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January Talking Meme, Day12

From seapealsh - Do you feel that Spike was one of a kind as vampires go, and do you feel he had real affection for Joyce and Dawn?

I'm a descriptivist, not a prescriptivist. I watch what the characters do, and draw conclusions from that. That being so, I do think Spike had real affection for Joyce and Dawn. (I think he also, at least sometimes, saw them as ways to get close to Buffy. People are complicated and often have mixed motives.) If a human character had behaved in the same way he behaved, no one would argue that real affection wasn't involved.

I don't think Spike is one of a kind. I think it's blindingly obvious that vampires are capable of love and affection, even if it's often scary, violent, obsessive love and affection by human standards. Drusilla loved both Spike and Angel in her broken way. Harmony loved Spike. James and Elizabeth loved each other. Darla loved Angelus. In order to say they didn't, you have to define love in such a restrictive and reductive way that few humans would qualify. Love isn't moral - no emotion is moral. Love can inspire people to the loftiest heights and the most degrading depths. It's messy and painful as often as it is ennobling and selfless.

If there's any vampire who's one of a kind, I'd say it's Angelus.

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2014 02:57 am (UTC)
I pretty much agree with you right there.

Jan. 14th, 2014 03:57 am (UTC)
Jan. 13th, 2014 07:58 am (UTC)
Which immediately makes me wonder why you consider Angelus to be unique and how he became so. If there is a vacant slot in your meme do please add this in :D
Jan. 14th, 2014 04:01 am (UTC)
Well, I don't really believe Angelus is unique either. I just think that if one absolutely must argue for vampire exceptionalism, he's a better candidate than Spike, because of things like the Judge singling him out as the one vampire with no trace of humanity left, and weird things like the AtS S4 Beast plotline, where Angel and Angelus are treated as if they really are separate people with separate memories.
Jan. 13th, 2014 09:41 am (UTC)
If there's any vampire who's one of a kind, I'd say it's Angelus.

Hmm. Not sure I agree with this, as I think Angelus was as much in love with Darla as she was with him, despite both their protestations to the contrary.
Jan. 14th, 2014 04:01 am (UTC)
Well, like I said to Dwyld, I don't really believe Angelus is unique either. I just think that if one's going to argue for vampire exceptionalism, he's a better candidate than Spike.
Jan. 13th, 2014 11:11 am (UTC)
That all sounds right. :)
Jan. 14th, 2014 04:01 am (UTC)
Jan. 13th, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
I totally agree. I always thought that it felt very forced when the show would insist that only souled beings can truly love, yet we were presented with examples of vampire couples being devoted to one another for hundreds of years. If that's not love then I don't know what is!

Even with Angelus, although I don't know if I'd describe it as love exactly, it's not like he lost his soul and became completely indifferent to Buffy, he just became obsessed with her in a more twisted way. If soulless vampires simply aren't capable of feeling those emotions then I would have expected him to just stop caring after he lost his soul and snap Buffy's neck when she was vulnerable to him and unaware that he had lost his soul, instead he dedicated months of his life to making Buffy suffer
Jan. 14th, 2014 04:03 am (UTC)
Yeah, as I mentioned above, I don't really believe Angelus is unique either. Though I think he is at the extreme end of the bell curve.
Jan. 13th, 2014 01:33 pm (UTC)
Good timing. Just yesterday I was watching the S5 episode where Drusilla comes back into town (Crush), which has this bit of dialogue:

SPIKE: You can't tell me that there isn't anything there between you and me. I know you feel something.
BUFFY: It's called revulsion. And whatever you think you're feeling, it's not love. You can't love without a soul.
DRUSILLA: Oh, we can, you know. We can love quite well. If not wisely.

I particularly like Dru's "If not wisely." comment.
Jan. 14th, 2014 04:03 am (UTC)
Uh huh. Dru knows whereof she quotes. *g*
Jan. 13th, 2014 02:50 pm (UTC)
I agree with everything you say, basically. I think that Angelus is original because he's seriously a sociopath. He seems unable to experience compassion for others as we see in the flashback episodes and during S2 of BtVS. But then again some human are also like that.
Jan. 14th, 2014 04:04 am (UTC)
Yep. As I mentioned above, I don't really believe Angelus is unique. He's just at the far end of the bell curve.
Jan. 14th, 2014 07:27 am (UTC)

Plus, we didn't really get that big a sample of vampires, when you get right down to it. We got the Aurelians, and we got the usual graveyard stakebait, some of whom had been vampires for all of five conscious minutes before getting dusted. No way to tell, there. And all the ones who came to town, well, they were the ambitious types. We never got to know what all the vampires in Spokane or the Peruvian Andes or Tibet were up to. (Note: I've never read the comics.)

I'm not sure how many vampires could or would care to resist torture as soulless Spike did, or sacrifice himself to save the world as souled Spike did... but then, how many humans would, either? I'd like to think there are people I'd die for, but I'd probably break under torture as quickly as anyone else. And if it came to Saving The World, I suspect I'd be waiting for someone else to volunteer.

I think Spike had some suggestive history, and some unique happenstance, that let him become unique in what we saw in seeking his soul, but other vampires might have done the same in his place, or in other circumstances in the past. Frankly, we just got to know him better than all other vampires in the 'verse except Angel.
Jan. 17th, 2014 12:34 am (UTC)
And, it occurs to me, the same could be said for Buffy. We (the audience) and she and all her friends like to think of her as unique as a Slayer... but that's also a result of temperament + circumstances, as the Wish-verse showed us. Buffy could have easily been a lone wolf and died as a teenager.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 17th, 2014 02:43 am (UTC)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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