Wednesday, 28 December 2016

True Royalty

Phenomelanin (as opposed to Eumelanin), associated with blonde hair, blue eyes, green eyes, fair skin and Red Hair is "a Mutation" of the Melanin producing human gene.

Redheads are Mutants.

"For me, personally, it's brunettes.

But redheads are the wildcard...."

David Lynch

The Storyteller

"The Bardic tradition of magic would place a Bard as being much higher and more fearsome than a Magician.  

A Magician might curse you.  

That might make your hands lay funny or you might have a child born with a club foot.  

If a Bard were to place not a curse upon you, but a satire, then that could DESTROY YOU.

If it was a clever satire, it might not just destroy you in the eyes of your associates; it would destroy you in the eyes of your family. 

It would destroy you in your own eyes.  
Print of Kean playing Richard III, from a mid 19th century performance of the play.

And if it was a finely worded and clever satire that might survive and be remembered for decades, even centuries. 

 Then,years after you were dead people still might be reading it and laughing at you and your wretchedness and your absurdity."

- Alan Moore

You know, the psychology of developing fantasies is a very interesting and delicate thing. 

I’ve come across people that have no imaginations at all, and it’s a very interesting… .

They become journalists.

Well, it’s — it’s — it — 

I was shocked the first time I came across it.

And — because I just assumed everybody had an imagination.

And when you — you confront somebody who doesn’t, especially a child, it’s a very interesting and profound thing to me. 

It — an imagination is a — is a trait, you know. 

It’s like anything else. It’s a — it’s a — it’s a talent, or it’s an ability you have to cope.

 Like dreaming.

The Fisher Queen

I Drowned in Moonlight, Strangled by My Own Bra.

"I quickly learned that there was no lingerie in Space - what there was was Gaffer Tape."
"Loose 10lbs Immediately."

" In her autobiographical book Shockaholic, Carrie Fisher claims that [Evan] Chandler was her dentist, and was known as the “dentist to the stars,” happily accommodating questionable requests by the famous in exchange for being associated with them. 

In the late 1980s, addict Fisher would get unnecessary dental surgery just to obtain morphine from him. 

Fisher claimed Chandler could be persuaded via financial incentives or “favors” to come to a patient’s house to administer drugs. 

His license plate read “SLEEP MD”. In the book, Fisher refers to Chandler as “strange”, referring to him as “this freak”, saying Chandler told her in the privacy of a dental visit that 

“"My son is VERY (unsettling smile, raised eyebrows, maybe even a lewd wink) good looking…

It was grotesque. This man was letting me know that he had this valuable thing that Michael Jackson ‘wanted’”. 

She describes how shortly afterwards, he reversed himself and in 1993 told Fisher he was bringing charges against Jackson, and at that time was “shocked with moral indignation”. Fisher then states, 

This was the time I knew I had to find another dentist. No drug can hide the feeling of one’s skin crawling…

I never thought that Michael’s whole thing with kids was sexual. 

Never. As in Neverland. 

Granted, it was miles from appropriate, but just because it wasn’t normal doesn’t mean that it had to be perverse. 

Those aren’t the only two choices for what can happen between an adult and an un-related child hanging out together…and yes, he had an amusement park, a zoo, a movie theatre, popcorn, candy and an elephant, but to draw a line under all that and add it up to the assumption that he fiendishly rubbed his hands together as he assembled this giant super spiderweb to lure and trap kids into it is just bad math.”

I was only 16, but I guess that's no excuse
My sister was burnin' to love me and loose

She don't wear no underwear
She's so lonely, gets in her hair
And it's got a funny way of stoppin' the juice

My sister never made love to anyone else but me
She's the reason for my, uh, sexuality

Showed me where it's supposed to go
A blow job doesn't mean blow
Incest is everything it's said to be

Oh, sister
Don't put me on the street again
Oh, sister
I just want to be your friend

I was only 16 and only half a man
My sister didn't give a goddamn

She only wanted to turn me out
She took a whip to me until I shout

Oh, motherfucker's, just a motherfucker
Can't you understand?

Oh, sister
Don't put me on the street again
Oh, sister
I just want to be your friend

I know what you want me to do
Put me on the street and make me blue
Oh, sister, ooh sister, ooh

"As soon as I've written this book, it's no longer true of me - so it always makes me laugh when people say "Are they autobiographical?"

"Not any more!"

If I am able to say it, and name it, it is no longer so (precisely), if I can observe it, I no longer have to be it.

I'm free to be something else also.


Carrie told The Advocate, 

"Wow! I mean, my feeling about John has always been that we know and we don't care. 
Look, I'm sorry that he's uncomfortable with it, and that's all I can say. 
It only draws more attention to it when you make that kind of legal fuss. Just Leave it be."

 When John Belushi wasn't on set, he went everywhere in Chicago. When he did, everybody was slipping him vials and packets of coke. 
That was in addition to what he could procure, or have procured, for himself, often consumed in his trailer or at the private bar on set he had built for himself, his longtime friends, the cast and any visiting celebrities. 

Carrie Fisher, who John Landis had warned to keep Belushi away from drugs if she could, said almost everyone who had a job there also dealt, and the patrons could (and did) score almost anything there.

So Princess Leia has an excuse for that bizarre hairstyle after all.

Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher has admitted taking drugs on the set of The Empire Strikes Back.

The star, now 53, said she snorted cocaine as she sat on the film’s famous Ice Planet in the second film released in the phenomenally successful big screen franchise.

Carrie Fisher
Troubled: Carrie Fisher recently revealed that she was doing cocaine on the set of her hit 1980 movie, The Empire Strikes Back, in which she played Princess Leia

‘I didn’t even like coke that much, it was just a case of getting on whatever train I needed to take to get high,’ she said yesterday.

She made the admission while visiting Sydney for her ‘Wishful Drinking’ stand-up comedy show.

Now a successful writer and comedienne, she said her life had been defined by addiction, with stints in psychiatric hospitals and rehab clinics and, on one occasion, the emergency room with an overdose.

Even one of Hollywood’s most infamous addicts, Animal House and Blues Brothers star John Belushi – who died himself from a drug overdose in 1982 – warned Ms Fisher about her drug problem.

‘Slowly I realised I was doing a bit more drugs than other people and losing my choice in the matter. 

'If I’d been addicted to booze I’d be dead now, because you just go out and get it,’ she added.

She didn’t say whether any of her Star Wars co-stars were also taking drugs, although she did say: ‘We did cocaine on the set of ‘Empire’ in the Ice Planet.’

Ms Fisher was born into Hollywood -- her mother, musical starlet Debbie Reynolds, was married to veteran crooner Eddie Fisher. Fisher, who died last month, left the family for Elizabeth Taylor when Carrie was just two.

The former star said she did not blame her broken family or the pressures of celebrity for her addictions.

‘It's always been my responsibility,’ she said. ‘If it was Hollywood to blame, then we'd all be dope addicts.’

Ms Fisher has written extensively about her battles with addiction in her autobiography ‘Wishful Drinking’ and her bestselling novel ‘Postcards from the Edge’, which was turned into a film starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.

"We had a budget in the movie for cocaine for night shoots,” 

Dan Aykroyd tells Vanity Faircontributing editor Ned Zeman of the careening, madcap production of John Landis’s 1980 movie, The Blues Brothers, in which he starred alongside John Belushi. 

“Everyone did it, including me. Never to excess, and not ever to where I wanted to buy it or have it. [But] John, he just loved what it did. It sort of brought him alive at night—that superpower feeling where you start to talk and converse and figure you can solve all the world’s problems.” From the impulsive and inspired 1979 movie pitch (“John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Blues Brothers, how about it?”), through the torturous journey of a project by turns musical, comedy, buddy movie, and bloated vanity proj­ect, Zeman chronicles the triumph of a film (and its stars) that often seemed beyond salvation.

In the feature, which appears in the January issue of V.F., Zeman uncovers the wild antics alternately plaguing and fueling the production:

“We took one look at each other. It was love at first sight.” He tells Zeman that Belushi was “one of those people like Teddy Roosevelt or Mick Jagger. He was just one of those great charismatics who turned heads and dominated a room.”

On Belushi’s decision to put off going to rehab for his worsening addiction:

“I’m fine,” Belushi told his wife Judy. “I can’t stop now until I finish the movie. It’ll be fine when it’s over.” For all the efforts of his friends and colleagues, Belushi was surrounded by enablers, according to Zeman, though Landis did his best to convert them: “For God’s sake,” he told Carrie Fisher when she arrived on set, “if you see John doing drugs, stop him.”

On how bad it really was:

Zeman recounts how, one night at three ᴀ.ᴍ. while filming on a deserted lot in Harvey, Illinois, Belushi disappeared, which was not uncommon. On a hunch, Aykroyd followed a grassy path until he spied a house with a light on. “Uh, we’re shooting a film over here,” Aykroyd says he told the homeowner. “We’re looking for one of our actors.” The man replied, “Oh, you mean Belushi? He came in here an hour ago and raided my fridge. He’s asleep on my couch.” Aykroyd didn’t call Belushi “America’s Guest” for no reason. He awoke Belushi, saying, “We have to go back to work.” The two walked back to the set as if nothing had happened.

On Belushi’s periods of sobriety:

At one point, Zeman writes, Aykroyd smashed his wristwatch, shouting at Belushi, “Do you want to end up like this?” Fisher tells Zeman, “He was really taking care of John.” Belushi met Smokey Wendell, a kind of bodyguard/anti-drug enforcer for Joe Walsh, a guitarist for the Eagles, and tried to keep him around. “If I don’t do something now,” Belushi told Wendell, “I’m going to be dead in a year or two.”

On Belushi’s beloved status in Chicago, where they were filming:

A trip to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, was “like being with Mussolini in Rome,” director John Landis tells Zeman. Belushi, having entered one of the stadium’s crowded bathrooms, smiled and shouted, “O.K., stand back!” Everyone retreated from the urinals. Belushi did his business and then, zipping his fly and beaming, said, “O.K., back you go!” Glazer recalls, “John would literally hail police cars like taxis. The cops would say, ‘Hey, Belushi!’ Then we’d fall into the backseat and the cops would drive us home.”

On getting through the movie’s big musical finale:

A kid had ridden past Belushi on a skateboard. Belushi asked to ride the board and then fell off it, injuring himself badly. Universal executive Sean Daniel recalls, “This was bad. We had to deal with it in the most effective and emergency-like way.” Wasserman called the top orthopedist in town. “It’s Thanksgiving weekend,” the doctor pointed out. “I’m on my way to Palm Springs.” “Not yet,” Wasserman replied. Thirty minutes later, the orthopedist wrapped and injected Belushi, who then gritted his way through the finale, which required him and Aykroyd to do cartwheels and dance steps with hundreds of extras at the Hollywood Palladium.

"Carrie Fisher, 19"

Tuesday, 27 December 2016


" The . . . Act of Succession had specified that a legal royal heir must be 

issue of her body lawfully to be begotten.” 

In 1571

“lawfully to be begotten” 

was struck by Parliament, permitting royal bastards to be legal heirs to the Crown. "

Legitimacy, Illegitimacy and Sovereignty in
Shakespeare’s British Plays
A thesis submitted to the University of Manchester for the degree of
PhD in the faculty of Humanities
Katie Pritchard

" By means of this extraordinary clause [in the 1571 Act], Elizabeth was opening the door to the possibility that even if she refrained from naming an illegitimate child as her successor, 
others might in time take the opportunity to do so. "

Red Hair is associated with True Royalty.

 If my dear love were but the Child of State,
It might for Fortune's bastard be unfather'd'
As subject to Time's love or to Time's hate,
Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gather'd.
No, it was builded far from accident; 
It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls
Under the blow of thralled discontent,
Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls:
It fears not policy, that heretic,
Which works on leases of short-number'd hours, 
But all alone stands hugely politic,
That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with showers.

To this I witness call the fools of time,
Which die for goodness, who have lived for crime.

Red Hair is associated with True Royalty.

It is associated with the bloodline of the last of the Neanderthal Augments.

Human-Neanderthal Hybrids.

Homo Sapiens
Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis
Earth-Gods created via genetic, psychosurgical and vivisectional augmentation by Space Gods.

Men like Arthur, Conan, Richmond or Aurakles.

Bastardy in Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, King John (1594-96):

  [K. John.]  Why, being younger born,
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?

  Bast.  I know not why, except to get the land.
But once he slander'd me with bastardy:
But whe’er I be as true begot or no,
That still I lay upon my mother's head,
But that I am as well begot, my liege
(Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me!),
Compare our faces and be judge yourself.
If old sir Robert did beget us both
And were our father and this son like him,
O old sir Robert, father, on my knee
I give heaven thanks I was not like to thee! (1.1.71-83)

  Bast.  Brother, adieu: good fortune come to thee!
For thou wast got i' the way of honesty.

Exeunt all but Bastard.

A foot of honour better than I was;
But many a many foot of land the worse.
Well, now can I make any Joan a lady.
'Good den, sir Richard!' – 'God-a-mercy, fellow!' –
And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men's names;
'Tis too respective and too sociable
For your conversion. Now your traveller,
He and his toothpick at my worship's mess,
And when my knightly stomach is sufficed,
Why then I suck my teeth and catechise
My picked man of countries: 'My dear sir,'
Thus, leaning on mine elbow, I begin,
'I shall beseech you' – that is question now;
And then comes answer like an Absey book:
'O sir,' says answer, 'at your best command;
At your employment; at your service, sir;'
'No, sir,' says question, 'I, sweet sir, at yours:'
And so, ere answer knows what question would,
Saving in dialogue of compliment,
And talking of the Alps and Apennines,
The Pyrenean and the river Po,
It draws toward supper in conclusion so.
But this is worshipful society
And fits the mounting spirit like myself,
For he is but a bastard to the time
That doth not smack of observation;
And so am I, whether I smack or no;
And not alone in habit and device,
Exterior form, outward accoutrement,
But from the inward motion to deliver
Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth:
Which, though I will not practise to deceive,
Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn;
For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising. (1.1.180-216) 

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99):

  D. John.  I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace, and it better fits my blood to be disdain’d of all than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any. In this (though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man) it must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle, and enfranchis’d with a clog, therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking. In the meantime let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me. (1.3.27-37)

  [Bene.]  If their wisdoms be misled in this,
The practise of it lives in John the Bastard,
Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies. (4.1.187-89)

William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (1601-03):

  Ther.  What art thou?

  Mar.  A bastard son of Priam’s.

  Ther I am a bastard too, I love bastards. I am bastard begot, bastard instructed, bastard in mind, bastard in valor, in everything illegitimate. One bear will not bite another, and wherefore should one bastard? Take heed, the quarrel’s most ominous to us. If the son of a whore fight for a whore, he tempts judgment. Farewell, bastard.(5.7.14-22)

William Shakespeare, King Lear (1605):

  Edm.  Thou, Nature, art my goddess, to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? Wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition, and fierce quality,
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word, “legitimate”!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top th’ legitimate. I grow, I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards! (1.2.1-22)

  Edm.  This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behaviour, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whore-master man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the Dragon's Tail, and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. Fut! I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. Edgar –  [Enter Edgar.]  and pat! he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy. My cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam. O, these eclipses do portend these divisions! Fa, sol, la, mi. (1.2.118-37)

William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale (1610-11):

  [Leon.]  My child? Away with't! Even thou, that hast
A heart so tender o'er it, take it hence
And see it instantly consumed with fire.
Even thou, and none but thou. Take it up straight.
Within this hour bring me word 'tis done,
(And by good testimony), or I'll seize thy life,
With what thou else call'st thine. If thou refuse
And wilt encounter with my wrath, say so;
The bastard brains with these my proper hands
Shall I dash out. Go, take it to the fire. (2.3.132-41)

William Shakespeare, The Tempest (1611):

  [Pros.]  This misshapen knave –
His mother was a witch, and one so strong
That could control The Moon, make flows and ebbs,
And deal in her command without her power.
These three have robb'd me, and this demi-devil
(For he's a bastard one) had plotted with them
To take my life. Two of these fellows you
Must know and own, this thing of darkness I
Acknowledge mine.

1571 | History of Parliament Online

3rd Parliament of Elizabeth I, 13 Eliz. I
17 Feb. 1571
2 Apr. 1571
29 May 1571
2 Apr. 1571-29 May 1571

Long description

In the interval of five years since her last Parliament Elizabeth had faced an uprising of rebellion fomented by Catholic nobles in the north of England, and received a bull of excommunication from Pope Pius V.1 Discontent and pressure for change was mounting on both sides of the Elizabethan Settlement of religion. Her current negotiations for marriage with the Catholic duke of Anjou (future Henri III of France) furthermore added to the anxieties of Protestant reformers. Anticipating that the Commons would be eager to enter into religious debates and again press for the royal succession to be settled, Elizabeth instructed them at the opening on 2 Apr. to ‘meddle with noe matters of state but such as should be propounded unto them, and to occupy themselves in other matters concerninge the commen wealth’.2 The selection of a royal serjeant-at-law, Christopher Wray, as Speaker was perhaps intended to ensure that this injunction be strictly enforced; it was he, sitting as an assize judge, who had recently dealt with the northern rebels at Lancaster, York and Carlisle. Fewer privy councillors than hitherto were available to help manage the Commons. Elizabeth’s right-hand man Sir William Cecil now sat in the House of Lords having been ennobled as Baron of Burghley shortly before the election writs were issued. It may be for this reason that conferences between the two Houses, which had previously been unusual, gradually became a standard parliamentary procedure on major subjects of debate during the rest of the reign.3
The size of the Commons had risen by nine percent since 1559, to a total of 438; at a call of the House on 5 Apr. several boroughs were found to have returned Members that had not done so in the last Parliament, prompting the appointment of a committee to investigate.4 This is the first Parliament of Elizabeth’s reign for which unofficial diaries of the Commons’ proceedings are extant; one was kept by an anonymous MP covering 2-21 April, and another of the whole session by John Hooker, burgess for Exeter. These provide a much fuller account of debates than the Commons Journal, which also became more detailed than in preceding Parliaments following Fulk Onslow’s appointment to replace John Seymour† as clerk.
The session began with an attempt to re-introduce several religious measures known as the ‘alphabetical bills’ that had failed in 1566. On 6 Apr. two notable parliamentarians, William Strickland and Burghley’s client Thomas Norton, made a ‘motion for uniformity in religion’ whereupon a committee was immediately appointed to confer with the bishops. A new bill to enforce church attendance was also read twice and committed. Thereafter things rapidly began to go awry. Strickland introduced a much more radical bill to revise the prayer book; this clearly did not have official backing but by association sabotaged the bishops’ programme of moderate reforms. Only two religious measures were eventually enacted, namely an ‘Act to reform certain disorders touching ministers of the church’ that required all clergy to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Article of religion, and an Act against simony in ecclesiastical leases. Elizabeth vetoed the bill ‘for coming to the church and receiving of the communion’ despite considerable support for it in both Houses and the Privy Council, and put a stop to further debate with a message on 1 May that ‘concerninge rytes and ceremonyes she, beinge supreme hedd of the Church, wolde consider thereof as the case sholde require’.5
At the first mention of a subsidy the notorious troublemaker Robert Bell (nicknamed “Bell the orator” for his role in 1566) raised a number of complaints particularly concerning the abuses of purveyors and royal licencees, and demanded redress of grievances before supply. In addition to the appointment of a committee to draft the subsidy bill a general committee for grievances was established for the first time, but Bell did not escape the queen’s displeasure. She sent a message on 10 Apr. that the Commons was not ‘to make new motions every man at his own pleasure’ or discuss matters touching her prerogative without prior permission.6 Both Bell and Strickland were summoned before the Privy Council and reprimanded; Strickland was even sequestered from the Commons for a short time before being permitted to resume his seat. After the Easter recess Peter Wentworth, whose brother Paul had defended freedom of speech in 1566, made an impassioned appeal against the intimidation of Members and called for the preservation of the Commons’ liberties. Speaker Wray restored order by reporting that the queen had promised ‘to take order for licences, wherein shee had bene carefull and more carefull woulde bee’, but in fact this ugly clash over the prerogative foreshadows the end of Elizabeth’s reign when monopolies granted by royal licence and letters patents would become a source of serious conflict between Crown and Parliament.7
Several important pieces of social and economic legislation were passed in 1571 including statutes legalizing usury (moneylending), and for the maintenance of tillage and the navy. A further government-sponsored bill made it treason to uphold the Pope’s bull of excommunication. This passed after heated debate, and at the close of the Parliament on 29 May elicited the comment from Elizabeth that at first sight ‘it lyked us not’, and particularly after revision by the Commons she ‘myslyked it very miche beinge not of the mynde to offer xtremitie or iniurie to any person’, though she consented to an amended version. A total of 29 Statutes and 12 private measures were enacted.
For further information on this Parliament, see the Appendix to the Introductory Survey for 1558-1603. 

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

End Notes

The Royal Succession Under Elizabeth

Author: Rosemary Sgroi
Even before her accession to the English throne Elizabeth was expected to marry and had no shortage of suitors. Once queen her prospective marriage became a matter of national importance and parliamentary debate because it was inseparable from the questions of who would succeed her on the throne and whether they would maintain the Protestant religion of the church established by the Elizabethan Settlement. Although she accepted in theory that it was her duty to provide an heir, Elizabeth clearly had a deep-seated aversion to the idea of marriage and was loath to be advised concerning either matrimony or the succession. Both Houses of Parliament saw fit to petition her repeatedly on these issues despite her evasive answers and attempts to block discussion of all such prerogative ‘matters of state’. In the Commons this was taken to impugn freedom of speech; it remained a source of tension even after pressure on Elizabeth to marry had been eclipsed by the problem of how to exclude undesirable contenders such as the Catholic Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, from taking the English throne. By refusing to name her heirs Elizabeth managed to manipulate the succession as a political tool throughout her reign, to the intense frustration of her counsellors, but ultimately as an effective strategy of self-assertion at home and abroad.
An impressive array of European princes including her sister’s widower Philip II of Spain, Archduke Charles of Austria (brother of the Holy Roman Emperor), and Eric of Sweden vied for Elizabeth’s hand at the start of the reign, as did English noblemen such as the earl of Arundel; however, she took none of them seriously. Rumour instead connected her with Sir Robert Dudley†, whom she appointed Master of the Horse upon her accession, and later created earl of Leicester. Marrying Dudley, the son and grandson of executed traitors, would have been unpopular and divisive; it is unclear whether Elizabeth ever really considered it, although many believed that this relationship was the true reason why she refused betrothal to anyone else. It was perhaps to combat scandalous gossip that in her reply to the Commons’ petition of Feb. 1559 she announced: ‘in the end this shalbe for me sufficient, that a marble stone shall declare that a queene, having raigned such a tyme, lived and dyed a virgin’. (Proceedings in the Parliaments of Elizabeth I, ed. T.E. Hartley, i. 44-5.)
By the mid-1560s Elizabeth had certainly ruled Dudley out. Her renewal of interest in the Catholic Archduke Charles’s proposal at this time was at least partly motivated by the desire to avoid pressure from Parliament, having received separate entreaties to marry from both Commons and Lords in 1563. She dispatched ambassadors to Vienna to negotiate terms with Charles ahead of the 1566 session but further clashes over the succcession were unavoidable. Of particular concern was the birth of James Stuart, who had a claim to the English throne via his mother, Elizabeth’s cousin Mary Queen of Scots. Elizabeth quashed parliamentary agitation by reminding a delegation from both Houses of the danger of being ‘a seconde parson as I have byn’, arguing that to limit the succession as they requested would entail ‘sum peryll unto yow, and certeyn dangere unto me’. (Procs. i. 145-9.) By 1572 Mary was a prisoner in England; however, Elizabeth refused to put her on trial for conspiring with the traitorous duke of Norfolk, and also vetoed a parliamentary bill excluding the Stuarts from the succession which had passed both Houses.
During the 1570s Elizabeth was courted first by Henri, duke of Anjou and then by his younger brother Francis, duke of Alençon. Parliament petitioned Elizabeth to marry for the last time in 1576 although by this time her prospect of having children was extremely unlikely. In her mid-forties she began to flirt more seriously with Francis her ‘frog’ after learning of the earl of Leicester’s secret marriage; Francis visited the English court in 1579 and his proposal received greater consideration than that of any previous suitor. However, the French match was unpopular, even amongst the privy council. When MPs John Stubbe and Philip Sidney wrote tracts against it Elizabeth was so offended that Stubbe’s right hand was cut off for sedition and Sidney was banished from Court. By the 1580s the marriage question was dead and Elizabeth instead cultivated the image of a glorious virgin queen.
The discovery of further treasonous plots involving Mary Stuart kept the succession in the spotlight throughout the period 1572-87. Following her eventual execution her son James VI of Scotland became the obvious frontrunner to succeed Elizabeth. Parliamentary feelings towards him were mixed; despite his appeal as a Protestant male heir to the throne Job Throckmortonargued against placing too much faith in the ‘younge impe of Scotlande’, while others conceded Elizabeth’s point that it might be dangerous while she lived to have ‘two suns in one firmament’. (Procs. ii. 264, 285.) In 1593 Peter Wentworth, the Commons’ most ardent proponent of free speech who had until recently been imprisoned in the Tower for writing a tract advancing James’ title as the future king of England, concocted a petition ‘for intayling the succession’ with the support of several Members including Henry Bromley. Unsurprisingly Elizabeth was ‘highly displeased therwithall as a matter contrarie to her former strate commaundement’ and Wentworth was recommitted to the Tower where he languished until his death. (Procs. iii. 68.) Over the ensuing decade James’ candidature became increasingly secure. While publicly refusing to formally acknowledge him as her heir Elizabeth and her counsellors, particularly Robert Cecil, did begin to conduct a secret and coded correspondence with James so that his accession to the English throne was automatically proclaimed at her death in March 1603.

Monday, 26 December 2016

The Ownership of Evil

Every man pays a price for redemption.
This is yours.

Lamont Cranston: 
I'm not lookin' for redemption!

You have no choice

You will be redeemed, because I will teach you to use your Black Shadow to fight evil.

Get me outta here! 
Refractory a Journal of Entertainment Media 

“‘You cannot run from your darkness.’

‘Who says I’m running?’:
Buffy and the Ownership of Evil” – Erma Petrova
March 6, 2003 by angelan

In this essay, Erma Petrova argues that, whereas the first seasons of Buffy focused on external threats that sought to corrupt the order of the world, the later seasons shifted the threat towards the internal – the result being that the show’s main characters embraced a side of themselves that was also evil, irrational, or dangerous. The Slayer is the one who must maintain the difference between good and evil and makes sure that good doesn’t become evil. At the same time, she is the most ambiguous one, the one who is ready to cut all ties with family and friends and kill people she loves, if necessary.

The requirement that she know exactly which side she must stay on (regardless of where those she loves are) gives her the responsibility to keep the other “other” at all costs even at the cost of becoming an “other” herself. Paradoxically, she protects the line that separates good from evil by crossing it and by becoming more and more “other.” 

While the first seasons of Buffy are structured around an external threat seeking to corrupt the order of the world, later the source of the threat becomes increasingly internal, and the characters must embrace a side of themselves which is evil, irrational, or dangerous. When Giles kills an arguably innocent Ben, he does not suffer the moral ambiguity that Willow encounters when she kills a guilty Warren. Willow has to deal with an evil internal to her in a way Giles does not, and this apparent discrepancy is the result of a general evolution of the series, rather than a double standard.

The murder of Ben is comparable to the murder of Warren, even though Ben is mostly innocent and Warren is mostly guilty. They are both human, and their deaths are necessary to stop further evil. Even though Ben cohabits the same body with the hell god Glory, he, as an independent being, is innocent of Glory’s actions, as the Scoobies uniformly agree: “What about Ben? He can be killed, right? I mean, I know he’s an innocent, but, you know, not, like ‘Dawn’ innocent. We could kill… a regular guy… (no we couldn’t) God.” Even the script directions (“no we couldn’t”) suggest that the way Xander delivers these lines should emphasize the moral impossibility of killing Ben as a way of stopping Glory. Being Glory is to Ben what being the Key is to Dawn: it could make him “other” but it cannot make him either good or bad on Glory’s behalf. It is true that Ben is guilty of other things — he summons the demon who kills (or merely finishes off) Glory’s brain sucked victims; and, in “Listening to Fear,” there is even a real chance that Joyce might get killed because of him (an event which Buffy prevents from happening).

It is also true that Ben betrays Dawn and humanity in general by selling his soul to Glory and agreeing to help her in exchange for his life (or, rather, his immortality). But the Scooby gang doesn’t know about any of these things and, even though Dawn obviously knows that Ben is a weak and, by virtue of the circumstances, treacherous human being because of his weakness, Giles certainly has no knowledge of any of Ben’s immoral actions when he kills him. Giles is acting on the assumption that Ben is completely innocent but powerless to stop Glory, should she ever wish to return for purposes of payback. Giles realizes that something needs to be done and that whoever does it will be incurring feelings of guilt — otherwise he would have left Buffy to do it. By saving her from the act of murder, Giles acknowledges the moral ambiguity of the act itself, the (apparent) innocence of Ben, and the inevitability of guilt for whoever happens to do what, in Giles’ view, has to be done. (Similarly, he would have killed Dawn, if he had to). But, we notice, feelings of guilt never come, and the ambiguity of this act never surfaces (script directions describe Giles during/after the murder this way: “Giles’ expression never changes”). Giles objectifies the evil — it is not in him, but he is merely the carrier, the means for an act which must be done, one way or another.

In contrast, when Willow kills Warren, a situation uncannily similar (i.e., a Scooby killing a human) results in entirely different moral consequences. Warren also, presumably, deserves to be killed, and, one way or another, somebody will have to do it. But the series makes sure we understand that there are restrictions to who can do it and that Willow is not morally eligible for it. In the case of Ben, anyone could be allowed to kill him (if we agree that he has to be killed), and the only requirement is that the “killer” is in fact physically capable of doing it and ready to take the responsibility for the act (similarly, when Giles realizes that Dawn may have to be killed, he knows that he cannot physically do it (because either Glory or Buffy would stop him), so he appeals to Buffy to see what has to be done). In the case of Warren, on the other hand, even though Willow is more than willing to take the responsibility and to perform the act (with great creativity), this is not enough anymore.

She needs a different kind of authority, the authority of not having chosen this solution. If the murder had been forced on her as the only way to protect Tara (and in time to protect her), then Willow would have had the right to take a life.

In the case of Ben, Giles is aware of the fact that there is no one else to kill him (the police are not capable to grasping the danger he represents, and Buffy is not ready to take the responsibility). In the case of Warren, there are multiple options for killing and/or arresting the “bad guy,” and Willow is not in a situation (e.g., self-defense) which compels her to do it herself. We are shown that, if other options are available, one should not take the responsibility for violence oneself.

And the series presents us more and more often with situations where other options are in fact available, which places on the shoulders of the characters the responsibility not to choose them; e.g., Willow has the option to kill or not to kill Warren; Buffy, in her dream vision of the mental hospital in “Normal Again,” has the option to kill or not kill her friends (both options seem acceptable to her), and even Spike, who can hardly be said to have any choice at all in the matter, somehow manages to discover more than one option (soul or not soul).

Multiple options in themselves are initially seen as a good thing: while “The Gift” begins with the grim prospect of Buffy either killing Dawn or destroying humanity, the gang works together to find another solution, and by the end of the episode new options have been found, foreshadowing both the availability of multiple choices without a right answer (both killing Dawn to save humanity and letting humanity be destroyed by not killing Dawn can seem like the right choice), and the self destructive solutions which all of the characters will eventually choose in season six (beginning with Buffy giving up her life at the very end of season five — an option that was not the preferred or even foreseen result of the search for new options, options which everyone was desperate to find).

While the series doesn’t really give us any choice in Giles’ murder of Ben, it increasingly centres on the complexity of situations where a choice is waiting to be made, and it is not immediately clear which course of action is the right one.

In the case of Willow, it is conceivable to say that the action she chooses (killing Warren) is the right one, but there is something wrong about her being the one to choose it, or about this murder being a matter of choice at all. There is a sense in which the murder could only be justified if there weren’t any other options to choose from. (If the Slayer kills demons, it’s because no one else can; we could even say that the Slayer is the name for not having any other choice but to kill, which is what upgrades the killing to “slaying”; a Slayer would not be possible in a world where the normal human authorities are capable of doing her job.)

After working so hard to increase the number of options available to them, the characters still end up choosing the most self destructive one. The expansion of the range of available choices puts the emphasis on the character who has to choose. We don’t know what the character will do. The good is not That Which Buffy Chooses, and the bad is not always that which Buffy fights. It is no longer the case that the character will necessarily choose the right action: the moment the right action becomes a matter of choice, it is no longer something that “always” happens.

The measure of good and evil in Buffy is choice. We cannot say that Giles is evil when he kills Ben, because he doesn’t seem to have any choice about it. Choice is the difference between Buffy’s attitude toward Dawn when we first meet Dawn (Joyce has to force Buffy to take care of her sister: "Buffy? If you’re going out, why don’t you take you sister with you?” [“Buffy vs. Dracula”]), and Buffy warning everyone that she will take care of Dawn no matter what (“I’ll kill anyone who comes near Dawn” [“The Gift”]). In any other hero narrative, Buffy would have been faced with a situation where she must save Dawn at all costs, and her heroism would come from her determination to do what she has to do (cf. Giles and Ben); in other words, she would have no choice but to save Dawn.

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, however, this is not enough to make a “good guy,” and the heroine is in fact faced with the opposite situation: she does not have a choice but to kill Dawn in order to save the world, but, even though she is not given any other options, somehow she manages to choose an other option. In other words, while the standard hero does what he must, Buffy does what seems the right thing to do even if this is not available as an option at all and all the options are “wrong”:

I sacrificed Angel to save the world. I loved him so much… but I knew. What was right. I don’t have that any more. I don’t understand. I don’t know how to live in this world, if these are the choices, if everything’s just stripped away then I don’t see the point (“The Gift”).

Buffy clearly does not want to choose any of the options given to her (option 1: Kill Dawn; option 2: Destroy The World). However, we can argue, against her own words, that she knows what’s right: for example, she knows that it is not right for Dawn to suffer “for something she has no control over? (“Spiral”).

The problem is not that Buffy doesn’t know what’s right but that what she thinks is right is rarely the same as what “must” be done (if we define what “must” be done as the closest thing to what is “right” that can be done, without actually being the right thing). As Giles says to Ben before he kills him, Buffy even knows that [that she must kill Ben/Glory, just as she knows she must kill Dawn], and still she wouldn’t take a human life. Because she’s a hero, you see. She’s not like us.” In these words, Giles redefines heroism for us as being able not to do what must be done, which is the opposite of the standard hero definition found in most narratives (a definition parodied in “Smashed,” where Andrew, desperate to save the action figure Spike is threatening to behead, solemnly acquiesces to Warren’s plan with the rhetorically inflated “Do what you need to do”).

Choice is what happens to Buffy when she grows up, partly with the help of Faith, who opens up all the “other” options of what the slayer can be. Faith shows Buffy that there are options, and that one can choose the wrong ones which, ironically, also frees the slayer from choosing them, because, if the slayer can do anything she wants, then she is not forced to do things that are evil.

While Faith wants to shows Buffy that she doesn’t have to be “good,” Buffy tries to convince Faith that she doesn’t have to be “bad.” Neither of them is entirely stuck in her own moral space, and each of them gets a taste of the other’s world view — Faith is a “good girl" for a while, imitating Buffy, and then Buffy is a “bad girl" for a while, trying out the "darker side” of slayers. Their development is very much symmetrical — Faith doesn’t go on with the being good experiment for any longer than Buffy experiments with being irresponsible and Faith-like.

Their mutual understanding and role- playing culminate in “Who Are You,” where they occupy each other’s bodies for a while.

Significantly, none of Buffy’s friends, including her boyfriend Riley, can distinguish between the two; it is conceivable to the characters that Buffy might behave like Faith in “Who Are You” because she did behave like Faith in "Bad Girls.” The recognition that there is something wrong with Buffy in “Who Are You” comes in fact from an outsider, Tara, who hasn’t even met Buffy before. This suggests that there is something objectively wrong with Buffy’s occupying another body in general, but not that there is something wrong about Buffy being Faith, specifically; or, more precisely, the fact that Faith-in-Buffy-body is different from both Faith and Buffy (in that her spiritual aura doesn’t match her body) is not proof that Buffy-in-one-piece is essentially different from Faith in one piece or at least the Scoobies cannot distinguish between them, and what Tara is able to distinguish is someone in one piece from someone not in one piece, but not Buffy from Faith. Tara’s detection of the body/spirit discrepancy does not mean that either Buffy or Faith is “bad,” but that there is something Frankenstein-like and wrong about mixing their body and soul parts. But this doesn’t mean that Faith in Buffy-body is noticeably “worse” than Buffy, or that Buffy in Faith-body is noticeably “better” than Faith (in fact, Buffy-in-Faith-body lays quite a few punches on people in order to escape from the Council bloodhounds in “Who Are You,” just as Faith kicks some butt in her escape from Wesley and his attendant Council muscle in “Consequences”).

The symmetry of this moral battle between the two slayers comes to show 1) that Buffy can be as bad as Faith, that sometimes she is tempted to ("Bad Girls”), and that when she really seems to be (i.e., Faith-in-Buffy-body in “Who Are You”), her friends wouldn’t even notice the difference; and 2) Buffy is no more good than Faith is evil: Buffy is never perfect in her actions (especially in season six), and Faith is never entirely free of moral conscience: she not only accept the demands of rehabilitation (on Angel), but, even before her rehabilitation has begun, saves Buffy’s life in “Consequences” (GILES: “Faith saved you?” BUFFY: “She could have left me there to die, Giles. But she didn’t”). Both Buffy and Faith acknowledge and imitate the other side: e.g., Buffy trying out Faith’s definition of “slayer” when they’re breaking into the store in "Bad Girls”: “Want, take, have. I’m getting it”; and Faith practicing (and mocking) her Buffy lines in the mirror in “Who Are You”: 

“You can’t do that…. Because it’s wrong.”

However, it seems that Buffy has a deeper commitment to the “Dark Side” than Faith does to the “Good Side” (at least while on Buffy). On a number of occasions Buffy internalizes evil or darkness, so much so that it can be described less as an occasional dark prank (e.g., Buffy’s slow dance with Xander in “When She Was Bad”), and more as an ongoing, deeper state of mind: her darkness is not an imitation of what she’s not but a search for what she is. Buffy actively seeks and receives help from Spike on many occasions, but most notably in “Fool for Love,” where she takes lessons in slayage from the killer of slayers. Spike and Dru are the only vampires we know to have killed slayers (if we don’t count the very brief murder of Buffy by the Master), and Spike has killed more than Dru; if the slayer is to have an arch enemy, Spike would be a good choice.

And yet, because of that, he is also a good choice for a sort of a mentor for the slayer, showing her her weaknesses and strengths, giving her inside tips about how to fight evil (and, by extension, him). In effect, he is coaching his worst enemy on how she can defeat him. This encounter is equally destructive for both of them, and equally necessary.

Buffy’s positive interaction with evil is foreshadowed earlier in season five in Buffy’s encounter with Dracula. Dracula’s sales pitch, his appeal to Buffy is not that she can get closer to evil, but that she can get closer to herself, gain a deeper understanding of what a slayer is. The slayer always contains the possibility for evil, an evil she must understand before she can kill. Like Spike, Dracula teaches Buffy something about her own nature: “There is so much I have to teach you. About your history, your power… ” The connection between the Slayer and the Evil she “hunts” (as Dracula puts it) dates back to ancient times, as we see in the ambiguous figure of the First Slayer, who is good in relation to evil but also evil in relation to good (i.e., evil to the Scoobies she threatens to kill). Dracula encourages this ambiguity and plays on the slayer’s killer instinct: instead of getting a taste of her, Dracula wants her to get a taste of him, reversing the normal tendency of evil to consume the good and offering the good (in the face of Buffy) the opportunity to consume the evil:

a little taste… I didn’t mean for me…. All these years, fighting us — your power so near to our own — and you’ve never once wanted to know what it is we fight for? Never even a taste?

It is interesting that Buffy’s (rather weak) rejection of Dracula’s argument is "I don’t… need to know… “; in other words, she is not saying that she won’t learn anything from him about herself, but that she doesn’t want to learn. To taste is to know, and the taste of a vampire leads to the forbidden knowledge of the “dark side” (“Smashed”).

It is not accidental that a human can become a vampire only if he returns the vampire’s gesture and drinks from the evil that drained his body. To be bitten is to be a victim of evil; to bite is to be the evil itself. Buffy bites Dracula. In doing that she acquires the forbidden knowledge of evil which would both jeopardize her “good” nature and help her distinguish between good and evil by acquiring knowledge of both.

Normally, in the Buffyverse, people drink from vampires only when they’re on the verge of death, so they don’t have much choice: for them, to drink means to live (or, to be undead is the only way not to be dead). Conversely, Buffy is not forced to drink in self-defense; she drinks, we could say, in self-offense, since she is nowhere near death and she bites into the dark side without being forced to (both literally in Buffy vs. Dracula” and metaphorically in other episodes, such as “Smashed”).

If we take Buffy’s susceptibility to Dracula’s hypnosis as symbolic of her inability to distinguish between good and evil (she does not recognize Dracula as evil while she is under his influence), her taste of evil opens her eyes to this distinction. The forbidden knowledge is a knowledge that allows her to be good without being innocent, to choose good while also knowing that she is equally able to choose evil; in other words, being good is defined as having the ability to choose evil and yet not choosing it. To choose evil before tasting it would be impossible (because this would not be a real choice); both choosing evil and rejecting evil require the taste of evil. (This goes for Willow’s destructive magic as well: in her case, being good without being innocent means learning to control the magic she knows she has (season seven), rather than avoiding magic at all costs (season six); it would be impossible to distinguish between good magic and evil magic by avoiding all magic.)

Conversely, characters who externalize or avoid their Dark Side rather than internalizing and trying to understand it tend to leave the series: e.g., Oz, who expels his wolf side, discovers that a no-wolf Oz is incompatible with Willow (being with Willow prompts intense emotions which bring back the wolf in him), and Riley, who gets the chip out of his body, turns out to be too “good” for Buffy, a goodness she mocks because it is based on innocence: “Is that regulation or something? You have to do those [exercises] every single morning?… And then you have your perfectly balanced breakfast and call your mother” (‘New Moon Rising”). While all characters start out as Riley – good by default (the state of default being the state of innocence) – they all “grow up” over time and learn to be “good” by learning about evil: 

“You think you know. What you are, what’s to come… you haven’t even begun…. Find it… the darkness…. Find your true nature” (Buffy vs. Dracula).

Just as Buffy’s "true nature” is, to a certain extent, self-destructive (after all, "death is [her] gift” [“Intervention”]), Spike’s nature also leads him along a self-destructive path. When Spike asks Angel, “Don’t you ever get tired of fights you know you’re gonna win?” (“Fool for Love”), he shows a resistance to pre-determined choices, a resistance similar to Buffy’s death wish, which can be seen as a resistance toward the impossibility of losing the battle with evil (after all, Buffy can never lose unless, on some level, she wants to [“Fool for Love”]).

To have no choice but to win is another manifestation of the moral determinism we saw Buffy reject.

Spike rejects it too. If he wins, he wants to win despite the option of losing, not in its absence. He must pick fights he can, realistically, lose, and after having killed two slayers, killing a slayer is not the new challenge he is looking for. But not killing a slayer is (“I knew the only thing better than killing a slayer would be [doing a slayer]” [“Smashed”]). Again, as with Buffy, we see a rejection of what Spike must do (kill the slayer) in favor of what would be seemingly impossible for him to do (not kill the slayer). As an evil creature, Spike would be perfectly justified in killing Buffy (the way Buffy would be justified in letting Dawn die in “The Gift”). But this justification bordering on predetermination is not enough, since there is no choice involved. Spike doesn’t like being predictable: “I hate being obvious. All fangy and *grrr.* (shrugs) Takes all the mystery out.” (“The Initiative”).

If the Slayer doesn’t want to be merely a killer as an instrument of goodness, Spike doesn’t want to be a killer as an instrument of darkness. He does not enjoy being used by either Angel or Adam as an instrument to help them carry out their dark plans, even though the promised rewards of impending doom are considerable (and in both cases he switches sides at the last moment and helps the “good guys” instead). Spike is not prepared to follow somebody else’s orders (e.g., the Anointed One’s), even if they may ultimately lead to much relished destruction. Darkness is not good enough, if it’s not his own. Being evil on somebody else’s behalf is not a proposition that can tempt Spike, and he does not labor slavishly to bring any apocalypses if there’s nothing in it for him. He would do either good or evil, whichever is more interesting or lucrative. But Spike is never completely evil (even at his most evil, he is very much in love with Dru) and never completely good (he continually reminds everyone that he is still evil not only by his words (“Can’t any one of your damn little Scooby club at least try to remember that 1 hate you all?” [“This Year’s Girl”]), but also by his actions (“As You Were,” “Seeing Red”). Just as Spike refuses to be good just because he cannot be evil, he refuses to be evil just because he can.

The development of Spike is also based on the increasing (and constantly sought) possibility of choice: the chip does not exactly leave him without a choice to be bad (as we saw in “The Yoko Factor,” he can do a lot of damage by using his brain rather than his fangs), yet the chip introduces, however subtly, the additional possibility of being good. However, Spike is able to see the “good” side even before the chip, for example in his reaction to Kendra’s death in “Becoming,” part 2: “SPIKE (genuinely proud): Dru bagged a slayer? She didn’t tell me! Good for her! (off Buffy’s look) Well, not from your perspective, I suppose…”

Even before the chip, Spike is marginally capable of seeing the other’s point of view, even if it’s only to get said “other” to cooperate with him. He realizes that his evil sometimes needs the help of the “good” to achieve its aims: e.g., in order to save Dru (evil) he needs to save Giles (good); this is very similar to Buffy’s discovery that she sometimes needs a taste of evil in order to defeat it. At first, being civil, tolerant, or polite is for Spike what being mean is for Buffy in “When She Was Bad” — an acquired taste of the “other” side before it’s fully acquired, a forced imitation which mimics the external gestures and words of the other without really understanding or internalizing them. Later, Spike’s actions become more purposeful and reminiscent of the way Buffy and Angel “act evil” in Enemies” in order to fool Faith and thwart the Mayor’s evil plans: in Spike’s version, he “acts” good in “The Yoko Factor” to thwart the Scoobies’ plans.

Over time, the internalization of the “other” side becomes deeper; just as Buffy gradually internalizes the darkness she fights, Spike internalizes the good he fights. Not only does he “train” the slayer how to kill vampires, adopting her point of view against his own, but he also feels her pain over and above his own (the ending of “Fool for Love”), incorporates her into his dreams (“Out of My Mind”), personifies her guilt “Dead Things”), and, eventually, internalizes her definitions of good and evil by getting a soul (“Grave”). By getting the point of view of Spike, we see that the “dark” side can be recursively defined as the “other” side, so that for Spike, the “dark side” is everything “good.” The fight he doesn’t know he can win is the fight against his own tendency to be “good” — goodness is his own dark side, and fighting it is a risky business. Just as Buffy is drawn to the dark side in the face of Spike, Spike notices with annoyance and then despair (“God, no. Please, no.” [“Out of My Mind”]) that he is drawn to his dark side (in the face of Buffy), and, more than that, that he is in love with the Dark Side:

Because this… this thing with you — it’s wrong! I know it! Not a complete idiot! (gesturing to his heart) You think I like having you here?! Destroying everything that was me until all that’s left is you in a dead shell (“Crush”).

If The Dark Side is defined as the “Other” side (dark by virtue of being other), we see that the characters gradually become more what they’re not, recognizing and claiming their respective “others,” rather than renouncing them. We know, of course, that to be good Spike must not be forced into it (just as, to be evil, Giles must kill without being forced to and for purposes other than saving the world).

We know that Buffy refuses to recognize the lack of choice when she is told to kill Dawn — it is made clear to us that she must Save The World/Kill Dawn because she is “good,” but she refuses to be “good” at this price and publicly apologizes to her friends for letting them die: “I’m sorry. I love you all, but I’m sorry” (“The Gift”). Much like Buffy, Spike refuses to recognize that he is cornered in a similar way — in his case, trapped into being evil.

In both cases, the choice of anything that is “other” seems impossible, and yet both Buffy and Spike refuse to acknowledge the absence of an “other” option and somehow seem to choose that nonexistent “other” by creating it, conjuring up new moral choices like some kind of metaphorical thaumogenesis

The characters realize that they cannot be either good or evil without having an option to be and do the other (in all the senses). Having the choice to do evil as a requirement for the good is clearly a post lapsarian point of view, but the presence of demons in this series tells us that a pre lapsarian reality, where one can do good without tasting evil, is no longer possible in the Buffyverse. 

While vampires are looked down upon by other demons (as Giles explains, “Demons have no empathy for species other than their own. In fact, most consider vampires abominations mixing with human blood and all” [“Where the Wild Things Are”]), even demons are not pure evil: “You’ve never seen a demon,” Anya says to Buffy. “All the demons that walk the earth are tainted, are human hybrids, like vampires” (“Graduation Day,” part 1). (And if we want to cite post-ascension Mayor as an example of pure evil, we should remember that even in this form, he still has feelings for Faith.)

In the same way, there is nothing purely good either. Even though we naturally expect that going back in time might bring us closer to pure forms of both good and evil (after all, if demons have been contaminated, there must have been a time when they weren’t), this is not entirely the case. We see that ambiguity lurks even at the dawn of time Dawn herself, the embodiment of one of the oldest “good” forces in the Buffyverse, is revealed to be an ancient power which is neither good nor evil on its own, and the First Slayer inhabits a similarly ambiguous moral space, since she is neither absolutely good (she tries to kill the Scoobies), nor absolutely evil (well, she’s a slayer, one of the good guys, or possibly the first “good guy”). 

The beginning of the “good” is shrouded in ambiguity, and the First Slayer describes herself as a spooky amoral force: “I am destruction. Absolute. Alone.” (“Restless”). Moreover, this description is enough for Buffy to deduce that she is talking to a slayer (BUFFY (realizing): "The Slayer.), as if these words really capture the essence of the slayer and Buffy only needs one tiny bit of logic to derive “slayer” from “destruction.”

It seems that time was post lapsarian from the beginning: good and evil cannot be found in pure forms in the Buffyverse, no matter how deep we dig. Evil is always corrupted good (a vampire is a human victim bitten by a vampire) and good is always knowledgeable of evil, like Buffy, or atoning for evil, like Angel, or at the very least potentially corruptible good can always be bitten, and the more innocent it is, the greater the chance of corruption. 

If the Slayer is, indeed, the name for having no option but to kill evil (that “nice, non judgemental way to, you know, kill” (“Pangs”) never quite presents itself), Buffy refuses even this superior, noble, but still amoral job description. 

She outgrows even the slayer role to give it a moral responsibility. The fact that she quits the Council (as well as, on a much smaller scale, the Initiative), comes to show that she is not prepared to follow the “official” rules which exempt her from personal responsibility. (As Travers says in “Checkpoint” “The Council fights evil. The Slayer is the instrument with which we fight.”) This is what Buffy wants to get away from. When she kills, she wants to take the responsibility, to do it with the knowledge that she is right, not with the knowledge that she, as the chosen one, doesn’t have a choice; she wants to be less chosen and more choosing. 

Hence the difference between a killer and a slayer - the tool which the Council wants is basically a killer. 

In this sense, the Council sees in Buffy exactly what Dracula does just as a vampire can’t help but kill, the slayer as a Council tool can’t help but carry out their orders, Initiative style (conversely, we know that Buffy obeys only those orders she “was gonna do anyway” [“This Year’s Girl”]). 

Here is the difference between Buffy and Riley, for example Buffy refuses to follow orders blindly, whereas, even when Riley quits the Initiative, he does it because he is now following what Buffy tells him to do, which is stop following what the Initiative tells him to do:

BUFFY: You seem a little… somewhere else. Anything I can do?
RILEY: Give me an order. That’s what I do, isn’t it? Follow orders? 
 BUFFY: Don’t have to. 
 RILEY: You sure about that? 
 BUFFY: It’s an order. (“This Year’s Girl”)
If Buffy’s relationship with the Council were that of a Riley to an Initiative, she would have been properly called a “killer,” a specific tool for a certain kind of violence, very specialized and blindly unerring. And conversely, the possibility to err is a symptom of sight; by distinguishing a “slayer” from a “killer,” Buffy renounces the blind loyalty the council demands from her in favor of the possibility to choose, and to err (i.e., choose evil).

The self-awareness, the need to claim responsibility for both the good and the "less good” (“Smashed”) actions, is a need which goes beyond that of the slayer as such. Buffy would have been able to do her job very well without bothering to know why she does what she does; the only thing she really needs to know is how to kill. When Faith is temporarily “good” in imitation of Buffy, she can do what is right without exactly knowing why, for the simple reason that “good” is occasionally fashionable, easier, or temporarily useful for some other purpose. If Faith had continued this way, there is no reason to suspect that she would not have been a good slayer. The slayer, seen as a tool, a “killer,” is not expected to overdo the self-awareness bit. But Buffy surpasses all traditional definitions of the council and other slayers and watchers about what a slayer should be: “The slayer doesn’t walk in the world…. No… friends… just the kill… we are… alone” (“Restless”). It is safe to say that she is not what anyone would have suspected, and she may very well be the one to introduce the definition of “slayer” as different from “killer.” (BUFFY: “I prefer the term ‘Slayer.’ ‘Killer’ just sounds so…” DRACULA: “Naked?”).

Season six articulates more self-consciously this complicated interaction with evil, the recognition of evil as an integral part of fighting evil. It presents us with a Buffy who does things which are wrong (not according to some conservative Watchers’ Council but according to her own definitions of right and wrong), even though she is not herself “wrong” ("Dead Things”). The acknowledgment that the slayer (by virtue of being human, not by virtue of being a slayer) can do bad things without being evil shapes the whole season. This reinforces the margin between doing evil things (e.g., Giles killing Ben) and being evil. While season five shows that one can be evil without doing anything evil (e.g.Spike-with-chip: “What? That chip in your head? That’s not change. That’s just holding you back. You’re like a serial killer in prison!” [“Crush”]), season six has Buffy, Willow, and Giles doing “bad” things without being themselves evil (or not so much).

Season six features the realization of the inside-ness of evil. The monsters, originally carriers of evil and disruptors of order, in fact, become the anchors of order, as Buffy needs them to ground herself in the external world: she needs the outside threat of the monster in "’Normal Again” to come back to reality, and the demon in “After Life” to bring her out of the apathy and unwillingness to cope with life. While usually it is the external threat that redeems the internal capacity for evil (the internalized evil is worth it if it is required in order to fight an external threat e.g., in “Enemies”), in the absence of an external threat the internalized evil becomes unjustified (e.g., Buffy’s behaviour in season six would have been justified if there were something objectively “wrong” with her). And unjustified means chosen: when Buffy uses Spike and keeps secrets from her friends in (most of) season six, she does so without being forced to and despite other options (such as, well, not doing these filings).

Doing “bad” things is simply easier (killing her friends in “Normal Again” seems so much easier than facing reality) and temporarily “convenient” (which is what Buffy calls Spike in “Wrecked”). It is no longer the case that only one abnormally rebellious slayer (Faith) can do wrong; now we see that the slayer, any slayer, must understand and taste evil (and, conversely, it would be difficult to argue that Faith, who does evil things, really understands evil). The understanding of evil is not part of the slayer’s job, but of herself (the Council certainly doesn’t want Buffy going around tasting evil, even if it’s a soul-having one). But tasting evil doesn’t bring her closer to evil as much as closer to herself.

The Slayer is the one who must maintain the difference between good and evil and make sure that good doesn’t become evil (e.g., that vampires don’t turn humans into vampires): “at some point someone has to draw the line, and that is always going to be me. You get down on me for cutting myself off, but in the end the slayer is always cut off" (“Selfless”). At the same time, she is the most ambiguous one, the one who is ready to cut all ties with family and friends and kill people she loves, if necessary (e.g., Angel). The requirement that she know exactly which side she must stay on (regardless of where those she loves are) gives her the responsibility to keep The Other "other" at all costs — even at the cost of becoming an “Other” herself. 

This would be the moral equivalent of dying to save lives in “The Gift" — in this case, crossing over to the Dark Side in order to prevent others from doing it. Paradoxically, she protects the line which separates good from evil by crossing it, by becoming more and more “other.” 

"If you don’t understand your own weird, shitty side...

If you don’t understand the fact that there’s someone in there who will kill your mother, if need be – 

If you can’t take that on... 

If you can’t take that on board and realise that Charles Manson and me and you are not much different... 

That John Wayne Gacy and me and you are not much different 

– except that he did it

Y’know, there’s those days when I’m gonna kill that motherfucker over there – but we don’t do it.

But it’s in us, and it’s there. 

And so much of this is denial.
That we have no dark side. 

You know: the hippies, and those lovely people in the rave era who were all on ecstasy – they tried to pretend we have no dark side. 

And what happened was they got fucked up by their own dark side. 

As will ALWAYS happen.

So let’s kiss our Dark Sides

Let’s FUCK our Dark Sides. 

Get him down there where He belongs. 

And He can tell us stuff.

 Y’know, that thing’s useful.

But above all: let’s become plex-creatures. 

Complex, superplex – be able to take on new personality traits; able to take on new ideas; able to adapt; 

able to extend our boundaries into what was previously the ‘Enemy Territory’ – 

until the point where 
We Become what was once our Enemy

and They are Us

and there is no distinction."

Grant Morrisson

Lamont Cranston :
Do you have any idea who you just kidnapped?

Cranston. Lamont Cranston.

Lamont Cranston: 
You know my real name?


I also know that for as long as you can remember, you struggled against your own Black Heart and always lost. 

You watched your spirit, your very face change as the beast claws its way out from within you. 

You are in great pain, aren't you?

You know what evil lurks in the hearts of men, for you have seen that evil in your own heart. 

Every man pays a price for redemption; this is yours.

Lamont Cranston: 
I'm not lookin' for redemption!

You have no choice - 

You will be redeemed, because I will teach you to use your Black Shadow to fight evil.


Who Knows What Darkness Lurks inside the Hearts of Men..?

The Shadow, Knows...!


"You know something that puzzles me Lamont,  how a man like yourself, who has absolutely nothing to do, can manage to be late for every little engagement..."

"Practice, Uncle 
Wainwright, lots and lots of practice..."