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May 19 2008

"Buffy Saves a Baghdad Reporter's Soul". NPR reporter Jamie Tarabay reflects on how watching "Buffy" helped her cope while reporting in Iraq.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2008-05-19 14:30 ]

This was mentioned in this story, but the link to the actual audio is worthwhile :).
I just saw that. Sorry: I should have linked!

What Jamie Tarabay doesn't say in that story is that she spent part of her adolescence in Beirut during the Civil War. She was born in Australia to Lebanese immigrants, and her family moved back to Beirut for three years when she was a teenager. I wonder if having spent part of high school in her own personal hellmouth is part of the reason that she identifies so strongly with Buffy.
At the time the original link was up the "In Character" story by Jamie was in progress. It was released this morning.
Yep, I listened to it live :) As you say at the time of the WaPo story, the piece wasn't available, thus this link stays up.
Excellent!

"It was always 'go go go, stake, stake, stake!'. There was never time for a girl to shop."

Loved it. The snippet from "Lie to Me" is such a classic, and of course had me crying.
Good quotes. I've always loved Buffy's despairing words to Giles in The Gift. Having that and the "Lie to me" speech nicely gets across the depth and gravitas BtVS was capable of.
Buffy is such a great example to so many individuals. So glad Jaime found strength in her while she was literally in the middle of the battle field.
Y'know, I listen to NPR at every opportunity that my busy workday allows and yet somehow I NEVER hear any of the Joss-related stories when they air. I smell a conspiracy. :(
That story leaves me hankering for a Buffy-thon.
I second that Pointy. I found this to be a great comparison and really give an excellent example why Buffy is so great. Its amazing that the show could be escapism for this woman while also being something she could relate to. I makes me really want to pop in some Buffy discs.
Aww, that was great. Really speaks to the power of the series. I too teared up at the 'Lie to Me' clip. :)
Yep. Teared up as well.
I heard this on the radio this morning, and was astonished to hear NPR devote six-and-a-half minutes to Buffy some five years after it went off the air. That's kind of a big deal. And it's a remarkable, beautiful piece - well worth a listen.

I hope Joss got/gets to hear it. It'd make him so proud.
Joining in with the tearing up and the fervent hope that Joss hears this.
That story leaves me hankering for a Buffy-thon.
Go for it. Even after many viewings, I always find an episode better and richer than I remember. Always.
I love this story so much. It's the quintessence of Buffy. Thank you, Ms. Tarabay.

NPR's whole In Character series is pretty cool, actually. Like Willow said, "The world can get pretty dark. Sometimes you need a story." Including stories about the Lone Ranger, Nancy Drew (ancestor of both Buffy and Veronica Mars, I believe), Virgil "They call me 'Mister'" Tibbs, and Bugs Bunny.

[ edited by Maeve on 2008-05-19 20:57 ]
Oh how absolutely lovely. Here's someone who actually gets it and manages to verbalize so very well all the reasons I love Buffy--and all of Joss's shows.

And yes, I teared up, too. Doesn't that just prove her point, that here we all are, tearing up years after we originally saw those episodes? Those moments crawl under your skin and stay there.
Isn't it amazing how someone's artistic creation ends up having such emotional impact across space and time?

You can be a foreign correspondent in a war zone with all hell breaking loose, and part of what keeps you sane is a set of TV series DVDs about a spunky mythical character and her unlikely posse of friends? All I can say is, wow!
buffy and npr, two of my greatest loves! combined! yay! nicely written and produced with some real depth, its awesome to have buffy recognized in such a complete fashion.
One thing that made Buffy so great is that there was literally something everyone could relate to, even a reporter in a war zone.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who got all teary-eyed listening to this piece.
I started to watch Buffy reruns because I couldn't deal with watching the war on the news. To be there must have been horrific. I absolutely got misty-eyed at this piece.
I didn't tear up (well, maybe a tiny bit) but I did rejoice that she included Spike's speech, which I recited from memory in accompaniment. Angel said much the same thing on occasion, of course, but something about Spike's delivery, and the music with it, was just so perfect. Alas, Tarabay ends the excerpt on Buffy's "I don't wanna be the one" rather than Spike's most excellent rejoinder.

And while I've never been in a true war zone, dodging the stray rounds of the fights in my life and in my mind give me a tiny taste of what she's talking about. I need the Slayer too.

Show of hands, everyone; how many of us has Buffy helped? How many real lives has she touched? How many times has she saved someone's personal world?

Edit: nuts, I could have sworn I had her name right.

[ edited by ManEnoughToAdmitIt on 2008-05-20 04:33 ]
Show of hands, everyone; how many of us has Buffy helped? How many real lives has she touched? How many times has she saved someone's personal world?


*Raises hand*. BtS got me through an internal war zone, when no one and nothing else could reach me.

ETA: My computer is so wonky, I haven't listened to this yet. I'm dying to, but settled for bookmarking it, as I'm never sure what's going to set off my dreaded Blue Screen of Impending Death.

[ edited by Shey on 2008-05-20 09:21 ]
Update!

NPR does a quick "Isn't that interesting?" story at the top or bottom of the hour pretty regularly -- a snippet of surprising or unexpected news. About 15 minutes ago the "surprising news" was that yesterday's most-viewed story on npr.org was Tarabay's story.

I was whooping (I believe that's the appropriate term) "They got Whedonesqued!" as I finished my commute.
That's great! I had my husband (who likes Buffy but not quite as, um, enthusiastically as I do) listen to the story last night, and even he got teary-eyed listening to it.
Wow. That was a fantastic story!

Though I had seen the first 5 seasons prior to deploying last year, I also watched the last 2 on DVD in Iraq (Balad, not Baghdad); I also watched the last 3 seasons of Angel there.

Movies and television are two of the very few "escapes" that soldiers and others in Iraq have. I wonder if Ms. Tarabay was watching one of the many bootlegged versions to be found for sale at the "bazaar" run by local nationals.
This is such a moving story. & The comments on the story are beautiful too. My Buffy obsession began in the summer of 2005. I was having serious health problems & it was such a relief to escape into the 'verse every night. BTVS was a happy place for me in a very dark time.
Thank you for your service, joep. Sounds like you're home now. If so: Good.
I heard on NPR this morning that they number one downloaded story on their site yesterday was this one. They were somehow surprised at this, but then they quoted some other folks from whom they learned that they should not have been that surprised. Two days in a row on NPR for Buffy. Excellent.
Wonderful.

Though I would have loved for the shopping quote from the end of season 1 to be replaced with this one: "All right, yes, date and shop and hang out and go to school and save the world from unspeakable demons. You know, I want to do girlie stuff."

Wonderful wonderful.
I am such an uber-geek, I am getting teary eyed reading about how everyone else got teary eyed. And, of course, I got weepy when I listened to the story itself.
Well, in case anyone else is still reading this - I finally got to listen to the story, and yes it made me teary, too. She really pegged what makes Buffy so meaningful to so many of us. I'm going to send that link to all my friends who just don't get why I feel so strongly about a tv show.
barboo, I finally got to listen to the story, too, and even though I just finished my (annual/semi-annual?)S4-7 Buffy-thon, I want to start all over again! Yes, I will be sending the link to a few people I know.

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