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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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November 04 2008

Yma Sumac dies at age 86. Spike, in OMWF: "Well, I've seen some damn funny things in the last two days. A 600-pound Chirago demon making like Yma Sumac, that one will stay with you."

That is stretching it.
No, it's not really. I have copies of her records, from many years ago. "Voices from Xtabay" remains a cult classic. Yma was truly before her time, and would fit in today as part Cyndy Lauper and part Sun Ra. She'll be missed.
I think he/she means as a post relevant to the Black, Dana5140.
Dana5140 beat me to the punch! I was going to say, respectfully (of course), "oh no it's not!" Cultural and pop-cultural referencing is one of the most delightful aspects of Joss-ness and this whole fandom. Don't you realize how groovy you all are and how much there is to learn and delight in here? Keep this kind of thing coming. We love it! (Though in this case we are very sorry to hear of the loss...)
I agree with Litwal. Sad as it is, any random episode of Buffy has so many pop culture references. We don't want this to become "The News Site for Everything Whedony And Also Everything Else." I mean, what has Joss not referenced?
I believe I was never referenced in any of his works and im still angry about it.

But yeah, bit of a stretch. Sad of course, but not particularly relevant.
I think that this is absolutely relevant. Besides, after David Brinkley died in June 2003, he got a Whedonesque link, and Caroline stated "One reference is enough to post this."
I think the Brinkley post was pushing it already, and Spike's Sumac line is arguably much more obscure and less frequently quoted. Was Whedonesque.org an option when the Brinkley link was posted? Because I think that's the better spot for that and this.
Personally, the first thing I thought of when I saw Yma Sumac's name in the obituary was Spike - maybe I've watched the episode too many times. I figured there might be people who'd heard the reference but had never known who she was and might find it interesting. Not sure why so many people are up in arms about how relevant it is... but whatever. Carry on.
Buffy is the only reason I had heard of either David Brinkley or Yma Sumac and when I read of the latter's death I too thought of Spike.

It really isn't up to us to decide whether this is a worthy post or not anyway.
I believe I was never referenced in any of his works and im still angry about it.

You mean you haven't been referenced yet. He's still got works to come. =)
Once in a while something like this is fine.
Kirochka, thanks for the link. I always wonder who is Yma Sumac when I watch Once More with Feeling but then forget to look it up afterwards. Now, thanks to you, I know. I'll have to check out her music. Interesting link.
Joss never , to my surprise, quoted "The potion with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon."
I, too, appreciate the link. I have been checking out her songs (in 30 second snippets) on iTunes and it has been a treat! I especially got a kick out of her version of Wimoweh (AKA The Lion Sleeps Tonight).
I think this one's a gem. I would have never noticed or thought of it had you not pointed it out, even if I saw the obit. How goofy! Also, I never cease to be amazed by the far reaching references in the Buffyverse. It's like Gravity's Rainbow or something.
I'm grateful you drew this to my attention. I doubt I would have heard about it elsewhere.
I too am sorry to hear of Yma's passing.

Someone mentioned pop-cultural references and I think the references in all the shows are mostly timeless. That's one of the things that make the shows smart. And its nice that the writers never cram it down your throat. It's always an off hand comment or subtle remark. Can you picture Spike replacing Yma's name with Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears because they were popular when the episode aired?

I wonder why Joss chose her over other timeless singers.
While I agree that it is a stretch, Yma was an interesting person, and it is an interesting article.

In related news, on Saturday Manchester United visit Arsenal in the Premier League's feature match. Spike in Becoming, Part Two: "The truth is, I like this world. You've got - the dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people: billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs."
I appreciate the post, because I had no idea who she was. The only place I've ever heard of her is on BTVS.
I think it is a perfect post for this unique and quirky forum.

And I will be wearing my Manchester United knitted scarf on Saturday!
Before this post goes "dead" I'd just like to make one further point.... Exclusivity really bums me out. I've read on this forum many times the idea that ONE of the things that sort of defines this fandom is quirky-outsider-not-quite-fitting-inness that JW is so great at capturing and what so many of us are attracted to and comforted by. This is a case where, while I can understand the objections to relevance intellectually, it hurts my heart because it relates to the passing of an artist who received a "nod" by her fellow artists and - dang - if this is not the forum to at least acknowledge her passing, well how lame are we? If it's OK to acknowledge and post every tiny career movement of any actor or writer who was ever associated with the various Whedon-verses (which I love!) then we can surely be open enough to handle a single goodbye. Yes? Now I've had my say and am going to sleep. Love waves to all....
My BF and I saw Yma Sumac at a little dinner club in L.A. back in the 80s. It was amazingly cool.
I had no idea she passed today.
She brought a lot of joy to people and it's great that her work still lives on.

No, it's not really. I have copies of her records, from many years ago. "Voices from Xtabay" remains a cult classic. Yma was truly before her time, and would fit in today as part Cyndy Lauper and part Sun Ra. She'll be missed.


Oh SNAP! Did you namedrop SUN RA????
I bow down to your culty knowledge. I saw Sun Ra in L.A. too. And I have record albums by both Sun Ra and Sumac.

[ edited by AmazonGirl on 2008-11-05 08:09 ]
Joss never , to my surprise, quoted "The potion with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon."
Apropos of nothing, Whedonesque is already the third Google result for that phrase (without quotes).
I could understand if the Spike quote was from some *other* episode but I think it's safe to say that Once More With Feeling is probably one of the most watched episodes by fans and newbies alike. So...I see NO problem with this reference. Otherwise I wouldn't have known of Yma's death. Sad about her passing, but great that she can live on through Joss's writing.....and of course her music.

[ edited by death is my gift on 2008-11-05 21:14 ]
Were it not for Spike's Yma Sumac line, I would've never heard of her. So once again, I say thanks, Joss, for exposing me to something new and interesting.
I just want to know who involved w/the show is a fan of her work.

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