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The End ||>

So this is the end. Yes, I always knew it would come, and I did expect it in 2003. However, I didn't know the situation I would be in or that I would feel like this: so bittersweet.

It's been an incredible seven years, hasn't it? The show has changed and we have changed with it. As for those of us that can count ourselves as part of the truly obsessed, we have managed to do something rare: to completely internalize a piece of art so that it changes our entire psyche. And to be clear - I believe this change is in almost every case for the better.

We have been through many things as an online Buffy community. Protests, squabbles love-fests, and all seemed like they would never end. We have battled fiercely with each other over plot points, websites and perhaps even politics. We have found new friends and people that would never have graced our lives with so much love and care. We have been completely polarized and completely together on many different occasions so that it seems we may not even know the difference now. And through it all, that "penetrating force" that has been with us will now slip away and it is up to us to continue what we have on our own. But we are still a community, because we share those values and tastes and pieces of knowledge that Buffy has given us. So I want to talk about what we will always share and what we have shared over the past seven years, because Buffy changed us.

Our taste in music has changed. We know bands and singers that very few Americans - or anyone else - knows. We have been selectively blessed by their talent and individual contribution to music.

We have become experts at American pop-culture. Who needs a class at a university when we have Buffy? We know who Keyser Soze is, what "the whole nine yards" really means, and that there is no real plural for "apocolypse". How many times has a Buffy fan made a pop-culture reference and been stared at blankly by his or her friends in return? Probably a lot, but it's not bad. We know all about popular culture and they don't.

In addition, we know humanity in a way that isn't seen by others. We have seen evil be redeemed, and witnessed all the forms of forgiveness that exist, fictionalized though it may be. The characters that we identify with, who we love, have stood at the pit of hell (oftentimes literally) and still walked the straight and narrow even though everything is falling apart. And sometimes they do fall, just as we can. But we get the metaphor. We get it. Because of that, the show has also been able to impart it's sense of hope to us. That no matter how bad things get there's always room for redemption. The world can be saved any day of the week, as long as that day is Tuesday. And no matter how some of us sneer at the word "champion" nowadays, we can still be heroes on our own, helping humanity in our own way.

Finally, Buffy has given us more that values, it has given us entertainment. With this comes not only enjoyment, but a whole spectrum of emotions. And Tuesdays, formerly the middle of the work week doldrums, became something so much more that just another day.

So now comes the time to end. I have taken my moment, and I'll let it go with my thanks. Thank you to the cast and crew, Mutant Enemy, the WB, UPN and even Fox. Thank you for such a wonderful show that has helped myself and others live just a little better and more interesting life.

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