This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Synchronized swimming. Complete mystery to me."
11976 members | you are not logged in | 25 May 2020


October 10 2006

Dear Joss - an open letter to Joss Whedon. A new LiveJournal community for people to write about how Joss has affected their lives. It's an interesting concept and worth coming back to now and then. They must be on to something as it's already been parodied in the form of Dear Hoss.

I only heard about this yesterday and it's already here! Impressive.
How Joss affected my life??? I'm reading Bleak House although English isn't mother tongue and every year I nearly had to repeat class because of my English grades (which means I'm really, really bad at it...).

And that's only because of him.

And, oh yeah, I'm not afraid anymore when I go home at night alone. Because if Dawn...
Well if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have met my wife. Not that he introduced us in person but rather I met her through a Buffy board. Also, I know more about the workings of US tv networks than I would ever care to know.
I sense that this might become the more recent:
"The Love Thread" (C) (TM) (R)

Well if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have met my wife. Not that he introduced us in person but rather I met her through a Buffy board.

Got something close. I "blame" Joss for some of the choices I made in my life in recent years, due to his influence.
I "blame" him for making me find my family, at least family somewhat related to Joss' definition for it, according to a interview last year. Cause just like how Simon, found his wife, I found this family through a Buffy web community:

"I'm a believer in that, I am a great believer in found families and I'm not a great believer in blood. Although I love my family, even the ones I grew up with, to me I've always felt that the people who treated you with respect and included you in their lives were your family and the people who were related to you by blood might happen to be those people but that correlation was a lot less [strong] than society believes it is."

Also, I know more about the workings of US tv networks than I would ever care to know.

Ditto. I know more about working and programming about US tv, than local tv.
Joss re-shaped television and, as a TV writer myself, his influence on me has been profound.
Get thee to this site, genius boy. And you're reading Bleak House, bookworm? I'm in mid-Oliver Twist for same reason. (I put some of Dickens' filthy bits at the end of the Mercedes thread.)
Because of Joss, I have made the first new friends that really matter in about 15 years. My Browncoat community rocks!
Oh, I'm thousands of dollars poorer, but immeasurably richer in ways that count much more.
"...Dickens' filthy bits..."

Must. Not. Succumb.

Joss made me care about TV writers in a way i'd previously reserved for novels and films (i.e. i'll pickup/watch something I otherwise wouldn't have been interested in solely on the basis of who wrote it) and generally showed me that the very best TV can move me every bit as much as other media, not just by using cheap sentiment but by finding real, universal truths about who we are as a species.

On the way out of 'Serenity' I had an actual physical 'pain' in my stomach because Wash was dead. Just didn't think it was possible to care that much about a fictional character (even though i've liked and admired loads over the years - Atticus Finch is still the man I want to be when I grow up ;).

And he inspired a fandom and me to become part of one (however peripherally) for the first time. I think it says a lot about what his stuff means to people that, as the letter's author mentions, the fandom is so mixed across age, gender, religions, country, sexual preference etc.

Plus, as with Chris inVirginia, he's cost me a shitload of money the bastard ;-).

ETA - and 'Dear Hoss' is hi-larious ;)

[ edited by Saje on 2006-10-10 15:49 ]
I wrote a Dear Joss letter a few years ago and still have it saved on my hard-drive. One day I hope to give it to him in person.

Because of Joss I have the drive and motivation to write for television.
In analysing Joss' work, I learned to pick apart fiction which is probably a large reason why I'm writing television and movie reviews these days. Also, through Joss, I got involved in several dutch discussion groups which gave me a love of writing and is one of the main reasons for me becomming a science journalist.

Not to mention that Joss' fiction is always somewhere in the back of my head in pretty much everything I do. It's become a part of my mental vocabulary and as such I certainly think it has influenced me in many small ways which are probably mostly unclear to me.

"I'm a believer in that, I am a great believer in found families and I'm not a great believer in blood."

Great quote, that, Numfar. I'm very much with you and Joss on this subject, which is a large part of why I love Joss's work so much. I've got a big, great group of friends (most of whom I met during my years at university) who are more important to me than most of my blood relations will ever be.

ETA: annoying typo

[ edited by GVH on 2006-10-10 15:00 ]
Hm well, it was due to Joss and the other Buffy writers that I started writing screenplays and scripts (and that in english, although it´s not my mother tongue either) and finally decided to go into the Media business and not just talking about it, so I guess I could write one of these "Dear Joss" letters, too.
Also like many others here, I found tons of great friends around the world and even went to LA for a few days to go to the PBP.
Oh and of course I look at films and TV in a whole other way now... which is good in a way but often spoils me a bit cause normal TV shows are boring now.
Made me see that television can be literature.

Hasn't cost me all that much money, so far - a few hundred for the dvd player, boxed sets of BtVS, Angel, Firefly, Wonderfalls (counts 'cos I would not have discovered it but for Whedonesque), but more than a few lost weekends, when the next boxed set arrived.
The first Buffy show I saw was "The Body". I was half-way through my father's slow decline and death due to cancer. Caring for him and going to work took up 90% of my time. That episode was cathartic in the extreme and the show became my escape and probably saved my sanity.

Of course, that's saying I was sane to begin with :)
Highly impressed by people reading -- and writing! -- art not in their native tongues.

And generally, this thread?


[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-10 22:11 ]
Dear Joss; because of you, I have a fear of telephone polls.
I <3 Joss Whedon

That's right, three Joss Whedons are greater than me. Then again, one Joss Whedon is better than me.

When my brother Joe asked me if I wanted to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I gave him the hairy eyeball. So he shrugged and sat down to an episode of Buffy. We were living together in a small apartment at the time, so in a way I kind of had to watch it. I can't remember which episode it was now, but I think that I was hooked by the time that the theme song started playing. Of course, then I wanted him to start the show from the beginning.

I think it was about a month later when he asked if I wanted to watch Angel. I said that it wouldn't be the same as Buffy, to which he replied "dude, just watch it."

I do remember that we started Angel on the first episode. I was right in that it wasn't the same, but it was just as good. By the way, this was before the fifth season of Angel started. I got to tune into the fifth season of Angel after work every Wednesday night.

When Angel went off the air, Joe cancelled our cable T.V. service.

This was before the fifth season of Angel, but when Joe asked me if I wanted to watch Firefly, I said that I wasn't a big fan of science fiction. Joe beat me over the head with a small couch, and I agreed to watch the first episode. I absolutely loved it. Firefly even opened the gates to other science fiction shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who and Star Trek. When Joe told me that it had only lasted for about a dozen episodes, I was furious.

Several months later, I heard Joe shout something to the effect of "F***IN' AWESOME!" while I was browsing the 'net in my room. He'd just read the news that Serenity was in the works. My response was pretty much the same.

I am a faithful fan of Joss Whedon. I plan on buying every volume of the Astonishing X-Men (I never bought comic books before Joss), and I can't wait for two movies that I don't even know much about yet (Goners and Wonder Woman).

I'm gushing, I know, but I just wanted to get all of that out of my systems just in case Joss decides to read through this thread.

Joss, you're my favorite writer/director ever.

George Romero comes in at a close second, but that's only 'cause I loves me some zombies.
Dear Joss,

I love your work. In fact I've spent so much time watching your shows that many nights in which I could having been having sex with a range of lovely women were wasted.

Thanks for nothing.

Love from David.
I hardly ever comment, but I feel the need to here.

I came to Buffy in the 3rd season after an Aussie friend visited and gushed profusely about how addicted he was to the show. I was immediately hooked. And then there was Angel, and I stayed hooked. I completely missed Firefly during the first run (short period of living with a BF who didn't think paying for cable was a necessity), but I'm kinda glad I did, because it meant my first exposure to the 'verse was in the manner in which it was intended and not the mucked up way the network handled it. Then I found Whedonesque, and I found myself falling in love with his other work, including an obsession and appreciation for comics at 41.

Beyond the amazing writing, flawless story arcs, and a knack for finding just the right actors to pull it off, Joss has always felt like "one of us" -- just a geeky jokester of a guy who uses his own voice to write good stuff that we can connect with and just happens to have found a way to get it on TV or in the theater. I've never connected with or been this enthusiastic about any writer, director, creator, etc. Only Joss has managed to strike this kind of chord with me. And I truly do thank him for it.
Superfically, if it were not for Joss I wouldn't have a set of comic books awaiting me when I go into my local comic book store. (Before Joss, when I spoke of my local, it was a pub).
I wouldn't spend my breakfast and lunch hours reading Whedonesque and other Whedon-centric websites.
A little deeper, I wouldn't have dreamed of doing a fan table or a charity screening because I'm not that type of person. A take charge person. A speak to a lot of strangers person. Or wasn't, before Joss.
I've never connected with or been this enthusiastic about any writer, director, creator, etc. Only Joss has managed to strike this kind of chord with me. And I truly do thank him for it.

Yeah. What Becka said. ;)

(But there is that time in 1965 I stood in line for hours to see a double bill of "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help.")
That site is nice (and who doesn't love Hoss, by golly) but I think I'd rather comment here. He might actually see it.

What does Joss Whedon mean to me? Has stroke from sheer emotional response... Seriously though, if I said the sun, the stars and the moon, it wouldn't be too far off. Joss' work has gotten me through at least one deep depression and even when I didn't want to feel, especially more pain, I kept going back to watching Buffy and then Angel. I think those shows kept me a) human, and b) sane. Because Joss is us and we are him. He is an intellect fused with a large heart (not en-larged, just large). He's the Mozart of his age; a genius who writes for the people, not the rich and influential. It's his calling and while he must write for himself first, he shared it with us lucky mortals. And I love him for it and all the above.
Well, I cannot match those who have found the loves of their lives through Joss's fandom, but I have met some wonderful people through Whedonesque, and my daily routine has been permanently altered to include checking in on the "black," the "white" and the "library." I would not have discovered BSG nor VM were it not for the discussions on Whedonesque (deeply indebted to you, Simon, for the early BSG raves -- that show has become, by far, my favorite of all those currently on the air). Like others, I have also learned much more about the TV industry than I ever thought I would.

But I have also learned much about writing. I have no aspirations to be a screenwriter, but I am fascinated by the process. And through Joss's comments on writing alone (but greatly enhanced by Tim M.'s and Jane E.'s comments), I have thought a great deal more about the structure of my own non-fiction writing and that of my students.

Nevertheless, as much as I appreciate Joss for his work and his interaction with fans, I appreciate his humanitarian contributions through Equality Now even more, perhaps. That his own desire to give back to the world has inspired or nurtured those same impulses in his fans is heartwarming. And given the problems in the world right now, it is so important to set examples of peace and caring that are not tied to religious or political dogma, but given out of the generosity of the human spirit. A person could have worse legacies.
That's a great letter. I have nothing to add to it because I agree with every detail!
Nicely said, palehorse. So many of the posts above hint at actual, positive life change inspired, at least in part, by the works of the man. That's just incredible. And so refreshing to read, on this day where I was feeling a bit down on the tone of things around here. Yay, uplifted again. And since I've certainly used more than my fill of this space to go on and on about the powerful way Joss has affected my life, (LoveThread, et al) I'll endeavor to keep it short.

I found my way to these smart, funny, achingly observant stories during a difficult time and they were a lifeline of sorts. After a while, I found myself becoming more discerning and demanding of the things served up to me as entertainment. My life had truly been enriched by these characters and tales and I couldn't stand the sights, sounds, or yes, smells of mediocre substitutes. Long after the stories had left primetime, they remained in my consciousness, and, i think, served as inspiration and strength to fight back/survive a recent violent assault and its aftermath. But most of all, a shared love of these words, characters and ideas brought me to this place, where I stumbled upon a man (our own, blue, zeitgeist) who, although 2,000 miles away, floored me with his limitless wisdom, razor-sharp wit, uncommon courage, unfailing ridiculousness and his ability to make me a whole new kind of eyes-wide-open happy. It's like he invented his own brand. Kickass. And, as I've decided that I'm keeping him, like, fo-evah, I'm ever grateful for how Joss has affected my life.
I was lucky. I was in from the first episode of Buffy. I saw it advertised and remembered there had been a film that wasn't brilliant but had one or two amusing ideas. I was hooked within minutes of episode 1 by the whole concept: witty, exciting writing well delivered by the actors with incredibly high production values in spite of a small budget. The show was broadcast twice a week back then with a slightly edited early evening edition followed by an uncut late night showing. I badgered my bestest friend to watch. It was a mark of his great respect for my opinion that he thought I was talking out of my arse but I nagged him so much and there was no sport on at the time of the repeat so he watched that first episode too and was hooked immediately too. Our addiction got so bad we couldn't wait for Buffy to come to the UK so we got downloads from the U.S.

Then Angel started. It was the mythology of the vampire with the soul that I found even more exciting and resonant than The Slayer. It tapped into so many literary, psychological and mythological traditions. I can remember sitting down nervously but with great expectation to the very first episode of that and was, of course, smitten. And this time, my bestest friend didn't quibble when I told him he had to watch this show.

Two shows which at their best had brilliant writing, a terrific amalgam of seasoned actors with new enthusiastic talent, brilliant design and choreography. Not since the golden period of English theatre in C16-C17 had an audience been treated to high comedy/drama/pathos/tragedy sometimes all in one episode turning emotions on a dime and metaphor - ye gods we were rich in metaphor and allegory plus knowing references to high and low culture. We were so spoilt and so pitying of those who didn't understand, who thought these were just kids shows about vampires.

Firefly had been and almost gone before I got wind of it. I saw a couple of episodes (when it was still out of order), starting with "The Train Job." It was alright but after BtVS and Angel it seemed a bit average and I didn't bother with the rest. Eventually, the DVDs were issued and I thought, "What the hell?! People I respect are saying this was a good show. Let's give it a go." On spec, I bought the DVDs and that was it. This was a great show sabotaged witlessly by the suits who make decisions. Yes, of course, I went to see Serenity the moment it opened, loved it and bought the DVD the moment it was on sale as I did every episode of BtVS and Angel.

When there is dross on TV now as there is so often, I take down one of my box sets and indulge myself again in some of the best and most satisfying times to be had from TV drama.

But it's an absolute lie that I take my Smile Time vampire puppet to bed with me...
Before Joss, I was pretty much a snob about TV. And like Saje, I tended to follow the works of individual book authors & filmmakers, rather than TV creators. Now, I'm embarassed to admit that a small part of me actually believes that the Scoobies and Sunnydale (destroyed though it may be) actually exist.

It's the "igniting the creative spark" part of Joss's work that I especially appreciate. As much as I love his TV & film work -- and I do -- and as affecting as certain creations have been -- like "The Body" and others -- his art inspires me to create myself and that's invaluable.

I think we're all potentially artists, among the other roles we play, and it's artists like Joss that make me feel better & stronger & more connected to others that cause me to "remember" to create & give out, as well as take in.

(This is a thread that I've long wanted us to do, especially as I've detected over time, like Pointy, a slightly disheartened tone in Joss's missives. I've wanted to emphasize to him what we've already received as a way of thanks & encouragement. The recent thread with his posts was sorta it, and this is icing...)

(ETA: Pointy: "I'm in mid-Oliver Twist for same reason. (I put some of Dickens' filthy bits at the end of the Mercedes thread.)"

Me, too. What a great idea. What a Foul, Suggestive Writer Dickens was...)

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-10-10 21:08 ]
Great stuff, all! *Hugs palehorse and barest*

Joss has affected me (hugely) in so many of the ways you all have expressed, but there is one (smallish) thing that stands out a bit. Herc at Ain' decided to have a bash in LA for the last Buffy episode ever. Great party, so, so bittersweet for all 500 of us attending... and I got to meet Amber and James L. The big thing about that trip wasn't the shared experience of seeing the very last ep all together, though. It was after, when, all reflective, we drove up the coast and discovered this tiny little inn in Malibu.

I've been back there twice since. I hope I can convey how peaceful and wonderful that small find is and was. Like a dream place, off the beaten a bit, and just a hair's breadth away from paradise. That's how that place makes me feel, down to my very soul. And I'd never have found it, if not for Joss.
I wrote a version of this on the Goners site some time ago in the Why Joss thread.

His writing astounds me with its ability to make me feel, make me care so much for people, for characters, who theoretically should exist only in the moment I'm watching them. Yet, they live on in my mind.
They become a part of my "interior life," to crib a phrase from the Man himself.

I have, on occasion, asked myself, "what would Buffy do here?" Granted, the answer often involved a level of violence not tolerated by our society or justice system, so I had to go another way. But you get my meaning, right? :p

Joss creates, with the help of fantastic actors, people I want to know and people I want to be.
(And some I just want to do, but that's a whole 'nother NC-17 rated story. LoL)

It feels like home when I'm watching a show from the 'verse. (Firefly/Serenity particularly does that for me.) It's like I'm hanging out with old friends. Really cool friends I've known for years.
That feeling of family and the idea of created family resonates strongly with me since it's a reflection of my real life. My friends are the only family I have, and I love them dearly.

His work has brought joy, laughter, and pain-- soul-wrenching pain-- into my world that I wouldn't have had otherwise, and I'm glad for all of it, even the pain. On various occasions, he's broadened my horizons, challenged my beliefs, and given me something to look forward to. On bad days, the 'verse has brought me solace and comfort.

Joss' work clicks with me on so many levels, I could wax rhapsodic about him all day long, but then you'd grow bored and annoyed with me, (too late!) so I won't.
Joss loves people and loves his fans. That love comes through in every scene.

He's made my life better, quite simply.

And I'm grateful for his work, his dedication to both his characters and to us, the fans.
Hmm. I started watching Buffy when the pilot premiered, and by the end of the teaser, it was one of my favorite shows ever. With the exception of Jaynestown, I think I saw every episode of all three Joss shows in non-syndicated broadcast (quite an accomplishment in the Dark Ages before TV on DVD… is it sad I was [am] proud of that?)

But I'd say the effect on my life as a whole has been a bit more subtle than what most people here have posted. I knew I was going to be a writer about 8 years before Buffy, but that was the show that convinced me that I should try writing comedy (I had always thought my sense of humor was too dark/weird before that. Buffy was one of the first things I saw that I felt was similar to my sense of humor, which was a large part of why I liked it so much.) These days I primarily write comedy, so I suppose in the long run, it did have a large impact on my writing.

When I was in college, I would call home and talk to my dad (and occasionally mom and sis) about the latest episodes of Buffy and Angel right after they aired, and wasn't so-and-so shocking/hilarious/really damn cool? Not the most significant moments in my life, but they are certainly memories I treasure. And if it wasn't for Joss, I would have had to listen to my dad talk about nothing but baseball and evil software corporations.
Like others have said, I 'blame' Joss for the way my life has changed over the past two years - and I thank him every day for it. Although I was a Firefly fan by the end of the first showing of "The Train Job" - and converted a few people at work - I didn't become an involved fan until I 'discovered' Angel and then Buffy just over two years ago and now I watch them over and over.

Through Joss I found Whedonesque, my local Vancouver Browncoat group, the Library and .org. Because of these things, my life has changed dramatically from within. I feel as if I had been in a deep freeze for years and when I cautiously opened the door to peep out, Joss reached in, grabbed me by the heart and pulled me out to plunge into life head first. No dipping my toe in the water to test the temperature for me.

I have developed close relationships with people in my local Browncoat group (seven of whom were at my home for Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday night), people with whom I spend a lot of time several times a month. And, just as importantly, through the Library I have developed friendships with Joss fans throughout the world.

A little deeper, I wouldn't have dreamed of doing a fan table or a charity screening because I'm not that type of person. A take charge person. A speak to a lot of strangers person. Or wasn't, before Joss.

Lioness, exactly. Two years ago I would never have dreamt of organizing a charity screening, but I did it and was very proud that we raised money for such an excellent charity that does the kind of work I want to support. I even stood in front of 150 people to MC the event. Definitely the 'new me', as my friends and I joke. And as an assistant organizer of our local Browncoat group, I habitually am talking to newcomers to our group, although as someone said on the Done The Impossible DVD, Browncoats are friends you just haven't met yet.

I look at TV shows - and movies - in a different, more discerning way and am much more cognizant of who's doing the writing, directing or even producing. I am buying comics, which I have not done since I was very young - my local comic shop has a box for me and they know to put anything Joss-related into it ;-).

I also find myself referencing Joss's works on a daily basis, whether it is a quote from one of his shows (often) or a situation that reminds me of a scene from the 'verse.

In short (I know, way too late!), Joss has brought so much happiness, love and joy into my life directly and indirectly that I am sometimes overwhelmed. Even though allowing myself to feel again means I have also had to accept some pain, I have never regretted a moment of coming back to life.

Thank you, Joss!
Joss, Thank you, thank you, thank you for Spike. My life has not been the same since, not that it was bad before, it is just richer now. Thanks.
I think I would also thank Joss for Spike, and for BTVS which is my favorite show...ever.. Also, thanks for allowing me to make some wonderful friends over the years.
Oh, don't make me post something serious about this Joss guy.

gossi's story of wonders;

When I was growing up - and even now - my mum has presented the idea to me that I should marry a woman to look after my place and iron my shirts. Whenever she's here, she still says the same thing. Now, don't get me wrong, my place is usually always mess, but that's my responsibility.

When I grew up, roughly between the age of 15 and now, I watched Buffy on VHS tapes. A lot. I got a job, and used to buy all the box sets as they were released, and watch them religiously. At the time, that wasn't cheap, but I remember it being the first time I had seen a TV series which was periodically making my jaw drop off. And, most importantly, it was funny.

I didn't go out much during these years. I had moved to Scotland at the time (and I'd lived everywhere before that - a child of the RAF).

Buffy, and Angel, helped shape my world view. And I mean that. I found it odd when women weren't strong in real life. I found things some people say creepy. The people I grew up with - on TV - were smart, funny, interesting, odd and compellingly bumpy. In my world, people take responsibility for their actions, actions have a consequence, life might be dark but look for the funny and I should embrace the cheese. In my world, my family isn't just blood related.

Thank you Joss, and everybody else involved in the creative process for giving me a world or 3 which I could not only relate to, but invested in and learned from.

I'm not sure if I'm alone in this, but I hold no religious beliefs. I do, however, believe BTVS made me a better person. And I know I shouldn't say that, 'cause, cheese - but I actually mean it. It hit at a time when my moral view of the world was forming, and the layers of intelligence in the show helped give me a view of the world I wouldn't have seen in other shows.
Dear Joss: I like your tie. Sincerely, Me.
Thanks to Joss, I am now a total TV snob. He set the bar pretty damn high :) I love reading about everyone's emotional journeys. I'm so lucky to be part of such a great community. Thanks, Joss!
I've actually been planning to write an essay entitled "How Joss Whedon Saved My Life," a title which is not at all glib, actually. (Surprisingly?) I think a more accurate title might be "How Joss Whedon and My Boyfriend Saved My Life," though. Without the boyfriend, I would not know of the Joss. In any case, someday I'll find the words for the details and the willingness to share them with the world. But for now, know this, Internet fandom: Joss Whedon kept me from being deaded. And that means a thing. (Hey I channeled Tim Minear! Who also kept me from being deaded. It was a team effort.)

A sweet idea, which makes me want to get the ancient Joss Birthday Project back online, or what of it I can recover from the Wayback Machine.
Kiba, didn't you try to stop Firefly being deaded? It's like a circle of life. Or something.
Or something. But you see how I tried and did not succeed? I myself am not actually deaded. That's the difference between me stopping Firefly being deaded and Joss keeping me from being deaded. (Now I am wondering, is it easier to save a person than a TV show?)
I have noticed you are not deed and raise my glass to Jay of Wee for this accomplishment.

(Un)funny thing - I hadn't been involved in the online Firefly fandom at all until I saw Immediate Assistance. Through that, I met my girlfriend, movie people and a circle of friends. Which is not something I would have otherwise done. So, thanks, Kiba et all.
Well, when I have a moment I plan to add something to this site.

Joss opened up a whole new 'verse to me and I very much appreciate it. I love all of Joss's worlds very much.

However, the one really special thing he did for me was help me grieve the loss of my mother. When my mother passed I found it very hard to grieve. I'm not completely sure why, but part of it was due to some stupid family pressures and my own self concept getting in the way. Then, a year or so later, I watched the Buffy Ep "The Body". While the details of the situation were different, Joss captured the emotion of the event, the weirdness, the coldness, everything perfectly. I cried and cried, like a hungry, angry baby. It helped me open up and let out all the feelings that I'd been holding in. I've watched the ep several more times since then and each time I am amazed at how perfectly he captured that event. I'm healthier and stronger for it and I am truly grateful to Joss for that.
Joss Whedon led me to my chosen career field. If I had never seen "Buffy", I never would have gotten online and involved in fandom, and never would have seen all the pretty wallpapers and icons the fans produced. I wanted to make shiny things too, so I took a Photoshop class and now I'm in college for graphic design. Also, said college has a huge "Firefly" following, so I've been able to meet some good folks through that.

On a more personal note, "Buffy" was what helped me keep my sanity when I was diagnosed with diabetes (I can remember the exact date I was diagnosed because it was the same night that "Storyteller" premiered. For the record, I missed the episode. Hospitals have sucky TV channels). While everything may have been changing in real life, I knew they'd always be the same in the Buffyverse and that our heroine would prevail no matter what. I had that knowledge to depend on and it really helped.
OK, I bite.

Dearest Joss,
We adore that brainpan of yours and so miss your stories. Would you please entertain us?

Guess that was pretty straight forward.
I bought The Chosen collection recently and have been rewatching the show, though not totally in sequence. I got to the finale of the "Evil Willow" arc (Xander saves Will with the yellow crayon speech) last night. I was thinking how wonderful it would be if, in the way that Willow drains the black arts books, there was a way all the shows could be instantly transferred to someone's psyche; the love, warmth, pain, friendship, all of it, especially in light of how much it does for us (we few, we happy few). I also hope Joss pops in and reads some of the messages. It was distressing to read the post of his which talked about how weary and wary he is now.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2006-10-11 01:25 ]
gossi, I didn't know that. THAT is the circle of something or other.
Since It seems that I just can't write something better, I'll just keep quoting other people:

When I was growing up - and even now - my mum has presented the idea to me that I should marry a woman to look after my place and iron my shirts. Whenever she's here, she still says the same thing. Now, don't get me wrong, my place is usually always mess, but that's my responsibility.

Imagine when you're an Asian guy, growing up in foreign but paternalistic country, where a lot of macho concepts are inbued culturally.

My mom is a little more liberal, but when I talk to older people, friends from my parents or when I get to talk to my grandparents, it goes through the concept that "men of the house".

When I grew up, roughly between the age of 15 and now, I watched Buffy on VHS tapes. A lot. I got a job, and used to buy all the box sets as they were released, and watch them religiously. At the time, that wasn't cheap, but I remember it being the first time I had seen a TV series which was periodically making my jaw drop off. And, most importantly, it was funny.

I got Buffy from almost the very beginning. Never saw the movie at the theathers. Got the first run of the show, when it debuted over here. It lined up, with how I always prefered strong female characters over cool male ones. Always prefered Jean Grey and Kitty Pride over Cyclops and Wolverine.

I spent pretty much the first few years enjoying it by myself. Most of my friends didn't had cable, and when we're hanging we were mostly discussing the newest Street Fighter game, animes or our limited love lives.

I didn't go out much during these years. I had moved to Scotland at the time (and I'd lived everywhere before that - a child of the RAF).

But something happenned when I graduated from High School, which actually happenned the same year Buffy and her friends did.

The graduation was last grip from my past self, which was mostly a loner due to how I was raised. Right around that time Buffy fandom started to develop here in Brazil. Mailing lists. Websites. And I finally got a computer that had internet access.

Maybe I was just at the right place at the right time. But started to get involved. First, it was just a shy contact, with a friend who could help me purchase Pocket Books' "Buffy: Yearbook". Few months later, started to organize, monthly meet ups. First at, food area over at malls, then moving to living rooms from the homes of a few of a us.

We did run some quite big and memorable events over the 2000~2003 years, we even partned with a big genre magazine for a party. The big meet ups and fan groups pretty much faded since then. Maybe that's the sad part of the story. But I prefer to remember the good part. Maybe we just weren't meant to be similar to the Star Wars or Star Trek fandoms. Hey, somewhere during those years, I was even slightly famous in the fandom, writing columns for all whedon shows and speaking in Fox DVD release parties.

Did I say we faded? Maybe that's not the right word. We just sort of disappeared from the mainstream. Because in a few ways we still live. And somewhere in between those busy years, it just stopped being just about Buffy or Angel. It became personal. We became a family. Not that I don't love and make the best of my blood family. But there were things that I could share with them, due to our shared experiences, that I could not share with my relatives (maybe that's the main difference between family and relatives).

We still like to get together once in a while and watch a few episodes in the births (the newest kid, was even born like 20 days ago), a wedding (1, 2, several drunk people.

Buffy, and Angel, helped shape my world view. And I mean that. I found it odd when women weren't strong in real life. I found things some people say creepy. The people I grew up with - on TV - were smart, funny, interesting, odd and compellingly bumpy. In my world, people take responsibility for their actions, actions have a consequence, life might be dark but look for the funny and I should embrace the cheese. In my world, my family isn't just blood related.

Thank you Joss, and everybody else involved in the creative process for giving me a world or 3 which I could not only relate to, but invested in and learned from.

I can definetely relate to that. Isn't it odd that some women just isn't stronger, when they definetely can.
I'm never intimidated by strong women. They're the ones I respect the most, and it is probably how I can work so well in my job, where most of my bosses are women.

Thank you very much. Not only Joss, but everyone, touched those creations, even if it was only for a little while.

Some people say it was just some silly fiction. I actually believe that it stopped being "some silly fiction", when it started to change lives in the real world.

I'm not sure if I'm alone in this, but I hold no religious beliefs. I do, however, believe BTVS made me a better person. And I know I shouldn't say that, 'cause, cheese - but I actually mean it. It hit at a time when my moral view of the world was forming, and the layers of intelligence in the show helped give me a view of the world I wouldn't have seen in other shows.

No you're definetely not alone with this.

I couldn't finish this post without stealing from someone else. This is one of the final columns from ScoopMe's (I think that was the name of the website, which just seems lost to me now) Hunter Maxim, for the end of Buffy. I actually have it printed in a folder for memorable things, and makes me think how I got here:

"This is our graduation day,and it is all the sadder because I know what to expect out of it now. As much as Buffy means to me, as much as it has given me immeasurable joy, I know it has to fade with time. What are we going to do?
Am I going to tell my future wife about the seve years I spent if fron of the television, enriching my life. Unless she was one of us, she'd never understand, but what are the cnaces? If I told her, she'd think me crazy. It would make her worry.
Am I going to tell my children? Am I going to rock them to sleep at night and tell them fantastic stories of a girl I once knew? Will it be any stranger and outdated than the stories your grandfather told you about gathering around the radio and listening to old Lone Ranger serials?
These stories, they die with us. They fade with the living of our lives, to be taken out at hat boxes and steamer trunks on Sunday afternoons to fill the long dark tea times of our souls. As much as we try, we can never pass them on the way we want to. We can never will the people in our futures to feeel for them as we do.
They had to be there to understand.
With us.
None of this is crazy. None of you are insane. We just knew something that other didn't. We just lived something that other missed. It is their loss, their regret.
Which is why all of this - the show, this web site, these articles, these boards - were so important. This was our time. This was our secret. this was our life that got better with every passing Tuesday.
Don't forget that.
Don't let it go entirely.
Com back, sometime, in your mind, and remember how wonderful it all once was. Remember how sai it all was, how sad we all were.
How sad we all are.
Come back, because you have to acknowledge that it was real.
For them.
For us.
It's time now.
This run it's course, and I've done all that I know how to do. I can't say goodbye, and I will nto suher you out the door. Stay as long as you like, look around as much as you want, and savor every precious moment of it. I'll leave the light on. - Matthew R. Heitzer.

I've certainly shed a tear or two watching TV shows over the years but once the set was turned off, so were my feelings.

BtVS is the only show I've ever watched that would make me cry days later while reliving something heartrending.

And I guess I can offer no greater compliment to Joss than to say I still get misty-eyed and even occasionally angry thinking about certain plotlines after three years.
Might there perhaps be an even greater compliment one can pay Joss than that his artistic choices have made one sad and angry for years?

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-11 04:44 in a fit of guilt and remorse ]

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-11 05:31 ]
Damn straight, Pointy!

Numfar, that poem was beautiful.

I've loved the verse for as long as my son has been alive, which is kind of cool, really. Started watching the DVDs while on maternity leave. I was bored out of my mind (all the kid did was eat, sleep, and poop). So, I borrowed the DVDs from my boss, and the rest is history. So, my name is Harmalicious, and I've been a Joss Whedon lovah for 2 and a half years (yesterday). Not nearly as long as you peeps, but long enough to fall pretty damn hard.
In fairness, Harmalicious, I should confess that I, too, am angry at Joss about some storylines he merely might be thinking of.


And may the son of Harmalicious one day love the slayer saga!

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-11 06:20 ]
Numfar, that was great. I too was a fan of Hunter, and corresponded many times with that brilliant person. He so loved the Buffyverse and was articulate and unabashed in drafting weekly odes to the show that were my extreme pleasure to read.

I've posted here before at my sadness of the ScoopMe closure, and what a loss that Hunter (Matthew) would no longer be writing his eloquent essays. A few months ago, I posted a query to the WB site, where his articles are archived. He responded and said he is alive, well, and now happily married (yay because he was a very sad guy for a very long time)! He's not writing for anything Buffy related any more, and has sworn it off until 'she' returns in some form. I wonder if he knows about the impending comics!

Nice of you, Numfar, to share that bit of his. For those who loved it, you have no idea. He did that and more every single week BtVS was airing. Great writer.
The sainted Mrs. Pointy suffered mixed state bipolar disorder. She did not enjoy enough of life, but she loved Buffy. I used to be able to cheer her up sometimes by going out and getting a Buffy video (we started watching in Season Two, after Sarah Michelle did Saturday Night Live's best show, so the videos of Season One were still fresh for us). As Shakespeare would write in iambic pentameter, "Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you."
C'mon, somebody post something more cheerful, like a Buffy-themed birthday party for children.
Crap. My corner of the nerdish realm lies fast asleep and Oz probably won't have time to post before work. I was hoping for something more touching, but this is what I got:

Bold Purple One, you felt bad when bigger people overpowered you as a child, and that was part of what made you a feminist.

You felt bad as a young man when the blond girl in the horror movies who was clever and had sex somehow always seemed to die, and that was part of what made you create Buffy.

You felt bad as a mature man when they cancelled Firefly, and I won't pretend to understand how that feels, but I do believe they were mistaken, that Firefly would've found its audience if they'd given it a chance. (That 'verse will still produce art. I know you've got a great novelist within you, and perhaps he's struggling to get out, like the creature in Alien, which you made me watch and totally freaked me out, but that's okay, it was good.)

You will turn your pain into love. That's what you do. That's what all good and great hearts do, and you have one.

I have faith. I know this:

What breaks your heart is what makes your heart.

Scads of kittens purr thee to thy rest.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-11 09:33 ]
Well my “How Joss Whedon Changed My Life” story isn’t nearly as eloquent or fascinating as some of your stories are, but the almighty Joss Whedon did change my life and for that I am and always will be grateful. I remember seeing the movie with my family when I was young, maybe 8 or 9 and, so at that age, I thought it was pretty cool. I never thought much about it again, nor did I think much about it when I heard that there was going to be a new series on television called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". I unfortunately was one of those snobs who wouldn’t give the show the time of day because “hello, no one cool was watching that!” Oh, how silly and naïve I was.

One night while hanging out with my friends, one of them asked me if I wanted to watch an episode of Buffy and I promptly said “expletive no” to which they replied that that was just too bad they were going to make me watch one anyway. Well I didn’t want to admit it to them but from pretty much the start of that episode, which funnily enough was “Beer Bad”, I was hooked.

I didn’t want to let on how wrong I had been and how right they had been so I didn’t admit my infatuation until a later time when we were watching another episode and I just couldn’t keep it to myself any longer, I had to tell them how awesome I thought the show was. They of course got to act all superior and I let them because hell, they were superior, they knew about this great show for so long and had been watching greatness, while I had been watching, well other stuff. So they let me borrow Season 1 and the rest is history.

My infatuation for Buffy the Vampire Slayer has grown way beyond that, its now a full blown, obsessed, love it like I will love my child someday, can’t live without it, think about it literally everyday at all times of the day, getting out of the shower and tearing up thinking about certain things that happen, driving in the car by myself cracking up at a certain line, kind of love.

Joss Whedon has given me something to look forward to at the end of my night that I know isn’t going to let me down. If I want to laugh I know just what episode to put on, if I want to cry and have my heart broken, I know just what episode to put on and if I just want to marvel at the great cinematic feat that is this wonderful show we all know and love I know just what episode to put on.

I am a still a snob about it all, but now I’m a snob about people who don’t watch the show and won’t give it a try, so I view it as an acceptable kind of snobbery. I have an obsession, an interest that makes me cool and interesting, (well almost), and its all due to you, Joss Whedon. I realize how great television can be because of you. I realize now that television doesn’t have to be mindless, flat characters with a dull plot you give not a rat’s behind about, I know now that television can be full of rich, developed and developing characters, characters who not only grow and change right before out very eyes, but can teach us a thing or two about this thing called life along the way.

I gobble up every single piece of news about Joss, his work and the actors from the shows we love. I can now watch different episodes and sometimes tell a certain writer’s style, which is something that I find so cool, and I now have favorite writers, which I never even thought about pre-Buffy. I can also sometimes discern certain directing styles on the show and I have favorite directors as well. I know about a few different ways to shoot a scene and about how one-ers are great because it lets the chemistry between the actors really sparkle and flow easily. I of course have no desire to be a director or work in the film or television industry but these things are things I’m proud to say I know about, and if that makes me a geek I just don’t care, I will wave my geek flag high and proud.

Whedonesque is the first site I visit every time I sign on the web, I cannot get enough Joss-y goodness. Joss, my life was good before but every time I think about you and the show you gave to all of us I wonder how I lived so long without knowing about it. I was in the dark for so long. You made my life incomparably richer, funnier, and more interesting because you gave me a piece of you and for that I thank you with all the Buffy love in my heart, and that’s a whole hell of a lot. And oh yes, thank you, thank you, thank you for Spike.

[ edited by Entropy on 2006-10-11 10:05 ]
I came so late to the party, not just this thread, but the party itself. I'm a young'un compared to some here, so actually the first show I encountered was Firefly, not Buffy or Angel. I liked the funny, the smart, the Gina Torres (did I say that out loud?), the ship, the guns, the horses, but I really liked this in the "last" ep (I was watching on Fox, those bastards):

Mal: We're still flying.
Simon: That's not much.
Mal: It's enough.

That rang so true in my little head, esp. since I thought those were the "last words" of the show. So, I went on my merry, p***ed at Fox, but, hey, that happens a lot *coughthetickarresteddevelopmentandyrichtercontrolstheuniverseetccough*.

Then the DVDs came along at an affordable price, and I re-met the 'Verse, in order, with all eps, and just older enough to really get it. Now, thanks to TNT, I've caught up on AtS, too, and FX is helping me currently to meet BtVS (hey, those boxed sets are expensive for a growing boy, yo). And thanks to Whedonesque, I have found friends all around the world to talk about the shows and about so much, much more. And thanks to Whedonesque and JaneEsp's blog, I know so much more about what good writing means. It has helped me gain confidence to write, not as "a writer," but just to express myself, which has really helped me gain confidence, period. :-)

There's been so many days where life has just taken one big dump on me, my friends, my family, my world. When those times are here, sometimes I can manage to find one small thing that doesn't suck, and tell myself, "It's not much, but it's enough." Joss has helped me appreciate the importance of those one-small-things, and that it's OK to let people know my thoughts and feelings, like The Purple One did himself in the big truth thread the other day.

As our UK Whedonesquers say, cheers, Joss. You are an inspiration to me, and you have made me laugh/cry/feel as well. I am glad to be contractually obligated to love everything you write. You go, boy! ;-)
Wow - this thread made me all weepy - never a good thing before work!

I was lucky enough to meet Joss last year, and of course the incredibly moving and witty speech I had planned to give was curtailed by the fact Nathan Fillion was Right. There. waiting for me (oh yeah, love the sound of that), and a million people behind me going 'Get on with it!'. So sadly, when I got there, I just said 'my camera broke' because it had.

Nathan was still waiting and, dammit, I had to make a choice. So I said, actually, I wanted to speak to Joss. And all I had time to say was Thank you.

If I had more time now, I would say thanks for giving me strength, and purpose. Like others have said, I'm not religious, but the Joss 'verse provides all the guidance I could want. My work is to help women who have been abused, and Angels speech in Epiphany ( and various others - Buffy in Amends for example) pretty much sums up why I do this (even though it was written by Tim Minear - like Kiba said, group effort) and gives me strength to go out there and get empowerin'!

'If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do. 'cause that's all there is. What we do, now, today...I wanna help because I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.'
Really nice sentiments one and all. Hopefully seeing the positive, life-changing effect his work's had on so many people will have had a positive effect on Big Purple.

At risk of being a bit sappy, does anyone else think this post came along at just the right time ? Couple of fairly fraught threads all laid to rest with a wee reminder of why we're all here. Almost makes you wonder about a guiding (orange ?) hand ;).
My Whedon addiction started with Firefly, which I heard about via some internet forum I visited. Over here in Sweden, most people haven't even heard about Firefly, since we often get only the successful shows. Sometimes we get smaller shows as part of a network package deal, but they mostly air those shows in the middle of the night...

Anyway, I checked it out and was almost immediately hooked. My girlfriend at the time and I had a Firefly marathon over a weekend and we both loved it to bits!

Me and my girlfriend broke up just before christmas a year ago, and I dived right into a depression, which lasted throughout spring. I decided to also check out Buffy, because some friends always talked about it. Said and done, I started and very shortly lived and breathed Buffy. At the beginning I was totally unspoiled, so I gasped when Buffy sent Angel to hell, laughed my ass off during "Hush", and cried when her mother died. Buffy and Angel really got me through some hard times. Now, I'm also in touch with other Swedish Buffy fans, talking about tv, and life in general.

I really connected with the show, because it's intelligent, funny, moving and sometimes scary. And also because I've always been attracted to strong, funny and smart women, and haven't really felt at home with the high on testosterone men's culture. Also, I feel closer to my friends than to my family, just like Buffy.

So, thank you Joss :)

ps. Very nice reading in this thread
ps2. I looooved Serenity too, and Joss' Xmen comics :)
Almost makes you wonder about a guiding (orange ?) hand ;).

I try not to leave fingerprints but in this case....
Cheers, Simon! :-)
Cheers, Simon! :-)

Yep. Ditto.

I don't really think I could add too much to what has already been said. I do know that, once the 'verse became a part of my life, everything looked/seemed a lot better than it had in a long, long time.

What Joss has said about family was exactly what I grew up with. Half of my family had no genetic connection to me at all, but were family all the same, mostly closer than blood kin because the affinity was greater and those people deliberately sought out. I still can't think of anyone besides my own son that I would rather spend time with than my family-who-aren't-really-kin. So when I lost of a few of them, things were not exactly good for a while.

But then I found the 'verse and was so enriched by the shows, the humor, the great writing, the characters you love (even when you get massively ticked at them), the Whedonesquers, just all of it, that all the bad stuff got put in perspective. And I relearned how to laugh. A lot.

Thanks, Joss. I heart you.
Subtle, Simon, very subtle.

I wish this hadn't been crowded off the front page so soon. This thread deserves to be longer, at least, than the Go Fug Yourself one. Joss, I hate to say this, but maybe you should pose nude.
Pointy: "This thread deserves to be longer, at least, than the Go Fug Yourself one. Joss, I hate to say this, but maybe you should pose nude."

Since we would be contractually obligated to love it, I'm hoping that it wouldn't be airbrushed. Joss, the way we like him, and by the grace of the PTB, human and mercifully unedited.
Any chance this thread could be moved back to the top spot of the main page for a week or so? It would be a nice tribute for Joss, not that he isn't being tributed and heralded in a bazillion squares, bazaars, and other venues. But, it's Whedonesque.
Might it be appropriate under "the sitch" on the front page, with some title like, Latest Love Thread? I think people might like to add to it, if they think it will be read, and it is kind of a group reply to his last post.
zeitgeist - deja vu, much? ;D
Etymologically (could there be a worse word with which to begin a post? A human sentence?) the word “educate” is derived in part from the Latin educere (“to lead forth”), which is also the root of “educe” (“To bring out, elicit, develop, from a condition of latent, rudimentary, or merely potential existence,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which exists, like Inigo Montoya, to remind me that so many words do not mean what I think they mean).

Too often, education is considered merely a matter of the head, when it is most profoundly a matter of the heart. Look at the potential you have awakened in your fans!
In Numfar PTB, to find and create his family;
In madmolly, to make new friends;
In Saje & QuoterGal, to appreciate TV writers and characters;
In Andy Dufresne & MySerenity & GVH & Kessie & Lady Brick, to find their voices as writers;
In Lioness, to discover that she is “that type of person. A take charge person. A speak to a lot of strangers person;”
In lone fashionable wolf, strength and purpose;
In billz, to “find one small thing that doesn’t suck;”
In gossi, to see what he otherwise might not see;
In EvilFirePixie8, to find her calling and preserve her sanity;
In Tonya J & Lucidmind, to get through deep depression;
In samatwitch, to live life again;
In joni to grieve;
In Kiba, to live;
And in bookworm and me: to read Dickens in English, which is impressive, at least if you’re bookworm.
And in all of us, the chance to love the characters and stories that you’ve created in your great, breaking ’art. Be proud! Your sainted mother is.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-14 06:44 ]
Thank you, Pointy. That brings a symmetry, a rounding-out to the thread, so that if it can't go under "the sitch" on the front page or something like that, the thread at least has a lovely sense of closure.

As we say here, "Mahalo." (Hawaiian for "thank you.")
Your graciousness is heartwarming, SangChaud. I love it here!
Well, Merciful PTB, Pointy, I was really trying hard all day not to cry (dunno why, but sometimes we humans do try not to) and you just blew that out of the water. I would point out that I believe that almost all of the stuff that the whole list learned, is true of me, as well. (I may have been born a "take charge" sorta person, or it may have been thrust upon me. But otherwise, "yea, verrily, yea" to pretty much all.)

Pointy, if it were possible to love you more, this would have done it, but this and other posts -- some very recent -- have already pushed me over to max. And of course, always, my undying love, admiration & contractual obligation to His Royal Purple Postage, without whom we would, at the very least, not be here talking.

(I wish that I could have left the sign-off at Pointy's last (I agree, Hot-Blooded,) but apparently, that is not possible for me. And Pointy, if you had your email address in your profile, you would have long ago received my personal heartfelt admiration by e-express.)

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-10-12 11:02 ]
Thanks to you, QuoterGal this thread is officially longer than the Go Fug Yourself one. Thank you very much for that (and the other stuff).

"It required a tragedy to bring out this man's comedy."
G.K. Chesterton
Charles Dickens

Hey, Pointy, take QuoterGal's hint and update your profile with your email address!

And I just noticed that Saje seems to like your "Dickens' filthy bits" as much as I. Thanks for it all, Pointy. And enjoy the rest of Oliver Twist!
zeitgeist - deja vu, much? ;D

More than you'll ever know, sister ;)
Joss, you're more than just my favorite writer/director. You're my chick magnet.


[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-17 06:17 ]
"These higher optimists, of whom Dickens was one, do not approve of the universe;
they do not even admire the universe;
they fall in love with it."

The sacrificial image of Ripley that closes Alien³ (tonight's exercise video) is beautiful, but do the filmmakers really want me to believe that she would jeopardize the lives of everyone in the prison colony by withholding information about the alien until nearly an hour into the film, after she had seen the devastation wrought by the company's withholding of information about said critter in the first two movies? Also, seemed to me that Dillon was the hero of Alien³ and Ripley did a little character regression.

Thing I'd love to see: "The Foul Papers of Joss Whedon." Complete with your original scripts for Alien: Resurrection (tomorrow night's exercise video), the original Buffy screenplay, and didn't you have an Iron Man? All of it far too good to waste. This I know.

ETA The whole reason I watched Alien³ was that you wrote it was one of the inspirations for "The Gift," which always moves me to Spike-like tears, even before the Missus died, but especially after, so much so that I cannot even listen to the theme music on the "Once More With Feeling" CD. That whole profoundly moving thing? That's the heart of you, Bold Purple Dude.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-16 05:33 ]

ETA: And that Aristotlean cathartic thing, you do that. You're not the kind of scribe to leave us mired in life's crapulence. Tnx.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-16 22:40 ]
Oof. Suffice it to say that between your final draft and the actual shooting there was a thorough, far-reaching and ultimately successful process of ensuckening . There was one line that made me think, Joss Whedon wrote that. When Call asks the Ripley Clone why they're keeping her alive, and she replies, "I'm the latest thing." Kind of goes along with the theme of the commodification of people that I imagine I see in your work.

Frankly, I see no parallels between the crews of Serenity and the Betty. None. Not even Johner/Jayne. Beefy, rude and not so bright are characteristics, not character.

The scene when Ripley sees

I loved the performances by Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder. Ripley 8 was a whole new character, very distinct from the original, and, as you have often pointed out, there's just something about Winona Ryder expressing physical revulsion at herself.

Alien: Resurrection was much better than Alien³. It kept the adrenaline pumping through my elliptical machine routine which, by the by, is very easy on the knees.

In conclusion, I can't recall ever seeing an opening credit sequence that gross. And when it says it was written by you? A damn lie.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-22 06:14 ]
Good grief, Pointy! I didn't see any of the sequels to Alien 'cause the first one scared me silly. But what you're describing sounds positively Byzantine!

And I like that you're still posting to this thread. . . .
This thread is funny, heartbreaking, smart, interesting, and everything we love about Whedon. I hope it goes on and on...
Thank you for the encouragement, SangChaud. If I recall correctly, and I don't usually, you write? Anything I can see online? I can't promise to read it soon, but I would like to read it sometime. Deadlines and I are of late not close. (And I hope I'm not as confused as usual :)

I like the long, personal posts on this thread silver81 and hope others will tell their stories. I think that a writer's relationship with his audience (especially a writer of serial narratives -- and especially one who tries to write so the audience experiences what the characters experience) is probably one of the most important relationships in his life, but also a very nebulous, hard to define one. (One more especially -- since he no longer has the week-to-week feedback on shows like he had when he could log onto The Bronze.) So I think it might hearten Genius Dude now and then to be reminded why and how bunches of his readers love his stuff. I mean, oeuvre.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-17 19:04 ]
Hi, Pointy! Was hoping I'd run into you here! I've been out of commission recently. Earthquakes & all. . . Nice to be "back in The Black"!! For a while there, I was just in the dark!

Anyway, thanks for the inquiry about the writing (mine, specifically). There's nothing available currently, though I'm hoping a few months down the line to have a website, at which time I'll try to eventually get something up. But just when I think I've cleared my schedule to do stuff like this (including the writing part!), stuff happens. But I will let you know. It's kind of you to inquire! And, as you, erm, Pointy-ed out:

I think that a writer's relationship with his audience (especially a writer of serial narratives -- and especially one who tries to write so the audience experiences what the characters experience) is probably one of the most important relationships in his life, but also a very nebulous, hard to define one. (One more especially -- since he no longer has the week-to-week feedback on shows like he had when he could log onto The Bronze.) So I think it might hearten Genius Dude now and then to be reminded why and how bunches of his readers love his stuff. I mean, oeuvre.

I'm glad your professor, Jeanine Basinger, did the It's a Wonderful Life book, not only because it gives me an excuse to quote from a New York Review of Books article on a new Jimmy Stewart bio, but because I'm in the camp that sees the Frank Capra movie as an invisible masterpiece -- like Citizen Kane in its sweep and artistry, but so much better.

It's a Wonderful Life is like the Bible, so familiar that people don't notice how strange it is. Phoebe on Friends takes issue with the title after seeing the kid get beaten 'til his ear bleeds. In this heartwarming holiday classic. And talk about genre splicing. Capra-noir? Plus it causes Aristotle to appear foolish by making deus ex machina really work. But, with due apologies to QuoterGal, it's quoting time. From Geoffrey O'Brien's review of Marc Eliot's Jimmy Stewart: A Biography

. . . as it progresses, following preliminary phases of youthful playfulness, shy romance, and idealistic determination, all echoing his earlier work, [Stewart's] performance moves into previously unsuspected levels of irritation, rage, despair, and fear that are like the revelation of a new actor. He seems to have wanted to show the range of what he could do as an actor by making his performance an encapsulation of the varieties of human feeling, in the same way that Capra's conception sought to encapsulate human life within the limits of a parable. By the time Stewart's George Bailey arrives, in the parallel world of his vision, at the harrowing moment (almost medieval in its deep chill) where Bailey is rejected by the mother who never gave birth to him, he has successfully dismantled not only his character but all the audience expectations on which that character was predicated. He has gone on a nightmare journey on behalf of that audience—an unlikely shaman voyaging to the reverse side of the everyday, suffering sacrificially in some neon-lit nether realm—and all the tears of reconciliation that follow cannot quite erase the terror of the voyage. Perhaps it takes an actor as grounded in the ordinary as Jimmy Stewart to fully register how it would feel to know that one had never existed.

Now, I would have assumed that this movie was a major reference point for you if you had ever once mentioned it in an interview. Because it is both harrowing and comic, playful and tragic, fantastical and realistic, and so on through the opposites . . . and the scene where George Bailey is about to end his life out of blurred motives of self-sacrifice and self-destruction?

Anyway, I was not a film major, but in college I read every book on Capra I could find in our well-stocked libraries and saw all the movies, and I love Buffy like that, but even more. Among your many gifts, you communicate the extremity of the every day. And if you are so dastardly in Buffy Season 8 as to

PS Sarah Michelle Gellar=Jimmy Stewart. She can communicate any experience of life and make it look like she's doing nothing.

ETA SangChaud, your post was funny and scary. I hope the earthquakes did no more damage to you than temporary darkness? Looking foward to your web site!

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-18 07:58 ]
I love that this thread still lives. It's a combo let-us-continue-to-praise-Joss & small Chautauqua meet-up.

Hope Joss checks back on this thread, and notices other such threads that crop up, like this one -- 'cause we may bemoan his character-slaughter, but it's only because we became so attached to the folks he created in the first place.

(Hot-Blooded, I wondered if you fared-thee-well in the recent earthquake -- I'm glad to hear that you are all good. No power meant no internet connection, so I'm glad you're back... And hey, Pointy, such goings-on.)

ETA: Pointy, we posted at the exact same time, so I haven't even read your latest...

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-10-18 07:33 ]
Pointy, I remember when I first saw Buffy Season Three's "The Wish" I thought, "Oh, this is Joss's It's a Wonderful Life." (I know Marti Noxon wrote it, but I'm sure Joss is all over it.)

I did a search on "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Joss Whedon" and found a Buffy essay by another professor of Joss's at Wesleyan -- Joseph W. Reed, who rather compares the episode "Amends" with the movie, instead.

IAWL -- I've spent my own obsessive hours reading about it. But you simply must check out this 30-second bunny version of IAWL, by angry aliens.

Anya would hate it.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-10-27 14:04 ]
Still rhapsodizing about SMG's nose, Pointy? (That was you, wasn't it?) (Or was it jaynelovesvera?) (Has anyone heard from jlv? Kinda worried. . . .) And I like the comparison w/SMG and Jimmy Stewart. I love Jimmy Stewart. He made it all look so easy, didn't he? Plus? IAWL = fantastic film. I've probably seen it 20-30 times. Sorta like some of my favorite 'verse episodes. . . .

And hi, QG! I like the Chautauqua comparison.

I, too, hope Joss somehow sees this thread in its entirety.

It's nice to be back, believe me. No electricity = no running water (no toilets, either!), no elevators, no phones, and, dammit, no internet!!! And the prequel to that was massive rockin' and rollin' (I live in a highrise, and that puppy was takin' hula lessons!!) Scarier than any Alien(s) movie by a long shot!!! But the bottom line--a positive one--is that there were no serious injuries after a 6.7 earthquake and a 6.0 aftershock. Borderline miraculous, thank TPTB!

Okay, wandered into way, way OT territory there. Apologies. Reaction is setting in, I guess. And thank youse guys for the thoughts.

I'm game for trying to "meet up" here periodically. I really like the whole Chautauqua idea, and enjoy re-reading the earlier parts of the thread when I revisit to check out any new stuff.

Okay. TTF&N. Also aloha pumehana. Take care, y'all.
Oh. And re:

Deadlines and I are of late not close.

What scares me? I get it. I'm pretty sure I get it, anyway. ;^}

Brief jaynelovesvera update: He has tests scheduled for next week, and he has left the black for (what did Marti Noxon call them?) artistic differences.

In words that echo from the conclusion of the immortal non-sci fi western:

“Jayne! (Jayne!) (Jayne!) Come back! (Come back!) (Come back!)"

Very glad to hear there were no serious injuries, SangChaud, and your post Very Funny/Very Scary! (Pardon my obscurity -- I've tried to meet deadlines, but I keep showing up late, after they've left. And that was me on SMG's nose.)

Thank you for the Reed reading, QuoterGal, I simply must read Reed. :)

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-19 01:48 ]
Scribe, if fan reaction to character deaths ever gets you down, just remember how much grief Shakespeare got for them.

ETA The critical reaction to the death of Little Nell:

"I hate you, Charles Dickens!"

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-19 06:33 ]
Thank you, Pointy. I was worried about jlv, 'cause I thought he was having the tests about now, and I didn't see him.

As to obfuscation/clarification ("I've tried to meet deadlines, but I keep showing up late, after they've left"), I get it. I really do. Deadlines and SangChaud are non-mixy things, too.

And "that was me on SMG's nose." Did you fit??!! Are you not just spritely but, in fact, an actual sprite?

Okay. I'll cease & desist. For now.

Also, speaking of deadlines, I gotta go meet one, un-mixy or not, so I'm just going to mention Ron Rosenbaum's book. I haven't gotten a chance to do much more than graze through it, but I really want to get into it. I read the original article in The New Yorker that prompted him to write the book. I even saved the article & came across it again about a day or so before I saw your mention of it here. I'm enjoying the humor of the book. TTF&N.
"The improbable, desiring, erotic and violent world of romance reminds us that we are not awake when we have abolished the dream world: we are awake only when we have absorbed it again."
Northrop Frye
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance

Pointy, is this quote in reference to Rosenbaum's peak experience (see Maslow) while watching A Midsummer Night's Dream and his subsequent explorations of/ruminations about Bottom's dream and bottomlessness, etc.? Regardless of the/any reference, it is extremely interesting and thought-provoking. And I thank you for that, as my brain thoughts oft need provoking or at least prodding.

So all this helps me refine my "To Do" list for the weekend: Laundry and Shakespeare Wars!!

Wish I had some quotes, à la QuoterGal, (and Pointy, for that matter!) to quote back atcha, but, prodded or not, the brain thoughts are proving extremely recalcitrant. . . .
Perhaps, SangChaud, it was a reference to the peak Bottom experience with which Rosenbaum begins his book, but I can't say with certainty yet, as I started with the Hamlet chapter (2) and proceeded to the King Lear chapter (4), so it may be quite some time before I reach chapter 1. Only then shall I be able to measure the appropriateness of your my reference.

(A Midsummer Night’s Dream=Mrs. Pointy’s favorite Shakespeare. Mendelssohn wrote our Wedding March too. I hope you enjoy Shakespeare Wars, especially the climactic space battle.)

Which leads logically to the next topic on our outline: Structural Parallels Between Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2—The Pyrrhus Speech and Becoming, Part One Act I, Scene 2—The Fishstick Confrontation.

More on the morrow.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-22 03:59 ]

More on the morrow

"The morrow and the morrow and the morrow creeps in this petty pace. . . " No, wait. Yeah. The morrow will have to do. Me brain's fried. And it sounds like you're reading Rosenbaum the way I am: all over the map. I'll probably wind up having read every word in the book and still have no idea how he got from Point A to Point Z. But where's the space battle? And is Rosenbaum playing the part of the unreliable narrator in it?? Or did I mean unreliable navigator? And what's a "peak Bottom"? ;^}

Okay. Before I get any sillier, I will call a halt. And, on the morrow, answers. And, possibly, fishsticks. Bye.
SangChaud, I can't recall the last book I read in order. Wait--oh, yeah, Great Expectations. But you know what I mean.

Looks like QuoterGal beat me to the pseudo-scholarly Shakespearean punch.

But I'm serious about the Pyrrhus/Fishsticks parallels. How scary is that?

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-21 18:37 ]

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-21 18:38 ]
SangChaud, I know a little re: fried brains. Of late I’m testing a new energy drink called “sleep.” You might like it. ;-)

Like millions of people who watched “Becoming, Part One” on May 12, 1998 and saw Xander reenact the previous night’s vampire slaying using two fish sticks and a toothpick, I did not slap my forehead, point at the TV and shout, “The Pyrrhus speech in Hamlet!

But like more than zero readers of James Shapiro’s A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, I did scribble, “Like the French fry battle in Becoming Pt II,” (revised following additional research to “Like the fish stick battle in Becoming Part One”) in the margins of my paperback after reading this:

Even as he was rendering the old style of revenge play obsolete, Shakespeare found room in the play for a last nostalgic glance at it in the dramatic speech that Hamlet “chiefly loved” (2.2.446). The old-fashioned speech describes how Achilles’ son Pyrrhus kills a king and unhesitatingly avenges his father’s death.

Hamlet recites part of the speech from memory:

Roasted in wrath and fire,
And thus o’ersized with coagulate gore,
With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
Old grandsire Priam seeks. (2.2.461-64)

The Pyrrhus speech highlights what kind of revenge stroy Shakespeare’s Hamlet is not. It’s not Saxo’s, for example, in which the Danish prince ascends to the throne after killing his father’s killer and goes on to further adventures. Revenge doesn’t work in Shakespeare’s play, and takes its time not working, and is not quite sure how it feels about that, and wants to discuss it. And that ambivalence and complexity are part of the play’s greatness.

Likewise, I think The Scribe is setting up how the climactic battle of “Becoming Part Two” is not gonna be when he has Xander, holding two fish sticks, one of them armed with a toothpick, act out this scene:

Xander: Tell Angel I'm gonna kill him! No, wait. I'm gonna kill you!
*(stab stab stab)*
Xander: Die! Die! Die! [as the vampire] Aah! Mother!

If the Pyrrhus speech caricatures the attitude of a conventional revenge play, Xander’s dramatic reenactment does the same regarding the climax of a conventional vampire movie: The hero kills the monster and the world is saved.

It’s not going to be that simple, of course. Buffy will defeat the monster, but only after the monster is transformed back into a hero. By sending him to hell she will put herself through hell. She will save the world by destroying her own.

The Scribe foreshadows the coming complexity through Oz’s sly noting of Xander’s lack thereof.

Oz: Well, I thought it was riveting. Uh, I was a little unclear about
some of the themes.

I’m not kidding. I think the fish stick battle has structural significance, and it’s intentional. It prepares the audience to not be satisfied with a conventional climax, to expect and want something more. It may not be based specifically on the Pyrrhus speech, but wouldn’t it be fun if it was?

Anyway, subtle stuff like this does not go unappreciated, Scribe. Even if I don’t quite get it, I sense it, and so do the rest of the members of your huge audience. Like Bono sings, “What you don’t know you can feel it somehow.”

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-28 22:25 ]
I've been spending too much time on the black, so today I decided to see a museum exhibit of "the earliest biblical artifacts in existence, including pages and fragments written in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopian and Coptic," and before I knew it I was thoroughly absorbed in the ongoing scholarly project of distinguishing canonical texts from fanfic.
It is great to hear that you are having a blast writing the Buffy comics, Scribe, and fitting and proper too. And, I say with the hope that you will not be even slightly inclined to disagree, the blast-having is well-deserved. Buffy is the child of your heart, and a credit to its lumpy, lopsided parent.

Today's post is brought to you by the concept of genre-busting. Now, I know you didn't invent it, but you enunciated it at an essential time in my writing career. I was (and am still) writing a non-fiction book about a bad president. Structure, my nemesis and fascination, eluded me. I thought, try the Bad King genre Shakespeare perfected, and I'm glad I looked there, but it did not work for me. I came up with loads of structures, many, many drafts, but they were all wrong.

Then I listened to your commentary on "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and had my equivalent of the "Ah hah!" moment. For me, it's more like an "Ohhhhh" moment -- the sudden perception that is not so much sudden as long-awaited and perhaps tardy. But when you talked about busting genres, about how the audience experienced in viewing horror movies knows how a scene would go, and about your mission statement being "Nothing Is As It Seems," something clicked, or made a dull thumping noise muffled by rust.

Somehow, the thought that my protagonist's story was busting the genre of the heroic president freed my mind and with it, my fingers. I suddenly knew kind of what I was doing. And I wrote a short version of my story that got the scholars in my field excited, which was very heartening and not at all bad for the career. And the work on the long form goes well, with this one slow-mo-ment of truth leading to lots of little ones. In particular, it brought the funniness, which was sorely missing from earlier drafts.

Anyway, I give the credit to you, not so much for formulating the idea, but in showing me how it was done in Buffy and then telling me what it was you were doing in the commentary. Sometimes people teach just by being themselves. Actually, the most important way people teach is by being themselves.

Thanks, Scribe!

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-28 22:23 ]
Hey, Pointy! Wow. You've been busy this weekend! I'm so glad to read that His Magnificent Purpleness has given you what you needed to proceed with your writing!

And regarding reading books any old way (as opposed to the boring concept of front to back, cover to cover): if I tell you a secret about my reading habits do you promise not to tell anyone else?? I base my decision to buy a book in the first place on the quality of the footnotes (or endnotes, but I prefer footnotes). Then, if the footnotes are good enough, I buy the book and proceed to read the footnotes first. Truly. I know. I'm strange.

The reason I prefer footnotes to endnotes is that, while reading them first, I do like to refer back to the text upon which they are based, and flipping back and forth constantly with each endnote is a royal pain. Hence, footnotes are much, much superior. I have spoken.
Good for you, Pointy and SangChaud, for keeping this thread alive. Good luck on your presidential masterpiece, Pointy, and on your writing as well, SangChaud. I've just started getting back into writing again recently, with some inspiration from Joss. If I can ever inspire in just one person some of what he inspires in all of us here, I will be very happy.

Speaking of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as you were earlier, I saw a version of it this summer at our local Bard on the Beach performance that was the best I've ever seen. It was campy but captured all the hilarity that can be read into it. And for those of us Browncoats who went - an added bonus - Puck was dressed in striped tights and a pink tutu, but from the waist up, he looked like 1970s, New York-style Spike!

Since I am a Shakespeare afficionado as well as a Whedonite, I have now put both the books you mentioned above on hold :).

SangChaud, I'm glad you survived the earthquake with only inconveniences, although no water and no toilets is a major inconvenience, I would say!

Pointy, thanks for the update on jlv. He's been quite active on the Library lately, so I'm glad he hasn't left us altogether, especially now when he needs us the most.

Now it's my turn to try to knit up "the ravell'd sleave of care". May you all be dreaming of kittens - or platipi - or llamas. See you on the black.
SangChaud, speaking of endnotes, have you read Nabokov's "Pale Fire". That book is 2/3 endnotes, 1/3 story, if you can call it that:). I had to take that for one of my English courses a few years ago - Contempoary American Literature. Some fun books in that course!
This is the thread that time forgot. I have begun to enjoy it being far, far off the front page, cuz you're only here if you want to be, and that is the way I like it.

SangChaud, good to hear from you, and I hope this weekend was enough to un-fry your brain. Brain-fryage is a familiar state, to me a sometimes necessary one, but it's nice when it passes, and I hope the weekend brought some rest & enjoyment to you.

Hi, Samatwitch! How did you know that "Presidential Masterpiece" was the working title of my book? And Spike in a tutu? Genre could not get much more busted than that! Regarding the hold shelf: it is a sign that civilization is worth preserving. And, if you have a moment, could you please give me a clue how to visit the library and catch up JLV's wit? I've tried a few times to make my way around the White, but to no avail. It's good to keep him in our thoughts/prayers/heart.

I tried to read "Pale Fire". I'm glad you found it fun, Samatwitch, but I got frustrated. Nabokov's a genius, though. Lolita is frighteningly good, which is, I think, exactly what it is supposed to be.

Today's thought of the day comes from Hollywood script guru Robert McKee, whose advice has helped me a great deal. This is not exactly what he wrote on page 207 of Story -- in my notes, I got it backwards, fortuitously -- but it works as a meditation on life, providence and writing: The idea is to ask: "What is the worst thing that could happen my protagonist? How could it turn out to be the best thing?"

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-25 07:15 ]
Pointy, I like the idea of this being the thread that time forgot. I'm also with you on the getting lost in The White thing. Somehow I've never gotten the hang of navigating it. Thanks for the inquiries on the state of my brain. Yes, the weekend did allow for a bit of a rest up, but work is again undoing all the good gained thereby.

And samatwich, I'm so glad you joined us! Thank you for the kind words & thoughts. I actually have someone quoting the "ravell'd sleave of care" line to Spike in something I'm working on! Ain't Shakespeare fun?! And, bless him, he's got a line for every occasion!

Speaking once more of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," I saw a fantastic production of it at the Univ. of Hawaii's Ernst Lab theater (where they do the more "experimental" stuff) about a year ago that was the best version of it I've ever seen. They played it extremely erotic, but the fun and humor were still there and it just all worked very well. One of the best evenings of theater I've had in a long, long time.

As for dreaming, which I hope to be doing very shortly, I'm thinking I'll order me up a few visions of Spike in a tutu. With ravell'd tights.

Okay. Way too tired here. Signing off for now. Will address Nabokov later. Not personally, mind you.
Whether you know it or not, Scribe, you created the perfect metaphor for Mixed State Bipolar Disorder when you wrote “Amends.”

At first, I wasn’t that into The First. The Low Self-Esteem Monster? That’s your primeval-evil? But that was before my wife was diagnosed properly, back when we thought she had simple clinical depression, like I’d had before they came up with treatments that actually worked. As is often the case, her condition was not properly diagnosed until her first full-fledged suicide attempt.

I still don’t fully understand Mixed State Bipolar, and I suspect no one who hasn’t suffered it truly can understand it, but it’s not like regular Bipolar. My wife used to ask, “Where are my manic highs?” With Mixed State, the lows hit you with all the energy of the highs, battering you farther down, not lifting you up. The illness does what the First did to Angel: convinces you you’re worthless, that you do harm, that the world would be better off without you, that the world wants you dead.

My wife minded when I used our microwave oven’s timer, because when it reached zero, it would flash “End End End” ad infinitum until someone pressed the cancel button. Which I often forgot to do. She told me it was bad for the oven, which it wasn’t. She told me it wasted electricity, but the display was always on, so it didn’t waste any additional power. It was only after she died, when I talked to someone who had experienced a similar mental state due to an unfortunate drug regimen, that I realized that my wife probably saw the flashing “End” as a suggestion. One more (false but persuasive) sign that the world wanted her dead.

Unlike the First, Mixed State Bipolar doesn’t give you hallucinations, visual or audio. It’s not someone else telling you to cease being. It’s you. It’s everything and nothing. The things the First calls Angel, “a terrible disappointment to your parents . . . a worthless being . . . What . . . are you good for?” And the things Angel says about himself? “It was showing me . . . what I am . . . and ever shall be.” All those messages come in your own voice, from your own mind. End, end, end.

Sometimes she’d tell me that while riding the subway she’d think about dying in a terrorist attack. So I’d offer to drive her to work. I didn’t get it, until later. She wanted to be the one to die in the terrorist attack, to take the place of someone who wanted to live.

Anyone who knows people with mood disorders, do your best to see the beauty in them, to show them the beauty in themselves. Too often they get well-meaning, well-intended criticism that just makes them feel worse. If they could change their attitude, they would. But you have the option of seeing what’s good in them, of appreciating them, of basking in their light. There were a lot of normal things my wife couldn’t do, but she did some extraordinary things that other people wouldn’t do, because she felt for other people who were suffering.

I gave her bad advice: You’re depressed, try antidepressants. The doctors, some of them very distinguished and prominent, agreed. But mistaking manic depression for simple depression is a case where being half right means being all wrong. Anti-depressants make manic depression worse. Once I realized that my attempt to help her had hurt her, hurt her terribly, my wife understood what I was feeling about myself. She told me I had tried to help, that I had done the best I could, and that I had helped her more than anyone. She could have given me bitterness—she certainly had cause—but instead she gave me forgiveness, even told me there was nothing to forgive. “No cause,” says Cordelia to King Lear, after he tells her that she has cause not to love him. “No cause.”

“Amends” is one of my favorite Christmas shows. A simple sign, a snowfall, tells Angel, "Don't end, don't end, don't end." Thank you, Scribe!
Pointy, it might be easier to find jlv over here at Goners --the site is easier to get around in and he seems to be on there pretty frequently.

I always come back here to catch up on this thread, but have had very little to add recently, until now.

I mentioned this thread on your recent "Chick magnet" post and then edited it out after I saw your last comment. *Penny drops.* And now I know why you are such a litmus paper for folks exhibiting signs of being unhappy with self.

I have always loved "Amends" but I don't think I'll ever see it the same way again, Pointy, after reading yours above. Talk about breaking hearts... And before I leave for now, I just have to say you didn't give her "bad advice" exactly, Pointy, you gave her the best advice you could with the info you had. Which is all we can ever do -- work from the place we are, not from the place we wish we had been when we look back.

And she got it, she got that, she knew it. You just couldn't save her, that's all, and it's horrible, but you couldn't. And you sound like this guy, torturing yourself for something you couldn't help.

SPIKE: "But I want you to know I did save you. Not when it counted, of course, but ... after that. Every night after that. I'd see it all again ... do something different. Faster or more clever, you know? Dozens of times, lots of different ways ... Every night I save you." -- "After Life"
I'm not torturing myself! The missus did everything to make sure I wouldn't. More later. (No need for kindhearted folk to worry, but thank you, QuoterGal :-)

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-26 14:57 ]
pointy, I just refound this thread because "recent comments" is back up. (Yay! Now I have to go back and see what I missed.) Reading your post about Amends, I was glad that you recognized that you did the best you could for your wife and became reconciled with it. Your wife sounds like an exceptional woman to have been able to help you deal with that while also trying to deal with her disorder. That makes you both special people. My condolences on her death and thank you for sharing. Amends was never one of my favorite episodes. I will go back and watch it with a different perspective.

It is amazing how deeply Joss's work has been able to delve into places inside of us all but at different times and with different themes and stories.
Pointy, I'm touched that you shared your wife's story with us and I'm glad that you are able to remember your wife as the exceptional person that she appears to have been. I too will look at "Amends" differently from now on.

I have a friend - my best friend, actually - who has suffered from chronic depression for years. She's a lot better now than she was a few years ago, but she will probably always be on medication, and she still has a problem with self-worth. It's a long, slow process.

BTW, I was actually kidding about finding "Pale Fire" fun. It was very annoying, flipping back and forth.

QuoterGal, even reading those words brings tears to my eyes. One of my favourite emotional moments on BtVS.

If you're interested in The Library at Flickr, you can click on it on the front page of Whedonesque (right-hand side), or just go here. We're really quite a friendly bunch. Because of some of the things that have happened in the past year, some of us who are regulars feel very close, but there's always room for one more, as I told jlv, right newcj?

ETA to add a proper space.

[ edited by samatwitch on 2006-10-27 03:26 ]
On behalf of the late, great Mrs. Pointy, thank you, newcj, and thank you, samatwitch.

*(bows deeply)*

Speaking of sharing . . .
After my wife died, a friend sent me a bunch of books designed for people whose spouses commit suicide. They talked about feelings of anger and guilt and abandonment. Today I wonder if my wife researched that stuff, because she did so many things that made it possible for me not to feel guilt or abandonment. She made sure I knew that I was a part of life that she loved, and that one of the reasons she stuck around as long as she did was to avoid causing me pain. And since I knew that what she called her “death wish” had been with her longer than I knew her, anger just didn’t seem called for. Dying was not something she had done to me.

My gratitude to her is impossible to overstate, or even state. She taught me the importance of forgiveness, because if she hadn’t forgiven me for the major mistake I mentioned, and the thousands of little and not so little things in marriage that also beg forgiveness, I would have found it impossible to deal. In an important way, I can only recognize my faults, permit myself to see them, because she forgave them and loved me with all of them.

It was three years ago tonight that my wife ended her life. Many months before, she had asked me to help her kill herself, and I had said I was there to help her live, not to help her die. So in order to commit suicide, she had to convince me that she was not going to. She managed. She exhibited signs of mental health. She became more spontaneous, even a bit adventurous. Tried hang gliding for the first time. Took part in her first soccer game since high school. Showed her appreciation to family and friends. Things like that. It was only in retrospect that I saw that she had been putting her life in order so that she could take her leave of it.

I had taped “Once More With Feeling,” one of our favorite episodes, and I remember how pleased she looked when I suggested we watch the Buffy musical on what would turn out to be her last night. “Coming up on your favorite song,” I said at one point, “‘Rest in Peace.’”

Then she told me, for the first time, that she preferred “Under Your Spell.”

It took me a long time to catch the wink.
Following the good example of The Scribe, I’m going to mix some catharsis in with the tragedy, namely, what I said about my wife at her funeral. (Summary: She was a strong woman character!)

We were on one of our first dates. We were out at the Shakespeare Theatre, which would become our favorite place to go out on a date. I had only known Alison for a short time. I no longer remember the name of the play we saw, but I remember my absolute horror when I discovered in the men’s room of the Shakespeare Theatre that my very best pair of pants had somehow gotten a massive rip in the seat. Yes, I had gone on my big classy Shakespeare date with a big classy hole in the seat of my pants. I hurried back to our seats, while pulling my sweater as low as it would go.

My date asked me if anything was wrong. I did not think quickly. I said, “I have a massive hole in the seat of my pants.” Now, there were many different ways Alison could have reacted. Most of them would have made my embarrassment more excruciating. What did she do? Alison wrapped my arm in hers and moved closer to me and stayed that way for the rest of the play. She did not laugh at me. She was so sweet, so nice, so good that soon I felt comfortable enough to make jokes about my predicament. She made what could have been one of the worst dates of my life into one of the best. After all, I was out having a great time with my future wife.

I do not have time today to mention all the beautiful things about Alison. I will limit myself to one. Alison loved to ease other people’s pain.

Alison knew all about pain. She suffered from a particularly severe mental illness: mixed state bipolar disorder. Most bipolar people alternate between the extreme highs and lows of mania and depression. Alison suffered the extreme highs and lows simultaneously. People with mixed state bipolar disorder often end their own lives.

This is how Alison described the way she felt in the last note she wrote to me: “This death wish has always been with me. I am tired of spending each day fantasizing about my funeral, or wishing a bomb would go off on the Metro or I would be hit by a car. I am tired of wishing for death.”

Alison struck many people as very innocent. She was. Tragically, however, she was never innocent of feelings that could be described with words like “excruciating.” She knew anguish from a very young age and from daily experience. She suffered worse emotional anguish than I can even imagine. But in Alison, this pain gave birth to a great love for other people in anguish.

A minute ago, I used the word “excruciating” to describe my embarrassment at the Shakespeare Theatre. What I felt at that one moment was nothing compared to what Alison felt pretty much all the time. But Alison did not disdain my little predicament. At that moment Alison felt bad for me and did all that she could to make me feel better.

This was Alison’s love.

Alison’s love infused and inspired her human rights work. She fought torture as one who was tormented. She eased the suffering of others as one who was suffering. She did unto others as she wished others could do unto her. She transformed the curse of her mental illness into a blessing for people in the most desperate anguish.

A good example of the way she did this occurred the day after she committed herself to a psychiatric institution in the hope that the doctors there could cure her. By visiting hours the next day she had become the den mother to the psych ward.

As Alison entertained me in the psych ward lounge, she kept an eye on the face of another patient, a young woman who heard voices that told her to hurt herself. Periodically, Alison would ask the woman if the voices were saying anything. When the woman said yes, Alison started saying good things to her. That woman was used to fighting those voices all alone. Now she had Alison around to fight them with her. Alison checked out of the institution in about a week. She didn’t get a cure, but as she said goodbye to the other patients she got lots of hugs and smiles and thanks.

I thought, yeah, she's with me.

When you felt your worst, Alison was at her best. She must have had a thousand and one ways to make people feel better. I cannot begin to list them all. She was simply amazing with her homemade soaps scented specifically for you and her bubble bath and her bath salts and her bath tea and her wondrous bath fizzies and her beautiful handmade stationery and her wonderful handcrafted cards and all the astonishing things she did with needlework and her hand-painted this and her hand-decorated that and her ever-growing bounty of comfort food . . . soups . . . stews . . . cookies . . . cakes. A thousand and one ways for Alison to express her love.

She was a prodigy of love, a giant of love, a titan of love. A hero of love. A miracle on two feet. Loving her neighbor was her mission, her career, her hobby and her fleeting joy.

She made people feel better even when she felt worse than they could ever imagine. Most of us find it hard to make other people feel good when we ourselves are feeling bad. Alison usually felt much worse than bad. And still she loved. Incandescently. Through the darkness, she cast light. She could not lighten her own burden, but she lightened ours.

In the cruelest of ironies, mental illness kept Alison from doing unto others all the good things she wanted to do. In her last note, she wrote: “I have kept trying and trying to live but it seems that every effort I make to do something good is stymied.” You see, Alison thought of trying to live as doing good things for others. For her, to live was to love.

Alison wrote some beautiful things to me, for me, in her note. Even in her last minutes, she was doing all she could to ease the suffering of someone other than herself.

Alison, you apologized to me in your note. No need to apologize for giving me the seven best years of my life. You lifted me higher than I’ve ever been, higher than I would ever have been without you.

You know how I read a little bit of the gospel every night? After you died, I picked up the Bible and came upon a passage that I somehow cannot remember ever having read before: “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” (Luke 6:21) It reminded me of another passage: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3).

But I think I like the other one better: “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” I did not find that passage. It found me. It was perfect. It was you, Alison. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.”

Today, Alison, as we mourn your death from this world of tears, we also celebrate your birth into the kingdom of heaven. I just love it when you laugh. And yes, thank you, it does make me feel better.
Pointy, I can't express how your story has touched me. I don't have the words. I am glad that your wife was able to help so many others, and I'm very sure she is laughing in heaven now. God will take good care of her. Thank you for sharing your feelings. As I told you once before, you are a far better man than I. God be with you.
" 'You'll get over it...' It's the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is the shape of you and no one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?

I've thought a lot about death recently, the finality of it, the argument ending in mid-air. One of us hadn't finished, why did the other one go? And why without warning? Even death after long illness is without warning. The moment you had prepared for so carefully took you by storm. The troops broke through the window and snatched the body and the body is gone. The day before the Wednesday last, this time a year ago, you were here and now you're not. Why not? Death reduces us to the baffled logic of a child. If yesterday why not today? And where are you?

Fragile creatures of a small blue planet, surrounded by light years of silent space. Do the dead find peace beyond the rattle of the world? What peace is there for us whose best love cannot return them even for a day? I raise my head to the door and think I will see you in the frame. I know it is your voice in the corridor but when I run outside the corridor is empty. There is nothing I can do that will make any difference. The last word is yours. The fluttering in the stomach goes away and the dull waking pain. Sometimes I think of you and I feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did.

And if anyone had said this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shaft of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it."

-- Jeannette Winterson, Written on the Body

(For Pointy and Alison on this anniversary, with my sympathy and understanding.)
Thank you Pointy, for sharing that. Please know that we are with you in spirit on this unfortunate anniversary.

One of the things I learned long ago was that the people we love are who they are and are going to be driven to want what they want. Our love for them, and even their love for us, cannot change that. We can wish to ease their pain, but in reality we can do very little compared to what we want to accomplish. The thing is, when you meet someone who values you it can make a huge difference to just be able to spend time together. It sounds like you were very lucky to meet each other as it seems that you had that kind of relationship and the smarts to realize it.

Thank you, Pointy, for sharing that with us. Your Alison is, was and always will be an extraordinary person. I'm glad you had what you had, even if only for a brief time, and I'm sad for your loss. Like newcj said, "Hugs." Lots & lots of hugs. May God bless you and keep you.
I add my thoughts and prayers to you, as well, Pointy. What a wonderful person your Alison was and how well you are honouring her memory. I hope that sharing a little bit of her with us has helped on what must be a very hard day for you. I am honoured by your openness and trust (the latter not being one of my strong points).

Take care of yourself and feel free to share anytime.
I'm glad some (not all, but some!) of my favorite Whedonesquers have refound this thread. jlv, you've been missed. I have a feeling you put in an appearance because some little birdie told you that Pointy was kinda missing you. I know I was! I may be way off in my guessing about your posting tonight, and if so I apologize, 'cause regardless of the how or why, it was nice to see you here.

QG, that was such a lovely quote from Jeannette Winterson. It articulated some of what needed to be said, and did so in a way I could never have managed. And the Spike quote, from "After Life," has always sort of haunted me. I'm with samatwitch, it being "[o]ne of my favourite emotional moments on BtVS." I felt that, if nothing else, the feelings that prompted Spike to tell Buffy that earned him at least a chance to try to win her. And every time I saw that scene or thought about it, I flashed back to the scene near the end of "The Gift" where Spike is openly sobbing. "Every night I save you" is such a fitting distillation or metaphor for all the feelings behind those "if only" thoughts that we all seem to have to entertain from time to time.

newcj, I, too, "will go back and watch it ["Amends"] with a different perspective." And I'm glad you "refound" this thread. We've been enjoying it here, but, as has been pointed out recently, there's always room for more!

samatwitch, I've never read Pale Fire, and have no desire to, even if it does boast that much in the way of endnotes. I'm much, much more into Shakespeare or lit crit about Shakespeare. . . .
I, too, found my way back here with the triumphant return of the "Recent Comments" section, and wow -- I've missed a bunch. I'm not feeling particularly eloquent this day, but i didn't want to miss the chance to thank you Pointy, for your recent posts. I can only begin to imagine what you've been through I will ever be impressed by the insight and perspective you've achieved about a loss so close and so visceral.

I've been thinking a bunch on the nature of love these days, what it means, what it looks like, how it is expressed, in all its forms. Your words about Alison helped me bring those thoughts into focus in a way that was outside my experience. Amidst such tragedy, what gorgeous, powerful and instructive lessons the wise Alison imparts. This, truly, must be her great gift. Three years after she's left this world, new people are still learning by her example everyday? It boggles. Can you imagine such a legacy?

Thank you.
(Plus, I knew I liked her right away when I saw she spelled Alison correctly... with one "L", as Elvis Costello knew & my parents confirmed when they chose my middle name. :) )
Pointy - not sure what to say other than to thank you for sharing your words. Reminds me of some of the posting that goes on at The Library @ flickr, you should definitely check it out.
Overwhelmed. But in the good way. Not so much with the complete sentences at the moment. But, definitely, thank you!
Oooohhhhh, that's what The White is. Thank you, zeitgeist!

And barest correctly spelled middle name smidgen, your praise for my missus gives me a Cheshire grin.

SangChaud, thank you for pulling it all together when I wasn't particularly.

I'm so very glad, samatwitch, that you didn't like Pale Fire either. I remember one fine literary critic describing it as the kind of thing that makes the death of the novel seem not so bad. And your notice of the sainted one's wonderfulness makes the invisible creature behind the Chesire grin purr.

A similar thrumming emanation occurs at newcj's notice of my luck.

QuoterGal, justifying her name with the perfect one!

And jaynelovesvera, welcome back to the black! It's been blacker without you, and much less so now.

I often talk about Alison by myself. Thank you, friends, for letting me talk about her with you.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-28 02:08 ]
As I've praised a Buffy fan's beauty effulgent
My fellow posters have been quite indulgent.


[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-28 02:09 ]
Thanks, Pointy. Unfortunately, this is a subject I've spent many hours thinking about, since my own much-loved partner has been diagnosed with a chronic-but-life-threatening-"manageable"-condition for the last ten years.

There isn't a day that goes by without us remembering we must carpe that old diem.

And then there's this.

(And eerily, Alison and I must have trained in the same how-you-gift-your-friends-school -- right down to the custom soaps and bath fizzies and the handmade cards. It gave me a little shiver -- of recognition or something.)

(ETA: Heya to all the folks that have made their way into this thread again.)

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-10-28 04:46 ]
The prevailing conception of serious fiction is enshrined in the title of F.R. Leavis' book The Great Tradition, a study of George Eliot, Henry James, and Joseph Conrad which assumes that these writers are central in a hierarchy of realistic novelists extending roughly from Defoe to D.H. Lawrence The assumption seems reasonable, yet when empires start building walls around themselves it is a sign that their power is declining, and the very appearance of such a title indicates a coming change of fasion on the part of both writers and readers. As soon as a defensive wall is in place, the movements of the barbarians on the frontiers, in this case the readers of romance, Westerns, murder mysteries and science fiction, begin to take on greater historical importance. These movements assumed a more definite shape after the appearance of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in the mid-fifties. On the T.S. Eliot principle that every writer creates his own tradition, the success of Tolkien's books helped to show that the tradition behind it, of George MacDonald and Lewis Carroll and William Morris, was, if not "the great" tradition, a tradition nonetheless.

Northrop Frye
The Secular Scripture

(Personalized gifts are the best, QuoterGal!)
(Personalized gifts are the best, QuoterGal!)

I agree. As with Alison and QuoterGal, I, too, usually give similar gifts: handmade soaps, bath salts, candles, notepaper designed on my computer, etc. But the most looked-forward to gift, apparently, is a bag of my chocolate chip cookies - or oatmeal raisin cookies, once they've had them! All my grown (20s and 30s) nephews and nephews-in-law, plus other male members of my family and friends get cookies for Christmas and birthdays. The girls usually get something a little more personal at Christmas, depending on what I've made, but they always seem happy to receive cookies for their birthdays.

As a matter of fact, I'm in the process of baking a batch right now for a friend whose birthday is today and who is coming to the OMWF sing along this afternoon.

QuoterGal, I meant to tell you previously how great your post on "The Body" was on the other thread. I had already lost both my parents (more accurately, all - as my father died when I was six months old and Mum married Dad when I was 16). So when I "found" Buffy a couple of years ago, I was whipping through the DVDs until I came to that episode and it took me several days to watch. When I did, I didn't cry, I just hurt throughout the entire show. I still have trouble watching it - and I still hurt, even just thinking about it.

It took me three and a half years to cry for my mother, beyond the day of her memorial service, and it's been four years since my Dad died and I still haven't really grieved for him. I did do a wonderful eulogy, though; twice as a matter of fact, as we also had a memorial service in my hometown when we buried his ashes a few months later.

As I said on one of threads over on Flickr, my mission in life (or part of it, anyway) seems to be helping people close to me as they die, but I seem to be good at it. I've been there several times as people died, my great-aunt, an "honourary" uncle, my mother and, in some ways harder, my 22-year-old cat, who had been my constant companion for all that time.

With my mother, my sister and I and Dad were with her for the seven weeks she was in the hospital (she had AML - acute lymphocitic leukemia - strangely, the same thing my father had died of), and I slept there - and spent most of my waking hours there - for the last 4 1/2 weeks. My sister and I were with her when she went and she knew that.

My Dad was already in a care home - and had been for 13 years (he was 92) - where I saw him at least once a week and for the last six years or so, spoke to him on the phone every day. When he was diagnosed as palliative care, his three 'kids' (at the time they were 68, 69 and 70 ;-) ) decided to take turns coming to town for a week each to spend time with him. I was working full-time, so I would leave work early every day and spend about five hours with him. On weekends, I would go into the office to catch up, then do the same. After the first month, he did not like being alone at night, so I stayed the first night and then everyone else spent the nights as well.

We did that for another three months, with help from my cousin (actually his niece), and other members of the family when they could come into town. In the end, it turned out he needed me to be the one to figure out how he could go. Even though we had each told him to let go, the rest of our words and actions didn't match. When I finally figured it out - the last week he kept asking me for the key and insisting that I had it - I left one morning, at the insistence of my sister and one of my brothers that I get some sleep. I whispered in his ear, "Good bye, I love you and have a good journey." By the time my sister dropped me off at home 10 minutes later, he'd gone. It was fitting that my oldest brother was the one who was with him.

Well, I didn't see where this was going until I got there. But since we're sharing - and this thread has been off the front for a couple of weeks - I hope anyone who is still there doesn't mind. It's been cathartic for me.
handmade soaps, bath salts, candles, notepaper designed on my computer, etc. But the most looked-forward to gift, apparently, is a bag of my chocolate chip cookies - or oatmeal raisin cookies, once they've had them!

Thanks for the (scent) memories! I mean that. Scents are so powerful at triggering memories that I think somebody should write a very long book about it . . . in French . . .

You wrote about not really grieving, samatwitch, and I confess I don't understand, as apparently I am a natural born griever. I grieve like a mutha. I read one excellent book on the subject after the missus died whose main point was this: You don't stop loving someone after he or she dies, you just love them differently.* (The way you loved your Dad, for instance, by doing a wonderful eulogy for him twice.) I've given the book to two people . . . who frankly didn't much like it, but it's "The Heart of Grief" by Thomas Attig.

I think giving your father permission to go made a big difference. Truly I do. It's an intangible, and an unprovable, but I think that sort of thing is real.

Thank you for sharing all of it!

QuoterGal, I clicked on your link, and I think you really captured the power of "The Body." I am very sorry for the many bereavements you went though in so short a span of years. You may not have noticed, but you must be a very strong person to have handled all that and to relate it to art. Note, Scribe the difference you make in your fans' lives.

ETA *perhaps with not as much attention to grammar.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-28 23:49 ]
Lower-rated networks are often willing to experiment with new concepts and risk offending a few people if it gets them (1) good press and (2) ratings. After all, if they're already in the cellar, what do the have to lose? A number one network, on the other hand, afraid of jeopardizing its comfortable status, plays it safe.

What results is a cycle: The network that offers innovative programming begins edging out established networks. But as that network begins to climb to the top, it becomes increasingly less willing to try new things, as opposed to the former number one network, which is now willing to try innovative programs in order to regain its throne.

J. Michael Straczynski
The Complete Book of Scriptwriting

Well, JMS ought to know. Probably my second favourite TV writer/director/creator, although Rob Thomas is working his way up the list ;-).

Pointy, I'm glad you know how to grieve. It's definitely healthier than storing up for years and then crying for 3 1/2 hours straight, which is what I did when my mother died (and not until my favourite uncle, her youngest brother, also died). Partly it was because for the seven weeks she was in the hospital, she needed me to be strong for her and not cry. Also, the only way I could get through those seven weeks was not thinking about what was actually happening, ie what my life was going to be like afterwards.

Plus, as I mentioned in my first post in this thread, I had pretty much put my emotions in a deep freeze for years and it's only due to Joss that that has changed. When I got to Season 6 and 7 of Buffy, I felt as if he had pulled me back into life, and because of my love for everything Joss, I found my way here, to my local Browncoats group, to my friends at Flickr and more joy in my life than I ever remember. Of course, feeling also means feeling pain as well, but I realized this spring that if anyone asked me if I'd like to live the past year over again, knowing the pain as well as the joy, I'd do it in a heartbeat. So I guess I've grown - about time, some would say:D.

On the other hand, not being able to pull away the floor that I'm standing on because I know it covers the massive hole that my Dad left in my life kind of makes me a coward still, doesn't it?

Scents and smells are very evocative. I read somewhere that they are the most powerful triggers of all the senses. For me, I seem to react more to music, maybe because music has always been such a large part of my life. It was music that set me off about my mother and still affects me. Last year was the first Christmas Eve service I was able to sit through without tears in the 18 years since my mother died. Of course, the Christmas before was when I had just finished watching Buffy all the way through for the first time and I had to walk out in the middle of the service because I couldn't stop crying. Damn that Whedon anyway :-). What does he think he's doing, making people feel and caring so much about his characters and his worlds?
Note, Scribe the difference you make in your fans' lives.

Yeah, I'm quoting me. But I'm that good.

One thing I learned is that there's no right way to grieve, samatwitch. The grieving leads you, not the other way around. It has its own pace, highly individualized.

You know, you might become the only person to actually like the book I mentioned. Or you might be normal.
I just watched five straight episodes of Heroes. I like the show, but I love the character of Hiro. Heroic and mock heroic.

Thought of the Day:*

The challenging energy of the Shadow archetype can be expressed in a single character, but it may also be a mask worn at different times by any of the characters.

Heroes themselves can manifest a Shadow side. When the protagonist is crippled by doubts or guilt, acts in self-destructive ways, gets carried away with his success, abuses his power, or becomes selfish rather than self-sacrificing, the Shadow has overtaken him.

Christopher Vogler
The Writer's Journey

*Means I haven't had a thought today.
You should worry about the day
That the pain it goes away
You know I miss mine sometimes

"Fast Cars"

Pointy, that's a good quote. I just became a U2 fan in the past year, due to a good friend who's also a Whedonesquer. He didn't pressure me into it, but he's such a U2 fan and has pointed me to a lot of other music that I enjoy that I had to give them a chance. And thanks to barest_smidgen, I'm now a big Elvis Costello fan. See what I mean about broadening my horizons? And again, it all leads back to Joss. That man has a lot to answer for - most of it good!! And you thought I was going to end the sentence with a preposition ;-)

I've requested "The Heart of Grief" from my local library, so I'll give it a try. I was actually at a memorial service yesterday for a former co-worker who had had a brain tumour for about 20 years.

If you want to talk about the book, you can e-mail me. My address is in my profile.
I so have enjoyed this thread. Thank you Pointy, in particular, for the poignant comments that you shared about your wife. I too lost my dearest friend, to depression and Bi-polar disorder.
She was so incredible to be around, funny, creative, and beautiful. She had a great heart, but a sick mind.
I miss her so, but am greatful for the many years we had together, and will remember her for the rest of my days, as I will your loving words. You helped me. Thanks.
I've requested "The Heart of Grief" from my local library

Wise move, samatwitch, seeing as none of the four copies (according to my updated mental inventory) that I bought have ever been finished by their owners, including my copy. I love the book, I just never finished it. It opened a door, I walked through it, and after that I no longer needed the key. It has some great things to say, though. Perhaps I will take another look at my copy . . . (And U2 rule! Wisely and benevolently, I warrent. "Fast Cars" is the bonus track on the deluxe edition of How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, which I simply had to have.)

I am very sorry about your former coworker. And very impressed -- a two-decade battle with a brain tumor? I don't think I'd have sufficient brainpower!

Silver81, thank you for allowing/encouraging me to go on about my wife! It sounds like she and your dearest friend had much in common. I'm particularly glad that you think about how she was "incredible to be around, funny, creative, and beautiful." The memory of their gifts is one way they keep giving, if that makes sense. Other thought: Our dearest friends' minds are now at peace. Like their beautiful hearts.

Now, from the sublime to the . . . other sublime, mixed with the ridiculous in a smooth and creamy blend. Scribe. The theme is love. Really -- it recurs post after post. You are the only writer I know of (not that I've done an exhaustive survey) who approaches writing a script by asking what he loves about the characters in it. (If I'm not memory-mangling the commentary to "A Hole in the World.") I'd enjoy reading in one of your interviews more about that approach sometime. May be the secret of your success.

Yup, that's all.

ETA I lied! I feel impelled, not compelled, to add: The U2 quote that's been stuck in my head all week:

I will not forsake
The colors that you bring
But the nights you filled with fireworks
They left you with nothing

I'm still enchanted
By the light you brought to me
I still listen through your ears
And through your eyes I can see

"Stuck in A Moment"

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-03 08:04 ]
Writing all day, productively but exhaustingly, so my brain feels like SangChaud's, and the "add a comment" box gapes at me like a white void . . . which, of course, it is.

So . . . your inspiration donation of the day, Scribe, was something you said in Australia on subject of the need for internal as well as external threats in drama, to wit: how Catwoman raised your hopes in Batman II by telling Penguin they must turn the hero into the thing he hated, only to see said hopes trickle into Gotham City's sewers when Penguin replied, yes, let's frame him.

In the words of you:*

No! That doesn't mean frame him! That means corrupt him! That means find out why he's dressed like a [easily guessed naughty word]-ing bat! And mess with his head! That means get inside! And as soon as he said, "Frame him!" I knew there was gonna be no movie and there was gonna be no fun.

Since the Bad President I'm writing about definitely turned himself into what he hated, I found this particular insight of yours (and, to give credit where it's due, Catwoman's) made today's writing (which had to tie together two Bad Presidents and a Bad Adviser) more focused and fun. Slainte!

*I can't be the only person who ever needs to ask people, "Now, what exactly did I say?" Besides, the rest of you don't remember everything he said in Australia, now do you, non-QuoterGals?

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-03 08:26 to add another quote from U2, a/k/a "The G.K. Chesterton of rock"]

They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you

"Peace on Earth"

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-03 08:32 ]
Hi, Pointy! (And everyone else who may wander by "the thread that time forgot.")

Many hours of overtime have completely fried, fricasseed & scrambled my brains for the last week +. But I can never stay away from The Black for long. I've absolutely nothing to say except hello, but I thought I'd do that. I'll try to actually have something to say tomorrow night.

And in the meantime, take care, y'all. Aloha pumehana.
SangChaud, Hi! and thanks for the epiphany. All this time I thought my brains were scrambled but now I realize they are, in fact, fric-asseed.

They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you

"Peace on Earth"

Pointy, my heroic one, is this a veiled reference to Go Fug Yourself? 'Cause it might make some folks feel bad about themselves, or even a little scared.

A heartfelt Slainte! to all.

[ edited by jaynelovesvera on 2006-11-03 16:49 ]
Warning: Sad post

It’s funny. A few days ago on this thread I started to write something about grief flowing from one experience into another. I started to say how it is not discrete and does not stay in a compartment reserved for one particular person, but can become combined with the grief of events after or even before it. I was going to mention the way that grief about a loved one’s death can combine with the loss of a treasured relationship and a catastrophic world or national event that threatens your child’s future. But it was a complex post and I did not have time.

Yesterday I got a call from someone who, for a very long time, was probably closer to me than anyone in my life. Although I am no longer in love with him, I do still love him very much, as does my son. He has been very sick and has only been able to contact me sporadically to let me know how he is. He only had time before he hung up to tell me that the medication they are giving him is causing him to have mental problems, but that he did not want me to worry. Then he was gone.

I remember really well the first/last time that happened. We were still together and we did not know it was the drugs. He came very close to trying to kill himself more than once back then and thought seriously about doing other scary things. It was terrifying for both of us.

Now he knows it is the medication, so it should be better. The thing is, he sounded terrified. I have to remember that he made his choice not to have me as part of his life and there is nothing I can do for him. It is just incredibly difficult. After he hung up, I realized I had not asked him if he had told the doctors what was happening and if he was getting help. I had assumed it, which could have been a mistake. Unfortunately,I have no way to contact him.

In Joss’s writing, he has dealt with so much that is real. The hardest for me to watch, though, is not The Body, but Hell’s Bells. I understand what happened in The Body in a way that I cannot understand in Hell’s Bells. I buried my unbelievably wonderful father and miss him everyday, but I understand that it was not his choice. I still cannot understand the mystery of the paralyzing fear that keeps people from taking a chance on being happy, even though I have experienced the results more than once. I commend those of you who have taken that chance and enjoyed the benefits, if only for a short time.
It's one of the most heartbreaking ways that a person with a mental illness can express love -- by trying to "save" someone he or she loves from himself or herself. (Save me, lords of grammar, from awkward pronouns). The missus, back before she was the missus, tried to "save me" from marrying her on more than one occassion. I'm so grateful she failed.

Speaking of heartbreaking, newcj, that feeling of wanting to help someone you love, to at least check on them and make sure that they're doing what they need to do, but not being able to do so . . . .

If he had the presence of mind to recognize what is happening to him as a result of the medication, and he had the presence of mind to call you and tell you about it, then he has the presence of mind to mention it to the doctors. You've already done what he needed you to do, which was pick up the phone when he called and let him hear the voice of someone who loves him.
"If he had the presence of mind to recognize what is happening to him as a result of the medication, and he had the presence of mind to call you and tell you about it, then he has the presence of mind to mention it to the doctors."

One would think/hope...

Thanks, Pointy. I appreciate the good thoughts, it has been tough. It is too bad that it is not just the mentally ill who try to save those that they love by pushing them away...or maybe most of the human race really is mentally ill. The thought has ocurred to me more than once. ;-)
O Sweet Mother of God and All Her Best Looking Cousins . . . they say that when adults are together with their parents they immediately revert to their childhood selves, and so it stands to reason that when adults get together with their college friends they immediately revert to drunkeness.

Dinner with college friend in town for business. Split bottle of pinot noir. I had "half."

Red wine has health benefits, according to the New York Times. Honest. I would enumerate them for you, but had too much.

Hi SangChaud! Your charming posts brighten the thread. Hi JayneLovesVera! I have located some of your extremely LOL posts on The White and plan to join you there after I've completed study of red wine's health benefits.

Scribe, I thought of this the night before last, as I listened a recording of you in Australia saying society does not respect atheists.

1. That hasn't been my experience. I've heard great disrespect from atheists for religion, but in 12 years of religious schooling I don't think I ever heard disrespect for atheists or atheism. Not one sermon, not one religion class. The right of atheists to their belief, one that we didn't share, was unquestioned, as was the goodness and morality of individual atheists.

2. You are an intelligent, perceptive and insightful person, so if you say our society does not respect atheists, I bet you have a point. I don't see it, but I bet it's there.

3. I'm religious and I respect you and value your atheistic path through life. The "religion of narrative" you talk about and create has beautiful stuff in it. Receive numerous packets of respect coming your way over the 'neb.

4. Pinot noir good.

5. Reservatrol = The Extract of Dorian Gray.

E. Michelle Trachtenberg's voice isn't screechy. It's lovely and talented. She owned her act of "The Body."

6E. Hiro on Heroes is so not a live action version of Pikachu the Pokemon, so not.

ETA 7A. Pinot Noir bad. Fried chicken good, im moderation.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-04 09:23 ]
Pointy, in front of God, His Sweet Mother and All Her Best Looking Cousins--and even the less attractive relatives--I declare, and will maintain under torture, that even with a half bottle of pinot noir in you the elegance of your writing far exceeds anything my unworthy self could produce. Even your spelling is better. Good thing I'm not the envious type.

I've had the same experience as you--A lot of time spent around religious folk, nary a negative concerning atheists. I suspect a lot of people who really don't know many religious people assume most are like the firebrand they may see on tv. I disagree with you Pointy, on point 2. Joss is a genius and all but that doesn't make him always right in his perceptions.

I do agree with everything else you say, especially the kind words for Ms. Trachtenberg. See you on the white.

Newcj, I was moved by your post. Hope your friend does well, and you also. You are a good woman.
Jaynelovesvera you underestimate yourself. Grossly. Hideously. Your underestimation of yourself makes right-thinking people say, "Yuck." (But thank you for the notion that I may be underestimating myself, I'm really quite taken by it.)

I get intrigued when very intelligent people have very different perceptions from me, you know, like you, jlv, and that other guy. Of course, that won't get me to change the wording on my big headstone: "He Was Always Right."

Not so funny when sober.

A quote then:

Every great writer is a mystery, if only in that some aspect of his or her talent remains forever ineffable, inexplicable, and astonishing. The sheer population of Dickens's imagination, the fantastic architecture Proust constructs out of minutely examined moments. We ask ourselves: How could anyone do that? And of course, different qualities of the work will mystify different people.

Francine Prose
Reading Like a Writer

You've already done what he needed you to do, which was pick up the phone when he called and let him hear the voice of someone who loves him.

newcj, I agree with Pointy. As I mentioned above, my best friend lives with chronic clinical depression. To those who don't know her that well, she probably seems like a normal, well-adjusted woman. She owns her own home, has had a challenging, high-stress job the last few years and takes care of everyone within her orbit. I'm just glad that when she needs to talk to someone, she picks up the phone and calls me - and that she knows she can do it any time of the day or night. We live about 1,000 miles apart, but we usually talk on the phone for an hour or so at least a couple of times a month, sometimes a couple of times a week if one of us is going through something. (She's always there for me, too.)

It took her a while to let me in when the depression first started, and there are still times when she doesn't call because she "doesn't want to bother" me. Sometimes I feel helpless and frustrated that I'm not able to do anything other than listen, but then I'm glad that she at least allows me to do that.

Speaking of Joss as we are on this thread, one of the things I have learned in the past year and a half was that I can actually trust a man, something I haven't done since I was a child. So far, it's only one man that I trust completely and that was instinctive, but over the past year and a half, I have met several others whom I have learned to trust on many levels - and it's all through my association with Joss.

I'm also exhibiting a lot of trust in my Whedonesque online friends, both here - especially in this particular thread - and over at the Library, and obviously that trust has been reciprocated.

BTW, Pointy, I have begun reading "The Heart of Grief". So far, so good.
I just picked up my copy again, samatwitch, and it does a heart good. (I also just ordered a pizza, but that won't do a heart any good.)

From page 50:

Anything good you've ever been given is yours forever.

--Rachel Naomi Remen

I don't know why I find that so powerful, but I think it might work for showrunners who have seen the offspring of their imaginations smothered like kittens, as well as for standard grievers.

I'm not a great fan of the expression, "Count your blessings," because it often comes out sounding like, "Shut up and stop complaining." But I actually found it made me feel good to list the things that someone I lost gave me, and it might work to list the things that some experience gave you as well. It might be like inventorying one's spiritual attic and discovering that it's not all junk there. Or it may be like the old song, "They Can't Take That Away."*

*That's an old song, right?

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-06 06:58 to add pop culture reference or pop culture hallucination]

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-06 06:58 ]
Pointy Yes, that is an old song...even for someone like me. ;-) I have always agreed that "Anything good you've ever been given is yours forever." The trick is not to discard it or let it be tarnished by whatever might have come later. My first boyfirend said to me that he wasafraid the later parts of our relationship would spoil my memories of the beginning of our relationship. At the time I told him that that would not happen unless I found that the early relationship was a lie. If it was truthful at the time, anything from that time should be cherished.

No one is perfect and most people do the best they can. We can cherish their effort and the times they succeeded even while recognizing that overall things did not work out. This is something that I have found works especially well concerning most parents and something I will be indoctrinating my child with for the rest of his life. ;-)

Thanks, JLV and samatwitch I appreciate your kind thoughts. I will probably not know much about my friend for a while, but I am over the point where my emotions are on the surface and into the resignation of waiting, so things are better for me right now.

samatwitch Your friend is lucky to have someone she can call when she needs to talk. It is so incredilbly important. The fact that it is not a one way street is the best. Good for you both.

I am also so glad you have found people you can trust. It is so important and so difficult. As far as specifically finding men to trust, my experience is that men are just as trustworthy as women except for the added dimension of sex. If sex is not involved, then the trustworthiness factor is pretty similar. If sex is involved it gets more complicated, but I have seen compelling evidence that there are many men who can be trusted in that situation. ;-) Personally, I am waiting until my son goes to college before I start exploring whether there are any out there that are both trustworthy AND someone I can connect with. Although I don't have much hope that that is possible, I am always happy when things are working for other people. Go Samatwitch!

The thing that all of Joss's work is inevitably about is that everyone needs to keep on fighting no matter how bad the odds seem to be. He gives every character the ability to contribute in some way and the ability to fight their battles even if they need help to succeed. It is a message we all need to hear over and over. Some people don't like seeing the strongest characters fail or lose their way, but that is what happens in life. I appreciate that Joss shows even the strongest characters failing or doubting themselves or giving in to depression because he also shows them struggling to get through it and recovering and continuing to fight...and he dosen't make it easy or simple or clear. He doesn't sugar coat life, but he shows that it is livable.
My most admired Pointy, I'm afraid it's more likely I overestimate myself. Perhaps grossly; probably not hideously. Or maybe the other way 'round.

Your comment about counting your blessings rings especially true to me at the moment. Besides those one has lost, it also applies to those you've almost lost. Both my girls could easily have been taken fom me in strange ways, my youngest just in the past few days. Without permission, I'm reposting a couple of comments I made on the Goners site to explain.

Post 1:

Here's my Big thing that made my day:

The coworker my daughter saw with blood on him confessed today to murdering their boss. He has been charged with first degree murder and will not be released on bond, which worried me greatly because he's very aware she saw the blood and can testify to that effect.


Toree starts her first day on her new second job last Monday. She is working as the evening desk clerk at a Budget Inn. The owner/manager is a very nice 59 year old gentleman from India named Saunak. He buys Toree dinner, tells her since she has to get up early for her full-time job and the motel is never full this time of year, she can have a room where she can sleep any night she feels too tired to drive home. He gives her the key. He tells her if she's ever short of cash, just take what she needs and pay it back later, he'll trust her. He has the same room/cash arrangements with the overnight desk clerk/handyman named Charles. Saunak tells Toree he'd rather hire a better worker than Charles but he feels sorry for the guy, who has no other home.

On Wednesday Saunak tells Toree he won't be there when she arrives to start her shift on Thursday. He has stuff to take care of, and she's doing so well after just two days he trusts her to run things by herself till he gets back later Thusday evening.

On Thursday Toree arrives and finds no one in the office. Almost immediately she hears the muffled sound of an angry shout, followed by a curse. The sound was coming from a back kitchen/lounge for staff which was down five stairs and down a hall from the office. She wondered what was going on, since Saunak had said he wouldn't be there. Charles came up the stairs, his hands covered in blood, with blood on his shirt. When Toree asked what happened he said he'd messed up his knee bad downstairs. Toree saw there was no blood on the knees of his jeans, then noticed blood on the side of his lower pant leg, and a pool of blood by his foot. Charles saw her looking at his knees and said "It's bleeding on the inside". He left to take care of his knee when a customer came in. Ten minutes later Toree went down to the break room and saw a few drops of blood on the floor, which she connected to Charles' injury. Saunak had told Toree it was OK to cut through the suite he lived in, which was accessed from the break room, to take a short cut to the bathroom on the other side. She had done this once before, as he was in the habit of leaving his door unlocked. When she tried to cut hrough this time Saunak's door was locked. Toree figured he'd locked it when he left for the business he'd mentioned.

Saunak never showed up, and his wife called several times from Las Vegas looking for him; he wasn't answering his cell phone. After trying everyone she knew, and checking with all the hospitals in the area, she called the police and reported her husband missing. Toree didn't know about this, though. Having known Saunak only a few days she didn't know his habits. When Charles showed up to relieve Toree, she told him Saunak had never arrived or called and she was starting to worry.

When she arrived for work Friday evening Saunak was still unaccounted for. Toree had to run things at the motel by herself till Charles showed up to relieve her. They talked about where Saunak could be. His wife and friends were calling all evening. Very tired, Toree elected to sleep at the motel. In the middle of night she was awakened by someone forcibly trying to open her motel room door. She heard Charles talking to someone and called out "This is my room!" Charles and whoever was with him left. Saunak's wife had flown in from Vegas and had Toree work all day Saturday. After the 48 hour waiting period was up the police came to the motel Saturday afternoon to investigate Saunak as a missing persons case. In a commuter parking lot a hundred yards from the motel a policeman found Saunak's body. The police, who had been searching the entire motel, asked Toree if the motel had a carpet cleaner. On the way there she suddenly associated the blood on Charles two days before with Saunak's disappearance and told the police about it. They asked her to look Charles up on the motel's computer (she didn't knw his last name). As she was doing this Charles walked in, Toree pointed him out, and the police asked Chales to show them his room.

That's the last Toree saw of Charles. Although a murder at the motel was reported on the news, the police would not acknowledge it to Toree or to me. They wouldn't let me see her, just talk to her on the phone. They kept her till midnight for questioning, then let her leave. The detectives told Toree she was a very lucky girl. That if she had rushed downstairs when she first heard the muffled shout, which they thought was Saunak when he was attacked, Toree would have been killed, too.

Today Toree called the police when she rememberd an additional fact. When she tried to get some fresh towels for a guest from the linen room, the key didn't fit the lock. It had a couple of days before. Presumably Charles switched keys to keep he out of that room temporarily.

This evening the police announced the arrest and confession. Apparently Charles killed Saunak while robbing him, the man nice enough to give him a job and a place to live out of compassion and who let him borrow cash whenever he wanted.

This is only supposition on my part, but it seems likely that after killing Saunak, Charles locked him in his room, which would account for Toree not seeing the body and his door being locked ten minutes later.

Post 2:

When they say on the news that St. Louis is the most dangerous city to live in in America it's really an unfair comparison, because unlike most major cities the statistics apply only to the city proper, which has 300,000+ residents, and not the surounding metropolitan area, which has an additional 1,700,000 or so and far, far less crime.


My stepdaughter Melisa, back when she was 13-14, had her first "boyfriend", a--to me--rather odd kid named Jason who came from a troubled family. He hit Melisa once, and I made it clear to him it would not be wise for him to come around any more. Unbeknownst to me, Melisa continued to see Jason with her mother's consent and the understanding I would not be told. (I was, after all, only the stepfather, and her mother felt sorry for poor Jason). I did not know that Melisa, after breaking up with him some time later, continued to periodically get calls from Jason for several years wanting her to get back with him.

After several years of no contact Jason called Melisa out of the blue and told her he'd turned his life around, was attending Lindenwood College, and would she come see his neat dorm room. She declined, afraid he would start up with talk of missing her, etc., but he finally convinced her to go. She took a girlfriend with her to minimize the likelihood of the conversation going where she didn't want it to go.

A week later to the day, Jason had another girl in his dorm room. The next anyone saw of her was when her headless body was found on the campus grounds. Jason and a much younger friend killed, then decapitated the girl. The case was quite the rage at the time. Melisa received letters from him in prison for quite a while, and her mother, my ex-wife, often wrote him in prison 'cause she still feels sorry for him. Toree of course knew Jason very well, so this Charles who killed their boss is the second murderer she's known.

In addition to Jason, Melisa was casual friends with a boy in school (junior high) who tortured and murdered his little brother in the nearby woods as part of some type of bizaar sexual ritual. That case was all over the news for a day or two till they found out the killer was so young (around 12), then it disappeared from view and was handled through the juvenile system with no publicity. So Melisa has also known two murderers.

Besides Jason, I have known three other people who are in prison for first degree murder.

One is a former employee named Joe, a very nice guy, who killed a man over a woman they both desired.

Another former employee, Ed, and a second man were hired by a woman to murder her husband. At a meeting prior to the deed , the men became angry at the woman. Ed beat her over the head with a baseball bat so hard it broke in two. He then disemboweled her with the jagged end of the bat. This was over a weekend. He came to work Monday as if nothing had happened. A while later he came in one day and said we needed to hire a replacement for him as his arrest was imminent.

The other person is the 18 year old (at the time) daughter of former employees. She and her girlfriend made a suicide pact. Elizabeth was to shoot the other girl, then turn the gun on herself. When she shot her girlfriend in the head and saw the carnage she had wreaked, she couldn't point the gun at herself. She called her mom at work and told her she'd done something awful and please come home. She and her husband told me they had to leave, something was wrong with Elizabeth. It wasn't till the next day they told me what had happened. Unlike Jason, Elizabeth outwardly did not appear to be troubled. She was a star athlete in high school, had many friends, and was beautiful enough to be a supermodel. She often came by after school to hang around the office waiting for her parents to get off. She was always very friendly and appeared carefree and happy, at least on the outside. I think that made it even more troubling for people in the community to understand. The town only had around 2000 residents, so most people knew Elizabeth, or had at least seen her around.

Does everyone know this many murderers, or is there a curse following my family around?

And I haven't even gotten into the guy who pulled a gun on me in dowtown St. Louis or the former ex-con brother-in-law who swore he'd kill me for protecting my sister from him.

[ edited by jaynelovesvera on 2006-11-06 22:23 ]
No curse, jaynelovesvera, except the universal one about living in interesting times. And places. And around interesting people.

Fifteen minutes ago I was really angry about bumping my head on a wall (don't ask). Now I am moved to various prayers of thanksgiving and protection for the jlv clan.

Just added the Goners site to my list. Why did God make me such a slow reader? (See how it all circles straight back to me?)

(And you, jaynelovesvera, underestimate yourself most foully.)

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-06 23:32 ]
Pointy, there is much fun to be had at Goners. A thoughtful man like yourself can start threads, join in games, and create games, artwork, and new schools of philosophy, solve riddles, penetrate the deepest recesses of Shadow, and rest assured the rudest person you'll encounter is me, your devoted acolyte. The only caveat is there are so many smilies around your estrogen level may rise. The worst that might happen is you become a metrosexual.
JLV First of all, I am so sorry these things have happened to your family and I am so glad the girls are physically alright.

Different people/families do seem to attract different kinds of experiences. Usually there is a pattern or reason, but sometimes it seems like chance. Maybe the rest of us simply do not know that people they knew were murderers. I know a family whose men are consistantly violent to their wives, but I stay as far away from them as possible. Will I some day find out one of them killed someone? Maybe. Will I be surprised? No. Might they have already killed someone and I never know about it? Absolutely.

As far as I know, I have never known a murderer well, though it is very likely that I have met some in passing. (Long story; not very relevent.) The fellow that I have been so worried about in my earlier posts, however, found out a few years ago that one of his friends growing up was murdered, probably by the friend's father back when they graduated high school. The kids all were doing new things, that family moved away and no one thought it strange that they lost touch with their friend . Then 25 years later someone was digging up the yard and found his body in an old septic tank. No one had any idea.

It could have to do with where you live or something else entirely. It could be a combination of many factors. I know that almost every woman I have talked to about intimate matters has experienced some kind of sexual assualt or attempted sexual assault during their lives. Most do not talk about it and never reported it. At first I was surprised, then I started realizing that there is just a lot of violence out there and we are lucky if it does not touch us very often or very intimately.

BTW, my father was born and raised in St. Louis and my mother went to Lindenwood. I have a ton of relatives that live in and around the area. As far as I know, none of them have step-daughters named Toree and Melissa and I am sure none have the imagination to be a Whedon fan, so I'm sure we are safe in assuming you are not one of them, however. ;-)
Yeah guys, there's some very nice posts here towards the end but it's drifted far from the original thread concept and I'm uneasy with old threads being used for discussion in such a manner. It's not what this blog is about.

I know that many of you post at our Whedonesque library at Flickr, perhaps this conversation could continue there. It's more intimate, more private and more suited to discussions of this nature.
You've got a point, Simon.

So I think I'll start a thread called Good Grief over on Le Blanc The Libe (that's Quebecois for The White never mind) which can encompass all the non-Jossy stuff we've addressed here, and limit my self to Purple prose here.

So now I have three places to click and post -- here, The White, and the Goners site. As you may have guessed, this requires more techtastic eptitude than I ordinarily exhibit.

ETA Link to Good Grief!

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-07 02:19 ]

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-07 23:55 ]
Sorry Simon. On the positive side, things mostly came back to a tie in with Joss's work, because doesn't everything? ;-)

Stopping will happen now.
(Heya, all -- I've posted the last few jillion posts from this thread over at the Flicker link Pointy posted just above, just to make it a little easier over there... A la Blanc!)
So I watched Star Wars: Episode IV last night, since I havent't seen it since it was Star Wars and had neglected to do multiple Serenity-style viewings of it in the theatre when I was 13.

I had expected, Scribe, to come here and write, "Wow, I guess you can squeeze inspiration out of a stone," and for the first few minutes it did indeed remind me that the serials of Flash Gordon I watched on "educational television" at least had Ming the Merciless. And Edward Everett Horton makes a hell of a protocol droid.

But as soon as the glowing red eyes of the jawas make their first appearance, the magic started to work and I got into it. I can learn some things about storytelling from this, things that I thought I learned from reading Joseph Campbell, but the problem with Campbell's examples of myths is that they leave me cold in a cultural sense, whereas Star Wars is kind of fun, and I can feel the myth working the way it's supposed to, rather than merely learning about it in the abstract.

The missus loved The Matrix like you, but I sat there thinking: I read all this in Joseph Campbell and it ain't working for me. Twice. She loved it that much. But since it is doing the same thing as Star Wars at the mythological level while telling a very different story, I may have to re-view it and compare the two.

And speaking of J. Campbell, I was reminded of him once again as I read your interview on today's front page, the one in which you spoke of Mistress Emma deconstructing the Beast, Wolverine and Cyclops in order to make them stronger, or "breaking them to remake them," as G. K. Chesterton said God does with the chosen ones (who appear to be pretty much everyone) in the sense that the strangely unboldfaced Campbell says that our conception of the devil is the unwelcome face of god, the one that puts us through the bad stuff that somehow brings out what Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address called "the good stuff."

So . . . this seems like the kind of thing that should lead to comments on Le Blanc The Libe . If further thoughts happen.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-07 23:56 ]
Literature is an endless source of courage and confirmation. The reader and beginning writer can count on being heartened by all the brave and original works that have been written without the slightest regard for how strange or risky they were, or for what the writer's mother might have thought when she had read them.

Francine Prose
Reading Like a Writer

Anyone who makes a successful go of a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer qualifies as a courage giver and a heartener.
Now I have read, or heard, or otherwise gleaned, Scribe that you came up with the name Robin Wood because you were not sure that you wanted a boy principal or a girl principal, but I bet another reason was that Robin Wood wrote an exceedingly fine book on Alfred Hitchcock, which he later expanded by the length of about another book. If you haven't read it -- and that's a tiny if, in 2-point type -- you will love it.
I got nothing tonight. I hope the Wonder Woman experience is fulfilling your heart's desire, becoming the sort of thing you hoped would come out of your heart and mind and hands when you were but a Wee-one.

Emily Dickinson, that surprisingly modern 19th century spinster, had a cool line that apparently everyone knows but me: "If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know it is poetry." You've done some upper head removing, and not in the Heroes/Sylar sense. That we know of. And today The Return opens, and Sarah Michelle Gellar is going to show what she can do without dialogue, and I know you shall be proud. You pick 'em well, Scribie.
Hi, Pointy! Glad to see you're keeping this going. Was away from The Black for a week or two, so I've tried to skim through a few of the archived threads and postings to get a feel for what I've been missing. . . .

I noticed that two academically-inclined posts got hardly any comments and was rather saddened by that. One was yours, of course, about the Purdue honors class that looked like one I might have taken when I was in school. I wound up taking big bunches of honors seminars because they were so much more fun and interesting than anything else offered! We had to take one junior honors seminar and one senior honors seminar as part of the program, but I must have taken seven or eight of them because the subjects kept changing, and each new one seemed irresistible: Medieval Women Writers; Women British Mystery Writers; Shakespeare Re-Invented; Shakespearean Film Adaptations; etc., etc. (Could you tell I was an English major??)

Okay. That was heading way OT, but the bottom line is that, somewhere in all that, I did do a little studying of gothic. And all of the above is why I love the 'verse so much. And miss it so horribly.

As is obvious in all of the posts/threads that touch on academe, many disciplines find the 'verse a rich field to mine. I'd like to quote from the other post about a call for papers, etc. for a mini-conference in March. In North Carolina. From which, I am about as far as you can get & still be in the U.S. Damn! Anyway, to wit, quoting Wiseblood:

We also discuss language, cultural elements, set design, politics, philosophy and other stuff, but it all comes back around to how Joss and Co. constructed a TV show that embraced the gross elements of American pop culture, while at the same time elevating them and itself to an art form in a genre that, before now, has never been taken seriously. Buffy changed the whole culture through its influence, and if Joss didn't do another damn thing, he could feel justifiably proud of that as a crowning achievement. (Happily, the man is too creative to rest that easily! :)

Actually, the above quote was in regard to the class Wiseblood is currently taking, but it pretty well sums up just how awesome is our Scribe. Yea, verily.

One last thing, Pointy, re: "a tiny if, in 2-point type." Did you ever work for a newspaper? Type, of the 2-point persuasion, or Agate (which was actually 5.5 point), 10 point, etc. Most people don't use "type," they use "font." It takes me back. . . .
Pointy, I read Wood's Hitchcock book years ago. He came to mind immediately when Robin Wood was first introduced on Buffy.

As long as this movie-making process takes, I fear I would lose my initial enthusiasm for the project after so much delay. Of course I have a very short attention span. If intended as a tentpole movie, WW won't be seen till summer of 2008 at the earliest.

SangChaud, like you and Pointy I also tend to say type rather than font. In my case it's because in a past life I was a distant forbear of Steve Guttenburg.
I think I swiped my Edward Everett Horton/C3PO crack from Wood's review of Star Wars, O Wit-Aceous jaynelovesvera.

The guilt is consuming.

What you wrote about the time-consuming nature of motion picture production makes me think . . . maybe The Keeper of the Genre Buffet has so much story in him that he needs to storytell far more often than he is getting the chance to in the movie biz, thus his funk. I'm afraid he is suffering from what you might call narrative blueballs.

You might not call it that. That might just be me.

SangChaud Holmes, how astute you are! I am a product of journalism, though not as discardable as most. Oscar Wilde wrote a letter to a newspaper, taking exception to a reviewer's suggestion that his latest book be burned. No, Wilde wrote, burning is what one does with newspapers.

I was wondering where you had gone, Holmes. I figured you had gotten caught up in that fad sweeping the world these days called "real life." I find it does cut into one's posting time.

Your honors classes sound cool, and totally Joss-centric, as is only fitting and proper, and before this sentence ends I should mention the favoriteness of my college English classes, too, for the sole reason that they prepared me for 'verse-appreciation. And I love the Wisebloodquote, which I think I missed the first time around. Or plum fergot. Yea, verily. Aloha pumehana.
I do think there is a point at which you sort of, in your adult life, or what I’ve read about people who have adult lives, you do realize you have to sort of step up and be more than just a person trying to fulfill their desires and live through the day. You have to sort of take your place in the world. And that is what we’re talking about with Buffy and with this show, that moral responsibility, not just to do what’s right but maybe to do a little bit more than that. It isn’t anybody’s destiny. There is no such animal. That is what makes it so extraordinary when someone actually does take it upon themselves to be more than they can.


Motto of the armed forces of Whedonia:

Be More Than You Can Be
You know what Asif Kapadia and the awesomely talented Sarah Michelle Gellar created in The Return?

That's right -- a strong woman character. In a story that combined emotional realism and . . . I don't think "supernatural" is the best word, since the concept of is part of some religions/systems of belief. The movie was marketed, however, as a supernatural thriller, and filmgoers who do not read about the Buddhist concept may not see it as such. I guess that no one considered, say, The Exorcist a religious film because it contained elements of Catholicism. At least I hope not.

So, let's just say, the story contained -- pardon my use of technical jargon -- stuff like .

I personally loved it that the character of Joanna Mills

So, you've got a woman hero, a strong character, in a story with, you know, stuff in it, and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, proving once again that her face (and body) are modern film's most expressive, and some great cinematic storytelling, in my opinion, if not that of the critics I read.

And did I mention the feminism? Asif Kapadia did not shy from the themes of rape and sexual violence, and (I think) drew a parallel between the male villains and Joanna's father's concept of the problem in the terms. As someone else on The Black mentioned after viewing the promo pictures, there are several shots of men grabbing/restraining Joanna's arms, which, , like Joanna. And women in general. And men. But not kittens. .

You need to see it, Scriberino. Otherwise, you can't read this. And the movie can be described as somewhat you-esque. That should be heartening for you as well as your fans. [That last sentence is the point of this whole post, since I "reviewed" the movie in the appropriate place on the front page.]

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-11-13 07:54 ]
A second viewing of The Return tonight revealed some more cool, feminist-type stuff of the writerly sort, so I figured I'd post it here rather than on the front page link to the box office results.

1. Male characters. At first, I didn't like it that the male characters were not as well fleshed out as Joanna Mills, but now I think that was a good artistic choice. We only know about them what she knows about them, and this highlights how it's both difficult and crucial for her to determine which ones are allies and which ones enemies.

2. I was confused about the relationship between Joanna and her father until the second viewing.
Fad, schmad, Pointy! Real life (at least mine!) isn't all it's cracked up to be, and 'tis not for the likes of this thread, nor indeed anywhere on The Black (I have a serious fear of Simon and his bucket-taking abilities, I do!). And you could never be discardable, my lad!

And jaynelovesvera, was that Guttenberg, he of the comic persuasion, or Gutenberg, he of the moveable type persuasion? Oh, and in case you can't tell from where you're sitting, I'm doing my happy dance after hearing your good news! (Luckily for the world [wide web], I do not have a webcam.)

Aaaaaand, out of nowhere, but totally relevant to this thread--I miss Joss. I really, really, really miss Joss. I was reading stuff and viewing stuff, and got to missing the 'verse so much it felt like a truly massive case of homesickness--worse than being away at camp as a kid by a factor of ten. Thank TPTB we have this community to take the edge off that kind of homesickness. To me, this community, an extension of Joss' vision and creativity, is a mirror to how Joss explains family. And I am extremely grateful for it. So, jlv, please don't go away again--or at least not too far away. . . .
Oh! and Pointy, The game's afoot! And I'll see you that "Aloha pumehana" and raise you two. I'm not really sure what I meant by that last sentence. Or the one before it, for that matter. . . .
For the love of tiny, 2-pt type, it's SangChaud!

Nice to see you happy dancing, if only in my head. With you on the Joss-missage, but guess what, tomorrow if you go to your comic shop you can pick up Astonishing X-Men #18, a fact you may have gleaned by reading the links on the front page, but which I gleaned in my inimitable style by going to the comic shop today. No slave to convention I. No, as a former journalist, I must confirm these things for myself, rather than placing my faith blindly in the "printed word." But the well-informed and helpful and considerably social-skilled-up comic guy informed me that Astonishing will in fact be available on its publication date. To clear up that controversy once and for all. (Oh, and SangChaud, if you've never read Joss's first comic book, Fray, you'll love this tale of the vampire slayer of . . . the future! I'm grateful for the Joss-adjacent community too :)
You never cease to surprise, Scriberrifc One. I knew your were going to go to the dark place in Astonishing X-Men #18, but I never expected you to have Hank McCoy clean it.
Thanks for the tip, Oh Pointed One. But I'm going to have to make a terrible, terrible confession. Please don't tell anyone, but I don't like comics. I get it that many people on these pages do, quite a number of them because of our Master Joss and his involvement with and love for them. But I don't like them.

Let me hasten to add that this is in no way saying they're no good or making some kind of value judgment like that. It's more like a case of some people liking turnips and other people not liking turnips. I'm really truly glad for Joss that he gets to work in something he loves so much. It makes my heart happy thinking how much joy he must derive from Fray and X-Men and such. And I have purchased a lot of the Angel ones and, of course, anything with Spike in it. And there's no way I'm not getting the Season 8 comics! But I'm always left feeling unsatisfied. Even if the plots are interesting, they're pretty thin, and sometimes the artwork is good and sometimes it is, well, at best meh.

I'm just a word person. Always have been. Remember, I'm the one who confessed I buy a book based on its footnotes. I can't even stand reading magazines--not enough words and too much clutter! As for all my beloved characters from the 'verse--I know what they look like, so I don't need someone to draw them for me. I just want to find out what they're up to! I prefer to see them live, like back on my TV/DVDs, or in movies, and failing that, I'll settle for books, though I've been disappointed in most of the 'verse related books (except for krad's newest and Go Ask Malice, by another Whedonesquer whose name escapes me right now).

Given all that, I do have a comic book shop I go to every few weeks, and the guy who owns it knows my name and immediately I walk in the door pulls anything that has accumulated since my last visit. He's a nice fellow, and no way would I ever tell him I don't like comics. And I really am happy for all the people who are so thrilled about the comic versions of the 'verse. Frankly, I wish I were! It would make the "homesickness" mentioned earlier a tad bit more manageable! But we are what we are. And I are not a comic book person. Sigh. Please don't tell anyone. . . .
Hey EVERYONE, SangChaud doesn't like...people who tell secrets. Not much for comics myself. I miss the nuances supplied by the actors that can't possibly be captured in a still frame. Compare watching an episode of Buffy to viewing a series of subtitled vidcaps. Not quite the same experience.

I also feel serious withdrawal pains from lack of Joss. And I don't really see the attraction of making movies over tv. People increasingly watch them at home on DVD anyway.

Pointy, isn't Hank McCoy a character on "King of the Hill"?

SangChaud, I have a theory *imagine me singing--badly* that Steve Guttenberg is a direct descendant of typemeister Gutenberg. Comic Steve added the second "t" because everyone knows "t"sing is funnier than "t"ing.
Took me 15 minutes to get the Guttenberg one, jaynelovesvera, and that was after I thought I got it. Just in case you're keeping score: A personal best. For you, that is. (Still working on the Hank McCoy/"King of the Hill" nexus . . . )

One advantage of making movies, I conjure, is that it will enable JW to acquire power, as he likes his characters to do, and possibly his own self, so that a blockbuster or two from now, he can to a network and say, "I'm interested in making a TV series. It's The Prisoner meets My Mother the Car," people in suits will cut him off saying, "Yes, Mr. Spielbe--Whedon, sir, here is creative carte blanche, a garbage can full of money and a contractually guaranteed time slot etched in tatoo ink upon the hide of our network president."

SangChaud, I enjoyed Go Ask Malice, too. Can never have too much Faith. I hope one day to read a Whedonovel.

I will concede that comic books do have a major shortcoming, namely that they they're too small to fit a Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Scriberino is going to some very cool story places in Astonishing. Some big development of the theme of self-loathing, which has stood out for me because I'm using it in my bad president(s)&adviser story, and it does rock the story world. (For me, the most powerful scene in "Who Are You" is Faith-as-Buffy beating the crap out of Buffy-as-Faith less because she needs to and more because she hates herself.) They should just hand the next X-Men movie to him, instead of trying to filch story parts. That could be BLockbuster II.
Pointy, not sure even I understand the Hank McCoy one--please, let it go. It doesn't seem right you should spend more time thinking about it than I spent thinking of it. And believe me, I don't spend much time thinking of it. I just start typing and see where it goes.

Good PowerPoint presentation, but you would be good at that. I'm with you on the love of Faith, and I guess I'll have to see Joss about a technical adviser position. Something of an expert on the self-loathing thing.

Can't wait to read your good bad-president book. You should let me and SangChaud write footnotes--SangChaud, would you like to cobble together shoe notes or examine podiatrist records?

[ edited by jaynelovesvera on 2006-11-16 12:13 ]
Self-loathing is apparently part of the human condition, jlv. It's all in what you do with it.

Personally, I imagine the dialogue at the 2026 meeting of the WWW (Whedonesque Writers of the World):

"I have to tell you, I thought your latest work was chock full of self-loathing."
"Why, thank you! I wasn't sure there was enough pain."
"Oh, there was plenty of pain, loads of it, but I guess you never can really have too much."

This dialogue reminds me of something . . . hmm . . . I can't quite place my riding finger on it . . . riding crop keeps getting in the way.
Oh, jlv, just keep riffin', okay? Please? And fetish much? As for

Can't wait to read your good bad-president book. You should let me and SangChaud write footnotes--SangChaud, would you like to cobble together shoe notes or examine podiatrist records?

With you all the way on this, too! "Cobble ... shoe notes" indeed! But, I don't think I get the whole "'t'"sing is funnier than "'t'"ing" thing. Though that was pretty funny just now. . . .

If I said I adored you both, would that make you go far away & never post here again? If it would, I won't say it. And I know you can keep a secret. No, wait. . . .

Pointy, let's hear it for a "Whedonovel"!! Anybody listening? How about the script books mentioned here ? You'll have to scroll down to my post (*ahem*) to see what I mean, but I didn't know how to link exactly to that point in the thread. . . . Of course, you could always just go to the interview linked at the top instead. I'm such an egomaniac.

Anyway, thanks, guys, for all the chuckles and interesting ideas. I can take my homesick, 'verse-missing heart to dreamland with a smile on my face.

Aloha nui loa. For tonight.
OK, comic Steve [Guttenberg] added the second [letter] "t" because everyone knows "t"sing [teasing, read making fun of] is funnier than "t"ing:

[TEE-ing]--having a transesophegal echocardiogram


[tea-ing]--attending an afternoon social function with a bunch of possibly boring folks who stick out their pinkies while drinking their tea, bringing back horrifying childhood memories of watching Roy Thinnes in "The Invaders"


[teeing]--preparing to launch an acne-pitted golf ball with no social skills into minor orbit.

None of which is as funny as teasing (making fun of) celebs at Go Fug Yourself.

Yes, it was a veiled commentary. Even I can't be shallow all the time.

SangChaud, if I move to the islands do you have a beach I could sleep on?

I'll check out the script books later. Gotta run.
I second SangChaud's scriptbook motion, though I would settle for including the scripts in the magnum opuseses of the Whedon Foul Papers. (More Shakespearean. I know you'll understand.)

Riffin'! That's what jaynelovesvera does! I've been trying to figure it out. Wish I could do that. Riff on, man with two girls names! I am convinced that you are a YouTube phenom waiting to happen.

Your comments about comic books made me think, aided by sage Saje's recommendation to someone to read Scott McCloud's book "Understanding Comics," that they might appeal to you more if you think of all the action as taking place between the panels . . . in your fecund brains . . . (that's not a swear word, people, like SangChaud's Hawaiin phrases, it's nice) . . . which means it's all up to you. Bye the bye, I'm part of the consensus that "Torn" is the best arc so far of the Astonishingseries, which has appealed most greatly to my taste for moral complexity, which rhymes with . . . nothing but sartorial perplexity, which Astonishingly brings us back to Go Fug Yourself.

Riffin' takes practice. I get that now.
Pointy, way to riff!! And I forgot to mention it before, but I like your whole concept of the Whedon Foul Papers. And wasn't it you who gave us the link to the Enfolded Hamlet site? If so, and I haven't thanked you yet, consider yourself thanked profusely as of this moment!

And "sartorial perplexity"? I may not have invented the term (I bow to you for that!), but I'm pretty sure I invented the [previously unnamed] concept. Not to steal your thunder, O Pointed One, but most of my adult life, my sartorial efforts have resulted in widespread perplexity, not to mention vexity, of a complexity hitherto unknown! And so I needs must rest on my laurels. Which is not nearly as painful as one might think.

Oh, and jlv, I'm sorry about the abrupt answer to your query about beaches & such. It was very late, and I thought I was being succinct and even a tad witty. (When will I learn??) Which just goes to reinforce my previous comments regarding my postings when I'm tired: they never end well. What I meant to convey was that we have plenty of beaches here, all of which you are welcome to sample. Come to that, we're not much more than beaches here!

Also, thank you for 'splainin' the "2 t's vs. 1 t" stuff. I'd like to think that, given enough time and cogitation, I would eventually have figured it out. That's what I'd like to think. . . .

One last thing about sun, sand 'n surf--it all ties in with the most comprehensive meaning(s) of the word "aloha." And at the risk of being intrusive, I'm going to go out on a limb and proceed to saw it off behind me by saying I think some of this could prove beneficial. . . . E komo mai. Come and live on a beach and conduct desultory examinations of purloined podiatrist records with your toes in the sand. Footnotes of a great greatness await!
Ok I think this has gone on long enough now. This thread is now closed, so kindly move any further discussion to our lovely Flickr group.

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home