September 2001 posts

August 2001  

More September 2001

Worse Than They Seem: The Watchers, Treachery, and Buffy as Target -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 15:24:06 09/01/01 Sat

BtVS portrays the Council of Watchers, in general, as a problematic, occasionally inept but occasionally needful organization, about a sclerotic as a 5000 year old bureaucracy could be. (I should point out that you may consider any old, certainly millennia-old, bureaucracy as a vampire- analogue.) I suggest that, while they may be benevolent from the standpoint of the average citizen in the Buffy-verse, they may be malevolent to the individual Slayer.

Lets take a look at the general process. A Slayer is Chosen -- possessed by the powers thereby. She has a Watcher, a man (in a very-much patriarchal role,) who will exploit his adolescent "daughter" and ultimately lead her in an uneasy life and to an early death. But let's say the Slayer beats the odds (as Buffy has) and does NOT die. Should the Slayer live for perhaps some years, she will by definition grow in maturity, confidence, ability to deal with the world. As such she will be less amenable to her Watcher's dictates, and, through him, those of the Council.

But if she dies young, there is little lost to the Council; they have several young girls "on deck," so to speak, who can become the next Slayer. In this way the Watchers can continue to fulfill their function of fighting evil.

Buffy stated in "Checkpoint" that the Council were, in actuality, more dependent on the Slayer than she on them. She is only half-right. They need a Slayer; they DO NOT NEED any individual Slayer. For the purposes of fighting Evil a sixteen- or seventeen- year old Buffy- replacement will do almost as well. In addition, she will not be a threat to Council authority.

This may be the real function of the cruciamentum test. Most Slayers will probably NOT survive -- and they are NOT intended to. I don't think that it is any coincidence that this may happen as the Slayer reaches her early adulthood at 18 and may, therefore, become more assertive and independent. A steady turnover of Slayers would have, in the Council's eyes, minimal negative impact on the main mission of fighting evil and be a major support for the Council's second mission -- perpetuating its own authority and power. Remember Giles referring to the threat of a rogue Slayer? Is this a threat to the world -- or to the Council specifically?

In brief, the Council may have wanted Buffy dead since her 18th birthday. The resurrected Buffy of the sixth season had better watch her back; not all her mortal enemies may be undead.
[> Re: Worse Than They Seem: The Watchers, Treachery, and Buffy as Target -- Drizit, 15:47:17 09/01/01 Sat

The Watchers Council does not watch the show, being part of the show.

They might get Giles reports on disasters that Buffy has averted...apocolypse six times now plus run of the mill nasties that are the norm near the Hellmouth. The thing is it is a lot different to be at a fight that determins the fate of the world than reading a report in a library in England while drinking tea. My point is that we the veiwers know how much Buffy has done, but to the Council she is just another Slayer.

Similar to how we the veiwers saw Spike changing and the gradual changes that the chip/love of Buffy did to him, but the Scoobies had no awareness of this process and the genuine love until Intervention.

Checkpoint was a cool episode, but the Council does have much more power than Buffy in the mundain world and I think they backed down from thier demands too easily. Maby they wanted to wait for the Glory situation to resolve before making a real move for power(key in music from Jaws as the Stuffy Englishmen plot evily...he he)

Fred, all this rambling was to say I agree with you:-)
[> [> Not your ordinary Slayer... -- Wisewoman, 19:57:11 09/01/01 Sat

Gotta say this quick, 'cuz BtVS is on in 3 minutes...Buffy's success in facing down the CoW in Checkpoint is, in part, because she is not just another slayer. I think the Council recognizes that. They were concerned enough when they found out she was battling a god to come over en masse. And as far as we know, no other slayer has been entrusted with something as potentially dangerous as The Key...okay gotta go..

[> Re: Worse Than They Seem: The Watchers, Treachery, and Buffy as Target -- gds, 20:23:26 09/01/01 Sat

I agree with Wisewoman. Furthermore I believe the WC knew Buffy would defeat Glory. As I pointed out when the show aired, the camera deliberately cut away from Buffy after Buffy told the WC that Glory had told Buffy that she could squash her like a bug - but she didn't. For about 2 seconds the camera cut to 2 watchers giving a look at each other. The director went out of the way to indicate something was going on at that point.

Also don't forget that some of the WC - including some watchers - are women. They probably are in the minority, but they are there.
[> [> Re: Worse Than They Seem: The Watchers, Treachery, and Buffy as Target -- voxpopuli, 21:20:49 09/01/01 Sat

Or maybe,they actually wanted Glory to terminate Buffy, and if no other slayer was called they could terminate Faith and get their new brand new Slayer, Maybe, they actually could defeat Glory using other resources, maybe they were affraid (in their higher levels) that if they killed Faith first, no other slayer would be called forth, adn they'd have to deal with Buffy, who has proven impossible to control... I know it is a little paranoid but... organizations that are more than 2000 years old, just do not remain functional by being nice and totally dependant on one element of the chain, regardless of the importance of such element.
[> [> Re: Worse Than They Seem: The Watchers, Treachery, and Buffy as Target -- Drizit, 21:25:38 09/01/01 Sat

Valid points, however the Council is a paradox or a joke then. They brag about thier knowladge and power, but when push comes to shove they back down. If the Council really does know how efficiant/profficiant Buffy is they might choose to tolerate her independance for the practical reason that her style works, but if a new menace comes and Buffy could not solve it they might kill her so they could have another Slayer who would do the job.

Ahhhhh I just read my own paragraph above and thought to myself "If Buffy cannot solve a problem how would a new inexperienced Slayer be better?" Feelling wishy washy and confused now...

I am curious if Giles notified the Council of her Death. Regardless, unless the Buffybot is reactivated to take her place they would find out anyway as I am sure they have one or two informants or Watchers in Sunnydayle to give them reports that lack Giles bias.(Giles is probably justifiably beleived to be loyal to Buffy not the Council)

Second issue is if the Council knows about the death of Buffy will they try to get Faith out of jail, kill Faith to get the next Slayer? Ah Faith....wish Elishka(sp?) had remained available for Buffy and Angel instead of going for the higher paychecks of corny movies. Faith would have been written into more episodes if the actress were available.

Sigh...I miss Faith!
[> [> [> Re: Worse Than They Seem: The Watchers, Treachery, and Buffy as Target -- John Burwood, 00:55:33 09/02/01 Sun

Just a quick post to add a couple of small twists to this thread. Buffy is no ordinary slayer because the line now runs through Faith. To get a new Slayer the WC would have to kill Faith - currently out of easy reach in prison. They have no final sanction against a rebellious Buffy, which is what gave her the whip hand over them. The WC would surely have an independent Slayer slaying than no Slayer. She is a bonus to the fight, & IMHO the WC are too coldly logical not to see that. But the WC are still sclerotically tied to ancient Laws & traditions such as the Cruciamentum. The reason for this ancient test may well have a lot to do with controlling slayers, but knowing the darkness of the Slayer & the potential of them doing a 'Faith' this may well have evolved for a rational purpose - albeit arrogantly and self-righteously rational.
[> [> [> [> Re: Worse Than They Seem: The Watchers, Treachery, and Buffy as Target -- John Burwood, 03:51:38 09/02/01 Sun

Another point also occurs. If the WC had been completely ruthless about killing Slayers, why did they not have Faith killed while she was in a coma? They had an agent as her nurse monitoring her, after all, and professional killers in their pay. Yet they waited until she awoke, & then tried to bring her in for trial first. Only when she went berserk again & started attacking Buffy & others, & their soldiers warned them smuggling a prisoner backwould be too dangerous did they authorise summary execution. Following their ancient rules all the way along, is my bet.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Worse Than They Seem: The Watchers, Treachery, and Buffy as Target -- Malandanza, 14:30:45 09/02/01 Sun

"Another point also occurs. If the WC had been completely ruthless about killing Slayers, why did they not have Faith killed while she was in a coma? They had an agent as her nurse monitoring her, after all, and professional killers in their pay. Yet they waited until she awoke, & then tried to bring her in for trial first. Only when she went berserk again & started attacking Buffy & others, & their soldiers warned them smuggling a prisoner back would be too dangerous did they authorize summary execution. Following their ancient rules all the way along, is my bet."

Giles did say that the Watcher's excel at bureaucracy -- behind the scenes manipulation. But bureaucracy has its downside as well -- consider a division in the council where one faction wants Faith dead and another wants her rehabilitated. How would they resolve the issue? My guess was a timid third group that were hoping Faith would die in her coma so they wouldn't have to make a decision. When Faith awakened and went on a rampage, these watchers could have switched to the first group. I think the provision for bringing Faith back to England was mere lip service to the "good" members of the council -- a promise to try to bring her back to England if possible -- but they sure didn't try very hard. In other words, I don't think the council met to decide Faith's fate while the "wet works" team was waiting on the phone -- whoever they were reporting to had already had the authority to make this decision delegated to him -- he just needed an excuse to implement it.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Bureaucracy, or how Faith got lost in the papershuffling -- Rufus, 15:58:35 09/02/01 Sun

"Slayers change, the council remains the same."

When the slayer was first created, the Watchers were people with a mission to save this sorry world. A sacrifice to civilization. One girl that shoulders the ultimate weight of the world while everyone else goes on about life. It was simple in primative times, there would have been a strong tie between the Watcher and the Slayer, it was more personal. Then humanity evolved and became less humane. The Council of Watchers became a bureaucracy more interested in its own inner workings than the instrument, or slayer. It was inhuman enough to expect one person to shoulder the majority of the battle between good and evil, but the CoW went a step further, they became benign looking academics more interested in their continued involvement in the Big picture than the health or welfare of the Slayer. They cut themselves off from their reason for being with paperwork, meetings, and other trappings of self importance. Faith didn't get killed because it wasn't part of the plan. The Watchers so convinced of their ultimate power that they failed to comprehend that the slayer is more than a chess piece. The larger the bureaucracy, the more chance there is for mistakes and miscommunication. The downside is that the Slayer has in the form of Buffy been able to evolve past the need for the Council, something I don't think they ever considered possible. The CoW's mistake was to get to removed from the Slayer, and too arrogant about their place in the Big Picture. If they have information that would further cement their place at the top of the pecking order I suggest they do a little research and find which slip of paper that gem was put on. Til then they shoud eagerly await their first issue of Insaneo's Home Journal, just don't hope it gets lost in the mail room.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Origins? -- Malandanza, 16:19:08 09/02/01 Sun

When the slayer was first created, the Watchers were people with a mission to save this sorry world.

Is it possible that the council began as a sort of Scooby Gang? Imagine if Buffy were to remain dead - - wouldn't Xander & Willow be interested in who the next slayer might be (assuming Faith is out of the picture)? Think about Willow and Xander searching for the next Chosen One to help her out (or save her from the council)-- then imagine the first slayer to have a group of friends and what they might do after her death.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Origins? -- Rufus, 16:40:45 09/02/01 Sun

Sorry, I'm kinda referencing the comic book Fray where it says that the Watchers created the slayer. I don't ever see them as a Scooby Gang as much as an patriarchal figure that is there to guide the slayer, not be her friend. Giles proves that not all of the watchers have ice water in their veins as he was close enough to Buffy to develop fatherly feelings for her. The council seemed to want to test both Slayer and Watcher to make sure that the Watcher didn't get too close to the instrument. Giles is just not a good "company" man as he was able to ignore Council teachings in hope of creating not just a better slayer but a better person. I think that once the CoW lost that personal link to the Slayer their days were numbered as the ultimate control figures on the side of humanity. They lost out because they forgot the human in humanity. They became aloof from all banishing themselves to their research. I just don't see any evidence that the slayer ever had a Scooby Gang in the same way that Buffy created. I think they did get close to the individual Watchers as they fulfilled a parental role in a solitary, short, life. Buffy in that she wasn't found early enough to mould her into a proper slayer, was able to think outside, way outside of the box.
[> [> [> [> Re: Worse Than They Seem: The Watchers, Treachery, and Buffy as Target -- cjc36, 06:49:27 09/02/01 Sun

I've wondered: The writers have said, and now we know, that Buffy, while still being a Slayer and all, isn't the torch bearer of Slayerdom: Faith is.

Does the Council know this? Does Giles? I'm guessing they will after no new girl is called, but this begs the Q: Why not kill Fatih and get a new warrior?
[> Re: Worse Than They Seem: The Watchers, Treachery, and Buffy as Target -- cjc36, 06:45:06 09/02/01 Sun

Good piece, Fred. But do remember--at least now, in the modern world--there are women watchers.

But you're points are valid. The Council can (and has, I'm guessing) treat Slayers like disposable tools. Nothing more.

Giles grew parental feelings for Buffy--love--and it broke the rules and Quentin fired him. Cold bastards!
[> The Watchers must be crying about the recent slayers -- Kerri, 08:16:27 09/02/01 Sun

The WC must be very upset. Ok-so there's Faith. She goes all rouge slayer-and what happens-they can't kill her-a vampire helps to save her.

Worse yet for the council-Buffy. She continues to fight evil but shows she doesn't need the watchers to do that. Then when they come to Sunnydale to try to regain control she addresses them as her equals, if not inferiors, and takes control away from them. Then Buffy goes and lives longer than most, if not all, previous slayers. Buffy is without a doubt an unusual slayerin many ways, her relationship with humanity especially-and while this is an excellent thing for Buffy Sumnmers, everyone that is close to her, and the world-the WC must be very upset.

Really Kendra seems like the kind of slayer they wanted. Obedient, willing to cut all ties with humanity, short lived, completely in their control.
[> [> The Watchers must be crying about the recent slayers -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 13:24:23 09/02/01 Sun


I'm very gratified by the substantial and well-thought out replies to my jottings. Even a brief look at the postings shows that the contributors to this list have much more in-depth considerations than most "fan" discussion boards.

A couple of thoughts: First, I would not think that having women on the Watchers' Council would change their behavior much. From my study of history I would suggest that women in positions of power could be quite as ruthless as the XY-chromosome bearers if their interests are threatened. Cases in point: Margaret Thatcher. Indira Gandhi. Catherine the Great of Russia. The Dowager Empress of China. Elizabeth I of England. The Isabellas, of both Spain and France (latter affectionately nicknamed the "She-Wolf." I think, however, she got shortchanged by the chroniclers of the fourteenth century, usually monks who did not then like assertive women in positions of power.) Blanche of Castile . . . [Too long a list as it stands.]

So, despite sharing a gender with Buffy, the women of the Watchers' Council might well sign off on her "termination with extreme prejudice," albeit with a bit more regret.

Second: I'm not sure Faith is out of the picture (although, in reality, Eliza Dushku's other commitments might preclude.) Remember that her crimes were committed in California. We never knew exactly what she was charged with or how severe her sentence is. If she could scrounge up a good lawyer and get a decent plea bargain (plus good behavior in the joint) she might well be out on parole in eighteen months or so. I think Amy Fisher was in for about 2 and 1/2 years in New York, a much harsher jurisdiction. This doesn't even assume that the Council could use behind the scenes influence.

Hmm. . . . this could work out wonderfully well. It would give the Council an effective Slayer with superb control -- "do what we say or you go back to San Quentin." Would work for me.

Third: While Buffy is, almost certainly, the longest lived and most experienced Slayer of recent centuries, the Council may well decide that her special qualifications are disposable if their command authority is in jeopardy. Remember that in the course of some millennia they've probably faced numerous severe challenges and dealt with them in due course and with other Slayers. So Buffy is not indispensable. "The graveyards are full of indispensable men." -- Georges Clemenceau.

Fourth: The Scooby Gang, as motley as it is, is, I would suggest, Buffy's great asset. As one writer observed about Holmes and Watson, the secret is that Holmes needs Watson more than the good doctor needs the great detective. Watson kept his partner emotionally-grounded and connected with humanity, something that may well have vanished if Holmes had been a solitary.

Note that of the three slayers we've seen, only Buffy has had what pop psychology would call a "support group." The others have not. While Kendra didn't last long enough for us to tell, it's apparent that Faith was going over the edge like a turbo-powered lemming (note the pressures I had in the other post, "Buffy as Burnt Offering.") I think that their isolation, save only for their Watcher (each of which has an agenda beyond the well-being of his charge) plays a major part in their early demise. As Spike noted, perhaps the "average" Slayer develops a death wish -- just to end this pressure, isolation, suffering, and to get it over with.

Another point -- you notice that none of these Slayers, save possibly the first, has a father present? That may be a prerequisite for this isolation and Council control.

Thanks for hearing me out.
[> [> [> Re: The Watchers must be crying about the recent slayers -- Voxpopuli, 05:14:39 09/03/01 Mon

The CoW did not expect Buffy to return, let alone with her Slayer power still intact. That added a data on unpredictability that would keep then from killing Faith before Buffy died. As I said before, what if Faith dies, and there is not new Slayer, as if the Poers that Be saw no need for this. You know, the "there can be only one" highlander motto that served very well on the beggining of the series? If Buffy dies, another slayer could be called or not (They're not Joss, they're Joss' characters). If not, then they could safely erradicate Faith and then track and train the new Slayer, if another slayer was called after Buffy's death, they could terminate Faith, take the chances of having two slayers without the risk of ending up with none. That would be like playing to eliminate the undesirable odds. My ideal of Watcher and Slayers and Vamps are in another thread. Women Watchers... a woman in such position does not need to be any different from men. Too bad it is so. To succeed in a men's world, most women act like men deprived of penis, intead of trying to make their own rules, to set up their own standards and thus making this world less solidly masculine, and more tolerant of difference. So the women of the Council should be as harsh as men, and as ruthless. Besides that, we must all bear in mind that the council is a depositary of knowledge gathered since immemorial times, they have their trainers, probably their witches, and Magus, their spies, and strategists, they could probably make their own war against the forces of darkness (!) without the slayer. It is not bad for them that the slayers change while the Council gets ever more powerful. So Buffy, definitely is a pain in the butt. They can't even control her Watcher. I think that Quentin is a small fish in a big pond. Would you really send someone important to care for a situation that could endanger the life of the emmissarie? Nope! Would you give the whole pack of information to a small fish, or would you just use it as a tool of manipulation? Guess what? I believe the show has not explored the whole potential of the Council. What if Wolfram and Hart is an unwanted offspring of the Council, sharing its manipulation methods and stuff? What is the Council did not say the whole truth about vampires and demons, so that they can exhert better control over the lowest ranks and over the slayer? The Council could be a big Good that turned so Bad because it got lost in its own lust for Power.

I wrote this, and I hope it clarifies my ideas: " The lineage stays unbroken, and that's how the knowledge is passed on. It is blood, always about blood. Any Ancient One is aware of it. Nobody knows how the Slayers are actually found. Some watchers claim it is magic, and in a sense it is. The magic of essence calling to essence, blood to blood. The secret of the Council's Inner Circle is kept unbroken, like the male lineage, and it is exactly what has kept the Council together despite the numerous rebellions within its ranks. The knowledge has grown into an intricate web, and as the world grew, so did the tentacles of the Council. 'Cause the slayer had to be found, and trained, and buried, and then found again. And the portal of Dimensions, HellMouth as we call it, moves around the planet, and it may stay for centuries on a certain place, just to show up somewhere else, all new and unguarded! The Watchers must never rest: they do not have the right to rest. The Archives are not entirely secret, only part of them can not be disclosed to anybody outside the family. How many watchers know that they are nothing but pawns in a family play? Perhaps none of them. How many watchers are aware of the wealth controlled by the organisation? Their wildest dreams fall infinitely short of the power of the Council. For watchers know only the tentacle they are linked to, not the source of those limbs. And if a limb is defective or becomes useless or dangerous, it is immediately cut off, so that a new and healthier one, can grow in its place.

There came a time when the Council became more feared than the Slayers, and the ones outside the Family started not to care much about the Slayer. And it is such their despise, that the Slayers started to die younger. But not the watchers. We have the finest minds, the most skilled warriors from all over the world. They who have seen the face of evil, turn to us for allegiance. For many watchers the Slayer is nothing but a legend. And the ones who actually meet a Slayer, most do not see the beauty they are blessed to behold. The Inner Circle is not loosing strength: it is being suffocated in its own power.

My older brothers are all above me, youngest among them. The Elder is about to die and his older son will take his place. My nephew, a few years younger than me. He was trained and groomed to this task, and I do not envy him at all, for I see that the burden which will be placed on his shoulders will bend him and dry him up, as it did not my brother, so old despite not so advanced in years. Me, I can not escape my destiny, the lineage lives in me as it lives in each one of them. But I shall retire as soon as my beloved brother is set to rest on the earth. Weak I shall be called, but I do not mind." P. 1850

"He is dead. It took him almost one year of excruciating pain, but he has finally rested. My nephew did not shed a tear, he was not supposed to, but I... shame on me for having wept over the loss of a man I admired for his wisdom and loved as brother! "Weakling", my brothers called me. Now it is time to negotiate my departure". P. 1851

" So I set my eyes on new horizons, for a small business across the channel. New man, new name, new life, new hopes. Will I find a good woman of my own choice to marry? Will I be able to have a perfectly normal life? As the boat crosses these dark waters I feel like I am leaving the fields of Hades behind. A short note for today: may all my grief be gone!". P. June 1851

"She was not the most beautiful girl in the room, but there was something in her stare that made me fall for her. Pretty indeed, yet there is more to her than just grace. She is inquisitive, witty and so young! Her father is a physician, one of those leeches, not better or worse than any of his fellows. He teaches at Medical School. No noble title, a fair dowry. I do not need her dowry. Do I need her?" P. 1852

" I am a family man! We've married a couple of weeks ago, and due to business pressures, we were not able to have a decent honeymoon. Next Summer we will travel to some place warm and sunny. Oh, happiness! I thought You were not for me!" P. Dec. 1852 " She bore me two children! A boy and a girl, twins! I feared for her life, and I did my best to help her. She bled too much. I thought I'd loose her. My lovely wife... so brave, so strong! She still does not know that she will not be able to have any more children. But, lo! Right now I have more than I can handle! Two beautiful babies, beautiful... the girl cries a lot, I see her small face twist as she seems to make the whole world spin around her. The boy, on the other hand, is pretty quiet, and sleeps for hours on end. Their hair is brown like mine, and they have their mother's blue eyes. I love them. My family, my own blood." P. 1854

" Mary has got married today. A fine man her husband is. He will have to muster all his patience for my girl. She has a wild heart and a fierce nature. She is not one to take orders from anybody. My love says I spoiled her. Maybe I did. My son is who really worries me. Quiet, of mild manners and a kind heart. How many times other children neat him up at school? Not one tear, not one complaint. If I could I would send him to my family's school, but would it do him any good? Sometimes he scares me. I can see some traits of my family in his behaviour. Keen observer, responds very quickly to people's feelings rather than words. I wonder if he has the resilience and coldness that we all have been bred with. He'd be a good watcher. If only he was not so... tender. He has started to talk about girls, and I do not think he knows his ways around females. My brother-in- law says I should take care of this part of the boy's education, but... he does not seem ready... yet. I met a watcher at the wedding. He did not seem to know me. And I am glad he did not approach us. Pretty harmless the old man seemed. But you never know". P. 1870

" My son is in College and Mary is living abroad with her husband. I fear for my wife's welfare. How will she cope with all this? All she'll have is this diary. I hope she understands how much I love her, how much I love my children! I have to guarantee their safety. Happiness: so short and so dear. Tonight I'll meet him. He's got a message from the Circle. I could not say no." P. Dec. 1872 Journal's last note.
[> [> [> minor note -- Solitude1056, 11:37:56 09/03/01 Mon

father-figure made me think of the slayer during the Boxer Rebellion: her last words were translated as "tell my mother I'm sorry." An odd choice, if you go on the assumption that the Chinese patriarchial culture would've meant her father would've been the one to whom she owed an apology for the dishonor of failing. But she mentioned her mother, instead... so perhaps there is something to "not having a complete set of parental figures" in each Slayer's personal history.
[> [> [> [> Or she had a "Bad Dad," in the Jossian tradition -- mundusmundi, 12:52:09 09/03/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> Re: minor note -- Kerri, 12:59:36 09/03/01 Mon

It seems that the slayer has a strong connection with the mother. The nature of the slayer is to love and nurture, which Buffy finally understands in The Gift, and while the slayer in China may not have realised this on a conscious level, as Buffy does, she could have felt it.

Also we can think of the slayer's mother as being the first slayer or the power which possesses the slayer-the one who brings life in the form of the slayer, and the slayer's father as being the watcher- who contributed to the bringing of life(as in the shamons who created the slayer) and also the traditional disciplinarian role of the father.

Make any sense?
[> [> [> several points -- anom, 21:24:19 09/05/01 Wed

"Second: I'm not sure Faith is out of the picture....We never knew exactly what she was charged with or how severe her sentence is....she might well be out on parole in eighteen months or so."

Do we know how old Faith is? If she was a juvenile at the time she committed the crime(s) she was sentenced for, she might be out in a few years.

"It would give the Council an effective Slayer with superb control -- 'do what we say or you go back to San Quentin.'"

If she's out early after serving juvie time, the CoW couldn't send her back.

"I think that their isolation, save only for their Watcher (each of which has an agenda beyond the well-being of his charge) plays a major part in their early demise."

Well, Faith apparently had a good Watcher the 1st time, possibly the first positive relationship she'd had in her life. But that probably made seeing her killed before her eyes even more traumatic. If she hadn't run into the SG, she might not be alive today.
[> [> [> [> several points -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 11:36:56 09/06/01 Thu

IIRC Faith is Buffy's age; so she would have been 18-19 at the time of her confession. The last shot in the "Angel" where she went to jail (I forget the title) was her in a barred cell -- I don't think standard issue for first-term California juvenile centers. I think she is in an adult facility.

But, again, being California, she well might have received a short sentence and be released early -- permitting my scenario -- re Watcher hold of parole violation threat as control -- to hold.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: several points -- Drizzt, 13:58:03 09/07/01 Fri

Scenerio Watchers Council using the big stick of "obay or you go back to jail"? Ever seen La Femme Nikita?

A threat will not control Faith, it is having a purpose and a sense of belonging that could win her over. Faith is alone. Not much of a threat. A parolee with a family and life to go to after prison will want to be with thier family. Parolee with no freinds or family has no reason to care where they are. Faith has noone except Angel who cares about her.
[> The Watchers, the Slayer, and the subordinate role of women -- vampire hunter D, 12:58:33 09/02/01 Sun

I get the feeling that the Watchers have a very old world and out-dated mind set. Until recently, all women and girlds wre told not to think for themselves. Told to do what others (specifically the men of the family) told them (kind of like Tara's family). They were to be subordinate and totally dependant on others. However, over the last couple of decades, women and society in general have begun rejecting this demeaning standard. Women have begun to think for themselves and have lives and careers away from the home. This change has really taken off in the last decade where now not only are they allowed to be independant, but are encouraged to do so.

The Watchers (and the MacLay Family) have not gotten this yet. Notice, most of the watchers we've seen were a bunch of stuffy old coots. They are still trying to hold the Slayer to the old "girls should do as they're told" attitude.

The fact that the Slayers are called in their teen years doesn't help. They suddenly go from a comfortable world view (where all that matters is clothes, and boy bands, and who-likes-who) and are suddenly thrust into a very harsh and dangerous reality. They are probably confused and scared. Then the watchers come along with their antiquated attitude with offers of aid. Of course, this aid comes at the price of the girls free will and comlete isolation from family and friends (ala Kendra). But as scared as the girl is, it probably makes sense (Am I making sense here. My thoughts don't translate into words well). The Slayer becomes a puppet of her Watcher, and after a while, taking orders becomes so routine that even if she did survive into maturity, she is so used to taking orders that she can't stop even when she is old enough to realize she doesn't have to.

Buffy, however, is different. She was brought up in a world where girls are encouraged to think for themselves. She had friends to help her through the difficult parts of Slaying and kept her from being totally dependant on her watcher. Also, Giles gave up trying to order her around. He helped her, gave her advice and suggestions, but never gave orders. All this led her to be more independant and able to make her own decisions. In fact, when Wesley came along and immediately began issuing oders, she just ignored him.

Faith also benefited from Buffy. She got to be exposed to a strong and independant Slayer, so she saw that she did not need a watcher to fight. I also think that Faith's past also predisposed her to be untrusting of authority. This gave her the ability to be independant too.

But what of the next Slayer. She might not have Buffy (and probably won't have Faith) to guide her and show her how to be independant. And the Watchers still have this cheauvanistic attiude. In fact, they would rpobably be more intent on totally controling the SLayer.

I fear for this girl.

The Watchers need to be stopped. Or at least have some sense knocked into them. Hmm, I think I feel a fanfic coming on (anyone want to help?)
[> [> Re: The Watchers, the Slayer, and the subordinate role of women -- Voxpopuli, 09:42:51 09/03/01 Mon

I'm not a native speaker of English, but I'd like to help.
[> No. They're all just nice, sweet, Giles's. -- change, 18:20:49 09/04/01 Tue

Sorry, but I just love playing devils advocate, and the CoW make such wonderful devils....

> BtVS portrays the Council of Watchers, in general, as a problematic, > occasionally inept but occasionally needful organization, about a > sclerotic as a 5000 year old bureaucracy could be. (I should point > out that you may consider any old, certainly millennia-old, bureaucracy > as a vampire-analogue.) I suggest that, while they may be benevolent > from the standpoint of the average citizen in the Buffy-verse, they may > be malevolent to the individual Slayer.

> Lets take a look at the general process. A Slayer is Chosen -- possessed > by the powers thereby. She has a Watcher, a man (in a very-much > patriarchal role,) who will exploit his adolescent "daughter" and > ultimately lead her in an uneasy life and to an early death.

Giles hasn't exploited her, and neither did Wesley. I don't think you can say that the CoW leads the slayers to an early death either. In WttHM, Giles mentions that Joyce's decision to move to Sunnydale was not pure chance. It is strongly implied that the PTB somehow manipulated Joyce into deciding to move to Sunnydale because that's where they wanted Buffy to be. So it's the PTB that are leading the slayers to an early death. The CoW simply tries to help the slayers by providing them with training and advice.

It also seems odd that when Buffy ran away from Sunnydale at the end of season 2, that she should just happen to pick another town with its own Hellmouth and demons to fight. Probably the influence of the PTB again.

As far as Giles being patriarchical, I think it would be hard for a 40'ish man not to be patriarchical towards a 16 year old girl he was assigned to train and advise.

> But let's > say the Slayer beats the odds (as Buffy has) and does NOT die. Should > the Slayer live for perhaps some years, she will by definition grow in > maturity, confidence, ability to deal with the world. As such she will > be less amenable to her Watcher's dictates, and, through him, those of > the Council.

> But if she dies young, there is little lost to the Council; they have > several young girls "on deck," so to speak, who can become the next Slayer. > In this way the Watchers can continue to fulfill their function of fighting > evil.

You're assuming that the CoW does not need experienced slayers. Given that there have been 6 near apocolypses in the past 5 years, the CoW would want to have the most experienced slayer around possible just for self preservation.

> Buffy stated in "Checkpoint" that the Council were, in actuality, more > dependent on the Slayer than she on them. She is only half-right. > They need a Slayer; they DO NOT NEED any individual Slayer. For the purposes > of fighting Evil a sixteen- or seventeen- year old Buffy- replacement will do > almost as well. In addition, she will not be a threat to Council authority.

Again, you're assuming that the CoW does not need an experienced slayer, and that the only thing the CoW does is to train and advise slayers. The CoW may do other things too. If not, they why has it developed the ability to manipulate bureacracies in foreign countries. Why does it have a wet works team. It seems like overkill to manage one slayer.

> This may be the real function of the cruciamentum test. Most Slayers will > probably NOT survive -- and they are NOT intended to.

I don't remember any reference in the BtVS to whether or not most slayers survive the Cruciamentum. However, I would expect that most of them would survive. Xander does not have any special training, and yet he has killed vampires on occasion. Before Willow became a witch, Xander and Willow patrolled while Buffy was on vacation between seasons 1 and 2, and when she ran away between seasons 2 and 3. Although they may not have been too effective at slaying vampires, they did survive. Even Cordelia has beaten vampires (Harmony in Disharmony for example). Slayers, on the other hand, are given years of combat training in various martial arts. They are also specifically trained in how to kill vampires. Buffy became a slayer when she was 15. If that's the norm, then most slayers would have had 2-3 years of training before the Cruciamentum, and lots of field experience in actually fighting them. Most slayers would also have had at least some experience in fighting various demons which are stronger than slayers (for example, the Lagos demon from Revelations who tosses Faith around like a rag doll). So, by their eighteeth birthday, a slayer will have been thoroughly trained in the martial arts, have years of experience fighting vampires, and may had to fight demons stronger than they are. So, the Cruciamentum might not be so hard a test for a good slayer to pass. I'm not saying that it's a nice thing for the CoW to do to a slayer, just that it might not be an automatic death sentence.

> I don't think that it > is any coincidence that this may happen as the Slayer reaches her early > adulthood at 18 and may, therefore, become more assertive and independent.

> A steady turnover of Slayers would have, in the Council's eyes, minimal > negative impact on the main mission of fighting evil and be a major support > for the Council's second mission -- perpetuating its own authority and power. > Remember Giles referring to the threat of a rogue Slayer? Is this a threat

> to the world -- or to the Council specifically?

Faith was certainly a rogue slayer, but she was never a threat to the CoW. From what I can tell, she would have gladly left them alone.

Speaking of Faith, if the CoW values individual slayers so little, then they should have killed Faith off while she was in a coma. They apparently had an operative working in the hospital watching her for months. Instead, they waited until she came out of the coma and then tried to bring her to the CoW for trial (and maybe rehabilitation). They didn't try to kill her until after she tried to kill Joyce and one of their operatives (at least they thought it was Faith at the time).

Another point to consider is that the CoW can usually predict who the next slayer can be. This is what happenned with Kendra. In these cases, they are able to intervene and train the girls from birth. Slayers like Kendra will be easy for the CoW to control since the CoW will have had them under their thumb from birth. So, if the CoW really didn't care about individual slayers, then they should simply kill slayers like Buffy who were not detected early on. That way, the birth right will pass onto another slayer like Kendra who the CoW have had from birth and can therefore control. How's that for sinister.

> In brief, the Council may have wanted Buffy dead since her 18th birthday. The > resurrected Buffy of the sixth season had better watch her back; not all her > mortal enemies may be undead.

Well, I know that guns are not used much on BtVS, but if the CoW wanted Buffy dead, they could have hired a sniper with a high powered rifle and killed her off long ago.
[> [> Plot Holes RE Watchers Council -- Drizzt, 19:50:45 09/04/01 Tue

Checkpoint they came on very strong and backed down too easily.

The Faith/Buffy soul transfer eps; they had an opperative monitoring Faith. She called the Council after Faith woke up. Wetworks team sent to Sunnydayle to kidnap Faith to be "programed"(maby brainwashing) or otherwise brought back under the control/authority of the Watchers.

Major problem; the Watchers know how powerfull and dangerous Slayers are, so it would have been much much easier to transport her to a prison type hospital while she was in a coma and waited for her to wake up. Of course if this had happened we would not have seen Faith in Sarahs body talking very dirty to Spike(loved that scene!), so I am not unhappy with this plot hole:-)

Any other plot weaknesses RE the WC? Any episodes...

Regardless of other issues, I love Faith. I have faith that Faith will be back on one of the shows:- )

Drizzt hopes Elishka Dushku(sp?) is willing to do a few more episodes because the story of Faith is not complete.
[> [> [> Re: Watchers Council as a necessary evil -- John Burwood, 12:22:49 09/05/01 Wed

"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." So said Thomas Paine, in 1776, in a pamphlet said to have influenced the move towards American independence. It is as valid for the WC as for any form of government. The concept of government as an entity which can create a just & fair world for all is purely a delusion of totalitarian minds. But the fact that good government may be an oxymoron does not mean government is not a necessary evil in the sense of being a lesser evil than the alternative. Try thinking what it would be like for Slayers if there were no Watchers to find, train, & supply info.
[> [> [> [> Re: Watchers Council as a necessary evil -- Drizzt, 14:34:31 09/05/01 Wed

Without the Watchers Council girls would suddenly have superpowers and an urge/instinct to seek out supernatural evil...but they would have no idea why! Plus the mortality rate would be much higher without the Council giving info on proper vamp-fighting techniques and the Achilies Heel of the unique or more dangerous demons...

Think of Buffy if she had moved to Sunnydayle and there was no Watcher to explain, of course this assumes no Merrick from the movie also. Buffy had a hard time adjusting with an explanation; with no explanation and noone who knew about the supernatural she would have had a breakdown RE Anne or Spiral in season one.
Photos -- Marie, 08:03:49 09/04/01 Tue

The watchers web have some new publicity photos up. Go check out Willow's new hair!

Is SMG anorexic? I thought she looked very thin in this photo. Not healthy. (But maybe that's 'cos I'!)

[> what's the URL? -- Solitude1056, 08:28:46 09/04/01 Tue

[> [> Re: what's the URL? -- Marie, 13:49:57 09/04/01 Tue

Sorry -

Then click on 'picture this' and then click on the link in the para on the right hand side of the page.

[> [> [> Re: what's the URL? -- Shaglio, 05:37:19 09/05/01 Wed

Thanks for the clarification. I went to a site called Watchersweb and it must have been a XXX site because my company's protective software kicked in and wouldn't let me enter.
[> Re: Photos -- Humanitas, 13:38:30 09/04/01 Tue

I had the same thought, but then I figured that they probably did it with makeup, since Buffy has been underground for a summer. Not a lot to eat down there, y'know!
[> [> Heh-heh! You have a wicked streak, Humanitas! -- Marie, 13:52:16 09/04/01 Tue

[> [> [> Who, me? 8-) -- Humanitas, 14:59:01 09/04/01 Tue

[> [> [> you don't know the half of it, Marie! ;-) but never fear, I'm still wickeder, dammit. -- Solitude1056, 23:11:34 09/05/01 Wed

[> [> [> [> I can vouch for that. I bow before the Second Evil's superior wickedness! ;) -- Humanitas, 13:24:09 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> Re: Photos -- Shiver, 04:59:59 09/05/01 Wed

Buffy's hair's darker, not as bleachy blonde ... probably lack of sun as well :-)
[> [> What about earthworms? Mmmmm mmmm good and high in protein.;-) -- A8, 19:59:23 09/05/01 Wed

[> Re: Photos -- vampire hunter D, 12:43:48 09/05/01 Wed

You're not the first to think that SMG is anorexic. Back during Seson 2, I was working in a convienience store and read the tabloids when they came in (instead of helping customers). The article on page 2 of the Enquirer one week was "Sara Michelle Geller's Friends fear she may be anorexic. This was the only Enquirer story I have ever believed (I should point out that he cover stroy I think was Monica BLewinsky tried to get pregnant by Bill). And a few days later, Howard Stern (aka GOD)was talking about the WB running Buffy season one on Monday and new episodes on Tuesday. He then made the point that SMG did lose weight between the two. And you know, she was already thin during season one. Sounds like anorexia to me
[> [> Anorexia or working too much... -- Solitude1056, 14:14:24 09/05/01 Wed

She was interviewed about season 2, and mentioned that between doing BtVS and I Know What You Did Last Summer, she'd not really been eating. She realized one day that her jeans - usually nicely fitting - were getting baggy, and it wasn't long after that, that her costar & friend (Prinze) noticed. He showed up at her house with several friends and cooked her dinner, and continued to do it while making sure she gained weight enough so her jeans weren't falling off her!
[> [> Re: Photos -- Wisewoman, 19:26:08 09/05/01 Wed

Sure, she's thin, maybe too thin, but it's the complete lack of any apparent muscle tone in those upper arms that worries me...just doesn't look healthy at all. We've seen her working a punching bag when it was obvious that it wasn't a stunt double, and I'm amazed she could even fake it, unless the photo is deceiving...
[> [> [> Muscles & Photography -- Solitude1056, 20:09:39 09/05/01 Wed

Camera angles can be equally deceiving. Remember that TV puts about 15 pounds on a person, and that's not just in the waist. (It's got something to do with the wide-angle aspect of the TV Camera, but OnM would probably know more of that than I do.) I can pretty much bet you pizza money that the publicity shots done by UPN are *not* done by a telephoto, but probably a 110 to 200 mm lens with a really low depth of field.

What does that mean? Less distortion (pulling-outwards) of the body/face, and very little detail in the background. The WB promo shots (which I always hated) seemed to have the background in just as clear focus as the foreground, and the UPN photog isn't doing that. It's easier to get that narrow depth of field (IOW, fuzzy background) when you've got a larger milimeter lens, like an 80-300 or something (or are using a medium-format, which is possible but not necessary).

So yeah, in these shots, SMG is going to look skinnier, due to the technology being used. Hell, all the actors will look skinnier. Then again, it also has to do with the camera angle, as well. The position she's in is a very slenderizing one that I use for some portraits, but they did a major iffy one with the bare arms. It's excruciatingly difficult to photograph arms in a relaxed position without icking up the picture. It can be done, but it makes the lighting complex (because unless you're putting makeup on all exposed skin, the arms *will* have a different tonality than the rest of the skin... or don't mind several hours in Photoshop selectively color balancing) and the posture is more important because the arms aren't just fading in like they would if the sleeve were the same color as the shirt.

On top of all that, raise your arm and flex. Gee, notice it getting even a tiny bit larger? This is why some model shots show the model leaning against something so her arms are braced - it makes the muscles tense, which makes the arm muscles appear toned. SMG's arm is relaxed in this picture, which removes that toned aspect from a tense arm muscle - just like a model's legs/hips will appear smoother/toner if the model's on her toes, since that tenses the leg/butt muscles. Sometimes that's an attractive thing (and then again, sometimes it isn't).

Regardless, I'm not sure I would've voted for a sleeveless top in the image - it's that arm closest to the camera which really distracts from the rest of the image, regardless of whether it's too thin or too heavy or whatever.

Gee. Okay... Mini-rant off now. ;-P
[> [> [> [> Hmmm... -- Marie, 01:26:43 09/06/01 Thu

After reading your post I went back in to have another look, and, really, it wasn't so much her arms I noticed first, but her jaw-line!

Emma C. is pretty much in the same sort of pose, and her arms are healthy enough, but she looks a little cross-eyed.

ASH looks rather yummy, in my opinion, and so does NB. And whoever said Amber B. was fat needs his or her head examined!

On the other hand, Michelle T's pose is a little too adult for my taste, and she is another one who needs to put some weight back on (thin arms, thin waist, gaunt neck), but she's a teenager, and weight can go up and down for lots of reasons at her age).

Allyson H looks beautiful, freckly arms 'n all. Love the hair, and doesn't she have a lovely smile?

As for my Spike....well, mmmmm-hmmmmmm! Gotta go cool down now!

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Hmmm... -- Helen, 01:40:07 09/06/01 Thu

Talking of Emma Cauldfield, who is easily the most attractive of the girls, I have alays thought in the past that she was a little too thin, and SMG looks thinner than her in this shot so ...
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Hmmm... -- Solitude1056, 05:42:17 09/06/01 Thu

Yeah, MT's pose grates on me - it's just too much like what they make second-rate fashion models use. Then again, at age 15/16, it's not like too many people are comfy standing in front of the camera, especially if it's a new photographer they've just now met. Sometimes you see that awkwardness or stiffness in the person, and it's not apparent right away that it was because they had their guard up with a camera in their face and someone unfamiliar on the other side of it. In that case, though, IMO, the photographer's not doing his/her job, since it should include making the person comfy. But whatever... I'm figuring the publicity shots will get better as the crew gets used to the UPN people.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hmmm... -- Rufus, 18:14:18 09/06/01 Thu

Some people never get comfortable around cameras.....last picture I had taken was years ago cause I've become proffessional at ducking them. I don't mind taking pictures though. I agree with your words on MT's picture...she is still a lovely girl thought.
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers -- rowan, 18:29:51 09/04/01 Tue

Hi! For those of you who are interested, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers airs on NJN (New Jersey's public TV station) on Sunday, 9/9 at 1:00p and Sunday, 9/16 at 4:00p. I presume (given the way public TV stations work) it may also air soon in your local area (at least for those United Statesians among us).

[> Oh tease me with your Campbell......... -- Rufus, 19:09:34 09/04/01 Tue

I missed it when it was on the Chicago station and it hasn't shown in Seattle that I know of.

[> [> ATLTC -- M., 21:03:55 09/04/01 Tue

[> [> Re: Oh tease me with your Campbell......... -- Dedalus, 08:36:33 09/05/01 Wed

As for Atlanta, it's already ran at least twice down here. I almost got the entire thing on one tape, but I missed the last half of the final segment.

And yes, ATLTC.

[> thanks for the heads-up, rowan -- mundusmundi, 14:39:35 09/05/01 Wed

Coincidentally, for the past 2 weeks I've been checking out videos of the series from the library. I've seen all but the first two (which I've got on reserve). Anybody have a personal favorite? Mine might be part 5, "Love and the Goddess," which delves into some fascinating stuff about medieval courtly love and the concept of female deities. On the other hand, the last, "Masks of Eternity," has what might be the liveliest exchange between Campbell and Moyers. I think this is the ep that Wisewoman suggested that on some level Moyers may not really get what Campbell's saying. Samples:

Moyers: You're a man of faith. Campbell: I don't have faith. I have experience.


Campbell: I'm not sure life has a purpose. I think we're all just a bunch of protoplasm striving to reproduce...
Moyers: That's not true! That's not true!

And finally:

Moyers: I like the idea that, Eden never was, Eden will be.
Campbell: (sly smile) Eden is.

Bisexuality and Witchcraft -- Lucifer_Sponge, 09:39:15 09/05/01 Wed

Ok, I've been wondering about this for a while, but have only recently decided to post something about it due to a severe lack of things to do. Anyways...

Tara's always been billed as the reason for Willow's advancements in witchcraft. First, she can barely float pencils... then she meets Tara and BAM, insta-superwitch. Most people say this is due to the depth and power of Willow and Tara's intense relationship. I, however, have recently decided that it's probably something a little less specific than Tara.

I think it definately has more to do with Willow's acceptance of her bisexuality. For years and years this aspect of herself lay dormant, hidden. Now that it's risen to the surface she -truly- understands herself as a person.

Modern witchcraft (outside the BTVS universe) is about grounding and centering yourself... becoming the best that you can be. It's about really loving yourself. Now, it's no secret that BTVS writers like to mix a little bit of reality into their fantasy. It sort of makes sense that Willow's studies and experiments produced only meager results up until she met Tara. She hadn't entered the state of being that most real witches have - a profound understanding of herself and the world around her. Meeting Tara merely opened up the door for all these feelings and emotions that Willow wasn't even sure she had. Now that she understands and accepts those feelings, she can truly understand how she works, and how the world around her works.

Willow's whole now. I think that her witchcraft was so off the mark before because - aside from her being a novice - she had pieces of the puzzle missing. How could she accurately gage how her energy would effect the mystical and supernatural energies she was tapping in to if she wasn't even completely aware of what was going on in her own psyche?

Also, it may be nothing more than a sense of growth and maturity. Accepting this part of herself shows a sense of adulthood. She's not just a little kid playing with a chemistry set anymore... she a full-fledged, world reknown scientist and chemist. A brilliant mind in her field.

This could also further explain the two witches' arguement in Tough Love. Tara's fear is that Willow - having fully realized who she is and having thusly obtained access to some pretty primal, powerful forces - just doesn't need her anymore. And she's right. To an extent. Willow doesn't need her... not for witchcraft anyway.

Tara fans needn't cry for blood. I love Tara... profusely and obscenely. I just think there's some merit to the thought that Willow's growing powers are more of a result of her realization of her sexual orientation in general, rather than her specifically her relationship with Tara.

Anyway. This turned out to be murderously longer and rambly than I'd planned. I hope I didn't bore anyone to death. For those of you who did actually read this, and stayed awake, and survived, I'd love to here any thoughts or opinions you have on it.

Thanks, ~Sponge
[> what, you thought that was *long*?? amatuer! (no, seriously, great post) -- Solitude1056, 09:52:23 09/05/01 Wed

[> Willow's independence -- Voxpopuli, 12:00:10 09/05/01 Wed

I've seen many lesbians and bisexuals in witchcraft groups (not exactly covens, as these are pretty non existent in my country), but most of the people I know in this field have deep grounding in Thelema, I mean they are "fluffy bunnies" with a foot in high voltage sexual magick. (with the k). For them, the premise you used for Willow would definitely be decisive in every sense.

In my religion homosexuality and bisexuality are common place. As some lukumis, our very distant cousins, say "you can't swing a dead chicken in this religion without hitting a gay". But sexuality does not play such key role on the unleashing of your spiritual faculties. It is part of a whole, it is accepted as something individual, and I guess that for us, the respect for privacy is such a golden rule that everyone avoids being judgmental about such matters. It is between you, your Ori and Orixá. But indeed it has a lot to do with happiness.

I am not a Tara's fan, actually I think she is pretty expendable, but her role for Willow in terms of the use of magick is that through her, Willow could exercise her power, she had somebody to lean on, somebody to help her during her earliest stages, and she eventually grew more than she expected, because she had the talent. Her relationship with Oz did not give her this support; she was not leading the relationship, she kind of felt he'd leave her, so insecure. Now she's a damaged person, she knows she can survive and learn to love again. It makes a hell of a difference.

Besides that, there is something we should notice: she is not living with her parents anymore, she is on her own, she has to care for herself, and this has forced her to grow a lot. She may still depend financially on her folks, but she is pretty much on her own now, she can exercise her magick without family restraints, she is feeling like she is making her own way.

She has not accepted herself as bisexual though. So far, she has turned from hetero to homo, at least she has stated so on Tough Love. So, if she is bisexual, and I suspect she is, she still has to understand her option a little bit better. She is still mimicking Tara's option.

Willow is also much less ethic than Tara. Willow is more like a scientist, she likes to experiment, to feel, to explore, to make it happen regardless of the price she has to pay. Tara is more wiccan in the sense of ethics, and near Christian morals. I also believe that Willow's openness to new experiences regardless of nature has made her outgrow Tara. She's not thirsty for powerplays only, but for knowledge, for the pleasure or experiencing new things and herself in the middle.

I can see that in my religion when people get so orthodox that they do not make knowledge grow, they merely keep it and pass it along, but they never really enhance it with their own experiences. Like when they say you can get the right to sacrifice only on their seventh year anniversary (of initiation), and I know that there are circumstances when you can get it real sooner and with a lot less ritual. And the sacrifice is accepted exactly the same way (sometimes I get better results than many orthodoxically made ashoguns!). And I had that in me because my elder is open to new things and taught me to go with the flow, to learn tradition so well to the point of learning the roots of it and thus, change it when I deem possible.

Tara, would stick to the tradition, Willow would learn it, and use it her way. She does not complain when a spell backfires, she learns from it, and it makes her stronger, she tests her limits, and it is making her a lot more self confident.

I'd say that Willow's sexuality is still something to be explored in her character in the next seasons, and yes, it did play a role in her development, I put a lot more emphasis on her being on her own, on her growing independence, on her innate powers and on her lack of restraints.
[> [> Re: Willow's Confidence -- Drizzt, 16:56:01 09/05/01 Wed

Willow in the first few seasons was a novice witch, and several of her more powerfull spells were done by consulting Giles books without his consent. Even that ausome scene in Tough love was because she "boroughed" the book of Darkest Magic, this scene was different as she was working on vengance and pure selfishness/independance.

Now she has her own magic book collection RE Forever, so she is not dependant on Giles for knowladge; she could go to LA anytime and surely find another magic shop with a good selection of the "real magic books".

I do not see her sexual orientation as a factor of her power, maby being confidant and not embarrassed to be called "lesbian" does increase her overall confidence. She still has repressed sexuallity RE Dopolgangland what VampWillow was like was Willow without inhibitions or conciance(Willow in a semi-bondage outfit...shocking!)

One other point is that if her signifigant other were a male witch she would get the same acceptance and support from him as Tara. Another is that Willow started as the wallflower of the Scoobies and Tara was even worse; Tara's lowself-image is part of why she was impressed with Willows power. I consider them to be equal in potential power, however Willow has more confidence because of Tara praising her and becuase she is less constrained by Wiccan morals.

Last point is both are natural witches, but Willow is the logical scientific of the two RE magic and Tara is the intuative emotional RE magic. Both are completely feminine, it is their attitude/perspective on magic theory that is opposite.

Two opposites make a stronger whole...
[> [> [> Re: Willow's Confidence -- Wisewoman, 19:16:11 09/05/01 Wed

I agree with you that Willow and Tara together are more than the sum of their parts, but there's a big difference in their attitude toward Wicca and magick that, as a Wiccan, has always bothered me.

There's no point in trying to draw exact parallels between witches in the Buffyverse and witches in the Realverse; there's just very little about them that overlaps. The area that does seem as if it should overlap is in their personal code of ethics, as Tara has made statements about the necessity for Wiccan ethical behaviour in the Buffyverse. This is exactly where Willow is lacking.

In my tradition, craft ethics are the first things taught to an aspiring witch; the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law are taken very seriously. In the Realverse, we're dealing with things like candle magick for healing and luck, space clearing/blessing, and protection spells, and it's often not clear whether your efforts have had any effect or not, but we still strive always to "harm none." Willow and Tara, on the other hand, are doing things from floating roses to moving soft drink machines to thickening air, and so it's even more crucial that they be guided by some form of ethical structure or tradition, simply because they are so powerful.

I don't think Willow has ever been thoroughly trained as an ethical, traditional Wiccan--I think she had a great natural talent and worked herself, or with Tara, to learn and develop it outside the structure of a teaching coven. This is a perfect set-up to have her misuse of power come back on her threefold and hit her upside the head!

As an extreme example, Willow's idea for creating a ball of artificial sunlight that would kill every vampire within it's radius could be seen as violating the prohibition against harming anyone or anything. The preferred path would be to create a spell that protected the vampires' victims, rather than killing the vampires. That would clearly be defensive, rather than offensive, magick. Of course, it could be argued that the vampires are intrinsically on the attack, so that any action against them is defensive, but I hope you see what I's again a question of having to think outside the box and come up with a solution so that no one suffers...granted, not an easy thing to do.

Remembering that the CoW interviewer asked Willow and Tara if they were "registered as witches" under their own names, I'm led to believe that there is a structure to Wicca in the Buffyverse, which probably means there are Elders who might try to take a hand in reigning in the power of these two young women, before they do themselves some real damage.

(...getting down off cauldron "soapbox" and stepping back into the broom closet...)

[> [> [> [> Re: Willow's Confidence -- Drizzt, 20:23:35 09/05/01 Wed

Wisewoman you have mentioned several issues that I am sure have been discussed multiple times on this board. It is rerun time, so why not rediscussion time? :-)

Parallels between Buffyverse wiccans and Realverse wiccans? In my post I said only that Tara seems to be governed by wiccan morals; nothing about the spiritual or philisophical aspects of Realverse wiccans wich is actually a religion of sorts, not just a formularic method of "manipulating reality with the mind" like a mage or wizard would be doing.

Witch; a practitioner of subjective personal magic. More of course, but I am only making a distinction between Witch=spellcaster type vs wiccan=spellcaster governed by a religious spirituality and ethic.

Wiccan; spellcaster using prayer to the older gods(gods here can include the mere concept of what the god represents, an aspect of nature/existance, or a pure "essance of ?????)

Mage & Wizard; spellcaster that follows formulas without worrying about the hidden costs and existance of the specific entities/forces they use. The closest to a hardline scientists that a spellcaster can be considering magic is not precice and predictable like "mundain reality" But see quantum physics/relativity to counter my last statement:0

Sorcerer; someone who controls and summons supernatural phenomena vs merely being aided by it, IE a wiccan will do most of the concentration and work and call on a force for that extra oomph.

Enough speculations since I am not a spellcaster of any type...he he.

Tara was given guidence by her mother in self-restraint & morals, however I would say it was more of a practical precautionary way to avoid the nasty aspects of the Three Fold Law as it applies to harmfull magic. Willow? Yep, she never got that lecture, only Giles stuffy "That is dangerous for a witch with your skill, so don't do it!" or whatever...perfect way to get a teenager to ignore you is to forbid something instead of explaining relavent dangers!

Ball of Sunlight? Willow was too ambitious with that; she should have tried to make a spell of light/flame first. Of course that would be kinda useless when you can just use a flashlight or rags & gasoline. Anyway she should have researched and figured out several much less powerfull spells to do with light/fire before even thinking about the Ball of Sunshine. Willow is very smart, but she needs Tara for the wisdom... Morals of the spell? Willow is not wiccan in the realverse sence(in fact I would call her a mage myself, she calls herself a witch as a convenient label without understanding the full meaning of the term) I think that the spell is the magical equivilent of a grenade or bomb that only destroys vampires, and it would change the nature of vampire countermeasures; the demons fight up close and personal...really do not want them to start using modern warfare techniques! The force barrier spell she used in Spiral would be a good defensive spell to study; Willow could try to modify it so she could create personal movable force bariers... It is too powerfull and impersonal a weapon of destruction for my taste, so I agree the Ball of Sunshine is immoral, but for different reasons;-)

OOH I was rambling and speaking as an interested, but truly ignorant nonwiccan!

Want to step back on your cauldren soapbox....Please?
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Ball of Sunshine? -- Drizzt, 20:47:30 09/05/01 Wed

After my post I felt like clarifying RE this spell Willow wanted to make.

My point and veiw about the morality of the spell has nothing to do with wiccan values; it is with the raw impersonal destruction that is similar to a bomb. I disaprove of bombs of any type as immoral and dishonorable weapons. I am with the demons on my veiw that combat should be up close and personal; if you take a life you should actually know what life you took weather that is a burdan or not for your conciance. I think Solitude started an excallent thread on this subject of personal combat and why(theoreticaly) demons prefer it even though they are smart enough to understand machine guns and such.

BTW I have never been in a fight myself, I just disaprove of bombs because they let you think "I didn't see them blown into small peices" and discount the horror that is death.

Progression; Ball of Sunshine...the whatever spell that killed Doyle was what is a logical step after the Ball of Sunshine. They are equivilant except one targets vampires and another targets humans...

Progression; bullets...grenades...cannons...bombs... nukes...planetbuster antimatter bombs(Feasible, although not with current technology. Freaky, but not much worse than full scale WW111 with three thousand nukes flying everywhere)...any further progression in the weapon type "bomb" is not describable using current technological knowladge.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Willow's Confidence -- Wisewoman, 20:55:47 09/05/01 Wed

Basically I agree with you, Drizzt--Willow is behaving more like a mage than a Wiccan, or a witch. It may be that Joss and/or the writers chose to call her a witch because of the recent resurgence in the popularity of Wicca. It would make much more sense that she'd find a group of students involved in Wicca at school, than a bunch of mage-wannabes.

In my experience, the terms Wiccan and Witch are completely interchangeable. I know that not all Wiccans feel that way--it depends on your perspective and which tradition you follow. It's much easier nowadays to use the term Wiccan because it is truly a modern (and fairly recent) neo-pagan religion. It may have it's roots in ancient pagan practices, but most of it was developed in the last (20th) century. The word Witch seems to make people think of wicked old witches in fairy tales, or possibly the poor women (and men) who were tortured and burned by religious zealots in earlier times. In fact, those people were far more likely to have been village wise women and wise men, or "charmers."

It's debatable whether there's any "tradition" of actual witchcraft that extends back farther than 1900, but the impression I get from the Buffyverse is that's exactly the kind of witchcraft they're talking about--a practice that has been handed down through generations, requiring some inborn natural talent, and apparently also requiring registration procedures and "levels" of proficiency. Tara may have been more fully assimilated into this tradition if her mother had lived longer. As it is, she doesn't seem to know enough about it to be able to guide Willow. Tara was just as confused by the CoW's questions as Willow was.

I think I need to go back to some of my books and papers and see if I can find an authoritative reference to exactly when the Rede and the Threefold Law first appear. If they are recent, and therefore a part of Wicca, then I guess there's no reason why an "ancient" witchcraft tradition would need to abide by them. The bottom line though, is it's arguing apples and oranges...there are Wiccan Witches in the Realverse and Mage-Witches in the Buffyverse, and never the twain shall meet (unless they get on the wong twack...sorry, I'll stop now...)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Willow's Confidence -- Drizzt, 22:53:09 09/05/01 Wed

Gandalf; mage/druid Fizban; senile archmage as the discuise of a god when he is among mortals. Wraistlin; mage who destroyed a world, killed a goddess, and became a god...until his brother went back in time and changed history.

Mage and wizard bring to mind powerfull individuals using magic to mold reality, plus they are fantasy staples; do not hear anyone calling themselves a mage in the realverse. Sorcerer, magician, conjurer, druid, cleric, preist....yes, but all pale compared to the might of a (fictional) mage who dares to become a near demigod.

There is no fiction that I know of where a witch is this powerfull. Wicca/witchcraft is a known and popular subject of discussion. Weather they aprove or not, people know that there are thousands of witches/wiccans so the concept of "witch" is easier to relate to for that reason also. As the Scoobies are a team that helps Buffy a mage would be too powerfull as a sidekick of the central character. Above I said a mage "molds reality" this context a wiccan is less disruptive by adjusting reality while staying "in touch or part of what is adjusted" Okay I could not describe the very subtle distinction so analogy; Native americans with there cultural and religious values of being part of nature vs European and thus US majority value of controlling nature...mass farming, paving thousands of miles of roads, controlled forest burning etc.

Suspension of disbeleif is easier the less a story deviates from the realverse, or when it deviates it must have a logic that is consistant and at least partially discernable. We veiwers of Buffy & Angel forgive flaws in the details of the show because we watch for the story more than the special effects and supernatural.

Another reason that Joss would not go into wiccan religious issues is he avoids direct reference to any religious value, except as a sidenote. Willow is Jewish? Oh. Good demon gaurdian of the holy child(Angel) was a Budist? Oh. The religion thing is a whole other issue than technicalities of magic theory.

The Council interviewer asking about their "level of profficency" could have been doing the sneaky thing of a good interver...fluster them with a question that is meaningless or irrelivent. Maby witches have a rating system and maby not. There would have to be more than five hundred individual witches in some form of comunication for any complex rating system to be worthwile. Hmmmmm does the Watchers Council watch witches too?

Love Tweetie Bird!
[> [> [> [> [> [> Threefold Law -- Solitude1056, 22:59:26 09/05/01 Wed

Earliest I know of the Rede & the 3fold Law showing up is in Gardner's work, which was published... uh, lemme think. 1954, three years after Britain repealed its Anti-Witchcraft law. Gardner was working on the books as early as 1946 or 1947, however.

It's a moot point, to me, though I suppose such a statement is a highly personal kind of judgement call. The system works for those who use it, so whether it goes back to 1947 and some guy's brain, or goes back to 1900, or all the way back to who-knows-when... it stands on its own, by virtue of fulfilling its members. Saying something has to be old seems hypocritical to me, I guess, since by that account we should all be anti-technology. Or, as my housemate frequently says, "old does not mean right."

(Unless, of course, he's talking to his daughter, in which case it's an entirely different story...)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Threefold Law (Deviates into OT babble) -- Lucifer_Sponge, 06:53:17 09/06/01 Thu

"Earliest I know of the Rede & the 3fold Law showing up is in Gardner's work, which was published... uh, lemme think. 1954, three years after Britain repealed its Anti-Witchcraft law. Gardner was working on the books as early as 1946 or 1947, however."

Actually, the late Doreen Valiente (one of Gerald Gardner's original High Priestesses) once said in an interview that she didn't know where the whole "Threefold" thing came from. She said that she suspected someone read it in one of "Old Gerald's" rituals and took it a tad bit too literally. She -went on- to say that she thought the whole idea of threefold karma was ridiculous, and that she prefered the idea of the whole "eye for an eye" karma... you get back what you put out... no -more-, no -less.

I severely doubt that Wicca extends much further back than Gardner. I do think he may have had contact with an actual coven, but I think what he brought into the world was his own vision of witchcraft, pulled from a lot of different sources. I really do believe that there may have been witches throughout time... Not in an organized, cult-like fashion that alot of Wiccans like to claim, but in small numbers, probably scattered around the world. I think if you look Italy and their strehge, and Mexico and their brujas you'll get a better idea of what I'm talking about.

But anyway, back to the point I was going to make... Wicca may very well contain some aspects of authentic, old witch practices. Then again, it may not. It doesn't matter. What -does- matter is that it works for people. Most of Wicca is definately new... but what it does is take some age-old concepts (gods and mythologies) and try to make them relative to modern-day life. That's what Wicca should be billing itself as... not a direct continuation of a prehistoric religion, but a new faith that takes up all these old things that have been lost to the world for so long and brings them back for people in this day and age to understand and work with (albiet, mixing it with a lot of new-age bunk in the meanwhile... we really have to stop that, guys. Seriously.)

Ok... I'm going to stop myself before this generates into a 35 page essay on why I think Wicca is falling apart from the inside (which is something I can think, and say, being a Wiccan myself and actively taking part in the community... I can actually see it happening and make credible references to prove my point)...... Errr. I'm stopping now.

[> [> [> [> Realworld Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Lucifer_Sponge, 20:45:45 09/05/01 Wed

"There's no point in trying to draw exact parallels between witches in the Buffyverse and witches in the Realverse;"

Hey, why not? That actually strikes me as a really good idea... An actual in-depth look into the correllation between real-life witchcraft and Buffyverse witchcraft... Hmmm...

"there's just very little about them that overlaps"

Well, that's definately a whole other arguement, isn't it? On the surface, yes, they're very different. Show me a witch in the real world who can make his or her eyes go black, shoot lightingbolts and read minds, and I'll show you my new messiah... but that's all surface stuff. Pull back a few layers and I think you might find some striking similarities in ideology, theology, mythology, and yes, even ethics and morality.

Personally, I think this would be a great topic for discussion for all the Wiccans (or other magicians or pagans) on the board...

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Realworld Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Wisewoman, 21:04:13 09/05/01 Wed

I'm just off to beddy-bye, but I thought I'd let you know I'm certainly willing to discuss this further if anyone's interested. I've only been posting here since about April, and I know there are other Wiccans and Neo-pagans on the Board so it could be that some of them have already done this subject to death, but *I* haven't, so until the new eps start, hey, I'm game. Talk to ya all tomorra.

[> [> [> [> Re: Willow's Confidence -- rowan, 18:55:06 09/06/01 Thu

I totally agree with everything that you've said. The positive in BtVS is that the witchcraft is accepted in a positive way by the main characters and Willow & Tara are not stigmatized because of it. But Willow seems to have no ethical center to her craft and Tara's attempts to introduce Wiccan concepts seem to sound a little hollow to me.

I place BtVS above Charmed in its depiction, but I still have many quibbles with it if we try to equate it to the RealVerse.
[> [> Re: Willow's independence -- Lucifer_Sponge, 20:32:51 09/05/01 Wed

"But sexuality does not play such key role on the unleashing of your spiritual faculties."

I wholeheartedly agree with you. My intention was not to suggested that it was Willow's bisexuality which fueled her growth and increased her powers. What I meant was that the exploration of such hidden and secret desires showed a great amount of maturity on her part.

What I attempted to get at was that Willow's acceptance of her sexual orientation (which, as you pointed out, is still a work in progress) was a sign of her personal growth and independance. The newfound sense of awareness of who she is would be the reason behind her increased powers.

[> [> *cough* warning: nerve just got hit. -- Solitude1056, 22:47:57 09/05/01 Wed

I've seen many lesbians and bisexuals in witchcraft groups (not exactly covens, as these are pretty non existent in my country), but most of the people I know in this field have deep grounding in Thelema, I mean they are "fluffy bunnies" with a foot in high voltage sexual magick. (with the k).

Ahem. As a Thelemite, I'd have to say that this is a bad representation of Thelema. Without going into the philosophy too much here (and it's a complex one, if simple on the surface), it's hardly a breeding ground or attractant for any fluffy bunnies. For starters, most of them run like hell in the opposite direction as soon as they find out Aleister Crowley has even the remotest thing to do with Thelema (and he's the best-known in the tradition). Fer cryin' out loud, the guy's been dead for nearly 50 years and his name still makes people freak. But I digress...

Thelema itself, for those of you not familiar, is the Greek word for Will (with a few connotations I won't get into here). The main law of Thelema (which may sound oddly familiar to anyone who's heard the Wiccan Rede) is Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Yeah, I know, if you're like I am, that "thou" and the "shall" probably bug you, too, but whatever. Essentially, Will (with a capital double-u) is not want, or desire, or passion, or wishing. It's Will, and is frequently used to imply a True Will, as opposed to a temporary or passing will/want/wish. One's Will is the muscle behind one's ability to fulfill a person's intention in this lifetime. So doing one's Will is not to be interpreted as "hey, do whatever!" but as "you've got to know yourself, and go BE yourself."

The idea that this is the primary Law means that in not-knowing yourself, or worse - knowing your Self and still pretending to be something else - is the worst crime you can commit. "The word of Sin is Restriction," is another oft-repeated statement of Thelemic philosophy, and there's a variety of interpretations but the one I go with is that to restrict yourself from following your (True) Will is the greatest crime one can commit, because you're locking yourself away from everything you could be in your fullest potential. It's like a form of self-murder, so to speak.

As for high voltage sex magick, this is hardly the proprietory aspect of any particular school of magick, philosophy, or religion. Hell, we could easily argue that the Tantric schools are high voltage sex magick - since that's the basis of all of A.C.'s pendantic lectures on the subject, as well as 75% of his actual magickal operations.

And if someone were to ask me, "hey, what's someone that dabbles (read: fluffy bunny) and likes sex magick?" I'd say, gee. Satanists, for starters. (They're the CPAs of the occult world. Talk about no creativity, no offense to anyone here in that school, but I wonder about someone whose whole spirituality is based on the negation of someone else's spirituality. I mean, come on...) And then I might think of some of the cults in the 60's, with free love and plenty o' nice catch phrases. And even a few from these days, in Church of All Worlds and several other polyamoury schools of thought that seek to use sexual energy to achieve specific purposes.

Thelema, though, tends to attract scholarly types who aren't bothered by the sometimes intensive study required to understand a lot of its multiplicities and layers. I mean, hell, to really understand why a Thelemite signs their emails 93 93/93, you're going to be doing a bit o' Qabalah for several weeks just for that one phrase. We won't even go into the cross-referencing between Hindu, Buddhist, Egyptian, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian mythologies and symbols littering The Book of the Law, the foremost holy book of Thelema. The Charge of the Goddess is pretty straightforward; The Book of the Law gives some folks migraines. Dabblers don't stick around for long.

Given all that, I really don't think it's appropriate to use a heavy-duty scholarly philosophy/religion to describe a fluffy bunny style of 'dabbling'. It's just misleading, both as to the nature of fluffy bunnies and to the nature of Thelema itself... Especially if by "fluffy bunnies" you mean the folks who score low on the scholarship ranking but high on enthusiasm. In that case, I'd rather go with Willow's own term, of "Blessed-Wanna-Be."

Okay, now I'm settling back down again... ;-)
[> [> [> Re: *cough* warning: nerve just got hit. -- Drizzt, 23:11:45 09/05/01 Wed

I have read the phrase "Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law"

I thought it was stupid as I thought it meant "Do what you want to do" when translated into 21st century english.

My bad! I was ignorant and thank you for clarifying what that phrase means:)

I just read whatever interests me and I am basically a backseat driver when it comes to technicalities of magic theory. Backseat driver who has never ever "driven a car"

;-0 My grumpy ignorant backseat-driver face.
[> [> [> [> Bwaha, you're not the only one. -- Solitude1056, 23:21:54 09/05/01 Wed

I've met more than my share of newbies to Thelema who are all excited about the idea of "do what you want" without even that "harm none" ... not realizing that the "harm none" is part & parcel of the idea of Will, and should also include yourself. Duh.

And btw, as trivial aside: some guy in New Orleans, several years back, used Crowley's line as his defense in a serial murder defense, saying Thelema is his religion... and therefore, he couldn't be restricted (from doing what he wanted). I have yet to meet a Thelemite who agrees with this position, as almost all consider murder of another person to be tantamount to preventing them from discovering/cultivating their true will, and thus restricting them... and in essence, self-murder, and other-murder, are equally noxious ideas.

Incidentally, the FBI did call in several higher-ups in the Ordo Templi Orientis, one of the larger organizations based on Crowley's system, as well as the org selected by Crowley to be the vanguard of his writings & ideas. The cops made it clear that they weren't fooled for a second by the guy's defense, nor did they ever consider the O.T.O. (or Thelema) to be party to the crimes or even encouraging its members to commit such crimes. Apparently the cops did their homework, and figured out pretty quickly that Thelema and serial murder aren't bedmates. Another duh, but I suppose to some who haven't had access to the explanations, it could sound quite incriminating...
[> [> [> [> [> A little rant... -- Voxpopuli, 09:00:27 09/06/01 Thu

Sol, a Thelemite yourself or a person who likes the phylosphy of Thelema? I am on the second group. I like it, I love it, always did, I really like good ole Aleister. However I'd never qualify as a Thelemite. Actually some of our dogma do have a great deal of Thelemite spirit.

I know folks who used to be "Thelemites" belonged to Thelema societies and after they turned forty, became "fluffy bunnies". With a great deal of hormones. You can feel the love I have for these folks, can't you?

Actually I hate dabblers in general. I give too much time to learn something in depth and then someone comes along, gets one or two concepts and go around sporting a self styled title. It makes me really mad. And although I am not Oyá's child, I can get really pissed off.

I do not discuss Wicca anymore. I live a tradition that is alien to almost every fundament of Wicca, from the Rede to the Threefold Law, a tradition that is very old and structured, and suspicious of inclusivism, and therefore very protective of its own tenants, otherwise we'd not have survived so well for so long. This has caused me countless problems on line. I remember when a group was discussing blood rituals, and I was lurking around, and I heard so many things, I could not help but to ask: has any of you actually performed such rituals? - Sol, you can imagine how this simple question was welcome! And how I was kicked out when I tried to explain to them how it is done, how to sacrifice, I sampled rituals, I explained in detail the reasons, metaphysical and ethical within my tradition. Of course instead of trying to share, to understand how things work in other fields, etc, they were grossed out. Gosh, if you do not have a strong stomach, do not get involved in magick, part of the lore is to face things that are not pleasant at all!!!!!

Then when I tried to discuss the reasons why all gods are one without being one, people got mad. Specially some fluffy bunnies who love to fashion themselves as rainbow warriors. Go try to tell them what exactly Oxumar? feels like in his own environment, and the havoc he/she can cause outside his environment, like an insect loose on an environment where it has no natural predator and has good climate for growth. It can get out of control, and it certainly does. If I went deeper on this I'd write pages and pages on such risks and how to work with it. Girl, I am candomblé, of bantu origin, and I dare not make a prenda de palo because I know how both systems work, and despite the general feeling, they just can't be mixed without a price I do not want to pay! Lukumis with their habit of collecting assentamentos go around shopping for deities, and I tell you the results are seldom safe.

Gosh! And when I decided to bring up a discussion of hallucinogenic beverages for religious purposes (Santo Daime's communities)? Me, with my usual "let's experience it without prejudice", got more roasted than a pork barbecue!!!!

Use of deities, herb lore, all so fine, so pretty, and such a hard work to get results!

I've met a few nice Wiccans, but it became so fashionable in the past twenty years that it has attracted a crowd of instant priests and priestesses that do nothing do build a scholar basis. Just fluffy-bunnies. Really, if I were a serious wiccan I'd hate these folks.

Man, I've been to quite a few strange places, from Santo Daime, to Satya Sai baba's temples, Hare Krishna, Thelema groups, and other places, and I took the time to experience those places, and I found reasons to respect the majority of them. Unfortunately I've never been to a coven around here, and the reason is that in Brazil wicca is not popular at all, I guess our traditions are so deeply rooted that wicca has no fertile ground to grow. "Witchcraft" is daily life in popular tradition.

It may sound biased, but it is not. See, in many ways, wicca fill the gap left by Christianism after it destroyed European indigenous religions and magical practices. The cultural mixture around here, with the Natives and African Slaves brought a multitude of deities, religious practices, herb lore to the average Brazilian on a subconscious level. And the ethics of wicca clash with this other, more "naturalized" fok ethics.

Sorry for the rant, I hope the wiccans on this forum realise that there is nothing personal against wicca or wiccans but against the attitude I had the chance to witness on line and with some groups, and that the criticism is not on the ethics or dogmas, but on the "new age" spirit that lacks depth that many, but many self styled wiccans seem to adopt.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Well, see, that's the problem - we're OT now.... kind of. -- Solitude1056, 10:06:23 09/06/01 Thu

Wicca and Thelema, despite some similarities, are not the same thing. The transistion I'm used to seeing is much more of a movement from the emotional-based/physical-based spirituality of Wicca to the more intellectual workings in ceremonial magick (including Thelema). IOW, folks start in Wicca and at some point, move on, or don't. I've yet to meet anyone who went in the opposite direction, and I've been dealing with Thelemites of all stripes from both the U.S. and internationally for about 10 years now. (That's not to say there aren't folks who've "calmed down" in their scholarly studies, but most just, well, calm down. Enough time in Thelema, and it's hard to not develop a certain distrust of the Wiccan tradition, given the Crowleyian perspective on Gardner's wholesale plagairism of much of Crowley's writings.)

Sol, a Thelemite yourself or a person who likes the phylosphy of Thelema? I am on the second group. I like it, I love it, always did, I really like good ole Aleister. However I'd never qualify as a Thelemite. Actually some of our dogma do have a great deal of Thelemite spirit.

Depends on how you define such things. To some it's a philosophy, to some it's a religion. If you consider it a philosophy - a way of living as opposed to a way of believing - then you can be Christian and Thelemic (I know a few) as well as Jewish and Thelemic or even Existentialist and Thelemic or whatever. If it's a religion for you, then there's more stickiness.

I know folks who used to be "Thelemites" belonged to Thelema societies and after they turned forty, became "fluffy bunnies". With a great deal of hormones. You can feel the love I have for these folks, can't you?

I'm not convinced you've been meeting the average Thelemite, if your predominant experience has been in Brazil. Note to folks who've just tuned in: Brazil is, uh, how shall I put this politely. Ahem. It's chock-full o' Thelemites who, uh, well... they're whackos. Yes, completely bonkers whackos. Oh, and I say that in the most affectionate sense. Yeah. Really.

There was a division & lawsuit many years ago, and an off-shoot of the O.T.O. headed down to Brazil. (I think in part because of Brazil's refusal at the time to honor the Berne Convention, and therefore the guy could republish & translate Crowley's works without paying royalties or being charged with copyright violation or some such.) Anyway, the S.O.T.O. (as opposed to the Caliphate O.T.O., Crowley's main line) is full of folks running around claiming they're all the Outer Head of the Order or maybe it's hte Inner Head of the Order and calling each other black magicians and throwing curses and whatever other nonsense.

I suppose some of them might hit middle age and say, "y'know, I am so tired of this magicko- egotistical warfare crap!" And move on to something else, having gotten past the spitfire ego of youth. But, I assure you, the majority of Thelemites associated with formal groups are outside of Brazil, and the majority of those formal groups don't encourage anyone to waste their time or energy on such nonsense. But Motta's group likes that sort of thing & they're headquartered in Brazil... so I'm not surprised you've run into a lot of wonky Thelemites in your neck of the woods.

[Just an FYI.]

As for the rest of your post: there are a lot of Wiccans and Pagans on this board, as well as a few Buddhists, Agnostics, Christians, Jews, Taoists, Atheists and who knows what else 'cause I'm sure I'm forgetting someone. And the important element of this board is that we get to check our "chips" at the door. Chips from our shoulders, that is. This board has dealt with some rather sticky things at times, but does so in the spirit of mutual education and debate, with the knowledge that personal attacks don't do jack, and that it's possible to disagree with someone and still enjoying talking to them, without anything coming to blows. So far, I've seen a few trolls (maybe 5 since joining this winter) and none have really managed to get anyone to even raise their voice. This board's full of people who are - rare but true - thinkers, regardless of religion. (Even discussions about various religions don't raise anyone's blood pressure, since folks around here are able to maturely discuss things without taking someone else's religion as a personal attack on their own.) As long as you have a clear and concise argument or explanation, and you provide examples, additional information, and are willing to answer questions patiently and fully... then I would have to say that there's pretty much nothing you couldn't bring up that couldn't or wouldn't be discussed politely.

I mean, fer cryin' out loud, we had two folks misunderstand each other a month or so ago, and that was the closest I've seen anyone come to getting fussed about something. But as soon as one of them said, "sorry, I was being sarcastic and that might not have been clear," boom! All fussing evaporated like the proverbial dew, and we ended up with another invigorating and challenging discussion on both the nature of satire and the original topic itself.

[That was another FYI, btw.]
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> OT: so I got the zoo of O.T.O. around here? :-))) -- Voxpopuli, 11:02:44 09/06/01 Thu

Ok, that explains why I thought those guys were weird... I remember on a meeting a guy coming and telling me: what beautiful Oxaguiã you have! You should do (a list). I said: really? (and did not mention that I was already initiated). You see how folks mix things? And his prescription had every ingredient to make Ogyan go mad! The truth is, that people come with different backgrounds and most just take what they want and discharge the rest. It really pisses me off. I saw such thirst for power and status within that particular group in Rio, that I was simply disgusted.

I read Crowley in English, never heard of any lawsuit regarding copyrights, although I heard that his works have been the subject of more than one law suit for royalties.

I take Thelema not as a religion, but rather as a phylosophy. Something that makes you think, that challenges you to goe further and further on yourself, to experience. In practical terms, when you are within a roncó and is undergoing initiation, the whole process can be described as a search for your Will, in its highest and more difficult sense. I say difficult because it is difficult to explain. Do you remember the post about Ori, and the complexity of the concept? It is also hard to live it, because it implies a high level of self acceptance. Talking about sexuality, it is not uncommon for people to get out of the closet after an ibori, not because the spirits interfered, but because in the process you are faced with yourself, you have this enacted in ritual drama, and some deeper understanding of yourself must arise from it, otherwise the ritual is empty. And this is not an initiatic level. The actual making takes this to extreme, when you are shunned from reality, and taken through several rituals, for days and nights, and special diets, and ... You are "destroyed" and built anew, or as a spirit says, your walls are demolished so that you can really see yourself, you feel like you are born, like you see this world for the first time, and indeed, this is what happens, specially if you have a good elder.

My experience with Crowley helped me to make the best of my initiation, and I thank the old man for having opened up a door for other people to explore.

Great, you can understand my distrust in wiccans!!

I just had bad experiences on line. What can do? I'm traumatized.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Uh. Something like that. -- Solitude1056, 12:12:16 09/06/01 Thu

Great, you can understand my distrust in wiccans!!

Uh, no.

Okay, one more time: Thelemites and Wiccans ARE NOT THE SAME THING... and being a member of either does not necessarily indicate a lack of depth.

I can groove on your distrust of dabblers, of wanna-be's, and of folks who'd rather skim the surface than spend the time & energy to learn a craft inside and out. However, dabblers and wannabes exist in all forms, from "holiday Xtians" to "blessed-wanna-bes" right on down the line to "I read the intro chapter to an unauthorized biography of Sartre and now I'm an expert on Existentialism." I don't go for generalizing all of the above into one lump group, especially when this type of folk are being labeled with the name of a serious and usually diligent religious belief system. The fact that Wicca requires less scholarly background means it does attract a higher rate of spiritual slackers. On the upside, dabblers don't stick around for long - here or in Wicca or wherever some level of (self)knowledge is required - in my experience, because some effort is required even if it's not the books 'n libraries kind. *shrug*

And more importantly, since this discussion is taking place within the confines of a particular group of people, I'll freely reiterate that I doubt you'll find many non-scholarly or non-thinking types in this bunch - regardless of their personal views, religions, or philosophy. You're not alone in being gunshy due to earlier Internet experiences. My advice remains the same, as I posted in my earlier commentary: explain, elucidate, and always be open to asking and answering questions.

Long live the TTMQ! ;-)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Uh. Something like that. -- Voxpopuli, 13:26:50 09/06/01 Thu

Ok, so I'll rephrase my earlier statement: Great you can understand my distrust of dabblers.

And yes, Sol, I noticed that many people around here do have a scholarly interest on many of the subjects I like, and that's precisely why I feel free to rant of such bad experiences, because many of you probably have been through it in other places, and would not feel offended by a statement that does not depict any of you.

Btw, have you ever been to rituals of drug related cults? No, no candomblé, Santo Daime. My cousin is na initiate in this sect, na adept and has shown me some real nice "churches".

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> religions as ways of living -- anom, 12:39:19 09/06/01 Thu

"If you consider it a philosophy - a way of living as opposed to a way of believing - then you can be Christian and Thelemic (I know a few) as well as Jewish and Thelemic or even Existentialist and Thelemic or whatever."

Is a philosophy a way of living or a basis of a way of living? I'm questioning whether someone can be Jewish & Thelemic because many Jews consider Judaism more a matter of practice than of belief. If practice = way of living, then Jewish & Thelemic ways of living may not be compatible. (I can't speak on coexistence of Thelema w/other religions because I don't know enough about--well, either of them.)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: religions as ways of living -- Solitude1056, 13:28:32 09/06/01 Thu

Is a philosophy a way of living or a basis of a way of living?

How would you categorize/demonstrate the difference between these two? And wouldn't something that's a matter of "practice" also possibly be a matter of "belief" - sort of like the religio-philosophical version of "all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares"?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: religions as ways of living -- anom, 20:41:29 09/06/01 Thu

"Is a philosophy a way of living or a basis of a way of living?

How would you categorize/demonstrate the difference between these two?"

The way of living is what you do in your life, the philosophy is why--what you believe that causes you to act the way you do. That's what I mean when I refer to the "basis" of a way of living. The latter may be an expression of the former, but they're not the same.

"And wouldn't something that's a matter of 'practice' also possibly be a matter of 'belief'...?"

This one's harder to define. "Possibly," yes, but not always. For example, there are some Jews who, when they get technical about it, call themselves "orthoprax" rather than "orthodox"--referring to practice rather than doctrine. They consider following the commandments (not just the famous 10), of which the overwhelming majority address behavior, not belief, more important than believing the doctrines, many of which were developed later (OK, so were some of the practices--this ain't simple). They may have different reasons for doing the same things, e.g., to be part of their community, or because they find value in following the rules even if they don't believe the standard reasons for doing so.

So similar practices may be based on different beliefs. (Many of Theodore Sturgeon's stories are about people doing things for reasons different from what society might expect.)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, see, that's the problem - we're OT now.... kind of. -- mundusmundi, 13:32:40 09/06/01 Thu

As for the rest of your post: there are a lot of Wiccans and Pagans on this board, as well as a few Buddhists, Agnostics, Christians, Jews, Taoists, Atheists and who knows what else 'cause I'm sure I'm forgetting someone. And the important element of this board is that we get to check our "chips" at the door. Chips from our shoulders, that is. This board has dealt with some rather sticky things at times, but does so in the spirit of mutual education and debate, with the knowledge that personal attacks don't do jack, and that it's possible to disagree with someone and still enjoying talking to them, without anything coming to blows.

Once again, you've defined why I like this board so much. At most forums, even the most trivial comment can cause an uproar. This is inevitably followed by more arguing over the definitions of the misunderstanding, then the definitions of the definitions, on and on ad nauseam. Here, as you mentioned, things take a different course. (Many thanks also to Masq for never being a control freak, but letting disagreements and debates play themselves out.) I think what finally prompted me to delurk here back in May was somebody's negative assessment of The Gift. There was no vitriolic retaliation, no potshots, just carefully considered responses, wonderful insights on both sides of the issue, and some flashes of wit too. Afterwards I thought, "I'm home."
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, see, that's the problem - we're OT now.... kind of. -- Wisewoman, 19:43:56 09/06/01 Thu

I'm with ya, mm. When I first started lurking here I would read a post and think, "Oh-oh, somebody just set themselves up for a flame war!" and then it just would never happen. It was intriguing, and a real eye-opener after some of the other boards I'd read. After a while, I learned to trust these guys, and now when I see an intriguing or controversial post, I think, "Hm, can't wait to see what (pick erudite poster of choice) has to say about that!" And I'm never disappointed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey, you made a new set of initials to put on the list PEPOC...... -- Rufus, 21:20:35 09/06/01 Thu

Prick erudite poster of that the same as calling someone a worm???...:):):):)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Um, rufus, that was "pick," not "prick!" LOL!! Don't even wanna go there...;o) -- Wisewoman, 08:29:34 09/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Um, rufus, that was "pick," not "prick!" LOL!! Don't even wanna go there...;o) -- Rufus, 13:02:25 09/07/01 Fri

*smiles innocently* and so I can't spell at all. I liked it the way I translated it to be. I did warn you I'm twisted.....:):):):):):)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> PEPOM -- Prick Erudite Poster of the Month. We could have games and prizes. -- mundusmundi, 16:01:06 09/08/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> So, like, just the guys would be eligible, or what? ;o) -- Wisewoman, 16:47:22 09/08/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> "Prick" can be a state of mentality, as well as physicality -- d'Herblay, 22:21:09 09/08/01 Sat

Plus, this being the internet, how would we ever be sure?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> What? My post did not post...this is a check. -- John Doe, 14:43:30 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> American Gods -- fresne, 13:46:21 09/06/01 Thu

"Gosh! And when I decided to bring up a discussion of hallucinogenic beverages for religious purposes..."

All which makes me think of a scene in American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Spoiler Space For those who want it

So, Odin, Oestre, and our protagonist Shadow go into a coffee bar in San Francisco. For various plot reasons, Odin bets Oestre that their Goth chick waitress won't know the origin of Easter (the word, the day choice, etc.)

And indeed, she does not know because as a Wiccan, she doesn't know much about Christian stuff.

Odin, to rub it in, asks her some leading questions about how she practices her religion (although seriously she'd have to be suicidal to frolic naked in the ocean, I mean come on, the water's darn cold here. Then again, he's Norse, so whatever.). To which she gets increasingly agitated, because she doesn't do those sorts of things. (i.e. eww, gross).

It was one of those funny, "Oh, I know her/people like her." sort of moments. Sorry, you've had so many of them.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! Blessed Wannabe humour, love it! -- Wisewoman, 19:34:18 09/06/01 Thu

Well, now you've really piqued my interest...I've been wanting to read American Gods, 'cuz I liked an earlier Gaiman novel (Neverwhere? was that it?), but I've never read the comic books, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I'll definitely look for it now. Thanks!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Just plugging Good Omens -- d'Herblay, 20:34:14 09/06/01 Thu

Funniest eschatological satire of its time. And considering Donald E. Westlake issued Humans at about the same moment, that's saying a lot.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I second that! -- Solitude1056, 20:46:59 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I third that! -- Shaglio, 05:40:55 09/07/01 Fri

And I was extremely pleased that Bohemian Rhapsody made an apperance.

What was the full title? "Good Omens: The Nice And Accurate Prophecies Of Agnus Potter, Witch" I think that was it, but I haven't read it in many moons.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agnes Nutter, I think... -- Wisewoman, 08:35:35 09/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I urm, fourth that! -- fresne, 09:31:19 09/07/01 Fri

Seriously, I'd pretty much recommend anything either Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett has written. Both overly educated with lots of wry humor. I want their reference libraries.

Although, I should mention, that while Good Omens is "Really" funny and a good mix of their two styles, American Gods is, while occasionally humorous, not a comedy. Well, okay part of the premise is that while other countries build temples on sacred spots, Americans put up the world's largest ball of string, but well, its a lot more serious. Okay, the bit about Horus who spends all of his time as a Hawk eating road kill is also pretty funny. But no really, not a "cheer me up" book. It has a much more serious take on the whole death, destruction, cosmological wars, a journey into the underworld thing.

Gosh this is really getting me in the mood for Buffy. Although, sigh, I will miss the season opener, as I shall be out of the country on vacation. Ah, VCRs!
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> and I'll fifth it (but that's not a subtitle) -- anom, 11:34:52 09/07/01 Fri

It actually doesn't have a subtitle, but after the 1st prologue (depending how you count) is a page (2, really) saying the following:


A Narrative of Certain Events occurring in the last eleven years of human history, in strict accordance as shall be shewn with:

The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter

Compiled and Edited, with Footnotes of an Educational Nature and Precepts for the Wise, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett."

and then a list of Dramatis Personae, which is too long to copy out, but these are the categories:

Supernatural Beings Apocalyptic Horsepersons Humans Them Full Chorus of Tibetans, Aliens, Americans, Atlantisans and other rare and strange Creatures of the Last Days. And: Dog (Satanical hellhound and cat-worrier)

There's also a CAVEAT on the copyright page, which I noticed for the 1st time just now: "Kids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Do not attempt it in your own home."

If anyone is not yet persuaded to find this book & read it, I don't think I'll spoil anything by summing up the premise (not the plot) as follows: Antichrist Switched at Birth.

Now find it & read it. @>)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh, heck, let's just put up an amazon link -- d'Herblay, 12:06:13 09/07/01 Fri

You can buy it here.

The movie is in preproduction. Somehow I've always seen Derek Jacobi as Aziraphale. For Crowley? I'd say Ben Affleck if he hadn't done something similar in Dogma. Maybe JM as Crowley?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Oh, heck, let's just put up an amazon link -- Shaglio, 12:33:05 09/07/01 Fri

Interesting! My father's copy has a diferent looking cover. I'll have to check it out when I get home tonight, but I don't have a scanner and I don't usually check the message board on the weekends.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Oh, heck, let's just put up an amazon link -- fresne, 13:43:06 09/07/01 Fri

Not only is Good Omen's going into production, but from comments that Neil Gaiman made at the American Gods Q&A, Terry Gilliam really "gets" the flavor of the book.

So, here's hoping for a good translation to screen.

As to casting, I always see ASH as Aziraphale. Since in my mental casting, I'm saving JM for the Corinthian from the Sandman (the second Corinthian, not the first one) and since someone mentioned Bond, I want Pierce Brosnan for Crowley.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thank's d'Herblay--that was enough of a push to get me to order it! -- Wisewoman, 10:47:54 09/08/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> No problem! -- d'Herblay, 11:14:20 09/08/01 Sat

Glad to have been of service. Though, maybe we should keep this on the QT. I'm feeling a little sheepish railing against sugarbomb marketing down below and linking to commercial sites up here.

I guess I'm just another capitalist tool. :)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> OK, there's other sources -- anom, 12:57:54 09/09/01 Sun

"I'm feeling a little sheepish railing against sugarbomb marketing down below and linking to commercial sites up here."

Well, maybe if we give some alternatives? Folks on the Editorial Freelancers Assn. email list recommend other (& less expensive, they say!) sites for used books:

"Advanced Book Exchange at:" [straight to their search form]

" eBay company that matches up private sellers with buyers"

"Addall--they search 41 independent stores here [i.e., US] and in the UK, give you price comparisons, etc., then link you to the shop that has the book you want and you buy directly from an actual bookstore. Bibliofind is pretty good, but Addall beats all for and"

"Bookfinder, which is apparently a superset of many of the resources mentioned in this thread. It's at"

Of course, you could always check your local brick-&-mortar used (or new) bookstore 1st--y'know, the one w/stacks you can go to & actually look at the book before you buy it, & talk to a live salesperson...oh, is my age showing? @>)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, yeah; you left out -- d'Herblay, 13:38:10 09/09/01 Sun

Of course, since I was "feeling sheepish" about linking to a commercial site, it really doesn't matter which commercial site I linked to. I went with amazon by default. Those who want quality used books are, in my experience, used to doing their own legwork. Plus, should 600 lurkers be suddenly inspired by this thread to buy Good Omens, only amazon or barnes&noble could meet that kind of demand. What I should have done is provided a link to everyone's local library. :)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> only 'cuz I didn't know about it! 'sides... -- anom, 17:39:03 09/09/01 Sun

...if only 1 is named, I'd rather it not be the 1 that already gets the most business. Yeah, only the Big 2 could fulfill high-volume demand--by themselves. But we don't all have to buy from the same co. OK, 1/2 the ones I posted may have gone down in the dotcom crash-&-burn by now, but I'd still rather try them 1st. Or 2nd, after an actual local bookstore.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Point taken -- d'Herblay, 22:42:09 09/09/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Bwaha, you're not the only one. -- Drizzt, 14:33:43 09/06/01 Thu

Do what you want?

Anarchism: Good points are asserting independance and choice governed by accountability. Corrupt version is hostility to any authority and disclaiming responsibility with the phrase "There is no law, only me" or something similar. Satanism: Good points are poking holes in the arrogence of monotheist veiws/oppinions, and acceptance of the reality of grey morality where no choice is perfectly good. Corrupt version is a rebellion and the stupidity of doing the exact opposite of the mainstream religion instead of behavior independant of christain values, and the obscene behavior justified by the phrase "Satan is evil and in serving him all of my actions are acceptible" or "Morals do not aply to me because my master is evil"...coppouts! Accept responsibility instead of blaming "Satan" Hedonism: Ummm good and bad points. All philisophical concepts with valid points; it is the ignorant that merely quote the basics of these values as an excuse for irrisponsible behavior.

Bame lawyers, or drugs, or polititions, or religious crusades? More coppouts. Do not blame anyone for your life.

Okay, that was a rant that went way off topic... Solitude thanks for more background on the concept of "Will"
[> Re: Bisexuality and Witchcraft -- Solitude1056, 09:00:11 09/06/01 Thu

Thinking about the post, Sponge (or do you prefer LS, and we can confuse you with L Starlight?)... and about Vox' response:

But sexuality does not play such key role on the unleashing of your spiritual faculties. It is part of a whole, it is accepted as something individual ... But indeed it has a lot to do with happiness.

Responding to Sponge: I think the difficulty in saying that Willow's growth is related to her sexuality might be the simplified assumption, by a reader, that you mean "the sex Willow has is what gives her the power" or some such. And if I'm reading you right, that's not what you meant. And if I'm reading you wrong, that's okay, because that's what I mean, anyway. So pffft. (Heh.)

Sexuality, IMO, does play a key role in one's self-confidence, and therefore a key role in giving oneself the strength to unleash, and free, one's Self to "be" one's Self to the fullest. Sexuality, in this case, isn't about the physical act, but the emotional whallop of knowing one's Self. Our sexuality - no matter how we categorize it - is a huge factor in our self identity. Regardless of how much some of us enjoy the genderless environment of the Internet, in daily life our physical and emotional sexuality is nearly inextrictable from our self-identities. And therefore, knowing that single part of one's Self (or at least being fulfilled with what one knows) is a major step in the path of knowing one's Self in toto.

Willow's whole now. I think that her witchcraft was so off the mark before because - aside from her being a novice - she had pieces of the puzzle missing. How could she accurately gage how her energy would effect the mystical and supernatural energies she was tapping in to if she wasn't even completely aware of what was going on in her own psyche?

See, that sums it up in a nutshell. The idea of a specific sexuality or an awareness of it is a bit inflammatory for some, who will never step away from the realization that it's not about being any particular sexual preference... but about simply recognizing one's own preference in the first place. It's just as possible (IMO) that had the stories headed in a different direction & Willow/Xander ended up a pair, Willow's acknowledgement that she's been in love with Xander, all this time, may have been the key. (Her love for Xander being something she repressed or put away for a long time, especially when Xander was too busy noticing Buffy.) It's acknowledgement of something repressed, and bringing it to light and accepting it, that gives a person a certain measure of power in their daily life as well as their spiritual life.

Uh, and various other blah blah blah blah parts here too. Quick, someone add something witty to sum this up, I'm all wittied out. ;-)
Leather Pants, Plots, and Bruce Campbell (mildly off-topic) -- Solitude1056, 10:49:38 09/05/01 Wed

go to click on "babblings" on the left-hand menu then click on "guest babblings" and THEN click on Treacherous Sentiments by Kimberley Rector

... well worth it, and actually quite on-topic for us, at least in the storyline aspects. ;-)
[> Re: Leather Pants, Plots, and Bruce Campbell (mildly off-topic) -- Marie, 07:08:39 09/06/01 Thu

Thanks, Sol, that was very interesting to read. She actually mentions Alan Rickman, one of my favourite villains (Robin Hood was worth watching, just for his Sheriff!). And she's right - the villains always get the great lines.

Some of my favourite moments in AtS are when Angel becomes Angelus (loved the Fred Astaire-like gestures and steps in 'Eternity').

I actually hope that Spike and Buffy never do get it together, because I want Spike to stay Bad, with a capital B, and I don't think that can happen if he does get the girl!
[> Re: Leather Pants, Plots, and Bruce Campbell (mildly off-topic) -- Methodica, 16:36:07 09/06/01 Thu

Thanks for the link. I personally and getting sick of the cookie cutter plots and charaters in alot of the show's out there now. I however always have argue with my friends about Buffy since they think its cookie cutter as well. Even though they have only watched 20 mins of the show tops. Ever try explaining the show to someone who has never watched it and hates it solely on the name and movie its based on. Not fun.
[> [> Re: Leather Pants, Plots, and Bruce Campbell (mildly off-topic) -- Humanitas, 18:20:21 09/06/01 Thu

Well, there is a certain pattern to the plots:

1. New Monster appears in town.
2. Buffy becomes aware of the monster.
3. Research is done.
4. Monster is vanquished.

That said, there is so much more to the show than that. Layers upon layers of symbol and metaphor, a plot that works on multiple levels and scales, etc. We know that, but it's hard for someone who isn't a fan to see past the cookie-cutter aspects that are almost a necessity in episodic TV.

BTW, that's a great article! I especially like the comment on Bond. On film, Brosnan is the first Bond that I believe is a killer. It's in his eyes. They say "not only am I going to kill you, but I'm going to enjoy it!"
Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pts I and II -- Masquerade, 23:12:22 09/05/01 Wed

Understanding Kate Lockley

(or, It Ain't Easy Being Blue)


I. Introduction

Kate had the cards stacked against her before she ever showed up in Angel episode two. Buffy/Angel shippers who feared she'd be the female equivalent of Riley--replacing Buffy in Angel's affections-- hated her sight unseen (I know it wasn't all of them or even most of them--I'm a red-blooded B/A shipper myself).

Once Kate did appear, many other fans came to dislike her as well. They found her judgmental, rash, and two-dimensional. She was a stereotypical by-the-book cop and a woman with a flaw written into her personality before she ever had time to develop as a character: a distrust of men that made it difficult for her to maintain close relationships with them. Her attitude towards both Angel and her father constantly vacillated. She wanted to trust them, but she was afraid to. She wanted to hate them, but her father was her father, after all, and Angel was that cute vampire/private investigator she could never pin anything on except allowing some lawyers to die.

We're all familiar with this picture of Kate Lockley. Kate's "daddy issues" were shoved down our throats, and this only made it even more difficult to empathize with the woman.

If that's all there was to understanding Kate, I'd say *yawn*, too. So let's put aside the Kate who flirted with the "brooding man of mystery" between I Fall to Pieces and Somnambulist and then made Angel a scapegoat for her father's death between the Prodigal and Reprise. That's one picture of her, but it barely scratches the surface of Kate. To understand Kate you have to see not only the woman and the cop and the daughter of a cop, you have to see Kate the symbol. Let's face it. Kate wasn't written to reflect and learn and grow (although I think she eventually did), she was written to represent something. Understanding her complexity means understanding that.

Angel: the Series, like BtVS, is a show about justice and righting wrongs and fighting evil. Kate was put on the show to embody the recognized authority on justice and evil-fighting in Los Angeles--the Los Angeles police department*.

For Kate, being a police officer was more than a job. Within the police force, Kate had a home, an extended family--her brothers and sisters in blue. This family was her support structure, the source of her values, and a place to belong. She not only identified with their point of view, their point of view was her identity.

From Kate's perspective, then, Angel was not simply an attractive man or a vampire with a notoriously evil past. He was a private citizen who'd gotten it in his head to do the police department's job for them. In other words, Angel is a vigilante.

Is this a fair perception? Fair or not, the writers wove it in deliberately. Angel: the Series was originally advertised as a cross between "Touched by an Angel" and "The Equalizer", and Angel's vigilante status was underscored by the Batman subtext in the first half of season one. Why did the writers do this? Well, you have to know something about the recent history of Los Angeles to understand that:

...the theme of [Angel: the Series] really *is* about vigilantism, in the face of the Los Angeles attitude toward the inept and/or evil cops and the inept and/or evil lawyers who work with them. I don't think you can discount how fiercely Nicole Brown Simpson and Rodney King and the Manson murders and all the riots and police scandals past and present have affected the city; and the Hollywood scriptwriters who live in it. I think that the lone hero is a major force in L.A. literature ...there is a feeling of impotence and frustration left behind by all of the horrors and injustices visited upon Los Angeles, and Angel's role is to change that feeling and redeem the city.... There's been a lot of build-up to this being a major rationalizing theme, including Angel's repeated reference to "his city" and of course the Angel/City of Angels connection, the noir influences on the show, and Kate's description of Wolfram & Hart as... "the law firm that Johnnie Cochran was too ethical to join" (J. Godwin, 8:03, May 24, 2000, Table Talk Salon)

Even Angel and the people working for him are aware of the thin ice Angel walks on. When Cordelia handed out Angel's business cards at a single's bar in Lonely Hearts, Doyle stopped her:

Doyle: "Hey, hey, hey! This isn't a marketing seminar here, princess. You've got to stay a bit more below radar."
Cordelia: "What radar?"
Doyle: "The police? You know the service our friend Angel provides might put some people in mind of the V-word."
Cordelia: "Vampire?"
Doyle: "No, Vigilante. You know there are laws against this. You need to chat people up a little more casual like. You know, hi, what's your name? How's life treatin' ye? What's that you say? Minions from hell gettin' you down?"

This perspective might seem odd to long-time BtVS viewers who tune in to Angel. We're used to thinking of Angel as a "champion." Like the Slayer, he is "a unique force for good in a troubled world". And his legitimacy for the job, we soon learned (I Will Remember You), came from the same source as Buffy's--a calling by the Powers That Be. And as far as the police go, Angel would say he was filling a gap that the police aren't filling. The supernatural exists, and as he tells Melissa in I Fall to Pieces, he is the one who can help her defend herself against it:

"Remember I told you I sometimes handle things the police can't? This is one of those things."

Kate knew nothing of Angel's calling, ever. From her perspective, Angel went from a mysterious private investigator to a potentially dangerous amateur interloper. We saw a vampire seeking personal redemption; she saw a supernatural vigilante.

And from the perspective of the police, vigilantism is a big bad. A police officer's hands are tied by procedures based on due process of law. They cannot break these rules without having their arrests countermanded and suspects freed or their careers put to scrutiny. Individual citizens, on the other hand, are under much less scrutiny. If they take the law into their own hands, they follow a personal concept of justice that they feel is "above the law". If they violate another citizen's rights in the name of their own personal idea of justice, they might never be forced to justify their actions or accept the consequences of them.

II. Lonely Hearts to the Prodigal: Angel, nice guy to vampire

When Kate first meets Angel (Lonely Hearts), he's a cute guy in a bar. Then she finds him in an apartment with a woman's desiccated corpse. Her attempt to arrest him isn't simply based on Angel's presence there, it's based on his lack of authoritative credentials. He claims to be a private investigator, but he can't produce a license. She continues to suspect him until the "real" serial killer appears and Angel saves her life from him. Kate returns the favor, and decides, for the moment, that he's a mysterious amateur.

Sense And Sensitivity is the episode that introduced Kate's cold and insensitive father Trevor Lockley, a retired police officer. Trevor may feel love, he may feel concern, but he is incapable of expressing them. Dad sums up his life as a cop and a father in one sentence:

"In my day we didn't need any damn sensitivity."

Kate dealt with her father's behavior by becoming hard herself:

"Genuine emotion makes you uncomfortable. That's okay. Your inappropriate sarcasm masks anger. And you know what anger is, Kate?--It's just fear. Fear of being hurt. Fear of loss. You've been hurt, haven't you, Kate. And you're afraid of being hurt again." -- Allen the sensitivity trainer (Sense And Sensitivity)

It also made her the very picture of the L.A. cop, from the average citizen's perspective.

Kate not only represented the way cops are viewed from the outside, her character was also a way to illustrate the police department from an insider's perspective. In particular, their frustration with the criminal element and lawyers, and the inappropriate behavior this sometimes drove them to.

In Sense And Sensitivity, Kate captures the notorious mobster Little Tony. Tony's Wolfram and Hart lawyer, Lee Mercer, plays the Dirty-L.A. Cop card well for his purposes. First, he tries to get his client's verbal abuse stricken from the record and Kate's verbal abuse kept on the record. Then he goes for the throat with the smooth hypocrisy we have since learned to expect of his law firm (note the direct reference to a highly-publicized real life L.A. law case):

"It means that we will open this case to the court of public opinion. It means that we'll shine *light* into the darkest corners of this precinct and give the people a clear view of the brutality and callousness of this police force that will make Mark Fuhrman look like Gentle Ben."

Mercer later brings in a sorcerer to cast a spell on the cops of Kate's precinct under the guise of training cops in "sensitivity". The obnoxiously touchy-feely behavior of the officers under the influence of the spell takes on an irony that is much less puke-worthy than it appears on the surface.

White cop to a black prisoner: "I'd like to apologize for having treated you so shabbily, so I wrote a poem about it. (Reads) 'I saw a leaf and I did cry..."


By Somnambulist, Kate had reached a point in her relationship with Angel where she was past her initial trust issues and willing to extend the private investigator professional courtesies, like running a license plate for him (information that the police department normally doesn't give to civilians). When Angel returns later to tell her that Penn (a vampire he sired in the 1700's) is her serial killer suspect, he begins by asking her:

"Kate, do you trust me?"

Kate responds: "You know I do."

Then Kate finds out Angel is a vampire--the same sort of creature the "serial killer" Penn is. In an occult bookstore, she reads about Penn and his notorious sire, "Angelus". There she not only confirms that vampires exist and that they are vicious killers, she discovers that she has a crush on one of the most notorious vampires in recent centuries.

We have no evidence that Kate read anything about the curse that restored Angel's soul. And it has never been a topic of conversation between them. So what is Kate supposed to conclude when she reads about Angel's past? All she has to contradict the evil vampire theory is his so-far nice-guy behavior. So it is reasonable to assume, given what she knows, that if Penn was capable of these inhuman acts, Angel must be, too. At the least, she can no longer assume Angel is completely benevolent:

Angel: "Let me help end it, please?"

Kate: "Please. Now there is a word I imagine you heard quite a lot in your time. Please... no... don't? Thanks for the offer, but I don't *need* your help. I know what to do. Drive a stake right through the son of a bitch's heart. And when that happens I suggest you don't be there. Because the next time we meet I'll do the same to you."

Then Kate is taken hostage. While Angel fights Penn to save her, Penn taunts him for weakly siding with humans. When Kate's moment comes, she decides to spare Angel. She rams a piece of wood through Angel's stomach and up into Penn's heart. She treats Penn like a murderer whose penalty must, by necessity, be carried out by one individual member of the criminal justice system. And for the moment, she treats Angel as a citizen whose culpability in Penn's actions long ago passed the statute of limitations.

But even if she believes that Angel is "basically a good guy", he is still a vampire--a supernatural creature. As far as society is concerned, his kind do not exist. And despite whatever ties Angel might have to the human world, on some level, he stills lives outside the purview of police authority. Kate cannot simply ignore that.

Kate does not immediately make an enemy of Angel. Until Sanctuary she does little more than keep Angel at a distance. In The Prodigal, she is willing to work on a case with Angel, although not much more:

Kate: "No, you don't get to do that."

Angel: "What?"

Kate: "Kill a demon in front of me and then act like we're going to have a cappuccino together. It doesn't work that way."

Angel: "How's it work?"

Kate: "I'm not convinced it does. Look, no offense. I think you're probably a pretty decent guy for a, you know, what you are, but lets keep this strictly business, all right? We don't get personal. I'm not your girlfriend."

This case introduces her to the existence of demons. At first, Kate doesn't really want to deal with them. She hasn't yet been confronted by the real magnitude of supernatural danger in Los Angeles beyond a few not-so-mythical vampires. But there is an entire supernatural underworld in L.A., and Kate comes face to face with it in the worse possible way.

Angel tracks a drug courier to Trevor Lockley's apartment and sees Kate's father take a package. After Angel confronts him, Trevor goes to warn his cronies in crime about Angel. The vampire lackeys of the demonic drug dealer are instructed to get Trevor out of the way. Trevor is attacked by the vampires in his home. Because he refuses to invite Angel in, Angel can only be an impotent witness. After Trevor's death, Angel enters the apartment and kills one of the vampires. The other vampire escapes just as Kate arrives. Kate sees the bite marks on her father's neck and finds the business card of the demon. She must once again serve as the arm of justice in L.A., this time for her own father. She enters the drug-lord demon's lair, gun blazing, and stakes the vamp that got away while Angel takes on the demon.

Finding out her father gave into the temptation of police corruption cracks the foundation on which Kate has built her life. Trevor Lockley may have believed he was abetting a minor crime (facilitating the movement of untariffed auto-parts), but what Kate witnessed was her father breaking one of her family's most treasured values--you don't help the bad guys, regardless of the crime they're committing.

In I've Got You Under My Skin, Kate agrees to deal with the guilty party in Angel's latest case--the human sociopath Ryan Anderson. Her standoffish behavior in The Prodigal and this episode and her outright hostility thereafter can be interpreted in ways other than the interpretation Angel chooses-- that Kate blames Angel for her father's death. After IGYUMS, Kate slowly becomes the prodigal daughter of the L.A.P.D family. Her obsession with fighting supernatural crime and interfering with Angel's work isn't merely about avenging her father's death. It's about confusion--should she stay loyal to the values of the L.A.P.D. or should she question them? She has not only seen police corruption up close and personal, she has discovered a whole new side of crime in L.A. that her cop family refuses to acknowledge. But if she questions the police--the foundation of her beliefs and values--what will that say about her life?

[> Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- Masquerade, 23:19:08 09/05/01 Wed

III. Sanctuary to Reprise: Angel the vigilante

For years, Kate embodied the kind of cop the police department held up as an ideal. She was a rational thinker who solved crimes with "good old fashioned police work"--crime scene evidence, confessions, and her own expertise in the psychology of serial killers (Lonely Hearts, Somnambulist), stalkers (I Fall to Pieces), and murderers.

After The Prodigal, Kate makes it her job to investigate the supernatural underworld of Los Angeles. This work was not merely a place to focus her grief. Kate sees this element of crime in the city as her personal responsibility. She alone believes among her fellow police officers, and as a police officer sworn to protect the public, Kate feels obligated to track down demons breaking human laws and and deal with them--even if the demon in question turns out to be Angel.

Accomplishing this isn't easy, though. The police department isn't exactly going to put her in charge of the L.A. "X-files" and bring all the new demon cases to her attention. Instead, she has to keep her self alert to crimes with "a paranormal bouquet" . Then she swoops in and take on other detective's cases.

So it's no surprise that Kate quickly gets a reputation among the supernaturally-clueless L.A.P.D. as a paranormal-hunting kook. They move her out of the downtown precinct and put her behind a desk out in the boonies with only her police scanner for company. Her friends on the force are willing to help her fight the decision, but there is nothing they can do once she's decided to give up investigating mainstream cases.

In Sanctuary, Kate goes to the scene of Faith's torture of Wesley because she's heard that a supernaturally-strong female was reported as the suspect. The detective on the scene says,

"Everybody knows you've gone all Scully. Anytime one of these weird cases crosses anyone's desk, you're always there."

Kate finds out that Angel is hiding the wanted murderer, Faith. He has officially put himself on the wrong side of the law. This brings out her well-trained disdain for vigilantism. Even if she knew Angel's history with Faith, or his desire to redeem her, it wouldn't matter. She hasn't forgotten the good Angel has done in the city. But the plain fact is, a supernaturally powerful citizen with a murderous past has taken the law into his own hands and may do so again if it suits his purposes. Lindsey plays on this fact when he tells Kate that

"creatures like those who killed your father put themselves beyond human law."

No matter who the messenger is, Kate doesn't hesitate to arrest Angel for aiding and abetting a wanted felon.

By To Shanshu in L.A., Kate has become worn and frazzled from her new mission. Then she comes upon Angel once again putting himself above the law. Angel is not the first person in the history of the world to have loved ones on the critical list. So when Angel refuses to stay at his apartment as a witness, Kate is not going to treat him any different than she would any other survivor of a disaster:

Kate: "Never a dull moment with you around, is there."

Angel: "I have to go."

Kate: "Who the hell do you think you are? You are a major witness to a major crime scene. You are not going anywhere."

Angel: "You want to try and stop me, Kate?"

Kate: "I'm glad we are not playing friends anymore. And I'm real sick and tired of your attitude. There is a thing called the law!"


Kate believes that someone who takes the law into his own hands is just one step away from breaking it himself--and the vampire formerly known as Angelus more so.

In Dear Boy, Darla poses as the innocent woman DeEtta Kramer and attempts to frame Angel for murder. Kate knows the attack on the actor playing Steven Kramer was a vampire attack, because the evidence backs it up. It doesn't take much to convince her that the vampire responsible was Angel. Then Angel kidnaps "DeEtta". Kate goes to his hotel to arrest him. There she meets Gunn, the newest member of Angel's vigilante gang. With his record, Kate isn't willing to give Gunn the benefit of the doubt.

The gang tells Kate the truth about "DeEtta"--that she's Angel's sire, Darla, alive and attempting to frame Angel. Gunn points out that Angel could not have entered the Kramer house uninvited. Cordelia argues that the only way Angel could have gotten in is if the owners were already dead.

Kate realizes that they're right about Angel's innocence. But she doesn't back off. As far as she is concerned, even if Angel is good, he's still taking the fight against evil on himself, and that is dangerous. She replies:

"You don't get it, do you?"

Gunn: "What, the fact that Angel's innocent?"

Kate: "The fact that while you're fighting your big battles of good and evil the innocent are the ones who get caught in the crossfire. Those are the ones I care about, like that man tonight, like the real owners of that house if what you say is true. And those are the ones I chalk up to your boss."

Wesley: "You can't blame Angel for that. He's trying to do what's right!"

A lot of people dismissed this speech as referring to Kate's father, who was certainly no "innocent" when he got caught up in the supernatural underworld. And there might be some grief talking here, but it is better understood as the most direct statement of anti-vigilantism Kate makes on the series.

So on the one hand, we have the gang looking at Angel as a warrior for good, fighting the good fight with the blessing of the Powers That Be. Kate, on the other hand, is the voice of the law and its wariness of the lone hero.

In The Shroud of Rahmon, Kate takes the focus off Angel and puts it on the suspected murderer of the actor, Darla. She still has her eye on Angel, though, in case he crosses the thin line from being above the law to breaking the law. Kate has heard a few things about Angel and Darla's past, and she knows he has mixed feelings about Darla. Darla could very well be the trigger that makes him take that one small step.

Kate illegally enters Angel's room at the hotel looking for leads on Darla. When Angel warns her against getting involved with Darla and Wolfram and Hart and getting herself killed in the process, Kate's worries about Angel and Darla reveal themselves:

Kate: You think I'm gonna stand by while you and your playmate finish the game?"

Later, she believes she has finally caught Angel in illegal activity when two cops doing surveillance on a suspected bank robber show her pictures of Angel being greeted by this man. When Kate comes upon Angel at the Museum of Natural History, he is partially under the influence of the one-way- ticket-to-evil-town death shroud. Angel taunts her rather cruelly about her father's death and then attacks her. In a flash-back from Kate's point of view, we discover that Angel used his vampire bite to get between Kate and the criminal Menlo's gun. After taking a nip from her neck, he whispers:

"Stay down or they'll kill you."

Then he lets go of her. She drops to the floor and plays dead.

Kate obviously takes Angel's word that he was working undercover to destroy the shroud, because she does not attempt to arrest or kill him as the last surviving suspect. Later, we see Kate standing in front of her office window, fingering her neck wound and contemplating the shade of gray that is Angel.

In Reunion, Kate shows trust in Angel again when she releases him after an arrest for breaking and entering Wolfram and Hart. She sends him after vampDarla and Drusilla, who have killed two employees of a dress shop. This is a big step for someone who is in principle against citizens taking the law into their own hands. Kate has acknowledged that she needs help in tracking down the vampires, and knows that Angel's intimate knowledge of them will help her.

Unfortunately, Angel crosses the line she feared he would. He aids and abets Darla and Drusilla's massacre of the lawyers. Even if you believe that Angel did the right thing, the act has put him at clear odds with the law's position to serve his own personal ends:

Wesley: "You could have stopped them."

Angel: "And I will."

Cordy: "When? After they've finished off all the people you don't like?"

Wesley: "Angel, while it's certainly true that these lawyers brought this on themselves - what you did is..."

Cordy: " wrong."

Gunn: "You went too far."


Angel may have been driven to his actions by his frustration with bringing Wolfram and Hart to justice. Likewise, The Thin Dead Line takes an (extreme) police point of view of their own frustration with controlling crime. Just as Angel's hands are tied by Wolfram and Hart's ability to hide behind their own power, the police's hands are tied by constraints put on them by the law.

In TTDL, Captain Atkinson of the 23rd precinct decides to throw out that pesky impediment known as due process. His "new, tougher policy" cuts down dramatically on crime in his precinct by essentially turning the neighborhood into a "police state". Using magic, he raises zombie cops who take whatever measures he thinks are necessary to clamp down on the scumbags of the neighborhood. The best way to keep the criminals from doing anything illegal is to clamp down on anything that's the slightest bit suspicious. The result is cops not only arresting criminals, but assaulting innocent citizens and arresting them for little more than loitering.

The living cops of the two-three breath a sigh of relief:

Officer: "Oh, only a few of us riding the desk tonight."

Angel: "Not a lot going on?"

Officer: "Crime is way down in this precinct. We're doing things right."


Kate: "This captain of yours, he's running things by the book?"

Officer: "I don't have to tell you who used to rule these streets, detective. The scumbags did. Hell, I-I was afraid to drive to work myself."

Despite her loyalty to the by-the-book cop values she grew up with, Kate knows first hand the frustration that lead the officers of the 23rd precinct to do such a thing. After Angel stops the zombies she explains this to him:

"Crime reports from that precinct. Up until three months ago there was a murder every two weeks, a rape every two days, a robbery every hour and a half. And that's what we just gave back to the people of that community."

They can both chime in on their frustration at this point:

Kate: "This job is making me crazy."

Angel: "I know the feeling."

In Reprise, we learn that Kate helped Angel investigate the 23rd precinct at the expense of her job. First of all, the situation was handled by a civilian and without using standard police procedure. Second, there is no way to prove that the captain was ordering officers to commit illegal acts against the citizens of his precinct since the officers that did them were legally dead!

Kate: "You remember Atkinson? The captain at the two-three? He's blaming me for granting access to some lunatic who broke into his office and beat the ever holy crap out of him. He's filed a formal complaint."

Angel: "He was raising zombie cops and setting them loose on the streets."

Kate: "And I'm sure once I explain that to Internal Affairs this will all just go away. And they've just been *looking* for an excuse... And you know what they say about *me*. I am a cop. That is all I've ever... I can't take a suspension... I would just..."

Kate is also afraid they'll nail her for letting a breaking-and-entering suspect (Angel) go who then aided and abetted the death of thirteen lawyers.

Kate: "Hmm, so it's funny how these dead people were threatened by an intruder at their offices. An intruder *I* picked up and released on the street three hours before the complainants were found massacred."

Angel: "You know who's responsible for that."

Kate: "Yeah. But I can't figure out though is why forensics is now telling me that it looks like the suspect or suspects *didn't* break in. They had to break out. The victims were locked in that wine cellar with their attackers and I think I am *done* helping you now."


Later in the episode, Kate goes in for her hearing with Internal Affairs. She has nothing to say in her defense that they'll believe. She is caught between a rock and a hard place. She chased the supernatural in the city not just out of revenge and anger, but because she was a cop who saw a real threat no other cop would handle. But the police aren't ready to believe that this element exists. They want a "rational" defense of her actions, and she has none.

Kate: "What am I supposed to say, Lou? They've dredged out every ugly detail of the last eight months, spilled it out on the table as if nothing had a context and I'm supposed to explain? I was doing my job."

Lou: "Actually what it appears you've been doing, detective, is isolating yourself. You've withdrawn from the stabilizing influence of your fellow officers, developed this morbid fascination for cases of a bizarre and macabre nature, and even you can't seem to give an explanation to why."

They want to blame her behavior while on her lone crusade against the demon underworld on grief over her father's death--a death never solved with traditional police methods and explanations. But Kate wasn't guilty of poor performance, and she certainly didn't choose to isolate herself.

Kate: "You people have no idea what's going on in this city."

Man: "Is this the part where you start to talk about monsters? We'll need your gun and your badge."

And with that, she is fired.

Many fans have no sympathy for what Kate did next. They found it self-indulgent and whiny. But think of it this way: Kate has just been disowned by her family, told that she'd broken the rules of the institution that was the source of her personal values, and told she was incompetent in the job that was her source of pride and identity. She is left without emotional support or understanding and a backlog of grief.

Now, of course, we know that Angel in a normal state of mind could have been the most understanding support to her, but she doesn't trust him, and in Reprise, he doesn't exactly deserve any trust.

Kate goes home to an apartment filled with reminders of a life that has rejected her--performance commendations, trophies from off-duty activities with other cops, a picture of her father. She goes into the bathroom and swallows a bottle of pills with an alcohol chaser, then calls the one person who'll believe her, the creature who started her down the road that ended here. She's angry at herself. She's angry at the L.A.P.D. Is she angry at Angel? Maybe, maybe not, but he's a convenient target for her rage:

Kate: "You did it, didn't you? You bastard.... You made me trust you. You made me believe. No, it wasn't you. It was me, right? I couldn't take the heat... That's what they're gonna say. Then you're gonna feel all bad. Or you won't care. But then, then I won't care either. I won't feel a thing."

With apologies to Cleanthes, his existentialist analysis of Angel in Reprise works for Kate as well:

Despair, says the first existentialist [Soren Kierkegaard], is the sickness unto death. Children babble because they CAN; that is childlike innocence -- losing oneself in possibilities. Lacking that looking for possibility leaves one dumb and stuck with [Angel's] "don't give a crap" or [Buffy's] "mommie"? ...Both seem faced with real despair. Without possibilities, then there is despair and so this endures for every moment without possibility. I imagine Buffy will recover better than Angel, but he's the real existentialist. He must believe that knights of the faith exist in order to keep up the struggle. It's absurd, but that's the way it goes (Cleanthes, 20-Feb-01 22:59)

Kate's attempted suicide was a cry for possibilities; alternatives to being Blue.

In Epiphany, Angel wins back her trust by saving her life. He breaks in the door to Kate's apartment and finds her on the floor, unconscious from her overdose. He stands her up in the shower and Kate comes to.

She finally gets the sympathetic ear she needs when she and Angel meet again later:

Kate: "I just couldn't... My whole life has been about being a cop. If I'm not part of the force it's like nothing I do means anything."

Angel tells her about his epiphany--about how he has "realized" there is no greater meaning to what he does than "simple acts of kindness". All fine and well for Angel, but Kate has lost all her ties to the world. She needs higher meaning again, and she has found it, ironically, in faith towards something that bears a remarkable resemblance to the Powers That Be:

Kate: "I got cut a huge break and I believe... I don't know what I believe, but I have faith. I think maybe we're not alone in this."

Angel: "Why?"

Kate: "Because I never invited you in."


*Disclaimer: I neither claim to be an expert on the Los Angeles Police Department nor on whether the public perception of the department reported here is true or false. Any perceived defending of or criticism of the Real Life department is just me trying to muddle through the fictional picture supplied by the writers of Angel: the Series.



Fan quotes are from the ATPoBtVS Discussion Board and the Table Talk Salon Angel forums.

A:tS quotes are from Psyche's transcripts.


Thanks to

the awesome ATPoBtVS posters for filling my wee corner of the web with laughter, discussion, and deep thoughts!

You guys are the best!

Also, thanks for reassuring me that I'm not the only one who really gets off on analyzing BtVS and AtS to death!

May Joss one day discover that he thinks, therefore we are.

[> [> Enforcing order in an Absurd World -- Rufus, 02:36:23 09/06/01 Thu

Kate was hinted as a love interest for Angel so of course many fans rejected her. But I think that Kate was a more than just a cookie for Angel to take a bite out of. Kate was the face of justice that attempts to enforce order in an absurd world. Both characters had similarities...both had a need for the approval of their fathers. Both fathers died without giving their child what they needed, the irony is that Angel murdered his, then was restrained from saving Kates. Kate is a police officer, that can mean many things to people relative to their perception of authority and officers they may encounter. We live in a chaotic world and attempt to enforce some sort of order so most of us can survive to make another generation doomed to make exactly the same mistakes of the one before. Kate wanted order, she wanted to make a difference, make a perfect world. All fine intentions but the reality is what can make one bitter. Order in any form is resisted as much as it is imposed. It's an absurd proposition to make the world a perfect place with all humanity happy. The cops would be out of business, that alone ironic. You work for 25-30 years to make things better only to find that it may have gotten worse. It is a neverending cycle of anger, frustration, with a few breaks that make it worthwhile. Kate was more of a realist than Angel as she had been closer to humanity than Angel had been, in the end the rejection of her brother and sister officers was the final straw that broke her. Angel and Kate were both on a collision course with their Epiphanies. In Angel, Kate saw that sometimes the vigilante actions of Angel seemed to work better than her by the book daily dance. In his direct actions Angel seemed to find solutions that were permanent, or at least vengeance was served. Both are soldiers in a vast army of people that are working agains the chaos that is humanity. Both are removed enough from that humanity enough that they can't see that sometimes the smallest actions can cause reactions that could never have been predicted, as they have moved on to the next emergency. In a job where you have to see the worst in humanity every day it's easy to consider taking just one short cut, one action that will solve a problem before it can get out of hand. The problem with that thinking is that you become just as monsterous as the people you want to protect the world from. In the chaos of daily living the human element can be lost. We got to see that from the point of view of a metaphysical and actual flat foot. What happened to both characters was that they lost hope, lost touch with the humanity they swore to protect. They began to believe that the evil that lives in the heart of every man and woman was representative of humanity as a whole. Kate lost it when she was fired, Angel lost it when he found home office. Both wanted to end the pain of realization that this absurd world will always have evil in it. Kate took pills and Angel *cough* took a softer form of release. Both got a second chance, and opportunity to take back the milstone of humanity and continue the endless task of enforcing order in an absurd world, big difference being that they now weren't out to make the world a perfect place, just a better place one act at a time.

Great post, sorry for any spelling mistakes I just kinda pounded this out in a rush.
[> [> [> Re: Enforcing order in an Absurd World -- Masq, 11:07:08 09/06/01 Thu

I think you're right about Angel and Kate having more in common than not. Not only because of their father-issues. Both are emotionally closed. Both took on the job of tackling L.A.'s demon underworld as their own personal responsibility. Both thought the other one was less qualified to do the job than they were. Both faced real despair (and around the same time) at ever making a difference in their missions. Both reached an epiphany about life at the same time.

I think Kate and Angel were meant to be sort of mirror-images of each other. Not soul mates, of course. It's a shame they couldn't have pooled their resources more than they did, but I think with the attitude of the L.A.P.D. about something so obvious as demons, trouble was inevitable between them.
[> [> [> Rufus, you were in a rush? -- Drizzt, 18:33:17 09/06/01 Thu

Your post was awsome! Of course it paled compared to the depth of Masq's three part Kate post, but my post pales compared to your "rushed post"

[> [> [> Re: Enforcing order in an Absurd World -- Carmina, 03:38:42 09/09/01 Sun

Great Character post. These entries have made me reconsider many of the Buffyverse characters. I think Kate does indeed gain depth when considered as a symbol. There are good reasons why legal procedures are in place. Angel demonstrates that there are no checks and balances in being a vigilante. When he killed the demon champion in 'Judgement' he illustrated this inadvertantly. AtS's L.A. provides an extreme example demonstrating that the proper procedure is sometimes woefully inadequate. However, the series has deftly presented the tension between the danger of swift, and sometimes arbitrary action by the good guy, and the limitations of the present system. Unfortunately, no brilliant 'third way' has yet been offered by the gifted writers.

Again, thanks for a terrific post.
[> [> [> [> Re: Enforcing order in an Absurd World -- Drizzt, 15:53:43 09/09/01 Sun

There is no third way of justice. There are unlimited varieties of justice, but no justice is perfect; unless there really is a final judgement by a perfect god in the afterlife.

We mortals muddle along with good intentions or bad, either way our understanding is allways incomplete and not the whole picture.

Perfect Justice? Perfection is as beyond comprehension as infinity; we can describe what is close to perfect, but not what IS perfect.
[> [> Wow. I am speechless in the face of the First Evil's prowess. ;-) -- Solitude1056, 05:56:58 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> Well done, Masq! -- Cactus Watcher, 07:52:42 09/06/01 Thu

In my own writing vigilantism is an important theme. The most important of my alien societies is one that tolerates a high degree of vigilantism. This creates considerable tension with human society, which looks at this alien culture sometimes as innocent and peaceful, and other times as brutal and savage. When Angel locked Darla and Dru in with the lawyers, it was like an electric shock for me. At that moment he belonged far more in my alien society than he did on Earth with us humans. (In my alien society, what he did was neither legal nor morally proper, but the aliens would have been far more sympathetic about it.) Your analysis shows that the Angel writers are willing to take on a very difficult subject, namely what are the boundaries between personal responsibility (the actions of the 'hero') and societal responsibility (the actions of the person trying to make society work). Hopefully, the show won't lose Kate entirely, and won't give up this theme.
[> [> [> Re: Well done, Masq! -- Masq, 11:13:58 09/06/01 Thu


What's interesting is that the whole vigilante theme was NOT subtexty. It was right there in the text, and yet most people (including me) didn't interpret Kate's actions that way.

*sigh* Now I'm going to have to rewrite the Kate sections of my webpage.
[> [> [> [> Re: Kate rewrite? -- Drizzt, 18:39:38 09/06/01 Thu

I will go read the current Kate description right now, then compare whenever you modify it.

You gonna wait until this thread starts to peter out before doing your "official oppinion" on your main site?

Lots of alternate, opposing, and complementary oppinions it!
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Kate rewrite? -- Drizzt, 18:46:21 09/06/01 Thu

I am back. Read the Kate description on the main site; your three part essay on her was much more in depth and brought up several issues not even mentioned on the main site, plus Rufus and any other oppinions on this thread...

Headache? Hope not.
[> [> [> Police Mess in Miami, FL (way o/t) -- Cactus Watcher, 08:44:50 09/08/01 Sat

It's a sad comment on humanity, that this kind of thing keeps happening. Unfortunately, there are are always people who think freedom is a license to steal, and that power is a license to oppress.
[> [> [> What police mess in Miami? -- Masq, 13:45:48 09/08/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> 13 officers indicted in coverup of 4 shootings... -- Cactus Watcher, 18:00:56 09/08/01 Sat

in which 3 people were killed. In one incident 123(!) shots were fired at a house killing an unarmed 73-year-old man. The officers involved are accused of planting a gun at the scene. Other charges include planting of evidence in drug cases.
[> [> Re: Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- mundusmundi, 13:57:02 09/06/01 Thu

As someone who was always outside the "shipper" fray (I didn't even know what the fig a shipper was until a month or two ago), I always liked Kate. Her maturity and no-nonsense demeanor were always refreshing. And even if her arc somewhat got short-shrifted, it ended on a lovely grace note.

Kudos for a great post. And also to Liz Rohm, for playing Kate very well. (She has "cop eyes," no other way to describe it.) Despite the typical amnesia among TV critics, I'm sure she'll do fine on L&A. (They do this every time that show has a casting change -- bad mouth the new arrival, then mourn once that arrival leaves, then bad-mouth the replacement.)
[> [> [> What the heck are............ -- Rufus, 16:53:26 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> [> [> Re: What the heck are............ -- mundusmundi, 19:01:27 09/06/01 Thu

Cop-eyes? Eh, I dunno. Subconsciously, I may have been thinking of Martin Cruz Smith's detective novels. A character says of the hero: "I was a cop. See his eyes? He's a cop."

In Kate's case, I guess I meant she looks like someone who's had experience dealing with bad things. She's streetwise. Another reason why she and Angel could relate.
[> [> Re: Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- Drizzt, 16:16:34 09/06/01 Thu


I veiwed Kate as a cardboard character that was a representative of the normal law vs vigilanteism of Angel. You have added much more depth to my perception of her motives and personality.

BTW I did like her even when I veiwed her in more simplistic terms. I kind of rooted for her in the same way as I would for Fox Moulder...the bravery of facing truth when it is much more unpleasant than lies of the official worldview of society is admirable.

Her attitude changed from Scully's by the book scientific to Moulders obsession with the weirdness of the world, and Angel was the catalyst and initial intro to it. Only her disbeleif in the paranormal changed though...she kept her ideals wich is why the corruption she was exposed to was so offensive to her.
[> [> Re: Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- VampRiley, 17:04:45 09/06/01 Thu

Excellent. Couldn't have said it better myself, which is actually true. I just suck at character analysis. That's why I never signed up for one. It would just come out really bad.

[> [> [> You could regale us with a fictional analysis of VampRiley : )[ -- Masq, 18:22:22 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> Re: Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- Cleanthes, 17:16:36 09/07/01 Fri

Wow, another great character analysis!

Kate's despair did serve as a context for Angel's. She lived IN the human world while Angel brooded from outside. The despair they each suffered when their worlds crashed corresponded to this difference as well - Kate suffered from losing her cop's social framework and Angel suffered from losing his justification for vigilante action.

She despaired unconsciously of living as herself, even, to some extent, before she met Angel. She identified with something outside herself (the LAPD) and therefore, she allowed her destiny to be controlled by the whims of that fate. Without her identifier she had that "blind door in the background of [her] soul, behind which there is nothing" (SK)

Angel, meanwhile, undertook a brooding, conscious despair. You could see him watching himself as he gave in to Darla. His "suicide" took the more defiant form - he expected that sex with Darla would return him to his Angelus identity.

Kate's suicide attempt had a more decayed aspect, a kind of "that's all there is" feeling. She lost her possibilities she allowed her cop mentality to have; he lost his belief that good will triumph over evil in the big deals that he cared about, and for Angel, that meant he would always risk what he cared most about because as long as he endures indefinitely as a vampire, in a way he will always lose eventually.

Angel recovered when he could laugh at NOT becoming Angelus after his sexcapades with Darla. Kate seemed only to dismiss her despair. She still needs to move to a new appreciation of her SELF. I would kinda like to see her take up a job on a police force where investigation of demonic activity isn't frowned on so dogmatically. Sunnydale, maybe?
[> [> [> Re: Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- Drizzt, 12:02:18 09/08/01 Sat

Kate in Sunnydayle? Not likely; police are just as ignorant. When have the Scoobies ever asked the police for help RE supernatural threats. The Initiative knew, but they had a different agenda.

Kate could have been written in as a private investigator, or better as part of the team of the Angel- Scoobies. Just as with Faith, the real-life choices of the actress determine how/when they will be included on the show. Both have unresolved and unsatisfactory stories on the shows, but without the actresses what can Joss do?
[> [> [> [> Re: Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- Masquerade, 13:39:05 09/08/01 Sat

Hmm, that's interesting, because as I wrote my analysis, it seemed to me that Kate's story had been wrapped up rather nicely with her own epiphany about faith.

She was never aware of the L.A. scoob's knowledge of the PTB's and was never depicted as a religious person. Instead, she was the street-smart cop with both feet planted firnly on terra firma and in scientific forensic techniques.

So losing her job (and with it, her former life) and discovering divine intervention was a new path for her. They can leave it at that (and must, if the actress stays with other TV shows), or they could begin writing a new chapter for her character if she ever comes back to Angel the series.

I'd like to see her back, but I was also satisfied with where they left it.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- Drizzt, 10:34:11 09/09/01 Sun

I guess the stories of Faith, Kate, and Buffy have one similarity. I love all three and although there is a sense of resolution in thier stories I just love seeing them and am curious about thier future actions. I do not need to see more of them, I just want to. The shows are about the story of people first, and moral or supernatural stuff is secondary.

The Gift was perfect and if it was the last episode ever of Buffy the show would end on a valid point. It would be satisfactory; but I know Sarah's contract is for two more years so...waiting for the start of season six;)
[> [> Re: Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 15:20:16 09/09/01 Sun

Two quick suggestions for reading:

on the guy who's trying to save society by working outside the law: Raymond Chandler's old essay "The Simple Art of Murder." ". . . down these mean streets must go a man who is not himself mean, who is not sordid or afraid . . . "

and re vigilantism in real life (Texas), "I'll Die Before I'll Run." The author is about as sympathetic to vigilantes as may be but still concludes that in the end it will degenerate into indiscriminate mob violence.
[> [> [> Vigilante Justice -- Drizzt, 12:06:04 09/10/01 Mon

Having the ideals and backbone of an anarchist is good...a state of actual anarchy is bad.

Knowing that someone might just off you if you hurt them or there family will make you treat them with respect. I respect and appreciate all the work police do to maintain order, but they are not arround all the time...and criminals with connections can get arround the law for a while at least. Any criminal who sees a sign like "I have a gun just for scumbags" will treat that person a lot more respectfully than a wimpy looking mark.

Vigilanteism has problems and good points independant of due process of the law. No mob rule or rioting, but strong citizens and individuals are good for multiple reasons.
[> [> Nice Subtlety -- Rattletrap, 19:49:37 09/10/01 Mon

Great post Masq. I've always found Kate a sympathetic character and you've done a great job putting the finger on why.

I was watching my tape of "The Thin Dead Line" this evening and caught a very nice subtlety in Elizabeth Rohm's acting. She delivers all of her lines in a rush with almost no space or pause between thoughts or sentences (i.e. "What?, How is that?" comes out as "whathowisthat"). The overall effect is a little strange, but coming from her already neurotic character it really gives a sense of someone nearing their breaking point and even more fed up and jumpy than usual. Considering she gets fired a week later, this is a nice, subtle bit of foreshadowing (if it was intentional) or at least a happy accident (if it wasn't).
[> [> Re: Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- Marie, 08:08:10 09/12/01 Wed

Well, I'm finally getting around to catching up with the Posting Party Characters, starting with Kate.

I have to say, first, that Kate is not a favourite of mine. While I can understand her, and her actions and reactions, and I can sympathise with her, too, I cannot for the life of me get inside her head and empathise with her. I think the episode 'Sense and Sensitivity' was the one that put me off - really disliked that episode; by the end of it I found myself wanting to just smack her (and I'm anti- smacking, believe me).

Her character just never seemed to have the courage of its convictions. I always felt that I'd respect her more if she actually staked Angel!

So I came to your post with a bias I don't feel towards any of the other characters. It was a fantastic post, and I agree with all your points, but I still don't like her much. But I don't dislike her as much as I did.
[> [> [> Re: Kate: 1st Anniversary Posting Party, pt III -- Masq, 10:50:33 09/12/01 Wed

"But I don't dislike her as much as I did."

That was my primary goal. : )
[> Now that I think about it... -- Solitude1056, 12:16:32 09/06/01 Thu

Kate was sort of like A:tS' version of Riley. Both were the first possible major rebound acts to come along for Buffy & Angel, and both had arcs that were seriously off from how the viewers interpreted them. My impression of Kate was always that she was hung up on something, and just how long could she snap at Angel for having somehow caused her father's death, anyway? Sheesh. Get over it, already. And then you have folks looking at Riley, saying, Look, she's busy, she doesn't have time for you, stop whining already.

Yeah. Kate 'n Angel had some correlations, but Kate and Riley may've had even more, in the sense of how the viewers related to them. And say, didn't Buffy and Kate meet at one point, just in passing, during season 1? Sometime around when Angel returned and met Riley? Hmmm.
[> Oooooh, chock full of milky philosophical goodness! Thanks, Masq! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 19:37:34 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> Milky??? -- Masq, 15:16:47 09/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> Um, creamy? Rich? Thick? Oh, was great, and um, not opaque... -- Dumbwoman, 17:33:33 09/07/01 Fri fact, just the opposite, transparent clarity! (I'm being humble, because I never put the Kate/Cop vs Angel/Vigilante thing together, and I never got why she always seemed so pissed at him, and as you pointed out, it's right there in the text...d'oh!) ;o)

Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Lucifer_Sponge, 12:27:52 09/06/01 Thu

Alright... In the the previous "Bisexuality and Witchcraft" thread that I started, the conversation deviated into discussions of actual witchcraft and other schools of magic (which is fine with me). Someone wound up making an offhand comment about getting into a debate over the differences and similarities between witches in our world, and BTVS witches. It seems like there's a suffiecient amount of interest in this topic, so I'm officially kicking it off.

I'm sure lots of people are going to gripe and say that there's little to no similarities, and that real witches just don't do the sort of things they do on Buffy.

I disagree. I strongly and wholeheartedly disagree.

Buffy has, in my opinion, presented the most accurate picture of witchcraft in the history of television.

Before any of you start growling, let me explain the sort of things that lead me to this conclusion.

For starters, people will say "Well, they don't follow the Wiccan Rede" or "What about the threefold law? They don't seem to be suffering from any consequences of their spells..." And to that, I say, of course not. Think about the world they live in... infested with vampires, demons, and monsters. They -can't- follow the Wiccan Rede. They'd die.

The dangers of their universe caused witchcraft to develop differently than it has in our universe. Thusly, so did the laws of karma. Everything had to conform to the situations inherent in their universe. What sort of karma would you -like- them to recieve? The only time anybody's been really hurt by their spells is if they were evil, or if something went wrong with the spell.

The witches in BTVS (forgetting, for the moment, about Catherine Madison) are preforming the same functions the witches in our reality do - that of a healer, and protector. Granted, they're doing it in an extremely different way, but it's a necessary way considering the world they live in.

I'd like to further explain my point by giving an exapmle that really illustrates what I'm trying to get at... I once read a complaint a witch made about the episode Forever. They were upset that Tara mentioned Wiccans taking an oath against preforming ressurection ceremonies... she basically said "That's ridiculous. No Wiccans ever took an oath like that." Well, obviously not. Real Wiccans never performed such rituals. I'm going to put aside the issue of what is and isn't possible in magic and jump on the badnwagon supported by most Wiccans... They never -had- access to such powers. If they -did-, you can bet that an oath would have been made a loooong time ago to prevent people from attempting the rites.

I'm getting away from what I wanted to really discuss. I really sort of wanted to get into the mythological and philosophical similarities between our witches and BTVS witches and I wound up sticking with ethical issues. Chalk it up to be really tired and entirely unfocused at the moment... But yeah, I'd like to hear the opinions of other Wiccans, witches, Pagans, and students of all the other magical schools out there.

Don't just stick to arguing about my points. I'd like to here your own thoughts and conclusions on the subject in general, not just your thoughts and opinions on what -I- said about the subject.


God, am I tired.
[> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Ryuei, 14:08:10 09/06/01 Thu

Well, I have studied Wicca with Starhawk at grad school, I was a member of a coven in Philadelphia for a year, and before that in San Diego I practiced magick with a Thelemic group there for a couple of years. So I have pretty much been exposed to a wide variety of realverse witches and magickians.

You raise a valid point that Buffyverse witches are having to deal with ethical and metaphysical issues that realverse witches don't have to. Nevertheless, I think there are still some key differences.

Also, before I go on, I'd like to know this: When did Tara or Willow ever take any oaths and to whom did they make these oaths? Was it to an actual person - neither of them seems to have ever had a formal mentor in magick (aside from Jenny teaching Willow a few tricks or perhaps Tara's mother). So was this an oath given to TPTB or what?

Anyway, it seems to me that realverse Wicca is a post-Christian reconstruction of the indigenous natural religion of Europeans (and others). I don't see Willow or Tara doing much of this at all. The only time Wicca as a religion ever came up was when Willow and Tara met at the very feminist New Agey Wiccan group at their school.

Willow and Tara seem to be doing much more ceremonial magick, involving diagrams, latin invocations, references to various spirits which may or may not inlude gods or goddesses, etc...Much more what you would find in the Greater or Lesser Keys of Solomon or the Book of Abramelin. Of course, modern Wiccan itself was primarly the creation of Gerald Gardner in the 50's who cobbled together the ceremonial magick of the Golden Dawn (itself the inheritor of Masonry and Rosicrucian rituals as well as Kabbala and other things), folk magic from around the world but primarily England, and some pladgerism of Aleister Crowley (particularly verses from the Book of the Law which were incporporated into the Wiccan Rede). Several generations of Wiccan variations followed and by the time you get to Spiral Dance by Starhawk the old ceremonial magick has given way to a more free flowing and devotional kind of tradition. In essence, it moved away from the Renaissance Neo-Platonic, alchemical and Kabbalistic style magick of the Golden Dawn/Crowley/Gardner and became much more pagan - by which I mean polytheistic, nature oriented, and devotional. Certainly the magick is still there, but it is more intuitive and has a more folksy spontaneous style (a la Spiral Dance) and much less bell, book, and candle (a la the Golden Dawn).

So maybe in the Buffyverse Wicca would have stayed closer to its ceremonial magick origins in the 50's, especially considering that in the Buffyverse this magick works rather dramatically. Still, Buffyverse Wicca as portrayed by Willow and Tara does not seem to be the religion that even Gardner was promoting as Wicca.
[> [> Dude, OnM was right. You rock. -- Solitude1056, 16:41:24 09/06/01 Thu

Okay, time to pull out my version of high praise for, well, all of it... Nail, hammer: BANG. ;-)

But! I must ask!

If Buffyverse Wicca = Realverse CM, then what would Buffyverse CM look like? Say, what would the Gnostic Mass be like in the Buffyverse, and could we get Tara or Willow on the altar?

Woo hoo! *cough* Ah, almost got carried away there.

ps: the Peanut Gallery, aka my housemate, says he'll pass along a "hello" to the San Diego folks if you want...
[> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Dedalus, 14:21:42 09/06/01 Thu

Basically, I think it is a mute issue.

Buffy is a modern myth. Its creator is an atheist. Wicca as a religion was pretty much mocked in Hush.

I mean, you know ... Buffy is a fairy tale. Remember fairytales? Metaphors? All that good stuff. Otherwise missing the point.

Plus there is that whole issue about magic, oh I don't know, Not Being Real.
[> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Lucifer_Sponge, 15:25:05 09/06/01 Thu

Basically, I think it is a mute issue

That's your own opinion. I, personally, think it's as valid as any other topic covered on this board. I'm not attempting to open an arguement on whether their portrayel is right or wrong. I'm trying to get a discussion going on on the similarities, period... There have been posts before trying to link various aspects of Buffy with different mythologies and philosophies present in the real world. Why not one about this issue?

Wicca as a religion was pretty much mocked in Hush.

People keep saying that, but I wholeheartedly disagree. I look at BTVS witches as being abstract versions of real witches. I think what Joss was really mocking were the "witch groupies" who had no concept of the meaning behind the title they claimed. He wasn't taking shots at Wicca... he was taking shots at people who claim they're Wiccan because it's what's in vouge right now.

I mean, you know ... Buffy is a fairy tale. Remember fairytales? Metaphors? All that good stuff.

Exactly. And all I want to do is take a look at the connections between the mythological witches on Buffy and the witches in the real world.

Plus there is that whole issue about magic, oh I don't know, Not Being Real.

Don't go there. Seriously. In any other place, at any other time, I wouldn't mind such a statement, but you read what this post was about, and knew what sort of people would be responding to it. That fact means that you have stepped in to the Land of Things that are Offensive and Not Cool.

If this sounds growly, it should, because I'm sort of peeved right now. If you didn't think there was anything valid about the thread, then why did you even bother posting?
[> [> [> Re: Life in the Land of Things that Are Offensive and Not Cool -- Dedalus, 15:49:06 09/06/01 Thu

"If you didn't think there was anything valid about the thread, then why did you even bother posting?"

Oh, I don't know.

For one thing, after some time in the Talkbacks at AICN, I was feeling hyper-confrontational.

For another, I sort of had to bother to post to point out that I didn't think there was anything valid about the thread.

Interesting name.
[> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Ryuei, 15:49:08 09/06/01 Thu

"Buffy is a modern myth. Its creator is an atheist. Wicca as a religion was pretty much mocked in Hush."

Let's be more precise. Buffy is a post-modern myth which means that it is not overtly offering some new meta-narrative to replace the old culture-bound meta-narratives and in fact is doing its level best to relativize and play around with all the other meta-narratives of the past and at large - i.e. Christianity, Lovecraft, Buddhism, AND Wicca.

I think that trendy bake-sale sloganeering Wiccans were mocked in Hush. But I didn't feel that Wicca itself was mocked. I certainly don't think that people like Starhawk should be mocked. I came away from her class with a lot of respect for her and Wicca.

"Plus there is that whole issue about magic, oh I don't know, Not Being Real."

Sure, Dungeons & Dragons magic such as portrayed in Buffy isn't real, but magick as in "causing change in conformity with will using means not recognized by modern scientistic paradigms" is certainly something I have experienced. Synchronistic events triggered by purposeful rituals is something I have experienced. Maybe it is all in our heads, but in the end we can only experience reality through the filters and patterns of our mental and emotional settings - so everything in a very real sense "just in our heads."
[> [> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Dedalus, 16:22:26 09/06/01 Thu

Actually, Buffy may be overtly offering some new meta-narrative to replace the old meta-narratives, and the fact that it is playing around with and relativizing all the other meta-narratives does not exclude the possibility of meta-narrativeness on its part as a future autonomous and genuine meta- narrative. Joss did say he wanted Buffy to be an "icon," and while "icon" does not necessarily translate into fully-realized meta-narrative, it could very well evolve into one. Most meta-narratives build on meta-narratives that came before them, thus fully embracing their meta- narrativeness in a way lesser narratives can't.

As for Hush, I think you can read it as a blanket condemnation for the trendy and often faddish nature of the system at hand. I mean, everytime someone on Buffy makes an offhanded comment that may contain perjorative connotations concerning Christianity ("Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?" "I meant to, I just got so busy."), everyone gets upset. As well they should. Wiccans really need to work on their paranoia skills. It's an essential part of life, especially the religious part.

Magick causing "change in conformity with will using means not recognizable by modern scientific paradigms" is not real magic then. We need new terminology. If this type of uncategorizable phenomenon is real, why not refer to it as "the Force"? And run about calling each other Jedi Knights or Sith lords? It would fit in well with one of our other modern - er, pardon me - post-modern meta-narratives, and have none of the negative (and apparently completely erroneus) cultural associations that other words conjure (pardon the pun) up? Plus, cool robes.

Just a thought, and probably an offensive one at that.

"Sure, Dungeons and Dragons magic as portrayed on Buffy isn't real"

Well, there ya go. Hence my necessary journey into the Land of the Offensive and the Not Cool.
[> [> [> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- fresne, 16:47:37 09/06/01 Thu

"Actually, Buffy may be overtly offering some new meta-narrative to replace the old meta- narratives, and the fact that it is playing around with and relativizing all the other meta-narratives does not exclude the possibility of meta-narrativeness on its part as a future autonomous and genuine meta-narrative."

Okay, I just want you to say that sentence three times fast. I mean kudos. You used the word relativizing!

Unfortunately, unless anyone has a line on some paranormal knowledge of the future, none of us can, with any certainty, say that Buffy shall transcend media icon and attain meta-iconic (sounds cool, yes) status, whatever JW's intentions. Anything less, while hopeful, would merely be putative speculation

"If this type of uncategorizable phenomenon is real, why not refer to it as "the Force"? And run about calling each other Jedi Knights or Sith lords?"

Actually, I know any number of people who do that. Come to think in many instances I only know them by their Jedi names. Same goes for SCA, Renaissance Fair, and Trek folk. Although, therein one strays into the realm of geekdom, which has its own un-cool associations.

And just randomly, Gawd I love Berkeley. Go to a Video Store dressed for the 12th cent and no one pays any attention.
[> [> [> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Ryuei, 16:59:47 09/06/01 Thu

Ack. I posted a response but I don't think it got through. So I am going to try again.

I do think a meta-narrative may be evolving, and I agree that evolving meta-narratives assimilate the older ones. You see this happening in the Vedas and the Puranas of Hinduism. But I would not say that there is a coherent meta-narrative yet because the PTB are still pretty vague and no overall plan or meaning has been revealed. Of course it has not been shown that there is no overall plan either. Or maybe the Buffyverse (much like our own) is a giant 3-D Rorshack test?

As for the term "magick" it was defined and coined by Aleister Crowley using Gematriatic principles. He coined it to seperate the magick or the long and venerable Kabbalistic/alchemical/Neo-Platonic tradition European Hermeticism from stage magic or fairy tale magic. And why use the term "magick" at all? Because within the frame of reference of the Hermetic tradition it has many connotations both technical and emotional that make it a very potent and meaningful term to those within the system. Inventing a new term would just sound contrived and New Agey. Not only that but there are strong links between the inner work of ceremonial magick and the metaphorical symbolism of turning lead into gold or evoking spirits. Magick, in many ways, is the tantra of the West. And just as tantra has been badly misunderstood to mean sexual escapades, magick in the West has been misunderstood to mean cheap parlor tricks or flashy special effects.

I personally think it is sad when an old term with powerful connotations is watered down until it becomes something laughable. The "Faerie" are another example of this. We think of cute little winged sprites like Tinkerbell, but in Ireland the Faerie were the old gods who were not to be trifled with. Even in Christian times they were believed to be the angels exiled from Heaven for not picking a side when Lucifer rebelled. That is a very powerful myth - no cute little critters at all but exiled angels or the powerful gods of the land. What a shame that our culture trivializes the powerful images, myths and terms of our European heritage. It is deadening to the soul in my opinion - and is part of the reason why (except for brign exceptions like Angel and Buffy) our culture is so impoverished and about as tasteful and nourishing as Wonder Bread (my apologies to anyone who actually prefers Wonder Bread to real fresh baked bread).
[> [> [> [> [> Faeries -- Humanitas, 18:01:26 09/06/01 Thu

Your comments about the evolution of faeries into harmless sprites bring to mind A Midsummer Night's Dream. These are often portrayed as modern, "Disneyfied" creatures, but they were written as old-school, bad-ass monsters, who tinker with human minds and emotions with no more thought than we would give to training a pet. Shakespeare, like Joss, knew what he was doing. Those faeries represented adolescent rebellion and sexual activity. Sound familiar?
[> [> [> [> [> Re: mythos and meaning -- mundusmundi, 19:30:43 09/06/01 Thu

What a shame that our culture trivializes the powerful images, myths and terms of our European heritage.

Actually, I see two common reactions of our culture to myths -- we either trivialize them, as you said (and I agree with your assessment of that one hundred percent), or we literalize them until all meaning is lost.

An example of the first trend would be just about any Robert Halmi-produced miniseries, like the recent Arabian Nights debacle, that tries to "hep-up" the story and make it "accessible" to today's purportedly disinterested viewers. Almost any King Arthur saga of late is similarly gutted. (Whatever its flaws, John Boorman's Excalibur is about the only serious stab at the Arthurian legend in the last 20 years.)

An example of the latter, for me at least, would be The X-Files. I used to like the show. It was undeniably entertaining. But ultimately it's grown wearisome, and I think a big reason is because there really are no metaphors, no layers of meaning. As someone at this board put it a few months ago, "On The X-Files, a monster is just a monster. On Buffy, a monster is never just a monster." When I read or watch an effective myth, what I respond to is the meaning behind the mask, so to speak -- the meaning that communicates the deepest mysteries of our being. IMHO, when that meaning gets literalized or trivialized, it's ruined.

Incidentally, that's why I loved the recent, somewhat maligned Dune miniseries on SciFi. It was an honorable attempt to recreate Herbert's metaphorical, mythical world, and it took that world seriously. Brilliant cinematography by Vittorio Storaro (who did the camerawork for Apocalype Now).
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well said, Mundi. P.S. I loved Dune too! -- Dedalus, 22:43:07 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agreed -- Cactus Watcher, 08:26:37 09/07/01 Fri

Considering its obviously tiny budget, the recent Dune is pretty remarkable. Undoubtably there are people out there who enjoyed the 'Italian renaissance' movie version of a decade or so ago, but it seemed to miss almost everything I enjoyed about the book.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: on video it's even better -- mundusmundi, 06:47:15 09/08/01 Sat

When you watch it without commercial interruptions, the atmosphere really envelopes you, and the vibrant color schemes hit you like a Fruit Loops rush to the brain. I'm even more impressed with it the second time.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Dedalus, 22:41:29 09/06/01 Thu

Excellent post, R.

I guess my main thought was that the only way around the many misconceptions surrounding the word "magic" is to come up with something new. I meant it more in terms of - wasn't it Heidegger who invented new words, phrases, turned nouns into verbs, etc. because the old ones had so much cultural baggage? Like the term "God" for instance.

My whole criticism of this is that it is so inprecise ... I realize vagueness can be a virtue, but things to do with Wicca and magic and such already sound so New Agey. And I don't jive with the whole, New Age, plant talkin', spoon bending, crystal worshipping grove. As I remarked once to Wisewoman, it is so reactionary, specifically against Christianity. It turns the Cosmic Father into the Cosmic Jello. Different sides of the same coin. I'm loving the interchange we have with the East now, but it has yet to solidify yet, so most of it is just dabblers, and most experiences apparently pretty capricious. I would think it would be so hard to maintain an identity in something that ... essentially has no identity. That so strives to embrace everything (which is good) that it embraces nothing (which is bad).

Certain phrases and words carry way too much luggage. I like the way people invent new vocabularies, much like GL did with Star Wars. And, quite frankly, though he relied on the culturally heavy word myth, Joseph Campbell too.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Lucifer_Sponge, 07:18:04 09/07/01 Fri

While this is soooo off of what I wanted to do in this thread, I do sort of want to react to this a bit...

My whole criticism of this is that it is so inprecise ... I realize vagueness can be a virtue, but things to do with Wicca and magic and such already sound so New Agey. And I don't jive with the whole, New Age, plant talkin', spoon bending, crystal worshipping grove. As I remarked once to Wisewoman, it is so reactionary, specifically against Christianity. It turns the Cosmic Father into the Cosmic Jello. Different sides of the same coin. I'm loving the interchange we have with the East now, but it has yet to solidify yet, so most of it is just dabblers, and most experiences apparently pretty capricious. I would think it would be so hard to maintain an identity in something that ... essentially has no identity. That so strives to embrace everything (which is good) that it embraces nothing (which is bad).

Well, here's the thing - Wicca isn't New Age. At least, it's not supposed to be. What happened was, Gardner came into the public eye with something mysterious, powerful, erotic, and a little bit dark. He built a magical system that was riddled with stolen bits of other occult sources, and over time it should have shed those stolen bits and pieces and formed it's own strength and vision.

That didn't happen. What did happen is that one by one, those Wiccans that were affiliated with Gardner started dying off. And as each one died, and the 60's and 70's began to creep in, each valid, beautiful aspect of the Craft started to get a little bit lost, and people started flirting with the crystal fads and the tarot fads and all that. And eventually, you start to notice that Wiccan books no longer get into ritual practices and instead talk about aromatherapy, karma, reincarnation, tarot, crystals, "positive visualizations," and dream pillows and other such things.

This may sound a little harsh to any Wiccans reading this, but I've always felt that Wicca was something that was supposed to evolve into something beautiful, deep, and spiritual profound... and instead it degenerated into a word, a label thrown about by people who have no real comprehension of its real meaning... people who are also prone to bad jewelery and even worse poetry.

So now you have people picking up a book on Wicca, skimming through it and saying "Hey, -I- believe in karma, and it would be sort of neat to cast spells and stuff..." and boom. Next morning they're Lady DragonMoonstar of the PuffyPink Faerycloud tradition.

You think I'm joking, but stuff like that really does happen. A LOT. People grab these ridiculous names and start spouting about the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law and the Real Meaning Behind Halloween. They're also quick to mention that the pentagram is not Satanic, but rather a positive, harmless symbol of the Religion of Wicca ("It's a legally recognized religion! It is!"), despite the fact that the pentagram has been used throughout history mainly by Christian magicians.

And these people really will start overnight traditions of witchcraft. There probably really is a PuffyPink Faerycloud tradition. Don't laugh... it's not funny, it's sad. These people have no concept of what Wicca's really about. Ask 'em. "So what sort of things do you teach in the PuffyPink FaeryCloud tradition?" You've got 'em cornered if you ask them that. "Um... well... it's an ecclectic tradition." And the funny thing is, they won't see anything wrong with that. You can't have an ecclectic tradition. The whole point of being an ecclectic Wiccan is that there are no traditions or denominations which suit you, so you bridge together different aspects of each one to formulate your own style of practice (and I won't even get into what I think goes wrong with that). Anyway, once it's a tradition, its not an ecclectic practice... it's a specific set of techniques and theories. And if it really is still ecclectic, then it's not a tradition, but a dumb name with no meaning behind it.

So, you can ask these people more questions too. You'll get answers like "Yes, I know a lot about aromatherapy... What? Well... no, I don't really practice it, but I read this book once and I'm sure I'd know how if I ever felt like it..." Or. "Yes, I know a lot about Tarot cards... What? Well, no, I don't actually own a deck..." Or. "I know all about stones and crystals. I can tell you what stones you should use for what and... What? No, I've never really checked to makes sure they really do that, but it says in that..."

And those are just the fringes... the things real Wiccans ( a rare, dying, near extinct breed) play with but don't for a second think it's at all intrinsic to their religious experience.

Ask one of those fluffybunnies some more questions (I really am suggesting you go out and do this... it's freaking hilarious to see some of the answers they come up with). "Yes, I know all about ritual tools... Eh? No, I don't actually own any..." Which they can get away with, to an extent... but there's also the part were 95 percent of them will say things like this - "I've read all about the holy days, the sabbats, and the full moon rituals... Huh? No, I've never actually preformed one of the ceremonies... but so what? Does that make me any less of a witch?"

Uh, yes. Yes it does. If you haven't taken active participation in the rites and rituals then you can't - possibly- comprehend the real meaning behind them. It's not just a bunch of words that represent theories. It's an experience. One you can't get from reading the newest "How to be a Witch in 5 Quick, Easy Steps" paperback. I'll stay off of -that- dreaded topic, but let me just say that there are few to no books that explore Wicca more deeply than that, and a lot of people think that that's all there is too it, and their way, way wrong.

Now, lets say they actually do practice some of the things they preach. They do rituals and ceremonies... which they know the meaning behind. Well... are they doing it right?

Gerald Gardner once said that the rituals had to be done nude. Had to be. Naked rituals were supposed to cause the power to flow in a specific way. Plus it's fun... But anyway. People just don't do nude rituals anymore. Those that do are few and far between, and are often scoffed at by the rest of the "Wiccan community." While I do believe it's possible to hold an effective ritual while clothed (robes or everyday wear), I think it just sort of illustrates what's going on in Wicca today. A degeneration. You stop doing rituals in the nude, you stop knowing what it feels like, what sort of power is there. Then you stop remembering why it was even done in the first place.

Well, wait a minute. You've now just forgotten the purpose behind what used to be a manditory Wiccan practice. Now you've actually lost a piece of Wicca. You don't like the idea of ritual necklaces, so you just ignore that part. Well... that has a very specific symbolism to it, and now that you've brushed it off you're going to forget about it. That necklace, however insignifigant it might seem, represents a key Wiccan concept (birth, death, rebirth... cycles, transition, change, etc). Now you've lost another piece of Wicca. So you don't like the idea of ritual knives. You get rid of those too. Maybe you replace the parts of the ritual that utilized that tool with Native American smudging practices. Well, now not only have you lost another piece of Wicca, but you've replaced it with something else that has nothing to do with it.

*Sigh* You see my frustration? I'm comming from the old school kind of Wicca (as "old school" as I can get without a proper teacher, and I'm not afraid to admit that) and I'm seeing all these people running around in sorry-looking homemade robes who are completely trivializing my religious experiences. And not only that, but they're giving the outside world a completely innaccurate portrayel of what I do. I say I'm a Wiccan and they see me in the sorry-looking homemade robes praying to Gods whose names I can't even pronounce accurately.

*Sigh, again*

And that's about all I have to say on the issue. For now.

Lots of Sorries and Heartfelt Apologies to anyone who actually felt obliged to sit and read through this insanity... ~Sponge (A Man of Too Many Words)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Dedalus, 08:06:06 09/07/01 Fri

Yeah, well, that was kinda of my point, albeit on a larger scale. I think I can extend your criticism to include most religions under the sun. Degeneration is the name of the game.

I just have pet peeves with the whole faddish/cultish nature of religion in general. Wicca falls under that category. As does Christianity to some extent, and Zen Buddhism, and a lot of other stuff. It's not so much genuine experience as genuine fad or, perhaps worse, inheritance.

Then AGAIN, and this is why this issue is complicated, on the other side of the fence, in the end you've got to have some kind of ... well, established base, lest everyone is spinning about having Shirley McClaine-esque vision quests with reincarnated aliens and stuff. In order for it to have some kind of communal power, there has to be some kind of set context. Of course, if that context is in place for two long, people start getting thrown to lions, or burned at the stake. It's complicated.

Anyway, my point was, I think art is about the only true tie to the spiritual we have left in the modern day, and I consider Buffy art, so naturally I don't want it weighed down with all this stuff that really doesn't have anything to do with it.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Ryuei, 09:48:34 09/07/01 Fri

Bravo Wonderful rant. I know exactly how you feel. Armchair Buddhism will be the death of the Dharma in America and Europe as well. A lot of touchy-feely but very little accurate knowledge or real practice. And just try to get a Buddhist (someone who has supposedly taken refuge in the Buddha) to actually read a sutra! What follows is JUST my opinion:

I must admit that Starhawk is one of the people who is responsible for the domestication of Wicca. But I still respect her based on my personal experience with her. I think she had good reasons for presenting things the way she did and she has really evolved over the years.

For real traditional Wicca however, I like the Ferrars. I think they found a good balance between Gardner's rather eccentric and perhaps prurient tastes and the more free-flow do what feels good approach that has eroded Wicca into amorphousness.

I do think, however, that sincere groups of Wiccans at this early stage do need to find what works for them just as Gardner did. In other words, just as Gardner brought diverse elements that he believed "worked", I believe others need to do so as well. Eventually out of all this I think valid and powerful traditions will emerge and the fluffy-bunny stuff will fall by the wayside (though there will always be fluffy-bunnies - no wonder Anya is so phobic of them).

But anyway, bottom line is that when it comes to spirituality, people need to start looking past the trivia and armchair philosophy and actually do a practice that will help them become more mindful and discerning about the true nature of themselves and life in general. This is scary and hard work. It takes courage, dedication, discipline, humility, etc...Much easier to do some smudging, cavort in the nude, or play parlor games with Tarot cards (a very powerful and extremely misused tool for introspection). The other problem is when people feel they can just make stuff up as they go and then completely fail to seek mentors and fellow practitioners who can give them a reality check and perhaps help them avoid or help them out of certain spiritual pitfalls.

This is the reason why I am such a traditionalist when it comes to my Buddhist practice. No fluffy bunny stuff thank you. I sought out and found mentors to help guide me through the teachings and actual practices. I endeavor to actually practice. And while I am not a fundamentalist and I do reserve the right to think for myself, I do always take into serious consideration what the tradition itself has been handing down for over 2,000 years. Many people more mature and wiser than I have found such teachings valuable, so I try not to be so quick to dismiss anything as irrelevant. So this puts me at odds with many Americans who believe in no authority higher than their own subjectivity and no spiritual experience higher than gratifying their own impulses.

Uh oh, I feel a rant coming on. I'll just stop here. :)

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, Ryuei
[> [> [> [> Realverse Magick versus BTVS Magick -- nathan, 19:40:12 09/07/01 Fri

i think that you have the wrong idea of what Realverse magick is. there's a difference between magick used in Buffy and magick in the real world. magick in Buffy is flashy and directly affect the physical plane, while realverse magick is effecting change by means of Will. also, note that the change isn't flashy and can't be seen (e.g. lightnight bolts and tinkerbell lights).

so until you have get a firm grasp on what realverse magick is, you really shouldn't ridicule it.
[> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Wisewoman, 20:35:46 09/06/01 Thu

I've considered myself Wiccan since the early 70s. That's one of the things critics of "fluffy- bunny" Blessed Wannabe's often point out, that so many of us are "self-proclaimed" Wiccans. Hmmm. I always thought that was one of the main positive things about the Wiccan path-- that you didn't have to lock yourself into a particular hierarchical structure in order to practise this type of spirituality. Some "eclectic" Wiccans actually do enough scholarly research to pick and choose what they see as the "best" of the available practises, rather than just latching on to the quick-and-dirty ways to cause a stir in the circle of their acquaintances by suddenly wearing ostentatious pentacle jewelry and lots of black eyeliner. As Sol (I think) points out somewhere in these posts, the "fluffy-bunny" Wiccans don't last long--they drift into something else.

I'm beginning to think that maybe even serious Wiccans eventually drift into something else, as well. I've begun to. I've been working on trying to come up with an explanation for what I'm doing as an introduction to a personal web site, and I think some of that may be pertinent to this discussion of what Realverse Witches are, as opposed to Buffyverse Witches, so I've excerpted some of it below (with the odd reference particular only to this Board added!).

"After my initial introduction to Gardnerian witchcraft, about thirty years ago, I spent a long time learning the various aspects of the Craft: creating rituals and ritual space, honouring both the male and female aspects of diety, the ethics of magick and spellcraft, Tarot, runes, palmistry, astrology, numerology, Kabbalah, the wheel of the year, the sabbats and esbats, all kinds of correspondences (colours, crystals, days of the week, phases of the moon, etc.) and herbal lore. Although I learned a lot by participating in groups with other Wiccans, I never fully committed myself to a Wiccan initiation, or a coven, but practised as a "solitary." Eventually I began to wonder why. The thing that drew me to witchcraft in the beginning was the phrase, "The Craft of the Wise." I accepted that all the things I was learning and practising were components of The Craft of the Wise. I still believe that they are, but I now think that there is much more to be learned of true wisdom, and that it encompasses a whole other realm of experience than that available solely through the practise of Wicca, or any other single religion.

When I began to seriously study the concept of wisdom I collected definitions of wisdom from many different cultures and time periods. I found a surprising global correspondence as to what constitutes wisdom, and eventually isolated the seven key aspects (which I've mentioned in previous posts). I then began to work on achieving each of the seven aspects, and that has become a life-long undertaking.

For instance, in my struggle for self-knowledge I looked not only at my own origins, but at the origins of all humankind, of all living creatures, and ultimately, of the universe itself. I touched upon cosmology, biology, anthropology, history, and genealogy. I met with primordial organisms, Lucy, Mitochondrial Eve, Boudicca, and with several of my own ancestors from places like Horning's Mills, in Ontario, Cashel, Tipperary, in Ireland, the Castle Bolton area of Yorkshire, and the tiny village of King's Stanley, in Gloucestershire.

From the Human Genome Project I learned that all modern humans alive today are 99.9% genetically identical; only .1% of our genetic material accounts for what we see as the immense diversity in humankind. The first fully modern human lived in Africa a mere 100,000 years ago. That's the blink of an eye in cosmological time. In other words, I am unique, just like everyone else. I can define myself as a Canadian (Demon Cat Worshipper), an Anglo-Saxon, a Celt, an Indo- Dravidian, an African, or a conglomeration of stardust, simply because I am human, and I know where I came from. And so the labels become meaningless. Even female and male started out as one.

All this led to the creation of my own "tradition." Like Wicca and neo-Paganism, it is essentially a new path, with myriad links to older paths that are gaining renewed validity and vitality as we face the 21st century. It perhaps owes more of it's genesis to the tradition of the village wisewoman or wiseman, than it does to witchcraft, but the connection to "the Craft of the Wise" is there..."

As you can tell, this is still very much a work in progress, as am I!

[> [> Wisdom -- Drizzit, 22:22:23 09/06/01 Thu

I have contemplated myself and existance for more than fifteen years. Serious introspective thought and self-analasys, plus self-education in many feilds of knowladge.

You have 15 years on me in the search for wisdom. Seekers aren't we all? Most people yearn and seek something that they cannot define, thus the popularity of religions that for many are mere security blankets to provide meaning instead of seak meaning.

Know Thyself Such a simple phrase But to know yourself you must know the origins of your past, understand your place in existance, and know the whole of what you perceive.

Wisdom is not easy and anyone who stops learning becomes unwise.

Wisewoman, please post your seven aspects of wisdom again or tell me wich threads they are on?
[> [> [> Seven Keys for Drizzt -- Wisewoman, 08:10:34 09/07/01 Fri

Hey, you got the first one right away--self-knowledge. Then, in order, ethical behaviour, critical thinking, mindfulness, acknowledging the Source, loss of fear, and aesthetic living. These short phrases sound deceptively simple laid out like this, but each one involves a heck of a lot of personal work, and they all feed into each other, like a web.

Ethical behaviour--hmm, okay, sounds like "do unto others" but without some critical thinking it's not always easy to recognize what the "ethical" thing to do the same way mindfulness and meditation can greatly increase your ability to think critically and to understand things like the logic of argument. Acknowledge the Source is in there (kinda like Dedalus' idea of just calling it The Force) because most of the great wisdom traditions are intrinsically religious, but they all posit different kinds of, well, deity? When I say acknowledge the Source, all I'm saying is, recognize that we don't yet have all the answers, and be humble enough to accept that there might actually be something above and beyond the human being--even if you have no idea what that might be. If you can honestly do that, it makes it easier to conceive of the spirit, or cosmic consciousness, or whatever and that leads directly to a loss of fear, as most fear (and anger) has it's basis in the fear of death.

And the last, aesthetic living, isn't so much about interior decorating as it is about recognizing beauty and simplicity in form and function, and contributing, as much as possible, to the betterment of your surroundings in healthy, life-affirming ways. Creativity also falls within this key, but like all the others, it has links to critical thinking, mindfulness, etc, etc.

There you go, Drizzt. It's hard for me to say where one key ends and the next begins...but that's a rough outline.

[> [> [> [> Re: She really is wise, you know ... :-) -- Dedalus, 08:53:21 09/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> Re: Seven Keys for Drizzt -- Ryuei, 09:51:51 09/07/01 Fri

Wow. That was wonderful. Do you mind if I share that on some of the Buddhist groups I post to (I will credit you of course)?
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Seven Keys for Ryuei -- Wisewoman, 10:49:11 09/07/01 Fri

Are you kidding!? I'd be honored!! Thanks... ;o)
[> [> [> [> Re: Seven Keys for Drizzt -- Drizzt, 10:53:06 09/07/01 Fri


There is no beginning. All is interelated. Gestault of the seven Keys=wisdom. Yin+Yang=wholeness...all seven keys together would be a higher order of awareness and wholeness than I posses.

I need to work a lot more on several of them.
[> [> [> [> [> Don't we all... ;o) -- Wisewoman, 18:22:45 09/07/01 Fri

...need to work on them, I mean. Just 'cause I pride myself on having figured out what they (possibly) are doesn't mean I've come close to achieving any of them!

Like I said, it's a lifelong work-in-progress. May we all get a little closer, every step along the way.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Don't we all... ;o) -- Drizzt, 22:35:38 09/07/01 Fri

Things valued by the majority of the world.

Money Power Prestige Fancy stuff and specifically for guys; gizmos;)

There is a double value system for how we judge those who are corrupt or cruel. We revile them and envy their lack of conciance. A conciance is painfull to heed, it is much simpler to be selfish and cut yourself off from caring about the suffering of the world than accepting it; thus the attraction of vampires who are not accountable for their actions because the bloodlust rules them. No conciance or painfull moral decisions for vampires...I envy that!

Buffy deals in painfull choices of the grey morality all the time; Joss is a master of deconstructing black & white values and showing a middle ground.

Ooooh Got off topic;) I was only going to post that wisdom is not valued much. Wisdom in others is admired, but the critical thing is most people do not seek wisdom in themselves.

The most valuable thing you have is your own self and how you think defines how you perceive and judge all of reality and other people...Know Thyself(again)
[> Re: Okay, I'm back now -- Dedalus, 22:27:37 09/06/01 Thu

That was a bit too confrontational, wasn't it?

I was partially kidding, but I do have a habit of going after whatever group I'm thrown in with.

Case in point, I've been arguing with Christian fundamentalists all day at AICN, so my brain is pretty much fried.

I mean, I love to offend people - the more the better - but this is too good a crowd. I've just been feeling positively assholey all day.

On the brighter side, I'll leave you with this bit from wiseman and sage George Carlin -

"We need new Zodiac signs. The old ones depict an obsolete world: the archer, the water bearer, and - talk about obsolete - the virgin. What we need are modern zodiac signs that represent today's reality:

"The Serial Rapist, the Lone Gunman, the Suicide Bomber, the Paranoid Schizophrenic, the Transsexual Crackhead, the Money Launderer, the Disgruntled Postal Worker, the Diseased Homeless Veteran, the South American Drug Lord, the Third Generation Welfare Recipient, the Human Immunodefiency Virus, and ... the Personal Trainer!

"In case you're one of those people who doesn't relate well to the real world, here's a nice, safe zodiac for you: the Soccer Mom, the Sensitive Male, the Special Needs Child, the Role Model, the Overachiever, the Jogger, the Little Leaguer, the Recycler, the Anchorperson, the Codependent, the Domnio's Delivery Boy, and ... the Recovering Shopaholic."
[> [> Recovering Shopoholic? LOL That is a person with a horrible addiction...not! -- Drizzt, 10:58:24 09/07/01 Fri

[> [> Third generation welfare receipiant - way off topic -- Helen, 06:05:11 09/10/01 Mon

Dedalus, I'm going to make a huge assumption and say that you are probably American. I've always been fascinated by the way that largely, in the States, being on welfare is considered - not good, shall we say. In Britain, it is completely non-PC to suggest that there is anything wrong with receiving social security. Even though third generation welfare receipiants are horribly common. There are more people in Britiain on Housing Benefit than have mortgages, for example.
[> [> [> Re: You'd be right ... I personally don't have issues with it either way. -- Dedalus, 12:34:25 09/10/01 Mon

[> [> How about the yuppified SUV driver... -- Anthony8, 17:46:15 09/10/01 Mon

...who has no real need for four wheel drive (other than to drive up gas prices and pollute the environment), overschedules his/her children with 'busy' activities (although all available data over the past two decades indicate that this neither enriches children's lives, makes them smarter, nor gives them a better chance to 'get ahead' in the world), and thinks that gossiping on a cell phone 24-7 is more important than real human contact or the safety/well-being of their children (in the SUV with them while on the phone) or others on the road with them who have to be extra careful to avoid being run off the road by them.

Boy--that was a rant (and a run-on)! Sorry, somebody just parked their SUV half way in my driveway again (parking is a real sensitive subject here in SF) and it's taking all that I have to refrain from having them ticketed and/or towed (omigod--I'm turning into my grandparents...and possibly a valley girl).

[> [> [> Re: How about the yuppified SUV driver... -- Drizzt, 18:49:18 09/10/01 Mon

Read a book on pranks and vigilante justice from Loompomaniacs Unlimited.

Anyway here is a story you would like. Someone in New York had a person park in "thier" parking spot. Politely asked them to leave as the space was reserved. The rude parker gave them the finger, there were some curses and more rudeness...

Anyway it was the middle of winter, and very cold...-20 degrees with the wind chill. So the upset person who lost his parking space got a garden hose and sprayed that car.

After an inch and a half of ice built up on the car, they had vented all of thier frustration...
[> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Humanitas, 11:40:06 09/07/01 Fri


Having followed this thread and the others that spawned it, what to folks think of this proposition:

Can it reasonably be said that the difference between a "fluffy bunny" and a serious practitioner is that for the latter religion is a path to wisdom, while for the former religion is an end in itself?
[> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Wisewoman, 14:25:29 09/07/01 Fri

Personally, I'd be happy with that distinction, but I don't want to offend anyone who might think that religion is, indeed, an end in itself, and lives their life that way (but I somehow suspect there are very few of those people around, and we tend to call them saints...I think instead we have a fair number who feel that *identification* with a recognized religion is an end in itself, and that it's enough just to say you're a Christian, a Buddhist, whatever in order to reap the benefits and rewards...what? cynical? who?) ;o)
[> [> [> Re: Realverse Witches vs. Buffyverse Witches -- Humanitas, 22:28:12 09/07/01 Fri

Thanks, Wisewoman. That's exactly the distiction I was trying to make. You just said it better than I did. ;)
[> Who Is, Who Isn't, What Is, What Isn't? -- Solitude1056, 16:46:36 09/07/01 Fri

I recall we discussed this a few weeks ago, but this may be the left-handed way to come at it. There are folks who consider themselves "eclectic," oh, a little of this, a little of that. And this label can get put on some folks - as well as taken on - by virtue of finding no clear category in which to set that person's spirituality or belief system. For instance, if we had only "hetero" and "homo" sexualities, then someone who was attracted to both sexes would be, well, "eclectic." By their own choice? or by someone else's? Or whatever.

As both Humanitas and WiseWoman have pointed out in posts above mine, there are folks who are pleased to simply identify themselves with a way of being, and leave it at that. The actual effort to be marked by the way, to grok that way, is seen as unnecessary (if it's even considered that to say, "I am this" does not fulfill all requirements to actually be this). A friend of mine is a practicing Buddhist, and goes to temple, studies, and works constantly to improve herself and grok, deeper and deeper, into Buddhism. I don't. Pushed into a corner, I'll call myself Taoist or Buddhist, or Shinto. Does this make me something shallower, by virtue that I claim membership in a belief system that I don't actually extend any effort to belong to? Uh, from where you stand, possibly, maybe even probably. From where I stand, no.

Why? Because folks gotta have dere categories, and rather than saying, "I have a personal belief system I developed years ago, and it involves these particular issues and guidelines for the way I am in the world," I simply pull up a set of already-known beliefs that most closely correlate with mine, and use that convenient category so you have a "handle" with which to deal with my non-category-fitting beliefs. I don't follow quite everything Aleister said - like I don't agree with his misogynist and aristocratic views - but when it comes to dealing with my own purpose on this planet & the "why I am here," then I'm extremely Thelemic. I'm not big on dead people from two thousand years ago telling me what to do, but I do believe strongly that my blood- ancestors are the source of much of my personal drive and strength, and I do have an altar set aside to respect and revere them regularly. In that sense, I've got a lot of Shinto, and hell, even some Hindu. Whatever.

Some folks don't mind this; some do. A good friend - who, btw, is caucasian - once visited the Rez out in New Mexico for several weeks with a college friend. He was stunned to find that the personal belief system he'd developed was remarkably similar to the Navajo system. Uh, don't be telling the Navajo that you "feel like you're home" when you're a white guy on their ancestral lands. They don't always take kindly to the impression that it's one more outsider coming to lift what he wants, and leave the dregs behind. (That, and their system is as complex as their language, so naturally they'll meet outsider's adoption of "navajo-ness" with some level of skepticism.) However, Navajo is the closest existing system, that my friend has discovered, to his own personal belief system. Does that make his belief system less, that he's not fully in the Navajo system but uses it as an analogy for folks who desperately require a label but don't have the time or interest in figuring out a new label for him, personally? I dunno. It's a case-by-case basis.

So my point is (and yes, there was one in here somewhere) that perhaps Joss is letting Willow do the same thing, in her case. We've seen the popular notion of Wicca, in the Jossverse, and it looks remarkably like the lightweight Wiccans I've known in my lifetime. Willow and Tara, however, with their practical application and forthright use, remind me more of the folks I've known who specifically call themselves Witches, but when pressed, will say they're like Wiccans. It's something out there that has some basic similarities to their beliefs, but might not be the only thing, and may not always be an accurate analogy either, but serves the purpose of allowing the outsider/observer a convenient handle.

Like I said, cause some people gotta have dere categories... ;-)
[> [> Re: Who Is, Who Isn't, What Is, What Isn't? -- Drizzt, 22:46:30 09/07/01 Fri

My beleifs?

Agnostic. Existentialist Magical Theorist; my theories are all untested, except one psychic ability I am working on for an hour or two per day. A Skeptic that wants to beleive, but needs concrete evidance not coincidence. Subjective perception is not valid for me; I need objective evidance for me to beleive.
[> [> [> Missing the point. -- Solitude1056, 12:36:30 09/10/01 Mon

No offense, but my intention wasn't to compare beliefs. In lieu of having the energy to create a fictionalized example, I used my own purely as illustration of circumstances. Any sufficient complexity in a personal belief system might cause a person to use the nearest analogy rather than take the time to explain his/herself, and I think that tendency may explain part of the reason Buffyverse Wicca is more like Realverse Ceremonial. Essentially, my point was that considering Buffyverse magick to be "Wicca" can be taken two ways: either it's Joss' version of Wicca (in which case, what was the Wicca group supposed to be) or it's the only analogous title that Tara & Willow can find or know of to give the Buffyverse and Realverse audience(s) a sense of what might be the best corrollary. IOW, it's hard to tell - from where we sit - whether it's Joss reinventing something or just using it as a handy label.
[> [> [> [> Re: Missing the point. -- Drizzt, 14:35:36 09/10/01 Mon

Fair enough.

I think that Wicca is like religion and lesbians; okay to mention a little on tv, but get too much flack if they are explored in detail. Darn Politicaly Correct or thier opposite Religious Conservatives; need tolerance that is based on simple acceptance not labels.

We discuss here what Joss leaves undefined on the show.
Hi, everyobody! -- Marie, 13:10:16 09/06/01 Thu

It's my birthday, and I'm quite drunk, buit I wanted to say I love you guys! I'll ber sorry tomorrow, but tonight I don't care!


[> A living lesson in "Don't drink and post" : ) : ) -- Masq, 13:22:12 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> Re: A living lesson in "Don't drink and post" : ) : ) -- Shaglio, 13:52:25 09/06/01 Thu

On the contrary, some of the funniest emails I've ever recieved have been from my friends when they were drunk. They tend to write whatever nonsensical things pop into their minds and then I print up the emails and rag on them at a later date (Usually when all my friends are together at the same time).

Anyway, didn't Ernest Hemmingway do most of his writing whilst intoxicated?
[> [> [> Re: A living lesson in "Don't drink and post" : ) : ) -- Masq, 13:54:59 09/06/01 Thu

With his short, terse, to the point sentences, I'd say he was on a drug of an all together different kind!
[> [> [> [> wouldn't Hemingway have made a great Buffy writer? -- mundusmundi, 14:49:34 09/06/01 Thu

Imagine the possibilities....

INT. THE BRONZE--NIGHT Buffy walks into the Bronze. It is dark. She has a drink. It is good. A demon approaches her. His name is Fitzgerald. He gives her a wink. Buffy grits her teeth. She punches Fitz in the nose. He dies. She drinks. A damn fine time is had by all!
[> [> [> [> [> That demon wouldn't be writer-rival F. Scott, would it? -- Masq, 15:20:00 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: That demon wouldn't be writer-rival F. Scott, would it? -- fresne, 16:20:05 09/06/01 Thu

Okay, we are overeducated. I was thinking the same thing.

Idly, pondering how various literary greats (showing that I am also bored) would write Buffy.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The fog rolled into Los Angeles like a lumbering prehistoric demon, clinging to the saponaceous clay of the Los Angeles River flood control channel.

Or perhaps ERB, Angel flexed his mighty thews and went for the (ahem) jugular of the Frfignugen Demon with his strong white teeth. (skip ahead through random fighting and stabbing with the knife of his father) Angel put his foot on the recumbent body of the Frfignugen Demon and gave the eerie victory cry of the Bull Vampire.

Btw, Happy B- Day Marie.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: or James Joyce -- mm, 18:52:46 09/06/01 Thu

I could see him doing a Buffy/Angel love scene:

and then he put his tattooed arms around me yes and I grasped his pointy hair yes and it smelled all like really cheap gel yes and his face went all bumpy and yes he said yes I will Yes.
[> LOL! Happy B-Day, Marie (Friends don't let friends post drunk) ;) -- mundusmundi, 13:43:58 09/06/01 Thu

[> Cheers! have another drink, you've deserved it ;-) -- The Second Evil (bwahahah), 14:47:39 09/06/01 Thu

[> Hello, Dr. Nick! -- Andy, 15:08:11 09/06/01 Thu

Happy Birthday! I don't drink myself, but my friends who do tell me that Vietnamese food helps with hangovers, in case you get one :)
[> [> Now I'm hungry, got a salad roll...I love them........:):):) -- Rufus, 15:57:32 09/06/01 Thu

Happy inebriated Birthday....have you gotten to the part where when you lie down the room spin all on it's own?
[> [> That doesn't work! -- vampire hunter D, 17:06:42 09/06/01 Thu

If anyone knows anything about hangovers, it's me! I drank way too much in college, and even now, with my tolerence nowhere near what it used to be back then, I could drink any one of you under the table. But about hangovers, I'm told that coffee (or tea, since I don't drink coffee) works great. But I have classified three degrees of hangover, and here is what I do for each:

Level 1(mildly ill, but still able to function): I just get up and go about my buisness. Maybe some tea, but otherwise, activity is the best cure.

Level 2(ill ness and headaches. too sick to get out of bed to go anyhere but to the toilet to heave): I usually drink ginger ale or something along those lines. Also, toast or plain bread also help.

Level 3(waking up feeling like shit, having no memeory of anything for 12 hours, having thrown up on myself, and I'm not wearing pants) The only cure at this stage is a revolver and a single bullet. And if you're wondering how I got that way, I have no idea about the first time, but the second time I know involved at least a whole fifth of vodka.
[> [> [> happy B-day to Masq and help for vpD -- Rendyl, 17:21:57 09/06/01 Thu

Masq - Happy Birthday! (or am I late?)

Vamp hunter - try allsport or gatorade for a hangover. (in fact, if you alternate drinks with glasses of gatorade it is possible to never get a hang over at all)

As for the great literary minds to tackle Buffy thread - grin - I so love this board.

Ren -happy to be back
[> [> [> Nobody who posts on an internet site can drink me under the table -- JBone, 20:08:09 09/06/01 Thu

[> You can attually Type when your drunk -- Methodica, 16:06:41 09/06/01 Thu


You can attually type when your drunk. I have trouble walking and talk let alone typing when drunk. Then again my spelling and speech is so horrid im sure most people have a hard time telling when I am drunk or sober.

***Happy birthday***
[> Happy Birthday! -- vampire hunter D, 16:14:31 09/06/01 Thu

And Congratulations. Your speeling has actually become worse than mine
[> [> BTW, I'm getting drunk this weekend. I'll be sure to post when I do -- vampire hunter D, 16:18:17 09/06/01 Thu

[> hippo birdies two ewes, hippo birdies two ewes... -- Liquidram, 17:11:26 09/06/01 Thu

hippo birdies DEER ewe, hippo birdies two ewes!!!!

And many moreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
[> Happy Birthday, Marie...and we love you, too! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 17:21:51 09/06/01 Thu

[> Lesson #1: Don't sober up. Happy birthday, my fellow Spike lover! -- rowan, 17:22:30 09/06/01 Thu

[> Happy Birthday to my Fellow Lightweight! -- Humanitas, 17:43:57 09/06/01 Thu

[> Happy Birthday, and a soft landing tomorrow! ;o) -- Cactus Watcher, 18:18:11 09/06/01 Thu

[> So you won't be writing that huge fight scene??? ;-) Just kidding! Happy B'day! -- Solitude1056, 19:18:01 09/06/01 Thu

[> Re: Hi, back at 'cha, and congratulations for living another year! (huh??) -- OnM, 19:57:19 09/06/01 Thu

With sufficient practice, one can become mentally impared without the actual need for extensive drinking. Keep this in mind.


Be another year older myself, soon. I usually don't drink, there has to be a really good reason. I rarely ever get drunk, either. One time that I do recall was back nearby the 80's, it was the night of the presidential election, and the returns were just starting to trickle in. I decided to go see a movie, and an appropriate one was playing downtown (we still had movie heaters downtown then), Bette Midler in *Divine Madness*.

Anywho, I came back from the flick, turned on the TV, and Reagan was winning big time. I got very drunk, but when I woke up in the morning, he was still the president, so it didn't help any.

Thus, seldom drunk I am. But that's just me.

Happy, happy, joy, joy, Marie.

[> Happy birthday and don't forget to drink H2O before bed! -- LadyStarlight, 19:57:38 09/06/01 Thu

[> Welcome to my World -- JBone, 20:20:39 09/06/01 Thu

Happy birthday Marie! I rarely post sober, tonight is kind of an exception. And since a "few casual beers" after work or a couple "vodka slushes" land most of my friends in tipsy land, I'm use to people getting sloppy drunk while I'm wondering what their problem is. Plus, there is nothing better or worse, than a drunk chick. I mean that nothing can make you happier faster than a drunk girl, or get you in miserable trouble faster than a drunk girl. In the immortal words of the Aussie band AC/DC "Have a drink on me".
[> "Shoot me, stuff me, mount me!" -- Marie the Penitent, 01:18:25 09/07/01 Fri

Mortified as I was this morning, I was glad to see all your best wishes; thank you everyone!

Actually, when I read what I'd typed, I was glad to see that, apart from the spelling (!), it was fairly innocuous!

And isn't it nice to see that even the drunken ramblings of an idiot can segue into a Hemingway/Fitzgerald discussion. On this board only!


p.s. I'm one of those lucky people who have never had a hangover, so I'm bright-eyed and bushy tailed this morning! Heh-heh!
[> [> Hangover cure: Should you ever need one! -- Brian, 04:15:29 09/07/01 Fri

Start with a tall glass of tomato juice or V8 (vitamin C) Add a raw egg (to soak up remaining alcohol) Several drops of Tabasco (for the kick) Some extra salt (to hold fluid in your system) Some pepper as a platform for that kick And finally, and it's entirely optional A shot of gin or volka for the hair of the dog that bit you! Cheers!

PS - Happy Birthday
[> [> [> recipe change: important -- anom, 14:07:41 09/07/01 Fri

"Add a raw egg (to soak up remaining alcohol)"

Not a good idea these days, unless you're sure the egg isn't infected w/salmonella (most are these days, at least in US). Food poisoning is much worse than a hangover, & more dangerous!
[> [> [> [> The incredible, edible egg -- Brian, 20:31:02 09/07/01 Fri

Most of that worry about salmonella is media hype in action. I've eaten cracked eggs for years, and never gotten salmonella poisoning. And if you added a little volka or gin, those pesky germs are too drunk to be effective.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: The incredible, edible egg -- JM, 07:21:56 09/10/01 Mon

I think there is also something you can do with lemon juice. It was in a recipe book for an ice cream maker that a friend bought. It's a way to make the eggs safe so you can make egg creams. I'm sure there's probably something on the 'Net. Though the process may require waiting overnight. Probably not effective for hangover suffering. (Should ice cream be hyphenated when used as an adjective?)
[> [> [> [> [> you been lucky, punk @>) -- anom, 16:02:14 09/10/01 Mon

"Most of that worry about salmonella is media hype in action."

Oh, I see. So I must've been influenced by the article on food poisoning I edited for Reviews in Gastrointestinal Disorders. It says, among other things, that about 300,000 cases are estimated to be caused by Salmonella every year in the US, 82% from eggs; that "No one should eat food containing raw eggs" (unless the eggs are pasteurized or have tested salmonella-free); that because of "internal contamination" (no broken shell necessary) what was once safe is now "quite risky." (I want to check w/the editor before I post the URL; besides, when I checked last night, the article wasn't on the site yet.)

"I've eaten cracked eggs for years, and never gotten salmonella poisoning. And if you added a little volka or gin, those pesky germs are too drunk to be effective."

I wouldn't count on that. The eggs don't need to be cracked anymore, because so many hens' ovaries are infected & the infection is passed to the eggs inside the shells. Maybe the eggs you buy are from a farm whose hens aren't infected. Maybe they're pasteurized. Probably you have a nice strong immune system. These days more & more people don't. Food inspection is a joke in the US; maybe that's not where you live.

The D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest--best known for blowing the whistle on fat in restaurant food & movie popcorn--has info on its website on this (,, & other food safety issues ( The US CDC ( is another good source; so is the FDA (

Sorry if I overdid it here--once I started it was hard to stop! I just don't want anyone having to take their laptop into the bathroom to post to the list!
[> [> Re: "Shoot me, stuff me, mount me!" -- Rendyl, 06:53:42 09/07/01 Fri

Ack ack ack...It was you Marie and not Masq with the birthday. My apologies and Happy birthday.
[> [> Re: "Shoot me, stuff me, mount me!" -- LadyStarlight, 07:03:47 09/07/01 Fri

I've never had a hangover either. It's a rare gift, and we must use it to benefit mankind. ;)
[> [> [> Re: "Shoot me, stuff me, mount me!" -- Marie, 07:19:09 09/07/01 Fri

Yeah! We could get all the nasty people really, really drunk, then sort them out the next morning before they've recovered - we are the Slayers - Next Generation!

[> [> [> [> Re: "Shoot me, stuff me, mount me!" -- LadyStarlight, 08:04:48 09/08/01 Sat

Sings "I have a little list, they never will be missed..."

Do we get cool uniforms too?
Long time coming... -- Solitude1056, 16:55:46 09/06/01 Thu

If you were around several months ago when I went a little bonkers post-Sweden... then you're familiar with this, and if not, you might want to be:

The Real Meaning of your ATPoBtVS Alias

click on the title to go see it...

[> Re: Long time coming... -- Humanitas, 17:38:18 09/06/01 Thu

Ah, to be immortalized in solid HTML. We have truly arrived, mes ami.

[> Oops, sorry I forgot to announce it. Got busy today X-P -- Masq, 18:20:05 09/06/01 Thu

[> You must think of us A Lot.......;):):):):):) Thanks for the time you took to do this..:):):):) -- Rufus, 18:34:55 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> No problem... question is WHAT do I think of you! (hehe, nothing but good. Really.) -- Solitude1056, 19:15:23 09/06/01 Thu

[> Hee-hee! Pretty cool! Was very surpised to see me up there. Thanks for the funny. :o) -- Deeva, 20:40:56 09/06/01 Thu

[> I have been exposed!!!!! ;-) -- cknight, 21:01:24 09/06/01 Thu

[> Thing is, now I have to add some of the new folks, too! -- Solitude1056, 21:08:18 09/06/01 Thu

[> [> THANKU! -- Lyra, 12:25:09 09/07/01 Fri

LOL, thats the best laugh I have had in ages!

Thanx very much for including me!!

[> [> [> Re: THANKU! -- Drizzt, 13:34:49 09/07/01 Fri

Love your name interpatations.

Spoiler Space

Drizzt is a warrior Drow Elf with violet eyes and white hair, he allways wears chainmail and fights with two swords. He is a heroic type with a tragic and ironic past, but no regrets.

At least that is Drizzt in the books about him, I await your description of me...
[> [> [> Re: THANKU! -- Aster, 12:21:48 09/08/01 Sat

thanks for your in take on my postin name
[> Heeee-larious! ( :oD (NT) -- Dichotomy (formerly sollig), 06:06:46 09/08/01 Sat

What kind of Package/Money do slayers get -- Methodica, 17:57:08 09/06/01 Thu

I was sitting at work a couple day ago while someone was droning on about there benifits and package deal when it occured to me, what kind of package do the slayers get out of this. If you think about it Buffy/Kendra/Faith are putting there lives on the line for the good of the world, but what kind of money are they attually making proctecting us from evil and descruction. Giles gets paid to be Buffy's watcher and im sure he's making at least 6 figures there for a bit. If you think about it he's a spealist in his field plus he was raking in the money from the libary job as well. Here is Buffy doing a physical intensive job with extreamly high risk and no job security and a turn over rate of 4 years. If a slayers life span is only 4 years who's paying for there funeral, who's paying for the time they have to spend night in night out doing the watchers dirty work. To bad theres only one slayer or they could set up a union. I think there not making the money they should be.

[> Why would a Slayer need a union? -- Rufus, 18:17:01 09/06/01 Thu

I was shaking my head when I saw that Buffy set up a cush deal for Giles and never hit the CoW for anything. My only thought is that she doesn't want to feel obligated to them in any way. Can't really blame her. Plus do the Heroes get paid and remain heroes?
[> [> Well can't hero's at least expense some items. -- Methodica, 18:25:51 09/06/01 Thu

Well I guess not. Well ok if shes working for a non profit organization does she at least get to expense something. Who's is paying for all those weapons and stakes. Im sure some of them are Giles but im sure some of it is comming out of her pocket. What about all her cleaning bills as well. Im sure blood is something you can't really take to the dry cleaners to get cleaned. Buffy is also the type of person not to wear the same thing twice. Buffy's mom is no longer around she needs to think about the future. Maybe she can do some side jobs on the side. Rogue Demon hunter prehaps it work well for Wes (not). I can just see her resume.

[> [> [> Re: Well can't hero's at least expense some items. -- Drizzt, 19:31:14 09/06/01 Thu

Buffy and a job; she could do any form of manual labor easilly with her Slayer strength and agility. Equality of the sexes or in the case of Buffy superiority of Buffy...though she would not be Stuffy about it;-) Anyway Buffy could get a high paying job working for Xander wich he might like; being able to boss her around a little instead of following her lead in the scoobies.

That is only if Buffy gets a job, personally I think the WC should give her a salary to enjoy her life since her life-expectancy is rather short being a Slayer. Died twice allready! Most mortals only die one time...

Side note RE pay for heroic types; James Bond lives the life while casually fighting terrorists, plus he gets paid. Xena? No pay. Nikita? Paid, but she is close to an indentured servant the way the HQ Boss(darnit forgot his name!) treats her, Ulga the Genius Scientist/Love interest on 7 Days for Frank Parker gets $100,000/month wich is ironically more than Frank Parker makes and Frank has prevented armagedon four or five times like Buffy. Just say for arguement though that Frank Parker gets 40 to 50 grand/month in his government military job of saving the world...I think Buffy deserves just as much of an income.

"Buffy is the type of person not to wear the same thing twice" UM, wrong. Clothing manufacturers would gladly give samples to the FX Studio because every time an episode airs is a free advertisement for whatever any of the cast is wearing. Also we see 22 episodes each of wich cover a time frame of one to three days, so we only see what Buffy wears for maby 100 out of three 365 days in a year. Could be Buffy is like Sarah in liking casual and less glamerous clothes when not in school/public...undefined what she wears most of the year.

Gift & Clothing note. Buffy dusts vampire in begining of episode. OT I knew she was going to die as soon as I heard that fast track music and the chase scene, then Buffy ever so casually says "Hey, what you doin?"

Boy; "How did you do that?" Buffy; "It's what I do." Boy; "But you're just a girl" Buffy; "That's what I keap saying"

My take on this is Buffy has a resigned acceptance of her duty and the deathwish, but what she still wants is to be "Just a girl" The point I am getting at is that another reason for Buffy to wear fancy, girly, feminine outfits is her longing to be just a girl when she is a warrior by neccecity. The clothing symbolizes what she wants to be, even though her duty as the Slayer prevents it.

We will see next season how/if this attitude changes...

End of Gift & Clothing note.
[> [> [> The Watchers' Council REAL plan -- d'Herblay, 20:55:45 09/06/01 Thu

Every two or three years they go to Lloyd's of London and take out a two million pound life insurance policy on a teenage girl in perfect health, making sure that it has a double-indemnity clause for accidental death (as James M. Cain fans know, murder is an accidental death). And before they've paid too much in the way of premiums, the girl drops dead of jugular rupture or some such. If the premiums start to get out of hand, they've got the cruciamentum. Keeps them in gold-plated scones.

This, by the way, is why they won't kill Faith to bring about the calling of another slayer. You can't collect on a policy if it can be proved that you killed the insured.

Seriously, had Buffy been smart, she would have had herself insured. Is it too late now? Could the monks implant false memories in the people at Aetna?
[> [> [> [> Re: The Watchers' Council REAL plan -- Drizit, 22:06:31 09/06/01 Thu

Buffy getting insurance? Does not drive...Sunnydayle is not too big and she has Slayer enderance so jogging is fine, plus Giles or Xander can give her a lift anytime.

Health insurance? Slayer healing...anything she survives will heal or in at least one instance make her stronger; that pain part of the Spirit Guides message...

Term Life? Good idea so Dawn will have money for the Key a living energy thing thousands of years old that armies have fought over working at McDonalds? Ridiculous! Whole different issue if Dawn wants to work at a minimum wage job vs has to. Of course the issue of Dawn needing money is moot as long as Xander or Giles is around; both have steady good incomes.

The issue of insuring Buffy would bring up the whole life-expectancy of Slayers thing, but from a practical veiw why not? Everyone should. I know someone who got a policy of $500,000 when he was eighteen and his premium has stayed the same at $144.0/year...he is in his thirties. I know someone else in his sixties paying over $800.00/year for a policy of $100,000...start early! Buffy would get the low rate as long as she did not mention fighting vampires,demons,and a hellgod;-)

If the Buffybot is reactivated to take Buffys place for whatever hoky or valid reason Buffy would still be considered alive officially, however I would like to see the medical report the medical examiner gives a dead robot for the death certificate;-)

Insurance Claim Dawn and Giles walk into the office to claim the term life insurance payment for Buffy. Agent looks at death certificate and says "Buffy died from a short circuit in her CPU? What does that mean?"
[> [> [> [> [> Re: The Watchers' Council REAL plan -- Lia, 15:47:14 09/10/01 Mon

Hey, if you're doing something out of the goodness of your heart, you're doing something out of the goodness of your heart, whether you get paid or not is irrelevant!! Kay, I'm thinking like Lia and not like Buffy again. Maybe it's to do with her wanting to be a person apart from the Slayer -getting paid might make it feel like that was her job, her career path, thus confirming that this was all she was going to do with her life and she'd never get to be in the Ice Capades. Remember how bummed she was when her career test made her a policewoman??
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Watchers' Council REAL plan -- Drizzt, 17:46:12 09/10/01 Mon

Buffy is more heroic in not seeking reward or monetary compensation. Also if she were paid for her Slayer responsibilities it could drive a stake through her secret desire to be normal;)

Buffy as policewoman? Um, no police brutality from her. Could use lots of police with the morals of Buffy and Kate. Most police are good and competant; just like anything else you only hear about the bad eggs in the news.
[> [> Maybe Buffy wouldn't, but Faith? -- Earl Allison, 02:27:57 09/07/01 Fri

Good points all, and damn creepy about the Watchers taking out policies on their Slayers -- just nasty enough that I can actually see them doing it, too!

Still, while Buffy at least had the support of her mother, and Kendra her Watcher (Sam Zabuto), what about Faith? Who did she have, especially once she came to Sunnydale?

Did the Council fail her by failing to support her, financially OR emotionally?

When Faith's original Watcher died, THAT was the time for the Council to step in and HOLD her hand, not SLAP it! Maybe if they'd made her a part of something greater, even if it was only her role as Slayer (all these Watchers and they couldn't send one for months?), she might not have been as easily seduced by evil.

Maybe I'm just projecting, and trying to blame the Council for everything, but Faith needed someone, and the Council failed her (IMHO) even more than Buffy and the Scoobies did.

Take it and run.
[> [> [> Re: Maybe Buffy wouldn't, but Faith? -- John Burwood, 06:34:39 09/07/01 Fri

I think it can safely be assumed that the Watchers Council were paying Faith some sort of allowance, since she obviously had no job, & got nothing from her mother. No doubt the allowance was somewhat devoid of an excess of generosity, but enough for her to rent a motel room long term as well as buy food & clothing. Kendra was obviously funded as well, albeit via her own watcher as intermediary but still probably from the Watcher's Council at source. Only Buffy has plainly done without their money because of allowances from both parents - which must have helped her be much more independent of the WC. It will be interesting to see if the WC make any financial offers now Buffy has no mother to support her. No brainer that Buffy would refuse to accept anything with such obvious strings attached.
[> [> [> [> You know why Faith got nothing from her mother? -- vampire hunter D, 13:15:14 09/07/01 Fri

Because her mother is dead!
[> [> [> Re: Maybe Buffy wouldn't, but Faith? -- Rattletrap, 07:04:57 09/07/01 Fri

Yeah, I can just see a slayers' union. Buffy marching around outside an office building in Oxford with a sign that says "Council Unfair" or "Shorter Hours, Higher Wages, Fewer Apocalypses." And then maybe hiring the mob to bump off Faith for crossing the picket line.

So much for collective bargaining.
[> [> [> [> The economics of vampire slaying; have stake will travel -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 14:33:23 09/07/01 Fri

Excellent points, all.

I always wondered how these super-secret organizations somehow stay in business with no visible means of support. The idea of a series of big-time life insurance policies on short-lived Slayers might work if you use cut-outs (never the same policy beneficiary -- use Watcher A one time, B the next, etc.) and used different underwriters each time. Ideally from different continents. And hope they don't compare notes at the Insurance Convention . . . ("You mean you had a gazillion dollar policy on a teenage girl who died in weird circumstances . . . too?")

But it does explain why Faith is still breathing.

As to why Buffy isn't on a megabuck salary -- well, bureaucracies tend to be cheap with their own money (casual with other people's) and, besides, a free-spending adolescent with no visible means of support might well attract unwanted attention . . .
[> [> [> [> [> Re: The economics of vampire slaying; have stake will travel -- John Burwood, 00:34:07 09/08/01 Sat

It should also be remembered that the Watchers Council are not themselves being paid anything for the work they do. They are not exactly being funded by the taxpayer, are they? If so, they could spend indiscriminately. It is easy to be generous with other people's money. Any money the WC have must come from current members doing day jobs and income from investments originally made from donations made by wealthy benefactors. Odds on their financial status more closely resembles a charitable trust than a commercial basis.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The economics of vampire slaying; have stake will travel -- Halcyon, 03:37:54 09/10/01 Mon

I seem to recall in Sanctuary that it was mentioned that the Board of Directors of the CoW had alchemists as members, so that is probably how they fund their war.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The economics of vampire slaying; have stake will travel -- Liam, 11:24:22 09/10/01 Mon

The obvious answer to what's been discussed is that the scriptwriters didn't think such things through. I thought that the Watchers' Council would have put Faith up in a nice place, not that awful motel. After all, she is the only other Slayer in the world besides Buffy. If, as was said regarding Buffy, there were problems regarding her being a free spending adolescent with no visible means of support, then the Council could have used its considerable influence to keep government officials, such as those from the IRS, from asking questions.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The economics of vampire slaying; have stake will travel -- Humanitas, 12:17:25 09/10/01 Mon

"I thought that the Watchers' Council would have put Faith up in a nice place, not that awful motel."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Faith was getting anything from the CoW at that point. After all, her Watcher had just been killed by Kakistos, and she was pretty much on the run at that point.
Classic Movie of the Week - September 7th 2001 -- OnM, 22:33:23 09/07/01 Fri


I once knew a TV interviewer who got an interview with Mother Teresa and never stopped talking about it. We will call my friend N. After listening closely, I realized that N. thought she'd given Mother Teresa a big break: After all, not everybody gets to appear on TV with N.

.............Roger Ebert


Two rabbits running in a ditch Beatnicks out to make it rich You've got to pick up every stitch Oh, no, must be the season of the witch

............Donovan Leitch


Toulouse: Things aren't always as they seem. Christian: Things are exactly the way they seem.

...........from *Moulin Rogue* by Baz Luhrmann


Like most of my fellow boarders, I was quite disappointed that BtVS didn't pick up any Emmy recognition, although it didn't surprise me. After all, look how long the X-Files was on the air, and how large it's fan base became, and how much serious critical acclaim it had garnered, before Gillian Anderson finally picked up the golden statue. Even so, they pretty much snubbed David Duchovny, which I found rarther irritating seeing as how no matter how talented Anderson is (which she is) and how enticing a screen presence she may be (and she more than may be), there is no 'Files' without *Mulder and Scully*. If you question this, that the partnership betweeen the two characters was what made this show rock, then merely cast your glance at what has happened in the last year or so since Duchovny effectively departed.

I intend no disparagement towards Robert Patrick, he's done the best he can under the circumstances, but despite the skills of the available writers, the series has really fallen flat for me. Part of it may have had to do with the fact that the whole alien thing was just done with, and they should have put it to bed and either ended the series, or gone off into movieland a la Trek.

Regardless, I will check out the show anyway when it debuts later this fall, out of loyalty if nothing else. But part of the disappointment lies in that, like Buffy, our expectations get so high that the fall, if it ever comes, is so hard. Thus, I arrive back at what my original point was intended to be, in that sneaking in under the radar of extreme success and public recognition might not be such a bad idea, because it gives the creative people involved in the particular artform the ability to better control the creation, and avoid the disconcerting sight of the tail eventually wagging the dog.

I'm certainly in no position to put any thoughts into Joss' head, but if what he states publicly is to be accepted at face value, then his personal mission in life is not to promote himself as an icon of popular culture, but to promote the Mythology of the Buffyverse as a cultural icon. Joss therefore sees himself as the means to the message, not the message itself. Such is very much *not* the case with the main protagonist of this week's Classic Movie, *To Die For*, directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Nichole Kidman in what is still one of the most dazzling pieces of acting technique in her career to date.

Kidman plays Suzanne Stone, a vacuous but supremely ambitious young woman from the town of Little Hope, New Hampshire. Suzanne perennially longs for the day when she will escape the confines of the tiny and unimportant universe of her home town, and fulfill her destiny, which she sees as the achievement of that greatest of all possible goals, to be a famous television journalist. The fact that she consistently mistakes ruthlessness and cunning for genuine perseverance and intelligence isn't helped along by her choice in marrying Larry Maretto (Matt Dillon), a hunky local Joe Ordinary who is a basically decent guy who wants nothing more than to settle down and have a family with her. Larry is so completely infatuated with Suzanne that he never discerns the calculating amorality that lurks beneath the attractive exterior facade, although his sister Janice (Illeana Douglas) rather quickly gets a more accurate handle on her brother's perfect love object, as revealed by a scene which exemplifies the quick and cutting wit of the screenplay:

"My first impression of Suzanne? Four letters, starts with a 'c'."

(Pauses for effect, then continuing...)


This scene is one of many that appear in a seemingly non-linear fashion throughout the film, as the story of Suzanne's 'rise to fame' is revealed by way of a series of 'interviews', some of Suzanne, some of other family members and townspeople. At first somewhat disconcerting, the 'out-of-sequence' portions are eventually revealed to be perfectly logical after all, as we become aware that the interviews are a major focal point in what has become a growing media circus sprung up around the untimely and violent death of Larry, and the strong suspicion that Suzanne was behind it, which of course she was. The real food for thought is whether Suzanne's subsequent arrest and trial were something that she planned all along, or just a fortunate happenstance that occurred as a side effect of her enlistment of three local teenage losers in carrying out the murder plot. The entire plan seems so flimsy and poorly thought out, that it comes as no big surprise that the police rapidly track down the responsible parties, but the arrests only push Suzanne onto the center stage of the public eye, which of course is exactly what she craves the most.

One of the truly fascinating things about Kidman's exquisite portrayal of Suzanne is how she manages to give the character a certain simple humanity that tweaks at us even as we grow to despise her for her actions, actions which aggravate us precisely because they seem so entirely out of tune with the pleasant banality of 'normal' life in Little Hope. Of course, there is always the question lurking in the shadows as to just why, if Suzanne is so evil, do we revel so greatly in having to know every last detail about her? It all comes down to one becoming unable to distinguish between the false virtue fame imposes on our public figures, and any real concept of integrity or honesty that shines even when no spotlight is upon it. The medium becomes the message, indeed, news at 11:00, ad infinitum.

Whatever the medium you choose, do place said medium in the playback device of your choice, and buy or rent *To Die For* at your soonest opportunity. The spotlight is on *you* to maximize your own personal potential, so don't let me down.

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technical 15 minutes of fame:

*To Die For* is available on DVD. The review copy was on laserdisc, so I cannot provide information as to any special additional features that the DVD may contain. The film was released in 1995, and running time is 1 hour and 46 minutes.

The screenplay was by gifted satirist Buck Henry, based on the book by Joyce Maynard. (Henry also has a small but memorable part in the film as the nebbishy-looking but highly irasible high school teacher Mr. Finlaysson). The original music score was by Danny Elfman, cinematography by Eric Alan Edwards, editing by Curtiss Clayton and art direction by Vlasta Svoboda.

The sound mix for the original theatrical presentation was Dolby SR and/or SDDS, the laserdisc version was in standard Dolby Surround. (The DVD version soundtrack info is unavailable, as mentioned previously, but quite possibly it was remastered into Dolby Digital from the original SR or SDDS). The original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 was maintained for the laserdisc release, and is also likely to be so on the DVD.

Cast overview:

Nicole Kidman .... Suzanne Stone Maretto
Matt Dillon .... Larry Maretto
Illeana Douglas .... Janice Maretto
Joaquin Phoenix .... Jimmy Emmett
Casey Affleck .... Russel Hines
Alison Folland .... Lydia Mertz
Dan Hedaya .... Joe Maretto
Maria Tucci .... Angela Maretto
Kurtwood Smith .... Earl Stone
Holland Taylor .... Carol Stone
Susan Traylor .... Faye Stone
Wayne Knight .... Ed Grant
Tim Hopper .... Mike Warden
Michael Rispoli .... Ben DeLuca
Buck Henry .... Mr. H. Finlaysson
Ron Gabriel .... Sal
Nicholas Pasco .... Detective
Joyce Maynard .... Lawyer
David Cronenberg .... Man at Lake
Peter Glenn .... Priest
Amber-Lee Campbell .... Suzanne (Age 5)
Colleen Williams .... Valerie Mertz


FYI: Some other films by director Gus Van Sant:

Finding Forrester (2000)
Psycho (1998)
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Ballad of the Skeletons (1996)
To Die for (1995)
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993) ...(also screenplay)
My Own Private Idaho (1991) ... (also writer)
Drugstore Cowboy (1989) ...(also screenplay)
Five Ways to Kill Yourself (1987)
My New Friend (1987)
Mala Noche (1985) ...(also writer)

Now some info on the most recent oeuvre of the very talented Ms. Kidman:

Others, The (2001) .... Grace
Moulin Rouge! (2001) .... Satine
Birthday Girl (2001) .... Nadia
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001) .... Herself (Interviewee)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999) .... Alice Harford
Practical Magic (1998) .... Gillian 'Gilly-Bean' Owens
Peacemaker, The (1997) .... Julia Kelly
Portrait of a Lady, The (1996) .... Isabel Archer
Leading Man, The (1996) .... Academy Awards Presenter
Batman Forever (1995) .... Dr. Chase Meridian
My Life (1993) .... Gail Jones
Malice (1993) .... Tracy Kennsinger
Far and Away (1992) .... Shannon Christie
Billy Bathgate (1991) .... Drew Preston
Flirting (1991) .... Nicola Radcliffe
Days of Thunder (1990) .... Dr. Claire Lewicki
Dead Calm (1989) .... Rae Ingram

(Above cast info and filmographies, as usual, via the Internet Movie Database)


Miscellenea & The Usual Suspects:

I originally intended to get out to see *The Others* this week, but a chunk of free time I came upon last Wednesday didn't synchonize with any Otherly showtimes at my local megaplex, so I decided to get down with *Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back* instead. This film gave me quite a few chuckles, but I'm a perverse soul, and feel obligated to warn you that this flick is best enjoyed if you meet two main qualifications:

One, you generally like the work of director Kevin Smith and find his strange brain an interesting place to visit. Two, you have a constitution that allows you to tolerate the word f**k being used at a rate of deployment faster than Frank Perdue spits out chicken parts.

If you do decide to go, you will get to witness, among many other audacities, Mr. Gus Van Sant himself counting the money while Good Will Hunting II goes Psycho. Speaking of which, one little tidbit I uncovered whilst researching this week is that GVS makes an uncredited appearance in the remake of *Psycho* in 1998 as the 'Man in Cowboy Hat outside Realty Office'. Feel free to use this at parties to liven things up if need be, just my little gift to ya'all.

On a far more sad and serious note, all true movie lovers will duly note the passing of one of the greats (whether you generally agreed with her reviews or not), Pauline Kael, who died earlier this week at the age of 82. Pauline was one of the first people out there in the realm of cinema to bring the field of film criticism, as opposed to merely reviewing, into the realm of artistic respectability it enjoys today. We bow down, and give gracious thanks for teaching us all so well.

A few links for some thoughts on her legacy:


Lastly, as per the usual, the *Question of the Week*:

Have you ever met a person like Suzanne Stone in *To Die For*, and how did you deal with them if you were in a position where it was unavoidable? I think most of us have had this unpleasant experience at one time or another in our lives, but for myself, I have never found a really good way to deal with people like this, because I tend to rely on reason, and these types are so self-aggrandizing that reason doesn't sway them, unless it also simultaneously suits their own agenda. Please note that if your solution involves murder or other mayhem, please keep it to yourself, even if it was justifiable.

Otherwise, post 'em if you got 'em, and see you next week!

[> Classic Movie of the Week - September 7th 2001 -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 14:21:37 09/08/01 Sat

Not sure this belongs on Buffy-site, but --

I concur with the assessment of "To Die For". Kidman does one of the best acting jobs of the 1990s. She's playing someone who has to be simultaneously pathetic, funny, and scary, and she does it. It was a clear Oscar-caliber performance.

Hollywood, however, tends to snub comedy performances at the Oscars -- I suspect it's because such don't appear to be the "high culture" image that Hollywood has craved for years, even as they produce low culture schlock that brings in the big bucks.

Another problem is that Kidman is so damn good looking that people don't focus on how good an actress she really is. She filmed "Dead Calm" when she was 19 and carried that movie. Her stoned monologue in "Eyes Wide Shut" was the best part of that film and almost rescued that item. Frankly, although Cruise isn't a bad actor, Kidman is, IMHO, far more talented.
[> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - September 7th 2001 -- OnM, 20:36:31 09/08/01 Sat

Yep, there were quite a number of people who saw *To Die For* and had it completely change their evaluation of Kidman's acting abilities. Sharon Stone is another very competent actor who also gets dissed for her looks, unfortunately.

As to your opening comment, Not sure this belongs on Buffy-site, but --

If you meant your response, then worry not, that's exactly what this weekly space is for.

If you meant my column, it's just one of the many value-added services available **ONLY** at ATPoBtVS!!

Accept NO substitutes!

[> [> [> Classic Movie of the Week - September 7th 2001 -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 15:00:59 09/09/01 Sun


Just as a thought, and to bring this back to the Buffyverse, I pose a thought experiment; if Nicole Kidman could guest-star on BtVS, what would she be?

This must purely be a thought experiment, as:

1.) They couldn't afford her;

2.) She doesn't have the time available; and

3.) Sarah M. Geller would probably not want to act next to a performer with Kidman's talent AND Kidman's height. She'd tower over SMG. (I can say this because she'd tower over me.)

My suggestion: Kidman as a vampire witch-queen, perhaps Darla's older sister, sired by the Master in the late Medieval early Renaissance era. While she would not have the supernatural power of the Master or Glory, she would be possessed of driving will, phenomenal intelligence, and an icy self- control. Even worse, she would have a wicked sense of humor; all told, a terrifying opponent. Perhaps she could lead a troupe of brighter-than-the-average minions, a sort of Deathside Scooby Gang.

Kidman could do a villainess with extreme believability. Not only does she have immense talent, she has the unearthly look necessary for the part.

Her skin is blue. BLUE! Check out "Moulin Rouge" if you don't believe. I don't think this is Hollywood makeup at work; if they could do this they would have applied such makeup to numerous other actresses.

[> Re: Good choice -- mundusmundi, 16:13:50 09/08/01 Sat

Gotta love Buck Henry's pungent dialogue. The final image is also memorable.

Let us know what you think of The Others. Ignore Ebert (hell, he couldn't even get the title right) and that Answer Man column. There's two kinds of audience laughter -- the derisive kind, and the kind that's appreciating the show. Certainly there's some of the former going on, but the movie's getting good word of mouth and holding strong box office, so I seriously doubt it's being laughed out of theaters. Personally, I thought it did what it did very well.

Pauline Kael: Anybody else think she woulda dug Buffy? I've a hunch she did.
[> [> Re: Good choice -- OnM, 20:26:08 09/08/01 Sat

Ebert gave *The Others* 2 1/2 stars, so he generally liked it, and in fact his only serious concern was that the film went on longer than it should have. Of course, 'too long' is very, very subjective-- I could say the same about some Kubrick films, *Eyes Wide Shut* being one of them, and Spielberg's *A.I.* was pushing the limit, I thought. I'm a patient person most of the time, so I don't take off a lot of points for a leisurely unfolding of events in a story in most cases. On the other hand, Baird Searles, who reviewed movies for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction for quite a few years, did make the apt comment, "Brevity is the soul of the horror film".

I do hope to finally viddy *The Others* this week sometime, maybe even tomorrow, but rest assured I will volunteer my humble opin thereafter.

Going to do a Google search on 'Pauline Kael' + 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' just for grins!

[> [> [> 2 1/2 stars is still a thumbs-down in Ebertland -- mundusmundi, 07:33:51 09/09/01 Sun

I'd give it 3 1/2, or more fittingly an A-minus (be a teacher long enough and before long you'll be grading your mother ;). It one of those movies that sets a certain mood, and you either go with it or you don't.

Kael liked The Sopranos, I know that much. Her "Paulettes" all drool over Buffy, and I know they wouldn't dare come to an opinion on their own. (One of the downsides of her legacy, IMHO.)
[> Lucy Lawless is joining the X-Files -- cknight, 22:10:50 09/08/01 Sat

I heard she signed on for this season as a part-time character that may become a regular. I totally agree with your view on the show, The only thing that could save it is a new direction with new people. I love Scully but without Mulder, she should be written out and let the show have all new actors.
[> [> Law & Order -- Brian, 04:32:52 09/09/01 Sun

Law & Order is a show that has had complete cast changes and continues to entertain. Have there been other shows that have survived a complete makeover?
[> [> [> Re: Law & Order -- cknight, 07:10:26 09/09/01 Sun

The only time I watched Law & Order was when they had crossovers with one of my all-time favorates "Homicide". I think it's a good show though and it's the only show to have such a huge cast turnover and still be good. NYPD Blue has changed a good amount of the cast but I think they should have cancelled it a few seasons ago. Earth Final Conflict has changed it's cast a lot and that show has gone down hill.

I think The X-Files could survive a cast change. But Scully has to leave because with her still there, it's hard not to wonder where's Mulder? They were a great team and Cris Carter wasted a chance to end the Scully-Mulder chapter of the X-Files that would finally tie-up the loose ends.
[> [> [> 'ER' is the closest one that I can think of... -- OnM, 09:32:18 09/09/01 Sun

...although it wasn't a complete recasting, a pretty large percentage of people gave come and gone.

Two things that 'ER' and 'Law and Order' have in common, though, is that they are 'reality based' and not purely fictional/mythological like Buffy or the Files. Characters engender/become the mythology in such shows, so if you change them or they go away, there is no show.
[> [> [> [> "ER" / Wolf Lake -- cknight, 11:38:47 09/09/01 Sun

ER is still a good show but, it's starting to become the same song every week. I watched last season and I felt a lot of the shows seemed to be rehashed. There was 4 maybe 5 excellent episodes. I almost wish they would just do TV movies of it. Two to four movies a season. So the scripts would be fresh. They are bringing back Sherry Springfield which will be interesting.

I also think it doesn't matter if a show is based in reality (law & Order, ER) or fantasy (Buffy, Wolf Lake, Witchblade) It's the characters and writing that matters. Good is good and crap is crap. "Charmed" is crap though I will admit to watching one or two shows because...hey I'm a guy and theres some nice stuff to look at, but yes it's crap and you can tell they're just cashing in on Buffy. I think Wolf Lake might be a good show, it's on this week.
[> [> [> [> [> Wolf Lake.... -- Rufus, 14:30:37 09/09/01 Sun

Parts of Wolf Lake are filmed very close to where a friend of mine lives. It's a small town that has been used in many movies and series. The Sherrifs office was once housed the towns newspaper. Another friend supplied the tombstones you will see in the series. So the ones you see will be real...evidently you can sandblast the names off and engrave new ones's that for recycling?..:):):)
[> [> [> [> [> Shows that cash in on BUffy -- Helen, 02:21:40 09/10/01 Mon

Has anyone seen Vampire High? I don't know if/when its on in the US, its on Sky one in Britain and it is the worst example of the teen horror genre I have ever seen (I hesitate to class Buffy in that genre but it is a baldly accurate description) - and yes it is worse than Charmed.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Wolf Lake will be on when? -- Brian, 04:03:36 09/10/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wolf Lake will be on when? -- cknight, 17:22:36 09/10/01 Mon

Wolf Lake should be on Wednesday night CBS, I'm not sure if it's on at 8 or 9.
What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike- centric thread. -- Wisewoman, 13:21:23 09/08/01 Sat

From The Gift:

Buffy turns to go up the stairs. Spike watches her go.
SPIKE: I know you'll never love me.
Buffy pauses halfway up the stairs, turns back to look at Spike.
SPIKE: I know that I'm a monster. But you treat me like a man. And that's...
Buffy gazes silently at him. (from Psyche's Transcripts)

Ah, the ubiquitous, mysterious ellipsis which is, as most of you know, my favorite literary tool...except in this case! Because, what the heck was Spike trying to say that was indicated by those three innocuous little dots? One could argue that he was saying, "And that's...really been pissing me off!" but there is nothing in his tone or demeanour to indicate that. Instead, we're left with the impression that Spike considers being treated as a man a good thing.

So, my two questions:

1) How do you think Spike's sentence was supposed to end? and

2) Why would a vampire (without a soul) consider it a good thing to be treated "like a man?"

[> Re: What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike-centric thread. -- Shiver, 13:41:31 09/08/01 Sat

... more than anyone else has ever done. Angelus and Darla treated me like an errant child. To Dru I was a plaything to be coddled and manipulated like one of her dolls. To the Scoobs I am a monster to be tolerated only because you wish it. To Cecily I was no better than dirt under her feet. Only you, Buffy, have ever treated me like I was a man."
[> Re: What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike-centric thread. -- Dichotomy, 14:24:03 09/08/01 Sat

1) and that's ...that's enough for me now. Even if the world ends tonight, I'll feel ... decent, ya know? I'll feel like I'm worthy of your trust and maybe, I don'know, someday your friendship. Even if you can't love me, Buffy, you can count on me. You know that, don't you?


and that's *your* gift to *me*. I need that Buffy, and appreciate it more than you know. I'll do my best to prove my gratitude tonight. The Summers women deserve that much, at least.

(OK, I'm no writer, but I hope you get my gist.)

2) Why is this important? I think because the other two Summers women already treated him more like a man than a monster. When Buffy finally joined them in her own way, these women he has high regard for now all have some sort of regard for him. Maybe that makes him feel he's not beneath them after all (his need to prove his power and importance no doubt contributed to his evil deeds as a vampire), and there's a chance for him, not necessarily with Buffy, but some sort of chance at redemption. (And of course, that's assuming that a vampire without a soul has a chance at that and exactly what that means. But that's another discussion altogether and has probably been debated a number of times here.)
[> [> Re: What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike-centric thread. -- Drizzt, 15:34:25 09/08/01 Sat

I do not have some eloquent finish to Spike's speech.

A minor point; in Intervention Spike did have the strength to stumble to the elivator and get in. He was standing up with his last reserve of strength preparing to face death when Buffy came and started fighting those pitifull minions. He slumped down and seemed to fall unconcious, but the point I am getting to is that one second when he was laying in the elivator he opened one eye and glanced at Buffy; he was concious for that whole fight scene. His love is real, but he did still want(and I think earned, wich was more what he wanted in The Crush than a date or romance) some aknowladgement and even a smidgen of appreciation. Spike just wanted to be accepted.

Buffy treated Spike in the same callous way she treated Rily; she went to him when it was convienient or she needed info or his vamp-strength in protecting Dawn. This attitude was justified to a much greater degree with Spike because of his history of trying to kill her, but Buffy never treated either honestly until Into The Woods & Intervention respectively. Course Spike never up and left Buffy like Angel and Rily and that basterd Parker Abrahms. Comon give Buffy a decent boyfreind for a few months where the only tragedy is he dies from a demon instead of all this betrayal heartbreak soap-opera stuff Buffy has dealt with.

Ooooh! Off Topic Rant;-) Um, I wonder what Buffy's next romantic interest will be like?
[> [> Re: What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike-centric thread. -- Kerri, 15:37:58 09/08/01 Sat

1) Well Shiver and dichotomy more or less said what I was about to say. My thought was something like, "and that's enough because you make me believe that I can be a person."

2) Buffy trusted Spike with the most important thing in the world to her and that really says more than words can about her belief in Spike. To Spike(and most people probably) Buffy stands for good, righerousness, and selflessness; the fact that someone embodying these traits could accept Spike gives him hope that he can and wants to be good.
[> [> [> Re: What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike-centric thread. -- Lia, 15:00:41 09/10/01 Mon

1) ...Enough. Of course it's not enough - when you're in love with someone you want them naked all over you and you can't turn that bit off!!! but I think he knew that this wasn't going to be and he accepted that like a grownup. And the fact that he wanted to help her anyway shows that he loves her for her, not just as someone he wants to love him. That's a less selfish way of loving someone and I think it shows that Spike is developing and becoming less selfish, more capable of doing good for good's sake

2) Ooh, I'm gonna hafta scratch my head now!! She's a slayer. She hates Demons. She likes Men (ie humans)So if she's treating him more like a man than a demon it suggests she doesn't hate him as much as before, or maybe that she sees him not just as another vampire but as an individual. But I also think that Spike is partly a man and the human side of him has been showing up more and he needs to have that acknowledged*

*I actually don't think that Buffy treated Spike like a man!! She used his feelings for her so he'd help her!! I don't blame her, I know it was neccesary to protect Dawn but it was like "He really does love me - woohoo free babysitter!!" Which brings me to - why did he choose to believe she did treat him like a man? I think a teeny weeny part of him wanted to save Dawn for reasons that weren't to do with Buffy and that this was a way of ignoring that.
[> [> [> [> Well done, Lia! Have you been lurking? If so, welcome! -- Wisewoman, 18:32:40 09/10/01 Mon

[> [> Re: What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike-centric thread. -- Wisewoman, 15:41:16 09/08/01 Sat

I guess my point in question 2 was, Spike knows he's not a man anymore. He used to be, but as far as we know now he never will be again. He'll always be a vampire; chipped or unchipped, souled or unsouled (unless, y'know, Shanshu...), and he was treated fairly shabbily by women when he was a man; he's received much more respect and recognition as a vampire than he ever did as a man. Every indication is that he's far happier as a vampire than he was as a human man, so I can understand him saying that Buffy treats him with respect, or with trust, or as an equal, but if she treats him as a man, doesn't that make him just that much easier to discount?

I understand what you and Shiver are saying above, I'm just playing Devil's Advocate for the sake of the discussion.

[> [> [> Re: What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike-centric thread. -- Drizzt, 16:37:38 09/08/01 Sat

"You treat me like a man, and that's..." Rephrase "You treat me like a person, and that's..." No matter what Spike ever did Buffy allways talked to him as a person. When he was evil or insulting/fighting her she treated him like a bad person, not an unreadeamable monster. Spike is like a fallen angel; the good of the world blinds him and he fears it and loves it at the same time. Buffy is full of love...even for Spike, love of life in any form.

Buffy treats all demons as entities before she treats them as monsters. If a demon is a threat she will go into Slayermode, but a demon that just minds his own business?
[> Re: What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike-centric thread. -- Rufus, 15:32:45 09/08/01 Sat

Even better question was when Doc asked him why he cared, Doc couldn't smell a soul on him. So what is making Spike do these things, and why would he continue even after Buffys death?
[> [> Re: What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike-centric thread. -- Drizzt, 15:37:47 09/08/01 Sat

William the Poet is somewhere hidden behind the veneer of macho bad-ass evil vampire that the Scoobies know.

Remember Tough Love when Buffy said she likes poetry?
[> Re: What was he trying to say? WARNING: Blatantly Spike-centric thread. -- vampire hunter D, 22:59:53 09/08/01 Sat

Spike: And that's all I really needed from you.

He just wanted Buffy to treat him like a real person. And I totally understand.

and while this is adrunken post, I am trying to be serious!
[> [> Re: What was he trying to say? Not too Spike centered! -- Nina, 08:21:58 09/09/01 Sun

"You treat me like a man and that's..."

We could fill this blank with thousands of possibilities. The fact that Spike didn't fill it himself speaks volume. I think he just couldn't find the words. If he had, the moment wouldn't have been the same. He was too overwhelmed to find the proper words.

"Why would a vampire like to be treated as a man?"

Because vampires have a life wish. This idea is not new with me! ;) But I'm starting to include a lot more vamps than just Spike. Let's face it, we've been told from the start that vampires are bad. They are humans infected with a demon and the human part has nothing to do with who they become. That's what we've been told, but what we've seen is very different. We've seen brotherly affection in "Bad Eggs", a married vampire couple in "Homecoming", Vamps who'd rather eat popcorn and listen to CDs instead of fighting in "Crush". We've seen that vampires have to overcome their humanity in "Disharmony". We've learned that Spike was listnening to TV as soon as "School Hard".

Spike's speech in "The Gift" is a huge clue to tell us how vampires crave for life. Spike didn't say "That's what make *me* alive. But he said *us*.

Why was it so easy for Buffy to spot vamps in the first seasons? Because they clang to their old image. Their human image. Their old clothes. They were stuck in their past. What they used to be. The brothers in "Bad Eggs" still wore their western outfits, and Harmony still shopped at "April's fool".

As humans, the Bible tells us that we've been kicked out of Eden because we tasted knowledge. Since then, humans crave for knowledge. They want to know the meaning of every tiny little detail. I believe that for vamps life is their Eden. They've been kicked out of life and now they try to find the more life they can (through blood, but also through human behavior. Listening to music, or collecting unicorns or Klimt posters...) Some humans don't care about knowledge and some vamps don't care about life. But as a whole the vamp population has been ripped away from life and they need it to keep going.

"Why do you think we eat it? It's what makes us warm, hard, what makes us other than dead" (badly quoted, sorry!)

So in the end what makes Spike so different now? The chip? His love for Buffy? I think it's his link to the world. Take her friends away and Buffy is nothing more than a killer (The Wish). Because Spike has find a community (not as toxic as the one he had with A/D/D - it would be the equivalent for Buffy to have toxic people as friends) he can slowly allow himself to bask in humanity again. Vamps and Slayers are similar. Without proper friends they live for the kill. Give them good friends and a reason to care (Dawn in Spike case) and they find a new purpose to their lives/unlives.

I have a problem with the whole redemption thing for Spike now. As if he would be the only one to seek for it. Spike is not the only one who wants to be treated like a real person. Harmony was seeking the same thing. It doesn't take a lot of brains to seek for humanity it seems. It's not a pre- requisite. It's really all about to be surrounded by the good people and have a purpose. Harmony was surrounded by good people in "Disharmony", but didn't find her "good" purpose. If Angel's gang had given her more credit, more time.... maybe she would have found one to make her care enough not to revert to her old bad ways. The fact is that she cared enough to try not to be bad. She wanted Cordelia to treat her like a friend, a real person. It speaks volumes.

I think that's why Spike wants to be treated like a man. That's why Harmony wants to be treated like a woman. They want to be alive.
[> [> [> Re: What was he trying to say? Not too Spike centered! -- Kerri, 09:21:30 09/09/01 Sun

Great post Nina!!!!

"They want to be alive." If you think about the fact that in many cases a person choses to become a vampire because they fear death and want to remain living forever it really makes sense.

Also good point about vamps and slayers both needing ties to the world to keep them from being soely a killer. From Surpirise/Innocence we know that vampires have differing amounts of humanity sinse some can be burned by the judge and others can't.
[> [> [> Brava, Nina! That was wonderful!! Thank you. ;o) -- Wisewoman, 09:59:01 09/09/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> Re: Brava, Nina! That was wonderful!! Thank you. ;o) -- John Burwood, 11:18:07 09/09/01 Sun

Brilliant post, Nina. Got me in corkscrew thought mode. The shanshu concpt is of life & death being part of the same thing - part of a cycle. So if vampires have a life wish and Slayers a death wish, are these too part of a cycle - the same thing? Darla & Ford wanted todie to become undead & immortal & s not die. Angel wants to become human to live and thus to die & lose immortality - yet when he got the chance at real life he was very quick to pass & return to immortal unlife. Maybe we are in the area of grass being greener on the other side of the fence, or everyone wanting what they can not have - the more unattainable, the more desirable? Or maybe I am just thinking in ever decreasingcircles & in danger of disapearing up my own ... Can anyone else square the circle?
[> [> [> Vampires steal the life they covet....... -- Rufus, 14:12:08 09/09/01 Sun

Everything about the vampire is all about who they were in life. There may be a resident demon but they never killed the person, just added the instinct to kill. They are supposed to be waiting for the old ones to return but I think that adding a little chaos to a person has given an unexpected result, a demon who is capable of choice. Angelus may have wanted to kill every human but he appreciated the world that humanity lives in. In Darla he has a conversation about the place of the vampire in the world.

Angelus: Hmm, Yorkshire men - tough as leather. (The Master and Angelus both laugh at that remark) So, Darla here tells me you're some sort of Master.
Darla: The *Master*. He commands our order.
Master: The *Order of Aurelius. We are the select - the elite.
Angelus folds his arms and surveys their surroundings.
Angelus: And you live in the sewers, do you?
The Master gives Darla's hand a pat and stands up.
Master: We live below, giving tribute to the old ones. Awaiting that promised day when we will arise..Arise! And lay waste to the world above us.

I have to wonder if The Master wasn't some sort of preacher in life, he sure takes his wait for the old ones seriously. He seems to be stuck in the past. But Angelus has a different take on the world of the humans.

Angelus: Why'd you want to do that?
Master: Huh?
Angelus: Well, I mean, have you been above lately? It's quite nice. Me - I could never live in a rat infested stink hole like this, if you'll pardon me for saying so. I got to have meself a proper bed or I'm a terror. Isn't that right love?
Darla to Master: He's young.
Angelus: And this one, down in the goose feathers, and the finest silks and linens and a view..she's always got to have the view....don't you, my lamb?
Master: We stalk the surface to feed and grow our ranks. We do not live amongst the human pestilence!
Angelus: I'll be honest, you really couldn't with that face, now could you?
Angelus: It's not stuck like that now is it?
Darla: The Master has grown past the curse of human features.
Angelus: I'm not gonna get a bat-nose like that, huh? Am I?
To Darla....Tell the truth - whose face do you want to look at for eternity?.....His or mine?

The Master was very old school, very much married to the idea of servitude to the Old Ones. Angelus is no lackey for anyone.....he rejects the imperative of the old and brings a new spin to being a vampire. He cares nothing about revenge for the old ones.....he doesn't want a bat face like The Master......he wants to be in the world, using humans as food to keep him warm and the trappings of civilization to keep him comfortable. The Old Ones and their beef with humans is irrelevent to Angelus.....he is out for some fun.

Now to swing my idea back to the blonde one. Vampires are who they once were, it informs all that they became. They still love and can be hurt by what would have hurt them while alive. They get revenge on those who have slighted them in life. The last demon to leave our reality bit a human to create chaos for humanity. The thing about chaos is that you can never predict what may happen. The Old Ones and the old vampires are gone....the new vampire is no longer in touch with their reason for being.....they have created their own place along side of humanity. They have gotten comfortable. The chip in Spikes head was put there to control him, just like the soul that infects them.......but there have been unexpected results. The longer Spike interacts with humans, is treated like a man by a few, the more he has come to feel like he did when alive. The old Spike would have danced on Buffy's grave.....what Spike has become, mourns the woman he loves. I think that the chip may have given Spike the ability to make choices unfettered by the instinct to kill. His continued exposure to people may be returning his ability to feel compassion. If he had been a killer before he died I wouldn't have said that, but, he was a good, sensitive man. What is surfacing is what Spike has always been capable of. He is still a vampire but now he kills his own kind. Will it last? Did the chip only start a process? Or does that end if it's removed or disabled? I think the hint is in his need to be seen as more than a monster, treated like a man. We will only know as the story is told. The choice is Spikes in who he becomes, he now has a new option he would never have considered....and we have Maggie Walsh to thank...:):):):)
[> [> [> [> Re: Vampires steal the life they covet....... -- Cynthia, 09:17:22 09/10/01 Mon

Vampires creating chaos? Like the Prometheus(?) and/or Lucifer myth? Interesting. Means that the last demon left humanity with either a gift or a curse, depending on how you view chaos in relation to order.

Must go back into lurking and ponder :.)
[> [> [> [> [> Vampires and Chaos -- Rufus, 15:41:45 09/10/01 Mon

I have always said that the last demon created vampires as a sort of parting gift, introducing chaos into the system of humanity. The thing is the infection that was to create chaos has somehow adapted and started to conform to human standards. They prefer human trappings, including music, clothes, the good things in life. The vampire is still causing disorder, but they have begun to prefer human surroundings, they have begun to swerve back to more human traits. I think as an instrument of chaos the vampires can only go so far before the humanity in them effects their choices. Are they waiting for the old ones to return or do they just prefer their MTV? JW compared human and vampire as being on a spectrum of behavior. Shine a light through a spectrum and it separates into different colours. I think the same thing happens with both man and vampire. You induce a reaction in either and you get many different colours or behaviors. Each is capable of many reactions on the spectrum only the direction of the moral compass is different. But who says that either can't get redirected and change their moral compass by the choices they make. Both vampire (with their inherent humanity), and human, are complex enough for that to happen.
[> [> [> Re: What was he trying to say? Not too Spike centered! -- Cynthia, 09:10:01 09/10/01 Mon

This would certainly fit in with my notion that demons have souls, just not human ones. And because they are not "exactly" the same, demon souls aren't considered pure or real or valid.

So many of my history books have shown how one group of people have demonize another group(i.e. Indians, Blacks have no souls, they're stupid, or less human) in order to color public opinion and/or use as an excuse to harm/control. Perhaps this happened between humans and demons.

If demons were driven away from our dimension because of this, perhaps the creation of the vampire as we know them now was a revenage act. You don't value our souls so we'll treat your's exactly that same way.
[> And my guess is... -- rowan, 13:39:47 09/09/01 Sun

1. "...everything."

2. Spike is no longer identifying with his vampire identity. He is crafting a new identity which melds both the man and the vampire. Buffy's recognition of this fact (and that he could change) reinforces for him that this change is both real and positive.
I Smell a Rat.... -- cknight, 16:15:24 09/08/01 Sat

How come Willow and the gang haven't really given a 100% effort to change Amy back to her true form? It seems to be something that they think about only if they have nothing esle to do. "Let me see, we could go to a party that has killer robot babes or we could find a spell to help this poor girl who's day is eating lettuce, running on a spinning wheel and dropping rat turds, hmm...what to do?" Just think, if Xander, Dawn or any other member of the gang had been changed into a rat they would have worked day and night to fix the problem. :)

I think Willow likes the fact that Amy is in that cage in her room. She's got her own little prisoner. I bet this season we'll see Willow change her to human form (DO A EVIL LAUGH) :), then make her a rat again, like she did once before. Amy has most likely gone insane by now. If Giles can be changed into a demon and be changed back the next minute....all I got to say is......WHAT'S UP WITH THAT!! :)
[> Re: I Smell a Rat.... -- Drizzt, 16:40:36 09/08/01 Sat

What episode had Amy as a human? I mean before Something Blue. I started watching in the middle of season three and do not remember seeing much of Amy.
[> [> The Witch, season one. I think one more as well. -- Cactus Watcher, 18:04:08 09/08/01 Sat

[> [> [> One more besides Gingerbread, I mean -- Cactus Watcher, 18:18:48 09/08/01 Sat

That's the episode she turned herself into the rat.
[> [> [> [> Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered -- Masq, 18:43:52 09/08/01 Sat

It was Amy's spell that interacted with Xander's bad intentions and turned him into the Sunnydale love God
[> [> [> [> [> Thanks CW & Masq, I will read Masq's reveiws of those eps:) -- Drizzt, 20:23:26 09/08/01 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> The one where... -- cknight, 21:56:29 09/08/01 Sat

There was a show either this year or last season where Willow was talking to Buffy and the cage with the Amy rat was in the background. Buffy said something like what's this stuff and Willow said it was some spell stuff she was working on to change Amy back. Willow then said some magic words and in the background Amy became human but they didn't notice and Willow cancelled the spell changing Amy back to a rat.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> not exactly... -- anom, 17:30:06 09/09/01 Sun

I think you've got 2 eps confused, Drizzt. The setting you described is from Something Blue, but I think the dialog is from a different one. In SB, they're not talking about trying to change Amy back. Willow is telling Buffy how much better Amy was at spells than she is, describing Amy changing herself into a rat (in Gingerbread), saying something like, "One minute she's a perfectly normal girl--" (and she is! Amy-the-rat on the bed behind them changes back to Amy-the-girl, looks down at herself, realizes she's human again, smiles delightedly & starts to open her mouth to speak) "--the next she's a rat!" (Amy changes back to a rat) "I could never do that!"

Hmm--good thing they had her out of the cage when Willow said that!

Willow does say something about a spell to change Amy back not working in another (don't remember which) ep as a reason not to try doing, um, something else (don't remember what). Anyone wanna fill those in?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: not exactly... -- Helen, 01:45:06 09/10/01 Mon

I don't know which ep it is (and the Shooting script site is gone so I can't check) but the dialogue is something like,

I've been working on this new spell to de-rat Amy. It isn't working but I think it might have made her really smart. She keeps rubbing her paws like she's planning something ...
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> . . . stpircs gnitoohS -- yalbreH'd, 06:27:42 09/10/01 Mon

.XOF llet t'noD .stpircsnart eht htiw ,ereh won era . . .
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: . . . stpircs gnitoohS -- Helen, 06:59:59 09/10/01 Mon

... llet t'noW !rats ouY
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> For a minute I thought I was in Pylea, except... too many vowels : ) -- Masq, 09:29:28 09/10/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> The Luuuuuve God -- fresne, 10:51:39 09/10/01 Mon

Okay, now I have this image of Xander standing confusedly under a disco ball with Barry White talking about Xander the Luuuuve God.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Not Barry White. Average White Band, me thinks -- Masq, 11:40:56 09/10/01 Mon

Sex in the Buffyverse -- Brian, 20:53:10 09/08/01 Sat

Thoughts in a dry season.

Sexual Experience in the Buffyverse

The following is an attempt to list the amount of sexual activity of the characters of the Buffyverse:

Darla has to go at the top of this list. After all, she made her living as a prostitute. It can only be speculation that she remained faithful to Angelus all those years, but perhaps it was a solid relationship based on blood, murder, torture, and mayhem. Ironically it was Darla who brought the Gypsy girl to Angelus as a gift with the consequences of him becoming Angel.

I imagine that Angel is next. All that whoring and drinking. Until Darla he appears to not have had more than one night stands, and paid for, at that. He and Darla had a relationship for over a hundred years, and there are implications that he and Dru had a long sexual relationship as well until she meet Spike. Ironically, Angel's one night with Buffy damned him into becoming Angelus, and his one night with Darla saved him from becoming Angelus.

Next would be Giles, based on just the age factor. We know he had sex with Olivia and Joyce, and I imagine his wild days of being Ripper would have included some sexual episodes. Interestingly enough, Giles never offers anyone any love advice. Perhaps he has learned that in affairs of the heart, silence is the best and safest recourse to take.

Again, based on the age factor, and the consequences of "Band Candy," I'm going to put Joyce next. We know she was married to Hank, and she slept with Giles. Under the influence of the candy, she reverted to a "wild child" very similar to Giles.

I'll put Faith next. We know she slept with Xander and Riley. On patrol with Buffy one night she rattled off a string of boy's names that were on her use'em and lose'em list.

Next would be Cordelia. When we first meet her in The Harvest, there seems to be a consensus of opinion that she is a "skanky whore." We know she had sex with that Demon surrogate, and there was no qualms about going to bed with him. Of course, the consequences were quite grim. There is no textual evidence that I could find that would indicate that she and Xander ever slept together. Actually all that diving into closets etc. makes me think that their relationship was quite virginal. Perhaps that is why she felt so betrayed by Xander when she found him and Willow together. She had finally found a love relationship rather than just a sexual relationship.

Anya is hard to classify. As a vengeance demon, seeing just how much suffering betrayal and infidelity had brought to humanity, even if it was caused by her granting wishes, may have made her a little shy about having a relationship of her own. We know she had a relationship with a human before she turned him into a troll, but given that activity was over a 1000 years ago, and the mores of the time, it's hard for me to believe that they had a sexual relationship. But, certainly she and Xander are eager love puppets, working their way through various sex manuals, etc. Sex that seems to have led to love, a relationship that has bonds that run deep. Xander and Anya may be the most "adult couple" in the Buffyverse

Xander is another hard character to classify. We know he slept with Faith, his first experience, and he has an ongoing relationship with Anya. However, in "The Freshmen" there was that busted car, and his working in a strip club. There is an indication that he worked as a stripper himself, and who knows what those "horny " ladies might have done to him.

Buffy has had two one-night stands and one long intense relationship. All ended in disaster. Enough said.

Willow has had only two relationships, but she has made love on both sides of the gender fence. Both relationships were powerful and filled with love. Willow appears to have had the best, and most satisfying relationships of all the Scobbies.

Oz fits in next. We know he and Willow had a relationship, and I believe that Willow more than once referred to his "experience" with other women. He slept with Veruca, but he was under the wolf influence, although it did appear that he wanted to, perhaps some lingering desire to punish Willow for her "infidelity" with Xander.

Spike, being a product of his time, and being vamped by Dru, has only had two sexual relationships, and only with vampires. His relationship with Dru was for over a 100 years, where as his one with Harmony was only a few months, and appeared to be based of connivance, not love. Perhaps there is a future for him and Buffy. Time will tell. If he does end up with Buffy, then it really will be because she needs "some monster in her men."

Dru had two relationships as well, again, only with vampires. There was that slime demon, but there is no textual evidence that it was a sexual one. Rather it appears to be her way of getting rid of Spike since she "saw" "the stink of Slayer all over him."

Wesley - He had a sexual relationship with Virginia, and he knew enough about Cordelia to know that she didn't taste good, but beyond that there isn't any textual evidence that he had other sexual relationships

Gunn - No textual evidence to support any sexual relationships, but life on the streets is hard, and I can imagine that he would seek comfort with one of his group

Finally we get to Tara. Although there is no textual evidence, I believe that her relationship to Willow is her first.

So, what does all this add up to? Is sex just Bad as Cordelia tells Wesley and Angel? Is it about rebellion, procreation, power, one upmanship, dominance, friendship, experience, a passage to adulthood, or the conduit for love? It appears that any of these answers will work for at least one of the characters of the Buffyverse. Like a reflection of the real universe, each character grapples with their sexual identity to find some kind of understanding and resolution that will, if not make them happy, at least give them a better understanding of themselves and their relationship to the others of the Scobbie Group, and the Buffyverse. Perhaps Buffy was the luckiest of all of them. She discovered that she didn't need a man, another person, a sister, or a group, to define what love was for her. She discovered that her "gift of love" was for the entire universe. We must imagine that as she turns to run towards her destiny, her final leap is a lover's embrace, a sacrifice for the world, and the knowledge that for the first time since she became a Slayer, her life is complete, and she is truly happy.
[> Re: Sex in the Buffyverse -- Joann, 22:50:07 09/08/01 Sat

I think you forgot some of the perverted sex, like Faith purposely almost strangling Xander during sex; Buffy sleeping with a vicious vile beast (a vampire); the threesome of Xander/Cordy/Willow in the alternate universe; Buffy having the big O while Angel drinks her blood; Giles finding a dead Jenny in his bed while he was expecting sex with her; Angel kneeling and burying his face in Buffy (or was I just thinking of sex). The sexual innuendo when Dru tortured Angel (Bad Daddy). And then wait, I can't say that here.
[> [> Re: Sex in the Buffyverse -- vampire hunter D, 23:08:30 09/08/01 Sat

I'm too drunk too tell uo all the ways that ou arewrong. But be sure, I wi;l attack you when I am sober

btw: Sober from Tool is one fo the coolest songs ever!
[> [> [> Re: Sex in the Buffyverse -- Joann, 06:48:17 09/09/01 Sun

Right. It was a late night for me too and I wus seein doublle. Did I actually post that?
[> [> [> [> Re: Sex in the Buffyverse -- Nina, 08:43:51 09/09/01 Sun

Very interesting post Brian. I particularly love your last paragraph:

"Perhaps Buffy was the luckiest of all of them. She discovered that she didn't need a man, another person, a sister, or a group, to define what love was for her. She discovered that her "gift of love" was for the entire universe. We must imagine that as she turns to run towards her destiny, her final leap is a lover's embrace, a sacrifice for the world, and the knowledge that for the first time since she became a Slayer, her life is complete, and she is truly happy."

Let's hope so! :)
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Sex in the Buffyverse -- Kerri, 09:07:43 09/09/01 Sun

Couldn't agree more! I'd go so far as to say not just "for the first time since she became the slayer" but "the first time Buffy is ever truly happy."

It is interesting to note that Buffy is able to understand this love when she finally has a relationship that is not influenced by sex. Her love for Dawn can be seen as "pure"(as IMO BtVS does not always have the highest oppinion of sex-Angelus goes evil and all...); it is more the love of a mother for her daughter. And infact, as Dawn is a part of Buffy, it is a love that Buffy has for herself that she never before could understand. In her other relationships Buffy blames herself, but with Dawn she learns to love Dawn, the world, and herself.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sex in the Buffyverse -- Drizzt, 10:50:59 09/09/01 Sun


I agree on the "Buffy's love of Dawn=love of herself and all of humanity"

The Gift was a perfect episode of television.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sex in the Buffyverse -- Kerri, 13:58:49 09/09/01 Sun

Thanks Drizzt! All hail The Gift!
[> [> [> Hmmm, can't wait to see how you're feeling this morning, D...;o) -- Wisewoman, 11:33:42 09/09/01 Sun

[> [> [> [> Actually, I feel fine -- vampire hunter D, 12:24:13 09/09/01 Sun

Cool new promo on UPN site -- MPN, 21:08:59 09/08/01 Sat

Hey everyone, I was just surfing the net when I headed over to UPN's website and found a new trailer available for download (not sure if it's playing on TV yet as I don't watch much UPN). Anyway, it was really cool, and much more movie trailer-esque than any of the character promos, if you catch my drift (download it for yourself and you'll see what I mean). You can find it by going to the Buffy section of the UPN website and clicking the link marked "Sunnydale is going to hell", oh and you need WindowsMediaPlayer for it to work. Anyway, the promo itself is awesome, and it gives off a pretty good idea of what we can expect on the season premiere. Enjoy it, I know I did.
[> Hey, it was new to me! Thanks! -- Masquerade, 23:03:27 09/08/01 Sat

[> Saw the promo Friday night........... -- Rufus, 00:29:04 09/09/01 Sun

Earrings in the throat...hmmm....
[> [> What's the URL? - I having trouble finding it -- Brian, 04:28:50 09/09/01 Sun

[> [> [> Re: What's the URL? - I having trouble finding it -- Rufus, 13:25:47 09/09/01 Sun

I saw the promo on my tv. But the url is the newest promo is on the Buffy part of the site.
[> Re: Cool new promo on UPN site -- Rattletrap, 05:32:07 09/09/01 Sun

I don't know about anyone else's experience, but our local UPN affiliate has been going with this sort of minimalist ad campaign. All we get is this screen that says "Buffy returns with new episodes on October 2." No trailers even. They're killin' me here, they're killin me.

I've seen more previews for Enterprise and Roswell, what's up with that?
[> [> Re: Cool new promo on UPN site -- Kerri, 08:53:33 09/09/01 Sun

That's odd! My local UPN station has been treating Buffy as though its the best thing that ever happened(which it probably is for UPN). Yesterday I watched something on UPN(which is pretty rare considering the crap they have on) and in the course of the hour I watched the channel I saw 7 Buffy promos. In addition to the Sunnydale is going to hell one there is a joint Buffy/Roswell promo that has scenes from the first episode(I'm not sure if you can download this one online yet but if you can its definately worth seeing).
[> [> Re: Cool new promo on UPN site -- Wisewoman, 09:52:58 09/09/01 Sun

It's exactly the same situation with UPN here in Vancouver--I was beginning to wonder if they were even going to show Season 6 of Buffy! However, my husband, who stays up way later than I do watching TV, says he has seen some Buffy promos very late at night...
[> [> [> Re: Cool new promo on UPN site -- Cynthia, 08:49:17 09/10/01 Mon

I think that they are showing Buffy promo's later in the evening out of fear that they may frighten young children. I mean having a hand coming out of a grave can be rather horrifying.

Personnally, I think this image has been used way too often. Very time I see this image in the Buffy promos I think Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and of numerous posters and tv ads for bad (or even good for that matter) B Horror Flicks.

Plus it implys that same body which was buried four? five months ago, is the one coming out of the ground. Five months of worms, bacteria, etc grawing away at what once was Buffy. Are Willow's powers going to be so strong that she can actually reverse all that decay? And if it's not Buffys original body, why would the new one need to claw it's way out of the ground?

Personnal, I'm beginning to that this is one of Joss's "McGuffins". The Willow resurrecting/reincarating Buffy theme I can see. The clawing out of the ground part I can not. Time will tell LOL.

I wonder if Wheldon meet with the UPN guys and purposefully set up an ad series that would tease and yet misled.
[> [> [> [> Re: Cool new promo on UPN site -- Drizzt, 12:43:18 09/10/01 Mon

Joss said in an interview after The Gift, that yes Buffy is really dead and rotting in her grave. Then said she would be back and the mechanism of her return would not be too hokey, cheesy, or other negative adjectices...

Note; paraphrasing above, go to a Buffy news site for the actual interview.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Cool new promo on UPN site -- Dedalus, 13:06:34 09/10/01 Mon

Thanks for the word up.

I gotta say, I love the hand coming out of the grave. Very dramatic, the way it was set up, what with the crescendoing music and the transition from black and white to color.

So that's how they're going to do it, huh? I was wondering about the logistics. Looks like she's coming straight out of the grave.

Incidentally, I think the whole Willow bringing her back with magic is not the way it's going to go down. If you read the new EW, you know that the scene with all of them at the grave site is the first scene. Buffy is not scheduled to show up until the second hour. Or at least, the real, non-robot Buffy. I think it will be more complicated than that.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Cool new promo on UPN site -- Drizzt, 13:21:40 09/10/01 Mon

Hope it has something to do with Dawn. There would be a neat symetry of Buffys blood being what was used to create Dawn and Dawns blood being used to ressurect Buffy. Scenerio... Dracula was created by the Monks for one reason only; to get a sample of Buffy's blood so they could create a geneticaly related sister for the Key-lifeforce to inhabit. The Key IS Dawn's soul IMHO.

Kind of like that Angel, Drusilla, Darla triangle where the mother vampire Darla becomes the child vampire, and Darla's sire is her duaghter Drussila...

Weird circular symmetry. And irony, I allways love irony:)
Why did Angel leave Sunnydale? -- Juliette, 11:36:18 09/09/01 Sun

I was reading the 'Sex in the Buffyverse' topic and it reminded me of something I had been wondering about. Why, exactly, did Angel leave Sunnydale? Granted, his relationship with Buffy was looking increasingly unworkable, though I think even that can be debated - she seemed happy enough, and given her life expectancy, does it really matter that they couldn't marry and have children? Anyway, given that their romantic relationship needed to end, why did he leave town altogether? - Because he felt he could leave Buffy to slay demons in Sunydale while he could do more good elsewhere? - Because he felt that Buffy could handle herself and didn't need him any more? - Because he was worried about her taking risks for his sake? - Because he couldn't stand being around her and not having sex with her?

Also, why is it that Angel feels he needs to leave but Spike sticks around? Is it because Spike has never actually slept with Buffy? Because Spike is still stalking Buffy? Is it significant that when Buffy died, Spike was right there supporting her, (albeit unsuccessfully) but Angel was in another dimension trying to rescue Cordelia?
[> Angel drinking Buffy's blood -- Kerri, 14:26:49 09/09/01 Sun

I think something that added to the decision, though oviously not Angel's original motivation, was his drinking Buffy's blood. In Amends Angel had a dream where he drank from Buffy and Jenny/the first evil told him that he would hurt Buffy. I think it was too much for Angel to face Buffy after letting her risk her life for his. Also this act was sexual, as mentioned in the post below, it may have further tempted Angel not to mention given him a taste for human blood again. Just one possible motivation you didn't mention.
[> [> Re: Angel drinking Buffy's blood -- Drizzt, 16:04:37 09/09/01 Sun

Angel had "perfect happiness" when he was with Buffy, wich set off the brutal hidden aspect of an allready horrible curse; he became Angelous again.

Angel loves Buffy, but being near her he is allways near what could make him happy. The incredibly ironic thing is that happiness clause will make him evil and want to hurt the person he loves more than anyone else in the world.

Angel should have remained human; if Buffy knew his options of be human and she dies sooner or be a vampire and not be with him she would have chosen temperary hapiness and an earlier death. He should have at least explained the nature of his choice before making it without her knowladge. Could have, should have; but tragedy is what moves our hearts to care, not happily ever after...
[> [> [> Re: Why Angel left Sunnydale -- Liam, 11:05:19 09/10/01 Mon


To answer your question, I would pick the third answer: 'Because he was worried about her taking risks for his sake'. Buffy was prepared to risk her own life to save his, at the possible risk of causing the destruction of Sunnydale and of its inhabitants. Even if they don't have sex, their relationship is still Buffy's weak spot. How can she be a proper Slayer if she has to look after him? He obviously regarded himself as a distraction from her true mission.

While Angel had already made up his decision to leave, his drinking Buffy's blood would have strengthened it; and I believe that it helped reconcile Buffy to his decision as well. It also explains his decision not to remain human in 'I Will Remember You'.
[> [> [> [> Re: Why Angel left Sunnydale -- Lia, 15:17:55 09/10/01 Mon

I think he did want to give her a normal life and all that stuff that Buffy's Mum/ The Mayor said to him had an effect. They were two people that were outside the relationship, and even though they were on opposite sides of the biased spectrum (one wanting to harm her, one wanting to help her)they both came up with pretty much the same points. I think he was having trouble leaving her - hence showing up at her Prom and making whether or not to say goodbye a reason, and drinking her blood was that extra shove that showed him just how capable he was of hurting her so that he, y'know, went ahead and left. I don't neccesarilly agree with his reasons, but then I'm not Angel....
d'Herblay honors us with a new essay! -- Liquidram, 13:54:15 09/09/01 Sun

The End of the World," As We Know It - Defining Apocalypse in the Buffyverse
[> Great essay!!! -- Kerri, 14:52:31 09/09/01 Sun

Great job d'Herbly. Really interesting!

A few points I had questions about: -You say that Buffy has been the cause of many of the apocalypses she stops. While this is true it could probably be said about many other individuals that are influenial in the supernatural world. Someone with as large an influence asBuffy is bound to change the world she lives it. After all she is the Slayer and thus holds a great deal of power, be it used for good or evil.

-I see your point about not all apocalypses actually ending the world. I think they can be put into a few different categories. 1)Opening the Hellmouth-while it is a dimentianal portal it does not seem to have the drastic effects of the key or acathla and its effects seem temporary as in the Hellmouth closes after its opening. 2) Other dimentional portals-basically-Dawn and acathla. The Key seems to have more capacity for destruction then any other form of apocalypse-it can destroy every dimention that exists. Acathla will destroy earth completely-sucking it into hell. Although in my mind I'm not sure whether this dimention will be sucked into hell or just its inhabitants. If its the later of the two then it really is somewhere between this and my next category. Which leads us to...3)Altering this dimention and its inhabitants. This seems to be the Judge and the Mayor. They can both could in theory, if not stopped, could whipe out all the human inhabitants but not destroy the actual dimention.

After that little rant just one more thing... After reading your essay I went to a few dictionaries and found what I consider to be the most fitting description at Great or total devastation; doom. I think that pretty much defines apocalypse in the Buffyverse.

Anyway, fantastic essay!!!!
[> [> Thanks!! -- d'Herblay, 15:30:07 09/09/01 Sun

Ok, in response to point one: I was being a little flippant about Buffy's responsibility for the apocalypses, but this was the calculus I used to determine that she was at the root of at least half of them: a) she turned Angel to Angelus, leading to "Becoming"; b) who else could piss off a world-loving guy like Spike into helping to assemble the Judge?; c) I compressed all the Hellmouth- openings into one, figuring that opening the Hellmouth could only cause the destruction of the world once. Then I gave her partial responsibility for enabling the Master's rise in "Prophecy Girl." This is the fuzziest of maths, and I have no intention of standing by it in the face of overwhelming opposition. And anyway, had Buffy not existed, Buffy wouldn't exist, and I would be tallying up the apocalypses on The Job (year to date: zero), so in a sense, everything is her fault!

In response to point two: first, we simply do not how traumatizing the opening of the Hellmouth would be. We've only ever seen the first demon in line to get out of it.

Second, these are the categories I was assigning apocalypses to: a) cataclysm, from the Greek for "inundation," used to describe the Biblical flood. This category would match to your 1) & 2). Basically anything that destroys the concrete boundaries between our dimension and that of the demons, as the Biblical flood destroyed the boundary between land and sea. b) extinction-level event, which I ripped off from the movie Deep Impact. Corresponds to your category three. Results in the extinction of humankind. c) eschaton, from the Greek for "the last" and the root of the word eschatology. The end of the humanity, the end of the world, the end of time. The final battle. We haven't seen an eschaton yet in Buffy, though what I've heard, Fray involves an eschaton--just not for humans!

Finally, as to Damn round-heeled descriptivist dictionaries telling you how a word is used and not what it means.

Thanks for your comments!
[> Re: d'Herblay honors us with a new essay! -- Humanitas, 15:18:17 09/09/01 Sun

Good essay. I've been wondering about this very topic ever since Buffy and Giles' conversation in The Gift.

I think you have a slight incosisnacy, though. Since we know that everything in BtVS/AtS is metaphor, I think it is legitimate to consider the events of Graduation Day to be an appocalypse. Graduation is the end of the high school world, with or without giant snake-monsters. I think if you're going to include Surprise/Innocence you almost have to include GD as well.

Still, great work, especially given that the definition is a bit slippery. :)
[> [> Thanks!! And am I inconsistent? -- d'Herblay, 15:55:12 09/09/01 Sun

You may know that everything on BtVS/AtS is metaphor. Everyone on this board but I may know that everything on BtVS/AtS is metaphor. My deep inner precincts that I don't like to talk about may know it's all metaphor. But for the purposes of the essay, I wanted to get to the material meaning behind, not Joss's use of the word apocalypse, but the characters' use of the word.

The criterion I used for determining what was considered an "apocalypse" was this: a character on the show had to refer to events as being an "apocalypse," or "Armageddon," or "destroying the world," or "the end of the world." Angel, in "Surprise," says assembling the Judge will bring forth "Armageddon," and Drusilla, in "Innocence," says, "We're going to destroy the world." So it's on my list. No one, to my knowledge, makes any such reference to the Mayor's graduation address. So it's not.

Finally, with regard to your argument that those events that are metaphoric apocalypses must be regarded as apocalypses, I would remind you that the events of "The Harsh Light of Day" are as cataclysmic for Buffy as those of "Graduation Day." But if we include "The Harsh Light of Day," in which nothing materialistically apocalyptic happens, on the list of apocalypses, then there's no basis for making any sort of material analysis of the events of the show.

Thanks for your comments! I'm working overtime here trying to justify myself. Keep me in the gantlet!
[> [> [> Ascenscion -- Helen, 02:11:15 09/10/01 Mon

Further evidence for Graduation Day not presenting an apocalyptic event, is that an assencion (?)(sorry I have a degree in English and I can't spell - damning indictment of English education system) has occured before, in Sharpsville in the 19th century It was pretty bad for Sharpsville, but if Giles had to look in a crusty old book to find out about it, then it was probably not an event which threatened the fabric of reality, or the general human population. There was also the ascension (I'm just going to vary the spelling until one of them looks right) of Lohesh, which despite being the worst thing Anyanka had ever seen (stop and marvel) could not have done much lasting damage.
[> [> [> Well defended! -- Humanitas, 12:28:03 09/10/01 Mon

Point of view is essential, and I had overlooked yours in the essay. Well done!
[> [> [> [> Re: Well defended! -- Helen, 03:30:26 09/11/01 Tue

thanks - I feel all emotional now!
[> Oops! It's not Greek to me! -- D'oh!blay, 22:38:58 09/09/01 Sun

The Greek characters in the essay did not come out correctly. This is my fault, not Liquidram's. The Greek root for apocalypse is apokaluyiV, and for eschaton, FONT FACE="Symbol">escaton. This should work for everyone who has the Symbol font installed. If you have trouble reading this let me know.

[> [> taken care of it -- Solitude1056, 07:29:41 09/10/01 Mon

Fixed the source code & sent it back to Liq. It'll be uploaded (along with link on main fictionary page) as soon as she bothers to wake up & log on. ;-)
[> [> [> Thanks!! -- d'Herblay, 07:33:59 09/10/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> It's now fixed!! -- d'Herblay, 09:54:38 09/10/01 Mon

"The End of the World," As We Know It: Defining Apocalypse in the Buffyverse now with fancy Greek letters!

Many thanks to 'dram and Sol!
[> [> [> bothers to wake up and log in ... I'll have you know -- Liquidram, 15:26:37 09/10/01 Mon

that school has started again, so I am once again, TaxiMom up at the crack of dawn still with no sleep. Sheesh, gimme a break already.
[> [> Re: I think it's funnier with the question marks -- mundusmundi, 08:51:50 09/10/01 Mon

But that's just the magic that is me. Very enjoyable essay. We must've been on the same wavelength, as I'd been recently contemplating whether Giles's calculations were correct (but had neither the gumption nor the energy to follow through on it, unlike yourself). Even metaphorically, I wouldn't consider "Graduation Day" an apocalypse. I liked your choice of words -- let's see, what was it? Ah yes -- extinction-level event, even though you didn't apply it precisely to this particular episode. Maybe a more miniscule corollary, like the volcanic eruption at Pompeii, best defines the potentiality of that occasion.

Cleveland, eh? In Columbus, it's John Cooper's dunderhead demons that are still being exorcised.
[> [> [> Thanks!! But I prefer my humor to be *intentional* -- d'Herblay, 09:49:44 09/10/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> Re: Thanks!! But I prefer my humor to be *intentional* -- mundusmundi, 11:28:59 09/10/01 Mon

I thought it was intentional. (Or, to put on critic's airs: "Cheerfully absurdist.") That's why it cracked me up.

Anyway, sometimes the funniest things can happen unintentionally. (Just a Prick Erudite Poster's humble opinion! ;)
[> [> [> [> [> Hey I saw that like my mind translated it out for me......... -- Rufus, 16:38:29 09/10/01 Mon

I prefer PEP to the boring old pick erudite poster. It made more sense that way.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Agreed! Here's to PEPs. ;) -- mundusmundi, 19:08:05 09/10/01 Mon

[> [> Re: Oops! It's not Greek to me! -- Cleanthes, 14:24:31 09/10/01 Mon


Hey, how do you do that? (here on this forum, I mean) I mentioned the Greek word and spelling for "Demon" in another thread but I couldn't figure out how to make the font look right, it came out looking like this: "ûª¬ . "apokaluyiV" is what I get if I cut and past your wonderful Greek script.
[> [> [> Re: Oops! It's not Greek to me! -- d'Herblay, 16:39:45 09/10/01 Mon

type <FONT FACE="Symbol">apokaluyiV</FONT> for apokaluyiV.

The characters map a little funny--for example Q corresponds to theta. And you can't do characters with diacritics. See this page for more information.

To have a character with a tonos or a dialytika, as in for example oποκoλυψις, you need to use the Windows Glyph List 4 (I can't promise that it's supported by all systems and browsers) and type this: o&pi;&omicron;&kappa;o&lambda;&upsilon;&psi;&io ta;&sigmaf;. It's kind of a pain.

Whatever you do, don't type <FONT FACE="Symbol"> without following it with a </FONT>, or else the bottom of the board will look like this:
[> [> [> [> Re: Oops! It's not Greek to me! -- Cleanthes, 10:51:34 09/12/01 Wed


I'm just checking this board for the first time since ...
[> [> [> Greek alphabet, English order -- anom, 20:08:17 09/10/01 Mon

If you're pasting it in before a paragraph return that's in an "English" (really Roman) font, it'll convert the Greek letters (usually from the Symbol font) to that font.

Thing is, whoever set up the Symbol font based the order of the Greek letters on English alphabetical order. So zeta, which is #6 in the Greek alphabet, comes last, like the z whose sound it shares. There's no direct counterpart to c, but chi is spelled w/a c in English, so it goes 3rd. Psi (the ps in apocalypse) looks sorta like a y, so that's how it comes out in Roman fonts, & they put it before zeta. Capital nu looks just like H, so it's 8th. Etcetera. If you're typing in the Symbol font, you type these English letters on the keyboard to get those Greek ones on the screen. Weird.

Current board | More September 2001