Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy 37th Birthday, Sarah Michelle Geller

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Wishing best wishes and happy times to Sarah Michelle Geller on her 37th birthday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Slayer vs. Kim Kardashian and Kenye West

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Actress Sarah Michelle Geller didn't care too much for the Vogue cover of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. And I guess lots of people agreed with her - 9,832 Retweets 13,729 favorites!

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Other critics are chiming in, as well as spoofing the cover:
Here on Today and on YahooTV

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Drusilla's Dolls

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One of the creepiest things about the Vampire Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that she has arrested development due to being tortured into insanity at an early age. One symbol of her delicate mental state is Drusilla's obsession with dolls, which are at once her playthings and "children" as well as pretend victims, just as she was once the plaything and victim of Angelus/Angel who turned her into a vamp.

Miss Edith is Drusilla's favorite doll, but she has many more, often seen wearing blindfolds or gagged. In some ways the dolls form a kind of family between herself and Spike, who tolerates all of Drusilla's eccentricities.

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Strangely there is an antique book from 1921 called "Drusilla's Dolls" by a writer with the colorful name of Belle Bacon Bond.

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The book, which is set mostly in Boston, seems to be an inspiration to the writers of Buffy, although I have never read that anywhere and couldn't find any evidence. However, the book does exist and is available on Amazon

You can also read the free online version here. It's old-fashioned and charming in a way, but very simplified. I wouldn't compare it to the classic Rumer Godden dollhouse books or even Raggedy Ann, but it is simpler and more like an old reading book from school.

Book Description on Amazon:
This charming true story of a little girl named Drusilla growing up in the 1860s is a loving tribute to Drusilla's mother-a woman wise enough to honor the sacred spaces of childhood and the holy spirit of her child's originality. An only child, Drusilla made playfellows of her doll collection. Her gentle recounting of their adventures has entranced five generations. Now, the republication of this delightful book makes it available for many generations to come. Originally published in 1921.

From the website Everything Drusilla
Belle Bacon Bond was already a grandmother by the time Drusilla and Her Dolls was published. An autobiography, the charming story chronicles the author's formative childhood years. To the best of my knowledge, no one knows why she happened to call her childhood self "Drusilla." Indeed, her own name was Isabella, not Belle at all. Perhaps she was too modest to use her own name; perhaps "Belle and Her Dolls" just didn't have the proper "ring."
In any case, children love this enchanting tale of a little girl growing up in the 1860s. An only child, Drusilla makes playfellows of her doll collection.
. . . Mrs. Bond's gentle recounting of her childhood adventures with Frank Bowker, Flora Washington, and the rest of her doll family has entranced five generations of mothers and children alike. Now, this republication makes it available for many generations to come.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

From Beneath You It Devours: The Original Hell-Mouth

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Detail of a miniature showing the Last Judgement, from the ‘Queen Mary Apocalypse’, England 
(London or East Anglia), first quarter of the 14th century, Royal MS 19 B XV, f. 40r

Turns out the Hellmouth was well-known from Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts and even church windows detailing the demons in the pit and their victims. Librarian Rupert Giles surely had this manuscript in the Sunnydale Library. Of course the phrase "From Beneath You It Devours" plays a role in Season Seven as the Hellmouth wreaks havoc on Buffy and the Scooby Gang and threatens to destroy the world.

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Detail of a bas-de-page scene showing a demon carrying souls to Hell in a wheelbarrow, 
from the ‘Taymouth Hours’, England (London?), second quarter of the 14th century, 
Yates Thompson MS 13, f. 139v. 

From the British Library Manuscripts Blog - "Prepare to Meet Your Doom"
The rather horrifying motif of the Hell-mouth was not confined to medieval manuscripts. It appears – most commonly as a hairy, fanged beast – in stained glass windows and wall- and panel-paintings as well. It was therefore visible to ordinary medieval people, for whom owning an illuminated manuscript was an unimaginable luxury, and the prospect of suffering an eternity in Hell an imminent possibility. St John’s visions of the end of the world and the Last Judgement were frequently depicted in ‘Doom paintings’ on the walls and rood-screens of medieval churches. Though mostly destroyed at the Reformation, examples have survived, particularly in East Anglia, some of them ironically protected and preserved by the very whitewash that was meant to obliterate them.

. . . Hell-mouths were commonly depicted in illuminated Apocalypse manuscripts, swallowing up the souls of the damned, while God, the angels and the souls of the saved look on from the safety of Heaven.

See More Hellmouth Illuminations Here

Buffy, Spike and Faith Facing the Hellmouth
For the Final Battle in Season 7

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Vamps on TV: Ice Skaters Spin Darkness at Sochi Olympics

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Lots of interesting dark music in this year's Sochi Winter Olympics! Buffy and Spike would have felt right at home.

Note: the videos below are not the actual Olympics but earlier performances at various competitions.

Russia's pairs-skaters Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov captured the Silver medal at Sochi with The Addams Family. Ironically another Russian couple won the Gold skating to "Jesus Christ Superstar."

Denis Ten of Kazakhstan won the Men's Bronze dancing to Danse Macabre (see this previous post about the Buffy episode "The Gentlemen")

Javier Fernandez of Spain performed to "Satan Takes a Holiday"

Italy's Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek skated to "Dracula" by Philipp Glass

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Slayer Soundtrack Sunday: "Early One Morning"

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The English folk song "Early One Morning" plays an important role in Spike's character development, which is ironic given the title and the fact that he is a vampire who sleeps or hides from the rising sun.

Early one morning, just as the sun was rising
I heard a maid sing in the valley below
"Oh don't deceive me, Oh never leave me,
How could you use, a poor maiden so?"

Remember the vows that you made to me truly
Remember how tenderly you nestled close to me
Gay is the garland, fresh are the roses
I've culled from the garden to bind over thee.

Here I now wander alone as I wonder
Why did you leave me to sigh and complain
I ask of the roses, why should I be forsaken,
Why must I here in sorrow remain?

From Songfacts:
This folk song is particularly notable for its use in a number of well known arrangements. In the UK its usage in the opening bars of the "BBC Radio 4 UK Theme" by Fritz Spiegl, which until April 2006 was played every morning at 5.30 am is the best known.
The song has been used in a number of television programs. It was sung by Samantha in the TV series Bewitched, by Pernell Roberts (Adam Cartwright) in "The wooing of Abigail Jones" episode of the TV series Bonanza and was used as a trigger for the Vampire Spike in the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was also the theme song for the children's CBC TV show The Friendly Giant, which run from 1958 to 1985. In the UK, it was Frank Spencer's choice of song in the BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.
The song has also featured several times in the movies. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, "Early One Morning" is played in the background at the beginning of the tale of Sir Launcelot, just before his assistant is 'mortally wounded' with an arrow. Also Hayley Mills and Nancy Olson sung this song in the 1960 Disney film Pollyanna.

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 photo 7X17LMPTM1739.jpgIn "Lies My Parents Told Me" (season 7) Buffy and Giles learn that the song has become a "trigger" put there by the First Evil which makes Spike kill people even though he now has a soul. Through the use of a magical stone, Spike remembers that his beloved mother once sang the song to him when he was a still a rather hapless and poetic mortal named William. When Spike is turned into a vampire by Drusilla he returns to his family home and bites his ailing mother to make her immortal like himself. However things do not turn out the way he expected. Spike forgot that his mother would become half evil demon as a vampire, and when she proceeds to take delight in describing their mother-son relationship as twisted and unnatural, Spike is shocked and realizes he has to kill her. At the last moment his mother returns to her original loving form.

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Principal Robin Wood is wrestling with his own mother issues. We learn that he is the son of Nikki Wood, the New York Vampire Slayer whom Spike admits to killing in Fool For Love. In "Lies" Robin Wood and Giles conspire to put a stake in Spike against Buffy's wishes. Giles is thinking of the safety of the potential slayers, while Robin just wants revenge for his mother's death. As a result of their deception, Wood and Giles lose Buffy's trust, and she defends Spike as "the strongest warrior we have." This is foreshadowing for the final episode when Spike becomes Buffy's Champion and he saves the world.

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Buffy echoes Nikki Woods advice to her son "The Mission is what Matters." Spoken like the true Slayers they are!