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September 04, 2003

The ethics of Buffy

The Campblog points to Virginia Postrel's Buffy insights.

Americans had forgotten bourgeois virtue. Freedom and affluence had made us soft. We were self-indulgent moral nihilists -- materialistic, selfish, and impulsive. We might have been having fun, but we’d created a culture no one would fight for. At least that’s what the wise men said.

On September 11, 2001, they shut up. Ordinary Americans, it turned out, were not only brave but resilient and creative, even lethal, when it mattered. Buffy was right all along.

Quite right. Of course, the West has created some self-indulgent moral nihilists unwilling to fight for their culture. Those "wise men" were saying more about themselves with their gibberish than the popular culture they criticized. Buffy portrayed strong women, magic and sexuality acting in joyful, playful and imaginative ways even and especially when faced with adversity and evil. These are precisely the values the puritans and zealots of many faiths and ideologies would destroy.

"So what do you guys want to do tomorrow?" Buffy asks her best friends as they walk to their final battle, a battle none expects to survive. "I was thinking of shopping, as per usual." Banter ensues about shoe cravings and the right look for a guy with an eye patch.

"Aren’t we going to discuss this?" asks Giles, befuddled and a tad disapproving. "Save the world, and go to the mall?"

Well, yes. That’s the world they’re fighting for.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 4, 2003 10:44 AM

Comments

On the subject of Joss, there's going to be a Firefly movie! (Link on my blog)

Posted by: Ith at September 4, 2003 12:00 PM

The Sister of a Flea forwarded a note to me about this as well. Time for some Flea journalism on the subject...

Posted by: Nicholas Packwood at September 4, 2003 03:40 PM