May 2002 posts

Previous May 2002  

More May 2002

Entropy as irreversibility (partly in response to Darby's "Entropy questions, ...") -- Lonesome Sundown, 17:53:58 05/01/02 Wed

*delurk* Okay, my second attempt at posting this. My earlier one never showed up. Anyway, I've been reading many insightful posts here for some time now and finally have something useful to say (I think).

Darby wrote:
> Don't get the title - everything falls apart? It seems
> like just the opposite was happening. The only entropic > activity was in things that had already fallen apart,
> and even those forged new or stronger connections
> elsewhere.

Entropy (to be more accurate, the CHANGE in entropy) has another interpretation: it is a measure of the irreversibility of any process. "Things fall apart" and you can't put them back together to be exactly the way they were before. And I think some relationships and perceptions were changed forever in the episode.

Xander says "I just wish we could go back to the way things were before". To him it means the time when he and Anya were dating and he didn't have to worry about the commitment of marriage. This is also clear from his dialogue with Buffy and Willow in Normal Again:

(from the shooting script of Normal Again at

WILLOW So, you left her at the altar but... you still want...?

BUFFY You still want to date?

XANDER I guess. I know my life is better with her in it.

But Anya asks "Do you still want to marry me?" and Xander's stumbling answer pushes her on the path to vengeance. Clearly there's no way to "go back to the way things were before", even before Anya has sex with Spike, because they want different things.

The sex, now THAT changes a whole lot of other things. It might actually help Anya and Xander to understand themselves better. Anya, who was trying for the first 55 minutes of the episode to get somebody, anybody to wreak vengeance upon Xander hushes Spike just as he is about to make a wish. She has seen Xander's anguish and anger mirroring her own feelings when he deserted her, and realizes the futility of revenge. She has lost touch with aspects of her demon existence and is maybe rediscovering more complex human emotions. After this episode I don't think she can go back to being the Anya of old, either
the vengeance demon or the self-centered human.

Given Xander's antipathy towards Spike, how will he come to terms with the knowledge that his ex-fiancee and one of his closest friends have slept with him? If he continues to loathe Spike as an evil, soulless thing, what should he think of Buffy and Anya who slept with him and both of
whom he loves? If he is eventually able to overcome his bitterness at them, he will also have to change his attitude towards Spike.

Okay, done rambling now.

[> Spoilers above for Hell's Bells, Normal Again, Entropy (NT) -- Lonesome Sundown, 17:55:44 05/01/02 Wed

[> Nice point -- Sophist, 19:54:06 05/01/02 Wed

[> Re: Entropy as irreversibility -- Malandanza, 08:34:21 05/02/02 Thu

"Entropy (to be more accurate, the CHANGE in entropy) has another interpretation: it is a measure of the irreversibility of any process. "Things fall apart" and you can't put them back together to be exactly the way they were before. And I think some relationships and perceptions were changed forever in the episode."

Certainly this is true for Xander and Anya. Leaving Anya at the altar made it extremely unlikely that the relationship would ever work again -- but Anya's sex with Spike ended any possibility of reversibility. People can argue over whether or not Xander had a "right" to be angry with Anya, but his actions were understandable, more so than Lindsey's actions after he found out that Darla (who was never his girlfriend) had had sex with Angel. Anya/Xander is over -- it only remains to be seen what happens to Anya. Does she go back to being a vengeance demon or remain in the human world as proprietor of a magic shop (or both -- a magic shop might be a good place to meet people seeking vengeance)?

I also think Buffy/Spike is finally over. At the beginning of the episode, we see Spike confessing his eternal love for Buffy and at the end (the same day) we see him having sex with her friend. From Buffy's perspective, it is easy to see how these two events might seem mutually exclusive. Given Buffy's penchant for overidentification, I doubt she'll be angry with Anya -- she's been lost and vulnerable when a vampire "slipped in and had himself a good day." By excusing Anya, she excuses herself -- it's Spike's fault. Additionally, since Spike broke his tacit agreement with Buffy about not revealing their sexual relationship, he can no longer hold the threat of exposure over Buffy's head, which must be a great relief to Buffy (she made light of his threats at the start of the episode, but that was partly bravado, I think). Finally, Spike managed to destroy the last bits of sympathy Buffy had for him. She's been feeling sorry for poor William because he's in love and she's not -- but his deliberate attempt to hurt Xander, regardless of Buffy's feelings (I mean, the girl was standing right there!) had to have assuaged her guilty conscience. Spike could not have a more hateful time to reveal the secret -- he's lucky she didn't carry out her promise to stake him.

Buffy and Xander's friendship will, I think, not be permanently damaged by the revelation. Xander will blame Spike, not Buffy, once he's gotten over the shock.

Buffy the permanent changes in Buffy/Spike and Xander/Anya bode ill for Tara/Willow -- ME loves titles that apply to more than just the usual suspects (Epiphany is the episode I always think of in this respect -- yes, Angel had an epiphany, but so did Lindsey and Kate).

[> [> My disgust is with Xander and Buffy, not Spike or Anya. -- yez, 10:25:53 05/02/02 Thu

I disagree that "Spike broke his tacit agreement with Buffy about not revealing their sexual relationship." As you mentioned, Buffy told him she didn't care if he told -- she practically even challenged him to do it by effectively "bragging" about how loyal her friends were, IMHO. Also, Spike clearly told her in "Normal Again" that he would tell them if she didn't. To be fair, Buffy may not have had an accurate memory of that as she was in the grips of dementia... but still.

Also, I agree that "From Buffy's perspective, it is easy to see how these two events [Spike's love and him sleeping with Anya] might seem mutually exclusive," mainly because I think Buffy is a jerk and I've lost just about any sympathy I had for her. She admits to using Spike, repeatedly tells him so and tells him she doesn't have feelings of love for him, beats him to a pulp on occasions where he's expressed his feelings for her, and then she has the nerve to give a damn that he has sex with someone else? She's the queen of mixed messages, that one.

Finally, I *really* disagree that Spike is the one that needs to be held accountable for trying to deliberately hurt someone in this episode. He's supposed to not only stand there for Xander's physical violence and attempt to kill him, but also not say anything to defend himself against Xander's verbal abuse?

How convenient for Xander that Anya's sex partner was just a soulless demon and so Xander can turn his homicidal jealousy/rage loose and beat him and try to kill him and it doesn't seem to really count. Just like Buffy can beat the crap out of her lover, and it doesn't really count because he's not human.

I have to say, right now, I'm completely disgusted with both Buffy and Xander.


[> [> [> Re: My disgust is with Xander and Buffy, not Spike or Anya. -- clg0107, 10:46:42 05/02/02 Thu

It's also worth keeping in mind that Spike could physically hurt Buffy if he wanted to, and he doesn't even try.

And when he goes to the Magic Box, is *he* looking for vengeance, or to inflict some sort of pain/harm on Buffy? No -- he just bloody well wants the pain to stop.

I still get all the stuff about soulless demon, yaddah, yaddah. But Spike finally letting the cat out of the bag, really only points out to me how very long he refrained from doing so. Even if you consider the weeks since Buffy broke things off, he's never lashed out at her with the intent of hurting her, and he's taken her abuse and that of her friends rather than tell her secret. Damned chivalrous, I think...then, he gave he fair warning that he wasn't going to be her dirty little secret any longer, and she, in the end, says to go ahead and tell them...


I am loving the show, BTW, the above rant notwithstanding.

~ clg0107

[> [> [> [> Re: My disgust is with Xander and Buffy, not Spike or Anya. -- Lilac, 10:54:56 05/02/02 Thu

I do agree that Spike held off spilling his secret remarkably well. Even when he is commiserating with Anya, he never directly lets it slip that the girl he is talking about is Buffy -- he does refer to saving Scoobies, so if Anya had really been listening to him, she should have said "what?", but she wasn't and she didn't. While I am sure that Buffy will hold his having said anything to Xander against Spike, it doesn't really seem like an unreasonable response to defend one's own value after being almost killed and derided as being less than nothing. Buffy should have stopped the tirade herself. While defending Spike would undoubtedly been beyond her, she could have at least diffused the verbal abuse.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: My disgust is with Xander and Buffy, not Spike or Anya. -- DEN, 11:49:03 05/02/02 Thu

It's interesting, isn't it, that in this final encounter of the ep it's the two "demons" who are the most "human" in their emotions and behavior, while Xander and Buffy are as self-centered--dare I say as soulless-- as any creature of the night we've met.

[> [> [> Telling secrets -- Sophist, 14:33:45 05/02/02 Thu

I think that in order to judge Spike's action in revealing the relationship, we need to know 2 things:

1. Whether he had a right to disclose it.

2. His reason for doing so.

Several of the comments above in this thread praise Spike for not "telling" earlier. I can't see that as praiseworthy. His relationship was with Buffy. Disclosing it, like all decisions in a relationship, has to be mutual. Spike was certainly right that Buffy's concealment of it was insulting to him, but his remedy is to break it off, not to tell.

I can see 3 motivations he might have had: to justify himself; to hurt Xander; to defend Anya. It's pretty hard for me to see either of the first 2 reasons as praiseworthy. He hardly needs to justify himself to Xander; that's spitting in the ocean. Hurting Xander, while certainly understandable given the provocation, is not something to encourage. While I don't know that we can ever know for certain, my view is that he said it to protect Anya. In other words, he was telling Xander that he had no basis to attack Anya for something Buffy had also done. As I pointed out below, this was what Buffy herself should have done. If this was his reason, and if Buffy herself should have made the disclosure to protect Anya, then I think Spike was right to say it.

[> [> [> [> Re: Telling secrets -- Lilac, 14:48:20 05/02/02 Thu

I think that Spike did indeed have a right to tell at that point (and even earlier, during his conversation with Anya) because Buffy had told him that if he wanted it told so much, tell it, she was sure that her friends would get over it. From that point on, I think he would have been justified telling any of them he wanted to -- although I don't think he felt that way, because he was careful not to tell Anya.

When he did tell, his motivation seemed to me to be a combination of defending himself, defending Anya, and not letting Buffy sit out the storm. Buffy's silence during Xander's attack on Spike and Anya was probably what drove the secret out at last. I think it would have taken a much more saintly person than Spike could ever aspire to be to keep quiet in the face of the viciousness of Xander's diatribe.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Telling secrets -- Sophist, 15:03:23 05/02/02 Thu

The reason I don't see Buffy's comment as giving Spike carte blanche is that it came in reaction to his threat of blackmail (I guess that's what to call it). It wasn't really permission so much as a rejection of his attempt to force the issue.

Just so we're clear here, I think Buffy was wrong in concealing the relationship. That doesn't mean Spike could just blurt it out.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Telling secrets -- Lilac, 16:32:06 05/02/02 Thu

Oh come on Sophist, was that much of a blackmail attempt -- I'll drop this garden variety vamp in your general vicinity if you don't tell? I think that Buffy had either convinced herself that her friends would forgive her just as they did her almost murderous rampage or she was trying to convince herself that would be the case, hence her willingness to let him to tell if he wants to. OR she was presuming that Spike, always up til now willing to do what she wants, would still keep the secret -- which is what he did until really sorely stressed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Telling secrets -- Sophist, 17:19:54 05/02/02 Thu

I don't want to get hung up on the word choice. Blackmail is too strong. He was pushing, she was resisting. His may not have been a real threat, but hers was not real permission.

[> [> [> [> Re: Telling secrets -- yez, 14:50:32 05/02/02 Thu

Interesting. IMHO, while I wouldn't be surprised by Spike trying to defend Anya (and was somewhat surprised that he didn't do so more forcefully), I would be surprised if this was the primary motivation for divulging the "secret." IMHO, Spike would likely say it more out of trading an insult or defending himself -- even being macho, like he does when Riley finds them.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Telling secrets -- Sophist, 14:59:45 05/02/02 Thu

You may well be right. The reason I viewed it more sympathetically to Spike is that it came after his very empathetic time with Anya. But I certainly can't rule out your suggestion -- it's very much in character for Spike to do that.

[> [> [> [> [> [> It's his secret as much as hers... -- Forsaken, 16:12:35 05/02/02 Thu

I say it's his right to disclose the secret any time he wants. Buffy isn't his boss, despite her obvious control issues. I am disgusted with the way Bufy treats him, and the way Xander treats him. I'm also disgusted with Spike, we've clearly seen that he can hit people despite the chip, if he can stand the pain. We've seen him take Xander out with one hit before. I think he could have taken a migraine easier than he took everything he ended up getting.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's his secret as much as hers... -- Sophist, 17:24:57 05/02/02 Thu

I'm not going to disagree with your disgust about Xander's behavior, nor do I disagree that it was a mutual secret. My point was the one Tara made to Willow -- when there's a relationship, significant decisions have to be mutual. If the other person behaves unreasonably (and I think Buffy did just that in hiding it from her friends), then Spike was free to walk away. He should have, in fact. But none of that makes it right for him to reveal the secret (unless, as I suggest, he said it to protect Anya).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's his secret as much as hers... -- Valhalla, 20:47:53 05/02/02 Thu

But Buffy has consistently denied that they did have a relationship, and she did give him permission to tell. I took her 'go ahead' statement as a mixture of bravado and a dare. Bravado because I don't believe she felt as secure with her friends/Dawn after the asylum episode as her words would otherwise imply, and a dare because, well, that's how her words sounded. It made me wonder if she didn't almost want to have him tell -- then she wouldn't have to.

Regardless of Buffy's state of mind, though, she did say to go ahead -- unless she was clearly being sarcastic, or joking, or changed her mind afterwards and made that clear to Spike, how can you construe what she said as not being permission? It's rather unfair to ask Spike to be responsible for the 'true meaning' of Buffy's words -- it's Buffy who should be responsible for them. Buffy hasn't been clear on what she wants for herself all season (which Spike has been the main victim of), but it's not right to hold Spike responsible for that. I'm not saying Spike should have told because she deserved it in any sort of punishment sense, just that Buffy should know that words have power and she can't just throw them out there and not expect consequences.

The other thing (maybe someone's already brought this up - I may have missed it) is that while Spike may have chosen a better moment to tell people, his motivation for letting Buffy's friends isn't entirely self-serving. In Normal Again, he gives her the ultimatum partly because he believes it will get her out of the rut she's been in all season. Yes, people in relationships should make significant decisions together. But it's not so clear cut when one person in a relationship is making a choice that the other person thinks is really bad for them.

I really didn't mean to go on so when I started this, but now I may as well keep going -- on the issue of whether Spike had permission to tell -- Buffy was acting unilaterally when she told Spike he could never tell anyone (she threatened to kill him, in fact, if he did). She didn't consult with him on the decision, they didn't talk it over, she made the decision for both of them and then backed it up with a clear threat of force. Even if you think her permission to Spike to tell was less than perfect, it was clearly under less duress than her ban on telling.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's his secret as much as hers... -- Malandanza, 23:40:42 05/02/02 Thu

"I took her 'go ahead' statement as a mixture of bravado and a dare. Bravado because I don't believe she felt as secure with her friends/Dawn after the asylum episode as her words would otherwise imply, and a dare because, well, that's how her words sounded. It made me wonder if she didn't almost want to have him tell -- then she wouldn't have to."

I certainly agree that her statement was partly bravado (perhaps even mostly). Part of it was also realizing that he had no power over her and calling his bluff. The threat that he would tell her friends has given Spike power over Buffy. But it is only the threat that is power -- if he tells, it hurts her once and then he loses that power.

My feeling is that Spike made a mistake -- had he been thinking clearly, he would have kept the secret. By telling he has lost whatever hold he had on Buffy, and by telling it under those circumstances, he has made himself a very unsympathetic figure, giving Buffy every reason to cut him entirely out of her life. He doesn't even deserve her pity now.

So why did he tell? Not to defend Anya. The things Xander said to him recalled almost exactly the things Buffy had said to him. He was in pain and wanted to strike back -- and did so without thinking through the consequences. It was an incredibly stupid thing to do, but also typically impulsive Spike behavior.

I'm glad he told. No more blackmail, no more secrets to torment Buffy, no more dragging Buffy into darkness. Buffy looked happy this episode when she interacted with Dawn and I hope we see more of that in the future. It's what Buffy needs -- and a great deal more satisfying for her than guilty, abusive sex with a pathetic creature she loathes.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> She hates the truth and is still in darkness -- Anne, 03:39:27 05/03/02 Fri

Buffy is still not anywhere close to getting out of the dark because it's still inside her -- has nothing to do with Spike except how she has abused him and how she has lied, and continued to lie, about it. What Buffy needs to do to get out of the darkness is something she has so far never done: tell the truth about Spike to anybody, Tara, herself, Spike, anybody.

Not only has she been a liar in not wanting to tell her friends that she slept with him, she has not acknowledged that her treatment of him was not just sexual use, but abuse of all kinds: physical, verbal, and emotional. She has not acknowledged that horrendous beating to anybody. She has not acknowledged that in her relationship with Spike, she was as much or more of a monster than him. This abuse, other than the physical, has continued unabated, with the one exception of the conversation in Hell's Bell's, since she broke up with him.

Yeay, okay, as usual Spike told the truth, the truth nobody wanted to hear. And Buffy looked at him with an expression, to use the phrase from a shooting script that has been kicking around the boards, "ripe with hatred". She still hates the truth; she's still in the dark; she has learned nothing and as far as I'm concerned is going nowhere.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yes, she's reached bottom but hasn't started the journey back... -- Caroline, 07:28:54 05/03/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe there is more to Buffy resisting Spike -- Ahira, 07:32:00 05/03/02 Fri

Thought just kinda popped into my head. Here we have Spike. Often referred to as evil, bad, soulless and chipped, Spike is basically still the demon he always was with a limitation on hurting humans. Through all this and for quite a while, he has worked very hard on telling Buffy he loves her and has done many things to try and prove it (at least as far as he sees it) plus been of help to the scoobies in general. Revelation comes, Spike can now hurt the returned Buffy. As far as the slayer is concerned, he has no limitations any more to hold him back. What has he done? Continued to want her in his life for more than just sex.

Buffy knows he can hurt her, she has no special protection from him anymore. She has seen no change in him at all. He still does all the same things in trying to win her heart. There is the possibility that the other members of the group could revenge her if he did something, but I don't think he is too worried about them. Willow and Tara are the only ones he would really need to fear, and only if they saw him coming. This experience can be very hard for Buffy, as it would throw a lot of things in question. Are even vampires simply evil?

I don't necessarily feel that these thoughts have run through her mind, even subconsciously, but an even bigger dilemma can be considered. Angel, vampire with a soul, her first and greatest love. Something she felt was true and real. Then, Angel loses his soul and immmediately sets about hurting her in very deep and personal ways for his own enjoyment. As things stand right now, is there any real difference between Spike, chip not working where Buffy is concerned, and Angel without his soul? I would say no, both are/were completely free to be true to vampire nature where she is concerned. Spike hasn't, Angel did. Could there be rumblings in the back of her mind? Is it possible that she is questioning the nature and depth of the love shared with Angel?

How could one not be shaken deeply at even the possibility of something you know to be true coming into doubt. Does she look at Spike with the full knowledge that he can be fully evil and free to indulge it where she is concerned, but hasn't. Then, have to remember that Angel had no problems reverting to full demon when his limitation was removed.

As I said, just a thought.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Good observation. -- yez, 09:49:07 05/03/02 Fri

I would love it if ME had her talk about that fear/concern as it would help her behavior with Spike this season seem complex and interesting instead of just simple-minded, self- pitying and mean, which is the way it's seemed to me.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Maybe there is more to Buffy resisting Spike -- shadowkat, 08:10:47 05/05/02 Sun

I have always thought that the Angel thing is her biggest problem with Spike. I think Spike must realize that as well, since a) he was there when Angel turned and knows intimately what Angel did to her and b) he brought it up to torment her in Harsh Light of Day and to some degree in
Into the Woods and Wrecked. But he probably veers away from it due to the fact that the Angel topic is as painful for him as it is for her.

Angel is actually the biggest problem for everyone, characters, writers and audience. The problem is enough to make me wish they hadn't done what they did with Angel and sometimes I wonder if they don't wish the same thing. It's caused them a consistency nightmare that I've enjoyed watching them attempt to write around for the last five years. They've done a brillant job btw. Buffy and the gang
can never trust Spike outside of his feelings for Buffy
because of Angelus. Soulless Vampires are evil, Angelus proved that to them. What ME's view on this is...well, I'm not sure...I change my mind daily. Spike is in some ways more fascinating to me than Angel - b/c he's a vampire who has no soul and is in complete conflict with his nature and I must say there's a bit of the extentialist in me ;-).
He must be an endless source of confusion to Buffy - I don't think she's ever understood him or her attraction to him. I don't think she can. He on the other hand understands her better than he understands himself. I don't think he gets himself at all. Personally I think ME has written themselves into a corner with Spike regarding the whole soul/evil thesis. Can't wait to see how they get out of it.

As for B/S relationship? I don't see any hope unless they do something major characterwise with Spike that would allow her to trust him outside of herself. And not be in conflict with her feelings for Angel.

That said - I often wonder how she's dealt with the fact that of the vampires she's been involved with, he's the only one who has not bitten her and he could. Also how has she dealt with the fact that soulless - he continues to try to help her save her friends and family while Angelus wanted to kill them. Even without the chip - he never really
tried to kill them. He had ample opportunity with Joyce in Lover's Walk and could have done it in HLOD (instead he made a bee line for Buffy) -
heck, it wasn't until after Crush that Buffy thought to disinvite him. He only tries to hurt Willow in the Initative b/c Buffy wasn't there. I never got the feeling
he was going to kill Willow and Xander in Lover's Walk...but that could just be me any rate, at this point, I'm as confused about whether we should trust Spike as Buffy is. Maybe that's intentional?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Maybe there is more to Buffy resisting Spike -- LittleBIt, 09:01:15 05/05/02 Sun

I have thought that Buffy can not allow herself to even think that Spike could love her, let alone does, because that would entirely negate all of the assumptions of Angel/Angelus: that he was able to love her because of the soul, but when the soul was gone the ability was gone.

If she so much as gives Spike the benefit of any doubt, she has to admit that the undying, pure, Love of a Lifetime that she had with Angel may not have been what she believed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Maybe there is more to Buffy resisting Spike -- SpikeMom, 18:46:31 05/05/02 Sun

Here goes my first big dos centavos worth.
By my online name you can see I am definately in Spike's rooting section. My ultimate hope is that Spike somehow ends up as Buffy's Watcher ala the Restless episode (Xander's dream). I think think he is well able to love Buffy without the human soul. So far in this Buffyverse the soul seems to stand for conscience and choice more than anything else: what you choose to do with the emotions you have. I think that Angelus made a choice to reject the love he had for Buffy (fountain scene at end of IOHEFY) and the concept of real love in general. He definately felt it, he just didn't want it. So, yes I think Spike's love for Buffy is the real thing. That said ... here's my big dread ... remember in the Angelus story arc where Spike is trying to hurry up the Buffy killing already? Angelus tells Spike that you can only kill this Slayer by loving her. YIKES. So has the killer of two Slayers been applying the lesson learned at the feet of the master tormentor? Gosh I hope not! He did say the only thing better than killing a Slayer is ... well, you know. I'm hoping Spike's love is the real thing. If it's just a ruse, it's an incredibly elaborate one with many missed opportunities for a simple, surprise Slayer slaying.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Maybe there is more to Buffy resisting Spike -- alcibiades, 21:00:33 05/05/02 Sun

I don't think you have to worry about it. As you said, that is what Angelus told Spike. Angelus never killed any Slayers. If he had, that would have been his perfered modus operandi --first love them, then torture them, then once they are weak, kill them.

Spike, OTOH, has killed Slayers and he never needed any fancy psychological tricks, just regular battle lust to do the job. Buffy of course is a harder case. But in fact, in AYW, when Buffy tells him that their "this" is killing her, Spike backs off immediately. He patently doesn't want her dead. And he only begins importuning her again once it is clear to him that it is not the "this" that is killing her, but her lack of honesty viz. her friends about their relationship, the secrecy, the lies, the shame and the lack of respect she gives to her former lover.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: the lack of respect issue -- SpikeMom, 22:29:12 05/05/02 Sun

Thanks so much for the reply and the reassurance. As I said it's just been a little voice in the back of my head about how to kill this Slayer. Plus the constant repetition of the trust theme.
As far as the respect issue goes I think it ties in with the ongoing discussion as to whether or not Spike had the right to reveal the relationship. I think Spike is tired of waiting around for Buffy to show him some respect and has finally decided to stand up and show himself some well- deserved respect. Bravo Spike! And honestly, Buffy, if you don't want people you love and respect to know the choices you've made, maybe you shouldn't be making them?
I brought up this idea in an earlier post but I think it got buried in all the discussion over who had the right to decide when to tell. I am amazingly new at this and am not real sure where and when to post but the folks on this board seem to be the patience sort.
I read all the posts and enjoy the thoughtful, civilized discussion. Looking forward to more.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Postscript regarding Angel and dead Slayers -- SpikeMom, 22:57:33 05/05/02 Sun

In Fool For Love, when Dru announces that Spike has killed his first Slayer, a very subdued Angel/Angelus replies "I guess that makes you one of us now". Does that mean the other three have indeed killed at least one Slayer apiece? When Dru kills Kendra, Spike says "Dru bagged herself a Slayer? Good for her!" not that she got her first. So I don't think we can positively rule out Angelus/Angel from membership in the Got A Slayer Club.
Perhaps you or another board member can answer a time-line question for me. I have not seen AtS seasons 1 and 2. I know from various sources that Angel stayed with Darla, and I presume Dru and Spike, for a period of time after he regained his soul. I know he parted ways with Darla in Asia somewhere (Last time I saw you it was kimonos). Was it Angel or Angleus in the Boxer Rebellion scene responding to Spike's Slayer coup? He certainly didn't seem happy about the dead Slayer although that could have been because he was more concerned with keeping Spike in his place and/or getting out of the explosive situation all around them. Any thoughts?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Postscript regarding Angel and dead Slayers -- Miss Edith, 23:36:18 05/05/02 Sun

Angel had his soul during the Boxer Rebellion. In the first series of Buffy Darla comments on Angel having been a "bad boy" during the boxer rebellion. In the Buffy episdoe Fool For Love it is implied that Angel was souless as he is hanging with the gang and congratulates Spike on killing a slayer. But in the following Angel episode Darla it is revealed that Angel did have a soul at that time. He was lonely and trying to ignore his conscience in order to fit in with Darla and the gang. He made value judgements regarding his victims and only killed thieves and murderers in order to appease his conscience, hence his gloomy look at Spike having killed a slayer. He ends up protecting an innocent family and when Darla finds out she rejects him again. And of course he is eventually set on the right path about 100 years later by Whistler. Hope that helped.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Postscript regarding Angel and dead Slayers -- SpikeMom, 23:50:20 05/05/02 Sun

Thanks Miss Edith, For a blindfolded doll you've seen things quite clearly :)!

I am anxious for the first two seasons of Angel to arrive on DVD. I have all of Buffy either DVD or taped. Then it will be easier to put the timeline in order. Speaking of which...has anyone created a coherent timeline for both shows? Perhaps including the books?

And should we start a new thread, this one's falling off the margin of the main message index!?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Postscript regarding Angel and dead Slayers -- Miss Edith, 00:13:57 05/06/02 Mon

The Angel DVDs are out in the UK. Why not get a multi-region DVD player so you can watch them? Or if you already have a DVD player for Region 1 only there are ways of getting it to play all regions. Check the net for tips.
Mind you the DVDs for Angel aren't that special. They only have two commentries on each season and a severe lack of documentries. The Buffy ones are worth getting though. Season 4 is out next week and it will have 6 commentries including Joss's commentries on Hush and Restless. And there'll be a special documentry on Introducing Spike among others! I'd say they're worth making the extra effort and getting early although UK prices are pretty horrendus. There's a reason why we're known in Europe as rip-off Britain sadly.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Postscript regarding Angel and dead Slayers -- Slayrunt, 00:58:23 05/06/02 Mon

Masq has a timeline on her sight or at least did the last time I looked.

About killing Slayers, only Spike has certainly killed one. Perhaps Luke killed at least one, but no definates about Angelus, Darla or Dru.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: She hates the truth and is still in darkness -- shadowkat, 19:04:09 05/04/02 Sat

Buffy has always had trouble with "truth" or sharing it with people. Part of that could be due to the whole secret identity thing - which plagues her. She has to keep what she is a secret. When she was in high school she had to lie to her parents, teachers, and other students about what she did and who she was. How do you handle that? She has learned not to show what she feels on her face, how to be hard on the outside, but inside she's a marshmallow. As a result she often comes across as a cruel bitch. Hiding her pain with a well placed quip.

Angel was one of the few people who broke through that shell and when she let him in - look what happened? 1)He
turned evil and she had to send him to hell 2) when he came back, he left her. Xander is right, after that she did shut down. She also was told by Giles that she had to resume her secret identity.

Her relationship with Spike is incredibly complex. I find myself defending both of them all the time. Spike, as strong as he may appear on the outside emotionally, is also a marshmallow. Buffy and Spike are incredibly alike in some ways, part of the reason for their attraction. He has to some degree allowed her to abuse him - part of the reason for that is - he's a vampire and that is part of his nature,
the other reason is he may truly believe he is deserving of it...personally I believe she is about to drive him to a nervous breakdown which he has been teetering on the edge of for quite some time. You are correct - it's the emotional
abuse, not the physical, that is the hardest to tolerate.
But it goes both ways - it always has. These two know how to hurt one another. He has emotionally abused her - with his you belong with me in the darkness and not with your friends comments, she does it with I don't love you, you're evil, nasty thing that I hate and am just using remarks. Which remarks are the most harmful? I don't know. Which character is headed for the nervous breakdown? Spike. Because he really has nothing outside of Buffy...well maybe Clem. He's been stripped of everything and he has tried to change himself to be accepted by her. Buffy hasn't really done much of anything. Spike has done all the work and received very little appreciation for it from anyone. In re-watching the old episodes from this year- I find the comments about Spike being evil - laughably ironic particularly since they are constantly being paralled with
the Trioka who no one appears to be taking very seriously.
(that's another essay in of itself).

At any rate...before I go careening off topic...I agree she
has a great deal to answer to. But at the same time, before we judge her too harshly we need to think about where she's coming from. As she put it way back in School HArd to Cordy: "I'm balancing three lives here and none of them fit together, it's like oil, water, and uh..something." That
is Buffy's life. Spike is part of her oil life, her friends
have become the water, and the bills/work/dawn is the something. And she has no one supporting's dead,
giles is gone. Xander and Willow - well....let's just say,
they aren't exactly doing much better themselves.

I think Spike gets all this. His problem is he's not exactly
sane himself. He's a vampire who has been chipped, can't feed, and is in love with a vampire slayer. He doesn't fit
in any world, the perpetual outsider. What has been keeping
him going is some hope that Buffy will return his affections...when that is gone, what will he do?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Extremely well said, thank you kat for expressing this -- Etrangere, 05:51:51 05/05/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Partly an acting problem -- Anne, 07:01:08 05/05/02 Sun

I imagine you're right that Buffy is meant to be a marshmallow-inside type, and if I were able to buy the performance I'm seeing on screen that way I might have less trouble with the character. But I don't, and didn't even really in earlier seasons.

SMG is very good at certain things -- notably scenes which require her to break down into tears, or express righteous anger. But by and large showing vulnerability, passion, compassion, or warmth, is not her speciality -- I didn't even really buy into it in her scenes with Angel, whom she's supposed to love so deeply. The one exception is Becoming II, which made even me tear up.

Whether or not you see warmth and softness in Buffy in the earlier seasons, however, season 6 is much more difficult in that it is requiring two extraordinarily difficult things from SMG: to play a character who is deeply conflicted, and who therefore has to frequently be conveying two opposite and contradictory emotions; and at the same time to play a character who is going through a special crisis of being out of touch with her own emotions, so she has to appear "dead" and yet convey some type of feeling both at the same time.

Unfortunately, the outcome for me is that the emotions are not coming out conflicted but univalent; and the only valency that has been visible to me with regard to Spike is hatred and contempt. This, of course, makes her sexual use of him even more distasteful. In the crypt door scene, the shooting script called for Buffy to express the same longing and desire as Spike; I personally thought she just looked like she thought she heard a mouse on the other side of the door. The shooting script for "Entropy" called for her to show a reaction of pain in seeing Spike with Anya sufficient to convey to Dawn and Willow that she had slept with him; I just saw a blank. The couple of times she's said she's sorry to Spike, she's done it with her patented Great Stone Face and I don't get the impression she feels any compassion for him at all -- just impatience and distaste at having to deal with the whole sorry mess.

I guess, in sum, if I saw that she was at least wrestling with the truth more I'd be able to bear with her better with regard to the trouble she's having facing it. That's why I just loved the last scene in "Dead Things", and why I feel so betrayed by the show that that scene was never followed up on. Even though I think she wound up concealing the truth in that scene she emphatically was wrestling with it. And I think the fact that she begged not to be forgiven may have had something to do with the fact that she knew she hadn't come clean. I loved that; I loved her then. But they have just dropped it and look like they'll never pick it up again. If they do; hey great.

Sorry -- I've wandered all over here; veered from acting to writing. But I've got to run off right now and can't make more sense of this post at the moment.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Partly an acting problem -- shadowkat, 07:45:23 05/05/02 Sun

I too have struggled with the way SMG has been portraying Buffy this year - having seen her in other things...I agree
with you. Part of the problem of course - is that we have a hugely re-active actor in JM. It's different acting styles.

Her acting style is to convey limited emotion - sort of stoic, lots of actors who started in television and film are like this (yes - in another life I briefly studied acting), she pulls back. Trusts the camera to pick it up. JM's style - coming from the world of theatre this really makes sense - is to let the emotion show. He has pulled back a bit since he first appeared...but he is a reactive actor, similar to Harrison Ford, and some of the other great reactors - Deniro, Hoffman, Carrey come to mind. He knows how to show emotion with a curve of a lip, a tightened jaw, or teary eyes. SMG's style is to be very subtle, contained. But I do sense pain and vulnerability and at times she is right on - Normal Again was probably her best performance to date. But it also provided her with material to show stone face and emotion.

The problem with her style and the character she is playing, is that we the audience can't tell any more than the other characters can what she is feeling. Also she is surrounded by some amazing reactive actors who aren't as overworked as she is, so have more time to refine the craft - Alyson Hannigan and James Marsters both come to mind. But - here's another thing to remember about acting - of the characters in the show, Marsters has been given the best material. He also gets to show emotion. He doesn't have to be broody or stoney faced or repressed. For an actor who specializes in letting it all hang out - it must be a dream come true. Don't get me wrong - he is amazing. But I think he'd be the first to point out that SMG has a tougher role to play here.

Switch to writing: I agree - I too felt betrayed by the writers after Dead Things. Just as I felt betrayed after
Wrecked. There is a little too ambiguity in the writing this year - which is fine, but as old creative writing teacher once informed me - you have to clue the reader/audience in at some point. We know Spike loves Buffy, but we really have no clue what she feels for Spike. We are also a bit confused as to whether Spike is supposed to be a villain or a good guy, which actually I like, but I am getting tired of changing my mind on this issue on a daily basis. (This week I decided he was always painted as villain but one who fell for the hero, last week I thought maybe not, next week I'll probably chang my mind's why I keep writing essays about him - I can't figure him out - LOL!)
The writers insist that Buffy's emotions are supposed to be confused and all over the board and that's great. But - I'm not really getting that from the actress' portrayle so much as from the metaphors and writing. I keep wishing they'd give her more dialogue or show us a scene with her crying in bed or dreaming or something. Instead of all these scenes of her telling people: "I'm good." Because like you I do at times feel as if I'm trying to see something that may or may not be there. And that may be more faulty direction and or writing than acting. Don't know.

I'm hoping the next group of episodes break things wide open and show us exactly what she is feeling. And everyone else. As much as I adore Season 6 - and I truly do, first season truly got obsessed with the show, I miss being in our supporting characters point of view. Until Entropy, we really haven't been.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Mostly agree but . . . -- Anne, 10:42:47 05/05/02 Sun

The main thing I disagree with here is with regard to JM's acting, but I have the feeling I'm not going to be able to express it very well. But to give it my best shot:

Yes, in Season 2 he was using a big scale, and in fact I found him too stagey at that point for that very reason. But by now I think the amazing thing about him is that he is extremely subtle in his use of facial expression, but nevertheless as you say gives the impression of letting it all hang out. In other words he is expressing perfectly huge emotions with perfectly tiny gestures. He does more with less than practically any other actor I can think of.

Please, watch the last scene of "Intervention" for me and tell me what was overt about what he did! The reason I fell in love with the character, the actor, and the show in that scene was that I couldn't figure out what the heck he was doing to reach into my heart and tear it apart. I couldn't even see his face under all that makeup.

As for the "stoic" style of acting: if you're a really great actor, like the late great Alec Guinness, this consists in using an almost completely impassive face but still, as you say, stepping back and letting the camera pick up what's there in your eyes, tiny things about the set of your facial muscles, whatever. The problem is that the vast, vast majority of actors -- even pretty good ones -- simply don't have that ability. All they are really doing is holding their faces still, and trusing a sympathetic audience to project the appropriate emotion inside them, while crediting them with the courage and strength of an admirable stoicism. It works most of the time, as long as the script is giving the audience clear cues as to what the supposedly hidden emotions are, and as long as the technique is not overused.

Now to me personally (I'm sure there are people out there who disagree with me, but this is one of those things that it's hard to absolutely prove one way or another) SMG does not fall into the Alec Guinness class of actor. As best as I can see she's just holding her face still, plain and simple. And I think it's a technique that she overuses, that she uses to cover far to wide a spectrum of emotions. That's not to say that she hasn't turned in good performances. I have already praised her work in "Dead Things", and I agree with you about "Normal Again", though again I have to say that the aggressive and maniacal elements came through to me a bit more powerfully than the vulnerability.

But we're certainly agreed that SMG is being given an awfully tough row to hoe this season. I admire them for trying to do something so difficult, but I'm afraid somewhere along the line something isn't quite working for the character of Buffy.

But maybe I'll change my mind after episode 22. I don't think so from the spoilers, but boy would I love to.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Actually... I agree with you on JM. -- shadowkat, 09:33:52 05/06/02 Mon

You are absolutely right on James Marsters. His acting ability has improved big time since the first season, but even then I thought he was amazing. And yes - he does the same thing to me everytime he appears on screen. I find it interesting that so many people believe the show has turned into the Spike show, when in reality Marsters has less screen time on average than most of the characters - the reason he is so magnetic, you remember his performance.
Alyson Hannigan comes closest to this nuanced performance.

SMG is good, but limited. Stoic hero roles are close to impossible to play. The best actors - Guinness, John Wayne,Clint Eastwood, Laurence Olivier...they knew how to do it and some of them - the better two Guinness and Olivier
started on the stage. I agree with Marsters - the best way to get experience is the stage - it is the actor's arena.
I think SMG and some of the others missed out on that...and it's showing in what they are being asked to do now. But I give them kudos - they still are better than most of the other young actors on TV and movies for that matter.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agree on the acting: SMG/writers/directors not quite pulling off the subtleties required. -- yez, 14:20:15 05/06/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Echoing Etrangere, brilliantly said, shadowkat. -- Ixchel, 17:51:36 05/05/02 Sun

Buffy's avoidance of the truth is evident throughout the series, as is her fear of abandonment.

One aspect of Normal Again I really thought was genius was her mention of the clinic. I find it can be integrated believably into the rest of the story and explains a great deal about Buffy.

She learned an incredibly harsh lesson (not that her parents were intentionally cruel), if you tell people disturbing truths (about the world, yourself), they will turn away from you, withdraw love and/or abandon you. If you conform to their idea of reality, you can maintain their love.

I think part of her deep bond with Willow and Xander beginning in S1 is that they accepted the truth of their world and did not reject her. As an aside, I think that she reciprocated by "seeing" Willow, acknowledging her as someone of worth (something Willow's parents persumably didn't) and "knowing" Xander, permitting him to be something better than his family (something his family didn't allow).

Spike's isolation is disturbing. As much as Buffy is isolated (even surrounded by friends, she has been deeply so this season), Spike is more so.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Spike's isolation -- verdantheart, 07:50:53 05/06/02 Mon

Yes, I've found it interesting that much has been made of Buffy's isolation, while little made of Spike's. Remember, he started out the season really as part of the gang. They were actually talking and joking with him. Buffy appears and poof! Persona non grata. It started the first night with Xander (who else?). Spike hasn't complained at all about this, but we know it hurt. Buffy re-isolated Spike. Spike certainly tried to separate Buffy from her friends, but really, he has no power to do so. He merely picked up on her feelings and expressed them back to her. She can only isolate herself.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike's isolation -- Ixchel, 13:54:43 05/06/02 Mon

I think Spike believed that he was part of the group (at least somewhat) and then he realized in AL that he wasn't (his p.o.v., Giles wasn't told about Buffy either, but probably Spike didn't know that). He starts to retreat after that (staying outside at the end of AL), because he doesn't feel he belongs (and I think he wants to, even if he would never admit it). Then, to his surprise, Buffy wants to retreat from her friends too (AL, Flooded). The strain of pretending to be OK so they won't worry makes Buffy want the relative tranquility (at first) of being with Spike. This further isolates him from the group. The only person capable of noticing and understanding his isolation, Dawn, is in pain herself and can't help anyone. It's all so very sad.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> A quibble -- Malandanza, 07:59:13 05/07/02 Tue

"Buffy re-isolated Spike."

This is just a quibble, but I think that Buffy's resurrection re-isolated Spike. Buffy's actions have tended to include rather than exclude Spike. After Crush, Buffy's friends unanimously ostracized Spike - until Buffy brought him back into the group. Likewise, Buffy's choice to spend so much of her free time with Spike from Afterlife through OMWF made Spike feel like part of the Scoobies again -- even in OaFA, he expresses a desire to be part of the group and Buffy allows him to be so (she could have tossed him out had she wished to exclude him).

Asd both you and Ixchel mention, it is the Scoobies who hung out with Spike during the summer, then forgot about him the instant Buffy was back. But then, they've never been Spike's friends, they are Buffy's friends. If Spike has been isolated, blame Willow and Xander rather than Buffy.

However, I think that Spike is primarily responsible for Spike's isolation. He might have a few more vamp and demon friends if he hadn't spent so much of his time hunting his peers for pleasure.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The theme of the outsider -- shadowkat, 09:45:59 05/06/02 Mon

Since Season 1 - JW has been obsessed with the outsider
theme. First we have Angel - who is the outsider. He doesn't fit in the vampire world any longer - nor does he fit in Buffy's, he stays outside. It's not until he loses his soul - that he renters the vampire world and actually is less outsider. You could argue that before that he was part of the gang - accepted, certainly more than Spike, but
he still is outside - being older, etc.

Other outsiders - Jonathan - from day one, and remphasized bit time in the controversial EARSHOT (funny if Earshot
got controversary, wonder what WB would have don with Seeing Red? Haven't seen it yet - please don't say anything.) Others - Marcy in Out of Sight, Out of Mind,
the young student in love with the teacher in I only
have eyes for you? Now we have the evil Troika - which many ways were created by the highschool students who ostracized them.

Spike seems to be a similar construction. Isolated. Neither in one world or the other - struggling to recreat a reality that somehow combines both and at the center, he has been placing his love for Buffy, possibly trying to get her to create a separate reality with him? Since in his eyes she doesn't appear to fit in either reality either?

I agree his story is a disturbing one. I keep hoping it will get better soon, but from what I've seen of spoilers, I've serious doubts.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> They are all the Outsider, the Other, all of the Scoobies -- Etrangere, 10:12:48 05/06/02 Mon

Buffy, by being the Slayer she became one, that was her first choice in WttH : fit in the crowd that Cordelia was standing for or saving Willow
And that's what her nostalgia for normality is about : becoming anew a part of everyone's world.
The theme of the Slayer and her loneliness is featured very prominently in Tales of the Slayer (esp Fury's one, Glittering world) which begins with the world "i am alone" and ends with "i am not alone".

Willow is always the one standing for the minorities, the jews, the witches, the indians, the lesbians, the intellectuals etc. She's always the one defending and having pity (with some exceptions:) for the outsider.

Xander, if he is the most "normal" member of the Scooby, is still the nerd, as Johnathan and the Trio is, and the Bully / Bullied theme is an important thing in his story, from the Pack to Hell's Bells, he's always struggling to defend the Bullied as he is one of them, and always end becoming one of the Bully while struggling to find acceptation for himself.

Giles is a legal alien in Sunnydale :) he is the adult among the children, and we saw from his interractions with Snyder he didn't really fit a lot in the Sunnydale High School either. Also his past history then his interraction with the CoW shows how much he can be the different one too.

There is a lot to be said about this theme in Buffy, yes :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well said, Etrangere and LittleBit. I couldn't agree more. -- Ixchel, 14:01:37 05/06/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The theme of the outsider -- LittleBIt, 10:17:44 05/06/02 Mon

Actually the core characters of the show started as outsiders. Buffy - the Slayer who has to keep her identity secret. Willow - the 'brain' who is actively made fun of and snubbed by the 'in' crowd. Xander - the 'loser' who doesn't really fit in anywhere. Giles - the Watcher who doesn't get respect from the WC, nor does he really fit in at the school.

It's only when this core comes together that each ceases to be an outsider because the others give them the sense of belonging they need.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Don't forget Faith! -- warped, 16:10:15 05/06/02 Mon

It's ironic that the Mayor called Buffy and co. the "in group" when he talked to Faith about them. While the scoobies were outcasts in high school, Faith was an outcast among them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> guilty, abusive sex with a pathetic creature she loathes. -I THINK SHE LOVES THE SEX -- Spike Lover, 14:50:59 05/03/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Parallels -- Sophist, 09:37:13 05/03/02 Fri

I agree that she reacted with bravado. The reason I don't see it as "real" permission is that it came in response to a threat to disclose. I saw her response as a way of saying "You don't have power over me; don't try to intimidate me." I don't deny the literal words, but I think the context overrides it. Ultimately, remember, I'm not blaming Spike for revealing it, based on my own (minority) view of his motives at the time.

Buffy did make threats of her own about Spike revealing it. She was wrong to do that. But it was, nevertheless, her right to disclose it on her own terms. It's an interesting parallel to Cordy/Xander in S2. Cordy insisted on the secret, although it was demeaning to Xander to do so (and she expressly said as much). Xander pushed to disclose it, but he never did. If he had, instead of being found out accidentally, what do you think Cordy would have done?

Remember also that Willow kept her relationship with Tara a secret for a long time. Tara was understanding enough, or insecure enough, that she let Willow disclose it on her own terms.

Given these parallels, the fact that Buffy was belligerent about keeping the secret is wrong, but it doesn't affect her right to choose the time of disclosure.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Parallels - a slight twist -- Valhalla, 19:52:40 05/03/02 Fri

I was thinking about this thread today and suddenly came to a clearer understanding of what I was trying to say. (very slow sometimes).

You're right that Buffy's words weren't real permission (they were under at least slight duress) and the fact that her ban on his telling was backed up with a threat of destruction doesn't mean that he was justified in telling.

The bigger thing is that this is a situation where Spike and Buffy have equal rights. The question is perhaps not so much whether Spike had Buffy's permission but whether he needed it. I think the starting point is that he has the same right to tell as she has to keep it secret. And next is, what do you do when two individuals have equal but conflicting rights?

Was not telling hurting him more than telling would hurt her? Actually, not telling seemed to be hurting Buffy. Normally, I'd say even if it was hurting her, she's the one that gets to assess the relative damages of telling/not telling to herself. But not telling was definitely hurting him - it was damaging both to his sense of himself, his self- confidence, etc., and it hurt him to see her hurting. ("They'd either understand and help you, god forbid ... or drive you out ... where you can finally be at peace, in the dark. With me. Either way, you'd be better off for it, but you're too twisted for that. (pauses) Let yourself live, already. And stop with the bloody hero trip for a sec. We'd all be the better for it.") In a hurt-based scale, Spike comes out at least a little ahead because he wanted to tell for both of them, but Buffy was wanting not to tell just for herself. Buffy's exploitation and abuse of Spike doesn't justify him telling, either (in itself), but the fact that she's treated him badly tips the scale a little more on his side, as does the fact that he's had many opportunities to really hurt her and he hasn't. If Spike had revealed their relationship simply to hurt Buffy or out of revenge for being dumped, I'd give the edge to Buffy.

Of course, there's lots of other ways to look at this, if they do start out with equal rights to tell/not tell. You pointed out earlier that people in relationships need to make a mutual decision when significant issues come up or walk away (hope that's a correct paraphrase). Spike tried several times to get Buffy to talk about it, but she wouldn't. She stood in the way not only of a mutual decision, but of even a discussion about the issue. It doesn't seem quite fair to say that his only just option is to just walk away. Buffy may want to deny that they had sex, but they did. In doing so she accepted the risk that Spike might tell, or do other things she didn't like.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Parallels - a slight twist -- alcibiades, 08:25:49 05/04/02 Sat

Agree with what you say.

The other thing that must get weighed in the balance is that Spike stops Xander's abuse of Anya effectively. Buffy not telling in this instance was not only hurting herself and Spike, but it was a way to stop Anya from further abuse.

Buffy should have been the one to tell but she was too busy feeling ashamed of herself for exactly the reasons that Xander was stating and perhaps as well for not having the courage to speak in that moment.

Spike frees them all up.

The shooting script specifies that Buffy looks back at Spike a few moments later with hatred. Surely some of that hatred is the result of the fact that Buffy had not stepped up to the plate to help Anya -- as she should have done.

Can't have a martyr complex if you are not being a saint.

In point of fact (an idiom with a new resonance ever since AYW), there is a brief dialogue between Spike and Xander in NA on the way to find the Glarghk Guhl Kashma'nik demon. Spike has realized that in Buffy's delusion, the point of the chip was to soften him up solely in order to fall in love with her. He points out to Xander that in a different reality, he might not have left Anya at the alter. What Spike is really saying to Xander with that remark is that in a Buffy centric universe, Buffy's retainers stay with her because of their weaknesses. To get Xander to stay with her, Buffy had to create a weakness in him -- and thus he rejected Anya. Because a married Xander would be a Xander who moved away from her.

Now apply this scenario to the final scene with S/A/B/X in Entropy. I think Spike's astute observation applies here as well. In this scene, Buffy is keeping Xander weak, allowing him to be abusive to Anya in front of her face, as a way to keep him from turning away from her, too, in disgust. This is Buffy's addiction to the misery resurfacing. She's indulging her feeling of shame both at sleeping with Spike and at not stopping Xander from ragging on Anya in front of her face at the cost of doing the right thing. Surely it's nothing to feel happy about. Nor will she ever feel happy if she continues to act this way.

Her weakness here, too, confirms that her earlier remarks to Spike taunting him to tell about them because her friends won't mind was pure, unkind bravado to get herself off the hook and to make him feel bad. She was lying because it is her great anxiety at how much Xander will mind that is stilling her mouth now.

In Season 4, the Freshman, (good) Xander says: Buffy, this is all about fear. It's understandable, but you can't let it control you. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to anger... no wait...

The hatred Buffy darts at Spike at the end of Entropy is entirely based on fear and the anger, at herself and at him, born from it. Buffy has let fear entirely control her relationship with Spike since Smashed.

As the first Slayer Guide told her in Intervention, the Slayer forges strength from pain. Not I might add, from being ruled by fear. Buffy is not only weakening her friends, but is weakening herself.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree with your analysis but not your conclusion. -- Sophist, 20:30:52 05/04/02 Sat

Objectively, you are completely right -- keeping the secret is hurting both Buffy and Spike.

The reason I don't accept the conclusion, is that it's not up to me (or even Spike) to decide what's best for Buffy. Only she can decide that. She may very well be making a mistake, but it's her mistake to make.

Cordy paid a price when the secret came out, but it wasn't harsh and she was a better person when she admitted dating Xander. Let's see what happens with Buffy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's his secret as much as hers... -- Cydney, 08:25:18 05/03/02 Fri

>It made me wonder if she didn't almost want to have him tell -- then she wouldn't have to.

Exactly! Buffy was tired of keeping the secret, unable to tell for fear of her friend's reactions, and dared Spike to tell. If Spike tells, then he is the bad guy.

I think Spike had every right to tell. Buffy asked for it with the "Didn't take you long" comment. She told him to move on, Xander tried to kill him...why shouldn't Spike be able to say what he wants just like the rest of them! Makes him human, not evil.

Anya and Spike connected because they accept each other for what they are. Both have valid complaints about their wholly 'human' consorts.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's his secret as much as hers... -- Claire, 21:30:13 05/05/02 Sun

I actually think Spike's telling the secret was a very human reaction. To use a more human analogy lets say I slept with someone who had recently been dumped at the alter and her ex found out about us and turned up with an ax and started beating me knowing I couldn't fight back. Lets say his exfiance was bisexual and I was a woman and much smaller than the vengeful guy attacking me and I had no real way of defending myself. Anyway if after that he started on the verbal abuse perhaps by impling I smelt or something (which is totally hypothetical BTW) I would respond harshly. I am surprised Spike didn't say more than he did as I would have expected him to boast about his sexual prowess in comparision to Xander etc but he really did seem at rock bottom with no fight left in him (he was practically suicidal). Buffy was the one that needed condemning for standing by whilst Xander was bullying Spike and Anya. If I was in Spike's position and the vengeful fiance was yelling like I wasn't even there "how can you sleep with that disgusting thing, she smells The very idea is sick and you have completely lowered yourself" etc than I would have spoken up. Anyone with an ounce of self-respect would. Put yourself in that psition and ask yourself honestly what you would do?
Personally I cheered when Spike said "it was good enough for Buffy". I'm sure his intention wasn't all noble and about defending Anya. But I think the guy had the right to claim back some self-respect. The relationship had always been on Buffy's terms with her threatening to kill him if he disclosed the secret etc. Not to mention the emotional and physical abuse (although Spike was by no measns blameless there and he does need to take responsibility for encouraging Buffy's darkness in the Bronze scene etc). But then again Spike would have been happy to have a tender, caring relationship as was shown in Afterlife. He was to some extent following Buffy's lead regarding abusive behaviour although he does need to take responsibility for his behaviour just as much as Buffy does.
Anyway my original point was that Spike had every right to disclose the secret. Perhaps he didn't reveal it in the nicest way but I for one don't feel Buffy deserved that sort of consideration. She needs to learn the consequences of messing with peoples emotions and the fact that you can't always just walk away after causing someone else pain. She has been so callous towards Spike's feelings I feel it is time he regained some self-respect and sense of self. And she did dare him to tell everyone bragging about how her friends forgave her for trying to kill them. Spike did have permission to tell in my eyes. Buffy was hardly intimidated by the vampire Spike was rather pathetically threating her with.
And I personally found Buffy's comment "didn't take you long did it" a bit much as well as she was the one telling him to move on as she had no feelings for him. But then she is having a go at Spike for moving on too soon and hurting her feelings. Make up your mind Buffy!

[> [> [> Anya deserves some disgust too... -- Mando, 18:18:02 05/02/02 Thu

Let's not forget tha Anya /immediately/ went back to her old ways before even trying to talk things over with Xander. During the first conversation they had together she was already trying to curse him and/or already had the back up plan to curse him if the discussion did not go how she wanted it to go.

You don't try to cause serious pain to someone you really love, no matter how hurt you are. If she was at all sensitive to Xander's feelings she would have realized that he was hurting about it too. He was not simply trying to be a jerk.

I don't have any problems with Anya sleeping with Spike though. It wasn't like she was doing it to hurt Xander. They had no idea he was watching.

[> [> [> [> Xander walked out, left town, didn't call--how could Anya "talk things out" with him? -- Dyna, 09:34:09 05/03/02 Fri

I don't think it's quite fair to critique Anya for not "trying to talk things out" with Xander. Xander refused to explain himself at the church, walked out, left town, and apparently made no attempt to contact even his closest friends while he was gone. I don't think we know exactly how much time elapsed between "Hell's Bells" and "Normal Again," but it's clear it wasn't just a day or two. At the church, Anya was begging Xander to stay and "talk things out" with her, and he told her that there was nothing to say, it was hopeless, and then disappeared. I hardly fault Anya for concluding that Xander isn't interested in talking things out or trying to resolve their problems.

[> [> [> [> [> I agree. -- yez, 10:05:03 05/03/02 Fri

Anya is completely justified in her anger. It's not true that "you don't hurt the people you love." You *shouldn't* hurt the people you love, but when people are in pain, even if they love each other, they sometimes lash out and hurt the people that they wouldn't hurt under normal circumstances. With communication and understanding, though, sometimes that can be repaired and bring people even close together. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes lashing out for others to really realize the effects of their own actions.

Yeah, I feel bad for Xander who was so caught up in doing things the right way that he didn't realize that he was moving at someone else's pace until it was too late. I understand freaking out about something and not thinking clearly. But he dealt the relationship a major, if not mortal, wound. And he has a lot of work ahead of him to make things work again.

But for him to assume that Anya still considers them together ("our problems") after all that, and to assume he has any right to attack a new lover of hers after what he did is just... it's completely self-centered and absolutely unacceptable and repugnant, and somebody, anybody, should've kicked his ass and put him in his place, IMHO.


[> [> [> RIGHT ON!! -- Spike Lover, 14:35:46 05/03/02 Fri

[> [> Revealing the Secret -- Spike Lover, 14:33:20 05/03/02 Fri

I don't think Spike revealed that he had been banging Buffy in order to hurt Xander, but as self-defense. The scene changed from physical violence to emotional/verbal violence.

With every word X spoke, he was beating Spike. What Spike said- was in his own self-defense, a word that BUFFY should have spoken herself, but did not. Thankfully, it was a strong enough blow to end the verbal abuse.

I think if Spike had really wanted to hurt Xander, he would have said something more like: I may be dead,evil, and soulless, but I have never been so cruel to a woman that I loved by breaking her heart-

Well, something like that anyway. Leaving A at the altar was a low-blow and X knows it.

[> SHOOTING SCRIPTS!!! WIPPIE!!! -- VampRiley, 10:01:30 05/03/02 Fri

Showing my board unity in not believing this deserves it's own thread:

E ntropy

Do uble or Nothing

VR, your friendly, neighborhood god.

[> [> And we thank you... -- Masq, 11:25:44 05/03/02 Fri

[> [> [> My pleasure, luv. -- VampRiley, 19:42:50 05/03/02 Fri

Intelligent deities knows they should make their subjects happy.


[> [> [> [> An for those of us who are playing the home game, which is me,... -- VampRiley, 16:57:16 05/05/02 Sun

Shooting Scripts, part dos.

The Price


[> [> And some interesting bits didn't make the final cut . . . -- Akita, 17:09:40 05/03/02 Fri

Including during the Buffy-Dawn scene after the videocam revelations wherein Dawn jumps to the assumption that
Spike dumped Buffy.

In light of Buffy's many declarations that it is Spike who is beneath her, I think that was a delightful twist -- and funny -- and wish it had been left in.


[> Jenoff's reviews are up -- trap, 06:45:04 05/05/02 Sun

Some interesting insights this week, worth mulling over, as always.


[> [> I actually agree with his/her? reviews more than usual this week, except... -- Rob, 21:28:06 05/06/02 Mon

...for the negative review of the Troika. I like them (well, not like them like them, but like them as villians, ya know?). Too tired now to go into why I like them, but just wait till my big Buffy season 6 analysis in 3 weeks! ;o)

I also have some differences of opinion regarding character and situational interpretation...but, on the whole, they're very well-written and thought-provoking, as always.

Jenoff has what Jeff Jensen (that awful, awful EW reviewer) doesn't...The ability to provoke me as a reader and thinker. When Jensen gives a reason for disliking an episode, I just get annoyed, not b/c he doesn't like it, but his explanations for why he doesn't like it. When Jenoff does the same thing, I listen...I may completely disagree, but I listen and help formulate my own mental response. Jensen is a reviewer operating on only the first level of comprehension of "Buffy," as a piece of art...Jenoff goes much deeper.


Is it always necessary to start a new thread on the same topic? -- Masquerade, 18:10:26 05/01/02 Wed

Just a friendly reminder--

Every time a new thread is started (yes, even this one), it increases the likelihood that old threads will be moved into the archives. Please be considerate.

If you just want to post your own reactions to a new episode, post them under a thread that has already been started on that episode. Exceptions are essays and thoughts that bring something new and unique to the discussion.

If you have questions, let me know.

Masq : )

[> Re: Is it always necessary to start a new thread on the same topic? -- Andrew, 18:53:44 05/01/02 Wed

It's also worth pointing out that if you start your own thread you're far less likely to get replies, than if you continue an existing discussion. I mean, look how many 'Entropy' threads there are with few or no replies. ;)

[> [> Yes, and... -- Masq, 19:12:26 05/01/02 Wed

If you attach your post to an existing active thread, it is less likely to be moved into the archives than a new thread without many replies.

[> [> [> Re: Yes, and... -- Cactus Watcher, 20:01:23 05/01/02 Wed

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I'd guess that part of the critera for when voy's software moves theads to the archives 1-5, is the absolute amount of bytes the active part of the board is taking up. Most of us enjoy reading the long essays people put so much time in to post. Could I humbly ask that people replying to posts minimize the amount of cutting and pasting from other posts to emphasize what they are replying to. When everyone does this it takes up a huge amount of space. Generally if we've read the post before we will understand what is being refered to. If it is necessary by all means cut and paste to make yourself clear, but don't waste space unnecessarily.

[> [> [> [> There are actually two criteria -- Masq, 21:22:50 05/01/02 Wed

Total amount of K on the main board and number of threads.

Plus, it just clutters the board.

[> [> [> [> [> I think there's a third criterion -- d'Herblay, 21:59:39 05/01/02 Wed

Based on a quick skim of the FAQ, as well as a dip into the Support Forum, I have concluded that a thread will be archived whenWhat this suggests to me is that while doing a lot of cutting and pasting may hasten threads off the board, so will posting (NT) messages. I think it's a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't situation.

[> Question regarding new threads... -- Ixchel, 22:09:54 05/01/02 Wed

I was unable to reply on my post before it moved, so I posted the above to let those who responded know I appreciated their comments.

I hope this isn't inappropriate use of board space.

If it is, I apologize.


[> [> Re: Question regarding new threads... -- Masq, 09:20:12 05/02/02 Thu

Starting a new thread on a topic that has been archived is O.K. if you want to continue the discussion. I was referring to new threads started on topics which are in threads that are still on the main board. : )

[> [> [> Thanks, Masq. :) -- Ixchel, 11:43:20 05/02/02 Thu

[> Re: Is it always necessary to start a new thread on the same topic? -- Lonesome Sundown, 05:29:06 05/02/02 Thu

Oops, sorry 'bout that new thread yesterday, and for this evil board-space-grabby post :) as well.
Won't happen next time I post.

[> [> Don't let it make you bashful about posting and replying. -- Cactus Watcher, 05:37:53 05/02/02 Thu

Just keep what she said in mind. We want to hear what you have to say.

The 'Because It's Cool' Principle (S6 spoilers up to OMWF) -- Slain, 15:04:28 05/02/02 Thu

This is something I've written partly in response to the character-bashing that's characterised some Season 6 discussion, as well as the specious moral judgements which are often made by viewers, myself included. I haven't seen past 'AYW', incidentally, though I've been thoroughly spoiled for 'Hells Bells' (though my own carelessness!;).

The world of Buffy is full of moral ambiguity: who's good, who's bad, who's bad with the possibility of being good or who's good with the possibility to being bad. But it wasn't always this way; there was a clear moral universe established in Season 1. The preferred reading was humans good, vampires bad. True, a vampire could be good, but really that vampire (Angel) was effectively human. The show was also concerned with certain genre conventions, and with subverting them rather than establishing new ones, so it stuck to this mythology. You were either evil or you were good, and audience was expected to condemn the evil and support the good.

But gradually, since Season 2, this basic idea seems to have been subverted. In Spike and Anya, for example, there are two characters who seems to be in flagrant violation of the morals of the Buffyverse, yet neither are character's we're encouraged to wish dead, like the Master. It's not true that the morals have changed; Spike killing humans is no less evil now than it was three years ago, nor is it any more acceptable for Anya to feel guiltless about a thousand years of havoc. In theory, the show should be condemning Spike, Anya, Xander and many other characters. So why doesn't it, or more specifically why aren't the viewers expected to? Well, because it's cool.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after all. It's not meant to be taken seriously, or at least not entirely seriously, and we aren't meant to judge everything by the show's specific morality. The moral and metaphysical universe in Buffy isn't fluid, with everything grey and no absolutes. Of course there are absolutes. There is good and there is evil, that's the whole basis of the show. Morals and metaphysics in Buffy are fluid or 'grey' due to the 'Because it's Cool' principle.

A perfect example is Spike. Now, while he's gradually become a more sympathetic character, this wasn't always the case. Up and until Season 5, Spike didn't seem to have any good in him. He was morally reprehensible, a killer with no conscience. Except we were never really encouraged to condemn him, in the way we were Angelus. Firstly, Spike never really seemed to kill anyone, or at least he only ever killed extras. Spike was never going to kill Willow in 'Lover's Walk', and we weren't expecting him to. But he's evil, or at least he definitely was evil. So why aren't we expected to condemn him, and bay for his dust? Because he's cool. Spike might be irrevocably evil, but the idea of a real vampire in love with a Slayer is cool; so, under the principle, we can forget worrying about whether he's a fiend of hell and deserves to be staked. After all, he's cool.

Similarly, take Anya. A thousand years as a vengeance demon whose actions were feminist but still somewhat evil, and now as a human she shows no regret for them. So by rights we should be expected to condemn her; after all, once Angel got his soul back he became the poster-boy for A Tortured Conscience, despite his evil acts having been those of the demon which had taken control of his dead body. But Anya doesn't care, and while it's assumed she should stop maiming, the show doesn't encourage us to think that she should feel any guilt or the need for redemption. Why? Because she's cool: or, more importantly, because the idea that Xander could only find happiness with an immoral ex- demon is cool, too.

Any similar thorny moral issue in the show can be resolved by the 'Because it's Cool' principle, or it's companion, the 'Because that Would Suck' principle. Take the example of Xander, who deliberately summoned up a demon in 'Once More With Feeling' that killed several people and nearly abducted his friend's sister to Hell. He's culpable, no two ways about it. So why isn't he torn up with guilt? Why aren't the viewers expected to want him to pay penance? Well, because that would suck.

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer there are two main forces which dictate the preferred reading of the show: fixed morals (good vs. evil), and an inherent frivolousness (coolness). Sometimes coolness can contradict the morality of the show, where something which is done because it's cool can seem immoral and even a subversion of the very idea of 'fighting the good fight'. But of course the contradiction doesn't matter; coolness is never immoral, but amoral, as it exists apart from the Buffyverse morality. Why? Well, because it's cool.

[> LMAO -- excellent, now I understand EVERYthing. :) -- yez, 15:10:56 05/02/02 Thu

[> That was cool! *lol* -- Deeva, 15:29:11 05/02/02 Thu

[> Well now, you combine this principle with Rufus's 'Magic Clause' and you'd have... -- OnM, 16:31:38 05/02/02 Thu

... ??

OK, I have absolutely no idea what you'd have. But it wouldn't suck. What great and common-sensical insights!

I've always maintained that BtVS owes a great deal to the world of cinema compared to the vast majority of television productions, and where would the 'language of cinema' be without 'cool'?

Thus, you can have explosions, car chases, and Ah-nold growling 'Ahl be backk! and instead of being morally bankrupt or even metaphorically gray, it's 'cool'.

'Come back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean'...

BTW, welcome back to you too, Slain.


[> [> Uhm, we'd be wearing black leather with our fingers in our ears chanting "la la la la magic clause"? -- The Second Evil, 21:13:56 05/02/02 Thu


[> [> [> How did you know how I spend my Tuesday evenings?..:):):) -- Rufus, 21:24:01 05/02/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> Well, I've heard about The First Virtue's Black Leather Miniskirt...... -- The Second Evil, 21:30:31 05/02/02 Thu

..... but I'm still waiting for the pictures. Inquiring evils want proof! ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> Too late, I traded my BLMS for a more virtuous outfit .......:):) I have a reputation to keep..;) -- Rufus, 02:31:53 05/03/02 Fri

[> Re: The 'Because It's Cool' Principle (S6 spoilers up to OMWF) -- aliera, 17:39:40 05/02/02 Thu

Enjoyed your post Slain. I was wondering if you think there's any difference in the type or severity of consequences this season as opposed to the previous ones?

[> [> So no one's going to rush to disagree with me? -- Slain, 10:26:20 05/03/02 Fri

aliera, I suppose you could see as consequences as things resulting from immoral (but cool) actions - like they're the morality of the show reasserting itself; kind of "You can't do that. It's wrong!". So more consequences would mean more morals and less cool. But while some things this season have definitely not been cool (drugs aren't cool, kids! Apparently), I don't think there's been a greater stress on morality, it's just that the characters have been strectching the boundaries of what the show would class as 'cool' or amoral.

[> [> [> Nope. ;) -- LittleBit, 11:23:25 05/03/02 Fri

It's really hard to disagree with a theory that gives a reason for some of the seemingly off-the-wall actions and responses we've seen this season. Especially when that reason is just soooo Joss!

Great post, Slain!

[> [> [> Re: So no one's going to rush to disagree with me? -- Masq, 11:47:08 05/03/02 Fri

Hmmm... guess I'm the only one that thought your post was a thinly veiled snarky swipe at the way ME handles the morality of the characters. (If it isn't, I mean no offense).

It's a good analysis. For me, it explains how we get all tied up in knots debating whether Anya, Spike, etc., are "really evil" or "remorseful". They aren't written to be clearly one or the other, not because they are or they aren't, but because it would be a big bummer to watch them if their motives were actually clear.

Must be why I prefer broody Angel. He's morally ambiguous, but you know where he stands, even if he doesn't live up to it all the time.

Welcome back, Slain!

[> [> [> [> Re: So no one's going to rush to disagree with me? -- aliera, 06:16:19 05/04/02 Sat

We tend to analyse the characters as if they were people we know; but perhaps need to ask why the writers are portraying them this way giving them this type of dialogue, etc because that is such an integral part. And also if they are successful in what they are trying to do.

I probably should have come right out and stated that I think there is a difference this season in consequences compared to what we've seen before...the final episodes may change this or clarify what has been happening.

[> [> [> [> Re: So no one's going to rush to disagree with me? -- Jane's Addiction, 05:19:05 05/05/02 Sun

Isn't there a broader thematic explanation for these changes in how characters and their actions are seen?

Hasn't the underlying theme always been about charting the course of these three main characters as they attempt to grow up on the "Hellmouth"? Of course things seemed very black and white the first season - there was good and evil and not much in between. Friends = good, vampires and demons (and perhaps Cordelia) = evil, pretty simple math. On a metaphorical level, Does that not sum up how many of us saw the world as adolescents?

But their world has gotten a bit murkier and more complex with each progressive season. They've been exposed to more characters from different backgrounds and begun to see the shades of grey -- within themselves as much as others.

No, they're not responding to things in exactly the same way that they would've in season one - they're growing and learning more about themselves and the world.

Admittedly, some of the changes have no doubt been influenced by the school of "this will be cool" and "that would suck." After all, This is supposed to be entertaining in the end. But it has all seemed to be based on the show's theme of watching these characters that we've become so fond of growing up and learning to deal with all the complexities of a difficult world.
It's all about the journey - if these 20 and 21 year olds were still responding to everything in the same way that they did when they were 15, would there have been a journey?

As Oz might say, "It's pretty compelling stuff."

[> [> [> [> [> Well said, Jane's Addiction. I agree. -- Ixchel, 18:01:56 05/05/02 Sun

[> Cool, thy name is Slain! -- ravenhair, 18:28:02 05/02/02 Thu

[> Beyond Good and Evil is Cool and Sucky? ;) -- Ixchel, 19:13:53 05/02/02 Thu

[> [> Cool, or cold? -- Cleanthes, 08:09:43 05/04/02 Sat

"So cold, so icy, that one burns one's finger at the touch of him! Every hand that lays hold of him shrinks back! -- and for that very reason, many think him red-hot."
F. Nietzsche, `Beyond Good & Evil`, apophthegm 91 [aside, can anyone, anywhere pronounce the word "apophthegm" without spitting?]

Just a little comment on Spike and "coolness" from the master...

I think Nietzsche's definition of "noble" and the definition of "cool" have much in common. "Coolness" is master morality whilst good and evil are slave morality.

[> [> [> Re: Cool, or cold? -- Ixchel, 16:16:05 05/04/02 Sat

Cleanthes, I must confess I know next to nothing about Nietzsche. I was just trying to be amusing.

Aside: Am I the only person (even though I'm an atheist), who thinks those t-shirts that say "God is dead. - Nietzsche, Nietzsche is dead. - God" are funny?


[> All is now clear... -- LittleBit, 19:36:43 05/02/02 Thu

...the guiding principles of the BuffyVerse:

1. Evil is evil and Good is good unless it is cool to be evil or would suck to be good.

2. Evil deeds are punished except when it would suck to do so, unless it's Buffy in which case good deeds are punished.

3. True chaos results when it's cool to do the sucky thing or it sucks to do the cool thing, regardless of goodness or evilness.

...the non-guiding principles of the BuffyVerse:

1. Flutie - eaten by hyhena-possessed students - sucky

2. Snyder - eaten by newly ascended mayor-snake-demon - cool


[> That's the, um, coolest Buffyverse idea I've ever heard! Thanx, Slain, for brightening up the day! -- Rob, 20:31:45 05/02/02 Thu

[> Finally a philosophy I can get behind! -- ponygirl, 06:30:45 05/03/02 Fri

[> I'm going to buck the crowd... -- Darby, 15:00:00 05/03/02 Fri

I'm pretty sure that this isn't really a serious assertion, but I'm going to respond to it as if it were.

I'd read this earlier and was just reading about The Sopranos, when the two collided in my head (there's lots of room in there, but sometimes that happens). Tony Soprano (or Mackey on The Shield) is a type, like Spike or Anya, who we the viewer wind up rooting for and we can feel a little guilty about that. I don't think that it's "cool" - I love James Gandolfini, but Tony ain't cool; what he is is three-dimensional. These characters get inside our heads, they become people whose attractive qualities make us want to minimize their bad traits, they're likeable, dammit, and we don't really want them to be bad. Cool can enter into it, because coolness can equate to likeability, but that's not the whole answer, and I think that linking it all to cool denigrates both the creators of the characters and those who grow attached to them. Think how the opposite works - people get very negative toward Buffy or Dawn, not because they become uncool, but because they go through periods where they're hard to like.

So, whaddya think? I'm taking it too seriously, right - ?

[> [> Tony vs. Buffy -- Slain, 07:43:42 05/04/02 Sat

I agree with your assessment of the Sopranos, Darby, but I don't think you can relate it to Buffy. The Sopranos clearly exists in this world, and furthermore clearly exists in the world of organized crime. Morals aren't something Tony often considers, and, as with most gangster films, the audience enjoys the release from having to condemn criminals.

Buffy is very different, for two reasons; firstly, it doesn't exist in this world, but rather in a world where good and evil are not just vague philosophical concepts. We don't know if Tony's going to go to Hell, but we do know that Buffy went to heaven, and do we know that she saves the world from demons.

Secondly, Buffy isn't serious, and I don't think it works if you judge it by the same standards as a show like The Sopranos. I think Joss clearly feels that it's acceptable to do something because it's cool; how many times has he used that as a reasoning for a plotline or device? Buffy has a fixed morality like only a fantasy world can have, but this morality doesn't dicate everything that happens in the show.

There's nothing denigrating about cool. Of course people like Spike because he's cool, or more accurately because he's buff. But what I'm talking about is the preferred reading of the show, not individual interpretations; you can see which characters are set up as likeable or not.

Being 'uncool' doesn't come into it, because the show is never intentionally uncool. You can't relate this to Buffy or Dawn, because neither of them go against the basic morals of the show. Spike, Anya, Xander, the Mayor and others have, however, yet they haven't been set up as characters we should hate. You can hate them, but the show doesn't expect us to want Anya dead or Spike dusted.

[> [> [> Re: Tony vs. Buffy -- Darby, 10:05:56 05/05/02 Sun

I was with you there at the beginning, even though I disagree - I don't really differentiate between the fictional Jersey and the fictional Sunnydale - to me, some of the physical rules differ, but I don't agree that one is more morally absolute than the other. I personally think that this season of Buffy and Angel are an acknowledgement that the worlds don't differ all that much, but they've been filtering up 'til now through characters who have tended to want a black-and-white world, where heavens and hells and demons are absolutes, but we're being shown that this is no more true than in the Sopranoverse, where similar characters would have similar opinions about criminals.

And I'm not really convinced that this plays significantly into how watchers relate to characters, who on a visceral level are people, whether demon or mobster, if done well enough. And I think that the same basic rules of acceptance work for serious and non-serious shows alike, although it impacts a character's acceptability if a show if only funny or only somber (only the really good shows can tap into the other side and round those characters out).

Somewhere about halfway through, though, you've lost me, so I can't comment on your last points. It seems to be contradicting the earlier points - I'm not sure how breaking some artificial rules system relates to this.

[> Agree on coolness - consistency note on OMWF (Spoilers to Entropy!) -- shadowkat, 19:31:37 05/04/02 Sat

LOL! I completely factor! And thank you.
This is the whole pleasure of fantasy tv...people can get away with murder, you can root for them and not feel quilty.
Certainly helps me deal with nasty feelings I have during
the day. ;-)

I think we can take some of the morality issues a bit far - that does not mean that I don't think the show has depth and does not deal with complex issues of morality.

There's a reason behind Xander not paying for the demon - it's consistent with the rest of Season 6. So far no one has paid for the consequences of their actions...well almost no one. They did kill three or four demons, but those don't count. Oh and Tara left Willow...but she does come back. Let's do a tally:

1. Bargaining/Afterlife - Willow kills Fawn, does nasty spell, brings
back humogensis (which by the way also happened when Angel
did his spell in The Price - Wes used same word.) she
doesn't pay for this.
2. Flooded - the Troika summon demon, rob a bank, get away
with it.
3. Life Serial - Troika summon demons, torment slayer
and still get away (SG remains clueless)
4. All The Way - Dawn participates in hurting old man with vampires, old man is never found, she gets away with it
Willow does forgetting spell, and plays with people at
Bronze - Tara cautions her and first mind wipe occurs
5. OMWF - Xander summons demon and it's shrugged off
6. TR; Willow does forgetting spell - her only punishement?
Tara leaves, the others shrug it off
7. Smashed - Troika freeze a guy and get diamond, Willow and
Amy play with people at Bronze
8. Wrecked - More magic playing. Willow does pay for hurting Dawn but not in a major way, in fact everyone seems
to be fairly understanding - only Dawn condemns her for it.
9. Gone - Trioka make Buffy invisible, finally SG catch on,Buffy torments social worker, cop and people in park - shrugged off
10. Doublemeat Palace - well finally someone pays - the penishead lady dies. (an exception)
11. Dead Things - Troika gets away with murder and rape
12. OAFA - venegeance demon gets away with curse, Buffy and
gang release demon in house which injures people they shrug
it off. Dawn steals things - doesn't pay for it until four episodes later. (but we see progress)And I guess locking them all in the house with a demon is punishment?
13. AYW - well Spike pays for the eggs sort of - his place is destroyed. And Buffy does break up with him but she makes it clear it wasn't b/c of eggs. She shrugs off the eggs.
14. Hells Bells - now we see signs of payment but for past crimes. A man anya curses comes back and shows X his worst fears causing him to break up with her...
15. Normal Again - Buffy almost kills her friends, they
shrug it off. Trioka gets away with summoning another demon.
Still aren't taken all that seriously.Or really appear to be held responsible. Although at least they are hunting them. Buffy is avoiding causing her to hurt people.
16. Entropy - they accuse Spike of all people of planting the camera - makes sense, they haven't blamed the Troika for anything up to now, why start? Besides easier to go after demon friend. Xander is still holding spike responsible due to his own dislike of Spike...once again
not taking Troika seriously...Also Troika gets away with it
again! But we see progress on the Dawn front and everyone else seems to be paying in romantic agnst department while
willow is reaping rewards of being a good girl.

So you see - it makes no sense for Xander to pay for summoning the demon - goes against whole theme of shirking responsibility and not being punished. But believe me..karma
does have a way of catching up with you. He'll pay. Soon.

[> [> Re: Agree on coolness - consistency note on OMWF (Spoilers to Entropy!) -- LittleBIt, 07:20:33 05/05/02 Sun

I think the not-paying is also consistent with the current Big Bad. How do you slay yourselves? They are all battling their inner demons. Until forces build up and the inner demons break loose, which I think will happen before season's end (Joss always ties up), they are all avoiding the obvious.

As for the Troika, the scoobies don't seem to respect them any more than they did Harmony. It's as if they simply won't comprehend that someone they once saw as rather inept or pathetic could possibly be a serious danger. I've always wondered what they thought Harmony fed on, Bloody Mary's from Willie's? And while both Jonathon and Warren were first shown as possibly brilliant but pathetic, the degree to which they've been able to play Buffy (Gone, Dead Things) should be eye-opening. Xander should have known better; standard comic-book evil-genius villain is the brilliant but pathetic nerd. And here we have three.

And I know the police are "deeply stupid" but a little crime-stopper hint might have been in order. After all (I know, not a police show) there may have been residual blood traces or fiber matches on the stairs that would match Katrina's. And yes, I know, the medics couldn't figure out Ted was a robot!

All in all, payments will be made, for them all. And, I agree, soon.

Growing Up Alone — Season 6 (non-specifics through Tabula Rasa) -- LittleBit, 16:11:37 05/02/02 Thu

Growing Up Alone — Season 6, non-specifics through Tabula Rasa

This season the arc theme is growing up. We have watched the scoobies struggle with this. And an observation came to mind with light-bulb intensity. Where are the grown- ups?

Buffy, Willow, Xander and Tara are 21 years old. Willow and Tara are juniors in college. Dawn is 15.

Buffy runs a household, is responsible for raising her 15 or 1.5 year-old sister, and, oh, saving the world because it's her calling. Her mother died, tragically, and her father never bothered to see how she was. To our knowledge he has had no contact with her since before she graduated high school. Buffy made certain her mother was safe that day, but didn’t have to do the same for her dad because he wasn't there. She's now responsible for things she never thought she'd live to experience. Actually, she didn’t live to experience them. She was resurrected to deal with them. Is it any wonder that she's made a mess of it? There's no one to guide her; Giles returned to England to force her to live in the world and not allow her to retreat from it. Child Welfare and the school system are both threatening to take her sister away if she isn't immediately successful. Neither are offering any sort of assistance in making the adjustment, just passing judgment on whether she meets their expectations. Saving the world – a lot – was easier.

Willow has two parents who, as far as we know, still live in Sunnydale. Yet they were parents in absentia when she still lived at home, and are essentially non-existent now. What we do know is that while they have little awareness of their daughter, they had a set of rules and expectations or her. The one time her mother took notice of her, she tried to burn her at the stake (while under a spell) and then picked up that Willow was dating a guitar player and then wanted to meet him, but she hadn't noticed Willow had cut her hair months ago. Does Willow seek non-conflict because argument wasn't acceptable? She basked in the love and warmth Tara gave her. Did she panic when conflict arose because the result she had known was the withdrawal of approval? Do her parents even know about Tara? Would they accept her if they did? Her mother seemed quite knowledgeable and involved in the big issues that face the world, in generalized problems and studies, but incapable of being there to form the next generation.

Xander's parents we have met. They are alive and but not reliable. He has spent is entire life rejecting their behaviors. He is gainfully employed and now has his own place, but their spectre looms over him. They are his role models in an opposites way – what they are he doesn't want to be, but he fears that it is all he knows. He looked to Giles as a role model and for approval more than he knew. He uses self-deprecating humor and bad jokes to cover his feeling that he is the least necessary of the group. He speaks before thinking, before considering others' feelings, with mixed results. Sometimes he does say what needs to be said, but it gets lost in the abrasiveness of the presentation. He accuses when he should question. Sometimes, he's just missed the point entirely or been nasty when he should have been quiet. Xander's behavior was closer to his goal when he was in high school than it is now. Have the pressures of work, real world, and a fiancée been too much? He has offered some of the most incredibly compassionate moments and some of the most incredibly callous moments of anyone in the group. But who does he model himself after to learn how to be more compassionate and less callous?

Tara's mother died when she was 17, a couple of years before Tara met Willow. Her father, brother and other family members have rejected her. They tried to tell her that she was unbelievably selfish for not devoting her life to making things comfortable for the men. They had her convinced she would turn into a demon at 18, like her mother, and would have to be controlled which only they knew how to do. Is it any wonder that she is most sensitive to being controlled, having lived with it's threat all her life? It is a wonder that she is able to reach out with the warmth and compassion she has. She and her mother had a bond over magic, she practiced with her since she was little, and admired her mother's power. She had recently lost her when she met Willow and Willow's power was one of the things that attracted her. I think her mother may have been a very caring person, at least to Tara, for Tara to have learned to be so giving and accepting.

Dawn, well, Dawn doesn't have parents. She has the memories of parents and about half a year with Joyce as her mother. Anonymous monks forming a girl from pure energy do not biological parents make. Buffy is all she has, and yet she's unsure of their relationship. It has swung from annoying little sister to learning that she's not her sister to being the instrument that could unleash the destruction of the world with a sister who would sacrifice herself to prevent it. Now they both have to forge a relationship. They aren't just sisters, Dawn has to answer to Buffy, and if she doesn't toe the line, she could be taken away. How could anyone resist rebellion in these circumstances.

Anya and Spike are so far removed from immediate family that there is very little influence remaining, although I do think that Spike's relationship with his mother may have pre- disposed him to like Joyce. We know nothing of his father, and nothing of Anya's parents.

In the absence of any guidance over the past year and a half as the gang moved into their twenties, is it any surprise at all that they are having such difficulty learning who they are, and what they want to be. Is it a surprise that relationships are crumbling as each struggles with their own identity. They are able to talk to one another about some of these things, but not about the deep down, crucial, self- doubting questions. They each need the others to see them as whole, and need to see the others as whole as well. No one wants to confront Willow about the issues that led to her abuse of power, because they would have to address those issues in themselves first (inadequacy, insecurity, need for approval). Everyone wants Buffy to be okay, including Buffy, but they all fear to finds out what makes Buffy tick. She said herself that she needs to know what she is, where her power comes from, and there's no one to guide her in this. Buffy is the lost-est lost puppy I've seen in a long time. Xander can't talk about fears of turning into his father because he fears what the others might tell him. He doesn't want feedback on his behavior, and the others don’t want to challenge him on it because that would call their own behavior into question. Dawn is the one with the greatest struggle for identity — she knows she wasn't real, yet she has all the memories of a real girl, all the doubts of a real girl, all the changes a real girl undergoes in her teens. She is the one who screams for help, then rejects it when offered as not what she wants. Tara is closest to knowing herself, knowing when she has to take action to preserve herself, yet still has no one to help her deal with her own conflicting emotions: how does she deal with Willow, who is as loving and powerful as her mother, and can be as controlling as her father ever tried to be?

Each of them has been blamed for the terrible things they've done this season, except Tara. Buffy has been an inattentive guardian/sister who doesn't know what to do when her efforts are rejected, and has entered into a sado-masochistic relationship with Spike; she has such despair that she doesn't see her own worth, sees only that she makes everything worse, desperately wants something to be wrong with her — something that can be fixed. Willow has been addicted to power, reckless, controlling; she is so afraid of losing the ones she loved that she brought Buffy back from the dead, and put spells on Tara. Xander insisted on asking Anya to marry him, didn't want to tell anyone about the engagement, left Anya at the altar, has been very self- centered seeing the world, and acting on it, from his rather narrow point of view; he's so concerned about his potential behavior that he is unable to see his effect on others. Dawn has rebelled in many ways, doing poorly in school, truancy, shoplifting, stealing from friends, lying about where she is at night; she desperately needs limits and someone to enforce them. If one wants to make the case that if Spike and Anya were to leave all would be well, the issues go far beyond two relationships that may be found questionable. The troika should not be left out of this discussion either. Warren and Jonathon were in the same class as Buffy, Willow and Xander. Andrew was one of their classmate's younger brothers. They formed as a group originally because they were all outcasts, the ones that didn’t fit in. They began their quest to be Buffy's arch-nemesis and rule the world as if they were suddenly in their favorite sci-fi movies. Their approach has little to differentiate it from playing games except that the toys can do serious damage and the action takes place in the real world. They take no responsibility for the damage they do or the people they harm, just gloat that they got away with it; all three know right from wrong, all three choose to disregard this. Warren leads, Andrew follows, Jonathon is trying to grow up.

Fingers have been pointed at Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Xander, Anya and Spike. If there is blame to placed for the chaos of this season, I would like to offer a 'target' of sorts. Hank Summers, The Rosenbergs, The Harrises, Mr. Maclay, and yes, Giles. How much time did Giles give Buffy to get on her own two feet, adjust to being resurrected, learn how to manage a home, mother Dawn, get a job to support them both? Five weeks? Six weeks? Two months? And also, parents we don't know at all: Warren's, Jonathon's (who weren't able to keep him from wanting to kill himself), Andrew's (who allowed his brother Tucker to somehow keep devil dogs in the basement). These are the adults who would normally still play a fairly significant part in the growth of these young adults, the ones who should be their mentors, their mirrors, their sounding boards, their guides. They have abandoned and neglected their charges. No one in a legitimate position to help has reached out to anyone, and while it's questionable whether any of the group would accept an offer if it was made, these are times when parenting gets tough. Someone needs to intervene and be Teflon-resistant to rejection.

How can we expect the gang to succeed at growing up this quickly all by themselves? All of them need someone who can see them as themselves, accept the flaws and then help them work through to become the outstanding person each of them has the potential to be. As Cordelia once said, "Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass." [Killed by Death]. Parents and mentors must also pass on this, because they must address the issues, and help in resolution.

Or maybe Joss just doesn't want authority figures in his BuffyVerse. ;)

Looking forward to your comments. :)

[> 'Hell's Bells' spoiler in the above post ;-) -- Slain, 17:00:31 05/02/02 Thu

Great essay, LittleBit! While it's true that character in Buffy do seem to suffer from that lack of parents, you could say that the message of Buffy is that friendship is often stronger than family. Joyce and Dawn are exceptions, but the show does seem to be saying that you make your own authority figures: that those provided to you by society don't often work. That might just be a way of cutting down on the number of characters, but I think not.

[> [> Dang! I meant to take that line out.. ;p on me -- LittleBit, 17:09:25 05/02/02 Thu

[> Re: Growing Up Alone — Season 6 (non-specifics through Tabula Rasa) -- Drizzt, 19:10:17 05/02/02 Thu

Loved your post Littlit:)

Hopefully I succeed in my goal; I want to arrive in the Buffyverse at the beginning of The Crush from season 5, then repair that blood vessal in Joices brain. I would also give the Scoobies all the eps of season six & seven; this would let them see a possible future...give them an oppertunity to make better/different decisions. Also give them a different perspective on their life;)

[> [> Re: Growing Up Alone — Season 6 (non-specifics through Tabula Rasa) -- gds, 19:25:31 05/02/02 Thu

I too have thought about the effects of magically appearing in the Buffyverse complete set of videos in hand, but I picked a different time to intervene - when they discovered the arm of the Judge.

[> [> [> Criteria for Buffyverse arrival... -- Drizzt, 20:56:19 05/03/02 Fri


I have good reasons for the ep I picked as a desirable point in time to arive in the Buffyverse.

I would not want to arrive any time before season 5; Dawn does not exist before season five. Imagine how much WORSE Dawn's identity crisis would be if all of the Scoobies know she will be created in the future from there perspective; at the moment of her creation they would allready have had two years(?) to think about her and judge her for what she has not done yet if I showed them eps of the show in the time period of The Judge ep. Whoo! that was long.

Ok, also I would not want to arrive before Dawn finds out she is the Key; Blood ties. Would make her identity crisis WORSE than the show if she found out there is a show about her sister before she found out she is the KEY... Also Blood Ties was an important ep for Dawn and Buffy to become emotianaly closer. Also Dawn confronting Glory was EXTREMELY dangerous; if I arrived before then and events did not proceed as in the ep for whatever reason, maby Glory would hurt/kill Dawn or another of the Scoobies. In the case of things going bad in the confrontation with Glory I would have to interfere to help out, but it would still be a risky situation due to Glory being VERY fast and the confrontation had a lot of people in a small room; combat in close quarters is a recipy for accidental injury of allies, and is just plain aukward and dangerous compaired to having manuevering room.

Again, I want to repair the blood vessal in Joices Brain; Cannot arrive after the first night of the ep "I Was Made to Love You" without running the risk of Joice ALLREADY being dead when I arrive in the Buffyverse.

I can arrive at the ending scene of Blood Ties to the first scene of I Was Made to Love You and still be in acceptical timeframe for my criteria.

Specifically why I want to arrive in the begining of The Crush is the third scene; college. Buffy, Willow, and Tara are discussing a book they read, then Buffy sees the front page of the Sunnydayle newspaper. On the front of the paper is an article about five deaths by vampires at the train station. Buffy steals the newspaper, reads the article, then says "..., Survay says vampire" I want to be the person sitting in the chair reading the paper, then hopefully Buffy will steal MY newspaper, then I want to stand up, yell "You stole my newspaper!", then pinch her niple untill she apologizes for stealing from me...

He He

Drizzt...Drow Warrior, Philosopher, Mage
Never be satisfied with easy answers.

[> [> Done. -- skeeve, 08:22:52 05/03/02 Fri

Well, not yet.
Still, there are two, count 'em, two, vengeance demons hanging around the Scoobies. Maybe someone will say "I wish Joyce were still here." Giles coming back for a surprise visit would raise the odds considerably.

[> Delurking to say great essay. Totally agree with your assessments. -- Artemis, 21:36:49 05/02/02 Thu

[> growing up alone: buffy (somewhat long) -- anom, 12:48:59 05/03/02 Fri

"Everyone wants Buffy to be okay, including Buffy, but they all fear to finds out what makes Buffy tick. She said herself that she needs to know what she is, where her power comes from, and there's no one to guide her in this. Buffy is the lost-est lost puppy I've seen in a long time."

I've been thinking about this for a while, since early in the 6th season. Buffy was quite clear after her encounter w/Dracula that she needed to learn more about what he had said, to understand what relation her powers might have to the darkness she fights. She was disturbed by what he had said, but she seemed quite willing, if not eager, to pursue it.

Then the matter seemed to be dropped. Dawn showed up literally out of nowhere, Glory became a threat, & Joyce was diagnosed w/a life-threatening tumor. All these could certainly be seen as legitimate distractions from Buffy's quest to learn her true nature, but they may also be symbols of it. Dawn: When you start questioning who you are, you may look around at people you think you know, people you've known your whole life, & wonder who they really are too. Glory: You may run into real-life (well, real in Buffy's life) examples of how much darkness can be hidden in someone who seems like a nice, friendly, attractive person. Joyce: You realize that the people you count on to always be there won't always be. How much of who you are depends on them? Who would you be without them? And it makes you realize, in a way even a Slayer w/a low life expectancy may not have before, that you really will die some day--& you have no idea when.

What does Buffy need to do to learn the source of her power? Does it involve feeling as though evil--internal (a power rooted in darkness) or external (Glory)--threatens her & everyone she loves? As though she can't hold back that dark power, & that it's her fault (she couldn't stop Glory & went catatonic, believing she'd killed Dawn)? As though her universe is falling apart? As though she--her former self?-- has died? Or is dying a way of running away from the threat to her universe? And if it does enable her to get away, maybe that felt like heaven...while it lasted.

But it didn't. Buffy has to come back to her world & grow up alone. What do people do in trying to face their inner darkness, to know themselves fully, to come into their own? They may feel bereft, try to protect the feelings of those around them, find the very person they turn to for guidance can't be there to provide it (in the end, we each have to find our own way), get carried away by their feelings till they feel consumed by them, go on a spree when they find themselves in circumstances where they can't be recognized, not be able to be there fully for the people who count on them, embrace some aspect of the darkness & feel crappy about themselves because of it, feel as though they've gone crazy, attack/try to silence the people in their lives, & finally reach a point where they have to decide whether to live in the real world. Then...they have to deal w/the real consequences of that decision, & all the ones after it, & sometimes of those made by others, in that real world. Buffy has reached that point & made that decision, & I think starting next week she'll have to deal with the real-world consequences of the decisions after it, right & wrong & others'.

At the Buffy panels at Lunacon, some people complained that it was taking too long for Buffy to get over having died & been brought back. But many people take a year or more to "get over" the death of a person close to them--how much longer might it take to truly come back from one's own death if that could happen? I like that the writers are making it take so long & be so hard for Buffy. Don't we all fear to find out what makes us tick? We all need to understand what we are & where our power comes from in order to claim that power, but we also want to be OK as our entire understanding of ourselves changes. That can certainly make anyone feel lost, but Buffy seems to have finally begun to find her way. Do we all need to go through some version of what Buffy has before we can, oh,...grow up?

"You think you know...who you are, what's to haven't even begun."

Now she has.

[> [> Re: growing up alone: buffy (somewhat long) -- LittleBit, 08:38:44 05/04/02 Sat

Excellent points, Anom,

In many ways Buffy's situation is different from all of the others.

No one else has died, twice. The first time was less unusual since the death and resuscitation from drowning are not uncommon events. The second time however was real death ("Hundred forty-seven days yesterday"). The return to life was a resurrection. For what purpose? Will only time show us that? She has returned to a Sunnydale / Hellmouth that seems to have no more 'HST' than the average town [*snickers at average*]. Is it significant that Buffy's prophetic dreams seem to have ceased? Does this indicate that she may be in the wrong place now? Kendra was sent to Sunnydale twice because her watcher saw that "all de signs indicate dat a very dark power is about to rise in Sunnydale." There's no one to do this for Buffy. Even the "deeply stupid" police of Sunnydale should be able to deal in some way with the Troika, evil as they are, if they were given a lead to them. Take away their toys and there's not much left. Maybe the government could 'rehabilitate' them.

Her difficulty with self-acceptance has been around for quite a while. Before she and Riley hooked up as a couple, and as part of his argument for being a couple, he told her, " But mostly I think you want to stay down in that dark place because maybe it's safer down there." That observation came from someone who didn’t really know her yet, although as a psychology grad student he would have some basis on which he might form an opinion. Interestingly enough, the only other ones who tell her this (in different phrasings, but same concept) are Dracula and Spike. Vampires. Who know / see the nature of the Vampire Slayer?

Giles was fully prepared to leave at the beginning of season 5. The reason he stayed was Buffy's need for him to help her learn about her own nature as a slayer. As Anom pointed out, several very significant and un-ignorable events occurred to completely sidetrack that quest. And quest it is. Buffy must reach inside herself and be willing to see her own true nature, and accept it, integrate it, make both sides into a whole. This is not an unusual task for a hero (especially in fantasy, with which I am more familiar then mythology) to be faced with: that success cannot be achieved until recognition and acceptance of the darker side of their nature is achieved. He does leave when he decides that his presence is preventing her from growth, from accepting responsibility. I happen to think he left far too soon. The time required to re-establish herself, ground herself is lengthy, and I, like Anom, am glad to see that the journey is long and arduous. Anything less would reduce the significance of the event. But guidance through the process would not have been untoward.

In addition to trying to come to terms with her nature as a Slayer, Buffy is also still a young woman coming to terms with her nature as a human. She was initially a rather shallow high school teenager, well-liked, well-accepted by all the 'right' people, and probably didn’t care really about anyone else. She may even have been as naturally callous and cruel as Cordelia was. Then, pow, she has a destiny, she's the capital 'S' Slayer, the Chosen One. She's just beginning to develop as a person and define her role in society and now has to take on a role that by its nature causes her to be isolated. Perhaps this dichotomy is the reason why the Watcher's Council decreed that the Slayer be isolated from all social contact. So that the Slayer is the dominant, if not only, part of the person that is developed, and the teaching remains so entirely black-and-white so that the darker nature is never explored. This puts Buffy in unexplored territory, and without the information that the WC could have provided. Even the Slayer Manual could help, if the rules were analyzed to determine not what they are, but why they are.

It's been long. It's been mostly self-directed, particularly difficult when you have no idea where you are going. But Buffy is beginning to arrive. And the rest of the journey should be as interesting as the past has been.

[All quotes from Psyche Transcripts.]

[> [> [> Re: growing up alone: buffy (somewhat long) -- Humanitas, 20:18:04 05/04/02 Sat

OK, it's late, and the adrenaline kick from seeing Spider Man is starting to wear off, but here goes:

It occurs to me that ultimately we all grow up alone (I know, duh, mythic show). If we are lucky, we have family and a band of Scoobies to support us along the way, but when it comes down to it, everyone has to take that leap into the abyss by themselves. Lotta folks aren't that lucky, and some never make it across, either because they get lost in the abyss (think Willow at her addicted worst) of because they are afraid to jump (*cough*Xander!*cough*). I don't really see this as being a sign that any of our lost-and- wandering-in-darkness characters are lesser human beings, just that they are human beings. I think it's fitting that Xander, the least super-human of the bunch, is now prey to the most extreme degree of human failings. I don't condone or approve of his behavior, but it makes some sense. Here's hoping he grows through it, and comes up out of the abyss.

[> oops--i got so caught up in my post above... -- anom, 13:14:08 05/03/02 Fri

...that I forgot to compliment LittleBit on a complex & wonderful post, & to thank her for providing, somewhere in there, a great jumping-off place for some thoughts I'd been looking for the right place to express.

[> [> Thank You and You're Welcome! -- LittleBit, 19:22:12 05/03/02 Fri

Giles's taste in liquor (minor spoiler for Entropy) -- DEN, 20:03:06 05/02/02 Thu

A light counterpoint to all the heavy angst of the ep: I CANNOT imagine Rupert Giles drinking Jack Daniels. much less having a bottle of it in the Magic Shop. Single-malt Scotch, yes--American sour mash, definitely NO!

[> See, Joss would've known that... oh, Joss, come back to us full-time! -- Solitude1056, 21:03:52 05/02/02 Thu

[> Re: Giles's taste in liquor (minor spoiler for Entropy) -- RelativeGirl, 22:40:32 05/02/02 Thu

And here I thought I was the only one peeved about the liquor faux pas. Admittedly I am a single malt snob, but I've never known anyone who truly drank both single malt scotch and bourbon. You're pretty much either one or the other and Giles is definitely a single malt man. *sigh*

I miss Giles.

[> Re: Giles's taste in liquor (minor spoiler for Entropy) -- Amber, 00:52:56 05/03/02 Fri

But it was the bottle he left behind!! Obviously he took the good stuff with him. The Jack Daniels was probably a gift from someone. I'm sure Giles didn't buy it:)

Or perhaps he bought in case the Watcher's Council came back. Why let them drink the good stuff? Give them American liquor and they'll probably leave sooner.

[> Why do you think he left it behind?:D It was probably a gift. -- SingedCat, 16:46:34 05/03/02 Fri

Fun Poll vote -- Claire, 20:23:38 05/02/02 Thu

I could only be bothered to do the top 15 and here they are
Tara: 5107
Willow: 5103
Spike: 3353
Buffy: 1470
Faith: 1324
Drusilla: 1302
Angel: 1085
Xander: 786
Giles: 685
Cordy: 652
Anya: 530
Dawn: 514
Wesley: 406
Riley: 143
Oz: 97
Glory: 73
And before anyone says anything I know this is really childish and petty and probably a waste of board space. But I am a huge Spike fan and can't stand to see him wallowing in 3rd place. I now know that votes are being rigged as I visited the Kitten board and a special thread was started to get votes for Willow and Tara. They were being really smug about Spike's lack of popularity compared to their girls. The thing was I don't think most Spike fans are even aware of the poll. It was suggested that the Spike boards would be discussing it. The thing is I regularly visit (the unofficial site) and I haven't seen any info on the poll. As I am not registated on the board I cannot post a message I don't think. Does anyone know how it can be done? I know it seems pointless rigging online polls but I still want to rally the Spike fans if I can. Sorry if anyone found this a huge wase of time but I was just looking through the archives and got hocked on the online poll results when I found the thread on it. I have tried to register for but I couldn't go to the proper site to register as my computer wouldn't recognise it.

[> Re: Fun Poll vote -- SpikeMom, 20:29:00 05/02/02 Thu

What is the web page or site on which this poll is being conducted? I'd gladly cast a vote for JM/Spike/William.

[> [> -- Claire, 20:31:50 05/02/02 Thu

[> Uhm... a second poll. -- The Second Evil, 21:02:28 05/02/02 Thu

This is a philosophy board. I've heard some rumblings that not all folks want to see it rambling off-topic, and I'm curious - does this count as on-topic because it's about a BtVS character, or is it off-topic because there's no obvious link to philosophy, ethics, metaphors, or mythology? Yes, it's good to support your favorite characters but there are tons of other boards out there for discussions like this one.

Me? I'd rather save the active posting bandwidth for posts doubly on-topic - both BtVS/AtS and philosophy etc. Normally I'd hesitate to appear to cut someone off at the knees (which isn't my intention), but then I realized, if I don't speak up and introduce someone formally to the fact that it's called All Things Philosophical for a reason, then I've only myself to blame if I get cranky at a high percentage of non-ATP posts. In which case, the original poster is welcome to "on-topic" the "semi-on-topic" post - like by discussing the philosophy behind fandom or the way that various fans group into camps, and how this is also represented in Whedon's world? Hey, that would be cool...

In other words, it's not a waste of space as long as you find a way to tie in even the most unbelievably off-topic post. Hey, we've even discussed fungi and market economies and found a way to Whedonize them. ;-) And then there's less likelihood that folks would react as though your post is just spamming/trolling, which we've been hit with recently quite hard and thus are gunshy about these days.

So now we know where I stand... What does everyone else say? I'm curious. ;-)

[> [> Sorry. -- Claire, 21:13:23 05/02/02 Thu

I was worried that people would get annoyed and I know it was off-topic. I just wanted advice on registrating for so I could communicate my feelings with other Spike fans. I don't know any other sites online where I could ask the question. I sometimes visit the Kitten board and but that's about it. And I have never posted before so I thought I'd post here as it's easy enough (i.e you don't have to bother registrating). Sorry if you found it a waste of time. The board moderaters are free to delete my post.

[> [> [> Don't be, and some info about JM sites, too ;-) -- The Second Evil, 21:19:21 05/02/02 Thu

There's a new JM board where you can get info, and it's a bit more official than Problem is, I don't know if it's okay yet to splash the page across the web, but the site's webgod is also a regular here... I'll let Liquidram know & she'll be able to post the correct address. There's recent pictures, downloads, some other stuff, I just can't recall.

As for JM/Spike stuff, there are oodles of Spike fans on this board (too many, say the Xander fans! heh, just kidding). As for whether or not you're ontopic, offtopic, or semionofftopic... let's open the discussion to the rest of the board and see what they say. In the meantime, you could always come up with a nice several-page-long post about what you've seen about fans, their relations to characters, and a critical analysis of what you think this means to the way folks interprete each episode. Not to give you a thesis, but since you identified yourself as specifically a Spike-fan, and noted the Willow-Tara fans are gung-ho to appearing almost adversarial, just thought your input/analysis would be interesting to hear. But no pressure, of course!

Oh, and, duh... welcome to the board! ;-)

[> [> [> [> I wholeheartedly agree -- yuri, 22:24:59 05/02/02 Thu

Solitude puts graciously what I felt when I read the poll post. I think those numbers could incite some really interesting discussions, but without the discussion or some inkling of it, they're just numbers that I don't care about.

I wish you success finding fellow JM fans, Claire, and also hope that you stay and enlighten some of us who do not understand your perspective. Since you are someone who does not seem to have been looking for philosophical explications of BtVS/AtS, I would especailly like to hear your thoughts on fandom and its factions, why people want to show that the character they like the most is liked by the most people (will it prove that they are actually the "best" character? Why and what is "best?"), and if it enhances your enjoyment of a show to hold one character most dear. (I know some of things began to be adressed last time this came up, and I'm sure they've been spoken of before that as well.) Of course, I'm aware of all the wonderful people here already who have the faculties to adress these things, and I'd want to hear from you all too, of course.

Yup. I hope I don't come across rude in any way, I don't mean to be.

[> [> [> [> [> a comment -- cynesthesia, 00:55:20 05/03/02 Fri

I certainly understand the wish to keep the character of the board intact and even offer advice on board culture to newbies. This is a singular board because of it's philosophy focus. But I have to say that if I were a first time poster here, I think I would feel somewhat intimidated by the tenor of the remarks.

Oh frilly heck, I still *am* intimidated about posting here and now I just realized I didn't turn in my first posting assignment. Anxiety! Eek! ;-)

OK, I'm trying and failing at humor. I'm just offering the perspective of someone on the board who isn't well established here and who sometimes struggles with that "explication" thing that's been mentioned :-)


[> [> [> [> [> [> A poll of an entirely different nature -- d'Herblay, 02:00:05 05/03/02 Fri

This is a singular board because of its philosophy focus. But I have to say that if I were a first time poster here, I think I would feel somewhat intimidated by the tenor of the remarks.
Recently, someone dear to my heart, and perhaps missed by many here, and I were in conversation, discussing the common admission of delurkers that they had been intimidated by this board. We came to the conclusion that while neither of us had been intellectually intimidated by the board, both had been socially intimidated.

It seems to me that this is somehow backwards, that this board should maintain high standards of discourse while still being open and welcoming. In the interest of achieving this (possibly impossible) goal, I think we need to know whether many posters were actually intimidated by this board, and, if so, what form this intimidation took.

All answers will be appreciated. (Footnoted answers will be really appreciated -- it's part of that high standard of discourse for which we aim!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ummmmmmmm -- Rufus, 02:30:21 05/03/02 Fri

This board was the only one that didn't move along at a blinding pace. I learned how to "type" on this board. As for being intimidated.....I guess I was too damn stupid to notice that my uneducated "slip" was showing. To me Philosophy doesn't just mean all the stuff written by Old Dead Greek Guys, or later authors, it means the love of wisdom....which isn't the sole purchase of persons with letters following their names......I do however get feedback from those who are too intimidated to post here, even with someone as unschooled and undiciplined as me.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ummmmmmmm -- yabyumpan, 22:56:46 05/04/02 Sat

I was (still am) intellectually intimidated. I'm not widely read in philosophy or mythology. I just have a brain that doesn't have an off switch and my parents never managed to train me out of asking "why?". I also don't feel I express myself as well as I'd like to so a lot of the time I end up feeling a clutz when I do post. But that's all my stuff, on the up side I actually find this board welcoming and not socially intimidating. It can feel cliquey at times but I've never been part of the "in" crowd so that doesn't really bother me. My only real problem with this board is that most AtS post seem to get steamrolled over by BtVS posts, as I've pretty much given up on Buffy this season and am totally obsessed with Angel, this can get pretty frustrating. I know this is something that's been discussed before so it's not too much of a problem for me, I'm just resolved now to keep flying the AtS banner regardless. :-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> OK, so that's a good angle to work on. -- OnM, 09:17:48 05/05/02 Sun

You are right, this does tend to be a Buffy-centric board, all the more reason for the hard-core Angel devotees to get their champion some posting space!

In any larger community, there are going to be people who discover common interests and thought patterns with other members of that community. I think to most people, the word 'clique' carries a negative connotation, usually implying snobbery or exclusion of some sort. I really don't see that here-- what appears to be 'cliques' are usually just linkages of common experience between/among longer-term posters.

One thing to always keep in mind, if you aren't already aware of it-- many posters schedule board time around their 'realverse' life-- work, family, sports, hobbies, etc. Never be offended or concerned if your post does not get an immediate response-- there are times that, even with the substantial growth ATPo has experienced in the last year, that 'everyone is out'. Weekends, for example, are typically very slow, sometimes almost stationary as to responses. Allow for this before you assume the other posters aren't interested in what you have to say.

The Voy archiving system also causes problems with moving posts/threads off the main page prematurely. Don't be afraid to just pick up where you left off-- point someone to the archives, or just recopy your post, if it's very short. (For longer posts, save main page space by archive pointing, not reposting.) Then, continue.

Be yourself. Everyone has talents and interests that drive them-- many of these can be linked to the Buffyverse, just like I link music and movies (and occasionally the audiophile universe! ;-). You may not be an expert in the fields of philosophy or literature, but so what? I'm not, and I found a home here fairly easily-- others can too, even if 'philosophically-challenged'.

A year ago, I thought it silly and obsessive to notice things like character hairstyles or color choices in clothing. Now, I pay close attention to such seeming trivia because someone convincingly pointed out that doing so had genuine merit.

So there ya go!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Gotta say I'm with you on that... -- Masquerade , 14:35:21 05/06/02 Mon

" I've pretty much given up on Buffy this season and am totally obsessed with Angel".

If you need an Angel thread pulled out of the archives, let me know. : )

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ummmmmmmm -- Aquitaine, 17:21:59 05/06/02 Mon

I like to think on the bright side of things and imagine that S6 Buffy was specifically designed to irk me and make me further appreciate the sheer pleasure of the skillful word plays and the ambitious arcs on A:tS. I'm loving the debit of the storylines on Angel (fast) and the slow, yet gradual development of the characters. I find the voices of the characters on Angel more consistent than on Buffy. Furthermore, I like all the characters on Angel. It's just a downright likeable show. Even Lilah has a special place in my heart. Hehehe.

But, mostly, I enjoy how the two shows gain in meaning when viewed alongside one another. For example, The Price wouldn't have been the same if I hadn't had Amends and Afterlife as points of reference.

- Aquitaine

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> A sincere response to the poll -- LittleBit, 06:19:31 05/03/02 Fri

As a relatively new poster to this board, or any board for that matter, I can say that there is a certain intimidation factor on both levels. I had never posted anywhere before this board, and I wanted to participate here because of the overall intellectual level that prevails here. I started watching BtVS in January when FX began showing all the episodes in sequence, read synopses and transcripts, checked out the same for AtS because there's currently no way to see the first seasons. [Tangent: should someone who couldn't figure out when AtS was shown because it was on a different night here post to a board full of smart people? ;)] Then I found All Things Philosophical. I spent an entire weekend reading everything on the site. Wow.

The intelligence and depth of knowledge and study that is demonstrated by many of the regular posters is outstanding. As one whose education went in a different direction I at first wondered to myself if I should read up on mythologies of different civilizations and literature, all the classics that I hadn't read, (or it was long enough ago that I now remember the names of the characters but no specifics) before attempting to reply to post let alone initiating one of my own. Would it be acceptable if I analyzed the characters from the point of view of the BuffyVerse mythology and my own life experiences without comparing it to another myth, Greek philosophy or classic literature.

I was only able to lurk for a couple of weeks before I felt I just had to get into the discussion. Sitting here and thinking "yes! yes! but what about this point…" and "has anyone considered this…" Having said that, I then decided that, oh, what the heck, I'm anonymous, if everyone thinks I'm an ignoramus they don’t know who I am, I can always go back and do the homework if I need to, and I can change my posting name and be smarter next time. (If Rippert ever shows up — that's me being smarter ;). ) So I just screwed up my courage and responded to a post. (And I can say, I probably spend more time checking over my posts here to see if they say what I want to say in the way I want to say it than I ever did in an English class.) When I got a positive response, I kept wanting to post just to say thank you! I'm encouraged!

On the social side: I found two levels of intimidation, one of which I got past by the same anonymous — ignoramus — change name focus, the other is still working on me. The first was that clearly the regular posters knew each other, were in the habit of following a dialogue/discussion with each other, while posters who didn't show up as frequently were less likely to have that sort of discussion occur. Well, so what. If my posts are worth reading, someone will figure that out. Post and take the chance I may be ignored.

The other came up when the person dear to your heart, who is missed by the way, found herself at the center of a controversy that should never have occurred. I was reading that thread (I'm one of the odd ones who actually reads all the posts) and was aware that she was involved in a debate that no one would win. However, I was also aware that it could be ended at any time by either party. When the call for civility came, she responded instantly with an apology. It should have ended there. As more and more people became involved, weighing in with their opinions on whether or not she was justified if the debate (not a discussion, a debate, and a lively one), her distress became more and more apparent. A new thread, well, two new threads, were started to discuss nothing else. I did not participate, at her request. But I regret that no one was hearing what I thought she was saying. It doesn't matter whether or not anyone else thought she was justified, she didn't, and as more and more people joined, I kept hearing her distress that all of them thought she had behaved in a way that she need not apologize for because of the circumstances. Personally, and as I said, I was following it as it unfolded, I thought it was a lively debate. The two participants had engaged in such before, and it ended with an appreciation of the sparring match and looking forward to the next time. I particularly miss the fact that her voice is no longer present, and there will never be another next time.

I included the above because it was the reason for what I now find as social intimidation. I no longer read my posts just to see if they say what I want to say in the way I want to say it, but if how I say it will be acceptable to the other posters. Was I too opinionated? Did it sound too didactic? Am I leaving things open to discussion? If it is my opinion, how much can it sound like my opinion without being opinionated? Change a phrasing, change a word to be less strong.

It won’t stop me from posting because there's too much to be gained from being a participant. But I am looking this over, and hoping it doesn't offend anyone; regretting that I brought up a painful topic, but not seeing a way around it if I am to explain why I now concern myself with this.

All that said, I love this board, lurk and read far more than I participate, and welcome the differences of opinion every bit as much as I like the agreements.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- Lilac, 07:05:58 05/03/02 Fri

I have been participating in this board since last fall. I lurked briefly, and then hopped in, around "Smashed" I think. If I have felt intimidated, I would not say it was so much intellectually, or even socially, but by the amount of effort some of the more accomplished posters put in here. Good lord, how do people find the time to write the very thoughtful, well supported, long essays they post here? I am so pleased that the time is found, because those long essays have given me so much pleasure and added insight into Whedon world, but guys, how do you do it? I consider myself lucky if I keep up with reading posts and throwing a small comment in here and there. Often, by the time I get around to a thread everthing I could have reasonably said has been said.

I have, over all, been very impressed by the civility on this board. I have never participated in another board, and was surprised when I found one I wanted to take part in. My husband reads a regional fishing board, and tells me about frequent outbursts of name calling and insults -- who knew bait could be so inciting? So nastiness can come out of anything, and with the topics we touch on here, more could arise than does.

I do think that when people first start coming here, it seems as if there is a core of people who know each other well, and it feels a little odd inserting oneself in the middle of the conversation. But, unless a new poster comes in being a jerk, I have never seen anyone mistreated just for being new.

I have made some resolutions of my own about conversations I will or will not participate in. I won't participate in discussions of race, because while I feel it is a valid topic, and equality and justice are vital, it seems to be a topic that is favored by those whose goal is poking people with a metaphoric sharp stick in hope of getting a reaction. I won't participate in discussions about religion because I know I have a very strong anti organized religion bias, which I have a hard time controlling, but I also feel that people have the right to believe whatever they want and have their beliefs respected. Since I know I am likely to offend someone's deeply held beliefs in that kind of conversation, I chose not to say anything.

Well, I guess the point of all of this is that this is such an interesting environment. I am very glad that I have found it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- Penguin, 07:19:19 05/03/02 Fri

The Board CAN be intimidating to newbies. I have been lurking since November 2001 and have only “come out” twice – to answer Milwaukee area programming questions. The reason that I have not posted anything or joined in on any discussions is simple – FEAR.

When I first discovered this Board, I was a complete novice. Computers were only used for work, never for enjoyment. In my first three weeks, I read all of Masq’s summaries of the episodes and the character essays and was blown away. I had watched BtVS and AtS from the very beginning but your comments had brought a new meaning to things and I wanted MORE.

I saw the link to the Discussion Board and decided to try it (first time ever on a Board). I read everything that was posted and went through the Archives. My enjoyment (and awe) kept growing. I decided that the next time there was a discussion that interested me, I would join in. Unfortunately, at that point, there was a “troll” episode and some posters identified this troll as easy to spot due to Le Femme Nikita and DS9 comments. As a Trekker for 30 years and has every episode of Nikita on tape, would I accidentally make comments that would be considered “troll- like”? Safer not to try.

As the months have gone on, my courage has waxed and waned. Unfortunately, my higher courage moments seem to coincide when the Board is in a state of flux. The LAST thing that I want to do is be mistaken for a troll, say (or type) anything that would cause someone to leave the Board, or hurt anyone’s feelings. I have decided that it is easier and safer to enjoy the Board passively rather that risk potential injury to others.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> There's more to trolling than a tv show... ;-) -- The Second Evil, 11:26:18 05/03/02 Fri

While we do joke about our resident Troll Slayer, who frequents the trollers with random bits of quotes from Bonhoeffer and references to Nikita... I really doubt anyone is gonna mistake your post for that of a troll. For starters, you don't write with each sentence forming a single paragraph with never more than 10 words, and you also appear to have used multi-syllable words more than once. And even your single-syllable words ("flux," for instance) are signs of an intelligent mind and not a trollbot who's just out to regurgitate the opposite view. So, really, consider yourself welcomed and next time you think to say, "oh, I won't post," think again and post!

The real key is that if you post a reference to something and someone takes it the wrong way, the expectation here is that they'll do so civilly. That's always been a hallmark of this board. And if you get a reply that reads, "I read that as confrontational, but it could just be me," it's perfectly okay to say, "oh, gracious, I didn't mean it that way." We have, after all, had folks who've posted using english that's unfamiliar and indavertantly used an english word with a negative connotation. Some polite explaining cleared up the misunderstanding.

Thanks to Masq, this board is always willing to give the benefit of the doubt. And even with the worst trolls, we have always been willing to give someone a second chance, which is really good, or I probably wouldn't have been allowed back! ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sol, when have you ever been troll-like? -- The First Evil, 11:50:45 05/03/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- SingedCat, 18:34:21 05/03/02 Fri

Hmmmm. My two cents-- I've been a Buffy watcher since my friend dammed me in Season 3. I found the board a year ago off the WB bords and never went back. I loved it, and couldn't possibly read all the posts before I posted myself, I had so much to say, to ask, it was great, I bounced in my chair and read every response. If nobody responded I didn't take it personally-- there are a lot of threads, you can never predict which one is going to take off. I've never been intimidated by the posts, even the ones that brought up amazingly obscure academic subjects--hey, those were the cool ones, they talked about things I didn't know!

There are four reasons I can name for this abject lack of intimidation:

I have seen all episodes of Buffy and all but one of Angel, so I frolic free of spoiler fear amongst the posts, and get most of the references;

The benefits of a liberal arts education-- you never know the whole subject, but you can follow a conversation in nearly *all* of them;

I was using TALK programs to converse with distant fellow students in 1983, and outgrew flaming long ago.

But mostly--and I cannot stress this enough-- because of reason four:

I have a serious glitch in my social programming. You know how, when you get into a new class or around any new group of people, you stay prudently quiet for awhile, you watch, get the vibe of the group, see who's who, before you start expressing your own views? I don't do that.

(Believe me when I say I don't look down on such intelligent precaution! -- ignoring it has gottton me into trouble at times, and if I weren't generally pleasantly disposed I'm sure it would have been worse.)

Anyway, I'm not posting except to say that for these reasons intimidation on this board (or any board, really) isn't much of an issue for me. There are times when I may refrain from posting, maybe until I have all my thoughts gathered, I've read everything I think is relevant, or I've gone & looked something up (god forbid!) But mostly I just post when I have something that just *has* to be said, and if I find later it's a similar post to a previous one, or it turns out to be dim, or overly involved, well, I imagine people will skip it, and I don't worry about it. I'll add one more note on this subject and I'm done (see following post)

(and yeah, never been tested, but I *could* be a little ADD...:D)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> In praise of caution (then post,post,post!) -- SingedCat, 18:49:05 05/03/02 Fri

Now having posted that I love to speak my mind (and with a pretty good record for not ticking people off, I think), I'm going to risk all and say this:

If you've got a thought that you want to throw into the mix and see what happens, it's a shame if you feel too intimidated to post it.

On the flip side, if you have thoughts like, "Hmmm...maybe I won't make this headline-post, since the pun's been made twice already now.." or, "OK, five people have posted 'I agree!', I don't have to post it as well", or even, "this guy has just made a mistake that four other posters are pointing out, I don't need to jump in." Well, then maybe those thoughts aren't so bad. As masq has pointed out (on a page swiftly retreating in the distance), it's great to post, and even better when they stay on the active board long enough to get really involved in!

There. I'm done. Off to a movie!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- Cactus Watcher, 07:50:40 05/03/02 Fri

My experience was something like Little Bit's. This was one of the first places I posted in my internet experience. Before deciding to post here, I peeked into a fair number of Buffy boards including the original Bronze. Largely, I couldn't stand what was going on elsewhere. It was like being in a room full of screaming teenagers. There is nothing wrong with teenagers, but there is a stage in one's life when the most desirable thing is to incite everyone around you into wild, screaming, mindless, ecstasy (or passion, or even anger) over the most mundane things. That stage passes. Some people here love Spike (Willow, Tara, fill-in-blank). But, virtually without exception the folks who post here have thought a good deal why they like whoever, and are prepared to give you sound reasons. When I discovered that even the occaisional babbling about cats and chocholate here had a certain wit and slyness about it, I knew these were the kind of people I wanted to share ideas with.

Frankly, my background in Philosophy with a capital 'P' is pretty limited. I took one course in college, and though I enjoyed the lectures a lot, I couldn't stand the reading. I can't discuss that kind of formal philosophy, and pretty much wouldn't want to if I could. But, there is an older, broader definition of philosophy which encompasses practically everything in the sciences and liberal arts. That kind of philosopy interests me, and that's how I try to contribute when I can.

Practically the first time I posted here, I got into it with one or more people over something I disagreed with the majority over. As in real-life, I argued passionately, but only as long as necessary to be sure the other person/people understood what I was saying, rather than trying to actually convert them to my 'belief.' Sometimes it's better to let the other person think about what you've said rather than keep after them. It isn't always possible to have that kind of detachment. Certainly, I don't.* Intellectual arguments can become heated, because we all have reasons for thinking the way we do. It's good that we challenge each other to examine what we think to be sure our reasons are valid. It's not good when the arguments become personal. It's not good when some people take abstract arguments personally. It's certainly not good when trolls post things simply to enrage others. One of the great things about Wisewoman is that she seems to have an uncanny nack for seeing almost instantly whether a strange post is an attempt to flame someone or just an awkward attempt at an intellectual argument. Then she wades in and appropriately scolds or sooths. She may rarely post anything deeply philosphical, but I miss her.**

* from - Me, The Complete Collected Works, Pompous Press, Hoboken, Mantua and Ballerup, 2002
** - ibid
(Sorry d'Herblay. Couldn't resist. ;o))

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Intimidation and some advice on coping with it -- matching mole, 10:25:32 05/03/02 Fri

In keeping with my scientific background I won't use footnotes but will use a modification of the usual scientific citation technique instead.

Well I guess it depends on how you define intimidation. There are certainly lots of topics discussed on this board that I have little background in. It would be pretty difficult for me to contribute anything to a thread on mythology or that makes extensive reference to literature from before say 1780 (that's not to say that I have a comprehensive grasp of everything written since the dawn of the Romantic era but at least the chance that I would be familiar with a literary reference would be statistically greater than zero (matching mole unpublished observation)). So I don't tend to contribute to those threads (although at times I read them with interest). And like Cactus Watcher I have essentially no formal training in philosophy (Brock University 1984, University of Oklahoma 1987, University of Chicago 1993).

However, despite the fact that in real life I am a somewhat shy and non-confrontational person I don't really find myself indimidated in the sense that I am afraid to post things here. I'm not sure why, this is my only real internet experience. My guess is that it is both the sense of distance and control posting has (I am never likely to meet most of the people here and I don't have to read any post I don't want to look at) plus the lack of any substantive cost to myself of a disagreement. Graduate school made me more thick-skinned than I used to be I guess.

On the social side of things I do feel that the board (as any organization like this would) contains whole series of social groupings, insiders and outsiders, that I am largely unaware of. But people have generally seemed pretty friendly to me.

One place where I definitely am intimidated (or at least envious) was mentioned by one of the earlier posers. That is energy and productivity. More and more thoughts just some to come pouring out of some people and they seem to find the time to write them down. I'm exhausted just looking at the posts.

I have a few pieces of advice from years spent in intellectually intimidating atmospheres.

1. Talk about what you know - So you've never cracked open a book by Joseph Campbell in your life (matching mole lifetime reading list) and you found fresne's Dante/Buffy fanfic impenetrable because you don't even know what century Dante lived in (matching mole - knowledge of literary history prior to c1780, lack thereof). But you know a bunch about macrame. Relate Buffy to macrame - I'm sure you can do it. And I'd be really interested to hear about it. Really.

2. Ask questions. This is something I'm guilty of not doing enough of. Take advantage of the board's knowledge. People who know a lot about stuff are generally only too happy to enlighten you. Go on. Ask me a question about evolution. See what happens.

3. Be honest, polite, and unpretentious but not apologetic. In my opinion people apologize for being new or not knowing things way too much. I'm a big fan of self deprecating humour (as is hopefully apparent in this post) but not of abasing yourself.

Literature Cited (with annotations)

Brock University Academic Transcript - only non-science courses are in English (2) and Politics.

University of Oklahoma Academic Transcript - only non- science courses are German for Reading (2)

University of Chicago Academic Transcript - no non-science courses.

matching mole lifetime reading list - my readings of work written before about 1780 (in all areas of discourse) can be pretty much summed up by the following.

Selection of English lit (Chaucer, Donne, Pope) read in my intro English class that I now remember basically nothing about.
Some Shakespeare, Swift, and Dafoe. A few dabblings in the Bible and the Tao De Ching.

my post 1780 reading list is considerably longer but still contains no Joseph Campbell

And I really couldn't tell you (although I might make an educated guess) what century Dante lived and wrote in.

Please note that my list here is a perhaps overly elaborate joke on dH's request for footnotes and should not be taken as evidence for my being either proud or ashamed of my lack of education in certain areas.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> O/T: Good to see another OU person on this board! -- Rattletrap, 13:30:59 05/03/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It's been a long time -- matching mole, 08:58:54 05/05/02 Sun

but I was an Okie for three years. Never went to a football game though.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And another UofC person! -- anneth, 15:37:09 05/05/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- Caroline, 10:27:07 05/03/02 Fri

I'm really glad you brought up this point. About a year ago I was searching for more info on Buffy, found a lot of boards that rude and/or fanatic about a character or ship and/or not willing to engage in discussion of a more metphoric or symbolic nature. Discovering this board was great and intellectually I felt at home. I've had a somewhat classical education so I feel at home with the philosophy/mythology/literature/psychology stuff (I dabbled in all of these before deciding on my current career, which is also one that keeps the analytical juices going because I essentially think about ideas all day) but I do feel somewhat at sea when people start discussing things I don't know about. But my attitude is that people here can teach me a lot, so I'm grateful. I'm now inspried to read Ursula Le Guin watch the Alien movies! And I'm surprised that someone like Cynesthesia, who will long be remembered for her amazing essay on OMWF should feel intimidated - I say you have some fabulous insights and I would certainly love to hear way more from you.

I was socially intimidated about entering discussions. People knew each other and I felt like I was butting in and also some people came across in writing as being rather snarky. That could be my interpretation but that's just how it seemed to me. I lurked for months before I finally screwed my courage to the sticking place and contributed a post about Buffy, Spike and the Persephone myth last February, where it seemed appropriate. I got some wonderful feedback from Age, Rahael and later Anne, Leslie, manwitch, Sophist, Darby which greatly lessened my fears, contributed greatly to me feeling more comfortable and confident here, een though some of them disagreed with me! I want to send out a big thank you to all those people and everyone on the board who has made this experience a very worthwhile one for me.

While a lot of my initial hesitation and fear to join was probably just a product of my head, I have noticed that some posters are not very kind. In written communication one does not have the same cues to provide intent as with verbal communication and some people, since they write in a very conversational manner, do come across more harshly than they perhaps are aware. Also, when someone, especially a newbie, contributes a less 'philosophical' post, more established posters come out and get all intellectual on them. While I greatly appreciate anyone's ability to make a silk purse, could we please do it more kindly?

I am in an environment where my work and that of my colleagues is regularly vetted by intellectual peers and superiors within the institution as well as well-known academics in my field. I've consistently found that many of the big-names and most respected people in my field are extremely kind, courteous and considerate of other people's feelings when supplying responses. It doesn't mean that they agree with your hypothesis and won't critique the hell out of it but they will do it without destroying your confidence. Let's strive for that.

P.S. I miss Rahael.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Good points -- matching mole, 11:06:02 05/03/02 Fri

Now I feel slightly guilty (although not enough to apologize in keeping with my own advice) about the tenor of my post immediately above Caroline's. I was really struck by the friendliness of the board when I first started posting (about six months ago now) and when I was a newbie I did try and make an effort to be welcoming.

While I always try to be civil and non-confrontational I feel that I may not always have been as careful not to be intimidating. It is often very difficult to see yourself from the perspective of another person, especially one whose only contact with you is through a computer. Students have told me that I am intimidating a few times which was always shocking and dismaying to me. To myself I feel so timorous that it is hard to imagine anyone else seeing me like that. And it is so far from how I want to be perceived by other people that it disheartens me. So if I have ever intimidated anyone on this board it was unintentional. I'll try to welcome more newbies and emulate Wisewoman (who I see has returned to the fray in a thread above) in her generosity and consideration.

The advice I gave in the post above is the sort of information I was given when I was younger. It is useful and I stand by it. But I remember that I wasn't always able to act on it and in some cases being given it actually made me feel worse rather than better. I hope that isn't the case here.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Seconding that, so to speak ;-) -- The Second Evil, 11:38:46 05/03/02 Fri

Same here. I'm always surprised, just a little, when folks tell me I'm getting all intellectual on them. In person, I give about as intellectual an impression (I'm told) as your average small mammal. We're talking otter, jack russell, platypus. Not exactly intellectual creatures. But I learned a long time ago that my humor in person is much more physical - gestures, expressions, tone - and none of that translates. Hell, if I were to say this part in person and add those elements, you'd be reading something like:

Same here. [headshake, shrug] I'm always surprised, [eyes wide, hands thrown up in the air, more headshaking] just a little, [eyes narrowed, eyebrows raised] when folks [eyeroll, handwave in general direction of other nonpresent people] tell me I'm [emphasis on "I'm" by leaning forward, drawing the word out, and exaggerated shrug] getting all intellectual [open mouth after word, eyes wide, both hands pointing at self] on them. In person, [exaggerated innocent look] I give about as intellectual an impression [waving hands vaguely, while frowning as if in thought](I'm told) [head nod, wry expression, hands making "so-so" gesture] as your average small mammal. [head wobble, eye roll, one hand doing "brush-off" motion]

And y'know, that makes for a really hard-to-read post. So yeah, if you don't see/hear/grok the undercurrents, it does make a post sometimes intimidating. OnM, for instance, intimidated the hell out of me when I first posted here, and so did Rufus. I just hoped they'd give me the benefit of the doubt if what I said didn't make sense or sounded abrasive. Now I try to do the same for others. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! Thanks matching mole and Second Evil... -- Caroline, 14:19:24 05/03/02 Fri

it's nice to find people who grok you. I've had similar experiences with people thinking I'm intimidating when I think I'm being as meek as a lamb and accusing me of being too 'intellectual' when I think I'm expressing my self in an ordinary manner. So now my personal policy is to try to be considerate of others, try to remain detached and realize that people are often to busy to be thinking about offending me, and seek clarification about something that has offended me before I go off.

And, Second Evil, that was classic! I often put little facial gestures, shrugs, eye rolls etc in my my emails to friends precisely to convey non-verbal cues but yours takes the cake.

PS Sorry about the spelling in my previous post - I was at work!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You've gotta be kidding........:):):):) -- Rufus, 21:23:12 05/03/02 Fri

Second Evil........have a talk with WW, and if she forgets the threats I gave her, she will tell you what the real Rufus is really will be so disapointed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Rufus? Intimidating?? BWA-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! ;o) -- dubdub, 08:59:18 05/05/02 Sun

She's as cute as a button, and about as intimidating as an ice cream sundae, but you didn't hear it from me...


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Could you make that an evil button?...;) -- Rufus, 01:18:53 05/07/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You've gotta be kidding-- The Sequel. -- OnM, 20:31:26 05/04/02 Sat

I waited at least about 4-6 weeks after the board first started up before I posted anything, and then what I
did post was some fairly short comments on threads started by other folks.

I was somewhat (although not severely) intimidated intellectually by the board content; I am only a high
school graduate, I have no particular background in philosophy or literature, and it was obvious that many
of those who posted were college graduates, and had substantial experience in discussing
‘heavy-duty’ philosophical and literary materials. I just waited until I felt I had something to say that was
within my own range of experience, and then tried to craft it thoughtfully so while it might not appear
‘brilliant’, at least it wouldn’t be stupid or pointless. The first few posts got only a few responses, but none
of them were rude or unkind, and after a while I became more adventurous, and the responses grew as I
posted more and more. Several of the early board regulars-- Ryuei, Rufus, spotjon and others-- were
significant influences on me, and I found I started clicking on pretty much anythiung they put up on the
board, no matter what the topic.

I never felt socially intimidated by the board, possibly because I have spent over 2 1/2 decades of my
working life dealing directly with the general public. If you can waltz into someone’s home on a daily
basis, do appliance or electronic repair work, and then write up a bill for it, you learn not to be too timid--
not all customers are pleasant to deal with, and even the ones who normally would be pleasant could be
stressed out and therefore act atypically.

Sol, I gotta admit, I’m chuckling at the thought of you (or for that matter, anyone else) being ‘intimidated’
by someone whose gravestone will probably read:

Here lies OnM

He Saved the World’s Refrigerators

(A Lot)

Ya know, my attitude most of the time pretty much sums up with the phrase I normally close each week’s movie column
with-- ‘Post ‘em if you’ve got ‘em.’



[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- Malandanza, 10:58:10 05/03/02 Fri

I think that this board is open and welcoming -- at least initially. I doubt either you or Rahael have anything to complain about regarding the reception of your first posts to this board. Perhaps the receptions of your third or fourth posts were less gushing, but by then, we expected more. I think much of the unhappiness with the board comes from the mistaken impression that the honeymoon period will last forever. Furthermore, I think there is a tendency to try to take part in every discussion after the initial welcome, whether you have anything to add or not (I know this was the case for me -- I was so excited with having found an interesting discussion board, that I treated it more as a chat room than a message board). While there is nothing wrong with frequent posts, the greater volume means greater chance of meeting an opposing response and less time spent refining the logic of the post. I remember rather clearly the first hostile response I received from this board and refrained from posting for a days following, but that was not a problem with the board, but my own hypersensitivity and unrealistic expectation that everything I said would be greeted with rapture.

As for cliques, I don't think anyone on this board would snub a new poster whose essay was brilliant in order to respond to an essay by a regular that was rather pedestrian. If it seems so, perhaps it is because when we skim the board (before work, or at lunch, when time is limited) we don't have time to sort through every post, so we read the comments of people we know will have something interesting to say, reserving the other posts for when we have more time at our disposal. I'd also say that a post that languishes may not do so because no one agrees or no one has bothered to read it, but because everybody agrees and cannot think of anything to add worthy of comment. In other cases, it is ignored because we've already had that debate, dozens of times before through the years, and nothing new is being said.

So I think most of the social intimidation comes from the people who feel intimidated and not the board. Responses by a regular to a new poster are not less civil than those to another regular. If a new poster feels attacked it is more likely a sign that they have been accepted rather than excluded.

Incivility is far more likely to be initiated by a newcomer than a regular. Deliberate, personal attacks by strangers are rarely well received. Then there are the hypersensitive people (and, no, I'm not referring to shadowkat, Sophist and LittleBit), who choose to be offended by anything you say -- no matter how carefully you couch your language (not that I am particularly careful about what I say, but other people are). Any post can twisted into something hateful -- for example, you say that you found us "socially" intimidating but not "intellectually" so. Is this some sort of attack on our intellect? Are you so far above the poor simpletons who inhabit this sector of cyberspace that we are left blinking stupidly in the blinding light of your massive intellect? Clearly my interpretation of your statements is unreasonable and you would be well within your rights to say so rather forcefully or ignore me entirely. If you backpedal and apologize for the unintended slur in your remarks, you legitimize my interpretation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Mind clarifying? ;-) -- The Second Evil, 11:50:38 05/03/02 Fri

Clearly my interpretation of your statements is unreasonable and you would be well within your rights to say so rather forcefully or ignore me entirely. If you backpedal and apologize for the unintended slur in your remarks, you legitimize my interpretation.

If someone misunderstands and you do not make a genuine attempt to clarify, then - and only then - you really are legitimizing their reaction because you're not taking the chance to try & set the record straight. All we've got here are words. If we're not using them right - whether or not we realize it - then we've only ourselves to blame when communication breaks down.

PS. Your "unreasonable" interpretation of the post was exactly the gut reaction I had. I'm almost certain that's not how it was meant, and I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt, but if I were new, my reaction might've been different. Possibly even intimidated. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Mind clarifying? ;-) -- Malandanza, 23:38:20 05/03/02 Fri

If someone misunderstands and you do not make a genuine attempt to clarify, then - and only then - you really are legitimizing their reaction because you're not taking the chance to try & set the record straight. All we've got here are words. If we're not using them right - whether or not we realize it - then we've only ourselves to blame when communication breaks down.

If it is a genuine misunderstanding, I agree. And in these cases, a simple clarification suffices and the matter is dropped. But just as it is not particularly difficult to tell the difference between a troll and a poster who merely enjoys a good debate it is not that difficult to distinguish between someone who misunderstood and is legitimately offended and a person who makes a career out of pretending to be offended. The problem with trolls is that they seek to offend, the problem with these anti-trolls is that they seek to be offended. Just as ignoring a troll-attack does nothing to injure your reputation (few will give credence to obvious troll-speak), ignoring a baseless complaint about your offensiveness will be seen through by most other posters. Because a few might believe the attacks, I favor the less mature, but more emotionally satisfying, approach of mocking them.

The problem with backing down and apologizing when you've said nothing wrong is that you end up like Xander at the start of Entropy -- where every attempt to explain yourself just gets you into more trouble. I've been on the board long enough to remember a "Canned Dough Blitzes" remark you made as a Buffyism joke -- or was it "The Lemurs?" -- that got you lectured by Voxpopuli for religious intolerance. You didn't back down or apologize -- had you done so, you very well might have been labeled as a religious bigot -- or, at the very least, insensitive. Instead, you handled the situation perfectly and the "issue" died a natural death.

PS. Your "unreasonable" interpretation of the post was exactly the gut reaction I had. I'm almost certain that's not how it was meant, and I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt, but if I were new, my reaction might've been different. Possibly even intimidated. ;-)

Actually, after I wrote it, I thought "Hey! that could be insulting!" But I filled it with enough hyperbole that it's still unreasonable even if a reasonable person suspects that a kernel of truth might be buried beneath it. Even then, I think reasonable assumption to made is that d'H was either saying he saw us as intellectual peers (which is only insulting if you think d'H is your intellectual inferior :) or that he didn't feel as though there were intellectual bullies on the board.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Um . . . I'll go with the first interpretation! -- d'Herblay, 01:24:25 05/04/02 Sat

Had I seen the vast majority of the posters here as my "intellectual inferiors" (were I in fact given to grading intelligence on a linear scale), I wouldn't have started posting here. The discussions here were worth getting into. However, I never felt unsure of my ability to contribute to that discussion. If that is arrogance on my part or insulting to others, well, so it is.

I have to take issue with Sol's interpretation that a newbie could be offended by my statement, though. It obviously reflects only on the level of discourse on the board when I started posting in June. The level of discourse now is, if anything, even higher. And now that manwitch has reappeared, it can get only better!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Um . . . I'll go with the first interpretation! -- The Second Evil, 08:15:50 05/04/02 Sat

Canned Dough Blitzes? Uh, that was me? Short-term memory, I'm tellin' ya, once you're over 30, it all goes downhill from there... ;-)

I have to take issue with Sol's interpretation that a newbie could be offended by my statement, though. It obviously reflects only on the level of discourse on the board when I started posting in June.

Well, yeah. ;-) I'm aware of that, and I also know your writing enough to know what you meant, and I'm also willing to give the benefit of the doubt. But I'm also on the weekend before finals, stressed-out, sleep deprived, and have a head full of a three-page presentation that's completely in Mandarin, with finance bouncing around in the back of my head. So I'm a bit touchier than usual, and it seems to me that might put me in the category of a more sensitive and unfamiliar newbie. I wasn't saying it to make you back down & declare that you were wrong, so much as to make a point that an at-first-blush reading can sometimes give an impression entirely separate from what you meant. You clarified, I got it, and we're good.

As for the issue of communication, I think Mala's right about trolls. I didn't get though, from his post, that he was speaking specifically of trolls - I thought he meant just in general, which is why I said something.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- Slain, 12:19:49 05/03/02 Fri

I have to say that while I understand your point of view, I don't like what you seem to be implying, Malandanza. It's all very well saying that people are 'hypersensitive', but that's not unlike saying the problem isn't the trolls, it's the people they abuse. I think it's clear where the line is between being argumentative and offensive lies.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- Zooey, 04:42:10 05/04/02 Sat

I agree entirely. People aren't always hypersensitive, and it's not a given that anti-trolls seek to be offended. It is redirecting the problem at those who get hurt rather than those seeking to hurt. Also the nature of the kind of discussions that have erupted ie on race, Pc etc are things about which I would hope people would reply and be offended by. That would be an ethical thing to do rather than always ignoring the comments. either that kind of things always reeks of 'you are unworthy of answering too' or it leaves contentious issues as unchallenged or undiscussed. As discussion aids our growth. Sometimes it seems easier when I've had (and i'm sorry to pick such an emotive issue but thats what springs to mind) racist abuse said to me as i walk past to ignore it. Sometimes though I feel signally disempowered by doing that and I turn round and challenge them to justify or argue through their comments with me. Ignoring them, though sometimes the easier option, is legitimising comments and redirecting the hurt onto the person on the receiving end.

to make it clear I don't want this to be taken as contentious, this is just a discussion rather than an accusation of maladanza'a post

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Polls and trolls -- mundusmundi, 06:52:56 05/04/02 Sat

In principle, I agree with and understand completely what you're saying. The problem with trolls, however, is that they deliberately employ inflammatory rhetoric in order to bait people to provoke a reaction. Their minds cannot be changed. They will not listen to reason. They achieve their objective by luring others into responding to them, and sooner or later, as we have recently seen, regular posters previously friendly to each other get caught in the crossfire. All of which, in my opinion, is destructive to discussion, rather than conducive.

This is not to say blatant abuse should go unchallenged. We were wrong to not defend a relatively new poster in this thread after he got insulted by one of our more unfortunate regulars, for example. Some of us have become so used to this particular regular's incivility that we've grown immune to it, or we've just come to not read his posts in the first place.

A newspaper columnist may write something incendiary that prompts us to respond with a letter to the editor; but I doubt there's many people who would feel compelled to write letters after every single column. Ultimately the shtick grows tiresome and the columnist finds new employment as a shock-DJ. I guess what I'm asking is the question of the moment: how do we deal with trolls effectively without playing directly into their hands?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Polls and trolls -- Slain, 13:17:05 05/04/02 Sat

I'm biased by my own experience in this issue, to be honest. I've not found a problem with the discussion, however argumentative. The problems begin when people clearly, and with full knowledge, step over the line after they've lost an argument; not with people being too argumentative, but with simply abandonning the idea of discussion altogether, in favour of bullying and insults. That's what I'd call a troll. No amount of argument, however forthright, constitues trollish behaviour. Trolls don't argue, because if they were articulate and intelligent enough to do so they wouldn't be trolls.

I don't think that happens often, however, but when it does it's going to create the wrong impression of the board.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Polls and trolls -- mundusmundi, 14:40:27 05/04/02 Sat

I've not found a problem with the discussion, however argumentative. The problems begin when people clearly, and with full knowledge, step over the line after they've lost an argument; not with people being too argumentative, but with simply abandonning the idea of discussion altogether, in favour of bullying and insults. That's what I'd call a troll. No amount of argument, however forthright, constitues trollish behaviour. Trolls don't argue, because if they were articulate and intelligent enough to do so they wouldn't be trolls.

I agree for the most part with your definition. I am concerned, however (and I'm not sure you're saying this, I'm just running with the idea), with the notion that we're out to win or lose our discussions on the board. OK, at the moment I'm hoping to persuade you with my reasoning, and perhaps you're hoping to persuade me with yours, but we're conducting it in a civil manner. A main reason is because the topic -- trollery -- is a vexing one with a multitude of opinions. (Strange how trolls never weigh in when we talk about them; wouldn't My Life as a Troll be an revealinging tome?) On the other hand, the topics spawned by trolls are always hot-button issues that rarely bear fruitful discussions. This is in part because there is no effort at real discussion, as you stated, but another reason is because the topics themselves are either so divisive or so decontextualized that they invariably breed dissent and misunderstanding.

Occasionally we've seen thoughtful posters hijack a troll thread and turn the subject into something interesting. But more often than not lately we seem to be responding to troll behavior by unconsciously growing more entrenched in our positions. By the time we've finished congratulating ourselves about how open-minded we are, the trolls are back to work on another thread, generating more responses, getting more people hurt, causing more problems.

I hope I'm not coming across as astringent here myself -- your points and personal experience are well taken. If a poster is directly insulted by another then we should take action, because what we're defending is an individual and not just an idea. In the big scheme of things, however, I think that we need to revert back more to the board's raison d'etre (Buffy and philosophy), or at least tweak our ideas so that they're more in context with the show. As Buffy and Xander recently learned (hey, I did it!;), I think we have to be accountable for our own actions -- our own responses. Trolls do have one glaring weakness: they rely on us to achieve their objective. Perhaps there'd be less need for action, and there would be fewer trolls, if we'd simply stop responding to them in the first place.

Just a few thoughts,


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Polls and trolls -- Slain, 15:28:25 05/04/02 Sat

I didn't really mean that I consider an argument that way - it's that the trolls do. In my opinion, you can't win an argument, all you can do is bring someone towards your point of view in a discussion.

Ignoring people works in certain cirumstances - when they're bashing characters, for example, and have no motive other than to provoke the board in general. We've seen that a lot, and continue to see it; but that's usually when people are starting new threads with an obvious agenda.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> My view is that we should simply ignore the trolls. -- Sophist, 20:07:30 05/04/02 Sat

Of course, my parents always gave me that advice for dealing with my annoying younger brother, and I never thought much of it then.

I also think it's very effective for someone to select out a point and turn the thread into a serious discussion. This has been done many times, and often led to valuable posts.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- Deeva, 11:00:25 05/03/02 Fri

I like this board and it's also the first board that I've ever been too. I lurked for about a month before I finally jumped in with some inconsequential thought or another. I'll admit that I am occasionally intimidated to post what I think because ultimately all the smarties might think I'm not too bright. Which is ridiculous, I know. I want to come up with the "deep" thoughts that many here do have, but I just seem to ramble before I get to the final thought. And then, I think that no one knows what to make of my blathering so, well, you know, I just stopped. Now I just stick to fairly short and quick responses. And the occasional funny/sly joke, which only I seem to get, sometimes. But then, I was always one of the kids who could entertain themselves endlessly with nothing.

I don't have more than a passing knowledge of Philosophy, in all it's scary grand categories. It's just me speaking from my experiences, which I guess I can call the philosophy of me.*

*The Philosophy of Me, A Work in Progress Series 1, HellaCrazy Publications, San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur, 2002

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- redcat, 13:51:20 05/03/02 Fri

Thanks, d'Herblay, for opening a conversation about how the board "works." I'm an extreme
newbie here and have only posted a few short responses to others’ works. This board is the
only one I've ever read or posted to. I came to it a few months ago by way of a link at Slayage,
The Online Journal of Buffy Studies. *1

Like others above, however, I am awed by the time and energy some of the regular posters
here put into their analyses, just as I am often intrigued by the work itself. I've been a serious
(i.e. critically-engaged) viewer of Buffy since mid-season 3 and was therefore delighted to
discover that there were lots of other people who watched the show and made the kinds of
connections between it and philosophy, classical literature, postmodernist debates, cultural
theory, etc., that I had been stumbling towards in my lonely, but sincere, way for years. In fact,
the greatest shock in finding both this board and the Slayage site was simply the discovery
that there were lots of obviously intelligent and culturally sophisticated folks out there who
found the show to be as well-crafted, complex, thought- provoking and interesting as I did. *2
And while the essays posted at Slayage are more in line with what I’m used to reading in
academic cultural theory and literary analysis, many of the substantive posts to this board have
shown an equally astute level of analysis as those written by the “professionals.” More
important, almost everything I’ve read here has been interesting and much of it quite insightful.

Perhaps it is the thick skin that one develops during years in graduate school and working in
academic institutions, but I don’t find the debates on this board to be terribly incendiary.
(Ever been to a faculty meeting where proposed department consolidations are on the table?
Now that’s incendiary.) When I have found a thread to be too off-topic for my tastes or
veering toward too many personal issues/comments, I simply move onto another thread,
generally discovering a really interesting conversation going on simultaneously elsewhere on
the board. I am glad this board exists and that its regular posters continue. But just as it
doesn’t bother me that I might disagree with an interpretation I find interesting, it doesn’t bother
me that someone might someday disagree with something I might post (whether or not they
find it interesting). It would, on the other hand, bother me greatly if that disagreement turned
into a personal attack. I’ve always believed that honest debate is a necessary ingredient in
intellectual inquiry and, if all parties are well- intentioned and civil, it can lead to the sharpening
and refining of analysis on all sides. That’s a big but crucially necessary “if” and, most of the
time, the posters to this board understand and respect that. It’s why the board works so well.

Every community I’ve ever entered has had webs of relationships, lines of connectivity
between individuals and groups of people. In most communities, power flows along such lines.
In this one, certainly, a form of power flows, but it seems to me that the coins of this realm are
ideas, succinctly expressed in text, and commitment to the community, expressed by showing
up on a regular basis and contributing something interesting to the conversation. It’s pretty
clear that the circles of power and the webs of connection are not closed; rather, I feel both
new and regular posters are encouraged to contribute and to do so in ways that engage,
inspire and pique the interest of the community’s members.

So, d'Herblay, a long answer to your short question. Do I feel intimidated by this board? No.
Do I feel excited by this board? Yes. Do I hope it continues to grow and mature? Absolutely.
Hopefully, conversations like this one will help. As Alexander Pope once wrote, “My friend is
not perfect. Nor am I. And so we suit each other admirably.”

A final note: it took me awhile to figure out how boards like this function, but it’s clear that
Masquerade puts an enormous amount of energy into keeping the board up and running. My
sincere (hell, nearly gushing) thanks to you, Masq, for all your hard work.

*1 In the interests of reasonable disclosure (and in an attempt to satisfy d'Herblay’s taste for
footnotes), I hereby forthrightly admit that I’m an academic and hope that fact doesn’t
intimidate anyone who might be reading. I found the Slayage site while doing research on the
portrayal of witch images in popular culture. I teach at a local university, mostly interdisciplinary
cultural studies, some political theory, occasionally some feminist methodology and, if I’m
REALLY lucky, something in my actual field of research, which is Oceanic historical-cultural
studies. However, I’m also untenured, underpaid and overworked. I have friends who sell ugly
clothes in brightly-lit boutiques who make more money than I do.

*2 Reading a post by shadowkat on the ways in which Spike and Anya function as shadow
selves was the “aha!” moment, wherein I finally acknowledged that I was not, after all, totally
beyond the social and cultural pale of my civilization just because I don’t PERSONALLY know
anyone else who has ever actually sat through an entire episode of Buffy. (Damn you,
shadowkat, for dragging me back into the fold!! I was happy out there in my cold and lonely
cave, growing fat on my self-assured and terribly snobbish sense of intellectual superiority over
the whole rest of humanity...)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Welcome, redcat -- Masq, 15:16:21 05/03/02 Fri

Thanks for your kind thanks. Glad to have another academic on board. We have a few.

I'm an ex-academic myself (university-level philosophy, unsurprisingly). You know what they say, those who can do, those who can't start websites to bring together those who can do.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Strange, I had the exact opposite reaction.... -- mundusmundi, 14:15:36 05/03/02 Fri

I found this board very intellectually intimidating when I first arrived, and a few posters still leave me feeling suchly, albeit in a good way. (That includes you, incidentally, d'Herb, and I mean that without a modicum of sarcasm.) Fortunately for me, intellectual intimidation is often synonymous with intellectual stimulation. I remember Malandanza, his self-described "black hat" notwithstanding, responding to one of my first posts with thoughtfulness, polite criticism and encouragement. It was the social openness of the board -- its welcoming vibe -- that prompted me to stick around.

Having said that, I do think things have changed somewhat, to where I can see how new posters or lurkers could feel socially intimidated under our present conditions. The chatroom has definitely altered the dynamics, IMO. I'm not going to knock too hard a medium that has dramatically improved some of our social lives. But it does seem that the chat can create a socially stratified atmosphere, to where those of us who have come to know each other better are more likely to respond to each other's posts (or avoid them, as the case may be) than to posters whose names are more unfamiliar.

I'm still incredibly fond of this board, and I don't mind the schism between the esoteric posts and the frivolous. If I miss anything, though, it's the threads that contained both.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm stubborn -- Etrangere, 15:27:09 05/03/02 Fri

When I discovered this board the first time, i found it way too interresting to content myself with lurkdom and started posting about a month or two after coming.
I didn't feel intellectualy challenging, because, well i don't doubt most people here are a lot more knowledgable about me about most philosophical subjects. i certainly learnt a lot of a very wide range of subjects here, from litterature to physical science. But that's not the point. I strongly believe that, as every one person is different, they have a unique point of view on everything, and thus bring something unique to any discussion.
I don't think you *need* to be very knowledgable in philosophy or whatever to discuss about it. All you need is a mind in state of working and the will to explain your point of view.
Of course, one can judge you on the way you express your mind.
After my first few posts, I felt it was the case, I was sad to see very little answers, as they went straight into the archive. I though, ok, you're new in the place, you need to deserve those answers with interresting posts, that's normal, and went on. After I took upon the time to write in english a three parted analysis about Buffy and Spike's evolution that I spent several days writing and recieved nearly none aknowledgement I was still a little bit bitter.
So I complained, I wrote a PS to one of my post about Dead Things, asking wether people found I wasn't writing anything up to the level of the board.
I had plenty of answers there (none to my post itself, i was amused to notice), one of them advicing I explain my many typos and syntax errors to people by the fact I was french, so I switched my name to Etrangere and went on posting.
Nearly after that I posted another multiple part essay that had a lot of feedback and from then I felt more accepted in the board and enjoyed writing here a lot more.
Now, I'm not a shy person, and i'm stubborn, that's why I stayed. I think many other kind of person would not have keep on trying.
Is someone at fault about this ? I don't think so. This is an internet community, lots of person post, and it's hard to notice everyone and everyone's post or to even answer to every interresting stuff you read. Moreover the way Voy work, chasing unpopular thread away very fast doesn't really help.
Can we really oppose intellectualy intimidating to socially intimidating ? isn't the reason why people find the place socially intimidating is because the supposedly intellectual level is linked with the use of a particular kind of style and vocabulary or quoting some particular kind of authors ? That's not something to be criticised : I think everyone's got his own style about this, and that's exactly what is interresting about this board, the sheer eclectism of people, all very smart and wise in different ways bringing their own knowledge baggage to the discussion. That's why I love discuting on internet, that's why I love this board.
But some people will get intimidated by this. It's not our fault. We can only show them how much we welcome any kind of interresting posting when they do leave lurk-dom.

By the way, d'H, I hate footnotes :o) (except in the Dante's fic cuz they were so funny )

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- LadyStarlight, 16:09:44 05/03/02 Fri

I found this board completely by accident and immediately let out happy squeaks of joy. (People! Grownup people who talk in sentences!) (1)

I've felt a tiny little bit intellectually intimidated at times, simply because of my particular post-secondary education. (2)

However, I've never felt socially intimidated. I have a sneaky feeling that it might be because I found the board in the summer, where there's perhaps a little more leeway for OT stuff. A lot of the really pertinent stuff is discussed immediately after an episode airs, I've noticed.

(1) I'm a stay at home mom who is geographically isolated. Thus the happy squeaking.

(2) I went to a technical institute, not a college or university. You have no idea how much that screws me up when taking a survey....

(hah! 2 footnotes for you, dH.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- Ixchel, 20:42:55 05/03/02 Fri

I admit to having been somewhat intellectually and socially intimidated at first. I believe I was a little awed by the intelligence and thought that went into the posts here and, maybe, I had a sense that everything worth saying was being said. I think the social aspect was more an effect of my personality than any particular quality of the board. When I finally posted a few times, I received encouraging (and kind) responses from Solitude, Rahael (very much missed), Rufus, Etrangere and Sophist (I'm sure I'm forgetting someone) that made me realize what a very welcoming environment ATPoBtVS is. I really enjoy the polite and civilized general tone of the board and its calmer pace (I lurked at a few other boards).


No footnotes were harmed in the making of this post.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- cynesthesia, breathless and late for class again ;-), 03:31:12 05/04/02 Sat

Thanks to people for understanding my comment wasn't an objection based on content or a criticism of the board, but a simple "how might I feel if" reaction based on feelings I remember as a newbie. And Claire did very well on her own. :- )

As to intimidation, the intellectual aspect first: I make what for want of a better word I'll call art (visual objects and not nearly enough of them lately). The process ends up being extremely intuitive, non-verbal and non-linear. Silly as it might sound, thoughts less coherent than "fire bad, tree pretty" can get me through a few hours work. I get used to that mode of thinking. If I could put certain things into words, I wouldn't need to make the object in the first place.(1) OTOH, posting is logical, verbal and very linear. Add to that the fact I've been away from an academic setting for some time and am still somewhat new to the internet and there's a certain comfort level I'm still finding.

As for the social aspect, I think often it comes down to a difference in style and trying to accommodate that. I'll admit to having a thin skin about some things. I'm also shy and conflict adverse, but I know that about myself and consider the other person's intent before I decide I've been rebuffed. Sometimes it's good old personality conflict -- someone you disagree with turns to be a sweetie(2) and another you agree with in principle makes you clench your jaw.

I think a certain amount of OT silliness can even be helpful. At another board, I constantly disagreed with someone until we discovered in an OT thread that we watched the same silly TV shows as kids and were both relieved to find that small bit of common ground. Also ITA with other comments made about the non-verbals that are lost on the internet.

Over time, the intimidation has lessened. My greatest fear now is that I'll Forget To Label A Spoiler.

I make rounds of other boards because the whole fandom thing interests me. Based on those experiences, there are things here I value apart from the terrific content. Threads don't vanish off the board with lightning speed. Threads are not deleted lightly. I don't see the kind of cliques that can lead to some posters being routinely blown off no matter what they write. Most times, this board is adult and self- policing so I blessedly don't have to read frequent tongue- lashings from TPTB about rules, forbidden topics and invitations to go somewhere else. So, this board is a pretty good place IMHO. I also value feeling it's permissable to think aloud and that not every idea must be polished to perfection before putting it out there.

Overall I've found BtVS boards to be far more civil places than most other internet communities. I looked for a while before finding one that felt this comfortable.(3) But recently the angstiness of S6 and the frustrations of some viewers has begun to take a toll on the mental health of some boards. People are drifting away. It's a pity there's so much sadness out there right now over a pursuit that's meant to be fun.

Woohoo, I created a need for 3 tangents:
(1) One of the best characterizations I ever heard of art was as "inarticulate certainty," while science was characterized as "articulate uncertainty."
(2) Sweetie: someone you'd have *several* beers with :D
(3) Apparently, it's a proven fact all musical artists go into a steep and irreversible creative decline with the release of their first album. Never argue this fact.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Definitions of art and science -- matching mole, 05:04:06 05/04/02 Sat

Articulate uncertainty is the best two word definition of science I've ever heard. And the counterpart for art is excellent as well.

Can you tell me where they came from?

And great post overall as well.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Definitions of art and science -- cynesthesia, 12:56:25 05/04/02 Sat

If only I could remember where I read the definitions - I've been trying for over a year now. (Note to self: write things down.)

The idea of art and science being the reverse image of each other really appealed to me. There's an enormous amount of creativity in science or so it seems to me. It's nature is just very different than the arts.

There's a book I keep meaning to read by Leonard Schlain called "Art and Physics" where he compares/contrasts cubism and relativity theory. I heard him lecture years ago when he was promoting the book and it was fascinating.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> An equally sincere response and still unclear on trolls -- shadowkat, 18:38:10 05/04/02 Sat

I wasn't aware of this board until Yoda requested permission to post my essay Dawn - Buffy's Inner Child
on it. I was incredibly flattered and went over to check it out. And have to admit, I was a little intimidated at first, by the scholarly arguements and tone. But I've come to actually prefer this board to the other boards on the internet, because of the level of discussion. I've learned quite a few things here and the board has expanded my appreciation of the show.

Regarding trolls - still unclear what a troll is - my guess is it is someone who rants and doesn't support their arguments. In a recent post of mine - I misunderstood a long term posters response and thought he/she was indicating that I was a troll. When the poster tried to apologize, I still misunderstood wasn't until another poster intervened and explained no insult was intended that I realized I was probably over-reacting and felt ashamed and almost left the board. I've since changed my mind (obviously ;-) )This was a minor incident and I admit had more to do with things going on in my private life (work life) than the board. (My boss is
a horrible troll who has delighted in derailing my confidence over the past year, attacking me on a personal level and not a professional one...this week he launced another attack which I had to deflect with a well placed grenade - he was one of the inspirations behind my vengeance and respect essays. Hence my sensitivity this week.) Usually I try not to respond to posts that intimidate
or that are heated...until I know for sure what I'm thinking, particularly since I am fairly new to the whole posting board/chat situation. Never did it before February.
So I apologize for any infractions that may have occured this past week. Enough on trolls. ;-)

My background for those who are interested:
Undergraduate degree in English Literature, Minor in Epic,
Myth and Folklore. I visited Wales in the 80s to collect Welsh folkstories, legends and I compared these to the
Mabinogi. I also did a thesis comparing Joyce's Ulysess
to Sound and the Fury (which was a tad above my own
head and my advisors b/c I used Jung and
analyze it.)

I do have a law degree but do not practice law, unless you count handling issues of copyright, trademark and negotiating publishing agreements. Before moving to NYC,
I defended clients at Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas
and worked for the Domestic Violence Coalition and
Legal Aid Housing Authority, also spent time with Public
Defender Office and State Legislature.

I'm in the process of revising my first novel - it's an
occult thriller that has elements of my celtic folklore
background and antiquities. Similar to The Secret History (blanking on the author right now), Waking the Moon by
Elisabeth Hand, and Ann Rice. It's dark. And anti- Machiavelli.

Books: every genre. Have read everything from Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Tolkien, Le Guin, Mythology, Fairy Tales,
Philip K. Dick, Philip Pullman, Shakespeare (most of his plays, although I think Malandaz found one I've never heard of), Greek playwrites and philosophers...oh and huge
comic book fan (Dark Knight, Spiderman, X-men, Sandman(not
all, but most), Swamp Thing (several issues) Watchman,
some superman, several art ones..)

Movies; every genre. Luis Bunel's films, Francis Ford
Coppola, Lucas, Spielberg, John Ford, Nosfretu, Shadow
of the Vampire, Apocalypse Now Redux, Lord of the Rings..Anime endless.

Haven't seen anything recently or read much recently, too busy reading essays, writing essays and working on my book.

best shadowkat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: An equally sincere response and still unclear on trolls -- mundusmundi, 20:09:12 05/04/02 Sat

d'Herblay's Law states: "If you wonder whether you are a troll, you are not a troll." Trolls have a high degree of self-awareness. You, shadowkat, are most certainly not a troll.

An informative link on trolls is here. Best of luck with your novel, btw. And please don't leave the board.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> not saying you aren't self-aware, btw. LOL. -- mm, 20:15:15 05/04/02 Sat

I'm too tired to think clearly, much less type, but hopefully you know what I meant. :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The link in the above post is both familiar and informative -- Darby, 20:54:17 05/04/02 Sat

Although I found it to be a bit too free with the absolutes.

But if you are a bit of a novice to this whole troll issue (and I'm trying to decide whether I want to preserve my niavete in the face of possible trolls), this is a great quick read.

Thanks,mm! (Those are my initials, too, BTW)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Thanks.... -- mm, 07:07:37 05/05/02 Sun

It overgeneralizes, I admit, but as an introduction to the subject it seems helpful. Wish I'd read it when I started perusing the net.

Should we confuse everyone further on the "mm" issue? LOL. The mole can correct me if I'm wrong, but while others have called him "mm," I don't believe he's actually ever posted as "mm." I usually post as "mundusmundi" but occasionally use "mm" so not to appear redundant, or in case my post sucks or is inflammatory and I can blame the other mm for writing it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> (Not that anyone's ever fooled, btw.) -- mm, 08:24:27 05/05/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You are correct -- matching mole, 08:53:36 05/05/02 Sun

I have always posted using my complete board name or on rare ocassions a more elaborate versions thereof. If I was to abbreviate I would use mole to avoid confusion (unless I wanted to generate confusion).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you...the link really helped -- shadowkat, 07:00:51 05/05/02 Sun

I'm clear on the whole troll concept now...and thanks for that. I have met a few of them. I agree with Sophist, the best way of dealing with a troll is by not responding to it. It's certainly how I dealt with my little brother in the past...LOL!

Don't worry not planning on going anywhere. I really miss the two people who left...though.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thinking of everyone who's left without submitting notice.... -- mm, 07:55:00 05/05/02 Sun

Ryuei, bible belt, AK-UK. Where's rowan these days? Come back all!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Could be wrong, but I think rowan goes on sabbatical to avoid possible spoilery... -- OnM, 09:50:27 05/05/02 Sun

...'cos of course she showed up last summer to led the ATPo Summers' Arts Festival. :-)

Hopefully, she will appear again this June.

Ryuei, I suspect, is too busy with the demands of his ministry.

Bible belt, AK-UK, I dunno, but yes, all of these folks are missed. But, I'm thankful we have all these great new posters to help keep us duly philosophized!

The wheel turns...


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Actually, Rowan has had some health problems... -- Marie, 01:42:09 05/07/02 Tue

...but I'm occasionally in touch and will forward everyone's best wishes if you like...


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks, Marie. Please forward mine. -- mundusmundi, 06:45:49 05/07/02 Tue

We need a special care unit on this board for our favorite posters.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh yes, tell her my grabby hands will never be the same without her....:):):) -- Rufus, 14:27:05 05/07/02 Tue

We had that perfect partnership, she got Spike, I got the chocolate...:)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> oooh, mundus, this should be in our FAQ or somewhere more prominent -- Masq, 10:35:57 05/06/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> um...shadowkat, when do you find time to sleep? :-) Please keep the essays coming -- cynesthesia, 20:23:50 05/04/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: um...shadowkat, when do you find time to sleep? :-) Please keep the essays coming -- shadowkat, 07:05:43 05/05/02 Sun

I recieved your email by the way and tried to respond but
it bounced. Anyway...thank you for that. The information you provided on A Clockwork Orange was wonderful!

I've enjoyed your posts as well - particularly the Persephone myth.

Not doing a ton of sleeping of late...;-)(Actually I've been writing these babies at work a lot as well as at home.
Outside of Buffy and Angel, tv has been boring me of late..can't think why?)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> pesky e-mail -- cynesthesia , 17:11:23 05/05/02 Sun

Grrr. E-mails I want to receive are getting bounced and the spam is coming through in an endless stream. This isn't encouraging. Glad you got mine though. This more direct addy should work OK. :-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: An equally sincere response and still unclear on trolls -- LittleBIt, 20:11:56 05/05/02 Sun

Thank you for the bio, shadowkat!

Also a question: when you asked (in the vengeance post)
about keeping eyes open for alternate work possibilities, did you have a geographic area in mind? I'm in Ohio and I know you're in NY, so I thought I'd ask.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: An equally sincere response and still unclear on trolls -- shadowkat, 09:19:23 05/06/02 Mon

Regarding job possibilities?

At the moment I'm willing to look on the boss is truly a troll of the first order.

Only place won't go is Kansas City...too many years spent
there already. Willing to consider Ohio. Although have
become a bit of a city girl and exploring heavily the
east coast - culture junkie. People have told me to try west coast - but LA intimidates me. LOL!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Will keep eyes open then (and crossed) :):):):) -- LittleBIt, 09:34:30 05/06/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A poll of an entirely different nature -- yuri, 20:59:05 05/04/02 Sat

I agree with Etrangere and some others who have made the point that yes, intimidation happens(1), but that's not necessarily bad, and we shouldn't always feel like it needs to be eradicated. (Though, of course, sensitivity and kindness should still be praised and well used.)
In terms of social vs. intellectual, I felt both very strongly (and, honestly, still do). I assume that people who feel one more than the other are people who generally feel more confident either socially or intellectually.

(1) A bestseller in my imaginary bumper sticker company.

[> [> [> [> actually... -- That'sWebGoddess, 13:13:32 05/03/02 Fri

The Second Evil is partially correct. The new site is authorized, but is not a good forum for this kind of poll for two reasons.

1.) No message board. (Hard to get around that one....)
2.) The site is solely dedicated to James' musical endeavors and steers completely away from BtVS and Spike, so a Spike poll would not be appropriate.

Anyone interested in the URL's ... pop me an email. We have his latest show with the new band posted.


p.s. Eliza Dushka has an appearance at my local mall today promoting her new film, so I'm turning into FanMom and taking my 11 year old daughter to meet her. Pics may be coming....

[> [> [> [> [> err, Miz WebGod... (&Claire) -- The Second Evil, 18:06:22 05/03/02 Fri

I didn't mean that it'd be a site for polls, just that if someone is a fan & wants more JM, yours would be the best place to go with most recent stuff. (Well, maybe not done, but getting there.) ;-)

And in case you haven't figured it out, Claire, you can email someone if their nick on the board is in blue. Just click on the name & it'll open an email window for you. ;-) And if you want to do funky coding, read the FAQ, there's lots of information there.

[> [> To newbies but especially oldbies. -- Darby, 05:56:23 05/03/02 Fri

Anyone who has been here for more than a week knows that a thread, any thread, can weave into and out of "topic" as people respond. I've always felt that "OT" just means that there's no direct connection in the initial post to the two shows.

And I challenge anyone to demonstrate that people here can not add a little / way too much philosophy (or wisdom, I like that) to any thread - we're doing it right here, right now, in a discussion of what's appropriate. I've got to confess that even trolly (or, if particularly one-tracked, trolley) threads generally keep my interest, but I've never minded the rollickin' kinds of discussions as long as people respect each other during them. And a controversial assertion, even if the poster isn't serious, isn't necessarily invalid. And questions looking for what miniscule expertise (self-deprecating joke there, not a slam) we might collectively have should always be welcome as well.

And I gotta say, I found this to be an inappropriate response to a first-time poster from a courtesy standpoint. Claire, I've been enjoying the poll discussions - and they have all become full-fledged, philosophical discussions.

[> [> [> As a guilty party -- Sophist, 08:55:12 05/03/02 Fri

in a number of pretty OT threads (religion, the First Amendment, the Civil War), I have to say that I think the occasional discursions add a lot to the Board. I learn a lot from them, anyway.

I'm not much for online polls, but the topic is BtVS, and someone here will find a way to make a silk purse out of the thread.

[> [> [> Re: To newbies but especially oldbies. -- Claire, 10:12:57 05/03/02 Fri

I just wanted to say thanks for speaking up for me but I do understand why a few people brought up the fact I was getting OT. It is after all a board with a large group of regulars on it who know what they are interested in and the purpose of the board. If newbies do start taking the board off-topic and posting loads of polls etc I can understand why people would want to bring up the fact that it isn't relevent before it gets too out of hand. I got the feeling that is what the original criticisms were aimed at (the purpose of the board in general) rather than taking a slam at me and suggesting I wasn't welcome. I have to say that everyone was polite to me and did invite me to join in the board in a more appropriate way. I think that was what I found a bit intimidating lol.
It was just the perfectly friendly suggestion that I consider a several page analysis on fandom I found a bit worrying because I'm not sure I'm up to it. But now I seem to have generated a bit of discussion I thought I'd better have a go at expanding on my original post.
I do think Spike is the most popular character but I could be wrong. When I read science fiction magazines (and I spend far more money on them than I should) it is frequently mentioned that Spike is the best character on Bts. Not just the most popular but the best. When SFX interviews celebrities I remember the guy who wrote Queer As Folk (Russell something?) couldn't stop talking about how much he loves Spike. I believe this has happenned since season 5. Spike was a great big bad and very memerable. But season 5 is when I feel the character with mass appeal began to emerge. Spike was no longer just the snarky outsider making the witty remarks and laughing at the scoobies situations when things threatened to get too serious (a good example of that is season 2 when Spike and Dru first arrived and the old pretentious story arc was discarded by Spike with the memerable words "time for less ritual and more fun").
In season 5 Spike actually got a serious storyline as he endured the heartbreak of unrequited love. The story could have come across as cheezy with all the knicker sniffing etc but James Marsters did an incrediable job in conveying Spike's conflicted feelings to the audience. We had already seen the storyline of Buffy falling for a vampire. The bad boy who she was supposed to hate Angel. But Angel never really fit that story for me precicely because it was so black and white. Angel brooded over his past and felt genuine remorse yet he would still never be accepted by Xander and later Giles. My main issues with the storyline was that Angel had techniquely done nothing wrong. Buffy forgave him instantly in season 3 and was kissing him again. She viewed Angel's two personalites as completely different. He had a good side and a bad side. This has been fleshed out more in his own show and we have discovered there is more of Angelelous lurking under the surface than we might like to think. But in Bts I personally didn't buy the argument that Angel was a true monster that it was aborent for Buffy to love.
But I do feel that with Spike. Many viewers would never consider acepting the relationship because of Spike's past and the fact that he is still the same person, yet he feels no remorse. I am drawn to Spike's struggle to be a good person this season in particular. He will do anything for the people he loves and in Smashed he was shown to be struggling with his natural instincts to feed. He had to talk himself into it and keep reminding himself that he was evil. But was there really any need for that? He had Buffy and her friends to constantly remind him he would never be good enough. Spike is the outsider and the underdog in my eyes and I do pity him. Remember Smashed when Buffy told Spike he couldn't be a vampire or a human and he didn't fit in anywhere just as she was struggling to find her place in the human world when she was so much a part of darkness herself being the slayer.
In Smashed Buffy calls Spike an "evil disgusting thing". I personally have always found that worse than the scene talked about more in Dead Things. As any bullied child can tell you emotional abuse is far worse than any punches or kicks. Who can forget the pain of being told they're nothiing/worthless. That is what Buffy does to Spike who has done so much for her. Intervention is the only episode I remember her thanking Spike for doing good for her. Following that episode Spike did continue helping the scoobies and saving their lifes. He also babysat Dawn over the summer in honour of Buffy's memery and a promise he made to her. Yet Buffy treats him as evil and not good enough. She has never thanked him for keeping his promise and taking care of Dawn. Some positive reinforcement would mean a great deal to Spike I'm sure. Particularly as his past is always being discussed and critisised.
Spike is trying to understand humans but unlike Anya he has no humans who will accept him and help him fit in and learn about the human world. In Dead Things Buffy is disgusted at his attitude towards Katrina when he dismisses her murder so casually not understanding why one individual means so much to Buffy. Faith was a human with a soul and she had this same problem. But with Angel's help she eventually learnt the value of human life (whilst Buffy threatened to beat Faith to death when Faith tried apologising and making amends). Buffy does nothing to help Spike when he pleads with her to help him understand her moral dilema in Dead Things "explain it to me then". In As You Were she finds out Spike has been dealing in demon eggs which will cause mass destruction. Her response is not to beat him down and tell him he is worthless as it was previously. Rather she is tired of dragging herself down with Spike. It's no longer worth the effort and she tells him she was wrong to have expected more from him and she was wasting her time. She should have realised that he was "just Spike". That is why I love Spike and support him because he is a social outsider and we know that is his worst nightmare, not fitting in. He was proud to be part of a gang in Fool for Love when he discusses his past with Buffy. He is almost in tears in Afterlife when Xander dismissed him even after Spike points out that he has fought alongside the scoobies all summer. This apparently means nothing to them as he is dropped after Buffy's return. Following her lead once she starts sleeping with Spike and feeling the need to treat him like dirt so do her followers. I just want Spike to find some self-respect and happinness. I love him not just because of his attitude but because I pity him. I have to confess that I do look forward to the day when Spike gets the chip out and tells the scobbies to "kiss my arse" because I do feel it is long overdue.
Willow and Tara have similiar votes and are popular because the Kitten board are urging fans to go out and vote. People enjoy seeing the positive representation of a gay relationship and that is why the Kitten board started, to celebrate that. Tara was also belittled by many fans in the beginning and is also seenas something of an underdog. People missed Oz and found Tara undynamic in comparision with no interesting qualities. Of course she has really come into her own this seaosn as Amber has finally been given some good material to work with. Tara is more mature than the other scoobies. She has had a painful childhood but she has dealt with that and is in comparision to the other scoobies stronger. She also has a great sense of humour which was shown in Older And Far Away. She was teasing Spike in her gentle way "you had a muscle cramp in your pants...maybe you should put some ice on it". She was also caring and level-headed and supported Buffy fully with no evidence of self-righteousness.
This does seem to have got OT again so I'll just conclude by saying that yes online polls don't mean that much if we think about it logically but if people are huge fans of characters we want to show our support. The polls do seem to reflect how committed fans are. For instance the Giles and Anya fans haven't bothered voting much. Why? Perhaps because whilst they are fans they are not as obsessed with the characters as W/T fans or Spike fans are (or I suppose they could just have better things to do with their time lol). I can't think of many people who dislike Giles but his fans rarely see him as the best character on the show and are obsessive in their support to the extent that W/T or Spike fans might be (generalising a bit there I know as lots of people do have Giles as their favourite character overall). Spike fans often admire and emphasise with the character as Tara fans do (and W.T are usually seen as a package deal) and want to make a bigger effort.

[> [> [> [> bravo! knew you could do it! & explanation, too... & a question! -- The Second Evil, 12:03:36 05/03/02 Fri

As you may have noticed, this board does tend to find a way to keep dragging things back to an analytical viewpoint. It's unfortunate that "philosophy," which really can cover so much as we use the term - anthropology, mythology, sociology, science, communications, multiculturalism, politicism, belief, faith, hope, and ME tricks - is such an intimidating (err, overused word right now) thing for new folks.

There were two reasons I decided to say something. The first is that I really do want to hear what the current board members (lurkers and posters alike) consider ontopic, offtopic, or onofftopic. [Aside: I'm visualizing a sign that says, "This ATPoBtVS Bar/Restaurant has an On/Off License." Sorry, American humor.]

The second is that a lot of folks, like yourself, want to post something for whatever reason and if it's way offtopic, it can sometimes get lost in the bandwidth and there's little to no response. So you're not even given a chance to rephrase yourself and join in, or challenged/welcomed to elaborate further. We used to always welcome new folks, but I'm afraid as the new names have piled up, it can get hard to keep track. That made me decide to somewhat hijack your thread to achieve both - ask people what they thought, and invite you to elaborate on what you'd noticed in terms of the two camps of fans. Me, I'm thinking you did a very nice job of explaining just that. Now your next assignment is to stay put and keep posting. ;-)

So it's all good, cause I've got a question for you... you gave an excellent review of Spike's development since he first entered, and then you mentioned that Tara has gone through an equally complex development since she was first introduced. Do you think the fans that specialize (so to speak) in those two characters are more adamant about their support because those two characters appear to have undergone the most significant changes in the past two or three seasons? Could that be part of why people respond so strongly, because those two characters in particular have moved at a faster pace?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: bravo! knew you could do it! & explanation, too... & a question! -- Claire, 12:53:52 05/03/02 Fri

Personally I feel it is just because humans do have a tendency to speak up for the underdog. Spike has been treated really poorly all season with his self-esteem left in shreds. That interests me far more than the bad boy cliche that is all many non Spike fans can see and mistakenly believe is what most people find appealing about the character. If that were the case more Spike fans would dislike the current Spike and be demending him to return to his season 2 ways.
And Tara is such a nice character and she was attacked by fans a lot when she first started on the show (not to mention the personal attacks on the actress which were of course inexcuseable). I was pretty much indifferent to the character until season 5 where I found myself liking her and I now count her as one of my favourite characters. Giles and Xander are core scoobies and pretty much accepted by fans. But Tara is still somewhat marganilised which maight encourage her fans to speak up louder in order to show that many people do like her character.
Also Buffy and Xander have been quite self-righteous and judgemental this season which many people find unattractive qualities in friends. People tend to explain away Spike's past as he was a vampire and following his nature etc. But it is easier in some ways to condemn basically good humans who are committing misdeeds that we can all relate too. E.g Xander leaving Anya at the alter or Buffy feeling she is too good for Spike has caused lots of comments about her acting like spoiled princess who is too good for the bad boy etc. Those actions are easy to condemn as we do it in everyday life. When I see Xander critisicising Buffy for the relationship choices she makes I am reminded of people I have known in my own life and think I hate people who interfere in others business, so and so did that and I couldn't stand them.
Spike is the type of person you generally have no personal contact with. He is the character you watch on tv or the literary character who draws us in to their journeys and encourage us to root for them. All JMHO of course.

[> [> [> [> [> [> On this board we expect the Why of the Why... -- LittleBIt, 08:25:29 05/05/02 Sun

...and you have responded with two fabulous posts! Welcome Claire! And keep posting. Pleeeease!

[> [> [> Diversions and discourse -- matching mole, 10:46:46 05/03/02 Fri

I'm not brave enough, despite what I said about not being intimidated, to actually start using a dictionary but I wanted to point out that word diversion means both something of interest and a movement away from something. Personally I value this board primarily as a place for interesting people to talk about interesting things and secondarily as a place to talk about BtVS and AtS. My favourite posters are those who are willing to go off on tangents both philosophical and decidedly non-philosophical.

Although I've had a basically life long love of science fiction and fantasy I've never really considered myself a fan in the social sense of the word. I have a psychological abberation that tends to make me dislike things that are too popular with other people. Perhaps it makes me feel like less of an individual if I express enthusiasm for the same thing as those around me. A weird sort of insecurity I know, I fight against it but there it is. So I tend to be very interested in the behviour of people who are definitely fans in the social, organized sense (e.g. Spike fans or Willow/Tara fans) simply because it is so different from my own inclinations. Therefore, I find what they have to say pretty interesting although perhaps not in the way they might imagine or want. And what I love about this board is the diversity of interests here, the fact that we talk about a really wide range of topics.

[> [> Not intimidated, but awed, perhaps... -- Marie, 06:45:14 05/03/02 Fri

I often think to myself that perhaps I shouldn't post anything at all, because I never post anything remotely 'philosophical', and often feel like a bit of an idiot, frankly, and am always delighted to get any sort of response. And I am guilty of posting very OT posts sometimes, so I'm sorry, Sol!

And while I didn't go to College, although I had a good education, I don't think I am an idiot, and I do have life sense, I think, so I tend more to post comments if someone's made me go "Huh?!".

But then I always figure, Masq has the power to delete me, so no harm done. Although if I always had to post 'philosophically', I'd probably stick to lurking.

And have you noticed how many people tack on apologies lately?


[> [> [> Delete Marie? Inconceivable! -- Masq, 09:26:46 05/03/02 Fri

Marie, IMO, you add a breath of fresh air to this board.

And a note for any newbies that read this post--I rarely post anything remotely philosophical or deep in any way. My brain gets its fill on my episode analyses.

But I do like to watch (other people do it)

PS Marie--you are the Marie who had an actual date a few months back. Any news updates on that, or your love life in general???

[> [> [> [> Re: Delete Marie? Inconceivable! OH! Thank you for this! -- Marie, 02:45:27 05/04/02 Sat

I very rarely check the board on a Saturday, but I was trying to figure out how to print pictures from my new toy (digital camera) and I thought I'd see what was new before I logged off. I'm so glad I did. Thank you for your kind words.

And the reason for my extra time today is playing football with my son in the back garden - so yes, Liam is sticking, it seems (I did tell you he was a "Liam", didn't I? I mean with a name like that, how could I resist?!). I'll let you know if you ever have to announce anything, but don't hold your breath just yet!


[> [> [> Deleting either Marie is out of the question! -- The Second Evil, 12:07:56 05/03/02 Fri

Besides, way I see it, we need Non Academia Non Philosophy Types (TM) to keep the rest of us from going too far into the clouds with fifty-cent words. Uh, no offense Masq. I'm a APT myself (Philosophy Academia Type - TM), so I always welcome someone who can jerk me back down to reality with a refreshing well-grounded perspective. ;-)

[> [> [> [> Offense? Nope, I'm the first one to welcome the lighter side -- Masq, 12:19:13 05/03/02 Fri

Mainly because my brain is often mush by the time I get to the board, and I don't have the gray cells for the more profound of our crowd....

[> I got just one thing to say to this... -- Goji3, 12:14:22 05/03/02 Fri

Well, actually a few things:

"..And because I think you suck, everyone else should think you suck."

"I love america, everyone's opinion maters, no mater how uninformed or ignorant they are"

any online poll will be flawed and show a skewed view of the truth - especially when one can vote several times.

Basically, people have to A) know about the poll and B) give a rats ass.

Democracy only works when people make it work.

I don't trust online polls, or polls that only take into account a segment of the population - like this one obviously does.

and your adding fuel to the fire, foreshame.

[> [> I agree, and yet don't quite agree. Allow me to explain... ;-) -- The Second Evil, 12:27:57 05/03/02 Fri

I'm in the middle of writing a survey - one to be used by about 500 people in a nonprofit organization, and thus must also be reviewed by my university to make sure it follows federal guidelines for dealing with "human subjects" - and believe me, some of the online polls make me grit my teeth. Talk about biased questions! So yes, you have a point. Online polls are inherently questionable, especially if anonymous, because there's rarely statistical validity.

(For a good example of a non-online non-valid test, take a look at the written-at-a-kitchen-table-in-fifteen-minutes survey that's the first chapter of Please Understand Me, a survey you can now find all over the web. Talk about biased against certain MBTI types. Yipes. But I digress...)

On the other hand, the entertainment factor has a lot to do with the type of polls being discussed here. It's unlikely that any of these results would ever be used as a focus group's substantiative information gathering process, so what's the harm? People like to fill out surveys and polls, and see how they measure against other people. Hell, look at all the endless emails just talking about the latest version of the Purity Test. ;-)

No harm, no foul, and if we can find a way to drag a survey post into the realm of ATP, all the better.

[> [> [> uh..."mbti"?? "purity test"?? no idea what these are -- anom, 21:33:28 05/05/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> Re: uh..."mbti"?? "purity test"?? no idea what these are -- d'Herblay, 07:10:14 05/06/02 Mon

"mbti" is short for Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, a semipseudopsychological attempt to shoehorn all of humanity into 16 different perso nality types.

"Purity tests" were a popular pastime during my freshman year at college, though the cachet wore off after one turned up on the premiere season of The Real World. They're long quizzes with questions designed to bring out intimate details.

Google, people, Google.

[> [> Re: I got just one thing to say to this... -- Claire, 13:02:14 05/03/02 Fri

I'm sorry you don't give a rats ass but I don't remember forcing anyone to participate in the poll. I don't think I was particularly antagonistic in my post as such polls are just for fun. I am not forcing everyone to agree with me at all. I was just interested in contacting Spike fans, just as the Kittens have made an effort to convince W/T fans to register their support of the characters. And what do you mean by your comment I am adding fuel to the fire? It is just a fun poll and I fail to see the problem with them. I wasn't aware that there were big arguments over such polls on favourite characters. It's a bit of harmless fun. You find it a waste of time, than don't read my post as it was specifically about a fun poll in the title.

[> [> [> Re: I got just one thing to say to this... -- Goji3, 07:28:23 05/05/02 Sun

Basically, I just did not think that it was worth the effort of going to vote in an online pole. Hell, you didn't even link it!

sorry if I came off offensive. Mesage boards don't really alow for voice inflections that can turn seemingly mean statements into humor.

As for the fuel to the fire comment: You're doing exactly what the people you are 'pointing the finger at' already did. rallying support to increase someone elses chances of winning the pole.

Talk about moral ambiguity. - Sarcasm! Gotta love it!

Eh, whatever...why did I even bother to respond...God, I must have lost my brain for a few minutes...

Crap...where'd it go now...

Current board | More May 2002