Tag Archive for: Buffy

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Buffy the Vampire Slayer

My youngest son has a lot of ambitions, and he’s pretty good
at achieving them. Very determined in quite a praiseworthy way when he’s aiming
at living and studying for a year in London and gets waylaid at the last minute
by ulcerative colitis that put him in the hospital with IVs pumping blood back
into his nearly bloodless body, yet makes it to London the next year. It’s more
like stubborn when his goal is to drag me kicking and screaming into 21st-century
popular culture.
I stopped watching television back in the late 1980s because
I was a working (and going-to-school) single mom and needed to find time to
write somehow without taking time away from my kids. I stopped keeping up with
pop music earlier sometime in the *shudder* disco age. After I grew up enough
to stop wearing bell-bottoms and mini-skirts, I stopped paying any attention to
fashion. I’ve always been a person who danced to my own drum, one who lived in
books and on paper, very introverted and introspective. And then I was a
workaholic. So American popular culture passed me by.
My older two kids seem just fine with that. Of course Mom is
just out of it and doesn’t know what’s cool. *eloquent shrug* But the youngest,
who’s over twelve years younger than his brother and sister, decided somewhere
along the road that it was his duty to bring me current with the world of
movies, music, TV, celebrities, all the trivia that a normal American would
just know.
This started when I had a demanding job running a combined
campus and community women’s center at our local university. I was always
understaffed and had to raise all the money for our programs myself. My son,
Joseph, became my right-hand computer geek. When something went wrong with our
computers, Joseph fixed it. When I needed our computers to do something that
they couldn’t do, Joseph managed to get them to do it. When our website needed
updating and I had no money to pay for IT, Joseph updated it and even
redesigned it. He was a lifesaver, but he had a price.
For each of these jobs and others, I had to watch so much
TV, animé,
or video game with him. First, it was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We went through
all of his boxed DVDs, and I became a fan—Spike!!!—who watched the last couple
of seasons as they were broadcast with him to my husband’s confusion and
dismay. (Did I mention that my husband is like me? And that Joseph eventually
talked him into going to a Communiversity class on feminist agency in Buffy the
Vampire Slayer?) 

Once Buffy was covered, he insisted on Marmalade Boy, a popular
Japanese animé adapted for TV from an even more popular manga. (Animé are
Japanese animated films and TV series while manga are Japanese graphic novels/comic
books, usually with outlandish premises like a boy turned into a girl or a girl
who’s also a fox demon or something much more bizarre.) I would never have
believed I could become fond of an animated TV romance about Japanese teenagers
whose parents were divorcing and marrying each other—with English subtitles.
Altogether, albeit it was during the time when Joseph was so very ill, we
watched all
76 episodes of Marmalade Boy. I call that true motherly love
Then, there was his insistence that I watch as he played Final
Fantasy 10 all the way through for probably the seventh time so that I could
see the “wonderful character arcs” and the “great storyline.” I did not ever
take him up on his offer to use the controls. After that, there were lots of
others, including Firefly, Dr. Who, Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog, and Glee.
Now, Joseph has moved back in with us for a while, and he’s
already started—Orange Is the New Black and the Dr. Who audiodramas. I draw the
line at American Horror Story, however. Stay tuned to see how this battle of
wills plays out. (He whispers, “Hint: Joseph wins.” *evil laugh*)
Note: Blogger will still not allow me to post
comments on The Stiletto Gang or my own blog (though I can post on other
Blogger blogs). So I will respond to your comments on our Facebook page, so
visit us there at https://www.facebook.com/stilettogang.



I’m going to try responding to comments here since I know everyone isn’t on Facebook–there are some people even more out of it than me it seems. 🙂

Ramona, you–and Joseph–are right. buffy has great story and character arcs. And Spike! he inspired a whole sequence of my poems, “Coyote in Love.” Some of my most popular poems with women.

Kristopher, yeah, Joseph’s a pretty amazing young man. He just took a job teaching at Haskell Indian Nations University and made me the proudest mom in the world. I do like Orange is the New Black, but I’m drawing the line at American Horror Story, though I love Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates.

Katreader, yes. Buffy seriously rocks.

Sally, didn’t you love the musical episode, “Once More With Feeling”?

Mary, Joseph and I have always shared tons of interests. He loves to write, to read mysteries and fantasy/sf, loved opera, has read and loved the classics I adore (and has taught them), loves to knit and bake. Consequently, it’s natural that he’d want to share his interests with me. It’s a fair trade–except forAmerican Horror Story.

One More Blog About Twilight

or  I Know, I Can’t Believe We’re Still Talking About It Either
by Bethany Maines
A friend of mine and I were comparing notes on the Twilight
series, which she loved and I mildly enjoyed enough to make it through the
first book and then wikipedia the plots of the others so I could find out what
happened in the end.  Our
discussion centered on the fact that much of the media portrays Bella as a
passive, whiny person who contrasts poorly with the likes of Hermione, Buffy,
Katniss or Leia.  My friend thought
that since Bella didn’t have super powers that she would never compare well in
any competition with Buffy et all. 
I thought that while some of the media interpretation of her whininess
is undeserved, that Bella, super powers or not, just isn’t much of a strong
feminist role model.  The argument
eventually concluded with, “Yeah, well, you know what’s feminist? Writing
whatever you want and not having to censor yourself because feminists won’t
like it.”  Oh, snap. Point and
But I think there’s another reason that Bella isn’t an
apples to apples comparison to Buffy, Hermione, or Leia.  Each of those three happened upon love
while pursuing a greater cause. 
They had epic events with some love.  But Bella flipped that around – she fell in love and then
had a few epic events. And of those two scenario’s, which sounds more likely to
happen to your average teenager?  I
don’t wonder that Bella resonates with a generation ­– falling in love, getting
depressed, getting back together, it’s all part and parcel of being a
But… I just don’t like the decisions that Bella made. As a
kid I thought Eowyn (LoTR), Esther (Bible), and Leia (Star Wars) were
awesome.  Smart, strong, sexy women
with a rebellious streak and a thing for royalty (except for Leia, who of
course, liked scruffy looking nerf herders).  My parents went out of their way to point out good role
models because they wanted me to know that women could do whatever they
wanted.  But what if I had wanted
to be married at 18 to my on-again off-again boyfriend like Bella did?  That would not have gone over well with
anyone in my family except for my really sexist grandmother. If my best friend
in high-school had been Bella, I would have been fairly horrified at her
decision making skills, and chalked it up to an a broken family and low
I know, I know, Twilight is just a fiction novel – not a
how-to manual for life.  It’s a
romantic story that features star-crossed true-love and a happy ending.  But if I ever have any offspring of the
female persuasion I won’t be pointing out Bella; I’ll be pointing at Stephenie
Meyer and saying, “Look how she wrote a book that touched the lives of millions
of people – you can do that to!”  
Bethany Maines is the author of Bulletproof Mascara, Compact With the Devil and Supporting the Girls.  Catch up with her at www.bethanymaines.com or check out the new Carrie Mae youtube video.