". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving TV Dinner

      . . . .The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, "Pangs". from season 4, the Thanksgiving episode, of course.  Watched it last night after our really successful dinner a deux.  Moroccan Lamb Pilaf will have to become a permanent part of the meal repetoire.

“Pangs”  has been one of my favorite Buffy episodes all along.  It still remains very good – and, making it all the more pertinent watching this Thanksgiving, "Pangs" includes ‘plague.’ Or syphilis.  Something microbial that kills released by the Native sorcerer who was executed by Spaniards of California's Mission era. Of course the character infected is perennial butt, Xander. But it does get in history, which is another reason this has always been  one of my favorite episodes.

The episode gets in everything that people dream to be the Traditional Family Thanksgiving they want it to be, to how Thanksgiving generally works in reality, when it is family-centered: the insufferable instruction from the newly clued in kid home from college for the holiday, political arguments about history, while Mom, determined to save her perfect Thanksgiving with all the people at the table behaving just as she wants them to. Which means she manages to find a place for the unexpected guest but squeezes a place for that guest at the table anyway.

This is the Buffy family, so Things Untoward Happen. But what's always been most notable for me in this episode, which is ultimately about family, was who wasn’t present at this meal.  Riley, who’d gone home to Iowa for his Saturday Evening Post  cover traditional country Thanksgiving with great big family.

Thus it is equally notable as to who was there, for Buffy's Thanksgiving.   Spike – who had nothing to eat on this day of gorging.  But he was there, as he was even through the very end, and on into the Angel universe. Gads Marsters plays his character so very well throughout all his permutations.  What's even more impressive is at this time no one involved with the series could know there was a season 6, much less what was going to happen in season 6 -- or season 7.  To me this has been a turning point episode in the Buffy verse.

This is also, in spite of Big Matters, one of the funnier episodes, with Buffy as Mom who is going to have Thanksgiving as she pictures it or kill everyone trying, and Giles as reluctant Dad who has no choice but to go down before Bulldozer Thanksgiving Buffy.  Marsters contributes a great deal to the comedy.

I haven't watched any Buffy in years, but I easily could get sucked back into the Buffy verse.  I have the complete boxed set of seasons sitting right here, to hand, by the dvd player.


More new books arrived today. We are hunkered now, isolating as much as possible. Thus all the phone calls made and received from friends all over who are in the same situation were so precious.  We talked, we zoomed, we emailed.  We're all determined to make through to the other side.  So we all stayed home yesterday and ate by ourselves. 

No comments: