Mister Pterodactyl
Thursday, October 21, 2004
This post and the previous one are in response to NZ Bear’s Heroes for Bush effort. Scroll down for details. Even though he's not looking for essays, I couldn't resist comparing Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the global war on terror.

First a word about demons. Generally associated with supernatural evil, in the Buffyverse, a demon is simply a creature from another dimension and, as illustrated by characters such as Lorne, the green-skinned nightclub owner on Angel, not necessarily evil. Of course, the evil ones are by far more in evidence; whether that’s due to their predominance among demons, or to the fact that they’re the ones Buffy is concerned with (and thus the others rarely show up on screen), is unknown and really not that important.

What is important is this: a number of ‘people,’ extradimensional immigrants if you will, have surreptitiously arrived and are living here and some (possibly most) of them want to kill the natives, sow chaos and fear, and, in extreme cases, destroy the world. And they either keep out of sight or find ways of blending in, the better to carry out their plans.

As the Slayer, Buffy’s job is to root out and destroy them before they get a chance. In doing so, she can’t afford to wait and react; people die that way. So Buffy goes on regular patrols to hunt vampires. Her network of informants keep her up to date on the latest ‘who’s who in evildoing.’ A collection of books and various other resources provide the info on bad guys, what they want, and how to deal with them. And when they’re ready, they come up with a plan and execute it. Sometimes they get taken by surprise, but more often than not when the big bad shows up, they’re ready for it.

Although they lack the firepower to actually deter demons from coming to wreak havoc, they aren’t afraid to get pre-emptive. Faith scouts out vampire lairs for daytime raids (there are no recorded instances of Buffy doing this; it’s a ‘Faith-based initiative’). Angel, in the last season of his show, infiltrates a ‘cell,’ so to speak, to its highest levels in order to bring it down. Buffy brings a rocket launcher to the battle with the Judge and mobilizes the entire senior class to fight the mayor. She readily joins forces with the military-run Initiative, whose entire (stated) purpose is ‘get them before they get us.’ And in the series finale she goes after the big bad on it’s turf instead of waiting for it to come out.

In summary, there is a group of ‘alien’ beings living on this plane, a subset of which is here specifically to do harm. Buffy and co. oppose that subset with vigilance, intelligence gathering and pre-emptive strikes.

I guess that would make the Watchers’ Council kind of the UN of the Buffyverse, huh?

UPDATE: Via Truth Laid Bear, here's Ranten N. Ravens making the same point, through a conversation between Buffy and Xander.

Yeah, but what does Sponge Bob Squarepants say?
1) you tell me.
2) you're commenting on the wrong post anyway.
Really puts it all in perspective. Thank you, pop culture.
I agree the Council of Watchers is the UN and you remember what happened to CoW in season 7, don't you?

Yeah, but you did not see Buffy go to Lorne's dimension and bomb it back to the stone age. Too many have died on both sides looking for the mythical WMD. Change is coming soon.
Yeah, anonymouse, but Buffy wanted to be a long running series, we don't.
Yeah, change is coming... after W's re-election we will elect a different Republican in another 4 years.
Todd, how is it that you get more responses on a post about Buffy than anything else? What kind of readers have you been soliciting? (Lance and I read 'cause we're kinfolk.)
The Bear linked to both these posts. I'm getting a lot of new traffic from it.

I see I've got some anonymouses (anonymi?). That blogger sign-in is kind of a pain. The second guy does have a point, though: we bombed the hell out of them, so they retaliated by hijacking some planes and flying them into some buildings... oh, wait..
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