September 2003 posts

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CWDP won a HUGO award! -- pellenaka, 05:16:27 09/01/03 Mon


Best Short Form Dramatic Presentation

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Conversations With Dead People"

(20th Century Fox Television/Mutant Enemy Inc.)

Directed by Nick Marck; Teleplay by Jane Espenson & Drew Goddard

[> Woo hoo!! And well-deserved it is. -- Rob, 06:45:03 09/01/03 Mon

[> just wondering--is anyone from the board at torcon? -- anom, 08:41:45 09/01/03 Mon

We're hearing all about DragonCon, but do we have any posters at the actual Worldcon?

Why the best plan is no plan in "Chosen" -- MaeveRigan, 08:03:30 09/01/03 Mon

Came across this quote the other day, and it seemed to sum up perfectly the no-plan-plan of the end of season seven:

"Miracles happen when you don't plan in advance. If you dot all your i's and cross all your t's, then you will find no miracles."
--Satish Kumar, editor of Resurgence, magazine, speaking at the American Spirit Conference, New York, May 2003.

Buffy and the Scoobies did have some plans, of course, and I suspect they'd read the W&H Amulet file pretty thoroughly. But as has been pointed out, the plans they have can't possibly cover all the bases. They just have to "go be heroes." Of course it's not realistic--it's fiction. And yet somehow it works out. How? As the brilliant Tom Stoppard put it, "It's a mystery."

Now and then, very rarely, a mysterious miracle occurs in reality. Otherwise, we have to be content with the fictional variety.

[> Re: Why the best plan is no plan in "Chosen" -- Ames, 08:38:23 09/01/03 Mon

Also, First Evil - can pretty much go anywhere in disguise, overhear any plan. What better plan than to confront it head-on? What's it going to do about that?

What I did over my labor day vacation -- Masquerade, 09:51:36 09/01/03 Mon

OK, actually, it's what I did over my summer vacation. Four months and a couple dozen chocolate-covered oreos. No sweat.

My analysis of Home

[> Re: What I did over my labor day vacation -- Yellow Bear, 10:08:19 09/01/03 Mon

Good work. You managed to disguise your own problems with text very well and present an objective & informative analysis as always.

That's the reason why yours is my favorite ME site on the net.

[> [> Thanks -- Masq, 10:22:04 09/01/03 Mon

Episode critiques are a dime a dozen. Everybody has an opinion. Who wants to read another one?

Especially since my opinion would involve some tedious spitting, wailing and nashing of teeth, and regurgitating chocolate-covereed oreos. ; )

[> Congrats, Masq! -- Scroll, 10:17:50 09/01/03 Mon

I know it wasn't easy for you to do this analysis, but yay on you for a job wonderfully done! I especially appreciated the Unanswered Question and the speculation on who Connor is now. Thanks for all your hard work :)

[> Echoing the others -- CW, 10:28:10 09/01/03 Mon

A fine piece of balanced analysis. Thanks so much for your efforts, Masq.

[> whoooooo! worth the wait--mazel tov! -- anom, 22:31:54 09/01/03 Mon

Great job, Masq! I like how you lay out how many questions this ep raises. Hope you don't mind if I add a few more:

"The knife acts as a talisman, activating a spell...." "Angel fights Connor to free the hostages, then pins him down and uses an enchanted knife to give a new start to his only son."

I thought that at 1st, too, but then I realized Angel had taken a knife at random from a display case he smashed in the store, implying it wasn't enchanted. It would've made more sense if he'd brought the knife with him from W&H. From what we've seen on both Buffy & Angel, objects need to be treated to make them into talismans. So what was it that actually triggered the spell? The stabbing of Connor itself?

"The man was going to leave his family."

Or had he already? After all, he didn't remember them. The woman with the 17 cats remembered she had them (long enough to name them after Jasmine, anyway), but who was feeding them while she made her pilgrimage to the Hyperion? The Lakers disbanded to devote more time to many people abandoned more essential (sorry, sports fans) jobs? How long would Jasmine's paradise have lasted before its economy ground to a halt & people blissfully starved?

" area of the building where Wolfram and Hart still keep their corporate records."

Does this really make sense, when you think about it? It's probably just a copy--maybe a mystical one--of the real records, kept in some central interdimensional location. This could account for the reappearance of Lilah's file in the folder after Wes burns it. Hmm, & it also raises the possibility that the whole thing was a setup for Wesley--how did Lilah find him there, anyway?

"All indications are that Angel killed Connor, thus fulfilling the prophecy, "The father will kill the son".

Um...wasn't that the fake prophecy planted by Sahjhan (as he reveals in Forgiving)? So why would it come true? And how will the real one--that Angel's child will kill Sahjhan--come true when Connor's living a whole other life?

(Interesting wording in the original prophecy: it says Sahjhan will be killed by "the one sired by the vampire with a soul." Double meaning much? Did Buffy kill all the vamps souled Spike made under the influence of the First? I don't think Angel has sired any vampires while souled...yeah, pretty sure about that. Either way, it would be very strange to have some unknown vampire show up out of nowhere & kill Sahjhan. I think the questions above stand.)

[> [> Oh, this is conjuring up interesting images -- KdS, 03:41:33 09/02/03 Tue

(Interesting wording in the original prophecy: it says Sahjhan will be killed by "the one sired by the vampire with a soul." Double meaning much? Did Buffy kill all the vamps souled Spike made under the influence of the First? I don't think Angel has sired any vampires while souled...yeah, pretty sure about that. Either way, it would be very strange to have some unknown vampire show up out of nowhere & kill Sahjhan. I think the questions above stand.)

Because the idea of having souled Angel sire someone to stop them from dying (and usually having them immediately souled, although I read a very nasty fic once where he didn't manage to in time) is a horrible cliche of Mary Sue fics. It'd be amusing to see if ME could make what is usually a horrible idea work one more time.

[> [> [> they've already turned down that chance -- anom, 10:14:29 09/02/03 Tue

Angel refused to sire Darla after W&H brought her back as human. Even when she couldn't be healed in The Trial, they didn't consider it as an option. Of course, then it was imposed on her against both their wills. That looks like a clear rejection of the possibility...unless Spike doesn't feel the same way, but I think his experience w/his mother rules it out for him, too.

[> [> The one sired by the vampire with a soul... -- Masq, 06:54:58 09/02/03 Tue

"will grow to manhood and kill Sahjhan".

This seems to imply the siring comes first, the growing to manhood second,and the killing third. If they make Spike kill Sahjhan, it would be a massive retcon of the show.

Something doesn't have to be enchanted first to be a talisman. It can just be an object used in a spell that the spell demands. It seems W&H's magics demanded a knife or other weapon be used to trigger the spell. Hence, talisman.

[> [> [> Or maybe it just needed blood -- Finn Mac Cool, 07:38:19 09/02/03 Tue

And, no, I won't be reciting the oft quoted line from "The Gift". But I do think it could apply in this case.

[> [> [> [> Probably what it needed was physical death -- Masq, 09:24:31 09/02/03 Tue

Although I was loathe to say so when I wrote the paragraph. It's now been amended.

PS Finn: I left a message for you in HonorH's LJ.

[> [> [> well, maybe that could work w/the "arrested development" metaphor? -- anom, 12:59:45 09/02/03 Tue

"If they make Spike kill Sahjhan, it would be a massive retcon of the show."

See, getting the soul was the equivalent of growing to manhood. The only catch is that his sire didn't have a soul. (Nobody out there thinks I'm serious here, do they?)

Thanks for supplying the rest of the quote. I had closed the window w/the transcript (courtesy of "Buffy vs Angel") when I typed that part of the post, & it was late, & I didn't want to go look at it again. It definitely supports what you say, which is the same thing I concluded.

"Something doesn't have to be enchanted first to be a talisman."

But you do call it an "enchanted knife." And if the spell requires use of a knife or other specified kind of object (as distinct from a specific object), does that make the specified object of that type that is used a talisman? Has a definition ever been given on the show w/requirements for what makes something a talisman?

[> [> [> [> I rewrote it -- Masq, 14:16:21 09/02/03 Tue

It now says it could be the knife acting as a talisman, or the spell could just require Connor's blood or his physical death. This is left vague.

[> Brilliant -- KdS, 03:47:14 09/02/03 Tue

You deserve maximum kudos for managing to produce such a fair analysis of an episode that you had such a strong reaction against. I couldn't.

[> [> It's what I do -- Masq, 06:58:25 09/02/03 Tue

And if it takes me four months to develop sufficient objectivity (not to mention lots and lots of chocolate), then that's what I do.

But thanks!

[> [> [> Dark chocolate is good for your blood pressure. -- Diana, 07:39:47 09/02/03 Tue

Sorry the show raised it so much, but at least all that chocolate can soothe the savage Masq.

[> Great work, Masq. -- Arethusa, 08:12:52 09/02/03 Tue

I'm really curious now how having a new set of memories will change Connor. The conversations regarding how personality changes or doesn't change over time on the AaS board and the short scene with Connor's new family make me wonder if Connor's basic personality will stay the same, but his reactions to stimuli will change. Is he still sardonic and impulsive? Or has he totally changed?

[> [> I think what we saw was more Angel than Connor -- Diana, 08:47:38 09/02/03 Tue

Angel has this crappy past that keeps dogging him, but he has learned a lot because of that. The Connor we saw looked to me like Angel if he could keep all those lessons, but ditch the past. It was a wiser Angel in the sense that he did appreciate things, but a more carefree/innocent one.

[> [> I guess it depends -- Masq, 09:36:51 09/02/03 Tue

It depends on how much our personality is encoded in the genes. It depends on whether Connor still has his original set of genes.

Give how Angel-esque the original Connor was despite not growing up with Angel (broody, brave, petulant, vain, a smidge of dorkiness, etc), I'd say he has the Angel genes. Or he did. Maybe he still does.

In a fan fic I was going to write until I realized it wouldn't make me feel better, I imagined that the "new" Connor has artistic talents (something the old Connor would have discovered as well if he'd had the chance).

Only the new Connor channels them into making comic-book style drawings rather than making broody obsessive sketches of certain blondes. In the fic, his family is at a loss as to where this talent came from, since no one had artistic abilities in their family.

[> [> [> Ooooh, I like that. -- Arethusa, 10:00:16 09/02/03 Tue

Perhaps he creates superhero comic books about unlikely heroes such as vampires with a soul. Meanwhile, at school or visiting in LA, Connor visits Thwack Comics, where a clerk tells Connor about a real vampire that fights crime. Intrigued, Connor hunts him down to learn the truth....

[> [> [> [> Oooh, I like THAT! -- Masq, 10:19:30 09/02/03 Tue

Yes, in my unwritten fic, Connor was into superhero comics in particular. Of course, in my unwritten fic, he still had his vampire-like powers and no explanation for them (I think I fudged it with his parents being religious and believing they were a gift from God). I imagined that he connected to characters like Superman or Spiderman. Something deep inside him that he doesn't know the origins of.

One could imagine him meeting Angel and actually idolizing him, at least until he discovers what most vampires are really all about. Then angsty conflict ensues!

As you can tell, I gave this fic a lot of thought. It kept me in a happy dream land through most of May.

But in the end I had to wake up and accept the canon. Connor will be whatever ME says he is. If they even bother to say.

[> We all knew you could do it! -- ponygirl, 08:20:32 09/02/03 Tue

The summer and the season are truly over now. It's all so bittersweet, much like the best chocalate. Mmm moral ambiguity so chewy...

[> [> Re: We all knew you could do it! -- Arethusa, 10:10:27 09/02/03 Tue

Moral ambiguity-chocolates with chewy caramel centers. Longing-bittersweet chocolate. Passion-those little chocolates filled with liquors. Fear-espresso beans coated in chocolate. Suprise-Cadbury bars filled with nuts and raisins. Maternal love-hot chocolate.

I think you've found a theme here-chocolates for every emotion!

[> [> [> So what are a whole box of chocolate-dipped oreos? -- Masq, 10:25:07 09/02/03 Tue

'Cause I'm thinking they're "big-time anxiety".

[> [> [> [> Yin Yang? -- ponygirl, 11:06:48 09/02/03 Tue

Regular oreos represent the classical balance between the dark and the light. Chocolate dipped ones are obviously for those times when the darkness seems to overwhelm your soul - Angel noir!

[> [> [> [> [> Or Connor noir -- Masq, 11:37:02 09/02/03 Tue

Is that redundant?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Or Connor noir -- ponygirl, 12:06:33 09/02/03 Tue

Poor Connor. Towards the end he seemed like his life was that big bag of crap chocolate that you know is going to make you break out, is actually making you slightly nauseous and you aren't even enjoying the taste of anymore, but you just keep eating. Perhaps Home is the binge diet episode - that long dark night when you eat all the bad stuff in the cupboard because when tomorrow dawns it will be exercise, clean living and fruit platters.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sounds like my experience of analyzing "Home"! ; ) -- Masq, 12:36:01 09/02/03 Tue

[> What a way to observe Labor Day. -- deeva, 08:35:52 09/02/03 Tue

Can't wait to read it! And knowing how you feel about the ending, many hugs, Masq.

a potentially redundant comment on the potential slayers -- unnonymity, 12:23:08 09/01/03 Mon

This may have been discussed ad nauseum here, if so I apoligize, but does anyone else agree that (if ever featured on Angel or possible future Buffyverse projects) it would make more sense to have the slayers gain their power at fifteen or sixteen, around the time the girls would have actually been called (also around the general age of all the younger potentials featured in the final season). I don't know if this is when the girls were first recognized as proto-slayers (Faith and Kendra had previous training, how old this started with wasn't exactly clear; though I noticed that none of the season 7 potentials seemed to)but it would be more in keeping with the image of the slayer (and corresponding coming of age metaphor) already established than having a bunch of super powerful children and infants running around.

[> Kendra was sent at an extremely young age -- Rook, 13:06:49 09/01/03 Mon


Buffy: Even family?
Kendra: My parents, dey sent me to my Watcher when
I was very young.
Buffy: How young?
Kendra: I don't remember dem, actually

[> Kennedy and Vi both mentioned having Watchers. -- HonorH, 17:17:39 09/01/03 Mon

Kennedy also said something about knowing what to do with a crossbow since she was eight, I believe. I've always thought the potentials could be identified very early, but not actually called as Slayers until after menarche.

[> Unidentified potentials? -- Laura, 23:14:08 09/01/03 Mon

My understanding is that while a person can be identified as a potential Slayer from birth, they can only be Called between the early stages of puberty (like the girl baseball player in 'Chosen') and about the age of twenty-five (considering Kennedy). This would explain the age group of the Potentials.

As for the lack of Watcher-trained girls, I suspect that Caleb and the Bringers found it easier to track them down because of their links to the Council. This means many of the girls who were not found earlier were unintentionally protected.

[> Don't forget the older ones... -- Sofdog, 09:40:01 09/04/03 Thu

Calling all Potentials includes all the ones who passed the Calling age. That should include grown women of all ages.

OT Hey you! Get back to work! -- Cactus Watcher, 17:01:32 09/01/03 Mon

No, not all of you. ;o)

Dub goes back to work tomorrow after a longish hiatus. Best wishes, and stay well, Wisewoman.

At work always try to keep in mind what Buffy would do, but try not to slay anybody. Remember Spike's devotion, but try not to bite anybody on the neck. Remember Angel's quest to redeem his past mistakes, but don't turn evil. Remember Willow's compassion, but try not to destroy the world... On second thought just keep your mind on your work! ;o)

[> Aw, thanks CW! -- dub ;o), 18:05:47 09/01/03 Mon

As I just posted to my LiveJournal, I'm all ready and rarin' to go except my lower lip has just swelled up like a balloon...what the heck?

I swear, my body is seriously allergic to working. It will do anything to try to prevent me earning a living, even exploding my brain occasionally, LOL!

Well, it's not gonna win this time. I'm just gonna tell them all I've had collagen injections.


[> [> awright! best wishes for work & health, dub! -- anom, 22:45:25 09/01/03 Mon

Don't overdo it, take your time settling back in, & show 'em what you got! And hey, if you give 'em a little more lip than usual, isn't that right in character? @>) (but I hope it goes away soon)

[> Now this biting thing....... -- Rufus, 19:25:41 09/01/03 Mon

try not to bite anybody on the neck

I'm hoping this prohibition against biting extends only to Dub, cause, gee life would be way less fun for me....;)

[> [> Only at work, Rufus -- ponygirl, 08:26:08 09/02/03 Tue

Workplace biting is probably a union thing. And you do not want to mess with the union.

Have fun, dub!

[> Re: OT Hey you! Get back to work! -- Vickie, 19:43:37 09/01/03 Mon

You go, girl! Go save the world, and don't forget your beeping thing.

Prophecy Girl: Joss' wider truth revealed -- Diana, 18:27:09 09/01/03 Mon

I was hoping that more people would have things to say about "Prophecy Girl." It is one of the most important episodes to the mythos of the Buffyverse and though "Innocence" shows Joss what he can really do, he started doing in with "Prophecy Girl."

In my original post on the episode, hopefully I illustrated the fractal nature of the show. This sort of repetition has a purpose. As I said in that original thread, "They convince not by means of the narrowly focused spotlight of the syllogism, but by skirting, by repetition, by presenting a recurring view of the same subject each time from a slightly different angle -- until suddenly the reader who has never been aware of a single, conclusive moment of proof finds that he has unknowingly embraced and taken into himself some wider truth."

What is this wider truth that is present not only in this particular episode, but the series as a whole? Joss has stated the mission statement of the show as being about this girl that has tremendous power that no one knows about or respects. Is that the wider truth that Joss is talking about? In the end the series was about power, what it is and what it is for. How does this mesh with the story about the girl with the funny name growing up? THAT to me is where the wider truth that draws me to this series is.

Buffy has power. Nobody respects it. Joss could have very easily deus ex machinaed people into respecting her. We could have gotten a finale that was along the lines of "Awakening." That isn't what he did. The crucial episode this season was "Empty Places." On the big board in the writers room, this episode was known as the Mutiny Episode. Much of the problems with the writing in the middle of the season stem from the writers really having to earn what happens, namely the Scoobies turning on Buffy. Why was that so important?

Keep in mind the pattern that Joss uses. First, feelings are demonstrated. Then those feelings are denied/run away from, typically by hiding behind the situation. Next some sort of action is determined, but that action is found out to be impractical for some reason. There is some sort of conflict derived from Buffy being Slayer and her immaturity is stated/causes more conflict. That's the pattern. The truth that is revealed is shown in this pattern. The show about growing up and the mission statement about respect and power collide in that pattern.

The resolution to the conflict always involves Buffy growing up. The wider truth is what is meant by this. What is growing up? What does this have to do with power and respect? What is a hero? What makes something heroic? These seemingly unrelated questions make up the tree that Joss circles so well.

In "Prophecy Girl," we start with Xander wanting to ask Buffy out. If she had said yes, would him saving her have really meant as much? It was such a shining moment for Xander because he was able to get over his own self-absorption and take action to save Buffy. He found something greater than himself worth fighting for, worth even dying for. He was risking his life, as Angel told him. The Master could have easily killed him. Xander didn't care. He didn't need Buffy as a girlfriend in order to help her. That is what growing up means.

That is why "Empty Places" is so important. Buffy had to lose even the support of the Scoobies in order to rise above that level of rejection. It fits the pattern, because their rejection makes her plan impractical, but it fits the wider truth because without it what follows isn't such a big deal. This sort of rejection and even betrayal will be shown again from Principal Synder to Angel to Xander to her mother to Giles to Faith and on and on and on.

In the case of "Prophecy Girl" destiny itself has betrayed her. The entire season is about her accepting her destiny as Slayer, but even though she has done this, destiny itself rejects her by prophesying her death. She has thwarted other prophecies before, according to Giles, but she wasn't part of those prophecies. She is now what the prophecy is about. She is prophecy girl. Her Calling gives her special powers in order to be able to stand up against the vampires and forces of darkness. In a sense it protects her. With one prophecy from Codex, her innocence about her own mortality is shattered. This will cause deep feelings that carry over into "When She Was Bad" next season.

Buffy rises above her own desire to live though. Her initial feelings of "I don't want to die" so "I quit" give way to something higher. She finds something greater than herself worth fighting and dying for. That will repeat itself again most dramatically when she dies to save Dawn. She gives up love to save the world season two. She risks her life to save Angel season three. She gives up her petty squabbles that are disconnecting the Scoobies in order to do the conjoining spell season four. She is willing to let go of heaven in order to show Dawn the world season six. She is willing to be alone in order to protect others and even gives up this image of herself season seven. She grows up. She finds out what in life is important and she is willing to put herself aside for that. That is Joss' wider truth.

[> Wonderful -- Nino, 20:01:55 09/01/03 Mon

[> nice connection -- Deacon, 20:28:39 09/01/03 Mon

[> Beautiful! -- HonorH, 21:03:10 09/01/03 Mon

You've just tied the whole series together beautifully. Kudos to you!

[> [> Thanks everyone for the compliments -- Diana, 07:50:07 09/02/03 Tue

It was frustrating not being able to post. I went to Hubby's work to check email on Sunday since the cable modem was down this weekend. Big Brother is not happy about the contents of this board. I couldn't access it. Hubby thinks it is probably the Spike sex stuff. Couldn't get to the Live Journals either. Guess the Coast Guard doesn't like silly quizzes that tell us the meaning of life and other nonsensical stuff. They could cause us to take up arms and overthrow the government. Is that really a bad thing? It is about time the Liberty Tree was watered with the blood of tyrants.

Now I am back up and starting to look at "When She Was Bad" for the next circle of the tree.

Spike vs Harmony -- JBone, 20:14:26 09/01/03 Mon

Yeah, I said I'd do anything! Oh. You mean will I have sex with you? Well, yeah.

Round 2 is back and the TC's this week are dub, d'H and TCH.

Comment Makers: Do you want to take a cheap shot at a character you don't like, but don't want to get sucked into a big debate about it? There is a guestbook thingy at the bottom of the voting page (Showtime) you can use to get your drive-by comment in. I love the comments I've been getting, but in some ways, they seem a little too nice. There are a lot of apologies from people for voting (or not) the way they are. I realize there was a lot of blood in the water earlier this summer, but don't spare everyone's feelings in your comments at the Apocalypse. I am here to facilitate the offending, liberating, and/or funny remark. Just do it in my guestbook thingy.

Also, you can post comments here as usual -- or email them to me.

[> Re: Spike vs Harmony -- d'Herblay, 20:31:03 09/01/03 Mon

What it comes down to, and I hope I won't offend anyone with this, is that Harmony's sense of style is superior to Spike's. After all, Spike's lousy taste in jewelry will prove to be the death of him.

(By the way, if I haven't pimped "Her Platinum Baby" enough, let me give it one more try. It's the video that changed my entire perspective on the Buffyverse. But do note that the "Warning: Excessive Cuteness" is to be taken seriously.)

[> Okay, this was hard. -- Apophis, 20:53:21 09/01/03 Mon

On the one hand, I have a strict policy of voting against Spike and defiling his memory. On the other hand, Spike could easily kill Harmony and, in fact, were it not for the Gem of Amarra, he already would have. So, I enacted my Tie-Breaker Contingency Question: Who has made more guest appearances on Boston Public? With a score of 1 to 0, Harmony wins by an unprecedanted landslide. Here's the breakdown of the match: By special decree of Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan (all these fights take place in Japan, right?), the fight will be a Japanese Exploding Ring King of the Death Match. Spike and Harmony enter the ring and, for 10 minutes, brutalize each other with barbed wire, broken glass, 2 x 4's, and thumbtacks. At the 10 minute bell, the C-4 charges around and under the ring detonate. Due to the vampiric vulnerability to fire, Spike is immediately incinerated. Harmony is also incinerated, but 6 seconds after Spike, making her the winner.

[> You all know my feelings about this. -- cjl, 21:58:32 09/01/03 Mon

I love both these crazy kids. Spike is the poster vamp for self-improvement, going for his soul when the safer and saner option would have been to chuck the chip and go back to a nice, normal life of wanton slaughter. Harm? Harm is my smooth little pack of mentholated smokes, tied with Xander for Best Slap Fighter in Sunnydale. JM for a whole season and Mercedes for at least 17 eps? Could a Spike/Harmony fan want anything more? Well, maybe for the two of them to avoid this battle-to-the-death thing. I'm sitting this one out, JBone. Let the chips fall where they may.

[> Well, lessee-- -- HonorH, 22:25:15 09/01/03 Mon

Spike: full, rich character
Harmony: fine comic relief
Spike: great one-liners
Harmony: great target for one-liners
Spike: former Big Bad
Harmony: constant vacuous tramp
Spike: would have killed Harmony in HLoD
Harmony: got Spike to do the Sexy Bed Crawl in HLoD
Spike: treated Harm like crap
Harmony: annoyed the crap out of me
Spike: went out a hero
Harmony: went out with most of the basketball team
Spike: hot without a shirt
Harmony: also hot, but being female, just doesn't excite me

Spike it is!

[> Don't let the joke vote win, kids -- Tchaikovsky, 01:12:42 09/02/03 Tue

Just because Spike has done some infiltrating and swamping in late Season Seven's narrative vacuum and character non-journeys, doesn't mean that his offerings in Seasons 2-7 don't vastly swamp the amusement factor of Harmony. You might vote Harmony now, while pretending she's Angel, but you'll regret it in the morning.


[> Re: Spike vs Harmony -- Celebaelin, 06:27:03 09/02/03 Tue

Being a gentleman at heart I would of course normally vote the vacuous tramp delightful fluff bundle to win, but I'm paralysed with not caring very much. Spike wins.

[> Re: Spike vs Harmony -- Arethusa, 07:59:51 09/02/03 Tue

I've grown rather fond of Harmony despite her lack of brains, character or morality, but Spike killed her easily once before, and he'd be able to finish her off with one hand tied behind his back. Or even both hands.

[> hmmm.... -- deeva, 08:30:52 09/02/03 Tue

Who the hell am I kidding? I've always liked Spike. From his S2 sign mangling entry to his soul-fetchy-ness (well, not so much really.) to the curent pile of dust that he is now. Harmony is growing on me but the Super Peroxided One, as opposed to the not so Blonde One, has my vote.

[> Re: Spike vs Harmony -- Anneth, 08:36:36 09/02/03 Tue

The setting: Spike's crypt's W.C.
The characters: Spike and Harmony.
The prop: A bottle of Feria BlondeBlondeBlonde

The scene opens to find Harm cheerfully singing (la la la) to herself as she prepares to camoflauge her roots. Enter Spike. He wordlessly saunters over to Harm, grabs the bottle from her hands, and begins to apply the contents to his own locks, ignoring her entirely. Harmony looks up at him with huge, watery eyes and then rushes out, sobbing. Spike victorious.

[> Re: Spike vs Harmony -- MaeveRigan, 09:21:06 09/02/03 Tue

Joke vote? What joke vote? I really think that, empowered by whatever demony-woman-power-wisdom Harmony should have picked up in that source of all demony badness, Mexico and points south, Harmony has all that and a pack of stakes to dust soulboy Spike while he hesitates to consider whether or not he should apologize for treating her so badly before. Whoops-a-daisy! (did I really say that?)

But don't worry--he'll be back.

Anyone played Buffy 2: Chaos Bleeds on PS2? -- Vash the Stampede, 08:34:26 09/02/03 Tue

If so, then I need help LOL I'm stuck in the church basement and I can't find where to put the water valve at. Agh, I have been running around the room, and I can't find a place to put it (and the one place it does look like it could work says it not the right place).

Despite this though, I am enjoying the game. Those of you who haven't bought it yet should look into it. I don't know about the other versions, but PS2 has new interviews with some of the main characters, and its pretty fun to play (the wisecrack aren't bad either)

Nothing Wrong in Coersion? -- Claudia, 11:40:43 09/02/03 Tue

[In that case wouldn't it be coercive to force them to be individuals when all they want to do is follow the crowd? Individual choice could be to abdicate it. Many people operate on a mirror plane. What right have we to smash a perfectly fine reflection?]

Since when has society ever forced people to be individuals? That strikes me as a very rare occurrence, despite Western society's claim about its belief in individualism. Are you saying that you saw nothing wrong in Watchers like Merrick and Giles literally nagging Buffy about accepting her duties as Slayers?

[> I know I don't -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:15:41 09/02/03 Tue

What's wrong with persuasion? If that were wrong, than parents shouldn't tell their children to share, and civil rights activists shouldn't tell people to embrace tolerance, and teachers shouldn't tell students not to kill people.

[> Re: Nothing Wrong in Coersion? -- Celebaelin, 16:45:53 09/02/03 Tue

The dictionary says coercion involves physical force and is associated more with legal or governmental processes. Perhaps the question is valid if the word persuasion or subversion is substituted. The former is dependent on a winning argument (which is largely a matter of opinion usually), the latter does indeed imply violent overthrow if applied to a physical structure or an 'inversion' if applied in an immaterial sense.

Everyone knows the merits of a quiet life and of being unobtrusive, some relish it, I certainly enjoy anonymity whenever possible but it allows you to accomplish precisely nothing. Under those circumstances you can escape certain forms of criticism but only because no-one gives a fig about what you're doing or what your opinion is irrespective of however else they may interact with you. The usual assumption is that you don't have any thoughts at all rather than that you hold rational opinions contrary to the accepted norm or range of norms. The 'Springfield Elementary Independent Thought Alarm' just doesn't sound.

I feel strongly that if someone can be motivated to act to do what they have come to believe is right by persuasion rather than intimidated into not doing it by coercion then a powerful statement is being made about the strength of feeling involved. Particularly if the issue is a contraversial one which involves direct opposition to authority but also on a more personal, less contraversial, level. The potentially extremely serious consequences of ones own actions (positive or negative) cannot and must not be left out of any presented arguement if they are in any way unclear if an individual is to be allowed to make an appropriate choice based on personal circumstance and belief.

Where information is witheld rather than rejected ulterior motives must be suspected. This starts to move in a rather jeuvenile 'you started it' direction but interpersonal relationships are often furthered or damaged by such things. With the exception of the end of Lie to Me, which hardly counts, the first instance I can think of in this regard is Buffy's non-disclosure of Angel's return. In view of the events of Revelations I think any subsequent insistence by Giles that Buffy become more knowledgeable about Slayerly concerns qualifies as the actions of a doting father rather than a nagging tutor.

Giles: I won't remind you that the fate of the world often lies with the Slayer. What would be the point? Nor shall I remind you that you've jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear by harboring a known murderer.

But, sadly, I must remind you that Angel tortured me... for hours... for pleasure. You should have told me he was alive. You didn't. You have no respect for me or the job I perform.


[> [> Correction -- Celebaelin, 17:41:52 09/02/03 Tue

Not going to deal with my all too frequent vocabulary target fixation for the most part but...

I feel strongly that if someone can be motivated to act to do what they have come to believe is right by persuasion rather than intimidated into not doing it by coercion then a powerful statement is being made about the strength of feeling involved.

should really read as

"I believe that if someone can be motivated to act to do what they have come to believe is right by persuasion rather than intimidated into not doing it by coercion then a powerful statement is being made about the strength of feeling involved."

if it is to communicate my original intent. The way it was presented originally places too much emphasis on the power of the arguement and not enough on the mind of the listener.


[> No, I don't see your point as to why it was wrong for Giles to convince B to embrace her destiny -- Nino, 17:02:21 09/02/03 Tue

[> [> It wasn't about embracing her destiny -- Diana, 19:01:14 09/02/03 Tue

When Buffy just slayed because she was The Slayer, she lacked fire. What she needed was the motivation behind why she was Slayer other than just it was her duty. Giles was wrong in trying to get her to accept her destiny. It isn't her destiny that she really embraces, but sees her destiny as a means to a greater end. She embraces that end.

There are soldiers that fight because they are soldiers. Then there are men and women that wear a soldier's uniform because they believe. They are the real soldiers.

[> [> [> Good point -- Nino, 08:18:57 09/03/03 Wed

Maybe Giles just didn't see how someone, especially a slayer, could have trouble seeing the importance of that end.

[> [> [> Quixotic ramblings -- Celebaelin, 09:56:09 09/03/03 Wed

There are soldiers that fight because they are soldiers. Then there are men and women that wear a soldier's uniform because they believe. They are the real soldiers.

Blind belief is surely one of the last things you would require from those under your command? When you consider that the detailed thinking, rather than the accepted 'party line' must perforce be kept secret when constructing a strategy designed to triumph in a conflict, then the beliefs held by the majority of those who serve must perforce be blind. Under that circumstance where are the fails safes? In order to construct and implement any effective strategy the initial outline or mission must be examined in detail and every step evaluated in sequence, like chess, which was in any case the original wargame. Some plans simply will not work irrespective of the compliance or otherwise or those directed to execute them. Belief in this instance has very little to do with effective soldiering. If you are referring to right and wrong, then yet again I have to say that this has little to do with maintaining power or martial superiority. Only in so far as the efficiency of your troops depends on their confidence in their moral rectitude does this have any bearing at all. Historically, except in civil wars or wars of independence (and not always then) paying them well and regularly makes far more difference. That's the thing really, for most people it's all about money at root. The practicalities are 'do as your told or you don't get paid', fair enough I suppose. But what about the people who that amorphous body called the system can't or won't employ? How do you keep a hold over those to whom you provide no protection from hunger, to whom the injustices seem perpetrated by the status quo rather than opposed by it, for whom the facts of their daily life directly contradict the idea that the state is beneficent and rather seem to suggest that the state is a vast paranoiac monster. If the governmental apparatus is viewed largely, if not exclusively as the various limbs of a bloated dragon preying on the penniless whilst suckling a serpents brood and repressing freedom rather than promoting it then how can you control such elements and ensure that they do not step out of line? Through fear of course, fear of physical harm and fear of further economic depravation.

Once you get people to buy into the idea of selling each other out for a handful of beans the only way to avoid being thwarted in any plan (and let's not kid ourselves, businesses have strategies) is for no-one to know what the plan is and hey, got news for you, in this day and age - not gonna happen. Knowledge is power, money is power so, without too much of a stretch of the imagination knowledge can be equated with money. If you don't believe this then take something as simple as letting a company e-mail you about new products, why would they? Because it increases sales, particularly if you're overpaid, sad and lonely and therefore impressed by getting e-mails about shiny new junk that hasn't been properly developed yet.

So, invasion of privacy? Quite a big deal with me. Fairly unimpressed with the whole notion. Moderately effing cheesed off with the whole idea of illegal disclosure, infringement of civil liberties, manipulation and constructive disenfranchisement of the populace and the hypocrisy that is the untouchable corruption of the wealthy and powerful.

Cele(doesn't respond well to threats)baelin

Getting kitted up

[> [> [> [> Not sure if we are even talking about the same thing -- Diana, 11:46:15 09/03/03 Wed

In 1994 the US Coast Guard articulated what are known as "The Core Values." These are: Honor, respect, and devotion to duty. It is phrased specifically as:

HONOR - Integrity is our standard. We demonstrate uncompromising ethical conduct and moral behavior in all of our personal actions. We are loyal and accountable to the public trust.

RESPECT - We value our diverse work force. We treat each other with fairness, dignity, and compassion. We encourage individual opportunity and growth. We encourage creativity through empowerment. We work as a team.

DEVOTION TO DUTY - We are professionals, military and civilian, who seek responsibility, accept accountability, and are committed to the successful achievement of our organizational goals. We exist to serve. We serve with pride.

I do require that anyone who is under my command believe in these without reservation. I have seen the difference between those that actually believe in these and those that are there for a pay check. Those that are there for a pay check endanger my husband's life who is there because he believes.

There is another thing that everyone needs to believe before they are handed a gun. It is called the Oath of Enlistment and in the United State it goes:

I ___________________________________, do solemly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. (So help me God.)

The men and women that are fighting to protect the Constitution, those that believe in it, are the real soldiers. Those that believe in honor, respect and devotion to duty are the ones that I trust to safeguard my life and freedom.

I've seen what the others do. They go to the Chief's hut or E-Club down a few beers and then get in their cars to drive home. They are the ones that try to cut corners and end up running the ship aground or worse. They are the ones that destroy morale. These people aren't real soldiers. They are mercenaries.

[> [> [> [> [> Looks like we're not, not entirely anyway -- Celebaelin, 12:06:23 09/03/03 Wed

Honor, Respect & Devotion to duty and attached clauses.

I'm in a really bad mood currently but as mission statements go I could live with it, as I hope could those who genuinely do attempt to live by it. and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

I note with interest the order of these loyalties and hope that all those take the above oath do also. My suspicions in this regard shall go unvoiced at this time. Please convey my best wishes to your husband.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Looks like we're not, not entirely anyway -- Diana, 10:56:18 09/05/03 Fri

Wanted to let you know, Hubby said thanks. Also, you don't have to voice your suspicions. Hubby and I voice them all the time, rather loudly usually, but unfortunately only to each other.

Such is the price to live in such an imperfect world.

[> [> [> [> [> Nice Speech, But . . . -- Claudia, 12:21:13 09/03/03 Wed

That was a very nice speech about honor, duty, devotion and whatever. But you're talking about people who "volunteered" to serve in the armed forces without any coersion, whatsoever (unless they were drafted or someone talked them into it). As I recall from both the movie and the TV show, Buffy chose to follow her duties as a Slayer, because both of her Watchers relentlessly coerced (or should I say nagged) her into "doing her duty". If Buffy had chosen to be a Slayer without any outside force, I would say be my guest. But she didn't. Why else would she consider being a Slayer a burden? Even after she broke away from the Watchers' Council, she continued her duties. Why? After three years, the whole concept that she must be the Slayer had been drummed into her and had become a habit. It is no wonder that she continued.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Well, then, shouldn't you also blame her parents? -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:17:08 09/03/03 Wed

Odds are that Joyce and Hank, like most parents, taught Buffy that human life had value, that people being killed was wrong, and that you shouldn't ignore those in suffering. Wouldn't this be them coercing Buffy into Slayerdom just as much as Merrick and Giles's actions? By teaching her to value human life, her parents unjustly pushed her to accept a job protecting people.

[> [> [> [> [> [> How was she to understand what being the Slayer meant w/o this so-called "nagging"? -- Nino, 19:28:29 09/03/03 Wed

Throw a book at her and say "Here's the deal, if you think it sounds cool, show up for training tomorrow....if not, no biggie, we'll just let vamps take over town until u kick the bucket and the next slayer is called....hope she isnt just like you."

give me a break

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Give You a Break . . . What? -- Claudia, 12:24:23 09/04/03 Thu

[Throw a book at her and say "Here's the deal, if you think it sounds cool, show up for training tomorrow....if not, no biggie, we'll just let vamps take over town until u kick the bucket and the next slayer is called....hope she isnt just like you."

give me a break]

Give you a break . . . what? I'm trying to say that if Buffy had chosen not to accept her Slayer duties, she should have been left alone, instead of being constantly nagged by Merrick and later, Giles.

Which means that they wouldn't have a Slayer. But, so what? I'm sure that the Watchers' Council have experienced demon fighters and Potentials all over the world, capable of fighting demons. They could have used them. I'm sure that they would still use them, whether Buffy had accepted her duties or not.

What I'm trying to say is that Buffy should have been given the choice to accept her Slayer duties, instead of being coerced by employees of the Watchers' Council.

[> [> [> [> [> I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky, -- fresne, 16:45:45 09/03/03 Wed

Which briefly reminds me, as I go to get another cup of hot water, of the Integrity poster on the refrigerator. There presumably to prevent employees from stealing one another's food.

Sorry, that wasn't germane was it? It's just the word is now somewhat ruined for me. I'm just waiting for them to put up a Clarity poster next to the microwave.

The above statement is in no way intended to imply anything but respect for the Coast Guard and the work that they do. My housemate's father, uncle and grandfather are/were all career Coasties and the sheer range of things that we expected from the armed service most often forgotten when people list armed services is impressive.

This would seem to be a natural segue to parallel the Scoobies with one of the more multi-tasking of military organizations.

And I briefly ponder what is it to be a Vampire Slayer? At its basic level, Buffy's job is to Slay (i.e., kill) vampires. Fighting demons, preventing apocalypses, etc. are all very pleasant cream, but not necessarily in the job description.

From The Tales of the Slayer (comic and book format), I get the impression that most Slayers roam the countryside clearing out vamp nests and you know slaying. Not necessarily sitting in one highly active spot and guardian-ing. Who guarded the Hellmouth before Buffy galumphed into town? What apocali came and fizzled and corked to nothing.

I presume the Scythe, which was used to drive out the last pure demon, was wielded by some previous Slayer, some previous guardian of the Sunnydale Hellmouth, but surely that was a long again time ago. What then of the in between?

What does that imply about the existence/function of Slayers before the last demon was driven out? Is the First Slayer the First Slayer? Or merely the first in a constricted line that the Shadowmen created? Or something else entirely. Did those bubbles that cleansed, oh my goddess, carpet clean away demon blood stains? Or in a poor Lucretia of Tarquin in-fame, is that even possible? Or in a Prometheus unchained sort of way, whap, take that you vultures?

I consider the action of driving out demons, Philistines, Picts, from this paradise, this earth. Jean d'Arc with her sword from heaven (plus a decent grasp of the application of cannon fire) driving forth and hence the English. The actions of a soldier and in what army?

And I consider the function of the Coast Guard, to shine the light in the fog, to save the drowning and the rudderless drifting, and guard the liminal spaces, the coast, from incursion, danger, attack.

Well, at least the Coast Guard no longer has to station a ship at a very specific spot in the middle of the Atlantic to, I believe, provide signal boost. Now we have lots and lots of satellites to do that and they can go provide Ant and arctic scientists with supplies and ice cutting instead.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky, -- MaeveRigan, 20:10:51 09/03/03 Wed

Hee! Fresne has some fun with it and brings some much needed levity to the topic as it threatens to go too darksome. And yet also manages to make a few good points about good men and women.

Lighthouses for Fresne!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> And Heavyhouses for frowsne -- Celebaelin, 05:10:12 09/04/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Floating Castles, with a star to sail it by, for Celebration -- fresne, 10:17:59 09/04/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Already planned (well, in the planning stage) -- Celebaelin, 10:47:38 09/04/03 Thu

But that's a LOT of Glassteel, and then there's the Air Elementals, the permanent (non dispellable, or effectively so) Levitation, the protections against Reverse Gravity, Control Weather, Summon Winds, Summoned Creatures etc, etc. The altitude question requires a bit of consideration of course, as does the nature of the garrison. And I thought my last stronghold took some planning, and that one isn't even finished yet. Anyone else speak Stone Giant? 'Cos if not who's going to run Harlequin's Keep? And what about the training schools? Not to mention the cost (I told you not to mention the cost). Problems problems.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oooooh, Glassteel. -- fresne, 13:35:05 09/04/03 Thu

Now that sounds pretty. I was thinking your basic, floats a few stories above the ground stone dealio. I know old fashioned, but wow, you are a forward thinker. That would like totally be much more structurally sound and capable of withstanding higher attitudes.

I'll admit, I was thinking more of your traditional floating castle. It's not used, it has history.

I hear Laputa is pretty nice. Spacious. Plus, lots of neat gears.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Head in the clouds -- Celebaelin, 14:45:51 09/04/03 Thu

Now that sounds pretty.

Oh yes. Colours, transparent and translucent areas (privacy/surprise), working on prisms, lenses and mirrors and stuff - and at night with the lights 'open', sigh, I can see it now.

I was thinking your basic, floats a few stories above the ground stone dealio.

Within range of the ground? What were you thinking? You'd build an state of the art Wizards Palace close enough to the ground that some mud grubbing Urak Hai can hit it with a bow? I mean, a really good rock from a trebuchet (or more likely several) might even dent a wall a little. No this really won't do, the minimum safe distance to prevent ground impact considering a system failure resulting in 1 minute of free fall is, by my calculations, 57,601 feet (a little less than 11 miles, x2 for a gentle slowing) above local ground level, not accounting for wind resistance, Air Elemental 'manoevering thrusters' and/or glide characteristics. Above say, 400 feet, nothing organic inside the palace would survive the sudden deceleration of ground impact but that's within bowshot of clayfooters for a near vertical arrow. 500 feet and good planning of the magical protections and/or contingent counterspells, that's the answer.


PS It really is an awful lot of Glassteel, I mean LOADS, humongous quantities, a predigiously vast amount. Think of a lot of Glassteel, double it, and then cube it, and it still won't be enough.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> i suggest using Nothing(TM) -- anom, 08:57:35 09/05/03 Fri

I'm thinking probably titanium-based Nothing. It should be plenty strong enough to withstand anything short of explosives (an onager would do no damage!) without having to float beyond the atmosphere (after all, how can you enjoy a floating castle if you can't breathe? there's a reason they call 'em castles in the air). And it would be lighter than steel-based Nothing (& possibly than Glassteel, I don't know how dense that is), which would make it more economical to get it to the chosen altitude--&, of course, it's fully transparent. So Nothing would work better!

Or am I getting too high-tech w/all this?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> A rose by any other name (would still look like a rose) -- Celebaelin, 10:19:45 09/05/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> There are some alternatives -- Celebaelin, 20:33:05 09/05/03 Fri

I was rushing out earlier to go and play some low level 3rd Edn. (we won, by which I mean we were still alive at 01:30 when the DM went home). Must keep this brief as it's so OT but the Chinese experimented with ceramic armour for tanks, so allegedly that's possible (porcelain castles?) and I seem to recall that flawless ruby or saphire would theoretically be stronger than steel (and a lot prettier). Ruby rods are grown for lasers I beleieve but I don't think they're 100% flawless. My rather cryptic point in my earlier post is that the 'crystal palace' or the 'emerald city' is almost a fable in itself. Pointing out that the material would have to be strong to build with seems a little bit redundant so if you describe 'the gemstone palace' to players (or let them read the description) then the job is essentially done. If you're in a smart-alec mood (and personally I often am) you might be tempted to set out the underlying theory in a book that could be found somewhere in the palace, but it would probably not be all that interesting to people whose only real concern under most circumstances is whether or not the stuff will break if they hit it with a warhammer and how this might affect their chances of living to see the next sunrise (not so good if they go around hitting the walls of my palace with warhammers).

The Nothing idea is a bit abstract although a palace constructed out of force fields is an interesting thought. Thing is, where do you put the latrines, bedchambers etc.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> it's not a force field -- anom, 21:51:56 09/06/03 Sat

"The Nothing idea is a bit abstract although a palace constructed out of force fields is an interesting thought. Thing is, where do you put the latrines, bedchambers etc."

In fact, Nothing(tm) is entirely concrete & stronger than the material it's made from (including, um, concrete). I was suggesting it only for the outer walls; any interior spaces where privacy is needed can of course be constructed of opaque or translucent materials.

[> Backstory -- Darby, 06:31:37 09/03/03 Wed

In the comics done by the ME staff (Fray, Tales of the Slayer, and the The Origin, based upon the original Whedon movie script - thanks Rob, it's getting me ready to revisit the Movie), which they have claimed in interviews as canon, it has been established that part of the activation of the Slayer is a psychic connection with the Slayers before her - the dreams are actually incidents from their lives. It certainly could be seen as an indoctrination, but the new Slayer has a knowledge, inclination toward duty, even fighting skills drawn not from the Watchers but from those who preceded her. That natural ability requires follow-up, more specific training and information by the Watchers to keep her alive and "on task," but I expect there's not as much convincing necessary for someone who has been fighting demons down through the centuries in her dreams (it is one of the first ways Giles breaks through to Buffy in Welcome to the Hellmouth).

My assumption, from the many allusions to Buffy's prophetic dreams and things like Restless, is that Buffy's position as a Slayer among Slayers comes partly from her dream connection to her predescessors being stronger than the others'. It would be interesting if that ability drew from the energy of the Hellmouth, and faded now that she has sealed it.

Question for the Board -- Angie, 12:10:22 09/02/03 Tue

Hello Board
It has been quite some time since I last posted on this board and I was wondering, what is the Buffy climate like here? Is there still a positive vibe going for the character of Buffy? How about the rest of the Scoobies? I have been around on other Boards, and I must say that the Buffy hate is very much a factor. I would appreciate any comments or advices. Thanks so much.

[> Wow -- Masquerade, 12:31:19 09/02/03 Tue

I don't frequent any board but this one, so it's kind of surprising to hear about "Buffy hate".

There was some disappointment with season 7 on this board, but people discuss it rationally and listen to each other's points of view. There was some angst earlier this summer around the upcoming appearance of Spike on "Angel", but that's died down.

I think you'll find this board pretty mature and balanced.

[> [> Well, feeling TOO mature, and definitely UNbalanced (mentally and, er, walk-ingly)! -- Marie, 08:52:23 09/03/03 Wed

...but certainly not hate-fully!


[> Interesting I post on four boards and don't see that much negativity -- s'kat, 15:59:12 09/02/03 Tue

While they all have their little snafus, the overall vibe tends to be positive. At Atpo - it's a little more in depth and analytical than other boards, partly because the average age here is a little older than some boards. So there's less character wars. Also unlike some boards ATPO is not character centric or necessarily topic centric - it focuses on BTVS and ATS. Some boards just center on one of the shows or one of the characters and that does affect the vibe. My suggestion is to lurk a while, see if you're comfortable. That's what I did.

The other boards that I post on which are generally positive and non-character centric:

Angel's Soul - it's a spoiler board (you can avoid spoilers while visiting it though - they warn you and don't put spoilers in the subject headings as a rule. But if you're worried about being spoiled? Don't visit, since people occassionally forget.)
Buffy Cross and Stake - also a spoiler board
Angel After Spike (not a spoiler board and like ATPO, see link at top.)

I haven't seen that much Buffy negativity.

Link for the literati/geeky -- mamcu, 12:44:34 09/02/03 Tue

Try it--you'll like it:

Beginnings of a Hero? -- Claudia, 14:21:40 09/02/03 Tue

I read an interesting essay about Spike in Season 4's "The Initiative". The writer claimed that particular episode was the beginning of Mutant Enemy's plans to make Spike a hero. And yet, many have claimed that it was Season 5 - especially "Fool For Love" that saw the beginning of Spike's role as a good guy.

I wonder who is right?

[> Re: Beginnings of a Hero? -- btvsk8, 16:10:42 09/02/03 Tue

I agree. For Spike to become a hero, he first had to become a victim; obviously the Spike of Harsh light of day Spike would not cut it in this category, the Initiative changes this. He had to struggle, and the audience had to be able to empathise with him. Of course Fool for love did this on a grand scale, and now that I think of it, post-Whats my line Spike did it first, though there was obviously not a plan to make Spike a hero at that point.
Just to confuse things even more, I would argue that Spike was an anti-hero until season 7, not a hero in the traditional sense.

[> [> Spike a hero? -- Liam, 01:45:13 09/03/03 Wed

I don't believe that Spike did anything that could be regarded as 'heroic' until near the end of season 5, when he refused, despite being tortured by Glory, to tell her about the Key. Even then, it could be argued that he refused to do so on the grounds that Dawn was Buffy's sister.

Until the end of season 7, I feel that the what he did was motivated by the question 'What would Buffy do?' so anything that would hurt those near to her had to be fought. The problem for us, the viewers, is that we didn't see him doing anything to help people who weren't connected to Buffy in any way; so what he did could be put down to his love for _her_, not concern for people in general.

[> [> [> No need to argue -- skeeve, 08:15:18 09/04/03 Thu

Spike has explictly stated that he doesn't like "Summers women" taking it on the chin.

Regarding another post, Spike has also stated that he likes the world: "six billion happy meals with legs", ergo Buffy was not the only reason he helped her save the world.

[> [> [> [> Spike helping to save the world in 'Becoming, Part II' -- Liam, 01:49:43 09/05/03 Fri

skeeve, Spike wanted to save the world at the end of season 2 because he liked _eating_ humans, as shown by his calling them 'Happy Meals with legs'; it doesn't suggest that he liked them as individuals. His alliance with Buffy against Angelus was simply one of convenience, like the UK and the USA with the USSR in World War Two. I've never believed that Spike had any feelings towards Buffy at that time, apart from those of lusting to kill her.

In 'Fool For Love' in season 5, the writers tried to suggest that he was in love with her long before 'Out of My Mind' in season 5, suggesting that it was the cause of his break up with Dru in season 3. The problem is that I saw no indication of this in the episode when he briefly returned to Sunnydale in season 3 after the breakup.

[> [> [> [> [> But Dru did -- Celebaelin, 05:05:40 09/05/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Agree with Celebaelin -- Arethusa, 06:43:41 09/05/03 Fri

Because Dru's psychic it's possible she knew in Season 3 he would become interested in Buffy later. Thus he did not have to be in love with Buffy during Season 3. (My theory is that his obsession with her changed from bloodlust to lust in Season 4 during "Who Are You.")

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike helping to save the world in 'Becoming, Part II' -- skeeve, 08:39:57 09/05/03 Fri

I never said that Spike had a nice reason for wanting to save the world. I don't remember the episode well enough to know whether Spike actually allied himself with Buffy or just worked separately for somewhat the same goal.

Methinks that Spike's standing up to Glory's torture was purely the result of his love for Buffy and other Summers women. He told Glory almost as much.
That said, had he thought about it, Spike might also have had the same motives he had in Becoming.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike helping to save the world in 'Becoming, Part II' -- Liam, 10:24:19 09/05/03 Fri

skeeve, Spike did ally himself with Buffy, offering his help to stop Angelus. In the episode, He said that if she wanted to stop Angelus, 'we're gonna play this a bit differently'. When Buffy asked what he was on about, Spike explained, 'I'm talking about putting him in the bloody ground'.

When Buffy was still suspicious, Spike became more explicit, 'I told you. I want to stop Angel. I want to save the world'. When she asked why, Spike said:

The truth is, I like this world. You've racing, Manchester United. And you've got people. Billions of people walking about like Happy Meals with legs.

Buffy asked why he came to her, and was told, 'I want Dru back. I want it like it was before he came back. The way she acts round him...'. So he gave her two reasons for stopping Angelus. First, because he likes eating humans; and second, he wants Dru back, two 100% selfish reasons.

Buffy concentrated on Spike's second reason, calling him 'pathetic', then saying, 'The whole earth may be sucked into Hell and you want my help 'cause your girlfriend's a big ho?' She then said that she didn't care about that. Spike replied that he was 'all you've got'.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike helping to save the world in 'Becoming, Part II' -- skeeve, 12:09:16 09/05/03 Fri

I agree about Spike's motives in Becomming.
In Becoming, Spike had four purely selfish reasons for helping save the world: dog racing, Manchester United, Happy Meals with legs, and Dru.

When Glory tortured him, he clearly had at least one unselfish motive for resisting: Summers women, especially Buffy. He even seemed to have forgotten that selfish ones still applied.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Necessary? -- Claudia, 10:08:38 09/09/03 Tue

Is it really necessary for a person to be completely selfless to do good? Can one help another or do good, because he or she cares about that particular person?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> What if... -- Celebaelin, 14:05:11 09/09/03 Tue

the good of the other person, the dearest beloved, is contrary to the general good (not only your own but others as well)? What would you do then?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What if... - My Choice -- Claudia, 11:46:49 09/11/03 Thu

I would choose my beloved. Sorry. But being selfless is not really me. Not if it gets in the way of someone I really care about.

I believe that my own personal well-being is more important than what happens in the world at large. Focusing too much upon what happens to the world at large, is not that healthy, in my opinion. I think it prevents a person from finding inner peace.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Choice -- Celebaelin, 17:47:54 09/11/03 Thu

Your own well being you can speak for, that of others? That is another matter altogether.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Necessary? -- skeeve, 11:13:50 09/11/03 Thu

Is it really necessary for a person to be completely selfless to do good?

Of course not. Saving the world was a good thing regardless of why Spike was willing to help.

Why one saves the world is an important aspect of one's personality.
If one saves the world because one makes a mistake while trying to destroy it, that would say something nasty about one's personality.
Saving the world solely because of billions of happy meals with legs also says something about one's personality.
If one saves the world because someone one loves is in it, that says something else about one's personality.
Saving the world because someone one loves wants one to says yet another thing about one's personality.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Necessary? -- Claudia, 12:04:24 09/11/03 Thu

I'm sorry. I don't fully understand your post. Except for the sentence about happy meals on legs.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Necessary? -- skeeve, 16:20:39 09/12/03 Fri

I'm sorry. I don't fully understand your post. Except for the sentence about happy meals on legs.

To summarize: Reasons matter.

Would you like fries with that?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Necessary? -- Celebaelin, 16:05:19 09/11/03 Thu

Saving the world because someone one loves is in it is the best, and possibly the only, reason to save the world.

(See S6)

Love conquers all things, let us too give in to Love.

Virgil Eclogue, Book X

Amat it again

Latin killed the Romans and now it's killing me too!

C (who actually doubts that there are other ways to 'vincit omnia')

[> [> [> Re: Spike a hero? -- Claudia, 10:49:53 09/03/03 Wed

I have no problem with Spike doing good because of Buffy. To me, he is merely acting from his heart and not out of a sense of "duty". I guess I find the idea of doing something good out of "duty" a bit self-righteous and give him or her a false sense of morality. And to do good out of concern for the world - well, one would have to like the world to do something like that. Whether Spike has done good to save the world -namely his actions in "Becoming" - is up to debate.

[> [> [> Spike's hero journey -- Robert, 12:51:55 09/03/03 Wed

>>> I don't believe that Spike did anything that could be regarded as 'heroic' until near the end of season 5, when he refused, despite being tortured by Glory, to tell her about the Key.

I think you might have misunderstood Claudia's point. Season four was when Mutant Enemy put Spike on a journey, the destination of which was becoming a hero. He didn't actually achieve hero status until the end of Chosen, when he sacrificed his own existance to save the women and ultimately the world.

Otherwise, I completely agree with you. Spike's love for Buffy was often selfish and sufficating. During season six, Spike valued his feelings for Buffy above Buffy's own welfare. Spike recognized this in Seeing Red, and subsequently sought out help to improve himself. Season seven was about Spike becoming someone whom Buffy could love in return, and ultimately a hero.

[> [> [> [> Per Marti the answer is no -- Diana, 14:56:33 09/03/03 Wed

Willow was always going to go evil, but what happened to Spike was as Marti has said,

Well, the whole genesis of Spike is that we just wanted a cool villain. He was introduced as part of a Sid and Nancy set, and then he just popped up as a character, and we wanted to bring him back. We weren't sure how he would function in the group because he was evil, and more or less as a function of story-telling we wanted to make him less so, so he could be around the gang more. So, we had him tracked by the government, and a chip is put in his head, so he is unable to attack people. So for a long time he was good by default. He was still able to hurt demons, his chip didn't stop that, but he was fighting on the side of right because he still liked to kill things. But slowly you start to have moral questions. Is this a change in conditioning? Was the active fight for good, did that start to make him seek out good? And then he becomes attracted to Buffy. I've always joked around that he became attracted to Buffy because she could hit him the hardest, that he liked to be abused. Then we discovered that there was a real heart to that story-line, and they had a real chemistry together. So a lot of times people who see this as a grand design, an opera about good and evil. It's just really a slowly evolving thing, and sometimes form follows function. And as we watched, eventually we found that Spike was a real romantic foil for Buffy. And also what we've seen is Buffy attracted to her own darkness. To her own aggression, to sex without love, to sex where love is really subdued, all of the things that she can't permit, because she is a hero.

No planned journey for Spike. We just get to construct one in hindsight. Is that such a bad thing? Jane Espenson has said that without a soul, the writers were not looking at Spike from a redemption angle. Until they determined that he was going to get his soul, he wasn't put on any sort of path that would be called heroic. Again, not a bad thing.

And Season 7 Spike wasn't about becoming someone Buffy could LOVE. It was about becoming someone Buffy could TRUST. They never got a chance to work up to love.

[> [> [> [> [> Perhaps -- Claudia, 10:05:20 09/04/03 Thu

[And Season 7 Spike wasn't about becoming someone Buffy could LOVE. It was about becoming someone Buffy could TRUST. They never got a chance to work up to love.]

Perhaps or perhaps not. I'm one of those who believed that Buffy came to love Spike (and I'm not speaking as friends). However, I must admit that I had enjoyed the way she learned to trust Spike.

[> [> [> [> [> Very good arguments! -- Robert, 15:44:07 09/04/03 Thu

>>> No planned journey for Spike. We just get to construct one in hindsight.

I admit that when I stated that Mutant Enemy (ME) put Spike on a journey, I assumed that it was a planned action by Joss Whedon, if not the entire writing staff. Your evidence strongly disputes that, though not conclusively. Joss has been known to play his cards close to the vest, and he plans frightfully far ahead. However, I can accept your argument as probably correct.

Nevertheless, ME put Spike on this journey, whether by intention or not.

>>> And Season 7 Spike wasn't about becoming someone Buffy could LOVE. It was about becoming someone Buffy could TRUST.

I believe for Buffy love and trust are different sides of the same die. In season six, Buffy could not love Spike, largely because she couldn't trust him. Despite this, she was still able to develop some level of respect, as evidenced at the end of As You Were. Buffy's inability to trust Spike arose not so much due to his lack of a soul (despite her declarations to the contrary), as due to his lack of selflessness. His actions in season five and six were geared toward making Buffy love him or (even worse) dependent upon him.

His seeking a soul was his first step toward selflessness. The soul didn't make him trustworthy, any more than Warren or Andrew were trustworthy. Earning the soul represented his earnest desire to be a better persone, worthy of Buffy's trust and her love.

>>> They never got a chance to work up to love.

With this I do not agree. The love they attained in season seven was far more than anything they had in season six, whilst knocking the building down. The love they achieved was one of affection and tenderness, not of lust. We did not get to see them resume sexual relations, and they may never do so. But, I do believe that we saw them love each other.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Very good arguments! -- Rufus, 17:32:26 09/04/03 Thu

Nevertheless, ME put Spike on this journey, whether by intention or not.

From the Commentary for Fool For Love

Underneath it all Spike is this guy with a broken heart so that even though he changes, piece by piece, step by step he goes far far away from being this guy, at the end he's still this guy. He's changed everything about himself, but he hasn't changed anything. And that makes Spike a lot more interesting. He becomes so vulnerable here, James is a great actor. I love too that he admits that he's a bad poet. He knows his limitations. He's so brave, tell her what he really feels. He knows he's going to get shot down too.

> "I know I'm a bad poet, but I'm a good man"

> I think he's telling the truth. He's a bad poet but a good man. He wants to be a good man. But that's something he goes far away from as well, in his century long journey from little William the poet to bad ass Spike. He doesn't want to be a good man anymore.

In season four The Initiative, Petrie mentioned that he had trouble writing Spike in a way that would be heroic, a bad guy can't be heroic he thought. Joss just told Petrie "he's (Spike)heroic". What we see is a man who start out as a good man who ends up far from how he started. Like Angel there is a descent into darkness only for a gradual ascent back to the light. Angel started at a point where we first saw him, where he was on his way back to humanity. We only got to see how bad Angelus had been in flashbacks and the time he lost his soul with Buffy, then again in season 4 Angel. With Spike we saw the same sort of journey where we only knew the present condition of the demon only to find out that he didn't start that way. Both characters have grown in complexity as their popularity with the audience grew.

Spike started doing heroic acts or acts that on the surface could be considered brave. As his character evolved his motivations changed and we watched as he became a true hero, acting not out of personal gain but because he felt he was doing what was right.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Speculation about season five Angel (well known casting spoiler and speculation) -- Rufus, 17:45:41 09/04/03 Thu

Again from the Commentary for Fool For Love.....

And he licks his fingers. So we're really building a monster here,piece by piece. And when you build a monster, you have to start with a human being, and you realise that they're not as monstrous as you may originally think and they got this way for a reason. Spike is so deeply insecure. A lot of this killing the slayer is has to do with showing up Angel and knowing that he's never going to be as potent or as fearsome as Angelus.

Darla said "what we once were informs all that we become" this quote from the Commentary for Fool for Love bears this out. Spike is William, he could change the accent, the clothes but he never really changed at all. Most of what he did he did for recognition and competition with a father figure. On the other hand, Angel has insecurities of his own that the soulless Spike wouldn't have noticed but maybe the soulled Spike will eventually catch onto. I think he will make a great foil for Angel.

again Fool for Love commentary

One of the things about the 70s slayer is that we felt it might be a little arch (this is harsh, that's just harsh, I hate to see her go), and one of the ways we sold it to Joss Whedon was the big black coat. He picks up the coat, and that's a bit of a homage to - if you're a > comic book fan - to Frank Miller's Sin City. There's this guy called Marv who kills his way up the echelon of this dirty dirty underworld while solving this mystery. And every time he kills a guy, he takes his coat, so he gets a better coat throughout.

Notice that Spike's coat is a constant, and this can signify that he hasn't moved up or down an echelon of existance. He may have died a hero in Sunnydale but he is still very much the man he has always been. His return to LA and the company of Angel will be the start of a new type of progression or regression for either guy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Your quote regarding the Initiative shows why MN's comments can't be definitive on authorial intent. -- Sophist, 09:05:49 09/05/03 Fri

After all, if JW told Petrie in S4 that "he's (Spike's)heroic", then that supports Robert's original assertion that ME put Spike on a hero's journey beginning in S4.

Of course, since I think MN's comment is not inconsistent with that assertion, so much the better. Not that I believe authorial intent is all that important or anything. :)

We all agree it was a long journey.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Define heroic -- Diana, 10:23:24 09/05/03 Fri

On another board, I got into a lot of trouble by calling Spike a pathetic character. He is. His character rests in pathos, as in classic Greek Tragedy. He's just a means to tell Joss' story, but so is Buffy. A clock won't work if you remove even the tiniest gears. It isn't an insult. People took pathetic to mean lame.

What did Joss mean when he said that Spike was heroic? That is where the problem with authorial intent comes. We have to actually figure out what it is. I interpret Marti's words one way and you another. We can't even agree on her words. How are we going to agree on how they apply to the story?

When I heard Petrie talking, I was hearing heroic not as in Greek Tragedy. I was hearing heroic as in Errol Flynn. Heroic as in "Impressive in size or scope; grand. Of a size or scale that is larger than life." Spike is the weanie that had to go to Buffy for help, wacked Angel from behind and talk about wuss in "Lover's Walk." Was that Spike grand or larger than life? Could Spike's pathos be maintained if he was? I think that was Petrie's concern. Joss just made Spike's pathos grand and larger than life.

That's how I see it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Define heroic -- Sophist, 17:03:29 09/05/03 Fri

First, the ambiguity of the words used is one of the reasons that a single authorial comment cannot be definitive on the subject of authorial intent.

Second, let's consider the definitions:

pathetic means having a capacity to move one to either compassionate or contemptuous pity

As an aside, I can see how people might have assumed you meant "contemptuous" rather than "compassionate". In my own experience, "contemptuous" is by far the more common usage, with the "compassionate" sense reserved for lit majors.

More important, though, is that the word "pathetic", whether valid or not, is your word, not a word used by JW or MN. It's fine for you to interpret Spike that way, but it's not necessarily the author's intent.

heroic means exhibiting or marked by courage or daring; Grand-noble; of impressive size, power or effect

You suggest that JW used the term in the latter sense. While that's logically possible, that would be the less common usage and wouldn't fit very well to the circumstances of the plot in The Initiative. Spike does exhibit courage and daring in that episode, but not impressive size or power (which would, in fact, be inconsistent with the chip).

Your suggested combination of the two terms -- "grandly pathetic", I suppose -- combines the least likely definitions of 2 terms, one of which was not even used by JW or MN. I therefore find it very unlikely that your characterization of Spike could be ascribed to either of them.

Even if it were what JW meant, that would not demonstrate that he had no intention to put Spike on a hero's journey in S4. Spike could still move from one who inspired pity in S4 to one admired for his achievements and qualities in S7, thereby completing his journey.

In summary, I don't believe that authorial intent is all that important in interpreting the story; I don't believe that one comment by MN could establish authorial intent; and I do believe that MN and JW meant something quite different from what you suggest. The irony is, of course, that my near-slavish devotion to each viewer's own interpretation means that you are perfectly free to maintain yours even in the face of my compelling arguments. :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Authorial intent, TV, and ME -- s'kat, 16:41:22 09/05/03 Fri

When I did my whole essay on the TV medium (see Angel After Spike board for it or the archives), I read through hundreds of actor and writer interviews from 1998-2003, also lots of writer commentary on DVD's (which have kindly been transcribed by people on this board). Their interviews regarding intent? Aren't consistent. They contradict themselves and each other regarding 'ships, heroism, and souls. The only things that appear to be a constant are "the journey towards redemption" and "the young girl's journey towards growing up/female empowerement". Everything else? You might as well pin jello to a wall.

Regarding MN or DF? LOL! I've learned to take everything these writers say with a grain of salt. The show-runner is Joss Whedon, they really don't have much say in the overall emotional arcs.

Here's a little sampling:

Compare David Fury's comments in 1998 at Bronze Beta where he considers
Spike evil and irredeemable to his comments at the Succubus Club where he states Spike was always more redeemable than Angel. LOL!

"To those who feel my conviction that Spike can never be redeemed and cannot someday end up with our heroine, shows a lack of imagination of my part, I say you're right. It is beyond my limited imagination to see a strong, independent, female character end up falling for a murderer who would be killling innocent people were he not suffering from chip affliction..."


DAvid Fury 2003 = "I got this hate mail about how Spike was the Fonzi. He was the cool character with leather jacket which we wrapped the show around and that's NOT how we write our shows. Spike provided Buffy with an emotional through line she wouldn't have and Angel was gone, own show, making him her nemesis and mortal enemy at first was interesting way to go.
now I wasn't for B/S but I rationalized that.

LMPTM - they thought we were changing the whole vampire mythology - Spike is an anamoly in the vampire world. We tried to say it in the very beginning in Surprise, his mother, he is something special, he retained some part of his soul or compassion that was always there that allowed him to fall for Buffy. Whatever we told was always there."

Both were responses to fans.

Now let's look at Marti:

Who says in an interview with that Spike is very heroic in her eyes because he faces the abyss and has to fight against it. Then in an earlier interview says he's not a hero without a soul.

Then we get Joss Whedon:

Joss: "Well, he's a different guy than Angel. Hopefully he's a different guy because otherwise Angel's going to be really boring. I think Spike was actually a lot closer to human. Angel was at full-tilt evil, that just got clothes lined by those Gypsies and spent 100 years going, 'Ah yah aha hah,' trying to figure it out -- what it was he had to do. Spike actually went in search for a soul while he had none, so I think he was much more evolved then Angel, personally. I think that's why it was easier for him to make the transition." Comic-Con Q&A

And 10 Questions with NY Times

"A. I would love to give you a more in-depth coherent explanation of my view of the soul, and if I had one I would. The soul and my concept of it are as ephemeral as anybody's, and possibly more so. And in terms of the show, it is something that exists to meet the needs of convenience; the truth is sometimes you can trap it in a jar; the truth is sometimes someone without one seems more interesting than someone with one. I don't think Clem has a soul, but he's certainly a sweet guy. Spike was definitely kind of a soulful character before he had a soul, but we made it clear that there was a level on which he could not operate. Although Spike could feel love, it was the possessive and selfish kind of love that most people feel. The concept of real altruism didn't exist for him. And although he did love Buffy and was moved by her emotionally, ultimately his desire to possess her led him to try and rape her because he couldn't make the connection -- the difference between their dominance games and actual rape.

With a soul comes a more adult understanding. That is again, a little vague, but... can I say that I believe in the soul? I don't know that I can. It's a beautiful concept, as is resurrection and a lot of other things we have on the show that I'm not really sure I can explain and I certainly don't believe in. It does fall prey to convenience, but at the same time it has consistently marked the real difference between somebody with a complex moral structure and someone who may be affable and even likable, but ultimately eats kittens. "

Hmmm...this actually seems to be less contradictory.
Moral? Pay attention to Whedon, ignore the rest of them.

Also in all his interviews, Whedon has reiterated that Spike was redeemed and died a heroes death in Chosen. HE was a noble hero in S7 according to Joss Whedon, the show-runner, writer & director of the last episode. Marti left
after LMPTM to do a new series, she was gone.

I now find myself smiling whenever any one tries to prove a point by citing Marti Noxon, David Fury or any of the other writers outside of Whedon - b/c if I look hard enough? I can find a quote proving the exact opposite. Heck Marti and David F. contradict themselves all the time. Whedon actually is the only one who has stayed more or less consistent in his interviews. (Maybe he just understands his characters/show better??)
And since he's still the show-runner (ie the person who has created back-stories for all the characters and the universe more or less and the general theme, arc for the season) - I'd go with him.

Ignore the rest of them in regards to story content. It'll just drive you wacky hunting consensus. Regarding process?
They can be really informative.

Just my opinion for what it's worth. YMMV

PS: nice to see you posting again Sophist, missed you. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks. -- Sophist, 19:47:05 09/05/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The reason they contradict themselves . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:04:21 09/06/03 Sat

Is that the storyline changed. They can't just say their beliefs about the characters and the show clash with what the show has actually said, so they change their views on it to fit what the show has become a little better.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Except... -- s'kat, 20:37:25 09/06/03 Sat

I'd go along with that except - I've read interviews that were literally done in the same season where the writers contradicted each other and themselves, constantly.

I honestly don't think interviews are a good source for authorial intent.

Now DVD commentary? That is a little less contradictory and may give some insight. As may commentary in magazines like
SFX after the season has aired, which more often than not deals with the process more than the intended content.

The problem with TV and figuring out authorial intent is it is a collaborative process.

Example: David Fury wrote and directed LMPTM. Right? So he's the one to interview on authorial intent? Right? Wrong.
He co-wrote the episode with Drew Goddard. Then when he directed it - he re-did portions with DB Woodside and James Marsters who helped him figure out what to emphasize. Then
they dealt with an actress who was playing William's Mom who was hitting on James off-stage, this played into it. They couldn't get the same actress who played Nikki in Fool for Love...that had an effect. Fury wanted to call it Mothers and Sons, but Drew pointed out Giles/Buffy. Then we had Drew re-write David's scenes and David rewrite Drews.
So the city of angel interview where David discusses LMPTM?
Can't use it for authorial intent. Why? Because it's not
David's episode solely. Now - the DVD Commentary on it which is with DF, DGoddard, DB Woodside, and James Marsters?
Yes, you can probably reference that to a degree, but not on the Giles/Buffy bit - you'd need SMG and ASH for that.
And it still wouldn't be complete. Why? You're missing the showrunners and the producers who picked which takes got in and the edit. And even with all that? Still off - since LMPTM is not self-contained - you need to know what the intent was behind Fool For Love and School Hard and all the other episodes as well.

It's not the same as listening to Stephen King discuss what he meant when he wrote The Stand. This is a collaboration.
Or even for that matter Stanley Kubrick discussing The Shining or PEter Jackson discussing Lord of The Rings.
Because those are more self-contained.

In short Finn, to use a writer interview to prove a point about authorial intent for a television series that the writers freely admit is a collaboration and loosely plotted? Is absurd. All you're doing is choosing phrases to prove how you see the show. The fact that someone could easily find phrases to support their view which is contrary to yours? Proves this point. To figure out ME's authorial
intent directly? Over the past seven years? We'd have to gather all the writers, producers, actors, etc who ever worked on the show into a room and ask them. And uh, even if we did that - I bet none of them would be able to tell us their intent per episode, except in an overall general sense: ie. female empowerment, redemption, being your own hero...b/c they've probably forgotten. They don't watch the show or focus on it the way we do. They create it - get it up on the screen - move to the next episode...often forgetting the one they did. James Marsters doesn't remember most of the stuff he did on Buffy. Whedon? He's struggling coming up with commentary for Chosen. It's a blur. It's a fast paced, stressful, time-consuming, exhausting process: you work 180 hours, 13-22 hour days, 5-7 days at a stretch, 5 hours sleep over 4 days if that,
and then whammo five to six days off, and you're doing it again. And this pace is for writers, directors, actors, etc.

So it's not surprising to me that authorial intent gets spread out a bit - so much so - that it is miraculous that we get such innovative and cohesive products. But not entirely miraculous, b/c there is a trick to it - have a tough, show-runner. Whedon is not kidding when he says a TV show must be run like a military operation. It has to. You have to make everyone buckle down to your vision. Yet at the same time, you can't make it so rigid that creativity gets stifled and the show becomes stale and "overly" formulaic. Whedon did a good job of keeping things loose enough to let the individual creative voices through, yet tight enough that it did not become chaotic.

I think if you want authorial intent - your best bet is Whedon regarding the overall picture. But keep in mind even his intent is somewhat affected by those surrounding him, he'd be the first to admit that - heck he already has.

Oh - if you asked me what my authorial intent was behind writing my essays or even my book? I couldn't tell you.
It changes on a daily basis and that's just one writer with a work that is only from one source. This is why I find determining authorial intent such a quagmire.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's what I was getting at -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:08:19 09/06/03 Sat

My point was that interviews don't really reflect intent; they're interpretations of the show at the time. If I believed they did show authorial intent, it would be rather hypocritical to say that they change what they say as the show changes (even a few episodes can radically change the show). Because they can't really control the progression of the show, they're views on it are bound to change with time.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh. Thanks for the clarification. I agree with that. -- s'kat, 18:07:26 09/07/03 Sun

Interpretations not unlike our own....yes, I think that is different than intent and I'd agree. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> See what I do........ -- Rufus, 02:32:28 09/07/03 Sun

I get copies of all interviews, shred them, put them in a bowl with equal parts blood and spit, say a few latin words and watch the whole thing go Kaboom! No one writer is the absolute authority on the show save what little Mr. Whedon can say about his original intent before he configured it to fit into fan expectation.

Hero, a hero.....could be the lead in a play, or some person who does some courageous thing. What I see a hero in any work of Joss Whedons as is someone who started one way and through a series of events led them to somewhere else...if it's good the person is a hero, if it's evil/bad then they wear a black hat. Everyone is on a journey and a good person can end a hero, and a villian can end up saving the world. In the world of Joss no one is immune from change.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Very good arguments! - I Don't Know -- Claudia, 09:56:02 09/05/03 Fri

[Buffy's inability to trust Spike arose not so much due to his lack of a soul (despite her declarations to the contrary), as due to his lack of selflessness. His actions in season five and six were geared toward making Buffy love him or (even worse) dependent upon him.]

I think the real reason behind Buffy's lack of trust toward Spike (at least romantically, since she trusted him to take care of Dawn) mainly came from her own narrow view of morality. At that time, she still couldn't accept how complex morality really is. And because she continued to maintain this narrow view, she failed to trust or respect Spike and viewed her attraction toward him as something evil. In a way, it was evil, due to her own mistreatment of him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Trust and love -- Diana, 10:01:38 09/05/03 Fri

I am so reluctant to do this here, but if I get pounced on, I'm just going to ignore it. For me, love is when something deep inside one person connects with something deep inside another. That was vague, but it isn't something that can be rationally explained. It can only be felt. Poets and the like try to paint situations analogous to where we have felt it in order to get us to feel it again.

In order to get to a point where someone can touch us on that level, trust is needed. We have all these barriers around that part deep inside us. It is fragile and when it is hurt, we hurt the most. If we don't trust someone, we won't lower the barriers and let them in. Poets and painters manage to sneak around the barriers sometimes, but when it comes to one on one action, trust is really necessary. That can be physical trust as in letting someone physically touch you as in erotic love or it can be something more mental where we let them touch us in non-physical manners.

This season, Spike and Buffy's relationship was about developing that trust. It was actually very sweet. Without that trust, she couldn't let her guard down enough for him to get in and touch her. Without that, there is no love. Were the barriers down in "Chosen?" Probably as evidenced by her giving him the amulet and telling Angel that having him around would be confusing. However, once the barriers are down, then the connection has to occur. They didn't have time to develop that.

It isn't like he was accumulating money and all he needed was for the bank to open so he could deposit it. The barriers come down and then accumulation starts. Prior to this the money went towards getting the barriers down in the first place. We can look at all he did for Buffy prior to "Touched" and say that she should love him, but until she starts to trust him, love can't develop. It needs time to do that and they didn't have that.

Did Buffy love Spike when she said it? At that moment, he touched her. At that moment she did. If he survived for some wacky reason, though, he would no longer touch her. That was how she felt in the moment, not how she felt about him overall. That is why she said it and that is why he said "No you don't." They were working towards that overall love, but they hadn't gotten there yet.

That's just how I see it.

[> [> [> [> [> I think you've misinterpreted MN's comments -- Sophist, 17:06:56 09/03/03 Wed

Before I get to MN's statement, I should say that the use of her isolated comments would not prove authorial intent even if that were as important as you think.

As for whether S7 was about love or trust, well, you can watch your S7 and the rest of us will watch ours.

Now to the real point. Robert's claim had 2 parts: that Spike was on a journey, and that he began that journey in S4. MN's statement does not disprove either of his claims; to the contrary, it supports Robert.

Taking these in reverse order, the quote does not give any timing in terms of seasons, so it can't contradict Robert's post. All MN said was that Spike's role evolved over time, which I'm sure Robert would agree with since that is what he said.

To the extent that we can infer timing from MN's comments, it appears that, in fact, she refers to S4 as the beginning: "We weren't sure how he would function in the group because he was evil, and more or less as a function of story-telling we wanted to make him less so, so he could be around the gang more. So, we had him tracked by the government, and a chip is put in his head, so he is unable to attack people. So for a long time he was good by default. He was still able to hurt demons, his chip didn't stop that, but he was fighting on the side of right because he still liked to kill things. But slowly you start to have moral questions. Is this a change in conditioning? Was the active fight for good, did that start to make him seek out good?"

The last 3 sentences of this quote also support Robert's first point, namely, that Spike was on a journey. His assertion finds further support in the language you put in bold. The fact of evolution over time is not inconsistent with being on a journey, it is inherent in being on a journey.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I think you've misinterpreted MN's comments -- Diana, 17:53:58 09/03/03 Wed

Really not going to get into the debate about authorial intent and whether the writers know their own work better than we do. Joss said that after Seeing Red, he was trying to get Spike and Buffy to a place where she could trust him again. I think they did a good job with that. Why does everything have to be love or redemption? There are other stories to tell, stories that ME didn't tell already.

The statement I was disagreeing with was ME put Spike on a journey. This implies, to me and maybe I am wrong, that it was some conscious decision to turn him into a hero eventually. I have seen nothing to support this coming from any of the writers, especially in regards to Season 4. They were just trying to figure out a way to keep the character around. If you aren't talking about a deliberate path to make Spike a hero, then his "journey" started season 2.

And don't forget Jane is in there as well. Redemption and hero isn't even the perspective the writers are going at until he has a soul. How can the writers be turning Spike into a hero when they didn't even think this was possible without a soul?

But who cares? Still a great story. Still a fun character. Points that people connect to form a curve or an actual arc, does it really matter which it is?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Keeping Spike around -- Liam, 01:45:30 09/04/03 Thu

When I was watching season 4, I began to feel that the writers were trying to find excuses to keep Spike around, making Buffy and the Scoobies look dumb as a consequence, in the same way that they accepted Anya despite her boasting about her murderous past.

In season 4, Spike was tolerated because he had a chip and couldn't physically hurt humans. The Scoobies didn't seem to realise that he could still plot against them with others, as he did with Adam. Despite having evidence of what he did with Adam, they didn't dust him.

Early in season 5, when he tried to get his chip out, attacking Buffy and Riley, the writers came up with the 'Spike in love' storyline as a new excuse for keeping him around. I began to get a vague notion (partly proved right) that the writers liked the character so much that they would eventually have him die doing some heroic sacrifice for the love of Buffy.

Season 6 saw the excuse of Spike having a relationship with Buffy; but, in my opinion, the only reasonable excuse for having Spike around without him being dusted came in season 7, when he had a soul.

Due to all this, I agree with you, Diana, that there was no conscious effort to put Spike on a journey; the writers just came up with excuses to justify keeping him around the Scoobies without being dusted.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Keeping Spike around -- Claudia, 12:08:58 09/04/03 Thu

I don't think we will ever really know.

[> [> [> [> It's good to see one of your posts, Robert. -- Sophist, 17:09:59 09/03/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Thank you! I've been away for awhile. -- Robert, 15:04:16 09/04/03 Thu

I became discouraged with the rancor of the post season discussion, but I cannot stay away forever.

The passion in the fan base for the past two seasons has made it difficult to discuss the show without excessive bitterness. For me and a few others, the past two seasons have been the best. And I fully acknowledge that for many others, they have been the worst. When the discussion becomes too rancorous, I feel the need to take a breather.

Best wishes,

TV guide(no spoilers here), except for the well known angel one. -- JDP, 19:31:57 09/02/03 Tue

Hey All,

I just got the new TV guide and guess who is on the cover. None over than DB and JM. Be careful though, because the article has kind of BIG spoilers in it.

Just thought I'd let y'all know.


PS The guide also has a great article for Alias fans, albeit spoilers again!

But pics of both Angel and Alias are great!

[> Re: TV guide article (angel spoilers) -- CW, 12:13:00 09/03/03 Wed

Joss says of Cordelia, "I really don't know what was left to do with her." Using that logic Xander should have stabbed Willow to death in the last scene of BtVS six. After all what was left to have her do except cast more spells, get another girlfriend, and help Buffy and... Er, well Joss, ole buddy, you could have at least woken Cordelia up.

It sounds from the article that the move to W&H was actually a production move to cut costs. No more hotel lobby set, no more room sets, no more hallway sets. I don't know how bringing SMG in for a couple eps is going to help cut costs though.

[> [> Re: TV guide article : Le Rouge et Le Noir -- Brian, 13:02:24 09/03/03 Wed

It was nice to see "the boys" on the cover of TV Guide.

It's about passion; it's about brooding; it's about a room and perhaps some oil.

I'm ready for Season 5. Let the twists and turns begin!

[> [> Budgetary Concerns + a fashion note (new TV Guide and ANGEL S5 spoilers) -- cjl, 19:56:17 09/03/03 Wed

I have my calculator next to my keyboard. Let's see if we can add this up...

Okay, subtract two regulars, and add one. (Marsters is probably getting paid more than Carpenter, but less than Carpenter + Kartheiser. Some savings there.)

W&H set vs. Hyperion. Don't know about the savings here. You've got the W&H lobby, Angel's office, Fred's lab, and probably "personal" spaces for Angel and Wes.

No Lilah. But add Mercedes for 17, and possibly Buffy for two eps. That's a "wash" at best. Bringing the Buffster in could also drain cash needed for other guest stars. Joss may have to choose between bringing back Aly or Juliet (if ME and Fox are even negotiating with either one).

They might have to cut back on SFX the way BtVS did in Seasons 6 and 7--which bothers me. I hope we don't get trapped in the W&H offices the way we got trapped in the Summers house last season.

And on a completely irrelevant, fashion-related note: Spike's shirt on the TV guide cover (and inside)--what the hell is that? It looks like a magenta crushed silk dress shirt. Not bad over the black slacks, but looks weird with the platinum blonde 'do. (Honorificus' fashion reports have completed polluted my brain, haven't they?)

Dawn vs Jasmine -- JBone, 20:12:05 09/02/03 Tue

Well, I can't take you in a fight or anything, even with the chip in your head. But you do sleep. If you hurt my sister at all, touch her... you're gonna wake up on fire.


Post comments at Showtime, here, or email me.

[> Oh, screw Ms. Shiny-Happy Power! It's not even a contest.
-- HonorH, 20:32:14 09/02/03 Tue

The world's second-angstiest teen in no way falls for Jasmine's lovey-dovey ways. "*So* totally not happening," yawns Dawn. "And what's with your face?" Chagrined, Jasmine decides to simply eat her. However, while that may be perfectly okay for ordinary mortals, it's not so okay with Keys. In short, Jasmine ends up getting absorbed by Dawn rather than the other way around. "Nifty!" chirps Dawn before she skips off to make herself a fluffernutter. Case closed.

[> Hee! I voted first! Dawn is currently 100% victorious!
-- Anneth, 20:40:11 09/02/03 Tue

This also required some hard thinkin' but in the end, I had to vote for Dawnie. Jasmine may be/have been some sort of power, but Dawn's got dander. (And I don't mean the flakey white stuff.) I'd hate to see that dander up. Plus, that shot of Dawn in Chosen, with the sword? That was scary stuff. Dawn could take ol' maggoty-face any day of the month. "But," you gasp, "how will she defeat Jasmine's thrall?" Thrall schmall, I say - Dawn's a teenaged girl. Teenaged girls are enthralled only by repeated viewings of The Princess Bride and many, many Pixie Stix. Dawn victorious.

[> [> Ewww, will someone more qualified please explain dander here -- Celebaelin, 05:07:54 09/03/03 Wed

[> [> [> ewww? huh? -- anom, 10:12:55 09/03/03 Wed

"Dawn's got dander. (And I don't mean the flakey white stuff.) I'd hate to see that dander up."

Merriam-Webster online ( gives these definitions for dander:

"1 : DANDRUFF; specifically : minute scales from hair, feathers, or skin that may be allergenic

Anneth specified she didn't mean the 1st kind, so what's the ewww? Does dander have some other yucky meaning in British usage that the rest of us are unaware of? Or has it picked up some meaning in youth culture that people my age are unaware of?

[> [> [> [> Is this a veiled reference to the fanfic-created Dander (D/X) 'ship? -- cjl, 10:17:13 09/03/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Eeek! No! No Xawn! No flakes! Just temper! -- Anneth, 11:55:43 09/03/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> As I said not really qualified to be categorical but... -- Celebaelin, 12:37:25 09/03/03 Wed

I believe this word and phrase (perhaps originally phonetically 'dunder') originates on the Indian subcontinent and means, well, penis frankly as far as I can establish. So the idea of Dawn having dander, or indeed getting said dander 'up' leads to a whole chicks with...(need I go on) scenario which I just don't want to think about. Hence the ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww


PS In addition to your Dandruff (well, not your dandruff but y'know what I mean) and Dander/Dunder for Ruffled or Angry, the Shorter Oxford gives 'the lees or dregs of molasses used to ferment rum' also dander as in blunder, wander cf. DADDLE 1 to stroll, saunter, 2 to wander in talk; also to vibrate or a fit of shivering also a calcined cinder. But no trace of dander/dunder as a codename for Secret Squirrel if you catch my drift.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> oy...sorry i asked, on both counts! -- anom, 14:52:15 09/03/03 Wed

2 whole separate meanings I really didn't want to know about! I suppose I might've been able to figure out the 'ship name, but I was probably blocking out the possibility (understandably). As for your suggested meaning, it's the first I've heard of it. Although I doubt there's a connection to "dandruff" (see below), it does cast a whole new light on "dunderhead," one that may even make more sense than the origin given by "Etymology: perhaps from Dutch donder thunder + English head; akin to Old High German thonar thunder -- more at THUNDER"...except for the fact that it's recorded in English in the century before the English went a-conquering in India.

"Dander" meaning "dandruff" may not be related to what you're talking about. From again: "Etymology: probably from dand- (origin unknown) + -ruff, from Middle English rove scabby condition, from Old Norse hrufa scab; akin to Old High German hruf scurf, Lithuanian kraupus rough"--whew. Didn't mean to get all lexicographical on ya. But, y'know, I got curious, & besides, a little intellectual exercise helps get my mind off repulsive topics like...damn.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> John Company -- Celebaelin, 16:39:35 09/03/03 Wed

The East India Company (popularly known as John Company), founded by the Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I on December 31, 1600, comprised the most powerful commercial enterprise of its day.

First recorded use of dunderhead 1625 according to the Shorter Oxford.

The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch, literally "United East Indies Company") was established on March 20, 1602, when the government of the Netherlands granted it a monopoly to trade with Asia. It is considered the first company that issued shares.

I think you may be on to something.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> maybe we should write to the oed editors! -- anom, 23:33:00 09/03/03 Wed

Of couse, they'll want citations, & actual evidence of the proposed etymology...OK, maybe we shouldn't. also gives 1625 as the date of earliest use; pundit & sahib date back to the 1670s & rajah to 1555! So other words of (East) Indian origin were coming into use that early in English. Hey, maybe I really am onto something! When did that use of "dander," the one I don't want to think about in relation to Dawn (too late!), 1st show up in English ('cause I can't find it)? Maybe that would bolster the case for "dunderhead."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Dander (heh heh heh) -- Celebaelin, 05:03:51 09/04/03 Thu


A calcined cinder 1791

The lees of molases, ruffled or angry temper 1837

A saunter 1821

A fit of shivering 1877

To stoll or saunter 1600

To wander in talk, to vibrate 1724

dander = dandruff is mentioned but not dated

So, no recorded use of dander in English prior to 1600, and then it means a relaxing walk in the park! Am I reaching? Well, yes, but it makes some kind of sense to me. However to go on I'd have to look at the history of trade with the East Indies (as opposed to the West Indies ie the Carribbean btw) prior to the formation of John Company. I'll have a gentle browse I guess, see what I root up. Then we can move on to the related dandy/dandi (begins as 'a boatman on the Ganges' Anglo-Ind. 1685 Hindi dandi from dand staff, oar).


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> yes, please do! -- anom, 22:33:39 09/04/03 Thu

"I'll have a gentle browse I guess,..."

You mean a saunter? A dander? Sure, I'd love to see what you come up with!

Nice to find a fellow etymology buff--& in this thread, yet!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> hmm...wonder if 1 of these is related to... -- anom, 22:28:11 09/04/03 Thu

"...also dander as in blunder, wander cf. DADDLE 1 to stroll, saunter,..."

..."skedaddle"? Origin unknown according to & the compact OED. My theory: it means to daddle so fast you leave skid--uh, sked--marks. @>)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> 16th Century links between England and India (and skedaddle) -- Celebaelin, 06:17:31 09/05/03 Fri

Skedaddle, (my spell checker doesn't like that word incidentally)

1862 unknown origin, orig. US military slang.

Ski - daddle? Skey - daddle? Skedaddle. He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day? Civil War stuff I guess. I well remember my sainted father bouncing me on my knee as he sang the marching song of the 17th East Kilbride Field Sanitation Engineers 'They aren't skid marks they're brown trousers' (to the tune of I left my heart in San Francisco).

Since you're such a sucker for the history I know you'll just be dying to read this lot, some of which may even be relevant.

The indigo plant grows in warm climates, in India and Asia and South and Central America. Indigo was also once grown in parts of the southern United States.
People who lived in Europe hundreds of years ago could make a weak indigo dye from the woad plant, but the dye that came from the indigo plant was much better. So, as you can imagine, indigo became very valuable to the European traders who travelled East to India and Asia in the 1500s and 1600s.
When traders first began bringing indigo back to Europe from India, woad growers in Europe became upset. They wanted to protect their industry from this new type of foreign dye. As a result, indigo was banned from France and parts of Germany during the 1500s. However, by the 1600s indigo was widely used throughout Europe.
Because indigo was so valuable, Spanish and French settlers started indigo plantations in Central America. At some plantations, Indians or black slaves were forced to do the work of tending the plants and then removing the leaves so that they could be fermented and turned into dye.

Surat, in the 'mainland' part of Gujarat, was founded in the 12th century by the Parsis, five centuries after they came to the area to escape persecution in Persia. By the 1500s it had developed into a successful trading centre, and was raided and destroyed a number of times by the Portuguese. In the late 1500s it fell to Akbar and became a prosperous mercantile centre under his influence. Early in the next century the British received permission from the Moghuls to trade in the area, making Surat their first mercantile outpost in India. They soon routed the Portuguese though two small areas, Damen and Diu, remained as Portuguese enclaves within Gujarat till 1961 when they were forcibly taken over by the Indian government. The French and the Dutch who followed the British into the area had their warehouses and properties sacked by the Marathas, and only the British endured.

November 1579 Sir Francis Drake of England, after raiding Spanish ships and ports in America, arrives at Ternate. Sultan Babullah, who also hated the Spanish, pledges friendship to England.

1580 Drake visits Sulawesi and Java, on the way back to England.

1587 Sir Thomas Cavendish of England visits Java.

1591 Sir James Lancaster of England reaches Aceh and Penang, but his mission is a failure.

1604 English East India Company expedition under Sir Henry Middleton visits Ternate, Tidore, Ambon, and Banda.

1611 English begin setting up many posts in the Indies, including at Makassar, Jepara, Aceh and Jambi.

1615 English build warehouse at Jayakerta.

1618 December Sultan of Banten encourages English to drive Dutch out of Jayakerta. Coen leaves for Maluku to muster ships and soldiers.

1667 English give up claims to Banda in exchange for Manhattan Island in America.

1578-- Sir Francis Drake (England) makes another voyage around the world, establishes England in India

Europeans in India and the Economy

Following the Portuguese, in 1542 the first Jesuit missionary, Francis Xavier, arrived in India, at Goa, but within a few years he left for Japan, disappointed that the Indians were, in his words, "without inclination to virtue" and little interested in biblical instruction. He left behind a small community of Portuguese and Indian Christians, and, drawing from Portuguese experiences in India, in northern Europe the view spread that Indians were heathenish and cunning.
In the early 1600s, the Dutch and British came to India. Being Protestants and competitors, they were harassed by the Jesuits and Portuguese. In 1611, the Dutch East India Company built a factory in India, at Pulicat. The Dutch and British drove out the Portuguese, a British fleet defeating the Portuguese off the coast of India in 1612. The Mughals, without a navy, had looked to the Portuguese to protect the ship that took Muslim Indians on their annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and now they turned to the English for this protection. This was accompanied by an increase in trade with England, dominated by the British East India Company, which built a factory at Surat in 1619.
Sailors, traders, diplomats and adventurers flocked to India. Europeans were allowed to roam about. They brought to India technical advances, such as a hand-driven pump to transfer water. And they brought technical skills. Some of the Europeans set up shop, and some were hired by Indians. Mughal artillery was not keeping pace with European developments, and the Mughal government hired Europeans as artillerymen -- men who were often deserters for the East India Company ships and garrisons.
In the first thirty years of Alamgir's reign (1658-1707), European demand for Indian textiles rose steeply, while India in return received a few luxury items, precious metals, a modest amount of woolens, tin, lead and copper from Britain, and the Dutch brought spices from Southeast Asia. The two British and Dutch trading companies were buying their goods largely with silver and gold, on average 34 tons of silver and a half ton of gold every year.

Not directly relevant to the 1500s but of interest

Dandi: Situated on the coastline and well known as a salt centre, Dandi has acquired a name in history after the famous 'Dandi March Salt Satyagraha' launched by Gandhiji in March, 1930 AD.

While overtly the Dandi march purported to protest against the hateful Salt Tax levied by the British, the underlying purpose was to kindle the spark of Civil Disobedience and thereby attain independence.

On a warm April morning in 1930, Gandhi and his 78 followers marched 241 miles to Dandi and formally breached the Salt Law, an act that would go down in the annals of history as the first salvo to be fired against the British Empire.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> so the question is... -- anom, 10:47:28 09/05/03 Fri

"This was accompanied by an increase in trade with England, dominated by the British East India Company, which built a factory at Surat in 1619. Sailors, traders, diplomats and adventurers flocked to India. Europeans were allowed to roam about."

...would any of this make it plausible that "dunderhead" was of Indian origin & entered the English language by 1625, after only 6 years of "roaming about" after the British established a major foothold there--or 13 years if you date it from the trade increase that accompanied the British protection of the hajj?

A few other comments:

"Since you're such a sucker for the history...."

More the linguistic development than the historical aspect in & of itself. It was when I got interested in linguistics that I 1st regretted not having liked history more. (I blame lousy, boring history teachers.)

"Indigo was also once grown in parts of the southern United States."

Yep. It was used to dye Levi's jeans. I know this not from studying history but from watching Julie Dash's wonderful film Daughters of the Dust, about the Gullah people of the Sea Islands off the southeastern U.S. coast, where indigo dyeing was an important part of the economy (at least it was ~100 years ago, when the film takes place).

"1611 English begin setting up many posts in the Indies, including at Makassar, Jepara, Aceh and Jambi."

That would be Macassar, where hair oil was imported from, & its use became so popular that it became necessary to put small cloths--"antimacassars"--over the backs of chairs to absorb the oil from people's hair so it wouldn't stain the upholstery...right?

"1615 English build warehouse at Jayakerta."

Is this Jakarta? That would be expanding your scope beyond India.

Then there's this little gem: "1667 English give up claims to Banda in exchange for Manhattan Island in America."

Wow! I never knew that! (Told you I wasn't really a history buff.) No more New Amsterdam, huh? OK, this is really cool!

Well, not such a history buff, but the Dandi Salt march still reminds me of the Boston Tea Party. To think all this fantastic digression started w/an "Ewww!"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The British in India begins with Drake's circumnavigation start 1578, India 1580 -- Celebaelin, 19:19:30 09/05/03 Fri

Although it seems Drake approached the East Indies (India and the spice islands) from the East, the more usual route was from the West, via the Cape of Good Hope and Zanzibar. Rounding the Horn as well is just showing off!

I think the browse was worth while, I learnt some stuff (not least of which was the Manhattan thing).


[> Go Dawny!!!!! -- Rochefort, 20:52:41 09/02/03 Tue

This one pulled me out of my non-voting streak. GO DAWN!!


[> Re: Dawn vs Jasmine -- Apophis, 21:32:31 09/02/03 Tue

Now, on paper, Jasmine has an easy win. On the other hand, Communism works on paper, so paper is obviously not a trustworthy medium. What it all comes down to is this: while Jasmine can enthrall large amounts of people with only the power of her voice, Dawn can do That Thing with Her Hips, which, when properly harnessed, can level mountains and lay waste to cities. Besides, anyone who threatens to kill Spike in his sleep is golden in my book. In the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln, wholesome teenage cuteness with a sword beats facial maggots in this, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

[> Re: Dawn vs Jasmine -- Celebaelin, 05:22:13 09/03/03 Wed

Dawn is a rabidly self-centred, kleptomaniac, pure energy f**k-monster in the making with the finely honed musculature of a seasoned old pro, Jasmine is just as sweet as pie. So obviously Dawn wins.

[> Ex-PTB vs. glowing ball of green energy --- this could get complicated... -- Caira, 07:13:09 09/03/03 Wed

... but, really, who cares about a few funny-coloured fireworks that'll probably be on some plane us mere mortals can't conceive of anyway? Far more interesting would be something we know Dawn is good at and Jasmine showed a latent talent for in Peace Out... time for another WHINING CONTEST!

Now, on the surface Dawn may have all the advantages; years of experience in the art, abandonment issues up the wazoo, hell, teenage girl, but... nobody can wail, bemoan and beseech quite like a god, especially one who's just lost her favourite powers. Ol' maggot-face just goes on and on and on about all that's been lost while Dawn complains herself into a puddle of shiny green goo. Jasmine in a come-from-behind upset.

[> [> Well, if Glory proved anything-- -- HonorH, 08:22:13 09/03/03 Wed

--it's that gods can, indeed, out-whine just about anybody. However, I think even Jasmine might have a hard time out-whining the Geek Trio.

[> It's a blistering, no holds barred battle.... -- cjl, 07:24:25 09/03/03 Wed

....between Jasmine's gleaming smile and Dawnie's hypnotically shiny hair. The energy field surrounding the combatants warps reality and melts any human male within 250 km into a pool of hormonal ooze. In the end, the combination of Dawn's barely post-adolescent pulchritude and dimensions-spanning Key power and Jasmine's divine beauty brings the world to its knees, and we're all the better for it. The winner? Sorry, JBone, I left the contest behind about three sentences ago...

[> Re: Dawn vs Jasmine -- MaeveRigan, 07:40:27 09/03/03 Wed

Somewhere near the end of season six, I found myself reluctantly revising my views on Dawn. Up till then, I would have been perfectly happy if she had been sucked into another dimension, or eaten by Jasmine. Dawn the extraordinary is now one of my favorite characters, so I'm going to have to vote for her. Besides, Miss "Watcher, Jr." would have figured out the "keys" to defeating Jasmine about two episodes before Angel, Wes, and Fred. Goodbye, whatever-her-true-name-is!

[> [> Re: Dawn vs Jasmine -- jane, 09:47:21 09/03/03 Wed

Sorry, Jasmine. Dawn is so over that shiney happy crap! No way a former PTB could win against the former Key. Dawn just smiles and says, "even the PTBs sleep...." End of story.

Vlad the Impaler -- BuffyJunkie, 06:54:19 09/03/03 Wed

How about that, just had to mention it. Was at the video store and I noted a movie entitled "Dark Prince: the True Story of Dracula". Was rather amused to note that the fellow who plays Vlad was the same guy who plays Dracula in Buffy 5x01, Rudolph Martin.

Someone's probably brought it up already, it was made in 2000. Still, a spot of mild Buffy-related amusement.

[> It aired around the same time as his BtVS stint... -- Sofdog, 11:13:57 09/03/03 Wed

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