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Some Spike speculation for Series 7 (Spoilery for Seeing Red, natch) -- Marie, 17:14:49 05/09/02 Thu

Having finally watched Seeing Red, and thinking about what on earth ME have planned for Spike, I started musing and came up with this ­ they have to make him human. Why? Well, simply because I donıt think theyıll make him lose the chip, by whatever means, just to become the old ŒBig Badı Spike, much as I loved him. And that darn chip issue has to be resolved, as even Spike seems at long last to have come to realise. So, weıve had bad-Spike, impotent- Spike, lovelorn-Spike ­ and thoroughly enjoyed his journey. Where can this journey possibly take him next? After all, ME have to be more inventive than to give us another vampire- with-a-soul, donıt you agree?

I think that something is going to happen to Spike in Africa ­ through magical means, naturally, which not only gives him a soul, but transforms him entirely ­ from Spike back to William. And I donıt think itıll be the William of old, but a William with Spikeıs memories, and everything that goes with them ­ the strength, the attitude, the black leather coatŠ the Slayer-love?

After all, she couldnıt love a vampire, but a vampire-turned- man?


[> Re: Some Spike speculation for Series 7 (Spoilery for Seeing Red, natch) -- Dariel, 17:48:07 05/09/02 Thu

You could be right about the turning him human thing. Spike's plan to get rid of the chip, like most of his plans, won't quite work the way he expects...

Or the way we do. If they do this, remember--ME never gives us the fantasy version. Which a badass, but human Spike would be. My guess is we'd get a very confused, unhappy Spike, at least for awhile. Greatly appalled by his burgeoning humanity and "weak" Williamesque feelings. And forget about the sexual self confidence--out the door.

Yep, that's what they'll do to him. The bastards!

[> [> Uh oh, also includes spoilers for upcoming S6 episodes! -- Dyna, 18:20:37 05/09/02 Thu

[> [> Re: Some Spike speculation for Series 7 (Spoilery for Seeing Red, natch) -- Dochawk, 19:08:33 05/09/02 Thu

Remember when Angel became human (I Will Remember You) he lost his vamp strength. Spike suddenly human, with human aches and pains and conscience, but without the vamp strength. I fear he would be Wimpy William, not William the Bloody, but I agree we will see a different Spike (and we've seen Vamp with a soul and we've also seen Buffy's lover gone evil so it doesn't leave many new options). ohh we could see Spike the Friendly Ghost (I'm hoping for tara the friendly ghost though)

[> [> [> Re: Some Spike speculation for Series 7 (Spoilery for Seeing Red, natch) -- wiscoboy, 08:48:04 05/10/02 Fri

What I see happenning is that the chip is made non- functional, but Spike finds he really has changed, and can no longer bring himself to harm humanity. Remember, in past eps he has said there has been a change in him. Now we get to see if ME allows the change to occur.

[> Re: Some Spike speculation for Series 7 (Spoilery for Seeing Red, natch) -- Ishkabibble, 19:09:39 05/09/02 Thu

A long time ago I remember posting an hypothesis that Spike would eventually become William once again. I believe there is some connection between Buffy having withdrawn from college where she enjoyed poetry with a Professor Lillian and a future Spike/William. Not only do Lillian and William both have an affinity for poetry, but their names even rhyme. And why was this class and instructor the only one that was shown when Buffy withdrew? Also, remember she received a letter during season 6 saying she had missed the deadline for re-enrolling. Well, next September will be a new semester; perfect time for Buffy to re-enroll.

What do others think?

[> [> Re: Some Spike speculation for Series 7 (Spoilery for Seeing Red, natch) -- dream of the consortium, 06:31:21 05/10/02 Fri

I've always believed the same. Though, maybe I just have a soft spot for poets - I'm dating one at the moment! (Full- time poet, yes.)

[> Re: Some Spike speculation for Series 7 (Spoilery for Seeing Red, natch) -- redcat, 19:10:54 05/09/02 Thu

And I donıt think itıll be the William of old, but a William with Spikeıs memories...."

I have the same sneaking suspicion, especially given the acting/camera work at the very end
of the bathroom scene. James Marsters brilliantly plays that face, William's face, and the
lighting and camera work capture the luminescence of his stark desperation as it breaks into
startled self-consciousness. But the face we see at this point is that of a William who has lived
more than a hundred years as a vampire, most of them with his insane sire/lover and the
twisted "family" into which he was re-born-as-dead. I don't think we're ever going to see him
curled up on the ground in psychic and physical pain over his past, as we've seen Angel at the
moment he was first cursed by the Romany, but I suspect we'll see some embodied metaphor
of him having to do that "hardest thing in life" ­simply "live in it."

No matter what happens, like yourself and several others on the board, I trust that Joss and
ME will conspire to take us on a difficult and mesmerizing journey. Since I also have a pretty
clear sense that, by now, the characters control the writers in about equal proportion to the
writers controlling the characters, I'm content to keep sitting forward, analysis gears at
fully-caffeined throttle, and wait for what happens next.

[> Weren't we kinda already warned? ;-) (spoilers for Forever) -- Solitude1056, 20:07:24 05/09/02 Thu

Keeping in mind that it took anywhere from two episodes to two years before we found out the multiple levels in Graduation Day and Restless - "little miss muffet," and "be back before Dawn," anyone? - it wouldn't surprise me that the strange commentary from our favorite visiting broadway star (not the singing demon, but the other singing demon), Joel Grey... might finally have a purpose, and prove to have been there for a reason?

From Forever:

(sees Spike)
I know you.

Don't think so, mate.

No, you're that guy. That guy always hangs around down at the corner mart. Big into dominos, aren't you?

Can't say that I am. Look, we came because-

That's crazy, isn't it? I'd swear you were him. I mean, your hair's a different color and you're a vampire, but other than thatŠ (then) What day is it, anyway?


No kidding? Would have sworn it was WednesdayŠ see, that's the brain - first thing to go.
(back to Spike)
Guy's name is Rocko. That's not your name, is it?


[> [> oh and don't forget... (spoilers for WotW) -- Solitude1056, 20:11:44 05/09/02 Thu

The even more peculiar commentary from Doc (Joel Grey), in Weight of the World, when he shouts at Spike and Xander:
You think only underworld bottom feeders worship the Beast? ... Her day is coming, boys. And when
she returns
[emphasis added] - then you're gonna see something.

all together now: hmmmmm.

[> Another (Horrible) Possibility -- West, 00:38:28 05/10/02 Fri

There's also the possibility I've heard rumored that Spike will return sans chip and still a vamp, but will make a conscious choice to stay on the side of the Scoobies, thus proving his love for Buffy is true. Of course, I really, REALLY hope this isn't true because it would completely humanize vampires (which they've been gradually doing all season with the whole chip/Good Spike thing), and if we find that vampires are capable of repemption, then it means that Buffy's pretty much been comitting murder all these years.

I really hope this isn't what's gonna happen, but the whole 'Spike with a soul' thing really seems like a lame attempt to replace Angel on the show.

[> [> Re: Another (Horrible) Possibility -- Ishkabibble, 08:11:23 05/10/02 Fri

I woke up this morning with the thought of ME resolving the S/B relationship with their usual twisted sense of humor. Envision Spike coming back as William and Buffy eventually growing to love him. But as William, Spikeıs superior strength would be gone and so would Spikeıs ability to watch Buffyıs back. In other words, Buffy gets a lover with William or a protector with Spike, but not both. Then imagine ME setting up a scenario where Spike/William has to choose between these two roles. Oh, the agonyŠthe irony. If he chooses to remain William, he places Buffyıs life at risk. If he chooses to be revamped as Spike, he can again protect her back, but knows that as a soulless demon, he will loose her love. Which would he choose? My guess is that he would do the noble thing and forgo her love in order to provide with her protection. Such a sacrifice seems in character with loving someone; we willingly put the other personıs needs ahead of our own. DangŠI hate it when I ruin my own fantasy. Iım going back to sleep in order to dream a happier ending.

[> [> [> Hasn't that already been done, though? I'm thinking Angel, here... -- Marie, 08:49:17 05/10/02 Fri

...and ME are more inventive than that - which is why I'd imagine him as someone Buffy actually can love, in a way she couldn't love Angel or Riley. Someone her equal, who wasn't immortal. Would she allow herself to do so?


[> Not Meaning to Rain On Your Parade -- Spike Lover, 08:43:45 05/10/02 Fri

First, could Buffy love Spike if he had his soul back or if he became William?

I doubt it. She can't love anyone. If she could, she would not love him then. She loves strength, not loyalty, which is why Xander has never been in the running. She desires danger and risk, which is another reason why Riley was not going to work (there were so many reasons.) Riley was 'safe' and wanted to keep her 'safe'.

If she could love, she would love Spike as he is now. Dangerous, but loyal and gentle with her. Rough, yet concerned for her feelings.

Second, I have no idea what the writers plan for the future. The few times I have tried to guess what happens next I have been completely wrong. I can't buy your take on Spike getting his soul back, though it would be cool, or him turning back into William. I think if they wanted Spike to have his soul back, the scooby gang could restore it as they restored Angel's, but there is a reason they don't go in that direction.

**The main reason I don't think that will happen is that by having him turn good by restoring Spike's soul or something similar, it is basically saying that no one can truly change without the intervention of a higher power. Joss is a declared atheist whose mantra is that a person is self- sufficient to save himself and his surrounding world on his own. It is pretty ironic when you consider as many crosses as the show has in it, since the SG does not put one iota of thought into Christianity or what it means.

I probably should not stop here,but as I am certain I am already in plenty of hot water, I will. But I do appreciate everyone's comments and thoughts.

[> [> No worries - I've got my trusty brolly handy! -- Marie, 08:53:46 05/10/02 Fri

And, really, it was pure speculation on my part - not saying it's going to happen for real. Though I do think, as I said, that if this were to happen, Spike wouldn't be the William we saw.


[> My Favorite (Current) Theory: Dr. William and Mr. Spike -- cjl, 09:15:23 05/10/02 Fri

Why not? ME has spent the entire year building up this conflict: not between Spike and Buffy or Spike and Xander, but Spike and his inner William. What if the demon in Africa takes this inner conflict and externalizes it?

Spike comes back to Sunnydale as the BB: chipless, plotting doom for Buffy and the rest of the Scoobs--although for some strange reason, he finds that he's still unable to kill anyone. Under certain metaphysical conditions that will become clear once I think of them, we find out why: whenever he has the impulse to kill, he shapeshifts into William, a sweet, bookish, Giles-ish young man who settles in Sunnydale and takes on pseudo-Watcher status.

The truly freaky thing about this concept is that it establishes a Superman/Lois Lane/Clark Kent love triangle-- with two people. Spike(!) loves Lois--I mean, Buffy--who is kind of attracted to William who has no interest in Buffy THAT WAY. (In fact, he might have a tiny crush on Willow.)

It's win/win. We get to see James Marsters play two (OK, one-and-a-half) characters, with huge, heaping bowl-fuls of internal conflict and angst; the Spuffy fans get their simmering romantic chemistry; and the anti-redemptionists get to see evil vamp Spike. We also get to see the rest of gang look REALLY confused..and they're hilarious when they're confused.

At this point, I can't think of any other option that would be as much fun.


[> [> LOL! I like that one best! ;-) -- Solitude1056, 11:34:52 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> I would vote for this one - it's got everything! -- Caroline, 12:31:08 05/10/02 Fri

"The Harvest" analysis at "The Annotated Buffy" is all updated! -- Rob, 18:38:06 05/09/02 Thu

Click Here.

"The Harvest" analysis is now back...with a complete transcript of the ep, and some revised notes.



[> Amazing job by someone incomprehensibly more diligent than I! -- yuri, 20:26:50 05/09/02 Thu

[> [> LOL...Thanks! It's hard work, but very fun and very rewarding. :o) -- Rob, 22:42:53 05/09/02 Thu

[> This is some seriously impressive work! ;-) -- Solitude1056, 00:03:02 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> Re: This is some seriously impressive work! ;-) -- Rob, 09:47:08 05/10/02 Fri

Thanks! :o)

Although if I find out next week that I've failed all my finals, I wouldn't be surprised! ;o)


[> [> Re: This is some seriously impressive work! ;-) -- Rob, 09:50:55 05/10/02 Fri

Thanks! :o)

Although if I find out next week that I've failed all my finals, I wouldn't be surprised! ;o)


[> [> [> Double post much? -- Rob, 09:58:04 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> wonderful job! thanks! if you fail your finals, maybe we could all chip in and write you a note... -- redcat, 11:58:21 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> That would be great...Fingers crossed however that it's not necessary. ;o) -- Rob, 22:13:05 05/10/02 Fri

[> I'm lovin' the site. Keep up the good work. Your hard work is appreciated. -- VampRiley, 10:03:30 05/10/02 Fri

[> Great job! -- ponygirl, 10:30:02 05/10/02 Fri

[> Thanks for keeping us up-to-date (and it's good to see a post that's not about "that scene" ...) -- verdantheart, 12:44:06 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> Awww, you guys! Thanks! :o) -- Rob, 22:14:11 05/10/02 Fri

They are called spoilers for a reason. (no spoilers) -- Traveler, 19:37:13 05/09/02 Thu

Hey everybody. I've been noticing that there are more and more posts that say, "Be careful, future spoilers above," that are not written by the author of the spoilery post. I have also seen posts that say, "according to future spoilers, x, y, or z must happen." Giving me 3 options does not keep this from being a spoiler. I may not know which of the three is going to happen, but I won't be surprised when it does. And I want to be surprised. When the information hits me, I want it to be all at once, not in bits and pieces as rumor and gossip. Maybe some people want that, but many don't. This is why they are called, spoilers. They spoil the episode. "Seeing Red" was spoiled for me by a subject header on a thread that should have been on the trollop board anyway. I really like this board, but if that happens again, I'm not coming back. So please please please be careful to put spoiler warnings in the headers, especially for future spoilers. And for God's sake, don't put spoilers in the headers themselves. Sorry, rant over.

[> I agree completely. -- MayaPapaya9, 20:28:25 05/09/02 Thu

[> Here, here! And please specify spoilers for *which eps* unless it's TOTALLY obvious. -- yuri, 20:28:53 05/09/02 Thu

[> [> Heh, and that would be "hear, hear," now wouldn't it? -- yuri, 20:43:45 05/09/02 Thu

[> [> [> yuri, I was gonna type "here, here" but I wasn't sure if that was how it's spelled. Hahahahaha. - - MayaPapaya9, 20:48:10 05/09/02 Thu

[> [> [> I make that mistake all the time....see below..... -- Rufus, 23:07:06 05/09/02 Thu

[> Right on! I've been afraid to visit here because I wish to no nothing for the next Ep -- neaux, 04:30:34 05/10/02 Fri

[> Re: Yes, and... -- mundusmundi, 06:44:49 05/10/02 Fri

spoilers also include hinting (nudge, nudge) that something awful is going to happen (wink, wink) in an upcoming episode. Everyone makes mistakes, but one post shortly before "Seeing Red" had a subject heading so blatant and smarmy I felt badly for the unspoiled who had seen it. It doesn't take a genius to figure out sometimes what's being implied, and as everyone knows there are lots of smart people here.

[> Might it be safer for me to just disappear for twelve days? (inviso-spoilers, no nudging or winking) -- d'Herblay, 07:42:40 05/10/02 Fri

At this time last year, would we have seen posts with titles like "Giles the murderer" and "Buffy's gonna die!!!"? Had I been here then, and had posts like that been rife, "The Gift" would not have had the impact on me that it did.

Actually, my quick scan of the May archives turned up this remarkably prescient post from our long-time troll:
Spoiler Space

Saving the world requires either...

Sacrificing Dawn.


Murdering Ben (an innocent).

No Door three would be the easy decision to make. A no brainer.

But that option hasn't been offered, yet. If it ever is, I am sure Buffy would jump to take it.

Wouldn't be the first time (end of season one).
(From the thread entitled "Dietrich Bonhoeffer.")

One of the things I most liked about "Seeing Red" was that it pretty much cleared out my store of spoilers. All the posts like "Spike is a rapist" and "The BSD is Tara!" are now immaterial to me. Those remaining things I have inadvertantly learned are trivial to me. I'd like to keep it that way. (I will not be surprised were someone to go to Africa or were Giles to return, but anything else will catch me by surprise. I'd like to keep it that way.

We have a Trollop Board, and Converse Buffyverse for those inclined to the spoilery. Let's try to keep this place friendly for our spoilerphobes (who include me, who has the power to insert embarassing misspellings in your archived posts [Bwaha . . . oh, why bother], but more significantly, our moderator).

But I think anyone who reads this post is probably already singing in the choir. Though there have been some well- intentioned slips on our part, most of the flagrant spoilers in thread titles have been the work of scofflaws like our traditional troll, our new "fireflyone" troll, and the TWIZlers.

Should I even bother asking politely? Or should I just decamp until 9:58 on the 21st?

Additional Tidbits & Speculation (Spoilers for recent events) -- Darby, 19:37:21 05/09/02 Thu

I haven't had a chance to read everything here, but I've got a couple of things that I don't think have been discussed yet...

Could Buffy have been shot to address some aspect of her resurrection? It has been bandied about that, after being brought back, maybe she CAN'T die. I don't know about that, but a sucking chest wound may be how we find out...

It's odd how many times the core characters have been seriously injured (or killed, now) by manmade, nonmagic items. Recently, Buffy, Tara, and Wesley, but Cordelia way back when, and even Angel, sort of, with the poison arrow. And many instances of humans with human weapons, which always resonates with more danger than the Buffyverse types of nasties. Just sayin'.

[> Darby...Question (off topic sort of) -- Ishkabibble, 20:16:57 05/09/02 Thu

I read some research quite awhile ago on how animals react when they are placed in situations of unrelenting frustration and I keep wondering about the frustration level Spike was dealing with prior to attacking Buffy. What I recall is that animals become more anxious, less willing to take risks, and even become inertŠrefusing to seek food, etc.

Anyway, with you having a background in biology and seemingly up-to-date on research, Iım wondering what your take is on how Spikeıs actions towards Buffy do or do not conform to those of other animals that are subjected to continuous frustration?

[> [> Re: Darby...Question (some spoilers added) -- Darby, 05:44:10 05/10/02 Fri

I know the studies you're talking about, but I try not to pay too close attention to the stuff written about them - those kinds of studies are, way too often, horribly do you decide that a lab animal is anxious (or how do you frustrate them in the first place?), and once you look for it, aren't you going to find it-? Often the observations are by students, who know which is the test group and which is the control (if there is a control, and how do you control for frustration?) and pretty much see what they expect to. I also think that your observation measures should be clear on the way in, and these studies often decide how things measure up as they go along (observe first and then decide what's important, and how important), which is a great way to bias the results. It's not that such studies can never be good, but when all we get out here in the world is some vague summary of results, these are the studies that tend to be the least trustworthy.

That being said, I don't think you need to dip into animal behavior to find grounds for Spike's actions. ME stopped characterizing Spike as a vampire long ago - there's a reason why Marti Noxon sees him as the quintessential "bad boy" not as in "Big Bad" but as in "bad boy relationship." I didn't feel like the infamous scene came out of left field at all, as it seems you don't - it was a culmination of frustration and the need to insist that Buffy feel the way he "knows" that she does, delivered in the way he's been dealing with her since Smashed. But he didn't react as an animal, exactly, but as a well-realized character in the hands of a good actor - that's my take on it, anyway.

And while we're here, I have another point - we've been shown very little of the S-B sexplay, but the implication has been that it's more than a bit extreme, making "the scene" more about motivations than actions. Is grabbing Buffy in the bathroom, and her initial rebuff, that much different than what we've seen Spike do in the kitchen or elsewhere?

[> Re: Additional Tidbits & Speculation - another possibilty -- wiscoboy, 08:26:02 05/10/02 Fri

I don't know if ME is going to answer the "immortal" question, although by the spoiler, it looks like she recovers from her bullet wound rather quickly to deal with Willow.
I do think however, that the episode will be used to allow Buffy to realize she does still want to live, thus completing her S6 transformation back to a more upbeat personality(pre-S6) from her constant, depressive tune.

[> Re: Additional Tidbits & Speculation (Spoilers for recent events) -- maddog, 10:02:55 05/10/02 Fri

Actually the poison on the arrow that hit Angel was special "killer of the dead" poison...that qualifies as magical.

[> [> I guess a vague disclaimer really IS no one's friend... -- Darby, 11:11:48 05/10/02 Fri

Oh, my dear God. (Spoilers for SR, I finally saw it!) -- MayaPapaya9, 20:46:02 05/09/02 Thu

...And it was worth the wait. I guess I can just tell my parents that the lesbian thing is really not an issue anymore.

I just wanted to say that I am greatly distressed by some of the things people have posted below about Stephen DeKnight's interview. I don't like to think about how the writers are only human and capable of mistakes as well as the rest of us. While watching SR, the first thing that came to mind during the commercial break after the rape scene was, "What? Huh? What? That's not Spike!" At least, that's not the Spike that they've been giving us all season. I immedietely tried to justify it, to rush to defend ME's decision, a la Rob, but I need to trust my gut instinct that there was something about that scene which was just...wrong.

Besides the obvious fact that rape is wrong. It just felt contrived. Up until about 45 minutes ago, I was convinced that Spike LOVES Buffy. But their conversation before the attempted rape made me understand why Buffy is resisting him. Because she doesn't want another fling, she's tired of failed romances. She wants something real, something with TRUST and she can't trust Spike. That's just too bad for him. I for one approve of Buffy's decision to find something more steady and better for her than their roller coaster relationship. She is not only looking for a boyfriend, she's looking for someone to be a father figure for Dawn. Buffy is becoming responsible! She's growing up. And so I hop off the Buffy/Spike bandwagon.

This is a conclusion I came to before the rape scene. I'm still sorting out my views on that one. But I have to agree with the other posters who said that it was very well filmed if not well written. Some people have said that it was out of character for Buffy to be flailing about like a victim. I don't. I think it was very realistic. Whatever Buffy has said, I think to some degree she did trust Spike, she believed that he loved her or at least respected her. Because that's what his words and actions have been saying all season! When someone you trust and care for attacks you, I'm sure the reaction is not the same as if she was being attacked by some random vampire.

I'm going to get back on the Buffy/Angel bandwagon. Lol, like I ever left!

[> You know... -- Traveler, 20:59:37 05/09/02 Thu

The way things are going, I bet the writers will wait until everybody hates Buffy/Spike and then ME will pair them together again and they will have a beautiful relationship. Then everybody will scream about poor characterization and how Buffy and Spike don't belong together, and really Clem is much better for her...

Darn that sinister ME and their evil plots.

[> [> There is still that kitten thing I'd like to clear up before I support C/B -- Rufus, 21:24:09 05/09/02 Thu

[> [> Yeah, and now my cats won't watch Buffy anymore....kittens...(NT) -- Ahira, 21:40:57 05/09/02 Thu

[> [> [> ...he SAID they were spicy hot wings, but how do we really know? -- redcat, 00:17:45 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> Oh, thank you for my nightmare complete with bbq'd kitten paws....;) -- Rufus, 01:12:21 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> My take on Spike (Spoilers up to Seeing Red) -- Ian, 22:04:18 05/09/02 Thu

Okay, hopefully this isn't horribly offensive or controversial, but I want to respond to the whole "I can't care about Spike anymore." Sorry to kidnap your thread, MayaPapaya, but you know.... The other threads are so looong.

First off, good people do horrible things everyday. I'm not sure I'd confidently lump Spike into the "good people" camp, but it bothers me that the reactions have been SO extreme. For me, the fact that we have *seen* the development of the Buffy and Spike pairing allows us some insight into the dynamics of their relationship. IT WASN'T HEALTHY. And I don't see how anyone can blame JUST one party. It was a two way street. Buffy drew Spike in and then rejected him. Then she drew him in again. Spike screwed with Buffy's head and tried to make her reject her friends, and even her world. Once again, not a wholesome and respectful dynamic here.

Was the rape "from out of nowhere?" Um, maybe I've been watching a different show, but I didn't think so. I am in NO way defending Spike's actions, but I do think it relevant to point out that rape, or rape attempts, do not always spring from a desire to inflict suffering. Sometimes, rape develops from rage coming directly from spurned or rejected love.

This one did. This isn't "rape in a vacuum," this is "rape in a definite context." Spike didn't go in there to hurt Buffy, but he did go into that bathroom with a history of heavy handed manipulation, love that is pretty clearly obsessive in nature, violence, and oh yeah, near continuous drinking. I'm sure the alcohol made his thinking really clear. Then, Buffy, for her own and pretty defensible reasons, told Spike to bug off, and move on already.

We all know what happened next. Not good things. Not things anyone can approve of.

But that doesn't mean we can't "understand" what happened and what contributed to it. I'm not defending rape. Furthest thing from it. But I am saying "you don't have to hate Spike now." You can hate what he did, and I hope you do, but you don't have to hate *him.*

The fact that Spike was clearly anguished over what he had done allows me to feel far more sympathy toward him. The man is no Warren. Truth be told, I have more sympathy towards Spike post-Seeing Red than I did before. He's hurting. He's confused. He's desperate. And yeah, he's a bit unstable and prone to violence.

I just don't understand how so many people who "love" Spike now say they "can't care about him anymore." I mean, the man/vampire has killed HOW many people without provocation? I understand that he's been on the mend (maybe) and that this act could be construed to negate the whole trend, but who says this can't be the act that finally forces Spike to confront his own "demons?" Conversely, who says that the trend to become better can't be undone? I just don't get it.

One tiny comment on the death of Tara, the end of Tillow, and the emergence of "gay Andrew."

I'm gay. I'm sad Tara is gone. I'm even more saddened that Amber Benson is gone. She gave us a wonderful and vulnerable and complex performance as Tara, and I'm going to miss seeing her. I don't feel betrayed. I don't wish violence on ME or any of the writers. I'm more than a tad pissed that so many are speaking on behalf of the GLBT community and advocating violence. I'm not at all sure the violence is meant to be "theoretical" or merely to "make a point." Get a grip people. Yeah, it's sad the only decent gay relationship on TV is over, but hello? this is Buffy, and people suffer and die here. You want Tillow to be treated equally? Well, here you go. Bad things happen on Buffy. It's nothing new.

Also, and I mean this in a non-serious way, what a trade! The GLBT community may have lost one beautiful, proud, loving, mature and forgiving lesbian (Tara), but look at who we have gained! A shrill, potentially psychopathic killer (Andrew). Wow. Talk about a poor trade off. On the plus side, at least we have a gay MALE that isn't dead yet. Unlike Larry. Poor Larry. And poor Tara.

In Andrew's defence, the actor who plays him does a great job, and, he's really cute. :)

As far as the next ep, I SO want to see Willow maul Warren, and I want to see Buffy help. But that's just me....

[> [> [> Re: My take on Spike (Spoilers up to Seeing Red) - - celticross, 22:41:29 05/09/02 Thu

Thank you, Ian. I'm definitely agree on the mutual badness of Buffy and Spike. The delicate friendship of early s6, built on the secrets they kept disappeared, as is often the case, when sex entered the picture. (Ooooo, I think I've found my spin on the Buffy/Spike ship in regards to "Oh, grow up!" Sex changes everything. There we go. Ok, we now return you to your regularly scheduled post) Buffy kept Spike at arm's length when they weren't actually having sex, and he told himself that was good enough. Except that's not good enough. Love, from the purest to the most obsessive sort (wherever you find Spike to be), wants more. Is it any surprise things would finally go too far?

I still like Spike. He's one of my favorite characters, always has been, in all his shades of evil to not so evil. Spike may be a killer, he may be violent, and I do NOT excuse the fact that he might have raped Buffy, but he is not completely remorseless. From a purely storytelling sense, that means a great deal.

And, a tiny note on the tiny note...the only thing the writers of BtVS and AtS owe us is respect for our mental capacity. Not a happy ending for our favorite couple, not a character's reform or revolt because we think they deserve, not a tidy bundle of answers. I haven't been that fond of s6, but it has not insulted my intelligence (with the notable exceptions of DMP and AYW, but that's another story).

[> [> [> [> Re: My take on Spike (Spoilers up to Seeing Red) - - maddog, 09:38:46 05/10/02 Fri

I think there's at least a small group that likes him, myself included. I just think he hit his last straw....not that I'm defending it, but I'm seeing where the actions came from. Buffy keeps changing the rules on him, so he finally decided to take the power in the relationship back...he probably just never knew how far he'd go.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: My take on Spike (Spoilers up to Seeing Red) - - Esther, 09:57:59 05/10/02 Fri

I totally agree with everything that you guys have said. I'm a loyal Spike fan, and although I hate what he did, I don't hate him. I still love his character and I believe that he didn't mean to almost rape her, but he couldn't handle anything anymore and lost it. I cried when I saw what happened, but I never hated him for it. Like you all, I'm not condoning what he did, but I understand how the free- fall started. I think he truly loves Buffy, but when you are told that you are hated by the one person you love and then they come to you for sex you are going to be confused. I almost forgot that he was drinking non-stop before he went to see her, so thanks for reminding me. Alcohol did not help, but Spike has always been ruled by his emotions and I think that they finally blew even him over. The guilt on his face when he went back to his crypt is proof that he never meant to hurt her and hates himself for what happened. I, for one, will never stop loving Spike and I can't believe that supposed loyal fans could give up on his so easily.

[> [> [> Re: My take on Spike (Spoilers up to Seeing Red) - - Rufus, 23:04:40 05/09/02 Thu

As far as the next ep, I SO want to see Willow maul Warren, and I want to see Buffy help. But that's just me....

Feeling a bit guilty here, cause so do I. I know, I know it's wrong and all, but the thought is still there.

[> [> [> [> don't feel guilty about Willow (speculative for next ep) -- T- Rex, 09:42:44 05/10/02 Fri

I am looking forward to seeing Willow transform into a terrible, beautiful, and frightening goddess of destruction. I want to see her avenge her lover. It won't be healthy for the character, I am sure. But it may be cathartic for many of us. And I hope it will be both delicious and disturbing to watch!

[> [> [> [> Re: My take on Spike (Spoilers up to Seeing Red) - - maddog, 09:44:16 05/10/02 Fri

Why feel guilty? Warren sealed his fate when he decided not to let it go...cause not only has he hurt and pissed off the slayer, but he's killed one of her closest friends. He deserves both Buffy's and Willow's rage. It's like an eye for an eye....except a lot worse. :)

[> [> [> [> Poor Rufus! I understand! -- dream of the consortium, 11:24:30 05/10/02 Fri

Usually I am such a hopeless pacifist - I am probably the only Buffy fan who thinks the show would be more enjoyable without all those fight scenes! ;) I was also the person who couldn't bring herself to vote for the "best torture scene" - how could a torture scene be "best" in any way? But I want to see Warren suffer; I really do. Really, really suffer.....

[> More on Spike -- Arya_Stark, 23:48:53 05/09/02 Thu

>What? Huh? What? That's not Spike!" At least, that's not the Spike that they've been giving us all season.

You're absolutely right. That was not the Spike of this past season. Neither was it the Spike of Seasons 2 and 3. Nor was it the Spike of his first 126ish years of being a vampire.

It was a combination of all of the Spikes. Spike is still the vampire of 3 and 4 years ago. He is also the man of the past season and a half. He is all of those all wrapped up into one very complex and confused Spike who doesn't know how to act and react.

He said it himself, he can't be a monster and he can't be a man. At least as he now defines both of those. I think that Spike can now try and reconcile all of the aspects of himself and hopefully come up with a way to be who he really is (and I don't think either he or us knows who that is yet).

[> [> Re: More on Spike -- Kristy, 06:55:24 05/10/02 Fri

i'm fairly new to BtVS but Spike is an absolutely wonderful character. I'm not defending his actions either but this show is so much more than just good and evil--or good vs. evil. All great characters have complexities and the folks in Sunnydale have more than enough for several series. Spike's growth/change over the last three season has been terrific to watch and never less than interesting. I can only hope that the writers have something more in mind for him than just "I'm evil and now I want revenge"--although it looks like Willow is headed there. I guess we'll just have to have some trust.

[> [> [> Re: More on Spike - What bad? -- wiscoboy, 08:43:23 05/10/02 Fri

What I don't understand is that no one has mentioned the fact that Spike did finally STOP his rape attempt, which in past seasons would never have happened. Attempt bad - yes,
Stoppage "good" - also yes.

[> [> [> [> Re: More on Spike - What bad? -- Dochawk, 09:42:57 05/10/02 Fri

I believe it was because Buffy kicked him across the room. And although he immediately senses something wrong, later he is quite ambivilant "I can't be a monster, I'm not a man". Without Buffy's strength and the chip he wouldn't have stopped.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: More on Spike - What bad? -- maddog, 09:48:23 05/10/02 Fri

Agreed, he didn't stop because he wanted to...she gave him a good kick. Now I can't guarantee he still would have gone through with it. But what stopped him was Buffy...not himself.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: More on Spike - What bad? -- clg0107, 09:52:13 05/10/02 Fri

>>Without Buffy's strength and the chip he wouldn't have stopped.

You mean without Buffy's strength, and his own sense of shock at realizing he'd hurt (and scared) her. The chip had nothing (directly)to do with him stopping. It was his own thoughts and emotions that meant he didn't just dive right back in and keep fighting her.

He never meant to rape her, and when he realized that he was headed there, he was aghast. And then he was angry and confused at what that reaction (shock, guilt, et.) said about him...he blamed the chip in retrospect for everything because that's a simple answer. But I think we all know that in the Buffyverse, much as in our own, there are no simple answers. There's a lot more to his turmoil now than just that little chip.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: clg0107 - DITTO: you read my intent exactly -- wiscoboy, 11:10:42 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> Technically, I think Buffy stopped him. -- Dichotomy, 09:47:46 05/10/02 Fri

After she kicks him away, she says "Ask me again why I can't trust you." Then, realizing what has just happened, he says something like, "I didn't..." and she says "Because I stopped you!"

That's how I remember it anyway. If Buffy hadn't been Buffy (super strong, that is) he may have completed the rape. He still would have felt horrible after if he had, but I think it may have gone further without Buffy's stopping it.

Risks & Communication (spoilers for SR) - long, with footnotes! (because d'Herblay is worth it) -- The Second Evil, 23:30:24 05/09/02 Thu

I was thinking about posting this under another thread, to bury it in the noise, and finally decided it just didn't really fit anywhere... and hijacking is so, uh, eeeevul. (Which means I normally do it, but this time, I'll claim the First Virtue has reformed me. Partially. Bwahahaha.)


Setting aside the whole Tara debacle, I'm going to focus just on the Spike/Buffy debacle. There's been plenty said by folks far more illustrious and coherent than me about the sex/vampire metaphor, Spike's perception, Buffy's mindset, the fans' perception, etc, etc, etc. Not what I wanted to bring up here. I'd rather discuss the kneejerk justification response I'm currently witnessing here and elsewhere.

What is this, you ask? Simple. It's the "I've been through it, so I'm qualified to judge the situation." Am I belittling someone's experience? No. Am I saying that such experiences are irrelevant? Yes. Ooh. Just how, you ask yourself, could The Second Evil possibly say irrelevant and belittling are not the same thing? Read on, my dear philosophical compatriots.

My point is that it makes no difference in your ability to analyze a story as to whether you've experienced the situation first hand. I have never been drowned, saved a third-world country from nuclear destruction, piloted a submarine, died of AIDS, or been kidnapped by aliens (I'm pretty sure on that last one). But I can read stories about these situations and empathize with the characters, to a point where, at the end, I am qualified to state a personal opinion about the story's ability to sway me in one direction or another. I cried like a baby during Longtime Companion though I've never had to caretake someone dying of AIDS (but I have been to my share of friends' funerals). I was on the edge of my seat reading Hunt for Red October though I've never been in a submarine and couldn't speak Russian if my life depended on it. And I laughed out loud during Smoke Signals and Monsoon Wedding, though I wasn't raised on the Spokane Coeur d'Alene Reservation, nor do I speak Punjabi. What's my point? Good storytelling means you feel like, in the end, you've 'been' there, and now have some idea of what it's like.

So that's all a roundabout way of explaining my disclination for being involved in posts where folks - some quietly, others stridently - insist that they must mention, relate, or tell in sordid detail their own experiences. Yes, I understand that such a story-based reminder is harsh, and vivid, and can bring back memories not everyone can handle or wants to remember. And it's not just this episode: my partner watched The Body, and he cried through the whole thing. Then again, almost twenty years ago he found his mother's body after an anueryism (same way Joyce died, btw). And he went through the exact same things Buffy did - tried to wake his mother, called 911, threw up, was in shock, and kept insisting that any minute now, she'll wake up, she will. I've not lost a parent yet, but I finished watching that show feeling the same things he felt, but my experience was vicarious. That episode was good writing. I was there. I grokked the story, Buffy's pain, her friend's pain, the grief; I got some part of what my partner had experienced firsthand. That's not belittling his experience. It's just emphasizing just how powerful stories can be to us, that we can begin to comprehend something that previously wasn't part of our set of firsthand experiences.

But does his first-hand experience give him more of a right to pass judgement on an episode, or make his judgement more valid than mine? Nope. It means his reaction is based on the correlation between his first-hand experiences and what he's read or seen. Thus, he may be better qualified to state that the writer's or actor's portrayal does not fit his own experiences, but it does not mean that my reactions or feelings are any less valuable and real.

I mean, hell, you want to watch something that will rip your insides out and leave you throwing up in the bathroom, watch The Accused - yes, the one with Jodi Foster and the gang rape scene. Is it brutal? Yes. Does she instigate the sexual contact? Yes. Do the guys take it too far? Yes. Does she deserve what she gets? Absolutely not. There, though, it was a bit clearer - the punishment, so to speak, did not fit the petty crime of being drunk & dancing sexy.

I bring this up is because I think the sudden step to the left into "ultimate reality," as some have interpreted SR, and the correlation between the story & some folks' personal experiences, does a disservice to those of our compatriots who may not have been there before... but are there, now, as a result of their exposure to this and any other stories that have shaped their perspective. As a friend of mine once said, "you don't have enough time in your life to make all the mistakes possible in order to learn from them, so save yourself some time and learn from mine." When a writer creates a well-told and well-crafted story, in some ways this is exactly what s/he is doing: letting us learn by observing hir characters' mistakes, or even letting us experience joy by observing the characters' jubiliation. (Joss needs to work on the second one, I'm afraid.)

A constant reminder that someone has experienced situation A, to whatever degree, implies - IMO - that non-first-hand experiences are somehow less qualified to make a judgement. And that, I believe, just isn't always so. (1)

And it's not so especially in this case. Why did ME work so hard to make Spike likeable, to make him attractive, sympathetic? How could we have The Crush - when Spike had, after all, chained Buffy up and insisted she promise to at least give him hope - and not two episodes later we were back to thinking Spike had hope of redemption? How is it that ME would work so hard to make us see Spike's loneliness, his sincerity, cloaked in the rather sordid story of his adventures with a Buffybot? Gee. Lemme think here. Could it be because ME wasn't going to give us an easy way out?

Nawwww. Couldn't be. Repeat after me. Joss is evil. Joss is evil.

During her sexual relations with Spike, has Buffy said one thing while her body contradicts her words? Yes. Since her return, have the only times Buffy's given positive feedback to Spike has been during sex? Yes. Has she, several times, said no and meant yes? Yes. Is Spike under the severe impression that sex is the only way Buffy can relate to him? Yes. Was Spike's behavior atrocious, desperate, and wrong? Yes. Could Spike be reasonably expected to know, given their previous interactions, that this time it was different? I don't believe so.

See, the thing is, I've been thinking (always a bad sign) about all this damning Marti and Marti's exboyfriend from college. I know she's been telling us only part of what's planned in her interviews, but I'm starting to suspect that what she left out was that she planned to tell 'the other side,' too. In other words, Spike isn't just the bad boy, the lover gone wrong, the assaulter, the attacker. There's someone else in this play, and we got to see both sides. We got to see how communication and depression and love and passion and distrust (of self and other) can all boil up together and explode. I mean, if you didn't get that from watching Sid and Nancy, you could've gotten it from season 6. So we got to see the hows and whys of a lovesick otherwise-wanna-be-bad-boy, and the hows and whys of a severely depressed, isolated young woman. (2)

And why the hell did we have to go through all that? Because it's the hard way, the imperfect way, the difficult way, the painful way, the growing up way. This wasn't a case of a total stranger out to turn a woman into an object through rape and assault. This was the full story - both sides, equally sympathetic in their own screwed-up ways - of misunderstandings, wants, expectations, damage and pain clashing in a bad situation gone even worse. But the easy way would be to say, oh, this person is flawless, that person is eeevul. Sorry. No luck there. Every now and then a character on BtVS may get a "get out of jail free" card, but it's time to remind ourselves that the audience never does. We get to see all the sides, and suffer through the difficulty of realizing that there truly are two sides - or more - to this complex issue. And that it may not be a matter of forgiveness from one to the other so much as from one to one's own self, and sometimes that's even harder than forgiving the other person. Growing up is recognizing that one is not a creation acted upon without reaction, and each action does have consequences. Sometimes those consequences suck. This time, they really sucked.

And all that I've written, above, hopefully illustrates why this episode - along with Normal Again - is probably going to be one of my favorites for the season. They made me think, feel, argue with myself (and y'll!) - they got a reaction - and that, in essence, is the hallmark of good writing. If you hate it, fine. If you love it, fine. If you're indifferent, yikes. That's the curse of death. And many of season 6, I've been indifferent to (AYW springs to mind, but I'm not mentioning any titles, of course)... But there's no way I - or any of us, it appears - can be indifferent to this episode. The noise on this board, alone, stands as testimony to that.

*1 - If 'implying qualification for judgement' isn't one's intention, then please consider this post a sign that at least one person (me, that is) gets that impression. No apologies or attacks necessary, just trying to philosophically point out at least one audience member's reaction.

*2 - Sure sounds like the makings of a college relationship, if you ask me (and that's where the majority of date rapes occur, too, although not reported as often as others for various reasons I won't belabor here).

[> I just happen to have a stack of "Get out of Jail Free" cards..I think I will need them all..;) -- Rufus, 01:11:04 05/10/02 Fri

Growing up is recognizing that one is not a creation acted upon without reaction, and each action does have consequences. Sometimes those consequences suck. This time, they really sucked.

Yes, I'd say that ME has the sucking part of life down pat, can I have a dessert order of happiness....please? All the cast members have been bitten on the ass so many times by Karma they need stitches. I'd like to see them finally get through most of the suffering (suffering never ends or we'd never grow as people) and get on with some fun.

I have liked this season because it does show us that no one, even the hero makes the best choices. We also got to see that even the innocent get it in the Buffyverse, just like real life. The "rape scene"...hmmmm I did see a sexual assault...and I also saw the victim decide to do nothing about it...she actually said it was nothing. I'd like to know how Buffy feels about Spike after that desperate clutch in the bathroom. I don't see and bad guys in the situation, just desperately unhappy people screwing up, while at the same time having the best intentions. Buffy can't kill Spike, and he can't make her love him, even with the power of the penis. So I suspect a change is in order.....actually that was part of the ominous dialogue to Buffys house as he was leaving town. With Spikes luck I was expecting another troop of Initiative soldiers to zap him, or for him to drive into that tree he used to camp under....but there is no happy in this story right now. No slapstick to lessen the impact of the characters actions. It was all very human and tragic. I expect worse next week. As I said before, I like the story this season, but it is very painful, just like Joss promised Buffy's return would be. Of course Joss is evil.

[> [> Re: I just happen to have a stack of "Get out of Jail Free" cards(spoilery sorta) -- maddog, 08:58:04 05/10/02 Fri

I agree...I keep calling it attempted rape because we all know if he were really trying she would have kicked his ass...bruises or not.

As for the happiness I'd say after reading interviews on that topic you have nothing to worry season should settle down considerably.

[> Re: Risks & Communication (spoilers for SR) - long, with footnotes! (because d'Herblay is worth it) -- fresne, 07:29:14 05/10/02 Fri

Not sure where this post should go. There are after all more than a few threads about SR.

It's been very interesting pushing through many of the responses to SR and the bathroom scene of argument inducing angst.

I must admit I saw that scene in an odd state of mind. Firstly, I come here not to defend Spike, nor even to bury him, but to make some literary connections.

Last week, I was reading one of shadowkat's excellent essays - the one on respect - at about the same time that I finally, jump up and down, got the new Lois McMaster Bujold book. Shadowkat's comments on respect as relating to respecting a dangerous force set me to thinking about a very squiddgy scene early in the Vorkosigan series. Spoilers for Shards of Honor and the Warrior's Apprentice to follow

Cordelia, our main character (and no relation to Cordie), has been captured by a fairly sadistic fellow, Admiral Vorrutyer. He's been reading a bit too much DeSade and decides to have one of his minions, a madman, rape Cordelia. The madman comes into the room and it's a character, Sgt Bothari, that we met in the book in better saner times. She looks into Bothari's eyes and she thinks, "Vorrutyer do you imagine, in your amoral flashy freakiness, in your monstrous vanity, that you control this elemental? And you dare play games with that sullen madness in his eyes?"

Cordelia respects the madness in Bothari. And before anything happens, Cordelia tells Bothari that she forgives him, because she perceives him as a victim in the whole situation just as much as she is. Although, in a strange way, everyone in the room is a victim, they just don't know it yet.

Bothari chooses not to rape Cordelia, which should not mitigate that the character is insane, talks to demons, is a rapist, is a murderer. None of which changes the fact that I cry every time I read his death scene in the Warrior's Apprentice, two books later. A death which echoes, as it should, throughout the rest of the series. Then again it's a series all about consequences (which is why I'm posting on this thread). Some good. Some bad.

It's an odd parallel to have in your head when going into SR. Watching Spike bake in his own brain in the first half of the episode made me think of a quote from Jenoff early last year, Spike doing a reasonable imitation of a pressure cooker. Thinking not so much about blame or sides, but okay this soooo not good (this is so good, I'm going mad with tension).

And then you have the scene with it's mutual vulnerabilities. Desperation. Utter weariness. Buffy and Spike have been circling, spinning on the whirlwind to this point for months. Juxtapose Spike's comment that Buffy should have let Xander kill him, with his song in OMwF, Love me or Let me Rest in Peace.

As Spike "sheds his skin" consider just how disturbed he is by that fact that he is disturbed by what happened with Buffy. He's evil. He knows he shouldn't feel remorse, but he does

The sheer complexity of that moment. Of Buffy choosing not to follow after Spike. To not let Xander go after him. Spike's side. Buffy's side. That vampire who kicks after death. Dawn. The story isn't two sided. It's practically a dodecahedron.

And okay brief pause for an all hail the Wisewoman, who understood Clem's absolutely coolness, first and best. Clem obviously occupies this curious space of not human, but not evil. I could never have conceived Spike S4, certainly not Spike S2, being friends with a Clem. Nice guy. Tries to cheer up his friend, but doesn't put Buffy down, because even her defenders have to admit, girl's got issues. Clem's also a gutsy guy. Here's Spike, on implode, and Clem felt free to enter his space and touch his shoulder. I thought for a moment that the death would be Clem.

Clem serves as the voice of calm rational pleased to have it over with adulthood. There didn't need to be a scene with Clem. Spike could have gone off on a little monologue and we'd have gotten the same information. Instead we have Clem with chicken wings and tales of all night Nightrider marathons, and for that matter cousins back from the grave.

Personally, I'd rather have the dodecahedron than easy stories. Easy issues. But more please, next season, more Clem.

[> [> Risks & Communication/Clem -- alcibiades, 08:07:13 05/10/02 Fri

I enjoyed the evenhandedness of both this post and Second Evil's as well. The idea of a multiplicity of stories each being told honestly is the compelling thing about this season, which I love.

Also enjoyed the Vorkosigan cross-over. Cordelia is much more mature than Buffy-perhaps it's not surprising -- she's got a decade plus on her, I believe, in that scene, and hey, no issues about coming back from the grave.

Finally figured out how to fanwank the extreme change in Clem's personality from the first time we see him in Life Serial to Older and Far Away and since then.

He's all gruff and demony the first time we meet him, not a nice guy, not fascinating spouting historical tidbits about the Commedia dell'Arte. But hey it's poker night and that is his Big Bad persona, the one he puts on to hang out with the other bad-ass demons. He might even enjoy it in that context.

Around other sorts of demons, the greyer sort that Anya would invite to her wedding, Clem doesn't need to put on his big bad persona. Nor among the Scoobies

But it makes perfect sense of why he and Spike have become friends. Both can assume the Big Bad bluff and both can shed it as well. And they can see that about each other. It gives them something in common.

Er, unless, of course, ME simply amplified their idea about the character of Clem midstream and decided to reinvent him altogether. But it is much more fun the other way.

Btw, the new Bujold. Kinda disappointing.

[> [> [> contemplations Vorkosigan - General spoilers all around -- fresne, 16:41:54 05/10/02 Fri

Well, no Cordelia of the clear gaze doesn't have any rising from the grave issues. That's Miles' problem. No memories of heaven, but hey, seizures.

And as I randomly paraphrase and make Vorkosigan - Buffy connections, "The only thing that you should never give away to get your heart's desire is your heart," Memory also being much on my mind.

On one hand, Memory is really one of the best books in the Vorkosigan series. It's hard. It's painful. It's about growing up. Good characters make really bad decisions and pay the consequences.

On the other hand, it's hard. It's painful. It's about growing up. I almost never re-read the first half of the book because I just want to spend the entire time yelling, "No, no, no, no. Don't do it. It's a really, really bad idea." And even though it's a choice that is a betrayal of much of who Miles want to be, it's also perfectly logical in terms of choices he has made previously. Miles hits 30. 30 hits back. Time to start over and get down to the rock bottom core of who he is and what he wants.

SR is kind of like that. I liked it. But my god it's a mind bender. Not in a NA sort of way, but in a perspective, perspective, perspective way. Which briefly makes me wonder why I love evil writers, who want me to think and suffer. "I can't look. I have to look."

As to the new book being a disappointment, well I liked it. It's actually nice to see Miles dealing with a nice simple apocalyptic level political/military disaster and not do any painful growth for a book. Especially since (and this is just my speculation and in no way a spoiler for a book that is not only not written, but not even on the horizon) if in this book, characters had children; in the next book, I expect that parents will begin to die, particularly Aral. It'll be a vale of tears from start to the taut moment of emotional resolution.

Also, thinking about Cordelia (30 in SH), Miles 30 (Memory), it's very interesting to contemplate the accelerated path that the BtVS characters are on. Buffy's mother is dead, her father is out of the picture. She is a single mother of a teenage daughter. She's not in college. She holds down two jobs. Both low paying, low prestige. She saves the world, but she gets no respect. And at 21, she is certainly at least middle aged (being half the length of time one expects to live. Well again.). Does that make her fling with Spike a college affair or a mid-life crisis? Or given the sheer complexity of the thing, both.

I liked your analysis of Clem, (no, no. Not midstream change. Layers. All of a sudden Daria comes to mind. They're not stretch pants, they're leggings. Leggings! Ahem.) the man of many faces. He cheats at cards. Okay, maybe it fell in there days ago. In which case, hygiene dude. And yet, yeah, the Commedia dell'Arte quote was great.

His showing up with the hot wings puts a whole new spin on Spike bringing Clem to Buffy's party. They're friends. They hang out. Clem listens while Spike rants about Buffy, "Did she break up with you again?" Maybe Clem helped Spike move a continual supply of new furniture into the crypt. It also, makes me wonder if Anya didn't have a whole network of demon friends in town. She did invite Clem to the wedding. It also makes me wonder if all the demons in town know that Buffy was dead last summer.

All of which has nothing to do with, you know, attempted rape, murder, death, durm, angst, but what can I say. It's Friday and I'm easily distracted.

[> [> [> [> Should Danny Strong play Miles in the movie? -- LeeAnn, 16:58:14 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> My favorite quote from the Vorkosigan novels : -- Etrangere, 10:36:11 05/10/02 Fri

"Never give aversion therapy to a masochist. The results are unpredictable."
The Mirror Dance, Lois McMaster Bujold

[> [> The necessity of Clem (SR spoilers) -- Darby, 13:29:02 05/10/02 Fri

Clem had to be in that scene because we had been led to a place where we feared for his life. This innocuous peacemaker with the mild voice and the floppy ears, and who among us did not feel in out hearts that Spike could snap and take him out? That, for me, much more than the infamous bathroom scene, was the reminder of the monster under the peroxide. We can't trust him, can we?

[> [> [> Re: The necessity of Clem (SR spoilers) -- ponygirl, 14:18:48 05/10/02 Fri

Feared for Clem's life? I feared for Spike's life if Clem hadn't happened along. Our floppy voice of clemency offering spicy wings and a friendly touch. Maybe it showed us that we can trust the monster that is ME -- amongst all the pain and suffering there will be the occasional mercy.

[> [> [> Re: The necessity of Clem (SR spoilers) -- Lilac, 15:06:17 05/10/02 Fri

No, didn't fear for Clem's life -- actually thought it was nice that Spike had SOMEONE to talk to, since his isolation seems to me to be a large part of what has gotten him to such a desperate point. I also don't think Clem showed the slightest amount of concern for his own safety.

[> [> [> [> Clem -- the voice of reason -- clg0107, 15:24:33 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> Re: The necessity of Clem (SR spoilers) -- Talia, 23:44:14 05/10/02 Fri

I may have been briefly concerned for Clem's life, but only briefly. Instead, I feared that the reason Clem was there was as witness to Spike's death. I feared that the character death we knew was coming was not going to be Tara (the prime suspect beforehand and actual victim) but Spike by his own hand. I feared that Clem was there because otherwise nobody would ever know if Spike put a stake in his own heart or went to the hill on the edge of town where Angel stood in Amends and waited for the sunrise. Those particular fears were unnecessary. For better or for worse Spike is still alive, or rather undead. Was it Clem's presence that stopped some act of self-destruction? Perhaps...we'll never know. What I do know is that I like Clem. He is a great foil for Spike--he's chipper, optimistic, self-sufficient, and simple. (Not simple as in stupid, merely simple as in having a lot fewer competing emotions than Spike does at the moment.)

[> [> [> [> Lightbulb! take on Clem -- Doriander, 00:30:12 05/11/02 Sat

Little backstory on how I find this take on Clem extremely fitting and amusing. The first image instilled in my head of Hamlet is a black and white photo of Laurence Olivier. No, didn't see the 1947 movie. However I did see Mel Gibson's version as well as Branagh's. I've read reviews on the latter films stating the actors appear too old to play a young prince. I laughed at this, but then got to thinking, who'd be perfect for the part. JM came to mind. Then I thought, hey, bleached head, somewhat similarly sculpted face, he resembles Olivier's Hamlet. This thought drifted from memory until I read this:

(Note: link to this person's blog, check it out if you want.)

Author: Bonibaru

A few thoughts on "Seeing Red" because I'm always late to the party and I'm sick of thinking about Spuffy. So I want to think about ... Clem.

What's up with Clem?

OK. First of all. Crypt scene with Spike, and Clem. The visual: Spike is alone in shadows, tones of grey and black, no color. Shock white hair and pale skin contrasting with the dark clothes and darker surroundings. But there is one splash of color in the whole room, a splash of red on a - coffin? - his bed? Something. Just one splash of color in a violent contrast to the rest of the scene. I have to go back and figure out what that was. It struck me, that color, but I was listening to Spike and I didn't think all the way through about it then.

So here I am getting the whole "Hamlet" vibe. Sir Laurence Olivier, in the black&white version. If you've seen it, you're slapping your forehead now, going Yeah! My god! It's the scene from Hamlet! And in walks ... Horatio? Oh, no, it's Clem. Clem's not human. Clem's not overtly or obviously evil, either. Clem doesn't fit in our humans good/demons bad mantra. Clem intrudes on a pain-wracked Spike, and doesn't get his neck broken. Spike likes Clem. Clem has hot wings! Clem had a cousin that came back from the dead! Clem has good excuses and cover stories for "circus folk"! Clem is cool. Clem is mysterious. Often Clem is a Convenient Plot Device, Comic Relief, the guy who gets the funny lines. The guy who Spike gets to bounce words off of, sparing the viewer the necessity of thinking, "Why is Spike always talking to himself?" And Clem is calm, we never see Clem get mad, except for our first meeting, with the Ace in his ... sleeve ... thing and poker kittens running amuck. Clem is rational. Clem absorbs what Spike says and throws it back at him in balance. Clem is neutral, he doesn't let Buffy off scot free, but he doesn't blame her exactly either. Just, "issues". Clem, perhaps, is short for "clemency". If Spike is the Trickster, Clem is the voice of reason.

She on to something?

[> [> [> [> [> Bonibaru is actually a poster here. Where are you Shiver? -- I liked that webpost too. good comparison, 03:43:11 05/11/02 Sat

[> [> [> I don't know (SR spoilers and speculation) -- JBone, 06:42:40 05/11/02 Sat

Has anyone seen Clem since that scene? And did anyone see Clem safely leave Spike's crypt? I think he lying dead on Spikes floor right now.

[> [> Another litteral comparason I like to do with Buffy for some weird reason -- Etrangere, 17:55:58 05/10/02 Fri

Is with A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin.

Well, certainly, both ME and GRRM like as much to make their character suffer and don't hesitate to kill them.
And, well, the theme of Ice and Fire was so strong this season :)

For the sole reason I liked both of them, I've gotten used to compare Spike to Sandor Clegane's character (aka The Hound).
They are both some "anti-hero" type of character, ex- idealists who's took to a rather more cynical way of behaving after traumatizing events (hey ! death certainly count as a traumatising event !) and are now brough back to idealism through the love of a girl (and the need for protection of this girl's little sister. The fact that Arya and Sansa have nothing in common whatsoever with Buffy and Dawn is irrevelant).
Should I be surprised now that they both make, pushed into their latest retranshment, to the same kind of action ?

From A Storm of Swords (ASOIAF's 3rd tome) :

" "Don't lie", he growled. "I hate liars. I hate gutless frauds even worse. Go on, do it." When Arya did not move, he said, "I killed your butcher's boy. I cut him near in half, and laughed about it after." He made a queer sound, and it took her a moment to realize he was sobbing. "And the little bird, your pretty sister, I stood there in my white cloak and let them beat her. I took the bloody song, she never gave it. I meant to take her too. I should have. I should have fucked her bloody and ripped her heart out before leaving her for that dwarf." A spasm of pain twisted his face. "Do you mean to make me beg, bitch ? Do it ! The gift of mercy... avenge your little Michael..." "

It's funny that for once, GRRM would have been actually more merciful than ME, since Sandor stopped himself after Sansa sung her little song. Still, for both of them is a stunning event, a turning point. And both mark it by the shedding of a coat, one black, one white. Funny.

And why can't I help thinking about Tara and all she was standing for when I think about this song :
"Gentle mother, font of mercy,
save our sons from war, we pray,
stay the sword and stay the arrow
let them know a better day.
Gentle Mother, strength of women,
help our daughters through this fray,
soothe the wrath and tame the fury,
teach us all a kinder way."

It's all come to mercy, clemency (Clem) and forgiveness, isn't it ?
Well you know what Arya said :)

"Arya stepped away from him. "You don't deserve the gift of mercy."
The Hound watched her saddle Craven through eyes bright with fever. Not once did he attempt to rise and stop her. But when she mounted, he said, "A real wolf would finish a wounded animal"
Maybe some real wolves will find you, Arya though. Maybe they'll smell you when the sun goes down. Then he would learn what wolves did to dogs."

Buffy's reason not to let Xander "finish" Spike was certainly different. (or was it, we could discuss Arya's reason for her decision a long time) But doesnt' it come to, Spike, self proclaimed "Love's Bitch", the Big Bad (Wolf), isn't a mere animal anymore.
Like Sandor, he's got to face the consequences of his decision alone. Even if that means to his death.

Or maybe I'm just imagining the connection.

[> Great post. -- Sophist, 08:06:37 05/10/02 Fri

[> Re: Risks & Communication (spoilers for SR) - long, with footnotes! (because d'Herblay is worth it) -- Marie, 08:09:44 05/10/02 Fri

I'd been wondering whether to contribute anything to the "rape" discussions that have been taking place here, and had more or less decided not to, simply because [a] I'm not as articulate as some, and know I probably wouldn't be all that coherent, [b] I agree and disagree with so much that's being said, it would take me all day to chip in to all the posts, and [b] I've never made a secret of the fact that I was "date-raped", but I've never insisted on "mentioning, relating or telling in sordid detail my own experience" (at least I don't think so). I told no-one at all for fifteen years, and still haven't told my own sister.

I would never dream of comparing what happened to me to anyone else's experience. Or how I've handled it. I don't think that anyone who hasn't been raped can "know" what it's like, but I absolutely agree with you that they can imagine, sympathise, empathise. Why not? I haven't had my child kidnapped, or a family member shot, but I can certainly imagine, sympathise and empathise with those that have. Why not?

I, too, have read some posts here this week that have made me raise an eyebrow and give a mental shrug or shake of the head, but I figure people are entitled to their opinion - I don't have to agree with them any more than they have to agree with me.

For the record, then, I just wanted to say that what happened to me in no way, shape or form resembled what happened to Buffy in that bathroom scene. I was actually rather relieved, although I believe I watched a sanitised, cut, version of events, especially as Spike's flashback revealed more pleading than I actually heard while it was taking place. What I saw wasn't so much an attempted rape, as the actions of someone who was desperately trying to get Buffy to love him, like she had before (in his eyes and by her actions up to then). People have stated better than I can the fact that she had had knock-down fights with him that led to sex enjoyed by them both. She had been handcuffed by this person, we are led to presume, had sex with him in public places, initiated violent sex with him herself. So in this case, I can't agree with the posters that say "Rape is rape", "No means No".

I'm not going to add to what others have said about Spike's devastation after the fact. Again, other people have said it better. I'm just glad JM was able to pull it off in the way he did. Great actor.

As to those who call Marti Noxon a bitch, etc., well, what can I say. It's just nonsense. And that's just my opinion.


[> [> Re: Risks & Communication (spoilers for SR) - long, with footnotes! (because d'Herblay is worth it) -- maddog, 09:21:58 05/10/02 Fri

WHile what you're saying is true(that he was just trying to get Buffy to love him), just because you don't go into the situation with the intention of rape, doesn't mean it couldn't happen. The minute you force yourself on her and she can't defend herself(not that Buffy's incapable) then it really pushes towards at least an attempted rape. Motives and intentions get tossed out the window when it comes to somethat that serious.

[> Bloody brilliant! -- Dyna, 08:33:38 05/10/02 Fri

"Every now and then a character on BtVS may get a 'get out of jail free' card, but it's time to remind ourselves that the audience never does. We get to see all the sides, and suffer through the difficulty of realizing that there truly are two sides - or more - to this complex issue."

This is a perfect summation of why I love "Buffy." Every character has a point of view, and we're invited to see all of them. No easy answers, no telling us what take is the "right" one, just letting the story speak and leaving us to make our own judgements. Thanks for putting that so brilliantly!

[> Re: Risks & Communication (spoilers for SR) - long, with footnotes! (because d'Herblay is worth it) -- maddog, 08:47:15 05/10/02 Fri

The whole first part of your post could have been summed up in the phrase, "shut the hell up, I'm allowed to state my opinion". But that's just me. :) And I agree completely. I'm allowed to empathize...people get too personal when it comes to criticism of situations they've experienced.

As for the rest of the post...well said!

[> [> Maddog, you give lessons in at Buffy University in succinctness? I'll sign up! -- The Second Evil, 11:15:53 05/10/02 Fri

that, and ROFL - thank you for making me laugh out loud! I needed that! ;-)

[> [> [> Maddog, candidate for the Oz chair of succinctness at Buffy University (NT) -- Off line, 14:31:05 05/10/02 Fri

[> Buffy the Redemtionista -- Malandanza, 09:17:47 05/10/02 Fri

"During her sexual relations with Spike, has Buffy said one thing while her body contradicts her words? Yes... Has she, several times, said no and meant yes? Yes"

There have been times when Buffy had said no and meant it, but Spike has continued to pressure her until he changed her mind. We got the no means no message in OaFA when Tara defended Willow from Anya; I don't think it was an accident that in the same episode we saw Spike pressuring Buffy into having sex with him (which she did not want) only to have the episode interrupted by Tara. But for me, the moment that showed Buffy really didn't want Spike around, in spite of their history, was in Gone, when Spike has just finished helping torpedo Buffy's meeting with the social worker but is still hanging around, hoping for sex and Buffy asks him, in a plaintive voice:

BUFFY: Why won't you go?

Spike doesn't leave until she changes her plea into a demand and even then, he stops to humiliate her first. What Buffy wants is not a concern of Spike's -- only his own desires are. What she says are irrelevant to his actions because he is not listening.

Since her return, have the only times Buffy's given positive feedback to Spike has been during sex? Yes.

I have to disagree strongly here. The first few episodes (up until OMWF) had Buffy and Spike relating in an entirely non-sexual context. He was her confidante and closest friend in these episodes. Buffy is the original Redemptionista -- she forgives Spike for everything he does. She treats the monster like a man. He alienates himself from the group and Buffy brings him back -- time and again. She treats the amoral demon inhabiting the shell of a man as if he were William. Once the sexual relationship began, Spike has had little but negative feedback -- look at how Buffy has mocked and belittled him, has beat him and excluded him. A far cry from the friendship and camaraderie this most social of vampires had been experiencing previously.

" Is Spike under the severe impression that sex is the only way Buffy can relate to him? Yes."

Spike has had plenty of evidence that Buffy relates to him in other ways. They were quite chummy in late season 5 and early season 6 -- and even back in season four they had their moments. She does relate to him in other ways than sex -- you are ignoring the first episodes of the season -- the bonding over clawing their way out of coffins, the drinking together, the patrolling.

" Was Spike's behavior atrocious, desperate, and wrong? Yes. Could Spike be reasonably expected to know, given their previous interactions, that this time it was different? I don't believe so."

Let's leave the attempted rape aside for a moment and just look at Spike behavior in Seeing Red up to that point. The relationship was over. Dead. No hope for a resurrection spell. Spike ended it by having sex with Anya the same episode he had vowed his eternal love to Buffy. Then he made things even worse. Remember Angelus telling Joyce about his and Buffy's sexual experience in order to hurt Buffy? Spike goes further -- he tells Xander about the Spike/Buffy sex in order to hurt Xander. Buffy has a bit of a Martyr's complex -- she suffers and believes she deserves everything she gets. Attacks on her friends are another story. Even in his most drunken fantasies Spike could not have reasonably expected a reconciliation.

So what does the ex-boyfriend do? he goes back to his stalker roots -- he breaks into her house and accosts her in the bathroom. His behavior right then was enough for prison time in the real world. Or restraining orders and gun permits, if Buffy had not wanted to see her ex in jail.

But Spike isn't a normal guy -- he can't be arrested and sent to jail. Buffy is the only law capable of controlling him and she has too many sympathies for "poor William" to stake him (if only Giles were here to do the dirty work for her). It is fortunate for Buffy and her friends that Spike is gone -- eventually this sweater sniffing, shrine building, permanently adolescent voyeur would have done something to permanently injure one of them out of wounded pride.

Finally, I would say that whatever delusions Spike has about himself and Buffy are not Buffy's responsibilities. Buffy ended the relationship unambiguously. That should have been enough.

[> [> Problem is... -- The Second Evil, 11:23:37 05/10/02 Fri

It appears that Spike & Buffy's relationship changed significantly once sex entered the picture. A great deal of their chumminess, or even simple acceptance, pretty much got thrown out with the bathwater. Well, sex does that sometimes, and it was pretty clear when Buffy asked, "when did the house fall down?" that they could never go back again to where they'd been before. Most of my points were based not on the full expanse of their relationship but on specifically their sexual relationship.

And that relationship, as many others have pointed out better than I, was fraught with communication failures and contradicting messages, with each at various points kicking out or telling off the other, and a fair share of violence as well. Definitely not healthy, and not about to heal until both realized the full extent of the damage it was doing, to each.

[> [> [> Re: Problem is... -- Malandanza, 06:40:56 05/11/02 Sat

"Most of my points were based not on the full expanse of their relationship but on specifically their sexual relationship."

Gone was after their sexual relationship began. In fact, the reason Spike shows up at Buffy's house that morning is for sex.

SPIKE (0.S.): Didn't go well, huh.

Buffy spins around to see Spike standing behind her.

BUFFY: Why won't you go?

SPIKE: (sympathetically) Just thought you'd want--

BUFFY: Get out of here!!

CLOSE ON THEM - SPIKE's look hardens as he leans into her and thrusts his hand into her pants pocket. She GASPS. He pulls his hand out, then holds his LIGHTER up in front of her face.

SPIKE: Just getting what I came for. Luv.

He goes, leaving Buffy alone, looking mortified.
Shooting Script -- psyche

When Buffy forcefully tells him to leave, he is capable of understanding that no means no. Of course, he gropes and humiliates her first, but then, she deserved it for not having sex with him, right?

Spike has always been an extremely perceptive vampire. Usually, he uses his perception to injure the people who have placed their trust in him. To say that Spike was capable of recognizing that Buffy meant no in Gone but not in Seeing Red is a bit of a stretch. If anything, in Seeing Red there was less ambiguity -- Buffy did not want him there. She said so. She told him to leave. He had destroyed any hope of a reconciliation the previous night with his sexcapades with Anya. So Spike, the vampire who sees through everyone's deceptions, can't understand that the woman he "loves" doesn't want to have sex with him in her bathroom the day after he had sex with her friend? It just doesn't make any sense.

Then there's the truth thing. All along we have heard that Spike is the "truth teller". Buffy lies about everything: to herself, to Spike and to her friends. All Spike wants is the truth. Guess what? The truth is that Buffy doesn't love Spike -- never has. She's been telling the truth all along when she has said so and Spike is the one who has been lying to himself.

SPIKE: Because you love me.

A beat. This has gone way beyond pain and retribution. It's down to the truth now, once and for all.

BUFFY: (softly, honestly) No. I don't.

SPIKE: Why do you keep lying to yourself?

But he's not interested in the truth, despite all his protestations to the contrary -- he's just interested in "making" Buffy love him. Spike's love is all about Spike -- what Spike wants, what Spike needs. There was no ambiguity in the rape scene. Spike's confusion in the aftermath is no different from Jonathan's and Andrew's confusion about being called rapists by Katrina, or Willow's in being called a violator -- maybe they didn't think of it as attempted rape, but that doesn't change what happened. We wouldn't blame the victim in Tara's or Katrina's case, but, somehow, Buffy is different.

Spike's biggest problem is his refusal to take personal responsibility for anything. In Seeing Red Dawn tells him that the Scoobies saw the Spike and Anya show over the Troika's cameras and Spike mutters "wankers" under his breath. Apparently it is Warren's fault that he got caught having sex with Anya -- not his own for having sex with her in the first place. The rape scene is all about blaming Buffy -- blaming her for making him feel the way he does, blaming her for not realizing that she loves him (or for lying about it). Back at his crypt, he sinks deeper into denial -- going quickly from "what have I done" to "what has she done to me" -- or what has the chip done, or those evil Initiative doctors who "castrated" him.

[> [> [> [> Good points -- Arethusa, 07:17:06 05/11/02 Sat

IMO the bathroom scene is not about rape, or Buffy's problems-it's all about Spike's reactions, his emotional turmoil. That's why I said earlier that I did't think showing a rape scene was necessaary-not from any personal overreaction, but because I felt there were other, better ways of getting the point across. But maybe I'm wrong. After all, the relationship was all about sex to Buffy, if not Spike, so maybe it's appropriate that a sexual act would end it.

[> [> [> [> Re: Problem is... -- Etrangere, 07:44:35 05/11/02 Sat

>>Spike has always been an extremely perceptive vampire. Usually, he uses his perception to injure the people who have placed their trust in him. To say that Spike was capable of recognizing that Buffy meant no in Gone but not in Seeing Red is a bit of a stretch.

Why so ? He was in a very different state of mind in Gone and in SR. In Gone he was obviously very attentive to Buffy's emotions... in SR he's totally blinded by his inner turmoil. And yes, he should nonetheless have been able to understand that Buffy was saying no, 'cause she was very clear there about it, and he's totally to blame for it.
But I still think he didn't get what he was doing until he was kicked.

>>Then there's the truth thing.

But he's not interested in the truth, despite all his protestations to the contrary -- he's just interested in "making" Buffy love him.

Good point. Spike started with trying to understand what were really Buffy's feeling, and was very confident about his feelings for her.
In SR, he's in total confusion. He doesn't know anything about what's the truth anymore.
He's uncapable of knowing when Buffy says the truth about her feelings, he's now very much in denial about what's happening to him to, blaming everything on the chip. To the point when he doesn't even know if what he feels is love anymore (and rightly so, after attempting to rape her - it's a legitimate question)
But it makes sense : every other characters have seen they're main strength shifted into their weakness through the season, it's only logical that Spike's main assets - his heart and insight into other's heart - are lost to him.

>>Spike's confusion in the aftermath is no different from Jonathan's and Andrew's confusion about being called rapists by Katrina, or Willow's in being called a violator -- maybe they didn't think of it as attempted rape, but that doesn't change what happened. We wouldn't blame the victim in Tara's or Katrina's case, but, somehow, Buffy is different.

Even if Spike's confusion is similar, it doesn't mean that the different victim's case or part of responsability (and I think it's wrong to think that Buffy's responsable for this) is the same. This is not a argument.

>>Spike's biggest problem is his refusal to take personal responsibility for anything.
Of course ! He never did. Oh, except just before the rape scene when he apologizes about the Anya deal... They love irony.

>>In Seeing Red Dawn tells him that the Scoobies saw the Spike and Anya show over the Troika's cameras and Spike mutters "wankers" under his breath. Apparently it is Warren's fault that he got caught having sex with Anya

That's the big leap from the "wanker" comment to the idea that he's blaming them totally for what happened.

>>The rape scene is all about blaming Buffy -- blaming her for making him feel the way he does, blaming her for not realizing that she loves him (or for lying about it).

I don't know... I don't think it's about blaming or punishing, that's not the vibe I feel from it. Other have talked about control, about making her feel the same way that he does, I think that's more acurate.
He never wanted to make her suffer.

>>Back at his crypt, he sinks deeper into denial -- going quickly from "what have I done" to "what has she done to me" -- or what has the chip done, or those evil Initiative doctors who "castrated" him.

Actually the "what has she done to me" isn't about the "what have I done", it's about the "what haven't I done". He's blaming her for not being evil enough that he cares about what he did, that he didn't rape her when he realised what he was doing was. Same for the chip.
Spike is blaming Buffy and the chip for his feelings of guilt here. And yes it's denial.

[> [> [> [> I had a different take on Spike's reaction (spoilers for SR) -- The Second Evil, 09:46:44 05/11/02 Sat

Spike's confusion in the aftermath is no different from Jonathan's and Andrew's confusion about being called rapists by Katrina, or Willow's in being called a violator -- maybe they didn't think of it as attempted rape, but that doesn't change what happened.
Amusing, eh? We watch the same scene and get two different impressions...

cause I got the impression that Spike was trying to figure out why he didn't finish what he'd started. It's not like he couldn't hit Buffy, and fight back, after all. But instead, he felt remorse, and that seemed to make matters worse for him.

[> Brilliantly written! And I agree with everything you said, to the letter! -- Rob, 09:56:54 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> ...Except that I liked all of season 6. -- Rob, 10:43:36 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> Me too! Glad to see I'm not the only one IMO -- shadowkat, 19:59:08 05/10/02 Fri

[> wonderful. drew out something that was in me but that I couldn't define. -- yuri, 10:20:17 05/10/02 Fri

[> One word: Yes! -- Dichotomy, 10:38:28 05/10/02 Fri

[> oh my... I fall to the ground in praise! That was an amazing post! -- ponygirl, 10:40:23 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> uh... wow. Never gotten *that* response before. Wow. Thanks! ;-) -- The Second Evil, 11:17:24 05/10/02 Fri

[> Beautifully said -- Spike Lover, 12:03:29 05/10/02 Fri

[> Wow, could this be something that everybody can agree with? -- Traveler, 12:47:52 05/10/02 Fri

[> And another thanks ... -- vh, 12:48:53 05/10/02 Fri

[> Absolutely agree ! Well said. -- shadowkat, 13:03:33 05/10/02 Fri

[> Wonderful! -- LeeAnn, 16:01:09 05/10/02 Fri

[> Excellent !! -- ravenhair, 16:44:56 05/10/02 Fri

[> Re: A here, here from me ,too. -- SpikeMom, 18:26:55 05/10/02 Fri

Ripper? -- West, 00:51:46 05/10/02 Fri

Does anyone have any news on the whole 'Ripper' spinoff I heard that they were doing in England a while back? I've been completely deaf and dumb to any news other than that it was a rumor when Giles left the show. Did it happen, and if so, is it going well? And most importantly, where can I see it!?

[> Re: Ripper? -- Marie, 03:58:42 05/10/02 Fri

Haven't seen or read anything new on this for some time. Both JW and ASH have been busy on other projects (ASH is taking his clothes off a lot, lately! And is soon to be on UK TV in something I can't remember the name of at the moment, but is apparently going to be doing his first full- frontal nude scene...hmmm, would that be an "Ooohh!" or an "Ewww!" I hear?


p.s. Will post if I hear anything on "Ripper".

[> [> Re: Ripper? -- SingedCat, 04:15:56 05/10/02 Fri

The latest I heard, off the ASH fansite is that it's on the back burner. Joss is totally taken up with Firefly, and Head has gotton a good deal of other work since he went back.

I visualize project as a kind of vine with which he could safely swing over to England from LA, and then climb on once he got there, or release if he found one he liked better...which is a bizarre analogy and you should forget it...

FOr the record I am deeply disappointed. I really, really wanted to see more of Giles' development, (and more of Giles!) and it would have been oh so cool besides to have a bbc/buffy crossover with the gang and all.

Though with ASH's new projects, it's entirely likely we'll see a good deal more of him than we normally would if he were playing the G-man-- whoa!:D

[> [> [> Re: Ripper? -- MadMungo, 05:20:13 05/10/02 Fri

For what it's worth ASH has been starring in a BBC2 show called Manchild about 4/5 middle aged guys going through midlife crises and what to do after divorce, etc. His character went as far as getting an extension op done on 'the crown jewels'. I have to say it didn't appeal too much and I only saw the first episode

[> [> [> Did anyone else just go to scary-visual place? (n/t) -- Bob Sikkel, 06:35:24 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> Re: Did anyone else just go to scary-visual place? (n/t) -- wiscoboy, 08:32:07 05/10/02 Fri

But you can see why it must be a hit in England....

[> Re: Ripper? -- Darby, 07:14:19 05/10/02 Fri

There is info here: 05/06/

On humanizing vampires and Buffy's insistence that love must be soulful -- anjee , 04:54:29 05/10/02 Fri

Someone mentioned in an earlier post that they wouldn't like it if ME gave Spike a soul and the show started humanizing vamps. So I'm wondering....

Why can't a vampire be humanized? It's confusing to say, "hey, vamps are people too", but they used to be. They remember what it was like to be human, and for all intents and purposes, they act human. Sure, there's the killing, but even humans do that [Except maybe the eating part? Unless you really like liver with chianti]. There are emotions happening all over the place. There's life, even if it's attached to an 'un'. There's need. We've seen the love, Spike obviously has it, even though its certainly obsessive. Buffy likes to insist that she can't love Spike because he doesn't have a soul- that the reason she was truly able to love Angel was because he had one....but what did that soul actually contribute to who Angel was? Guilt. Something to hold him back from animal instinct. And the pain that guilt can bring. So he changed.

My big question? Why does Spike need a soul? From what I've seen, the person you were before becoming a vampire plays a big part in how you act later in your un-life. Angel wasn't much of a human, and this turns him into an even badder vamp. William was a sensitive, emotional romantic. And this reflects on Spike- he's a more humanized vampire. Angel had to be given a soul to reach the same place.

[> Re: On humanizing vampires and Buffy's insistence that love must be soulful -- maddog, 08:05:58 05/10/02 Fri

They may act somewhat human, but they aren't their old selves by a long shot. Do you remember Buffy's plea to Billy Ford? How she talked about what vampires are...and how they take over the body of whoever they've becomes demon. Angel's soul gave him a conscience...something to discern right from wrong. It makes him different than other vampires and most serial killers. And it's a huge difference. Spike needs a soul so that conscience kicks in...otherwise no one knows if he'd be capable of what he tried to do in the bathroom in the last episode. Humans don't do that...well most don't...and those that do aren't too far from the evil status that vampires are on.

[> [> You are wrong there -- Spike Lover, 09:04:40 05/10/02 Fri

If anything, Spike is being VERY HUMAN. It is what makes him unpredictable. If he were a traditional vamp, they would have staked him by now.

HUMANS ARE UNPREDICTABLE. READ THE NEWSPAPER SOMETIME. Look at all the shootings between families. These are people who knew each other. Look at all the families who can not trust certain parties (the lying child who is stealing from them). The alcoholic who is drunk and abusive. The drug addict who is putting everyone in danger with their behavior that is not a problem. Look at the jealous spouse who finds their significant other cheating and shoots them in a jealous rage. Look at the frustrated kids at the schools who go in and shoot each other. Look at the angry or confused or drunk or mean-spirited men who date rape. Look at the neglectful parents who have no idea where their kids are most of the days and are too whatever to care or notice. Look at the wife who is allowing her lover to sexually abuse/rape her daughter and pretends not to see/notice.

When Buffy claims she can't trust Spike, she is not telling the truth. The truth is she can't really trust anyone because everyone on the show has been unpredictable. (Could Anya have predicted that X, who she has been living with for months, would walk on their wedding?)

[> [> [> Interesting point -- Traveler, 11:05:22 05/10/02 Fri

Trust seems to be a real issue for ALL of the scooby gang, not just Spike and Buffy.

[> [> [> [> Trust and symbolic bathrooms -- Spike Lover, 11:42:13 05/10/02 Fri

Buffy keeps saying she can't trust Spike (?). I keep wondering- trust him about what?

Trust him to bite her? Trust him to tell her the truth no matter how much she does not want to hear it? Trust him to tell her he loves her when she demands it? Trust her to put out when she is in the mood? Trust him to help her when she needs help -like looking for Dawn? Trust him to keep all her secrets from her friends and family? Trust him not to turn on her (or her friends) and kill her? Trust him to be faithful? (when she claims there is nothing between them and she wants him to move on?)

What a hypocrite! (Can I say hypocrite without being accused of character bashing? Probably not.) Buffy can't even tell the truth about Spike's lighter that is in her pocket. She is the one who can't be trusted - And look at that scene in the bathroom... Admittedly, it might have turned into date-rape, but where it ended was simply an unintentional attempt at date-rape. When Xander came in and saw Buffy upset in the bathroom with a bruise on her leg (and by the way, the bathroom I believe is the first place rape victims go after being attacked- who gets attacked in a bathroom??) she allows Xander to believe whatever- that Spike did rape her or did hurt her or caused her pain when he was not the culprit. So Xander continues to think the worst of Spike and Buffy is unable to set the record straight.

Speaking of the bathroom scene, that is so wierd!! She has had sex w/ Spike at work, in front of her house, on a coffing and in bed, and in a graveyard (his crypt). Why did they chose a bathroom for this scene? Are they trying to say something about privacy? Is the bathroom the only place in the US where anyone has any real right to privacy anymore? Were they trying to make a symbolic point about Spike finally getting into Buffy's most private thoughts/feelings/or something? Since he is interupting her bath, is he symbolically making her unable to wash away her guilt or her sins or her ability to lie to herself about their relationship? Is she crying and pleading not to Spike himself to stop but for her feelings for him to stop? Was that kick to get him off of her, symbolically kicking her feelings for him away, reiterating to herself that she can't trust him?

Let's see, why would she have such a loud complaint against trusting a soulless demon? Hmmm-- could it be Angel? Does she subconsciously fear that the minute she admits she loves him (if she does) that he will turn evil on her?

[> [> [> [> [> Witty and insightful - a great combination! -- Caroline, 12:13:36 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> A small nitpick here -- Traveler, 12:23:46 05/10/02 Fri

"she allows Xander to believe whatever- that Spike did rape her or did hurt her or caused her pain when he was not the culprit."

No, she told him Spike tried to rape her but didn't finish it.

Why did they chose a bathroom for this scene?

I'm not sure. If someone has a good theory, please tell me!

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Trust and symbolic bathrooms -- Cheryl, 13:31:39 05/10/02 Fri

Speaking of the bathroom scene, that is so wierd!! She has had sex w/ Spike at work, in front of her house, on a coffing and in bed, and in a graveyard (his crypt). Why did they chose a bathroom for this scene? Are they trying to say something about privacy? Is the bathroom the only place in the US where anyone has any real right to privacy anymore? Were they trying to make a symbolic point about Spike finally getting into Buffy's most private thoughts/feelings/or something? Since he is interupting her bath, is he symbolically making her unable to wash away her guilt or her sins or her ability to lie to herself about their relationship? Is she crying and pleading not to Spike himself to stop but for her feelings for him to stop? Was that kick to get him off of her, symbolically kicking her feelings for him away, reiterating to herself that she can't trust him?

Speaking of bathrooms and privacy, didn't anyone else think it was kind of strange for Xander to just barge in to the bathroom like that? No knocking, no waiting to hear if anything was actually going on? Yes, he saw Spike's coat downstairs, but what would make him think that Spike would try to hurt Buffy at that point? There was no indication prior to the bathroom scene. And as Buffy pointed out earlier, her personal life is her business. So, I just feel it was inappropriate for Xander to barge in like that. What if she had just been taking a bath or was otherwise indisposed? I don't know - is it just me?

[> [> [> [> [> [> I agree -- that was very inappropriate of Xander. - - yez, 14:28:58 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Trust and symbolic bathrooms -- ravenhair, 16:31:21 05/10/02 Fri

"Yes, he saw Spike's coat downstairs, but what would make him think that Spike would try to hurt Buffy at that point?"

I think he barged in because he expected to catch Buffy and Spike in a compromising position. I think he entered the bathroom saying something like, "Is this what you call not sleeping together?" Xander was angry at the thought of Buffy lying to him, that the affair was over. When he saw Buffy lying on the floor bruised, he was afraid Spike had hurt her.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Trust and symbolic bathrooms -- alcibiades, 08:45:39 05/11/02 Sat

It's more than that.

This is meant to show that Xander has no qualms about violating Buffy's personal space, and more so, that he thinks he has the right to do so.

In the previous scene, Buffy had told him WTTE of My personal life is not your affair. But Xander does not respect those boundaries. He thinks he has the right to barge into her most intimate moment when he is filled with righteous indignation. He has to relearn boundaries. He begins to do that in the final scene.

At least, Spike entered when the door was open -- initially less of a violation although it proceeds to be an attempt at more of one.

It is interesting also that the cause of a lot of Xander's anger is that he feels like a fool -- all those times he told Spike to get lost because he never had a chance -- and Spike was playing him for a fool with Buffy nightly -- to some extent truly and probably to a larger extent in Xander's imagination.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Trust and symbolic bathrooms -- SugarTherapy, 13:38:52 05/10/02 Fri

Anybody else wonder why nobody showed up during that scene? Other people were home, nearby even. Buffy wasn't being that quiet, you'd think Willow or someone would've heard her and come to see if she was okay.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Trust and symbolic bathrooms -- Spike Lover, 14:16:39 05/10/02 Fri

Something else. I just realized what bothered me about the way the bathroom scene was filmed. It had the same 'glaring' reality shot that Normal Again did in the asylum. Everything was Too Clear and Too Bright. Which made me think how un-real the whole thing was.

[> [> [> [> [> [> DeKnight on the bathroom scene -- Rufus, 14:38:45 05/10/02 Fri

I've listened to the Succubus Club interview a few times and this comment stood out.

DeKnight: Yeah, the bathroom rape scene was harsh. It was intended to be harsh and ugly and very real. If you look back at it you'll notice there's no music untl after it's over because we didn't want anything except it to be very stark. That's why you get a lot of those high angle shots.

No matter how you feel about what you saw, the intent of the writers was to drive home the fact that Spike lost it. The bathroom scene was to look real and to bring Spike to the point of making a decision about his life.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: DeKnight on the bathroom scene -- Rufus, 14:42:34 05/10/02 Fri

I've listened to the Succubus Club interview a few times and this comment stood out.

DeKnight: Yeah, the bathroom rape scene was harsh. It was intended to be harsh and ugly and very real. If you look back at it you'll notice there's no music until after it's over because we didn't want anything except it to be very stark. That's why you get a lot of those high angle shots.

No matter how you feel about what you saw, the intent of the writers was to drive home the fact that Spike lost it. The bathroom scene was to look real and to bring Spike to the point of making a decision about his life.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Trust and symbolic bathrooms -- ravenhair, 16:22:36 05/10/02 Fri

The bright lights also reminded me of Spike's annoyance over the bright florescent lights in Double Meat Palace. It made him look "all dead." Shedding light on the demon within - nice continuity.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Trust and symbolic bathrooms -- Spike Lover, 14:35:47 05/10/02 Fri

Another thing that really bothered me about the bathroom was the way it was shot. Clear and bright. I just realized it was just like the way they shot the asylum scenes in Normal Again --emphasizing the 'in Buffy's head' and unreality of it all.

[> [> [> [> [> The horror of the mundane (spoilers, of course) -- Talia, 22:33:12 05/10/02 Fri

"Speaking of the bathroom scene, that is so wierd!! She has had sex w/ Spike at work, in front of her house, on a coffing and in bed, and in a graveyard (his crypt). Why did they chose a bathroom for this scene? Are they trying to say something about privacy? Is the bathroom the only place in the US where anyone has any real right to privacy anymore? Were they trying to make a symbolic point about Spike finally getting into Buffy's most private thoughts/feelings/or something? Since he is interupting her bath, is he symbolically making her unable to wash away her guilt or her sins or her ability to lie to herself about their relationship?"

To me, the point of staging That Scene in the bathroom was to emphasize how sometimes the most horrific things occur not in big epic battles or creepy underground lairs but in the most mundane of places. That's how real life is. In the sexual assault prevention class they put all of us college freshpeople through, we were told that most rapes on college campuses are committed not in a dark alley but in a dorm room, often the victim's. Most are committed by someone the victim knows. The bathroom is a mundane setting, not frightening at all (unless maybe you've watched Psycho recently.) It is for small, necessary parts of daily life, nothing momentous. The setting is incongrous for such a mammoth betrayal and violation: too everyday, and thus terrifying.

The theme of horror occuring by mundane, not supernatural, means was driven home by Tara's death. I had heard two spoilers for this episode: 1)Tara dies 2)Warren becomes invincible. I had assumed that the two would occur at the same time. But that was not the case--Tara met her end from an utterly ordinary boy with a gun. (Physically utterly ordinary. I'm not discussing Warren's overall normalcy, merely that he did not at that point have super powers.) After all the demons, vampires, and potential apocalypses (apocalypsi?) the gang has faced, it was an all too commonplace menace that did her in. The event was without warning, without a battle, without any sense of catharsis. That is how real people die. They die senselessly, because some other person is angry, frightened, or greedy and chooses willfully to ignore whatever their souls tell them about the immorality of killing. Most people are not killed fighting supernatural evil or even in the dreadful drama of a plane crashing into a tower. Even if one considers only victims of violence, they die in their school classrooms, their churches, their places of business, their homes. They do not give necessarily give a stirring speach expressing all their love but with expire with confused murmurings on their lips. Real people generally do not kill each other in an attempt to take over the world. They kill in a fit of rage, like Warren did, or in a long-simmering hatred over some perceived division like ethnic group, political stance, or religion. Real people are raped by their boyfriends, family members, and acquaintences in their own dorm rooms, bathrooms, and back seats. Real life is a damn scary place to be.

Buffy's noble death in The Gift made me weep with grief at the passing of a character I care for, but it did not leave me sick to the stomach and gasping with shock and horror the way Seeing Red did. Seeing Red is one of the most frightening and difficult to watch episodes of Buffy, in my opinion, not merely because horrible things happen to our beloved characters but because the worst events are in mundane settings by mundane means. (See also The Body). The best fantasy is not merely a well crafted fictional world with mythic quests and powerful heros. It sheds light on reality whether by metaphor or directly. Seeing Red continued season 6's theme of human villains (and here I am counting Spike as human because he acted not out of a vampire's simple bloodthirst but out of love and anger intertwining until he temporarily lost sight of right and wrong. Soulless as he may be, with regards to Buffy at least Spike knows the difference. most of the time.) The episode cast light on reality, and that light is glaring, harsh, and reveals too much for comfort.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Very well said, I agree -- Etrangere, 05:17:40 05/11/02 Sat

[> Re: On humanizing vampires and Buffy's insistence that love must be soulful -- clg0107, 08:37:07 05/10/02 Fri

>>Angel wasn't much of a human, and this turns him into an even badder vamp. William was a sensitive, emotional >>romantic. And this reflects on Spike- he's a more humanized vampire. Angel had to be given a soul to reach >>the same place.

Except that Spike would never have reached this place if it weren't for the chip. As Dawn once asserted "chip, soul -- same thing" (or a sentiment to that effect). Obviously, the soul applies the guilt and pain immediately. The chip has taken a LOT longer to do so, and, one might argue, that it may or may not have that effect in all vamps who are chipped. Perhaps that's where the differences between William and Liam come in. I doubt a chipped Angelus would have reached the place that chipped Spike has.

You point out the interesting difference between the two vampires, though. Angelus really reviled his humanity. Spike seems to like the idea that he's really just a super bad-ass human, as opposed to reveling in his vampirey-ness. That is to say, Spike has always seemed to demonstrate a lot more human affectations -- eating, for example. And he's always referring to himself as "a man" -- often to be corrected snottily by Buffy or Xander. They are right, he's not just "a man" anymore. But he seems to want to think of himself as one.

Which in itself is interesting, and still tangentially related to your line of thought. I'm afraid that I've rambled.

Maybe Spike was the one-in-a-million case where the chip would create the circumstances that would allow for him to make the decisions that would lead to the emotions that he's now experiencing.


[> [> Re: On humanizing vampires and Buffy's insistence that love must be soulful -- maddog, 08:54:08 05/10/02 Fri

A chipped Angelus would have killed himself. Angelus was pure evil...didn't care about anyone...would have killed Dru if he thought it would help him. Spike wasn't like that...the chip combined with his affections for not only Dru but Buffy made him keep himself alive(except for the attempted clumsy suicide attempt in "Doomed").

[> [> [> You are right about that -- Spike Lover, 09:14:47 05/10/02 Fri

Angelus never loved anyone --not even Darla. But she never loved him either so whatever.

Could Angelus love Conner? I don't it.

I wonder why that was. Was it because Liam before he was bitten never loved anyone?

By the way, this really does not go with this discussion, but perhaps the reason why the trio is proving to be such a formidable enemy is because the slayer was never intended to police or vanquish human monsters. Maybe the slayer was only suppose to level the field against demons and vamps.

[> Re: On humanizing vampires and Buffy's insistence that love must be soulful -- West, 09:44:59 05/10/02 Fri

"Someone mentioned in an earlier post that they wouldn't like it if ME gave Spike a soul and the show started humanizing vamps"

Well, that would be me, so I guess I'll step in and explain my point, which isn't necessarily rooted in philosophy, but jas to do with the implications on the show. Thus far, vamps have been creatures of pure evil. They are bad, bad, bad and nothing shall change that. As such, Buffy may kill them easily and without mercy. That's the reason that Joss originally gave vamps the 'vamp face', so we would realize she is killing a demon and not people.

Now, imagine the reprocussions of if vampires get humanized. Suddenly, Buffy has been killing humans all this time, just with bad makeup and pointy teeth. She's been comitting murder, since there was the alternative of working with vamps long enough to redeem them, as the Initiative were trying to do. She couldn't run around staking anymore, as it'd be the same as if she were, say, running around stabbing human muggers, just with more dust.

ME has already seriously blurred this line with the whole Spike thing, and it always made me a bit nervous because of these implications. I can't help but think now everytime she dusts a vamp, 'could that have been the next Spike?'

[> [> Re: On humanizing vampires and Buffy's insistence that love must be soulful -- maddog, 09:50:33 05/10/02 Fri

While that's an interesting theory I do have one argument. The Initiative was trying to subdue the demons..understand them...and make them harmless(and it all ended up with Adam). They weren't trying rehabilitation. They couldn't stand demons. Riley was proof of that.

[> [> Re: On humanizing vampires and Buffy's insistence that love must be soulful -- Dochawk, 12:03:50 05/10/02 Fri

I've been trying to make this point forever. That Spike can't be made human or good without some sort of mystical transformation (like Angel's) otherwise it invalidates the show. ME has stated time and again ( and has repeated this in the show time and again, unlike other writer truths) that vamps (but not necessarily all demons, in fact we have seen multiple good demons, Whistler, Skip, Doyle, Lorne, phantom Dennis, now Cordy)are agents of Chaos (evil if you like). spike's journey must take him through some sort of transformative process for him to be something other than a vamp with a chip. Given that ME gave him the line about coming back a monster, I would guess he will make some sort of transforative change for good. (pure speculation)

[> [> [> Re: On humanizing vampires and Buffy's insistence that love must be soulful -- RichardX1, 14:09:06 05/10/02 Fri

I was half-expecting him to make a deal with Warren: "You take this chip ou'a my head, an' I'll help you be all the evil that you can be..."

I still wouldn't rule that out.

[> [> [> Re: On humanizing vampires and Buffy's insistence that love must be soulful -- SpikeMom, 17:58:38 05/10/02 Fri

Is not love a transformative process?

[> Ever read ClockWork Orange? Same issues-- you'd love it -- SingedCat, 13:06:03 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> Re: ClockWork Orange? -- Rufus, 02:41:04 05/11/02 Sat

There is a difference between the fellow in Clockwork and Spike.....Alex changed through growth associated with aging, Spike is stuck at perpetual adolecent state. Alex burned out, his needs and physical strength different than at the beginning of the book. Spike as a vampire is at the stage that Alex was at the beginning of the book. For Spike to continue on he would have to become human and proceed through the ageing process, or to get a soul that would change the setting on his compass and make him safer to be around. Spike loves Buffy, no doubt about it, but he, as a vampire can still hurt her, with a soul or as a human it's less likely to happen, as the vampire preference for chaos would be gone.

[> Because Spike will forever think "kill first" and only "choose" love -- Charlemagne, 13:10:00 05/10/02 Fri

Spike can feel love fine but it's not instinctual. It's a conscience choice to suppress natural urges (humans are to love) and instead focus on a wholly unnatural feeling for a creature that reproduces by devouring it's prey and inserting a parasite into it.


[> [> Spike's dilemma, philosophically -- RichardX1, 14:12:53 05/10/02 Fri

Basically, the question is, has Spike become a man in the body of a monster, or is he a monster that's been pretending it's a man (a case made all the easier by the chip's restrictions on his monstrous instincts)?

[> [> Re: Because Spike will forever think "kill first" and only "choose" love -- Talia, 23:01:52 05/10/02 Fri

Spike's love is not instinctual? Have you and I been watching the same show? Spike is the true "love's bitch," the biggest "fool for love" in a town full of them. We have never seen Spike go for long without a relationship. He didn't love Harmony, but at that point he wasn't over Drusilla AND may have been unconsciously drawn to Buffy (according to flashback-Dru's remarks in Fool for Love.) Loving is part of Spike's essence. Vampires are not the same people as when they were human, but they are marked by their human selves, especially as they were the night they were changed. William was a Romantic who could not be anything but in love though it ripped his soul out. Literally. However, he learned about love from Drusilla, who is clearly not a healthy teacher of anything. His conception of love became fundamentally tied to blood and violence.

Because he is a vampire, lacking a soul and needing to kill to live, and because the only times in his life he ever felt good about himself were back in his killing days, violence is also instinctive for Spike. Thus, acting in a loving manner must be a conscious choice as you pointed out. Many vamps are incapable of love. For Spike, however, love is as essential and instinctual as blood. He might not act on it, but he cannot escape feeling it. His title of William the Bloody is fitting for its double connotation: the blood of violence, and the blood that flows through the heart and carries love in its cells like oxygen.

[> [> [> Re: Because Spike will forever think "kill first" and only "choose" love -- Dochawk, 08:18:15 05/11/02 Sat

I agree with you, but it is a juvenile, obsessive, very selfish type of love. We have actually seen vampires have a more mature kind of love as well, James and Elizabeth in Hearthrob for example. But, in human form, William had never advanced to that type of love (and he obviously doesn't get it when confronted by Buffy). We have been told that who a vamp was as a human informs who he is as a vampire, perhaps their view on love does not mature asa human's does and stays in arrested development (I think this is the case with Angel as well, that his view of love is a high schooler's, though we have yet to see what will happen with Angel and Cordy, if anything).

This is hard to do on a busy week... (Spoilers for NYArea Get-Together) -- Darby, 05:59:43 05/10/02 Fri

I'm just trying to keep this announcement on the main board long enough for everyone who might have an interest to see it, but since it's not the sort of thing that get responses, it keeps being pushed to the archives.

Anyone in the vicinity of New York? And by vicinity, I mean east of the Mississippi...we're getting together just north of NYC on May 19th.

Details, subject to some firming up, are here.

[> The key to keeping things out of the archives is responding -- d'Herblay, 06:50:18 05/10/02 Fri

Not that I have too much to say here; to make the meeting I'd have to leave at 4 am. I did notice, though, that Bronxville is quite near the Sarah Lawrence campus. Do they offer a tour of historic Joseph Campbell sites? Or at least a sandwich named for him at a local deli? Perhaps the "hero with a thousand island dressing."

[> [> Re: The key to keeping things out of the archives is responding -- Dedalus, 08:24:12 05/10/02 Fri


God, you pick on Campbell so much!

We have got to do some chatting next week.


(and tell that g/f of yours she better show up too)

[> [> [> I don't have anything planned for Thursday! -- d'Herblay, 08:33:36 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> "Hero with a Thousand Island Dressing"...hehehe -- mundusmundi, 13:17:43 05/10/02 Fri

Dunno about that. I did read a few months ago that Nashville, one of my many former stomping grounds, features a coffeeshop selling a popular cinnamon bun that's the spitting image of Mother Teresa. Maybe we can arrange an AtPo pilgrimmage someday.

[> Still Playin' Slap the Archives Monster Software... -- Darby, 11:03:39 05/10/02 Fri

[> I can drag it back and post gratutious "I've pulled it from the archives" messages under it for you -- Masq, 11:28:39 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> Oh, I think we can keep it out of the archives by our own devices -- d'Herblay, 11:50:19 05/10/02 Fri

Ahem. "Spike is a rapist dog who should be put down."

That should do it!

[> [> [> Re: ROFLMAO!! -- LittleBit, 12:20:26 05/10/02 Fri

"Spike is a rapist dog who should be put down." (1)

Excellent. No one could resist responding to such a thought out, well-presented, calm and level-headed anaylsis of a complex villain. I know I couldn't... ;)


(1) From d'Herblay's private collection of the Evilista Spike Termination Manuals, Rule 1

[> [> [> *Spoilers* for Spike's Real Nature -- pr10n, 14:32:27 05/10/02 Fri

Spike is a dog?! :o

That means he and Buffy can't procreate, right?

[> [> [> Well, he is love's bitch (NT) -- fresne, 15:45:47 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> we'll just keep this thread prisoner our own device(s) -- anom, 17:02:44 05/10/02 Fri

(next meet, Hotel California!)

I'm ready--I bought my tickets for Bronxville today! Anyone want to meet at Grand Central? Or if anyone's driving up from NYC...I could always get a refund on the tickets....

[> [> [> device device device. woof. (just doin my part!) -- yuri, 18:03:53 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> you're all invited for mai tais on the beach after the NYC party... -- redcat, 19:08:32 05/10/02 Fri

to discuss the mythopoetics of hero-canine romantic partnerships (it's only 6,000 miles).

Now, who's gonna bring the chips?

[> I'm on board and looking forward to it. -- shadowkat (new yorker and new poster this year), 12:00:50 05/10/02 Fri

[> I think that the record for keeping a thread out of the archives . . . -- d'Herblay, 18:43:09 05/10/02 Fri

. . . is three weeks: Curiosity - where are you located?, started by Darby at 07:53:08 December 21, and terminated with a post by matching mole at 08:17:06 January 10. The beneficiary of a slow holiday season, it managed to outlast a few of the early threads after "Gone," but was ultimately overwhelmed by the new episode-induced flood of postings. It also survived because it asked a simple question which could be answered in a no-texter. I wouldn't have had to chase down sources to respond to that thread (not that I ever did).

Spike -- Zoey C, 08:06:14 05/10/02 Fri

OK-I did not like the scence but I AM A SPIKE/BUFFY SHIPPER and I'm proud of it. do you think that perhaps the scene represents the end of the violent relationship between the two of them? It started very violently - initiated by Buffy. And now it ended violently - initiated by Spike. There was never any shared tenderness between the two of them.. If any, Spike was more tender than Buffy. I'm not saying the relationship is ending - it's going to transform into something more.

Am I just reaching for a justification or could this be ME's way of changing the nature of the relationship? Afterall, Spike was regretful of his actions and really did some soul- searching (literally) over it and Buffy was also very reflective too. Guess we'll have to wait til season 7!

[> Re: Spike(speculative spoilery) -- maddog, 08:24:43 05/10/02 Fri

If they truly meant it as one of the Scoobie's "bad decisions" (as has been stated in interviews) then you wonder if she was just a catalyst to his redemption of sorts. But that no more was ever to come of it.

What's so attractive about Spike? (spoilers) -- Copper, 09:49:42 05/10/02 Fri

Many on this site, apparently mostly male, have complained for some time about Spike. They donıt understand the attraction; after all, he is an evil, soul-less vampire who has killed dozens of humans. They think a Spike/Buffy pairing is sick. On the other hand, many, apparently mostly female, think Spike is very sexy and that the S/B pairing is perfect.

Then we have Spikeıs attempted rape of Buffy. The first group is saying, ³See, I told you so! Spike is evil!!² And they are appalled because the second group is willing to forgive Spike, especially since he seems so shattered by what he did.

Why is Spike so attractive? Well, physically, he has a very nice body and, although not tall, he is taller than the women on the show. That is a necessary element. But that is not really why he is so attractive. The real reason is that he rebels against societyıs rules and survives. Not only that, but he has survived in multiple, differing places, rebelling against multiple different sets of rules. In evolutionary terms, his survival, despite risky behavior, demonstrates that he has great genes, and, not coincidentally, looks great in jeans.

The nice boy in class who follows the rules and gets his homework done on time, and who may even be physically appealing, cannot understand why the nice girls, who may follow all the rules themselves, are so attracted to the bad boys. Girls/women are attracted to bad boys/men because they are sexy: they break the rules and they survive. This demonstrates that they are more ³fit² in the evolutionary sense than are boys/men who follow the rules. If the system breaks down, if there is social chaos, whom would you rather be with?: someone who did well in the now non-existent system, or someone who survived despite the system?

Now, none of this behavior is conscious. It is how we have been adapted to respond over the vast reaches of time. It also does not mean that a woman would live happily ever after with a ³bad² man. All she really needs from him are his excellent genes to impregnate her. Then maybe she will find a ³nice² man to be the father, or just raise the baby herself.

Here we have the real reason Buffy cannot have a relationship with Spike. It has nothing to do with trust issues, although that may be what Buffy consciously thinks. The real reason is that Spike is sterile. Despite all the outward evidence of ³fitness², Spike could never get Buffy pregnant. That is the real reason she canıt love him and wants to end the relationship with him. But, again, none of this needs to be conscious, and probably isnıt. Even in the minds of the writers.

The relationship is ³wrong² not because Spike is evil or soul-less, but because Spike is sterile.

[> Skeptical -- Sophist, 10:34:06 05/10/02 Fri

I don't think sociobiology provides much of an explanation here. Moreover, you make 2 factual assumptions that ain't necessarily so:

1. That most Spike fans are female and most Spike haters are male.

2. That Spike is sterile but Buffy is fertile.

[> [> Re: Skeptical -- Copper, 10:47:13 05/10/02 Fri

The explanation is fully biological. Some individuals think socio-biology is somehow not real, but that is not the case in terms of sexual attraction/selection. Read up on the topic and what I've said will be obvious. There are books I could recommend if you are interested. Humans are animals and our behavior will demonstrate similarities to other animals, particularly vis-a-vis sex.

I said "apparently" male or female based on the comments of those who seemed most vocal about the SR episode. If bad boys/men weren't attractive as role models to males movies like the Lethal Weapon series would not be so popular.

No, we don't know that Buffy is fertile, but that would not change her behavior until she knows that she is infertile, at which point her behaviors/choices might differ. Until then, whether she is fertile or not, she will subconsciously do whatever it takes to maximise her chances for getting the best genes into her potential offspring.

[> [> [> This is way too OT, even for me. But I don't agree at all. -- Sophist, 12:34:29 05/10/02 Fri

[> A coral snake is beautiful .... but it's still a snake -- Adio, 10:47:09 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> Re: A coral snake is beautiful .... but it's still a snake -- Copper, 10:49:23 05/10/02 Fri


Does what I've written make you uneasy?

[> [> [> Not at all. -- Adio, 11:39:31 05/10/02 Fri

The comment was more a statement on the earlier portion of your post - of people, specifically women willing to forgive Spike because he's pretty regardless of the inherent danger he presents being a vampire.

Having said that, I'm not sure I agree with your theory. There is always discussion and plenty of fan fiction written about Buffy getting pregnant, but quite frankly, I have never seen any indication that she has given any thought to having children. Angel left in order to give her a chance at a "normal" life, but that's the extent of the white picket fence theory to my recollection.

I'm not sure what her underlying distrust of Spike is other than her own fear that she shouldn't care for him because he is "evil". Buffy can easily deal with her lot when it remains black and white, just as Spike makes it clear that it was easier for him that way also.

From Seeing Red:

"Slayer - Vampire.
Vampire KILLS Slayer."

Not Slayer KILLS Vampire.

That is not Spike's experience, although it is Buffy's.

Slayer KILLS Vampires.

Her exception to the rule was Angel, because he has a soul. It would be interesting to see what Buffy would think about the Wolfram & Hart carnage.

[> [> [> [> Re: Not at all. -- Copper, 12:39:53 05/10/02 Fri

I did not say they are willing to forgive Spike because he is pretty, but because he is sexy. And he is sexy because he is a survivor. As a survivor he has good genes, which makes him sexy. Good looks are part of the equation because they indicate good genes, too, but sexiness is not primarily based on looks.

A girl/woman does not have to consciously think about having children to behave in ways that maximise her opportunities to find the best mate for reproduction. And Buffy is at the prime age to have a first child, so her behavior would be unconsciously motivated by that.

Reproducing has nothing to do with a "picket fence" sort of life. Reproduction is an incredibly strong biological drive.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Not at all. -- Ishkabibble, 14:26:07 05/10/02 Fri

"And he is sexy because he is a survivor."

Ergo, he is chosen as a mate? Hmmm.

I can kind of understand the concept of an animal choosing (unconsciously) to reproduce with another that has shown the capacity to survive. Strong survival in the parent = probable survival in the offspring. But, I'm still not persuaded that human females are guided as much by unconscious urges as are other animals.

My observations indicate that woman (as opposed to other female animals) can consciously choose whether or not to mate at all. And, by extension, they are able to exercise a conscious choice in the type of partner with whom to mate. So, they choose to parent (allow impregnation to occur) with a man who exhibits those characteristics that each woman values. And those values change dramatically from one female to another...sexiness is not necessarily the primary motivating factor.

So, even allowing that there might be an unconscious urge to mate with a proven survivor, a human female can override that urge in order to choose someone else. The women in our family want and expect help in raising their offspring, so reliability in a mate tends to be valued more than sexiness/survivability.

By the way, I ran this past our daughter who is soon to receive her degree in evolutionary biology and ecology from UCLA. She gave me her seal of approval on the thoughts I have expressed above.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Just to be contrary - -- Darby, 14:55:00 05/10/02 Fri

It's difficult to pick a mate from the crop of those who have NOT survived...Sorry, it's just that surviving is not really part of the "choice" aspects.

And the "bad boy, rules breaker" thing, if we're going to get sociobiological, should NOT be an attractive stereotype in a species where, until a tick of the evolutionary clock ago, they were the ones who were booted from their support system and much less likely to survive. If you're looking for adaptive messages, maybe it's the "hey, baby, I can survive in spite of being on the outs," that might be at work here, but I doubt it. The message it presents should be much too new to be "biological." Cultural, maybe...

[> [> [> [> [> [> mate choice -- matching mole, 15:16:58 05/10/02 Fri

The evolution of mate choice in animals has been an area of enormous theoretical interest in evolutionary biology. Reasons for mate choice in non-human animals actually run the gamut of what you describe for humans. I'm not suggesting that humans have actually evolved all these different kinds of mate choice but rather I'm pointing out that mate choice in animals is a lot more complicated than just picking a partner with good genes.

I will describe each of these from the perspective of females choosing males as mates as that is the most typical scenario but of course all kinds of exceptions are found as well.

1) Material benefits. This is the most straightforward reason for choosing a mate - which no biologist will disagree with. A female chooses a mate not because of any genetic quality but because the mate can provide her with resources tha increase the probability of her surviving and producing offspring. These could include food, territory, and help with caring the offspring. Interestingly in some species such as long-lived sea birds it isn't just the quality or quantity of care that each mate provides to their offspring but also the compatibility of the two mates. Some birds work well together and others don't.

2) Good genes - In other words choosing mates that are genetically superior with the idea of passing these traits onto their offspring. This actually has been highly controversial and was rejected by many evolutionary biologists for quite some time on technical grounds. Not just for humans but for other organisms as well. More recent theoretical and empirical work suggests that choosing based on genetics can work but it remains unclear how important it is. Choosing based on genetics doesn't necessarily mean an absolute quality scale. Some mate choice appears to be based on choosing mates that are genetically different from you to avoid the affects of inbreeding. For example my wife has done experiments in guppies that have shown that female guppies tend to prefer to mate with males that have color patterns different from males the females were exposed to earlier in life. In the wild differently colored males are likely to have come from further away and are less likely to be related to the female.

3) Arbitrary Choice - Choice of mates can be made in an arbitrary manner with respect to evolutionary fitness. There is a rather complicated model based on positive feedback between males and females that indicates that females can evolve a strong preference for a male trait even though there is no advantage to the trait to either females or males other than the fact that males with the trait get more mates. Also there is some evidence that males can evolve a trait in response to a female behavior or sensory bias that may exist for a completely different reason. Again in guppies, females appear to be attracted to the color orange. This may (repeat may) be due to their fondness for an orange fruit that falls into streams. Male guppies often have a lot of orange coloration.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: mate choice -- Ishkabibble, 15:42:10 05/10/02 Fri

Thank heavens for #1 and #3:) If #2 were the only criteria upon which humans chose a mate (as suggested by Copper), an awful lot of us would remain single and childless:(

[> [> Hey no snake bashing! -- matching mole, 11:59:25 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> Nothing wrong with coral snakes, especially if you're one too ;-) -- Solitude1056, 22:34:22 05/10/02 Fri

[> Re: What's so attractive about Spike? (spoilers) - - J, 11:34:12 05/10/02 Fri

I'm sorry, but I think this is plain silly. Even if biological impulses dictate behavior in real life (a big if, even if you don't seem to think so), why should they do so in a work of fiction?

The problem with your argument is its massive reductionism. I'm a man, and I like the Spike / Buffy pairing, sterility or no. I like it because of the chemistry between Masters and Gellar, I like it because it's dramatically interesting, I like it because I believe that the tension in their relationship is far more realistic than most "doomed" romances in fiction. I don't think that this has anything to do with sociobiology, and I challenge you to show me how it does.

The schism over "the scene", as far as I can tell, is centered around the question of whether Spike can be forgiven for attempting to rape Buffy. Some people have argued that because Spike didn't intend to rape her, that he's forgiveable (I personally believe that his motives in the scene are not dispositive of the question of whether he's redeemable or not--good people do bad things with good motives but for bad reasons, and bad people do good things with bad motives. Shades of gray dominate all human interaction, and while there are actions and even people that are clearly evil, even Hitler probably did a nice thing or two in his lifetime), you're the first I've seen to argue that he's unforgiveable because he's sterile. Doesn't seem like a winner to me.

[> [> Re: What's so attractive about Spike? (spoilers) - - Copper, 12:32:24 05/10/02 Fri

Whew!!! Boy did you miss the point!

I never said what Spike did was unforgiveable. I think it was forgiveable.

What I said is that the relationship is doomed not because of any actions on his part, but because he cannot give Buffy what she really wants/needs from him (whether she consciously realizes it or not): a baby.

Yes, it is a story, but stories have to be based in reality if they are going to resonate with the audience. The reason the Spike/Buffy pairing creates so much interest/turmoil is because it does clash with what society thinks is good/right. Society likes to ignore/pretend that biology doesn't matter; that only culture does. But biology affects everything we do and think, whether we want to accept that or not.

[> [> [> Eeew! (spoilers for Angel season 3) -- J, 12:59:29 05/10/02 Fri

So all women are motivated by a deep-seated unconscious desire to have babies? Even a fictional one, who has not once over six years expressed the desire to have children, who was created by a man and who is written by a a group of both men and women? Sorry, don't buy it. While this might be true on the very macro species-wide level, that doesn't mean it's true in any individual case. And there's certainly no reason, textual or otherwise, to believe that it's true of Buffy.

Moreover, by that rationale, any human-vampire relationship is out the window. You're essentially making a variation on the same argument made by first the Mayor and then Angel in Season 3 (albeit with a major biological twist), I didn't buy it then, and I don't buy it now. Heck, even Joss doesn't buy it, given the signs that Angel and Cordy may hook up by the end of the season on Angel.

And by the way, I didn't miss the point--I was merely taking your argument to what I believed was its next logical extension. I suppose I did that poorly--sorry 'bout that.

[> [> [> [> Re: Hmm... (Riley spoilers) -- Copper, 13:21:14 05/10/02 Fri

Naturally, there is individual variation; without it, adaptation to changing conditions would be impossible.

All organisms, male and female, have a drive to reproduce. We sublimate it in our culture to a desire to mate.

A male's reproductive goal is to impregnate as many females as possible. I think this, more than anything, is why many men resist using condoms.

A female's goal is to select a male with the best genes to impregnate her. She must be pickier because reproduction requires more of her.

In some ways, Riley was a good match for Buffy: he is attractive, intelligent, and relatively strong. However, he also follows society's rules. When he broke from the Initiative, he began to fall apart. It wasn't until he rejoined the military that he evidently became confident again (AYW). Riley is not sexy enough for Buffy who needs someone who can break the rules confidently and survive.

If Spike were fertile, he and Buffy would be a great match, although it most certainly would not be happily ever after with picket fences. Buffy, as with most women, wants it all. Won't happen, at least not for Buffy.

[> [> [> [> [> Misreadings -- J, 13:58:59 05/10/02 Fri

You know, I'm as big a fan of theoretical readings of cultural products as the next Buffy fan, but they only work if there's some basis in the text. You're taking a theoretical perspective, stating it as an inflexible rule and applying it to a specific fictional case. While there may be some justification for the first logical step, there isn't for the remaining two, and there's simply no textual justification for the argument you're making. Moreover, you're making it in a fairly cavalier way, slinging around unrelated generalizations that are totally unfounded--for example, your explanation "why many men resist using condoms". Hmm . . . does that reasoning apply to gay men who have unprotected sex as well? Of course not, because there's a clear difference between the reproductive instinct and the mating urge! But you've conflated the two to make your argument work, and then gone on to apply that faulty premise to a fiction, for heaven's sake!

I'm getting pretty far offtopic here, but my point is this: if you're going to present a (rather grandiose) unified field theory of why Buffy and Spike's relationship is doomed (the "real reason," as you stated in your post), you really ought to be able to support it better than you have with references to the text of the show. However, I don't believe you can, because I don't think those references exist.

[> [> [> An argument could be made... -- LeeAnn, 14:07:14 05/10/02 Fri

An argument could be made that by hurting Buffy, by being willing to hurt her, that Spike proved that he was less fit. Survival being so precarious during most of our evolution, a male who is willing to hurt a female, who does not stop when she begs and cries, has largely proved himself less fit than a less healthy male with fewer survival skills. One of a male's functions is to protect his mate and his offspring. By hurting his prospective mate Spike proved that he was "less safe" and therefore less fit than an uglier man. If this was 100,000 BC and Spike and Buffy were ordinary mortals Buffy might have died from his rough attention. If they were already mates their offspring might also have died if their mother was injured and less able to feed and care for them. If she was pregant she might have aborted and died.

Raping and hurting a female proves a male is less fit, almost by definition. In fact rape may be the only way a less fit male can get his genes into the next generation. It would be adaptive for a female to resist rape if at all possible lest she be saddled with carrrying and caring for the offspring of an unfit male.

[> [> [> [> "less fit than an uglier man.": I'm sorry LeeAnn, but HUH? -- Adio, 14:33:11 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Re: "less fit than an uglier man." -- LeeAnn, 15:34:49 05/10/02 Fri

Fitness is measured by survival and reproduction. The more offspring an individual produces and the more that survive to reproduce themselves, the more fit the individual was.

Beauty is an indicator for health and therefore survivability. An individual who is healthy and well nourished is generally perceived as more attractive than an individual who is not. There are many factors that go into what we call beauty but health is a necessary ingredient. A clear skin, regular features, glossy hair, etc are all indicators of health and generally are thought to be necessary for beauty.

Beyond health there is...handicapping. An individual who has an arresting but disadvantageous trait but who still survives and prevails may be considered MORE beautiful than an individual without such a trait. The most obvious example is the peacock. Males are more or less handicapped by their huge tails. It takes a lot of energy for a peacock to grow such a tail. It's more than twice as long as the bird. It makes a male more likely to be noticed and attacked by a predator. So a male with a huge, beautiful tail is almost a supermale. He was able to keep himself well nourished enough to grow it and clever and fast enough to avoid predators and survive while carrying it around. A male that survives with such a handicap proves his fitness. A female responds to such a male not just because the tail is visually attractive but because the male carrying it has proven he is fit.

Similarly the thrill seeking, show off bad boy, if he survives, proves he is more fit than a male takes no risks.

But a male that endangers a female, that injures her, proves he is unfit and a female would be wiser to choose a male who will not injure her even if he is less healthy and therefore less beautiful. To put it at its most basic, better a someone who looks like Jonathan but who is never violent toward a female than someone who looks like Spike and who is. A male who is violent toward his mate will almost always leave fewer living offspring than one who is protective and not violent.

[> Spike and Snakes -- DickBD, 12:31:19 05/10/02 Fri

Although I am squarely in the camp of sociobiology, I don't think Spike's being sterile is what is dooming the relationship. Any relationship for Buffy is doomed because it is boring when she is in one--if it stays permanent. But the relationships that have been most interesting, I think, were Buffy and Angel and Buffy and Spike. The series would have been less than it is if all the demons were evil. But they aren't. (And I suspect that is a metaphor for people, too, as you don't explain human behavior by declaring some people good and other people evil.)

But there is certainly a definite charm to the Spike character. It is probably part writing and part acting. I talked a young lady at my gym into trying Buffy. She started watching on FX at the episode of the Indian spirit. I (blush!) don't remember the name. The first thing I heard from her was, "I can't help liking the Spike character." I told her to join the crowd. And, remember, in that episode he still pretty evil and laughs at the Scoobies for fretting about the Indians at Thanksgiving.

[> Beyond skeptical - dubious -- matching mole, 12:32:47 05/10/02 Fri

First as J has already pointed out Spike and Buffy are fictional characters whose actions are not driven by any biological imperative but rather by the writers.

Second, in my opinion, you are expressing way too much confidence in the theories of sociobiology/evolutionary psychology. These interpretations of human behviour are rooted in the beginnings of the field of biology known as behavioural ecology in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During this early period there was a great enthusiasm for generating adaptive explanations for the evolution of behavior in humans and in other animals. A lot of explanations were created for observed patterns of beahvior and were accepted largely because they seemed reasonable, they matched the logic of natural selection.

This approach was strongly criticized by some evolutionary biologists in other fields of work as adaptive story-telling or just so stories (i.e. the story fits in with what we know - therefore it's true). Since that time there has been an increased emphasis on detailed tests of the adaptive significance of various kinds of animal behviour. Sometimes these tests support earlier theories sometimes they don't. Almost invariably they reveal that the situation is more complicated than originally presented. This is a text book model of how science develops.

Humans present a problem because the possiblities for experimentation are greatly reduced relative to most other organisms. It is simply not possible to do the sort of manipulative work on our species that we can do on birds or insects or fish. Also cultural evolution is a much larger factor in humans than in other organisms and is likely to complicate the interpretation of whatever data you collect.

I'm not dismissing evolutionary explanations for human behaviour. Far from it. But my experience (which is admittedly not enormous) with a lot of the human sociobiology/evolutionary psychology literature is that they tend to over interpret what they find. There are interesting patterns out there in the world but studying them is very difficult (I can speak from personal experience that it is very difficult in lizards and insects which are a lot more tractable than humans) and I think the tendency has been for people studying humans to remain in the adaptive storytelling phase.

[> [> Well said. -- Sophist, 12:39:01 05/10/02 Fri

Thank God we don't have to re-fight the sociobiology wars here!

[> [> Skepticism is the life blood of science. -- DickBD, 12:48:17 05/10/02 Fri

I agree that too much has been made of trying to interpret human behavior via inheritance without taking into account confounding factors. But it was way too much the other way before. And there have been legitimate experiments to demonstrate that certain behaviors are inherited in humans. And the general trend in science has been toward humans not being so much different from other animals--even though it is always controversial to say such a thing.

[> [> Re: Reply to both MM and Sophist -- Copper, 12:50:20 05/10/02 Fri

As it happens, I am an evolutionary biologist with a PhD in the field.

Although I agree with much that SJ Gould has written, I also disagree with him. Oddly enough, he accepts as true the biggest Just So story there is: Mt Eve and the relatively recent appearance of modern humans.

I suggest reading Daniel Dennett for a clear exposition of why Gould is mistaken in his methodology.

By the way, I find vigorous discussions to be quite enjoyable.

[> [> [> Re: Reply to both MM and Sophist -- Sophist, 13:46:44 05/10/02 Fri

I'm not an evolutionary biologist, just a lawyer. I have, though, followed the sociobiology wars and the debate over evolutionary psychology with great interest and have read probably 50 books on these subjects.

I'm a little surprised at your praise of Dennett's book (I assume you're referring to Darwin's Dangerous Idea). I read it when first published, but found it among the least persuasive on either side. Didn't much care for the tone of it either; of course, that applies to lots written on the other side as well. I get way too much of that in my own profession, not surprisingly.

Anyway, mm expressed very well my informed, but decidedly non-expert, view of the issue. Darby's post below is also well-phrased. DickBD said it cautiously and fairly; can't disagree there either.

[> [> [> [> Daniel Dennett -- d'Herblay, 16:44:43 05/10/02 Fri

I did manage to slog through Darwin's Dangerous Idea (I haven't gotten the Gould yet . . . at my current rate, the only way I would get through that would be were Gould to post it here seriatim, with thread titles like "What happens if a vampire were to turn a werewolf?" and "Who played the music that Buffy did her sexy dance with Xander to?). It was half invigorating, half soporific, and too much a rehash of The Blind Watchmaker. But Dennett lost all credibility with me in one footnote. In rebutting Gould's criticisms of reductionist adaptationism, Dennett quotes from Ever Since Darwin a passage that endorses an instance of adaptionist thinking, then follows it up:
Gould has recently (1993a, p. 318) described his antiadaptationism as the "zeal of the convert," and elsewhere (1991b, p. 13) confesses, "I sometimes wish that all copies of Ever Since Darwin would self-destruct," so perhaps he would recant these words today, which would be a pity, since they eloquently express the rationale of adaptionism.1
" Wow," I thought to myself, "I can't believe Gould would repudiate the thinking in his early columns so completely and forcefully. '1991b' -- that's Bully for Brontosaurus; I have that right across the room." So I crossed the room and checked the original text. This is what I found:
Against a potential charge of redundancy, may I advance the immodest assertion that this volume is the best of the five. I think that I have become a better writer by monthly practice (I sometimes wish that all copies of Ever Since Darwin would self-destruct), and I have given myself more latitude of selection and choice in this volume.2
S o, what was in fact an admission of embarassment at the poor writing of his younger days is portrayed by Dennett as the historical revisionism of a zealot. This sort of selective quoting is what I consider dirty intellectual pool.

On the other hand, he's no Robert Wright.

1. Dennett, Daniel C., Darwin's Dangerous Idea, 1995, p. 246n.
2. Gould, Stephen Jay, Bully for Brontosaurus, 1991, p. 13-4.

[> [> [> [> [> Bull's eye, dH. -- Sophist, 17:34:36 05/10/02 Fri

I agree on every point.

[> [> [> [> Re: Reply to both MM and Sophist -- Rufus, 02:32:55 05/11/02 Sat

I'm not an evolutionary biologist, just a lawyer.

Now you made me giggle.....;)

[> [> There's also the problem -- Darby, 12:54:07 05/10/02 Fri

...of applying generalized theories of behavior to individual people or characters. The idea that all women base their pairing decisions on fertility issues is silly - I'm not sure I'd even draw that absolute on flatworms. And the old saw that we know someone's "unconscious" motivations based upon vague notions of what is suitable for our species is a reflection of a definite human attribute - arrogance. I don't deny that there are biological aspects to behavior, but even the notion of "biological imperatives" doesn't really apply to individual organisms, who given the most controlled situations, according to the old proverb (and I'm sure mole will support me on this from experience), do whatever the hell they please.

[> [> [> Re: There's also the problem -- Copper, 13:05:14 05/10/02 Fri

I suppose it is easier for someone of my age and experience who also looks at life with a scientific eye to see the commonalities underlying human behavior.

The motivations we consciously give to our behaviors may or may not be what is in actuality motivating those behaviors. Distance in age, experience, and geography often brings clarity and a better understanding of what our motivations truly were.

Perhaps the distance Spike puts between himself and Buffy will bring him more clarity.

[> [> [> [> Re: There's also the problem -- Darby, 13:46:45 05/10/02 Fri

I tend to remember my "scientific eye" at that age to be the attitude that "life has rules, and boundaries, and an end- zone." There's a need to apply structure to a fairly unstructured mess, to apply "commonalities" when common sense better serves, to filter way too much through way too narrow a prism. It's still the age range where the subordinate males are working their way up through the social levels, when they must be acutely aware of their position and what might be driving all those around them, and the best way to do that on limited experience is to extract and apply rules at every turn.

Man, that came out way too negative and focused. Keep in mind that I'm speaking in generalities here - I wouldn't presume to apply them directly to an individual.

Jeez, that didn't help, did it? Somehow this is bringing the snide out in me. Can I blame Friday afternoon at the end of a semester?

[> [> [> [> [> What she said! -- Valhalla, 20:32:07 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> Exactly -- dream of the consortium, 13:22:17 05/10/02 Fri

There are so many exceptions - and so many ways of making the theory fit the facts that it all becomes hopelessly meaningless. There are as many ways of using biology to explain things as there are ways of using the Bible. Sure, the exceptions can be explained away - the gay penguin couple at that zoo, for example? Must be some sort of explanation - some non-reproducing couples keep the population down? Or what about me, a perfectly health and relatively normal woman in her early thirties with no desire to have a child. None. Can I make sure you understand - this overpowering biological urge does not seem to affect me in the slightest? Do I date good father material anyway, revealing the hidden biological desires beneath my "constructed" ideas about wanting children? Well, I tend to be attracted to older men, who are less likely to want children and probably have a lower sperm count, and most of them tend to be artists and other financially unstable types, so I guess not. But the men I date tend to be healthy physically - haven't dated anyone with a really serious disease yet - so maybe I do want a healthy sperm donor! Or maybe the whole attempt to fit the behavior of human beings into theories of biological behavior is just pointless.

Sorry, my tone is a little harsher than I normally would use, but as a woman who intends not to have children and is constantly being asked when she will, I tend to take issue with people who assume that women want, more than anything else, a baby - even if that assumption is cloaked in the mantle of science.

[> [> [> [> Good for you! -- DickBD, 14:19:47 05/10/02 Fri

As someone who is very concerned about the overpopulation of Homo sapiens and what it is doing to the rest of the life on the planet (and, eventually, to us), let me applaud your brave childlessness. Beware the biological roots, though. I didn't intend to have any either, and I produced three! (Uh, at least, I think I did!)

[> [> [> [> yes, you're not a sociobiological entity, you're a person -- lulabel, 18:00:48 05/10/02 Fri

Very well stated, and a very concrete way of exemplifying the inappropriateness of using theories which model group behaviour to the individual.

Any sort of social theory is going to be based on models - statistical models which attempts to make predictions on how a group of events will unfold or a group of individuals/entities will behave. Statistical models are developed by looking at a LARGE NUMBER of "samples". Taking those models and going backwards to examine an individual "sample" can at best give you probabilities or likelihoods. As in, "this woman "A" is 70% likely to be hearing the biological clock ticking". That sure as heck doesn't tell you anything concrete about what woman "A" is actually about.

[> [> [> Reply (largely) to Copper -- matching mole, 13:29:48 05/10/02 Fri

Because I'm too lazy to go back up to the previous message.

First it's good to see yet another professional biologist on the board. There seems to be quite an army of others interested in evolution (in particular) as well. Kind of unexpected seeing as one of my motivations in hanging out on this board is to interact with people other than biologists.

Second - my apologies if anything in my reply sounded condescending. When I expound on biology on the board (more often than I ever expected too again) I assume I'm talking to everyone out there.

Third - I'm actually pretty middle of the road re adaptive explanations of human behaviour but am generally pretty cautious about interpretation as part of my own individual nature. My own background started out in behavioural ecology and sort of gravitated towards evolutionary genetics (although I would always have defined myself as a behavioural ecologist). My skepticism, such as it is, is not based on Gould but rather on the population geneticists around me during the latter stages of my graduate education. I consider myself somewhat more open minded than they are but still very dubious about claims that are not phrased pretty cautiously.

Fourth - which is really off topic and unimportant. I am not a big fan of Gould at all. He's a very good writer but in my opinion is often inclined to make way to much out of not much of anything often for his own benefit. I'm looking forward to Sophist's review of the new mega-tome if he ever, heroically, manages to finish it.

Fifth - I can indeed verify Darby's claim that individual organisms will behave in completely unexpected and apparently inexplicable ways - just like characters on BtVS.

[> [> [> [> Page 725. It's all downhill to 1343 from here!! -- Sophist, 13:50:43 05/10/02 Fri

Though how the hell I'm going to review a book in which 1 chapter covers 279 pages is beyond me right now.

[> [> [> [> Re: Reply mostly to MM and Dream -- Copper, 13:54:24 05/10/02 Fri

As I said in another post today, there are, of course, individual variations. But the fact is that if a particular individual does not reproduce, that individual's genes will not be passed on to future generations and whatever behaviors led to the decision to not reproduce are selected against.

Based on a comparison with bonobo chimpanzees, I would say that humans are meant to be bi-sexual, with a continuum of behavior under that broad generalization (some more or less bi than others), but that society and culture condition us to behave in more limited ways. For instance, Willow is bi- sexual, but as soon as she began a relationship with Tara, that identification was no longer permissable. She (and everyone else) could now only see her as lesbian.

Also, behaviors at one age are not those that will occur at another age. How a women in her late teens and early 20s behaves differs from how she will behave in her 30s, etc.

I do not think that all men and women should reproduce: we have way too many people in the world as it is. But I do think that unconscious reproductive motivations affect us more than we may choose to think they do. They affect politics (see Bill Clinton), they affect the very structure and organization of society.

I've enjoyed "chatting" with you all today, but now I must get back to work.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Reply mostly to MM and Dream -- redcat, 15:59:58 05/10/02 Fri

You write that any non-reproducing individual's "genes will not be passed on to future generations and whatever behaviors led to the decision to not reproduce are selected against."

Well, actually, like Anya once said, "that is not exactly true." A fairly large part of a non-reproducing human's genes may indeed be passed on if one of their siblings, or better yet several of their siblings, have children.

In strictly statistical terms, my neice had a very good chance of getting some of "my" genes through my brother, although less of a chance than a child of mine would have. This is because both my brother and I got 50% of our genes from each of our (shared) mother and father, and it is clear that we both got at least a very large proportion of the same stuff. His children then had a 50% chance of getting any one of those genes that he and I both carry. This is no doubt why my neice looks exactly like I did at her age, why her body moves the same way mine does (but not like either her mother or father), etc.

Luckily for us, neither my neice nor I had to inherit our parents jeans, however....

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Reply mostly to MM and Dream -- parakeet, 00:38:47 05/11/02 Sat

There is also the matter of non-gene influence. One's genes may not pass to the next generation, but one's ideas, attitude, personality, art, etc. might very well do so. Surely, this also affects us psychologically? A childless spinster might actually have more affect on the young people around her than a woman with ten children (not to say that the reproductive woman might not have the same level of non- reproductive influence). Basically, while genes are, of course, important, we are complicated beings and might owe just as much (if not more) of what we are to the books we've read, movies we've seen, conversations we've had, and art we've seen. We must know this on the same unconscious level that we supposedly obsess over biology.
This doesn't negate Copper's argument (though I do disagree with it) but seemed relevant.
BTW, there was an article in, I think, the Atlantic Monthly (not my favorite publication, usually), not too long ago dealing with geneology. It pointed out that statistically we share most of the same ancestors. Sorry, I don't seem to remember too many details, so it's probably foolish to bring it up.

[> [> Yeah. What, uh, mm said. ;-) -- Solitude1056, 22:38:30 05/10/02 Fri

[> Yep. -- LeeAnn, 13:47:49 05/10/02 Fri

Angel managed to have a baby. So there's hope for Spike.

But you make some very good points about the survival skills of bad boys if civilization fails.

I think in evolutionary terms, if a woman links up with a beautiful bad boy and he proves sterile, she's apt to become dissatisfied and start looking around in a few years, even if she's not sure why. But the attraction of rock stars and movie stars is in their genes, even if a girl doesn't realize it. She knows, intellectually, that she's not apt to end up in a permenent relationship with one of them. But the best they have to offer is their genes, even if there's only a one night stand to get them. Thus groupies are motivated by their DNA, without knowing it. And rock stars too, are motivated to put on courtship displays, without knowing it either.

[> Brilliant!! I had not thought about that- -- Spike Lover, 14:26:45 05/10/02 Fri

Ironically, I thought close to those lines regarding her relationship w/ Angel. She could not have a meaningful, celibate relationship with him. She thought she could.

But this begs the question - if that were the case, why wasn't she happy w/ Xander, or Riley, or Parker even?

[> Response to the posters. -- Copper, 01:24:09 05/11/02 Sat

Thanks to all those who posted below. I think this was a stimulating discussion.

Yes, there are multiple reasons for mating.

Yes, this is a TV show, but donıt we spend hours on this site discussing characters and events as if they were real or had something real to say to us?

Yes, culture plays a role in mating decisions.

Yes, some of your genes will get into the next generation if your full sibs have children, but only half of what would be the case if you had children yourself.

Yes, Dennett is tough to read and I donıt agree with everything he writes. My major point from DDI related to his discussion of Gould as operating from a Skyhooks perspective (suddenly, for no apparent reason, there was/is change) rather than a Crane perspective (change is a result of adapting to alterations in the environment broadly defined which gradually build up over time). Gould has also made unfounded accusations (about other researchers; I am not sure about Dennett) more egregious than the one that was pointed out in one of the posts. It happens.

Yes, no woman should be in a long-term relationship with a dangerous man. However, obtaining sperm from such a man could be worth it if she can raise the child without him. Researchers have shown that even in presumably monogamous species (which humans are not) the male in a pair is not necessarily the father. The best genes and the best father to raise the resulting offspring are not necessarily found in the same individual. Researchers have also shown that women tend to commit adultery when they are ovulating, even when they are unaware that they are ovulating, which is the case for most women. Furthermore, researchers have shown that men who have been apart from their mate for some days ejaculate significantly more sperm when they return and have sex with their mate than they normally would. This may well be due to unconscious fears that another man may have had access to the woman, so extra sperm are ejaculated to provide competition to any sperm already in the woman. Chimpanzee males ejaculate huge quantities of sperm because any male can potentially mate with any ovulating female; therefore, sperm competition is a given.

Yes, we are intelligent and consciously make decisions about our lives that are in conflict with what makes sense evolutionarily. Because we are adapted for something does not mean we have no free will. However, this does not negate the fact that we are first and foremost animals, in particular, primates, and that our behaviors have evolved over millions of years. Culture as we know it is quite recent. This does not mean we are ruled by instinct, but it does mean that all human groups, however different their cultures may be, share common behaviors. And a large number of these behaviors are also shared with our nearest relatives, the chimpanzees. Observing chimps at zoos and reading Frans De Waalıs books can be quite enlightening.

So, can the writers give Buffy the type of man she needs? Is happily ever after possible for her? I think not.

[> [> Desperately seeking Buffy -- Sophist, 11:17:58 05/11/02 Sat

I said above that I consider this subject to be too OT even for this Board. Coming from the guy who debated the Civil War here, I guess thatıs quite a statement. Iım trying (really, Masq, I am) to keep the threads Buffy-focused, so Iım not going to respond on the merits of evolutionary theory.

What I am going to do is talk about what constitutes fair argument, using Dennett, and your reference to him, to make my points. My intent here is not to debate him per se, but to provide general examples that may apply to all the posts here.

The first obligation in a discussion is to state the other sideıs point fairly and accurately. Dennettıs discussion of skyhooks and cranes (and my god could he have used a lousier trope?) attacks a caricature. It may very well be that Gould has made sloppy statements which can be criticized like this, but so what? That doesnıt prove anything, because it doesnıt reach the heart of the issue.

A second obligation is to focus on the substance of an argument rather than the terms. Dennettıs ³refutation² of Gouldıs Spandrelıs paper contained pages and pages of argument about the correct use of architectural terms. This had nothing to do with the substance of Gouldıs argument.

A third obligation is to use specific examples instead of general ³he did it too² statements. For example, dHıs post above gave a very specific example, complete with page citations, where Dennett misrepresented what Gould had said. Your response was that Gould had done similar things. Ok, when? Where? To whom? How would such unfairness affect the validity of any of Gould's points? The only way we can evaluate an argument is by confirming the logic and the specific factual content. The details are what give an argument content.

A fourth obligation is to cite good authority. There certainly are times when we canıt ourselves evaluate a technical point. The citation to authority is fair (up to a point), but the authority must be real. Dennett is not a biologist, heıs a philosopher. To the best of my knowledge, he had no background in evolutionary theory before his book and has none since. Gould, in contrast, is an authority. He has technical expertise in paleontology and evolutionary theory. If my only choice is to take Dennettıs word or Gouldıs, Gould wins by default. If itıs to be a battle of authority (and it never should be), then at least cite me to George Williams or Richard Dawkins or E.O. Wilson.

I know this post is going to get me in trouble. Every time I say something from now on, Iım going to be held to this. So be it ­ Mal, feel free to copy this and cite it against me.

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