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Buffy essay from "ReasonOnline" -- MaeveRigan, 07:43:58 09/03/03 Wed

"Why Buffy Kicked Ass: The deep meaning of TV's favorite vampire slayer"
by Virginia Postrel
Reason Online

[> Re: Buffy essay from "ReasonOnline" -- DEN, 09:06:01 09/03/03 Wed

Perhaps the single most insightful essay yet written on the show's essential character. Thanks for posting the reference!

[> [> Re: Buffy essay from "ReasonOnline" -- jane, 09:37:33 09/03/03 Wed

Thanks for the link. Very thoughtful, and apt, especially since I just watched "Chosen" again last night! The essay reaffirms for me why Buffy is so compelling.

[> Re: Buffy essay from "ReasonOnline" -- Darby, 10:00:04 09/03/03 Wed

I didn't find it very insightful, but rather obvious, useful to those unfamiliar to the show but not to people who already know all of this. But I did enjoy reading it.

I did find it interesting how the show can, again and again, be used to expound the particular virtues important to the analyst. Sometimes the same characters or incidents are used to make diametrically opposed points. But then, that's often what happens here.

I'm wondering, though, why it seems to be unimportant that the principal characters don't really pay for their crimes - the writer is too familiar with the show to have missed that, right-?

[> [> Re: Paying for Crimes -- DEN, 11:49:09 09/03/03 Wed

Maybe I'm just being difficult, but it seems to me that for practical purposes nobody got a free pass. Buffy? Willow? Angel? Even Spike! The payments might have been on the karmic side rather than the legal one--but most of the really hard cases were also far over into the supernatural zone, and correspondingly difficult to integrate into real-world legal and moral systems (Giles/Ben probably the best example--though I think it invites comparison to the question of how to deal with the German POW in "Saving Private Ryan, or the issue of torture most recently raised by Dershowitz.)

[> [> [> nobody? -- anom, 21:49:35 09/03/03 Wed

"The payments might have been on the karmic side rather than the legal one--but most of the really hard cases were also far over into the supernatural zone, and correspondingly difficult to integrate into real-world legal and moral systems (Giles/Ben probably the best example...)"

It may be the best example of something the real-world systems couldn't deal with, but not of karmic payment. We haven't seen any kind of payment on the part of Giles for killing Ben. That doesn't necessarily mean he got a free pass; the payment could have happened offscreen, but the show hasn't addressed it.

[> Re: Buffy essay from "ReasonOnline" -- Claudia, 10:44:06 09/03/03 Wed

I don't know why, but that essay made me feel uneasy. It just did.

[> [> Re: Buffy essay from "ReasonOnline" -- DEN, 11:35:13 09/03/03 Wed

No snark intended, but its overall tone was very "conservative." The author's assertion that evil exists and cannot be negotiated away is particularly likely to make a good number of posters uncomfortable. It sounds so "Bushy"-- never mind whether or not it may be true!

[> [> [> Re: Buffy essay from "ReasonOnline" - Thank You! -- Claudia, 12:01:18 09/03/03 Wed

[No snark intended, but its overall tone was very "conservative." The author's assertion that evil exists and cannot be negotiated away is particularly likely to make a good number of posters uncomfortable. It sounds so "Bushy"-- never mind whether or not it may be true!]

Thank you! I think you've hit the mark! You're right. It did sound right-wing. It seemed as if the author was using the show to support the conservative politics of this country. And it made me feel uncomfortable.

[> [> [> [> Political Implications -- DickBD, 12:58:39 09/03/03 Wed

I have mixed feelings about Libertarians. I am all for personal liberties, but many Libertarians, most of them atheists, get very doctrinaire about such things as "evil" and the supposed magic of "privatizing."

However, there have been essays here by socialists who analyzed Buffy from that doctrinaire perspective, too. The same things have been done with Shakespeare. In that way, Buffy is not in such bad company.

[> I generally liked the essay, but there was one glaring omission.... -- cjl, 12:37:57 09/03/03 Wed

One of the most important statements of the series:

You Must Confront the Evil Within Yourself

To ignore this basic principle--that evil is within every human heart--is to give in to the arrogance of Quentin Travers and the Watchers, self-righteous crusaders who lost contact with the humanity they were supposed to help protect.

[> [> Excellent point, cjl -- MaeveRigan, 13:31:16 09/03/03 Wed

[> [> [> "I heartily agree!" (NT) -- Claudia, 14:05:59 09/03/03 Wed

[> [> Confronting the evil within is not a libertarian value, methinks. -- Dariel, 19:50:49 09/03/03 Wed

Probably why Postrel didn't get it.

[> [> [> If Joss had followed his instincts.... -- cjl, 20:01:53 09/03/03 Wed

....and went with a Buffy vs. Buffy confrontation as the capper of the First Evil plotline, even a vampire would have gotten the message of self-reflection.

[> [> [> [> gotten the message, maybe... -- anom, 22:18:59 09/03/03 Wed

...but still couldn't have followed the example.

Oh, there I go being all literal again. Although now that I think of it, seeing the FE in his form might have been the closest Spike had come in a century to seeing himself mirrored...maybe it was an opportunity for self-reflection! Well, between the beatings & the torture....

[> [> [> [> Repeat -- Claudia, 09:09:44 09/04/03 Thu

Wouldn't that have been a repeat of the Angel vs. Angeleus fight in "Orpheus"?

[> [> [> [> [> no more than 2 souled vampires are alike -- anom, 22:16:48 09/04/03 Thu

Maybe less so, since they wouldn't be aspects of the same personality (yeah, we could get into whether this is really true of Angel/us, but I won't). See quote #3 at top of main page...I think it applies here too.

[> Fight for you right to consume -- Buffyboy, 14:00:08 09/03/03 Wed

Reasononline. Free Minds and Free Markets.

Reasononline seems to be a journal, the overall orientation of which is agnostic or perhaps atheist and that further celebrates the virtues of the capitalist free market. Since I am agree with the former but definitely not the later I have a significant disagreement with the author.

Virginia Postrel believes that 9/11 was some type of watershed in American history. Prior to this date "wise men" believed that American culture was going to hell in a hand basket. According to these pundets Americans had become soft, self-indulgent and unwilling to fight for what was right. In a phrase these "wise men" believed that: "Americans had forgotten bourgeois virtue." But post-9/11 American has show the folly of these analyses and American have once again show their willingness to stand up and fight.

The issue here is just what is "bourgeois virtue?" And how does it relate to sanding up and fighting for what one believes is right? According to Postrel's analysis of the final Scooby meeting held in the halls of Sunnydale High just before the final battle, the connection between "bourgeois virtue" and the willingness to fight, and possibly die, for what one believes is right is crystal clear. Let me quote her remarks concerning this scene in full:

"So what do you guys want to do tomorrow?" Buffy asks her best friends as they walk to their final battle, a battle none expects to survive. "I was thinking of shopping, as per usual." Banter ensues about shoe cravings and the right look for a guy with an eye patch.
"Aren't we going to discuss this?" asks Giles, befuddled and a tad disapproving. "Save the world, and go to the mall?"
Well, yes. That's the world they're fighting for.

But are the Scooby's really fighting for the right to go to the mall? For the right to consume? I think most indefatigably not.

Prior to the 20th Century the bourgeois virtues were (to put it somewhat crudely, but hopefully not inaccurately), put your nose to the grindstone, work hard and then re-invest or save the fruits of your hard work. The 20th Century brought about one significant change in these virtues and they became, put your nose to the grindstone, work hard and consume the fruits of your labor. Whatever one thinks of these virtues (and they certainly not all bad), the one thing they have never inspired is heroism.

In the scene Postrel refers to above or in Dawn's comment near the very end of the episode to the effect that she must have fought on the wrong side because their actions have destroyed the mall, Postrel seems to miss the obvious point-it's a joke. The Scooby Gang isn't fighting for the right to consume but to defeat the manifestations of a palpable evil and the joke is actually used to emphasize this real motivation. Of course Buffy, Dawn, Willow and Xander like to consume, as do most American-myself include, but here is a dimension far more important, an ethical dimension. What motivates the Scoobies or in fact motivated the truly heroic actions in the wake of 9/11 (the actions of firefighters, police officers or just average citizens in the wake of the destruction or in order to prevent further destruction) was not the hope for the satisfactions of future consumption, but a confrontation with the reality of evil actions.

[> [> Re: Fight for you right to consume -- MaeveRigan, 14:31:24 09/03/03 Wed

Thanks for this! I'd just like to note that I posted the link, not because I agree with the editorial stances of ReasonOnline (if it matters to anyone, I don't) but in the interests of ATPo discussion.

I can't remember if anyone has already pointed this out, but surely it's obvious that when the "mall" topic arises again at the very end of "Chosen," it's not just a joke:

GILES: Yes, because the mall was actually in Sunnydale so there's no hope of going there tomorrow.

DAWN: We destroyed the mall? I fought on the wrong side.

XANDER: All those shops, gone. The Gap, Starbucks, Toy R Us...who will remember all those landmarks unless we tell the world of them?

Since all of these stores are chains with branches in almost every mall in every city, they may be read as a metaphor for the Evil that may be "scrunched" in Sunnydale, but can never be destroyed.

I had to laugh when the re-run of "Chosen" was followed by "Buffy the Vampire Slayer, sponsored by McDonalds!" Oh yes - FE is still quite active ;-) And isn't it nice to know that little "Doublemeat Palace" skirmish didn't do any permanent damage?

[> [> [> Re: Fight for you right to consume -- skeeve, 07:58:29 09/04/03 Thu

MaeveRigan: I can't remember if anyone has already pointed this out, but surely it's obvious that when the "mall" topic arises again at the very end of "Chosen," it's not just a joke:

Twasn't obvious to me.

Also, it took me a couple readings before I realized that "not just a joke" meant not only a joke.

[> [> Re: Fight for your right to consume -- Vickie, 14:53:20 09/03/03 Wed

Exactly! As if Ms. Postrel doesn't get irony!

BYW, good to see you posting!

[> Re: Thanks for the FYI -- aliera, 16:09:35 09/03/03 Wed

I missed this one.

When She Was Bad and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder -- Rochefort, 09:54:35 09/03/03 Wed

When She Was Bad is one of my favorite all time episodes. To me, it rings incredibly real; I'd have only liked to have seen its content stretched across a few episodes. Anyway, I think it was utterly brilliant. I was wondering if anyone else agrees with me, however, that in When She Was Bad, Buffy is experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Joss goes out of his way to give her almost every single symptom (as described in the DSM-IV). It's too bad it's only an hour because it's the realest portryal of the struggle to overcome the aftermath of a shocking and violent trauma I've seen.

[> Re: When She Was Bad and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder -- ponygirl, 10:13:31 09/03/03 Wed

I think that's probably a pretty accurate way of describing what Buffy was going through. I wonder though if she ever really got over it. Looking back it seems like a lot of Buffy's issues got their start in WSWB: her superiority complex stemming from experiencing something no one else could understand; the inferiority complex as a result of her friend-endangering actions; the emotional distance. And most of these issues Buffy supressed by episode's end under the larger fear of being abandoned by her friends.

It is a great episode, my very first BtVS, and that sequence of Buffy entering the Bronze to "Sugar Water" instantly won my heart forever.

[> [> Re: When She Was Bad and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder -- Rochefort, 18:27:23 09/04/03 Thu

I think I quite agree with you, ponygirl, that many of the WSWB issues Buffy never got over. I think the death at the end of season 1 formed part of her character. :(


[> Not quite sure I would diagnosis her this way -- Diana, 12:58:51 09/03/03 Wed

I'd probably label it just "Adjustment Disorder." The trauma was severe, but she doesn't manifest the persistent increased arousal required by criterion D for PTSD. This is typically the most pathognomonic symptom and without it, it isn't PTSD. Without D-F, it isn't PTSD. Not really sure C is there either, seeing as she brought it up with her nice dance with Xander.

She was persistently, I believe the technical term is, bitchy.

OT: Asking for future help from teachers/(in training) -- Seven, 10:18:13 09/03/03 Wed


I am currently an Education (Secondary English) Major at Temple University. I am also a (somewhat) longtime lurker/poster on this board.

I am just beginnging an education class that deals mainly with computers and how to incorporate them into class lessons.

Being a future English teacher i never really thought that i would use them much in my discussions, but this class will require that i create a lesson plan doing just that.

I am asking anyone with experiance in this area to give me some suggestions on this. I know that there are some great writers on this board and this is me hoping that there are some great teachers as well.


[> One possibility -- Darby, 11:29:46 09/03/03 Wed

What you can do may depend upon what is available - but one approach is the Scavenger Hunt, where you give the students items to find - sources, specific information, whatever - that will force them to utilize their electronic resources.

I do a lab exercise with classes that will either need to abstract electronic sources or write research papers, so I'm very vague in what I have them look for (each person can be looking for information for their own paper), and am more concerned that they understand how our library's databases and internet search engines and webpages / websites work. And it covers plagiarism, a huge problem that I've been forced to become expert at detecting. But, even if it doesn't directly hit your needs, at least it shows you one possible approach.

[> Re: OT: Asking for future help from teachers/(in training) -- mamcu, 11:54:20 09/03/03 Wed

There are many ways! I've been teaching English for many years, and computers improved it drastically. Now I teach a literature course online, so the whole course is computers.

First and most important is getting students to learn to revise their writing. Best of all is to try to get them to write the very first draft on the computer, and then give you a print out for comments--then they use those to make changes. They will find the revisions much easier, and they will love the way a printed page looks so neat compared to a handwritten page with many corrections.

You can get them to email drafts of their writing to each other and to you--MS Word and most other programs have nice reviewing tools that let you put comments in.

Using email for discussions of what they read out of class is excellent--my school sets up an online discussion board sort of like this one for any class.

Use the computer for research--but you'll need to teach them how to evaluate what they find. I like to show them some really trashy sites and some good ones on the same topic, and let them see the difference. Also you need to talk with them about how they can locate the author of a page, and why they might not trust a site with no author!

My favorite assignment involves getting a group of students to read a story or poem, generate a list of questions about it (such as historical background, different critical questions, author, etc.), and then all look for the material. They put all that research into an annotated bibliography and then write research questions based on that research. You have to work with them, review the links they find, show them how to do an annotated bibiliography, teach them the right way to use and document sources, etc. It can take several weeks before they even start the paper, so expect it to be some work for you and them. But you could shorten it by just looking for one question and not assigning the paper. And if they're really good and you have the resources, you or they could put the projects online! I've seen some excellent high school projects like this--here's one:

Also there are lots of grammar, style, and documentation sites online. The Purdue University Writing Center is excellent.

Good luck!

[> Re: OT: Asking for future help from teachers/(in training) -- Diana's Hubby, 14:19:01 09/03/03 Wed

How to best use the computer in the lesson plan depends a lot on what your lesson plan will cover. If you let me know what you would be teaching, I might be able to come up with a few ideas for you.

One of the most commonly used programs is Microsoft PowerPoint. If you have a computer/laptop wired into a projector you can use it instead of or in addition to a chalk/dry erase board. You can design a presentation that has the main talking points of your lecture, demonstrations of actions you need the class to complete, as well as video and audio clips. It is a pretty versitile program and adds some eye candy to the lecture. Instead of just listening to you talk, students can watch the screen and be visually reminded of what it is they are listening to. I use it all the time for a variety of classes I teach ranging from basic navigation, to how to use certain technical publications.

[> [> Thanks Guys!! -- Seven, 17:20:47 09/03/03 Wed

You've all given me a great start.

I realize that I was vague in my questions but that is because the project was only mentioned today and will not be due until the end of the month, so I have no idea what it will cover. I just wanted to get a head start on brainstorming.

I will have to include about 4 days (40 minute classes) worth of work, so I may put all your ideas to good use (as well as some of my own of course!!)

Again, thanks so much, I'm glad that I could count on this board for help. (and glad to know there are other teachers out there!)


Aack, somebody scold me! -- Sheri, 14:40:33 09/03/03 Wed

Ok, I really really need to be working... so somebody lecture me to get back to work and quit checking the board every three seconds.

'Cause I have NO WILL POWER!

[> Bad Sheri! No biscuit! -- Alison, who should be doing her English paper ;), 14:48:11 09/03/03 Wed

[> Sheri: Don't you mean no Will-ow power!! -- Ann, 15:40:41 09/03/03 Wed

[> Re: Aack, somebody scold me! -- aliera, 16:13:39 09/03/03 Wed

Hard to scold you for that... we're much more fun. ;-)

[> It's ok Sheri, you're not alone! :-) -- jane, 16:44:19 09/03/03 Wed

[> i know the feeling, sheri! -- anom, 22:48:36 09/03/03 Wed

I've got plenty I need to get done, but it's really hard to stay away from the board! How about you make a look at the board a reward for each hour of work?...half hour?...fifteen minutes?

Maybe we could form a support group....

Cordelia vs Glory -- JBone, 20:17:24 09/03/03 Wed

She was kind of like Cordelia actually. I'm pretty sure she dies her hair!


Post comments at Showtime, here, or email me.

[> *Sigh* Which Cordy? -- HonorH, 20:43:19 09/03/03 Wed

Fashion queen Cordelia from BtVS? Vision girl of AtS seasons 1-2? Pod-delia of S3? Cordevilia of S4? Too many choices. Thus, I'm voting for Glory.

[> Re: Cordelia vs Glory -- Apophis, 21:15:17 09/03/03 Wed

Fashion-related insults abound in this war of wits. Even though Glory could snap Cordelia like balsa wood, she'd have to penetrate a solid wall of biting sarcasm and verbal abuse. Before she got the chance to eat Cordy's brain, Glory would be so humiliated by the onslaught that she'd throw herself into the heart of a star... or something. Besides, Cordy deserves to kill a god or two as payback for how she's been treated by the Powers That Be (and not the ones that sent her visions).

[> Okay, we've got to set up some rules for this particular face-off. -- cjl, 21:25:15 09/03/03 Wed

In order to ensure fairness, Glory either has to (a) face off against Higher Being Cordelia, or (b) engage Cordy in a non-powered snark-off. If it's (a), power levels are equal, and Cordy's frustration over not being able to shop on our plane of existence beats out Glory's "I could crap a better world than this" angst. If it's (b), Queen C would level a character whose personality is a cheap imitation of Cordy's in the first place. Either way, Cordy wins. Big.

[> Re: Cordelia vs Glory -- Celebaelin, 05:49:43 09/04/03 Thu

Catfight, tending towards the verbal and largely using haute couture for ammunition. Cordy's visions give her the edge and her final devastating 'Milan, please, that is so next season' leaves Glory utterly stumped, wondering how formality became hijacked to such an extent that a human with an apartment like this could know about it in advance. Cordy sighs, looks at herself between profile and three-quarter in the mirror, quietly whispers 'probably' to herself, and then pushes Glory out of the door before investigating the victory salami.

[> Gloriosky! -- MaeveRigan, 07:55:42 09/04/03 Thu

I'm going with Season 5 Cordelia, i.e., A2 Cordy, before the whole "higher being," almost-a-demon thing. And in that contest, Glory is not only more petulant than merely-human Cordelia, she physically crushes her like a bug. Oh no - there go Angel seasons 3 and 4! And in some ways, mightn't we all be the better for it? At least we'd never have the awful vision of Cordelia/Connor in our minds. Well, a girl can dream ;-) Apologies to Cordelia fans everywhere!

[> Which Cordy, indeed. -- deeva, 09:22:47 09/04/03 Thu

I think it's best to just go with the last incarnation of the character that we've all seen. Cause if we had all of the different personas of each character facing off against others, this contest would drag on forever. So anyway, despite Glory's godly strength, she's got those wicked migraines to deal with. Cordy on the other hand, pre-coma, pre-baby, post-higher being would eventually smack down the god of bad home perms and lopsided arses. But Cordy would certainly stop to swap notes on clothes and shoes.

[> Re: Cordelia vs Glory -- Anneth, 13:44:05 09/04/03 Thu

Again, much consideration took place before I voted. Finally, I realized that nobody could cut another down to size like Queen C. Glory mostly lounged around and whined; essentially the worst she could do to Spike was tenderize him a little and stick a finger into his chest. Cordelia, on the other hand, made the wish that arguably spawned Vamp Willow. And she wasn't even trying to wreak havoc. Cordy victorious.

Frustration = Greatness in "Buffy" and "Angel" -- Laura, 22:52:24 09/03/03 Wed

I was currently watching some re-runs of "Buffy" and "Angel" episodes when something occured to me. There are many reasons why these shows are so great (good scripts, music, actors, camera work, etc.) but one rather odd one stood out from among them. Many times during these shows Joss and co. do stuff that drives me nuts. They wreck much loved relationships, destroy our hopes, make characters do annoying things, and pull the floor out from under us audience members turning our entire perception of that world upside-down.

This is what I think makes them fantastic shows. They doesn't let us get too comfortable and though most of us want to strangle them at times, I believe is a reason we keep coming back.

Am I making any sense?

[> Indeed you are... -- AngelVSAngelus, 23:32:23 09/03/03 Wed

and that particular secret of great storytelling that seems to get over looked by too many today is not necessarily frustrating the audience, but avoiding audience pandering. Story is served to communicate and simultaneously entertain, ideally, not just cater to the whims and desires of the audience.

The Firefly Movie: a win-win situation for Joss and the fans -- cjl, 07:40:37 09/04/03 Thu

In case you haven't heard, MCA/Universal bought the rights to Firefly from Fox, and they've given Joss the go-ahead: he's gonna write (and direct!) his movie.

Here's the poop from the Hollywood Reporter:

The short-lived TV series "Firefly" is moving to the big screen. After taking his "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" feature film and turning it into a successful TV series, Joss Whedon is about to do the reverse with another one of his creations. Whedon has teamed with Universal Pictures to turn "Firefly," a TV cult favorite, into a feature film.

In addition to having adapted it for the big screen, Whedon will also make his feature directorial debut with the project. Plans are to see "Firefly" go into production in first-quarter 2004.

Universal recently acquired the rights to "Firefly" from 20th Century Fox Television, where Whedon's Mutant Enemy Inc. production company has a television deal.

The action-adventure series was set 500 years in the future and centered on a crew aboard a spaceship. The feature version will incorporate the mythology from the show but will take on a more epic feel. Whedon hopes to enlist the entire cast to come back for the feature, depending on their previous commitments, with new characters added as well.

Whedon is producing the film through his Mutant Enemy Inc. along with studio-based producer Barry Mendell. Mendell, a former agent at UTA, used to represent Whedon. Mutant Enemy president Christopher Buchanan is executive producing. Universal production president Mary Parent is shepherding the project.

"Ever since the show went off the air, our fan base has grown even more," Buchanan said. "We've had tremendous outpouring from the U.S. and Canada as well as the U.K., which just finished a run of 'Firefly' over there. Every comic book and sci-fi convention has had a 'Firefly' presence since the show first aired."

For the series, which ran this past season, Whedon produced 15 hours of television, including a two-hour episode. Three shows never aired on Fox but will likely be featured on the series' DVD release, due out in December. Buchanan said fans created such a demand that DVD presales on sold out within 24 hours.


This is a gutsy move by Universal, banking on Firefly's cult audience and Whedon's track record with Buffy and Angel to sell tickets to the movie. It could easily turn into a $70-100 million disaster if they put out the film and the North American public is paralyzed by not caring very much, but I have to applaud the daring.

So, as I said in the message subject, it's win-win:

Joss gets his big-as-the-universe movie budget toybox, and a chance to redeem his "failed" project. Maybe with a movie budget, Joss can make his Firefly universe more compelling.

We get to see the Serenity crew again. More River! More Jayne! More Wash! More Book! (Ron Glass, one of my favorite unsung comic actors.)

I get to see Gina Torres on a 30-foot movie screen.

The women in the audience get another eyeful of Captain Tightpants. (Joss and Nathan Fillon have a chance to scrub all memories of Caleb out of our brains.)

And good news for those ANGEL fans who think Jeff Bell and Steve DeKnight were doing just fine without Joss (you know who you are)--Joss will be kinda busy for the next year or so, and won't have as much time for ANGEL.

Numfar, do the dance of joy. And direct it. In technicolor.

[> Yay! -- ponygirl, 08:04:13 09/04/03 Thu

Though I imagine it's going to be tricky to write it as something that can work for people without any prior knowledge of the show and still give the fans the characters they know and love.

This has got to be very cool for Joss. Talk about going full circle - from the failure of his movie he creates BtVS and now from his failed tv series he makes a movie. I still have a nagging worry about Joss not giving his full attention to AtS, but maybe that's just me. It is a happy day! All that and Space starts airing Firefly on Monday!

[> It's a shame my cubicle is so tiny... -- Sheri, 08:52:20 09/04/03 Thu

'Cause I'm really wanting to do some cartwheels right about now!

Thanks for spreading the truly cool news!

[> Taking back the skies -- Valheru, 12:03:30 09/04/03 Thu

Woohoo! There's a party in my eye socket and everyone's invited!

I really have a good feeling about this. If Joss can get most everyone else back, cast and crew, then I'm pretty confident he can make a damn fine movie. I mean, what would be different between making the television series and the motion picture? 1) No inept Fox idiots forcing changes (though Universal could very well be just as idiotic), 2) the freedom to produce without the pressure-cooker that is a TV schedule, 3) bigger budget.

The thing is, Joss has already made some shows that if I didn't know better, I'd think they were movies. "Becoming", "Amends", "Graduation Day", "Hush", "Restless", "The Body", "The Gift", "OMWF", "City Of...", "Chosen". All very cinematic episodes, despite having tiny-for-Hollywood budgets. But "Serenity" is the test case. Frankly, I'm kinda mad that Fox aired the episode at all, since I could easily envision it as a movie with a little re-working. If "Serenity" is anything to go by, then the movie should be wonderful.

The only concern I have at this point is the possibility of Joss developing delusions of grandeur. With "Motion Picture" in the title, Joss could get a little flamboyant and allow the flash and style to overwhelm everything else. But hopefully, Joss has been tempered enough to overcome such tendencies and make a hell of a movie.

BTW, any word on what Tim Minear's involvment is at this point?

As for AtS, I'm not that worried. They've already gone through, what? 4 episodes? Probably 11 by the holidays break. So the season will be half completed before Joss would start diverting most of his time to Firefly. And I think Bell, DeKnight, and Fury proved in S4 that they could produce AtS handily on their own. So as long as Joss still has time to break the episodes, things should be fine. And I'd expect production of Firefly to be pretty swift, so Joss might be into post-production in time to possibly squeeze in one more AtS episode before the end of the season.

[> [> as for AtS -- celticross, 17:22:07 09/04/03 Thu

And besides, AtS has never had the kind of hands on involvement from Joss that BtVS did, and I don't think anyone would complain about the overall quality of the show.

[> Re: The Firefly Movie: a win-win situation for Joss and the fans -- Ace_of_Sevens, 12:58:21 09/04/03 Thu

"This is a gutsy move by Universal, banking on Firefly's cult audience and Whedon's track record with Buffy and Angel to sell tickets to the movie. It could easily turn into a $70-100 million disaster if they put out the film and the North American public is paralyzed by not caring very much, but I have to applaud the daring."

I don't think it's that risky. Joss comes from a TV background, the actors are cheap and the Serenity set is already bult. I'd be shocked if the movie cost more than $40 million. It will probably be a lot less.

[> [> Really? They kept the Serenity sets up on the Fox lot? -- cjl, 13:02:49 09/04/03 Thu

Yeah, that could knock the price tag down a bit.

But I could also see Joss going nuts with FX and crowded spaceport shots (like he had in "Serenity"), which could pump the budget back up again. Let's see how much rope--uh, money--Universal is willing to lay out for this project.

[> [> [> Re: Really? They kept the Serenity sets up on the Fox lot? -- shambleau, 13:14:17 09/04/03 Thu

Nah, it's been torn down. Read an announcement months ago. And give him all the rope you want boys. Please.

[> [> [> [> Re: Really? They kept the Serenity sets up on the Fox lot? -- Ace_of_Sevens, 16:21:00 09/04/03 Thu

The Serenity has been disassembled and put in storage, but not completely torn down. Should be fairly easy on the budget.

And keep in mind the two-hour premiere where Joss went nuts still only cost $9 million to make. A movie would cost more, but not an order of magnitude more.

[> What's a word that outdoes "ecstatic"? Wheee!!! -- shambleau, 13:01:16 09/04/03 Thu

Never mind, it'll do for now. Firefly was my favorite ME show last year. Get goosebumps just thinking of Joss pulling this off. I've always thought that he would be a terrific movie writer/director. He has an amazing visual flair and I expect great things. I don't know whether it will be a popular success, but I'll do my part by going multiple times and dragging along friends and acquaintances. Hell, I may invite strangers!

Joss gets to be the writer AND director! No script by committee! (Although if he called in Tim Minear to help out, I wouldn't complain.) If Universal has agreed to this, I think the chances of them interfering are not that great. Did he get a big budget, though? Does anybody know? I doubt if Universal is willing to risk that, although I don't think that a big budget would go to Joss's head anyway.

It is SO nice to have something to look forward to! AtS wasn't doing it for me. I was hoping that Joss could keep me watching Angel, even though the only character I have an emotional connection to now is Wesley. I agree that Joss has got enough time to set a direction and tone for the show before he hops to the movie. I hope it's a direction I can get into.

[> [> I agree regarding AtS! -- Robert, 15:59:27 09/04/03 Thu

>>> It is SO nice to have something to look forward to! AtS wasn't doing it for me.

AtS has held my interest much less than BtVS or Firefly. I am a sci-fi junky to start with. I have always prefered science fiction to fantasy. They only character in AtS for whom I truly cared was Cordelia, and know she's gone. Alas!

On the other hand, I share some of the misgivings expressed by others regarding a Firefly movie. I'm not yet willing to accept that Universal will truly give Joss Whedon full artistic control. I'm afraid that ultimately he (and all of us) will be screwed by the powers-that-be. If he is able to retain control, then I have no doubt that he will create something awesome and wonderful.

[> [> Re: What's a word that outdoes "ecstatic"? Wheee!!! -- lcolford, 00:57:10 09/05/03 Fri

Euphoria. At last some vindication after the FOX debacle. From the little I've read about Joss he has mentioned his desire to direct a feature and this provides him with a perfect set up.
What first time director can walk in on a project where an ensemble cast already know their characters, get along together, the sets are already in storage for the crew (waiting for the good word, I venture) to reassemble. The big snafu will be creative control, final edit and promotion.
Fortunately, the Firefly fan 'verse is already taking the show to the road via sci-fi conventions to promote the dvds and now, the Big.Damn.Movie. One just finished in Toronto where people packed in a small room to watch all the eps and sing the "Jayne" song!

[> So excited! -- Nino, 16:59:10 09/04/03 Thu

[> It won't be ready for the July 2004 meet, will it? -- Arethusa, 19:37:09 09/04/03 Thu

Maybe three months for filming, and what-six months for post-production? It would be very cool if were out during the meet.

Find out which moral philosopher you most resemble -- Sophist, 09:19:20 09/04/03 Thu


[> Cool! -- Earl Allison, 10:01:12 09/04/03 Thu

Thanks for the link, here are the top five I came out with;

Jean-Paul Sartre (100%)
Aquinas (93%)
Kant (90%)
David Hume (85%)
Aristotle (84%)

I'm especially happy with Aquinas -- I always appreciated his stance that, even being Christian, he could see that (in his view) Man could override the Divine Gift of Life by his own actions, and therefore be eligible for capital punishment -- and no, I'm not a bloodthirsty monster :)

Take it and run.

[> Huh. -- Arethusa, 11:29:24 09/04/03 Thu

1. Kant (100%)
2. John Stuart Mill (91%)
3. Aquinas (84%)
4. Ayn Rand (72%)
5. Prescriptivism (68%)

How on earth did Rand get up there? I dislike her philosophy quite a bit. And my Sartre-O-Meter is below 50%. I'm a bad, bad existentialist.

[> The answer is -- skeeve, 11:46:12 09/04/03 Thu

Alfred P. Doolittle.

[> Interesting...Jean Paul Sartre -- s'kat, 11:52:36 09/04/03 Thu

Considering I've never been ablt to get myself to read Sartre - this is fascinating in of itself. ;-)

The other is John Stuart Mill - 91%
Sartre with 100%
Kant with 89%.
I have the least in common with the Stoics, St. Augustine, and the Cynics. (no real surprise there)

Does that make me an existentialist? ;-)

[> [> Hmmm took it again and it's Kant then JS Mill. Sartre is 4th -- s'kat, 21:26:59 09/04/03 Thu

1. Kant (100%) Click here for info
2. John Stuart Mill (98%) Click here for info
3. Epicureans (82%) Click here for info
4. Jean-Paul Sartre (80%) Click here for info
5. Prescriptivism (71%) Click here for info
6. Jeremy Bentham (66%) Click here for info
7. Spinoza (65%) Click here for info
8. Ayn Rand (57%) Click here for info
9. Aquinas (56%) Click here for info
10. Aristotle (54%) Click here for info
11. Nietzsche (52%) Click here for info
12. Ockham (52%) Click here for info
13. Nel Noddings (45%) Click here for info
14. Stoics (38%) Click here for info
15. David Hume (35%) Click here for info
16. Thomas Hobbes (32%) Click here for info
17. St. Augustine (27%) Click here for info
18. Cynics (15%) Click here for info
19. Plato (10%) Click here for info

Have no idea what Prescriptivisim is and like Darby, never heard of John Stuart Mill, but he seems to be the most consistent, with Kant and Sartre changing places. ;-)

good news - Rand went down several places. The Bottom three
changed slightly maybe my philosophy depends on my mood?? ;-)

[> [> Sartre it is -- tomfool, 09:16:03 09/05/03 Fri

Hmm. I get 100% with Sartre too (with a dash of Hume, Noddings, and Nietzsche). Maybe that's why lots of your stuff resonates with me.

[> I get -- KdS, 12:00:51 09/04/03 Thu

1. Kant (100%) Click here for info
2. John Stuart Mill (98%)
3. Aquinas (90%)
4. Aristotle (87%)
5. Jeremy Bentham (85%)
6. Epicureans (82%)
7. Spinoza (77%)
8. Jean-Paul Sartre (67%)
9. Prescriptivism (64%)
10. Stoics (58%)

And I suspect you may get Rand if you place a high value on reason, even if what conclusions you draw by reason are very different from hers.

[> There will be no Aquinas at this table! -- Masq, 12:06:59 09/04/03 Thu

I did this quiz back in July. OK, Spinoza I totally get. But Aquinas? Plus, I thought Hume would be higher.

1. Aquinas (100%)
2. Spinoza (99%)
3. Aristotle (92%)
4. John Stuart Mill (82%)
5. Epicureans (78%)
6. Jeremy Bentham (69%)
7. St. Augustine (58%)
8. Kant (55%)
9. Ockham (53%)
10. Jean-Paul Sartre (49%)
11. Prescriptivism (41%)
12. Plato (40%)
13. Stoics (37%)
14. Ayn Rand (35%)
15. Nel Noddings (28%)
16. Nietzsche (22%)
17. Cynics (14%)
18. David Hume (14%)
19. Thomas Hobbes (4%)

[> [> Who is this Aquinas guy, and why is he at my table? -- Rufus, 15:01:58 09/04/03 Thu

1. Aquinas (100%)
2. Jeremy Bentham (87%)
3. Plato (86%) Click here for info
4. Aristotle (84%)
5. Ayn Rand (73%)
6. John Stuart Mill (73%)
7. Jean-Paul Sartre (71%)
8. St. Augustine (68%)
9. Epicureans (61%)
10. Kant (61%)
11. David Hume (58%)
12. Nietzsche (58%)
13. Spinoza (50%)
14. Thomas Hobbes (49%)
15. Prescriptivism (45%)
16. Stoics (43%)
17. Nel Noddings (38%)
18. Cynics (36%)
19. Ockham (28%)

[> [> [> He told a fable / While at my table / Yes, he was here / But he had no beer -- OnM (4% Burma Shave), 20:07:04 09/04/03 Thu

Ye Aulde Top Ten for meself:

1. Aquinas (100%)
2. John Stuart Mill (84%)
3. Jean-Paul Sartre (76%)
4. Spinoza (76%)
5. St. Augustine (74%)
6. Kant (70%)
7. Prescriptivism (70%)
8. Ockham (68%)
9. Aristotle (54%)
10. Epicureans (54%)

Does anyone here have enough time to waste curiousity to make up a board profile from these listings?

Might be, uhhh, something, that's for sure.


[> [> [> [> Colour me philisophically confused.. -- jane, 20:27:01 09/04/03 Thu

1. John Stuart Mill 100%

[> [> [> [> [> and my posting skills challenged. -- jane, 20:32:05 09/04/03 Thu

oops, hit send too soon! To continue:
2.Aquinas 91%
3.Jeremy Bentham 91%
4.Epicureans 84%
5.Kant 82%
Have no clue as to what this says about my philisophical stand.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Thinking of doing my own philosophical research, just in a slightly different venue. -- OnM, knowing a real philosopher when he sees Mel Blanc, 21:18:19 09/04/03 Thu

Which of the following best describes the fundamental dynamic and/or paradigm of the Roadrunnerverse?

( ) The Coyote is a metaphor for Sisyphus, but the Roadrunner is not the rock, it is God. The rock is Acme.

( ) Gravity in the Roadrunnerverse is a metaphor for situational morality.

( ) Acme represents the military-industrial complex and its misuse by elements of extremist right-wing social forces.

( ) The Roadrunner only appears to be mono-linguistic, in reality it is merely commenting satirically on the Coyote's obsessional behavior.

( ) Anvils are heavy, and Dr. Strange is always changing size.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> hmmm....... -- lynx, 01:51:14 09/06/03 Sat

arrgghh. i cannot decide between these three.....

( ) Gravity in the Roadrunnerverse is a metaphor for situational morality.

( ) Acme represents the military-industrial complex and its misuse by elements of extremist right-wing social forces.

( ) The Roadrunner only appears to be mono-linguistic, in reality it is merely commenting satirically on the Coyote's obsessional behavior.

[> Spinoza, Sartre and J.S. Mill. I can live with that. -- cjl, 12:14:18 09/04/03 Thu

My results:

1. Spinoza (100%)
2. Jean-Paul Sartre (82%)
3. John Stuart Mill (77%)
4. Kant (74%)
5. Prescriptivism (72%)
6. Aquinas (68%)
7. Epicureans (68%)
8. Nietzsche (66%)
9. Ockham (63%)
10. Jeremy Bentham (62%)
11. St. Augustine (55%)
12. Aristotle (50%)
13. Stoics (47%)
14. David Hume (38%)
15. Nel Noddings (28%)
16. Thomas Hobbes (27%)
17. Ayn Rand (23%)
18. Plato (20%)
19. Cynics (15%)

[> Uh oh... -- Darby, 12:32:17 09/04/03 Thu

Here we go...

Do I get booted from the board if I admit that I don't know who my lead guy is? Yes? Oh, never mind then...

1. John Stuart Mill (100%)
2. Kant (96%)
3. Jeremy Bentham (78%)
4. Prescriptivism (77%)
5. Jean-Paul Sartre (74%)
6. Ayn Rand (66%)
7. Epicureans (56%)
8. Aquinas (40%)
9. Spinoza (34%)
10. Aristotle (33%)
11. Ockham (31%)
12. Nel Noddings (28%)
13. Stoics (21%)
14. Thomas Hobbes (20%)
15. Plato (20%)
16. Nietzsche (17%)
17. St. Augustine (17%)
18. Cynics (14%)
19. David Hume (13%)

[> [> Re: Uh oh... -- Masq, 13:08:26 09/04/03 Thu

A spoonful of Buffy helps the philosophy go down...

[> [> [> Thanks! -- Darby, 13:56:12 09/04/03 Thu

You piqued my interest enough to get me looking further, and from

I find it really isn't too far off from me.

[> [> [> Hmmm what happens if you have Kant and Mill? Schizophrenic? -- s'kat, 21:31:43 09/04/03 Thu

Okay according to this Kant and Mill's theories are opposed.

"Utilitarianism is more accurately stated as "Choose the act in a circumstance that would produce a greater balance of benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness to those involved over mischief, pain, evil, or unhappiness to those involved."

For example, in Revelations Xander argues that "lots of dead people" constitutes a reason to kill Angel--one human soul dying (Angel's) is better than many human souls dying (his potential victims). If Xander can show that it is likely that Angel will lose his soul again, then on Utilitarian grounds, Angel should die to save the possible consequences of Angelus' reemergence. Utilitarianism can be opposed Immanuel Kant's Deontological Ethics."

So uhm how is it possible to have 100% Kant and 89% Mill??
I get 100% Sartre and Mill....

[> [> Soul Mates! -- Sara, feeling very philosophical, 15:59:27 09/04/03 Thu

Same number one as Darby, but how did Ayn Rand end up in my number 2 spot? It's not true!!!! NO! NO! NO!

1. John Stuart Mill (100%)
2. Ayn Rand (76%)
3. Kant (75%)
4. Aquinas (72%)
5. Jeremy Bentham (71%)
6. Aristotle (64%)
7. Jean-Paul Sartre (56%)
8. Epicureans (56%)
9. Spinoza (47%)
10. Prescriptivism (46%)
11. Stoics (45%)
12. David Hume (43%)
13. Plato (40%)
14. St. Augustine (36%)
15. Cynics (35%)
16. Nietzsche (33%)
17. Thomas Hobbes (33%)
18. Nel Noddings (19%)
19. Ockham (17%)

[> [> [> Rand -- Masq, 16:20:22 09/04/03 Thu

See KdS's comment above, or, I'll just reproduce it here:

"And I suspect you may get Rand if you place a high value on reason, even if what conclusions you draw by reason are very different from hers."

[> I pretty much agree with the list, for the most part -- Diana, 12:39:55 09/04/03 Thu

1. Jean-Paul Sartre
2. Nel Noddings
3. Jeremy Bentham
4. Nietzsche
5. St. Augustine

Though I'm not an existentialist, damn it. Life has meaning, but it is the individual's responsibility to find what this is. We don't give meaning, we discover it. The Word of God is written on the Heart. The more the individual is in touch with this (conscious or unconscious), the better our "choices" will be and the happier they will make us. Happiness is the way we know we are in touch with this.

[> I do not consider this an honest test -- Celebaelin, 12:51:19 09/04/03 Thu

For what it's worth

1. Kant (100%)
2. Ayn Rand (89%)
3. Aquinas (88%)
4. Stoics (84%)
5. Aristotle (84%)
6. John Stuart Mill (78%)
7. Spinoza (73%)
8. Prescriptivism (70%)
9. Nietzsche (69%)
10. Jeremy Bentham (62%)
11. Epicureans (61%)
12. St. Augustine (59%)
13. Plato (54%)
14. David Hume (51%)
15. Ockham (50%)
16. Cynics (48%)
17. Jean-Paul Sartre (44%)
18. Nel Noddings (34%)
19. Thomas Hobbes (30%)

Even by the outlines of the 'click here for info' listings I don't agree with Kant '100%' and the only item on the list that I'd agree with Ayn Rand about is that we have free will (see also KdS). How the blue bloody blazes did Nietzsche end up higher than Bentham?

For Bentham look at

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Jeremy Bentham


The UCL Bentham Project


[> Interesting, I'm both 100% Aquinas and 100% Kant -- fresne, 13:17:28 09/04/03 Thu

1. Aquinas (100%) Click here for info
2. Kant (100%) Click here for info
3. Jean-Paul Sartre (93%) Click here for info
4. Spinoza (90%) Click here for info
5. John Stuart Mill (80%) Click here for info
6. St. Augustine (75%) Click here for info
7. Prescriptivism (73%) Click here for info
8. Aristotle (69%) Click here for info
9. Ayn Rand (68%) Click here for info
10. Jeremy Bentham (62%) Click here for info
11. Ockham (62%) Click here for info
12. Stoics (49%) Click here for info
13. Plato (46%) Click here for info
14. Nel Noddings (40%) Click here for info
15. Nietzsche (40%) Click here for info
16. Epicureans (38%) Click here for info
17. Cynics (20%) Click here for info
18. David Hume (18%) Click here for info
19. Thomas Hobbes (0%) Click here for info

Although, I could swear I've done this test before and gotten different answers. Probably the level of caffeine in my philosophy.

[> [> you too, fresne? At least I'm not alone :) -- celticross, 17:15:09 09/04/03 Thu

[> [> Thanks! - I just want to let you know I'm keeping this one for posterity. -- OnM, 20:23:25 09/04/03 Thu

*** Although, I could swear I've done this test before and gotten different answers. Probably the level of caffeine in my philosophy. ***

[> [> [> Whoops! Dropped tag! Attn: archivers, sorry! -- OnM, 20:25:42 09/04/03 Thu

[> I selected 'Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices' for almost all of them. -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:03:09 09/04/03 Thu

I've given up trying to create my own moral philosophy for the time being. I've found that, while I may believe something to be right or wrong, my conscience doesn't necessarily obey. I may do something I consider wrong but feel OK about it. Likewise, I might do something I consider OK and feel bad. So my current moral philosophy amounts to simply: I'm just gonna do what feels right, whether or not it seems wrong from a concious perspective. Any clue which philosopher this would fall under (really wasn't offered as an option too much on the quiz)?

[> [> Psychological Hedonism -- Celebaelin, 15:33:19 09/04/03 Thu

If 'feels right' equates with pleasure then it's Psychological Hedonism you're describing and I think that's in line with John Stuart Mill's conception of the nature of man (and Bentham's*) but not I think in accordance with their moral philosophy.

* and Freud's

[> What a day I must have had -- Ann, 15:29:36 09/04/03 Thu

The first time I did the test at work I got:
1. Spinoza (100%)
2. Kant (93%)
3. Aquinas (86%)
4. John Stuart Mill (80%)
5. Jeremy Bentham (65%)
6. Aristotle (61%)
7. Epicureans (60%)
8. Nel Noddings (60%)
9. Prescriptivism (60%)
10. St. Augustine (56%)

The second time I did it at home after work I got:
1. John Stuart Mill (100%)
2. Kant (100%)
3. Aquinas (86%)
4. Spinoza (78%)
5. Jean-Paul Sartre (76%)
6. Epicureans (73%)
7. Prescriptivism (73%)
8. Ayn Rand (65%)
9. Jeremy Bentham (63%)
10. Nel Noddings (63%)

I'm not sure what the heck this means as I had a pretty good day recruiting students to my program.

[> 100% Kant, 95% Spinoza -- dub ;o), 18:03:17 09/04/03 Thu

I pity this Hobbes guy. He's at the bottom of the list for just about all of us!

[> another Jean-Paul Sartre - no shock, though. -- Sophie, 18:36:55 09/04/03 Thu

[> Aristotle, Kant and Aquinas (100%, 100% and 98%, respectively) -- LadyStarlight, 18:59:20 09/04/03 Thu

Huh. May have to do some research later to figure out what this actually means. ;)

[> What's with all the Kant? -- ponygirl, 19:07:31 09/04/03 Thu

What does this all mean?

1. Kant (100%)
2. Aquinas (86%)
3. Jean-Paul Sartre (83%)
4. Ayn Rand (82%)
5. John Stuart Mill (81%)
6. Aristotle (79%)
7. Jeremy Bentham (73%)
8. Spinoza (67%)
9. Prescriptivism (62%)
10. Stoics (59%)

[> How fun! -- Eloise519, 21:21:11 09/04/03 Thu

Thanks, Sophist.

Sartre - 100%
Bentham - 100%
Kant - 90%
Rand - 87%
JS Mill - 87%

[> Aristotle and I must be best buds! -- neaux, 05:04:14 09/05/03 Fri

Aristotle 100% Rock on baby!

[> [> Re: Existentialism: C'est moi! -- Brian, 05:46:35 09/05/03 Fri

[> This is so humbling! -- MaeveRigan, 08:36:47 09/05/03 Fri

And yet reassuring, in a way. I feel I'm in very good company:

1. St. Augustine (100%)
2. Aquinas (77%)
3. Spinoza (66%)

But also, a bit like Wayne & Garth--I'm not worthy!

[> [> me too -- mamcu, 10:22:32 09/05/03 Fri

I had the same philosophers--since this is so western-biased, I guess St. A and Ac are stand-ins for Buddha & co, in my thinking, if you can call it that.

[> How come no Eastern thinkers? -- mamcu, 09:13:09 09/05/03 Fri

Or were Confucius, Buddha, Laozi, and all those others not worth considering from a moral point of view?

[> I argue that the test is biased, slanted, and proves nothing.. -- ZachsMind, 09:45:14 09/05/03 Fri

It was mildly fun, but the questions given and answers made available did not cover every variation, so often I felt my opinion was not properly notated in the quiz, and therefore see no validity in the results. It's like asking the question "What color is this orange?" and then giving very color under the rainbow except the one which it is. Which is of course, purple.

Kant and I agreeing close to 100%?? HARDLY. This guy once pointed out "Houses are black houses but black houses are not all houses." Okay. So far I'm with him. Then he turns around and says "reason is the final authority for morality." If reason is moral authority than authority is moral reason... i. e. Might Makes Right. NOT. BZZT! Sorry Kant but you're wrong. NEXT!

I disagree with Aquinas on many points, although I do have a soft spot in my heart for Aquinas, the poor misunderstood, short-sighted little guy. I agree more with Aristotle, but not exclusively. Nietzsche and I come to some similar conclusions: conventional morality as dictated by society is a crutch, we do have free will but I also believe there's predeterminism, we should be passionate beings. but he comes to these conclusions because he believes there is no god and I do because I know there is.

Basically all these guys were barking up a wrong tree when the kitten was actually down the street on a rooftop.

I believe pleasure is something unrelated to morality or freedom or any concept outside individual psyche. Some individuals find pleasure in doing good, some in doing evil, but most find levels of pleasure in both to varying degrees, depending upon a wide array of criteria. There seems to be no legitimate consistency among all human beings, or of any slice of humanity. Each individual is wired differently.

So basically, I think all the gentlemen listed below are full of crap. =)

1. Kant (100%)
2. Aquinas (97%) (The Ned Flanders of the great philosophers)
3. Aristotle (90%) (Ah crap bigger'n yew)
4. John Stuart Mill (88%) (boring)
5. Jean-Paul Sartre (86%) (hack)
6. Stoics (83%)
7. Spinoza (74%)
8. Nietzsche (67%)
9. St. Augustine (67%)
10. David Hume (62%)
11. Epicureans (62%)
12. Nel Noddings (62%)
13. Ockham (58%)
14. Jeremy Bentham (55%)
15. Cynics (41%) ( I AM a cynic by nature)
16. Plato (41%) (Plato rocked the casbah in his day.)
17. Ayn Rand (39%) (I understand her reasoning, but find it ultimately far too idealistic to be feasible.)
18. Prescriptivism (39%)
19. Thomas Hobbes (20%) (and where might I ask is Calvin?)

[> Physically, I look nothing like Mill...but if you're talking philosophical resemblance... -- Random, 11:05:10 09/05/03 Fri

I have to say that my results are surprising and unsurprising. I wonder how my Mill outdistanced every other one by a fair margin. I am gratified to see the Epicurieans and Aquinas in the top five along with Mill, Kant and Bentham (none of whom are particularly surprising.) But, as such things go, this quiz is an amusing aside, but not comprehensive enough or long enough to provide much real insight or depth.

1. John Stuart Mill (100%)
2. Epicureans (79%)
3. Jeremy Bentham (75%)
4. Kant (71%)
5. Aquinas (69%)
6. Spinoza (62%)
7. Jean-Paul Sartre (59%)
8. Aristotle (58%)
9. Nel Noddings (46%)
10. Prescriptivism (45%)
11. St. Augustine (37%)
12. Ockham (34%)
13. Stoics (31%)
14. Ayn Rand (30%)
15. Nietzsche (29%)
16. Cynics (27%)
17. David Hume (23%)
18. Plato (23%)
19. Thomas Hobbes (23%)

[> I matched Kant 100% -- Q, 15:43:35 09/06/03 Sat

[> A question -- matching mole, 15:15:33 09/07/03 Sun

After a couple of unsuccessful attempts I realized that my problem was that I was conflating my personal morality (how I would live my life) and global morality (how I, in my great vanity, think the world should be ordered). The trouble is the two things are kind of in conflict with one another. My ideal world is one in which no one imposes their personal morality on another (influence is OK but imposition is not). More on this below as I am curious, as an ignorant scientist, if any philosophers actually think the same way I do about how society should be ordered.

But first the results

When I re-did the test just using my own personal tendencies and firmly putting 'dislike all choices' for any question that could only be applied society-wide I matched the Epicureans 100% and had 75-80% matches with a diverse bunch of others including Jeremy Bentham, Thomas Hobbes, John Stuart Mill, the Stoics, Spinoza, and Aquinas. Sartre just missed the 75% cut-off. I suspect my high correspondence with the Epicureans has more to do with my personal prediliction for the simple life than any particular moral precept I might have.

On a societal level I think a moral society is one in which freedom and responsibility are in balance. I define freedom very broadly as the ability to take action, thus including economic and social factors within the definition as well as legal and political forces. The wealthy are inherently more free than the poor because they have a wider scope of possible actions. Individuals with more freedom have a greater impact on the situations of others (e.g. a factory owner is free to close down his factory which has a great impact on the workers). Therefore individuals with more freedom should also have a greater responsibility for the overall welfare of society (and not just in economic terms although I used an economic example). Individuals should be free to pursue their individual morality with the responsiblity to avoid unduly infringing on the morality of others.

Does this sound similar to the ideas of any real philosophers (rather than a pretend philosopher like myself)?

[> [> Re: A question -- Sophist, 19:29:04 09/07/03 Sun

I'm not sure I can answer your question without giving a history of philosopy. I'll try to give the Cliff Notes version at the risk of accuracy.

Aristotle and Plato both said that being a good man means, in essence, being a good citizen. A good citizen in an aristocracy would behave differently than a good citizen in a democracy. Man can achieve moral perfection only in the perfect polis (city).

Christianity had divergent trends. No person can be morally perfect. The issue was how best to carry out divine will. Some believed that the highest moral excellence could only come about through individual asceticism and prayer away from the corrupting influence of society, but in obedience to divine law. Others (similar to the Greeks) that proper behavior in social roles, combined with obedience to divine law, was best.

Both Greeks and Christians before, say, 1700, would reject your basic premise and say that morality must be imposed on the individual from outside (either by the polis or by divine law). Since in both cases the "true" morality was known, there was no problem in enforcing it on you.

Only with the Enlightenment do philosophers begin to move toward your view that one person should not impose moral behavior on another. Even then there are limits -- no one argues that society can't enforce laws against conduct that harms others (as you noted in your penultimate sentence).

Therefore individuals with more freedom should also have a greater responsibility for the overall welfare of society (and not just in economic terms although I used an economic example).

This was nearly universally accepted as true prior to 1800 at least. I can give you quotes to that effect from most of the Founders. Only in the last 200 years have some suggested differently. The Catholic Church, at least, still adheres to this view today.

[> huh--the page isn't working for me, but it doesn't matter... -- anom, 22:00:21 09/07/03 Sun

...because I couldn't fill it out even if I could fill it out. Um, what I mean is, the page loaded w/no checkboxes or other way to enter my choices, but most of my answers fell somewhere in between the ones offered anyway. Or I consider >1 of the choices to be true (for the last q., I think any of them could describe a virtuous person, but I wouldn't say it doesn't matter).

Well, that's why I have so much trouble w/questionnaires.

[> [> i tried again--it worked this time, but... -- anom, 23:18:40 09/08/03 Mon

...I didn't match anyone! I got all 0's! I didn't even know that was possible!

OK, I answered "doesn't matter/dislike all choices" for the majority of the questions. But I managed to choose specific answers for 5 of them. Maybe it was that I didn't choose any answer for the last q. As I said above, I think any of the descriptions could fit a virtuous person. I wanted to answer "All of the above," but that option wasn't given. I couldn't choose "doesn't matter," because it does--in fact, I chose "High" as the value I put on my (non)-answer.

So. Guess I'm just not philosophical. Or maybe this means I should found my own philosophy? Probably not--one of the main reasons I couldn't choose answers is that I don't like to generalize, esp. about how people should live or who's "virtuous." True, some of the q's. had answer choices that took that into account, & I think those were the q's. where I answered something other than "doesn't matter/dislike choices."

Strange that I answered to a large extent the way Finn did...but for different reasons. Running true to form here....

following on OnM's movie thread(just missed) - solaris spoilers -- MsGiles, 09:38:08 09/04/03 Thu

Coen brothers: haven't seen Blood Simple, but will do when I get the chance. Saw The Big Lebowski a while back, thought it really funny and quirky. Then Oh Brother Where Art Thou. Found this watchable, but I didn't like it quite as much. I thought the Clooney character a bit over-egged (that phrase has been in the news a lot lately. Seems where war is concerned, you can't make an omelette without breaking too many eggs..), and the story a bit fluffy. Lebowski had that sharp edge of danger lurking behind the slapstick, making me just that bit scared for the antiheroes, and making the humour more edgy. Brother was self-consciously a 'romp', and I just didn't get that drawn in, in spite of big George looking (and acting) a lot like Clark Gable (G.C. .. C.G. .. hmmm)

And then we go on to Tarkovsky and Lem. Thanks for mentioning Solaris again! With Soderburg's effort, there's a nice little trilogy of treatments here, each taking a different slant, each mining something different, or maybe assembling something different from the raw materials, like a sort of literary scrap-heap challege. Each seeing their own preoccupations in the basic story assembled by Lem: the story of a scientist finding his personal life irresistibly intruding into his researches.

miner for a heart of gold

After seeing the Soderburgh film, I re-read Lem's story. I was surprised how much my memory of it had been usurped by the Tarkovsky version. Lem was interested in the intellectual and philosophical rather than the emotional ramifications of his idea, the conflict between objective science and subjective experience, as filtered through the observations of the psychologist Kelvin. Much of the book deals with 'research' into the Solaris phenomenon, and the scientists' attempts to understand it, and in that respect it relates more to traditional science fiction than either film. There's a lot of satirical speculation, phrased as researchers theories about the sentience or otherwise of Solaris itself, and the reasons for its many manifestations, which Kelvin reads about in the station's library. Lem uses the planet Solaris to pose the question: if we ever encountered truly alien intelligence, how would we recognise it as intelligence? How communicate? Why do we expect alien life to be similar to ourselves? He emphasises the question by making his alien intelligence as un-humanoid and as incomprehensible as he can. Is it even intelligent, in any sense that we can understand? It's an issue often approached in SF, with varying degrees of success - perhaps the sea on the planet 'Solaris' is the equivalent of the 'super-intelligent shades of the colour blue' satirised (lovingly) by Douglas Adams.

'Physician, heal thyself!'

But Lem does not stop here, and it is no accident that he has made his hero a psychologist, rather than a xenobiologist, a geologist, a chemist. Kelvin has come to Solaris to try and understand, not the alien entity itself, but its effect on the humans studying it. By the end, it is himself he is trying to understand, having seen too far into his own heart. The question of how to understand the alien is submerged in the scientists' inability to understand themselves. It is this level of the Lem story that has attracted Tarkovsky and Soderburgh to create the two film versions.

Tarkovsky's Solaris, like 'Stalker' and 'Nostalgia', uses the plot as a way of musing on his obsessions: the nature of memory, the lost past, the hearts desire, life's mistakes, the possibility of redemption or retrieval. It combines the ache of loss with an sense of unfinished business, unresolved anxiety. His Kelvin is also a rationalist, but he seems emotionally disconnected from the world around him, a feeling emphasised by the long long sequence spent driving throught the city, near the start of the film. The leaving of earth for the Solaris research station (although cut back cinematically for financial reasons) seems like just another level of loss, of leaving. The station itself is reminiscent of the ship in 'Alien': like the Nostromo, it is claustrophobic and slightly run-down, with corridors and cell-like living spaces which at first seem to barely hold at bay the horrors which are then found to be inhabiting them, locked in with the imprisoned humans.

In this version, it seems the scientists crewing the space station are being driven mad by being confonted inescapably with their own repressed desires. It's rather like HonorH's transposition of slashfic to the holodeck, gone horribly out of control. Kelvin's overriding sense of guilt, of loss, is associated with his wife Hari (or Rheya), whose death he feels responsible for. However, as we flash back on his life, it is his childhood, and his relationship with his parents, that seems to underly his sense of detachment from the world, the disconnection that ruined his relationship with Hari in the first place.

is Solaris God?

I was a bit dubious about the Soderburgh Solaris. Not that I don't like Clooney, but I couldn't see him doing Tarkovsky's buttoned-down angst. In the end the film has interest and credibility, and it has significant differences to the Tarkovsky take.

Predicably, the romantic element of the film, and specifically, Kelvin's relationship with Rheya, is played up, and we lose any sense that problems with their marriage might be linked to his childhood. The flash-back structure is still there, but Kelvin has become a successful, work-driven, egotistical rationalist, while she is emotional, mystical, religious and volatile. Although the film portrays a credible relationship between a driven man and an emotionally fragile woman, it treads perilously close to stereotypes here. Kelvin is fascinated by Rheya's mysterious and exotic appearance, but once they are married he dismisses her, persists in belittling her religious beliefs, humiliates her in public. Competes with her, instead of co-operating. When she dies, she gives him a hollow victory. When she returns, in the station, he has to deal with his scientific disbelief, his fear of madness, and his desire to resume their love affair.

This is not the only level on which the film operates, and this is what lifts it above Clooney fan-fodder. Woven in with Kelvin's rediscovery of his desire, guilt and doubt about Rheya, is a discussion of identity. How to deal with the Solaris creations? Are the 'holodeck' Rheyas real people? They seem to draw their appearance and memories from Kelvin's perception of the original Rheya, but the longer they exist, the more independant self-awareness they have. The script emphasises this theme with the character Snow. He is an annoying young techhead in this version - but is he also an alien construct? or is he a person in his own right, regardless of his origins? If they succeed in permanently removing the people that Solaris seems to be summoning from their subconscious, what are they in fact destroying? Symptoms of their own guilt? Efforts of some alien intelligence to communicate? Or some potential that they can't yet understand?


There are subtle differences between the endings of each version, differences that give clues as to the motivations behind the different interpretations. Lem has Kelvin sinking towards the surface of the alien planet in a spirit of personal reconciliation. What he sees on the surface below him is unclear. He is giving himself up to the unknown, but while he is lowering the rational, analytical barriers that have enabled him to keep a distance from his own emotions, he does not know what he is moving towards. Solaris remains incomprehensible, its motives, its nature still a mystery. The only resolution that Kelvin has achieved is within himself.

The conclusion of Tarkovsky's film also offers a kind of healing, but there is a more strongly implied religious element. Kelvin gives himself up to the planet, and finds himself returning to his parent's home. he kneels, and his father stands in the doorway, placing a hand on his head to form a very iconic image of forgiveness. We pull back, to see that the house and its surroundings are isolated in the storm-like turbulence of the planet. Has Kelvin effectively created his own resolution, a hallucination to console himself, or is Solaris God, able to offer absolution? Maybe for Tarkovsky the important thing is the need, the yearning, rather than the answer. There is no clear answer, but neither is there dispair.

The conclusion of the Soderburgh film is the most overtly religious, and I personally feel this spoils the film a little, by closing off some of the avenues of interpretation. Rheya is the exponent of religion, Kelvin its rational opponent, in this film. As they fall towards the planet's surface, and the space station breaks up, he finds himself able to take the hand offered him by the intelligence, in the form of a child. He finds himself with Rheya, able to be forgiven and redeemed.

Apologies for inaccuracies and bad assumptions. My memory is rubbish, and i haven't been able to check everything

[> Likewise following on -- KdS, 12:45:37 09/04/03 Thu

(Crossposted from my LJ)

Given that rock music started out as the music of youth, we're only just getting to the time when rock stars are having to confront old age and natural death. (This fact has been used by some cretins to suggest to other cretins who don't understand statistics that all rock stars are struck down in their youth by the judgement of God, forgetting all the rock stars who just haven't had time to die of old age yet.) Therefore, there's been relatively little rock music made by people who know they are liable to die fairly soon, the album or single as farewell and autoepitaph. I'm ignoring the rather better represented and less honourable tradition of the rock album as suicide note, largely because while music made by the clinically despairing may be aesthetically pleasing, close study of the lyrics should be made with extreme caution.

When one discards the music made by people who wanted or felt they needed to die before their natural time, one finds a remarkable absence of the sort of lyric that gets quoted at the beginning of fics in which an entire canon die tragically. For example, if one takes Queen's final two singles, which were released before Freddy Mercury's terminal illness had been publicly reported but whose import is impossible to miss with hindsight, one finds blazing defiance in "The Show Must Go On". In "I'm Going Slightly Mad" one sees a wry, brittle amusement that may strike some in today's emotions-on-sleeve world as unhealthy, but would have been regarded in certain circles a century of fifty years ago as the finest way to react.

When the individual reported to be terminally ill is one of the finest and most under-rewarded rock lyricists of the last thirty years, one approaches what will probably prove to be his final album with some trepidation. One feels uncomfortable about judging work produced in such circumstances, but at the same time one hopes that it will provide rewards above morbid curiosity. In the case of Warren Zevon's "The Wind", my highest hopes were rewarded.

Zevon's lyrics have always tended to the morbid, the blackly humorous, and the damaged-but-struggling. His previous album, "My Ride's Here", according to all sources recorded before his diagnosis, concluded with two excellent tracks whose valedictory air was so pronounced that one has to suspect some subconscious awareness of what was brewing in his lungs. "The Wind" is a similar assortment of rock numbers and ballads, but here every track is either explicitly or implicitly touched by approaching doom to some degree. Yet the album never approaches despair. Covering Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" might be considered over-the-top (especially the moans of "open up, open up" at the end), but one can hardly expect good taste from the author of "Excitable Boy" and at least it reclaims the song from the appalling Axl Rose who last recorded it.

It takes a genuine talent to write lines as convincingly unflattering to oneself, and not self-consciously gloomy as

Gets a little lonely folks you know what I mean
I'm looking for a woman with low self-esteem
To lay me out and ease my worried mind

But the core of the album are four utterly simple and beautiful ballds which reveal, or give the impression of revealing, more than ever before: "She's Too Good To Me", El Amor de mi Vida", "Please Stay" and the ultimate farewell "Keep Me in Your Heart". Given our joint fandom, you can't blame me for relating certain fictional pairings to these lines from "She's Too Good for Me"

I want her to be happy
I want her to be free
I want her to be everything she couldn't be with me

I'd wait here for a thousand years if she'd come back to me
I have everything she wants but nothing that she needs

But what really reassures me about the man's greatness is that repeated line "Keep me in your heart for a while". Note that "for a while". Not forever. Not until you die. Just as long as you need to and until you move on. I hope when my time comes I'll be as generous as that.

[> [> Wow! Now that was something... -- OnM, 20:48:58 09/04/03 Thu

... and quite wonderful it was!

I'd like to respond at greater length, but my time zone's pretty late in the PM at the mo.

For now, thanks to both of you for your thoughts!

:-) :-)

[> [> Echoing the praise for KdS and MsGiles! -- ponygirl, 08:14:33 09/05/03 Fri

I had the best response a reviewer could hope for - I want to re-watch Solaris and buy the Zevon CD.

KdS your last paragraph just slid in like a knife. And I mean that in the best bittersweet way. Lovely.

[> Please see Wow! ---> (for you too, Ms Giles) ^ -- OnM, 20:51:58 09/04/03 Thu

[> Wow, indeed! Wonderful essays on Solaris and Zevon, MsGiles and Kds!! -- shadowkat, 21:07:32 09/04/03 Thu

I haven't seen Solaris, but after reading Ms. Giles essay, I want to. And I'm not overly familar with Zevon, but now I'm curious.

Good reads!

[> Thanks for kind words. I've sent you an email, OnM -- MsGiles, 07:10:23 09/05/03 Fri

Cross & Holy Water -- Claudia, 12:03:31 09/04/03 Thu

According to Jossverse, the first organized attempt to battle vampires and demons occurred in Sumeria (right?). Yet, all we have seen Buffy and her gang use Christian symbols like a cross and holy water. Of course, naturally they would use these symbols, living in the Western Hemisphere of the world.

But I wonder, can other religious symbols be used in Jossverse, as a deterent against vampires? Like the Star of David? Or a Dancing Shiva, or the Crescent Moon & Star?

[> Nope -- Darby, 12:20:35 09/04/03 Thu

Joss has said that he felt that they needed some of the "classic" vampire mythology on the show, to make it accessible from the start, and that's where the Christian Imagery comes from. It's up to all of us to invent our own little backstories to explain it, but Joss, typically, doesn't seem to really care if it's logical or not, as long as it can be used metaphorically.

[> Re: Cross & Holy Water -- Gyrus, 12:22:40 09/04/03 Thu

Joss has mentioned in interviews that there is a particular enmity between vampires and Christianity that renders vampires vulnerable to crosses and holy water (though, AFAIK, he hasn't explained what that history is). So no, I don't think other symbols would do the same job.

Of course, the real reason that crosses and holy water work on BTVS is that they work in all the old movies, and Joss wanted to use a lot of old-movie conventions on the show.

[> [> Re: Cross & Holy Water -- Jean, 08:09:35 09/05/03 Fri

The cross is actually a pre-christian symbol of an eastern hemisphere sun god. So think Sun god vampires....Just think

[> In addition... -- KdS, 12:51:36 09/04/03 Thu

Joss has publicly said that he deliberately avoided examining the question of whether non-Christian religious symbols would damage vamps because of the potential for offense whichever way he went.

Pity, because I was very amused by the Doctor Who story in which a devoutly committed Communist repelled a vamp with his red star cap badge.

[> [> Re: In addition... -- Claudia, 13:24:59 09/04/03 Thu

So, by having the First Slayer come from Sumeria, Whedon was basically setting himself up to contradict himself. Hmm, not very smart.

[> [> [> Where are you getting Sumeria from? -- ponygirl, 14:07:25 09/04/03 Thu

Since the Shadowmen were speaking Swahili that would suggest that they were in central or eastern Africa.

[> [> [> [> Don't Blame Me -- Claudia, 09:40:14 09/05/03 Fri

"Where are you getting Sumeria from? Since the Shadowmen were speaking Swahili that would suggest that they were in central or eastern Africa."

Don't blame me. Blame the writers of "Get It Done". Dawn was trying to translate some Sumerian book. And since it came from the Slayer's bag - which originated with the First Slayer, I only made assumptions.

[> [> [> [> [> Sumeria was in Southern Iraq -- Darby, 10:00:24 09/06/03 Sat

See at

[> [> [> [> [> I think you're making a couple of assumptions here . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:12:15 09/06/03 Sat

First, that the book Dawn was translating was written by the Shadowmen. It could very well have been written at some later date, or it might be a translation of an earlier book.

Second, that the First Slayer possessed the bag. What makes you think that she did? After all, the fact that all the Slayers between Nikki and Buffy didn't have it show that having the bag isn't essential to Slayerdom, but just a nice bonus. For all we know, it was created sometime in the Middle Ages, or it started out as one Slayer's personal weapons bag, her Watcher gave it to the next Slayer, and it gathered more stuff as time passed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> do we have a time frame for the shadow men? -- tam, 22:58:36 09/06/03 Sat

when was the first slayer activated? i am sure it was indicated in the show, but i canna remember

[> [> [> Re: not very smart -- Robert, 16:32:52 09/04/03 Thu

Isn't this a little harsh? When he produced season one, he had no idea that there would be a season two, much less than a season seven. With such a long running show, errors were inevitable. For internal continuity, the best example would be Babylon 5, but J. Michael Straczynski wrote a complete five-year story arc before beginning production on the first episode. This almost resulted in travesty since the show was sold to TNT after its fourth year, where its was subsequently ruined. One only needs to look at what FOX Network did to Firefly to realize the a multi-year story arc is very risky in the current television environment.

Personally, I believe that Joss Whedon did the very best job imaginable given the environment in which he worked, and he did it brilliantly. The lack of perfection is merely an indication that he isn't God.

[> [> Re: In addition... -- Rook, 13:47:26 09/04/03 Thu

How does TFS coming from sumeria contradict Christian symbols having an effect on vamps?

TFS didn't use Christian symbols, Buffy does. If the symbols were developed at a later time, but somehow imbued to have an effect on vampires, it makes perfect sense.

After all, TFS didn't have access to a is the fact that Buffy uses a crossbow some kind of contradiction?

[> Enigmatic Atheist -- Nino, 15:01:07 09/04/03 Thu

It's not even ALL Christian imagery. In "CWDP" the vamp in the graveyard easily picked up a statue of the Virgin Mary to hit Buffy with, so even Christian imagery is limited to crosses and holy water.

Also, in "Passion" (i'm pretty sure) Willow hangs up a cross to ward off vamps, noting that her Jewish father would not be pleased. If a Star of David were equally effective, you would think that this route would have been taken in the circumstance.

Joss has said that these things work because people put faith in them...he even said that it was possible that at some point in history a priest may have worked some mojo that made crosses and holy water effective....I think we just have to suspend our disbelief and say that Joss had to pick which methods from common mythology would be effective to hurt vamps, and which wouldn't....and for whatever reason, the enigmatic atheist chose some traditional Christian symbols.

[> [> Did I Say - ALL? -- Claudia, 09:43:01 09/05/03 Fri

"It's not even ALL Christian imagery. In "CWDP" the vamp in the graveyard easily picked up a statue of the Virgin Mary to hit Buffy with, so even Christian imagery is limited to crosses and holy water."

Did I say ALL Christian imagery? Or did I only point out the cross and the Holy Water?

[> [> [> Wow...simmer down -- Nino, 10:11:06 09/05/03 Fri

I was just making an observation that Joss chose not to use all Christian imagery and siting an example...i wasn't putting words in your mouth or attacking your post...I don't quite see how my words seemed offensive, but you seem quick to try and get in an online feud with me for some reason, unbeknownst to me, so maybe I should just stop replying to your posts...I just thought you brought up an interesting topic and wanted to join in the discussion, but apparently I am not welcome...

[> Holy Water isn't only Christian -- tam, 21:40:02 09/04/03 Thu

this made me curious -- water is considered essential to life -- we (humans/earthlings/whatever) even say life cannot exist on this planet or that planet because there is no water, we assume that all life needs water, that all living things require what earth's living things require -- anyhow -- so i looked on the internet to see what other faiths say about water

From The Pontifical of Scrapion of Thumis, a fourth-century bishop, and likewise the "testamentum Domini", a Syriac composition dating from the fifth to the sixth century, contain a blessing of oil and water during Mass. The formula in Scrapion's Pontifical is as follows: "We bless these creatures in the Name of Jesus Christ, Thy only Son; we invoke upon this water and this oil the Name of Him Who suffered, Who was crucified, Who arose from the dead, and Who sits at the right of the Uncreated. Grant unto these creatures the power to heal; may all fevers, every evil spirit, and all maladies be put to flight by him who either drinks these beverages or is anointed with them, and may they be a remedy in the Name of Jesus Christ, Thy only Son."

From Several Hindu rituals are related to water. Abhishekha or "Sprinkling (bath) ablution," for example, is bathing the deity with holy water - BATH. Water from Vessel is used to give bath to the idol of God. It is done like a steady current trickle of water, just like our love for God (Bhakti) should be like a stead unbroken stream towards God. Five Ingredients (Panchamruta) are mixed and offered also as a bath liquid. These are SATVIC (good, healthy and harmless items) ingredients like Milk, Honey, Ghee, Yogurt and Sugar. It symbolizes that pure thoughts are offered. Devotee's mind should contain only pure thoughts towards God.
WATER Offerings ( Padya, Arghya and Achamana) : This ritual is compared with washing of the hands and feet and also water in his mouth. Devotee (Puja performer) also is reminded to come "clean" before God and satisfy his thirst first. This body and mind preparing ritual is necessary for further relationship. The water used in this ritual - tirtha is then offered as prasad.
Most pilgrimage sites are either water bodies or have a lake or pond where the devotees take a purifying dip. Because water washes away physical dirt, Hindus give it symbolic value as a cleanser of souls. Taking a dip in the holy water of river Ganga and other auspecious rivers purifies the body and washes away the sin.

The following on BUDDHISM, HINDUISM, ISLAM and JUDAISM are all from


For Buddhist symbolism and ritual is pointless they see spiritual enlightenment that comes from seeing the reality of unreality. Bodhidharma, thought to be the first teacher of Zen Buddhism said in the 5th century:

"This mind is the Buddha. I don't talk about precepts, devotions or ascetic practices such as immersing yourself in water and fire treading a wheel of knives, eating one meal a day, or never lying down. These are fanatical, provisional teachings. Once you recognise your moving, miraculously aware nature, yours is the mind of all buddhas."

Water does however feature in Buddhist funerals where water is poured into a bowl placed before the monks and body. As it fills and pours over the edge, overflow into the ocean, so likewise may what is given here reach departed.

All holy places in India are characterized by the presence of water. The rivers are considered as preferential residences of the Holy One. The probably most well known Indian river is the Ganges.

At its end is the city Varanasi, which is considered the holiest place of India .The Ganges personifies Goddess Ganga. It stands for growth, abundance and fertility. Its water is filled, into small containers, sent away and used even in more distant regions and for religious ceremonies: the endless cycle of the reincarnation by water.

In the Islam water embodies among other things fertility. Water, lives and vegetation have to fight against dryness, death and desert. In the Islamic paradise the refreshing water takes a central role. The Koran describes the garden, in which the cool, pure water flows, as the perfect fulfilment.

For a Muslim water represents the perfect example of purity. And for the Mystics it is a symbol of the largest ecstasy and a metaphor for highest spirituality.

Before entering the mosque, before each prayer and before reading the Koran. The Muslims undergo a ritual cleaning. This has to be done with running water. So called "small washing" is made every day before five prayers. Hands, lower arms, the face and feet as well as a quarter of the head are washed. The "large washing" is only possible in an Islamic bath and also be done under running water.

In the Hebrew Bible water appears in two characteristics: creative and destructive; most impressively is the narration of the Flood (1. Mose, 6 ff). Water plays also an important role in the life of Moses. As child he was rescued out of the Nil river. The name Mose means translated "The Pulled Out" (2. Mose 2, 1-10).

Ritual washings are already describted in 2. Mose: Aaron and his sons have to wash hands and feet by themselves, before they are allowed to step forward to the altar. The miracle of source (4. Mose 20, 7-11) tells, how Mose strikes water out of a rock, so that people and animals can survive on their way to Israel.

[> [> more on water in judaism -- anom, w/my 1st footnotes!, 23:20:47 09/04/03 Thu

Water is used for its symbolic cleansing properties not just by priests but by regular people. Cleansing from anything that makes a person "unclean"--leprosy, contact w/a dead body, having a discharge (incl. of semen or menstrual blood), etc.--is concluded by immersion in water (many, many places in the Torah, once the law-giving starts). Orthodox & some Conservative Jews still bathe in the mikveh* (pool/gathering of waters) for purification.

There was also a ritual to be used when a husband suspected his wife of unfaithfulness but had no evidence. Water from the laver (washstand) near the sacrificial altar** was taken & mixed w/dust from the floor of the Tabernacle, & then curses written on a scroll were blotted out in the water. The woman had to drink this water, & if her husband's accusation was true, it would bring the curses on the woman (making her belly swell & her thigh "fall away," so she'll "be a curse among her people"); if not, she'll "conceive seed" (i.e., get pregnant), possibly as a reward for her faithfulness & compensation for her husband's jealousy. He, on the other hand, pays no penalty for his false accusation (Numbers 11-31).

tam, I don't recognize your scriptural citations (like "(2. Mose 2, 1-10)"). What book(s) are these from?

*This word is first used in the Creation story, when the waters under the heavens are separated & gathered into the seas.

**I was surprised to see this translated as "holy water." But its holiness seems to come from its association w/the sacrifices; no ritual is performed or formula said over it to make it holy, although the priest does recite words over the already holy water to make it the "water that causes the curse." I don't know of any ritual to render water holy in Judaism.

[> [> [> Re: more on water in judaism -- tam, 23:40:28 09/04/03 Thu

copied from the internet -- internet addresses are given before each paragraph - t

[> [> [> [> The numbering corresponds to the Torah/Pentateuch -- d'Herblay, 00:22:21 09/05/03 Fri

1. Mose, 6 is Genesis, chapters 6-8; 2. Mose 2, 1-10 is Ex. 2:1-10; etc.

[> [> [> [> [> thanks--haven't seen that system before -- anom, 08:01:46 09/05/03 Fri

[> [> [> & again w/the water (still not holy, though) -- anom, 11:43:42 09/05/03 Fri

The service on Sh'mini Atzeres (at the end of Sukkos) includes extended prayers for rain during Israel's rainy season. Part of these is a poem asking God to send water, "for a blessing, not for a curse; for life, not for death; for abundance, not for famine," in the names of a series of Jewish leaders from the Torah (& maybe beyond; I can let you know in a couple of months!). Each verse names 3 times water was significant in the life of the leader. The verse for Moses uses both of the incidents tam mentions plus his giving water to the sheep he herded (not, surprisingly, the splitting of the Red Sea waters). In more recent times, verses for women in Scripture have been added.

[> [> Re: Holy Water isn't only Christian - Other Religions? -- Claudia, 09:49:22 09/05/03 Fri

How does "holy water" relate to religions other than the most widely known ones?

[> [> [> There is a ritual -- Celebaelin, 08:23:45 09/06/03 Sat

Originally the Druid would stand next to a stream by a rock with a concave upper surface (by design or accident) with a shallow bowl full of water and the assembled tribe around him. At the moment chosen by the druid he would fling the water in the bowl he held into the concave surface of the rock and 'instantly', or at least soon, there would be a clap of thunder.

How much trust was placed in the druid would depend on, amongst other things, how convincing he was with this ritual. It makes my hair stand on end just thinking about it. The word caledfwlch is a name for Excalibur, in Welsh caledwch means 'a hardness or a hard lump', as we know Excalibur was associated with the Lady of the Lake both in its' origins and its' final destination.

It has been often said that caledfwlch is a word for lightning however I am assured that the mellt means lightning and taranau means thunder - hence mellt a thranau for thunder and lightning. Donner unt blitzen!


[> The Cross existed before Christianity -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:23:22 09/06/03 Sat

It became a symbol because Jesus was crucified on one, but Jesus was hardly the first case of crucifiction. I know at least the Romans had been doing it for a while. So, what if crosses always repelled vampires, and that's why Romans crucified people on them: keep them from coming back as the undead?

As for a holy water, it must be blessed before it becomes holy. It could be argued that, within the Buffyverse, this constitutes a spell, making the water enchanted against vampires.

Gunn vs Joyce -- JBone, 20:10:03 09/04/03 Thu

vote here

I won't have results up until tomorrow. I'm distracted by football. Post comments here, at Showtime, or email me.

[> Re: Gunn vs Joyce -- Celebaelin, 20:25:26 09/04/03 Thu

Me first! I vote Joyce purely (if that's the right word) on the basis of teenage sexual favours. There's no way I can vote against anyone who would, in less self conscious mood, let Ripper slip her a length on the hood of a police car, twice. "Rip it in half and put it in bed with me" you said it Joyce.

[> [> Such a nice young man -- cjl, 21:32:21 09/04/03 Thu

[Scene: the Summers kitchen, daytime. Gunn is in the seat of honor at the kitchen table, inhaling some of Joyce's primo oatmeal cookies, and washing it down with some nice, wholesome milk. Joyce is sitting at the edge of the table, observing Gunn with a combination of maternal affection and subconscious lust.]

JOYCE: Well?
GUNN (mouth full): They're great.
JOYCE: I didn't use too much sugar, did I?
GUNN: No, they're perfect.
JOYCE: Thank you..."Charles," is it?
GUNN: That's right, ma'am.
JOYCE: "Ma'am." So polite. You can't find a young man with manners these days. And even if you do, the girls simply don't appreciate them.
GUNN: Pardon me?
JOYCE: Never mind. I have to learn that I can't tell my daughters who they can date. [Pause.] You're single, aren't you, Charles?
GUNN: Yeah. But I don't know if I can handle dating a Slayer. Maybe I should stay clear of women "in the business" for a while.
JOYCE: I understand. [Gunn starts to sway in his seat.] Charles, are you all right?
GUNN: Don't know. Feel a little dizzy. [Realization:] Aw--Mrs. Summers, you didn't drug the milk, did you?
JOYCE (smiling): Sleeping powder. Don't worry. You'll only be out for an hour or two.
GUNN: Damn. I'm never gonna hear the end of this back in the office. [Pitches face first into the cookie dish.]
JOYCE: Such a nice young man. [Drapes a blanket over Gunn's shoulders.] And a lawyer, too. But my beautiful daughter doesn't seem to appreciate anything with a pulse...

[> [> [> <g> no kidding -- Rufus, 21:57:27 09/04/03 Thu

[> [> [> i dunno...don't remember joyce sounding quite so much like a jewish mother! -- anom, 11:22:07 09/05/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> There's no way on Earth I was gonna pass up the lawyer joke. -- cjl, 12:16:10 09/05/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> well, yeah...for that it was worth it! -- anom, 20:07:42 09/07/03 Sun

[> Re: Gunn vs Joyce -- Apophis, 21:19:36 09/04/03 Thu

Even though I think Joyce will win on the sympathy vote, I'm siding with Gunn. First, because I'm a Gunn mark, but also because he could easily take Joyce in a hand-to-hand fight. Sometimes, at night, I imagine Gunn beating up a middle-aged woman and I giggle until the doctors come and make me sleep. This is indeed a disturbing universe.

[> I'm sticking with the trend to favor men with little or no hair....;) -- Rufus, 21:59:12 09/04/03 Thu

Now if it were between Gunn and Wood I'd have a bit of a problem....but then there is time-sharing...:):):):)

[> Going against my general style here... -- Tchaikovsky, 01:21:11 09/05/03 Fri

I've been trying not to undersupport Angel characters, but here I'm afraid I have to go with Joyce. I'm so fond of her interactions with Buffy. Her lines in 'Prophecy Girl' and 'Innocence' still always make me cry.


[> Joyce has the axe, but Gunn never gives up, never surrenders. -- Arethusa, 06:48:40 09/05/03 Fri

[> Joyce, of course -- MaeveRigan, 08:46:24 09/05/03 Fri

Gunn doesn't fight people's mothers who aren't evil. What are we thinking here? His mama taught him better than that. Now, if Joyce were a vampire, we'd be talking a battle, and Gunn would win, but as it is, it's cocoa with little marshmallows again, and some of those cookies cjl mentioned. Joyce doesn't need drugs, just mother-love. Stop grinning like that and wash your mind out with soap!

[> results are up -- Jay, 21:11:33 09/05/03 Fri

here and here

'Buffy the Movie' Revisited -- Darby, 20:52:54 09/05/03 Fri

The last time I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Movie was...well, I don't really remember how long ago it was, but it was before I became a devotee of the tv version. I remember thinking of it as a "cute" movie, and an idea with maybe some potential, but flawed.

In preparation for the revisit, I obtained The Origin, a Dark Horse comic based both on the tv show and "adapted from the original screenplay," by Christopher Golden (best known as a Buffy novelist, right?) and Daniel Brereton. It had been so long since I had seen the movie that I hardly recognized it, but now I see that they really had access to the original, which I would love to read. Interestingly, the comic suffers from some of the shortcomings of the movie, and it really helped me see that the movie the world got was the movie on the page, even if it wasn't the movie in Joss' head.

From many interviews, on the rare instances when Joss has commented on his movies, the main problem he has seen is actors and directors who don't "get it" and can't deliver the dialogue properly. And that has been true, when the people trying to handle the script make the wrong assumptions. Joss got spoiled - when your words go through John Goodman, or Keanu Reeves and Jeff Daniels, or Tom Hanks, they're going to sound right. At this point in time, though, I submit that Joss was not fully able to see how his words would filter through folks not quite as full of ironic wit. When we read Joss Whedon scripts, we all have an experience of how it should sound, presented by gifted actors who from the beginning have had the writer whispering in their ears about the intent. The words can also sound the way they do in the movie, and they can actually read that way if you forget a bit of your Joss-training (get the special shoes!).

The movie opens with the "same" scene that the series does - Buffy has a meaningful dream. This, however, is a dream of the past, a Slayer and her Watcher, and Kristy Swanson, Buffy, is the Slayer while Donald Sutherland, Merrick, is the Watcher. These are different people in the comic, truly a former Slayer and Watcher, but there is a certain logic (and a certain confusion) in having the same actors in present and past, a shorthand about what she's dreaming. We are told that the Slayer carries a birthmark - the "Mark of the Coven."

The credits run over an extended cheerleader sequence, not presented with much flair and absolutely no irony. Several now-familiar names go by in this movie filmed a dozen years ago - Hilary Swank, David Arquette, Stephen Root, Natasha Gregson Wagner, as well as names we would recognize from the series' producers.

Cut from basketball game to the mall and the label "Southern California: The Lite Ages." Very Joss. But now we see a very different Buffy, a Buffy in a Cordelia phase (she even delivers several of Cordelia's later lines), towing a bunch of Buffettes around. But these are much more cookie-cutter Valley Girls than Cordelia's crew, and what's more, they are dim; not wise but ignorant - both readings are in the dialogue, and we get heavy valley-accented Joss-speak that's hard to follow beneath the eeuuw's. The male actors come closer to the spirit we expect, but their lines are more straightforward. This is not a Buffy that will be easy to warm up to.

Buffy's parents are not Hank and Joyce, and that's a good thing - these folks are clueless caricatures who would be out of place on the series but fit in with the tone here - and with these sorts of scenes, it is no surprise that a director might play that note throughout.

Hmm, movie Buffy is a bit of a slut...

Another dream sequence from past lives, with some stuntwork to lay the groundwork for a Slayer as more than human, and an introduction of the villain (Rutger Hauer) and his henchman (Paul Reubens). Both of these actors could play proper Whedon villains, and they do, off-and-on.

Well, maybe not. I like Rutger Hauer, but his Lothos has no real personality.

A sequence discussing the senior dance cements the impression that Buffy, et al, are not just ironically ignorant, but pretty much stupid, not clever catty but mean catty, and as shallow as they first appeared.

Luke Perry and David Arquette pop in. Perry gets it, but, not Arquette.

Hey, it's Ricki Lake! She could be a Whedon girl! I wonder if he thought of her for Willow - the actress used in the semi-pilot was a similar physical type.

Donald Sutherland appears to fill in the first hints of mythological backstory. The dreams of former lives. It's a logical way for Buffy to come to believe the story. And we get a part of the myth that never makes it further - the combination Spider-vampire Sense and Menstrual Cramps. A taste decision, a network request, or a realization that it's more interesting if Buffy can't always know who's who?

Another major change - in this Buffyverse, the Slayer and her Watcher are reincarnated over and over, mostly to go after the movie's Big Bad. For the movie, "Into each generation..." makes sense.

Buffy's first experience with a vampire, if we rely on what Joss has said, should have been much more of a true scene of horror, with real danger, but while it isn't really slapstick, the vampires do not seem a great threat to life and neck.

There is more threat in the vampiric appearance of Arquette at Perry's window, even though DA plays it pretty broadly. I wonder why they decided the series' vampires wouldn't be able to fly. And have no reflection, because Arquette's is very obvious.

Merrick cautions Buffy on the subject of secret identities, so the vamps don't find out who she is and start hunting her. It always seemed odd to me that Giles never really explained why the Slayer should hide who she is - Buffy may have gotten "the talk," but most of the tv audience wouldn't have heard it.

Joss quite famously developed a loathing of Donald Sutherland during the making of the movie, but I can't see a reason in his performance - in ways he's quite Giles-ish. Is it just because he wouldn't do a British accent?

As Buffy becomes the Slayer, she moves out of the Cordelia realm and grows a few synapses. And Kristy Swanson becomes a respectable Buffy.

For the most part, the stunt

I keep expecting the vamps to dust. That was a very logical change for a series that had to avoid having to explain a growing pile of staked bodies.

Hey, it's Ben Affleck! Pretty coincidental, because pretty soon Project Greenlight's going to be discussed.

The scenes leading into Merrick's death come close to hitting the proper tone, but the movie's about to go to hell soon, and not in a good way. The climactic gym-dance-fight stuff is just too cute, and never sets into a rhythm.

This is a great example of implanted memories - I really thought that the gym burned down at the end of the movie. Maybe the picture I've got was Carrie.

Buffy's black coat over white formal dress seems too Prophecy Girl to be accidental.

Two different characters in two different locales use Wizard of Oz references within moments of each other. That's distracting.

All in all, the movie was both better and worse than I remembered.

Back to Project Greenlight: this season's fascinating story brought through a movie that the studio decided had too much drama (or too much comedy) to be attractive to audiences (and the test audience agreed), requiring a massive recut at the 11th hour. 12 years ago, a similar idea surfaced about Buffy, although one could make the case that the Scream movies balanced horror and comedy. But I still doubt that the Buffy in Joss' head could easily be made today.

[> Re: 'Buffy the Movie' Revisited -- MaeveRigan, 21:23:46 09/05/03 Fri

Joss quite famously developed a loathing of Donald Sutherland during the making of the movie, but I can't see a reason in his performance - in ways he's quite Giles-ish. Is it just because he wouldn't do a British accent?

It was because Sutherland kept changing his own lines until "the dialogue would not make sense". The accent, whatever it was, doesn't seem to have been the problem.

Joss gives his opinions on the ups and downs of the movie in some detail in this interview from 2001:

[> [> I had read that... -- Darby, 21:48:56 09/05/03 Fri

I guess that, even though I had forgotten the details, I expected some aspects of Merrick to remind me. What the heck did he change that was so bad?

Well, it's not like Joss doesn't have an ego about his dialogue...

[> Re: 'Buffy the Movie' Revisited -- CW, 23:22:06 09/05/03 Fri

Have to agree with Darby. In the final product it's hard to tell Donald Sutherland wasn't right in step with the script. Maybe he could see the rest of the movie was going campy/absurd and tried to throw his portrayal of Hawkeye Pierce into it. Even without Donald Sutherland's script 'corrections' the dialogue is pretty spotty. It's interesting that the one character whose on-screen lines least match the published scripts of the first season is Giles, whether Joss wrote the script or someone else.

Frankly, Joss' dialogue in the movie is pretty bad. I have a taped copy off Spanish TV in Spanish. Since they couldn't translate 'Joss speak,' they had it make sense according to the action. There are substantial cuts for comercials, and it's a better film that way.

The point in the movie where David Arquette flies outside the window was where for me the movie crossed the line into stupid. It was as if to say they knew they couldn't do it right. So they decided make it stupid and campy. (The Spanish version thankfully cuts Paul Reubens' death scene down to nothing.)

Rutger Hauer always plays the same guy no matter what part he plays. Maybe he can act, maybe he's just type cast. Personally, I not really impressed with what I've seen him in.

Kristy Swanson's Buffy isn't that bad compared to what's going on around her in the film. She's not in SMG's league in acting skills. But given a better script and decent direction Buffy the movie could have been a lot better even with Swanson as Buffy.

[> Here ya go, Darby -- Dead (script fairy) Soul, 02:47:24 09/06/03 Sat I see that they really had access to the original, which I would love to read.

original script

I found this via and have no idea whether or not it's genuine. In fact, I haven't even read it, but, as I had just run across a link to it right before having read your post, I thought I'd pass it along.

[> [> Oh, this is great! -- Darby, 09:56:00 09/06/03 Sat

I've been looking for this forever! From the style, especially stage directions, typos, and similarities to Origin, I'd vote that it's the real thing. And I'm not sure some of the more horrific elements would have fit in well. But there are lots of great lines that didn't make it through, like the ones that later would wind up in the other writers' scripts on the series.

I find the farther I read through the script, the less I see & hear Kristy Swanson and the more it's SMG. But even though ScriptMerrick is really Giles, he stays a picture of Donald Sutherland (I hear ASH sometimes, though).
He didn't get the death scene in the script, but rather this eulogy -

Ummm, our Father, Who art in Heaven,
duhmm... hallowed be Thy name.
Uhh, kingdom come, daily break, I
don't know. I don't even know if
you're religious. You probably
are. But you're dead, you know.
You're just totally dead. and...

She sits heavily on his grave.

... and I don't know what to do.
You were the one who... I don't
know if the training was over. I
don't even know if I passed. You're
so stupid! How could you be so
stupid? What am I supposed to do
without you? You son of a bitch!

She stops, looks down for a moment.


It does back up my theory - Sutherland made up a conflicting mythology that actually matched the way the dreams were shot better (um, don't tell Joss that I said so). The script:

How can you keep doing this?

It's what I was raised to do. There
aren't many of us left, the Watchers.


There's a small village in Hampshire,
near Stonehenge...
(sees she doesn't know it)
... near a bunch of big rocks.
That's where I was born. My father
taught me about the training, about
finding the Slayers, reading the
signs. There's a small cluster of
us, a few families, really... most
of the neighboring villagers think
we're just a bunch of harmless old
loonies. I thought so myself for a
time, when I was younger...
(stops himself)

Several other elements that didn't make it into the movie wound up integrated into the series, often with the Master - rising from the pool of blood, being under the high school, etc. The boyfriend becomes a bit of a Riley. The misdirection with "I know what time sunrise is..."

But the scripted ending! Big Bad taken down by #2 pencil! With this coda-


Students walk, holding their books talking.



Students passing notes, yawning, falling asleep.



Students window shopping, sucking on slurpies, laughing.



SHOT FROM ABOVE, the blue water FILLING THE SCREEN. Kimberly
dives gracefully into it, comes up on the other side.


Kim climbs out and joins Jeffrey, Jennifer and a boy and girl
we don't know. They are all in bathing gear, with fluorescent
zinc on their noses.

She was even crazier after that. I
mean it, you wouldn't even have
recognized her.


Jennifer nods. Kimberly wrinkles her nose in distaste.

She didn't even hardly talk to anyone
in school. All year. She didn't
even go to the prom.

I heard she got straight A's.

Jennifer glares at him.

That's what I heard.

The worst is, her parents -- this
is true -- her parents were gonna
send her to the Bahamas for
graduation, and she refused. True
story. She said she didn't want to
go. It is to vomit.

Well, where is she now?



Buffy and Pike are walking up the elaborate stone drive toward
us. We can't really tell where they are, but there are trees,
hills in the background.

Buffy leads the way. She is confident, at ease. She wears a
large old sports jacket, a baseball cap pulled backward. Skirt
and sneakers. Casual, cool, but disarming. She carries a

I didn't say it was a bad idea, I
just said the timing was off. We
could maybe wait till later.

Don't be such a fraidy-cat.

Who's afraid? Besides me, I mean.

We've come all this way. We just
have to check it out. I got a hunch.

You're the boss, boss. I just
thought maybe we should wait.

Buffy stops at a large, elaborately carved door. She turns to

Trust me.


Buffy grabs the large metal knocker, ringed through a gargoyle's

And on the boom of the knocker, we see:


The castle. Archetypal, turreted, terrifying. Standing lonely
on the craggy hill, drenched in the light of the rising moon.



[> [> yes it's genuine -- Simon, 01:25:43 09/08/03 Mon

I got the link from the new SFX Buffy special

[> How come Buffy never had any past-Slayer dreams? They are mentioned in Fray... -- Nino, 12:23:55 09/06/03 Sat

Finished 'Winter's Tale' - Yea me! and the best thing about it was... -- Sara, breathing a huge sigh of relief, 21:06:20 09/05/03 Fri

Rob's essay! Sorry Rob, still not loving the book itself. The ending was somewhat unsatisfying, much in the same way I found S7 - loose ends were just not tied up clearly enough for me. Just didn't get it, I'm afraid. I do have to say that there were specific moments in the book that were fabulous - wonderful creation of moods and atmosphere. Ok, s'kat, hope you've been working out - I'm bringing it for you on Sunday, and you've got to carry it all the way home!

- Sara, moving on to...I don't know! So many books, so little space on the night table!!!!!

[> Aw, shucks...Now ya done made me blush! -- Rob, 08:05:03 09/06/03 Sat

[> [> Gangs of New York -- mamcu, 18:59:42 09/06/03 Sat

I loved it, though I do agree with Sara--about the end and about Rob's essay, but not the book as a whole. I thought the visions of the marsh and the gangs and the frozen north, the whole transformation was incredible. At a distance, the details of how the end worked don't bother me--I'm just glad I read it.

Did either of you see Gangs of New York? This probably came up before, but there were real similarities, not just in the setting and the gangs, but the apocalyptic ending, also foreshadowing 9/11, and the strange morphing from history to fantasy. I wonder if there was any connection.

[> [> [> Re: Gangs of New York -- ponygirl, 11:49:25 09/08/03 Mon

I think the character of Asbury in the book was a shoutout to the author of Gangs.

It was a very odd experience reading the book. I loved the imagery, came to crave the environment that was being created and the slow coming together of all of the characters, yet it still took me forever to read, and I found that I had to skim over the plot or end up becoming bogged down and completely confused. I still don't understand the end or that bridge or the engraved platter or... really any of it. But I am glad that I read it.

Happy Birthday, Marie! -- Arethusa, 14:40:38 09/06/03 Sat

[> yeah, marie--happy birthday! -- anom, 21:58:48 09/06/03 Sat

Sorry you couldn't get a big meet together for the occasion where you are, but I hope your celebration was every bit as happy as if you had! I mean, I'm sure you have other friends, right? And I know you have someone special to celebrate with....

[> [> Aww, thanks, you folk! This was nice to see today! -- Marie, 03:58:25 09/08/03 Mon

And I had a fabulous time - even alcohol-free! I was taken to Chester for a surprise weekend away, so I'm knackered today, but it was great, even if it wasn't quite San Francisco!

Thanks again!


[> Happy Birthday Marie! -- Masq, 06:22:55 09/08/03 Mon

4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040 4040404040


[> [> Oooohh!!! See, that's what makes you the First Evil! -- Marie, 07:56:50 09/08/03 Mon

Just you wait - November, isn't it.....?


[> [> [> Oh, I was commiserating... -- Masq, 09:57:26 09/08/03 Mon

Isn't it better to go through these nightmares things with other folks who know how it feels?

[> [> [> [> Being 40 isn't too bad. -- Arethusa, 11:50:24 09/08/03 Mon

I don't feel much older than before and I do feel a lot more confident. It's like I've given myself permission to be self-assured, straight-forward and a little more demanding in life, instead of worrying so much about what others think. I am planning on being a holy terror when I am old.

Arethusa, 41 and two days old.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Being 40 isn't too bad. -- Masq, 14:08:06 09/08/03 Mon

That's exactly what my other 40+ female friends say. I'm starting too look forward to it now.

[> [> [> [> [> hey, marie! slightly belated happy birthday to you too! -- anom, 18:50:13 09/08/03 Mon

" It's like I've given myself permission to be self-assured, straight-forward and a little more demanding in life, instead of worrying so much about what others think."

I'm at the other end of my 40s & still working on that stuff. You don't give lessons, do you? @>)

[> [> [> [> [> [> argh! i meant arethusa! sorry 'bout that--is the inside message flattering enough to make up for it? -- anom, 19:52:10 09/08/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> Your birthday was Saturday? We're twins! But I have a twin... We're triplets!!! -- Marie, 01:27:04 09/09/03 Tue

[> More belated happies! Hope you had a great day! -- ponygirl, 08:23:40 09/08/03 Mon

[> Happy birthday, Marie! -- cjl, 14:25:41 09/08/03 Mon

Belated felicitations from a fellow Virgo--and fellow traveler on the other side of 40. Trust me--it's only going to get better (unless you convince yourself it won't).

A few questions about wolfram & hart -- spike&buffyforever, 14:59:00 09/06/03 Sat

Hi I just have a few questions about W+H. Could someone tell me what Lilah was in home because she said she wasn't a vampire, was she a zombie or something?
And finally does anyone know who the senior partners are or have any theories on them. Thanks.

[> Re: A few questions about wolfram & hart -- Seven, 16:24:54 09/06/03 Sat


Lilah was essentially a zombie, in my opinion. Some may disagree, but she was raised from the dead and her "soul" or the essence that is Lilah, was returned to her former body and her head re-attached.

This explains her scar on the neck. I see her as being similar to the zombies that Xander battled/hung-out-with in the Zeppo.

They and Lilah were not being mind-controlled per se, though Lilah was forced to perform her W&H duties post-mortum. The reason this is murky is because she didn't seem to mind being forced to do this. But that's Lilah. So my opinion? Zombie.

As for the Senior Partners. I don't really know for sure. I have not seen some key episodes of Angel, (i.e. the elevator ride with Holland Manners) that may shed some light on the subject. My personnal picture of them is that of a foil to the Powes That Be. Think of it in the Christian mentality (I know, that's a no-no with Joss) The Powers are the almighty, the creators or overseers of all possible worlds. The Senior Partners may be somewhat akin to Lucifer and his fallen angels who are constantly trying to corrupt the world out of vengence.


They are possibly the equal and opposite to the powers and are just the other side of that coin. I'm not sure anyone knows for sure. We may (I hope) get a better look at it this season.


[> [> Sorry, Not a zombie, something else, here's why -- s'kat, 22:09:42 09/06/03 Sat

If you check back in Bargaining Part I and in Dead Man's Party and Habeas Corpses - you'll see that Lilah and the guys from The Zeppo aren't zombies.

Zombies have no minds - they are basically animated corpses, no mind, no thought, no soul - completely controlled by an outside force to do its bidding. Also without exception - they all crave human flesh and eat it at least in Jossverse. (ME takes the zombie metaphor directly from the classic zombie films: Night of The Living Dead, Day of The Dead) They also rot. Nothing maintains them.

Examples: in Dead Man's Party the re-animated corspses or zombies were controlled by a demonic mask, they were thougtless mindless things - the one who took the mask was possessed by it. The essence of the human? Completely gone.
Rotting animated flesh.

In Habeas Corpses - the security voodoo of W&H reanimates the corspses of the lawyers turning them into zombies.
The essence of the human is gone.

Lilah is a reanimated corspe but not a zombie. She's not rotting. She retains her wound, but she also retains her essence, personality and soul. The best way of describing her is as a corporeal ghost, similar to Holland Manners in
Reprise. She can appear on the earthly plain corporeal for a limited time but it requires serious magic to keep her there. She's not a zombie. She isn't being controlled, although she's on the Senior PArtners business - she's not completely controlled by them, she has her body on loaner.
She also doesn't hunger for human flesh. A re-animated corspe is not limited to just being a zombie or a vampire, it can be other things.

Lilah is also not like the boys in The Zeppo, who aren't zombies either - the boys in the Zeppo have found a way to continue in their bodies after death - problem is they can't keep their bodies from rotting or having wounds. So
they are re-animated corpses, just not zombies per se.
(Example of horror films that have done these types: American Werewolf in London and My Boyfriend's Dead - both horror comedies had re-animated corspeses who contained the essence of people in their bodies, but they were dead.
Another film that does this is Death Becomes Her - starring Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep - who also stay alive in dead bodies by magic but aren't zombies.)

The difference between the boys in the Zeppo and Lilah is they rot and they came up with their own spell, another outside force is helping Lilah - she is if you'd like an employee of the Forces of Darkness, to whom she sold her soul and they give her body to come back to the earthly realm as a corporeal ghost to convey their message.

We don't know what the Powers That Be are. According to an interview in Shiver's magazine in 2000: "Whedon, Writing and Arithmetic by Joe Mauceri"

"Shivers: What are the powers that are lurking in the background on Angel? Are they something that might be associated with Buffy's world? Is there any type of association between them and The Watchers?
Whedon: We're careful with the shows so that the mythologies mesh. The powers that be, the beings that are sending Doyle his visions, have sort of sent him to Angel, and they're sort of guiding Angel. About them we can say very little. It's one of those things where we're deliberately keeping them in the shadow so that we can reveal more as time goes on. With Buffy we discovered that the Council turned out to be incompetent and annoying. I think it'll be different with this but we do like to keep it sort of vague at the start. We want to play with the mystery of it. We want to play out the idea: there's a reason you have to do good, but you don't know what."

On the show? They never really tell us. IF we are to believe Skip in Inside Out - Jasmine is the Powers That Be.
But Skip's not exactly reliable. If we are to believe Cordy in Tomorrow to THAW - then she was briefly. IF we are to believe Darla in Inside Out - she's a rep for the Powers and Lilah was a rep for the Forces of Darkness.

I think the best comparison may be between Chaos and Order.
Although the little girl in the white room certainly liked order and was evil. But - was she working for the Forces of Darkness?

No, perhaps the simplest approach is not to try to compare it to our religions but just use what the show uses to describe them.

According to ATS - the Senior Partners with W&H work with or alongside the Forces of Darkness, they basically work with whomever they see as most beneficial to them. Jasmine, you could claim was very powerful (W&H like power, to them it's all about power not good vs. evil or right vs. wrong, they are power-brokers and manipulators of power - the lawyer metaphor) and she was evil in some ways (depending on your point of view)- but she was not beneficial to W&H, she destroyed W&H and W&H's client base. W&H wanted her gone and fast. Angel and his associates got rid of her for them - that's why they rewarded AI. The Beast and Jasmine tried to destroy W&H and almost succeeded. Angel and his crew destroyed the Beast and Jasmine.

So, the question is - who is on who's side? Who is evil?
Who is good? Was Jasmine evil? Is it that simple?

W&H may be the Forces of Darkness
Jasmine may be the Powers That Be

But...would you rather be a happy zombie under Jasmine?
OR a miserable thinking person with W&H in the world?

See not so simple.

The Senior Partners? They are the top echelon of W&H, the ones who have moved on and are higher beings on the dark side, demons? dark angels? fallen angels? don't know.
We've never been told. Just that the evil little girl in the white room as seen in Long Day's Journy kept them linked to the senior partners. Who does now? Lilah? Again not sure.

Hope this made sense and helped.


[> [> [> ME Zombies are inconsistent -- Rook, 07:21:40 09/07/03 Sun

ME Zombies either don't crave human flesh (Giles in Some Assembly Required, Wesley in Provider) or they do (Angel in Habeas Corpses)

Also, both Angel and Wesley have identified beings with at least some intelligence as Zombies: The undead boyfriend in Provider, and the cops in The Thin Dead Line(The cops had enough intelligence to call for back up in case of witnesses, and to not use guns because the noise might attract attention. Both of these things require the ability to reason and distinguish between different situations.)

Probably the best way to look at ME zombies is as a larger group consisting of various sub-types, with each sub-type possessing a mixture of different possible characteristics, as opposed to vampires, which seem to all share common characteristics with little or no variation in their strengths or weaknesses.

[> [> [> I doubt any of them alone is 'The PowerS' -- Seven, 09:18:27 09/07/03 Sun

The way i figure it, Cordy and Jasmine may have been part of the Powers That Be. They were part of a whole. The only real reference that I can use is the line from Jasmine in Peace Out.

"The other Powers don't care."

This would lead me to believe that it was not simply Jasmine or simply Cordy in that role.


[> [> [> Zombies in JossVerse.. -- ZachsMind, 15:41:32 09/07/03 Sun

Although it's important to take into account the reality that zombies in Joss Whedon's universe are truly dependent on the writer of a given episodes and the requirements of a give plotline, setting that aside for a moment, this is how it's best to view zombies in Joss's universe.

First off, all zombies are really more like "golems" and I leave you to go look up what those are. Instead of using just dirt or using an actual statue to create the golem, a magic user of some sort uses the ready made flesh of deceased humans. There's levels of economy in that. The actual sciences of the metasciences left vagued up for us, our best guess is to assume there are several different ways to bring back the dead, none of which are all that advantageous. Several have attempted to play god, but no one's succeeded in being 100% effective in this regard. Otherwise, immortality would be a more common thing in Whedon's world.

The people who have sold their souls to W&H's senior partners, like Manners and Morgan, are zombies just like the mindless thralls in Dead Man's Party. Zombies are of several different types but they're so varied as to be individualistic, and dependent on many different factors. For simplicity's sake, let's say there's three different categories of things to take into account for each zombie.

1) Divination Source: Where is the power that animated the dead coming from? Is it God? Satan? Wotan? Osiris? Bob's Animated Dead Emporium? Consolidated Corpses Incorporated? How many middlemen are there between the corpse itself and the Forces of Darkness or Powers That Be which animate it?

2) Magic User Channeling Proficiency: Who is instigating the spell and how well versed are they? Do they know a variety of spells and can choose the best one for the given circumstances? Have they memorized the directions or are they reading from a book as they do the spell? What is their level of confidence? Their connections to the forces they wield? The level of mastery can do a lot to the end result. OR are we just looking at the echoes of a magic user's effectiveness? Is there a magic user consciously affecting the course of events, or it is just some ancient artifact like a mask or totem that's mindlessly awakening the dead?

3) Quality of the recipient: How long has the body been in the ground? If it's all dust an ashes, the other elements are going to have to be more powerful to reanimate it with any quality. If it's only recently been buried, it won't be quite as difficult to bring it back. Can the recipient be reanimated to full functionality with minimal drain on magic resources over time? Or is the body beyond repair and will continue to decay? Are the faculties of the original available? Was the originally inhabiting soul and mind available for return, or will the physical body need the channeling magic user to externally operate it remotely?

These variables differ from one situation to another, which is why zombies seem to behave dramatically differently in the Joss Universe. If one looks at each situation on a case by case basis, they will for the most part make sense. Manners and Morgan come from similar elements, so their behavior is similar. All the zombies in The Zeppo operated pretty much the same way cuz they were brought back by the same guy. Same goes for the ones in Dead Man's Party, although they do differ from the ones in The Zeppo, because for Dead Man's Party it was a mystically cursed inanimate object that was calling the shots. In The Zeppo the magic user channeller had been a more sentient being. When W&H does it for individuals, it's under contract and they have hefty resources to get it right. At the end of season four when it was just a security feature, not a lot of effort was put into making them more than mindless drones because it was an emergency contingency, and chances are the people who signed off on that idea didn't want to actually be IN their bodies if they were the unfortunate ones trapped in there at the time.

So they all work well intrinsic to their episode, even if Whedon never bothered to concoct a detailed consistency throughout the two series. Demons are made much the same way. They're broken down into families or clans. Some are less evil than others. When it comes to people related distantly to characters like Lorne or Doyle, attempts at consistency were made, but for the most part each time a new demon character is required, they just just make up a new name and start from scratch. Less trouble with continuity that way.

[> [> [> Re: Sorry, Not a zombie, something else, here's why -- Sgamer82, 20:12:59 09/07/03 Sun

Doesn't Anya say in one episode that zombies don't crave human flesh unless directed to do so by their zombie master? the zombie master in "Dead Man's Party" a demon, would of course have its zombies do that. But no other zombies have done that to my knowledge.

[> [> [> Re: What is Lilah? -- Rabel Dusk, 14:21:15 09/08/03 Mon

Perhap's Lilah is a ghost. I don't remember if she touches anything or anybody - if so, then a corporeal ghost which reflects the manner of her death (and post death beheading) She is still under contract to W&H, who have the power to give her a temporary body.

And don't expect ME to be consistant. They don't have a worked out cosmos that they refer to. I think that I read once that they admit winging it from week to week and sometimes contradict themselves.

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