buffy cravings

Paul Henry Rosenberg rad at gte.net
Tue Feb 23 10:20:16 PST 1999

Angela wrote:

> >Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
> >
> >> The only perfect bodies under late capitalism are
> >> those of teenagers, male or female. (Does this in part explain the
> >> popularity of Buffy?)
> >
> paul replied:
> >Nope. WB has oodles of teen shows. All but "Buffy" suck bigtime.
> >
> >(It's the WRITING, stupid!)
> >
> >Yet another pseudo-hip-left reductionist attack on "Buffy" bites the
> >dust.
> hey, now this is stupid. "it's the writing" sounds like the playboy
> readers' defense to me.

Yawn! Yet another example of theory (however mundane) over evidence.

Considering that the other shows I've mentioned onlist feature such nubiles as Yaphet Kotto and Jerry Orbach, it IS the writing, stupid!

> i been watching buffy, much to the dismay of
> my friends and lover, but that has never stopped me before.

I'm sure it gets you off, Angela. ;>

> but buffy really does not work for me, no matter how much i try.

You shouldn't try. Pop culutre is about ENJOYMENT, remember?

> i can understand liza's enjoyment - a determined attempt to both
> seek out and resist the recuperation of/punishment of lesbian
> desire in flics and shows.

This is your take on one of the least-mentioned aspects of the show as commented on by Liza. The seemless ease with which you pass it off as the crux of her position is just the kind of unconscious theorizing in contempt of evidence that I was taking aim at in the first place.

> the same would probably apply to film noir: both an
> enjoyment of criminality, the strong woman, etc; but a resistance to
> the death of the criminal, the marriage and/or death of the woman at
> the end.

Buffy isn't noir. There is no tortured male subject at its center. In fact, he's barely onstage.

> but buffy, well, i just cannot get past the body. i mean i
> really can't work up enough identification with (or desire of) such a
> white, anorexic pre-pubescent body and its narratives. sorry.

Boy, you ARE incredible self-involved are you not?

I neither feel identification OR desire for the body you so blithely mis-describe.

Nor do I feel the LEAST bit of need to "work up enough identification" in order to enjoy the show.

I can be interested in stories that involve people who are NOTHING AT ALL LIKE ME.

Heck, one of my favorite characters in literature is a Ganymedean slime mold.


(Okay, I admit. I do identify with Willow. She's a nerd with my last name. I think of her as my virtual sister. But I don't watch the show because of her. She's just a wonderful bonus. I'm probably a lot more aware of her role in the show than most fans because of my identification, but I don't watch the show because of her, I watch the show because of the CONTENT. IT'S THE WRITING STUPID!)

p.s. Just because I think Yoshie's remark, which started this latest subthread, was a foolish intellectual twitch doesn't mean that I think YOSHIE is a foolish intellectual twit. We ALL say foolish things on a fairly regular basis.

I'm trying to point out a kind of careless theorizing that PoMo excells in, but by no means has anything remotely like a monopoly on. I'd be guilty of EXACTLY the same thing if I were I to take this one example as proof of ANYTHING about Yoshie, beyond the fact that she's capable of slipping up like this.

But you know what? So am I. What's careless theorizing and what's simply shorthand? And who's to say? No one can apriori. It can only be thrashed out in practice. But it can't be thrashed out if we refuse to recognize a problem exists.

-- Paul Rosenberg Reason and Democracy rad at gte.net

"Let's put the information BACK into the information age!"

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