The Mythic Triad: An Examination Of The Xena/Gabrielle/Joxer Dynamic
From: crystal blue
Subject: letter to the editor
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2000
Kudos to Carolyn M. Wallace and this insightful piece. She's made a powerful case for exactly why our three heroes work so well together. I'm looking forward to watching reruns with this idea in mind - it's a great addition to the layers upon layers of mythology that have come to surround the show.
In Illo Tempore... An Introduction To A Marxist Analysis Of The Making Of A Postmodern Mythology In XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS
From: Nathan Hardman
Subject: Regarding: In Illo Tempore (the mrzist analysis of Xena)
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2000
Before venting my spleen regarding the above article, I'd like to express my enjoyment of Whoosh! and appreciation of the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in Whoosh.
Now to the spleen-venting.
I realise that Whoosh (& the net) is dependent on freedom of expression and for me to have my right of free expression resptected, I have to tolerate points of view or expressions that I don't particluarly like or agree with. Fine, I can handle that.
But a marxist interpetaion of Xena being taken seruiously? Please! I am most irate about the blatant hypocracy of an ideology, which permits no dissension and regards freedom of speech, self determination and individual identity as fallacies and tools of capitalist oppression, using a liberal forum to critique a program that celebrates human diversity and an individual's right to choose.
Whats next, a fascist or god forbid, nazi, exploration of xena themes such as the way of the friend/way of love dicotomy? Or how Eli postulated a slave morality? Or how the amazon warrior culture implicitly engenders the furher-princep and the facsist notions of autarchy and the "race-as-state".
Hell, at least the mask of the author would slip more readily , revealing the evil of the ideology underpinning the arguement. An in blunt terms, the reds killed far more people than the fascists did.
Anyway, thats my two-cents worth. I apologise if I have caused any offense and I would like to stress that this is not meant to advocate intolerance or bigotry. If this email is out of line, please feel free not to publish.
It's hard to realize what exactly Mr. Hardman wants to prove. First, he hits the head of the nail unwittingly, by saying that one could develop a Nietzschean analysis of various XWP episodes, with emphasis on the Eli's and Gabrielle's behaviour about their "Way of Peace". He does not seem to realize the fact that the disparaging portraying of such behaviour as sheer hipocrisy (as pointed by Amarice, among other characters) is entirely within the bounds of the Nietzschean critique of "ascetic ideals". Again a proof - if further proof were needed - of Nietzscheanism as the spontaneous consciousness of our postmodern age, as the only way left for true individuality to express itself - however self-destructively - in a bourgeois age devoid of true means of real individual self-expression.
Displaying no further knowledge, therefore, of my article except its title, Mr. Hardman then embarks on a commonplace identification of Nietzsche with nazism - something that has been proved false so often that I think it useless to have it disproven; suffice to say that the young Trotsky- alias Leon Davidovitch Bronstein - would never have lost his time in 1900 writing the obituary of an Ex Ante "nazi". Nietzsche was, of course, a right-winger, but, at the same time, an aristocratic one; he could never identify himself with the lumpen-plebeian features of nazism.
The anti-communist rematks that follow miss the mark, as I could easily deflect them by simply pointing that a Trotskyst sympathizer could never identify himself with the Stalinist atrocities which he seems to have in mind. If, howver, he has in mind the violences of the Russian Revolution, I would like to point him the elementary point of dialectics made by Engels, that "Life consists in the fact that a being is at any given moment itself and another". As youth produces old age, life death -and, I daresay, as Gabrielle issued Hope - in the same way the democratic ideal in Marxism produced the Red Terror and Stalinism.
I admit readily that the legacy of Marxism to our closing century is so ambiguous as to make anyone want to drop it altogether. The fact, however, that Socialist ideals and programmes are always popping in the most unexpected places today, even on Whoosh!, proves that perhaps Marx and Engels, back in 1848, were right when they wrote down that Communism was the real life answer to the objective disfunctionalities of capitalism. I do not propose, and I don't know anyone who does, an "encore" of former rehearsals. I simply propose that dropping the rememberance of past -and present - struggles could mean to forget that they were directed against very real ills. As Amarice would say, perhaps there is still some butt-kicking (or better butt-pushing) to do.I would only ask of Mr Hardman to read my article and not to take it as a piece of propaganda, which it is not..
Carlos Eduardo Rebello de Mendonša
Amazons, We Hardly Knew Ye
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Congrats on Issue 49. Mr. Rudnick's article on Amazons very well taken.
Mr. Rudnick is right in his statement tha the show "...did its best when the stories were smaller scale." An occasional large-scale episode may be all right, but too many of them is a big expense, and also annoying. The whole 5th season, past CHAKRAM and SUCCESSION, seems to be an exercise in grandiosity.
The comment that "We all know Renaissance could use some practice with history" reads as if Mr. Rudnick is practicing British understatement. Much of the H:TLJ and X:WP looks as if the writers were showing their history teachers that they could screw it all up, and still make money.
To Mr. Robertson's letter and its observation that "Ares is an outcast on Olympus, none of the gods really like him": well, we have one who conspired with Dahak to overthrow the Olympians(Sacrifice 1 and 2), confined them in some ball when they had fled Dahak (H:TLJ,STRANGER AND STRANGER) and, when the Titans seemed to be escaping, was willing to help them (last ep. of H:TLJ). Bluntly, he seems neither to deserve their liking nor to merit any friendship.
To Mr. Baber's claim that Xena is rebuffing Gabrielle in various episodes: that's not the way I saw it. These two have been together through a lot, they needn't be "gushy". Besides, I think throughout the series Xena has been written up the more "masculine" of the two. I thought the last scene in LITTLE PROBLEMS was quite good.
To anybody criticising Xena's wacking Gab. to stop her from killing Eve: IT'S AN EMERGENCY. She has to ACT NOW.
Cripes, what a bunch of second guessers. They fbelong on a British jury in a self-defense case. Xena saved her daughter, and ultimately made saving Gabrielle possible.
Very truly yours,
Richard P. McArthur
Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2000
From: Jeanette Atwood
Subject: Re: a few requests
I really enjoyed this months edition of Whoosh. Big kudo's to Bret for taking the time to chart the history of the Amazons and their collective demise. TPTB never truly understood just WHAT they had created when they first put Amazons on the show. The fans certainly did. It's pretty rare someone writes an `epic Xena' story without some major Amazon action.
Not much was really known about Klingons when TNG premiered but with Michael Dorn playing Worf along with some tremendous writers an amazing mythos was created around the Klingons. Now we know about their heros, their religious icons, their heaven and hell, heck some people can sing arias from Klingon Operas!
X:WP had the same opportunity to really create sometime special with the Amazons. The first few times we saw them on the show we felt we had just seen a hint of something remarkable with these women. Sadly we never got to really find out what it was. The writers squandered opportunity after opportunity to really explore what made these women and this culture tick. Now anytime I see an Amazon on the show I find myself frustrated and annoyed.
Good thing for fanfic and writers who accept the challange of creating cultures!
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000
As a X:WP-Fan I read your whoosh-article "Amazons,we hardly knew ye". I really like it and I agree totally with all you wrote.
Some X:WP-FanFiction confuse me. I always thought, the idea behind the Amazon nation is "sisterhood", which means that all members are equal. I thought, there is a Amazon queen because it is good to have a leader in a war and because it is common all around them. (The Roman Republic officials always had trouble to explain to other countryleaders why there was no roman king.) But in some FF amazons have (female) slaves or servants. Do you know anything about it. Isn`t a 2-class-society the opposite to Terreis: "The Amazon world is based on truth and a woman`s individual strength"?
Thanks very much for your nice note. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.
As to how people have set things up in fan fiction, your guess is as good as mine. Fan Fiction is the realm of pure fantasy and imagination for the individual author. No rules need apply other than those decided by the fanfic writer of a given story. If several writers get together or tacitly agree on a set of rules that might be true too, but honestly, I don't know. I don't read fan fiction. Perhaps the best thing to do is ignore what you don't like or what doesn't make sense to you, and embrace what you do like. I doubt there's any "correct" answer other than one you yourself choose to apply to a situation. Fanfic, by its very nature, is just an individual's whim.
Bret Ryan Rudnick
Views On Creation Entertainment
From: Robert Harrison
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000
I agree wholeheartedly with the author about having horrible experiences dealing with Creation Entertainment. They appear to be a slipshod, completely disorganized, and totally incompetent organization. I have attended five Xena conventions and have left each one feeling that I just spent a large amount of money to have someone treat me like dirt.
Hotel reservations I made through Creation have been screwed up, I have never received fan club mailings I have paid for. Creation employees are regularly rude, unhelpful, and arrogant. The only function I see Creation performing efficiently is erecting large artificial barriers and increasing the distance between the show and it's fans.
The predominant feeling I get when attending a Creation Convention is that of a "Carny" and their "Mark." The purpose is to separate the suckers from their cash and give them nothing in return.
Adam Malin's temper tantrum and audience abuse at the Pasadena 2000 convention over getting only a measly $8,000 for a stick with a piece of fake fur stuck to it was the final straw for me. Let's see how long the good times continue to roll for Creation after they kill the geese that lay their Gold Circle eggs.
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