Thursday, June 22, 2006

Joss Whedon's Big Damn Birthday, June 23

Joss is the man behind Buffy, Angel, and Firefly as well as the upcoming Wonder Woman, and one of my favorite celebrity atheists! Here's one of the quotes from his page there:
On December 15, 1998 the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" official posting board, series creator Joss Whedon provided some background on an episode of the show which featured some religious themes:

[...] Was it God? Well, I'm an atheist, but it's hard to ignore the idea of a "christmas miracle" here (though the PRAY on the marquee was an unintentional coincidence). The fact is, the Christian mythos has a powerful fascination to me, and it bleeds into my storytelling. Redemption, hope, purpose, santa, these all are important to me, whether I believe in an afterlife or some universal structure or not. I certainly don't mind a strictly Christian interpretation being placed on this episode by those who believe that -- I just hope it's not limited to that.

I haven't yet gotten into Buffy or Angel, but Firefly (Serenity) is one of my favorite shows. Ever. Here comes the gush... GREAT characters, GREAT stories, screw FOX who cancelled this fantastic show. It's science fiction without the fantasy -- no gods, no supernatural beings (River is not supernatural, like the Reavers, she is UNnatural), no aliens. It's Gunsmoke in space, including Miss Kitty. Better than Star Trek, better than Star Wars, keep going.

Mal (the Captain) is like a Matt Dillon or Han Solo, if either of those made a big point of being godless (well, Solo maybe... but there was that "Force" thing that couldn't be denied), and is offset by two religious characters, Shepherd Book (a preacher), and Inara (a VERY high end prostitute and sexual priestess) They offset each other too, showing different aspects of "spirituality". The other characters don't seem to have a religious preference in particular, but I guess that's endlessly debatable. The plot of the movie "Serenity" centers on the dangers of true believers. That's all I'm giving away on that, but here's a bit of dialogue between Mal and Book from a Firefly TV ep:
Mal: "Well, what about you, Shepherd? How come you're flying about with us brigands? I mean, shouldn't you be off bringing religiosity to the Fuzzie-Wuzzies or some such?"

Book: "Oh, I got heathens aplenty right here."

Mal: "If I'm your mission, Shepherd, best give it up. You're welcome on my boat. God ain't."

Mal is not the only one who has a religious go-round with Book. Super-brain River also has some comical scenes with him where she’s trying to force the Bible to make sense by ripping out pages or rearranging them, it’s obviously never going to work of course, but Book is not a fundie or a wingnut. He’s very sane (unlike River, actually) and tolerant. He’s a good guy.

A local group called the Bedlam Bards (think Renaissance Festival) have put out a Firefly-themed CD called "On the Drift", here's a link to "The Ballad of Joss" MP3 postcard. It's a drinking song, based on a drinking song from the series, so here's to Joss!

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Brent Rasmussen said...

Cool. I love Firefly. When I got the DVD series I spent two solid days watching the series from start to finish.

Blueberry said...

I want my trilogy! I can't believe we have to get by on just the DVD set and one movie! [whiiine].