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October 17, 2004

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To many of you, this will mean nothing, but to those who know him, this is awesome. Joss Whedon, perhaps the best television writer in the world, is endorsing the Kerry Edwards ticket and throwing houseparties [Read More]

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Readers of AFOE may know that I am a fan of the now defunct American TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Which is why I couldn't possible resist linking to this: In other words, Season 7 of Buffy always struck... [Read More]

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Abu Aardvark has a fantastic post rethinking Buffy Season 7 as an allegory of neoconservative versus democratic theories of foreign policy as they played out in the war in Iraq...The thing is, Buffy and her friends clearly lived in a reality-based co... [Read More]

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» Good Reading from Pacific Views
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Comments

Jenny

wow. You (and Shaun Narine) have managed the impossible: I no longer despise season 7. (Now I only really, really dislike it).

Jenny

wow. You (and Shaun Narine) have managed the impossible: I no longer despise season 7. (Now I only really, really dislike it).

Anaro

Good points-- I must, however, add to this analysis one point-- that it took unconditional love and total empathy (on the part of her former enemy Spike) to give Buffy the courage to be a real leader and not a dictator.

Not that Bush would ever accept that kind of support-- empathy being for Europeans or something-- but anyway, the actor who played Spike (James Marsters) is also for Kerry. :)

John Steven

Wow (also)... that's an amazing analogy between Season Seven and Bush's 'failure' in the War On Terrah. :) And coincidentally, I used that snippet of 'Where Do We Go From Here' for the title of a post on Friday (also about Iraq).

ArC

As a bitter BTVS fan, I feel I have to point out that Buffy's final triumph against evil in season 7 was _entirely based on a fluke of luck_. At the end, she went in with an underwhelming force *again*. (a pack of approximately 20 Slayers against tens of thousands of super-vamps, one of which had given her serious trouble earlier in the season). However, she was bailed out by a magic amulet whose powers she had no knowledge of, or really, any right to expect. If BTVS S7 was a portent of things to come, everyone's completely and utterly screwed.

Scott Martens

So, does this mean France is the hot but bookish lesbian girl? Or is she Germany? :^)

Honestly, this take on Buffy never occurred to me. The wife will have to hear this one. It goes well with Ron Suskind's piece in the Times Sunday Magazine on the faith-based president.

the aardvark

Willow is Europe, probably Germany more than France.

Spike represents moderate Islamism - he has a soul, but his would-be allies find it hard to fully trust him. But Buffy's faith in him is what keeps this pivotal figure on board, and in the end he is the decisive factor - with the light of reason literally shining through him and disintegrating the forces of darkness.

The amulet that Spike uses comes from Wolfram and Hart, which is unquestionably a force for evil - but turns the tide in favor of the good guys, literally by shining light into dark places. Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, perhaps?

Giles, of course, is Britain: a loyal, mature, seasoned ally who has been there before; he does everything he can to persuade Buffy to be reasonable. But in the end, even he can not stand by her in her folly...

Anya, the show's Republican figure (in real life too) dies a heroic but ultimately pointless death in the final battle, and is hardly missed or mourned.

Arc: I agree that Buffy's final strategy was pretty lame, although in her defense (1) it isn't clear that waiting for the ubervamps to get out was a better strategy; and (2) she knew the amulet did *something* even if she didn't know what.

But as for general discontent with Season 7, believe me I'm there. I thought that there were so many missed opportunities, especially with the "wiping out the Slayer line" subplot. But I think the allegory still works!

Julie

Great post. You know, I was thinking pre-soul Spike with the chip in his head is a lot like post-Gulf War Saddaum Hussein under sanctions. Spike wants desparately to be an evil vampire and slaughter innocents, but he can't because of the chip, so eventually he sort of unwillingly joins forces with his previous enemies. Saddam, according to the Duelfer report, wanted to make weapons of mass destruction but he couldn't, and supposedly he thought eventually he would be the US's secular ally in the middle east. The difference between the US and Buffy I guess, is that the Scooby gang eventually did join forces with Spike and turned him into a reasonably good vampire by the end. It's all about diplomacy.

James

Doesn't really add up ... if the rest of the Scoobies were being paid off with oil by the First you might have a point.

Russil Wvong

Even if the _strategy_ of "liberating the Middle East, starting with Iraq" was crazy, was it inevitable that the _execution_ would get screwed up? Dialogue from "The Harvest" provides one explanation:

Xander: Okay, so, crosses, garlic, stake through the heart.

Buffy: That'll get it done.

Xander: Cool! Of course, I don't actually have any of those things.

Buffy: (hands him a cross) Good thinking.

Xander: Well, the part of my brain that would tell me to bring that stuff is still busy telling me not to come down here.

datarat

I'm kind of disappointed to find this analysis, and to find out that Joss supported Kerry.

I think that if, in fact, some of the "allies" you mentioned were actually interested in fighting evil instead of enabling it, this would be extremely accurate. Unfortunately, more and more we find that reducing and eliminating the controls on Saddam Hussein was the actual goal for some of them over the last decade.

I find it interesting that so many writers will right about having the courage to do the right thing, even when everyone says you're wrong, but in the end think that we should just not rock the boat.

I noticed that the post above mentioned that

and yet, with the sweeping changes that have come across the middle east since January it doesn't appear so crazy.

So I guess the real question is this: Should the Iraq war have been avoided because we had no business toppling Saddam, or because it was wrong to do something without France's permission?

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