Conversations With Dead People: My life explained to me by Joss Whedon
My friend identifies with the song ‘Wrong’ by Archers of Loaf and has shared it with me on numerous occasions to explain the Feels. It expresses a core and troublesome personal paradox that I suffer from as well. The theme of the song is simultaneously feeling inferior and superior to the objects of one’s affections.
However, I cannot appropriate this song because to do so would be treason. Case in point, we can all agree that Angela Chase was wrong to want to take Jordan Catalano to see the Bicycle Thief. After all, she only understood it because Brian Krakow explained it to her. And that whole movie plan blew up in her face anyway (see bottom two frames).
This same theme is explored by none other than Joss Whedon, master of storytelling (and probably the universe). Season 7, Episode 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is called Conversations with Dead People. It is one of my favorite episodes of the show because of Buffy’s psychological illuminations in an exchange with Holden, former classmate, now a vampire, who tells her:
“I’m here to kill you, not judge you.”
Isn’t that, metaphorically, the condition for total emotional honesty?
How many times have I “passed” on someone because I wasn’t sure they were worth it? Or I wasn’t worth it? The answer: a lot. How many times have I felt like this is the fundamental conflict between superiority and inferiority of my life? The answer: a lot.
I don’t need to find the words, because Joss Whedon wrote the dialogue and gave it to Buffy. It starts around minute 5.30 of this clip. There is one caveat to the parallel, which is that I realize that I’m not “all chosen” the way Buffy is, seeing as how she is The Slayer, as in “the only one.”
Oh, and there are two good practical lessons in this scene. One, do not be done in by “…insane troll logic.” Two, when slaying in a grave yard at night (which is the ONLY time Vampires should be out and about– RESPECT THE LORE, ASSHOLES), don’t gaze off into middle distance when having a conversations with a blood thirsty vampire.