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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Buffy: Vampires are creeps. Giles: Yes, that's why one slays them."
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March 23 2011

Heroic humanism and humanistic heroism in the shows of Joss Whedon. A look at the relationship between the hero and the larger community in the context of Buffy and Firefly.

Good essay! Just wish it would have gone on longer
Hi, digupherbones! I actually just wanted to say thanks for the kind words, and thanks for reading. The brevity was largely due to the fact that it's my first Whedon-piece. I've talked my friends' ears off about him for years, but haven't really done any writing on him before. I also wasn't sure how to calibrate this for the forum it's in, and wanted to avoid going on too long or in too much depth. But, now that the ideas are taking shape, I'm hoping to find some time soon to work on a longer thing starting from some of the ideas expressed in short form in the PopMatters article. *fingers crossed*

Also, to all the good folks at Whedoneque, whose commentary I've frequently enjoyed, please feel free to comment over at Popmatters! There's been surprisingly little conversation over there, at least on the pieces that I've had a chance to read...

elisamaza (aka Candace E. West)
Hi elisamaza. Great little read. Listening and nodding in agreement with Joss's Cultural Humanist award speech was the moment I realised just how influential his work has been to my own beliefs. I'm sure Mal's journey, in particular, from believing in a higher being to finding comfort in another form of belief, is one that many humanists/atheists can relate to.

Really look forward to seeing a more indepth discussion of the topic, if you do go ahead with it.
Yeah, good essay, I could read more of that though I also don't mind the more incisive, shorter approach (without being nasty I kind of wish some of the other essays had adopted it).

Tiniest of nitpicks, it's surely a parasol, not an umbrella in 'The Prom' ? I only mention it because the difference seems significant, parasols being the kind of thing genteel ladies might carry around so that while acknowledging Buffy as Class Protector her classmates are also acknowledging her femininity.

...the difficult task of resisting seemingly justified anger, keeping an open mind and not only passively refraining from harming others, but actively embracing a faith in humanity.

Jeez, no truer words. Sometimes more difficult than others but it's never easy ;).
You're absolutely right Saje. I actually added that line on the fly, right before sending it in, because I felt like I wanted concrete, plainspeak examples of what I was talking about. Sadly, that meant that I didn't have a chance to double check the visual until afterwards. *shameface* But I was writing it and thinking, "That's not quite right - wasn't it frilly or something?" And the difference is definitely important in a show that worked so hard to keep Buffy both tough and feminine, and in an episode that is so much about the conflict between her loves and her duties, and where she has to fight so hard to save the world without ruining the prom (or her dress)!

Thanks for the note -- much more of a friendly, engaged amendment than a nitpick :)

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