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March 09 2008

(SPOILER) "What makes it about Buffy?". Messrs Whedon and Allie provide a handy overview of Dark Horse's Buffy season 8. Don't read if you've still managed to remain totally unspoilt for Buffy #12.

Also the campaign to get Joss to Portland starts here.

And with that adjective "slangy" the journalist just outed himself as a Jossaholic. God knows that -y is clinging to every single world in any human language. Yes, y's are officially clingy:-)
I should have called myself gossy.
Never too late, gossy, never too late.
I'm in Portland and I'd buy Joss a sandwich if he visited. It's a pretty nice town.
So has the Joss tour around the US began then?
The Portland Browncoats are, as far as I'm aware, the only Browncoat group to have filed themselves as a nonprofit organization. Huzzah!
...people who are self-deprecating, pop-culture savvy, madly in love with wordplay, quick-witted, terrified of sounding pompous and with wells of emotion lurking beneath a shiny, protective layer of self-aware sarcasm.


Love that- what a flattering description. Sure, an abberant-y few have snuck in, but by and large, this sounds like it could be the screener for Whedonesque. Wish there were little paper strips you could press to someone's arm (or email address) to confirm the above before saying hello...
By the way, I found that when I tried to read the second page of the article, I got prompted for a US zip code and year of birth as verification.

As it only asks for a year, I guess any valid zip code, and any year will, do, but in case you're a non US resident (like me) and are stuck for an idea, there's a neat dodge you can use for this and similar occasions when sites ask for a full date of birth and a zip code. And that's to use Britney Spears' details.

My boyfriend used this as the hook for a piece on his blog about red band trailers, so the details are all here (although in the interest of full disclosure, he did get the idea from Empire Magazine in the first place).

Hope it's OK to post this link, by the way...
I find that when details are needed, I just do my real age and a bog standard zip of '90210'. I mean, who's checkin'?

I can't believe that Joss has never visited Portland, the spiritual home of the Buffy comics.
I'll even plan his itinerary- take him shopping at Powells, to a CSTS screening, for drinks at the Kennedy School pub, feed him a steak at El Gaucho and finish up with karaoke from hell at Dantes.

Best for him to avoid the quaintly named suburb of 'Wanker's Corner', though. ;-)
I got prompted for a US zip code

96910. Make 'em look it up. It's Agaña, the urbane capital of Guam, where Gov. Bordallo used to keep a cow tied out in the front yard of the governor's mansion.[1]

I used to live in Tamuning (zip 96913) but that just wasn't the place to be. All our favorite restaurants were in Agaña; that's where I learned to love Schezwan in a second-floor Chinese restaurant where the waiter would come to your table wearing an undershirt.

Has Joss been to Guam? I bet he hasn't.

[1] Noting that "the Agana cow," landmark that she was, lived in someone else's yard, just off Marine Drive.[2]
[2] There are only two directions on Guam, "on Marine Drive" or "just off Marine Drive," always followed up with "you can't miss it." Marine Drive is over 30 miles long.
Er, a strong writer perhaps, just a guess on my part.

If you need recurring themes, just check out "The Bionic Woman" by NBC. I thought FOX handled "Firefly" badly, but NBC really took the cake here. Way to ruin a perfectly good show! Hats off to those NBC boys!
MissKitty, please relay whatever information you have via e-mail and I'll do my best to make contact.
I got prompted for a US zip code


Right beside that part it should say "Outside The US? Click Here" and that'll take you through to the next page without having to enter a zip code.
Yep. Without involving poor Miss Spears.

It would be incredibly meta-theatrical if Buffy, at least, visited Portland in one of the future arcs.
Misleading article, I think -- yes, it does include the concept, with which most of us are familar, that Joss' acid test for himself and his writers has been "what's the Buffy of it?", but I was rather hoping to see the question answered and not just asked :)

Well, let me correct that, I see the Buffy of it for all of Season 8, up to and including the thing with the thing. I guess for that most recent part, I was hoping to know "what's the Buffy of it that wasn't already covered extensively in an earlier season?"
I was hoping to know "what's the Buffy of it that wasn't already covered extensively in an earlier season?"

I'll take a whack at that one, although it was done in different circumstances in season 4. The big thing I'm seeing in season 8 is the estrangement between the Scoobies, not just the originals but the late-comers as well. And not just Buffy. Willow has lost her connection to everyone except Dawn. Dawn, from everyone except Willow. Giles from everyone. Xander from everyone except Buffy. Andrew, in his own world as much as ever. These seaparations are physical as much as they are emotional. There's been talk of a coming betrayal, and the setup for that is pretty much complete.

In the beginning, Joss talked about the Scoobies (even before that was a term) as a bunch of outsiders coming together to form a family. He called that the mission statement of the show. The Scooby family is about to get tested. I think that's the Buffy of season 8.

Of course, I could be wrong.
Well, I meant very specifically the 8.12 plotline, which, between what we get on the page and in interviews, appears to be well-trod ground from two earlier, even-numbered seasons, once in a season long arc, once in a shorter arc.

Overall, I think Season 8 is still hands down Joss' best Buffyverse work since at least Season 5 of Buffy. I just feel this most recent story is redundant except for that one rather incidental detail, and I'm not sure I see "the Buffy of it" that we haven't already seen.
Gossi, I think the socal browncoats are as well, but I could be wrong.
Actually, I think you're right, that rings a bell now. D'oh.
One thing I don't see in Season 8, which was present in seasons 4 and 6, was some common ground to bring the Scoobies back together. Sunnydale, a common enemy, love, forgiveness, yellow crayons, whatever.... there's nothing in Season 8 yet to act as a counterforce to the estrangement.

One thing that has been true from season 1 forward is that each season's challenge is bigger than the last. Part of what has brought the Scoobies back together in the past has also had its roots in the challenge they face, and we really haven't seen enough of this one yet to know.

Whatever the Buffy may be, it's going to be rooted in character, not in plot. (I suppose that this may be the fundamental difference between a "Buffy" and a McGuffin.)
MissKitty,

I agree with you for the most part about the estrangement idea, with the exception of Xander and Dawn. They still appear close, and she still confides in him.
It's interesting that they ask themselves "what makes this Buffy?" as they write Buffy.
It's interesting that they ask themselves "what makes this Buffy?" as they write Buffy.

Well, it would make no sense for them to ask "what makes this Knight Rider?" as they write Buffy.
@gossi the Austin Browncoats are a nonprofit too ;)
Clearly the people who wrote the new Knight Rider pilot didn't ask themselves that, bix.
Clearly the people who wrote the new Knight Rider pilot didn't ask themselves that, bix.

Or, really, much of anything.
Liar. They did. Here is the development questions from the Knight Rider team I have obtained:

1) Should we have a threesome with two ladies in the first 10 minutes? Will it add to the emotional narrative? Do we care?

2) What's for lunch? Where is the nearest shop? Can we claim this on expenses?

3) Are we allowed lesbians?
4) Should we replace the iconic Firebird with a not-as-cool Mustang?
5) What would Xander think of this movie?
6) If we tell the Hoff to act constipated, will it make his performance seem serious and important?
7) And he won't shit himself then either on set, will he?
I am ever so glad now that I didn't watch that movie (never watched the show, either, but that's beside the point...)
7.5) But if he does, what are the health and safety implications of eBaying it ?

7.6) How much does genuine Hoffaeces normally go for anyway ?
7.5) But if he does, what are the health and safety implications of eBaying it ?

Danger, Will Robinson!
Hoffaeces. Ha ahhahhahaa. Sorry, I just had to add that really intelligent and well thought out response.
Sits with bubblecat, says ditto.

Edit: Sits, not shits.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-03-09 23:29 ]
7.5) But if he does, what are the health and safety implications of eBaying it ?


Yikes. That's... disturbed. Heh.

ETA:
Edit: Sits, not shits.

We're such a classy bunch, aren't we? ;-)

[ edited by GVH on 2008-03-09 23:33 ]
Overall, I think Season 8 is still hands down Joss' best Buffyverse work since at least Season 5 of Buffy. I just feel this most recent story is redundant except for that one rather incidental detail, and I'm not sure I see "the Buffy of it" that we haven't already seen.


Is the incidental detail you're referring to that Buffy slept with a woman?
That it was a woman, yes. That's the incidental part. I think it's about as minimal a part of the negative reaction by genuine fans of the series as is the fact that Buffy's bed hasn't looked the same in any two issues. Had RJ Brooks somehow joined the Slayer Mafia after Season 7 and slept with Buffy under the same circumstances, I'd still think she had acted quite poorly. Incidentally, the Season 4 and Season 6 retreads I referred to are Parker Abrams (as Buffy) and Spike (as Satsu). There may be Buffy in it... but I'm not getting where it's *new* Buffy in it, unless it really is all about Satsu being a girl.
I'm suddenly hearing Jeff Foxworthy: "Oh, my god, it's a woman! And she's got kids! Somebody slept with that WOMAN!"

And also seeing Ace Ventura's reaction when he realizes Finkel is Einhorn....especially the plunger to the face.

Re: Knight Rider - at least the funny drunk didn't drool on any shoes at the funeral. I'm just sayin'.
Incidentally, the Season 4 and Season 6 retreads I referred to are Parker Abrams (as Buffy)

Sure, but we never really saw that story from Parker's point of view. And since this is Buffy's comic, it'd make sense that they'll explore that viewpoint. We only got Buffy's side of it in season four. Now we'll get... well, Buffy's side of it.
While we're on season four and Parker, does the fact Riley has to come along and punch Parker to make Buffy happy bug anybody else? Big strong man, does not make.
I don't think Buffy ever found out about that, did she? She wasn't there, only Forrest and Graham, both of whom disapproved at the time.

*I* thought it was awesome and that Riley was following the older and greater chivalrous code -- go teutonic Riley go! -- but I don't know if Buffy ever knew one way or another. I'm pretty sure if Parker had tried that toilet seat line *on* Buffy, she'd have punched him herself.
Actually, that was probably my favorite Parker scene. Well, up until Cave-Buffy clocked him one...

Come to think of it, that was probably my favorite Riley scene, too. Huh. Two for one, how about that...
Okay, I don't know why I'm jumping in again, because I hate getting sucked into these things...

....but I believe Joss said that Buffy and Satsu are going to question themselves as to whether or not they did use each other, so it will be a point that's raised, but whether it actually goes to that place (if it continues), remains to be seen.

I may be in the minority, but I think Buffy cares about Satsu, that she's attracted to her, and like I said in the other thread, she's open with her.

But if Buffy does use Satsu, and there's nothing more behind it, what still makes it different than Season 6, is that she'll be using Satsu to feel something good and warm and loving. Not something cold, violent, and death-related, where she was being fucked with mentally by a vampire.

She wants to try and live. In Season 6 she wanted to die.

And that's all I have to say.

ETA: Oh, also, Parker was a jackass who likened freshman girls to toilet seats. So I don't even know why there was a comparison there.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2008-03-10 00:32 ]
Clearly the people who wrote the new Knight Rider pilot didn't ask themselves that, bix.

Yeah, this is kind of what I meant. I would be surprised if this kind of self-reflection is standard practice in the tv show writing business.

After that this here train of thought went to a very scary place.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-03-10 00:36 ]
I don't really see the difference in what she's done with Satsu's feelings and what Parker's done with hers other than the extent to which the cruelty was intended or accidental. You still have one substantially roughed up, smitten young Slayer by the end of 8.12. And it does feel like ground we've covered. If it was the first time we'd been here with Buffy, I'd have no troubled seeing the Buffy of it. Now it's like... this is the Buffy of it, again.
I know ya don't...so we disagree. I just had to say my piece. :-)
Right beside that part it should say "Outside The US? Click Here" and that'll take you through to the next page without having to enter a zip code.


Oops, sorry. Genuinely didn't notice that.

On topic, I have to say there didn't seem to be anything deep or surprising in the article. But always nice to see press mention, especially appreciating Joss's voice.
Now, I'm redfaced and embarrass. Guess I better call it a day.

Night, all
Gossi: "The Portland Browncoats are, as far as I'm aware, the only Browncoat group to have filed themselves as a nonprofit organization. Huzzah!"

TamaraC: "Gossi, I think the socal browncoats are as well, but I could be wrong."


Actually, the California Browncoats are a nonprofit organization, representing all the regional Cali groups.
I don't really see the difference in what she's done with Satsu's feelings and what Parker's done with hers other than the extent to which the cruelty was intended or accidental.

Are you joking? You cannot be serious.
Incidentally, the Season 4 and Season 6 retreads I referred to are Parker Abrams (as Buffy) and Spike (as Satsu). There may be Buffy in it... but I'm not getting where it's *new* Buffy in it, unless it really is all about Satsu being a girl.


Character development isn't about characters changing all the the sudden, it's about characters repeating their past...only each time they do it's slightly different and slightly more progressive...or regressive depending on which way the development is going.

Buffy used someone and that it was a woman is incidental. Okay. But, Buffy is a positive female figure because she isn't June Cleaver, she isn't virtuous, she's not a virgin, she's not some fake fantasy never-does-anything-naughty bride-to-be. If Buffy is somehow tainted because she's slept with a woman...or anyone...that she's not in love with, then I think that's more misogynistic than it is homophobic and that's not any better.

A woman having sex with someone that she's not in love with has become the issue that women having sex out of wedlock used to be with the same reaction. She's a slut. She's tainted. She can't be looked up to anymore.

Buffy is not treating Satsu they way Parker treated Buffy. Parker was being predatory. His game was to hunt and screw...women were to be conqured and sex was the bounty. Buffy used Satsu, but she didn't manipulate her. She didn't lie to her. Satsu knew what she was getting. She wasn't Buffy's prey or victim. She was a willing, informed participant in consentual sex.

Second verse slightly same as the first:

A woman having sex with someone that she's in love with but the other is not in love with her doesn't make her a slut. It makes her a victim. And that is only slightly better because it's forgivable that women are victims of their emotions.

Can women just get some without the frickin' guiltfest? Why is it so shameful to be sexual and emotional? Is a woman not strong because she has sexual and emotional needs? Because...you know...women have those qualities. Men have them too...(It wasn't terribly shocking that Xander wanted more than just sex with Anya.) Joss repeatedly addresses those questions.

Joss creates strong women characters. They aren't strong despite that they're women, nor because they are women, nor is it incidental that they're women. Satsu is one more strong female character in the Buffyverse. That's the Buffy of it and the Joss of it. It may not be new, but it'll be new when there are so many strong female characters people start screaming "Aunt".

Believe it or not, this post was edited for length.
pat32082,menomegirl, GrrrlRomeo: I wrote much the same thing on one of the numerous parallel threads this issue seems to be generating. How Parker and #12 Buffy can be perceived to live in the same universe (analogy-wise) baffles me.
Are you joking? You cannot be serious.


Very serious. Serious enough, in fact, that I vaguely suspect that the only two reasons it's rationalized away are that A) we like Buffy and not Parker, and B) people are willing to defend Buffy's "experiment" *because* it's Buffy's "experiment".

Buffy used someone and that it was a woman is incidental. Okay. But, Buffy is a positive female figure because she isn't June Cleaver, she isn't virtuous, she's not a virgin, she's not some fake fantasy never-does-anything-naughty bride-to-be. If Buffy is somehow tainted because she's slept with a woman...or anyone...that she's not in love with, then I think that's more misogynistic than it is homophobic and that's not any better.


Misogynist *and* homophobic? Really? We're taking it there?

First of all, Buffy is a virtuous woman in most respects, and this arc doesn't even speak to it (neither have I). Secondly, I didn't say or suggest that Buffy is "tainted". Just that she screwed up and did wrong by somebody. Maybe we're overcomplicating this just a bit; do you think that Joyce would be okay with knowing her daughter used someone who loves her for her own personal satisfaction and curiousity? If she wasn't, would *she* be a misogynist and homophobe? And how are on homophobia anyway when you already conceded my point that Satsu's gender is incidental? I've used the example elsewhere that if RJ Brooks had joined the gang and was in love with Buffy and Buffy had slept with him under the same circumstances, it would be wrong of her for all of the same reasons.

Buffy is not treating Satsu they way Parker treated Buffy. Parker was being predatory. His game was to hunt and screw...women were to be conqured and sex was the bounty. Buffy used Satsu, but she didn't manipulate her. She didn't lie to her. Satsu knew what she was getting. She wasn't Buffy's prey or victim. She was a willing, informed participant in consentual sex.


Someone can kill people professionally or because they're crazy -- they still kill 'em. The why doesn't really matter. Some things are just out of line because they *are*. Buffy was a "willing, informed participant in consentual sex" with Parker -- did *you* ever hear him promise a relationship with her or that it was going anywhere? Either it's okay for both or neither, right?

You've still got a person who doesn't want (or at least doesn't know if they want) a relationship initiating sex with someone who is apparently expecting it's the beginning of something more, and then finding out afterwards that it wasn't. In Buffy's case, the humiliation was private and incremental. In Satsu's it was public and all at once ("It's not what it looks like!").

A woman having sex with someone that she's in love with but the other is not in love with her doesn't make her a slut.


I never said any such thing about Satsu... has anybody?

Can women just get some without the frickin' guiltfest? Why is it so shameful to be sexual and emotional? Is a woman not strong because she has sexual and emotional needs?


I almost hate to do this, but the parallel is too perfect to ignore...

"Just for one night can't two people who feel an attraction come together and create something wonderful? And then go back to their lives the next day better for it but never over analyzing it or wanting it to be more than it was? I have. She should too."

-- Parker Abrams, "Beer Bad", explaining his sexual philosophy to Willow.

That Buffy is a strong woman is not a question raised anywhere in this discussion. That Satsu is a strong woman is not a qustion raised anywhere in this discussion. When *I* think that the vision Joss refers to with his "because you're still askin that question" line is complete? It will be when we don't make distinctions about people's moral and sexual conduct on the basis of their gender.

Honestly, I'm just going to try to shut up about this. I'm not winning myself friends or influencing people, and I'd like to continue being part of this community :)

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-10 05:40 ]

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-10 05:52 ]
SoddingNancyTribe-It baffles me, too.

KingofCretins-You are basing this Buffy/Parker analogy on the line "It's not what it looks like!", is that right? A thing blurted out in an extremely stressful moment simply does not compare to the way Parker lied and manipulated his way into bed with women. Period.
Well, no, not entirely or even significantly. On the fact that Satsu didn't know where she stood with Buffy until after they'd already had sex, as established plainly by the fact that she more or less explicitly asked... where she stood with Buffy. And was surprised/disappointed/upset enough by the answer that she tried to leave the room. They were on very different pages. The "it's not what it looks like" was just the carelessly cruel way to drive the point home.

Not as part of the Buffy-Parker analysis, but I'm also troubled that Buffy was willing to go forward with this despite knowing that Satsu was so uncertain about wanting Buffy to know how she felt that Satsu's first reaction upon being confronted with it by Buffy in "A Beautiful Sunset" was to be afraid she was going to be kicked out. I also don't like that Satsu doesn't even have the luxury of, as people do, shielding her feelings, pretending she didn't really love Buffy, and that it's okay. Magical fait accompli has established that she really is in love with Buffy -- she has no safety net emotionally at all.

Like I said, I'm going to try to just leave it alone. But I can't really read the issue... any time you can see Satsu's face in the second half of the book :( I was just thinking about the life of a pumpkin...
Parker used Buffy as one of a fleet of women he suckered emotionally to get into bed, manipulating their feelings in order to succeed:

Parker : Uh, hobbies. Interests. I feel like there's so much I don't know about you. What do you like to do?

Parker : It's cool to find someone else who understands.


And so on...

If it wasn't already apparent that Buffy's character, and her intentions toward Satsu are markedly different from Parker's character and intentions towards her - and that therefore the two situations are hardly parallel, then try to imagine Buffy saying this about Satsu:

"You know the difference between a freshman girl and a toilet seat? A toilet seat doesn't follow you around after you use it."

Possibly that will help clarify things for you.


ETA: Sorry and kudos, pat32082, I now see that you were there before me with the toilet seat thingy...

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2008-03-10 07:18 ]
I didn't care much for the expression on Satsu's face either but
as I said before, they were invaded in a very private moment and while it was comical, it was also disturbing. Satsu may have went into it with hope (as people in love tend to do) but she didn't go into it blind and Buffy was honest with her when Satsu asked.
Misogynist *and* homophobic? Really? We're taking it there?


It's already there and has been since the repeated assertion that no one has any problems that Buffy slept with a woman. I actually cut part of my original post because it was just too bloody long. But that makes three times I refrained clicking "post" after typing out a response to you asserting homophobia isn't an issue. hmm...

... Maybe we're overcomplicating this just a bit; do you think that Joyce would be okay with knowing her daughter used someone who loves her for her own personal satisfaction and curiousity?


Does Buffy need permission or approval from her Mother to have sex with someone?

If she wasn't, would *she* be a misogynist and homophobe? And how are on homophobia anyway when you already conceded my point that Satsu's gender is incidental?


I didn't concede, I just accepted it for sake of a larger argument which...now I can see didn't work. But it doesn't matter what Joyce thinks because Buffy didn't have sex Joyce (eww?) What matters is what Satsu thinks, and if Satsu was more or less willing to be used...then that's really her business.


Buffy was a "willing, informed participant in consentual sex" with Parker -- did *you* ever hear him promise a relationship with her or that it was going anywhere? Either it's okay for both or neither, right?


Parker didn't promise her a relationship, but he also didn't tell her that he had no intention of having a relationship. Leaving out information is the same as lying. Parker led Buffy to believe that their encounter would lead to something more. She was surprised to find out that's not what it was. Parker obscured his intent.

You've still got a person who doesn't want (or at least doesn't know if they want) a relationship initiated sex with someone who is apparently expecting it's the beginning of something more, and then finding out afterwards that it wasn't. In Buffy's case, the humiliation was private and incremental. In Satsu's it was public and all at once ("It's not what it looks like!").


I think you are seriously underestimating Satsu's intelligence whilst simultaneously overestimating her uhmm...virtue. ;) Satsu is in a bittersweet situation. Sweet...'cause hello, sex with Buffy! Bitter 'cause...eh...too bad it can't be more. This isn't a case of the poor little lesbian Slayer.

"Just for one night can't two people who feel an attraction
come together and create something wonderful? And then go back to their lives the next day better for it but never over analyzing it or wanting it to be more than it was? I have. She should too."

-- Parker Abrams, "Beer Bad", explaining his sexual philosophy to Willow.


Parker wasn't explaining his sexual philosophy to Willow. That was a pickup line (which Willow saw right through by the way). Parker's sexual philosophy was predatorial. Women. Conquer. Sex. Discard. Rinse and repeat. He wasn't trying to create something wonderful, he was just trying to get laid.

When *I* think that the vision Joss refers to with his "because you're still askin that question" line is complete? It will be when we don't make distinctions about people's moral and sexual conduct on the basis of their gender.


Will that be when women are allowed to sink to the level of men, or when men rise to the level of women? Or are these levels actually completely unrelated to each other and we shouldn't worry if what Buffy did would be okay for a man, but if what she did was okay for a woman? What men do should not be a litmus test for what women can do. Double standard? Or just two different standards for two different genders. Will men be as awesome as women when they can give birth? We don't need to turn men into women or women into men to be equal.

If Buffy told Satsu she was bisexual when she knew she wasn't, then I would concede that Buffy behaved like Parker.
Personally I wouldn't consider Buffy like Parker even if she lied to Satsu, for me she would have to repeat the action over and over again with many partners to reach Parker's level of duplicity. However I don't think Buffy lied, I think she was sincere, and I'm betting that Satsu may even feel some guilt for 'using' Buffy's loneliness and need for a connection in order to be with the one she loves.
GrrrlRomeo, KingofCretins, on the notion that it would have been bad if Buffy had told Satsu she was bisexual ... well, Buffy seems to *be* bisexual at this point in time. Parker telling Buffy he was heterosexual would be truthful (to the best of our knowledge of the character), but it would hardly have helped Buffy understand where he was coming from, what her chances were, and in any case, and sexual preference doesn't seem to be what people are arguing about here. Satsu, among other things, wanted to have sex with Buffy. She presumably was not using sex as a bargaining chip to have a relationship -- she's not doing something she doesn't want to do in order to get something she wants that it turns out she won't get. She's pretty clear that Buffy is not *in love* with her. She is correct in believing that Buffy has warm feelings toward her. Buffy doesn't go in saying, "I'm in love with you." I think *most* people approach a first sexual act with another person (not loss of virginity, but the first time they've had sex with that partner) not knowing whether feelings will change for better, worse, or at all after the sex. Satsu is honest -- she's not pretending it's no big deal. Buffy acknowledges this is not for her what she and Satsu agree it is for Satsu. That established, they have sex. No one is being dishonest or manipulative. If Buffy pretended she was in love with Satsu, that would be bad. If Satsu pretended she didn't care what Buffy did ever after, that would be bad. Nobody seems to be pretending anything. Satsu is in love with Buffy. Presumably part of that love is physical attraction -- I don't see any implication that Satsu thinks Buffy is a bridge troll and is just sleeping with her because this is something Satsu must suffer through in the hopes of reaching Buffy's core. Likewise, we've seen Buffy when she just wants to be held ("Touched") -- this isn't all about comfort and validation, or she'd have just asked to be held. They were relatively honest about their differing feelings, the common ground was that they wanted to have sex, they had sex. Nobody's being bad here.
I disagree that “nobody’s being bad here”. Buffy is the commanding officer and Satsu, her subordinate; whether or not Buffy sees it that way, she does acknowledge the fact that the other slayers view her as such in issue #1: “Everybody calls me ma’am these days”. In terms of rank and authority this may not be a problem for Buffy or Satsu, but that doesn’t change the fact that most, if not all other slayers do see her as they’re General. So in that respect I believe it crosses an ethical boundary, and that isn’t good.

[ edited by Ronin on 2008-03-10 09:01 ]
on the notion that it would have been bad if Buffy had told Satsu she was bisexual ... well, Buffy seems to *be* bisexual at this point in time.

Watching "Jaws" doesn't automatically make you a fan of Steven Speilberg. Know what I'm saying? (Yes, I just used the shark-attack metaphor again...)

But, hey, if you ask me - everyone's bisexual! (Yeah, I know, you didn't ask me ;-)

They were relatively honest about their differing feelings, the common ground was that they wanted to have sex, they had sex. Nobody's being bad here.

I don't think any of these questions can be definitively answered, because we don't know what happened between issues 11 and 12 exactly. And we'll probably never know - because dramatic tension would be lost.

They had sex. Big deal! People have sex all the time. Neither of them were being duplicitous. Buffy =/= Parker.

Slayer-on-Slayer action. Think about that for a minute people! Wow. Who wouldn't take that action?
Watching "Jaws" doesn't automatically make you a fan of Steven Speilberg. Know what I'm saying?


You're saying Jaws isn't bisexual just because...the double entendre will bite me in the ass if I finish that sentence.

Slayer-on-Slayer action. Think about that for a minute people! Wow. Who wouldn't take that action?


You know what? I have honestly never thought of Buffy as particularly sexy until just now. It was like ringing Pavlov's bell. I'm a trained lesbian!
You know what? I have honestly never thought of Buffy as particularly sexy until just now. It was like ringing Pavlov's bell. I'm a trained lesbian!

Here to help!
She was surprised to find out that's not what it was. Parker obscured his intent.


And the fact that Satsu *was* surprised establishes that she, too, did not understand Buffy's intent.

Parker wasn't explaining his sexual philosophy to Willow.


No, perhaps not. But he was expressing almost the exact same idea in his own defense that you did in Buffy's. Which, for my money, makes the comparison that much more airtight.

Will that be when women are allowed to sink to the level of men, or when men rise to the level of women?


Yikes. I had been figuring we would all already be on the same page that in moral behavior men and women are equal, but if it's about the sinking or the rising... apparently not.

Or are these levels actually completely unrelated to each other and we shouldn't worry if what Buffy did would be okay for a man, but if what she did was okay for a woman? What men do should not be a litmus test for what women can do. Double standard? Or just two different standards for two different genders. Will men be as awesome as women when they can give birth? We don't need to turn men into women or women into men to be equal.


I'm troubled by the idea that it's okay for anyone of any gender to use someone else's love for them to satisfy their own loneliness, horniness, or idle curiousity.

I'm really hoping, that amongst the results of this, Willow raises these kinds of points to Buffy and Buffy actually notices how much this all had to hurt Satsu (again, I'm not insulting Satsu's character, I'm watching her reaction during the issue), and that they all move on. That, or I'm almost hoping that Satsu is the traitor and really was using Buffy more thoroughly than Buffy ever could have been using her, so at least I won't have to feel so bad for her.
Gee, would Buffy ever have sex with someone who loved her even if she didn't reciprocate the feelings.

Did you see season six?

I think if Buffy has sex with another woman and enjoys the experience, if she was in any way attracted to her (I think "Wow, that was... that was... Wow" pretty much covers it) means that Buffy is bisexual. Like a lot of women I know.
The fact that I saw Season 6 was sort of my initial point. That "the Buffy of it" with Buffy/Satsu is suspiciously same-ish to "the Buffy of it" of Buffy/Spike in Season 6. Incidentally, that's why I've focused on this as a Parker comparison, because to make it a Spuffy comparison is just begging for a 'shipper war to break out.

I should also say that I've argued elsewhere that Joss, if he'd had his resolved face put to it, could have made us like Parker even after "The Initiative". So it's not like I think he's completely tanked the Buffy character even if this is just the one time thing that it probably will and/or should be.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-10 12:51 ]

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-10 12:53 ]
Okay, I'm done after this. There's a difference between hoping something might become more than just a "wonderful night," and expecting it to. At no point was Satsu unclear about what they did or what it meant just then, but she was very clearly hoping.

And no, Buffy's telling her she could stay until morning wasn't leading her on, it was just being kind and saying to Satsu that, "I'm not gonna treat you like a hooker here, even if it's not going to be a thing with us, tonight meant something to me."

And it did. You can tell by looking at her face and what she says earlier. And to hold "It's not what it looks like!" against her and judge her on it as she's fumbling to not be naked as everyone and her sister comes into her room, is not fair.

It was a wrong thing to say, but people say wrong things they don't mean to say at a time, all the time.

Now, in coming issues, Buffy may do exactly what you believe she's doing with Satsu, KoC, and if the sex happens again after she promises Satsu things she doesn't feel, I'll be on board. But not now.
I want a Xander/Buffy relationship arc. Not as sensational, not as much press, but more interesting (maybe even dangerous).
As long as it's interesting, I don't really care if it's Buffy/Satsu, Buffy/Xander, Buffy/Willow, Buffy/Giles, Buffy/Dawn...

...well, okay, that last one might squick me out a little...
The fic is out there, Rowan, oh yes, the fic is out there. It's unsettling because, in the abstract Sarah + Michelle = hotness and win, but, even for our Big Tent fandom, I think the Summers-cest is a bit too far.

I'll admit, I went into Season 8 with 'shippy hopes, but somewhere between A) Ethan, B) really not being sure if it was Faith or Genevieve that would die in 8.09, and C) the betrayal thing in "Anywhere But Here", I quickly redefined my hopes to just cover that none of my favorite characters would end up dead or evil during the canon comics :)
KingofCretins:
The fic is out there, Rowan, oh yes, the fic is out there.

I'm hip. That's why I avoid most fic like the plague (actually, I'm not sure the plague wouldn't be more fun...)
That depends. Bubonic or pneumonic ?
I've been ill so have missed a good discussion, but am still home from work today. I am not sure who said this: "Can women just get some without the frickin' guiltfest? " Well, this is the Buffyverse, right? Something is around the corner, I think we are all agreed. I would guess guilt will be part of it. But overall, I tend to agree that Satsu was hurt by the way this ended in this issue, only how hurt is in question.

But let me change topics for a moment. I just noticed something since I just got the actual issue, and it is something no one has commented on because it is not actually in the story. There is a letter to the editor that truly upset me. Now, listen. I spent more than 20 years as a journal editor, for something like 5 different journals, and one thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the editor picks the letters that get published. The letter that upset me was from someone who provided only the name August. He (or she, not sure) writes "Please ignore criticism from fans who can't handle either the tragedy of Willow and what's her face... I was as fond of what's her face and Willow as anyone..." Why the hell would Scott Allie choose to publish such an inflammatory letter, one that cannot even bother to give the Tara her name, as if to wipe her memory from the viewer? What was he thinking? Just another fan letter expressing just another opinion? Bull. He made the decision to run this, and I have to wonder why he did. And he should ignore us? And not ignore August? Really, my blood boils.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-03-10 17:18 ]
Bubonic. Pneumonic is blown all out of proportion... :-)
Ba dum dum ;).

Why the hell would Scott Allie choose to publish such an inflammatory letter, one that cannot even bother to give the Tara her name, as if to wipe her memory from the viewer?

Has it wiped her memory ? Did that one letter just suddenly Trotsky Tara out of existence ? Thinking not.

They've published inflammatory letters before and will again. Do you actually think Scott Allie is going to ignore Tara fans because he's been told to in that letter by, as you make clear yourself, some anonymous fan ? I can't check the details right now but I seem to recall a previous letter some would consider inflammatory to be a call/threat for Joss to bring Tara back, presumably he shouldn't have published that either ?
No, I think that you exercise judgment. You can rewrite parts of the letter so it says "Willow and Tara" rather than "Willow and what's her face." I think what he just did was piss off fans by allowing this to be published unedited, when he did not have to. Look he pissed off me, right? That's maybe one person, but it did not have to happen at all, with a minor unsubstantive editing change- it is not the sentiment about S6 I find upsetting, it is the failure to even name the character when we all know who she is; so, it is a slap in the face to the fans who care for that character, and it has to be calculated. Why else do you become an editor if not to edit? That was his call, and in my estimation he blew it.

I spend too much time on message boards getting upset at the crudeness I see. It is depressing; I feel like Tara does about the internet. Things like this do not cast light on issues, it simply inflames them. This little to-do did nothing to discuss the issue August was writing about. It was simply a bash at certain groups of fans. And there was no reason to run it that way. So, you wanna defend Allie, fine. But for me, as an editor who grappled with this for two decades, who rewrote letters to the editor or simply decided to not print them because they were too inflammatory or personal, it was a mistake. Uncalled for and unnecessary.
Ok, not wading through all these very heated posts, and I have absolutely NO intention of EVER reading the comics, but I gotta ask, since it seems to be the main theme:

How come Buffy, a "strong woman," has to have sex with someone (Anyone - loser, Slayer, abusive vampire), whether or not she feels the same way towards that other being as that being feels towards her, in order to "feel"? Does having sex really make you feel all that connected to...life?

'cause...I thought I was doing a pretty good job being connected in my 33 years on this planet, but if I'm not truly connected, then I'd better go out and shag PDQ.

I'm suddenly put in mind of the old Four Tops hit: "Now if you feel that you can't go on/because all of your hope is gone/and your life is filled with much confusion/until happiness is just an illusion/and your world around is crumbling down/darling...reach out...come on girl...reach out for me..."
The editor's job is not inherently to rewrite people's letters. It is a perfectly legitimate editorial philosophy to simply choose which letters to publish and let them go as they are.

I'm beginning to suspect, Dana5140, that you just enjoy being pissed off about things.
You can rewrite parts of the letter so it says "Willow and Tara" rather than "Willow and what's her face."

You can rewrite parts of the letter to say whatever you want Dana5140, doesn't mean you should. And yep, just as i've defended Joss' right to write what he likes, i'm also defending Scott Allie's right to include whichever letters he chooses. Earlier letters have pissed me off, that's life. Allie doesn't owe me an existence shielded from the opinions of others (even inflammatory ones).

(and i'd be fairly surprised if there wasn't a response published next month, in the interests of balance and a healthily diverse letters column)
ShadowQuest-Buffy is strong but she's also vulnerable, has been ever since "Becoming, pt.2". What was it Holden Webster said....oh yeah. She has a superiority complex and an inferiority complex about it...I always thought that summed her up quite nicely. Oh and she probably has Daddy issues too.
That's a shame about her daddy issues, since he only became a bad dad through a thunderously unnecessary retcon in Season 5. Prior to that, he was pretty much an above average, caring divorced dad who unfortunately wasn't perfect and had to cancel on a birthday. Then, magically delicious, *poof*, he doesn't care that Joyce died or something and runs off to Europe with his secretary. I hate to say it, but "Charmed" actually did a better job of writing an estranged father.

And I think ShadowQuest has a great observation -- strong and independent *people*, man or woman, probably shouldn't need to get laid as their primary outlet for feeling a connection to the world around them. And, as a feminist icon in particular... look, how many times have you heard some jerk say about a strong woman that "she just needs to get laid"?

I really think Buffy's best emotional place on this subject was where she was when she left Ben (or was it Glory? Are they connected?) the message in "I Was Made to Love You". I had also thought it was implicit in the cookie dough speech -- that she wasn't going to try to be with somebody just to be with somebody.
and I have absolutely NO intention of EVER reading the comics


Then why comment on something you haven't read? It seems a bit pointless.
It's fantastic that you're so passionate about this material, Dana. You really do have some interesting insight. Please just understand that while all the roads you travel may lead to Tara, it's not so for everyone here. That doesn't meant that we dislike lesbians, aren't versed in serious literary criticism, don't understand sexual politics, don't have relevant experience and just don't "get it" as well as you do. It doesn't mean that most of us didn't LOVE the character and the relationship. It's just that not everything is always about that for us, you know?

There are just plenty of intelligent, enthusiastic, interesting people (whose varied credentials may be valid but irrelevant) who don't see any part of that story as a "mistake" and thus bank it away with the other dramatic, painful, and beautifully-written moments in this (fictional) story. The author of this letter you speak of may have written inartfully, but maybe he was trying to express a certain weariness that some of us feel when we get back on that merry-go-round-of-knives that is the ever-present Tara debate, and how it seems to find it's way into everything. Wishing to be heard, just like the rest. There's a whole world of material/content out there, with interesting things to discuss, debate, and evolve our thinking on. Plus, bonus! The fiction is still coming. :)
I hate to say it, but "Charmed" actually did a better job of writing an estranged father.

In the first season, when the show was actually interesting?

Perhaps.
I was going to say 'Tara's always been what's her face to me', but that just sounded mean and barest_smidgen is the better person.
Onetruebix- you are doing it again, you are making it personal. Please, stop. I understand that I am seen as having singleness of purpose, but you don't need to respond or disagree or agree or do anything. I can only assure you I do not get pissed to get pissed. I read, I comment, I offer thoughts, just like everyone else. I should not have to defend myself, when really, you can just ignore what you do not wish to comment on.

To the rest of you, we obviously have different philosophies about editing. I speak from experience, if nothing else. Editors are, in fact, God- they can do what they want and I am better aware of that than just about anybody here. The question I asked here is, should they (or he) have?

I had my say and I am not going to belabor this. I think what he did was wrong. You disagree. I understand.

And barest-smidgean- thank you. That is my primary filter, but not my only source of enjoyment in this world. Tara is a point of reference, not the only point of reference for me, but in a situation where Buffy has a gay relation, it is going to come up in some manner.
Does having sex really make you feel all that connected to...life?

Yes.

Hell, a simple hug can make you feel more connected to life, if you're lonely or not feeling enough. And sex is quite possibly the world's most enjoyable hug :).
Editors are, in fact, God- they can do what they want and I am better aware of that than just about anybody here. The question I asked here is, should they (or he) have?

But the thing is, no-one is saying they're not "God" Dana5140, no-one is disputing that it was entirely Scott Allie's choice. So why is your experience relevant ? And it didn't, in fairness, sound like you were asking a question.

Let me quote a person (speaking here of the "anti-Spike" letter published in issue 4) who I consider to be pretty switched on and level-headed (about all bar one issue):
As to the letter, take it from a person who spent 2 decades editing, there are lots of reasons to run negative letters like that, and the decision to do so can be tactical and strategic. Take it for nothing more than what it is, and forget about it. :-)

Bloody good advice that I reckon ;).
As always, Saje, I love you for your memory, which is quite one of the sharpest tools in the whedonesque toolbag. ; >

I can sometimes get all prideful about my own, but your quoting-skills are supernacular. And barest_smidgen - what you said.

(And I meant to mention it on an earlier & similar thread, GrrrlRomeo, but your #FF-ing color-talk both resonated for me and cracked me up...)

"When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities." - Matt Groening, Life in Hell

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2008-03-10 23:37 ]
To which I comment quoting a letter to the editor about an article Stanley Fish wrote today in the NYT:

"I am pretty young, in my early 20s, and I am already burnt out on the internet. The internet utopians ask ‘Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could participate?’ The answer, I, have found, is no. Not everyone is educated, reasonable, nice, or even civil. People use the medium as an echo chamber and go on the offensive when something doesn’t quite fit their vision. Therefore, comment sections on most webpages no longer resemble discussions but instead veer into all out war."

This is not about trying to catch me up in some contradiction, for there is none. Editors can and do print things to create controversy, and I have done so where I thought the issue needed to be discussed. But not like this; I'd have edited that letter to use Tara's name because I would know it would be seen as hurtful by some of my readers, and I would never do that. And yes, I realize the words I quote above could be directed at me as much as at any of you, but I think the point here is, enjoy the debate. Don't personalize it. There is nothing to be won. It is interesting to hear points of view different from the ones you hold dear, it is interesting to see how people read all these things differently. And treat each other with respect.
Hell QuoterGal, I wish I could remember entire quotes like that verbatim (mine, such as it is, works sort of like a 'Table of Contents' - I can usually remember just enough to get me to the "main article" ;).

Ta though ;).
Oops, skip postage ;). Couldn't agree more Dana5140, other opinions and the folk that have 'em (you included) are what make this place worth hanging around ;).

My intent actually wasn't to "score points" or play a trump or whatever, my intent was to highlight that you (among other Tara fans) are sensible, rational and level-headed about everything except Tara Maclay and that you yourself agree with the idea of just leaving Scott Allie be except where she's concerned. You've a blind-spot fella and I think you know it ;).

You'd presumably read the "anti-Spike" letter BTW - sorry, i'm too lazy to type it in its entirety though it's on the first letters page in issue 4 if you want to re-read it - and noted language like "that disgusting, mass-murdering, raping sociopath Spike" or "mass-murdering scumbags" (describing Angel and Spike), wouldn't that have been "seen as hurtful by some of my [your] readers" (i.e. people that feel about Spike the way you feel about Tara) ? So, respectfully, I think there is a contradiction in that you (quite sensibly IMO) defended the publication of that letter but not this one.

(i'm also not sure why your quote is relevant. Wouldn't claim "educated" for myself but I think i've been pretty reasonable, nice and civil ;)
Tara is a point of reference, not the only point of reference for me, but in a situation where Buffy has a gay relation, it is going to come up in some manner.

It's going to come up in some manner if you talk about it. Because Tara comes up in everything you talk about.

Buffy sleeping with Satsu has absolutely NOTHING to do with Tara. And the suggestion that it does - simply because, uh, there's some kind of sapphic connection involved, is simplistic and offensive.

Now if Satsu dies in this arc, there might be some cause to discuss Tara. But girl-on-girl sex =/= Tara.
And sex is quite possibly the world's most enjoyable hug

I may have to make an icon of that, GVH.
my intent was to highlight that you (among other Tara fans) are sensible, rational and level-headed about everything except Tara Maclay.

I'm not going to comment on the Tara thing or the letter, but hey, I freely admit that I'm sensible, rational and level-headed about everything except Lindsey McDonald.
Love makes you do the wacky.
Yeah, everyone has a character they're a bit batshit crazy over (i'm a pretty big Spike fan so the issue 4 letter mentioned initially really pissed me off, then it got amusing in its over-the-topitude, then it got baffling in its "why would someone that so clearly hates the show and its characters bother to read the comic and then write a letter ?"-isness) - s'just about recognising that and making allowances in your responses (IMO).

I guess I just think it's important to extend other fans the freedom to express their opinions that i'd want for myself (even, hell especially, when I disagree with them).

Still, "Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have?". And also, "love makes ya do the wacky" ;).

ETA: As jcs said. Post one, skip one, repeat ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2008-03-11 01:11 ]
I may have to make an icon of that, GVH.


Heh, feel free and send me a link if you do ;).
/takes a seat next to Saje. I'm a bit of a Spike apologist my own self. I'd like to think I've looked in the mirror, called it such and thus make a sincere effort to avoid being so certain and sure of myself that I can't take in other views. (Happily, I have you guys to keep me in check.)

When I like this place the most? The days we're layering insights and ideas over those presented by others as to evolve and crystalize our thinking with each successive post. Good stuff. The days I like it the least? The days we just keep repeating ourselves louder and louder, as to drown out all the other "wrong" ideas. Seems like we're stuck in the latter, lately. Bummer.
Nice to see some old threads again, barest_smidgen, when we were all younger and more idealistic. But I jest. Obviously I agree with what you just said, and would add my own, far shallower - for such am I, - version of Whedonbesque: when we can have a laff (thank you, Saje and zeitgeist, et many al.), when we can poke fun at ourselves, when we not acting like this is the debate club or pre-law moot court, and when we remember that this is in fact Joss's world and we're just playing in it (but we can poke fun at him too, 'natch, 'cos it's . . . funny).
Simon Just because I don't have a spare four dollars to spend on a comic every month doesn't mean I can't have an opinion on what other people are talking about.

I love "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer," start to finish. From "Welcome to the Hellmouth" to "Chosen" I was along for the ride. (Granted, I jumped on a bit late, but I caught up quick.) I came to care about the characters, hurt when they hurt, laughed when they laughed, got cranky when they were. Didn't always agree with things they did, but I saw the point of it, from their perspective.

Joss started heading into darkness in Season Five, Season Six was completely dark, but by the end of Season Seven there was some light at the end of the tunnel (And I don't mean Spike) - there was a togetherness, a chance for the "family" to be together again. The final scene of the Core Four together before they go off to their separate stations is just perfect.

And then here we go in the comics totally throwing it into reverse - doom & gloom and the Scoobies not talking and all doing their own thing and Buffy being all Disconnected Girl again. Joss truly is allergic to happy.

But, if you'd rather I keep my opinions to myself and not join in the discussion about the characters I love and where they're going now, then fine. I'll shut up. I've already given up writing fan fiction because the comics are taking the characters in directions I don't like, but because I don't write AU and Joss has declared this canon I can't work with them any more.
Oh, woe is ShadowQuest.

I have to say, happiness is the antithesis of drama, though. And the Scoobies not talking? Hmmm... Buffy and Xander talk. Buffy and Willow had a good long talk two issues back - it didn't go great, but they were talking. And I don't think Season Eight is all doom and gloom for the Scoobies. In fact, the series is relatively light-hearted compared to the last two years of the show - which wouldn't be hard.

Not having four dollars a month to buy a comic is not the same as "I won't EVER read the comic EVER". Nor is either of those the same as you won't read them because you don't like what the author is doing with canon - because it's affecting your fan fiction. Wow, there's been discussion about author versus viewer ownership before - but this takes the cake.

As far as I'm concerned, all fan fiction is AU - because it's certainly not canon. Also, you claim your right to an opinion, but I always think it's better that people have an informed opinion - rather than one just plucked out of the air. Clearly, you mileage does vary.
ShadowQuest, obviously you're welcome to participate. But I'm a bit perplexed as to how you can have opinions, and *know* that the comics are throwing everything into reverse, if you say that you haven't read any of them? (I know there's a famous snarky quote to the effect of "I never read anything I review - it would only prejudice me," but I think that's taking it a bit far.) And also - declaring that you're not reading what other people post is possibly a great way to have your own opinion skipped over too. I'm just saying.

As crossoverman says, they really aren't all doom and gloom. Nor are they "let's all go hand in hand into a magical sunset." 'Cos that would be utterly tedious. IMHO. I'd urge you to give the comics a whirl - you will find things in them to delight you.
crossoverman I have said before that I have read the first four issues. I do not see lightheartedness in Skinless!Warren trying to lobotomize Willow, or Buffy being trapped in some weird deathdream with Ethan, who later turned up shot through the head, or Dawn messing around with a thricewise and being 50' tall and not telling her sister why. Maybe a couple of smiles, but it certainly isn't happy stuff. Last I saw Dawn still hadn't told Buffy just what she'd done to get herself giantized. And she told Buffy to get Willow back from Amy because "she's like a mom to me." Yeah, that's talking.

I have other things to spend my four dollars on, like rent, food, gas (Which is nearly what a gallon costs now) and bills.

I didn't say I wasn't reading them because I wanted to keep writing fan fic. I said I'm not reading them because 1) I don't like where Joss is going with them, 2) the person who was buying them & sending them to me is no longer doing so because she, too, is disenchanted with the series and 3) well, actually, just those two reasons. I don't like where the characters are going and I can't afford to buy the issues. If I did like where things were going, I'd find a way to afford the comics, even though I'd have to pay shipping since there are no comic stores in my area & the bookstores don't carry them. My writing fan fic is at an end because I don't know these characters any more.

I read The Page online, through a link posted here. My first reaction was to cry. My second reaction was to throw up. My third reaction was "Ok, it's not really Buffy, it's one of the fake Buffies mentioned in the first issue and the real Buffy's gonna show up and go 'What the heck?' any minute now." (And before I get jumped on, the "throw up" was not because it was Buffy & Satsu - I LOVED Tara and Willow together, and have no problem with same-sex relationships. It was because this was NOT, imo, the Buffy I thought I knew.)

Alternate universe is any fiction written based on established characters that takes those characters in a direction not established by the canon. Or, as definied in Wikipedia: "An Alternative Universe (also known as Alternate Universe or Alternate Reality), commonly abbreviated as AU, is a type or form of fan fiction in which canonical facts of setting or characterization in the universe being explored or written about are deliberately changed."

Since none of my fics veered away from what was established on the show (Tara's still dead *SOB*, Xander still has only one eye) they are not, by this definition, AU. I did not change anything established by "Chosen" - All the Scoobies are still alive, Anya's still dead, Robin & Faith are starting to explore their relationship, and they're all trying to find the new Slayers.

But because Joss is continuing their story in the comics, everything I've written since the Fall of Sunnydale has been...un-canonized: "Predictive fiction becomes alternative universe.
Alternative universes can arise inadvertently in fan fiction when the source material is released in a serial form, such as a multi-season television series or a book series, so that fan works are written before further canon arrives. For instance, much Harry Potter fan fiction in the nearly three years between the publication of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was written as "continuation" fan fiction, but became AU as soon as the new canonical material appeared. An example is Arabella and Zsenya's "After the End", made AU by Order of the Phoenix the day after the story's completion. In "After the End", Harry's fifth year ended with Albus Dumbledore's death, which did not happen in Order of the Phoenix."

Which is what happened with my friend's novel "Willow's Promise," which was set after "Not Fade Away," and took her two years and three months to write.

ETA 'cause this took me so bloomin' long to write, what with looking stuff up:

SoddingNancyTribe See above re: the first four issues.

And most of the posts in this thread are back-and-forths between a couple or three posters, each trying to argue their point...hmm....N/M.

But, I'm bowing out of this. I'll just rage quietly.
I know you're bowing out of this (because I just read it; gee, I'm smart), ShadowQuest, but it doesn't matter much that you read the first four issues, gave up, and now feel like the Buffy/Satsu pairing is totally bogus. You've been out of the loop for what? Nine months? In those nine months and eight issues, things have changed. Things have progressed. Plots have been developed. Your opinion isn't entirely uninformed, no, but mostly.

As for the Tara letter...I, too, was initially angered by it, as Tara was one of my favorite characters. But then I finished reading it.
For me, the only minor issue I have with the S8 comics is that I felt Joss had found such a clever way to wrap up S7 of the TV show that a continuation wasn't necessary. Unlike Angel, where he didn't get to finish the story he wanted to tell, making Angel: After the Fall more needed. But I'm enjoying both the writing and the drawing much more in Buffy S8, so that's the comic I look forward to most of the two (although neither came close to Astonishing for me - I'll miss that, though I'll stay on for Warren Ellis's run, very different though that will be).

I think the fact that you get a much shorter chunk of story in a single comic than you get in an episode on TV means that it takes a lot longer to see where things are headed. I'll be fascinated to see where the Buffy/Satsu hook-up is taking us. People have brought up many issues which show that it could go all sorts of ways. It will just take us a little longer to see where it really is going and what Joss and Drew's purpose was in introducing the story-line. Personally, I don't doubt it will be somewhere worthwhile.
You know what, I didn't even read the letters to the editor until just now. And I agree with Dana that one from August is totally inflammatory.

"I was as fond of whats her face and Willow as anyone" Reads: "I was not fond of Tara and Willow, nor was anyone." That was the intent of that sentence. Would it have been published if it were worded that way?

What I find interesting about Tara, is she is really a true example of an outcast within the story and outside of the story. Buffy is about a group of outcasts and freaks within the story that people outside of the story root for. Buffy, Willow, Xander are the outcasts that outcasts want to be...heroic, poetic, quick-witted, strong. They save the world yet go unnoticed...as if to say, hey unnoticed people do awesome glorious things!

Tara is the outcast no one wants to be or, wishes they weren't. Her internal strength rarely translated to external strength. Her wisdom and intelligence came out in stuttered broken sentences.

She was not a chic outcast. She wasn't hip, or glorious. She was a whisper in the ears and hearts of people who were. From the moment she locked hands with Willow in "Hush", she gave others strength that she didn't get, nor ask for, credit for. She was never more eloquent than when she gave voice to the first Slayer.

In the end she died the death we all fear--the random, senseless, trite kind. She didn't go out in the blaze of glory, "fighting the fight."

Although Tara's triumphs were small and seem insignificant, she was part of "The Chain"...not of Slayers, but of quiet heroes. And if this August person, or anyone else, truly doesn't even know her name? She does.

And I do (among other Tara fans). That Tara remains a whisper in these comics, it only fuels the want and the need for her to be more than that...for others to see that she is more than that...for others to see that we are more than that.

"For godsake, will the quiet, shy people shut up about whats her face!" ::smirk::
GrrrlRomeo

it's good to know I'm not the only Tara fan left in the world. A friend has been posting about my novel - Willow's Promise: the happy ending Willow & Tara *should* have had because, while I believe in my novel and the strength of Willow and Tara's love, I have not found many others who feel as strongly so I've not been vocal about it. I adore Tara. I started writing the novel two years ago to "fix" her death. Until the comics, it was completely canonical. It's done, I won't rewrite to accomodate the comics. I have a few loyal and vocal fans and am emailing it to whoever is interested.

The fact remains that only a few will ever see "the happy ending" because Joss doesn't do "happy". The man's a genius and I am forever grateful that he gave us such beautiful and rich characters and gave me enough to work with to make WP possible and plausible within the TV canon. I have also vowed to hug him then kick him in the shins (maybe not in that order) if ever I should chance to meet him. For giving us Tara, for taking her away and for re-awakening the writer within my soul...the one who so desperately wanted to "fix" it. I have done so and am proud of the result.

Keep believing, keep remembering...keep Tara alive.
Hug first, he may not let you after you've kicked him in the shins ;).

"I was as fond of whats her face and Willow as anyone" Reads: "I was not fond of Tara and Willow, nor was anyone." That was the intent of that sentence. Would it have been published if it were worded that way?

Uh huh and presumably the bit where the writer talks about loving Willow and "whats her face" reads "I hate Willow and Tara as does everyone".

The letter is extremely mild, certainly compared to previous inflammatory letters. Is referring to Tara as "whats her face" in an otherwise largely positive letter really comparable to calling another much loved character - whose fans are also not always known for their restraint *holds hand up* ;) - a "disgusting, mass-murdering, raping sociopath" ? Seriously ? And yet one letter is apparently just that, a letter that should be taken for what it is and then forgotten (still good advice IMO) and the other is some kind of heinous crime. What happened to letting everyone have their say and then taking or leaving it as desired ?

It's not that people love Tara (I do too) it's the complete lack of proportion in the response that bothers me, along with the implied idea that there are certain things that can't be said.

As for the Tara letter...I, too, was initially angered by it, as Tara was one of my favorite characters. But then I finished reading it.

Amen (well, the atheist version ;) UnpluggedCrazy.
CaughtNTheQuiet: "it's good to know I'm not the only Tara fan left in the world."

I think there are a fair few actually ;-)
Yes, I'm one myself; but unless you're always on 11, you won't get counted in the census...
Is there anyone who isn't a fan of Tara? Okay, that's a pretty broad question - obviously there will be fans that aren't big fans of the character. She was, as GrrrlRomeo said, a quiet, shy person - maybe harder to like than all those other louder heroes in the show.

I don't think there has ever been a huge wave of anti-Tara sentiment ever. People disagree over her death, clearly, but I don't think she's as contentious a character as Spike, for the prime example of characters that people either worship or despise.

As to turning to fan fic to "fix" a narrative you don't like... I don't really get it. I get the broad idea of fan fic - and have even written some myself. Not much, but some. I understand the drive to work with the same characters - but I don't write fic to fix a narrative but to play in the world.
I don't write fic thinking of "fixing" the narrative, but I have written many Season 8 pieces that are meant to reassure me that people are still communicating and dealing with their emotions and staying close even when we can't see them. For instance, I wrote one about Willow dealing with the emotional fallout of Warren being not dead and realizing that she couldn't just erase the guilt because of it. And most recently, I wrote one of Xander and Buffy talking about the wisdom or lack thereof of dating subordinates.

I'm actually really averse to any fic that deserves the "AU" stamp -- things that directly contradict events in canon. I mean, it's not all badly written, I just have trouble enjoying it because I know it's not like it could have "really" happened. That's what makes fanfic fun to read, IMO.

About the letter columun... I barely remember this Tara letter. I thought the infamous Shawler letter was far more inflammatory.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-11 13:56 ]
Yeah, the 'fix' idea doesn't work for me either because it still wouldn't be "true" for me personally, not a "real" event. I still think it's great the way folk take the ball and run with it though.

She was, as GrrrlRomeo said, a quiet, shy person - maybe harder to like than all those other louder heroes in the show.

See, I feel about the opposite. To me she's so lovely she's almost impossible not to like as a "person" (maybe because I have been - and can still be - quite shy myself so that I identify with her) and that's one of the issues I have with her as a character. Sometimes she struck me as sort of like the good version of a one dimensional villain in that she was always good, always lovely and, as with villains that are villains just for the sake of villainy, that's not as interesting to me as other characterisations.

I disliked all the other main characters at various stages and hold that up as a symptom of their incredible realness as "people" (which is to say, the excellence and courage of the writing) and in that way Tara didn't always ring true (for me). Never stopped loving her though and of all of them, she's the one i'd be most willing to stand in front of when the Big Bad World comes calling - not that she'd need it (closely followed by Buffy at the end of "I Will Remember You", not that she needs it either. I'm like a scrappy appendix ;).
*shrug* I call it a "fix" ...in reality, had there been no comics...it was set in what would have been Season 9 of Buffy, Season 6 of Angel. I contradicted nothing. I used the events Joss laid out in both Buffy & Angel on TV and continued the Whedonverse as it "might have been". The comics, being canon, is what causes my story to be AU. It's W/T and B/A centric...and created because 1)I was so upset at Tara's death, B) I was so moved by Amber Benson's loyalty to the character, and Red)of my solid belief in W/T and B/A. The story leapt fully formed into my head and I went to great pains to keep it within canon as canon stood when I began writing.

I'm not recc'ing it...I try not to rec my own stuff. I'm arrogant to the point that I know it's a good story and well written, but not arrogant enough to say "Oh my joss, you have to read this".

I just felt the need to clarify that my gut reaction was, I can "fix" this...but that the story itself didn't change anything seen onscreen: it picks up a year after "Chosen" and a month after "Not Fade Away".

Having said my piece (or...peace, as the case may be), and having once again asserted the Tara love, I'll recede quietly back into lurkage.
CaughtNTheQuiet-Did you ever put your entire fanfiction up on your site or is it still just the first chapter?
Well thanks for delurking briefly, CaughtNTheQuiet. I had huge love for Tara the character, even despite her goodiness. Indeed, one thing that irritated was the writers' tendency to underuse her - Amber was terrific when she had a bit more of substance to say or do. But, no, I don't think her death needed "fixing."

And I'm one who thinks that all fanfic is "AU," whether it contains explicit contradictions or not, and whether canon supersedes it or not (although I get that fanfic writers draw a distinction between AU and not). Multiple lines of fanfic can exist, none of which contradict the canon - does that make them all canon, even if they're mutually inconsistent? Doesn't seem likely. Still, more power to those that create and enjoy.
I think of "non-canon" and "AU" as referring to entirely separate concepts. It's the difference between, for instance, the licensed novels "Go Ask Malice" and "Queen of the Slayers".

Joss could, at his whim, take "Go Ask Malice" and say "you know, I like this, this is a good backstory for Faith -- this is now officially canon" and it could just seemlessly be accepted, because it doesn't conflict with anything. That's non-canon.

"Queen of the Slayers", though, is now contradicted down to the punctuation by Season 8 and "After the Fall". There's no way a canon timeline for the Buffyverse can accommodate both the canon works and that novel. That's what "AU" is.

Anything non-canon, but not AU, works within the conceit that it *could* really be the actual story, and we just didn't see it on screen or in the comic. AU is the stuff Joss couldn't just breeze through and say "sounds good, that's what happened". An AU tag might be "Set in Season 6, except Dawn is actually Dylan, Buffy's little brother, and Buffy survived "The Gift". To just be non-canon, it'd be something like "Set during "Anywhere But Here"" and follows Satsu, Leah, and Rowena going out to get quotes on fitness machines for the BHC or something like that.
Makes sense. It raises the question though, what is canon anyway ?

* ruuuuunnnnnnnsss *
menomegirl

It is not posted yet. I'm waiting on my editor's final okay - she's reading through for glaring errors and continuity. Once she gives me the greenlight, I will be posting more at regular intervals on my site and a couple of others for folks to find it.
I get there's a technical distinction, KoC, and it makes sense to draw a line between what is explicitly contradicted and what isn't. But, ya know, to me it might as well all be AU because none of it *is* the actual story. As I said before, though, the fact of its existence doesn't bother me in the slightest; indeed, it's great that the shows continue to inspire such writing.
CNQ-I'd appreciate it if you emailed me or leave me a word at the Bronze when you get it all up, so I can read and possibly rec it at the Herald.

SoddingNancyTribe-It might be a technical distinction, but you're right. All fan fiction is AU (including, IMO, the contracted novels and RPG's). It isn't canon unless the creator says it is.
Crossoverman, are you seriously asking if there are people who disliked Tara? While I watched "Buffy" and "Angel" from their respective first eps, I hadn't gotten involved in reading online fan boards until about Season Six of "Buffy"/Season Three of "Angel" -- and people were still howling dislike of Tara. Some were upfront about being homophobic -- well, they didn't call it that, but in their infinite wisdom and experience were insisting that no one who had a heterosexual relationship (in adolescence, yet) could possibly later discover they were gay -- some didn't like what they perceived as Tara's passivity, etc., etc., etc. Tara was written with more subtlety than some other characters -- her development wasn't usually dramatic, but she did evolve. And Saje, actually, Tara *did* commit what could easily be perceived as a villainous action -- screwing up the spell to find demons on campus and the later, potentially lethal spell she did in "Family" to keep everyone from *seeing* demons. The others were extremely forgiving and understanding, but if, say, Xander or Willow had done the same thing for the same motives, people would be arguing about it to this day.

Interestingly, to me, an argument I've seen online about Willow re: Tara is now being applied to Buffy re: Satsu -- Willow was (by comparison) a confident person "taking advantage" of a much less confident person's adoration and using that to shore up her own ego, rather than someone genuinely interested in Tara as a sexual being (which I believe *Tara*'s ego very much needed), genuinely loving Tara -- and, yes, getting ego validation from the situation. And it's bad, bad, bad to have sex with people who adore you, apparently :) Obviously, there are variations in the situation, but it seems to me that if one is going to wait to only have sex when you can be sure that both people have exactly the same feelings for each other, have no conflicted emotions, can be sure that the other person feels what they do, only telepaths who don't live in any sort of formal social structure are ever going to have sex :)

On the fanfic discussion, I think the AU/non-canon division is relevant to consumers, because I think most people who read fanfic are more inclined to want to read something if it's a continuation of/potential episode of people and situations I'm familiar with (non-canon), vs. someone taking the story/character off in a direction that had nothing to do with the story/characters as we know them.
I think "villainous" is a little strong to describe those actions; careless probably covers it. And I personally don't think things would be any different if Xander or Willow had done them, either.
I have again had to stop out for a while due to sickness. I and my wife have both had this terrible cold and I have had laryngitis (though not of the hands!:-)). But a few points worth commenting. One is that when I said that Buffy sleeping with Satsu had to bring up Tara and Willow, what I meant was nothing more than any press about this will of necessity make mention of the previous relation. Which all the press basically has; I am not comparing the two relationships. Just noting that in the culture, working this storyline in the Buffyverse will allow those in the media to cite the original lesbian relation. I am sorry that was not more clear.

Second, I love Tara, but she is not my be all and end all; she is mainly the point where I feel like I have something to contribute to the posting boards. In another world, I post on letsrun, devoted to elite distance running. And I post there solely because my older kids ran for York High School in Elmhurst, IL, the nation's finest HS cross-country program, so I know that one single program very well. I generally post on letsun on threads dealing with high school running or the York program, and I get much the same reaction there that I do here- "Oh yeah, you only post when it is about York." Well, yes. (PS. my son finished 60th overall among all men in October's Chicago marathon, out of 28,000 finishers. His best time for a marathon is 2.34). But I have other running interests. And other Buffy interests, but this one I like enough to write about.

saje- I did read the letter you mention. What you do not know is that I did send a letter to Scott Allie, which I asked that he not publish; it was lengthy and heartfelt, but I did not wish it to be published. I did not receive a response, though. This is the sole reason why I have not sent another; I need to know I am heard, not necessary to agree with me, but let me know you got my letter. If you follow?

Tara was certainly not liked by all. However, I appreciate GrrlRomeo's sort of novel comments about her, which I think encapsulate her quite well.

earlier today, I posted a new thread about a livejournal post on issue 12- it was taken down, and I am not sure why since it does not seem to violate terms of service, unless linking to a livejournal itself is wrong (or because the author is a shipper). So I ask the mods permission to post just the link here: http://moscow-watcher.livejournal.com/56662.html

My main reason for posting this is, well, two-fold.:-) (1) She has a novel take on the issue, and raises some interesting if critical issues, and (2) She has a VERY interesting comparison of the bed scene from #12 and the bed scene from Seeing Red. Take a look.

But even I know Tara was not universally loved. But those that did, really did, in the main. And she and Willow become a point of reference for any discussion of lesbian relations in pop culture. Just saying.
I think "villainous" is a little strong to describe those actions; careless probably covers it.

And very forgiveable given that Tara had (at last) found a group of people that accepted her and was acting solely to hold onto that (if she'd really understood the consequences and danger to others I strongly suspect she wouldn't have done it).

If someone else had done it I think it'd be largely forgotten under the weight of the other nasty stuff they all did, with Tara it's forgotten under the weight of good stuff. Good point though Shapenew I guess that counts as a character flaw, just wish we'd seen more of them to round her out some more.

What you do not know is that I did send a letter to Scott Allie, which I asked that he not publish

Nope, I didn't know that Dana5140. In the letter did you have a change of heart and respond to the "raping sociopath" letter in the same way you're responding to the "what's her face" letter ?

Seems perfectly fair (to me) for you to post here, think a bit more and then change your mind, bet that's something we've all done (I know I have ;). Seems less fair (to me) for you to hold to the view that one highly inflammatory letter should be approached with a level head, accepted as a "tactic" then forgotten while another (arguably less inflammatory) letter merits a call for censorship because it happens to derogate Tara. If you're on the side of either altering or not publishing all letters that might cause anyone offence then I can dig it (cos i'm apparently from the 60s - it may even be groovy ;). I don't agree but I can understand where you're coming from.

My own take is that Scott Allie should publish whatever he chooses and I, in turn, will ignore whatever I choose. That lets everyone (potentially) have their say, rather than just the people that don't offend me. Some of the letters are adding heat, some are adding light, most do both to varying degrees - reckon that's true of pretty much any forum where more than one person's voice is heard. The message he's sending out though is, "Nothing publishable is out of bounds" and I think that's very healthy. YMMV ;).

(sorry about your cold BTW - don't tell me the magic of The Toddy didn't work ? ;) - and well done to your boy, you're clearly very proud of him and rightly so, that's a hell of an achievement, no messing)
Just a quick note. Did anyone know that one translation of the word Satsu in Japanese is "kill"?

No on the toddy, saje, and yes on the proud. The kid won a Fulbright Memorial Scholarship, one from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a James Madison Scholar to boot (www.jamesmadison.com) And he is only one of three. Kids I have, that is. None are into Buffy, though. :-(
:-)

But I digress....
Did anyone know that one translation of the word Satsu in Japanese is "kill"?


Japanese is a language with many homophones, and there are many characters with "satsu" as one of their readings, yes, including the one for "kill", but also, for example, one meaning "inspect" or "guess", and one for the counter for books. As we know Joss always thinks very hard about the names he gives his characters, it would be interesting to know whether he knew or thought about that, or where he got it from (it is a real Japanese name, although apparently not a common one these days).

Of course, the meaning of the name "Satsu" will almost certainly be unrelated to "kill", but as the sound is the same, the association in the mind on hearing the word may well be there (but then again, you might instead just think about books, by the same token).

I found this link listing Japanese Girls' names with their possible meanings (unfortunately not using the characters, so it's not possible to judge whether they are correct).
Just a quick note. Did anyone know that one translation of the word Satsu in Japanese is "kill"?

According to some google searches I did about a month ago, satsu can also mean inspect, slice off, split, diminish, a counter for books, stay, remain, note, paper money, and temple. A dictionary site and a Q&A page on Japanese expressions both described it as one of several colloquial expressions used to refer to the police. Sort of like "the cops" or "the fuzz." I am not a Japanese speaker, but from what I could find on the few sites with some English text that weren't fan art of a video game character of the same name, the meaning seems to be heavily contextual. The kanji seems to be 殺, with a possible translation as killing or death when it occurs in a phrase. There's a Street Fighter move, Shun Goku Satsu, which is said to mean "Instant Hell Murder" or "The Raging Demon."

Incidentally, Rowena is first known from 1138, in reference to a story about an Anglo-Saxon woman that seems to be more myth than history. If it's from Latinized Old English, as seems to be assumed by baby name sites, it might mean "fame and joy." I kind of like the Welsh version better: rhonwen, "bright spear." Sir Walter Scott named the heroine of Ivanhoe after the old story, and now the name's in common use.

Leah was Jacob's wife in the Old Testament. It may mean delicate or weary.

Last month, I only got very few Google results for Satsu that had something to do with Buffy outside of Wikipedia and a few other sites, like here. That's changed.

Kiddo, do you speak any Japanese?

ET fix typos.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-03-12 03:29 ]
Seems perfectly fair (to me) for you to post here, think a bit more and then change your mind, bet that's something we've all done (I know I have ;).


Ah, but the real trick is to post, think a bit more, change your mind mid-post, described how you've changed your mind, and then post anyway. That's something I've done more than once in the past. Now I just hit send before I see the other hand ("NO! There is no other hand!")
Sunfire> Yes, some (far from fluent, but also far from being a beginner), which is why I couldn't resist commenting.

ETA: The character you cite there is the one for "kill", but whether it's the one used for the name "Satsu" (whether on this occasion or any other: names will often have a variety of ways of writing them) is what we don't know.

The Japanese for "police" is "keisatsu" (written "警察"), so that "satsu" is "察"); the one for the counter for books is "冊". But I don't know what the one (or which ones) used in the name would be.

[ edited by Kiddo on 2008-03-12 08:38 ]
That's really interesting Kiddo. So the same word actually means different things depending on how it's written ? Way cool and yet, simultaneously, way hard to learn i'd imagine ;).

Though I suppose it's sort of like homonyms in English but instead of requiring context to make sense - e.g. to differentiate between duck [like quack] and duck [like, "Attention, big rock !" ;)] - the "context" is sort of included in the symbology (the way Latin includes the subject in its nouns). Means each word is less dependent on information external to it BUT it also means there're gonna be thousands and thousands of symbols to learn. Yikes.

Now I just hit send before I see the other hand ("NO! There is no other hand!")

Then there's the gripping hand and also the flip side of all three ;).
How about Renee? You all remember the Buffy Onamasticon?
"Ah, but the real trick is to post, think a bit more, change your mind mid-post, described how you've changed your mind, and then post anyway."

And then there is, spend so much time writing the post that you see a bunch of other people's posts when you hit preview, change your mind about a bunch of stuff, add it to the post, see more interesting posts when you hit preview, change your post more, hit preview and see more posts...that you don't read so you can finally hit post...at which point you read them and realize you need to go back and edit it.

...or is that just me?

This not having a computer is driving me crazy. I miss getting in trouble on Whedonesque!
What does Renee have to do with chewing on a donkey? Which is a mean thing to do anyway.
So the same word actually means different things depending on how it's written ?


I'd say it's probably more accurate to say that different words, with unrelated meanings, sound the same as each other, than to think of them as the same word writen different ways. The character something is written with contains meaning, and gives an immediacy the the understanding of a word written using the characters than you get from a word written just phonetically (Japanese does also have a phonetic element to its writing system, developed primarily to write grammatical endings, because the characters were taken from Chinese, which does not have grammatical endings and so had no way to write them). Characters also usually have at least two unrelated ways of pronouncing them, depending (usually) on whether they are standing alone, or in compounds with other characters, one derived from an original Chinese pronunciation of the character, and the other taken from the pre-existing Japanese word to which the Chinese character was applied. So, to keep with the "satsu" = "kill" character, "自殺", meaning "suicide" is pronounced "jisatsu", but "殺す" meaning "to kill", is pronounced "korosu" (the "す" is one of the phonetic elements I was talking about, and is pronounced "su" and has no meaning in and of itself, so that one's not a compound).

I could bore for England on the subject of Japanese, so I should probably leave it there.
Hey, speaking for myself, I appreciate the effort - in a couple of short paragraphs, you managed to cure the interest I'd been developing in actually trying to learn Japanese... ;-)
ETA: The character you cite there is the one for "kill", but whether it's the one used for the name "Satsu" (whether on this occasion or any other: names will often have a variety of ways of writing them) is what we don't know.

The Japanese for "police" is "keisatsu" (written "警察"), so that "satsu" is "察"); the one for the counter for books is "冊". But I don't know what the one (or which ones) used in the name would be.


I think this stuff is fascinating. Thanks for clarifying things. Japanese is so very different from any language I've studied. Don't fear boring me, by any means.

How about Renee? You all remember the Buffy Onamasticon?

I didn't even think of Renee. I tend to think of Satsu/Leah/Rowena together. It's Latin (or French, depending on your source), I think it's generally a male name in Europe but a female name in the U.S. (and I think Australia?). It's usually said to mean "reborn." There's often one e (and I think usually with an accent on it) in the male version.
I think my next task should be to find out how the name "Satsu" is actually written (and there may be more than one answer...).
I think my next task should be to find out how the name "Satsu" is actually written (and there may be more than one answer...).

It is the Tokyo arc. Maybe someone will speak some Japanese at one point.
OK, I reaaly should stop this. But I've found this page of Japanese women's names starting with "s" (it's all in Japanese) and the most likely candidate would seem to be "颯子" ("satsuko"), as a lot of Japanese girls are given names which end in "ko" ("child") and shorten them to drop the "ko" (although there are 4 entries starting with "satsu" ("さつ") there, one of which, "sastuki" has 3 unrelated ways of being written). "颯" is not a character I'm familiar with, but I looked it up, and it means "suddenly" or "smoothly", of action or movement.

Of course, this isn't a definitive answer, and may not even be relevant to Joss's choice of the name. But I really should stop now!

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