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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"The end of the world, right? You've got apocalypse written all over your face."
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May 30 2009

"Whedonites" included in madatoms comparative chart, "Know Your Internet Cults". Funny look at a selection of enthusiast groups, includes "Whedonites," "Mac Zealots," "Wikipedia Editors," and "Second Life Residents." Besides "leader" and "core belief," chart includes such topics as "How to infuriate other members."

"How to escape" has me rethinking my hope to go back to college to finish a degree.
Hang on - I have a degree. Shouldn't I have escaped?
They must not have read the educational levels demographics on Dollhouse viewing. ;)

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-30 22:24 ]
I'm a tad insulted that Whedonites are portrayed as emo by that chart. I figured we'd get more of an Activist appeal (hey, Activists... anyone coined a term for hardcore DOLLHOUSE fans yet?).

[ edited by Astonishing_Chaos on 2009-05-30 22:32 ]
Buffy started well after I attended my doctoral program. Did I regress?
Pretty sure I was getting my masters degree when I started watching Buffy, but it is a pretty cute and clever chart. :)
Obviously the writers are unaware that part of what got Dollhouse renewed was the unusually high percentage of viewers with four years or more of college education.

(see gossi's post from 18 May 2009)

p.s. I see b!X already made this point. I took too long trying to figure out how to get a link to work.

[ edited by Sarrava on 2009-05-30 22:39 ]
They were dead on with the infuriate tactics though. Nothing bothers my friend Caleb more than someone who hasn't seen Firefly.
Help! I'm a Buffyholic Wikipedia editor!
Oh no, our house of worship is a circle jerk. :( ROFL. The chart made me laugh, I'll give 'em that. Look on the bright side guys, our outfit is at least better than the Wikipedia Editors.
htom, Do you also own a Mac?
This is priceless. But I'd say another way to infuriate would be to suggest, oh say, a Buffy remake without the Whedon. :)
Age 54, two degrees, so kiss my Macs. And if you're my friend and say, "I've never seen Firefly" you just get a set for your next birthday or the holidays - no cutting required.

I laughed, though. ; > And changed my Angel tee-shirt for a Goners one.

(At least nobody got "Snuggie" as their outfit. *shivers*)
Haha... That's pretty funny. I now have the strangest urge to join Second Life.
Hey. I graduated college. Several times!
I would have said our core belief is "Joss is my master now."

And just out of hubris, I too have multiple degrees!
Hey! Now I want muliple degrees too! I must be the idiot child around here!
I finished College. XD

Technical college, anyways. If that matters any. lol. I'm just not using that stuff right now. lol.

Feel like an idiot child around here too. Heh.

[ edited by druzilla on 2009-05-30 23:01 ]
I'm the one they're talking about, with the lack of having graduated college. Carry on.
J.D., Ph.D.

[ edited by Peanut Noir on 2009-05-30 23:04 ]
...more than someone who hasn't seen Firefly.

I've never understood this. A lot of people simply have never heard of it. I also have had great pleasure of knowing once someone finally stumbles into Firefly how much they like it. I'm always scoping out folks who at the apropos time, I might drop a hint to. Then there's reverse people who have only seen Firefly and proclaim Buffy, "Oh no, and it's seven seasons and it's too much, too daunting, too this that or the other," and I always think to myself, "Your loss." But I don't shun.
How to infuriate other members: "Say Hedgehog Man was Joss' greatest creation".

I'm willing to sell one of mine, if you want it. Cheap.

Cheaper than that offer you got today in your junkmail.
J.D., Ph.D.

Ph.D., J.D.
I had graduated from college before Joss wrote his first draft of the Buffy movie script, and I know I'm not an anomaly. But it is a cute list, and all in all I'd rather have Joss' wacky fandom included than left out!
Why would you want to escape?
I have you all beat, 70 years old and, did not go to college but anything that Joss is involved in I am going to watch. Love Firefly, have several copies of it, 2 each of 5 seasons of Angel and 7 of Buffy, Dr. Horrible and will have Dollhouse. And don't ever say anything bad about James Marsters. LOL Spike the best character ever on TV. I loved Mal but he only had 1 short season.
I'm sure there are much better ways to infuriate other members.

Like, "Oh yeah, I love shows like Buffy and Charmed."

[ET: fix tag]

[ edited by jcs on 2009-05-31 00:51 ]
"I'm sure there are much better ways to infuriate other members."

I understand that Joss based 'Firefly' on 'Cowboy Bebop'.
No Mac. Macs and I don't get along, they always crash when I touch them (or did; maybe now they don't.) Unix, Amiga, BeBox, ... Linux, Dragonfly BSD, a little bit of Windows now and then. No Second Life, I have enough woes in this one!
I understand that Joss based 'Firefly' on 'Cowboy Bebop'.

No, no, no. Outlaw Star. ;)
Like, "Oh yeah, I love shows like Buffy and Charmed."

My freshman year of college this was the fastest way to put me on the defense and make me sound like a raving maniac in the food court. Now it's, "You should read Twilight. It's just like Buffy only better."
Now it's, "You should read Twilight. It's just like Buffy only better."

Somebody really said that? I'm speechless.
Somebody really said that? I'm speechless.

I have also heard this uttered, unfortunately. You should have heard my rant when this was followed by "And Buffy's just about killing vampires. It's not like she loves them." D:
"And Buffy's just about killing vampires. It's not like she loves them."

LOL. Poor, misguided youth.
I like the theme song of Charmed (and often, this is the high point of some series).
I understand that Joss based 'Firefly' on 'Cowboy Bebop'.
Water is now on the computer screen, thanks embers ;).
J.D., Ph.D. In the US the professional degree has precedence and is placed beside the name.
Hey, I have two college degrees and I'm still a Whedonite! =p
"Buffy? It's just a kids show...."
(Yeah, I used to work for a forensic shrink in Boston and he was a J.D., M.D. He was also a lot of other things, but maybe some snowy night in front of the fire...)

I still know people who say, "I can't believe you're into that T.V. show - didn't you used to read a lot?"

Yeah, 'cause one totally precludes the other. I think maybe it's a law or something.

All I know is when I started watching Buffy, I threw all my books into the trash immediately.
I do have a homemade Iron Angel T-shirt. It was a and Joss Whedon autographed it! I also am all sorts of college educated (with honors thankyouverymuch).
I may be a Whedon elitist but I tend to mentally drop IQ points from a person when they say they "don't get the whole Whedon thing.".
No Mac. No like-ee. Once I'm no longer programming for and supporting clients who use Windows machines exclusively, I'll switch to Linux. And I may be Whedon's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it...
My degree didn't help me any better at my speelling, nor help me write any gooder. ; )

On the subject of college and fandom, I stumbled upon this comment about the possibility of a new Buffy movie (dated December 2008 before the new Buffy movie was announced), which I thought was hilarious. It can be found here in the comments section.

I am not getting my hopes up for the Buffy movie, because my love for that series is so profound that I don't know that my heart could take a crushing disappointment like the film not coming into fruition.

Wanna know how freaky obsessed I am with the show?

In my Patent Law class in law school, we had to make up an object and write a patent for it (not as easy as it sounds...most objects have already been thunk up). I patented a frakkin' wooden spike with breakaway glass chamber containing holy water, just in case Buffy's aim was off and she needed a backup plan. Basically, it was stake, miss, break, poof.

I got an "A" on the assignment. Luckily, the prof was as big a nerd as I.

Posted by: The Pink Hulk at December 9, 2008 11:11 AM

I love this fandom.
Hmm...but wouldn't it be useless after it broke? What if you had to fight several vamps? You wouldn't be able to plunge and move on...
Always wondered why the Scooby gang didn't carry super soaker's filled with holy water. A machine gun for vampires.
"Excuse me, Father, could I possibly trouble you for a few gallons of holy water?"
zz9, It's a good idea, but imagine how they would have been mocked (I can hear it now: "Hey Harris, a gun to match your IQ?") - not exactly a way to try and be incognito. They had enough issues just being who they were with the vampire stuff removed.
I thought the term was "Whedonista" or "Whedonite?" You know, with different names, we can maybe have sub-groups each of which just knows they are the one true way.

Can we have a schism? Dare I hope? A good one, with violent disputes about obscure points of doctrine, ill-defined in the canon to begin with? Excommunications, purges and inquisitions? Centuries of inter-sect warfare only for the differences to be finally disavowed after a generation or two of careful rapprochement? But you know, in the meanwhile it's all about denial and name-calling while grotesquely eroding the shared agenda all the factions claim to honor.

Pleeeeeeease. Oh, please, oh please, oh please. It's been literally centuries since we've had a good intramural crusade.

[ edited by BierceAmbrose on 2009-05-31 04:18 ]
I have a homemade, iron-on Blue Sun tank top.

Whew, that was a close one!
Well, I was generally annoyed by the college degree thing, since it basically infers that we are either uneducated or all teenagers.

I think the reason that I enjoy this fandom so much is because we communicate well and always have insightful points about different aspects of Joss's universe. This is especially true with literary references that he frequently makes.

As for me, I got into Firefly while I was still in college, but now I've graduated and am getting my master's.
Bierce, which side would be the one that doesn't involve celibacy?
Haha I'm enjoying reading the comments that infuriate members. I think we need a section just for those.
Graduated from college this May and am still a proud Whedon fan. First class of my college career, the professor compared a relationship in the Epic of Gilgamesh to Buffy and Spike and I knew then that college was to be my place of sanctum.

I thought the list was cute, but a little off, obviously. Not emo in the least. I also fell off my chair at the "I love shows like Buffy and Charmed" comment, as this is totally me throughout college. I too was a raving lunatic in the food court. And I've been using the Twilight craze as a perfect in for introducing Buffy: "What? You like vampires? Here's one with vampires, only it's *better*"
Sorry if this has been said before, but the demo breakdown for Dollhouse proves that graduating from college isn't the way out for being a Whedonite since Dollhouse has a high fanbase of college graduates.
Third comment. ;)
How to infuriate members:


One of my college papers (FTVMS 211: Watching Television) got me properly into Buffy, actually. We were discussing complex narratives in television, and Buffy was the primary example in our reading. We had a couple of screenings of Buffy 'previously ons' in our tutorial as part of this. Before that, I had only watched bits and pieces of episodes, and after that I was intrigued enough to start from the beginning. Too bad I finished that paper before properly getting into it - oh, the exam paper I could have written on that topic.
Peanut Noir, I wasn't correcting you, just responding in kind, in chronological order (for me).
I am currently being inandated by many "you would LOVE Twilight because you're a Buffy fan" comments. Umm... I don't think so. And it is starting to get infuriating.
I was so far past college age when I discovered Buffy. (Note the "college age" .... b!x isn't the only one who didn't stick around for the degree).
But I'll match SNT's PB&J with a Masters in Dilettantery. ;).

As for the "how to infuriate members" .... well, the big one isn't allowed for discussion here. ;) Although it may indeed be replaced by "Kuzui's".

And I'm so in the "why would we want to escape?" camp.
I have you all beat, 70 years old and, did not go to college but anything that Joss is involved in I am going to watch. .....
rehabber | May 31, 00:26 CET

Whoa .... as someone closer to your age than to that of any of the college students or recent grads, I am seriously impressed. :)
I have a sixty year old cousin who has a casual interest in BtS and who has, to my great delight, gotten totally hooked on Dollhouse.
And her daughter, in her thirties, is my other Joss-fan family member and full-on SciFi buddy. Nerdiness and good taste have no bounderies. ;)
Awesome pissing contest.

Discovered Buffy working on my Master's degree.

ETA: No, aviva, you would not love Twilight because you are a Buffy fan. I still contend that it has its own merits, but automatic appeal to a Buffy/Joss fan is just NOT an automatic here. How infuriating, indeed. Argh.

[ edited by WhoIsOmega? on 2009-05-31 13:45 ]
It's cute and kinda funny, if a little inaccurate...

House of Worship: Comic-con. (I stayed in a room for 8 hours just waiting to hear Joss speak)

Core Belief: Whedon is my master (as has been already mentioned) Or possibly: Always be yourself, unless you suck.

T-shirt: BROWNCOAT - We aim to misbehave (Purchased at comic-con if possible)

How to Infuriate Other Members: Explain to them Buffy is just a dumb show about a girl in mini-skirts and bad shoes. Although the previous suggestions involving Charmed & Twilight should work as well.

How to Escape: Watch a Buffy movie that doesn't involve Joss or Sarah.
I never went to college but I do have a NVQ in Early Years Care and Education. Not to sure if that counts. Anyways I have to say that I have never thought of any of the Purple Dude's shows as being teen orientated. I first saw BTVS when I was nine and have been a follower ever since. I'm now twenty-one and as this thread shows there's fans of all ages and walks of life. Though I have noticed that his fans in general seem like intelligent folk regardless of age, education and degrees.
BierceAmbrose - Your name delights me. Mr. Bierce is one of my all time favourite writers.
My kids have graduated and we're all still fans.

This escape plan isn't working. :)

Good thing, too.
"No, aviva, you would not love Twilight because you are a Buffy fan. I still contend that it has its own merits, but automatic appeal to a Buffy/Joss fan is just NOT an automatic here. How infuriating, indeed. Argh."

Twilight has its own merits? I admit haven't read/seen anything in the franchise, but pretty much every opinion I've seen that isn't "OMG edward is SOOOOOOOO HOT lol" seemed to say that it's unoriginal, badly written tripe, popular with teenage girls and bored housewives who who wouldn't know good taste if it hit them in the face with a rubber mallet, and mainly because it shamelessly panders to their immature romantic fantasies with the ridiculously, unrealistically perfect character of Edward Cullen. And a small excerpt I read about being full of butterflies was so bad I almost puked. What are the merits you speak of?

On topic, yeah, funny list, but inaccurate. I've never considered Whedonites emo (although we've probably been made cynical by all the death and misery in Joss' works), and as many of the replies here have proved, graduating college does not rid you of your Whedon-obsession (I'm in what will likely be my second-last semester).
I like the categories. Like others here, I just wish their aim was better. There is so much to make fun of in this fandom, it's too bad they did not do it right and really nail it. I actually expected folks here to be proposing their own full lists. ...Cause we love lists last time I looked. ;-) I've got to go now, but I'll try to come back with mine.

I do like a lot of the how to infuriate choices proposed...though of course the big ones are outlawed here...because they are the big ones. Wouldn't it be funny if they tried to put together this list by looking at Whedonesque, where all the craziness is kept it check by constant attention by tireless mods? :-D
WhoIsOmega? I'm sure Twilight has merits that appeal to some people, but being told I have to read it because I'm a Buffy fan, from people who've never really watched Buffy, does not in anyway encourage me to do so. Also, friend's whose literary opinions I do trust, share Break_Atmo's oppinion of Twilight, so I'm not at all tempted.

Though I have noticed that his fans in general seem like intelligent folk regardless of age, education and degrees.
property of Mr Gordo

That has been my experience also. :)
Personally I never done much with fancy book-learnin'. I just like looking at the hot babes.
Am a Whendonite and Firefly fan and roleplayer in Second Life. It's a good bunch in there. To be fair, there is a lot of gorram sex in Second Life if you go looking, easy to avoid if you are not interested. It just has a long learning curve understanding how to navagate the system. I had a lot of help from fellow FF fans and have given my time back in turn to those new coming after me. Washtown does have a Madam, though. ;)
Good to know that I don't have to leave the fandom after next April! lol I wonder if the person who wrote that knew about all the scholars who regularly write things about Buffy :)

As for the supersoakers filled with holy water, I read a fanfic once that used holy water balloons. Very affective indeed!
Three outta four ain't bad; never tried Second Life... 'cause my first one takes up way too much time.

Oh, and the writers are somewhat clueless: the GodKing of Wikipedia is "Jimbo" Wales. Everybody knows that.
Break_Atmo and Aviva, by no means should any Buffy fan be considered an automatic Twilight fan. That's just wrong. In fact, it is of no surprise to me at all that the two fandoms mix like oil and water. Stephanie Meyer is an average writer at best.

I'm also quite sure much of the loathing directed toward her and her work stems from jealousy. Her product was awesomely marketed and she got very, very lucky. She wrote a simple story on a simple level and the language is accessible to readers of all ages and levels.

I originally read it because I teach, in a nutshell, low-level readers, and I'm constantly on the hunt for easy-peasy, general-audience materials. I probably liked it alright because my expectations were just...way low.

The film is one of the best adaptations I have ever seen. That's because there's just enough story in the first volume to fill up approximately 90+ minutes of film and not at all leave out anything significant. All of the casting was spot on. The director really breathed life not so much into the main characters, but into all of the minor characters, who were not developed enough in the novel. I said 'adaptations,' not to be confused with stories, films, etc. And considering it looked to be made on a low budget, then more power to the director who pulled it off.

When I heard Catherine Hardewicke, director of Thirteen (starring Evan Rachel Wood and Holly Hunter), was the film director, I was curious and willing to give it a shot. It didn't surprise me she pulled off an excellent adaptation. It didn't surprise me, either, when she was not asked to direct the film's two sequels. She did a good job with the first, but special effects aren't her thing, you know?

I knew what I was reading before I read it, Break_Atmo. Simple reading materials are part of my daily work, so yes, the book has some merits. If it inspires a 12 year-old girl to read, that's actually fine with me. I would have loved it passionately from age 11-14 or so.

The film is better than the novel, and it's a good film because it's a fantastic adaptation.

The novel recently inspired one of my 15 year-old students to learn English. Therein lies some merit.

[ edited by WhoIsOmega? on 2009-06-01 00:31 ]

[ edited by WhoIsOmega? on 2009-06-01 00:34 ]
"I originally read it because I teach, in a nutshell, low-level readers, and I'm constantly on the hunt for easy-peasy, general-audience materials."
Yeah, that was definitely what I noticed about 'Twilight': short sentences with small words that wouldn't challenge a second grader. Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing, but it is no 'Harry Potter' and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wants originality, layers, or pretty much anything interesting to happen. I'm not surprised that Buffy fans would be annoyed at anyone assuming they would enjoy 'Twilight' (which is why it really bothered me that someone gave me those Stephenie Meyers books for Christmas!).
Heh, that was fun, if inaccurate.

And also: everyone here is educated a whole scary lot ;). With just the one master's degree, I feel totally left out. Thanks to everyone's comments, I'm now wondering what topics all our whedonesque members have their degrees in though. We should totally do a "quick answers to all your difficult questions by the muliple graduates of whedon fandom" rally and raise some money for charity or something ;).

As for things that would get us all worked up, I know for me it tends to happen like this:

1. "That Buffy tv show you love is just for stupid people"

2. I comment on Buffy classes, publications and our generally well-educated fanbase in reply.

3. "But that's in America, and everybody knows their educational system is worse than ours."

4. I try to point out they're being stupid (because there's more differentiation in America; our universities generally doing better than some colleges, but doing worse than the top league American universities) and all this ends up into a big row about politics, America, Europe, the quality of universities and, for some reason, books vs. plays vs. movies vs. television shows and how these different ways to tell fiction are received.

5. At this point a throwaway off-handed comparison to the way that Shakespeare was treated in his time, leads to a general discussion about the merits of the way fiction is rated and dicussed in the first place, leading to a discussion about if one can even rate fiction objectively.

6 Someone decides to turn an argument on its nose and before we know it, we're having a discussion on music (popular music vs. the obscure singer/songwriters I like), movies, arthouse movies and wether it is worse if a movie strives for substance but fails, or just lacks substance to begin with, which then redoubles into the discussion on comic books versus "real" books, movies verses television, etcetera.

7 At this point, for some reason, someone decides to argue the point that anime is a medium in which art gets put forward, while others argue it's a genre, because certainly anime movies are movies and tv-series are television. Obviously, as things go, someone points out that because anime covers all kinds of genres, it can't possibly be one itself, which then leads into a discussion on what a "genre" is anyway.

8. This goes on for a while, goes through further mutations, until after about, oh, let's say, four hours, we're arguing about any and everything, decide it was pretty useless in the first place and go out for a drink ;).

Luckily above only happens once or twice a year.
Hee hee hee, GVH.
Clothing should read "Joss Whedon is my master now." T-sirt.
Septimus: thank you for the clarification, and congratulations on your achievements.

[ edited by Peanut Noir on 2009-06-01 05:25 ]
Her product was awesomely marketed and she got very, very lucky. She wrote a simple story on a simple level and the language is accessible to readers of all ages and levels.

I originally read it because I teach, in a nutshell, low-level readers, and I'm constantly on the hunt for easy-peasy, general-audience materials. I probably liked it alright because my expectations were just...way low.

Hmm, that really is damning with awfully faint praise. To be candid, I haven't read the Twilight series myself - because the theme doesn't seem to be my cup of tea, - but I have several friends, with storied credentials (if we have to continue this counting of medals game), excellent minds, and great taste, who hugely enjoy Meyer's books. I can't say whether it's the writing style, subject matter, or what that especially appeals. (But this piece in The Atlantic suggests that there's more at play in Twilight than small easy words. Small easy words, of course, can generate rich and deep stories, in the case of, say this man or this one, or perhaps this one . . .). It's clear to me, however, that for those who are minded, Meyer writes wonderful stories.
Somehow, I'd tend to think that not even Twilight's greatest champions would use Hemingway or Chekhov in the same sentence. ;)
Gratuitous appeal to authority. I can sling names with the best of 'em. :-)
I meant to give some praise as opposed to faint, SNT. My post was already too long, but in short, I enjoyed all four volumes of the story, having read them over about a week and a half. The end of each leaves you wanting that next volume. There's a story there, for sure, and I enjoyed it (as opposed to being knocked off my socks). On the other hand, it's not a story that will be pored over by academics from a variety of fields for years to come. Good story, no deep layers.

I was just a little more impressed by Hardwicke's ability to produce such a good adaptation, as opposed to Meyer's writing ability. Like some others in the industry, she's a better storyteller than writer. Another example: Jacob is a great character in the novel, but he was even better in the film version.

I liked the stories, and the film a bit more. Isn't it usually the other way around? Hence part of the pleasant surprise.

Given the thread is about cults, hope I'm not straying too far. I think my expectations were low because of online negativity generated at Meyer's cult, which, btw, doesn't seem as nearly established as the ones in the original list.
I started one of the Twilight books that my niece had, quickly got bored and started just flipping through it. When I hit a passage that referred to some vamp guy as a "carved Adonis", I decided it was either give it back or yack all over it...
Please pardon the belated replies. Life intervenes.

zz9, the side that does not involve celibacy is the one that I'm on. Your side, however ... See, we can't start a good fight without taking away something the other guys care about. Since I'm fresh out of redemption, it'll have to be something a bit more secular.

QingTing, I apologize for so tardy a reply. Thank you for the kind words. Mr. Bierce - the real one - is quite the hero of mine, also. Ought to be required reading for everyone in these too artfully contrived times. I'm also a huge fan of dear, sweet Mr. Twain's more obscure works - essays, short stories and unpublished works of similar piercing vitriol and humor.

Pleased to meet you. You can join our side in the coming schism. Such fun shall be had ...
I was shocked to learn that Twilight was not a lost Edgar Allen Poe story.

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