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Oooo, this could be messy... (way spoilers through NW) -- SingedCat, 06:46:07 05/07/02 Tue

But weee don't seem to mind...

Woo hoo! What a heady episode, I loved it! That's it, I'm done apologizing for the obsession. Where would we be without all this wildass drama, people? Harrowing! Scary! Morally (woohoo!) ambiguous! It's just a blast to sit down in front of a show and have the world so completely on hold for an hour. And where were you all last night? I got on Chat right after-- nothing, crickets. Phooey. Had to sleep on it myself. :P Sometimes being on the East Coast sucks.

OK, here's my take on Connor & Angel:

Connor is not Angel's son, he is Holt's. It's not Angel's fault, but years of reading about damaging custody disputes and deadbeat dads (and living with a man who was adopted) has convinced me that donating your DNA doesn't make a parent. And spending time together doesn't do it either-- my aunts spent more quality time with me than my mom did, but it doesn't mean they can criticize how I was raised. The parent is the one who is *there*, for better or for worse. The one who changes your diapers, washes your clothes,cleans up your vomit when you don't make it to the bathroom, and gets up for the bazillionth time when you've had a bad dream, drives you somewhere when you need to be there, and drives back to pick you up even though they have other plans. The parent is the one who doesn't just give you priority for awhile, they give it full time. A parent is that, and more, and I'll cover that in a minute. (remember Mom this Sunday!)

That being said, I'll acknowledge that given the chance Angel would have done all these things and more, he would have been a thougthful and loving father, **but he didn't get to**. Connor doesn't know Angel from Adam except what his father raised him to believe, his claims of paternity mean absolute diddly in light of a lifetime of rearing, and Angel is about to find that out. Now let's sit back and watch the train wreck!

Because Holt does not love the boy more than Angel does. To Holt, all this time he has been nursing something more precious to him-- his vengeance. He has raised this boy as an instrument of that vengeance, never forgetting that it's Angel's progeny that will deliver the final blow to him. If at any time his love for Conor/Stephen had become his priority he would have discarded his vendetta and taken the boy into his heart. But he hasn't done that. At best Conor lives in his heart alongside his precious hatred, and it's a tossup to me whether his ideal vengeance would be to have Connor kill Angel and return to Holt-- or to let Angel see Holt kill Conor just before he expires.

Angel, on the other hand, told Holt to take the child when it looked like that was the only way to keep him alive, and although he has now lost him in a way he can never make up, he still loves him more than Holt ever did.

Wesley.... god, can I *be* any more obsessed? I'm sitting there watching that shark make her play, biting my lip so I don't shout "No, no, don't do it, Wes!" (my roommates already think I'm insane.. :P ) She hit a serious nerve with the Inferno-- always turn to the classics, people!-- and I guess Wes would have to be more than huuman not to even think about her offer. (by the way, broke, fired, medical bills [does workman's comp cover this?], part of him must have been tempted, but he's been poor before)

I'm thinking and thinking about this, as we all are-- which way is he gonna go?? Wes is bitter, and lonely, and forsaken, but he's also shown he doesn't buy AI's current interpretation of his actions. And though he has matured greatly as a co-worker, Wes is often stronger on his own. He's been rejected before for doing what he thought was right (umm..a few times, fact, does anybody remember a group of people he *didn't* piss off that way...?), and each time, rather than lead to Angel's moods of self-destructive darkness, it's been a painful catalyst to his own growth. He's in his own hell right now, but I've seen the results of that pressure cooker before. I'm not going to give up on Wes just yet: I don't know if you were watching, but I want to know what he was suddenly working on so intently on that computer.

I wish Faith were on the scene. She'd smack some sense in to these guys. Murderer, betrayer, many times over and Angel worked harder to redeem her than anyone. She'd have a few things to say, maybe grab him by his trendy black leather lapels and ask how many times *he* needed forgiveness from the people he loved the most, and how many times was it given? Forget acts of the demon, I'm talking about feeding off of Buffy to cure a poisoned wound the night before she has to lead an attack against a 90 foot demon, killing the noble protector of a pregant woman and her mystically foretold child, firing all his employees and alienating his friends and going on a misguided spree of stalking, vengeance and destruction (Oh, and SEX) that resulted in a couple of dozen dead bodies and his near re- transformation into a bloodthirsty nightmare -- feel free to add to the list here, kids. My point-- for all of these things, Angel has found forgiveness, or redemption, or both. And, I emphasize, **rightly so**. Because forgiveness is not given because it's deserved; it's given because the person needs it. (Thank you, Giles)

As a final tesimony to this lovely obsession-- who else here has conversations with the characters in the shower/car/privacy of thier cubicle? God, I love this part of a story, where I can't wait to see what happens next!

[> Re: Oooo, this could be messy... (way spoilers through NW) -- maddog, 08:10:03 05/07/02 Tue

DNA doesn't make a man a father, but one that is in that situation that didn't willingly give his child up is a different story all together. He's never been given a chance. He needs that opportunity.

ok, this Wes thing bothers me. Am I the only one under the impression that he never meant for Holtz to get the child? Did I somehow miss the part in the episode where he decided to take the child to Holtz specifically? I thought he just wanted to get Connor away from Angel...anywhere away. Cause I've never considered him a Judas. And it seems as though no one gave him the chance to explain himself.

I'd almost say given the chance he'd take the job with W&H just to be an undercover spy. Cause no matter how much he's disappointed with the AI crew he still cares. He knows right from wrong. And if he saves the day in the end I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

What pisses me off about Angel is his attitude towards Wes. How many times was Angel given a second chance by those back in Sunnydale? None of them should have even talked to him after what he did to Jenny. Yet they all(well, maybe not Xander, but he hates vampires of all kinds) found a way to forgive and work with him. Yet he won't show the same compassion to Wes. This is a man who's purpose on this this world is working for his own redemption, and yet he has no forgiveness for others. Awfully hypocritical if you ask me. So, I completely agree with you.

[> [> Re: Oooo, this could be messy... (way spoilers through NW) -- Marie, 08:28:16 05/07/02 Tue

I thought that about Wesley, too. From reading all the spoilers, I was expecting, in 'Sleep Tight', to see Wesley taking Connor to Holtz. No such thing! He was taking him away, certainly - but his bags were packed, and he was loading everything into his car, to take Connor away with him not to someone else. He was surprised to see Justine, which doesn't make sense if he'd come to some arrangement with Holtz regarding the baby.

As regards Angel forgiving Wesley - well, it's only been a few days. I do agree that if he could be brought to see that Wes genuinely thought that Angel was going to kill Connor, and that he never meant for Holtz to take the child, Angel could be brought to some form of forgiveness, but as a parent I can also see that people look at situations where their kids are involved from an emotional, not a logical, point of view.


[> [> [> Re: Oooo, this could be messy... (way spoilers through NW) -- maddog, 08:45:15 05/07/02 Tue

ok, so if you agree with me then why is everyone treating him like a traitor? I've seen a lot of anti Wes stuff that doesn't make sense. I know the parent angle gives Angel lots of leeway in the forvigeness department...I just think he's been forgiven enough over the years where denying anyone else that same gift is hypocritical.

[> [> [> [> Re: Oooo, this could be messy... (way spoilers through NW) -- SingedCat, 08:54:46 05/07/02 Tue

(I don't know whow toi make italics, so use your imagination:)

**Ok, so if you agree with me then why is everyone treating him like a traitor? ...I know the parent angle gives Angel lots of leeway in the forvigeness department......I just think he's been forgiven enough over the years where denying anyone else that same gift is hypocritical.**

Keep your shirt on, Maddog, the show's not over yet. :D

But you're right about how everyone's take has changed from 'it was the only thing he could do' to 'there's no coming back from this'. It has to do with people reinterpreting things according to the lead dog. They're siding with Angel, so that's the party line-- even if their hearts say something different.

Fortunately Fred's got her heart right out there where it should be. Hang in there, what goes around comes around.

[> [> [> [> [> Re:Finally some people taking Wes's side ( spoilers through NW) -- Calluna, 10:03:01 05/07/02 Tue

Obviously I should have written here, instead of way down below.
This whole "Wes the traitor" thing has been bugging me since it happened. Excuse me, but it would be nice if someone would ask him what was going on. Let the poor man explain that he was taking the kid away, not to Holtz. Better yet, have Wes tell Angel that he was taking the kid to Sunnydale. I would much rather have the Slayer and two powerful witches (I'm assuming Wes wouldn't know about Willow) protecting Connor than, let's see, a vampire (who's been drinking the kid's blood), a demon (funny as he is who's pretty useless in a fight), two half demons (one who has no idea what she can do) and two humans (one a good fighter, but both mortal).
Maybe Wes should just go to Sunnydale. The Scoobies would probably actually appreciate him now that Giles is gone.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Oooo, this could be messy... (way spoilers through NW) -- maddog, 11:13:37 05/07/02 Tue

I just have a bigtime hatred for people being treated unfairly in these shows. It goes back to Xander and his vampire hatred. Angel could have saved his life 10 times over and Xander would still hate him. Just drives me nuts. and I agree it's not over...and that in the end Wesley will find a way to prove himself to the group. Not that he should have to, but I'll bet he does it anyway.

[> [> [> [> [> [> That reminds me of a quote... -- SingedCat, 16:14:18 05/07/02 Tue

"I just have a bigtime hatred for people being treated unfairly in these shows. It goes back to Xander and his vampire hatred....

"I know there are people out there who do not love their fellow man, and I *hate* people like that."
--Tom Lehr

[> [> [> [> [> [> Xander's and Willow's obsessions -- Malandanza, 16:36:43 05/07/02 Tue

"It goes back to Xander and his vampire hatred. Angel could have saved his life 10 times over and Xander would still hate him."

Much has been made of Xander's hatred of vampires, in particular, and demons, in general. He has been compared to the worst sort of racist. But I don't think that Xander hates every vampire or demon indiscriminately -- in fact, he has a very particular hatred for Angel and Spike. When he had demons at his house, Xander was the only civilized member of the family. He didn't have a problem with Clem or Anya, and he didn't have the kind of seething hatred for Harmony, Dru or any of the random vampires that he has for Spike and Angel.

I see as analogous to Willow's hatred of Faith and Anya. You might say Willow hates them for trying to kill her -- yet, Angel (as Angelus), Spike, Buffy and Oz (as a werewolf) have all tried to kill her as well. Willow's problem isn't that Faith and Anya each tried to kill her (or have her killed, in Anya's case) but with their relationships with Xander. She hates them because they had sex with her friend and she feared that they would hurt him.

Similarly for Xander -- Angel and Spike are different because they have each had sex with Buffy (or wanted to have sex with her -- in Spike's season 4 and 5 cases) and each has hurt her rather badly. Angel could save Xander's life a hundred times, but it would not make up for a single instance of Buffy abuse in Xander's eyes.

Willow and Xander have plausible reasons for hating Faith and Anya, Spike and Angel -- certainly Spike has given Xander reason enough to hate him. Willow and Xander have forgiven terrible transgressions from others but maintain a special hatred for these few people for other reasons -- reasons they might not fully understand themselves. Perhaps the a bit of the Dog in the Manger in their attitudes, and perhaps it is sisterly/brotherly overprotection, but in general, they are both very forgiving people.

[> [> [> [> I haven't seen all the eps yet... -- Marie, 09:04:21 05/07/02 Tue

...we're a couple of weeks behind in the UK, but I can certainly see why it would take time to see Wesley's point of view - after all, these people fell in love with that adorable little baby - there're bound to be angry feelings, hurt feelings, astounded feelings, lot of feelings! What they have here, I think, is a failure to communicate on a grand scale. It's going to take time, that's all I'm saying. You don't get over the loss of a child. Ever. Even if you can be brought to understand the reasons why.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: I haven't seen all the eps yet... -- maddog, 11:35:22 05/07/02 Tue

I think you're missing the point though. If any of them would stop and think for more than a second on the situation, they'd take the time to ask their trusted friend Wesley to tell his side of the story. Because Wesley wasn't wrong....let me repeat that....Wesley wasn't wrong. He got screwed...that's a fact. But if he'd left that child there, Angel would have defended it...and in the end he would have been craving it.

[> [> [> [> Re: Oooo, this could be messy... (way spoilers through NW) -- alcibiades, 11:02:14 05/07/02 Tue

I'd say it's not hypocritical. It's a moral failure.
Frankly, I'm finding Cordy's position really baffling.
I can understand it, but it is very disappointing.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Oooo, this could be messy... (way spoilers through NW) -- maddog, 11:48:18 05/07/02 Tue

She's somehow decided that Angel's pain is more important than Wesley's and I think it's a direct setup for her figuring out there's more to her relationship with Angel than just a friendly caring.

[> [> Re: Oooo, this could be messy... (way spoilers through NW) -- yabyumpan, 10:02:45 05/07/02 Tue

Ok, my perspective of the Wes thing. In the UK so just had Sleep Tight and I'm feeling totally p***** at Wes, big time, like put him in a room with Angelus for a couple of hours P*****!
Why? Well apart from the whole taking Connor thing, and he didn't just "take" Connor, he tricked Angel into giving Connor to him, how crappy must Angel feel about that?
Wes is p***** because no one will listen to his side of the story, maybe that's because he didn't give them the chance to hear his side of the story "before" he took Connor.
I can sort of understand him not talking to Angel, although Angel made it clear that he wanted to know all about the prophesy and repeatedly asked Wes what was happening etc but ok, I understand. I can also sort of understand him not ringing Cordy and can maybe understand him not speaking to Lorne but why didn't he talk to Gunn and Fred? Because he was jelous; he allowed his jelousy to push Gunn and Fred away, and remember that Gunn was supposed to be his best friend with all the special hand shakes and fighting side by side etc. He couldn't bring himself to feel anything but bitterness and resentment towards Gunn, which IMHO shows how much the friendship actually meant to him. He is cold to Fred and pushes her away for "choosing" Gunn, even though from her perspective, there was no choice, she only saw Wes as a friend anyway. The only people he spoke to about it were Hotlz, who hates Angel and a talking hamberger!
IMO, Wesley allowed his jelousey to cloud his judgement and isolate himself. I agree that he never meant to give Connor to Holtz but that is the result of his actions.
I can totally understand why Gunn would not want to see Wes; he cut him off and was being really nasty to him before he took Connor and didn't talk to him about the prophesy when he was supposed to be Gunn's friend, I think Fred wanting to contact Wes is partly out of guilt, maybe realising that the reason the Wes didn't talk to Gunn was because of her.
I would want to see Wes really take responsability for his decisions and actions, to actually say "Sorry", has he even done that yet?

That's my take on the anti-Wes feeling on the web and in AI.
It's very strange, I don't remember ever feeling such anger towards a fictional character before. I don't know if any ep has ever had the effect that Sleep Tight has on me. My inner mantra at the momment seems to be "kill wes/cuddle Angel"....:-)

[> [> [> Hey, don't mince words - you can speak freely here ;) -- SingedCat, 10:51:12 05/07/02 Tue

"...can maybe understand him not speaking to Lorne but why didn't he talk to Gunn and Fred? Because he was jealous; he allowed his jeaousy to push Gunn and Fred away..."

Yowch-- Gotta say yea there. He was definitely leaning towards the bitter, what with Gun & Fred together, plus Cordy and Groo, *plus* Angel and his paternal thing with the baby. I was making the point a little while ago about all this sudden exclusionary bliss in the group being a huge cause of Wes' isolation. I don't blame Wes so much as all of them; I do believe that your own emotional state is ultimately your own responsibility, but over the two weeks he sweated over that prophecy, there was all this self- involved happiness flying around and no one (well, almost Fred) had a moment to spare to see that Wes was falling apart. I can see both sides of that, but it was bad luck as much as bad judgement, if you ask me, all the way through.

And now to flip sides again (I'm just a metaphysical pancake today!) I can think of several reasons Wes would not have told Gunn or Fred what he was doing or where he was going. Remember that according to his timetable, they were about to be saddled with a suddenly turned Angelus, whose priority would be to catch up with his son (reasons later, but look at his history)--and all he'd have to do to get Gunn to spill would be to hold a knife to Fred's throat. Or vice versa. And if they knew nothing, Angelus might just be too busy screaming off after Wes' false trails to *completely* destroy the hotel.

[> [> [> Re: Oooo, this could be messy... (way spoilers through NW) -- maddog, 12:11:39 05/07/02 Tue

Picture yourself as've had the most amazing thing have a never ever thought you'd have joy in your life and now you have this bundle of joy. No prophecy on this earth is going to make you decide to willingly give that kid up. So Wesley telling him would do NO good at all. And now you ask why he didn't tell anyone? Because he spents weeks, if not months, trying to refute the stupid thing...but it was everywhere he turned. So by the time he finally buys into the time he get it they've already got Angel drinking the kid's blood and he's halfway to the that point you have ZERO time to think, or go talk to people. YOu have to take action. Your jealousy theory is all wrong too. Sure, he is jealous...but that's not the reason he didn't tell them. If anything kept him from it(besides time) I'd say it was intimidation. He's never wanted to broach that relationship between the two since he knew it existed. I'm so glad you have such a high opinion of Wes. Bitterness? come take one action and you make turn what ended up being a great guy(though no one could see it coming when he was on Buffy) to this amoral bastard that has nothing in his heart but bitterness and envy. The only reason none of them broach the possibility of talking to Wes is because of Angel...cause you know they've all thought about it. I think people see way too much animosity between Wes and the AI group...when mostly it's between him and Angel. You won't hear Wes apologize alone...they deserve to apologize to him too...for not trusting him...for condemning him before finding out the facts. Cause last time I checked it was innocent until proven guilty and not vice versa. I just wish people would put themselves in his shoes.

[> [> Re: Wesley (spoilers through NW) -- Robert, 10:18:56 05/07/02 Tue

>> "Am I the only one under the impression that he never meant for Holtz to get the child? Did I somehow miss the part in the episode where he decided to take the child to Holtz specifically? I thought he just wanted to get Connor away from Angel...anywhere away."

I agree with you. Wesley never intended to give Connor to Holtz. This was an unintended consequence of his actions. Again I agree with you the he wanted to separate Conner from Angel. His agreement with Holtz was to be allowed to take the child before Holtz attempted to wreak vengeance on Angel.

>> "Cause I've never considered him a Judas."

I absolutely disagree with you here. Wesley betrayed Angel and the rest of the group by keeping the prophesy a secret. If he had shared the prophesy and his research with the others (maybe excluding Angel), they might have devised a better ending. If not, then at least they all would share in the guilt. Regardless, Wesley showed that he had no faith in the rest of the group.

I dislike discussing religion on boards such as this, but I'm not sure exactly what you mean by referring to Wesley as a Judas. Judas' perfidy was not so much that he accepted the 30 pieces of silver for handing Jesus over to chief priests. Judas was attempting to force Jesus to exhibit his earthly power, take the throne, and free Israel from the Romans. He made decisions and took actions affecting Jesus and the other diciples without discussing it with them ahead of time. Judas was unfaithful to his teacher and his colleagues. This was his act of betrayal, so in this sense, referring to Wesley as a Judas is appropriate.

[> [> [> Re: Wesley (spoilers through NW) -- matching mole, 10:48:30 05/07/02 Tue

The Wesley debate seems to be converging on the Spike debate in the sense that opinions seem unnecessarily polarized (but that's just my opinion).

It never occurred to me that Wesley would have intended to hand Connor over to Holtz. It seems crystal clear that he he had no such intention. In fact it seemed so obvious to me that I completely missed that it would appear that way to the rest of AI (who lacked our Wesley POV information).

Wesley's action was well-intentioned and heroic but foolish and showed a lack of confidence/trust in his colleagues. In short it was very human and very interesting. In life we are more usually judged on the consequences of our actions than our intentions. Wesley's action had a terrible consequence therefore he is being judged harshly by Angel and co (except Fred). It's not fair but if life was fair then there wouldn't be any show.

Right now I think that Wesley has the best story of any character in the Jossverse. I don't find it necessary to condemn or defend Wesley - just sppreciate him.

[> [> [> [> Yeah, but aren't you a *bit* worried? :D -- metaphysical pancake, 11:01:02 05/07/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Yeah I am - being worried = being interested -- matching mole, 11:23:13 05/07/02 Tue

I can empathize with Wesley, Angel, etc. And I can also see what they've done wrong. But I don't have to pick sides.

[> [> [> [> Re: Wesley - taking sides and hypocrisy -- Valhalla, 12:19:54 05/07/02 Tue

Hey, taking sides is what makes life interesting!

I agree that it's clear that Wes never meant to hand Connor over to Holtz. What has always irked me about how the AI team has reacted is that they haven't given him the benefit of the doubt. Not a smidgen of doubt, bar Fred.

I can't quite buy that to the AI gang mistakenly thinks that Wes was going to give the baby to Holtz. They knew Wes had packed for a trip, and they knew Justine slit his throat! The idea that Justine cut Wes to get the baby must have at least occurred to the gang. If you find out that someone you've worked with and fought with and trusted for years does something really bad, don't you at least think 'Well, he must have had a good reason' before zipping straight to the worst possible interpretation of events? Especially the AI gang, who knows better than anyone (except, perhaps the Scoobies) that where great evil is involved, things are not always what they seem.

Oh, but Wes didn't give Angel the benefit of the doubt either, you may say. Wes (and Cordy) have seen the horrors Angelus was capable of inflicting -- there is no one that Angelus would hesitate to hurt, and he took great joy in the art of torture, etc., etc. And Angel qua Angel has behaved er, questionably, if not badly. Wes has never been deliberately cruel, and while at AI has been level-headed and worked only for good. And yet, except for Fred (who, ironically, has known Wes the least amount of time), none of them has said 'hey, it looks like Wes was totally betraying all he loves and all his principles, but there must have been something else going on? There's something we're not seeing? Angel has not given Wes the very faith that he's so busy being ticked off at Wes for not giving him. (hope that made sense).

The other thing that's killing me is that Wes made the same decision he thought Angel would have made (and in fact did make). Wes thought the choice was between Angel living with a live but lost son, or with having killed his own son. In the Solomon's choice scene in Sleep Tight, Angel chooses to have Connor alive but with Holtz over having Connor dead.

Other folks have put the arguments for Wes much more eloquently than I can, so I'll end this here (have to get back to work!). But in the ME universe, what goes around often does come around, so I'm waiting for AI's shabby treatment of Wes to bite them in the butt. I think Gunn's having to go to Wes to save Fred was only the beginning.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Wesley - taking sides and hypocrisy -- maddog, 12:52:53 05/07/02 Tue

No, that was perfect...I'm glad someone here is giving Wes the benefit of the doubt.

[> [> [> Re: Wesley (spoilers through NW) -- alcibiades, 11:22:10 05/07/02 Tue

Wesley can't be a Judas in any perspective because Angel is no Christ. Witness Angel's current lack of forgiveness, his inability to tolerate the notion of forgiveness vis a vis Wesley, his tacit insistence that none of his associates associate with Wesley. It's all the antithesis of Christ.

Frankly, if you are going to compare Wesley to any of the three in the three mouths of Satan, I'd have to go with Brutus, because Brutus betrayed Caesar even though Caesar was his friend. The knife in the back that is entirely unexpected. Although murdering a friend is not quite the same as kidnapping his child. The one is death, the other only a symbolic death for the parent.

Both Wesley and Brutus thought they were acting for the good, Wesley for Angel and Connor's good, Brutus for Rome's good.

[> [> [> Re: Wesley (spoilers through NW) -- maddog, 12:42:28 05/07/02 Tue

I'm begging you guys to put yourself in Wes's shoes. Would you want to tell your best friend he's about to kill his son cause some prophecy says so? Wouldn't you exhaust EVERY possibility before doing so? The situations are in no way similar. Judas was trying to force Christ to prove his power instead of trusting that no matter what happened, Christ would win in the end. Wes found out what was to happen and decided the only way for the child to stay alive was to remove him from the situation. Where exactly are the similarities there? Any time you make a decision you affect those around you. You can't single out this one and assume there's a correlation. Wes wasn't unfaithful to ANgel...he did what was best for the child which is what Angel will have to see in the end...cause at least Wes gave him a chance to live...cause Lord knows if he stayed there he could have been caught in the crossfire and even if not the forced prophecy could have come true(thanks to W&H).

[> [> [> [> Re: Wesley (spoilers through NW) -- SingedCat, 13:02:26 05/07/02 Tue

I have a whole other post I may dedicate to Wes' Watcher ethics, and how his decision was similar to Giles' decision to kill Ben. Or if someone else wants to hop on that subject, it's ok by me. In the meantime, relax, 'Dog. As they say in Brooklyn, we're just tawlkin' here. Nobody sympathises with Wes more than I do (OK, maybe you :) ), but part of the fun of the board is the multiple POVs.

I'm not giving up on Wes yet-- I suspect things aren't going to turn out as bad as we think. All we have to do is wait and have a little faith in the Wesster. And after he's vindicated, we can make a happy-I-told-you so dance all over this board. Date?

[> [> [> I confess I'm mystified by the attempts to defend Wesley. -- Sophist, 13:13:22 05/07/02 Tue

I think Robert stated the situation exactly right: no one thinks Wes took Connor to give to Holtz, that's a red herring. Fred told Wes precisely the reason, namely he betrayed them by not talking to them in advance. As Robert said, that's a betrayal.

The analogy to Brutus, suggested by alcibiades, is very good. But it doesn't change the way we should view Wes.

[> [> [> [> I'm mystified too -- lulabel, 17:19:48 05/07/02 Tue

Maybe it's a parent/non-parent thing (I'm a parent). I was completely and utterly horrified by what Wesley did, and I would personally find it very understandable if Angel never forgave him. I am also sympathetic towards Wesley - I know he geniunely acted under the very best of intentions, he was just being fatally stupid (sorry, couldn't think of a more tactful way of putting that)

[> [> [> [> Re: I confess I'm mystified by the attempts to defend Wesley. -- Malandanza, 17:49:32 05/07/02 Tue

"The analogy to Brutus, suggested by alcibiades, is very good. But it doesn't change the way we should view Wes."

I agree -- and Wesley ought to agree with you as well. Here's a quote from TOGoM where Wesley explains the importance of loyalty to Gunn (Gunn felt divided loyalties to his old gang and new friends):

WESLEY: It's never easy. The pull of divided loyalties. Any choice we do end up making, we feel as though we've betrayed someone.

GUNN: Yeah...

WESLEY: (after a beat) If you ever withhold information or attempt to subvert me again -- I will fire you. I can't allow any one member of this team to compromise the safety of the group. No matter who it is. If you do it again, you will be dismissed -- bag and baggage -out of a job and on to the streets.

I feel sorry for Wesley, but he violated his own code of ethics. It's not just about Conner -- by consorting with Holtz (and they know he met with Holtz, because Lorne read it), he "compromised the safety of the group". Wesley "withheld information" and betrayed his greatest benefactor. To punish Wesley according to his own law seems rather poetic. Wesley should quit sulking, realize he was wrong and start trying to make amends -- like Angel did after Epiphany -- if he's lucky, his friends won't give him as hard of a time as he gave Angel.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not -- Valhalla, 21:57:01 05/07/02 Tue

Angel did try to make amends after Epiphany, but it took a while. Interestingly, it was Cordelia who continued to give Angel the cold shoulder then (paraphrase: let's be clear, we're not friends). But then she was won over completely when Angel bought her a big bunch of new clothes.

All the characters have made mistakes. Several of them have made the same mistake Wes did. Wes is being punished because his turned out so badly. I'm not sure everyone would consider Wes' failure to communicate (and yes, that was a serious failure) so very deserving of abandonment (not to mention physical attack) by all his friends if the prophecy turned out to be true. Angel cut himself off from the AI gang to go after W&H; Cordelia failed to tell everyone how bad her headaches were; Gun didn't tell them about selling his soul. But those all turned out more or less ok in the end (plus or minus a room full of evil lawyers).

Of course any parent would be enraged, grief-stricken, you name it, if someone kidnapped their child. But what if kidnapping saved the child's life? What if Angel started to gnaw on Connor and Wes knew it was coming but didn't do anything about it?

It's not that Wes didn't make a mistake, it's that within the AI gang everyone has made mistakes (including mistakes that can be termed betrayals) but they're making Wes pay so very dearly for his.

Before he took Connor, Wes was obviously drowning; he was distracted, short-tempered, and clearly sleep-deprived, yet no one gave more than a cursory 'Are you ok? You should get some sleep' (I'm so very glad my friends are slightly more interested in my welfare than that!). Yet no one in the AI gang has even remembered how Wes was acting, nevermind thought that they might have done something to head this off themselves.

[> "Hi Dad." -- Dichotomy, 08:50:27 05/07/02 Tue

There was something about the way Connor said "Hi Dad" at the very beginnig and very end of the episode, that struck me. Obviously, his greeting to Angel was meant to be chilling; calling him Dad and then attempting to stake him. Then, after he fought alongside Angel in the shootout, he seemed a bit surprised at Angel's fierce protection of him. Right after, of course, he meets up with Holtz. Again with the "Hi Dad." And still, there's no warmth in that greeting. Which makes sense if you consider your take on their relationship:

"Because Holt does not love the boy more than Angel does. To Holt, all this time he has been nursing something more precious to him-- his vengeance. He has raised this boy as an instrument of that vengeance, never forgetting that it's Angel's progeny that will deliver the final blow to him. If at any time his love for Conor/Stephen had become his priority he would have discarded his vendetta and taken the boy into his heart. But he hasn't done that."

Good point, I think. While their interaction was admittedly brief in this episode, I didn't sense that Connor was truly loved by Holtz, and that Connor's love for Holtz is more of a student for his master. Maybe we'll see something else altogether in later eps, but I hope not. It will give Angel the chance to "win" back his son perhaps.

[> That's "Holtz" -- Holtz, 15:52:10 05/08/02 Wed

Scooby Gang vs. Troika - Dealing with Reality (long! spoilers to Entropy) -- shadowkat, 09:18:20 05/07/02 Tue

The Scooby Gang vs. Troika – Dealing With Reality

(Okay really long and complicated, so be kind. Spoilers to Entropy. Won’t see Seeing Red until tonight. So please don’t spoil me.)

“It's been a long road getting here. For you… for Sunnydale. There has been achievement, joy, good times,… and there has been grief. There's been loss. Some people who should be here today… aren't. But we are. - Journey's end. And what is a journey? Is it just… distance traveled? Time spent? No. It's what happens on the way, it the things that happen to you. At the end of the journey you're not the same. Today is about change. Graduation doesn't just mean your circumstances change, it means you do. You ascend… to a higher level. Nothing will ever be the same. Nothing.” Mayor Wilkins in Graduation Day Part II (Season 3, Btvs)

After Graduation, the Scooby Gang did what most of us do – went to college where once again they had set rules and boundaries, they just traded the sheltered reality of high school for the sheltered reality of USC Sunnydale. Even Xander remained in this sheltered reality, by staying in his parents’ basement. It wasn’t until Season 5 that this reality truly began to break down and become something else. Buffy’s mother died, she had to leave school, her boyfriend left , and she had a sister to take care of. Giles’ reality changed in Season 4, he had no job and no true purpose outside of being a Watcher; he had blown up his old reality, the library. Xander’s also changed, he’d lost Cordy and was starting a relationship with Anya, he had to find a job, a role in life, and a new apartment. By the end of Season 5 – Xander built a reality separate from school and from his friends and parents, or so Xander thought. Willow lost OZ and fell in love with a woman, she reinvented her sexual identity, stopped being roommates with Buffy and became more independent and adept at magic. Spike also had to reinvent himself, no longer able to eat humans, he learned how to rely on other sources for blood and discovered that he could beat up demons, so that by the end of Season 5, he had not only realized and confessed his love to Buffy but also began to aid the Scooby Gang in saving the world. At the end of Season 5, the characters reinvented themselves, got into established routines, and the Buffyverse made sense to them and their audience, even Buffy jumping from the tower to save the world made sense. She’d be brought back. We’d go back to the same routine. All was right with the world.

Yeah, right. I’m beginning to realize the moment I get comfortable is the moment the world decides to shift on me. Apparently the characters of BTVS have the same problem.

Fifteen years ago, a philosophy major I was dating, kept trying to convince me that we create our own reality. We control it, he said. No one else. We choose who to put inside it and what makes it up. I found his argument annoying at the time, because I felt the last thing I had control over was my reality.

In 2001 –2002 Btvs is all about controlling and creating your own reality. And in 2001, my reality shifted dramatically, everything I thought was true about my job, my career, my boss, my commute to work, my city, even my world changed. There was no safe place and I felt like I was careening off the side of an emotional cliff. The only cultural experience that echoed this feeling of emotional disorientation was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nothing else did. Nothing else does. Someone mentioned crying during ER, I’m sorry I didn’t shed a tear. That show now seems incredibly false to me, not real. That is how drastically my reality shifted. Like the characters on our favorite show, I’ve been forced to reinvent myself and my reality this year, so I agree with Shell and her recent post on the B C &S board – what the writers are doing this year is truly brilliant and more realistic than anything else on TV – they are demonstrating how our reality shifts and how we have to adapt and handle these shifts. How we have to learn to actively participate in the construction of our reality instead of merely reacting to, bending, or ignoring it.

Life Serial (Season 6, Btvs) succinctly explains:

MIKE: Social Construction of Reality. Who can tell me what that is? Rachel.
RACHEL: A concept involving a couple of opposing theories, one stressing the externality and independence of social reality from individuals. (Buffy looks confused)
MIKE: And the flip side? (many hands raised) Steve?
STEVE: That each individual participates fully in the construction of his or her own life.
MIKE: Good, and who can expand on that? (hands) Chuck?
CHUCK: Well, those on the latter side of the theoretical divide stress...
BUFFY: (leans toward Willow and whispers) Will, I'm not following this too well.
WILLOW: Oh. The trick is to get in the rhythm, kinda go with the flow. (raises her hand)
BUFFY: Flow-going would be a lot easier if your classmates weren't such big brains.
WILLOW: Buffy, that's ridiculous! They are no smarter than you or me.
MIKE: (O.S.) Willow.
WILLOW: (lowers hand, speaks to Mike) Because social phenomena don't have unproblematic objective existences. They have to be interpreted and given meanings by those who encounter them. (Buffy stares at Willow)
MIKE: (O.S.) Nicely put. So, Ruby, does that mean there are countless realities?

Must admit, it took me a while to understand what this meant. I’m a bit like Buffy, slow on the uptake, at least that’s the way I’ve been this year. How many times have our characters realities been shifted? In the first episode of Season 6, we enter Sunnydale where everyone, including Spike, is fighting demons together. The SG have included him and they all have a definite role in their makeshift family. When Dawn takes the Buffybot to parent teacher day, the first theory, stressing that social reality is external and independent from individuals is explored. In high school, we don’t control or participate in the construction of our reality; our reality is constructed by our parents, teachers, and peer group. This is the reality of Seasons 1-4 of Btvs. The independent social reality is high school – individuals don’t create it or actively participate in its creation, instead it controls the individual within it. The rules are black and white and fairly rigid. An example is the Styrofoam utopia with orange juice cars that Dawn’s classmates have created and in which, the Buffybot notes, only tiny people can inhabit. The social reality that is independent of the influence of individuals finds the Buffybot an acceptable parent and reassuring presence. As Spike notes – “(Dawn’s teachers) responded to BuffyBot because a robot is predictable. Boring. Perfect teacher's pet. That's all schools are, you know. Just factories, spewing out mindless little automatons. Who go on to be ... very ... valuable and productive members of society...” When our reality is determined solely by an external force, we act as cogs in a wheel, with clearly defined roles. In Adolus Huxley’s Brave New World: everybody has an assigned role in society and reality is controlled not by the individuals but by the group governing them. In Huxely’s novel the government keeps the individuals complacent with drugs and comforting television messages. They become in effect the “mindless automatons” Spike has described. In the pre-Bargaining spell reality –the SG have defined roles and the world makes sense.

Then, demons on bikes invade Sunnydale, Willow does her spell, the world of Sunnydale looks like hell, reality shifts. And Buffy? Buffy’s essence is shifted from one reality (which we learn in Afterlife, was fairly pleasant, heavenly, and controlled by external forces) to another. Her initial response, was the same as mine,

BUFFY: Is this hell? (Bargaining, Part II)

Dawn insists it isn’t and takes Buffy home. Except it is no longer the home Buffy remembers. It has changed. Willow and Tara now inhabit her mother’s room. Willow’s computer is in the kitchen. Giles is gone. Buffy feels completely disoriented, until Spike appears. Here, finally, is a constant she can deal with. He stands at the foot of the stairs in exactly the same position he was in the last time she was there. He has not changed. He wouldn’t. Vampires remain arrested in their development, unchanging, ageless – at least on the outside. Is it any wonder that she drifts towards him the way someone adrift at sea might head towards a life raft? When the others enter the house, they all look different. Clothing. Hairstyles. We have switched to the theory of reality proposed by my ex-boyfriend: “each individual participates fully in the construction of his or her own life.” When we leave high school and enter the “real world” – we are responsible for the construction of our reality, it is no longer constructed for us by our parents and teachers.

In Season 6, Btvs, Buffy and her friends are being forced to actively participate in the construction of their reality. Reality has shifted on them. Buffy’s return shifts the balance in all of their lives including Buffy’s as shown by the ghost in Afterlife, who visits each of them. Willow and Tara are almost broken apart in bed by crashing glass while the ghost rails against their use of magic to control reality. Anya tries to mutilate herself in Xander’s presence. Dawn breaths fire on all of them and finally, Xander’s unwittingly betrays them to the demonic ghost. We also have Spike and Xander’s argument in front of the House where Xander accuses Spike of being an obsessive stalker and Spike accuses Xander of leaving him out of the loop – their relationship had apparently moved past this, but Buffy’s reemergence in their lives shifts it back to where it was at the beginning of Season 5. And Giles is asked to return to Sunnydale as their impromptu guardian. Buffy’s mere presence has altered the realities of all the Scoobies.

In the very next episode, Flooded, the Troika are introduced, and from this point on – the Troika represent individuals who are not only participating in but also actively controlling reality, particularly the Scoobies’. At first their attempts appear fairly mundane. Willow’s attempts to control reality are far more frightening as she weilds magic to bend reality to fit her vision of it. The Troika do the same thing, but not necessarily with magic. In every episode in which the Troika appear, they shift Buffy’s reality. First they send a monster to her house. (Flooded) Then they manage to speed up her reality, introduce demons at her work place, and torment her with an endless time loop, which can only be exited when she figures out how to satisfy someone else’s needs. Buffy only passes their tests – when she takes an active role in deciphering or interpreting the shifts in her perception of reality, particularly since each shift is merely a shift in her perception. Everyone else’s perception remains unchanged. Once she takes an active role in interpreting and controlling her perception – her reality reverts to normal. At this point, Buffy is not actively participating in the construction of her reality she is letting others manipulate it. The only person she is comfortable with at this stage is Spike, because from her point of view, he’s a constant from her old reality. Unchanging. Also he understands her difficulty dealing with the constant shifts. Of all her friends Spike has had to deal with the most shifts in her perception. He knows what it is like to wake up from a grave and discover the world is not the way you left it.

Poor Buffy is having troubles keeping up with the shifts. She has no clue what she should do next or who she is. Her true love, Angel, has moved on without her. She is bombarded with bills. Her friends have established lives outside of her. And slaying no longer has the same appeal. She feels adrift, as if she’s just going through the motions in a world that feels increasingly hellish. Willow tells her that she just needs to get with the rhythm. Buffy has lost the beat. Her reality no longer makes sense to her. Her friends appear to have gone on ahead. As a result, she spends more time with Spike doing what she knows, patrolling. His world has not shifted or changed as far as she can tell. Demons still equal bad. Vampires still need to be staked. Except – Spike is a vampire and she is becoming sexually attracted to him. So even that dynamic is changing.

“Social phenomena don't have unproblematic objective existences. They have to be interpreted and given meanings by those who encounter them.”

As we encounter each shift in our reality, we struggle to give it meaning, to understand it, and determine whether we should accept or reject our new perception of it. Controlling our reactions to shifts in reality is easier said then done, as each of the characters in Btvs discover. And each reaction or interpretation creates another perception of reality. So as a result there are countless realities or possible perceptions of reality.

1. Reacting Negatively to Shifts in Reality. Xander and Anya are struggling to accurately perceive the continuous shifts in their reality – which revolves around their relationship. It doesn’t help that they are both pessimists. For the past two years – their relationship has been the central focus of their reality. First their engagement is kept a secret by Xander. Then Xander decides to reveal the relationship and Anya takes control, suggesting they move the wedding from June to February (All The Way), she plans a big wedding with demons and family in attendance, but it does not go off as planned; Xander leaves her at the altar, regaining control. Anya comes back, attempts to regain control by cursing Xander – but fails, and sleeps with Spike instead. None of these shifts are caused by external forces – Xander and Anya are responsible for them. Each shift is caused by their negative or positive perceptions. They separately interpret and give meaning to each shift in reality.
Xander’s perceptions of reality are clouded by fear. He deals with his perception by summoning a demon in Once More With Feeling –in order to ensure a happy ending for himself and Anya. Instead – he causes people to combust and shifts the reality of everyone around him. Xander isn’t in control of his reality, Captain fear is. If he was willing to accept the word of a demon regarding his and Anya’s future in Once More With Feeling is it any wonder he accepts the word of a demon in Hells Bells? Xander who up until recently appeared to be actively participating in the construction of his reality, is letting a fear demon run the show. In As You Were – Xander keeps asking Riley and Sam about marriage –looking for outside reassurance regarding his own. By the time we reach Hell’s Bells, Captain fear is in the driver’s seat. All the vengeance demon has to do is show Xander his worst fears, which Xander perceives as the only outcome. The fact that it “could” be true is enough for him to call off the wedding. He sacrifices his current reality, the reality he spent so much time and effort constructing, on another interpretation of it, in this case, a demon’s interpretation. He chooses to accept this interpretation over his own and in doing so betrays his own heart. How Anya chooses to interpret this betrayal is important. She interprets it as her fault. He left because she used to be demon. This interpretation not only betrays the humanity she’s worked so hard to embrace, it causes her to revert back to her demon status. It doesn’t stop there of course. Each negative interpretation of reality results in the actuality of that reality until Xander and Anya have literally destroyed everything they worked so hard to build, returning to their origins: the loser and the vengeance demon . It’s how we choose to relate to and interpret what happens to us and around us that gives it meaning, that makes it real. In that way – we control our reality.

2. Bending Reality to Fit our Own Ends: Willow and Tara have also been struggling with shifts in reality. They are in a better place right now – because Willow momentarily stopped trying to bend reality to her will. Tara rightly interpreted Willow’s actions as an insecure attempt to make the world better for herself. The only problem is Willow and the rest of the Scoobies interpreted her use of magic as a merely an addiction. Please. If you thought this was a drug storyline –then the writers fooled you, because it never was – that was just how Willow and her friends chose to interpret it. It was never about addiction - Willow chose to interpret her abuse of magic as drug abuse. ‘I do it because it makes me feel good.’ Sorry, Willow – that isn’t why you did the magic. You did the magic for the same reasons the Troika are doing what they’re doing – you not only wanted to control your reality – you wanted to bend everyone else’s to make it fit what was in your head. You still do.

There’s an old Twilight Zone episode that discusses the use of magic to bend reality and others realities to fit your own. I do not remember the name of it. But it was re-done in the Twighlight Zone Movie. In this episode, an insecure little boy has the ability to bend reality with his mind. Feeling unloved and unwanted by his family and friends, he bends their reality to match what’s in his head. If they do not comply with his version of reality or protest – he sends them to a cornfield where they are killed. Reminds me of Willow’s attempt in All The Way to send people to alternate dimensions for fractions of a second to find Dawn. Willow, who also feels rejected and unwanted, bends the realities of the people around her to make herself feel better. As cjl pointed out in one of his posts – Willow is a pessimist, she can’t believe life will ever turn out well – so she helps it along, makes it better. In Bargaining – she brings Buffy back. All The Way – she creates decorations and considers moving people to alternate dimensions to find Dawn, when Tara protests – she casts a spell that makes Tara forget. In Tabula Rasa – she casts a spell that wipes the memories of everyone including herself – out of fear of losing both Tara and Buffy. She can’t deal with the fact that Buffy was torn from Heaven or Tara’s anger at her – so she attempts to make them forget, and in the process bends their reality to match the one she prefers. She is the external force controlling their reality – not giving them the choice to react to it or give it their own meaning. It’s not until she literally conjures a monster – that Willow stops attempting to bend reality to fit her own interests. Tara’s leaving did not snap her out of it. Dawn’s injury did. Willow’s approach to handling shifts in reality is the same as the Troika’s – I’ll control it, it won’t control me. Xander on the other hand, attempts to escape or run from his negative perceptions of reality. Both Xander and Willow are pessimists, both victims of abusive parents and peers. Neither character believes there will be a happy ending. Neither character trusts their perception of reality. So they either attempt to bend it to their will or run away from it.

3. Ignoring or Denying Reality. Buffy has spent most of this year ignoring reality or denying it and as a result it is controlling her instead of the other way around. I identify with her - because I am equally guilty of letting external factors control my reality, ignoring that which I can’t handle, hoping it will just go away. How many of us let someone else or something else affect our moods, our feelings, our actions? We don’t choose our destinies, we let external factors such as money, parents, teachers or friends choose them for us. We abdicate responsibility to someone or something else. Part of growing up is learning how to choose our own reality, to control it, by moving away from home, finding new friends, locating a job. In Life Serial – Giles asks Buffy what she wants to do with her life, what path she wishes to take, how she wants to reconstruct her reality. She truthfully responds that she has no clue. In fact towards the end of the episode she requests that Spike fix her reality. Spike misinterprets her request to mean that she wants to create a new one with him. But no – that would mean active participation –Buffy at this stage just wants someone else to do the work, whether that be Giles, her Mom, her friends, or Spike.
JONATHAN VOICEOVER: The Slayer always knows what she's doing. Sharp. Decisive. Always with a plan.. (Life Serial, Season 6, Btvs).
Maybe in the past – but this season Buffy has been anything but sharp, decisive or with a plan. Last year she had accepted her hands – symbolically Dawn and Spike – they were together, they had place in her life, which she clearly defined for them. She had accepted her role as the slayer. This year she jumps between Dawn and Spike like a ping pong ball with no clear direction, rejecting or embracing one or the other without much thought for the consequences. As a result, she appears to be detached, confused, directionless, just going through the motions. I disagree with Om and other posters – when they state Buffy is back in Entropy. Nope. Sorry. She’s still unbalanced and if anything weaker than ever. All she’s done is shift from the left hand (Spike) to the right (Dawn). Notice who’s an emotional mess in Entropy and who appears to be relatively calm and supportive? (Violent/Off the rails Spike – calm understanding Dawn) Notice who was going nuts in Older and Far Away, Wrecked and All The Way and who appeared relatively calm? (Whiney/Thieving Dawn – calm supportive Spike.) Also which episodes is Buffy physically strong in and which is she physically weak in? In Entropy, Buffy barely defeats those two vampires and it took her way too long to figure out Warren was behind the camera. Yet she’s wonderful with Dawn, takes her shopping, reveals her secrets. While in Dead Things and As You Were – she had no troubles fighting the Beasties, but could barely relate to Dawn. The only thing that’s changed for Buffy is the witty one liners, which for some reason comfort the audience as much as the character – but it’s just a defense mechanism, one that relates back to high school, which she and Xander have in common. It’s not the only one. They appear to be handling reality in a similar manner. Letting it control them. And when things get nasty? Crack a joke. It lightens the mood, but it doesn’t change the reality. They are about to discover that there are some things you can’t joke about. That they are no longer in high school.
The Troika has succeeded is controlling Buffy and by extension the Scoobies’ reality this year. Every episode in which they appear they manage to do something that shifts her reality out of focus or creates a new one. In Gone, they make Buffy invisible. In Dead Things, they successfully convince her that she killed someone. In Normal Again, they make her insane. And finally in Entropy, they inadvertently convince her that her ex- lover is spying on her, causing an even greater rift to erupt between Buffy and her left hand, weakening her further. Buffy and by extension the SG have become the Troika’s puppets, jumping at the Troika’s whim. Not once have they taken these nerdy villains seriously. So as a result the villains control their perception of reality, not the SG.
It didn’t surprise me that Buffy and Xander jumped to the conclusion that Spike was behind the camera – because let’s face it, Spike’s an amoral opportunistic demon and the Troika are human. Even after Spike denies it, Xander is still fairly convinced it’s him and not the nerds. This interpretation fits with their old high school interpretation of reality – where the world had rules and boundaries and an end zone. Xander just can’t take the nerds seriously. Poor Spike - external forces have shifted his reality so many times that I’ve lost track. First the wheel chair, then Dru dumping him, then the chip, then falling in love with Buffy, then Buffy dying, then Buffy being brought back, then entering a sexual relationship. He hasn’t been in charge for quite a while. Gotta give the vamp credit for adapting. After working so hard to reinvent himself as a helpmate to the SG and as Buffy’s left hand man, confidante, protector of Dawn, and occasional lover – it’s all being shifted on him again this time by Buffy. She has turned him into a sideshow freak that no one takes seriously and everyone emotionally, mentally and physically abuses. Spike is no longer in control of his reality, Buffy is at the wheel and the Troika is manipulating Buffy. Is it any wonder that poor Spike is about to go off the deep end? Unlike Buffy and Xander – Spike prefers to create his own reality – bend it to his liking. He can’t be happy with the fact that he’s no longer in control here – Buffy is. I suspect he will make at least one pathetic and incredibly violent attempt to re-assert control. Just as Anya made a pathetic attempt to re-assert control over her relationship with Xander. Like Anya, he’ll fail of course and his failure will send him reeling. By the way that’s usually the motive behind acts of extreme violence –attempt to regain control. Willow did it to Tara in All The Way and Tabula Rasa, Anya tries to do it to Xander in Entropy, Spike will try in Seeing Red. In Spike’s case – he’s attempting to regain control of his reality, which he perceives Buffy as wrenching from him. It’s interesting that of the three – Willow appears to be the only one who accomplished it and was later forgiven.
Right now, Warren is the only character who appears to be in control of his reality and everyone else’s. Warren plays with the other characters like you play with characters in a virtual reality X-box game, which reminds me of an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation (STNG). In an episode from the second season of STNG, a holo-deck character, Professor Moriarty, becomes aware that his reality is just a computer program and attempts to wrest control of the program from the Enterprise crew along with control of the starship. Moriarty wants to venture beyond the confines of the program’s reality and actually control his perception of it. The crew tricks the character into another portion of the computer so that the character perceives a new reality. Even if they never open the program – this character’s reality will continue to exist within the universe of the small box they’ve placed him. At the end of the episode, the Captain wonders: “What if we just exist within a small box and if so, how many realities are out there in similar boxes watching each other and how do we know which one is real?” This concept has been explored in at least two sci-fi films: The Thirteenth Floor, where the characters of a virtual reality program create their own program within a program within a program. And, of course, The Matrix, where mechanical beasts enslave humans by convincing them that the reality they imagine is the real one. BTvs explores the concept in Normal Again.
In Normal Again – the Troika poison Buffy, so that she spends the entire episode jumping between two separate realities – the reality of the asylum and the reality of Sunnydale. By the end of the episode neither Buffy nor the audience is certain which is real. Buffy does not appear to be in control of either reality. Although, in the asylum reality, she is told over and over again that she is in complete control of the Sunnydale reality. That she can end it at any time and controls all of the characters. While in the asylum reality she clearly has no control at all – she is drugged, sedated and placed in a straight jacket. Therefore she believes the asylum must be the real one – because of the two realities, she has the least control over it. The Doctor states: “(Buffy’s) created an intricate latticework to support her primary delusion. In her mind, she's the central figure in a fantastic world beyond imagination. She's surrounded herself with friends, most with their own superpowers ... who are as real to her as you or me. More so, unfortunately. Together they face ... grand overblown conflicts against an assortment of monsters both imaginary and rooted in actual myth. Every time we think we're getting through to her, more fanciful enemies magically appear.” According to the doctor, Buffy is in complete control of the slayer world or Sunnydale. The characters that inhabit that world are her creation. Without her, Sunnydale ceases to exist. Or does it? Does the asylum world cease to exist if she refuses to remain there? Does Sunnydale? Or can realities we create inside our heads exist separately from us? If we leave them, do the characters take control? Spike wonders this very thing when he helps Xander hunt down the demon that poisoned her:
SPIKE: So, she's having the wiggins, is she? Thinks none of us are real. Bloody self-centered, if you ask me. On the other hand, it might explain some things -- this all being in that twisted brain of hers. Yeah. Thinks up some chip in my head. Make me soft, fall in love with her, then turn me into her soddin' sex slave-
XANDER: What?!
SPIKE: Nothing. Alternative realities. Where we're all little figments of Buffy's funny-farm delusion. You know, in a different reality, you might not have left your bride at the altar. You might have gone through with it like a man. (Normal Again, Season 6 Btvs).
Spike’s remarks remind me of the Pirandello play, Six Characters in Search of An Author. In this play – the characters discover they aren’t real or in control. Fighting writers’ block - the author leaves them, telling them that they are now in control of their reality, because he’s run out of ideas. At first they react with fear and consternation, then slowly they start to adapt and enact their own story. Buffy appears to be doing the same thing with her friends and by extension Dawn and Spike. She’s done it before, by sacrificing her life to save the world. Who brings her back – Willow and Xander, just as they are the ones who work to bring her back from the asylum. Willow and Xander cannot live in a world without Buffy, even if she was happier elsewhere. Dawn and Spike, interestingly enough, do not try to bring her back. In Bargaining they are left out of the loop. In Normal Again - they help but they do not force her to drink. Spike even leaves her alone to do whatever she wishes. They both get fed up with her inability to accept them and leave. Or at least attempt to – Buffy manages to stop Dawn and attempts to kill her, thus removing her from the reality. Spike leaves on his own, fed up with her reluctance to see him. Spike has figured out that it’s not their sexual relationship that’s killing her, but her inability to accept responsibility for it, to admit her feelings whatever they are. As long as she doesn’t tell her friends, as long as her friends do not perceive it as real, she can ignore it, bury it under the rug. She doesn’t have to admit its existence. She can erase it and Spike from her reality. Buffy handles negative shifts in her reality by denying them. You don’t exist she tells her friends and Dawn in Normal Again. What we had isn’t real to me she tells Spike in Entropy. As she explains to Dawn, when her relationship with Spike is revealed, “I just didn’t want to admit to myself.” (Entropy) True – she didn’t. By denying her reality – the external forces shaping her reality begin to assert control. I learned this lesson long ago, the more I attempted to ignore my younger brother – the more he’d scream in my ear. He was real. Ignoring him did not change that. What has Buffy ignored this year? Willow’s use of magic. Dawn and her stealing until it erupted in Older and Far Away. Spike’s feelings for her. The Troika. Instead of dealing with these elements – confronting them, interpreting them and giving them meaning, she has tried to ignore them like a child who believes if she ignores her chores they will go away.
Remember what Willow states in Life Serial? “Social phenomena don't have unproblematic objective existences. They have to be interpreted and given meanings by those who encounter them.” Buffy has avoided doing just that – instead of attempting to understand and contructively deal with the social phenomena she has encountered or that has entered her reality – she has ignored it. Buffy, of all people, should know how dangerous that is. In this sense – Buffy has become Joyce, who managed to repress and ignore every supernatural problem that entered Buffy’s life. It wasn’t until she lost Buffy in Becoming Part II, Season 2 Btvs that Joyce’s perception of reality shifted.
Up until now, external forces have controlled our character’s perceptions of reality. What happens when they begin to take responsibility and control? Isn’t part of growing up learning how to actively participate in our society? To move out on our own? Figure out our own way in life? Create our own reality? But in order to do this, we must first perceive our reality, interpret it for ourselves. No longer rely on our parents, teachers, or classmates interpretations. It’s our interpretations that count, not the external one’s . We are responsible for and in control of how we perceive and react to reality. Part of growing up is understanding and handling that. Once we do we will never be the same nor for that matter will the characters of Btvs.
Well, hope that made sense. I think I might have gone a little over my own head on this one ;-) Looking forward to your comments as always. Feedback appreciated.
:- ) shadowkat (

[> Wow ! Brillant ! Plain and bloody brillant ! -- Etrangere, 10:00:32 05/07/02 Tue

Grand analysis, kat, probably one of my favorite of yours 'till now and i love them all :)

I love the interpretation of Spike and Dawn as Buffy's left and right hands, which goes with Spike as the Shadow and Dawn as her inner Innocence. Very perceptive point.

About this peculiar point among the great ones you made i want to talk about this one : "This concept has been explored in at least two sci-fi films: The Thirteenth Floor, where the characters of a virtual reality program create their own program within a program within a program. And, of course, The Matrix, where mechanical beasts enslave humans by convincing them that the reality they imagine is the real one. BTvs explores the concept in Normal Again."

I was to understress that two other movies plays with the idea in a more in-depth way. Those are eXistenZ, ofcourse and the more recent Avalon. In both those movies the game metaphore serves the idea of questionning the nature of reality and wondering about the unknown reality, the transcendantal reality (what happens after life, for exemple, a topic that Buffy also explores when her death is interpreted in NA as a brief recovery from her illness)
In both Avalon and Normal Again (in my interpretation anyway) the important thing is not which "world" is the real reality, but the fact that the character is placed in a position to choose which reality she wants to believe in, and each time someone tells them to believe in themselves to make that choice. Thus the question of the myriad of transcendantial realities is pushed away as unimportant while the immanent interpretation of the reality the character is put back into the center. We don't know what is reality, we only know what we believe in, this is what make us choose our reality, our interpretation of reality.

[> [> Re: Wow ! Brillant ! Plain and bloody brillant ! -- shadowkat, 10:14:15 05/07/02 Tue

Thanks - I forgot about eXintenz which is actually darker
and better than Matrix in some ways. Also a better corollary
to Buffy. I haven't seen Avalon - will have to look for it.

For those who don't know it - A woman convinces a man to join her in a virtual reality game with organic plug ins, as their realities shift within the game, we no longer know which reality is the real one. The reality shifts with their
perception of it. Exitenz reminds me of Total Recall -
which plays upon the same concept. In Total Recall which is based on the Philip K. Dick short story "you can buy it
from me wholesale" - the character purchases a dream which
utterly changes his perception of reality. The audience is left at the end, wondering once again which reality was real.

[> Re: Scooby Gang vs. Troika - Dealing with Reality (long! spoilers to Entropy) -- alcibiades, 10:35:53 05/07/02 Tue

What a great post, shadowkat. Agree with everything you say. Also agree with Shell that what the writers are doing this year is truly brilliant and more realistic than anything else on TV. I've been saying that for months, though possibly not on this board. That statement seems to piss off a lot of people, however. The negative response to that is always that that may be true but ME has forgotten that TV is for entertainment purposes. And this year is so depressing. That may be true, but the depression makes profound psychological sense. And it so much fun to puzzle it out.

I like the hands image of Dawn and Spike -- hadn't seen that before. One up and one down, makes perfect sense, one calm, the other violently unhappy.

I also like the idea of Spike as a comforting presence to Buffy in AL and the next few episodes because he looks the same to her -- she hasn't perceived that he has changed.

Two details to add in your delineation of Spike as the person who is most comfortable with reality shifts. In DT, unlike Buffy, who is entirely thrown off her game, Spike is not confused or confounded by the time shifting demons. He adjusts to it perfectly and even is able to help Buffy with the reality shifts, calling out to her whenever she needs help adjusting because she is not sensing danger approaching.

The second occasion is in NA, when, as soon as Spike hears about what is going on with Buffy, he is able to figure out what the alternate universe looks like entirely from Buffy's perspective, how that reality shift effects the way Buffy is thinking/dealing with/looking at/treating both Xander and himself. He can think clearly in a shifted reality and make sense of it. Spike understands immediately that Buffy believes it is only the chip that has softened him enough to make him fall in love with her -- that it is not him at all, his essence, his being, that Buffy thinks is in love with her. Small wonder. That is a direct analogy to Angel and his soul. It is only the soul that softened Angel enough to make him love her. But the soul can be removed, just like the chip can be removed, and that means that the underlying demonic presence will re-emerge not loving her. Her lack of trust of Spike even now with everything they have gone through highlights this anxiety on her part.

I like the point about Buffy not being able to emerge from the nightmare in the store in Life Serial until she has figured out how to satisfy another person's needs. I think she has spent the year entirely unable to do this. Even the day in the outdoor mall last week with Dawn and making her breakfast seems to me superficial, satisfying the externals. She hasn't addressed the real issues that have been separating her from Dawn this year -- her inability to give to either Spike or Dawn in a meaningful way. To me, her little tribute to Dawn in Entropy seems much the same as sex without meaning she keeps giving Spike. Superficially satisfying, and both Spike and Dawn can twist themselves to accept the meager offering because they both need Buffy to love them, but in neither case is she addressing the widening abyss opening up at all of their feet.

You write: "According to the doctor, Buffy is in complete control of the slayer world or Sunnydale."

I think this delusion has lingered past Normal Again vis-a- vis her relationship with Spike. She keeps thinking if she denies it in every which way, her feelings won't be true, they will just go away. It is the voice of the super-ego, which she associates with Riley spiraling up into the light and the life of the hero.

Andrew is the troika member who keeps summoning reality shifting demons. He's also shifted his perception to evil villain pretty quickly. It will be interesting to see what happens to him in future episodes. If he has to shift again, how well he will do it.

[> Re: Scooby Gang vs. Troika - Dealing with Reality (long! spoilers to Entropy) -- maddog, 10:44:32 05/07/02 Tue

All I gots to say is...WOW! Well said.

[> Re: Scooby Gang vs. Troika - Dealing with Reality (long! spoilers to Entropy) -- MaeveRigan, 10:58:17 05/07/02 Tue

Excellent post! Really appreciate your insights here! Thanks especially for highlighting the significance of the "Social Construction of Reality" sequence of "Life Serial," which comes so early in the season, but as you note, is really a keynote for the whole arc.

[> Drugs -- matching mole, 11:13:29 05/07/02 Tue

Thanks for the best analysis of season 6 I've seen to date. I'll have to go away and think about this some. But in the meantime I'm going to commment briefly on the 'drug metaphor'. It seems to me that 'magic as a drug' fits in well with your ideas. People take psycho-active drugs because they want to exert some control over reality even if it's only temporary. Willow's use of magic can be a means of controlling reality to suit her wishes and an addiction at the same time. I thought the magic as drug thing was clumsily handled but seemed clearly what the writers intended. It also doesn't seem as discordant with your ideas as you seem to think it does.

[> [> Actually agree - good catch -- shadowkat, 11:24:31 05/07/02 Tue

Uh yeah...I realized that when I was writing it, but was
hoping could get around it.

You're right of course - as anyone who has experimented with mind alterring substances can attest to, specifically ecstasy, LSD, and shrooms. Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson - two beat writers - used LSD in the sixties to alter their perceptions of reality. The government experimented with its use to alter people who had sociopathic or schizophrenic tendencies. It was outlawed
shortly after this due to the fact that people were using the drugs outside controlled situations and as a result losing their sanity.

Yep - there's a definite corollary. But the story still isn't about addiction so much as it is about the desire to control or alter reality - which substances such as LSD
have often been used.

[> [> Re: Drugs -- alcibiades, 11:51:43 05/07/02 Tue

The problem is that it deals only with the superficial reality and goes no further. It's an addiction like drugs. But even drug addicts have to ask, eventually and if they want to recover, why they are addicted to drugs -- what's driving them. Buffy thinks she knows because she fancies she has been addicted to Spike all year. All she has to do is stop inhaling and see, addiction over.

And ME keeps throwing Willow's drug addiction in our face, like it is all settled as to what the problem was and now it is taken care of. You just know it has got to rise from the depths and bite someone.

It is rather like the way that Buffy, and now Willow, throws around the conclusions Buffy reached from the entirely unexplained demon eggs. They have been mentioned or implied three times now, and everyone is just content to assume that all it means is that Spike really is the same demon he was in pre-Restless. He can't change. He is still the way Riley pegged him, the way he was at the end of Season 4. Buffy echoed Riley's words in Entropy. Steal or lie or manipulate. entirely amoral if not immoral.

I think it is breathtaking that Buffy never asked her lover once what was going on with those eggs. She saw it as a personal betrayal however, Spike betrayed her, and like Wesley on Angel, no one is going to ask him why, what it meant, what was his rationale. Angel refuses to forgive his betrayer as well so far, or even to contemplate the thought of forgiving him.

Last year the Spirit guide told Buffy Love, Give, Forgive, and she has failed in all three categories this year as far as I can see, except that she still loves Willow and Xander.

And, to Buffy's mind, if Spike is the way he was at the end of Season 4, so is Willow, so is Xander. So Buffy doesn't think she has to consider their problems in any more depth than she has. All she has to do is what she did earlier, try to comfort them when they are down. Ignore the looming abysses at all their feet cause they'll just go away.

To echo shadowkat, Buffy's conclusion reflects the reality she is most comfortable with. The one from the past. All year long, and she still is not attuned to the reality she is currently living in and the shifts that took place when she was dead.

[> [> Magic and drugs -- Sophist, 12:53:40 05/07/02 Tue

The problem I'm having here is that magic and drugs aren't the same in their impact on reality. Drugs alter one's subjective experience of reality, but not the "outside" real world. Magic, in contrast, does alter the world outside in order to suit the preferences of the spellcaster. Since magic controls external reality, the metaphor to drugs is inconsistent because they only control the internal, subjective construction of reality.

[> [> [> Re: Magic and drugs -- matching mole, 14:02:11 05/07/02 Tue

Which is basically why I thought the metaphor was clumsily handled when it got very blatant and obvious. Magic clearly gives the user power while drugs generally make the user less effectual.

However Willow's specific use of magic seems from her POV very much like drug use. When she cast the forgetting spell on Tara I don't think the emphasis was on changing Tara. Willow liked Tara the way she was. Willow just wanted the fight to go away. I think people often abuse drugs for much the same reason - they want to excise tiny bits of reality that they don't like. Those bits of reality are still there though, when they come down. Similarly Willow's efforts to remove the conflict between Tara and herself are always temporary.

Now as you point out the metaphor is doomed to fail if you extend it beyond this very limited scenario. Willow's failure to get what she wants, in a strict sense, is due to her underuse of magic rather than her overuse. If she was willing to more blatantly abuse her power she could have gotten Tara back anytime she wanted (of course it wouldn't really be Tara anymore). Drug users aren't affecting external reality in the same way - if they escalate their drug use they will damage their health and possibly die.

[> [> [> [> Re: Magic and drugs -- alcibiades, 15:05:47 05/07/02 Tue

"Willow just wanted the fight to go away"

I think that is an over-simplication. Willow wanted the fight to go away because Tara was telling her this new power - this new shift in her self-perception as a powerful person - that she was enjoying more and and more was getting way out of control. Tara wants Willow to remain Willow. Willow doesn't want to question painfully these new feelings of omniscience and invulnerability she was exulting in. She didn't want to retire them, to make them go away or even to diminish them. She was totally getting off on the new magically enhanced Willow. It's her whole new existential reality and her own budding self-perception that she is enamored of that she will have to call into question. And that she is not willing to do. Giles did it, and she threatened him explicitly.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Magic and drugs -- Sophist, 15:32:56 05/07/02 Tue

I think I see mm's point here -- if we limit our view to the forget spell, then there are similarities to drug use. In this case, maybe, the analogy is to drugging another, or it could be seen as Willow using a drug to make herself feel good. In either case, Willow may be attempting to alter her subjective reality (or Tara's).

Overall, though, I agree with alcibiades. The forget spell was not the only one Willow cast. Almost all the others attempted to re-make external reality in her own preferred way; they were uses or abuses of power. In that sense, as I think we all agree, the magic=drugs metaphor collapses.

[> Re: Wow and Double Wowzers (long! spoilers to Entropy) -- LittleBit, 11:43:43 05/07/02 Tue

Shadowkat, I don't think it's possible for you to go over your head!

I find myself questioning whether or not Buffy did truly 'come back' with only just a bit of a cosmic sunburn. It seems as though she has lost the knowledge of herself that was an innate part of her success as a Slayer. She told Kendra "my emotions give me power." And now she is denying their very existence. Intellectually, she knows what feelings should be there in a given situation, and can often act as though she feels them, but underneath she's not really getting it. The affect [as in emotional tone] is just flat.

She hasn't been a friend to Willow or Xander, not the kind of friend she could be. She hasn't been a sister or a mother- figure to Dawn. There hasn't been much in the way of evil activity around Sunnydale, yet she is unable to give her emotional attention to her family and firends. She certainly won't allow romantic entanglements, not with Spike, not really with anyone. As much as this may be her desire to pretend it isn't happening, it could also be a lack of emotional recognition. She's been there physically, but emotionally she's just elsewhere. [aside - I think the portrayal of her emotions fits with this - they never look real when we're only pretending to them]. She is able to deal with bits and pieces, Spike here, Dawn there, but only in isolated moments; never sustained, never fully.

She sees her reality, sees it shift, but never feels it. Perhaps Spike is able to perceive it with and for her because, of them all, he leads most with raw emotion. It may be that she won't be able to until the price is paid for the return of her life; it may be this is part of the price. But until she and her emotions are back in touch, she will never be, or feel, right.

[> [> What's wrong with Buffy (again?) -- MaeveRigan, 12:12:18 05/07/02 Tue

LittleBit wrote:

"I find myself questioning whether or not Buffy did truly 'come back' with only just a bit of a cosmic sunburn. It
seems as though she has lost the knowledge of herself that was an innate part of her success as a Slayer. She told
Kendra 'my emotions give me power.' And now she is denying their very existence."

I suspect that when we look back at the entire season, we'll say that it actually took Buffy almost the entire 22 episodes to really "come back;" that she was, as you say, present physically, but metaphorically "dead" emotionally throughout most of season 6. And that's part of the reality that she has to face, grow up to claim and deal with in a new way.

It hasn't been pretty, and it's not going to get better until it gets worse. But that's typical ME for you.

[> [> [> Re: What's wrong with Buffy (again?) -- maddog, 12:21:59 05/07/02 Tue

I'd even venture to say that if she came back any sooner it wouldn't be believable....satisfying to the average fan, but completely unrealistic. You don't just get over being dead within a few just doesn't work that way.

[> [> Re: Wow and Double Wowzers (long! spoilers to Entropy) -- DEN, 12:13:25 05/07/02 Tue

Add me to the list of enthusiasts--easily the best sense anyone's made of s6 to date. I especially like the notion of the troika controlling the scoobs. It seems to be a major element of tonight's story as well.

[> Re: Scooby Gang vs. Troika - Dealing with Reality (long! spoilers to Entropy) -- Dedalus, 12:13:15 05/07/02 Tue

Bloody amazing. Someone needs to post this over at the Existential Scooby site.

[> [> Re: Scooby Gang vs. Troika - Dealing with Reality (long! spoilers to Entropy) -- shadowkat, 12:26:50 05/07/02 Tue

You have my permission to post it - I'd do it, but I don't know the url for the existential scooby site. Actually
didn't know there was one.

This board is the most in depth, philosophical, board I've
found to date.

[> Re: Scooby Gang vs. Troika - also long, but not too spoliery -- redcat, 12:44:31 05/07/02 Tue

Thanks for the wonderful post, shadowkat! Once again, you’ve made me think more deeply
about the psychological structure of the show. I agree with you wholeheartedly that B is not
“back” yet, that our hero has a ways to go on her journey yet. And your developing “hand”
critique is outstanding. Thanks for taking us along on that journey as you continue to make
these connections

I’d like to raise an issue though, to see what you and the community might make of it. I
apologize in advance if this topic has already been discussed on another thread. If so, please
point me to it and many thanks. My question comes from the fact that the mythic structure
that I find the most relevant to the show is based on my reading of the Inanna myth as related
by Wolkstein and Kramer (and my understanding of similar myth cycles in Polynesian cultures,
particularly that of Pele and her sister Hi’iaka). In the Inanna myth, the hero-goddess ventures
on the archetypical hero’s journey, the structure of which has been so carefully laid out by
Campbell and which has been discussed at length on this board.

During that journey, Inanna has helpers, some sent by her maternal grandfather, the god of
the heavens (? - I’m doing this from memory, so please forgive, Inanna buffs, and help correct
any errors). Those helpers are her friends and obvious allies. But some of those who help
Inanna on her journey initially appear to be opponents, like her dark sister Ereshkigal who
hangs her on a hook, and others linked to the world below, including a “gate-keeper” type
character who initially takes away her sacred attributes on her way into the underworld and
then gives her back enhanced attributes as she makes her way back up to the overworld.

I bring up Inanna’s journey because, as in many other cultures’ myth cycles, the help she gets
from her opponents is crucial to the hero’s growth, and getting that help forces her to deal with
the ambiguous nature of good and evil in both the world and the “other” world, the “reality” of
the shared outside and the equally real world of the inner self. Much has already been written
about the ways in which season 6 forces all the SG to deal with their inner demons and
shadow selves, with the process of growing up (Inanna’s tale is quite literally the story of a
hero growing up) and accepting the need to, as ‘kat sharply observes, ACT in the world as
adults, to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions as well as of their
*perceptions* of others’s actions, i.e, the “objective existences” that Willow notes are so

Given all of that, I keep wanting to read the Troika as in some ways interpretable as Buffy’s
opponent-helpers. And I keep getting the feeling that the three of them (well, at least two) are
in some weird ways direct correlates of the gang itself. Each trial they’ve put B through has
had the direct effect of teaching her something about herself and her strengths and
weaknesses, or about her need to act, or her need to not hide and keep secrets, etc. These
lessons, though hard and painful and not at all what the Troika intended, are, I would argue,
absolutely necessary for her to move on in her journey back from the dead and truly into the
world of the living.

I don’t think it’s an accident that ME have developed such close parallels between the Troika
characters and the Scoobs themselves. Andrew is clearly homoerotically inclined (“Timothy
Dalton,” Spike is “soooo cool”) but still very closeted, and while I don’t think he is evil in the way
Warren is, he seems to have a somewhat naive moral code that allows him to think one can
“get away with” stuff as long as no-one “tells” on him. This is uncannily similar to Willow,
especially her self -definition as someone who is rarely “naughty” and her moral naivete during
the subtle disagreement she has with Tara when Dawn wants to raise Joyce from the dead.
While Jonathan is terribly wrong to have gone along with everything so far, IMHO he has been
cast as the “heart” of that gang, and he acts (at least somewhat) from the conflicts between his
deep sense of insecurity and an immaturely developed sense of right and wrong --- at least
some of which sounds like a younger Xander to me. Even the physical characteristics link
these two sets of characters, ie., relative hair shade, preferred types of t-shirts, body type (as
an expression of lack of self-confidence), etc.

I can’t figure Warren out at all. He disgusts me so deeply that I have a hard time dealing with
him on an analytical level - yet...

Don’t know if any of this makes sense or where it can be taken, and am unfortunately stuck in
front of a huge pile of final exams and essays that desperately need grading, so this is as far
as I’ve gotten. But it’s something I’ve been trying to work out in my head for a few weeks now
and I’d be interested in others’ thoughts on the matter.

a hui hou (until we meet again),

[> Absolutely brilliant -- Wynn, 13:18:28 05/07/02 Tue

I have always enjoyed your essays; they have illuminated new perceptions and layers to BtVS that I haven't noticed before. But this essay was mind blowing (at least for me!)

I hadn't thought about Dawn and Spike as Buffy's right and left hands, almost like the two sides of her personality, Buffy the girl and Buffy the Slayer, that she has been trying to balance since Season One. Excellent observation.

Also, I was fascinated about your comments about the Troika controlling the SG and how the SG has failed to take them seriously. I agree with your statement about the SG not taking the Troika seriously because they're the human nerds they remember from high school (at least Warren and Jonathan). If it was a demon or a vampire that had manipulated them and killed a person Buffy and co. probably would have reacted quicker. The Troika have taken the Scoobies in general and Buffy in particular nothing but seriously, and this makes them the most formidable villains that we've ever seen on Buffy- the underestimated villain.

Lastly, I also noticed that Spike seems to be about to go "off the deep end." He looked defeated when Xander was beating him up- he didn't try to defend himself or attack Xander; he just accepted it. Well, at least until the "It was good enough for Buffy" comment.

Keep up the excellent work on your essays. They are very much appreciated and enjoyed.


[> I love this! Thank you... -- Tillow, 13:24:37 05/07/02 Tue

Maybe you can do an addendum after tonight's ep? :)


[> Re: Scooby Gang vs. Troika - Dealing with Reality (long! spoilers to Entropy) -- Raccoon, 08:16:19 05/08/02 Wed

Your essays are such great food for thought, shadowkat. Thanks! *chomps on essay*

This gave me a flashback to my own days as a philosophy undergraduate, when I took a class in Epistemology. One of the questions raised was "How do you prove that the world really does exist outside of your own perception of it?" The professor admitted the absurdity of denying the existence of a physical world, and I remember thinking that a good proof was that nobody would imagine such uncomfortable lecture hall seats. I didn't write that on the exam, though.

But whether you ultimately can prove the existence of our physical reality or not (and can you? *g*) isn't the point of this philosophical exercise. It's the steps we take in trying to prove it that matters. The theoretical journey, as the Mayor might put it.

I very much agree with you that the perception of reality is an issue this season. I'd say that this is very evident on a metanarrative level as well. Your reference to Pirandello is spot on - the Scoobies *are* reminiscent of his bewildered characters. The writers have pretty much taken a paintbrush and redecorated Sunnydale from Country Comfort to Steel Avant Garde. Buffy is ripped from her grave, and her friends are scrambling around, having to deal with her death at last. Suddenly there are benign demons, while the comfort of magic as an aiding force is taken away from them. No more comforting metaphors; just a very unhellmouthy reality.

More than in earlier seasons the audience is adressed by the writers. Both OMWF and "Waiting in the Wings" can be interpreted as allegories on the act of creating; the former perhaps as a Dionysian excercise, the latter as its Apollonian counterpart. In both IMHO we, as spectators, are criticized for failing to accept change and altered circumstances. AYW seemed to chastise both the Scoobies and the audience for failing to appreciate Riley while he was in Sunnydale. And, as many have noted, Buffy's psychiatrist in NA seemed to voice many of the discontents and concerns viewers have felt about the direction of S6.

On a narrative level it might be important to note that so many of Buffy's altered-reality experiences are forced upon her by the Troika, who are probably less in touch with reality than anyone else in Sunnydale. (Which is interesting, concerning that the writers have said that the Troika were inspired by their own staff meetings:)) By way of their technology they have become both the chronologers and the dei ex machina of Sunnydale. In all their delusional nerdiness *they* are the ones who force the Scoobies to face their collective reality in Entropy.

Just some thoughts.

Son of Vampire (spoilers) -- purplegrrl, 11:11:46 05/07/02 Tue

It just occurred to me that Joss may be playing with a more obscure aspect of the vampire myth -- the dampire, the human son of a vampire. My research is a little hazy, but if I remember correctly the dampire may be half vampire (like Blade) or entirely human (presumably like Conner/Steven). The main goal of a dampire is to fight vampires, whether by training or just because they are evil and he has the knowledge and strength to do it. A dampire fights on the side of Good.

Is Conner a dampire? Technically, yes. But he doesn't know it yet, which I think is also part of the dampire legend. The killing of the father is goal/duty of the dampire. (Yes, very Oedipal.)

Of course Conner's vendetta against Angel is personal, instilled in him by Holtz, and has very little to do with the fact that Angel is a vampire and much more to do with the fact that Angel killed Holtz's family. Yes, we see Conner fighting hell-dimension beasties and Earth-dimension nasties, but that is part of his training. He hunts demons (for food? for sport?). Look at how Conner went to Sunny's rescue -- saving the damsal in distress even though the damsel put her own self in distress. This sort of attitude is very much a product of Holtz's black-and-white view of reality. (Which is not to say that Angel would not have taught him something similar.)

But what Conner really wants is to kill Angel. Or possibly even destroy Angel. The difference being just killing him or letting Angel think that Conner is accepting his side of the story, getting him to let his guard down, and *then* killing him.

I hope we'll see a transformation of Conner. Not so much that Conner betrays Holtz (although that could be a theme this year!), but that he refuses to kill Angel because he realizes Angel is trying to make amends for his past sins (which, of course, Holtz will see as a betrayal -- similar to how Angel currently feels about Wesley). There is something very circuitous or mirror-image about all of this.

[> Re: Son of Vampire (spoilers) -- neaux, 12:09:29 05/07/02 Tue

hmm... never heard of that term.

I have heard of the term Vampeel (which is half human half vampire)

[> [> Re: looked up -- neaux, 13:00:18 05/07/02 Tue

after a quick search in google I came across Vampeel, Dunpeel and Dampire. I guess all are interchangable..

thanks Purplegrrl.. I learned some new terms..

[> [> [> I've also seen it spelled dhampire and dhampyre... -- redcat, 13:07:39 05/07/02 Tue

...there's a good article that discusses the dhampire child- of-a-vamp story in relation to Angel and his vamp family in _Fighting the Forces_, the hard-copy-only :( anthology from Slayage. It only goes up to AtS 2, but might be useful.

Diana DeKelb-Rittenhouse, "Sex and the Single Vampire: The Evolution of the Vampire Lothario and its Representation in Buffy." If anyone wants a copy, I can xerox and mail if you supply the postage.

[> Mirror-image-ness (spoilers) -- VampRiley, 13:30:04 05/07/02 Tue

I, for one, am definitily enjoying the mirror-image- ness:

1) Angel wants to explain to Connor his side of what's happened.

Wes wanted to live to explain his side of his taking Connor.

2) But when Connor and Angel meet again, Connor wants Angel dead without hearing his side.

When Angel and Wes meet in the hospital, Angel tries to smoother Wes without hearing his side.

It seems rather karmic: What you do, comes back on you and bites you on the ass.

Never head of vampeel, dunpeel and dampire before, but I did know of dhampire and dhampyre.


[> Mirror-image-ness (spoilers) -- VampRiley, 13:32:15 05/07/02 Tue

I, for one, am definitily enjoying the mirror-image- ness:

1) Angel wants to explain to Connor his side of what's happened.

Wes wanted to live to explain his side of his taking Connor.

2) But when Connor and Angel meet again, Connor wants Angel dead without hearing his side.

When Angel and Wes meet in the hospital, Angel tries to smoother Wes without hearing his side.

It seems rather karmic: What you do, comes back on you and bites you on the ass.

Never head of vampeel, dunpeel and dampire before, but I did know of dhampire and dhampyre.


[> Connor seems half and half to me ;) -- The Last Jack, 15:15:33 05/07/02 Tue

I don't know if I would call Connor entirely human, seeing as he easily jumped off an overpass, and that whole thing with the bus. While I wouldn't say he is as strong as Angel, I would say he's got more vampire in his DNA than human. And don't forget, he survived in a hell dimension for several years, and ended up becoming a feared hunter called the Destroyer.

[> [> Re: Identity of Destroyer -- SpikeMom, 19:29:00 05/07/02 Tue

I agree that Connor is more Vamp than human, and probably doesn't know it.

I also am thinking we're jumping the gun in identifying Connor as the Destroyer. With the personality that is Holtz, he could be The Destroyer and using Connor as a tool to kill and control to his heart's content.

[> Re: Son of Vampire (spoilers) -- Corwin of Amber, 20:45:15 05/07/02 Tue

I did a little research on the net into Dampiri a few weeks ago when the whole Connor thing came up. There are several names for the it Dampire, Dhamphyre, and Malsain for example. All the folk stories are from the Bosnia/Serbia/Transylvania/Moravia area of the world and they all seem to agree that male vampires would have an urge to have sex with their wives as soon as they crawl out of their graves for the first. The result of that union is a Dampir, which always seems to be male. Dampir have some of the qualities of vampires...supernatural strength and speed, an urge to drink blood, and the ability to sense nearby vampires. But they are living persons, and can be killed by anything that would kill a normal human. Usually Dampir seek out and kill their father as a sort of rite of passage, and then make a living as vampire hunters.
Dampir have appeared in tv and film before. Blade is the most recent example, another one is Vampire Hunter D.

Cordelia's second cut (a micro essay) -- matching mole, 13:33:13 05/07/02 Tue

In the Jossverse characters are like double bladed weapons; the traits that get the job done (e.g. Xander’s moral absolutism and loyalty) are also the traits that get them into trouble (e.g. Xander’s general inability to admit his mistakes and his harsh judgment of others). The blade cuts both ways – where you want it to go and where you don’t.

An interesting apparent exception to this rule has been the Cordelia Chase of the last two seasons of AtS. In her (very) recent essay Shadowkat discusses the collapse of the Scoobies’ realities in BtVS season 6 and their failure to deal with the problem by either ignoring or attempting to control reality. Cordelia’s reality collapsed much earlier than this. Her father went bankrupt, she lost her friends and popularity, she went off to LA and lived in poverty. Then she got the visions, which forced her out of her anti- empathic world. Cordelia met the challenge of the new reality. She apparently retained her tough inner core but developed compassion and a broader moral perspective. A little vanity remained but Queen C was definitely the moral center of AI, a figure of confidence and benevolence.

Or is she? I would argue that underlying Cordelia’s sterling qualities a strong streak of lack of confidence remains as a result of her transition from spoiled rich girl to helping the helpless vision girl. The degree to which Cordelia’s self worth is tied up with ‘helping the helpless’ or more specifically helping Angel is demonstrated by her secretiveness about the toll the visions were taking on her, prior to her demonization. Her willingness to take on a sacrificial burden is noble but it can be narcissistic if taken to far. You can’t help the helpless if your head explodes and we get the sense that Cordelia might have preferred to die a noble death than leave her visions behind and resume life as an ordinary and, in her opinion, fairly useless person.

Since becoming part demon Cordy’s barbs and criticism of Angel have become muted. While she showed no signs of returning Angel’s romantic interest (and in fact has remained completely oblivious to it) she has become much more vocal about her admiration for him as a ‘champion’. Her self worth seems clearly to overly invested in a single stock – helping Angel. Therefore Angel’s worthiness has become increasingly identified with her own self-worth.

A year ago Angel’s two obsessions were Darla and Wolfram&Hart. He shut Cordelia out and she was devastated (more so than Gunn or Wesley). This year Angel’s two obsessions are Connor and Cordelia. This crisis plays right into her need to be useful. She is the person most suited to comfort Angel, to help him so that he can go on. Unlike last year, pointing out his obsessive behaviour is not going to get her what she wants – an infallible champion that she can help and thereby feel good about herself.

Many people, including me, were surprised that the return of Cordelia from her vacation with Groo did nothing to alter the dynamic between Wesley and the rest of AI. I thought that she would go off to Wesley’s place within the hour to find out what the hell was going on. But I think that her identification with Angel has become too strong to allow her to do this which would be an admission that Angel’s behaviour may be, at least in part, unjustified.

For this reason I think that a romantic relationship between Angel and Cordelia would be bad for both of them (not saying that it won’t happen). Angel’s periods of obsessive behaviour require a romantic partner who is willing to stand up to him. The Cordy of the past would have done that but not the present version. And Cordelia needs someone who will encourage her to regrow that backbone of steel.

[> Re: Cordelia's second cut (a micro quibble) -- pr10n, 14:43:22 05/07/02 Tue

I agree with your great essay -- it's a big no-no for Angel and Cordy to pair off -- but I think she wants to give over control, romantically.

>The Cordy of the past would have done that but not the
>present version.

I think Cordelia has always been written in search of a strong romantic foil. When Jesse the Vamp shows up at the Bronze in The Harvest, she agrees to just one dance (paraphrastic) after he growls, "Shut up" and puts a little vampy pressure on the small of her back.

And she falls for Xander after several chivalrous acts change her opinion of him. Strong father figure much, Cordy?

[> Re: Cordelia and Groo/ Xander and Anya(spoils) -- neaux, 14:50:21 05/07/02 Tue

Great points. I find it interesting after watching last night's episode that Cordelia is mirroring Xander and Groo is sounding a lot like Anya. Cordelia and Xander both want to fight the "good" fight.

Cordelia speaks too loudly of being by Angel's side and being there in his time of need (which comes off as offensive to Groo.) In the same way, Anya felt as if Buffy's needs came first to Xander. Xander didnt seem to hesitate to join in Buffy's battles, and Anya was put off by these actions.

Groo and Anya I guess feel shafted. Maybe shafted is too harsh, but they were coming in second to another person and that can hurt.

You could say that love is about Undivided attention. Does that sound too selfish?But in the game of love, you want to be number 1.. dont you?

These are my fears...
After watching Xander and Anya fail at their relationship, I fear that Cordy and Groo will not last. This scares me, because I am really enjoying Groo's screentime and I would hate to see that diminish.

The ultimate end - an opinion how Buffy should 'Finally' end -- Goji3, 14:53:11 05/07/02 Tue

I'm not talking about a season ender, i'm talking about a series ender, or better yet, if after the show, they do a followup film or two, the end for the last one.

It boils down to this:

After defeating the 'Big Bad', in a costly battle. the gang is tired, weak and injured...and just in time to face a 'Plague Monster'

A swarm of very nast monsters that, if left to trhere own devices, could destroy the world. Individually weak, they draw their main strength from there great numbers.

Despite there fatigue, they decide to fight the hoard. even though they are not getting any help from other forces, even though they are hopelessly outmatched, they decide to fight.

as the swarm approaches, they await there arival and...

it ends there.

That would be a most enjoyable conclusion to all this.

Opinions? Comments? Guesses as to where I got the idea from?

[> Re: The ultimate end - an opinion how Buffy should 'Finally' end - Frey spoiler -- Dochawk, 16:13:09 05/07/02 Tue

If Joss is to be believed in Frey, we know the series and/or movies will end with some slayer (Dawn?) vanquishing the last of the known demons resulting in several hundred years of demon free living.

in my opinion, Buffy should find her peace in some manner. Death or Love (or both) or maybe just acceptment and contentment. But there needs to be a psychological fufillment to this series that is run in metaphor.

[> Re: The ultimate end - an opinion how Buffy should 'Finally' end - Frey spoiler -- Dochawk, 16:17:39 05/07/02 Tue

If Joss is to be believed in Frey, we know the series and/or movies will end with some slayer (Dawn?) vanquishing the last of the known demons resulting in several hundred years of demon free living.

in my opinion, Buffy should find her peace in some manner. Death or Love (or both) or maybe just acceptment and contentment. But there needs to be a psychological fufillment to this series that is run in metaphor.

Connor's Reappearance and Wesley's Forgiveness -- Dochawk, 14:37:50 05/07/02 Tue

Does Connor's reappearance set the stage for Angel to begin to forgive Wesley?

[> Could be (spoilers for aNW) -- matching mole, 15:00:50 05/07/02 Tue

Good point - I'd been thinking much the same thing. Angel seemed to go through another epiphany like change last night much as we have seen in the past. Obsessive Angel suddenly becomes, well less obsessive. When we first meet Angel in BtVS he doesn't seem prone to being rash or judgemental. In fact he is generally (when in posession of his soul) pretty level headed. Angel is the one who reaches out to Faith even when Buffy is out to get her for example. Recently we've alternated between goofy Angel and obsessive 'noir' Angel. In A New World we seemed to see a return to the more thoughtful Angel of the past. We'll have to see how this plays out when Angel is interacting with someone other than Connor.

[> [> Wesley, Angel & Forgiveness? (spoilers through aNW) -- oceloty, 23:38:58 05/07/02 Tue

OK, spoilers below for Angel season 3 through A New World.

The question at hand:

Does Connor's reappearance set the stage for Angel to begin to forgive Wesley?

I'd say, the fact that Angel hasn't actually killed Wesley yet is a good sign. :)

I'd agree with matching mole that on Buffy, Angel seemed obsessive about Buffy but pretty thoughtful and almost meticulously cautious. (One thing of the things that struck me about him was the way tended to look around a room as he entered, like he was always expecting an ambush.) On ATS, he seems much more rash. (I chalk this up to writer convenience, but maybe it's supposed to reflect his growing humanity and connections with people he cares about.)

My take on Angel in ATS season 3 is he's been struggling to change, with varying degrees of success. He knows he's obsessive and that it's caused problems in the past (like, all of season 2), but that doesn't mean it's easy to learn new ways to deal. We didn't see his initial reaction to Buffy's death, but in Heartthrob he's clearly worked through the worst of it and is ready to get back to work. In That Vision Thing, his rush-in-and-save Cordelia mode gets (somewhat) tempered when he talks to Wesley. Of course, he's still melodramatic "my responsibility" guy in Billy, and I'm not even going to think about Provider.

I'd say a big change in Angel's ability to derail his own obsessiveness came post-Connor. There's that conversation with Cordelia (in Dad) about how he can't be everything for his son, followed by his trusting his friends with Connor. There's this look on Angel's face as he walks back into the hotel, that says "hmmm." And I can almost hear the gears shifting.

It does seem that when his life gets complicated, Angel's first reaction is still his old behavior patterns. All the mayhem in Forgiving being a prime example, or his brood- athon in Double or Nothing. But, given a little time and space, though, he can work through it, change his ways of dealing. I was impressed with his willingness to try to move on at the end of Double or Nothing, and especially with his line to Cordelia in The Price, something like: "I'm just trying not to be so wrapped up in my problems, so into my own head." Give the guy a cigar, maybe he really did learn something from the whole mess with Darla.

At last, the actual point: Does Connor's reappearance set the stage for Angel to begin to forgive Wesley? Based on Double or Nothing and the Price, I actually think that given enough time and space, Angel would have gotten to that point. With the curse, etc., Angel clearly understands the need for forgiveness on an abstract. And from his conversation with Gunn, intellectually, he understands (and sympathizes with) people making desparate, shaky decisions to protect those they care about. So to forgive Wesley, what Angel needs is to understand and apply all these things emotionally. But as we've seen, that can take a while.

I think that Connor's reappearance could actually make it _harder_ for Angel forgive Wes. First, the poor kid has as much emotional baggage as his father, so Angel is going to be too busy with the latest rollercoaster (plus fighting for his life, saving the world, etc.) to deal with issues as he's been doing. (Or for Cordelia to talk to him about it.) Also, Connor's presence and vengeance gig are going to be constant reminders of the consequences of Wesley's actions. And plotwise, is there really time to deal with Holtz, Connor, and Wesley in just two episodes?

My biggest reason for thinking forgiveness won't happen soon is that they've spent so much time (is it 3 episodes now?) establishing Wesley's despair, that I think they're going to do a whole beige Wesley arc. It's just personal speculation, but my guess is that the Angel/Wes tension won't be seriously addressed until next season. (Watch me be wrong. Which would be cool, because I'd love to see the writers pull it off.)

[> [> [> beige Wesley -- Masq, 09:49:22 05/08/02 Wed

I assume you say "beige Wesley" because you can't imagine him being dark. Me, either. Surely he knows if he wasn't a traitor taking Connor from Angel, he would surely be a traitor if he joined Wolfram and Hart. I just don't see him doing that.

I'm spoiler-free, though, so I have no idea what's going to happen. But I agree, with two episodes to go, Wesley's next move will only begin to happen before the season ends.

I guess now we know why it was titled "Seeing Red" (wholesome spoilery goodness) -- RichardX1, 18:10:17 05/07/02 Tue

Pray for Warren, because now he is prey for Willow. And despite what it may mean for her soul, I say Bon Appetit (and maybe she'll get a cool suit of black armor like Anakin does ^_^).

As for Spike, well, now we know what he felt wasn't love. I'm betting he'll get that chip out of his head before he shows up again. Personally, I thought he was going to end up striking a dechipping-for-vampirism trade with Warren (like Warren's making good use of his soul as it is).

On a different note, does Joss completely deny the existence of hope or what?

[> Re: I guess now we know why it was titled "Seeing Red" (wholesome spoilery goodness) -- maddog, 07:57:43 05/08/02 Wed

I'm with you on the Warren front...I know it's not good for Willow but for that stunt he deserves whatever torture she can muster up. As for Spike...that was matter how bad he felt in the end.

[> [> "how bad [Spike] felt..." -- RichardX1, 10:37:18 05/08/02 Wed

I don't know if Spike felt bad because of what he almost did, or because it meant Buffy wouldn't want him anymore.

Interesting, though. This past year Spike's almost had himself convinced that he was a man, that a chip in his head was just as good as a soul. But Spike isn't a man... he's a demon (and I don't care what anyone says, vampires are some of the purest demons there are--"pure" being defined as "capacity for evil"). I don't know if he ever truly loved Buffy so much as wanted to be loved by her; of course, humans mistake the one for the other all the time.

Thoughts on the opening credits (spoilers) -- The Last Jack, 18:16:43 05/07/02 Tue

Okay, the inclusion of Amber after 3 years could mean one of two things: 1) Amber, who thought being included in the opening credits would limit her outside acting prospects, has finally decided she wants to be more into the show or 2) This being her last episode, was kind of a tribute to all the good work she has done for the show. Considering Willow going nuts next week, I am guessing its Theory #2. Its a shame, she had really grown on me, and I will hate to see her go. Oh well, life is about change, and nothing stays the same forever.

[> Re: Thoughts on the opening credits (spoilers) -- Rob, 19:46:08 05/07/02 Tue

I would guess it's theory #2. I think it was a very fitting tribute. Some may argue that it was a mean trick to play on the audience, especially since, the episode before Willow and Tara had finally reunited. But I don't see it that way at all. Amber Benson has been a cherished, valued part of the show for three years now, and has gone a long time without having her name in the credits. She has been in almost every episode of the past three seasons, and it was high time she received credit for all of her great work. This serves as a bon voyage and a thank you for creating one of the most beloved characters in the show's history. If Tara really is gone forever now, she will be sorely, sorely missed.

Thank you, Amber Benson, for bringing such light and joy to our television screens every week! I hope to be hearing a great deal from you, career-wise, in the near future!

Rob :o)

[> [> I personaly think it was just a mean trick... -- Mando, 20:37:08 05/07/02 Tue

Everything they've done in the past few episodes has been designed to give a sort of false hope to all the fans of Tara. I could accept any number of other tributes to her, but putting her in the opening credits was just a cheap way to raise the hopes of people who were really fans of the character and who don't make a habit of reading spoilers or figuring out who's coming and going from the show.

[> Re: Thoughts on the opening credits (spoilers) -- sTalking Goat, 21:59:43 05/07/02 Tue

I'm seem to remember after reading the spoiler about her death a few weeks back. reading an interveiw with marti Noxon (i think) where she says that Anya isn't going anywhere (this was just after Hells Bells) soon, and neither is Tara for that matter.

[> Re: Thoughts on the opening credits (spoilers) -- Claire, 04:41:03 05/08/02 Wed

Just a neat way of lulling fans into a false state of security in order to make the kick in the guts that much harder.

[> Re: Thoughts on the opening credits (spoilers) -- maddog, 07:51:53 05/08/02 Wed

I was pissed...cause that's just wrong...making the fans think she was a regular on the very episode they kill her. Just not right. And I was beginning to realize that she was the best actual character on the show. What gets me is that with next year's theme of light hearted episodes(as Joss has mentioned, no mark dark of dark like this year), how does one console Willow after losing Tara?

Who spotted the 'Psycho' reference? -- Goji3, 18:35:07 05/07/02 Tue

it's a minor Homage, I admit, but it is still there.

Durring the Scene where Buffy is in the shower, and Spike takes her down, she grabs the shower curtten and pulls on it, teating it from the loops.

Not only is the shot a deadringer from 'Psycho', but it's the same kind of Shower Curtten!!

That was a very purpousful homage, I think.

Anyone else catch it?

[> Oh, Spoilers for 'Seeing Red' here (NT) -- Goji3, 18:38:13 05/07/02 Tue

[> Another One (spoilers, but of course!) -- Rattletrap, 19:40:35 05/07/02 Tue

I missed the Psycho ref., but I caught another one that I'm having trouble with, maybe one of our knowledgeable film buffs can helt (mole, OnM, whoever else?): In the scene where Dawn visits Spike's crypt, the camera is positioned with Spike in the foreground, the door swings open with Dawn's silhouette framed in the doorway far in the background. This is a visual cliche that shows up in movies and TV quite a bit so it may just be a case of monkey-see, monkey-do, but I'd swear it dates back to one of the classic noir flicks: Maltese Falcon or Sunset Boulevard or something like that. Anybody know what the reference is?

Hmmm . . . Dawn as a femme fatale, interesting concept, that . . .

[> [> Re: Another One (spoilers for Casablanca) -- matching mole, 08:10:41 05/08/02 Wed

Like you said - it is a standard/cliche image in film. I have no idea when it was first used. My most vivid memory of it is from Casablanca - when Ingrid Bergman returns to Rick's Cafe in the day to talk to Bogart about why she left him in Paris but I don't know if that was the original. I tend to doubt it. Given that it doesn't require motion it may pre-date film - an art history students out there?

[> Re: Who spotted the product placement? -- d'Herblay, 22:10:45 05/07/02 Tue

I'm trying to adhere to Masq's suggestion that we not start new threads for the trivial and repetitious, so I'm plopping down here, shifting the discussion from film allusion to commercial allusion, and hopefully ending up with a discussion of cinematic technique.

A week or so ago we discussed the Verizon "Can you hear me now?" commercials that had been filmed on the Angel set and shown during Angel's timeslot. During Xander's walk about town, he passes a Verizon phone booth, so there's definitely some more consideration given. (Question for Californians: does Verizon really have pay phones? Or are they just putting little kiosks out so that their cell phone customers can have some privacy while making their calls?)

More interestingly, as Spike pulls out of town, his motorcycle is clearly branded "AHAMAY." I have trouble believing that ME would go to the trouble of reconfiguring the motorcycle just to obscure the brand name, so I have concluded that the shot was reversed during editing. (Someone much more aware of the intricacies of James Marsters's face may be able to confirm this for me. There wouldn't be anyone on this board who's ever paid attention to such details, would there?) Was the shot reversed just so people wouldn't think they were advertising Yamahas (much as the post-it note goes on and off Willow's PowerBook depending on whether or not Apple is granting promotional consideration that week)? Or was it done because people leave town from left to right? Spike left town in "Becoming, Pt. 2" from left to right, and I think in "Lovers' Walk" as well. Is this a film convention?

[> [> Re: Who spotted the product placement? -- Anneth, 23:32:01 05/07/02 Tue

And there are Verizon payphones in CA.

[> [> [> Re: Who spotted the product placement? -- ravenhair, 14:27:40 05/08/02 Wed

I wouldn't mention it normally, but since you brought up commercials...when Andrew tries to escape via jet pack but hits his head on the overhang it reminded me of the Budget Rent-A-Car commercial featuring a man trying to get home from the airport via jet pack but gets tangled up in the electrical wires above him. The marketing team obviously has second thoughts about the campaign. I've only seen the commercial once or twice -- hubby & I both mentioned it when we saw Andrew. :-D

[> [> I think yes. -- yuri, 00:16:40 05/08/02 Wed

(I don't know if you were seriously asking this or not, but I'm giving an answer anyway.) It in fact is a cinematic tactic for people, when they're moving "forward" in whatever sense, to be moving left to right. It's how we (western culture, mostly) visualise progression. We read from left to right, we more often walk on the right side of the road so cars and stuff look like they're going left to right. If you're imitating a car speeding by with your hand, which way do you move it? There are many examples.

This left to right movement is even more sensetive with stairs.


Which stairs are going up and which stairs are going down?

[> [> [> Thank you! One question . . . -- d'Herblay, 01:26:29 05/08/02 Wed

I've been meaning to get out to the Cinamatique to take in one or another of the crop of fine Iranian films, but I tend to just go to Blockbuster instead. I'm not sure these movies (or any filmed in Arabic, Hebrew, or any other language which reads right-to-left) contain a car, a motorcycle, or forward progression, but if they did, would it be filmed moving right-to-left?

[> [> [> [> Re: Thank you! One question . . . -- yuri, 01:53:55 05/08/02 Wed

See, in theory, yes, but unfortunately I don't have the sort of memory that can help me out with some proof. Oh - I can think of one Jewish short I saw once that followed a kid on a bike and I do believe it was right to left. I wouldn't be too suprised if it didn't hold up, though, it may be more a result of many combined cultural actions.

and as an aside - where the heck are you? I though you were an east coaster, but it's 1:53 here in CA (my excuse is my biological clock, teenager and all) and that would make it 3:53 there... Have I miscalculated your location or are you just an extremely late night person?

[> [> [> [> [> Both -- d'Herblay, 11:26:43 05/08/02 Wed

I'm in Cleveland, currently on Eastern Daylight Time, so when it's 1:53 AM in San Francisco, it's 4:53 AM here. My biological clock refuses to grow up.

[> [> It was reversed (judging from Marsters Facial Intricacies...) -- SomeoneMuchMoreAware, 00:33:09 05/08/02 Wed

... either that, or he had his brow scar transplanted.... let ya know when I find out for sure... :)

[> [> [> Oh, yeah, that would be the litmus test . . . -- d'Herblay, 01:28:54 05/08/02 Wed

Ok, I forgot all about the scar. I was trying to remember in which hand he typically holds the cigarette.

[> [> [> [> he's a south paw & usually holds it with his left - - SMMA, 09:08:26 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Re: Oh, yeah, that would be the litmus test . . . - - Slayrunt, 20:44:20 05/08/02 Wed

and the throttle on the bike was on the wrong side.

[> Re: Who spotted the 'Psycho' reference? -- Anneth, 23:29:14 05/07/02 Tue

Actually, the first time I watched Smashed, I got little Hitchcockian chills during the fight/love-scene... the bluish tints, the physical blows being matched by verbal ones, the metaphores, the repetitive music, etc. And certainly, there are some parallels between relationships in Hitchcock films (like Marnie, North by Northwest, To Catch a Thief) and the B/S interactions.

[> Seemed to me more cliche than homage -- neaux, 04:46:45 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> Re: Seemed to me more cliche than homage -- OnM, 09:17:06 05/08/02 Wed

It is an homage, but IMO the point is that Janet Leigh's character didn't survive the shower/murder scene, and Buffy emphatically did. Also, Norman Bates was psychotic, what about Spike? I could see either direct parallels to Bates (Norman, his equally psychotic mother / Spike, Drusilla) or opposites (Spike successfully rejects Drusilla in favor of Buffy).

These little (or not so little) twists are fully in keeping with ME's ongoing desire to tweak convention, so it's 'homage++'.

[> [> [> On the other hand -- CW, 10:32:34 05/08/02 Wed

On the DVD for the Arnold Schwartzeneger film 'End of Days,' the director as much as admits its a fairly standard thing to put a woman in a bathrobe, right before an attack so that she will look even more vulnerable. What better place to put a woman in a bathrobe than next to the shower/ bathub. And when things go bad, what can she grab at to try to keep from falling or to try get leverage besides all that porcelain? The shower curtain. It's only an homage if the writer and director think it is. And even then it does mean the rest of us can't see it as a cliche.

[> [> [> [> It's a fine line, that's for sure. Mostly a matter of intent, as you noted. -- OnM, 20:32:31 05/08/02 Wed

Restless and Seeing Red : anyone else see the references? -- shadowkat, 19:06:52 05/07/02 Tue

I just rewatched a few scenes from Restless to see
if I was right about the references I saw in Seeing Red.

Here they are:

1. Willow's dream - Willow opens the curtain with Tara
lying on the bed, the light misses Willow and bathes
Tara. Willow says there's something out there. She also says she doesn't want to leave. (Remember the amount of
time Willow and Tara are in bed together in SR? And
Tara gets it by the window, not long after they made love and got dressed?)

2. Xander and Buffy in the Backyard, bathed in light.
In Xander's dream he tells Buffy who's bathed in light
sitting in a sandbox - that there's some stuff she can't protect herself from...(Buffy is shot in her backyard,
bathed in light)

3. The scene in the bathroom - Spike goes after Buffy in almost the same way as the first slayer at the very end of Buffy's dream. In the last scene of Buffy's dream she is on the rug on her stomach, the first slayer turns her over, Buffy at first tries to get away then she tells the first
slayer who is stabbing her repeatedly in the crotch -"Go away, it's over. You're not the source of me. Get over the whole primal power thing." It's Buffy's last rejection of
the hands in her dream. After the dream she goes upstairs and here's Tara's words spiritually in her head "you don't know who you are..." Spike leaves after this scene, his conscience ripping at him, he literally leaves town, Buffy
is clearly weaker in this epsiode and is shot after he leaves.

4. The Carnival - Buffy fights the Trioka at an amusement park reminiscent of Gile's dream. Giles goes into what
appears to be Spike's crypt - he says "I always said she
should have killed you" and Spike does cruxfixion pose - made me think of their conversation in the bathroom where Spike says "you should have let him kill me". Spike also says Rupert should make up his mind - this can also refer to Spike in his crypt pacing. The crypt in the dream reminds me of the amusement park cave.

Oh and I think someone has already mentioned all the gnomes in front of the entrance of cave or crypt.

Am I reading too much into this?

[> Re: Restless and Seeing Red : anyone else see the references? -- LadyStarlight, 19:41:42 05/07/02 Tue

I also thought of Restless as soon as I saw the opening scene.

I didn't pick up on the others, but now that you mention it, I see the parallels.

And here I thought Normal Again would be this season's Restless. ;)

[> "Am I reading too much into this?" Not possible... -- redcat, 21:25:15 05/07/02 Tue

[> Seeing Red and Dead Things? -- Ixchel, 22:21:30 05/07/02 Tue

Interesting ideas about Seeing Red and Restless.

I'm wondering if we're supposed to see parallels with Dead Things or is it just that they're both by SDK?

The scene between Spike and Clem (SR) seems somewhat similar to the Buffy and Tara scene (end DT).

Buffy to Tara: Why do I feel like this?
Spike to Clem: Why do I feel this way?

I'm wondering if this was intentional?


[> [> Re: "Seeing Red" and "The Gift"? -- d'Herblay, 22:45:23 05/07/02 Tue

One more intertextuality:

"I know that I'm a monster. But you treat me like a man. And that's . . . " --Spike, "The Gift"

"It won't let me be a monster . . . and I can't be a man. I'm nothing." --Spike, "Seeing Red"

[> [> Re: Seeing Red and Dead Things? -- Doriander, 22:53:03 05/07/02 Tue

I suppose so.

Also, Buffy realizing she's gone too far beating up Spike. Spike realizing he's gone too far forcing himself on Buffy. Note in DT Spike urged Buffy on, in SR Buffy pleaded for Spike to stop. "You always hurt the one you love." Spike certainly did this time.

Other references to old eps:

"Ain't love grand."
"Love's a funny thing."

[> [> [> Re: Seeing Red and Dead Things? -- ravenhair, 14:51:15 05/08/02 Wed

From DT:
Warren to Andrew & Jonathan regarding Katrina -
"You can play with her all you want...after I'm done with her."

From SR:
Warren to Andrew & Jonathan regarding the orbs -
"You can play with them all you want...after I'm done with them."

[> [> [> [> SR revised quote -- ravenhair, 15:00:43 05/08/02 Wed

SR: "Relax. You'll each get a whirl, as soon as I'm done playing with them."

[> [> It certainly feels intentional. -- Tar, 23:43:54 05/07/02 Tue

Buffy has always believed that she walks in the light with the Good. Yet in DT, she beat Spike to a bloody pulp. She was filled with remorse, but probably was able to write it off as another side effect of her return, like Spike being able to hit her without pain.

Tara's revelation took that away from her. Her pain isn't just that her sleeping with Spike had nothing to do with coming back wrong. She was also faced with the horrifying truth that her dark side, her Spike side, has always been there. No wonder she begs Tara to not forgive her. She can't forgive herself.

In SR, Spike attempts to rape Buffy. He is stopped and is filled with remorse as well. His quandary is different though, being the other side of the coin. He attributes his remorse to the chip. Spike believes he walks in the dark, or would without the chip. But I think the parallel is that just as Buffy was faced with her darkness, Spike was faced with his light side, his Buffy side. Buffy got that after talking to Tara. Spike didn't have the same revelation when he talked with Clem, but I believe he will soon.

There are other parallels as well. In the alley scene and bathroom scene, Buffy and Spike's actions mirror each other. Spike doesn't even try to stop Buffy from pulverizing him even though we know he could fight back. Until Buffy slams Spike into the wall, she doesn't fight back. Sure, it was scary, but this is the Buffyverse, and we know Buffy can kick Spike's ass from here to Tuesday usually. So why the parallels in their behavior?

This is deliberate. Two people who believe they are on opposite sides of the spectum, the Light and the Dark, but in actuality, are much more alike than even they realize. Growing up includes accepting all facets of yourself and hopefully, finding a happy medium. It seems like Buffy and Spike are on that road.

[> [> [> Re: It certainly feels intentional. -- Traveler, 08:59:22 05/08/02 Wed

Growing up includes accepting all facets of yourself and hopefully, finding a happy medium. It seems like Buffy and Spike are on that road.

I think that remains to be seen. Both seem to be actively denying their other half now.

[> Re: Restless and Seeing Red : anyone else see the references? -- ravenhair, 14:41:54 05/08/02 Wed

Just when I think I've seen everything worth noting in Restless, something else comes along -- I must see those gnomes! Good catch on the parallels, shadowkat!

[> Re: Restless and Seeing Red : anyone else see the references? -- Ronia, 16:10:26 05/08/02 Wed

First let me tell you how much I enjoy your posts/essays. You can't make them too long with that insight and flair. I can almost tie anything into restless as it is so far my favorite by leaps and bounds. The only possible connection that I don't see here is the fact that in restless we are in fact seeing all over the place. There was a sale on red at the prop store, which I think you may have mentioned in one of your essays. Whadya think?

I think we have a magic bullet on our hands, (Major Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- Wolfhowl3, 20:03:56 05/07/02 Tue

Okay, we have Buffy and Xander standing outside the house, Being overlooked my Willow and Tara in the Master Bed Room upstairs.

Warren enteres the Backyard, and is standing between the Bench that Buffy and Xander are at, and the house it's self, and Fires 4 or 5 shots at Buffy. Now it looks like Buffy was hit by 1 bullet at least.

Now somehow, one Shot does a U-Turn and flies in the Bedroom window (both Upstairs and Behind Warren), and hits Tara right though the Heart, (or so it appears to me). What I would like to know, is does Buffy's Backyard have a Grassy Gnole, because there is no way that Warren would be able to Shot Tara from where he was standing.


[> Watch more closely -- Mando, 20:19:13 05/07/02 Tue

If you watch the shot again, it makes sense, granted he would have to have some terrible aim and shoot up, but the house is not behind Warren when he shoots.

[> [> Re: Watch more closely -- Ronia, 15:37:58 05/08/02 Wed

Can someone who was able to tape tell me if he was shooting towards the house or parallel to it? To me it looked like parallel. But I couldn't tell for sure. Did he get his hands on some smart bullets? Heat seeking?

[> No Gnolly Goodness -- lurker, 20:21:16 05/07/02 Tue

If you watch again, you'll notice that as Warren begins to run away his gun discharges towards the house.

[> Re: I think we have a magic bullet on our hands, (Major Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- Robert, 20:53:06 05/07/02 Tue

>> "... because there is no way that Warren would be able to Shot Tara from where he was standing."

Do you think the house was built with armor plated drywall? The bullet did not need to enter the house through the window.

[> [> allow me to nitpick(Major Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- sTalking Goat, 21:53:16 05/07/02 Tue

Yes, the bullet did not come though the window, it probably came through the wall below it.
But the splatter pattern on Willow's shirt kinda confuses the matter. The exit wound is over Tara's heart and the bullet hit her at an upward angle, so the splatter should have hit Willow in the face. Obviously having it hit her white shirt is a little more dramatic and AH probably didn't want fake blood in her eye anyway.

And speaking of which, I don't watch much network TV, but this was just a bit greusome wasn't it? Even on basic cable cop shows (I'm referring to The Shield basically...) they don't usually show bullet wounds and if they do they don't usually show so much blood (Buffy's wound was gushing). I keep trying to think what this scene what would have looked like if they were still on WB.

[> [> [> not gruesome on the WB?! (spoilers for Forgiving) - - lulabel, 22:59:43 05/07/02 Tue

You must not have seen the decapitated head being waved around on the Angel episode "Forgiving" - the flashback scene in which Sahjhan's race was still corporeal and rather violent.

[> [> [> Re: allow me to nitpick(Major Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- maddog, 08:20:53 05/08/02 Wed

Much calmer to say the least...UPN's been letting them get away with a lot more sexually(I can also see the almost rape seen as a lot calmer on the WB too) so this would have been much tamer too. Probably just Tara slumped to the floor with Willow holding her and crying.

[> [> Well, that would solve my problem -- d'Herblay, 21:55:42 05/07/02 Tue

I had no problem with Warren having hit the window: his last shot was clearly wild and aimed upwards. What I did have a problem with was the trajectory that bullet must have taken. It appears to me that Tara was standing about six feet from the window. The bullet broke the glass about two and a half feet above the floor. It exited Tara's shoulder about four and a half feet above the floor. I wouldn't be able to draw a parabola without digging around for my Halliday and Resnick, but that trajectory seemed awfully flat to me. (Unless Buffy's backyard is much larger than most fry cooks can afford.) So, ok, Warren fired two wild shots toward the house, one breaking the window and embedding itself somewhere in the bedroom ceiling, and the other entering through the wall and perforating Tara. I can accept that. I can't match it to what I saw on the tape, but I can accept it.

[> [> [> Ricochets -- Cleanthes, 06:32:32 05/08/02 Wed

I once read a good little short story where the cliches of the movies continually bite the characters. At one point, the bad guys, dragging hostages, come to a padlocked chain- link fence. As in every movie, they shot the padlock. Hey, bingo, one of the bad guys falls dead, killed by a hunk of padlock.

As a child, my cousin and I would lie in wait at one of two exit holes from the corn crib as my uncle cleaned it out. When a rat ran out, we'd try to peg it with a 22. I missed every time. My cousin shot a few. I DID hit the fence well away from the crib, naturally hitting the hinge on the gate which went flying wildly to break the windshield on the tractor parked well off to one side -- my uncle not being totally stupid when it comes to adolescents and guns had not left it in the line of sight!

Oh, for the animal lovers on this board - the other exit hole from the crib was guarded by my cousin's terrior. That dog did not let a single rat escape. The cats on the farm ate well that week.

[> [> [> the Summers' back yard -- matching mole, 08:31:48 05/08/02 Wed

O.K. this may reveal me to be utterly shallow and heartless but during the horrific last scene of Seeing Red the following thought sequence was bouncing around in the back of my mind.

Boy Buffy has a nice big back yard (or garden for those of you from across the Atlantic).

When does she find the time to take care of it - she certainly can't afford to hire a gardener?

The vegetation looks awfully lush for southern California - she must use a lot of water -our Slayer's no conservationist I guess.

[> [> Re: I think we have a magic bullet on our hands, (Major Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- Wolfhowl3, 02:50:34 05/08/02 Wed

You are right, the bullet didn't need to go through the window, but it did, you see the hole it left in the Glass, and you hear the breaking glass.

And the Angle between the hole in the glass, and the wound in Tara's Chest is not one that Warren would have been able to make from Downstairs on the lawn.


[> Re: I think we have a magic bullet on our hands, (Major Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- sanjerine, 12:12:44 05/08/02 Wed

Not sure if somebody's done this parallel anywhere else, but, here goes. It might just *be* a magic bullet.

Certainly the same bullet that was meant for Buffy has to hit Tara, in terms of drama and karma. Willow bargained a life for a life back in "Bargaining". Did anybody seriously think that baby deer was gonna do it?

And in case you missed it, that's also why we have the blood all over Willow's white shirt -- white that she hasn't worn since "Bargaining," when we *never saw* the blood she spilt from the deer (well, not until the ritual).

Moreover, the blood of the resurrection ritual was called Vino de Madre -- and who has been the Goddess' representative (and the Scoobs' substitute mother) all season?

There're resonances all over; it's one of the better things they've done this season. The way Tara explains that Willow will be tested during the resurrection spell, and that it's all right. The way Tara stood in for Buffy with Dawn, for example. Lots of connections.

Good stuff. So yeah, when the evil they've underestimated (Warren) suddenly comes packing a very mundane and underestimated threat (gun), and shoots the Warrior of the People, karma bounces the bullet and sheds the Wine (Blood) of the Mother instead.

I expect they'll probably spell this out a bit next week, and we can see how wrong I am. But as much as I'm beside myself over Tara's loss, I love the elegance of the narrative, and I ache for Willow now, because I think she's really going to realize what she's done.


[> Re: I think we have a magic bullet on our hands, (Major Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- Simon A., 16:45:24 05/08/02 Wed

Of course magic bullets don't explain Tara's X-ray vision. She was ~6' from a high silled window and yet she could look down and see Xander in the garden.

Spike's Future (spoilers!) -- Purple Tulip, 20:40:25 05/07/02 Tue

Hi all! Just got done watching "Seeing Red" and I have to say that I was very upset and disturbed by what happened between Buffy and Spike. I mean, I knew it was coming, I read the spoilers- but still, it was very odd to watch. I am still one of those die hard Spuffy fans who want so much to believe that Spike is good and that he really does love Buffy. So, my question to all of you is, what do you think will happen to Spike next year? I mean, there are various things that could happen: he could get the chip out, regain his soul, be evil again, become William again, etc. So I just want to know what all of you think :)

[> Re: Spike's Future (spoilers!) -- Cactus Watcher, 20:57:43 05/07/02 Tue

I didn't know what was coming, but I can't really say I was surprised by Spike's attack on Buffy. It was the way they always had sex. They attacked each other. This was why Buffy was so disgusted with herself over it. The difference this time Buffy was nearly helpless with pain before it started. This time it wasn't shared and it certainly was attempted rape. The amazing thing was that after it was over and Spike had gone back to his crypt, he felt genuine remorse over what he'd done. What could the chip possibly have to do with him feeling remorse?

[> [> Re: Spike's Future (spoilers!) -- JBone, 21:15:43 05/07/02 Tue

It's late, and my mind is a wee bit mushy at the moment. But my theory is that Spike will find someway to get rid of his brain chip. What all that leads to, I don't know. Other than Spike's lease is off. And there are those that know what Spike would do at any given moment all over the web better than I. I just don't want any god damn spoilers. Take those anywhere else, just not here.

[> [> Re: Spike's Future (spoilers!) -- Doriander, 21:27:23 05/07/02 Tue

I think this is typical Spike blaming the chip. He can't handle remorse. During the commercial break, Warren's words kept echoing in my head. Remember when Spike took the fett hostage?

WARREN: You don't wanna hurt the Fett, 'cause man, you're *not* comin' back from that. You know, you don't just do that and walk away.

He felt remorse because this is not some alley girl this time, he was lucky then. This is the girl to whom he professed just a day ago he would NEVER hurt. He got his unlife revolving almost entirely on her for the last year or so, even got himself tortured to death because he didn't want to any hurt to come to her. Prior to his attempted rape, Buffy said she didn't trust him enough to love him. Well he blew it. Whatever trust there is left is surely gone. I don't think this Spike would be one Buffy would ever trust to watch over Dawn.

I don't see Spike coming back into the Scoobie fold. I don't see any of the Scoobs forgiving him if they find out (at this point only Xander knows). Tell you what though, I'm thrilled to find out what this new incarnation of Spike will be like. And if he still feels remorse after he gets that chip out, I'm curious as to how he'd react. Will he start blaming it entirely on Buffy (not that there's anything new in that) or will he, er, grow up? Look into himself for once.

[> [> [> Re: Spike's Future (spoilers!) -- StALKING gOAT, 22:23:38 05/07/02 Tue

Frankly only two thing would seriously annoy me
1. We get pre-chip Spike back
2. We get a tortured, brooding Angel-esque Spike.

anything else I think I could handle, even poetry reading William.

[> [> But he then fell into the Demona trap ... -- Earl Allison, 02:05:38 05/08/02 Wed

Spike STARTED OUT all right, feling remorse over his actions, but quickly decided that it was anyone's fault but his, the chip's, or Buffy's, but not his.

It reminded me a LOT of Demona, from Disney's much-missed animated series, "Gargoyles."

One of the main "villains," and I use the term loosely because no one was a true comic-book villain in the series, is Demona, a female gargoyle cursed with immortality and with a penchant for blaming humanity for all her troubles.

Anyway, at one point, she almost, ALMOST sees her faults, saying something along the lines of ...

"What have I ... what have THEY done?"

So close, and yet again, Demona found a way to blame humanity instead of herself -- just like Spike did last night. All he did finally was blame the chip, for not letting him be a monster, and him not being a man.

Ah, so close ...

Take it and run.

[> [> Re: Spike's Future (spoilers!) -- maddog, 08:35:25 05/08/02 Wed

I think that's the point...the chip's just a catalyst...he genuinely cares for Buffy now. And I know the almost rape isn't a great indication, but I think that's built up vampire vengence. I think down deep he really does care. So the remorse I expected...the graphic nature of the incident I didn't(though I probably should have knowing how lenient UPN has been).

[> [> Remorse? Really? It went from remorse very quickly to blaming the chip. -- Goji3, 12:19:48 05/08/02 Wed

[> Re: Spike's Future (spoilers!) -- Robert, 23:10:53 05/07/02 Tue

I'm still looking for a dusty ending.

[> Re: Spike's Future (spoilers!) -- shadowkat, 06:54:16 05/08/02 Wed

Actually that scene didn't bother me as much as I expected. Don't get me wrong - it was intense. But what interested me most about it was the dialogue, facial expressions and conversations before and after it, and between Buffy
and Spike, Spike and Dawn, Spike and himself, and Spike
and Clem.

Also when I compared it to scenes I'd recently seen in
Harsh Light of Day, The Initiative, Out of My Mind, and
of course the faith raping of Xander in Consequences
and Xander trying to rape Buffy in The PAck - I realized for the first time we saw actual remorse on the face of a character after a desperate violent act.

Spike couldn't stop torturing himself with it. He literally
broke his glass thinking about it. And his facial expression was one of horror and pain and confusion. Just
like it was in the bathroom after she knocks him across
the room and says, "ask me again why I can't love you?"
He attempts to say - "he would have stopped" he looks so

This character has been going insane for quite awhile. He's a vampire who appears to be developing a conscience and he
can't understand it. "Crawling, squirming, in my head" clutches his head "all jiminy crickety".."why do I feel

When he tries it - he is trying to recreate their scene in
Smashed and Wrecked...but it fails. The Writers have cleverly put us in multiple points of view - for the first time in quite a while. I saw it from Buffy's and Spike's and
it was tough to watch. He didn't want to hurt her - he just wanted her to show feeling for him, to prove to them both she wanted him as much as he wanted her - to get some demonstration of the feeling Dawn told him about. His line before it happens is telling - "Trust is for puppies,real
love is wild, passionate and dangerous." That's what he believes. He's a romantic and a demon. Yet- he hurt her in the worst way he could without biting her. It struck me
as extraordinarily interesting that he didn't attempt it.
He is the only vampire she's been with that hasn't.

By doing it, Spike proved irrevocably to her and himself why she couldn't be with him why she could never trust him. After she pushes
him off - he tries to apologize, tries to say he wouldn't have gone through with it but she says yes he would have if
she hadn't stopped him.

The fact he went there at all after Dawn visited him, surprised and interested me. For two reasons - it reasserted the connection between him and Dawn. The very fact Dawn dropped by demonstrated that. He apologizes to Buffy - in that bathroom for what he did with Anya - he even tells her
why. He also tells Dawn. I couldn't imagine him doing that before. He is confused - going off the rails. Unfocused. A bit like Pinnochio. In fact if you were hunting Pinnochio references - they are really apparent in this episode.
He even goes so far as to call the chip "jiminy cricket".

What I also found interesting was the use of Warren and
the Trioka. Notice who almost kills Buffy, Xander and actually does kill Tara? Not Spike. Warren. Warren tells Buffy in their scene - "you finally get to fight a real
man" - a "man with a soul". Warren is the monster she fought way back in Season 3's Beauty and the Beasts - the
high school student who used Science to become a monster.
Except Warren doesn't need Science when he has a gun.
ME is hammering us over the head with a very ironic
point - "everything you thought you knew about Buffyverse
is wrong! Everything you were taught in that nice safe
little reality of black and white where the good guys are stalwart and true and the bad guys have no soul - was wrong!" Warren is worse than any villain Buffy has fought.
He's the one who will walk up to her and blow her head off with a gun - from a distance. A soul doesn't make you good.
It doesn't make you safe. There are no guarantees. It's what you do with the soul, with what you have that's important. A theme reiterated this season in Angel.

I think Spike is coming back human. I think he left to
get rid of his chip and become the monster he once was.
But the chip is no longer relevant, any more than jiminy cricket was for Pinnochio after a certain point or the conditioning was for Alex in the British version of
A Clockwork Orange. Spike has moved past that old version
of himself. He can't go back. He just doesn't know it yet.
Anya is discovering the same thing - she keeps trying to be a vengeance demon but she can't go back either. She's just
beginning to discover that. They both wish they could - it
was easier. But remember what the Mayor said at the end of
Graduation Day Part II? It's not just the journey that's important, it's the things that happen to you along the way, you will be forever changed by them and ascend to another level. You can never go back to high school or matter how much you might want to - that was proven way back in Season 1, episode 3 Witch when Catherine Madison
attempted it.

Sorry for the ramble hope it made sense. SR just got me
so excited - I realized that I hadn't overestimated the
writers after all.

[> [> Re: Spike's Future (spoilers!) -- ravenhair, 16:18:40 05/08/02 Wed

I agree, shadowkat, SR was wonderful drama.

I thought the most disturbing character throughout the episode was Warren. He is consumed by greed, power, and vengeance. Andrew & Jonathon's behavior was unacceptable as well: Jonathan, in a moment of weakness, greedily reaches for the orbs (what would he have done if he succeeded?) and Andrew who has put Warren on a pedestal cheers for the Slayer's death. Being humans, there is no excuse for their crimes; whereas, Spike is supposed to relish in evil but can't understand why he couldn't hurt Buffy. He questions Clem's opinion that what the vampire feels is love - Spike has loved before. The unfamiliar feeling is actually guilt and it's proven unbearable, breaking the glass and eventually leaving town in search for change.

I didn't catch the jiminy cricket reference. I'll have to go back and watch or read Pinocchio again. Wasn't Pinocchio swallowed by a whale? Did anyone see the whale & heart shaped designs on the iron trellis?

Line of the Week contender:
Clem - "Hey, c'mon mister negative. You never know what's just around the corner. Things change."

I'm more certain than ever Spike is on a path to redemption!

[> Re: Spike's Future (spoilers!) -- Valhalla, 20:22:41 05/08/02 Wed

Whatever Spike's future is, it won't be what he's hoping for. At the end he takes off to get the chip out and return to his former self. To step out of the Buffyverse for a minute, ME's character rarely get what they think they want. Either they get a variation on the careful what you wish for theme, or they get what they want, but it's quickly destroyed by some external event or force. (big example: Willow gets Tara back, only to lose her!).

My guess is that Spike will get the first alternative; he'll lose the chip and find that it changes nothing about his feelings for Buffy, or the remorse he feels over the bathroom scene.

Back in the Buffyverse, I'm pulling for his redemption (I just love the redemption storylines! I'm even pulling for Jonathan!), but I don't think it's going to happen. Spike has changed much since he started loving Buffy, but the changes all relate to his relationship with her. I'm not arguing that all his good deeds are simply cynical attempts to win Buffy's love (much debated on this board), but that his protectiveness of Buffy, Dawn, and helping out the other Scoobies (even when Buffy was dead) were because his feeling toward Buffy changed. His loyalty and protectiveness to Buffy et al are consistent with his character pre-Buffylove; he was the same way with Dru. Buffy loves and takes care of Dawn, so Spike does; Buffy fights to protect (and often save) her friends, so Spike does too. He cares about what Buffy cares about because he cares about Buffy.

But he hasn't really been on a redemption path with the chip and with his love for Buffy, so I don't see that anything's happened to make him start now. Not even the SR bathroom scene; Spike clearly felt horrible when he realized what he'd done, but between doing something desperate to make up for it and doing something desperate to rid himself of his feelings, he choose the getting rid of option.

Fiction Update: Leashing the Beast -- Nos, 21:34:28 05/07/02 Tue

It took me a week, but I have recovered from the post 'seeing SR writing slum shock'. *morns the unspoiled* Hope you enjoy...

Leashing the Beast, by Nos

Summary: In response to my own challenge *heh*, found on Crumbling Walls.
The Nerdy Three find out what Spike's chip does and formulate a plan to kill
the Slayer.
Rating: R for violence

Please read- parents especially (Spoilers for the first three minutes of Seeing Red) -- MayaPapaya9, 21:43:46 05/07/02 Tue

I know this has been (sort of) discussed in earlier posts, but I just had to bring up the unfortunate circumstances surrounding my attempted viewing of Seeing Red. First of all, for those of you who don't already know, I'm 16, living at home with two parents who mostly practice salutary neglect in every area except my grades and, well, the cleanliness of my room. They love me very much of course, but are a bit paranoid.

So it's 8:03, and I'm going downstairs to get a glass of water before I turn on Buffy on my upstairs TV, when my mom yells from the living room, "MAYA get down here!" I run down, scared that she's somehow discovered that I blew off 4th and 5th periods today, to see on our downstairs big screen TV Willow and Tara covered only in bedsheets having some discussion about Spike and Buffy. My mother says something to the effect of, "What the hell is this? Is this what you've been watching? I didn't know Buffy was like this!" I get the sinking feeling that I won't be watching any Buffy tonight.

By about 8:15, my parents and I are in their bedroom having a "serious talk." They fear, somewhat homophobically, that by watching two females in bed together, that I will gradually grow to "accept" that situation as normal and right, and that I may one day feel that it is normal and right FOR ME, and therefore become a lesbian which my mother is terrified of. I find this argument ludicrous because I am 100% convinced that I like guys. It's inconceivable to NOT like guys. Heterosexuality is part of who I am. However, I DO accept that homosexuality is normal and right FOR OTHER PEOPLE.

In fact, I was myself fairly homophobic before Willow's gay arc played out in the fourth season. I listened to a lot of Eminem, and I said things like, "That's so gay!" and I absolutely HATED Willow and Tara at first. The point is, I gradually learned to become more accepting, and now I love Tara and Willow. I've learned, because of this show, that's it's all just people loving each other in different ways. My parents are not homophobic either, they would gladly have a gay person over for dinner, but they are just scared of having a gay daughter. Which, for heaven's sake, is not even going to happen!

It took about half an hour to make them understand this opinion. My parents are reasonable people and they understand how much the show means to me, I've been watching it since 7th grade. But at the same time, I understand their arguments too. As parents, they have to draw the line somewhere for what is and is not appropriate for their children to watch. I have to wonder if I would let my own children watch Buffy. But then again, I refuse to give up that show. While the rest of my world is a whirl of AP tests, grades, SAT's, boy problems, flaky friends, etc etc, Buffy is my sanity. I love that show to death. I refuse to accept that I can't ever have it again.

Here's where you guys come in. Since everyone here is so incredibly intelligent and understands the value I place on the show, I want to know, especially from other parents, what could be a sensible compromise that would satisfy both my worried parents and myself? I don't want to have to resort to the childish (but practical) technique of smuggling in tapes donated by my generous friends. I'd rather that this was resolved honestly. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, it's a bit lengthier than anything I usually post here, but I really need some help.

P.S. I'm also spoiler free so no spoilers for Seeing Red or anything beyond what I've mentioned above please! Thanks ever so much!

[> Do whatever your parents want you to do; 2 or 3 years is nothing, especially for a tv show -- JBone, 22:01:14 05/07/02 Tue

you have more than plenty of time to figure whatever out

[> It times like this I'm glad I got the whole teenage thing over and done with. -- sTalking Goat, 22:06:08 05/07/02 Tue

*sigh* Its good to be 20

[> [> Re: It times like this I'm glad I got the whole teenage thing over and done with. -- maddog, 13:59:56 05/08/02 Wed

It's even better to be 24. :)

But I do remember back in the early 90's when I first started watching 90210( wisecracks). After watching it for a few weeks my mom decided to see what I was watching and it happened to be the episode Brenda thought she had a tumor in her breast. At the time I wasn't more than 12 or so...maybe 13. Needless to say she wasn't too thrilled. But parents get over it.

[> That's a tough one -- lulabel, 22:23:44 05/07/02 Tue

I've got very young kids, so it's a little hard for me to translate your experience. I personally am very careful about letting my kids see violence on TV (or I should say NOT seeing violence on TV) I don't have any particular squeamishness about my kids seeing sexuality, as long as it's about love and/or mutual respect. I guess in that respect, I'd be worried about my kids viewing the Buffy/Spike sex scenes, but not the Tara/Willow scenes.

If it's just the homosexual stuff that gets your parents upset, perhaps some education/information might help out. I think there have been some studies which indicate that children who grow up in gay households (one or more parents are gay) are no more likely to become gay than children from "average" households. Perhaps someone on this board who is familiar with the topic can point you in the direction of a magazine article which you can share with your parents.

[> [> thoughts -- a lurker, 22:43:54 05/07/02 Tue

Well, I have a couple of thoughts on this.

First, if your parents are concerned about the show, ask them to watch it with you and then discuss with them the issues they feel uncomfortable with. This is the best option, IMO, but if they are ultraconservative or otherwise unwilling to deal with the show, this may only lead to them making an outright ban.

Of course, it'd be silly of them to pass judgment on a show having only seen 3 minutes of it. They need to watch it in order to form a clear understanding of what merits the show possesses.

Second, if they're really worried about you experimenting with lesbianism, they're offbase in banning exposure to it through television. If you really wanted to know about lesbianism, you're gonna find out about it one way or another, be it through TV or otherwise. I imagine that they'd rather you learn about a lesbian couple on censored television than through pornography or experimentation.

[> You could do what seemingly 65% of the heterosexual women on this board do . . . -- d'Herblay, 22:34:25 05/07/02 Tue

. . . and just audibly sigh whenever James Marsters is on screen. A little drool probably wouldn't hurt your case.

Seriously, be open and honest with your parents; tell them why you love Buffy, what it means to you. Tell them what you've told us, how watching a loving lesbian relationship has made you more accepting and open to the behavior of others, but that no more means that you'll change something as intrinsic as sexual orientation than it means that you'll develop this overwhelming urge to walk around graveyards at night.

(If they scoff at the idea that watching Buffy can be a valuable experience, have them check out this board. I think there are probably some posters here who have seen the Willow/Tara relationship develop without becoming gay.)

**Seeing Red spoiler follows, highlight to view: I must confess that I expected this thread to be about the shocking pattern of crimson across Willow's blouse. I don't know how parents who watch with their young ones will react to that. I, however, will be having nightmares.

[> [> *Only* 65%? Wow. I've always gotten the impression we are at least pushing 80%. -- Ian, 22:59:53 05/07/02 Tue

[> Re: Please read-parents especially (Spoilers for the first three minutes of Seeing Red) -- Ian, 22:45:44 05/07/02 Tue


Forgive me for saying so, but the fact that your parents "are just scared of having a gay daughter" pretty much qualifies as homophobia in my book. If they are so concerned that the thought of you *seeing* two women in bed, covered by sheets and talking about non-sexual matters will lead to your becoming a lesbian, than a "reasonable" resolution to this seems a bit unlikely to me. Namely because their "fear" is not based upon any understanding of what being gay is.

As much as being heterosexual is a part of you, being gay is also an intrinsic part of gay people. If explaining to them that merely knowing of and approving of Pacific Islanders will not inevitably lead you to becoming a Pacific Islander yourself, I have no idea how you should proceed. You might try to draw out just what their position is on homosexuality, and what they believe is responsible for its occurrence, as well as what they believe its moral and/or religious consequences to be. You might already know all of this, but I since you didn't really specify in your post, I don't really know where they are coming from.

Also, it's okay with them for you to watch a show stuffed full of the occult, violent and manipulative sex, violence, creatures of the night and other demonic presence, but only the sight of two women in bed prompted a deep discussion? Is it just me, or is that a bit odd?
I respect that many, many people have deeply held beliefs and opinions regarding homosexuality that are FAR from positive, and that these beliefs are propagated by certain interpretations of religious texts, but for many, many years African Americans were considered to be sub-human enough to allow slavery, apartheid and segregation. In many, many countries today, women are less valued than livestock, and are in fact treated worse than a cow or a pig. Sorry if this is offensive, because I truly do not intend for it to be so, but ignorance and fear are closely linked. The Other is often foreign, mysteriously repulsive, and hence easier to oppress. That's just the way it is.

It is incredibly neat that simply watching Buffy made you more aware and accepting of the gay and lesbian presence in our world. I think that speaks very, very highly of you. I've seldom if ever grown more accepting of things by watching any TV show, including the news or documentaries. :)

If your parents are just too happy to invite a gay person over for dinner, then I say, hurry up and invite one over. Talk to them about what being gay is and how much risk you really run from watching Buffy. You might even get info and pamphlets from PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. They have some great, informative and positive literature they'll send to anyone. If nothing else, it might expose your parents to an entire world of humanity out there that they may now be ignorant of.

Okay, last thing. lol

I'm gay. Big shock I'm sure to everyone who reads the boards. I've gone through the whole telling my parents and dealing with what they *thought* they knew about gays thing, which really highlighted just how ignorant they really were about it. Honestly, so was I. You're not gay. That's great. (I'm not even kidding or being sarcastic here.) By being heterosexual, you'll never have to deal with any number of injustices, violent acts directed at you, or legalized forms of oppression and discrimination. You'll never be gay bashed, or be terrified to walk down the street with the person you love holding hands. From my perspective, it's NOT okay that your parent are scared you might "turn out gay." Part of being a parent is learning to love your child, no matter what. Okay, mass murder is an exception, but you know what I mean.

Yeah, being gay isn't always a piece of cake, but the "gay" is not the problem in the equation. The problem and blame lie squarely with a society that tolerates and perpetuates hate and fear. You're lucky: Your parents feelings may only make it hard for you to catch a TV show you love, but for gay kids with parents with similar views, their life will be hell. Often way too close to literally like hell.

But I agree with you, missing Buffy would be horrible. :)

I hope I managed to say something helpful here. I'm incredibly sleepy and there's a great chance I'm totally incomprehensible in this post. I don't mean for this to be any kind of scolding, for you or for your parents. They seem to want to the best for you, and that's wonderful, but sometimes, what a parent "thinks" is best can be wholly unconnected to the real world. Talk to them. That's about the only thing you can do.

Best of luck,


[> [> Exactly right -- d'Herblay, 23:03:40 05/07/02 Tue

I apologize for being flippant about this issue in my own post, because I didn't want to approach this issue, but it's really not your parents' attitudes towards Buffy which are problematic.

Perhaps -- if "I was myself fairly homophobic before Willow's gay arc played out in the fourth season. I listened to a lot of Eminem, and I said things like, 'That's so gay!' and I absolutely HATED Willow and Tara at first. The point is, I gradually learned to become more accepting, and now I love Tara and Willow. I've learned, because of this show, that's it's all just people loving each other in different ways" -- exposing your parents to the show might start a similar process in them. One might hope, though such feelings tend to be more deeply rooted than the reach of a television show.

(This is not to say that your parents are evil, hateful people who need to be taught a lesson. We all have our blind spots. You are avowedly not gay; however, were you, I hope that your parents would be able to love you just as much.)

[> [> [> Sigh -- MayaPapaya9, 23:46:32 05/07/02 Tue

First of all I want to thank everyone who's replied, especially Ian.

Okay, my parents' stance on homosexuality is: they think that it is something which is acquired, something that a person decides to be or grows into, not something you're born with. Well, actually that might not be quite accurate. My dad said tonight that no one really knows for sure, but he thinks that my exposure to homosexuality might lead to my feeling that it is totally okay and normal to be gay, and therefore I might want to experiment with it later. Which is almost laughable to me! Thinking about kissing another girl is just ishy. But that's just me!

I think, if I want to continue watching this show, I might HAVE to watch an episode or two or maybe a lot more with my parents, an idea which is also kind of ishy. How am I supposed to enjoy my favorite show with a policeman type watching over my shoulder? It would be terrible. Plus, from what vague nonspoilery things my friends have told me about Seeing Red, it will probably lead them to ban the show forever, which would be MOST unfortunate. If that happens, I would have to commence smuggling in tapes.

This is all so incredibly unlucky. What possessed my mother to be flipping through channels tonight of all nights, during the lesbian scene of all scenes?? My mother NEVER watches TV. What was she even doing with a remote in her hand???

And for the record, we're not fundamentalist Christians or anything. My mom is Persian, raised in Bombay, India and my dad is South Indian, both have lived in this country for 20 years and I was born in NJ. So we're quite American. It's entirely possible that they feel guilty for not raising me religiously. They come from different religious backgrounds and so I grew up without religion entirely. Maybe that's why I cling to Buffy. I make up my own silly rituals. Like ordering a caramel macchiato everytime I go to Starbucks. It's a security thing.

ANYWAYS. Hahahah it's getting late and I am growing less coherent. Thanks so much for all your help, it's nice to feel supported.

[> [> [> [> Re: Sigh -- LittleBit, 06:07:53 05/08/02 Wed

Do you have FX? If you are able to watch some of the episodes with them before next Tuesday's new episode you may have the chance for them to see what the show is about and convince them it's okay. It's in the middle of S4, Tara is about to be introduced. Given how intense the final episodes are likely to be they may not be the best introduction to the show for your parents. Don't know if this helps but it was worth a shot.

[> [> [> [> [> I should learn to look before I leap -- RichardX1, 19:20:25 05/08/02 Wed

LittleBit said the same thing I did, only she(?) said it first. I did mention syndication and TV Guide's Top 50 Shows of All Time, though.

[> [> [> [> Re: Sigh -- Ronia, 13:03:56 05/08/02 Wed

O.K., I haven't posted before so my deepest apologies for any faux pas... I was reading your earlier post..about getting called downstairs, big talk, etc..
I was also reading the responses, which for the most part seemed to be 1) "helpfull" information about the subject of homosexuality, which I can just about promise you will fly like a lead balloon.
2) ways to continue to watch buffy should your parents choose to disallow it.
Now I may be biased here because I am a parent, but to me it seemed that the issue at hand was neither questioning homosexuality as a viable option for yourself or finding ways to smuggle the show in, to me it seemed to indicate your uncertainty as to your parents legitimate authority to make decisions concerning what programs will be allowed in their home. I was further suprised and shocked to hear suggestions that you show them tamer episodes as they may very justifiably be concerned with the events in upcomming episodes.
I suggest that you watch the show with your parents, maybe give them some backround information and compare with various myths etc.
But also, as it is their home, and you are their child, should they decide that they will not allow it, I suggest that you comply fully. It is only a T.V. show after all. The trust of and respect for your parents should be more important to you and will most likely be in the long run. The day is coming when my own children will be on the net, and if I were to discover that they were getting advice from other adults that included ways to decieve me, that would be the day this thing gets unplugged.
Sorry in advance because I know this will not be a popular post.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Sigh -- LittleBit, 13:27:10 05/08/02 Wed

I'm sorry if the suggestion sounded that way. What I meant by it is that there is the possibility of watching together as many as 8 episodes of Buffy on FX, which would give a chance to see the characters and presentation of the show, before watching Villains, again together. The upcoming episodes include the emmy-award- winning Hush as well as the beginning of the Willow/Tara relationship which I understood to be the sticking-point. I do think it's difficult, if not impossible, to get an idea of a show based on an emotionally climactic episode near season's end, and to give parents an idea of the show itself, this is not necessarily the best place to start.

I agree entirely that if the edict comes down for no more Buffy, it must be respected. But I don't see that would preclude the attempt to change their minds.

[> [> [> [> [> Parental control -- Sophist, 13:29:44 05/08/02 Wed

This is a very difficult question in my view. I'm inclined to agree that a consciousness raising session with her parents is unlikely to succeed in the short term. OTOH, it does sound like her parents are open to reason and they might be here.

I think you may have misunderstood some of the above posts. I think the suggestion to show her parents earlier shows was intended not to deceive them, but to do 2 things: 1. Put the events of this season in a larger context. 2. Reassure them that the show has a strong long-term moral component.

The trickiest part is what to do if her parents say no. If the reason for saying no is, essentially, homophobia, I (and I'm speaking as a parent here) think a 16 year old need not feel obligated to give in to bigotry. An incident from my own teenage years partly explains my reaction. When I was 17, my best friend was black (terminology then). He wanted to date a white girl, whose parents were racist and wouldn't allow it. We arranged a system by which other boys would call to ask the girl out, pick her up, and take her home, but the date was actually with my friend. Did we deceive? Absolutely. But it was a good cause, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Parental control -- Ronia, 13:53:27 05/08/02 Wed

I agree with showing earlier shows for purposes of context, but not to mislead about content. I am a long time fan of the show, but the content is what it is and it is entirely possible for a parent to feel that the context does not justify the content.
If her parents decide that it will not be on her list of viewing options, then it really doesn't matter what the reason behind it is while she is a child in their home. As an adult she has the option to say "I disagree with you and choose to embrace a different set of values and beliefs." As a minor long as her parents are not asking her to break the law, they have the right to veto anything they find offensive, whether they are right or not.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Parental control -- myra, 16:22:53 05/08/02 Wed

Okay, I'll have to de-lurk for a bit to disagree here.
I don't think that just because you're a minor you should comply with everything your parents tell you to do. If parents are asking unreasonable things of their children and they're mature enough to recognize it as such, for example a rule based on homophobia or racism, I do think they have a right to question it.
(Now I may be a bit biased since I'm a teenager myself and personally think a little rebellion can be quite healthy;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Parental control -- Ronia, 16:40:50 05/08/02 Wed

I absolutely agree that children have the right to question the issue at hand, but not the authority that their parents hold over them. That authority is fact. You may choose to rebel against it, but then you may have to submit to disciplinary action. Also at what age does a child get to decide what is reasonable and what is not? A parent cannot force a child to think parallel to them on all issues and shouldn't try, but they absolutely have the right and the ability to enforce what is and is not acceptable in their home. As a minor you are in their home, part of their home. The old adage applies, what you pay for belongs to you.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The duty to resist moral wrong -- Sophist, 17:37:48 05/08/02 Wed

Even though I'm a parent (18 and 14 year old daughters), I agree with myra here. Here's my thinking on it:

I start with certain assumptions that I think we agree on:

1. Moral actors have a duty to resist moral wrongs.

2. Racism (and I'm including homophobia within this term) is a moral wrong. I'm assuming that, as MayaPapaya stated, the only reason given for not letting her watch is homophobia.

3. The resistance has to be commensurate to the wrong and to the capability of the actor.

As I see it, the first question is whether teenagers can be moral actors. The law certainly creates an arbitrary cutoff at 18, but that is like most laws -- it includes people who aren't capable and excludes those who are. To make a moral judgment, we need to examine the individual case.

MayaPapaya's post showed me that she fully understands the moral issue of racism. As far as I'm concerned, she is capable of moral action on that subject.

Is watching the show against her parents' wishes a commensurate response? This is more of a judgment call, but I'd say it is. To me, it is equivalent to dating someone of a different ethnic group against your parents' wishes. It is something a teenager can do, it doesn't harm anyone, and it makes the protest a clear rejection of the reason given for the prohibition.

Your last post raises the question of submitting to punishment. I've never really understood why the person in the right has some obligation to submit to punishment for engaging in correct moral behavior. There sometimes are practical reasons to do it, but I'm not sure I see those here. I'm open to a good argument here, but I'm inclined to think no punishment is justified, so there is no obligation to submit.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Okay. That's just very, very well said, Sophist. - - Ian, 18:30:39 05/08/02 Wed

I aspire to duplicate your logical and structured posts.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> (lol) Yeah, what Ian said. -- yuri, 19:12:09 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The obligation to accept the consequences -- Vickie, 19:07:49 05/08/02 Wed

I'd agree with your statements regarding the duty to resist moral wrong, if you were willing to accept the consequences of that resistance.

Philosophers from Plato to Thoreau have discussed this very issue, and to my knowledge (will the more erudite philosophers here please correct any error?), they all say pretty much the same thing. You can protest an immoral rule from within a system, but you must be willing to accept the penalty for that protest. The penalty is the price you pay, which makes your resistance to wrong clear.

In a society, civil disobedience has the consequence of legal action. In a family, filial disobedience has the consequence of parental discipline. If you are unwilling to accept the consequence of the action, you shouldn't undertake it.

This is why we consider those who protest in the way brave. They chance the consequences.

If Maya's goal is to oppose her parents' (perceived) moral inadequacy (let me say here that, as described, I agree with that evaluation), then she should openly defy the edict. If her only goal is to watch Buffy at any price, then this is hardly a moral or protest issue.

take it and shred...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I have to go with Vickie on this one -- RichardX1, 19:35:41 05/08/02 Wed

If defying a rule because you perceive it as immoral absolved you of any punishment, then punishment would be impossible, especially in our modern age of Relative Morality.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The obligation to accept the consequences -- Sophist, 20:11:39 05/08/02 Wed

There was a lively debate on this issue in the 1960s for fairly obvious reasons -- antiwar and civil rights protesters were being told to "bear the consequences" of their protest, when they were the ones who were right and the wrongdoers themselves were the ones dishing out the punishment. I can refer you to a number of books if you'd like.

Quite often, the protesters did accept the consequences for the very practical reason that it helped make their point; the oppressive response generated a backlash. This, however, is a pragmatic reason, not a philosophical one.

You are probably right that most philosophers have argued in favor of accepting punishment (not Plato, though -- he didn't allow protests at all). That's because most of them were writing to please the powers that be (only half joking here). The real issue is not who said it, but how good are their reasons.

Let me suggest 2 issues to think about. First, why should the wrongdoer get to punish the person who is right? What theory of moral conduct would reach this conclusion, i.e., what theory of power would we be upholding by such a rule?

Second, assuming we are all polite dissidents here in the democratic USA, and our governments would never, say, sic police dogs on us for trying to sit at a restaurant counter, what do we do in cases where the punishment is likely to be far more severe than the "crime" precisely because the holder of power wants to remain immune from criticism? Can't severe punishment deter protest for even the most worthy causes?

Aside to Ian: LOL. And your original post was excellent.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Socrates' death was the consequence of a "protest" -- Vickie, 22:08:51 05/08/02 Wed

Plato, in the Apologia, wrote of his teacher Socrates' trial (and subsequent execution in a later text) for "impiety and corruption of youth".

He taught people to think for themselves

Socrates, in the Platonic texts, explains that it is his duty to accept the execution order, because is is a part of the fabric of society. He chooses to remain a part of it, and so accepts the consequences of his actions.

So there is your "civil disobedience" in Plato, so far as it goes. (I agree that the Republic disallows much of any of this.)

As regards your other points....

The "wrongdoer" doesn't have the right to punish the "person who is right." Allow me to point out that these are your interpretations, from your side of the divide. By contrast, the theory of civil disobedience says that we participate in a society, and when we believe that society is wrong, we resist. If that resistance has legal (societal) consequences, we bear them.

This is a courageous stand, one that I have not been called upon to make and doubt I could if called. But many have done this thing, from Thoreau to Gandhi and beyond.

As to your second point, that makes it harder. People likely die. I doubt I have that kind of courage. At that point, you might not want to stay within the system.

But one should, at least, have the moral courage to admit that one has stepped outside the system.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Fair enough -- Sophist, 09:53:00 05/09/02 Thu

I had in mind The Republic. I don't think Plato was entirely consistent here.

My argument assumes, and is only valid if, the protester is right. Obviously, if the protester is wrong, he/she deserves to be punished for the wrong. One of my stated assumptions, though, was that racism was wrong and that the sole reason for the parental order was racism. Given these assumptions (and I don't think you disagree with them), your first point does not apply.

Yes, we do generally agree to follow the rules of a civil society. My arguments, though, challenged 2 aspects of that. One is why we should do so if the result is that those who are wrong are allowed to punish those who are right. It seems pretty hard to justify that on moral grounds.

The other, which you acknowledge makes a hard case, is when the wrongdoer is motivated to punish more severely than the offense deserves (and it may deserve none at all) precisely in order to preserve an unwarranted power. You suggest we admit to stepping outside the system in that case. If you mean admit it to ourselves, I completely agree. If you mean tell the wrongdoer, that seems no different than submitting yourself to punishment, which is the point where we started and the point I am challenging.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Fair enough -- Ronia- oh I see now, 10:08:31 05/09/02 Thu

I think we're finally on the same page. I think what you are saying is that because you feel the person in authority has come down on the wrong side of the fence in your opinion, that it negates their authority, and they no longer have the premise to expect an explanation for things they dissapprove of on the issue, therefore, why tell them? I don't necessarily agree with this position, but I understand your point of view now.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Not quite. -- Sophist, 10:19:42 05/09/02 Thu

My position is that the wrongdoer has no moral right to punish the one doing right (there should be a word for this, but "do-gooder" is just not it). If disclosure to the wrongdoer will result in punishment, especially punishment that is harsh because the wrongdoer is trying to preserve the power to do wrong, then disclosure is not morally necessary.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Not quite. -- clg0107, 13:25:03 05/09/02 Thu

And who is the ultimate arbiter of which parties are right and wrong?

The trouble is the fact that each party believes himself to be right and the other wrong. And just because you can find a wad of people to support one side or the other still doesn't mean that the popular stance is the "right" one.

I'm not defending any particulary evil or unpopular 'ism here.

But the trouble at hand is that Maya has a show she wants to watch, and though she'd rather convince her parents that it is innocuous and watch it aboveboard, she's considering watching it on the sly if they put their feet down.

In this case, since their stand is against a piece of entertainment, and their instruction, should it come, to no longer watch the show, will cause no one any physical harm, she as their child should comply. The minute she moves out, she can do buy the entire series on DVD and watch it all, and explain to them if they ever ask that she respected their wishes while in their home, but now in her own chooses to do otherwise.

Is it going to be an earthshaking violation if she just decides to sneak tapes anyway? I guess not. But, as they say, if you're doing something you're ashamed to tell your mother about, should you be doing it?

The thing is that Maya is making a compelling arguement here -- "they are homophobic so I should defy them in this". But what about all the other situations where a child believes his parents are being unreasonable -- they won't let me buy "x", they won't let me go to ...wherever, they said I can't date that guy because he's been arrested twice -- how do we say that defiance in one case is appropriate and not in others, and besides, who are we to decide that for another family's child??

Being a teenager is all about feeling put-upon by your parents' rules, but the fact remains that they do have a lot more experience at the world than their kids do, and are just trying to keep their kids safe, and if they sometimes make mistakes, it is their right to do so and not have their children lying to them and sneaking around. And certain ly to expect that other adults will not be encouraging them to do so.

So, Maya, if your folks say, "no", make it respectfully clear that you disagree and why, but that you respect their right to try to guide you. And then respect their decision, if not the reason for it. If nothing else, you can feel good about yourself for taking the harder but more honest road.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The duty to resist moral wrong -- Ronia, 23:35:44 05/08/02 Wed

Well, I guess I'd just have to respectfully dissagree. Although I have made allowances, I'd have to take a stand and say that while racism (and I do not include the issue of homosexuality here, because there are several religions that consider this practice not one of race but of sin against a God that others may or may not believe in, nonetheless people have a right to practice religious freedom) is against the law, and I have stated that children should not be expected to submit to their parents if their parents are themselves putting their children at risk for legal repercussions. The person in question was not watching the show out of conscience, but for entertainment. If her parents merely dislike the show it is different than if they outright fobid it. I would have to say in the case of disliking the's a moral cointoss, however, if they forbid her to watch, it would be rebellion against ones parents to continue. Which to me seems to have two ways to manifest. Either she can decieve them and become a liar, or she can rebel openly and risk recieving either less freedom than before ( instead of having one program off the menu, she may have no tv, no phone calls, and may not leave the house except to go to school) or even worse realize her wish of emancipation and receive an adulthood that she is not prepared for, one where all the good things her parents had planned for her she will now have to achieve for herself. And the statistics speak for themselves on the likelyhood of success in teenagers on the street.
As for the issue of "punishment" to me discipline is an act of love, it says I love you enough to make us both uncomfortable in order to try and help you grow in this area. Even assuming that her parents are completely wrong, people have been sufferring for being morally right for thousands of years and it is naive to think otherwise. They didn't chose to submit, they took their stand and those in authority did with them as they wished. And her parents ARE in authority. Lying would damage her and defiance damages her relationship with her parents, regardless of the scenario. Adulthood is full of consequences, and people to whom you will have to submit whether you agree with it or not. Yes, there have been people who refused to obey the laws and take a stand on an issue, but lets not sugarcoat the fact that those individuals took great risk to do so. How can a person who cannot even legally own property, including themselves without the court finding the parents incompetent and the child competent notwithstanding, be prepared to take on the risks and consequences of adulthood along with the perks, because it is a package deal.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> discipline vs. natural consequences -- Can I be Anne?, 13:18:15 05/09/02 Thu

you said:
"As for the issue of "punishment" to me discipline is an act of love, it says I love you enough to make us both uncomfortable in order to try and help you grow in this area."

I'm glad you can justify your behavior with this statement. I'll bet you sleep like a baby at night.
I don't question that you love your children, but I'm pretty sure you continue to learn from your mistakes in your adult life without getting sent to time out or having priveleges withheld. Likewise, believe it or not, minor children don't need false consequences to mature. The natural consequences of their actions and the natural guilt that results from their inner moral compass is the hardship that catalyzes maturity. Sometimes parents make up rules that have no negative naturalconsequences like "you can't put ketchup on tortilla chips" or "you have to wear the same color socks". False consequences have to be made up in these cases because no harm is being done. Perhaps your children have no inner moral compass. Thus, when you discipline them, they may seek to avoid punishment by obeying your rules but they aren't going to grow from it.

[> [> [> [> If you have cable... -- RichardX1, 19:16:14 05/08/02 Wed

FX shows past season episodes of Buffy about as frequently as Cartoon Network shows Scooby-Doo. Also, if you don't have cable, past-season episodes have been syndicated for weekly viewing; check your local listings (with particular attention to the Fox/WB/UPN/independent channels).

If you can get your parents in on the ground floor on BtVS, they might realize why you like this show so much. Finding a TV Guide from a week or two ago might also help--a show that makes that magazine's Top 50 Shows of All Time can't be that bad.

[> [> very well said! And I was also going to mention PFLAG ... -- yuri, 23:52:14 05/07/02 Tue

a good resource for proof that being exposed to homosexuality doesn't cause it..


I don't know how much there is at the site, but they definitely have a comprehensive resource page, and if you called them (I'm not sure how much you're wanting to invest in this, but I urge you to) and told them your problem I'm sure they could point you in the right direction. I agree with lulabel that the best thing to do is show your parents the data that says homosexuality isn't contagious. Then maybe you can get them working on the whole problem with having a gay daughter thing.

and Ian, wonderful post, thanks.

[> [> Thanks for your thoughtful post -- MayaPapaya9, 00:02:45 05/08/02 Wed

In response to your wondering why homosexuality and not the violence and occult stuff bothers them...well, we watch violent movies as a family all the time (hehe) and I think my parents are pretty secure in their feeling that I won't pull a Columbine. Because in movies, violence is generally portrayed as bad, not something you normally WANT to do. It's like, they let me watch the (excellent) movie Traffic, which was very graphic about drugs and the like, but the drugs were clearly portrayed as bad.

This is not to in any way mean that they think homosexuality is bad. They think it's just fine, for some people. And I think that if I or my brother was to say one day that we were gay, they would love us just the same about. But they would be afraid of what this would mean for the rest of our lives. Like you said, being gay isn't a piece of cake. My parents believe that it is a decision you make, and they don't want me to make a decision which will make the rest of my life harder. I personally don't know whether I think being gay is something you're born with or something you become, just because I'm not old enough and I haven't met enough gay people to make that kind of judgement. I just know that I am not, and won't ever be. What can I say, I just like boys! :)

As for the occult, when I was 12 I actually told my parents I was Wiccan and we had another "serious talk". I've since grown out of that, I realized that I'm too lazy for organized religion. But they know the occult is on the show and that's a discussion we've already had.

[> [> [> "Look how cool it is - but don't do it, it's bad!" Simultaneous glorificatoin and condemnation. -- yuri (this is sort of a hijack, sorry MP), 00:44:23 05/08/02 Wed

I should have some really insightful and pondrous things to say with subject like that, but really I just wanted to point something out that I find continuously annoying.

Because in movies, violence is generally portrayed as bad, not something you normally WANT to do. It's like, they let me watch the (excellent) movie Traffic, which was very graphic about drugs and the like, but the drugs were clearly portrayed as bad.

First of all, I think on the whole violence is NOT portrayed as "bad." However, what annoys me even more is the way movies make drugs look. So often a movie is billed as an anti-drug movie, showing the "real" and "disturbing" effects of drugs, but at the same time that those effects are disturbing, the people who are doing them are hot, and there's usually some sort of reverence or something given to those sweaty, hollowed out youths. Traffic, I dunno, it's iffy. I mean, for gods sake it freaking TEACHES the audience how to freebase! One of THE worst ways to take heroin! I thought that was pretty amazing, but that doesn't really have to do with my point. I guess I don't feel like the majority of people watch movies like that, like pulp fiction, like Trainspotting and walk out saying "wow, I'm never going to try heroin ever." Like, just the fact that hollywood considered those people's lives were fucking "interesting" enough to be made in to a movie glorifies it. I'm rather sensetive about this because my dad, though he never prohibited me from watching anything, can hardly handle to watch any of those movies. He's had several friends lost to heroin, dead and alive, and even though he can weather other stuff just fine, he can't stand those films. I have come to agree that just because there's a "this is bad" current to the plot, doesn't mean that the content is totally unattractive.

I should probably stress that in no way am I anti- drugs. Pretty much anti-herion, but in terms of most else I just advocate complete (and when I say complete I mean extensive, I've never done a drug whose exact physiological effects I did not know) education.

[> [> [> [> Re: "Look how cool it is - but don't do it, it's bad!" Simultaneous glorificatoin and condemnation. -- Caire, 04:33:27 05/08/02 Wed

This is a bit O/T but I doubt the movie Trainspotting would encourage heroin use as it very graphically shows how hellish withdrawl can be. Not to mention the death of the baby and the gruesome way Ewan's character is haunted by it in withdrawal. The main character actually jumps in a toilet to retreive his heroin so it is hardly presented as glamorous or cool. It is the sort of film I would show young people so they can understand the effect of drugs. No one ever swallows the argument that all drugs only have bad effects and anyone who takes them gets sod all out of them. The film Trainspotting just shows both sides of the argument and helps explain why people are drawn to drugs but the film ultimately concludes with the argument that drugs just aren't worth it.
Sorry for getting O/T but I love that film and I do strongly disagree with the frequent argument that it encourages drug use. JMHO.

[> [> [> Re: Thanks for your thoughtful post -- Tanker, 07:15:18 05/08/02 Wed

There's one thing that I sometimes use with people who claim homosexuality is a choice: I ask them why and how they chose to be heterosexual. Sometimes this leads to a shouting match :-) , but sometimes it actually has its desired effect and makes them think. Because I doubt you will find many heterosexuals who will say that they chose to be straight. I know I was born the way I am (straight, for what it's worth). The logical assumption is that other people are too. Human sexuality is way more complicated than 100%straight/100%gay. Or even male/female.

Note that this may not work anyway. You can't force people to change their minds. That has to come from within, although it can (hopefully) be influenced by arguments and evidence.

[> [> [> [> (OT) Kicking a hornets' nest, here... -- RichardX1, 19:51:12 05/08/02 Wed

If homosexuality is a biological determination instead of a lifestyle choice, wouldn't that mean that the children of homosexuals would be more likely to be gay themselves, instead of less likely as the studies have shown?

Feel free to hate me now, but I just had to bring that up.

[> [> [> [> [> Not all "biological determinants" are genetic -- d'Herblay, 00:08:13 05/09/02 Thu

I hope that mole or Darby might be able to back me up on this, but they're asleep, so I'll be flailing along by myself now. It seems to me that the influence of environment on an individual's development in the fetal and infant stages is popularly underestimated. (Not all birth defects are genetic, after all -- think thalidomide. For that matter, at least one genetic birth defect, Down's Syndrome, is due to a copying error during meiosis rather than to heredity. And I'm not sure if the correlation between breast feeding and intelligence has undergone suitable regression analysis to rule out an analogy to the correlation of a few centuries ago between intelligence and wet nursing, but, whether or not it implies causation, the correlation is there.) These environmental factors may not be what people think of as "biological determinism," but I have a hard time seeing them as "lifestyle choices." (The characters of the mother's womb and milk would be themselves influenced by genetic, environmental and developmental factors, so the "lifestyle choices" of the mother may be hard to separate from her "biological determination.")

(I am not, by the way, likening homosexuality or heterosexuality to a birth defect. Also by the way, do we "hate" people for asking questions here? Really?)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Not all "biological determinants" are genetic -- Ronia, 00:19:46 05/09/02 Thu

Must agree here, to some extent. That things that affected our parents affect us although we can't put our finger on it dna wise (although I'm thinking maybe downs syndrom is genetic, not sure, but it sure seems to be right according to my memory) As for the breastfed/bottlefed, I think that there are too many variables, for example, breastfed babies must be held to be fed, bottlefed babies can be propped up to feed themselves and thus denied the nurturing experience, which we know for a fact plays a role....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Down's Syndrome -- d'Herblay, 01:10:45 05/09/02 Thu

Down's Syndrome is caused by a replication error during meiosis (the process through which germ cells -- sperm and eggs -- acquire half the parent's chromosomes). Humans have 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs; normally during meiosis one chromosome of each of these pairs is sent to a germ cell (and the other to a second germ cell -- it's a binary process). This is called disjunction. Occasionally, an error called non-disjunction occurs in which the two chromosomes of the pair do not disjoint and both are sent to the same germ cell. When that sperm or (more often) egg combines to form a zygote, that zygote will have three chromosomes where it should have two. This condition is known as trisomy. Trisomy of the 21st chromosome is the cause of Down's Syndrome.

I suppose that this is "genetic" in the sense that it involves genes. It is not, however, "genetic" with the implications of the popular usage, including heritability. One cannot carry a gene for Down's Syndrome as one can carry a gene for hemophilia, Tay-Sachs, sickle cell anemia, or colorblindness.

(You can read more about the cause of Down's Syndrome at this site. I also recommend chapter 15 of Stephen Jay Gould's The Panda's Thumb. I don't know why anom thinks I'm didactic!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Down's Syndrome -- Ronia, 08:24:37 05/09/02 Thu

Standing corrected, double checked and found age rather than heredity to be an affecting factor.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Down's Syndrome -- Darby, 13:54:14 05/09/02 Thu

You can think of Down's Syndrome as being an inheritable MUTATION - it's a sex cell mutation on the chromosome level (commonly in the egg cells, for reasons too involved to go into here), but someone who has Down's Syndrome certainly can pass it on from there, on a 50-50 chance I would assume. And all of the conditions d'Herb mentions started as mutations in someone's ancestor...

And things certainly can be inheritable without being genetic - think accents, or property, or some aspects of morality and religion. So the "nurture" part is just a non- DNA-based inheritability too, sort of...

And I've gottat say that a lot of the accepted "facts" wandering through this thread are generally neither.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Down's Syndrome -- matching mole, 14:19:40 05/09/02 Thu

Technically that's true - someone with Down's syndrome has a fifty-fifty chance of passing the extra chromosome on to any child they might have. However most people with Down's syndrome are sterile (according to the source I have at hand in my office) and I would assume that the vast majority of children born with Down's syndrome are born to parents without the disease.

In contrast a large portion of the people born with sickle cell anemia or any of the other genetic diseases dH mentioned do come from families with a history of that particular genetic ailment. So I'd say that while at the mechanistic level Down's syndrome and the classic 'genetic' diseases can be thought of as similar at the population level they are very different.

Your middle point - that the environment can be heritable - is a major problem in studies of the genetics of any organism and is particularly pernicious in studies of human genetics of complex traits like sexual orientation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Not all "biological determinants" are genetic -- matching mole, 05:21:10 05/09/02 Thu

All I can say dH is that I wish I knew as much about philosophy as you know about biology. This discussion seems to be taking a standard nature vs. nurture form. There are several points to be made here about the limitations of taking an either or position.

1) As dH points out there are a number of ways a trait can be affected by genes and not be hereditary. Genetic accidents such as those that cause Down's Syndrome. Also genes interact with one another to produce affects that don't manifest themselves if the gene occurs on its own. For example imagine an individual with two copies of allele (version of a gene) A has red hair and an individual with two copies of allele B has white hair. These two individuals marry and have kids. There are a number of possibilities for hair color in their kids depending on the nature of the interaction between the A and B alleles (each child will inherit an A allele from one parent and a B allele from the other)

If A is dominant then all children will have red hair
If B is dominant then all children will have white hair
If the effects of A and B are additive then the children will have pink hair
If there is an interactive effect between A and B then the hair color could end up being completely different - say green. The green hair would be genetically determined but not inherited from either parent.

2) Environmental effects can be extremely subtle and can be very powerful, especially those very early in life. The environment can also affect individuals differently depending on their genes. The Siamese cat color pattern is the result of a gene that makes fur color (in the developmental stages of hair formation) very temperature sensitive. Fur at the extremities where body temperature is slightly cooler is darker than elsewhere. In other cats temperature has no effect on fur color.

3) I've given relatively simplistic examples but in reality a trait like sexual orientation is likely to be affected by a complex assortment of genes and environmental factors.

[> [> [> A practical suggestion -- Malandanza, 08:36:30 05/08/02 Wed

While Ian's post is thoughtful and well-intentioned, I can't think of anything that would convince your parents that you're a lesbian more quickly than bringing home anti- homophobia pamphlets, talking about gays and bringing home gay friends. This course of action might be good for your parents, but it would be very bad for your future Buffy watching.

I suggests watching Buffy at a friend's house for the last few episodes. Alternately, get a friend to tape them for you and watch them on Wednesday or Thursday (to allay suspicion -- if you disappear every Tuesday at 7:00, they might just figure out what's going on). Even if your parents give you permission to watch the next episode under their guidance, I think it would be your last -- these last episodes are likely to be very dark indeed. You're actually kind of lucky all your parents watched was Tara and Willow in bed together.

If you have moral about deceiving your parents, wait for the shooting scripts and read those (that's how I keep track of what's happening on Angel) -- it's not the same, but it's better than nothing.

I like the idea of having your parents watch the FX reruns. The first and second seasons are pretty safe. Good moral messages with very little grayness.

[> [> [> [> Yeah, I think so...(kinda spoilerish for Seeing Red) -- MayaPapaya9, 20:28:55 05/08/02 Wed

My friend who watched Seeing Red told me if I ever want to watch Buffy again, not to let my parents see that episode. Apparently it has attempted rape. That's all I know. I think my honest Buffy-watching days are over. I'll probably have to resort to smuggling or whatnot. Thanks for your practical viewpoint. It's really too bad that this had to happen, but I am definetely not, as some people have suggested, going to just accept their decision. It really has nothing to do with my moral standpoint on homosexuality or my moral standpoint on ANYTHING really. I just want to see the goddamn show, and I will be seeing it, by any means necessary.

[> [> [> [> [> Go Maya, disobey! -- can I be Anne?, 21:03:10 05/08/02 Wed

And I mean that. You're 16 and I've been there. You're obviously sentient, morally culpable, capable of making informed decisions.
I have to say, also, that parental authority is not a fact, it's an opinion enforced by certain parents. I believe that parents need not censor unharmful experiences from their children. It's a cheap argument to say that paying for the house makes children equal to chattel. Children may not legally buy property so there isn't another option for them.
That you like Buffy and it doesn't harm you or others is a fair reason in my book to sneak around your parents. Good luck!

[> [> But on the other hand... -- Darby, 11:01:41 05/08/02 Wed

As a parent, I'm protective of my son. If I thought that he could "turn" gay, I might want to protect him from the potential abuse that might lead to. It's a nasty world, and it's nastier to some people than to others.

Back when interracial couples were unusual in the U.S., I might have been concerned if my son was in one for the same reason - it's not that there would be anything wrong with him or what he's doing, but I'd rather that he not paint any larger target on himself than is already there. And I'd tell him exactly that - I wouldn't forbid, or even discourage beyond this point, but I'd want him to be aware of what he was possibly getting into from the rest of the mob. Hey, I'm a believer in a low profile when possible...

[> [> grrrr.... (mostly off topic rantage) -- celticross, 15:31:35 05/08/02 Wed

Sorry to thread hijack, but this was the best place I could think of to put it. (great post, btw, Ian *hugs*)

*begin rant mode*

I so completely do not get the idea that homosexuality is *acquired*, that one *grows* into it. What the huh? I think anyone who believes this has ever talked to a gay person before. Living in the small town South as I do, being out is next to impossible for most, so the number of gays I've known who feel they can be honest about their sexuality is limited, but I do have a couple of wonderful examples to draw from. My dearest friend in the entire world is gay. He and I have been friends since the 6th grade, and for all intents and purposes, we've evolved into brother and sister. He finally came out to me our senior year in high school and he was able to be out at college. And I've never seen someone so transformed as he was. He was finally free to be himself and in coming to terms with his sexuality, he finally found that his life made a bit more sense. Why the rambling testimonial, you ask? Because the idea that my friend just "decided" he was gay is ludicrus to me. From my observation, I find this view uninformed and ridiculous. Ok, so maybe this post has no use in the dicussion, but I felt the need to get it off my chest.

*end rant mode*

[> [> grrrr.... (mostly off topic rantage) -- celticross, 15:33:39 05/08/02 Wed

Sorry to thread hijack, but this was the best place I could think of to put it. (great post, btw, Ian *hugs*)

*begin rant mode*

I so completely do not get the idea that homosexuality is *acquired*, that one *grows* into it. What the huh? I think anyone who believes this has never talked to a gay person before. Living in the small town South as I do, being out is next to impossible for most, so the number of gays I've known who feel they can be honest about their sexuality is limited, but I do have a couple of wonderful examples to draw from. My dearest friend in the entire world is gay. He and I have been friends since the 6th grade, and for all intents and purposes, we've evolved into brother and sister. He finally came out to me our senior year in high school and he was able to be out at college. And I've never seen someone so transformed as he was. He was finally free to be himself and in coming to terms with his sexuality, he finally found that his life made a bit more sense. Why the rambling testimonial, you ask? Because the idea that my friend just "decided" he was gay is ludicrus to me. From my observation, I find this view uninformed and ridiculous. Ok, so maybe this post has no use in the dicussion, but I felt the need to get it off my chest.

*end rant mode*

[> Why cave in to censorship? -- Joe Bleaux, 22:53:06 05/07/02 Tue

Why do you feel a need to compromise? You haven't done anything wrong -- your parents are the ones with the problem.
If they forbid you to watch Angel just because Fred kisses Gunn, would you be so quick to defend them? Of course you wouldn't. "I swear they're not racists, they just don't want me to date black boys." Give me a break.

Parents have the right to set reasonable rules for their kids. This does not fall into that category. Catering to somebody else's irrational prejudices just to avoid arguing amounts to voluntary censorship. Are you content to give up your right to make informed choices for yourself and let somebody else tell you what's best for you?

I don't know what you mean by "childish." Think of all the morons who are constantly trying to get classic works of literature banned from schools. They get hung up on superficial things like sex, violence, or irreligiousness and can't see any of the artistic or literary merit of the books. Is the teacher who says "screw them, I'm going to teach these books anyway" in any way "childish"? I don't think so. And yes, Buffy is very well-written with artistic merit up to here. Anyone who can't be bothered to learn the context and mythology of the show and just freaks out about sex and violence is, well, an idiot.

With that said, maybe your parents are capable of being decent people, and just need a kick in the rear. In that case, show them some earlier episodes with W/T's relationship developing. Like, Who are you?, Family, Tough Love. These last two brought tears to my eyes. "I am, you know.... yours." is about the sweetest thing I've ever heard. If someone can't see that these are two amazing people with a beautiful relationship, then I would have to say...
"Are you made of human parts?"

[> [> It's always about compromise -- lulabel, 23:31:08 05/07/02 Tue

Well, I have to disagree here. The issue is not about whether or not the parents are being reasonable. I don't think anyone is entitled to tell parents what they should or should not be worried about. What is important is that their concerns are being addressed, and also that MayaPapaya9's feelings are being respected.

When I was 18, I returned to my parents house for the summer after my freshman year away at college. My mother asked me to be home by midnight whenever I went out with my friends. I told her that was silly and illogical because when I was away at school I would stay out til 3 AM and she was never the wiser. She understood my point, but said that when I was living at home she knew that I was out, and would worry about me (and not get any sleep) until I was safely home. This had its own logic, which I conceded to without further argument. The point being that a parent's concern has its own validity because it's all ultimately about the wanting what's best for the child.

I can only reiterate what some others have said here - communication is key, and respect for each others' concerns and opinions.

[> [> [> Try getting some backbone. -- Joe Bleaux, 00:20:04 05/08/02 Wed

The ability to have a child doesn't guarantee that you are a decent, rational person. And no, not every opinion automatically deserves respect. I don't think homophobia is "concern" that I'm going to have any respect for.

I think my earlier analogy still stands. You probably don't have to look too hard to find white supremicists who hate ME because Forrest and Gunn and Kendra are good guys. Are you going to trip over yourself to compromise with these sickos? They're parents after all; how dare you judge a parent?
I don't see how homophobia is any more legitimate than this.

And in what world is teaching that homosexuality is wrong "what's best for the child"?

[> [> [> [> Re: Try getting some backbone. -- yuri, 01:30:18 05/08/02 Wed

If we indeed want the world to be a more open and accepting place, then I assume we would rather change the opinion of bigots and homophobes rather than say "fuck them, they're idiots" and turn away. Approaching a prejudiced person in a sensitive and understanding way (firm and passionate, yes, accusatory, no) makes their conversion much more likely.

I agree that not every opinion automatically deserves respect (and we may be in the smaller camp here but I also have never reconciled with the strict "your opinion is as valid as mine" thing), but the fact that someone has grown up in a place where homophobia (or whatever) is accepted and encouraged deserves consideration.

[> [> [> [> [> Zorg -- Joe Bleaux, 03:39:45 05/08/02 Wed

"(Firm and passionate, yes, accusatory, no)"
All right. I'm not saying such people aren't worth talking to or can't change their minds. I'm just objecting to lullabel's implication that parents are always right, by definition, which is patently absurd (e.g., nuts trying to ban Harry Potter).

Although I think that sometimes, in this cultural fog of namby-pamby-ness, it is useful to speak plainly and directly that some things are right and some are wrong, touchy-feely "perspectives" and "viewpoints" be damned.

***To go slightly off-topic, consider biologist Richard Dawkins' no-nonsense writing style, which when applied to fruitcakes (psychics, astrologers, creationists, pomos), is often misinterpreted as rude and arrogant. Well, it's a simple fact that creationists are wrong and the professional ones (the book-writers) are either very stupid or deliberately lying. Why should a eminent and informed scientist have to beat around the bush and walk on eggshells just to avoid offending crackpots who twist and misrepresent science? No reason I can see. Maybe he won't persuade the extreme fringe, but a direct, clear, and firm style (without becoming hectoring) can certainly persuade the moderates, fence-sitters, and those who haven't really thought about the issue before.

(FWIW, I personally think Dawkins is a model of gentlemanly restraint, and people who whine about his writing style are usually slightly fruitcakey themselves. And don't think I'm comparing myself favorably; I can't hold a candle to Dawkins in the writing department.)

Back on topic***

"The fact that someone has grown up in a place where homophobia (or whatever) is accepted and encouraged deserves
Maybe, but not much. Did they grow up in a place where there were no libraries? Part of growing up and educating yourself is reading everything you can, exposing yourself to dozens of viewpoints on a subject, then using your own rational judgement to decide which ideas are valid and which aren't. Maybe, just maybe, you might realize that your parents, regardless of whether they think they mean well, are simply dead wrong. That doesn't mean you have to hate them, of course, but you shouldn't excuse them either. It's a weak mind indeed that never questions what it was taught as a child.

Now I'd better stop before this gets too preachy....

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Zorg -- lulabel, 18:17:05 05/08/02 Wed

No way am I trying to imply that parents are always right. My assertion is that a parent's opinions or concerns should not be dismissed out of hand, regardless of how wrongheaded those ideas may be to someone else. Parents are the ones who make sacrifices and compromises every day for their children. That gives them the right to have their opinions taken seriously.

I would certainly agree that this young woman's parents are bigoted. I would also certainly say that any confrontational or antagonistic reaction towards this kind of bigotry is NOT going to lead to any positive results. It is certainly not going to change her parents' minds about the issue. The type of behavior that may change their minds is an open dialogue where all parties show respect for each others concerns and opinions.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Try getting some backbone. -- Ronia, 14:03:29 05/08/02 Wed

If we were in a more open and accepting place we would not be trying to change the opinions of others, nor would we feel that we have the right to. Calling people bigots and homophobes, is claiming moral superiority for your opinion . You would not accept this in return, and that would most likely cause you to utter....
I have to argue that all opinions are equally valid although not all opinions are equally correct. They are valid because they are the opinion of your fellow human being.
Who is going to decide the final case for correctness on the issue? Hopefully not just some shmoe with an opinion.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Try getting some backbone. -- yuri, 14:34:13 05/08/02 Wed

I know completely where you're coming from, but I don't like it there because it makes it very hard to make change. I am going to claim moral superiority over beliefs in racism or homophobia, but I'm not going to go up to a person and be like "hey, you're racist, shape up. It's wrong and you're wrong for believing in it," because I know that people won't respond to that. I know the arguments opposing my beliefs and find them insubstantial. I want to give other people the chance to make that decision.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Try getting some backbone. -- Ronia, 15:27:14 05/08/02 Wed

By what authority do you claim moral superiority over others beliefs, whatever they may be? I can understand making a case for your opinion, but in claiming moral superiority you are in fact declaring "shape up, it's wrong and you are wrong for believing it" My argument is that in no way would you or I or anyone accept that no matter how eloquently phrased. Maybe I am missunderstanding?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Try getting some backbone. -- yuri, 17:56:42 05/08/02 Wed

by my own authority. And by no one else's. I believe that discriminating against someone because of the color of their skin (and so on and so forth) is wrong, and I will not hesitate to say that. When I approach someone who disagrees with me, I will tell them I think it is wrong, and then tell them why. A special few times I have reached someone (and I must in turn say that I have been reached myself many times, I do not claim that I am right about everything or that I have any less to learn than any body else) and helped them to become more aware of their prejudice and to see it is irrational and cruel. I came at them honestly, letting them know what I believe and what I think is right, and then showed them why. People do respond to that. (it's a whole help them help themselves thing, right? no one can reach a person if they won't let themselves be reached, of course.) I don't understand how "making a case for your opinion" isn't in itself saying "look, I think I'm right and here's why." Are we just arguing about terminology?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Try getting some backbone. -- Ronia, 23:51:55 05/08/02 Wed

No, I don't think we are. Although I am pleased to hear you say that it is your own authority (which is no greater than mine or anyone elses) that you claim moral superiority for your opinions. Yes, I agree that your recent "look, I think I'm right and here's why" is entirely acceptable, it is also entirely different from what you said before, something to the effect of I am right and you are wrong and you need to change your opinion to suite my beliefs because I am morally superior to you. If a person did not agree with you after hearing case does that make them beneath you morally, or just someone who disagrees and has a right to?

[> [> [> Re: It's always about compromise -- Ronia, 14:13:47 05/08/02 Wed

I had a similar situation my first year of college. I was an adult (sorta considering I was still on my parents dole) meaning I was 18 and no longer living at home. I stayed out . In retrospect I would have rather asserted that although I now had the authority to dictate my comings and goings, that I would still comply to the rules of my parents home while I was a guest in it. It is a question of respect and maturity isn't it. A true adult already knows she/he can come and go at will, but doesn't feel the need to be rude and uncaring of parents desire to protect the children that they's a process. Also, when we come home to mom and dad do we expect the bills to be payed, the dinner cooked, and laundry washed as though we were still a child while we make demands for the adult status we crave? Really glad you took your mothers concerns to heart.

[> [> Re: Why cave in to censorship? -- Ronia, 13:22:18 05/08/02 Wed

I have a few issues with this arguament that I think should be addressed
1) thank you for saying that parents have the right to set "reasonable" rules. Children do not get to decide which rule are "reasonable" and veto the rest.
2) her parents may or may not "have a problem". You have no more right to suggest that they do than you would be willing to accept their suggestion that the problem lies with your point of view.
3) teachers should never, ever, disregard parents wishes regarding curriculum. They have not assumed responsibility for the children and they are in fact paid by the parents. It is their job to educate, not to be a social engineer, and like it or not differing opinions on
social issues are protected by law.
4) the person you are addressing in fact does not have the right to make informed decisions for herself because she is not yet an adult.
Disregarding your parents authority can have long reaching effects on the relationship. They have the right to censor material they find (for whatever reason) offensive. I'd love to have responses to these arguaments....

[> [> [> Re: Why cave in to censorship? -- yuri, 18:12:11 05/08/02 Wed

"Children do not get to decide which rule are "reasonable" and veto the rest."
So parents have the unalienable right to make whatever rules they want and never be questioned by their children?

"the person you are addressing in fact does not have the right to make informed decisions for herself because she is not yet an adult."

I (respectfully) find this statement unbelievably out of line. First of all, in you entire post, you assume that parents always are in the right, that just because you fornicate and produce a child you somehow have some sense of the right way to raise a kid. I know where the argument will be here -- there is no right way, but then I really must ask, if parents, for instance, teach their children that all blonde people are cheats and liars, is that okay because, well hey, that's their right? (And I could make many more gruesome examples of parental influence, I'm sure you can imagine.)

Also, the non-adult you are referring to is sixteen years old, old enough to have children of her own, to drive a car, to be responsible, and she is not allowed to make her own moral judgments? Does she have to wait till she's 18? Will the night of her birthday magically make her an adult? Or must she wait until she's moved out of the house? Even living in their parents' house, kids can have countless adult responsibilites. I am almost self-sustaining, I clean, I cook, I buy. I'm 17. Can I be an adult, yet?

heh, a little heated, I guess. You said you wanted responses, right? My tone isn't exactly sweet, but I don't mean to make an enemy or create resentment or whatever, just to discuss something I feel strongly about!

[> [> [> [> Thank you yuri! -- MayaPapaya9, 20:40:00 05/08/02 Wed

I've been getting slightly annoyed with the posts which are telling me to blindly respect my parents' every wish. I really don't think that the people who advise that course of action were really that obedient when they were 16. And in a year and three months I will be 18. Will I really undergo some fantastic change before then? I'm asking that as an honest question, I'm not being sarcastic. I really don't think it'll make THAT much of a difference.

Anyway, my parents raised me to be strong willed. My father himself taught me never to blindly follow what other people tell me to do. I trust my own instincts and the bottom line is, I'll be watching the show with or without their permission. I respect them, of course, but I respect myself too.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Thank you yuri! -- Ronia, 00:06:33 05/09/02 Thu

More than likely a tv show will not dramatically alter your life in any lasting way (let's hope not ), and if your parents raised you to question their authority, then why try to suggest they have it in the first place? If they want you to do as you see fit in any given situation, why all the hullaballoo of being called downstairs and possibly forbidding the show? In any case the question I think became one of parents have the right to control activities in their own home, or regarding their children (18 in a year and three months was 14 pretty recently). The question at hand became do you have the right to insist on having your own way, not do you have the means to insist on it. And will you extend this "gift" to your own children when they desire to do something that is offensive to you, and at what age? Or will you insist on your own way then as well? I'd really like to know because I have an ongoing discussion with a friend about the child/adult separation and I too agree that you don't wake up one day fully matured although the world now holds you accountable as though you had.

[> [> [> [> Re: Why cave in to censorship? -- Ronia, 00:50:55 05/09/02 Thu

Yes, parents have the right to make whatever rules they want, and expect them to be obeyed. No, they should not expect to never be questioned or even shown to be wrong, resulting in a change of rules.

I have never assumed that the parents were always right, just always in authority.

What do you mean fornicate? Some people achieve pregnancy without fornication (sex between unmarried parteners)

Parents may teach their child that all blondes are liars and cheats, but that really isn't a rule...when the child grows up or even before this they may disagree, disagreement and disobediance are two different things.

It is true that a 16 yr old may produce a child (not by way of responsible decisionmaking), but that young mother has no ability to provide for her child, she can't own anything yet including the car she drives.

Yes, she has a right to an opinion on moral issues that differ from her parents, but no she does not have the authority to overrule her parents decisions while she is living in their home.

No, turning 18 will not magically make her an adult. But she will hereafter be regarded as one whether for good or ill.

Cooking, cleaning and shopping do not qualify as adult responsibilities. Accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions and accepting responsibility for others is pretty much the point of no return. At the moment your parents are being held responsible for you whether you will it so or not. You are still considered a minor. Also, you are not self sufficient. You may clean and cook in the house that your parents provided for you but that's not really something that deserves a parade is it? I mean you live there. I am assuming of course that when you say you are self sustaining that you don't mean that you pay the mortgage, health insurance, etc.

[> Re: Please read-parents especially (Spoilers for the first three minutes of Seeing Red) -- Dedalus, 22:54:05 05/07/02 Tue

Are they afraid you're going to start slaying vampires too?


[> [> Hehehe...I know, I may just start frequenting graveyards and underground crypts for kicks... -- MayaPapaya9, 23:49:50 05/07/02 Tue

[> FOR THE RECORD (Moniker use) -- neaux, 04:41:29 05/08/02 Wed

Just a little message to say I'm not taking part in the above discussion. There is a moniker of the name of Joe Bleaux that could possibly directed as a spoof of my name or maybe this person didnt know that some one with the EAUX posted on this board.

Just to set the record straight before there is anyconfusion. I am NOT Joe Bleaux.

Pardon the Interruption.

[> Re: Please read-parents especially (Spoilers for the first three minutes of Seeing Red) -- maddog, 08:47:20 05/08/02 Wed

Well after this past episode I'd tell them it's not really an issue anymore...Tara is dead afterall. :(
It comes down to trust. They have to trust that you're making the right decisions. It's not about the show. It's about their insecurities. Focus on that. Cause the show's not gonna change. Joss wouldn't do that to us. :)

[> [> SPOILERS for end of Seeing Red in above post -- matching mole, 08:54:56 05/08/02 Wed

Maya specifically asked not to be spoiled for Seeing Red as she didn't have a chance to see it.

[> [> [> Too late...(stupid goddamn spoilers for everything) -- MayaPapaya9, 20:33:24 05/08/02 Wed

OH MY GOD! She does???? Ohhhhh noooooooooooooooo!!!!!! DAMN it!!!!! I love Tara! This is terrible! I'm now completely depressed, more so because I didn't even get to see it with my own eyes.

[> Personally, I'd be proud of a daughter who wrote this great post... -- Marie, 08:59:11 05/08/02 Wed

...(after all, shows they must be doing something right!) so why don't you show it to them, and some of these replies, and TALK about it. Communication, communication, communication. (Of course, you know your parents, so only you can be the final judge of their reactions).


[> [> Aww, thank you Marie :) -- MayaPapaya9, 21:01:15 05/08/02 Wed

[> the Pill -- skeeve, 09:56:19 05/08/02 Wed

This might be a good time to ask your parents whether you can go on the Pill, whether you need it or not. You never know, JM might come to town.

Do you have any male friends with whom you might watch Buffy? This one suspects that your parents might not object too strenously.

[> A compromise -- matching mole, 15:24:05 05/08/02 Wed

I've been really tempted to weigh in on the more abstract portions of this thread but have restrained myself due to fears of pulling the wrath of the board's parents down on my head. So I'll limit myself to the practical.

I suggest that the remaining episodes be taped unseen and that your parents watch a bunch of earlier episodes on FX with you. You can expain the characters and so on.

Then your parents preview the new episodes and decide if there is anything they don't want you to see. They can edit it out or fast forward through it. Or they can just tell you what they find disturbing and you can talk about it. I certainly don't think this is the ideal solution but if you can get your parents to put in the effort it might be the best bet.

[> [> Re: A compromise -- Miss Edith, 01:21:34 05/09/02 Thu

At 16 I think MayaPapaya9 is mature enough to watch Buffy regardless of her parents opinions. We shouldn't blindly follow our parents wishes if they are blatently unfair. If the government suddenly made a law that no one could watch tv shows with black people in them would we all blindly follow their wishes because we don't have the right to decide which rules are fair and resposible? If young children are watching the show (around 10-12) I agree recent developments aren't something they need to see. But I fully support a 16 year olds right to watch a show promoting tolerance with a happy lesbian couple. If her parents do object do W/T representing the lesbian community on tv I would say that is an unfair rule. Good luck MayaPapaya9.

[> [> [> Re: A compromise -- Ronia, 09:12:07 05/09/02 Thu

I still stand by belief that parents have the right to enforce whatever rules in their home they see fit. However, I do question the wisdom of feeling the need to make a rule that didn't previously exist, about a tv show, in regards to a "child" who, although you still have authority over, you hope turn out to the world as mature an adult as possible in the near future. I would say imo that the teenager has the responsibility to respect her parents wishes, and the parents have the responsibility to decide if this is a battle worth fighting, and I'm guessing they'll go with "no". Because teenagers pick up on inconsistency very quickly, and her parents are being inconsistent. Homosexuality is great...but not for you.

[> OT, but nice to know there's another indian american in the world, Maya -- Can I be Anne?, 21:22:48 05/08/02 Wed

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