Friday, February 8, 2008

Ritual Sacrifice - and Pie

Last night, we began what will be a six-week journey through Joss Whedon's explorations and portrayals of family. As we saw in our first episode, "Pangs," families can be messy, dysfunctional, squabbling mobs - and that just describes the heroes of the piece!

I've added some links here that may be useful to you. First, a summary of the episode. Next, a summary of next week's episode (the lovely Season Five "Family"). I encourage you to check out the Website - you'll find all sorts of information about each episode, including a summary and transcript. I've included a link at the top of the blog over on the right.

Here's a link to the Jess Battis text on chosen families in Whedon's work.

And here's a link to an academic Whedon bibliography. Fair warning: it's long and involved, because so many scholars are interested in Whedon's work. I'll work to put together a shorter one that only focuses on the book-length publications, but this should keep you occupied in the meantime. Feel free to play around - put in a search term like "Pangs" and see who has written what about our first episode, for example.

Next week - we look at "created" family vs. "blood" family. Is one better than the other? Does carrying similar DNA create a relationship that must be honored, regardless of anything else? Or are we free to choose who we call "family"?
Remember that we meet in the Global Studies Room in the Rose Library!


Solomon Mao said...

There are several things in last night's episode that strike me, but since the focus is on "family", let me throw this one out there.

At the end of the story, when all were seated around the Thanksgiving table, enjoying Buffy's meal (who the heck cooks peas is brandy, anyway. Really, I'm asking. I've never even heard of that before.) Spike, though he never gets fed, nonetheless is seated at the table with everyone else, making him - tacitly at least - a part of the "Family".

Or is he the random guest, the poor guy who has nowhere else to go on Thanksgiving, and so is taken in by the family? Now that I think about it, this makes sense to me. He's the person who frankly would never be considered part of the family, but on a High Holiday is granted a place at the table and among the relatives in the name of Weird Charity. Know what I mean?

Anyway, I think I'm really going to enjoy the next six weeks, and I only have one more thing:

"You exterminated his race. What could you possibly say to make him feel better?"

This sums up that pecularly ridiculous modern quagmire perfectly!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of books and such on Joss Whedon's work, I just came across this link about Firefly.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I guess that didn't post the entire link.. Just add these two lines together...

Solomon Mao said...

You can download Steven Brust's Firefly novel at Both the MS Word and PDF formats are Zip files. And you can find a FREE download of WinZip to open them here.