Tag Archives: Angel

Best Films of Christmas #7 Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Amends

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Angel: Buffy, please. Just this once… let me be strong.
Buffy: Strong is fighting! It’s hard, and it’s painful, and it’s every day. It’s what we have to do. And we can do it together. But if you’re too much of a coward for that, then burn. If I can’t convince you that you belong in this world, then I don’t know what can. But do not expect me to watch. And don’t expect me to mourn for you, because…

Huh? Buffy? Christmas? Has the Conservative New Ager gone more insane than usual?

This episode was called “one of the most explicitly religious hours of television ever aired” by the entertainment editor of The Weekly Standard…so clearly I’m not the only Conservative who thinks this.

(There is a fascinating lack of YouTube clips to choose from so I will quote liberally here).

But why is it a Christmas story. Well, for starters it takes place on Christmas Eve. But a lot of TV shows have their cheesy, shallow, lip service Christmas episode…why does this one stand out. Well first of all because, like most Buffy episodes it’s not cheesy or shallow.

Shallow doesn’t usually include lines like:

Look, I’m weak. I’ve never been anything else. It’s not the demon in me that needs killing, Buffy. It’s the man. […]Am I a thing worth saving, huh? Am I a righteous man? The world wants me gone!
Buffy: What about me? I love you so much… And I tried to make you go away… I killed you and it didn’t help. And I hate it! I hate that it’s so hard… and that you can hurt me so much. I know everything that you did, because you did it to me. Oh, God! I wish that I wished you dead. I don’t. I can’t.

“You’re weak. Everybody is. Everybody fails. Maybe this evil did bring you back. But if it did it’s because it needs you. And that means that you can hurt it. Angel, you have the power to do real good. To make amends. But if you die now then all that you ever were was a monster. Angel please the sun is coming up.” “Just go.”

Angel, the vampire with a soul, taunted by a tarted up version of Satan, is tempted to lose his soul…Angel instead tries to kill himself by waiting for the sun on Christmas morning. Convinced the world is a better place without someone as flawed as him. The words of his beloved Buffy cannot convince him otherwise…and that’s where that quote I put at the beginning of this blog picks up. Because, in what may be the only sign in the Buffy universe that there is a benevolent God, a Christmas miracle occurs. A freak snowstorm blotting out the sun in a California beach town that had only been in the high 70’s the day before.

Why is this a Christmas story? Because the Christmas story is one about how each of us is worthy of redemption and can make amends. It’s a message that there is good in all of us, even when we ourselves might not see the good. And it is a story about the fact that God wants us to find that good in ourselves because he definitely believes in us. And that is shown in this episode which is probably the best episode (top 5 at bare minimum) of this wonderful TV show.

 

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Did Obama or Loki say that?

So I went to a midnight showing of The Avengers last night (I will get a glowing review out, but I need to see it at least once more before I do so).   Great movie!  Witty, fun, moving…Joss Whedon at his best.  Not that this stopped the snobs at the New York Times from not too subtely suggesting that Loki’s evil is preposterous and ridiculous overblown character (despite the very valid comparison Whedon makes between Loki and every tyranny in history.  “There are always men like you.” Although even I will admit it’s hard nailing down Whedon’s politics from his shows–you have the liberal conception of the evil corporation in Angel and Dollhouse but a hyper libertarianism in Firefly with that individualism only slightly toned down in Buffy). It also seem to suggest that the only real sheeple out there are the people who could enjoy a movie like The Avengers (I’m sure it’s the not to0 thin layer of patriotism throughout the movie that most offened the hacks over at the Times). But I realized that the New York Times movie review find this character overblown…because to admit that such rhetoric was the rhetoric of tyrants and petty dictators throughout history would mean that they might have to actually look to see if there were any modern politicians who might be saying similar things. Loki says he comes to free people from that burdonsom chore of freedom, which sadly there are people who would actually applaud that being forced on society.

So, to show you that Loki’s quotes aren’t that overblown (although much better written as Whedon was behind them) let’s compare Loki to a modern day politician…oh, let’s say…Obama.

Guess who said each line.

On Goals:

 I come with glad tidings, of a world made free [from] Freedom.

 “The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.”

On being an individual:

Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity.

“Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation.”

On your friends:

I have an army!

“I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.”

On respect for individualism:

You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.

“History is scattered with the stories of those who held fast to rigid ideologies and refused to listen to those who disagreed. But those are not the Americans we remember.”

On understanding the nature of liberty:

Freedom is life’s great lie. Once you accept that, in your heart…You will know peace.

And so we must realize that the freedoms FDR once spoke of – especially freedom from want and freedom from fear – do not just come from deposing a tyrant and handing out ballots; they are only realized once the personal and material security of a people is ensured as well.

On understanding you’re being superior to those around you and that the sheeple need to be ruled:

There are no men like me.

“I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper — that’s a value.”

On humility:

I am burdened with glorious purpose.

“When I struggle, I just think of Jesus’ agony in the garden.”

On underestimating their opponents:

“If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail — they must have been founding members of the Flat-Earth Society. They would not have believed that the world was round.”

How desperate are you? You call on these lost creatures to defend you.

On understanding your value as person:

“[He] has brought us out of the dark and into the light”

“ENOUGH! You are, all of you, beneath me. I am a god you dull creature, and I will not be bullied”

The good news to all of this is we’re not stuck with Barry forever.  What does Obama have to fear?  Let’s do a headcount.  You have the impassioned crusader, Darrell Issa.  You the economic and budget genius, Paul Ryan.  You have the rising star, Marco Rubio.  You have the next President of the United States, Mitt Romney.  And you have the entire thinking portion of the American public.  And Obama has managed to piss off all of them.

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Filed under Art, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Individualism, Joss Whedon, Mitt Romney, Movies, Obama, Patriotism, politics, Tyranny