Over at ATPo
, there's a discussion about a possible season 5 scenario wherein Connor retains the powers he has as the product of a mystical union between two vampires, but not his memories of his time in LA, and then returns to AI seeking his true identity. Vash the Stampeder
have independently arrived at the same basic plot (I'm claiming that I thought of a similar plot, but because I never wrote up my thoughts on "Home" like an interesting LJer and instead blathered witlessly
about my icon, I can't prove this and you can safely ignore my bandwagon-jumping). While I was typing up a different scenario
, one that is unfortunately more final, Vash posted another idea
(wherein Connor just replaced another young man, who is going to want to get back to his family and out this imposter). I don't wish to discuss this scenario, or, really, the body of the post or anything about the earlier thread. I want to concentrate on one tiny little parenthetical. Vash writes, "Also, if Connor still possesses his powers (which I believe he does) [ . . . ]"
Less than 48 hours since we got a glimpse of new Connor in which his actions were basically passing the biscuits, and already people had beliefs
as to what his powers are? It's not as if we've seen him leap over tall buildings in a single bound; there is not only no evidence with which to assess Connor's current powers, there haven't been any hints! And yet people are starting to believe things about him? I find this hard to comprehend.
Vash seems like a reasonable person, so I doubt he holds this belief so dearly as to declare a crusade against the infidels, but I have seen on the board at least several vicious debates between posters who knew in their hearts with absolute conviction that after Spike had been vamped, he went back to the party shown in "Fool For Love" and killed the people who had made fun of him (these posters swore he did it with a railroad spike, those providing the story Giles repeats in "School Hard"), posters who firmly believed that it was all part of Spike's blustery self-created mythos, and posters who repeated again and again that no evidence existed either way.
Ok, two points don't provide a stable foundation for a structured argument, but I wonder about this sort of belief. I think what Vash is saying is that he would, for dramatic reasons, prefer
that Connor retain his powers (insofar as it would mean Kartheiser would return to the show, I share this preference). It makes for an interesting story, it brings a charismatic character back, and it dulls the knife that "Home" stuck in our hearts. By extension, I guess, this means that the people who argued that Spike went back and slaughtered the partygoers would somehow prefer
the gruesome deaths of a whole bunch of innocent people to their survival. (In their defense, it should be pointed out that the partygoers were upper-class British twits, so those who believe Spike killed them can be excused. Ok, I should add that they were fictional
upper-class British twits, so it's not like bad boy Spike fans are all
deeply disturbed bloodthirsty homicidal maniacs. On a related note, I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome deadsoul820
to my friends list!) Indeed this sort of strongly held preference supports a hell of a lot of LiveJournals, as it is (as Masq is discovering) the root of fanfickery. I am sure that there exist fanfics in which Spike does
go back and cold-bloodedly exact revenge on the people who belittled his poetry. (I am also sure that there exist fanfics in which Spike engages each and every one of them in hot sex, but that's another discussion.)
How much does preference affect belief? Many people of the Book, at least on paper, seem to prefer a world with some sort of ultimate meaning, or where mercy is the ruling consideration, to one without meaning, without mercy; I can't blame them. I, on the other hand, call myself a skeptic, an agnostic, and an atheist. (These are overlapping but not identical categories: I am a skeptic because I do not like to accept notions until I believe that someone trustworthy has empirically investigated and verified them; I am an agnostic because I believe that the existence of God is not verifiable through empirical investigation; I am an atheist because, when you come down to it, I just don't believe in higher powers.) I suppose I do
prefer a universe where humans have to accept all responsibility for their actions. I wonder about Gnostics and their spiritual relatives, though. Do they really
prefer to live in a world that has been corrupted, to live among a poor, deluded mass of humanity? I suppose they prefer to be the few specially enlightened ones. I can understand that -- it is admittedly similar to why I call myself a skeptic; it gives me a vantage point from which to look down on the poor deluded mass of humanity. Still, I wonder if while I'm sneering at those faces I'm really just looking into a mirror.
I don't suppose a fanfic theory of religious studies will get anywhere, but what is Talmudic scholarship but fanwanking the Torah? And some Biblical fanfics
are of Halo award-quality. There's been Jesus/Mary Magdalen het
; for those who like their 'ships twisted and angsty, like Wes/Lilah and CLex, Jesus/Judas has to be the greatest slash ever told.[My sincere apologies to Vash, Masq, dead soul, Spike fans, Christians, Muslims, atheists, Gnostics, anyone who has ever believed anything, anyone who enjoys good writing and serious thought, and my mother.]