing was Stagnent and QUIET! When was the last time you heard a gient monster be so soft!)

I'm Sick, I Need help

And Kudos to those who know what Manda is, you diserve a Cookie for that!

[> Go go, Godzilla! -- Apophis the dai kaiju, 20:43:44 03/19/02 Tue

[> Re: Blowin' up his head real good shoulda dunnit... -- Darby, 07:12:50 03/20/02 Wed

Acting, a Psychic Phenomena -- LeeAnn, 00:39:31 03/20/02 Wed

Lots of us start out swooning over James Marsters' looks but in an industry where most actors are young, fit, gorgeous and usually charming as well, his appearance just gets him in the door. His looks might even do him some harm with casting directors because he looks to be more supermodel than leading man and supermodels are not known for their ability to act (or walk and chew gum at the same time).

So we start out watching Spike thinking that James Marsters, who is only dim in our minds, is probably some British guy, speaking in his own voice and letting the writer's words and his own personality carry the part. Then we see some tape of the real James Marsters (used to be scads of it on before bandwidth problems resulted in it being pulled), who is not only not British, but so completely "not Spike" that it's like Spike is some kind of spirit possession.

Then we watch more closely and begin to notice what a great actor Marsters is.

At it's best acting is a kind of psychic phenomena. It allows us to read the mind of the character we see on the screen, to know what the character is thinking. JM excels at this. We think we know what Spike thinks and feels because JM shows us, often without words. He adds layers to Spike's scenes making him the multi-faceted character so many of us are fascinated with. I'm thinking of the crypt scene in As You Were when Riley finds Buffy and Spike naked together. Spike is doing his male gloating thing and Buffy takes the covers and flees. As she does, Spike interrupts his posturing for about a second, watches her go. He sighs and his face changes to a bitter and frustrated resignation. You can almost hear him thinking about her running off again, "virtue fluttering," recognizing her shame and how that shames him. Then he turns back to Riley to continue taunting him. That's a lot for a second or two of screen time to carry but JM pulls it off seamlessly.

Most actors give us one or two emotions a show, JM can give us a dozen a minute, all flowing easily, believably, one to the next. Most characters are defined by the words the actors speak. That is what we know about them, all we know about them. But with Spike, we think we know a lot more because of what JM shows us of Spike's thoughts. He allows us to read Spike's mind and all without calling Ms. Cleo.

And the Emmys will have no nomination for JM this year.
Cause they are idiots.

Cinescape interview with Marti Noxon...spoilers -- Rufus, 02:26:38 03/20/02 Wed

Cross and Stake

Cinescape interview with Marti Noxon.

Marti the Vampire Producer

Dateline: Thursday, March 7, 2002

By: Senior Editor and Editor In Chief

As fans certainly know, BUFFY and ANGEL have always been two series focused on pushing the boundaries in genre entertainment. Now they're exploring the uncharted waters of widescreen broadcasting, but producer Marti Noxon insists that this is still only for "special occasions."

"It can be a tricky adjustment technically for directors to use the space correctly," says Noxon. "Most directors are used to shooting regular format, and we wanted to make sure if we did it, it would look right. So we're going to reserve it for special episodes. Maybe the finale or something like that. We may go full time at some point."

The only argument I ever have against it is if someone at home has a normal television, it makes the picture awfully small," says Noxon. "To my mind it squeezes things oddly, and I always wonder about that. If you have a great big TV it,s great. TV is our businesswe all have really big TVs, and you forget that a lot people are watching on little dinky ones. We are fighting for the rights of the dinky TV people."

Even those dinky TV people have become enthralled by the development of Slayer antagonist turned lover Spike. Noxon credits much of this growth to actor James Marsters, who regularly dons the leather jacket and, occasionally, fangs.

"James is a remarkable actor and a remarkable presence, and he made that known as soon as he started playing Spike that there was something really unique and charismatic about him," says Noxon. "Then when we brought him back, I don't know that we ever thought he would advance to being Buffy's... whatever he is. But there was a knowledge that we had an actor and a character that had a tremendous amount of appeal, and we didn't want to throw that away. So a lot of it is attributed to James' magnetism. Lightning had struck."

But how do you take a murderous Slayer-killer like Spike and make him part of the family? The answer came in the form of a tiny computer chip installed by the Initiative in Season 4 that inhibits Spike's ability to attack Buffy or any other

"We just thought, how can we make him part of the gang," says Noxon. "We didn't want to make him the big bad arch-villain because we had already done that and we really wanted to integrate him into the Scooby Gang. So Joss' feeling was to make him a reluctant helper. The genius of Joss' idea was he could still fight demons, so he could still have teeth. And he could still be expressive towards a darker side of his character and be violent."

Noxon also acknowledges that Spike's transition temporarily took him out of Coolsville.

"I knew when we put him in the Hawaiian shirt and he was going through his depression that we were definitely playing with the idea of him feeling ineffectual," says Noxon. "But we always planned to cool him up again. He found his center again."

If Marsters is responsible for much of what made Spike so special, how much of the other actors are visible in the roles they've helped to shape?

"Their personalities definitely come through," says Noxon. "Although I will say James is very different than the character. He is a very gentle soul, a warm funny guy. James just inhabits Spike so well that I have a creative relationship with that character as do all the writers on the show. I do think he brings a lot of his own personality to the personality to the character."

Noxon is also responsible for shaping the rather risqué relationship between the Slayer and her new vampire squeeze.

"My mom called me and said I knew it was your [writing] in the first scene because it was dirty (laughs). We do have standards and practices. They don't have a separate department at the UPN, they caution us on things, but they aren't so worried about language. It's definitely one for the grown-ups. We've gotten cautioned a lot more this year on BUFFY than almost anything else. [Spike and Buffy's relationship has a] feeling of violence to it that is a little more dangerous. It's not as romantic as the relationship[s] of the past, to put it lightly."

However, Noxon cautions that this kind of sexuality isn,t anything new to BUFFY, especially during the early years when Angel and Buffy were crossing this very same line on a weekly basis as well.

"We've done stuff where there's all naked backs and scratches and little corners of things, says Noxon. "And somehow it's the idea that people freak out about it. Yeah, the idea of Buffy and Spike and their sexuality has been pretty dirty. It's unavoidable and given UPN's well-founded reservations, they've been really wonderful. Creatively they have really been on board with the way the show is going and they haven't [been] particularly interested in changing anything we've been doing."

James Marsters has said that he feels his character Spike is Buffy's "heroin," but Noxon thinks there's more to it than that.

"He is in a way, although there's some genuine affection on both sides," says Noxon. "It's a really tricky situation and where they are going nobody knows."

While the show's creator, Joss Whedon, has tried to step back from the series, he hasn't succeeded. Noxon knows why.

"Basically, he is still BUFFY's bitch. He can't get away from the show if he wanted to. He's tried; he gets sucked back in. I have to say he sucks at stepping back. He's stepped [away] from most of the production side. He doesn't do any of the mixes, or he'll take a pass in editing, but aside from that he spends a whole lot less time on the technical [side]. He is still very involved in the story breaking; he just won't walk away."

By contrast, Noxon has seen her influence on the direction of the show increase this year.

"I've had more say in taking stories further so that Joss has to spend less time on that, and that's just wonderful," says Noxon. "It's the hardest part of the process, and to be weaned of our total dependency on him is a really good thing. Hopefully I am getting better at it. But to me that's what separates the wheat from the chaff."

Part of that process involves setting up the season-long story arcs that have made the show such an addictive must-see for fans.

"We usually end on some kind of cliffhanger and you have a lot of loose ends to tie up and a lot of things to set in motion," says Noxon. "The first episodes are always about finding the show again, finding the voice and your bearings for the characters. Some of it is that we are ramping into storylines that are going to take all season to develop, and then you are in the meat of it."

While Marsters uses a drug metaphor to describe the Buffy/Spike relationship, another character is also struggling with a familiar kind of addiction.

"I do think the Willow/Buffy parallel is the strongest arc of the season," says Noxon. "The fact that they are both using stuff to not be here. Buffy comes out for a different reason than Willow, because of what she has been through, and Willow because of how she feels about herself. The two of them have a real journey to take. To me that's all about being in their twenties. Regardless of the substance you are abusing, the twenties is the time where you are making bargains. 'How much do I have to really step up now? Do I have to work this hard? What are the rewards and the penalties if I only do so much?'"

As before, Xander remains the anchor in this changing Scooby gang even though he recently stunned his love Anya (Emma Caulfield) by jilting her at the alter.

"Xander is the solid guy," says Noxon. "We always felt that as rough a time as Xander's gone through, he is the most steady and he knows himself in a way that the others don't.

Ah, but any hints as to where this is going after the recent wedding episode shocker?

"I can't really say," says Noxon. "Except to say that all the things that are percolating right now will continue to develop. But I can't say anything because that would ruin it."

And there are still other threads to explore, including the three nerd "super-villains" who lurk on the sidelines.

"Joss came up with that idea," says Noxon. "Here are people who are basically going to use crime to avoid the responsibility of adulthood. They are short-cut takers. They would rather do a crime and then be able to play the good game then get a regular job. They'd rather do a spell on a girl than have to actually talk to her. To me they're all about taking the passive leap and how that won't go so well either."

Also on the periphery at the moment is Amy (Elizabeth Anne Allen), who spent years as a rat before finally being restored to human form.

"Amy has the potential to become very interesting," says Noxon. "There's something off about her that is really intriguing. She has sort of an Anya quality, having been a rat and a witch and her mom being a witch. We'd love to find more for her to do."

Of course, fans would be thrilled to see their favorite Watcher pop in again from time to time, but Noxon won't commit to anything specific about the beloved and much missed Giles.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he popped in sometime," says Noxon. "Any time he is in America, he is welcome to be on the show."

Giles or no Giles, Buffy herself looks set to battle on for at least another season.

"We already have thoughts and ideas but we don't have anything solid yet."

But will Season 7 be Buffy's last stand?

"I don't know," admits Noxon. "We would have said Season 5 was going to be the last season. So never say never. We are having such a good time and I still feel like we are telling stories that are worth telling. And we are still having fun. Not to blow our own horn, but there are certain shows where you feel like the energy and the passion has gone out of them after a certain number of years, and at least from our point of view we don't feel that way."

Keeping the show centered is the series' star, Sarah Michelle Gellar. From her foundation radiates the rest of the cast and the unfolding plot.

"We can add characters because we still have a core and that's Sarah," says Noxon. "Sarah and Nicky [Brendon, AKA Xander] and Aly[son Hannigan, Willow]. It was hard to lose Tony, but at the same time, as long as we have that center we can continue to add to the universe. The fact that Sarah has stayed committed and passionate about it makes a huge difference. But when you start to feel like I don't know what this show is about anymore, I just think that's really difficult."

X-FILES allusions aside, Noxon also has praise for Buffy's new home at UPN. The ratings have proven that the viewership is increasing.

"They're great - they have continued to be really wonderful, notes Noxon. She smiles and then adds: "We could have like an all-naked BUFFY and we'd still get that same quota," muses Noxon. "And we get the greatest press in the world, but at the same time we just feel like the people that watch our show [will] watch our show. I think it must be very hard to try and catch up with the show. If you watch an episode, say midseason, and you haven't been watching, you could be missing a lot."

In some ways, Noxon sees this as "clique-ish TV.

"It's like a clique, she reveals. "If you don't get in, you are going to have a hard time having lunch with us, because we are talking about the stuff you are not up on. I think there are a lot of reasons why it's hard to break out but we may have had a much greater fade on the WB because they certainly would have made a bigger noise about us."

Noxon is clearly high on the show after all this time, and gives high marks to creator Whedon for maintaining a high level of quality.

"Joss is not one to take the cheap way out," says Noxon. "He is vigilant and he believes in this universe that he has created in a really passionate way. It's wonderful to work with and learn from someone like that. This is the first show I've ever worked on full-time. I am so spoiled. We are extremely lucky, we have a bit of a saloon going on over here. We have a bunch of people who genuinely like each other and are all on the same vibe. It's remarkable. Between the people here and at ANGEL, we are truly lucky. Joss has fostered a lot of that creativity because he brought music and Shakespeare into this world, and we spend a lot of time not working on the show together doing other fun things."

But will Noxon helm any episodes for the remainder of the season? The executive producer reveals "probably not.

"I have so many other responsibilities this year that it would be very hard for me to take that time," says Noxon. "When you direct an episode, you are basically out for 16 days because you direct for eight days or more. Sometimes you have to do pick-ups and then there's days of prep and scouting and all that stuff. We just could afford for myself and Joss to not be around for that kind of time. He is out directing ANGEL this week and he's been out of town more often. It was too bad because I really enjoyed it but I will get back to it."

With BUFFY still going strong, ANGEL building its own mythology and a bright future ahead for the one and only Slayer, Noxon may have to wait for that chance at the director's chair, but considering how much fun she's having, she may not mind at all.

[> Very interesting indeed. Thanks Ruf! -- Rahael, 03:43:20 03/20/02 Wed

[> Re: Cinescape interview with Marti Noxon...spoilers -- Andy, 08:00:37 03/20/02 Wed

"The only argument I ever have against it is if someone at home has a normal television, it makes the
picture awfully small," says Noxon. "To my mind it squeezes things oddly, and I always wonder
about that. If you have a great big TV it,s great. TV is our businesswe all have really big TVs, and
you forget that a lot people are watching on little dinky ones. We are fighting for the rights of the
dinky TV people.""

Aiiieeee!!! I feel so betrayed. Aspect ratio is a war and to win it you must either leave the dinky tv people behind or drag them kicking and screaming into the new millenium. And it's not like I've heard of any complaining over ER or Sopranos being widescreen so I doubt anyone would really care about Buffy being like that. *sigh* At least she phrased her words diplomatically, instead of mentioning "black bars"... :)


[> [> dinky TVs -- skeeve, 09:02:29 03/20/02 Wed

Shape matters.
Regardless of the geometrical size of one's TV, a 16:9 image shrunk to fit into a 4:3 screen (what most people have) will leave a sixth of the screen unused. Shrinking reduces resolution. Wider aspect ratios will cause even worse resolution reductions.
Note that the ultimate destination of the image doesn't matter. As long as the transmission is formatted for a 4:3 screen, the resolution loss will occur. If the ultimate destination is 16:9, smoothing techniques at the destination can remove jaggies and the like, but an enlarged blur is still a blur.

[> How bad are the spoilers? I don't dapple but I'm eager to hear word from Marti. -- yuri, 08:04:14 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> It's safe. Not spoily in terms of upcoming eps, just through now in season 6. -- bienbizare, 09:03:22 03/20/02 Wed

[> Man, too bad she was only kidding about the all-naked episode -- vampire hunter D, 13:40:55 03/20/02 Wed

Question from the bored work-drone -- dream of the consortium, 07:20:33 03/20/02 Wed

As a sort of follow-up to the fandom question, in order to get some reading suggestions, and just out of curiosity because I am always interested in the reading habits of smart people what works of non-genre fiction appeal to you all most? I am specifying non-genre, because there has been a lot of discussion of Lord of the Rings and certain other books here, and I am interested in something different. Which general works of fiction do you love? Which ones have the same characteristics you enjoy in Buffy? (See, I,m relating this to Buffy; this is not just a shameless request for book recommendations because I am really, really bored at work. Really.)

Limiting choices to those that have Buffy-esque characteristics to recommend them:

I love Robertson Davies and Iris Murdoch for their complex, sprawling melodramatic worlds which are nonetheless tightly drawn, no detail insignificant. They both depend on Jung a good bit, Davies quite overtly. (Comparisons to Buffy too obvious to bother with.) For the weaving of the mundane and the fantastical, I like Steven Millhauser (my name comes from one of his stories). As far as modern versions of old myths go, my favorite remains The Once and Future King, which also gets Buffy points for blending broad comedy with high drama. Also, there was a book a few years ago that updated the Golem myth entitled The Puttermesser Papers which I enjoyed a great deal. Although I am not a huge fan of Anne Sexton, I did like "Transformations, in which she re-worked classic fairy tales. (There are many children,s books that do this these days, some exceptionally well, too many to get into here.) For patient, long term character development, you can,t beat George Eliot, though Thackeray,s Vanity Fair comes close. Although most of her work is non-fiction, for complex moral vision, I have to recommend MFK Fisher (all of her work, though more obviously the less-food related memoirs it may seem a bit OT, but I am quite sincere.)

What do other posters read and re-read for the same reasons they watch Buffy other than Joseph Campbell, of course?

[> Re: Question from the bored work-drone -- Rahael, 09:03:36 03/20/02 Wed

Thank you so much Dream. I,ve spent a wonderful couple of hours trying to choose what to put in.

(Just a quick comment. I tried reading Joseph Campbell, and he failed to win me over. Can I admit this on the board?)

The thing I,ve read in recent memory that screamed Buffy!, to me has been Samson Agonistes, by John Milton. Just one of the most wonderful poems. There,s been a discussion about classical tragedy here recently and this is Milton,s attempt to write a Greek Tragedy. It happens in real time, the hero,s downfall is his fatal weakness, it has a chorus, and the audience is meant to undergo catharsis, but the Christian message is the subversion of the medium itself, and has its own point to make. Because Samson prefigures Christ, his death turns from tragedy to triumph. Samson walks to his death

"With inward eyes illuminated
His fiery virtue roused
From under ashes into sudden flame

There is such a clear link here to The Gift, and also its examination of what it means to be the chosen one,, what it means to be a hero that makes it pertinent to BtVS as a whole.

Apart from the above, the books that have had the biggest impact on my mental world have been:
The Brothers Karamazov, and The Idiot, by Dostoevsky
A la recherche du temps perdu, by Proust
Clarissa, by Samuel Richardson
Doctor Faustus,, The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
Collected Short stories, - Guy de Maupassant, Chekov,
Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion, by Austen
Portrait of a Lady, and The Golden Bowl, James
The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Ford
The Great Gatsby, - Fitzgerald
The Mayor of Casterbridge, - Hardy
Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding
Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh
Shakespeare (of course)
Scarlet and Black, The Charterhouse of Parma, - Stendhal
Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution, Gardiner
The Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, Carlyle
The Sound of Virtue, and virtually anything else written by the historian Blair Worden
Soldiers and Statesmen, Austin Woolrych

Actually, the above list could be twice as long. So much to include. Also, there is my love of poetry which probably exceeds my novel reading. Every time I encounter a poem that I love, I type it up, print it and stick it into a little pocket book. I,ve had the book for 4 years now, and choose very carefully. I,ve a lifetime left to fill it. This is really why I know so many poems by heart I carry it everywhere, and in queues, quiet moments, and when I,m travelling, I read from it. If a poem turns out not to last the test of time, I simply stick a new one on top of it.

There's no real link with Buffy in my reading, but my mission is to find some obscure way of linking them in!! Though Mole did reference The Good Soldier recently.

[> [> huh. I do th same thing. But Im pretty disorganized so I have several sos I always have one on hand. -- yuri, 23:32:18 03/20/02 Wed

[> another drone responds -- ponygirl, 09:12:06 03/20/02 Wed

I really love the book recommendations from the board. I recently read Empire of the Sun and The Eyre Affair because of mentions here and both were great.

For a really surreal take on the detective genre check out Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. All of his work features symbolism and metaphor and a very strange deadpan humour. And while they are children's books Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events are musts for anyone who likes a lot of humour in with their Gothic horror.

[> [> Yay - another Lemony Snicket fan! -- dream of the consortium, 10:21:35 03/20/02 Wed

I love Lemony Snicket - both because his stories are terribly funny and because I knew him in college! Another Wesleyan grad makes good. Joss and Dan/Lemony give me an serious inferiority complex!

[> [> [> Re: Lemony Snicket fan! going so OT -- ponygirl, 11:47:55 03/20/02 Wed

That is so cool (well, not the inferiority complex). I saw him do a reading once, actually it was more of a comedy performance, complete with slides and an accordion solo. A really funny, friendly man, and so patient with all of the insane children. And of course he's in the Magnetic Fields which is such a fabulous band. I'm getting an inferiority complex just thinking about him.

[> Re: Question from the bored work-drone -- Eric, 09:22:43 03/20/02 Wed

British favorites: Terry Pratchett's Discworld Series is great humorous fantasy. Neil Gaiman's comic series Sandman, Books of Magic, and his prose works (one, Good Omens written in colaboration with Pratchett) blend humor, horror, and a lasting sense of wonder. The Books of Magic series is great for Campbell fans. Don't be put off by the "comic" moniker - they're very adult. G.K. Chesterton's works are very worthwhile. And though C.S. Lewis was an ardent Christian Apologist, he could teach a Satan worshipper a trick or two with The Screwtape Letters.
Bernard Cornwell writes a crackling good war series about a British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars and recently branched out into Arthurian fantasy (which I haven't read yet).
As for American authors, David Weber writes a sci fi opera series about a female space officer at war that harkens to Forrester's Hornblower series yet is so gleefully over the top in terms of melodrama it definitely brings Buffy to mind. In one book her boyfriend is killed while she's at war in a duel by a professional duelist. She comes back and has him eat grass b4 breakfast. The humorist Dave Barry write several humor books. His latest is Big Trouble (soon to be a movie) that had me rolling on the floor. The book includes a brief cameo by Buffy herself. Barry writes about his new home, Florida. But a native journalist, Carl Haison (probably mispelled) writes several hilarious books demonstrating it to be the most disturbed state in the union. Gates of Fire is the only book I've ever read by Steven Pressfield. But its impressive as hell. Gates of Fire is historical fiction about the battle of Thermopylae which incorporates a thorough examination the Spartan values on THEIR terms. Not for the squemish, but a good picture of what a real warrior society is like. This is the Way the World Ends by James Morrow is a fantasy chock full of black humor and surrealism about nuclear war. In it a handfull of survivors are tried for high crimes and misdemeanors by the unborn. I hope this helps. BTW, consider switching jobs.

[> Re: Question from the bored work-drone -- Arethusa, 10:21:34 03/20/02 Wed

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)and Uncertain Voyage (Dorothy Gilman) taught me we were "born to strive and endure," not just suffer.
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) taught me that lively, lighthearted people could be just as interested in morality and self-improvement as dour, serious people (me), and a lot more fun.
The Power of Myth (Joseph Campbell) taught me I wasn't nuts to see religion as a beautiful myth all primitive people needed to explain themselves and their place in the world, and released the last of my guilt for being an atheist.
Annabel Lee (E. A. Poe) made me fall in love with language and poetry. I married the guy that later quoted that poem to me.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (Johnathan Edwards) taught me religious does not always equal good or, well, sane.
A Modest Proposal (Johnathan Swift) showed me one can be filled with rightous indignation and very funny at the same time-and that the combination is devastating.

[> [> Cannot plug "A Modest Proposal" enough! -- SiWangMu, 23:19:09 03/20/02 Wed

[> Older John Irving novels work for me.... -- AurraSing, 10:44:06 03/20/02 Wed

P.D.James for her mystery novels.........both of them have something to say about morals and how our vision of the world can get very twisted by the darkness or light within.

[> Re: Question from the bored work-drone -- Ian, 14:25:33 03/20/02 Wed

I can unreservedly recommend four authors.

Paul Bowles, especially "The Sheltering Sky."

My all time favorite writer, Rachel Ingalls, especially "The Pearl Killers," "Mrs. Calliban's Wife," and everything else she has ever written. Ingalls writes intensely psychological short stories where virtually everything is suggested, and very little is actually said. Brilliant.

Peter Hoeg, especially "Smilla's Sense of Snow," for an incredible female protagonist and lyrical writing and "The Woman and the Ape," a parable about the love affair between a hopeless alcoholic and an ape, and what it is that really makes us, or anything, human.

And, for a wonderful time, anything by Bill Bryson, who writes erudite and hilarious travel writing. Try to find "A Walk in the Woods," the true story of his hike of the Appalachian Trail, and "In a Sunburned Country," about his travels in Australia.

[> Re: Question from the bored work-drone -- Jon, 14:53:24 03/20/02 Wed

Moby Dick. I never would have plowed through it if it weren't for college. Thank god for college. Ditto for Ellison's Invisible Man. Ellison made me a subjectivist.

Dennis Johnson's short story collection - "Jesus' Son" - proves that realism doesn't have to be yoked to rationalism, that "the divine" (or something) can dwell in it, and that on the page hallucinated angels can be as real as a broken down Datsun. There's something Buffy-ish in that. And it's short and fun to read! Can't vouch for the movie.

Kevin Canty's short story collections - "A Stranger In This World" & "Honeymoon" - have lots of haunting images and turn some nice phrases to boot. His characters' struggles with their own moral lives bear some resemblance to the struggles of the SG (though his characters fail to make good choices more consistently).

Them's my 3 cents.

[> My favorite author...Neil Gaiman. I read all of his books in under a week! -- Rob, 16:06:25 03/20/02 Wed

[> Did someone say "reading recommendations?" -- Dyna, 16:33:55 03/20/02 Wed

Yay! Reading recommendations!

For sheer brilliance, blending elements of the magical and surreal with marvelous character studies and startling plot twists, the works of Julio Cortazar are a must-read. His short stories are outstanding, and now that I think about it, many of them weave in ideas and images that resonate with the Buffyverse. For a great single-volume introduction, I suggest the collection Blow-Up and Other Stories. Just off the top of my head, stories that might stimulate interesting reflection on Buffy include "Axolotl," "House Taken Over," "The Night Face Up," and--my personal favorite!--"Letter to a Young Lady in Paris," whose narrator is plagued by a problem right out of Anya's worst nightmares: He starts coughing up bunnies!

For artful character development and subtle comedy, Jane Austen. Most Janeites seem to like Pride and Prejudice or Emma best, but my favorite is Persuasion, a novel that explores the enduring nature of love and the wordless connection between lovers. My favorite moments between Buffy and Spike are the ones where they stop talking, stop thinking, and just act in unison, as if by instinct--moments like the fight scene in "Spiral," where they leap to each other's aid without hesitation, or in "Wrecked," when they're walking along bickering until Dawn's screams divert them and make them run to her. Since I loved Persuasion before I ever saw Buffy, I'll credit Jane for heightening my appreciation of this aspect of Buffy and Spike's relationship.

(On a side note, it's kind of fun to compare the proposal scene in Pride and Prejudice with the crypt scene in "Crush." I'm not sure which I'd rather hear from the object of my affection--"You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it!" or "The only chance you had with me was when I was unconscious!")

Some other favorites:

Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. (seconding Eric--it's wonderful and very Buffy-relevant)

The Holder of the World by Bharati Mukherjee -- A spellbinding novel set mainly in 17th- century India

"Aghwee the Sky Monster" (a short story) by Kenzaburo Oe -- A composer is haunted by a giant baby in the sky!

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro -- Heartbreaking and subtle

Many gothic selections, because Buffy illuminates the gothic tradition in all kinds of wonderful ways! A few particularly good ones:

"Carmilla," by J.S. LeFanu -- Lesbian vampires, creeped Bram Stoker out so much he wrote Dracula in response. Can't have women running around without men to lock them in at night!

Dracula by Bram Stoker -- If you thought you knew what an "unreliable narrator" sounded like beforeEveryone in this story is a vampire!

"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by R.L. Stevenson.

"Roger Malvin's Burial" by Nathaniel Hawthorne -- amazing!

"Bartleby: A Tale of Wall Street" by Herman Melville -- unresolved gay romance at its most gothic.

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley -- Mary Shelley was an angry woman. She especially hated the man on whom she based the character of Victor Frankenstein. Just in case you're wondering why he's not the most sympathetic character. (Buffy note: The Spike arc of last season, from OOMM through IWMTLY tracks remarkably well with the monster's tale of his time hiding out among the humans. Though in Buffy, the monster got his fabricated mate. In Frankenstein, he just gets screwed.)

"The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James

"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. What is this strange medical practice this woman's husband has, that he knows in advance when he's going to have an emergency?

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain -- The quintessential American gothic novel, disguised as a "boy book." Proving the gothic maxim: "The scariest place in the world is the home."

Er, will that tide us over until new episodes start? :)

[> [> Super Nifty Recommendations, Dyna. -- Ian, 19:26:14 03/20/02 Wed

[> Re: Question from the bored work-drone -- La Duquessa, 18:00:05 03/20/02 Wed

The Chronicles of Lymond, a series of six books by Dorothy Dunnett. The books can be a bit challenging to get into, because Dorothy Dunnett was a brilliant writer and basically figured that all her readers were brilliant too--but oh boy are they worth it. Francis Lymond has got be the most quixotic and fascinating fictional character ever. If you like Spike, you will love Lymond. Normally I hate historical fiction (being a historian has some draw backs and that is one) but I'll make an exception for Lymond. DD has another series, as well but it is not as good. Go straight for Lymond and don't start the series until you have a source for all six books lined up because you'll be popping them one after another, just like grapes. The most gutwrenching and painful books I have ever read, but oh so very very rewarding.

Game of Kings
Queen's Play
Disorderly Knights
Pawn in Frankincense (the best of the series)
The Ringed Castle

Anything by Dorothy L. Sayers, but particularly the books that that have Harriet Vane in them. Peter is wonderful on his own, but twice as wonderful with Harriet (and Bunter) by his side.

Someone else already recommended Moby Dick and I concur--it's better than you think it will be!

Oh, my other exception to historical fiction: The Flashman books by George MacDonald Fraser. Sir Harry Flashman, Professional Coward and Blackguard takes on most of the 19th century for Queen and Country. The first book (Flashman) finds Flashy in Afganistatan and it's rather horrible to think how little has changed in 150 years.

I could go on listing books and their authors forever, but those three are on my top ten list and well worth the read!

[> [> Yay! Another Dunnett fan -- Anne, 04:31:24 03/21/02 Thu

Agree with you completely on Dunnett, and Sayers for that matter. In fact, after watching Buffy for a couple of months (I only started on reruns in November), the thought occurred to me that James Marsters was absolutely born to play Frances Crawford. Unfortunately, it's completely impossible to dramatize the Lymond Chronicles, because you really need to be able to follow the politics and they're just too bloody complicated. Still, I'd love to see it...

[> [> [> Me too -- Rahael, 05:06:49 03/21/02 Thu

I've yet to get into Lymond, but I've embarked on Gemini, the final book in the Niccolo series.

I like her detective books as well, though they are difficult to find.

Sayers - I have a love hate relationship. Sometimes she makes me cringe, but what I can I say? I've reread everything many times. Though her translation of Divine Comedy is terrible, I think.

[> Re: Question from the bored work-drone -- TRM, 21:32:21 03/20/02 Wed

Forgive the seeming unoriginality, but:

The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger

I'm generally awful at recommendations, but let me throw out these following plays, just since they go in the line of the previous:

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard
En Attendant Godot, Eugene Ionesco

Certainly there are more out there for me, but these have dominated my list recently (I tend to have constantly changing lists).

There is obviously a common quietly introspective, searching-for-the-self, searching-for-purpose theme to all the books (which I sympathize to a great degree). While I've certainly enjoyed things spanning from Candide by Voltaire to I Know this Much is True by Wally Lamb, but nothing really hits me as a quiet work (though you can take the two previous as suggestions too). Tying this to Buffy and any of the characters is certainly no problem (though Buffy & Co. tend to take a more brash approach to it all too).

[> [> Re: Question from the bored work-drone **Sorry playwright mistake!** -- TRM, 21:37:08 03/20/02 Wed

Forgive me for momentarily switching my absurdist playwrights,

En Attendant Godot, Samuel Beckett

as for Ionesco, I've read Rhinoceros and Les Chaises, likewise introspective (but not all too quiet, as you could imagine the transformation of people into Rhinoceri being rather disruptive; the latter has a whole throng of characters, but they're relatively speechless) and good reads though I find him a little depressing at times.

[> [> s may be unoriginal too, but Id put a vote in for Salinger's short stories. My book's binding broke. -- yuri, 23:39:36 03/20/02 Wed

[> Re: Question from the bored work-drone -- Buffyboy, 00:46:03 03/21/02 Thu

How about Italo Calvino? Certainly not genre fiction, more in the tradition of Western European Modernism/Postmodernism, but he does use popular genres as a starting point to write incredibly imaginative fiction. A couple of examples:

Cosmicomics: Calvino uses comicbook-like character to tell a story of the history of the universe.

The Castle of Crossed Destinies: Here he uses Tarot Cards to a series of interlacing adventure/fantasy tales.

If on a winter,s night a traveler: Calvino employs many fiction genres (Adventure, Romance, Erotica, etc) as the Reader attempts to read the latest Calvino novel, (If on a winter,s night a traveler), though with each attempt, after reading a few pages, the Reader in interrupted. When he gets back to reading, the story and the genre have completely changed. A wonderful book

[> [> Re: Question from the bored work-drone -- Brian, 06:00:48 03/21/02 Thu

Book Recommendations:

Early novels of Kurt Vonnegut especially Cat,s Cradle & Mother Night

Novels of John Irving esp. World According to Garp & Prayer for Owen Meany

Dectective novels of Sue Grafton, JJ Jance, and Sara Paretski

Plays of Tom Stoppard esp. R & G are Dead & The Real Thing

[> Re: Question from the bored work-drone -- dream of the consortium, 06:08:12 03/21/02 Thu

Thanks, one and all! I'm headed to the bookstore - or maybe I should be kind on my wallet and head to the library. It's funny how many people mentioned authors who are among my favorites. That's true for not just the people you might expect to be very popular (like Jane Austen - and I am with you on Persuasion), but Italo Calvino and Dorothy Sayers, etc. Nothing better than to ask a group of people for recommendations and get back a mix of things I don't know and things I love! (Yikes, and Moby Dick. Maybe it's finally time....)
Thanks again.

New York AREA meeting -- Tillow, 10:35:44 03/20/02 Wed

Thread has been archived. What about if we met somewhere north of the city. I noticed it was hard for some people to make it all the way into the heart of Manhattan. What about somewhere in North Jersey. Bergen County area. Is that any better?

[> Re: New York AREA meeting...for all interested parties... -- Darby, 11:27:49 03/20/02 Wed

Works for me, as long as I can find it. Assume some city residents may need mass-transport access.

To do this, should we establish an e-mail network? It might be easier than hoping the threads stay up.

If you could potentially make it (and don't mind we other weirdos having your e-mail address), post a response with e-mail included and we'll put a list together. Does anyone want to act as coordinator? I could work the e-mail but I'm physically too far from the city to do much else, and it might be better for the venue-finder to handle the e-mail.

[> Re: New York AREA meeting -- Kimberly, 12:23:32 03/20/02 Wed

Works for me. I enjoyed the last one and would like a second. (And a third. And a fourth. And, you get the picture.)

[> Re: New York AREA meeting -- cjl, 12:47:55 03/20/02 Wed

Is this for regulars only, or an open invite?

If the latter, I'd like to join in.

[> [> Re: New York AREA meeting -- Darby, 13:55:11 03/20/02 Wed

I think it's open to anyone who would enjoy it...

[> Re: New York AREA meeting -- Sophie, 19:46:56 03/20/02 Wed

Put me on the list. I'm one of those car-free City people. :)

[> you guys suck. Where are my west coasters? -- yuri, 23:45:47 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> Re: you guys suck. Where are my west coasters? -- O'Cailleagh, 02:35:18 03/21/02 Thu

Yeah...and what about us British members? hehehe....

[> [> It's a loooooooong coast, my friend ;o) -- Wisewoman, 10:51:08 03/21/02 Thu

From Vancouver to LA--we'd have to meet in Oregon somewhere! Not impossible, I suppose...

[> [> [> To hell with Cancun, I want to spend spring break in Portland! -- yuri, 12:27:40 03/21/02 Thu

Yeah, big coast, I know, but I was just looking for non-New England solidarity because I don't know how many Californians/Bay Areans there are. And hey, anything's possible. My desire for brilliant conversation would be my wings.

[> [> [> [> Yuri--bay area posters -- Masq, 13:39:24 03/21/02 Thu

I'm sure there are others, but i know of these:

Masquerade (SF)
LiquidRam (San Jose)
Deeva (SF)
Anthony8 (SF)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: living in SF Bay Area -- fresne, 14:49:10 03/22/02 Fri

Count me as a Bay Arean. Alameda by the Bay.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Alright Yay area! Big up to frisco! San Jo! O town! Ally! Yeah okay I'm done. -- yuri, 14:56:12 03/22/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Someday we'll even have a party -- Masq, 17:10:01 03/22/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> NY isn't New England... -- dream of the consortium, 11:18:08 03/22/02 Fri

where are the Bostonians?

[> [> [> [> [> It's Yankee Land, d***it! -- Soph, 14:11:55 03/22/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> I was going to say that but I didn't want to be petty -- aurelia, 04:50:15 03/23/02 Sat

but since you mentioned it I feel a lot better.

Yay Boston!

[> Any meeting places near a metro north line??? -- Tillow, 06:08:39 03/21/02 Thu

I will take down the emails of all interested members for now, i guess (not so good at planning these things as you can tell). Have no fear! But we might as well keep this on the board for a while.

[> [> I'm interested -- Isabel, 06:36:19 03/21/02 Thu

[> [> I' m interested! -- Rob, 10:28:52 03/21/02 Thu

My e-mail is


[> [> [> Metro North? -- Sophie, 18:36:23 03/21/02 Thu

I thought NJ transit and PATH went to NJ...could be wrong. I usually take a NJ Transit bus out of Port Authority on 42 Street when I go visitin' my friend in Carlstadt, NJ.

I think NJ transit runs some trains, too. And of course, there's those sexy ferries to Jersey City, Hackensack, and Wheehawkin from the City.

[> [> [> [> routes to NY & NJ -- anom, 21:36:55 03/21/02 Thu

Yes, PATH & NJ Transit trains go to NJ from NYC. So do buses. Metro North runs the Hudson, Harlem, & New Haven lines to lower upstate NY & parts of Connecticut.

But I vote we take over one of the ferries & have the meet there! (Lemme guess, the trip is 10 minutes & you can't just keep riding back & forth.)

Anyway, in case it isn't clear yet, count me in! As long as it isn't on Shabbes, or Passover...or when my relatives are in town....

[> [> Re: Where's metro north line run??? + Update. -- Darby, 11:06:19 03/21/02 Thu

I'm too lazy to look it up.

So far we've got 5 posters with e-mails...

[> Options, options! And anyone else interested??? -- Tillow, 06:33:15 03/22/02 Fri

Ok, I figure the Hudson Metro North Line will be easiest for the New Yorkers. (it's most direct, no worries about path trains or anything)...

So, I am most familiar with Cold Spring and Poughkeepsie and I know both train stations have restaurants in walking distance. Poughkeepsie is a longer train ride. So say we plan this for like a saturday afternoon (2 hour train ride both ways) the fare would be roughly 14 round trip and the restaurant/bar is called river station and a meal there is typically around 15 bucks.

Cold Spring... cheaper fare, a bit of a shorter ride for the city folk. I'm not as familiar with the restaurants but they are called The Depot and Hudson's.

So, let me know how this sounds, gang!

anom, we are going to move this discussion to email eventually. If you don't want to post your email, mine is

[> [> i *told* you... -- anom, 15:04:05 03/22/02 Fri

...can't do Saturday daytime. Or Friday night (in fact I'm gonna have to log off any minute now...). Or any of those other times I mentioned above. How about a Sunday afternoon?
And closer/cheaper is better, whichever train line we use.

[> Masq! Can you save this thread for us please? :) -- Tillow, 06:36:46 03/22/02 Fri

[> [> Re: Masq! Can you save this thread for us please? :) -- Masq, 09:18:54 03/22/02 Fri

It won't disappear from the archives for at least a week, but I am doing my archiving of the board tomorrow and will have a copy to email to anyone who requests it.

Season Six Big Evil (spoilers through Normal Again) (Longish) -- Kimberly, 11:39:21 03/20/02 Wed

As most of those who read and post on this board know, each season has an overriding theme and a Big Bad that must be defeated. This season,s theme is known: "Oh, Grow Up!, but the Big Bad has been a source of debate. The general consensus has been that there is no Big Bad as such, but just the overcoming of that which holds the characters back from attaining adulthood. This consensus has been unsatisfying to me: Buffy has always dealt with the "big issues of good and evil, temptation and sacrifice, sin and redemption. To have a Big Bad so . . . ordinary seemed wrong, although a good case can be made for it.

While watching Dead Things, however, I saw what I believe to be the true Big Bad of the season; one that must be overcome before any of the characters can truly enter the stage of life we laughingly call adulthood. The Big Bad of this season is the evolution of evil. I noticed it first with the Troika at the end of Dead Things: when Andrew realized that they had literally gotten away with murder, his response was not guilt, but glee. Before he had been unwilling to do anything he perceived as truly evil (he obviously never equated "willing sex slave with "rape), but afterwards, he is willing to do whatever he must to meet his ends. If that means he must do evil, so be it. Jonathan,s response was the opposite; although he also had not equated "willing sex slave with "rape before Katerina charged them with it, once she had done so, he was sickened by it and he felt guilt when he realized they had gotten away with her murder. Warren had pretty obviously already crossed that bridge; in this episode he is in the position of tempter.

However, it isn,t just the Troika who are facing the evolution (or refusal) of their own evil; the Scoobies have also been fighting this same battle. Each of the seven Scoobies, central and not, have been facing their own battles with the possibility of evolving to evil or good. The final decisions that are made will mark their initiation into adulthood.

Tara seems to have made this journey first. In OMwF and TR, she is faced with Willow,s betrayal and mental rape. Instead of descending into anger or hatred, or allowing the abuse to continue, she takes the high road: she leaves, for love. We have seen little of the internal torment this must have caused after she left, but she has continued to be supportive of the other Scoobies.

Dawn has been the representation of adult responsibilities for Buffy through most of this season, rather than someone on the verge of adulthood. She is the same age now as Buffy was when she was called and she resembles Buffy at that age to a remarkable extent. Her stealing, a cry for attention, is also a potential slide into more dangerous activities, a potential we see in AtW. And her anger, if she cannot learn to control it, holds the potential for great evil. Unlike the other Scoobies, Dawn is at the beginning, rather than the climax, of this journey, but she is also taking it.

Anya has seemed the happiest of all the Scoobies through this season, but that happiness was based on a foundation that was shakier than she realized. When Xander backs out of their wedding, almost literally at the altar, she is opened to the evil she participated in for centuries and had finally renounced"the evil of vengeance. The fact that this is evil, rather than justice, is demonstrated by the fact that the final straw for Xander is the interference of one of her former victims.

Xander has grown up in a home in which the husband abuses the rest of the family, physically and emotionally. He has always believed that he would be able to reject and resist this potential within himself. Shown that it is still a possibility, even if the demonstration was faked, he is shaken and rejects the actions that could bring his fears to life. If Anya rejects him, and especially if she takes up being a vengeance demon again, I fear Xander has the potential for true violence, which may well spill over everything he holds dear.

I will admit that discussing the potential evolution of evil in the previous four characters is something of a stretch, although I do see them as possibilities. In the last three, however, we are seeing clear evidence of the attraction to evil, and the clear possibility that it will be accepted instead of rejected.

Spike, of course, starts out as evil"he,s a vampire. His journey this season is actually the reverse, an evolution towards good. It,s a journey in which he is being given little if any encouragement and yet he,s still trying. The question, of course, is how long he will continue to try when faced with the continuing righteous rejection of the Scoobies, especially Xander and Buffy. I have watched in shock this season as I have begun to cheer for Spike,s ultimate redemption. If he slips, however, the ramifications are likely to be horrifying to all.

Buffy has been having the most difficult time of all the characters in balancing the different parts of her life: wage earner, student, mother, slayer, friend, lover. I believe that, with the exception of student, if she gives up on any of these roles, she will lose her innate sense of morality and begin the slide to evil. Which would make an interesting, if very depressing Season Seven. And by lover, I don,t mean Spike,s (or anyone else,s) physical lover, but to open herself to the wonders, fears and possibility of rejection which love holds.

It is in Willow that we see most clearly this evolution to evil in the Scoobies. I have significant problems with the idea that magic, in and of itself, is addicting. I have no problems with the idea that Willow was using magic in an abusive manner and needs to find a way to use it appropriately. Spoilers aside, it is Willow who cares the least for the morality of any particular action and who is the one who cares most about the results. That attitude, if she cannot overcome it, will leave her the most vulnerable to the ultimate temptation"likely at her weakest moment.

I didn,t intend initially to blather on so long, but once I started typing, my fingers ran away with me. I,m always in awe by what the other posters on this board do with ideas; I,m interested to see where you will take it.

[> Re: Season Six Big Evil (spoilers through Normal Again) (Longish) -- Ian, 13:22:58 03/20/02 Wed

Wonderful post!

Your observations are quite astute, and I am in wholehearted agreement with most of them. The "evil" the Gang is confronting this season is clearly internal (the Nerds are in a similar boat, just farther downstream), but more than "Oh Grow Up," this season seems to be really about Choice, both the good and the bad. I heard a quote from the Dalai Lama a few months ago where he said something like, "There's no such thing as an evil person, just evil actions."

I can detract nothing from your post, but I can try to amplify a few points. (I'll try to keep this quasi- concise, but will probably fail.)

At the beginning of this past season I was a little pessimistic about how Buffy was evolving:

To me probably the greatest quality of the show is how consistent it is in following its mythology. But this season there is no obvious Big-Bad, and nothing like a clear victory--a major break from the shows previous structure. Bringing Buffy back to life (though of course it would be awful if she were dead), seemed like a cheat to me. The Slayer has always been fated to a life of violence, with the inevitable violent end. It seemed to me that the show would pull out the amazing pop-up Buffy and the requisite ta-da! "everything is back to normal" routine, but instead the show has taken the harder (and infinitely preferable) road. Each of the Scooby's has had to deal with the emotional repercussions of Buffy's death and return, and it has been handled with remarkable sensitivity.

Each of the players also has their very own conflict to work out, and the problems are internal. Buffy may be back, but she still has a long way to go before she's really alive and vital. At every turn in her life more problems arise that can't be staked or kicked into submission--the travails of a below subsistence level job, the unavailability of a way out (college), a sister who seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into a world of real emotional and behavioral problems, and a group of emotionally distant friends who are floundering in their own problems.

If you ask me, this is far more sinister and creepy than a cyborg or Valley Girl God because in life there is no such thing as a final victory in it or against it. Before, evil has always sought out the Gang, and the gang has always rallied against it. Now though, it is the Scooby's themselves who are seeking out the evil or weakness in their own natures. (The Nerds are participants rather than purveyors in this conflict, and other than the possible exception of Jonathon, are jumping in with both feet.)

Buffy's last words in "The Gift" were truly prophetic of this season; "The hardest thing in this world is living in it."

You're right on with Willow. It's still unclear to me if she's ever actually understood that her actions were wrong, or if she is mainly upset that her actions caught up to her. Two very different things. One definition of a true criminal is that they are not sorry for what they did, just sorry they were caught. It's ironic that Jonathon now has more in common with Willow's struggle than anyone else. Will either one be able to reject Power now that they've tasted it?

I think your comments about Xander are also really insightful. However, I'm a little puzzled with how Xander is evolving. The little clues and indications that Xander might be struggling with his sexual identity were not dropped after Willow came out. If anything, they've multiplied--Xander's incredible hostility to Spike and his "well-muscled" body, his inability to commit to Anya or form any kind of relationship with any male that we've seen (of course his family history could account for all of this), and a few other hints dropped this season. I've seen other postings about Xander and his sexual difficulties, but I'm curious to find out if others see this trend as continuing post-Willow and what it might mean for the future.

Woo-Hoo, I'm a Keeper!! - - Wisewoman, 13:53:58 03/20/02 Wed

I'm so excited...I just got confirmation from the Buffy Minor Keepers Network that I am officially the Keeper of Clem's Kittens!! (

Okay, I know this isn't such a big deal, philosophically speaking, but hey, at least I can guarantee there will be no "kitten fricassee" while I'm on the job. That should make Rufus happy, no?


[> Re: lol -- Dedalus, 13:56:26 03/20/02 Wed

[> Kitten Keeper......poor Clem will just have to find a new tasty snack...;) -- Rufus, 13:56:53 03/20/02 Wed

[> Wait a minute.......does that mean I'm the Keeper of Virtue?....:):):):) -- Rufus, 13:59:18 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> That depends on where you're keeping it ; ) -- Masq, 14:04:41 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> A little chatty kitten told me you were being spicy....I keep my virtue where you keep yours...;) -- Rufus, 14:24:13 03/20/02 Wed

[> If you really loved Clem, you wouldn't try to change him !!! :) -- Ete, 14:02:33 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> Perhaps a 12 step Kitten Avoidence Plan -- Brian, 14:21:55 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> Re: Ah, but you haven't heard my theory! -- WW, 14:24:51 03/20/02 Wed

I don't believe Clem eats kittens--he just lets the other poker players think that. When he wins, he finds the kittens a good home. Also, that's why he cheats! So he can save more kittens.


[> [> [> Is Spike in that conspiration ? -- Ete, 14:31:30 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> There is a Clem spoiler just for you on the Trollup Board -- Rufus, 14:36:21 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Thanks, Rufus--good news! ;o) -- WW, 16:24:19 03/20/02 Wed

[> I don't get it... -- GreatRewards, 14:25:43 03/20/02 Wed

I went to the keeper site. I read the rules. I still don't understand. What do I have to do to become something's keeper? Do I pick something from a list, or do I come up with the something on my own? Do I have to have a website and put something on that site in order to be a keeper? If I pick a song about Buffy, does it have to be a song that actually aired?

Confused is me.


[> [> Re: I don't get it... -- WW, 14:33:04 03/20/02 Wed

I'm new to this too, but you just have to come up with something that you'd like to be the keeper of, check to see if someone has already claimed it and, if not, e-mail the the person for that particular keeper list and ask to claim it.

It has to be something that has appeared/occurred on BtVS or AtS, and it can't be an actual character, or a part of their anatomy(!). However, you can adopt-a-monster (I've already sent in the paperwork for Clem, but haven't heard anything yet).

More information available here:

especially the link to "Archangel's Keeping Tips"

Go for it! lol

[> I'm sure your husband knew, you were a keeper long before this! -- Cactus Watcher, 15:55:25 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> Ooooh, that's so sweet! ;o) -- WW, 16:04:49 03/20/02 Wed

What a lovely thing to say CW. Now there are two things that have made my day!


Fans and interpretations -- Lakrids, 15:36:36 03/20/02 Wed

I have found it a very interesting and often quiet intelligent opinions and analyses of the show. But I feel that many is trying find a deeper meaning where non are, in my opinion, or trying to formulate theories too build around the contradiction there are on the show. I remember a story about a high school student in Denmark, who should make a written interpretation of famous novel ( in Denmark ). The writer was kind enough to agree to a interview, the teacher told the student he should ask the writer, what the tree in the schoolyard symbolized. The writer answered to that question that the tree did not mean anything, it was just some part of the scenery. When the student told this to teacher, the replied something like that this was not correct.

How many written amylases of restless ( a highly overrated episode for spoilers, but the pictures where pretty) where the cheese man gets interpreted, even if Joss said he did not mean anything.

I like this board, but sometimes it feels like intellectual masturbation. Nothing wrong with masturbation it is good clean fun

[> Analyzing "Buffy" is far more fun than masturbation, my friend...and a lot less messy. -- Rob, 15:45:31 03/20/02 Wed

And, for the record, I'm going to try to not take your post as an insult, which is quite hard, since "intellectual masturbation," "academic circle jerk," etc. are all, the last time I checked, insults.

Yes, sometimes we overanalyze "Buffy" too much, but there are very few shows that are so brilliant they lend themselves to such myriad forms of interpretation.


[> [> But he's right, sometimes a tree is just a tree -- Masq, 15:58:29 03/20/02 Wed

And trying to divine "Joss's reasons" for having Xander say "I'm just so restless!" in When She was Bad (Season 2, ep 1) in light of the episode called Restless (Season 4, ep 22) is either chasing after gremlins, or it's a unresolvable exercise in psychoanalyzing Joss' unintentional unconscious writing habits.

At what point does our fun, enjoyable and sociable speculation fall into the, "Oh, turn off the computer and go get a life already" category?

[> [> [> Re: But he's right, sometimes a tree is just a tree -- gds, 16:33:20 03/20/02 Wed

One of the hallmarks of great writing is that people can find so much there - even when it isn't, or at least wasn't intended.

I am reminded of Isaac Asimov. He wrote 2 of my favorite short stories. One of which is THE LAST QUESTION. He once attended some lecture and the lecturer was analyzing this story. Afterwards Asimov told him that the analysis was not correct. The lecturer told him that just because he had written it didn't mean he knew what it meant. This was probably why Asimov wrote the other story I will mention: THE IMORTAL BARD. In this story a physicist had invented a time machine and brought back Shakespeare, but he sent him back because Shakespeare felt so humiliated by flunking a class on Shakespeare.

[> [> [> [> Re: But he's right, sometimes a tree is just a tree -- CW, 16:42:43 03/20/02 Wed

On the same subject I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who was earnstly asked by a woman what a particular passage meant. His answer was "Once there were two of us who knew what that meant. Now God only knows."

[> [> [> [> [> Fire bad--tree pretty (wordy much) -- Zus, 22:08:13 03/20/02 Wed

I am a lit prof. and I face classrooms full of people at the beginning of each semester who are business majors, nursing majors, engineering majors, social work majors etc. If I'm lucky I will have some humanities people (maybe 2 or 3) in the class. 80% of my students can't understand why we don't just read the darn stories and poetry. Why do we have to ruin them by picking them apart. I hope, by a few weeks into the semester, that I have convinced them of how much fun it is to analyze these pieces of good literature from every minute angle. Every, EVERY, good writer crafts his or her piece with these details in mind. They make it all fit like a giant puzzle with foreshadowing, and symbolism, and dynamic and static characters and a theme. They put those things in there because it gives the story more depth, and because it is a kind of shorthand for the astute reader. Finally, they do it because we, as human beings, like to be able to go "aha" when we've figured something out and then go "wow" when they jerk the rug from under our feet. And authors often lie when asked about what something means, because if they were to tell us, we wouldn't bother to mine out all of the other wonderful stuff that he or she didn't really intend, but it sure sounds good and it sure makes the author's story even that much better. I've heard that the titles of papers published on Hamlet alone could fill a book the size of the New York City phone book. Most importantly to me, there must be some merit to this analyzing, or I'm out of a job. Of course, I guess I could meet with my class and read to them, and then we could have a test about what color was the wallpaper in "The Yellow Wallpaper," and then we could all go home.
I believe in a literary theory called Reader Response. This theory says that once the author has published the story, it no longer belongs to him or her; it belongs to the audience, and what the audience gets from it, (almost no matter what) it is valid in most cases. If that's what we get, the author can't go around and try to straighten out everybody's thinking. Of course, there are exeptions. The student who thought "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" was about a close encounter was just a little too out there for me, but then again...
My point is--the writer expects the careful reader to analyze and interpret. And doing so makes the reading of it more enjoyable to the nth degree. The same is true (at least for me) of Buffy and Angel. No other show invites me in as they do to produce a reader's (watcher's) response.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I wouldn't say every EVERY good writer. -- yuri, 23:54:52 03/20/02 Wed

I tend to believe that there are some very gifted folk who write with forshadowing, symbolism and metaphor naturally, and do not have to plan it out. In fact, I always thought "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" may be an example of that. You never know, of course, but I would argue that there must be some such talented people.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Fire bad--tree pretty (wordy much) -- Buffyboy, 01:07:40 03/21/02 Thu

I very much agree with your overall point. Criticism of any type of fiction requires interpretation and thus a history of changing/developing interpretations gets built-up over a period of time. The author's own interpretation is only one instance and is not always the best. Often it's not even very good. As a old professor of mine was fond of saying: "Trust the tale, not the teller."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> "People value what they steal, not what you give to them" - James Joyce -- Rahael, 02:45:36 03/21/02 Thu

I'm paraphrasing.

So he said when he was asked why he made his meaning so obscure.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The tale is the teller -- Masq, 09:02:57 03/21/02 Thu

If you've ever written original fiction, you know it comes from inside you. Even the things in the world you borrow because of what is inside you.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Fire bad--tree pretty (wordy much) -- DickS, 14:57:28 03/21/02 Thu

You know, you have a point. The author may not always be aware himself (herself) of all that has gone into his work. A good analogy would be classical composers. Beethoven preferred his Eroica symphony to his Fifth, and other composers have misjudged the power of their own music. But to get back to the point, there are probably many incidents in Shakespeare that were merely meant to move the story along, but they get analyzed to infinity. Fun though. Especially with Buffy. And I am glad to see readers of Isaac Asimov and Shakespeare frequent this board.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Fire bad--tree pretty (wordy much) -- leslie, 08:54:02 03/21/02 Thu

As an (unpublished) fiction writer, I can also say that I have written a lot of stuff that just seemed to be coming out of my head and I didn't really stop to think about why I chose this particular detail or veered in that particular direction, and then, going back and re-reading it, it was gruesomely obvious what I was writing about--usually something I really would not care to be discussing with strangers, but nonetheless, the underlying psychology that led me to write it is what gave the passage its power. That's the reason you write it as fiction rather than sitting down with a group of people and droning on and on about your unsatisfactory sex life....

[> [> [> [> [> [> The part that God wrote -- Vickie, 14:09:16 03/21/02 Thu

Andre Gide once said that he couldn't wait to publish his books. Because then all the critics would go to town and find all this stuff that he never deliberately put there (on top of all of the stuff that he did put there).

He called it the part that God wrote.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: But he's right, sometimes a tree is just a tree -- lindabarlow, 00:59:08 03/21/02 Thu

Love the GB Shaw quote. Having been both a lit professor and a published novelist, my view on this is that what writers say about their characters or their stories anywhere else except in the text of the work itself is beside the point and often misleading. It is interesting commentary, but not much else, even when it is sincere.

People have discovered things in my own books that I certainly never intended to put there. Things that I might even *disagree* is there. Doesn't mean it's not there, though. Creative work is inherently mysterious, springing not only from our conscious intentions, but from deeply unconscious sources as well.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: But he's right, sometimes a tree is just a tree -- ponygirl, 06:08:56 03/21/02 Thu

In a sense no work of art becomes complete until it is viewed by someone else. The act of interpretation is what engages us, the audience, in the process. At the same time too it is possible to create intertpretations that outweigh the actual work. Part of our responsibility as an informed audience is to be able to step back and say, "yes, it was very symbolic, but that show sucked." Of course then we can get into objective and subjective definitions of suckage, at which point it is our duty to solemnly intone, "but what is art, really?" and go get drunk.

[> [> [> You think that's over the top? -- Rob, 19:44:30 03/20/02 Wed

I tried to analyze one time why Joss had Buffy say to Willow, when they were going to break into Giles' office to steal the Watchers' Diaries, "Because it's wrong..." and later have Faith-in-Buffy's- body "Because it's wrong..." in the same tone of voice.

How about that for reading too much into it? lol :-)


[> [> [> [> I probably shouldn't ask... -- Darby, 20:11:59 03/20/02 Wed

...But you did pick up that it's a cliche from the Watergate Hearings / Nixon tapes, right? As a part of pop culture, it could show up multiple times without "meaning" anything.

Or is Buffy secretly Richard Milhouse Nixon?

Anyone with "Deep Throat" comments, keep them to yourself!

[> [> [> Re: But he's right, sometimes a tree is just a tree -- TRM, 21:06:43 03/20/02 Wed

it's a unresolvable exercise in psychoanalyzing Joss' unintentional unconscious writing habits

I think most of us have run into a question of over-analysis in some sort of literature class. But perhaps in defense of my over-analysis, I came up with a solution that is pretty much what Masq said above.

We tend to think of authors as being very calculated that they place metaphors into a work with intent: "Hawthorne chose the color scarlet since it represents passion." Yet, I think metaphors sometimes just happen -- they're unavoidable.

If I write a story about a loving couple and say one of them gives the other a watch. Then that character dies, and the other accidently breaks the watch and becomes overwrought, does it mean that my watch was suppsoed to represent the time that each man has on earth, that the breaking of the watch somehow symbolized the end of the passage of time for the other? I don't know, I just came up with that story spontaneously. Yet, certainly we can argue that the watch means something to the receiver, and certainly the destruction of such an object can conceivably be paralleled with the death of the character. Why a watch? Well, say I did further explanation of that character, the gift could have meaning -- not in a literary sense, but in a simple, "I'm giving a gift, it should mean something to the other person" sense. A very punctual character, perhaps -- then does the breaking of the watch symbolize some sort of fatalism, that death is scheduled?

And if such metaphors are unintended, are they no less valid? Without having put any calculated thought, things work out to be metaphors whether I did so subconsciously or because by association, things become metaphors.

Metaphors aside, we come to such questions as Joss and Campbell and Jung. In essence, and more atune to what Masq said, this is an exercise of (unresolvable) psychoanalysis. Whether or not the people of ME are aware of how to describe the development of their characters, they certainly have feelings and perceptions of who those characters are. Few would say, in the next episode Buffy will sporadically decide to fly to England and propose to Giles. Why? It doesn't make complete sense -- though in truth, the fact that I could conceive of such a situation means that there exists some basis for it... Electra complex anyone? Buffy will behave in some certain relatively (though I'm wary to use this word) predictable fashion. Perhaps more appropriately, there are a limited number of reactions that Buffy could believably make because the reactions that she can make should be somehow bound to some sort of reason. Which means, (1) using psychoanalysis on Buffy isn't wrong, because she behaves as a human being behaves and (2) using literary analysis on Buffy isn't wrong, because she behaves as a literary character behaves. The writers need not be able to describe her behavior in psychoanalytic or literary terms, only ensure that she behaves "reasonably." Likewise, I need not be able to describe my behavior in psychoanalytic terms, yet that makes psychoanalysis on myself no less relevant.

In fact, I wouldn't mind if you didn't buy any of the above arguments, because the last argument to me is the most convincing. It seems worthwhile to me to overanalyze. To tell you the truth, unlike many of this board, I don't know Campbell or Jung worth a sou, I didn't know about postmodernism and evolutionary theory (which I believe was discussed a few weeks ago -- though I have a befuddled mind), or details about religious history. Overanalysis, particularly in a multi-party forum, provides me with a foundation for gaining new insight. Thank you all!

[> Re: Fans and interpretations -- Ian, 15:55:49 03/20/02 Wed

While I respect your opinion, and have something of a guarded dislike for the deconstructionist mind set (where a cigar is NEVER just a cigar apparently), the writers of Buffy show an exceptional ability to address many levels simultaneously, a quality almost wholly absent in popular culture.

Occasionally too much may be read into the events or meaning of the show, but more often than not an intended connection is uncovered.

Buffy uses its own language (or at least its own syntax).

Music that adds to the meaning, and not merely to the mood of a scene, especially if you know about the artist or song.

A consistent use of color linked with the emotional states of the actors.

Riffing jazz-like on popular and educated culture. (Witticisms, anyone?)

And metaphors, both obvious and subtle.

This smacks of intelligent, witty, urbane, and profound content that is almost certainly not an accident.

[> [> i am sorry, if came out as an insult -- lakrids, 19:08:17 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> i am sorry, if came out as an insult -- lakrids, 19:11:20 03/20/02 Wed

[> You make me feel like I have done a bad thing....<g> -- Rufus, 19:13:56 03/20/02 Wed

If it's a tree, trust me, I'll tell you.....:):):)

[> [> And I'm sorry if mine sounded like a rebuke. -- Ian, 19:24:29 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> I thought it was funny myself...... -- Rufus, 19:42:39 03/20/02 Wed

Start posting stuff and join the fun...:):)

[> [> Well, you should only feel bad if it's good... -- Deeva, 21:06:23 03/20/02 Wed

then you know that you're doing it right.

But what if I don't want to know that it's a tree? Wait, would that be a sequoia or a bonsai? *g*

[> Re: Someone should invent some form of genuine intellectual masturbation ... -- Dedalus, 21:12:54 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> You mean that's not what we've been doing all along? -- a slightly confused Deeva, 21:16:12 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> Does it count as masturbation if we've been doing it together? -- Masq, 21:41:08 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> I guess it's been an intellectual orgy around here lately... -- Kitt, 22:33:58 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Actually that would be more like a *******sorry my virtuous nature doesn't allow me to say that...;) -- Rufus, 00:21:13 03/21/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Intellectual masturbation?.....well, this *is* the internet......... -- O'Cailleagh, 02:32:50 03/21/02 Thu

At least we're doing the intellectual kind.....

[> [> [> [> Re: Does it count as masturbation if we've been doing it together? -- Rob, 10:30:37 03/21/02 Thu

Thus the term "academic circle jerk." ;-)


[> [> [> [> [> Lol! Although I think I like "intellectual orgy" better--it's more interactive : ) -- Masq, 11:18:11 03/21/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> ROFLMAO! -- Rob, 14:27:00 03/21/02 Thu

[> Fans and interpretations part 2 -- Lakrids, 04:50:14 03/21/02 Thu

1: First I am sorry that some word was felt to be harsh. English is not my native language and the same words can have different context in different language. But it would probably have also insulted someone in if it were written in Danish.

2: What made me write that post, was some sentence in the book "Anvil of the stars of Greg Bear page 198.
"The worst thing that can happen to a prophet is not to be ignored and forgotten; it,s to have her cause taken up and chewed by the masses. Whatever she says, if it doesn,t fit, will be chewed a some more; some opportunist will come along and forge a contradiction, polish a rough edge of meaning, and then it will fit. People believe in everything, but the original words.

I think that the words more meant as a religious commentary, but I think also that it shows that a text meaning can mutate in to direction that writer newer thought off.

I have an ambivalent feeling for analysing text. I think it is important to understand the tool there are to dissect a text psychology, historic context, Marxist Leninist view. Because modern writer are very aware of these tools, and use and misuses them. But I have always considered the story, as the most important and I feel that analysing can sometime destroy the experience. When you read and the same time and analyse the text, will the analyse stand in the way (for me). For the reader to be immersed into the world that writer have created. In the same time analyses can give a reader new valuable insight into text, but it also take something away from the text/show. So the first time I read a text I try to read whiteout any filters (impossible I know), and the if I find the text interesting I will read again and with all the filters on.

I hope my ramblings give some meaning.

[> [> But it's doomed to happen -- Ete, 05:13:57 03/21/02 Thu

If you play the Prophet,you will be misinterpreted
If you tell a public tale, every one who hear it will make it his own
If you give your soul in your art, you can't take it back
You can't take it back

[> [> Re: Fans and interpretations part 2 -- Darby, 06:41:59 03/21/02 Thu

I think that anyone who hangs here for awhile and enjoys themselves is open to others' interpretations as an enhancement to the Buffy experience. I expect that, like people who avoid spoilers, there are people who avoid discussions of "deeper meanings," and they might be happier elsewhere.

What I like about this environment (unlike English and Literature classes I've taken) is the lack of the "this is absolutely, positively the only acceptable meaning of this scene!!!!!" attitude. I think we all like to see how scenes could be interpreted, and we're all free to disagree, either quietly or vocally. And politely, an element as important as any that keeps me here.

And these interpretations give us a fascinating window into each other's brains, a connection that is kind of special, over a subject that we rarely get to discuss elsewhere.

I want my ATP! (oBtVS)

[> [> Meanings -- Rahael, 06:51:10 03/21/02 Thu

I think there are two separate issues here.

First of all is historical anachronism, such as finding fault with early modern authors for not advocating democracy. As we have been discussing below, finding fault with certain authors for not being au fait with 20th century sensibilities re race or gender. Or there is the deliberate twisting of an author,s meaning to support causes he would not have approved of.

Then there,s the question of analysis, or overanalyses.

I think the first reaction I have is that the activity of reading is not in itself a neutral, simple exercise. How we read affects the meaning we derive. And of course, everyone will come away with different interpretations.

When literacy first started to spread, the activity of reading was quite different. For example, many simply listened to stories being read aloud. Or they could probably read a bit here and there, but the concept of starting from the beginning, going through to the end, and expecting to see a coherent argument was not there. We expect all this because that,s what we,ve been taught to expect.

The first text that was ever subject to close analysis, on a wide, public scale in Western Europe was of course, the vernacular bible from the 16thC onwards. Because it was the true word, of God, because Protestantism elevated the text, to a sacred level, this gave rise to overanalysis on a scale we would think ridiculous. Every verse was examined for meanings to do with contemporary events, both public and personal. There were meanings to be read not only in the Bible, but in events of all kinds, and the Bible provided the sacred key to unlocking the mysteries of our universe.

This of course led to hugely differing, multiple readings. The significance is not so much that they derived readings that the writers of the Bible intended them to read, but the electrifying effect this had on politics and culture.

So the idea that texts of all kinds could a) have hidden meanings b) could be relevant to ordinary lives is not new. In fact, you could argue that it has become engrained into our culture.

Personally, I think authorial intent is important. Even if it,s simply an impression I,ve received because I,ve studied his/her life, culture and work. For me, text is important, but it cannot stand divorced from its cultural surrounding. To do so would be to deprive it of rich meanings. I could never love Andrew Marvell as I do if I hadn,t studied the politics of the interregnum. I wouldn,t have realised that the Horation Ode is perhaps the finest poem about politics I have ever read. Knowing exactly what the state of the country was, as Cromwell waited to cross the rubicon, makes the ambiguity of his intent so sharp, as sharp as the blade that cuts King Charles, head. Some literary critics see it as a tribute to Charles, especially the line referring to his nobility and lack of meanness at the moment of his execution. The silent satire is of course that Charles had been ignoble, mean and unkingly right up until that point. Some readings are more verifiable, more credible than others the point is that other readers have the opportunity to choose between different interpretations. To say that text is protected, ring fenced, that only one interpretation is allowed is troubling to me. It,s like Hobbes in Leviathan giving the ruler of his republic the power to determine the meaning of all words. Hobbes understood the possibility of subversion there. Engraved in his wish was the backdrop of the civil war in England which in itself had roots back to the multiple interpretations of the Bible.

So, to return to Buffy. This board is a place of discussion, not a forum for determining absolute meanings. We argue, we debate, we sometimes disagree vehemently. But that,s just as it should be. If someone reads a meaning no one else does, they get called on it. Or asked to defend themselves. I think we are pretty rigorous here, actually. We push the parameters, because sometimes doing that will spark off an original idea. We come and do our thinking here because many of us, who love reading, thinking, watching and being critical cannot always find a space to do this at our workplace. I can definitely pin point the moment I started writing long posts here it,s when I gave up on my part time MA. I just couldn,t stop my brain, after it had been immersed in close analysis of documents and texts and writing long essays.

And as for reading, and overanalysing preventing pleasure the sign of a good author is someone who draws you into their mental world. I can remember how amazing reading A La Recherche du Temps Perdu was. It was as if I actually lived through Marcel,s experiences. I feel the effects I am meant to feel. Then, on my second reading, I pick up new things, and on the third, fourth and fifth. I don,t actually analyse anything until someone,s question sparks of a thought similarly, I don,t analyse Buffy as such until I actually start writing a reply to a thread. It,s the same when I read a historical text. I love the activity, the experience of reading, and its allure is that I jump into another world, another person,s mind, and I can do that effortlessly. I have to say, I never notice plot holes, books or Buffy. I am interested in how a good narrative structure works however. I do like to pick it apart. Great works of art multiply in power, meaning and richness. Only mediocre works of art look reduced because they are empty inside.

[> Re: Fans and interpretations -- Amperage, 08:25:03 03/21/02 Thu

There is a technique in Jungian psychology that you can use with someone who claims not to remember their dreams. You have the person close his/her eyes and relax, tell you what sights come to mind, where those sights lead. Not surprisingly, this is also one technique to conquer writer's block and begin writing.

I learned how dream interpretation works in a techniques class and for a while kept a journal; everyone in the class had to. Students came in with dreams that didn't make sense at all to them, but once every point was questioned, was discussed, the most amazing things popped up: fears and worries that the dreamer hadn't admited to herself. Wants that a man steadfastly denied himself. Flashbacks to things I refused to admit ever happened. If you had asked anyone in the class before we learned the technique of dream analysis if our dreams meant anything or if they were symbolic we'd have laughed at you. Afterwards, we were all left looking through our dream journals, realizing that without knowing it, we had revealed ourselves, that things we hid in the daytime weren't quite so hidden in the dark. Our dreams had their own, convoluted logic; we just had never known it before.

I later worked several months with a Jungian therapist and continued my dream journal and dream work, but I learned the most when I brought fictional pieces I'd written. I usually the only literary thing that's intentional in my stories are long running motifs, and with those, sometimes I couldn't say you why that motif pops up every few pages.

When we read what I'd written from a serious perspective and I dug up a couple of short essays written about some of the things I'd written, I was stunned: my work was filled with references and symbols, depths and layers I hadn't seen. All the literary interpretation was valid; I just hadn't seen it before.

The author may not consciously think why an action has to be completed in the basement and not the attic or why the main character always wears blue or why there are roses in the wallpaper. However, the author chooses those details and when asked, might say that he doesn't know why the main character can't pick daisies, but has to cut roses, but he knows it has to be that way. Careful analysis of the story might tell the reader why.

Are all the symbols and images intentional? No. In fact, I'd say that for some writers and artists, more than seventy five percent of the "complex literary BS" is unintentional. For others though, they realize when they put details into stories why they're doing it and may work to insert certain details into stories to reinforce or create symbolism.

Far from being nonsense, it's work at understanding the world from the side of the spirit and the soul.

[> [> Re: Fans and interpretations -- Elizabeth, 11:46:41 03/21/02 Thu

Sir Isaiah Berlin,in his essay "Historical Inevitability" said that when humans look for something in history:

"The notion that one can discover large patterns or regularities in the procession of historical events is naturally attractive to those who are impressed by the successes of the natural sciences in classifying, correlating, and above all predicting...But whatever version of the story is accepted-and it is never a scientific, that is, empirically testable theory, stated in quantitative terms, still less a description of what our eyes see and our ears hear-the moral of it is always one and the same: that we must learn to distinguish the 'real' course of things from the dreams and fancies and 'rationalizations' which we construct unconciously for our solace or amusement; for these may comfort us for a while, but will betray us cruelly in the end. There is,we are told, a nature of things and it has a pattern in time: 'things are what they are' said a sober English philosopher over two centuries ago 'and their consequences will be what they will be; why then should we seek to be deceived?' What, then, must we do to avoid deception? At the very least -if we cannot swallow the notion of super-personal 'spirits' or 'forces'- we must admit that all events occur in discoverable, uniform, unaltering patterns; for if some did not, how could we find the laws of such occurences? And without universal order- a system of true laws- how could history be 'intelligible' how could it 'make sense', 'have meaning'...Our values- what we think good and bad, important and trivial, right and wrong, noble and contemptible- all these are conditioned by the place we occupy in the pattern, on the moving stair. We praise and blame, worship and condemn whatever fits or does not fit the interests and needs and ideals that we seek to satisfy-the ends that (being made as we are) we cannot help pursuing-according to our lights, that is, our own preconception of our condition, our place in 'Nature'.

It is because of our own "lights" that we seek to anyalize all that we see and hear, whether it is history, or science, or even order to better understand ourselves and our places in history. When I watch Buffy, or read a book, or study politics in school, I attempt to relate everything to my try to understand myself better. I think that is one of the main purposes of life, and that it is in human nature to analyze most everything that we see or learn. Although it may seem extreme to some, I believe that the reason that I, and some many of you that post on this board spend so much time on Buffy is that it touches makes us think...and that is what I believe we are hear to do.

[> Authorial intent -- Sophist, 09:27:31 03/21/02 Thu

We had a thread on this topic a few weeks ago. I posted to it a millisecond before it got archived. Forgive me if I repeat something you may have read before.

The problem you raise is one of drawing appropriate boundaries. Ian and Rahael have raised 2 excellent and related points. Buffy is a character in the US today. She is embedded in our culture (especially in that of Southern California, where I live). It is not only possible, but likely, that the writers include references and symbols unconsciously; they may not even see them as such, but we can still recognize them. To do this is to do no more than to establish the cultural context of the show.

This was Rahael's point. A reader can't look at the text alone, or too much is lost. Authors write for readers. They expect that the readers will see references. If we don't examine the cultural context, we lose meaning rather than gain it. Rahael's example of Marvell is very apt, but the same point applies to Dryden (Absalom and Achitophel), Pope, Swift, Gay, and others. The context need not be political, as it was with these authors; it could be social as well.

All that having been said, it is dangerous (yes, dangerous) to depart too far from authorial intent. I can't agree with some of the more open-ended views expressed above. Here's an example:

A few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times reported a study in which college men were asked to look at pictures of women and then asked what the women were thinking. The men interpreted women's smiles as invitations to sex (or at least to an approach). Women shown the same pictures saw the smiles as, well, just smiles. The women smiling denied that they had any intent whatsoever to signal men.

There are even more obnoxious examples I could give, but I think the point is clear. There are limits.

[> [> Re: Authorial intent -- Ian, 13:19:20 03/21/02 Thu

I can't disagree with anything, but I think there is a third way at looking at intent and meaning.

The first two are covered--true intent on behalf on the author, and meaning that is implied and/or there to be found given a shared cultural background. But my (poorly worded) post was intended to address a third path to meaning. (It's probably far closer to a 2 1/2 path rather than a third, since it's more semantic than anything else.)
Since everything you will ever see, hear or read passes through the filter of your own experiences, it is inevitable (and I would argue appropriate and healthy) to find meaning in something that resonates with your own realizations, outlook or feelings. In my opinion, this board serves this third path more than any other (yes, it is REALLY close to cultural background, but not quite), with the serendipitous result of finding others that resonate with your own personal meaning.

If we, as individuals and then as a group, find meaning, especially such closely related meaning, in something that was not intended than in my book it has meaning. Maybe only for us, but why should that be insufficient?

This whole subject reminds me of a wonderful quote from Tolkien where he addressed the "meaning" of his Ring trilogy. He asserted that what many critics and readers identified as metaphorical in his work was in truth "applicability." A wonderful distinction.

[> [> [> Re: Authorial intent -- Sophist, 13:29:31 03/21/02 Thu

I agree within limits. And that was what I was trying to say. If meaning is purely an individual construct, then how do we respond to the offensive "she was asking for it"?

Finding shared meaning in a group goes a long way towards curbing this abuse. And best of all if the author himself is part of the group, whether in fact or in spirit.

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