November 2003 posts

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Anne Rice -- DickBD, 15:03:26 11/01/03 Sat

One of my favorite people was on television last night, Wendy Kaminer, being interviewed by Bill Moyers. She was burning with brilliance, as usual. It was an article by her that got me started watching Buffy, as she confessed that she watched it and Angel, too. If a great intellectual like her was a fan, I could certainly give it a try. It took a while, but it certainly took hold of my life and enriched it.

Now, I find myself paying attention to other fiction that deals with vampires. For that reason, I also watched Anne Rice being interviewed on a different program. Does anyone read her stories? I wasn't as impressed by her mentality as I was by Wendy Kaminer, although the latter is in a category of her own, in my opinion, and is not a fiction writer.

Still, apparently she pioneered the idea of not all vampires being evil? (Here I thought that only Angel and Spike were the exceptions!)


[> Re: Anne Rice -- angel's nibblet, 15:26:33 11/01/03 Sat

hmmmm im not sure about anne rice's vampires not being evil, i thought the whole point was that they were evil and still fed off people, and occasionally felt remorse and even sympathy for their victims, and a kind of weird love for them too, but not enough to change their wicked ways. It's been a while since her vampire chronicles so i may be way off....

[> [> Nope, her vamps are pretty much morally ambiguous all the way... -- Rob, 15:55:38 11/01/03 Sat

Some are able to intellectualize what they do better than others--"I am a vampire. It is natural for me to feed off humans. So I do that."--but even many of those who seem to have no remorse for their actions are later revealed to indeed have reservations. Her favorite character, Lestat, in particular seems to be completely evil in the first book, but is given much greater depth in the second. Many of her vampires spend long amounts of time where they will only feed off animals or criminals. And all of them are nothing more than mystically transformed humans. No early-Buffyverse claims that a demon is wearing the former human's body. On the whole, Anne Rice's vampires are tortured, sympathetic anti-heroes, the type that the vamp-worshipping cult in "Lie to Me" worships. Her vampires aren't "evil"; they are basically doing what it is natural for their species to do. Also, Anne Rice's vampires, important to note, do not lose their souls upon being sired. With the added mystical strength and metaphysical bodily changes and superhuman abilities, they feel connected to a power they didn't have before. It is obvious to them that they have changed, but they're still at heart the same people. Some vampires, like Louis, are never really able to deal with their lot in life.


[> [> [> Queen of the Damned ... and the FE -- dmw, 07:06:39 11/02/03 Sun

Also, Anne Rice's vampires, important to note, do not lose their souls upon being sired. With the added mystical strength and metaphysical bodily changes and superhuman abilities, they feel connected to a power they didn't have before.

I don't recall Rice ever bringing up the topic of a soul (caveat: I stopped reading her books when they started getting bad and she's cranked out quite a few of them since then), so I'm not sure if humans or vampires have souls so there couldn't be a souled/unsouled distinction. Isn't BtVS the only fiction that's brought up that idea with respect to vampires?

Queen of the Damned did reveal that all the vampires have the original demon that entered the dying body of the person who became the first vampire in their blood. While the demon doesn't add a new personality like Angelus/Angel, it does drive the vampires to want blood, as that was part of what the demon wanted in becoming corporeal.

Hmmm...recalling this, it sounds like QofD has many of the story elements many people wanted for the FE in s7: the evil becoming corporeal and having an essential connection to vampires.

[> [> [> [> On that Soul thing... -- Sofdog, 11:41:32 11/04/03 Tue

"I don't recall Rice ever bringing up the topic of a soul (caveat: I stopped reading her books when they started getting bad and she's cranked out quite a few of them since then), so I'm not sure if humans or vampires have souls so there couldn't be a souled/unsouled distinction. Isn't BtVS the only fiction that's brought up that idea with respect to vampires?"

Quite a lot was revealed about the nature of vampires in "Memnoch the Devil." Among other things, Lestat learned from Memnoch that vampires are not dead. If they were dead they would have ceased to walk the earth. Their souls would have been removed to Sheol to dwell until Memnoch found a way to absolve them and send them on to Heaven. That was Memnoch's penance. He was cast down with the mandate that he would not be allowed to permanently return to Heaven until he had emptied Sheol and all souls were ascended directly to Heaven.

In the closing chapters Lestat discusses this as he recounts Armand's self-immolation. Armand had always believed that as a vampire, he could never return to God's grace. It was the founding tenet of that satanic vamp cult that kidnapped him from Marius in the early days. He'd believed all that and it pained him. So when Lestat returned from Heaven and Hell, clutching Veronica's Veil, Armand believed that he could be forgiven and went out into the morning sun.

"Memnoch" came out two weeks after I read the entire vamp/witch backlist, so it caught me jonesing. It is so overwritten and dull that I had to put it aside for 2 months before finishing.

I've slogged through nearly all of the recent Rice novels. Stopped at "Merrick" which was very, very good. Still haven't read "Blood and Gold," "Blackwood Farm" or "Blood Canticle." Apparently, the latest will be the last of Lestat. Don't have the heart to get caught up yet.

[> [> [> [> [> Demons and the fate of Lestat -- Tyreseus, 01:12:35 11/09/03 Sun

In dmw's post s/he mentions that all the vampires are infected by that original demon as described in Queen of the Damned, but I think the terminology might be a bit off. The "spirits" that the twins communed with were not necessarily demons as we tend to describe them. They are not creaures of evil. The one who became the seed of vampires was just more mischievous. If I remember the story correctly, it acted out of jealousy - jealous of the physical human existance. But it also showed signs of devotion (protecting the twins) and other emotions you might find in, say, a five year old child.

So I don't know if we can say that Rice's vampires came from a "demon" with all the moral implications of that word. It's just an enitity that thirsted and thrived on blood.

Also, sofdog, Rice has said in recent interviews that she may have changed her mind about finishing with her Vampire chronicles forever. Clearly, this will be the last book for a while so that she can work on other projects, but she is willing to allow for the possibility of returning to those loved characters again some day. So don't feel too disheartened. I haven't read 'Blood Canticle' yet (some vacation reading next week), but the other books are decent.

[> [> [> Re: Nope, her vamps are pretty much morally ambiguous all the way... -- angel's nibblet, 19:22:59 11/01/03 Sat

I think that's what I wanted to say, but words would not come. Darn my brain...not functioning properly today :-P

[> [> [> Ann Rice -- Dandy, 11:04:21 11/03/03 Mon

I have never seen JW acknowledge Ann Rice's influence in print but I see a connection between Louis and the rat eating Angel Whistler encounters. Louis seems to have a conscience. Did JW take one small leap and make that a soul?

[> [> [> [> Re: Ann Rice -- Rob, 14:21:51 11/04/03 Tue

I first started watching BtVS because I had just completed all of the Vampire Chronicles published up to that point in under a month and was jonesing for another vampire fix. And Louis was the first thing I thought of when I saw rat-drinking-Angel from "Becoming."

It actually took me a very long time to get used to the Buffyverse concept of a vampire just being a demon walking around in the body of a deceased human, and then of course they flipped that around starting around the time of "Doppelgangland"!


[> [> [> Thanks -- DickBD, 13:44:39 11/03/03 Mon

Thanks, Rob, and everyone else. I apologize for apparently misspelling Ann Rice's name.

Were her vampires like the ones in Buffyverse, in that they did not transform into smoke or into bats?

[> [> [> [> Re: Thanks -- Rob, 13:00:39 11/04/03 Tue

Correct. They can't transform into smoke or bats, and further, crosses have no affect on them. They sleep in coffins, not because they have to but for two reasons: (1) tradition and (2) it is an effective hiding place that completely blocks out the sun. In Rice's mythology, a vampire can never be out in the daytime. The sun itself, directly shining on a vampire or not, will kill him or her. In fact, vampires go into a sort of a coma as soon as the sun begins to rise and are incapable of being awakened until it sets.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Thanks -- DickBD, 13:19:01 11/04/03 Tue

Thanks, Rob. Are they sired in the same manner? (I'm trying hard here not to get started reading the Rice books!) It is interesting how the vampire genre has been utilized by different people with different interpretations. Having been hooked by Buffy and Angel, I can't help being interested in how they are portrayed and transmogrified by others.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Anne Rice and siring -- Rob, 14:05:02 11/04/03 Tue

Yes, just like on "Buffy," "it's a whole sucking thing." Vamp drains you to the point of death, you drink their blood, and you're a vampire. One difference is, the newly-made vampire isn't unconscious upon being sired. Instead, shortly after their siring (which I believe is called something else by Rice, but I could be wrong), they begin to feel an intense pain, which is the physical death of their mortal bodies and the transformation into their supernatural ones. One thing not stressed as much on "Buffy," probably because the show isn't from the vampires' perspective, are the effects of becoming a vampire. There are some very cool descriptions of the physical sensation of suddenly gaining superhuman abilities of sight, hearing, and movement. Closest Buffy has come is Holden's description of being connected to an all-powerful force.

Whereas Rices' vamps can't become bats, they can jump very high due to their superhuman strength. The older the vamp gets, the more powerful he gets, and the most powerful vamps can jump for such prolonged amounts of times and pass over such a large amount of space that it becomes akin to flying. Another thing to note is that after a certain point and a certain strength is reached, vampires can go longer and longer without feeding, however if they don't feed for too long, they become skeletal figures. And like in the Buffyverse, vampires can heal from any wound, although some might take years. Also interesting is that they remain exactly the way they were when they died. If a human died with long hair, for example when he becomes a vampire, that length of hair is there to stay. If he or she tried to cut it, it would grow back the next day just as long as it was before. Also, vampires don't have separate demonic faces when they feed in The Vampire Chronicles. They always try to stay away from brightly lit places when in public, even at night, so people don't notice the extreme paleness and translucency of their skin.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks, Rob -- DickBD, 12:50:23 11/05/03 Wed

I appreciate all the information, but now you have piqued my curiosity to the point that I will actually read at least one of the books!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Thanks, Rob -- Rob, 21:36:36 11/05/03 Wed

Here's the order of the first 5 (I lost track after that):

Interview with the Vampire
The Vampire Lestat
The Queen of the Damned
The Tale of the Body Thief
Memnoch the Devil


[> Rice is creatively superior to her intellect as shown in interviews.... -- Briar Rose, 16:09:22 11/01/03 Sat

Ann Rice always comes off as dull and a little less than intellectually gifted in interviews. I believe this is partly because she's something of a self styled recluse, although she does entertain certain people (fans and friends, interviewers and other artists) in her home from time to time with reservations.

Ann Rice has lived some tramatic moments. She details a lot of them in her interviews. And this tends to lead to quiet andsometimes boring interviews for people not familiar with her books and her personal story.

But for my money, I don't think anyone does vampires as well as Ann Rice does. Not even Joss Whedon and company have given so many layers to the vampire myth and culture.

[> [> Somewhat OT but amusing.. -- jane, 01:54:31 11/02/03 Sun

From Saturday's Vancouver Sun: "A vampire-killing kit complete with a wooden stake and 10 silver bullets has sold for $12,000 at auction in New York. The kit,a walnut box that also contained a crucifix,a pistol, a rosary and vessels for garlic powder and various serums, was bought by an anonymous phone bidder. The auction house did not identify the seller of the kit." Gave me a bit of a giggle - had visions of Buffy on the phone with Sotheby's!

[> [> [> Hi jane -- dub, 12:27:38 11/02/03 Sun

Nice to see someone else from Vancouver!


[> [> [> [> Thanks dub! Same here. -- jane, 16:19:21 11/02/03 Sun

[> [> Wasn't the eternal vampire child Claudia based on Anne Rice's little girl that died of cancer? -- Anon, 11:32:01 11/04/03 Tue

The photographs show her as so beautiful she did look like a little angel. Even without hair.

[> [> [> Yes. ('Interview with the Vampire' spoilers) -- Rob, 13:45:36 11/04/03 Tue

Ms Rice seems to be an intense woman who takes her writing and characters very seriously. She spoke in interviews of how Claudia was a tribute to her deceased daughter and a method of resurrecting her. She originally did not have Claudia die, but began to get nightmares, which she believe were the cause of indulging in this fantasy and not being able to put her child to rest. Having Claudia die was a means of catharsis for her, to finally come to grips with her feelings of loss due to her young daughter's death. As she buried this literary creation, she was able to finally (psychologically) bury her daughter.


[> [> [> [> Re: Yes. ('Interview with the Vampire' spoilers) -- Masq, 15:25:20 11/04/03 Tue

I haven't read the book in ages, but I did recently see the film again. In the film, Claudia is about to take on a new companion right before her death, a woman who lost her own daughter and wants to be vamped so she can be Claudia's companion and therefore have a "daughter who can't die".

Is this in the book, too? Because then I could see how Rice put herself symbolically into that woman before she killed Claudia.

[> [> [> [> [> Yes, it is in the book, too, and your theory makes a lot of sense. I had forgotten about her. -- Rob, 16:22:10 11/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> There are big revelations on her in 'Merrick'... -- Sofdog, 12:58:05 11/05/03 Wed

Louis comes into possession of one of Claudia's journals and learns a lot more about her true nature. The plot of the book is mostly that Louis is still guilt-ridden about her and asks a witch, Merrick Mayfair, to raise Claudia so he can know that she's at peace.

Very tasty story.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I read 'Merrick' a while back (Merrick spoilers) -- Masq, 13:27:23 11/05/03 Wed

Don't remember much about the Claudia parts, though. I was more interested in the Merrick bits.

But I was really, really, pissed when I thought Rice had killed off Louis. You just don't do that out of the blue to my conscience-ridden vampires! Luckily, Louis was pretty inept at killing himself, and had good friends. Such as they are.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I read 'Merrick' a while back (Merrick spoilers) -- Sofdog, 10:45:51 11/07/03 Fri

That one left off with a Lestat/Talamasca war in the offing. My question is, did it happen? I'd like to know before I bother to read "Blackwood Farm" and "Blood Canticle." They're Lestat books, but do they go with this whole Talamasca thing? 'Cause that looked promising.

[> [> She was the first in a long time to take them seriously -- mamcu, 19:34:13 11/04/03 Tue

The genre had devolved into camp with Christopher Lee and even moreso Blacula and Count Chocula, etc. Rice re-invented vampires and, I agree, found more depth than anyone else so far (in spite of my love for Spike).

[> Well, Anita Blake... -- mamcu, 08:33:05 11/03/03 Mon

There are definitely some good-guy vamps and even better were-creatures in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series--and most of those were written pre-Buffy.

[> perhaps Blade? -- MsGiles, 08:25:44 11/04/03 Tue

I know Blade is only part-vampire, and he is struggling against his vampiric elements, so you might want to discount him. But on the other hand, it is those same vampiric abilities, the strength and the supernatural energy, that allow him to fight other, evil, vampires. So perhaps there is some of the ambiguity that attaches to later treatments of vampirism. I think the Blade comic series came out in the 70's.

[> [> 'Interview with the Vampire' was first published in 1976 -- angel's nibblet, 02:28:42 11/05/03 Wed

[> [> [> 'Blade - Vampire Hunter' was first published in 1973 by Marvel -- MsGiles, 08:47:17 11/06/03 Thu

But apparently a lot of the ambiguity, in particular Blade's need for blood, was introduced in the fim version. The original had red eyes and was immune to bites, but that was about it. He had a vamp helper, though, a detective-turned-vampire called Hannibal King, who had the bloodlust to contend with. I don't know when he came into the story..

Fred's Physics and the Matrix -- undeadenglishpatient, 08:27:17 11/02/03 Sun

I need some help with trying to understand Fred's physics in Hellbound and what exactly she is trying to do. It sounds like Fred is trying to recorporalize Spike out of another dimension by going against the laws of nature. Much like what Willow did with Buffy - only with science.

Fred's references seem very Matrixy to me. Maybe someone familiar with the science behind the Matrix could sum it up for me. Isn't the Matrix a trans-reality world? Is ATS now a trans-reality world....or are they moving more into that kind of thing?

One more note: What was the Matrix's power source?

Here's Fred's dialog from Hellbound:

Fred's Physics:

FRED: The fluctuations in your readings. Lack of particle cohesion. It's almost as if your essence is straddling a dimensional void, which may be the key, assuming that the amulet you used to save the world is some sort of trans-reality amplifier capable of focusing massive quantities of mystical energy.

FRED: It means that if I can defy most of the laws of nature, there's a good chance I'll be able to anchor you to this plane and make you corporeal.

WESLEY: (reads from the paper) The Magdalene Grimoire, Necronomicon des Mortes, Hochstadter's Treatise on Fractal Geometry in 12-dimensional Space.
"Preoccupied" might not be the word we're looking for.
FRED: How fast can I get 'em?

FRED: Carry the quotient load across the remainder... support the imbalance with Lumière's fourth constant...
FRED: (looking at papers) I knew it.
FRED: Damn, I'm good!
FRED: Frickin' genius! Just cancel out the radical...
FRED: Which causes a feedback wave that liquefies half of Los Angeles.
FRED: Oh! I'll never figure this out!

FRED: Well, I had to extrapolate a new variation on interdimensional plasma dynamics on the fly, but... if the math holds...
FRED: Wait. For this to work, it's going to require a massive surge of dark energy to catalyze the process.
FRED: The equivalent of nuclear evil.

FRED: (to Wes) Make sure it's calibrated to minus .058. (to Gunn) Did you get it?
FRED: (puts the flask in the machine) All right, I think we're almost ready.
FRED: (starting up the machine) This baby puts out enough juice to light up ghost city. Anything remotely spectral around here is about to get the tinglies.
(Pan out to show a ring on the floor, painted with symbols around the
edge. The machine controls are hooked up to the ring.)


[> Treknobabble -- KdS, 09:04:11 11/02/03 Sun

[> [> Sorry. OK, more seriously -- KdS, 09:06:43 11/02/03 Sun

This is the same sort of thing as the scitech arguments in the Star Trek shows (unkindly referred to as "Treknobabble"). Basically, take a few scientific-sounding words, especially words relating to scientific concepts that occasionally get into the general newspapers, and string them together in a way that makes grammatical sense but has no meaning whatsoever. In this case, add a few mystical/theological terms to create even worse gibberish.

[> [> [> I don't think so -- undeadenglishpatient, 09:37:52 11/02/03 Sun

I don't think BTVS or ATS is anything like Star Trek. There isn't any real reason for them to use technobabble. There are so few references to science or scientific jargon, they don't have any reason to just make it up when they use it. The same can be said for mythology in the Buffyverse, they create a mythology based on 'old mythologies' and then make them more elaborate. Some of the journeys the characters take are Shakespearian, but they tweek it to their own. It's all really the same thing, just different subject matters.

The only other time they had Fred talk extensively about science was in Supersemtry. She was doing a presentation to the science world about her interdimensional string theory. Here's a few clips:

Fred: "It will! Five years of unendurable torture and mental anguish aside, if I hadn't been sucked through that portal I never would have figured out my string compactification theory."

Fred: "There are, uhm, there are several competing dimensional theories, and while each provides insights, physicists have long searched for a unifying theory."

Fred: "One that can account for both the behavior of the smallest subatomic particles, and the largest forces of nature. If space time can undergo massive rearrangement of its structure, which I believe it can, tearing and reconnecting according to a predetermined disposition..."

Fred: "...then T-duality would allow for the compactification of extra space dimensions. Consider the non-perturbative properties of superstring theory. In D-Branes, especially as it applies to Dirichlet boundry conditions with dual open strings that are t-transformed, this..."

Fred: " turn leads to the conclusion that strings can only end in P-dimensional dynamical..."

Fred: "P versus NP, where NP is nondeterministic polynominal time. This is NP. Lost time. Time spent."

Fred has always been interested in cross dimensional time travel. It is because she was sucked into Pylea for 5 years that she has based much of her time studying this topic. I'm sure she doesn't want something like that to happen herself or anyone else. This could be her main reason for wanting to help Spike get out of the limbo he is in.

For the show to have this science as part of her story, I'm sure they looked into it some. While the writers are definately mincing words, there is something to what she is saying, scientificly anyways. I also believe they view the interdimensional realities and time much like the Matrix, in the movie the Matrix.

[> [> [> [> website -- undeadenglishpatient, 09:41:47 11/02/03 Sun

Here is a website regarding superstrings:

just an fyi.

[> [> [> [> The Matrix wasn't a reality like you refer to it -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:51:04 11/02/03 Sun

It was just a very advanced virtual reality program. Joss has previously said (after fans raised hullabaloo after "Normal Again") that "it all happened", meaning that the BtVS/AtS universe is real in it's own reality; it will never be "just a dream". As such, the Matrix doesn't really fit, since that involves reality as we know it being just a computer simulation that everyone thinks is reality.

Also, I really, really doubt any real scientific meaning was meant for Fred's technobabble. The only reason they use that instead of "it's magic!" is because they needed to give Fred something to do at W&H that none of the other characters could do.

That doesn't mean we can't come up with our own theories. For instance, Fred could be meaning that the Hell Spike was being sucked into was another dimension that pulled on him with equal force to whatever it is that keeps people in their own dimensions. As such, he was kind of left in a middle ground between world's accounting for his incorporeality. I doubt the writers' intended for this meaning to be taken from the episode, but that doesn't mean it can't be.

[> [> [> [> [> About Spike -- undeadenglishpatient, 14:47:55 11/02/03 Sun

So, then if Spike is between worlds, would that put him another dimension? Not a particular Hell dimension like the dark vortex shown in Hellbound, but an inbetween dimension? What would that dimension be?

The string theory in physics suggests 10 dimensions, I believe. Tara suggested hundreds of dimensions.

Since Spike is not a ghost, does that mean his real body exists in this other dimension? She's showing both body temperature and brain activity in her readings, however they are not completely solid in our dimension. Could he be solid somewhere else? Does something need to join?

[> [> [> [> [> [> There's dimensions, and then there's dimensions -- OnM, 15:39:55 11/02/03 Sun

***The string theory in physics suggests 10 dimensions, I believe. Tara suggested hundreds of dimensions. ***

The dimensions referred to in string theory (BTW, I think the current number is considered to be 11, but I defer to cjl or someone else with up-to-date info) are the dimensions that describe the physical spacetime nature of reality, such as width, length, height, time, etc.

The 'dimensions' that Tara (and others) refer to are other universes, either parallel or alternate. The term dimension has commonly been used for many decades now in SF and fantasy works to mean an alternate/parallel universe, but I think universe is the more accurate term.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Superstrings -- dmw, 16:23:25 11/02/03 Sun

Many superstring theories use 10 dimensions, while others using various other numbers of dimensions, including some theories which use an infinite number of dimensions. They're all untested and apparently untestable (as they all reduce to the Standard Model for energy scales to which we have experimental access), unless those "extra" dimensions turn out to be much larger than they naturally would be expected to be and thus show up as changes in the strength of gravity at small scales. With my background as a physicist, what I loved about the episode Supersymmetry is that they didn't use technobabble. Even the equations in the background are real (though IIRC, they're from quantum chromodynamics, not superstring theory.)

Technobabble annoys me, especially when the only reason for it is laziness. Spike's existence, pre- and post-Chosen, was magical, so I don't see why they're bothering with the technobabble. Mixing magic and science generally only works when magic is shown to be science in disguise as in The Matrix or in Zelazny's wonderful Lord of Light.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Superstrings -- undeadenglishpatient, 16:54:04 11/02/03 Sun

Thank you!!! I knew it.....wheww

I am not a scientist or physicist at all, however at the time of Supersymetry, I did some research on what she was saying and wasn't technobabble to me.

So, being that you are a physicist what type of energy is required to accomplish transdimensional travel? Most likely this hasn't been invented yet, however are there theories on wormholes or fusion or something else I can look up? Just interested is all.

Fred's magic cat piss just didn't do it for me. I prefered the use of humans in the Matrix.....although didn't the Matrix through in something else other than the humans for their power source?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> In a Nutshell -- Celebaelin, 17:39:50 11/02/03 Sun

According to Stephen Hawking (so I'm not arguing)

"All the P-branes could be found as solutions of the equations of supergravity theories in 10 or 11 dimensions."


"In M-theory space has nine or ten dimensions, but it is thought that six or seven of the directions are curled up very small, leaving three dimensions that are large and nearly flat."

THE UNIVERSE IN A NUTSHELL Ch. 3 pg 88 (My emphases)

I'm assuming, if I may, that you haven't read this. Unsurprisingly this is an excellent book, though you might want to read A Brief History of Time first if you haven't already done so. All the answers/questions to date (well, to 2001) as it were but without any of that nasty maths stuff that makes it so difficult.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: In a Nutshell -- skpe, 18:14:41 11/02/03 Sun

In a recent issue in Scientific American there was an article that discussed the various alternative realities or universes.The 'many worlds' hypothesis of quantum physics and another that I found very interesting .It is based on the following theories.That space goes on for infinity. That the 13.7 billion light-year area that we call the universe has a limited number of states(a non infinite number of particles and a limited number of
states that these particles may take). Given that, then somewhere In the 'oververse' is not only an exact copy of our universe but an infinite number of copies of it. And more interesting,universes where any conservable logical event is taking place.
That means somewhere out there is a real Buffy fighting real vampires. And a universe where every story ME has come up with has ,is and will happen.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And even less believeably... -- Celebaelin, 19:09:01 11/02/03 Sun

...not only are there are an infinite number of such universes but also an infinite number of universes where all the Scoobies have happy and fulfilling love lives.

This infinity stuff is tricky. We're told again and again, allegedly as an aid to understanding, that if something is infinite then any fraction of it is also infinite; but intuitively a slice of cake with infinite diameter still looks like less than the whole cake to me, even if I can accept that it is definitely an infinitely big slice! If the Anthropic Principle* holds, and I can't see why it wouldn't, then there are an infinite number of universes where life forms such as ourselves exist and another infinite number where the particular initial conditions of the universe did not allow for the evolution of 'living' organisms at all.

* The laws of the universe work the way they do because if they didn't then we wouln't be around to see them.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The view from Scientific American (shameless corporate plug) -- cjl, 08:20:46 11/03/03 Mon

For the skinny on parallel universes, superstring theory, and other oddities of theoretical physics, check out:

"Parallel Universes," by Max Tegmark (May 2003)
"Information in a Holographic Universe," by Jacob Bekenstein (August 2003)
"An Interview with Brian Greene," (November 2003--now on sale!)

All three articles can be accessed at

The Brian Greene interview doesn't hit all the marks it should for the uninitiated, so click on the link to the PBS website, and watch his mini-series "The Elegant Universe" (if you can stand the tedious repetition of facts covered in the previous episode or the butchering of basic quantum theory). Then buy the book "The Elegant Universe" for all the tough stuff.

BTW, has anybody checked out David Eggars' new book about infinity? Is it a worthwhile effort, or just an effort?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Dante's Inferno -- undeadenglishpatient, 09:08:22 11/03/03 Mon

Thank you for the references regarding parallel universe's, I will definately look them up.

I was thinking....again... that maybe ATS is mixing up mythology and science. Maybe the parallel universe Spike is in is really Limbo......from Dante's Inferno?

Each of the Fang Gang is being tempted in the ways of Dante's vision of hell. Spike, already there, needs to get out. That being said, Fred is using physics and science to retreve him across the void.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Dante's Inferno -- Celebaelin, 09:44:32 11/03/03 Mon

Certainly the incorporeality parlells the adulterers hell of The Divine Comedy to some extent. The tragedy of the majority of souls in that circle being that they are alone of course, blowing in the wind. With another soul to hold on to the hell is made more bearable.

You may be on to something here, Spike's "No you don't." seems to fit the premise quite nicely.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> magic and science -- skeeve, 11:41:25 11/03/03 Mon

That the scientific method works on Buffyverse magic was made clear when Willow rescued Buffy from the world accessed through the "emergency kit".
According to Willow, she didn't have a spell handy, she had to work from first principles.
An obvious conclusion is that there were principles from which to work.
It's possible that those principles allowed Willow to calculate the characteristics of a god that would be able to open such a portal.
Willow would have then looked in her copy of Who's Who Among Deities to discover whether there was such a god.

That said, meaningless Buffyverse technobabble isn't worth any more than other meaningless technobabble.

It's worth noting again that at least some of what Fred said was meaningful.
That it was meaningful was meaningful.
Fred said that her device required nuclear grade evil.
Fred's device was just that, a device.
It didn't require any words to smooze any supernatural entities.
It consisted entirely of wires, metal, and other hardware.
Evil has an objective definition.

BTW if Fred wants to try again, methinks that she has another source of nuclear grade evil handy: the recently corporeal Reaper.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> did you see another physicist's take on this, from about a year ago? -- anom, 18:18:37 11/03/03 Mon

I haven't seen Sang on the board for a long time, but he commented on Supersymmetry, as it turns out, exactly a year ago. It's the 2nd thread down at

(I'm using the URL as the link because I found on another recent trip through the archives that link formatting isn't preserved there.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: did you see another physicist's take on this, from about a year ago? -- dmw, 19:30:42 11/03/03 Mon

Thanks for the link; I hadn't read that before. I agree with pretty much everything Sang said; the physics was good, but Fred suddenly becoming an invited speaker with people like Witten was unbelievable. And I laughed at Wes "enjoying" Fred's article too.

[> [> [> [> [> [> You might want to check out this essay... -- s'kat, 23:15:48 11/02/03 Sun

There's an essay on ATS and MC Escher that mentions superstring theory at this link:

The author of the essay quotes someone named macha, who theorizes that Spike's reappearance in S5 ATS is based on superstring theory.

I don't know enough about Science to determine if it's valid or not, but it is interesting.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> do you know who wrote that? -- undeadenglishpatient, 09:48:39 11/03/03 Mon

I would like to sent him/her a few comments.

Thank you for the link!!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: do you know who wrote that? -- s'kat, 10:44:14 11/03/03 Mon

Yes, but I don't feel comfortable posting their email address or real name. Can you post comments to the board?
If not, email me and I'll send it on.

The online name is alcibades.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: do you know who wrote that? -- undeadenglishpatient, 14:21:30 11/03/03 Mon

Sure, I just wanted to add that the first example of the Esher drawing - the circle of humans dancing in a circle was very similar to the 'gadget' Buffy used to go and speak with the Shadow Men in "Get it Done".

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Going nuts -- Celebaelin, 18:19:16 11/03/03 Mon

I'm sure I've read past it or something but I can't find the previous MCE reference in this thread.

I'm particularly worried by this as I have a framed print of 'Above and Below' ('L'haut et la Bas', and a Dutch name that doesn't mean anything to me) on my wall and I consider it Escher's master work. The (kind of) tessalation work you're talking about I like less, although I would love to see the 3D 'Angels and Devils' (on the surface of a sphere) other than in a photograph. It's in the Netherlands somewhere I understand but the best Dutch friend I've known couldn't tell me where, so I'll put that one off for a while I guess.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Not nuts -- LittleBit, 18:25:18 11/03/03 Mon

The reference was in Solitude1056's thread and the essay can be found here.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Great -- Celebaelin, 18:51:49 11/03/03 Mon

Just to say thanks, for the moment anyway. I've had a quick look and the Escher and Bosch comparisons look interesting.

btw I don't know if you're aware that 'The Prisoner' was filmed in a place called Port Meirion in North Wales but it seems to me that the early, more directly graphic, MCE work is similar to Clough-Ellis' architectural concept there. They both drew inspiration from small Southern Italian harbours and were concepual contemporaries as well, at least until MCE developed artificial perspective.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yep -- s'kat, 20:13:47 11/03/03 Mon

Didn't know Port Meirion was based on MCE though.
Actually saw it on the train ride to Barmouth Wales way back in 1988. My kid brother visited it - I think, he was huge Prisoner fan and suggested I check out the Prisoner, which I did when they ran a marathon on PBS one Thanksgiving.

Very interesting images. Be interested to see what people on the board think about the MC Escher essay. Thoughts?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Similarities -- Celebaelin, 02:41:35 11/04/03 Tue

I suppose I was a bit free with myself in the use of the phrase 'conceptual comtemporaries'. Whilst there are definite similarities between Escher's woodcuts and lithographs of views in Abruzzi and Calabria and Clough-Ellis's design of Port Meirion I can't say that I know of any connection between the two men other than that they both travelled in Italy. As an indication of how much scepticism this should be regarded with in the first half of the 1930s MCE also worked and travelled in Spain, North Africa, Corsica, Sicily, Belgium and his native Holland to my certain knowledge.

On the other hand wrt establishing a significant amount of Italian inspiration in MCE's work a January 1930 lithograph of a street in Scanno, Abruzzi cat. 131 bears many common features with Relativity of July 1953 cat. 388 and 389 ('the one with the stairs at all different angles'). Also cw cat. 150., Covered Alley in Atrani November 1931.

The tessalation works draw obvious comparisons with Moorish Spain and North African Mosques of course and there are Cezanne-like qualities to many of the landscapes but the MCE/Clough-Ellis (new slash for fanfic writers!) Italianate commonality is my theory, and I'm sticking with it, no quantity of logic or hard evidence to the contrary will shake me from my conclusion in this regard, so there!


[> [> [> [> P = NP? not physics -- skeeve, 11:33:08 11/04/03 Tue

The P = NP question really doesn't have much to do with physics.
It's a math question.
The answer to it wouldn't directly tell us anything about any universe.
Math being the language of physics, an affirmative answer might make some physics questions easier to solve.

In conclusion, Fred's P=NP stuff was just babble.

[> [> [> button -- anom, 09:51:51 11/02/03 Sun

This fits even better than I remembered:

"Captain! The doubletalk generators, they canna take nae more! We'll have to obey the laws of physics!"

[> Some Thoughts on The Matrix and the Buffyverse - or - What Bends Reality Comes Around Full Circle -- OnM, 15:14:42 11/02/03 Sun

One of the longest-running magazine subscriptions that I engage in is with the venerable Magazine of Fantasy
& Science Fiction
. Back a few decades ago, I also subscribed to Analog, another granddaddy in the
field. The editorial direction of the two 'zines were generally different in one critical respect, which was the degree
of acceptance that was made for fiction that did not contain significant amounts of 'hard science' as a backdrop
to the story. F&SF, as its name implies, was willing to cover a very broad range of material, including
'straight' SF (the hard science kind, that is), fantasy, horror, purely magical realms, 'magical reality', etc. etc.

Analog took almost exclusively the 'straight' SF route. This never bothered me for a long time, even
though I really enjoyed the greater thematic range of stories that F&SF published, until one day one of the
regular authors that appeared in the pages of Analog made a very snippy and condescending comment in
his column about the general lack of 'integrity' of the non-hard-science writers. Paraphrasing, it was sort of along
the lines of "Yeah, they can often write well and all, but what kind of twit is seriously interested in stories about
magic and elves and unicorns and such, which after all don't exist. The SF stories that will stand the test of
time are those based on extensions of what scientific knowledge we understand today, and don't knowingly
violate the laws of nature."

In other words, there is reality and then there isn't, and reality is where it's at.

Sometime after that, I allowed the sub to run out, occasionally buying a copy of Analog at the newsstand
once in a while if there was a story by an author that I was fond of contained within. Prior to this incident with the
opinionated writer, it had never really occurred to me that Analog did have a certain 'attitude' that
bordered on literary bigotry and that it wasn't one that I shared.

Of course, magazine editors and the folks they associate with change over time, and so do attitudes, but to me a
good story is a good story, regardless of genre. For example, in my CMotW column, I have mentioned on
several occasions that in general I am not a big fan of 'Westerns', but when one does come along that is done
well, I both enjoy it and recommend it to other movie fans. The same is true with the horror field-- I really don't
care for 95% of the gory 'splatter' flicks or their literary equivalents, but if the tale is well-crafted, intelligent or
maybe even just innovatively stylish, I'll gladly make with the positively extended opposable digit.

Fantasy, by its very definition, allows for a lot of reality bending. The hard SF-ers would call it 'breakage', but in
between their POV and the absolutely-anything-goes crowd is a middle ground that a lot of genre fans embrace,
and one where I personally find a lot of satisfying philosophical/scientific/theological stuff embedded within. There
is little question though, that the language that is used to describe the fantasy scenario is as strong a point of
contention as the degree of 'reality' that need be mixed in.

One of the other reasons that I gradually grew away from most hard SF is that I found the 'technobabble' aspect
of many of the stories increasingly annoying. This may come as a surprise to those who know I practice a
technical art professionally, but for me the technology has always been a means to an end, not the end in an of
itself. When I was younger, I often enjoyed 'babbling' with other audiophiles of my acquaintance about THD and
amplifier wattage-vs-current and speaker dispersion characteristics and ported-vs-sealed enclosures and yadda
yadda bing. But after a while it grew tiresome to cover the same old ground over and over again, especially when
it occasionally involved those individuals for whom the phrase 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing' applied to
in spades. Just within the last week, I had to struggle mightily not to just abruptly hang up on a caller to our store
who insisted on rambling on idiotically at length about technology matters that he obviously (to me) had
pathetically little real grasp of, but was of course blissfully unaware of this fact himself.

As to the Trek universe, I accept that the 'Treknobabble' is one part and occasional parcel of Roddenberry's
overall vision, which was that humanity will inevitably reach for the stars in order to have exciting adventures, play
with cool toys and meet Space Babes. While the appearance of TB often causes a decline in interest to occur as I
watch the show, as long as the basic story is good I let it pass. The same is true when Fred starts spouting some
pseudo-scientific gobbledegook on AtS-- doing so is part of what her character is expected to do, and in all
fairness I suspect that none of the writers working on the show would consider themsleves to be truly
scientificially literate. They are working towards making Fred interesting, not trying to teach the general
viewership math or physics.

There is one situation where I am wholeheartedly willing to entertain or even encourage the use of TB.
This instance occurs when the intent is one that involves trying to describe a scientific or philosophical conundrum
for which no alternate language exists. That is, the words to descibe the principle in mind have not been invented
yet, or even outrightly defy said invention. In this case, there is no real alternative but to use a sort of 'negative
linguistic space' that tries to define a concept by describing the space around it. Over time, more direct
terminology made be developed, or the subject matter may remain descriptively elusive. This brings me to the
subject of The Matrix.

In a few short days from now, the third (and reputedly final) installment of the Wachowski Bros. amazing filmic
creation will appear on the world's theater screens, and I make no attempt to hide the fact that I am looking
forward to it big time. I am a fan of the series, and was one of those who was not disappointed in the second
outing of the trilogy. Beside the overall 'coolness' factor-- and no, I don't apologize for liking that part of the
totality either-- The Matrix really does dig into some of the great questions of the ages, including the really
big shoe, the nature of God and/or if in fact God does exist.

Joss Whedon is another serious Matrix man, and has admitted as such in many interviews over the last several
years. His fandom re: same makes regular appearances in his work with the Buffyverse, whether by specific
commentary (such as the demon Skip copping to the fact that "I love that movie!!") or by the way the
layers of his fantasy universe stack up in the sense of the 'real-world' physics of it all.

Take Buffy herself. Those on the board who have read my natterings over a long period of time are aware that I
consider Buffy to be an iconic figure that represents the intent of a god or god-like positive force in the universe.
As I mentioned just a few paragraphs ago, locating words to define this concept are often difficult. Is Buffy a god
in training, moving one step at a time, perhaps over the course of many lifetimes until her ultimate destiny becomes
manifest? Is Buffy a Bodisattva? Is Buffy destined not to become a god but instead be a bearer of part of the
divine essence of the universe, an essence (that I usually refer to as 'grace') that influences others around her in a
positive way? Or is God just a really top-level programmer? Is Buffy a rogue program that eventually alters the
running of the billions of other programs that make up the Buffyverse (and by inference, our realverse) as we
know it?

If we grant even the modest possibility of the above theories, then it's not a facile question in the least to ponder--

Is Buffy Neo? Or is Neo Buffy?

To my observations, the answer to that last query is undoubtably yes, because to my way of thinking one of the
things that metaphysically seperates Buffy from most of her human companions is that Buffy can bend reality
by force of will alone
. What initially distinguishes Neo from those humans who inhabit the Matrix, unaware
that what they think of as reality is an externally generated program being funneled into their cerebral cortex? An
undefinable suspicion haunts him that all the world is not quite as it seems, although he cannot define why. When
he finally meets Morpheus, Neo becomes (painfully) aware of the reality of the Matrix.

But Morpheus is convinced that Neo is not just another human to be rescued from the clutches of the machines
and their insidious programs, Morpheus is certain that Neo is "The One", a saviour of the enslaved humankind
predicted by prophecy. Neo greatly doubts this, and after paying a visit to a woman named 'The Oracle', seems
actually reassured when she tells him that he is not the prophesied being. Of course, as the story progress, it
becomes clear that Neo is in fact "The One", and that the 'erronious' proclamation by the Oracle was a
deliberate mislead so that Neo could become self-aware of his destiny, rather than have it imposed upon
him by external forces. By the end of the first film, Neo has died (literally, in physical body) but is resurrected by
his lover Trinity. Upon returning to life (to the amazement and consternation of the machines and their avatar
Agent Smith), Neo finds himself raised to a yet higher understanding and level of power. Already able to alter the
course of small local events within the Matrix program (such as in the fights against the Agents or the ability to
leap wide spaces between buildings, or dodge bullets), Neo now finds that he can bend the reality of the Matrix
so effortlessly and readily that he easily defeats (and apparently destroys) Smith and issues an ultimatum to the
machines that he will go on to free other humans and eventually destroy this 'artificial' reality the machines have

Now, doesn't this sound really familiar? Well, it should.

We meet a 16 year old girl, one Buffy Summers, who has just moved from Los Angeles to a small California
town named Sunnydale. Buffy is a special human, "The Chosen One", a Slayer. She is trying rather hard
to not be one, but then meets a fellow named Giles in the library of her new high school. Giles is a
Watcher, and Buffy knows what that means-- she's had a Watcher before. The school year progresses, various
vampires and other fiends appear, get vanquished, and eventually Buffy ends up dead, resurrected, and "feels
strong" upon returning to the land of the living. She destroys the Master, an ancient vampire and heads out to
party with her friends. Things look bad for future creatures of the night and the gods they rode in on.

The first Matrix flick was released in 1999. BtVS appeared on network television in 1997. If there is
some thematic copying going on, it seems like Joss was on base way first, although I think most fans would tend
to agree that BtVS got philosophically 'heavy' only after late S2 / early S3 rolled around. But I don't think that
Joss is necessarily mirroring the Wachowski's vision or vice versa-- the themes involved go back long, long
before Buffy and Neo were household names.

The short story I am about to describe was one that I read so long ago (like over three decades) that I remember
neither the title nor the author's name, but I do remember the gist of the riff involved. It is a post-apocalypse
world, a biopocalypse if memory serves. Literally all but a handful of humanity is dead and gone, the last several
hundred from some particular country fleeing by boat, trying desperately to escape the pestilence but to no avail.
Adrift, far out at sea, six or seven survivors whose inherent DNA has provided them with a natural immunity to
the virus are drifting in a lifeboat, and a very peculair thing is happening to them, or more precisely to the world
around them.

It's disappearing, literally. As they watch in astonishment, the sea surrounding their tiny raft is gradually
vanishing into a white, formless void from the horizon on all sides and moving in towards them. No clouds, no
sky, no birds, no water-- just abject emptiness. They don't just see it, they feel it. One of the denizens of
the raft offers an explanation.

"One theory pertaining to the existence of the universe that we live within is that it was not created externally by
an all-powerful deity, but instead grew out of the collective unconscious of living, sentient entities, entities that
existed as intelligent energy but without corporeal form. As such, the universe was very simple aeons ago, but as
the numbers of sentients grew, the universe became more complex and also more solidly defined-- the immaterial
was made material, and eventually all of the collective reality was 'solid' and mostly predicable. In the current
age, the 'laws' of physics are so ingrained that the collective unconscious does not permit altering the reality that
was created, but time was when each being could greatly affect the nature of the new corporeal 'reality' by force
of will alone-- you think it is real, and it becomes so."

The speaker goes on to relate that with almost all of humanity destroyed, the 'universe' is collapsing back into the
'void' that it once was. Without minds to create it, it is uncreating itself-- metaphysical entropy in action. This
news is not well received by the other 'survivors', but the speaker presents a solution. If all of them can only
concentrate fully on creating a new reality, one can be established. The void can be pushed back. The
disappearance of the old reality should be sufficient proof of the truth of the theory. They need only truly believe
in themselves and the world can be made to start anew.

And this is exactly what they do. By the time they link their mental efforts and begin the process, the void has
closed in around the raft, but as they begin to imagine the ocean reappearing, it does, gradually pushing the void
away. As they imagine land appearing, it beings to form. They begin to paddle the raft towards the land, on which
trees and other flora are beginning to appear. A seabird suddenly flies across the sky between themselves and the
land, which is drawing closer now. They reach the shore-- and it appears solid. They climb up the sandy beach
and head inland.

Please be aware that I am heavily parphrasing all of the above, I don't actually recall the story down to a
sentence level of detail, but this is mainly to show that the concept of the universe as a 'metaprogram' that is both
inhabited by and occasionally made malleable by other programs 'running' within the construct is not a
new idea. It was, and still is, an idea that I find fascinating, and do to this day. The Matrix and BtVS (and
by extension, the Angelverse) draw on this basic concept at regular intervals, the most recent significant instance
being the events of Chosen. I'll crib a small part of the text from my 'thoughts on' for the ep to illustrate:

Buffy/First: Ooh! Ow! Mommy! This mortal wound is all... itchy!

( The FE leans in, smiles, almost betraying something approaching real sympathy)

Buffy/First: You pulled a neat trick. Hey, you came pretty close to smacking me down. What
more do you want?

Once again, bad move on the part of the First. Buffy now looks more enraged than hurt, and as the First
stares back, smile quickly shifting to a look of sheer disbelief, Buffy begins slowly pushing herself back up
towards a standing position, absolute indomitable fury in her eyes.

Buffy: I want you... to get out of my face.

The First looks suddenly worried, as well the hell it should. The camera shifts down to slo-mo as Buffy
rises. She is sweaty and bleeding, her hair is dusty and in her face, and I instantly flash back to the image of
'Cave Slayer Buffy' in the 4th season's Beer Bad.

The First should have taken the advice that Xander gave back then-- "Don't make Cave-Slayer
angry". If it had just kept quiet, didn't put in that final personal appearance, didn't decide to go with
the big gloat... but it's too late now. When Buffy gets upset, mayhem generally follows. When Buffy is
angry, hell should run for cover. When Buffy is at a point where even Gandhi would be pissed off,
reality bends.

The FE is nowhere in sight as Buffy literally does her very best Neo and rises from the (near) dead one
more time. Even more incredibly, she brings everyone else back with her. Rona sees Buffy back on her
feet and immediately throws her the Scythe. Buffy catches it and stands up a little straighter. She screams, and
swings the Scythe like it's a bat, knocking a whole cluster of Turok-han back and over the edge of the cliff
in one single blow. Faith suddenly flips off the entire pile of ubers that were holding her to he ground, and
the rest of the Slayers shift into something beyond overdrive as suddenly limitless positive energy seems to
pour back into the space from somewhere
, filling the women with new and even more powerful strength.


From another part of my Chosen review, a related concept as to the nature of 'reality':

Part of the key to understanding the First Evil is to realize that it only exists as the negation of
something real. Joss' choice to make the FE incorporeal isn't just a handy plot device-- it's making the
point that if you stop feeding energy to the FE, it weakens and drifts away, like the sun rising in the
morning drives back the darkness-- darkness which in physical reality is simply the absence of the
sun. Another way of stating this precept: You can feed air into a vacuum, but the vacuum doesn't give
anything back-- it just takes in. It's all about power, and while we can talk about 'sides', there is often only
one real side, and the apparent other is only the vacuum of its absence.


Bringing all this stuff back to the use of 'babble' to 'explain' what is happening to the characters in a story or the
nature of the universe that they inhabit, I'll reiterate that said babble can be a good thing if it attempts to describe
a difficult concept, or if it used to depict a certain character trait. As in all cases, the artfullness of the artist is best
conveyed when such devices are used judiciously, although what constitutes such use is often a matter of opinion
by the reader or viewer.

I do not believe that the writers of either the Buffyverse or the world of The Matrix are trying to convey a
realistic version of the laws of physics as we know them, but what they are trying to do is further the
concept that the world is what we make it, whether literally or figuratively. I have no spoiler knowledge of
the third film in the Matrix series beyond what I and thousands of others have seen in the trailers, but my
own personal guess is that like Buffy, Neo will find that his destiny lies not as an individual saviour who
single-handedly beats back the machines (the evil gods of his universe), but as someone who gifts his power to
others. I suspect that the denizens of Zion will be granted at least some decent degree of the reality-altering
power that Neo now possesses, and so collectively will triumph.

As to season 5 Angel, it is my belief that Spike is now, for lack of a better term, one of Buffy's
'disciples', even though I doubt he thinks of himself that way. Angel was in despair at the time of Amends,
and Buffy acted to save him then. The conventional wisdom is that the PTB caused the snow to appear, but I
have my doubts-- I think Buffy caused the snowfall. Like Neo in the latter portion of the first film, who
dodges bullets, saves Morpheus from the clutches of Agent Smith, and then saves Trinity from the damaged
helicopter, all in ways that should not be possible, it is action done without conscious thought-- reality
bends because the character needs it to, a matter of practical necessity at a critical moment.

Angel is in despair again. Traumatized by the previous events involving his son and some serious questions
involving the true motives of the 'Powers That Be', he has entered a Faustian bargain with Wolfram and Hart to
at least give his son a 'normal' life. He consciously hopes that he can make the best of the deal and bring about
some good, but subconsciously fears that he has crossed a line that he can now never retreat back beyond. Just
as in each season of BtVS, where Buffy advances in terms of personal strength and power only to fall back a
ways and then eventually advance again, the lessons are ones that must be relearned. Knowledge and awareness
just don't get granted to one and then all gets to be happy hearts and puppies. The universe is being driven by a
whole lot of other minds, and it is always easier to just go with the flow than to buck the current.

While it is very likely that the network brass insisted on the adherence to certain characteristics that they feel will
enhance the viewership of, and thus the monetary value of AtS S5, it seems to me that Joss and company are still
mining the same basic vein of metaphorical thought that they-- and many others before and around them-- have
done and are continuing to do. Have another look at the current AtS characters and see if they fit the patterns
I've alluded to. Comments, as always, are very welcome.

This little program will now go run in the background again.

(There is no spoon.)


[> [> Re: What Bends Reality Comes Around Full Circle -- undeadenglishpatient, 16:44:37 11/02/03 Sun

Thank you so much for posting!!
I really appreciate your thoughts.

I totally agree with all of your thoughts regarding BTVS/theMatrix, and your story. I see Buffy herself as NeoBuffy as well. I would have liked to see less of the dark Buffy, post resurection, however watching her get her power back in the end was well done. She faced herself and and made her choice. I have more to say on that, however, I need to think a bit more about it.

Regarding Spike as the disciple: have you seen Hellbound yet? He is trapped in a reality and then needs to bend his reality to fight back. It is the same Matrix type thinking, however for Spike this isn't new in his journey. He has always handled his 'new' circumstances with action. Season 4, wanting to still be evil, but liking the demon fighting. Season 5, learning to react better to win Buffy and going against his nature to help Dawn/Joyce and fight Glory. Season 6, doing his best to become a part of something more, failing and then going to get a soul to change things. Season 7, being controled by the First and confronting that music/his past to stop it. Now on ATS - he doesn't like the non-corporeal bit and right out of the gate is trying to change that situation.

I thought Hellbound was very Matrix. Spike is stuck, powerless and he learns from Pavaine (who is altering his reality) that he can alter Pavaine's reality in return. Spike gets it. He can fight back if he thinks he can. He's not going to hell, not today anyways. Then there's Fred, who is trying to get him out of the Matrix.

Your comment: the world is what we make it, whether literally or figuratively

Is what Spike is doing now on ATS. He is in direct contrast to what the Fang Gang are doing (at this point anyways). We have only seen the Fang Gang getting altered by their surroundings, more than they, themselves altering the surroundings to their liking.

I really enjoyed your comments, thank you so much for posting. I will write again a little later.

[> [> [> Re: What Bends Reality Comes Around Full Circle -- jane, 17:03:46 11/02/03 Sun

Very interesting post OnM! I always enjoy reading your "rambles". Really liked the thought of Buffy as actuator of her reality, thus making it possible for the snow to save Angel. It also gives the final scenes of Chosen more depth,and fits with the FE's power only being as great as the belief it is given by others.
With your post in mind, I'm going to watch the Matrix tonight. Neo is Buffy, Buffy is Neo. Lots to think about here.

[> [> OOOOooooooo I liked this, so I reposted it on the Trollop boards and Angel after Spike -- Rufus, 19:45:16 11/02/03 Sun

When I was watching The Matrix: Reloaded a few things that were said reminded me of Angel the Series, I don't know if you've watched the second movie so tell me before I start posting dialogue I transcribed.

[> [> [> Thanks, and post away. :-) -- OnM, 20:25:48 11/02/03 Sun

Recall that I mentioned that "I was one of those who really liked the second film".

There were two things that I heard over and again from many who were disappointed in M:Reloaded. One was that there was way too much exposition and that said exposition fell under the category of technobabble such as we were just discussing.

I agree that the expositions-- especially the lengthy one where Neo speaks with the Architect-- are very hard to follow, but if you get to see the film a second time, and listen very carefully, it does make sense within the universe that the film works within, it isn't nonsensical. It's like the negative space technique I tried to describe; the concepts Neo and the Architect are speaking about are hard to envision. The thing that I got out of it after the third or fourth playback was a daring concept that may or may not turn out to be valid. Namely, is the Matrix (and the machines) only a single level within another, still more complex program? And if so, who is the programmer of that program?

Alternately, there is the concept that God (The Architect) simply cannot make the universe perfect mathematically, and that Neo is the avatar of the irrational number (the value of pi, the square root of the negative number), which proves the point. This leads in turn to the idea that the machine 'god' will fail because it cannot philosophically embrace the idea of irrationality or unsolvability.

BTW, this leads to the idea that the previous 'rave' scene in the caverns of Zion was a huge visual metaphor for this principle. There were a number of reviewers who found the rave scene 'hokey' or 'over-the-top', and also wondered why it was intercut with scenes of Neo and Trinity making love.

I absolutely loved this scene just from a purely visual standpoint, and later on the realization of it as a counterpoint to the 'logical perfection' of the universe the Architect wished to achieve just blew me away.

I agree that the ending was kind of an abrupt cutoff, but I'm not sure how to get around this-- similar complaints were lodged at the end of the first LotR film. It's a 2-parter, folks. That's just the way it is. After the third film unreels, we can all get to say whether the entire trilogy pulls together as a whole. Until I see otherwise, I'm giving the Bros. the benefit of the doubt.

BTW, Ruf, I've been enjoying your 'thoughts on' S5 series also, so keep 'em coming! Where do you get the transcripts from? Is there a site that posts them that quickly?

[> [> [> [> Matrix Speculations ... and Hyperion -- dmw, 20:58:42 11/02/03 Sun

There were two things that I heard over and again from many who were disappointed in M:Reloaded. One was that there was way too much exposition and that said exposition fell under the category of technobabble such as we were just discussing.

They didn't do as good a job of integrating the exposition and action in M:Reloaded as they did in the original movie, but I certainly wouldn't call it technobabble or hard to understand. I've read the ideas in written SF many times before, though probably most viewers haven't. Most middle volumes of a trilogy are weaker than the original, as they have neither the excitement of a beginning or the satisfaction of a conclusion, but I thought they did an excellent job at subverting their own mythology in an intriguing manner.

Namely, is the Matrix (and the machines) only a single level within another, still more complex program?

I was wondering that too, especially after Neo was able to EMP the hunter-seeker machines in the "real world."

The idea of past matrixes was interesting too in a similar sense. I suspect that The Merovingian, as his name and actions hinted at, was "the one" from a previous matrix and I look forward to learning more in the third movie.

Alternately, there is the concept that God (The Architect) simply cannot make the universe perfect mathematically, and that Neo is the avatar of the irrational number (the value of pi, the square root of the negative number), which proves the point. This leads in turn to the idea that the machine 'god' will fail because it cannot philosophically embrace the idea of irrationality or unsolvability.

Complex numbers based on the square root of negative one (which is a complex rational, btw) are a natural extension of the real numbers and were actually developed before negative numbers. I can't see any reason for an intelligent machine to have trouble with such well-defined mathematical concepts. However, there are areas of mathematics and the world which aren't so well defined--Godel's Incompleteness Theorem demonstrated that sufficiently complex mathematical systems contain unprovable statements (essentially by constructing the mathematical equivalent of "this statement is false"). That might be a source of such problems. The Halting Problem in computer science provides a similar dilemma.

Your mention of the machine God and the implied contrast with the human God makes me wonder if you've read Dan Simmons' Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion. That story is about such a conflict and, in addition, has a real reason for the AIs to keep humans around. Humans are poor power generators; you'd be better off simply burning the carbon sources that you feed them. In Hyperion, the AIs use human brains as cheap massively parallel-processing hardware which is after all, what they are.

[> [> [> [> What do you mean transcripts.......I do that myself....making me very busy the night the show plays. -- Rufus, 23:21:14 11/02/03 Sun

I don't transcribe the "whole" episode but major parts of it. A place that gets the transcripts up is

To dmw,

In my posts I've referenced Keats "Hyperion" and "Fall of Hyperion". What is a similar theme in Keats work and Simmons?

[> [> [> [> Odd, I had opposite reactions... -- KdS, 13:16:15 11/03/03 Mon

I was disappointed in Matrix Reloaded because I was hoping for more philosophical stuff and less kicky-kicky. Certainly, for me the fight between Neo and the Smith clones, and the one between Neo and the Merovingian's thugs in the foyer, went on well past the point of ennui. I also found that among my acquaintances the ones who were really disappointed in Reloaded were the ones who thought the original film was really deep.

I must admit, given the ending of the first one I was hoping for a lot more competitive reality warping, rather than people still just thumping each other. But that may just be my personal taste.

[> [> Matrix Roles in the Buffyverse -- undeadenglishpatient, 09:44:14 11/03/03 Mon

I got a chance to re-watch The Matrix on TV last night and noticed a few similarities 'other than Buffy' with characters.

Who took what pill?
Angel: took the blue pill - mindwipe
Spike: took the red pill - reality
Buffy: took the red pill - reality

Neo gets Mail: a phone from Morpheus (Spike in the Mail)
Neo is bugged: Spike is chipped
Neo get's reborn: Buffy is reborn in Bargaining, Angel is kicked out of Hell, Spike gets a soul, then dies then comes back.
Neo learns the truth: Buffy learns life is hell, Angel learns life is hell (on the elevator with Holland), Spike is in Hell - Limbo
The spoon: ANgel throws a spoon to kill the butler.
Neo eats a cookie after speaking with the Oracle: Spike eats a cookie in Something Blue. Buffy talks about herself as a half baked cookie.
Siris takes a deal to be oblivious in exchange for money, importance and a lie - Angel takes a deal with W&H, the fang gang are oblivious.
Neo meets the Oracle and is told he is not the One: The shanshu prophesy.....who is the One? or is it something else to be the One? He is not the One unless he believes he is the One. Spike believes he is the One.

So, who is who now?

I think Spike was Trinity on BTVS. He helped bring Buffy back to life in her 'life as hell'. When he died, I think he became Morpheus.

I think Buffy is Neo.

I think ANgel is.......I don't know, he could be another Neo, but he took the wrong pill.

Angel: needs to learn from Morpheus that he is in control of his own life. He is in control of his own destiny. Angel also needs to train to be bend himself, not the spoon. He needs to take the red pill.

[> [> Beautiful post- thank you -- sdev, 09:48:46 11/03/03 Mon

[> The physics of the Buffyverse -- Ames, 15:04:36 11/03/03 Mon

There was a book called The Physics of Star Trek, but I don't think there will ever be a book called The Physics of the Buffyverse. While the writers tried to follow a self-consistent set of rules, their collective grasp of physics and the sciences in general was tenuous at best, and doesn't bear a closer look. Best to just say "it's magic" and leave it at that. Magic can work however you want, and the impossible becomes easy.

Then you have simple answers to questions like:

How can Buffy punch a creature that has several times her mass and knock it across the room without moving herself? Because it's magical version of momentum transfer.

Why does a punch that can knock a hole in a concrete wall fail to tear right through a human being instead of pushing them away? Because it has magical force.

How come a vampire can breath air in and out (e.g. to smoke a cigarette), but can't perform artificial respiration? Because it's a magical restriction.

Why is a vampire visible to a camera, but light reflected from them (or even their clothes) can't be reflected by a mirror? Because it's magic light.

How can a vampire be choked unconscious when they don't breath or use oxygen? Because it magically makes them sleepy.

Why does a vampire bleed when they have no circulation? Magical blood pressure.

Why don't ordinary humans notice that a vampire is at the temperature of their surroundings, even when kissing them on a cold night outdoors? It's magic.

[> [> Re: The physics of the Buffyverse -- Kris, 22:09:22 11/03/03 Mon

Someone on my wavelength!! My husband gets mad when I bring up such points, and yells that it's only TV. I can suspend all belief as long as they make an effort to be consistant w/ details!!

My analysis of 'Life of the Party' is up -- Masquerade, 19:26:29 11/02/03 Sun

Who says this was a stand-alone episode? Get your developing themes and metaphysical foreshadowing here.


[> Thanks, Masq. -- Arethusa, 11:04:23 11/03/03 Mon

I wonder if Gunn's legal knowledge was taken from someone, like Lindsey's hand.

Why was Lorne's sleep removed? After reading the Matrix posts, I'm wondering if there are two reasons-to show what happens when stimuli isn't processed, and as a nod to the Matrix, where characters think they are awake but are really dreaming.

After reading alcibiades' superb posts on mirrors, I'm remembering "Through the Looking Glass," which of course was set in Pylea, and my feeling that W&H was almost an alternate universe, where AI is now surrounded by demons and their cultures, instead of humans. Has AI fallen through the Looking Glass into their subconsciouses?

[> [> Re: Thanks, Masq. -- Masq, 12:18:18 11/03/03 Mon

I wonder if Gunn's legal knowledge was taken from someone, like Lindsey's hand.

Well, they talked about giving him a "comprehensive knowledge of the law" and no one who learned the law the conventional way has comprehensive knowledge. We all select out and selectively absorb when we do the book-learning, and that goes for hands-on learning on the job as well.

On the other hand, our brains don't work like computers. You can't just pick up a bunch of textbooks and "download" them into Gunn's head. Knowledge only works in our minds when it's contextualized. We need to read things, comprehend them according to our past experience, see them in operation in examples, before we really "get" them. So it would makes sense that they might take the accumulated knowledge and experience of an actual lawyer, someone near retirement age, or with a lot of experience, and give that to Gunn. It'd be easier to absorb, and more readily usable from the get-go.

After reading alcibiades' superb posts on mirrors

Shadowkat posted on this right after "Life of the Party", specifically the idea that season 5 of AtS (not unlike season 5 of BtVS!) is taking place in an altered reality, where the characters look the same and for the most part act like the folks we've known all these years and yet at the same time are acting within a context that has been changed around them, and inside them. Their memories have been altered, they have been ripped from the familiar (small, poor, morally simpler) world of Angel Investigations into the (huge, lavish, morally sticky) world of Wolfram and Hart.

I haven't spent a lot of time on my site yet posting people's speculations about how their memories have changed, partly because I don't know how or if ME will address this and partly because speculation on this topic could go on for pages and pages, but it was pretty obvious in this episode that these aren't quite the Wesley and Fred we've come to know. They should be more cynical, hardened after their fight with Jasmine. They really do seem like early season 3 Wesley and Fred, and I almost have enough faith in ME at this point to think it's deliberately written that way.

Gunn's situation is more complex because of the law-knowledge thing. While Wesley and Fred seem to be hovering around their respective work areas in W&H being some retro version of themselves, Gunn has shot off in a completely new direction full speed ahead. I doubt getting his full memory back will effect him as much as what's going on in his life and mind right now.

Lorne was the character least influenced by the grown-up Connor. Lorne I think is also someone who will be less effected by getting his memory back than someone like Wesley would be. But it's pretty obvious that Lorne is very effected by his new W&H context. One thing Lorne mentioned in "LotP" is that when he ran Caritas, he let all sorts of humans and demons--evil or not--into his club knowingly. And he read their destinies for them, even knowing they were baby eaters and other things.

And yet he felt in control in that environment. There could be no demon violence in his club, no baby-eating. The things his guests did with their lives stayed outside the walls of his place and his guests made their own choices based on what he told them. Now he's forced to make these people and demons happy and he can't insist they "take it outside" where he doesn't have to deal with it.

He was an interesting choice to be the first of the gang to be shown struggling under the burden they've given themselves. He was probably chosen because he is the most "bit character" of all the gang, and his reactions don't have the reprecussions to the story line that Angel's or Wesley's for example would.

I'm rambling now. I think I'll press "Send".

[> [> [> Good post. Agree with this. -- s'kat, 13:03:19 11/03/03 Mon

[> [> [> Angel as Lorne (spoilers) -- Lunasea, 15:26:11 11/03/03 Mon

He was an interesting choice to be the first of the gang to be shown struggling under the burden they've given themselves. He was probably chosen because he is the most "bit character" of all the gang, and his reactions don't have the reprecussions to the story line that Angel's or Wesley's for example would.

That could be the reason, but I don't think so.

Eve: So how's it going, Angel?

Angel: I don't know how to answer that question. I don't know. Good. Bad. I spent years doing everything I could to bring this company down and now I'm the CEO and I have to question every move I make because any one of them could be exactly what the Senior Partners want. So no, I have no idea how it's going.

Eve: Hey. At least you can still get your nocturnal jollies saving the down trodden from things that go bump in the night.

Angel: You said it yourself, everyone needs a release.

Eve: Noooo. I said you need a release. Not everyone bottles all this stuff up like you do.

Angel: I don't bottle.

Eve: You bottle.

Angel: I DON'T bottle. (smash)

At the end we get a revisit. First Angel tries to talk to Eve about what happened and she blows him off. Then Wesley comes over.

Wesley: How ya doing?

Angel: I don't know.

When Wesley leaves, it is Angel's turn to ask how things are going.

Gunn: Hey, I spoke with Sabassas' people. Explained what I could.

Angel: So what do we got? Lawsuit? Demon war?

Gunn: No. Seems like they enjoy a little blood sport at their social functions. Looks like we're okay.

Angel: We're not okay. We were so focused on the dangers outside that we didn't see the ones within. This place is trying to change us, Gunn, and we can't ever forget that.

Gunn: Pretty damn good party, though. I'll see you tomorrow, you know today, but later. Oh, and your chair.

Angel: What?

Gunn: Don't sit in it. I already called janitorial.

Then joke. Haha. Jokes are rarely just throw aways. Besides the humor of Gunn marking his territory in this manner, Gunn is showing how he has been changed (which fit well with a younger Gunn reclaiming his neighborhood from vamps) and warns Angel that he shouldn't sit in his chair, the symbol of his CEOness.

These two bookends show the Angel of the episode. It isn't just about repression or pressure. There are other undercurrents there that lead the writers to use Lorne to center the episode around. Angel is complaining to Eve that he doesn't know how he is doing. He doesn't know how to read things. That is what Lorne does. Lorne disconnected from his sleep, but Angel disconnected from Lorne and what Lorne represents.

I like this new rapid solving style. Issues that would have taken multiple episodes to solve are really handled within the episode. Eve's "how's it going" evolves to Wesley's concern not about the situation, but Angel, "how YA doing." Angel can't answer it and admits it, but now sees the danger that Wolfram and Hart pose more clearly. In the beginning it was about the moves he was making. Now he sees how they are trying to change them. Gunn has already been changed and his corruption could very well end up saving Angel.

These realizations and transitions are what the Lorne component of Angel does. Angel can be a perceptive guy. He couldn't do what Angelus does if he wasn't. Angel suppressed this side of him in favor of the demon smashing champion he has become. At the end he acknowledges the contribution that Lorne does make and starts to see a bigger picture.

[> a few questions & comments -- anom, 12:27:02 11/03/03 Mon

"Phase 1: Lorne 'writes people's destinies' instead of reading them. Things he suggests to people manifest in people's behavior.

Phase 2: Without sleep, Lorne's subconscious finds a new way to manifest itself--physically."

Does Phase 1 end Phase 2, or do they overlap? Once Hulk!Lorne appears, do Lorne's suggestions no longer affect people? As far as I can tell, all his effective suggestions (as in George Orr's "effective dreams" in LeGuin's Lathe of Heaven, which altered reality) were made before Artode is torn apart--the 1st manifestation we see of what we later learn is Hulk!Lorne. I had wondered if Lorne couldn't have just rescinded his previous suggestions once they figured out what's going on--told Fred & Wes "Sober up & go find how to undo this," told Angel & Eve "Quit w/the sex already!" And when he tells Sebassis & his entourage "No fighting!"...suppose they'd decided to attack & found themselves unable to? But maybe at that point any new suggestions wouldn't have been effective. (Besides, the rest of the episode wouldn't have been as funny, w/Wes & Fred's drunken, touching confiding & Angel's "Eve, you stay here & have more sex w/me," or had any suspense over the standoff w/Sebassis & whether drunk Fred & Wes would be able to find Lorne's sleep.) I have a feeling Phase 2 does override Phase 1. It would've been interesting if they'd made that explicit.

On the other hand, you think Lorne's telling Devlin "You be good" had any effect? He was still wearing the human mask when he was killed. Maybe the suggestions don't work on all intelligent life forms. It's debatable whether they worked on Sebassis' species--is that the real reason the Archduke changed his mind & went to the party?

"Think it's all fun and games schmoozing self-involved celebrities and kissing evil demon butt? Lorne has been stretched to the breaking point as Wolfram and Hart's chief entertainment broker...."

Lorne never says so when he talks about how hard it is to do his job, but one source--maybe the number one source--of his stress is the evil of the demon butt he has to kiss. In fact, this is the main thing his manifested subconscious reacts against, as Masq points out--it kills the demons wearing human & Pylean skin. (BTW, I don't think we know if Artode's jacket was made from a member of Lorne's clan. He says it's Pylean, but the Deathwok are only 1 clan. And Lorne never says if it's anyone he knows--um, sorry.)

"But even the jolly green host who used to allow baby-eating demons and 'Mandy'-singing souled vampires alike into his night club has his limits."

Interesting that Lorne doesn't mention the antiviolence spell he needed to have invoked to keep things peaceful at Caritas. And that it didn't entirely work....

I haven't read all the posts on this episode. Has anyone commented on Lorne's "accompaniment"? Is the music just in his head or audible to others? We seem to hear it only when Lorne is "on"--it stops when he drops the smiling, in-his-element Host facade, both when he's alone in his office arguing w/his reflection & when he uncharacteristically starts yelling at the gang when they don't want to go along w/what he wants. And just before these outbursts, we hear a buzzing as he rubs his temples or puts his hand over his eyes.

What worries me is that the music comes back at the very end of the ep, as Lorne drops back into deeper sleep after he talks to Angel about how hard it is to be the host of the party. Does this mean his problems aren't over--he'll go back to keeping up the Host front? Well, he's barely begun to make up a month's worth of sleep--maybe it's just one of the things he'll be processing as he snoozes.

[> [> Re: a few questions & comments -- Masq, 13:24:19 11/03/03 Mon

Does Phase 1 end Phase 2, or do they overlap? Once Hulk!Lorne appears, do Lorne's suggestions no longer affect people?

I used the word "phase" because Wesley did. It's hard to say whether the phases overlap, and certainly, it was not in the episode writer's best interest to have Lorne undo everything on command the minute he figured out what he was doing. Angel sent Wesley and Fred off to get Lorne's sleep back while they were still drunk, so we get a "distracted by non-work" conversation between them in the Psyche Component Storage lab rather than a serious, all-work conversation.

BTW, I don't think we know if Artode's jacket was made from a member of Lorne's clan. He says it's Pylean, but the Deathwok are only 1 clan. And Lorne never says if it's anyone he knows--um, sorry.

They do say "Pylean", not "Deathwok", but wasn't the jacket green? And wouldn't the writers get more murderous rage out of Lorne for having a jacket made out of the skin of his own people than just any Pylean species? I figured "Pylean" was just short-hand for "Deathwok". Less background exposition necessary.

I haven't read all the posts on this episode. Has anyone commented on Lorne's "accompaniment"? Is the music just in his head or audible to others? We seem to hear it only when Lorne is "on"--it stops when he drops the smiling, in-his-element Host facade, both when he's alone in his office arguing w/his reflection & when he uncharacteristically starts yelling at the gang when they don't want to go along w/what he wants. And just before these outbursts, we hear a buzzing as he rubs his temples or puts his hand over his eyes.

What worries me is that the music comes back at the very end of the ep, as Lorne drops back into deeper sleep after he talks to Angel about how hard it is to be the host of the party. Does this mean his problems aren't over--he'll go back to keeping up the Host front? Well, he's barely begun to make up a month's worth of sleep--maybe it's just one of the things he'll be processing as he snoozes.

I thought the music was symbolic--neither piped into the hallways nor in Lorne's head, but just symbolic of his "I'm the happy Host!" persona. And yes, the music comes back at the end because he has to go back into the butt-kissing fray, just with his sleep in tact rather than without it. They aren't out of this yet, kids, just hopefully more conscious of being in it. Lorne tried to find some relief from the stress through getting rid of his sleep, but that backfired and now he's got to get back to confiding in his friends like he did with Angel at the end, or get lost in the isolation of W&H's stress-machine again.

And that goes for all of them.

[> [> [> clan vs. species -- anom, 21:53:20 11/03/03 Mon

"They do say 'Pylean', not 'Deathwok', but wasn't the jacket green? And wouldn't the writers get more murderous rage out of Lorne for having a jacket made out of the skin of his own people than just any Pylean species? I figured 'Pylean' was just short-hand for 'Deathwok'. Less background exposition necessary."

Yup, green. With spots. But no one means Martian animals when they say "Martians," do they? They mean hypothetical/fictional intelligent life forms from Mars. Lorne's cousin calls him "Krevlornswath of the Deathwok clan," which implies there are other clans within their species. True, there seemed to be other intelligent species in Pylea, with other-than-green skin, but I'm pretty sure Deathwok isn't the name of Lorne's entire species. If they'd used "Deathwok," they couldn't have had that deep-in-useless-denial "Oh, made in my home dimension" line (see, they didn't avoid exposition anyway).

[> [> Re: a few questions & comments -- Lunasea, 16:21:49 11/03/03 Mon

Does Phase 1 end Phase 2, or do they overlap? Once Hulk!Lorne appears, do Lorne's suggestions no longer affect people?

This actually brings up an interesting area of discussion. Lorne is disconnected from his sleep, his subconscious. Because of this, his power goes from reading auras/destinies to affecting them. The question is what relationship symbolically does this ability have to the subconscious?

Lorne needs sleep to process conflicts. Being an empath, Lorne has to deal with more than just his internal ones. Most of us, including Angel, can turn a blind eye to the chaos around us. It is only when it smacks us on the head that we often even notice it. Imagine being Lorne and having all these vibes coming at you all the time. Without having a place to sort through these, he has to act on them, even subconsciously.

Lorne isn't able to process what is in his subconscious through sleep/dreams. That doesn't mean he doesn't have things there or doesn't continue to send things there. This is what is giving his suggestions force. Not all his suggestions become commands, just the ones that deal with the conflicts he needs to process. Since he can't process them, they grow and the Hulk!Lorne is much larger than Mirror!Lorne. I would say that once stage two happens and the subconscious manages to manifest itself, it leaves Lorne and his suggestions no longer have the force behind them they did when Lorne's subconscious was not stripped away.

The subconscious isn't just full of bad things. It is full of anything that is incompatible with ego. Lorne doesn't see himself as a man of action. Empaths read others, they aren't the fighters. The fighters use that talent to track prey. In Lorne's subconscious is the fighter. Lorne is very respectful of his talent and doesn't use it for personal gain. In his subconscious is someone that more than guides people. Lorne is very respectful of all life. In his subconscious is someone that isn't.

Lorne is always singing. Does he read his own aura when he does this? If so, he can't live in denial like the rest of us. Our subconscious protects us from things we can't handle about ourselves. What does Lorne do?

Just some thoughts

What are you watching this season? -- Brian, 10:27:06 11/03/03 Mon

Now that the 1st sweeps season has arrived, my viewing habits seem to have settled on:

Sunday - Devoted to pro football from noon til midnight.

Monday - Only CSI:Miami. They seem to have gotten DC under control, and reallized that he needs a real baddie to react to.

Tuesday - A night to go to the local pub

Wenesday - A busy night of watching:
Smallville - Love that teenage angst
Angel - of course
Karen Sisco - good acting, adventure, humor, and a solid family relationship

Thursday - Tru Calling - I will be faithful forever. Perhaps ED can escape the Fox curse. CSI - It still surprises and delights
Without a Trace - Nice twisty tales

Friday - Joan of Arcadia - I hate it and I love it. I'm afraid that it is going to some very dark place.
Miss Match - I'm a sucker for Romance

Saturday - Another night for the local pub.


[> The weekly habits of videophilus Americanus (cable-free subgenus) -- cjl, 10:43:34 11/03/03 Mon

Sunday - Since I don't have cable, there's no way to get the Sopranos or Six Feet Under or Curb Your Enthusiasm. (I think I would especially like the latter.) I've given up on Alias and The Practice. I'm with the Fox comedy line-up for now--King of the Hill (a perennial favorite), The Simpsons (15th year, and still has its moments), Malcolm in the Middle and Arrested Development (best new comedy of the season).

Monday - Monday Night Football. (Big fan of Everybody Loves Raymond, but it'll be on reruns from now until hell freezes over, so I'm in no rush to catch the new ones.)

Tuesday - Gilmore Girls and NYPD Blue. But for the next three weeks, I'll be watching Brian Greene's "Elegant Universe miniseries from 8-10 on PBS.

Wenesday - Right there with you, Brian: Smallville, Angel, and Karen Sisco. Enterprise is a staggering bore. I wish Jake 2.0 would move, because its lead-in is strangling it to death.

Thursday - I'm going to give Tru Calling a chance. I still watch ER, but I'm beginning to wonder why.

Friday - Joan of Arcadia. Touched By an Angel done right.

Saturday - The British version of Coupling at either 11 or midnight on PBS, depending when I get in.

[> My TV Habits... -- Rob, 11:18:17 11/03/03 Mon

...have actually changed a great deal since I got my TiVO, because I barely ever watch shows when they're actually on. But, here are the shows and when they regularly air.

Every weekday--The Ellen DeGeneres Show--I've been a huge fan of hers since before her first sitcom, and her talk show is a complete blast. She has superb comic timing, and is a master at improvisation.

Every weeknight--The Daily Show--Just as I start every day with comedy, so do I finish it, with the most intelligent news show on television. And yes I fully acknowledge how sad it is that the most intelligent news show on television is a satire, but there it is. I've gone to two tapings of it, btw, and Jon Stewart is just as great in person as on the air, and the show gets big bonus points for having no "Applause" or "Laughter" signs, which is very rare. That's right, the studio audience actually thinks for themselves! I really appreciate this after having been in the audience of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" where they refilmed a joke of Regis' 3 times because it didn't get enough laughter from the audience. No kidding! But I digress...

Monday nights--Nothing in particular.

Tuesday nights

--8 PM--"Whoopi"--I know the show gets blasted by the critics, but I'm a huge fan. IMO, it's funny, sharp, and intelligent, and it is one of only 2 sitcoms on this season that I make a point of never missing.

--9 PM--"24"--One of the most kickass shows on television. Kiefer Sutherland is absolutely amazing...Someone, give this man an Emmy!

Wednesday nights--

--8 PM--"Smallville"--Just started watching again recently, and boy has this show improved since its first season. It does the Superman legend proud.

--9 PM--"Angel"--...but of course!

Thursday nights

--8 PM--Tape "Tru Calling"--I'm giving it a shot, and I've heard a lot of buzz that the second episode is vastly superior to the first.

--8 PM--"Friends"--Not the best season ever, but actually pretty darn good for a show in its 10th season...and much better than 2 years ago, when it seemed like it was irredeemable.

--8:30 PM--"Scrubs"--The best sitcom on TV...Inventive, smartass, hilarious. Compared to the high quality of this show, "Will and Grace" now is really an embarassment.

--9:00--"Will and Grace"--Yeah, I know what I just said. And I still think the show is awful, for the second season running. Talk about the fall of a once great show. But every now and then Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes are able to lift it up for a short time. But then Debra Messing and Eric McCormack and the now lousy writing of the show ruin it. I watch it more due to a lack of willpower to get up and change the channel more than anything else...Many weeks I just skip it.

Friday nights--9 PM--"Miss Match"--a great, funny and sweet show that nobody's watching. I highly recommend it. Alicia Silverstone is delightful as ever, and they get some great low-key guest stars, such as CC, two weeks ago, who was a hoot as the bitchy high school enemy of the lead.

Saturday nights--Nada.

Sunday nights--9 PM--"Alias"--Absolutely adore this show, and it fills up the insanely-convoluted-mythology void that "X-Files" left in my life. Oh, but it's plotted and acted much better than "X-Files" ever was, and I get the distinct impression that the mythology will never fall apart, as happened to Chris Carter's work.

9 PM--"Carnivale--Taping--Amazing, creepy, mysterious show. Very slow-building, so it requires a great deal of patience, but really brilliant and eerie. Highly recommended.

And one thing I'm not watching because it turned out to be a huge disappointment is "Tarzan." Even Lucy Lawless isn't enough to get me to sit through this show. I tape it, and fast forward to her parts. I hope she gets a new show next season on WB, as has been rumored.


[> [> TiVo and TV -- dmw, 16:26:18 11/03/03 Mon

...have actually changed a great deal since I got my TiVO, because I barely ever watch shows when they're actually on. But, here are the shows and when they regularly air.

I have no idea when or on what channel most of the shows I watch are on, especially since I moved recently and have a new channel lineup. That's one of the joys of TiVo--it makes TV the random access medium that I want it to be.

I'll list mine alphabetically since I don't know times or channels:

24 (TiVo recording only until I catch up)
Gilmore Girls
Iron Chef
Powerpuff Girls

The last one took my friends quite a while to convince me to watch, but it's my current animated favorite now that Daria and Invader:Zim are gone and The Simpsons has declined.

[> Re: What are you watching this season? -- fresne, 13:04:21 11/03/03 Mon

Just to make this triune completish

Whenever I catch them, Trading Spaces (I am addiction, my color is mustard with a grape vine stencil) Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, what can I say, I want the fashion victims to be saved. Plus who doesn't love food made with fire.

· Monday - Stargate reruns. I will fill in the blanks. I will. Or rewatch. Or, sit and wend. Quirky, funny little show that just keeps going. Strange twists and morals and oh, look Daniel is insane again. Well, the Jack will snark and Teac will arch brow and will Sam ever have a boyfriend who lives?
· Tuesday - Dinner. A fine wine and house hold accounting. More wine. Some philosophy. Some literature. Thoughts are flung and flown and flash in honor of Tuesday's past.
· Wednesday - Smallville, which seems to have gotten over last season's meh, and is giving characters some lines. Hey, brother, can you spare Pete a line. See, for all the monster of the weakness, I preferred S1 to S2. S3, now, that's the tragedy of Lex and Lionel titanically falling. But without the Celene Dion. Angel, is just sparking my imagination all over. But not in a depressing sort of way. It's all dark in lightness. One off episodes that make me think that later won't seem so one off.
· Thursday - True Calling, I guess. I'm one episode in. Ask me at the end of the season. .
· Friday - If I'm home (life, parties, dancing), Joan of Arcadia, which I can't quite decide about yet. This last week, we had the first episode where I felt Joan get some real closure and I've been needing that. Oh, and God, was incredibly cool this week. I like the subtle building. At times I'm frustrated with Joan as mule. Someday, I expect some new Stargate.
· Saturday - If I'm home, Justice League, which is knocking down my mental house. After a S1, which frankly, I found annoying, given the heights of previous efforts, I'm totally grooving to this season's complex stew of images and ideas. A Superman, who isn't a boy scout. A Wonder Woman, who is a woman. A Martian Manhunter who is powerful, profound, complex. A Green Lantern who is still learning subtlety. A Batman, who well, was always pretty cool. A Hawkgirl, who is also a Woman and one with flashing depths at that. A Flash, who is Flash. Villains with reasons. Heroes, who must constantly guard the frailty of clay. A, oh insert coolness here. Love, love, loving it.
· Sunday - Tarzan, which as the survivor of movie after freaking Tarzan movie full of "I Tarzan, you Jane." Ah. There we go. The sense of Tarzan as genuinely alien. A Tarzan who is feral, but smart. Not quite as nasty as Book 1 Tarzan, but more flavorful than say Book 24 (Tarzan and the Mayans). And damn, that's what I call viby tension. Nice cast of supporting characters in MP and LL as the aunt and uncle, who can carry the bulk of plot if they want to.

[> [> Re: What are you watching this season? -- s'kat, 13:52:16 11/03/03 Mon

Okay I'll play...since I loved fresne's response so much, feeling a bit gutsy. (There are a few things I just find a tad embarrassing to reveal about myself - one is tv watching habits, mainly because I seldom if ever watch the same shows my offline friends consider worthy and they often mock me. Will not reveal everything just the tid-bits.)

1. Monday: Was watching SKIN - for Ron Silver, who I'm a huge fan of, and Rachel Ticotin. But Fox has dumped it for sweeps. (ugh!) So may try Vegas again, or just work on the computer and ignore the TV. During the day I occassionally catch ATS or BTVS re-runs in syndication - ATS is on TNT now and BTVS is running all on F/X. Probably won't watch
TV. Tend to skip TV at night on Mondays too.

2. Tuesday : Have a marketing class. If I get home in time, I might tune into the end of Gilmore Girls (Loreli and Rory annoy me, so I watch for Edward Hermann, Luke, and the other supporting characters). I am also currently watching 24. (I might try Brian Green's Elegant Universe though..I like Brian Green and physics is a science that fascinates me.)

3. Wedensday - right now it's Smallville (agree with fresne on this one - this season is much better than last season, I rarely watched last season, I prefered first and now the third more. Best episode in second season was one with Christopher Reeve), Angel (which I religiously tape and turn phone and lights off to watch, the only show I refuse to miss even if I'm taping it), and KAren Sisko (which may not last much longer, the episodic format with 0 character development and convict of the week - is beginning to bore me, so I may give up soon.)

4. Thursday - Assuming I'm home and not busy doing something else - will probably continue watching Tru Calling just to see what they do with it. May jump to Scrubs (I like Scrubs - it's absurdist comedy and innovative). And ER.

5. Friday - If I'm home, haven't been in the last three weeks and won't be again this week, I watch Joan of Arcadia and the Handler. (I love Joe Pantilona).

6. Don't tend to watch TV on Saturdays. Although Justice League looks interesting.

7. Watch Simpsons - occassionally, not always. Watch
Alias for Ron Rifikin, Victor Garber and Carl Lumbly. And am watching the Practice for the first time in years primarily for James Spader - who I've loved since his first movie role with Kim Richards in a tiny film in the early 1980s. Spader is one of those actors I just watch no matter what he appears in.

Also occassionally watch Trading Spaces (it's my comfort food) and Queer Eye for The Straight Guy, and Food preparation shows on Food Network.

[> [> [> Re: What are you watching this season? -- Vegeta, 14:08:09 11/03/03 Mon

I must say that TV is in a bad way, but here is my rundown...

Sunday - Football!!! (I'll be honest, The Simpsons stopped being funny years ago... and that's a real shame. Better to go out when your on top... instead of slowly fading into mediacrity)

Monday - Horrible television night. I'll catch Monday night football if it's a worthy game. Usually clean the house and do laundry.

Tuesday - 24. Got caught on this show like 8 episodes in last year and became hooked. Just an excellent television show.

Wednesday - That 70's show. Have loved this show since it came out. A minute with Stan Hooper, just because I don't want to catch Smallville half way through. Angel, ofcourse... and I will say this season ain't bad thus far.

Thursday - Another HORRIBLE TV night. I haven't watched Friends since before Chandler and Monica got married. May try to watch Tru Calling in the future.

Friday - There's nothing on tv on Friday's... where shows go to die.

Saturday - Nothing...

I will try to check out Karen Sisco in the future... looks interesting.

[> I like to watch -- Ponygirl, 13:55:41 11/03/03 Mon

After last year, where I pretty much despaired of anything not Joss-related, I seem to have fallen in love with TV all over again or at least regained my ability to sit for hours on end.

Sunday - Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, for one brief hour I can hope that my gay friends will develop better taste or at least unlimited credit cards and take me shopping. Then the dream ends. Sigh, Mondays are hard. I also watch Alias, though after a kick-ass premiere it seems determined to suck all of the interesting twists and conflicts out of the series in exchange for Sid and Vaughn expressing their forbidden lust through pained looks. I watched Jamie's Kitchen last night and think I might be hooked on the reality/cooking show cross.

Monday - Canadian tv has kindly scheduled The O.C. ahead of the American broadcast. It's not a guilty pleasure dude, just pleasure!

Tuesday - Spy night! 24 (though last year I bailed out halfway through, around the time Kim was menaced by the mountain lion. While in a bear trap). Then MI-5.

Wednesday - Angel, duh. Smallville which I'm really enjoying this year. Gilmore Girls which I'm not.

Thursday - I make phone calls during Friends, but love love Scrubs. I'm also still liking Will & Grace, more and more they seem to be treating the show like a stage play - I'm digging the rhythms. Tru Calling has one more chance with me. One, dammit!

Friday - I can never successfully remember to set my VCR for Joan of Arcadia.

Saturday - Sex & the City, which I always remember to set the VCR for.

The Daily Show whenever I can. Cooking shows and shallow entertainment news programs when I want to chill.

[> Re: What are you watching this season? -- Cheryl, 15:17:39 11/03/03 Mon

Good question! Although there's so little worth watching out there these days and the TV Guide can't seem to get things right so I end up missing some things I want to see.

The only two shows I refuse to miss are Angel and Joan of Arcadia.

Monday: Nothing except the daily dose of Angel on TNT. And I still tape Buffy on FX and then fast forward to the scenes I like when I have time.

Tuesday: 8 Simple Rules just because I loved John Ritter and want to see how they're handling his death.

Wednesday: Angel, of course. Used to watch Smallville but lost interest last season. Watched Enterprise the first season but can't sit through 2 minutes of it anymore. What a disappointment. Sounds like I might have to check out Karen Sisko from what others are saying.

Thursday: Tru Calling, hoping it will imrpove. Friends doesn't do anything for me anymore, which is really sad.

Friday: Joan of Arcadia and Miss Match (so glad they moved the time slot).

Saturday & Sunday: Nothing really. The local UPN station airs two episodes each of Buffy and Angel late Sunday/early Monday so I tape those.

And Queer Eye when I remember to catch it. It's a fun show. Also catch Stargate now and then but since I'm new to it, I have no idea where in the history of it I am.

[> [> Re: What are you watching this season? -- Claudia, 15:51:42 11/03/03 Mon

So far:


"Taken" (during its second run)


"Las Vegas"


"Nip/Tuck" (when it returns, next spring)


"Enterprise" (have no choice, due to parental viewing)
"Smallville" (hopefully, when re-runs are shown)
"Karen Sisco"


"Friends" (or; )
"Tru Calling"
"Will and Grace"





[> Re: What are you watching this season? -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:03:00 11/03/03 Mon

Monday is CBS sitcom night. I often watch "Yes Dear" and "Still Standing" (love the fact that, on this show, the wife is as immature and irresponsible as the husband), and watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Two and a Half Men" more frequently. Makes for some nice time killer.

Since "Buffy" got cancelled, my Tuesday evenings have gotten significantly duller. I do watch "Happy Family", though, a new NBC sitcom that has some pretty good characters, and sometimes watch "Frasier", though my taste for it has been waning.

Wednesday is "Smallville" and "Angel" night. I've just started watching this Superman show, and so far I like what I see. Wish they'd have more of Chloe though; she quickly became my fav character for reasons I can't yet pinpoint. As for "Angel", well, it's made by ME. Enough said.

On Thursday I watch "Friends" and the NBC version of "Coupling". Unlike many, I still enjoy "Friends". It had a slow start this season, but is improving, much like last year (have to disagree with Rob, though; Rachel's pregnancy arc made for one of the best seasons "Friends" ever had). After its pilot, "Coupling" got pretty funny, and it's beginning to make me wonder what the British version is like. Also, last week, I tried out the WB sitcom "What I Like About You", and it may or may not become a regular program.

Don't watch TV on Friday. That's movie night.

On Saturday, I decide to indulge some of my less "mature" tastes and partake of Cartoon Network's evening fare, namely "Teen Titans", "Justice League", and "Ruroni Kenshin". "Teen Titans" is surprisingly good in that it's mainly a just for laughs show that actually has likable and well developed characters (not to mention an occasional peek into darker, more dramatic territory). "Justice League" sometimes catches my interests and other times annoys me. However, this new batch of episodes is surprisingly good, with last Saturday's being an all time favorite. I recommend it for those who enjoyed the Jasmine arc on "Angel"; the dialouge between Batman and his alternate universe self is almost ME worthy. Lastly, "Ruroni Kenshin", an anime about a nineteenth century samurai, hooked me with its climactic series finale. Now that it's back to it's beginning, though, I'm wondering if its earlier eps will still manage to hold my interest.

Finally, Sunday night, I've gotten into the habit of watching "Charmed" (which, while not that much better storywise this season, has been getting into some more morally ambiguous territory). However, now FOX has started showing "The Simpsons" again. While I watch it more out of loyalty than real humor anymore, it still gives me a conflict of interest. Fortunately, "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Arrested Development" don't give a conflict of interest, and they're by far the funnier shows.

Oh, also, whenever possible, I watch "Angel" reruns on TNT. They're a godsend to those who started watching a little over a year ago. And, given that it's in Season 2 right now, I'm hoping to see that dark Angel everyone talks about.

[> [> Addendum -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:06:02 11/03/03 Mon

Until recently, I was watching "Nip/Tuck", but my interest in it isn't great enough to warrant rewatching episodes.

[> [> Re: What are you watching this season? -- jane, 20:05:41 11/03/03 Mon

I watch a lot less mainstream TV these days; I tend to watch the Home&Garden and Food networks for casual viewing. Programmes I watch regularly are:
Mon.- Firefly
Tues.- Nova, Elegant Universe
Wed.- Jake 2.0, Angel (of course! and I tape it)
Thurs.- Tru Calling
Sat.- Tarzan (I've been a fan ever since I read the books as a kid). I like this new series.
Space airs Buffy and Angel reruns daily, so I try to watch those, to keep my addiction fed. Other than the above, TV is a vast wasteland to me.

[> [> [> Where were you able to find a channel that shows 'Firefly'? -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:48:12 11/03/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> Only in Canada,eh! On the Space Channel, Mondays. -- jane, 23:09:37 11/03/03 Mon

[> Not much of a TV watcher -- Cactus Watcher, 16:15:29 11/03/03 Mon

I watch Nova occaisionally on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, it's Smallville, and Angel. Smallville is pretty overripe with angst, but it's better than several of the things that have been paired with Angel since Buffy left the WB.

I'll give Tru Calling a few more weeks on Thursday. Hope it lasts that long.

Saturday evening I watch LA Dragnet although it's not as good as plain Dragnet was last year.

Can't stand pro football. It's not fair to call it phoney, because the players clearly are trying their best. But, the rules and the way they are inforced on the field make it more of a spectacle than a sport.

I watch college football on Saturdays. It's fun to watch over a long series of years because just when everyone thinks the game must be played a certain way, somebody comes up with a new wrinkle and kicks the tar out of the 'traditionalists.'

I also watch the news most eveningss and the Spanish language news magazine Primer Impacto.

[> [> Joan -- mamcu, 20:30:47 11/03/03 Mon

Lots of you comment on ambivalence towards Joan of Arcadia. I'm sort of the same way. At times it seems to have some nice dark things, maybe not as cool as S1 Buffy but maybe getting close to My So-Called Life. But then it ties it up all so neatly into the happy family scene at the end. And there's all those names in the cast. I've only seen it a couple of times. I like the way God works out. This week as the giant hotdog was excellent.

[> Re: What are you watching this season? -- Miyu tVP, 16:40:41 11/03/03 Mon

The only show I absolutely have to watch each week is of course Angel.

Other than that it's mostly of function of how much time I have, and what I happen upon with my itchy trigger finger on the remote. :)

Of the non-Joss stuff, my favs are:

That 70's Show
Daily Show w/ John Stewart
yeah, still watch Friends...sometimes
Oliver's Twist on the Food Network (I LOVE his accent... could listen for hours and hours)
If I had HBO I would watch Sopranos, Sex & the City & Carnival... but I don't. :(
Gilmore Girls
Conan O'Brian
it's football season, so of course football. Except now it's very painful to watch the Raiders :(

hey - remember back when MTV used to actually play MUSIC VIDEOS? I miss those days...

[> Re: What are you watching this season? -- The Sorcerer, 21:31:02 11/03/03 Mon

For some reason, I am unable to "get into" Angel as I have been with previous seasons. What is more is that David Greenwalt's new show "Jake 2.0" begs the favor of my attention more than Angel this year.

[> Re: What are you watching this season? -- Valheru, 02:05:33 11/04/03 Tue

This season has been a sort of discovery season for me. As the new season approached, I found that I wasn't as excited about my returning favorites as usual. Buffy ended. ER, The West Wing, Judging Amy, The Simpsons, Smallville, and Friends had lost a great deal of my attention over the past 2 or so years. Practically the only shows I was looking forward to returning were Angel, 24, and Gilmore Girls. So...discovery. Searching. Channel-surfing.

MONDAY - I have heard good things about Everwood over the years, I'll eventually catch an episode of Las Vegas, and I still watch Everybody Loves Raymond and the departed-to-Friday Third Watch every now and then, but usually I just skip prime-time tubing on Monday. Though recently, local PBS has been must-see with the fascinating The West and Benjamin Franklin series.

TUESDAY - The great, empty void of Buffylessness will never be filled, but Gilmore Girls is as worthy as substitute as can be found on television today (well, excepting that Wednesday show about the repentant cherub). Not deep drama, but consistently charming, funny, and intelligent. After that, it's on to 24, which always seems to grab me tight in November and December, then push me away with the springtime innanity of "What To Do With the Bauer Women?", "Indiana Almeida and the Temple of CTU", and "Dennis Haysbert Can Make ANY Lame Plot Seem Legit!" before reeling me back in for a finale of "Did Any of This Make Any Sense?" And yet each year, all I ever remember is that Jack Bauer is one entertaining sumbitca.

WEDNESDAY - Anyone here see this geometry show called Angle? Apparently, there was once this really obtuse angle that was cursed with a cosine, and now it's trying to be a right angle and hopefully become equillateral. But if it ever has a moment of true 90 degrees, it turns bad and becomes Hypotenus. So Angle must atone for its sines. And this year, they've added another formerly-obstuse angle-with-a-cosine named Triangle, but to make things a little different, Triangle is also transversal. The WB almost cancelled it last year because they thought math was hard, so the showrunners have been trying to simplify it (no more trig, lesser focus on geometry, etc.); now it's basically just about counting in other languages (next week's ep, "The Forewarning Story of Nombre Sept"). Still, one of the best shows on television.

Other than that, I'm watching Smallville, if only for the Kent family scenes and Lex (everything else has been boring ever since the second episode of season one), and The West Wing, which I think has survived Sorkin's and Schlamme's departure pretty well (a testament to the actors, if nothing else).

THURSDAY - Sorry to say that I switched away from Tru Calling halfway through. But this is Fox, the network that likes to show the worst episode of a series as the preimere (just ask Joss), so I'll tune in at least for the next ep. Though I won't shed a tear if I miss an episode of Friends, Scrubs is surprisingly addictive. And Comeback Show of the Year so far is ER, which finally wised up and dropped the slop storylines (Carter and Abby, Abby and her family, Luka's self-destruction, etc.) that bogged it down the past 2 years. It's still not up to its once-lofty peak, but at least now it isn't embarassing to watch.

FRIDAY - Joan of Arcadia is highly watchable. It's sort of like BtVS (high school girl in extraordinary circumstances, but forced to hide it all), but with a family drama feel. It has yet to really put all the disparate elements together in a single episode, and I'm not sure how long the God-as-one-of-us idea is going to work, but it's a show off to a very promising start.

SATURDAY - Not much of anything regularly, though I'll see bits and pieces of The District when I'm home.

SUNDAY - I really like the big mystery of Lyon's Den (who killed Dan Barrington?) playing out as a seasonal arc, and the idea of an evil law firm sounds vaguely familiar, but besides Rob Lowe's character, everyone else is totally uninteresting. Not nearly as bad as the ratings would indicate, but not as good as I was expecting in the pre-season. After Lyon's Den, I switch over to the weekend syndication of AtS Season 3, which I have discovered is on three different stations at roughly the same time, each one staggered at seemingly precise intervals that allow me to rewatch each act on one channel while another is in commercials. Technology is wonderful.

Late-night Sunday, I'm glued to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. Hillarious. I used to watch Space Ghost: Coast to Coast every weekend, but then it changed time and/or day and I could never find it (TVGuide? What's that?). And then a few weeks ago, I learned it was on during Sunday's Adult Swim. So I tuned in early and caught part of Sealab 2021. The next week, I tuned in a little earlier hoping to see all of Sealab, only to find Aqua Teen Hungerforce (what I didn't know then, but do now, is that the shows are 15 minutes, but my DVR guide only lists in 30 minute blocks, which is probably why I could never find Space Ghost). And thus an obsession was born.

DAILY - History Channel in the morning. BtVS on FX and AtS on TNT in the afternoon. At 11:00, it's the disguised BtVS cartoon, Kim Possible on Disney. And I always top the night off with a DVD episode of Buffy or Angel (at the moment, I'm going through AtS S1&2, hopefully carrying me through to the Firefly and BtVS S5 DVD releases).

REST OF MY LIFE - Sometimes I eat. I think I went potty before sweeps started. I took a bath sometime between a syndicated Friends rerun and a syndicated Seinfeld rerun. I haven't slept since the First Slayer tried to kill me in my dreams of Jeannie. And I think David Letterman's baby is sending me coded messages via 1-800-COLLECT commercials.

[> [> Oops! AtS S5 spoilers above (if you somehow decipher them) -- Valheru, 03:01:12 11/04/03 Tue

[> [> Re: Anyone here see this geometry show called Angle? -- punkinpuss, 12:07:31 11/04/03 Tue

Bwahahahaha! Thanks! I loved that! LOL, math humor, gets me every time.

Other than AtS, there's nothing that I'm dedicated to watching these days.

I've tried to watch 24, Alias, Jake 2.0, Tru Calling, Miss Match, Smallville, Gilmore Girls, etc.

I'm only watching the Practice for James Spader because a dastardly pal has gotten me hooked on Spader watching. Otherwise, the show bores me spitless.

Arrested Development looks like fun and I'll try that for awhile.

Tried to watch The Handler for Joe Pantoliano, Karen Sisco for Robert Forster & Carla Gugino, Alias for all the old guys & geeks (can't stand Jennifer Garner, Michael Vartan is dullsville), but none of these shows provides a good showcase for their best actors.

[> [> ROFL! Angles, obtuse cosines, transversal Triangles, if only math were as much fun;-) -- s'kat, 13:30:37 11/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> Sulk -- TCH- preMMath, 05:15:12 11/05/03 Wed

[> bangs head on wall -- MsGiles, 04:44:03 11/04/03 Tue

Way behind as usual, I had given up on C2 showing Buffy 7. Assumed they had decided not to, because of all the fuss surrounding S6, and their decision to show it early evening but cut-to-bits, resulting, really, in pleasing nobody. In some ways understandably, they hadn't coped with the fact that Buffy was growing up and needed a later slot.
The autumn schedules had started and there was no sign of 7. Then last week they suddenly showed the first 3 episodes Tue/Wed/Thur and I totally missed it (Arrgh! flushes head down toilet, tears hair etc). They seem to be carrying on with this three day system this week. By heck they keep us viewers jumping!

[> [> and after the rant -- MsGiles, 06:57:28 11/04/03 Tue

I've been watching 'Time Commanders' recently. It's a sort of cross between historical, gameshow and reality TV. A battle simulator runs on the big screen, with cgi armies stomping across miles of scenery, while a team of four people who know nothing about battles or history take command of one side in a historical battle. Things don't always go as planned, the team squabble and change their plans mid attack. We've seen Boudicca and her iceni beat the Romans (they lost), Hannibal of Carthage lose to the biggest Roman army ever assembled (he won), and the latest one was Rameses II v. The Hittites, and I missed it. A couple of 'war experts' analyse the action afterwards, and tell us who won in history.

Oh, and on Sunday night I watched one of those physics programmes where there are talking heads and wild and wacky graphics trying to explain things that aren't the least bit easy, but sound kind of intriguing. In this case it was about string theory. Not so much a theory as a philosophy, the presenter opined, as there seems to be no way of testing it empirically. But it's all the thing among hot young physicists. Waves and particles are out, string is in!

[> [> I don't know what the BBC are doing... -- KdS, 13:54:03 11/04/03 Tue

Three days a week consecutively is OK, but giving up the late night uncut reruns? Looks like I won't be able to see S7 as it was intended until the DVD comes out. Sky cut a little, BBC will have to cut many eps to nonsensical degrees if they aren't going to get BSCed. On the other hand, my impression was that S6 did not go down well with the people who hang out at the BBC's board, so it's possible that they really do just want to get it over with. If this is they way they treat BtVS now, it makes me fear for Who

[> [> [> Don't know about the late-night shelving -- Tchaikovsky, 05:21:31 11/05/03 Wed

But this may be the reason that the BBC are trying to finish Buffy off as quickly as possible.


[> Nothing on current broadcast -- dream, 10:58:06 11/04/03 Tue

Someone taped a few Angel episodes for me, but I found them really boring, so I'm not going to bother. Otherwise, I'm tv-free! Except...
I just bought the season three box set of Homicide, and watched it all in about a week. I had never had the chance to watch it straight through before the box sets came out; I had just picked up reruns here and there. It can occasionally be a great show. The writing at times is fantastic. The continuity is generally good - characters change and develop and actions have consequences. I liked the way the show deal with race, and the fact the three of the main characters (two of whom are really central) are black. I like that the romantic lives of the old, fat and/or unattractive are given as much importance as the romantic lives of the young and hot (of which there are several, for some fine eye-candy). That said, the show can fall into really unfortunate cliches. Cop gets tired of dirty life in the big city, goes home to small town to find murder is everywhere. Cop can't keep his personal feelings out of the investigation of his cousin. Yawn... I kept thinking how strange it was that bad Buffy was usually still entertaining, while bad Homicide is just generic television. Still, if anyone missed the series, it's worth checking out. There are some episodes that are just fabulous, and apparently it has the reputation maong police as the most accurate tv representation of police life.

[> BtVS reruns! -- Ames, 14:19:34 11/04/03 Tue

Space Channel is currently broadcasting Season 5 of BtVS nightly, pre-empting the Region 1 Season 5 DVD release (but hey, I'll still buy it).

Angel S5, of course (not as big a fan of AtS, but how could I miss it now?)

SC is also broadcasting Firefly on Tuesday nights.

New shows:

Joan of Arcadia - the jury is still out, but it has some promise if it goes somewhere and doesn't deteriorate.

Tru Calling - of course we're all going to give ED a chance.

The O.C. - a guilty pleasure, reminds me of the first year of 90210.

Already on the trash heap:

Jake 2.0 - nothing new or worthwhile here

Smallville - seen a few eps, but just can't get interested

I occasionally watch a bit of Alias, but once again, just can't get interested. Ditto for 24. This secret government agent stuff is all just too trite and derivative. And so USA-centric it's not funny.

In general the cop/lawyer/doctor/secret agent dramas all bore me to tears. The last good cop show was Hill Street Blues.

As for sitcoms, I wouldn't mind seeing Arrested Development from the good reports, but I missed the first episode. I have no interest in any of the other current sitcoms except old favorites Friends and The Simpsons - and I don't get too excited about missing them these days.

[> Reruns and Angel -- Masq, 17:27:11 11/04/03 Tue

None of the new stuff is worth my very little tiny free time. Nope, not even watching Tru Calling. Kinda hoping it flops and Eliza decides she really wants to star in a new Buffy spin-off.

Tried watching the third season of "Enterprise" but I keep forgetting to set the VCR. Suspect it might be on purpose.

Other than that, I'm using DVD rentals to catch up on old seasons of shows I missed the first time around, Smallville, ER, Alias, 24. Won't watch new seasons until I see the old first. Anal that way.

Still have my Buffy DVDs and Highlander and Deep Space Nine to cling to it nothing else. Actually took my Angel season 2 DVDs out of the plastic wrapper but still can't bring myself to watch them until ME proves to us all that Seasons 3 and 4 really did happen and everyone remembers them as they happened. Anal that way, too.

[> Re: What are you watching this season? -- OnM, 20:56:58 11/04/03 Tue

Sunday - 60 Minutes, Alias. The latter finally had what I consider an really decent show this last week. Hoping that this is a trend, 'cos it's been kinda boring so far.

Monday - Las Vegas. Not brilliant, but well made, very entertaining and far better than I expected it to be.

Tuesday - 24. First year was stunning, 2nd year still very good but over the top at times. Only two eps out this year, but still looking very good so far.

Wednesday - Enterprise, which I watch partly out of loyalty and mostly because of Jolene Blalock. Angel follows at 9:00, then Karen Cisco at 10:00. The latter currently gets my very enthusiastic vote for best new show of the season, so hoping they won't do anything to screw up in future.

Thursday - Tru Calling for 3 or 4 eps (out of loyalty to ED)until I find out where it's going. First ep was not a good sign, so hoping for a quick/miraculous improvement.

Friday - Nada.

Saturday - Likewise nada.

Wesley's Memories -- Claudia, 18:08:08 11/03/03 Mon

Someone, on an earlier post, stated that Wes' early Season 5 personality was a throwback to his state before the Season 3 episode, "Billy".

But shouldn't this Wesley have memories of that particular episode, especially since his Billy-induced attack upon Fred had occurred before Darla's return to L.A., and Connor's birth?


[> Re: Wesley's Memories -- liz, 22:26:28 11/03/03 Mon

I actually find that I'm not sure what Wes is up to yet. He's been quiet. I don't know exactly what he remembers about his flirting-with-the-dark-side thing, or if they're going to handle that sanely at all on the show. He might have actually forgotten. So far Lilah has not been mentioned so I'm not sure.

And so far we haven't really seen inside his head at all. I'm curious to see what happens when we do. All we really know is that he's still interested in Fred, at least a little.

If a Telekinetic also had empathic powers too would it act as a ampliflier? -- reaper, 18:18:39 11/04/03 Tue

A telekinetic powers come from emotions . A empath senses emotions of others, so if you combine those abilities if could make someone powerful.


[> Doubtful -- Majin Gojira, 20:31:10 11/04/03 Tue

Though it might make the ability that much harder to control...

[> [> Re: Doubtful -- Gyrus, 09:16:20 11/05/03 Wed

Though it might make the ability that much harder to control...

Right. You'd end up smashing a lamp every time someone else in the room was upset.

[> flawed reasoning -- Seven, 20:36:00 11/04/03 Tue

_A telekinetic powers come from emotions

This isn't exactly accurate. Many stories dealing with telekinesis say that, yes, there is a connection to the person's emotion's, but it is usually extreme circumstances like with the added fun of adrenaline. Most ideas concerning the power (including Angel) say that at least a moderate amount of concentration is involved. So if this is the case, feeling someone else's emotions might be a distraction from that. Of course, if the two characters were insanely scared, the idea might work and amp up the telekinetic's powers

Recent Buffy & Angel Conference in Dublin, Ireland. (Contains '24' spoilers.) -- Liam, 04:00:07 11/05/03 Wed

There was a small Buffy and Angel conference in Chief O'Neill's Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, on Friday, 31st October and Saturday, 1st November, the guests being Elizabeth Anne Allen (Amy Madison) and D.B. Woodside (Principal Robin Wood). I found it to be a very good convention; because, though there were fewer people than expected (about 80), things were nice and intimate, people getting a lot of opportunity to chat to the stars, and about things other than their roles in 'Buffy'. Both were nice, and seemed to have had a good time, which was particularly good for D.B. Woodside, this being his first convention.

On Saturday, they were available for an hour each for a question and answer session. These are some of the things they said. While some aren't new, I've given them to give people a flavour of what went on.

1. Elizabeth Anne Allen:

In terms of the character of Amy, and what she did for research, she met many Wiccans, then 'had a lot of fun'.

In answer to a question about the change in Amy's character after she changed back in season 6, she thought it was 'fun'. She was amused 'at what the character was going to be', although she admitted that some of the changes were 'a little hard for me', and that things had to make sense. Later, she said that she did research on rats and found that they were pack animals and that it's not good to keep them solitary. This, she felt, explained Amy's change after season 6.

When they were filming Amy being burnt at the stake in 'Gingerbread', it was her birthday and 'Happy Birthday' was sung when the wood was lit!

Her favourite episode was 'B, B, and B', as it contains her favourite scene, where Xander walks down the school corridor to the tune of 'Got the Love'!

Tony Head was the biggest prankster on the set.

This convention is her third, and, so far, people have been very respectful and very nice.

She said that originally she auditioned for the role of Buffy and SMG for Cordelia.

She knew Alison Hannigan before Buffy, and in terms of who she keeps in touch with, it's her, SMG, and NB.

SMG she called 'very funny' and 'A real girl's girl'. She liked working with her, saying that she was like a friend from high school.

She's played a lot of good characters so far, so liked playing evil ones for a change.

She did cheerlead, but was the 'weak one' of the squad, so she was the one who got hoisted up, being the least co-ordinated of the group. The pyramid scene in 'The Witch' was, therefore, appropriate.

The Amy appearance in 'Something Blue' in season 4 was due to people writing in looking for her character to reappear.

She was still waitressing when she got the script for Amy's role in 'The Witch'. It came to her because more established actors didn't want the part, because of the film and because the show sounded goofy.

She got married this year, and therefore took a year off work.

In terms of the highlight of her career so far, it was when she played a pregnant wife in Bull, which necessitated wearing a pregnant belly.

Yes, she would like to go on Angel if offered the part, for the fun.

In answer to whether there were any roles she turned down, she said that she had 'no regrets' about turning down flat a role in 'Showgirls'!

In terms of famous people she's met met, she particularly recalls meeting Tom Hanks and his family in the restaurant where she was still waitressing after her first appearance as Amy. He asked for her autograph for his children.

2. D.B. Woodside:

a. In response to a question about his role in season 3 of '24':

He explained that it is set 3 years after season 2. The President has survived but is 'distrustful'. He is playing the President's new Chief of Staff, who is also his little brother, with a sort of JFK and RFK relationship between the two.

b. About the people he worked with on Buffy:

He loved working with Eliza Dushku, whom he called a 'very tough, straightforward, direct woman'. Nicholas Brendon he called 'one of the funniest people alive'.

c. Other things he had done:

In response to a question what it was like playing with Alyiah in 'Romeo Must Die', he spoke in very glowing terms about her.

d. His favourite episode:

'LMPTM'. It took 3 12-hour days to shoot the Wood v Spike fight scene.

e. His views of Buffy before he joined:

He had never seen the show, so he wasn't prejudiced about it one way or the other. When he began to get involved, he then watched some of the past episodes, and thought that the show was great.

f. About the original plan for Robin Wood:

The character was scheduled to be in the first ten episodes, and was supposed to be a love interest for Buffy, who was to die and contribute to the character's depression. But SMG liked the character and asked that he be kept on. There is a chunk of 4 episodes in the middle where Wood didn't make an appearance. According to DB, it was then that the arc was rethought, so the idea was thought up that he was Nikki Wood's son.

g. About SMG wanting to leave Buffy:

He attributed it to her recent marriage to Freddie, wanting more time with him and thinking about having a family.

h. The most difficult part he played in Buffy:

He said that it was playing the straight Principal Wood, because he sympathised with the students he was admonishing.

i. About the proposed spinoff:

He said that halfway through the filming of season 7, the idea of a spinoff involving Wood, Faith, and Spike was brought up, but 'didn't come out'.

Amber Benson will be coming to Dublin Saturday, 13th December; so anyone interested should contact the organisers, DMZ Events, at


[> Gee, thanks Liam...I've reposted you over at the Trollop boards -- Rufus, 18:17:27 11/05/03 Wed

[> Re: Recent Buffy & Angel Conference in Dublin, Ireland. (Contains '24' spoilers.) -- CW, 08:03:07 11/05/03 Wed

I like the story about Tom Hanks. What a thrill it must have been for EAA when he recognized her!

ED is a very tough, straightforward, direct woman. Well, that's a shock. ;o)

Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- tomfool, 09:10:08 11/05/03 Wed

Here's a little article by Laura Miller on today's Salon about Angel. (to view premium content you have to view a brief ad - not a big deal) It's Spikecentric, but offers opinions about aspects of both shows. I don't really agree with her take on Angel's supporting cast, but it's still nice to see some mainstream media media mention of ME shows.


[> Follow-up: Check out the letters -- tomfool, 10:55:49 11/06/03 Thu

Salon readers had a lot of the same reactions as ATPs did to the article. Particularly the Oreo characterization of Gunn and the suggestion that Spike's character reached his zenith in S4.

[> [> Cliches -- Claudia, 12:46:39 11/06/03 Thu


Salon readers had a lot of the same reactions as ATPs did to the article. Particularly the Oreo characterization of Gunn and the suggestion that Spike's character reached his zenith in S4.]

It sounds as if many of those readers don't really believe in character development. I guess they would have preferred if Gunn had remained a cliche of the black gang-banger and Spike had remained stuck in his BtVS Season 4 persona.

[> [> [> Re: Ummm... -- LittleBit, 14:30:16 11/06/03 Thu

Did you actually read the letters in response to the article? All but one disagreed with the author's assertions, and that one merely said that she would have liked more of Gunn's personal development.

[> [> [> Did you actually read the letters -- Dlgood, 15:13:40 11/06/03 Thu

It sounds as if many of those readers don't really believe in character development. I guess they would have preferred if Gunn had remained a cliche of the black gang-banger and Spike had remained stuck in his BtVS Season 4 persona.

If you actually read the letters, Claudia, it wouldn't sound like the readers felt that way at all. Most claim that Gunn has received character development, enjoy his development, wish for more, and take umbrage at the use of the term "oreo" which they find both ignorant and offensive on the part of the author.

A brief bit of exposition I shouldn't have to repeat for you. So my question, Claudia. is this:

Are you ignorant - commenting on letters you haven't read? Or are you just to stupid to understand what these writers were saying in their letters to Laura Miller?

Because your comments are wildly, and rather obviously, off base.

[> [> [> [> Re: Did you actually read the letters -- sdev, 19:07:56 11/06/03 Thu

If the latter is the case does you comment have a point?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Did you actually read the letters -- Dlgood, 21:11:05 11/06/03 Thu

I guess not. In which case, I need to apologize for the rudeness of my remarks. I'm out of line.

[> OT Plug for Salon -- tomfool, 11:16:00 11/06/03 Thu

Completely off topic, but I'd like to put in a plug for Salon. If you're not already familiar with it, please check it out. It's one of my essential reads every day. It's one of the best places on the net for diverse opinions. Lots of the articles will make you scream and shout in disagreement and lots make you say, 'finally, someone gets it!' For me it provides an antidote to the overwhelming foxification of the news. Since they're really struggling to survive, every reader helps - please give them a look. (You can always read the premium content by sitting through a short ad. They don't require registration. It's a small price to pay to help keep them alive.)

[> [> Re: OT Plug for Salon -- MissB, 10:10:04 11/12/03 Wed

Just wanted to echo that plug for Salon - it's definitely one of the best sites around and deserves our support.

[> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- Ponygirl, 12:01:02 11/05/03 Wed

It is a positive review in there. It's just that Laura Miller of late seems to be writing in a snarky mode designed to stir up response. Not that getting people talking about AtS is a bad thing. It's just that while I agree with certain points, like that Gunn's complete disconnect from his life before joining AI (something that's true of every character for that matter) hasn't been explored very well, but then she loses me by dropping in an offensive term like oreo.

I also think that her comment on Spike, Sure, we sympathized with his doomed passion for Buffy at first, but he became too much that dire cliché of deluded femininity, the bad boy redeemed by his love for a good woman is worth discussing but feel that she failed to point out that his journey also deals with that central male cliché of proving oneself through the grand gesture. Both themes are used constantly in all types of fiction but it seems like only the female one gets the criticism.

[> [> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- dlgood, 12:15:50 11/05/03 Wed

What bugged me was my general sense that she hadn't been watching AtS all that seriously over the past few years - and that the article was written for a similar audience. The *snap, crackle & pop* Miller seems to see, has for me, been buried under mounds of repetetive exposition - and seems rather laborious in context of what the show had been.

To say Wesley is a poor man's Giles, I think is a bit ludicrous. Fred may be a poor man's Willow. Anya may be the poor man's Cordy. Andrew seems a poor man's Xander. And in a lot of ways, Spike seems to be something of a retread on Angel's storyline Spuffy bears a lot of similarities to Angel/Darla and Wes/Lilah. BB&B begat Him, Something Blue, Tabula Rasa, Spin the Bottle, Life of the Party. Whedon recycles ideas. A lot.

I love Buffy, and it'll always be the central brand for ME, but Angel isn't Buffy and that was the whole point of creating it as a new show. I think trying to shoehorn it into a "Buffy" mold is going to do the show and new fans something of a disservice. Instead of praising AtS for it's shift into a more Buffy-ish vein, I wish she'd considered S5 within the context of it being a show that existed for four years before this newest season.

[> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- MaeveRigan, 14:26:59 11/05/03 Wed

It's Spikecentric...

Maybe, but not exactly in the pro-Spike sense. I thought Spike devotees everywhere would be raising the rafters over comments like:

"[...] as for Spike, well, some of us had grown tired of his tortured-romantic mode. Sure, we sympathized with his doomed passion for Buffy at first, but he became too much that dire cliché of deluded femininity, the bad boy redeemed by his love for a good woman. (This is the same pipe dream that results in serial killers like Richard "Night Stalker" Ramirez receiving bushels of scented love letters in prison.)"

and regarding season 4:

"Those were the days when the notion of Buffy and Spike together -- all kissy-face and announcing their "engagement" under the influence of a wayward spell -- was absolutely hysterical."

All in all, it reads more like a "Buffy-centric" article to me, but with considerable nostalgia for snarky, pre-soulful Spike. Miller seems to read Spike-on-Angel as a stand-in for the best of BtVS, which is probably not exactly what Spike fans want to hear.

And probably not what Angel fans want, either, come to think of it.


[> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- Doriander, 15:01:03 11/05/03 Wed

No, no, no! AtS is no Buffy methadone, it's supernatural News Radio! Dave is Angel. Lorne couldn't be more Mr. James in Life of the Party. Spike is Matthew. Gunn is Catherine. Harmony is Beth. "My spellcasting was FINE it was YOU that screwed up nothing beats the duct tape!!!"Wes is Joe. If Lilah were still around she'd be Bill who has it in for Fred aka pretty boy intern. Eve, either Max or a less charismatic (pun intended) Lisa. Although...notice how the Angel-Spike dynamic shifted in that last ep? How he seemed to gravitate to Angel? How Spike's petulant taunting was less about annoying Angel, more annoyance at not having alone time with the big man? He's just itching for everyone to just fucking leave him and Angel alone already. And that "just this once" was strange. Wasn't it the previous week that Spike realized his inner Patrick Swayze? Ooooh, sneaky era Dave and Lisa...dammit Eve, why did you have to interrupt Angel's shower!

sniff. I miss that show.


Yeah. It's there in the header where Ms. Miller is coming from that I couldn't be bothered to take her comments to heart. Kinda like folks that dismiss Buffy for the ridiculous title you know? If you're too stubborn viewing the show from a very set POV, won't be bothered to convert you. Besides, I kinda like this sense of rarified enlightenment.

[> [> Hee! -- tomfool, 09:46:56 11/06/03 Thu

I love it! News Radio is one of my all time favorite sitcoms and I'd never have thought of making the comparison. Now I'm afraid that I won't be able to quit looking. Angel and Eve getting up from behind the couch was sooo Dave and Lisa.

[> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- Valheru, 15:14:29 11/05/03 Wed

Like most S5 articles I've read, this one has an unnerving schizophrenia about it. In fact, it's almost as if the critics are all writing from the same form review:

STEP 1 - Praise Angel's new direction.
STEP 2 - Lament Buffy's end.
STEP 3 - Praise the decision to bring Spike over.
STEP 4 - Discuss the similarities/differences between BtVS Spike and AtS Spike.
STEP 5 - Lament Buffy's end again.
STEP 6 - Wonder why AtS can't be more like BtVS.
STEP 7 - Criticize AtS for being like BtVS.
STEP 8 - Lament Buffy's end one more time.
STEP 9 - End with a backhanded praise of AtS, something like "If we can't have Buffy, Angel will have to do."

So by the end of the article, it seems like the reviewer only likes AtS when it reminds him/her of BtVS, but otherwise the show is crap. What usually starts out as a positive review of Angel in its own right ends up being a condemnation of it in comparison to its sister. Which would be fine if one were writing for The Buffyverse Review or The Angel/Buffy Times, read by fans who appreciate the context, but to a mainstream, un-Joss-initiated audience--basically, the people who have never seen Buffy and assume it's campy fluff like the movie or cheap teen melodrama like Dawson's Creek--saying that AtS is only good when it references BtVS would be like saying American Pie is only good when it references Not Another Teen Movie.

Laura Miller's review isn't as aggravating as some others, but it still has that "BtVS fan looking down her nose at AtS" tone, just the sort of snobbiness that BtVS fans have faced in the "elite" media for years. Funny how that goes sometimes.

The article does have some valid criticisms, though Miller often points them in the wrong direction. Is Fred a "poor man's Willow," Wesley a "poor man's Giles?" I would argue "yes," but not in the way Miller means it. While there are some broad-stroke similarites in personality (Fred's nerdiness is reminiscent of Willow, Wes's Britishness and Watcherness like Giles), their characters and development are hardly similar at all. Fred has a lot of Buffy's hardness and weary, beaten-down-by-life-but-not-defeated determination. To say that Wes is a poor man's anything is to ignore the fact that the man has arguably gone through a more drastic change than anyone in the entire Buffyverse; if a parallel must be drawn to BtVS, it would be as though S1 Xander followed Faith's path toward the dark side and came out as S2 Spike on the other side.

But if one were to only look at function, then the Wes/Giles and Fred/Willow comparisons are apt. Is not Wesley AtS's Exposition Guy? Is not Fred AtS's Problem Solver? For that matter, you could have Gunn/Xander as One-Liner Comedian, Cordy-Spike/Cordy-Spike-Anya as Resident Snark, and Angel/Buffy as Hero. There's nothing wrong with having characters serve specific functions, however. After all, we all have our functions in the real world too. The danger is of using characters only as their functions (S7 had a lot of this)--to write a character based on what he/she does, not who he/she is. Viewers can watch a show that way, too ("There's Giles. He does exposition."), which can take you out of the story. Laura Miller strikes me as one such viewer, thus not being able to see Fred and Wes as anything beyond their comparative function-bearers on BtVS.

The only thing I agreed with 100% was Lorne. The curse of being a great, totally unique character is that it is very hard to use him in a great, totally unique way episode after episode. As a writer (and practically every ME writer has said as much), you can't wait to write a character like Lorne. So when you get the chance, you want to perform. Except the situation doesn't always call for you to write him in the way you hoped. So we end up getting too much Lorne, forced into a story where he doesn't fit, or we get a brief cameo of Lorne. Which has also been Spike's curse. And that can be frustrating for writers, actors, and viewers alike. But hey...that's the limelight for ya.

I have no idea what Miller is trying to say about the Gunn thing. Yes, I would like to see Gunn's "other life" addressed more often, as I think it adds so much to both Gunn's character and the show itself. But it's been two years since we last saw his former crew, a meeting that wasn't all that cordial anyway; why is it suddenly a concern? It's almost as if Miller is saying that the law-injection is a bad idea because it takes Gunn away from his 'hood and makes him less black. Sorry, but Gunn hasn't been that guy since S3, before Gunnifred, Wesley-gate, Gwunn, and Jasminutopia. Hell, he's been "whitening" ever since War Zone.

And what does "until the real thing comes along" mean? What, the return of BtVS? Or an appearance from one of the Scoobies? Like Spike is supposed to be standing in, holding the fort until the real characters show up? Frankly, anyone who reviews Angel on the basis that it's merely a stopover on the road to Buffy's continuing story doesn't have any business professionally reviewing the show at all. Review Angel, not Elseworlds Angel.

[> [> Salon isn't letting me get a day pass.... -- Rochefort, 11:48:03 11/09/03 Sun

maybe the offer is expired? But I want to read this article!!! Is there any way someone who can get in to read can post it?


[> [> [> Here ya go -- tomfool, 21:11:52 11/09/03 Sun

Hmmm. I haven't had any problems using the day pass gateway for the last year. Anyway, here's the article (with full atribution to Salon, along with another plug to check out the site.)

Methadone for "Buffy" addicts
Martyred vampire Spike is back (sort of!) on the new season of "Angel," which has recaptured at least some of the Buffyverse's magic.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Laura Miller
Nov. 5, 2003 | This season of "Angel" is methadone for "Buffy" addicts in withdrawal, a Wednesday night palliative for the pangs left by that big void on Tuesdays, almost the real thing but not quite. So it's only right that "Angel" has brought back one of the most popular supporting characters from "Buffy," Spike -- well, kind of. Last seen perishing in a glorious self-sacrifice that saved the world at the climax of the series finale of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," James Marsters' bleached-blond vampire martyr has been anticlimactically dragged back to the known Buffyverse, but in noncorporeal form.
Spike is there, in the offices of the evil multinational law firm Wolfram & Hart, but not all there. He walks through walls and desks, and can't throw a punch that connects to anyone's chin. Since he first arrived in Sunnydale, he's gone from a nasty villain to a neutered monster with a government-installed brain chip that prevented him from hurting human beings to a lovelorn semi-reformed Scooby Gang member to a conscience-ridden vampire with a soul to a resurrected immaterial phantom. No wonder he's so cranky.
A not-quite Spike fits in all too well with the "Angel" crowd. Joss Whedon's second-banana series has been struggling for years to match the appeal of "Buffy." Its supporting characters are too often pale shadows of those in the first show -- Fred is the poor man's Willow, Wesley the poor man's Giles. And when the series does score a success in this key area -- with Andy Hallett's fabulous green-skinned lounge lizard, Lorne -- it's not entirely sure what to do about it, swinging back and forth between overworking a good thing and neglecting it.
Plus, can we talk about Gunn, please? News flash, everyone: He's black. Race has never been a subject well tackled by Mutant Enemy, the company that produces both shows, and the mystery is why. Gunn's situation -- a black man who left the community he grew up in and defended with his life to fight the "bigger" good fight with a handful of white folks -- just naturally generates the kind of internal quandaries that make Whedon's characters' travails so fascinating. Doesn't Gunn ever feel a twinge of homesickness, of identity confusion, of racial alienation? The new season's idea of implanting him with a comprehensive knowledge of the law is amusing, but does he have to be such an Oreo?
The good news is that so far Season 5 of "Angel" snaps, crackles and pops, reinvigorated no doubt by an undiluted injection of Whedon's attention. The jokes are terrific. The infinite deviousness suggested by Wolfram & Hart's handover of its Los Angeles branch to our heroes is, like everything else about a demonic law firm, delicious to contemplate. And as for Spike, well, some of us had grown tired of his tortured-romantic mode. Sure, we sympathized with his doomed passion for Buffy at first, but he became too much that dire cliché of deluded femininity, the bad boy redeemed by his love for a good woman. (This is the same pipe dream that results in serial killers like Richard "Night Stalker" Ramirez receiving bushels of scented love letters in prison.)
My favorite Spike period came in Season 4 of "Buffy," post-chip but before he fell for Buffy, when he served as a scabrous peanut gallery to the Scooby Gang's adventures, firing off sharp, nasty and well-aimed darts at the do-gooders. Spike's greatest strength is his ability to read people; he knows exactly how to locate the valves that let out the other characters' overstocked righteousness and hot air.
Some of the funniest episodes of "Buffy" feature him playing Oscar to Giles' Felix, grossing out his roommate by eating Weetabix with blood and watching trashy soaps. Who can forget him smirking evilly while tied to a chair with about 50 yards of heavy rope, at the table where Buffy managed to serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner by sheer force of will? Those were the days when the notion of Buffy and Spike together -- all kissy-face and announcing their "engagement" under the influence of a wayward spell -- was absolutely hysterical.
Spike's more or less back to that heckling role in "Angel," and much the better for it. The ghost thing (only he's not actually a real ghost, according to some gizmo of Fred's -- a spectrometer?) might get old fast, but I could listen to him taunt Angel all the livelong day. (The only thing better was a brief enchantment last week that compelled Spike to think positive: "That's one bitchin' big suit!" he enthused inanely to a monster terrorizing a Wolfram & Hart Halloween party.) It's not Xander or Willow or -- heaven forbid -- the slayer herself, but it'll have to do until the real thing comes along.

[> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- leslie, 16:48:42 11/05/03 Wed

By and large, I agree that this is one of the less incisive critiques of the World of Joss I've seen on Salon (doesn't Stephanie Zacharek have anything to say?). On the other hand, I have a great fondness for Laura Miller since she gave me one of the best review quotes I've ever received ("You've got to love a writer who can find a way to use the phrase 'suicide by cop' in a book on Tolkien." Yes, you do. It's the law. So where's the love, people? I haven't noticed anyone throwing themselves at my feet lately, showering me with long-stem roses and Godiva chocolates. Sniff....) Anyway, the article did make me realize something about why Season 7 of BtVS felt a little too flat:

In every season, there has been an apocalypse or reasonable facsimile thereof that Buffy has to avert, but in addition to the whole saving-the-world schtick, she also has to save someone who is very close to her. S1, pretty obviously, it's Buffy herself. It isn't just that the Master is going to open the Hellmouth, but that he's going to kill Buffy in the process. S2, well duh, it's Angel. Not just that Acathla is going to swallow the world, but that Buffy has lost her first true love and will she be able to save him from the metaphorical darkness that's swallowed him already? S3, Faith. Not just that the Mayor is going to swallow up the town (hmmm, there's a lot of swallowing here, isn't there?), but that he's corrupted Buffy's alter-ego, and will she be able to save her, too? S4, Riley. Not just that Adam plans to destroy humankind, but he's threatening to turn Buffy's second true love into a monster like himself. S5, Dawn. Not just that Glory is going to open a portal that will swallow the world, but that she plans to kill Buffy's little sister in the process. S6, Willow. Now, here is where people start getting a little testy about the quality of the show, and I think part of it is that Buffy is clearly in no situation to save anyone, and indeed it's Xander who saves the world. But again, we do have the pattern of Buffy's best friend succumbing to dark forces and needing to be rescued.

So, who needs to be rescued in S7? Ultimately, it's the whole world, as usual, but there really isn't a specific individual as a focus for Bufffy's urgency. At the beginning of the season, it seems like it's Spike (see, this is how Miller's article got me started, with her reference to the bad-boy-redeemed trope), but then, after Buffy rescues Spike from the First about halfway through the season, Spike takes over any saving of himself by himself. I think the Potentials are supposed to be the real damsels in distress, but there are just too damned many of them to really be a focus. In a way, it would almost have been better if the First had managed to kill every single Potential except one, so that there was a focus on having to save this one girl so that the Slayer line would continue.

[> [> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- CTH, 06:55:20 11/06/03 Thu

Lurker here. Very interesting point about the 'damsels in distress' situation on Buffy. I think one of the flaws of S7 (which is certainly flawed but still beloved in my house) is the lack of focus on the Potentials. They are the heart of the season but we spend so little time with them that they fail to ground the latter half of the season. From reading an interview with David Fury, it seems fairly clear that there was a consistent battle between creating the Potentials and trying to service the regular characters that the staff could never really resolve.

BTW, really like the article. Well-written & fun.

[> [> [> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- Claudia, 12:34:02 11/06/03 Thu

[Lurker here. Very interesting point about the 'damsels in distress' situation on Buffy. I think one of the flaws of S7 (which is certainly flawed but still beloved in my house) is the lack of focus on the Potentials. They are the heart of the season but we spend so little time with them that they fail to ground the latter half of the season. From reading an interview with David Fury, it seems fairly clear that there was a consistent battle between creating the Potentials and trying to service the regular characters that the staff could never really resolve.]

Odd that you should say that. Most of the complaints about Season 7 was too much focus upon the Potentials.

[> [> [> [> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- CTH, 13:51:12 11/06/03 Thu

The potentials are the heart of Buffy S7. First, their protection forms the basis for the majority of the season and finally, there actualization is the pay-off not just to the season but the series itself. They are the most important thing to Buffy this season yet, the potentials remain more symbols (of Buffy's calling among other things) than actual characters in & of themselves. We meet the Potentials and they pretty much stay they same as we first saw them. Rhona is the bitchy one. Amanda is the dorky one. Vi is the really, really cute one. The show tries to build their characters for a few episodes (BOTN thru Potential) but then they slide into the background, a mute chorus of guilt around Buffy.

Whedon has said that the theme of Buffy S7 is back to beginning and you cannot get further back to the beginning than these girls. I mean, they are Buffy at the beginning.. young, unsure, scarred and finally, realising their strength and power.

I wish ME had found time to do an episode from the Potentials point of view. The situation these girls are in is facinating. They are pulled from their homes, told the have a warrior's birthright, and then punked down is a house full of strangers to try & ward of an apocalypse. How do they feel about this? Are any in love with Spike or Xander or Anya, for that matter? I don't know because we never get to know them beyond the externals. In S2, we are allowed to know Angel so we can understand what Buffy loses when his soul is taken. In S5, we are allowed to know Dawn so that we can understand why Buffy won't sacrifice her. This doesn't happen for the Potentials. We are merely told how important they are, rather than being allowed to feel it.

Personally, I don't think that ME had much interest in the Potentials beyond their capicaty as symbols, at least from the interviews I've read with Mr. Whedon & Mr. Fury. ME had placed themselves in kinda of corner with introducing all these girls but being (understandbly) more interested in pushing the long-term charactes forward. Also, I don't know if this would have made the fans happy. It seems that anytime someone other than the leads had a line that fans rose up in a furor so spending more time on the Potentials probably would have pissed some off. But I think it would have improved the story which is really the most improtant thing.

I hope that clarifies my thoughts on the matter for you. And thanks for asking.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- MaeveRigan, 09:44:07 11/07/03 Fri

Good points, CTH. Ultimately, I agree with you. But it is what it is, now. So we have three choices, I guess--either write fanfic, or make what we can of the season as it exists (and I contend there's really more to it than may have appeared as it was strung out over the original broadcast season in the US), or complain about what we wish ME had done with this storyline or that character.

As you note, if ME had put more focus on the potentials, probably fans would have complained even more vociferously about the diminished attention to the core characters. Things could have been done another way, but they weren't.

So what does that leave us with? What do we know about the Potentials, beyond their symbolic roles, and what can we make of that?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Salon article: Methodone for 'Buffy' Addicts -- CTH, 02:42:05 11/08/03 Sat

Of your three choices above, I have to go with enjoying the season as it is. While certainly flawed, I loved watching S7 and seeing Whedon wrap up this wonderful creation, I just so enjoyed getting to see the world & the characters come to a fitting end, despite the occasional awkwardness in getting there.

As for fanfic, not really my cup of tea. The text is the text is the text for me. And complaining, I've just gotten too much pleasure from Whedon & Co. over the years. I'd feel a little churlish raggng on missed plot points and such.

BTVS Casting spoiler for Gilmore Girls?? -- neaux, 13:28:37 11/05/03 Wed

I apologize if this was mentioned somewhere else..

but I heard last night on E! that Danny Strong is joining the cast of Gilmore Girls? Is this correct or is it just a cameo role?


[> Geek-a-licious GG/BtVS spoiler news -- cjl, 13:38:21 11/05/03 Wed

Yes, Danny Strong is playing Rory's newspaper editor at Yale in next week's ep. No word whether it's a one-shot or a semi-regular gig.

Also, no word on the rumor that Jane Espenson is keeping Danny in her desk at the GG offices...

scientific comments on Hell Bound from Paris, France -- ARN....triangles are pyramids (display in text), 16:51:41 11/05/03 Wed


Is Hell Bound an alchemical adventure, mixing technologies, spells, the power of stones, and aiming to *transmute* a ghost into a corporeal being? Is ATS seeking some symbols from Alchemy and antic sciences? Why not? After all, we always can relate the Jossverse to anything, can we? Anyway some "potential clues" seemed interesting to me: the treaties of the 12 dimensions, the appellation "vampire-soul", the design of the wheel made by Fred, the progression of Fred in her research mode ... well ... I was mostly bored and I let go my imagination and my memory. Kinda original post.


In Hell Bound, Fred asked Wes for the treaties of the 12 dimensions. A little earlier, she went into a scientific tirade.

*Modern theory
Her lines made me laugh for some reasons I expose here as shortly as possible : a serious theory exists, called Membrane Theory, describing the global universe with 11 dimensions. All dimensions look like a close undulating Membrane (like a moving soap bubble). They exist at each point of the global universe and constant exchanges of matter happenbetween them, at their surface (matter/antimatter=force=energy). But the most of them are so small than you can't detect them and they can pass through you, between the smallest particles. This theory is made for explaining the incoherencies of our universe such as the lack of antimatter and the fact that some particles species matching logics and mathematics don't exist (they said)...

The modern scientists are not the only ones trying to explain the Universe. The 12 dimensions of the treaty are possibly related to Plato and his work (The Timée). He believed that the soul, and the soul of the Universe a fortiori, is symbolised by a 12 sided solid, each facets related :
- to the 12 zodiacal signs in the material world,
- and to the 12 primal forces in the spiritual world.

2/ THE PLATONIC OLYHEDRAL JEWELS (Metaphor of the Amulet?)

Plato considered that creation of the world and its functioning could be explained through a subtle theory involving geometry, mathematics, the four elements and the divine intervention. Always looking for the perfect forms, numbers and shapes, he described the universal harmony using geometry. He did research about polyhedrons and he discovered that only five polyhedrons are "regular". A polyhedron is regular when all facets are flat and identical. Hence these polyhedrons are called Platonic. You can check them on the site of Wolfram Research (pun intended ; links =, forget the equations). Some of them became classical schemes for jewels sizing (the amulet is not a regular polyhedron though).

An amazed Plato gave these polyhedrons some "mystical" properties :)
- the tetrahedron (4 triangular facets) is the symbol of fire,
- the octahedron (8 triangular facets) is the symbol of air,
- the icosahedron (20 triangular facets) is the symbol of water.
- the cube also called hexahedron(6 quadratic facets) is the symbol of earth,
- and the dodecahedron (12 pentagonal facets), the fifth element, symbolises the stuff of which the constellations and heavens were made.

3/ THE DODECAHEDRON : THE MAN-SOUL (Metaphor of the Shanshu?)

Hence, the dodecahedron became an universal symbol and the hyper-symbol of the man with a soul (literally MAN-SOUL ; Pavayne called Spike "vampire soul") because the pentagon is the symbol of the NEW soul. Therefore, the object was used in Theology, Alchemy and Divination, in Greek and Roman Empires, in Middle Age and in Renaissance.

As corruption of soul by the material world is mostly a Platonic topic, and as this topic is obviously exposed in ATS, I won't be surprised if the five elements pop up in the Jossverse this season. I think we already had heard about 4 of them : The soul(ghosty Spike), The matter (Spike's recorporealisation or tentative), The water (cup of torment), and The fire (flamed Spike or flamed Shanshu).


At some level, Plato built the basis of Alchemy that is also rooted in Egyptian sciences. The Alchemists thought that every things in Nature had two parts :
- a spiritual one, "spiritual substance", human and living (I know, this is an anthropomorphic pov...),
- and a concrete one, "matter", non human and non living.
For an example, the amulet is a Soul-Gem.

Alchemists also used five important geometrical objects : but the octahedron is replaced by the pyramid. They used them to accomplish the creation ie to channel into the alembic the forces helping the creation of the form (matter), and relate the material and the spiritual parts of the NEW creation to each others.

Notice that, logically, the progression of Fred during her research follows 4 steps. We may relate them to the alchemical creation (tetramorphic progression). First, she has a goal, a vague theory, but she doesn't know how to do perform it exactly(massa confusa). Second, her theory is forming but is not clear and can be not a success. The result (destroying LA) may seem to have completely missed the intended direction of the goal (Purifactio). Third, she forms The precise definitive theory. In Alchemy this stage is dangerous as the reaction can lead to an "explosion" - And Fred becomes a bit crazy (Fulminato). Fourth, the goal is realised, is a part of Reality and is functioning - Fred builds her machine (Magnum Opus).


The wheel Fred built in her lab may be a kind of alembic where the reaction takes place, where the form will appear, calling the spiritual part of the new creation. The 12 symbols written on the wheel recall the 12 dimensions of the treaties quoted earlier, and they also seem to be Greek and alchemical symbols ( check *Symboles et Mesures*). This wheel also reminds me La Roue de la Fortune (Wheel of Fate - Tarot Arcana 10th). It's funny to say, that in Europe, from Antiquity to Renaissance, people used to play divinatory games with 12 facets dices and lists of 12 questions. In Renaissance, the game was very popular and the most popular book of lists was called *Dodéchédron de Fortune*.


The aim of this discussion was to give possible scientific and philosophical meanings to a few symbols used in ATS, in Hell Bound in particular. The symbols are mostly related to the Universe, the Soul, the Transformation. I find interesting that the soul in Plato is related to a perfect object as well as the amulet or the Soul-Gem can be. I find also interesting that Fred, by trying to recorporealise a ghost with a machine exhibiting alchemical symbols (as I can know), reproduces the principle of the new alchemical creation. Besides, the ultimate alchemical process (in theory) would be to give life to the matter, ie to make the vampire human.
But Notice that the End of Hell bound is a little Apocalytic (Fred's creation is destroyed). And we may add another ingredient to complete the Shanshu Prophecy: the Apocalypse. Wait for the next part.

part 2:

Behind the desk in Angel's office, we can see a triangle/Pyramid ornamented with weapons. I'll focus on the meaning of this symbol on purpose.

**Channelling (alchemical definition)

"The profound attainments of the Egyptians were created by a people who knew the 'spirits' within Elemental Matter, and could 'talk' them into revealing their secrets to mankind. This process of 'talking to matter' was symbolized to Egypt in the pyramidal form, and was said to involve four 'stages' (the tetramorphic progression described in the previous post) requiring the application of five great 'Spiritual Forces' drained by the five solids (described in the previous post)".


In Alchemy, the role of a pyramidal solid during the new creation is described as follow : placed around the alembic in which a subject-matter has attained desired form, this geometry causes that form to be perfected and retained ad infinitum.


Funny to say that nn the Egyptian Mythology, the Pyramid, associated with the Eye of Re, means judgment and sometimes destruction (I invite you to read the story of Bastet/Sekmeth who used the Eye or Re to Destroy the Humankind).


In mathematics, a triangle made with numbers is called pyramid. A pyramid with 9 levels is called Ennead. The most famous Ennead is made with the number 1 exclusively. For Plato, the number 1 meant unicity and is the symbol of the complete universe ie Pan. This Ennead is also called the Pyramid of the God One.

1 1
1 1 1
1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

I exposed this Ennead for two reasons. Fred doesn't stop saying that Spike is "Unique" ; and the principle of unicity is also related to the Shanshu Prophecy since our Universe can tolerate only one champion vampire with a soul (it is said). Secondly, if you multiply each line of this Ennead by itself (ie 1x1 then 11x11 then 111x111) another pyramid is built, called the Pyramide of the Quadratic Town - Jérusalem Céleste. It is also called the Ennead of the Apocalypse.

1 2 1
1 2 3 2 1
1 2 3 4 3 2 1
1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 5 4 3 2 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Notice that the word *Apocalypse* means here the revelation, the judgment of God. It leads to the *accomplished creation* and the creation will be one with God. For Christians, the Apocalypse results in the destruction of the humankind. Thus, I think (but may be you could help me) that Apocalypse means preserving or destroying the creation after the last judgement. Funny to think about it, since W&H is a law firm.



[> For the pure, there are a few spoilers in the above post. -- Rufus, 17:47:58 11/05/03 Wed

To alcibades re your: MC Escher essay -- Rufus, 19:07:41 11/05/03 Wed

Escher Everywhere You Look

Lorne has been referencing different movies, and a documentary in ep 1 called "The Sorrow and the Pity" about collaborators in wartime France. Each went along with the invading Germans for various reasons, just like the gang. Gunn's deal is the closest to Dr Faustus, where knowledge is the thing coveted with the price hell. Dr. Faustus never reverses himself even to the point of going to hell.

I noticed Lorne make a passing reference to "Ship of Fools" in Life of the Party" another film about WW2. People on a cruise ship acting out the spectrum of behavior while on their way to Germany. This is just like the gang who are now so far into a situation that they no longer seem to know that the most simple way out is to leave.

Then there is the Bosch painting "Ship of Fools".......the
description from the site....

Ship of Fools by Bosch

*In The Ship of Fools " Bosch is imagining that the whole of mankind is voyaging through the seas of time on a ship, a small ship, that is representative of humanity. Sadly, every one of the representatives is a fool. This is how we live, says Bosch--we eat, dring, flirt, cheat, play silly games, pursue unattainable objectives. Meanwhile
our ship drifts aimlessly and we never reach the harbour. The fools are not the irreligious, since promiment among them are a monk and a nun, but they are all those who live ``in stupidity''. Bosch laughs, and it is sad laugh. Which one of us does not sail in the wretched discomfort of the ship of human folly? Eccentric and secret genius that he was, Bosch not only moved the heart but scandalized it into
full awareness. The sinister and monstrous things that he brought forth are the hidden creatures of our inward self-love: he externalizes the ugliness within, and so his misshapen demons have an effect beyond curiosity. We feel a hateful kinship with them. "The Ship of Fools" is not about other people, it is about us.*

I just thought that the Bosch "Ship of Fools" would be a good addition to your essay.


[> Few more tidbits -- Dandy, 21:25:20 11/05/03 Wed

Lorne also says "A Bridge Too Far" Isn't this a film or book title? Name sounded familiar as a title of something.

I am also vaguely recalling a painting by George Grosz or someone of that ilk, a social satirist, entitled Ship of Fools. I could be wrong.

And of course, in his cell phone conversation about bringing back Henry Fonda, Lorne refers to Tom Joad of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Fonda, as Joad, has a famous speech at the end referencing the ever present threat of injustice and the need for humanity to be vigilant in its awareness and defense of the little guy. It is the idealistic version of Angel's worn out speech about fighting the good fight.

[> [> A Bridge Too Far, movies, and heroism -- s'kat, 22:42:33 11/05/03 Wed

A Bridge Too Far is a film based on a non-fiction book by Cornelius Ryan. The screenplay of the Robert Redford, multi-cast epic was William Goldman. According to Goldman in his book, Adventures in The Screen Trade: The story is based on an actual event or battle in WWII, It's the BATTLE OF ARNHEM.

This is the Battle that a British Combat general felt contained "the single most heroic action of the war". (You won't see that action in The MOVIE btw, because Goldman couldn't figure out how to make it work cinematically).

From Goldman's book: "The action involved a river crossing.
The most effective way to capture a bridge is to attack both ends at once: This divides the enemies resources and generally initiates panic and confusion. The bridge in question, a gigantic structure, was being attacked by Allied forces at one end only, and the Germans were so deeply entrenched that no advance was possible. So a plan was initiated to send a group of men in boats, under cover of night, across this wide, swirling river, to the other end of the bridge, behind the Germans. The boats were to be loaded with combat troops and rowed across where the troops would get off and the boats would return to the Allied side, where more men - "a Second Wave" - would get in and row across and join the fighting. The plan developed logistical problems, the boats didn't arrive in time for the night crossing, so it was now to be done in daylight. And when the boats finally arrived, they turned out to be dangerously flimsy - plywood bottoms and canvas sides and there was a shortage of oars. Now the first wave had one thing going for it: smoke cover. A barrage of tank fire was to lay down a giant smoke screen to help the men get across. Major Julian Cook was to lead the first wave (Robert Redford) and when the boats were finally assembled and dragged to the water and the men began to row, something terrible happened - a wind came up and it blew away the smoke-screen cover. So there they were, in these tiny boats on this vast river, heading into God only knew what. It didn't take long to find out: The Germans were ready and considerable carnage followed. But Cook led his charge and a lot of men died, but he got across and the boats returned and took the second wave across and eventually, with both sides of the bridge being attacked simultaneously, the Germans were defeated. I think there is no question that we are dealing with valor here of a very high order when we discuss Cook's crossing - but that was not what the British general was referring to as the most heroic action of the war. He mean the second wave. Sure the first wave was a tremendous undertaking. But they didn't know that the Germans would be waiting for them and they thought they had smoke cover.
The second wave standing there watching it all knew when their turn came they were going right in and rowed into the bloodbath."

But the "second wave" isn't in the movie. Why?

"because" Goldman writes, matter-of-factly, "even though it was true, I didn't know how to make it believeable. Look when John Wayne is in a movie, he doesn't arrive at the Alamo the day after the fighting. He is there, superhuman, beating up on as the budget will allow for. I didn't have John Wayne but I had Robert Redford and the same logic holds. The star must be the center of the action."

This is a well-known story in the industry (everyone in the industry has probably read the book). Bridge Too Far did okay, not great. The metaphor works on three levels - heroism, the pitfalls of screen-writing, and going that bridge too far when you try to make something work.

[> [> [> about that El Cid????........;) -- Rufus, 01:50:30 11/06/03 Thu

Lorne's reference of the night.

[> [> [> Facts above, slightly askew -- CW, 16:32:42 11/06/03 Thu

The 'bridge too far' was indeed the one at Arnhem. The bridge in the movie with the big, bloody, successful daylight cross-river assault by Major Cook was the one at Nijmegen. To my knowledge Cook only had to cross the river once under fire. I believe the heroic action that the British General was refering to was one attempted by the Polish brigade to cross the next channel of the river to help the British holding out in Arnhem, which was indeed over simplified in the movie. The point of the movie was that the sacrifices by the Americans at Nijmegen and the greater ones by the Poles and British at Arnhem were the unnecessary result of over ambitious planning by General Montgomery's and his staff who were eager for him to be the great hero of the war. The book also pointed out that the commanders of the parachute units, British, Polish, and American, were begging for a chance to have their troops go into combat again because they believed the war would end quickly.

[> [> [> [> Agreed -- Celebaelin, 06:50:06 11/07/03 Fri

Although 'Market Garden', the code name for Mongomery's Plan to speed the end of the war which involved taking three bridges over the Maas, Waal and Rhine at Grave, Nijmagen and Arnhem, respectively was largely successful the British portion of the operation was something of a letdown to say the least.

Ultimately the idea was to capture the deep water ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp and to overrun V-bomber sites in the area. Grave is about 5km SW of Nijmegen and Arnhem is about 20km ENE of Nijmegen. Complicating factors were a shortage of planes, meaning the airborne units had to be dropped in over a three day period (commencing 17 September 1944) giving the Germans time to regroup, and the fact of the initial spearhead, the British 1st Airborne, being dropped fully 7 miles from the Arnhem bridge on the first day. Delivery of reinforcements and supplies was also hindered by bad weather. By the time Mongomery conceded defeat in regard of the Arnhem action and ordered the withdrawal of the British element (night of 25th-26th September) only 2,400 of the original 10,000 were able to escape.


PS I knew a man, a friend of my fathers, who was captured at Arnhem. He was a cook in the British paratroops. His comment? Never even made a cup of tea.

[> [> [> [> [> Correction: Arnhem is about 20km NNE of Nijmegen, repeat NNE. -- Celebaelin, 06:54:00 11/07/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> Yeah well, I was quoting a hollywood screenwriter -- s'kat, 11:37:52 11/07/03 Fri

and we all know how historically accurate those guys are.

One gets the feeling that the movie-makers and screenwriters
prefer their version of history over the actual events.

At any rate - I think Lorne's line was meant as an inside joke about a movie that didn't quite work based on an event that didn't quite work, yet, ironically, the endeavor regarding both was heroic. Sometimes our failures can be far more heroic than our own or others sucesses.

[> [> [> [> [> Hear hear -- Celebaelin, 11:46:44 11/07/03 Fri

[> Re: To alcibades re your: MC Escher essay -- alcibiades, 16:56:30 11/06/03 Thu

Thanks for the suggestions Rufus. I actually was thinking of another Bosch to illustrate LofTP, The Garden of Earthly Delight but this one seems to have some of the same themes. As for why don't they just leave, I am not sure they can anymore. Angel signed on their behalf -- I wonder if he signed in blood as well -- and they may be as stuck as Spike, but just don't know it yet.

Got to start paying attention to the movie references, I guess.

I am not quite sure why Lorne referred to #5 in this episode as El Cid, besides the warrior and the Hispanic connotation. Fighting against the odds and winning maybe. Or a warrior who initially fought initially on both sides? Or shameless flattery?

[> [> Re: To alcibades re your: MC Escher essay .....spoilers for Angel 5.6 -- Rufus, 18:46:35 11/06/03 Thu

Again speaking of the Shipof Fools. It could be a movie reference or a literary one but it's clear and explained well to me at that Bosch site what the "Ship of Fools" is all about and it's us. All the things we do, even when we know the consequences may be negative, how wrapped up we all get in our own "thing" causes the "ship" (humanity) to wander about with no specific purpose.

Angel. It's a graveyard out there, and all the guests wanna meet the new guy in charge.
Look, Lorne, I-I- I have things. I'm busy. I'm brooding.
(turns behind him to see the television is on)
Oh, you're watching hockey!
Yeah, but my team is losing.
Get up off your keister and get out there! I can't steer this ship of fools by my lonesome! I just can't do it! I-

Ship of Fools

In The Ship of Fools " Bosch is imagining that the whole of mankind is voyaging through the seas of time on a ship, a small ship, that is representative of humanity. Sadly, every one of the representatives is a fool. This is how we live, says Bosch--we eat, dring, flirt, cheat, play silly games, pursue unattainable objectives. Meanwhile our ship drifts aimlessly and we never reach the harbour. ...........Which one of us does not sail in the wretched discomfort of the ship of human folly?

This is how Wolfram and Hart may be dealing with Angel the "hero", sending him around doing things that have no clear outcome other than paperwork, so just as #5 he becomes some guy on a recliner no longer caring about anything. The thing is that everyone in the gang is their own kind of fool and what #5 described as brothers coming together as a fist, may not be possible right now with everyone so distracted.

I loved your essay and have pimped it where I can.;)

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