Post by midwesternwatcher on Dec 10, 2010 15:06:11 GMT -5
Somebody said The First wanted to become corporeal and rule the world. Hmm ... I don' t remember that. As I recall, it just wanted to end the Slayer line. Did I miss something? Educate me if I did, please.
Post by Inappropriate Starches on Dec 10, 2010 15:17:47 GMT -5
^In Touched, First/Buffy says she wants to feel (the neck snapping thing). I can't remember but I'm sure it's alluded to that it would be corporeal. At the very least First/Buffy says to Caleb that when they win The First will be able to 'enter every person as I enter you'. So some form of corporeal goal is implied at the very least.
If it's common, then it's hard to think of it as a personal failing.
We know that in the days of slavery, many slave-owners made mistresses of their female slaves. This was frowned on in public, as I gather from reading history, but what was the attitude in private? I suspect many people, even women, shrugged their shoulders, "boys will be boys" and so on.
Don't forget, slavery is still with us. I spent nine months in Thailand when I was in the Army. I heard about slave auctions in the countryside. I also saw things go on in the brothels, where the girls were not slaves as we usually think of it, that were as bad or worse than what happened to Sierra.
Well yes, but once again that is what is disturbing. The fact that slavery and colonialism (including new forms of Western colonialism) are still destroying lives terrifying and really evil. I think it's great actually that a sci-fi or fantasy show would break away from the metaphor and show the truth (if not a small version of it) and comment on what goes on in real lives. However for a sci-fi or fantasy show, human villains will never be the biggest evil, but from a real life stand point they are the scariest because they're based in reality.
Post by midwesternwatcher on Dec 10, 2010 19:19:33 GMT -5
I'm rewatching S7 now, I'll be on the lookout for that. I want to be clear on what the context is. Somehow I can't picture the First Evil ever being corporeal.
Have to add something about Nolan Kinnard. Don't get me wrong! I absolutely condemn what he did, which was unequivocally wrong!
But I just can't think of him as a particularly evil person. If he is, then there are a lot of evil people out there. It makes more sense to me to think of the evil as being located in the system and the situation, not the individual.
I wonder, what do you think about the class of people who own slaves? There is such a class, you know, right now, but you can think of the past if you like. What do you think of Jefferson Davis, for instance, or even Thomas Jefferson, as individuals? Were they villains?
Post by lightandmagic on Dec 11, 2010 4:09:39 GMT -5
It really depends on the context of the situation. If they owned slaves now, yes they would definitely be villains. Back then however, it's harder to judge. Yes, many people were morally against slaves, but a large and significant majority were for owning slaves. You can't view things out of socio-historical context.
It's like a lot of great writers being sexist or racist or homophobic. In our current world view; we would view these texts as deplorable in many ways, but you can't necessarily blame someone of being sexist, racist or homophobic when the majority of the population was. You can't analyse a text or a situation without viewing it in its historical context and you can't necessarily criticize it either if it was living up to the norms of the time period.
Fact is: you can't equate a modern day person owning slaves to Thomas Jefferson owning slaves. They were in two completely different time periods and two completely different societies, one where it was largely accepted and the other where it is deplored and a criminal action. Hell, in the future the idea of even discussing slavery could be considered morally reprehensible by the society that has evolved and this whole conversation, which right now is just an intellectual debate, could be considered vulgar, gross, and in some ways criminal.
We have advanced as a society to the point where we have overall ethical guidelines, and Nolan was clearly aware of them and clearly acted outside of them. And I would argue that there's thousands upon thousands, hell probably even millions of people that could easily be considered evil by a society. Although your point stands about the evil in the system and the situation in the sense of Dollhouse's incredibly grey morality in many ways. Can't both the person, Nolan, and the system, the Dollhouse be evil? The system in some ways laid down a path for him, but he was the one that chose to follow it to the disgusting and despicable end. You can't excuse someone because a system is in place, it would be like excusing murderers because the equipment to commit murder is so easily accessible.
As for the First thing, that was me. I wrote my original post incredibly quickly and I haven't seen Season 7 in a while. It is stated, although not explicitly, that The First longs to become corporeal and that ending the Slayer line may in some way help it accomplish that goal. I don't know if it's intentions are to rule the world, I just wrote it quickly and off the top of my head, it's goal beyond ending the Slayer line isn't exactly said.
Post by midwesternwatcher on Dec 11, 2010 9:55:32 GMT -5
These are thorny issues, aren't they?
We've gotten down to it. If a person has social support in doing what he does, that makes a difference in how we judge his actions, no matter how evil they may seem.
Did Nolan Kinnard have social support? Yes he did, at least from the people at the Dollhouse with whom he dealt. We actually hear from some Dollhouse people who argue for the inevitability, if not the justice exactly, of what they are doing. I suspect he had other associates who also had no problem with what he was doing. Maybe these were the people who were most important to him.
You mentioned murder? Excusing murderers? There do exist organizations in this world, some in this country, that admit only men who have committed murder. Are these immoral organizations? I hesitate to say so. There are men who are passionately devoted to these organizations, ready to die as well as kill to preserve them. It's hard not to have a bit of respect for this, mixed in with the horror. I've been a soldier, have you? I understand how a soldier can both hate and admire his enemy. In the same way, a policeman can admire a criminal (in exceptional cases).
Here's a less emotional, but interesting case. Suppose you find out that a friend of yours is having an affair with a woman who is not his wife. Does he have social support for this? Yes, from at least one person, a person who may matter to him a lot. How do you feel about the morality of that? Most of us would frown on it, but, well ... A few years back, I learned that a neighbor of mine was in exactly that position. He admitted it in public. He happens to be very well known in my town, so essentially everyone around here (population about 100,000) knew about it. Of course we all disapproved. Then we elected him judge.
Frankly, I'm inclined to think that the notion of a person being evil is not really intelligible, a name that refers to nothing. No doubt that will shock some of you.
Maybe we're not getting anywhere.
About the First, I'll keep in mind what you say, I just finished "Conversations With Dead People," so far I don't see evidence, but I'll be on the lookout for it. I'm still not sure how the First could become corporeal. What would it look like, if it did?