May 2002 posts

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What's William's full name? -- Ishkabibble, 22:00:52 05/22/02 Wed

I was on a ladder painting the trim on our house and started daydreaming about Buffy. One thought lead to another and I started wondering what would happen if Spike became human. What would his name be? Then all kinds of names started flooding my mind. What if William’s last name was Masterson….get it? Master’s-son? That brought me to thinking about his middle name. What if it was Arthur or Andrew or any name starting with an A? His initials would be WAM. If he and Buffy married, her initials would be BAM.

WAM, BAM, thank you...well, you get the idea.

Ok, so this is little lame, but it’s going to be a long time until new episodes air in October. Who has any better suggestions for his full name?

[> Re: What's William's full name? -- O'Cailleagh, 22:30:58 05/22/02 Wed

I always liked William The Bloody...because it makes me think of Winnie The Pooh. And if this were followed through we'd get Xander as Tigger, Buffy and Dawn as Kanga and Roo, Giles as Owl, Willow as Eeyore (being all mope-y now), and Anya as Rabbit.....anymore parallels between Sunnydale and 100 Aker Wood?

[> [> Re: What's William's full name? -- West, 01:42:22 05/23/02 Thu

I would have to sub Willow as Piglet and make Angel Eeyore. Or Jonathan as Piglet! Well, the old Jon, at least.

And Christopher Robin as the PtB. ;P

[> [> [> I'd forgotten Piglet! And I suppose Angel does have the broodiness.... -- O'Cailleagh, 07:42:42 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> Anya REALLY wouldn't like being Rabbit! -- dream of the consortium, 12:51:10 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> [> I think that was the point -- skeeve, 08:35:08 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> was a joke I made up.... -- O'Cailleagh, 14:31:55 05/24/02 Fri

[> And what about Liam? -- A.C.S., 08:38:45 05/23/02 Thu

Angel's pre-vamp name was "Liam." But "Liam" is just an Irish nickname for "William," like "Will" or "Bill." So both Angel and Spike were Williams.

[> [> I wonder if that was intentional? -- vh, 06:36:54 05/24/02 Fri

[> I hope he stays Spike! -- DickBD, 14:05:34 05/23/02 Thu

To me, Spike is perhaps the most interesting character on the show, if not the most likable. (The most likable characters are Buffy, Xander, and Willow, of course, and I really like Anya, too. But Spike dominates almost any scene IMHO.) It would sure ruin it to have him made completely human again. I'm hoping he will still be a vampire, just as ticked about his soul as he was about his chip. Anyway, I hope he will still be known as Spike, with his real name only occasionally made reference to, as Buffy did when she tried to soften the blow in ending their relationship.

Spike's Dilemma.*(spoiler)* -- Rocky Raccoon, 22:15:07 05/22/02 Wed

Introduction- Heya! My name's Evan and I'm sixteen, and new to the board, but know enough about Buffy to last a lifetime, so don't worry, I know what I'm talking about.....Most of the time...heh heh

Anyways, I know that this has been touched on before, but I thought about it and Spike HAD to have known what the demon would do to him. When he said, "Give that b**** what she deserves", what else could he have been talking about? He already could hurt Buffy, in fact he could "give her what she deserves", for eternity!

This whole season, the main insult that Xander was able to lord over him was that he was just a "Thing". When Dawn found out about Buffy and Spike, she said that Buffy went out with Angel, and Buffy said that that was different because HE had a SOUL.

To Spike, the only thing that Buffy deserves is a good man, with a soul. He loves it when she ever even gave a hint that he was more than just a vampire. "I know you think I'm a monster, but you make me feel like a man"- (The Gift). Do you think that it was just coincidence that he left after looking at the pain he caused after his attempted rape? No, it wasn't. He was looking for change, no matter what, and I think he found it.

P.S. The whole Scarab-eating-the-chip-thingy seems pretty far-fetched, however, I DO think that the scarabs symbolized his "Rebirth" into humanity. Well, thanks!


[> Welcome ~ like your screen name! -- Tillow, 06:03:10 05/23/02 Thu

Good points. He did already have the ability to hurt HER specifically. But the question is, did he want to become the Big Bad, knowing that having to kill him would hurt her? If he just went after her, she wouldn't kill him. She's proven that again and again. But her friends? In essence, reenacting the Angel plot, knowing how much that hurt her before, would have been a way to truly hurt her. (on top of attempted rape)

I'm playing devil's advocate. I think it's entirely possible he knew what he was asking for. He was focussed on change and the chip conversation with the demon could have been thrown in to confuse us. (and give us something to debate all summer).

[> Re: Spike's Dilemma.*(spoiler)* -- Darius, 11:30:54 05/23/02 Thu

I got to disagree.

Spike wanted the chip removed. It's true that he was physically able to hurt Buffy... however, because of his feelings for her he was emotionally unable to do so. In "Seeing Red" we saw that Spike was convinced that his loving Buffy was unnatural and could only be a result of the chip. He wanted the chip removed, believing that doing so would reverse the "damage" done to him, removing his love for Buff and allowing him to be the bad guy that he felt he should be.

[> [> Re: Spike's Dilemma.*(spoiler)* -- Nicneven, 15:05:26 05/23/02 Thu

Hi! I've been lurking for months and love this group! I have watched Buffy from the beginning and think it is one of the best written and most well-thought out television shows ever.
I have followed the Buffy/Spike saga with interest and am dying to see where Joss and company are going with it. My son (AKA Rocky Raccoon) and I have had many discussions about it and do not always agree. But whether Spike knew he was going to get his soul back or not, I definitely do not think he went all the way to Africa to get the chip out. Maybe it's because I'm a nurse, but if I wanted to get a microchip out of my brain I would find the best neurosurgeon in the country and find a way to get him (or her) to remove it. What does an obscure and ancient demon know about delicate brain surgery? Adam is the only demon so far that has been tech-friendly and he was put together that way.
My personal feeling is that Spike got exactly what he asked for, even though it wasn't what he wanted. Which brings up the subject of what kind of demon can give a soul back? Surely only the TPTB are capable of actually returning a soul. In which case, how could Spike NOT know that?
Just a few of many delicious questions to ponder over the summer.

[> [> [> Re: Interesting point -- Valhalla, 21:50:09 05/23/02 Thu

I was just watching 'I Will Remember You' (Buffy crossover on Angel during season 1), and Doyle says he thought only TPTB could make someone human again. But then Angel had been made human when the blood of the Moray (sp?) demon touched him, because the demon's blood had regenerative powers.

On Buffy we saw that the gypsies could give Angel his soul. So probably the Africa demon could be an actual demon who had given Spike his soul back, without participation from TPTB. Unless TPTB are behind everything that happens. TPTB seems to mostly poke around in the affairs of 'lower beings', though, rather than writing out the fate of everyone beforehand. Of course, if you think ME = TPTB then they are literally behind everything. But that's stepping outside the storyline.... :)

Series Inconsistencies -- AgnosticSorcerer, 23:17:31 05/22/02 Wed

Can you think of any series inconsistencies? I could think of two off the top of my head and a possible third:

1. Spike claimed that Angelus was his sire, but last season we saw that it was Drusilla.

2. Willow and Anya accidentally released Olaf the Troll God from his magickal prison and this lead to the the troll breaking Xander's hand when he refused to choose which one of his women should die: Anya or Willow. Was Xander ever put in a cast? I know it takes more than week for a broken bone to heal.

3. Why didn't any of the Scoobies think to enjoin again to fight Glory as they did with Adam?

[> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- alcibiades, 23:53:47 05/22/02 Wed

"3. Why didn't any of the Scoobies think to enjoin again to fight Glory as they did with Adam?"

Cause it's not cool to work the same mojo in the finale two years in a row.

[> [> Plus the First Slayer tried to kill them in their dreams last time they tried it. -- Diana Michelle Murray, 03:55:40 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> [> Yeah, but Buffy made her go away. -- skeeve, 07:59:20 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- AgnosticSorcerer, 06:13:49 05/23/02 Thu

"Cause it's not cool to work the same mojo in the finale two years in a row."

-- Obviously, but it would have been nicer to have an in-the- show answer to that such as the one provided by the previous poster.

[> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- Kitt, 06:24:27 05/23/02 Thu

2. Willow and Anya accidentally released Olaf the Troll God from his magickal prison and this lead to the the troll breaking Xander's hand when he refused to choose which one of his women should die: Anya or Willow. Was Xander ever put in a cast? I know it takes more than week for a broken bone to heal.

Actually, if the bone was set surgically (pins and plates, stuff like that), Xander might only have had a splint for 2- 3 weeks... and if he's like a lot of patients, he might not even have worn it that long, weather the doctor told him to or not.

[> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- maddog, 07:12:32 05/23/02 Thu

We've discussed point 1 before and I'm not so sure that they don't consider everyone in their lineage of vampire bitings a sire.

As for question 2, Buffy, like other shows don't always go week to week. This week's show could be October while next week's could be December. There's only 22 episodes that have to cover a certain amount of time. So who knows how long it was between when Olaf beat up Xander and when the next episode happened?

As for 3, while I agree that makes sense you also have to remember that they needed a quiet place yet one near the slayer to do the enjoining thing. You weren't going to find that around the ritual site. Also, they payed a price for what they did at the end of season 4. The finale proved that. The dreams...the first may have just been that they didn't want to take that chance again.

[> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- Darby, 07:14:22 05/23/02 Thu

1. The ME people now claim that anyone in your vampire lineage can be referred to as a "sire," but JM in an interview has said that it was just decided that Dru was more interesting to use when they actually got around to telling that story. Remember, Spike at his introductory point was there temporarily, to set up Dru & Angel as the Big Bad.

2. Injury repercussions tend to follow the convenience of following storylines. I'm more concerned with how Anya's little witchy spell made Olaf a god. He is never called that in the Triangle script, except when Willow refers in an off-hand way to his "godly hammer," but it makes no sense for a) Anya the witch to be able to create a god, troll or no, or b) for it to be a punishment to be made into a god. Heck, people debase themselves all the time just to be on television for a few minutes!

3. I guess they decided that it went without saying that the spirit of the First Slayer was not something they wanted to tap into again, especially after Buffy's vision-quest encounter with her.

[> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- KKC, 07:18:01 05/23/02 Thu

Well, just to numerate the responses:

1. See where Whedon states that to be sired means also that you are descended from that vampire, and not necessarily directly made by that vampire. So since Angelus made Drusilla who made Spike, Angelus can be said to be Spike's sire.

2. Check out page one of the script for the episode immediately following Olaf's appearance at where Xander's hand is definitely said to be in a cast. Viewing of the episode shows the same.

3. This idea was proposed by Xander, in fact. See the shooting script at where these lines are spoken:

XANDER: Should we join essences and become superslayer again?

BUFFY: That worked against Frankenbot, but to kill a true god... I don't think it's enough. And I need you guys conscious ...

Be free in your suspension of disbelief. Or, spend all your time watching the Garry Shandling show instead. :)


[> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- A.C.S., 07:51:43 05/23/02 Thu

Olaf the Troll God is a self-contained inconsistency. Supposedly, it was his spurning of Anya that resulted her becoming a vengeance demon and Olaf was her first victim. So, then, how did he become a troll _god_?

[> [> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- Yellowork, 10:11:46 05/23/02 Thu

Forget all this pissing about! Why did Glory need to sacrifice Dawn and endanger the order of the whole universe just to open a portal that would allow her to leave the human world and go back to her Hell? What is especially odd is that the Angel Investigations team manage this with a little bit of magical jiggery pokey in episodes aired around the same time. Not to mention the portal in Anne, Belonging, and so on. None of these ever seemed to endanger the cosmic order just by existing: the one in Anne looked like it had been there for a while, too, and closed up of its own accord. I am never exactly sure WHAT the Hellmouth is, but I get the feeling it might have been useful here, too. Weird that it never gets a mention unless as a way to explain all the strangeness that goes down Sunnydale way. Perhaps Glory did not know that there was another way, but there are plenty of people who could have TOLD her - Doc springs to mind. I think part of the problem is a confusion between one draft in which Glory wanted the Key in her possession because of its various powers, which were never in the event specified, and a later version wherein it becomes merely a convenient way for her to leave the human world, threaten the universe with chaos and endanger Dawn. OK, Glory is mad as a hatter, and being a mad god, insecure about her own divinity, she might simply have PREFERRED a drama-queen type of ritual with seriously dangerous repurcussions, over something more banal. But they have to give some indication about it to get out of this one! Also, why did Buffy throwing herself into the portal close it? The KEY opened the portal, and it was due to CLOSE when the power of the key stopped flowing - in the form of Dawn's blood. As simply taking Dawn away from the site was not sufficient, the implication would seem to be that only when her human body was dead and drained would the portal close. The danger to the universe must occur during this critical period, it would seem (although again this is unclear), therefore the 'need' to close the portal BEFORE the time when Dawn's blood would have stopped flowing. Surely if it was somehow possible for Buffy to act as a surrogate for Dawn, she would still have had to have given her life in the same way - a ritual letting of blood? Of course, this would have taken just as long as if it had been Dawn's blood flowing, therefore leaving the universe in peril. So Buffy had to find another way - and she throws herself INTO the portal. Her body is lifeless when it reaches the ground, which suggests that she did not 'die' in the usual sense, with physical causes preceding metaphysical ones, but directly gave up her life force when she hit the portal, a metaphysical cause preceding a physical state of death. So Buffy's life force somehow became equivalent to Dawn's blood. OK, they are alike in that they both represent the 'elan vital' of a living being, but Dawn's blood originated as a non-human energy, neither dead nor alive. Buffy's did not: even if you want to raise the issue of her 'slayerness', Buffy is not kept alive by the power of the slayer, but by the same things which sustain all the other 'natural' creatures in the show, such as Xander, Joyce and Miss Kitty Fantastico. Could ANYONE have made this sacrifice in this way? Why did throwing herself INTO something called a 'portal' not result in her going, body and soul, into another world, like Angel in Belonging? Perhaps the portal is set up only to take the soul/essence, which would mean Glory intended her divine soul to go into the portal, leaving her, lifeless, human avatar Ben behind in the human world. Would have been nice to have been told! And if this is true, then it must have been the PORTAL which led to Buffy ending up in a 'heavenly' realm as hinted in the next season. Why didn't her soul / consciousness end up in Glory's hell dimension? Perhaps they refurbished. Or perhaps, Glory, being mad, set up the portal despite only having one world in a million's chance of getting 'home'; OK, our world did have her pretty freaked out by the end of Season Five, and it was not always clear what exactly her plan was until pretty late on in the season.

The fact that the whole universe - by which I take it the multiplicity of worlds - is under threat by the opening of a portal suggests this is not a portal, but more of an arbitrary crack, and that the Key is abit of a misnomer for something which is more like a hammer, smashing through the structure of time and space in a blind sort of fashion. This would make a kind of sense I suppose.

The metaphysics of Glory's "prison" is another problem. She is doubly trapped; one, in our world, and two, in our human nature. If she went through the 'crack' and got to her former home world, would she be freed from her human form too? Why did killing the body not release her in some 'divine' form, instead suggesting that she had really died, or at least dispersed. And what does 'death' mean to non- human beings like Glory who are pretty much all spirit anyhow? Perhaps, as in the Sandman comics, gods need worshippers to sustain them, and without them they weaken and die. So the idea was that instead of emerging after twenty or so years of Ben's life, Glory's individuality would have gradually melted away, sleeping inside Ben, who would be sustained by Glory's life force until he eventually died. Ben would then make sense as a way of keeping Glory away from anything which could resurrect her as a threat.

This raises the problem of Glory's minions. Are they of our world, or hers? Were they thrown out with her? If they were exiled, surely they were not sent here straight away, if they have the power to feed the god with their praises. Perhaps some powerful magician, say, Doc, discovered the situation and somehow managed to awaken Glory by magic. The minions were exiled separately, but somehow managed to find their way back to their God, whereupon Doc arranged things so that Glory would grow in strength, hoping for some sort of reward from the god in the fulness of time.

The process which 'created' Ben as a 'vessel' for Glory seems very similar to the one the monks used to make the Key into Dawn. Are the Monks the devotees of one of the other gods from the same triumvirate as Glory, and was it them who bound her originally? Was this going to be stated and later dropped? I presume placing Ben in the world meant going through a process of changing memories and objects, as with Dawn; although with time not of the essence, they could simply have created a human foetus and implanted it in the womb of a human woman trying to conceive, saving them the bother. How long has Ben / Glory 'happened' to live in Sunnydale, right on top of the Key (which she desires) but also the Slayer (one of the few mortals who poses any kind of a threat)? I presume the Monks begun their plan to make the Key into Dawn as soon as they found out that the Beast had begun to partially escape; but how long was their delay in discovering, and how much longer did it take to achieve their design?

[> [> [> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- A.C.S., 10:51:44 05/23/02 Thu

Umm ...


(The only one of these questions I can come close to answering is

> The KEY opened the portal, and it was due to CLOSE when
> the power of the key stopped flowing - in the form of
> Dawn's blood. ... So Buffy's life force somehow became
> equivalent to Dawn's blood. OK, they are alike in that
> they both represent the 'elan vital' of a living being,
> but Dawn's blood originated as a non-human energy,
> neither dead nor alive. Buffy's did not ... Could ANYONE
> have made this sacrifice in this way?

According to what I remember from that episode, the reason that Buffy could substitute for Dawn was that Dawn's physical manifestation was created somehow using the physical body of Buffy herself. Therefore, Dawn's blood, in a physical sense, was very closely related to Buffy's body.)

[> [> [> [> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- Yellowork, 11:03:06 05/24/02 Fri

Thanks, A.C.S.. I am not sure if that gets them out of it though! DAWN was created from Buffy's physical body in some way, and so if the ritual required DAWN, the person, then it would make sense that Buffy could act as a surrogate: it's a fair cop! But the ritual required the KEY energy, which existed before Dawn and had been moulded into human form using Buffy as a template. Dawn's external form, and I would guess her 'soul' are the product of the monks and their meddling, but the key inside her always remained in some way, allowing the ritual to occur at all. So Buffy is NOT linked to the KEY energy; the only person linked to this is Dawn herself. In other words, Dawn is connected to Buffy in one direction, and the Key in another, but the Key and Buffy are not directly connected. (Perhaps a Venn diagram might help ;-) ).

[> Re: Series Inconsistencies -- LittleBit, 10:06:30 05/23/02 Thu

Also the combining of the scoobies was accomplished by Giles, Xander and Willow. It was Willow's power that allowed them to be successful. Willow was spirit. Even if it could be argued that with the borrowed powers of the coven Giles could act as spirit who then would stand in his stead. I think the idea of joining together wasn't brought up because the key player in the risky spell was the one they would need to defeat.

[> Olaf not a god... -- Scroll, 14:22:50 05/23/02 Thu

I'm not sure which myth it is, possibly Norse, but there's a god whose strength lies in his hammer. Take away the hammer, and this god can be defeated. When Willow magicked away Olaf's hammer he lost some of his strength and Buffy could beat him up. So it stands to reason that maybe the hammer is what makes Olaf a 'god', just not a god like Glory (whose powers seem inherent).

[> [> Re: Olaf not a god... -- AgnosticSorcerer, 18:53:17 05/23/02 Thu

"I'm not sure which myth it is, possibly Norse, but there's a god whose strength lies in his hammer."

Thor, the Viking storm god of the Norse, with his magick hammer Mjollnir:

"'My third treasure,' said Brokk, 'is for you, Thor. This is the hammer Mjollnir. You can use it against anything, and use it with all your strength. Nothing can ever break it.' The Storm God eagerly grasped the hammer and listened. 'Even if you hurl it, you'll never lose it. No matter how far you fling it, it will always return to your hand.'"

"[...] Mjollnir was the most valuable because it alone could guard the gods against the giants."

Though Mjollnir was a very powerful weapon indeed there is no reason to suspect that Thor was powerless without his hammer:

"Thor, son of Odin and Earth, was second in the pantheon and it is clear from the terms in which he is described by the eddaic poets, Snorri Sturluson and the saga writers, and from the large numbers of place names embodying his name, that he was the most loved and respected of the gods. With his hammer Mjollnir, he kept the giants at bay and was physically strong enough to grapple with the world serpent, Jormungand."

Olaf seems to be indeed a Buffyverse conception of Thor as even without his hammer Buffy was strewn about like a twig by Olaf in "Triangles".

Even Anya, in "The Gift" refers to Olaf as a god:

"ANYA: When Buffy first met Glory, she found that magical ... (gestures) glowy sphere that was meant to repel Glory. We've got it in the basement. (everyone looks surprised) It might drive her away or hurt her. Ooh!

Anya hurries over to a display case, gestures like a game- show hostess.

ANYA: And *Olaf the troll god's* enchanted hammer.

We see the hammer (episode "Triangle") on a shelf.

ANYA: You wanna fight a god, *use the weapon of a god*."

**Mythological quotes from "The Norse Myths" by Kevin Crossley-Holland.

Season 7?? -- Donna, 07:25:19 05/23/02 Thu

Apologies if this has already been asked before, but is it true that Britney Spears has been signed for 6 episodes in the next season?

[> Get out! That's impossible. I've heard no such horror. -- Tillow, 07:28:12 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> Re: Brittany -- Brian, 07:31:54 05/23/02 Thu

Perhaps she'll appear as Buffy's evil clone!

[> [> Re: Get out! That's impossible. I've heard no such horror. -- Donna, 07:32:48 05/23/02 Thu

Thats what I was thinking! But it's in one of our daily papers over here in England.

[> [> [> Re: Get out! That's impossible. I've heard no such horror. -- maddog, 08:03:47 05/23/02 Thu

That's been rumored forever over here. It'll never happen.

[> [> [> The Daily Star? That's a paper. Not a 'News'Paper - - Rahael, 14:41:49 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> Speculation: Spike's new GF? -- LeeAnn, 10:51:03 05/23/02 Thu

Spike/Vamp!Brittany, think of the possibilities!!! Think of the navel comparisons.

She couldn't be anyworse that Gellar was some of this season and JM can carry the acting chores in their scenes.

A little junk food is good for the soul sometimes. Or at least the appetite. Think of Vamp!Brittany as the equivalent of a Krystal or White Castle. Not good or good for you but sometimes you just want it anyway.

[> Re: Season 7?? -- Darby, 07:56:24 05/23/02 Thu

She was supposed to play the April-bot but pulled out, so the connection is there, so it could be possible. That's a huge time commitment from the Spears megacorporate machine, though, so I'd doubt the details.

It would be stunt-casting, but it could help the show's ratings (maybe UPN is floating this as a suggestion, and that's where the info has come from) and I'd assume that it wouldn't overwhelm the spirit of the show...maybe...

[> [> Link to Sky News story below..... -- Sebastian, 07:59:55 05/23/02 Thu

Click here.

Although this doesn't make it official, however.

Currently snackin' on a grain o' salt,

[> [> [> Re: Link to Sky News story below..... -- maddog, 08:17:17 05/23/02 Thu

I'll believe it when I see it. Buffy has intelligent viewers. Not ones that want to see Britney on screen.

[> [> [> [> Don't be so sure... -- Direwolf, 08:38:53 05/23/02 Thu

Yes, Buffy has lots of intelligent viewers. Thats much is not in question. It's an intelligent show, so it stands to reason.

Unfortunately, it also has loads of very sad people with no life, taste or IQ of their own as fans. They're attracted to the show because they are told by others it's "cool" and thus become fashionable (the very thing BtVS stands against). Possibly they are attracted to the stars, or the action, or simply like chick-fights (just read the quote about Buffy and Brittany fighting with skin-tight clothes in the link provided to see what I mean).
Such people, indeed, LOVE Brittany, for understandable reasons. Since they consist a significant portion of the show's audience, it's completely reasonable as a "rating trick" by the network.

[> [> [> [> I second that "I'll believe it when I see it" and I really don't want to... -- Rob, 09:16:03 05/23/02 Thu

...because it would mark the first time ever in the history of my Buffy-watching that I would truly question a decision by the creators of the show. Britney cannot act...Heck, Britney can't even sing, and that's what she's paid to do. Or is that show off her huge, fake breasts?

"Buffy" has always meant high quality to me, and having Britney on the show would severly tarnish the show's track record of brilliance. I would only be happy with a Britney appearance if she played a vamp and was staked before the opening credits.


[> [> [> [> [> Britney can't act? -- Dochawk, 09:49:29 05/23/02 Thu

I am far from a Britney Spears fan, but the elitist nature involving this kinda funny (and Rob I am not picking on you at all its just that I hit respond at your email). My question is have you ever seen her act? She has been in a total of one movie (for which she got good reviews). Are we denigrating her because of her pop icon status? And as long as it doesn't hur the quality of the show, bringing more viewers in seems to be worthwhile. And as Buffy herself would remind us, don't judge a Britney by her cover.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Britney can't act? -- Rob, 10:01:22 05/23/02 Thu

I saw "Crossroads," unfortunately, and if Britney were in a paper bag, she would be unable to act her way out of it.

I don't think it's a question of elitism...I'm totally unelitist. I used to be a "Xena" fan, for God's sake! I'm not insisting that everybody on "Buffy" be royally-trained Shakespearean actors. Nick Brendon never even acted before winning the role of Xander, and he is wonderful. Britney, on the other hand, is just not good. And further, her (IMO, totally undeserved) superstar status would draw attention away from the characters and plots on "Buffy." She could not help but stick out like a sore thumb.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.


[> [> [> [> [> [> That's not elitism, it's quality control -- Direwolf, 10:11:54 05/23/02 Thu

Asking for some taste and intelligence from your television services doesn't seem that much to ask for me. After all, we PAY them, and get trash in return. When a quality show like Buffy finally, by some weird, unpredictable constellation of neurons in the brains of the netwrok execs, makes it's way to our homes and our hearts, they try to mess with it, to make it more like what they think it should be. After all, they tried to cut out the kissing scene in Joss Whedon's masterpiece "The Body" and I don't even want to get into the Babylon5/Crusade discussion.

So, no, I would prefer not to see a bleached, talentless (in every sense of the word) knucklehead stomp her way into one of my favorite shows and tries to be funny, cute and teasing to the hordes of hormonically challenged gits and little girls with dreams of latex glory.

If it's all the same to the suits, of course. Obviously they get to decide what's cool and what's not.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: That's not elitism, it's quality control -- Dochawk, 10:38:42 05/23/02 Thu

First off, the kissing scene was WB not UPN. Joss has said repeatedly that UPN has not interfered at all. And in fact, I would be suprised if this was UPNs decision too. Nothin in the article (I must say the source is weird, you'd expect this announcement in variety or hollywood reporter not a british online source)says who made the decision either. And not having seen Crossroads I will defer to your judgement. I may add though, it would be tough for her to be worse than David Boreanz during his Buffy run. (I think he has gotten better on Angel).

[> [> [> [> [> LOL! I agree! -- Dichotomy, 13:39:22 05/23/02 Thu

I'd LOVE to see her get staked in the opening credits. Kind of like in the Scream movies where the big guest star gets killed right off the bat. I just can't help it--she bugs me on so many levels I can't even begin to separate them all into coherent thought (although I'm willing to admit to a bit of jealousy).

Now if she does appear in more than one ep and is actually good, I'll be willing to reevaluate my feelings about her. But man, that'll take some doing!

[> I'm not stupid and I like Britney -- ProudBritneyFan, 14:17:59 05/23/02 Thu

Her acting is not as terrible as it would seem, and liking her is not a sign of stupidity or shalowness or being a pop- culture ho. She is fun and very entertaining, if not an amazingly deep-meaning artist. She just makes me happy, and isn't that enough?

[> [> Hmmmmmm....... -- O'Cailleagh, 18:16:17 05/23/02 Thu

This just doesn't seem too likely. Britney in Buffy.....the only way they could pull it off IMO, would be to have her all monstered up so that she wouldn't be so recognisable and I can't imagine Britney would want to cover her body in latex or wear fake body parts......

Willow: Getting reacqainted, crossing lines, etc. (spoilers up to finale) -- yez, 08:12:20 05/23/02 Thu

I've been thinking about how the SG are going to have the summer to work through recent developments with Willow, but we, the audience, aren't. I'm conflicted about this.

I'm all for tortured characters, but I don't really want to re-experience SG depression and directionlessness for yet another season.

Yet, I really *do* want to hear what these characters have to say to each other. What was done and what was said was very serious shit. Those characters are neck-deep in things to work out between themselves.

I mean, you can look at the fight between Willow and Buffy as something that was a long time coming. Really. What friends don't fight? Get on each other's nerves? Hurt each other's feelings? And then look at Willow, little Miss intellectualize my feelings and use "I" statements and avoid confrontation. When she said "Oh, Buffy, you need every inch of your ass kicked," it was like all the stuff that's she's kept inside, all her frustrations with Buffy as a friend (not being there for her, not confiding in her, etc.) just came to the surface finally.

Rambling... but my thing is that I need to see how they work it out with Willow because *I* don't know how to work it out with Willow. Yeah, I'm a sheep, I need cues. For starters, I just don't really understand how this whole magic-addiction thing works.

So, what? We treat Willow like a recovering alcoholic and say, "Yeah, she did awful things when she was drunk, but that isn't the *real* Willow -- it was drug-induced"? Like, she has to deal with the issues that leave her vulnerable to addiction/abuse, but she's more or less emotionally off the hook for what she did under the influence?

Or do we treat her like someone who *chose* to wield new- found power in very negative ways? Was Willow's behavior the *real* Willow -- what she is when she doesn't have her normal inhibitions? Is this indicative of Willow's true nature?

It seems there are 2 different things going on: 1) dark magics can change you, and 2) magic can be addictive for some people. But maybe also 3: you get a physical rush by performing spells. Some spells? All spells? It's just confusing...

I've also been thinking about who Willow tried to kill and who she didn't, and why. Even though Willow was the new "Big Bad," she's very specific about who she's going after:

OK, Warren. As gruesome as that was, I think many of us can understand where that came from on some level.

Rak. Now, did she kill him? Is/was he human? Where does this fall on "lines" to cross? But she was never good with her relationship with him (she cries in the shower after the "first time") so you can see why she doesn't have any affection for him.

Jonathan and Andrew. Yes, we know they didn't help Warren pull the trigger, but they were involved with him, they helped him get where he got, and they have been involved with trying to frame and kill Buffy. They also were responsible for the demon that almost got Buffy to kill the SG.

The police. These guys were "in her way," but she doesn't try to hurt them, even though she very easily could have.

Dawn. Willow tries to "change [her] back." That would've effectively killed the Dawn we all know and love. Well... know. This wowed me. She's looked after Dawn and treated her like a sister/child for a while now.

Giles. This was the one that really knocked the wind out of me. She tries to kill *Giles* -- and not just once. The flying weaponry, the collapsed ceiling, sucking the magic/life out of him. And she lets loose all this anger at him, frustration that we didn't even really know was there. This was a *big* line to cross, in my book. This was like her trying to kill her "daddy," after all -- a father- figure, mentor, etc.

Anya. Now Willow had *ample* opportunity to kill her. But she doesn't even try -- she just keeps putting her to sleep. Unless you can't kill a vengeance demon...

Xander. Willow lashes out at him to move him out of the way, but she doesn't try to kill him.

Buffy. While Willow certainly tries to "kick every inch of [her] ass" -- she really just tries to move her out of the way -- she doesn't seriously try to kill her. And when she sics the root lobster monsters on her, she seems to be trying to honor her -- to let her go down fighting, like a warrior should, instead of having her just be incinerated along with the rest of them. Of course, there is a fair amount of emotional torture she piles on Buffy, what with all the "try saving them now, you know you can't help yourself" business.

Now, you could argue that by flaming the world, Willow is trying to technically kill them all. But I think that she believes, at that point, that she's doing the world a favor. And she appears to be out of her mind, here. She's not trying to "end the world as we know it" to allow the hell dimension to take over. She's trying to just end everything to bring peace for herself and every whose pain she can feel.

I don't know... just having a hard time working through how I feel about what's happened. Would appreciate hearing other people's takes on this if you feel like sharing.


[> Re: Willow: Getting reacqainted, crossing lines, etc. (spoilers up to finale) -- maddog, 10:35:36 05/23/02 Thu

While I know Joss has said that next season will be light hearted I can see it taking a full season for Willow to finally redeem herself. If she does it fast then it won't be believable. Cause they all love her...but she's done some horrible things and needs to be punished in some way.

I think the people she went after harder were those she was most frustrated with. Giles and Buffy. Giles challenged her authority and skills on more than one occasion causing her to lash out. And Buffy, well if you had a friend that seemed perfect at everything you'd snap on occasion too.

As for Dawn...that I can't explain except for the general rage. The need to destroy everything in site. That could also be Buffy related to though.

[> Crossing lines and moral responsibility -- Sophist, 10:43:05 05/23/02 Thu

I think we have to face it: the finale created more questions than it answered when it comes to Willow.

We have to begin with the lingering magic/drugs problem. This metaphor never did work, as has been repeatedly discussed here. The finale both undercuts the metaphor (again) and fails to resolve the issues it raised. Not a good combination.

The problem is that magic is not inherently evil. We saw that with Tara. Hell, we saw it with all the good Willow did with her power before S6. In Grave, Giles expressly said some magic was good (not in those exact words, but close enough). Using magic, then, is not necessarily wrong, and it can't be addictive since Giles and Tara never were addicted. To say nothing of Jonathan or lots of others.

Well, ok, maybe the rest of the season was meant to show how Willow misinterpreted her problem as one of addiction rather than power (which we all know was the real issue). That doesn't work now either -- they played magic=drugs in at least 2 scenes (with Rack and when Willow asked Giles "Who's your supplier?"). Worse yet, at no time did anyone articulate that Willow's real problem was not addiction, but power (even though Tara expressly said this in TR).

They also seem to want to use the addiction line to help solve the problem of Willow's moral responsibility for her actions. Treating her behavior as "drug induced" could be seen as a way to mitigate her conduct. This wasn't "really" Willow, that was magic that took control of her. IRL, of course, this doesn't work: if I take PCP and go on a rampage, I'm responsible both morally and legally for what I've done.

Then there were the references to how Willow would "cross the line" if she killed Jonathan and Andrew. Well, Warren and Rack were creeps whose demise will be unmourned by anyone, but let's not kid ourselves: Willow took a running leap over the line with both of them (assuming Rack is human and subject to human justice under the theory Buffy articulated to Xander and Dawn).

If Willow's problem was magic addiction, the contradictions in the story line are numerous. If Willow's problem was power, then the magic/addiction scenes are incoherent. As an abuser of power, Willow is fully responsible for her behavior. You can't have it both ways. In fact, you can't really have either. They have a long way to go to get themselvew out of the hole they created for themselves with this character.

[> [> why not both? -- dream of the consortium, 11:31:57 05/23/02 Thu

I volunteered a while back at a shelter for battered women. When the women first come in, they often make excuses for the men that hit them. (Why they want to excuse them is another issue, too complex to get into now). One of the most common excuses was "he only hits me when he's drunk/high." The volunteers were told to ask the women if maybe he got drunk/high to have an excuse to hit them. After all, he doesn't get drunk and hit his boss - he hits his wife, the person (he thinks) he can get away with hitting. So is he responsible - of course, yes. But would treating his alcoholism help as well - maybe yes there, too. Take the excuse away, force them to clean up their act int erms of chemicals, absolutely. Because you won't get very far without doing that, though it's the tiniest baby step in getting to the heart of the matter.

Willow did horrible things. She wanted to do just a few horrible things, perhaps, and then stop (after all, she saved Buffy for the bullet wound). But she got pulled into the addiction. That doesn't men she didn't make choices - many of them, all bad. She is responsible for everything she did, every step of the way. She is responsible for her addiction. That doesn't mean that the "substance" didn't take her further than she wanted to go. If you've ever known someone with addictive problems, you know that the addiction does eat away at their personality. The worst parts of the personality come to the forefront, the best parts wither. Did the magic do it? Yes. And so did Willow.

I think ME understands this. The "source of the power," the other talk of power ("It isn't the violence, it's the power"), the fact that DarkWillow attacks each person in proportion to the feelings that RegularWillow would feel (resentment and jealousy toward Buffy, fury toward Warren, less anger at Xander and Anya), and so on. There are only a few places where I thought that there may be a misuse of the addiction as a mitigating factor - when Buffy mentions that Willow has an addictive personality ("and now she's tasted blood" is blood addictive? I guess on a vampire show, that makes a sort of weird sense) and when Buffy talks about Willow crossing the line with Jonathon and Andrew. She hasn't crossed the line already? Anyway, I have had little faith in Buffy's statements as the mouthpiece of ME - if Tara says something, I believe it to reflect the attitudes of the writers, but not Buffy, not all the time. Maybe next season Buffy will be the one who has the hardest time accepting Willow's responsibilty for her own behavior. Sure, it's supposed to be a lighter year, but Buffy will still have her flaws, no? And martyrdom, her tendency to take on other's choices as her responsibility, may still be one of them. Xander, who despite some of his behavior this year still seems the most mature of the group, may serve a role of balance. I am not too worried about it yet, we'll have to see where they take it all. After all, there were people who worried that Buffy's resurrection would be handled too casually, and look how long it took to get us here.

[> [> [> Interesting, thanks. -- yez, 11:40:01 05/23/02 Thu

Good points, analogies.

I get that this is likely a combination of things -- complex, like IRL. However, I still keep getting tripped up with the portrayal of magic, linking it so closely to physical depedency. I guess THAT's actually the thing -- I can understand it as an emotional dependency, but not so much as a physical dependency. It starts breaking down for me there.

For example, we see Willow and Rak's other regulars tripping out on the spells he works *on* them. But before this season, we never really saw Giles, Willow, Tara, etc., getting "high" on what they were doing, at least not the way I remember it.


[> [> [> [> Re: Interesting, thanks. -- maddog, 15:47:40 05/23/02 Thu

But addiction doesn't have to be physical. Why can't it be a mental addiction?

I don't think the others that were doing magic before this season were doing such evil and powerful magic. So now getting high scenes like at Rak's.

[> [> [> [> [> I think symptoms of physical addiction were presented. -- yez, 05:42:08 05/24/02 Fri

There was the tripping euphoria, but more telling is the physical withdrawal that Willow seems to go through when she's trying to give it up. At least that's what I understood was going on. It seems that, this season, we're seeing that practicing magick has an effect on the body. Actually, even last season, Willow was getting nosebleeds sometimes, wasn't she?

And when we get "Willow-cam" in the finale, when she "shoots up" with Giles' power, we see the euphoria again, and the momentary physical incapacitation.

I guess you could argue that it's only the heavy dark magicks that do this, but Rak's place seemed more like an opium den, where people went, loaded up on Rak's spells (that he would do to them), and then just tripped out.

When Willow tries to leave with Dawn that one time, we see again the physical incapacitation where she loses control of the car.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Well, if you look at her "spells" (and without quotation marks) with Tara... -- belle, 12:50:26 05/24/02 Fri

Those are also having a physical effect, no? The difference is, in that case, the magic she was using was tapping from a different source--eros, not rage.

It's really not that inconsistent to say that magic can have druglike effects on the mind and body as well as the soul (although I did have problems with such elements as Amy the Sage Junkie...) Magic is about channeling, directing, and transforming energies. Some of the energies come from outside sources--forces of nature, the various demons, spirits, and other supernatural inhabitants of the Buffyverse. The most important ones for the magician, though, come from within herself--and the emotions are primary. Emotions certainly have a physical effect on the body; in fact, as we're learning these days, they're actually stored in the body. Eros (what she experienced with Tara) can be harnessed; so can rage. And so, too, apparently, can unselfish love (agape), viz Xander and Giles at the end of the ep.

[> [> [> [> Rank Amateurs and Jocks -- Malandanza, 08:08:05 05/24/02 Fri

"For example, we see Willow and Rak's other regulars tripping out on the spells he works *on* them. But before this season, we never really saw Giles, Willow, Tara, etc., getting "high" on what they were doing, at least not the way I remember it."

Way back in Season Two Giles talked about his demon summoning days:

GILES: Studying history at Oxford and of course the occult by night. I hated it. The boring grind of school, the pressure of my "destiny". So I dropped out. I went to London, fell in with the worst crowd that would have me. We practiced magicks. Small stuff, for pleasure or gain. And then Ethan and I discovered something a little bigger.

BUFFY: Eyghon.

GILES: Yes. We put one of us into a deep sleep and the others would summon
him. It was an extraordinary high.God, we were fools.

The Dark Age -- psyche's shooting scripts

So we had evidence that magic has an addictive quality long before Willow went to Rack -- at least the dark stuff does. I think part of the problem with Willow is her "suppliers" - - she went to the darkest magicks -- back in the Glory days she got a taste of it and she continued in Season Six. There seems to be a difference in the magic Giles was using -- magic from a good source rather than evil.

Another part of the equation is Willow's lack of moderation. By analogy, Tara drinks a glass of wine with her Sunday dinner -- not much change in her personality from alcohol -- while Willow downs a pint of brandy every night before going to bed, starts off her day with a drink, has a couple of martinis with lunch and goes out binge drinking in the evening. Of course there's a change in her behavior.

There seems to be a fairly long-term residual effect in using dark magic. In OaFA Anya comments to Willow that "If you hadn't gotten so much of it in your system in the first place - -. Willow has used some very dark magic and she sucked up the knowledge of all those evil books that the WC wanted Giles to burn -- she ought to be a walking time bomb next season -- unless...

The magic Giles had seemed to be of a very different nature. Good magic, or natural magic -- the kind Tara used. It infused every fiber of Willow's body -- if it purged all the bad old black magic, Willow may have an easier time recovering. In fact, the residual effects of the white magic might make her recovery possible where it otherwise might not have been.

One thing Willow definitely showed this episode is that she really is a "Rank Amateur" when it comes to magic. All that power and what did she accomplish? The girl just has no finesse. Jonathan knows more about the responsible use of magic than does Willow -- he knew she would run out of power when she was chasing them in the semi. And Willow doesn't just run out of power once, but three times. The scene where Buffy and Dawn were fighting the root monsters reminded me of Waiting in the Wings the Angel episode where the magician loses his control because too much of his energy is being poured into making monsters for the AI team to fight. Willow took time out of her world destruction plan to inflict a little poetic justice on Buffy and that helped drain her power. When it come right down to it, Willow doesn't seem to know much about the nature of magic (or care about the consequences). All her knowledge is Engineer knowledge -- how to make things work -- who cares why they work? Or who provides the power?

There seems to be a measure of sympathy for Willow because she never lost the feeling of not belonging -- she still thinks of herself as the nerd that Cordelia Chase used to abuse for sport. From her self-image in Restless to her third-person diatribe against Willow in TTG/G she has never forgotten how SHS made her feel. Like Warren:

WARREN: It's Warren, remember? Gym class, fifth period? (still jolly) Oh man, you and your jock buddies used to give me such a hard time. That thing with the underwear? God, I thought I'd never stop crying.

Seeing Red

Warren goes on to say "This ain't high school" but it seems clear that both Warren and Willow are still living (well, not still living, in Warren's case) in the past, trying to right wrongs they suffered when they were children. Other parallels, Warren's fight for survival against Willow -- he used brute force first (as Willow does) and when that fails, he tries a few tricks. Warren and Willow both had issues with Buffy and both wanted to defeat her to prove that they were better. When captured by Willow, he suddenly becomes reasonable and tries to use persuasion to get free -- much as Willow persuades Anya to free her. Even Warren's unthinking rage which brought him to Buffy's house is mirrored by Willow's frequent outbursts of rage -- she foolishly drains her powers out of anger.

The parallels between Warren and Willow are too close to ignore -- granted, Warren's murders were accidents and he never tortured a helpless captive, but I think that if we are to forgive Willow, we must first examine why she deserves better treatment than Warren received at her hands.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Rank Amateurs and Jocks -- yez, 10:35:56 05/24/02 Fri

Good points -- lots to think about for me.

A couple of things, though:

I'm confused by the whole power depletion thing. I thought it was that 1) practicing magick, like any exercise, fatigues you, so how long you can go depends no exertion and stamina, and 2) learning spells was like stocking up on ammunition, but they aren't propulsion or detonation in and of themselves -- in other words, you have to have both ammunition and energy, but ammunition isn't the same as energy.

So I thought that when Willow sucks the books dry, it's like she just found a quick way of "uploading" their information. Ooh, a thought! ... There was an ep. in the first season where a demon was trapped into a book as words. It's also Willow in that ep. who releases the demon by scanning the words into her computer. So is it possible that when she uploads all those books, she uploaded some malevolent creatures as well?

Anyway, I was initially going to say that she uploads the books' information, but tires from lack of stamina -- and also because humans aren't supposed to have that kind power, and she's really having to carry a lot at the same time. Don't forget that it takes a coven's collective powers to stop her even just momentarily.


[> [> [> Re: why not both? -- Rahael, 15:30:53 05/23/02 Thu

Great points, Dream.

For me, the most interesting point was when Buffy said "she's still Willow". As long as she was still Willow, they had a chance of reaching her. As long as she was still Willow, she must take full responsibility for everything she did.

[> [> Re: Crossing lines and moral responsibility -- maddog, 15:33:24 05/23/02 Thu

I was agreeing with the magic explaination until this point...just because a few people don't get addicted doesn't mean it can't be addictive. Look at alcohol, many people drink...only a percentage of them become alcoholics.

ok, here's a novel idea. Why can't her problem be both...why couldn't her thirst for power have driven her to a dependency on magic?

And we don't know what consequences Willow will have to face...morally or legally. That's part of your well pointed out vagueness of her situation in the finale.

I think the comment about crossing the line meant in how many she would kill...if she could kill the two who did nothing to Tara then she could kill anyone.

Why can't it be both? I'm actually curious about this so if you could explain it I'd appreciate it.

[> [> [> Re: Crossing lines and moral responsibility -- Sophist, 21:08:09 05/23/02 Thu

My bad. I meant to say magic=drugs. Don't know why I said addiction instead.

[> Re: Willow: Getting reacqainted, crossing lines, etc. (spoilers up to finale) -- Belladonna, 10:51:03 05/23/02 Thu

Disclaimer: I've only watched the Season Finale once, thus far, so I may change my opinion on further viewing. But...
I am in the same boat. I'm not really sure how to look at her behavior either, and I really wish we could see the SG's immediate reaction. My impression was that she almost seemed to behave like a multiple personality, or a possession. I'm not saying she was possessed, but her behavior reminded me of it. She often referred to herself in the third person. "Willow was a loser, Willow was weak," etc. I'm not sure if she actually used present or past tense, though. Also, I think at some point (I don't remember exactly when) someone called her Willow and she said, "Don't call me that!" Again, I'm not saying she was possessed in the typical sense, or anything. However, Willow does get her magic from dark forces. Other people have discussed the difference between Willow and Tara's magic; for example, often in the series, Tara's magic was shown in light colors, as opposed to the dark colors of Willow's. Also, Buffy at one point says something about how magic completely changes Willow. I suppose you could say it changes her the way alcohol can turn someone into a mean drunk, which brings us back to addiction. But, perhaps the dark magic she tapped into, and the magic she absorbed from the books and Rack took her over.

Aaargh...I'm not explaining this very well. This is why I mostly lurk, and rarely post! :)

What I'm trying to say is, what if the dark magicks created some sort of split personality, separating the light and dark aspects of her personality? Everyone has darkness inside them. Just as there's the potential to do good, there's a potential for evil. I looked at it as Willow separating the two sides, with evil coming out on top. After all, Giles said that the magic she took from him allowed her access to her humanity. That's why Xander could reach her. Maybe using magic too much throws the natural balance of good and evil in each person out of wack. Giles's magick and Xander's persistence, in reaching her humanity, was able to reset that balance, thus bringing nice red-haired Willow back.
As for how that affects the is-she-off-the-hook-or-is-she- responsible-for-her-actions debate, I don't know. I personally think she's responsible for her actions, but not completely, not in the same way someone like Warren is. I look at it the same way as someone who get's off for murder due to insanity.
Again, sorry this post was rambly and not very clear. Hope it made a bit of sense.

[> [> separating light and dark of personality -- the magic issue -- yez, 11:33:54 05/23/02 Thu

Belladonna, I understood what you were trying to say, I think, about dark magic possibly bringing darker elements of a person to the forefront, while "good" magic does the opposite. That would fit really nicely, IMHO, with what we've seen throughout the series and in Willow's recent behavior.

EXCEPT for all the junkie/addiction talk that have been inserted into things since about "Tabula Rasa" I think.

And then in the finale, we get all the drug references: "I'm so wired," "who's your supplier?" "Willow's a junkie." And suddenly now, "Willow's got an addictive personality" from Buffy.

I wish they would've kept it simple to the light/dark thing. Not for the sake of simplicity -- mostly for the sake of coherency. It would've still allowed them a lot of room to explore the issue, because you could still add in the corruption of power, which I think is where they went off track, IMHO.

Regarding Sophist's (I think) comment that magic can't be addictive because Giles and Tara didn't get addicted, I have to disagree. If you look at chemical dependency IRL, it's apparent that dependecy varies by person. Especially if you look at alcohol. MOST people are able to use alcohol without negative consequences. However, there are some who can't.

I don't know... I get back to having to pull out the various message we've been given about magic and what it does. Though I still can't make very good sense of it.

1) There is some kind of fundamental difference between dark and "good" or "light" magicks.
2) Dark magicks can open doors to things you can't control, even if you're using it for "good."
3) Magick always carries a price. (All magicks? Or just dark magicks?)
4) Some people perform "spells" (or have spells performed on them, i.e., Rak) for the "high" it gives them; these are people who abuse magick.
5) Some people become addicted to the high they get from magic (i.e., Willow and her support group members).
6) The "essence" of magick can be a healing thing?

Argh. Complicated...


[> [> Re: Willow: Getting reacqainted, crossing lines, etc. (spoilers up to finale) -- Lonesome Sundown, 12:12:26 05/23/02 Thu

Good point about the multiple personality, Belladonna. Her whole demeanor while magicked out reminded me very strongly of VampWill. In particular the 'bored now' scene with Warren and also the 'Willow was a loser' speech. Compare that with Willow pretending to be VampWillow in Doppelgangland (courtesy Psyche's transcripts):

"She bothered me. She's so weak, and accommodating. It's pathetic -- she lets everyone walk all over her and then she gets cranky at her friends for no reason. I just couldn't let her live."

I think the similarities between the VampWIl and DarthWill suggest that WIllow is indeed responsible for her actions. VampWIll was not a different entity from Willow, but a natural development of Willow's personality under a different set of circumstances. Again from the transcripts of Doppelgangland:

BUFFY: Just remember, a vampire's personality has nothing to
do with the person it was.
ANGEL: Well, actually --

So VampWIll's cruelty and amorality, as much as her bisexual nature, are latent in WIllow. The black magicks just brought that part of her personality out into the open in DarthWill, they didn't give rise to those traits. Willow has to face up to the fact that she herself is capable of the violence and destruction she wreaked in the last 3 episodes. After all, the whole season has been about the distress caused by the Scoobies not recognising/coming to terms with their weaknesses. While the rest of the gang seems to be well on their way to conquering their inner demons, Willow's journey is just beginning.

[> [> Re: Don't call me Willow (spoilers up to finale) -- verdantheart, 06:56:26 05/24/02 Fri

I took the insistance that "Willow doesn't live here anymore" to reflect Willow's view that she's basically a loser. She's practically omnipotent, so how could she be Willow, the nerd who was kicked around in high school? Why be just plain Willow when you can be super Willow? Or better yet, don't be Willow at all. Be something powerful that doesn't have to listen to Willow's pesky conscience or act like the "good girl" that everyone takes Willow to be. I don't think that the division was pathological as much as convenient.

[> Thanks to those who have responded -- it's helped. -- yez, 16:00:04 05/23/02 Thu

I guess where I am now is that you deal with Willow like you'd deal with any beloved friend who was going through a really, really hard time and completely flipped out and let the worst parts of her- or himself take over and did things that he or she will regret forever. You try to be there for them, and you try to figure out how you can be. If you can be.

So I guess I can still love this character. I just don't feel like I can be quite as easy with her as I once was, so quick to smile or laugh with her cutesy ways.

I think the days of pink fuzzy sweaters are over, paraphrasing how another poster put it recently.

I don't think I'll ever be able to see that wide-eyed innocence again in her.

And maybe that's the point after all. Growth, change. And this is the sign of good storytelling that it makes me feel so sad for her, that I care, that I feel, that I'm uncertain.


Redemption and Judaism: Some Questions -- LeeAnn, 08:37:53 05/23/02 Thu

So Spike gets a soul and many fans, even redemptionists, now believe he has been redeemed. I don't see how he can be because there was no indication that a soul was what he was after. He wanted the chip out so he could kill the Slayer and pick his teeth with her bones and instead he gets a soul? Changed his mind during a passport scene I guess. I thought most redemptionist thought that Spike would be redeemed through his love for Buffy, by doing good, by feeling remorse, not by tests of strength and suffering, tests he could have passed just as well without being motivated by anything good.

I've been thinking about redemption and religion, more accurately redemption and Judaism. Someone once pointed out to me how many of the people associated with the show are Jewish. Redemption isn't a part of Judaism, is it? Don't Jews consider themselves Jewish because they are born of a Jewish mother, not because they choose Judaism as their religion? They are Jews because they are born Jewish, born chosen and there is nothing they can do to change that. They cannot be redeemed because there is no such concept in Judaism. (Is there?) So Buffy is the Chosen One and she cannot change that even though being chosen is frequently no fun. Spike has been chosen in another way. He has been chosen for evil and he cannot be redeemed because there is no such thing as redemption, not for the good and not the evil. So when Spike gets his soul it's not as a result of a quest for redemption. He doesn't get redeemed (if that was what happened to him) as a result of his love or for doing good or feeling remorse, he gets it as a kind of monkey's paw boobie prize. It's almost like Job's story because Job is punished arbitrarily and rewarded arbitrarily rather than being punished or rewarded as he deserves.

I've been told that Joss is an atheist but was his original heritage Jewish? Is that why the idea of redemption rings no bells with him? Is it just not part of the cultural mindset he was raised in? Or part of the culture of many of the writers and producers on Buffy?

Just some questions. Not ones I have any answers to.

What do you think?

[> Spoilers for Grave above... -- LeeAnn, 08:41:54 05/23/02 Thu

[> I'm Jewish, so I'll try anwering a few of your questions: -- Direwolf, 09:09:26 05/23/02 Thu

First of all I'm having problems associating between the "redeemed" notion and being Jewish. You're not "redeemed" into Judaism or out it, you're just born one. You're also never chosen, except by directly by God, whether for good or evil. Yes, some Jews consider themselves "the Chosen People", chosen by God to be the light to the non-Jews. This concept is not typical to all Jews but mostly the more religious ones, which are a minority. Personally I don't agree with it since I believe all humans are the same. Still, even you hold that concept to be true, it refers to the WHOLE people, not one specific individual. Again, on your own, you're never chosen for any greater good unless God Himself taps you on the shoulder.

Some of your misunderstandings, I think, stem from the confusion about whether Jews are a nation or a religion. It's a question which has been baffling scholars for centuries now. The most modern point of view, which I happen to hold, states that it's both, yet not exactly either: It's a people with a unique relgion. So, you are Jewish if you're born to a Jewish mother, that's true; but you're also Jewish if you embrace either the Jewish religion (which isn't easy), or a non-religious way of life combined with the cultural or national aspects of Judaism, which is usually distict from the religious ones. You can also stop being Jewish, in a way, simply by ceasing to identify yourself with the Jewish people and their religion. Since Jews think of themselves as a people, not a religion, this is also harder to do than it sounds. You will always be Jewish to some people in some ways (your family, for instance) and most likely to yourself. That is the culture you were raised in, after all.

If you mean redemption for sins past (and you probably do), you CAN be forgiven for what you've done by God, but it's not in your hands to decide. Sure, you can and should do good things to balance the evil you've caused (and just do good in general), but the final decision if those acts are enough for your soul to be redeemed lies only with God.

There is also a Jewish holiday called Yom Kippur. During that day you fast, pray (if you're religious) and meditate on the wrongs you have committed to others this past year. If possible, you're encouraged to rectify these wrongs or at least ask forgiveness from those harmed. The very point of it is to be redeemed, sort of (I assume I'm getting it right) like a confession for the whole year.

Hope I've helped.

[> [> And about Whedon -- Direwolf, 09:34:30 05/23/02 Thu

I very much doubt that he's Jewish, even partially. The whole show, espescially in the first few seasons, was very much christian in its point of view. Crosses and holy water (blessed by priests) hurt vampires because, as Joss himself said "the Christian God hurt the demon inside them". Correspondently, Jewish symbols, like the Star of David, were never used against them, most likely since they won't work. In fact, Willow herself places a cross in above her bed to scare vampires away without even trying to use a Jewish symbol first. Furthermore, she hides it, in a scene which slightly disturbed me and probably other Jewish viewers too, so that her father won't find it out. The allusion to the forsaking your of own religion for a real one (it WORKS, after all) under your parents' nose made that scene uncomfortable for me to watch.

To be fair, though, no other symbols (except Wiccan ones) were ever seen to work either.

Also, I would point out that Willow, although a positive charachter, is very stereotypically Jewish: she's a intelligent and good with computers, but also a nerd and completely lacking in self assurance. The only other charachter with a Jewish name, Snyder, was even worse as a stereotype, although it was never made clear whether he was Jewish or not (judging by the actor's name, he probably is).

Other names in the show definately sound Jewish: David Greenwalt, Rebecca Rand Kirshner, Drew Z. Greenberg and others. How much influece they have over Joss I have no idea.

One last question to anyone who may have an idea: Gellar, Trachtenberg, and Nick Brandon's original name, Schultz, all sound a little Jewish, although obviously I may be WAY off my mark. Anyone know if they have any Jewish origins? Just my personal curiosity.

[> [> [> Gellar, Trachtenberg and Landau -- Dochawk, 10:13:38 05/23/02 Thu

I'll go back and answer the jewish questions at lunch (if noone else does it) because I disagree with some of what you said (how suprisingly for a bunch of Jews). I definitely agree with the botehrsome part of Willow's caricature and her Jewishness.

But as to the Jewishness of the actors:

Sarah Michele Gellar's father was Jewish. Sarah totally disassociated herself from her father, to the point that she would not even go to his funeral. she claims she has explored Judaism as well as other religions, but wears a cross and is engaged to a Christian man.

My best understanding is that Michele Trachtenberg was bat mitzvahed. I've never heard confirmation of this.

Juliet Landau (Dru) is definitely Jewish and active in the Los Angeles Jewish community.

I have never heard Joss' name come up when discussing Jewish writers in LA and I am extremely involved with the LA Jewish Community and their outreach to the entertainment community. The above writers you named are all Jewish. I believe Fury may be also (not sure).

[> [> [> [> Historical perspective -- Rattletrap, 14:18:48 05/23/02 Thu

A quick sidenote to add a historical perspective to this discussion: Jews have had, since the very beginning, a very strong presence in Hollywood--Carl Laemmle (founder of Universal), Adolf Zukor (Paramount), William Fox (Fox), Samuel Goldwyn and Louis Meyer (MGM), Benjamin Warner and his sons (WB) were all Ashkenazi Jews and recent immigrants during the early 20th century. Movies were, at that time, a relatively new industry and one that offered some opportunities for both independence and upward mobility unavailable in most of the traditional performing arts, therefore Eastern European Jews carved themselves a strong presence there and continued to hire other Jewish immigrants. Hollywood still bears this stamp today to some degree--BtVS is not alone in having large numbers of writers, directors, and performers of Jewish ethnicity (whether or not they actively practice the faith).

Hope this helps,


P. S. If anyone is interested, one of the definitive books on the above subject (and the source for the info in this post) is Neal Gabler's An Empire of Their Own (1988).

[> [> [> Re: And about Whedon -- mucifer, 10:46:20 05/23/02 Thu

You forgot Seth Green, he definately is. He even played a young Woody Allen in "Radio Days." A really fun website is tells you who is and who isnt.

[> [> [> Re: And about Whedon -- DEN, 12:33:45 05/23/02 Thu

In a fair number of story lines, an evil cannot be harmed by artifacts and rituals of another religion. In other words, it's not that Christianity "works" and Judaism doesn't, but rather that Sunnydale seems to have only gentile Christian vamps! (There are some bad jokes where the hero pulls out a cross and the response is "oy vey, boychick, have YOU got the wrong vampire!")

More interesting to me is Willow's strong Jewish identification--so strong that it survived the physical appearance of the actress eventually cast in the role. Another stereotype she fits is of the "Jew as rationalist:" the scientist, the secularist, who believes the universe can ultimately be understood and controlled by human minds and wills. Certainly that aspect of her personality was a major element of her "Wiccan/magick" story arc, and one frequently mentioned by posters who said Willow treated magic as though it were a lab exercise.

[> [> [> [> Heh, and Willow could be... -- Solitude1056, 13:47:40 05/23/02 Thu

Episcopalian and we'd be talking about how she's a stereotype of the Yuppie Holiday-Christian Episcopalian who believes the intellectual will always save the day, and likes to party it up as a way to forget her pain. Or something.

[> [> [> [> Re: And about Whedon -- Rattletrap, 14:26:01 05/23/02 Thu

"More interesting to me is Willow's strong Jewish identification--so strong that it survived the physical appearance of the actress eventually cast in the role."

I've noticed this too. Alyson Hannigan couldn't be any more obviously Irish in both name and appearance.

"Another stereotype she fits is of the "Jew as rationalist:"

Another place where ME has very subtly used this stereotype is in "Real Me" where Willow makes a reference to playing chess with Dawn, chess being a heavily intellectual game extremely popular in Jewish communities for centuries. Not essentially Jewish, of course, but very fitting to the character and a very nice writing touch.

[> [> [> [> Not really -- Direwolf, 15:11:09 05/23/02 Thu

Crosses worked on VampWillow in "The Wish". Ans as I said, Joss Whedon himself said it was the Christian God. His wrods, not mine.

As for Alyson Hannigan's appearance, there is no "look" for Jews. They come in all shapes and sizes. I'm Israeli. In the highschool I went to everybody was Jewish, and yet it looked a lot like Sunnydale High. You had brunnettes, redhead and blondes, right along darker-skinned students from Arab background and blacks from Ethiopia. That was were the show got it RIGHT, in not portraying Willow as many people seem to think Jews should look: black/brown hair, brown eyes and a big nose... After all, do Seth Green and Michelle Trachtenberg "look" Jewish? Nope. I was commenting on the stereotype of her personality, not her appearance.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Not really -- DEN, 19:34:39 05/23/02 Thu

I clean forgot about VampWillow--which was stupid. As for the physical appearance, of course Jews "look like" any community where they've lived long enough for people to mix. All I intended to do with that was reinforce your point about the personality--in terms of convention it "fits" Willow Rosenberg better than Willow O'Reilly. And in that sense it's interesting that Joss, who so enjoys bending stereotypes, let this one ride. So no offense meant and I hope, to you and everyone else, none taken.

[> [> [> [> [> [> None taken -- Direwolf, 04:22:27 05/24/02 Fri

[> Anom might answer this better, but... -- Solitude1056, 09:12:36 05/23/02 Thu

I live with someone of Jewish heritage (who doesn't practice, but his father does, so I've attended various events) plus I studied it as part of a comparative religions degree. Your best bet will probably be someone raised in judaism, but even then you'll get different answers between reformed and orthodox. That disclaimer said...

Redemption isn't a part of Judaism, is it?

Depends on what you mean by "redemption" - because there are instances in the Pentateuch of folks done wrong who go right after getting the message.

Don't Jews consider themselves Jewish because they are born of a Jewish mother, not because they choose Judaism as their religion?

That whole Jewish-mother thing was started as a result of the Spanish Inquisition, when so many Jewish women were raped by soldiers that there was some doubt as to who the father might be. But since you always know who the mother is, a Jewish mother signified definite heritage. Most American Jews in the Reformed school of thought feel that if either parent is Jewish-heritage, then the child is also part-Jewish. Keep in mind, though, that Judiasm, is not just a religion, but a significant and complex culture. My housemate, for instance, is part-Jewish by his father, but does not consider himself Jewish except as part of his heritage - he wasn't raised in the faith, nor the culture (at the time, his father was non-practicing).

They are Jews because they are born Jewish, born chosen and there is nothing they can do to change that.

Yes and no. I've known a few Jewish-heritage Episcopalians, so they're "not-Jewish" in the sense of not practicing the religion, but they're "Jewish" in the sense of being raised in that culture and shaped by it.

They cannot be redeemed because there is no such concept in Judaism. (Is there?)

See first statement.

So Buffy is the Chosen One and she cannot change that even though being chosen is frequently no fun. Spike has been chosen in another way. He has been chosen for evil and he cannot be redeemed because there is no such thing as redemption, not for the good and not the evil.

This isn't redemption, though, it's purpose. I'd classify that as a bit different. Say, up to about 50 years ago, a person's gender was pretty much chosen at birth and not too much a person could do except fake it, unfortunately, if they felt their gender wasn't right. Not the best analogy, but hopefully you get the idea. We can dye our hair, wear colored contact lenses, but at the bottom line, can we be someone other than who we are, a result of our family, our heritage, our culture, our community, our appearance, our education, our relationships? Probably not without a great deal of difficulty. Key isn't whether it can be changed but what you do with it. Yeah, Buffy was "chosen" but she's taken a completely different route than the other slayers we've seen. Same goes for Spike, both due to his own personality and experiences, and those inflicted on him.

So when Spike gets his soul it's not as a result of a quest for redemption. He doesn't get redeemed (if that was what happened to him) as a result of his love or for doing good or feeling remorse, he gets it as a kind of monkey's paw boobie prize.

What's the worst that could happen? That's what Joss will give us. Keep in mind, when thinking of Joss' plans for BtVS or AtS, that if you can conceive of the hardest possible path to victory, that's what we'll probably get, for each character. Joss always says, "I give people not what they want, but what they need." Perhaps what he's saying here is that we do need to hear that even the worst amongst us can be redeemed - what was that about forgiveness and redemption aren't always because you deserve it, or even want it, but are given it anyway?

It's almost like Job's story because Job is punished arbitrarily and rewarded arbitrarily rather than being punished or rewarded as he deserves.

Taken out of context, one might agree - and within context (Job's plight being the result of a bet between God & Lucifer concerning Job's ability to cling to righteousness despite the worst of all events hitting him at once) - one might say that we are Job, and ME is both God & Lucifer, betting to see how much we'll take before turning off the TV!

I've been told that Joss is an atheist but was his original heritage Jewish?

Again, it depends on whether you mean his heritage is religious, cultural, both, or neither. There are a lot of folks being raised in the past century who have minimal cultural interaction with their heritage and next to no religious interaction. I prefer to go with how he defines himself, which is as an atheist.

Is that why the idea of redemption rings no bells with him?

I wouldn't go that far. Willow got redeemed, and so did Spike. So has just about every other character, all been given second, third, fourth chances. Did Willow deserve Xander's love, despite the fact that she'd killed Warren (and Rack), and had no qualms about almost killing Xander and Dawn merely because they were standing next to Jonathan and Andrew? I wouldn't say she deserved it... but she got it.

Is it just not part of the cultural mindset he was raised in? Or part of the culture of many of the writers and producers on Buffy?

I'd call that a radical interpretation of the text.

[> [> Completely wrong on one point... -- alcibiades, 12:32:50 05/23/02 Thu

"Don't Jews consider themselves Jewish because they are born of a Jewish mother, not because they choose Judaism as their religion?"

Solitude wrote:

"That whole Jewish-mother thing was started as a result of the Spanish Inquisition, when so many Jewish women were raped by soldiers that there was some doubt as to who the father might be. But since you always know who the mother is, a Jewish mother signified definite heritage. "

Sorry Solitude but this is just completely wrong on its face.

The whole Jewish-mother thing started probably in the late first first to second century. By the time the first set of Jewish legal templates and precedents is published in the mid second century, called the Mishnah, a minority opinion holds that Jewishness is inherited through the mother. Before that, Jewishness normatively was inherited through the father.

Scholars are unsure why this changed at this point -- answers are in the realm of speculation and hypothesis -- there are parallels to other cases of mixed inheritance in Judaism. But the strongest rationale for the change occurring at this time to my mind seems to be that in Roman law the child of a mixed couple always inherits the mother's status -- whether the mother is a Roman citizen or whether she is not a citizen. And of course, Roman law prevailed around the Empire during the time that this change from inheritance of a mixed couple through the mother in Judaism became accepted.

For more information on this topic, there is a section about it in Shaye Cohen's, "The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties (Hellenistic Culture and Society)"

BTW, I was given to understand by someone whose opinion I trust in the matter of researching all things Buffy related that Joss was raised as a Catholic.

[> [> [> As I understand it, this is a point up for debate. -- Solitude1056, 13:36:43 05/23/02 Thu

I have several Rabbinical texts that quote the Spanish Inquisition as the reason for the majority of Jews switching to the mother-only basis. I suspect that it's possible we're both right, as it sounds like possibly that some percentage of Jews already held that mother-heritage could be reasonably identified where father-heritage was sometimes questionable - and perhaps the Inquisition and exodus from Spain was the catharsis behind this rule-of- thumb becoming true for the majority of Jews. Either way, the point is that now-a-days there is again a division (mostly between Reformed & Orthodox, although some Reformed folks still go by mother-only) as to "what makes a person Jewish". The Rabbis I've known (all reformed) take the stance that a person who falls under any of the following categories may reasonably consider him/herself a Jew:

1. was raised in the Jewish faith
2. was raised in the Jewish culture
3. has at least one religiously-practicing parent
4. has at least one culturally-practicing parent
5. has at least one religiously-practicing converted parent

or any combination of several of the above (like, for instance, one culturally-practicing parent while the other parent converted to the religion) also suffices.

Judiasm has been around too long, and is too rich and complex, to really be satisfied by any of our discussions, since my experience has been that for every statement you or I could find (on anything relating to Judiasm, including history, sociology, culture, language, religion)... we'll probably find three Jews who agree, three who don't, and fifty-seven who want to argue the finer points. ;-)

[> [> oy. guess that means i better weigh in... -- anom, 15:59:42 05/23/02 Thu

Not sure where to start on this. Many Xtians seem to have this idea that concepts like redemption, salvation, & grace don't exist outside of Xtianity. (I once heard Marianne Williamson say in an interview that she converted because Judaism didn't have salvation, but I don't have time to go into my rant on that right now....) Anyone familiar with Jewish prayerbooks knows better; these words appear on the English side (as opposed to the Hebrew side) very frequently. But they're understood differently in the 2 religions, & probably in others. (I once suggested a discussion of the differences to a Conservative Jewish group that gives a series of talks on Jewish topics 2x/year; the director sounded interested, but I haven't heard anything since.) My own take on it is that these concepts tend to be more literal (maybe "pragmatic" is a better word) in Judaism. I'd guess Xtianity took them in from Judaism & gave them a messianic interpretation.

For example, the Hebrew word for "redemption" is g'ulah; it's discussed in the Torah in the context of redeeming a relative who has sold him/herself into servitude, redeeming land sold to a member of another tribe (this may apply just to Levites; it's complicated & I don't have time to look it up right now), & blood vengeance by a member of a murder victim's family (called go'el ha- dam, redeemer of blood); in the book of Ruth (just read on Shavuos), a member of Ruth's dead husband's family who can perpetuate his (the husband's) name & inheritance by marrying her is called a "redeeming kinsman." The uniting concept seems to be payback of one kind or another, which also exists in the English word (that's why coupons can be redeemed as well as people).

In the theological sense of the word, God redeemed the entire people from slavery in Egypt & from exile in Babylon. I'm trying to remember if that's the word used in speaking of every 1st-born's belonging to God in payment for the 1st- born of the Egyptians killed in the last plague; God takes the Levites instead, but observant Jews still make a payment for a 1st-born son (called pidyon ha-ben, but that expression uses a different verb, usually translated as "deliver"). In any case, it has little if anything that I know of (or at least that I can think of right now) to do w/souls, or even w/repentance.

As for some of the other stuff, in several of the posts in this thread...there's more than 1 take on what it means to be "chosen." Mine is that the Jews, as a people, were chosen to receive the Torah & live by it (subject to some interpretation & modification through time). It seems pretty clear that it applies on a people-wide rather than an individual basis. God may have chosen other peoples for other purposes.

Transmission of Jewishness through the mother dates back before the Inquisition...unfortunately, rape by conquering peoples has a much longer history than that, & I'm sure it happened to Jewish/Israelite women as far back as the Babylonian exile. There's also something in the Torah about not letting your sons marry Cana'anite women because then they'd follow the Cana'anite gods...but no equivalent about your daughters; I've heard (don't know for sure) the rabbinical ruling on matrilineal descent is derived from that. As far as not being able to leave, well, if you actually convert to a different religion, you pretty much have left.

Sophist asks why restoration of the soul requires dark magics. I'm not sure it requires them; they may be just one way it can be accomplished. Was it dark magic when the Gypsy woman restored Angel's soul? What about when Jenny tried to, or when Willow actually did? (I'm not saying this in a mocking way; I'm really wondering about it.)

Have to say, LeeAnn, I really don't get your thought process on getting a soul = redemption. In the real-world concept of Xtianity, doesn't every person have a soul? But they still need redemption, right? In the Buffyverse, Angel got a soul but still sought redemption. So it's not the same thing. I know a lot of fans want Spike to be redeemed, but I'm not sure that's what he wanted--did he ever say so? And I have no idea who you think "chose" Spike for evil.

Oh, BTW, it's "Reform" Judaism. But there is a "Reformed" Dutch Xtian church. Just to make things a little more confusing....

Please take all this w/a grain (not a pillar...) of salt--my knowledge is somewhat spotty. Maybe someone w/more time than I have could Google "Judaism redemption" & tell us the results. Or ask a rabbi! Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the discussion.

[> [> [> Everyone says it's complicated. So it must be true. -- LeeAnn, 17:28:50 05/23/02 Thu

Have to say, LeeAnn, I really don't get your thought process on getting a soul = redemption.

At least some redemptionist on some forums believe that Spike's loving Buffy, doing good, feeling remorse and now fighting to have his soul restored means he is now redeemed...and the Christians sense, forgiven for his sins and able to start over fresh.

In the real-world concept of Xtianity, doesn't every person have a soul? But they still need redemption, right? In the Buffyverse, Angel got a soul but still sought redemption.

It does seem that Spike might still need to be redeemed. If it is Spike that returns to us in the fall. I tend to think it will be William since I don't believe a word that comes out of the mouths of ME writers and since Spike asked to be restored to what he was and the last time he had a soul he was William. I don't think William would need much redeeming.

Even if Spike does still need redemption he will not need it was much as Angel. Before Angel's soul was restored, he didn't love anyone, he did no good, felt no remorse and was completely evil and without any humanity. Angel's soul was a curse. Spike's soul is a prize. A boobie prize maybe but it is something Spike wanted, sought out, and fought for despite knowing what its restoration would mean, having seen what it meant to Angel.

And I have no idea who you think "chose" Spike for evil.

God, Joss, TBTB, fate, bad luck. One of those. Whoever picked Buffy as the Chosen One, also picked William, let him be at the wrong place at the wrong time. If you believe in predestination, and without predestination how do you get a "Chosen One," then everyone must be on a predestined path, more or less. If you believe in prophecies then you must believe that things are already predeterminted or how could a prophecy come true. TBTB or fate did not protect William and this lack of protection for a vulnerable creature tempted by evil led to his being turned.

There we get into what Richard Dawkins called "The illusion of free will, brought to you courtesy of evolution." But that is a different conversation.

[> [> [> [> my orthodox friend says the answer to every question about judaism starts w/the same 3 words: -- anom, 17:01:12 05/24/02 Fri

"Well, it depends...."

[> [> [> On matriliny -- alcibiades, 08:44:36 05/24/02 Fri

Anom wrote:

"Transmission of Jewishness through the mother dates back before the Inquisition...unfortunately, rape by conquering peoples has a much longer history than that, & I'm sure it happened to Jewish/Israelite women as far back as the Babylonian exile. There's also something in the Torah about
not letting your sons marry Cana'anite women because then they'd follow the Cana'anite gods...but no equivalent about your daughters; I've heard (don't know for sure) the rabbinical ruling on matrilineal descent is derived from that."

That case has been made, but it is historically disputable.

Went back and looked at Shaye Cohen's argument in The Beginning of Jewishness.

I'm paraphrasing here from Shaye Cohen, because of a time crunch thingy:

"The matrilineal principle is never attested in second temple literature and it is sometimes contradicted. In the first century, Philo, Paul, and Josephus are all unfamiliar with the idea of matrilineal descent. Philo refers to descendents of mixed marriages on both sides, J man/non J woman, J woman/non J man as bastards.

None of the works of the apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, the Qumran scrolls knows, asumes, mentions or applies the rabbinic matrilineal principle. Philo, Paul, Josephus and Acts makes statements and assumptions that cannot be squared with the rabbinic matrilineal principle. It may have been normative in some pre-rabbinic circles of the late 2nd temple period but there is no documentation of it.

The matrilineal principle is first attested in the Mishnah."

And the majority opinion in the Mishnah is that the result of a union between a Jewish woman and a non Jewish man is that the child is a mamzer -- a kind of technical bastard usually associated with the children of forbidden incestuous relationships.

This status of being a mamzer changes over the next hundred years.

OTOH, in all likelihood the rabbis do base their argumentation on the text in Ezra you were referring to Anom. The fact that the rabbis project the existential reality of the current state of their law back into their history is pretty commonplace as far as the rabbinic notion of history goes.

[> Dark Knight of the Soul -- Sophist, 09:18:40 05/23/02 Thu

I was going to post some similar thoughts in a separate thread. Might as well follow you.

As far as I know, there is no concept of redemption, per se, in Judaism. However, the doctrine has such Christian overtones that this may be too simple an answer. Judaism certainly believes that people have the capacity to reform and conduct their lives justly. Most of the Old Testament calls for "repentance" can be seen as analogous to calls for "redemption".

I'm not sure you've interpreted Spike's behavior or motivations correctly. I'm not sure any of us have; after all, they've left it for resolution next year. A couple of thoughts though.

First, as several people have pointed out below, Spike didn't need the chip removed to attack Buffy. He could have done that before because the chip didn't work on her. What he did need was an end to his confusion about whether he was a monster or a man. Whether the solution he got was what he asked for or what he "really" wanted, is hard to know now.

Second, having a soul doesn't mean he is redeemed. It just means (within the apparent canon of Buffydom, I guess) that he can be redeemed. One way to see Spike's journey over the last 2 seasons is to say that his love for Buffy got him to this point; it got him a second chance. The journey wasn't wasted, it was rewarded.

Now, I actually have problems with this scenario. The trials he had to face don't make much sense if this is the case. On the other hand, you could say he would never have reached the point of preparation for the trials without his love for Buffy. That fits Christian doctrine fairly well.

More serious are the same problems raised by Angel. As Buffy says in TR: "A vampire with a soul? How lame is that!" Is there really another way to deja this vu?

Another question involves how we are to treat Spike's conduct as a vampire in connection with the question of redemption. If getting a soul means he is redeemed (a dubious point theologically), then I guess we just ignore all the good and bad he did up to his point of justification.

But suppose the soul acquisition is just a starting point for redemption. Ok. But we still have to decide how to treat Spike's conduct as a vampire. With Angel we were taught to distinguish the two. Angel and Angelus were different; Angel is not to blame for killing Jenny, that was the demon who drove out Angel's soul. If we see William/Spike this way, what does he have to atone for? He never did anything evil as William. If we forget about evil Spike, William was a good man (albeit a weak, effiminate fop). There is no journey to take.

Then there is the flip side. What about the alley scene in DT? Was that ok because it was Spike, not William? To whom was the wrong done?

And consider the issue of redemption itself. Redemption of souled entities is not an interesting problem. No one doubts that it can be achieved. Redemption of an unsouled vampire? Now that raised all kinds of interesting issues. All that is lost if we now treat Spike as William.

One last puzzlement. Why does restoration of the soul -- presumably a good thing -- require dark magic to accomplish?

OT footnote (to make dH happy): The subject line is a play on the title of an obscure work of theology by St. John of the Cross. The most famous dark night of the soul was that of Blaise Pascal.

[> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- Cactus Watcher, 09:38:39 05/23/02 Thu

St. John of the Cross' work was one of the things we read in the only philosophy course I took in college, I believe as an example of mysticism.

I, too, wonder about the intent, and possible affects, of a demon restoring a soul. It's one reason I'm not sure it's what Spike wanted. Either it wasn't what he wanted, or Spike didn't know any way to get his soul back through "good" channels.

[> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- Malandanza, 10:14:25 05/23/02 Thu

My feeling is that Spike is coming back as human -- whether it is human with vamp memories or human William with only the memories from 120 years ago remains to be seen. My reasoning is the wish that Spike made -- to be as he was. Ok, typical Spike not to have thought through the things that might go wrong with that wish. But no matter how much leeway these wish-granting entities have with the spirit of the wish, they do seem to have to abide by the letter. Spike was never a vampire with a soul -- how is that being made as he was? The Cave Demon can stretch, twist and pervert the intent of Spike's wish, but he can't substitute a wish of his own choosing.

Then there's the issue of why the demon would grant Spike's request. If Spike "really" wanted a soul so he could fight side by side with Buffy against the forces of darkness and earn her love, why would an evil demon who lectured Spike about having fallen from the path of darkness create a new force for good? Chipped Spike was capable of doing some good -- or at least eliminating some evil. William will be useless in the battle for good -- by granting Spike's literal wish, the demon removes a potential warrior for good.

I agree with LeeAnn that Spike's journey for redemption (if he was ever on one -- which I find unlikely) is now a moot point. If Spike is human now, Spike is dead. If he's still a vampire, Spike is buried just as surely as is Angelus and William now walks the earth in Spike's body.

I don't think we're going to see a William/Buffy romance, however. Dochawk said in another thread:

" There is nothing I want less than Spike back with Buffy. Think of the message this sends: Girls (women) it ok to stay with that bad boy cause if he loves you enough he'll turn into a good guy. Perphluey!!!! it don't happen."

And I doubt that ME would want to send this message. But consider how little we know of William in his pre-vamp days: people on the board frequently post that William was a good man -- but we only have William's word for it. We don't know what kind of person he would have been had he lived or if he was really as creepy in life as he was in death. If he retains Spike's memories, I can't see how he would be a good man now -- he's too weak to fight against Spike the way Angel fights against Angelus. The message may be: It doesn't matter how good the bad boy tries to be -- he's still bad. There may be a sensitive poet underneath the misogynistic exterior, but go a little deeper and you find that deep down, he really is bad.

I wish ME had left Spike out of the finale -- it would have been a much more interesting cliffhanger to have left him in the cave right after he said "Make me like I was" so we could spend the summer chuckling about Spike's impetuosity and wondering why he never read Macbeth. I'd rather have had the final image of the season be Buffy crawling out of the earth into life, or Willow and Xander embracing or even Anya and Giles walking together out of the ruins of their magic shop. The trial and soul restoration distracted from the episode and broke up the action with a pointless diversion that we could well have imagined by ourselves (or they could have shown up a brief recap of Spike's adventures in Africa at the start of the next season as they did with Angel's stay in the demon temple).

[> [> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- Sophist, 10:55:12 05/23/02 Thu

I agree with you about the last scene with Spike. One of my criticisms of the finale was that they tried to do too much. Over here we have to kill Rack. Over there, Giles is back. Oops, need to deal with the nerds. Got to resolve Buffy and Dawn. Mix it all up and stop Willow too.

Lots of the scenes were good individually, but the whole didn't cohere because they left too many threads hanging until the end.

I can't fault your logic at all when it comes to whether Spike is human or a souled vampire. That doesn't mean ME will abide by the logic of it. The consequences you and Doc have pointed out make humanity unattractive on one level. The other option has problems too, though.

The best argument I've seen that Spike really wanted the soul is that he didn't need to have the chip out to hurt Buffy. In that case, it makes more sense to solve his identity confusion by asking to be a man; he could behave vampire enough for her. I don't know if this is true, though.

[> [> [> mal - Great Post - I especially agree that pre-trial Spike cliffhanger would have been better -- Dochawk, 10:59:06 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- Solitude1056, 10:17:39 05/23/02 Thu

As far as I know, there is no concept of redemption, per se, in Judaism. However, the doctrine has such Christian overtones that this may be too simple an answer. Judaism certainly believes that people have the capacity to reform and conduct their lives justly. Most of the Old Testament calls for "repentance" can be seen as analogous to calls for "redemption".

The semantics are important here - "repentance" is internal (IOW, the person repents of their own impetus), whereas "redemption" is usually external. In Judeo-Xtian terms, redemption is like grace, granted by the Divine. Repentance is necessary (sometimes), but IMO/IME redemption appears to given in correlation with forgiveness. In the athiestic world of the Whedonverse, both appear to be granted by family/friends/lovers or the PTB, and are sometimes independent of the person's deserving this.

Second, having a soul doesn't mean he is redeemed. It just means (within the apparent canon of Buffydom, I guess) that he can be redeemed.

Excellent point!

Another question involves how we are to treat Spike's conduct as a vampire in connection with the question of redemption. If getting a soul means he is redeemed (a dubious point theologically), then I guess we just ignore all the good and bad he did up to his point of justification.

Given that we are working within a non-religious framework on the show, I'd suggest that we rephrase it to a different analogy & see what we get: if someone commits a variety of atrocious acts and is determined to be criminally insane... what happens when the person is "cured" and is now sane? Let's say a sociopath (which I seem to recall is someone who appears to have no moral framework or conscience of any sort) is "cured" and now tries to re-assimilate into a community. What then? What steps are necessary? Is it possible to say, "I was insane, now I am sane" and be done with it? According to the AtS line of thinking, the answer is No. But that's Angel; it remains to be seen how Spike will handle this personality-schism-creating situation.

As for the issues of Spike/William, soul vs. unsouled, and comparison to Angel - excellent points... and I have no answers. ;-)

[> [> [> Repentance and redemption -- Sophist, 11:01:05 05/23/02 Thu

Fearlessly delving ever further into murky theological waters...........

You are right about the distinction between repentance and redemption. The reason I phrased it that way was that in Judaism (to my understanding), God will forgive you directly if you do repent. In Christianity, the process must be mediated through Jesus (at least in the indirect sense that he died for "our" sins). I was trying to avoid the Christian overtones of redemption.

[> [> [> [> Re: Repentance and redemption -- Ronia, 11:13:11 05/23/02 Thu

I'll take a shot and bring up a minor point. According to my understanding, in Judaism both repentance and atonement were required. Generally in the form of a sacrifice. How this relates to the spike/angel situation is anyones guess. October is so far away....

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Repentance and redemption in Judaism -- alcibiades, 12:16:56 05/23/02 Thu

"According to my understanding, in Judaism both repentance and atonement were required. Generally in the form of a sacrifice."

Of course, sacrifice ended in the late first century, 70 CE, with the destruction of the Second Temple.

Nowadays, redemption is accomplished through prayer, good works to counter and atone specifically for the bad ones, reform of character so that bad actions won't take place again, turning to God, contemplation of God, study of holy writings, keeping the law, charity, etc.

In Judiasm, redemption is understood as taking place both on the personal level and on the national level. The Jewish people is understood as one body. In fact, the word "goy", which technically means nation, shares the same root as the word for body. So that each "nation" is understood as corporate in the sense of being one body.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Is there a heaven and hell? -- LeeAnn, 12:42:59 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Uh, not that I recall... I think H/H is a later Hellenistic (Greek) concept. -- Solitude1056, 13:40:15 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Is there a heaven and hell? Very possibly more than you wanted to know -- alcibiades, 16:52:20 05/23/02 Thu

Yes and no.

There is something known as Gehinnom -- which was once (and still is) physically a place, literally the valley of Hinnom where people passed their first born male children through to the Moloch, that is sacrificed them in fire (yeah the same dude that Willow deals with in Season 1).

2 Kings 23:10

The horror associated with this place of torment has been mythologized into the Jewish version of hell -- in Hebrew Gehinnom means hell more or less.

Before that, in the Hebrew Bible, there is also a place called Sheol which means more or less the depths, the place for the departed. This whole concept is pretty obscure, not fleshed out much. It's kind of similar to the Homeric notion of Hades, the underworld, although even less is known about it since there are fewer literary references. It's all lost in the past and the concept has little resonance today.

It's probably comparable to other underworlds in Ancient Near Eastern cultures -- Sumerian, Assyrian, Ugaritic, etc. Don't know how much is known about those.

As for heaven, there is a concept known as the world to come -- sometimes but not always conflated with the Messianic age which is kind of Utopian in a happy theocratic sense -- happy and Utopian if you want to live in a theocracy -- the entire world living in concord fulfilling God's laws and oh yeah, the dead will be physically resurrected as well and everyone will throng to Jerusalem sometime in the future. This concept is sourced strongly in Isaiah. Can't remember the chapter but it is one of the well known passages.

On top of that, there is also a notion that God will reward you or punish you for the deeds you do in this life -- which may equate better with the Christian notion of heaven. But in Judaism, there is not a lot of focus on heavenly reward. That is not supposed to be a consideration in keeping God's laws. Doing good deeds is its own reward...

In fact, the proto-rabbinic party and the Sadduccees had a sharp doctrinal difference on this exact issue in, I believe, the first century CE. According to the Rabbinic version of events, the Sadduccean party looked to their future heavenly reward to motivate themselves to do good deeds and follow the law and the proto-rabbinic party did not.

The Sadducean position may have influenced the Essenes who may in turn have influenced the early Christian movement. Or not. It's a point of debate and speculation and no one knows for sure - there are simply not enough texts extant to be sure at this point in history.

On the other hand, in early Jewish mysticism, 2nd - 6th century, there is certainly an idea of God's dwelling place, his hall, his hekhal, where worthy souls, i.e. true mystics, oh and other worthies too, and of course myriads of angel, got to enter in order to dwell in the presence of God. There are seven levels, each throne room closer and closer to the true manifestation of God himself. The roots of this tradition can be found in Isaiah and Daniel and Ezekiel -- some of it influenced directly from Babylonian and Persian traditions. Mystics had to learn traditions and esoteric knowledge and be pious in order to pierce the veil of heaven while still alive. There are some middle Platonic resonances here.

In the Middle Ages, with the influx of Platonic philosophy into Islam then Judaism then Christianity and the simultaneous flowering of Kabbalah, this tradition became more Platonized than it was before -- the reward in the world to come more or less meant being worthy of the uninterrupted contemplation of God after death, something you tried to attain as best you could in life.

In any case, the point is in Judaism you are supposed to do good deeds and follow God's laws in this world in and of themselves, not because you are considering future rewards. So there is a concept of heaven and hell but it is less a point of religious focus the way it is in Christianity. And for streams of Judaism which are neither mystical nor philosphical it is not all that important.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Very Interesting. -- LeeAnn, 17:33:23 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Is there a heaven and hell? Very possibly more than you wanted to know -- FriarTed, 05:50:52 05/24/02 Fri

I think Isaiah 60-66 is the passage you had in mind about the World-to-Come/Messianic Age.

Also-in the dispute over Afterlife/Resurrection, the Sadduccees (the Priestly class) generally viewed this life as the setting for whatever rewards/punishments God meted out for ones actions & thus denied or downplayed any future life. The Pharisees (the proto-rabbinic party) & the Essenes believed in Afterlife &/or Resurrection- with perhaps a bit of reincarnation thrown in. The book of ACTS in the New Testament shows Paul, a former Pharisee, getting the Pharisees on a Jewish religious court on his side by
noting their shared agreement on a Future Life against the Sadducees.

With the 70 CE destruction of the Temple & much of the Priesthood, the Sadducean party became irrelevant and the Rabbinic Pharisees who emphasized living by the Torah & the Prophets became dominent in Judaism.

Finally, RE Gehinnom- those Pharisees who did hold to a Hellish Afterlife differed as to whether that Hell would be
Eternal Punishment (which Christians have usually taught),
Ultimate Destruction (an ongoing view held by many tho not
most Christians) or Temporal Punishment followed by Final Reconciliation with God (also an ongoing minority view among Christians). I myself hold to the a combination of the latter two. English translations of the New Testament
definitely indicate the first, but the original Greek texts are not that clear, & give reason for the other options.

The Buffy/Angelverse definitely has a variety of Hells but also hopes of eventual liberation from them (as do some forms of Buddhism & Hinduism, btw).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Questions for alcibiades and Friar re: is there a heaven and hell? -- redcat, 10:13:20 05/24/02 Fri

Wow, now I’m really confused. This is one of the few mini-threads I can read until my local
station broadcasts the BtVS finale late Saturday night, so I’ve been following the discussion
with interest. I’m no scholar of religion, and in particular know very little about these types of
theological issues in Judaism. But as I sit here eating homemade kugel (didn’t have any matzo
so had to use corn meal - it works!), I read the two statements reprinted below, from alcibiades
and Friar Ted respectively, and they seem to contradict each other. Hmmm...munch, munch...
(goes back for another piece of kugel).. munches some more...

Can someone please clear this up? Are the differences here a matter of historical
interpretation? Will I need to go back and research the relationship of the Sadducces and
Pharisees, and their relationships to early Essenes and Xtians in order to understand it?
Certainly hope not, as I already have a huge summer reading list...

alcibiades said: “In fact, the proto-rabbinic party and the Sadduccees had a sharp doctrinal
difference on this exact issue in, I believe, the first century CE. According to the Rabbinic
version of events, the Sadduccean party looked to their future heavenly reward to motivate
themselves to do good deeds and follow the law and the proto- rabbinic party did not. “

Friar Ted replied:: “ the dispute over Afterlife/Resurrection, the Sadduccees (the Priestly
class) generally viewed this life as the setting for whatever rewards/punishments God meted
out for ones actions & thus denied or downplayed any future life. The Pharisees (the proto-
rabbinic party) & the Essenes believed in Afterlife &/or Resurrection- with perhaps a bit of
reincarnation thrown in. The book of ACTS in the New Testament shows Paul, a former
Pharisee, getting the Pharisees on a Jewish religious court on his side by noting their shared
agreement on a Future Life against the Sadducees.”

Oh, and by the way, alcibiades, the underworld of Sumer is exceptionally well-described in the
literature on Inanna’s descent. Caroline, Ixchel and I have posted a bit about it, threads in the
archives now. That underworld certainly can have some “hellish” aspects, but is perhaps more
similar to what Friar Ted describes as the third historical type of conception of a Xtian hell,
“Temporal Punishment followed by Final Reconciliation.” There certainly are links between
early Sumerian mythologies/epistemologies and early Semite culture, as well as pre-Platonic
Greek notions of the geography of power. Some of those early Sumerian themes, particularly
the hero/fool’s journey into the internalized underworld of the dark self, and the notion that a
return from such a journey both requires subsequent duty to the upperworld and that there are
always consequences of the journey for both the wanderer and the world, are retained in the
contemporary Tarot, primarily as resonances of it’s early Kabbalic influences.

Am very much enjoying this mini-discussion, BTW!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Questions for alcibiades and Friar re: is there a heaven and hell? -- aliera, 18:03:07 05/24/02 Fri

Interesting post...mythologies are an interest of mine also and the tarot.

One of the difficulties for me in the show is the sometimes odd mix, a real jumble, of things they draw from. I wonder who knows what, what's intentional and what is coming from the subconscious, and what is simply made up because it struck a writer or other person as interesting.

There are so many common themes running through different religions and/or mythologies that's it's possible to draw connections with ...well, almost anything. Rituals, symbols, aspects of the god(dess) were assimilated or sometimes reversed to meet the needs of the group or society.

I wish I knew more about the intent of Joss in this area (if there is any) or if he just drawing on whatever will resonant with the viewer in a given instance.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Without wanting to sound arrogant *G*... -- FriarTed, 03:30:18 05/25/02 Sat

The Pharisees & Essenes definitely leaned to Afterlife/Resurrection. The Sadducees to "This life is it".
Check Flavius Josephus ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS 18:1:2-5 and
the New Testament's Acts of the Apostles 23:6-10.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Repentance and redemption in Judaism -- Dochawk, 13:25:29 05/23/02 Thu

Alcaibedes and others have done an excellent job in explaining these facets of Judaism, so I will add only afew things. The concept of atonement in Judaism is a constant. Our most holy day is Yom Kippur where we come before G*D (I will add here that I am agnostic) and ask for forgiveness. The 10 days before (starting with Rosh Hashanah) we are to look inward and evaluate our behavior. On the Day Before Yom Kippur we are to ask each individual against whom we have sinned for their forgiveness. It is an important concept that atonement begins with the personal then moves to G*D. Willow of course would have a tough time asking Warren for forgiveness.

[> [> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul.....spoilers for Grave -- Rufus, 20:41:51 05/23/02 Thu

Let's see what David Fury had to say about people who are demons or who have become possessed....

DF: You have to consider the fact, will be more clear when you see the last two episodes. This isn't Willow anymore. She is something not of herself. The same thing Willow did, Spike commited attrocities. Some people are forgiving of that. You blame the demon.

DF: It's not a soul issue, is she the Willow that we know? She has so much power now and so much in here. You will see next week, it's not really her. She will have a lot to deal with, and btw this is no paralell universe, no alternate dimension. Willow will be paying for it and dealing with it next season.

So how far does blaming the demon go? If Willow pays for what she has done while under the control of primal forces, how much culpability does she have in actions done while possesed? Is she responsible for each and everything done, or is she responsible for allowing herself to be seduced into giving up her control to a force stronger than herself?

With Spike, Jane Espenson says this

JE: Yeah, exactly. I think we have to be very careful that we're not saying anything about humans. When we say that Spike looked into his soul at that moment and saw the demon in him, and that's what made him want to go get a soul --

JE: Yes, in my mind, that's ... we did a big ole' mislead on you all where we wanted you to think he was gonna go get dechipped. We knew, the whole time, from the very beginning, that he was going to go get a soul.

JE: And when he says "I want Buffy to have what she deserves -- give the Slayer what she deserves -- he means a lover with a soul."

JE: Right. Which is the area which is so very dicey.
Because we know Spike; we love Spike; and we know he's in a very special situation where he has this demon in him and this lack of a soul that allowed him to try to rape her. A human guy that says **I saw the badness in my heart when I tried to do that; I have gone and fixed myself; I am redeemed; you can trust me now, baby** -- might not be the same thing. And we gotta be real careful that we're not saying that.

JE: He's a vampire with a soul, not human, yeah.

So, if we blame the demon, how did Spike manage to find something in himself to desire to go in search of a soul? And now that he has one and is a second vampire with a soul, what is he responsible for as he is still a demon? Angel has been in a journey for redemption, does Spike and Willow deserve any less an opportunity to do the same thing?

[> [> [> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul.....spoilers for Grave -- Arethusa, 08:17:49 05/24/02 Fri

I don't think Spike wanted a soul so much as he wanted Buffy and thought if he had a soul Buffy could love him, especially since she told him repeatedly that she could never love an evil, souless monster, and justified her last affair with a vampire by saying he had a soul.
We have plenty of precedent for accepting that we shouldn't blame the person for what the demon does when a person is vamped.
And who says Spike even wants redemption, or is on that path? (Although the scarabs were probably a big hint...). All we know is the writers don't like to do the same thing twice-unless they are trying to lead us astray, or make an ironic comment.
Maybe we should ask: What's the worst, the most painful, the most ironic and drastic thing that could happen to Spike, now that he has a soul? Because that's probably where ME will go.

[> [> [> [> My take on Angel's journey of redemption is... -- A8, 14:15:07 05/24/02 Fri

...that it has almost as much to do with making amends for his sins as a human as it does for what he did as a vamp. In "Amends" he says so much as to the effect that it is the man in him that needs killing, not the demon. His vamp viciousness was deeply informed by his despicable amoral pre- vamped human persona. Willow and Spike would seem to have more in common with each other than with Angel since their evil personas were largely informed by the pain of introversion and self-loathing rather than just being nasty people. It may not make any difference in terms of the destructive results of their actions, and what punishments they deserve, but their vicious acts were borne out of human existences that cried out for recognition and understanding.

[> [> [> [> [> Intriguing, insightful post, A8. -- Ixchel, 18:22:25 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- JeniLynn, 11:11:03 05/23/02 Thu

Perhaps the restoration of Spikes soul did not require dark magic; what if it was good magic? My husband and I both thought that the cave demon looked a bit like Skip from AtS. If it is Skip then it would mean that the PTB are looking for a new warrior for good. What are the thoughts on this....

[> [> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- Sophist, 12:21:38 05/23/02 Thu

Could be, but then LeeAnn's question about why the trials were needed becomes even more relevant. Either (1) the demon was evil, in which case the trials alone should have gotten him what he wanted and his changes over the past 2 years were meaningless; or (2) the demon was good, in which case it's hard to see why he needed the trials on top of the changes. Maybe a neutral, wish-granting demon solves both problems.

The demon seemed evil to me. At least judging by the "fingerpainting" in the cave and the nature of the tests. Plus the whole "Heart of Darkness-y" aspect of it. But you could be right. October, you say?

[> [> [> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- Rahael, 14:33:03 05/23/02 Thu

My point of view was that they were subverting the whole 'heart of darkness'. So the cave paintings were violent and primal. Buffy's precise roots are in that cave. Her roots are violent and primal (avoiding the 'dark' part!!)

Spike goes to the heart of darkness, the heart of Africa to deliver death to the slayer (we are given to understand) but we find that 'what she deserves' is very different. My theory? that the cave and the demon are in some way connected to the Primal beginnings of the Slayer. That the scene exemplifies the encounters the whole season between Spike and Buffy.

Why are we sure that the demon has to be 'good' or 'evil'? This is after all the ep where the vengeance demon shows an exemplary bravery, humanity and kindness we don't see in many other 'humans'. The ep where Clem looks after Dawn.

I am still waiting for someone to tell me where in the show we have heard the word 'redemption'. I think ME talks about Life. Where in our lives is the concept of 'redemption' meaningful. Can Willow ever be redeemed from her torture of Warren? I say, no. She, as a human being can be redeemed by Xander's love for her. Her actions cannot be. Redeemed from herself. Redeemed from her hatred. Not redeemed in a macrocosmic way where there is a God counting up the sinners and the just.

I'm still sticking to my view that the Buffyverse is inherently unfair, and uncontrollable. This isn't to take away free will. It enhances it. Because all that really matters anymore is what we do.

[> [> [> [> [> Oh, and -- Rahael, 14:48:34 05/23/02 Thu

Rewards kind of take away from the nobility of a character for me.

The very reason why Spike behaved so admirably in 'Intervention' was because he could have died helping Buffy and Dawn, and they might never have known. His leaving of flowers after Joyce's death was also meant to be anonymous and therefore more meaningful.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Oh, and -- Sophist, 15:02:17 05/23/02 Thu

I mostly agree. In this case, I'm not saying Spike did anything for the purpose of a reward, I'm saying he could be seen as having been rewarded for what he did. The latter is fine; the former may or may not be noble, depending on too many other qualifications.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree (spoilers for AtS and BtVS season finale), -- Rahael, 15:21:21 05/23/02 Thu

I didn't think you were saying that. That was mostly aimed at disgruntled comments along the line of "How dare ME not reward Spike!" This is after all the writing team that consigns Angel to the bottom of the universe while he tells his murderous son that he loves him.

As for Willow, I agree with your points in your post below. The issue is exactly about human society, and it always has been in the Buffyverse. THe question of Angel's 'redemption' has always been about his anomalous position on the fringes of society. The question of Spike has been his living on the 'other side of the door'. The question about Willow, about Anya will always be about how they are reintegrated into society. That's what I think redemption means in the Buffyverse. In the season finale, we see Buffy choosing to live in the world again. Anya chooses to stop Willow. It makes sense, when connecting up with the big Buffyverse theme of 'Otherness'

This is why I have such a problem with using such a loaded word as 'redemption'.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- Sophist, 14:55:06 05/23/02 Thu

We're still in agreement about unpredictable and uncontrollable. But whether you're Oedipus suffering for acts he had no way of knowing were wrong, or an existentialist faced with the pitiless universe, you remain responsible for your own conduct.

If Willow is responsible for murder, and I believe she is, then we have to decide how to deal with her. That raises the issue of redemption (not necessarily in a Christian sense) even if ME chooses to deal with it tacitly rather than formally. Your description of how Willow can be redeemed is pretty close to what I meant: how do we reintegrate her into our social group? ME can't avoid this issue.

Your analysis of Spike and the cave is wonderful, the best I've seen yet. Post it again; not everyone will read this thread. You are terrific.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you!! -- Rahael, 15:08:03 05/23/02 Thu

I am planning a longer post, 'Spike's Cruciamentum,' where I'm going to rehearse this point. Of course, I have been planning any number of posts, and there are emails to be answered. I'm not getting anything done for some reason!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Always enjoying the brilliance of Rahael! -- ponygirl, 06:40:07 05/24/02 Fri

Lovely posts all around. I'm looking forward to the longer post you mention -- no pressure!

[> [> [> [> [> JANE Espenson SPOILERS//Dark Knight of the Soul//Free Will -- alcibiades, 19:34:12 05/23/02 Thu

Damn I really wish I hadn't read that interview last night. Didn't realize it would be all spoilery for next year.

I have been really annoyed ever since.

Rahael wrote: "This isn't to take away free will. It enhances it. Because all that really matters anymore is what we do."

See this is my problem. I think if Spike has the chip, even though he has the soul he doesn't have free will. Which makes him of a lesser order than the other Scoobies even with the soul -- I just hate this. Because he has transitioned so much further than any of the rest of them -- defying gravity the whole way up.

I really, really wish I hadn't found it out until next year.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Disagree on "free will" -- Dyna, 19:55:33 05/23/02 Thu

I hear this comment a lot, that Spike doesn't have "free will" because he has the chip--but why is that so? The chip only prevents Spike from taking certain, very specific actions. It does not erase his personality or turn him into a mindless automaton. To say that absence of choice in one area of life is tantamount to absence of choice in all areas doesn't make sense to me. Spike makes choices, and he's responsible for his choices. I think this season did a very good job of making that clear.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I really appreciated the interview, because... -- Ixchel, 21:09:11 05/23/02 Thu

I was getting a headache trying to figure out what Spike is now and if it was his choice (it was quite confusing). I think that he chose to get a soul is an expression of free will in itself. If he had been tricked or if it had been a mistake, either would have been extremely disappointing to me (so I think I understand how you feel about the chip, I would have preferred it gone also). Though Dyna does have a good point below about the chip being limiting only in a very defined area. Actually my first thought about the chip was that once his souledness is proven perhaps Willow could figure out how to deactivate it so that he wouldn't be defenseless against "evil" humans (just a thought).


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- alcibiades, 20:02:03 05/23/02 Thu

Rahael wrote:

"Why are we sure that the demon has to be 'good' or 'evil'? This is after all the ep where the vengeance demon shows an exemplary bravery, humanity and kindness we don't see in many other 'humans'. The ep where Clem looks after Dawn.."

I think of the cave as a sort of anvil of the soul.

Spike is the big bad who has always postured, he postures in the dream in Restless, selling himself to Hollywood. Furthermore, he postures again as he walks into the cave. The Shooting Script says that after the demon speaks: "Spike actually looks a bit unnerved. But he covers with his usual bravado.."

So he's posturing even as he enters the cave.

It seems to me that the "shadows on the wall" are the essence of posturing, the kind of thing that would turn anyone away. But it doesn't speak to the truth of the creature within. Just as Spike's posturing in general and at the brink of his trial, doesn't speak to the truth of his being -- it just shows that he's trying to cover something up.

At the end of the trial, he is left denuded, empty of gestures and anger. There is only himself over and over. And what he really wants, what lay behind the anger, is his desire to give Buffy what she deserves. That is why his voice is totally different in the scene than when he spoke earlier -- the externalities are all gone.

I guess that is why he has to fight the fire guy -- fire = cleansing or purifying or something like that.

Plus the demon has green glowy eyes -- and in the Buffyverse, green and glowy means not evil but an inter- dimensional key:

From Blood Ties:

So this Key thing. It's been around for a long time.

Not as long as me, but yeah. Just this side of forever.

Dawn absorbs that. Forever?

Is it… evil?

Totally. Well, no, not really.
I guess it depends on your point of view.

And that's what I think is true of the demon with the Green Glowy Eyes -- same color as Buffy's dress.

He really transcends good and evil -- but if you approach him, he's going to posture he is the big bad to keep you away until you are ready to deal with the anvil.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Very interesting point -- Sophist, 20:49:16 05/23/02 Thu

So the trials served to strip away Spike's facade and allow the demon to ascertain what he "really" wanted? Nice idea.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Much agreement! -- ponygirl, 06:37:05 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Completely agree!!! -- Caroline, 06:39:53 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Totally agree-and said so below -- Arethusa, 08:25:49 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Joining the chorus of agreement. Wonderful post, alcibiades. -- Ixchel, 10:37:53 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Brilliant as always, Rahael. I couldn't agree more. -- Ixchel, 20:24:57 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Brilliant stuff! -- Caroline, 06:43:12 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- Arethusa, 14:52:52 05/23/02 Thu

The figures I saw on the cave wall seemed to be:
a.)a demon with razor nails
b.)a person with his mouth sewn shut
c.)a person who has been eviscerated

It struck me that Willow had sewn a man's mouth shut, and had flayed, if not eviscerated, a man, but I "know" Willow's not eeevil. So maybe we don't know if the demon in the cave is evil or not. After all, the episode went to great legnths to show us evil humans and good demons.

[> [> Re: Dark Knight of the Soul -- rose, 16:31:05 05/23/02 Thu

Spike will not be william but he can't (probably) continue to act exactly like his old self.
after all angeleus did not revert to liam when given a soul he finally grew up .

but the scoobies will have to give him slack for previous crimes or their living in sever double standered zones he cant be new slate exempt because they met him evil and became good (not a garenntee) instred of visa versa.

also i have a fealing he spends the summer with a bottle trying to decide what to do about the old guilt and the new. what he'll decide is up to joss

[> Re: Redemption and Judaism: Some Questions -- maddog, 14:59:35 05/23/02 Thu

Prove to me by what Spike said that he wanted the chip out?

Cause the truth of the matter is, he acted angry...he acted outraged....but what he said was, I wanna give Buffy was she deserves. That's what he said. Now that's vague and it's done on purpose so we all assume he wanted the chip out. I'd like to say I was one of the few(though I know there were probably many) who could see this coming. That no matter how mad Spike got at Buffy, he still cared for her. Remember, the theme of the year was Oh Grow Up. Well Spike did that...for once he thought not of himself(aka getting the chip back) but of others(truly wanting a soul for Buffy's sake).

[> Judiasm and magick -- Dochawk, 16:04:49 05/23/02 Thu

one other intersting concept about Judaism is that Judaism believes in magic (at least one major strain does). The chassidim tell of very powerful magics and have a prohibition against practicing them, because many of them are thought to be dark. The kabbalah traditionally is not to be read until you are mature (some say 40) because the powerful magicks contained can corrupt you (much the way the black magic books consume willow, in fact). The most famous story is that of the Golem and a great Czech rabbi who raised it from the dead.

[> ok, time to turn this around... -- anom, 23:14:28 05/23/02 Thu

...& ask a q. or 2 about Xtianity.

Starting w/the X. "Christ." The Greek equivalent of "messiah," or moshiach in Hebrew. It doesn't mean "savior," it means "anointed." As in "Thou anointest my head with oil" (23rd Psalm, except that's actually a different verb). I know Jesus of Nazareth was baptized, but was he anointed? When/where/etc.?

The birth/appearance/life? of Jesus was supposed to fulfill prophecies from the "Old Testament" (or as we prefer to call it, the Hebrew Scriptures). I know the idea of a messiah existed in Judaism, but is there any evidence before 1 "AD" (or as we prefer to call it, BCE) that the messiah was supposed to be killed & have to come back again? My understanding was always that the appearance of the messiah was supposed to usher in the World to Come/a messianic age (lion w/lamb, folks sitting under vines & fig trees); I don't know of any preexisting prophecies of the messiah's role being martyrdom to save souls or atone for sin. In fact, human sacrifice as a sin-offering or any kind of offering is forbidden in Judaism. So is there anything in Jewish writings that's cited as what the crucifixion fulfilled?

Thanks--I've wondered about these things for a while now.

[> [> Re: ok, time to turn this around... -- O'Cailleagh, 23:30:50 05/23/02 Thu

Well, I'm no expert on Judaism, but I don't think the Torah mentions anything about a crucifixion/messiah connection. I was under the impression that all that stuff was just grafted onto the Jesus myth to make it more accessible to the Pagans. That and all the other Pagan themes in the Jesus myth. Now that I think of it, everything except the names and places.....

[> [> Judaism and the Messiah -- Dochawk, 23:34:14 05/23/02 Thu

From one of my online studies:

The Messianic Idea in Judaism

Belief in the eventual coming of the moshiach is a basic and fundamental part of traditional Judaism. It is part of Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith, the minimum requirements of Jewish belief. In the Shemoneh Esrei prayer, recited three times daily, we pray for all of the elements of the coming of the moshiach: ingathering of the exiles; restoration of the religious courts of justice; an end of wickedness, sin and heresy; reward to the righteous; rebuilding of Jerusalem; restoration of the line of King David; and restoration of Temple service.

Modern scholars suggest that the messianic concept was introduced later in the history of Judaism, during the age of the prophets. They note that the messianic concept is not mentioned anywhere in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible).

However, traditional Judaism maintains that the messianic idea has always been a part of Judaism. The moshiach is not mentioned explicitly in the Torah, because the Torah was written in terms that all people could understand, and the abstract concept of a distant, spiritual, future reward was beyond the comprehension of some people. However, the Torah contains several references to "the End of Days" (achareet ha-yameem), which is the time of the moshiach; thus, the concept of moshiach was known in the most ancient times.

The term "moshiach" literally means "the anointed one," and refers to the ancient practice of anointing kings with oil when they took the throne. The moshiach is the one who will be anointed as king in the End of Days.

The word "moshiach" does not mean "savior." The notion of an innocent, divine or semi-divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from the consequences of our own sins is a purely Christian concept that has no basis in Jewish thought. Unfortunately, this Christian concept has become so deeply ingrained in the English word "messiah" that this English word can no longer be used to refer to the Jewish concept. The word "moshiach" will be used throughout this page.
The Moshiach

The moshiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The moshiach is often referred to as "moshiach ben David" (moshiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments. (Isaiah 11:2-5) He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being.

It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the moshiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person's lifetime, then that person will be the moshiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the moshiach, then that person is not the moshiach.
When Will the Moshiach Come?

There are a wide variety of opinions on the subject of when the moshiach will come. Some of Judaism's greatest minds have cursed those who try to predict the time of the moshiach's coming, because errors in such predictions could cause people to lose faith in the messianic idea or in Judaism itself. This actually happened in the 17th century, when Shabbatai Tzvi claimed to be the moshiach. When Tzvi converted to Islam under threat of death, many Jews converted with him. Nevertheless, this prohibition has not stopped anyone from speculating about the time when the moshiach will come.

Although some scholars believed that G-d has set aside a specific date for the coming of the moshiach, most authority suggests that the conduct of mankind will determine the time of the moshiach's coming. In general, it is believed that the moshiach will come in a time when he is most needed (because the world is so sinful), or in a time when he is most deserved (because the world is so good). For example, each of the following has been suggested as the time when the moshiach will come:

* if Israel repented a single day;
* if Israel observed a single Shabbat properly;
* if Israel observed two Shabbats in a row properly;
* in a generation that is totally innocent or totally guilty;
* in a generation that loses hope;
* in a generation where children are totally disrespectful towards their parents and elders;

What Will the Moshiach Do?

Before the time of the moshiach, there shall be war and suffering (Ezekiel 38:16)

The moshiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).
Olam Ha-Ba: The Messianic Age

The world after the messiah comes is often referred to in Jewish literature as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come. This term can cause some confusion, because it is also used to refer to a spiritual afterlife. In English, we commonly use the term "messianic age" to refer specifically to the time of the messiah.

Olam Ha-Ba will be characterized by the peaceful co- existence of all people. (Isaiah 2:4) Hatred, intolerance and war will cease to exist. Some authorities suggest that the laws of nature will change, so that predatory beasts will no longer seek prey and agriculture will bring forth supernatural abundance (Isaiah 11:6-11:9). Others, however, say that these statements are merely an allegory for peace and prosperity.

All of the Jewish people will return from their exile among the nations to their home in Israel (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). The law of the Jubilee will be reinstated.

In the Olam Ha-Ba, the whole world will recognize the Jewish G-d as the only true G-d, and the Jewish religion as the only true religion (Isaiah 2:3; 11:10; Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9). There will be no murder, robbery, competition or jealousy. There will be no sin (Zephaniah 3:13). Sacrifices will continue to be brought in the Temple, but these will be limited to thanksgiving offerings, because there will be no further need for expiatory offerings.

[> [> Re: ok, time to turn this around... -- FriarTed, 06:26:43 05/24/02 Fri

Jesus/Yeshua was Jewish as were his disciples. They did not just make up the concept of a dying/rising Messiah. Passages of the Dead Sea Scrolls indicate a Messiah-ben-Joseph would die in battle against Gog & Magog (Gentile invaders) while Messiah-ben-David would vanquish them.
Raphael Patai in THE MESSIAH SCROLLS has written on such passages.

However, the Jewish Scriptures-the Tanakh has the strongest indications in Daniel 9:25-27 (the Anointed/Messiah Prince is killed 69x7=483 years after the Persia decree to rebuild Jerusalem, which was issued around 450 BCE) and in Isaiah 53 (God's Servant suffers & is slain for the iniquities of his people & in the end emerges victorious- compare also David's lament in Psalm 22.)

One may legitimately disagree with the Christian view, but it does have precedent in Jewish Scripture & thought before the Rabbis ruled it out.

When was Jesus anointed? That IS difficult. Possible "anointings" include-
His physical birth by Mary (in which Divine Spirit is made flesh & emerges in an oily substance).
His ceremonial washing (mikvah/baptism) by John the priestly heir.
His public endowment with Holy Breath/Spirit after which he began to teach & heal bodily, emotional & spiritual ills.
His perfumed greasing by Mary of Bethany a week before his death.
The second perfumed greasing of his corpse at burial.
His being raised to immortal life by God.

If one is looking for a priest/prophet who pours oil upon Jesus & declares him the Davidic King/Son of God (see Psalm 2 for that as a legit title for the Davidic King), one will not find an exact match. If one is willing to stretch the meaning of "anointed" to mean "chosen & empowered for Divine service", then there are plenty of anointing incidents.

Heck, I have no problem with Buffy as a Messiah- figure.*G*

[> [> [> partial response -- anom, 17:13:33 05/24/02 Fri

I'm rushing through this now in an attempt to keep this thread going through Shabbes so I can address the rest afterwards!

"Jesus/Yeshua was Jewish as were his disciples. They did not just make up the concept of a dying/rising Messiah. Passages of the Dead Sea Scrolls indicate a Messiah-ben-Joseph would die in battle against Gog & Magog (Gentile invaders) while Messiah-ben-David would vanquish them."

This doesn't sound like the life of Jesus--did he take part in any battles? In any case, that's not how he died, & it says nothing about his coming back. So I'm not sure how it applies.

"However, the Jewish Scriptures-the Tanakh has the strongest indications in Daniel 9:25-27 (the Anointed/Messiah Prince is killed 69x7=483 years after the Persia decree to rebuild Jerusalem, which was issued around 450 BCE)..."

I looked this up--the Hebrew (& my JPS translation) has weeks, not years, & refers to an, not the, anointed one.

Gotta go--the rest will have to wait!

[> [> [> [> Re: partial response -- Sophist, 18:50:22 05/24/02 Fri

anom, there are 2000 years of Christian exegesis of the Old Testament to find verses prefiguring Jesus. You really don't want to deal with this topic in a few posts. And I'm not sure you'd gain much if you mastered the whole history of the subject. :)

[> [> [> [> Weeks="sevens". -- FriarTed, 04:15:17 05/25/02 Sat

The DSS mention was just to show the idea of a dying Messiah was not unknown in Judaic thought of that time- not to say that was a prophecy of Jesus. It would be REALLY stretching to say he was in spiritual battle against Roman imperialism & thus slain by Rome which filled the role of Gog. *L*

RE the "seventy weeks"-

New Jewish Publication Society translation (1985)-
Daniel 7:24-27-

Seventy weeks (ftn "of years") have been decreed for your people and your holy city until the measure of transgression is filled and that of sin complete, until iniquity is expiated, and eternal righteousness ushered in; and prophetic vision ratified (ftn "sealed"), and the Holy of Holies anointed. You must know & understand: From the issuance of the word to restore & rebuild Jerusalem until the [time of the] anointed leader is seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it will be rebuilt, square & moat, but in a time of distress. And after those sixty-two weeks, the anointed leader will disappear and vanish (ftn "meaning of Heb. uncertain). The army of a leader who is to come will destroy the city & the sanctuary, but its end will come through a flood. Desolation is decreed until the end of war. During one week he will make firm covenant with many. For half a week he will put a stop to the sacrifice & the meal offering. At the corner (ftn "meaning of Heb. uncertain")
[of the altar] will be an appalling abomination until the decreed destruction will be poured out upon the appalling thing.

Yes, I had to type all that out- WHEW! *G*

Christian view- Word to rebuild Jerusalem around 450 BCE to
Jesus around 33 CE was "sixty-nine weeks/seven, thus 483 years" (there are several views of if the years were solar or lunar & if those were the precise dates). Some see the last (70th) week as being fulfilled in the Apostles ministry to Israel & then the Gentiles, some in the Roman war against Jerusalen (66-73 CE), some in a future "Tribulation" in which AntiChrist deceives Israel & then betrays it by defiling the Temple.

A non-Christian view is that the 70 sevens were a figurative number indicating "fulness of time" starting with the Medo- Persian conquest of Babylon & the M-P sponsorship of the restoration of the Jews to their land (about 538 BCE)
to the Maccebean war against the Temple-defiling Greek- Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The "anointed leader" refers to the line of Godly kings & priests who
led Israel, were persecuted & sometimes martyred, & finally defeated Antiochus. Btw, many more liberal Christian scholars tend toward this view also.

I think both views can equally apply.

The time of Jesus actually saw many Messianic-claimants based on the 70 weeks prophecy (hence the plethora of Zealot- led rebellions against Rome), to the point that the Talmud actually forbids the use of that prophecy to try to calculate Messiah's coming (Sanhedrin, Tractate 976, Nezikim Vol 3, Rabbi Samuel B. Nahmami speaking in the name of Rabbi Jonathan, cited on James BeauSiegneur's 1997 novel IN HIS IMAGE: The Christ Clone Trilogy Vol 1, p 293).

[> Just want to thank everyone above, this type of discussion is what hooked me... -- A8, 13:25:09 05/24/02 Fri

on this board in the first place. Sorry, the 108 character limitation forced me into the box.

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