WILLIAMS, SIMON. Born 1982. Passed away on July 14, 2004. Loyal son of James, brother to Gareth, captain of the Sunnydale High football team and friend to all. An inspiration. Taken too early. No service be held.
POLICE INVESTIGATING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT FOUND DEAD IN CAR ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF SUNNYDALE
JULY 14 2004
BY DONE REDFORD
A high school student was found dead outside of Sunnydale early in the morning.
It is known that a loud noise preceded the event and flashing lights of uncertain origin were seen before it occurred.
The place where the body was found has been cordoned off indefinitely. A police spokesman has said that officers were alerted as soon as the body was discovered.
A short statement was released to the press. “We are working to establish the facts of the case. We don’t need speculation.”
SUNNYDALE CONFESSIONS PAGE
R.I.P. SIMON WILLIAMS!!! – 1Lover
I always loved you Simon. You will forever be in my heart. That night we spent together will live forever in my heart. I still have the necklace you gave me, and I’ll keep your secret. – 1Lover
Fuck off. If you really dated him or had his secrets you wouldn’t be on here trying to get us to ask you what they were. I’ve seen you posting this shit so many times before. Stop being an attention whore. – RealNinja7777
ouch – Toocan.
good riddance. The bathrooms will be safer without him. – din viesel
What’s that supposed to mean? – RogerMoorefan91
If you don’t know you don’t know. – din viesel
does anyone else thingk the librarian’s pretty hot? –
lol no – meangirl
fuck no – twentytwentytwenty
I mena, kinda… –
Whose the guy who’s been hanging out with lately? Geeky looking guy. I heard the police want him to talk to him so if you know where he is call them up.
I think his name’s Harris or something? – Toocan
I think you’re mistaken. It’s definitely something else. – Alexxx
What makes you so sure? – Too can
I just know. – Alexxx
??? Well forgive me if I don’t take the word of a stranger on the internet as gospel. – Toocan
Does anyone know how he died?
I’m the one who found his body. He was torn up pretty badly. I didn’t know a human could do that sort of thing. – anon
Oh shiiiit. Maybe it wasn’t human? – 69Guy
Tbh I wish those protestors would just SHUT THE FUCK UP and leave the school alone. I’ve got a GPA to maintain.
There’s things that are more important than your grades. There’s a world. – RealNinja777
FYI to the cheerleaders in the library yesterday – just cause you decided to date guys who aren’t jocks doesn’t make you smart. If you’re gonna come to the library than keep ur mouths shut. Some of us are trying to study. Ur just idiots.
Preach. – anon
Heyooo that girl with the blue sandals at the fountain the other day? Fred Lawson likes you. You should get him to ask you out on a date.
Wish we had more of these. Things have gotten so negative around here lately. – Mollly
Complaining about problems is just creating new problems. You should let go of your tension. – Um, okay?
Uh, okay? – Mollly
Anyone know what happened to that blonde girl in Ms. Moran’s history class? She’s stopped coming to class lately.
Is everyone just gonna talk about Simon Williams now? I’m just worried about midterms. Least we got a few days off school now.
This has gone on long enough .
EXCERPTS FROM THE DIARY OF WILLOW ROSENBERG
No, that sounds stupid. I haven’t written inside this diary since I was eight so I guess I don’t need to bother with the formalities now. Only picked this up because I was feeling nostalgic. then the only thing I wrote about was Xander…
He’s been acting strange lately. And not like a boy going through puberty way but in a way that’s just off. Ever since Oz and me started dating he’s been distant. He started hanging out with a new crowd recently. He’s never reallyhad guy friends to talk to about stuff with so it’s good for him, but sometimes I feel a little left out. Oz doesn’t really get along with them but I’m glad he’s finally found his people, you know what I mean?…
Anyway, I’ll always be his best friend. I probably don’t even need to write that, but it’s true.
CHAT LOGS – 7/13/04
Are you sure this is safe?
Positive. I’m going out tonight.
Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. I don’t know man. Maybe we should just ask my friend Buffy to help out. This is a Slayer job.
You know what she’d say. We’ve relied on the Slayer too long to solve our problems. The people of Sunnydale have just been ignoring their duties as citizens. It’s out turn to take responsibility. We’ve talked about this.
I know. I understand.
Do you still have the thing I gave you?
I need it.
Xander? You still there.
I don’t think you need it.
Yeah, I do.
Okay, I’ll give it to you.
MASKED PROTESTORS OUTSIDE SUNNYDALE HIGH AS GUN IS FOUND
JULY 17 2004
By Done Redford
A group of around thirty protesters wearing ‘demon’ masks were spotted outside Sunnydale Town Council at approximately 12-4pm yesterday. The messages on the protest signs were directed towards the perceived negligence of the Town Council to curb the recent rash of unexplained deaths and to open up the possibility they were murders, including football captain and beloved symbol of the town Simon Williams.
Protestors also claimed that Sunnydale was being run by demonic forces and that people had simply turned a blind eye. However, none of them would give their name or the name of their organization despite extensive talks with reporters.
“We don’t know who could out there to get us. Sunnydale is stranger than you think.” One protestor said. “I’ve seen things. Women who’ll suck the blood right out your blood if you pay them. Creatures that will make your skin crawl just by looking at them. One time while walking home I saw a little blonde girl fighting a homeless man who came up to her begging for food – she stabbed and disintegrated him to dust right in front of me.”
One of the young men who seemed to be the de facto leader of the group, leading the chants said, “The time has come to take back the night. We will show them who the real monsters in Sunnydale are. If the Council doesn’t join us then we’ll have to take matters into our own hands.”
Further questions were met with dismissive comments.
Acting Mayor Huell Carson declined to comment. After the sudden, unexplained departure of the previous Mayor Richard Wilkins he has taken up office temporarily until the next election.
Reports of vandalism by the protest group have also surfaced. Eyewitness accounts claim they were found drawing strange runes with chalk on the building’s surface, but when none could be found when police officers searched. When questioned the activists neglected to comment.
“There’s always been something wrong with this city,” one mother of two said, while overlooking . “I’m just surprised it hadn’t happened sooner.”
Due to the limited scope of this assignment and most examples of Gomez’s Collective Journey that I could find being in the form of longform content such as television shows, I decided that rather than a short story it may be more effective to take a decentralized approach to the narrative. This fanfiction’s structure was inspired by Lizzie Borden’s film Born In Flames (1983), a documentary style feminist film which utilized fictionalized excerpts from various media outlets (both mainstream and alternative, audio, visual and written) to highlight the multiple perspectives at play and the intersectionality of the issues the film tackled.
At heart Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a superhero narrative drawing heavily from Campbell’s Hero’s Journey (1993), where one character is elevated as the protector of the community as an exceptional individual. I wanted to problematize the idea of the superhero or elevated individuals in general, and the idea of vigilantes – people who step outside of the system to correct it. Simon Williams is a character I created to reflect that, as his status is elevated to legend and the person he really was is obscured by the conflicting reports of his personality, as well as the characters’ relationships to him. In another way I wanted Buffy’s role as the Slayer to be called into question, as the person who holds both the power and authority over Sunnydale for all supernatural matters is absent and hides her identity from the people who need her most.
Gomez’s Collective Journey (2016) prefers a diverse cast rather than a singular hero, highlighting systemic problems and the various solutions that the community as a whole can offer rather than a singular antagonist to defeat. As a non-linear model for storytelling it is easier to isolate and use elements within the short stories. For my fanfiction I chose to focus on the concept of super positioning and the various ways people project their identity both onto the internet and to the real world, and how that can affect social change on a wider scale. In different contexts online we may behave different and (Gomez). For those familiar with the show they will be able to place this show around early season four.
In an age of superpositioned identities a critical eye becomes important to sorting through the apocryphal nature of internet discourse. I utilized the linguistic tool of passivation Goatly & Hiradhar’s (2016) in the first article written to omit information about who discovered the body, trying to immediately raise questions about who or what could have created. This is an attempt to place the reader into the shoes of the average citizen of Sunnydale, who only has hushed rumours to go on and several contradicting sources from which to choose.
BtVS takes place during the early 2000s when the internet was still in its infancy and before social media had fully taken hold, but this nascent form of the internet could still provide a world a space in which people could be anonymous or create wholesale personas with which to express their opinions, especially in a small town such as Sunnydale. This is further compounded by the presence of old media such as newspapers which have their own spin on events. Its portrayal of the internet and technology in general has varied from passably entertaining to wildly inaccurate (Season One’s “I, Robot… You Jane” being the worst offender) but there is much untapped potential here.
I did not accomplish as much as I would have hoped to and the execution needs a lot of work, but I believe I have at least communicated the main ideas with this fanfiction. My intent was to leave things up to interpretation so that the reader could puzzle out. Xander Harris’ presence is hidden among the various texts of this page, under the guise of anonymity. I intentionally chose him because he is the most “normal” out of the main characters, without superpowers or special skills, but also represents what much of the alt-right looks for in terms of recruitment as a pop culture obsessed straight white male. I also intended to add a blog post from Simon Williams in which he would act as a sort of gateway into the group of masked protestors who would eventually be shown to commit acts of violence or torture towards demons. Despite the Slayer’s job to face evil she is completely absent from the conversation of how the community should handle , and as a result the citizens who do realize that something is going on are left in the dark and feel the need to take the law into their own hands. It is an intensely flawed approach but it is still an attempt to correct injustice.
Borden, L. (Director). (1983). Born in flames [Motion picture]. United States: Lizzie Borden
Campbell, J. (1993). The hero with a thousand faces. Fontana. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat05020a&AN=aut.b11216438&site=eds-live
Gomez, J. (n.d.) Collective journey. Retrieved from https://blog.collectivejourney.com/
Goatly, A., & Hiradhar, P. (2016). Critical reading and writing in the digital age : An introductory coursebook. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com