Friday 21 May 2004, by Reverend Matthew Cafiero :
Don’t you hate it when someone takes their own personal vamp to stake, and tries to make it a metaphor for life? No wait, that’s Joss, and we love him for it.
I meant, when someone takes their own views and spins something beyond recognition just to prove their point to themselves. Simply twaddle, stuff and nonsense of the lamest kind. Or, to paraphrase "Naked Lunch,": There is nothing happening here that could not be explained away as the secret initiatives of a well-orchestrated cabal....
Angel and Buffy work as metaphor, but its a metaphor for universal expressions of the human spirit, not some geopolitical dilactic. Sorry Joshua, go back to the source material and try again.
Friday 21 May 2004, by Sarah :Where are you getting this stuff? You’re reading way too much into these finales. And how did you get the message "the end doesn’t justify the means" from the Angel finale? The message is that sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to get something done. And Buffy was not fashioned after Bush; Joss has said himself that the character development had a lot to do with the actors who played them. Your article is a load of crap. I can’t stand it when shows like Buffy and Angel are so overanalyzed like this. It’s ridiculous. I love both shows, but that’s what they are...shows.
Friday 21 May 2004, by Anonymous :
Good Lord, this guy likes to hear himself talk!
I can’t help but feel personally sickened by the idea that the writers of Angel and Buffy are mirroring American international politics! I guess you can force any comparison if you try hard enough, but this is just stupid!!
They are not talking about Bush or Rumsfeld, and Spike was not a suicide bomber!! There is a big difference between attacking innocent civilians in real life and killing demons on tv. Sometimes evil is just evil. This article is just infantile and offensive.
Friday 21 May 2004, by Anonymous :People like this simply amaze me. How quickly we have forgotten 911. Remember, THEY attacked US first, and 911 wasn’t the first time. Remember Pearl Harbor? There is a cost to freedom! You don’t have dialogue with evil dictators, you use force. Why don’t you start labeling the enemy as Osama Bin Laden and get off the Bush bashing trip. Good grief!
Friday 21 May 2004, by Anonymous :
Mirroring the horrific pictures coming out of Abu Ghraib prison, the penultimate episode, "Power Play," opened with a man being beaten in a dark room — his hands bound, his head covered by a burlap hood. He offers relieved thanks when Angel finally appears, but instead of liberating the victim, Angel vamps out and drinks his blood.
oh lord, that was written and filmed WAY BEFORE those pictures got out about what was happening there... delusional much??
Friday 21 May 2004, by NeeP :Wow, this guy just threw an interesting and different opinion out there, and you guys ripped him a new one for it. At least he showed some independant thought... If you don’t agree with it, think he’s wrong, that’s fine. But he at least deserves credit for putting a new idea out there and making you think about it.
Saturday 22 May 2004, by jjames :
Speaking of personal agendas based on fiction, what’s Iraq got to do with 9/11? You must be thinking of Bush’s buddy, Osama.
The author pointing out the torture analogy was on point. The Circle had no intention of getting information, that was an exercise in causing pain and humiliation. When Drogyn tortured someone he got false information. Given that this ep was made a while before the Abu Ghraib pics were ever known of, I’d say Josh was making a general statement and bada bing, Bush delivers a real fubar. The show was a metaphor for this, if unintentionally, like it or not.
Saturday 22 May 2004, by John :
People like this simply amaze me. How quickly we have forgotten 911. Remember, THEY attacked US first, and 911 wasn’t the first time. Remember Pearl Harbor? There is a cost to freedom! You don’t have dialogue with evil dictators, you use force. Why don’t you start labeling the enemy as Osama Bin Laden and get off the Bush bashing trip. Good grief!
Please - ’they did it first’??
No matter who you are, either you, or one of your progenitors has been the ’they’ you are talking about. It’s been a variation on tit for tat ever since (and before) we have been self aware. At some point we (or ’they’) will either grow up enough to take away the motivation for behaving badly by being nice regardless of the provocation, or this will continue forever.
Oh, and Pearl Harbour was hardly the first example of betrayal during conflict - there are plenty of examples of terrorism during the War of Independence, except that because all sides did it, there weren’t really any effective rules against it.
No one is without fault here, and the more powerful you are the greater your responsibility to act with restraint. Oh, and the lower the likelihood of you actually using restraint, based on historical evidence.
Osama Bin Laden is an evil man nowadays. He was never particularly nice when he worked with the CIA either - but I suspect that he could make a pretty good case for being a ’patriot’ fighting the ’evil’ aggressor the only way he could. I disagree with him, but it is a matter of position and opinion rather than cold fact, our side has done some pretty terrible things over the years.
Sorry - got on a soapbox there - Buffy/Angel does not appear to be a very strong allegory for global terrorism, rather if there is a lesson, it appears to be the far wider and more individualistic ’be true to your conscience’, and ’don’t give up’, which I believe are both very good, powerful lessons
Saturday 22 May 2004, by Jules :This is savy and thank goodness someone is saying it outloud—well in print anyway. I’ve been saying things similiar to this for quite some time, although I differ on his take of the finale of ATS—Angel murders Drogen, he murders him, there is no other word, no excuse and when Spike’s instincts guide to stop Angel, his righteous blows miss by a mile and Angel stops him as if Spike had the strength of a rag doll. What does this mean? Joss saying righteous won’t stop evil—only evil stops evil? I think Joss is drawing the conclusion that the ends DO justify the means. Not the other way around. Angel murders a pure soul—someone who had dedicated himself to doing good for hundreds of years not Angels 8—and Angel rapes his life away, and it is dismissed as easily as ducking a punch. The terrible things he does are brought into focus and Lorne leaves but not before bowing to his ’leadership’ one last time. ie ’I may not like it—but you’re the boss.’ Autocrat indeed. No one seriously challanges his poor decision making. All the women who might have tempered the situation have been killed. We are talking about a world devoid of feminine influnce and seems to be apppluaded for it. Kingdom of the Spiders, baby. By having Angel loose some backup, the show pretends to say ’see, we know he is doing bad stuff’—but then negates it by playing out the end like he is doing some high and mighty thing. What? By making his last stand glorius and almost ’cue the baloons’ Joss is saying the ends DO justify the means and that makes me scared, VERY scared because TV is a powerful medium and if you doubt it consider how many sites follow this show and all the heated discussions. It has power, it is more than entertainment and such wartime propaganda is injectged into people’s subtext with passion. Ideas coupled with passion...stick. It’s called propaganda people. Where is the show I’ve been watching and who is Joss Whedon? If you think the idea of murdering an innocent like Drogen is too tame consider the headless body of a one year from that raid on the wedding party on the Syrian border. ALL the women and children in the stone house killed as collertal damage. Instead of going in on foot to investigate the wedding party—the U.S. I assume, to minimize any U.S. casualties; instead bombed the hell out of them. All dismissed as the cost of doing business. Angel has done EXACTLY the same thing; and by having the big emotional swell build up behind him as he makes his last stand qualifys everything he has done instead of calling it into question—this pitch to ’slay the dragon’ makes collateral damage heroic, an acceptable way to do business. Who is Joss Whedon?
Saturday 22 May 2004, by Anonymous :have *nothing*, no really nothing!!! to do with each other. The Japanese navy attacked Pearl Harbor during WW2. 9/11 was the work of a bunch of terrorists your government decided not to stop. The thing that worries me most is that there are idiots in the US, possibly voting in an election not knowing the difference between their enemies in World War 2 and a terror network. That just makes me so sick...
Sunday 23 May 2004, by angelus :Angel was a damn good tv show but that is all it was, a tv show! Overanalysing the show like this is what puts ideas into peoples heads! Absolutely any tv show can be held open to interpretation and likened to any current event if you scrutinize it hard enough. Lets just enjoy things for what they are and not scramble under the surface for subtexts that may or may not exist!
Sunday 23 May 2004, by David :What is wrong with you people? Joshua Ostroff is simply making connections between politics and television. Regardless of whether or not that was Joss’s intent, Ostroff makes incredibly valid statements (except I disagree on his conclusion of Angel’s finale). The beauty behind art (and, yes, tv can be art) is that you make opinons and connections about things that were never intended. That’s what makes art everlasting and eternally relevent. Therefore, I applaud Ostroff’s attempt at scholarly insight on these finales, even if I don’t necessarily agree with some of his conclusions. It might not hurt some of you to take some art or English classes and learn to make scholarly connections between art, philosophy, and politics as well.
These comments are an anwser to this article : Joss Whedon’s War