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October 29 2004

Evil Really is Out There, But Not Under Pointy Hats. As well as having the Buffy Vampires bashed in a previous link, this article mentions how bad the witches are. "Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer have replaced sinister hats with celebrity halos" (reg req).

Again Rude!

Makes me think of the Buffy ep (All the Way, I think?) when they're selling Halloween costumes at the Magic Box and Willow gets all huffy about the pointed hats, broomsticks, and warts until an adorable little witch shows up to trick-or-treat. :-)
it's helpful if you put 'requires registration' in the link info.
Haven't read the article as it requires registration but it's probably best that i don't. Given that i follow a wiccan faith myself i'm quick to offend when by beliefs are misrepresented which i'm assuming from Apocalypse's comments this article does.

Yeah it was All the Way in which that scene occured acp, makes me smile every time i watch it :)
I registered, Senior Partner, out of curiosity. And no, you probably wouldn't like the article. The author doesn't actually misrepresent Wiccan beliefs, since she never gets into what they are, but she does lament the passing of symbols (like pointy hats) because of the desire to be PC and tolerant. Here's a sample quote:
You can buy spells at shop counters, and celebrity witches such as Fiona Horne have lent credibility to the idea that witches do not have apple-green faces, beaked noses and warts, but can be beautiful and rich.
The wicked witch is indeed dead. Do these symbols matter any more - in a religious or cultural sense - or have they been popularised to the point of mundanity?

Thanks for that acp.

Sounds to me, from the paragraph you copied, like it isn't so much an offensive article as one written with an obvious lack of understanding of the difference between witches of folklore and real, flesh and blood wicca. Slightly uneducated on the subject but probably not meant to be mean spirited in nature.

Personally i don't take offense at seeing kids dressed up in their pointy hats and carrying little broomsticks around with them for trick or treat. It's all in good fun afterall.
I don't see Buffy's interpretation of witches (or vampires, for that matter) as being a part of the PC-culture we live in. Rather, for all of BtVS and Angel, I saw it as taking a set of tired and overused folklore characters and giving them new life. Taking 2D icons such as "witch" and "vampire" and giving them depth of character and a logical existence in the modern world.

BtVS worked because it was realistically unrealistic. It took the fantasy elements of witches and vampires and slayers and monsters and set them in the real world, and all the pitfalls and problems that causes. The show would have been much less interesting - and would have made a lot less sense - if the witches had worn pointy hats, were green, were all evil, and all lived in a cave above the village cackling over a cauldron. What would you rather watch? A vampire or witch as a purely Evil Thing is dull, whereas watching a vampire try to stave off boredom when he can't go out during the day is much more interesting. Spike lying about, watching daytime soaps? That's the stuff.

Anyone see Shaun of the Dead? I don't believe that film weakened the potential drama or fear that can be carved from zombies. Rather, it just dealt with them in an original way, by setting it in a more balanced world where people tend not to have shotguns close to hand and are more likely to simply mistake the zombies for drunks.

Basically, I just didn't see BtVS as an attempt to handle wicca in a politically correct fashion. I saw it as dealing with the folklore version of "witch" and modernizing it, rather than trying to represent those who follow wiccan faiths. Buffy was always about what happens when Fantasy meets the Real World with Real World consequences, and the metaphors that could create for our own lives.

I'm rambling a bit now, but here's a final comparison: Pulp Fiction. Most movies do gangsters as simple Gangsters, dealing with them as killing machines who kill people and not much else. Pulp Fiction was more interesting because it looked at them as people who just happen to kill others for a living. That was just a part of who they were. Just because they kill people, doesn't mean they don't have to eat, doesn't mean they don't have to wash their hands and doesn't mean they don't bicker with their friends or discuss music. Ultimately that's what made that film so good for me, that these characters had depth beyond the normal stereotype. Not to mention the fact it was also hilariously funny.

Equally, just because a girl is a witch and can do magic, doesn't mean she doesn't have to go to school and go grocery shopping.

And that's much more interesting than a mere cacklefest.
Sorry about the registration thing. I didn't even have to register and i still got the article up, which is kind of weird, and i know that i have never registered to this website
So this article is not even complaining that Wicca is misrepresented, but only that Witches in popular culture didn't stay in the boring old 'crooked-nose-with-wart-black-cat-and-broom- cackling-evil-old crones' variation that had been done to death?

Yeah, that is indeed an outrage. How dare popular culture evolve and move on. How dare we ever grow out of the image left to us by the days of the Inquisition.

Sorry, but I think I can find other things in TV and other story media to be upset about. Good grief.
Didn't read the article. Don't care to. Just wanted to make the point that if every vampire said, "Blah, I vant to drink your blood" and every witch said, "I'm going to get you, my pretty", I would have tired of BtVS a long time ago.
Witches peaked with Macbeth.
I can't even be bothered to read the article, it sounds ridiculous. First Wiccans offended, and now people who just want to keep the daftest witches ever alive. When will it end?

I've done the same thing as that acp. I'm a witch (but not Wiccan), and I was whining about stereotype witches a few years ago to my friend (I was about 13 and being stupid), but then we went to help out at Rainbows (A club thing for 5-7 year olds) and I took one look at the wee witches and decided I didn't care any more. They're just too cute.

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