August 21, 2009 - anthropology / apocalypse / art / capitalism / christianity / cyberculture / ethnography / film / remix / social network / speculative fiction / television / wicca

I came across “Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies” today. It’s difficult to look at any neo pagan online community without finding frequent references to Joss Whedon’s television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” One of the most often used quotes about wicca, for example, is this exchange between the characters Willow and Buffy after Willow has attended a meeting of her college wiccan group:

Buffy: So not stellar, huh?
Willow: Talk. All talk. Blah Blah Gaia. Blah Blah Moon…menstrual life force power thingy. You know, after a coupla sessions I was hoping we could get into something real but . . .
Buffy: No actual witches in your witch group?
Willow: No. Bunch of wanna-blessed-bes. You know, nowadays every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she’s a sister of the Dark Ones.

The effect of films like “The Craft,” “Practical Magic,” and the television series “Charmed” and “Buffy…” is far reaching. Social networks, retail suppliers and bloggers adopt a posture either in favor of or opposed to these depictions and construct identities in line with or opposed to them. There seems to be very little terrain online that hasn’t been touched by “slayage.”