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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Love keeps her up when she ought to fall down, tells ya she's hurtin' 'fore she keens, makes her home."
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January 14 2013

The Awl examines the theology of Angel. "Our world is a black iron prison ruled by cruel alien monsters, while a distant Powers That Be are separated from us by an immense gulf of space, time, understanding and several hundred thousand years of inbreeding with the demons who prowl our world."

I'll admit to being nerd enough to make this comparison, and will send my nerd flare up for other nerds who could comment on it to see -- I think the "Buffyverse" cosmology/theology is actually a lot like the "Warcraft" mythology. Where, general outline, the world (Azeroth) is one of countless that were shaped to an ideal version according to the taste of the Titans, sort of distant superbeings who... shape worlds to an ideal version according to their taste. But the player world, Azeroth, is also occupied/possibly partially made out of the "old gods" (Lovecraftian nasties). It sort of reminds me of the Powers That Be/Old Ones dynamic.

I do tend to agree that there is an inherent whiff of gnosticism in the Buffyverse, but I actually think you can find that in a whole lot of genre fiction, because... everything that appeals about it, appeals to genre fiction. Special knowledge, enlightenment that's not available to everyone, etc. It's hard to set the table for sci-fi/fantasy/horror adventure without a lot of implicitly gnostic selling points.

Of course, I've also argued before, tongue slightly, not firmly, in cheek, that the Buffyverse is at the Watsonian level, Catholic. Catholicism has superpowers in "Buffy" and "Angel"! It has awesome nuns who can just tell people are vampires and rebuke them with withering glances! Of course, I've also understood for a while that it's not that people in Hollywood are of my particular tribe, but more that Catholicism because the de facto Christianity of Hollywood production (and retail marketing) by virtue of being so visible and distinctive, it's more self-explanatory to Catholic up the joint, if you will, when making a show or movie, if you need to represent a Christian setting or character.
That was a pretty interesting read, but I'll admit that the bit that interested me the most was finding out that Andy Hallett was Kai's PA. I suppose that makes a lot more sense than Joss randomly wandering in a lounge bar and writing about what he saw.
The guy has soem good points but they're kinda-sorta lost in the dross of 1- his history (and his understanding of non-Gnostic theology) are pretty much gibberish 2-he doesn't really deal with the meat of the show in enough detail; I mean, his overall subject is obvious but what on the screen made it so? 3-he rambles at the end between describing the characters and describing the actors. I mean, there are some interesting parallells that could be made (and if I had more knowledge of criticism and/or aesthetic philosophy I'd make them myself) but he just jumps around between the two topics in a way that is 75-85% pointless.
Oh dear, that was brutal. This writer seriously needs to go to Sunday school or something.

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