What can I say about the amazing Ms Buffy Summers that hasn’t already been said? Her creator, Joss Whedon, purposely set out to make an icon, a heroine, a superhero who could hold her own alongside Superman and Wonder Woman; “Barbie with a Kung Fu Grip.” To say he succeeded is like saying the Pope follows some Catholic practices. But unlike so many of her (mostly male) predecessors, Buffy also had to cope with the horrors of the real world, and not just the hell dimensions that were constantly leaking or leaping out of the conveniently-located Sunnydale Hellmouth. And it wasn’t always easy – she was betrayed, tortured, lied to…forced to make choices a more average female character wouldn’t have to make. Hell, she even died (twice) – saving the world – something she did, a lot. She’s an archetypal Aries too (like Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played her for seven years) in that she’s a warrior first and a thinker second. But when it comes to blood, love and loyalty, Buffy’s side is the one you want to be on. (But don’t be too lovable – Whedon will kill you off in an undead heartbeat.)
So I had decided my zine was going to based on eight women who I admire and respect – eight heroines. They didn’t have to be real, or living, or even human. But so far they have been. So – at the heights of the sixties, who gets to enchant, seduce and marry the smartest, most talented (and best-looking) Beatle?
Konichiwa, Ms Yoko Ono!
What is there not to love about this woman? Like Vivienne Westwood, she also came from a poor background, and you have to remember World World II was part of that childhood. She’s gone beyond the stereotype of the bohmemian artist to it’s avatar, it’s archetype. Remember in the Simpsons when her (very thinly veiled) counterpart ask for ‘a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat’? I’m sure most people, myself included, are more aware of the ‘performance art’ and ‘art films’ she was famous than we are to have actually SEEN them. I have one CD where a load of hipster bands have remixed the vocal part of some of her songs, and it’s amazing.
And even after all the pain she’s been through, (losing her husband to utterly senseless violence the most well-known), she remains passionately, relentlessly, unstoppably in the favour of peace , disarmament, and positivity. Everyone knows that she and Lennon met at one of her exhibitions, specifically at a display where one had to climb a step-ladder and use a magnifying glass to read a tiny word that had been written on the ceiling. <insert scouse accent here> “I thought, this is going to say ‘no’ or ‘fuck off’ or something smartarse’ (and I’m paraphrasing here) “but when I looked, I saw it was just one word [one of the most beautiful words in the English language, surely]…”Yes.” That was all; just ‘yes’. Thus a great 20th century love story was born; but there’s much more to Yoko than being Mrs Lennon. Public opinion was racist, sexist and ageist in ways we can hardly imagine now (“Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey” wasn’t symbolic; a newspaper actually referred to Oko as Lennon’s capering simian pet.) Against those odds, she’s still making art, still a loving mother, still putting her name to peaceful causes for the sake of humanity. And my personal favourite – she has a pair of lungs that rival the volume and breadth of Kurt Cobain and Kate Bush put together. Thus she is famous for making the most intriguing and unlikely noises and singing sounds that the roman alphabet cannot do justice. Ai-yi-yii -yi- Yarrrrgh!
Yoko Ono performing at MoMa, 2010
And if that’s too avant-garde, just skip to the coda of girlrock legends L7 song, “Wargasm”.
See what I mean?
See what I mean?
Mark Sheppard is brilliant in everything I’ve seen him do, but as Crowley, the usurping king of hell, he has an awesome Brit-stereotype camp to his demon. You know he wouldn’t think twice about sacrificing anything to save himself, but he’d do it without getting his hands dirty. At the very most, he’ll straighten his tie after decapitating an adversary. He comes across as totally omnisexual but you suspect he secretly could never love anyone more than he loves himself. (But if flirting with a man will make said man uncomfortable, he’s more than happy to do it.) And his rebooted version of hell – the eternal queue – is perfect. I just hope we haven’t seen the last of him.
Are you a feminist? Are you a genre-TV-and-movie geek? Do you ever ask yourself ‘what would Buffy do’? Then you need to read this book. Stuller concentrates on TV and graphic novels for the most part, and it is /kind/ of depressing that almost every show in this book has been cancelled…and we’re now innundated with gossip girls and pretty little liars who are most spectacularly lame in the superpower department.Still, relive the glory days of Buffy, Xena, Dark Angel et al and hope some new blood is inspired to make women super again.
And, yes, I know Dean wouldn’t waste a bullet from the colt on a vampire blah blah.
And a real fangirl would remember the name of the episode this pic is from. It might be “Abandon All Hope”, from season 5. I’m just guessing though.
I think I finally have a grip on what to write a zine about. Eight women who inspire me? I don’t know why I picked eight – it’s just seemed like the right number. So far, I have been thinking;
A seventy-year old royal, both punk and real – she’s a Dame, who once greeted the Queen wearing no knickers, came from a working-class background to influence English counter-culture and make Brittania cool. She also has a remarkably similar horoscope to me: Sun and Venus in Aries, Mercury in Pisces, and Mars in Aquarius! Tres bizarre. Her Saggitarius rising makes sense, as she is definetly a philosopher and something of a diletantte – being a fashion designer and simultaneously dismissing consumerism; “I don’t feel comfortable defending my clothes. But if you’ve got the money to afford them, then buy something from me. Just don’t buy too much.” Her moon in Leo makes sense too – even from her punk days, right through to the Victorian Empire-vibe corsetry and crowns motifs. But most of all I admire her for staying true to her vision of glamour and totally disgregarding the mainstream paradigms of what an older woman should look like. God save Vivienne!
One for my husband, Nathaniel. He’s a Cancer, not a Pisces, but definetly a landlocked merman.