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February 10 2007

Buffy the Anarcho-Syndicalist. A comic book where the Buffster is depicted as a radical counter culture icon fighting capitalist vampires. What would Giles say?

This sounds like it has to be read to be believed.

Giles in a beret?
The only thing better would be a giant Dawn kong.
Oh yeah...
This is my favourite sentence of 2007: "a radical counter culture icon fighting capitalist vampires".
I have to get this. It sounds hilarious!

Thanks for posting this, Simon! :)
That is hilarious. There's page at
http://nihilpress.subvert.info/buffy12.html
(Hope that works. I've never posted a link before.)

But unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) no Giles in a beret.
Excellent! Thanks jcs. It has a nice tongue in cheek feel to it.
Ha! That's awesome. But Buffy's such a capitalist.
I'm amused by the idea, but I have a feeling that the execution will probably be lacking.

I don't think Buffy is a "Capitalist" in the sense that she's given deep consideration to Capitalism as a social system and wants to go out of her way to support unregulated free markets. I think she's more of a fashionista and just appears Capitalist by association.

I think she'd be kind of apolitical, hopefully in the more sophisticated sense of realizing most political stuff that gets talked about is BS and, while Capitalism really does bite, people aren't doing such a great job of offering well thought out and viable alternatives.

Plus it's probably hard to think about politics while you're worried about demons and vampires and monsters all the time. You know, that would have made a pretty awesome episode. I'd love to see Buffy encouter a den of hippie vampires that criticize her fashion choices and make her wonder about sweat shops and political awareness.

Hippie vampires would be pretty funny...

"We must sacrifice the blood of a few pedestrians and cafe goers, so that we may continue the valiant struggle against factory farming!"
"Wait, we're against factory farming?"
"Of animals, man, of animals. People, we're okay with."

[ edited by Celluloid Novelist on 2007-02-10 05:31 ]
"Nurse, more O2!"

Just when I think I read it all, this room comes forth with another tidbit. I'm won't even bite into this disscussion, think I'll just kick back and watch.
Plus it's probably hard to think about politics while you're worried about demons and vampires and monsters all the time.


Well I was thinking about this when I posted the article last night. You could argue that "The Wish" was a metaphor for class conflict.

Buffy and her allies represent the proletariat. The Master and the rest of the vampires are the bourgeoisie and they exploit the proletariat. The vampires in fact have embraced technology and are now an industrialised ruling class. They have created a factory to further maintain their strangehold on the means of production. What we saw at the end of the episode was the workers rise up to put an end to the ruling class who were controlling their lives.

Course you also argue that I didn't get enough sleep last night and have been thinking about this way too much ;).
Simon, I think that's there in the overall meaning of the episode, but I don't think Buffy as a character would have a general tendency to look at things in those terms.

Willow might.

Not that you were saying Buffy would, it just seems like two different conversation paths. A lot of Buffy episodes had political messages. One of the things I loved about Buffy was how it generally didn't hit you over the head with it.

Thinking about how Buffy would evolve in terms of her awareness of things with age, if she were a real person, is kind of an interesting (to me) train of thought this posting has sent me on.

[ edited by Celluloid Novelist on 2007-02-10 11:50 ]
I think one of my favourite little related bits from a Buffy episode is the training film and worker comments from the Doublemeat Palace episode. The film & script captured much of what I'd wanna say about Big Business, and the filmette itself ranks right up there for me with the hysterical training film (ooh, and the script) for the British The Ofice "Training" episode.
I loved Buffy wielding hammer and sickle in S3E1 and freein' workers.
Interesting point Simon. But since there was no suggestion of profit in the Factory venture and the vampire were acting out of self-interest and not market-led forces I'd say they were the communists and Buffy was the capitialist freedom fighter.

However, the vampire den that Riley frequented was clearly capitalist free market in nature. Vampires and humans acted out of free will and mutual gain. But since Buffy took a strong dislike to that, perhaps due to Rileys involvement, that might suggest a anti free market viepoint.
I think it's safe to say Buffy as we've known her up to now is distinctly apolitical, probably not necessarily in the good way, more the "WTF does this have to do with my life ?", slightly apathetic way. Joss on the other hand, not so much, which is probably why S8 seems to be taking a much more overtly political stance toward the world, kinda like you'd hope Buffy would as she got older.

I like that take on 'The Wish' Simon but where does that put Anya ? Black marketeer ? Or maybe some Marx like philosophical facilitator ? ;).

(zz9, the factory's 'profit' is surely a blood surplus with very little 'work' involved on the part of the vamps and, despite its utter failure in the real world, I don't see 'self-interest' as exactly a basic tenet of Communism - at least on paper, certainly not compared to Capitalism which is of course entirely predicated on it. Market forces are surely just what happens when a lot of people exercise their individual self-interest ?)
Course you also argue that I didn't get enough sleep last night and have been thinking about this way too much ;).


Ding ding ding :)

A lot of Buffy episodes had political messages. One of the things I loved about Buffy was how it generally didn't hit you over the head with it.


And if you ask six different people you might get six different answers as to what that message was. Bring your own subtext :) This thread makes me giggle (in a manly way, of course, totally). Keep thinking of Python, but that was bound to happen.
zeitgeist, I couldn't agree more.

[ edited by Madhatter on 2007-02-10 17:08 ]
A lot of Buffy episodes had political messages. One of the things I loved about Buffy was how it generally didn't hit you over the head with it.


Though "Beer Bad" not only hit you over the head with it,it shoved it in your face and said "Drink deeply of this message " .Rather ironic considering the episode.
Thank you jcs, I love the way this looks: nice art and clever writing, it is a 'must have' for me! I have no problems with people who want to make a case for Buffy supporting their POV, that is the essense of every Master's thesis, it doesn't mean that I have to buy the premise (it just means that I do have to buy the comic book).
Well, I read Weber when I was not even 23 and and am now reading _The Victory of rEason_ so I might be a bit prejudiced....

Seriously, this was already mentioned in at least one essay in _Reading the Vampire SLayer_ so doing a parody (in the legal definition of the term) with that as the theme makes sense and sounds like it could be amusing. It's fairly appropriate for what I know of Joss's political beliefs, too.

And Giles in a beret? Yeah, that I can see. But I like the counter-idea of hippie vampires too. (even tho I hated _The Deathmaster_ with Robert Quarry)

Of course I always like to point out the essentially conservative aspect of the shows. Which is to say (at least up until S"eeing Red," sorry, personal pet peeves are surfacing, let me slap 'em down and continue) BtVS had a solidly defined moral code which it followed and maintained in its story logic. Which is more than can be said of many other shows the past few decades. And to my view any type of consistent morality is fundamentally a conservative choice in these times and for a long time before this.
I loved Buffy wielding hammer and sickle in S3E1 and freein' workers.


futile, you are only the second person besides myself that I have ever heard mention that. Though personally I would argue that she empowered the workers to free themselves ;)
She also did her Ghandi impersonation in that episode. Though I think her version of 'passive resistance' is a bit confused.
futile and marmoset, I've heard the hammer and sickle image discussed before in those terms and I think that Anne is probably overall the episode most critical of capitalism, or maybe just of how laissez fair tends to become indistinguishable from criminality, that Joss has done. City of... would be my second place.

zz9 and Saje, I don't think either modern system fits the Master's plan, despite its high-tech presentation. It's more like feudalism, where the lord has lands and servants and serfs and cattle, and upgrades to having a mill. The surplus is not translatable to a form of money, and there's no market.
Yeah, feudalism probably is the best fit but I wasn't saying blood = money (though I suppose if the Master started restricting its distribution to his cohorts so that it became scarce among them it could become a kind of pseudo-currency. Bit reachy though - even if i'd love to have interests in the jam jar market if it ever happened ;) I was just pointing out that in the sense of accruing a benefit from the 'people milker' there was definitely 'profit'.

'Anne' is critical of laissez faire capitalism (complete with hammer and sickle wielded by a socialist freedom fighter) but to me it's mainly a metaphor for a young person's take on the world of work. I can certainly remember at that age that the idea of doing a job (especially the same job) for the rest of my life seemed one step above slavery, a complete and utter drudge and ripe for the loss of identity 'Anne' demonstrates, the idea of becoming just another nameless cog in the machine.

And to my view any type of consistent morality is fundamentally a conservative choice in these times and for a long time before this.

What was that, about 20 comments before someone laid claim to the moral high-ground for their particular 'side' ? Not bad at all. I'm proud of us ;).

And t'is true zeitgeist, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords really is no basis for a system of government ;).
Saje, is this the five minute arguement or the full half hour?
Saje - don't think they were laying claim to the moral high-ground (or MoHiGro, pass it on), so much as demonstrating the bring your own subtext aspects of the show. Regardless, I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!
zz9, I've told you once ! ;)

Ah, here we go, did you see that ? I've been moderated. Hey, everyone come and see me being oppressed ! Now we see the violence inherent in the system ...

(i'll go with MoHiGro if for no other reason than it opens up MoLoGro as a possible contraction. And yeah, fair point, i'm probably a bit too used to, err, distinctly less civilised political discourse, jumping at shadows isn't totally beyond the bounds of possibility ;)
Touché Saje.

BtVS was always great at posing a question and showing different, valid, viewpoints and letting the characters, and viewers, make their own decisions. The native indian question in Pangs springs to mind. Though the characters eventually came round to a 'fight or die' decision the points raised remain valid and unanswered.

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