@raised amongst catalogs Ditto! Ditto to all of this! (Except for the formerly living in Metro Detroit part, although I did work in Dearborn Heights for a year.)
@PatatasBravas Yes! I grew up in rural MI, and for years (I can't remember if it's still there or not), there was a house right off a main road with a satellite dish in their yard with a giant Confederate flag draped over it. It's not like there was an uncountable number of pickups in my HS parking lot with "stars and bars" bumper stickers, but it was definitely more than a few. And every time, I have an eyeroll and an internal shout of "you're in the north, dumbass! Even if they'd have won, you wouldn't be there!"
@skyslang Me too, pretty much. Like, unless my parents have a secret TARDIS or something, I know just based on the constraints of how time works that they met each other no later than the fall of 1987, and I was born in September of 1988, so do the math there. My mom was 19 when I was born, and my dad was 20. They did get married before I was born, but that didn't even last long enough for me to have memories of them as a married couple. *shrug* It is what it is. I have no illusions about where I came from, but it's not like I was mistreated or unwanted once I was here, so I wouldn't say that my parents were "negligent." I would definitely agree that there was a tendency toward emotional immaturity while I was growing up, though.
When my mom went through the process of getting her marriage to my dad officially annulled through the Catholic church so that she could marry her current husband in the Church (she converted in order to marry him; neither she nor my dad were raised Catholic, and my dad isn't religious at all), my dad and I basically just made a big joke about whether the erasure of their marriage would make me illegitimate.
@RubeksCube I believe there is only one particular A Queer Chick, Lindsay Miller, as opposed to the rotating panel of other advice-givers. But yes, she is fabulous.
@JadedStone Yes! Ditto "No one is objectively attractive, either, except Naya Rivera."
@aubrey! Kind of late to the party, but I'm guessing that's "Alas, Babylon" by Pat Frank.
@She Saved The World, Alot Aaaah, I didn't mean to disappear, I just had work eat my life for a couple days. Anyway: That came out totally wrong on my end! I didn't mean to come across like, "well the shoe didn't CALL it rape, therefore it's not, check please." I was more thinking, "it wasn't as explicitly referenced/graphically and violently shown, so it doesn't stand out as much to me or make me want to hit the fast-forward button as much." But you're absolutely right -- the very fact that that's my reaction and that that's the common reaction and that that's the reaction the showrunners expected me to have, that it isn't that big of deal, makes it into a much bigger, more problematic deal, because it's being glossed over and normalized. Thank you for calling me out on that.
In terms of going with the "magic = drugs" metaphor, though, it just gets so messed up because it WAS a metaphor for lesbian sex for so long, and it was portrayed as a positive, empowering thing (for the most part; there was the occasional warning from Giles that Willow was getting in too deep, too fast, but none of that gave off a "this is your brain on spells" type of message), and then all of a sudden it was bad and she needed to stop doing it altogether. That metaphorical weirdness throws off the whole ending, too (although I still tear up when that little girl adjusts her grip on the bat and smiles!).
Good for you for getting yourself out of a bad situation and being so forthright about it. It's so great too that you were able to recognize some aspect of yourself and your situation and find a way to feel better about it -- this is why Buffy is so great, because it allows room for that sort of thing. I guess that kind of makes me rethink my stance on Spuffy, that it was able to mean something so positive for you (and probably for others)... I just get irritated when you have those girls who "like bad boys" and think that Spuffy is so much better/hotter/preferable to Buffy/Angel without any acknowledgement of the fact that that relationship was actually really destructive and borne out of two people taking advantage of each other, rather than two people who care for each other. But your points about Spike's character development through that arc is interesting, too. Now I want to go back and rewatch some of that...
(As for the TMI, don't worry -- I'm constantly dropping major TMI bombs on people that I barely know, because I have interesting stories that don't make sense until you know all this complicated and terrible backstory, and then they're gaping at me and I'm just like, "no, you're missing the funny part!" So no worries, lol.)
Also, that lj is AMAZING and I now want to read everything that dude has ever written.
Also also, LOL your dad and his secret Buffy love (my dad loves Star Trek too! And he collects comic books. He's just a big ol' nerd, basically). And yay for progress (even if it's slow progress?)!
@She Saved The World, Alot Also, your conversations with your dad about Buffy are hilarious to me, because this is how my first conversation with my dad about Buffy went:
Dad: [Watching his S3 dvds, already near the end of Graduation Day]
Me: [Walk into the living room just in time to see the giant, poorly-CGIed snake appear. Sit down on the couch and watch the rest of the episode with him, mainly out of curiosity/bewilderment]
Me: WTF was that????
Dad: [Hands me S1 dvds]
I watched S1 in a single night with my best friend, but the rest of the seasons I watched with my dad and my younger brother. I was only there on the weekends, so we'd watch multiple episodes in a single sitting, staying up until all hours of the night, and we finally watched S7 in the car on the way to Florida to visit my grandparents (my dad made my step-mom drive so he could sit in the back with us and watch Buffy on the portable dvd player). So it was kind of "our show."
Also, one time I mentioned something about the show's use of magic as metaphor for lesbian sex with Willow and Tara, and my dad had no idea what I was talking about (despite this being the kind of thing he would normally pick up on), so I had to explain it to him. I was probably... 17 at the time? So NO NOT AWKWARD AT ALL (except, actually not all that awkward, because my family's always been VERY open).
@She Saved The World, Alot DUDE. If I could make a living out of watching and analyzing and talking about my favorite tv shows, I would be a happy camper. If I was more sure about the job prospects, I would have majored in American Studies in a heartbeat. As it is, I just got to take a couple of American Studies classes, including one that was supposed to be about Buffy but ended up being about apocalyptic fiction in general (still cool), mostly from the 1950s and focusing on straight white dudes (not so cool), and another one that was about comics and let me write about Marvel's Runaways and spill my little shipper heart all over the page.
Yeah, there are a LOT of issues around murky consent happening in S6. I'm glad that the ish with Willow and Tara is shown to be a bad thing, but it's not really portrayed as rape-y so much as just Willow being selfish and not really thinking about the ramifications of her magic use -- a symptom of her "addiction." And when they're back together at the beginning of Seeing Red, there's no magic, and that's presented positively. So while there's definitely some shady, rape-y stuff going on with Willow and Tara, it doesn't bother me quite as much as the Spuffy rape scene, which was much more explicit.
With a lot of the silly episodes, I'm still fond of them for the character moments they contain (like, I love Witch, even though it's such a silly episode, because magic-drugged-Buffy is just so cute and hilarious), but there are still a couple of episodes that I just cannot stand. Like Wrecked and Smashed. And Where the Wild Things Are (or as I've heard it described, "the creepy sex episode"). Where the Wild Things Are, in addition to being just a terrible episode, just pisses me off because (a) WAY TO HIGHLIGHT THE DOUBLE STANDARD by having AN ENTIRE EPISODE about Buffy/Riley sex, but Willow and Tara weren't even allowed to KISS until S5!!!!! and (b) Buffy/Riley sex. Ew.
SO pissed off at Empty Places, omg. LEAVE IF YOU DON'T WANT HER THERE. IT'S HER FREAKING HOUSE. And for me, the most anger-inducing Xander moment is in Becoming, when he's supposed to tell Buffy that Willow's going to try to re-ensoul Angel again, and instead he just encourages her to kill Angel, like IF SHE'D KNOWN WHAT WAS GOING ON, THINGS COULD HAVE GONE SO DIFFERENTLY!!! AND THEN HE GOT TOTALLY LET OFF THE HOOK FOR IT, IT DOESN'T EVEN GET MENTIONED AGAIN UNTIL SEASON 7!!! Grrr.
With Spuffy, even before Seeing Red, their relationship is so fucked up, where they hate each other, and his affection for her is largely sexual (it's not like he admires her strong principles or not killing people, or whatever), and the fact of BuffyBot's existence, while providing for some wonderfulness later on, is just creepy, and then in S6 he's mainly there taking advantage of her pain, and she's sleeping with someone she hates mainly because of how much she hates herself, like it's almost her version of self-harm (she even describes it as something she does just to force herself to feel something other than numb, which is basically how self-mutilation was described to me by an old roommate who struggled with it, like she would dissociate and feel not connected to her body and the physical-ness of self-harm brought her back, and that pain was preferable to dissociation), and maybe destructive, fucked up relationships like that do happen, but they're not ones that I want to watch or cheer for, even in a fictional context. And then even after he gets his soul back, and the nature of their relationship changes because he's officially one of the good guys... I still refuse to believe that he actually went out in search of a soul, rather than looking for something that would give him power over Buffy, to let him "give her what she deserved." I hated that twist, that it's very apparent that he's looking to do damage to her and then "oh look, he got his soul back instead!" and then it's played off like that's what he was after the whole time and I just... ugh.