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OT - Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll -- Brian, 18:47:08 10/03/03 Fri

While out and about today, smoking one of my favorite cigars, La Vieja Habana, I started writing a poem. So I guess wandering and smoking does lead to creativity, of a sorts.


I played my heavy metal rock'n'roll way up loud
Until my mind was jellied into a cloud.
I was feeling "anxious," so I went to visit a hooker;
She was so skilled; I didn't notice that she wasn't a looker.
I purchased a little tasty death today;
I don't really inhale, so it's really ok.
I went down to my pub for a strong drink,
And I drank until I ended up in the clink.
Scored some blow today, so I went looking for a straw.
One of these will kill me: I guess which one is sort of a draw.
At least, I suppose, one could say, I've got a fatal flaw.


[> Oh, yeah -- dub, 20:26:28 10/03/03 Fri

Nice one, Brian.

Reminds me of a song Dave Van Ronk used to sing...one of the verses was:

Cocaine is for horses
And not for men
They tell me it'll kill me
But they won't say when


[> [> Re: Yea! Someone else who remembers Dave van Rock -- Brian, 04:33:50 10/04/03 Sat

I used to listen to him when I was doing "the folk thing" back in the early 60's.

[> [> [> Um, I knew Dave -- dub, 08:33:08 10/04/03 Sat

Met him through a friend of mine, Monte, a blues harp player. Dave came to Vancouver several times. He had a lot of friends here. We all miss him very much. Monte's talking of having a Tribute to Van Ronk night at a local club in the near future. Should be a blast!


[> [> [> [> Re: My bad - two different people -- Brian, 09:58:45 10/04/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Maybe not... -- dub, 17:17:13 10/04/03 Sat

Van Ronk was certainly a biggie in the folk music scene in the 60's. Little Bobby Zimmerman used to camp out on his living room floor.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: two into one? -- Brian, 06:24:00 10/05/03 Sun

I did a google search on Dave van Ronk and Dave van Rock, and they appear to be the same person, at least, they have a record titile in common. Hmmm, Dave van Ronk on the West Coast and Dave van Rock on the East Coast, or perhaps I was just doing way too many drugs back in the 60's to ever get someone's name right. But I do remember Bob Dylan and Joan Baez playing at coffee houses together. They looked cute together.

[> Great minds as they say, four from the swamp... -- Celebaelin, 21:32:07 10/03/03 Fri

that, I'm sorry to say, beat you to the punch by thirty years or so. You're in good company though.

Poison Whiskey
Ed King - Ronnie VanZant
Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced'leh-"nerd "sky-"nerd) (1973)

Daddy was a Cajun baby, raised on Southern land
And so my kinfolks tell me, was a street-fightin' man.
Well, they rushed him down to see the doctor
Well the doctor just checked his head
The only thing that was wrong with him
Was Johnny Walker's Red
He drank ole poison whiskey
'Til it killed him dead.

It happened back in the bayou many years ago
Satan came to take him and he did it real slow
Well, they rushed him back to the doctor
The doctor just shook his head,
"Twenty years of rotgut whiskey
Done killed the poor man dead."
He drank ole poison whiskey
'Til it killed him dead.

Sweet guitar
(Guitar break)
Poison whiskey
(Honkey tonk piano break)

Take a tip from me, people... brothers can't you see
Ain't no future in ole poison whiskey.
They're gonna rush you down to see the doctor,
The doctor's gonna shake his head.
The only thing he's gonna tell ya
"Stop drinkin' Johnny Walker's Red
Don't drink poison whiskey, don't you drink it now.

The Needle & The Spoon
Ronnie VanZant & Allen Collins
Second Helping (1974)

Thirty days lord and thirty nights
I'm comin' home on an airplane flight
Mama waitin' at the ticket line
Tell me son why do you stand there cryin'

It was the needle and the spoon
And a trip to the moon
Took me away, took me away

I've been feelin' so sick inside
Got to get better, lord before I die
Seven doctors couldn't help my head, they said
You better quit, son before you're dead

Quit the needle. quit the spoon
Quit the trip to the moon
We gonna take you away. Lord, we gonna take you away

It was the needle and the spoon

Guitar break

I've seen a lot of people who thought they were cool
But then again, lord I've seen a lot of fools
Well, I hope you people, lord can hear what I say
You'll have your chance to hit it some day

Don't mess with the needle or the spoon
Or any trip to the moon
It'll take you away

Lord, they're gonna bury you boy
Don't mess with the needle
Now I know, I know, I know...

Guitar break 2 playout

That Smell
Allen Collins & Ronnie VanZant
Street Survivors (1977)

Whiskey bottles, and brand new cars
Oak tree you're in my way
There's too much coke and too much smoke
Look what's going on inside you
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you

Angel of darkness is upon you
Stuck a needle in your arm
You fool you
So take another toke, have a blow for your nose
One more drink fool, would drown you
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you

Now they call you Prince Charming
Can't speak a word when you're full of the 'ludes
So you'll be all right come tomorrow
But tomorrow might not be here for you
Yeah you
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death's around you

Hey, you're a fool you
Don't stick them needles in your arm
I know I been there before

Guitar break

One little problem that confronts you
Got a monkey on your back
Just one more fix Lord might do the trick
One hell of a price for you to get your kicks
Hell yeah
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you
Oh you fool you
Don't stick those needles in your arm
Oh no
One more blow for your nose

Guitar break 2

Garry Rossington & Ronnie VanZant
Street Survivors (1977)

Well, it's eight o'clock in Boise, Idaho.
I'll find my limo driver, Mister, take us to the show.
I've done made some plans for later on tonight:
I'll find a little queenie and I know I can treat her right.
What's your name, little girl, what's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl, won't you do the same.
Back at the hotel, Lord, we got such a mess.
It seems that one of the crew had a go with one of the guests, ah yes.
Well, the police said we can't drink in the bar, what a shame.
Won't you come upstairs, girl, and have a drink of champagne.
What's your name, little girl, what's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl, no there ain't no shame.
What's your name, little girl, what's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl, won't you do the same.

Guitar break

What's your name, little girl, what's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl, won't you do the same.

Nine o'clock the next day and I'm ready to go.
I got six hundred miles to ride to do one more show, oh no.
Can I get you a taxi home, it sure was grand.
When I come back here next year I wanna see you again.
What was your name, little girl, what's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl, for there ain't no shame.
What was your name, little girl, what's your name?
Shootin' you straight, little girl, won't you do the same.

Ancient wisdom from the annals. Who could ask for more?


[> [> Re: Nothing succeeds like excess or “too much is never enough!" -- Brian, 04:30:59 10/04/03 Sat

[> [> [> Also in a song lyric - Bon Jovi 'In And Out Of Love' from the '7800 degrees Faranheit' album -- Celebaelin, 04:46:24 10/04/03 Sat

[> Wandering works fine for me for inspiration. -- CW, 10:36:06 10/04/03 Sat

As long as I don't wander past the refrigerator too often!

"Conviction" and "Chosen" (Spoilers 5.1) -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:29:15 10/04/03 Sat

When "End of Days" and "Chosen" aired there were many complaints about Angel: people said he seemed too upbeat considering he had just had his destiny smashed into pieces, joined an evil law firm, left Cordelia in a coma, and erased his son's memories. However, "Conviction" makes me wonder about that.

Yes, he gets mad at Eve for bringing up Connor and has a moment of sorrow over comatose Cordelia. And, yes, he still seems uncertain about his position at Wolfram & Hart. But, in general, Angel seems pretty upbeat. Given that "Conviction" is set during Angel's first week at Wolfram & Hart, it can't be that long after "Chosen" aired. This leads me to believe that complaints about Angel's upbeatness and "Chosen" were erroneous, as he doesn't seem any more downhearted in this new ep. Of course, one could say that this just means Angel was out of character in "Conviction" as well, but I don't think so. While many fans have debated the morality of what Angel did to Connor, we must remember that Angel himself viewed it as the right thing to do. So, seeing Connor as part of a happy family, his spirits were quite possibly boosted rather than making him depressed, as many have claimed he should be.

Any thoughts?


[> I noticed this too..(spoilers 5.1) -- Alison, 13:11:35 10/04/03 Sat

and it makes little sense to me. You could be right, he may have found some peace knowing Connor can be happy. But Angel has a tendency to do the right thing, THEN wallow in the self pity. However, he also has a tendency to repress things he'd rather not deal with (an understandable reaction considering the fact that if he's not dealing with one thing, he has another equally difficult thing to adress). So his grief might resurface later in the season, especially with Spike as a catalyst.
Also worth noticing..both episodes are penned by Joss. I have no desire to criticize Joss, but he does occasionally sacrifice character developement for plot ( such as at the end of "Chosen", where he needed a positive ending, even if it was odd to have the characters act so light hearted). It could just be a difference in writers.

[> [> I didn't find the "Chosen" light-heartedness odd -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:00:38 10/04/03 Sat

OK, I found the conversation mimicing the end of "The Harvest" a little odd, but their quips at the end didn't seem that way. They'd been going a long time with a sense of encroaching time, that the First Evil could have them killed at any moment and they couldn't do anything to fight it. But then, suddenly, they find themselves alive and the First beaten. I think, despite their confidence going in, it still struck them as a surprise that they came out of the whole thing alive. That would make anyone giddy.

[> [> [> I didn't mind the end of "Chosen" -- Alison, 16:25:54 10/04/03 Sat

I liked seeing the story end somewhat happily; I like seeing the Scoobs smiling again. I didn't find their giddiness insulting, but I did think it was sort of unrealistic after they had lost so many loved ones. Yeah, they survived unexpectedly-- but losing people you loved can be a buzz kill. However, since its the very last scene of the show, everyone sees it differently.

[> Chosen-to-Conviction timeline ( Spoilers A5.01 ) -- OnM, 14:51:21 10/04/03 Sat

*** Given that "Conviction" is set during Angel's first week at Wolfram & Hart, it can't be that long after "Chosen" aired.

According to a press release about the new season that I read somewhere recently, the events of Conviction take place about three weeks after the events of Chosen.

If true, I think that this is the first instance Joss has ever arranged the spring-to-fall Buffyverse timeline as other than in real time.

As to Angel's 'mood', besides the possibility of feeling good about Connor's new situation, consider that a) he got to meet Buffy again, b) while she wasn't looking for a relationship with him again right now, she wasn't Spike's official 'girlfriend' either, c) she didn't rule out a future relationship with Angel and finally d) depending on how word travels, he might think that Spike is dust.

(And he certainly didn't seem pleased to see Spike appear again, now did he?)

[> [> But at the beginning of the ep . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:56:44 10/04/03 Sat

One of the Wolfram & Hart guys excuses Angel killing one of his client's employees by saying it's his "first week".

[> [> [> Maybe.. -- Alison, 16:21:56 10/04/03 Sat

They didn't start running the office right away? It might have taken some time to set things up for their arrival.

[> [> [> [> That was my thought as well.. -- jane, 16:25:41 10/04/03 Sat

How much time passed between Rain of Fire and Home (Potential Spoilers)? -- Sgamer82, 11:42:50 10/04/03 Sat

The way the last few episodes of Season 4 ran, I'm just curious just how much time passed during the whole shebang. I don't know about the Beast's attack, because it was totally night through most of it. But for Jasmine, I know it's a minimum of about 3 days.

Day one is the end of Inside Out to near the end of Shiny Happy People.
Day two is the end of Shiny Happy People to the end of Magic Bullet.
Day three is Sacrifice to the end of Peace Out.

But what do you think is the grand total of time spent fighting the Beast and Jasmine?

Permission to come aboard . . . -- Watcher, 19:21:30 10/04/03 Sat

In his reply to Dandy [Cool steady-cam shot], Brian notes that Alfred Hitchcock's 1948 thriller 'Rope' is made up of "at least six shots" and he comments that Orson Welles' 'Touch of Evil' "opens with an 11-minute tracking shot."
The subject of the discussion thread was, of course, the three-minute, 43-second tracking shot near the beginning of 'Conviction'. It was a most impressive bit of stagecraft and a fine way to open the fifth season of Angel the Series. I read the messages in the thread with considerable interest, waiting for someone to comment on the fact that the shot, in and of itself, could be read as a clear statement of the show's new direction and its underlying subject for the season.
I was somewhat disappointed that the conversation drifted from all things philosophical towards a few things technical. The reference to Hitchcock, while fascinating, is largely irrelevant. It is true that 'Rope' - based on a stage play by Patrick Hamilton -- was an attempt to make a feature film in a single take. In August, 1962, Hitchcock was interviewed by Francois Truffaut and told the French writer-director that "I undertook 'Rope' as a stunt . . . I got this crazy notion to do it in a single shot." [Quoted in 'Hitchcock,' by Francois Truffaut; New York, 1967.]
In a footnote, Truffaut explains that the capacity of a 35mm camera reel was 10 minutes-worth of film. To achieve the illusion of a story told in a single, uninterrupted shot, Hitchcock would pass the camera behind some dark object every 10 minutes to create a few black frames to obscure the necessary cut. To produce a feature with a running time of 80 minutes, he needed just eight magazines of film and a very well-rehearsed cast. As the man said, it was a stunt.
By contrast, Brian's reference to 1958's 'Touch of Evil' was right on the money. Among movie buffs, that film's opening shot -- a two-minute, 15-second take that follows a newlywed couple (played by Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh) as they get into their car in Mexico, drive to the U.S. border, cross into California and park -- is the single most famous long take in cinema history. No mean feat, it was choreographed and filmed almost a generation before the invention of the Steadicam.
(The Steadicam -- the trade name for a hand-held, body-braced camera that enables a cinematographer to take fluid shots while in motion -- was invented in the mid-1970s. The first feature film to use a Steadicam was 1976's Rocky.)
Since the Steadicam came on the scene, a lot of film-savvy directors have paid tribute to Welles with significant long takes in their own films. Among the best recent examples are Brian DePalma ('Raising Cain') and Robert Altman ('The Player'), both released in 1992.
I believe that writer-director Joss Whedon's use of the long take in 'Conviction' is an explicit, deliberate homage to 'Touch of Evil.' And it's more than just another tip of the hat to a landmark movie moment. As the irreplaceable Cordelia Chase might have said: "'Touch of Evil,' people! Well, duh!"
Angel's season opener walks the show's principal cast through the huge, new Wolfram & Hart interior set. In her inspired run-on sentence, Fred sums up the apprehensions of the AI team to this new situation. And the very form of the scene -- a single long, fluid take -- speaks as eloquently as any musical underscore. Touch of Evil.
The subject of the season is identified here. And it is: Will the AI team be able to resist the temptations offered by Wolfram & Hart's senior partners? Will they remain untouched by evil?
In the 1958 movie (based on a novel called 'Badge of Evil'), Welles plays a corrupt American cop brought down by an upright young Mexican lawman (Heston). I think there is room for some discussion of just how much attention Whedon wants us to pay to the complex content of Welles' screen adaptation.
One thing I'd like to mention is the fact -- agreed upon by both Welles and Heston [both quoted in 'Citizen Welles' by Frank Brady; New York, 1989] -- that the out-of-favour Welles wouldn't have had the chance to direct the picture if the then up-and-coming Heston had not made his enthusiasm for working under the old master loudly known to the film's producers. It's a fascinating bit of movie trivia and even appropriate, given that today (Saturday, October 4) is Charlton Heston's birthday. He's 80.
I hope all of this has been of some interest. Despite years of lurking, this is my first-ever posting to the ATPoBtVS&AtS discussion board. Given the strength of 'Conviction,' I'm expecting another seriously thought-provoking season from Angel and I'm looking forward to discussing it from time to time on the board.


[> Re: Permission to come aboard . . . -- Rufus, 20:10:31 10/04/03 Sat

Welcome aboard? But of course.

I'm not the technical type so I didn't much mention any of that in my posts, I leave it to people who know more about that than I do. As for what the theme of the season is I agree. How does one get every material need fulfilled and not forget where they came from. It's clear that Gunn is trying very hard to forget his street living, garbage eating days and may think getting a mental upgrade is a way to keep the hungry days long behind him. I think that is a quality that Wolfram and Hart looks for, hunger in a financial and success way.......

Season 2 Angel Blind Date...

Holland: "It's your age. You're a young man. You've hitched your wagon to our star. Oh, and it's a bright star. - But now you're starting to feel a little 'Is that all there is?"

Lindsey: "Sometimes you question things, but I mean it's no big..."

Holland: "Yeah, I did a lot of crazy things when I was your age - searching and all. - Took me a while to realize how the world was put together and where I belonged in it. - And actually the world isn't that complicated. - It's designed for those who know how to use it."

Holland knew how to close a sale, knew how to find that thing that people longed for, would do anything for. We got to see just how they hooked Lindsey later in the episode.

Lindsey: "Well, our files aren't 100 percent, - but I guess it's fair to say that - you've never seen anything like real poverty. I'm talking dirt poor - no shoes - no toilet. Six of us kids in a room, and come flue season it was down to four. - I was seven when they took the house. They just came right in and took it. - And my daddy is being nice, you know? Joking with the bastards while he signs the deed. Yeah, so we had a choice. Either you got stepped on or you got to stepping and I swore to myself that I was not going to be the guy standing there with the stupid grin on my face - while my life got dribbled out..."

Fred has been given what I would equate with a deluxe chemistry set for Christmas. Angel got cars, cars, cars....and a helicopter. Wesley is the one person who seems uncomfortable in his present situation. He may have fetched Harmony out of a steno pool but that hardly equates with true evil. The closest he got was in the courtroom with his gun ready to expedite some pond scum. What we see now is the first reaction to getting the winning ticket in a lottery worth millions. They have a weapon, a resource that can be used, hopefully, for some good, or that is what they are telling themselves for now. The rest of the season will deal with the consequences of this Faustian deal.

[> [> What Holland Manners said about "Conviction" -- Rufus, 20:26:43 10/04/03 Sat

I just love how you can go back over the seasons and find the start of something that will show up much later. Conviction, Hauser said he had it but someone spoke about it in season one, again in Blind Date.....

Holland: "Hm. Well, then you're in a crisis, son - crisis of faith. - Do you believe in love? - I'm not speaking romantically. - I'm talking about that sharp, clear sense of self a man gains - once he's truly found his place in the world. - It's no mean feat, since most men are cowards and just move with the crowd. Very few make their own destinies. They have the courage of their convictions, and they know how to behave in a crisis."

[> Re: Permission to come aboard . . . -- sdev, 21:46:46 10/04/03 Sat

Enjoyed your comparison with Welles whose forte was the corruption of the soul. Also liked the link of Fred's run on sentence and the run on camera shot. Welcome.

[> Hey! I know you!! -- dub, 22:58:25 10/04/03 Sat


(And it's about time.)


[> Re: Welcome, and thanks for the info on Touch of Evil -- Brian, 06:12:35 10/05/03 Sun

You got me to dig out the tape and look at that opening scene. It is quite a feat of filmmaking. Reminded me of why Welles was America's greatest filmmaker, and Citizen Kane is America's greatest movie.

[> Permission granted -- Masq, 06:18:48 10/05/03 Sun

An impressive first post. Anyone who can contribute to our appreciation of the show in new and interesting ways is most welcome!

[> [> Re: OT - Masq, you're up early on a Sunday -- Brian, 06:27:14 10/05/03 Sun

Or are you, like me, a creature of the restless night and day?

[> [> [> A creature of the morning -- Masq, 12:50:50 10/05/03 Sun

Up before the sun unless I have the help of sleepy drugs. ; )

I like morning.

[> Lindsay and Gunn -- Seven, 06:18:59 10/05/03 Sun

I'm sure that this has been said, but has anyone noticed Gunn's clothes when he was first seen in "Conviction?" He was wearing a flannel shirt, something I don't remember him wearing before. I do, however, remember seeing Lindsay wear one a couple of times, mainly when he was "going back to his roots" so to speak. Also, Lindsay WAS poor like Gunn and had EXTENSIVE knowledge of the the courtroom. (i.e. Dead End) Although that could be because ME was trying to show that he was better than Lilah. Lindsay had displayed this knowledge elswhere though.

Could Lindsay and Gunn have made the same deal? And if so, what were the circumstances for Lindsay? Could we possibly see him again? I think it would be neat for Lindsay to come back, maybe by Angel's request, and give Gunn a heart to heart that helps out Gunn, or fuels him to go even creepier. Either way, i'd like to know some more about Lindsay, one of my favorite peripheral charachters.

Why Wesley would know Spike......spoilers for Angel 5.1 Conviction -- Rufus, 19:50:13 10/04/03 Sat

At the end of Conviction, Spike appears in that reverse dusting and Wesley is the first one to say his name. People have asked why Wesley would have known about Spike Starting with Buffy season 3 "Bad Girls"......

Wesley: Perhaps there were a few more than we'd anticipated, but I'd expect you to be ready for anything. (looks her in the eye) Remember the three key words for any Slayer: preparation... preparation... preparation.

Watchers are very well educated, and the best of them would know their way around spell books as well as any Watchers diaries. Some even went a step further as in Season 5 Buffy....

Buffy s5 Checkpoint

WATCHER2: (frowns) Is that what you want? I'd think you'd want to kill her. You've killed Slayers before.
SPIKE: (intrigued) Heard of me, have you?
He walks a little closer. The two male Watchers shift nervously and hold up their weapons.
WATCHER2: (embarrassed smile) I ... wrote my thesis on you.

I don't know what Wesley wrote his thesis on but I do remember one thing he said in Angel s1 Somnambulist

Wesley sighs and takes the clipping back: “I think you better sit down. (Cordy goes to sit on the couch with a big sigh) While executing my duties as Watcher in Sunnydale, (pulls a folder out of his bag) I did extensive research. Specifically on Angel, given his uncomfortable proximity to the Slayer."

Wesley does his research, he also would have heard of Spike in Sunnydale. Any research he did on Angel would detail anyone associated with him such as Darla, Drusilla, and Spike. It's no surprise that he knows Spike as there may be pictures of him just as there was one of Darla. As Wesley said "preparation, preparation, preparation", yeah, I know that's the same word three times.


[> I think the more obvious answer is . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:08:55 10/04/03 Sat

Somewhere along the line he was told about Spike (most likely by Angel or Cordelia, but possibly during Season 3 by one of the Scoobies). After all, Spike has a very distinctive look (which he hasn't changed in the past twenty years or so), so he wouldn't be too hard to pick out. Also, even if that wasn't the case, he might recognise the amulet, know that Spike was the one who wore it, and so infer that the person coming out of it was Spike.

[> Re: Why Wesley would know Spike......spoilers for Angel 5.1 Conviction -- Malandanza, 21:50:05 10/04/03 Sat

"Somewhere along the line he was told about Spike (most likely by Angel or Cordelia, but possibly during Season 3 by one of the Scoobies). After all, Spike has a very distinctive look (which he hasn't changed in the past twenty years or so), so he wouldn't be too hard to pick out. Also, even if that wasn't the case, he might recognise the amulet, know that Spike was the one who wore it, and so infer that the person coming out of it was Spike."

I'm with Rufus on this one -- it's Wesley's research. I can't imagine Angel sitting down and regaling Wesley with stories about Spike -- Angel's not big on sharing at the best of times. Since Sunnydale stories involving Spike would hardly be Cordelia-centric, I have a hard time imagining Cordelia bringing him up -- except, perhaps, mentioning in passing that a Billy Idol wannabe vampire (because Cordy wouldn't know who Sid Vicious was) strolled into Sunnydale thinking he was cool, and Angel, Buffy, and Angelus took turns slapping him around until he learned otherwise.

It's been a while since I've seen the episodes, but didn't Wesley also have all the details about Darla and Dru at his fingertips when they appeared? The case for Cordelia mentioning either of them is even weaker than for mentioning Spike. Wesley is good at research -- it's what he does best. Even if he hadn't heard of Spike before he came to Sunnydale, Giles had, and wrote all those diaries that Wesley took such pleasure in perusing when he first arrived.

[> [> In the episode "Dear Boy" -- Ray, 22:00:23 10/04/03 Sat

Angel sniffs out that Wesley had sex with a bleached blonde the night before.
Think about it.

[> [> [> Ha! -- pellenaka, 04:49:14 10/05/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> Re: Ha! -- Angel, 20:10:25 10/05/03 Sun

Oh, my God. That's horrible.


[> [> In "Dear Boy" Wesley is able to show a picture of Darla to Kate. -- Rufus, 22:10:30 10/04/03 Sat

From Angel s2 "Dear Boy"

Wesley: "Are we? (He shows his book to Kate) This is a daguerreotype of Darla, taken over a hundred years ago. That woman who said she was DeEtta Kramer - look familiar?"

The picture is Darla, wearing period clothing.

[> [> With Angel and Cordelia, I was thinking they might mention the Gem of Amara -- Finn Mac Cool, 23:16:18 10/04/03 Sat

Wesley's into the whole mystical artifact thing, so he'd want to know everything Angel and Cordelia could tell him about their contact with it, which includes Spike. Also, as I said, I imagine that Welsey would have been told some more about Spike after hearing about the fate of Sunnydale. Certainly, after being told to set up a second front, someone would call Angel about the events of "Chosen", Angel would pass that on to the rest of the team, including some possible description of Spike.

[> [> [> I agree that Wes would be curious about the ring -- Scroll, 20:02:02 10/05/03 Sun

But that's dependent on Angel and Cordelia mentioning it to begin with. Considering we hardly ever heard Angel and Cordy mentioning Doyle after his death, at least not on screen and not to Wesley (though Angel and Cordy might've talked amongst themselves), I think it more likely Wes found out about Spike's existence/relationship to Angel as soon as Wes started researching Angel back in BtVS S3. Not to keep contradicting you, Finn, but it's keeping in Wes' character to know every detail of Angel's history. He would've come across Spike's name, and possibly a picture of him, long before he and Angel even exchanged phone numbers pleasantries. *g*

OTOH, I think Wesley could've just as well learned about Spike independently of researching Angel. Spike, after all, killed two slayers in one century. And his first dead Slayer came when he was only twenty years old. I can definitely see the Watchers sitting up and taking notice. In fact, I can see the Master, Darla, Angelus, Drusilla, and Spike all being required reading at the Academy!

Wolfman & Hart = CIA? -- LeeAnn, 04:12:24 10/05/03 Sun

I was having a problem with the whole Wolfman and Hart thing but I'm trying to help myself to accept it by telling myself that W&H is a metaphor for the CIA. Say you got to take over the CIA, an evil organization filled with evil people (and some morally ambiguous ones) which has done some evil evil things.* What would that be like? Could you control the evil people and their evil impulses? Could you twist its power into doing good? Is that possible or would you be corrupted and turned evil or just exhausted by the task till you finally gave up on it? Could you give it up? Cause it's not like the CIA would disappear if you did. All that would happen would be that someone worse would probably be in control of it. Seen in that light AI's merge with H&G could be an interesting scenario.
Like Fred Said: Is this gonna be our lives now? Fighting our own employees, our own clients? Are we really gonna do any good?

But ANGEL is optimistic: Yes, we are. We're gonna change things. We came to Wolfram and Hart because it's a powerful weapon, and we'll figure out how to wield it.

It is an interesting question. Can an organization as evil as W&H or the CIA ever be turned to good? I'm looking forward to Joss's answer.

*A little addendum for those of you not political junkies and who don't keep up with the activities, past and present, of the CIA, which has been responsible for hundreds of thousands or millions of deaths around the world. A real Wolfman and Hart:

The CIA and Poison Letters: BlackValentines?

Saddam Hussein, then an up-and-coming CIA asset and dictator, and other members of the Ba'ath party worked with,the Americans, to overthrow General Kassem. According to Frontline, "With CIA help, the Iraqi Ba'ath Party seized power in 1963. General Kassem was killed in the coup. The CIA provided lists of suspected communists for Ba'ath Party hit squads, who liquidated at least 800 people. Saddam Hussein rushed home to join in as a interrogator, torturer and killer.

Our bloody coup in Indonesia
It has been known for more than 10 years that the CIA supplied lists of names for Suharto's assassination squads. What is less widely known is that the supposed pro-communist coup that triggered the crisis was almost certainly also the work of the CIA. Sukarno was finally removed from power in 1967.

How Washington backed bloodbath in Indonesia
They made the rivers in many parts of Indonesia literally run red with the blood of their victims. For months, the army went from village to village, island to island, shooting and hacking at whoever was pointed out to them by local reactionaries as "trouble makers."

The police, landlords and merchants used this holocaust as the opportunity to settle old scores and tame the mighty popular movement. Hundreds of thousands who survived the killings were jailed for decades in barbaric concentration camps, where many died.

In a discussion of the difficulties facing the oppressed masses, how can the utter intransigence of the rulers be left out? How can social transformation be seriously considered without taking into account that those with privilege and property may resort to any means, including mass murder, to stay on top?

CIA is also known to have been behind the right wing takeovers and slaughters in Chile and Argentina as well as the present attempts at the same thing in Venezuela.

Come chat with us.


[> Don't believe everything you read about the CIA... -- Corwin of Amber, 19:29:48 10/05/03 Sun

Theres a whole cottege industry among the New World Order/Black Helicopters/UFO's crowd that makes up stories about the evil CIA. The truth is, you only hear about the CIA when they screw up, because if you hear about them, they've screwed up.

And why can't Wolfram and Hart just be a metaphor for, oh, say...EVIL LAWYERS? :)

[> [> Perfect... -- LeeAnn, 23:59:43 10/05/03 Sun

And why can't Wolfram and Hart just be a metaphor for, oh, say...EVIL LAWYERS? :)

Cause evil lawyers aren't generally mass murderers.

And lots of the stuff about the CIA came out in Congressional Hearings. Or has been declassified.

This was off the AP and I originally read it on the ABCNews site:
Government Calls Back Newly Released Book Detailing U.S. Role in Deadly Anti-Communist Purge
By Pete Yost Associated Press Writer
Published: Jul 27, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government on Friday scrambled to call back all copies of a State Department history that details the U.S. role in Indonesia's deadly purge of communists in the 1960s.

In a diplomatically embarrassing case of terrible timing, hundreds of libraries across the country are stocking the recently released history of American officials' secret support for the anti-communist campaign that undermined the rule of Sukarno, Indonesia's founding president. Sukarno's daughter became the country's new leader this week.

The State Department blamed the Government Printing Office for issuing the book without approval from State, but the GPO saidit had gotten clearance from State in April.

"We did not inadvertently release this history," said GPO spokesman Andrew Sherman.

"Only within the last two weeks have we been contacted by the State Department" and "every now and then an agency will say, 'There is a problem with a document, can you pull it back.' That's what we have been in the process of doing over the last several days - talking to the State Department and finding a way to ask the libraries to take those books off the shelves," said Sherman.

The State Department said that it discovered this month, before the internal process of deciding when to release the volume was completed, that the printing office had begun distributing copies.

"We asked the Government Printing Office not to sell any more copies because the process was not yet complete and no release date set," said a State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The National Security Archive, a private group specializing in national security issues, said the CIA had tried to suppress the history.

The text of a four-page CIA memo from then-Far East Division Chief William Colby is deleted in its entirety. The history identifies the source and date of the memo. Colby, who later became CIA director, died in 1996.

The CIA memo is dated the day after a State Department cable contained in the history spells out a U.S. plan to funnel tens of thousands of dollars to a group bent on the destruction of the Indonesian Communist Party.

"This is to confirm my earlier concurrence that we provide Malik with fifty million rupiahs requested by him for the activities of the Kap-Gestapu movement," says a Dec. 2, 1965, document from the American ambassador in Indonesia to William P. Bundy, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 1964 to 1969.

"The chances of detection or subsequent revelation of our support in this instance are as minimal as any black bagoperation can be," the document concluded.

Of the Gestapu, the ambassador's document said, "This army-inspired but civilian-staffed action group is still carrying burden of current repressive efforts targeted against the PKI," a reference to the Indonesian Communist Party that was allied with Sukarno.

In a message to Washington dated April 15, 1966, the embassy acknowledged: "We frankly do not know whether the real figure" of communists who have been killed "is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000 but believe it wiser to err on the side of the lower estimates, especially when questioned by the press."

Adding detail to revelations of over a decade ago, the volume also points out that the U.S. Embassy supplied lists of top communist leaders to the Indonesians who were trying to destroy the PKI.

The history quoted from an airgram from the embassy to the State Department saying that an embassy-prepared list of communist leaders "is apparently being used by Indonesian security authorities who seem to lack even the simplest overt information on PKI leadership."

So while US backed Indonesia authorities were slaughtering up to a million people the CIA was sending them lists of tens of thousands of people to be sure to kill. The society was effectively killed as well: "Indonesia last year [2000] published only 22 scholarly papers in mathematics. In Vietnam, which only emerged from war in 1975, there were about 1,300."Out of the black hole

So I think the CIA is the perfect metaphor for W&H.

[> [> [> Re: Perfect... -- Corwin of Amber, 08:48:24 10/07/03 Tue

What makes you think the Communists who were being suppressed were such nice guys? The human rights record of communists in the world is abysmal...millions upon millions of people have been shot in the back of the head, starved to death or otherwise been "reeducated" by the likes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot or the Shining Path guerillas in Peru. There are people today starving to death in N. Korea because the Communist government there believes guns are better than people. The actions of the CIA in Indonesia possibly prevented a Pol Pot style bloodbath in the 70's if the communists had come to power.

You can't divorce the alleged actions of the CIA from the events of the times.

On second thought, you're right. Wolfram & Hart, under the control of Angel's team is a good metaphor for the CIA. Sometimes you have to do some evil to do a lot of good. :)

[> [> [> [> Re: Perfect... -- LeeAnn, 09:34:06 10/07/03 Tue

So the CIA was justified in engineering a genocide to prevent a genocide? Don't fool yourself, all the CIA was doing was protecting the property of western investors.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Perfect... -- Corwin of Amber, 18:31:08 10/07/03 Tue

Who are you to say that the property of western inventors doesn't need protecting? :)

And who said anything about genocide? There are still a LOT of people in Indonesia.

Tribute.... -- Angel, 14:53:15 10/05/03 Sun

As OT as this may seem, now that they've startd re-running the early episodes in syndication, I finally did something I've been wanting to do for a long time -- a portrait of Doyle. Inspired by.... well. Doyle himself, I guess. And I thought, what better forum to offer it up as a tribute as well as open it to discussion, than here? You can find the portrait here:


Or maybe this will work:

If this is just taking up space, I *apologize*. I've been away for quite a while. But if you have a moment, then cool. I hate to bother people; but I just thought, as I've said, what better place to share it?

OT: Most people here talk briefly about their jobs, trials or triumphs: I just found out that an art gallery an hour or so away from here is actually interested in my work. I sent some photos over; it could be a big deal. Just wanted to share that.



[> Congratulations! That's great news. -- LittleBit, 15:15:20 10/05/03 Sun

Nice work, too.

[> [> very nice. good luck with the gallery :) -- isis, 15:37:03 10/05/03 Sun

[> Re: Tribute.... -- LadyStarlight, 16:03:52 10/05/03 Sun

Hey, great news! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

[> [> Re: Nice work -- Brian, 17:02:54 10/05/03 Sun

[> Re: Tribute.... -- jane, 17:50:50 10/05/03 Sun

Thanks for sharing this with us. Nice work, and congratulations and good luck. Glad to see people following their dreams.

Our first clue about Skip and Jasmine -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:04:45 10/05/03 Sun

In "Inside Out", it came as a surprise to many that Skip, the seemingly friendly servant of the Powers That Be, was actually a mercenary demon. But, if you think about it, the episode "Birthday" reveals a clue that Skip isn't being entirely honest. When Cordelia asks if the Powers are offering to turn back time to change her past, Skip says no, that they're not into turning back time, and that instead they'll alter reality so that the effects of changing one event in the past exist. However, in "I Will Always Remember You", the Powers That Be turn back time in order to stop Angel from becoming human. Could this be early foreshadowing of Skip's true nature and the Evil!Cordelia plotline?


[> Re: Our first clue about Skip and Jasmine -- RJA, 15:33:00 10/05/03 Sun

That is possible, but what Skip actually does say could containa reference to IWRY:

Cordy: "They can do that? They can turn back time?"

Skip: "They don't go for that - much. Think of it as 'writing over history.'

I think the 'much' is an important word, and as such, is a reference to Angel turning back to a vampire, something that the Oracles were reluctant to do.

I have to say the more I watch Birthday, the more I would prefer it if Skip had been good or neutral, or at least the conspiracy wasnt so convoluted

[> Re: Our first clue about Skip and Jasmine -- skeeve, 08:01:32 10/06/03 Mon

This one thought Angel beat Skip just a little too easily.
Quite apart from physical prowess, something Skip mentioned later, there was no obvious reason that Skip couldn't have done to Angel what he was doing to the prisoner.

Had I been Cordelia, I wouldn't have gone for the higher being line. Having to decide right away smacked of evil salesman tactics. The bit about beyond love didn't help either.

[> [> Re: Our first clue about Skip and Jasmine -- Dlgood, 22:25:47 10/07/03 Tue

Having to decide right away smacked of evil salesman tactics.
Yeah. Just considered these apocryphal lines, cut from the shooting script.

CORDY: This seems like an awfully big decision. I'm not sure I'm ready to commit.

SKIP: Come on. I'll be here until midnight, and there's a special incentive to demonize 30 seers by the end of the month. What do I have to do to get you off this lot in a brand new demon!

[> [> [> Re: Our first clue about Skip and Jasmine -- skeeve, 14:25:46 10/08/03 Wed

You realize, I hope, that the broadcast version was even worse than what I infer was intended as an exaggeration.

[> Re: Our first clue about Skip and Jasmine -- RadiusRS, 13:30:55 10/07/03 Tue

In Angel's case, they only let him relive the last 24 hours so that he could actually have a choice about his fate, much like Cordy had a choice whether to die or become demon (which is probably why TPTB didn't send her a vision to warn her about Skip, it's all about choice!). Seems to me that's as far as they'll go in the Whedonverse (Imagine the power it takes to turn everything back 24 hours let alone 2 and a half years for Cordy).

Lindsey and W&H -- Cheryl, 15:38:06 10/05/03 Sun

I didn't start watching AtS until early season 3 and now that I've finally caught up with seasons 1 & 2 on DVD, I've really come to like Lindsey. The character development was interesting and well done. I would love to see him show up again this season, now that AI is running W&H. I'm spoiler-free so this is just wishful thinking, but I think Angel at some point could use some help or advice from Lindsey and taking a road trip to OK or wherever Lindsey is these days would be a hoot.

I have a question, though. Does Lindsey have a contract with W&H like Lilah and Holland? Does he belong to them after he dies? Wes couldn't destroy Lilah's contract so it seems to me that Lindsey would still be bound to them, even if he's doing his own thing now. Has this question come up before? Any thoughts?


[> Re: Lindsey and W&H -- Rook, 15:54:24 10/05/03 Sun

I don't believe that the exact terms of Lindsey's contract were ever discussed. Holland and Lilah's seemed to extend to after death, but on the other hand it doesn't appear that Lee or Gavin had this condition, or they'd still be running around somewhere, so I guess it could go wither way.

Anyhow, as for advice from Lindsey RE: W&H, Angel's already had some ("The key to Wolfram and Hart: don't let them make you play their game, make them play yours.") and right now he's either forgotten it or is choosing to ignore it, and playing their game. Presumably, he'll wise up soon and start making them play his.

[> [> Re: Lindsey and W&H -- angel's nibblet, 21:10:36 10/05/03 Sun

i read somewhere that in an interview j. august richards said that christian kane might be coming back. but then it could just be my mind playing tricks on me as usual.

[> [> Re: Lindsey and W&H -- Cheryl, 07:32:22 10/06/03 Mon

I don't believe that the exact terms of Lindsey's contract were ever discussed. Holland and Lilah's seemed to extend to after death, but on the other hand it doesn't appear that Lee or Gavin had this condition, or they'd still be running around somewhere, so I guess it could go wither way.

It's probably just the executives that have to sign their souls away, then. So when Lindsey left and Lilah was promoted, maybe that's when she signed the contract.

[> [> [> That would mean -- Mackenzie, 11:35:31 10/06/03 Mon

that Lindsey would have the contract too. Wasn't he promoted?

[> [> Lindsey's advice and contracts (spoilers to 4.22) -- RadiusRS, 02:36:08 10/07/03 Tue

Anyhow, as for advice from Lindsey RE: W&H, Angel's already had some ("The key to Wolfram and Hart: don't let them make you play their game, make them play yours.") and right now he's either forgotten it or is choosing to ignore it, and playing their game. Presumably, he'll wise up soon and start making them play his.

In my opinion, Angel did follow this advice when, after being shown where Connor was in "Home", he slammed Lilah to the wall and said (to paraphrase): "I'm taking the deal but on MY terms". We still don't know what conditions Angel put on accepting the deal (my thoughts are that he agreed to take the deal for the group with the condition that they could leave if they chose, though he might have offered himself up to them to clinch the deal, 'cause wouldn't it be truly altruistic if he sacrificed his soul to save his son's?), and I think that will be a plot point that will be explored later on this season.

Technically, I don't believe that AI gang have signed any contracts so their souls are safe (for now). But if W&H want the soul of the lady Angel saved in the opening, it seems reasonable that EVERY W&H employee signs their souls away when they start working there. The zombies of the staff in "Habeas Corpses" seems to indicate that they are W&H's even after death. Which begs the question, is the new staff transfers from other branches or just resurrected employees? (My bet's on the former since Lilah said bringing back still dead people was expensive, and they went to an awful lot of trouble to resurrect Darla) I read an article where DB said he would love to get Christian Kane back on the show but I wonder if perhaps Lindsey wasn't a casualty of the Beast since Lilah said it eliminated ALL people affiliated with the L.A. branch. We'll just have to wait and see.

My analysis of "Conviction" is up -- Masquerade, 15:47:31 10/05/03 Sun

All those pesky moral ambiguities can be found here.


[> Whoo-hoo! I take back what I said before... -- Scroll, 18:29:30 10/05/03 Sun

Getting to delve into new Angel analysis is too tempting to put off until tomorrow. Gotta dig right in!

[> Minor question -- MaeveRigan, 08:21:51 10/06/03 Mon

Did you mean "When the Senior Partners 'seceded' the offices of the Los Angeles branch..." or "ceded" as in the original version that "seceded" links to? Seceded kind of works as a pun...

[> Corruption -- Arethusa, 08:47:33 10/06/03 Mon

Gunn still feels like all he does is hit things, while Wesley and Fred have all the mystical knowledge. Did the Conduit tell him all the flattering things that evil whispers into a person's ears to get its way? Nobody appreciated you, you are far smarter than they give you credit for, you were cheated out of the chance to educate yourself by poverty and circumstances. Angel takes a bite out of the apple, but it is Gunn who swallows the fruit of knowledge. Will he be satisfied with legal knowledge, or will his bruised ego demand more?

Wesley seems to be keeping his head, but it's interesting how easily he has slipped into his administrative role. His Watcher training and enormous capacity for high achievement are being fulfilled at last. Will his ambition and desire to be a respected success make him forget what he is working for, as so many other Watchers forgot? It is also slightly unnerving that when Harmony called out "Boss," both Wesley and Angel answered.

Fred, as you say, seems the most wary her situation, but Fred is vulnerable too. She assumes Knox is good(ish) because he's pleasant and likeable, but who knows if that is a facade? And her evident contempt for her staff might make her underestimate them. She also helped kill a man, which makes her legally and morally vulnerable to whomever chooses to use that information against her. When Fred is threatened she hides and secretly plans her defense-and revenge, as she did in Pylea and with her former professor. How far will she go to protect herself?

Angel has the most experience with corruption, and perhaps the best defences. But his violent drives and emotional needs have not gone away. Will they find new outlets, before Angel has learned to control them?

[> [> Excellent analysis -- Masq, 09:46:33 10/06/03 Mon

All the characters are vulnerable in their own ways to corruption. I hope ME is planning on taking the temptations in the direction you indicate.

I also hope each of them finds a way out of it. I still have faith in them all.

[> [> [> Thanks. -- Arethusa, 06:42:17 10/07/03 Tue

And I have faith also that they'll come out of this okay, and with greater self-knowledge.

Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- OnM, 16:22:35 10/05/03 Sun


It matters if you just don't give up.

............ Stephen Hawking


Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The
winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you
like the leaves of Autumn.

............ John Muir


There are two kinds of people-- those who finish what they start, and so on.

............ Robert Byrne


Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So. . . get on your way.

............ Dr. Seuss


There are true stories and then there are True Stories. One of the common characteristics of the many forms of
contemporary entertainment is that truth by and of itself isn't always enough, it needs to be embellished
and/or expanded to somehow make it truer, better, or more-- well, entertaining.

Now you might expect that I am about to come down all heavy-duty-like on this trend, but truth be told, I lack
the proper mood right now. Not that I couldn't spew a bit, me being the terminally cranky kind and all, but the
bile diet gets a bit wearing after a time, and you long for some decent comfort food instead. Sure, there are plenty
of egregious examples that can be drummed up to illustrate The Whatever's marketing department gone mad. For
example, I'm currently feeling kinda sorry for that poor young military woman who was shot down by the Iraqis
and is now being lasciviously slavered over by nearly every pseudo-allegiant media mongrel out there to "tell her
exciting and inspirational' story. Sure, the pro-offered capital is nice, and I assuredly don't begrudge it to her, but
don't you sort of get the impression that she just wants to do her job and be left alone, maybe not ride so much
on the hero train? Like maybe she thinks there are many other heroes out there who need some dutiful attention?

Nevertheless, art has always had a hand in bending the truth a bit to make a better or more lasting impression.
One of the reasons that I chose to do a "working class hero' theme for the past four weeks plus this one was that
there are plenty of Pvt. Lynch's out there, just trying to do their job, stay alive and reasonably sane, and be a
decent person. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail, but while they labor in obscurity other, often
less-deserving folks manage to grab the big bucks and the glory, so there is a desire among many to try to
balance the scale. Sometimes the job is a boring one that still has to be done, maybe a job that many people turn
up their noses at, like working in a "Retail Rodeo'. Sometimes the job is a dangerous one that most people would
be too frightened to do, like organizing a union in a "company town' or being a police officer. Sometimes the job
is alternatately boring and frightening, such as attempting to graduate from high school.

While I don't expect to see the day when a filmmaker attempts to discover the heroics inherent in the audio/video
custom installation trade (although Bergman could probably work a decent sequel to The Seventh Seal
out of it on a good day), you never know. Some of the best art comes out of the most unlikely situations, and
those unlikely situations are often the future placeholders for the real True Stories.

Or, as one of my all-time favorite movie quotes (from L.A. Story) would frame the issue, “A kiss may
not be the truth, but it is what we wish were true."

This week's Classic Movie bears a title that seems to be all about embellishment, but in reality it is probably the
shortest possible way to sum up the essence of the Truth that is involved. The Englishman Who Went Up
a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
, written and directed by Christopher Monger, is one of those
exceedingly rare films that brings to mind descriptive terms like "charming' and "quaint' without having the viewer
saddled with the negative connotations those words often convey in our irony-laden modern existence. This film is
indeed both profoundly charming and insidiously quaint and may even be based on a literally true story, but
whether it is or not, it does not matter. Like the kiss, it is what we wish were true.

The story opens with a voiceover narration by a young man's grandfather, an elderly Welsh man, who details a
few of the "eccentricities' of the people from his native habitat, one of which is the habit of naming someone
based on their occupation or personality characteristics. This is a useful accomodation because so many of the
names are the same, over and over again-- Williams, Jones, etc. A garage owner thus becomes "William the
Petroleum' and a butchershop proprietor is known as "William the Meat'. Identical twin brothers, who are
farmers and not known for being overly-educated are referred to as "Thomas Twp' and "Thomas Twp Too'.
("Twp', pronounced like a cross between "toop' and "tup', apparently is Welsh for "tetched' or "peculiar'). A
man who wears a placard, quotes Bible verses and preaches that the apocaylpse is nigh is "Evans the End of the

Just like the (in)famous Buffy Cookie Dough Speech, you either buy into this goofiness or you don't, and a lot of
your ultimate suspension of disbelief hinges on the credibility of the actors who are delivering the lines and/or
reacting to them. Fortunately, just like our girl Sarah adeptly pulls off the cookie baking metaphor, the cast of
Englishman is so collectively talented that we pretty much just nod and go "OK'. In fact, just a scant ten
minutes or so into the story, this strange little world seems perfectly normal in every respect.

This includes one of the single best performances of the film, a pivotal role played by Kenneth Griffith as the
Reverend Robert Jones. Reminding me of a somewhat more intense and animated version of John Houseman in
The Paper Chase, Griffith takes the classic stereotype of the obsessively upright and puritanical man of the
cloth and turns him into a lovable and charismatic human being. He also plays brilliantly off actor Colm Meaney,
who equally inhabits a libidinous innkeeper known to the locals as "Morgan the Goat'.

Getting back to the basic sweep of the plot, “It must have been 1917, on a Sunday," the grandfather figure
narrates, “when two retired army officers arrived in Ffynnon Garw." The two English officers, it turns out, are in
this tiny little town to measure the height of a nearby mountain, the “First Mountain of Wales". One of the men,
Reginald Anson (Hugh Grant) is younger, although he saw battleground service in 1914. The other man, George
Garrad (Ian McNeice) is much older, and was “long ago reassigned to the cartographic division in order to
improve the morale of his troops", who were apparently drinking excessively to compensate for George's
“irksome personality" as the grandfather puts it.

The men check into the inn run by Morgan the Goat, and explain that the British government is remapping
portions of Wales. When the mention is eventually made that the official designation of a hill as a mountain
requires that it be at least 1000 feet in height, Morgan and his fellow bar patrons are appalled at the idea that the
local mound may not measure up. It turns out that mountains are a pretty serious business in the love and lore of
the locality, and if the Brits officially designate the mountain to be merely a "hill', then they might as well redraw
the border between themselves and Wales.

One of the many delightful ways in which this film draws you in is that at the time of this initial statement of intent
by the cartographers, you find yourself in agreement with Mr. Garrad when he states to Mr. Anson that “Science
is dispassionate". And of course, irksome personality or no, he's quite correct-- whether or not some government
authority declares that a mountain isn't a mountain because it happens to come up a little low on the elevation
aspect, that doesn't change in any way the reality of the land itself. The mountain-- or hill, or whatever-- is the
same as it always was.

But this explanation doesn't sit well with the Reverend Jones, who sees beyond the literal facts a metaphorical
and, yea, spiritual mien that, surprisingly, we begin to understand and internalize. The Reverend
understands that a community is more than a simple collection of people gathered in a common location, it is a
community because of commonality, and the desire to appreciate a sense of history and of heritage. As he
poignantly remarks to another of the town's leaders, “When our people finally do come back home from the war,
what will they be coming home to if our mountain is no longer a mountain?"

Sure enough, although everyone in town is certain that their mountain easily exceeds the required 1000 feet, the
survey is completed, and the results are revealed-- only 980 feet, and thus no mention on the official map. It's
only a "hill', after all. To say that the townspeople are disheartened is putting it mildly, but what is there to do?

Reverend Jones quickly calls a town meeting and insists that they must file a complaint with the British authorities
and ask for an appeal of the decision. Morgan the Goat, who quickly comprehends that this would be both a
futile and demeaning effort, vigorously speaks out and suggests that since the "hill' only needs another 20 feet to
become a "real mountain' as the Brits see it, then why not add a fixture of some kind on the peak and have it
re-measured? Another member of the gathering agrees, pointing out that this would be perfectly legal, citing other
instances where, for example, burial mounds or other permanent fixtures are taken into account as part of the
official height figures.

The Reverend isn't persuaded, because to him while it may be "legal', it isn't ethical-- it's a cheat. However, he
asserts, suddenly inspired by a thought, if the town were to carry soil from the valley up to the summit, and build a
sizable mound there, the substantial sweat and toil required to achieve this goal would prevent it from becoming
an easy out, and thus bequeath a worthy and honorable result.

Morgan objects, again stating out loud what the rest of the townsfolk are thinking-- that the amount of earth to be
moved is so immense, that for all practical purposes, the task is an impossible one. Most of the other people
shake their heads, murmur, or nod in assent, for indeed this does seem patently obvious. Then something truly
extraordinary occurs.

One of the locals attending the meeting is a young man known as "Johnny Shellshocked', (Ian Hart) who fought in
the war and came home so traumatized that he neither speaks or seems to comprehend any but the most
elementary things that happen around him. Johnny stands up, and stares at the Reverend as if he were about to
speak, startling not only the Reverend but everyone else around him. Haltingly at first, and quietly thereafter, he
does begin to speak, and tells of how during the war he and others dug deep trenches that were ten miles in
length, and performed other apparently "impossible' feats. “It is hard work", Johnny admits, “but it can be done."
And he wants to help raise the mountain.

This miraculous "recovery' on Johnny Shellshocked's part convinces the townspeople that this odd idea which
Morgan created and Reverend Jones modified is no longer merely just an idea, but some kind of destiny that they
need to fulfill. So, while Morgan and other devise a subterfuge to keep the army surveyors in town until the
mountain can be "elevated', everyone begins to pitch in, hauling soil, cart by cart and bucket by bucket to the

Interestingly, Morgan and the other locals quickly sense that they can trust Anson, but not Garrad, and while they
don't go out of their way to detail specifics to him, neither do they hide what they intend to do. Even though he
has only been in Ffynnon Garw for a few days, Anson truly likes the town, its people, and the quiet pace of life
there. As such, he is in no particular hurry to leave. Garrad, on the other hand, dislikes the area and the Welsh in
general, and just wants to "move on' and get his job done as soon as possible. Increasing pressure from the
authorities in London only add to his consternation as the deliberate delays the townspeople create grow in both
number and deviousness. Through all of this, Anson genially plays along, sympathetically bemused by the
near-religious fervor of the mountain-reclaiming activity and also growing increasingly attracted to a young woman
of Morgan's aquaintance that Morgan begs to hang around the inn and "charm' the Englishmen as a distraction.
The woman, Betty (Tara Fitzgerald), isn't too happy at being presented with this task, which she sees as
bordering on prostitution, but soon finds herself drawn to the charming, quiet and gentlemanly Anson.

For as easy-going and laid-back as this entire film is, it might be hard to believe that there could be suspense, but
writer/director Christopher Monger manages this feat also. I'm really not giving anything away to state that the
town ultimately succeeds in their noble objective; if you didn't figure that out in the first half-hour, please consider
that you should never embark on a second career as a private detective. What does happen is that you become
so much a part of the lives of these people even in this short time spent with them that their setbacks become your
setbacks and their triumphs become your triumphs. This achievement is no small feat, and it's one major factor in
why Englishman was a such a sleeper hit with moviegoers, and so supremely worthy of "classic' status.

As usual, there are plenty of remaining luscious little details in the screenwriting, cinematography and acting work
to enamor yourself of, and the film certainly benefits from repeated viewings, so at this point all I can say is I bid
thee go viddy ASAP-- this is one mountain that definitely needs to come to you!

And not just "because it's there'.

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technically, where do these stairs go? Why, they go up:

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain is available on DVD; the review copy
was on laserdisc. The film was released in 1995 and has a run time of 1 hour and 39 minutes. The original
theatrical aspect ratio is 2.35:1, which was preserved on the laserdisc edition and presumably also on the DVD.

(By all means try to see this film on the largest, best quality video display that you can, and in the theatrical
format-- the cinematography is stunning, although in a quiet, sensual way that befits the overall "gentle' style of the
story. There is one scene near the end where it is nighttime, and people ring the top of the mountain while carrying
torches that profoundly reminds us of why we go to movies in the first place).

Writing credits go to Ivor Monger ( for the story) and Christopher Monger. The film was produced by Sarah
Curtis, Sally Hibbin, Robert Jones, Paul Sarony, Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein. Cinematography was by
Vernon Layton, with film editing by David Martin. Production design was by Charles Garrad, with art direction
by Chris Lowe, set decoration by Liz Griffiths and costume design by Janty Yates. Original music was by
Stephen Endelman. The original theatrical sound mix was standard Dolby Surround.

Cast overview:

Hugh Grant .... Reginald Anson
Tara Fitzgerald .... Betty
Colm Meaney .... Morgan the Goat
Ian McNeice .... George Garrad
Ian Hart .... Johnny Shellshocked
Kenneth Griffith .... Rev. Robert Jones
Tudor Vaughan .... Thomas Twp
Hugh Vaughan .... Thomas Twp Too
Robert Pugh .... Williams the Petroleum
Robert Blythe .... Ivor the Grocer
Garfield Morgan .... Davies the School
Lisa Palfrey .... Blod Jones
Dafydd Wyn Roberts .... Tommy Twostrokes
Ieuan Rhys .... Sgt. Thomas
Anwen Williams .... Mavis
David Lloyd Meredith .... Jones the JP
Fraser Cains .... Evans the End of the World
Howell Evans .... Thomas the Trains
Jack Walters .... Grandfather
Harry Kretchmer .... Young boy
Maisie McNeice .... Girl in classroom


Miscellaneous Dept:

Item 1: The Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance, an industry group, puts the size of
Britain's biscuit industry at 1.82 billion pounds (2.59 billion euros, 3.03 billion dollars) in turnover terms.


Item 2: A photo of a cookie accompanying the following news article had the following caption: A classic
British biscuit, prone to fissures.

(Gee, must be my litigious American nature at work here, but that statement sounds vaguely actionable to me.)


OK, here's the scoop. This recent article is readily available in one form or another at a variety of news sites; this
variant is from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:


LONDON -- Why does a cookie crumble? Using a laser beam to closely monitor the fault lines of cookies
emerging from an oven, a doctoral student appears to have figured out how bakers can stop disappointing their
customers by shipping crumbled ones. In fact, the discovery could result in the perfect cookie, or “biscuit" as it is
called in Britain. For generations, the “biccy" has been a key ingredient at afternoon tea, that middle-of-the-day
tradition practiced by everyone from the queen to her servants.

Customers who find crumbled cookies in their packages often blame mishandling by the manufacturer, the
shipping company or workers who load supermarket shelves. But that's not what Qasim Saleem, a doctoral
student in mechanical engineering at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, and his colleagues discovered
when they applied the complex and exalted field of physics to the mundane matter of cookies.

The discovery was published Thursday in Measurement Science and Technology, a journal of the
Institute of Physics in London. It reads more like a technical treatise on fault lines in California than a report about
fragile Oreos and Rich Tea biscuits.

Saleem and his colleagues closely monitored the surface of cookies as they cooled to room temperature. Using a
laser beam, the students followed the tiny deformations that evolve as the cookie picks up moisture around the
rim, which causes it to expand, while losing moisture at the center, which causes it to contract. The resulting
strains can pull the cookie apart, or leave it more vulnerable to breakage before purchase.

The report said manufacturers often handle this problem by removing the offending cookies before they reach
customers. However, no quality control system is perfect, so cookies with minor cracks often end up in
packages. “We now have a greater understanding of why biscuits develop cracks shortly after being baked,"
Saleem said. He said the discovery should help cookie manufacturers adjust the humidity and temperature of their
production lines to minimize cracking.

Richard Wildman, Saleem's supervisor at Loughborough University, said the study was far from trivial. Wildman
said cookies are an incredibly complicated product of fats, solids and air, whose movements are hard to predict.
“You do need high technology from the aerospace industry and the power of modern physics and engineering to
understand the complicated biscuit," he said. “That's what Saleem did."


First there is a cookie, then there is no cookie, then there is.

............ Donovan Leitch (slightly paraphrased)


The Question of the Week, AKA *** The Question That Went Down the Aisle in the Dark of the Theater
Without a Flashlight ***

The term "comfort food' often carries a certain connotation of blandness with it, but I think that's not really fair.
Whether the food in question is mild or spicy, simple or complex, the actual "comfort' aspect has entirely to do
with the psychological meaning(s) of the sustenance, not the epicurean ones.

Speaking for myself, I'd freely admit to classifying The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a
as cinematic "comfort food'-- that is, whenever I watch it, I never fail to feel better, or at least less
alone or annoyed, than prior to the viewing. As mentioned previously, “It is what we wish were true."

In that spirit, and in closing out this last pentamerous cluster o' classics, I'll leave you with an easy question, or
maybe a revealing one-- all your choice, of course!

What's your favorite cinematic "comfort food', and why?

As always, post "em if you've got "em, and while it's now officially hiatus time for CMotW for a while, it's also
very likely that I shall eventually return to the neverending stories. After all, first there is a mountain, then there is
no mountain, then there is, eh?

Take care,




[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- Kenny, 17:21:22 10/05/03 Sun

Whoa...I thought I had clicked on Masq's "moral ambiguities" post, not "Movie of the Week." I thought that maybe Masq had quoted a great deal of it because it somehow fit in with her thoughts, but I couldn't find a start quote, so I scrolled back to the top and became more and more confused. I was a good 3/4's of the way through before realizing my mistake. That was just weird.

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- Rufus, 17:23:08 10/05/03 Sun

Oooooo comfort food.....cinematic comfort food....meaning me in front of a screen with chocolate. I like a wide variety of films but certain ones I watch over and over. One fav is Little Women (the one with Ryder and Sarandon), Bridget Jones Diary, and Gosford Park. I have a collection of horror films because they are the ultimate retreat from reality. Of course I have Buffy DVD's and Angel s1&2..I think 3 is out in February.

One movie I just watched and loved was "Bend it Like Beckham" I live in an area with a large population of Indian people and remember the clash between the cultures. That one I will add to my collection. There is also a commentary and a cooking lesson with Gurinder Chadha (the creator/director) where she cooks a dish (I forget the name) but what is priceless is the running commentary from her mother and aunt who were behind her adding their constant 2 cents.

[> [> Just got the Beckham DVD last Saturday... -- OnM, 20:56:44 10/05/03 Sun

... but I saw it when it was in the local theater, wonderful film. Looking forward to another visit soon via the DVD.

Interesting that you mention the Buffy DVD's; now that the show has ended its run, many of the Buffy eps have entered the cinematic 'comfort food' category also for me.

How... quaint.


[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- jane, 18:15:09 10/05/03 Sun

Thanks, OnM. I have had this movie on my to see list, so I will definitely do so.
A movie I saw about 25 years ago is one called "King of Hearts". I think it starred Alan Bates and Genvieve Bujold. It is set in France during World War One; all the townspeople flee the oncoming battle, leaving the inhabitants of the Insane Asylum behind. Alan Bates is a British soldier who arrives to scout the area. It's been a long time since I've seen this, but I always remember that a friend said at the end "This is a movie that makes you want to throw roses at the screen." I agree.

[> The simple answer? -- AurraSing, 18:28:44 10/05/03 Sun

Either "Sleepless in Seattle" or "French Kiss",since either one leaves me happy and believing that love can indeed conquer all,even if a little cheese is involved. "Sleepless" has been watched more times than i can keep track of....."French Kiss" is coming to me via DVD since my VHS copy is getting worn out.

Since I'm not a Hugh Grant fan I can't say that I've seen the "MOTW" but I'm willing to give it a shot now. Higher praise for a review I cannot imagine.

[> [> And what's curious is... -- OnM, 20:46:15 10/05/03 Sun

... that even though he's the 'star' of the movie, Hugh Grant really isn't the character that the story revolves around in any conventional way. This seems bizarre seeing as how he is 'The Englishman' of the title, but his performance is so deliberately laid back and the work of the rest of the cast so outstanding that he really is more of an ensemble player here than anything else.

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- Celebaelin, 19:32:04 10/05/03 Sun

A gentle film that comprises one of better recent efforts of the British film industry IMO. The Welsh feel to the piece is only slightly marred by Colm Meaney's accent occasionally briefly reverting to his native Irish and the characterisations, as far as is possible given the format, are exactly that. As characters rather than charicatures the performances communicate a genuine sense of the nature of Welsh rural life. Although the film deals predominantly with the male-orientated hill/mountain obsession it survives this quite nicely and does not, to me, seem awkward or self-conscious in its' lack of strong female parts.

The pre-amble about the Cambrian Mountains cw the Himalayas is delivered as if it were poetry, melancholic poetry but poetry nevertheless and so indeed the style of speech continues in a large part. The lilt of poetic delivery is never more than an anticipated emphasis away. In this context it is interesting to note that in the period in which the piece is set virtually the sole form of entertainment available locally would come in the form of itinerant preachers who would travel a circuit, some of them playing to packed houses everywhere they went, and some not.

A hill?

To be said in a tone that implies that the speaker could not be more offended if the 'mountain' had been called a turd-encrusted vomit pile.

And so to the essential truth. In adding the requisite 20 feet by committing heart, mind and soul to the task 'Ffynnon Garw' becomes more of a mountain than mere vertical dimension could ever make it. In a way it's obvious, why isn't this done more often? Because who in the world would bother, the mountain is no different for the addition of an earthen pimple at its' summit, its' history and tradition make a mockery of any arbitrary category assigned by His Majesty's Ordinance Survey. But this is the point, what was done is now part of its' history and tradition for ever more. Their mountain has defined the community for more generations than anyone can know with certainty, now the community has returned the favour by defining the mountain. The terms of the definition are irrelevant to the brooding mass of soil and rock as it sighs in the drifting waves of Welsh rain but the locals know its' value and its' strength and they rest easier in their beds in the knowledge that their silent sentinel is honoured in some small way even in far-off London.


QotW Chocolate covered raisins and a large Diet Pepsi, thanks very much, I'll catch you next time. I've absolutely no idea why though except that I like them. It used to be hot dogs but the adult experience has spoiled the childhood expectation, probably because when you're a little person a cinema hot dog is as big as your arm and seems strangely new and exotic, even, or possibly especially because, the ketchup is different to any kind you can get at home. However, as I say, not the treat that it used to be (sigh).

[> [> Ok, I give in -- Celebaelin, 07:11:39 10/07/03 Tue

Comfort food movies


"I've seen it a hundred and sixty seven times and it keeps gettin' funnier every single time I see it."

Star Wars

"Don't you call me a mindless philosopher you overweight glob of grease."

Spinal Tap

"This review of your 1978 album Shark Sandwich, it just says 'Shit Sandwich'.

Who wrote that? You can't print that!"

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- Vickie, 22:00:45 10/05/03 Sun

What Fun!

Loved this movie, in a quiet way, when it first hit video. Being a bit of a Colm Meany fan, I have to find my pleasures where I can.


First I thought popcorn when in the theaters, hot chocolate when watching at home.

Then I read the responses, and realized that OnM mean (or may have meant) video delights AS comfort food.

Ew, awkward admissions follow.

Blake's Seven and Star Cops. Chocolat (Johnny Depp!). The Brother Cadfael videos.

For me, comfort food doesn't mean lack of complexity, just familiar enough that there are few surprises and hearty enough that there is good substance.

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- Valheru, 00:25:01 10/06/03 Mon

TEWWUAHBCDAM is the rarest of movies, a film that engages through unassuming honesty. There are no tricks to be sprung--no pyrotechnic explosions, CGI wonderments, fancy camerawork, or plot smoke-and-mirrors. Every shot, every character, every spoken word is given to the viewing audience as unashamed truth. And because of such honesty, such precise clarity, it is a film that seems too good to be true. But that's its charm, I think. In this world where we expect deception at every turn, there is this quiet Welsh fairy tale that speaks true and humble with every breath, to inspire us of the world we wish it could be and the simple humanity required to make it that way.

A superb movie all the way around. I totally agree about Kenneth Griffith's Rev. Jones, one of the most delightful performances I've ever seen on screen. Colm Meaney plays off him perfectly, definitely the best performance of his I've ever seen. And also of note is Ian McNeice, who put just the right amount of fading dignity into Garrad's character. But what stands out more than anything among the cast is how they were all able to make their characters just the right amount of human. No one too cartoonish, nor anyone a dullard. Even Hugh Grant, who I've always enjoyed, was able to downplay his famously foppish ways.

And I have to mention the score. Catchy, memorable, and perfectly suitable. Not only does it sound Welsh (or at least, what my American ears think is Welsh), but it has the exact same personality of the people and story it is accompanying. It's one of those scores that seems less of a composed effort than a music that sprung whole cloth from the reels of the film itself.

Comfort food movies? Well, TEWWUAHBCDAM is probably the top of my list. Then maybe the similarly-toned Shakespeare in Love. And though I got burned out by it after the 30th TNT rerun and I haven't seen it in nearly two years, I still think of The Shawshank Redemption as a comfy movie. And like you and Rufus mentioned, BtVS and AtS are great to have on hand; I find I can't go more than a day or two without watching at least one episode. Though that might be less of "comfort food" and more "medication to keep from going insane."

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- CW, 06:43:27 10/06/03 Mon

I think the term "comfort food" is perfect for this movie. It's certainly not on any top (or bottom) ten lists. Is it a must see? Hardly. If you do see it, do you feel you've spent your time well? Absolutely.

I think this is the kind of film that Britain has always been most known for. Take "Our Man in Havana" of 40 odd years ago. Is it hilarious? Not really, but it's funny. Is it intense? Not really, but there is enough tension to keep it interesting. Is it a little slow paced in spots? Maybe. Would we call it a classic? Probably not, but on the other hand, I wouldn't have any quams about recommending it to anyone. Just good comfort food.

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- Rendyl, 07:50:18 10/06/03 Mon

Another movie to pick up next time we rent. I had passed it by previously. (like Aurra I am not a big Hugh Grant fan)

As for comfort food - if it involves the entire family then it is always 'The Princess Bride'. Singly, my husband's comfort movie is 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' (he never gets tired of it) while mine is probably 'Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid'. If our little girl feels bad or has a tough day she wants Disney's 'Hercules'. (I have no clue why, but she always feels better once she watches it)

My mom's comfort movie is (and has been since it came out in the 80's) 'Dirty Dancing'. (yes, we all poke fun at her for it but she says it is a great movie to just veg out on)


========================== OT for OnM
Hey OnM - we got our satellite in but since we live on the edge of nowhere we have to continue to pull local channels by antenna. Is there an indoor antenna model you would recommend?

The one we have (one of the round disky things with rabbit ears on the side) is not powerful enough to bring UPN in clear enough to watch or to pull WB in at all. Is there something else we could use? Thanks, -Ren

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- mamcu, 11:36:28 10/06/03 Mon

Hope this is still at Hollywood Video. I meant to see it years ago and then forgot. Thanks for the reminder.

My ultimate comfort movie(s): tie between Blues Brothers and Secret of Roan Inish (back to Sayles, OnM!)

[> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - October 5th 2003 -- Brian, 07:37:26 10/07/03 Tue

Smiles for a Summer Night for me. Romantic and realistic. A fairy tale with a happy ending. We don't get what we want; we get what we need. Hmmm, I wonder what Joss thinks of Bergman?

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