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(Meta) What did Buffy do next?

8th September 2009 (16:01)

There's been a resurgence of the old debate about what Buffy would have done, or should have done, after 'Chosen'. We now know what Joss's own idea is, of course, but there are plenty of fans who disagree with his take or think it's out of character for Buffy and the others. Many people have written fanfic about other possible alternative futures for Buffy and her friends; I did it myself back before Season 8 came out. Some people claim they prefer these different ideas to Joss's own.

So, here under the cut is a poll. I'm asking what YOU think it would be sensible for Buffy to have done, or what would be in character for her to have done (not necessarily the same thing...), after 'Chosen'. I'm not specifically asking your opinions on Season 8, though obviously some of the more detailed questions relate to issues raised by the comics; indeed, I'm especially interested in replies from people who haven't read them.

If you disagree with any of my questions or think I should have included different choices in the options - well, that's what comments are for. :-) Note that some of these poll questions are radio button and some are check-box, just to confuse you.

** Poll #1454833 What did Buffy do next?
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 85

Would Buffy give up Slaying after 'Chosen'?

View Answers
Yes. She'd had enough.
0 (0.0%)
Mostly. She might patrol occasionally, but she was done with full-time world-saveage.
7 (8.3%)
She might take a long break, but eventually she'd want to get back into it.
40 (47.6%)
No - she'd feel too guilty that people might be killed without her out there to protect them.
23 (27.4%)
No - despite her denials, she enjoys it too much.
14 (16.7%)

How soon after 'Chosen' would Buffy want to settle down in domestic bliss and start a family?

View Answers
Never. She's not that kind.
14 (16.5%)
Not for a long time; maybe in her thirties.
43 (50.6%)
Not for four or five years at least.
18 (21.2%)
Maybe after a year or two.
2 (2.4%)
As soon as possible.
0 (0.0%)
The instant she hears Spike is alive, but not otherwise.
8 (9.4%)

Did Buffy know before Willow cast her spell that hundreds of new Slayers would be called all over the world?

View Answers
No, it took her by surprise.
9 (10.6%)
Yes, she thought it was likely.
45 (52.9%)
It wasn't something she'd even thought about.
31 (36.5%)

How would she feel at first about creating so many new Slayers?

View Answers
Pleased that she'd empowered so many women.
5 (5.9%)
Pleased that she has new allies to fight against evil.
1 (1.2%)
Pleased that she has people like her, so she's no longer unique.
1 (1.2%)
Pleased about changing the status quo.
3 (3.5%)
Guilty about not giving them a choice.
2 (2.4%)
Guilty about disrupting their lives.
0 (0.0%)
Guilty about putting them in danger from demons and vampires.
1 (1.2%)
Guilty about changing the status quo.
0 (0.0%)
Neutral: they're not her problem.
0 (0.0%)

Would Buffy feel herself responsible for helping the new Slayers?

View Answers
Absolutely. She created them, it's her overriding duty to help them.
49 (57.6%)
Yes, but it wouldn't be her first priority.
35 (41.2%)
No, they can take care of themselves. She did.
1 (1.2%)

How many of the new Slayers would be willing to give up their mundane lives to become evil-fighting superheroes?

View Answers
All of them. It's their sacred destiny.
0 (0.0%)
Most of them, apart from a few hold-outs.
23 (27.1%)
Maybe about half of them.
43 (50.6%)
No more than about one in four or so.
18 (21.2%)
Barely a handful, if that.
1 (1.2%)

What kind of help would Buffy and her friends think they should offer the new Slayers?

View Answers
None: they're not their problem.
0 (0.0%)
Come up with a fake cover story for them about why they're suddenly so strong.
0 (0.0%)
Tell them the truth about Slayers and the supernatural.
4 (4.8%)
Give them in-depth knowledge about vampires, demons and other threats to humanity.
1 (1.2%)
Train them to fight and use weapons.
1 (1.2%)
Offer them moral support, companionship and connection to other Slayers.
0 (0.0%)
Provide them with equipment and weapons to make their job easier.
0 (0.0%)
Bring them together into teams so they're not all fighting alone.
0 (0.0%)
Pay them a wage.
0 (0.0%)
Provide those that need it with housing, medical benefits, pension, etc.
0 (0.0%)

Which makes more sense?

View Answers
Leave each active Slayer in her own home town, with her friends and family but fighting alone.
2 (2.4%)
Bring all the active Slayers together into teams in central locations so they can fight together.
5 (6.0%)
Both: have a few squads who can be called in by a local Slayer if she needs reinforcements.
77 (91.7%)

Would money be a problem for the new Slayers?

View Answers
Not really. Their families can support them, can't they? Or they can get jobs?
7 (8.4%)
It would be a problem, but not serious. Not Season 6-level bad.
39 (47.0%)
It would be exactly like Season 6 but multiplied by the number of the new active Slayers.
10 (12.0%)
It would be worse, because they need equipment and facilities, not just living expenses.
27 (32.5%)

Would Buffy consider going to the government for help? (Money, facilities, training.)

View Answers
Yes. She's providing a public service, so why not?
2 (2.4%)
No, they wouldn't believe her.
5 (6.0%)
No, they might try to kidnap and experiment on Slayers. Remember the Initiative?
24 (28.6%)
No, because that would mean losing control of the Slayers to faceless bureaucrats.
3 (3.6%)

Would Buffy ask Angel for help from Wolfram & Hart's funds?

View Answers
Yes, why not?
7 (8.4%)
No, for personal reasons. She doesn't want to be in Angel's debt.
9 (10.8%)
No, because W&H's money is tainted. They're evil.
14 (16.9%)
No, because W&H are the enemy, and she wants to stay well away from them.
14 (16.9%)

Would Buffy exploit the Slayers' superpowers to earn money? (Eg entering athletics tournaments).

View Answers
Yes, that's a clever idea.
3 (3.6%)
Maybe, but it wouldn't be a reliable source of funds.
12 (14.3%)
No, it would risk drawing too much attention to them.
23 (27.4%)
No, it's an abuse of why they have those powers.
17 (20.2%)

Do Buffy or Giles have access to the Watchers' Council's funds?

View Answers
No, they're inaccessible now.
5 (6.0%)
Only partially; they're too well hidden in multiple places.
21 (25.3%)
Yes, but the Council's wealth was mostly in long-term investments not ready cash.
14 (16.9%)
Yes, but the Council wasn't all that rich after all.
6 (7.2%)
Yes, and there's enough money there to support them easily.
12 (14.5%)

Would Buffy be willing to turn to crime to support the other Slayers?

View Answers
Absolutely not. Buffy always respects the law.
20 (23.8%)
Only if she was utterly desperate and there was no other alternative.
36 (42.9%)
If necessary. Buffy will do whatever it takes to protect those she feels responsible for.
27 (32.1%)
Yes. She's protecting the world, so the world owes her, right?
1 (1.2%)

If she did steal a lot of money, how would she feel about it afterwards?

View Answers
Gleeful. She got away with robbery! That's so cool!
0 (0.0%)
She did what she had to do. Enough said.
21 (25.0%)
She'd feel guilty, but try to bluff it out.
43 (51.2%)
Racked with guilt and remorse.
20 (23.8%)

Poll #1454834 What did Buffy do next, #2
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 77

Would Buffy set up a formal, structured Slayer organisation?

View Answers
Yes, that makes sense.
6 (7.9%)
Not deliberately, but one would evolve anyway.
43 (56.6%)
No, Buffy would keep things strictly informal.
5 (6.6%)
Buffy would leave all that sort of thing to others (Giles, maybe).
22 (28.9%)

The Watchers' Council?

View Answers
Discredited. The new Slayers would take nothing from it.
5 (6.5%)
The Slayers might use its surviving facilities and resources, but not its ideas.
50 (64.9%)
The new organisation would be a reformed version of the Council.
22 (28.6%)

Who would lead the new Slayer organisation?

View Answers
35 (45.5%)
31 (40.3%)
One of the other people from Sunnydale.
4 (5.2%)
One of the new Slayers.
0 (0.0%)
A survivor from the old Watchers' Council (other than Giles).
2 (2.6%)
Someone from the government, or a major cosmetics company, etc.
0 (0.0%)
What formal organisation? I said they wouldn't form one.
5 (6.5%)

Would the Slayer organisation have a heirarchy with people giving orders to others?

View Answers
Yes, a formal and disciplined structure of ranks.
2 (2.6%)
Kind of. The most capable Slayers would be put in charge of teams.
47 (61.0%)
Not really, but people with forceful personalities would tend to rise to leadership.
22 (28.6%)
No, everything would be decided by votes or group discussions.
3 (3.9%)
I said, there wouldn't be any sort of organisation. Aren't you listening?
3 (3.9%)

Would Buffy think other Slayers should wear body armour, if available?

View Answers
Of course not. It's stupid, ugly and impractical.
11 (14.5%)
Only if they really want to.
30 (39.5%)
It's a good idea if they do.
23 (30.3%)
Absolutely. It could save their lives, and she'll do her best to persuade them.
12 (15.8%)

Would she wear body armour herself, if available?

View Answers
Of course not. It's stupid, ugly and impractical.
20 (26.3%)
Only if she was going to fight a particularly dangerous enemy.
30 (39.5%)
Sometimes, but only to set a good example to the other Slayers.
19 (25.0%)
Yes, it makes good sense.
7 (9.2%)


View Answers
Never useful.
43 (56.6%)
Buffy will reluctantly let her Slayers use them if absolutely necessary.
32 (42.1%)
Yes, of course.
1 (1.3%)

Helicopters, private jets, submarines? (Assuming she somehow got the money for them.)

View Answers
Ridiculous and unnecessary.
27 (35.5%)
Whatever it takes to get the job done.
35 (46.1%)
14 (18.4%)

Final question, for fun. Would Buffy ever go to bed with another woman?

View Answers
Never. She's secretly homophobic.
0 (0.0%)
Never, it just doesn't interest her.
9 (11.8%)
Only if Spike had been sex-changed into a woman.
3 (3.9%)
Maybe once or twice as an experiment.
4 (5.3%)
Maybe once or twice if she was really lonely.
4 (5.3%)
Maybe if she met someone she really, really liked. It could happen!
9 (11.8%)
Sure. She just hasn't met the right girl yet.
0 (0.0%)
What do you mean "would she"? She and Faith were totally at it like bunnies in Season 3.
7 (9.2%)

Demographics. Do you read the Season 8 comics?

View Answers
Yes, every issue.
37 (48.1%)
Sometimes, but not regularly.
8 (10.4%)
I used to, but I gave up on them.
14 (18.2%)
No, but I read other people's comments or reviews.
15 (19.5%)
No, and I'm not interested in them.
3 (3.9%)



Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 18:14 (UTC)

I'll probably do a post summing up the replies in a day or so, but at the moment it's fascinating to see Giles and Buffy running neck and neck for the question "Who would lead the slayer organisation?"

I keep refreshing the screen to see whether either of them has taken the lead...

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 18:38 (UTC)

Thanks for putting up the poll. It's interesting. I did find many of the choices don't quite catch where I'm at.

1. Financial issues: Assuming that it's the same job with now hundreds of girls to do it, they are awash in spare resources not strapped for cash. Maybe money is a problem early on coming straight out of SD with nothing but a school bus. But that should be a SR problem.

2. Outside funding (were it necessary): Private donors or the same sources of money that the WC used. When I go down the govt. option, my point really is just that Buffy is setting herself up as doing a governmental function (protective force), but is helping herself to the "taxes" without consulting the people she's supposedly protecting. It's mostly to point out how out there this whole slayer army really is. Anyway, people saying that the robbing is justified on this account are really chopping away at the foundations of civil society where we have some idea of collectively deciding what public projects we want to engage in rather than having the powerful impose it on us by fiat. (At least in principle). Buffy is anti-democratic. And since when do we cheer when the powerful rob us of our money in order to do something that's in our best interest without our permission or even our consultation?

3. Would she use all that equipment: if this were any kind of real world story, why not. But then, she hasn't in the past. So whatever poetic/metaphorical reasons that made for her using the wooden stake 99% of the time and the rocket launcher 1% of the time should still obtain unless we are given a clear narrative reason for the shift in poetics. So I left all those blank. Most people want to answer in the first sense -- my objections are in the second sense.

What drives me batty with the "she had to do it" arguments is that Buffy has always been about the resourcefulness and not letting herself get forced into picking the lesser of two evils. She's got an influx of hundreds of super-powered girls to do the job she's more or less handled on her own for seven years. I don't see how we get from there to bankrobbing without some serious story-telling. I don't see the exigency. And it seems to me that a minimal amount of creativity would find many better ways of providing the funding if there were some exigency.

Side note: No such thing as long term investments that aren't available now. There might be a cost to early liquidation (depending on what sort of LT assets you are talking about), but even the most illiquid assets (real estate) can provide collateral for loans.

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 18:55 (UTC)

Assuming that it's the same job with now hundreds of girls to do it, they are awash in spare resources not strapped for cash.

I'm not following your logic here. What "spare resources" are you referring to? The financial needs would obviously vary based on the set-up of the organization, but I'm not seeing how more Slayers (which means more expenses) somehow translates to spare resources.

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 18:58 (UTC)

Personally, I found myself wanting to answer "Well, it depends" to most questions. Apart from some of the more extreme options, most of the answers are plausible. We already know that Buffy is prepared to do pretty much anything for some things in certain situations. Without context, without a good reason for them, however...

The flip side of this, of course, is that some of these might as well be subtitled "...because that's what happened in Season 8!" except without that context - there's more than one sort of loose organisation, more than one way to mix squads and individuals, etc. Someone who hasn't ready Season 8 will interpret them differently from someone who has, whatever their opinions on the comic. It depends.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 19:36 (UTC)

Someone who hasn't ready Season 8 will interpret them differently from someone who has

Which is great. :-) I agree that there are lots of plausible scenarios of how things could have gone. However, I've seen many people saying that some scenarios are utterly implausible, or out of character. Someone on Buffyforums was saying they've never seen a post-Chosen fanfic, before S8 came out, which had Buffy forming a Slayer Army like she does in the comics.

Hence the poll. I've often wanted to ask people who criticise S8 for its plot (rather than, say, the artwork) "What would you do differently, then?", and this is my chance to find out. :-)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 19:09 (UTC)

As you know, Bob, I don't read the S8 comics, and know very little about them besides that Dawn's a centaur or something. Or, and Buffy did it with a chick. Whatever.

My basic thoughts is that some organization would naturally come into being, probably modeled in structure after the Watcher's Council, but with different ideals. I'd think Buffy would definitely take a break, but her innate sense of duty would put her in a leadership position eventually. As for funds, I can't help but think that the Council had money hoarded away somewhere. I mean, they employed Watchers to an almost gratuitous extent, it appears. They had to have bookoos money, and Giles probably is able to access it after S7.

Anyway, in my mind, Slayers are distributed worldwide in different bases, probably some working in even smaller teams in remote towns and areas. Obviously, not every girl who has Slayer powers would choose to use them. However, the ones that do, Buffy et all would train them and provide for them, which includes making sure they have some form of monetary compensation for their world-savage.

And while Buffy would be the "leader", I think that the hierarchy wouldn't be entirely strict. Buffy would likely be answerable to others for her actions so she doesn't have total, unquestioned control over anything.

I have no clue how any of this relates to how things are in the comics, though. Like I said, I just know about the centaurs and girl-sexing.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 20:07 (UTC)

It's interesting to see what elements of the S8 storyline have penetrated out into the wider population. Somehow I'm not surprised it's those ones...

But like I said above, I am interested to see the take of people who are untainted by knowing the S8 background as to what would be sensible and in-character for Buffy to do after 'Chosen'. Compare and contrast...

probably modeled in structure after the Watcher's Council, but with different ideals

But wouldn't that mean providing an individual mentor/Watcher for every one of the new Slayers? Where are they going to get that many trained and motivated personnel?

I can't help but think that the Council had money hoarded away somewhere.

I actually agree with you here - but I am thinking of the comment the wetworks squad member makes in 'Sanctuary', that the Council has alchemists on the Board of Directors. Maybe they didn't need large financial reserves because if they ever needed money, they just transmuted a pile of lead into gold? But now those alchemists are all dead...

Buffy would likely be answerable to others for her actions so she doesn't have total, unquestioned control over anything.

You mean, as in formal checks and balances? A written constitution? An appeals board which can overrule Buffy?

Or the other way around, that she's the "leader" by common consensus, but she has to work by persuasion and influence rather than just saying "Do this!"?

I just know about the centaurs and girl-sexing

So you've not read my pr0n fic about Willow having sex with a 50-metre tall giant Dawn? That was based on the comics too. :-( Well, not the sex part. Just the giant part.

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 19:20 (UTC)

If Buffy didn't turn to theft to support herself because of her extreme respect for the law (sometimes even to a fault), then I don't see her doing it for the new slayers. Her motto is always, "there has to be another way!" in respect to that. However, I do think she'd do the "exploit the superpowers" thing. It's not exactly moralistically wrong (unlike stealing) in that it is something that is "natural" to the slayer.

Buffy never had a real interest in modern weaponry except the one time...I mean, when Sunnydale was abandoned, she didn't raid the army base (again), not even rudimentary stuff to attempt to blow up the Hellmouth, like what she did to the high school...

And Buffy is straight. Which means she's straight. Only if a wacky spell where Spike was transformed into a woman I could see it, and even then it'd be sketchy since Spike would be a woman. But if any woman could seduce Buffy to the other side, it'd be woman!Spike. Maybe Faith, but she's pretty straight too. Maybe if Faith and Buffy were both drunk...But other than that? I don't care how lonely she gets--the woman is straight.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 19:50 (UTC)

If Buffy didn't turn to theft to support herself because of her extreme respect for the law (sometimes even to a fault), then I don't see her doing it for the new slayers. Her motto is always, "there has to be another way!" in respect to that. However, I do think she'd do the "exploit the superpowers" thing.

Interesting, because I see her pretty much the other way. I don't think Buffy has much respect for the law as an abstract concept at all - look how often she and the Scoobies commit trespass, criminal damage, petty theft, computer hacking, whatever. She does, however, have an active conscience and doesn't want to harm anybody. She justifies her criminal actions because she's saving lives, which are far more important.

I also think she's far more likely to steal to support other people, especially if she feels guilty about turning their lives upside down by turning them into Slayers, than herself.

I agree that Buffy's not really interested in modern weaponry herself, but I think she'll use whatever it takes. Also, remember she did geek out over the Initiative's fancy toys for a while, until she realised they were evil; she's not entirely against the idea.

And Buffy is straight.

Well, it seems like four out of 21 people agree with you so far. :-) But you think she's secretly homophobic? Really?

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 20:01 (UTC)

For who would lead the Watchers Council, I said Giles - but what I actually wanted to say was "Giles, and Buffy and Faith, with support from Xander and Willow". Giles would be in charge mostly because no-one else wanted the hassle of organising everything, but he'd do the job with heavy consultation from the others.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 21:23 (UTC)

Well, Giles seems to have taken a definite lead in the poll now.

I'm not so sure: I think that (a) he would be willing to defer to Buffy and be her advisor, rather than take control himself. (b) From the after-effects of 'Lies My Parents Told Me', Buffy still wouldn't be in the mood to take orders from him even thought they'd resolved their actual quarrel by then.

I can certainly see your scenario of Giles getting left with the organisation because he was the only one with the willingness and experience to do it; I'm just not sure that would translate into him being The Boss.

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 20:18 (UTC)
moving on

Oh, and my impression of how a post-series Council would work:

- Slayers staying (mostly) in their home towns
- patrolling much in the style that Buffy always did (aimless wandering through likely vampire-attracting areas)
- meeting up after patrol for coffee with fellow Slayers
- meeting up every week to train together
- having a website full of Slayer-related stuff, and lots of emails going back and forth
- being affiliated with a "squad" who might, on occasion, end up going somewhere else to take care of the latest apocalypse

(For further details, see pretty much any of my post-series fics, which tend to follow this theme.)

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 20:22 (UTC)
No problem

<--loves your icon :D

Posted by: Denita (menomegirl)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 20:54 (UTC)

Very, very good poll!

I didn't pick any of your choices for this question: Would money be a problem for the new Slayers? because I've always thought the Watcher's Council had money like Anne Rice's Talamasca had money.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 21:36 (UTC)

Thanks! :-)

I had to Google Talamasca...

The thing is, I can certainly imagine the Watchers' Council having vast resources; but I also see them as being buried under multiple false names and blind trusts and so forth. Unfortunately, the only people with passwords and access to everything got blown up by Bringers, and piecing it all together again is a slow, tedious nightmare.

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 22:05 (UTC)

I think it started out with the Scoobies going to the far corners searching for all the new Slayers. That there were limited WC resources they tapped. That all the searching and traveling while not working and producing more income used most of these resources. That and buying some facilities, weapons, etc, alongside basic living expenses. Buffy's now got three (okay, maybe four) full-time jobs - 1) slaying 2) finding new slayers 3) training Slayers 4) leading Slayer organization. So which shift exactly is she supposed to be working at the Doublemeat Palace, I wonder...

As for recruiting Slayers, how do you sell a destiny as the Slayer along with the fact that you've also got to now pay for it, too. For girls like Kendra who grew up with respect for the Slayer instilled in them, maybe okay. But imagine someone knocking on your door, telling you you're destined to fight evil (and possibly die young) and that you need to come join this group of fighters and that you also need to redirect a serious amount of money to fund this organization that's not only demanding your life's devotion, but part of your family's means of supporting itself. It's the inverse of reality. To compare it to terrorist organizations who give huge amounts of money to the families of suicide bombers, instead we have suicide Slayers (ok, one hopes they don't die really) who are not only stealing a family's daughter, but demanding that the family pay for it. Am I the only one who finds that odd and almost impossible to pitch?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th September 2009 22:46 (UTC)

The thought has occurred to me that most of the Slayers who actually leave home and join Buffy might be the ones trying to escape a horrible or absent family life. The gang members, the homeless kids, the ones from abusive families, the refugees... The ones with secure homes and loving families are mostly in the 75% of Slayers who decline to join her organisation.

Of course, you'd also get the true believers, the ones who genuinely believe that saving the world is the right thing to do. After all, the new Slayers are all teenagers, who tend to be impractical and idealistic and romantic... And in 'The Chain', we saw Not!Buffy was searching for answers about herself and her dreams and actively sought out the Slayer Army for help and information.

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 00:32 (UTC)

Don't have much to say that I haven't already said in a reply somewhere - but interesting poll indeed. And haha, I agreed with the majority on almost every question. And messed up your poll by checking most of the checks on those questions - at times they all made sense!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 00:35 (UTC)

Well, as long as you don't imitate certain people around here and tick both that Buffy would never, ever even consider having sex with another woman, and that she and Faith were at it like bunnies in Season 3...

(Unless she interpreted "like bunnies" to mean they were eating carrots, hopping around, and catching myxamatosis?)

Posted by: Randall Randall (randallsquared)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 01:32 (UTC)

About the bank robbery: the most plausible explanation based on the first seven seasons is that she was bored and unchallenged. Frankly, all the Scoobies, Buffy as much as any of them, are the villains in any story where they don't immediately have a Big Bad to fight. We saw this in season six: if there's no overriding reason to be good, they summon demons and steal things and use forceful magics on each other and take any opportunity to get ahead if they happen to be invisible...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 11:23 (UTC)

To be fair, they usually have a reason that seems like a good idea at the time for all their antics. :-) But you're right that none of them are paragons of virtue.

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 02:05 (UTC)

I'm finding it interesting how many people said that Buffy wouldn't go to the government because they wouldn't believe her.

After all, "I have superstrength and so do all these people" really isn't that hard to prove. Ditto magic and vampires.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 11:24 (UTC)

True; but Buffy had many years of the authorities apparently not noticing the supernatural menaces wandering the streets of Sunnydale, or trying to cover it up if it became too obvious to ignore. Why would she think central governments would be any different?

Posted by: Maia (green_maia)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 02:34 (UTC)

I see Buffy as essentially a pragmatist. She has a strong conscience and a strong sense of responsibility, but in the end she will do whatever works.

And: Buffy is at her most ruthless when she feels most responsible. (For instance, in "When She Was Bad" when she feels responsible for the her friends being captured, she tortures a vampire - and never shows any signs of guilt or remorse.)
[Side not on that: a few years ago I wrote a post about how scenes like that one in WSWB contribute to the pernicious notion that torture is an effective means of obtaining useful information. After all, if Buffy tortures a vampire and finds out exactly what she needs to know to save her friends, surely we can torture suspected terrorists and find out exactly what we need to know to stop a dirty bomb from going off in Times Square.]

I don't read the comics, but BtBR doesn't surprise me. OTOH, I'm passionately against the Slayer spell because I don't think any human beings are capable of having that kind of power without abusing it. Power corrupts, etc. The thing is to keep any one person or group of people from getting too much power. Superpowers, if they existed, would be inherently wrong. In Buffyverse, they are a necessary evil - but I think the Shadowmen struck the right balance. One Slayer can keep the world from ending but never be able, as 2maggie2 says, to try to "fix" it. Have a large number of Slayers, and you're going to start thinking you can "fix" the world - and that way lies extreme badness.

Also: organizing a large group is very, very, VERY different from organizing a small group. No one has ever figured out a way to organize a large group without massive bureaucracy. Whether anyone wants there to be an army or not, a large number of Slayers will become an army - because that's the way human group dynamics work.

[The very best-case scenario I could come up with in Gifts-verse is that there is a Slayers Council AND a Watchers Council and that they operate as two separate organizations and check each other's power...but I don't really believe that could actually work, which is one reason I've pretty much given up on the Gifts-verse.]

Basically, I think the inevitable result of the Slayer spell would be a totalitarian nightmare.

So, actually it would surprise me more if bank-robbing is really the worst thing they're doing. That's a lot
tamer than the dystopian scenarios my brain comes up with.

Yes, I have read too much situationist psychology. Sue me. ;-)

ETA: Yes, I am aware of the irony in using the phrase "Buffy is essentially" in the same post as I mention situationist psychology. But you see, I am essentially a bundle of contradictions...


Edited at 2009-09-09 02:48 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 11:31 (UTC)

About 50% of your post makes me want to say "Yes, exactly!" and the other half "No, no, not at all!", so you're not the only bundle of contradictions. :-)

This is probably not the place or time to get into a long discussion of the nature of power - I've written entire essays on my views in the past - suffice to say that I agree that power can be dangerous, but also that lack of power can be even more dangerous. Power's like fire, humanity's third-oldest tool. (I assume "the rock" and "the pointy stick" are older.)

Posted by: Caroline (jamalov29)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 06:27 (UTC)
Header matching

In response to 2.
I think 'settling down' in domestic!bliss with Spike and keep on doing her Slayer duty aren't mutually exclusive.;)
I'm not following the comics, so my views aren't based on anything more than the show .

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 11:33 (UTC)

Well, half her attraction to Spike is because he fights right there alongside her. :-) But my interpretation of 'domestic bliss' would rule out constantly travelling halfway around the world to help out Slayer squads or fight apocalypses.

Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 14:38 (UTC)

I did part of this and then lost the other part and then I thought... what S8 'should' have been depends entirely upon what kind of story you want to tell. The problems with S8 as it stands aren't that it's inherently out of character or unbelievable that there should be a Slayer army or that the characters would never do this, that, or the other thing. It's just that in a number of cases, we haven't really been given the reason why it's the way it is - and the way it is, in and of itself, isn't so fantastically compelling that every member of the audience can just shrug and go with it.

I could live without knowing exactly why Buffy decided to rob banks, or why she and Dawn are so distant, or why she thinks they need to become the Initiative Mark II, or why she decided that taking all the new Slayers away from their families was a great idea, or why she and Giles are mysteriously estranged and then just as mysteriously reconciled, or why she thinks, after the disaster of S7, that the way to go is to be more General Buffy than ever, or.... I can fanwank any one of those things.

But when I have to fanwank all of then, I start to think, "Why bother?"

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 9th September 2009 17:21 (UTC)

Lol at your icon!

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