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  • Originally posted by vampmogs View Post

    Yes but the fundamental difference is that with a soul they feel remorse for these histories. With a soul they're good. They still may not be perfect but they have the capacity for real goodness.

    Soulless Spike wasn't good and he wasn't remorseful. There's not a single line in S4-S6 where Spike expresses remorse for his past and he kills with Drusilla in S5 and attempts to kill again in S6 and never expresses guilt for this either. Even when he's at his best (helping Buffy or watching Dawn) he's still fundamentally evil at the core. He's not in anyway sorry the countless lives he's taken or the horrific things he's done to girl's Dawn's age. He's still utterly incapable of understanding why Katrina's death rocked Buffy so much ("That's all it is to you isn't it? Just another body?") and he's still willing to murder an innocent the moment he believes his chip has stopped working (Smashed). He's still the same guy who thought "famine pictures from those dusty countries" were "funny" and who smirked at the "nasty things" that Marcus liked to do to children. The chip doesn't change that. It might mean he can't act out and hurt people anymore but it didn't change who he was on the inside.

    The soul completely changes things. This is very evident when comparing soulless Spike's comments about starving people in Pangs vs his comments about starving people in Underneath. In BtVS S4 soulless Spike thought famine pictures were amusing. Whereas, in AtS S5 Spike talks sadly about how the world chooses to 'put on a happy face' and ignore all the starving people in the world. It perfectly encapsulates the stark difference between Spike with/without a soul and how one of them has the capacity to feel empathy and sadness for humanity whilst the other thought human suffering was funny. And the guy who Buffy was sleeping with in S6 was the guy who thought human suffering was funny, not the empathetic guy. He literally jokes about a decorator he killed right beside her in Dead Things.

    The chip isn't a soul. The chip isn't a "spark of humanity" as Spike calls it in Beneath You or a "human heart" as Angel calls it in Consequences. The chip was an entirely superficial change, if you can ever call it a 'change' at all. It was a "leash" as Xander refers to it in Seeing Red or the equivalent of "a serial killer in prison" as Buffy states in Crush.

    S6 repeatedly bangs home the point that as long as Spike remained soulless he could never be good. Even at his best he still found satisfaction out of watching the Biker demons terrorise Sunnydale residents (smirking as the woman screams in terror from inside her home much to the disapproval of Dawn). He still terrified an innocent girl and tried to kill her in the alley without a hint of regret or guilt about it afterwards. He still harboured the demon eggs despite the threat they posed to the town. He still ended up attacking Buffy and nearly raping her despite loving her etc.

    Whereas Angel had genuine empathy for humanity as a whole. He says in Epiphany that he wants to help because "He doesn't think people should have to suffer." And S7!Spike says in Never Leave Me that the soul was an eye-opener about how "truly wretched" he was without a soul, which is something soulless Spike couldn't comprehend. Soulless Spike didn't care about suffering unless it was about him or someone immediate he cared about.



    See Spike and Angel definitely aren't "pretty much the same" though because, as you say, the fundamental difference between them is that Angel could kill if he wants to but he chooses not to because he doesn't want to hurt people. Whereas Spike would kill if he could but he can't because there's literally something preventing him from doing so. One is not hurting people because of genuine goodness inside of them and a sense of morality and the other isn't hurting people because he's caged up like a serial killer on a leash. That's a huge difference! It's why Buffy gets so grossed out and angry when 14 year old Dawn naively says that the chip and the soul are the "same diff." Now, after the AR, S7 Dawn feels very differently when things got a little more real.

    Obviously people with souls can still be bad and do horrific things but the difference is that they can go either way. Soulless vampires can never truly be good as long as they have no soul. They can play nice at times, kill bad guys if forced into it or maybe just to satisfy their bloodlust, or even have genuine affection for certain people, but they'll always be evil and therefore fundamentally impaired at the core. Buffy knows this which is why it's eating away at her. And it should eat away at her because she's fundamentally a good person, not to mention a hero/the Slayer, and she literally jumps the bones of a guy who tried to kill an innocent girl in the very same episode. The series holds onto it's basic sense of morality by never forgetting that and rightfully depicting it as the moral dilemma that it is.
    What you are leaving out of the equation is chipped Spike, who is capable of good even when it's not his norm. Why else would he stay and defend Dawn and the scoobies for three months when the only gain was that he was saving people he cared about? Chipped Spike is capable of insight and altruism, it just takes a lot to bring it out. He only careas about those he is attached to, but that's not really uncommon. Yes, he is still capable of evil, but he also seeks out his soul when he crosses a line - in large part to make sure he can no longer harm Buffy.

    Souled Angel commits at least one massacre on Angel when he locks the lawyers and their dates in the wine cellar to be tortured and killed by Dru and Darla. Manners told Lindsey that this was a plus one event, meaning there's a good chance that half the people there had nothing to do with Angel. Even souled, his empathy is clearly limited to those he feels deserve it, and lacking in those that piss him off and anyone in the room with them.

    After he was resouled by Willow, sought redemption but he never actually apologized or felt bound to atone for those he killed as Angelus. I think the most gutting comment in Amends was the Sunnydale father who spoke of how Angel killed his two small children and left them in their beds looking like they were asleep, so that he discovered their bodies before Angel killed him. The show never shows his even attempting any form of atonement. His need for redemption is all about him, not about his victims. Spike had the goodness inside to seek out his soul, and he returned because he wanted to make reparations. Reparation is an outward form of giving back to the victim, focusing on what they need. He let Buffy decide exactly what she needed from him.

    But the real evil by your standards is Anya. She was forced to become human, continually bragged about all the tortures she had afflicted, probably killed more people than the fanged four combined, and chose to become a demon again. If it's wrong for Buffy to sleep with Spike, then why is it not even more wrong to for Xander to be with Anya. She was souled when she committed her atrocities, and souled when she bragged about them. Is she not also fundamentally impaired at the core?

    Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Nothing13 View Post

      This is also the point of what I have said:
      -If Spike is evil, he is disgusting; if Angelus is evil, he is "cool".
      -Angel is the hero because he is the main character instead Spike is "the idiot" because he is a side character

      This was generally the point of season 5 of Angel and why Spike's personality in season 7 of Buffy for me was inconsistent with his personality of season 5 of Angel. In season 5 of Angel, He was represented too much like an idiot/ass-hole, as comic relief for laugh in order to make Angel better by comparison (that also didn't look so better in terms of his behavior). Writers used him only for ratings because otherwise Angel probably would have canceled with season 4


      I don't want to enter too much into scientific arguments but I want to say my opinion on the matter,
      I agree much or less with your arguments about the show in relation to the difference between souled vampires and soulless vampires however for me it t necessary to specify some things because the entire logic of the show is wrong.

      The soul is a religious "supernatural thing". In reality, there is no proof that humans have souls because "they are the best of creation" according to some religions. Basing on science or any scientific serious analysis there isn't any proof of the existence of the soul. Everyone can believe what they want, but it is necessary to separate science/reality from faith, ideologies, and beliefs.
      Ted Bundy and Richard Ramirez were serial killers with personality disorders such as psychopathy or/and sociopathy and antisocial personality disorders. They behaved in that way in relation to their brain and mind that was/is and must be studied by psychology, psychiatry, neurology, and neuroscience. People can say what they want about them but their words mean nothing compared to psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and neurologists.

      Realistically speaking comparing "supernatural vampires" to human serial killers make no sense because:
      • They are supernatural creatures and supernatural things haven't a coherent logic and it doesn't follow the scientific method
      • We cannot do a scientific analysis of vampires' brains and understand the reason for their behavior
      • In the supernatural context, for vampires is natural to be evil and their nature is to kill; the only thing similar in a pseudo-scientific way of thinking is a new species of predators that predate humans like we predate animals.
      The "bullshit" that predators kill only for food is partially wrong: Lions, Tigers, Sharks, Crocodiles kill principally for food but not only for it but they also feel pleasure from the hunting, killing, the taste of blood (for example cats kills and torture lizards or other small animals because haunting is their nature), it is their nature but since their brain isn't evolved like humans they have limited capabilities of decisions and choices in good and in bad senses. Scientifically speaking, we don't know how an intelligent species of predators will behave.
      We, humans, behave as we do also because we are primates/mammals (simplistically speaking like "monkeys" are not predators like "crocodiles") and we behave in the way we do not because we decided to behave in this way but also because this is our biology of mammals/primates.

      Realistically speaking, a scientific species of predators similar to "supernatural vampires" can't be judged according to human morality. For these being would be normality hunt, predate and killing humans like we kill other animals.
      Obviously, they will feel pleasure from the hunt, killing, and blood because they are predators, we humans don't feel it because we aren't predators like this (like comparing lions to monkeys), as a matter of fact, psychopaths are called predators intraspecies, and it is an "anomaly" for the typical human behavior considered a personality disorder

      Obviously, our more developed brains can permit us to questions about things and create ethical and moral points of view and philosophies but we as a species don't have a predatory instinct because we are primates (instead for example of felines). However, the evolution of humans' brain produced also the so-called personality disorders (that include many "mental illnesses" and psychopathy is one of them)
      So the comparison vampires=serial killers make sense only metaphorically speaking in the logic of this show, but according to science and coherent logic, it doesn’t make sense.
      You cannot compare a human serial killer that behaves according to a personality disorder in relation to our typical “specie behavior” to another being that is a predator because of his own nature like a vampire. The theoretical “scientific vampire” that doesn't kill is the anomaly with personality disorder according to his specie parameters

      Like I have already said the show is pervaded by anthropocentrism, as a matter of fact, for example, phrases as "spark of humanity" and "human heart" are wrong because they link Humanity=Goodnes, goodness is not a prerogative ONLY of humanity as a species so it doesn't make sense
      Humanity is related also to bad behaviors as selfishness (in good or bad), so according to this logic, I can decide that the metaphorical word humanity=selfishness instead of goodness. It is wrong, there isn't a behavioral characteristic that can affiliate to a specie in such a predominant way that the word that defines the specie (humanity) is also the word that defines determined behaviors (human behaviors not in the general scientific sense but in the common usage sense in term of goodness)
      I understand that it is a way of speaking in relation to society (humanitarian organization) but coherently and scientifically it isn’t correct because it is influenced by our anthropocentric view of nature/universe/world

      Like i have already said Anthropocentrism is a philosophical viewpoint arguing that humans are the central or most significant entities in the world. This is a basic belief embedded in many Western religions and philosophies. Anthropocentrism regards humans as separate from and superior to nature and holds that human life has intrinsic value while other entities (including animals, plants, mineral resources, and so on) are resources that may justifiably be exploited for the benefit of humankind.
      However, scientific discoveries and the increase of environmental awareness about many problems of nature: pollution, global warming, ozone layer depletion, acid rain, natural resource depletion, overpopulation, waste disposal, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity challenged this viewpoint
      This caused a shift from an anthropocentric view to an ecocentric view of life and the world/universe in our time (similar to the passage from geocentrism to heliocentrism) because from a scientific point of view humans are animals and part of the ecosystem and biomes of nature. As a matter of fact, Humans are apex predators that predate the environments (animals and plants included). Humans or early modern humans are taxonomically a sub-species of homo; the history of human evolution is a part of the history of primates that lead to the emergence of Homo Sapiens. As a matter of fact, humans are primates and more generally mammals. It is estimated that over 99.9% of all species that ever lived are extinct. The average lifespan of species is 1–10 million years. Scientifically, human extinction isn't really a problem from a planetary point of view, it can also be helpful to the planet and other species.​
      Actually humans display animal like behaviour all the time. They expand into others territory and fight for dominance and to kill. All behaviors from Predatory animals. The desire for power and control is the same as in the animal Kingdom . Often there are b/s reasons to justify it but its the same thing. Its why conflicts are normally with neighbouring countries amd peoples.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by bespangeled View Post
        What you are leaving out of the equation is chipped Spike, who is capable of good even when it's not his norm. Why else would he stay and defend Dawn and the scoobies for three months when the only gain was that he was saving people he cared about? Chipped Spike is capable of insight and altruism, it just takes a lot to bring it out. He only careas about those he is attached to, but that's not really uncommon. Yes, he is still capable of evil, but he also seeks out his soul when he crosses a line - in large part to make sure he can no longer harm Buffy.
        I'm not leaving it out I just don't think it makes a difference as to whether he's evil or not. The Mayor was undeniably evil but he still had a great deal of fatherly love for Faith and showed genuine tenderness, kindness and care for her. Spike choosing to stay in Sunnydale was about protecting Dawn who was an extension of Buffy, and a form of honouring Buffy who he made a promise to (he also tells Dawn she should go to school because "it's what Buffy would have wanted"). That's perfectly fine but it doesn't contradict the fact that he's evil because even the most sadistic and evil of people can have attachments/love/affection for particular individuals. Again, even when Spike is at his best which you could argue is in Bargaining I & II, they still included a moment of him enjoying the terror of random Sunnydale citizens to remind us of his nature.

        And it may not be uncommon to primarily care about only those who you're attached to but it is pretty uncommon to care about other people so little that you're utterly incapable of feeling any kind of empathy for them or even find amusement in their suffering. Most people wouldn't laugh at a random woman screaming in terror as her house is invaded, or not feel any hint of genuine care and concern for disaster victims, or laugh at famine pictures of starving people etc.

        Souled Angel commits at least one massacre on Angel when he locks the lawyers and their dates in the wine cellar to be tortured and killed by Dru and Darla. Manners told Lindsey that this was a plus one event, meaning there's a good chance that half the people there had nothing to do with Angel. Even souled, his empathy is clearly limited to those he feels deserve it, and lacking in those that piss him off and anyone in the room with them.
        Nah, context matters. The moment in Reunion is so shocking precisely because it was considered so abnormal for Angel to do this. Everyone expected Angel to do the right thing in that situation (even Dru is shocked when he doesn't) and it stuns everyone (the lawyers, Darla and Dru, his friends) because he does the unexpected. That doesn't make it any better but the 'twist' is completely dependant on the fact that the characters and the audience assume that Angel was going to do the right thing. And you only assume that if up until that point Angel was a character who by in large did the right/just/heroic thing. The wine cellar was a result of W&H lawyers working 24/7 to drive him crazy, Darla trying to turn him dark all season, and then him losing Darla because of W&H's actions right at the moment he swears to be there for her in her dying days. It was 100% wrong and unheroic but it was also out of the norm for Angel and intended to be so.

        After he was resouled by Willow, sought redemption but he never actually apologized or felt bound to atone for those he killed as Angelus. I think the most gutting comment in Amends was the Sunnydale father who spoke of how Angel killed his two small children and left them in their beds looking like they were asleep, so that he discovered their bodies before Angel killed him. The show never shows his even attempting any form of atonement. His need for redemption is all about him, not about his victims. Spike had the goodness inside to seek out his soul, and he returned because he wanted to make reparations. Reparation is an outward form of giving back to the victim, focusing on what they need. He let Buffy decide exactly what she needed from him.
        Wholeheartedly disagree with you assessment of Angel and of ensouled Spike for the matter but I think this is besides the point. Whatever you think of ensouled Angel and his flaws I would expect even you would give him enough credit to say that he would not find pictures of starving people funny, and not find pedophilia funny, and that he wouldn't reminisce about killing a homeless man on a bench etc. That's the fundamental difference between ensouled Angel (and Spike) vs Soulless Spike who is fundamentally, and mythologically evil at the core.

        But the real evil by your standards is Anya. She was forced to become human, continually bragged about all the tortures she had afflicted, probably killed more people than the fanged four combined, and chose to become a demon again. If it's wrong for Buffy to sleep with Spike, then why is it not even more wrong to for Xander to be with Anya. She was souled when she committed her atrocities, and souled when she bragged about them. Is she not also fundamentally impaired at the core?
        I don't disagree with any of this and have stated this repeatedly over the years (which would be archived on these forums for sure!). I said all along that it's hard for me to feel empathy for her in Hells Bells considering what she did to Stewart Burns (turned him into a demon and subjected him to torture for decades in a hell dimension vs breaking up a wedding - hmmm which is worse?). Likewise, I think it's ridiculous we're meant to think that Xander leaving Anya at the altar is awful but then in Entropy she spends the entire episode trying to kill Xander and trick his friends into killing him which would have devastated them and it never gets brought up again. As a human she teamed up with vampires and tried to have Willow killed at The Bronze, she spent seasons talking nostalgically about all the men she gruesomely killed without ever feeling bad about, and then she reverts back to being a demon again and cursing people because she gets her heartbroken. I mean, the whole reason she even got the vengeance gig in the first place is because she cursed Olaf as a human woman! Anya is by far the most immoral character on the show. She finally turns a corner in Selfless and the show finally takes her seriously but yes, she's fundamentally immoral and impaired.

        The problem with Anya is that the writers treat her so un-seriously that it's hard for me to as well. Because she really does just completely contradict the moral basis of the show and the same basic standards that all the other characters are held to (Angel, Faith, Spike etc) and her character doesn't hold up under any kind of serious scrutiny. It makes Buffy/Spike a much stronger storyline because they do take it seriously. But it is hard for me to invest time and energy dissecting Anya seriously when she was treated as just one big joke for almost her entire run on the show. However, yes, objectively the same moral problems that arise from Buffy/Spike are just as true of Xander/Anya. The only difference is the writers seem to think they don't purely on the basis that Anya is now human and not demon despite, as you say, her sense of morality changing very, very little between the two.

        ~ Banner by Nina ~

        Comment


        • Actually humans display animal like behaviour all the time. They expand into others territory and fight for dominance and to kill. All behaviors from Predatory animals. The desire for power and control is the same as in the animal Kingdom . Often there are b/s reasons to justify it but its the same thing. Its why conflicts are normally with neighbouring countries amd peoples.
          I agree, the point was that humans since are mammals/primates aren't a predatory species as felines, crocodiles, etc. with the need of killing with the pleasure from hunting, killing and the taste of blood (generally with the exception of psychopaths and serial killers)
          That humans are the apex predators in the general sense is a scientific reality.

          I don't disagree with any of this and have stated this repeatedly over the years (which would be archived on these forums for sure!). I said all along that it's hard for me to feel empathy for her in Hells Bells considering what she did to Stewart Burns (turned him into a demon and subjected him to torture for decades in a hell dimension vs breaking up a wedding - hmmm which is worse?). Likewise, I think it's ridiculous we're meant to think that Xander leaving Anya at the altar is awful but then in Entropy she spends the entire episode trying to kill Xander and trick his friends into killing him which would have devastated them and it never gets brought up again. As a human she teamed up with vampires and tried to have Willow killed at The Bronze, she spent seasons talking nostalgically about all the men she gruesomely killed without ever feeling bad about, and then she reverts back to being a demon again and cursing people because she gets her heartbroken. I mean, the whole reason she even got the vengeance gig in the first place is because she cursed Olaf as a human woman! Anya is by far the most immoral character on the show. She finally turns a corner in Selfless and the show finally takes her seriously but yes, she's fundamentally immoral and impaired.

          The problem with Anya is that the writers treat her so un-seriously that it's hard for me to as well. Because she really does just completely contradict the moral basis of the show and the same basic standards that all the other characters are held to (Angel, Faith, Spike etc) and her character doesn't hold up under any kind of serious scrutiny. It makes Buffy/Spike a much stronger storyline because they do take it seriously. But it is hard for me to invest time and energy dissecting Anya seriously when she was treated as just one big joke for almost her entire run on the show. However, yes, objectively the same moral problems that arise from Buffy/Spike are just as true of Xander/Anya. The only difference is the writers seem to think they don't purely on the basis that Anya is now human and not demon despite, as you say, her sense of morality changing very, very little between the two.
          I agree with what you said (writers for me treated many things for a laugh when they shouldn't do it) but writers knew what they were doing as a matter of fact they connected the relationships of characters; so they were so unaware in relation to the comparison of Anya and Spike
          The relationships of the main characters of seasons 6-7 are interlinked together.

          Buffy-Spike and Relationships

          The main couple Buffy and Spike with:
          1. Xander-Anya
          2. Willow-Tara
          3. Faith-Robin Wood
          Buffy and Spike relationship during seasons 6-7 must follow the relationships of the other characters in terms of best/worst moments and positive/negative aspects of relationships:

          1) Xander-Anya
          -In season 6 both Xander and Buffy break up the relationship with Anya and Spike, Anya and Spike are emotionally destroyed and comfort each other "cheating" on Xander/Buffy. Xander and Buffy instead of being indifferent, are hurt by this event.
          -In season 7 Xander/Anya and Buffy/Spike try to resume their relationship but it ends with Spike and Anya dying in Chosen.

          2) Willow-Tara
          -In season 6 Spike/Buffy's relationship based on sex addiction is symbolically linked to Willow's addiction to magic. This addiction is bad for Buffy and Spike and also ruins Willow's persona and her relationship with Tara. The culmination of these problematic relationships is in the episode "Seeing Red" where Tara got killed and Willow turns Dark Willow because of her magic addiction, and Spike tries to rape Buffy.
          -In season 7 Willow tries to restart his activity with magic but is afraid of it like Buffy and Spike are afraid of their relationship, however, all characters during the season overcome these problems and reach the next stage: the "divine level":
          • Willow in Chosen got "divinized" in her relationship with Magic: Willow divinized
          • Spike in Chosen got "divinized" in his relationship with Buffy: Spike divinized
          From the worst in Seeing Red (Dark Willow and Spike's attempt rape) to the best in Chosen (the divinization of Willow and Spike in their relationships with Magic and Buffy)

          3) Faith-Robin Wood
          Both Spike and Robin have a problem with their mothers because of trauma during their past years. Robin Wood searches for a girlfriend like his mother (Nikki a Slayer) because of psychological problems like Spike's search for a girlfriend like his mother Anne.
          Robin dates, in the beginning, Buffy, and after Faith, 2 Slayers, because subconsciously they remind him of his mother Nikki, a Slayer. Spike is subconsciously attracted by Buffy because she remained his mother Anne.
          Spike's women in his life/unlife are symbolically related (Anne-Drusilla-Buffy):
          • Drusilla and Buffy's birthdays are on the same date: January 19
          • Spike mother's name Anne is the same as Buffy's second name: Buffy Anne Summers
          Faith replaces and compensates Nikki to Robin like Buffy Anne Summers replaces Anne to Spike in terms of emotional need.
          At the end of Season 7, Spike-Anya-Tara (the lovers of the main characters) dies and Robin Wood almost dies.
          The problems of comparing Buffy/Spike with Xander/Anya aren't only in relation to Anya but also for Xander:
          -How can Xander be so hypocritical and judgemental against Buffy (despite Soulless Spike's evident "moral problems") for stay with Spike because he is a killer when he also is in a relationship with Anya that was also a killer and she was even less justified to be it than Spike? Like you said she sometimes bragged about her killings in front of Xander
          -What Anya should be ashamed, according to Xander, to make sex with Soulless Spike when in terms of morality she can be even worse than him?
          Is Xander a total idiot, false, hypocrite person? Is this the "moral superiority" of Xander (with a Soul)?

          Personally, I think that writers despise Spike's popularity and the fact that many girls that watched the show liked these "bad boys" (like in the case of Damon for TVD), so they tried to denigrate "soulless Spike" symbolically denigrating "bad boys" in general and the relationships with them (Buffy-Spike's dysfunctional relationship in season 6 metaphorically represented the relationship of a girl with an irresponsible bad boy, punk biker).
          For me writers used the Buffy-Spike's dysfunctional relationship of season 6 in order to denigrate and criticize subtly and implicitly with a preaching morality:
          -Kinky sex
          -Bad-boys
          Last edited by Nothing13; 27-07-21, 07:17 PM.

          Comment


          • [QUOTE=vampmogs;n721566]

            I'm not leaving it out I just don't think it makes a difference as to whether he's evil or not. The Mayor was undeniably evil but he still had a great deal of fatherly love for Faith and showed genuine tenderness, kindness and care for her. Spike choosing to stay in Sunnydale was about protecting Dawn who was an extension of Buffy, and a form of honouring Buffy who he made a promise to (he also tells Dawn she should go to school because "it's what Buffy would have wanted"). That's perfectly fine but it doesn't contradict the fact that he's evil because even the most sadistic and evil of people can have attachments/love/affection for particular individuals. Again, even when Spike is at his best which you could argue is in Bargaining I & II, they still included a moment of him enjoying the terror of random Sunnydale citizens to remind us of his nature.

            And it may not be uncommon to primarily care about only those who you're attached to but it is pretty uncommon to care about other people so little that you're utterly incapable of feeling any kind of empathy for them or even find amusement in their suffering. Most people wouldn't laugh at a random woman screaming in terror as her house is invaded, or not feel any hint of genuine care and concern for disaster victims, or laugh at famine pictures of starving people etc.
            I disagree with you on this. You paint Spike as absolute evil and hand wave away anything good he does by minimizing and deflecting. The mayor cared about Faith and he was evil. He did send Faith out to die once, and threaten her as well. And he meant those threats. More important, if Faith had had a little sister the mayor wouldn't have promised to save her, wouldn't have held of his ascension for over three months to take care of her. He would never have devoted himself to taking care of her friends. Honoring someone you love by devoting yourself to the care of their loved one once they were gone is, not evil and it is good. It is selfless love of some sort. Only someone who cares gets benefit from that. It's not about Buffy because she is dead and rotting, so he will get nothing from Buffy. She will never know he did it. It's about Spike having changed because Maggie Walsh was an expert in operand conditioning.

            If the incidents you bring up point out that Spike is evil, then why doesn't all the good things he has done also make him good? After all there are plenty of immature teens who would both poke fun at famine pictures and smile at hearing a woman scream without thinking to help. Are they pure evil or are they immature *******s? Demons don't change, except the operand conditioning worked and Spike did change.

            Nah, context matters. The moment in Reunion is so shocking precisely because it was considered so abnormal for Angel to do this. Everyone expected Angel to do the right thing in that situation (even Dru is shocked when he doesn't) and it stuns everyone (the lawyers, Darla and Dru, his friends) because he does the unexpected. That doesn't make it any better but the 'twist' is completely dependant on the fact that the characters and the audience assume that Angel was going to do the right thing. And you only assume that if up until that point Angel was a character who by in large did the right/just/heroic thing. The wine cellar was a result of W&H lawyers working 24/7 to drive him crazy, Darla trying to turn him dark all season, and then him losing Darla because of W&H's actions right at the moment he swears to be there for her in her dying days. It was 100% wrong and unheroic but it was also out of the norm for Angel and intended to be so.
            Context matters....but only for Angel? You excuse him allowing a massacre while he is souled - because W&H really, really upset him"? If facilitating the death of15 people doesn't make him evil then what would? Maybe betraying all his friends by allowing W&H to wipe their memories and then install new memories created by W&H? Angel does not have the moral purity of Buffy.

            There are two very different standards at work here. Spike has context, too. Angelus is not Angel, but Angel kills when he needs to - back in China, as well as the lawyer buffet. Like Angel, Spike starts to become morally grey, but darker. Yes, he is still evil but he is evil lite, evil doing good things at times even for unselfish reasons. Was an unsouled vampire the best person for Buffy to pick as confidant and therapist - absolutely not. Was the relationship a trash fire - yes. But it was the good inside Spike that Buffy saw, even though the evil destroyed them. She wouldn't have expected the same choices from Angelus. And it was the good inside Spike that she believed in after he got the soul, like she believed in Angel.

            Yes, I saw season two, and I loved the shock value, but that is purely Watsonian. If we talk about BTVS in those terms then let's just agree that it is ll the writer's fault and move on. I can't mix the two views in discussing a moral conundrum. I adore Angel, and I adore Angelus, and there is a whole lot of Angelus in Angel. He didn't lose control, he took control. He was willing to have them all die for both practical reasons and for vengeance. Even with the soul, Angel has the drive to kill, to do evil. Otherwise what is the point? It's the tightrope he walks that makes his journey so fraught.


            Wholeheartedly disagree with you assessment of Angel and of ensouled Spike for the matter but I think this is besides the point. Whatever you think of ensouled Angel and his flaws I would expect even you would give him enough credit to say that he would not find pictures of starving people funny, and not find pedophilia funny, and that he wouldn't reminisce about killing a homeless man on a bench etc. That's the fundamental difference between ensouled Angel (and Spike) vs Soulless Spike who is fundamentally, and mythologically evil at the core.
            Right. You excoriate Spike for smiling when the women screamed, but will give him no credit for rescuing Dawn immediately afterward. Spike had neither a chip nor a Soul in Lovers Walk, so the true comparison their would be Spike reminiscing vs Angel killing Jenny and torturing Giles. The real problem here seems to me to be that you don't allow Spike and Angel to be different in personality. I will happily concede that Spike can be a real *******, with and without a soul. Different personalities.

            Unchipped Spike is evil but capable of affection and jealousy. Chipped Spike has learned to fit in with humans, and that means using whatever part of William he retains - the love's bitch comes with the package. Operand conditioning changed him. It was why he felt he could neither fully be a man or a monster. And when it came to making a choice he chose his soul. The demon chose to get a leash, a handler. An evil demon just doesn't do that. That doesn't make him better than Angel, it makes him a different person on a different journey.

            Angel seeks redemption. It's what he has said repeatedly and it's the entire point of the Shanshu. Redemption is something that he will feel inside, but it won't affect any of this victims. Spike came back and tried to make reparations. He told Buffy he would leave if she wanted him gone, and would stay to do anything she needed. That does affect his - Buffy. I would love to hear why you disagree on that. To me it's a basis of who they are.

            Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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            • Originally posted by bespangeled View Post
              If the incidents you bring up point out that Spike is evil, then why doesn't all the good things he has done also make him good?
              Because his actions mean very little if he's still the same person inside who laughs at children being molested and killed and doesn't value human life. And nothing between S2-S6 indicates to me whatsoever that his basic sense of morality (or lack thereof) about those things has changed at all. Actions are just surface-y stuff. I'm talking about what's inside. It's why his lack of remorse is such a huge deal for me. Because anyone who has killed hundreds upon hundreds of people for decades (men, women and children) and doesn't feel bad about it is automatically evil in my book and it's not remotely a grey area for me.

              The fact that soulless Spike had genuine affection for Buffy and Dawn doesn't change that for me. Put it this way, do you think the girl he tried to murder in Smashed would be convinced he's not bad because he loves Buffy and Dawn? What about the young couple who he and Dru killed in Crush? How many sleepless nights did Spike spend in S5-S6 feeling guilty about the terror he would have put that girl through or the pain that young couple's families are going through since their death? Zero.

              Mythologically Spike is evil. He's a soulless vampire and the world-building of the Buffyverse tells us that soulless vampires are evil. Soulless Spike repeatedly calls himself evil. Ensouled Spike says Soulless Spike was "evil and wretched." The character agrees with me. In my opinion it's clear cut and the onus is more on someone to prove why he isn't then for me to say why he is.

              Demons don't change, except the operand conditioning worked and Spike did change.
              A chip can't give someone a moral compass. It can't force Spike to think molestation is wrong or to have empathy for starving people. It can't make him value human life (which as we see in Dead Things is clearly the case - "That's all it is to you isn't it? Just another body"). I also don't believe that Maggie Walsh's chip had the power to override the ancient, supernatural and powerful force that vampires inherently feel when they're sired ("No, no. Feels great. Strong. Like I'm connected to a powerful all-consuming evil that's gonna suck the world into a fiery oblivion") and if it had done there'd have been no need for Spike to get a soul, after all.

              Context matters....but only for Angel? You excuse him allowing a massacre while he is souled - because W&H really, really upset him"?
              I will stop you there and quote what I said;

              "It was 100% wrong and unheroic but it was also out of the norm for Angel and intended to be so."

              There is no excusing on my part whatsoever. I was providing context for why Angel's actions in Reunion were abnormal for him, not excusing.

              Yes, he is still evil but he is evil lite
              If you agree with me that Spike was evil then I'm not even sure what we're debating about to be honest The entire point of my OG post was to say that Spike was evil and therefore S6 was right to depict Buffy as being troubled by her affair with him. If you want to consider him 'evil lite' but still acknowledge that he's evil then, eh I think that's very generous, but I'm inclined to just leave it there as we're probably drawing this out longer than it needs to be!

              Right. You excoriate Spike for smiling when the women screamed, but will give him no credit for rescuing Dawn immediately afterward. Spike had neither a chip nor a Soul in Lovers Walk, so the true comparison their would be Spike reminiscing vs Angel killing Jenny and torturing Giles. The real problem here seems to me to be that you don't allow Spike and Angel to be different in personality. I will happily concede that Spike can be a real *******, with and without a soul. Different personalities.
              Because rescuing Dawn straight afterwards doesn't make him any less evil. It's not as if some of the most wretched serial killers on the planet aren't known to have great affection and love for particular people. However, that love doesn't trump the depraved things they do to everyone else or the joy they get out of human suffering. And even when comparing to other vampires in the Buffyverse, did Harmony not protect Eve and Lorne from Hamilton in Underneath? She bravely told them to run whilst she tried to fend him off (despite being terrified of him as well - the scream). Did she not comfort a grieving Gunn in Shells? Was she not saddened by Fred's death and angry at Knox for killing her? And she did all this without a chip. But Harmony is still evil.

              Throughout all of my posts I have compared soulless Spike to not just Angel but ensouled (S7/AtS S5 Spike) as well. I specifically referenced the stark contrast between Spike in Pangs and Spike in Underneath and why the soul makes such an important difference. You have only chosen to focus on the Spike VS Angel comparisons and not touched on the soulless Spike vs ensouled Spike comparisons I have made. I'd direct you back to my OG post, where the OG point I was making is that the soul is incredibly important regardless.

              Angel seeks redemption. It's what he has said repeatedly and it's the entire point of the Shanshu. Redemption is something that he will feel inside, but it won't affect any of this victims. Spike came back and tried to make reparations. He told Buffy he would leave if she wanted him gone, and would stay to do anything she needed. That does affect his - Buffy. I would love to hear why you disagree on that. To me it's a basis of who they are.
              The reason I don't wish to expand on it is because Angel VS Spike was never the point of my post (or the thread) however it has becoming an increasing fixture in your responses to me. Angel VS Spike is not interesting to me and especially comparisons between Angel VS S7 Spike have absolutely nothing to do with anything I have been talking about. I was talking about S6, soulless Spike and why I liked the storytelling choice of having Buffy be messed up about it. I only ever brought up ensouled Angel and Spike - *again let's not forget I brought up ensouled Spike too* - to point out why I think the soul is important and why Buffy was right to be conflicted about sleeping with a soulless vampire. Somewhere along the lines that's derailed into comparisons between Angel with ensouled/S7 Spike which doesn't really relate to anything I was discussing because I was never talking about ensouled/S7 Spike and was certainly never comparing two souled vampires either.

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              • Both vamps definitely walk a tightrope when they are souled and greatly because they have the full capacity to understand their choices. Angel understood this and that is what he was trying to say to Faith in Enemies about not having had the choice himself like she does. When souled it still doesn't mean the struggle with their demonic drives won't win sometimes and it is a really difficult thing for them to manage, but unsouled they are simply more limited. This is what the writing underlines about Spike in S6, that he is significantly morally compromised, despite whatever good he can also do.

                So Spike did stay to honour Buffy and because he did have some care for Dawn. Personally, I believe another element motivating him was because of how much his own image matters to him and showing his love through his actions this way was partially about that too. I do believe the chip played an important part in where he got to, that it did affect him and his willingness and wish to try to live and work alongside humans, to be a part of the group even if he was somewhat held on the outskirts. But it didn't make him good, he was still lacking in morality as Mogs says. He didn't care about all he'd done before until he was souled and he makes it clear he hadn't truly known what difference the soul would make, but it obviously changes him meaningfully. He doesn't stop being connected to who he was (William and as an unsouled vampire), but he is distinctly different souled.

                Unsouled Spike did some good things, was motivated to make some surprising choices, but it didn't change that he was still evil underneath it and could switch on a whim in a way people who are guided by morals don't tend to. We see that unreliability from soullessness in Harmony especially clearly as she changes her loyalties depending on what interests her most. And Spike consistently shows that lack of moral understanding that matters to be reliable. It meant he couldn't be trusted to walk the line, and importantly, that's even despite his own wishes and intentions, despite what he declared he would never do for love and that was what the AR underscored. Regardless of his own belief he wouldn't hurt Buffy, he couldn't be trusted to see the lines even as he was about to step over them. Ultimately, he was limited soulless and after Seeing Red he finally understood that something needed to change, to be more man he had to become something beyond what he currently was. After all that had always been said to him it isn't surprising he concluded becoming souled would make some mistakes avoidable in a way he wasn't able to unsouled.

                I do think he and Angel are just different personalities on different journeys and the way they responded to different stages of their stories are distinct to them. But both vampires when souled look back on their unsouled years as distinct and themselves as evil in a way that they have the capacity to work beyond only when they are souled.

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                • Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                  Both vamps definitely walk a tightrope when they are souled and greatly because they have the full capacity to understand their choices. Angel understood this and that is what he was trying to say to Faith in Enemies about not having had the choice himself like she does. When souled it still doesn't mean the struggle with their demonic drives won't win sometimes and it is a really difficult thing for them to manage, but unsouled they are simply more limited. This is what the writing underlines about Spike in S6, that he is significantly morally compromised, despite whatever good he can also do.

                  So Spike did stay to honour Buffy and because he did have some care for Dawn. Personally, I believe another element motivating him was because of how much his own image matters to him and showing his love through his actions this way was partially about that too. I do believe the chip played an important part in where he got to, that it did affect him and his willingness and wish to try to live and work alongside humans, to be a part of the group even if he was somewhat held on the outskirts. But it didn't make him good, he was still lacking in morality as Mogs says. He didn't care about all he'd done before until he was souled and he makes it clear he hadn't truly known what difference the soul would make, but it obviously changes him meaningfully. He doesn't stop being connected to who he was (William and as an unsouled vampire), but he is distinctly different souled.

                  Unsouled Spike did some good things, was motivated to make some surprising choices, but it didn't change that he was still evil underneath it and could switch on a whim in a way people who are guided by morals don't tend to. We see that unreliability from soullessness in Harmony especially clearly as she changes her loyalties depending on what interests her most. And Spike consistently shows that lack of moral understanding that matters to be reliable. It meant he couldn't be trusted to walk the line, and importantly, that's even despite his own wishes and intentions, despite what he declared he would never do for love and that was what the AR underscored. Regardless of his own belief he wouldn't hurt Buffy, he couldn't be trusted to see the lines even as he was about to step over them. Ultimately, he was limited soulless and after Seeing Red he finally understood that something needed to change, to be more man he had to become something beyond what he currently was. After all that had always been said to him it isn't surprising he concluded becoming souled would make some mistakes avoidable in a way he wasn't able to unsouled.

                  I do think he and Angel are just different personalities on different journeys and the way they responded to different stages of their stories are distinct to them. But both vampires when souled look back on their unsouled years as distinct and themselves as evil in a way that they have the capacity to work beyond only when they are souled.
                  I still see Spike at midway point between good and evil, and frankly season two Angel is at the same point. Spike still wants to hurt others, and he can't. Still, he makes the choice to get a soul, and that isn't evil. He makes the choice to help some small group of humans, when all he gets is the personal satisfaction of helping. In my view this makes him relatively good in some ways.

                  I don't quite see how Angel is good even with a soul, when he chooses to do something that would make him evil on Buffy. Maybe I just see more shades of grey than you guys do. In the context of Buffy, evil and good are clear opposites, but in the context of Angel, good is relative. It is shown by choices because that is the tightrope Angel walks. And I really don't see how you can remove the choices that characters make in the discussion about relative good and evil.

                  More than that, I can see why Buffy turned to Spike, and it's is because of that relative goodness. The real kicker in that whole scenario is that Buffy thought that she returned with something wrong (which she did) and she herself is only relatively good. I really think that one of the things that season 6 explores is this basic tension between good and evil, choices. consequences, and self image. So saying Spike is evil and therefore Buffy should be ashamed seems awfully simplistic to me.
                  Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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                  • I'm not saying he isn't capable of good acts but that he's limited by an inability to make choices with moral breadth and understanding. He can do all these things with a self focused drive and feel no remorse or care for anyone outside a very small field of humans he's decided he's bothered about when unsouled. We see the potential Spike has when he is unsouled but also that it is limited. And it isn't that Angel souled can't be bad, but he (and Spike) has a capacity for good he simply doesn't have when he is unsouled. When souled they are in the same position as humans and we know that many humans make morally grey decisions or are even outright evil.

                    It isn't about not seeing the greys or not seeing Spike unsouled managing good acts or Angel souled managing bad ones, but understanding the boundaries of their capacities to choose. So much of what we see Spike do unsouled is within the confines/context of being chipped. Yes, being chipped brought out more 'William' sides to him and had him choose to interact with humans and try to integrate in a different way. It played an important part in the path he walked. But once he thinks the chip is deactivated he tries to kill again and he consistently shows that he doesn't have any care about what happens to those he's not interested in. And eventually that he also can't be reliable to even meet his own wishes unsouled towards those he is. He's limited in a way he isn't when souled and that's why both Angel and Spike believe in killing soulless vampires and feel they are meaningfully different and regard their past actions in a different light. It isn't that they aren't still demons, it isn't that they don't still struggle, but they are capable of reliably walking a path of good just the same as a human can choose to. Whether they do or not or how they struggle is a whole different thing.

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                    • vampmogs
                      The trend of fandom lately is to have a very 'sex positive' reaction to Buffy/Spike ****ing in S6.
                      I think there have always been fans who thought it was cool for Buffy to have kinky sex just like there have always been fans who disliked their affair for various reasons (some of the ones you named in your post). i don't think it has only come up recently in fandom.

                      vampmogs
                      Is it sexist or antiquated to say that it's morally icky for Buffy to sleep with him?
                      I think a knee jerk icky reaction to Buffy sleeping with someone who has killed approximately ten thousand humans would have been more likely if she hadn't slept with a guy who had killed approximately twenty thousand people (on account of him being around a bit longer and being the worst known vampire in history) before. Moreover, their relationship had been presented as the most romantic love story since Romeo and Juliet. To use the Ted Bundy analogy - if Ted Bundy would say he has found Jesus Christ in prison and he suddenly feels remorse and yaddahyaddahyaddah - would it be okay for you if your friend would start dating him? What makes us recoil from the visual image of Ted Bundy being happily in love with one of his female "fans"? The fact that he showed no remorse (which I think he never did) or the fact that the women he killed are still dead remorse or not?

                      vampmogs
                      With a soul they're good.
                      I see both of them doing good deeds with a soul but I also see both of them not only making mistakes but also doing stuff that's plain wrong and feeling no remorse at all about it. Angel killing Drogyn would be one example that has already been mentioned in the thread about Angel's philosophy and ends justifying the means. Spike torturing the W&H doctor and Angel not only allowing but actually endorsing it would be another example. They are both pretty casual about the doctor's pain. I don't see remorse at all in either of them.

                      vampmogs
                      ​​​​​​​Soulless Spike wasn't good and he wasn't remorseful. There's not a single line in S4-S6 where Spike expresses remorse for his past and he kills with Drusilla in S5 and attempts to kill again in S6 and never expresses guilt for this either.
                      I agree. However, the same can be said about souled Angel when he re-joined the Whirlwind in China. He killed humans and he did not show remorse or express guilt. He actually seems to be almost proud when he tells Darla that she saw him kill people. It's only when Darla challenges him to take the life of a newborn that he finds in himself a desire to do the right thing. A desire that is finally stronger than his desire to be with Darla.
                      And even after saving that baby's life doing more good deeds or being good does not come easy to him. It's a constant fight and it's a long way until he gets to Epiphany where he shows genuine empathy for humanity as a whole.

                      I do agree that both Angel and Spike (and every other vampire) need a soul to have the capacity to genuinely feel empathy for humanity as a whole or for individual human beings. I don't think goodness or empathy simply comes with the soul. They might have been given a pickaxe but they still have to make a dent into solid rock or maybe even better carve a tunnel out of it.

                      I do agree that Buffy finds herself in a morals dilemma in season six. Not because she is having sex with a soulless serial killer. I think she is not capable of not letting herself feel anything for the person she is sleeping with. They do not achieve true intimacy in season 6. They are not even close. But the tiniest fragment of intimacy with a soulless killer is morally more questionable than any sex marathon with the same guy. If it really only were a sex marathon I do not think Buffy would be as morally conflicted as she is.

                      @vampmogs
                      Put it this way, in Triangle Spike only helps the bleeding disaster victims to score points with Buffy and she rightfully calls him "disgusting" for wanting credit for not feeding off them.
                      That's part of what we see but it's not all we see. It actually is a good example of the season 6 division between fandom and writers. Spike does help a victim and he does check if Buffy would notice his Samatarian act which is just this at this moment - an act. But after Buffy has called him disgusting and turned her back on him he continues to tend to the victim and that's when it's not an act anymore. The writers basically told us Spike was evil and selfish and then showed him being not evil and almost selfless.
                      Even Spike's line ("What's it take?") defies the writer's intention. Why not have him say "Bloody hell, that didn't work," or "I need to get better at pretending,"? The issue is not that we did not see Spike as a soulless, remorseless, evil killer. We see him being exactly that even in season 5 and season 6 despite the chip (the woman in the alley, the couple at The Bronze, killed by Dru, the bedtime story of the girl in the coal bin) but we also see this little glimpse of what makes us (and Buffy too) feel sympathetic for him.

                      I do think that Buffy started and continued to have a sexual relationship with Spike in season six because she had lost her moral compass or at least her confidence in herself, including her own moral beliefs. I also agree with what American Aurora said right at the start of this thread - that Buffy ended her relationship with Spike not for her own sake but for his and that marks the point where she starts to reclaim who she really is. I never got the feeling the writers themselves had forgotten who she is up to As You Were and hastily tried to rectify their mistake when they suddenly remembered. I thought it was executed pretty well - maybe except for Riley who comes across a bit condescending.

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                      • Originally posted by flow View Post
                        I think there have always been fans who thought it was cool for Buffy to have kinky sex just like there have always been fans who disliked their affair for various reasons (some of the ones you named in your post). i don't think it has only come up recently in fandom.
                        I joined fandom in 2004 and it has definitely become more prevalent in recent years as far as I can tell. Which make sense as attitudes have changed drastically in the last 20+ years. The attitudes towards Buffy's character in general have changed. A lot of fans (including a *lot* of Spike/Spuffy fans) absolutely hated Buffy back in the day. She's become a far more popular character in recent years.

                        I think a knee jerk icky reaction to Buffy sleeping with someone who has killed approximately ten thousand humans would have been more likely if she hadn't slept with a guy who had killed approximately twenty thousand people (on account of him being around a bit longer and being the worst known vampire in history) before. Moreover, their relationship had been presented as the most romantic love story since Romeo and Juliet. To use the Ted Bundy analogy - if Ted Bundy would say he has found Jesus Christ in prison and he suddenly feels remorse and yaddahyaddahyaddah - would it be okay for you if your friend would start dating him? What makes us recoil from the visual image of Ted Bundy being happily in love with one of his female "fans"? The fact that he showed no remorse (which I think he never did) or the fact that the women he killed are still dead remorse or not?
                        Yes it would make a big difference for me. There's a world of difference between being in a relationship with someone who has done terrible things but then genuinely feels bad about that and is trying to atone and make amends vs someone who has done terrible things and doesn't care and would continue doing terrible things if he wasn't imprisoned. Which is exactly what the characters, most notably Buffy, point out repeatedly in S5 and S6, most notably in Crush ("Angel was a vampire..." "Angel was good!"). Of course the relationship would still make me slightly uneasy but I could at least understand someone dating a prisoner who was reformed and would not kill again by choice vs someone dating a prisoner who isn't reformed and would kill again if they had the chance. I am not morally against forgiveness or second chances.

                        I see both of them doing good deeds with a soul but I also see both of them not only making mistakes but also doing stuff that's plain wrong and feeling no remorse at all about it. Angel killing Drogyn would be one example that has already been mentioned in the thread about Angel's philosophy and ends justifying the means. Spike torturing the W&H doctor and Angel not only allowing but actually endorsing it would be another example. They are both pretty casual about the doctor's pain. I don't see remorse at all in either of them.
                        Yes and Faith has killed with a soul, as has Willow, Wesley, Giles, Gunn etc. However, we don't call these characters evil. We give them the benefit of the doubt that they're good people who have done bad things. Whereas soulless vampires are the inverse of that and are bad people who occasionally do good things. This is again the actual mythology of the show and stated to us repeatedly, including by characters like Spike no less.

                        And again - this just focuses on *actions* but not what is going on inside. Angel and Spike with a soul sometimes do bad things, absolutely, but I am also confident that they didn't find pictures of starving people funny, didn't think child molestation and murder was funny, were capable of empathy for people, and were genuinely guilt-ridden for all the horrible things they had done because they had a basic sense of mortality/internal moral compass that made them feel like murdering innocent people was wrong. Soulless Spike had none of that because without a soul he was literally incapable of having that.

                        I agree. However, the same can be said about souled Angel when he re-joined the Whirlwind in China. He killed humans and he did not show remorse or express guilt. He actually seems to be almost proud when he tells Darla that she saw him kill people. It's only when Darla challenges him to take the life of a newborn that he finds in himself a desire to do the right thing. A desire that is finally stronger than his desire to be with Darla.
                        I actually think Darla works entirely against your argument. I think it's a classic example of an ensouled character differing from a soulless character because even when Angel was trying to be bad his soul/moral conscience was troubling him. If there was no meaningful difference between Angel and The Whirlwind he'd be joining them in killing anyone in sight, he'd be happy at Spike killing the Slayer, he wouldn't be sneaking off to feast on rats down at the river, and he wouldn't have steered Spike, Dru and Darla away from the couple and their child in the alleyway. Yes he was absolutely doing something wrong by killing humans to fit in but he was trying to morally justify who he killed by targeting "rapists, murderers and thieves" as Darla keenly observed ("Only evil-dooers, that's all you hunt now"). Again, I believe this is wrong (although by human society's moral standards at the time most if not all of those crimes could were often punishable by death) but it's the biggest evidence that there *IS* a difference between a souled character vs a soulless character. The fact that Angel couldn't kill the baby but soulless Darla wanted him to (after killing the baby's parents who Angel also tried to save) shows the stark contrast between them. Soulless Spike would have killed that baby, just as he killed the Romani children in the back of the camper in the very same episode. That's the difference.

                        I am not saying ensouled Angel is perfect. Neither were other ensouled characters like Willow, Faith, Wesley etc. But using episodes like Darla to show a moral equivalence between ensouled Angel even at some of his worst and the soulless vampires he was hanging around seems to miss the purpose of the episode, as it was showing why Angel couldn't fit in any longer *even when he wanted to* because his soul meant he was now too different from them. And of course the purpose of the flashbacks are to mirror what is going on with Darla in the present scenes where the weight of her soul and the guilt of everything she had done was now beginning to crush her.

                        The flashbacks in Five By Five show Angel in-between getting his soul and coming back to Darla in China and he tries to convince himself that he's a monster when he attacks the lady in the alleyway ("I'm a monster! I'm a monster!"). However, when he starts to bite her he can't bring himself to do it ("I can't - I can't") and walks away.

                        Funnily enough in the AtS DVD collection Whedon lists his favourite AtS episodes and Darla is one of them. He quotes the moment when Darla angrily yells at Angel "Whilst Spike was out killing a Slayer you were off saving missionaries -from me!" as one of his favourite scenes because of the 'twisted soulless vampire logic' and how brilliant he thought it was that in Darla managed to make Angel saving missionaries instead of killing a Slayer sound bad. Soulless vampires have a completely different world view/set of principles as he points out there.

                        And even after saving that baby's life doing more good deeds or being good does not come easy to him. It's a constant fight and it's a long way until he gets to Epiphany where he shows genuine empathy for humanity as a whole.
                        Angel showed genuine empathy for humanity long before Epiphany. He showed empathy for Buffy when he saw her crying over her destiny/parents fighting in Becoming, he showed empathy for Cordy when she was down and out in City Of, he showed empathy for Tina in City Of, he showed empathy for Rachel during In the Dark, he showed empathy for Doyle throughout S1 but particularly in The Bachelor Party, he showed empathy for Kate and the loss of her father in The Prodigal, he showed empathy for Melissa in I Fall to Pieces, he showed empathy for Judy in Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been, he showed empathy for Faith in Five By Five/Sanctuary, he showed empathy for Gunn and his crew in War Zone, he showed empathy for a dying and sick Darla in The Trial etc. The list is endless. He also tried to save Sunnydale in the Wishverse even if Buffy hadn't shown up, he goes to LA and is shown hunting vampires and saving people before Doyle shows up with his mission for the PTB, and opens a business to "help the helpless" a whole year before he even learns about the Shanshu Prophecy. In Consequences he also talks about how pre-Sunnydale he thought humans existed just to hurt each other but he was moved/inspired by the Scooby Gang and their genuine desire to do good and help people.

                        I do agree that both Angel and Spike (and every other vampire) need a soul to have the capacity to genuinely feel empathy for humanity as a whole or for individual human beings. I don't think goodness or empathy simply comes with the soul. They might have been given a pickaxe but they still have to make a dent into solid rock or maybe even better carve a tunnel out of it.
                        In Five by Five when Angel first gets his soul he is initially driven insane/crazy with guilt (whimpering in the corner, rambling incoherently) and sobs about remembering all the people he killed. When Darla's soul begins to weigh on her in Darla she too goes delirious with guilt and begins smashing mirrors as she can't stand to see her own reflection. She's so overwhelmed with guilt that she wants Angel to turn her so she can stop feeling remorse. When Spike first gets his soul he's driven insane in Lessons and tries to cut his own heart out and in Beneath You says that he "remembers every last one." The soul must give them some basic goodness because as soon as they get it, they immediately view their crimes as soulless vampires with a completely new perspective and are driven to borderline insanity with the shame/guilt over it.

                        That's part of what we see but it's not all we see. It actually is a good example of the season 6 division between fandom and writers. Spike does help a victim and he does check if Buffy would notice his Samatarian act which is just this at this moment - an act. But after Buffy has called him disgusting and turned her back on him he continues to tend to the victim and that's when it's not an act anymore. The writers basically told us Spike was evil and selfish and then showed him being not evil and almost selfless.
                        I think this is a bit of a leap personally. The camera lingers on Spike for maybe a split second after Buffy says her line before cutting away. We have no idea at all if he pretty much stopped what he was doing straight away and left The Bronze or if he stuck around etc. He's barely even had a chance to react to what she said before the scene skips to another character/moment. Regardless, it's not fair to hold the writers responsible for that as the Shooting Script makes no mention of Spike continuing to help the girl after Buffy walks away;

                        BUFFY
                        You want credit for not feeding off
                        bleeding disaster victims?


                        SPIKE
                        Well... yeah.


                        BUFFY
                        You're disgusting.

                        She moves away. Spike looks after her disbelievingly.


                        SPIKE
                        (to himself)
                        What does it take?

                        CUTS TO MAGIC BOX


                        So even if that were the case, that would have been a decision made by the director on set at the time as it was not intended by the writer and placed into the script.

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                        • bespangeled
                          bespangeled commented
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                          When did Spike, or anyone, joke about child molestation? What am I missing?

                        • vampmogs
                          vampmogs commented
                          Editing a comment
                          bespangeled In the Dark. Spike hires pedophile Marcus. When torturing Angel, Spike taunts Angel and says - "Except with kids. You like kids, don’t you Marcus ?... Well, likes to eat. (leans in close to Angel and grins) and other nasty things.”

                      • Originally posted by vampmogs View Post

                        I joined fandom in 2004 and it has definitely become more prevalent in recent years as far as I can tell. Which make sense as attitudes have changed drastically in the last 20+ years. The attitudes towards Buffy's character in general have changed. A lot of fans (including a *lot* of Spike/Spuffy fans) absolutely hated Buffy back in the day. She's become a far more popular character in recent years.



                        Yes it would make a big difference for me. There's a world of difference between being in a relationship with someone who has done terrible things but then genuinely feels bad about that and is trying to atone and make amends vs someone who has done terrible things and doesn't care and would continue doing terrible things if he wasn't imprisoned. Which is exactly what the characters, most notably Buffy, point out repeatedly in S5 and S6, most notably in Crush ("Angel was a vampire..." "Angel was good!"). Of course the relationship would still make me slightly uneasy but I could at least understand someone dating a prisoner who was reformed and would not kill again by choice vs someone dating a prisoner who isn't reformed and would kill again if they had the chance. I am not morally against forgiveness or second chances.



                        Yes and Faith has killed with a soul, as has Willow, Wesley, Giles, Gunn etc. However, we don't call these characters evil. We give them the benefit of the doubt that they're good people who have done bad things. Whereas soulless vampires are the inverse of that and are bad people who occasionally do good things. This is again the actual mythology of the show and stated to us repeatedly, including by characters like Spike no less.

                        And again - this just focuses on *actions* but not what is going on inside. Angel and Spike with a soul sometimes do bad things, absolutely, but I am also confident that they didn't find pictures of starving people funny, didn't think child molestation and murder was funny, were capable of empathy for people, and were genuinely guilt-ridden for all the horrible things they had done because they had a basic sense of mortality/internal moral compass that made them feel like murdering innocent people was wrong. Soulless Spike had none of that because without a soul he was literally incapable of having that.



                        I actually think Darla works entirely against your argument. I think it's a classic example of an ensouled character differing from a soulless character because even when Angel was trying to be bad his soul/moral conscience was troubling him. If there was no meaningful difference between Angel and The Whirlwind he'd be joining them in killing anyone in sight, he'd be happy at Spike killing the Slayer, he wouldn't be sneaking off to feast on rats down at the river, and he wouldn't have steered Spike, Dru and Darla away from the couple and their child in the alleyway. Yes he was absolutely doing something wrong by killing humans to fit in but he was trying to morally justify who he killed by targeting "rapists, murderers and thieves" as Darla keenly observed ("Only evil-dooers, that's all you hunt now"). Again, I believe this is wrong (although by human society's moral standards at the time most if not all of those crimes could were often punishable by death) but it's the biggest evidence that there *IS* a difference between a souled character vs a soulless character. The fact that Angel couldn't kill the baby but soulless Darla wanted him to (after killing the baby's parents who Angel also tried to save) shows the stark contrast between them. Soulless Spike would have killed that baby, just as he killed the Romani children in the back of the camper in the very same episode. That's the difference.

                        I am not saying ensouled Angel is perfect. Neither were other ensouled characters like Willow, Faith, Wesley etc. But using episodes like Darla to show a moral equivalence between ensouled Angel even at some of his worst and the soulless vampires he was hanging around seems to miss the purpose of the episode, as it was showing why Angel couldn't fit in any longer *even when he wanted to* because his soul meant he was now too different from them. And of course the purpose of the flashbacks are to mirror what is going on with Darla in the present scenes where the weight of her soul and the guilt of everything she had done was now beginning to crush her.

                        The flashbacks in Five By Five show Angel in-between getting his soul and coming back to Darla in China and he tries to convince himself that he's a monster when he attacks the lady in the alleyway ("I'm a monster! I'm a monster!"). However, when he starts to bite her he can't bring himself to do it ("I can't - I can't") and walks away.

                        Funnily enough in the AtS DVD collection Whedon lists his favourite AtS episodes and Darla is one of them. He quotes the moment when Darla angrily yells at Angel "Whilst Spike was out killing a Slayer you were off saving missionaries -from me!" as one of his favourite scenes because of the 'twisted soulless vampire logic' and how brilliant he thought it was that in Darla managed to make Angel saving missionaries instead of killing a Slayer sound bad. Soulless vampires have a completely different world view/set of principles as he points out there.



                        Angel showed genuine empathy for humanity long before Epiphany. He showed empathy for Buffy when he saw her crying over her destiny/parents fighting in Becoming, he showed empathy for Cordy when she was down and out in City Of, he showed empathy for Tina in City Of, he showed empathy for Rachel during In the Dark, he showed empathy for Doyle throughout S1 but particularly in The Bachelor Party, he showed empathy for Kate and the loss of her father in The Prodigal, he showed empathy for Melissa in I Fall to Pieces, he showed empathy for Judy in Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been, he showed empathy for Faith in Five By Five/Sanctuary, he showed empathy for Gunn and his crew in War Zone, he showed empathy for a dying and sick Darla in The Trial etc. The list is endless. He also tried to save Sunnydale in the Wishverse even if Buffy hadn't shown up, he goes to LA and is shown hunting vampires and saving people before Doyle shows up with his mission for the PTB, and opens a business to "help the helpless" a whole year before he even learns about the Shanshu Prophecy. In Consequences he also talks about how pre-Sunnydale he thought humans existed just to hurt each other but he was moved/inspired by the Scooby Gang and their genuine desire to do good and help people.



                        In Five by Five when Angel first gets his soul he is initially driven insane/crazy with guilt (whimpering in the corner, rambling incoherently) and sobs about remembering all the people he killed. When Darla's soul begins to weigh on her in Darla she too goes delirious with guilt and begins smashing mirrors as she can't stand to see her own reflection. She's so overwhelmed with guilt that she wants Angel to turn her so she can stop feeling remorse. When Spike first gets his soul he's driven insane in Lessons and tries to cut his own heart out and in Beneath You says that he "remembers every last one." The soul must give them some basic goodness because as soon as they get it, they immediately view their crimes as soulless vampires with a completely new perspective and are driven to borderline insanity with the shame/guilt over it.



                        I think this is a bit of a leap personally. The camera lingers on Spike for maybe a split second after Buffy says her line before cutting away. We have no idea at all if he pretty much stopped what he was doing straight away and left The Bronze or if he stuck around etc. He's barely even had a chance to react to what she said before the scene skips to another character/moment. Regardless, it's not fair to hold the writers responsible for that as the Shooting Script makes no mention of Spike continuing to help the girl after Buffy walks away;

                        BUFFY
                        You want credit for not feeding off
                        bleeding disaster victims?


                        SPIKE
                        Well... yeah.


                        BUFFY
                        You're disgusting.

                        She moves away. Spike looks after her disbelievingly.


                        SPIKE
                        (to himself)
                        What does it take?

                        CUTS TO MAGIC BOX


                        So even if that were the case, that would have been a decision made by the director on set at the time as it was not intended by the writer and placed into the script.
                        I'm not saying you're wrong but I wonder if that's as much due to how people view JW and SMG in real life as much as the characters. Many people even to this day see the character and Actor as one and the same. Some of the stuff tweeted towards Adam Busch for instance is just nuts. Back in 04 JW was God (still is to some) and SMG was just the cranky S7 TV star who refused to come back for Angel S5. They were in a public feud, so fans took JW side and took it out on the Buffy character. Obviously things have switched now. Whedon is the bad guy and SMG is viewed in a much more sympathetic light having to deal with him.

                        Personally I always loved the Buffy character, though when the show just ignored things or gave her outs because its easier for the writer, annoyed me. "I can't be in your club Iv never murdered anybody" (Attempted murder is fine I guess)

                        Plus there is general tastes changing anyway. Iv seen episodes I loved back then I can't stand now and episodes I disliked then that I like now.

                        As for the Darla example. The best line is Angel's appalled "you think you did me a favour ?, you damned me" line at the end. So powerful
                        Last edited by BtVS fan; 31-07-21, 05:36 AM.

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                        • Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

                          I'm not saying you're wrong but I wonder if that's as much due to how people view JW and SMG in real life as much as the characters. Many people even to this day see the character and Actor as one and the same. Some of the stuff tweeted towards Adam Busch for instance is just nuts. Back in 04 JW was God (still is to some) and SMG was just the cranky S7 TV star who refused to come back for Angel S5. They were in a public feud, so fans took JW side and took it out on the Buffy character. Obviously things have switched now. Whedon is the bad guy and SMG is viewed in a much more sympathetic light having to deal with him.
                          Oh it's definitely a part of it. The way fandom views SMG now is night and day compared to how it used to view her even just 10 years ago. The tide started to turn when she became active on social media.

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                          • Originally posted by vampmogs View Post

                            Oh it's definitely a part of it. The way fandom views SMG now is night and day compared to how it used to view her even just 10 years ago. The tide started to turn when she became active on social media.
                            I think the real difference came when she decided to embrace Buffy rather than run from it. During my early stint in fandom it was well known that SMG refused to talk about Buffy because she wanted more of a career. Not sure how truthful, but well known. It wasn't until after Robin Williams died that we started to see her come back to her roots.
                            Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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                            • Originally posted by bespangeled View Post

                              I think the real difference came when she decided to embrace Buffy rather than run from it. During my early stint in fandom it was well known that SMG refused to talk about Buffy because she wanted more of a career. Not sure how truthful, but well known. It wasn't until after Robin Williams died that we started to see her come back to her roots.
                              There was never really any truth to that. SMG was always very complimentary of the show and happily discussed it whenever asked in interviews and attended the PaleyFest reunion in 2008. She also specifically used her acceptance speech for her People's Choice Award to honour BtVS and thank the fans back when The Crazy Ones first started airing (and prior to Robin's death). A lot of fans interpreted SMG as running from BtVS because she was never interested in doing cons which, IMO, always reeked of fan entitlement. I don't think SMG's opinion of the series changed, it's just that when she joined social media she was now interactive with fans and she could express it more publicly/often. Before that Sarah said she was very private and was very hesitant to join social media and share her life with the public. However, she's since revealed a lot of things that show sentimentality towards the show (like that she's kept one of Buffy's stakes in her bedside table ever since the series ended in 2003 or kept Buffy's prom dress from PG) that fans were just unaware of back when she wasn't on Instagram.

                              She did look forwards in her career but that also doesn't mean she was ever running from BtVS which is the same for DB and Alyson Hannigan. What is interesting is that fandom never accused Aly of being unappreciative despite the fact that she started focusing on HIMYM, didn't even attend the Paleyfest reunion and never attended cons because, but she was friends with Joss. Whereas, SMG and DB who very much kept Joss at a distance were accused of being unappreciative towards the series and 'fans.' But a lot of these fans naively think that the likes of CC, JM, NB and EC are doing cons for them when in reality they're doing it to pay their bills and of course like all actors would much rather be acting in new roles then endlessly talking about a job they had 20 years ago. CC even admitted that she was fearful about speaking out about Joss because cons are her primary source of income and EC recently complained on Insta about an entitled fan that berated her in a paid video because she didn't know every fact about the show. SMG commented and said it's one of the reasons she wouldn't ever do it because she'd just be a disappointment. Fans are a bit blind to the fact that it's not a coincidence that the most commercially successful stars (SMG, DB, Alyson, Seth Green) aren't on the endless convention circuit. A lot of these fans can also be terribly exploitative towards actors like NB who are clearly in a real mess and yet they have no problem taking advantage of this to get access to one of the show's stars.

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                              • Originally posted by vampmogs View Post

                                There was never really any truth to that. SMG was always very complimentary of the show and happily discussed it whenever asked in interviews and attended the PaleyFest reunion in 2007. She also specifically used her acceptance speech for her People's Choice Award to honour BtVS and thank the fans back when The Crazy Ones first started airing (and prior to Robin's death). A lot of fans interpreted SMG as running from BtVS because she was never interested in doing cons which, IMO, always reeked of fan entitlement. I don't think SMG's opinion of the series changed, it's just that when she joined social media she was now interactive with fans and she could express it more publicly/often. Before that Sarah said she was very private and was very hesitant to join social media and share her life with the public. However, she's since revealed a lot of things that show sentimentality towards the show (like that she's kept one of Buffy's stakes in her bedside table ever since the series ended in 2003 or kept Buffy's prom dress from PG) that fans were just unaware of back when she wasn't on Instagram.

                                She did look forwards in her career but that also doesn't mean she was ever running from BtVS which is the same for DB and Alyson Hannigan. What is interesting is that fandom never accused Aly of being unappreciative despite the fact that she started focusing on HIMYM, didn't even attend the Paleyfest reunion and never attended cons because she was friends with Joss. Whereas, SMG and DB who very much kept Joss at a distance were accused of being unappreciative towards the series and 'fans.' But a lot of these fans naively think that the likes of CC, JM, NB and EC are doing cons for them when in reality they're doing it to pay their bills and of course like all actors would much rather be acting in new roles then endlessly talking about a job they had 20 years ago. CC even admitted that she was fearful about speaking out about Joss because cons are her primary source of income and EC recently complained on Insta about an entitled fan that berated her in a paid video because she didn't know every fact about the show and SMG commented and said it's one of the reasons she wouldn't ever do it because she'd just be a disappointment. Fans are a bit blind to the fact that it's not a coincidence that the most commercially successful stars (SMG, DB, Alyson, Seth Green) aren't on the endless convention circuit. A lot of these fans can also be terribly exploitative towards actors like NB who are clearly in a real mess and yet they have no problem taking advantage of this to get access to one of the show's stars.
                                Oookay...sorry if I hit a sore spot.

                                I was a ST fan when conventions were first taking off, and being at one was fantastic. I bring that up because JM grew up going to cons, and he actually wanted to do conventions and interact with fans. It was a goal in life, and had I gotten into acting it would have been a goal in mine. I used to talk at writing conventions, and it was a kick. I actually enjoyed the interactions.There are other reasons to go to conventions besides just paying your bills.

                                There are other ways of making money - like creating your own baking business selling food mixes. Yes, AH and DB have had monetarily successful careers as tv actors. That is one form of success, and I wish them well. SMG had markedly less success in her acting career, but seems to have moved on to hawking products from her baking business.

                                While you cynically believe the lower tier actors do conventions just to make money off of fans, I see SMG only interacting online with fans now that she has her own business, and products to sell. That's fine. For whatever reason it happened, we can both agree that now that SMG is using social media she is more popular.

                                As for CC being afraid of Joss, that fear did not last long. She's spent at least a decade being quite open with fans at conventions about all the ways Joss done her wrong.





                                Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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                                • flow
                                  flow commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  JM has always said he was a con guy, he went to cons long before he was the guest star. If SMG isn't that much into cons then that's her prerogative.

                              • Originally posted by bespangeled View Post

                                Oookay...sorry if I hit a sore spot.

                                I was a ST fan when conventions were first taking off, and being at one was fantastic. I bring that up because JM grew up going to cons, and he actually wanted to do conventions and interact with fans. It was a goal in life, and had I gotten into acting it would have been a goal in mine. I used to talk at writing conventions, and it was a kick. I actually enjoyed the interactions.There are other reasons to go to conventions besides just paying your bills.

                                There are other ways of making money - like creating your own baking business selling food mixes. Yes, AH and DB have had monetarily successful careers as tv actors. That is one form of success, and I wish them well. SMG had markedly less success in her acting career, but seems to have moved on to hawking products from her baking business.

                                While you cynically believe the lower tier actors do conventions just to make money off of fans, I see SMG only interacting online with fans now that she has her own business, and products to sell. That's fine. For whatever reason it happened, we can both agree that now that SMG is using social media she is more popular.

                                As for CC being afraid of Joss, that fear did not last long. She's spent at least a decade being quite open with fans at conventions about all the ways Joss done her wrong.



                                Really ! ? So SMG is just being cynical to promote her food business yet the guy whose very open in interviews that he did all he could not to be killed off because he had bills to pay only did the convention circuit to interact with fans and no other reason

                                Actually those previous years CC was always very polite about Joss when she told the story, she never mentioned the name calling of her fat etc when she was pregnant or asking her if she's going to keep it ?

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                                • bespangeled
                                  bespangeled commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  No, I am cynical about SMG. SMG is not cynical as far as I know.


                              • Originally posted by bespangeled View Post
                                Oookay...sorry if I hit a sore spot.
                                You didn't hit a sore spot bespangeled and I'm honestly not sure why you think you did or what warranted this kind of response but it feels unnecessary and counterproductive.

                                I was a ST fan when conventions were first taking off, and being at one was fantastic. I bring that up because JM grew up going to cons, and he actually wanted to do conventions and interact with fans. It was a goal in life, and had I gotten into acting it would have been a goal in mine. I used to talk at writing conventions, and it was a kick. I actually enjoyed the interactions.There are other reasons to go to conventions besides just paying your bills.
                                Fair enough. It's personally not my thing at all but I'm aware a lot of people get a lot of happiness out of them. I just don't think it's a coincidence that the 'bigger' actors don't do them anywhere near as much as the others with less commercial success do. And it's not a criticism of either of them as I see nothing wrong with actors using them as a source of income if they're not landing other roles and I think they'd be stupid not to. Likewise, I've never held it against any actor who isn't interested in doing them and can get by without it as I personally would be exactly the same. However, fandom did used to regularly hold it against SMG and say that she "owed" it to the fans because fandom can be incredibly obsessive and entitled. She came to work, did 17+ hour long days, and by all accounts was a consummate professional and that's all she or any other actor owed the series. My point was that none of them owe their free time to fans but a lot of fans couldn't see this which drove the "she is ashamed of BtVS" sentiment.

                                There are other ways of making money - like creating your own baking business selling food mixes. Yes, AH and DB have had monetarily successful careers as tv actors. That is one form of success, and I wish them well. SMG had markedly less success in her acting career, but seems to have moved on to hawking products from her baking business.
                                When looking at her social media she hasn't promoted Foodstirs since July 2019.

                                While you cynically believe the lower tier actors do conventions just to make money off of fans, I see SMG only interacting online with fans now that she has her own business, and products to sell.
                                I'd share your cynicism if she hadn't joined social media 2 years before her company was founded (joined twitter in 2013 whereas Foodstirs was first founded in 2015) and had promoted it once in the last 2 years.

                                Of course that doesn't mean she hasn't been involved in other ad campaigns on social media and has monetarily benefited from them but in the last 8 years they are relatively few and far between. And given that she and her husband were recently making headlines for all the high rises/apartment complexes they invested in years ago (a joint reported net worth of 100 mil) and she's got 2 new shows in development as well as her voice-work with Star Wars and Netflix, I just don't think she's having to rely solely on social media for a means of income, is all I'm saying. I suspect she's also on social media for the same reasons most of the planet is (social interaction, a way to connect, validation, networking etc) and because she also uses it as a platform to regularly promote her activism/causes she's passionate about (voting/voter suppression, vaccination, the recent talk she did about how the pandemic impacted women etc).

                                In regards to the conventions, hey, maybe they do enjoy it. It is just genuinely hard for me to imagine it wouldn't get tiresome repeating the same stories ad nauseam for the last 2 decades or doing the Snoopy Dance on stage for the 1000th time. And now they've switched to online videos/messages due to COVID it would be even less interactive (but perhaps easier as it involves no travel). However, I just think it's safe to say that if they stopped getting paid they would pretty much stop doing them. I also would be willing to bet that if they had to make a choice between a new gig/role and a convention they'd take the new gig which is not a judgement at all as I think they'd be absolutely crazy not to.

                                That's fine. For whatever reason it happened, we can both agree that now that SMG is using social media she is more popular.
                                Yep.

                                As for CC being afraid of Joss, that fear did not last long. She's spent at least a decade being quite open with fans at conventions about all the ways Joss done her wrong.
                                She didn't say she was afraid of Joss. As per her public statement, she was afraid that speaking out against Joss would impact her popularity with fans as she relies on conventions as her primary source of income. She said that she would regularly attend cons with fans literally walking around with "Joss is my God" on their t-shirts and was fearful that there'd be a public backlash that would impact her financially. Which is completely fair because just a few years ago Joss literally could do no wrong in the eyes of fandom overall, even when her story was out there it was mostly ignored and swept under the rug, and even with Whedon's unpopularity now there are still fans who blame her ('she must have been a problem', 'it couldn't have been that bad', 'she's just looking for attention', 'she should be grateful he gave her a job' etc) so I'd hate to think what it would have been like when he was actually still worshipped.

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                                • EC recently complained on Insta about an entitled fan that berated her in a paid video because she didn't know every fact about the show.
                                  I am happy there is an alternative for cons since they have pretty much not happened for one and a half years now. However, I find those one-on-one video calls on cameo highly problematic, to be honest. People can pretty much do anything. They can threaten you, they can make sexual offers, they can insult you ... Theoretically the same could happen in one on one talks at cons but there are always so many people around that I'd like to think people would behave better. Of course, you can always just cut off the phone in a video call but I feel still kinda uncomfortable about them.

                                  flow

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                                  • Cheese Slices
                                    Cheese Slices commented
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                                    I have no idea how those work - is there no kind of screening whatsoever beforehand ?

                                  • flow
                                    flow commented
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                                    You have to register with a name, a birthdate, and an email address. I don't think there is anything else, but I haven't gone through the process.

                                • I am not going to make a point by point response because I'll probably end up paraphrasing points that have already been made (and better expressed) so far, but I would say that whether I personally would qualify someone disliking Buffy having sex with Spike in S6 as "antiquated" hinges upon whether that someone only has a problem with the sex specifically or a problem with Spike being relied on and trusted to an extent by our "heroes" in general. For example, if you think that it's acceptable for Buffy & co to trust Spike to look after Dawn but not inacceptable for him to have sex with Buffy, then I fail to see how your line of thought holds together without assuming that you think that Buffy having sex with Spike somehow "taints" her in some way that is exclusive to sex; bonus points if you don't have as big a problem with Xander having sex with Anya, who is arguably both worse and less remorseless than Spike.

                                  I also disagree with the notion that Spike remains as evil throughout the entire show up until he gets his soul back, as there are many instances of him showing empathy (Spiral, Afterlife, Wrecked, OaFA), hesitating to do evil when given the chance (Crush, Smashed, Intervention, every time he gets to look after B's family or friends), and showing remorse to some extent (Hell's Bells, Seeing Red). Doesn't mean he is no longer evil to some extent and that all is forgiven, but I would say the more accurate and nuanced take is to say that his capacity for good is limited rather than completely absent. He is the textbook conflicted character, with both aspect of his identity at war with each other.

                                  Finally, imo the whole serial killer analogy only really works so far. Vampires are only partly human per the show's lore, whereas serial killers are 100% human. Serial killers only kill other humans for pleasure or personal gain, while vampires primarily kill humans to feed, though they definitely seem to enjoy "playing with their food". Of course it varies from one vamp to another but their nature is simply not the same as serial killers', and serial killers do not kill because something external happened to them; whether they later repent or not, they remain the same person throughout their entire life.
                                  What a challenge, honesty
                                  What a struggle to learn to speak
                                  Who would've thought that pretending was easier

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                                  • Stoney
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                                    A fundamental limitation despite any potential is the problem as it makes him unreliable in a way that is inherently tied to being soulless. But yes, I do see it as a limitation.
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