March 2002 posts

Previous March 2002  

More March 2002

The wheel turns -- Brian, 20:58:21 03/21/02 Thu

As Riley states: Sometimes you're up; sometimes you're down.
Since I consider this board part of my extended family, I need to express my anger, my frustration, my joy, and my surprise. I got fired today. I remain bloody but unbowed, and in my head I hear those words of Xander, "What would Buffy do." I plan to take an extended vacation to rediscover America and perhaps myself. See you in five.

[> When a door closes .... -- Liq, 21:13:40 03/21/02 Thu

.... a window opens.

Best Wishes Brian! LJ

[> Re: The wheel turns -- Deeva, 21:30:46 03/21/02 Thu

"As Riley states: Sometimes you're up; sometimes you're down."

And it doesn't change who you are, Brian. Good Luck! And have fun rediscovering yourself and America.

[> [> That kitty poster said it best; "Hang in there!" -- Ian, 21:37:50 03/21/02 Thu

[> [> [> from the It's Just Me department -- pr10n, 22:50:35 03/21/02 Thu

I went to the "meet the posters" section looking for "That_Kitty" and couldn't find anyone by that nomde. Then I remembered staring up at my dentist's ceiling. Ah, memory.

Good luck, Brian. I was laid off in November and I'm still looking, but now I'm looking with some seriousness.

[> [> [> [> LOL -- WW, 07:11:18 03/22/02 Fri

[> Re: The wheel turns -- beekeepr, 00:11:14 03/22/02 Fri

-an employer who failed to appreciate you could scarcely have deserved you, anyway. safe and joyous journey.

[> Good luck, Brian! Obviously, you were meant for better things! -- Marie, 02:02:05 03/22/02 Fri

[> [> quite right. have an amazing, mind blowing, quiet, screaming, calm, ordinary, cheesy, crazy time. -- yuri, 15:14:26 03/22/02 Fri

[> Re: The wheel turns -- Rufus, 02:43:45 03/22/02 Fri

Well, this part of the family will be thinking good thoughts for you. A vacation sounds like a good idea....have an eventful trip.

[> Re: The wheel turns -- neaux, 04:36:27 03/22/02 Fri

Firings are usually blessings in disguise. I'm sure everything will work out for the best!

[> Just so your car is better than the one Xander had! ... ;-) -- OnM, 06:40:56 03/22/02 Fri

You know that you've been in your job too long when you hear that a friend got fired, and along with the genuine sympathy is this little twinge of envy.

Thought I'd drop this in-- the poem contains a line that I often quote, because it's so true, and ultimately so uplifting despite it's apparent surface sadness-- sorta like 'The Gift'.

From Canadian poet/songwriter Bruce Cockburn:

Pacing the Cage

Sunset is an angel weeping
Holding out a bloody sword
No matter how I squint I cannot
Make out what it's pointing toward
Sometimes you feel like you've lived too long
Days drip slowly on the page
You catch yourself
Pacing the cage

I've proven who I am so many times
The magnetic strip's worn thin
And each time I was someone else
And everyone was taken in
Powers chatter in high places
Stir up eddies in the dust of rage
Set me to pacing the cage

I never knew what you all wanted
So I gave you everything
All that I could pillage
All the spells that I could sing
It's as if the thing were written
In the constitution of the age
Sooner or later you'll wind up
Pacing the cage

Sometimes the best map will not guide you
You can't see what's round the bend
Sometimes the road leads through dark places
Sometimes the darkness is your friend
Today these eyes scan bleached-out land
For the coming of the outbound stage
Pacing the cage


We're always here for you, Brian. Best Wishes,



[> I hope your firing works as mine did -- Kimberly, 06:47:49 03/22/02 Fri

I got to leave a job (and industry) I hated and change to a job, career and industry I love. I no longer dread going to work in the morning (just getting out of bed.)

May this firing give you the joy that mine did.

[> Um, about that "See you in 5?" -- Wisewoman, 07:19:40 03/22/02 Fri

Days? Weeks? Months??!!

Along with OnM, I can't help but feel a touch of envy. What an adventure! But remember, your extended family is scattered all over North American (and other places) and there are Internet Cafes and public library computer terminals just about everywhere, so keep us updated on your journey, and maybe we can arrange some mini-meetings.

Take care, dear Brian, and enjoy yourself.


[> [> Take care, Brian -- CW, 08:02:10 03/22/02 Fri

As WW says, try to keep in touch!

[> [> [> PS. Write some more poetry! We enjoy it and it will do you good. -- CW, 08:05:24 03/22/02 Fri

[> [> I second all these thoughts, and hope to hear from you sooner than 5! -- Masq, 09:11:37 03/22/02 Fri

[> Re: Sorry Brian - take care of yourself -- Dedalus, 08:05:48 03/22/02 Fri

[> Re: The wheel turns -- Rahael, 09:53:38 03/22/02 Fri

I'm not surprised to hear your news. But still sad.

May you be very pleasantly surprised over the next months. And, like dubdub and others, I hope the five you mention is the hours and the minutes variety.

[> The wheel gets out of its rut... -- Ishkabibble, 10:01:34 03/22/02 Fri

Obviously you weren't planning an unpaid vacation, but life has a way of kicking us in the butt sometimes. While it may sting right now, down the road you will, hopefully, find it liberating. That's why some of us feel a little envious. The great thing is, YOU get to choose how it turns out...either as a fiasco or a fortunate turn of events.

The trip of discovery sounds interesting, but, if you decide to do something else, that's ok too. Be safe, be open to new experiences, be kind to yourself and to others.

Maybe you can post us on your whereabouts and let us live vicariously through your travel. So, keep in touch, won't you?

Fiction: Leashing the Beast -- Nos, 06:25:27 03/22/02 Fri

Someone told me it was alright to post fanfic here, if not, please delete this and I will never do it again...

Leashing the Beast
by Nos
Rating R
Summary: The Trio of Nerds discover what Spike's chip does and formulate a new plan to destroy the Slayer.
Pairings: B/S, X/A, W/T
Spoilers: Up to Dead Things

[> Great Start, Nos!! Keep Going!! -- truelove, 10:21:13 03/22/02 Fri

[> [> Thanks, always love feedbasck...:) -- Nos, 11:03:47 03/22/02 Fri

[> Please finish! -- Vickie, 11:20:52 03/22/02 Fri

You are making me a little nuts.

I loved the opening to chapter 3. I liked it all, but that opening made me laugh out loud.

Oh, and (at least for me) the mood songs don't work if I don't already know the song. So your concern in chat last evening was probably only for those readers who already know the music.

Another ABAward update (AKA Clemmies!!) -- neaux, 08:45:40 03/22/02 Fri

Ok.. remember the website here.

On an important note, While I'm still accepting categories until next Wednesday, I'm thinking we might want to limit the number of categories to 30? Right now I have 19 categories up which is good.. so everyone who hasnt submitted still can.

but I'm concerned about time constraints till the new episodes and allowing time in the forums for the nomination process for each category.. I'm thinking one category every 2 days maybe. I hope to have definate answers by next Wednesday..

Also, The way I have the site set up right now.. I'd like to have the nominations listed under each category in a way where The viewer can click to vote, and hit a submit button. Anyone know any javascript??? Can someone help me out.. I'm going to ask the webmaster at my work to help, but if you guys can help too.. (Liq eh??)

[> got scripts... -- Liq, 08:57:29 03/22/02 Fri

[> [> Re: got scripts... -- neaux, 09:14:19 03/22/02 Fri

I'm using Golive a (WYSWYG editor) I think I know how to set up the form.. I'll just use radio buttons for the nominees..

after looking at the Adobe Golive training videos ^_^ I think I just need a FORMSCRIPT? and to set the recipient field to my email address.

Is that correct?

[> Question from a category-hoarder -- Dyna, 09:33:26 03/22/02 Fri

I'm sure I'm not the only one with several category ideas who's waiting to see what the other suggestions are before making a final choice. (Or--uh, am I?) Anyway, I was wondering, would you be willing to post the list of updated categories as new ones come in? Or if you think you'll be updating the site often, I could plan to check there regularly. What do you think?

[> [> I'll try to update categories daily -- neaux, 10:50:23 03/22/02 Fri

Buffy Vs Lorelai -- Sloan, 10:11:58 03/22/02 Fri

I like both Buffy and Gilmore Girls but it airs at the same time even here! I managed to catch up with the Girls by reading transcripts from a well-known website. :-) Kidding, I don't want to go to war again! Anyway has some else the same problem? Which show do you like to watch first?

[> Re: Buffy Vs Lorelai - Watch Buffy, tape GG -- Dochawk, 11:03:04 03/22/02 Fri

[> Re: Buffy Vs Lorelai -- JennaGrace, 11:18:19 03/22/02 Fri

If I had a VCR at school, I would tape Buffy and watch GG. That way I could keep my tape of Buffy, and watch and analyze it forever and ever.

A Stuck-in-Reruns / Thinking of Brian Poll -- Darby, 10:27:10 03/22/02 Fri

Reading Brian's plight below and the responses reminded me how lucky I am that I'm doing something that I truly love, and made me curious.

We have a lot of articulate, educated people here, whom some might look at as "elite," able to do whatever they want. For those who are willing, I'd like to open the windows between our worlds a little wider.

How many of you are doing just what you want to? If you're not, why not?

To get us started, I'll report on poster-once-removed, my wife Sara. She enjoys what she does most of the time (she's a technology director for a museum, a computer person a love-hate job day-to-day), but tends to eventually find downsides outweigh upsides and has changed her job (all in the same basic industry, but there are lots of choices) several times. For her, it's a balance between being challenged and being respected - corporation programming is challenging but she's treated like a cog, while smaller-scale businesses like she's in now are good on a people basis but often don't know what to do with her. She often thinks that she's in the wrong industry altogether, but can't decide what to try (and there's the inertia factor, especially with a young son).

So how's your career? Anyone in a sharing mood?

[> Re: A Stuck-in-Reruns / Thinking of Brian Poll -- Vickie, 11:18:33 03/22/02 Fri

I love what I do. Most people wouldn't: I explain technology. Technical writer is the title, but mostly what it means is I get to play with cool new stuff and then explain it to people.

My employer is a great small company. I have fabulous colleagues (really smart, some would give people on this list a run for their money), a good and decent boss, and interesting work.

All is not the Garden of Eden. We're a technology firm, so things are difficult in the current economy. And we have the usual crazy deadlines and impossible task lists. But, apart from being independently wealthy, it's a good way to earn a paycheck.

[> [> I'm Pretty Much Doing What I'd Like Right Now, but I'm not out THERE yet... -- AngelVSAngelus, 14:25:24 03/22/02 Fri

And the THERE with a capital T and a copyright sign frightens the hell out of me. Right now I'm an art school college student, and its been oh so amazing. I mean, my friends that are still in high school always ask me if college is frightening, and to that I can only reply with a chuckle. Its not COLLEGE that frightens me, its the aftermath, that infamous REAL WORLD thing. *shivers*
What happens if I can't cut it as the artist I want to be? Or my writing fails? I think I've sort of resigned myself to the possibility of walking the streets of New York, a ragged, homeless portrait of failed dreams and lost hope. *shrugs* Might happen. I don't think any words I could type here could describe the anxiety that causes me daily... but at least I've got three years until I find out if it does happen or not...

[> [> [> Re: I'm Pretty Much Doing What I'd Like Right Now, but I'm not out THERE yet... -- Deeva, 14:58:40 03/22/02 Fri

I know how you feel. I was THERE. And the anxiety was overwhelming. To be an art student and have to rely on your vision and interpretation of things around you to get by in life is frightening. But then you learn that there is a place for your voice and that there are others that understand it or connect with it when they see it. I used to equate success with the material things but have learned that it's the stuff that you can't physically pin down that matter. The feeling you get when someone really sees your work . Indescribable. It will happen, just not exactly in the ways that we all think it will.

[> [> [> [> Thankyou, that puts me at significant ease -- AngelVSAngelus, 15:19:08 03/22/02 Fri

Its good to hear hopeful words from one who's been there, especially one who understands it from the artistic perspective. You've made my day brighter :)

[> [> [> [> Re: I'm Pretty Much Doing What I'd Like Right Now, but I'm not out THERE yet... -- leslie, 11:02:26 03/23/02 Sat

You also have to remember, if you're any kind of artist (visual, performing, writing, whatever), that is what you ARE, 24 hours a day, all your life. What pays the rent is something completely different. That's hard to hold on to when people keep asking you what you're doing working at Doublemeat Palace...

Which in a way gets back to the whole "normal life" question. Aside from the question of who the hell really wants a normal life, who the hell really *has* a "normal life"?

[> [> [> [> [> there's a button about that, plus: life vs. a living -- anom, 19:42:14 03/24/02 Sun

A button about this part, that is:

"Aside from the question of who the hell really wants a normal life, who the hell really *has* a 'normal life'?"

The button says: "There are no normal people, only people you don't know very well."

And for Brian, I'm sorry to hear you were fired, but I hope in the end it turns out to be a good thing, & you find something better. Sorry I didn't get in on your original thread. I was swamped again-- over-my-head-breathing-through-a-straw swamped--& then my computer became "unstable" & I couldn't use it for a few days. I'm still behind on several things, especially the ones that don't directly contribute to my making a living.

That's one of the drawbacks of what I do, or rather the way I do it, namely as a freelancer. My job moved away about 8 years ago & I really didn't want a 2-1/2-hour (each way) commute. So I took my severance pay & went freelance. That means finding work for myself & doing the billing & accounts- keeping (& no direct deposit!). It means sometimes I'm swamped & can't keep up w/email & reading this board, & other times I have long dry periods when I worry about paying the rent. But it also means I can set my own schedule (for example, take time in the middle of the day to meet vacationing posters from out of town!) & rates (well, within what the market will bear).

As for the work itself, that's a developing story. When I first started editing, I thought, "Great! I get paid to read, which I love to do, & I get to indulge my perfectionism!" And it was. I loved it, for years. I'd read for work, read books on my lunch hour & when I got home, & sometimes even take a book into the bathroom (yeah I'm nearsighted, how'dja guess?). But when I got older I couldn't do that. My eyes would get tired, & when I got home I couldn't stick with the reading I wanted to do. So the work I loved ended up keeping me from doing my own reading, which had been one of my great pleasures. On the other hand, I still enjoy the work most of the time, especially learning more about science & medicine. So it's a mixed bag. I'm trying to get more into music, & maybe get to a point where I can reach a balance, earning my living from both (just not so lopsidedly).

Whew. Way longer than I planned. But that last part brings it back around to what leslie said about if you're an artist, that's what you ARE. I AM a musician, even when I'm not getting paid for it. Even if I never make a living from it. I know because I practice singing when I'm walking down the street (that time I sang to get the stupid other song out of my head? someone walking nearby complimented my voice). I know because I asked my family for a crumhorn for my birthday. I know because I spent more time filksinging at Lunacon than anything else. I know because I wrote the best Y2K bug song you never heard (didn't know how to promote it--so much for my 15 minutes of fame). I'm also an editor, & I'm damn good at that. They're both parts of my personality, & they're both important to me. I wouldn't want to give up either of them.

[> [> [> Re: I'm Pretty Much Doing What I'd Like Right Now, but I'm not out THERE yet... -- Deeva, 15:25:05 03/22/02 Fri

I know how you feel. I was THERE. And the anxiety was overwhelming. To be an art student and have to rely on your vision and interpretation of things around you to get by in life is frightening. But then you learn that there is a place for your voice and that there are others that understand it or connect with it when they see it. I used to equate success with the material things but have learned that it's the stuff that you can't physically pin down that matter. The feeling you get when someone really sees your work . Indescribable. It will happen, just not exactly in the ways that we all think it will.

[> [> [> Re: I'm Pretty Much Doing What I'd Like Right Now, but I'm not out THERE yet... -- celticross, 16:04:13 03/23/02 Sat

I know exactly what you're talking about, AvA, and I'm even closer than you to having to enter the real world. I'll graduate with my B.A. in history in 2 months, and I have no idea what happens next. Hopefully, I'll be attending grad school, but I don't know if I've been accepted yet, and if I don't, what then? It's a scary way to have things.

[> [> [> [> Re: I'm Pretty Much Doing What I'd Like Right Now, but I'm not out THERE yet... -- Rattletrap, 06:12:10 03/24/02 Sun

I'm kind of in that boat, celticcross. I'm about a year away from graduating with my Ph.D. in history -- I would highly recommend graduate school, but it only forestalls the inevitable entry into the real world, and the academic history job market is incredibly bleak right now. That said, I love what I'm doing despite the poor wages, and I feel certain that teaching is where I belong.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Small piece of job-seeking advice... -- Darby, 08:58:40 03/24/02 Sun

I picked this up too late to help me (that's good news, I'm working anyway), but it might help you...

If you're looking toward a teaching career, get the word out for your last year that you'd like to observe interviews for faculty positions, even ones in other departments. If the History Department has an opening, see if you can fully participate - look at resumes, attend meetings, sit in on the interviews and follow-ups. It will really help prepare you for doing it yourself from the other side, and you'd be amazed how important the interview is if you've gotten your foot in the door. After the initial paperwork gets you in the door, it's the make-or-break step, for sure.

It can't hurt, either, to poll faculty from search committees and ask what THEY think strengthens a resume. For me, in more-or-less order, it's an impressive cover letter, actual teaching experience (TA-ing is considered almost as valuable as any other type, if you have it or can get it), then appropriate training (we go over transcripts very closely to fill a position with specific class requirements).

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Small piece of job-seeking advice... -- celticross, 10:13:54 03/24/02 Sun

Thanks, 'Trap and Darby, but I am very much NOT interested in the academic world. I know I don't want to teach (as I don't think I would be a good teacher), so I'll be going to grad school in Public History. Slightly different field, and no need to publish every 5 minutes. :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, then... -- Darby, 10:32:43 03/24/02 Sun

Since you're already applied an' all, this probably won't matter, but grad school can be fun AND fulfilling if you go looking for a mentor ahead of time - decide what specific area of study you're interested in (or an area where you can support yourself, as in government grants or non-teaching research), find someone doing that work, and contact them - e-mail, mail, phone, personally, whatever you can do. If they know that you are specifically interested in working with them, they will often move Heaven and Earth to get you into the program. And you will probably have a much more satisfying grad school experience. And be that much closer to a career you can enjoy.

From the "if I knew then what I know now..." file.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Small piece of job-seeking advice... -- Rattletrap, 14:08:21 03/24/02 Sun

Our department actively solicts grad student participation in the hiring process. We usually attend the job talks, and while we don't have a formal vote or anything, the chair usually gets an informal straw poll for our input. Needless to say, this has been quite helpful in planning my own approach to the interview process.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Small piece of job-seeking advice... -- leslie, 18:09:51 03/24/02 Sun

Also, ask your dissertation director if he/she would put you through a dress-rehearsal job interview, asking the kinds of questions you'd be asked at a conference interview and an campus interview, and give you feedback on your responses. REALLY helps.

[> [> [> Re: I'm Pretty Much Doing What I'd Like Right Now, but I'm not out THERE yet... -- Amkath, 18:25:29 03/23/02 Sat

Wow, I am so with you! I graduate in May with an Associates Degree in Graphic Design. I am terrified of facing THE REAL WORLD! It's not the work I am afraid of, so far I have loved the challenges presented by the field. I am happpy that I can be creative, I enjoy solving problems, and I just love playing around with the computer software (you mean someone will pay me to play with this? - how cool is that?!)

So what am I afraid of? I am in the process of putting my portfolio together right now, and I keep wondering if I am good enough, talented enough, creative enough to really be in this field.

I am even more worried about THE RESUME and THE JOB INTERVIEW. I have wandered aimlessly from one job to the next, with no real direction. It has taken me soooo long to figure out what I want to be "when I grow up" that I feel foolish. (I will be 34 when I graduate.) I am afraid that employers are going to take one look at my random and spotty job history and roll on the floor laughing. How do I convince them to take a chance on me?

May is coming way too soon!

[> Re: A Stuck-in-Reruns / Thinking of Brian Poll -- neaux, 11:33:58 03/22/02 Fri

I enjoy what I do. I love graphic design. I am a graphic designer. Am I designing what I want? Not really. but there is good and bad to that.

I am more of a layout artist and image editor at work, with a few library skills involved. I play in photoshop and quark all day long. Illustrator and Golive. Lots of great software. Its really fun.

The downside: I have been working for a Drug wholesale company for 5 years and can get tired of clipping paths to Maalox bottles and Depends Undergarment bags.

The upside: Working for a Drug wholesale company means I get paid better than graphic design firms, have kickass benefits and live in a more stable environment.

besides, in one year I will be fully vested in my 401K. Woo Hoo baby! It pays to get in early!

[> Sharing mood - yes! -- dream of the consortium, 11:41:48 03/22/02 Fri

Looking for career advice anywhere I can get it.

A little history - I was an English major. I've done everything imaginable for work. I temped for a few years, so I worked in data entry/reception/proofreader/administration/secretary/personal assistant in advertising/real estate management/architecture/engineering/lawyer's office/banks/non- profits, etc. One guy who just had a lot of money hired me to be his fourth personal assistant. I was in charge of ordering the flowers every morning to be delviered to whoever he wanted to impress that day.

Desperate for something else, I went back to school to be a pastry chef. Did that for a couple years, but not enough intellectual stimulation and the hours and pay are atrocious.

So I ended up (long story) leaving that to become a mutual fund trader. I hated that more than anything else.

Now I'm a secretary again, at a university. I get to do some research, because I have lots of time and very little work. Basically, though, I am doing what I did right out of college, a decade later. I am working very hard at developing my artistic skills, taking classes and going to open studio sessions, etc. I don't want to take another job that will drain me physically like the pastry thing did, or emotionally like mutual funds did, because I want to have the energy at the end of the day to work on art. I also like my boss and coworkers and the fabulous benefits offered by the university. So I don't really want to leave except...
Except that I feel like I am wasting my life spending 6-7 hours daily browsing online, filling up time. Learning about art is the center of my life right now, and it makes me terribly happy, but I can't live off it. I get frustrated, because I want to get better faster, but I am limited by the amount of time I can give it while working full time. Of course, I can not afford to give up work entirely to study - even though I live pretty simply, and don't need a huge income, I do need SOME income. (I should add that I came to art as a participant in only the last few years, so I have a lot of catch-up work to do.)

I have to admit, a lot of my problem is an ego thing. I am watching my friend progess in their professions. The majority have work they love, even if they sometimes don't like a particular job situation. I have a degree from a good university, and I'm doing a job I could have done straight out of high school, and I know it sounds elitist, but it bothers me. Just to give a little Buffy connection - I have found this year's employment crisis terribly close to home. It's not that Buffy doesn't want to work - she has a job that requires her focus and attention, it just doesn't pay anything. So a paying job is needed, one that won't take too much out of her. But "easy" jobs that aren't stimulating can be as draining, in their way, as "difficult" jobs.

Any advice from anyone? I don't have children, nor do I intend to, so I am free from that obligation.

[> [> Re: Sharing mood - yes! -- Darby, 12:07:17 03/22/02 Fri

Sara was an English (and theatre!) major, but ran into the same problem you did - there's not a helluva lot that you can do with it. She was lucky enough to get into the computer industry when what you could do was more important than the paper certificates you could attach to a resume. I was an art minor, and I have friends in the field - it's tough...

Could you be interested in teaching? It seems to be one of the few art-related areas that pays okay and keeps you in the field. Getting an advanced degree is easier (and often cheaper) if you're actually working at a university, and if there are lower-level institutions around (or teaching assistant jobs available), you might be able to find out if teaching is for you - even adult extension or classes at the "Y" are possibilities. I teach at a community college (great), but I've taught high school (fun but taxing) and middle school (a good experience but not something I'd care to repeat) and at university (too political) as well - you really need to enjoy the interaction and be able to not let the frustrations get to you to do it happily. I've seen people at all levels who don't seem to be enjoying themselves...

It's also easier to advance your education if your job isn't that mentally taxing, so that can be a good thing.

Other than that, there are many more museum positions in the world than people realize - could being a curator or a restorer, or even an educator there appeal to you? The downside there is that the career often requires a lot of relocating.

You actually have one of the great resources for deciding this sort of thing available to you - go ask the people in your Art Department. They're bound to have more ideas than I have, and my experience is that they will mostly be very receptive to sharing what they know.

Quick story - I just had a visit from an ex-student who went off to Idaho. He's a horrible test taker but incredibly motivated to become a wildlife biologist, and this is how he gets by:

He needed to improve his current mark with a paper and presentation on human evolution, so he went and talked to the Head of the Anthropology Department to get help. Now he has a bound thesis and an expert for reference and a promise of the Department's skull replicas for his presentation.

You never know until you ask...

[> [> Re: Sharing mood - yes! -- Lyonors, 12:08:28 03/22/02 Fri

Well....I am happy with my job, in fact absoloutly love it. (Dream of the Consortium - you might want to take notice of what I do, and what my degree is in :o) it might help!) I will be graduating in may with an Arts Administration degree. What the heck is that? Well, essentially it is a business management degree tied up with a degree in the arts (could be music, could be dance, could be theater...etc). Fabulously marketable degree, let me tell you! Few people over the age of 24 have this as a degree, its relatively new to a field that has traditionaly been the castoffs of the performance field. (Injured dancers & musicians, bad get the picture) The only thing I am implying with that is, most people aren't "naturally" managers...I'm sure everybody has worked for somebody like that! :o) Well, back to my job, I work for a fairly major ballet company as an the Assistant Costumier. Could it be more awesome to get paid to have fun? :o) I dye fabric, I make headpieces, I sew beautiful costumes, I am in charge of all their shoes...comeon....its awesome! I feel extremely lucky to have found this job before I even graduated! (DotC-Arts Management or Arts Administration may be up your alley!)

Whew...sorry I spewed, but I love what I do!


[> [> My heart goes out to you -- Kimberly, 12:09:00 03/22/02 Fri

And Brian, and everyone else who is struggling with the "I have to work to live, but when do I get to live?" issue. It's one I relate to almost painfully.

I'm on my third career out of college. The first one was emotionally rewarding, but very draining. The second one was just awful. The two together ate up eleven years of my life. I finally figured out what I would be good at, got myself retrained, and made the switch. About a year before I was done with the retraining, I was fired. After patching up my ego, it was for the best; it cut the remaining schooling time to about seven months.

I'm now a computer programmer in a Fortune 1000 company. Life's not perfect, but I no longer dread going to work in the morning.

The only thing I'm really saying with this is to figure out what you'd be happy doing, figure out how to make it happen and do it. You're not alone out there; I think it's crazy for a kid at eighteen (or even 22) to have any idea what they'll want to do with their lives. Many people I know have switched careers at least once.

Good luck, and you have my sincerest wishes for your future.

[> [> [> The Craziness of an Eighteen Year Old Kid Knowing What They Want to Do.... -- AngelVSAngelus, 14:49:02 03/22/02 Fri

Yeah, that kid is me, and it IS crazy. I spend probably 85% of my waking hours frantically doing everything that I can to continue to improve my art and pondering what that means and what art means and what I express and how I express and my place in the world and and and and.... Yeah, I'm one zany guy. On the up side, though, it does keep me focused in school. I finish philosophy papers three weeks in advance so I can go work in studio some more. People, my parent (mom. Who cares about dad?), my friends, they always say, "what are you doing, with all that worry? You've got all the time in the world! You've got your whole life ahead of you!"
Yeah, and its ending one minute at a time.
This started as a post that was to illustrate the existence of exceptions to the rule, and pretty much turned into an affirmation of my psychosis. Sorry, heh

[> [> I'm feeling ya -- bienbizare, 14:05:30 03/22/02 Fri

I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in May with a degree in International Studies and French. I looked for work for about 6 months, then I just gave up and went to a temp agency. The next day I was at a health insurance office, and now I've been here for four months. It's mind-numbing, boring, pointless data entry, stuffing envelopes, and so I'm thinking... "I went to college for this?" I send out resume after resume with lovely little cover letters that I'm sure people just throw out when they receive them.

The bright side for me is that I'm just starting out, so I can understand that this is generally how it works, but still, it's painful.

And yes, I have very much empathized with Buffy's work problems. I think she should be a temp though, she'd get better money and wouldn't smell of the Doublemeat. Plus, we'd get to see her do exciting things like make copies and stuff envelopes.

[> [> [> Plus temping could offer Buffy... -- Jon, 14:35:02 03/22/02 Fri many interesting & diverse plotlines just like it does it real life!

[> [> [> Have you seen "Clockwatchers" or "Haiku Tunnel"? -- A8, 22:55:42 03/23/02 Sat

Highly recommended for anyone who has ever temped.

[> [> Re: Sharing mood - yes! -- ponygirl, 14:37:00 03/22/02 Fri

dream, you are lucky in that you have found something that you love to do. The only problem is getting paid to do it. I understand completely what you're going through, I've been through it myself so so many times. I've worked in any number of media/arts jobs which are usually physically and emotionally draining, or incredibly dull-- usually both. I, in the typical fashion, really want to write and during my most recent period of protracted unemployment, which I like to call "freelancing", I realized how much I loved staying home and writing. It was great to have all that time to myself. Except of course for the glaring lack of money. And that was a huge source of stress. So now I have a job, and am very happy to have it, but am trying desperately to make sure I write when I get a chance. It's hard, but I think I would go crazy pretty quickly if I didn't have something other than my 9-6 existence.

Most of the people I know who are in the arts and happy with it have found ways to carve out a niche for themselves either in admin or teaching. Otherwise they have their low-key jobs but don't identify themselves with them - they are painters, actors, writers, no matter how they actually pay the bills. It's a very hard thing to do because so much of our identities in this culture are tied in with what we do. Just don't think that you're wasting your life. If you keep learning, if you have goals, if you write your cool posts, then that's a pretty good life right there. As long as you keep pursuing what you love eventually you'll find a way. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

[> [> Museums and Lifepathways and Sharing Type Stuff -- La Duquessa, 16:58:11 03/22/02 Fri

I feel your pain, Dream, I've been the same route--changing jobs, temping, brain-death, investing in retraining, blah blah, majorly huge university bills for big fat degrees that don't mean squat. I can tell you one thing: the museum field is not the place to go if you want to make enough to live on. I'm a curator of education at a state run museum and I don't get paid beans and am currently being threatened with lay-offs. Most government run museums are poorly paid and even more poorly benefited (boy was that Buffyspeaky!)...private museums are often not much better, plus it is real hard to crack into without a related degree. It sounds all nice and sexy, working at a museum, but I think it's only something to make a career out of if you have a partner with a real income to pick up the slack.

I've been thinking about the teaching thang myself, although I have to admit that my dream has been to be a writer...and I finally have a major publisher nibbling pretty hard on my little opus, so maybe things will work out there! Eventually that is...But teaching does come with summers off...and a long Xmas.

My aunt is a hospice nurse and she swears that that is the way to go--into nursing. Major unions, big bucks, write you own hours, etc. Does taking care of folks appeal to you at all? Might be a thought.

And I feel for you too, AngelvsAngelus. Don't let yourself get derailed. I was that 18 year old once and I let myself get swept away from my one true Will, and bitterly regret it now. If you think time is flying now, wait until you are over the rubicon of'll feel like things are moving faster than the speed of light. Stick to your Will, and your Will will stick to you.

Not really advice, just musings, and sharing my stake in the personal pain of making ends meet.

ps. Back up plan: buy lotto tickets!

[> Re: A Stuck-in-Reruns / Thinking of Brian Poll -- Lilac, 12:23:25 03/22/02 Fri

I started out with a Humanities degree, concentration in English Lit, worked at a couple of nothing jobs in business, got an MBA in marketing, worked for a couple of giant companies, but kept losing my jobs because of mergers and sales. When I was offered a choice of moving or losing my last corporate job, I chose to stay near my friends, family, and my son's two grandmothers. I did contract work for 10 years for my former employer, many years for very good money, recently for pocket change. Over the years I taught myself a lot about computers. Started teaching computer science part time at a local university on an in from a neighbor in '95, switched to the closer, better run community college in my area three years ago. Part time teaching is not going to get my kid through college, and my husband and I could stand to get medical insurance on someone else's dime for a change, so I am getting ready to look for a "real" job now. (My husband is a self employed contractor). Personally, I was amazed to find that since I had a master's degree, I was able to get college level teaching jobs even though my degree is not in the discipline I teach.

I guess I mention all of this because I think that, for many people, careers are no where near as linear as they used to be. Employers no longer feel obligated to provide jobs for their employees, no matter how many years of service they have given the company. So many people will have a couple, or several, or many job changes along the way. So having to change paths, while a pain to go through, is not really that big a deal anymore.

[> [> Also... -- Lilac, 12:38:35 03/22/02 Fri

I think that the way to stay sane in life is to do the best thing you can find for paying work, but judge your life based on the things that you do outside of work. If you are someone who is lucky enough to have a paying job that meets all of your intellectual, financial, and emotional needs, you are extraordinarily fortunate. Most of us only get some of those needs met by our jobs, so it is important to make sure that you develop other things in your life that mean something to you. I am an artist in my free time -- not good enough to support myself at it, which is not easy in any case, but it doesn't matter because my art is very gratifying to me.

[> Share? Well, since it's you guys, ok! -- Deeva, 12:45:26 03/22/02 Fri

I know that I don't post very profound things on this board. I'm often too slow in getting my thoughts down, then I see that someone else has already voiced pretty much what I was thinking only perhaps much more eloquently than I could.

I am doing what I want to do but it's not what I thought I would be doing.

I'm a production coordinator for an in-house advertising agency. I've always been a very well- organized, good under pressure type person. So it's not something that I studied to become but you know it's good for now. I've got a Bachelor in Fine Arts for Illustration/Animation. Thought I would go the animation route but in watching & talking to all my friends I decided that it was not for me. Freelancing is too unstable in this market. I design my own stationary and greeting cards and am finding a small demand for them. (I was very amazed to find the interest was there.) I just recently moved into a larger apartment that would allow me to pick up oil painting again and I'm very excited by it. Got a lot of ideas doodled here and there.

I have my moments when I feel like I've wasted my degree by not getting some job in a BIG name studio or where ever. But I still keep in touch with my college friends and they make me realize that all is not as it seems. In their eyes I am successful. Go figure. I thought I would be an illustrator or something and now I just want to do what makes me happy. And right now what I do allows me to do what makes me happy.

[> it sucks! -- vampire hunter D, 12:50:51 03/22/02 Fri

I do backbreaking work day after day on machines that don'twant to work. I screw up all hte time. ANd I don' get paid anywhere near enought to make it worth it.

ANd I'm stuck there. ANd it's all my fault. I failed college, can't afford to go back, and can't even decide what degree to go for when I do.

So, anybody surprised I'm sdo depressed?

[> [> Don't despair VHD -- Lilac, 14:09:04 03/22/02 Fri

You're very young yet. You may have messed up on college once, but you can always go back, if not today then in a while. Lots of people don't figure out what they want to do in their early 20's. Where you are now doesn't have to be where you are in 5 years. Just don't give up.

[> [> Re: it sucks, in spades!! -- Vegeta, 14:26:11 03/22/02 Fri

I hear ya, VHD.
I am among the many young americans who grew up with no particular aspirations or dreams. When I graduated from high school 10 years ago, I had no idea "what I wanted to be when I grew up". I still to this day don't.
I went to Technical College anyways and after changing my program several times settled on Electromechanical Technician. After seven years of night school (I worked 40+ hours a week, you know to get by) I graduated with a Associate Degree and a 3.5 GPA. But, sometime in the last year of the program I realized I didn't have any real interest in the field. I finished it anyways, but only half-assed persued employment.
Therefore, I am currently employed at the same place I worked at during school. I am an IT Representative for a ticketing company everyone loves to hate (you know the one). Their pay is ridiculously low, the hours suck, there is no upward mobility, and like VHD, it's all my fault.
I could change jobs, go to school, do something... but I really don't have any idea what I want to do. Sometimes, I wish I'd get fired from this job, maybe I'd be more motivated to suceed or something... Oh, well...

[> [> Re: it sucks! -- Eric, 16:25:13 03/22/02 Fri

OK so your job sucks. College was nice but didn't help. (Yup, been THERE, done THAT.) Joseph Campbell once said "follow your bliss". So find WHAT your bliss is with the all the urgency you can muster. But realize that there may not be a profession or job that follows it exactly - you'll have to change course or bliss again and again.
Good luck!

[> [> [> Re: it sucks! -- La Duquessa, 17:04:03 03/22/02 Fri

Ok--it's probably not PC, and I might get hammered for saying so, but I'll stick my lily white neck out anyway: think about joining the Service, D...putting political stuff aside (please!), it's not a bad way to go for those who need some $$, want some training, and aren't sure what to focus on. Different branches have different specialities, and some, like the Coast Guard, don't necessarily involve combat. You can get some bucks, get some experience, get $$ for college and decide where to go from there. Joining the service is not a popular way to go these days, but I've known lots of people who it worked for, gave them experience and breathing room, and best of all: a feeling that there was a way out. If I was younger, I'd think about it myself...but alas, it was a good idea that came too late for me.

Hope I didn't just incite anything...

: >

[> [> [> [> However... -- Eric, 07:32:57 03/23/02 Sat

The bennies are still there in quantity and value. And it can be a quite satisfying job or career. But be aware the service today requires real sacrifices and potential risk. Plus its grossly undermanned in comparison to the Cold War. And unlike the Cold War, the amount of missions have exploded. So the OPTEMPO (soldier talk for work load) is very high. Soldiers in the U.S. Army are proud to serve, but less of them consider it viable as a permanent career. Canadian soldiers are even worse off because their government pretends they have no need for a powerful force, yet send them off continually.

[> [> [> [> The Army not P.C.? P.C. is lame then and offensive.... -- Sturm and Drang, 13:33:49 03/23/02 Sat

Like the romans said, "If you desire peace, than prepare for war....." The citizen Army of a free and democratic people is not necessary evil, but a glorious institution--a tribute to sacifice, honor, and loyalty. So that the rest of us can watch tv and post on the internet. Anyone who thinks our Army un-P.C. either doesn't understand history and the world and humanity or has a flawed and twisted understanding. Anti-militarism in free societies like ours makes me sick. They're the ones that stand against civilization and barbarism.....

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The Army not P.C.? P.C. is lame then and offensive.... -- Eric, 11:22:41 03/24/02 Sun

I think she meant it in the context that in this board liberal thinking is more common than conservative. Liberals tend to look down on the militery (though not all). While I regard the military as an honorable profession, as a history major and military buff I can tell you its poor reputation among liberals is not undeserved. And while I think soldiers should be honored and respected, societies that worship their militaries are usually the least successful. As for "P.C.", its a Soviet communist term. Soviets rattled their sabers as much as anyone.

[> [> [> [> [> Qualifiying My Earlier Post -- La Duquessa, 11:50:36 03/24/02 Sun

I'm with you 100 percent, Sturm...I didn't mean that I felt that the Serivce was not PC, just that many people do not think that military service is a viable career option because of their political viewpoints and therefore expressing a pro-military opinion is not always considered to be PC. I come from a proud long standing Army family and think that a free society must be defended by a free people if it is to remain free.

However, in my earlier post, I was also being a weinie in that I didn't want to get blasted for expressing that opinion, so I was trying to qualify it in a please don't yell at me sorta way!

I suppose it serves me right then, if I was not clear

Sorry for the confusion, but I've gotten flamed before for expressing a generally pro-military (or perhaps I should say, pro-grunt) opinion, and I'm a bit a more hesitant now to shout out. Although after 911, I guess I understand and appreciate all too clearly the sacrifices that US service members make so that I don't have to and am becoming less shy pointing out how much we owe those people and how we should support them however we can.

Mea Culpa for being obscure.

[> Yeah, pretty much love what I do -- Anne, 15:29:09 03/22/02 Fri

I'm a free-lance web designer and in many respects it's exactly what I want to be doing. I get to work from home and manage my own time, which I love. I get to live in the country and not have to lock my house or my car, which I love. The work I'm doing is exercising parts of my mind I didn't even know existed: creative/artistic stuff for the graphics part and mathematical/logical stuff to figure out how to do the #$%@! cgi programming and javascript. The main problem, of course, is the unreliability of the income, though so far I've been lucky in that respect.

However, if it's any help to people who are not currently doing what they want, I spent a long time bouncing around before getting here.

[> Re: A Stuck-in-Reruns / Thinking of Brian Poll -- Ishkabibble, 17:36:13 03/22/02 Fri

I,m a Senior Health Educator, and as such, I teach patients how to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to leading healthier lives and how to manage on-going disease conditions. And because we are always short staffed, I also teach adolescents, since I,ve managed to raise a few of my own. I love what I do, a combination of medicine, psychology, environmental studies, theology, economics, interpersonal relations, problem-solving, but mostly suspending my personal views in order to accept how my patients view their own situations. This isn,t what I expected to do with a degree in Speech Communications. Yet, I,m in a job that fulfills me and helps others. What more could I ask?

Four things have been major influences in steering me toward the job that I now have and truly enjoy: (1) My family never thought in terms of enjoying their work, let alone going to college. (2) I went to college over a 17-year period just because I love learning. It's what got me through the years of jobs that I didn,t love. And, I continue taking courses even now. (3) I,ve always worked in large organizations where I could transfer into lots of different positions if I became dissatisfied. This allowed me to learn what types of work I did NOT enjoy doing, which was just as important as learning what I did enjoy. (4) Once graduation was in sight, I requested "information interviews (an opportunity to talk with people who already do the work you are interested in, despite not currently having any job openings). People usually are flattered by being asked, and it is a wonderful opportunity to network with others who might learn about future job vacancies. This is how I landed my present position, but if I find in the future that it isn't suiting me, I'll endeavor to get the education and/or experience I need in order to make a change. (Which I guess is the attitude that I hope to inspire in my patients...if something isn't working, take some time to plan, then make some changes.)

[> apparently one of the few.... -- Kitt, 18:46:21 03/22/02 Fri

And I realize how lucky I am to be able to say this, but I am actually in a good job that I love in a place that love making good money. I'm a D.O. family physician in rural Alabama. I work for a private non-profit company in a clinic where I'm the only doc (they have a bunch of similar clinics across the state), providing health care to an underserved comunity. We see everybody, and have a sliding fee, charging according to ability to pay, for patients without insurance. And I love my job. I don't make a lot of money by Dr. standards, but I do ok. I see 20-30 patients a day, and they are looking at adding a nurse practioner or PA at my site in the next year or so. What makes it worth it for me is that I'm making a difference in these peoples lives and I can see it. I was one of those weird kids that knew what they wanted since elementry school, and I worked my ass off for, well, if you count college, 11 years to get my liscence. But if medicine is really what you want, and is what you are called to, then it doesn't matter if you take you're time getting there - the oldest guy in my class was 42 when we started med school, and now he's got an office in Florida and is very satisfied with his life and carrerr. Sombody else said it, and I'll repeat: you need to find your bliss and follow it. I'm just lucky enough to have found my early on.
If you want to find out more, see

[> apparently one of the few.... -- Kitt, 18:50:32 03/22/02 Fri

And I realize how lucky I am to be able to say this, but I am actually in a good job that I love in a place that love making good money. I'm a D.O. family physician in rural Alabama. I work for a private non-profit company in a clinic where I'm the only doc (they have a bunch of similar clinics across the state), providing health care to an underserved comunity. We see everybody, and have a sliding fee, charging according to ability to pay, for patients without insurance. And I love my job. I don't make a lot of money by Dr. standards, but I do ok. I see 20-30 patients a day, and they are looking at adding a nurse practioner or PA at my site in the next year or so. What makes it worth it for me is that I'm making a difference in these peoples lives and I can see it. I was one of those weird kids that knew what they wanted since elementry school, and I worked my ass off for, well, if you count college, 11 years to get my liscence. But if medicine is really what you want, and is what you are called to, then it doesn't matter if you take you're time getting there - the oldest guy in my class was 42 when we started med school, and now he's got an office in Florida and is very satisfied with his life and carrerr. Sombody else said it, and I'll repeat: you need to find your bliss and follow it. I'm just lucky enough to have found my early on.
If you want to find out more, see

[> [> sorry, didn't mean to post twice -- Kitt, 18:56:13 03/22/02 Fri

[> I totally love what I'm doing ;) -- Liq, 19:02:15 03/22/02 Fri

[> My *@#^$&* job... -- Eric, 07:58:17 03/23/02 Sat one of the most fulfilling I've ever done. Its just that it drives me CRAZY. Weird (often long) hours, warped people, bad locations, mindless commands from above, stress, etc. I dream of returning to Santa Barbara as a beach bum and begging for beer $ on the street. But the pay's OK (though less than most comparable jobs) and I can't really think of anything to do that doesn't involve challenge me as much. Plus I get along well with warped people.

[> I'm just lazy -- Rahael, 10:07:43 03/23/02 Sat

And too in love with the learning process and not enough with the actual writing and delivering part of it.

I'm in the first job I got after leaving university, and it's the first job I was offered, after the first interview I attended.

During the last year of university, while a lot of my contemporaries were off being interviewed by big companies/the civil service/banks etc, I just preferred to ignore it all and go for another long lunch/read a book. Cos I was slightly scared about the whole thing.

So I found myself sitting around aimlessly at home after I graduated, looking at depressing job advertisements, none of them I wanted to apply for (too much work. Too boring. Money oriented people? yeek! Name challenges you have faced and overcome. I don't like challenges. And I prefer to avoid them, thank you very much)

Plus the idea of jobs scared me. I'm the person who had to be dragged out of bed at 1pm with the promise of coffee and food. Absent minded enough to get lost going anywhere. So bad with admin and stuff that friends had to sit me down and make me write out a CV.

But really academia wasn't for me. And I'm glad that I went out into the big wide world of work. It's not as lonely. I interact with people all day long. I work for and with people who read books. Who are knowledgeable about art, history, opera, politics. I talk Cromwell with my future boss on the long drive to meetings. Gossip about politics and chat about books with my lovely current boss - who is stepping down *sob* in a couple of weeks.

I do like my job. I work as a personal researcher/assistant for the leader of a trade union. Where else might I be asked to write letters of complaint to oppressive governments, and then research the plot of Don Giovanni. Draft articles, brief journalists, carry out research to provide material for our campaigns and our press releases. I get the kick of seeing my words in print in newspapers, even if it's not credited to me. Deadlines aren't that scary any more because I don't get longer than an hour to write an article. Or a certain political editor of a Sunday broad sheet needs a briefing in 3 hours pronto, cos they go to print soon. See tomorrow's Observer on the Guardian website - It's the violence in schools special. If it isn't there, that's a whole morning's work down the drain. And I hate journalists.

Apart from that, I am also now forced to do tons of admin type things, including monitoring Government consultations, sifting through debates in parliament and broadcast interviews for interesting items and distributing them within the senior staff of our organisation. I'm trying to wangle my way into more of a parliamentary researcher/campaigns type person. Get down to the House of Commons more often etc.

The pay is excellent also. When I applied for this job, I thought I would never get it, principally because of the pay. So I get to work for an ethical cause and not be poor. That doesn't suck. I've been there for two years now, and I'm comfortable. It finances books, clothes, internet access, theatre tickets and expensive meals out, not to mention Buffy DVDs. I don't love my job. I love my life.

[> Re: A Stuck-in-Reruns / Thinking of Brian Poll -- leslie, 11:32:10 03/23/02 Sat

I usually describe myself as "educated beyond all hope of gainful employment." I have a PhD in folklore and mythology studies and what I *am* is a writer, what I get paid for is being an editor for a reference book publisher, and yet somehow I still seem to have a career as an academic mythologist--going to conferences, writing and presenting papers, researching. I've written two books and published over a dozen scholarly articles, and I have contracts for two more books that need to be written in all the time I spend watching and thinking about BtVS... At the moment there isn't too much cognitive dissonance between what I am and what I get paid for, but there have been long stretches of time when I was a house cleaner, a seamstress in a ski jacket factory and then a kite factory, a temp, a supermarket check-out girl...

About four years ago, I taught at Harvard for a semester (I was filling in for someone on sabbatical); at the same time, I was working on my first, and as of this date still unsold, novel. I realized that much as I enjoyed teaching, when I was working on teaching-related activities, I was still haunted by the feeling that I was a bad person because I was not writing. When I was writing, however, I had no feelings of guilt that I was not preparing for my next lecture or trying to set up another teaching gig or even just not washing the dishes. And that pretty much sums up the psychodynamics of my life. It's a relief to have a job that pays my bills and allows me money for some frivolity, but I inceasingly, hugely resent every minute I have to spend editing other people's appalling prose when I could be-- should be--writing my own appalling prose!

[> [> Re: A Stuck-in-Reruns / Thinking of Brian Poll -- Caroline, 12:43:40 03/23/02 Sat

Would love to start reading your prose leslie - hurry up and publish!

[> [> [> Re: A Stuck-in-Reruns / Thinking of Brian Poll -- leslie, 15:54:19 03/23/02 Sat

Well, for nonfiction, there is Leslie Ellen Jones, _Druid Shaman Priest: Metaphors of Celtic Paganism_ (Hisarlik Press, 1998; the publisher has gone under but I think there are still copies floating around); _Happy is the Bride the Sun Shines On: Wedding Beliefs, Traditions, and Customs_ (Contemporary Books, 1995; not really scholarly, but useful if you are extremely superstitious and about to get married), articles in the British magazine _Third Stone: The Magazine for the New Antiquarian_, on folklore and _The Wicker Man_, and megalith movies, and an essay on the respresentation of the Celts in film and television in a book called _New Directions in Celtic Studies_, edited by Amy Hale and Philip Payton (University of Exeter Press, 2000). All of which (except the wedding book), are in whole or in part about folklore and mythology in film and television. I also teach a class on the Barnes and Noble "online university" about JRR Tolkien and his writings, and as a result of that I am writing two books on Tolkien that will come out next year, one a biography (yet another... I really don't know how many more of them we need, to tell you the truth, but I'm not arguing with the publisher!) and the other on Tolkien's relation to mythology. So I have plenty of writing than needs to be done.... it just seems that all I want to *do* is noodle on about what the hell is up with Buffy and Spike....

[> [> [> [> Re: A Stuck-in-Reruns / Thinking of Brian Poll -- Caroline, 15:42:20 03/24/02 Sun

Wow, thanks for this - I'm going to get onto it. And there's no reason why you couldn't join the academic bandwagon and write about Buffy and Spike...

Wanda has neat spoilers for Angel and Buffy (spoilers) -- neaux, 12:50:58 03/22/02 Fri

I try to stay away from spoilers.. but I read Wanda's stuff because its never extremely spoiling.

Some really cool info on Angel's kid.

Check it out if you are hurting from the 5 week hiatus.

[> (SMALL SPOILERS) -- Apophis, 14:40:51 03/22/02 Fri


Slayers and Lovers -- Kevin, 13:44:55 03/22/02 Fri

Scroll's messge below got me thinking about Angel's decision to give up his humanity in "I Will Remember You" because as a mortal he was endangering Buffy in their relationship.

(Taken from Psyche's Transcripts:)

Angel: I went to see the Oracles. I asked them to turn me back.
Buffy: What? Why?
Angel: Because more then ever I know how much I love you.
Buffy backs away from him: No. No, you didn't.
Angel follows her: And if I stayed mortal one of us would wind up dead, maybe both of us. You heard what Mohra said.
Buffy: Mohra is dead. We killed him.
Angel: He said others would come.
Buffy: They always come. And they always will. But that's my problem now, not yours, remember?
Angel: No, I won't just stand by and let you fight, maybe die, alone.
Buffy: Then we fight together.
Angel: You saw what happened last night. If anything I'm a liability to you. You take chances to protect me, and that's not just bad for you, it's bad for the people we were meant to help.
Buffy: So what? You just took a whole 24 hours to weigh the ups and downs of being a regular Joe and decided it was more fun being a superhero?
Angel: You know that's not it. How can we be together if the cost is your life, or the lives of others?

So if Angel as a mortal isn't a good mate for Buffy as the Slayer, what mortal is? Angel as a vampire with a soul seemed to be a potentially good mate for her in a lot of ways. Angel's no sex clause obviously made it unworkable, though.

The problems that Angel realized with him being mortal I think were hinted at with Owen and then played out with Riley.

Maybe this has been discussed elsewhere, but it's been bothering me since 'As You Were', seeing Riley again, and the whole debate regarding Spike this season in general.

In the episodes with Kendra, she said she didn't speak with boys, let alone consider relationships with them. Faith doesn't appear to have ever sought out anything more that casual one-nighters. Is Buffy the only Slayer who has run into the problem of what kind of lover will work in the world she has to live in as the Slayer.

So far altered vampires have had potential. They aren't mortal. They understand her world and are intimately involved in it, even to a potential common source of their respective power that was hinted at in 'Buffy vs. Dracula'. Willow brought up in S1 that vampires don't age, but then Slayers don't ever live to be even middle-aged. Vampires don't have children, but what Slayer is going to be able live long enough to take care of children until they're grown - let alone living through being pregnant in the Slayer's line of work. Unaltered vampires who are feeding on humans are obviously out - they're dusting material. Is there a journey Spike can take without a soul that will make him acceptable to Buffy?

The whole idea of Buffy having a 'normal life' has never seemed plausible to me as the Slayer. The Buffy/Angel storyline seems pretty well done since they're on separate networks with no crossovers apparently planned.

Stable, happy relationships are usually too boring keep the tv viewers coming back week to week "Oh look, another week and they're still happy." Usually in stories, the happy ending comes after a period of struggle...Buffy's light at the end of the tunnel.

So where does that leave Buffy? I keep wondering if her future includes a happy couple walking off into the graveyard under to moonlight or picnics under the summer sun. Or just more wreckage piling up on the Buffy relationship highway.

[> Re: Slayers and Lovers -- Scroll, 14:42:19 03/22/02 Fri

I think after "Normal Again" Buffy will have finally put to rest her notion of having that normal life and normal boyfriend. She tried that with Riley and it just didn't work. Even if Buffy had been more emotionally open during early Season 5, there would've always been the underlying tension of her going out and slaying and Riley being unable to help effectively. While I am a die-hard B/A shipper, I can see that Spike might be a suitable partner for Buffy if those two can ever figure out their relationship. Spike is strong enough to fight demons, is willing to take direction from Buffy the Slayer, and pushy enough to keep Buffy from too much self-introspection. He makes her face reality in ways Riley couldn't.

Personally, I still see Angel as Buffy's ideal mate not only because theirs was The Grand Passion, but because they share common ideals and values. I'm not just talking about the fact that Angel has a soul and Spike doesn't, though that's probably the root to my main objection to Spike.

Whether Spike was taking advantage of Buffy or Buffy was taking advantage of Spike is not my concern here. But what "Dead Things" makes very clear to us viewers is that Spike still doesn't understand right and wrong. He, like Faith in "Consequences", doesn't understand why one dead girl should be that big a deal. And that is why, at this point in time, Spike is not an ideal mate for Buffy. I'm not saying that Spike can't be redeemed or even that he should be redeemed in order to be 'worthy' of Buffy. Just that, as things stand, Spike cannot--for very obvious reasons--be a true partner to Buffy the way Angel could have been if not for that pesky curse and resulting soul-lossage. But that's just my humble opinion. I'm sure there are those out there who say we shouldn't try to change Spike. (Believe me, I like Spike greygreygrey, I don't really want him to change either!)

[> [> Angel's cause and crusade are artificial -- OtherEric, 08:27:46 03/23/02 Sat

Angel is a jerk even with a soul (or was last I saw him on Buffy--I don't watch Angel--but I hear he can still be a jerk there). Bottomline, I hate people who don't seem to like people. Angel's barely hidden contempt for Buffy's friends and his dark-angst ridden, I used to be in Nine Inch Nails, take everything (especially myself and my crusade) way too seriously act always got on my nerves. He always reminded me of the annoying, prissy, self-involved (and rude) Chicago goths that always used to get in my way in KMFDM and TKK moshpits.

The funniest contrast on the show (for me) is that Spike is a nicer and more personable fellow without a soul (provided he is restrained with the chip) than Angel was with one. He appears to have been a rapist and robber (or at least just a robber) in his mortal life. Pretty petty stuff. He's also a control freak. Someone who risks unlife and limb to help Buffy BECAUSE its what he is supposed to do for redemption and all that makes his aid still all about him. Angel is a dominant personality. So is Buffy. They don't work--they're not perfect for one another (why the hell does everyone think that anyway?) and Spike gladly plays the submissive role (something that Riley couldn't do either). Buffy also appears to be into B/D & S/M. Now that she has discovered this, she can either go into denial (and appears to be doing just that) or embrace it without guilt issues. Doesn't mean she will get back with Spike, but I hope she can find another masochist and explore her twistedness further.

Spike is basically the ideal type of person for her because he has no greater cause or crusade or quest for personal redemption (I agree--he doesn't need or want redemption) and instead focuses on helping and being there for Buffy in every possible way. She's his new Dru in a way, but instead of encouraging him and taking advantage of his masochism and eagerness to please his lady--Buffy gives him some, and then turns away, or takes steps back. That kind of act will draw a submissive masochist type like a moth to a flame even harder. Course, love can to hate and hate to love, so I don't think its impossible for Spike to become a true villain once more. But Angel is a fake. His soul is real, but when its not there, he isn't capable of love or anything but utter evil and craziness. If he was the one ideal perfect mate for Buffy, the power of love would have (I would have hoped anyway) still meant something or made a difference, but it didn't. God I hate Angel. He's so mean. Spike is nice (except for the occasional killing spree in the pre-chip days). I'd like to hang out with Spike. He's good with people. I like vampires like that. Angel would be a buzzkill even if he had his soul. All dark and no fun is boring (unless one is a goth in which case utter self-involvement prevents the realization). God I hate Angel......

[> [> [> Re: Angel's cause and crusade are artificial -- yabyumpan, 17:59:52 03/23/02 Sat

When Angel was on BtVS he was pretty 2 dimensional and in some ways, a bit like Spike is today. Fighting demons and such to, in some way, please Buffy, to show her he was good.
It was only towards the end of S3 that he really did anything off his own back, trying to help Faith. It's a shame you don't watch AtS because the Angel of today is very different. It's not even about his redemption anymore, but because he realises that fighting evil is the right thing to do.
From Psyche's site AtS Epipheny S2
Kate: "I just couldn't... - My whole life has been about being a cop. If I'm not part of the force it's like nothing I do means anything."
Angel, still looking pretty beat up: "It doesn't."
Kate: "Doesn't what?"
Angel: "Mean anything. In the greater scheme or the big picture, nothing we do matters. There's no grand plan, no big win."
Kate: "You seem kind of chipper about that."
Angel: "Well, I guess I kinda - worked it out. If there is no great glorious end to all this, if - nothing we do matters, - then all that matters is what we do. 'cause that's all there is. What we do, now, today. - I fought for so long. For redemption, for a reward - finally just to beat the other guy, but... I never got it."
Kate: "And now you do?"
Angel: "Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I wanna help because - I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness - is the greatest thing in the world."
Kate: "Yikes. It sounds like you had an epiphany."
Angel: "I keep saying that. But nobody's listening."

Spike doesn't care if people suffer, unless it's someone he cares about, he's not interested in making the world a safer place. He kills demons because he can, he enjoys it and it gets him into Buffy's good books. Angel has chosen to fight the good fight, he could have stayed stink guy but he was given the choice to be other than that and he took it. Initially it was for selfish reasons, to be someone, to be someone who Buffy could love, but he's grown a great deal since then. I'm not sure if Spike has grown or whether he has just reprogramed himself, with the aid of the chip. He stays in Sunnydale in part because of Buffy but I think also because that is where he is known and accepted. I wonder how long a chipped Vampire would last in the outside world.
"All dark and no fun is boring", that's quite funny cos one one the main gripes about AtS this season is that he's not dark enough and he's too funny/dorky. Maybe you should check it out. I actually like the less dark, more fun Angel but the way this season's going, I doubt we're going to see that again any time soon.

[> [> [> Here we go again with the Angel hate crap. -- BuddyL, 02:42:59 03/25/02 Mon

[> [> Re: Spike, true love, and right and wrong -- Valhalla, 23:23:25 03/23/02 Sat

Whether vampires can love others, and whether Spike can love others (as opposed to just thinking he does) is at least an open question. In Crush, Dru says "Oh, we can, you know. We can love quite well. If not wisely." (grabbed off Atpbtvs) And for Spike in particular, in Surprise, when the Judge is finally assembled, he looks at Spike and Dru and says "You two stink of humanity. You share affection and jealousy." Dru might not be the best source for whether vampires can love or not, being 1) insane; and 2) an interested party in the debate but in Surprise we have an evil colleague sniffing out something about the two of them that implies either that their affection for each other is real or that for some reason they are less demonish and more human than the average vamp or demon.

Comparing Spike to Angel is natural (since they're the only two vampires we've seen in love with Buffy), but a bit unfair. Why should Spike have to come up to the Angel Redemption standard in order to be with Buffy? In a way, Spike has the greater challenge. Sure, he's only doing good because he knows that's the way to Buffy's heart. But even with the chip, Spike's still a demon; the chip only keeps him from directly and physically harming humans, it doesn't prevent him from bringing about evil indirectly. (he could probably hang around rooftops and dump stuff over the side randomly until it hit someone without getting a Big Bad Migraine if he wanted). From the stuff Joss has said about demons, they're naturally drawn to evil and badness. Angel, on the other hand, has a soul and is naturally drawn to doing good anyway; having a soul makes it pretty easy for Angel at least not to do harmful bad things. And for Angel, doing good lessens his remorse for his dark deeds as Angelus. Kind of like a Scooby snack. Spike's fighting his nature for Buffy but Angel doesn't have to. When Angelus showed up, his great love for Buffy went right over the side; but Spike has always been Spike and he still loves her.

Even if Spike is only doing good because of Buffy (which I think he is), he's not all that different from Buffy's other friends, who Buffy does love (although not in the same way). Xander, for example, didn't join in with the Slayer fun because he was committed to risking his life making the world safe for humanity; he tagged along with Willow because he had the hots for Buffy. Sound familiar? Even with Willow, it's not clear that had she not met Buffy she would have spent her teens and early twenties fighting evil. They joined the fight because they were Buffy's friends and they wanted to help her. But Buffy loves them. Ok, so the love you feel for friends is not enough for a romance, but Spike shouldn't be DQ'd just because his good deeds are self-interested. Maybe he should be out for other reasons (pre-chip and pre-Buffy evil prominent among them).

Back to the comparison to Angel. I'm not sure Spike's chip and Angel's soul are all that different, really. Neither of them chose the mechanism that made them stop harming people. A few days ago someone here said that the difference between the chip and a soul is that the chip gives you no choice and with a soul you can still choose to ignore your conscience and do bad anyway. (I'm sorry I can't remember who posted that). But Spike can choose to ignore the pain and harm humans anyway (didn't he sock Tara to show up her misogynist male relatives?). In terms of how one chooses to act, the only difference between the chip and a soul is that when you ignore your conscience, it's emotional or psychological pain (guilt) instead of physical pain.

The big difference between Spike and Angel is that Angel does feel remorse and Spike doesn't. Remorse, though, doesn't seem too high on Buffy's list; I don't think Willow ever even apologized for bringing Buffy out of Heaven, and Xander never apologized for calling up Sweet in the musical even though more than one human burnt up in dancing.

I love the drama and tension of the Buffy-Spike storyline and Spike's potential redemption, but that's because I love drama and the redemption stuff. Hell, I'd even like to see one of the Troika get a redemption storyline (ok, not really, that's just hyperbole to make a point). I don't actually want to see Buffy and Spike trip happily off into the sunset, and I don't actually want to see a redeemed, morally unambivalent Spike ugh! the height of boredom. But I do think Spike could be the guy for her, and he certainly shouldn't be chucked off the field just because he's not Angel.

[> [> [> Re: Spike, true love, and right and wrong -- Sophist, 06:51:23 03/24/02 Sun

I've been meaning to mention this, and your post raised it directly.

Those critical of Spike always say that he only does good deeds because he loves Buffy. I don't understand why that is a strike against him. People often do good for relatively narrow or even self- interested motives, but the deeds are no less good for that reason.

Thanks for raising the point.

[> [> [> [> Re: Spike, true love, and right and wrong -- luvthistle1, 08:13:36 03/24/02 Sun

Spike, had state somethings like that when he was William.
He stated that he rather focus on the love and the people around him , than all the murder that had taken place around him. You do not have to be a demon to feel that way. A lot of humans feels that same why, yet that does not makes them evil. Spike might not care about the rest of the town, but his feeling of caring do not just stop at Buffy, because if that was true he would have left when she died. But he didn't he stayed and help the rest of the scoobies. I believe the writers are trying to show the viewers that everything is not just good and evil , but there are some gray areas as well.

[> [> [> [> Excellent point, Sophist. -- Ixchel, 15:39:20 03/24/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> Re: Spike, true love, and right and wrong -- Ian, 15:56:48 03/24/02 Sun

I would just like to point out that the object of Spike's love is debatable.

Through his relationships with Dru and Buffy, did Spike love, or did he love obsessively? If the latter, is obsessive love even love for a person, or love of an idea?

Perhaps, as a demon, Spike can indeed love things, but not people. He certainly seems to love violence, and isn't too concerned with where he gets it from. He loves sex. He loves the ego- reinforcement he receives from being so "bad" and "cool." And he might even love belonging to a group or individual, without ever actually loving the memebers of said family.

Just a thought.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike, true love, and right and wrong -- Sophist, 16:34:14 03/24/02 Sun

Like any good Romantic, Spike is in love with Love.

[> [> [> [> [> I think Spike is far too perceptive not to be in love with the "real" Buffy. -- bookworm, 17:53:11 03/24/02 Sun

Sure, there are other elements in his emotional attraction to her. He's a romantic; he equates fighting with sex; he seems to need to be dominated by a stronger woman and to devote himself entirely to her. He's always the knight paying homage to his lady, who is above him, whether it's Cecily, Drusilla or Buffy. Those are just the REASONS he's in love with her. He knows himself and his own motivations and he knows HER inside and out. He's made a study of her, seems to hurt when she hurts (look at his face in the last scene of Tabula Rasa when he saw her at the bar. That's empathy.) He consistently suffers pain to help Buffy avoid pain, and it wasn't about the pleasure or the kick in "Intervention" or "Dead Things." He didn't enjoy being tortured by Glory or beaten to a pulp by Buffy. He suffered the first to save Dawn from being discovered and he offered himself up as a punching bag in Dead Things to keep Buffy from throwing away her life. He loves HER.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike, true love, etc. -- clg0107, 08:53:18 03/25/02 Mon

I think that the question of whether vampires can "really" love without a soul has already been addressed, not just by Dru (although that was pretty plainly stated), but also by Elisabeth and James in AtS ("Heartthrob", S3 #1).

My initial reaction to Spike's protestations of love (way back) was that without a soul, I wasn't really buying it. But it's Joss' universe and he makes the rules. So when he comes out and says through both of those circumstances that vampires can love, I think we have to accept that as a fact of their world. Naturally, there are still subtleties that can be debated. But w/Spike & Dru, I think there was even an unselfishness there, at least on his part. He wound up almost losing his un-life in the church trying to "heal" her. Now, that was an unintended/unanticipated turn of affairs, but still...I could believe (seeing what I had of them) that if it had required him to be dusted to bring her back, he might have been willing to actually sacrifice himself for her. He certainly would have let Glory kill him before he betrayed Buffy and/or Dawn. That says something.


[> [> [> [> [> [> There's gotta be rules around here..... -- Rufus, 16:23:07 03/25/02 Mon

You are absolutely right about it being a universe with Joss making the rules, even if he does it as he goes along. No matter what we think the "soul" is or isn't, Joss it the one that determines it's status in "his" it or hate it.

[> [> I find the whole soul argument ridiculous at this point in the story. -- bookworm, 17:34:47 03/24/02 Sun

Angel's "soul" didn't prevent him from locking Wolfram and Hart's humans in a room with Darla and Drusilla in ATS. I don't see him feeling terrible about the demise of all those innocents. Warren's "soul" didn't prevent him from killing Katrina and their souls didn't prevent Andrew and Jonathan from helping him to brainwash her and attempt to rape her. Presumably Xander's relatives all have souls, but that didn't keep them from acting like abusive asses at the wedding party, while the demons acted like civilized human beings. Spike's lack of soul doesn't make him incapable of passionate and occasionally self-sacrificing love. I don't think the writers know what the hell they mean by the "soul." If they mean having a soul makes you good and not having one makes you evil, then they haven't done a good job of writing their story, because they contradict themselves at every turn. As for my opinion of Angel at this point in the story: "He's boring and bloody stupid." I don't think he ever knew Buffy or understood her. They both fell in love with an ideal. He also left Buffy when the going got tough, which doesn't make him king of her boyfriends.

[> [> [> Re: I find the whole soul argument ridiculous at this point in the story. -- Rufus, 22:19:02 03/24/02 Sun

That's my biggest complaint against the Soul = Good arguement, the fact that people are so capable and so frequently do evil...with a soul. To me that means that there is a bit more in the equation than the presence of a soul when it comes to doing evil acts. I always thought that the fact that vampires were soulless didn't explain the fact that the soul doesn't quarantee goodness. As Joss did say that vampires and humans start at the same mid point on a spectrum of behavior, that indicates to me the potential for either to go in the opposite direction to their natural "bent" under the right or wrong circumstances.

[> [> [> [> Re: I find the whole soul argument ridiculous at this point in the story. -- skeeve, 08:33:17 03/25/02 Mon

My recollection is that at one point Giles said that vamping involved the acquistion of a demon soul as well as the loss of a human soul. Giles has been wrong about vampires before, so that is not definitive.

Can non-humans be vamped?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I find the whole soul argument ridiculous at this point in the story. -- Rufus, 16:20:51 03/25/02 Mon

Yes, that was in The Harvest.....

Giles: The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding... Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return.

So the vampire is both considered and infection and possession, what that means I don't know. What I do know the infection can't function without the mind of the human that once was, and though certain physical conditions go into remission, if you get a damaged brain in the host, that damage can't be reversed.

[> Re: Slayers and Lovers -- Ixchel, 19:31:54 03/22/02 Fri

IMHO, Spike can be suitable for Buffy (as you say an altered vampire seems best, I also don't think a "normal" life is for Buffy). I believe he truly loves her and Dawn, and cares about the SG (though I'm not sure about Xander at this time). I believe she has feelings for him, the extent of them I don't know (I don't think she knows). It may be possible for her to accept him if he can: 1) Refrain from harming humans without the chip or choose to keep the chip because he understands he needs it to refrain from harming humans. 2) Conduct himself in a way that is consistent with Buffy's moral path (even if he doesn't "feel" what is the correct thing to do, he is intelligent and can learn from the others). Regarding the issue of remorse, as he pointed out in Pangs (in response to Buffy and Willow's guilt about the Chumash), guilt itself accomplishes nothing. And if he continues to assist Buffy in her work, then this is a form of amends, even if his only intention is to help her. If he is limited by being soulless and can never care about humanity in general, but only about Buffy, Dawn and the SG then that doesn't negate his usefulness to Buffy's work. I do not feel that he needs a soul (it would be repetitive) and it would diminish Angel's story. A "gray" Spike doesn't need or want a higher purpose, doesn't need to be the hero, and doesn't have a greater love for humanity. IMHO this makes him more suitable for Buffy because _she_ is the hero of BtVS and he supports her as such.


[> [> Wow. Now That Was The First Argument in Defense of B/S that has EVER swayed me. -- AngelVSAngelus, 21:39:15 03/22/02 Fri

Your reasoning for Spike being a suitable partner for Buffy actually convinces me somewhat, because of the fact that you, unlike soooooooo many people, don't paint him to be or want to be redeemed. Yes, he doesn't care about humanity in general. That's something I'll always fault him for. But you describe a balance of sorts, in their theoretical relationship. Kudos, for being the first I've ever encountered to say that Spike's NOT the hero, and probably won't be.

[> [> [> Thanks, AngelVSAngelus. -- Ixchel, 23:01:27 03/22/02 Fri

I just feel that _Buffy_ is the hero of BtVS (not that the others don't perform heroic acts, they do). "Gray" Spike, IMHO, works as a character and is a viable (no pun intended) companion for Buffy.

BTW, great name!


[> [> [> [> Re: Thanks, AngelVSAngelus. -- Slain, 11:13:13 03/23/02 Sat

Be honest, I think anyone who sees Spike as anything other than a demon is going to be disappointed - I think the current storyline is interesting, but Spike is essentially evil - he's a vampire. He remembers what it's like to be human, and is in many ways controlled by his humanity. But it's been stated explicitly many times that without a soul, you can't love. Spike certainly believes he loves Buffy, and believes he cares for Dawn. But really he doesn't, and can't. Spike is like a house cat - he can appear tamed to get what he wants, and may even believe he is tamed himself, but he's not. If Spike ever thought it would help him, he'd kill Buffy's friends without a second thought.

I can't see it lasting between him and Buffy - Buffy is the Vampire Slayer, and Spike is the Vampire. With a soul, Angel was not truly a vampire, he was human in the most important way that mattered - his soul, and his conscience. Yet when he lost his soul, Buffy did the only thing she could do, and killed him. Spike's chip doesn't make him half good, or even a tiny bit good. It makes it possible for him to think he's good, which is completely different.

To me, Spike doesn't seem a viable companion for Buffy - Buffy's job is to save the world from vampires. Spike's job is - well, Spike doesn't really care either way, does he?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Thanks, AngelVSAngelus. -- leslie, 11:36:30 03/23/02 Sat

"To me, Spike doesn't seem a viable companion for Buffy - Buffy's job is to save the world from vampires. Spike's job is - well, Spike doesn't really care either way, does he?"

Well, yes, when the chips come down (and before there were chips), when it comes to the end of the world, Spike does want to save it. He does care. And making the decision to ally himself with Buffy to save the world from Angelus ends up costing him the love of his life, even if he thinks he doing it to get her back.

[> [> [> [> [> [> "Saving" Dru vs. Saving the World -- Dochawk, 15:17:23 03/23/02 Sat

Do you think Spike really wanted to save the world or was that Spike the master manipulator?

If his goal was truly to save the world, he would have gone to help Buffy in her fight with Angelus. In fact, he looked at her said "he's gonna kill her, oh well" and left. Spike is always for what Spike wants, nothing more. I agree with the above writer who reminds us once again. Spike is darkness and if he gets dechipped will return that way. But, we may not see it soon, because even if he gets dechipped, he remains obsessed and lustful for Buffy (and protecting Dawn gets him in good graces with Buffy). We have yet to see Spike perform anything considered good that isn't intended for Buffy's benifit (his helping kill vamps during the summer with the SG, was an expression of his lust for violence, not an act of free will to the good)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "Saving" Dru vs. Saving the World -- nightfox7, 00:43:23 03/24/02 Sun

Did Spike even know that Angelus had succeded in opening the portal? He seemed too busy fighting Dru to notice what Angelus and Buffy was doing. Anyways, unless you're Mother Teresa, what person isn't motivated by selfish needs? So Spike helps out because he loves Buffy and violence; so what? Lots of people think about the benefits to themselves before doing something. I think the fact that he stayed and helped the SG fight in the summer is good evidence that he can stay away from doing really bad stuff because he could have left Sunnydale and fought demons elsewhere. He stayed because of his feelings for Dawn.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> More current evidence? -- Dyna, 09:38:43 03/24/02 Sun

I hear you, Dochawk, but I'm not sure your evidence is current. Spike's behavior in S2 tells us something about Spike in S2, but that was four seasons ago, and his character has undergone a lot of change since then. Regarding your assertion that "his helping kill vamps during the summer with the SG, was an expression of his lust for violence, not an act of free will to the good"--what's your basis for this reading? There's nothing in the text that I can see that specifically addresses Spike's motivations for helping, though I think it's reasonable to associate it with the guilt he expresses to Buffy later about his failure to save her. In S4 Spike acknowledged a desire to do violence as a motivation for killing demons, but again, that was two seasons ago. Regarding future events, obviously we can't know until they happen--it's easy to say "Spike is darkness and if he gets dechipped will return that way," but clearly there is no way any of us can know this. If ME is true to form, I don't expect our guesses will be very accurate, either! :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: More current evidence? -- Marrec, 20:56:01 03/24/02 Sun

I agree with Dyna. While Spike is a Vampire and "Souless" in BtVS terms, that doesn't mean he can't grow away from his demon inherited violence. As we've seen from multiple demons in BtVS and AtS, they aren't all evil. Some even work for the Power That Be. More recent events involving Spike show us that he truly cares for Buffy. In 'Intervention' Spike certainly could have told Glory who the key was, and ended the pain of her torture. But he refused to. As Buffy saw later when she posed as the BuffyBot, it was an act unmotivated by his "Big Bad" persona. In contrast. 'As You Were' shows that Spike is still looking out for himself. What his intents were with the demon eggs is certainly unclear. But he didn't seem suprised at the finding of them. Whereas Spike certainly is in no means Good, he's definatly not Evil anymore. I think he put it best. "I'm not Good, but I'm not Evil. I'm Ok." He's still motivated by his own needs, he is now also motivated by his concerns for Buffy and the Scooby Gang and general. He's on his own road to redemtion, but I've yet to see if he has the strength to stay on that road. Right now though, I like him just how he is. Grey.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Effect of the soul -- clg0107, 09:44:38 03/25/02 Mon

Not to beat a dead horse, but it's Joss Whedon's universe, that makes him God, and his "take" is what we have to accept as law, until such time as his Divine Creativeness invents an exception, loophole, etc.

The upshot of the thing is that he's stated in interview that the soul is sort of the guiding star that can pull you towards the good end of the continuum of behaviour. That's it. No soul, no guiding star to good. But, having a soul's no guarantee of anything. We're all shades of grey.

This season has marked a sea-change in the greyness of the world on Buffy. Angel had already begun to incorporate demons who weren't necesarily forces of evil. Now that idea has made it to Sunnydale. I think part of the reason for it is as a backdrop to Spike's growing character. I think it's also part and parcel of the maturing theme of Buffy. Where the world was once black and white when we were young, now we know better. And it's more complicated.

Anyway, my point was that Joss has decreed that the soul is not the ultimate definer of good and evil, it just gives you a head start or an inclination in one direction or the other.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Effect of the soul -- Rufus, 16:26:33 03/25/02 Mon

Anyway, my point was that Joss has decreed that the soul is not the ultimate definer of good and evil, it just gives you a head start or an inclination in one direction or the other.

Right again, and he said as much at the Paley festival. So, throw out personal preferences and learning and get used to the fact that Joss, and not a bunch of Old Dead Greek Guys or Religious training, is the the one that decides the status of the soul in his fictional universe.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Effect of the soul -- Marrec, 16:46:44 03/25/02 Mon

A soul is just a guiding star to good, that doesn't mean that someone with a soul has to do good. Adversly, can't it be possible for someone without a soul to do good, even without the guiding star?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Thanks, AngelVSAngelus. -- Doriander, 20:49:56 03/23/02 Sat

Won't argue whether Spike is good for Buffy or not. This however-

But it's been stated explicitly many times that without a soul, you can't love.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only instance I remember is in one episode, "Crush." And who postulates this? Buffy and Xander. Buffy who's been hurt by Angel once he lost his soul, and Xander who hates vamps in general. In the same ep, Dru argues "[they] can love well, if not wisely."

Spike certainly believes he loves Buffy, and believes he cares for Dawn. But really he doesn't, and can't.

I think we're only looking at Spike's ability to love in terms of his relationship with Buffy. Here are a couple of interesting essays I found a year ago that made me say, THANK YOU!

but vampires can't love... right?

Love=Redemption? not likely

You're theory, though, of vamps being controlled by remembered humanity and that somehow they only simulate emotions really got me thinking. That for Spike, it really comes down to it's All. About. Spike. Certainly sheds light on the one time I was sketchy about Spike's ability to love, when he offered to kill Dru, the woman he claimed he was in love with for more than a century.

[> [> Re: Slayers and Lovers -- Scroll, 12:42:04 03/23/02 Sat

I have to agree with AngelVSAngelus that your argument for Spike is very convincing. It's true he's never going to be the hero Buffy and Angel are, and that's actually a good thing. But I wonder if Buffy could ever really accept Spike as an equal partner if he never comes to understand the value of human life. I mean, Buffy's calling is to protect humanity and she does it, not just because it is her duty, but out of love for all people, as in "The Gift". I can see that Spike truly loves Buffy and Dawn, and might be able to extend that love to the other Scoobs, but the random person on the street, Spike is *not* really going to care about one way or another.

Now this doesn't negate the good he does in helping Buffy. My question is could *Buffy* accept Spike as her 'mate' with this very real flaw? Perhaps if he had the option of losing the chip and kept it anyway, knowing that without it he would kill again... That might be enough to prove that he understands Buffy's humanity. Because it's not really Spike's humanity that I question (he's a demon after all) but Buffy's humanity and her ability to accept that Spike is a demon who doesn't care about most people's lives.

In response to OtherEric's message "Angel's cause and crusade are artificial", I can see why Angel may seem like a control freak to you. Because he is, and so is Buffy. And in many ways they are too much alike: both heroes and sometimes very self-involved. I'm not denying that. But I can't really agree with you that Angel is a fake. I'm not really sure where that came from. Perhaps you haven't watched any of the "Angel" series because I think you're kinda missing the point of Angel's character.

[> [> [> Re: Slayers and Lovers -- OtherEric, 13:07:32 03/23/02 Sat

I said I haven't watched Angel. But I hear he has a baby now. Anyway--whats the point of Angel's character then? And if he is completely different with his soul, then without it--in that without his soul, he is capable of nothing good and is driven evil with purpose and is even less fun to be around. Angelus doesn't even believe in the old there is honor among thieves bit and is even cruel and sadistic towards his villain ally, Spike (everyone is mean to henchmen so that doesn't count...heh heh). Spike, and motivation is irrelevant, has done a lot of good things and can seem to do them despite being soulless. He is even capable of self sacrifice and protected Dawn even when Buffy was dead and when he thought she would never come back (probably out of guilt---gee sounds like vampires without souls are capable of guilt and maybe even conscience). Hes no hero--but compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Spike without a soul is closer to something resembling good (on occasion, and definitely not always) than Angelus, and if Spike had a soul, he would blow Angel away. He is simply a nicer, friendlier, more loyal, and less self involved person than Angel. Anyway, why is Angel not fake and what is the point I am missing about him?

Perhaps you should think of having and not having a soul as not as much a clear cut line with an absolute hard distinction between what is 'good' and what is 'evil' but instead as a 'thing' within entities that magnify their good side and aspects and reduce or dampen the negative. Spike must have been nicer and more good as a person than Angel was if you compare the amount of evil each is capable of in comparison when neither have a soul. Look at how Buffy was when Kathy borrowed her soul during The Roommate. Not exactly evil, but more bitchy and eventually could be driven to psycho crazy (as Willow put it) but nothing like Angelus or some of the other creeps on the show that we've seen on the show.

[> [> [> [> I agree in part... -- Scroll, 13:35:14 03/23/02 Sat

I have to agree that Spike without a soul is *much* nicer than Angel without a soul. And Spike in either incarnation is definitely more fun to be around. He's capable of love without a soul that Angelus couldn't even conceive of. My original argument was that Spike--without a soul and unable to understand the difference between right and wrong, unable to see why Buffy would care for one dead girl (Katrina), why a total stranger's life should have value--that Spike is not a good match for Buffy. I know Buffy and Angel will likely never get back together... But my point was that Spike, as someone without a soul, can't really be a suitable partner for someone who *does* have a soul.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree in part... -- alcibiades, 20:27:34 03/24/02 Sun

Well I have a soul and I think Buffy was verging on nervous breakdown when she wanted to turn herself in for the death of Katrina. I think it was utterly the wrong thing to do. I don't think she was in her right mind. She was looking hysterically for an escape hatch. Her mini arc from DT to NA is to move from figuring that she must be wrong so that she can be morally disassociated from herself, to figuring that not she, but the entire world about her is wrong. It's a stunning twist really. Buffy Season 4 or 5 in similar circumstances would never have looked to turn herself into the police in the middle of the night as her first solution to the problem of Katrina's death.

Spike doesn't have a soul. According to Joss he has a moral compass that naturally tugs him downwards. Joss has also done us the supreme favour of letting us know exactly what Spike has to do to be worthy of Buffy. He's got to defy gravity.

[> [> [> [> [> Actually, I think Spike did understand Buffy's problem about Katrina. -- bookworm, 07:21:36 03/25/02 Mon

He may not have shared her pain over Katrina's death or guilt over "killing" her, but he did understand the way she would react to it. Otherwise, he would not have been waiting outside the police station when she came marching up to the front steps to do her grim duty. The script said he "goaded" her when she hurled that line at him about "You can't understand, can you. It's just another body." He said, "Then explain it to me," not because he DIDN'T understand but because he was trying to make her take her rage out on him and was doing his best to make her angrier. He also understood how selfish it would be for her to turn herself in to the human police over what was, essentially, an accident. Giles would have stopped her too. Remember that he was willing to kill Dawn, an innocent and helpless child, to save the rest of the world, and that he did kill the essentially innocent Ben. Katrina's death is a horrible thing, but in this case "the good of the many outweighs the good of the one," probably for Spike as well as for Giles. How many more people would suffer if Buffy the Vampire Slayer were serving time behind bars and the demons were taking over Sunnydale? And would she risk exposing the supernatural, the things humans can't know, by making the police believe she killed Katrina? Buffy's turning herself in was essentially yet another suicidal gesture, a desire to avoid her responsibility as a Slayer, and Spike was having none of it. Spike told her the death was an accident -- true -- and that while she had killed one innocent, she had saved countless others -- true. Katrina's life doesn't balance that scale, no matter how awful Buffy may feel on a personal level. Buffy's in a war, and in a war people die, sometimes including the innocents. Spike's not incapable of empathy or guilt or regret -- where else would "Every night I save you" come from? -- but it seems to be limited to Buffy and maybe somewhat extended to the Scoobies. However, he has an intellectual understanding of how the world works and applies it to Buffy's reactions, because he knows her and loves her. Spike's code is a simple one: protect those he loves, at all costs, no matter what it takes.

[> [> [> Scroll, you have a very valid point. -- Ixchel, 17:42:20 03/23/02 Sat

I suppose that I am one of those people who believe that nothing is fixed, unchangeable. Maybe Spike could (slowly) learn to care more about others given time, maybe not. It has only been two and a half years, maybe further growth is possible. He did ask Buffy to explain to him her feelings about Katrina in DT, it seemed to me he really wanted to know (even if just to understand her better). It implies a willingness to learn, at least to me. So, maybe, he could be acceptable to Buffy as a "work- in-progress"?


[> [> [> [> Still, compatiblity is not the same as good for one another. -- Ian, 17:51:49 03/23/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Very true, Ian. I suppose I see potential for the relationship. -- Ixchel, 19:38:13 03/23/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> Hmmm...hasn't Spike always seemed a tad above the other vamps? -- DickBD, 18:52:38 03/23/02 Sat

It seems to me that Spike was always a little more likable than the other vamps, even Angel when he was bad--or maybe I should say especially Angel. Spike's truly saving trait is his undesired-but- nevertheless-real love for Buffy. It has made him do a lot of selfless things, like take a terrible beating rather than betray an important secret. Isn't it to Spike's credit that he is able to do good without a soul? And Spike is perceptive. He detects something in Buffy that she is not cognizant of, that she likes a little monster in her man. Are all girls that way? It seems like it--and it drives us "good guys" crazy! :)))

[> [> [> [> [> I would say Spike seems "different", certainly. -- Ixchel, 15:36:45 03/24/02 Sun

He is maybe more adaptive? One definite trait (as early as S2) seems to be his interest in putting his feelings first, beyond some devotion to "evil" (contrast with the vampire who immolated herself as Angelus' messenger in Becoming 1).

As to the "monster in her man" concept, IMHO, Buffy does need someone who is physically suited to her and her Slayerness. But, I believe that while she is drawn to him on this physical level, this is not the only connection. All the events of S5 and 6, I think, changed a great deal about her perception of him. I can't see Buffy, no matter how depressed or confused, being involved with pre- Intervention Spike. So yes, she is supernatural and (JMHO) needs a companion who is also supernatural, but that alone isn't enough.


[> [> [> [> Aren't we all "works in progress"? -- Sophist, 20:19:13 03/23/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Indeed, Sophist. I know I am! -- Ixchel, 15:43:58 03/24/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Progress? There is supposed to be progress? -- skeeve, 09:08:27 03/25/02 Mon

[> But Angel & Spike aside, what type of being would fit the bill? -- Kevin, 20:41:13 03/23/02 Sat

I was thinking not so much of specific personalities (Spike, Riley, or Angel) but mortal, vampire, demon, etc. Based of Angel's decision that he as a mortal endangers Buffy's safety and mission as the Slayer, where does that leave Buffy for relationship options?

If it's a vampire, does he have to have a soul and does having a soul always come with a no sex clause? I can't remember if that was specific to Angel's curse or a general thing. I always wondered if it was possible for Willow to have given Angel back his soul without the strings attached that the gypsies wanted to keep him suffering eternally.

As an aside, I've also wondered how Angel could pursue a relationship with Cordelia...I would think that the no happiness clause would still be in effect with her as well as Buffy.

[> [> Someone she can't break in the heat of passion. -- bookworm, 17:43:50 03/24/02 Sun

Buffy likes to throw her men around. When she's with a human, she holds back. I think a truly fulfilling relationship for her would have to be with a man who can match her in physical strength. That's one of the many reasons Xander wouldn't work for her, no matter how much she loves him as a friend, and why human Angel and human Riley didn't work. I think the long-haul guy is Spike. We're in the sixth year of a seven year series and at this point it looks like Spike is the only game in town. He loves her; he matches her physically. When and if he comes out on the other end of his journey of redemption, maybe they will end up together.

[> [> [> Love Heroin -- LeeAnn, 21:17:07 03/24/02 Sun

If Buffy wrapped her legs around a guy and squeezed, in a moment of passion, she would break his back.

Remember Spike taunting her in The Harsh Light of Day about letting Parker take a poke. Spike took a poke at her himself as soon as he overheard her talking about it to Parker. The only kind of poke he could take then.
I wonder what went wrong. Were you too strong? Did you bruise the boy?
Spike recognized that would be a problem even then.

Not a problem with Spike. Little wonder she found Spike addicting, her own personal love heroin, the one guy she could let herself go with.

[> [> Ix-nay on Angel/Cordy -- Scroll, 12:45:53 03/25/02 Mon

I think Buffy needs someone supernatural, definitely. I don't know who that would be but someone stronger than the average human male would probably be safer for all concerned! Perhaps someone like Groo would be good for Buffy. Good-hearted and noble, but strong and a warrior. Okay, I know he doesn't seem to have much personality (at least that we've seen) but they just might hit it off!

As for Angel and Cordelia--I'm of the belief that they should just be friends, too much like brother and sister for any real love to happen. But I really think Angel should find a way to make his curse permanent. The way things were going with Connor before his kidnapping, Angel was in serious jeopardy of attaining perfect happiness. We can't have that happening! As much fun as Angelus is, I much prefer a souled Angel protecting L.A.

[> [> Maybe Clem? Buffy & Clem, that has possibilities ;) -- Scroll, 13:10:36 03/25/02 Mon

Buffy vs. Alias -- Laurie, 15:36:17 03/22/02 Fri

Okay, so this article is obviously more about Alias than Buffy, but you can tell the critic has odds on Buffy. While I enjoy Alias, and this review is a bit scathing, I thought her point was well taken (especially in that she believes Buffy to be far superior). So anyway, here is a another opinion on the ongoing Buffy/Sydney Bristow debate.

Oh, for the '90s, when women played electric guitar, Ridley Scott's "Thelma and Louise" flew high at the box office and Lara Croft shook her booty without losing her cool. With "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and Xena kickboxing their way into monumental cult status, even television was busting with feminine moxie.

Fast-forward to century 21, when women have vanished from the rock scene, Scott has returned to his blood-and-guts epics, Xena died and retired (in that order), Croft had a disappointing film debut and Buffy ... well, Buffy is still Buffy, thank God. But she's a lone gun, and, to contradict Tina Turner, right now we do need another hero. Preferably a female one.

Enter this year's model, college student-turned-secret agent Sydney Bristow, played by Jennifer Garner in ABC's spy show, "Alias." At first glance, Syd looked promising: a lethal vixen with Day-Glo hair lifted from "Run Lola Run" and "Matrix"-style moves flexed to urban electro beats.

Then came the first episode. And the second. Then more and more episodes, each making it clearer than the last that Syd is in fact more kitten than vixen. Where Buffy and Xena casually rewrote the book on girl power through pithy dialogue, creative angst and ambisexual escapades, Sydney merely dons this week's fetish gear to grump and hiss her way through a series of hackneyed scripts (all the way, alas, to an inexplicable Golden Globe award for Garner).

The plot, such as it is: In "Alias"' preamble, we are told Sydney thinks she's "working for the good guys" (um, that would be the CIA) when she decides to garnish her studies with a little espionage extra credit. Too late, she discovers that she is in fact employed by SD-6, a renegade agency bent on sowing international mischief. Having trained Syd to be a lethal weapon in spandex, SD-6 then rudely turns around and assassinates her fiancé.

Sydney is vexed. "They made me think I was giving my life to God and country, but it was all a lie!" she fumes before turning double agent for the real CIA, which of course never lies about anything, and devoting herself to the downfall of SD-6.

So it begins. Bad techno now supplies the weekly soundtrack as Sydney, dressed like a grim transvestite hooker, battles Evil through a combination of high kicks, long wigs and improbably skimpy ensembles.

While I smirk at the sight of Syd performing martial arts in a latex dress, other women are embracing her as an icon of feminist chic. "We love her wigs, her clothes, her accessories, her walk," says writer J.G. on the Elite TV Web site. "She's competent, feminine and independent."

OK, I must interject. Independent? Sydney's life is run by a posse of male handlers that includes her estranged father. As for competence ... well, it's safe to assume that if loose-lipped Syd hadn't told her fiancé about her espionage hobby, SD-6 wouldn't have felt the need to kill him.

Face it: Syd is hopeless. She whines too much, and she lacks style: Trying to fuse Buffy's attitude with Emma Peel's cool, she achieves only petulant frigidity. Her deadpan voice is flatter than an ice floe; her face, a tabla rasa frozen in what Karen (a.k.a. Manimal) from the review site Television Without Pity calls "a Baywatch look of concentration -- you know, look like you're thinking, but don't deflate your Botox injection."

Of course, "Alias"' inanity isn't all Sydney's fault. Selling the idea of a spy who wears a black leather ensemble to go undercover in a corporate office requires wit and a campy sensibility. "Alias"' writers have neither. While Buffy subjects notions of Good, Evil and heroism to nuance and spot-on parody, "Alias" guilelessly offers villains with names like Mr. Strange and government-funded good guys mouthing lines like, "They've turned Patel into a human bomb, which is not good." Even if Syd lost the Botox and latex, the dialogue would trip her every time.

What makes "Alias" and Sydney's failings extra-special disappointing -- though someday "Alias" might achieve "Showgirls"-like cult status, whereupon it will be extra-special funny -- is that, in an era of Britney and Bush, we need all the smart heroines we can get. As J.G. notes on the Elite TV site, women "want to see women with integrity kicking ass." You betcha. If only we could only get Buffy to kick Sydney's.

[> Bah! -- Jimbo, 20:00:07 03/22/02 Fri

Every day, in every way, I'm more and more glad I let my subscription to the "SF Comical" lapse...

Don't get me wrong, I agree that Buffy is far, far superior to Alias, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the hell out of the latter by approaching it on it's own terms. Alias is at heart, a popcorn fantasy. a small screen Bond with a bit of familiy drama thrown in for kicks.

And please, can't we be done with the "camp sensibility"? Once and for all? Pretend it never happened and get back to actually taking the stuff we do, be it comedy, action, or drama, y'know, seriously?

I hate camp. I despise camp. The whole "we know this is stupid, but it's ok because we know YOU know WE know, so we can all assume a jaded pose and make fun of all the people who don't 'get it'" routine. It was a poisonous, tiresome, dead-end in the 60's and it's just been festering since. Andy Warhol must die. (Yes, I know he's already dead, but how could they tell?) And don't even get me started on Sontag. (Crash Davis's comments on her, among other things, was just about the only decent thing Costner has done in his career...)

The great thing about Buffy has always been it's utter lack of "camp" - it's about real people feeling real emotions, despite the outre environment. The moment I detect the fetid stench of camp wafting from Mutant Enemy is the day I burn my videotapes...

[> [> Right With You On The Camp.... -- AngelVSAngelus, 21:49:04 03/22/02 Fri

Its the difference between 1950's Adam West Batman (vomit), and Frank Miller-penned Batman. Or Joel Shummacher's vs the animated series' (Burton's Batman, I think, is still kind of campy...)
Oh, my, how I LOATHE Joel Shummacher... but that's another bat conversation for another bat post.

[> [> [> Re: Right With You On The Camp.... (OT) -- TRM, 11:01:04 03/23/02 Sat

Was the 1950's Adam West Batman intended camp? I had always assumed that it was a product of the generation (though I wasn't alive then, so I could be completely wrong).

I thought of it more along the lines of the after-effects of WWII and the characteristics of the parents raising the Baby-Boomer generation. The highly moralistic and didactic nature of Adam West as Batman (I remember one episode where he espoused the drinking of milk to protect against a hypnotic potion) mirrored in some sense the didactic nature of Dr. Spock.

Others have a stronger idea of religious history than I do, but I do believe that religious adherence grew after WWII. Note that Batman in the Adam West times was known as the "Caped Crusader" evoking once again the morally clear (despite the historically ambiguous) nature of our central figure. There seemed to be this need to assert a moral distinction especially in light of WWII which, in its recent aftermath, became much easier to view as a battle between Good v Evil.

Likewise, the more current manifestations of Batman, the animated series, for example, is more in line with the Generation-X sentiment of loss. Gen-X didn't feel as if they knew their place in the world or if such a thing as "a place in the world" had any true meaning ... nor did Batman, thus the moral ambiguity of the character, the "Dark Knight." Indeed the focus of the animated series was more on the villans than on Batman himself and the moral justifications that were behind their actions. This brought forth a more ambiguous picture of the world. I actually find the villains more sympathetic in the first animated series than Batman himself -- not that Batman was necessarily wrong, simply that life was injust.

The "campiness" of Joel Shummacher and the somewhat frenetic and irreverent nature of the "Batman Beyond" series seems more characteristic of what we're calling the Gen-Y (Ritalin Generation). It is bright and flashy, but doesn't carry with it the extreme moral didactism that Adam West did. Indeed, it's more a rejection of the "brooding" nature of Generation X, and a cry for nihilism. My interest in particular with Batman Beyond (which I haven't seen for some years), is the juxtaposition of the Bruce Wayne character and the Terry McGuiness character because to some degree Wayne remains a Gen-X figure and Terry a Gen-Y figure. That Wayne, Barbara Gordon, and others remain skeptical, cynical in face of Terry's rather youthful irreverence bring a sortof of critique (who is writing Batman Beyond? Gen-Xers, yet their target is Gen-Y) of the presumed lack of experience of that generation. Note too that Beyond differs from the original animated series in the weakness of its villains. Again, this is a diversion from the Gen-X Batman where the villians were central, morally ambiguous, and sympathetic. Gen-Y doesn't want to brood over their villains but prefers a general big action bang, exciting fight scene, etc.

Sorry for the above. I thought of this examination sometime in advance but never found a forum to deliver it. I acknowledge there are many generalisations.

I suppose the above was supposed to delineate the creation of camp as camp (which Jimbo seemed to be referring to) as the transformation of what was not intended necessarily as camp into camp (which is what I believe happened to Adam West through the looking-backwards of time).

As a personal note, I don't mind camp at all. I certainly don't find it perpetually amusing, but I enjoy variety and camp is at times a good diversion for me. And, there are differences between well- done camp and poor camp and the historical interest of things-become-camp. Though, I am of course in no degree insisting that camp is for everyone.

[> [> [> [> An awesome analysis, and it makes me wonder... -- AngelVSAngelus, 11:33:18 03/23/02 Sat

Into what category do I fall? I enjoy the animated series Batman the most, for those very reasons, and I guess I tend to typify Gen-X broodiness over my own place in the world, but I'm no Gen X-er, least as far as I know. I really don't know which generation I belong to, as an 18 year old as of June last year.
Would your description label the two eras, respectively, as existentialist and then nihilist?
What does it mean, when you know what you want to do (fine artist), you know how to do it, you know that to be your place in the world, you're headed there (through college), but you still find yourself feeling misplaced despite all of that certainty?

[> [> [> [> Adam West Batman -- Buffyboy, 17:03:45 03/23/02 Sat

The Adam West Batman series is from the mid-1960's, my guess is that it started in 1965 or 1966 and ran for two or three years. It was a big thing in my grammar school.
I watched a few eps, but became completely bored with the show before the end of the first season. As far as I remember everyone thought it was camp, or as we would have said: so stupid it's funny.

[> [> [> [> Re: Right With You On The Camp.... (OT) -- Robert, 21:09:49 03/23/02 Sat

>> "Was the 1950's Adam West Batman intended camp? I had always assumed that it was a product of the generation (though I wasn't alive then, so I could be completely wrong)."

Yes it was camp. It was always intended to be camp. Furthermore, the Adam West Batman was released in the early 60's, not the 50's. During its two-year run, it was chic for hollywood name actors to take cameo roles as arch villans.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Right With You On The Camp.... (OT) -- TRM, 21:22:12 03/23/02 Sat

Thanks for the further information -- I was afraid my information might be a little wobbly.

I wonder if its the "camp sensibility" as it has been called can still somehow be attributed to the decade that originated it.

I know I've heard very scandalous things about Adam West and Frank Gorshin (?)...

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Right With You On The Camp.... (OT) -- Ian, 22:22:17 03/23/02 Sat

Personally I find camp a little obvious and tiresome, but I think the point of camp is that it can (at its best) get away with social commentary precisely because it is so silly. A few decades ago, when social expression was more tightly controlled, camp was the anti-establishment expression of its day. By appealing to such a different temperment camp was able to flourish because the mainstream found it too silly to take seriously.

I'm far from knowledgeable about the history of camp, but from what I know it was mainly when camp was accepted into mainstream commercial culture that it lost its applicability.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Right With You On The Camp.... (OT) -- Malandanza, 07:43:14 03/24/02 Sun

"Personally I find camp a little obvious and tiresome, but I think the point of camp is that it can (at its best) get away with social commentary precisely because it is so silly. "

You make an excellent point. Even on the old Batman series there was occasional social commentary. Yes, we always saw Batman and Robin buckle up when they hopped into the Batmobile, but I remember one episode where Batman's testimony in court against a supervillian is thrown out on technicalities -- because both Batman and (I think it was the Penguin) were wearing masks, no one could be certain that the person standing trial had committed the crime. Robin is outraged that a criminal went free on a flimsy pretext, but Batman calmly lectures him on the importance of the judicial process even when it makes mistakes.

Interpretation, Gould, and Baseball -- On topic. Really. Mostly. Indirectly. -- Sophist, 16:20:48 03/22/02 Fri

The current (3/02) issue of Natural History magazine has an article on p. 56 by Stephen Jay Gould about an exhibition of baseball memorabilia. Now, I am a fan of Gould's, and a bigger fan of baseball, so this is a combination made in heaven for me (and not the first -- Gould often writes on baseball).

Not everyone here may share my twin insanities, but wait. The article is an analysis of baseball as a symbol of American culture. What Gould does with baseball is what we here do with Buffy. It relates directly to the thread just archived about the limits of interpretation. I recommend it.

[> Gould's living in the past.....(and I didn't mention comic books or fanboys this time either! YAY!!) -- OtherEric, 08:02:19 03/23/02 Sat

....which I guess is a pun, though I didn't mean it! Great article! As soon as I saw your post, I realized, "Hey, I get that magazine," went and grabbed and checked the article out. He is so right about baseball being the dominant american sport for a few centuries now and in pointing out its impact on culture and americana. He's right about football and basketball not having near the same popularity when he was growing up.

But in the 21st century he is wrong. Baseball was the national pastime. It isn't anymore. More people in this country watch the NFL on Sunday than go to church or some kind of place of worship. Football is our current religion and national pastime. His argument that current popularity doesn't make the case for football because it didn't have the same mainstream popularity in the past is silly. Football has just as many legends. If it isn't already the national pastime, then it is in the process of becoming so.

Baseball is not central to our pop-culture anymore in the way that it was. Everything he describes from his childhood and young adult life concerning the way that Baseball pervaded every aspect of life due to its extreme popularity and dominant place in american sports and culture is the picture as it used to exist. Let go, Stephen Jay Gould, Baseball's time at the top is over. Its just not as big anymore or what it once was. It will always have its place in our history, but it isn't what it was. Something has been lost from our culture because of it. Football's run at the top, as national pastime will not be the same (and part of this, I'll wager, is because Baseball's heydey is tied to timeperiods in our american history that we are already more nostalgic for) and won't be remembered the same, but Gould is right that Baseball was the national pastime and wrong that it still is.

I'm pretty sure nothing else other than football ever has a chance at establishing itself as the national pastime, unless baseball comes back someday. Basketball and hockey are too weak (in popularity--weak isn't an assessment of their respective coolness factors) to ever do it. Baseball already has (and so can again) and Football has been building momentum since the 60's and 70s and I think finally achieved national pastime status in the 80s and 90s.

Or probably I'm just football biased.....but neat article and cool post. The baseball experience is something unique to this country. Baseball and our country grew up together, and thats something that no other sport can claim. Its place in history is assured. I just take small issue with Gould not acknowledging that its day as national pastime (for the moment) exists only as history.

[> [> Redemption is possible, even for football fans -- Sophist, 11:59:13 03/23/02 Sat

[> Re: Interpretation, Gould, and Baseball -- On topic. Really. Mostly. Indirectly. -- Rahael, 10:40:38 03/23/02 Sat

The only contact I've ever had with baseball is by reading Gould's essays!

The first book I ever read was 'Bully for Brontosaurus'. It was a revelation. I was up at university during the vacation researching marriage and sexuality in early modern Europe. I spent most my time just reading Gould cover to cover instead.

Buffy vs. Blade -- Apophis, 21:39:48 03/22/02 Fri

Joss has stated that Buffy couldn't beat the Gene Colan comicbookBlade, but could take movieBlade. What do you think he'll say now, after Blade 2?

[> I like Buffy a LOT LOT LOT LOT better, but Blade would kill her. In two seconds. -- AngelVSAngelus, 21:54:36 03/22/02 Fri

Its the same with Angel. I wish I could say Angel would beat the hell out of him. I certainly like him better. But Blade would murder both of them. Of course, I'm sure that Buffyverse character's inferiority in powers may be due in part to the fact that Joss doesn't have the huge budget to work with. Dude, within the first twenty minutes I'm sure they spent THOUSANDS on computer generating Blade flipping all over the place, thirty feet into the air. If Joss COULD show Buffy doing those things, perhaps she'd kick even more ass.
Not really necessary, though. What Blade lacks in story, it makes up for in mind blowing acrobatics. Buffy is inversely proportional, and I'll take story to the other anyday if I have to choose.

[> [> Re: I like Buffy a LOT LOT LOT LOT better, but Blade would kill her. In two seconds. -- Dedalus, 22:09:29 03/22/02 Fri

It does kinda make me want to see another Buffy movie, though. Joss would bring down the house with a Blade 2 budget.

[> [> [> That would be wicked -- Apophis, 22:24:09 03/22/02 Fri

[> Re: Buffy vs. Blade -- Andy, 11:12:55 03/23/02 Sat

I think if Buffy ever met MovieBlade, she'd start making with the wisecracks and probably make the poor constipated guy break down in tears.

Sorry to fans of the Blade movies but every time I see Snipes play that character I have to suppress laughter :)


Classic Movie of the Week - March 22nd 2002 -- OnM, 22:13:24 03/22/02 Fri


There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

............ Douglas Adams


Science is nothing but perception.

............ Plato


If you are a person whose fundamental belief system expects the universe to be both rational and potentially understandable, you will sometimes find yourself in either intellectual or even physical conflict with those persons who accept the existence of of the non-rational and/or intrinsically unknowable.

In current Western cultures-- at least most of them-- the physical conflicts are fortunately fairly rare, but otherwise all bets are pretty much off. It,s actually a credit to our society that such a diversity of viewpoints is not only tolerated but generally accepted, since at the end of the day most people base decisions on how they will live their lives on how they feel, even if they cover up the elementary essence of the emotion by a veneer of intellectual justification. I feel, therefore I am is far closer to the truth than I think... will ever be.

I recall some years ago-- I,m no longer sure whether it was during the time that his PBS series Cosmos was running or whether I simply read it somewhere-- man-of-science Carl Sagan was responding to the statement by a professed scientific creationist, that evolution was only theoretically workable if a tremendous amount of time were allowed to transpire. From this launching point, things eventually came down to a discussion about how if God created the universe, then who or what created God? The creationist, stated that it was his belief that God has always existed. Sagan sagely remarked that if such was the case, then it would also be possible for the universe to have always existed.

Whether or not this disconcerted the child of God I have no idea, but I suspect it probably did not. The nature of faith, is that it survives logical analysis by placing itself outside of said analysis. You can deconstruct thoughts, but feelings, are self-contained, and usually circular in their support structures. This is actually pretty reasonable when you consider what most of us trust above all is what we observe with our various senses, and how those observations, over time, build up a set of memories that shape our world view. If one fails to routinely trust what one sees and hears, it will rapidly bring about some kind of incapacitation, either mental or physical or both. It can be entertaining for a rational, person to imagine stories about demonic creatures, ghosts, alternate universes, alien abductions, time travel, what-have-you, but if you woke up one morning and found yourself missing several days worth of memories, the reasonable, parts of your brain are pretty likely going to take a quick vacation. The same would be true if you had a dream where everyone was speaking French, and you understood them perfectly, even though you don,t speak a word of the language.

A childhood friend of mine once told me that he had a dream where he saw two parallel lines intersect at a right angle. He understood intellectually that this was impossible,, but nonetheless insisted that from the persepective of his dream, it had happened, and was therefore real, . His theory was that the dream state had somehow positioned him in an alternate universe that existed in more than the normal three dimensions, and so the frame of reference allowed the appearance of the intersecting parallel lines. It,s like a hypercube,, he pointed out. I,m sure my response was along the lines of hummm..., a comment that still serves me well to this day, for many other bemusing or baffling situations.

I,m a person who takes the reality of dreams seriously. If I had had the opportunity to go into the advanced scholastic life, I would have liked to do some serious sleep and dream research. I have had a modest but still significant number of dreams over the past four decades that contained completely inexplicable elements-- that is, sights and sensations that I have had no prior experience with, and therefore should not be recallable, or reassembleable, by my cerebral cortex. The scientist in me seeks a rational explanation for these world-view inconsistancies, and time and again the only one that seems to fit is the improbable one-- that somehow, while sleeping, have a consciousness that either travels to alternate realities, or somehow links up with the mind of another living being.

So you see, it,s actually pretty natural for me to suppose that Normal Buffyverse Buffy could have linked up with an equally real, Asylumverse Buffy with just a chemical poke from a demon (or an ASV hypodermic syringe), since in my own mind, I,ve done just that here in the Real, universe. And if I feel it to be the case, then it must be true, right?

Nah. I could just be nuts. My single biggest intellectual gift isn,t the ability to rationally analyse things, it,s the ability to understand that I could be completely wrong about something without it being the end of the world.

Such isn,t the case for the somewhat more ficticious inhabitants of this week,s Classic Movie, Nomads, by director John McTiernan. Released in 1986, this was apparently the debut feature film from a fellow who went on to much greater famousosity with Die Hard in 1988 and the extremely excellent adventure, The Hunt for Red October in 1990. Nomads fits into the tradition of horror/fantasy films in that it involves the possession, of one person by the consciousness of another, but there are a number of twists that make things just a bit more interesting. The photographic work and choices in both music and other sound elements are also very intriguing, paying homage to others that have gone before while not stooping to merely copy them.

The film stars Pierce Brosnan and Lesley-Anne Down as anthropologist Jean Charles Pommier and Dr. Flax*, respectively. The opening scene features Dr. Flax being rudely awakened from sleep by the ringing of a phone. We quickly discover that she is trying to grab a bit of rest during a break in her very long shift at a hospital emergency room. The EMS crew has just brought in a strange man, possibly homeless, whose appears to be seriously hyped up on some drug or another and raving in some foreign language. As the Dr. struggles to return herself to the land of the lucid, she and we get to view some ominous foreshadowing-- a ragged, blotchy trail of blood leadind up to the curtained-off bed where the druggie, has been restrained.

Down,s character chases away the security team and other ER personell, figuring that their presence is just aggravating the man,s delusions, and tries to calm him for a closer examination. At first she seems to be making contact,, but the man suddenly rises from the bed with almost demonic force and strikes Dr. Flax, knocking her down, but not before whispering something in her ear. The security team quickly acts to reestablish control, but with little need-- the man is dead. Baffled, Dr. Flax has her injury attended to, wondering what the meaning of the man,s last words were. It sounded like French, but she doesn,t speak the language.

Asking a friend to attempt a translation turns out to be a fairly moot action, since before a certain meaning of the last words, can be determined, Dr. Flax is stunned to find herself hallucinating-- no, actually seeing and hearing through the eys and ears of, and finally inhabiting the life, of the man who has just died, who turn out to be the anthropologist Jean Charles Pommier mentioned previously.

Pommier has just returned to civilization, after studying the latest in what seems to be a long series of primitive, cultures. He expects to finally settle down and live a normal, conventional existence with his wife, and we see that they have just purchased a new home and are in the process of moving in. Somehow we already know that a conventional existance, isn,t going to happen, and the appearance of a roving gang of punkish youths traveling in a black van outside the Pommier home swiftly confirms our suspicions.

What we know at this point is that Dr. Flax is possessed, of the spirit or soul of Jean Charles Pommier, but we don,t know why she has been chosen, or why she is reliving the last few days of Pommier,s life. By the end of the film, there will be a answer, or at least a possibility to resolve this question by rational, means, but during the interval between last words and last actions, viewers of this movie will probably divide into one of two camps. The one group will decide that the film,s creative talents got themselves into a position of writing a beginning and an ending without knowing for certain how they were going to connect with one another. This group will point out that there are characters introducted that make little or no sense, that there are gaping plotholes, questionable motivations and inexplicable behaviors.

The other group will decide, as I have, that the above listed deficiencies, are in fact intended and deliberate. As I pointed out in last week,s review of Siesta by director Mary Lambert, creating a cinematically believable dreamscape, (or nightmare vision) is an incredibly difficult task to undertake. Most dreams make little objective sense, unless you are personally immersed in one of them. When you are, parallel lines manage to intersect and rational minds say, OK, I see that now. The events in the middel to latter part of Nomads are meant to be erratic and disconcerting because this is the reality experienced by the characters.

This film is a truly scary film, in an intellectually and emotionally superior way that very few supposed horror/fantasy/mystery, flicks ever manage to achieve. There is little in the way of the traditional use of bloodletting or graphic violence; the fear instead comes from suggestion, and the layering of our more conventional reality upon the fantasy world Nomads inhabits. It,s a thought-experiment where the simple line meeting a stranger out on the ice, leaves you with a chill the latitude has nothing to do with.

So viddy this dream, and chill, ya,all.

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technical strangeness:

Nomads is not currently available on DVD, but is supposed to be released in the digital domain in about a month, April 16th according to a video store I checked with earlier today. Since my review copy is yet another one of my old Beta-videotapes-off-cable, I,m looking forward to seeing this film taken another step closer to the original theatrical version. I have no info on any extras present on the disc, but when it is released I,ll drop some more info into the current week,s Miscellaneous section of the column.

The IMDb has little info about this film, so not much else to report here at this time. Screenwriting credits also go to the director, John McTiernan. Running time is a modest little 91 minutes, which reminds me of the wise words of former F&SF film critic Baird Searles who accurately noted that brevity is the soul of the horror film,. (I think he was reviewing Kubrick,s version of King,s The Shining at the time. Hummm... ) As I mentioned earlier, the soundscape is interesting and effective in this movie, and is probably in standard Dolby Surround on the VHS version.

Cast Overview::

Lesley-Anne Down .... Dr. Flax
Pierce Brosnan .... Jean Charles Pommier
Anna Maria Monticelli .... Niki
Adam Ant .... Number One,
Josie Cotton .... Silver Ring,
Frank Doubleday .... Razor,
Héctor Mercado .... Ponytail,
Mary Woronov .... Dancing Mary,
Alan Autry .... Olds
Frances Bay .... Bertril
Tim Wallace .... Intern

Note: * The reason that I,ve repeatedly referred to Dr. Flax (Lesley-Anne Down,s character) as if she doesn,t have a first name is because none of the cast info I can locate lists one!, OK, now I,m going to have to watch the film again and see if anyone ever refers to her by her first name anywhere. Sheesh! Like I need this stress... Oh, well.



Since this has probably vanished into the archives by now, and since Rob has gotten me all interested in seeing this movie after reading his post about it, I,ve taken the liberty of reposting it here, where hopefully it,ll get at least a few more days notice. I intend to check this flick out as soon as opportunity presents itself, which with my schedule should be sometime later this year. ( Hummm... ) Meanwhile, thanks for the unofficial guest column, Rob!

Date Posted: 03/20/2002
Author: Rob
Subject: The Philosophy of Time Travel

A month or so back, I posted my list of the 10 Best Films of 2001. My #2 choice was the brilliantly twisted Donnie Darko, an independant film that absolutely blew my mind. Incidentally, it was also a huge hit this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

I'm writing now to inform everybody here that yesterday, it came out for sale on DVD and for rental on VHS. This film was rarely seen outside of New York City and small art house theatres, because its national release was pulled after September 11th, due to a subplot involving a plane crash. That was unfortunate, because it is a superb film, with similar themes to American Beauty, but far superior, in narrative structure, acting, directing, and overall execution.

I want everybody here to see this movie. It is perhaps the most fiercely original film I've ever seen. It is a black comedy/psychodrama/sci-fi/fantasy about a boy who may have advanced delusional schizophrenia...or maybe he really is being visited by a sadistic bunny from another dimension named Frank, who tells him the world will end in 22 days. And somehow this all revolves around an old lady named Grandmother Death, and the philosophy of time travel. This movie reaches weird heights of sci-fi brilliance that most movies strive to accomplish, but don't. Perhaps because it is a small-budget film, we can can overlook the special effects we're used to seeing in sci-fi (and there are a few, low-budget ones here), and focus on the ideas.

While this film is sci-fi, it is also a darkly satirical look at suburbia. It deals with censorship, small- mindedness, and examines the greying of the universe from the black and white extremes we're taught, as children, to see it in.

The film boasts a uniformly superb cast, including Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, and Noah Wyle. Despite their big names, their fame does not detract from the film, as it sometimes does with low-budget pictures, because all their performances are brilliantly understated and played against type. Particularly excellent is Barrymore, whose very small role as a progressive English teacher in a Catholic school, might be one of (if not her) best screen appearance to date. Incidentally, she also executive-produced the film with her production company, Flower Films.

This is one mindbender of a movie. After finishing it, I sat in the theatre, completely dumbstruck, and spent the next two hours trying to piece together all the things the movie dealt with. I went to see the movie again the next day, and saw a completely different film! Each scene holds different significance after you know the outcome of the film.

My recommendation...Rent, or prefarably, buy the DVD tonight. Watch it once, to enjoy it and let the film wash over you. Watch it a second time, soon after, to try to figure out what you think the film means. And then watch it a third time, this time with the DVD commentary track, one of the best I've heard for a DVD. The director and author of the work explains what he was trying to do with the story, in-depth, and a lot more things come into focus. I would recommend doing the commentary last, so you can try to figure out as much as you can for yourself. I did that, and was surprised and delighted to find that in some cases, my thoughts and ideas were shared by the author, sometimes not, and in unexpected ways.

I rarely gush about a movie here, but I needed to gush about this one here. No one saw it in the movie theatre, besides me, it seems.

Don't let the same fate befall this film on video!



And here,s some worthy news from Dedalus, likewise worth a re-post:

Date Posted: Also on 03/20/2002
Author: Dedalus
Subject: New Line Cinema Has Bought the Rights to His Dark Materials

Yeah, that's right. I got that off a message board today. It was all over CNN and Scholastic, but I hadn't heard anything about it. Some of us had just discussed it in chat, and it does appear it is happening, especially after the success of LOTR. How it will turn out is a subject of great debate ... and if the religious right had problems with Harry Potter, this will no doubt cause an explosion. Most aren't exactly up on Paradise Lost.

Anyway, there is a great little site out there I thought I would recommend. Since the people here got me to read Phillip Pullman, I thought I would tell you all about it. It's great. Has a dictionary of meanings, a message board, a collection of Pullman interviews, the different quotes and covers in the books, and generally a very nice looking design. It also has an address by which one can contact Pullman via Scholastic. The boards are full of lovelorn fans, and I am just so glad I'm not the only Will/Lyra shipper on the net! New members have Unsettled Daemons, and old ones have Settled ones, which I thought was rather cute.

Also, Pullman himself has mentioned that he will not have anything to do with the movie, however, he is contemplating putting together a Book of Dust. This will be a collection of all his notes about angels and witches and the alethiometer and all the stuff he did as background. It might even contain some prequel stories. His Dark Materials: Episode One. I am very excited about this. I thought I hated Tolkien before Pullman, now that hatred has increased a hundred fold. But New Line is certainly pumped for this. I think since the last book in HDM was such a huge success, this will get made. At the very least, the CGI daemons will be quite cool.

And you know, I think everyone here is building the Republic of Heaven in their own way. Here ya go -


I believe Rahael posted this link:

Here is the online interview with Pullman by readers of The Guardian in full:,6000,652267,00.html


The Question of the Week:

Breaking with tradition here because, hey, I can! Since the Voy archives seem to be getting ever more voracious, last week,s column managed to stay up for like a whole day before getting swallowed! (Hummm... ) So, since I really wanted to get some more input on last week,s QotW, I,m just going to repeat it this week. (Also, since this film brings up many of the same what were the creator,s intentions, as Siesta did, I think it,s still a good question to ask). So, once more into the beach:

What film or films do you recall seeing that you felt started out really well, were intriguing or innovative in some way that got your attention, and then petered out or completely fell apart before the ending? What do you think went wrong? Did you leave the theater thinking that the filmmakers failed somehow, or that it was just that you didn,t get it,?

Post your grains of sand if you,ve got em, take care, and see you next week!

( Next universe, please... )


[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - March 22nd 2002 -- Rufus, 23:33:33 03/22/02 Fri

It just so happens that I was in the video store and saw a copy of Donnie Darko and rented it. Just watched it and thought about the idea of a "reset" on destiny that occured in the movie. Please don't tell me that is what all the bunny stuff with Anya has been about on Buffy.....;)

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - March 22nd 2002 -- Vickie, 00:14:22 03/23/02 Sat

Ethan Hawke's corporate Hamlet fills this bill. I felt it was a noble attempt, that failed. I loved the drowning Ophelia in the corporate fountain.

I also LOVE Nomads. Thanks for bringing it to people's attention. Go watch this movie. Really scary. Good stuff.

[> Re: Question of the Week - March 22nd 2002 -- JBone, 07:43:59 03/23/02 Sat

I always thought that "Strange Days", a James Cameron film, had promise unfulfilled. It was a whodunit, an action picture, and probably where it failed most, a kind of love story. "Strange Days" tackles a number of disturbing issues, and doesn't embarrass itself, but, since it attempted to address so many issues, it could have been great.

[> Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end -- Sturm and Drang, 09:19:15 03/23/02 Sat

Logic and rationality must lead to one point necessarily, once one understands and accepts that all reality is based on perception only and that its true nature can never be known: anything is possible, but nothing can ultimately be proven because of that. This discussion might not actually exist--we only know we are perceiving it and we can never prove anything beyond that. Parallel realities might or might not exist. A god could exist and might have always and the universe too, or maybe one and not the other or vice versa. Fortunately, though the wiring in the walls of reality and whats exactly in the circuit boxes and making all of this go and work can never be known for sure (like an infinite onion with infinite layers--you never can know if you've really gotten to the last one if you accept even the minutest possibiltiy that the onion just might be infinite) the rules of reality via our perception seem constant enough such that we all don't go insane. The important thing, though, is immersing yourself in cool stuff, like Buffy and Manchester United and happy meals. Who cares if anything is real--though I sort of hope that Apotheosis is.......

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - March 22nd 2002 -- leslie, 11:10:52 03/23/02 Sat

Great, great, great movie. I am slowly accumulating the materials for something I call the Bad Anthropology Film Fest, looking at how anthropology/folklore/mythology are used and represented in film and television, and the thing about Nomads is that it uses the main convention of the genre (academics sticking their noses into dangerous territory, the realization that "superstition" is real) but also is a fairly realistic--for Hollywood--depiction of actual anthropological field work.

Clemmie Award #1 -- Liq, 13:26:35 03/23/02 Sat

Tear it up!

[> Re: Clemmie Award #1 -- vickie, 13:47:57 03/23/02 Sat

I assume "category" will change to read: Best Performance by a Webmistress in a Supporting Role: Liquidram

or equivalent?

if so, looks good to me. Maybe we need a little more glitter, though?

[> [> your wish is my command... group decision wins -- Liq, 13:58:14 03/23/02 Sat

[> [> [> Great work, Liq. Very creative. -- JCC, 14:13:41 03/23/02 Sat

[> Clemmies: Looks fabulous -- Dochawk, 15:09:17 03/23/02 Sat

[> awww. Clem looks so cute! -- Rahael, 17:54:30 03/23/02 Sat

[> Re: Clemmie Award #1 -- neaux, 07:57:45 03/24/02 Sun

Liq!! that's great! Let me know when you make a final.

My only request, Could you make the bottom a little more flat?

Once you are satisfied with it, let me know. or email me. I want to put it up on the site!!

BTW Where did you get such a great picure of Clem!

[> [> that's "cartoon-watching Clem" - screencap from OaFA -- Liq, 11:45:41 03/24/02 Sun

Current board | More March 2002