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04 November 2003 @ 09:25 am

I've added some icons and wanted to shout out to lanning and wisteria_, and also flambeau, because I think I got several from them. There are a few others I can't remember the origins of. I am 99% sure that all the ones I've put up so far were all appropriately taken when people posted to offer them. Unfortunately I've noticed that I suffix icon files with people's user names for (a) icons that are theirs, not mine, and (b) for icons that people made and I was saving to use someday. Confusing.


My dream this morning made me wonder how accurate watcher diaries are. So, a watcher is assigned a slayer and records details about her life and, less often, her death. Fine, cool. But the watcher diaries also have vampire histories in them with various amounts of detail. It would make sense for watchers to pore through diaries over a period of time to cull out references to a single vampire and then collect them into one biography-style volume--the history of Angelus, the history of Spike. It's unclear whether this is the case, though. I suppose Giles, in the episode "Angel," could use the term "watcher diary" to refer to some kind of supplemental volume that contains info on various vampires (e.g., "Vampires of the European Continent, 1719-1845"). He certainly has a lot of details--Angel's origins, his movements, hunting patterns, even his tattoo and a picture of a woman he'd once known. And we know that Wes has some very definitive accounts of his movements for certain periods of time.

And yet...how believable is that, if you extrapolate? There might be periods of time where the available info is richer; you can imagine a particular watcher gaining an "in" to a vampire social circle in some way, as a spy, or just being on the spot in the same small town, close enough to tail a particular vampire and record details. (And that must certainly account for a lot of watcher deaths over the years.) But it's less plausible that they'd have a close itinerary of a vampire's movements, month to month, for centuries at a time. At one point Giles says: "There's...no record of [Angel] hunting [in America]." He's talking about a period of over eighty years there. That's not saying much. If you wanted that to *really* mean something, you'd have to posit a network of watchers scattered across America, or watchers in England poring over a century's worth of American newspapers and noting down any report of a killing that resembles a vampire attack, and their work would have to represent a good accounting of which vampires are responsible for which killings. If they had *that* level of authoritative documentation, then saying that Angel has no record of hunting in America carries some weight. But it's highly unlikely they have that kind of info--and if a vamp is successful, a survivor, he's not going to be identified in association with a killing. So all that Giles is *really* saying here is that they've never had a meaningful report reach them to indicate that Angel was associated with a killing. He *could* have gone on a wild decade-long spree at any time, and as long as it didn't reach the attention of the watchers, they'd have no record of him hunting.

I just think that's kind of funny. I mean, it represents how the so-called "facts" we're presented with in canon can fall apart if you look at them too closely.

As another example, when I first watched "Fool for Love," I thought it implied that the story of Spike's "railroad-spike" torture was in fact apocrypha, a distortion of the truth, the truth being that his nickname, William the Bloody, in fact referred to his reputation for bloody awful poetry. It took me a while to twig to the alternate (and probably more sensible) reading, which is that he got the nickname when he was alive and then turned its meaning around by torturing the men who bestowed it on him. But I still kind of like the first reading, because it represents how tiny details of truth can be wildly exaggerated when they get set down as history. You can imagine some Victorian junior watcher interviewing William's contemporaries to get anecdotal material and then turning the very mundane facts of his life into the lurid melodrama of vampire notoriety.


I can't remember what number three was.
caille on November 4th, 2003 09:34 am (UTC)
History abounds with lurid melodrama opportunities.

I remember reading a fake "historical reference" to the strange people in the distant 20th century, who worshipped street gods, and built many streetside shrines so that they could give offerings to the gods throughout the day.

PS: your bed icon. Are those the very same pillows that called to you a few entries ago, luring you to snuggle with them? They look deceptively innocent. Little pillow harlots. Mmmm.
Joseysangpassionne on November 4th, 2003 10:09 am (UTC)
Re: watchers and history.
Their detail about Spike seems to be way off when we look at it in retrospect, after all they suggest he's about 200 in the diaries. My feeling is he was supposed to be Penn, sired by Angelus, apt pupil, etc, etc. Until the character got picked up as a regular and they suddenly realised the homoerotic implications. Thus they made Spike younger and turned by Dru, made Penn something of a fool who left Angelus years ago and killed him off in a single episode. It covered many bases and got them out of a tightspot simply by suggesting that the watchers got their facts wrong/confused. Plus I know sometimes a cigar is just a cigar but the similarity between the names, Spike/Penn. Single syllable, both phallic - huh, maybe I'm making more of it than there is.
Dio: dio's faith (mouseincanada)diachrony on November 4th, 2003 10:54 am (UTC)
I just want to say that I adore your fanwanking analyses.

That is all.
Herself_nyc: smiling Marstersherself_nyc on November 4th, 2003 10:32 pm (UTC)
Y'know, I also wasn't sure after FFL is we were supposed to assume that Spike had used the railroad spikes to torture anyone or not. But I think you're right--we're supposed to guess that he went back and got those mustachioed emotional sadists after he was turned.