Geeking out on Joss Whedon
Today, for some reason, I felt a hankering for music from Joss Whedon shows, which came as a bit of a surprise. This time of year I usually listen to Bad Brains or The Stooges or Public Enemy as a way to put me in the appropriate mood to cover the New Mexico Legislature.
Anyhow, anyone who knows anything about the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer knows that he likes music. Once More with Feeling, aka the Singing Buffy, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, the theme for Firefly (which he helped write) — I have them all on my iPod. So there I was bee-bopping down I-25 listening to a few of my favorites from the Whedon repertoire. The experience put me in a good mood that lasted all day. But, as often happens, I promptly forgot about my ride as I got involved in various tasks at work.
Eleven hours later, I walked in the door at home to find my kids watching an episode from the second season of Buffy. Meanwhile, awaiting me in my Gmail inbox was the weekly summary of SmartPop Books essays. And would you believe it? One of the offerings was entitled The Psychology of Joss Whedon, from which I took this excerpt:
No other contemporary creator of media for the masses has aroused such academic and popular devotion to his original materials-with the possible exception of Gene Roddenberry. Publications that reflect upon the Whedonverse have mushroomed over the past half decade, spanning books aimed at fans as well as academic anthologies, professional journals, Internet journals, fan sites and blogs. University courses and international “Buffyology” conferences abound, while references to Whedon’s works spring up in fields as diverse as literature, history, communications, media studies, women’s studies, philosophy, religion, linguistics, music, cultural studies, feminist studies, masculinity studies, queer studies, transgender studies, sociology, architecture, and of course, psychology. Whether the discussion centers on the text, the characters, the social context, the audience, or the mythos, all are excavations of what it means to engage in life, to ponder existence, to desire, to love, to nurture, to despise, to risk, to fight … and to die. Thus, it’s hardly a stretch to suggest that, in one way or another, all studies of the Whedonverse are studies in psychology.
The coincidences were too much. The universe was speaking to me. I’m thinking this weekend it’s going to be Firefly and Buffy marathon.