March 2002 posts

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Reply to Rahael's reply to dH's reply to Anom. -- Malandanza, 08:32:25 03/27/02 Wed

"And yes, I can remain tolerant towards people of faith despite the crimes committed in the name of faith. Just as I remain tolerant to the idea of democracy despite the crimes committed in its name; tolerant to the idea of peace, despite the wars committed in its name.

Condemning all Muslims for the actions of a handful of current or past Muslims is absurd -- yet, so is condemning all Catholics because of the Crusades (atrocities were committed on both sides, by the way) or the "Black Legend" version of the Inquisition -- or all fundamentalist Christians because of the actions of a handful of "Professional Christians" (a Mark Twainism) who have made politics their god.

And yet, the thread began as a criticism for all things Right-wing and Fundamental because of the remarks of one narrow group who think that watching Buffy shouldn't be a part of family hour (but, oddly enough, that watching TV ought to be a part of family hour). I avoided reading the thread for quite a while since it looked like liberals vs. conservatives with neither side saying much more than that the other side shouldn't be allowed to speak -- but eventually I began to read it (when I saw that some of my favorite posters were participating -- and also because it ended up being the only thread left). As usual, a thread that began badly was transformed into something of value by the more insightful posters -- and even the ignorant posters contributed by providing topics for discussion :)

But I do agree with the "polynymous troll" (a d'Herblayism) that the board has, if not a liberal bias, then an anti-Christian bias. Suppose that the original condemnation of Buffy had been made by a Muslim or Hindu -- would there have been the same level of scorn for the speaker? Somehow, I doubt it. It's "safe" to attack Christians. Rather than being labeled as a member of the Klan or some other hate group, you come across as rather enlightened. And after all, aren't all fundamentalist Christians just like Jerry Fallwell? Quakers and Seventh Day Adventists, Mennonites and Jehovah's Witnesses are really just like Jim and Tammy Baker, right?

I agree that people should be more tolerant, but that tolerance ought to include Christians as well as non-Christians -- as Rendyl pointed out in the original debate, Free Speech includes the people with whom you don't agree -- it's kind of the point, in fact.

"I simply mused on Thomas More's satire in Utopia, where a strange land that had never heard of Christ proved to be more Christ-like than his contemporary early modern Europe."

Hmm... I'm not sure I agree with that statement. The Utopians' attitude towards war seemed closer to Machiavelli than Christ. And then there was the stripping you prospective bride naked to examine her for defects before the wedding -- not very progressive of Sir Thomas.

[> Re: Reply to Rahael's reply to dH's reply to Anom. -- Caroline, 08:44:35 03/27/02 Wed

"But I do agree with the "polynymous troll" (a d'Herblayism) that the board has, if not a liberal bias, then an anti-Christian bias. Suppose that the original condemnation of Buffy had been made by a Muslim or Hindu -- would there have been the same level of scorn for the speaker? Somehow, I doubt it. It's "safe" to attack Christians."

I wonder if a large portion of posters do come from a Christian background and therefore feel comfortable bashing it? And perhaps are more respectful of other backgrounds as a result? I grew up in a very ethnically and religously mixed area and found this to be the case - the Muslims would scorn their own background, the Christians theirs and the Hindus theirs but you would be very respectful of the background of others. It somehow comes across as less discriminatory or prejudicial if someone says "I can say this because I am a Christian/Jew/Muslim/(insert other word)". I'm not excusing this, I'm just mentioning it as a possible reason for the bias.

[> Black Legend -- Sophist, 08:48:51 03/27/02 Wed

I believe the phrase "Black Legend" refers to the Spanish treatment of the native cultures of the New World, not to the Inquisition in Spain.

[> I'm Christian, and I love BtVS. I invite your hatred, O Posters. -- Apophis, 11:35:52 03/27/02 Wed

[> [> PS- I like Islam, too. -- Apophis, 11:39:07 03/27/02 Wed

[> [> [> <troll> Does that mean you dislike every other religions ? :) </troll> -- Ete, 05:07:03 03/28/02 Thu

[> But I LIKE Christianity... -- Eric, 15:47:09 03/27/02 Wed

I go to church, like C.S. Lewis' spirited apologia. I just don't care for the branch that favors silencing everyone else. Oddly, when I dissed Fundementalists, I did not specify WHICH Fundementalists - Christian, Moslem, or Hindu. Right now I have a great deal of the darkest rage towards Moslems, not because of their religion, but because recent polls in the Middle East show about 36% (even in Kuwait) believe the U.S. "deserved" the WTC bombing (yet blame a Jewish conspiracy). I have to remind myself frequently there are Moslems that aren't crazed Fundementalists (I sit next to one at work) and what Mark Twain said about statistics.

A certain poster tried to characterize me as some uber P.C. college radical. It amuses me because I've been hassled by such at college for my conservative views.

[> [> And to finish the old joke... -- Darby, 08:23:15 03/28/02 Thu's Christians that I can't stand.

It's a joke, folks.

My feeling is that the religion is irrelevant - not to get too far into predeterminism, but nutcases will be nutcases - fringe religious groups provide the most societally-acceptable refuge for humans whose bent for hatred is looking for an outlet. I'm not a great fan of organized religion, but the vast majority of their institutions provide wonderful support for people who just need a comfortable place in the world. It's not for me, a fact for which I take the lion's share of responsibility (although, if I was divvying up with a lion, I think the kitty's share would be pretty much everything, y'know?).

And Eric, never trust a poll - a sequence of questions like, "do you agree that U.S. policies may have legitimately contributed to the terrorists feeling justified?" could draw those kind of numbers, or higher, and be reported the way you described. It's never in the numbers, it's all in how you ask the questions (that's why we almost never are told the actual questions that people are asked).

[> I'm frightened by religious fanatics of any variety. -- bookworm, 17:21:24 03/27/02 Wed

I don't like them, find them tedious, resent when they try to tell me how to live my life and attempt to get my favorite TV show censored. I don't choose to spend time with them socially. I don't care for Baptists asking me if I am saved or if I am a Christian. They then talk up the evils of Catholicism when they find out that I was raised Catholic, as if Catholicism isn't Christianity. I didn't like the fanatical Catholics who held a meeting for concerned parents on the evils of Harry Potter and witchcraft on the day before the movie opened in my home town. I don't like Jehovahs Witnesses coming to my door. Muslim fanatics blow themselves up in Jerusalem and fly airplanes into buildings. Jewish fanatics refuse to give an inch in Israel and cause more Palestinians to blow themselves up in retaliation. War and pain is caused primarily by fanatics and control freaks. Fanatics are apparently trying to censor Buffy. If they don't like it, the solution is simple: turn it off.

[> [> Don't be frightened. Fanatics of any kind (cept Buffy fanatics of course) are morons... -- OtherEric, 18:15:06 03/27/02 Wed

Fanatics and fundamentalists are reactionary idiots. As are any kind of idealouges be they nazis, communists, or smurf-worshippers or anything else. But in the end, they always lose. Free peoples always win. Just like in Tolkien. Because we have super-carriers and neutron bombs and brave little hobbits and things and some blades of westernese make and James Bond. Let the barbarians come.......

[> [> [> Re: "Nazis, communists, or smurf-worshippers"!?!?! LOL -- Dedalus, 19:34:31 03/27/02 Wed

The New York Gang - can you guess who is who?? -- Liq, 08:33:44 03/27/02 Wed

Chocolate to the first one with the correct answer.
Need it be said that they who inhabit the photo are not eligible?

[> Do we get a hint? I forget who all went. However... -- Dichotomy, 09:06:46 03/27/02 Wed

...I'm pretty sure that dH and Rah are second and third from the right, respectively. Quite cute together, BTW! (That is, if I'm right. If not, forget I said that.)

[> [> Well, thank you..... -- Rahael, 09:35:16 03/27/02 Wed

But I couldn't possibly comment until the results are in!

I'm replying as a public service thing, to keep this thread from archiving!

[> [> See, tol ya she was Our Lady of Ultimate Exoticness! ;-) -- Solitude1056, 13:03:13 03/27/02 Wed

[> I dunno the rest but that guy in the leather jacket with the glasses, that's _gotta_ be John Lennon! -- vandalia, 11:47:40 03/27/02 Wed

[> Must be Edward in red -- Cactus Watcher, 14:33:53 03/27/02 Wed

The others are Kimberly, their kid and ?? Don't remember who else was there either.

[> [> Re: Must be Edward in red -- Edward, 16:51:26 03/30/02 Sat

Uh-oh, I didn't mean to imply that I was expendable! :-)

[> The smile that lights up the room could only be Rahael.....:):):) -- Rufus, 15:46:51 03/27/02 Wed

[> [> Well, if that sleepy head on the table is Rahael, we've all been fooled. ;o) -- CW, 19:27:24 03/27/02 Wed

Heck, I see six great, intelligent smiles, and one very tired child.

[> [> [> And I thought someone had dressed up as the Annointed One...;) -- Rufus, 23:06:10 03/27/02 Wed

But of course a puff of smoke could be the Annoying one...:):):)

[> [> [> [> Re: And I thought someone had dressed up as the Annointed One...;) -- Kimberly, 16:52:33 03/30/02 Sat

Actually, he was the Annoyed One until he found out how many trains he was going to be riding. ;- )

[> [> [> [> [> LOL........can't say I blame him....I hope he was well rewarded.....:) -- Rufus, 19:33:40 04/01/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: LOL........can't say I blame him....I hope he was well rewarded.....:) -- Kimberly, 06:57:17 04/02/02 Tue

Yes. TRAINS! (At his age, this is the best kind of reward.) Plus lots of thanks from Mom & Dad for letting us enjoy ourselves.

He even says he had a good time! (Me a proud mother? Couldn't be.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> How silly of me I forgot about the Trains......he sure is a cutie.....:):):) -- Rufus, 19:01:19 04/02/02 Tue

You have good reason to be a proud mom.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You really don't want to get me started ;-) -- Kimberly, 19:49:42 04/02/02 Tue

'Cause I can go on for days and days about all the wonderful things he does and says and is. (Me proud? You'd better believe it! :-D)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You have till rerun hell is over..........;) -- Rufus, 20:25:09 04/03/02 Wed

[> can we get the answers before the archivination? -- yuri, 23:54:00 03/27/02 Wed

[> [> A Hint -- Rahael, 07:00:07 03/28/02 Thu

Here are the posters in the photo in alphabetical order:

Joshua (ok, he’s not a real poster)

Does that help?

Let the guessing recommence!

[> [> [> Re: A Hint -- matching mole, 07:15:25 03/28/02 Thu

Then from left to right (or clockwise)

Anom, Edward, Joshua, Kimberly, Rahael, d'Herblay, DarrenK

is my guess

[> [> [> [> I think the chocolates belong to Mole!! -- Rahael, 08:06:40 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Maybe I should change my name to molé -- matching molé, 08:41:58 03/28/02 Thu

if I'm going to be all chocolately goodness.

Sorry bad joke and possibly quite obscure to those not familiar with Mexican food.

I'm busy licking the remains of my reward of my fingers, which is making typing difficult.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Well you did prove that you were good at matching! -- Rahael, 11:00:35 03/28/02 Thu

dH and I are in chat, if anyone wants to join in!

[> [> [> [> [> [> you don't need to -- anom, 21:48:44 03/30/02 Sat

Actually, there's no written accent on mole the chocolate sauce, 'cause the spoken accent's on the 1st syllable. They just put it there in English so it'll "look Spanish." Same as mate (as in yerbe mate). They look like English "mole" & "mate" without it, so I guess the packagers would rather put an accent that doesn't belong there in the 1st place on the wrong syllable than have it read as English.

Anyway, mole, the point is you can keep your name & eat your mole sauce too.

Actually, now that I wrote that, it looks like sauce for a burrowing rodent. Yuck. Maybe it's not so bad w/the accent....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Led astray by the internet -- matching mole without the accent, 04:48:24 04/01/02 Mon

Being linguistically challenged I was uncertain about the spelling of mole (the sauce) so I did an internet search with the accent and found it spelled that way. It's wonderful all the useful things you learn on this site.

BTW moles aren't rodents, they're insectivores, like shrews and hedgehogs. They have pointy teeth for eating earthworms and other small animals rather than chisel-shaped teeth for eating seeds and other plant material.

Dedalus Strikes Again! -- Liq, 08:58:47 03/27/02 Wed

Vampire Slaying and Cultivating Insanity

[> Paradisal gates ajar........... -- Rahael, 09:30:45 03/27/02 Wed

Excellent, thank you Ded!

I'll reply in more detail tomorrow, I hope, Voy permitting.

But I loved watching you demonstrate your intellectual judo. Couldn't agree more about the self involvement thing.

Let's hope this keeps this post from disappearing anyhow.

[> [> Re: Thanks friends and neighbors :-) -- Dedalus, 11:11:17 03/27/02 Wed

[> [> Re: Paradisal gates ajar........... -- MaeveRigan, 12:18:12 03/27/02 Wed

Fascinating essay. Especially appreciated the tie-in to current events! Spooky!

[> That's an incredibly impressive essay! I am incredibly impressed. -- Ian, 12:45:21 03/27/02 Wed

[> Good work....I award you a have to work your way up to a lightsaber..:) -- Rufus, 18:06:42 03/27/02 Wed

[> Fabulous Essay--Made My No Good Dirty Rotten Day a Bit Better! Thanks! -- La Duquessa, 18:13:37 03/27/02 Wed

[> Re: A Few More Real World Examples -- Dedalus, 19:30:32 03/27/02 Wed

Well, thanks to everyone who waded through all that.

As I went on about my business today, I hit upon a couple of other events in the news that struck my eye.

One, the use of the dreaded N-word by young black people. To me, this really is a great example of social judo. Precisely what I was talking about. Instead of cowering in fear of the word, it has been embraced, added to the lexicon, and much of its' sting has been reduced. That to me is a very interesting thing.

Two, on the other side of the spectrum, the controversy with the Catholic Church. Instead of embracing the law of reversed effort, it embraced the law of effort. Celibacy was enforced, sexuality was denied, and it came back even stronger in the form of sexual perversion. No Judo there. Repression so, so rarely works.

[> Re: Dedalus Strikes Again! -- Gwyn, 21:09:03 03/27/02 Wed

The essay is interesting except for the unnecessary inflammatory comment on the Middle East situation clearly written by someone who has never lived there...sigh

[> [> Re: In all honesty, it was suppose to be mutually inflammatory -- Dedalus, 11:41:24 03/28/02 Thu

[> OT - Religious authorities -- Juliette, 16:18:17 03/30/02 Sat

A bit OT but... it seems hardly fair to blame religious authorities for the actions of someone who is mentally unstable. 'Thou shalt not kill' is fairly clear and it is not the fault of the religion itself if not all of its followers adhere to the rules. I realise that this statement is a gross over-simplification of a very complicated issue involving the historical wrongdoings of several Churches and the interpretation of various laws - forgive me, it's 1:15am and I wanna go to bed! I will also be unable to reply as I'm going on holiday tomorrow - its not that I am unwilling to discuss the issue, I just won't be here! I'm not pretending there is no justification in criticism of organised religion, I just thought I should make the point - I just got back from church for Easter and felt the need to stick up for my belief system!

To Rob: Annotations to WttH and Harvest -- Sophist hoping not to knock a thread off our shrunken Board, 09:15:19 03/27/02 Wed


1. Opening scene: Breaking into the science room perhaps a metaphor for the break of the bewitched world into our rational, scientific one.

2. Classroom scene: Reference to the Black Death foreshadowing the Harvest.

3. Lockerroom: Irony of girls with absurdly unusual names wondering about the name "Buffy".

4. Bronze: The lyrics to the first song we hear set the theme for Buffy's attitude in the episode and for her overall quest: "What's inside of me?/Oh I just want to believe/If my life can have a purpose/Help me to believe."

5. Bronze: The slayer's ability to sense vampires is not always followed consistently on the show, but was later used to dramatic effect in Dead Things.

6. Crypt: "You look like DeBarge." Reference is to an early 80s R&B group and its lead singer.

7. Crypt: Luke ironically refers to humans as a plague, keying back to the Black Death lesson earlier.


1. Library: "Jesse is my responsibility." Buffy's first articulation of her understanding of the Slayer's duty. She struggles with this in later episodes, notably Prophecy Girl and The Gift.

2. Crypt: "1843. Madrid. He caught me sleeping." Is this reference to a male, in the context of a discussion of Slayers, a mis-statement by Luke or does it have meaning for later?

3. Anointing of Luke: References to taking souls, unless metaphorical, are inconsistent with the Angel story line begun in "Angel".

4. Outside the Bronze: "Don't go Wild Bunch on me." Reference is to a 1960s movie.

[> The way to keep threads from archiving is to respond to them and keep responding to them -- Masq, 09:25:58 03/27/02 Wed

Hence why the Right Wing Objections wouldn't die. People were often adding comments.

Oh, and this public service announcement is to help this thread not die an early death. : )

[> [> I think d'H is right -- the main page is smaller. Threads are being archived too quickly. -- Sophist, 09:44:18 03/27/02 Wed

[> [> [> The number of responses has also slowed down considerably -- Masq, 09:52:43 03/27/02 Wed

Spring break, episode hiatus.

I tried going in and changing the settings (allow more space on the main board before archiving, etc) but we are apparently at the max.

I think Voy is trying to keep the amount of kB used down. The alternative is paying $200 a month for high volume zany-ness. At least, that's what I heard happened at the BC&S spoiler board.

By the way, does anyone know if the spoiler trollop board is archiving too fast?

[> [> [> [> Spoiler Trollop board seems "normal" -- Vickie, 10:03:05 03/27/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> An example -- Sophist, 10:40:44 03/27/02 Wed

Malandanza started a new thread at 8:32 this morning. There were 2 responses within 20 minutes, but it has already archived. As of 10:42 this morning, the main board still showed a thread with only 2 entries (Eric and Rendyl), the latest of which came before Malandanza's post.

[> [> [> [> [> I put that one back myself. -- Masq, 11:08:42 03/27/02 Wed

i moved a number of archived threads back on to the main board this morning, especially ones posted most recently today.

[> [> [> [> [> [> But I didn't move back the Rahael thread I'm doing it now. -- Masq, 11:10:40 03/27/02 Wed

My bad!!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> But you're right, I'm tired of dragging posts out of the archives -- Masq, 11:14:37 03/27/02 Wed

I think I'm off to complain to voy now. : )

[> Wild Bunch -- Jon, 10:20:50 03/27/02 Wed

Sadly I don't remember the context of the Wild Bunch reference, but it should be noted that in the Wild Bunch (the be all and end all of Sam Peckinpah's work IMO) a group of outlaws choose to make a completely desperate last stand in a Mexican village - there is no hope of them getting out alive, their hope is just to slaughter as many enemies as they can before they're taken out.

Just in case anyone needed to know.


[> [> "The Wild Bunch" also contains characters named Lyle and Tector Gorch, as well as one named "Angel" -- d'Herblay, 10:42:25 03/27/02 Wed

slayers -- ebony, 09:29:58 03/27/02 Wed

This may be a silly question but i have been wondering for some time now about how slayers come to be. I know that when one dies another one is called but when Buffy dies for the first time and Kendra is called she says that she was given to her watcher when she was little and that her people take being a slayer very serious. Yet, when Buffy is called she is 15 and has no clue about what a slayer even is. I have no clue as to how long Faith trained before she was called I do remember her stating that her watch was killed in Boston (I think). Do the watchers already know who will be called next? Or did Josh get confused?

[> Re: slayers -- Darby, 10:33:47 03/27/02 Wed

There is some confusion, and the only place that the issue has really been addressed in in the comics: Fray, by Joss, and Tales of the Slayers, by Joss and various people, and even then it's not really clear and we can't be sure if details from another medium even "count." My assumption is, rather than their trying to keep track of which features are "real" and which are not, anything developed by the people who actually write the show has effectively been added to the "book."

Apparently, Slayers are born - that would mean that at any given time, there should be quite a few of them on the planet (what with the job turnover). They are apparently already gifted with the Slayer strength and such (Justine, maybe?), and are tapped in subconsciously to (and have dreams about) the experiences of former Slayers. (That may explain the Faith-Buffy encounters in dreams, or my theory that the Buffy in the asylum is another, uncalled Slayer linked to Buffy and seeing her own life like she actually is Buffy) I expect that the Watchers Council stays on the lookout for unusually gifted girls, but they wouldn't be able to find them all, and they seem to be able to track the actual Slayer essence when it "chooses" an individual. We don't actually know how long Faith's Watcher worked with her - it might have been briefly, like Buffy's first Watcher, and may have started with the actual calling.

Of course, none of this is absolutely reliable, but it seems like it works this way.

[> [> Re: slayers -- skeeve, 12:27:31 03/27/02 Wed

If a slayer is born with her powers, what is the difference between a called slayer and an uncalled slayer?

[> [> [> Re: slayers -- Robert, 12:45:32 03/27/02 Wed

>> "If a slayer is born with her powers, what is the difference between a called slayer and an uncalled slayer?"

No where is it stated that slayers have their powers before being called. The question becomes confused because Fray had her powers from birth. However, she was called from birth. Likewise, no where is it stated that slayers don't have their powers before being called. If they did, the implication would be that there are many girls alive at any time who have extraordinary powers and could join in actively fighting the evil. If this were the case, it would dilute the whole theme of there being one slayer to fight the vampires and the forces of ... etc.

[> [> [> [> Re: slayers -- Dochawk, 17:27:06 03/27/02 Wed

The nature of the slayer has been a vexing me since I first stumbled on BTVS a few months back. I have colleceted alot of into and sources from the show to Joss interviews etc. I hope one day to annotate all of it and post it. To the best of my understanding, a number of young girls are "chosen" to become possible slayers. Sometimes these girls can be found by the watcher's council so that their training can be started early (this was the case with kendra). After a girl reaches a certain age (17?) she can no longer be called, so I assume the watcher leaves but she still has her training but not the superpowers (we know from Xander and justine and co that nonsuperhero vampire slayers stand a reasonable chance against vamps). A girl learns she is called by having dreams of previous slayers. These dreams seem to implant a "history" of slayerdom in each slayer. The COW also learns of the slayer being chosen at this time and sends a watcher out, if the girl hasn't already been trianed. Faith apparantly had been spotted prior to her being chosen, but not by much.

Hope that helps

[> [> [> [> Re: slayers (Fray spoilers) -- Darby, 07:21:04 03/28/02 Thu

Well, you made me reread Fray, which turned out to be like rewatching Buffy, although not quite as satisfying.

The mysterious demon Watcher-type does state (and there's no reason to doubt him, since much of his story jives with what we readers know and Fray couldn't know) that since the 21st Century, "girls continued to be born with the power, but none were called." That implies that there would have been appropriate Slayers of the right age to be called when Fray was born, so she was not called at birth (the power doesn't work that way, as has been firmly established), although it is explicit that she (and her brother) had the physical / psychic Slayer abilities since they were young. Add that to the Watchers finding her early in the series (and she's now the appropriate age), and the implication is that the calling (which Watchers can somehow track), reawakened by some mechanism that may or may not be explained, had come to her when she reached the right age.

I agree with the points you make about the world this creates, and in fact there have been several discussions about these things here since Fray and Tales of the Slayers came out. I'm starting to think, however, that these "additions" fit fairly well into the canon: it explains why potential Slayers are sometimes found (look for the girls with the abilities) but the only reliable tracking seems to be of the Calling power. It fits into the training details. To me, it partially explains Faith, whose "See, Want, Have" attitude could have been badly bolstered by a lifetime of physical superiority (but the Boston Watcher could have tracked her down that way before she was called - her references to that Watcher imply a true emotional attachment, and she hadn't been called that long before).

And maybe there is a world full of "almost Slayers" working locally - it has never made sense that a demon war could be fought with a single soldier, but it might if the Slayer is used for apocalypse- level battles while the others, driven by the innate knowledge (I still keep coming back to Justine) and physical abilities and, if possible, their own Watchers, patrol the wilds of downtown Topeka.

From What's My Line - XANDER (to Buffy) A slayer? I knew this "I'm the only one, I'm the only one" thing was just an attention getter.

Now I want to pour over old scripts and see if vampires differentiate between a Slayer and the Slayer...

[> Re: slayers (with assorted old spoilers) -- Robert, 12:39:26 03/27/02 Wed

>> "Do the watchers already know who will be called next? Or did Josh get confused?"

If Joss ever got confused, I believe the world would come to a sudden end.

We need to look at the canon of BtVS. The purposes of this posting, I define the canon of BtVS to be the material to which Mr. Whedon and the rest of the Mutant Enemy (ME) writers hold themselves bound. Based upon interviews I've heard and the writing results, I believe this to include BtVS, Angel, the Fray comic, and Tales of the Slayer comic. I do not believe that the movie is included in this, for the good reason that the producer did not see fit to keep Joss Whedon's work intact. Likewise, I don't believe the novels or other comic books are included, again because they were not written within the structure of Joss' story arcs.

That being said, the movie did raise a point which I believe that Joss agrees with. Buffy was not identified and found as a slayer until after she was called. Her first watcher made mention that she had not started training till very late, with the implication that this was a very unusual phenomenon. No explanation was given why the Watcher's Council (WC) failed to find Buffy until so late. I am hoping that this question will someday be answered.

Fray also wasn't identified until her late teens. A partial expanation is given in this case. First, the WC had declined to the point of ineffectiveness. Second, the "signs" were weak for reasons not explicitely stated, though I suspect were due to Fray's slayer powers being split with her twin brother.

This theme, of Buffy's training beginning very late, is carried throughout the series. Kendra and Faith show us how potential slayers are normally managed by the WC. From an early age that are separated from their birth families and raised by the WC. At some point, they are assigned a watcher to act as their commander and liaison to the WC. The operative difference here is that slayers normally have no personal relationships except for their watcher. Buffy had family, friends, and lovers.

In "Fool for Love", Spike pointed to this difference as a possible explanation of why Buffy has lasted so long. Though never stated, I am given the impression that the average life span of an active called slayer is measured in months and that the WC prefers it this way. The WC appears to regard the slayers as an instrument of their policy, and like any tool you use it till it breaks and then you replace it. The WC has not been happy with Buffy. It's a miracle they didn't just assassinate Buffy and start over.

[> [> Re: slayers (with assorted old spoilers) -- Cactus Watcher, 14:53:30 03/27/02 Wed

The movie also mentioned that all slayers share a particular birth mark. That would indicate there was a way to identify potential slayers, but not necessarily the one girl that would actually be called.

Thomas More and Black Legends - a reply to Malandanza -- Rahael, 11:02:45 03/27/02 Wed


I take your points on board re Christianity, yet must argue that I had addressed them on numerous previous posts.

Caroline hits the nail on the head. We are, most of us from Christian backgrounds. We live in a culture infused with Christianity.

I am a Christian. I like faith. I love 'the beauty of holinesse'. Therefore I feel it imperative to be the first one to condemn the faults of my faith. Just as I want to readdress an a post which attacked a religion which is a minority in this board, which has less experts here than Buddhism or Hinduism or Judaism.

We get post after post (from people like myself) talking about the virtues of Christ, and Christ like imagery in BtVS. Adam and Eve, Eden, The Divine Comedy etc. I felt completely ashamed that Aisha had to come here and read what she did re Islam. That's why I spoke out again this morning, Because I don't really want to be associated with it. A poster explicitly connected Islam with fascism and then went on to say that Christianity had brought about more good in the world than evil, and that Islam had done the opposite. The links that the poster had provided come from incredibly biased sources. Sources actively involved condoning of human rights violations against Muslims. I think 'absurd' is a bit of an understatement don't you?

I feel able to criticize perceived hypocricy precisely because on a former thread criticizing Christianity, I've pointed out its other side. I quote Blake, and Milton and Herbert here continuously - all Christian religious poets. I can't speak for the others contributing to that thread. I can only represent myself. I've also criticized aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism here before (both part of my culture) because its not about 'attacking religious belief' but precisely because I honour the highest aspirations of these faiths.

As for Thomas More, I must disagree with your interpretation of Utopia. The War thing actually is the most stinging critique of modern Europe in the whole book. We have the satire of the modern European war council where we see the crowned heads of Europe and his noble councillors actually using Machiavellian tactics. THis is explicitly contrasted with Utopia. I'll have to dig out my undergraduate essays on Utopia to confirm exact details.

The nakedness thing is actually a touching little detail. There is nothing to indicate that More thought it was a bad thing. It was like Adam and Eve, unconscious of sin, meeting in the Garden of Eden. And it wasn't the husband inspecting the wife, it was both partners seeing each other unclothed before marriage.

But I'll have to agree with you re The Black Legend, and have disagree with Sophist. The Black legend refers to the vilification of Catholicism by Protestantism. This vilification was based on bad history, bad case examples, and plain hypocrisy. I find that kind of thing rather objectionable. Especially as a historian of a sort. I've talked about this on the board before re Catholicism especially because I am a Protestant and anti Catholicism is still alive.

PS, what makes you think More was a progressive? That wasn't a quality aspired to in his age. Remember that he oversaw the burning of Protestant heretics.

[> Re: R hit the nail on the head .... -- Dedalus, 11:37:07 03/27/02 Wed

When she wrote back in the Thread That Wouldn't Die about how why can't people see the human being beyond the culture and the religion.

But see, the only problem with that is, if a human being gets completely involved in a particular group, in a way they leave their own individuality behind. Therein lies the inherent mix-up. I am simplifying this terribly - mainly because I want to log off and go eat lunch - but I think it is a legitimate point. When you ally yourself with a group, I do believe you have to take some amount of responsibility for what it has done in the past and is doing now. Not all of it, mind you, but certainly some. I suppose that's why I find it so extremely difficult to agree with any group enough to join it. Except maybe you guys. :-)

You look back at the past, and every social, political, and religious institution is filled with all kinds of hypocrisy, double-dealing, and sometimes even violence. I could not feel good about teaming up with anything that doesn't support my own values and ideals, and I can't see really anything in the world today that does, quite frankly. I think there is something to be said of those of us who criticize what we're closest to - without a doubt, I do that. But it just seems somehow fairer, what with the personal experience and all. I have so many major issues with Christianity, but if I was in India, I would no doubt say the same thing about Hinduism. The problem is, there isn't a single religion standing that does not have an incredibly messy past, and that doesn't in the end belong to, as Campbell said, "another people, another time, a whole other universe."

Not to go off on a tangent, but I was just thinking today that Buffy, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and His Dark Materials are really the purest myths we've ever had, precisely because they're self-aware. They're also up to date on what is going on today. Buffy tells you about growing up, SW puts one in accord with the larger universe we now know exists, HDM kills death and brings it into accord with science. Etc. No organized religion can really provide that.

I know we need groups, and I know we need communal experience, but damn it, there has to be something better than what is currently being offered up. I know I sound like a broken record, but I would have to say Joseph Campbell and now Alan Watts had the clearest perspective on how the situation now lies. I think we do go into another tradition not really respectful, but with a basic intuition that it is not to be taken literally. Like I touched on in my essay, it seems to me literal myths very much coincide with schizophrenia.

Anyway, Rahael, you continue to be such an elegant spokesperson for tolerance. The subject of tolerating intolerance is something I constantly go back and forth on. Although I will say, the more I scream and holler and criticize other people for supporting intolerant views, the more intolerant I myself become.

To quote the sage George Carlin once again in a bit of prose that sums up my own thoughts perfectly -

"No matter how you define it, I do not identify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neightborhood improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to."

[> Re: Thomas More and Black Legends - a reply to Malandanza -- Apophis, 11:49:44 03/27/02 Wed

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said (my posts below were just me being a jerk due to boredom). Religions are mortal institutions, and therefore fallible. That doesn't make them inherently bad. They are ministered by people, and people aren't always nice. Nothing in this world is perfect. Only by acknowledging our mistakes and sins of the past can we hope to avoid them in the future and move on to a superior state of being.
PS- What caused all this? I looked through the archives and couldn't find the post you're referring to. I assume it's been deleted.

[> Re: Thomas More and Black Legends - a reply to Malandanza -- Kimberly, 11:58:20 03/27/02 Wed

Rahael, once again you said what I would have before I got my ducks in a row, and did it better than I could have.

One point I think also needs to be made: some of those of us criticizing Christianity do so because people espousing one of the various forms of it has hurt us one way or another. Most people will attack that which has hurt us. Not very open, but very human.

[> [> Re: Good point, K -- Dedalus, 13:39:18 03/27/02 Wed

It is a touchy subject. The problem is, we usually have two sides of the story. One praises Christianity as being responsible for none of the world's ills, and the other criticizes it as being responsible for all of them. There does need to be a meeting in the middle, I suppose.

I read an article not long ago in USA Today, and it reported that in the last ten years, some thirty million people have parted company with Christianity in the US alone. Currently, only about 50% of those polled adhere to any particular religion. Church attendance is down to like 30-35%. The Catholic Church is of course suffering from this whole child molestation thing. It just goes on and on.

My point was, surely, when you have an institution as powerful and all pervasive as Christianity was/is, and the people turn on it like rabid animals, surely the institution bears some of the fault. See what I mean? Something obviously went wrong somewhere down the line, and though there is a handful inside the church (like my ever fav John Shelby Spong) who take responsibility, that is not the usual response. Instead, we get the Liberals, the Secular Humanists, the New Agers, the Pagans, the Feminists, the Democrats, and whatever else imaginary enemies their minds can conjure up taking the blame for their own mishandling of the situation. I think that has been a big part of this turning away from organized religion. At least for me. It's all rationalization.

And on a side note, speaking of rationalization, this "You're taking things out of context!" argument has GOT to go. No matter what is being said, but from Genesis to Revelation, if anyone ever quotes scripture to criticize the Bible, within ten seconds, someone will inevitably shout "You're taking things out of context!" There was an amusing bit on Politically Incorrect not long ago. Someone was quoting the Koran as having said to "Cut off the infidel's head." A Muslim on the panel immediately shouted out "You're taking things out of context!" But see, that's what it says. Plain as day. There is no mystery here. There is no room for interpretation. There is no vague theology to decipher. If God tells you to cut off an infidel's head, then what does that mean? Simple, you see an infidel - and you cut off the motherf*cker's head!

If the Bible says women are not allowed to speak in church, the Bible means women are not allowed to speak in church. No amount of spin is going to change that. But it's kind of hard to have a religion based on a book that no one will even acknowledge what it says. Hence all the double-binds I spoke of in my latest smash hit essay. "Sure, the Bible says that, but if you take Timothy 1 verse 2, divide it by I Corinthians 14:7, reference back to Isaiah 4:8, stand on your head while you're reading it (but only on the third Tuesday in March), and take into account the Earth's gravitational pull, what it really means is that women CAN speak in church." Huh!? That is literally the kind of rationalizations floating around.

If only it were that simple. If only one could shout "You're taking things out of context!" whenever they hear something they don't like. I would have done it. Like when my academic advisor told me I had to take college algebra according to the curriculum. Believe you me, I would have just shouted "You're taking things out of context!!!"

[> [> [> Re: Good point, K -- JM, 19:55:18 03/27/02 Wed

Sorry, I haven't allowed myself to spend as much tine on the boards so I haven't had a chance to read this entire discussion. One thing I would caution about the Bible (and also the Talmud and the Koran) is a reminder that not all devotees give the same reverence to the sacred text. Based on very little information (i.e., Chaim Potoc) I know that there are variations within Judaism. Some strains regard every syllable as divine and immutable, some do not. I know that the Roman Catholic Church does not know adhere to literalism. The Pope has endorsed evolution, which cannot be reconciled with a literal interpretation of Genesis. I am not certain that this church ever did, since its members essentially chose which readings to include and exclude. They consider the direction and understanding of the clergy to be as significant as the scriptures.

Protestantism originally focused heavily on the Bible as a way of connecting God to the individual and bypassing the possibly corrupt middleman. However, today, among the denominations there is great variation on how literal an interpretation is required. The intellectual leadership of the more progressive denominations are very invested in tracing the historical authenticiy and accuracy of the writings and the many interpretations they have survived. Although sometimes talk of context is hair splitting, sometimes it is a genuine dialogue among the faithful. Many people considered them divinely inspired messages, but simultaneously historical documents, heavily influenced by the intended audience and the almost unrecognizable world in which the authors lived.

[> [> [> Letter of the Law, Interpretation of the Law, Spirit of the Law -- Etrangere, 05:38:49 03/28/02 Thu

You'd be amazed what you can find out as the interpretation of what looks like a fairly straight text in Religion.
religions, even religions based on a fixed (because sacred) text are not fixed in time, never evoluing. Those changes offcourse, are based upon the interpretation of the text (the context, if you would)
So, upon what should you judge the religion ? The "naked" text, seen as simple and litteral (yeah, right, as if even such a thing existed !) Offcourse, in many instances, more fanatism has been created by litteral interpretation of the text (say Creationnism - one American thing that always amazes us Europeans) than by complex (and society of a time and a place bound) interpretation of it.
In Judaism we explicitly consider the difference between the sacred text, the Thora and the interpretations of it, the Talmud, the oral tradition (and thus bound to change with time) I do think this difference is implicit to many religions. The text and its secret meaning, the exoteric and the esoteric... it's so frequent to see this duality in religious traditions ! Exegese is one of the great attribute of religious specialists of every kind.
But if we can interprete anything and everything into a sacred text (and indeed, sometimes it seems so) how can we judge (well, admitted we wanna) a religion ? What is the Spirit of the Law then ?
Well, if the spirit of the law is the intention behind the law, then most sacred text (those from the monotheist religions anyway) are supposed to be written by God so asking him/her/whatever about it looks like the only solution. Why don't you do it ? :)

[> [> [> [> Re: Letter of the Law, Interpretation of the Law, Spirit of the Law -- Sophist, 08:42:52 03/28/02 Thu

You make an excellent point about exegesis. I would add a couple of comments.

There are 2 strains of Christian thought which do adopt the suggestion in your final line about asking God. In Catholicism, the Pope has the ultimate authority to decide doctrine ex cathedra. This power is rarely exercised.

Protestantism (Luther and Calvin) denies the need for intermediaries such as priests or popes in interpreting Biblical text. They also deny the oral tradition and custom, choosing to rely on scripture alone. At the extreme end of the spectrum, certain Protestants known as antinomians claimed that they could, through prayer, come to direct communion with the divine light and had no need of written law at all. Some Protestants in the US today may still believe this.

Biblical literalists rarely acknowledge the difficulties of exegesis. Usually, they follow the "plain meaning" of the text (as though that were itself obvious), and don't acknowledge other possible interpretations. I believe they would even deny that they are "interpreting"; they are merely following a clear, divine command. From this perspective, the written text does have a fixed, immutable meaning. Because the commands are divine, we mortals may not change a jot or tittle of them.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Actually, great points ... -- Dedalus, 11:38:15 03/28/02 Thu

I was just reading somewhere and it said that there are currently 33 thousand different Christian denominations operating in the world to day. All are based on the same scripture, of course, but each developed their own interpretations of salvation, the soul, heaven, hell, the entire cosmology in some cases. 33 THOUSAND.

I am totally aware of the many different readings of the texts. My hopefully humorous point was the lengths that some people go to to "spin" the text to whatever reading they desire, especially with the rare straight-foward passages.

When God sat down to write the Bible, would have been much easier on all parties involved if it had just been a simple, how-to guide, not unlike "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Christian Salvation," or something like that. Complete with diagrams.

[> Black Legend -- Sophist, 12:33:45 03/27/02 Wed

Yes, the Black Legend is a Protestant accusation against the Spanish (and by inference Catholics). However, it did stem from the treatment of indigenous Americans, not the Inquisition in Spain.

[> [> The origin and subject of the Black Legend are described here -- Sophist, 13:54:52 03/27/02 Wed

I also saw references to the use of the term to describe the Inquisition and the Crusades. My understanding is that the phrase originated to condemn criticism of Spain's New World conquest. Other uses picked up a convenient term.

[> [> [> The Catholic Reformation, Black legends and Thomas More -- Rahael, 04:12:44 03/28/02 Thu

One of the most fascinating things about looking at the Protestant Reformation, and the idea of a resurgent, spiritual Protestant faith against a moribund, dying Catholic on in the 16th Century, is how misleading it is. In fact the Protestant movement is a huge signal to the deep spirituality and power of Catholicism in Europe. Casas, who went to the New World and condemned the actions of his country men is a signifier of this. So is Thomas More.

In 1512, we find Thomas More giving a lecture at St Paul’s School. He calls for reform. Reform of the clergy, reform of the Catholic Church. It was a testament to a deepening of spirituality in Europe at the turn of the century. Very little actually separates the impulse of Thomas More and Martin Luther. Both looked inward at their faith; both satirised the Church. More called for a vernacular Bible, so that ordinary men and women may gain a closer relationship with God. In fact, the vernacular Bible was not a characteristically Protestant demand. Because until the 1530s, and even not until the 1600s did Europeans start to realise that a real, and perhaps lasting schism was threatening Christendom.

What More actually says about the Utopian’s attitude to war was:

“THEY detest war as a very brutal thing; and which, to the reproach of human nature, is more practised by men than by any sort of beasts. They, in opposition to the sentiments of almost all other nations, think that there is nothing more inglorious than that glory that is gained by war. And therefore though they accustom themselves daily to military exercises and the discipline of war -in which not only their men but their women likewise are trained up, that in cases of necessity they may not be quite useless -yet they do not rashly engage in war, unless it be either to defend themselves, or their friends, from any unjust aggressors; or out of good-nature or in compassion assist an oppressed nation in shaking off the yoke of tyranny. They indeed help their friends, not only in defensive, but also in offensive wars; but they never do that unless they had been consulted before the breach was made, and being satisfied with the grounds on which they went, they had found that all demands of reparation were rejected, so that a war was unavoidable. This they think to be not only just, when one neighbor makes an inroad on another, by public order, and carry away the spoils; but when the merchants of one country are oppressed in another, either under pretence of some unjust laws, or by the perverse wresting of good ones. This they count a juster cause of war than the other, because those injuries are done under some color of laws.”

The Utopians are not afraid to be underhand, in buying off enemies, sowing dissension, if they achieve peace and lack of bloodshed as a result. This is contrasted with the scenes of self aggrandisement in the European Council of War. The double satire (the first being that the Christians of Europe love war more than the Heathens of Utopia) is that Raphael Hythloday – his name means ‘peddler of nonsense’ – is likely to be ridiculed in Europe. What clue do we have that More is actually ‘serious’ in his ‘serious joke’ of Utopia? Because we know that the Utopians love truth and knowledge; they worship one God, and finally and most importantly, they are prepared to give up their existing faith if a ‘truer’, more compelling version comes along. The obvious set up is that the Bible, and Christian truth, when it finally arrives in Utopia (the name means no-where) will find a more devout and receptive audience there, than Christ himself would in latter day Europe.

What does this have to do with the Black Legend? The idea of a Black Legend, and its power depends on far, far more than Spain’s adventures in the New World. The reason it gets embraced by Europe (who all behaved atrociously, and shamelessly in their colonies, whether this happened in Ireland or in the Americas) is the deep confessional divisions in Europe. It finds a breeding ground because Spain’s European colonies were afraid that Spain was going to export its treatment of the natives of the New World, to Europe. The Legend derives its power from the reputation of the Jesuits; on the Inquisition; on the power and wealth and religiosity of Spain which was determined to out-Catholic the Pope himself.

For Philip II was part of that well spring of spirituality that More comes from. He called himself ‘Most Catholic Monarch’. He was devout and earnest in his faith. He was determined to root out heresy in the Holy Roman Empire. It was Spain’s activities in Europe that earned Catholicism its reputation for despotism and bigotry, not its activities in the New World as such.

Combined with the new spiritual movements in Europe was the idea that the end of days was here; Christ’s second coming was at hand, and the anti-Christ was at large in Europe. Its not very hard to see why European Protestants plumped for the threatening Catholic Monarchies and the Pope himself as the agents of the devil. Seeing your enemies as the Anti Christ, and being convinced that Judgement Day was at hand does not make for very moderate, or rational perceptions; though it does make for racy reading for historians.

The irony for More was that he was forced to choose between Reform and his love for the Holy Catholic Church. Because of the Luther controversy, reform now started to look like disloyalty. A deeply troubled More chose to support unity, and Catholicism. But of course, Catholicism did start to institute the very reforms he was talking about in 1512. Not as a reaction to Protestantism; but part and parcel of that phenomenon.

[> [> [> [> Re: The Catholic Reformation, Black legends and Thomas More -- Dedalus, 11:40:07 03/28/02 Thu

My god. Do you actually know all this off the top of your head?!

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The Catholic Reformation, Black legends and Thomas More -- Rahael, 11:54:31 03/28/02 Thu

And this coming from Ded, Wordsworth/Byron/Keats/Blake quoter extraordinaire?

I had to look up the Utopia quote!

But the reformation stuff is off the top of my head cos I did so many different courses on various aspects of it (French History, Gen. European history, Reformation history, and Calvinism!). And I did English political history separately. and then More and Utopia separately. Put it all together and just give it a shake!

oh, and dH reminded me that Philip didn't inherit Holy Roman Empire from Charles. So scratch that. Let's make it : "root out heresy from Christendom!"

[> Re: Thomas More and Black Legends - a reply to Malandanza -- Malandanza, 06:47:49 03/28/02 Thu

"I take your points on board re Christianity, yet must argue that I had addressed them on numerous previous posts."

I did not mean for my post to be addresses specifically to you; rather, as a comment on the entire vanished thread -- I addressed my post to the last thread on the subject -- your post. Perhaps my use of the second person towards the end of by comments was misleading, but I can only assure you that this was merely writing style rather than an accusation. I have found you to be remarkably sensitive to minority views -- sometimes too sensitive, in fact. Such as your condemnation of Dante as homophobe because, in accordance with Church teachings (or church teachings, depending upon you perspective), he places homosexuals in Hell.

"Caroline hits the nail on the head. We are, most of us from Christian backgrounds. We live in a culture infused with Christianity."

I agree with Caroline that it is not unusual for members of an ethnic or religious group to criticize their own. The same comments made by outsiders would be treated as extreme prejudice. However, Muslims disparaging practices and customs in Islam is not the same as a Sunni Muslim attacking the beliefs of a Shiite Muslim -- and this is more analogous to the "Right-wing" debate. We do not have Conservative Christian Fundamentalists attacking Conservative Christian leaders -- we have liberal, ecumenical Christians attacking all fundamentalist Christians because one of their number said that Buffy isn't 7th Heaven.

"I felt completely ashamed that Aisha had to come here and read what she did re Islam."

And yet, Islam was defended in a way that Christianity was not -- immediately and vehemently. I followed LeeAnn's links and read what she provided and must admit that I know so little about early Indian history (or even modern history) that I could not judge how much was truth and how much was lies. From your comments, I gather that learning about Islam in India from this site is like learning about the Holocaust from a Nazi apologist's site. One of the problems with using the Internet as a source of information is that you often can't tell how biased the information is. But even if everything in the document were true, it would still be wrong to judge all Muslims because of the behavior of ancient and modern Muslims in India -- just as it is wrong to judge all Christian Fundamentalists by the comments of one or two outspoken Buffy haters.

One more thing, I said that this board has a liberal bias, but I think that a Libertarian bias is closer to the truth -- which is not necessarily a bad thing (as judged by a former Libertarian).

[> [> Re: Thomas More and Black Legends - a reply to Malandanza -- Rahael, 08:03:56 03/28/02 Thu

Yeah, sorry I took it that way Mal – I get a bee into my bonnet, type away furiously, post, and then review what was said! Lol.

I agree – perhaps Christianity should have been defended. But the thread starter is basically preaching to the converted. Certain people don’t like Buffy and want to ban it – of course we are going to react a certain way. We all think it is important, complex and sophisticated television.

And also, the criticism must be set within a certain context – this board, this show, the posters are all embedded within a certain culture. Our discourse takes certain things for granted. That Christianity is still a powerful force (far, far more powerful in America than Britain for example). That certain elements of Christianity that more liberal Christians take exception to have political clout, money and influence. Moreover, we as posters are well informed about Christian values, the entire range of them. Many of us have grown up with it.

Islam may be very powerful in Pakistan; in Saudi Arabia; but it is weak in America and India. And as you admit, there is can be a lack of knowledge regarding the truth or otherwise of the accusations of genocide and Islam as essentially a militaristic religion.

At this moment in India, the BJP government is busy falsifying history in school curriculums, setting out the kind of allegations posted here by LeeAnn. They are busy funding archaeological digs which set out a different version of Indian history. They are busy changing Hinduism into a religion which supports their version of facts. They are not only suppressing Muslim voices, but Hindu voices. There are riots currently going on in India, and yes, both sides are committing atrocities. But the Indian police are standing aside while Muslim citizens are murdered. And don't even get me started on the Caste system, or the treatment of women in rural villages.

That historian whose book is reviewed in one of the links, approaches Indian history with a blatant, self confessed agenda. He wants to paint a picture of communal strife in India’s past so that it can excuse the divisive agenda of the Hindu, nationalist right. He says he wants Hindu culture to stop feeling bad about itself, to look at itself with pride. But the pride he refers to is a kind of nationalist, militaristic pride which is not only dangerous for Muslims within India but for the entire sub- continent. I speak as someone who lived in a town under occupation by the Indian Army. We lived in fear, and that is an understatement. India and Pakistan, right at this moment are facing off each other. Conflict is not very far away, and both countries have nuclear weapons!! This is a live political issue. It is dangerous. It is not analogous to Nazi apologists because those apologies are for history that is (touch wood) of the recent past. These are events happening now. It is apologias for present crimes, and crimes to come.

As far as I can see, this is not quite the same issue as bashing the Christian fundamentalist. I can’t present a cogent defence of the fundamentalist Christian view, because personally I find it off putting. It’s the main reason I keep trying new churches and then stop attending because I have this urge to stand up in the middle of the sermon and start arguing with the priest. So really, at that point, all I can do is restrain myself from joining in the bashing because a) it would be too easy a target, especially on this board and b) there are posters who could make more convincing and intelligent defences.

I should also admit that I went to a very diverse high school in London; and in my A level politics class, there were a whole bunch of Muslim fundamentalists who were forever lecturing us about all sorts of things. I’ve never made more pro-Israeli statements in my life than in that class! Nor worn shorter skirts or more revealing tops. I felt outraged by their assumption regarding how women should behave, and I tried to annoy them on a daily basis. So I’m not that sensitive to minority interests!! And I belong to the ‘Cromwell is a great guy’ school of thought despite his behaviour in Ireland. I was just made uncomfortable by that bit in Dante. Which he only made, I feel, because, as you point out, the Church doctrine stated that ‘sodomites’ were going to go to hell. I was so personally captured by the Commedia, that it jarred when I came to that part. And the only reason I mentioned it on the board was because LeeAnn was saying that in the past, Christianity was about love and forgiveness, and secularism wasn’t. I was just pointing out that secularism had its advantages. I fully accept that I’m oversensitive. But not about the Islam bit - anything which involves the falsification of history allied to resurgent and dangerous movements and involving justifications for the ill treatment of other human beings really makes me ill me. Not to mention the history-pedant-geek part of me.

But enough about all that. Let’s get to the juicy stuff. What about Utopia? Lol.

[> [> [> Thomas More and Niccolo Machiavelli -- Malandanza, 09:43:13 03/28/02 Thu

In warfare, the Utopians are a practical people -- Machiavelli would be proud of their pragmatism. First, let's look at Machiavelli's attitude towards mercenaries and auxillary troops. In The Prince, he states that "mercenaries and auxillaries are useless and dangerous, and, if any one supports his state by the arms of mercenaries, he will never stand firm or sure, as they are disunited, ambitious, without discipline, faithless, bold among friends, cowardly among peace you are despoiled by them and in war by the enemy." He uses the Venetians as an example -- they employed mercenary forces routinely and as a result "at one day they lost what they had laboriously gained in eight hundred years; for with these forces, only slow and trifling acquisitions are made, but sudden and miraculous losses." In The Discourses, Machiavelli points out that auxillaries ("troops such as prince or republic sends to your aid, but which are paid, and the commander of which is appointed by the prince or republic") are an even greater danger as they are better organized and can more easily deprive their ally of their gains. Machiavelli even states that "no more favorable opportunity could be presented to an ambitious prince or republic for seizing a city or a province, than to be asked to send troops there to assist in its defense." Machiavelli counsels that the wise prince or republic will rely solely upon its own troops.

More in in essential agreement with Machiavelli. The Utopians protect their homeland solely with home troops. However, in foreign wars, the Utopians have a second agenda -- the extermination of mercenaries:

"The Utopians hold this for a maxim, that as they seek out the best sort of men for their own use at home, so they make use of this worst sort of men for the consumption of war, and therefore they hire them with the offers of vast rewards, to expose themselves to all sorts of hazards, out of which the greater part never returns to claim their promises. Yet they make them good most religiously to such as escape. This animates them to adventure again, whenever there is occasion for it; for the Utopians are not at all troubled how many of these happen to be killed, and reckon it a service done to mankind if they could be a means to deliver the world from such a lewd and vicious sort of people; that seem to have run together as to the drain of human nature.

Furthermore, the Utopians don't have to worry about the mercenaries changing sides --the Utopians are so fabulously wealthy that they can easily outbid any other competitor. The Utopians also use assasination as a means to forestall conflicts -- not just of the heads of state, but also his advisors, nobles and generals. They place large bounties on their enemies and give generous rewards to assassins.

In one area, there is a striking difference between Machiavelli and More. More's Utopians foment discord in the cities of their enemies -- Machiavelli warns against such tactics in the strongest terms. But then, the aims of the Utopians differ from those of Machiavelli. Machiavelli is concerned with the difficulty of holding a city where the factionalism is so strong and the possibility that factions within the city could betray the city to an enemy, while the Utopians aren't interested in conquest, just discord.

Both Machiavelli and More agree that strength of arms is a prerequisite for good government -- Utopia is founded by a warrior king, a benevolent dictator who establishes their government. Machiavelli would be proud -- in The Discourses he claims that the task of establishing a new republic should be the work of a single man (as the Spartans had Lycugus).

So in warfare, I seen little difference between More and Machiavelli.

As for the process of selecting a bride (which has nothing to do with Machiavelli), here is an example of Utopian courtship:

"In choosing their wives they use a method that would appear to us very absurd and ridiculous, but it is constantly observed among them, and is accounted perfectly consistent with wisdom. Before marriage some grave matron presents the bride naked, whether she is a virgin or a widow, to the bridegroom; and after that some grave man presents the bridegroom naked to the bride. We indeed both laughed at this, and condemned it as very indecent. But they, on the other hand, wondered at the folly of the men of all other nations, who, if they are but to buy a horse of a small value, are so cautious that they will see every part of him, and take off both his saddle and all his other tackle, that there may be no secret ulcer hid under any of them; and that yet in the choice of a wife, on which depends the happiness or unhappiness of the rest of his life, a man should venture upon trust, and only see about a hand's-breadth of the face, all the rest of the body being covered, under which there may lie hid what may be contagious as well as loathsome. All men are not so wise as to choose a woman only for her good qualities; and even wise men consider the body as that which adds not a little to the mind: and it is certain there may be some such deformity covered with the clothes as may totally alienate a man from his wife when it is too late to part from her. If such a thing is discovered after marriage, a man has no remedy but patience. They therefore think it is reasonable that there should be good provision made against such mischievous frauds."

I leave it to you decide whether this scene is "cute" or obscene :)

[> [> [> [> Hey, no one's denying that More was a little eccentric! :)) -- Rahael, 10:00:41 03/28/02 Thu

Utopia was meant to be full of strange customs, befitting a land which was populated by non Europeans. Plus More had too much irony to just describe a paradise. After all, Utopians hadn't heard of Christ just yet. Their society was still lacking.

At the end of the day, the main aim of Utopians was to live in peace, to stay true to alliances and to work against tyranny. Contrast that with the main aims of the Italian city states.

(I don't think Machiavelli was a 'bad' man. I think he's a serious political thinker, as was More.)

But the way that people were industrious, and lived in ease, but eschewed flagrant shows of wealth, where there was no ownership of property, all present a truly radical vision by a man heavily influenced by the idea of monastic life - he spent part of his youth deciding whether to join a religious order or not. The question was decided when he decided to get married, thus putting the kibosh on the whole celibacy thing.

Utopia does not stand on its own. It must be explicity contrasted with Hythloday's descriptions of contemporary Europe. Utopia sent shockwaves through out scholarly Europe, and established More's reputation. He and Erasmus became great friends and did little injokes in the titles of their latest works to each other!

The thing with Utopia is that it has to be read in its entirety, and then judged. Not that I'm saying its a fascinating read or anything. It was the most boring text I did on that course. But when you do Milton, Marvell, Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Wyatt most other texts start to look dull!

[> [> [> [> [> Read More's Philippics against Luther. Best of both worlds -- dull and obscene. -- Sophist, 10:43:10 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> You make it sound so inviting! -- Rahael, 11:31:37 03/28/02 Thu

but I think I'll take up your earlier suggestion and try Catullus.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> :), Let me know what you think. -- Sophist, 12:32:49 03/28/02 Thu

You'll need a modern translation to get anything like the actual words used or even the text of some of his more, shall we say, libidinous works.

[> As the spokesperson for intolerance just let me say... -- LeeAnn, 17:15:36 03/28/02 Thu

I may be repeating myself but...the last time it got flipped into archives...

The more I read about Islam, its history, its practice and its influence, the more appalled I am. I'm not going to pretend that I can tolerate a religion that advocates enslaving half the human race. My half.

This is America and religious intolerance is taboo, even more despised than racism. I call myself liberal and I know that religious intolerance can cause enormous suffering, yet the more I read about Islamic cultures, cultures where the repression, the subjugation of women is the norm, the more intolerant I feel. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive cars. They are not even allowed to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative. Can you imagine not having the simple freedom to leave your house, to walk down the street, to visit a friend, not having the freedom to get in your car and drive across town to see your mother, or go to a movie or the mall? Imagine that to leave your house you had to, not only, get someone's permission, you had to get them to go with you, to guard and supervise you like a child, or, more accurately, like a prisoner briefly let out of a cell. Imagine living in a country where the temperature reaches 120 degrees F and you are forced to wear a black shroud covering your entire body except your hands and feet and if you so much as expose an arm to the breeze you can be hit with a stick by a stranger whose purpose in life, whose job it is, is to hit lewd women like you with that stick.

Imagine yourself a woman in a society where men and women are not allowed to associate. Imagine that you are not allowed to meet different men, fall in love, and marry whom you choose. Your family, your father, will choose your husband and you may not even be allowed to say "no." You will not be allowed to decide who will touch you, penetrate you, father your children, rule your life. Imagine that if you ever did meet someone, fall in love, and express that love, you could be killed like a mad dog. Imagine you are a man in such a society and will never be allowed to get to know different women, fall in love and marry. Imagine that you are not well off and so it is unlikely you will ever be able to marry at all since many richer men have more than one wife and that means that many poorer men can never marry and must spend their lives celibate and alone, living and dying virgin males.

A few years ago, on PBS, there was a program called Death of a Princess, apparently a true story. The daughter of a Saudi Prince managed to get herself a boyfriend, no mean feat in itself. They ran off together but since a woman can't leave Saudi Arabia without the permission of the father or brother or husband who rules her, they couldn't get far. They were caught within a few days and slaughtered in a public square (actually a parking lot). The program outraged the Saudis. The newspaper reports revealed that that they weren't troubled by the deaths but were infuriated by the revelation that a Saudi girl had probably managed to have sex with someone she wanted to have sex with (as opposed to with someone her father had picked for her and coerced her into marrying). The program's implication that other Saudi women might be looking at men with lust in their hearts and occasionally managing to do something about it enraged them even more. Better dead than free seems to be the Saudi attitude, the Muslim attitude toward women.

Don't tell me it's just cultural, some tribal tradition. Whether you eat fried chicken or fried squid is cultural. Whether you sleep in a bed or sleep on a mat on the floor is cultural. But whether you get to make the simplest and most basic choices in your life, that's a matter of human rights.

Change the situation a little, change the protagonist but not the repression. How would you describe a society that did not allow black people to leave their homes unless accompanied by a white person? Would that be "cultural"? How about a society where black people were not allowed to choose their own spouse? Would that be cultural? Where black people were not allowed to work and make their own living and achieve any independence from their oppressors? Where white people could send a black person away at any time and keep their children whether or not it was in the best interest of the child? If 80 million black people had been genitally mutilated to assure that sex would be unpleasant or even painful (as 80 million women, mostly in Moslem Africa have been mutilated) would that be merely cultural? Wouldn't you consider such societies monstrous beyond belief? Isn't it still monstrous when the class of victims is chosen not by race but by gender? And those conditions occur again and again throughout the Muslim world. Don't tell me these women, never having known anything different, do not feel their chains. By that rationale slaves didn't yearn for freedom, blacks in the Jim Crow South didn't year for equality.

Some Americans think that if repression has a religious basis it cannot be criticized or opposed, forgetting that religion has been used to justify many atrocities. Christianity quite comfortably accommodated slavery for most of its history and in some sects it is still used to justify the repression of women. If Nazism had called itself a religion would that have made its goals acceptable? If there were a religion that believed in feeding twelve year old virgins to volcanoes and if those girls were raised and brainwashed so they didn't object, would you preach tolerance for that religion? I think not. I would rather have lived in Stalinist Russia, I would rather have been black in South Africa under apartheid than be a woman in most Muslim countries. In some of these societies, the average Muslim woman is less free and more damaged than the average slave in the pre-Civil War South. I don't think you can expect a woman to view Islam as just another religion anymore than you can expect a black person to view apartheid as just another political system.

I look at Muslim countries around the world and again and again what I see are cultures still in the Dark Ages, cultures that make the old dictatorships of Central and South America seem mild in comparison, countries where religion is used as a justification for a full range of brutality.

I don't know much about Islam beyond what is in my encyclopedia, and what has appeared in the popular press and on the internet but what I read reveals a religion so cruel it's frightening. Of course medieval Catholicism was pretty frightening too and it didn't start softening up until people started having other alternatives they could choose. People in Muslim countries do not have alternatives, conversion usually being a crime, often a capital crime. When I read, not just about the enslavement of women, but about what is done in the name of Islamic Law, I'm appalled. The Saudis have said that if they caught a terrorist in Saudi Arabia, he'd either be executed or, according to Islamic law, have an arm or leg cut off. Are these people supposed to be civilized? Forget "Little Jesus Meek and Mild", forget the idea of love and sacrifice and ending up nailed to a tree. Islam has a warrior prophet. A man who lived to be old, who had 14 wives, led his followers into battle and achieved many of his goals during his lifetime and achieved them through violence and assassination, or so says my Encyclopedia Britannica. Even the Pope complains that in Muslim countries Christians are legally forbidden to proselytize.

I sound kind of religious myself, don't I? But I'm not. I spent most of my life as an atheist and am just becoming a sort of semi-pseudo-Christian with a bit of Buddhist thrown in. I'm repelled by all organized religions but Islam seems fall and away the worst, the most repressive, the most violent set of beliefs in the world today. Maybe the real difference is that, in most places, Islam has not been domesticated by a secular society. They don't just preach their repressive dogma, (unlike the American religious right), they get to force everyone else to conform to it - or die.

As angry as the religious right makes me, I have never heard an American fundie advocate that I be forced to wear a black shroud, be denied an education, be forced to marry someone I never met, be genitally mutilated to make sure I don't enjoy sex, be forbidden to drive, be forbidden to leave my house without a male relative, be forbidden to travel without the permission of my closest male relative, be stoned alive if I have an affair, be beaten if I so much talk to a nonrelated male. I can't imagine the worst member of the religious right spraying acid in my face because I wasn't veiled or forcing me back into a burning building because I wasn't wearing a black shroud, or preventing firefighters from saving women in a burning building because men cannot approach women. 000021569mar25.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dcomment%2Dopinions

I'm intolerant of the religious right and of organized religion in general. I have even less reason to be tolerant of Islam.

But you can go on being tolerant. I can't.

I'm sorry if this offends any muslim women who posts to the board.

I had no trouble rejecting the evil, racist form of Christianity I was raised it. Maybe it's expecting too much for others to do the same.

Shades of Season 7? Thin speculation based on mild spoilers -- darrenK (back from Brazil), 12:01:05 03/27/02 Wed

Speculation about next season is a bit premature and the evidence for my conclusions is thin at best but new episodes are airing slowly and a couple of these things have been on my mind for a while...

So, let’s start with a quote:

“If this gets out of hand and there’s a war with humans, humans are going to lose...”
Riley in As you Were

Huh? A war with humans? We’ve been seeing deadly demons for years. Why’s this different? What’s with the war talk?



A new concept is being introduced: A demon/human war.

This is our first hint that the demon problem in the wider world is getting worse. South America has been shown as a haven for demon activity, but now it’s spreading. It’s getting more difficult for Riley and his commandos and the secretly intervening US government to contain it and where do these demons want to go?

The Hellmouth.

Another potential bit of foreshadowing should be mentioned. Remember how Something Blue ( an engagement episode) foreshadowed Season 6?

Well in Hell’s Bells (a wedding episode), the demons representing Anya fought the humans representing Xander, with only the Scooby gang to keep them apart. Maybe this means nothing, but in Buffy does anything mean nothing?

Seasons 5 and 6 have been VERY internal, concerned with family and personal problems. It’s only natural for the show to zag back toward an external threat and a big one. And it’s a natural progression for Buffy to recover from her malaise to save the world in a much bigger, more public way.

The next big plot development I see for Season 7 is the reactivation of a, um, “Key” plotline.

In Bargaining Dawn states "I'm not the key anymore and if I am I don't open anything." It's an offhand line. In the short term it serveed to pacify the audience, to quell our key related questions and to let us know that the "key" plotline had been placed on the backburner. And, it was the last thing we heard about Dawn being the key until...

Normal Again, where Xander refers to the sister who's really a blob of green energy and the Doctor reminds us that Dawn's existence creates "inconsistencies." This was the writers poking fun at themselves, but these lines also serve another purpose. They subtly reactivate those dormant Key questions. They remind us that Dawn’s still the key and that we should keep that in mind for the near future. Why do I say that? Because that's how it's always worked. The writers highlight the things we should be noticing them, just by mentioning them.

While all this is the scantiest of speculation, the next few weeks should provide some other clues. And some of you out there might have noticed some other stuff. Anyone?

[> A quick response. Welcome Back!!! -- Rahael, 12:07:52 03/27/02 Wed

and as you can see, the NYC photo thing was held back until now.............

oh, dH and I are in chat......

[> [> Re: A quick response. Welcome Back!!! -- darrenK, 12:47:16 03/27/02 Wed

Hey, it's funny to look at the photo and try to see it as a stranger would...

Thanks for the welcome.


[> Re: Shades of Season 7? Thin speculation based on mild spoilers -- Kimberly, 12:26:34 03/27/02 Wed

Welcome back.

There are other hints. And please forgive me, I can't remember exact quotes and don't currently have the time to look them up.

In Prophecy Girl, Giles mentions that the prophecies about the Slayer (or the Master) are about the "end years". Although it is possible that is referring to the end years of the Master, I think it much more likely to be referring to the end years before something major between humans and demons.

In I Will Remember You, the episode in which Angel becomes human, the conversation between Angel and the Oracles about what was going to happen with Buffy has always left me feeling that there is something coming. Something big.

In Gingerbread, Joyce makes the comment that, although Buffy keeps slaying vampires and demons, the evil doesn't stop coming. I know it got me to thinking, "Why not try to figure out a way to stop it?"

The entire Initiative thing was supposed to be about stopping evil wholesale, not retail. Big, hierarchical, authoritarian organization was terrible at it; what about small, consensus-driven group?

Finally, "I can kill vampires till the cows come home, then I can kill the cows . . ."

Is ME implying that Buffy's ultimate goal is to find the root of the vampire/demon evil and stop it? (And what would happen to AI if she does?)

[> And one more . . . -- Kimberly, 12:57:52 03/27/02 Wed

We have been told all along that Slayers work alone. No one knows who they are but the Watchers (and, presumably, vampires). Buffy works with a group. A preview of things to come?

Cinescape 50 Most Powerful Characters in Genre Entertainment.. -- Wynn, 12:34:12 03/27/02 Wed

For all of us BtVS and Angel fans, Cinescape had Buffy as the #8 most powerful character in genre entertainment for 2002, Spike as #21, and Angel as one of five up and comers (along with Max from Dark Angel, Jack Bauer from 24, Sydney Bristow from Alias).

Incidently, Buffy was the top female character. The next female character was Trinity, along with Morpheus, from the Matrix at #20.

[> Re: Cinescape -- Robert, 12:53:03 03/27/02 Wed

Can you give us a URL or reference? I would like to take a look at it.

[> Is this powerful as in whup-your-ass powerful, or powerful as in packs-an-emotional-wallop powerful? -- leslie, 14:01:18 03/27/02 Wed

[> Re: Cinescape 50 Most Powerful Characters in Genre Entertainment.. -- Wynn, 15:47:27 03/27/02 Wed

They don't really give a definition of powerful. I suppose it has to do with which characters had the biggest impact this year. #1 was Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings and #2 was Harry Potter- both characters were in huge movies this year. Others on the list were Homer Simpson (#7), Yoda (#13), R2D2/C3PO (#23), Woody/Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story (#31), Scooby Doo (#34), and Indiana Jones (#45), etc.

I don't think the list is on I found it in the April 2002 Special Edition: A Guide to DVD.

Does order matter? -- ebony, 18:40:05 03/27/02 Wed

I read a post earlier today about Dawn-Buffy-Spike connections and I noticed in one of the eppys from s2 that Josh has already began to show Buffy with 3 lives. When she asks for a stake and Xander gets it from her purse the first thing he pulls out is a yo-yo(the child), then a tampon(the adult), and final a Stake (the slayer). Please do not ask me which episode i have yet to figure out where Josh hides the titles(I know it sounds stupid but we cant all be geniuses). Anyway, my question is does the order play any importance?

[> Re: Does order matter? -- Forsaken, 19:26:49 03/27/02 Wed

I don't know about the signigigance of the order (or even the existence) of the three items you refer to, but the episode in question was School Hard. Also the first appearance of Spike.

[> I noticed those things tonight, too, and also -- yuri, 23:50:14 03/27/02 Wed

when Buffy was painting the banner and had that streak of red paint on her cheek, looking like she was just giving someone a very naughty hickey and had wiped her face haphazardly... An allusion to her grayness? And I don't know about the order of those things, but I don't think it was particularly significant. If anything, yoyo, steak, tampon would make the most sense, no? All in all, a very foreshadow-y episode. Spike checking her out like a horny stalker and whatnot.

[> [> The red paint streak on Buffy's cheek--a little Spike parallel -- Dyna, 08:27:17 03/28/02 Thu

The red paint streak on Buffy's cheek really struck me because it visually connects her with Spike. The scene sequence is--Dru cuts Spike's cheek and licks the blood, leaving a red streak. Immediate cut to scene of Buffy painting posters, with a streak of red paint on her cheek in the same place.

I know the story is that Spike was intended as a disposable villain at first, but I wonder how early ME decided he was too interesting to let go of. If Spike wasn't intended to stick around, what would the meaning of this odd connection made between him and Buffy, I wonder?

[> [> [> Re: The red paint streak on Buffy's cheek--a little Spike parallel -- clg0107, 08:40:15 03/28/02 Thu

>If Spike wasn't intended to stick around, what would the meaning of this odd connection made between him and >Buffy, I wonder?

Just a visual connection of one scene to another. If you look for them, there are little things like that all the time. This one just seems to have stuck in people's heads, so that in retrospect, it looks more significant than it was meant to be.


[> [> [> [> Re: The red paint streak on Buffy's cheek--a little Spike parallel -- ponygirl, 09:09:58 03/28/02 Thu

The red streak link had struck me when I saw School Hard again too. True, looking back it's easy to find a lot of fore-shadowing to B/S, I would speculate that at the time this was a sneaky ME trick: build Spike up to be a big bad-ass, lots of visual links to Buffy, his target, then bam! kill him off early in the season and have Drusilla emerge as the real power. Wouldn't we have been surprised?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The red paint streak on Buffy's cheek--a little Spike parallel -- clg0107, 11:31:00 03/28/02 Thu

Yeah...and, of course, the formula as it developed ( over the first several seasons gives the pattern that it seems was originally supposed to happen. Spike is the little bad, who dies at mid-season somewhere, at which time the big bad (Angelus) of the season emerges.

If you haven't seen this site, it's pretty good. It's by the same guy who runs the SpoilerSlayer, but he purposely insulates the formula pages from spoilage (which is why I still visit to see the season updates).


[> Re: Does order matter? -- MaeveRigan, 04:27:11 03/28/02 Thu

The order in which Xander pulls out the 3 object is important, I think. But maybe they symbolize slightly different things. I'd suggest that the tampon symbolizes not adulthood (and therefore B6?), but rather simply the physical manifestation of womanhood that also signals the calling of the Slayer. So the order is correct.

It also scares Xander, which tells us something about him! He's definitely not ready for a real woman yet.

[> [> Or tampon=Maiden (childhood), tampon=Mother(fecundity), stake=Crone(death) -- Ete, 05:47:00 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> somehow, I don't think a tampon can represent motherhood ;) -- vampire hunter D, 12:38:02 03/28/02 Thu

Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- Neaux, 04:36:31 03/28/02 Thu

To get the ball rolling, since the purpose of these awards is to enhance discussion.. I thought I'd bring up the first Category.


Since I CANNOT Nominate, Maybe I could mention my personal favorite.

XANDER'S confrontation of BUFFY at the end of INTO THE WOODS over love and Riley

Tell me what ya think or Bash it to hell!!

[> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- B, 05:19:11 03/28/02 Thu

Buffy's "St. Crispin's Day Speech" in The Gift:
"The ritual starts, we all die. Anyone goes near Dawn, I kill them. Understood? Let's go."

We few, we happy few . . .

[> [> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- Tillow, 06:09:23 03/28/02 Thu

When Buffy tells the council to go scratch culminating in... We're talking about two powerful witches and a thousand year old ex demon.

Anya: Willow's a demon?

[> [> [> I second that nomination - it's my favorite too. ;-) -- Solitude1056, 07:52:32 03/28/02 Thu

[> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- Anne, 06:12:23 03/28/02 Thu

What are the rules for nominating? Is each person limited to one nomination per category? I agree with you that that Riley speech is a great one. I would have to give preference, though, to the two below (and yes, I am a Spike fan). If I had to choose, I'd choose the Fool for Love one.

"Love's Bitch":

You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll love each other 'till it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other 'till it makes you quiver. But you'll never be friends.

Love isn't brains, children. It's blood, blood screaming inside to work it's will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it.

And from Fool for Love:

Every day you wake up it's the
same bloody question that
haunts you: Is today the day
I die?

Death is on your heels baby - and,
sooner or later, it's going to catch you.
And some part of you wants it.
Not only to stop the fear and the
uncertainty - but because you're
just a little bit in love with it.

Death is your art. You make it
with your hands, day after day.
That final gasp, that look of peace...
Part of you is desperate to know
What's it like? Where does it
lead you?

Every Slayer
has a death wish.

Even you.

The only reason you've lasted as
long as you have is, you've got
ties to the world. Your Mum.
Brat kid sister. Scoobies. They
tie you here but you're just putting
off the inevitable. Sooner or later,
you're gonna want it and the second,
the second that happens, you know I'll be there.
I'll slip in - have myself
a real good day.

[> [> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- neaux, 06:50:13 03/28/02 Thu

This is just a discussion area. Once you decide on your ONE Nomination per category.. send me an email of your category nominations. You should have 31 nominations representing 31 categories.

Sorry to be strict but It will cut down on my work on the backend.

[> [> Anne: Pick one, let me know, and I'll nominate the other. I love them both -- Sophist, 08:59:15 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> that's teamwork! ^_~ -- neaux, 09:25:40 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Anne: Pick one, let me know, and I'll nominate the other. I love them both -- Anne, 11:39:46 03/28/02 Thu

I'm going to go for the "Fool for Love" one. I'm relieved to know you'll handle the other . . .

[> [> Those two plus.. -- Kevin, 16:30:01 03/28/02 Thu

My favorite is the one from Fool for Love, but I also love both the one from Crush with Dru and Buffy tied up in the crypt and the one from Into the Woods with Riley. All of the characters have great lines, the writing on BtVS is just the best, but it's Marsters' acting that makes Spike's monologues stand out. They're the ones that I remember most vividly.

Into the Woods:
(to Riley)

"Sometimes I envy you so much it chokes me.
And sometimes I think I got the better deal.
To be that close to her and not have her.
Feeling her, feeling her beneath you.
Surrounding you.
The scent...
No, you got the better deal."

It's not very long, but all of the feeling he puts into the words is just amazing to me.

[> [> [> Re: Those two plus.. -- Anne, 05:54:42 03/29/02 Fri

I absolutely agree with you about the "Into the Woods" speech. However, for some reason I think that, more than the other two I selected, it's greatness relies on the acting more than the actual words, which may be why I didn't select it as a possible nominee.

One thing particularly interesting about that speech to me was that it completely transformed my attitude towards Buffy. Until I saw that scene I never particularly cared for Buffy nor found her especially attractive (now please don't get mad at me, everybody, I'm not trying to proseletize, just to report my own reactions, and I do know I'm in a minority). In that speech JM succeeded in projecting into my head a picture of Buffy as infinitely desirable and attractive, and it's affected my perceptions of her ever since. (Though my perceptions have been severely tried lately -- if she and the writers don't eventually clean up the atrocity of the Spike beating in the alleyway, which to me is still the rhinoceros in the living room, I may go back to my old distaste).

[> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- ponygirl, 06:16:56 03/28/02 Thu

Xander has some great speeches in Into the Woods, it'd be hard for me to choose that one over his speech to Anya at the end. But then I don't have to choose, that's what voting is for!

Then of course I can't choose between my faves either: Spike's "love's bitch" speech in Lover's Walk and his "every night I save you" from Afterlife.

[> [> Buffy's to Dawn in the Gift -- Rahael, 06:23:40 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> Ditto. I still tear up whenever I see it. *sniff* -- Deeva, 11:20:28 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> "The Gift," and "Normal Again" -- Ian, 14:28:32 03/28/02 Thu

From "The Gift"

Buffy to Dawn, on the tower:

"Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. This is the work I have to do.

Tell Giles that...tell Giles I figured it out, and...I'm okay. Give my love to my friends? You have to take care of them now; you have to take care of each other. You have to be strong.

Dawn, the hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me."

Oh man, I started to tear up watching it again.... By the way, that is so NOT suicide.

From "Normal Again"

Joyce to asylum-verse Buffy, on making her choice:

"Buffy? Buffy, fight it. You're too good to give in; you can beat this thing. Be strong, baby. Okay? I know you're afraid. I know the world feels like a hard place sometimes, but you've got people who love you. Your Dad and I, we have all the faith in the world in you. And we'll always be with you. You've got a world of strength in your heart. I know you do, you just have to find it again. Believe in yourself."

On an aside, it's interesting to me that in "The Gift," Buffy chooses death so that Dawn can live, and counsels Dawn to be brave and live. In "Normal Again," Joyce tells her daughter to be strong, and to choose life.

In "The Gift," Buffy makes a choose and dies to the world, in more ways than one--like Jesus said, "Be in the world but not of it." In "Normal Again," Buffy finally makes the choice to return to the world, and to be strong.

The speeches echo one another closely, and both emphasize the ties to the world, the people who love you.

[> [> [> [> [> I would chose the same two -- Kerri, 19:59:05 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- skpe, 06:49:20 03/28/02 Thu

spike to buffy

"out for a walk ... bitch"

[> [> [> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- yabyumpan, 07:19:03 03/28/02 Thu

Angel at the end of Epipheny, talk with Kate
from psyche's site:
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."
A major turning point for the character. I do wish there was a seperate poll for AtS, I just knew it would be all BtVS.

[> [> [> [> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- neaux, 07:51:32 03/28/02 Thu

Please make your Angel nominations.. I would hate for them to go unheard as well!!! ^_^

[> [> [> [> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- ponygirl, 07:57:05 03/28/02 Thu

I'm sure AtS will be represented. Maybe I'll nominate the nancy-boy hair gel speech from In the Dark!

[> [> [> [> [> ponygirl -- Tillow, 12:20:54 03/28/02 Thu

I'm going to nominate the In the dark bit for best use of mockery/sarcasm... Wanna second? I can think of a lot of good bits but none that made me laugh that much.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I'll second that! -- ponygirl, 12:28:33 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue - Angel -- Dochawk, 19:19:59 03/28/02 Thu

The problem with Angel isn't popularity its exposure. I miss Buffy episodes, I've got DVDs and FX, I try catching up wit Angel, no way to do it (well I found a way, but most people don't have a way). I've never heard the Angel speech above (I really like it though)

[> [> [> [> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- matching mole, 08:19:56 03/28/02 Thu

Two recent favourites of mine are both by Fred. Her anti-destiny speech in 'That Old Gang of Mine.' And somewhere in 'Quickening' or (more likely) 'Lullaby' she has this mini-tirade of speculation about events to come that was quite amusing.

I have to say that Angel's speech in 'Epiphany' is the most philosophically satisfying thing I've heard on either show. Great choice yabyumpan!

[> Happy Meals with legs -- LeeAnn, 08:02:27 03/28/02 Thu

Spike: We like to talk big. (indicates himself) Vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' (looks at the officer) That's just tough guy talk. (steps over to the car) Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. (sits on the hood) The truth is, I like this world. (pulls the cigarette pack from the officer's shirt pocket) You've got... dog racing, Manchester United. (pulls one out and drops the pack on the officer) And you've got people. (exhales) Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here.

[> How about Buffy's "I'm 16. I don't want to die." in Prophecy Girl? -- Sophist, 09:03:21 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> That one's my favorite -- darrenK, 12:15:13 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> Nominate it. I can't because of my deal with Anne above -- Sophist, 12:25:42 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> Re: How about Buffy's "I'm 16. I don't want to die." in Prophecy Girl? -- Dochawk, 19:22:33 03/28/02 Thu

Once I figure out how to nominate, I'll nominate this one, because it is Buffy's defining moment (and not how different it is than what Spike tells Buffy... all Slayers have a death wish" a prime example of Spike's maniplation).

[> [> Oooh I love that one too....I can't pick just one -- Kerri, 20:07:13 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> Speaking of speeches in "Prophecy Girl" . . . -- d'Herblay, 20:34:42 03/28/02 Thu

Willow: I'm not okay. I knew those guys. I go to that room every day. And when I walked in there, it... it wasn't our world anymore. They made it theirs. And they had fun.

[> [> [> Good one. Argh! How am I ever going to vote???? -- Sophist, 08:38:04 03/29/02 Fri

[> Anya's "I don't understand!" speech in "The Body" -- Sebastian (delurking for a bit...), 10:04:12 03/28/02 Thu

I'm still get mesmerized by the intensity of feeling put into that speech.

- S

[> [> Re: Anya's "I don't understand!" speech in "The Body" -- julia, 12:56:21 03/28/02 Thu

yes that's outstanding but also buffy's breakdown to dawn at the end of "forever." "who's gonna take care of us?" both of these make me cry every time i see them. oh decisions decisions!

[> [> Re: Anya's "I don't understand!" speech in "The Body" -- Akita (also delurking briefly), 13:25:10 03/28/02 Thu

This requires a nomination for her follow-on revelation in "Forever":

"Well, she [Joyce] got me thinking ... about ... how people die all the time, and ... how they get born too, and how you kind of need one so you can have the other. When I think about it that way, it ... makes death a little
less sad, and ... sex a little more exciting. . . . . I just think I understand sex more now. It's not just about two bodies smooshing together. It's about life. It's about *making* life. . . .
Breathe. You're turning colors. I'm not ready to make life with you, but I could. *We* could. Life could come out of our love and our smooshing, and that's beautiful. It all makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger. Like I'm more awake somehow. You know?"


[> "you'll never be friends", "Happy meals", "I Don't understand" -- spi, 13:39:19 03/28/02 Thu

[> Angel's voice-over in "Passion" -- Dyna, 14:54:54 03/28/02 Thu

It's woven through the episode, but I think it ought to be looked at as a form of monologue.

I'm even more impressed with how great this is after checking the shooting script and seeing the craptastic stuff that was originally written. Someone (Joss, I imagine) must have completely rewritten Angel's lines in production!

[> Cordy in "When She Was Bad"... -- Lunarchickk, 18:00:21 03/28/02 Thu

Cordelia confronts Buffy outside the Bronze...

"I'm gonna give you some advice. Get over it. Whatever is causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it. 'Cause pretty soon you're not even gonna have the loser friends you've got now."

Good advice then and now, for Buffy...

And, inner moppet, hee! :)

[> I've got to throw in a word for that Toastmaster Richard Wilkins . . . -- d'Herblay, 20:43:14 03/28/02 Thu

The Mayor shakes Snyder's hand and steps up to the podium. Smiles and takes out some cue cards.
Mayor clears his throat and surveys the students: "Well. What a day this is! - Special day. Today is our centennial the one hundreds anniversary of the founding of Sunnydale, and I know what that means to all you kids: not - a darn thing. Because today something much more important happens: today you all graduate from high school. Today all the pain, all the work, all the excitement is finally over. And what's a hundred years of history compared to that? You know what kids? …"
Buffy: "Oh my God. He's going to do the entire speech."
Willow: "Man, just ascend already."
Buffy: "Evol!"
Mayor: "… for all of you it may be that there is a place in Sunnydale's history, whether you like it or not. It's been a long road getting here. For you… for Sunnydale. There has been achievement, joy, good times,… and there has been grief. There's been loss. Some people who should be here today… aren't. (close-up on Buffy listening) But we are. - Journey's end. And what is a journey? Is it just… distance traveled? Time spent? (shakes his head) No. It's what happens on the way, it the things that happen to you. At the end of the journey you're not the same. Today is about change. (close-up on Willow) Graduation doesn't just mean your circumstances change, it means you do. You ascend… to a higher level. (Pan across Xander and Cordy) Nothing will ever be the same. (a shadow falls across the Mayor) Nothing." He looks up. Buffy and the other students look up to see the sun being totally blocked. The Mayor flinches in pain. Then swallows and continues his speech: "And so as we look back on… (Pain hits him again and he turns half to the side groaning) on the events that brought us to this day (another wave of pain) "
Buffy with her hat off: "Come on."
Mayor: "We… (stops in pain again all the students are watching tensely) we must all…(screams) (the students and the faculty look at each other uneasily) It has begun. My destiny. (smiles) It's a little sooner then I expected I had this whole section on civic pride… (shuffles cue cards) But I guess we'll just skip to the big finish!"


[> Buffy tells Spike her secret in Afterlife -- Pete, 00:23:05 03/29/02 Fri

BUFFY: I was happy.

BUFFY: Wherever I ... was ... I was happy. At peace.

BUFFY: I knew that everyone I cared about was all right. I knew it. Time ... didn't mean anything ... nothing had form ... but I was still me, you know? (glances at him, then away) And I was warm ... and I was loved ... and I was finished. Complete. I don't understand about theology or dimensions, or ... any of it, really ... but I think I was in heaven.

BUFFY: And now I'm not. (almost tearful) I was torn out of there. Pulled out ... by my friends. (Spike continues staring, listening) Everything here is ... hard, and bright, and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch ... this is Hell. Just getting through the next moment, and the one after that ... (softly) knowing what I've lost...

BUFFY: They can never know. Never.

[> Two of Dawn's best -- Pete, 01:03:53 03/29/02 Fri

Blood Ties:
DAWN: (dazed) Is this blood?
DAWN: This is blood, isn't it? It can't be me. I'm not a key. (Buffy looks shocked) I'm not a thing.
DAWN: (grimly) What am I? (getting teary) Am I real? Am I anything?

Tough Love:
DAWN: You wanna know what I'm scared of, Spike? ... Me. (tearfully) Right now, Glory thinks Tara's the key. But I'm the key, Spike. I am. And anything that happens to Tara ... is 'cause of me. Your bruises, your limp ... that's all me too. I'm like a lightning rod for pain and hurt. (crying) And everyone around me suffers and dies. I ... must be something so horrible ... to cause so much pain ... and evil.
SPIKE: (firmly) Rot.
DAWN: (teary) What do you know?
SPIKE: I'm a vampire. I know somethin' about evil. You're not evil.
DAWN: Maybe ... I'm not evil. But I don't think I can be good.

[> Giles to Buffy in Innocence, my second fav. was Giles to Ben in The Gift..... -- Rufus, 01:21:31 03/29/02 Fri

The talk in Giles car at the end of Innocence does it to me every time. Buffy was devastated by losing Angel to Angelus, it wasn't her fault but she felt like she was responsible. Giles could have made her feel much worse than she already did, but in this small speech proved he loved her like a father. From Psyche.......

Buffy: You must be so disappointed in me.

Giles: No. (she looks at him) No, no, I'm not.

Buffy: But this is all my fault.

Giles: No. I don't believe it is. Do you want me to wag my finger at
you and tell you that you acted rashly? You did. A-and I can. I know
that you loved him. And... he... has proven more than once that he loved
you. You couldn't have known what would happen. The coming months a-are
gonna, are gonna be hard... I, I suspect on all of us, but... if it's
guilt you're looking for, Buffy, I'm, I'm not your man. All you will get
from me is, is my support. And my respect

Buffy smiles at him through her tears.

The Gift...

GILES: Can you move?
BEN: Need a ... a minute. She could've killed me.

GILES: No she couldn't. Never. And sooner or later Glory will re-emerge, and ... make Buffy pay for that mercy. And the world with her. Buffy even knows that... (reaches into his pocket, takes out his glasses) and still she couldn't take a human life.

Shot of Ben listening.

GILES: She's a hero, you see. (Giles puts his glasses on) She's not like us.
BEN: Us?

Giles suddenly reaches down and puts his hand over Ben's nose and mouth, holding them shut. Ben struggles weakly as Giles keeps him still. Giles keeps his calm expression throughout.

[> [> Giles' glasses -- Ian, 01:36:59 03/29/02 Fri

Just a little detail I found interesting.

When Giles kills Ben, he first takes out and cleans his glasses, and then kills Ben. I remember that in "Something Blue" (I think), Giles informed Buffy that he takes off and cleans his glasses when he doesn't want to see what the Scooby's are doing. That Giles makes a point of putting on his glasses before killing Ben becomes more interesting in that light.

Seems like Giles truly faced up to what he was doing and took responsibility for his actions. I find that interesting.

[> [> Re: Giles to Buffy in Innocence, my second fav. was Giles to Ben in The Gift..... -- wiscoboy, 07:36:49 03/29/02 Fri

Your second fav is an example of the show alluding to a trait or history of a main character(Giles in this case), never to mention or expound on it again. Now that Giles' character is no longer permanent, we will never know what he meant by that statement. Frustrating to say the least.

[> Re: Ideas for Best Speech/Monologue -- Laney, 03:45:41 03/29/02 Fri

Angel & Darla in the end of 'The Prodigal', after Angel has killed his entire family.

From Psyche's shooting script:

DARLA: Your victory over him took but moments --


DARLA: But his defeat of you will last lifetimes.

ANGEL: What are you talking about? He can't defeat me now.

She regards Angel's Father's dead body.

DARLA: Nor can he ever approve of you -- in this world or any other.

Angel looks at the bodies, takes that in.

DARLA: What we once were informs all that we have become. The same love will infect our hearts -- even if they no longer beat. Simple death won't change that.

ANGEL: Love? Is this the work of love?

She moves close to him, reaches out tenderly, strokes his face. Not so much condescending as understanding. Not sentimentally, but admiringly.

DARLA: Darling boy. So young. Still so very young...

[> [> Angel to Wes about love -- Penthesilea, 13:56:35 03/31/02 Sun

Angel: I love my son.
Wes: Love can be a terrible thing.
Angel: I used to think that. I thought love was something that swallowed you whole, ripped you up inside. But, you know, what I feel for Connor...even that fear, Wes, it''s not terrible. It's beautiful.

It's one of the simplest, and most heartbreaking things that has come out of AtS. And Sleep Tight just made it even sadder!

-Penthesilea, first-time poster. :)

Rob's WttH Annotations dealy bob -- Deeva, 11:15:51 03/28/02 Thu

My paltry offerings on WttH to you Rob. I haven’t gotten to the Harvest just yet. Was I just supposed to email you or is posting it here ok?

The first time that Buffy meets Cordelia is in History class where the day’s topic is the Black Plague. What’s interesting is how the teacher goes on to use words like “fun” and “popular” to describe the plague.

The next 2 are things that I think are foreshadowing other events (not really sure that they think that far in advance) or maybe it’s jut me seeing things that aren't really there, wouldn't be the first time.

When Buffy is talking about Angel with Giles, she mentions how she finds Angel “really annoying” and how she “really dislikes him”. This brings to my mind, her same feelings about Spike in Lovers Walk, where she states that she violently dislikes him and finds him annoying also.

The scene in the Crypt where Thomas and Darla have brought Willow and Jesse to. When Buffy shows up, she comments on how the crypt is “Nice. A little bare but a little paint, throw pillows and I could call it home.” This reminds me of her description of herself, “She who hangs out in cemeteries”, to Riley in Doomed and maybe also her later visits to Spike’s crypt and the conversation that they have about his decorating skills in Dead Things.

[> Thanks, Deeva! ...For the annotations, and for helping to keep my thread alive! -- Rob, 14:33:36 03/28/02 Thu

"monster in her man" -- leslie, 11:49:05 03/28/02 Thu

I have been thinking about this constantly reiterated statement that Buffy likes or needs "some monster in her man." The "monsterous" men are, of course, Angel and Spike, and they are opposed by the nonmonsterous men, Xander and Riley. We seem to take it for granted that this need for "monstrosity" is somehow a weakness of Buffy's, something she needs to overcome (i.e., Spike will never be "worthy" of her until he eliminates his monster, Buffy was wrong to be unappreciative of Riley's "goodness", the danger posed by Angel when he "went bad" and her culpability in Jenny Calendar's death by not staking Bad Angel immediately, and so on.) It seems to me there is something more going on here, however.

The point about Angel and Spike having/being monsters is that they both know they are monsters. Angel, when he has a soul, is overcome with guilt at his monstrosity, needs to atone for the sins he committed when wholly monsterous, but nonetheless is able to put on his "monster" face and use it to fight evil when necessary. He always lives in the shadow of knowing what he is capable of when he does not hold his monster in check, but he can let it out enough to be of benefit to society. Spike is completely unrepentant of his monstrosity, indeed revels in it--he has embraced his inner monster. It is not his choice to have his monster restrained by the chip (just as it was not Angel's choice to be re- ensouled), but he, too, slowly learns to use his monsterous potential for the benefit of society.

Xander and Riley, in contrast, present themselves as being completely nonmonsterous. They're the good guys. They both have taken moral stands against monsters, Riley through his work in the Initiative, whose mission is to "demonsterize" monsters, and Xander both through helping Buffy and through his constant statements of hostility to the monsterous Angel and Spike. Yet with both of these men, we slowly learn that there *is* some monster in them. Riley, first, through his double Adam--an externalized monster--but also as we learn that Maggie Walsh was chemically and physically manipulating him through implants--the same technique being used by the Initiative on "real" monsters. Although Riley breaks himself away from this monsterous organization, he feels the loss of his monster and regards this loss as making him less of a man, less of a worthy consort for Buffy. And amid all the other psychodynamics attending the combustion of their relationship, there is an extent to which Riley's resorting to the vampire suck shop is an attempt on his part to recapture his monster--he wants to understand the connection that Buffy feels with vampires, from Angel to Dracula to even Spike. But at the same time, he is so self-identified with being a good guy, a cowboy, that he can't admit that he does want that monster inside him, and so his approaches to monstrosity remain externalized and thereby degrading. His flight back to the army is not only a return to the certainties he had lost when the Initiative imploded, but a flight from his own desire for monstrosity. Being a soldier, for Riley as it has been for so many men through the millennia, is a socially sanctioned outlet for monsterous behavior. (I'm not talking about military atrocities here, though god knows these happen, just the generally bloody and destructive process of carrying out war.) Like Angel and Spike, Riley finds a way to turn his monster into a socially beneficial activity, but unlike them, he does so at the expense of acknowledging his own monstrosity.

It has taken longer for Xander's monstrosity to come out of the closet. We always suspected there was something going on there with his family relationships, but it was only in Hell's Bells that we saw exactly what the monster was that he feared--his father. Like Riley, Xander has externalized his monster by falling in love with one. Anya takes on all the monster duties for him. It's significant, I think, that in his vision, Xander sees himself whacking Anya with a cast-iron frying pan. Anya all along has never fought with her hands, as Buffy, Angel, and Spike generally do (except for the coup de grace with a stake); she always uses tools, generally domestic implements that happen to be lying around when she needs to defend herself. But when she has the opportunity to plan her defense, when the gang is fleeing Glory in the camper, the weapon she brought along was a cast-iron frying pan, which looks like exactly the one Xander picks up in his vision. He fears that he will kill the woman he loves with her own monsterous tool.

On the one hand, Xander's vision is a timely warning that he cannot deny the monster within him, yet on the other, his encounter with his own potential for monstrosity causes him, like Riley, to abandon the woman he loves because he cannot embrace his inner monster. Riley's abandonment of Buffy is part of the spiral that leads her to commit suicide, albeit for the benefit of humanity as usual, while Xander's abandonment of Anya leads her to at least consider the possibility of reverting to demon. Nonetheless, these men's denial of their potential for monstrosity damages not only themselves, but also the women they love.

In comparison to Angel, Spike, Xander, and Riley, there is, then, Giles. Giles appears to be completely nonmonsterous, at least at first: the stammering, self-deprecating Englishman, the harmless librarian. But then we learn that he, in fact, has had his monsterous episodes in the past, first through the revelations of Ethan Rayne, then through his atavistic reversion to punk-boy Giles in Band Candy. Okay, we think, but this has all been in the past. He has redeemed himself (atoned for his sins) and become a Good Guy. But then he kills Ben, and he does so explicitly saying that he is the one who will commit the monsterous act that Buffy cannot, because she is a hero and, by implication, he is not.

Giles, ultimately, is the best expression of what is meant by Buffy needing some monster in her man. He is the one who can best accept and use his monsterous potential, and notice that he does it not simply in some generalized "betterment of society" fashion, justifying his monstrosity the way that Angel does, nor does he do it purely to help Buffy, as Spike does, but for a mixture of these reasons. He kills Ben because Glory's haven in this world needs to be eliminated, which should be Buffy's task, but he takes the sin on his own shoulders to spare *her*, specifically, the pain of that crime.

The point about the "monster in her man" theme seems to be, not that some men have monsters and others do not, but that all men have monsters, and Buffy needs men who know that. There is a consistent theme in Indo-European mythology that Georges Dumezil calls "the sin of the warrior." It's a recognition that society needs warriors in time of war to protect it, but when there is no war for them to fight, what do you do with all these men whose only purpose in the world is battle and destruction? How do you prevent that destructive potential--that monster--from turning on its own kind? And how does the warrior, after the battle is over, reconcile the damage and death he has caused with the needs of his own life and his own society? Warriors, Dumezil points out, commit sin for the good of society, willingly taking on a kind of scapegoat role, doing the things that "normal" people won't or can't bring themselves to do but that are nonetheless necessary. But just because these things are necessary, doesn't mean that the warrior is exempt from paying for his sin. There is, as Spike points out, always a price. The monsterous men that Buffy needs still have to struggle with the monster, but the first step towards that is acknowledging the monster's existence in the first place.

[> Excellent. -- Sophist, 12:20:15 03/28/02 Thu

Can't agree with you in characterizing Buffy's leap as "suicide", but lots of interesting points here.

[> [> Xander and abuse -- Ian, 13:21:02 03/28/02 Thu

I disagree with you on Xander. By leaving Anya, Xander wasn't denying his "monster within," he was taking responsibility for it. If he had denied or run from it, he would have gone through with the marriage, because "he could never act like that." It is because he realized he had the potential to harm others in the same way his father harmed him that he left her; Xander loved Anya too much to put her at risk from his own weakness.

Children of abuse are FAR more likely to commit abuse themselves because 1) it's the relationship dynamic they know best, and 2) their inability to confront their past and take responsibility for learning a new relationship and coping model often dooms them to repeat those abusive patterns.

Xander did not do this. He realized that "monster" was alive within him and that he hadn't yet exorcised it's effects. I call that grabbing the monster by the horns, not fleeing in denial.

[> [> [> Re: Xander and abuse -- Sophist, 14:25:15 03/28/02 Thu

Perhaps we can reconcile your view with leslie's by saying that Xander recognized a potential monster, but failed to recognize that he could overcome it, either by never actualizing the potential or by controlling the actual. As I have said before, albeit less pithily, your family is your origin not your destiny. Xander ran from his fear not his reality.

Leslie would probably put this into Jungian terms. I won't, partly because I can't remember them and partly because I'm not a Jungian.

[> [> [> [> Re: Xander and abuse -- Ian, 14:45:45 03/28/02 Thu

Oh, I can agree with both of you actually. Xander both ran from his monster and confronted it.

I suppose the assumption I have (but did not voice), is that the best time to confront that monster and to do the work inside, is not while entering into a marriage. I know that if you flip the coin however, that "inside work" will need to be addressed while inside a relationship, and that one can't avoid that.

Not to be all self reveal-y or anything, but coming from an abusive home myself, I know just how difficult it can be escape those repeating those patterns. While I think it is entirely possible to learn a better way of coping and relating while in a relationship, it far more likely to end up simply rejecting that history. You all know the saying, "you become the thing you hate." That is so very true. Until one can replace those learned patterns with a healthier paradigm, one is still stuck in the same loop, and learning this takes time.

And back to Xander: I also interpreted his actions as fearful, but to be fair to Xander, look at who his partner is--Anya. Anya isn't just chalk full of the knowledge of healthy relationships herself; it's not like she is in a position to teach that better world to Xander. Xander knew that, and that's why I think his actions were more brave and responsible, than running and full of denial.

It seems we basically agree, but I think this distinction worth mentioning.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Xander and abuse -- gds, 20:34:42 03/28/02 Thu

There is another option that Xander could have done besides leaving or going through with the wedding. It is in fact the option I think he should have taken, but I haven't seen anyone bring it up.

*** Take a time out and DISCUSS IT WITH ANYA - not make a unilateral decision. ***

As it is, she feels abandoned, scorned, unloved, and betrayed. He has given in to his fears and in that sense betrayed himself. Regardless of whether they went through the wedding, split up, or postponed the wedding Anya would have been a part of the decision. He had plenty of evidence at the wedding to show her his fear was legitimate. Once she was convinced that he was concerned for HER welfare, she would probably be very cooperative in helping him deal with HIS demon side for a change.

[> [> [> Re: Xander and abuse -- Gwyn, 21:37:51 03/28/02 Thu

I have to take issue with your statement that children who are abused as children are "far more likely to commit abuse themselves". This is not born out by current research into the history of such children. The reverse is true...they tend to be survivors who bend over backwards not to repeat those patterns and to seek out the kind of parenting role that reverses what they have seen. I am not saying that some do not repeat the patterns...but your statement that presumes most are likely to repeat them is simply not accurate.

[> [> [> [> That's interesting -- Ian, 01:27:25 03/29/02 Fri

I'm interested to know where you get your information.

Although I'm not super conversant with current research into this, I work with abused children, and around 80% of their parents were abused as children. If your knowledge of current statistics is indeed more up to date than mine, I concede that point.

Also, we work almost exclusively with children from low income, hispanic families, and I wonder how widely your figures vary in regards to income level and cultural, ethnic background. As far as adults who go far out of their way to prevent repeating abuse is concerned, I agree with you, within limits. Children of abuse who later receive support and/or counseling are less likely to become abusers themselves, but many, many, many of those abused as children never receive or seek out that support.

Another conceit--teen pregnancy has risen to epidemic proportions in the area in which I work (Southern New Mexico) and many of these young mothers (average age 15) are from abusive and broken homes themselves. Since I seldom work with those who have not repeated abuse, my experience and knowledge of the subject may be skewed, but from the population I do see, around 80% were abused as children themselves.

It's not my intention to be catty, but I also wonder how many tens and tens of thousands of cases were abuse repeats through families are required for it to be considered "a lot."

[> Great Post! -- DickBD, 12:29:57 03/28/02 Thu

I particularly liked the way you underlined the fact that even Giles and Xander had a dark side to them. My own opinion has been that good and evil are artificial constructs. There are people that do terrible things, but simply calling them evil doesn't explain their behavior.

And, of course, the best of people occasionally do some pretty bad things. I think one of the things that makes Buffy so great is the complexity of the characters. I must confess that Spike is one of my favorites. He takes it as an insult if anyone calls him "good," but he does good things in spite of himself. And they aren't always just to please Buffy.

Anyway, thanks for the thought-provoking analysis.

[> Thought-provoking -- Kimberly, 13:07:42 03/28/02 Thu

Taking your post to the next level, one of the things that is being explored this season is the monstrousness of the female characters in the show.

Buffy: Her power comes from darkness; she is no longer recognized by Spike's chip as "human".

Willow: Any use of magic appears to bring out the "dark magic black eyes". Too much use of the darker magics bringing out something monstrous.

Dawn: Shoplifting, tantrums, what does she now open?

Tara: "Demon at 20" may have been disproved, but she is still a "natural" witch.

Anya: Former(?) vengeance demon.

And it seems that each of these characters has an easier time of it when they admit their own monstrousness.

Working off of your idea; I'm afraid I've never read Dumezil.

[> Also: Oz and Wesley -- Elz, 13:14:33 03/28/02 Thu

I agree, and I think you're leaving out one of the clearest examples of the whole monster/man dichotomy: Oz. Phases and Wild at Heart imply that his werewolf nature is a metaphor for male sexuality and aggression- even the guy who seems like the perfect non-threatening boyfriend has a monster lurking within.

From Phases (talking about werewolves):

Giles: Quite. And it, uh, acts on-on pure instinct. No conscience, uh, uh, predatory and, and aggressive.

Buffy: In other words, your typical male.

Then there's "Billy" which implies that all men have a misogynistic monstrosity buried within them. The way Billy's influence works on Wesley gives us the sense that the violence and hatred are always hidden inside of him, just with all of his socialization and intellect piled on top.

And let's not forget the ep where they say this all outright, Beauty and the Beasts:

Faith: All men are beasts, Buffy.

Buffy: Okay, I was hoping to not get that cynical till I was at least forty.

Faith: It's not cynical. I mean, it's realistic. Every guy from... Manimal down to Mr. I-Love-The- English-Patient has beast in him. And I don't care how sensitive they act. They're all still just in it for the chase.

(It's kind of funny that people talk a fair amount about the way women are portrayed on BtVS, when it's the portrayal of men that's really worthy of some eyebrow-raising.)

[> [> Re: Also: Oz and Wesley -- leslie, 14:18:55 03/28/02 Thu

I didn't address Oz and Wesley because I was concentrating on the statement that it's *Buffy* who needs/wants monster in her man, same thing for why I didn't address the monsterous aspects of the female characters, but I certainly agree that the material is there to be explored! In fact, it is the realization of the monsterous aspect of Oz--whom he completely accepts as a mellow human--that appears to really make Riley open his mind to the possibility of his own monsterousness, even if he later rejects it. And yet again, it is Oz's need to grapple with his monstrosity that makes him abandon Willow.

As for Xander, I agree that it is his understanding that he has to cope with his potential for monstrosity that makes him leave Anya, and that this is a good thing, it is an act of responsibility on his part, but at the same time, I think the reason it has reached the point that he has to leave, that he has to abandon her, is because he's refused to acknowledge it up to that point. He has had countless examples of monsterous men grappling with how to deal with their monstrosity--even if he rejects Angel and Spike, he has seen Oz's dilemma and its results, and he seems to have some grasp of Giles's capacity for monstrosity as well--yet he refuses to confront it in himself until it is too late.

This is one of the points I see coming out of this: men who refuse to acknowledge their monsterous potential do so because they fear that it will destroy their relationships with women they love, but the repression of the monsterous only causes them, when they can't repress it any more, to abandon those women and cause even more pain than what they originally were trying to avoid. It leaves Willow and Anya in states where they engage in (or in Anya's case, since we don't know yet, are tempted by) destructive or chaotic behavior to try to ease their pain, and I do think that there is an element of suicide in Buffy's self-sacrifice; the ties that bind her to this world, the relationships that make her feel that life is worth living, have frayed to the point that offering her own life is more important than clinging to it. Maybe I'm projecting too much here, but the times that I have felt suicidal, it has been because there just seems no end in sight--this wearisome round will never end, there is no hope of improvement, and as much as I love my friends and family, the will to continue has disappeared. I see a lot of that in Buffy's state of mind at the end of S5, largely created by her mother's death and her boyfriend's disappearance.

It is interesting, comparing the way male and female characters deal with darkness, that it is the men who physically turn into monsters, that is, behave in a completely instinctive and aggressive way, while the women react by either becoming inert (Buffy's tendency to lapse into catatonia) or by casting spell and speaking curses (Willow's witchery, Anya's vengence act). The male darkness is manifested in their bodies, the female in their minds.

[> [> [> Great points. I wish I'd read this before Iposting my second response. We really do agree. lol -- Ian, 14:50:54 03/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Also: Oz and Wesley -- Kimberly, 06:28:40 03/29/02 Fri

The male darkness is manifested in their bodies, the female in their minds.

I find this idea especially interesting. I see ME usually using traditional gender roles in reverse: for instance, the females are the fighters and the males provide support. Traditionally in Western thinking, females are more focused on their bodies, on the physical, while males are more focused on their minds, on the spiritual. So, here too, ME has reversed the traditional gender roles.

[> [> [> [> Western tradition -- Sophist, 08:32:15 03/29/02 Fri

I think Western tradition is more complicated than saying "females are more focused on their bodies, on the physical, while males are more focused on their minds, on the spiritual." That's probably a fair characterization of the ideal (or the propaganda) of Platonic philosophy and its derivatives, but there are other traditions as well. For example, there is the warrior tradition of the knight and the lady. There is also a strong tradition of female spirituality and mysticism represented by figures such as Teresa of Avila. Finally, I think that if there was a tradtion as broad as you suggest, the Romantic period reversed the roles.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Western tradition -- Rattletrap, 18:49:09 03/30/02 Sat

Good point, Sophist. It is a bit problematic to even speak of a "Western tradition" because this kind of thing changes so frequently. It does seem to me, as you suggest, that for the last few centuries men are more associated with the body (especially in the area of physical labor) and women with the spiritual (look at the huge number of women in religious and social reform movements during the 1800s for example). The beauty of Buffy is that the show plays with traditional conceptions of gender roles and personality traits--following "the rules" sometimes, breaking them at others--that almost anything goes, any time.

[> Great Post -- LeeAnn, 16:14:16 03/28/02 Thu

[> thinking still more on this topic... -- leslie, 16:15:17 03/28/02 Thu

It also seems to me that this theme of rejection/acceptance of male monstrosity is something that the show itself (or shall we just say ME) presents, but it is not something that the characters themselves recognize. Looking at Spike from this perspective, it seems pretty clear that one of his problems is that he is a little too in love with his monster, although he knows he is struggling with some kind of self-definition issue. Angel, for his part, acknowledges his monstrosity, but he has had difficulty in coping with it--it's either on or off, totally evil or totally contrite. Weirdly, it seems as though fatherhood is bringing him closer to identifying his potential monstrosity (the "Connor smells like food" comment) yet restraining it without making a big deal of it. The sense of responsibility for his son makes integrating the monster important in a way that being in love with a woman did not.

The "monster in her man" statement also comes in two forms, as I recall: she "needs" it or she "wants" it. I think the distinction is important, because Buffy strongly denies that she "wants" a monster (especially when the monster in question is Spike), but she tacitly admits, in giving Spike responsibility for her mother and sister, that she "needs" it. It's also interesting that Spike is the one who tells Riley that Buffy "wants" monster in her man, given that in British English more than in American English, "wanting" can indicate lack as well as desire. Riley is, in this sense, "wanting" in the monster stakes.

If this question of coping with one's monstrosity is an underlying drive of the character development in the show, then it also throws some light on Spike's role as Giles's "son." First of all, Giles is the most successful model for Spike in focusing his monstrosity, but secondly, Spike's reaction when Buffy tries to downplay their kissing ("You know I was thinking about Giles, don't you?" "I always wondered about you two!") shows that Spike conceives of the relationship between a Slayer and a Watcher as at least potentially sexual.

[> Can Buffy, then, as well be said to harbor monstrosity? -- AngelVSAngelus, 17:21:58 03/28/02 Thu

You've listed Angel's quest, his usage of his demonic nature to benefit society, as a deflection of sorts of his monstrosity rather than embracing it, and Spike's doing beneficial things for Buffy as such as well, at least as well as I understand you to mean. But, Buffy's quest/job seems virtually the same as Angel's to me, involving being a soldier of sorts just as he is. You don't seem to include her as sharing Angel, Xander, Riley, Giles, and Spike's monstrosity however, and I was just wondering your reasons for this, if I'm understanding you correctly.

[> [> The women aren't exempt from this either. -- Traveler, 21:43:10 03/28/02 Thu

Willow is a witch addicted to her own magic. Anya is an ex-vengence demon. Buffy is a monster's monster. She unleashes her "evil" qualities only on creatures that she thinks are monsters. Of all the characters, Tara is the only one who hasn't really shown any monsterous qualities; she thought she might be a half demon, but she was wrong.

[> [> Re: Can Buffy, then, as well be said to harbor monstrosity? -- lurae, 13:24:30 03/29/02 Fri

We saw a hint of Buffy's monster in Dracula, when she drinks his blood. And both Dracula and the First Slayer imply that there is something dark and monstrous about the slayer and her origins that Buffy doesn't want to see in herself. Maybe it's just because I'm looking for it, but I keep seeing shadows of that theme, like in Spike's being able to hit Buffy, in Buffy's having to crawl out of her grave like a vampire, and in her fear that she came back "wrong." Spike definitely sees the monster in her--I think that's a big part of why she's so attracted and repelled by him. I'm clinging to the hope that the show will go back and explain more about the nature of the slayer to us!

[> [> [> To be bumping off demons in the number she is ....... -- Rufus, 19:36:14 04/01/02 Mon

It could be said that Buffy has a bit of the monster in her.

[> Ben/Glory ? -- Ete, 04:48:46 03/29/02 Fri

Great analysis, I mostly agree with you, except I don't think there's really a desire to oppose the "monstruous" to the "nonmonstruous" as I think Buffy always shows characters who all has a shadow side. (which you show, but i don't think there is a real opposition there in the suface even)

I wonder how you place Ben (and his monstruous side of Glory) in this analysis. Ben was indeed more or less presented as a possible love interrest to Buffy, and the comments in the Gift (when Dawn prefers to be with the openly cruel Glory than Ben who she caracterizes as a "monster") this scene being offcourse the pendant of Spike aknowledging the monster in him... and opposing it to being a man.
I think that's how the opposition actually works : Men and Monsters.

Which offcourse is important to Spike because, while Angel is all about Redemption, Spike is all about humanity :)
(well anyway that's how i was thinking about the question of monsters in his case)

[> [> Re: Ben/Glory ? -- leslie, 10:12:57 03/29/02 Fri

I think I was trying to address this question above, in terms of the difference between what we, as audience, see happening among the characters, versus what the characters themselves see happening amongst themselves. The characters are tormented, in many cases, by their own monstrosity. They don't perceive this as merely a shadow side of their personality, but as actual monsters, and since the mission of the Slayer is "Destroy All Monsters," the first line of reaction to monstrosity is to "kill" it, whether literally or figuratively. But in fact, when we look at the long haul of characters like Giles, we see that the most successful way of dealing with one's monster is facing it directly and not hiding it.

Going off on a tangent here, I think we can see in the return of the repressed Eyghon probably the first statement of this theme. Giles has hoped to forget his dark past, has already made the attempt to drive it, in the form of Ethan Rayne, out of town before his past is revealed. When Eyghon comes to get him, his first response is to try to hide, to escape through numbing himself with alcohol, to take care of it himself in hopes that no-one will find out. 1) This plan fails. 2) The result of his attempt to flee his monster is that the monster attacks and possesses, of all people available, Jenny, the woman Giles loves. Although once this has happened, Giles's response is to care for Jenny and *not* to abandon her, it is too late--even though the monster is eradicated (interestingly, in a knock- down drag-out with Angel's monster), the experience has driven a wedge between Giles and Jenny, and she is the one who pulls back from the relationship. The message seems very clear: Hiding who you really are, in hopes of maintaining your pristine image in the eyes of your love, only leads to an even more devastating revelation of your darkness, and serves to estrange the one you hoped to keep.

The question of Ben and Glory is really interesting, because Ben does have a monster, and it's a woman. But still, it's a woman who acts pretty much like all of the male monsters we've seen before: she is wholly concerned with fulfilling her own needs and desires, with no appreciation of others' concerns. Werewolves want to chew, vampires want to suck, demons want to procreate, Glory wants to rule the world, but all of these things come at the cost of the death of humans. (Anyone ever notice that most demons seem to be fixated on reproducing, invariably in a manner that kills the mother or, if egg-laying, anyone else who happens to be nearby when birth occurs?) However, in light of the distinction I made earlier about the male/physical female/mental modes of expressing monstrosity, Ben and Glory maintain this opposition: Ben is a doctor, concerned with helping people in their physical illnesses, while Glory's monsterous desire to regain her lost power is for a more abstract kind of fulfillment. Although I don't think there is ever any sense that Ben or anyone else would have been better off for his open acknowledgment of his Glorificous side, what makes Dawn describe Ben as a monster is the fact that he hides his real desire, even if that is simply to continue to live.

[> [> [> Giles' monstrosity -- Vickie, 11:25:33 03/29/02 Fri

" Going off on a tangent here, I think we can see in the return of the repressed Eyghon probably the first statement of this theme. Giles has hoped to forget his dark past, has already made the attempt to drive it, in the form of Ethan Rayne, out of town before his past is revealed. When Eyghon comes to get him, his first response is to try to hide, to escape through numbing himself with alcohol, to take care of it himself in hopes that no-one will find out. 1) This plan fails. 2) The result of his attempt to flee his monster is that the monster attacks and possesses, of all people available, Jenny, the woman Giles loves. Although once this has happened, Giles's response is to care for Jenny and *not* to abandon her, it is too late--even though the monster is eradicated (interestingly, in a knock-down drag-out with Angel's monster), the experience has driven a wedge between Giles and Jenny, and she is the one who pulls back from the relationship. The message seems very clear: Hiding who you really are, in hopes of maintaining your pristine image in the eyes of your love, only leads to an even more devastating revelation of your darkness, and serves to estrange the one you hoped to keep."

Fascinating observation. In A New Man, Giles again attempts to hide his monster, telling Spike that he'll find Ethan himself and get it taken care of. Buffy need never know. I guess it is OK for Spike to know, as he is also a monster.

Giles then controls his growing monstrosity pretty well, though he growls a little and takes a natural delight in the prospect of special demon powers. (Thought the mucus thing disgusts him as it does us.) He and Spike hunt Ethan through SunnyD, and eventually locate him.

At this point, Giles discovers that he cannot do it all himself. He catches Ethan, could even kill him, but that would only trap him in the demon form. He cannot seem to communicate with Ethan, or sufficiently control his monster to force the sorceror to undo the spell.

Buffy, however can see the man in the monster. She sees him the moment she looks into her monstrous mentor's eyes. Even in demon form, the true Giles shows through. "Only you can look that annoyed with me." This combination of self-revelation on his part and perception on hers saves his human life.

Given this history, one wonders why she cannot see the man in the monster Spike?

[> [> [> [> Re: Giles' monstrosity -- leslie, 11:54:51 03/29/02 Fri

"Buffy, however can see the man in the monster. She sees him the moment she looks into her monstrous mentor's eyes. Even in demon form, the true Giles shows through. "Only you can look that annoyed with me." This combination of self-revelation on his part and perception on hers saves his human life. Given this history, one wonders why she cannot see the man in the monster Spike?"

Well, I think she can see the man in the monster Spike, but only when she isn't having sex with him. This is where Spike's suspicion that there was something sexual between Giles and Buffy seems relevent. Part of the clarity of Giles and Buffy's relationship is that it is not clouded by sex, and it also seems important that although Giles in his Spike-ish guise did have sex with Buffy's *mother*, when they returned to "normal", they completely backed away from and tried to repress that memory. Now, I have always thought that there was a great missed opportunity there in not having Spike fall in love with Joyce rather than Buffy. They certainly seemed to get along better and have more to talk about with each other than Spike and Buffy (their shared passion for Passions, for instance; Joyce's sympathetic response to Spike's tale of woe in being dumped by Drusilla seemed to hint at some similar feeling about being dumped by Hank, as it seems is what happened; and the plot possibilities of Buffy's trying to deal with her MOTHER being involved with a vampire, oi!) On the one hand, there seems to be a nice generational mirroring of couples: Giles-Joyce (parents), Spike-Buffy ("son"-daughter), but if you look at it in terms of absolute age, it's actually a kind of circle: Spike-(Joyce/Giles)-Buffy. (I'm not really sure who is older, Joyce or Giles, but this line-up points out the sublimated or potential sexual relationships within the real ones.)

I think at least part of Buffy's rejection of Spike is due to the fact that she on one level does want him to be a father figure to her--after the kitten poker fiasco, she rails at him that she thought he was going to take care of things and make everything better for her, just as she has been expecting her father-figure Giles to do; in Dead Things she dreams that he comes to her and comforts her in her home, but in her bed, which warm-and-fuzzy image is immediately replaced by a violent image of bondage sex; her immediate reaction to being left by Giles is to have sex with Spike; I'm not so sure that her rejection of Spike has as much to do with his monstrosity (although that is a convenient excuse) as a good old-fashioned Freudian Electra complex.

[> [> [> [> [> It's Jung who formulated the Electra complex :) -- Ete, 13:49:27 03/29/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's Jung who formulated the Electra complex :) -- leslie, 21:20:16 03/29/02 Fri

Beg to differ [okay, switch off evil John Ritter voice now...]

Freud proposed the Electra complex as an afterthought and counterpart to the Oedipus complex; it has been suggested that Jung proposed the presence of an animus in women as a counterpart to the anima in men as his own little Oedipal homage to Freud. (See Andrew Stevens, _Jung and the Post- Jungians_, p. 214, and/or or or

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sorry ! my French Teacher was wrong then :'( damn school ! -- Ete, 00:52:08 03/30/02 Sat

[> [> [> Re: Ben/Glory ? -- Etrangere, 11:42:26 03/29/02 Fri

>I think I was trying to address this question above, in terms of the difference between what we, as audience, see happening among the characters, versus what the characters themselves see happening amongst themselves.

Hummm Okay :) I see you point
But I still don't like the word non-monstruous lol

>Going off on a tangent here, I think we can see in the return of the repressed Eyghon probably the first statement of this theme.

I think it all begins in Halloween, when Ethan Rayne, worshiper of Janus Double-Faced unleashed the dark side of everyone. That's the big beginning of the plethora of Duality themes in Buffy :)

One of the reason why I think Ethan is very interresting character (Ethaaaan ! when will we see you back ? *sob*)

>>Hiding who you really are, in hopes of maintaining your pristine image in the eyes of your love, only leads to an even more devastating revelation of your darkness, and serves to estrange the one you hoped to keep.

Yeah, I agree, Buffy always show that Monsters has to be brough in plain light to be killed. Makes me think of Fear, Itself, where the demon of fear, once unveiled, revealed to be ridiculous. Shadows only give strength to the Monsters.
Which is why I'm on the side of people who think Xander was wrong to cancel the wedding : he's running away from his own monster instead of, as someone put it, take him by the horns.

>But still, it's a woman who acts pretty much like all of the male monsters we've seen before: she is wholly concerned with fulfilling her own needs and desires, with no appreciation of others' concerns.

Is that so much different from Darla or Walsh ? I think what you describe is an acurate of most evil in Buffy, not of Evil in a male form specificly. And Glory as a female is important in S5, 'cause it's the same season where Buffy's mother dies. (Just as s3 dealt with paternity with Helpless and the Faith/Mayor relationship)

>>Although I don't think there is ever any sense that Ben or anyone else would have been better off for his open acknowledgment of his Glorificous side, what makes Dawn describe Ben as a monster is the fact that he hides his real desire, even if that is simply to continue to live.

I wonder. Ben was trying to ignore Glory the most that he could, even if it implies summoning the Queller to kill her crazy victims, which is truely a monster's act. That he hid it to Buffy (though I wonder if he could has told her, granted) lead to Glory's capture of Dawn in the end of Spiral.
When you talk about his hidding his real desire, you forget that it wasn't only "continuing to live", which offcourse is a legitimate wish. It's wanting to live forever, to be like a God. Or like a monster. While in the same time Spike was saying he was ready to die to save Dawn and was reaching a "human" status because of that, Ben was losing it and died for it. For Ben's excuse, Dawn as the key had opened the difference between Ben's humanity and Glory's monstruousity.

[> Excellent Analysis! Thank you! And totally agree. -- shadowkat, 20:21:59 03/31/02 Sun

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